April 30, 2012


Well, my graduation is fast approaching, and that (of course) means so is my graduation party.  So my family and I have been working inside and outside around the house to make it beautiful for our guests.

Anyway,  I was digging up some rocks to reposition in front of our house yesterday, and I found the first toad I've seen this year.  And of course, I frantically rushed inside to grab my camera to take some pictures before it could get away.  Here are some of them. :-) I love those photogenic little guys.

The beautiful dusky sky above our pine trees

By the way, did you know that toads use their eyeballs to help swallow their prey?  How they manage that, I have no idea, but I have to admit, it's kind of cool!

April 27, 2012


As the much anticipated date of our play comes closer, I thought I'd share a poster I made for fun.  :-)

I am getting so excited!!!

April 25, 2012

The Faith of a Child

I have no words...

God bless.

~ Iris (Schmooel)

This video can also be viewed via Godvine.

April 23, 2012

Both within the family and without, our sisters hold up our mirrors:
our images of who we are and of who we can dare to become.  
~ Elizabeth Fishel

Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart - oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape - of your sister.  ~Katherine Mansfield

“There can be no situation in life in which the conversation of my dear sister will not administer some comfort to me.” - Mary Worley Montagu

 “We are sisters. We will always be sisters.Our differences may never go away, but neither, for me, will our song.” - Elizabeth Fishel
Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there. Amy Li 

To have a loving relationship with a sister is not simply to have a buddy or a confident -- it is to have a soulmate for life. Victoria Secunda 

We are more than just acquaintances... it's as if we are cut from the same fabric. Even though we appear to be sewn in a different pattern, we have a common thread that won't be broken-by people or years or distance. 

I am so blessed.  Have a wonderful day.

~ Iris (Schmooel)

April 22, 2012

If I was a Comic Character.....

...who would I be?

This question was posed to me by a friend of mine, so I thought I'd answer it here.

Other than the typical Marvel Superheroes and the occasional Dilbert, I really haven't had much experience with comic strips.  But my favorite one of all would have to be Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson.

I think I'd be a mix of both Calvin and Hobbes.  

Like Calvin, I can be very energetic and impulsive (given the proper amount of sleep and dosage of sugar), curious, and I appreciate the human imagination as one of God's greatest creations. At times I can be very sensitive, but at others, hypocritical and selfish.  When I'm in the right mood, I like to be utterly ridiculous.  I love using extravagant words, I can have a very short at attention sp-- hey, wanna get pancakes???  ;)  

As for my Hobbes side, I like to indulge in philosophical thinking, having and sharing my own ideas.  I bicker (sometimes, I'll admit, simply for the sake of bickering), but I rarely end up fighting on a physical level.  At times, I can be very practical, but other times I act hastily and rashly, to my own demise.  I speak sarcasm like a second language, like you needed me to tell you... and as you can see by my pictures, I love taking in the beauty of God's creation.

So, that's who I would be...  And I know this was a totally pointless post, but it was kind of fun. :)

[Photo via Andrews McMeel]
[Photo via GoComics]

April 20, 2012

The "Woman" of Revelation 12

Sacred Scripture
Revelation 1-11

            5) Who is the “Woman” in Revelation 12?

            The “Woman” in Revelation 12 is a symbol of both our Blessed Mother, as well as the Church.  She is a symbol of Mary because the devil declares war on her offspring, Jesus Christ, and those who bear testimony to Him.  From the very beginning, God put enmity between the descendants of Eve and the snake’s offspring.  “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)  Eve is the first type of creation, whereas the Woman in Revelation 12 is the second type.  We call Mary “the New Eve.”  Through the first woman, sin and death came into the world.  Through the second, redemption and life, “and they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”  (Revelation 12:9-11)  But with both, there is war between her offspring and the devil.  The offspring of the Woman, of course, is Jesus Christ Himself.  Because she is the Mother of Christ, Mary is the Mother of all Christians too, and is therefore a symbol of the Church, the “New Israel.”
The prophet Jeremiah thought of the Queen Mother (the mother of the King) as a very important part of a kingdom’s hierarchy.  He writes, “Say to the King and to the Queen Mother:  Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head… Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north.  Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?”  (Jeremiah 13:18,20)  Since Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of David, and is the heir to his throne, that automatically makes Mary the Queen Mother.  Thus, she is crowned with 12 stars in Revelation 12:1.  The number 12 is a symbol for many things, including the 12 apostles who followed Christ, and the 12 tribes of Israel.  Finally, the Queen mothers were great intercessors to the Kings of the Old Testament, just as Mary is the most important intercessor to the King of the New Testament (Christ), as well as for all of us.

