Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 11 (ramblings and getting dressed up)

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This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

Friday, October 19th, 2018 A.D. Feast of St. Peter of Alcantara. I believe it’s the mind of the Church that he was possibly one of, if not the most self-mortified male saint.

From Butler:

“In 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the “Strict Observance.” The cells of the friars resembled graces rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down; he ate but once in three days; his sack-cloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth.”

Outside the window . . .

It’s one of a strand of absolutely lovely October days . . . sunny and blue-skied ❤ You can’t help but smile in this kind of weather!

Sounds throughout the house . . .

Right now, I’ve got “Love, Where is Your Fire?” by Brooke Fraser playing . . . her album Albertine has been one of my favorites since my mid-teens, but I haven’t listened to it in a long time.

Downstairs: voices, piano, and the usual home-y cacophony of a Friday school morning.

Wearing . . .

Today is one of those weird days where it’s cool outside, yet feels colder inside the house. Accordingly, I’m wearing a T-shirt, a white sweatshirt over it, blue jeans, tennis shoes.

My hair has been driving me (a little) crazy . . . my sweet mom cut a good three inches off yesterday afternoon, and it feels so much healthier.

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Attempts in the kitchen . . .

Nothing new, honestly . . . Lena recently made my favorite banana and chocolate chip muffins and I ate them, of course, but I don’t think that counts as an “attempt in the kitchen.”

A note on projects . . .

I haven’t journaled in days 😦 Things have been pretty busy . . . maybe I can get back to it today . . .

Yesterday, The Dash and I taught our last dance class . . . it was so much fun and I hate we can’t do it every week! 😉 The two groups of kids did really well. All in all, we were able to teach them waltz, fox trot, and cha-cha . . . the basic step for each, plus a few additional steps and a few sequences (this was all thanks to The Dash).

But since this two-week stint was part of an etiquette class, all the kids surprised us at the end of yesterday’s class with handwritten thank-you notes and cards! It was the sweetest thing ever! I need to put them in a scrapbook so The Dash and I can look back on them one day and have fun reminiscing about our time as dance instructors ❤

Last night, The Dash and I helped at an annual fundraising banquet for a wonderful crisis pregnancy center. Leading up to yesterday, we’d been able to help with organizing and repairing some of the table decorations, plus duplicating a few things. I had never had much legitimate “crafting” experience until the past week or so, in which the hot glue gun and I got nicely acquainted through a learning curve 😉

The Dash’s incredibly talented family had created most of the table decorations several years ago (keep in mind, this was for 46 or so tables . . . a hefty amount of work!). I took on the comparatively tiny task of making 3 extra duplicates of a centerpiece component (an unborn baby cradled in a glued-from-scratch flower, attached to a weighted wire so that it could be placed in a vase of water). Because of my lack of experience, it was a challenge, I kid you not . . . but I enjoyed it all the same!

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Not really much else in the way of projects; class starts up again next Tuesday so I’ll be planning for that soon . . .

For a bit of fun news, I had a small article published on the CSH blog this morning. I’m trying to remember the last time I’ve had an article published anywhere? I think it was last November! Anyway, they were really sweet to put this up 🙂

Reading . . .

Still reading North and South. The miniseries is great but the book is simply excellent so far and definitely better in terms of character development (although I think that’s just a natural strength of books, as opposed to films, in general). I just got to John Thornton’s introduction and I love how she wrote it!

Contemplating . . .

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How blessed I am to have this amazing, hardworking, selfless guy, and how much I love him ❤ This picture was right before we headed to the banquet. These special occasions where one gets dressed up are so much fun!

On living the Faith . . .

Lena and I are still trying to keep Fridays penitential with a fast of some kind for the purification of the Church. These are just little things, but drops in the ocean count in the eyes of God.

Still trying to pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, Litany of Loreto, and Litany of St. Joseph every day–it’s really beautiful to pray them one after the other!

Prayerfully . . .

