Friday, September 30, 2011

7 Quick Takes

--- 1 ---

Whoa!  We're using Jen's new 7 Quick Takes Template, today, and it's just magic!  I wish I knew how to do such things.  I don't have a template for the Daybook posts, but it would make it a lot easier.  Maybe I'll have to figure out how to do it now that I see how easy it can be.

--- 2 ---

Happiness is a warm puppy.  Gus is sleeping in my lap, which is an extremely rare treat.  Usually, if we're holding him it's a wrestling match to keep him from chewing our clothes and hands!  He's a real terror when he goes through his several frantic periods of the day----sort of like a toddler who is overtired and gets all wound up and in trouble before finally conking out.  Several long walks and time spent outside while the kids played in the yard, yesterday, helped a lot.
--- 3 ---

Busy, busy weekend planned here!  Dh and I will probably be at all Masses to staff our "ministry tables" for Commitment Sunday.  He'll be promoting the Columbian Squires and I'll be promoting AHG.  I'm also marching in a parade with our American Heritage Girls in the morning.  Oh, and it's Homecoming for our high schooler.  Yesterday evening he told me he needs new clothes for this.    Can you see my eyes rolling?  

--- 4 ---

Today seems to be a No School Day.  Tom doesn't have school, and I'm scheduled to cantor a funeral this morning.  So, Tom will serve the Mass and the other kids will play at the park next door with friends.  When I'm done, we'll head down to a local Catholic school for a bone marrow drive.  The boy that needs the transplant actually lives in my neighborhood, and he's the same age as my Tom.  I simply Can. Not. imagine what that family is going through!

--- 5 ---

I got to a part on my boring half-forgotten Slinky Ribs sweater where the work gets a bit more interesting, for a few rows, and then gets just plain faster because it's stockinette, so I'm happy to be making progress on that!

I have NOT made any progress on my sleeping mat for the homeless, but I'm about to pick that up again now that the weather is cooler and it's not a total nightmare to have a giant, plastic mat in your lap.

--- 6 ---

I don't know about you, but I've discovered that it's a big help to have another tab open on my computer while I'm scrolling through my blogs---this one is the link to my library system, so I can look up and reserve the many books that my bloggy friends recommend.  The reading stack occasionally gets a little too long, and some books are not successes, but I'm can be pretty certain that I'll enjoy books recommended by some bloggers.  Somehow, they just seem to know what I like!

--- 7 ---
Didja know that to buy anything from Etsy you have to create an account?  And choose the name of your non-existent store?  The amount of time that takes because all your ideas are already in use is crazy.  It sorta makes you not want to buy anything from these beautifully creative people!  And now that I made a purchase for Katie's birthday last week, I get emails every. single. day. highlighting etsy shops and their wares.  It's sort of a love/hate relationship I have with Etsy, now.  Hate the daily emails, but just love clicking on them and looking at all the cool stuff, and hating that I haven't come up with anything cool enough to sell.  Yet.

See what I mean?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Early Fall Daybook

Outside my window...
...Quiet, cool, and possibly cloudy.  It seems a bit darker than usual at this time.

I am thinking... 
...about how I really need to pray more to be able to handle all my responsibilities these days.  I need to find a routine that really works for me.

I am thankful for...
...the fact that Gus the Puppy is growing up!  He's obviously still very much a pup at 10 weeks old, but he's learning a routine and growing out of going the bathroom constantly.  He sits and waits for his food; he knows the command 'sit' though he seems to be regressing a bit on that one.  He knows 'come' though he's still not consistent.  He's learning to walk nicely on the leash, though we still have to do a fair amount of wrestling with him because he likes to chew it and carry it in his mouth.  He's very smart...he knows that by carrying it our corrections have no effect!  He seems to also know that he's supposed to go potty outside as he's been asking to go out by scratching at the windows.  However, he has no qualms (that I know of) about going indoors if the kids bring him back in too soon!

