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Help for Squashy Auntie

Thursday, January 31, 2013
The fitness-inclined among you may be wondering how your poor squashy auntie is getting along at the gym. The answer to that was "Not wonderfully well" until Monday, for it was very hard for me to leave the computer in the morning. You all know what computers are like. And there are only a limited number of hours in which I can use the gym, for I cannily bought the "silver membership." This means I can use the gym only when everyone else is at their proper job, e.g. from 9 to 4:30.

Anyway, so as to make sure I would stop scrambling to get to the gym on time, I came up with a plan: I would leave the Historical House every morning when B.A. left the Historical House for his office in the Historical Stable Block. And to give myself something to do on the days in which I am not lifting weights, I would sign up for some of the classes.

This has worked out very nicely so far, as I have gone to the gym four days in a row, which is unprecedented since at least 2006. However, I have not lost very much weight. This is to be expected, though, as muscle weighs more than fat, and it is harder to shift fat as you grow older. I do not expect to drop twenty pounds in seven months as I did when I was 25/26, although I admit I would be pleased. But the point to the gym membership is not primarily to reduce my size but to pump my sometimes gloomy and sluggish brain with natural feel-good juice.

The quickest way to get the feel-good juice into your brain is to do aerobic exercise, particularly one that involves bouncing up and down. This is what runner's high is all about, and why I put up with MTV and Jeremy Kyle on the tellies before me. (Note to pundits: if you really want to discourage Bulgarians and Romanians from coming to England, beam The Jeremy Kyle Show to them. Neither Himmler nor Stalin could have come up with better anti-English propaganda than that.)

I thought I would give myself a break from the treadmill, MTV and Jeremy today, so I signed up for an aerobics class called "Body Combat." It was led by a male trainer with a boxer's wiry, fat-free body, and we were mostly Scotswomen of the squashy variety. I thought I would be prepared for it, thanks to two months of desultory tread-milling and weight-lifting, but heavens. I think if I hadn't done the running and lifting, I would have had a heart attack and died. (Note to self: when the pamphlet says bring a towel and water bottle, bring a towel and water bottle.)

I had one very sad moment as I squashily tried to maintain a push-up position for forty-five years and failed. How terribly I felt about failing. When I was 27 I would have not have failed, and just as I thought that, a bead of sweat dropped from my forehead and a very wiry twenty-seven year old girl appeared beside me. It was me.

Seraphic, Age 27: It's okay. You're supposed to fail.

Seraphic, Age 39+: No, failing is bad.

Seraphic, Age 27: I know you think of this as an aerobics course, but what you are doing is a weight-bearing exercise. Pushing yourself until you fail is victory in a weight-bearing exercise.

Seraphic, Age 39+: I bet you could hold this position for the full count.

Seraphic, Age 27: I don't know. I was always a bit of a wimp about push-ups, to be honest.

Seraphic, Age 39+ (accusingly): How can you possibly have that little body fat?

Seraphic, Age 27: I have body fat. Here, look at my tummy. (She rolls up her boxing club shirt and pinches the skin.)

Seraphic, Age 39+: That's not fat. That's skin.

Seraphic, Age 27 (muses): I could never get my lower abs to do that washboard thing. Upper abs, yes. Lower abs, no. Maybe this time you could ask somebody about that.

Seraphic, Age 39+: I'd have to lose at least fifteen pounds before I could see evidence of any abs. Remind me again of your daily calorie count?

Seraphic, Age 27: Hmm. You know, I really don't think you should do what I did. Really.

Seraphic, Age 39+: Ha! You sound like Saint Ignatius.

Seraphic, Age 27: Really? Which one?

Seraphic, Age 39+: Which one?! Where have you been?

Seraphic, Age 27: Struggling to get out of you.

Seraphic, Age 39+: Ah ha ha ha. You at least enjoyed life. I was terribly depressed when I started packing on the pounds. But in so doing I have learned yet another useful life lesson to pass on, and it's Don't eat tubs of Ben & Jerry's when you're homesick, in culture shock and sad.

Seraphic, Age 27: Ugh, I can't believe you ate ice-cream. I never ate ice-cream.

Seraphic, Age 39+: And a hamburger and fries only once a year.

Seraphic, Age 27: That's right. Still, you managed to find true love as a squashy person rather than a thin person, which might be another life lesson.

Seraphic, Age 39+: I wasn't this squashy. Married people put on an average of ten pounds. Marriage sealed my squashy doom.

Seraphic, Age 27: Oh well. Stick with the gym and they'll come off again. Time is on your side. That reminds me, how's our fluency in Italian coming along?

Seraphic, Age 39+: Właściwie, nie dobrze.

Snowing and Blowing

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Snowing and blowing and absolutely beautiful this morning.  Can't get enough of this stuff.


What Is Next?

What are the next trails to open?  HMMMM.  Actually, I think Pali Main Street and The Lower Face are getting pretty close.  Montezuma Bowl is much improved.  The fencing back there is really good.  The snowcats have been about halfway down Columbine and on much of Larkspur.  Look for Zuma when the base gets above 35".

Against Dating in High School

I enjoyed reading Doctor Spock's Baby and Child Care when I was a child. My life was full of children, both at school and at home, and being a child myself, I was naturally interested in knowing all about how I should be raised.  I dipped into it again and again over the years.

Doctor Spock disapproved of dating at a young age. He thought teenagers should not date until they were in their later teens, lest they grow jaded and bored of the business. However, my mother didn't think it was fair not to let me date until I was in my later teens because she herself had gone to a formal dance with an upperclassman when she was fourteen. That was circa 1960.  

In 1960, the median age for first marriage for men and women was the early twenties. This means that half of Canadians and Americans were married by the age of 24. (The median age for girls in the USA was 20.) Many Americans and Canadians got married fresh out of high school, as soon as they had jobs. My mother married at 23. Therefore, dating in high school made sense.  

In 2011, the median age for first marriage for American men was 28.7 and for American women was 26.5. This means that half of American men do not marry until at least around 29 and half of American women do not marry until at least around 27. Very few Americans or Canadians marry fresh out of high school. And therefore high school dating (aka "re-lay-tionships") no longer makes sense.   

When I was in high school, I discovered that some girls were not allowed to date/hang around with boys at night at all. At the time, I thought this was because their parents were super-strict and stuck in Old World ways. However, I now think that this had something to do with the fact that there was no such thing as dating in rural and small town Italy when my friends parents' were growing up. There was courtship of girls with strong parents, and there was sexual exploitation of girls with weak parents. End of post-war Italian story.

