Something Lovely: Newly-Written Traditional Country Music

In this ironic age, in which everything is a riff on something else, it's hard to let go of the cynic and just enjoy something beautiful and good.  In this case, a lonely-hearted traditional-style country music love song from a kid who isn't wearing the hat and overalls as a costume. Those are the clothes Matt Curley wears when he works behind a horse-drawn plow.  (He wears them for other less glamorous farm chores as well.)The montage looks like a home video shot in a mid-20th-century Catho … [Read more...]

Something Fun: The Secrets of the Southern Appalachians Unveiled

New book out from one of my college friends* and her trusty colleague:Exploring Southern Appalachian Forests: An Ecological Guide to 30 Great Hikes in the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia by Stephanie B. Jeffries and Thomas R. Wentworth. A few excerpts from an interview with the authors:CR: What makes your “ecological guide” different from other hiking books?TW: Many other hiking books are focused on the details of a trail as a way to get from point A to point B. This is n … [Read more...]

Greed, Human Suffering, and Catholic Social Teaching – Links Worth Your Time

Linking around on human rights & Catholic social teaching:Brandon @ Siris debunks a few myths about the Church "changing" it's teaching on usury.  Summary: The answer is still no and will always be no, but maybe that word doesn't mean what you think it means.  H/T to Darwin for the link. Nestle, Cargill & ADM get to go to court in California on charges of using slave labor.  Thank Simcha Fisher for pointing me to that one. I just finished reading Factory Girl, which follows the ( … [Read more...]

Head’s Up, Combox Closing

FYI - the disappearance of the combox is not a technical glitch.I have the best readers around, and the comments on this blog have been overwhelmingly charitable, insightful, and helpful.  (Particularly from those who disagree with me, but from the like-minded souls as well.)It's been a pleasure over the past six months to host such civilized discourse; it is work, but work that I enjoy.However reluctantly, though, I have to do the grown-up thing and say no to one good that I might … [Read more...]

Remedial Organizational Skills with Jennifer: Dry Erase Boards

 Up at CatholicMom.com: The true story of how I fell in love with dry erase boards.90% of you will read and shake your heads with pity.  I am not here for you.  Go alphabetize your sock drawer or something.You the 10%, you are my people.  Distracted Mothers of the World, Unite! We can schedule an appointment just as soon as we figure out where the baby hid the calendar.  … [Read more...]

Something Good: Christian Soul Music with Actual Poetry in It

Just finished listening to the rough mix of Sam Rocha's freshly released album, Late to Love.  In my effortless knack for sticking with the "late" theme, I finally got around to listening to my review-files oh, you know, long after they'd arrived and a few days after the album came out.  Nothing against the feast of St. Augustine, I promise.What you should know:Do you listen to soul music? I'm not up on the genre.  Lately, in the unlikely event that I get silence, the last thing I want t … [Read more...]

3 Ways Homeschoolers Socialize Differently than School Kids

I've been in the depths of back-to-school preparation on multiple fronts, and I'm continually astonished that people still bring up the old "socialization" thing with respect to homeschooling.  So let's be blunt: Homeschoolers do not socialize the way school kids do.  It's a spectrum, of course.  There are many school families that don't get sucked into the assembly-line socialization rut, and thus teach their kids to cultivate a mature social life long before graduation.  There are likewise … [Read more...]


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