How to Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer

Don't be fooled. These were not good pies. Not enough sugar. The crust was bland. And the apples were too firm.

There's a little market in the town where we vacation that's hot and dirty, and there's never anyone at the cash register. They sell wine and lentils, and cold drinks, not much else, and if you ever plan to check out, you have to go hunting in the back kitchen where there are always a few sweaty women wearing tank tops and bandanas making pizzas. It's really good pizza, the kind where the crust is the centerpiece, and the toppings are a bonus.My husband ordered one while we were there, and … [Read more...]

Does Faith Get a Voice in the Abortion Debate?

I'm going to do something I haven't done since my very first days of blogging. I'm going to write about abortion. Back in the day, I thought I had expressed everything I needed to say about it. But in recent days, following the debate in Texas on late term abortion, new perspectives and misconceptions on it just keep cropping up.For instance, here is a Rabbi  Aaron Alexander, whose Huff-post piece "Abortion, Does My Faith Get a Voice?" suggests that the debate about when life begins is a … [Read more...]

Why Saint Maria Goretti is a Great Saint for Boys–Updated

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Well, it's finally happened--I had to tell my children what rape is. It seems like just last year, they were learning where babies came from, and  now, the three older ones at least had heard the word "rape" in conversation, and at least one of them had a theory on what it meant. His theory was wrong.I have learned there is even a playground game called "Flee the Rapist" which, I suppose we can be grateful the children see rape as socially stigmatic, but I can only imagine what it does to … [Read more...]

Christmas in July

The four year old has been wearing red and white striped footy pajamas all day long, and now, it's almost bedtime, they're too filthy for sleep, and he wants to take one last stroll outside in the rain before he turns in. He get's his coat out of the closet, and says, "Mom, I need you to zip this. I don't want to go outside looking like this." "Like what?" "Like this!" It should be obvious what the problems is, but I'm flummoxed. Is it the pajamas, the coat-pajama … [Read more...]

A Kindness

I hadn’t been to Adoration in a long time. Since we moved and have to drive long distances to get there, and since I have a lot of kids, I’ve let the habit slip. Last week, my mom had a couple of my kids in town, so I covered her Holy Hour with my two oldest and the baby.I knew the baby would be all over the place, but assumed we’d be the only ones in the Chapel, and it wouldn’t be a problem. I did not expect the problems to arise from my boys, who are old enough to know that it’s inappropr … [Read more...]

Quick and Dirty

I've been reading War and Peace for most of the Spring, and finally finished it this week. It was worth it, though I had to take breaks from it periodically when things were moving too slowly, then I'd cheat on it with something quick and dirty that I could finish in a few days. It's made for a very fun summer so far. The quick and dirty list: Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot, which had fun literary themes with college students trying to impress each other, a … [Read more...]

A Paradoxical Feminism: Tolstoy on Marriage

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From the First Epilogue of War and Peace:  "Natasha had married in the early spring of 1813, and in 1820 already had three daughters, besides a son for whom she had longed and whom she was now nursing. She had grown stouter and broader, so that it was difficult to recognize the slim lively Natasha of former days in this robust motherly woman. Her features were more defined and had a calm, soft and serene expression. In her face there was none of the ever-glowing animation that had … [Read more...]


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