Saturday, May 29, 2010

Traveling


Tomorrow I think I will travel with my oldest, lovely daughter, back to her apartment. Since it is memorial day weekend, I do not want her driving alone; it is a long trip, about 3 hours. I'm planning to help her clean up and search for something she lost, probably within the recesses of her ultra-large-and-I'm-so-jealous-of-it closet. Of course, how much of this actually gets accomplished depends upon what time we set out in her car, as I will be on a schedule for the return trip home.
I will be taking the Megabus back. It is soo convenient. If you need to travel and can take the Megabus, I highly recommend it. The rates can be dirt cheap, there is free WiFi, lavatory on the bus, air conditioning. Can't be beat. Well, actually I prefer train travel, but the trains do not have free WiFi yet, and they are much more expensive!! For this trip, the locations of the stops on both ends are super convenient, so it is a no-brainer. To take the train requires traveling 40 minutes to the train station, then changing trains at least once, maybe twice. The bus stop is only 15 minutes from her apartment, and there are no stops, no transfers, therefore it is much faster. On my end, the bus stop is at the train station, same distance for hubby to pick me up. Easy peasy.
She is a brilliant college student!! Her grades for this spring semester were just posted and she has a 3.91! I'm so proud! I think she gets her brains from me. ;-) I swiped this picture of her from her blog. She took it herself and I thought it was cute!
I hope you have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Overheard at the Thorns house today...


My six year old, Missy, asked me when her birthday was (she has difficulty remembering certain things). She said, "I remember it is September, but what day?" I told her the 22nd. "What year was I boren?" (LOL, it is so adorable when children mispronounce words!) 2003, I answered her. "Whoa, 2003? I was boren in 2003?" I know, I told her, you are getting so old!! She goes running off to the other room and I hear, "Hey Daddy, I was boren in 2003! And look at me, I'm getting so old! Pretty soon, I'm gonna need a cane!" LOL, not exactly what I was thinking when I told her she was getting so old, perhaps I should have said 'big.'
In other news, my oldest is coming home for the weekend! Hooray :) I can't wait!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

11 On My Own Documentary

By way of follow-up to the post from last week, here is a beautifully done video you do not wan to miss.

Studying

Barely any time at all, just studying, studying studying. This weekend has been all about pharmaceuticals. Categories, drug names, administration methods, dosages, spelling. On to units of measurement. Then practicum. There just aren't enough hours in the day...meanwhile, give a listen to Tolkein. You will love it!

RecordBrother: What Have You Been Tolkien


RecordBrother: What Have You Been Tolkien

Wow! Thank you Sonictus Sanctus (see my links) for this find!!! Tolkien reading and singing LOTR!!! Go follow the link and download, like I'm about to right now!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

11 On My Own

My Book is on Amazon!

Yesterday I returned from work to find a package had arrived in my absence. 11 On My Own had finally arrived.

This is a book written by Kristin Luscia, a single, Catholic, mother of eleven children!

I read the book cover-to-cover last evening while my husband was out with half our children and the other half were watching a movie.

Having known Kristin for years, online, I was familiar with much of her story. I remember when Ted left her, I remarked to my husband that I was stunned. Then when I heard about Ted's girlfriend, his abandonment of his parental responsibilities both in rearing and supporting his children, and his manipulation of the court system, I was left shaking my head wondering that men like this actually exist in real life. But I did not even know the half of it.

As Kristin tells her story, some are sure to wonder if this all actually happened, it seems so impossible that a man would father so many children and yet behave so abominably. It also appears to be fallacious that the court systems could abuse a woman with so many dependents, who was abandoned by her husband, stripped of all financial assets, and even lost the home the family lived in through this abandonment!

But it is all true. I remember it all happening.

Her story is candid, she exposes her soul for the reader. I read the book and wondered how she could reveal so many intimate details, so publicly. I wondered how she could let out her deepest secrets, more than we had even realized, why she wouldn't want to leave her past in the past, let sleeping dogs lie.

