Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Too True Tuesday: In the Bath

The solution to all life's problems...
Oh, I find much simple pleasure when I've had a tiring day,
In the bath,
In the bath
Where the noise of gently sponging seems to blend with my top A,
In the bath,
In the bath
To the skirl of pipes vibrating in the boiler room below,
I sing a pot pourri of all the songs I used to know,
And the water thunders in and gurgles down the overflow,
In the bath,
In the bath
Then the loathing for my fellows rises steaming from my brain,
In the bath,
In the bath
And condenses to the milk of human kindness once again,
In the bath,
In the bath
Oh, the tingling of the scrubbing brush, the flannel's soft caress,
To wield a lordly loofah is a joy I can't express,
How truely it is spoken one is next to godliness,
In the bath,
In the bath
Then there comes that dreadful moment when the water's running cold,
In the bath,
In the bath
When the soap is lost forever and you're feeling tired and old,
In the bath,
In the bath
It's time to pull the plug out,
Time to mop the bathroom floor.
The towel is in the cupboard,
And the cupboard is next door.
It's started running hot, let's have another hour or more,
In the bath,
In the bath
I can see the one salvation of the poor old human race,
In the bath,
In the bath
Let the nations of the world all meet together, face to face,
In the bath,
In the bath
With Verwoerd, and Kenyatta, and all those other chaps,
Nkrumah, Nabbaro, we'll get some peace perhaps,
Provided Swann and Flanders get the end without the taps,
In the bath,
In the bath
- Flanders & Swann - 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Thoughtful Thursday: What Child is This?

A Blessed Christmas Eve to One and All!

   This year, celebrating Christmas for the first time with a child of my own, I was thinking about the day to day reality of Christ becoming a little baby. An actual baby, not just a cherub on a card, a picture-perfect infant with a halo, but a real live newborn.

   Such practical questions as "How did Mary and Joseph wash the swaddling cloths?" and "Did they have multiple ones to use while the other ones dried?" have been circling in my mind.

   I get a more concrete sense of the Incarnation when remembering that Jesus would have cried, spit up, hiccupped, cooed, gooed, giggled, pooped explosively, pulled off the breast making milk spray everywhere, and made hilarious baby faces to the constant amusement of his parents.

   He became man. He took on our humanity and all the nitty gritty beautiful difficult mess that comes along with it. He jumped right into the thick of it, out of total and utter love. Right into our helplessness, our vulnerability, our weakness - starting as one of the tiniest and least, unable to control anything, even His own feeding or cleanliness.

   In the midst of whatever sufferings we are struggling with this season, here is the greatest consolation, that He is right here along with us, embracing our human condition with all His dear heart in order to raise us up with Him in the Resurrection. And there are baby smiles to delight along the way.


Monday, 21 December 2015

Mindful Monday: Live Till You Die

   This morning we attended the funeral of Fr. Pat McNulty of Madonna House. He was a special priest with the appearance of St. Nick, loud shake-you-up preaching, and the gentleness of a teddy bear. In the MH paper Restoration there is a photo of him holding Peregrine a couple months ago, which may have been the last photo taken of Fr. Pat. We'll treasure that one.

  Restoration published a farewell article from Father wrote wherein he talked about approaching the end of his life and how he needed to spend his final days, not focused on the process of dying, but instead - living. Paying attention to the people around you, doing life-giving things (he picked some books to read and study), and being present in life until the last moment.

   Athough we aren't all as close to death, (but who knows, right?) I can't imagine better advice. All of us will die, in the end, and it is so tempting to allow the tendrils of death - fear, darkness, despair - to creep into our minds and hearts when we see suffering around us and remember the shortness of life.

 Even those who don't believe in an afterlife can understand that we will miss out on what we have now if we go through our days concentrating on the end. But if I believe in the mercy of Christ and the fullness of life after death, I can choose to stop already dying and start living my entire life, now being only the beginning chapter to eternity.

   Something everyone can relate to right now is the threat of terrorism. C.S. Lewis, despite living in an earlier era, talked about how to approach the possibility of being bombed. He said:

"Let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs."
- On Living in an Atomic Age -

  To take my cue from Fr. Pat and C.S. Lewis, I want to become a person who spends each day mindfully: enjoying tea, bathing the baby, feeding the bunnies, cleaning up our messes, kissing my husband, grieving in a healthy way, celebrating beauty, praising God. Embracing life, not death. I would like to screw worrying about when my moment of death might come and let it find me truly "being", so that it can become a but a doorway into "Being".