Dating as my mother knew it in the 1960s, with its iron clad rules about how nice girls were to be treated, existed mostly in the middle-class English-speaking world. In other kinds of countries, people watched their daughters like hawks and only tentatively eased their grip over their lives when prospective good husbands began hanging around. They were, of course, terrified that their daughters might be used and thrown aside like tissues which, among other things, would hamper their chances of attracting a good husband.

My friends' Old World parents might have thought my parents were negligent; as a matter of fact, I think my parents thought Canadian boys were still like Canadian boys in 1960: dividing girls into "easy" and "precious" and assuming that Girls Like Me were in the "precious" category.  (So not true, by the way, in a city so multicultural that there were multiple racist terms for goras ghosts mangia-cakes white Canadians from English-speaking homes, often assumed to be sluts or potential sluts/bad wives just for not belonging to the right ethnic group.)

Unfortunately, being found attractive by boys or men--especially the "right kind" of boys or men--has always been a status symbol among girls and women and, for some reason, it still is. Personally, I understand why this would be once you have left high school and are either in work or at university. As   a woman can reasonably expect to marry when she is about 27, it makes sense that she might start to care about how men (as men) perceive her and how to attract them when she is 21 or so. 

However, it makes no sense whatsoever for girls of seven or seventeen to give a damn. If everyone in your village gets married at 21, okay, start worrying at seventeen. But if most people don't marry until they are at least 27, then what is the problem?  Dating is for deciding upon a marriage partner, and if you are probably not going to marry until you are at least 27, it is rather silly to wish for a boyfriend at seventeen, let alone turn yourself into a moral pretzel to get one. 

I have just erased a passage in which I describe contemporary teenage boys as toads and fiends from hell. That seemed too harsh and genuinely unfair to the boys who want and strive to be good men, so instead I will suggest that no girl under the age of 21 has any business seeing boys as anyone more than platonic friends or potential friends. Not only is it perfectly normal to be "twenty-one and never had a boyfriend," it is an enviable state. Grandmothers and mothers who yak on and on about all the boyfriends they had when they were sixteen did not live in the ghastly sexual climate of today. 

Elementary school and high school are not for romance. They are for learning, developing and becoming whole people in a stimulating but safe environment.  Life before nineteen could be a blissful stretch of play, athletics, mastery of such arts as music and painting, language acquisition and opportunities most forty-year olds would love to have. What a shame to waste such a wonderful period of life on worrying about what boys think or, worse, sacrificing one's dignity and sense of self-worth to attract them sexually. 

Snowy Day

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
We have actually had a mixed day.  The sun popped out from time to time.  A bit of snow fell.  Right now it is snowing and there is a favorable NW wind blowing.  The forecast the next 48 hours looks good for us.  I did ski this morning and the 5" we received from the storm has been a big improvement.




Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta



He popped the question....let the planning begin! Meet Atlanta’s most talented and creative wedding professionals at the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta this weekend! Join them for a fun and exciting afternoon of planning your special day - you’ll find everything you need from YES to I DO!

Browse through themed wedding galleries designed by Atlanta’s best wedding professionals and see the hottest trends of the season. Plus, get a chance to meet My Fair Wedding host and celebrity planner, David Tutera!

General admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Enter promo code BEA2013 for $5 off general admission or BEAGUEST for complimentary general admission tickets at EventBrite.

Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta
Saturday, February 2nd
12 Noon - 5 p.m.
The Atlanta Convention Center
230 Spring St. NW
Atlanta, GA
678.439.9334
Tickets

VIP Signature Event with David Tutera
(Limited seating)
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Includes exclusive meet and greet, special presentation by David, book signing, admission to the Bridal Extravaganza and champagne.
Tickets

Why Do Girls Give In?

There is an excellent article in the UK Catholic Herald this week about p*rnogr*phy.  The Herald piece is in part a reaction to the following article in the UK Telegraph, which I want to discuss, but I will warn you that some of the remarks in the combox under the Telegraph article are vile.

It’s not often that I unleash my inner Mary Whitehouse, but the way young girls today are expected to conform to a hideous porn culture makes me want to don a pair of glasses with upswept frames and get myself one of those battleaxe perms. A friend’s daughter recently started at a highly regarded boarding school. When her mother asked how she was enjoying the mixed-sex environment, the girl said quietly: “You have to give the boys oral sex or they get cross.” Reeling with shock, the mum protested that her darling daughter did not have to do anything of the sort. “Oh yes you do,” replied the girl. “And you have to shave down there or the boys don’t like it.”


Mary Whitehouse was an English Catholic Anglican lady who campaigned against the onslaught of racy conversations and shows over the airwaves in the wake of 1963. She was widely mocked. At the same time she was campaigning, however, an unknown number of pop culture celebrities in Britain were using and abusing teenage girls and children.

I don't know if Mary Whitehouse said anything about the generations of sexual abuse in boys' boarding schools by bigger boys of smaller boys. It's something all men who went to boarding school knew about, and yet they went on to send their own sons to boarding school. And now that women know about this, too, I am amazed that anyone would send their daughters into a co-ed boarding school. What on earth did they think would happen?

It strikes me that there is a bigger problem here than p*rn, no matter how big a problem p*rn may be. The problem is that teenage boys are demanding oral sex from teenage girls, and teenage girls are actually supplying it. Teenage boys are demanding that teenage girls wax their pudenda, and teenage girls are doing it. So much for the feminist revolution--and incidentally, it is illegal for children in Britain to have sex until they are sixteen. Why, I ask, do the girls have no spine?

"So what if the boys get cross?" I would ask this girl if she were my daughter, which she would never be as I would never send my teenage daughter to a co-ed secondary school except as a last resort.  "I mean, SO WHAT?"

In prison, if there were such things as co-ed prisons in the UK, which thank heavens there are not, a girl might worry. If she didn't come across with sexual favours once actually illegal, so disgusting and against women's dignity they were believed to be, well, maybe something even worse might happen to her. But we don't put women into the same prisons as men because we are not stupid. As a society, we don't hate women quite that much.

So it comes as a nasty shock to discover that the threat of  violence hangs over girls in the co-ed schools of the UK, even if that threat is merely "The boys get cross."

As it is illegal for children under 16 to have sex, one solution is to remind children of this every once in awhile and remind them all that soliciting a child under 16 for sex is also illegal. Very rarely does anyone throw the book at a fornicating Romeo-and-Juliet puppy-love pair, but maybe it is time to begin.  At very least something more must be done to protect girls whose parents are naive enough to send them to live under inadequate supervision with a hundred or more teenage boys. Teaching them to value sexual abstinence without apology or embarrassment would be a good start.

