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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Good/Bad Friday

It's been a long time since I've done a Good/Bad post. Frankly in the last few months I would have had a hard time coming up with much good, which is really a ridiculous state of mind and soul because there is always something to be thankful for, always something good. But when your body hurts and your heart hurts and your mind is all full of what-ifs and what-abouts sometimes you just don't bother dragging yourself out of the mire to think about what you should be grateful for. My first "Good," however, really made me think about the little things that I should be paying attention to every day.

A little old man at Aldi's this morning, met me midway to the cart storage and handed me my return quarter saying, "Take good care of this -- it's my lucky quarter." I could have cried and hugged him as I replied, "You have no idea how much I need this lucky quarter." Whether it's lucky or not, I think it was a good sign.

I had two errands to run this morning and I swear, everyone's mother, sister, father-in-law and second cousin once-removed was on the road. Forget about gun control; I vote for car control. Where are all these people going on a Friday morning?

I discovered a new series this week and binge watched it in three days. You've probably already seen it because I'm always late to this game -- Pioneer Quest. I really enjoyed it and it would be great for kids to watch, except (yes, there is always that except) they talked about s*x more than a few times. Ok, I get it, people are curious about how you manage that part of married life while you're living in a tent with another couple, but it really wasn't that important and they talked about it even after they moved out of the tent. So watch it, and make a note of the time when they talk about s*x and then watch it with your kids, because most of it was really interesting. You can skip the last episode, it was just back to real life and a waste of time.

My second errand today, after the grocery store, was to the second-hand children's clothing store to pick up the clothes they didn't want, which was about 95% of them. Gosh, I can't believe how picky a second-hand store is. Faith had some pretty cute clothes from Hanna Andersson and Lands End and they only bought a few of them. I also had a lot of clothes a good friend gave me that were from Limited Too, which they wouldn't take any of because Limited Too is now closed. Does that not seem a little crazy? I'm not bothering with second hand stores any more. I'll just take the tax deduction and give them away -- all that washing and ironing for next to nothing.

Last night I got in the garden and did some weeding for the first time this year -- let's just say it hasn't been a priority. It felt good to smell the soil and spend some time outdoors -- it was coolish and breezy and nice. After I cleared one out of six beds (doing this in moderation), I washed up and grabbed a baby quilt I am quilting and spent the rest of the evening in my Adirondack enjoying the sunset over the trees.


My wildflowers are growing pretty well -- amidst the weeds. My policy on wildflowers (aka weeds in some people's books) is, if you behave, you stay. If you become invasive, you go. If you don't flower (or at least look really pretty and don't become invasive) you go. This "wildflower" in the photo above is flowering (check) and not being invasive (check), so it stays, but I'm not sure what it is. It's about four feet tall and has white flowers with yellow centers. If you know off the top of your head what it is, would you let me know?

This is what the little flowers look like.
(Edited -- I did what I tell my kids to do all the time. I looked it up. These are called Daisy Fleabane.)

That's all for now. I hope you have a wonderful Father's Day weekend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pride Before the Fall

"Pride goes before disaster,
and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18

Since I'm trying to be completely honest here about what's going on in our lives, I have to say spending over six hours applying for healthcare on the marketplace (Obamacare) isn't something I ever thought I'd be doing. In fact, if you had said to me, even six months ago, "You'll need to shop the marketplace for healthcare" I might have retorted "over my dead body."

Well, I'm not dead yet, but I have applied and enrolled in medical insurance for my family through the government's healthcare marketplace. On July 1, God willing and the creek don't rise any more than it already has, our benefits from severance end and our new insurance kicks in.

Unfortunately at a cost to us of of 2.5 times what we were paying as our part of medical insurance premiums, and without the dental and vision benefits. And, may I say, for super crappy insurance, not that any of them are exceptionally good choices. 

May I also say, Mr. Obama, you are a liar because, "no, I do not get to keep my doctor." My doctor is not on any marketplace plans, so I now have to go shopping for a doctor and a place to have my INR (clotting time) checked regularly since I'm on blood thinners. Thank goodness our pediatrician is on the plan, and most of our medications are, though not the blood thinner (sure, that's just an unnecessary medication -- just stop taking it). Let's not think about if we need a hospital, because I'm pretty sure bottom of the barrel applies there as well.

I also never thought I'd be hunting for a job this summer -- any job, I have no pride, though unfortunately, my body does have limits. I wish I could take any job, but I just can't stand for a long time, so that rules out quite a few categories. I've polished up my resume (pathetic as it is after 14 years away from a career) and sent it on its way, though I've heard nothing yet. Time to send it out some more.

Let this post be a lesson to you. Never say never (don't even think it), and if today your husband has a job, and you have health insurance, say a big "thank you, Lord!"

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Dear Dear

I've had a difficult time jumping back into blogging. Maybe you noticed. Maybe you're not there any longer.

May for Mary gave me a chance to blog without saying anything, which made it harder to jump back in.

So, yesterday, having had one of the crappiest days I've had since February 18, I decided to write a letter, to Dear, whomever Dear may be. I hope it's you, but even if it isn't, maybe some part of me will benefit from writing to Dear.

Life, Dear, has not been good, at least not in the way I have known life all my life. It's been hard, and each day I would like to disappear into myself a little more.

We had Faith's Confirmation on May 20 and family came to town, so that was a little distracting. Then  came Memorial Day which also was my mom's birthday, and that was distracting. Then we had two weeks of dress rehearsals and dance recitals and I was a backstage mom, so that was distracting. This week Faith is taking summer gym, which means she is gone all day, and while I have plenty of things I need to do, which could be distracting, there is too much quiet, and so I think.

