Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 5 (On the Feast of St. Andrew)

Daybook

Read more installments here πŸ™‚

This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

The Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, and the beginning of the St. Andrew Christmas Novena!

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Hail, precious cross, receive the disciple of Him Who hung upon thee, even my Master Christ. * The blessed Andrew prayed saying: O Lord, King of eternal glory, receive me hanging on this gibbet. * Andrew was the servant of Christ, a worthy Apostle of God, the brother of Peter, and likened to him in his martyrdom. * Christ’s dear handmaid, Maximilla, took away the body of the Apostle, and buried it with spices in an honorable place.

Antiphons at Vespers

Outside my window . . .

A late-November downpour: a misty, gray wetness clinging to the nearly-bare trees; red leaves shivering under the rain. For over a week, the weather here has been almost unfailingly bright and beautiful. This sudden change has a stark beauty in its own right, though, and also reminds me of what Strider and the hobbits might have traveled through after leaving Bree; cloaked and sodden, trudging quietly on with their heads tucked down against the miserable weather.

Sounds throughout the house . . .

Rainfall on the roof; Lena giving our younger brother and sister a lesson in Bible History downstairs. Accompanying chatter. Pippin (the washing machine . . .) chugging away from the laundry room, full of my youngest sister’s clothes, as it’s her washing day. The printer clicking and whirring in the study.

I am wearing . . .

Yet another football shirt (strangely, I always seem to be wearing these on Daybook day, which provides an embarrassing lack of variety . . . I do wear other things, you know), casual, gray drawstring pants with a yellow and white stripe running down either side, tennis shoes, Miraculous Medal, hair in a loose bun against my neck.

Attempts in the kitchen . . .

An innocent parody of Mother Teresa seems appropriate here: Thanksgiving is gone; Christmas has not yet come; we have only today; let us begin dieting!Β Finally, the all the lovely delectations are out of the house and my digestive tract is beginning to awaken and thank me for no longer dumping Thanksgiving-sized amounts of sugar and starch into it.

Last night, the guys were gone yet again, which provided yet another opportunity for culinary experimentation. Mom came up with a delicious ground-turkey, onion, green bell pepper, chili powder, parsley, salt, pepper olive oil, garlic, russet and sweet potato hash, all done in a cast-iron skillet. Ahh, it was amazing. This Irish girl could live solely off potatoes. And I kid you not as to the euphoria I experience when I remember I’m having it for lunch in a few hours πŸ˜‰

A note on projects . . .

Yesterday, after about a week of slow consideration, list-making, budgeting and brainstorming, I balanced my checkbook and accomplished some early online Christmas shopping. I haven’t done everything, but it’s a pleasant feeling to at least have finished Round One πŸ™‚

But ah, yes; it’s time for a miniature reveal. I have hinted at an ongoing project here–one for my mother’s birthday–numerous times without offering any details. However, as I can safely talk about it now, here goes!

It’s a daily planner, centered around the liturgical year and based upon the Old (Extraordinary Form) Calendar/1962 Missal. It begins in Advent of this year and ends on the Last Week after Pentecost in November 2018. I had the idea around half a year ago, spent weeks designing it, but my creative wheels ceased to turn as I grew unsure of what to actually do with it. However, a few weeks ago my mother asked for one for her birthday, so I picked up the reins I’d dropped and put it through a re-design.

She has her copy in now and, like the best of mothers, has both loved it and offered helpful critique, so I’ve been busy making tweaks here and there in my editable documents. I’m not sure what the future holds in terms of designing more planners, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it (even with the eye strain) and would love to share a peek with any interested readers! So I compiled my monthly “at-a-glance” pages, which are included in the planner, into one document and uploaded it to the blog for free download and printing. If you’d like, check it out here πŸ™‚ Below is a snapshot:

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I am reading . . .

Continuing to read, as and when I can, Raise Happy Children . . . Teach Them Virtues! I have not picked up War and Peace for a little while, but not for lack of interest . . . probably just lack of time. I remember precisely where I am, though. Pierre’s father is in the last stages of his illness, and Pierre (bewildered as ever) is being ushered into the house (through the back way) by the quite capable (to put it mildly) Anna, even as within the house others are plotting to keep the inheritance away from him.

For a prayer group, Lena and I are both reading A Map of Life (and for me, it’s a re-read), and once again I am in awe of the contents of this book. Every paragraph contains enough truth, clarity, and profoundly simple insight to, physically, give me chill bumps. We’ve been reading it aloud to one another, which in my opinion is the best way to share an excellent book πŸ™‚ Especially an excellent book I only had to pay 99 cents for . . .