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Seasonal Sunday: Sleep, Snow, Star Wars

   My baby slept through the night last night. I couldn't believe it. From nights of feeding every 2-3 hours to a sudden 8 hour night. Stunning. Who knows if it will last, but at least I know that it's possible.

   That left us well refreshed for a lovely fourth Sunday of Advent. The ground is peppered white, with trails of chicken tracks all over the yard. Our Christmas tree is up and glowing. I hung an extra-low ball ornament from it for Perrin bat at as he lies underneath on his sheepskin.

   We had supper by the light of the advent wreath and read the readings for the birth of John the Baptist. I had forgotten that it was Gabriel, the messenger angel, who came to Zechariah.

  And we watched "The Force Awakens". Harrison Ford is just as much the charmer as ever :)


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Self-Care Saturday: Drink Water!

   Drinking water is one of the most easy and beneficial things we can do for our health. Why don't we actually do it? Our bodies are supposed to be made up of 55-60% water. It is so essential for all our different physical functions. If we have headaches, bad skin, bladder infection, etc., our first line of defence should be to drink a whole bunch more water, before seeking medication. If that doesn't work, then look for more answers. But I bet it will work a lot of the time.

   It is just so seriously easy. In this part of the world, we are very blessed with an abundance of clean water. We have absolutely no excuse to not be using it to its best purposes. And I mean me here. I have a glass beside my bed every night - nighttime breastfeeding makes one so thirsty! But other than that I'd be hard pressed to tell you how often I drink water. Hopefully writing this post will re-inspire me to take better care of my liquid-requiring self.

   Here are some thoughts and tips:

- Tea and Coffee don't count, even if they are yummier.

- Putting it in a big glass or jar can be helpful. It prevents having to go for multiple refills and is a visual reminder that you aren't finished yet.

- Sipping with a straw can make a nice change and is slightly addictive.

- Room temperature water is actually the most hydrating.

- Adding a little lemon is quite acceptable.

- Here's a challenge - rather than thinking of it as a chore, I will try to pay attention to actually enjoying the water that I am drinking, savour its refreshment, and be thankful for having it so ready to hand.

- Do it. :) How about now? I'm about to get up off the couch and get myself a glass of lovely clear aqua pura. Care to join me?

Friday, 18 December 2015

Family Friday: Sleeplessness

   Yesterday was more like Thoughtless Thursday. Deep thoughts and sleep deprivation don't combine very well. The only brainstorming I did was about how to get Perrin's shut-eye to last longer.

   If he doesn't sleep, I don't sleep. We're a team.

But sometimes he does...

And when that happens I ought to be smart enough to do the same, rather than stay up writing a blog post. So to all a good night!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

World Wednesday: Most Recently Enjoyed Film

"Phoebe In Wonderland"

   Phoebe is a little girl with undiagnosed Tourette's syndrome who is chosen to act the lead part in a school production of Alice in Wonderland. Played by a very young Elle Fanning (who I believe was more talented as a child actress than she is now), she is a delightful, imaginative child, but her family has a hard time dealing with her unusual behaviour.

   It is a whimsical, beautifully shot film, switching between reality and Phoebe's interaction with "wonderland" characters inside her own head.

   The part that I found the most frustrating is when a therapist that Phoebe has been seeing tells her mother that the child seems to have Tourette's, and her mother refuses to believe/acknowledge it as a possibility because she doesn't want Phoebe to be labelled or medicated. While I can understand that the mother doesn't want to take away any of her daughter's spark, or not to appreciate her as she is, keeping silent leads to much more grief in the story. Phoebe grows more confused and lost about why she is acting out, and others respond to her actions with criticism and punishment.

   It made me sad to think that the stigma around her disorder, like around so many types of mental illness, kept the little girl from getting the understanding and help that she needed. However, it turns out alright in the end. How many happier endings could be achieved in real life if we were all more willing to address our problems and disorders without fear?

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Too True Tuesday: Unexpected Consequences of Thrift in the Thirties

   My Dad alerted me to this hilarious story from the Great Depression. Found on: http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/30s-memories.html

This is a story my great grandmother Louise told me - and that her daughters affirmed as absolutely true and the funniest thing I have ever heard happen in my life.

