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, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Daybook

In the garden...

...um, nothing, unless mud counts. Our snow melted in a big way and now we're back to brown, and not even a smidge of green. I'm so anxious to see the green, and since Doug and I planted boatloads of daffodils and tulips in our Mary gardens, I'm anxious to see them come up (please, oh, please little squirrels, don't have eaten my tulips!). I bought some green pea and sugar snap pea seeds because I always associate planting peas with St. Patrick's Day. I have no idea where I'll plant them, so I doubt they will be planted today, but I bought them anyway. The bunnies eat every vegetable I grow, so I will have to fence off whatever area I chose. And we have so much shade, I have limited choices. 

I'm thinking about...
...I've been rather absent here, except for the occasional photo and quote post. Partly it's because every spare moment I have is spent sewing. Partly it is denying myself, a bit of Lenten sacrifice. I decided to follow our sweet Sister Margaret's advice and occasionally have an unpublished thought. {wink}

I am wearing...

...a green shirt, a gray skirt, a green floral scarf, tights and black loafers. I rarely own green, but this St. Patrick's Day I happen to have something.

I am reading....
...I'm finishing  Radical Hospitality: Benedict's Way of Love, because it's due back to the library. A very good read -- very thought-provoking.

I've listened to many books since I last wrote (because when I'm sewing and listening it's so much more pleasurable than just sewing), but I'll just give you the best titles: Against Medical Advicean excellent true story written from the perspective of a boy, diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome at age five. His childhood was spent going from doctor to doctor, medication cocktail to medication cocktail. He was ultimately diagnosed with an combination of Tourette's, OCD, and anxiety disorder. As a junior in high school he suddenly stopped experiencing the extreme symptoms (after several therapeutic, but not prescription, therapies), and as he went off many of the medications he became better and his symptoms were much more manageable, which leaves one wondering if it was the medication cocktail worsening his symptoms, or his brain chemistry. 

Survival of the Sickest -- this book I have to listen to in small bits because there is so much medical information I have to digest each bit for a while. It's fascinating information though, and I might listen to it over again just because I want to retain some of it.
One Hundred Names -- sort of garbage lit (chick lit?), but good and a happy ending, and sometimes you just need a happy ending.
Not the Last Goodbye -- sort of depressing, but sometimes when I'm dealing with something difficult, it's helpful to know that other people are going through much harder trials (I hope that doesn't sound callous)

I am creating...
...dresses, dresses, more dresses, and a few First Holy Communion veils for family members. 

I finished Faith's dress. If you are at all following this saga, I will update you by saying the pettiskirt did not work out. It was as full as a professional ballerina's tutu. So I made the dress the way the pattern was written and if it's a bit itchy on the girls' legs, too bad (the pattern called for a double gathering of tulle at the bottom 12 inches of the dress lining).  I also finished the flower girl dress. It's darling, I just hope it fits. I made a bodice and tried it on her, but it was too small, so I made it larger and decided not to try it on her (such a risk-taker). I will try it on her at the end of May when I know there is no risk of her growing any more (wedding in June).

As it turns out, each of the adult girls (and the littlest girl) have to have the pattern re-created for them. None of them, so far, fit the pattern the way it is made, so I am pattern-making, too. Why, again, did I agree to this?

I am also knitting, at night when I need to wind down and do something mindless, and I owe someone three scapulars, but after they are finished -- no more sewing unless it's dresses, or a veil.

I am going to place the order for the bridal tulle and lace trim from a shop in Georgia and when it arrives, I'll be sewing lace to tulle.

St. Anne pray for me.

In the kitchen...
...the male members of my family vetoed all Irish food for today -- no Guinness stew, no shepherd pie, no Irish soda bread, so we're having hamburgers on the grill, O'Brien potatoes (snuck one in there on them), and fried cabbage and bacon, with homemade Shamrock shakes for dessert.
For the remainder of the week:
Wednesday: Shredded Beef Tacos
Thursday: BBQ meatballs, mashed potatoes, slaw
Friday: Grit Cakes, with poached eggs and gravy 
Saturday: Saturday night pizza

At the school table...
...not much new there, just trying to keep up. Faith did declare the other day that she plans to be the only child in the family to never attend school. Ahem. She doesn't know that she doesn't get to make that decision, but it is something I have been thinking about a lot. I never planned to homeschool high school but there are a lot more options now than there were when we first started this journey. And the only reason I will agree to homeschool high school is if she continues to be dedicated to dancing. At the rate she is going she couldn't go to high school and dance as much as she is -- she'd never keep up.

Around the house...

...it's still pretty dusty, but the projects are finished for the time being. Doug was out of town last week and I could have spent my spare time cleaning, but instead I sewed. There are also some piles of fabric and patterns here and there, and sewing paraphernalia.

I forgot that I owe you photos of Faith's bedroom, so I'll try to post them this week.

Plans for the rest of the week...