Freedom is usually defined as the power to do what one likes. Accepting the definition, one sees instantly that the power to do what one likes may be the goal, but doing what one likes is not necessarily the road to the goal. In the bodily order, eating what one likes, for instance, may very well be the very solidest hindrance to doing what one likes, and a certain prelude to suffering what one very much dislikes. It is only by doing as one ought, that one attains a condition in which one has true physical freedom, the uttermost freedom possible to the body. And the same truth applies exactly to the soul. Freedom, then, is not to be attained by doing what we like unless by chance we like what we ought: which brings us back to the true purpose of our being and the laws by which our being may progress towards it. Apart from that is only loss.

F. J. Sheed. A Map Of Life (Kindle Locations 201-207). Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.

Contemplating authentic femininity . . .

I just now came across this old quote I’d saved, years ago . . .

β€œOur old analogy of the fire remains the most workable one. The fire need not blaze like electricity, nor boil like boiling water; its point is that it blazes more than water and warms more than light. The wife is like the fireβ€”or to put things in their proper proportion, the fire is like the wife. Like the fire, the woman is expected to cook, not to excel in cooking, but to cook; to cook better than her husband who is earning the cook by lecturing on botany or breaking stones. Like the fire, the woman is expected to tell tales to the children, not original and artistic tales, but tales, better tales than would probably be told by a first-class cook . . .”

-G. K. Chesterton, The Emancipation of Domesticity

Yesterday afternoon, my parents and I fell into conversation about my father’s workplace that day, and about the stress a woman was going through due to her daughter having broken her arm at school. The scenario reminded me strongly of how motherhood is, truly, a full-time job. I can’t begin to imagine the stress of trying to sustain two full-time jobs; something, surely, has to give. To me, in the futuristic sense, nothing would ever be worth bartering away my place at home with my children . . . that sacred place, full of hours unnoticed by the world, in which I can be content to be a fire that blazes more than water and warms more than light.

On living the Faith . . .

Preparing for Advent . . . which means, I suppose, preparing for preparation πŸ˜‰

Prayerfully . . .

It’s the last day of the Month of the Holy Souls! Let’s all make special offerings of prayers and sacrifices for their relief and release today. Be mindful, O Lord, of those Thou hast redeemed by the shedding of Thy Most Precious Blood.

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Collect of St. Andrew:

We humbly entreat Thy majesty, O Lord: that as the blessed Apostle Andrew was once a teacher and ruler of Thy Church: so he may be a constant advocate for us before Thee.

Antiphon at the Magnificat for Vespers:

When the blessed Andrew had come to the place where the cross was prepared, he cried out and said: O good Cross, so long desired, and now made ready for my longing soul! I come unto thee with confidence and joy; do thou also joyfully receive me, the disciple of Him Who hung upon thee.

Let’s also pray to have this heroic courage and fidelity of St. Andrew!

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Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 4

Daybook

(written progressively across the day and finished at night on the 26th πŸ˜‰ )

This day in the Liturgical Year . . .

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

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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! πŸ™‚

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.

Nevermind.

**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 πŸ™‚ 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 moreΒ airΒ you see, and it’s marvelously refreshing πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰

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 . . .

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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?)

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Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 3

Daybook

This day in the Liturgical Year . . . Wednesday, October 11th, 2017; Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

From the Collect:

O God, Who wast pleased that, at the message of an Angel, Thy Word should take flesh in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, grant to us Thy suppliants, that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.

From the Alleluia:

Alleluia, alleluia. O Virgin Mother of God, He Whom the whole world cannot contain, enclosed Himself in thy womb, and became man. Alleluia.

Outside my window . . . Well, it was sunny a little while ago, but I’ve just now looked out again and realized it’s clouded over. Ah, well. It’s in the mid-70’s with 60% humidity . . . we are in the middle of October! Where is the cold?!