Some people would likely be glad to have my life, bumps in the road and all. But I'm having a hard time adjusting to the hairpin turn we are making.

Since I last wrote nothing has changed. No job. Not even an interview. It's hard to believe a man can build his career for 30 years and then, well, nothing. It seems his field has been taken over by women, and, at the risk of sounding misogynistic, women in the field of fundraising (and probably many more) don't want to hire men, or at least men who have more experience than they. Every hope so far has been dashed by a woman who either doesn't want men in her department, or is intimidated by a man with so many contacts and so much experience in his field. I've always believed that to be good at what you do, you surround yourself with good people, but that's apparently not the case today.

There are a few "hopes' on the horizon, although they are very slow-moving and they are not in Columbus, but close enough to make a three-hour round trip commute each day. I'm hoping that one of these opportunities works out, even if it means my husband lives away during the week, or spends 15 hours each week driving to work and back, because at least we'll have income and medical insurance.

I have said I will pack up and move. I have said I will (gladly) downsize. My husband wants neither. It's difficult to know when to push. The lease on the car the boys used was up June 1, so we were down to my car and his truck with three drivers. Yesterday, he went and sold his truck, so, we're down to one car. It is going to prove interesting at the least. We have to keep a calendar so we don't double book ourselves.

I am looking for a job. I had hoped that once Faith was in school, I would be able to increase my stock in my shop, and sell locally through an art market, but we can't wait that long. Then I had hoped to get some freelance copyediting work, but I don't think that will happen quickly enough. So, I may just end up working for a temp agency or taking any reasonable job I can find. Being out of the field for 14 years has me pretty much starting over.

Doug is still planning on Faith attending Catholic high school in the fall, which I think is being very optimistic. There are no scholarships, as they have all been dolled out. Unless she finds herself a fairy Godmother, I'm pretty sure we're living in fairy land ourselves thinking we can pay tuition. Severance runs out this month. After June 24, we'll be on unemployment, something I never thought I'd say, and we'll have to find affordable medical insurance. Yesterday we met with our financial adviser, who handles our retirement, and he recommended connecting with the local food pantry. Since February 18, we have fallen pretty far.

Some days I cry. Yesterday was one of those days, especially, after I slammed my thumb in the car door -- the cherry on top of my crap day. Some days I just figure this is where God wants me, on a dung heap of sorts. I trust in Him. I believe He knows right where we are meant to be, but like all people suffering, even in their little way, it's hard to believe God wants that. It's the "it's going to get worse before it gets better" part that is hard to live with. I can do without, I'm my grandmother's granddaughter -- a woman who had no more than three rooms in her entire life, even with six children. I am content with little, but I am not driving this car, and frequently the driver doesn't listen to my directions.

What am I to do, Dear?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Behold Your Mother

Christus on the Cross with Mary and St John
Rogier van de Weyden

"When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son!'  Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother!' And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home." John 19:25

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Garden Enclosed, pray for us

 Pietro da Cortona
Holy Family Resting on
 the Flight to Egypt

Eleventh-Century Irish Litany of Mary

Great Mary, Pray for us                                                        
Greatest of MarysPray for us 
Greatest of WomenPray for us 
Mother of Eternal GloryPray for us 
Mother of the Golden LightPray for us 
Honor of the SkyPray for us 
Temple of the DivinityPray for us 
Fountain of the GardensPray for us 
Serene as the MoonPray for us 
Bright as the SunPray for us 
Garden EnclosedPray for us 
Temple of the Living GodPray for us 
Light of NazarethPray for us 
Beauty of the WorldPray for us 
Queen of LifePray for us 
Ladder of HeavenPray for us 
Mother of GodPray for us 

source: The Mary Page

Friday, May 27, 2016

Queen of Heaven, pray for us

Madonna with Blue Diadem
Raffaello Sanzio

"It is indeed just that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit should crown the Blessed Virgin as Queen and Lady of all created things. You have to make use of her power. With the daring of a child join in this celebration in Heaven. For myself, since I have no precious stones or virtues to offer, I crown the Mother of God and my Mother with my failings, once they have been purified. She is expecting something from you too." 
The Forge, 285 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Mother of Jesus and Our Mother, pray for us

Giambettino Cignaroli

May the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, always smile on your spirit, obtaining for it, from her Most Holy Son, every heavenly blessing.” 
~~Saint Padre Pio

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hail Holy Queen

Paolo Veronese
Coronation of the Virgin

Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.Amen.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us

Lucas Cranach the Elder
at the Cathedral of St. Jakob, Innsbruck

Prayer to Our Lady Help of Christians

Most Holy Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, 
how sweet it is to come to your feet
imploring your perpetual help.
If earthly mothers cease not to remember their children,
how can you, the most loving of all mothers forget me?
Grant then to me, I implore you,
your perpetual help in all my necessities,
in every sorrow, and especially in all my temptations.
I ask for your unceasing help for all who are now suffering.
Help the weak, cure the sick, convert sinners.
Grant through your intercessions many vocations to the religious life.
Obtain for us, O Mary, Help of Christians,
that having invoked you on earth we may love and eternally thank you in heaven.
St. John Bosco

Monday, May 23, 2016

Our Lady of Hope, pray for us

Andrea  del Sarto
Madonna of the Harpies

"All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you. Don't give up hope! On the contrary, call your holy mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child. She will bring peace to your soul."
--St. Josemaria Escriva