Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Good Catholic?

Over the past few months, I have been told that a Good Catholic:

Would never vaccinate her children.
Must vaccinate her children.

Would never hold hands during the Our Father during Mass.
Would never even attend an ordinary Mass (only Latin).

Would never wear pants.
Must wear a veil.

Would never receive Holy Communion in the hand.
Would only receive Holy Communion on her knees.

Would never stay home from church with naughty children.
Must stay home from church with naughty children.

Would feed her children only the GAPS diet.
Would feed her children Ramen in order to send more to charity.

Would never purchase health insurance.
Must purchase health insurance.

Would be an organ donor.
Would never be an organ donor.

Would never vote Republican.
Would never vote Democrat.

Would never color her hair because that is disrespectful to age-wisdom.
Must color her hair to be a good witness.

Would never write about God's Love because it sounds too liberal.
Must only write about God's Love because rules are icky.

Would never give money to go see Noah.
Would never even like Noah.

 It's nice for us to have different shticks but not nice at all to peddle your shtick as The Real Way to be a Good Catholic. As long as we believe and affirm all the Church teaches to be true, we're Catholic.

Now let's have a nice week, everyone!
Love, Allison

P.S. ~ I loved the Noah movie and am having a hard time putting my facts and emotions to paper. It'll come...

Monday, March 31, 2014

Preparing for Noah

No, not that one; but I love this Father Noah, too.

Ken and I are going to see Noah in a few days. We've read (Actually, I read out loud; Ken listened.) so many reviews taking both sides by Catholics we respect that we want to see it ourselves. I do not want to take notes during the show; I want to sit back and let it wash over me, then write.

Here is SDG's positive review at the Register.

Here is Scott Landy's positive review at Catholic Online.

Here is a fascinating piece by a rabbi and expert in Jewish myth.

Here is Rep. Rebecca Hamilton's negative review.

Here is Brad Miner's negative review at The Catholic Thing.

So there. And I've read even more. Now I'm no professional anything, just a regular wife, mother, Catholic-lover, Bible-reader, and movie-watcher. I'll be looking for sin, judgment, love, mercy, family, confusion, pain, hope, earth, water, and rainbows of promise. I'll add my regular lady review in a few days.

(Ken never wants to go to the theater so the girlfriend in me is excited!)
Love, Allison

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Fine Answer

Theme Thursday at Clan Donaldson has called for the word ANSWER.

I have decided that to answer aggressive, argumentative children with, "Because I said so" is perfectly fine. Calm, explained (I wrote "expletive" first and realized that wasn't right...) reasoning is not necessary for every blessed directive around here. There's a time and a place for explaining; after all, I reject the Pearl's and the Ezzo's forced scenarios that promote fear and uncertainty. Life is full of opportunities for teaching both trust and obedience organically.  I'm the parent. Obey your mother. I do promise it's for a good reason but I'm not reading the rule book eleventy billion times a day. It's my house and I run it according to my principles. You children have to learn how to be fairly decent people, maximizing your talents and softening your troubles and all that good earth-child stuff. You also just have to obey sometimes. Your parents, yes. Also your teachers, policemen, bosses, GOD, etc.

What a weight off my "I'm not doing it like our grandparent" shoulders. They were right. Sometimes a mommy can say, "Because I said so," and it's a fine answer.

For a wonderful devotional post on answergo read this. at the Clan. It'll bless you!

Have a great weekend, you guys. Because I said so!
Love, Allison

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Old Dog, a poem by Clare

Old Dog

They will sit patiently by you,
Clare, 12. Page copied and pasted
from her blog.

Content to do nothing but nap,
They know you love them, and their funny quirks too,
Even when they cause a mishap.

Oh old dog, so good, so wise,
What secrets you hold, beyond those brown eyes?
I'll never know, I'll never know,

But how I love you so.

When you were a puppy,
So wild and free,
I'll never forget how patient you made me.
And when you ruined my afternoon tea!
Oh, puppy, a patient one you've made me.

And when it comes time for you to go,
I'll kiss you and say,

Oh old dog, so good, so wise,
You are, you are, my earthly prize.
I will always, always, always love you.
My old dog, so tried and true,
You can rest now, and peace be with you.

~Clare Howell

My Panea, almost at the
deadline for her breed's
lifespan (Rottweiler).


Monday, March 10, 2014

Lent ~ the Last Great Race

These early March days find us, along with many Alaskans, daily checking standings for the mushers running the 1100-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the “last great race.” My dog-loving twelve year old daughter checks multiple times a day and moves colored pins for her four favorites along a map (She’s a hard-core fan.). Since it is also Lent, I see Lent everywhere and the Iditarod is no exception.

Initially called the Great Race of Mercy (Hello, Lent), the race commemorates the 1925 diphtheria serum run to Nome by way of the Iditarod trail, a mining transport route through the now-ghost-town of the same name. Those mushers were smart and strong, risking their lives and the lives of their working dogs to get that medicine to stricken Nome. The Iditarod is still a dangerous run, “Not safe,” according to musher Dee Dee Jonrowe. “Challenging conditions are true every year. It’s the Iditarod Trail. The race must go on,” says Iditarod Trail Committee Executive Director Stan Hooley.* As is Lent. Each year has its own spiritual dangers and challenges. We have our Hell’s Gates and Dalzell Gorges. We may be lonely. We also have our rest stops available in Friday evening soup and stations. Extra reconciliation services are our health checks. And the race will go on for us, too, ending with the Easter celebration year after year until the Great Banquet in the Father’s House.

We may need to drop out, or “scratch,” in order to get our dogs or ourselves (or both) tended back to health for next year’s run. This is OK. If we desire betterment and do not allow bitterness to creep in, we will learn what we should and become closer to Jesus His way. “Let it be unto me according to what you have said,” said our Blessed Mother. Two years ago, my baby was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis in the beginning of Lent. That year, fasting for me took the form of mentally wrangling fear and anger to the ground and lifting my eyes to Jesus to embrace love and redemptive suffering. It was exhausting. I fired the computer back up and made needed connections. On the Yukon River deciding things for racers, says musher Martin Buser, “The Yukon always is a decider if it’s punchy or slow.”* Indeed. Sometimes Lent is decided for us, whether punchy or slow.

Physically running the Iditarod and spiritually running Lent begins with preparation. Take stock, figure goals, decide risks, and gather materials. While there is a general pattern in Lent (pray, fast, give) and a general pattern in mushing (food, gear, map), everyone’s plan is their own (Musher Jeff King is known for his inventions like boxed sled seating and heated handlebars!). Then jump in and participate. Just do it and see what happens! There are physicians and public servants at checkpoints on the way (priests and angels) and those watching on the periphery for culture and entertainment may be inspired to get in the race themselves. God be praised.

The last great race truly is a great race of mercy. May we find opportunities every day to enrich Lent with mercy accepted and given. May we actively look for burning bushes, even in Iditarod stories. Go mushers! Go us!

*March 7, 2014 Frontiersman and Anchorage Daily News headlines

(This was also posted at Catholic Sistas today.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Theme Thursday at Clan Donaldson ~  DIRT!

No problem.

Ken and Rees took Luke and Joseph camping this past weekend and after locating an acceptable spot, the first order of business was to dig a pit for the fire "all the way to DIRT."

Joseph working on his edge of the fire pit.

Ken talking to the little boys about (Actually, I don't know; I wasn't there)  ~  probably fire safety or  bears or something.


This time, the big excitement wasn't bear scat but coyote howls. I thought coyotes were desert creatures and didn't know we had them up here. That's OK, though; as long as we don't have snakes...

They came home filthy and deliriously happy. A great trip.
Love, Allison