Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June Daybook

(and for last week...because I started this last Monday(!), and never finished, and I figured if I had to start afresh, I wouldn't finish again.  So, now you get a little snapshot of what has changed in the past week!)

Outside my window...
Mostly cloudy.  More summer storms expected today.  Last night there were 4 baby bunnies in the front yard!  Unfortunately, they didn't want to play with us.   We haven't seen the bunnies in days; they must have grown up already!

I am thinking...
About how fast swim team has passed!  Only 2 meets left.  We'll be finished next Tuesday, FINISHED!  and then the County meet, and the "banquet" which is going to be a pool party this year.  I'm sure it has gone faster because 2 meets were called on account of thunderstorms!  It's too bad that swim meets have to be in the summer when we have all these storms.  ;-)

I am thankful...
Pip was able to go to Boy Scout camp.  Poor guy fell off his ripstik---he was going too fast on a hill because he had to avoid a car---and broke his wrist.  He was supposed to spend the week on a special whitewater rafting trip, but he was able to get into some merit badge classes instead.  He'll have a good time, but he won't be hanging out on the water with his best friends!  We were both so sad when the doctor told us he needed a cast; he had been looking forward to this trip for weeks.

From the school table...
We've purchased most of Tom's books, all of Meg's, and we're just waiting for Pip's booklist to come out. Pip's booklist came out and I bought 1/3 of his books only to hear that there were mistakes.  But the revised list is out and the changes weren't too devastating, so Mr. UPS is here almost every day.  :-)

In the kitchen...
Katie spent the day here yesterday last week, and we struggled to make macarons for the first time.  Epic failure.  They still tasted yummy, but did not look very good.

I am wearing...
A short dress over long shorts.  Comfy and cool, today.  Bare feet.  No exercise on the calendar.  :-D

I am knitting...
Nothing.  :-(  Finished my Flat Ripple Afghan yesterday, though I may put another border around it.  I started crocheting a tote bag to use up all the little balls of yarn that I have while I was gazillions of episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford.

I am going...
Nowhere is on the schedule for today!  I think I'll be staying home, cutting out freezer-paper stencils for an AHG event coming up.  (While watching Lark Rise to Candleford!)

I am reading...
Save Send Delete...on my Kindle.  I can't remember who recommended it, but it's sort of a Catholic apologetics novel.  A new form of the epistolary novel told through emails between strangers where the heroine starts by sending an email rant to an atheist English lord who annoyed her on tv.  It's interesting and entertaining; I'm interested to see where it goes.

Edited to add:  So, it goes all over the world.  Mira (I think that's her name, no one ever uses it, because she does all the talking, and has only referred to herself in the 3rd person once.  That I recall.) has had a life filled with travel (hitch-hiking in 3rd world countries, or teaching in Nepal), so it's a series of emails to Rand (say that, Rahhnd) talking about her travels and experiences and how God fits into all that.  I'd really like to know more of what Rand thinks---we only read her emails, and have to guess at what his reply was.  Will she convert him?  Will they ever meet?

Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson.  A Pulitzer Prize winning novel! (That's a joke.  It is...a Pulitzer prize-winner... but if you've seen Man of Steel maybe you'll get it.  If not, just ignore the exclamation point and move on.)   This one comes recommended by my recent college graduate, Brendan.  Another epistolary novel, of sorts, in that it seems to be one long letter written by a Congregationalist preacher to his son.  I haven't read very much, but the language makes me laugh out loud sometimes.  I hope it's going to be as wonderful as Brendan says.

I am hoping and praying...
...for a mom of 6 with cervical cancer.  She'll be having a c-section Friday at 34 weeks, and then start heavy duty chemo 2 weeks later.  Please pray.  I can't image the challenges of a premie, a large family, a severely disabled child, and stage 3 cancer all at once.

Updated:  C-section went well, and baby arrived at over 5 lbs., so that's a bonus, I think.

I am looking forward to...

  • Going to the beach with the extended family.  Lots of long walks on the beach with my sweetheart. 
  • New fiber for spinning at the beach when it's too hot or rainy to be on the beach!!
  • New siding on my chimney today (maybe that'll help keep critters out of my attic!)
  • New paint on my house next month.  (I've been driving my family bonkers trying to choose a new color scheme!)

(Which ones, you ask?  None of those! I was so over it, that I didn't even get a sample of the ones I finally, FINALLY, chose!)

Around the house...
All the big kids came home to celebrate Father's Day on Saturday, and Tom and I managed to clean up all our messes in the library!  It's so nice to have this room clean again!!
That didn't last long.  ;-)

One of my favorite things...
Quiet mornings.  I feel those slipping away already.  Some people have only just finished school, but we are practically done with swim team (banquet and county meet this week), and it seems like school is just around the corner (though, if I do the math, it's closer to 7 weeks than the 3 it feels like!).

