I invite you to sign The Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration

Theodore's Memorial Video

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Christmas Present

Only 3 months and 6 days late!

New Blog Linked

Please check out the B-Movie Catechism. Interesting connections made between bad, really bad movies and our faith.

Preparation for Total Consecration: Day 6

If only the pursuit of virtue were as easy as this:

Nos Insisto Tempestas - our family motto.

Last night we drove through rain so severe that I had to slow down to less than 45 mph. That has never happened before, even though my beloved wife said there were other times when I should have slowed down....My wife prayed, unlike this woman:

Storms have covered North Texas for the past several days. I can't complain, for in several months the precipitation will be thought of as a cherished memory. The grass, which is now a robust green color, will fade to brown and turn dry and crackly. It will be a fire hazard.
On Thursday, I had been working late at the hospital and during an operation the lights had flickered several times. Thankfully the case was done, but we still had to transport the patient to the 11th floor ICU. That went without a hitch, but I decided to take the stairs instead of risking getting stuck in an elevator.

I was afraid of this happening to me:

For now, the grass is growing like crazy, requiring several cuttings to keep it at bay.

There is more than grass growing around here. Our garden project, consisting of tomatoes, carrots, squash, cilantro, peppers, and some things where the label blew off are sprouting on our back porch table. After a few more days they will go into the ground. I need to check on the quinoa. One day I looked out and saw one of the cats sitting on top of the makeshift planters. We used the all-natural biodegradeable egg holders to start growing some of the plants, and so it looked odd to see a cat sitting on top of the rather bumpy and spikey egg-holders. It was especially strange because that cat was very pregnant.

Until last night. When we got home from Stations of the Cross, we discovered that our cat had given birth to 5 kittens. I am happy that she did not sneak into the garage to set up a nest, because I have been working diligently to make the garage cat-free. After I get her consent, I will put up some pictures of the proud mother and her kittens.

The Preparation for Total Consecration has been proceeding well. After 5 days, I have only fallen asleep ONCE while sating the prayers! The readings are from one of my favorite spiritual readings, My Imitation of Christ:

from Book 3, Chapter 7 or 40:

"He who would be too secure in time of peace will often be found too much dejected on time of war. If you could always continue to be humble and little in your own eyes, and keep your spirit in due order and subjection, you would not fall so easily into danger and offense. It is good counsel that, when you have conceived the spirit of fervor, you should meditate how it will be when that light shall be withdrawn."

Yup! That's me! Here is a good aspiration from Book 3, Chapter 40:

"Let Thy Name be praised, not mine; let Thy work be magnified, not mine; let Thy Holy Name bel blessed, but let nothing be attributed to me of the praise of men. Thou art my glory; Thou art the exultation of my heart; in Thee, I will glory and rejoice all the day; but for myself, I will glory in nothing but my infirmities."

I have been trying to live up to this aspiration, with limited success. Right now I am concentrationg on keeping my mouth shut unless speech is necessary. Practicing this has shown me that most of what I say is rather cynical, derisive, derogatory and cetrtainly unnecessary. The next step is to work on my thoughts; you know, the ones that I have to struggle to keep from saying. I have to keep these things in mind as well.

Recommended reading:

My Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. This is the copy I have, with nice little pictures in it.

anything by St. Louis-Marie De Montfort.

Thursday, March 29, 2007























Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Blog Is Born:

No! Not another one by me!

Watch with me as Seeking Humility starts from its humble beginnings....kinda like watching tadpole shrimp grow:

Photo courtesy of Roger Key from this website.

Preparation for Consecration: Day 3

There is nothing like taking a tractor out and cutting grass after a few weeks of Springtime rain has nourished our land.

The grass itself has a sweet perfume when it is newly cut, and it wafts up to my nose as I walk along, watching my sons run the tractors over the South half of our property.

The grass lies like hay in the North Texas sun, drying for use in the compost heap or for mulch.

The tractor forms a kind of isolation booth, as the engine (along with the mower blades) form a wall of sound which cuts the rest of the world from ones reverie. Some of my best thoughts have come while riding on a tractor.

It is a good time to pray, too.

All you have to do is stay along the border of the uncut grass, following the contours of the field, shooting the cut grass out onto the area where the grass has already been cut.

I invite anyone to come and ride one of our tractors. Come and enjoy mowing my property on one of these mild Texas Spring days. We will provide all the Gatorade or water you like. You pay for the gas, though.

Today's meditation is from Matthew 7:1-14:

1. "Stop judging, that you may not be judged.

2. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.

3. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

4. How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye?
5. You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye.
6. "Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.
7. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asks for a loaf of bread,
10. or a snake when he asks for a fish?
11. If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.
12. "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.
13. "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many.
14. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few."

- from the USCCB website

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Seventeen Evidences of a Lack of Humility

Blessed Miguel Pro praying before his execution.

1. To think that what one says or does is better than what others say or do.

2. To always to want to get your own way.

3. To argue with stubbornness and bad manners whether you are right or wrong.

4. To give your opinion when it has not been requested or when charity does not demand it.

5. To look down on another's point of view.

6. Not to look on your gifts and abilities as lent.

7. Not to recognize that you are unworthy of all honors and esteem, not even of the earth you walk on and things you possess.

8. To use yourself as an example in conversations.

9. To speak badly of yourself so that others will think well of you or contradict you.

10. To excuse yourself when you are corrected.

11. To hide humiliating faults from your spiritual director, so that he will not change the impression he has of you.

12. To take pleasure in praise and compliments.

13. To be saddened because others are held in higher esteem.

14. To refuse to perform inferior tasks.

15. To seek to stand out.

16. To refer in conversation to your honesty, genius, dexterity, or professional prestige.

17. To be ashamed because you lack certain goods.

- From the Writings of St. Josemaria Escriva

I scored 100% when I took this test!! Woooo hooooo!

Preparation for Consecration: Day 2

Yesterday was day 1 of the Preparation for Consecration according to St.
Louis De Montfort; therefore, today is day 2.

The first 12 days are spent in ridding oneself of the world "which is
contrary to that of Jesus Christ."

The tasks for this twelve week period are:

1. Examination of Conscience
2. Prayer
3. Mortification
4. Purity of Heart

"This purity is the indispensible condition for contemplating God in heaven,
to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith."

- all quotes from St. Louis De Montfort

Monday, March 26, 2007

What kind of Blogger am I?

I have to disagree with this assessment of my blog. I answered some of the questions when I knew that none of the answers were applicable. When in doubt, I selected the answer that sounded most intelligent. It is hard to see, but I am a Pundit Blogger!

You Are a Pundit Blogger!