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine tragically lost her older sister. The amazing story of this young woman’s life and devotion is here. Would you keep her soul, as well as her grieving family, in your prayers, and consider donating to help the family with her ongoing funeral expenses if you’re at all able? They’re close to their goal but still need help. Thank you ❤

Sig

 

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“There were never such devoted sisters” :: autumn pictures

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I am blessed with two amazing, beautiful, brilliant sisters, both writers, both my best friends . . . one of whom was behind the camera (she and my brother have powers with my camera that I could never dream of possessing), and the other posing with me. ❤

The guys were out of town over the weekend, and so we seized some sister time on Friday to venture out into the beautiful autumn weather and take some snapshots. I had to share a few!

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Journaling, and the wonderful properties of fresh air

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The weather has been really lovely the past few days! Being as such, I found myself trekking outside yesterday afternoon to journal . . .

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I took a few pictures, but nothing can accurately capture the breezy beauty of these kinds of afternoons, when the temperature is pristine and everything is full of softness and quiet.

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By the way . . . it’s so nice to have a gazebo in your front yard. It was one of the most enchanting things about this place when our family was searching for homes – not forgetting the lamppost, of course (Narnia!).

(In fact, someday down the road, Lena is sincerely hoping she’ll be proposed to in a gazebo. There’s one on our parish grounds that seems perfect for something so felicitous. We shall see if her dreams come true one day . . . maybe a sanguine older sister of hers will drop heavy hints to whomever her future boyfriend happens to be . . . 😉 ) As for me . . . as long as it’s a proposal, I’m good! ❤

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I’m really, really glad I’ve gotten back into journaling. This time of life practically necessitates an ongoing documentary because I just know I’ll be wanting to read back through my rambling, handwritten accounts of it one day when I’m a harried housewife. At the moment, I’m already itching to go outside and put some current thoughts down . . . I snapped the above picture while sitting on the gazebo swing.

I think journaling is especially good for girls, what with all our emotions and hopes and dreams, our “meld of mind and heart.” It’s good to get it down on paper.

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Plus, being able to soak in sunshine while journaling is always a good thing, too. Going outdoors puts things into perspective somehow; it’s calming and refreshing, makes your joys clearer and your worries not quite so staggering. So here’s to stepping outside today and seeking out a little refreshment!

Sig

Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 9

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This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

Friday, October 5th, 2018 A.D. It’s the First Friday of the month; feast of St. Placid and Companions, Martyrs; in the New Calendar, feast of St. Faustina (my Confirmation Patron). From Butler: {Placid} had scarcely completed his twenty-first year when he was selected to establish a monastery in Sicily upon some estates which had been given by his father to St. Benedict. He spent four years in building his monastery, and the fifth had not elapsed before an inroad of barbarians burned everything to the ground, and put to a lingering death not only St. Placid and thirty monks who had joined him, but also his two brothers, Eutychius and Victorinus, and his holy sister Flavia, who had come to visit him.”

From St. Faustina: “My Lord and Creator, Your goodness encourages me to converse with You. Your mercy abolishes the chasm which separates the Creator from the creature. To converse with You, O Lord, is the delight of my heart. In You I find everything that my heart could desire. Here Your light illumines my mind, enabling it to know You more and more deeply. Here streams of graces flow down upon my heart. Here my soul draws eternal life. O my Lord and Creator, You alone, beyond all these gifts, give Your own self to me and unite Yourself intimately with Your miserable creature.”

Outside my window . . .

Happy afternoon sunshine: one of my favorite things 🙂

Sounds throughout the house . . .

Things are almost completely quiet right now. Everyone is reading, writing, or doing something restful. (Earlier on, though, Lena and I were gleefully celebrating the release of Burn The Ships . . .)

I am wearing . . .

A navy blue, elbow-length cotton blouse; a white tank underneath; the one and only skirt I’ve sewn, a three-tiered survival of my underdeveloped sewing skills in multiple patterns of yellow. I haven’t worn it in forever but felt spontaneous today!

