Monday, February 28, 2011

World's Coolest Rosary

You, my faithful readers, know me – I cannot NOT save a plant. So yesterday as I was driving between Church #1 (the Papists) and Church #2 (the Heretics), I spotted a little shrub lying by the side of the road, and so of course after singing with the Lutherans I had to return to the spot. It was a small juniper bush with a naked root ball, and I made a huge mess of both myself and Erin Caitlyn O’Honda while rescuing it. Currently it is taking up a lot of space in Plant World, but I hope to plant it in Richard Bonomo’s yard once the ground thaws enough to dig a hole for it.  (Mad props to Kathbert for finding out the 411 on keeping junipers alive.)

It should come as no surprise that I love the color green (although blue is my very favorite), since I love plants so much. And, as my ever-increasing number of faithful readers know (I may be up to seven of you now), I also have a thing for unusual rosaries lately, so it should be no surprise that I googled the phrase “World’s Coolest Rosary” and then had to order one of these:

Yes, what could be cooler than a Lego Rosary!  All in green just like my plants!  I can't remember the exact website, but you can find it by googling "Lego rosary," and the woman makes them herself and sells them on  They are $20 plus $2 for shipping.  (Hardingfele, I don't want to hear about how you could have made one of these for me for much cheaper.)  It came with a brochure entitled "The Rosary for Children," which made me laugh.  Guess I'm just a kid at heart!
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Signs of the Times

Here are some photos from the protest when I went with Richard Bonomo on Wednesday night after choir practice.  Here are some signs:

And the back of the sign...

Here are some signs from non-state workers showing their support:

And a close-up of the sign:

And here are a couple out-of-state signs supporting us:

This sign shows all the places people have called from, ordering pizzas to donate to the protesters:

Here is a shot of the crowd hanging over the balconies:

And here is a short movie of some protesters playing instruments:

This may seem completely unrelated, but believe me, I can make it relevant:  one frond of my Boston fern is split at the top... like it's giving a peace sign to the protesters!

And this may seem unrelated as well, since these are the Cuddly Rosaries sent by Mom Hat for Anna Banana II, Jilly Moose, and OK Cap (the red ones) and the newly adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. "Smith" (the pink one)... but I have been praying for our governor's heathen soul!

And these are the new rosaries I just ordered from the Oblates of Our Lady of the Snows:  one made of black Czech beads with a relic in the crucifix that touched the (temporary) tomb of Jesus; a ladder rosary; and a St. Francis rosary with wooden beads and a San Damiano crucifix.  See?  Totally relevant!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cuddly Rosary

Here is a sample of the cuddly rosaries my mother sent for the ladies in the Hubby Hunters:

If you would like a cuddly rosary of your own, let me know.  My mom is happy to make them in whatever color you like.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Union Busting Is Disgusting!

Last night A-Joz and I made a Holy Hour at Our Lady of Perpetual Sobriety, because if there is one thing I have learned from the Pro-Life Movement, it is that you pray for your enemies before you protest. Then we went up to the Capitol Building, and it was just as crazy as we had heard! People were hanging over all the balconies on every floor, playing drums and vuvuzelas and chanting things like:

Kill the bill!
What’s disgusting? Union busting!
This is what democracy looks like!

And the signs! They were so amazing! I will have to remember to bring a camera tonight. A local pizza joint has been getting orders from all over the world, people paying for us protesters to have a bite to eat. Seriously, Malawi? I didn’t think they could afford to feed themselves, never mind us! This kindness will not be forgotten. And people from Egypt and France and even Pittsburgh with this message: “No hard feelings about the Super Bowl! Keep up the good fight!” This thing has spread way beyond our state now, because they keep saying if we fall, other states will bust their unions too. And then we can all return to the days of working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, for 35 cents an hour and no benefits. Good times.

Our esteemed governor made a statement on TV last night that didn’t seem to have much of a point beyond proving that he was a total hypocrite: he said that he wants to bust unions because when he had to deal with them on a local level, he would ask them to make concessions and they would say forget it, bring on the layoffs! Yet now the unions are willing to make concessions but he’s saying forget it, I’m bringing on the layoffs! So maybe he thinks we should get rid of governors too. Even Rich, who is a diehard Republican, said: “He wants to implement draconian permanent solutions for temporary problems.” Loser. (The governor, not Rich.) I’m glad he got punk’d by that reporter who showed him up for the psycho union buster he is.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cajun Zodiac

From Alert Reader Hardingfele.  I apparently am Okra, and my brother is a Grubworm, which sounds about right.  What do you get when you mix all these Cajun Zodiac signs together?  Burgoo!