Tuesday Shoesday

Lauren & Mitch
9-2-12

Anti-Catholic Bigotry at Huff Po UK


Here's a non-story in the Huffington Post UK.  It makes a snide remark about the "Christian" (Roman Catholic Christian, most likely) youths in St. Peter's Square getting a lesson about "the survival of the fittest" when a seagull attacks a dove. Har, har, har, except that the dove got away.

Actually, the lesson might have been that life is tough and noisy types are likely to attack, if only in the combox of the Huffington Post UK. Even a representative from some British Muslim spokesgroup chimed in to joke that it was not a Muslim seagull. That is one of the milder comments, however. The others make remarks about garbage, "chubby girls," and "I wouldn't let a child near any of them." Nice, eh?

I cannot imagine why Huff Po UK ran this story other than to have a giggle at Roman Catholics who, although a small minority in the UK, make up the largest number of Britons who attend worship services.

Not incidentally, anti-Catholic bigotry has been a fixture in the UK since the 1530s.

A Night in Spain

Monday, January 28, 2013
Chef Rybak pulled off another great one.  It snowed a couple of inches during the chairlift ride up and during the dinner.  The walk down was really special.  I wish I had the camera equipment and skills to capture the images that night.  While still snowing lightly, the clouds broke up and the moon was nearly fully.  The images of  The East Wall, Black Mountain, The Professor, and Loveland Pass  were just beyond description.  A VERY, VERY COOL night.  And the food and music was pretty darn good.













It's Snowing




Urban Chic Style Weddings in Spain

We love weddings, all sorts of style weddings, from rustic balmy summer evenings in Andalusia to smart, passionate flamenco inspired weddings in Seville but are currently deeply sighing over Urban Chic style weddings, combined of course with a bit of glitter!!  

Glitter, glamour and sparkle are my BIG words for 2013, let´s sparkle and have some fun!  

We love our rustic raffia and burlap weddings but let´s put some glamour and shine back into these gloriously, wonderfully happy days and create some flair, sophistication and shine!
Retro, cool, young and vibrant are good words to describe an Urban style wedding, particularly if held in a fabulously stylish city like Barcelona, Malaga or Seville.  

It does not matter what the weather is like, in fact if it is raining or dramatically moody weather it is even more fun as out come the umbrellas as props against the stunning romantic scenery.

Our Spanish cities are dynamic, bustling and hugely cool.  Tapas, fiestas, sophistication and fun are guaranteed to create the most amazing wedding weekends for you and your guests.  

The photos from these weddings are always breathtaking, we are sure many of our photographers would agree with us.  The atmospheres captured are amazing. 

We are now busy planning and creating even more weddings in some of Spain´s fabulous, cities including Malaga, Seville, Madrid and Barcelona so we thought we would share some of our urban city inspirations with you for the sleek, sophisticated city lovers.  
Many people love to design but cannot get out of their ´personal´ style.  A trained designer and stylist can approach any style with vigour and enthusiasm and jump out their comfort zone bringing detail and style to any theme, home, fashion or trend. 

From the soft whites tones of Provence style weddings to the urban style concrete and graffiti trends, I embrace them all in their unique qualities and design aesthetics. 

It is the diversity and challenge of each design, inspiration and style I love to work with to reflect each couples individuality enabling them to stamp their personal style on their day.

Here are some of our inspirations for an urban city style wedding, we hope you love them.

Auntie Seraphic & Changing Men

This letter has been entirely rewritten and compressed to protect the innocent!

Dear Auntie Seraphic,

Do men change? My mother says that they never do, but she's always been pessimistic about men. My boyfriend has made changes when he found out something he said or did really bothered me. And anyway, what about men who are striving for holiness? Don't they change?

Sincerely,
Changing Men

Dear Changing Men,


It was my mother's opinion that men do not change after the age of 30, so if you expect a man to change, you must snaffle him before then. 

However, I think she must have meant major tendencies of character, like zeal versus laziness, intellectual vigour versus dullness, and kindness versus malice. It is certainly possible and likely for a kind man to change how he behaves around a woman if he knows certain things he does or says make her upset. It is less likely that a malicious man will do so. 

The good thing about marrying older is that one and one's husband know exactly what they're getting by way of a spouse. A twenty year old man is not going to be the same man at thirty. However, a thirty year old man will probably be the same man at forty. Technically a twenty year old bride and groom are expected to "grow up together" although the notion makes me shudder. What a risk. 

The important thing is that you marry only a man that you really love and who really loves you. If you are thinking the man you are with needs a major overhaul, don't marry him. Yes, a man who loves Christ will strive for holiness, but my guess is that one should see some of the fruits of this already in a man of 30-odd. A man who goes to confession for staring too long at a bare-chested woman who popped up in an ordinary film is rather a different man from the one who has a deep-seated porn addiction. 

I hope this is helpful. To summarize: major changes after 30, probably not (although one must leave mental room for the workings of the Holy Spirit); little changes in keeping with his overall character, yes.

Grace and peace,
Seraphic

Snow

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The light is fading and it just started snowing.

Unsettled Weather

This afternoon a few scattered flurries are falling from the sky.  The forecast for the week looks a bit unsettled.  Snow is mentioned every day now through Wednesday.  My fingers are crossed.  I am looking forward to tonight's Dinner in Spain at Black Mountain Lodge.





Birthday!

The Goth Birthday Party
It's my birthday, so I am QUEEN!

And it's a Saturday, too, which means B.A. can take me out to Birthday Lunch without having to take time off work.  Birthday Lunch will be followed by Birthday Drinks and Birthday Trip to the Cinema and then more Birthday Drinks.

Drinkie, drinkie, drinkie!

But I think nostalgically of Toronto, and the most amazing birthday party ever, which was organized by two or three of my best girlfriends when we were all Single. I may have told you about this party before.  In short, it was my Goth Birthday Party, held in my friends' two floor flat in a battered rental house. The hostesses invited a  bunch of my female friends and relations, and we all dressed up like Goths. The hostesses made a Goth Birthday Party buffet, including an astonishing spider cake. Afterwards we all went to a Goth club and danced until I dropped.

The funny thing about this party (now) is that I got the flu in the middle of it and had to take Extreme Measures in order to go on to the club. But despite this I still think that this was the ultimate birthday party of adult life---although I must say going out drinking with my Boston housemates Ted and Jonathan, with Volker and Boston Girl (see My Book) a year previously in Cambridge, MA was also great fun.

Ted is Chinese-American and Boston Girl majored in Chinese, and by 1 AM Ted had his head in his hands as Boston Girl stood outside Grafton Street in Harvard Square and drunkenly warbled hymns to Chairman Mao.