Kristin doesn't have the luxury of sleeping dogs. She has pit bulls pursuing her, biting at her heels, and there are more than one. There is of course Ted, but also the guardian ad litem, the judges, some of the attorneys in the process, and even family members who are attacking.

Given all of this, a weaker woman would run and hide. But not Kristin. She doesn't hide, she finds a way to move on. She faces her battles head on and she says on her blog in an entry dated May 13, 2010, "My life has always been an open book, anyway. I never really had anything to hide. My book lays my soul and my entire existence bare, all my deep dark secrets are exposed. I like it that way. I don't lie, it's that simple. It's so much easier not to. "

The book is written in a conversational tone, much like a blog, colloquially. She has shown us the mistakes of her past, and how she pulled herself up by her bootstraps through faith, determination, and fortitude. Many have called her a religious zealot. Without faith she would have collapsed under the anguish and burden, perhaps even surrendered to despair.

This book relates a family drama which is painful, but through it all Kristin is able to keep her children happy and grounded, what all parents strive for. She admits to a litany of mistakes in her past. Her book is about divorce and how to survive it. Even if you are not going through a divorce, I would recommend reading it. Again from her blog, in response to criticism about her book, "I am not husband-bashing. Really. I simply state the facts as honestly as possible. I think people should know just what the "Justice" system does to families. Especially traditional, large, Catholic ones. And I also think people should know just what a "man" is capable of doing to his own family."

Go to Amazon and buy her book. Not only because it is an amazing and on-going true story, but because the proceeds will help support those children. And, check in with Kristin, follow the continuing events on her blog. Tell her I sent you.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thank you!


Thanks to Bobbie, over at 'Til We Read Again, for including me in her first installment of a new weekly feature at her blog, "Bloggy Happenings."

She has a lovely blog about all things books, stop by and see what is going on in her little corner of the blog-sphere, you are sure to be glad you did!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The future of libraries and technology


“In three years’ time, desktops will be irrelevant... Mobile makes the world’s information universally accessible.” John Herlihy, Vice President, Global Ad Operations for Google.

This quote appeared on the registration for a webinar sponsored by the OCLU and Library Journal, entitled, “The Future is Mobile, Is Your Library Ready?” Three thousand people attended the online symposium. Working at the local library, and being interested in the technological interface between the library system and our patrons, I was anxious to see how the three speakers, all with impressive resumes in the field of technology, would link libraries to the technological future.

The first speaker was Lindsay Notwell, Executive Director of 4G Strategy and Implementation for Verizon Wireless. He explained that 4G technology will be available to over 1 million people in 30 different markets within a year’s time, the reach will be doubled within two years, and by 2013 all the rest of the Verizon coverage map, including my town, will be 4G. The vast majority of US service providers are going 4G. What this means for the local folks is we will have the ability be wholly mobile in three short years. Mr. Notwell called it the “internet of things”: mobile devices, GPS systems, monitoring of prisoners, and applications that bring science fiction closer to reality than ever before.

4G mobile devices (such as Smartphones) are high powered mini-computers that fit into your pocket. One of my library board members, owner of a Verizon Droid, recently told me that she was pleased with her purchase. On a recent trip to Texas she was able to keep up to date on her email, use her phone for GPS while traveling, take pictures, surf the internet, keep track of her appointments, and of course she can use it to make a phone call. 4G technology is fast and reliable, ten times faster than 3G, with latency time of a mere 30 milliseconds. There are so many applications (apps) that are being developed for use on mobile devices; we will be able to do live video chat, video voice mail, real time media sharing, video streamlining and picture sharing. Mr. Notwell even suggested that as laptops have replaced desktops, mobile devices will replace laptops. 4G will be able to host multi-player online role playing gaming, in-game chat, and new games are already in development. 4G will take the mobile office to a whole new level of remote through video collaboration and high-definition voice calling. Your device will be its own little mobile hot-spot; anywhere you can use your phone you will be able to tap into 4G. Did you know USB modems are already available?

