Thursday, April 28, 2011

I am sitting here, all cozy, at Atlanta Bread Company, doing schoolwork with my young'uns. This is our Thursday tradition after we take Tom to school because we have to come back over here at 10 a.m. I don't care to waste the time or the gas. So we camp out with our books for a couple of hours. It's actually our most productive day!

So we are here today, amazed and grateful that we were spared the horrific storms that battered the south yesterday. Events at the church were cancelled in advance, so I was home, glued to the weather channel for several hours, while Alabama was repeatedly assaulted.

I cried and prayed as I watched, my heart breaking for the residents, for the distraught parents of students at the University of Alabama. I was never so thankful that Brendan had turned down his scholarship there!

We are fine. Storms in the Atlanta area were much milder than expected. The kids slept in the basement for my peace-of-mind, though! It takes too long to wake sleeping children and herd them down the stairs!

There's a lot to be thankful for as more tragedies unfold. Lots of praying to do for those dead, hurt, and suffering.

Lord, have mercy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yarn Along

~~Joining Ginny for another Yarn-Along!~~~

During Holy Week I suddenly got the urge to make a little white shrug for my Princess.  I don't know where the idea came from, but I grabbed some baby yarn from the stash and set about designing it "on the fly."  I used the skills I learned from making Pip's custom top-down raglan sweater.

Like how NOT to make the neck so large.  


So I'm also learning about the importance of knitting a swatch----which, for people like me who just want to dive into a project, is excruciating.  And then you really should block that swatch, too, because yarns change when you wash them. This shrug turned out fine because she had on a dress with large, puffy sleeves, but it did grow a bit with blocking.

Soooo, no swatching or washing of swatches here, and I made an educated guess on needle size to give me the right gauge.  Using that gauge, (which was actually pretty close!) I figured out how many stitches to cast on and charged ahead.

I made the neckline a V (by increasing on all knit rows), then did a few rows straight when the tips met in the front, and then started curving back by decreasing every 4th row (every other knit row).  I added 3 rows of k1p1 rib to the sleeves and hem to keep it from curling, but it didn't seem to be quite enough to stop the curl.  I'm going to block it again to see if that takes care of it.  I hope so, because I had accidentally knit an extra row on one sleeve, bound it off, and then I had to redo it when I realized it was longer than the other side, and I didn't like the way it looked with the longer rib.
It took only a few days to make.  Maybe 3?  I don't remember, but I took it everywhere with me because it was a simple project.  I only had to fix that sleeve, block it, and sew on the ribbons on Holy Saturday.  Of course, those "3 days" of knitting mean that I was knitting at the stoplights and during Altar Server rehearsal, not when I was at home (much) because I had so many things to do at home.

I've been wanting to create something of my own, and now I've done it!  I'll probably knit another and try some different design elements, but I'm pretty happy with this first attempt.

Have you ever tried designing anything?  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Daybook

Happy Easter Tuesday!

Outside my window...
...Dark, still.  I think we're expecting thunderstorms for the next 2 days.  Yuck.  I don't mind rain, but these severe storms in the spring wear on one's nerves after a while, especially when there are repeated tornado watches and warnings.

I am thinking...
...about hard last week was, and how glad I am that Easter is here.  I took it easy, staying at home, all day yesterday, and am started to feel less exhausted.  I thought I paced myself and didn't try to do to many things, but I guess I did more than I thought!

I am thankful for...
...My 2 college students making it home for the Easter festivities.  I love having them home, even if they end up sleeping a lot or doing homework.  

From the schoolroom kitchen table...
...More Civil War. 
...Serious bookwork!  5 weeks left of school and we'll have lots of visitors and distractions over the course of May, so we need to keep at it on the days we can! 

From the kitchen...
...Special Birthday Dinner for my husband tonight!

I am creating...
...Socks and my Dragonfly Shawl.  I picked up the shawl yesterday for the first time in over a week and finished the row I was on.  Since the rows are so long now, it takes a while to do one.  When I got to the end, I realized I had knitted Row 1 when I should have knitted Row 2.  I had to tink it (that's K.N.I.T backwards) one painful stitch at a time, until I got back to where I had started (which was pretty close to the beginning of the row).  

