I’m thinking about . . .

1. The Synod.  But I haven’t read the “working document,” or whatever it is, yet.  So, I’m trying not to spout off opinions.  Not too many, anyway . . . .

2. Joannie’s post on the same topic, and especially what she says here:

[O]ver the past six years I’ve worked with a lot of people.  I’ve encountered the human heart.  Fresh out of grad school, I was armed with the Catechism and the Summa and I was ready to beat Church teaching into every soul and mind.  Now I’m still armed with those treasures, but I’m ready to propose it.  Just as God does.  I’ve encountered a weak and frail humanity that needs love and care and healing.  It needs the Truth.  But it is too wounded to be beaten further.  It needs to be loved.

3. Gradualism, as in Sr. Theresa’s story here and Caleh’s story.  Especially Caleh’s story.  It’s been in the back of my mind ever since I read it a while ago and it is so relevant now.

4. How it’s easy for me, having lived my whole life in a protected bubble of  security, to forget how much the American family has changed.  For the worse, and children are the ones who suffer the most.  This really hit home for me the one year I practiced “family” law.  What is the right approach for people who haven’t had a stable marriage in their ancestry for generations?

And how do you keep from “being so eager to bring lost sheep into the fold that we shove out the sheep already here,” leaving them to feel like suckers?  As Caleh puts it, “the Church IS for everyone…not just for those of us who happen to sin the trendy way.”

5. I think Pope Francis gets it.  He emphasized that it takes courage to marry and have a family.

It’s a bit off-topic but, I love this little anecdote:

[Pope Francis] told the story of a woman who said her son was in his 30s, had a girlfriend, but wouldn’t get married.

“I told her, ‘Ma’am, stop ironing his shirts,'” the pope said.

6.  I really like this picture, even though it reminds me of the Jehovah’s Witnesses tracts my piano teacher kept in her music room.  I don’t know where it comes from.  I can’t read the artist’s signature.  Anyone know?  It’s called “Adoration,” by David Bowman.

Jesus with little girl

Adoration, by David Bowman

7. Speaking of people who “get it.” Kelly does.  Why am in bed, using my laptop to browse blogs, when I spent the entire day looking forward to going back to sleep?  There’s a constant tension between sleep-time and me-time.

Happy weekend everyone. Click over to Jen’s for more quick takes.

On Art, Law Firms, and Choosing What You Love

I love Impressionism.  I visited the Met once and was fascinated Monet’s paintings, the way they look like swirls and gobs of paint up close but then coalesce into flowers, bridges, and people as you step back.

At the law firm I worked at in DC, all the new associates got an office decorating allowance.  Most used it to get their law school diplomas framed, but my parents already had done this for me.  Instead I bought a large, framed poster of Monet’s  Le Pont Japonais a Giverny.  From Posters.com.  Sophisticated I was not.

Monet, Le Pont Japonais a Giverny, via

A partner came into my little office and took a long look at the poster.

“You like Monet?” I asked.

“He’s okay,” he replied with a shrug.

Possibly my co-workers considered choice in wall art declassé.

In her book, Redeemed, Heather King describes a law office she worked at in Los Angeles, noting the framed Impressionist prints on the wall.  Her point was that it was an uninspired, backward, soul-stifling place to work,  not the hip, happening environment she was expecting in LA.

Claude Monet – The Walk – Woman with a Parasol, via

Claude Monet, The Seine at Giverny, via

The law office where I worked, my floor anyway, had mainly modern art.  I recall a mustard-hued, abstract painting of intersecting circles hanging outside the conference room.  Somehow, it didn’t inspire me.

Jean-Honore Fragonard, The Swing (not an Impressionist but similar, I think)

I am running out of wall space in our house.  Possibly my decor personality is Granny-chic.  Possibly that’s because I buy most of my wall art at the thrift store and at rummage sales.  Unfortunately, they often come in glaring brass frames.