For some reason, this is one of my clearest and best birthday memories ever.

Bridal Showcase at The Carolina Inn

Friday, January 25, 2013
Join the wedding professionals of The Carolina Inn this Sunday for an elegant afternoon with the most creative and experienced wedding vendors in the area. The Bridal Showcase will allow you to sample cake from several bakeries, hold sample bouquets of flowers, listen to music and see the most exquisite wedding gowns from top couture designers. And don't miss the runway shows at 1p.m. and again at 3p.m. Check-in is located at the registration tent located in the Anne Hill Courtyard and you can follow updates about the show on twitter by searching #CarolinaInnBridal.

Bridal Showcase
The Carolina Inn
Sunday, Janary 27th
1p.m.-4p.m.
211 Pittsboro Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
919.918.2749


 

Another Kraków Retreat

There will be an Anielskie Single retreat in Kraków between October 25 and 27, 2013.  I will tell you the details when I know them. The retreat will be in Polish--although my talks will be predominantly in English, with a simultaneous Polish translation provided--and open to both women and men.

Last May there was one non-Polish speaker besides me at my first Polish retreat, an American girl living in France who speaks fluent French. I thought she was one of the bravest American girls I ever met. To spend a weekend at a religious retreat in Poland surrounded by Poles when you don't speak any Polish is very brave. Fortunately, there was also a Canadian girl there, fluent in both English and Polish, so the American girl had someone to hang out with. Most Polish girls in Krakow speak at least some English, but they are sometimes shy about it. There was also a Polish woman who spoke French very well, so that worked out nicely, too.

Kraków (Cracow in English) is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen, so it is well worth a visit although I imagine, from October 25 and 27, we will all kept very busy in the retreat centre. If you do not live in Poland, it would make sense to make the retreat part of a week-long trip to Poland.  Early to mid-October is very beautiful, and November 1st, All Saints Day, is one of the most important holidays in the Polish calendar. Expats fly home to be with their families and decorate family graves. The cemeteries are beautiful, and you just might give up any lingering pagan attachment to Hallowe'en.  

It goes without saying that Poland is one of the nicest places in the world for a Roman Catholic to visit.   Poles tend not to understand this, but they are always happy when foreigners praise Poland. It is full of beautiful churches, and the churches in Kraków and Warsaw are packed on Sundays and Holy Days and First Fridays, although if you exclaim over this, the Poles will tell you that this is nothing and you should have seen them ten years ago, the congregations spilled into the streets, Catholicism in Poland is in decline, woe. They usually haven't a clue what it is like to be Catholic outside Poland.

Poland is also exciting to visit because it is in the EAST. Poles will tell you that it is not in the east but CENTRAL or even in the WEST because it is so westernized now, but once you get on a neglected highway east of Kraków, you will know you are in the EAST. (That said, Warsaw is a lot more EAST than Kraków is.)  

"Wait," I hear a voice cry. "Back up. You said something about the retreat being open to men."

Ah, yes. Ahem. Yes. Yes, it is. And this means poor Auntie has to adjust her thoughts to make them more specifically relevant for men, too, including any with SSA. It will not be like chatting to you girls with the men listening at the door. Presumably they will actually be sitting there and eating with the women and praying among us at Mass. The dynamic will be completely different from last May's retreat, but Father Paweł (whose idea this is) seems perfectly sanguine about it, so I guess it will be okay. I don't know why I am so nervous about it. Oh--just remembered.

Seraphic: And how is your mother?

Polish Man: Why do you want to know?

Seraphic: Um, because it's polite to ask?

Polish Man: British small talk is stupid.

As a matter of fact, a mixed retreat is more usual in Poland than a woman-only retreat, which was then an innovation for the retreat house. And I imagine there will be a good mix in age and circumstances--elderly widowed men, middle-aged divorced men, and youngsters who just don't want to or can't get married right now--so it will not be at all like an American Catholic Singles annual cruise ship party.

(Long pause as I try to imagine myself as a speaker at an American Catholic Singles annual cruise ship party. I bet they get paid hugely. Has anyone been on one? I am dying to know.)

Meanwhile, I plan to be in Poland for at least two weeks in October, so if any Polish readers would like me to come and speak to their group, just contact me. I can read Polish from a prepared text, but otherwise you would need someone to translate.

Gorgeous Vintage Spanish Wedding Stationery Design

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Andalusia


Berry Sorbet

Here at Reviva as we are busy planning, designing and getting organised for our fabulous weddings this year, we thought we would share some of our latest vintage Spanish designs with you.  

Sarah, one of our delightful brides from last year and now a personal friend, has finally thrown the towel in on her regular job, jumped off that cliff and is collaborating with us to create some gorgeous designs for our weddings.  

I so love chatting to Sarah and sharing design inspirations with her, she is truly an amazingly talented person and for me personally it is wonderful to work with someone who has this designer artistic brain that I can relate to and bounce ideas off.  

Her infectious enthusiasm is delightful and her eye for detail astounds me, it is a breath of fresh air.

We keep squeaking with delight when we receive her beautiful colour inspiration boards and new stationery designs for our clients, it is a very exciting time, a lot of fun and Sarah is jaw droppingly amazing, if there is such a word!

We cannot wait to showcase our designs for this coming year and are thrilled to have Sarah on board and supporting her in her new venture as she designs and creates some fabulous stationery, signs and all sorts of gorgeous things for our weddings.

If you have fallen in love, as I did last year, with Sarah´s Spanish vintage designs please do contact us for more information on info@reviva-weddings.com

We will also be sharing Sarah´s designs as she creates them for us and for her business so do keep checking back or like us on Facebook to keep up to date with our latest design trends and news.

A-Basin Reusable Bag

Wouldn't you love to have an Arapahoe Basin reusable bag?  That is quite a status symbol when shopping in City Market.  And think of all plastic bags you won't use.


Vera Wang Trunk Show at Alexia's Bridal Boutique

Don't miss the chance to see Vera Wang's spectacular bridal collection at Alexia's Bridal Boutique in Raleigh, NC, next weekend, February 1st and 2nd, 2013. Appointments are limited for this amazing event, so call today to secure your place.

Vera Wang Trunk Show
Alexia's Bridal Boutique
February 1st-2nd
Appointments Necessary
400-100 W. North Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
919.829.5900

Image courtesy of Alexia's Bridal Boutique
 

Modern Trousseau Charleston Accessory Trunk Show

Modern Trousseau's annual accessory trunk show is back! Preview their 2013 collection of custom veils, combs, belts and boleros this January 31st - February 1st. Appointments necessary, so call now to reserve a spot.

