Sunday, October 31, 2010

Daily Dose of Cuteness: A Star and an Angel Go Trick or Treating

The angel refuses to wear her halo or wings, but she's got saying "treeeeeeeat!" and "pleeeeeeeeease" down pretty well.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Cami-Secret: Part 2!

I've been wearing my Cami-Secret in white (because so far it matches better than the tan or black that also come in the package). And I've been pleasantly surprised. It stays in place! And my husband actually noticed that I was wearing it and said that he thought that it added something to the dress that I was wearing and was "cute." Here's a picture I snapped this morning before we went grocery shopping and one I took this afternoon (we're about to go to a barbeque! A very rainy barbeque!).

I would say that at $3.33 a piece they're definitely worth it! The real test will be wearing one tomorrow at Mass while wrangling Sadie...

And if you haven't already, don't forget to enter the giveaway by tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Home Sweet Home: Again!

We came home today! At the moment everything is at a standstill. Our apartment smells remarkably fresh and has for a couple of days. It seems that the many, many visits from the police (as a result of all of our calls) have had an impact. I'm praying that it lasts!

Of course we're still trying to get the apartment owners to fix the apartment, but they seem content to do nothing (still waiting for the lawyer to call us back at this point... I waited by the phone for hours today...).

It was very nice to be home and to clean my house! It had become somewhat "bachelor pad" like in the past few days! And Sadie's getting pretty good at picking up her toys and cleaning these days (she became obsessed with cleaning the furniture the other day after watching Beauty and the Beast).

We're also thinking about switching rooms and putting Sadie and Maggie in the master bedroom and putting our bed in Sadie's room. That way we'd know instantly if the smoke started coming into the house.

I also have a Sadie Story to share. Sadie was exceptionally cute during family prayers tonight. She's been working on making the sign of the cross for about a year now. I used to say "make your sign" before we'd pray and she would touch her chest four times. Lately though she's been getting better at it. While we were saying our family rosary tonight she climbed into bed and lay down (she'd already made the sign once when we started) and kept crossing herself over and over again and then putting her hands together and saying "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Meeeeeeeennnnnn!" For a decade or two she did it for almost every Hail Mary!

Bishop of the Week: Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Texas

I'm always happy when I see a Bishop standing up for the unborn! And Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Texas isn't about to let the truth be obscured by a man who seems to have a loose relationship with both the truth and reality (the second part of that claim is based on the very last Charles Curran quote in this post). All the emphasis in the articles below is mine:
"The Rev. Charles Curran is a Catholic priest and ethicist who has long taught at SMU, and who also has a history of tangling with the Vatican over social issues.

He's to give a lecture Thursday at SMU titled "The U.S. Catholic Bishops and Abortion Legislation: A Critique From Within the Church."

An SMU press release says: "Curran's lecture will examine how U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have made opposition to legal abortion their primary social issue, and will challenge the bishops from a theological perspective for claiming too much certitude in their position."

Farrell issued a statement, saying he had become aware of the lecture.

"The act of directly taking an unborn life is wrong and has always been wrong," Farrell said. "This has been the constant teaching of the church."

Near the end of the statement, Farrell said, "I regret that Father Curran has chosen to criticize the position of the bishops of the United States on this matter.""

"Too much certitude?" How can one be too certain that murdering an unborn child is wrong?

After reading comments defending Father Curran I decided to google him and see what I could find that was "in his own words." It further convinced me that Bishop Farrell is absolutely right in clarifying what is true for the people he is charged with shepherding.

Here are a few questions he answered for the Rochester City Newspaper (read the entire interview here):

How can the Catholic Church offer sanctuary for undocumented workers, but not women who choose to have an abortion or two men who want to marry?

"Well, the obvious answer is that we have hierarchical teaching that is against the two things and in favor of the other... You see, we may have to recognize that we don't give enough rights to the fetus. I think we've given too much, but there is still the danger that we might not give enough."
Would the Catholic Church have greater credibility today if it had allowed priests to marry and women to be ordained?

"Oh, yes. I don't think there is any doubt about that anymore. This is a good illustration of how the congregation has gone out way ahead of the church; where people know and understand this. The credibility is lost when they don't see the church making the changes that are obvious."
And then he makes statements like this:
"There is no doubt, that the strongest opposition to modern liberties and human rights during the 18th, 19th and into the 20th century came from the Roman Catholic Church."
See, this is what happens when our understanding of history comes from such great sources as Monty Python. People like Charles Curran speak and there are people who actually believe that what he's saying reflects some version of reality. I mean seriously, even people who absolutely hate the Catholic Church (unless they're an incredibly paranoid conspiracy theorist) would admit that there have been quite a few "oppositions" to "human rights" far greater than anything that has come from the Church Jesus founded with Peter.

Speaking the truth isn't always popular. But as I've started to look for a "Bishop of the Week" each week I've been heartened by those that I've read about!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Cami-Secret: Bringing Necklines Up!

Today I tried to relax... Tomorrow I'll be talking to the tenet's rights lawyer, but for today, I'm trying not to stress out too much about everything that's been going on the past couple of weeks. And I also decided to go on a little shopping spree. You see, during my couponing adventures I've accumulated quite a little stash of CVS "extra care bucks." So this was to be a Extra Buck shopping spree. I went through my coupons and discovered that I had a maximum of fifty dollars in free coupons to spend.

There were a couple of things I had my eye on. I've been walking past the cute glass turkey platter that they were selling for $12. It had been marked down by 25% (because we're soooooooo close to Thanksgiving...) so that was on my list. And there was a cute pumpkin scented candle that Paul thought smelled great (and since we're trying to cover up smells...) that was also on the 25% off shelf.

A can opener was also on the list because mine broke last week.

Then we cruised past the "made for TV aisle." There was something I was hoping against hope to see there. Because, while I wasn't about to pay shipping and handling to order this particular item over the phone, I thought that I might just use my extra bucks to get them for free. And there they were just waiting to be snatched up. The Cami-Secret.

It's like a little swatch of fabric that attaches to the straps of bras to give low cut shirts a higher neckline. Not everyone thinks it's a good idea. Then again, covering cleavage hasn't exactly been a major fashion trend in the twenty-first century.

For the past couple of years I've used camisoles to give low cut dresses and shirts a higher neckline. It's hard to find nursing tops with appropriate necklines and it seems like every dress with a low enough hemline has a plunging neck. With a toddler who constantly pulls at my camisoles I have a hard time keeping them in place (and camisoles are more expensive, even the three packs I get at Costco!). The Cami-Secret claims to clip at any level on bra straps and stay in place.

We will see. If it passes the toddler test I will be thrilled. If it "mostly passes" the toddler test (and stays put most of the time) I will still be pretty excited.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting and Hoping...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the prayers! I'm feeling much calmer tonight.

I talked to the lawyer this morning. She started to gasp in horror about two minutes into the actual story-part of the conversation. Her immediate suggestion is to save any receipts for any expenses we incur because of this (like gas receipts for all the driving Paul has to do back and forth to my parent's house). She also said that if we wanted to get things rolling right now we should go to the building inspector and report what's going on, but that we also might want to wait on that, because the managers and off site manager are trying to figure out what's going on.

