Tag Archives: women

Mary of Nazareth

It’s  Fab Female Friday and with only several days left before Christmas, I had no choice but to write about Mary, Mother of God. Icon. Saint. Legendary Jewish mother.

Naturally, everyone knows about the biblical Mary. The woman is an icon of epic proportions. Images of her are ubiquitous, and yet Anglican, eastern Orthodox, Islamic (yes), Lutheran, Protestant, and Catholic all hold different views about her.

With that in mind, remember this as I offer a few pieces of information about the Virgin Mother. Dogma and opinions vary!

WARNING: The following is non-academic.

 For scholarly information check out the University of Dayton’s The Mary Page, which has amassed the world’s largest collection of printed material about Mary
or The New Advent Organization, Catholic Encyclopedia.

And for all you Catholics out there, don’t forget, the Pope Tweets. His handle is: @Pontifex

A few non-academic Mary facts:

  • Mary is known by many names. Here are a few: In Hebrew she is Miriam; in Arabic, Maryam. She also goes by Saint Mary, Mother Mary, Blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Bearer of God, Mother of the Church, and Our Lady.
  • She was born in the late 1st century BC and died sometime in the 1st centaury AD
  • She is identified in both the Qur’an and New Testament
  • Mary was engaged ( betrothed)  to Joseph at 12 years old ( this was typical)
  • Both Mary and Joseph were from the House of David and  from the Tribe of Judah. The genealogical aspect is fascinating.
  • The Angel Gabriel gives her the prophetic news during her betrothal.
  • Joseph is informed by an angel several months later—important, since there is no way he would have married a non-virgin.
  • Mary and Joseph complete wedding rites.
  • Elizabeth greets Mary as “the mother of my Lord.”
  • By order of Roman Emperor Augustus (Octavious- Julius Caesar’s adopted son), Joseph had to return to his home town of Bethlehem to be taxed (the Romans were tax-happy—but that’s another story).
  • Mary gave birth to Jesus at 13 yrs old and canonical gospels attest to her virginity.
  • Per Jewish law, Jesus is circumcised 8 days later.
  • A month or so later, Jesus is presented to the temple. Mary makes the traditional burnt offering for her sins and is thereby “cleansed.”
  • Months later, Wise men pay homage with their symbolic gifts The word Magi describes the Zoroastrian priests who used astrology. Note: Our word magic comes from Magi.
  • Gold is a symbol of royalty, kingship, or virtue.
  • Frankincense, an incense, is the symbol for a deity, or prayer.
  • Myrrh, an oil used to embalm, was a symbol of death, or suffering
  • The gospel of Luke mentions Mary the most—12 times. Matthew refers to her 6 times. John, twice; Mark, only once.
  • Mary is mentioned when 12 yr old Jesus stays to teach in the Jerusalem temple.
  • Mary watches her son turn water into wine.
  • She was believed to be present at her son’s crucifixion ( a favorite Roman death sentence).
  • Mary disappears  from scripture after she is mentioned  attending a meeting with the 11 apostles
  • Some  religions believe her physical body ascended to heaven after she died—her grave was found empty
  • Nobody knows exactly when she died: There are no records. If you do the math, Mary would have been 46 yrs old at the time of her son’s crucifixion. This was well past the average life expectancy of the time.

My humblest apologies if I got some information wrong.

There is a wealth of information about Mary of Nazareth. If you’re a reader of Dan Brown, you might wonder if, in fact, the Vatican secret treasure vault holds more information about this mysterious figure. Who knows?


Surviving my Purse

the inside of my purse

the inside of my purse

The ABYSS: A  perfect name for my purse.

It doesn’t matter what I do, it remains a dark chasm, a Stygian ravine, a messy pit, a…well, you get the picture.

Receipts and extra lipsticks are organized one day and—BAM—the purse mysteriously reverts back to its original state of disorder.

I’m not a messy person. My classroom is neat—no small feat when one has 100’s of essays to grade. My home is tidy and organized. Everything has a place and, except for my phone which wanders off on its own, I can tell you exactly where all household stuff is located.