January 31st, 5pm-9pm
February 1st, 10am-5pm
418 King Street 
Charleston, SC
843.722.6300

Limits "...on ME!"

This ab*rti*n rights video is making the rounds of Catholic and other Christian blogs either because of its unintentional giggle-factor or because it is shows the ab*rti*n rights movement at its most crass. (That said, women mourning dead children should probably not watch it.)

I have watched it twice, and I fell about laughing both times. I don't know if it is also unintentionally sexist, or unintentionally racist, or simply the most tone-deaf bit of propaganda I have seen since "Ordain a Lady." in my life.

To whom on earth is this ad supposed to appeal?  Watching it, anyone would get the impression that the director thought R v W was all about this guy and his need for unlimited sex without strings, sex being something he consumes like that glass of whiskey. "Mmm mmm mmm, baby."  (He smacks his lips.) "Ahhh...." Is he the Man of Our Dreams, or what? And has he actually cracked open that book or is it just there for show?

As most of you will have seen it elsewhere, I linked to it for the sake of the stubborn eavesdroppers, some of whom enjoy nothing more than a good laugh at a man who is making a complete ass of himself.

H/T Andrea, Bad Catholic.

Update: LifeSite doesn't think it's funny. But they actually name Mr Smooth. It turns out he's a professional actor. Crikey.

The Appalling Strangeness of Top 40

Working from home is a particularly isolating activity when you live in the middle of eighty acres of woods and parkland. The grounds of the Historical House are surrounded by a stone wall of enough Historical importance that it was not knocked down in front of the parcels of land no longer belonging to the Historical House. Across a busy street from the far end of that wall is my fitness club, and that is where I get my dose of pop culture.

The treadmill faces three televisions, each showing its own station, and I always take the treadmill in front of the television showing MTV because I associate elevated heartbeat with music. Also, I  miss dance clubs. I really miss dance clubs. To be precise, I really miss dance clubs that played trance and at least the occasional Goth anthem and The Killers, which I suppose means I miss Toronto's Velvet Underground. Why do not any of my Edinburgh friends like dance clubs? (She gently bangs her head on her desk.) Some of them are really young. What is this mania for proper partner dancing?

But I digress. For 35 minutes at a time, I watch MTV and hope it won't be too violent or too boring or so distasteful I will be less eager to go to the gym. (I haven't bought my MP3 player yet.)  Above all, I hope the music will really be dance music and not boring ballads apparently about riding horses through a grimy American housing project or about rescuing one's girlfriend from a burning building before falling to one's death. I confess to being fond of the video in which ducks massacre a gang, although it does not pass my mental danceability test.

Thirty-five minutes of MTV 2-3 times a week has cleared up some mysteries while introducing others. First of all, Britney Spears still has a career, and indeed her "Scream and Shout" video is number one. She looks pretty good, and there's nothing like recovering from a highly public breakdown to turn a pretty singer-dancer into a gay icon. There seems to be no plot in the video, so I like it very much. I don't even mind that Britney drops half her verbs.

Second, I now know who Justin Bieber is--beyond a former resident of Ontario--and I have a clue to his appeal. The "Beauty and a Beat" video is hilariously manipulative, for Justin is shot from the point of view of the female viewer, whom he is apparently leading to an amazing party while declaring his undying love, etc. But his outstretched arm is usually in the shot, and I ask myself what irresponsible jerk gave a twelve year old that tattoo? However, I would dance to that song in a club, so all is forgiven, except that disturbing line in "Baby" about buying the straying girlfriend anything she wants. The idea of boys trying to buy girls' affections with stuff makes me cross.

Third, an overweight Single woman with dark red hair and a sharp, mean face can sometimes star in music videos. Unfortunately, her choices seem limited to a terrible daily grind at a cubicle in a soulless grey carpeted office and a holiday in the Bahamas where, in her dreams, she behaves with bestial lust and greed.

Sadly, I do not remember the name of the song, which was printed in very tiny letters on the screen, although it seems to be highly ironic, for a gentle female voice promises to make our Single heroine feel better or give her the feeling she wants. And I am confused by the intentions of the director. Are we supposed to feel sorry for this woman, or are we supposed to laugh at her? Are we supposed to identify with her frustration at work, and with her psychiatrist, whose answer to her misery is more pills, but not with her outrageous sexual behaviour?  Does the director love her or hate her? The implied ending of the video made me very uncomfortable indeed.

There are many overweight, unhappy, plain women in the world. This is the first time I have seen one (a white one, anyway) star in an MTV video. At first I was delighted, for it seemed to show the reality of Single adult female life in the modern world: the alarm clock, the stupid office suits and spike heels so unsuited to heavy women, the endless piles of paperwork, the mortgage, sometimes the shrink and, alas, the pills. But I was very disappointed at the proposed solutions. And, indeed, the video makes the woman look ridiculous at the one fantasy activity I thought might really help her feel better: aerobics class.

Update: Some of last night's comments have disappeared. So sorry to Alisha and anyone else who left a comment. I approved them, but I don't know where they went!

More Avy Dog Cards

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Avy Dog Cards go on sale in Arapahoe Sports tomorrow, Thursday.  The full set is $3.

DJ´s for Weddings in Marbella


Our blog about weddings in Spain continues to grow in popularity and many couples planning their wedding here in Spain are finding fabulous suppliers to the wedding industry here.  

Now usually we write about pretty things and we are not saying that Rob is not pretty, he is utterly charming and a fab DJ!   My only gripe is he steals our candy bar sweets along with a certain photographer, who shall not be named and shamed!  

Rob Rocks the House certainly gets our weddings rocking and he is one of our favourite wedding DJ´s here on the coast covering most of Andalucia, albeit we have to keep guard over our candy bars.

Music was not Rob´s first love, it was (deep girly sigh) football.... but music’s in his genes – his great grandfather was the drummer in a professional big band in 1920s!



Music’s always been a big part of Rob´s life. “There’s nothing better than sharing great music with other people”.  Rob first entered the world of working as a DJ at a primary school disco when he was just 14 and now he spends his weekdays as a Producer on one of Spain ’s largest English language radio stations and rocking weddings the rest of the time :)!

We love Rob´s description of his work.

“For me a great night starts with good preparation, then it’s all about finding ways to encourage people to get on the dance floor by creating ripples of energy. Then you ride the wave as it builds, guiding it in the directions you want to go by not just playing superb music that people love, but playing the right song at the right time”.

That’s what a DJ can do, create a truly memorable night.

