Prayer of St. Ignatius

Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will. Amen. ~~ prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Yarn Along

I had no intention of getting back here today. It was our last day of schooling before Easter, and I have a long, long list of things to do before Sunday. But, I listened to a really great book today and I had to come here to share. So I am linking up with Ginny at Small Things.

The title of the book is Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected ABout Being a Mom by Lisa Jo Baker. It is the book I wish that I could have written, and the author and I have so much in common I really felt like I could have written much of it. Both only daughters with brothers, mothers of single girls with brothers, and she lost her mother right around the same time I lost my father -- she was 18, I was 19, and our parents were the same age at the time of their deaths -- 42. She is a woman of great faith and tells the story of how she thought she would never have children, having had a rough time after her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died. It's a new book, and I found it just by sheer luck divine providence, looking through the audiobooks available through our online library. I started the book yesterday and finished it up this afternoon. It was good, really good. I highly recommend it, especially to moms of little ones whose days and nights are all running together and think they might never get out from under the piles of laundry or maybe ever take another shower. The one thing the author and I don't have in common is her children are still young enough that she hasn't had her heart broken by the things kids do when they get to be the age that you can no longer keep them safe from the big world. I hope she writes another book after she hits that point. Of course, it will be too late for me at that point!

I have three wips right now, but mostly I am working on my Tiny Tea Leaves Cardigan. I am usually knitting while I am sitting in the parking lot of the dance studio or waiting inside the dance studio, so it's a row here and a row there, but I just started the stockinette part of the sweater -- the three beautiful rows of increases and decreases are finished.

I always have a dishcloth in my car for when I am waiting on someone, or in the doctor's office if I have forgotten my knitting bag. These are baby wash cloths, but I also knit dish cloths. Have you ever knit yourself dish cloths? Some people are always busy knitting beautiful things that they forget about practical projects. The thing is, handknit wash cloths are as much a luxury as handknit sweaters. They are so much nicer to use than manufactured dish cloths and wash cloths. I have used patterns before, but I find a square or rectangle knit using the seed stitch is just as nice as any pattern. These pictured are 32 stitches wide by 38 rows using sugar and cream yarn.

This stays in my knitting bag and usually I work on it in doctor's offices. I have the pattern memorized so I don't need to refer to any directions. I will just keep knitting until I run out of yarn. Notes and specs here.

I'll check back and update this post to link to the Yarn Along when Ginny's blog is back up and running.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Lots of thoughts today. I didn't sleep well, and shortly after waking I got that same feeling that ended me in the ER (or ED if you're in the hospital business) a few weeks ago. Now that I know it's anxiety, it didn't last quite as long. Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety...sigh.

Yesterday was Taylor's last RCIA session before becoming Catholic. There will be one more session after Easter, and then I will have my Sundays back. Happy sigh. I have never taken my children to the Vigil. The last time I went was when I was pregnant with Geoffrey 24 years ago. I almost passed out. That's about all I remember...first trimester nausea. My kids, I admit, are not thrilled to be going to the Vigil. I am embarrassed that they feel that way, but there it is. Honesty. Nine readings and psalms in between. Baptisms. Confirmation. First Communion. It is the king of all Masses. I am excited to be there, but I guess I have more invested in it than my children do. What do you do? Do you attend the vigil? Do you bribe your children? I have no intention of doing that, but I was just curious what others do. I realize most people with young children do not attend the Vigil, but maybe some of you with older children do. I wish that they wanted to, but "askin' ain't gettin'" as Pork said in Gone With the Wind.


As you probably know, if you read here fairly often, I have pain issues. My doctor suggested I try celebrex for back and joint pain, and so I did. It has the side effect of thinning the blood, so I have to be careful being on coumadin. The last time I had my INR (time it takes for blood to clot) checked it was really thin. I think it's still really thin based on the fact that I knicked myself shaving and the knick dripped for a long time. Anyway, back to the celebrex. A possible side effect is peripheral edema. Last week my feet and ankles were very swollen and I kept wondering why. That time of the month? Since I had my hysterectomy I don't know when my period would be (I still have ovaries), but I still get some symptoms. It finally dawned on me that it could be the celebrex. I looked up side effects and edema was one of the more common ones. I was really disappointed because the celebrex was working great. Almost all of my achy joints were not achy. Going up and down stairs -- no pain! But my feet were so swollen I couldn't get shoes on. So I stopped taking it on Friday to see what would happen. The pain is back, but my ankles and feet are still swollen. I'm not sure how long it will take for the swelling to go down.