OKRA (Dec 22 - Jan 20) Are tough on the outside but tender on the inside. Okras have tremendous influence. An older Okra can look back over his life and see the seeds of his influence everywhere. You can do something good each day if you try.

CHITLIN (Jan 21 - Feb 19) Chitlins come from humble backgrounds. A Chitlin, however, will make something of himself if he is motivated and has lots of seasoning. In dealing with Chitlins, be careful, they may surprise you. They can erupt like Vesuvius.

GRUBWORM (Feb 20 - March 20) You have an overwhelming curiosity. You're unsatisfied with the surface of things, and you feel the need to bore deep into the interior of everything. Needless to say, you are very intense and driven as if you had some inner hunger. You love to stay busy and tend to work too much. Nobody in their right mind is going to marry you, so don't worry about it.

MOON PIE (March 21 - April 20) You're the type that spends a lot of time on the front porch. A cinch to recognize the physical appearance of Moon Pies: Big and round are the key words here. You should marry anybody who you can get remotely interested in the idea. It's not going to be easy. You always have a big smile and are happy. This might be the year to think about aerobics. Maybe not!

POSSUM (April 21 - May 21) When confronted with life's difficulties, possums have a marked tendency to withdraw and develop a don't-bother-me-about-it attitude. Sometimes you become so withdrawn, people actually think you're dead. This strategy is probably not psychologically healthy but seems to work for you. You are a rare breed. Most folks love to watch you work and play. You are a night person and mind your own business.

CRAWFISH (May 22 - June 21) Crawfish is a water sign. If you work in an Office, you're hanging around the water cooler. Crawfish prefer the beach to the mountains, the pool to the golf course, and the bathtub to the living room. You tend not to be particularly attractive physically, but you have very, very good heads.

COLLARDS (June 22 - July 23) Collards have a genius for commmunication. They love to get in the melting pot of life and share their essence with the essence of those around them. Collards make good social workers, psychologists, and baseball managers. As far as your personal life goes, if you are Collards, stay away from Crawfish. It just won't work. Save yourself a lot of heartache.

CATFISH (July 24 - Aug 23) Catfish are traditionalists in matters of the heart, although one's whiskers may cause problems for loved ones. You Catfish are never easy people to understand. You run fast. You work and play hard. Even though you prefer the muddy bottoms to the clear surface of life, you are liked by most. Above all else, Catfish should stay away from Moon Pies.

GRITS (Aug 24 - Sept 23) Your highest aim is to be with others like yourself. You like to huddle together with a big crowd of other Grits. You love to travel though, so maybe you should think about joining a club. Where do you like to go? Anywhere they have cheese, gravy, bacon, butter, or eggs and a good time. If you can go somewhere where they have all these things, which serves you well! You are pure in heart. Nobody in their right mind is going to marry you.

BOILED PEANUTS ( Sept 24 - Oct 23) You have a passionate desire to help your fellow man. Unfortunately, those who know you best, your friends and loved ones, may find that your personality is much too salty, and their criticism will affect you deeply because you are really much softer than you appear. You should go right ahead and marry anybody you want to because in a certain way, yours is a charmed life. On the road of life, you can be sure that people will always pull over and stop for you.

BUTTER BEAN (Oct 24 - Nov 22) Always invite a Butter Bean to a party because Butter Beans get along well with everybody. You, as a Butter Bean, should be proud. You've grown on the vine of life, and you feel at home no matter what the setting. You can sit next to anybody. However, you, too, shouldn't have anything to do with Moon Pies.

ARMADILLO (Nov 23 - Dec 21) You have a tendency to develop a tough exterior, but you are actually quite gentle and kind inside. A good evening for you: Old friends, a fire, some roots, fruit, worms, and insects! You are a throwback. You're not concerned with today's fashions and trends. You're not concerned with anything about today. You're almost prehistoric in your interests and behavior patterns. You probably want to marry another Armadillo, but a Possum is another somewhat kinky mating possibility.

Famous Hat

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Protest: An Irish Perspective

There is nothing I like better than reading about what is going on down the street as written by someone halfway around the world.  A-Joz sent me this article from the Irish Times about the protests at the Capitol, and I particularly loved these paragraphs:

Meanwhile, all 14 of Wisconsin’s Democratic state senators vanished, to prevent the majority Republicans from attaining a quorum of 20 senators, which would be required to pass the legislation. The sergeant-at-arms searched their offices, to no avail.

Then a journalist from the Chicago Tribune sent a hilarious dispatch from Rockford, just across the border in Illinois. A television news helicopter hovered over the Clock Tower Resort, where runaway senators milled about the lobby amid preparations for an unrelated Chocoholic Frolic.

