Papal Visit ’08

A friend shared me with me this neat story.  

My friend has a friend with a 9-yo son who is legally blind.  Son wants to be a priest when he grows up.  Friend’s friend was entered in the lottery to see the Pope in DC, but did not get tickets.  A friend of my friend’s friend (got that?) was also entered in the lottery and did get tickets, however, she felt that God was impressing on her to give the tickets to her friend.   So friend’s friend and her 9-yo son went off the see the Pope in DC.

Somehow friend was talking to a priest who talked to a bishop who talked to an archbishop who spoke with a vatican official (or something like that) and it was arranged that the 9-yo boy would get a chance to meet The Pope.  So, when the Pope came out, the 9 yo boy was lifted over the ropes and actually met and spoke with The Pope for around 5 minutes.     The Pope blessed a purse full of rosaries and other religious articles that the boy’s mother had given him. .  Boy also asked the Pope to “please bless my eyes because it might be hard to be a priest if I am blind”  So, the boy also got a special papal blessing on his eyes.

The boy was then lifted back over the ropes and returned to his mother.     Later on, when the Pope came out he made a special point of coming over to the boys’ mother and friends and greeintg them.  As the Vatican offiicial was leaving he told the boy’s mother “your son must be very special because he (the Pope) doesn’t do that).

A few days later, the boy had his regular eye exam and it was discovered that for the first time since he was born, there was no further degeneration of his eyes.

Neat story!


Baby Son’s birth was the culmination of a long and arduous labor. It was the most difficult of my 3 births and the end was fraught with peril…. being strapped to the monitors,  hushed talk of heart decelerations,  quiet encouragement to push, and the realization that Son had to come out NOW and *I* was the only one who could do it.    It was up to me.   My body had grown and sustained him for 9 months, but was it time for him to leave, to begin life outside the womb and fill his little lungs with air.  It was discovered that his umbilical cord was short, and it was being compressed and stretched as he exited the womb …..that was causing the heart decelerations.   Instead of a rosy pink, he was born gray.  Thankfully, once he was on the outside, his lungs filled with air, he cried and took on a healthy pink color.

I found his birth to be very unsettling, disturbing in some way.  Although everything went well,  nothing went as planned. My other 2 births were textbook, smooth, without problem.  This one wasn’t  and looking back, it is quite scary realizing “what COULD have happened”

I have come to realize that life and birth are uncertain. Nothing is guaranteed.  Things happened that were beyond my control, it was out of our hands.  Thank God the outcome was good.

I have come to a greater respect for birth, for the entire process, the mystery of it all, the way things unravel.  It truely is an awesome experience, one I am blessed to take part in, along with the legions of women who have gone before me.



I have come to he conclusion that most men are so smart they pretend to be stuipd.  Let me explain, Hubby likes to tell the story of how when he was a child his mother tried to teach him how to cook.  She asked him to heat milk, and he put the milk in a plastic measuring cup on a hot burner.  Needless to say, that was the end of cooking lessons and he got to go outside and play.  So, the question is, was that incredibly smart or incredibly dumb of him.??? 

This is NOT an isolated story.  My girlfriends are fully of similarr stories of their husband’s dumb escapades, which might not be so dumb after all…maybe they are all diabolically clever ideas to get out of work, well thought, planned and executed.

 A women will do almost anything to NOT be thought of as incompetent, hmmm…maybe we should take a lesson from men and rejoice in our incompetence.    Life would sure be a lot easier that way.


Weather is relative.    It is April here in New England and I think it is gorgeous.  Today it got up into the high 50’s (maybe even 60) was sunny and felt quite warm and springlike.  Younger Daughter even was outside in her bathing suit and halter dress (a 3 year olds sense of fashion defies words sometimes).   However, Hubby thinks it is FREEZING outside.  He seems to be laboring under the false impression that April weather should be HOT (in the 70’s).  I guess that is what you get when you grow up in the South.  Me, on the other hand. I  am quite enjoying our warm, spring-like weather.  After 20 and 30 degree winters, 50 seems quite balmy.   Break out the shorts, man.

Homecooking and Homeschooling

Here is a great article comparing the legal issues involved in homeschooling to homecooking.

After much heated debate on the house floor, legislation was passed today to allow a growing number of families to cook meals for their families in their homes. The children must have annual physical examinations to assure proper growth and weight gain. Attempts to require weekly meal plans and monthly kitchen inspections were voted down

Imagine if the government tried to take away our rights to feed our children……actually with all the brouhaha about “childhood obesity” is the idea really all that far-fetched? 

Exciting Research

Came across this the other day….  apparently breast milk contains stem cells.

It was Dr Cregan’s interest in infant health that led him to investigate the complex cellular components of human milk. “I was looking at this vast complexity of cells and I thought, ‘No one knows anything about them’.”

His hunch was that if breast milk contains all these cells, surely it has their precursors, too?

His team cultured cells from human breast milk and found a population that tested positive for the stem cell marker, nestin. Further analysis showed that a side population of the stem cells were of multiple lineages with the potential to differentiate into multiple cell types. This means the cells could potentially be “reprogrammed” to form many types of human tissue.

“We have shown these cells have all the physical characteristics of stem cells. What we will do next is to see if they behave like stem cells,” he says.

If so, they promise to provide researchers with an entirely ethical means of harvesting stem cells for research without the debate that has dogged the harvesting of cells from embryos.

Now you can have the stems cells AND the baby too!  Breast milk has often been called “liquid gold” amongst those in the know.   Who would have thought such great stuff pours out of me in such copious amounts soaking numerous articles of clothing? Too bad scientists can’t harvest breast milk off soaked t-shirts, I currently have a hamper full of just such items.    Ah well……at least we know breast milk is plentiful, scientists should have no difficulties in acquiring it. 

Now, this begs the questions, if human milk contains stem cells for humans, does cow’s milk must contain stem cells for bovines.?  And, if so, what can we use them for?