...there is an international Christian dance group coming to visit the studio where Faith dances, and they are having workshops tonight, tomorrow night, and then on Thursday there is a performance by them at a local high school theater. Faith is participating in the workshops and we will be at the performance as well. Much ado about dancing.

At the advice of my doctor, I started swimming, so I'll swim a couple more days this week (I went yesterday). She suggested I need to leave home to exercise because when I am at home, I allow my family's needs to get in the way of taking care of myself. If I could just walk out the door and go for a walk, that would be great, but since I can't (nerve pain in my leg), swimming was the only other option for me. I started last week and it was a lot less difficult than I imagined. I thought it would be so time-consuming to drive to the pool, swim, shower, dry my hair, and drive home. But even with Faith with me, it only took about an hour. We went again yesterday and seem to have found a good time to go when the pool is practically empty.

A few of my favorite things...

...some warm sunshine on my face. I learned from Survival of the Sickest  that our bodies use sunshine to convert cholesterol into Vitamin D. I always knew we needed sunshine to make vitamin D, but I never knew our bodies used up cholesterol to do so. That could be the reason my cholesterol was high and my vitamin D was low when I was tested a few weeks ago. No sunshine, no conversion.
...swimming -- whodathunk that after all these years of sitting by the side of the pool with the kids that I would enjoy swimming laps?
...cracking the windows and feeling just a hint of spring, and listening to the wind chimes 

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..

...what else? Dresses!

Faith's dress

After I finished the dress I thought it was too plain, so with Taylor's permission, I added a bow. It's stitched on one side and hooks with a hook and eye on the other (so it can be zipped all the way down).


Flower girl dress

All the dresses are made with the same fabrics -- just purple crepe and lace for the bridesmaids and junior bridesmaids, and white crepe and lace with purple sash for the flower girl

Linking up with Jenny at The Littlest Way


  1. I hear ya on the brown landscape! We had that for weeks it seemed: no snow, gray skies, everything brown and gray. I'm thrilled that now we have pink and white trees and blue skies!

    Did you consider my idea of putting the tulle between the layers of the skirt? It looks beautiful, regardless. All the girls in the wedding will have lovely dresses that fit, and they won't have to pay a mint to have them altered.

    Enjoy the swimming! What an astute doctor to figure out that you need to leave the house. Makes perfect sense. :-)

  2. I did consider your idea, but I would have had to do essentially the same thing, but with another layer of lining, because the tulle was just at the bottom 12 inches. If it's really itchy they can wear slips.

    My doctor is a young mother so she realizes how hard it is to exercise at home when one kid needs this, or the other that. I've also been honest about how much help I get at home, so I guess she figures I deserve it. That, paired with the fact that I have a hard time saying "no" to anyone who asks for my help. In the pool I can't answer the phone or be pulled away from what I'm doing at all.

  3. I am a big advocate for swimming! Having a multitude of diagnosed & undiagnosed issues, with unrelenting chronic pain, I have been swimming for decades. I used to say 20 laps= 2 Advil, but I can't take the Advil anymore and am allergic to other anti-inflammatory drugs. So I am in the water most days, alternating laps, water aerobics (this is for some weight-bearing exercise), deep water workout, and HydroWorx (a miracle for relief, but hard to find a place that has it, and expensive - I just look upon it as a PT co-pay and I justify it). I have never been a morning person, but I get up at 5:30 to swim at the school across the street because the rest of the day is always so much better. Now that the ice has gone, I am out walking too. If I don't do these things, the relapse/decline begins immediately. Nothing takes away all the pain, but you have to find what helps you.
    Also, a priest friend recommended Curamin (by TerryNaturally) because he had seen it help others. While that didn't do the job for me, another product with similar ingredients (Swanson Boswellia & Curcumin) does help.
    One more tip - if you are in the pool a lot, 100% polyester suits will last much much longer than the typical nylon/lycra ones. I get mine from Swim Outlet dot com and Sierra Trading Post (liquidation prices).

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Katie. Though I've only been swimming since last week, I have noticed that the days I didn't swim, I felt much more tired and stiff. It's rather remarkable.

      I'll check into Curamin, though I've no idea what it does.

      I have quite an interesting swim "suit." Because I wanted to be modest, I found an ocean blue high neck suit from Dick's, bought black swim capri pants from Undercover Underwater, and a black swim skirt from Sierra Trading Post. It seems like a lot, but in the water it feels like nothing!

  4. The dresses are pretty! I cannot even imagine the work, especially now that you are re-writing patterns! I am glad you discovered that swimming works for you, and I hope it becomes a positive part of your day! It is helpful if I leave the house to exercise, too, but sometimes leaving is the biggest hurdle! I hope you are having a blessed Lent!

  5. P.S. I got one email from you about the repairs ... I replied to you. Did you get that? I didn't get any others from you ... Let me know what is/isn't working with our emails!

  6. I enjoy your Daybooks Barbara, they are so full. Cabbage and bacon sounds delicious! I'm so glad you are swimming. I'm sure it will turn out good for the body and soul.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!