Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Faith on Ice

I'm reading (listening, actually, which is awesome because the author is narrating) Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic, and a passage I listened to today really struck me. I just wanted to share it here, because I think faith ebbs and flows, mostly unintentionally, and sometimes we need a little inspiration to keep it going.

"Faith, whether it is faith in yourself and your purpose or faith in your Creator, is a powerful beacon, but you have to let its light shine. You cannot allow it to be dimmed by neglect. Sometimes, you may feel like you have faith, but there is no light showing."
"Having faith in yourself and your abilities is critical, but you must also have patience, humility, and the understanding that you cannot do anything without the help of others and, in the end, all credit goes to God."
"Nothing will bring you down faster than living without purpose or losing track of whatever you are most passionate about: the gift that gives you joy and makes your life meaningful. If you feel yourself sliding into despair, drained of energy, and depleted of faith, ask yourself, What matters most to me? What gives me joy? What drives me and gives my life meaning? How can I get back to that? 
You and I were put on this earth to serve something greater than our narrow interests. When our focus becomes self-centered instead of God-centered, we lose our greatest source of power. Our God-given talents are meant to benefit others. When we use them for that greater purpose, we put faith into action to fulfill His plan for us. We make a difference in this world that helps prepare us for the next."

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday Daybook

In the garden...
...snow. We had a pretty big storm on Saturday. It snowed from sun up to sun down and I think we got about 7 or 8 inches, maybe more. It was mostly a soft steady snow. Not much by New England standards, but it's enough. The roads were awful on Saturday, but we didn't have anywhere to go. Now they're mostly clear but this snow will be around for at least the week.

photo by Noah

photo by Noah

photo by Noah

photo by Noah

photo by Noah
You have no idea how rare this photo is. ;-)

I'm thinking about...
...what an upside down weekend we had, and that I don't handle chaos at all well any more. 

Is it "the change," my age, my health, what? I cry at the drop of a hat. 

On Saturday Doug was working on the "project." After he tore out the jacuzzi bathtub, then fixed the shower drip (remember the shower drip started the whole big ball rolling), put new drywall up in what will be the dressing room, he decided that he wanted to put in can (recessed) lights in the master bath like we did in the kids' bath over three years ago, and so now was the chance. He is not an electrician, nor even a real handy man, but our neighbor had helped him with the lights in the kids' bath so he felt confident to do it. He waffled all day about whether to put in four or six and eventually decided six. It was a big job for him and climbing up and down the ladder into the attic all day was exhausting (we're no spring chickens!). It seemed every thirty minutes there was a problem or something not going right. He had his cell phone with him in the attic and when he needed something he would text me, and I, or one of the kids, would run up and hand it to him up in the attic. I was preparing dinner when he texted me that he needed one of these little gray plug things and I sent Faith up. A few minutes later I heard her scream (like a real scream, not a little girl scream) and she came running downstairs telling me "dad fell through the ceiling." As I was running up the stairs Doug was yelling down "I'm ok!" but the ceiling was not ok. He had stepped off one of the rafters (because he was tired, but would not stop!) and his leg, up to the knee, had gone through the ceiling. The hole in the ceiling was huge, as the drywall had just broken away -- not just a hole where his leg was, and there was fiberglass insulation all over the place. A basket of clean laundry was filled and piles of towels and toiletries I had removed from the bathroom where he was working was covered. And I just stood there and sobbed. Noah was with me and I think he was stunned by my reaction, but at least put his arms around me and patted me while I sobbed. It wasn't the hole in the ceiling that made me cry, it was just everything. I was partly scared by what could have happened and partly just overwhelmed by the day. We were supposed to be having a birthday party the next day and I had been cleaning and baking and it was just all too much. I really need to learn when to say when. The trouble was, I didn't realize Doug was going to be working on lights the entire day, and like all home improvement projects, it was more complicated than it should have been.

As it turned out, Faith was sick Saturday night and the party was cancelled. All the kids were still here, including Geoffrey, and we had dinner, but it wasn't a party. Thank God. I don't like to think of my daughter's illness as grace, but God showered it on.

