Friday, May 22, 2009

7 Quick Takes


Here are some pictures of our newly finished garden:




The big green ones on the left are Plantain Lilies and the smaller flowering ones are Impatiens. We tried to get grass growing on this patch last year but it never took. (Don't ask me how our neighbors get it to grow - I can only assume, being Asian, they simply have much greener thumbs than I do and are much better when it comes to gardening.) I don't have any before shots but it was simply a dirt patch with weeds. The fact is, the sunlight in the picture is about all this patch of ground gets throughout the day and the plants I bought are supposed to do well without direct sunlight and plenty of shade. Here is hoping it thrives. The stepping stones provide a wonderful additional path as, when our van is in the driveway, there really isn't a whole lot of space remaining on which to walk around the vehicle without stepping off the driveway.

I did have to call the newspaper yesterday and complain when the delivery person managed to miss our entire driveway and threw the paper on top of one of my Impatiens, breaking off several stems and over half a dozen buds. If they make a habit of it I am going to insist they pay for it, but fortunately today their aim was much better. They usually are very good - I couldn't believe they missed so badly the day after I spent a couple hours planting all that!

The patch in the far back is where we have some lilies sprouting up and I had planted some hyacinths and tulips. Most are doing well though a couple have looked better.


We watched a couple of new movies this week including Henry Poole Was Here, which is about a man who buys a house that happens to have a water stain in its stucco that his neighbors believe to resemble the face of Christ, and Frank Capra's Meet John Doe, in which a journalist publishes a fake "John Doe" suicide letter to keep her job and when it causes a public uproar she cons a man into posing as Doe. I liked Henry Poole Was Here up until near the end. I found the ending confusing and contrived. Meet John Doe was a little too long but an enjoyable film. Netflix has been very useful for viewing newer as well as older movies, especially for us since we don't go to the theaters much. One film that most pleasantly surprised me was The Keys of the Kingdom in which Gregory Peck plays a young Catholic priest sent to be a mission in China. His performance earned him an Oscar nomination in 1946 and I highly recommend the film.


We have been trying to get the girls out as much as possible since, once the baby gets here, they won't be going far for a while. So they have been accompanying us to run errands, my OB appointments, etc. Today we are going to see if we can get them to a mall for some air conditioned time out (it is supposed to get to the mid-80s today) and a carousel ride or two.


This reminds me of a question: Why is it unsanitary to not wear shoes in a restaurant but kids are required to take their shoes off at public playsets? A lot of our nearest malls have these kid play areas with large plastic fruit or trucks or whatever for kids to climb on, slide on, etc. and it is always mandatory for them to take their shoes off. Isn't that unsanitary? I have such a hard time letting my girls on these things such that I haven't yet. They just seem like a bastian of germs even if they do offer a Purell dispenser at the exit. Maybe the shoe removal thing is a safety issue, but doesn't that make it less sanitary?


James finally got the hardbound copies of his STL thesis and his official letter for his disertation proposal! Yeah! We knew his proposal was accepted, but this gives him the official go-ahead to begin writing his dissertation for his STD. Yeah, terrible initials, I know (you can always tell the difference in generations by how people react to those initials), but it stands for Doctorate in Sacred Theology and is basically the Vatican/canonical equivalent of a doctorate. It will help if he wants to teach in a seminary as well as a Catholic university.


It has been a while since I had any pictures of the girls up. Unfortunately, the most recent ones I have on my computer are from mid-April, but here they are enjoying the spring weather on the deck on Divine Mercy Sunday:

Cecilia had fun making funny faces and poses while I took pictures:


And Felicity:



  1. Oh I like your little front garden patch. I think impatiens are very cute. I hope they thrive, despite the paperboy's poor aim.

    About the shoes. First, I should confess that I'm very laid back on the whole sanitary thing myself. I am just not very germ-phobic. I seldom use Purell or wipe down shopping carts, etc. I figure my kids are just building good immune systems. My girls don't get sick very often at all, though. I can understand that not all moms see things my way, especially if their kids are prone to picking up colds.

    It was my understanding, though, that a no shoes policy in restaurants is not a health code issue but up to individual proprietors. It seems to me mostly aesthetic, like most dress code issues. The only "health" risk I can see is a risk of injury to the person going barefoot, not to other diners, stepping on or in something, getting cutlery dropped on ones feet, etc. (Interestingly, Wikipedia back me up on this and includes a link to a site that claims that there are no state health codes that prohibit bare feet in restaurants. Though it doesn't address the possibility of local ordinances.)

