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Showing posts from August, 2014

Building a New House

Well, as you may have read a few weeks ago, I purchased a house. Then last week my house rebelled against me. Now I, FINALLY, have water again as Kyle (my new best friend who I also happen to pay to fix plumbing for me) spent the day replacing the Back Flow Device in my front yard.  It involved digging a giant hole, cutting the current one out (which was full of stuff such as roots, TP, and conveniently, NOT a back water flap - which is it's main purpose), putting in a new one and then rerooting (hopefully it takes) my bushes.

The plumber also found a few extra issues - well one item that will be a problem when putting the toilet back and another that could be an issue in the future and also the reason why my kitchen sink had the pressure of a thousand waterfalls.

What have I learned from this experience?
Well, first - when buying a house, pay a good plumber to come out to send his camera down the piping below the dwelling to check it all out.  An inspector is a basically just a &…

Being Grateful for Education

School starts this week for those ages 3 to 23 (and beyond).  When I was in the Village in the Congo, I went to many a school.  They welcomed me with a parade, told me how happy they were to have me, and then I visited their classrooms to answer any questions they wanted to ask.

Each school was set up the same.  Elementary schools were grades 1 to 6, High Schools were grades 7 to 12, and they had a local college that operated a little differently (mostly since there were so few people enrolled).  The schools had two buildings with three rooms for the 6 classes.  All of the 1st graders were in one room, 2nd graders in another, 3rd, 4th, etc, etc...  Between the two buildings was a large area with the principal's building in the middle (much smaller than the other two).

Depending on the size of the school, there were anywhere from 25 to 48 children in each classroom.  Pictures tend to be a better explanation, so see below:

When I look back at my education and toward the future at m…

Answer Me This ... August 24th

Welcome to this week's edition of Answer Me This ... thanks Kendra for hosting!  It's been fun this past few weeks, I'm sad we won't be getting together regularly for this cocktail party!

1. What is your favorite picture book?
I don't have an answer to this question - since I don't read to children on a regular basis, I don't really have any opportunities to read picture books on a regular basis to get a favorite.

2. Are you a boycotter?
I can be, but only one company right now.  Johnson & Johnson because I think they are crazy if they think that they can make money from babies AND from selling contraceptives.  I know that there are many other companies who sell products that I disagree with, have stands that are opposite of mine, and who are vocal about it - but well, I, personally, cannot boycott the world.

3. How do you feel about cheese?
Um, what kind of question is this? I love cheese, maybe too much!  The smellier and stranger the better!  Would l…

7 Quick Takes ... August 22nd

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Well it's been a pretty crappy end of the week around here ... sorry for the language but yesterday evening Mer, MG, my neighbors (so glad I finally got to meet some good neighbors who were incredible) and I spent the evening cleaning up sewage that came up my toilet spreading it's nastiness throughout the entirety of the downstairs of my house.  Yeah, you read that right - sewage.  It was a pretty terrible experience.  The floor looked alright, but you could feel squishing below and water would come right up from the seams even after you dried it.  Today a water restoration guy came out and now it looks like ...

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Well, this:

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So my friends have all offered to take me in - I went with the family closest to where I work and live to help eliminate any extreme commutes back and forth to the house.  P&E have been so gracious to let me stay here as long as I need - probably until the end of this saga, at least until I leave for NYC on Thursday.  The fa…

From 'blinding' to '(almost) perfect'

Well, this is not going to turn into a home improvement blog like the newest one on my feed (Old Town Home), but I am going to use it as a means to share some of the fun things I'm doing in the house.

Tonight's project was to change out the orange slip cover my 'as-is' Karlstad Couch came with when I purchased it 10 days ago.  This is what it looked like before:

Comfortable but orange.  I mean, it's grown on me with pillows and other items in the room.  However, there was not a chance that it was going to stay orange for ever!  My friends who were here helping to move were kind saying that the orange was great - I was soon to correct that my new cover was sitting on a FedEx truck somewhere in Maryland on its way to my house!

And yesterday it arrived!!!  YEAH!!!  Switched it out last evening (not hard for one person to do!) and this is what I have now:

Much better!  And I think the color on the far left is going to be my new living room color.  The colors on the wal…

It's the Little Things...

Just a quick laugh for your Tuesday evening!

Each week I import the homilies into my computer at work via iTunes before uploading them to our website for download by all.  If you've ever imported a CD into iTunes, you know that it suggests the title, artist info, and album name.  Sometimes I get some interesting suggestions and this afternoon's made me chuckle!

iTunes' Suggestion:

What I actually wanted to call it:

Oh, Father Christian and his 'rappers delight' - it's so funny and he has no idea that is what I'll be thinking the next time I see him walk by my office and get a little chuckle!