Sunday found all the tropical storm tempests moving across our area, but fortunately we were able to weather (pun intended) the significant rain and wind and make it to Mass that morning . . . running through the rain . . . I’m glad I wore boots πŸ™‚ Sitting in the car and observing the drenched mess outside, we girls were faced with that dilemma of, Should we put our veils on now, to keep our hair dry-ish, or should we wait and put a dry veil on our wet-ish hair? Of course the second proved to be most sensible. Unfortunately we had misplaced our umbrella, but consoled ourselves with the thought that it would have been blown out anyway had we tried to use it while traversing the church lawn. Nor did we have extra pew space for six rain coats, so that was a consoling thought as well as we wiped our arms dry once inside. πŸ™‚

Sounds throughout the house . . .Β I am listening to Dario Marianelli’sΒ Jane Eyre;Β “The Wedding Dress.” I love this fellow. He gets the whole piano-and-strings thing.

The sounds of another homeschooling morning are drifting up from downstairs. Voices; footsteps; reading aloud; water running.

I am wearing . . . Pajamas. Don’t judge . . . I’m getting over a cold . . . and pajamas are better than medicine when it comes to that.

Attempts in the kitchen . . . Monday evening Lena and I were out with friends downtown (traveling downtown never fails to remind me of the country girl I am . . .), and lo and behold, we tried shawarma from Eli’s. All because of The Avengers. Delicious. I’d never even had couscous before, let alone lamb. This country girl had mysteriously little difficulty in almost finishing her enormous helping . . .

At home, we are still plugging along with our dietary changes, although we cheated over our (very busy) weekend and paid for it with small doses of intestinal misery πŸ˜‰ But it’s going good. Mom has made some delicious things recently . . . like bacon-wrapped chicken thighs and stovetop turnip greens. Sigh.

On a side note, I have discovered (probably due to my Cajun blood) that I have a growing infatuation with Louisiana hot sauce. I am finding more and more excuses to sprinkle it on everything. Like potatoes (especially potatoes).

A note on projects . . . A few days ago, Lena moved out of our room (for reasons I’m sure she’ll be blogging about soon!) into our youngest sister’s room, and our youngest sister moved in with me. Lots of furniture shuffling, vacuuming, and rearranging on their part. Fortunately my half of the room remained unscathed, just as I like it πŸ™‚ And, nursing a cold as I was, I didn’t have to do any work! Lucky me.

But it’s been a definite dynamic change already. Lena and I have shared a room since, well, practically forever. I can count back at least fourteen years of our having shared a space with one another in some shape or fashion. I’ve been slowly realizing how many things we’d been doing together in our room (especially some of our daily devotions) which I’ll now be doing on my own. And apart from prayer, we’re no longer typing beside one another, giggling and trading random jokes and pieces of information. She has her own little castle/chapel now!

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Lena is the baby in the background . . .

I admit it’s a little bittersweet, but at the same time a wonderful opportunity for me to deepen not only my private prayer life, but also my already close and colorful relationship with Youngest Sister πŸ™‚ And honestly, it reflects the growing paradigm shifts in our family. I’m discerning marriage with someone, which means my time and attention are increasingly extended and shared, and my locations are increasingly varied depending on what he, I and a chaperone have going on–so my wings are spreading a little more, so to speak, and I’m beginning to hover more frequently between my wonderful family and his wonderful family as our relationship grows. Lena is embarking on a new chapter of life; our younger brother and sister are growing up. It really is God’s design for families to go through chrysalises and changes, so as to blossom in beauty and grace. I look forward to discovering how He is desiring our family to beautify and grow over the upcoming years!

I am reading . . . The Baltimore Catechism, No. 3, published by Baronius Press.

Boom.

I think everyone needs a regular sit-down with the Baltimore Catechism . . . suchΒ simple and vital truths, stated so well and beautifully and clearly, without superfluity (which is precisely what I need) and without flinching.

16. Q. When may we be said to forgive those who trespass against us? A. We may be said to forgive our enemies when we act, and, as far as possible, feel toward them as if they had never injured us.

17. Q. What is temptation? A. A temptation is anything that incites, provokes, or urges us to offend God.

18. Q. What is the best means of overcoming temptation? A. The best means of overcoming temptation is to resist its very beginning, by turning our attention from it; by praying for help to resist it; and by doing the opposite of what we are tempted to do.

19. Q. Does God tempt us to sin? A. God does not tempt us to sin; but He permits us to be tempted to try our fidelity or punish our pride; and to give us an opportunity of meriting rewards for ourselves by overcoming the temptations.

See what I mean?