God bless your day!

~Iris (Schmooel)

[My absolute favorite picture of the Blessed Mother via artmagick.com]

April 19, 2012

A Totally Random and Pointless Post for a Beautiful Morning...

Good morning, my minions!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!  Just kidding...

As y'all may know, I have a "thing" for extravagant words, especially those beginning with the letter "p". So, since I have nothing better to do on this delightful morning, I have compiled a short list of my favorites.  Have fun!  :-)

Palilalia - a disorder characterized by rapid repetition of a word.  (Sounds like the goose goose goose from Charlottes Web!)

Pabouche - slipper

Pararthria - incoherence

Parasigmatism - inability to pronounce the letter "s." (I think that's cruel.)

And last but not least for today....

Pundigrion - pun. :-)

I hope you all have a perfectly pleasureful day!

~ Iris (Schmooel)

April 17, 2012

The Destruction of Sennacherib

Here's one of my all-time favorite poems, The Destruction of Sennacherib.  First published in 1815 by Lord Byron, this poem is about the events of 2 Kings 18-19, when the Assyrian King attempted to capture Jerusalem.

Hope you enjoy!  :-)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strewn.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord! 

April 15, 2012

The Artist: A Movie Review

This past Friday evening, my parents and I indulged ourselves in one of the best movies I have ever seen. Before I continue, though, I should give you a spoiler alert, so those of you fabulous people who are planning on seeing this movie (and don't actually want to know what happens) should probably stop reading right about now. :-)

The Artist, produced in 2011, is a silent black and white film set in 1927. It is the story of George Valentin (Jean Dujardin), an extraordinarily handsome silent movie star, who meets a beautiful and delightful young woman named Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo). They are at the premier of his latest film, A Russian Affair, and she drops her handbag beyond the police line. Not wanting to lose it in the crowd, she ducks under to retrieve it, and accidentally bumps into George. He quickly makes light of the situation, showing Peppy off for the cameras, and she responds by giving him a vigorous kiss on the cheek. The following day, she finds her picture on the front page of the New York trade magazine entitled Variety, under the headline "Who's That Girl?"

Later, Peppy auditions for film as a dancer at Kinograph Studios, only to run into George once more, and they act in a movie together, despite strong objections from a certain Al Zimmer, the head of the studio. The beauty spot that George draws on her becomes her trademark, and she eventually rises into stardom, given more prominent roles.

In 1929, Zimmer announces to his staff that Kinograph Studios will no longer be making silent films, but that the movie industry is shifting into the production of talking movies with sound. George heartily disagrees with this idea, and tries to convince Zimmer that "talkies" are just a fad that will pass in time. He refuses to act in talking movies, and after a heated discussion, declares, "I am going to make a great movie, and it's not like I need you to do it!" He storms out of Zimmer's office, and begins working on his new silent film, Tears of Love. His film is set to open on October 25, the same date as Peppy's new sound film, and the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Having spent all his money on the film, his only chance to avoid bankruptcy is for Tears of Love to be a big hit. To George's dismay, people flock to Peppy's film instead of his, and he is left broke.    Doris, his wife, throws him out of their beautiful home, and he moves into an apartment with his chauffer, Clifton (James Cromwell). Peppy, however, goes on to become an adored Hollywood star.

George, bankrupt, is forced to sell all of his belongings and to fire his dear Clifton, who is heartbroken, and protests, "I don't want another job!" Intoxicated and drunk, George furiously unravels his private collection of the films he had made, and drops a match on it. The fire quickly blazes out of control and he faints because of the smoke, holding on tightly to one single film cannister. His faithful companion and Jack Russell, named Jack (Uggie) chases down a strolling policeman, and brings him back to the burning house, and after the man pulls him from the flames, George is brought to the hospital because of his injuries. Peppy visits him, and asks the doctor for him to be moved to her house to rest and heal. During her visit, though, she openes the only film reel that was saved from the fire, and finds that it is the first movie they acted in together. 