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Yes, sometimes one side of my hair is curlier than the other . . . a mystery of life.

Attempts in the kitchen . . .

I hear that something called “skillet lasagna” is on the menu . . . we’ve never had it before but it sounds immensely promising . . . As for myself, no new attempts in the kitchen. Well, I steamed rice yesterday without ruining anything. Aren’t I savvy?

A note on projects . . .

Well . . . at the start of the week, I’d made some great progress on that old story from my teens. Since then, I’ve done nothing. Zilch.

I really need to force myself to keep going or else I’ll lose steam altogether. Right after this blog post . . .

I am reading . . .

A random assortment of ponderous things today; articles from Fr. Z and Crisis Magazine, and more of O’Brien’s Potter book.

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A particularly resonant passage from the latter:

“As the Christian churches lose their evangelical strength [my penciled note: evangelical strength = orthodoxy & liturgy], the allurement of preternatural and supernatural phenomena will continue to displace the world of the sacred transcendent. Traditionally, the signs, sacraments and rituals of the Christian world were among the primary means of encountering God, and a way for man to find his place in the hierarchy of creation . . .”

That last statement made me think so much of sacred liturgy, particularly ad orientem worship and the Latin Mass. Ad orientem speaks with immense clarity and strength of that hierarchy of creation.

Contemplating authentic femininity . . .

Last night, The Dash took Lena and I to an on-campus lecture, given by Dr. Rosalind Picard, on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence, Emotion and Humanity.” It was even more interesting and enjoyable than I expected it to be (and I’d already been expecting it to be great!). Lena commented on how her natural femininity enhanced the subject she presented on; she was intelligent and caring, with a wise perspective on AI that I could both appreciate and agree with.

Does authentic femininity include a mandatory love of chocolate? I know it’s subjective, but . . . after walking around the nighttime campus with The Dash post-lecture (it was so much fun to see all his haunts!), the chocolate shakes he bought us from Arby’s were about as heavenly as anything orally consumable is. I think I made enough initial sounds to provoke The Dash’s doubtful question: “Is it really that good?”

On living the Faith . . .

On Sunday the 7th, I’m renewing my yearly Total Consecration. Today, thanks to my Guardian Angel, no doubt, I came across a chain bracelet, specifically made by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for those who totally consecrate to Our Lady . . . I ordered one and am really looking forward to it coming in. Truly, I need the reminder that everything I am and have is hers. It is so easy for my weak and silly heart to forget.

Also, since tonight we have a Low Mass for First Friday, and I’m endeavoring to begin the devotion in earnest, I listened to Fr. Ripperger’s sermon at Sensus Traditionis (the website has undergone a very nice makeover recently, by the way!) on the Sacred Heart (it’s #5). I highly recommend it for today . . . don’t forget it’s PenanceWare 😉

Prayerfully . . .

Praying for various intentions, most of all for the grace to renew well on Sunday and to do God’s Will in all things ❤

Sig

Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 8 (in which I find myself increasingly enjoying the daybook idea in general)

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Read previous installments here 🙂

This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 A.D, in the Nineteenth Week after Pentecost. It’s the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus! From Butler’s: Reared in a home of comfort and surrounded by refinements that would have spoiled an ordinary child, Teresa’s intelligence had an early dawning which enabled her to comprehend the Divine Goodness far in advance of her tender years . . . Teresa adopted flowers as the symbol of her love for her Divine Savior and offered her practices in virtue, sacrifice, and mortification as flowers at the feet of Jesus. At fifteen she entered the Carmelite Convent at Lisieux, France, where she distinguished herself by punctual observance of the rule, burning love for God and wonderful trust in Him . . . She died in the odor of sanctity on September 30th, 1897, at the age of 24.”