I am wearing...
...a gray skirt, a red v-neck shirt, black scarf, black leggings and black suede boots. I have to remake the amethyst bracelet I made last week with my med-alert tag on it. The clasp kept coming off, so I'll have to get creative again here real soon. I noticed today before I got in the shower that I have a lot of bruises. I think I need to wrap myself in bubble wrap. That would be quite a fashion statement.

I am reading....
...I'm reading  Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love, in print, A Girl of the Limberlost, by Gene Stratton-Porter  on my Kindle, and listening to Amazing Love by Corrie ten Boom -- gosh that woman knows how to make the best out of a bad situation -- she sees grace every where she looks. And she knows how to lean on Him, a lesson I need learning over and over. 

Over the weekend I listened to Brain on Fire, by Susannah Cahalan -- a riveting book about a girl with a rare auto-immune disease causing one hemisphere of her brain to be inflamed. She went through psychosis, including paranoia, hallucinations, heard voices, all before she started having seizures which led to a diagnosis that took about 28 days, after MRIs, CT scant, and even a brain biopsy at NYU Medical Center, all before one doctor did a test that cost nothing to diagnose her. It's a fascinating book if you like (true) medical mysteries, and apparently is going to be a movie starring Dakota Fanning (how, pray tell, did Dakota Fanning become a woman? -- as opposed to a little girl, not as opposed to a man). 

I also listened to Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders, MD, and that was quite revealing -- essentially a story about how often, and how, doctors mess up diagnoses all the time. Truly a book any one who sees doctors even rarely should read. I found out after I read it that it was the inspiration for the television show House, MD.

I am creating...

...still sewing scapulars -- that's my morning sewing.

I have a baby hat on my needles -- that's my night time work.

These booties were on the needles before the hat I'm currently knitting

The bodice of Faith's dress is finished, but I'm in a quandary about what to do with the skirt. The pattern (her dress, and the other junior bridesmaid's will be the one on the top right at the link, but with a lace over crepe bodice and solid crepe skirt) calls for an underskirt with an attachment of tulle to flare the skirt at the bottom. It's going to be June when the girls wear these dresses and tulle is going to be itchy, hence the quandary. I ordered a petticoat slip, but I think I'll even have to modify it so that the fullness is at the hem and not at the waist.

Again I ask myself, why did I do this?

Any seamstresses with any suggestions?

In the kitchen...
...tonight is dance night (and I don't cook on dance night), and I am sitting at Panera with a cuppa finishing this post -- a rarity indeed. I picked up dinner for the menfolk to heat up all by themselves (you have no idea how spoiled they are -- their dinners usually come plated to the table). 

For the remainder of the week:
Tuesday: Korean Beef, rice, roasted broccoli
Wednesday: Wild Game Chili, bread
Thursday: Birthday boy's choice -- steak, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans amandine, Better than Everything Cake
Friday: Three Cheese Roasted Cauliflower Soup, bread
Saturday: Saturday night pizza

At the school table...
...fractions and decimals in math, just more of it (and more sad faces); relative pronouns in English, which I admit sometimes even confuse me, especially when asked for the syntax of the relative pronoun -- I have the answer key but sometimes I just can't say "why;" more Middle Ages in history, botany in science (and a trip to the conservatory!), the Tenth Commandment in religion, and The Silver Crown in reading. I took quite a few photos at the conservatory, but I forgot my real camera and used my ipad so I need to check to see if any of them are post-worthy. I think this week we'll grow some stuff indoors just for fun -- because it's February.

Around the house...

...see "Thinking about" above -- lots of drywall dust. I had everything clean for the party. Now it's clean with a layer of fine white dust.

Plans for the rest of the week...
...an appointment for blood work tomorrow and a doctor's appointment with my PCP on Friday. After reading Every Patient Tells a Story, I refuse to settle for no answers. Dance on Thursday again, and that's about it. I'd like a quiet week and that's part of the reason I'm sitting alone at Panera -- it's not quiet, but none of the noise involves me.

