Seven Quick Takes, Friday, Nov. 8

1. With the basement finished (my post with pictures is here), I am not sure what else to look forward to, but then I have nothing to complain about either. I guess we can start living in our home unhindered by workmen, their schedules, and daytime drilling and hammering. I want to talk about a few things besides the basement and all of that.

2. M went to a philosophy conference last weekend, and there saw a lot of colleagues that he knows from graduate school, previous conferences, and even former professors. He saw one of my favorite philosophy professors from my undergraduate studies who asked about me and said that he remembered me fondly from being in his classes. That really made my day. For some reason I am always a bit surprised when people, who are not my closest friends and relatives, remember me or are even interested in how I am doing. I just don’t really think of myself a a particularly memorable person. I am thankful to this professor for the beginnings of my formation in more serious, intellectual thought. While I am not doing it professionally, I do enjoy it an aside to the rest of my life.

3. I am also feeling thankful to my mother who came and stayed with us for eight days to help me with the kids while M was away (he was only gone two nights) and celebrate F’s birthday. It is always nice to have house guests who help so much with dishes and cooking that they make it easier to run the house. My father was able to fit a visit in between his church music obligations, and it was great to see him. He took some beautiful shots of our family and of the baby, so if you are on our Christmas card list or a Facebook friend, you will get to see them!

4. After a week of having my mom around at lunch time, I went to make lunch for the kids and had no motivation to do so, especially because they were playing happily in the basement. Even my own empty stomach was ignored to peruse the internet for about 10 minutes before I reasoned to myself that if I just went through the hour process of making lunch, eating, and getting the kids down for naps/quiet time, I could have a quiet time of my own to do nothing (or blog).

5. Question about Minnesota life: If it snows before you rake all of your leaves, what are you supposed to do? Can we count on the snow melting before it really freezes up for the Winter? Further, I wasn’t finished “Winterizing” my garden. Please tell me that there will be a thaw. I will be hiding in my warm, cozy soft basement until then.

6. I have been following a this blog called Blossoming Joy by a Catholic, homeschooling mom since August. There is something about it that I find sweet, and I really enjoy her thoughts and the way she raised her children. Further, I am pretty sure my husband was just like her teenage son when he was a teenager.

7. This is the obligatory comment on my blog about the World Series not turning out as I had hoped. A brilliant author once penned: “Baseball is a cruel, but beautiful game, played in the shape of a diamond.” Let’s all think about that for awhile…


Photo by Canadian Veggie.

For more Quick Takes head on over to Jen!

Seven Quick Takes: Five Years (and Counting) with Lady Philosophy

“[I]t seemed to me that there appeared above my head a woman of a countenance exceeding venerable. Her eyes were bright as fire, and of a more than human keenness; her complexion was lively, her vigour showed no trace of enfeeblement; and yet her years were right full, and she plainly seemed not of our age and time. […]
Even so the clouds of my melancholy were broken up. I saw the clear sky, and regained the power to recognise the face of my physician. Accordingly, when I had lifted my eyes and fixed my gaze upon her, I beheld my nurse, Philosophy, whose halls I had frequented from my youth up.” –Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
When M and I were married five years ago today, we joked that he would always have a mistress and that her name was Lady Philosophy. Above is a passage by Boethius where he describes her; many of the virtues and subjects were personified in ancient times, and since we are so into tradition, it was natural to think of M’s area of study as his “mistress.” The great thing about Lady Philosophy is that she encourages my husband to know truth and to be virtuous. And she is really knowledgeable whenever we want to know if some random act is moral or need to figure out what category various  substances belong in.

Us as newlyweds! Photo by Jen Pagano

And now that I have rambled a bit I give you for my quick takes, great things about being married to my philosopher:
1. If he is in the other room for longer than I expected, he is usually perusing St. Thomas or any other text he happens to be reading. I love that I have a husband who gets distracted by books about being and substances.
2.  He always has something to talk about and keeps my mind off things besides diapers, cooking, and whether or not the baby has napped. I confess I will get distracted by the mundane, daily tasks at hand, but he is always encouraging me to think about and discuss ideas.

