January 29, 2008

A Fairy Tale Sleepover....

Hello! This is Blanche and Rose Brier and we are from.... Regina Doman's books: The Shadow of the Bear, Black as Night and Waking Rose. (OK, so we are actually Amanda and Veronica. Shh!) And we are having a sleepover, which really doesn't make sense since we are sisters but..... (this is Rose talking by the way!)
(Blanche) But we think it's ok to pretend....after all, isn't that what these books are about?

Blanche, are you saying we aren't real!?!?!?!?!?!? And what about Bear and Fish? (Especially Fish! I can't imagine him not being real!)

Ok, what I really meant is this...They are "FairyTale" Novels - so they're real in a different way!

Oh, fine. I see what you are saying. :{ Shall we talk about what we did now? You can go first.

Here we are baking...as you can probably tell! I had some fillo dough that my mom wanted me to bake with, so we decieded to make Blackberry things and Apple things...they turned out quite good! (Rose: We came up with the name ourselves!) Aren't we creative!!!?!

Here's me and Blanche taking a picture with my camera. Wait.... that was after we baked. Who put this here?

As Rose said, this really happened before the picture taking...we decieded to taste our concoctions before we finished making them...

And here is us, still baking and talking politics! (Huckabee, of course!)

Here is me (in the bright pink apron) and Blanche in the... more Blanche-ish apron!

Blowing up the air mattress...Rose read the directions, I followed them...=)

(Rose:) In our outfits for the "op-er-ah", getting a little "culture shock"! (That Rob is sooo smart alecky!)

(Blanche) Preparing for the coma...Rose had to "fix" my hair!!!
OK, explanation of the "coma shots". In Black as Night, Blanche was in a coma (Snow White
and the Seven Dwarves) and in Waking Rose, I was in a coma (Sleeping Beauty.) So it's me, Blanche and.... some other person who we don't know who was in a coma also. (Kateri, maybe??? :{ )

We are recording a scene from The Shadow of the Bear - with our "Shadow of the White Rose Productions" (don't ask how we got the name...the other unidentified person in the coma picture above thought it up!) Rose: She was much more creative than us! (As far as naming things go....)

Well, that is about all! This was from our breakfast tea this morning! Bye!


Blanche and Rose

50th post!

Actually, the last one was the 50th, so this is the 51st! Anyways, that's still a lot!

January 28, 2008

Cousins With an Outlaw: Part 1

"Cousins With an Outlaw" is a short story I wrote last year in Creative Writing class. I enjoyed writing, and so decided to share it with you all! Feel free to leave your thoughts on it; comments, suggestions, etc. Enjoy!

William put his head in hands, momentarily overcome by despair. He sighed deeply and looked up out of the small shack that used to be their barn at the grassy meadows and the dusty road beyond. He hadn’t let Anne or the twins, James and Philip know, but they had just eaten the last of their meager food supply for breakfast. Times were hard under Prince John’s rule, many peasants refused to call him king, and the few coins they had had gone to pay the taxes two weeks ago.

Things have just gone from bad to worse since Prince John took over the throne, the boy thought as he moodily watched other peasants, Saxons like himself, hard at work. There wouldn’t be taxes like this if King Richard were here where he belongs. But he is not, and we have no way of paying the taxes. Our fields have been confiscated, so I cannot farm, and no one can give me work to do, or have any money to pay me if they did. William rose quickly and began busily polishing a harness as his younger sister Anne walked in. She watched him silently.

"You can stop doing that Will,” she said quietly. “You know as well as I do we have no fields to plow, nor animals to wear that harness. You are tiring yourself out for nothing.”

He stopped and looked at her, “I know, but if I do not use up this energy,” he smiled half-heartedly, “I might use it to knock off the tax collector’s head the next time he comes to pay us a visit, which I am sure he is just dying to do.”

Anne giggled, “Oh Will, I can just picture that fat Sir Lancerot’s head just rolling off down the road with a bewildered expression on his plump face.” The two laughed heartily together. “Well, I am off,” she said merrily. “I shall go ‘scavenging’ for our dinner, and the boys are coming along to scare off the pears they say, though I think they mean bears.”

He watched the three skip off down the lane together and disappear into the forest. What a help Anne was. Though only twelve, she never complained as she watched the two little ones, kept house and prepared the food. She was a lot like their mother, William reflected returning to his work, or at least a lot like what he could remember of her. Their mother had died four years ago when he had been fifteen. She had become very weak from the hard life they lived, no money and very little food, nothing but work all day. His mother had been come from a well to do household, before deciding to marry their father, nobleman fallen upon difficult times and now living as a peasant. In the end, it all had been too much for her.