When she returns to Kinograph Studios, Peppy remembers George's superb dancing ability, and suddenly declares to Zimmer that, "Okay, it's either him or me!" Blank stares... "What I meant to say was, it's either both of us, or neither of us! I'm blackmailing you, get it?!?"  The producer grumpily agrees, and Peppy bounces off to find another copy of the script.

George wakes up at her house, and finds that Clifton had found a job as Peppy's driver. He brings him a talkie script, explaining that Peppy had invited him to look it over and see if he wanted to act in it with her. Once more, his pride gets the best of him, and he storms out of her house. On the way, Jack discovers a room filled with all of George's auctioned valuables, that Peppy had purchased and kept safe. He returns to his burnt out apartment and pulls a box from the top of a cupboard. He opens it to reveal a small revolver.

Peppy returns home from a film shoot with a boquet of flowers, discovers that George had left, and screams for Clifton who is nowhere to be found. She climbs in the car herself and careens through the city to George, and panicks when she realizes that he is about to kill himself. The two actors reconcile, and Peppy persuades him to come with her.

In the last scene of the movie, sound comes as the film starts rolling for Peppy and George's dance scene. The choreography is complete and Zimmer calls out, "Perfect! Beautiful! Could you give me one more?" George replies with his only audible line in the movie, "With pleasure!" and reveals his beautiful French accent.

What a delightful motion picture this is... One, I think, that is the most eloquent I have ever seen.  
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April 13, 2012

Swords, Stunts, and Trampolines...

          As most of you dear readers are aware, the homeschool group I am so blessed to be a part of is working tirelessly on a production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth which we will be performing next month (wow, time goes by fast).  In this particular piece, there is a lot of swordplay, and we have been practicing the choreography of our fights with a company called Ring of Steel.  As part of the contract, they have graciously invited our cast to join their classes two evenings a week for extra instruction during the time leading up to our play, and a few friends and I are taking full advantage of this offer.  What a great opportunity!  We are able to work with the professionals, and try cool stunts that we normally should not try at home.  The first week I was there, the Maestro lined up a small trampoline against a 3 foot thick landing mat, and the class practiced jumps and flips.  We would run up, jump on to the trampoline without a pause, and land in various ways on the mat.  I was a chicken of course, so I didn’t try any of the fancy flips, but I did try one where you are supposed to land flat on your back.  It sounds simple, I know, but as I was flying through the air, my brain and my body refused work together, so I couldn’t get it just right.  It was really neat to watch the more advance students who actually knew what they were doing. ;)  One guy even pulled out a bullwhip and was cracking it in the air! Someday... Someday, I will be able to do that.  (Haha, right...)

          Another evening, one of the instructors was practicing Aerial Silks.  The artist climbed up two long, thick strips of silk suspended from the ceiling, and performed acrobatics, relying on only her skill to ensure safety.  She didn't even use safety lines!  To keep herself in the air, she wrapped the fabric in various ways around her hands and feet, using only the friction between the fabric and her skin.  It was very impressive.  :)

       Although it is unfortunate that there will be no trampolines or aerial silks in our play, it is still so much fun to try new things.  It is a great experience to be taught by the people who know stage swordplay like the back of their hand.  I can tell that even in the few weeks that they have been helping us, the skills of the cast have improved quite a bit.

          I enormously look forward to our production, and I shall be posting more information about the wheres, whens, and hows at a later date.  Be sure to keep a look out!  :)

God bless you all my lovely, lovely people!

~  Iris (Schmooel)

April 11, 2012

The Code of Chivalry

You’re probably thinking, “here she goes with the Chivalry thing again,” but this is a topic which is of great interest to me, as a hopeless romantic and a Medieval buff.  It is my opinion that if the practice of the chivalric code hadn’t been as snuffed out of our culture to the extent that it has, the world as a whole would be in a much better place.  The Code of Chivalry has it’s own set of “10 Commandments” of which I have written a mock-up.  ...And yes.  Like a dork, I have them pasted to my bedroom wall. :p

Thou shalt believe all that the Church teaches, and shalt observe in all its directions.

Thou shalt defend the Church.