Thought-provoking stops around the internet...
...I admit I'm not completely up on all my blogs, but I was moved by Jenny's tribute to her sweet boy in heaven. I can imagine feeling like so many years could not have passed without him.
...I enjoyed Ginny's announcement that they have acquired a goat. A  goat? I could think of other things I'd rather have, but whatever floats your boat. My kids would probably love one.
...admittedly, weather.com and the local news site with school closings is my most common stop on the internet these days.

A few of my favorite things...

...Overdrive and my local library's ebooks for listening to books while I work
...Angels and Saints at Ephesus on my phone

Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for all priests and religious, especially our priests Fr. Sill and Fr. Schmit, and for Fr. Howe
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers
...for a finish of home projects (photos of Faith's bedroom coming this week!)

Photos for the day...

As seen here -- and I corrected my adultery rock without the l. ;-)

"There are none who call upon your name,
none who rouse themselves to take hold of you;For you have hidden your face from us and have delivered us up to our crimes." Isaiah 64:6 

Linking up with Jenny at The Littlest Way

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A time to change

“Why do we fast, but you do not see it? afflict ourselves, but you take no note?” See, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits, and drive all your laborers. See, you fast only to quarrel and fight and to strike with a wicked fist! Do not fast as you do today to make your voice heard on high! Is this the manner of fasting I would choose, a day to afflict oneself? To bow one’s head like a reed, and lie upon sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD? Is this not, rather, the fast that I choose: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; Setting free the oppressed, breaking off every yoke? Is it not sharing your bread with the hungry, bringing the afflicted and the homeless into your house; Clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; Your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: “Here I am!” If you remove the yoke from among you, the accusing finger, and malicious speech; If you lavish your food on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then your light shall rise in the darkness, and your gloom shall become like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always and satisfy your thirst in parched places, will give strength to your bones; And you shall be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:3-12

Be gentle today, if you do nothing else.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

All you need is love

Love, Love Love

Triple Chocolate Buttermilk Cake  (the pink is pink Witon melts instead of buttermilk glaze)

I hope you're enjoying your love weekend. 

We had a great homily at Mass today. Essentially...hug the lepers in your life...the people you'd rather not love. Hug them, touch them. We all need to be touched. It's pure love, given with the right intention.

Love, Love, Love

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

On a happier note daybook

In the garden...
...sun, mud and cold. The birds are out there. It's a big event each day when we toss a couple handfuls of roasted (unsalted in the shell) peanuts onto the decks. The Blue jays come quickly -- there must always be a scout out there. And what I love about Blue jays is that they call for all their friends to come, too. Within minutes we have Jays dive bombing for peanuts. It's great fun. Then the squirrels show up, and even the Northern Cardinals will come and get the smaller peanuts. It's a good 20 minutes worth of entertainment. And it drives the cat crazy -- the best part (the cat and I are not BFFs).

I'm thinking about...
...what a difference a good night's sleep makes. Sunday night I tossed and turned, and woke a lot. I didn't take my Benadryl Sunday night because I hate feeling like I need something to sleep well, and every once in a while I don't take it just to prove to myself that I don't need it (not). But, yesterday's post is an example of what happens when I don't sleep well. If one little Benadryl keeps that from happening, I'll take it. Last night I slept like a log, and feel so much more stable today.

I am wearing...
...a brown skirt, a tan long sleeved knit shirt, a gray shawl, brown leggings and my brown Haflinger clogs. No bonus points for fashion dressing today. I did make myself a new bracelet, however, with my coumadin med-alert tag on it. Just. in. case. It's made with pretty amethyst beads, so at least my wrist is pretty.

I am reading....
...I have a couple of books going at once. I started Brother Junipers Bread Book, as I mentioned last week, and I am several chapters in (it's a read and a cookbook).

I also started Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love, as recommended by my friend Janelle. I am only a couple of chapters in, but so far, I am enjoying it. It's really a book about putting others first, listening, living with others in a loving way. It's not complex, and not overtly religious. But it's the Gospel at its core -- it's about living as Jesus would want us to, I think.

I am creating...

...still sewing scapulars -- that's my morning sewing.

I have a baby hat on my needles -- that's my night time work.

