China’s One-Child Policy Relaxed Nationwide

Chinese couples will soon be permitted by the state to have two children. According to the New York Times, the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua has announced that the Communist party is relaxing its decades-old population control policy, which brutally punished couples for having more than one child. Read the rest at the Register. Image by Carol Schaffer licensed under creative commons Read more

Not everything is fixable (God have mercy on us all)

A caller once asked radio host Dr. Laura for advice about an impossible situation. I forget the details — something about lots of children and lots of fathers, various addictions, various betrayals, and a family tree that was twisted and ingrown and diseased. Dr. Laura could not offer much hope to the caller, other than to point out that her story shows why it’s so important not to have kids out of wedlock. “But–” the caller protested.  “What if I can… Read more

Rogue Laughter in a Flippant Society

Whether you call it a defect in our understanding of tragedy, or a defect in our understanding of comedy, it amounts to the same thing, because a society that avoids tragedy is a society that does not understand comedy — and so it has no idea when to laugh and when to cry. Read the rest at the Register.  *** image via Pixabay Read more

Up from Unity Candles

My marriage is now an adult! It’s eighteen years old as of yesterday. Here’s a piece I wrote back in 2011, wherein I recount some of the ridiculous things that happened during our wedding ceremony, and how little they mattered. *** Here is a nice little explanation of what a Catholic wedding looks like, compared to what you might see on TV. No one “gives the bride away,” for instance, because a valid marriage requires that the bride and groom freely… Read more

I just figured out why it was called “The Synod on the Family.”

  I just figured out the entire Synod. Or at least, I figured out something about it! Maybe everyone else already knows this, and I’m just slow, but it kind of blew my mind. My husband and I were talking about people in really rotten marital situations — say, a Catholic man in a valid marriage to a woman who reacted badly to the trials of life, and turned into a horrible person. When she began to abuse the kids, they got… Read more

Florida grapefruits and oranges for sale! Support my kids’ wonderful school

As you may know, my younger kids attend an excellent rural charter school. We love it to pieces, but are horrible slackers when it comes to fundraising and volunteering. Can you help us? We’re selling lovely, juicy Florida citrus fruits, shipped to you the same day they’re picked. It’s a very small school, so even a few extra orders makes a noticeable difference in my kids’ classrooms. In NH, charter schools recently won a legislative victory, and our school will be getting… Read more

What’s for supper? Vol. 9: Tortellini Entropy and Bread Machine Challah

My mother used to eat leftovers for lunch, and sometimes for breakfast. Her method was to take whatever she could find, put it in a pot, douse it with the salsa that she bought by the half-gallon, and stir until it was all hot and horrible. You may think that she did this just so she wouldn’t have to share it with her eight locust children, but she actually liked it that way!  Although there is that disconcerting thing that happens to… Read more

I’m reading, I’m watching, I’m listening to . . .

I’m reading . . .  Havana Bay by Martin Cruz Smith.   Fourth in the Arkady Renko series that began with the brilliant Gorky Park, about which I said this: Maybe because it was so popular when it came out, or maybe because the author’s name is so snazzy, I somehow assumed that it was a trashy beach book, or some kind of dated, two-bit thriller.  Boy, was I wrong.  This is the real deal — real literature, a genuinely great… Read more

Who’s your monster?

What do we tell ourselves, when we see the zombies coming for us? That society has already collapsed, so there’s no sense in trying to go out and rebuild or save anyone. That the only sensible plan is to cut ourselves off, to build a ball, to hunker down, to dig in. They’re not real people anymore anyway, so let them tear each other apart. Save yourselves. Tell me that doesn’t sound familiar. Tell me it doesn’t mean anything. Read the rest at… Read more

12+ Scary Movies Our Kids Loved (including at least 5 “hells” and 2 “bollocks”)

By Screenshot from “Internet Archive” of the movie Dracula (1958) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Because we are integrated Catholics, we observe All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Halloween — the latter, by trick-or-treating, putting the little guys stickily to bed, and showing the older kids a scarier movie than we normally allow.  And because I’m still in denial about just how many outrageous promises I carelessly made about costumes I’d be happy to whip up, I’m thinking hard about what… Read more

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