Monday, September 12, 2011

Mommy-ness, random style

So- it was a rather busy & serious weekend. The busy part? The girls had their Nutcracker audition. Oh, for the simplicity of 'do the pony' and 'do the duck' in pre-ballet at the YMCA. Now, we do ballet three times a week (almost six hours of instruction), not including our Saturdays which will be decimated until Nutcracker is finished. Not that I am complaining. It is hard for my girls to be passed over (they are 'pre-pointe' while most girls at the school are en pointe at their age). Secret Vatican Spy- ballerina extraordinaire- what am I doing wrong? Should I watch Dance Moms for pointers? just kidding. I think.

Sunday afternoon after church and church and more church, my daughters sang two songs at the hospital memorial service for 9/11 first responders. If I do say so myself, they did well under the pressure while singing in front of two chiefs of police, a fire battalion chief, various armed service members and some parishioners who joined us. Their version of the national anthem was well-received. As good Byzantine Catholics, they faced what they were singing to, the flag (ad orientem joke- haha?). To make it a true family affair, I was going to sing as well, but the baby has been quite under the weather, and she wouldn't stop clinging to me. So the final song went to priest-husband who was leading the memorial.

Being unemployed this semester, I am looking for lots of ways to save money anywhere I can  So, I saved 30 cents a can by buying plum tomatoes instead of the cheapest marinara at Trader Joe's. I was prepared to puree them with my new birthday immersion blender (thanks F! I have been making morning smoothies with it- a Vita-mix is not in my future any time soon) and make my famous spaghetti with hamburger meat, onions, mushrooms and black olives. I cooked the meat and onions in one pot so I could skim off the fat (I'm no Pioneer Woman), and I started sauteing my mushrooms in another. I always drain my can of olives and put them in with the mushrooms right away so I have a place to put the drained hamburger fat and so I won't eat all the olives before dinner! I put my whole tomatoes in with the mushrooms and started using the immersion blender. Whoops. My sauce was sort of a strange color with pureed mushrooms and black olives. Better sauce next time!

A theological thought: please get educated about the Catholic faith before you say something silly under the guise of knowing what the Church teaches. This weekend, I fast-forwarded (Hulu) through the film Saint of 9/11, a documentary about the life and death of Fr. M Judge. A policeman was giving his testimony about the day. He had rushed to a Catholic church, looking for a priest to administer the last rites to a dying person. No priest was to be found, but the church secretary told him, "In an emergency, anyone can administer last rites." The policeman was amazed to be "promoted" like that. Um, sorry. Baptism is the only sacrament that anyone can administer in an emergency. Whether God would allow someone to damn himself to hell because a priest couldn't be found for confession and last rites is another issue altogether. I believe that, through God's infinite mercy and our efficacious prayers, that man and the 'Falling Man' and many others are in the comfort of God's presence. Even before I became Catholic, I thought the concept of Purgatory ('Heaven's waiting room') was logical; I have never thought much of 'limbo,' though. So if a priest says to you, "stop praying for the deceased during the rosary, he is already in heaven as a saint," just smile a bit and go on with the intentions. And save a few prayers for the soul of that priest who does not seem to understand that all have sinned and need the help of our prayers. God is just and merciful; we shouldn't err on either side. Trust in God's mercy and love. Pray for His mercy to overcome His wrath and justice.


  1. This is a great post. How wonderful the girls are with this experience. It inspires others to step out and do something intense. God Bless you all.

  2. yay! i'm not the only one who does randomness posts!

  3. I don't know if you've ever heard of Demand Studios, but they offer freelance writing positions. They also offer copy editor positions if you have experience. I signed up in May and haven't seen much worth writing lately - they put titles in and you write to suit the titles. But they just had a "title dump" this week, so there is more available.

    The pay you $15/article to write eHow articles, and put the money into PayPal twice a week. Sometimes you can even find articles on Catholic topics! It's not much money, but it's
    something you can do at your own pace when the kids go to bed. Here is a link to an article I wrote and the application page for Demand Studios:

  4. Hahaha, most (if not ALL) of my posts are random. As are my comments :)

    I don't know if you made (or wanted to make) a "real" pasta sauce out of the canned tomatoes (adding herbs, onions, etc), or if it works for you to just use 'em straight out of the can.

    If you're curious on making a sauce with them from the can....the other day, DH found a recipe for a delicious sauce using canned tomatoes:

    We'll be concentrating on the sauce part, not the actual pasta part.

  5. I can remember being picked over a lot for ballet. It was no fun and realizing that plenty of famous dancers were "late bloomers" didn't help much. I don't miss the heartbreak of ballet, but I'm sure thankful for the coordination now that I'm an organist.

    Have you asked your daughters' instructors if there are any stretches/exercises they can do at home to help strengthen them for pointe? We used to stretch and do exercises while Mom read to us or while we were watching TV when we were teens.

  6. jkm- I'll look at that site- thanks

    rabbit- I always add tons of stuff to my sauce, but would always start with basic marinara- so I thought I would break free and make it almost from scratch- my sis maeks everything from scratch, trying to copy her...I'm learning (thanks for the link!)

    Alice- my girls do lots of stretching at home- I think part of the problem is that they are in choir and Shakespeare as well- so our life isn't 100% ballet- they are also not in the Spring ballet (dad said pick one full length ballet per year)- I just have to trust that they are getting the skills to expand their ballet life when they are 18- but for now, they are jack of all trades, masters of none

  7. I found my vitamix on Craigslist for $50. If you search every day, sooner or later a deal will come up. I really got a steal, but every once in a while I see them for around $150. I use mine 3-4 times per week. Having said that, I use my immersion blender frequently. For pureed soups, I love it because I only have to get one pot dirty. The vitamix is easy to clean, but it does still have to be cleaned.

  8. How old are your daughters, again?

  9. svspy- they are 11 and 12 (summer birthdays)--- they are taking their first prepointe class- most of the 12 year olds are en pointe--- I think one of the problems is that we have a life outside of 12 year old just wants to be en pointe- I see her quitting ballet at 18, but the 11 year old is more ambitious...we shall see

  10. A little late to comment, but at their age there is NO WAY they should be using pointe shoes. Their feet are still too young. The English ballet exam requirements don't even include pointe work until intermediate level - that's after pre-primary, primary, grades 1-5 and foundation, so we're talking 14/15 y/o before pointe shoes enter the picture. And even then it's only a small portion of the exams - they wear regular ballet shoes for the rest.

  11. Precentrix- I don't know if you'll come back to find this response- but thanks!

    The 'culture' of our school is Russian- the artistic director just sent her 10 year old daughter to boarding school in Russia because the US isn't disciplined enough with its ballet standards- it is just sad that my 11 and 12 year olds feel so behind...but they are still having fun choreographing a mini-Nutcracker with cousins


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