Tinking is twice as slow as knitting.  As you might imagine.  A lot of time spent and not much to show for it!

I am reading...
...One Thousand Gifts.  Still reading sporadically.  And writing my lists sporadically.  But I'm working on them in my head, which is an improvement over not being grateful at all.

...Jesus of Nazareth.  Lenten Easter reading.  I'm behind, but I love it so far.

...The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest.  Loving this book!

I am hoping... make it through May, a high school and college graduation, and assorted AHG events, with my sanity intact!

I am hearing...
...the coffee maker.  Hooray!

Around the house...
...The Front Door.  The new door is in and it's gorgeous!  For the most part, you wouldn't really notice from the street except that we have the leaded glass sidelites now, which are so, so pretty, but the door is heavier and much more solid.   I like that.  Even better is that 90% of the materials are rot-proof!

I am going... stay home as much as possible this week, but that's not really all that much.  

One of my favorite things...
...Raw Cashew Dreamcake.  I told you about that, right?  I made another one for Easter and I'm enjoying it all by myself since I'm and gluten free and (mostly) dairy free these days.  That's what I had while everyone else had candy and cake.  Oh, I still have to tell you about our Easter cake!

I am praying for...
...all the poor souls, living and dead, in Japan
...the rescue workers
...A few people with cancer
...our priests

A few plans for the rest of the week...

...Choir, school,  AHG, and Mother-Daughter Camping this weekend!!  I just checked the weather and it looks like it's supposed to be a great weekend.  This will be our first camping trip in a long time that doesn't involve near-freezing to death! Hooray!

A Thought for the day...
Sales on Easter candy, to continue the feasting for 50 days.
And Easter Egg Dye for dying yarn!

More Daybooks HERE

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Quiet Time

It has been a busy week here with household stuff, repairmen, delivery men, the installation and painting of our new front door.  And of course, the usual business of educating my children and taking care of the family.

More stuff to do as we prepare for Easter and pray through the Triduum.  It's like a marathon, these last few days of Lent.  If you were a miserable failure all through Lent (like yours truly!), there is still lot and lots of praying and sacrificing you can do between now and Sunday.

That's what I'll be doing:  immersing myself in the fasting and feasting and the prayer of the Church.

Have a blessed Triduum and I'll see you on Easter Monday!

Monday, April 18, 2011

He is There!

Pioneer Woman finds herself tearing up in Roman Catholic churches?   She doesn't understand why, whether it's her Episcopalian upbringing, or what.

Do you think it's because her heart, her soul, recognizes the Presence of the Living God in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar?

I do.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palm Sunday!

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" And Jesus found a young ass and sat upon it; as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt (Jn 12:13-15)!"

Friday, April 15, 2011


For kicks, I thought I'd try the Five Minute Friday hosted by The Gypsy Mama.


"The near and far must be relative and depend on many varying circumstances.  Where there is fortune to make the expense of travelling unimportant, distance becomes no evil."

----Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Having been separated from most of my family most of my life, I'm used to distances.  I've lived far from my father since I was 5.  The distance felt much greater when I spent the summers with him and it was my dear mother who was far away.

As I've grown and raised my children, I appreciate the concept of having family nearby.  I've hardly ever had that, except for a few years when we were within a 2 or 3 hour drive from the in-laws and my mother.  We were close enough to visit frequently; they were close enough to help when the need was urgent.  

For the past 15 years we've been almost equally far from both sides our families.  We've made a lot of very long drives and tried to maintain ties, and I can say that physical distances are a lot easier to cross than the emotional ones!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yarn Along

I'm Yarning Along without pictures today because of the Blogger Issue and the fact that my knitting is in the car.  I'm very busy today and just have time to put in a few words before dashing off to the next thing on the To Do List.

I started a pair of socks on Sunday whilst Dh and I were at a concert.  We went to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Ga to hear my daughter sing with the UGA choirs.  They performed Bach's St. Matthew Passion.

3 hours of pure, musical bliss.

Plenty of time to work on a sock!

I'll show you a pic next week, I hope.  I love this pattern; it's the same that I used for my first pair of socks, but those were striped and don't show the lacework very well.  These will be a lovely blue.  The pattern is very easy to memorize (Thank heavens!), so I'm enjoying them while not able to knit on the Entomology.  The rows on that one are taking forever to finish now; I'm lucky if I get in 2 per day!