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Chimney, swim banquet, cutting stencils, County swim meet.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

(Not those, either!)

Hosted by The Simple Woman's Daybook

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Haircut Day!

You know you've reached the light at the end of the tunnel when the big boy cuts his own hair...and then his younger brother's!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Unstructured Days

round button chicken
I'm going to let YOU decide what goes where!  Frankly, I think I have a whole lot of REAL going on---without photos.

There is no structure to my days, and so there is no structure to this post!  Are your summer days like that?  More importantly, how do you feel about it?
For a few days in June I was recovering from the stress of May, and beginning to get a little bored.  But that has all ended now, and I'm busy with all kinds of miscellany.
First, let me show you my cakes for the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart (from last Friday and Saturday!):
The Sacred Heart cake was just chocolate with my famous frosting which I made thin enough to drizzle on.  Do you like how I drizzled on the crown of thorns as it cooled and got thicker?  I thought it was fun.  It was also s.i.m.p.l.e!

The next day Our Blessed Mother got a white cake, with the addition of blueberries. I split the cake in half and filled with lemon curd.  Then we frosted it with another simple lemon glaze.  It was delish!

No, it was not greeny-yellow.  It was white, but that's what you get with an iphone camera, at night, under a fluorescent light.  And it tasted even better the next day when the lemon curd had soaked in a bit!  OMG.  Yum.

This adorable, little guy lives in a new burrow/den/warren/whateveryoucallit in the garden outside our library window.  I don't know how many there are, but when we were admiring this little cutie, his sibling poked it's head out.  Tom is holding him because he escaped into the garage, which is a very dangerous place for small creatures of any kind, and we had to hunt him down to get him out.  They can crawl into some tiny crevices, you know?  Using the cloth was the only way we could pick him up because he was very jumpy if anyone touched him!

We're going to have to be very diligent about keeping the garage closed now!  I don't want any bunny mishaps in there.  Plus, I already have enough critters in my attic. 

It is HOT outside.  Yesterday was one of those days where you just feel like you're roasting if you're outside in the sunshine for more than a minute.  We are expecting major thunderstorms this afternoon.  Yay.  Swim meet day.  Double Yay!  We had a storm last Friday that lasted all of about 10 minutes.  It was intense!  One neighbor said he couldn't see the house across the street.  And that brief storm brought down nearly a dozen large trees in the neighborhood!  It was crazy.

One (ha!) of the things keeping me busy is buying and selling schoolbooks.  This room, the first room you see when you walk in our house, is full of boxes, piles of books, and piles of papers.  I hope I can get them all out of here by Saturday!  It's making me crazy.  And if I'm drowning in books, I'm also drowning in emails related to all this business.  Yikes.

Oh, and there is all the paperwork and medical forms for summer camps; necessities for TMax who is going to the Boy Scout Jamboree; beach trip planning.
And now, instead of clearing it all away, I have to go do swim team stuff and run some necessary errands before I can work on it.  I'm really hoping the meet is rained out before it ever starts tonight!

Tell me your summertime is a little crazy, too!  The bright spot in my day is when I'm too tired to face the computer or the mess any longer and I get to crochet while I watch Lark Rise to Candleford.  And I'm beyond thrilled that Meg will watch it with me!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

I could do 7 Quick Takes today, but that wouldn't cover the 12 Promises of Jesus...

... to those who consecrate themselves and make reparations to His Sacred Heart: 

sacred heart of jesus photo: Sacred Heart of Jesus SacredHeartofJesus.jpg

  • He will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
  • He will establish peace in their homes.
  • He will comfort them in all their afflictions.
  • He will be their secure refuge during life, and above all, in death.
  • He will bestow abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.
  • Sinners will find in His Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  • Lukewarm souls shall become fervent.
  • Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
  • He will bless every place in which an image of His Heart is exposed and honored.
  • He will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  • Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in His Heart.
  • In the excessive mercy of His Heart that His all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Fridays in nine consecutive months the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die in His disgrace, nor without receiving their sacraments. His divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

The devotions attached to these promises are:
  • Receiving Communion frequently
  • First Fridays: going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist on the first Friday of each month for nine consecutive months. Many parishes will offer public First Friday devotions; if they do, you must perform First Fridays publicly. If it isn't so offered in your parish, you can do this privately, going to Confession, receiving the Eucharist, and offering your prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
  • Holy Hour: Eucharistic Adoration for one hour on Thursdays ("Could you not watch one hour with me?"). Holy Hour can be made alone or as part of a group with formal prayers.
  • Celebrating of the Feast of the Sacred Heart (see below)
Note also that June is devoted to the Sacred Heart.

