04 September 2009

Of squirrels, bees, and coffee

Had a great time with my family in Mississippi. . .

The Reading Squirrels made sure I kept my nose in a book the whole time. . .well, I sneaked out a couple of times for a movie and one visit to a really good Chinese buffet. . .

I cooked a few times--fried chicken, real mashed potatoes, purple-hull peas, cornbread. The ice cream industry in north MS will never be the same after my visit. . .

The nieces are growing up. Sigh. I remember when they were just big enough to play with but not big enough to think they know everything. Ha!

Several of my mom's Protestant co-workers bought copies of my prayer book. We had a signing at the bank. Needless to say, my Dominican habit caused quite a stir among the Baptists and Pentecostals!

Dad's bees thriving. I went with him to a bigger honey-producing operation in TN. I was amazed to learn that it takes eight bees a lifetime to produce one teaspoon of honey. The beekeeper we visited has about 500 hives. I realized right quick that I was not destined to be a beekeeper. . .you have to keep the honey-collection house very warm so the honey doesn't become too thick to strain. As I reminded my dad a few times, "These hands were made for chalices not calluses." Believe me: that got an eye-roll.

Now, I am in Houston for the next month. What to do? Well, there are a number of books sitting around waiting for my attention. The second volume of Treasures needs to be edited and bulked up a bit. There's the third book to start. I might have a preaching gig or two. Mostly, I will be pecking away on the thesis and biding my time until time to return to Rome.

Oh! When I have finished the de-caffeinated exorcism of the Old Priory I will start up Coffee Cup Browsing again. . .no browsing unless I am vibrating at the proper frequency.

Thanks again for the books, the prayers, the good wishes. Keep Mama Becky in your prayers. We're waiting for her colonoscopy results. All will be well, no doubt.

God bless, Fr. Philip, OP

P.S. I will have time to answer questions. . .send them on!

P.P.S. I've updated the WISH LIST. I haven't checked recent arrivals just yet. Thank You notes will go out ASAP!


  1. Fr. Philip,
    I'm a long time reader, but I've never commented until now. I'm a fellow Mississippian by birth (grew up in Madison, north of Jackson), and I've enjoyed reading your descriptions of visits back home. From 2000-2008, my family and I lived in the Houston, Texas, area. If during your month there you are looking for some fun, you should pay a visit to St. Theresa's in Sugar Land. It's a shining example of the "reform of the reform" in progress. The pastor, Fr. Reynolds, has done amazing things there.

    Happy travels!

  2. Hello Father Philip:

    I have a question: who are those fun Dominicans that are in your header picture?

    I see some Popes, some bishops, a friar with a flower, and a friar who seems to have mis-placed his head.

    Just curious.

  3. Fr. P,

    Pray tell us more about the ruckus you caused among our separate brethren because of your habit.


  4. Anonymous6:02 PM

    your descripton of the home cooked meal made me very homesick. i miss mississippi.

  5. Picturing your book-signing at the bank brought to my mind the scene of Flannery O'Connor's book-signing of WISE BLOOD at her mother's society club in Georgia ... the two scenes are quirkily similar, hmm?

    Thanks for sharing your Mississippi musings -- you're kinda like the Garrison Keillor of Mississippi ... but a bit less Lutheran. And less smarmy.

    Best for your stay in Houston!

  6. Anonymous8:54 AM

    My question: TV masses - is appropriate to use as background noise while going about household tasks?


  7. hmmm, next time you're in Dallas, you're cooking for us! haha!

    So if I buy a copy of your book and send it to you with return postage will you sign it and send it back??