Recently in SQUIRREL! Category

Hallie Lord:

Scientists have long believed that when people experience stress, a hormonal cascade is triggered compelling the body to do one of two things: (1) stand and fight or (2) flee. New research out of UCLA shows that – for women, at least – it may not be quite that simple. As it turns out, there is an additional reaction that takes place within a woman’s body – the release of oxytocin – that buffers the fight or flight response and encourages her to tend to her children and gather with other women. Once she does this, even more oxytocin is released, further countering stress and producing a calming effect.

I realize this will surprise no one....

Resolution Linkapalooza!

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Kathy is hosting a New Year’s Resolutions Linky Party, and I’m up for a party, even though I’m not really big into New Year’s resolutions.

Part of it’s past failure, I suppose, but I think that’s because for me, New Year’s just isn’t a natural time to make grand resolutions. I also don’t seem to have the attention span for them — I’ll make a list and promptly forget about it.

I seem to do better with focusing on principles and teeny-weeny goals. For example, the principle of the undefined amount of time might be “finishing what I start” and the teeny-weeny goal might be “always putting the keys on the hook.”

So for purposes of this Linky Party, I’m going to focus on the principle of Being Ready. Teeny-weeny goals will include tasks like stocking the freezer, keeping the kitchen clean, keeping up with the laundry, and tidying the spare room.

But which mini-goal to work on first? And how long should I focus on Being Ready? For these and all other resolution-related questions, I turned to technology:

I “pulled a saint” using Jennifer Fulwiler’s new Patron Saint Generator. And I’m honored to report that I was chosen by none other than…

Our Lady of Guadalupe!

OLG face.jpg

Many of the commenters chez Anchoress noticed immediate links between themselves and their 2011 patrons. For myself, I’m not seeing anything obvious (or *did *I pray for an increase in devotion to Mary?) I’ll just wait for further instructions.

So: Resolution #1: Be Ready!

Resolution #2: Ask Our Lady of Guadalupe about everything else.

And thy ears shall hear the word of one admonishing thee behind thy back: This is the way, walk ye in it: and go not aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left. — Isaiah 30:21

“Am I not here, who am your Mother? Are you not under my protection? ….Are you not happily within my fold?” The Great Mother of God, Mary most Holy, to Juan Diego

Peony's seven quick takes

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Pansy's computer is broken and that's why we haven't been hearing from her. She is taking things day by day, and greatly appreciates your prayers.


This weekend, we'll be celebrating the seventh anniversary of the blog! Any nominations for favorite posts from the past to reprint?

Look what I am having for a snack this afternoon:>


That's Royal Rum coffee from the Mystic Monks and cookies from my oven, using a recipe I learned from my mom. Jealous yet?


In our eternal quest to Get It Together, Pansy and I are buddying up and using some of the suggestions in this book:

These ladies are Flylady's mentors. The premise is to set up a sort of tickler file to keep track of cleaning routines and keep from getting sidetracked (something I'm very prone to.) In this book, they also have suggestions for getting kids involved in keeping up the house (one suggestion involves blaze-orange stickers and the possibility of docking points from siblings.)

So far, I've set up a little system of index cards to help me with meal planning. Pansy went straight to first principles and used her first batch of index cards to plan out daily prayers and devotions.


Oh, all right: Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe


Plug time! Check out Faith on the High Wire (and not just because Kathy links back to here.) I see she has a post up that mentions Pansy's bishop....


Boy, did I feel smug reading the Washington Post after the March for Life: In the Metro section, Robert McCartney's column began....

Iwent [sic] to the March for Life rally Friday on the Mall expecting to write about its irrelevance. Isn't it quaint, I thought, that these abortion protesters show up each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, even though the decision still stands after 37 years.

Quaint? Quaint? You saw it first here in 2005:

(snarkily imitating a Washington Post writer) Imagine! After 32 years, there are still benighted souls out there who think abortion is... wrong! Doesn't it remind you of those Japanese soldiers who fought in the jungles for 50 years after the peace treaty? It would be so... quaint, if it didn't hit so close to home and if they weren't messing up Monday's traffic so. Good thing this was on the first page of the Metro section, even though this is an issue of national interest drawing protesters from around the country. And that praying thing, it's just so creepy.

How to Change Your Mind

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Neuroplasticity? The Church was way ahead of the curve on that one, too:

The beginning of a New Year—and a new decade—is an an excellent time to try something new. As you make your list of resolutions and goals I want to recommend adding a simply [sic] four step process that could transform your life by, quite literally, changing your mind.

After reading the entire post the vast majority of readers will snicker at such a hyperbolic claim and never implement the method I outline. A smaller number will consider the advice intriguing, my assertion only a slight exaggeration, but will also never implement the method. A tiny minority, however, will recognize the genius behind the process and apply it to their own life. This group will later say that my claim was an understatement.

Right now, my vision for 2010 involves embroidery, paint, and training my brain to crave cleanliness and order. This could fit right in with that....

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

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Blah blah Internets blah blah easily distracted changing the way we think ooo linky to Amazon blah blah hold on let's read this more carefully (emphasis added):

The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.

...In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates bemoaned the development of writing. He feared that, as people came to rely on the written word as a substitute for the knowledge they used to carry inside their heads, they would, in the words of one of the dialogue’s characters, “cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful.” And because they would be able to “receive a quantity of information without proper instruction,” they would “be thought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quite ignorant.” They would be “filled with the conceit of wisdom instead of real wisdom.”

Cf. Leisure: The Basis of Culture acedia, any one of the swarms of ignorant pundits out there.

Di Fattura Caslinga: Pansy's Etsy Shop
The Sleepy Mommy Shoppe: Stuff we Like
(Disclaimer: We aren't being compensated to like this stuff.
Any loose change in referral fees goes to the Feed Pansy's Ravenous Teens Fund.)

Pansy and Peony: The Two Sleepy Mommies