During the depression my great-grandmother did these things to support herself and her 4 daughters; Marjorie, Joanne, Jackie & Jill. They made wedding trouseaus and dresses etc., for those who were still wealthy, knitted everything from lace to wool, kept a large garden, and raised geese and ducks for eggs and down which they would stuff into pillows for sale.

At the end of the garden harvest time they would turn the geese and ducks loose to clean up all the little leftovers and eat bugs.

Her neighbor, Harry, supported himself by making 'bathtub gin' in his basement- which involved using a great deal of corn, part of which Louise would provide from the garden. At the end of the booze making process there would be a lot of what they called 'squeezings' - basically alcohol soaked corn mash which Harry would dump into a pit and bury. Well one morning Louise and her daughters got up to find every one of the ducks and geese laying all over the yard and garden- dead. Not knowing what happened - and in a panic - Louise decided that the least they could do is strip the down feathers from the birds to stuff into pillows so as to prevent a total loss.

Putting all 4 girls to work- plus a few volunteer neighbor ladies- they had succeeded in stripping about 30 birds and tossing them into a pile behind the shed - when suddenly a goose walked - rather unsteadily and completely bare- out from behind the shed and proceeded to go up the path toward the house.

Then another - and another followed, all bare and weaving from side to side. The ladies jumped up and ran behind the shed where more of the birds were kicking around and trying to push themselves up onto their feet. Walking out a bit past the shed to round up the birds, Louise found a huge pile of corn mash, unburied and stinking to high heaven - with duck prints all through it. Here the birds were stinking drunk and completely comatose from eating old corn mash. A few had died, but most were alive. So now what to do? Ohio has bad winters and she had about 30 ducks and geese who were basically stripped bare and would never survive the cold. Well they did the only thing they could think of at the time- they went from stripping feathers to knitting wool sweaters for every one of those birds, using all the leftover wool yarn they had. Louise told me that years Christmas goose had the 'most interesting flavor' she had ever experienced. 

Monday, 14 December 2015

Mindful Monday: Slow Down

   A new week has begun, a fresh start on our family routine. Mornings before Ben leaves for work are a special little window of time when we make our hot drinks, cook and eat breakfast together, chat about our sleep and our dreams, say a morning offering (if we remember), and share bright smiles with the baby.
   My intention is to always enjoy these events, and all of life, really, with an attitude of mindfulness, or "living in the moment". But it is just so easy to forget.

  This morning when Peregrine, who had slept a little longer than us, awoke, I got him up and immediately proceeded to the change table to remove his heavy soggy diaper. He began to cry, but I ploughed ahead with the diaper change. I mean, it had to get done, right?
   Ben, though, came over to us and said "just let me comfort him for a minute". He picked up Perrin, walked about cuddling him briefly, and returned him to me contented and smiling. Then the job was finished while all three of us conversed in baby language.

   My love's intervention didn't take much time, but it was a great reminder to me that there is no need to force life along for the sake of "getting things done". This is our life, right now, right in this moment. Not in ten minutes, not tomorrow, but now. It is ok to go at whatever pace allows this moment to be one of love and peace, not of hurrying. Even if less gets accomplished, so to speak, it is a better accomplishment to be living well. Thanks hubby.

Seasonal Sunday: Chooks and Eggs

Gaudete Sunday - Rejoice, the Lord is near!

This is the warmest December I can recall. Each day is above freezing and I love not having to brace myself when I go outside to look after the animals.

Here are a couple of my beautiful chickens. Every morning I find three smooth brown eggs. Where the fourth chicken is laying remains a mystery. When I go outside, the funny chooks follow me around the yard and take exploratory pecks at my toes to see if they are food.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Self-Care Saturday: Personality Test :D

   Do you know your personality type?

   Maybe it's not for everyone, but I have always been fascinated with the Myers-Briggs classification of personality types. When I discovered mine (INFP) I was amazed at how it helped me to understand myself so much better, my patterns of thought, motivations, and reactions. Things that I thought were my own weird quirks, or even flaws, suddenly made a lot more sense when seen as a part of a cohesive personality and how that type of person approaches the world - for instance, the ability to express myself much better in writing than I can when speaking in person. It was a relief to realize that trait was common among INFPs and I wasn't just verbally awkward.