Eugène Boudin, Washerwomen on the Beach of Etretat, via

But I don’t care, because Impressionism makes me happy.


Linking up with Heather, because that makes me happy too, and because these are five of my favorites of the prints that hang on my walls.

What I’m Into (a look back on May)

Veggies, VHS tapes, trouble at the Episcopal church rummage sale, and more . . .

Vegetables:  I haven’t cooked much at all lately (that’s another post for another day).  But I signed up for a CSA months ago.  We’re now getting our weekly shares, and right now it’s greens greens and more greens.  Kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, bok choy, and more kale.  I don’t like it because I have to cook it all before it goes bad.  I like it because I’m forced to cook it all before it goes bad.


Dinners on the grill: Pat grills burgers and chicken.  I cook up some CSA veggies in the quickest way possible. We open a bottle of wine.  We sit down and eat.  . . . .  We’ve had two meals in a row like this and I’m hoping for many, many more. . . . No special meal prep for the girls (sweet, blessed, relief).  Girl 1 will eat her grilled chicken (with ketchup) and (certain) veggies if bribed with dessert.

The What I’m Into linkup on Leigh Kramer’s blog, which I first learned about from Modern Mrs. Darcy.  I’m new to Leigh’s blog and the link up.  I might not be doing it right, but I really like the idea.

Professor Linda PrzybyszewskiI look forward to reading her new book,  The Lost Art of Dress.

From her recent Tumblr post:

Since time out of mind, fashion illustrations and store mannequins have exaggerated the female shape into something so long and tenuous one wonders why they didn’t snap in half.  . . .   [A]djust your eyes to the shocking sight of a dress on a young woman with full cheeks and curves.

Times sure have changed, haven’t they?

Buying VHS tapes at the thrift store for $0.33–cheaper than renting!  When I’m done I throw them away or give them back to Goodwill.  So far I’ve watched.

  • 28 Days (Sandra Bullock)
  • Green Card (Andie MacDowell, lovely, why can’t they make rom coms like this anymore?)

I’ve bought the girls more VHS tapes than I can count, some favorites being:

  • Cinderella
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Peter Pan
  • Robin Hood (all the classic, Disney animated versions)

Pat has found a way to digitize VHS tapes, so the girls watch their movies on our Roku box with software called Plex.  With that in mind, I picked up VHS tapes of some old favorites that are worth digitizing, saving, and watching over and over:

VHS tapes left to watch (but probably not to save):

  • Fargo (I like a lot of Coen brother’s movies but somehow haven’t watched this yet)
  •  Spanglish
  • Now and Then
  •  The Net (interested to see a movie about internet ID theft from ~ 15 years ago)
  • Little Black Book (okay, I might regret this, bu I guess it caught my eye since its star, Brittany Murphy, died so unexpectedly)

Prints of Delarue paintings of Paris, found at the Episcopal church rummage sale for $2 apiece, paired up with frames I found at the same sale for $1 a piece, spruced up with some black spray paint and matting from Michaels.


Lucien Delarue



More Delarue prints.  I’m hoping to make some moolah off these on eBay (it worked with the blazer I [fortunately/unfortunately] bought at the same church’s previous rummage sale).


Losing my keys at the Episcopal church rummage sale, and being locked out of my minivan.  Well, I’m not into this but it happened.

Living in a small town such that I was able to (a) snag a ride home from a second cousin-in-law who just happened to be at the sale and then (b) have my keys delivered to me the next day from a friend from church who also just happened to be at the sale.

Having a two-year old who stuck a popcorn kernel up her nose.  Again, not so much into it, but it was into her.  Yuk yuk.  We can add this to the many stories of children in the family sticking things up their noses: peas, beans, crayons, pebbles, Baby Jesus figurines . . . the normal stuff.

Hoping for a less-sluggish, uneventful June filled with more beautiful weather!


Thank you Leigh!

