Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Okie Trad and Laramie Hirsch having Cigars with a Trusted Tulsa Trad

Its the 4th Day of Christmas, and I'm kicking back once again in my Okie Armchair by the Netflix fireplace to blog, smoking a brand spankin' new corn cob pipe with the finest tobacco, given to me by one Laramie Hirsch for Christmas.  Thanks again Hirsch.

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Readers may have stumbled across an October post about Hirsch and me enjoying a cigar at Classic Cigars and Lounge in Downtown Tulsa.  Talking about our blogging hobby that night, I decided, what the heck, I'd be using my hobby in part as one voice for traditional Catholics in my Local Church.

The original post:  Calling All Okie Traditionalists

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Cigars with a Trusted Tulsa Trad:

Fast forward a couple months later--last night--Hirsch and I met up again at the same cigar lounge, but this time with a local Tulsa Trad gentleman we've only known so far through Facebook.  He's a man I'd consider to be one pillar in the local trad community.  I'd give his name, but then I'd risk people pressuring him to say who we are, and if so then, well, we'd have to kill him.  haha

So, I'm not exactly in the habit of buying $10 cigars, but it was actually well worth it considering the one cigar would last an hour and a half.  We grabbed a corner towards the back and started ordering whiskeys, rum and diet cokes, and a hot toddy for Hirsch who had a sore throat.  The waitress was attentive with holiday cheer, bringing us endless supplies of Gardettos and Vickis potato chips.

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This was a new experience for me, already newish to the cigar bar scene, but this time in a group of fellow Okie Trads in the back of a literally smoke-filled room, as it were, ruminating and reflecting on church, society, and daily life.

Subjects varied.  Of course there was the requisite examination of our blogs and the Konderla Affair, but soon we were sharing our stories as traditional Catholics and common experiences with familiar people and places across the Latin Mass scene.  After an hour or so the discussion turned more deeply to details of current, geopolitical affairs--of which I am decidedly ignorant--but no worries, I grabbed a bag of Vicki's and leaned back and listened.  By then I had a very heavy buzz going on from the cigar.  (Mental note: next time ask clerk which cigars give less buzz)

Words of Affirmation:

There are a few things I think I can impart from this somewhat incognito meetup with this Catholic gentleman, who likewise takes the pulse of our Local Church:  it seems we are not alone in our analysis of recent events in the Tulsa diocese, and a similar consternation is running through the local trad community.

Likewise, in our opinion, while there is a time and place to address our specific trad differences, now is the time more than ever for Okie Trads across the spectrum to unite in publicly defending the true Faith. As in, here in Oklahoma.

At any rate, it was an affirming evening.

Are there any local Okie Trads out there who would like to join in next time for cigars and whiskey?  How about Bishop-emeritus Slattery, if somebody knows how to get ahold of him!?


Monday, December 26, 2016

Memory Foam Pillow

Got one for Christmas, and man oh man, thank you Santa.  I've been adjusting and readjusting my pillow on a nightly basis for years.  Last night I felt like I was sleeping with the angels on a soft cloud.  They're about $25, but well worth it.

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Anybody need more rum in their eggnog?

May the warmth of the manger keep us warm on this second day of Christmas.

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Two Turtle Doves

Thursday, December 15, 2016

2 New Polls: Are you an Okie Trad? And What Do You Think of the Blog?

UPDATE:  Just a Few More Hours to Vote, My Online Friends!  

Spiked Eggnog and Mistletoe Kisses to All Who Vote!  :)

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Tribute to Homeschool Mothers

I was recently surprised to hear that homeschool mothers here in Oklahoma have been reading my blog, but it seems I haven't been getting the best reviews I guess based on my rants and raves about the new Tulsa bishop's doings.

Here's the deal.  I am a traditional, orthodox, practicing Catholic.  That is first and foremost in the mind of me and my own domestic family.  When I look across the diocese I see a new religion everywhere.  I don't pretend this view is infallible, but I've formed it slowly for decades, and its how I see it from my Okie armchair.

As I said before LINK, I want to write blog posts about the Catholic Church here in Oklahoma.  I want to see it purely for what it is at present, the good, true, and beautiful, as well as the bad, false, and ugly.  I'm an "idealist-realist."

All this said, I want to reach out to and inspire my fellow Okie Trads in particular, and that very much includes our local homeschool mothers.  So here is my tribute to them.

Homeschooling Mothers Rock!

Imagine a man who works two jobs yet finds quality time for his wife and kids and to pray the family rosary.  I have to admit, that's a challenge to imagine.  How many men are like that just here in my local area?

But flip over to the other side of the coin.  In fact there are dozens (if not dozens and dozens) of mothers across just my own diocese who also work two full-time jobs, yet also make time to pray with the family, if not be the one to kneel down at night with their children and be the spiritual leader of the nightly rosary.  These women are heroes.

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Two jobs?  Yes.  Its doubly heroic.  While most modern women shun the life of a domestic engineer and homemaker in favor of careers, these bold, superhuman souls have embraced the traditional life of matrimony, a word which means "motherhood."  And at the same time, they are able to summon the talent and courage to provide a holistically authentic Catholic education for their children themselves, which they certainly are not getting in public schools or your average postmodern parochial school.  Their work is a silent, at times thankless job.

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Imagine rising early to feed husband and children, organize the household's share in daily chores, and then settle into a day of lesson planning, grading, lecturing, academic discussions, and field trips, all the while doing the laundry, cleaning the toilets, frequenting doctors and dentists, and finding time perhaps each week to meet with other homeschooling mothers in the diocese, for shared "coop" classes and healthy socialization.

Dear Homeschool Mothers here in Oklahoma and far and wide, I salute you!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Family and the Holidays

Its the holiday season again which reminds me of my youth when I reviled in excitement for the whole month of December.  The Christmas tree, Nativity set, Advent wreath.  Shopping, outdoor Christmas lights, writing Santa.  And my greatest anticipation was of Christmas eve.  Usually all the relatives would pour into our family's home smiling carrying armfuls of presents.  The tree was now decorated and lit.  My mother being European, she always wanted a live tree that looked like this:

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It was a jolly evening of egg nog, litte quiches, mini eggrolls, my sister's specialty chocolate chip cookies, my mom's favorite of ruffles potato chips with French onion dip.  Lots of "So how have you been doing?"  Lots of "Oh you're getting bigger since the last time I saw you."  By the end of the evening we were beat, and the Catholics were off to midnight Mass, me an hour early to prepare to help serve Mass.

But like many American families, throughout the 364 other days of the year our family contacts and support were at best mediocre.  A lot of infighting, petty quarrels, and cool neglect to give support to each other, but mixed in with a few visits and good deeds.  And I was always the little peacemaker wanting the family to come together.

Decades later, our Fam-damnily, as I sometimes call it, is the same or worse. Family get-togethers are more sporadic, smaller, and shorter.  Its hard.

As I'm writing this I glance at the Nativity set.  There's the Holy Family.  Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus (hidden under a mini blanket until midnight Christmas eve).  Its cold outside.  I don't expect we'll be spending any get-togethers with family these holidays, save my mother, despite our best wishes.


Every year I've hung onto the expectation of some level of family warmth during the holidays.  I suppose its an attachment I formed in my youth bursting with energy those Christmas eves, waiting for our relatives to come over for an evening.

But this year I'm going to try and do it differently.  It will be a quiet but spiritually-renewing Christmas, God-willing, doubly focused on the "real meaning" of Christmas.   This Advent feels rightly some light sorrow for me, fitting for this liturgical season, but in a couple weeks Christ will come and be our Joy!