Paul and I talked about it and we're going to wait until Friday (which also happens to be the day the lawyer will call back). If nothing has been done by Friday, and the offsite manager hasn't returned our calls, we are going to go to the building inspector and tell them what's been going on (I have a feeling they'll be very interested...).

Paul also spoke with the DA who said he would prosecute if the case came to him (the deputies were really surprised when Paul told them he'd gone to the office and spoken with him in person).

In other news the apartment stinks like a sickly sweet bunch of roses were pureed and pumped into the air. It is slightly better than the alternative. I guess after all the deputy visits yesterday, our neighbors are taking this a little more seriously and are trying to cover up the smell with copious quantities of air freshener (actually it smells more like cheap floral perfume...)! I still doubt this is the end of the smoke, but they do seem to be making an effort to cover the smell... Maybe the fix-it guy can track the flower smell down and figure out where it's coming from.

The lawyer said she'd talk it over with everyone in their weekly meeting and call on Friday. The consensus seems to be that this is a very new problem that is pretty likely going to become a very common problem in our state.

So the girls and I are still away from home. Sadie is sleeping on the futon in Nani's sewing area and Maggie and I are in the guest room... and tonight we're enjoying watching Grumpa's team (the Giants) play a great game! While I am a Red Sox fan by marriage (let's face it, it's just easier that way!) I can't help but say... "Go Giants!"

A Tiny Ray of Hope!

I called right at 9:00 am this morning and have an appointment with a tenet's right attorney at 10:30 this morning! Please pray this helps (and thanks to everyone for all the prayers!)!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Update

I'd like to start off by thanking everyone for the prayers! They are a source of strength as we try to figure out what to do next...

When I called Paul tonight he told me that the deputy and the fix-it guy were at our house and I had a solid hour of hopefulness. I thought that they might actually fix our apartment and work everything out. Apparently this idea was overly optimistic. Here's the new rundown:

The deputy showed up at our home something like four hours after I called the sheriff's department the first time (and over an hour after I called the second time and was told that no one was coming out). Unfortunately after we left the apartment, Paul opened all the windows in the house and turned on fans to pump clean air in, in an attempt to flush the smell out. As the apartment temperature dropped to fifty-something degrees, the smell faded away... and then the deputy arrived and wanted to independently verify the smell... ugh... of course the smell was gone... so we're supposed to call back the next time the apartment fills with smoke and this time they absolutely will send someone over to "independently verify" the smell... I am somewhat skeptical. They said they were coming out yesterday and then told us that a "report over the phone was just as good." I've lost all faith in these guys.

... The visit from the handyman did nothing to ease my mind either... He arrived and checked the water heater in Sadie's room and said he didn't think that was how it was getting in, but that there was a leak and that the water heater had been dripping water for who knows how long. Then he told Paul that "there might be mold." He fixed the leak and Paul said you can't see any mold but having heard mold horror stories, my mind is not really put at ease by that fact.

The handy man and the deputy seem to think that the smoke is somehow coming through the walls... so it's pretty much beyond the handy-man's skill level to find out what's going on...

So we're pretty much living in exile from our home (or at least the girls and I are... Paul is sticking it out at the house waiting to call when the house fills back up with smoke). I'm calling a tenet's rights lawyer at 9am in hopes of getting a call back tomorrow (my dad was told you have to call right at 9 to even have a chance at getting to talk to someone at some point during the day).

I really love(d) our apartment...

No One Will Help... Nothing to Do... Feeling Hopeless...

Sadie and Maggie and I have been forced from our house when the smoke got so bad, that it filled the rest of the apartment (despite the fact that the doors were all closed). Paul started having a hard time breathing (he has asthma) and then Sadie started coughing and wheezing again and I had Paul whisk her outside and put her in the car. She and Maggie sat in our car with him while I gathered up our belongings and called the sheriff again.

The secretary at the sheriff's department told me to take her to the hospital and call us after the doctor had examined her. I explained that we'd whisked her out the second she started to have a problem again, and that she didn't need to go to the ER. Thus the only solution, by this logic, would be to take her back into the apartment until she was sick enough to need EMS, and there's no way in the world that I'm going to go that route to get help. She said that she wouldn't presume to give me medical advice. I laughed like a crazy person. She said that there's nothing they could do and no deputies to send.

So we sat outside (it's 50 degrees) until my mom got back from seeing Gigi, my grandfather who's recovering from a broken hip and a broken should in a rehab facility an hour away, about twenty minutes later (she was already on her way home), feeling completely powerless. This is so frustrating.

This person (I don't think he deserves the title "man") was warned last night that the smoke coming through the walls was making our daughter sick (and that they intended to fix it, but were waiting on the handy man) and asked to refrain from smoking inside until they fix it. Instead he's spent the entire day filling his apartment with smoke. He's doing this with the full knowledge that this is making a child sick. And the sheriff's department won't even send someone out to talk to him.

I feel hopeless.

The managers aren't home. We don't have anyone left to call.

Our house is full of smoke. All our belongings stink.

So Paul is trying to air the place out. And I'm leaving with the girls.

This is ridiculous. I don't think I've cried this much in years.

Another Sadly Crazy Day

Just got off the phone with the sheriff's department. Sadie's room is full of smoke again. After the warning last night and last week, it's kind of hard to keep from thinking that it's not intentional. And I have a little girl who's crying because half the house is closed off and it happens to be the half of the house with most of her toys (which reek of smoke). I carried out some of her favorites when it was happening... This is so frustrating.

Paul just went down to the DA's office to see if there's anything that can be done.

This is insane.

Who would knowingly put a little girls life at risk to get high?

Knowingly Endangering A Child...

As Paul and I were sitting down stairs a couple of hours ago I told him I had an inexplicable feeling of dread, as though something bad were moving towards us at a steady pace. The feeling bothered me, because, other than the rather hectic week we've had, there was no real reason for it. It felt like a heavy weight pressing down on me and I just couldn't shake the feeling. It started last night and had lasted all day.

Yet as we went about our night as if everything else was normal. Lately our new routine (pre-apartment-smoke-fix anyways) goes something like this: After dinner and bath time we all go into Sadie's room for the family rosary. Sadie usually falls asleep during the rosary and we let her sleep in her room for a little while and then move her into our room (Maggie either comes down stairs or goes straight into her bassinet). The point of letting her fall asleep in her room was so that her routine wouldn't be completely destroyed by all the stuff that's been going on.

I'd gone downstairs for a little while and was watching some Catholic news with Paul (Real Catholic TV!) when the bad feeling grew stronger. I decided to check on Sadie. When I got there the air filter (thank goodness, or I'm afraid we would be back in the ER) was on but the smell was just beginning to fill the room. I whisked Sadie into our room and then grabbed the air filter and set it up so that it was blowing on the girls in our room.

Then we called the managers and the sheriff. The managers came over and smelled it and went to talk with our neighbor. We also found out that they had informed him that Sadie had been sent to the ER because of the smoke. So this time he did it with that knowledge (I believe that would be the "malicious intent" that the deputy was talking about last week). And the sheriff's deputy wrote a report. Now to get a little sleep.

Interestingly enough, the bad feeling is gone now.

I'll breath much easier when all of this has been resolved though... now to get a little sleep.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Full of Grace Creations Monday Morning Giveaway: A Bracelet

Next Monday is the first Monday of November (wow! It's almost November already? Time flies!) so I'm giving away a Full of Grace Creations bracelet!