Five Favorite Children’s Authors & Illustrators

1.  My girls have been loving the Penny books by Kevin Henkes.  I find his stories and illustrations just charming.

Illustration by Kevin Henkes

Reading these got me thinking about other author/illustrators of children’s books we love.  They include:

2. James Mayhew:  My girls love the Ella Bella Ballerina books.

3. Ben Hatke:  I’ve followed his artwork on his blog for a long time, and it is just delightful (as are Ben and his wife and daughters, whom I have the pleasure to know).  Truth be told, I haven’t read the Zita books to my girls yet; I think Girl 1 is just now getting to the point where she could follow it.  My 9-year-old brother really enjoyed them, and I’m looking forward to reading them to my kids.

Zita the Spacegirl

Did you know books have trailers nowadays?  Check out the Zita spacegirl trailer.

4.  Arnold Lobel: His Frog and Toad books are favorites from my childhood that I’m rediscovering with my girls.  I love his wry little observations on life.


Also, I’m realizing my marriage works because, although I’m like Toad, my husband is like Frog.  (Inside joke, sorry.  You’ll have to read the books.)

A delightful claymation series was made out of the Frog and Toad books a few decades ago.  You can watch them on You Tube.  So cute.  (They’re included on this Curious George DVD.)  I think my girls are put off by Toad’s gravelly voice, but I love it.


5.  Richard Scarry: Another favorite from my childhood.  Beware the newer spin-off’s.  Not as good. Go for the originals, like the Please and Thank You Book.  It made me the joy and pleasure I am to be with today.  😉

The only downside is that his books are sooooo long.  But they’re worth it.

Linking up with Hallie for Five Favorites and Jessica for What We’re Reading Wednesday.  Thanks ladies!

Gravity (the Movie) and Special Effects As Art

My ideal movie includes (A) British accents, (B) long skirts, and (C) marriage proposals. At least that’s my husband’s surmisal.  I like to think that these elements simply happen to pop up frequently in the films sought out by those with sophisticated taste.

. . . All the same, I loved Gravity.

Read all about it on at Mary Boctor’s blog, Atelier, where I am guest posting today  .



Related Posts

Five of My Favorite Things, Vol. III

I’m back again at Hallie’s fun new link-up over at Moxie Wife and sharing five of my favorite things.  Please excuse my funky formatting and font size.  I’ve just about had it with this Word Press template.

  • Foyle’s War: A  BBC police detective series that takes place during WWII.  Shows what wartime was like for the British and the implications of enforcing a  rule of law during wartime.   But, as one reviewer on Netflix puts it well:

I believe the real reason we love the series is Foyle himself.   He wears well.   He doesn’t say much, but when you get to know him you realize how much rectitude, honor, dignity and civility he has.  Of course, he’s sharp as a tack, too, and always gets to the bottom of it.  But it’s the character of Foyle, who “foils” crime and stands for justice that we admire.

  • This painting:

    Fritz von Uhde 1848 – 1911 Let the children come to me

  • Little curly top (so hard to get a good picture because she’s always moving!):  IMG_1694

Blue and white china, especially Spode “Blue Italian,” which Pat and I registered for and received for our wedding.  (Pioneer Woman uses it too!)  Also, Royal Copenhagen (in my dreams, $$$$$).  But I love just about any blue and white china.  

  • Royal Copenhagen china


  • Independent fashion bloggers.  I’ve only recently wandered outside my warm little Fine Linen & Purple “What I Wore Sunday” community and stumbled across the wide wide world of fashion blogs.  Gotta admit, I’m a little weirded out by how many people are out there in their driveways, looking dreamily at the pavement and standing pigeon-toed in front of a camera on self-timer.  (I do basically the same thing, and I’m weirded out by myself each time.  So no judgment here.)  But really it’s refreshing to see so many lovely, real ladies looking pretty and confident, when the fashion industry would have us all think we can be attractive only if we are 6 feet tall and 90 pounds and look 16 years old.

Thanks, Hallie, for hosting this fun link up!!