The reading stack has grown still more since I downloaded 2 books onto my iphone:  Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, both by George Eliot.  I've never read Eliot before, but I'm looking forward to these since I saw the mini-series(es?) on Netflix and loved them both.  

Mostly I'm working on The Diary of a Hunted Priest which is very interesting.

Happy Knitting, all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday, Monday

What's a blog without pictures? 


At least to me; I'm a very visual person and a lot of uninterrupted text bugs me.  Not so much in a book, but definitely in a blog.

So....I need to give some serious thought to this whole Picasa issue now that I've run out of photo space.  Even after deleting a kajillion pics they're still telling me I'm over my 1GB limit.  Grrr.

So it's Monday.  And it's the First Day Back after spring break.  Why does that always have to occur on a Monday?  It doesn't help.

It also doesn't help that we were expecting the delivery of a new fridge today.  The excitement of that coupled with the necessity of cleaning out the old one to try to save some of the food makes it really hard to get our schoolwork done.

Fortunately, I seem to have planned for Mondays when I planned our school year!  Mondays are fairly light workwise and we should  be able to finish.  Yay!

The fridge is in and we're anxiously waiting for it to cool down so we can load it up.  Opening the door constantly probably doesn't help that process, does it?

I didn't blog after Wednesday evidently because I was busy with household projects.  

Peeling the ridiculous laminate off my bathroom cabinets to repaint was one.  Pics to come whenever Evil Blogger allows.

Cleaning out and reorganizing my basement so we can have an empty bedroom for a college graduate who is moving home for a year.  

That's a long sentence for a long project.  This job is going to take a long time and will mean getting rid of a Lot of Stuff.  Which is a good thing.  So is having her home.  So I'm not complaining, just saying.  It's a big job which seems to grow as I do more.

I should have some giveaways of homeschooling stuff---because I'm going to get pretty tired of listing it for sale on Cathswap and selling it in bits and pieces.  At least giveaways might be fun!


Time to hit the books for a little while before Quittin' Time.

Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yarning Along!

Still knitting my Dragonflies.  It's growing, but I'm still not finished with my first ball of yarn.  I really think I'm going to have to block this on the needles to see how big it actually is, even though I know that 2nd ball won't make as many repeats since every repeat is bigger than the last.  

I'm not sure I like knitting a shawl this way.  If you have 2 skeins, it's easier to know that you're halfway done if you've used one skein.  If you start at one corner, or the point in front, it gets bigger and bigger until you finish that first skein, then you start the second skein and start your decreases.  You should run out of yarn at exactly the right place:  the end!  I like that.  Plain and simple.  

This one, starting at the point that hangs in the middle of your back, I can't tell how much more yarn I need to finish, although I could just keep going until I'm out of yarn.  Problem is, I can't stop in the middle of a repeat; I have to finish the dragonfly pattern and then do the final two rows.  Yikes.  Too much thinking for me!  I'll just keep knitting.

As for reading...I bought and read between Yarn Alongs Little Princes.  You should read my review from yesterday, and then go read the book.   I'm also still working on Jesus of Nazareth, and I started The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest from my Goodwill score of last week.

Happy Knitting!  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Little Princes--Book Review

Yesterday I promised I'd tell you about the book I read this weekend...My family is tired of hearing about it...You can stop reading now, Dear.

 It's been a little while since I found a book that I couldn't put down.  Maybe it helped that I downloaded it to the Kindle App on my iphone and I had it with me wherever I went?  I'm generally leery of the idea of paying real money for a virtual book, but I wanted this one quickly and I wanted to have it with me wherever I went since it's the current book for our bookclub and I wasn't sure how long I'd have to read it.  Love that Kindle app!  It does make life a bit easier----though I think all the other books I have on there have been free!

Anyway....on to the book.  Little Princes is the story of Conor Grennan, a young man who graduated from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa!), worked in Prague for a few years where he was able to bank most of his income, and then decided to blow it all on a round-the-world trip so he could party and meet women before settling down in NYC.  To impress the women and to assuage some of the guilt of partying for a year, he decided to volunteer at an orphanage in Nepal for 3 months.

