21 March 2011

Prayers for Fr. John Corapi

Fr. Z has a great post on his blog concerning the accusations leveled against Fr. Corapi. For those of you who don't know, Here's what is posted on his website:

On Ash Wednesday I learned that a former employee sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several other adult women. There seems to no longer be the need for a complaint to be deemed “credible” in order for Church authorities to pull the trigger on the Church’s procedure, which was in recent years crafted to respond to cases of the sexual abuse of minors. I am not accused of that, but it seems, once again, that they now don’t have to deem the complaint to be credible or not, and it is being applied broadly to respond to all complaints. I have been placed on "administrative leave" as the result of this.

I’ll certainly cooperate with the process, but personally believe that it is seriously flawed, and is tantamount to treating the priest as guilty “just in case”, then through the process determining if he is innocent. The resultant damage to the accused is immediate, irreparable, and serious, especially for someone like myself, since I am so well known. I am not alone in this assessment, as multiple canon lawyers and civil and criminal attorneys have stated publicly that the procedure does grave damage to the accused from the outset, regardless of rhetoric denying this, and has little regard for any form of meaningful due process.

All of the allegations in the complaint are false, and I ask you to pray for all concerned.

Unfortunate, to say the least. Of course, there's no sense in engaging in speculation about his guilt or innocence at this point. We simply need to pray that the truth will be made known. I for one both hope and pray that these accusations are false, and that the good Father will be proven innocent.

19 March 2011

Spring Is Here! Spring is Here!

Life is Skittles and life is beer! Tom Lehrer anyone?

Ahem, anyway. Remember my escapade from yesterday? Today has already made up for it, and it isn't even noon yet!

Some of you may already know that I'm planning to start a vegetable and herb garden this year. We just moved into a house with a great yard (if you didn't already know that, don't worry. It was under wraps until recently for some very complicated reasons) so I have tons of space to plant and plant and plant some more! I'm really excited, and a teeny bit scared as I've never really grown anything apart from a Chia Pet when I was 10. I'm really hoping I inherited my father's green thumb...

So why is today so very very awesome? My seeds came!

Top, from L-R: Crisp Mint, Bronze Arrowhead, Forellenschluss, Susan's Red Bibb, Amish Deer Tongue, Red Velvet, Cinnamon Basil; Bottom, L-R: Greek Oregano, English Lavender, German Chamomile, Giant From Italy Parsley, Cilantro, Genovese Basil.
And that's not including the tomato and pepper plants I bought, which will be shipped to me after the danger of frost has officially passed. I'm getting Amish Paste, Cherokee Purple and Brandywine tomatoes, as well as Ancho Gigantea, Traveler's Jalapeno, and Sweet Chocolate peppers! I purchased all my seeds and plants from Seed Savers Exchange. They sell heirloom varieties and certified organic seeds, both of which I prefer. I think heirlooms are just plain awesome and I'm all about doing what I can to preserve biodiversity.

So I know the first day of Spring isn't until Monday, but this totally means Spring for me! Time to get dirty!

18 March 2011

Go With the Flow: It's Not Worth It

Today was supposed to be a "good day".

Supposed to be.

I didn't wake up in a bad mood because my child was babbling and fussing away next to me at 7 o'clock in the morning. He still fussed, but I didn't let it bother me.

I had a Guinness cupcake with Bailey's frosting for breakfast.

I made up a menu for the coming week and put together a grocery list.

I emptied the trash can in the bathroom (that thing fills up fast!)

I took a shower! (*gasp*)

So why, with the deck seemingly stacked in my favor, did today fail to be a "good day"?

Because I am a big, big baby.

Everything was fine at first. We went to Target to get some things we've been needing but hadn't gotten around to purchasing yet, like a mail tray for the entryway table and a boot tray for our shoes. Dominic napped in my Mei Tai Baby while we shopped. We headed to Panera for lunch, since it's basically the only place in town with truly meatless menu options. And then...it happened.

I slammed my finger in the car door. Hard.

Those who know me know that I am extremely accident prone, especially when it comes to my fingers and toes. I've stubbed my left pinky toe three times, tearing the ligament each time and resulting in about a month of hobbling around pitifully. People must think I'm some kind of drama queen when I tell them, "I stubbed my toe." Except for me, "I stubbed my toe" really means, "I internally maimed my toe." I digress.

I had just put Dom in my ring sling (I tend to use the ring sling when we go out to eat because he invariably wants to get out and it's so much easier to pop him in and out of a ring sling.) When I went to close the door I must've forgotten to move my hand because there was my ring finger, crushed helplessly in the jaws of our Dodge Stratus. It was so wedged in there that I had to actually open the door again to free it. And BOY did it hurt!

Remember in my birth story where I said I'm a wuss? Here's proof.