“Music was not my first love, but I’ll be surprised if it’s not my last.”

If you are looking for a brilliant DJ for your wedding, you will not be disappointed, Rob is always at our weddings until the last guest drops and comes complete with pretty lights!  Rob can be contacted via his website or on (0034) 607 764 899.

New Fairy Godmother of the Costa Del Sol

January is not one of my favourite months, it is coldish, all the sparkly things have been put away, we are all supposed to stop eating chocolate, embark on diets and everyone seems to be wearing tracksuits and trainers :)!   

All of us super women should by now have completely reorganised our storage in every cupboard, have a spotlessly clean house, be attending the gym twice a day, creating super, culinary, lean, healthy meals, given up the coveted glass of well earned wine and still of course be working and looking after our children.

We are also embarking on our newly prepared household spreadsheets, managing to budget and balance the books, finding cheaper utility suppliers (which in Spain do not exist!) and generally tidying everything up and preparing for another year which will descend into the usual chaos around Easter when we can eat chocolate again :)!  Better still Valentines Day which is now only 21 sleeps away!!



I also find if something can go wrong it will in January, so can you imagine my horror the other night when my dearly not so beloved emptied a glass of wine over my computer, he has not given up the wine or embarked on a diet and is very accident prone.  My heart and computer died and not so beloved partner escaped a near death.

But along came a Fairy Godmother in the tiny shape of Fay at My Destination Marbella.  



Fay recently, and very romantically, became engaged to a wonderful man called Mark and I was supposed to be meeting Fay for a pre wedding chat but I knew I had to get my computer and work sorted out asap. 

I was in a state when I sent Fay an email in the morning.  My state is usually a very calm quiet moment with lots of swear words ringing around my head of which there were quite a few followed by some louder swear words on this occasion :)

I have to hand over my Fairy Godmother of the Costa Del Sol title now to Fay, I think we could start something here!  

As soon as Fay heard about my predicament she efficiently starting waving her magic wand for me and her fabulous team of techies, including her H2B, at My Destination Marbella had rescued my computer and all it´s contents within 12 hours.  Never have I been so impressed and grateful.



My Destination is a global travel resource that is powered by a diverse community of hundreds of local experts. Passionate about providing the best value for money, they work closely with the global partners whilst supporting local businesses. As a result, they make travel experiences inspired, more enriched, and quite simply, better.

Their local experts are on the ground and personally experience what each of their destinations has to offer. Armed with this unrivalled local knowledge their local experts produce comprehensive information in the form of travel articles, local tips, guides, reviews, videos and panoramic virtual tours. 

They began in 2006, picked up numerous awards along the way, and today count over one hundred destination offices worldwide.   If you want any up to date information about Marbella and the surrounding areas, My Destination Marbella has it covered.

Reviva Weddings are featured on there as well in their services section, it is well worth popping over to have a look as there is so much information about Marbella.

So now added to my already long January list is to make sure I am even more super efficient and back up my computer every night!  I have been told :)  

I am also hugely excited about Fay and Mark´s wedding which will be held on one of our fabulous beaches here in Marbella, so watch this space!  It will be my turn to wave my magic wand again!

Romona Keveza Couture Trunk Show at Chic Parisen Bridal Salon

Romona Keveza will be showcasing her gorgeous couture bridal collection at a trunk show this weekend at Chic Parisen bridal salon. Space is limited, so make an appointment to browse these gorgeous dresses today.

Romona Keveza Trunk Show
January 25th-26th
Chic Parisen Bridal Salon
3308 Ponce de Leon Blvd.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
305.448.5756


The Bedsit

Once upon a time I lived in a big room on the second floor (first floor we would say in Europe) of a very big early 20th century house that had been turned into flats. My landlady sold mutual funds; keenly interested in never having to be economically independent on anyone else ever again, I routinely bought mutual funds. I was rather susceptible to sales pitches as I had just done the unthinkable and run away from my then-husband. My landlady was a shark.

The big room came with a chest of drawers/cabinet. I soon added a futon that served as a sofa by day and as a couch by night. There must have been a table, for I remember sitting up at night before the big bay window conjugating verbs. My work ethic was admirable: I reviewed three years of high school Italian, first year university Latin, even first year Greek. I had neither a television nor a computer.

I also got up early every morning and went to the gym. Then I went to work. Then I went home to have supper before going down, three nights a week, to the boxing club. It was open only three nights a week. If it had been open five or six nights a week, I probably would have gone five or six nights a week.

On Sundays I went to Mass. I could go to Mass at only one church--the church of the priest who had said "Honey, get out when you're young"--without feeling like I wanted to kill somebody afterwards. The closest evening Mass was in a low-ceilinged church of astonishing, possibly architectural prize-winning, modernist ugliness and the entire congregation seemed grey, exhausted, and only going through the motions. This was the one period of my life when I sometimes skipped going to Sunday Mass. My justification was there was no point going to Mass if it made me that angry.

In hindsight, evening Mass--so quiet, so dull, so lacking in the great choir and the shining personality of the pastor uptown--was the one place where anger could catch up with me. It was like my very first Christian yoga class in Boston. It was not until I took that class that I realized that there was something  wrong with my foot, and that it was absolutely killing me. I hobbled away and waited for hours and hours in the college clinic (so much for snappy American private health care) to discover I had very slightly fractured it weeks before.

It amazes me that I could not have gotten rid of all that anger just through all the work I was doing. I mean, I was always working. Exercise, detailed-oriented job, exercise, verb conjugation. I ate only 1300 to 1500  low-fat calories a day: I diligently added them all up. (An apple has 90-110 calories!)  No wonder my family began to mutter words like "gaunt" when I came to visit. It amazes me that I didn't simply burn up the anger when I ran out of calories.

Boxing is a traditional Catholic cure for frustration (especially sexual) and anger. It seem like Irish-named priests in the early 20th century were always founding boxing clubs, were always sending boys to square off in the ring. Since I was in a boxing gym for up to nine hours a week, you would have thought my bruises and occasional swollen nose hid the tranquility of a nun, but no. Maybe boxing works like that for guys. (If I had a son, I would encourage him to try it.) It certainly staves off boredom. For adrenaline, there's nothing like getting into the ring and facing another violent member of homo sapiens sapiens for purposes of violence.  But it did not get rid of my anger, the anger of which I was barely conscious. Mostly I thought I was lonely.

The bedsit was heaven compared to what I had left, but some nights the walls just closed in. And this brings me back to the night I was thinking about this morning: the night I went to a dance club by myself.

