Higher Education, Lower Expectations?

Just when you thought the weather had a chance of changing, the snowflakes are back! Administrators at over thirty colleges and universities have made statements opposing President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Some of the schools are offering counseling and mental health services for the students unable to deal with reality. I bet another load of coloring books are on order and the hot cocoa wagon is just around the corner.

Makes one wonder what happened to the halls of higher learning where one could argue their side of a situation, exchange ideas, perhaps, even yell a bit and no one puddled up into a trampled snowflake because someone disagreed with them. Back in the days when you started growing up in college, if you disagreed, you researched your side and came back with a good, solid, basis for what you thought . . . or shut up when you discovered you were wrong and learned something in the process.

If it Was Easy, It Wouldn’t Be Worth It!

The Catholics in Malta seem to be taking on the burden of trying to bring many of our bishops back into line. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/maltese-catholics-rebuke-abominable-communion-guidelines-in-stinging-full-p The Pope’s last encyclical was vague to the point of seeming to allow reception of the sacraments to people who have divorced and remarried outside of the Church. When pressed for clarification by several Cardinals in good standing, the Pope has remained silent.

I defended the Church’s stand to a friend who called me intolerant and worse for putting God’s Law over the desires of people who wish they weren’t in the predicament of not being able to receive the sacraments. To me, people doing what they want and then demanding the graces of what they gave up by doing so, is not the way to instruct all Catholics in how to abide by the rules of the Church.

There should be no confusion in the Church over something like this. The laws of the Church are there for a reason. One member of the church hierarchy said that something to the effect that the ‘common’ people can’t be expected to reach the heights of sacrifice that were accomplished by the saints. Uh, wouldn’t that eventually stop a lot of canonizations if no one felt they had to step up to the plate and BE a Catholic. I’m praying the Pope clarifies his meaning in the encyclical before souls are lost looking for the easy way out of their status in life.

“Concerning the Reception of the Eucharist by Divorced and Remarried Members of the Church.” This document was issued on September 14, 1994, and signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

“Members of the faithful who live together as husband and wife with persons other than their legitimate spouses may not receive Holy Communion,” the Vatican document states. “Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgment of conscience openly contradicts the Church’s teaching.”

Sending Out the Latest Little Dresses for Africa

I realized, today, that I had been spending more time sewing than thinking about mailing out the Little Dresses I have been working on. I had twelve of them handing in front of my fabric cupboards and decided to spend the morning after Mass getting them sorted and packed. As I was sorting them according to size, I remembered that I had put ‘several’ completed dresses in a spare closet over the last couple of weeks so I went to get them into the mailing process, too. It ended up that I actually had 30 dresses completed so my box being mailed out this week by my kind husband weighed in at over 20 pounds! Have I learned my lesson? Nope! I found that I had made only medium and large sized dresses so knew my next batch would have to concentrate on making small ones. Already, I’ve been eyeing my fabric and matching up colors in hopes of having time this week to begin some more.

Remember to check out the Little Dresses for Africa site as they have other needs besides sewing dresses. There are many children in the world that could use some help.




Our House Cow

Now, you might be amazed to know that we are harboring a house cow on our premises these days. Frankly, I’m not sure how the zoning laws would apply so the less said, the better right? I will admit that we were taken in at first as he is pretty small for a cow and after almost two years hasn’t grown substantially.

We discovered the hidden fact when my husband had been cutting grass and tracked some into the house. Well, what we thought was a cat turned out to be a grass-starved cow! Since he discovered that grass comes from outside the big door in the hallway, known as the entrance to the rest of us, he breaks out into pathetic ‘moos’ whenever one of us goes outside and forgets to bring in a handful of grass to satisfy his craving. His piteous ‘moooomewows’ are heartbreaking and usually send us right back out to procure the needed addition to his diet.

He has a few other requirements. Don’t just toss down a few blades of grass onto the kitchen floor. He won’t eat them. Don’t forget to wash the grass. He won’t eat them. He wants a paper plate and nice, damp grass and usually leaves us along the rest of the day . . . unless we venture out the front door for the mundane purposes of bringing in the mail, putting the trash cans away, or watering the lawn.



An Arduous California Winter!

After several years of mild winters, we can now say that we actually suffered through a long, cold, and sort of snowy one. Okay, it was ten minutes of hail but it stayed on the ground for fifteen minutes so that counts, right? We toughed it out, however, and didn’t call for snow plows . . . probably, as I’m pretty sure we don’t have any snow plows in our part of California!

Nevertheless, I have pictorial proof of the snowy struggles we endured last week. If you can’t see the layer of snow (okay, hail, whatever!) on the top of the fence, you are just not cooperating! The white stuff (okay, okay, it was hail!) layered itself all over our dogs’ bed . . . sort of. Glad I took pictures because not one person from the eastern side of the country seemed to be worried about this event in California!


Gluten-Free Pot Stickers? Is It Possible

When we had to go gluten-free for my husband’s health, I was able to get relatively creative with favorite recipes and make them gluten-free. One favorite, however, seemed to be harder to accomplish . . . until I discovered BetterBatter Gluten-Free flour mix and their archive of great recipes that really work! The recipe is below and with only two, basic ingredients, you can easily double or triple the recipe to suit your needs.


The dough is very workable. My hint for the process? Roll out a portion of the dough to about a quarter of an inch thick. Then, cut into two-inch or so circles. Roll out each circle thinner and then fill as directed. The pot stickers are usually folded over the filling into a half circle and the edges
sort of pleated and pressed together. Dampening the edges with a bit of water helps insure they stay closed during cooking. Pot stickers are lightly pressed down a bit on the folded side so they don’t fall over.

Making a filling for the pot stickers is easy. Leftover chicken can be finely shredded with garlic, fresh ginger, salt, pepper, grated cabbage, celery, soy sauce, Chinese barbecue sauce, etc. and bound together with an egg. Leftover pot roast can be evolved into a tasty filling, too.

I put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan that has a good-fitting lid. As I make the pot stickers, I arrange them side-by-side in the pan. Once the pan is filled, I put in a generous quarter cup of water, turn on the heat, cover and keep it going until the water is cooked away and the bottoms of the pot stickers are nicely browned.

Dipping sauces could be as simple as soy sauce or you could use bottled Asian sauces. We like to take a tablespoon of powdered Chinese mustard and add a few drops of water to make a sauce. This one could be intense so fair warning.