   Though not quite as obvious as something like healthy eating, the Myers-Briggs test can be a great tool for self care, because understanding yourself is crucial to the goal of loving and caring for yourself.

   Disclaimer, by the way: this test is not definitive by any means. It is one of many varied attempts to categorize people, and I happen to think it a very good one, but everyone is different and can't totally be put in a box. Also everyone's will is their own. No one's choices are pre-determined by their personality type, however nice that would be as an excuse.

   But it seems that most people generally match one of the 16 descriptions of personalities in the Myers-Briggs classification, and can identify with the corresponding strengths and weaknesses. Finding and reading your "portrait" can reinforce truths you know about yourself and how you interact with life, or even bring to light characteristics that you may not have consciously been aware of. A frequent tendency of ISFJs, for example, is to look after others to the point of neglecting their own needs. Many of them might not admit this, but if they were to acknowledge and keep it in mind, they could prevent getting overworked and frustrated.

  Understanding the types is also extremely helpful for relationships.

  At one point I got so excited to type all my friends that I rushed around either forcing them to take the test themselves or guessing for myself what personality they had. I just had to know what made everyone tick! Some were startled to find how uncannily specific the results could be. "Whoa, how did it know I love animals?" "May exhibit rash emotional outbursts of anger - um, this is a little too true for comfort. Creepy."

   A particular breakthrough for me was the realization that two different types could say or do the same things, but not mean the same thing by it at all. To illustrate, if I were to go to both Bobby and Daphne to ask for help with homework and they both said "Go away, I'm busy", Bobby might be expressing that he is mad at me, while Daphne is merely stating that she doesn't have time, without any idea that her words could be taken personally.
   Depending on my personality type, my automatic assumption might be that they are both mad at me, or perhaps I am similar to Daphne and accept their busy-ness without picking up on the emotions behind Bobby's words.
   However, with a good grasp of the differences between personalities, I might be able to figure out what each of my friends meant (even if it isn't what I would mean) and leave Daphne to her work while talking to Bobby to find out what he is upset about.

   Even if I can't figure everyone out, knowing that there can be such big differences makes me more likely to give others the benefit of the doubt for their behaviour.

   So how does this work? What do the four letters mean? What is INFP supposed to stand for?

   There are much more comprehensive explanations online, but I will just go through it briefly as I understand it.

   The Myers-Briggs test looks at four different aspects of personalities. The four letters in the abbreviation indicate which side of a scale you lean towards in each of these aspects.

1. "E or I" - E is for Extrovert, I for Introvert. If you get energized by being with people you are primarily extrovert, but if you get burned out by much socializing and recharge best on your own, you are an introvert. Extroverts can be the life of the party. Introverts often would rather a good book.

2. "N or S" - N is for iNtuitive, S for Sensing. Intuitive personalities think about reality mostly in terms of concepts and patterns, whereas sensing personalities focus on facts and details that they take in with their senses. Intuitive are dreamers who start with the big picture. "I am drawn to the idea of seafaring." Sensers start with the actual and physical. "How do I build a boat?"

3. "F or T" - F is for Feeling, T for Thinking. This one is pretty basic. Feelers decide things more based on the emotional concerns of themselves and others, whereas Thinkers find it more natural to make decisions based on reason. If a child was scared of monsters in his closet, a feeling parent's instinct would be to sympathize with his emotion of fear. On the other hand, a thinking parent would want to explain that the occurrence simply isn't possible, as monsters don't exist.

4. "P or J" - P is for Perceiving, J for judging. Perceivers prefer to take in information and respond to it flexibly, while Judgers like to act in a more structured and planned way. I find this last category the most difficult to distinguish as people can have a mixture of both approaches. An extreme judger would be the one who always prepares and eats her meals the same way. An extreme perceiver would be the fellow you can never get to commit to any event because he waits till the last minute to decide whether or not he'll show.

   Did any of these sound like you? Take the personality test HERE and see what you think!
If you find out your type (provided you exist, dear reader), feel free to drop a comment and let me know :)

And just for fun...

Friday, 11 December 2015

Family Friday: I'm A Mum!

   Our little boy was born on the last day of September, welcomed with joy! Writing his birth story has been on my to-do list ever since but so far hasn't materialized.

