Sunday, May 29, 2011


"The world's largest salt flat is located in Salar de'Uyuni, Bolivia. During the rainy season, the water turns it into the world's largest mirror. The reflection of the sky creates a sense of infinity, like you're walking among the clouds." 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Royal wedding lag

I know the huge buzz of the royal wedding has already died down and almost dissipated, but this article was just printed in the National Catholic Register. Even though I didn't get very swept up in the whole event, once the pictures were plastered everywhere, I did enjoy looking at them.

Here is a picture that I never saw posted anywhere, of one part of the wedding I never considered - the sermon. Along with most of the world, I looked at the event as a pretty dress and real life fairy tale - not as a beautiful sacrament. This article reminded me of what the true focus of the wedding should have been.

The Royal Wedding's Lessons

Truth on Love and Christian Marriage Proclaimed

by Joan Frawley Desmond, Register Senior Editor

LONDON — Diehard romantics, celebrity hounds and Anglophiles feasted on last month’s royal wedding, replete with a fairy-tale prince, Posh and David Beckham and enthralling British pageantry. The estimated worldwide television audience of 2 billion got just what they hoped for on April 29, along with an unexpected, and perhaps unsought, bonus: an unapologetic affirmation of the truth, beauty and transformative power of Christian marriage.
At Westminster Abbey, the gravitas of the nuptial sacrament, the fruits and ends of marriage intended by the Creator, and the sacrificial nature of genuine married love were on display, at times outshining the British Monarchy’s trove of Crown Jewels.
Facing a congregation that included a global contingent of monarchs, the ex-mistress — and now second wife — of the groom’s father; Elton John and his “husband” — proud parents of a boy delivered through a surrogate mother last Christmas — and assorted commoners from a nation that has witnessed a precipitous decline in marriage, the Anglican Bishop Richard Chartres of London delivered a rousing sermon that could have been crafted by Pope Benedict XVI himself.
He began with a quotation from St. Catherine of Siena, noting that it was her feast day: “Be who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”
“In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future. William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another,” stated Bishop Chartres.
“A spiritual life grows as love finds its center beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed,” he continued, with the bride and groom listening intently.
Once upon a time, the “goods” of marriage were broadly understood to include the procreation of children. Though it is still written into canon law, that expectation now competes with many options in today’s society — one reason, perhaps, for growing public acceptance of same-sex “marriage” in the West. Yet in the context of a royal marriage that will hopefully beget an “heir and a spare,” children are not optional, and they are expected to be the direct fruit of the “one flesh” union of husband and wife.
The royal marriage of Kate and William was executed against the backdrop of scandal and tragedy — the collapse of the marriage of Prince Charles and his late wife, Diana, who was herself a victim of her own parents’ acrimonious divorce. The bishop of London did not address these events. But he readily acknowledged the reality of human frailty and suggested that in the absence of a deep faith in God, sin and human imperfections would wreak even greater havoc on married couples and their families.
“As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden,” he suggested.
Instead of turning to New Age nostrums or the reflected glory of a celebrity-obsessed culture, he advised the bride and groom to place their trust in God and maintain a ready supply of forgiveness.
Before the ceremony commenced at the cathedral, television commentators made much of the fact that Kate and William had lived together for years and were thus better prepared to both avoid the tragedy that struck Princess Diana and manage the extensive public obligations and intrusions on their privacy.
Reflecting on the growing tolerance of cohabitation, one British commentator couldn’t help but note the transformation in cultural attitudes: “It used to be called ‘living in sin,’” she remarked with a giggle and an expression of amazement.
According to the British Office of National Statistics, 231,490 couples married in 2009 — down from 232,990 in 2008 and the lowest total since 1895. Meanwhile, divorce rates have risen. Predictably, some British groups have argued for providing legal benefits to cohabitating couples, a familiar trend in much of the West, as the young find it harder to identify the specific value of marriage or clearly distinguish between marriage and cohabitation, which, of course, the Catholic Church continues to teach on (see Catechism teaching on the Sixth Commandment).
As Blessed John Paul II noted in Familiaris Consortio (On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), “In the first place, the gift of the body in the sexual relationship is a real symbol of the giving of the whole person: such a giving, moreover, in the present state of things cannot take place with full truth without the concourse of the love of charity, given by Christ. In the second place, marriage between two baptized persons is a real symbol of the union of Christ and the Church, which is not a temporary or ‘trial’ union, but one which is eternally faithful. Therefore, between two baptized persons, there can exist only an indissoluble marriage. ... True education in genuine love and in the right use of sexuality, such as to introduce the human person in every aspect, and therefore the bodily aspect too, into the fullness of the mystery of Christ” is needed.
The bishop of London, who reportedly advised the couple before their nuptials, did not specifically address the morality of cohabitation. But his remarks left the strong impression that the solemn exchange of nuptial vows was something quite different from a live-in relationship and that the abundant graces of matrimony offered vastly greater benefit — particularly for the children to come — than “playing house.”
“As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light,” he said. “This leads to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practice and exchange those gifts, which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.”
In an age of “disenchantment,” when the central institutions and values of the West are more likely to prompt skepticism than affirmation, the bishop of London’s sermon provided a window on the sacrament of matrimony. At the very center of all the pomp and pageantry stood the sacrament — the words, actions and materials that affirm the marriage vows and lay the foundation for the indissoluble bond of husband and wife.
The bishop of London acknowledged the fears and hopes of a modern society that has come to doubt the existence not only of a loving God, but of love itself. To a skeptical world, he proposed that the survival of the institution of marriage, rightly understood, could help secure the fulfillment of our common hopes.
“We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another,” he concluded.
To which the congregation at Westminster gave in reply — with perhaps mixed emotions and some perplexity — a vigorous “Amen.”

