Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rotten Apples Award – AT&T / Cingular

July 14, 2007 - Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

Rotten Apples Award – AT&T / Cingular

AT&T/Cingular has the distinction of winning the first Rotten Apple Award.

We have been loyal customers to Cingular since March of 2001. But now, it seems, they are not loyal to us.

We have a pretty good plan that was paid on time each month, just like loyal customers should. Perhaps not a lot of minutes for some, but perfect for us.

Then in July of 2006, they added a monthly network service charge of $4.99 per line for each TDMA or Analog line of service on the account (we have two lines). While we were not pleased, we remained loyal customers.

I got an upgraded phone, and then went to the AT&T store today to switch from TDMA to the current network. Imagine my disbelief when I found out I would have to sign up for a new plan! One that costs MORE, and with LESS minutes!

So much for loyalty!

I walked out of the store. I will gladly take my money elsewhere. The other companies have similar plans as to what AT&T is now offering (same price, minutes, etc.), but I would much rather give my money to them, than to a company that stabs its loyal customers in the back. There may only be 1% of us still on TDMA, but that amounts to SEVERAL hundred thousand customers!

We are being offered “options” to move to the new network (as if we have a choice), including a free phone. (Whoopee, I already have one, besides nearly all new plans come with a free phone anyway.) AT&T will “allow” us to carry over added features to the new network, but rate plans will not carry over. (If you are still on TDMA, then you probably have an old plan, which usually does not have much in the way of “added features” – at least we do not.)

And I suppose they will charge an activation fee too…..ugh……….

Friday, July 13, 2007

Zucchini Casserole

From my wonderful step-mother -
(My comments on making it meatless are in red)

Zucchini Casserole

2 pounds zucchini (chopped) (I do half zucchini & half yellow squash)
1 medium onion (diced)
Simmer in water until tender and then drain

1 stick oleo (that would be butter or margarine - I prefer butter!)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 8oz carton sour cream
1 8oz pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (cream of mushroom for meatless)
1 box chicken stove top dressing (I found some stuffing mix that was meatless - read the ingredients carefully)

(I also added 3 eggs for protein for a meatless dish that is to be a main dish.)

Combine well and place in greased casserole dish.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 min.

Hope you have good luck with it, it is one of the best I have ever tasted.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summorum Pontificum, and Praying for the Jewish People

July 10, 2007 - Feast of Saint John of Tobolsk

I am sure you have all heard of the recent motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum , graciously given to us by the Holy Father, regarding the wider use of the Tridentine Mass. I have not posted on it until now, because I have been so busy reading other people’s blogs.

Well, not surprisingly, there are issues.

The American Jewish Committee released this statement yesterday –

July 9, 2007 - New York - The American Jewish Committee expresses its appreciation to Pope Benedict XVI for his confirmation that the positive changes of Vatican II will apply to his recent decision regarding the Latin Mass, which has been reinstated by the Church. "We acknowledge that the Church's liturgy is an internal Catholic matter and this motu proprio from Pope Benedict XVI is based on the permission given by John Paul II in 1988 and thus, on principle, is nothing new," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's international director of Interreligious Affairs. "However we are naturally concerned about how wider use of this Tridentine liturgy may impact upon how Jews are perceived and treated."

Pope Benedict XVI, in a decree issued on Saturday, authorized wider use of the traditional Latin Mass, which in some liturgy contains language offensive to Jews.
"We appreciate that the motu proprio actually limits the use of the Latin Mass in the days prior to Easter, which addresses the reference in the Good Friday liturgy concerning the Jews," Rosen added. "However, it is still not clear that this qualification applies to all situations and we have called on the Vatican to contradict the negative implications that some in the Jewish community and beyond have drawn concerning the motu proprio."

The above response is the most level-headed I have read. But. I wonder, does no one do his or her research? The media has been all over this too!

First, there are those who complain that the revival of the Tridentine Mass will revive an old Good Friday prayer that prays for the conversion of the Jewish people, and calls them “perfidious”, which they consider offensive.

Then, there are those, having done a little more research than the previous group, who also complain the Tridentine Mass will revive an old Good Friday prayer that prays for the conversion of the Jewish people, but they get the “perfidious” issue correct, saying the word was removed. They are still offended, just by the fact that there is a prayer for their conversion.

First, let us look at the prayers of the 1962 missal (the one approved to be used in the Tridentine Mass), and the current missal:

1962: For the conversion of Jews. Let us pray also for the Jews that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you do not refuse your mercy even to the Jews; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness.

