Buy Nothing Day, November 27

It’s that time of year again – time to reconnect with loved ones, give thanks for the blessings God has given us, make happy memories… and the next day, behave like a bunch of baboons on meth as we try to buy ALL THE THINGS so that we can WIN AT CHRISTMAS.

It’s disgusting.

Buy Nothing Day originated in the ’90s as reaction to all this insanity and has mainly been promoted by the left-leaning magazine Adbusters.  However, even if you have very different political views from the usual Adbusters reader, Buy Nothing Day is probably a holiday you can get behind.  Here’s why:

1. Christmas is over-commercialized. captain-obvious-south-park
All right, yes, this is hardly news. But if you want to keep Christ in Christmas, the first step is recognizing that a consumer feeding frenzy is not the way to prepare for Jesus’ birth.  If you ask me, the biggest threat to Christmas in America isn’t people saying “Happy Holidays”  (I share Kendra’s thoughts on that one) or Starbucks cups (the contents of the cups is what I object to).  It’s the fact that Advent is supposed to be a solemn, prayerful time to prepare our hearts for Jesus, and instead we’ve made it into a whirlwind of shopping, parties, shopping, decorating, and more shopping.  Count me out.

2.  If you aren’t fighting the crowds, you can spend more time with your family.  Thanksgiving is one of the few 4-day weekends many people get, and very often we spend it with people we don’t see at other times of the year.  Yeah, you could drag yourself and the family out of bed at 4 AM, get into an MMA match with the insane mob, and buy some crap that nobody needs and everybody will forget after New Year’s… or you could go to daily Mass, or go outside and appreciate nature, or play games or a sport, or do crafts, or even just stay home and watch football or Netflix.  If you want to get the word out about Buy Nothing Day, you could even try one of Adbusters’ protest ideas.  Any of those things f would promote more togetherness than going to Wal-Mart.

3.  Thanksgiving Day isn’t the only day to count your blessings.  One of the things that repulses me most about Black Friday shopping is that we live in the richest society the world has ever seen, and yet we clobber each other for more, more, more.  Many people serve meals at a homeless shelter on Thanksgiving itself, but the homeless people are still homeless the day after.  Instead of shopping, consider doing something for the least among us.  Even if you can’t give time, buying nothing will leave you with more money to donate.

I hope this Friday, you’ll ditch the mobs and find a way to, as they say at the end of Mass, “glorify the Lord with your life.”  Me, I plan on sleeping in and having a movie and game night with family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

7 Quick Takes: What I’ve Been Up To


 1.  Greetings!

2.  The reason I haven’t updated much lately is that I’ve been working!  I did get the job and I just finished my 3rd week of training.  I’ll be in orientation for another month before I start on my actual shift (nights).  I am, unfortunately, back to a long commute, but that’s only until DH and I buy a house.  (DH gets to work from home, the lucky dog.)

3.  Oh yes, house-buying.  We can’t buy a new house until our old house sells, which is going entirely too slowly for my taste.  Meanwhile, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Zillow and Trulia daydreaming about having a garden again and getting my books out of the storage unit.

4. Now that I’ve ditched Glamour, I’m looking for fashion blogs to read.  Specifically, thrifty/sustainable fashion blogs.  So far, Sustainable Style Solutions and Sustainable Daisy have caught my eye.  If you know of others, leave them in the comments!

5.  Speaking of fashion, since my work purse is falling apart, I decided to treat myself to one of these Haiku Bags.  Adorable bags made of recycled plastic bottles – what more could a girl ask for?

6.  Anyway, I’m somewhat bummed about having a longer commute again, but at least I have plenty of time to say the Rosary.  And since I’ll be working nights once I’m out of training, there will be zero traffic during my commute!

7.  Take 7 must be a song!  This week’s song is “Elevate” by St. Lucia.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!

Goodbye, Glamour.

Earlier this year, I blogged about giving up fashion magazines for Lent.  That turned out to have been a good experiment.  Glamour, my favorite fashion magazine, recently named Cecile Richards one of their Women of the Year.

Yes, that Cecile Richards – CEO of Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider. The one who claims to be about preventive screening when they don’t actually do any mammograms, the one who more than likely traffics in aborted babies.

If you want to tell people she’s a hero, fine, you have a right to free speech.

You do not have a right to my money.

Goodbye, Glamour.

7 Quick Takes – New Normal


1.  You’d think I’d be blogging more since I lost my job!  But despite being unemployed, I haven’t lacked for stuff to do.  Here’s what I’ve been up to, in a nutshell.

2.  I had a job interview last week that went well.  Really well.  As in, my only remaining obstacle is the background check, which I am now irrationally worried that I won’t pass.   The job is much more in line with my skills than the last one, would give me plenty of time to spoil niece and nephew, and we could still buy a house in our dream neighborhood.

3.  The moving van finally arrived and I’ve been helping DH unpack.  He’s rearranged our kitchen for maximum efficiency, put together a large Goodwill donation pile, and assembled multiple piece of IKEA furniture.  And, yet further proof that he was born to be an engineer, he enjoys this so much that I  have to remind him to stop working every night.