Thinking about femininity . . . If a sense of humor is a shining jewel in the crown of the ideal wife, then humility is the golden base of the crown and the support of all else it may contain. Many have the false idea that they are being humble by staying in the background and attempting nothing. The brash, bold and conceited girls are the ones out in the limelight doing things. More often than not it is just the opposite. The girl who dares to do things, especially in competition, is the humble girl. She may fall flat on her face. So what? She is not concerned with herself, not worried about what others may think. Because she is humble, she is not aware that anyone is thinking of her anyway. The girl who fears to venture is the conceited girl. She is afraid to provide laughter at her own expense. She flatters herself that everybody is watching her. Hardly anybody knows that she is alive. -Fr. Leo Kinsella, The Wife Desired

It is precisely this and similar passages that have inspired me over the past few months to be a little more adventurous in doing things like playing volleyball, ultimate frisbee, joining in brand-new dances, and doing other things in which I have no idea what I’m doing while maintaining a light heart. It’s amazed me how much this good priest was right in how these actions combat my pride.

On the Faith . . . How I love the Old Calendar! So many beautiful Marian feasts, so many wonderful ways to celebrate our dear Mother!

Prayerfully . . . Praying for my great-uncle who is in the hospital, has been for some time, and is not doing well at all. Would you mind offering a prayer for him, too?

A picture to share . . .

Hike

Speaking of family changes, I just came across this old picture of a family hike (taken by Mom), over three years ago . . . the little boy in the blue shirt and baseball cap, and the little girl in the navy shirt and ponytail, are now both inches taller than Lena and I! Where does the time go . . . πŸ™‚

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Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 2

Daybook

This day in the Liturgical Year . . . Thursday, October 5th (kind of late, but better late than never! . . .): Commemoration of St. Placid and Companions, Martyrs; (New Calendar) St. Faustina Kowalska

From the Missal:

St. Placid, when four years old, was committed by his father Tertullus to the care of St. Benedict, who sent him later into Sicily. He was murdered with his monks, out of hatred for the Faith, by heathen pirates in 541.

Offertory:

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace, alleluia.

And, in the New Calendar, it’s a feast day for me today! Dear St. Faustina, my Confirmation patron πŸ™‚

From Diary 44:

One day Jesus said to me, I am going to leave this house . . . because there are things here which displease Me. And the Host came out of the tabernacle and came to rest in my hands and I, with joy, placed it back in the tabernacle. This was repeated a second time, and I did the same thing. Despite this, it happened a third time, but the Host was transformed into the living Lord Jesus, who said to me, I will stay here no longer! At this, a powerful love for Jesus rose up in my soul, I answered, “And I, I will not let You leave this house, Jesus!” And again Jesus disappeared while the Host remained in my hands. Once again I put it back in the chalice and closed it up in the tabernacle. And Jesus stayed with us. I undertook to make three days of adoration by way of reparation.

Outside my window . . .Β It was a truly lovely and mild day, blue-skied and fair . . . but now it’s dark, the blinds are rolled shut, and I’m not too far from bed. (In other words, I can technically see nothing outside my window.)

Sounds throughout the house . . . The upstairs air conditioning, purring away. We keep it bumped up during the day and then turn it down a few degrees at night. I can also hear the muffled thumps of closet doors and footsteps that we tend to emit while going to bed.

I am wearing . . . Bluewater Outriggers light green t-shirt (from Port St. Joe); black ankle-length cotton skirt; an increasingly sleepy expression.

Attempts in the kitchen . . . Quinoa has been the new word (with its pronunciation learning curve) around here as of late . . . and I really like it! As long as I remember to put oregano in it, that is.

We made a quinoa pilaf of sorts tonight to go with grilled pork chops, with some diced peppers and garlic, etc. The recipe called for oregano, and I (of course) forgot to put it in. (I was kind of in need of a little wine by that point, but that was to come after supper with Mom . . . A little wine can be such a welcome thing, I’m learning!)

We were eating, and all agreed it tasted a trifle bland. Then came the epiphany: “Oh! Stop! I left out the oregano!” One jaunt to the spice cabinet and an experimental sprinkling later, and I proclaimed my tongue to be satisfied. Those who were partaking of the quinoa joined in, and the rest was seasoned appropriately for tomorrow’s lunch. All was well.

A note on projects . . . Projects? Does this prompt mean I’m actually supposed to be doing productive things in my creative life? πŸ˜‰

If improving my polka (somewhat . . .) and helping put together a few German-ish outfits counts as a project, well, then I’ve been decently occupied on one note. Oktoberfest week! So much fun!

I suppose I’ve been too much absorbed (apart from day-in and day-out things) with Lena’s project as of late to engage too deeply in anything of personal-project-ness beyond blogging and casting my eye out towards the music for the upcoming High Mass for Christ the King. Daily life has just been busy around here; which is a good thing!

