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Monday, November 19, 2007

have you received this one?

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This email has been making the rounds lately. I know several people who have received it.


"There is a terrible, anti-Catholic movie called the "Golden Compass" coming out in early December, aimed at children and labeled as a family movie. This movie is based on a series of books by an atheist British author (Phillip Pullman) whose goal in writing the books is to be the "Anti-Narnia" series and to lead children into atheism.The main villains in the series of books are the Magisterium, Cardinals, and the Pope, and includes a heroine that is a young girl who sets out to kill God. The truly sick thing about the movie is that they have made it APPEAR as if it is an innocent film, with exciting effects and a fairytale story. They have removed from the movie the appalling anti-Catholic/Christian themes from the book. The goal of the movie is to hook unsuspecting families into viewing the film so that children will then want to read the books (and probably buy merchandise) . Nicole Kidman stars in it, and Scholastic Books is behind it.I heard about this from Bill Donahue of the Catholic League who was on "The World Over" on EWTN. The goal is to let as many people as possible know about this horrible film and to have it bomb at the box office. The makers of the movie are hoping it will be as big as Harry Potter or the DaVinci Code. Let's pray that it won't! Please tell as many people as possible to avoid this terrible film. Thanks!"
We actually discussed this email this morning at our book club since this email is really "out there". Here is some food for thought.... a few points we discussed:

This is "Hollywood's" interpretation of this book.

Viewing a two hour movie is not going to turn children with a spiritual upbringing into athiests.

Creating controversy about a movie is the very thing that will push a movie into a box office hit.

This is a form of censorship....in a country where we are supposed to value free speech & free press. Should we throw all books we don't like into a pile and light a match? Shall we burn Phillip Pullman( the author) at the stake?
I don't subscribe to that mindset and I teach my children to judge for themselves by way of critical thinking.

I am Catholic and my children attend a Catholic school. I strive to teach them values by real life examples. I don't feel threatened by a work of "Fiction" or a "Hollywood" movie.

A lot of young leaders in the Catholic church today currently subscribe to extremely conservative values, which I don't share. We need more tolerance & compassion in this world-not less
"The goal of the movie is to hook unsuspecting families into viewing the film so that children will then want to read the books (and probably buy merchandise)." This is nothing new...... sorry to say, but this is one of the goals of all "family" movies.....Disney has perfected this into a fine art form from Happy Meals to the merchandise in their own Disney stores.
Furthermore, who is Bill Donahue of the Catholic League... a little research on Wiki revealed this:
William A. Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has made 23 guest appearances on TV news programs in 2004. Donohue uses his appearances primarily to attack gays and progressives. He has referred to the "gay death style," remarked, "God forbid we'd run out of little gay kids," claimed that Senator John Kerry "never found an abortion he couldn't justify," and claimed that "Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular ... Hollywood likes anal sex."
Hear the sarcastic tone in my voice when I say that isn't he just an example of Christian tolerance & compassion?
These types of emails drive me crazy. Who writes these things? Being the cynic that I am, I bet an anti-Catholic wrote this to help the movie become a hit as a way of flipping the finger at them.
So ridiculous.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

eat fresh...

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Grammie & Grampie L. had the brilliant idea of giving the kids "Subway" gift cards for Halloween. They were thrilled with their cards... they both love Subway and I like Subway because it is fresh and does not contain those nasty trans fats in so many other fast foods. Last week I picked up & delivered Subway to school at lunch time as a special treat. Both kids enjoyed having a break from the usual packed lunch. I ate lunch with Tyler in his classroom(that's my diet coke in the pic). Hunter was 'monitoring' a grade 3 class for lunch period, so she was eating her lunch with the grade 3s. Thanks G & G!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

in remembrance....

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On Friday I attended a celebration at the children's school for Remembrance Day. Yes, in Catholic schools, we call gatherings of students, staff & parents a "celebration". Actually, it is my favorite celebration because I think the school does a nice job of helping its little learners understand what Remembrance Day is all about. They invite members of the Canadian Armed Forces as guest speakers, they sing songs, recite John McCray's poem......... and pray. And I love how the emphasis is on peace in our world.


One of the songs chosen for this year's celebration was Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind". Originally written in 1962, this song's message resonates as much in 2007 as it did in 1962. Dylan performed this song for Pope John Paul II and the Pope commented on its powerful message. It sure was beautiful to hear an auditorium full of elementary school children sing this song. I saw many parents dabbing their eyes with tissue.


How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, 'n' how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, 'n' how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, 'n' how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.


How many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea?
Yes, 'n' how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind,
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

feeling in a holiday mood today...

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so i refreshed the look of my blog just for the season. did a little christmas shopping today. thinking about how I am going to decorate. discovered that my favorite line of environmentally-friendly cleaning supplies has released a holiday line in scents just for the season.... can't wait to try this one...... cinnamon bark. i also changed the title of my blog back to what it was originally was when i started blogging in 2005. i forgot what i used for a password for that blog and i could not access it, so i had to start over with a new blog.... and i couldn't get the title back.... but that blog must have finally expired and the title released. happy to have my blog title back. never did care much for mindless chatter, but it was all i could think of at the time. picked up the new issue of canadian living magazine today...... the issue with the cookies on the front. starting to make up my list of christmas cookies for this year....new recipes I want to try. wishing I could be home for the christmas cookie exchange this year.....of course... I could start a cookie exchange here.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

deceptively delicious....