Additionally, it’s the feast of St. Gerard, Abbot: “An engaging sweetness of temper, and a strong inclination to piety and devotion, gained him from the cradle the esteem and affection of everyone. Having been sent on an important mission to the Court of France, he was greatly edified at the fervor of the monks of St. Denis, at Paris, and earnestly desired to consecrate himself to God with them. Returning home he settled his temporal affairs, and went back with great joy to St. Denis.’ Ha had lived ten years with great fervor in this monastery, when in 931 he was sent by his abbot to found an abbey . . . He settled this new abbey, and then built himself a little cell near the church, and lived in it a recluse until God called him to undertake the reformation of many monasteries . . .”

St. Therese and St. Gerard, ora pro nobis!

Outside my window . . .

Sunshine! Loveliness!

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I don’t think it’s particularly cool (although the past few mornings have been in the lovely low 70’s), but it’s still beautiful!

Sounds throughout the house . . .

My sisters chatting and laughing about something in Lena’s room . . . otherwise, all is mostly quiet. Mom is gone on errands, Dad is working from home, and it’s a school morning, so things are heads-down. Well, as heads-down as they can be in our household…

IMG_0703I am wearing . . .

Pink, for St. Therese! Although, of course, I didn’t intentionally make it that way, and only after I’d come downstairs this morning was I reminded of my liturgically appropriate attire by Lena, who is celebrating the feast of her Confirmation patron saint ❤ It’s a pink, long-sleeved soft delight and one of the most comfortable shirts I’ve been given . . . Also, a black undershirt, and a knee-length jean skirt. Currently, my hair is up in a messy bun. I’ve been experimenting with the messy bun lately and rather like it, especially with having all this curly hair. I use a random hair clip as a “base” that I wrap and loosely pin the rest of my hair around. So far, it works pretty well!

Attempts in the kitchen . . .

Well, I made oven-friend chicken thighs on Monday (though definitely not for the first time . . . we have them at least once or twice a month). Not a tremendous feat since you literally just shake the chicken in the flour breading and bake it in the oven for an hour, turning halfway through. But it was enjoyable, all the same 😉

A note on projects . . .

Tutoring went just fine yesterday . . . some of the youngsters are always wide-open, others are shy, all are just delightful. We did a few new projects during class, such as decorating a printed-out illustration of a bare tree with multicolored tissue paper “leaves.” I gave them each a little bit of glue on a little styrofoam plate, plus a q-tip, and they were all astonishingly careful and clean with it. Glue and 2-5 year olds might not always be the best combination, but our little kids were so studious, painstakingly taking itty-bitty amounts of glue on their q-tip and brushing it onto the little pieces of tissue paper! Adorable! They were also thrilled at the emergence of play dough that went along with a game of finding different letters in a list of Latin conjugations. I gave them different colored balls of play dough and told them to mark the “S’s,” “M’s,” etc. with the play dough. Some kids were more interested in making carrots and snakes then finding letters, but it all went well 🙂

Since yesterday was the feast of the Guardian Angels, I made up some hand-motions on the fly (pun!) to “My Guardian Angel” by The Rennas and we did them together during morning time. That was a ball!

I think we’re finally getting into a groove with the recorder classes. We’re making a little extra time for the older class and that definitely made things go more smoothly yesterday. Some of them have taught themselves the entire “Immaculate Mary” by ear, others haven’t had as much time to practice, but it’s all fun 🙂

And now I’ll be brainstorming ideas for chorus now that the second quarter is approaching and we’ll be focusing on the Advent presentations . . .

By the way, I might start daybooking more frequently (two in a row might have left you with that impression already!). It’s such an enjoyable way to gather my random thoughts and give a glimpse into a normal day . . .

I am reading . . .

Well, I haven’t picked up Harry Potter and the Paganization of Culture for a few days but am hoping to get back into it today (although I admit to already having skipped forward and read through a bunch of intriguing future sections . . . now I need to go back and do the legwork!). It’s an engrossing but intellectually demanding read (for me, at least, which isn’t saying much 😉 )

One of the most thought-provoking quotes so far, however, has been this section (from p. 91):

“Is there not a qualitative difference in a society (such as ours) that is descending back into the darkness of paganism, and a society (such as the peoples of the early Christian era) who were laboriously climbing out of it? A traveler climbing a long road out of a swamp may meet another traveler going back down into the swamp. For a passing moment they may appear to be at the same position, but their destinations are radically different.”