And this isn't just any bracelet! It's a freshwater pearl bracelet (made from the nicest medium sized freshwater pearls I've found so far!) with a pink glass bead center! It's beautifully feminine and would make a wonderful Christmas gift (of a gift for yourself!)!

I had a hard time taking a photo this morning that did it justice! Here it is:

Now for the rules!

There's no limit to the number of times you can win!

You can earn one entry simply for leaving your contract information in the comment section.

You can earn one entry (each) if you tell me that you mentioned this giveaway on facebook or twitter!

You can earn three entries when you become a follower (or if you already are a follower!). Just mention it in the comment section (it can be in the same post).

Lastly you can earn five entries if you post the link to your blog post about this giveaway in the comment section!

Entries will be closed Sunday the 17th at noon and the winner will be announced sometime Monday morning!

And my international readers are welcome to enter! We ship internationally now!

Good luck and God Bless!

And the Full of Grace Creations Monday Morning Giveaway Winner is...

I used the random number generator and got this:

Here are your random numbers:

And that means that the winner is…


Congratulations Emily! Send me an email (@ thiswomansplace at with the mailing address you’d like me to ship your necklace to and I will get them in the mail!

Now for another giveaway!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

California Senate 2010

If you read my blog and you know a teeny bit about California's politicians you can probably guess who I'll be voting for in a little less than two weeks for the senate race.

You may remember how I was talking about compiling a list of my favorite Bishop's last week... well, if I compiled a list of my least favorite politicians, Barbara Boxer would be very near the top. And that's why this little clip makes me laugh:

Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

I will be so incredibly thrilled if Carly Fiorina wins! Actually if Carly Fironia wins I will be so happy that I will tap dance around the living room and post a mini video of that very-very-happy-tap-dance on my blog! Here's hoping!

Things that Make Me...

Really Incredibly Happy Right Now:

"California's marijuana legalization ballot initiative, Proposition 19, is trailing badly, according to a new Los Angeles Times/USC poll, which found likely voters opposing the measure 51% to 39%..."

"The Public Policy Institute of California reported Wednesday only 44 percent of likely voters polled Oct. 10-17 intend to vote for Proposition 19 -- down 8 percentage points since September. -- with 49 percent opposed and 7 percent undecided. And a Los Angeles Times-University of Southern California poll, conducted Oct. 13-20 and released Friday found 51 percent of likely voters say they'll vote against Prop. 19, while only 39 percent will vote for it with 10 percent undecided or refusing to answer.
"The rule of thumb for ballot measures is unless you have close to 60 percent going in, the undecideds will flock disproportionately toward 'No.' If they haven't made up their minds by Election Day, they overwhelmingly vote no," said Larry Gerston, a political-science professor at San Jose State..."

Maybe things aren't quite as crazy as they seem in the Sunshine State. After all, there have been other Props that showed that the people of majority of people still have at least a bit of common sense...

Last Chance to Enter!

Don't forget to enter the Monday Morning Giveaway! You have until tomorrow (Sunday) at noon!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Skunk State: And an Update

Now that that last post is out of the way I'll post my Smoke Situation Update:

I have some (hopefully) good news. I took Sadie to the doctor today to get some answers and learned more than I had expected to. First off, the doctor isn't certain that Sadie has asthma. She thinks that the breathing problem could be entirely due to an allergy to pot. She said if it is a straight allergy it will happen every single time Sadie is exposed to pot smoke, but that it should also stop pretty quickly when Sadie is taken away from it.

She also had a good suggestion on how the pot smoke is coming into Sadie's room and the downstairs bathroom. She said in cases like this it is almost always through the area around water pipes. At first I was confused as to how it could be coming into Sadie's room if that was the case, although that would explain the downstairs bathroom (the wall that backs up to our neighbors house has our washer and dryer hookups).

Then we realized that there is a water hookup in Sadie's room. The closet to the right of her clothes closet is the water heater. So we think that that heater likely backs up to the heater in the other room. And we've also learned that the bathroom vent probably sucks air from the attic, which would be shared with the neighbors attic, which would have exasperated the problem, pumping even more smoke into the apartment if we happened to turn it on when he was smoking.

The solution, according to the doctor who's dealt with this before said that the solution is (thankfully) pretty easy. She said to ask the manager to take foam insulation and insulate the areas around the pipes, which can be done by simply spraying the foam into the space that exists next to the pipes. So we're going to be asking the manager if that can be done in both apartments to insulate against the smoke (I imagine he'd be happy with this solution too since it would mean he wouldn't be bothered by the sheriff being called every time he smokes). And we're cautiously optimistic that this might keep Sadie's room and the rest of the apartment smoke free.

That's all we know for now, but it's much better news than I'd even hoped for when I made Sadie's appointment (I definitely wouldn't have expected advice on how to fix the building!).

I am more certain than ever, however, that laws need to be put in place to protect children from this drug. If prop 19 passes the entire situation will stink (quite literally). California could go by a new name: The Skunk State (if you've smelled "harvest time" you know what I mean!).

Fun from the Combox; This is What Happens to Your Brain When You Do Drugs Folks

Sometimes a rare, brave person, feels the need to speak up Anonymously in the combox to.... protect their right to do drugs.

I'll let you all share in the craziness, which is really a great example of why smoking pot isn't a great idea for anyone:
Anonymous said...

You are out of control young lady!!!!!! There is no way in hell your kids could of gotten asmatic problems From this. As I read more of your story you took them all the way to the ER for nothing !!!!! When someone elses true emergency was put on hold because of this. If the room was so filled with smoke then why would you even let your daughter go in there?????? pretty dumb !!!! And I can obivolously see that you have never smoked pot before and you don't know anything about it(effects). So Why don't you keep ur comments to urself and not post this crap all over the internet!!! Oh also I don't blame the sherriff he know's whats about to happen in a few weeks .Prop 19 is gonna pass and if it doesnt its only going to be in a matter a years! Sorry to burst your bubble but the police and sherriffs have alot of other BIGGER PROBLEMS TO DEAL WITH!! Maybe you should think about moving to a different state!!!

OH YA VOTE YES ON PROP 19!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmmmmm.... Where to start?

As you can all probably guess I won't be "keeping my comments to myself anytime soon." Here I go being my usual "out of control self" (okay, it's hard not to laugh at that one!).

I've kind of been waiting for this, because drug users are an extra-special type of crazy and they often begin to act like rabid idiots when someone questions their right to fry their brains.

First off, we see that the commenter would likely be unable to pass a first grade reading comprehension test. But, lest he confuse any readers who haven't followed the entire drama as it has unfolded, I'll explain, yet again, the points that he (or she) missed.

I didn't put my daughter down to bed in a smoky room. She went to bed at 7pm. My stoner neighbor hadn't yet decided to light up and fill both of our apartments with smoke. I was downstairs working on a rosary when I heard her begin to gasp as her little lungs failed to find any clean air to breath in, a few hours later.

The ER definitely didn't seem to think it was a waste of time. They don't order chest x-rays because everything is peachy. And they know that marijuana isn't good for babies. Or anyone really (these are real doctors... not the kind that sell prescriptions for $150 a pop).

