How to Get Up in the Morning

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 10:07 AM Comments (62)

The other morning, I went to my daughter's room to wake her up.  She was dead asleep, nestled into her quilts.  I spoke her name, and instantly she was upright, her dark eyes darting with merriment.  She even did this nutty snap-that-turns-into-a-finger-gun thing, like someone warming up the crowd at the Voulez Vous Lounge in Eureka Springs, AR : "Hey, there, Mama-jama!  No sleepyheads here!  How ya doing this beautiful A in the M?  Don't forget to tip your waitress!"

Where we got her was, see, one day this giant seed pod drifted out of the sky and into the back yard, and when we opened it up, she was inside, wide awake. The only thing we can guess is that she is a foundling from...READ MORE

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Praying Like the Devil

Friday, February 22, 2013 8:00 AM Comments (48)

4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

 

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,”he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

 

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your...READ MORE

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Here We Are

Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:35 AM Comments (51)

In my post about reading classic literature to children, one reader responded:

Sigh...  I'm coming at this from a totally different angle now, as child #5 is moderately dyslexic.  As we move up into slightly more advanced literature, he is really struggling with complex sentence and paragraph formations.  My usual standby is listen and read at the same time (thank you for Books on CD!!!) but even that doesn't always work.  I've gotten to the point now where, so help me, I provide him with a summary of the chapter first, which he reads, and then goes on to read/listen to the actual chapter.  It seems to be the only way to provide him with a mental framework that he can "hang" the more...READ MORE

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Swollen Gums and the Holy Ghost

Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:00 AM Comments (105)

The other day, my husband and I went out for possibly the least romantic date ever.  We went to Staples to see if Windows 8 is really as dumb as we've heard, and then we went to Walmart to pick up a toilet snake, and came out just in time to prevent some drunk lady from breaking into our car.  (She would have been sorely disappointed, since the most valuable thing in the trunk is a half a bag of charcoal briquettes.)  Then we got some kind of damp chicken wings.  While we ate them, we had a cheery conversation including the following topics:  a guy who developed a technique for profiling serial killers; the fallout of the Vietnam war, the sex abuse scandal, and teen pregnancy.  Then,...READ MORE

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Fixing the Classics?

Friday, February 15, 2013 10:47 AM Comments (74)

Every so often, someone decides that it's time to "fix" Huckleberry Finn.  You can't have that n-word in there, especially if you're going to be reading it at school -- especially if you're going to be reading it aloud.

Or can you?  Since I'm not black and I don't have to put up with racial tension of any kind, maybe I'm making the problem out to be simpler than it really is.  But anyone who's actually read the book will easily understand that (a) Mark Twain used that word because the people he was writing about used that word; and (b) Jim is more noble and intelligent than most of the white characters in the story.

It would be a horrible shame to simply miss out on reading this book;...READ MORE

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Happy VaLENTine's Day

Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:34 AM Comments (27)

Get it? Because it's Lent, but it's also Valentine's Day!  Yes, yes, Valentine's Day is a made-up holiday, but it couldn't hurt to at least find out whether your beloved cares about it -- and if so, do something nice.  

But  not too nice!  Because it's Lent!

Well, my husband and I are just gonna celebrate Valentine's Day on Sunday, because Sundayisn'treallypartofLent,there,Isaidit.  But if you gotta do something today, here are a few ideas for how to combine romance and suffering, sweetness and pain.

CAROB  Remember carob?  It looks like chocolate that's been sitting in a dusty corner for a while, and it tastes like a chocolately dusty corner.  Give your significant other a satiny,...READ MORE

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Goodbye, Papa

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:03 AM Comments (54)

On the news, they keep saying that Benedict XVI has been pope for "a mere eight years."  Yes, and my eight-year-old has only known his father for a mere eight years.  Doesn't seem that short to him.

I was about four years old when John Paul II was elected pope.  My mother hung his smiling picture in our bedroom, and I half thought he was my grandfather -- he had the same round head, the same crinkled eyes and broad grin.  I grew up knowing that this was our papa who loved us and who would always be there.  Even when I wandered away from the Church, that kindly smile and strong shoulders reminded me that I was the one who was wrong -- that back home, back in the Church, was solid ground....READ MORE

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Lenten Rookie Mistakes

Friday, February 08, 2013 12:19 PM Comments (63)

Apparently the number of "active Catholics" declined by 5% recently.  I suspect that one reason for this is that, thanks in part to our suddenly more vocal bishops, at least 5% of Catholics have suddenly become aware of what it actually means to be an active Catholic -- and have realized that they don't actually want any part of that. 

Either way, I feel like I can't walk ten feet without bumping into an enthusiastic new convert, which is delightful, and so encouraging!  Welcome, everybody!  We papists have a little saying:  Venite intus; horribilis est!

Heh.  Anyway, you may be looking forward to your first Lent with enthusiasm but some trepidation.  If so, you're ahead of the game: ...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.