There are library-specific applications currently in use, such as pic2shop, bookbazaar, text a librarian, and others. Your mobile device can identify your location and provide directions to libraries nearby. My library director says that the future survival of libraries lies with a universal borrowing system. She envisions sharing beyond your region, giving everyone access to collections from across the country through your current library card. It is evident she is correct when you consider how much information will be available at your fingertips, including directions to the nearest library, whether you are a cardholder there or not.

The second speaker was Sarah Allen, Director of Blazing Cloud, Inc. and author of Pro Smartphone Cross-Platform Development. She discussed what she called “annotated reality” and the bringing of books and library resources to people are via their devices. She claims social networks have developed to help people cope with information overload. Your interests are shared by your friends, and now spreading information is effortless. Everyone feels entitled to have a voice and many write blogs and contribute to sites like Wikipedia. In the 1960s, Ms. Allen said, everyone felt they had a voice, but it was a collective voice. Through the technologies of today, more individuals are heard. There are bloggers who have risen to fame, and grown to be recognized as experts in their field, not because they authored a book or had a study published in an industry journal, but because of their weblog.

Ms. Allen envisions the library of the future to be a place where people can go to utilize information through personal data overlays. For example, if you were download an application to keep a record of the books you read, you could go to the library, overlay that information into one of their public use applications or the digital card catalog, and have that information organized for you. The librarian can use your personal information to assist your research, and direct your efforts in a more meaningful-to-you way. When finished, you remove your personal data and take it home with you. She also suggested that libraries would be more able to assist in scientific research. Imagine going on a nature walk, you could photograph interesting specimens, take those photos to the library, Geotag the photos, catalog them into a database, and the data could be utilized by a researcher at a university in another part of the country! She would like to see every book in every library Geotagged.

The final speaker of the afternoon was Jack Mason, Global Business Services, Strategic Programs & Social Media, IBM. He used terms like “Outernet” and “Web Wide World” to describe the future technologies, which are going to disrupt the nature of what a library is and what librarians do, in the same manner as the internet has impacted the entertainment industry, government, and the business sector already. By 2011, half of all Americans will have a Smartphone. Mr. Mason showed us that it is not just phones, but many products that will be technologically advanced. Right now your phones can be location aware (GPS), motor aware (touch screens), directionally aware (compass), they possess microphones, speakers, and cameras. There is already an app called Google Goggles where you photograph an object then the app scans the picture and returns search results. Right now we use cameras to overlay digital information, will it one day be eyewear?

New York City already opened Real Time Crime Center which uses technology to identify and stop crime. Cab Sense is an app which helps New Yorkers to predict where the best location is to get a cab, and they are going to use that technology to develop an app for parking spots. Your phone knows your location. Through this app you could input when you vacate a parking spot and someone who needs a space in the area can find it. Gesture control is going to replace remote control. V2V (vehicle to vehicle) technology is going monitor blind spots when you drive and elevate cruise control to system which recognizes red lights and speed limits. Fully autonomous vehicles are predicted for 2020, according to Mr. Mason. The possibilities are limitless, and imminent. Mr. Mason’s presentation was like touring the imagination of a science-fiction writer, only he was showing us what is in the very near future. IBM will have a contestant on Jeopardy next year, “Watson”, a computer which is not internet linked, will compete against human contestants.

