Life is Worth Living

Snake Correction & Update

Anyone remember this photo that I posted awhile ago?

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I wrote about it HERE at the end of that post.

At the time, we thought it might be a bull snake, but we were wrong.  That is definitely not a bull snake.  It’s a fox snake.

The boys and I recently made this discovery while we were in Rochester last week.  During one of Paul’s good days, I took the twins to Quarry Hill, which features some scenic trails and a little nature center.  This nature center happens to house a few snakes (yuck), and a staff worker kindly let the boys hold their fox snake (yuck, yuck, yuck).

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The Twins holding a juvenile fox snake.

Now this is obviously disgusting, but the boys were undaunted by it and had no problem holding a live snake.  Me?  No.  Way.

The point is, is that I was gravely mistaken about the difference between a bull snake and a fox snake.  In case anyone is wondering, a bull snake is fatter, and while the colors of both are nearly the same, their patterns are not.  See below.

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Large Bull Snake.   (I will never understand people who keep snakes alive–cages or no cages.)

As it is, when my husband and I were hiking this last summer on some nearby trails, I believe it was a bull snake we came by.  But all the other snakes we have seen this year have been fox snakes.  Like this one I snapped a shot of towards the end of summer:

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Fox Snake

And here it is, trying to get away from my boys:

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There.  I’ve made my correction.  My conscience may rest in peace.  Science class is over for the year.  May I never see a snake again.  Amen.  Alleluia.

P.S.  For those of you wondering about Paul…he’s doing well.  He is having daily headaches, but they’re “small,” which means that both of his shunts are working.  We travel back to Rochester at the end of November.  If both shunts continue to work, but he still has daily headaches, then likely he’ll be in for that big, complex surgery.  St. Jude, pray for us.

P.P.S.  We’re just kind of hoping the headaches disappear all together.  But in the meantime, this last week has been nice, as these headaches are not the scary ones, and he can fully function with them.

Call Me Catholic

Why do I veil?

The other day I came across a great article at Catholic Sistas, written by Antonia Goddard, called 5 Reasons to Wear a Veil (and Five Not to…).  For any of you who might be curious about veiling, click over there and check it out.  She’s spot on.  (I especially appreciate #4.)

My own experience with veiling began around 15 years ago.  I was living in St. Paul, MN, and was attending St. Agnes Catholic Church.  At the time I had never even seen a veil.  And there I was, attending both the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass, and there were women veiling all around me.  It was beautiful, and my heart wondered about it, and I was drawn to this tradition.  Naturally, I began to pray about it.

Two years later, I ended up in Bismarck, ND, where such things as veiling and the TLM were sighted as often as the Lock Ness Monster.  They just didn’t exist.  And my heart ached for them both.

Should I Start Veiling?

I spoke to my spiritual director about veiling, but he didn’t know anything about it, being from the area and likely never having attended a TLM.  But he suggested that I continue to ask Jesus for guidance in wearing it, and that I just begin to veil at home during prayer and also at Adoration.

Of course I immediately did this, and it was great for me, because I became used to having something on my head, but more importantly, it gave me time to learn about it, for I wanted to be sure I was desiring it for the right reasons.  (Again, see Antonia’s article HERE.)

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The 3-year-old modeling her older sister’s veil.

Over those early years, my heart did grow in love for Jesus and with the desire to veil at Mass, whether it be the TLM or the Novus Ordo, for wasn’t Jesus present at both?  But I was scared too.  What would people say about me?  Would they think I was being prideful?  Or holier-than-thou?

Eventually those fears, however, melted away, for how could I presume to know what other people were thinking?  Why should I attribute negative thoughts to them?  I know I certainly try to curb my own negative thoughts.  It’s just best to not live in other people’s minds.

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The 6-year-old modeling one of my veils.

So after a few more years of praying, I brought the matter before my spiritual director again, and he agreed.  It was time–my heart was in the right place.  And so I began veiling at Mass–at both Masses, the Novus Ordo and the TLM.

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The Eldest modeling my black veil.

And What Do People Say?

Surprisingly, I’ve never received a negative comment about veiling.

I do think, however, I have some family members who think I’m crazy, but they never say anything, and I don’t ask!  Probably other people think I’m crazy too, but most people are just used to seeing me this way.

I have, however, received positive comments from other women, both young and old.  Generally the older women touch my arm after Mass and look into my eyes and say, “I, too, used to veil.  Thank you for veiling.”  And the younger women say, “I’ve always wanted to veil.  Where did you get it?”

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Look closely to the right, in the first pew.  There we are, veiling.  I’m holding the wriggling baby, but the veil is staying put!

Practical Matters

Where do I buy my veils?

I buy them online at Veils by Lily.  I prefer these veils because for a few additional dollars, they will sew a clip or a comb into the veil.  (You can do this yourself; it’s just that I detest sewing.)  And these clips are absolutely necessary for any mother with children.  This way my babies can grab all they want, and it’s not coming off.  It’s also nice to not worry about the veil slipping.

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See the clips?  Genius.

It’s better to buy locally, though, if you can.  For those of you living in the Bismarck/Mandan area, Mayo Pharmacy on 4th street now carries beautiful veils.  You can walk right downtown and buy one.

And how about colors and styles of veils?

Over the years I’ve noticed that married women tend to wear darker veils, mostly black, and unmarried girls tend to wear lighter colors, mostly white.  While there is no rule about it, I kind of like this distinction.  White is a great symbol of virginal purity and black has always been a reminder of our death to this world.

But really, you can wear whatever color or style you want.  Go with what’s comfortable.  I’ve seen it all.

Any questions?  Be sure to ask!

And for the fun of it…

Photo of the Week

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Check out this 4 foot serpent.

We accidentally ran this thing over on our way to Mass.  Of course we had to pull over and check it out.  You can see the guts protruding in the middle of it.  We think it’s a bull snake.  (YUCK!)