Stealth Lit. 101

04/19/2012 Comments (45)

Behold my triumph in a stealth supplemental classical education!  My nine-year-old son, the one affectionately known as "Rat Boy," came up to me and said, "I really liked that thing you put up, the one about the cows and everything."  He meant the great G. M. Hopkins poem "Pied Beauty," which I had printed out, matted on construction paper, and tacked over his gerbil's tank without comment.

He and his siblings certainly did not want to memorize poems when we were homeschooling!  Boy, did they not want to.   But I'll be darned if I didn't  hear my seven-year-old (also known as "Rat Boy."  What can I say?  They act ratty) muttering, "What the hammer?  What the chain?  In what furnace was...READ MORE

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Prudence and Generosity in Conversation

04/19/2012 Comments (43)

"Ruh roh, someone got quoted out of context."  That was my first thought when I read Jennifer Fulwiler's words in the recent Washington Post story about NFP.  Sure enough, Jen is not entirely pleased about how her comment about clingy children and outdated marketing will sound to someone steeped in a secular worldview.

As she says on her blog,

[T]he contraceptive worldview is like saying that loaded guns can be used as toys as long as you put blanks in the chamber; in contrast, the Catholic view says that guns are not toys, and should always be handled with grave respect. Now, to continue with that analogy, in these latest chats about Catholicism and NFP, folks are seeking to...READ MORE

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04/17/2012 Comments (23)

Spring as sprung, the tulips are in bloom, the bees and ants are working away, and the lilac tree outside my window is heavy with purple blossoms.  And every time I see that tree, I breathe a little prayer to a merciful God:  please, Lord, no robins this year.

We had robins last year.  I was utterly delighted:  right there outside our very window, something better than any science kit or home school nature unit.  There were the busy parents, manically dashing two and fro, following some blind compulsion to build and prepare.  With baffling skill and speed, the nest quickly formed, and it was a beautiful thing:   round as a cup, solid and lovely, a work of art.

And then the eggs.  Four...READ MORE

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The Atypical Mom

04/13/2012 Comments (59)

I've been following the "never worked a day in her life" story with a sense of dread  -- not because I think that Hilary Rosen's opinion is especially significant, but because I knew I was going to end up writing about it.  How dreary, how tedious, to have to say one more time:  no, stay-at-home moms aren't all lazy, or parasites, or fabulously wealthy.  No, feminism doesn't mean that women should be forced to earn a paycheck, rather than forced to stay at home.  And no, you really can't manage a household (especially a single-income one) without learning exactly how money works, even if it's not your name on the paycheck.

I hate writing about this kind of thing, because I'm always...READ MORE

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Five Ways Romney Can Sweeten the Deal

04/12/2012 Comments (84)

It must be kind of weird to be Mitt Romney right now.

There are people who won't vote for him because they actually, actively, enthusiastically support Obama, because they are Death Eaters oh pardon me, nuanced, neo-patriotic intellectuals who courageously support a global progressive agenda.  And there are people who actually, actively, enthusiastically  support Romney because they trust him and believe in what he stands for.

But hundreds of thousands of conservative voters who intend to vote for Mitt Romney are at their doctors' offices right now, begging to be signed up for the next clinical trials of Propranolol, a drug which may help people forget traumatic events.  Such as...READ MORE

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Use It Today!

04/10/2012 Comments (28)

This morning in the shower, I reached for the wash cloth, and realized that I had left out my Special Soap -- a bar of expensive, creamy, scented stuff, pale pink, molded into proportions that would make a tubby bar of Ivory weep and vow to join a gym.  This bar of soap was part of set of four.  It was a thank-you gift from a dear friend, and it had come in a decorative box, which I had been storing, unopened, on the highest shelf in the house.  I had been saving it.

But last weekend, after a very, very long week of cooking, sewing, cleaning, scheming, shopping, and general festive berserking, I decided to take a real, live bath.  A bath at home, without any rubber duckies or Barbie...READ MORE

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For You

04/06/2012 Comments (2)

For You

by Mitali Perkins, reprinted with kind permission of the author 


for you,
whose Hand made salty water swell
and burst upon the sand, shaping mountains into shells,
here is the hand that slapped you.

how dusty, clumsy, weak
this hand, twisting thorns into a crown for you,
whose Head imagined panther, peacock, pomegranate,
here is the head that screamed with rage
when Pilate brought you forth.

how frail and dull
this skull, these eyes, this mouth of spit for you,
whose Face set like flint to see
my fist
my sneer
the crooked iron sharpness of this heart
for you.

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Tradition, Tradition!

04/05/2012 Comments (66)

Ah,  Holy Week.  Ah, tradition.  How many of these ancient rituals do you follow in your parish?


Confession Line Noisemaker

A middle aged Knights-of-Columbus-type with an expression of bland good cheer on his face will station himself at the end of the pew closest to the confessional to perform the following traditional chant, to the accompaniment of clattering car keys, while you are trying to examine your conscience:

ff, rubato, un poco agitato:

harumph, harumph, harumph
mutter mutter JINGLE JINGLE
cough cough cough


sotto voce:

Hey, hey, how's it going?  How's it going? How's the wife?
Nice buncha kids you got, God bless, God...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.