Another dose of Church Humor - yesterday a student comes in for a parking pass and as I'm writing down the expiration date he asks:
"Does this church profess the Nicene Creed?"
I responded: "Yes, of course"
He asked: "What denomination are you?"
I retorted: "Catholic"
hmm... if I had my sarcasm hat on right that early on a Mon…

Cooking in the Congo

While I was in the Congo, I asked Father Emmanuel if the sisters and Bea could teach me how to cook.  The date was set for Tuesday of the second week where I was told I'd be cooking a chicken from alive to table ... thankfully when I was called to the plate to start cooking - the chicken was dead and even de-feathered.  I was only about 3% disappointed since, um, that would have be the craziest I have ever done - and um, I had just flown to a village in the middle of a war-torn country on my own to village where about 2 1/2 people spoke English ... all by myself.  Yeah, and killing a chicken would have been crazy!  Anyway - I learned to make chicken, cassava, mashed plantains, rice, and preparing cocoa pods for eating.  Here are some pics of the adventure!

A few days before that, I shared a recipe with them when I cooked spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce on the fire!

Now back to cooking in my new kitchen - no open flames around here, but maybe next week in the back yard!

Answer Me This ... August 17th

1. What is your favorite room in the house?
Well, since I have a new house, I don't know quite yet - but I love the living room for the couch and overall sense of family, the bedroom because I'm a big fan of sleeping, and the kitchen since I like spending my evenings making new things!

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?
Nope! Thought about buying a LivingSocial for one a while back, but decided against it.  Don't know if I'd read it or if it would just become garbage.  I do get the Catholic Newspaper for our Diocese though!

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?
Well, I used to think that I loved it.  Then at my old parish for Daily Mass we were in the Church and we were so far apart, it's just awkward when everyone is so far away and you have to do the 'peace sign' with your fingers - which I dislike a lot during Mass.  Now we don't do the Sign of P…

7 Quick Takes ... August 15th

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Today is the beginning of MOVING WEEKEND!!!  Yeah!  I have spent the day preparing some stuff at the house.  For instance the carpets were professionally cleaned upstairs, the internet has been installed (PTL), and the couch and bed were delivered.  The couch being a bigger excitement than anything else because every time I've been over here before, I've been sitting on my homemade floor cushions and they are not as comfy as I first thought they would be.  Oh well, at least I have this couch now...

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Yes I did purchase this orange couch - it was 53% off in the As-Is Section and I couldn't resist the sleeper sofa version of my FAVORITE IKEA couch, the KARLSTAD!  Which they are discontinuing this month!!!  So glad I didn't wait, would have been super disappointed!

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Never fear though - a cover to make it this color is coming by FEDEX today!!!

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At our parish we have this great event each month from May to October celebrating Our Lady of Fat…

Experiencing the Mass in any language but English

I have always had an opinion ... well, yup that sounds about right - but today I wanted to reflect on the language of the Mass.  I attend the Novus Ordo in English on a regular basis.  Until a few years ago I would have no idea what that even was and would have responded with - "Um, you mean - Mass, in English, what else could there be?"  Well, many people would still say that ... there are only certain circles of Catholicism that would even have any idea what I'm talking about when I use those Latin words.

I always thought that going to the Latin Mass was terrible for one reason: "I cannot understand anything they are saying, and it's very difficult for me to participate when I don't know what's happening."  That is no longer why I don't attend (and in general I don't think it's 'terrible' ever - I mean, Jesus comes - body, blood, soul, and divinity so it can't be all bad!).  Why has my opinion about my reason changed?


NAS: Great things from this weekend...

I'm going to commit myself to write in the NAS series this year ... so a few random things on the last Summer Link-Up for the Not Alone Series!

I saw a few things I couldn't help but share with you on this Tuesday!

From Kendra at Catholic All Year for the Feast of St. Dominic on Friday (8/8) posted on Facebook:

On the other end of the spectrum (ie: completely opposite of Holy Saint Dominic) - some late night fun!  A friend and I love reminiscing about our years of childhood as Reading Rainbow.  Go ahead, click over ... if you were a Levar Burton fan as a kid - this will make your Tuesday!

Two completely opposite great things - but both worth it!

Happy Tuesday Y'all!

Also just cleaned my new kitchen this weekend and can.not.wait to cook in my new kitchen next week!!!  Last night I packed up the last remaining items from my current place - it's official, I have just one fork, two very small bowls, a coffee mug (full right now), and glass for water.  I'm living like I…

Happy Feast of St. Clare of Assisi!

St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Mukumari, Diocese of Kole, Democratic Republic of the Congo

When I was in the Congo, this was my parish - Saint Clare of Assisi in Mukumary!  They have recently painting the exterior.  My pictures below are from my trip back in March of 2014.

This parish is unconventional according to US standards.  The center of the parish is in Mukumary and goes in three directions for approximately 80km in each direction.  There are 32 mission stations for this parish that concerns 32,000 people in 33 villages.  Father Emmanuel and his assistant, Father Charles, do their best to carry the Good News to the people of their parish.

Experience the entrance hymn during the Sunday Mass I attended while in the Congo! (if you're reading in a reader, click over to see the video)

Happy Feast Day, St. Clare of Assisi Parish!  May you be blessed abundantly throughout this coming year!