Peregrine Benedict

   At this point, I will just say how honoured I feel to have been given this little person to take care of and share our lives and our home with. His complete dependence on me, my body and my love, is both exhausting and moving. His smiles and laughter are endlessly rewarding. Seeing him with his Daddy is a delight. I love his cuddles, his baby smell, his milk breath, his excited kicks, and even his cries. There is something exquisite about a baby's tongue when he cries, a rippling little muscle that is strong and also delicate. (This isn't to say that I just stand there adoring his tongue while he bawls, I am usually trying to fix the sadness at the same time.)

  A baby is such a gift. I love being a Mummy.

Edit: Perrin's birth story is now up HERE at the blog Birth Without Fear.

Thoughtful Thursday: Security

 Thursday I have reserved for my Deep Thoughts, which I dare say are much less deep than I like to believe. And yes, I know it's now Friday. That happens with a two-month old. :) Nevertheless, here we are, and I've decided to start with one that is frequently on my mind - the idea of security.

   It's what we all want, isn't it, to know that everything is going to be alright.

  In recent years I have found myself battling with my nemesis, Anxiety. She is not as much nerves and flutters as she sounds, but rather a numbing, paralyzing force that overwhelms and strikes fear to the heart. That is in her worst moments, of course. I haven't seen her as much recently, in the contentment of family life and, I believe, a grace of respite. These days are mostly peace and joy. Every now and then, though, she appears, and usually associates herself with questions of security.

   Unlike my eternal optimist husband, I have always been inclined to look to the future, to store up ahead of time so things will be improved later on - to do university readings a week in advance so I wouldn't have to the next week, to eat the plain ice cream first and save the rolo pieces for last (which backfires, as that is inevitably when someone comes along and asks for a bite). Sometimes I do it so much I forget to reach the more enjoyable future that I have prepared for and just keep preparing.

   Ideally, i would love everything to be secure, to have all the money to pay the bills already in the bank, to have the propane tanks full to the top, to be all prepped for my weekly meal plan. And on a bigger scale, to know that the government is going to make the best choices, to know that my loved ones' lives and relationships are going to work out, to ensure health and safety for us all.

 Unfortunately nothing in this life is secure, the fallen world doesn't work like that. Employment is uncertain, governments are flawed, sad things happen, people die - the only true security is in the salvation of Christ, his love and promises of an eternal home.

   My anxiety feeds off the desire for security - there is nothing inherently wrong with feeling anxious, it happens, and that's ok, and it's also ok to try to change your feelings to more pleasant ones - it is when anxiety turns into a desperate need to control, and especially a suffocation of generosity, that it becomes sinful. It becomes avarice, as Fr. Denis Lemieux' book Idol Thoughts has been (kindly) hammering home to me. I am frequently tempted to decide that because my desire for security is understandable, it is therefore justifiable to let it take over.

  An example might look like this: finances fluctuate, I panic over some little instance, having spent a little more that we can currently cover - I become rigid and ungenerous - no, we can't possibly share one of those little yoghurt cups with a visitor, there's just the right amount for lunches this week! Finances fluctuate again, for the better - no, we can't possibly give more to charity, we have to hoard more away in case the hard times return. Always too much focus on earthly security, the storing away for tomorrow, telling myself that I can be in control and make sure there will be enough and that it will be alright. Even if I say "I trust in You", I catch a little voice in my head saying, it will turn out ok, I can choose to be trusting because I can always find ways to spend less. Ummmmm. Trusting in God somehow just turned into trusting my own thriftiness...

   If I want to live fully and joyfully as a Christian, I will have to give up on security... (to be cont.)

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

World Wednesday: Racism in Old Literature

   For a while now I have been collecting all my favourite books from childhood. Among my top priorities to dig out of old rare dusty piles - Abebooks, in other words - were the "Adventure Series" by Enid Blyton. But I couldn't get just any old paperbacks, oh no. They had to be the hardback ones with the fantastic Stuart Tresilian illustrations, just as I had borrowed from the library a hundred times over. (I drew the line at needing copies with the original dust covers, however, which were in the $200 range.)

   Once I had the stories in my possession, I sat down in delight to flip through and relive the adventures of Philip, Jack, Dinah, Lucy-Ann, and of course the parrot Kiki. With many an "I say" and "jolly clever!", these children went on outrageous adventures, outdid the crooks, and somehow managed in any predicament to have plenty of tinned food on hand. Not far in, though, I was astonished to find how much more "politically incorrect" were dear old Enid's writings than I had remembered.