However, today I did do a little photographic editing, experimenting with some black-and-white techniques. Confession: I am a sucker for the effects of black-and-white photography and always wind up turning any photo of mine that looks halfway decent into black-and-white. Something about it is so stilling. Or distilling. Can’t decide on the word, but can definitely decide on the look. I love it!

I am reading . . . Continuing St. Faustina’s Diary. Lena and I usually read aloud bits from St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary to one another each morning after Mass. It was her idea and a brilliant one, as I need all the help I can get in living out my total consecration!

I feel as though I am always only scraping the surface of this mysterious, old and captivating devotion. And now I’m coming up on the feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, the feast on which I totally consecrated myself to her. I am praying for the grace to serve her more faithfully in the future and live out more perfectly that spirit of total consecration. (Whining Human Version: It seemed so easyyyy at first! Why haven’t I chaaaanged?)

One recommended bit of the devotion which I have not been particularly wonderful at remaining faithful to, but is so very beautiful, is the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When I have the good sense to slow down and make myself take the time to pray it, resting in that spirit of filial love and devotion to the Blessed Mother becomes suddenly so much easier. Sigh . . . when will I learn, when will I learn . . .

Thinking about femininity . . . Segueing from those Marian thoughts: in moments when I am contemplating my shortcomings as a woman, whenever I have the wits (probably thanks to my guardian angel) to look upon the Blessed Mother as the quintessence of beauteous femininity, I am humbled and inspired. All I need is there. No matter the vice or folly in my female heart, the remedy seems to lie in her quiet eyes.

Cue the refrain: When will I learn!

On the Faith . . . Let’s just say that I am feeling felicitous since October is simply one of the best months out of the liturgical year πŸ™‚ The month of the Holy Rosary, the month that includes all three Donellan girls’ Confirmation patronal feasts, the feast of Christ the King, my Baptism anniversary, good friends’ birthdays, and so much more. Marvelous!

Prayerfully . . . Praying for St. Faustina’s intercession today, on her feast, especially for the victims of the horrible events that have been happening recently in our fallen world.

A picture to share . . .

Fribourg

A screenshot from Fribourg’s Mass this morning . . . we slept in after a late night and so couldn’t catch Sarasota. Another French homily, of which I pretended I understood far more than I did; Lena didn’t buy my intelligent-looking squints . . . ahem.

Each location has its own loveliness to it πŸ™‚

P.S.: It’s just after 10pm on Thursday, October 5th, at the time of publication. So . . . please ignore what WordPress is saying about it already being the 6th!

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Woman at Home Daybook :: Vol. 1

Daybook

(Faithfully providing proof that I am a blog-post-series addict.)

This day in the Liturgical Year . .Β . Thursday, September 28th, 2017; third-class Feast of St. Wenceslaus, Martyr.

From the missal:

St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, was persecuted by his unnatural mother Drahomira and his impious brother and successor, Boleslas, out of hatred for the Faith. He was murdered by the latter in a church where he was praying in 938.

My computer was experiencing an internet glitch earlier this morning, so we all crowded around Mom’s computer in the school room to stream the Mass. Unfortunately, the stream dropped right around Communion, so we had to finish by reading aloud the rest of the Propers and praying our handful of customary prayers after Mass, but it was still beautiful, and especially so heart-warming to see dear Fr. Dupre again; the first time since Irma!

Also, it’s the fifth day in the novena to St. Therese of Lisieux (if you’re celebrating her feast on October 3rd, as it is in the Old Calendar) . . . I, erm, had to pray two days’ worth of the novena yesterday once I realized I’d forgotten to pray the day before . . . sigh . . . a classic exemplification of my normal scattered-ness.

Outside my window . . . Cheery sun, a rich blue sky, and general late September loveliness. If the breeze hits just right, all the leaves on our nine acres of land are starting to caper and spiral down in a way that always makes me think of Narnia . . . though I don’t exactly have a rational reason for that. Mayhap, it’s because the sight of falling leaves make me think of when the Kings and Queens of Old find the Wardrobe again at the very end ofΒ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It’s autumn then, the music is fancifully dancing, they’re wearing gorgeous royal robes, Peter has grown a beard, and the leaves are falling. (I am sanguinely captivated by appearances and sounds. Hold on a second . . . let me put on Harry’s “Only the Beginning of the Adventure” . . . sigh. Now we’re good.)