It's a conversion story at it's heart because this man went into this volunteering stint for all the wrong reasons and it changed him completely.  He did things he never expected to do, and became so attached to the children at the Little Princes orphanage.  More than that, he was compelled to help these children who were victims of child trafficking find their families again.

At the time, Conor was trying to help only a handful of children out of the thousands in Nepal that were trafficked during their civil war, but it reminded me of Mother Teresa who couldn't help everyone on the street, but she could pick up "just this one".  

Little Princes is well-written, funny, heartwarming, and enlightening.   It's even a bit of a tear-jerker.  Everything I look for in a book!  Read it and know that buying the book helps to support the cause of reuniting families.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Break!

Hooray!  Spring Break for the Homeschool has finally arrived, though to be honest, we've had little breaks when the other 2 schools had break.  It was unintentional, but we were definitely a bit slack when they were home.  We don't have plans to go out of town, but I hope we'll do some fun stuff while the kids are home and I won't spend all my time working on my To Do List!

Blogger tells me I'm out of storage space for my photos and I have to pay for more!  Has this happened to anyone?  And what did you do about it?  I hate to pay, but I don't want to delete pics from my old posts---although this may be what happens.


Saturday was a busy day for me.  I spent the whole day at my parish where a Catholic homeschool conference was being held.  I had the new experience of being a "vendor" instead of an attendee.  We weren't selling anything, just giving away a lot of information on American Heritage Girls.  Information about who we are, local troops, how to start your own troop, etc.  It was fun and very busy.  I think I only knit 2 rows on my shawl!

One of the things I love about homsechooling conferences is seeing old friends.  I saw several people that I haven't seen in ages, even though they live nearby.  I saw couples that we had taught NFP to a decade ago.  It was a lot of fun.

And then there was this woman who came rushing over to me like an old friend that I haven't seen in many years.  I can't remember what she said as she came up to me because she clearly knew me well and I had absolutely. no. clue. who she was!  There was not even a glimmer of recognition as in "I've seen that face before, but I just can't remember who she is."  There was NONE of that.  I was shocked into silence---until she pointed out her nametag, and it was This Crazy Blogger The Keeper of the Keys!  I should have expected to see her there; we've talked about events before where we might be and could meet up, but I didn't even think about it this time.

The funny thing is that I had seen her daughter, Dani, helping out all morning and I knew that I should know her, but I couldn't figure out who her mother was!  Then Dani walked up while her mother and I were talking and it all became clear.  

Dani, take a picture of your sweet mom so she can post it on her blog!  

As you might guess from her gorgeous children, Shelly's a beautiful lady, too, and her fans can't recognize her without a pic!

I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about the great book I read this weekend.  And, no, it was not from the stack I posted about last week, or even from the Yarn Along!  But I couldn't put it down.

Friday, April 1, 2011

7 Goodwill Takes!

I had a great time at Goodwill yesterday during Tom's piano lesson!  It's a great way to spend the 45 minutes that I have to kill, and I'm on the hunt for a chest-of-drawers for Brendan's apartment next year.  I have a few things I'm looking for besides that, like knitting books, and I scored a Big One yesterday!!

A little pewter Advent wreath that I love because it has the images from the Jesse Tree readings!  I know I already have a wreath, but I've wanted one for another table.
Did you notice that gorgeous yellow toile that the wreath is on?  Yeah, that.  I have this strange passion for toile; I don't know know why.  Scored 2+ yards of it!  

The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest (during the religious persecutions in Elizabethan England).  Can't wait to read this!

4. & 5.
Two Peter Kreeft books.  Practically everything by him is awesome.

The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.  It's bound to be a great book since he was a rockin' priest.

The Big Score is Divine Intimacy, which I have been wanting for a while since Barbara refers to it and quotes from it all the time.  Now, I suspect that she's not using this edition: the post-Vatican II revision, but I hope this will be just as good.  Presumably, all they did to it was reformat it to make it work with the changes to the liturgical year.  Please don't burst my bubble and tell me it's horrible!  What I read last night wasn't!

It was a great 35 minutes.  Now, I just need to remember to pray for the person(s) who dropped off all these terrific Catholic books---and there were more there than I had ever seen before---in case they were doing more than cleaning off the shelves!  I'd hate to think they were sweeping Catholicism out of their lives!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...