The panel wondered how all of this will impact libraries and Mr. Mason said that innovation is more driven by pull than by push. He explained the apps are developed to fill the needs expressed by the consumer. Libraries are the perfect place to hear what people want, and he suggested that librarians talk exhaustively to their patrons and experiment with apps. One of the panelists, Lisa Carlucci Thomas, Digital Services Librarian, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, explained to Mr. Mason that libraries are experiencing an identity crisis; they are trying to remain relevant in the face of the changing technologies with no flexibility and no resources to experiment with. His answer was that libraries are not alone in facing this dilemma. CEOs of all the major corporations and public leaders, everyone is wrestling with how to do more-with-less. He suggested using simple services like MoFuse to create applications without being a programmer. He reminded everyone that libraries have a community. Mr. Mason challenged the attendees to empower the patrons and the people who care to build on that with open source tools and apps. This creative process is a way to engage those who are the primary users of all the latest technology, 18-24 year-olds.

Libraries are the hub of the community. The webinar opened with the moderator explaining that the primary users of the library these days, the market the library successfully reaches, are those aged 55 and up. Current services are not reaching the 18-54 year-olds in a meaningful way. Therefore the future of the library depends upon going to where the users are, not expecting them to come to us. By bringing technology to the library and teaching patrons how to use it, by embracing the digital technology, preparing for the 4G, and by inviting the young people to help their library create apps that will advance the community technologically, the library can lead a small town, like mine, into the future.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sinster

http://paulboylan.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/evil-smiley-face.jpg

I added a new link (no that is not sinister!) to my favorite websites. An online Etymology Dictionary. I love words, and have talked about it before. I recently found a new blog called, Chortle at My Girth, (which is not sinister either! but did indeed make me chortle upon reading) and one of his posts was about favorite words. I did a post very similar, one of my first posts from a few years ago, and I never followed up on that!!

Now today, when I was studying, I learned the medical term for left ear, auris sinistra, and it reminded me of one of my favorite words. Sinister. (There it is! You knew it was coming!) I had to chortle when I looked up the etymology of the word sinister, as my father's family is littered with lefties, many of my favorite people are indeed lefties!

For all of you lovers of words, here is the etymology of Sinster and I hope you get a chortle out of it!

sinister Look up  sinister at Dictionary.com
1411, "prompted by malice or ill-will," from O.Fr. sinistre "contrary, unfavorable, to the left," from L. sinister "left, on the left side" (opposite of dexter), perhaps from base *sen- and meaning prop. "the slower or weaker hand" [Tucker], but Buck suggests it's a euphemism (see left), connected with the root of Skt. saniyan "more useful, more advantageous." The L. word was used in augury in the sense of "unlucky, unfavorable" (omens, especially bird flights, seen on the left hand were regarded as portending misfortune), and thus sinister acquired a sense of "harmful, unfavorable, adverse." This was from Gk. influence, reflecting the early Gk. practice of facing north when observing omens; in genuine Roman auspices, the left was favorable. Bend (not "bar") sinister in heraldry indicates illegitimacy and preserves the lit. sense of "on the left side."
Hmmm...splains a lot about my family! Also splains a lot about other things called, "Left" such as politics and California (left coast). Royalty-Free (RF) Clip Art Collection: Behaviors Clipart

Travel Deal

Since today's posts seem to have a wedding theme, why not throw in a travel deal as well? I came across this deal which goes to prove that advance planning for everything usually yields better discounts. I rarely find myself to be that organized these days.

Route 66  Travel Map, c. 1959, Chicago to Springfield, MO

This one dissolves in water!


And if that last post wasn't enough to put a smile on your face as people make the wedding more about the dress than the vows, here's another one for you. I was going to write my own comments, but why re-invent the wheel when the authors of this article did so well. Therefore, reprinted in it's entirety:

You may not be able to wash that man right out of your hair, but you can now wash that "I Do" right out of your wedding dress.

Researchers at England's Sheffield Hallam University have designed an eco-friendly wedding dress that can be dissolved in water, according to a university press release.

(Big deal -- so can toilet paper bridal gowns.)

Of course, there's more to it that that. The dress -- which contains biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol in its material -- doesn't dissolve completely, but rather transforms into five different fashion garments. There's your honeymoon trousseau right there!

And while the impact on the environment is minimal, there's just one teensy little catch: It'll reportedly fall apart if it rains on your big day -- not that the groom will mind, we're sure.

