Musings on Muses
Monday, May 17, 2004
Meet the StitchWitch!
I'm going to be visiting family in the Baltimore/Annapolis area as well as Philadelphia, with a possible day trip to DC. Will be there Monday May 24 - Thursday May 27. If you'd like to meet for luncheon, tea, coffee, or a pint, let me know and I'll see if I can find some time.
Sunday, May 16, 2004
Low Budget Rant
I'm currently working on a big blog project. A multi-post foray into formal apologetics. Until then, I leave you with these thoughts.

What on earth is this BS about "authentic self"? I'm listening to the radio tonight and some Businesswoman show. The host is interviewing an author who's doing public speaking on "Spirituality for the Non-Religious", whatever that means. The guest is talking about the soul-searching that ultimately led her to divorce her husband, whom she still loved, because the marriage was hindering her self-discovery. Ack! I have news for the people that buy such phychobabble. Any journey of self-discovery will bring you to realize that you're not the same person that you were when you married. Marriage is supposed to change you. Living with another person, having children, these things change you. Change is good if it is growth. (Rather than, say, cutting off branches and grafting on new ones that don't fit, to follow a very poor metaphor.)

Marriage also involves sacrifice. If there is any person in your life besides your self, and I mean anyone, be it God, husband or wife, child, co-worker, family, etc., there is going to be sacrifice. So yes, when you wake up at forty and realize that you never took those cooking classes and you're not an idealistic eighteeen year-old anymore, this is normal. Because you decided that there were other things more important. And if you gave up more important things in pursuit of less important things, the solution is not to chuck your husband of 25 years. I fear for my peers, who have grown up with fathers who have left when they got the 7 year itch or mothers who decided that finding their "authentic self" meant leaving their husband. It's self indulgence, pure and simple. (This is not to disparage those who have escaped from genuine abuse. I'm talking about the people who did not care about their marriages enough to reconnect with their spouse when the going got tough.)

Marriage is about two becoming one. The most beautiful image I have ever seen of this is two trees, planted beside one another that over a lifetime twine until they appear to be one tree. To go back to the person at the beginning would be to cut oneself off at the trunk. Marriage is a serious and sacred thing, to be honored and preserved. And once entered into, everything should be done to see that the two are becoming one, rather than growing apart. At the end of life, more to the point, one should not be sad to see that the trees have grown together, rather than standing apart as separate and unchanged as they day they were planted together.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
For those who follow our family...
I introduce Boo's very own blog, Hobbit's Eye View.

It's like the description says, a virtual baby book, intended mostly for my family, but y'all are welcome to go see it.
Friday, May 07, 2004
Conversation Chez Flambeaux:
Flambeaux (to child): "Boo, what are you doing?"

Stitchwitch: "Using the all-powerful pincer grasp."

Flambeaux: "Next he'll come with ninja action."
Flambeaux says...
In best Stephen Hawking voice: "There are billions of stars in the universe and trillions of planets and if you use good time management, you can visit them all."
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Unleash the Power of the Blog!
From Mallon's Media Watch (see address at bottom) via Kathryn Lively of the St. Blog's Webring:

Urgent! ******* Urgent! ******* Urgent!

Stop the Morning-After Pill! Over-the-Counter approval to be decided by the
FDA May 21.

No age limits, no medical supervision, no parental involvement!

Spread this far and wide! Time is of the essense! Call the White House,
contact your Senators and Congressmen!

For instructions on how to email the FDA directly with an email link go to
el=3&eid=553">this page of the PRI Website. More info below.

From the Population Research Institute
Weekly Briefing:

Dear Colleague:

There is still time for pro-lifers to call the White House
(202-456-1414) and urge the President to assure the American people that
the mega dose "morning after pill" will not be sold "over the counter."

Also contact your U.S. Senator or Representative to urge leadership from
Congress that will protect women and babies from this new chemical assault

Toll free: 1-800-648-3516 or 1-877-762-8762.

The abortion establishment is going all out to urge their followers to
lobby in favor of making this chemical killer available over the counter.
Their mailings include the lie that so-called "emergency contraception"
does not cause abortion and does not work if a women is already pregnant.
Over the counter approval of the "morning after pill" will be a public
health disaster.

Steven W. Mosher

PRI Weekly Briefing
12 May 2004
Vol. 6 / No. 17

Stop the Morning-After Pill!

Press reports suggest that the FDA is teetering on the brink of approving
the so-called morning-after pill. As past PRI Weekly Briefings have made
clear, there are terrible risks in making this powerful drug available
over-the-counter with no age restrictions or parental involvement.

€ The progestin-only hormonal contraceptive in Norplant is the same active
ingredient as Plan B. Norplant is no longer available for use in the
United States because it is so dangerous. Known risks include significant
weight gain, ovarian cyst enlargement, gallbladder disease, high blood
pressure and respiratory disorders.

€ Among teenagers, some of these common side effects could result in
increased rates of bulimia, anorexia, or clinical depression. Also, an
increased risk of ectopic pregnancy has been associated with use of Plan
B-type emergency contraception.

