Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 4


(written progressively across the day and finished at night on the 26th 😉 )

This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

Thursday, October 26th, 2017 A.D.; Commemoration of St. Evaristus, Pope & Martyr.

Portrait of St. Evaristus I in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome

From the Missal:

St. Evaristus, successor of St. Anacletus I, governed the Church for nine years; he was condemned to death under Trajan in 109.

Some Propers from the Mass Si diligis me:

Look forgivingly on Thy flock, Eternal Shepherd, and keep it in Thy constant protection, by the intercession of blessed Evaristus, Thy Martyr and Sovereign Pontiff, whom Thou didst constitute Shepherd of the whole Church. (Collect)

Alleluia, alleluia. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia. (Alleluia)

Behold, I have given My words in thy mouth: lo, I have set thee over the nations, and over kingdoms, to root up, and to pull down, and to build, and to plant. (Offertory)

Outside my window . . .

Bright blue, late October loveliness. *Contented sigh* This is autumn! The tree tips are coppering and reddening, all is breezy, finally chilly, and simply beautiful on our side of the mountain. Christ the King and All Saints’ are right around the corner, and the glorious weather seems to be heralding these impending liturgical feasts.

The heat has been rumbling softly around here for the past few days, and it’s been a ritual in our family for ages for someone to exclaim, “Oh, I love that smell!” the first time the heat kicks on during autumn. Most of us find this smell (whatever the smell exactly is) nostalgic and positively delightful; like Narnia and Middle-earth and Thanksgiving food, all in one. It smells . . . like heat. Tricky to describe (obviously). But one thing is certain: homeschoolers seem to find intense pleasure in the smallest things, and I call that a marvelously fine way to live! 🙂

Sounds throughout the house . . .

A water pipe running; Lena’s keyboard clattering softly from her room; footsteps downstairs; but it’s mostly quiet since school is underway at the moment.

**Upon finishing this, a similar quiet, punctuated by some Audrey Assad from Lena’s room and quiet talking and closet doors creaking.

I am wearing . . .

Football sweatshirt and matching pants. In fact, this is the only sweatshirt I have out of the winter bins at the moment. And I also slept in it last night. It’s becoming my Portable Heater, my Faithful Friend.

Mom and I were commenting this morning over our apple-and-banana breakfast how need to go through our bins again and pull out our remaining winter clothes. The last time we went through the bins, I kept wrinkling my nose and cheerfully (that is, cynically) commenting on how it wasn’t nearly cold enough to pull out all these sweatshirts and sweatpants.


**Upon finishing this, I’m now wearing an over-large longsleeve purple shirt (over a black short-sleeve) that my youngest sister has asked (demanded) me three times to change out of because it’s too big, but . . . it’s warm and snuggly and comfortable and this house cat isn’t budging. Also, an ankle-length black skirt and ankle socks. And of course, to juxtapose things beautifully, the air conditioning is now running . . .

Attempts in the kitchen . . .

Last night, the gentlemen were out of the house, which translates to Let’s cook the vegetables they would never eat and try out recipes they would glance over quite dubiously. This time, it was kale.

Mom and I joined forces and made something we now simply call fritters. My youngest sister calls that term an abomination since fritters should only be applied to bakery-style apple fritters. And I can’t blame her for that.

These culinary miracles, however, were a combination of pureed sweet potato (oh, and speaking of pureed sweet potato, do you want to know how to entertain me for an evening? Ask me to puree a sweet potato and I will go off happily imagining the kinds of homemade baby food I’ll make for my future wee ones), cooked quinoa, chopped kale, a teensy bit of corn starch, eggs, almond flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. We heated some olive oil in our cast-iron skillets and seared this concoction in patties, 3-4 minutes per side, until browned. I unfortunately didn’t get a picture, but they looked cookbook-worthy, in my humble estimation.

Mom and I thought they were absolutely sublime. Lena deemed them nicely palatable. Our youngest took one bite, shuddered, and asked if we’d heated up her clam chowder yet. (We’d forgotten.)

Overall, Mom and I are still endeavoring to stay as close to a Whole30 eating style as we can practically achieve at the moment. We’ve both been able to omit dairy almost completely, with sugar and wheat being significantly reduced, if not perfectly cut out. Already, it’s helped improve certain aspects of my personal health far beyond what I’d expected, for which I’m very thankful!

And although this doesn’t relate immediately to cooking, I had the intense domestic satisfaction of cleaning off our large island/bar, and sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor yesterday. In my book, the only thing that can compare to the delight of a good meal is a peacefully clean kitchen. Sometimes, it even beats it!

A note on projects . . .

My personally assigned self-project yesterday was to de-clutter certain cluttered areas of our home. And it was delightful! I know I’m going to feel like Charlotte Collins one day when she exults to Elizabeth Bennet: “Oh, Lizzie, it’s such a pleasure to run my own home!”