I cried. A lot. I mostly cried because it hurt, and because I was mad at myself for being so clumsy. In retrospect I actually think I was upset more because it basically ruined the rest of my day. I wanted to go home immediately and nurse my wound (See? Totally a wuss.) which meant that my brilliant plans for the remainder of our outing would have to be scrapped. So we went home, after pilfering the towel filled with ice lent to us by the nice Panera people. And I sulked on the couch while Nick went back to Panera to get us lunch, because we still had no food.

So what did I learn from all this? I am a big baby. I'm realizing this about myself more and more. I have trouble making the best out of a bad situation. If things don't go the way I plan, I pitch a fit. "It's not FAIR!" is a favorite saying of mine in times of trial. I talk the talk about redemptive suffering, but I certainly don't walk the walk. And that needs to change.

I need to be more flexible. I need to roll with the punches. Otherwise, I will break like a dry twig. It's not worth the impact on my physical and spiritual well-being to be always swimming against the current. And it's not a good example I'm setting for Dominic.

From this day forward "It's not fair" will be stricken from my vocabulary (as will "I hate my life"...because I really don't, I'm just being a baby again). Because being angry about it does no good. And honestly, it's not worth it.

Muffin VS. Cupcake

What's the difference between a muffin and a cupcake for breakfast?

The cupcake is just wearing a hat.

17 March 2011

Beannachtai na Feile Padraig!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! In honor of this most festive occasion, I offer you:

Thanks to Dirt and Diapers for this idea.

The rest of the year, I'm just about 25% Irish. But today, I bleed green! So I'm gonna grab me a pint of Guinness (no green beer here) and celebrate appropriately. Thank goodness this feast doesn't fall on a Friday.

Sláinte mhaith!

10 March 2011

The Resurrection of the Starter

This is Wilson.

Wilson was my beloved sourdough starter before I got pregnant.

Yes, I said was, for Wilson has since passed on. He was hidden in the back of the fridge during my first trimester and neglected for so long that he eventually turned grey and went into extreme hibernation. When we moved from our apartment, I wasn't in the mood to try and revive a clearly troubled starter so I let him go to Sourdough Heaven. Besides, he was starting to smell like potato chips (not a good smell for a starter).

Why am I telling you about Wilson? Because I am going to reincarnate Wilson! Yay Wilson!

I'm following the "recipe" for a wild yeast starter here. I'm using Hodgson Mill whole grain rye flour and R.W. Knudsen organic pineapple juice.

Why pineapple juice, you ask?

Mixing just flour and water creates an environment that is almost neutral pH, but the yeastie beasties we want prefer an acidic pH. The neutral environment is good for other organisms in the flour that produce acids as a by-product, thus lowering the pH to a level where the yeast can grow. But this takes longer and can be very frustrating because the starter will look like it's doing awesome around day 3 and then appear to "die" on you. This is because gas-producing bacteria cause the starter to grow and then die out when the environment is no longer to their liking. It's only after these bacteria die out that the yeast is allowed to grow. By using pineapple juice, we bypass that initial phase and go directly to an acidic pH favorable to the yeast. The yeast get a foothold right away and don't have to do battle with the gassy bacteria.

Make sense? If not, don't worry. You don't have to know why something works for it to work (thank goodness!)

So last night I mixed 2 tablespoons rye flour with 2 tablespoons pineapple juice in a mason jar.

I will continue adding 2 tablespoons each flour and juice for the next two days until it starts bubbling and then I will start discarding and feeding (if I didn't discard some of it every time I fed it, Wilson would take over my kitchen in about a week! First stop kitchen, next stop...WORLD).

Stay tuned!

08 March 2011

Gee Williker's! It's Time For Lent!

It's that time of year again. The time of year where I vow to give up coffee (and end up drinking lots and lots of tea), clean up my language (and fail miserably in less than twenty-four hours), and pray a daily rosary (as long as it doesn't interfere with tea time and/or brainstorming sessions to come up with alternative words that don't sound like they came from an episode of Leave It to Beaver).

As you can see, I'm not very good at this "Lent" thing.

This year, the Lenten season has taken me completely by surprise. Despite the fact that Easter is way later this year, I haven't taken advantage of that extra time to prepare myself...at all. So here I am, the day before Ash Wednesday, compiling a haphazard list of possible sacrifices and practices for the next 40-ish days that I will probably end up dropping by day 12. Maybe I should give up self-deprecation? Hmmm...

So what should I give up? Usually I give up coffee as my material sacrifice, but I used to be much more of a caffeine addict than I am now. We're talking 4-6 cups a day! Now I'm down to 1-2 a week. So that wouldn't be much of a sacrifice now.

