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What I did on my Christmas Vacation January 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, asshatery, blogfoolery, fun, General Catholic, Liturgical Year, non squitur, reading, sickness, silliness, Society.

What I did on my Christmas Vacation

2nd Grade  Miss Bailey

By Tantumblogo

Well folks, sorry for the inordinately long break.  I had meant to post at least a few times during what I knew was going to be a long vacation, but because of some technical issues and just being too busy all around I never got to it.  Sorry about that, if it was annoying.  It was a bit for me, but it was also really good to be almost totally unplugged for a few weeks. I appreciated the holiday much more, certainly.

I did a lot over the break.  I split some of the most hellishly knotted, unbreakable live oak I’ve ever encountered.  It may be a bit hard to tell from the photo below, but I got a hold of some wood that was like one continuous spiral knot from branch to trunk.  I don’t know what the heck was up with that wood, but I finally managed just chunking over half of it.  I spent 15, 20, even 30 minutes painstakingly splitting even medium size pieces with an axe, wedge, and sledge (no head injuries, thank you).  Has anyone ever seen live oak grow like this before?  It came from a neighbor’s tree.


Like I said, it’s like a rope of spiraling knots.  Weird

But mostly I spent time with my family.  I had a lot of fun. Hopefully they did, too.  I read a lot. I finished several books, much faster than I normally read.  One I very much recommend. I will do a specific post on this book sometime later this week, perhaps tomorrow, but I really enjoyed reading The Collaborator by blog reader and co-parishioner Mitchell Hadley.  I’m not a big fiction reader, but this book, I felt, really helped me understand this pontificate a lot better.  Hadley juxtaposed the materialist, left-wing outlook of Pope Francis with that of the constant belief and practice of the Church without turning it into a screed, or even mentioning Pope Francis by name.  The book bears a lot of similarities with Windswept House and other Malachi Martin novels, but without the oppressive sense of doom.  I strongly recommend it.  I think many people would benefit from reading this book.

I should make clear, however, contra Malachi Martin, Mr. Hadley does not claim to have any special inside knowledge of affairs in this pontificate or the Vatican, he simply took the trajectory of this papacy and the known background of Pope Francis and extrapolated a bit.  The book reads quite prophetically, however, and I suspect there is a great deal of truth in the main arc of the story, even if not intended.  I should also make clear that while the Pope in the book is never stated as being Pope Francis, specifically, I think anyone can discern just who it is he’s describing.

I also saw the new Star Wars movie.  I’d say I was quite wary going in.  I so hate the prequels.  Man I hate them.  My son begged me to watch Episode 3 a few days before we went to see the new movie.  My goodness is it awful.  The story makes no freaking sense, and the characterization makes Walker, Texas Ranger look like Hamlet.  I also read some “manosphere” blogs occasionally, and some of them were very down on the female protagonist in the movie.

Having said that……I really liked it. At least, I really liked it after seeing it once.  I did feel some serious deja vu more than once, however, where the close derivation of the movie from “A New Hope” became just too obvious at times.  But I thought the histrionics over the Rey (female lead) character way overwrought, I actually thought they handled her development pretty well. I really liked the new Darth Vader, he was made more unstable and vulnerable…….more human.  The action scenes were generally pretty awesome.  Overall, I was quite sucked in.  I wouldn’t mind seeing it again, though I fear some of the movie’s MacGuffins…….why call it “The Resistance,” why is the Republic ignoring this grave threat from the “First Order,” etc., may eventually grate on me to the point where I’ll come to regard it, if not quite abject hatred like the prequels, at least benign indifference like Return of the Jedi.  Thank God there were no Ewoks or Jar Jar Binks.  Even when I saw Return as an 11 year old, I found the idea that Ewoks could kill Stormtroopers by dropping rocks on them too much to take.  Screw you, George Lucas.

I think the way the movie left off, however, opened up some really exciting avenues for future development.  Just don’t let there be an ice planet battle in the next movie.  If there is, I’m out…….

Other than that…….I availed myself of the Sacraments a great deal.  I spent too much money.  My youngest daughter (well, for now), who just has me wrapped around her finger, has a birthday coming up and I went a bit overboard with that.  I reconstituted a 30 year old compound bow I’ve had forever.  I got some new gadgets for one of my guns.  I read a book about Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun.  That was good.  He grew up about 15 miles from my mom.  I pretty well blew up my 4 month diet and exercise program.

Sooo……..what did you do?




1. Gary - January 12, 2016

Sat around missing your daily blog, that’s what I did!! Thanks for all you do and glad you have some fun.

2. Baseballmom - January 12, 2016

Well…. I had four sets of company coming and going over twelve days… I cooked and cleaned and cooked and cleaned and changed linens and washed towels and vacuumed and dusted and enjoyed grandkids, kids and family friends…. On the last day of the year I celebrated 39 years of wedded bliss…. Ok, 39 years of wedded…. And then I collapsed sick for three days…. God is Good!!!! 😀

Tantumblogo - January 12, 2016

Oh I didn’t even mention all that stuff! We only had 2 sets of company come, but there was much cooking and cleaning.