“If Father had been here, instead of running off somewhere,” he muttered bitterly, “it might have been different, we might not be where we are now.” The clatter of hooves on the pathway outside interrupted his thoughts. “Who can that be?” he wondered, straightening and moving towards the door. Before he could reach the door, the form of his boyhood friend John Miller appeared inside.

“John!” he exclaimed joyfully, springing forward to shake his hand. “I have not seen you in ages. How have you been?”

“Oh, all right I suppose,” John replied, shaking William’s hand lamely.

“Is something wrong?” William queried anxiously.

John kept his eyes on the ground. “Will, I- I had to, I could not find any one else to work for, I…”

“What are you talking about?” asked William confusedly.

He sighed, “Will, I am Sir Lancerot’s squire.”

“Oh,” said Will quietly, “did he send you?”

John nodded miserably. “The king has ordered more taxes, I have been sent to collect them.” He looked up with sadness in his eyes. “I am ordered to arrest anyone who does not pay the taxes.”

Will’s heart sank. He turned away to stare out the window. Watching Anna, Phillip and James come out of the forest and run down the road to a patch of wildflowers he wondered what would happen to them. Trying to speak lightly, he turned back to his friend. “Well John,” he said with forced cheerfulness, “let us not keep the jail guards waiting. Doubtless they will be eager to have another tenant.”

“Will, I cannot arrest you,” protested John, “what will happen to your brothers and Anne?”

“I thought you just said you were under orders to arrest anyone who could not pay their taxes,” reminded Will.

“Yes, but you are my friend. You are old enough, you could take Anne and the boys and run away and join Robin Hood…”

“Do to think a group of outlaws would want a couple of children to look after? And besides, if we did and I were ever captured, I would be hung, and then what would happen to them?”

John thought for a moment. “The least I can do is see if I can get you to the Sheriff of Nottingham. I doubt he would listen or give you more time, but it is worth a try.”

Will nodded his head. “Thank you John. I would try anything to make sure Anne, James and Philip were properly cared for, even if I had to sell myself as a slave.”

“Well,” laughed John, “let us hope it never comes to that. Well, call the trio and we will go pay a visit to the honorable Sheriff of Nottingham.”

Within the hour, the little family, led by John who had agreed to announce them, walked into the great hall of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s palace. Stepping towards the chair where the Sheriff was seated, John bowed and announced, “William Locksley and his family, come to beg a favor of his lordship.”

The Sheriff leaned forwards and peered at the four. “William Locksley, eh? Well come forward lad, I cannot hear ye at the other end of the hall.”

“Sir,” said William, bowing low. “I have come to ask that we be given more time to pay the taxes. We do not have the money at the present, but I assure you that I will give you the money as soon as I have it.”

“Ye want more time, do ye? Do ye not know that it is imprisonment if ye does not pay the taxes on time?”

“I know that sir,” replied William, “but I am prepared to work, in your very house if you wish, until I can pay the taxes. Surely the prince-regent will not mind extending mercy to honest subjects.”

“The prince-regent is it?” said the Sheriff, his eyes glittering. “Not the king?”

William stood erect, knowing that he was taking a dreadful chance. “Aye sir, the prince-regent. The good King Richard is off in the crusades.”

“Ah, I see,” nodded the Sheriff. “Are ye related in any way to a certain man named Sir Robin of Locksley?” he asked suddenly.

“No sir,” said Will with a puzzled expression on his face. “Not that I know of.”

The Sheriff shot him a glance than shrugged his shoulders, “Ah, tis of no importance. Now about your request,” he leaned back in his chair, “My apologies, but I am disinclined to acquiesce to ye request.” He turned away, then on second thought turned back and added, “In other words no.” He nodded to his guards, “Take him away gentlemen.”

Allowing himself to be grabbed roughly by the arms, William glanced at Anne and winked reassuringly at her. They had nearly reached the large hall doors when he suddenly dropped to the floor, pulling his arms free. “Get them out of here!” he yelled to John as he grabbed one of the guard’s swords. “Go on,” he urged when John didn’t move. “I’ll be alright.”

Recovering from his shock, John ushered Anne and the boys out the door, then ran back to assist his friend. Side by side the two fought off the onslaught of soldiers that rushed into the room as the Sheriff yelled the men on from under a table.

