Answer Me This . . . Home again, home again, jiggety jig

by | Aug 17, 2014 | Answer Me This | 28 comments

Hey! We’re back in LA! Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

Can I just say, quick, that looking at this illustration makes me think I’ve got to come up with crazier chores for my kids. These children walked somewhere, purchased an animal that is bigger than they, and made it come home with them. I find that very impressive.

Anyway, we are home after two lovely months with my terrific in-laws in Chicago, where the weather was quite mild and I wrote a kind of ridiculous number of blog posts. We returned to a non-functioning one year old desktop computer, so I’m blogging atcha from the husband’s old macbook. And we’re going to go computer shopping this weekend.

We are thinking about making the switch from PC to mac. We’re already an iPhone and iPad family, but I’m still worried somehow about making the desktop switch. I really do prefer to do my writing on the desktop, and I’m used to the PC. But we do not wish to have to replace the computer every year. So . . . thoughts?

Speaking of thoughts, it seems like I’m not the only one feeling a bit of bloggers malaise lately. There are so many heavy things happening in the world and on the internet and I’m not particularly qualified to comment on any of them. But it seems off, somehow, to NOT comment on them. And it’s the end of summer, and real life needs some attending to. And this laptop is reeeeeally slow. But, I promised you an Answer Me This, so an Answer Me This you shall have.

Hi-diddly-ho neighbors. And a very warm welcome to Answer Me This . . . the internet’s favorite virtual cocktail party* in which I ask six totally random questions and we all answer them and get to know each other a little better.

Isn’t that nice?

*this statement may not be true.

So, here goes this week’s edition:

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

I like our kitchen. When we moved in to the house seven years ago (I think, maybe eight?), the thing I was most excited about was the weird ugly kitchen. The previous owners had done all sorts of tedious but useful remodels in a 60s era home, like replacing all the windows and removing the popcorn ceiling, but the kitchen was original. So we got to design a new one.

It’s functional, between the table and the counter we can seat twelve or
fourteen people pretty comfortably (the kids seem to have run off with two of the stools). I like the brick and the stainless
and the wood and the blue. And, ya know how on Friends, Joey has a dream about a TV that appears as if from nowhere? MY dream was about a stand mixer that appears as if from nowhere. And it came true.

Now you see it . . .  now you don’t.

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

I get the Magnificat, so I can follow along and hope to pay attention at Mass, and the kids get MagnifiKid, same idea, more colorful.

We also have gotten Disney Family Fun, but now that I think about it, I haven’t noticed one in a while. I liked it though, it’s got cute ideas, especially for DIY Valentines and Halloween costumes and upcycling-type crafts.

I kept meaning to subscribe to Verily, and never quite got around to it, then they ran out of money and stopped making a print edition, which is clearly my fault. So, sorry.

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?

After nine years of study and consultation, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has told Latin-rite bishops around the world that the sign of peace will stay where it is in the Mass. (read more here)

Basically, they opted NOT to move or eliminate the sign of peace, despite concerns that the tradition wasn’t being practiced reverently enough. They did advise, though, that there shouldn’t be a song played, we shouldn’t move from our places, and the priest shouldn’t leave the altar. And, if the priest forsees that the sign of peace won’t be practiced properly, he can omit it.

Here’s my take on it: First, I think it’s kind of adorable that it took them nine years to decide on this. Nine years. She’s a slow church, God bless ‘er. Second, I’m glad they left it right where it has traditionally been in the Mass.

When I read Four Witnesses, I was blown away by how familiar sounding were the Masses described by the early fathers of the church. It’s the same Mass, it’s the same church, as year one. That’s pretty cool.

So, I’m kind of offended by the suggestion that *we* today, now, two thousand years later, *we* just can’t handle the sign of peace. If there are abuses, let’s reign those in. For sure. But don’t tell me *I* can’t handle it.

I think it’s nice to make some eye contact with the people around me. Sharing a kiss of peace with my family is a lovely moment. And I still laugh about Frankie and his loud, “Peace be wif you dinofawer.” Good times.

4. What is your least favorite sound?

It’s a tie between shrieking children and jazz music.

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

I was a big fan of Fraggle Rock, and the Cosby Show. And I remember watching them with my parents. It seems like with so many homes having multiple TV sets these days, there isn’t much interest in making “family” shows anymore. The kid shows have gotten more infantile and the grownup shows have gotten more “adult.” Which would be more of a problem if we had time for much family TV watching. Which we really don’t.

Oops. I just remembered Saved by the Bell, which kind of negates my above point. No grownup ever watched Saved by the Bell. Also there were some cartoons that I really loved as a kid that fail utterly upon re-watching now. Jem (Why are they making a movie?!?), He-Man, She-Ra, the Smurfs. They’re all pretty terrible. Lots of characters just standing around and blinking, and no one seemed especially concerned that the plots made any sense. Especially not Jem. That show was straight up crazy.