The innovative dress will reportedly be featured in an upcoming exhibit called "A Sustainable Marriage." (Liz Taylor will not be hosting the opening.)

"The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society's attitudes towards throwaway fashion," fashion lecturer Jane Blohm says in the release.

"The project is a union between art and technology which explores the possibilities of using alternative materials for our clothing.

"The wedding gown is perhaps one of the most symbolic garments in [a woman's] wardrobe and represents the challenges of 'throwaway fashion.'"

Hey, we won't bedrudge a gown that is pro-green. If only they made bridesmaid dresses -- we've got a few we'd happily flush down the toilet!

Meanwhile, read about Vera Wang's partnership with David's Bridal. And find more wedding dresses on Aisledash!

"Green" and Recyclable Wedding Fashion



I cannot imagine being comfortable in a gown made of plastic...imagine the sweat that would roll down your back, nervous as all brides are already. Not to mention the 'popping' sound as you walk down the aisle (mentioned by the bride herself) and the popping as you sat to enjoy your meal? Might someone perceive flatulence over bubble wrap? After all if you are going to wear bubble wrap, you do not necessarily want it to look like bubble wrap, so perhaps someone may not realize you were being eco-friendly and may just think the nerves and the pre-wedding diet were catching up to you? Article about the wedding, here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Free knitting patterns

http://www.knitgrrl.com/images/knitting-daily.gif

Something I want to learn how to do, yet never seem to have the time these days...knit. I love to crochet, knitting is my next aspiration. I have some friends who are really accomplished at the fine arts of spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, etc. I live in a very artsy area, a rural community where people appreciate these arts and specialize in them. There are old-fashioned quilting bees, spinning circles, knitting clubs, all that sort of thing wherever you look. We also have a store in town, right on the main route to VT, where the local crafters and artisans can sell there wares!
Whenever any of my friends show off their creations on FB or their blogs I'm so excited to see what they make. Someone today posted a pattern she was thinking of doing, and that led me to a site where I found some FREE patterns. I'm not ready for these yet, but free is great, so I thought I would share! Happy knitting!

Click on the link and then scroll down, on the right side is a tab "Free e-books" and there are seven listed!! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Love Language of Gifts

I just loved this sooo much I had to pass it on. Now to get back to work...
http://www.myprettypresent.com/images/slideshow/40.jpg

I snagged the photo from a website that is linked if you click on the picture. The picture and the linked article are unrelated.

The Future of the Library

http://blog.laptopmag.com/wpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Droid-by-Motorola-Front-Open-VZW-Eye.jpg


“In three years’ time, desktops will be irrelevant... Mobile makes the world’s information universally accessible.”

John Herlihy, Vice President
Global Ad Operations for Google


This week I'm attending a webinar called, "The Future is Mobile" and its purpose is to discuss how the upcoming mobile trends are going to impact libraries, patrons, and our culture. When my library director requested I attend, I had difficulty drawing a line between mobile technology and library usage. Considering the OCLC and The Library Journal have collaborated to put this webinar together, I'm expecting that question will be answered.

I am interested to see what the webinar is all about, I hope it is informative and relevant. I will report back. If anyone is interested in attending the free webinar (3 hours) let me know and I will pass on the information to you.

Lady Gaga Calls Greyson Michael Chance on 'Ellen'

I saw the original video on FB, several of my friends had it up. Then this morning I came across this story on the AOL newsfeed. How cute is this kid? He is obviously extremely talented, imagine when he has some formal training what he will be able to do. He has never had any voice lessons at all! This is someone to watch! With his talent and composure, his cutie pie looks will take him far!! Good luck, Greyson!
Lady Gaga Calls Greyson Michael Chance on 'Ellen'

A remarkably levelheaded, smiling Greyson Michael Chance visited Ellen DeGeneres' talk show today and got a surprise phone call from Lady Gaga herself, who inspired his now-classic YouTube cover of 'Paparazzi.'

