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Preview: Oblique House

Oblique House

where nothing is quite parallel nor perpendicular and likewise not as bleak as it may sound...... Observations of an opinionated Catholic home-schooling mother/church secretary... E-Mail Me

Updated: 2018-03-05T20:04:23.719-06:00


Feeling Almost Like Spring


I keep expecting that days will come when I feel like myself again.  It's been a long, strange year and a half and I still feel like I've had the rug pulled out from under me.  (Not the real rug, good heavens, at least I still have the rug. And as the Dude says, "it really pulls the room together", no matter where we have landed!) Living near Chicago can make for the cultivation of an

Christmas Memories


Happy Family and one cat who is in heaven with the fascinating boxes and gift wrap.

Epiphany Greetings


Merry Christmas to all... and to all - "Epiphany Greetings". This past year has been quite something.  And I would be less than honest if I didn't admit that moving twice in less than 12 months didn't take something of a toll on me - physically and mentally.  And I'm not even counting the sore shoulder I woke up with this morning. That would be from my foray onto the basketball court at

Reading while moving...


Finally, we're moving into our place.  Having moved twice since November, it's a little more tedious than exciting.  But it is going to feel so good when we've got everything sorted and into place! I'm squeezing in a little time fore reading, too.  I just got a copy of Heather King's new book and am devouring it.  I've loved Heather's other books - and this book looks like it may be her best

Peacock Eye!


I'm not ready to commit to a tattoo.  If I stall long enough I'll make it through life tattoo free.  But I occasionally see tattoos I admire.  When I attended a Flannery O'Connor conference in Chicago several years ago I met a young woman who had the most exquisite peacock feather tattooed on her forearm and part of her hand.  If only it had been a temporary tattoo that could have been purchased



Me? Worry?  Well, I'm trying not to worry but everything has been a little trying lately.  So yeah, I have moments of worry.  It was pretty funny when I did a Google image search for my name.  Lots of funny stuff plus my old friend Alfred E.  So for old times' sake... In the course of a meeting yesterday the problem of "Google issues" was discussed.  I don't exactly have Google issues.  Except

Holding Down the Fort


anxious and troubled about a few things.  First of all, holding down the fort when we're between forts.  Our time was up at our temporary house - and not a moment too soon* - two weeks ago.  Not having found the right place at the right price, we are currently split between two places.  My commute is getting to be a bit taxing, though I must admit I was spoiled by all the years of having a 7

If I Must Spend a Lot of Time With a Cat. . .


When you're done with this, I have some old New Yorkers  you may enjoy! . . . I prefer it to be a literate cat.  Maybe not such a magazine hog, but still.  So - do I send a little catnip for Christmas or add him to the Vanity Fair gift subscription list? And why am I suddenly hanging with cats?  Our time was up at the 'temp' house (thank the Lord - it was becoming too strange to continue

We're Out of Cornflakes . . .


"I can't take it anymore, Felix, I'm cracking up. Everything you do irritates me. And when you're not here, the things I know you're gonna do when you come in irritate me. You leave me little notes on my pillow. Told you 158 times I can't stand little notes on my pillow. "We're all out of cornflakes. F.U." Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Unger!" Those building block

Of all the inappropriate toys...


that my children managed to  smuggle into church, there never was a (toy) sword.  A sword? How did the child behind me at Mass this morning manage to bring a sword - albeit of the foamy variety - to church?  Hate to do a "if that was my child" but...if that was my child, the sword would have been confiscated and placed in a secure location. (i.e, behind mother's derriere until church was over;

Calling St. Anthony!!! Again...


So, it is the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua .  Time to ask for one more favor.  There's the matter of the TJMaxx giftcard that I bought for B's birthday last week.  Still haven't found it!  Giving someone a homemade gift card to be redeemed for a lost gift card shows I am at the nadir of my organizational skills.  The absolute nadir. 

Greetings from a beat up 15 inch MacBook . . .