€ Since the drug precludes parental involvement, it is likely that teenage
girls who buy Plan B at the drugstore then experience abdominal pain may not
confide in parents so that a physician could diagnose if a
life-threatening ectopic pregnancy had occurred. Over-the-counter approval
would mean that young people would be free to purchase and use (abuse) this
powerful hormone without supervision or follow up.

€ The drug was approved for over-the-counter use on January 1 in
Australia. Already there are reports in the Australian press of
13-year-old girls buying the pill several times a week to the alarm of
local pharmacists who are not able to give proper counseling to these
girls on the many risks involved. The Australian Medical Association is
already questioning the wisdom of making this risky drug so easily
available without restriction. (The West Australian, 4/4/04)

€ If over-the-counter availability of this drug is approved, we may also
expect that rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among teens will
skyrocket. Adolescents age 15-19 currently represent 46% of all cases of
Chlamydia in the U.S. 1 in 4 sexually active teenagers contract an STD at
some point. In Washington State and in Sweden, where emergency contraception
has been made widely available, rates of STD infection are skyrocketing.

€ We can also expect an increase in the rates of sexual violence committed
against adolescent girls. The easy availability of this drug
over-the-counter will make it more difficult for teenage girls to resist
pressure to have sex, and will trivialize the act of rape.

€ Over-the-counter availability of the morning after pill will lead to an
increase in the pregnancy rate among teenagers. Studies have shown that
increased rates of pregnancy occur among teens with increased use of
"emergency contraception." Another showed that teenagers whose pregnancies
ended in induced abortion were more likely to have used the drug before
conception, and that teens who use the drug were more willing to engage in
"risk-taking" behavior.

Please take time to call the White House or, better yet, jot a note to
your Senator or Congressman regarding the morning after pill. If it goes
over-the-counter as scheduled on May 21, then anything goes. Lives will be
compromised and families further undermined. A sample letter follows:

April 29, 2004

Dear Senator ____________ (or Congressman _____________):

I understand the FDA is set to decide whether or not the
morning-after-pill (MAP) will go over-the-counter on 21 May 2004. I
believe that pressure from you and your colleagues could stop this
dangerous drug from being made available to very young girls without
medical supervision or parental knowledge. Would you please advise the
FDA to cease and desist? If MAP is approved, then it won’t be long before
the FDA makes the birth control pill available over-the-counter. This will
further compromise the sanctity of life and the integrity of the

Thank you.

Your name
City, State. Zip

© 2004 Population Research Institute.

Permission to reprint granted. Redistribute widely. Credit required.
If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to PRI, please go to All
donations (of any size) are welcomed and
To subscribe to the Weekly Briefing, send an email to:href="">
or email and say "Add me to
your Weekly Briefing."

The Population Research Institute is dedicated to ending human rights
abuses committed in the name of "family planning," and to ending
counter-productive social and economic paradigms premised on the myth of

P.O. Box 1559
Front Royal, VA 22630

Phone: (540) 622-5240 Fax: (540) 622-2728
Media Contact: Vince Criste
(540) 622-5240, ext. 206


Please visit my website:
AND my new Blog!
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Winding Down
Finally have a few free moments. A bit shaky still from nearly running over a dog today. Flambeaux has been volunteer teaching for a local Catholic high school and so my days have been a bit busier. I am right now gearing up to help grade term papers. ACK. Glad I have my trusty The New Well Tempered Sentence and The Deluxe Transitive Vampire on hand.

As I read student papers attempting to write on classical subjects, I reflect both on my reading habits in ninth grade and what I currently write. When I was a tween, I hated most of the books recommended for my age group. They were mostly about self-absorbed girls talking to their friends about their insecurity about growing up. Hideous. Did girls my age really talk like the ones in the books? Did they reflect in their diaries about periods and kissing and other embarrasing things? Did they talk about these with their friends? No one I knew was like this. I always wondered if it was intended as propaganda by an educational establishment trying to get girls to be "frank" about their sexuality by porytraying girls their age doing that in these books. I didn't bother with them. I instead embraced genre fiction. I loved the romances written in the style of Jane Austen. I could understand the heroines a lot better. They blushed. They worried about saying the right thing. They could be scandalized by a kiss. Far more comforting role models. I also read a lot of mysteries, where the location of the missing emeralds or the murder of the heiress was far more important than an angsty teen's coming of age. The coming of age stories I truly enjoyed were all fantastic in nature. C. S. Lewis taught me a lot more about growing up than Judy Blume.

So what do I write now? Very little fantasy. I just can't seem to find my voice in that genre. Very little mystery. I can't seem to find my plot. I like romance but at the moment I can't find a character that wants to exist in a story shorter than a novella and I'm trying to produce a 4,500 word or less submission for a new magazine. I love humor non-fiction. Quips and puns and the daily humor of life. Like how having a child had made me a better housekeeper because every day I discover four more square feet of the house that are in his reach and must be free of clutter. I am being plagued by a recurring short story character that refuses to fit into a know genre. He's a seven year old named Ignatius who is precocious, precious, talk to angels (and they talk back) and discovers that the world is a more marvelous place than he imagination can conceive of. What adult wants to read about him? What child would? I don't know if he'll ever earn me a red cent but he exists in a way that most of my characters don't.

Must get back to bleeding on the term papers. Honestly, you would think ninth graders would have a handle on subject/verb agreement.

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