Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A Tale of Two Houses

An interesting read forwarded to me by our friend Matt...

House #1 A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern "snow belt" area. It's in the South.

House #2 Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds ; geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F.) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer! The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.

HOUSE #1 is outside of Nashville, Tennessee; it is the abode of the "environmentalist" Al Gore.

HOUSE #2 is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas; it is the residence the of the President of the United States, George W. Bush.

An "inconvenient truth".

Monday, October 22, 2007

Uncle Chris & Aunt Maddy's visit

We were so excited that Clare got to meet her Uncle Chris and Aunt Maddy when they were here for Mary's wedding! Chris is currently serving in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard, and Maddy is attending Immaculate Conception Academy, an all-girls Catholic school in Rhode Island. I figured out why Clare likes to be held all the time: because everyone wants to hold her! Seriously, I don't think she's ever put down...unless she's crying; then you should see how quickly they try to give her back to me! Well, at least I think she's figured out that she is very loved.

Pictures from Clare's Baptism

Our little Clare became a Catholic yesterday! She was an angel...only crying at the beginning until I fed her for a few minutes during Father's homily. After that, she was awesome, and looked SO beautiful in the Baptism gown! Thank you so much to all the family and friends who were there at such an important moment in our daughter's life.

If you put the mouse over the picture you can see the captions. I think some of them may be hard to see because of the font color against the picture. And the lighting in the Church wasn't the best, so some of the pictures are a little dark. Oh well. Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Clare is getting Baptized!

Our little one will be entered in to the Life of Grace through Baptism this Sunday, October 21 between the morning Masses at Our Lady Star of the Sea! For anyone wanting to attend, we'd love it! It should be around 9:15 A.M.

My sister Shannon had a wonderful idea for a family tradition a while back, and I'm pleased to be able to start it this Sunday. She found a beautiful hand-made Baptism gown at an Irish store in Coeur d'Alene and fell in love with it. So, all three of us went in together on it and we'll use it for all of our children's Baptisms. Cool, huh?

We're so excited that Clare's Godparents, Matt & Jenny Ahmu, will be able to make it up from California for the second weekend in a row...thank you for your sacrifice, you guys. We can't wait to see you!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love Fall

Today has been one of those Fall days in Washington that I absolutely love. I'm not kidding -- I look forward to this time of year all year long. In fact, I find that in the last month or so of Summer, I am longing for gray skies, rain, and wind. Strange, I know.

A few years ago, while my sister Kristy was still home in High School and I was home from my coworker year with Regnum Christi, she and I would go for walks on nights like this. I was reminded of a particular walk we took tonight as Tom and I were driving home in the dark. It was raining like crazy and the wind was blowing leaves all over the place.

I missed my little sister a lot when I thought of that walk. We were cold when we got back, bright red cheeks, soaking wet, with an enormous leaf we had picked up and decided to keep for some reason (we named the leaf, but I can't remember the name right now.) Hot chocolate was, of course, in order. If Clare hadn't been cranky all the way home and needing attention when we got here, I think I would have bundled up and taken advantage of this beautiful Fall evening...Oh well, there's always tomorrow, because I think Fall is definitely upon us and here to stay for a while.

Want to take a walk with me, Kristy, when you come home for Thanksgiving? I love you!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The View

You know, it's so hard for me not to get fuming mad at these people who parade around spouting their ridiculous opinions about the Catholic Church. I was visiting my friend Bryan's blog to see what he's up to, and he'd posted a link to Jimmy Akin's blog that I want to share with you. The particular post dealt with a recent episode of The View in which all the ladies decided to go on an inane rant about the Catholic Church. You can visit Jimmy's blog here and read the transcript of the show for yourself. I would say, "Enjoy!" but I think that's going to be rather difficult, considering the idiocy and lack of accurate information that are displayed by these ladies.

It's so true that anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice in this country.

End of my rant. Have a lovely day! It's Tom's sister Ceci's 5th birthday today, and Tom is giving a talk at the Memorial for the Unborn at the Bremerton Boardwalk tonight.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Guy Bonding

I'll never understand why this is fun.

Tom's brother Chris flew in on Tuesday afternoon from Afghanistan where he's serving with the Army. He managed to work out getting a couple weeks off to be here for Mary's wedding! So, the Herring boys have been having fun and enjoying having all 4 of them together again. The past couple nights (using the term loosely -- the first night they were up until 5 a.m., and last night I think Joe and Chris played until 8 a.m.) have been spent at our house playing Halo with 2 T.V.'s networked together so all 4 of them could play against each other.

I don't get it, but at least they're having fun. Mary is in town now, so I'll get some good girl time with her and the Herring girls while the boys stick to Halo and Settlers of Catan. : )