Thou shalt respect all weaknesses, and shalt constitute thyself the defender of them.

Thou shalt love the country in the which thou wast born.

Thou shalt not recoil in the face of thine enemy.

Thou shalt make war against the Infidel without cessation, and without mercy.

Thou shalt perform scrupulously thy feudal duties, if they be not contrary to the laws of God.

Thou shalt never lie, and shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.

Thou shalt be generous, and give largesse to everyone.

Thou shalt be everywhere and always the champion of the Right and the Good against Injustice and Evil.

God bless you all, and have a wonderful day!  

~  Iris (Schmooel)

April 9, 2012

Happy Easter, Everyone!!!

Jesus Christ is Risen!

I hope you all had an absolutely fantastic and blessed Easter! And congratulations to all of the new Catholics out there (or, as a Deacon friend would say, 'baby Catholics')...  Welcome to the family!  :)

God bless.

~ Iris (Schmooel)

April 6, 2012

"And They Crucified Him"

The cross is placed on the ground and the exhausted man is quickly thrown backwards with his shoulders against the wood. The legionnaire feels for the depression at the front of the wrist. He drives a heavy, square wrought-iron nail through the wrist deep into the wood. Quickly he moves to the other side and repeats the action, being careful not to pull the arms too tightly, but to allow some flex and movement. The cross is then lifted into place. The left foot is pressed backward against the right foot, and with both feet extended, toes down, a nail is driven through the arch of each, leaving the knees flexed. The victim is now crucified.

As he slowly sags down with more weight on the nails in the wrists, excruciating fiery pain shoots along the fingers and up the arms to explode in the brain — the nails in the wrists are putting pressure on the median nerves. As he pushes himself upward to avoid this stretching torment, he places the full weight on the nail through his feet. Again he feels the searing agony of the nail tearing through the nerves between the bones of his feet.
As the arms fatigue, cramps sweep through his muscles, knotting them deep relentless, and throbbing pain. With these cramps comes the inability to push himself upward to breathe. Air can be drawn into the lungs but not exhaled. He fights to raise himself in order to get even one small breath.
Finally, carbon dioxide builds up in the lungs and in the blood stream, and the cramps partially subsided. Spasmodically, he is able to push himself upward to exhale and bring in life-giving oxygen.
Hours of limitless pain, cycles of twisting, joint-renting cramps, intermittent partial asphyxiation, searing pain as tissue is torn from his lacerated back as he moves up and down against rough timber. Then another agony begins: a deep, crushing pain deep in the chest as the pericardium slowly fills with serum and begins to compress the heart.
It is now almost over. The loss of tissue fluids has reached a critical level. The compressed heart is struggling to pump heavy, thick, sluggish blood into the tissues. The tortured lungs are making frantic effort to gasp in small gulps of air. He can feel the chill of death creeping through his tissues.
Finally, he allows his body to die.
All this the Bible records with the simple words, “and they crucified Him” — Mark 15:24

[Photo via Dymphna's Road]

God bless you all, and I hope you have a very blessed Good Friday.

~ Iris (Schmooel)

April 4, 2012

Katniss Everdeen

I saw the Hunger Games yesterday.  :)  I have mixed feelings about the whole human sacrifice aspect of the story, on which I will issue most likely a post at a later date.  I almost wrote a review for you folks this morning, but this is all  I came up with. ;)

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter, my dear dear readers.

God bless.

~ Iris (Schmooel)

April 2, 2012


Happy day-after Palm Sunday, my dear readers!

Since 2007, my family has made a tradition of going to Assumption Grotto in Detroit for the Tridentine Palm Sunday Mass, and afterwards, we head over to the social in the gathering hall.  I am usually put in charge of weaving the Palms, both teaching others and doing it myself.  You have to weave them as soon as possible, because they dry very quickly, and will crack when you try to fold them.  I've posted some pictures below, since they describe the 'finished product' better than I could. :)

The Crown of Thorns

Detail on the Crown of Thorns
A Rosetta
A friend of mine drew this for me... I thought it was a creative shot.

Some things I made

More Crown of Thorns Detail (red Sharpie)

A Cross

Some of the hundreds of Rosettas and Crosses I made

Crown of Thorns

Have a blessed day!

~ Iris (Schmooel)