NEW: Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption.

No mention of the word perfidious. So that knocks out the first group. But, let us look at the definition of the word.

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Perfidious - of, relating to, or characterized by perfidy
Perfidy - the quality or state of being faithless or disloyal

The Jewish people do not believe in Jesus Christ. So to Christians (Catholic and Protestant), does that not mean they have no faith in Jesus Christ? They are “faithless” when it comes to Jesus Christ? This reminds me of when my brother and sister and I were children. I called my brother Sebastian, and he thought I was calling him a bad name, just because he thought it sounded bad.

Now, let’s look at the other “issue” of praying for the conversion of the Jewish people. The new prayer still has us praying for their conversion!

“that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant” – That they may grow in their love and faith and come to accept and believe in Jesus Christ.

“we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption.” The redemption being believing in Jesus Christ.

It is no secret that Jewish people do not believe in Jesus Christ. Nor is it a secret that those of us who do believe in Him, pray for those who do not believe in Him. We would be hypocrites if we did not pray for them. This does not mean any disrespect to the Jewish people, but only shows our love for them, that they may come to see the truth. I do not agree with anti-semitic hate crimes, and that is not what this is.

I realise people may be upset with this issue, but all I ask is that they sit back and think about it, not letting their anger get in the way. Does anyone like hypocrites? If you do not agree with us, shouldn't we at least be respected for not being hypocrites?

I wonder, do the Jewish people pray for our conversion? While I do not agree with their viewpoint, I am not going to go around saying I am a victim of prejudice. I’d rather worry about the price increase in services I get at the auto shop just because I am a woman.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pooh Sling

I finished another sling - this one for another dear friend. I had so use fabric scraps to lengthen it, as the initial piece was not long enough. (Oh, and please forgive me for the poor quality pictures.)

It is fully reversible
I put a zipper pocket in the tail of the sling. You can see it in the picture below.
I added a decorative stitch to one of the rails (edges) of the sling. This aids with adjusting the sling.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them

If you need a custom sling, please contact me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Summorum Pontificum

July 4Th, Feast of Saint Ulric

From Rorate Caeli -

Motu Proprio
Summorum Pontificum
This is the name of the motu proprio which establishes the liberalization of the Traditional form of the Roman Rite and rules for its implementation, according to I.Media, which has confirmed that it will be published on July 7, 2007.

Nice coincidence for those of us living in the United States. that on the day we celebrate our country's independence, we also hear of the independence of the Latin Mass.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Roast Beef in Rich Wine Gravy and Roasted Mushrooms

Here is another recipe from my very dear friend, Rose in Malta -
Big roast beef
Fresh thyme
large, assorted mushrooms
red wine
beef/meat/chicken stock (i make my own from all the bones etc, but an organic cube will be fine)
3 red onions
3 cloves garlic
water (to add to gravy, if needed)
basil or any herbs that compliment meat dishes

Take the beef joint and rub the 2 garlic cloves and salt and pepper all over it. Stuff thyme inside the string (if it is around the beef) and rub in too. Leave beef for a few hours.

In a large frying pan, saute the onions, garlic and more thyme for 5-7 mins until lightly cooked. Add 2 large glasses of wine which will cook off, leaving a beautiful smell. Then add the stock, ladle by ladle. To make the gravy thicker you can add a little cornflour. Add salt and pepper and a bouquet garni.

In a separate pan saute the mushroom (sliced but quite large) in some olive oil and butter. Add thyme, garlic and salt and pepper and leave.

Place beef in large dish and cover with the red wine gravy and the sauteed mushrooms. Cook in hot oven (170c) for one hour, but do check.

before serving add lots of fresh herbs on the meat.

Homemade Sangria

This recipe is from new and very dear friend who lives in Malta! Her stories of food, and the traditional Mass, make me want to move there!

This is her recipe for Sangria -

I have a few varied recipes, all tried and tested of course, but here's the usual one;

I bottle red wine
2 lemons
2 limes
2 oranges
chunks of pineapple
2 or 3 teaspoons of brown sugar
I glass of orange juice
small shot of brandy
mint or other fresh herb of your choice!

Place wine into pitcher. Squeeze juice of the fruits and then cut into neat wedges and add to wine. Stir is sugar, orange juice and brandy. Mix carefully and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. just before serving add fresh herbs, this is an added ingredient!

Thank you dear Rose!