6. What are your favorite TV shows now?

What with Netflix (and Acorn) being the only way I watch television, “now” is a relative term. But these are shows I have watched and enjoyed over the past year or so (most of them thanks to reader suggestions!):

  • Doctor Who
  • Freaks and Geeks
  • The Walking Dead
  • Downton Abbey
  • Sherlock
  • Firefly 
  • Foyle’s War

Next on my list is Jeeves and Wooster, and a new season of Downton Abbey is coming up, yay! Look, Sibbie!

Here are next week’s questions:

1. What is your favorite picture book?

2. Are you a boycotter?

3. How do you feel about cheese?

4. How many pairs of sunglasses do you own?

5. How long has it been since you went to the dentist?

6. If you could visit any religious site in the world, where would you go?

Next week’s installment will go live at 10pm Pacific Saturday night, and will be open until 10pm Wednesday night.

So, please, answer this week’s questions for yourself in the comments. If you have a blog, answer the questions there, link back to this post, and link your blog post up below. For bonus points, you can even tag a couple other bloggers so THEY can play along too! So fun.


  1. Anonymous

    Can't believe I forgot about Sherlock!

    Everyone keeps telling me I'd love Doctor Who, but I've tried it 2 or 3 times and I just have a hard time getting into it. But maybe I need to get through more than 2 episodes, or start with a different Doctor?

    • Catie

      I had to start watching with my husband so he could explain some backstory. Same with Star Trek. Some shows are just so far along in their mythology that you will never be able to jump in without a little help. The internets can help, too. Just look up Doctor Who on Wikipedia.

    • Kendra

      Yeah, I don't know. It seems like people love Doctor Who, or just sit there bewildered that THIS could really be that show all those people liked. The ninth doctor (the first one from the reboot) is my favorite, but I think most people like the tenth doctor best, he starts the second season.

      All the campy stuff, like the shooting mannequins, and the robot dog, and the various crazy enemies are all throwbacks to the old episodes. I think that's cool. I even watched all the vintage episodes they have on Netflix, but I thought those were pretty hard to watch. I agree with Catie, if you like to "get" all the jokes, Wikipedia will bring you up to speed.

  2. Ann-Marie Ulczynski

    I can't believe how big Sibbie has gotten! Firefly is awesome. My husband and I love watching that together.

  3. Erica Saint

    Lovely kitchen!

    I, too, loved Fraggle Rock. We own the DVDs. The boys have enjoyed watching it, and I do not mind watching it again with them. You are right about Jem being awful. I used to love it. I sat down to watch it with the boys on Netflix one day and could not do it. It was just bad. And my ten-year-old said, "this doesn't make any sense." Right you are my son!

  4. Amanda

    My 2 year old has the same haircut as Sibbie, except not so straight because I do it myself 😉

    1. My favorite room is the living room. Couches!
    2. I get Above Rubies, which a free periodical geared towards Quiverfull mothers. But it's full of interesting stuff.
    3. I didn't realize until you posted that study that it was contentious, or that it COULD be abused. It's supposed to be more solemn than I realized, I guess. But I'm for it. We're meant to be wishing peace on all our neighbors as Jesus wished it on us, and I think that's something good.
    4. everyone crying at once
    5. We all watched TGIF on Friday nights, which proves your point about family TV. But I also loved Designing Women, which is a weird choice.
    6. Once Upon a Time is my current favorite thing. I might be obsessed. You should start it on Netflix.

    • Kendra

      Once Upon a Time is on my list. Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas likes that show too!

  5. Debbie

    Have to disagree. When my first set of kids were young I watched Save By The Bell with them all the time! I can't watch it now knowing what a chump Shriek is in real life.

  6. Bonnie

    Sybil looks a little creepy to me but Tom is lookin' gooooood.

    Also, I really think My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a great show. I watch it with my kids frequently and sometimes on my own. I think the show's writing is really clever and there's never been anything inappropriate (but there *is* a Doctor Whooves!)

    Also, I suggest you watch Endevour on Netflix. It's very good and you'll like it. It's a bit like Sherlock but takes place in the 60's and it's nothing like Silver Lining Playbook.

    • Kendra

      Okay, I'll check it out. I almost always share your taste in entertainment. :0)

  7. Christy

    I would suggest a Mac mini for your desktop. It's reasonably cheap for a Mac product ($600-$1000). Basically it's a small box that has all the stuff that makes a computer work inside and you hook up a monitor, keyboard, and mouse through USB ports. As long as you have a working monitor, it's a great product!

    • Kendra

      Ooh, that's great. We DO have a nice monitor that I'm happy with. I just need a computer that doesn't crash all the time.

  8. The Nem's!!

    Once you go Mac, you never go back! 🙂 I love apple/Macs and will never buy another PC however I have to drag out our old PC laptop anytime I want to make mailing labels because I have not found a user-friendly (ie. easy!!) mailing label program compatible with macs (mailing labels through the contacts app on the Mac is NOT user-friendly in my opinion!). I've even gone to the Mac store for help and no one there could show me an easy way to do it! Once you get a Mac, you will start making family movies or slideshows (I can see you doing that!) and you will love how easy it is!