I did our taxes a week ago. I use Turbo Tax and if you use Turbo Tax you know that on the side of the web page you see your grand total for the federal and state refund, or what you owe, and watch as it changes when you add deductions. As I added my deductions I kept watching and waiting for the amount we owe to turn into a refund We haven't owed in years and years because we keep a nice big cush there for a forced savings for home improvement projects. Nothing changed this year except the amount of money on the line that shows total tax due. I was really, really, really disappointed. Its a sad day when a home owner claiming three children owes that much tax. I mean, we paid several thousand more than last year. Thanks, federal government.


This week I'm going to stay away from the computer as much as possible. I took Taylor to make her first Confession this evening (happy sigh), and we'll go to Holy Thursday Mass and Good Friday service, and spend most of Saturday preparing for the Vigil. It's going to be a busy week, but I'm looking forward to every event.

Just a reminder, before Easter, if you need a rosary for a First Holy Communion or Confirmation, please check my Etsy shop. I have more rosaries listed than I ever have, and I have supplies for a lot more. I appreciate your support of my apostolate.

I will be praying for all of my readers this week as we celebrate the beautiful traditions of our Church, remembering the last days of Our Lord's life on earth, and rejoicing at His resurrection.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Rainy Days and Mondays Daybook

Outdoors...rain, rain, rain. April showers...

I am thinking about...Easter approaching. It is quite a different event with a new family member coming into the Church. I haven't thought once about Easter baskets, Easter dinner, or anything other than preparing myself for the vigil and all that is involved with being a sponsor and preparing Taylor. It's quite a different feeling. I do need to start planning Easter baskets and dinner, however. 

I did order Easter clothes for Faith. I love my boys, but there is just something totally awesome about a girl in an Easter dress. I am enjoying it for as long as I can. Dontcha love those sparkly shoes? And the dress is darling -- a good modest length.

I also ordered myself a sweater set from Talbots to wear with a black skirt. I don't usually buy new things for Easter, but this year is certainly a good reason to make an exception. I think I'll focus on getting all of the boys a good haircut.

And dinner...what to plan for dinner. What are you having?

I am wearing...a denim skirt, a red v-neck top and a sweater, gray tights, black loafers. It's chilly out, especially with the rain.

I am reading...I am finishing up When I Found You. I put it down at the beginning of Lent and I recently picked it up, just so I could lie down with a book at the end of the day. It's on my kindle, and it's easy reading, so I can take it to bed, which lately feels really good. It's not the kind of book I would normally read, but it has gotten interesting. Makes me want to go to bed early, a good thing.

I am also listening to Maeve Binchy's Minding Frankie. Gosh, I love Maeve Binchy, and I love listening to a narrator with an Irish accent.

I am creating...a Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan. Yay!

I also have some Consecration bracelets to make and a couple of First Holy Communion rosaries. Other than that, I am just knitting. Oh, and I have a few of the coat of many color vests to finish for the dance studio. I just finished a baby quilt. Darling.

At the school table...just hanging on until spring break. We're finishing up for the year in a couple of subjects, but have a ways to go in others.

On the table...for lunch we had leftovers from last night -- Pioneer Woman's Chicken Mozzarella Pasta. It was really good. And made a lot of food. For dinner we're having Taco Joes. They smell pretty good and couldn't be easier. If you have a teen cooking dinner at your house, this is a good one. I am making mine on the stove top but it's written for the crock pot. I just have to put some fries in the oven and make a salad.

Also in the kitchen is a new coffee maker. After a combox conversation at Elisa Loves, I started thinking about the fact that most of my automatic coffee maker is made of plastic. I worked really hard to get rid of almost all the plastic in my kitchen, especially that which touches hot food, and then I was drinking coffee every day that shoots hot water through plastic parts. Hmmm.

I did some research and this is my new coffee maker.

Actually, I am technically the coffee maker. This is just the receptacle. It's a Chemex, and I love the low-tech aspect of it. I also love the coffee. It really does taste better. And no plastic.

I am going our taxes. Tonight. Ugh.