I've heard some say that instead of giving something up, one should take up a new (preferably good) habit. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1438:
The seasons and days of penance...are particularly appropriate for spiritual exercises, penitential liturgies, pilgrimages as signs of penance, voluntary self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and fraternal sharing (charitable and missionary works).
And, from the Pocket Catholic Dictionary:
Its purpose is to better prepare the faithful for the feast of the Resurrection, and dispose them for a more fruitful reception of the graces that Christ merited by his passion and death.
Ah, so the season of Lent is in the business of spiritual purification. So giving things up and adopting new habits are both in keeping with the spirit of Lent. Instead of an either/or mentality, however, I think it would be a good idea to purge a bad habit (swearing, let's say) and replace it with a good one (using the selfsame gift of speech to pray, for example). For me that would mean that whenever I feel the urge to use a profanity, I would replace it with a prayer for patience (my use of profanity is pretty much restricted to instances of anger or impatience). It....could....WORK! (Young Frankenstein, anyone? No? Nevermind...)

Now I know some would say: "But profanity is something you should avoid all the time, not just during Lent!" True, and I know that Lenten observations shouldn't take the form of New Years resolutions. But, let's be honest, we all use this time of year to try and make ourselves better. After all, Lent is prime time for conversion. It originated as a time of purification for those entering the Church that year. Over time, the congregation joined them in their preparations, readying themselves to renew their own baptismal promises at Easter. A big part of our baptismal promises was the renunciation of sin. So as part of my preparations to renew my baptismal promises, I hope to rid myself of my attachment to this particular sin. Self-justification complete.

I was also thinking of picking up St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises and incorporating them, to some extent, into my daily prayer life (or lack thereof). I'm afraid if I try to do too much too fast I'll end up doing none of it, so I'll focus on the Daily Examen.

And in the spirit of self-denial, I'll probably give up Facebook, like the rest of the Catholic world. It might free up more of my time to write blog posts! One can only hope...

Now at least I have some semblance of a plan going into Ash Wednesday. Let's hope (and pray!) I can stick with it this year!

Check out these FAQs About Lent over at Catholic Online. It explains the connection between Lent and Baptism.

Also, my darling husband has posted some resources for Ash Wednesday and Lent that are worth looking at.

05 March 2011

Four Month Anniversary of Dom's Escape from the Womb!

My little guy is four months old! My how time flies! Next thing I know he'll be walking...

04 March 2011

Dominic's Birth Story

WARNING: The following account may be too explicit for some readers. Use caution.

I wanted to share my birth story with you all for a few reasons. First, I'd like to get it down in words while it's still fresh in my mind. What was already somewhat of a blur might become hopelessly unrecognizable should any considerable length of time be allowed to pass. Second, I think it important to demystify as much as possible the birth process, especially since most of our understanding of birth likely comes from watching A Baby Story on TLC. If someone like me, who despises even the smallest discomfort, can endure a natural labor, anyone can.


No, really, the last time I stubbed my toe, I thought I was going to die.

Anyway, if this subject makes you squeamish or uncomfortable, I won't be offended if you don't read it. You won't hurt my feelings. That said, I begin my tale.

The estimated date of delivery given to me by the hospital after a 14 week dating ultrasound put me at 40 weeks on November 2nd. I was pretty sure that date would prove to be too soon since a 6 week ultrasound showed me to be due around November 8th, little less than a week later. I was prepared to be considered "overdue" and began planning how I would put off an induction, should the subject arise. November 2nd dawned and I wasn't in labor...yet. My Braxton-Hicks contractions picked up a bit in intensity, but they weren't cause for any alarm until that evening. I couldn't sleep through them, and in fact they intensified when I laid down. Being the newbie I am, I was convinced that labor was starting, and around 3am we made our way to the hospital...an hour away. Long story short, we (me, my darling husband, and my mom) found ourselves home once again at 11am the following morning. False alarm.

Needless to say, I was pretty discouraged. My contractions gradually petered out as I attempted to regain the sleep I had lost while at the hospital and by the end of the day had completely disappeared. How was I ever going to know when real labor began? I tried to keep my mind off of it the rest of the day, hoping that I wouldn't have to wait too much longer.

02 March 2011

You're Not In Kansas Anymore

Fun Factiod: I've actually never been to Kansas. Which is probably a good thing because I'm deathly afraid of tornadoes. And yes, I do realize that Kentucky sees the occasional tornado (my town tests the alarms weekly...to my chagrin), but Kansas is so much worse! Didn't you watch Twister?

Anyway, you may or may not have noticed that some things have changed around here (and if you are in the "have-not" camp, I highly suggest corrective lenses and/or a literacy course), most notably the very blog title itself. I realized, after typing my own blog url into the address bar several times, that "Chestertonian Paradox" was just too damn difficult to spell, and probably even harder to remember. That and I think it's probably a bad sign when one has to dedicate an entire page to the explanation of said blog title. I decided I needed something simple and easy to remember (and easy to spell!)

I chose "Home-Grown Catholic" because A) I'm Catholic, B) I was raised Catholic (or you could say "home-grown"), C) I was homeschooled and plan on homeschooling my kids, and D) part of living naturally and simply is either growing your own food or buying locally.

I also altered the design to reflect these changes (that and Blogger has some cool new features I wanted to play with *nerd*).

I know this doesn't really count as a blog post, but hey, it's something! Look forward to some new posts soon, though!


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