...A quick visit with my brother last night.  He came to dinner on his way into town.  It's been a long time since I saw him and he looks and sounds amazing 1.5 years after his 29 hour brain surgery!

From the lesson plans...

We are working hard and progressing even if we're not always exactly where we're supposed to be in the book.

From the kitchen...
...We're on Week 4 of the Everyday Paleo meal plan.  You would not believe how full of veggies my shopping cart was this weekend!   We had so much stuff left that I hadn't used for breakfasts and lunches that I actually didn't do a real shopping trip last week.

I am wearing...
...Workout clothes---I just started the 3rd round of the Supreme 90 Day workout (that's workout #21).  It feels really good; I love this workout.  Just not the 6-days a week requirement.

I am creating...
...I'm back to working on my cotton sweater.  I'm planning another cowl and a pair of mittens, soon.  

I am reading...
Between books having finished Unbroken.  I had a couple of days last week where I felt really depressed and weepy, and I'm wondering if I was overly affected by the book.  The abuses suffered by American POW's in Japan were just horrific.

I am hoping...
...Just Hoping in general.  Hoping this works out and that works out.  Just hoping, because sometimes that's all I can do.

I am hearing...
...The TV.  Dr. Who? at 7 a.m.?  Probably.

Around the house...
...The house is in pretty good shape, especially since my brother's visit encouraged me to get rid of the little bits of clutter here and there.

...My little bits of Fall decorations are out.

I am going... pick up Tom from school later, and I'm going to stay home the rest of the day to plan costumes for our home school co-op drama production.  It's A Christmas Carol, and I'm thinking it would be nice to set it in modern times so we don't have to do those elaborate costumes!

One of my favorite things...
...knitting with cozy, scrunchy yarn!  Have you noticed that some people just don't get that?  I have to admit that I'm not even sure why I love it so much, unless it's combining my love of creating with my sense of touch.  It's definitely not as fun with yucky yarn!

I am praying for...
...Isaac and his family, especially for a bone marrow donor to be found; My parish and my pastor, Gus, Eric, Elizabeth, the people in Joplin, our priests...

A few plans for the rest of the week... AHG meetings this week  Aaahhhh.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What was Wrong with the Old Church?

Our "Gathering" hymn this morning...Our new director kindly picks songs from the new book that have familiar melodies, but the lyrics and the thoughts they evoke are completely foreign:

Sing a New Church (sung to “Nettleton,” the melody for “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”)
~Delores Dufner, OSB

Summoned by the God who made us
rich in our diversity
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
richer still in unity.

Refrain: Let us bring the gifts that differ
and, in splendid, varied ways,
sing a new church into being,
one in faith and love and praise.
Radiant risen from the water,
robed in holiness and light,
male and female in God’s image,
male and female, God’s delight.

Trust the goodness of creation;
trust the Spirit strong within.
Dare to dream the vision promised,
sprung from seed of what has been.

Bring the hopes of every nation;
bring the art of every race.
Weave a song of peace and justice;
let it sound through time and space.

Draw together at one table,
all the human family;
shape a circle ever wider
and a people ever free
© Oregon Catholic Press

This is well worth a read about what's wrong with these lyrics.  Here's an essential couple of paragraphs if you don't want to click over:

To appreciate the damage done by such hymns, we must first call to mind two essential aspects of the Mass: presence and dialogue. First of all, what distinguishes the Mass from all other forms of worship is the re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice. The Mass does not merely recall or reenact Christ's redemptive act but in fact makes present the mystery of faith, the passion, death and resurrection of Christ (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1366). 
Second, the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and indeed throughout the Mass makes possible a real dialogue between God and man; it creates an active conversation. The remembrance of someone does not lead to dialogue with that person; only to reminiscing. The presence of Christ in the Mass, however, inspires us to speak to Him as only the beloved can speak to the Lover. Thus the Mass is a dialogue between Christ and the Church, between God and man, in which God speaks His lines and we speak ours. He speaks to us through the readings and (we hope) the homily, while we respond to Him through the prayers of the priest, our personal prayers, and the hymns. 
Accordingly, active participation at Mass requires the faithful to acknowledge the presence of Christ and enter the dialogue, taking the words of the Bride as their own. They embody the Bride, and their Mass parts -- the KyrieGloriaSanctus, and Agnus Dei ­ express her desire for union with the Bridegroom. Other texts used at Mass should reflect and deepen this sentiment. The dialogue reaches its culmination at the Consecration, when the Bridegroom speaks His definitive words of love and thus becomes really present to His Bride in the Eucharist. 
Given the lyrics of much contemporary liturgical music, however, we must ask what has become of this dialogue and our ability to enter it. Many hymns have us sing only about ourselves and to ourselves, even going so far as to usurp God's part. Such words fail to convey the true meaning of the Mass as a dialogue between Christ and the Church. The offending lyrics come in two varieties: in the first, we sing to one another and about one another, but do not include God in the conversation; and in the second, we sing God's parts.  (emphasis mine)
Sing a New Church is sung to the tune of Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  Look at the difference in the lyrics---totally centered on God and His grace instead of ourselves!

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Again, I ask, what was wrong with the Church that Christ founded, and why do we have to sing a new church into being that's all about us?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What's in a Name

I like my name for a lot of reasons---well, maybe there aren't a LOT, but there are a couple:

I was named for a very sweet friend of my mom's, and I'm honored to be named for such a lovely lady.  Her nickname was Sally, so I'll sometimes use that for a username when I can't use Sara.

I like it because it's simple, and looks pretty in print.  Really, could I get any more shallow than that?  We'll see.  But I like it best without an 'h'---sorry, all you Sarah's out there!

I like it because it means "princess"----I'll never forget one time when I was on retreat in spiritual direction and the priest kept telling me that I had to think of myself as a princess, a daughter of The King.   That probably doesn't sound like a big deal to you because aren't we all that?  But there was a lot of other Holy Spirit stuff happening there, so I found it significant!

So, I was creating this new signature to go on the bottom of my posts, staring at all these different fonts that said "Sara,"  and you know how a word begins to look really strange the more you look at it?  You begin to wonder how it ever came to be the weird collection of letters and sounds that it is.  You wonder how those 4 simple letters could mean something as complex as the person that I am, or that you are.
I've been up too late, and up too early for too many days!  My brain is like the fuzz ball that's keeping me awake, and all I can focus on right now is the the Princess part.  The part that says I'm a Daughter of the King.  And because of that, I know that all the stress I'm feeling right now will pass.  All that really matters is that I am His.

Friday, September 23, 2011

7 Quick Takes - TGIF (not) Edition

1.  On Fridays around here, we're totally accustomed to taking it easy thanks to many years of training by Mother of Divine Grace who gives kids "easy" day so that busy, homeschooling moms can have a break  have a day to run errands.  But I've totally ruined that by having Friday mornings filled up with swapping kids with a friend to do "fun" schoolwork.  And our homeschool co-op starts today, which means our Friday afternoons will be filled up with activity, until it's past time to drive further across town than usual to pick up Tom from school.

2.  After all that activity, I think it will be time to collapse on the sofa and order pizza.

3.  The girls and I are going to learn a new craft today!  We're going to try our little hands at needle felting.  (Everyone's tetanus shot is up-to-date, right???)  I got a kit yesterday at a not-so-local yarn shop.  If you click that link, you'll see a stern warning that children should be at least 10 and not attempt this activity unsupervised.  Will 9 3/4 do, ya think?  I mean, the younger they are, the more likely their tetanus shot is still working!

4.  The dog is still alive after being crated with no sympathy for the last few nights.  We, however, are fading, with ever-widening circles under our eyes, more gray hairs, stooped shoulders.  A little sleep this weekend would be good.  No, make that a LOT of sleep.  And it would be great!