A few of my favorite things...
...Barry's Gold with milk and sugar in the afternoon when my behind is dragging.
...these little mini pumpkin pies. They are so tasty. They were a nice fifth Sunday of Lent treat.
...Easter dresses for little girls
...pressed pillowcases and starched dress shirts (I like to iron)

Prayers sent heavenward for... husband and children
...all those who are sick and alone son, to learn his chemistry and algebra this semester, and if summer school is in His plan, then so be it
...our priests and religious, especially our parish priests, and Fr. Howe
...all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart

Thought for the day...

Never count your friends on sunny days
 for they all will be around,
Count your friends on the rainy days when
the clouds are grey and lightening shakes the ground.

It is then you painfully see the
type of friend they really are,
when Life delivers a sharp blow
do they stay and try to heal the scar?

The friends you count during
this storm are ones to commend,
these people stood their ground
these people are labeled “True Friend”.

When the rain finally stops
and your new day is here,
you will be amazed that after a
violent storm a rainbow can appear.

Be careful not to begin your count
see what friends the rainbow can make,
remember, these are not your true friends
their loyalty is fake.

Keep sight of the friends that
remained when the rain poured down,
now begin your count of real friends
ones you know will always be around.
-Robert Louis Vanelli

There are some Amazon affiliate links in this post.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Looking for rainbows

Boy is it raining today. A day for ducks, I say. In fact, our mallards have been riding the rapids all day long. I knew before the sun rose that we'd have to look for our own rainbows today. And we did.

I love these new rainbow measuring cups and spoons. Rainbows for breakfast.

I was lucky to be at a shop yesterday where I could grab some white cotton yarn to go with the pretty pink and white at home. My yarn along lament turned into a bib for my cousin's baby's Easter basket.

Neat orderly stitches. Yes.

We had this meal for dinner last night. Beautiful rainbow food. The recipe is from The Food Network, and the only change I made was to cook the black beans instead of serving them like a salad. It was really tasty, and spicy!

How is that for fast service? The KnitPicks order fulfillment facility happens to be less than 30 minutes away. Lucky me.


Even the food cheered us up faced egg salad with spicy bread and butter pickles. Yum.

And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. 
~~ G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Yarn Along...NOT

Contrary Mary here today. Well, a hopeful Contrary Mary, how's that for contrary?

I am joining Ginny, for the first time in quite a while, for a yarn along, of sorts. How about a hopeful Yarn Along?

I have a need, a deep, deep psychological need for a good knitting project. I need ordered stitches. Soft, beautiful yarn and ordered, ordered, ordered stitches. Did you get that "ordered" part? Yeah, deep psychological need stuff.

Three days ago, after that big fight at the dinner table, I ordered yarn to knit a Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan  (deep psychological need for order).

This cardigan (pictured above) I knit, well, I forgot to add a date to my Ravelry page, but it think it was two years ago. Ok, I looked it up in the archives and it was November 2011. I don't have an "after" picture because I think the sweater got left at a friend's house yesterday, but it's a real wreck, I promise. I knit it in a Knitpicks' worsted wool, and it has not only shrunk (of course my daughter grew, as well) but the yarn looks absolutely awful -- fluffy and frayed. It has been well-worn and is well-loved, I can't even get rid of it (even though it needs to go) because she still loves it. This sweater was a pleasure to knit, so I'm starting a new one. The stitches line up oh-so-beautifully (deep psychological need for ordered stitches).

But that yarn I was waiting on, ordered in a deep psychologically needy moment, I just found out it's out of stock/discontinued (thanks for telling me when I ordered it, WEBS).

I was hopeful the yarn I searched and searched for and finally found (a pretty heathered pastel and lemon cotton) would be a lot more wearable than the Knitpicks Swish Worsted I used last time. Faith wears this sweater outdoors, and she is an active girl, so it ends up with bits of tree leaves and grass, and some creek dirt in it. It needs to be about as durable as a washcloth, but preferably a little prettier. I really would love to knit this sweater in the yarn it was intended for...Madelinetosh vintage, but that's an $85 sweater.  I can't justify that for anything, especially not a creekin', bike-riding wild thing. So, after looking and looking and deciding not to knit a large dishcloth sweater, I am back to Knitpicks, but this time with the Shine worsted cotton with beech wood fiber. Faith wants the colorway "pea pod" (which I fear will not be nearly as soft on the eyes as a color I would have chosen), and I ordered a ball of crocus to add a dash of extra color to the ends of the sleeves and the bottom band. Maybe. We'll see.

