The Wretched Ones

Les Miserables

I’m reading it. I started reading it a while ago but then wondered if it was a good idea, seeing as it used to be on the Index of forbidden books. Apparently, from what I can dig up on the topic, it was taken off before the list was ‘retired’ (it’s actually still binding in conscience, particularly insofar as it’s a moral duty to avoid bad books and the Index contained a good list of well-known ones) and at least one source indicates that the reason it was on the Index was because it denied legitimate authority or something. Not really a temptation to me, or probably to most moderns, so I started it again last night instead of catching up on the repulsively dull and silly writings of Hegel (pronounced like ‘bagel’) for today’s class.*
(Interesting related fact: both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas say that we have a moral duty to disobey any so-called laws which order us to do immoral acts, but both also say that we do not have a right to resist the state’s punishment for disobeying these unjust dictates (though we don’t have to turn ourselves in 😉 ). I agree with them, but it’s a pretty surprising statement, no? It does help one to understand why the early Christian martyrs submitted to their executions instead of trying to escape, other than the obvious fact that it was probably impossible or next door to impossible to escape.)
It does have some writings in it contrary to the truths of Catholic teaching, but honestly, a rant on how the age of convents and monasteries has passed/etc probably won’t bother me much. Use your own judgment or that of your parents or some other reliable person, of course, but I’m going to plow ahead. If it does start to bother me I’ll stop… won’t be the first time.
Oh, and I might as well add that I’m skipping the loooooooooong digression on Napoleon.
Bad, I know. I’ve suffered through enough boring literature in the past several months, though. Kant, Hegel, Locke, Hume, Rousseau… I’ve had enough.
*Want to know the difference between Hegel and a bagel? A bagel is delicious, but Hegel is malicious. Well, maybe he had good intentions (we should always assume the best), but his writings have wreaked all kinds of malice on the world, so it works.

Sonnet II

I woke one night when stern December crept

Upon the air. I pressed my fevered cheek

Against the stony wall, so rough and bleak.

The wind had choked the silent house as I slept.

I rose to breath the drifting starry light,

And lest I dream some mindless shape of gloom.

Fleeing the silent breathless fears that loom

Over my mind, I strode from night to night.

A lesser night than that which haunts my thoughts,

Which with unceasing power stirs my restive heart

To useless tears, and wastes its fading lights

On old regrets, but takes in joys no part.

Look, look: the clouds have covered ev’ry star.

Here only blackness lies. The dawn is far.

Copyright belongs solely and entirely to the author and poster of the above work. Please do not distribute or modify this work in any way without the express permission of its creator.

Maggie D.


Sweet bliss

Happiness is getting all your absolutely-must-be-done schoolwork (plus a little due-on-Thursday work — yes, I’m bragging) done at 4 PM and having the whole rest of the day left to spin, knit, and watch I Love Lucy.

I’m just saying.

If I can keep this streak up, college will be a breeze.

Anyway… I cast on for a new scarf from Nancy Bush’s book Knitted Lace of Estonia, decided I liked another pattern more, and ripped it out. Now I’m working on the Lilac Leaf Shawl. I’m almost to the big diamonds on the edging.


St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

Today is her feast day. I had scarcely heard of her before today, but her name caught my eye (my own being Margaret, I have a natural interest in saints with the same name) and I looked her up. A lovely quote:

“Teaching is the work most suited to draw down the graces of God if it is done with purity of intention, without distinction between the poor and the rich, between relatives and friends and strangers, between the pretty and the ugly, the gentle and the grumblers, looking upon them all as drops of Our Lord’s blood.” The Writings of Marguerite Bourgeoys, p. 201 (quote found on Wikipedia)

Since I hope to be a college professor myself, I think I will be thinking about this quote in the future…


Seven Quick Takes IV

— 1 —

Jennifer Fulwiler, who hosts these Quick Takes, is not only the mother of five children under the age of nine with a sixth on the way, but has pulmonary clots. Please pray for her.

— 2 —

So I got my order from this Etsy shop on Monday (one I ordered with a Christmas gift certificate) plus some lovely wool roving and yarn tags that I won in a drawing (yay!!!) and it is goooooooooorgeous. I love it! I got five little batts (a kind of fiber preparation) and a little braid of wool, plus a couple samples. I’m working on a pink and yellow batt (with a tiny bit of purple) right now. So yummy.