To be continued.....

January 19, 2008


I'm not old enough to vote yet, but for those of you who are, check out the latest post at Lily Maiden, for info on a great Republican candidate for President!

January 17, 2008

Our Lady Appears...

Last night, my family and I were privileged to attend St. Patrick's Parish nearby, where Medjugorje visionary Ivan Dragićević was visiting to give his testimony, and receive an apparition of Our Lady!
The evening began with the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. At the end of the fourth decade, Ivan went to kneel before the altar. Everyone became silent, and after a few minutes, I felt a warmth growing inside of me, later I realized that must have been when Our Lady blessed all of us preasent there in the church.

After the Ivan's vision, we finished the rosary, and we had Mass was celebrated by the Provencal of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. When Mass was finished Ivan told us how the visions began, on July 24th 1981, when he was 16. Ivan was walking with his friend to go watch a basketball game on his friend's television set when Our Lady appeared to them and four others. It was so amazing to hear about the first two apparitions and tell us how Our Lady asks for the increase of prayer of the heart, and to tell us that peace will not come unless the world places God first in their lives.

Ivan said what Our Lady desires is prayer, and told us the following story.
"Once, a lady who was visiting Medjugorje came up to me [Ivan], and said, 'Is Our Lady really asking for 3 hours of prayer a day? That's impossible! That can't be Our Lady!'
I said to her, 'Well, that is what Our Lady is asking for.' A year later, the same lady came back and asked, 'Is Our Lady still asking for 3 hours of prayer a day?'
And I said to her, 'Where have you been? That was a long time ago! Now Our Lady is requesting 24 hours!' And of course, the lady said 'All right, all right, I'll stick with the 3 hours.' How selfish people can sometimes be about praying to God!"

Ivan told us how when his daily apparitions begin. The first thing that he sees in a light that is not of this earth. As Our Lady appears, he becomes oblivious to everything else around; all he can see is her. He said that Our Lady is so beautiful, that words cannot describe her. He said that she wears a white dress and a blue veil. She has rosy cheeks, blue eyes and black hair.

Last night, Ivan said that his vision began with Our Lady blessing all of the priests who were present there, then blessed all those in the congregation. Next, she blessed all of the sick people who were there, then the petitions which were placed before her, and last she blessed all of the things which people had brought with to be blessed. When Ivan told us she had blessed the items, I couldn't help but cry, because earlier during Mass, I had recalled that I had two rosaries with me that were not blessed, and that I really should have them blessed sometime soon. You can imagine my joy when I realized that Our Lady had blessed them!

I would like to let you all know that I placed all of you who visit my blog in the petition basket which Our Lady of Medjugorje blessed last night.

I will close with the words from the back of a holy card I was given last night.

Dear children, I invite you for your individual conversion. This time is for you! Without you God's plan cannot be realized. Dear children grow day by day closer to God through prayer.
I Give You The Weapon Against Your Goliath, Here are Your Little Stones:

1. Prayer with the heart: Rosary
2. Eucharist
3. The Holy Bible
4. Fasting
5. Monthly confession.


Did you know...

~ 70% of the earth's surface is water.
~ But, only 3% of that water is drinkable!
~ Of the above 3%, 80% is contained in glaciers and therefore unavailable for drinking!
~Of the remaining 20%, 15 % is contained in underground aquifiers.
~ Which leaves only 5% of drinking water on the surface!

January 13, 2008

New Versions of Old Rhymes...

Three Blind Mice
Three blind mice, three blind mice.
See how they run, see how they run!

They all ran after the farmer’s wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife.
Have you ever seen such a sight in your life?
As three blind mice!

Three Sightless Rodents,
the alternate intellectual’s version:

Three sightless rodents, three sightless rodents.
Observe how they ambulate, observe how they ambulate!
They all pursued the agriculturalist’s spouse,
Who severed their posterior extensions with a carving utensil.
Have you ever observed such a spectacle in your existence?
As three sightless rodents!


Row, Row, Row Your Boat.
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.

The "Other" version!

Propel, propel, propel your craft
Placidly down liquid solution
Ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically, ecstatically
Existence is merely an illusion.


January 12, 2008

What's in a name?