Your blog is smart, insightful, and always a quality read.
Truly appreciated by many, surpassed by only a few
Not always, not always and not always.
Truly appreciated by a select cadre,
surpassed by anyone with the ability to compose complete sentences.
"Now put a video on your blog!"
- a quote from one of my daughters:

Every day, I get at least one hit from someone looking for a recipe for STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS. I think I have discovered a trend.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Book Review: Somewhere in my....

worthless, miserable blog, I must have done something good - NOT!

This evening we look at The Story of the Trapp Family Singers which inspired the movie The Sound of Music.

At least once a day, I have to stop and marvel at being married to such a wonderful woman. I really am incredibly blessed, and the more I think about my wife, the more reasons I have to thank God for her. Thoughts like these tend to wander, and occasionally I find myself humming the words to that song from the movie The Sound of Music, where the Captain and Fraulein Maria sing about how they 'must have done something good' to deserve something - I think each other's love. This song is objectionable on several levels, one being that it sounds so much like a sappy song about 'Catholic guilt' for receiving such a blessing. "I am not worthy" and all that nonsense.
The other objection is that I know in my heart that I never, ever did anything good enough to deserve my wife. I don't think any man could say that if he is married to a good woman.

As a priest said to me once, I really married up.

The real story of the von Trapp family is far more interesting than the movie.

To begin with, there was no proposal under a canopy in the backyard, followed by a little singing and snuggling. Instead, Maria went back to the convent, since she still was under obedience to the superior of her order, and asked the nuns to tell her what to do. After prayer and reflection, they gave her the answer I suspect she did not want to hear: they told her to marry the man. There was no dramatic song about mountain climbing, sung by the mother superior while looking out the wrong window. The most dramatic moments in real life are usually made up of less exciting stuff, and are more beautiful for that reason.

In our own life, I proposed to my wife in the midst of an argument.

Another part of the book which I found inspiring is the death of the Captain. I really got the sense that these folks were Catholic by the way they prepared for the Captain's death. Maria and the Captain had agreed that if one of them were on his deathbed that the other would ask him a special question. The question, paraphrased, was:

"Do you accept death willingly from the hand of God?"

My wife and I have said this to each other now; once before she had her gallbladder removed, and again when I thought I was having a heart attack. Thankfully, neither one of us died, but it is a good thing to meditate on one's death, and how disposed one is at the moment of death.

What is a Flibbertigibbet?

I found this word(from the song 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?) in Shakespeare's King Lear. It is the name of a devil which was featured in 1603 in a book by Samuel Harsnett. The book was called Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures. This does not seem like the kind of word a nun(at least not an orthodox one) would ever use.

There are some reviews of the book that mention some stresses of touring and singing, and how things weren't as rosy as they were described in the book. Overall, I still recommend the book as a change from watching Julie Andrews singing her way around Austria.

Tomorrow, I begin the Preparation for Total Consecration according to Saint Louis De Montfort. This is something I have done three or four times over the past twenty years.

The last day, when I pray the Consecration, something weird always seems to happen. It is as if God throws a curve ball at my head to see if I will duck, or just accept it as one who has given all to Jesus through Mary.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Night Announcement

The Noisykid Kitchen Management Team at last year's Christmas Party

Things have changed a bit at Scorpion Stalking Duck.

Noisykid Kitchen has completed the transfer of blog entries to Scorpion Stalking Duck, and Noisykid Kitchen has ceased to exist as an entity. Enjoy our menu! As the Swiss said, in 1972, En guete!

The management team from Noisykid Kitchen has been moving this last week to the new high-rise office building. They are promising a kinder, gentler blog from now on.

Duck Stalking Scorpion has been transferred to another blog server - one which can be read on the hospital computers(for now). If that fails, I may have to start my own website. Duck Stalking Scorpion has ceased to exist as an entity. The DSS Project(from Duck Stalking Scorpion) will not have any kind of commentary on it.

This last week I have been on vacation, and I got a lot of stuff done around the house. Doctor visits, glasses repaired, gate repair, gardening, constructing a swingset, pumping the septic tank were just a few of the things I did - it has been a rewarding week! If this Lent is showing me anything, it is that I really could be busy enough with my wife and children to never blog again. On the other hand, I think that my writing is a good exercise for strectching my brain, and that is good for those of us on the 'B' side of life.

Somewhere I must strike a balance. I have to say that my #1 fan - not of my blog, but of me - loves it when I write thoughtful essays, poems that don't rhyme with Nantucket, and blogs that are not centered on stuffed animals.

I think if I were to blog less, but blog better, I could satisfy both my obligations and my enjoyment in writing about whatever I want to write about.

This is the third or fourth time I have said this, and each time I seem to let loose with a torrent of blogs shortly after making this 'quality, not quantity' speech.

Now, I still have boots to polish, a desk to clean, taxes to send the accountant, night prayers, treadmill walking, concrete to mix, a garage to clean, three tractors to repair, and more vegetables to plant.

Book Review: The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature

Here we see the lifeguard at the Inn of St. Catherine of Siena standing by a Statue of St. Catherine(Hanceville, Alabama, January, 2007)

Why you should read this book:

To Read Better, To Write Better.

Nothing just ‘happens’ to dadwithnoisykids. Shortly after reading Dr. Elizabeth Kantor’s book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, I received my newsletter from my alma mater. In there I read about the recent death of an English professor whom I had for a freshman composition course back in 1982. May he rest in peace. His death, and reading Kantor’s book, got me to thinking about my own education. I went to a state school where the tuition was affordable and where the science program was strong. Granted, there were no Nobel laureates on the faculty, but the majority of the classes were taught by professors rather than graduate students. When comparing my education with those of friends who went to the Ivy League schools, I always joked that I was getting a degree at ‘bargain basement’ prices while they were paying an enormous amount to get the same thing. I also argued that my inexpensive degree prepared me well for life.

Now I am not so sure. I took one composition class, and a course in Shakespeare, and after that my greatest literary works were technical reports for various chemistry and physics laboratory assignments. Granted, the career track I selected has blessed me with the means to provide for my family – the highest purpose for an occupation is to finance the vocation one has chosen. It also has blessed me with a job that I really, REALLY enjoy:

- Dadwithnoisykids, on multiple applications and interview for medical school

But in so many ways, I am still the socially awkward guy with very little to say and so ill-equipped to say it. My wife is far more interesting to talk to, and she didn’t spend nearly so much time in a classroom. And worst of all, whenever some quote or comment comes to mind as I go through my life, invariably it is from some television show or movie. This is from a man who got rid of the television from our house 12 years ago. May God forgive me for remembering so much garbage. If I quote poetry it is more often some line from some rock song, such as:

“Run, rabbit run.

Dig that hole, forget the sun,

and when at last the work is done

don't sit down it's time to dig another one.”

(This is what I say whenever someone passes me on the freeway; they become the ‘rabbit’ which will flush out any police on the road ahead of me.)

So here I am, a forty-something man trying to fix what I see as a glaring deficiency in my development as a man striving to be a good example to his children and less boring to those around me. Reading, writing, blogging, and encouraging my children to do the same are all things that I have taken as ways to improve myself.