— 3 —

I’ve been reading The Young Chesterton Chronicles lately, since I got them for Christmas. They’re a reimagining of a teenaged G. K. Chesterton in a steampunk Edwardian England, complete with aliens, secret societies, and Father Brown. Sounds great, right? Well, I finished #1 yesterday, and I’m sorry to say that it wasn’t as brilliant as it sounds. It was rather poorly written (someone get this guy an editor, please) and tried to hint subtly at the truth of Catholicism and failed. At the subtle part, that is. It was, however, entertaining, funny, and clean, so you could do considerably worse than check it out. I’m hoping the second one will turn out better. Its cover is frankly lovely, especially coupled with the evocative title.

— 4 —

Just in case anyone was curious, I got my high heels. I wore them to the dance, but I didn’t dance in them, though–at my mother’s orders suggestion, I brought a pair of brown flats to dance in.

— 5 —
We had some “festive lasagna” from this cookbook the other day. It was delicious. My mom made “Hermit’s Soup” from the same cookbook, which was not delicious. However, I recommend the cookbook because it’s full of simple recipes, all of which, I believe, are friday-friendly. I believe the author comes from a monastery which abstains from meat. There are some recipes for fish.
— 6 —

I never did try those nutella/oatmeal/peanut butter cookies, but I did make some oatmeal cookies the other day. I used this recipe, but I added about 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, used all whole wheat, used 2/3 cup brown sugar, omitted the white sugar, added extra vanilla, omitted the optional raisins, omitted the spices, and omitted the shortening, using just the 1/4 cup butter and adding an extra egg to make up for it. Actually, that doesn’t sound much like the original recipe. Oh well.

— 7 —
I’m hungry now.

haapppppppppppppy new year

I was watching I Love Lucy and knitting and I was cold because it’s about 36 degrees outside and it doesn’t feel that different in here, so I reheated a little cup of coffee around 10 PM and drank it to heat me up. I also put on some socks, wrapped a blanket around my waist, and put a shawl on over my shoulders. That is why I’m awake and typing instead of curled up in my nice warm bed trying to sleep. 

Anyway, here’s for a happy new year. My resolutions? Renew the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary before I go to college, lose some weight, and make a cheese souffle. Actually, I just made that up on the spot because I’ve never made a souffle and it seemed lopsided to have just two resolutions. I’ll do it, though, because cheeeeeeeeeeese sounds good. Cheese? Yes, I’m a little obsessed with cheese right now. Cheese on tacos, cheese pizza, aged cheddar on crackers, cheese cheese cheese. 

My consolation right now is that I’m probably not the only one who feels like a big fat pig at the moment. Today I chubbed out on so many sweets that I’m ashamed to enumerate them all. Not to mention two and a half delicious tacos (1 was lunch and the 1.5 was dinner–my mom made delicious carne/carnitas/carnita or whatever it’s called, Mexican pork, for the New Year’s Eve party and it is sooooooo good) and three cups of sweet coffee. I showed restraint and withheld my hand from the soda. Aren’t you proud? 

Oversharing, right? Oh well. I’ll probably write some serious book or movie review to post on my serious blog tomorrow after I go shoe shopping and have my blue dress altered. Did I mention I might be going to a dance on Saturday? Did I mention that I’ve gone dancing about once in the past 365 days? Did I mention that I love dancing? Did I mention that I’m not so great at it?

By the way, I’m getting high heels tomorrow. I’ve never had really real high heels before, unless you count a couple pairs of very short little heels that I either wore out or outgrew years ago. However, I’m unsure whether I’ll actually come home with high heels because of the following criteria they must meet:

1) Be pretty
2) Be either brown, black, silver, gold, or the same/similar shade of blue as my dress
3) Be high heels
4) Be not too high to wear to my co-op that has a rule against excessively high heels without saying just how high is too high
5) Be not too high to contra dance in
6) Be at least comfortable enough that I won’t cripple myself
7) Not slip off my feet when I do anything more complex than walk
8) Be inexpensive

See what I mean?

Anyway, sorry about dumping this long, poorly written, miscellaneous batch of TMI paragraphs on you.