5.  So, I mentioned that I went to my not-so-local yarn shop yesterday....They're having the annual Shop Hop.  There are 9 "local" shops participating, and you get a passport and go to as many as you can getting your papers stamped every time you spend $10 at one.  Turn in your passport when you're done and you're entered into the 27 different drawings (each store provides 3 prizes).  There's also a grand prize for those lucky few who had the time and the $90 to go to all nine shops!  $1000 worth of yarn!!!  Can you just imagine?  I think I'd be giddy!  So, it's a good thing that I didn't have the time or money to go to all the shops, right?

6.  Praise the Lord!  The sun is coming out!  It rained last night, which is great, because we really needed the rain, but it was raining steadily this morning and I was lying there dreading the Walking of The Dog in the rain today.  I know it's not my job; it's the kids' job, but I figured I'd have to do it at some point.  I did take him out a little while ago, after it had stopped raining.  He went around the side of the house to do his business, and I could barely find him in the pre-dawn light with his camo-coloring.  I'll send one of the kids out later to find his "business" and clean it up.  I was not about to go hunting around for that in my bare feet!

7.  Oh, would you look at the time?  It's way too late to work out this morning!

Stop by Jen's for more Quick Takes!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Totally Off-Kilter!

We're so distracted here by all this cuteness.  It's a lot like having a new baby....we want to play with him and love on him all the time when he's awake (except for that awful tendency to bite everyone and everything!)...

...we have to work hard and get things, like schoolwork, done quickly, while he's asleep!

But, unlike a baby, he's constantly into mischief and won't stay where you put him, so someone has to watch him at all times, ready to run for the door when he squats!  Or just wakes from a nap.

I thought you'd get a kick out of the fact that I started to post on Saturday and didn't get very far, so I just posted that snippet this morning!  It's still the same problem.

I'm happy to report that:

Gus goes outside more than inside----but that's only due to our diligence.  I don't think he knows or cares what he's supposed to be doing!

Gus hasn't died from being in his kennel all night.  Last night we decided we had to be strong and live with no sleep if he was going to bark all night.  And he didn't!  (Bark, or die, that is)

Gus is putting on weight quickly!  When we took him back to get him microchipped on Saturday, his brother was still there, and the size difference was amazing.  Gus must have gained a pound during the week while Petey didn't seem to grow at all!

Gus is learning lots of things, like how to "come" and "sit", and how to walk on a leash.  He's also learning there are very few things he is allowed to chew on, but, again, I don't think he actually cares.  His favorite thinks are hands and the clothing we're wearing.

How long does this stage of chewing everything in sight last????  Half the house must be coated in Bitter Apple detterent, because I put my finger in my mouth last night and it was bitter from touching something!

Saturday, already?

The little pup has taken over my life!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Patron Saint Meme

Barbara tagged me this meme, and I haven't done one in a long time, so I thought I'd be a good sport.  The problem is that this one is tough---I've been thinking about it off and on all day.

The rules are as follows:

"Assuming you are a saint, and your cause has been executed, your miracles confirmed, your date on the calendar established, all that is required is to select that of which Holy Mother Church will name you Patron (ess) of.

For this meme, you must name your patronage
and then tag 5 other people who would like to play along."

First of all, it's a pretty, dang big assumption that I'm a saint and my Cause has been executed, and with miracles confirmed, no less!   But on the off chance that it is....

I think I'd have to be the Patron Saint of Busy People Who Do Crazy Stupid Things (like adopt tiny puppies) On A Whim.

Can I also be the Patroness of Undisciplined People Who Constantly Struggle for a Better Prayer Life?

I've been working on the computer way too long to tag people!  I need to clean the kitchen before I hit the carpool road.  

Be a Saint and tag yourself!  Leave a comment so I'll we'll know to look.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't Ask Me Why

This is Gus.

Gus is a dog, not a rat.

His name was already Gus and we lengthened it to Augustine.

