1. The editors of First Things like to quote their late founder, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, on the nature of public life. “The first thing to be said about public life is that it is not the first thing.” Hence, the blog languishes while real life at home is crazy. I told myself when I started that, even if I didn’t write regularly or influence anyone, the blog would not take over my real life because the blogosphere demanded attention. At least that’s one first intention about blogging that I’ve kept. So, when I vanish for a bit, please say a prayer for me; something chaotic is probably happening at home.
Which is my excuse for not posting the cute frog-and-lily-pad cookie photo on Leap Day. So, belated Happy Leap Day!
2. … and in the real world, these children are obviously in danger of starving to death before the first batch of homemade pizza (yes, I make my own dough, with yeast, it isn’t rocket science!) comes out, but aren’t they cute?
3. Also, unfortunately, occuring in the real world, is the Obamacare contraception mandate debacle, exacerbated today by the thirteen Catholic senators who voted against the Blunt amendment, which would have provided a permanent conscience clause. Earlier in the mess, I found this by Michael Ramirez, who is, hands down, my favorite political cartoonist ever. He just “gets it”.
4. In the chaos of normal life, I entirely missed posting about the Great Backyard Bird Count. A small local chain of birding stores promotes it strongly, and, apparently, so do other birding stores in other areas. We took our “usual birds for your area” checklist and counted birds on two days. They do this every year on the weekend after Valentine’s Day, you only have to count for fifteen minutes, and you can enter your counts online or by dropping off your checklist where you got it. This year, they added a really cool searchable map, so you could see where all the checklists were submitted from and what birds were reported and in what numbers. (We saw an odd duck, so we could see our actual dot when we searched for that species! The whole thing made for some really fun homeschool science lessons.)
My kids thought this was incredibly fun stuff… my DH asked, “Isn’t birdwatching supposed to be a quiet activity?” as children dashed from window to window shrieking about house finches and mallards and coots.
In a house with four kids? Um, no, “quiet” and “activity” rarely go together.
5. It isn’t often that I can say something nice about the Chinese government, but they did get something notable right lately. For some time, many orphanages have named orphans either “State” or “Party” as their family name, then something to do with their finding place as their given name. So, not only were orphans starting out without a family in a very family-oriented society, they were labelled for life as orphans, because their names were things like “Federal Street Corner.” Everyone would immediately know that the person was an orphan because of their odd name. Although my Chinese-born daughter did not have this (her family name was from the name of the county she was born in), my Chinese-born son’s family name was Guo, “country”. Continuting a positive trend lately, beginning with reports of re-naming ceremonies in India for girls named “unwanted” and such, the Chinese government has told the orphanages to give the children normal names. Thank God for little victories.
6. Our local botanical gardens had a special for February: discounted admission and all-day biking. Woo hoo! Coupled with some incredibly warm weather for February, it was a big hit with us. The two little ones are in the bike trailer (which I’m fairly sure is not rated for their combined weight, since the new guy is denser than lead)… which means I got a great workout, in spite of the gardens being rather flat, because I was hauling an extra seventy or so pounds behind me!
I will have to do a post on the photos from that day; I kept snapping neat shots, thinking, “Hey, I could put this on the blog… if I ever get back to posting regularly…”
7. And finally, a cheery sign of spring. The photo doesn’t do them justice; they were a gorgeous, deep purple that my little digital camera didn’t quite catch.
As always, many thaks to Jen for hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday, and don’t forget to go check out everyone else’s Friday musings at Conversion Diary!