The Wisconsin lawmakers were pursued by what the Tribune called a “media horde”. They never checked into the hotel and vanished again. Some gave telephone interviews from what they described as “secure locations”. Journalists hounded the bartender at the resort’s Irish pub, asking whether she’d spoken to the missing legislators. She referred them to an employee wearing a leprechaun costume for St Patrick’s Day rehearsals, whereupon a reporter ran after the leprechaun.

The Washington Post this week referred to Mr Walker as “Wisconsin’s Mubarak”, and by Thursday evening, the capitol building was beginning to look like Tahrir Square, with protesters setting up camp in the marble halls with sleeping bags and provisions. The New York Times reported on a festive atmosphere, with drums beating and students dancing.

What would we do without the Irish to tell us what our crazy senators are up to?  And I love that the sergeant-at-arms diligently made sure they weren't hiding in their offices.

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

We Protest!

I apologize for my long silence, Hatkateers - I was home sick with a cold the last few days.  It was not an ideal time to be sick since my boss probably figured I was either enjoying the beautiful weather or was hanging around down at the Capitol protesting.  I was actually downtown today, since our church is just a few blocks from the Capitol, and it was CRAZY!!  There are people everywhere, and planes and helicopters flying around and around the Square.  I got together with my ladies for coffee and then a rosary, and then when Richard Bonomo got done with what he calls without fail "Teaching Cataclysm," we grabbed a bite to eat and watched the protesters migrating up and down the street.  I feel like I should be out there with them, but I haven't had a chance yet.  Maybe later today, or tomorrow.  Anyway, Rich and I noticed a number of signs:

"Still mad about the train!"
"Help!  We're being oppressed!"
"If you can read this, thank a teacher!"
"I want a pony!"  (Yeah, me too, but how is that relevant?)
"Governor Walker, the world is watching you!"  (Please.  Are we more interesting than Cairo?)

This has been going on since Tuesday, but Tuesday I had my Date Night with Jesus and then another date with Aquinas... to do my taxes.  I did drive Hardingfele and Rockstar Tailor downtown for the protest.  Wednesday Rockstar Tailor (who is very civically minded for being ten) wanted to go again, and I was all set to join them... and then I started to feel rotten at work.  No big shock, I always get a cold when the weather suddenly warms up.  Anyway, this protest shows no sign of abating, so I should get a chance to join now that I am feeling a little more over the weather.  It should get interesting; right now the Democratic senators have all fled the state so that there cannot be a vote on this bill, which would decimate our collective bargaining rights as state workers.  Well...  There are a lot of state workers in town (including yours truly), and as you can imagine, this has gone over about as well as if the governor had announced we were all going to work for free.  (Not yet, but he's working his way there.)  He wants to get our benefits "in line with the private sector."  But not our salaries?  They're only 11% below the average in the private sector but see, that was OK because we had good benefits...

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Rosaries

Here is a picture of my rosaries (no other types of chaplets included):

From left to right:
Lourdes water rosary that came in some junk mail
Irish rosary I bought from Leaflet Missal
Missionary rosary I bought at Paris World Youth Day
Pink pearly rosary with heart-shaped beads that came in some junk mail
Pressed-rose bead rosary of Popes John Paul II and Benedict - I think someone brought me this from Rome, either Rich or Anna Banana II
Cord rosary Anna Banana II brought back from Betania
Glow-in-the-dark rosary someone gave me at Paris World Youth Day
Random rosary I probably found at church
Olive pit rosary from Holy Land my dad gave me
One-decade Jubilee Year rosary Anna Banana II brought back from Rome
Pink rosary with heart-shaped medal - from church?
Black one-decade rosary given by Ethel's brother, who is now a Legionary of Christ priest
Blue rosary made by team captain of our bike team, the Rosary Riders, from the MS 150 bike ride
Turquoise one-decade rosary appeared in my purse
First rosary I ever made
Wooden one-decade rosary - source unknown
Wooden rosary that came in some junk mail
Blue rosary that came in some junk mail
One-decade rosary I made
Pearly rosary that came in some junk mail
Blue rosary with heart-shaped beads that came in some junk mail
Pressed-rose bead Jubilee Year rosary - probably came from Rome, brought back by either Rich or Anna  Banana II

As you can see, a really good source for free rosaries is Catholic junk mail.  I did not include my Cuddly Rosary in this photo, and I forgot the one-decade pale green bracelet rosary that Luxuli brought back from Santiago de Compostela and gave me for my birthday last month, but it is on the far right of this picture of my one-decade rosaries, minus the one I made myself:

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The Famous Hat Memo Board

Memo for Hardingfele: Sorry I missed band practice on Sunday night. I was at a spaghetti dinner with Richard Bonomo and the Hubby Hunters (as Kathbert calls us, or as you call us, the Rosary to Score Group): Anna Banana II, Jilly Moose, OK Cap, and Kathbert, who is a proxy member. (She won’t pray the rosary just because she’s Lutheran so Luxuli is praying for her, but Luxuli was not at the spaghetti dinner.) Then – no joke – my Yak Trax got stuck together so Rich had to fix them.

