Raising the Betts #45: Palm-less Sunday

On the next Raising the Betts, Dom and Melanie have a Palm Sunday without (fresh) palm branches, are cutting their own hair, and pondering the effects of self-isolation on the kitchen ninjas. Plus contemplating how our priests miss us and that while we’re all in a Good Friday of lockdown, an Easter Sunday of freedom is inevitably coming.

My Pocket Go-Bag

A couple of years ago, I did a post about what I carried in my pockets on a day-to-day basis and mentioned that I no longer carry a bulky wallet, but instead have downsized to a minimalist wallet. However, I was still carrying pockets full of other stuff that would weigh me down and make my pockets all saggy and baggy.

That’s when I decided to go with a pocket go-bag. A regular go-bag is a bag you have packed somewhere in your house or your car that contains emergency essentials that you would need if you had to “go” on a moment’s notice.1 A pocket version, however, is not so much for emergencies, but contains what you may not always need with you, but would all go together: If you need one, you should probably have them all.

It’s a bit of something in the middle between a regular wallet and a larger day bag or messenger bag or backpack.

So for my pocket go-bag, I needed a handful of items that I would need when going out for the day or longer, but not if I’m puttering around or running an errand. Here’s what’s in mine.

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Emergency – Raising the Betts #3

This week, Dom and Melanie recount yet another emergency room adventure, get your taste buds revved with what they’re been cooking (and grilling), revisit Brideshead, and talk about the art of Biblical translation.

Raising the Betts: A New Podcast

Melanie and I have just launched a brand new project into the world. We have a new podcast we’re doing together called Raising the Betts. It’s part of the StarQuest Media network, of which I am CEO, and despite having created and been part of a dozen different shows and podcasts over the years, it’s the first time I’ve been able to get Melanie in front of a microphone!

In this first episode, we talk about our backgrounds, how we met, we dated, we got married, and we had kids. We also preview some of the topics we’ll be discussing in the future, like homeschooling, cooking, our trips both near and far, the challenges of marriage and parenting, and fun stuff we’re doing around the house. We’ll also talk about books, TV shows, movies, music, and art, as well as current events and news stories that particularly affect us or make us passionate. And of course, we’ll talk about our Catholic faith, whether it’s something that comes up with the kids or part of Melanie and my spiritual lives.

We hope you’ll give it a listen, subscribe, share it with others, and let us know what you think.

You can find links to subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, TuneIn, and on the SQPN YouTube channel.

Hi, I’m a Podcaster

Well, I’m moving on again. For the past two years, I’ve been Director of Community Engagement for Massachusetts Citizens for Life, an organization doing important work holding the line on assisted suicide against well-funded opposition and helping lower the abortion rate in Massachusetts. But as of today, Tuesday, May 1, I will be leaving that job to take on the full-time position of Chief Executive Officer of the StarQuest Podcast Network (SQPN).

Those of you with a memory for minutiae may recall that I have been Executive Director of SQPN since November 2015 in a part-time capacity. Last January, however, the former CEO and co-founder of SQPN Fr. Roderick Vonhogen left SQPN to focus on his Dutch-based media organization Trideo. After much consultation and consideration of SQPN’s future, the board of directors has decided to rebuild SQPN with an exciting lineup of current and new podcast shows. Part of that rebuilding has been a recognition of the need for someone working full-time to manage everything, to be a primary host of most shows, to schedule panelists, do the audio editing, manage the web servers, and so on. That someone is me.

So now as of May, I can say with all sincerity to the question, “What do you do?”: “I am a podcaster.”

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Of Nor’Easters and Surgery and Temporary Homelessness

When the weather forecasts last week started talking about a potential nor-easter by the end of the week, I wasn’t paying much attention. That’s because my focus was on Melanie’s impending surgery on Wednesday and everything that would be required of me. First, I wanted to support and help her. It was a day surgery that featured the laparascopic1 technique, which is routine, but it was also general anesthesia, which is not. At least for Melanie.

On Wednesday, my mom came over to watch the kids and I took Melanie to the hospital where I waited all day. It took longer than we expected because she had a hard time coming out from the anesthesia, which is part of Melanie’s difficulty with it. We headed home and I had to go back out to find a pharmacy to her prescription for pain medications. Because of the opioid epidemic, they are no longer prescribed electronically, but must be filled with a paper scrip. And for some reason all the pharmacies were busy and so I had to find one that could fill the prescription that night so Melanie would not be in agony all night.

Then on Thursday, I worked from home because she was still woozy from the medicine and still in pain. That was when I started paying attention to the storm forecasts. This is New England. Nor’easters are expected in the winter and this one was going to be mostly rain, they said. Rain instead of snow? What’s to worry? It turns out there was plenty to worry about from the rain and the wind.

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