Contemplating authentic femininity . . .

Authentic femininity is more than just believing and promoting the tenants of true, wholesome, Catholic femininity. It has to permeate a woman’s whole demeanor and inform her towards virtue. Sometimes I’ll come across an article online that’s written by a woman who says many true things about Catholic femininity, but she interacts with others, in her piece and in the combox, aggressively, sometimes even sarcastically, in attempting to convey her mind . . . and with sadness I feel like she’s missing the whole point.

I know the times in which we live are a battlefield and there is so much to combat and set in order. And of course, I’m nothing short of a work-in-progress also when it comes to cultivating my femininity . . . but I do know a virtuous woman can be strong and rooted in truth without being aggressive and sarcastic. I understand how it can be astonishingly easy to become aflame with zeal for truth and ordered living (I’ve journeyed through this) . . . but if one’s demeanor is damaged in the process, her passion is probably leading her astray.

For a woman especially, I feel this souring of demeanor is all the more disfiguring because she is meant to be a much more beautiful and convincing witness to truth. Consider the words of St. Francis de Sales and those of the Institute of Christ the King:

“Cook the truth in charity until it tastes sweet”—this famous quotation of St. Francis de Sales is the principle of our apostolic work. Fruitless discussions or, worse, uncharitable polemics never help to attract souls to the Lord. Again, St. Francis de Sales said, “One drop of honey attracts more bees than a barrel of vinegar.” The revealed truth of our Holy Catholic Faith is in itself attractive because of its depth, brilliance, and logic. Wherever it appears clothed in the beautiful garments of charity, it becomes ever more acceptable to those who might otherwise fear its inevitable consequences for our lives and the sharpness with which it cuts through our weaknesses and our excuses. The famous religious poet, Gertrude von Le Fort, wrote of the Church and the revealed Truth, “I have fallen in your Faith like in an open sword, and you have cut all my anchors.” How much more easily does a soul accept the grandness and the majesty of Divine Faith when it is presented with the merciful charity and patient meekness which Our Lord himself shows all the time to His children.

Feminine patience and gentleness, when working to convey the truth, are such sweet things.

On living the Faith . . .

I recently received a letter from the FSSP about the upcoming month of the Holy Souls and opportunities to help them. I’m planning to enroll the names of several departed souls in their All Souls Novena, as soon as possible.

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Prayerfully . . .

Litanies are so beautiful, aren’t they? There’s a lovingness, an urgent yet childlike repetition about them, in which one lists all the sweetest descriptions for Our Lord, Our Lady, or a given saint, and implores their help through those names.

I’ve been trying to pray the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Litany of Loreto, and the Litany of St. Joseph each morning. The first two are prayed in effort towards my Total Consecration (although I want to keep them up indefinitely!) and the Litany of St. Joseph is for The Dash specifically, as well as my Dad, all the men I know, and the Church.

I also found a Litany to St. Therese in my Mother Love prayerbook, and offered it for The Dash and I’s special intentions (we prayed the novena leading up to today) . . . but also for my two dear Godsons.

An aspect I find personally beautiful concerning today’s two saints, Therese and Gerard,  is that they both were given a grace I’ve prayed my Godchildren would receive: that they would come to know and love God with a special purity and wholeheartedness, early in life. Teresa’s intelligence had an early dawning which enabled her to comprehend the Divine Goodness far in advance of her tender years . . . An engaging sweetness of temper, and a strong inclination to piety and devotion, gained {Gerard} from the cradle the esteem and affection of everyone. It’s a wonderful day to pray for the Godsons Our Lord has blessed me with, that they would each be given this grace of childhood piety!

Sig