"Hi, Miss Gaga," answered the beaming 12-year-old.








Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Overheard today...

My baby. Today we watched the American Girl movie Felicity, which I happen to love. It is just an all around sweet movie. I love where the mommy tells her daughters they must aspire to be notable housewives. Of course, the fact that John Schneider plays Felicity's father has nothing to do with my enjoyment of the film ;-). But I digress.

My charming 6yo baby was watching the film with me while everyone else was out at soccer practice. Her tee-ball game was canceled for rain, but we all know soccer is never canceled. In the film, Felicity's mother is expecting. Of course this is in 1775/6 so things were handled a little differently at that time. The mommy nearly dies in a homebirth, but since this is a family film, it is only briefly touched upon.

After the film my sweet daughter comes up to me all concerned and asks what was wrong with the mommy in that movie. I told her she had a hard time when she had her baby. Missy was entirely alarmed. Was it like that for you, Mommy? Did you have a hard time with me? No dear, I was fine. With any of us? No dear, not with any of you. (We have six children.) She thinks some more. When I have a baby, will I have a hard time? No, I'm sure you will be fine like Mommy. Is it hard having a baby? Does the baby come out of the tummy like the horse did? (forgot to mention a horse also gives birth in the film) Yes, but Mommies today usually let the doctor help. At this point my little girl lifts up her shirt to examine her belly. How big am I going to get when I have a baby? Will my tummy be out to here? Or here? Or here? Oh my, it's hard to say, Missy, you will have to be a grown up first, and married. Well were you fat? Uh, Missy? Did I just hear the dog? I think she wants to go outside and play, why don't you go let her out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mompreneur



This is quite a find, if you are looking for work-at-home opportunities check out this blog. Click the post title to go visit the site. Also, do not forget to look at Career Step in the upper left corner of my blog.

One of my faves....

Someone I hope to meet on one of her trips to the east coast someday....the writer of this blog: The Digital Hairshirt. Go check out her blog then vote for her on Crescat's Cannonball Catholic blog awards. She's up for 'Most Bat Shit Crazy' category, lol. Check out her blog, laugh out loud, then go vote for her!

The banner on her blog reads:
C'mon now, nothing kinky . . . just the musings, rantings, postings, and self-help psychiatric sessions of a devout Roman Catholic lawyer who likes matters of faith, family law, digital photography, and creating alternative realities in Adobe Photoshop.

Rosary Making



















A hobby of mine for the last 15 or so years is rosary making, like the colorful ones pictured. I did not make these, mine are usually a single color for the HM beads with a contrasting color for the OF beads. In the past I've made a rosary a day during lent, etc. I learned how to make them from one of Our Lady's Rosary Makers, there was a local guild in the town where I was living at the time. I wanted to make them to teach children. Over the years I've taught many children how to make them. I wanted the children to know it could be done and how to do it. I figured it would encourage prayer, creativity and generosity as OLRM will only sell to people who donate the rosaries. I've never sent mine overseas, but give them away closer to home. Mainly my mission has been to teach young adults to reach out to others through this skill. Someday I hope to start a guild.

The second type of rosary pictured is what I will work on next, a bead-less, knotted rosary with a crucifix. What brought me to this site was the free MP3 download of audio rosaries. There have been many times in the past where I've wished for one as I like to listen to my MP3 often, usually when my hands are occupied. It occurred to me if I could find a nice version (or preferably several to choose from depending upon my available time and my mood) I could pray the rosary while my hands were occupied, therefore the audio would keep count for me and I could concentrate on the prayers while multi-tasking. I'm delighted to have found this site and I'm always looking for others so if you find an audio rosary or audio prayers available for MP3 download, please pass it on!!