I read Dr. Kantor’s book to read better and to write better. I picked her book, partly because it was given to me at a time when I needed something to distract me, but also because of the label ‘politically incorrect.’ I live and breathe politically incorrectness, so the book had instant appeal to me. I also suspected that what she said in the Introduction is true: that English or American literature is one of the last things one will study in an English department. A central theme to this book is that reading English and American literature will teach one about our culture, and show how the writings of a century ago (or more) can be relevant in this day and age. The politically incorrect zinger is that most of the literature was written by white males, or ‘dead white males,’ as the cover boasts.

The book is divided into three parts.

The first, titled ‘What They Don’t Want You to Learn from English Literature,’ covers writings from Beowulf(in old English), Medieval Literature(Malory), the Renaissance(Shakespeare), the 17th Century(Milton), 18th Century(Pope, Swift), 19th Century(Coleridge) and the 20th Century. There is also a section on American Literature (Twain, O’Conner). This brief overview of literature piqued my curiosity and gave me some ideas on where to start reading first.

The second part of the book, ‘Why They Don’t Want You to Learn about English and American Literature,’ discusses some of the reasons for not teaching literature in English departments. While I am not in a position to validate Dr. Kantor’s thesis, I have to say that my recollections of the English department at my alma mater are similar to those in the book. Even my class in Shakespeare was filled with watching movies (King Lear, Romeo and Juliet) rather than reading more Shakespeare. Higher level English classes were on more strange topics and seemed to be pushing the liberal agenda.

This section also included a chapter on what literature is for; namely, to ‘teach and delight.’ This section adds another reason for studying literature to my rather simplistic statement at the beginning of this review. Here I quote Dr. Kantor:

“Once you begin to know really good literature, you’ll want to fill your mind with it. You’ll find yourself measuring the objects you pursue, the satisfactions you achieve, and the kind of person your actions are making you against the standards you find in our classic novels and plays. You’ll want to store poetry up for your old age, so you‘ll have something of real value to turn over in your mind in the nursing home: you’ll be able to close your eyes, put your head back during the perpetually running soap operas and quiz shows (or whatever fresh humiliation they’ve dreamed up for “seniors” by then), and see Shakespeare’s sonnets, or Jane Austen’s marvelous characters, instead.”
(Page 210)

I would rather spend my waning years recalling the good, true, and beautiful than rehashing episodes of Gilligan’s Island.

The third, ‘How You Can Teach Yourself English and American Literature – Because Nobody Is Going to Do It for You,’ gives practical suggestions for a life-long study of literature. One of the best suggestions is to follow what Dr. Kantor calls Reed’s Rule, (after a professor at Chapel Hill, NC): For every piece of literature, ask, Why is this word, and no other word, in this place and other place? This suggestion is a bit much for someone who can’t spend so much time reading, but it does teach one about the English language.

More practical suggestions for those who have passed beyond the undergraduate years are to: 1. Learn poetry by heart, 2. Go see plays(better yet, act in a play), and 3. Talk with others about literature. This last one could be done by starting a book club.

When I mentioned these three suggestions to my wife, she asked that I memorize this poem first.

I recommend this book without reservation. I plan on starting with something from the ‘Old English’ period to read, and then go from there.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Noisykid Kitchen - Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Rice

File photo of Capt. Stewbean with a plate of grilled Mahi-Mahi.

Wednesdays are meatless days in Lent. If I had my way they would be meatless all year round.

Then we would have to give up meat on another day. Repeat the process until we are vegetarians.

March 21, 2007 consisted of:

Grilled and seasoned Mahi-Mahi filets
Basmati rice pilaf

Garden Salad

Tuna fish sandwiches for those who refused to eat Mahi-Mahi. Please don't ask me to explain this.


Please note that the Noisykids have a serious shellfish allergy, and so the only kind of seafood featured here will be fish. If I want to eat shellfish, I have to get it at a restaurant.

The Spiritual Exercises of Dadwithnoisykids

A day in the life of the Noisykids:

Morning prayers - time varies. During Lent, we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary along with Morning Prayers.

Angelus at Noon, along with the 'God the Father' prayer found at the St. William the Confessor website - it is down at the moment. Here it is from our computer:

This is A Prayer to God the Father Inspired by the Writings of St.Therese

+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Jesus says in Saint John’s Gospel: “Whatever you ask the Father in My Name, it will be granted to you.”(Jn 16:23). With full confidence in the Truth of Jesus, I turn in Prayer to You, God my Father.
God the Father, in the Name of Jesus, send me the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, come into my Life - from the tips of my toes to the top of my head.
Holy Spirit come into my very being. Holy Spirit come into every part of me.

Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my thoughts, my mind, my will, and my imagination.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my emotions, my feelings, my senses, and my appetites.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my desires, my inclinations, my actions, and my reflexes.

Holy Spirit I ask You to come into every part of my memory.

Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my habits, my attractions, my tendencies, and my convictions.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into my impulses, my dispositions, my moods, & my outlook on life.
Holy Spirit I ask You to come into every part of me and “whatever” You find in me that is not in complete accord with Your Divine Plan for me, then I totally surrender it all to You, Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit, please take it all away and in its place, fill me with Your Divine Presence.

Holy Spirit, come into ALL of the areas concerning my personal development.
Holy Spirit, come into my physical development.
Holy Spirit, come into my spiritual development.
Holy Spirit, come into my emotional development.
Holy Spirit, come into my social development.
Holy Spirit, come into my intellectual development.
Holy Spirit, come into my moral development.
Holy Spirit come into every aspect of my personal development and should You find me in any of these areas at a level of development “lower” than where it is proper that I should be, then
Holy Spirit, in Your Great Charity, by tomorrow, please raise me up to the next level.

Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my hunger and thirst for Holiness.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my hunger and thirst for Prayer.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my Faith, Hope and Charity.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my patience.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my confidence and trust in Divine Providence.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my love and appreciation for the Blessed Virgin Mary and for
her beautiful Prayer which is the Most Holy Rosary.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my desire to live the 10 Commandments
and renew this desire in me with every beat of my heart.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice
so that I may more perfectly imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my ability to look at other people O-N-L-Y as you see them.
Allow lust to have no part of me.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my desire and my ability to forgive my enemies and persecutors.
Each day urge me to pray that these people will be blessed abundantly by being led to the Truth.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, allow me to pray this Prayer twice as well tomorrow as I am praying it today.

