Friday, June 27, 2014

Quick Takes on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

1:: Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It our family feast day since we consecrated our home to the Sacred and the Immaculate Hearts about ten years ago. Tomorrow is the Blessed Mother's feast day.  I got roses for both of them.

2:: I'm making extremely slow progress on our Little Oratory. Here is what it has looked like for a while where we pray our nightly decade, or rosary, and consecration prayer.

3::  I'm gathering other things from the room and around the house to add to it. The corner is very plain with that large blank space on the wall. The table used to be under the large painting but I scootched everything around so we would have a better view of the Two Hearts instead of the spring---though that can inspire thoughts of living water!

4:: Here's our picture of the Two Hearts that we should be focusing on when we renew our consecration at night.

Love those dried palms from a couple of years ago? I always forget to burn them on Ash Wednesday!

5:: This is our icon wall to the right of the window. I have a couple more to add.

6:: Our home altar as it has been for a few years. The basket holds rosaries, and we have the set of rosary images that we change for each mystery. We never light the candle, but we are going to start!

The cloth reverses to white. I remove it for Holy Week, but I've never gotten around to making a purple/rose one for Advent and Lent. Maybe this year! 

7:: Lastly, the table rotates to reveal a selection of our religious and prayer books.

God willing, someday soon I'll show you the updates! Subscribe to posts so you can see it! 

::Linking up with Jen at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link at Ginny's to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I don't think I ever showed off my completed Color Affection! It's huge, gorgeous, soft, and super warm. I don't think I've found a better yarn combo than cashmere, silk, and merino.

I'm wrapping up the 10 Ridge Wrap, though, truth be told, it's going to be a 9 Ridge Wrap. I barely, barely, have enough mushroom to do the 2 rows I'm on right now. I definitely don't have enough to do the 2 rows after the 10th blue ridge. No one will ever know. Except you guys, but I think my fellow knitters won't rat me out and point fingers that my shawlette has some....modifications. :-)

In case you didn't's made from the leftover Color Affection yarn.
No picture of a book this week. I'm reading a selection from The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection called "Cousin Phillis". You can see what I thought of my last book, Hannah Fowler, here in yesterday's post. Quick review: It was awesome!

We are off to the last regular swim meet of the season. Yay! I generally enjoy swim team, but I dread the chaos it brings to the house and I'm happy when it's over. Now, if I could just learn to be happy about it all the time.  Hannah Fowler wouldn't waste any energy emoting about it; she would just calmly do what needed to be done.

Happy knitting! And have a great week!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Thoughts

::Weekly Rambles::

What’s really on my mind and heart?
My almost complete lack of energy. I'm extremely lethargic for some reason, almost as badly as I was a few years ago when my thyroid was way out of whack. The thought of going through all the testing again to find the answer and then solve the problem depresses me. I have an appointment with a new doctor in a few weeks for my physical. I'm switching to her because I've heard from several sources that she works hard to get to the source of the problem instead of just medicating. My "regular" doctor would never do the necessary testing on my thyroid because my TSH is always normal. I really can't wait for this appointment; I feel like the whole summer is being wasted because I don't have the energy to do anything.
He always likes to have his feet against something while he sleeps--the wall, the sofa, you. Isn't he cute?

What am I thankful for?
I'm thankful it's not quite as bad (yet) as it was before!

And Meg is over her strep throat. She was sick for several days and had a severe sore throat on the day her well-checkup was scheduled. She was really tired the following days, after starting antibiotics, and here she "woke up" long enough to sit up and try to check her email before falling back to sleep. lol.

What’s going on in school?
Health class twice a week for Pip, and his AP World History homework has been assigned. His books have arrived and he's going to start working on it next week when swim team and Health are over.

Meg is listening to a lot of audio books to improve her reading comprehension.

What’s cooking?
As little as possible. It's hot; I have no energy, and I hate cooking in the summer. Got any tips for me?

What’s on the needles?
The 10-Ridge Wrap. It's almost finished and I've been weighing the mushroom-colored yarn to see if I have enough to finish. I might. Just. It's kind of scary, so the plan is to knit as little as possible on it....If I don't work on it, I won't run out! ;-) J/K, I'm going to work on it today!

What’s special about this week?
Last week of swim team already! One meet and then the County finals at the Georgia Tech natatorium (home of the 1996 Olympic Games) which is always exciting. It will have a new feel this year as Tom's new collegiate home!