Gus is half Pug, half Highland Terrier, or a Pugland.

Gus is all adorable!

But seriously, he's only 8 weeks old and ridiculously small.  It's been about 24 years since we had a dog this age!  The children are all exhausted this a.m. from excitement and lack of sleep because he whimpered and barked a lot during the night.   They're going to watch the Dog Whisperer on TV right now so they can learn how to train dogs.

You didn't ask, but I'll tell you why we got him:

I really don't know.
Unless it's because all kids need dogs and the younger 3 haven't really had that since our last one died 7 years ago. 

And we're probably not having any babies, which is the same reason we got the puppy 25 years ago.

Any and all puppy advice is welcome!  Please leave a comment!

Friday, September 9, 2011

7 Quick Takes

1.  We had our first American Heritage Girls troop meeting last night!  It was great to see all those beautiful, little faces, full of excitement.  I was a little sick to my stomach and felt like throwing up beforehand, but hey, what's a little stress?  It all went really well; the girls were attentive and so were the moms.  I think my daughter had a good time in her unit because she talked nonstop once we got home and it was time for her to go to bed.

2.  This morning, 2 of her AHG friends are coming over to work on the the Cooking achievement badge.  Pippo goes to their house to spend time with boys and work on scienc-y stuff, and I get the girls to work on badges.  Frankly, I'd prefer to lie around the house and do next-to-nothing on a Friday after a meeting, but this is still better than "real school."

3.  The weather is actually changing!  It's cool this morning, and I'm sitting here with chilly arms and a slightly, sniffly nose, drinking a cup of warm coffee, which I haven't done in ages.  Yesterday, the kids were dragging huge fleece blankets around the house to stay wrapped up in while doing their schoolwork.  (And just to clutter up the house.)

Someone asked me the other day if I had had a good summer, and my answer was 'No'.  You know why, it was just insanely busy all summer, and I'm glad it's over.  But I'm not glad the hot weather is over!  I love the heat!  Of course, yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous day---not too hot, not too cold.  Just right.

4.  We had our first choir rehearsal this week with the new director.  It was good to be back; I was ridiculously excited to get to sing again.  Frankly, I just like rehearsal, I can live without the singing at Mass!  There was a lot of talking and getting to know him, and telling him how we've always done things.  He's a very nice man; he seems open and willing to listen, and not rock the boat too much.  But it looks like we're going to be stuck with the extremely contemporary hymnals for the next year.  One of my friends who does church music and has an ensemble that she directs remarked that going from our Collegeville hymnal to Breaking Bread is a huuuge leap.  There are other hymnals, like Gather, that would be less drastic.

I'm sure I'm offending folks who prefer a contemporary Mass, and don't mind that sort of music.  There's quite a bit of it that I actually like----the problem is that it doesn't inspire (in me) the sort of reverence I feel for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and that I feel is appropriate to the Holy Mass.

5.  Talking about church music, doesn't exactly make for a Quick Take!  I could do lots of long posts on how I feel about it all!

6.  Yesterday's AHG meeting completely overshadowed Mary's birthday.  I hated not doing anything to mark the occasion, but we'll be celebrating with our homeschool group on Saturday with a big potluck picnic.  I hope she understands!

7.  It's time to quit and go downstairs to do the Supreme90.  But it's cold and I want to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and a book.  Yep---the weather's a-changin'!

Stop by Jennifer's for more Quick Takes!  And have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

5 Minute Homeschooling Post

I set my timer for 5 minutes.  That's how long I have to do this post.

My kids have their timers set for 30 minutes.  That's how long they have to do their assignment.  In this case, read a saint story and take a Latin quiz.

I just started using timers yesterday, prompted by I-don't-know-what inspiration.  Looking over their schedules, I can see that they each have a good, solid curriculum and schoolday planned.  Pip, especially, since he's in 7th grade.  But he just wasn't getting his work done, and we were both despairing of ever catching up.  Meg was getting hers done most of the time, but there were still lots of tears involved.  More than necessary!