And if you are looking for something to do in your free time, or for an excellent service project, consider rosary making for the missions. Jails are a mission that should not be overlooked in rosary making as well. Last I heard they prefer all black (cord, beads and crucifix) so there is no cause for argument amongst the inmates.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Blog Frog


Well, after nearly abandoning my blog for a year, my friend Mary Bennett encouraged me to pick it back up again. I figured if I'm going to go full out and get back into blogging again, I would try to regain my lost readership and then some so I joined Blog Frog. It's all new and I'm a bit lost, but it has been fun trying to figure it all out. Of course now I'm spending a disproportionate amount of time on my blog, behind the scenes, but I am optimistic that will even out.

One of the problems I created for myself was I signed up for BlogFrog with my wrong email address. Well, actually it is a right email address, just not the same one I use for blogger :/. Apparently Blog Frog will verify the blogger before allowing comments or allowing your picture to show up in visitors, so now I have a real muddle. Truth be told I've been trying to streamline my email accounts and really prefer to use the Blog Frog email for blogger too. The latest snafu is I figured out how to get my blog accessible to both email accounts, but now I'm listed as two authors instead of one! Bring on the caffeine!!

I am trying to get all of this sorted out so blogger and Blog Frog match because Blog Frog has some wonderful features I would like to utilize. I think the recent visitors and community widgets are really neat. Therefore I've decided to go ahead and change my blog over to the email address I wanted, the one which matches Blog Frog and then I think my difficulties will be resolved. So, if you find Lily disappearing and reappearing from your fans, followers, blogrolls, or whatever, now you know why.

Moral of the story. Blog Frog, Blogger, Twitter and all those other widgets, tools, etc. are great fun, but only if you sign up properly, with the right email address!!

Meanwhile, I hope you stick with me through all the administrative fixes I have ahead! And sign up for Blog Frog and get in on the fun!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I would share one of my favorite prayers. It is actually a novena that I started saying with a friend some time ago, we say it regularly when she needs the support while preparing her family to face the next round of medical tests in a series of tests that will be a life-long process for them all.

A while back we decided to look for a novena, the express reason was to comfort my friend and her family, therefore I searched for novenas I thought would be fitting and let her choose which felt right to her. She chose the novena to Our Lady of Good Remedy. I had never known about this title for Mary, or this novena, until I stumbled upon it while trying to find the right one for this prayer petition. This is from The Official Website of USA Committee for the Canonization of the Blessed Anna Marie Taigi. God works in the most amazing ways, I'd never heard of her until researching this blog post, yet I find she too, is appropriate to honor on this Mother's day!

The story of the novena:

800 years ago Christians were being captured and sold into slavery by the thousands, and nobody knew what to do about it; Then,in the year 1198 a man had an idea. John de Matha founded the Trinitarians to go to the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves, and set them free. To carry out this plan, the Trinitarians needed large amounts of money. So, they placed their fund-raising efforts under the patronage of Mary. They were so successful that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands and thousands of people, and to return them safely home. In gratitude for her miraculous assistance, St. John de Matha honored Mary with the tide of Our Lady of Good Remedy. This ancient devotion is widely known in Europe and Latin America, and the Church celebrates her feast day on October 8. Our Lady of Good Remedy is depicted as the Virgin Mary handing a bag of money to St. John de Matha. When in need, invoke the aid of Our Lady of Good Remedy, and you will surely experience the power of her intercession.
Still white-robed and wearing the red and blue cross, as designed by their founder, the Trinitarians are involved in many and varied apostolates, expressing their love for the Triune God as missionaries, parish priests, chaplains in prisons and hospitals, educators, friends of the left-out, the less fortunate, and all whose faith is in danger.

Although the reason for starting the novena was to comfort my friend's family, I found that I was comforted by this novena as well. My faith has faltered this last year. I have struggled terribly. I really tried to keep the faith, but life has beaten me down. In my heart I know I need to cling harder to the faith during these trying times, yet I find there is a gap between my heart and mind. Yet, every time we say this novena, it seems I find myself promising to try harder, and though the gains may be small, I'm moving in the right direction. Imagine how I felt when I read the history of the novena above. Part of the mission of the Trinitarians is to reach out to all those whose faith is in danger.