Another June...more birthdays.  Our Irish Princess has her birthday on Friday.  (Yes, The Omen jokes continue after all these years. There are NO 6s on her scalp. I, the doctor, and, as Clairol would say, her hairdresser know for sure.) I didn't do the Bees on the Lawn thing this year.  The bees are in storage and I'm not too sure how a lawn full of dozens of plastic bees would play with our

Home is Wherever I'm with You


We few, we happy few, we band of sisters and brothers... All this mother needs for a happy Mother's Day.  The fetes and gifts are lovely, but having this beautiful band of brothers and sisters to look upon is all I need.  We've been through a lot these past six months, but as long as I have them I have home. My heart breaks for those who can't wait for today to pass, as the losses they have

Pink Flats with Bows


I couldn't.  I wouldn't.  I wouldn't if I could.  As a person who tries to keep it simple - I mean, I love wearing my Crocs - and so admires the Holy Father's call to simplicity and the less blingy life, I would be somewhat embarrassed to wear Chanel flats.  But...also as a person who couldn't walk in any kind of heels if my life depended on it, I do appreciate the plethora of really nice and

Playing Favorites


I did a little blog piece on Fr. Barron's Word on Fire blog for the Feast ofAnnunciation ...narrowed down my favorite Annunciation paintings to ten.  There are so many that paring it down to ten wasn't easy.  But here I can divulge my favorite of the favorites!  Henry Ossawa Tanner's Annunciation from 1898.  Less detailed than some other works, but still containing many elements common to the

Not Ruined


Not that I have had time to read Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald.  But I really liked this ad.  Liked  it so much I could adopt it this quote as another motto.  Though "We never, ever do nothing nice and easy...." has served my family well over the years.  Not that actually we do things nice and much as it may appear to some.  Just nice and, well, not easy.

No Kvetching Zone


When I set out to write 7 Ways to Observe Lent in the Home for Fr. Robert Barron's Word on Fire Blog, the first item that came to mind was my annual giving up of kvetching.  I'm not kvetching about it - it's just so much easier said than done.  Especially during a winter that has made kvetching about the weather the basis of everyday conversation in the Chicago area.  Finally we have a sunny,

Ninjestrians. Add this to the OED stat!


We always called the darkly dressed walkers (usually walking with traffic...seriously!) "ninjas".  I thought this was maybe just a vH family pet peeve and then I saw this on a piece about 30 words that should be added to the English language.  So we're not alone in our extreme dislike of those who appear to be asking to be hit.  Add this word to the OED dictionary stat - that will

We Have a Winner!!!


I really thought Bridget, Eddie, and I won some sort of cosmic lottery when our tire was hit by a heavy, sharp, and sizable chunk of metal on our way home from Mariano's last week-end.  All things considered we were so fortunate since it could have been so much worse if it had hit the truck's gas tank or come in through the window.  At the time I was a bit hysterical - what with having to have

Looking more like home...


One little nook at a time, home is starting to look more like a home. I'm working with what I brought along...and constantly wondering what is at home and what is in storage.  Would like to get to the storage place to pick up a few things - including my 'box of saints.'  But I'm happy to have a nice area which is the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing at night.  Enhanced by the

Pure Escapism


Am I the only person who watches Sleepy Hollow, likes it a lot, and has no idea whatsoever is going on?  Maybe this is one of those shows that demands paying attention...which is not my usual TV watching MO.  I like to read, write, do craft projects, fold laundry while 'watching' TV.  Sometimes I do all those things at the same time.  Anything is better than watching the weather.  It gets cold

Gobsmacked: Prig in the City


I'm still 'processing' the events of the past couple of months.  The quick house sale.  The finding of a pretty close to perfect house - at an amazing price.  The price was amazing because it was few miles north - in a 'less than desirable' zip code.  Or plain undesirable, if you come from where we had been.  The mortgage was moving along smoothly; until the bank decided we didn't have enough '



First-world problems here.  But enough little losses to strip away so many attachments.  Two of my daughters broke up with their long-time beaux.  Maybe for the best, but I still miss them.  Home felt empty. They had been a constant presence; they were on my short list for pall bearers.  Their joining the family had seemed inevitable and then they were gone.  We had been renting from my in-laws

Get Lucky?


We've come too far To give up who we are... I spin a lot lately.  My mind. My body.  Just getting dressed for work is a challenge as I have yet to totally disgorge the boxes, totes, and Force-Flex trash bags that contain my things.  I feel a little like Dorothy landing in a low rent Oz.  If I spin enough I'll get used to it. One day in September I am about as happy as I can be.  Life was good;

Just Give Me a While...


"WORSE? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell." We've been watching a little too much "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." And quoting it copiously.  For perspective, I guess.  Just give me a while and I can craft a Christmas story far funnier than that of the Griswold's.  We just need to get settled a bit.  Catch my breath.  And then