So this is my big not Yarn Along for the day. My yarn is ordered, and patience is required for the time being.

I haven't been reading terribly much, so I can't even tell you what great story I have going. But, I did just finish listening to a very interesting (if not downright depressing) novel -- Gardens of Water. It is the story of a Muslim Kurdish family, recovering from a devastating earthquake, and dealing with cultural influences which are contrary to their faith. Actually, it was very timely listening for me, because the story is ultimately the struggle between the parents' fight for their child's soul in a culture that strongly pressures the youth to fight the boundaries of their parents' faith and culture. Sound familiar?

If you need a new read, or are scouring project pages for new yarn (raising hand), please go join Ginny and see what other bloggers are satisfying a deep psychological need for ordered stitches. {wink}

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Looking up... least we're trying.

I must apologize for being such a Debbie downer yesterday. Although, if it helped you see that things aren't so isolated in your end of the world, then I am glad I could help. As I was filling out a questionnaire to take to counseling, I realized things are really not that bad in my end of the world either. At least, they could be a lot worse. I highly recommend using if you have a need. Incorporating talk about Confession, prayer to St. Michael, and ending with a prayer to the Trinity is definitely the way I would prefer a counseling session to go. We also learned a little technique to stop negative thoughts, take a deep breath, and count to ten (or say a Hail Mary), which involved a first step of just looking up. Eyes toward the heavens, if you want to look at it that way, or just a chin up. It works, much better than putting your head in your hands, that's for certain.

I took some pictures of a few of my favorite things today, and just some pretty things, just to help brighten the mood. A figurative sort of looking up.

Our Lady Unoder of Knots novena, written in my prayer journal. And one of my favorite rosaries. The Miraculous Medal attached at the center was touched to the chair Our Blessed Mother sat upon at that holy apparition.

An angel shelf in the living room, with a variety of angels, some from my grandma, gathered around my grandma's Last Rites box.

Our Mother Mary, a statue from a dear old friend, a memory from her own mother.

A coat of many colors vest -- I'm sewing 12 of these this week for the dance studio. Scrambling, I should say.

And another rosary for the shop. I love these Paters and St. Michael center.

"For me prayer is a surge of the heart,
it is a simple look towards Heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trial and joy." 
-St. Therese of Lisieux

Monday, March 31, 2014

Do you ever have days like this?

Yesterday was a two plus rosary day. I slept with my rosary last night, as I have been known to do in difficult times, and prayed throughout the night when I tossed and turned, partly due to the day I had and partly due to the corticosteroid that is revving me up.

First was Mass with Josh and Taylor and then RCIA with Taylor. The subjects: morality. Specifically: chastity, homosexuality, cohabitation, contraception. It required all my energy not to argue, I mean really argue. Did you know there are a lot of gray areas in those subjects? I didn't either. I thought that all Catholics are called to follow the laws of God, and that's pretty black and white. Thou shall not commit adultery is pretty clear. I said what I felt needed to be said and then felt dismissed with the back of a hand. In fact, I think Father probably wanted to ask if anyone but I had a question or comment please say the word. Anyone but me. He knew what I had to say. Thank goodness Taylor and I are close enough to talk about these issues together. I pray for the remaining candidates and catechumens to be enlightened.

I came home to rancor. I struggled to put dinner on the table quickly (I had not put the roast in the crock pot before I left so I had to scramble to get dinner on) and almost as soon as we sat down and finished prayer (I believe our dinner prayer invites satan to come and dine with us) Noah started his nightly glaring at his sister. She can't do anything right in his book, and if she so much as makes herself known at the table, she gets a glare. Doug had had enough all day between the two of them, and a fight between the two of them erupted. Faith and I left the table in tears. Noah left and no one ate. Do you ever have days like this? Where you feel almost nothing, not even a nice dinner, is going to go right?The rest of our evening was spent each in our own silence and sullenness.

Satan is really tying some tight knots in our family right now. Do you think maybe bringing another Catholic into our family has him riled? He is taking every opportunity to work his way between us and God.

How many novenas can I pray? Mary, Undoer of knots... Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Monica, St. Anne, pray for us.