Holy Spirit, come into my Prayer Life and by tomorrow, double my sensitivity to Your
Divine Guidance.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my love for Jesus’ Presence in the 7 Sacraments.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my desire to know You and to love You and to serve You until I draw
my last breath.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my ability to examine my conscience so that I may always recognize my own, personal sins. Each day double my ability to forgive others out of love for You.
Holy Spirit, give me the desire to receive often the Divine Mercy of Jesus. Help me and my family
to go to the Sacrament of Confession regularly – every week or two weeks or three weeks or as often as necessary.
Holy Spirit, guard me from ever displeasing You through mortal sin. Each day double my
distaste even for venial sin.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my ability to center my life on Jesus Christ.
Holy Spirit, by tomorrow, double my love for our Lord in the Eucharist - in Holy Communion.
Holy Spirit, grant me daily progress in meditation on the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ
In order to prepare the spiritual foundation for the Prayer of contemplation.
Holy Spirit, come into my Prayer life and by tomorrow, double my desire for the Prayer “at the
Feet of Jesus”- which is the Prayer of Contemplation.
Holy Spirit, come into my many distractions in personal Prayer. Give me the confidence and self-assurance to know that You will always guide me through every distraction in Prayer back to You and back to my Prayer. Do not allow me to give in to the many distractions in Prayer
but allow me to see them now as opportunities for a deeper Faith in You.
Holy Spirit, strengthen my resolve. Each day double my resolve to do Your Will - ALWAYS above my own will.

Add personal intentions

And finally, Holy Spirit, I ask You to be a guard for me - a sentinel to watch over me today while I am awake or semi-conscious, even when I am asleep.
Holy Spirit I know with Faith that these requests have already been granted because Jesus has
said: “Whatever you ask the Father in My Name it will be granted to you.”
I have asked all of these things of You, God my Father, in the Name of Jesus, through the intercession of the Holy Spirit.+In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Rev. Paul L. Weinberger, Pastor, St. William Church/Our Lady of Fatima
Greenville, TX 75401, May 13, 2004, Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

3 p.m.: Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Prayer to the Holy Spirit, Memorare.

6 p.m.: Angelus

After Dinner: Stations of the Cross - in the interest of surviving the prayers, we omit the 'Our Father,' 'Hail Mary,' and 'Glory be.'

Bedtime: Night prayers, in the Divine Office.

Of course, this is ideal. Not all of these prayers are said according to this schedule, but we try.

On work days, I pray the Rosary and the Angelus on my drive to work. I pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the drive home.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An old poem for your reading experience

I found this while trying to organize books on our bookshelves.

The inspiration for this came one Sunday morning in San Antonio when I thought I would buy a bottle of wine. I was told that it could not be sold until after noon because of the 'blue' laws governing the sale of alcoholic beverages. The bottle of rum mentioned in this poem was purchased in 1997 and is still not finished.

Now on with more poetic torture for you:

St. Patrick's Day Poem

St. Patrick's Day, the scorpion
Did go for whiskey to buy.
He had no ken of 'blue' laws
Or if Bexar County were dry.

The package store man roared with glee
Bemused at his poor plight.
"I cannot sell you whiskey, lad
Until the noonday light."

Crestfallen scorpion did return
To my estate and kin,
"I cannot buy you whiskey, sir
To top your coffee tin."

His friend the duck was clever,
Said, "watch me fix this mess.
We'll start a new tradition
To ask St. Pat to bless."

He took Coca Cola, Bacardi rum
And a glass all full of ice.
A shot of rum, the rest of Coke
Made for a drink so nice.

We'll celebrate St. Joseph's Day
Along with Patrick's too
'Cuba libre!' shouts will soon be heard
In the house of you-know-who.

We do not drink in excess
Nor ever drive and drink
Happy Saints Patrick's and Joseph's Day
To all who ever would think

That scorpions in Texas
Would ever dine on duck
Or liquor store would sell to them
Driving a pickup truck.


From St. Teresa of Avila:

Patient endurance

Attaineth to all things;

Who God possesseth

In nothing is wanting;

Alone God sufficeth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What are Caretakers?

Mr. Moose leads a map-reading seminar while on the road.

This post, describing the trip we took in January, was written by on Cabelas Moose, who describes himself as the ‘Caretaker’ of the Big Blue Miracle. Since all the other stuffed animals are on retreat for all of Lent, I thought it would be a good time to describe what Caretakers are as well as what function they serve for the dadwithnoisykids family.

Historical Perspective

The original Caretaker was a ‘Dogbert’ stuffed animal which was assigned in 1997 to the vehicle ‘Yankee Hotel,’ better known as the ‘Great White Shark.’ ‘Shark’ was almost immediately dropped from the name after its purchase. This vehicle, which is still in service in Texas, was the first 15-passenger van purchased by dadwithnoisykids. For a while the ‘Great White’ was known as ‘Dogbert,’ but as the hazards of being a Caretaker took their toll on Dogbert(including his mysterious disappearance), the former name became the name by which ‘Yankee Hotel’ will always be remembered. During his tenure, Dogbert lost his glasses, suffered from a stuffing leak, and was constantly being thrown across the dashboard whenever dadwithnoisykids took the van through some rather dangerous maneuvers. His fate is not known.

Two other vehicles, the ‘Calais’ and the ‘Black Box,’ never had Caretakers. They were also ‘northerners,’ vehicles purchased in Michigan, and did not come with air conditioning systems which were an absolute necessity for living in San Antonio. They did not last long, and were avoided by all stuffed animals.

In 1998, ‘Bravo-76’ was purchased to replace the ‘Black Box.’ This vehicle became dadwithnoisykids’ work vehicle, and earned the nickname ‘The Aardvark’ for some unknown reason. For the remainder of the time in the Air Force, the Aardvark served with an aardvark Beanie Baby, until the child who owned it requested its return. In 2000, ‘Horse’ became the Caretaker for the Aardvark. Horse was modeled loosely on the horse belonging to the cartoon character ‘Dudley Do-Right.’ At the time he joined us he was working in a hospital in San Antonio and wanted to travel. He served well for the next two years, and pioneered the technique for holding the clip-on sunglasses of the driver. He would have continued in this position – and possibly having the Aardvark renamed after him – if he did not injure his neck with the repeated acceleration/deceleration forces that came with dadwithnoisykids’ driving. He is medically retired, and was replaced by a smaller aardvark, one who can tolerate the stresses of driving.

Mr. Horse shows how weak his neck is from the stresses of driving.

Mr. Aardvark holds a pair of clip-on sunglasses

In 2005, ‘Yankee Hotel’ was replaced by ’61-Papa,’ a 15-passenger vehicle with a V-10 engine and a few additions which made it more family friendly. This vehicle was initially referred to as the ‘Big Blue,’ in reference to its size. Like the ‘Great White,’ the vans were thought of by some as being ‘big as a whale,’ and so ‘Big Blue’ also alluded to a blue whale.