Memo for my ladies in the Hubby Hunters: I got a message from my mother, and she has not yet finished the Cuddly Rosaries ™ because my brother broke his collarbone and she has to nurse him back to health or something. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, and I do not have an ETA for when they will show up in the mail. Good thing we have all that wine to tide us over!

Memo for Toque McToque: You rocque.

Memo for Our Esteemed Governor: If you really want to save the taxpayers some $$$, why don’t you trade in that gas-guzzler SUV for a VW Jetta? Better yet, a bicycle – it would make it easier to run you down.

Memo for Richard Bonomo: I am kidding (sort of) about running over our esteemed governor. Do I have to mention jokes at Confession?

Memo for my Archirritant: Vere? Alius posterus e - maritus? Quare es vos venatio sic ferreus pro unus illorum? Vos iam have duos. Go ahead – translate that with your 180 IQ.

Memo for Light Bright: Chicken is meat and Prince is not Queen.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Won't You Be My Cyril and Methodius?

It's that day again - Sts. Cyril and Methodius Day!  I generally ignore Valentine's Day, but today the hottest trainee did give Light Bright and me a bag of Valentine's Day candy.  Yes!  And he put her name first on the card.  No! 

I was not expecting big things today, being single, but then I heard a wonderful story:  the students at the state university where I work marched right up to the Capitol and gave the governor a valentine that said:  "We love our university!  Don't break our heart!"  I am so touched that they are protesting on behalf of those of us who do all the behind-the-scenes work.  The governor wants to disband our unions and make our share of benefits payments the same as those in the private sector.  (Note:  he does NOT want to make our salaries the same as those in the private sector.  We only make 11% less than they do, what's to complain about?)  Students, I love you too!  Yes, I'll be your valentine!  *air kisses*

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Richard Bonomo's Birthday Party

It's February, which means the neighbors are making snow.... things:

And I'm wearing a cheesehead for my team:

How many G's can you find in this picture?

We spend a lot of time inside, playing with our pets:

Then for Rich's birthday I made a cake that looked exactly like a speed limit sign:

Just exactly like one, right?  Here it is with lit candles:

Here is a picture of the cookbook I got the frosting recipe from.  If you think this cover is funny, you should read the inside of the book!

This is what the Mothership sent Rich for his birthday:  a nutcracker!

Anna Banana II viciously attacked Siddhartha, the Turtle of Enlightenment, and endarkened it on Rich's birthday!  But Rich re-enlightened the turtle.  You can find the footage on YouTube.  By the end of the evening, Siddhartha was on top of the world!

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The World's Tiniest Rosary

This is for Luxuli and anyone else interested in chaplets: remember the weird chaplet I found in the church library hanging from a statue of Our Lady of Cuba? Let me refresh your memory:

If you would like a more Byzantine-flavored prayer than the Sacred Heart chaplet, this works well:

On the four white beads, pray the Trisagion like this:

1.  Holy God
2.  Holy Mighty One
3.  Holy Immortal One
4.  Have mercy on us

Then on the red beads, pray the Jesus Prayer:  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."  The Orthodox often pray this 33 times for each year of Jesus' earthly life, and this chaplet has 33 red beads.  I like both prayers, so instead of choosing, I have been doing the Sacred Heart Chaplet in the morning and this Byzantine Chaplet at night.

I have a number of rosaries, but by far the smallest is in the pocket shrine Ethel brought back for me from Mexico.  Check it out - when closed, it looks like a tiny pink wallet.

Here is the pocket shrine opened, with a penny for scale.  And yes, it is a real penny and not that giant one I used in the photo of Marvin the computer.

Look at that teeny tiny rosary just to the left of Our Lady of Guadalupe!  And yes, it really works - I used it once, just to see, but it is too much of a pain to use regularly.  It's more for show.

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Quotes and Packer Math

Today was a day of memorable quotes.  For example, Toque McToque and I had the following exchange about pet ownership:

Me: That hedgehog is on my poop list - literally! - today. You would think the least she could do is not leave puddles and piles right in my path. She used to be so good about using a corner... Wonder what the heck her issue is now? I keep telling myself, "At least she didn't use the carpet," but there's nothing like stepping in that crap when you are barely awake…. I just wonder what is causing Sylvia's little 'tude lately. Her two favorite spots have become right in front of the toilet and right in front of the stove.

