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. Have you ever walked out of a movie?

No. I wanted to walk out of the last movie I saw in the theater, but my ride preferred to stay. So, we did. But in general, my curiosity to see how the thing turns out is stronger than my desire to not be seeing a terrible movie.
The kids and I did walk out of a production of The Taming of the Shrew once, because it had been, um, inappropriately re-imagined. We all actually found it pretty exciting to be walking out in protest.

NOT TAMED: A LESSON IN WALKING OUT OF THE THEATER

2. Do you abstain from meat on Fridays?
I do. We do as a family.

This one is tricky for me to navigate, because I’m not a big meat eater normally. I’m not against it, I’m just equally happy not eating meat as eating it. So, it’s not a big sacrifice for me physically. It’s more a sacrifice of planning and mindfulness. I need to plan ahead and be able to provide us with a meat free meal each Friday, and then I need to remember to do it AND remember to not unthinkingly eat meat at lunch, which I almost never do, but somehow it’s really hard to remember on Fridays!

I like abstaining from meat on Fridays because it makes me feel connected to the Church, historically and all over the world, since it’s a sacrifice that we can/could/used to all share in common.
In the US, of course, in 1966, the Bishops abrogated the requirement for all Catholics to abstain from eating meat on Fridays, and instead, encouraged the faithful to make a sacrifice of their own choosing. I agree with them in theory, I guess, but in practice it meant that almost everyone in the church just forgot that Fridays were a thing at all. I grew up Catholic, attending Mass and CCD classes regularly, and Friday abstinence is something I realized existed only a few years ago.
I’ve read the Pastoral Statement On Penance And Abstinence, and, God bless ’em, it reads like a bunch of nonsense to me. But it does allow for the possibility that individuals might choose to continue the traditional practice of abstinence from meat on Fridays. And that’s what we do.
I think no meat on Friday is a thing that binds us together as a Catholic family. I think it sets us apart a bit, in a good way. I feel like I’ve been seeing a resurgence of interest in Friday abstinence, but perhaps that’s only because I hang out in the really Catholic-y part of the internet.
Keeping meat-free on Friday also makes meat feel more special to me when I do eat it. Especially on Friday Solemnities, when we always make a big deal of having meat. 
I’m not the only one. On a whim, I made this Meat Friday meme on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on June 27th, and over 50,000 people saw it on Facebook.

People were still sharing it after Friday and I started worrying that they would think I was advocating for Catholics to eat meat on ALL Fridays! 

So I made this one:

But I haven’t posted it yet, because the next Friday turned out to be the 4th of July and that seemed to call for a meme of its own:

Especially because the fact is, we’re staying with my in-laws and I wasn’t in charge of the menu for the day. So, even though we would usually choose to go meat free on Friday, it was more polite in our current circumstance to choose a different sacrifice and enjoy the burgers at the 4th of July party.

They were quite tasty. 

3. What do you most often use for blogs and blogging: desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?

I don’t have a smart phone or a laptop. For reading blogs and commenting and responding to comments, I usually use an iPad. For blogging, I use a desktop. I like a lot of links and photos, and the blogger app is pretty much useless in that department.

4. Have you ever had anything stolen from you?

It’s interesting to me how very memorable it is to have something stolen. The only things that have ever been stolen from me haven’t been particularly precious or important, but they are etched in my memory just the same.
The first was at a garage sale that I tried to have, all by myself, before the husband and I got married and moved to Northern California. I staged everything in the back room of the house the night before. The ad in the paper (this was back when there were newspapers, kids) said it started at 8am, so imagine my surprise when I opened the garage door at 7:30 to find people already there. Every time I went back inside to get another load of things to bring out, these two ladies would steal a bunch of the stuff. 
I felt so helpless. I suppose I could have called the police, but I didn’t. I guess the good news is that they probably saved me from the disappointment of not being able to sell all that stuff. Just ask Blythe. 
I also had my wallet stolen by a couple of old ladies in the candle stall at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. They totally did the jostling trick and bumped into me and swiped it. I didn’t have a whole lot of money in there, and since we were traveling, I only had the basics: ID, credit card, ATM card. I had my passport in a different place, so getting home wasn’t a problem. But I did have some old, one of a kind photographs in the wallet that I wasn’t able to replace. The photograph of Jack getting his First Communion from the Pope was also in there. I always wonder what they thought of that. 
Anyway, both do still hold a place in my memory, but I’ve forgiven my robbers. I try to remember to pray for them.

5. Do you identify as a member of a particular ethnic group?
This one is funny for me, because, yes, I do. But it’s not an ethnic group that I am actually a part of, by blood.
I didn’t grow up with any other than standard American holidays or celebrations. My dad’s dad did sometimes cook weird German food, and my dad speaks some German, but it’s not anything that was even remotely a part of my identity.
But then I married a 100% Irish guy, from the South Side of Chicago, where pretty much everyone is 100% Irish. Then we moved there. My first name was already Gaelic and now my last name is too. The husband’s parents always threw a big St. Patrick’s Day party, so we’ve brought the Hooley to Southern California.

Irish is a big part of our family culture. Irish is a part of who I am now, even though I’m not at all Irish myself.

6. Seen anything weird lately?
I was really excited to write this question, and then be on the lookout all week for something truly weird to happen. But it really didn’t.
It was just a normal week of Frankie getting a mosquito bite on his eye and having it swell nearly shut.

And I got some new mom jeans, but that’s not weird. I can totally pull these off. Right? Even though, as the husband points out, it really ISN’T ironic if *I* wear mom jeans, all things considered.

And carrying the laundry. And the baby. Down the stairs. Is not weird. That’s quite normal.

And this is a regular old soap dispenser that plays patriotic music when you push down on the pump. Who doesn’t see those CONSTANTLY?

And we went for a three mile walk with the kids. Nothing weird about that.

click to embiggen

Just a regular old week.


For next week I’m tagging a couple of the fifteen ladies involved in a new project I’m a part of, that I’m really excited about. It’s called Blessed Is She. Come September it will be a place on the web to find daily devotionals for Catholic women. I’ll be writing some of them, and so will some other awesome Catholic bloggers.
You can like us on Facebook now, and get to see all the lovely memes we’ve been creating. If you like that sort of thing. I made this one:

Until we’re up and running, check out Nell at Whole Parenting Family. Post to check out: Pausing a Career to Stay at Home (There’s a bunch of code at the top, but if you scroll way down, the post is there.)

And Megan at Positively Imperfect. Post to check out: Nuthin,” Really . . .

Next week’s questions for Nell and Megan and you are . . .

1. How did you get your name?

2. Do you have a set time for prayer in your day?
3. Did your mom work or stay home (or both)?
4. Do you vote?
5. What’s your favorite drink?
6. How are your photography skills?

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. You can even tag a couple other bloggers so THEY can play along too! So fun.

And since it’s Sunday, here’s what Lulu and I wore to Mass:

Lulu’s dress: a gift from Gramma!
Lulu’s accessories: Sophie the Giraffe and some chub
My Dress: I think it must be my sister-in-law’s, I found it in the closet here!
It says Merona, so I’m thinking Target.
Sweater: Loft
Necklace/Lulu entertainment: borrowed from my mother-in-law
Shoes: Payless, although I think they must be a knockoff of the whatever all the teenagers at the pool are wearing
for more WIWS click here