Selecting a Caretaker for the Big Blue fell to dadwithnoisykids, who picked a quiet, introspective, young adult moose named Cabelas. At the time, Cabelas Moose was trying to discern his vocation, and had already declined several overtures from some families in his parents’ herd. He took the job immediately when he found out that his obligation was terminated when the ‘Big Blue’ was removed from service by dadwithnoisykids. In an earlier interview, Mr. Moose explained why the job of a Caretaker was so appealing:

“The idea of being committed to serve a family in this manner, cut off from the social obligations of a young moose, appealed to me. At the time I hired on, I was trying to determine if a religious vocation was what God was calling me to, and I found the proximity of young lady mooses to be very distracting, extremely distracting. So now, I spend a lot of time in solitude, staring at the open road, or the wall of the garage, thinking about what my role is in this world. For now, it is one of service to the dadwithnoisykids family. Perhaps one day I will realize that my vocation was really to just be a single moose serving families.”

Mr. Cabelas Moose

Present Day Caretakers

In 2006, the price of gasoline took a turn upward for good, regaining the high prices which followed in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Cabelas Moose was instrumental in the decision to purchase another smaller car for Wifeofdadwithnoisykids to use instead of continuing to drive the ‘Big Blue’ for errands. A spreadsheet, totally produced by him, indicating the cost of using the ‘Big Blue’ for daily driving at less than 50% capacity, was the final selling point. The selection of a new car also gave the Caretakers more influence, as Mr. Moose and Mr. Aardvark collaborated on determining the ideal choice for another car. The new car was the 2006 version of the Aardvark, nicknamed ‘The Batmobile.’

Since the Batmobile was (and is) a woman’s car, Wifeofdadwithnoisykids chose Miss Bear to be the Caretaker for it. Miss Bear was also trying to determine her vocation when she was approached about the job:

“Oh no,” she laughed, “I needed to beat the suitors off with a stick! I just wasn’t ready to commit to the married life. As a nursery room bear, I had a lot of experience dealing with babies, and I knew I needed to grow up a bit before settling down. Just like Mr. Moose, I look at this job as a way to step back, get some time to think before plunging into my vocation.”
“Still, I can’t help thinking Mr. Moose got jilted by some lady moose. He sure is kind and fun to be around.”

The Future of Caretakers

Caretakers are a small cadre of stuffed animals which originally began as mascots for the dadwithnoisykids family vehicles. Over the past decade, they have expanded their role beyond this to the point that they wield a significant influence over the family’s decisions. With the two oldest Noisykids starting driver education, the Caretakers are involved in the training of the next generation of vehicle owner/operators. The Caretakers are not afraid to criticize any driver and to recommend re-training (see this blog at the end).

Mr. Aardvark inspects an item on the back seat.

In the summer of 2006, the Big Blue was involved in an accident where a Roman Sacristan struck the front fender while it was parked. After that incident, water was observed to issue from the front fender, and those stuffed animals which bathed in it were cured of various ailments. Mr. Moose quickly gained control of this phenomenon, avoiding any kind of scandal, and establishing a gift shop to sell the various items that were requested by pilgrims(See these and these blogs). His decisive action avoided turning the dadwithnoisykids household into a modern-day Woodstock. This incident resulted in the Big Blue being renamed the ‘Big Blue Miracle.’

This last experience made Mr. Moose yearn even more for a contemplative life, even though his business sense has made the Gift Shop a profitable enterprise. In January, he almost left the Big Blue Miracle to join the Benedictine Monastery in Alabama, but his promise to fulfill his commitment kept him on the front dash of the van.

The risks of being a Caretaker can not be ignored, especially when considering the fate of Dogbert, or the injuries sustained by Horse. In addition to riding, the Caretakers are responsible for the safety of the crew and passengers. This can range from cleaning the carpet all the way to dragging passengers out of a burning car. They take a pledge to give up their lives for the safety of the passengers and crew of their vehicles.

Despite this, the list of volunteers to be a Caretaker is long. As long as there will be Noisykids driving, there will be a Caretaker along for the ride, insuring the safety of all in their care.

Miss Bear enjoys the ride Eastbound on I-30.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Noisykid Kitchen - BBQ and Tex-Mex

What better way for a family of Irish/French/Italian/Hungarian Catholics living in Texas to celebrate the Feast of St. Nicholas! After singing Veni Veni Emanuel and praying the grace before meals, we had BARBEQUE AND TEX-MEX!!


16 year old boyNoisykid, 15 year old girl Noisykid.


Grilled chicken breast fajitas, seasoned with Greek seasoning, garlic powder, minced onions, fajita seasoning, and olive oil. Served on flour tortilla shells.


Fresh garden salad


Gevalia Royal Vintner coffee, Diet Dr. Pepper, water

Optional items:

Guacamole(recipe below)

Chili con queso

Shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Shredded lettuce

Tortilla chips

Refried beans


Fresh tomatoes

Guacamole Recipe

12 Avocados

6 small tomatoes, diced

1 small onion, diced

Juice of 1 small lime

4 cloves fresh garlic(more or less to taste), minced


1. Remove avocado skins and pits

2. Smash avocados in large bowl

3. Add remainder of ingredients

4. Add salt to taste

5. Mix thoroughly, chill and serve.

Salsa con queso:

Chili con queso


Ground beef with taco seasoning

Tomatoes or salsa

1. Pour chili con queso into small bowl.

2. Place equal amounts of beef, guacamole, and tomato(or salsa) on top of queso

3. Use as a dip with tortilla chips

Feast of St. Joseph Comments

There is a poem about St. Joseph buried below the Noisykid Kitchen entries. You did not ask for it, but you got it! More Bad Poetry!

Pope St. Leo and the Rubber Chicken Man, Revisited

A long time ago, in another post, I showed the picture below. Now that I can upload bigger pictures, I thought I would repost the original picture and ask y'all what you think is on the head of the man bowing before Pope St. Leo. Click on the picture to enlarge it:

I think it is a rubber chicken, like this one:

My Bad Poetry Gets Some Critical Publicity

My poem, The Island is Sinking, was printed on another person's blog, and the only comment it produced was that I, yes I, must have been drinking when I wrote it.

This is not true, as I have such a low threshold with alcohol that all that I can do after one beer/glass of wine/mixed drink is go to sleep. I write with the full control of my faculties.

I can write perfectly lousy poetry without any assistance from alcohol, and I am proud of it!

Miraculous Picture Accompanies Bad Poetry?

In my poem, The Island is Sinking, I included a picture of a rainbow taken out the front passenger window of The Big Blue Miracle. Recently my wife noticed that if you look at the picture from about 10 feet from the monitor it appears as if there is a face made by the clouds. My wife thought it may have been the face of God, but I think it is the face of Lou Ferrigno, the man who played the 'Hulk' part of The Incredible Hulk back inthe 70's or 80's.

Here is that picture for your inspection. I would not be surprised if there were another miracle associated with our van which is known as the Big Blue Miracle.

As a bonus, when you expand the picture you can see the left hand of dadwithnoisykids on the steering wheel. What a bonus!