So, it’s not my organizational skills.There’s simply too much stuff in my purse!
But what’s a girl to toss? I need all this stuff.
Which ONE lipstick or lip gloss will fit all my makeup needs?
Which membership cards—I think they’e breeding—do I toss?
Currently weighing down my purse:
  • grocery receipts for the week
  •  dry cleaning ticket that will disappear the day I need it
  • one tissue for wiping off a nail polish test-varnish in the Make-Me-Gorgeous store
  • 2  flash drives that hold either my manuscripts or literary analysis PowerPoints
  •  a car key that stays in a side pocket—love key-less ignition!
  • a house key that pulls a vanishing act every damn time I need it
  • a pencil that leaped into my purse in a desperate attempt to leave my classroom
  • a pen with a manic depressive disorder—providing no ink or ink blobs
  • reading glasses, smudged
  • sunglasses, smudged
  • fancy-schmancy business card holder ( a birthday present )  that doesn’t hold business cards but scatters them about my purse
  • four pennies ????
  • Starbucks green sticky-thingy. I believe that’s the official word
  • random business cards from people I don’t remember meeting
  • a hotel keycard from the last writer’s conference
  • checkbook for the off chance a business won’t take a debit card
  • floss. What can I say? My ex is a dentist—I like to be prepared for all stuff-in-your-teeth emergencies
  •  makeup bag loaded with essentials I never use—one never knows when applying more concealer and blush might save the day!
  • wallet with 2 dollars—and that’s on a good day
  • an ancient model smart phone  ( I’m waiting for the next fab Apple product)
  • small pad of paper for brilliant ideas that occur while speeding down the highway
  • crinkled grocery lists
  • mini canister of Altoids

Perhaps, I need another purse! YES! Another purse will solve all my problems!

Perfect purse requirements:
  • No black liner! No flap! No heavy metal!
  • Not too big—not too small (roomy enough for iPad is a plus)
  • Zipper closure
  • Outside pockets ( good for phone & keys)
  • Shoulder strap (hands-free shopping & phone-talking/texting/tweeting ability)
  • Opens wide (allowing light to enter chasm so you can actually SEE what’s inside instead of going by feel
  • Dirt/stain and coffee resistant
  • Costs less than one paycheck

I only want the perfect purse. Is that too much to ask?

You see, the PERFECT purse would never be disorganized. Because if the inside of my purse was perfectly neat—if I could find everything immediately—then I could pretend my life was also flawlessly organized!

Anyone want to go purse shopping with me?

Related Posts: Mom Musings, Fashionista Fanatic
Click  Amazon link for novels.


Fab Female Friday: Julia Domna

Julia Domna: Wife. Mother. Philosopher. Political mover & shaker.

The astrologer’s prediction proved correct!

Married in her teens to a 40-something widower Roman commander named Septimus Severus—soon to become the first African Roman emperor—Julia & Septimus became a formidable “power couple.” Septimus knew Julia was the one for him when  an astrologer predicted the she would one day be queen.

All accounts say their marriage—despite the age differences–was happy and loving.

Julia, daughter of a high priest from Syria, was extremely intelligent, courageous and didn’t   take s*** from anyone. She quickly learned the art of politics, and was soon involved in all sorts of  intrigues, strategies, and political machinations. She was also an avid reader and loved to talk philosophy.


During those times, women were expected to stay home and wait for their emperor husbands while they fought wars for territorial domination–but not Julia! No way! She went with her hubby–his confidant and steadfast companion. Later on, when he did leave her  home on his campaigns,  he left Julia in charge, knowing she would manage and administer the wily affairs of state with all the smoothness of a  consummate politico.

She bore two sons—who didn’t much like each other, especially when it came time to decide who would take Dad’s place as Emperor of Rome.

In an attempt to reconcile her feuding adult sons, she begged for a meeting—minus their armed guards. The youngest son was murdered in her arms—almost certainly by hit men hired by the jealous older son.

Horrible, yes? Roman politics was ever so much nastier than politics today (well, on second thought…)Try as she might, this powerful mom could not persuade her eldest son to be a better Emperor (a petty, mean-tempered, wacko ruler), although she did her best to keep the Severo reign going.

When her Emperor son was murdered, the new Emperor exiled the still politically connected Julia. Did she go? Or no. The now frail and cancer-plagued Julia, stayed put in her home and starved herself to death. She was 47 years old.

Julia Domna: smooth operator, political  pundit, philosophical activist, and  patron of the arts!