  9. Jenny Cook

    Today at Mass we were late–please tell me being late to Mass is not a mortal sin–and we sat in the very back on the windowseats. We were next to a statue of Jesus. At the sign of peace, after shaking our hands, my daughter went and took the hand of Jesus to say "Peace." Later on she held the hand and gazed up adoringly at His face while we were singing. It was quite lovely. So yeah, I'd keep it just for that moment. <3

    • Kendra

      Being late to Mass is not a mortal sin. All we can do is our best. Sometimes our best is late. :0)

      There is a statue of Sacred Heart Jesus outside our parish church, my kids like to give him high fives.

  10. Anonymous

    Oh YES YES YES to the Mac! The learning curve is not fun, but once you make the switch you will never go back.. and you won't regret it! I'm still with my MacBook from 2009 and no issues (yet! knock on wood).

  11. Kaitlin @ More Like Mary

    GET THE MAC! It was a pretty easy transition and I had very little experience beforehand. Get the Apple Care and they will talk you through every little detail you could ever want to know. The photostream is flawless. You will never have to upload pictures for blog posts again. And iMessage. You can text from your computer when your phone is nowhere in sight. I just love it.

    • Kendra

      Okay! We got it. I think we'll have it in hand tomorrow, hopefully with all my stuff on it from the old computer.

      I'm excited to hear that about the photos. I have been a little worried that somehow my Blogger blog would not be as compatible with a Mac.

  12. Hafsa

    I don't want to start a debate or anything but I'm not sure I agree with the mass still being the same mass as with the early church. I'm not an early church member (obviously) nor am I a historian, but there's a reason for Summorum Pontificum, and the F.S.S.P. (Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter), the mass has undergone many changes, some good, some not so much. And as if I needed to start any more debates, jazz is the worst sound tied with a baby shrieking!?! My poor heart! Please tell me you're referring to new age jazz i.e. Kenny G.? The sounds of Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis are on par with some of the greatest classical art. Good music would not be what it is today without the influence of jazz.

    Hopefully I didn't put my foot in my mouth expressing my disagreements. I honestly do not mean to sound argumentative, I'm just wholly passionate about music, jazz in particular 😉

    • Kendra

      Thanks Hafsa. You're right there have been many changes to the Mass, and you're right, some for the better and some for the worse. I guess what I meant was that I agree with the Congregation for Divine Worship that changes shouldn't be made lightly, and wherever it's possible to maintain traditions and forms, that's what we should do. So I'm glad they kept it where it is.

      But I'm not going to be able to do much to help my case on the Jazz music front. I just don't like it or get it. Even good, real jazz music. I will admit here to just not being musical, and I don't claim sophisticated taste in music at all. I just can't wrap my head around the changes in rhythm and tempo that jazz so often has. I find it jarring. It seems like good jazz music challenges listeners, but I'm more interested in being entertained.

      But I fully support YOU liking jazz. :0)

  13. LeAnna

    The sign of peace always reminds me that I'm supposed to love my neighbour instead of sitting there and being grumpy on the days when I'm feeling particularly anti social!

  14. Sophie שרה Golden

    I wanted to answer your questions on my blog, but the 3rd question scared me, because I had no idea what was it all about.

    As for the least favourite sound to me, it's definitely the sound of the Sea at night. It's so dark and mystical, I don't wonder why all the guys since Odysseus imagined Sirens and mermaids. Imagine sailing for years, when you see and hear nothing but the mighty Sea, who wouldn't go insane and blame the redhaired "naughty" girl-fish ;0)

  15. Pam

    I used to love the My Little Ponies from the 1980s. When my girls got into playing with My Little Ponies and had seen a few of the new episodes I thought it would be so fun to show them the classic episodes. The old episodes were awful! I was so disappointed.

    Currently the only TV show I watch is Downton Abbey. I love that the seasons are short and I can watch it online once it's available on PBS. My husband and I used to watch several shows, but as they ended or we decided they weren't worth our time, we didn't add new shows to the mix. We are more movie watchers now. They take less time and we don't feel compelled to keep up with the series.

    As for the sign of peace, I like it. I've never understood why some people get so bent out of shape by it. I don't love it when people leave their pew to greet people who aren't near them, but that isn't a big problem at our parish. For the most part, I think it's done well and I'm glad it stays where it is.

  16. Christine

    Ooh – I love how your microwave is down at kid level! I wish we could have pulled that off in our kitchen, but there was just no room. As it is, the microwave is high up and over the stove, so not a good place for young kids.

    You made a really good observation about tv shows today – the kid shows are more infantile and the adult shows more "adult". I never thought about it that way, but it's totally true. No wonder I can't stand most of what's on tv anymore!

  17. bobbi @ revolution of love

    I don't know why but I couldn't stop laughing over your jazz comment. So funny. When I was a kid Fraggle Rock scared me. I'm not even that keen on the Muppets. 😉 As I linked to your post I realized I watch way too much TV but it is seriously my favorite way to unwind after a long day! I use a Macbook air for myself but when our family computer died after about five years I couldn't make the plunge of going all Apple, even though we have iphones, ipods etc. We landed out getting another Dell PC as the family computer. Works for us. 🙂

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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