I never claimed that the pot smoke "caused" my daughter to become asthmatic. I said that the pot smoke brought on an asthma attack and that she had never exhibited asthmatic symptoms before. When I spoke with her doctor today she said that it's very likely that the reaction wasn't asthma at all, but an acute allergy to marijuana that caused her to be unable to breath. Pretty scary stuff. She said if it happens again and she continues to have problems to take her straight to the ER so they can put her on a nebulizer. So I guess your years of experience with pot haven't given you all the marijuana facts in the world, have they?

And I certainly won't blame the sheriff in our town. He's been very helpful (you see, there's a difference between a "sheriff" and a "sheriff's deputy"). We've been in contact with our county's sheriff almost every day (today was the first day we hadn't spoken with him at least once) as the action the department is going to take unfolds and we're meeting with him this weekend to discuss the incident. It's unfortunate that his deputy decided to shirk his duty, but I seriously doubt he will make the same mistake twice. His phone call is just one clue that even he has realized that he screwed up. Appropriate action, after his initial laziness, has been taken.

Unfortunately, because I did grow up in California, I've seen the effects of marijuana use firsthand. And your email is a stellar example of the sort of problems that regular use causes. Here are a few articles you may want to check out:

Prop 19 may very well pass. And if it does I think that the majority of people in California will realize, in a very short amount of time, that they've made a huge mistake, as they begin to live with the consequences of their vote.

My family arrived in California 161 years ago. But you're right on one note. California, ultimately, may not be the best place for my family any longer. Still, because there are 4 generations of us here, I'm certainly not going to give up on this beautiful place altogether.

My prayers are with you Anonymous. I truly hope that no member of your family is ever harmed the way my daughter was, or in any other way, by the drug that you so clearly love.

A Sick Little Bunny

Up with one sick little Maggie since 3:55 am... and it doesn't help my nerves that Paul came home last night and announced that he's heard of 2 babies in town with pneumonia, so it sounds like something nasty is going around. What a week.

Thankfully Maggie has a well baby check up tomorrow. Poor little thing. She's so sweet and she keeps smiling at me, even though its obvious she's one sick little bunny.

Liar, Liar... or The Law Enforcement Drama Continues

When the deputy called that awful night I had given up waiting for the phone to ring. I'd managed to stop crying. My hand was already on the doorknob as I left to go to the ER when I heard the sound and turned and went back to pick up the receiver.

If you've read my earlier posts you know that that conversation didn't go well. I basically begged the deputy to just come out to the apartment and he continued to repeat that there was nothing he could do to help so coming to the apartment was completely useless. At one point he asked if I just wanted him to go over and talk to our neighbor. When I said yes he acted like he hadn't heard me and continued to say there was nothing that could be done.

I was upset. My daughter was in the ER without me and she'd been put there by someone using a drug that is still completely illegal under federal law. I finally said: "Fine, so you aren't going to do anything. And I need to go to the hospital. But I want you to know that I am going to do absolutely everything in my power to tell everyone that I possibly can that you did NOTHING to help us." I turned off the phone, handed it to my mom, who was there to stay with Maggie, burst into tears and walked out the door.

I don't think the deputy expected me to keep my promise, but the next morning I was determined. I was also considerably less upset with the deputy, personally. In fact, by afternoon my frustration with him had been transformed into frustration with a law that either a) didn't exist to protect children from this situation (if he was correct) or b) was so unclear that he really hadn't known what to do. Either way I wanted things cleared up.

My focus became ensuring that there was legislation in place to protect children from the seemingly inevitable plume of smoke that's going to descend on California next month when marijuana is "legalized."

So I didn't complain about the deputy during the interview. In fact when talking with an official in town I excused it saying, "I know he has a very tough job." I tried to focus on the larger picture.

And then the phone rang again. Only this time I was at my parent's house having dinner with the girls and Paul was working on a project for school and getting ready to leave for work so he answered. It was the same deputy. He was just "checking in" to see how Sadie was doing and was "following up" on what had happened since he'd spoken with me. It was interesting that he hadn't seemed even vaguely interested in her well being when we'd spoken before. In fact the only thing he'd been interested in was telling me there was nothing he could do and getting off the pone.

Paul told him that I would return his call later. And then he started to talk. And talk. And talk.

He told Paul that he understood that I was upset about the baby but that I had repeatedly demanded that he come and arrest our neighbor. I was shocked when Paul told me this because I never even mentioned arresting him. I wanted documentation. I wanted the man to be informed by the authorities that he was endangering a child. And I wanted them to see her room and see exactly what the problem was. I wanted to prevent it from happening again.

He continued by saying that of course he couldn't arrest the guy, so I had been upset (now we're entering the realm of pure fantasy). Then he told Paul that he'd actually driven out and driven by several times. He'd even gotten out of the car and gone up to the apartment, but said that he didn't smell anything. Paul pointed out that we never thought he'd been smoking outside.

We both doubt that he did anything of the sort since he was so adamant in his refusal earlier and since someone was at our apartment with all the lights blazing the entire time and he never stopped by.

But I think he's realized that I meant what I said. And I think that he's trying to cover up the fact that he did nothing with a fanciful world of make believe in which I'm entirely incoherent and hysterical.

On that note, I certainly won't be glossing over his arrogant attitude (or lazy refusal to even investigate what was going on) any longer. If he wants to make up stories and lie about what I did I am going to respond by very clearly speaking the truth about his role in all of this.

Hopefully next time someone asks for his help he'll do his job instead of sitting in his patrol car and telling them there's nothing he can do to help.

A Better Day: And An Update on the "Smoke Situation"

Today was definitely an improvement on the direction this week had been taking, with our four conversations with poison control and two trips to the ER.

We managed to stay clear of the hospital today and that was really my most basic goal! But Sadie is still acting exceptionally clumsy and I feel like I should strap a helmet and pads on her to help her get through the day.

And oh what a day it was. ABC's North State affiliate called this morning twice, once to talk about the story and then back again to say that they would be at our apartment in about an hour to film.
I was more than a little nervous. I'm very shy around people I don't know and when you add cameras into the mix it definitely doesn't help. But as I've said before I think that this is a very important election coming up and I want people to consider all the facets of what will result if this legalization passes and the exposure of children to second hand smoke is certainly going to be one of them (and I think it's probably one that most people haven't thought of when they think of this "victimless" crime).

The story was going to air tonight, unless they got more time for it... but then the reporter called back and told us that they were going to delay airing it to have more interviews with the Sheriff's department.

The next part was a little bit odd. She said that the Sheriff's department had said that they were going to come through the apartment tonight doing a "sweep." She also said that the deputy she spoke with said "he'd really wished he could have come in and smelled it and seen what it was like..."

My jaw might have hit the floor at this point as I said, "I really wish he'd come and done that too." Because it's not as if I didn't beg him to come and just check things out. I have a feeling that the deputy who should have come over is regretting that he didn't now that people are taking an interest in what's happened.

As far as I know they didn't come by the apartment tonight (I was at my parent's house for dinner, but I would be very surprised to learn that they did any kind of "sweep"). However, the deputy did call Paul and had a very interesting conversation with him. So interesting that it's the topic of my next post!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another Trip to the ER and More News

Today has been another eventful day.

Sadie was still rather clumsy after last nights drama. She was running across Nani's living room when she tripped and sailed head first into the wall. She seemed alright (although she was crying) for a few minutes and then she lost consciousness.