The Best Thing we ever did for our family.   

Thursday, June 6, 2013

{PHFR} Flowers & ABC's

round button chicken


She was just so cute, standing there at the pool, waiting for me to get in.  Brrrrr.  It was 8:30 p.m. and not hot!  Her hair curls up in the humidity.  Love.  (Well, I love it.  She doesn't.  Silly girl, curls are hard to come by for some of us!)


My hydrangeas are all in bloom and they look great!  I don't know what I did last year, but they're big and beautiful.  The pink-y ones were pink when I got them (It was to commemorate Meg's birth), but they've been blue every year since.  I sprinkled lyme (lime?) around them last year or the year before, and they finally turned pink again.  I probably should put some down every year if I want them more pink, or to stay that way.

The pinks are mopheads, which you probably recognize.  The blues are lace-cap, and I have no idea what kind the floppy white ones are, but they're sweet.


On Sunday we drove Pete back to college for his summer job and had lunch with everyone, except Katie.  :-(   They won't let me take a decent picture without faces!  It's not as if I'm that mom who spends the day with a camera in her hand. (Ok, I do.  It's mi-phone, but it's not on camera function---more likely twitter or words with friends! ;-) )


We came across this table at the Eucharistic Congress last weekend for The Christian Alphabet.  We've had a poster of the Christian Alphabet on our wall for the past 10 years or so, but I was surprised to see the table there.  We got our black-and-white poster from the artist way back when we taught an NFP class at her parish.  She gave it to us as a thank-you, and boy, were we amazed to see how her baby has grown up!  

The poster is in color now, and there is a book that explains all the symbolism, and you can buy personalized "nameplates," too.  There are notecards, bookmarks, and more, available on the website.  I was just in love with all of it!  (Don't tell her, but I sort of want to break out the colored pencils and color my poster!)  Stop by and visit her site.

Have a great summer day, y'all!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Spinning & Plying

In my last package of roving, I had 3 different types of fiber.  All very mysterious.  I had no idea what they were, until I looked at some different types and found out that one of them was Blue Faced Leicester, which I had heard is very nice wool.  The roving was super-silky with a long staple-length---like 5+ inches.  Staple length is the length of the fibers, which you may know if you've ever read Lands' End copy.  ;-)

BFL roving

The BFL spun up into this, which looks terrible in the picture because it's all twisty.  I think I put too much twist into it!  (Jen???)  But it really is beautiful.  I did it last of all, and was able to spin it pretty evenly and finely.  I have the most yardage of this one, but it's still not very much, only about 68 yards.  I'm really wondering how much roving one has to buy to spin enough for socks or, heaven forbid, a sweater!

BFL yarn.  I love the stripiness!  I could dye it, but I'm not ready for that step yet!
In that same bag were these 2 other mystery rovings which also spun up nicely.  That's a lovely cardboard-colored brown which I plied with the orange with fun results.  The plying on the spindle was fun, but a little tricksy.  I need to work on my setup---especially since I didn't really have a setup. I just had each yarn in a different box to keep them from getting tangled.

There's very little of this yarn.  I can't remember the yardage, but probably around 20.  I also have some of the orange leftover, so I'm not sure what I'll do with that.  

The verdict?  Spinning is fun!  I would love a spinning wheel someday, but this will do for now.  A good friend asked me why I'm doing this.  Do I want a certain yarn that I can't get otherwise?  No, I'm not the Yarn Harlot who can spin the exact fibers she wants for the project she has in her head.  I just like fiber and the feel of yarn between my fingers.

Now, how can I turn this into a career?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I Finished a Book!

Today I finished reading The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict.

I thoroughly...almost...enjoyed the story.  As I was reading, I realized that it was full of stupid, unkind grown-ups---you know, the kind that are in all the kids' TV shows these days.  I was wondering why we (I) had liked the first three books so much, but then, little Nicholas met a grown-up who was different from all the others, and he learned a very valuable lesson.  It changed the way he thought about people and his actions, and it shaped his behavior in the first 3 books (which all take place after this one because it's a prequel).  It also changed how I felt about the book because I was pretty discouraged with it.

If you haven't read any of the Mysterious Benedict Society books, I highly recommend them, especially if you (or your children!) like mysteries and puzzles.  My kids that have read them all loved them and couldn't wait for the next.  I'm going to put them on Meg's Summer Reading List.

Have you read any of the MBS books?  What did you think?


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