What's in a name? A question you have all heard before, I am sure, and one we rarely pay attention to. But sometimes, what's behind the name, can be rather interesting.
Names can mean all sorts of different things. For example, we know that Michael means "Who is like the Lord", Gabriel means "strength of God", and Raphael means "healer of God". It is an interesting note that in Hebrew the 'el' at the end of each of those names means "God". This was pointed out to us by Fr. AriEL (Emphasis added). His name means "Lion of God". (And it fits him!) My middle name ELizabeth (emphasis mine) means "Consecrated to God".
But what is more interesting than the meanings of names, is when they fit the bearer. For example....
Amanda means "worthy of love", which fits me (I think) because of my sanguine personality. (Sanguine people are fun-loving, affectionate, light-hearted people, more on that later!) Of course, since it is my name, I am now asking Your opinion on how well you think it fits me. (See the comment box below! :)
For those of you who have read the books "The Shadow of the Bear" or "Black as Night" by Catholic author Regina Doman, you will be familiar with the character named "Bear". You will also know that his real name is Arthur. But how many of you knew that "Arthur" is Old English/Celt for "bear-man"?
Other names....
He he... Frodo means "wise". I suppose he was.
One of my favorite names, Robert, means "bright fame", and that certainly fits one bearer of the name, Robert E. Lee, who was one of the most famous men of the Civil War and the Mexican War. (Well, in the Mexican War he was famous in the army. I don't think the rest of the world saw him as very famous.)
Susie Lloyd, author of "Please Don't Drink the Holy Water!" has some interesting things to say about names...
The tendency to bequeath to your kid a name expressive of all your aspirations is nothing new, however. My research show that it dates all the way back to the Old Testament... Time and again we see Old testament women getting carried away with joy as they give their sons canticle-size names such as , " God Has Seen Fit to Remove My Reproach From Among Men Thereby Granting Me a Son in Whom Rest All My Newfound Hopes of Never Having to Be Left Out of Another Mothers of Future Patriarchs and Prophets Meeting" (which translates to "Dan").
I always wondered how kids with names like that managed to have normal childhoods. Imagine a neighbor from the next tent down coming to the door. "Mrs Abraham, can God Has Heard the Cries of His Handmaiden and Granted Me a Son in My Old Age come out to play?"
... Protestants tend to go biblical... For Catholics however, the sky's the limit. But this has problems of its own.
"Benedict Francis Pio! You get that cat out of the dishwasher!"
"You just wait until your father comes home "Miss Regina Caeli!"
"Jerome Athanasius, how many times have I told you not to pick your nose?"...
By far, the avid papists have the hardest time administering discipline. How can you yell at somebody named John Paul?

So, if you are curious about what your name means, Behind the Name.com is a great place to start. (I have a link for it around here somewhere...) Let me know what your name means and how it fits you. If it doesn't, let me know how it doesn't.

Leave a footnote!

January 6, 2008

Happy Feast of the Epiphany!

Happy Epiphany to all of you out there!

Okay, now the answers to all the Christmas questions... (should I award a prize to those who answered correctly?) Sure, why not?
Questions from the sixth day of Christmas....
Riddle 1: What kind of candle burns longer, a red candle or a green candle?
Answer: Niether, as they burn they get shorter. (Correctly answered by Mr. Miller/mylhibug

Riddle 2: What do you have if you are afraid of Santa Claus?
Answer: Claustrophobia (Correctly answered by Mr. M)

Riddle 3: What do you have in December that you don't have in any other month?
Answer: A "D" (Correctly answered by Mary the Twin)

Riddle 4: What is the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the regular alphabet?
Answer: No "L" (Noel) (Answered by Mr. M)

Riddle 5: What do you get if Santa goes down the chimney when the fire is lit?
Answer: Mr. M said "Krisp Kringle" and was correct.

Riddle 6: What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
Answer: "It's Christmas, Eve!" said Mr. Miller

Eighth Day
At the end of the song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas", how many gifts did "my true love" actually give "to me"?
Answer: 364, answered by Mr. Miller
That's 12 partridges, 22 turtledoves, 30 French hens :}, 36 calling birds, 40 golden rings, 42 geese (!), 42 swans, 40 milkmaids (was my true love a slaver or something?)36 pipers, 30 drummers, 22 lords and 12 ladies. Notice how the numbers go 12, 22, 30, 40, 42, 42, 40, 30, 22, 12. (It's a code! Nah.)
And there are 41 musical settings for "Away in a Manger". (no one got this one!)
The Gingerbread Man Award goes to Mary the Twin for answering one question correctly.

The Double-Candy Cane award goes to Mr. Miller for answering the rest of the questions correctly.

God bless and have a nice day!