What am I reading?
In 2 days I managed to speed through Hannah Fowler (affiliate link) as recommended by Leila at Like Mother, Like Daughter. It was one of those books that is hard to put down. I enjoyed the story, but I was a little disappointed by the ending, because I thought there should be more follow-up to the final conflict. But really, when you're telling the story of a life on the frontier, you have to stop somewhere, and when you love the characters as much as I did, you'd only be satisfied when they die and the story is truly over.

What am I praying about?
I started the Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus last week for several intentions. On the second day, I received a clear answer to one prayer concern. On the next day, I got an answer to another intention! I don't usually get such clear or quick responses to prayer, not that they aren't answered, but we don't always get an answer right away. Some prayers can take years to be answered!

I'm looking forward to celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday because it's our family feast day and in thanksgiving for answered prayers. It might be a little tricky to celebrate as a family since we have a parental obligation that evening, but we'll do something! Suggestions?? 

What projects are happening at home?
Not much. I have sewing projects I want to do, and painting, and wallpaper stripping, and painting, but....see What's on My Mind and Heart. Sigh.
I found this awesome bag of acrylic yarn at Goodwill which will come in very handy for our Warm Up America project at AHG this year!
Tell me what you're up to this summer! Many of my favorite blogs are quieter than usual---which is probably good since I created this "standing desk" and I'm really too tired to spend much time standing at the computer!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Seven Summer Quick Takes


I have begun doing a little blogging with the Blogger app on my phone. Sometimes it's easier because all the photos are already on my phone, and I can use the microphone on the keyboard to eliminate the need for typing. It doesn't have a lot of formatting abilities, but I can save my post as a draft and add the changes on the computer when I'm ready. On this post, for example, I'll have to add in the quick takes template that I normally use.

Have you ever tried blogging on your phone?


My mosaic cross needs to be hung a bit higher now!

I turned my computer desk into a standing desk, yesterday, simply by adding a shoe shelf underneath the computer. It's almost high enough. It could probably stand be about 4 to 6 inches higher, but it isn't any worse than it was when we were sitting down. I'll be on the lookout for a small box that I can put the monitor on to elevate it a little more.

I will also need to purchase a pull-out keyboard drawer so that we can stand and type, but I think it's going to work out really well. So far, I really like standing up at the computer it's a lot more comfortable for my back. And all that sitting is killing us, anyway.

I don't think the kids are going to like it very much, but if it keeps them away from the computer, I'm happy about that!


Yesterday was the third official swim meet of the season, and it was the first one that we actually managed to complete. The others were all rained out or canceled because of too much thunder.

They did the "senior swim" for all the kids who were aging out of swim team, like Tom. they read a short bio about each one of them, and then they swam a lap together.


Do you have a fit bit? They seem to be all the rage these days! I have a Fit Bip Zip which is the most basic of the Fit Bits. It's simply a pedometer. I have been trying really hard to get my steps over 7000 per day with an ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day. Lately, I have figured out that the best way to get all of my steps in is to go for at least a 2 mile walk during the day in addition to walking the dog. Shopping days, either at the grocery store or at the mall, really help get my steps up! So do swim meets. Yesterday, I walked over 11,000 steps which is over 5 miles. That's great, but it really just makes me tired the next day and I don't get nearly as many steps in!

I'm anxious to get a Flex because that one tracks more and helps you with your goals. It also tracks your sleep and vibrates to awaken you, much like my Sleep Cycle app, which I love. 


What are you doing with your summer? Have you even started Summer yet? Somehow, I manage to stay "busy," but I find it very difficult to motivate myself to do some of the projects that I'd like to do. I can't decide if that's from true lack of energy or simply a need to recharge by doing...not nothing....but less....if you know what I mean.


Having not been to a meeting since just before Thanksgiving, Pip decided to return to Boy Scouts this week! I was kind of shocked, and it wasn't a convenient day to go back, but pleased, anyway. I love the skills that my boys have gotten from being in scouting, and I don't mind at all if he doesn't become an Eagle Scout (because he would have to work his behind off to catch up and complete that in 2.5 years!), but he will still get a lot out of it.


I would just like to point out that I've been standing at the computer, reading and blogging, for over an hour.  :-) I'm a little tired and hot, but when I've had to take a break to change the laundry or do something else, there's none of that pesky lower back pain and need to work out the kinks from sitting.