You know those little piles that may be neat piles but are still piles? That’s precisely what I put myself to 🙂 We’ve been sick and busy, and it’s just part of life; but since I was well and had energy, I thought, why not? In our living room, I also did strange things like dusting the pictures; how often do I think to dust the pictures? But yesterday, I wanted to! And vacuum and reorganize until I had the happy feminine satisfaction that things looked aired-out and pretty. Aired-out is the key phrase that unlocks magic in the home. The less clutter there is, the more air you see, and it’s marvelously refreshing 🙂

I got my brother to kill one small cockroach that startled me (out of my wits . . . I hate cockroaches), but other than that, it was all my own work 😉

And then the whole dust-sweep-and-vacuum-the-laundry-room thing I posted about on Monday? Well, it actually didn’t work out for Monday and so I wound up doing that yesterday, too, along with wiping down Merry and Pippin. (These are functioning as my informal and at least temporary names for the washer and drier.)

Anyway, by the end of the day, I was kind of worn out, and since we didn’t get to bed until 11:30, I wound up sleeping like the dead and not waking up until 8:30, which was rather shocking to me; I haven’t slept that late in a long while! It looks like it will be another Fribourg Mass day for yours truly . . . I’m starting to get fond of Fribourg!

But apart from domestic projects, I got an email the other day reminding me that November is, of course, National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo! It brought me back to the days of being curled in bed as a teenager, scribbling away in a notebook, listening to my MP3 feverishly keeping to schedule so as to finish one particular novel by the end of November. It sort of worked . . . although I wound up writing everything but the end, and then at the beginning of December I convinced myself that I really needed to start over and re-write the whole thing. Which I did. *Sigh*

Anyhow, I currently feel inspired to at least work consistently on some type of tale throughout November, even just to share with Lena and some of my close friends. I doubt it will be a novel. But hopefully it will be something . . . This is, obviously, a completely sanguine inspiration which I will have to muscle through if I’m to ensure I don’t drop it after a few weeks due to my natural propensities!

I am reading . . .

I need to get back to War and Peace; last night, I was so tired that I wearily just flipped through the Temperament book and some of Hungry Souls for a few minutes before surrendering and watching Wagon Train: The Michael Malone Story with glazed eyes . . .

This evening, however, I was flipping through a few issues of Latin Mass Magazine (which, so far, has proved to be a superb publication) and came across an article by Michael Hayes about combating distraction, mentally and spiritually. For the easily distractable sanguine, an article such as this is both a flawless exposition of my own weaknesses, and a helpful and inspiring battle plan. You can bet I tried extra hard to focus during the family rosary after reading that article 😉

And this wasn’t the only marvelous piece to be found, for sure, but that’s just a sampling since I’m rather running out of time and mental energy . . .

Contemplating authentic femininity . . .

Well, I feel like I should have an inspiring quote or something, but unfortunately have fallen short for the day. And so I would simply like to thank God for the feminine heart, and for my feminine heart specifically, with all its quirks and joys; I don’t stop often enough to simply thank God for having made me a woman, for having given me the potential to bear and bring new life into the world, to be an image of His Bride, the Church, and the opportunity to live in close imitation of the Blessed Mother. Deo Gratias!

On living the Faith . . .

Out of the same issue of Latin Mass Magazine, I read a brilliant article tonight by Peter Kwasniewski about the Collects of Advent for the usus antiquor. Can Advent be approaching already? I hope to re-read this article in preparation for cultivating my private spiritual plans for the new liturgical year. It was a really good article, but I don’t have it with me and therefore can’t quote any of it. Such is my life.

Prayerfully . . .

For the conversion of sinners, in reparation for sin, and for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Especially for the Holy Souls. I came across a short article today, extracted from the bulletin of a certain parish, discussing the worthy tradition of some parishes that involves having a “Book of the Names of the Dead,” in which parishioners write down the names of deceased relatives and loved ones throughout the month of November in a specially displayed book.

This article was full of good words about honoring and remembering the dead, of keeping them close to our memory . . . but not one word, unfortunately, about actually praying for their souls, and offering prayers and sacrifices for their release and relief should they still be in Purgatory. Not one word about praying for them. I am afraid that the souls of the dead are increasingly forgotten in the prayers of our times. But we can easily remedy that; let’s pray for them! The month of the Holy Souls is almost here!

A picture to share . . .

IMG_3603 (2)

I’m so looking forward to celebrating my Baptism anniversary tomorrow, the 27th, and giving thanks to God for the sanctifying grace He bestowed on me that day, which not only ransomed and transformed my soul from death to life, claiming me from Satan for Christ’s kingdom, but which also continues to sustain me at every moment, twenty-one years later! It truly is my birthday!

(Ahem, my infant self looks thrilled about the actual event, doesn’t she?)