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I picked up this cookbook at Costco the other day. I heard about it from a friend who saw Jessica Seinfield on Oprah talking about it. The deception is that the recipes have added vegetable & fruit purees "hidden" in them as a way of getting more fruits and vegetables into your children and just making food healthier overall. Althought the concept in not new, I do love the retro look & feel of this cookbook and most of the recipes are very easy & straightforward....so easy that Hunter could easily tackle many of them on her own. We made the macaroni & cheese recipe together for dinner the other night. It was fun cooking together and the meal was ready in about 20 minutes as promised. What I enjoy most of all is that this cookbook is so fun to look thru and very inspiring to cook from....all natural ingredients. Love that!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

so very proud of her...

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She is so lucky to have found her passion at such a young age. She loves to skate and she has translated that love into synchro skating..... a really fun team sport. She is skating on two different teams this year-the third year in a row. She will have the opportunity to compete at the national level with the Novice team this year. On the Juvenile team, she is one of the oldest skaters and the program comes easily. On the Novice team, she is one of the youngest skaters and the program and speed of the team is very challenging for her. But she never complains. She goes out and gives her best at every practice. A few weeks ago, on the little team, she was towing a line of skaters up the ice when she fell backwards and got a little whiplash. But she kept right on skating to finish the practice and it was only when we got home that she complained that her neck was sore. Grammie & Grampie came to visit, but she didn't ask to skip practice. This sport demands a big commitment from it's skaters... it starts at the end of August and goes right until the end of March. Missing practice is very frowned upon because the whole team depends on you to be there to fill your spot in the lineup. This year our practice times are 9:00 am 2 hour practice on Saturday morning, where we leave the house at 8:15 am; Sundays sees us leaving the house at 7:15 am to get on the ice at 8 am for a 2.5 hour practice followed by 40 minutes of off-ice work. This means no sleeping in....... all week....... until the end of March. This 11-year-old gets up no matter how tired, and showers, gets her practice dress on, fills her water bottle and packs her bag.......all without being asked or reminded and with a smile on her face (wish I could say the same for me.....I am so not a morning person...) We snake thru the streets of this city early on Sunday morning.....there are barely any other cars on the road....we are at Second Cup for our hot chocolate just as it opens...... and we enjoy our ride to other side of the city in the quiet of early morning. Ron and I are constantly impressed by the level of dedication she has to her sport...... she makes it all seem so easy........we are so very proud of her.

Friday, November 02, 2007

the story of Ethel....

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My mom brought some very special things to me on her trip out here this time.
Ethel & some christmas ornaments.
Ethel is a very special, vintage 1920's doll. She belonged to my Grandmother Ada's only sister, Ethel, who died sometime in the early 1930's when she was 14 years old of kidney disease. My Grandmother kept her sister's doll for many, many years until her death in 2002 when she left "Ethel" to me.
My family lived with my grandparents Clifford & Ada during my preschool years when my Dad was finishing his university education. I have very vivid and fond memories of those years and I remember it as a happy time. I was extremely close to my Grandmother Ada and miss her deeply still. I have memories of my Grandmother getting "Ethel" out of the attic closet once a year to clean her with a soft damp cloth. Ethel was stored in her original box and in her original clothing and I can still remember Grammie chatting to "Ethel" as she cleaned her...."now let's clean her face....".
After my grandfather passed away in 1989, Grammie left the farmhouse to move in closer to town. She would visit the farmhouse often (it was not sold, just sat empty) and on one of her visits to the farmhouse, she discovered that the mice had gotten to Ethel. The mice chewed the original box, chewed the original outfit and left mouse droppings all around poor Ethel. Grammie was terribly upset by this, and she showed me the damage when I visited next. Grammie had already thrown away Ethel's original clothing and box because they were beyond repair. I offered to take Ethel to see if I could find some clothing for her, and Grammie trusted me enough to let me try. At that time, there was no ebay of course, so I went to the local fabric store to secure a doll clothing pattern and some fabric. I decided that Ethel was not a flashy kind of doll, so a simple dress and bonnet would do. The pink outfit that she wears now is that outfit I cobbled up for her from the fabric store and it was sewn by my great aunt from a different side of my family. Ethel still has her original socks & shoes.
I left Ethel behind when I moved because I was too overwhelmed to deal with her. I didn't want anything to happen to her and I had enough to worry about. (I am ashamed to admit that I hand-carried every photo negative (over 200 films) of the kids to this province in my carry-on luggage because I could not bear the thought of anything happening to my kids' pictures during the moving process.....strangers pawing all over our stuff.....). And when I go home for the summer (twice now), I am too loaded down with stuff on the way back to have room for Ethel.
I was truly delighted when Mom lifted Ethel out of her suitcase.
I know her story; she and the memories that she embodies are dear to my heart.
She belongs here with me.
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