Did you know I desperately wanted to find Narnia as a child? (That desire was probably aided more than slightly by my helpless crush on Peter Pevensie, as played by William Moseley. And I mean helpless. But I digress.) Did you know that I wrote a whole novel which was essentially a copy of Narnia? Only it was a stag, not a lion. I did have a shred of conscience.

And maybe my yearly autumnal Narnia fancy also has something to do with the fact that we have an actual lamppost in our front yard, and are densely surrounded by trees. Ah, yes, I need to show you our lamppost sometime!

Anyhow, I have just consulted the weather and have been informed that it’s 74 degrees outside. That is lovely. What am I doing here? Right–listening to Harry Gregson-Williams.

Sounds throughout the house . . . Downstairs, school-related discussions are going on. Footsteps. Up here, Lena is typing on her side of the room, I am typing on mine. Click-clack. That, and Harry Gregson-Williams. And now Lena singing “Homeward Bound,” which she learned for a voice recital years ago.

I am wearing . . . SEC Football t-shirt, jean capris (really, jeans that have been rolled up so as to mercifully relieve the potential itching of the thirty-odd chigger bites on my shins and feet. Remind me to wear bug spray the next time I venture outdoors. This is called living in the South).

Attempts in the kitchen . . . We are embarking on a rather Whole30-way of cooking over here (I can’t say it’s 100%, but it’s close). Some of us are dealing with prolonged digestive issues of varying levels, and I’ve personally been noticing/ignoring ongoing negative reactions to dairy and inflammatory things like grain and sugar (cue Requiem for Ice Cream and Brownies, Both of Which I Was Craving Last Night, and Neither of Which I Had).

So this week, we’ve been eating really clean (for us), and have already noticed a huge improvement. I’ve volunteered to spend much more time in the kitchen previously, learning how to craft all these new recipes. Not only is it marvelously constructive for my hopes to daily grow in domesticity, but it’s also a whole lot of fun. This week’s areas of particular pride encompass my learning how to poach eggs, and season ground beef like Italian sausage.

A note on projects . . . Cooking, blogging, and doing little things to help prepare for our diocese’s Missa Cantata in celebration of Summorum Pontificum, which is coming up this Saturday and which I am so very looking forward to. Yesterday I caught up on my sorry inbox and sent nearly fifteen emails. And as I have been recently blessed to enter a courtship with a wonderful young man, I found myself sitting down and starting to write up (typically long-winded) thoughts on courtship in general, as well as my family’s traditions for the practice and my own personal beliefs on it. Not finished yet . . . but maybe there will be things I can share here as time goes on πŸ˜‰

I am reading . . . Well, my brother just came upstairs and happily displayed his totally pride-worthy math test score, so technically I have just read that. Go brother!

And speaking of my brother, every afternoon I’ve been reading aloud to him the marvelous Men of Iron. I can’t describe how much I enjoy this book (and how excited I am to reach certain parts that we’ve yet to get to!). I read it in school years ago, and to be able to revisit my beloved Myles and Francis has been such a joy; watching my brother grow progressively more immersed in the story, and for us to laugh or grow tense together as the plot winds and escalates is so special. When Myles gives Francis the knife . . . happiest sigh!

Reason number 135,234 for homeschooling: you get to read aloud Men of Iron!

Thinking about femininity . . . β€œA desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. A woman who is not beautiful cannot properly fill her place. But, mark you, true beauty is not of the face, but of the soul. There is a beauty so deep and lasting that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it comely. This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart and is manifested in word and deed.” – Beautiful Girlhood, Mabel Hale

Here’s to daily trying to cultivate that lasting beauty of soul, and renewing our world through true Catholic womanhood!

On the Faith . . . I am so looking forward to Michaelmas tomorrow! The Feast of St. Michael the Archangel! I have random little snippets of research, collected from when I was immersed in writing a (still unfinished) novel that had to do with him, which hopefully I’ll be able to share tomorrow.

Prayerfully . . . Collect from today’s Mass:

O God, Who by the palm of martyrdom didst remove blessed Wenceslaus from an earthly princedom to the glory of heaven: keep us by his prayers from all adversity, and grant that we may rejoice in everlasting fellowship with him.

A picture to share . . .

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My first attempt at a poached egg with hot sauce on top of thick sweet potato slices (browned in olive oil), sauteed spinach and garlic, and bacon (in this case, turkey bacon).

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