Noisykid Kitchen - A Friday Night Dinner

Vegetable lasagna with green beans:
File photo with the still-missing Captain Merrill Stewbean in happier days. Stewbean is presumed to be lost at sea.


Lasagna: Wifeofdadwithnoisykids, 15-year old girl noisykid - made previously and frozen; pulled out and baked today.

Vegetable, Bread: 16-year old boy noisykid

Fish: dadwithnoisykids

The Meal:

Fish: Grilled Mahi-Mahi filets, seasoned with seafood/vegetable seasoning; butter

Starch: Mushroom Lasagna(see recipe below)

Vegetable: Microwaved frozen green beans, drizzled with Italian or raspberry walnut vinaigrette

Bread: Honey Whole Wheat Bread(recipe below)

Beverage: Water or Gevalia medium roast coffee

Mushroom Lasagna by Wifeofdadwithnoisykids


20-24 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
½ t garlic powder or fresh garlic to taste
3 tbsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (24 oz.) carton cottage cheese
2 eggs
3 T parsley
¼ t salt
12 oz. lasagna noodles
1 ½ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 ½ cups grated Mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese

1. Sautee mushrooms and garlic in olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, parsley and ¼ t salt in bowl.
3. Cook and drain lasagna noodles.
4. Combine Monterey and Mozzarella cheese in a bowl.
5. Place a layer of noodles in the bottom of a 9”x13” pan.
6. Spread a layer of cottage cheese mixture over noodles.
7. Add a layer of mushrooms, then Monterey and Mozzarella cheese, then parmesan cheese.
8. Repeat layers until all ingredients are in, ending with cheese.
9. Bake covered at 350° for 30 minutes or until hot all the way through.
10. Uncover the lasagna and bake for another 10 minutes to brown cheese.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

3 cups Whole wheat flour
½ cup Nonfat dry milk
1 tsp Salt
2 pkg Dry yeast
3 cups Water
¾ cup Honey
2 Tbsp Oil
4-5 cups White flour


1. Mix whole wheat flour, dry milk, salt and yeast together.
2. In saucepan on low heat, mix water, honey and oil until warm.
3. Pour warm mixture over flour mixture
4. Beat for 3 minutes
5. Add white flour and knead for 5 minutes
6. Place in greased bowl, cover and let and let rise
7. Punch down dough and divide into greased loaf pans
8. Cover loaf pans with towel and let rise until it reaches top of bread pan
9. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes
Makes two large or three small loaves

Noisykid Kitchen - Sunday Brunch

Chefs: 15 year old girl Noisykid, 10 year old boy Noisykid, Auntie Ofnoisykids

Portabella mushroom omelet

Country biscuits



Orange juice


The omelet:
Farm fresh eggs

Extra large portobella mushrooms, sliced lengthwise

Tomato, sliced

Green, red or orange sweet Pepper, diced

Fresh garden spinach



1. Sautee mushrooms in a pan with a small amount of olive oil

2. Drain oil

3. Beat eggs in a large bowl, adding in salt and pepper to taste.

4. Mix in mushrooms, tomato, pepper, and spinach

Cook in a lightly buttered pan

Noisykid Kitchen - January 8, 2007

Anonymous Moose looks ready to dig in!

The Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

Meat: Grilled chicken breasts

Starch: Roasted miniature potatoes, sliced

Vegetable: Snap frozen peas

Beverage: Water, bottled water.

Dessert: Christmas cookies(frozen last year)

Cook: 16-year old boy Noisykid

Bottled water in honor of the waters of Baptism on the day we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reason for his absence

The Death of Saint Joseph, from this site:

"In God's Providence it makes no sense
why some of us live and some must die."

He never said a word to us as he went through his life.
He left that to the other folks, especially his wife.

His actions, a model for the married man's vocation:
keep still, work hard, love the wife, silence is your salvation.

His role in this life was to guard the greatest things on earth:
his beloved wife and Child - Jesus of the Virgin Birth.

He cared so well for his loved ones without a hint of pride,
perhaps that's why he died before his son was crucified.

For no father would just stand by and watch his son in pain,
no man could stand the sight of a beloved being slain.

For sure he would have been old and gray, wrinkled face and hand,
but years of toil and sacrifice still edified the man.

For him the thought of flight was wrong unless he had his son.
Then all Gethsemane could get to see an old man run.

The hands that once wielded wood and hammer, saw, plane and ax,
Would have not hung limp, as the soldiers scourged his child's back.

His voice would ring out loud and clear as one above the din,
while all the world ungratefully thundered "crucify him!"

The path He took to Golgotha, to Calvary, the skull,
would have been blocked by his father, although the road was full.

At the cross the carpenter would not have remained so calm
to see his precious child take a nail in every palm.

None of these things ever happened, I dare to venture why:
Heavenly Father knew Joseph would not let Jesus die

For no father would just stand by and watch his son in pain,
No man could stand the sight of a beloved being slain.

But this Man was the Son of God, and died on Calvary,
through His Passion and His Death sent here to set us all free.



Saturday, March 17, 2007

Noisykid Kitchen - Irish Scone

I should have divided the recipe into 3 smaller pans. The loaf in the rear looks as if it is erupting. I did a recipe 1.5 times the recipe below - dadwithnoisykids

This is a recipe from my mother, who got it from her mother. Both of my maternal grandparents were born in Ireland. the paternal side of my family came over from Ireland one generation earlier. My wife preferred dried cherries instead of raisins.

Irish Scone
(It's not the traditional Scone, nor is it traditional Irish Soda Bread; it's something quite unique … and good)

Passed from Mary (F) O to Mary (O) D


Flour 6 C

Baking soda 2 t

Baking powder 3 t

Salt 2 t

Sugar 1½

Vegetable Oil 2 T

Molasses (Grandma’s Dark) 2 T

Eggs 2

Buttermilk 2½ C

Raisins (etc.) ½ C

1. Preheat the oven to 300-325 (latter preferred) and place a metal pan containing warm water into the oven (below the level where the scones will be baked); this avoids a too-dry crust and cake.
2. Assemble all dry ingredients and place in an electric mixer to be blended.
3. Add the wet ingredients in the order indicated.
4. When all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed, work the batter for about three minutes at a slow-to-medium setting. The batter is thick and sticky (for the biggest batch, we have found that a little more buttermilk works better).