There are a lot of things you might not want to do by yourself, but are perfectly doable. You can eat in a restaurant by yourself; nobody but the servers will notice. You can go to the cinema by yourself. You can even go on holiday by yourself. But I do not recommend that you leave your bedsit (bachelor apartment) late at night, walk past blocks of empty parking lots in a depressed area of town, go to a noisy dance club where you know no-one, knock back alcopop until you are drunk and then walk back past the empty parking lots at 1 AM. Although nothing bad happened to me, that was a stupid and irresponsible thing for a woman to do. At the time I thought I had been pushed out of the flat by loneliness, but it was probably not wanting to be stuck there with my anger.

I don't remember if this was before or after I finally picked up the phone and called a psychotherapist--a Catholic psychotherapist, one who advertised at the back of my comforting church. But it was in therapy that I was forced to sit still with my anger and at last begin the long task of loosening its hitherto anonymous hold on my life.

"But Marmee," says Jo in Little Women, "you are never angry."

"I am angry almost every day of my life," says Jo's saintly mother, and as a child I thought how wonderful she was to experience daily rage and yet be such a joy to be around. But what Alcott didn't mention, and what I don't want to forget, is what a blessing anger can be.

Sure, anger drove me out into the dangerous night because I couldn't stand to be alone with it. But it also propelled me into good physical health-- when I was 29 the examining nurse told me I had the heart of a 14 year old. It drove me into boxing, an experience I would not have given up for anything. It helped me to reclaim Italian and Latin and to come to grips with that bugaboo of first year uni, Greek. It thus prepared me for three years of solid academic work. Above all, it got me out of a bad marriage sooner rather than later.

So I conclude this morning that there is nothing wrong with anger in itself. (It is certainly superior to depression.) The moral questions are What should you do with it? and How do you make anger your servant, not your master?

Update: Prudence, not anger, drove me back to my computer to mention that your former boxing career is not usually something you want to mention on a first date with an NCB. Believe me on this. Few good and licit things undercut your careful projection of Devout 21st Century Catholic Femininity than your past or present ability to beat the stuffing out of somebody. Meanwhile, the Not Nice Not Catholic Not Really Anything Rats love it because they think this might mean you are kinky.  Again, believe me on this one; don't find out the hard way. Revelations of martial arts prowess should really be left for later.

Companion Rescue Workshop

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The Beacon Bowl, an avalanche awareness event,  will be held Saturday February 9.  The event offers many things including beacon clinics, beacon competitions, raffles, a party and more.  All proceeds are donated to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).

This year in conjunction with the Beacon Bowl, we will be hosting a "Companion Rescue Workshop" Friday, February 8.  Staff from the CAIC and several ski patrols will provide classroom and hands-on instruction for solo and group avalanche rescue.  This can be a great way to improve your personal skills.  It also makes a great gift for your backcountry partner.  (You really want him/her to be good at this).  And of course we will finish the day with a 5PM Pasta and beer dinner.

You can sign up for the Companion Rescue Workshop, spaghetti dinner, Beacon Bowl, and lift tickets on the special events page of our website, 

http://shop.arapahoebasin.com/estore/Content/Commerce/Products/DisplayProducts.aspx?ProductGroupCode=1041&ProductCategoryCode=85


Anna Maier Trunk Show at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon

Anna Maier will be showing off her gorgeous collection at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon this weekend! Appointments are limited, so contact the salon today to reserve your spot.

Anna Maier Trunk Show
January 24th-26th
By Appointment
99 West Paces Ferry Road, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
404.841.6202
Email

Image courtesy of Joan Pillow Bridal

Women are Who We Are

Women are who we are and not who men want us to be.

I write this as someone who always finds herself on the Droit of most questions. Over and over again, I find myself going with the more traditional, the more human, and the more rational approach, which puts me on the wrong side, not of history, but of the leading taste-makers of our societies. Some of the most divisive issues of our times, like ab*rtion and women's *rdination, involve women in a particular way, and so we conservative or traditional women find ourselves arguing the issues in a different way from men--or, if not in a different way, from a different and more privileged perspective.

There is a particular heartache in arguing against women when you are a woman because women love consensus and thrive on consensus. And women know how awful it is to be shut out of the women's collective, to have to go the well by ourselves because the other women don't want to be seen with us, unless to be seen mocking us. This is what we risk whenever we take a position unpopular with the majority of women in the room, no matter which side we're on.

This is why it comes as such a hideous disappointment to find ourselves in conflict with those men who agree, in the main, with our ideas, but deep down wish women would shut up and go away or at least conform to their idea of what women should be like. Such men are found all over the political spectrum, of course. No doubt there are men of the Gauche who think all women should be injected with contraceptives from age 13 and be allowed to skip our shots only if we have taken a state-approved parenting course and have not yet had two children. There are most definitely men of the  Gauche who bully the women in their lives, even if that is in a sneaky, passive-aggressive way they may have learned from women.

I expect opposition from the opposite side of the river, so I don't really care what its men throw at me. In fact, I don't mind their arguments because they do not affect me on an emotional level. I don't care if they like me or not. I can argue back with verve and gusto. I once amused myself greatly by overwhelming a smug atheist I met outside a cafe with Lonergan's cognitional theory. (He was one of those unusually naive cafe habitues who think Catholic students of theology must necessarily be stupid.) He was as meek as a mouse when I was done.

However, to this day I do not know how to cope with the knife in the back--the insults and insinuations of male ideological allies, from the weirdos who complain about women's trousers to the hotheads who think femininity is incompatible with intellectual discourse.

Simcha Fischer's solution to the "pants" (always trousers in the UK, girls) problem, was to whip out a card ("pants pass") with one's husband's (or presumably father's) signature, saying the wearer had his permission to wear them. Today I think a better solution is to look angrily at the speaker and demand "Who are you? How DARE you make such personal remarks to me?"

I hope I would remember to do that. Like most women, I don't like confrontation. It just does not come that easily. This is one reason why men should not simply march up to women and start a fight. We're at a terrible psychological disadvantage; it's simply unfair.

As a matter of fact, I understand the "pants (TROUSERS) problem" because I used to sit in the back choir stalls at Mass, and when all the other women at Mass are wearing coats or skirts, the one female rump lovingly outlined by tightly-clinging denim, lycra or cotton shines out like a red lamp on a dark street. It at least momentarily distracts everybody, me, the choir, the tea ladies--everyone, not just angry old men. So, in such situations, wear something over it. Elsewhere, however, where trousers are rather more the rule than the exception, anyone who is angered by your rump in particular has a personality problem, and if he says something, get in his face. "Who are YOU? How DARE you?" Channel your best mother/teacher voice.