I called 911 and they said that they would let the hospital know that we were coming (when we called 911 for Gigi last week it took over 20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive, so there was no way we were going to wait). We went in Grumpa's truck to the hospital, with Sadie regaining consciousness after about three terrifying minutes.

When we got to the hospital they acted like I was a typical overreacting mom. The doctor watched her cry in Paul's arms and had her run across the room to us and then said she was fine and sent us home. I was very, very nervous about the thoroughness of the examination.

After a couple of hours at home though, Sadie did seem to have improved greatly. She fell asleep in her bed, but I'm going to move her over into our bed so that I can keep an eye on her tonight.

In other news I'm beginning to think that a law really needs to be put in place to protect children from this type of drug exposure. The fact that no law exists is ridiculous. So I wrote quite a few letters this morning, and now it looks like we're going to be on our local ABC affiliate tomorrow night (a reporter is calling me in the morning and wants to know if we'll be available for filming).

I'm not really thrilled about that (I'm pretty painfully shy in real life) but I really think that this story needs to be told and that legislation needs to be put in place to protect children from this sort of drug exposure. Now I have some cleaning to do. If they're going to have a camera in this house tomorrow, it has quite a ways to go... these last two days have been hard on our apartment too...

Thanks to everyone for the prayers and please continue to keep us (especially Sadie) in your prayers as all of this unfolds.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wonderful News: Archbishop Burke to be made a Cardinal!

There is some good news today! Paul and I have had a conversation that goes something like this quite a few times:

Me: "and Archbishop Burke... wait a second... is he a cardinal yet?"
Paul: "Nope, still an Archbishop."
Me: "But you think he will be soon, right?"

So I was really excited (despite all the drama going on in our life's at the moment, to see hear this news this morning:

VATICAN CITY (KMOX) - At his regular Wednesday audience Pope Benedict XVI named new cardinals, including former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke – who now heads the Vatican Supreme Court.

Archbishop Burke says he holds St. Louis so dear to his heart that he kept the title Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis once he went back to head the Vatican Surpreme Court in 2008.

John Allen with the National Catholic Reporter says Archbishop Burke — at age 62 — will be around for long time at the Vatican.

“That means that Archbishop Burke will have almost two decades as an elector,” Allen explained. “That is, he’s a cardinal eligible to vote for the next pope. He could be one of those rare cardinals who has a chance to vote not just once, but twice on a new pope.”

Read the entire article here!

We Must Protect Our Children From Marijuana Legalization

If you've read the last couple of post you already know pretty much everything that's in this letter, but I thought I'd post it anyway. It's the letter I just emailed our congressman:

Dear Congressman Herger,

I wanted to begin this letter by thanking you for coming to speak at the Trinity County Republican Women’s luncheon on Monday! We were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet you and hear you speak about the important issues in our country today.

Unfortunately my reason for writing is someone less happy. I’m not sure there’s anything that you can do, or that can be done at all after talking to the sheriff’s deputy last night, but if what the deputy said is true there seems to be a real problem with the law on this particular topic and I was hoping you could help (or at least keep it in mind when proposing future legislation).
Last night I was downstairs when I heard Sadie, my two year gasping to breath upstairs in her bedroom. I ran to see what was the matter and found her in the middle of what looked to be a full-blown asthma attack (my daughter did not have asthma that we knew of). The cause was immediately clear. The room reeked of marijuana. We believe that in our cheaply made apartment it had come through the walls from the apartment directly behind my daughter’s room, because it only filled the rooms on that side of the apartment. I scooped her up and brought her into our room. Her breathing eased almost immediately.

My husband Paul called 911. We were told that the situation wasn’t an emergency (because we didn’t think we needed an ambulance since we live a few blocks from the hospital and her breathing was more normal) and a deputy would call us in a couple of hours. I was stunned that a situation in which a child was endangered and put in a state where she was unable to breath was classified as a “non-emergency.”

Things got worse when the deputy finally returned our call. He said that because our neighbor didn’t mean to harm our daughter, there was nothing he could do. He said the law only covered “malicious intent” and that since the man didn’t mean to harm my two year old nothing could be done.

This really seems completely illogical to me. I pointed out that parents using meth in front of their children might just be “trying to get high” and weren’t really trying to “harm their children” but that he would still act in that situation. He said that the only way he would be able to act in this situation was if the neighbor was actually trying to “blow smoke into her room.”
It brought to mind the news report earlier in the year that horrified the entire country when that little two-year-old girl was forced to smoke marijuana by her mother. Here I have a two year old in obvious duress, being forced to breath in marijuana because her room is filled with it, and the sheriff’s deputy is telling me that what he’s doing isn’t against the law (I didn’t even mention the fact that it is Federally illegal, because I knew it wouldn’t get us anywhere).

Paul took Sadie to the ER where they taped a bag to her to collect urine to test, and took a chest x-ray because her chest sounded “raspy.” We were sent home after the x-ray came back clear with a still sick little girl, to an apartment that still reeked of marijuana.

She slept in our room with an air filter blowing on her, and is considerably better this morning, as long as she doesn’t go into her own room. At this point I’m just grateful that we hadn’t yet moved our three month olds crib into her sisters room, which we’d planned on doing earlier this month. With her sister’s serious reaction I do not even want to imagine the possibilities if she was exposed.

Our neighbors usually smoke pot right outside, which is annoying, but at least we are able to close our windows. But now that it’s coming through the walls we have very few options. With a husband who works while commuting to graduate school at the University of San Francisco every weekend, we live in the apartment we can afford.

We also contacted Lorrac Craig, our county’s sheriff, and he’s looking into the situation.

It just seems so insane, on so many different levels, but I would hope that even the pro-marijuana legalization camp would recognize that our children must be protected. Their own personal “right” to do drugs cannot extend so far that it encroaches on the right of a child to breath in her own bedroom.

I’ve heard over and over again that marijuana use is a victimless crime. As I watched my daughter gasping for breath last night in her room, her head back and her little eyes half open, I knew without a doubt that that “truth” is a blatant lie.

Even if there’s nothing you can do, thank you for listening to my story.



Malicious Intent and The Sheriff's Deputy's Refusal to Do Anything

Yesterday is over and after a long night that included a visit to the ER, I'm mulling over our next step.

After Paul took Sadie to the ER I burst into tears. Sadie hates doctors (all the ear infections she had when she was tiny) and I knew that she would be hysterical and terrified. But taking Maggie to the ER wasn't an option, so I stayed behind until Nani got home from her hour and a half drive back from The City (she was on her way home when all this started) and came to watch Maggie.

As I was walking out the door to go to the ER our phone rang and it was Deputy Oliver. I can honestly say that when he first began to speak I knew that the conversation wasn't going to go in a productive direction. I told him exactly what had gone: our two year olds bed room had filled with pot smoke from our next door neighbor and she began to have asthmatic symptoms. She could hardly breath. She was now in the ER.

Deputy Oliver's response: I can't do anything, because your neighbor didn't have malicious intent. He has to intend to hurt her for us to do anything.

I was blown away, but tried to inject some logic into the conversation. The ridiculousness of the situation was clear. I thought of the little girl who was all over the news a few months ago who was Sadie's age and who was taken away from her mother who forced her to smoke pot. The entire nation was aghast. And here I have a daughter who can't breath because our neighbor has filled her room with pot smoke (and let's face it POT IS STILL AGAINST FEDERAL LAW even if we don't have a federal government who's interested in enforcing that law) and he's telling me it's not even worth his time to come out and try to help.