Toque: Sounds like she’s trying to get your attention – have you been out a lot?

Me: I have, but she never wants to play with me like the bunnies do, so it didn't occur to me that she could be pissed off about it. (Note – no pun intended.)

Toque: Apparently, she gives a $hi+…lol.

Me: Badoom ching!

Toque: Couldn’t help myself. She’s just throwing material at us!

Or how about this exchange on why politicians keep getting elected, which Toque said I really should post, even if (or maybe because) it might offend Richard Bonomo?

Toque: I’m going to say 75% stupidity, 15% having very short memories and 10% fear.

Me: For our governor the college dropout, tthe math would probably go like this: 98% state workers' fault, 63% unions' fault, 87% Democrats' fault, and 12% the fault of endangered species.

But our governor cannot compete with Light Bright.  This is what she said today while ordering pizza:  "I need a vegetarian one - does the Chicken Alfredo have meat on it?... Oh, right, duh."

And finally, here is the promised Packer Math!  At least this photo comes with a credit at the bottom so I don't feel like I'm stealing it.  Thanks to alert reader Tiffy for sending this one.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Interesting Chaplet

Apparently the more random your request, the more likely God is to fulfill it.  Totally true story:  for a couple of days I had been asking God to send me another odd chaplet, like my Peace Chaplet and the one I never found any explanation for so I ended up creating my own devotional, the Salisbury Chaplet.  On Friday Luxuli picked me up and drove me to Mass right after work, then we met Anna Banana II, OK Cap, and Jilly Moose for fish fry across the street, and then we returned to the church library to pray the Rosary.  I saw a chaplet hanging from a statue of Our Lady of Cuba and pointed it out to OK Cap, who tried to use it to pray the Rosary, but it did not work.  It has three groups of eleven red beads separated by four white beads, with four white beads at the start and a medallion with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on one side and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the other.  Yes - it was the weird chaplet I had requested!  But of course I had neglected to ask for an explanation as well.  While it is not as lovely as my Salisbury Chaplet, clearly someone had created this configuration on purpose.  Some internet research led me to believe it is probably supposed to be a Sacred Heart chaplet, but it does not have a standard configuration.  That one would have three groups of eleven beads, to symbolize the 33 years Jesus lived on earth, but there should only be one bead separating them, and there should not be any starting beads.  Here is a picture of my crazy chaplet:

And this is how one prays the Sacred Heart Chaplet, according to what I found online: 

Pray the "Anima Christi" on the crucifix.

On the small beads, say:  "Sweet heart of Jesus, be my love."

On the large (white?) beads, say:  "Oh sweetest heart of Jesus, I implore/That I may ever love thee more and more."

After each grouping, say:  "Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation."

After finishing, say:  "May the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament be praised and adored and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen."

So I will trying this tonight in the Adoration Chapel.  Tuesdays are my date night with Jesus.

Famous Hat 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gloat Post

For those who remember this on SNL: “Now is the time on Schprockets when we dance!” The Happy Dance!! WHOO-HOO!! Rodgers can finally get out from under the shadow of Favre! I mean sure, the guy’s a legend, but the last few years he has been kind of a jerk too. Hope he enjoyed WATCHING the Super Bowl!! The only thing is, I wonder if all those Packer Backers who named their sons Brett are going to change their names to Aaron?

Our Super Bowl party was super fun: Luxuli and her husband brought curry apple soup, Anna Banana II brought pear cider and made chili, Cecil Markovich brought both red and white wine, OK Cap made chocolate fondue, and I brought a Packer Pie from a diner renowned for their pies. It was a layer of lemon silk, a layer of lime silk, and a layer of whipped cream. Yum! Tiffy came to town for the game, and of course Richard Bonomo was there, since it is his house.  And there was no sign of my Archirritant, but best of all, the Pack went!! YAY PACKERS!!!

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Go Pack Go!!!

Kickoff for the Super Bowl is in just a little over an hour, and Kathbert will not be joining us.  She is going to another party but will not say whose.  A coworker just told her this week that she saw her in the roller derby, and she would not be dissuaded, so Kathbert's new joke is that she is hanging out with her roller derby peeps.  And this is what she made for their party:

And here is the description, in Kathbert's own words:

"Here is the photo of my lime jello, pineapple, cottage cheese thing.  A well rounded Packers dish with something gold, something green, and something cheese.  Chilled to perfection in genuine Wisconsin snow."


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