But as for the hotheads who think femininity is incompatible with intellectual discourse, I simply do not know what to do.

Dear Auntie Seraphic,

There are these guys at Cath Soc who are pretty great. I get along with them most of the time, and we all go to the TLM, and I admire the way they take their (our) ideological/theological opponents' arguments to pieces. But I don't like it when they take my ideas to pieces in a way that seems to be more ad hominem than anything else, particularly when their response is "Oh, how just like a woman." 

When I point that out, they say if I'm going to argue like a man, I should take my lumps like a man.    However, I am not conscious of arguing like a man, per se, but like a rational being. 

Then there are other guys who hold the same ideological/theological positions I hold who talk about educated/pretentious women, as if education and pretension were the same thing. However, if I were to stop talking altogether, or consciously dumb down everything I say or write, wouldn't that make me really pretentious? Sometimes I am tempted to do that, though, because these guys are so nice to the girls who are constantly running down their own intellectual gifts, e.g. "I'm not an intellectual; really, I just want to get married and have babies. Isn't that AW-ful?  Hee hee hee!" However, it's too late. They know I'm smart--or that I think I'm smart, anyway. Sorry.

What am I supposed to do? And please don't tell me just to ignore these guys or have nothing to do with them. These are my theological/ideological allies, and I like them 75% of the time, and if they would just adjust their thinking about women and intellect they would be perfectly perfect. 

Sincerely,
Tearing My Hair Out

Dear Tearing My Hair Out,

Hmm...... Hmm.....

I don't know.  In the end, I've always just given up--long after many other women would--and walked away.

The only thing I can suggest is that, since they expect women to be emotional anyway, is to cut either one off the next time he says "Just like a woman" and tell him you don't think he knows as much about women as he thinks he does.

If he suggests that you are not a "real woman" because you reason "like a man," tell him that powers of reasoning are neither masculine or feminine. What is feminine is a susceptibility to being more badly wounded than men are (if men are) in ad hominem attacks by men one likes.

I'm sorry not to be more helpful.

Grace and peace,
Seraphic

Triddery in Boston

Monday, January 21, 2013
I received an email today from a member of the newly formed Boston branch of Juventutem. They organize the Extraordinary Form of the Mass twice a month, and have socials and lectures. Although apparently a lot of fine young men (see photos--gracious!) turn out for these wonderful events, what Juventutem Boston doesn't have yet is a lot of women.

Well, this must change. If you find yourself orthodox, lonely and apparently the only Catholic in Chestnut Hill who loves the Holy Father, off you go to Juventutem. Latin-loving Brighton, Jamaica Plain, Southie, Braintree, Somerville, Cambridge and other Boston-and-environs types should go, too. Tell them I sent you.

Randonee Series

Tuesday, January 22 will be the fourth and final event in the Rise and Shine Rando Race Series.  Competitors will start their climb at 7 AM.  They will skin up High Noon, ski down Ramrod, and then skin up High Noon, Grizzly Ridge, and the Cornice Run finishing on the Summit.  The top guy did that in 42 minutes last time. This has turned out to be a very successful series with 30-40 people skiing each race.


Monique Lhuillier Designer Spotlight at Alexia's Bridal Boutique

Monique Lhuillier's gorgeous couture bridal collection will be on display at a designer spotlight this weekend at Alexia's Bridal Boutique. Appointments are limited, so call today to secure your spot.

Monique Lhuillier Couture Designer Spotlight
Alexia's Bridal Boutique
January 26th
Appointments Necessary
400-100 W. North Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
 919.829.5900

Image courtesy of Alexia's Bridal Boutique
 

Anna, daughter of Phanuel

I have been reading up on Candlemas (Feb 2) today, a feast I particularly love because one of the blessing prayers mentions the bees.  I am a bit afraid of bees, actually, but I think it is great fun when they are mentioned in church, especially in a solemn way, in Latin.

The Gospel reading is about the purification of Our Lady (after childbirth) and the presentation of Our Lord. It mentions an elderly man and an elderly widow, and although the elderly man composed the Nunc Dimittis on the spot, it is Anna who interests me today.

According to Luke, Anna lived with her husband for seven years before she was widowed.  I don't know why Anna was living in the temple; maybe her husband or her father  had some kind of important temple connection. (Off the top of my head, I would guess it was her father, as Anna is known as the Daughter of Phanuel, not the Widow of Somebody Else.) But at any rate, Anna lived there, praying and fasting, until at least the age of 84.

Now, if Anna married at 14, which would have been perfectly normal for those days, this means she was widowed at 21 and stayed a widow for at least the next fifty-nine years. Presumably she could have married again, but presumably she didn't want to. She was happy in the temple, praying and fasting and doing whatever it may have been that women who lived in the temple were expected to do, and after fifty-nine years of temple living, met Baby Jesus.

That's pretty neat, if you ask me. It's amazing how little space Anna's story has in the Gospel, given its hold on our imaginations. Anna, daughter of Phanuel, tribe of Asher. Widow, aged 87. Married 7 years. Never left temple, worshiped, prayed, fasted. Came to Presentation/Purification ceremony. Recognized Jesus for who He was. Praised and preached. The end--or the beginning, really. Now Anna is one of the most famous women who ever was, for the Bible is the most widely read book there ever has been. More importantly, of course, she got to see Jesus before she died, as an actual baby. Maybe she was allowed to hold him and bounce him up and down. Wouldn't you love to do that?

Anna seems like a serious and single-hearted woman, not given to mourning over what-could-have-been and feeling sorry for herself or envying women with children or any of the temptations adult women give into every day. Those fifty-nine years of  life, though pious, couldn't have been dull. They must have been lived in joyful expectation of something great to come, and lo and behold, He did!

NSAA Safety Week

Sunday, January 20, 2013
This week is NSAA (National Ski Areas Association) Ski Safety Week.  Saturday and Sunday we had a "Safety Village" set up in the base area.  We gave out chocolate cake, Avalanche Dog Trading Cards, and other goodies.  We are really pushing a message about kids and lift safety.  Whenever you ride a lift with a youngster encourage them to scoot all the way back in the chair.  "Kids Sit Butts to Back" is the mantra.



MLK Saturday

Saturday, January 19, 2013
What a beautiful Martin Luther King holiday weekend.  It was very nice to see so many smiling faces and so many people having fun skiing and riding.  There were BBQ's going on the Beach.  The decks were all full.  Kid's Club was in top form.  When Kid's Club is happening I notice a lot of parents out there having fun.  I even drove a few laps in the shuttle van.  This was just a spectacular Colorado winter day.  Thanks to everyone that came and enjoyed the Basin today.