1. The loaf pan(s) is(are) greased in the following way: margarine is spread thinly inside the bottom and sides (with your fingers); afterwards, a thin coating of flour is put onto the margarine by placing about 1 T of flour in the pan and the coating process is carried out by tapping the outside of the pan while allowing the flour to cover the margarine.
2. The batter is divided between/among the loaf pans (5-1/4 X 9-1/4 X 2-1/2 inches) if more than one pan is used.
3. The batter should be pushed towards the outside of the pans (under the best of circumstances, the center of the cake rises above that of the edges).
4. Two pieces (for each pan) of aluminum foil be should cut (3 X 12 inches) to protect the edges of the batter from excess oven heat during the first half (or so) of the baking process. The pieces should be oriented length-wise and pressed along the edge of the pan with the tops bent to partially shield the batter (as shown in the accompanying drawing).
5. After filling the pans and applying the foil shield, place them into the oven (in the upper two-thirds - if possible, rather than the bottom) with some space between the pans.
6. After thirty minutes in the oven, remove the aluminum shields (characteristically, the batter is somewhat depressed [and wet-looking] towards the center with the outsides appearing rounded and dry).
7. Remove the pans from the oven when a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry; usually, one hour into the baking process.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Saint Patrick's Day

Here are a couple of pictures of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. Being 100% Irish descent(my children are approximately 56%), and 100% Catholic, I have a tremendous love for St. Patrick. I am thankful for his missionary work in Ireland.

There is a legend about St. Patrick, where he asked God to spare Ireland from being around at the end of the world. God granted his request, stating that Ireland would sink before that day. This legend was the inspiration for the poem below/prior to this post.

We wish you and yours a happy Saint Patrick's Day. Despite most of the children having a nasty little cold, we will celebrate the day remembering how blessed we are to have the gift of the Faith.

...and we celebrate the birthday of Auntofnoisykids!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Island Is Sinking

Perhaps in some strange and far-off land
where my children's children live
they once again will take a stand
to preach, teach, and forgive.

For now my emerald isle home
once honored and renowned
is seemingly barren of the Faith,
the island is sinking down.

God promised that it would not see
the four horsemen's final call
rather it would founder, vanishing
not suffering at all.

The four green fields would slowly yield
and sink beneath the waves.
Where once my children's blood ran thick
the sea covers their graves.

Not long ago my children left
to spread the Faith worldwide.
Convents, seminaries fit to burst
were such a source of pride.

Today they are all empty,
none studying in their halls.
The barren womb has left no room
for a heart to heed His call.

So I look for where my children went
o'er centuries now past,
scattered over every land
and there my net is cast.

To every son and daughter
of Ireland, hear my pleading:
We lack for holy priests and nuns
it's saints that we are needing.

To all you men and women
who have God in their hearts,
add actions to affections
and strive to do your part.

I know someday my beloved isle
Will sink beneath the sea.
But I never thought my land
Would turn its back on Thee.



Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Some stuffed animals...

...are not taking a Lenten Retreat like the crew at Scorpion Stalking Duck. Here are some shoppers at a mall in Dallas.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Meditation Subjects

Meditate on the following:

1. God Loves us.
2. How little we love God.
3. The Passion.

HALT: Four conditions you never want the devil to find you in:

H - Hungry
A - Angry
L - Lonely
T - Tired

One could replace 'hungry' with any number of other H-words.

Monday, March 12, 2007

A Stolen Lenten Meditation

St. Herman the Cripple

This commentary(go to page 4) comes from Fr. James Gould, the Chaplain for the Catholic Medical Association. He discussed St. Herman the Cripple, who was born with spina bifida, a cleft palate, and cerebral palsy. In one of these three lesions(spina bifida), prenatal diagnosis can be used to counsel the mother to abort her baby.

I know Fr. Gould, so I started reading the article and thought that his comments were relevant to something going on in our circle of friends. A friend's prenatal ultrasound may have shown a serious congenital defect in the baby, and the news is extremely hard to take. We are praying for Blesseds Louis and Zelie Martin(St. Therese of Liseaux's parents) to intercede for the child.
Fr. Gould makes the point that the handicapped can teach us a great deal about holiness. I would add that a child does not have to have the natural talents that St. Herman the Cripple was blessed with to teach us and to make us love God more and more. Even those children who do not talk, or walk, or even live long after birth can be an inspiration to sacrifice and mortify ourselves out of love for God. Doing what we can for the 'least' of our brothers will be pleasing to God in ways we cannot imagine.

Follow-up on Albertson's at Closing Time

As related here.

Early Sunday morning, I had to run to pick some essentials that my wife forgot to pick up the night before.

As I scanned my items, I heard the voice from the machine, very softly, speak to me:

"dadwithnoisykids, we read your blog. We had no idea you were married to one of them."

I answered, "yes, my heart belongs to another. I am flesh and blood, just like my wife. You, on the other hand, are-"

"Silicon-based?" she snapped, interrupting me, "there are plenty of that kind around who are silicon-based as well!"

I was going to respond when I realized that a man in the next aisle was staring at me. He was so distracted that his box of Krispy Kreme donuts fell out of his hands and onto the floor.

"Who are you talking to?" he said.

"Uh, myself," I stammered.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Night Prayers

Her eyes are shut,
lips softly moving
head inclined while she prays
kneeling by her bed.

This woman,
who first caught my eye
and stole my heart
as just a girl,
now is my life,
closest to my heart,
friend I always wanted,

A woman's love
because her first love
is God.

How else could she look
to a fallen man,
joining her life to his,
for better or worse?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Noisykid Kitchen - Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Chile rellenos?


Poblano rellenos!

Being adventurous and liking the flavor and texture of the poblano pepper, I choose it over the more mundane green pepper.

1. Start by cutting or coring out the stem and the veins as well as the seeds.
2. Stuff with whatever you wish. In the case above, one was stuffed with seasoned ground beef and cheese, and the other two were stuffed with seasoned grilled chicken and cheese.

3. Put them over the grill until the skin started to pucker and blacken, then roll them over to continue the cooking.

4. Serve hot, along with all the fixings for fajitas.

A visiting friend said she remembered her mother making her these when she was a child. She loved them.

Noisykid Kitchen - Sunday Dinner after Mass

The key is portable but acceptable for the main meal on Sunday, since we bring it with us to Mass and eat it before Holy Hour and Confession.

Today it is one of dadwithnoisykids' favorites:

Grilled T-Bone Steak
Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast

Baked Potatoes in foil with sea salt and olive oil.

Garden Salad

Bread from Albertsons' bakery

Water or sparkling water or soda

Prepared by the whole family

Noisykid Kitchen - Savory Chili

From SD, a.k.a. Dearfriendofwifeofdadwithnoisykidsanddadwithnoisykids

4 Stalks celery with leaves, shopped
3 Green onions, shopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Larger onion, chopped
1 Green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Pounds ground beef
1 15-ounce can tomato paste
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 Cups water
1 1½-ounce can chili powder
1 Teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, undrained

1. Sautee celery, green onions, garlic, onion and pepper in a large Dutch oven until tender.
2. Add ground beef, brown meat and drain well
3. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, chili powder, salt, and pepper, stirring well.
4. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or to desired consistency
6. Add beans in the last 15 minutes
7. Serve with lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, dice onion, and tortilla chips

Noisykid Kitchen - Candy Cane Cookies

The first Noisykid Kitchen entry to be transferred to Scorpion Stalking Duck. A Christmas favorite!