I have one dress, sans zipper, finished! The machine I am borrowing from a friend doesn't have a zipper foot, so I have to wait on those. No word from Sears about my machine. I called them twice and got "don't call us, we'll call you" twice. Ugh. I am really happy with the one dress though. I think I might alter my method for sewing the rest, but I'm unsure. I essentially sewed two dresses, one of crepe and one of lace and then attached them at the neck and arm holes, which was very time consuming because I first sewed them by hand using a blind stitch and then sewed them by machine, using a topstitch (the thread is exactly the same shade of purple -- whodathunkit?). I thought it would be the best method, but now I'm not sure. I think for the next dress I might sew the pieces together at the edges and then sew them as one piece. Make any sense? I'm going to sew Faith's dress next because she is here and I don't have to go far to get her measurements. It's a different pattern though, so there's that (interpreting patterns is not my strong suit).

During the day, waiting on math answers, etc. I am working on some new rosaries.

In the kitchen...
...I never did share the best of our Superbowl treats, and apparently I accidentally trashed the photos (still getting used to Chromebook), so I'm sharing the links to the two most popular snacks (meat!). I made them just as the recipes are written and my men loved, loved, loved them: Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wraps and Sweet and Spicy Asian Ribs (see a pattern here?). We've actually had the ribs several times for dinner and they are so good (and I don't normally eat ribs). Doug grills them instead of using the broiler, just FYI.

Just now there is a pot of my Mom's chili simmering on the stove, and for the rest of the week:
Wednesday: Avocado Pasta, salad, bread
Thursday: Cuban Sandwiches -- these are a favorite from the years I spent living in Tampa, Florida.  I'm using this bread recipe because the bread is crucial to a real Cuban sandwich, and we'll have kale chips on the side (for those who eat green things)
Friday: Chopped Italian Salad and Pizza bread
Saturday: feast of St. Valentine and I'll probably make my sweetheart Marinated steak, Twice baked potatoes and House Salad, with this yummy looking cake in this month's Southern Living Magazine.

At the school table...
...fractions and decimals in math (and my student has a sad face for about an hour and a half every day as a result), lots of English (which my student complains about greatly), the Middle Ages in history, including the development of the Franciscans and Dominicans, botany in science, the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Commandments in religion, and The Silver Crown in reading. Extras this week are slim to none (at least I'm honest). We're using the Lepanto Press spelling book this year and I'm very impressed with the variety of spelling words Faith is learning. This week included in her list is imprimatur (which I, sadly, did not know until I was an adult) and a few weeks ago she had lugubrious (a word I'm sure I didn't know until at least college).

Plans for the rest of the week...

...Faith has a dental appointment tomorrow and I have a follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist on Friday. I think afterward we'll go on that long-awaited field trip to the conservatory. Dance is Thursday and I'll be in the costume room there sewing up hip hop pants.

Thought-provoking stops around the internet...
...Alice is back -- did you hear? I'm so glad Jennie tipped me off because I had just recently taken her blog off my sidebar thinking after a year she would likely not be back. I just love Alice. This post is lovely.
...I always love what Kirsten has to say, but this post really hit home
...and Sarah was just chock full of great ideas on how to spend Lent in this post

A few of my favorite things...

...Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice tea -- a new flavor for me
...mandatory mom pencils (I'm cheap and easy)

...my husband tearing out the never-used Jacuzzi tub yesterday. It's going to be a new "dressing room." Really the space is just an in-between the closet and bathroom and I have plans for an almost free (minus the plumber's fees) makeover.

Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for all priests and religious, especially our priests Fr. Sill and Fr. Schmit, and for Fr. Howe
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers

Video for the day...

Today's Gospel reading (Mark 6:53-56) reminded me of this song I fell so in love with two years ago when I was making Fr. Howe's Confessional Stole. I'm posting the video again because I just love this song and it says so much about God's forgiveness.

I'm linking up with Jenny at The Littlest Way this week.

Monday, February 09, 2015


If we could have a cup of tea together today, I just know I would feel better. I need to talk. As it is, my brain is going over the speed limit and my anxiety is through the roof. Thoughts about my health have me feeling rather...lame, in a literal sense.