I gave him a hypothetical situation: Say two parents are using meth in front of their young children. They aren't trying to harm their children. They're just trying to get high. Are you telling me that you wouldn't arrest them?

Of course he would, but he said that since he wasn't in her room "blowing smoke on her" he wasn't doing anything wrong.

I pointed out that using marijuana is still illegal in California, this month at least, and that we still don't even know if the person in question has a 215 card. He asked if I'd like him to come over and check. I said yes, because although I can't say with 100% certainty which apartment it is I think it would be pretty easy to figure it out (there are two apartments on the side of the house that stinks... and since one of those apartments is still empty and being renovated, therefore it must be the other...). It was apparently a rhetorical question though, since he had no intention of coming over.

After ten minutes of going round and round with a man who repeated his own completely illogical arguments, despite the fact that I gave him multiple examples of times when his argument wouldn't be true, I said, "Fine. It's clear that you're not going to help us. I need to get to the ER to be with my sick child. I want you to know that I'm going to tell every single person that I can about this situation." And I hung up the phone and walked out the door.

Sadie was hysterically screaming at the hospital. They'd taped a bag to her to collect urine to test, and she was waiting to have a chest x-ray because her chest sounded "raspy." She clung to me and to her Curious George doll and we snuggled under her Tinker Bell fuzzy blanket. She had a fever of just below 102. So we think that she was also sick, but that the fumes triggered an asthma attack... which we are/were praying that the girls had missed having (Paul does).

The chest x-ray came back clear and they sent Sadie home with her little taped on bag, which we're still waiting for her to fill (this kid so could be potty trained if she wasn't so stubbornly set against it!).

Paul did call the sheriff (who was wonderful to take our panicked call in the middle of the night) and he said he'd look into it.

And this morning we're watching Dora (which distracts Sadie from being sick) and pondering our next step.

Something needs to be done to protect our children from drugs. This is a major problem and if marijuana is "legalized" next month, it's going to grow.

I'm going to do everything in my power to keep that from happening, because truly, this isn't a "victimless crime." I could see the face of one of the victims when I looked at my gasping child last night.

If California Legalizes Marijuana My Story Could Be Yours...

I don't think I've ever written a post while hysterically crying (so please forgive any typos). But I guess those years of competitive typing paid off because I can type this now without looking at the keys.

I put Sadie to bed before I wrote the last post and rode my exercise bike. I was working on her rosary when I heard her start gasping. By the time I went upstairs she was having what looked like an asthma attack. And the second I walked into her room I knew the cause. The room was filled with pot smoke. I ran downstairs and outside as Paul came in the house, but our neighbors lights were off.

With Sadie safely in our room (one half of the apartment is fine and the other is full of smoke) she started to breath a little bit better, but was coughing and coughing and coughing. And she had what looks like a rash up the middle of her torso and was burning hot to touch.

I suspect that the "illness" that began yesterday was really a reaction to the smoke that I'm guessing filled her room while we were sleeping last night.

Within a couple of minutes of taking Sadie from her bedroom her breathing eased a bit. After she'd been downstairs she was only a little raspy.

We called 911 to report the fact that someone was filling our child's room with pot smoke. They said that if we weren't going to have an ambulance respond it wouldn't be considered an emergency (really, someone is endangering a child and that's not an emergency). The nearest deputy is over an hour away and will come by if nothing else comes up.

So I made a decision and Sadie is now at the ER with Paul getting checked out (since we live a couple of blocks from the hospital the ambulance seemed like overkill). I want there to be a record of the exposure and her reaction and since that isn't going to come in the form of a sheriff's report we decided to take her to see a doctor.

And now I'm sitting her crying, waiting for a sheriff's deputy to show up (they crying is mostly because Sadie is there without me and I know how scared she is of doctors and even typing this sends me over the edge into crying again).

Nani is on her way over to watch Maggie so I can go to the ER. And Maggie has an air filter pointed at her little face.

But yeah, I'm sure it's a great idea to legalize marijuana. Just like it was a great idea to legalize medicinal marijuana (which is likely the cause of what's going on here since you can buy a 215 card from a man with a stand next to the Laundromat in our county).

And please feel free to share this story. I think stories like this, that show that the "they're not hurting anyone" mentality is a blatant lie, are very important. Our county is pretty much lost at this point, as one of the centers of this trade, but the rest of the state still has a tiny sliver of a chance... maybe... for a few more weeks anyways.

(this post's picture is of Sadie this weekend... pre-stupid-neighbor-induced-asthma/allergy attack)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Mom: Part 3: Evening

The final installation...

4:00pm- Paul has to be at work at 5 so I set to work getting dinner ready. After heating up a frozen meal of bulgur with eggplant Paul informs me that he will eat after work when he gets home. I set to work trying to remind Sadie that she really does like bulgur. She refuses to try it. I eat an early dinner by myself while Sadie lays on the couch with a runny nose. Maggie plays on the floor and talks to no one in particular.

4:15pm- I inform Sadie that Maggie is still a little small to play peekaboo and that taking a blanket and pressing it over her face is actually a very, very bad idea. We talk again about how small Maggie is and how careful and gentle we need to be with her.

5:00pm- We have a visitor. My friend from Church comes by the see how things are going! We sit and talk for a while, while Sadie looks at her Curious George books and Maggie decides that it's time for her dinner. After she leaves I try to convince Sadie that Beatrice Potter's stories are just as wonderful as George (unfortunately variety is not part of being Two).

6:00pm- Sadie and Maggie cuddle on the floor. Sadie stares at Maggie and Maggie giggles. I call Nani to get an update on Gigi. Our prayers were answered when we found out that there was a bed in the other rehabilitation center in town. As a side-note, here is the drama that unfolded these past few days, and has been weighing on mind:

Nani wasn't really sure how she felt about the rehabilitation center Gigi was sent to, and yesterday her worst fears were confirmed. When she arrived he was in an incredible amount of pain. She was told that when he was asked the evening before he said he'd rather not take his pain pill and so he hadn't been given one since then. By the time they arrived he was completely incapacitated and couldn't answer basic questions.

Nani and Nini sat with him all day yesterday, reminding the staff to feed him and give him his medications since it seemed no one could be bothered to (which is kind of important since he has juvenile diabetes). The final straw came when one of the workers came into the room and was about to give the man in the next bed a shot with his "medicine." When he asked what it was she said "it's your insulin, Bob." Luckily my mom was listening and said, "Stop, he's not diabetic! I think that's my dad's!" The woman checked the chart and found she had made a mistake and brought the wrong medicine to the wrong person. Accidently injecting the wrong person with insulin is pretty scary stuff though and I am hugely relieved that he was finally moved this evening to the other place! Now back to our day...

6:45pm- Sadie's eyes are starting to look very tired. I ask her if she wants to go upstairs. She does. She crawls up the stairs and lets me change her and brush her teeth before climbing into bed and hugging her George doll. We say our rosary and she's asleep before we finish.

7:30pm- Maggie seems to be asleep for good. I begin to work on my blog.