Oh, and in case you're new here, or forgot, we're already in our 5th week of school!  We did not start the Day After Labor day.

So, yesterday I assigned appropriate time limits to each lesson:  1 hour each for math, science, and history.  30 minutes for Language Arts, Latin, Religion.  And so on for the other miscellaneous subjects.  The beauty of this method, which I learned from The Flylady, is that they know they can stop after the timer rings, whether they're finished or not, and if they finish earlier, they know that they'll be done will school that much sooner.

It's an amazing thing how this trick works!  It's all a mind game.  Just knowing that they have a real stopping time (not just when Mom is too frustrated to deal with it any longer!), and that Math won't drag on all day, gives them the boost they need to actually work for that hour instead of dawdle!  This way, they actually accomplish more in 1 hour than they would in 2 hours of my constantly nagging them to stop playing and get to work!

I'm thrilled that they finished their school day in good time yesterday, even though we started an hour late, and there were no tears.  Which Meg proudly announced this morning!

Do you have any special tricks for getting your kids to work and not cry about the amount of work they have?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Unbroken Yarn Along

Joining Ginny in her Yarn Along today.  Go visit for more inspirational yarns!

I picked up some of this Patons Lace on sale the other day.  I love this red; it was my favorite color for years.  The yarn has tiny sequins woven into for a little sparkle (which my 21 yo doesn't like for some reason.   I'll never understand and I'll never be fashionable.  It's time to accept that fact.), and I'm making a very simple scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. 

The book of the week, or month, is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand of Seabiscuit fame.  Evidently.  I wouldn't know since I never read it or saw the movie, but this is another tale of fortitude and perseverance against all the odds, wherein a WWII pilot gets shot down and survives weeks in a life raft.  I'm excited about reading it and discussing it at Book Club in a couple of weeks.  If I like it, I might even read Seabiscuit!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The End of the World as We Know It!

We spent our Labor Day weekend watching apocolyptic movies.  First, it was Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which, quite frankly, I don't know how we had waited so long to see it since it's one of DH's Favorite Sci-fi Series Ever!  And it was really good.

Sunday, after spending half the day watching St. John Bosco, we watched The Omega Man, with Charleton Heston, after the kids went to bed.  That's the 1970's version of Will Smith's I Am Legend.  He's the last survivor of the plague that killed everyone on earth, or, if they didn't die, they turned into zombies that are out to get him.  Cheery.  It was a good movie, but very dated and cheesy, as you might expect from good, old Chuck!  Or is it just that everything from the 1970's is dated and cheesy?

Finally, last night we watched the original move, The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price.  Made in 1964, it seemed a little less dated and less cheesy, but the filmmakers weren't very attentive to the background, as there were lots of "signs of life" in a world where everyone was supposed to be dead!

If you've been to a grown-up movie lately (I was going to say "adult", but that wouldn't sound very good, would it?), you've probably seen the trailer for Contagion where there is another worldwide epidemic.  The same theme over and over again.

It's kind of fun watching movies that are remakes of each other to see their differences.  There have been lots of pandemic movies over the year, but you know what's missing?  Preparing for the end of the world as we know it.  I don't mean just having your Zombie Assualt Vehicle ready, or your armory, or your house stocked with canned food.  I mean really preparing, as in, your soul.

If St. John Bosco were here when the pandemic comes, what would he do?  I'd like to know if he'd spend his days hunting down and killing zombies, or if he'd convert them with love.  How would he spend his last days (years) on earth as the Last Man?  How would you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

I had grand plans to blog this weekend, but they didn't pan out.  I even started my Friday 7 Quick Takes on Thursday to be ahead of the game.  You'll notice (or maybe you didn't!) that they didn't get posted at all.  I guess I got a little busy!