Have you tried standing more, or do you have a standing desk? If I could get a tred-desk, too, that would be amazing!


Join the fun at Jen's for more 7 Quick Takes!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Julia's Cheese Soufflé

::We take a break from our regularly-schedule Primal eating for a recipe from Julia Child on The French Chef!::

Her cheese soufflé was a little more work than it seemed on her show. I was happy to have my little sous chef assisting and photographing as we went!

The béchamel sauce was amazingly smooth and thick thanks to her suggestion of adding hot milk instead of cold.

After the addition of egg yolks and salt and pepper.

Egg whites beaten stiff with cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. 

Egg whites and cheese folded in carefully!

I'm not sure my foil collar was necessary since my pot was a little wider than hers. It might not have spilled over the sides.

It was perfect! And so delicious....and fun to make. Served with a green salad on the side it was a nice summer dinner---except for the oven being on for 45 minutes on a hot afternoon.

Have you made a soufflé? Or any of Julia's recipes? I'd love to know what to try next!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pentecost Dessert

This year we celebrated Pentecost with a coconut cake topped with raspberries and whipped cream. 

I used Bob's Red Mill Coconut flour, since that's what they carry at my grocery store, and it's much more yellow than the brand I usually use. The recipe called for maple syrup as a sweetener, but I used honey this time, so we had a lovely yellow, instead of white, cake that was reminiscent of a honey-soaked baklava! Yellow-ness aside, I thought it was wonderful.

I also sweetened the whipped cream with Stevia liquid instead of sugar. My kids sometimes complain about unsweetened whipped cream, so I compromised. I didn't hear any complaints----probably because they know it's futile, not because they were content. ;-)

Happy birthday to the Church!
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
V. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

PHFR & Yarn Along


My book matches my knitting! I, unexpectedly, had a free hour in which to read my book this morning. I am hoping to dedicate a post to this book and our personal oratory very soon!


Tom had an unused Boy Scouts gift card that he didn't need, so I ordered a little 2-man tent for me and Meg and our AHG camp outs. It is soooo much easier to put up and take down than the bigger ones we have. I can't wait to use it!


Meg got more brackets installed last week and chose mustaches from the treat basket. And then she went into Chik Fil-A to order a milkshake! She cracks me up sometimes!


I finished reading My Life in France about Julia Child getting her start in cooking, teaching, writing her famous cookbooks, and pioneering the cooking tv show. Now, thanks to the magic of the internet, I'm binge-watching episodes of The French Chef.  And knitting. :-)

Linking up with LikeMotherLikeDaughter and SmallThings.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fixing a Dropped Stitch or Learning to Take Chances

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" ---Ms. Frizzle

I can usually work on a straight knitted piece without looking at it constantly, and I try to look back at a finished row to make sure I didn't flub up, but it doesn't always work. This morning I noticed what looked like a dropped stitch----I hadn't dropped it but I had picked up only one, tiny thread of the yarn. After any kind of real use, or maybe during blocking, it would have broken and left a hole in what I hope will be a beautiful shawl.

I didn't think to chronicle it before I started the repair---sorry about that.  If you look closely, you can see the tiny loop of thread that was the problem. (At the bottom of the "ladder")

I slipped all my stitches over to the other needle so the messed up column was in the middle, and I could really drop the stitch! You just knock that one off and pull gently so the loops keep coming out of that column, producing the ladder. Stop when you've passed the problem!

From there, it's a pretty simple matter of putting a crochet hook into the loop and, basically, crocheting each rung of the ladder until you get to the top. Slip it back onto the needle and you're done!

See? You can't even tell where the problem stitch was! I know some of you are saying that this is too hard and you could never do it. But what's the worst that could happen? If you mess it up you might have to rip back the entire project to the beginning, or to that point and then have 150+ stitches, in danger of being dropped, that need to be put back on the needles! My way is the easy fix----it seemed crazy the first time I did it, but now it is a breeze and highly preferable to starting over!

A slightly different method is needed for garter stitch, and I haven't yet tried it on cables, but I have instructions pinned on my Pinterest page if I ever need them! My point is just to show you that everyone messes up their knitting---it's an opportunity for learning a new skill. And that's exactly how I learned as much as I know about knitting, by trying new things and making mistakes. Fortunately, we now have the internet and millions of YouTube videos by experts to help us out. 

Happy knitting!


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