8:30pm- I finish up the blog and look to check off the rest of my to-do list. Up next (in no particular order):
  1. Ride the Exercise Bike for at least half an hour
  2. Straighten up the apartment
  3. Finish making the beads for the kid's rosary I'm making for Sadie
  4. Start a bracelet for a friend (it's a surprise) or two if I have time
  5. Make a to-do list for the rest of the week, because there's just so much going on!
  6. Get some sleep!

A Day in the Life of a Mom: Part 2: The Afternoon

The thrilling saga continues...

12:30- Sadie and Maggie and I arrive at Saint Patrick's Way of the Cross. We notice that the little pond and waterfall have overflowed and there is mud everywhere. Undaunted I think that we might be able to stay away from the mud, because the area is pretty large. I have made a fatal error. I have underestimated the power of being "Two!"

1:00- My friend arrives to do more work at the Church and spots us. She invites us into the office and Sadie and Maggie and I go up to the gate. When I turn to open the gate Sadie is behind me, waiting patiently. When I turn back again she is behind me and grabs my hand to spit a red berry into it. Uh-oh...

1:01- I ask Diane if she knows if the berries on the large bush at the front of the way of the cross are poisonous. She doesn't know. I call Paul (so much for getting to work on his paper!). He drives up and takes a sample of the berries and leaves to the local nursery (I distract Sadie by having her pull weeds with me while Maggie sits in the stroller). He comes back with a name and instructions to call poison control. He says that they said she should be fine, although she might throw up. He then explains that he called twice because after talking to them on the phone the first time he read on wikipedia that the plant is poisonous. Poison Control tells him not to believe everything he reads online.

1:15pm- Paul leaves and Sadie and I rake the path a bit, pull weeds and clean out the pond filter so that it will stop overflowing. By the end of our "work" Sadie and I are both covered in mud. Sadie also decides to "taste" the mud and then spits it out on my Moby wrap. I use wipes in an attempt to clean up but decide that the library has probably been crossed of the list of places that we should go.

1:30pm- I stop by the local Pizza place and let Sadie get a pumpkin spice cup of ice cream. Maggie starts to melt down and we decide to take the ice cream home to eat. After walking for two minutes Maggie is asleep.

2:00pm- We get home and I put the ice cream in the fridge and then scoop Sadie up and rush her upstairs. Five minutes later the bathroom is covered in dirt but she is in the bathtub. The damage has been limited to one room

2:45pm- A somewhat disturbing "accident" in the bathroom, along with some bright red hives lead us to call Poison Control again. Sadie even has a "case" worker so that we get to talk to the same person. We're told that if the hives spread to go to the ER without calling back, but that they'll call back in an hour to check on her.

3:00pm- The hives look to be going away. I get Sadie bundled up and sit with her and Maggie on the couch watching Cinderella. The "no TV during the day" policy has been waved due to the fact that Sadie clearly isn't feeling well. In the morning we had noticed she had a runny nose (which both Paul and I thought were hives) but it seems to have turned into a full blown cold and she's pretty miserable (unrelated to the berry, but probably totally related to the tantrum at the restaurant!).

And once again... to be continued...

A Day in the Life of a Mom: Part 1: The Morning

Today was just one of those days. And since I recently read a post on facebook questioning "what mom's do all day" (it was actually a pretty funny article in answer to a silly question in a newspaper) I thought I'd post a overview of a day at our house (complete with the never ending toddler drama... and estimated times...).

4am- Maggie wakes up hungry. I feed her and we both go back to sleep.

6am- Maggie's hungry again. I won't complain though. I did get 5 uninterrupted hours of sleep between 11pm- and 4am. And I know that at 3 months, 5 hours of sleep is very, very good (Sadie was only sleeping for 1 hour at a time at 18 months!).

7am- The day starts out ordinarily enough. Paul gets up with Sadie and they go downstairs to watch a princess movie.

7:30am- Maggie and I come downstairs. We slept in!

8:55- Paul and I have both showered and gotten dressed and both the girls are changed, fed and dressed. We have five minutes to get to Mass.

9:00- We made it! Mass at Saint Patrick's. Sadie clings to my neck and cries hysterically when I don't let her hold a hymnal. I open the hymnal and hold it for her so that she can see the picture of Mary on the inside cover. This calms the tantrum and she goes back to being quiet and well behaved.

9:30- Paul and Sadie go to the park while Maggie and I join one of our good friends to count the weeks collection for the deposit. We do this once a week. Maggie nurses while we count and then plays on a blanket on the floor, babbling away.

10:30- We meet Paul at a local restaurant. He tells us that Sadie went down the highest slide at the park all by herself. Sadie beams.

11:00- While waiting in the restaurant Sadie becomes bored with playing with ice. She demands to sit next to me. After sitting between Paul and I for a few minutes she starts to fuss and then leans over and bites me hard on the arm. I now have a bright blue bruise above the scar from this bite (yes it actually left a pretty big scar!). The bruise, combined with the bite scar and the burn on my right arm that occurred when I was pulling out a loaf of bread this weekend, mean that I'm starting to look kind of beat up. This whole being a mom thing isn't for wimps!

11:30- Paul takes a fussy Sadie home. We don't eat out often, but she'd been doing so much better in public places lately that I'm somewhat surprised by her behavior. Little do we realize that it's a sign of things to come.

12:00- Maggie and I get home and I get the girls ready to go on a walk. Maggie will ride in her Moby wrap and Sadie will ride in the stroller. I figure we'll walk up to the Church and say a rosary by the Way of the Cross, then walk through downtown, and then head up to the library to read a little. I'm trying to give Paul some time in a quiet house to work on his paper.

To be continued... (with an afternoon that included 4 calls to poison control!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Speaking of Favorite Bishops...

Lunch with Congressman Herger!

I was very excited to get to go to a luncheon with Congressman Wally Herger today. He was visiting the Republican Woman's group that I'm part for lunch, and I was a little nervous to take both girls, but it went really well! He's a fun speaker to listen to and I brought a canister of mini m&m's to help keep Sadie's mouth quiet! I'm really glad the entire family was able to go! Here we all are!

Full of Grace Creations Monday Morning Giveaway: A Necklace

It's Monday Morning and that means it's time for another Full of Grace Creations Monday Morning Giveaway! This morning's giveaway is this angel wing necklace.

Now for the rules!

There's no limit to the number of times you can win!

You can earn one entry simply for leaving your contract information in the comment section.

You can earn one entry (each) if you tell me that you mentioned this giveaway on facebook or twitter!

You can earn three entries when you become a follower (or if you already are a follower!). Just mention it in the comment section (it can be in the same post).

Lastly you can earn five entries if you post the link to your blog post about this giveaway in the comment section!

Entries will be closed Sunday the 17th at noon and the winner will be announced sometime Monday morning!

And my international readers are welcome to enter! We ship internationally now!

Good luck and God Bless!

And the Full of Grace Creations Monday Morning Giveaway Winner is...

I used the random number generator and got this:

Here are your random numbers:

Timestamp: 2010-10-18 03:58:14 UTC

And that means that the winner is…


Congratulations Nicole! Send me an email (@ thiswomansplace at with the mailing address you’d like me to ship your sacrifice beads to I will get them in the mail!

Now for another giveaway!

Bishop of the Week: Bishop Vasa of Baker, Oregon (Again!)

Bishop Vasa is our Bishop of the Week (again!)!