Faith asked me the other day why my hands were shaking and I just told her they always shake. Well, they do...lately. My grandmother's hands shook (my father's mother) and I always thought it was just an old people thing. Well, now that I'm not a child, or even a youngster, I realize she died at a fairly young age -- in her mid-60s (the older one gets, the younger one's elders appear). Especially when I compare that to my mother's mother, who died at 97, mid-60s seems young. My poor father, as I've told you, got his call at age 42. I don't know whether to feel old or young based on all those numbers. Will I be like my father's family, or my mother's?

photo by Noah

I have been doing some online research lately about the blood work I've had done through the endocrinologist, and I also had a little scare from my anti-coagulation pharmacist, both of which have had me thinking about...well, death. I know better than to borrow trouble on this topic, because I know from living that we can't know when our time will come, and as long as we live as God wills us, it should make no difference.

"For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s." Romans 14:8

But, the thing about living with chronic illness, or pain, or any ailment that keeps one from living life "normally," is that on one hand, my ailments are not terminal, and I should be (and am) grateful, but, on the other hand, they keep me from doing all the things I'd like to do to fully live.

"Yet he knows my way; if he tested me, I should come forth like gold." Job 23: 10

The scare with the anti-coagulation pharmacist was a perfect example. It's funny... but, not. I go to an anti-coagulation clinic at least once a month. I have to have my INR checked because I take warfarin to prevent blood clots. I clot. I don't know why -- I'm one of 75% of people on blood thinners for clots who don't know why we clot, we just do. I have had four clotting episodes, one postpartum (not abnormal), one superficial but not prompted (abnormal), a very severe superficial clotting incident in two veins post-abdominal surgery (not abnormal, but not normally so severe either) and one DVT completely unprompted (abnormal). My brother had a DVT and my uncle had a pulmonary embolism -- clearly there's something unidentifiable about our genetic makeup that creates clots in some of us. 

Anyway, I go to the clinic every four weeks, or more often if my numbers are not ideal. Every time I go, they ask a series of questions regarding falls, abnormal bruising or accidents. Last week I went and when asked about accidents, I showed the pharmacist where Faith had accidentally slammed my hand in the door. It had bruised, gone from purple to green and was back to normal, but I still had a little pillow of fluid in the top of my hand where the blood had accumulated -- it had been a couple weeks since the accident. I also told her that Faith had also accidentally closed the hatch of my car on my head. It hadn't bled, but because the bump was under my hair (and on top of my head) I really couldn't tell if it bruised. The pharmacist got a very serious expression on her face, and she said, "If that ever happens again you need to go to the ER."  I responded, "I didn't feel faint -- I didn't feel anything at all, except pain." And she responded that by the time I had symptoms it would be too late. I could have had an intracranial bleed and died. Makes me feel a bit like a ticking time bomb. We joked at home about mom wearing a helmet. 

That issue, paired with feeling just plain old, and shaky, and the blood work results from the endocrinologist makes me feel rather unsettled.

I guess I just told you what's going on in my head because I knew you'd tell me not to worry. It serves no purpose, right?

Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Matthew 6:27

photo by Noah

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Slow Rise

From Brother Juniper's Bread Book:

"It is a principle, like a great cosmic law, that yields marvelous fruits when applied in conformity with other laws of baking and it is a principle that can, like all true principles, be transposed into the moral and ethical realms of politics, religion, work, and life in general."
"In breadmaking it works like this: You take flour, water, salt and yeast, mix them together in the proper proportions, and form the dough into a ball. You then put it out of the way and forget about it for about an hour and a half. What you do not do is rush it by warming it up; just let it grow at its own pace."
"Some slow-rise doughs take much longer than this, days even, but the point of the slow rise is that, when you mix the right things, you do not want to fool around with them too much. You want nature to work, character to develop. You do not want to rush the process." 
"One of the keys is having faith in the process."
 "Slow rise has taught me and is still teaching me a way to live, a way to be, and a way to see. It is a window into an understanding of things that go on around me, a way to make sense of the seemingly senseless scenarios we are exposed to throughout life."