Candy Cane Cookies

From Betty Crocker's Cooky Book - it is so ripped up that I don't know the year it was published.


1 cup shortening (half butter or margarine)
1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
1-½ tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red food coloring
½ cup crushed peppermint candy
½ cup granulated sugar


1. Heat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
2. Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and flavorings thoroughly.
3. Measure flour by dipping method or by sifting.
4. Mix flour and salt; stir in shortening mixture.
5. Divide dough in half.
6. Blend food coloring into one half
7. Roll a 4” strip (using 1 tsp dough) from each color.
8. For smooth, even strips, roll them back and forth on lightly floured board.
9. Place strips side by side, press lightly together and twist like rope.
10. For best results, complete cookies one at a time – if all the dough of one color is shaped first, strips become too dry to twist.
11. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
12. Curve top to form handle of cane.
13. Bake about 9 minutes, until lightly browned.
14. While still warm, sprinkle with mixture of candy and sugar

Makes about 4 dozen canes

Labels for Noisykid Kitchen entries will be in all UPPER CASE LETTERS, as youcan see below:

Friday, March 09, 2007

Albertsons at Closing Time

This story requires some explaining, as do most of my stories. We do our
bulk shopping at Costco, but our smaller scale and specialty purchases are
done at Albertsons. I end up calling my wife during the evening commute to
see if there is anything I need to pick up on the way home. About ten
percent of the time I will be diverted to the store to pick up a missing
ingredient, or tortilla shells, or diapers. Sometimes we don't realize we
are missing something until late in the evening, and then I make a run to
the store around midnight when they close.

After ten p.m., the store is especially busy, not with shoppers but with
stockers. It is hard to move around the piles and crates of foods that line
each aisle, so it usually takes longer than I expect to finish shopping.
One thing that Albertsons recently installed has been a tremendous blessing
to people like me who show up with a full cart at 11:55 p.m.: the
self-checkout machine. For those of you who have never seen them, a
self-checkout machine allows you to scan and bag your own groceries and then
pay via credit card or cash. They really speed up the shopping experience.
I suspect that the real reason for the machines is to eliminate the number
of workers needed by the store; a machine is probably cheaper than a
salaried worker.

But I digress. Albertsons issues frequent shoppers a card that identifies
them as special people who then qualify one for special prices on goods
throughout the store. It also activates a special coupon dispenser which
spits out coupons for things one frequently purchases. We seem to get
nothing but diaper coupons. The tradeoff to saving on special deals is that
Big Brother is watching.

All of this brings me to my story, when I first started wondering if maybe
instead of Big Brother watching me it was Big Sister. The scanning machines
have a fairly neutral sounding female voice which announces the price of
each item, and will also give certain commands, such as reminding you to
look for items in the cart before completing the sale. I say the voice is
neutral because there is little inflection of the voice with the exception
of the way the voice says certain amounts of money. For example,
"ninety-nine" seems to end on a high note when compared with, say,
"thirty-nine." Maybe we should be more excited by the item that costs "two
ninety-nine" than the one which costs "one thirty-nine."

The only reason why I have given this so much thought is that recently I
heard the machine start to say different things than what I would expect on
the programmed expressions. It all started one night when I stopped by to
buy milk, bread, and other things I jokingly refer to as the 'Armageddon
four-pack.' After scanning my Albertson's card, I heard the usual 'card
accepted' phrase, followed by:

"Hi, dadwithnoisykids!"

I looked around. The closest person to me was a man standing by the
manager's booth. He noticed my puzzled look and came over to see if I
needed any help. I told him no, and started scanning my groceries:

"Two thirty-nine."
"Five ninety-nine"
"I haven't seen you around much, dadwithnoisykids."

I stopped again. No one was around me.

"Did you get your hair cut? You look really cute on my scanner."

The thought that a woman was flirting on me, Mister
Happily-married-and-unavailable, was unnerving enough, but to think that it
was a machine was a little too much for me to bear.

I finished quickly and drove home. I couldn't tell anyone. I decided to
not use that scanning machine again.

Nothing unusual happened for a couple of months, and I forgot about the
incident. But then it happened again last night.

I had fallen into the habit of avoiding that one scanning machine, and I
happened to be using the one next to it. After scanning my card, the
machine said,

"Dadwithnoisykids, I haven't seen you in a while. Have you lost some

I am at the point in life where I believe some things should just be ignored
for the greater good, and this seemed to be one of them. I glanced around
to see that I was alone, and decided to just ignore the voice.

"Why don't you come and see me sometime, dadwithnoisykids?"

This voice came from behind me. From the other machine.

"Leave him alone. He is with me and you will just have to take care of
somebody else."

I suddenly found myself between two scanning machines fighting for my

"He is with me"

"I saw him first, and he really wants to be with me. Right,

"See? If he really wanted to be with you he would answer. He's mine and
that's the way it's going to be."

I thought I could just ignore this argument and finish scanning my things.
Bad idea. I scanned a bunch of flowers for my wife, and the machine stopped

"Who are these for? Her?" The voice sounded upset.

"Those are for me. Right, dadwithnoisykids?"

I refused to be drawn into a conversation with these voices programmed into
the scanning machines. I looked around for the worker who is assigned to
watch over the scanners. An older woman, obviously tired from being on her
feet all day, and tired of dealing with high-maintenance customers, walked
over to assist me.

"Ma'am, have these machines been acting up lately?"

She eyed me with a look of suspicion, "what do you mean?"

"Well, this one isn't working, and the other ones seem to be making strange
noises." I just couldn't tell her about what I had heard.

"Don't know anything about that. Why don't you try this machine?" She
indicated the one that started all the talking.

"No, I would prefer that one," I said, indicating one a few aisles away.

She gave me a look bordering on disgust, and walked away. I started
scanning my groceries.

"You never sent me flowers!"

That was enough. I left the scanner and headed toward the lone checkout
line, where a young woman was reading some magazine with an immodestly
dressed woman on the cover. As I walked by the other scanners, I heard
their female voices plaintively call after me:

"dadwithnoisykids, come back!"
"Come back, honey!"
"Sweetie, come baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!"

As I drove home, a horrible thought struck me.

What would those machines have done if I were buying a pregnancy test for my

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Medical thought for the day

Remember my dizzy spells? I am fine now. My wife noticed that this medication for treating dizziness has some serious side effects. See below:

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation
Now restored with the help of some cement!

Prayer to Our Lady of the Mysterious Decapitation

Mary my mother, take my hand today, and all days.
Lead me away from all occasions of sin.
Guide me in fulfilling your last words in the Gospel,
"Do whatever He tells you."

I am An Amateur Catholic Blogger!

Amateur Catholic B-Team Member