Somehow, though I asked my friend to choose what spoke to her, I think the novena turned out to be just what I needed as well.


I keep a copy of this novena by my bedside. This morning, Mother's Day, I wanted to look more into the history of the novena that has moved the hearts of two women, myself and my friend. This Mother's Day morning, I discovered another mother, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi. From the website linked above:

Anna Maria Taigi died June 9, 1837. In testimony to how an ordinary housewife and mother could become a saint and positively affect society and the lives of those who came in contact with her, the Church declared her "Blessed" in 1920. Her mortal remains lie in the Chapel of the Madonna in the Basilica of San Crisogono in Rome, Italy. The Trinitarians are actively promoting the cause of her canonization.

Here is the novena:
I. O Queen of heaven and earth, Most Holy Virgin, we venerate you. You are the beloved Daughter of the Most High God, the chosen Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the sacred vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.

Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who, under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy, comes to the aid of all who call upon you, extend your maternal protection to us. We depend on you, dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring Mother.

Hail, Mary...

II. Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from your treasury of graces in our time of need.

Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude.

Hail, Mary...

III. Dear Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, your compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me, with your prayers and intercession, to find a remedy for my problems and needs, especially for...(indicate your special intentions).

On my part, loving Mother, I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, to a more careful observance of the laws of God, to be more conscientious in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, and to strive to be a source of healing in this broken world of ours.


IV. Dear Lady of Good Remedy, be ever present to me and, through your intercession, may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, and grow stronger in the faith, and in the love of your Son, Jesus.

Hail, Mary...

Pray for us, Holy Mother of Good Remedy that we may deepen our dedication to your Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.

Amen


Part III, last paragraph, elicits a promise. This is the part that spoke to me. In my ardor to have this novena be as efficacious as possible for my friend and her family, I find myself striving to keep those promises. It is always on my mind. When I have a small victory in my spiritual life, a small victory in my calling as a wife and mother, I ALWAYS think of my promises that I make, regularly, to Our Lady of Good Remedy in this novena. I always thank her for the opportunity given, the success achieved in my life. And I always offer these small successes for the original intentions that brought Our Lady of Good Remedy into my life.

On this secular Mother's Day, I would like to remember my own mother who has gone to rest in 2005, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, and Our Lady of Good Remedy. I would also like to remember my friend today, a mother who has survived what no mother should ever have to go through. Thanks to this friend there have been many wonderful things in my life and the lives of my family members. This novena, and the joy it has brought to me is just the latest, and I'm glad I can provide some service to her family through this prayer and the continuous prayers offered on their behalf.

Happy Mother's Day!

Joe the Plumber Wouldn't Mind Punching Bill Maher


He used to be just Sam Wurzelbacher. But after hitting Barack Obama with a tough tax question as the then-candidate passed through his Ohio neighborhood in 2008, he became Joe the Plumber, the McCain-Palin campaign's favorite stand-in for middle-class America.

Since then, Wurzelbacher has published a book, spent some time as a war correspondent in Gaza, spoken at tea party rallies, and, recently, turned against McCain, who he accused of trying to use him. And as of Tuesday, Joe the Plumber has a new title: Joe the Elected Official. In a 38-24 vote, Wurzelbacher won a seat on the Republican party committee in Lucas County, Ohio. Read more here.

I think Joe the Plumber is someone to keep an eye on. His interview here indicates he is someone I would really like to meet and talk to. I liked a lot of his answers, some made me laugh out loud.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Prayers


Some very special people are in need of prayers. Long story short, I know a young man who had a heart transplant over two years ago. He has had a tough time of it this week and could really use prayers. Then there's his family who have stood by him through all of this, they are suffering right along with him right now. May God bless this family with health and happiness and all good things.

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.