Here is a video of the complete sermon:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Story of Us

I'm not sure which is odder - the random make-out seen or Taylor having a seizure in the library. I love the setting of the video but the shots seem to move too quickly to be able to grasp what they are trying to portray. 
Your thoughts?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday morning

Today during Mass while I was in line for confession, the lady behind me had her young daughter with her. I'm guessing the girl was around 4. I over heard a short conversation between them that made me laugh.
Girl: Mom, how did they get those servants?
Her Mom: Those aren't servants, they are altar boys.
Girl: But how did they get them?
Mom: They are up there to help the priest.
Girl: But are they paying them?
Mom: No, they want to help the priest.
Girl: But are they - is the priest - giving them money?

So now, I'm sitting at home with my Dad drinking coffee and reading the paper.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


A conversation with my Mom after a candle in my room dripped wax all of the carpet:

Me: Hey Mom, you know how you don't really like wax dripping onto the carpet?
Mom:  Yeah. What about it?
Me: Oh nothing. I was just wondering if you'd changed your opinion yet.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So fresh!

I think I know what my diet will be consisting of this summer.

Irena Sendler

Irena Sendler 1910-2008
 A 98 year-old German woman named Irena Sendler recently died. During WWII, Irena worked in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. Irena smuggled Jewish children out; infants in the bottom of the tool box she carried and older children in a burlap sack she carried in the back of her truck. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the kids’ and infants’ noises. Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children. She eventually was caught, and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely. Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited some of the families. Most had been killed. She helped those children get placement into foster family homes or adopted. 
(from here and here)

P.S. Have you EVER seen a sweeter, kinder, gentler, more beautiful or loving smile?? This article nearly made me cry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

wave break

Image 1 - from Sea Lust, by Ibai Acevedo
Image 2 - unknown 
Image 3 - taken by my madre

The wave break, before the crash, is one of my favorite moments. It is so beautiful and powerful.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I saw these wonderful bubble pictures on A Cup of Jo, by Odian Hole Standal.

She also linked to an earlier post of hers of popping bubbles.

Amazing pictures of bubbles taken by Richard Heeks.

Seeing them reminded me of some pictures I took last summer.

Something about bubbles seems almost magical. I really don't like the word 'magical' but it really seems appropriate. It also reminded me of:

So I'm just kinda lovin' bubbles right now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

pencil stubs

Who knew old pencil stubs could be turned into something so great?! 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Never too late

For some people, it's never too late for love.
That's certainly the case for Forrest Lunsway and Rose Pollard, an Orange County, Calif. couple who were married this March 19, Forrest's 100th birthday. With a combined age of 190--Rose is a spring chicken--they're believed to be the world's oldest newlyweds.
A spokesman for the Guinness Book of World Records said they had been informed of the wedding and are set to verify it as a record. For 27 years, Forrest smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, and he still drinks the odd glass of wine or whiskey and 7-Up, he said in a recent interview with the The Daily. He attributes his longevity to never having had a desk job: He spent his youth trapping animals and selling their fur in Kansas before moving to California, where he worked as a pipe welder.
Both Forrest and Rose had been married before, but were single when they met back in 1983 at a senior's dance. Though they soon started dating, wedding bells seemed unlikely.
'I told him up front I had no intention of getting married," Rose said. "But then one day he asked me 'how come we never got married? and I said 'because you never asked me.'"
''So he got down on one knee and said, 'Well I'm asking you now, just set the date.' I told him, 'I'll marry you on your 100th birthday.' And I did."
And being on the older side, the couple also has some wisdom to share on how to make a marriage work. Rose, 93, told The Daily: 'Take your time and get to know one another. Get to know if you like all the things that person stands for. ... Be forgiving and patient and say I love you once in a while."
Rose also told The Daily that their advanced age means that she and Forrest don't have many of the anxieties that can be a challenge for other newlyweds. "That's one of the things we can forget about--time. Because time doesn't mean that much."
And it's time well spent together: They both love ballroom dancing, and they want to kayak in Alaska and walk the coast of California.
"We've got many happy years left as I intend to stick around until I'm at least 110," Forrest said. "You've got to use it or lose it."
CORRECTION: The original version of this piece misstated Rose's age; it is 90, not 93.
(The Daily)
(Article from Yahoo News)

Friday, May 6, 2011

creative photos

Creative pictures by Chema Madoz.

I love the illusions these photos create without exiting the realm of what is actual.

christian louboutin pink glitter pumps

Found this picture on pinterest!

roadside beauty

I took these today while I was driving with my Mom garage saleing. It was such a gorgeous field of daffodils that I made my Mom pull over so I could take these. Unfortunately we didn't find too many goodies at the garage sales.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Grandma's cook books

There are few people I know whose memories of their grandma do not seriously involve cooking and food.  Mine most definitely do! I was thrilled to be able to capture my Grandma standing with her two book cases of cook books.