    As far as taking off shoes on the playscape. That seems to me to prevent kids from injuring each other while crawling, climbing, jumping, etc. It hurts much more when kids step on your fingers or kick your shins when they have shoes on than when they're in socks. Thus the voice of personal experience. And if you are concerned with being sanitary, I think that if they've been wearing shoes up to the point of getting to the playscape, it is probably more sanitary to have them crawling around in socks. The socks probably have tracked through less stuff than the shoes.

  2. domesticaecclesiaMay 23, 2009 at 7:23 AM

    It is interesting if it really is simply an aesthetic preference - I mean, why insist on shoes and shirts but not pants? The way in which I would anticipate shoes being more sanitary than socks is that, because socks are against the skin, they are more prone to being moist with sweat and anything moist will pick up more from whatever it touches than anything dry. And taking off one's shoes, generally, requires one's hands to then touch socks and shoes to get everything back on and in place.

    I didn't used to be paranoid about germs. It started when Felicity was born. Within her first 6 weeks outside the womb we had 3 colds go through everyone, including our newborn, an ear infection, a urinary tract infection and a bacterial infection. It was miserable for a little newborn trying to master sleeping and nursing to not be able to breathe through her nose and a mom recovering from birth with everyone constantly sick. The thing was, we didn't go anywhere besides required doctor appointments and church (and James did the grocery shopping). I know at least one of those colds came from people at Church and I became very frustrated at people who are simply inconsiderate at keeping their germs to themselves when they are sick. We've sat in front of people who cough all over the place or still shake hands with my girls when they have been wiping their runny noses. It has become one of my primary irritations with the Sign of Peace - some people just don't consider that they should not touch other people if they are sick - they either aren't thinking at all or are too concerned about not offending people and seem to think they'd prefer being sick. And I've come to wonder just how many people in general don't give any consideration to not spreading their illnesses, including possibly letting sick children on a public playset.

    In fairness though, I am also especially cautious right now as I near the end of my pregnancy. I'm rapidly approaching that "I'm miserable, I'm ready to give birth now" stage and I don't want to deal with illnesses if I don't have to and I don't want a repeat of Felicity's first 6 weeks with the new baby.

    I cannot say as I am super paranoid about germs - I don't wipe down shopping carts or pews or anything. But somehow a playset with 3 dozen children seems a much higher risk to me that I don't find necessary or with benefits outweighing the risks.

    Thanks for the info....I'll have to look into it more.

  3. I imagine shoes and shirt are listed because those items are more likely to be left off. But people don't really tend to go around without pants, if there were a widespread problem with that, then I'd imagine restaurants would take action against that too.

    I'd forgotten about how sick you all were right after Felicity was born. Like I said, I'd probably be a bit more paranoid too had we been through something like that. I totally agree with you on how annoying it is to have sick people in church and indeed random strangers in church wanting to touch my babies. Why do older women always try to grab babies' fingers or touch their faces?

  4. domesticaecclesiaMay 27, 2009 at 10:53 AM

    The only exception I can think of when people generally don't wear pants is when they have on bathing suits. Having lived in south Florida for about 12 years, just wearing bathing suits does happen, but I honestly don't know to what extent restaurants in areas where such attire might be common would require pants or put up signs to that extent.

    I've marveled at that too. I wouldn't like people touching my face and I can't imagine they would appreciate it much either. My only thought on the fingers is because they are so darn cute. With this baby drawing closer I keep thinking about those tiny toes and how even Felicity's will seem big by comparison.

  5. My girls have the exact same dress Cecelia is wearing! :)

  6. domesticaecclesiaMay 27, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Cecilia loves that dress. She asks to wear it every week, which is actually a relief since it took weeks to get her to choose something besides her favorite Christmas dress. She likes the ones that are "soft" either with soft sweaters or velvet or fake fur or something like that. Now if she could only keep them clean! :)

  7. I tell my kids to leave their shoes on. They tend to slip on slides and slick plastic if they are only in their socks, plus the sanitary issue.

    We've never been kicked out or reprimanded, yet!

    We stopped going to fast food play places, though, because we ALWAYS get sick. My little sister worked at McDonald's for a time - and she said she never recalled anyone ever cleaning inside the tubes! Yuck!

  8. domesticaecclesiaMay 30, 2009 at 6:43 AM

    I wonder how common that is - for no one to clean those areas, I mean. The one at our chick fila always looks very clean, but it would be interesting to know.