The Reality of Prison Life

I have to admit that knowing someone who is in prison has really changed my perspective on the legal system in general.  It may come as no surprise, but police, courts, lawyers, jail, inmates, prison - it's not anything like it is on prime-time TV.  Usually, I try to let things roll off my back because so many times people talk about jail and prisons with only TV shows as a reference, and it's not worth retelling the gruesome details....more
So very well said!  I was once naive to what prison was like and may just have agreed to that ...more

My Holiday Anomaly

  I have a secret that surfaces around the holidays.  I genuinely don't want anything material for Christmas.  I become uncomfortable when people ask me what I want to get, and  I've never really made any sort of gift wishlists.  I think that this offends people or that people think I'm only trying to be difficult and spoil their gift buying, but I don't want anything that you can buy in a store.  It bothers me when retailers gear up for the holiday buying frenzy in August.  It bothers me when people boast that they've gotten all their holiday shopping fin...more
Time is the perfect gift to have throughout the year. It is by making time we can appreciate the ...more

His Effortless Ways Never Cease to Amaze Me

  I think that everyone is entitled to at least one crisis of faith.  For the pillar of our family, my father, reading religious criticism has lead to some serious questions about the Catholic church and has cast some serious doubt on the strength of his faith.  But in his time of despair, I continually see the strength of my father's faith shining through, whether he acknowledges it or not....more

More Tao for the Human Soul

Today's passage from the Tao Te Ching is eerily appropriate for the course of events in my life.  On Thursday, a good friend and coworker of mine died in childbirth.  At first I was shocked because I could scarcely believe that, given modern technology and medicine, women actually died anymore while delivering their children.  After giving it much thought and contemplation (as well as hiking until my feet felt like they were going to fall off), I came to realize that my friend sacrificed her life giving the world the most perfect gift, a new life.  She loved this baby wi...more
I'm actually not Taoist either, but I feel like one of my personal life's missions is to absorb ...more

Dear Mary, Pray for Us

Dear Mary, mother of God,...more

Tao Te Ching for the Human Soul (Chapter 5)

As mentioned in a previous post, I am (slowly) reading and absorbing Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, a collection of teachings from this legendary philosopher.  Today I am contemplating chapter 5 which states: Heaven and Earth are not humane,And regard the people as straw dogs.The sage is not humane,And regards all things as straw dogs.The space between Heaven and Earth is just like a bellows:Empty it, it is not exhausted.Squeeze it and more comes out. Investigating it with a lot of talk...more

I wonder if this ideology could possibly be applied to the current governmental fiasco that we ...more

My Heart Hurts from Pounding at the Same Issue for 9 Years

    We've been having the same fight since we started getting serious in our relationship about 9 years ago.  My husband's idea of shows of affection are very narrowly defined.  He throws out "I love you"s like they're going out of style.  He gives me a quick kiss when he leaves or when he gets back from work.  He hugs me.  He makes dinner with me and sometimes for me.  He tries to tend to our garden.  He (mostly) remembers to put his dirty clothes in the hamper.  He cares for me when I'm sick.  He spends time with my crazy family....more

A Little Daily Food For the Soul

I've begun reading the Tao Te Ching (Barnes & Noble Classics edition) which houses the central tenets of Taoism.  Legend has it, when Lao Tzu (meaning "Old Master") decided to leave his native territory (on a water buffalo no less), he was stopped by the gate guard and asked to write down his teachings.  The result was the Tao Te Ching.  There is so much legend swirling around the legendary Tao master, including a story that his mother carried him in her womb until he was 72; he came out an old man, replete with white hair.  Taoism, as I've learned from my limited re...more

Oh It's Monday Alright

Let me start with a little explanation.  I work for a marketing research firm.  It's my job to take the code that comes in, clean it up, figure out what the items are (ingredients, flavor, scent, organic, fair trade, etc), and then enter them into our database.  All of this is done without the physical product in hand.  Essentially I spend 8 hours a day surfing the web and making phone calls (my niece calls me an information pirate because I once told her that it was like a treasure hunt).  I get to talk to all kinds of people from those who hang up on me to those w...more

Oh the Joys of Homeownership

I can think of plenty of better ways to wake up on a cloudy Sunday morning than to my husband shooting out of bed saying "why does it sound like the water's running?" only to find out that the appliance installation job that he and his father had completed only yesterday had gone terribly awry.  We decided to forego the professional installation on the new kitchen appliances that were finally delivered yesterday, a savings of about $300 (score).  My husband's father is pretty handy, so I figured he could just do it (he was more than happy to parade around his knowledge and extensi...more