Confused?

Oh, the reason all these old posts are now published on 7/2//2017 is that I just discovered them (all of them drafted by E) and thought they were worth sharing.  Sorry for any confusion… M really is taking over, but M is not terribly tech-savvy and also really doesn’t like draft posts hanging around the blog.   I’ll figure out how to make it right when I get the chance righting a lot of other things in life and home, but frankly, it’s not really a high priority of mine. So, just read, try not to be too confused, and forgive any “blogging foul” I just committed…

Note well, all of these posts are years old. EM has not had an accident on her bike recently that I know of and is actually getting around our part of the town quite well on it.  She also does not make costumes or play dress up with her little brother so much anymore, being a high schooler.

 

M

 

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“For the Blog”

 

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The children created this costume all by themselves, took pictures, and presented it to me for the blog.  It was totally their idea.  We had nothing to do with it.

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It is not our style to outfit children with Clorox container oxygen masks.  Nope.

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They also took pictures of Emma (our mini labradoodle) jumping for your amusement.  These pictures do not do her justice.  Emma is famous around these here parts for leaping over a 4 ft. door or wall without even touching it… or, you know, jumping onto a counter from a stand-still.  Yeah,… she’s pretty much part-feline.

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M is taking over

Hi, y’all, it’s M

I am just writing something extra so this post gets to the top of the blog again.  I would only add I wish I still looked like my pictures on this blog, but some of my hair seems to be missing….

I am the other half of “With Honor and Love”, the guy who wrote the rather silly open letter to the kitchen sink on this blog about five years ago but what seems like a lifetime ago.  E, the founder of this project and my other half,  gave everyone a hint at what was going on in July 2013 with “Now, Something Completely Different,” and then we just abandoned this blog, or seemingly so.

The only reason I am writing now is because this blog has been abandoned for five years, and I either need to post on it or cancel it since I am paying good money for this piece of cyberspace. So, there’s not going to be many pictures until I feel like posting them.   Nothing clever.  Hopefully, just some real talk that may or may not encourage someone out there.

So, since July 2013, here is a quick overview of what happened.  This part 1– what happened from July 2013 through December 2013

  1.  My new job was too good to be true.  Turns out, the reason it was so easy to get hired was because the position churned through lawyers.  The company has a reputation for hiring and firing.  It was really sink or swim, dog eat dog, and, at least at that point in my life, I couldn’t take that.  Too stressful.  It was either leave work without a job or just be a shell of myself.   I also have to admit that maybe the reason I didn’t ultimately succeed at my first job, or at all in my second job  was because I had some bad habits– a whole plethora of them– I needed to work on. Now, I had kicked the biggest one when I moved, but only the sense I wasn’t doing it, not that my inner attitude or all the other habits that go with it had actually changed.   Such bad habits were tolerated in my old position; not so much in this one.  On the hole, I am grateful that, eventually, I had to leave that position in a hurry.  The underemployment (see below) was hard, but it taught me some valuable lessons and made me a better worker, a better person,  and a better lawyer.
  2. My beloved job writing part time, feeling righly jilted because I was neglecting it to try desperately to keep my main job, cut back my workload in a punitive action.  More on that later, but I am happy to say trust seems to be restored.
  3. As the job came cascading down, so did some other things.  My son, who has ADHD, was accused of engaging in some verbally aggressive and threatening behavior. He was alone with some other boys who happened to be brothers when he supposedly did these things.  After looking in to it, it seemed like a mutual scrap to us, but it concerned us terribly.  I didn’t respond well to him.  I blamed him and assumed the worst.   It’s hard for me to understand people like my son, especially since I was a very good boy and worked very hard to be the “perfect” boy when I was that age.  He’s a good kid– usually– but with ADHD and all, perfection just isn’t even on his radar (nor should it be– I now wish it hadn’t been on mine).  Still, the incident shook us enough to get some help through a well known organization in this town. We needed that help for our family at that critical time.
  4. We started attending a Latin Mass parish regularly.  I had some serious reservations about it (and, frankly, sometimes I still do).  Not that I don’t love the liturgy and appreciate the customs the Latin Mass community keeps alive, but it is commonly known that there is what I would call a “rigorist” streak in those circles, and rigorism is the last thing I needed to help with said bad habits mentioned above. Still, I’ve never felt so welcomed, nor gone to a Latin Mass parish so alive and joyful, as the one I have been privileged to attend for these past several years.  The beauty of the liturgy there really does flow over in to whole parish life, at least as much as one might expect this side of heaven.
  5. Right before my last day at work, someone lost control on the icy freeway and hit our car.  Although our beloved Santa Fe was fully driveable and apparently only dented, the car was totaled (by someone who, inconveniently for us, had forgotten to renew her insurance).  We hated to lose that car, but the few thousand dollars we got were a Godsend.  Between it and the “departure” package my old company graciously gave me, we could hang on financially for a few months before having to move in with family (which was and  absolutely remains my nightmare scenario– love my families (both sides) dearly, but it’s a machismo guy thing of mine to value my independence).
  6. We worked things out with my old partners (job 1).  What E wrote in July ’13 reflects my own feelings at the time, but after thinking about my time there more, I believe that although what we agreed on was less than the book value of my shares, I think was fair on the whole, and it allowed me to pay off a lot of debt I owed.  That’s all a really wish to say, other than the healing of that relationship can now continue, and I am grateful for that.
  7. It became apparent by the end of this year that E’s grandmother and mother would be leaving to go to God in weeks or months, and not years.
  8. So, Christmas that year was bittersweet.  The time of healing and rest had ended– the ordeal was coming back in full force.  The question was, this time, could I face the consequences of my own decisions and take life on its own terms, or would I try to hide and escape as I had in the past? Still, I think both E and I were determined to handle adversity a little better this time around, and, in writing this, it is apparent that God was already in a mysterious way working to give us the support we would need in the upcoming months….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overdue Update

J.M.J.