3. He has been taking out the trash, washing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, and doing the laundry (even diapers!) the entirety of our marriage. We divided the household chores between us, since we cannot afford to pay a staff, and I am so thankful for it. M is better at his chores than I am, though he often talks about the time when the kids will take them over so that he can read more books.

4. He keeps his commitments and does his work well. Not many people spend only four years working on their doctorate and then land a tenure track position right away. But my amazing husband did. He wrote a paper the week after our first G was born, read countless articles with her on his lap, researched and wrote his 400+ page dissertation in our living room with head phones in while two girls under two played behind him (and a wife tried really hard not to talk to him constantly). He takes his work seriously and he always does what he promises he will do. I am so blessed to be loved by such a responsible man.

5. He is a great father. He is always willing to help with diaper changes, read stories, and have a family bedtime routine. He also dresses the kids and makes them breakfast most mornings. If he is working at home and the kids are napping, he does not mind if I run out to the store (alone!) or go for a run for exercise.

6. He loves me. And I love him. I do not normally get mushy on the internet, but it is our five year anniversary, so there it is.

7. He loves God.  We pray together everyday, with our kids, for our kids, and silent prayer when the kids are in bed. We take our kids to daily Mass, and most days pray a family rosary. God has been the center of our marriage and family life, and because of this we have grown in love of Him, each other, and our children daily.

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband!

(Head over to Jen’s Conversion Diary for more quick takes.)

The Metaphysics of Waffle Makers

I made waffles the other night for dinner in honor of the Feast of the Annunciation. M is wonderful and does the dishes every night. When he got to the waffle maker we had the following conversation:

M: How should I wash the waffle maker?
S: Just wipe it down with a paper towel.
M: Should I immerse it in hot, soapy water?
S: Well, that would break it. Would it even be a waffle maker then?
M: If it did not function as a waffle maker would it still be one?
S: I don’t think it would be. Maybe we could put it in a 20 lb bag of rice for a week and then it would work again.
M: What if I completely rewired it, would it still be the same waffle maker or a new one?
S: It would be the same one, I think.
M: Do waffle makers persist through part replacement?

Thought of His Thoughts

M after reading a text for an hour: “I should have written my dissertation on ________! He is awesome!”

He goes on describing how this philosopher says all the things that another philosopher said, but way earlier. He quotes me a few lines.

Me: “Do you feel like you are Adam finding your Eve? ‘At last this is experience of my experience, thought of my thoughts?'”

That is what is is like to live with a philosopher. In case you did not know.

The Sounds of Grading

It’s that time of year again when my dear doctor is flooded with grading. Nearly a hundred finals and papers a piece to grade; papers which he so generously already graded in the first draft form. The hope is that the multiple graded drafts will help the undergraduates improve their writing skills.

This morning Dr. M. was grading the first set of finals. I took the girls on our weekly attempt to satisfy all my cravings grocery trip. After I hauled all of the children and groceries into our second story apartment and began to put them away, he started calling out “WRONG!” whenever he came to a wrong answer. Immediately L., our 17 month old, imitated him with “WONG!”

So as I put the groceries away and made the family lunch, the sounds of grading filled the air. No matter if she was adjacent to her father or back in her bedroom playing, whenever she heard the “WRONG!” she immediately echoed “WONG!”

(I know I have been neglecting the cuteness of our developing toddler; this post is an attempt to compensate.)

There’s Something Different About Philosophers

We went out last night with M.’s adviser and his wife. While we were discussing a logic class and certain professor M. explained that this professor definitely made him speak and think clearly. I chimed in that because of that class, I have been corrected every time I say something imprecise. M.’s adviser’s wife said to me, “Welcome to the club!”