You know you're a Catholic nerd when you and your husband go on one of your very rare lunches out, you bribe the toddler with a small bowl of ice cream and an exciting part of the conversation includes a round of "Who are Your Favorite Bishops!"

I have four or five that instantly come to mind, and Bishop Vasa is always at the top of that list (there may be a tie amongst the top five!). It's a good thing I married a theologian. The conversation began in this way:

Me: "I think Bishop Vasa is my favorite. Especially when he stood up to the Catholic hospital's in his diocese. But I like Bishop Olmsted a lot too. And Bishop Sample."

Him: "Don't forget about Archbishop Burke."

Me: "But I'm talking about in the U.S... Of course he'd be on the list. And we're lucky to have Bishop Soto here..."
(for the record Paul's favorites include Bishop Olmsted, Archbishop Burke and Bishop D'Arcy)

Every time I read about something Bishop Vasa has done it makes me smile. The article below is just the latest.

It published by lifesitenews last month and is definitely worth reading in its entirety. Here are some of the highlights (there are so many it was hard to narrow it down):

"The authority of the Catholic bishop within his own diocese trumps the national bishops’ conference and "no bishop has an obligation" to adopt the conference’s documents, asserted Bishop Robert Vasa of Baker, Oregon in a landmark talk last week.

"...According to Bishop Vasa, statements from bishops’ conferences necessarily tend to be "flattened" and "vague," allowing certain teachings to "fall by the wayside through what could be called, charitably, a kind of benign pastoral neglect."

While some call this compassion, “in truth, it often entails a complicity or a compromise with evil,” he says. “The harder and less popular teachings are left largely unspoken, thereby implicitly giving tacit approval to erroneous or misleading theological opinions.”

"I fear that there has been such a steady diet of such flattened documents that anything issued by individual bishops that contains some element of strength,” he says, “is readily and roundly condemned or simply dismissed as being out of touch with the conference or in conflict with what other bishops might do..."

"...According to Bishop Vasa, pastoral documents “are open to a broad range of interpretation and misinterpretation. ... A charge could be brought that such documents are intentionally vague and misleading.”

While I have had an occasional suspicion of this myself, it would be a serious defect of charity on my part to speculate about whether this is actually the case,” he continued. “I would say that the vagueness, whether intentional or not, has occasionally been a cause of concern and even consternation.”

While he says the conference is “both practical and desirable” for communication and joint efforts such as liturgical translations and disaster relief, Bishop Vasa notes there is “room for concern about the tendency of the conference to take on a life of its own and to begin to replace or displace the proper role of individual bishops, even in their own dioceses.”

“It is easy to forget that the conference is the vehicle to assist bishops in cooperating with each other and not a separate regulatory commission,” he added. Further, he noted that “there may also be an unfortunate tendency on the part of bishops to abdicate to the conference a portion of their episcopal role and duty.”

Compared to the “flattened documents” that often result from "the search for consensus,” statements from individual bishops, he says, "are often stronger, bolder, more decisive, and thus more likely to be criticized as harsh and insensitive."

Gentle appeals have their place, he says, “but when constant appeal produces absolutely no movement toward self-correction, reform or conversion, then reproving and correcting, become necessary.”

At some point, there needs to be a bold resistance to the powers of the world in defense of the flock,” he continues. “The fear of offending one contemptuously dissident member of the flock often redounds to a failure to defend the flock. It can redound to a failure to teach the truth.”

Fortunately, courage is contagious,” he notes, pointing to the examples of courage provided by prelates such as Archbishop Raymond Burke, and Bishops Joseph Martino, Thomas Tobin, Thomas Olmsted, and Fabian Bruskewitz. “These men all encourage you, and they encourage me as well,” he says.

On the issues of life and marriage, many Catholics want a strong voice and one that is prophetic,” said Deal Hudson. “They don’t want the voice of some committee trying to be diplomatic to everybody.”

Read the entire article here.
Photo from

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nightmares and a Strange Situation

I was exhausted when I got home after the festival yesterday and crawled into bed at 9:30, shortly after Paul got home from work. I quickly fell asleep, only to jerk away a few minutes later shaking. The cycle of falling asleep and waking mid-nightmare continued until around midnight. It was definitely not the restful night I'd spent the day imagining.

But I do know the cause (or causes).

Yesterday mom and I were having a lot of fun with the girls at the festival when I noticed a man staring at Sadie. I didn't mention it in yesterdays post because I wanted to think about it all a bit more.

He was in his twenties and fit the typical "type" we've seen lately for the men and women who have descended on our county in the past month or so for the "harvest" (marijuana for those of you who don't read my blog regularly enough to know about my counties BIG problem). His mannerisms also made me wonder if he was a meth user, although he wasn't quite as twitchy as some of the "tweakers" I've seen wondering around town (meth is also a HUGE problem here).
Now Sadie was being pretty cute, running around trying to catch the leaves that were blowing in the wind (Nani was playing with her while I watched the booth), but for some reason the way that this particular man watched her made me very uneasy.

A few minutes later Nani walked over when Sadie decided to take a break from leaf chasing and told me to keep an eye on the same man, because he was acting strangely. Her first thought was that he was trying to steal from our booth. I whispered quickly to watch Sadie because he was watching her too (he stared at her for around two hours).

When Sadie sprinted back out for another round of leaf chasing I picked up my camera. And when Sadie ran by the area where he was standing I told Nani to catch her so I could snap a picture of the two of them (I was hoping for a picture with him in the background just in case he did try anything). The festival was crowded, with lots of people around who would be in the background, but the second he saw the camera the man turned his back and then moved away. After a few minutes when I put the camera back down he immediately moved towards Sadie again, watching her and following at a distance.

It was a very frustrating situation. The man hadn't actually done anything wrong. But my mom instinct was sounding loud warning bells in my brain.

I was incredibly relieved when it was time to pack up, but was hesitant about being away from the girls while I single handedly loaded the gear, tables and canopy into the truck, which was parked out on the road about fifty yards away (but I had to do it so that we could leave...). Nani sat and held Sadie on a quilt we'd brought, with Maggie laying right next to her, and I knew that they were safe, but it was still nerve wracking. Adding to the stress was the fact that the man would move closer to them when I was at the truck and then back off when I came back.

The thought did pop into my head that I am glad that I spent all those years training in various dojos. I am glad that I'm a black belt.

My mom later told me that when two law enforcement officers walked through the festival he became incredibly nervous.

I did wonder if there was really anything that could be done... I felt like I should warn someone, but there really wasn't anything other to be warned about other than a mother's intuition.

However, this, on top of last month's incident, are why I had a tough time sleeping.

I got home and checked the Megan's Law list for our area. He wasn't on our county's list, but with so many people here from other parts of the state and country, it doesn't really mean anything. On the other hand, one of our neighbors is on the list. It's frustrating because I checked the list when we were looking at apartments but he was one of the few whose address wasn't listed. The report indicates that he likes young teenage girls... but still...

Part of the problem with the drug industry is that it attracts drug users. And legalizing marijuana in California (which I think, unfortunately will probably pass next month) isn't going to change that. We'll just be welcoming criminals of all kinds into our state... I think a lot of people will end up regretting the vote they will cast next month in favor of legalization. If they'd lived in a county where growing is a major part of the economy they might realize that the problems far outnumber the "benefits" they imagine.