I miss my mom.  She died on Ascension Thursday of this year (May 29, 2014) of leiomyosarcoma, a rare and deadly cancer.  The more time passes, the more I miss her.  Please pray for my family as we strive to live without her.

One thing my mom really wanted to do right before she died was send my girls to camp.  She really insisted.  So we signed them up for a Catholic camp, and they are there this week.  Thank you, Mom!

I am so grateful for the time alone with Charlie while they’re gone.  It

Pondering Mantilla

So the girls and I have started to wear mantillas or hats to church this year.  I was initially quite resistant to doing so because I saw it as a distraction (for both me and others), and I didn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.  It’s been my personal experience that mantillas are an outward sign of an interior “holier-than-thou” attitude.  I’ve known women who wear their mantillas militantly to “set a good example” to others, which has always struck me as terribly prideful and self-righteous… not to mention an unnecessary distraction, calling attention to themselves instead of Our Lord during Sacred Liturgy.  And then there were the reasons they gave for wearing mantillas, which never made sense to me.

1.) A woman’s hair is her beauty and it distracts from the Mass.

I never found this a convincing argument because there are a lot of things more distracting in the Mass than a woman’s hair (i.e., cute babies, some guy with a really long unusual beard, graphic T-shirts, excessive sneezing/coughing, playing children, fussing children, etc.).  Also, as I mentioned earlier, sometimes the lady wearing the mantilla is actually the distraction.  This argument led to an inside joke in our family anytime we encountered any distraction inside or outside of Mass: “Putza mantilla on it!”

2.)  The mantilla is a woman’s bridal veil

 

St. Paul tells us that women should cover their heads before the Lord and when praying.

1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 2 I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head–it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil. 7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) 10 That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels. 11 (Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12 for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.) 13 Judge for yourselves; is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that for a man to wear long hair is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her pride? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God.  (1 Corinthians 11:1-16)

One interpretation of this is that it equalized women.  The prostitutes were known by their shaved heads.  Even if they tried to leave town and go someplace else, they would be recognized.  But, in the Church, with heads covered, all women are equal before the Lord.

4th of July Accident

On the morning of the fourth of July, the children participated in a neighborhood bike parade.  Elizabeth has recently discovered that she can now ride my (adult-sized) mountain bike and proudly decorated it and rode it in the parade.  Later that evening, she and Charlie decided to kill time waiting for fireworks by riding around the neighborhood… this time, however, without her helmet.

We have a neighbor who decided to grow a vine from their mailbox to the tree in their yard, training the vine to grow over the sidewalk.  As it’s now summertime, the vine has grown in considerably, crowding out half the sidewalk.  As Elizabeth was flying downhill and passed this spot, the vine wrapped itself around her front wheel (several times) and threw her from the bike.  According to Charlie, the bike landed on top of her and she was either stunned or knocked out temporarily.  She got up and walked herself home, telling us that she had “fallen off” her bike.  She wasn’t crying and was trying to keep herself composed.  She had a good-size “egg” starting on and around her eye and was pretty cut up and bruised.  Charlie brought his bike home and then went back for her bike.  He said he unwrapped “three meters” of vines from her tire and walked it home, cutting his knee in the process.  We are so grateful Charlie was with her.

A week later, her eye was finally open again (although half her eyeball was filled with blood), but she was complaining of blurred vision, getting worse, and dizziness.  This morning, she even ran into the refrigerator.  We took her to the doctor, who sent us to the ER, where they did a CT scan and some other tests.  He was concerned she could have fractured her occipital bone and/or had internal bleeding on the brain.  He told us about a child he remembered from his days in residency, who had had a similar injury that had bled internally, killing the child a week later.  Thankfully, her CT scan showed no fractures or internal bleeding.  She has to see an eye specialist, but is otherwise on the mend.  When I think of how much worse this could have been, my heart surges with thanks.  She could have been blind, paralyzed, had broken bones, or even died.

She was not alone when it happened.  Clearly, she was not alone.  Not only was Charlie with her, God was with her.  She’s going to be fine.  Charlie’s fine.  The bike is fine.  She got to enjoy fireworks with the family.  She has good doctors looking out for her–and health insurance to help with the costs.  We had ice packs and were able to afford the extra bandages she needed.  We have a car to take her to her doctor’s office, the ER, and the eye doctor’s office.  We didn’t even have a wait when we went to the ER (which is pretty much a miracle, in my experience).  She got extra TLC, a ride in a wheelchair, and got out of chores for a while.  There’s been a lot of good in this.  And… we doubt she’ll neglect to wear her helmet in the near future, so win-win.