Not The Target Market

The Mating Season

wild-turkeys-springThe Hunter is interested in all wildlife. Whatever shows up in the woods or in the fields or on the lawn is always of interest. With turkey season just three weeks away, he is especially interested just now in what the wild turkeys are doing.

He has been watching one jake (an immature male) round up his harem in anticipation of Young Love in the Spring Time. (more…)

New and Not Improved

do_not_start_fireI need a toaster oven that won’t send the rice cakes up in flames the minute my back is turned. When I told The Hunter how, once again, before I’d even had a calming cup of morning tea, I had to shovel yet another blackened, flaming rice cake into the sink, he sighed. And wondered why I couldn’t simply toast “normal” bread like “normal” people. (The Hunter, while completely at home and fearless in the wilderness or off-shore, tends to get a little skittish around things (more…)

Shorthand and Natural Law

shorthand-2When I started high school my mother said: “You are going to college, but because you don’t know what the future holds, you are also going to learn how to support yourself. Therefore, you are going to take typing and shorthand.” (more…)

Life Among the Flock

Cardinal-at-feeder_winterI’ve been watching the birds at the feeder out the dining room window. Before this particular feeder, which hangs from the house, and can be filled merely by opening the window, I had tried others. These others were all out in the back yard, visible, but not reachable from the house, so I had to go outside to fill them up. This fill up did not happen as often as it should have. It did not happen when I had to pull on boots and wade through snow. It did not happen when I had to put on a coat because it was -4. And it did not happen in warmer weather when the grass was wet with the dew and I only had on slippers. In short, because at the time I bought the first feeders I did not know my limitations (anything that required effort), I was a crap bird whisperer. (more…)

Two Irish Stories

Help-wantedWhen we were in grad school, Suzanne and I used to talk about how hard it was to be Irish. You might have thought that we would obsess more about the difficulty of going to grad school in our 30s while looking after small children. But no, we were obsessed with the Irish question. Our (more…)

Bloodletting, Modern Style

death of GWLeaving The Hunter – who hates long flights – at home to do all the kinds of things that hunters do, I recently hopped the pond to enjoy a spot of grandmothering. There are many benefits to doing this, not the least of which is a huge arrears to be made up in the hugs and kisses department. Another benefit, but way down on the list, is that I thought I could leave the political climate behind, at least for a while. (more…)

Maps and Apps

car-on-map_webThe scene: I am bent over the table with my glasses off – the better to see with – and my nose in a book of maps trying to trace a route. Why is it that no matter what I am looking for on a map, it is always in the spine or spilling off the edge. Never, ever can I remember my destination being smack in the middle of the page, clearly laid out and with lots of unobstructed detail. Never.

The Son walks up behind me and says: “You know, they make an app for that.”


Their Shame is their Glory


I was particularly struck by several of the lines in the second reading (St. Paul to the Philippians 3:17-4:1) at Mass this weekend. His words seem tailor-made for this strange and caustic political season:

For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is their destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things.

I have always disliked politics. I seem to be disliking them a lot more this year. I couldn’t even bear to have any of the “real” candidates illustrate this post.  Red and blue, it’s all noise and egos. It is all politicians and no statesmen. And furthermore these politicians aren’t even very good at being politicians. (more…)

What Does a Smile Cost?

Models on CatwalkHad dinner with The Model last night. She asked my opinion on some detail of the charity fashion show she is arranging. I had to confess to her that I have never in my whole life been to a fashion show and while I have seen shots of some of the Paris or Milan shows, I didn’t think the country club she was using was going to run to that kind of stage. When she expressed surprise at the hole in my life experience, I said “Surely it’s obvious that I have no clue, no understanding whatsoever about fashion.”

“But you subscribe to Vogue,” she said.

Ah that. Well, thankfully I don’t subscribe any longer. I once subscribed because I had some frequent flier miles which were going to expire and I was offered the chance to get some magazines. There weren’t many to choose from that I was even vaguely interested in. They mostly appeared to be things like Cigar Collector or Money or Nascar Today, things which people who are convinced that they are about to lose their frequent flier milers and determined to get something for them, might be tempted to take. I already have armloads of paper to recycle at the dump each weekend without adding more to the pile, and was about to pass. Then I noticed that Vogue was on offer and it occurred to me that perhaps this was a chance to figure out the world of fashion at no cost. (more…)

Ring Around the Rosary?

Daisy Heart

There is absolutely no evidence for what I am about to explain. I repeat: as far I know, this is NOT true and you need to know that from the beginning. I hope you’ll want it to be true, that you’ll be amazed by both its simplicity and its logic, and feel that I must have overlooked something somewhere. The other possibility is that you will react just like my undergraduate students when I forced them to read something about linguistics: They complained bitterly that it all was ridiculously esoteric and had no application to “real life”. My standard answer for that is reality is highly overrated. (more…)