4.  My niece was born with a stomach condition and will have her second surgery to correct it in mid-November.   For those keeping score at home, she’ll be 3 months old then.  (Her first surgery occurred when she was still in the NICU.)  Please pray for a successful surgery and a speedy recovery!

5.  I have a new sponsored child!  Dinesh, my sponsored student from India, got a job and is no longer participating in the Unbound program.  I now have Patrice, a 4-year-old girl from Chile.  I’ve never sponsored somebody this young before, so it’ll be interesting to see how this goes.  (As always, sponsored kiddos’ names are changed to protect their privacy.)

6.  I joined the choir at my new church.  It’s been a real reminder of how bad I am at sight-reading music.  :)

7.  It’s Saturday, but enjoy a song anyway!  Here is “Breathe” by Pink Floyd.

For more quick takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

7 Quick Takes – October


1.  I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. [Name that book!] I always loved October in the Midwest and October in the Northwest so far has exceeded my expectations.  It’s cool and gloomy in the morning but in the afternoon the fog burns off to October’s bright blue weather.

2.  I had a job interview yesterday!  I think it went well, and the job seems like a much better fit for my skills than the last job was.  The Boss Man said they would have a decision for me soon; if y’all have a chance, I’d appreciate a prayer!

3.  How else am I keeping busy without a job?  I have a backlog of continuing education to get done, I’m exploring my new city, and of course there’s an adorable niece and nephew to spoil.  And I need to join a gym…

4.  I have not been doing much reading since all of my books are on the moving van, which is AWOL.  Well, not completely; the moving van was supposed to get here yesterday, but the moving company has told us it won’t be here until Monday.  My TV is also on the moving van, as is half my kitchen and half my furniture, and not knowing where everything is is making me something something…


5.  DH has transitioned to working from home and he loves it.  I love the arrangement too (well, I’d love it more if I had a job, but I digress).  He’s under a lot less stress with no commute and no coworkers to annoy him, and that makes me a lot happier.

6.  We’re right in the middle of 40 Days for Life!  This is an amazing campaign that has borne wonderful fruits.  Please do what you can to support, whether through public or private prayer, fasting, or donations!

7.  It’s Friday, so we need a song!  Here’s an ’80s classic:  “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

So Your Family Isn’t Catholic…

Kendra has a great post today about visiting family members who are lukewarm Catholics or whose parishes do things we disagree with.  But what if my family isn’t religious at all? 

Don't do this!

Don’t do this!

Relax, girl, I got your back.  As I’ve discussed here before, my DH is an atheist and  nobody in his family attends church, but I still go every week whether they’re here or not.  I’ve had a good example to follow in this department, since my mom is a convert and neither of her parents attended church.  (Disclaimer: this post also assumes that your family lives far away and you don’t see them often, as that’s been my experience.)

  •  Say it, but say it right.  When you tell them you’re going to Mass, use the same tone you would to say, “I’m going to the store,” or  “I’m going to the gym.”  You’re going and their presence is welcome but not mandatory; that’s it!  The same goes for meatless Fridays: I’m making a vegetarian meal for dinner; they’re welcome to eat what I cook, but if they don’t like it, they can help themselves to whatever’s in the fridge.
  • Accept interruptions in your routine.  You may not be able to go to your favorite Mass and arrive an hour early to sing in the choir and take the whole clan to the beach and cook a huge meal for everybody and get 30 minutes of quiet prayer in.  If you only see these relatives once or twice a year, you need to maximize that time, so choose which of these things are the most important for you and your family harmony.  In other words, choose mortifications that don’t mortify others and don’t sweat everything else.  I’ve found that the 7 AM Mass is wonderful; my family is usually still asleep when I leave the house and when I return, they’re just starting breakfast.  If you can’t attend an early Mass, the late Mass is good for family visits too; by the time this Mass rolls around, we’ve had a full day together and everybody needs a little space.
  • So how do we explain this to the kids?  I don’t have kids of my own, but this is how my mother explained it to her kids:  “[Relative’s Name] isn’t Catholic, so they don’t [go to Mass/say Grace/whatever other activity].”  We’re special; we do things that other people don’t do and that’s both a privilege and a responsibility.  We don’t change who we are just to please somebody else.  If you only see these people a few times a year, that’s probably all the explanation you need.

This works if you’re visiting them as well:  just say what you’re going to do, git ‘er dun, don’t make a fuss, and don’t worry about what you’re not able to do.  Do small things with great love; that’s enough.

Oh, Francis…


Still dealing with moving chaos. Go read this!

Originally posted on Coming Home:


For traditional Catholics, for pro-lifers, the visit by Pope Francis has been a series of missed opportunities. In his address to Congress not only did he make fleeting reference to abortion by stating the need for Americans to respect life at every stage of development, he then followed that with immediate specific reference to capital punishment. If he didn’t mention the unborn specifically, at least they are in good company. He didn’t mention Jesus, either. (Though he did mention “God,” which invites non-Christians to the table.)

The list of complaints on social media is endless. In sum, they paint a picture of a pope who has ignored the red meat issues of American Catholicism’s troubles in favor of a left-wing socio-political agenda. How do you solve a problem like Francis? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? (Cue the Sound of Music)

But as this papacy has…

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