Fortunately, we seem to be past the point of "insanely busy" and have reached a nice, doable, "ordinary busy".  I've just been enjoying life the past few days!

FWIW, here's the streaming version of my Quick Takes:

Yesterday Thursday, Meg had to do an oral report on a saint.  She's reading through 57 Stories of Saints this year, and her saint for the day was St. Anthony of Padua.  She did a beautiful job on the report and remembered many details.  I made a comment about him being one of Pippo's patrons, and we started talking about family patrons.  When she asked about the name Maximilian, I told them all about St. Maximilian Kolbe, though I'm pretty sure they had heard it before, and I ended up in major tears.  He does that to me every time!

I'm glad I don't have to do Saint Reports every week and cry in front of the class!

Got a new little vacuum the other day.  A Shark Navigator.  It's little but powerful, and the price was right.  Part of me would like a Dyson, but I hate to spend a ton of $$ on a machine that's not going to live up to the cost (again).   I hear conflicting reviews.  Anyway...this little guy sucks amazingly!  Doesn't it shock you, when you get a new vacuum, how much dirt the new one picks up that the old one was leaving behind?

Trying out this new Blogger interface today.  It's so clean and empty, it feels naked.  I like having a much larger text box, but it gives me that feeling of having too much white space to fill up.  Sort of like Writer's Block.  Anyone else tried it yet and feel the same way?

Yesterday being Sunday, we sat down to watch our Netflix disc that had been sitting around for a week because no one wanted to tackle it:  St. John Bosco.  It was seriously long---seemed like 4 hours---but it was awesome.    Another great Saint to emulate.  I just love these joyous men, like him and St. Philip Neri, who gave their lives to these "at risk" boys, to make them into good men.

Pippo wants to celebrate Earth Day, which I interpret to mean that he wants Family Time.  So, at some point today, we'll turn off the electronics and "rough it".  I take it to mean that I don't need to cook dinner, but he's of the opinion that I can light the gas stove with a match and still use it.  Drat.  I thought we could just have cereal, and he could wash the dishes by hand.

Since this isn't Friday, it also isn't 7 Quick Takes.  So I'll go spend time with my knitting family, now.

Enjoy your Labor Day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Music Direction

It appears that we have a new Music Director, finally, at our parish.  It has been less than 2 months without a director, but the choir stopped singing for the summer a couple of weeks before that.

I told you that the pastor had asked me to serve on the Search Committee, which I took as a good faith effort to hear what the people want in a director.  We interviewed one candidate, who was very nice, personable, talented.  He "auditioned" at 2 Masses last weekend, and I gathered comments from the choir members to forward to Father.  Many of those comments said they thought he played and sang well enough, but expressed serious reservations about someone so contemporary and a director who directs from the piano.

So, yada, yada, yada.... without even a phone call from Father, or an email thanking me for serving, or anything else, the choir received an email from the new Director last night letting us know that rehearsals will start again next week!

I'm happy there is some sort of resolution so we can begin to see where the parish is going to go from here.  That seems better than being in limbo, but the few choir emails I've received so far have not been happy.  I think many will be angry with Father for not really listening to us.

I think...I hope...there is still the possibility that they plan to listen.  Mr. Director can choose traditional hymns for the Masses.  He can try to incorporate Latin.  He can purchase new Collegeville Hymnals to replace our worn-out ones (instead of more of the terrible paperback Breaking Bread books, which they got free as a temporary measure).

I'm surprised I'm not more upset by this news, considering that last Sunday the tears were flowing freely at Mass.  I owe it all to Mary, Undoer of Knots.  My Dear Friend gave me this novena telling me how much it had helped her.  I thought, Thank goodness I don't have any Big Knots in my life!  Ha!  But I do, don't I?  So, I've been praying it, and it has been helping, even if it didn't cause Father to make an about-face and hire my first choice for Music Director.

So do me a favor, and listen to this gorgeous church music.  Enjoy it, because we won't be singing it again, or anything like it for a long time, I think.


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