Friday, January 28, 2011

Phoning It In

Via Pastor Peperkorn (on Facebook,) an iPhone app for Confession. What do my Catholic friends think?

I enjoy using the internet for keeping in touch with people that live far away, and I obviously enjoy broadcasting my thoughts and ideas via blogging. But I hope we don't start using things like Skype or cell phones to replace the importance of the physical interaction between the pastor (representing God,) and the congregation. Not that I'm saying that this app does that.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mental Exercises

It's been a tough month here at la Casa de Evil Genius. Mr. BTEG still continues to suffer health issues; although new medical possibilities seem to be on the horizon, we still have a little longer to wait on them. Thus in many ways I feel at times like a single mother. There are a lot of things that my dear husband just is not physically capable of doing at the moment. I am extremely thankful that Mr. BTEG is able to be gainfully employed, at least.

Of course, we're also feeling the same financial crunch that a lot of other families are. In some odd way, I do enjoy the challenge of stretching the budget, finding ways to lower our gas and electric bills, looking everywhere for things to cut. Although, as some author who I can't remember put it, it resembles the exhilaration the Texans must have felt at the Alamo. Still, if you are a fighter, a challenge can give you something to live for, to work for.

Too much stress is not good for anyone. As a person with mental health issues, I have found it particularly hard to deal with. I try to be involved in as few outside activities as possible, to put as few demands on myself as possible. Health and finances, one could say, are attacking from within. I was really letting things get to me, until I saw how much I could be doing to help, often in small ways, but still making things better. It's amazing how often we see the problems of others as being so easy to solve, but can't see a way around our own. I think that's because it's hard sometimes to change what you've become used to, even if it puts you in a bad place. Certainly we value different things, so what one person would find easy to give up, another might declare next to impossible. Still, I remember being in group therapy and seeing people whose difficult situations were exacerbating their mental health issues, and yet the one thing they couldn't seem to do was take a step to bring things around. This is certainly not an upbeat, sun-will-come-out-tomorrow kind of post. This is just me saying that I've found some adjustments I can make which hopefully will improve my quality of life.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Help Me Out

So can anyone name an special occasion for girls at which the girl wears a veil on the back of her head, besides a Catholic First Communion? I ask because the latest American Girl catalog is out, and there is a doll-sized cream dress with a veil. Of course, the dress has a lilac sash, which is not the custom with First Communion dresses, but what's up with the veil, then? The interesting thing to me is that they didn't have to include the veil. Any little girl making her First Communion could easily pin a handkerchief or a piece of tulle on the back of her doll's head. Or even get a bridal style dress that is made for the 18" doll. Of course AG wouldn't make money on an item they didn't produce.

It also comes with a charm that says "Proud." I don't get the current trend of flinging "positive" words around everywhere, either. You know what I mean, the large wooden shelf sitters that spell out LOVE or BELIEVE. Or the little rocks with "inspirational" words on them. Is wearing a charm with a word on it really going to induce more of the sentiment expressed?

I am reminded of a special outfit made several years ago for AG's doll Bitty Baby. It very clearly conveyed baptism dress when you looked at it, being a long white dress with white bonnet. I could see why they wouldn't want to call it a baptism dress, and I imagine they would be sued if they made an out-and-out First Communion dress. I still find the veil weird.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Education and Being Exceptional

So would you go to see Juan Williams and Hugh Hewitt if you had the chance? They are coming to the greater Cleveland area on some kind of tour to promote changing our educational system to promote school choice and America's ranking internationally. I know Juan Williams has been mugged by liberalism, but from some things I've read (I don't watch Fox News or any other TV news program) it seems he is still toeing the liberal party line on a lot of things. Hugh Hewitt, I don't remember too much of what I've read or heard about him except that he was pushing Mitt Romney, which is not a plus in my book.

I'd also like your input on what you think "American exceptionalism" means. Should Americans strive to be number one? Yes. Will we always get there? No. For that matter, why should be be exceptional in anything other than our system of government? Yes, we've been blessed in that we have a large country with many resources and strategical advantages (such as ports in the Atlantic and Pacific.) But I don't think America has to or will be number one in everything, all the time. What do you think about that?

Monday, January 03, 2011

Work Smarter

Mr. BTEG is very good at getting new phones for free or at very low cost when it comes time to renew our cell phone contracts. Thus, every member of the Evil Genius family is now equipped with a smart phone. I am amazed at how much I love my new phone. There is so much to do on these crazy things! Right now, I especially love being able to read books on the phone, and the to-do list. I seem to function better when I have a concrete list set up. Maybe it helps me focus. I loved the Franklin Day Planner, but it got too expensive, and while a to-do list handwritten in a notebook is functional, I'm liking the smart phone route better. And one of the things I have on my to-do list is to blog. :)