  Probably more well known for the land of Noddy (and it's offending golliwogs), Blyton equally incorporated the racism of her British worldview into The Island of Adventure, The Mountain of Adventure, and the rest. Probably without giving it a second thought.

   From the villainous JoJo in the first book of the series, a "coloured man" who "rolled his eyes in a peculiar way", to this poor "negro" in this picture being chased by "bad mens", to the mention of "nasty little slinky Japanese servants", one does not have to look far to find somewhat shocking racial stereotyping and disrespectful language.

   The question is not whether the racism in these books is inappropriate - of course it is, as well as the bigotry of the age from which it springs. The question isn't even if the author's intentions were good or ill. When I visited Enid Blyton's hometown in England, one of the locals was quick to tell me the rumour that the famous author was not actually a very nice person. Whether or not she was unpleasant, or the sweetest lady you can imagine, innocently affected by contemporary views, this type of literature is doubtless a product of its era and the prejudices that were accepted at the time. 

   The question is, what do you do with this literature? My first thought on re-perusing the "Adventure Series" was - would I let my kids read these? 

   Well, I grew up on them, devoured them, in fact, and they didn't seem to do me much harm. I certainly did not turn out to be a supremacist or a xenophobe. I was raised with basic courtesy and respect for others, all equal in human dignity, and this was definitely not going to be overturned by a few Enid Blyton novels.

   Some editions have attempted to make it all better by altering the originals and editing out any insensitive material, such as replacing black JoJo with Caucasian Joe. Personally I find this silly. I don't think it is right to change any author's original work. Throw out, possibly, but never change. If you don't care enough about their book to let it be as they intended, why do you care about reading it?
   Moreover, despite what were probably the good intentions of publishers, I also think it may be more  offensive to edit out the problems of racial bigotry in literature rather than acknowledging them. Prejudice is a part of history, it has happened, still happens, and sadly will probably continue in various forms. To politely pretend it wasn't there in the first place is an insult to those who have suffered from it. Finding racism in old literature could be an opportunity, not to condone, but to acknowledge this aspect of history and to learn from it. 

   So would I let my kids read these Enid Blyton stories? - the answer is yes. I would still like to share with them the charm that I found in the books as a child. When my little son Peregrine is old enough for me to read him all the volumes on my shelves (cant wait!) and we get to sections that contain outdated racial prejudice, I will choose to explain the context and make a simple learning point about the historical era and what is got wrong about understanding humanity and race. Then we will move on and enjoy the rest of the story. There is no need to turn the book only into an example of something wrong while losing all that is good and fun about it. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater! :)

  Just like any instance of teaching appropriate social behaviour, I don't have to be afraid that my book-loving child will be doomed to go around ignorantly calling people n*ggers if I have taken the opportunity to explain that it is considered rude.

  In Enid Blyton's stories, which have been relished by many children, there are certainly examples of an outdated worldview of racial prejudice. The same worldview can be seen in adult literature of the same period, such as the tales written by John Buchan, once a Governor General of Canada, who is one of my favourite authors. My solution is not to reject these stories or remove the parts deemed inappropriate, but to read them as all literature should be read, within its historical context, however imperfect that context may be.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Too True Tuesday: Glow Worm

Getting Organized

   According to the Myers Briggs personality test, I am an INFP. This means that my brain does not follow a neat and orderly train of ideas, but rather jumps about among all sorts of connections, always seeking how things fit into the bigger picture.

   Consequently, much as I like the idea of blogging, choosing a topic usually overwhelms me, as I feel that I could never catch up with all of the sub-thoughts that attach themselves to any Thought. I am tempted to be too thorough, to cover every aspect and event of my life, and so I never get started.

   Here's the plan then: I'll adopt the technique of 'themed days'. Each day of the week has a topic of it's own, so I know what to write about. Structure, yay!

   Introducing the lineup...

Mindful Monday
- trying to start afresh each week living intentionally -

Too True Tuesday
- random fun facts or things that amuse -

World Wednesday
- tidbits of culture, art, literature - 

Thoughtful Thursday
- reserved for deep deep ponderings - 

Family Friday
- all things family, marriage, parenting, babies -

Self-Care Saturday
- learning to love thyself the right way - 

Seasonal Sunday
- celebrating the rhythms of nature and liturgy and life -

   Let's see how long this lasts :)