The photo really has nothing to do with the text. Well, not directly, but then...

Adding this post to Ginny's Yarn Along. Details about booties found on my Ravelry page.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Life interrupts blog Daybook

Each week I have the best intentions to blog, to keep caught up with laundry, to keep my house cleaner, even take my dadgum vitamins. Name it -- I have the best intentions to do it better, or should I say, more consistently. What gets in the way? I can't even answer that question. Sleep? I'd have to give up several hours and I don't think even that would help, and it's not an option anyway. I need my sleep. I could give up the little bit of skipping around the internet, but, really, a half hour in the morning and the evening isn't that much. If you have an answer to this age-old question -- how to get more done each day -- by all means, please speak up!

In the meantime I'm mixing up my Daybook to include some tidbits I'd blog about if I could ever get my act together.

In the garden...
...snow, ice, slush -- it just depends where you look. We thought we were going to get a big snowstorm yesterday, and Noah was seriously counting on a snow day, but we got rain instead. Central Ohio is usually just about 30 miles south of most snow storms. So sad for the school kids.

photo by Faith

I'm thinking about...
...unlike last week, or was that two weeks ago? my mind is racing. If only my body would catch up. I want to sew dresses, stitch scapulars, knit booties, make rosaries, read a book, and watch a movie. Instead, I'm sitting here while my student pokes through the day. The only thing I do is get up and switch the laundry loads every 45 minutes or so, and make a cup of tea. 

I am wearing...
...a gray skirt, a black v-neck, a periwinkle gray shawl and my brown Haflinger clogs. These shoes are getting so old that there are holes developing in the wool. And last week I caught myself running errands and wearing them. They are technically not slippers,  but they feel like it to me. And they are wool, so they really shouldn't get wet. I felt a bit like an escaped Alzheimer's patient.

I am reading....
...speaking of Alzheimer's patients, I just finished Still Alice, by Lisa Genova. It was a really terrifying glimpse of early onset Alzheimer's Disease. I may be forgetful, but I haven't forgotten where the bathroom is. What an absolutely awful disease, which really goes without saying. I know that God, in His infinite wisdom, allows such things, but it is such a mystery. The person suffering from Alzheimer's can not become stronger, nor do they often even know they are suffering, so there is no redemption in their suffering. The caregiver can become stronger, but what an incredible cross to bear.

"I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us." Romans 8:18

I am listening to The Garden of Letters, by Alyson Richman, but it is a very sad story of the resistance during WWII in Italy. I think I need some lighter reading.

I am creating...

...I am stitching a lot of scapulars. I had an order for nine, and then two more were purchased in my Etsy shop. I have since deactivated the listing because I can't handle any more. 

I have some booties on my needles -- for my future project (no, not a grandbaby!). It's mostly just knitting therapy.

I also started on the dresses -- yay! I have the under layer of one dress finished and I am anxious to get the lace layer attached so I can finally see a finished dress.

I also committed to sew hip hop pants for the dance studio (no--don't throw tomatoes!). I will only sew when I am going to be at the studio for Faith's classes anyway, so it's really not much of a commitment.

In the kitchen...
...there's been lots of cooking lately, especially yesterday. Faith said something funny that got me thinking. She said, "I always remember the difference between the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl is that the Super Bowl has Super food!" Too funny. Yes, it's all about the food, and the ads, and rarely the halftime show (sadly Faith had to leave the room during last night's show, which was ok by me because we were watching Nanny McPhee upstairs -- just love that film!). Anyway, what she said got me thinking about the Rose Bowl, and the Rose Parade which is held on New Year's Day, also the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God. I don't know much about the history of the Rose Parade, but as Our Blessed Mother is often connected with the rose, I thought how coincidental it is that the two events are on the same day.

"Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous." Thomas Merton

But back to food. I tried a new recipe for bread. This is absolutely foolproof, honest to goodness. If you are afraid of baking yeast breads, you should really try this one. It is one of the best breads I've ever had. 

Peasant bread recipe here, and I followed the directions to a T.