3. LaGallina - January 12, 2016

Didn’t spend too much time on blogs since you were out of service. Enjoyed the break from my ridiculously busy homeschool schedule. Fought off a major spiritual attack. Seriously.

(I almost lost my beloved Friday TLM at the beautiful Sacred Heart Church!! But found out two days ago that we won’t lose it after all — THANK GOD!! Had a major serious family issue — which turned out to be a false alarm! THANK GOD AGAIN!!!)

Listened to a lot of Vivaldi with my kids. We love Vivaldi. Ate too much. My 13 year old son is an amazing baker.

Signed a contract to buy a house 20 miles away — on a beautiful 7 acres of resaca-frontage property. (Have people ever heard of resacas? Or is that a Rio Grande Valley thing?) We plan to keep and rent out our home on S. Padre to which we are very sentimentally attached. (Anyone looking for a Texas beach getaway — let me know!)

Other than that, not much. Glad you’re back.

Tantumblogo - January 12, 2016

No, what is a resaca? Sounds interesting.

LaGallina - January 13, 2016

“RESACAS. Resacas are former channels of the Rio Grande found in the southern half of Cameron County.” From The Texas State Historical Association’s website.

They look like greenish small lakes or large ponds. Brownsville is full of them. The one on our property is the longest — miles long — and runs into the Laguna Madre bay which is the body of water separating the mainland from Padre Island. But most do not contact to any larger body of water anymore.

They attract all kinds of birds and critters — including alligators. The land around them tends to be green and fertile, and with bigger trees than you find in other parts of the RGV. The fishing is supposed to be good. My boys are used to salt water bay fishing, so this will be a bit different.

Tantumblogo - January 12, 2016

And glad to see you back, as well.

Baseballmom - January 12, 2016

You know LG, we were so attached to our home of 24 years that, when we left it 4 years ago, I could not bear to have strangers living in my house…. So we sold it… At the ROCK BOTTOM of the market, but I just had to let it go… Blessings on your move and all the work that comes with it 😊. (Of course, we bought our new home at rock bottom too… It was all a wash….)

LaGallina - January 12, 2016

Thanks, BBmom.
That’s how I feel. It’s going to be very hard to see vacationing strangers using and abusing my home. This house was the answer to my first prayer — after many years of wanting nothing to do with God. I prayed that He would help us find a home for our growing family. Within 24 hours of my prayer, my prayer was answered.

I wouldn’t be leaving it if God hadn’t made it extremely clear that He wanted us at the new home. It’s so perfect, it’s almost like God had it built just for us! He (God) is so good to undeserving me!

4. Mitchell H. - January 12, 2016

Thanks for the kind mention of my book, Tantum! Glad you enjoyed it!

Tantumblogo - January 12, 2016

More tomorrow, Mitchell. I didn’t get to writing a full review, yet.

5. c matt - January 12, 2016

Some Star Wars spoilers:

Saw the star wars movie too – not as good as the originals, but much better than the prequels. Had the exact opposite reaction to the villain and heroine as you did. The villain’s angst was way too overdone. He’s supposed to be a bad***, not an angsty early twenty-something. Seriously, this is the offspring of Leia and Han? Maybe he was adopted. As for the female lead, I thought it lacked real development – never having even seen a light saber before, she is somehow able to pick it up for the first time and go head to head with the aforementioned alleged bad***?

6. tg - January 12, 2016

Welcome back Tantum. I missed your blog and was starting to get worried. I’m glad you had a good vacation. I had a good vacation too but was sick a couple of days. Thanks for the book recommendation. I like Catholic fiction and I need a good book to read and get me distracted from the real world.

7. skeinster - January 12, 2016

I scrambled to get my shopping done, after spending the first part of the month on a big project, but it all turned out well. Put up some of my favorite decorations after a two-year hiatus- the artistic grandchild was a great help.
Took on Twice-Baked Potatoes as my contribution to the big family dinner and was assigned them in saecula saeculorum. Began haunting our wonderful new bookstore- what an addition to our parish life!
Worked on the re-located garden and took out two roses that got the mutant virus.
Listened to all my Christmas CD’s and thought “it’s good to be a Catholic.”

Welcome back, TB! and thanks for the book recommendation.

8. MFG - January 12, 2016

Welcome back. Glad you had a long break and hopefully got some rest in there too.

9. Elizabeth - January 13, 2016

Welcome back, Tantum! I was getting worried…hoping you were on a planned vacation. Great to have you back. You’re a must-read for me at least once a day so I had a little withdrawal going on here. 🙂 You’re so appreciated!

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