I also thought I'd post the link to one of my men's favorite dishes -- Pork Scaloppine. It was on the menu last week and we had some happy men at dinner. It's actually an easy and quick dish to make, and if you're gluten free, a little gluten free flour mix would work just fine -- it uses very little.

I'll share all the links to last night's "Super" feast later in the week.

For the rest of the week:
Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: buttermilk waffles, sausage and fruit -- it's the feast of St. Blaise but I don't think I can tie waffles to him. Maybe we'll enjoy these treats for tea time.
Wednesday: Baked Steak in Tangy Tomato Sauce, mashed potatoes and broccoli
Thursday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, bread and salad -- it's the feast of St. Agatha and though I'm not making rolls in the shape of breasts, we are having red sauce for her martyrdom
Friday: grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup
Saturday: pizza

At the school table...
...a math test, lots of English (which my student complains about greatly), the Crusades in history, botany in science, the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Commandments in religion, and The Silver Crown in reading. Extras include Latin, maps and geography, sentence diagramming, dance, and sketching.

Plans for the rest of the week...

...a meeting at church tonight, an appointment at the coumadin clinic Wednesday, and a doctor's appointment on Friday. Other than that, business as usual.

Thought-provoking stops around the internet...
...a new friend, Janelle -- someone I get to see in real life -- got me thinking about adoption and our obligations to help the poor, homeless, hungry, thirsty, naked -- all things orphans are. The Corporal Works of Mercy should be practiced always. How can we help orphans? Prayer, contributions to faithful organizations, and even helping those who are not truly orphans, but are spiritual orphans -- all food for thought and action.
...this beautiful post by Kim at Starry Sky Ranch 
...and this update by Elizabeth DeHority -- prayers for a miracle needed

A few of my favorite things...

...a crackling fire in the afternoon
...knitting booties (and dreaming) :-)
...clean laundry (I do love it clean, just not actually cleaning it)
...mittens (not gloves -- mittens)
...my Blue Spruce and elderberry candle (by Thymes)
...new tools for school -- I just found these white board sheets for teaching math; I also bought the DIVE CD because I'm tired of being blamed for "not teaching the math." Now she has a new math teacher. :-)

Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for all priests and religious, especially our priests Fr. Sill and Fr. Schmit, and for Fr. Howe
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers

Photos for the day...

photo by Faith

photo by Faith

I'm linking up with Jenny at The Littlest Way this week.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A finished yarn along x two

I finished two projects in the last week and that sure feels good.

The first is the purple sweater I thought would never end. This was a good pattern, but it sure did have a lot of extra steps. It's called the Tulip Sweater (pattern and notes here) and the pattern is written for using five stripes of color. Obviously, I used one color because Faith is inclined to put enough colors on in one day with just pants, or skirt, and a shirt, I didn't need to add five more colors with a sweater. She loves it -- the color, the style, even what I thought would be itchy yarn. I made it in the size small because it's a pattern for women.

And yes, it does look a lot like that purple paint in my previous post. Between the sweater, the room, and yes, even the bridesmaids dresses are purple, I could just about barf purple at any moment.

And yes, there is a mistake in it. Do you spot it?

The color in the top photo is more accurate -- it was very gray out on Sunday when I took this photo of Faith wearing the sweater.

The second project wasn't complicated, except by the variegated yarn I used. It had stripes in the colors shown in the leg warmers, but also included in each skein were stripes of copper and a not-so-pretty chartreuse. Yes, odd color combo. Faith only liked the aqua, purple and grey, so I had to work around the other colors, cutting and weaving ends where necessary -- which is why they don't match. I was afraid they wouldn't stay up on her skinny legs during dance class, but the knit three purl three pattern is pretty snug. (pattern and notes here)

My book is a very good read -- Still Alice, by Lisa Genova, whose book Left Neglected was also a page turner. It's riveting and terrifying at the same time, as the main character is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's at age 50. I surely do complain a lot about my health issues, but a book like this really puts mediocre health into perspective. I may have pain, and I may not feel great, but I haven't yet (knock wood) forgotten how to get home.

Pop over to Ginny's if you need a knitting project or a good book. I hope you find one!