I like this prayer from Pope Francis, who has a long-standing dedication to Mary, Undoer of knots. Free us from the knots and confusion with which our enemy attacks...

Holy Mary, full of God's presence during the days of your life, you accepted with full humility the Father's will, and the Devil was never capable to tie you around with his confusion.

Once with your Son you interceded for our difficulties, and, full of kindness and patience you gave us example of how to untie the knots of our life. And by remaining forever Our Mother, you put in order, and make more clear the ties that link us to the Lord.

Holy Mother, Mother of God, and our Mother, to you, who untie with motherly heart the knots of our life, we pray to you to receive in your hands (the name of person), and to free him/her of the knots and confusion with which our enemy attacks.

Through your grace, your intercession, and your example, deliver us from all evil, Our Lady, and untie the knots that prevent us from being united with God, so that we, free from sin and error, may find Him in all things, may have our hearts placed in Him, and may serve Him always in our brothers and sisters. 


Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Day Another Daybook

First of all, it's been all week that I planned to get back here and thank all of you for your love. LOVE! It is so good to know that you understand, even if you don't have children who break your heart (yet), or if you have children who do break your heart. I didn't realize just how hard it was to admit to my broken heart, until I did. But you helped me, thank you. We're all in this club of women who just love our children and want to take them to heaven with us. Welcome to the club. {wink}'s supposed to get warm today. I said that last week and since then we had snow, and cold, and thunder, and lightning, and heavy rain. It's SPRING! Crazy weather spring. It's really windy out right now (I can hear the wind whipping though the chimney), and dark, dark gray skies, but I think the temps, they are a rising.

I am thinking about...leaving doctors behind and working harder on my own to get my health back. Yesterday was a frustrating day. I spent hours gathering together the results of my recent MRI (yes, I had to go for another) and x-rays, getting prescriptions filled, and waiting in a neurosurgeon's office for a very, very long time. Then he told me, "Sorry, I can't help you. I don't do that procedure." It seems no one under my insurance coverage does this procedure -- nerve ablation. At least none that I have found, and I have looked long and hard and been told "no" quite a bit. And I am tired, so very tired of doctors, actually to be specific (no pun intended) -- specialists. I left the office with a heavy heart and prescription for a corticosteroid for my back (Pray for me please, I started it yesterday and if you have ever taken them you know it's not fun. I have five days to deal with not sleeping, headaches, hot flashes, and "having my engine revving." I can do it -- it's just five days, right?).

My condition is not life-threatening, it just makes it difficult to live the way I want to live. But, I am going to try to do as much as I can on my own. I know that I have inflammation, and extra weight, and several other medical conditions that I have to be on medication for. So I am exercising as much as I can -- on my recumbent bike for now because the nerve pain in my leg does not allow for walking far -- and I ordered a juicer, so I will substitute some meals with real juice (not a fast, and low Vit K).

I am wearing...a denim skirt, a t-shirt, and a sweater (I have to be able to cool off fast when I get a flash from the corticosteroid), white keds.

I am creating...I'm back on rosaries -- I have supplies to make two for my husband's aunt, and supplies for several more for my shop. I made one last night to put in my shop today. I still have some "coats--now vests-- of many colors" for the dance studio to finnish, and I need to finish my baby quilt, the piecing is done and the colors are so pretty.

I just love these pretty shells -- the symbol of Baptism.

At the school table...Faith is still trying to focus on getting breakfast. She is scatter-brained, but by 1:00 she'll be angry that she is not finished with school and it will be "all your fault!".

On the table...I had bean and cheese enchiladas planned for dinner, but I'm not sure we'll all be in the same place tonight. I am babysitting the twins next door and Noah is going to meet a friend and Doug will be chauffeuring

A few of my favorite things...
...rain and thunder (hold the lightning)
...wind (a cool wind is a great thing for a hot flash)
...sleep (I didn't sleep much last night so I might try to sneak a nap in today)

Prayers sent heavenward for... husband and children
...all those who are sick and alone son, to learn his chemistry and algebra this semester, and if summer school is in His plan, then so be it
...our priests and religious, especially our parish priests, and Fr. Howe
...all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart

A picture thought...

Faith saw our favorite duck couple in the creek yesterday. She has been sprinkling cracked corn on the creek bank for a week or so and was so hoping they would stop and visit. They not only stopped, they came up into the yard where Maggie chased them away. Faith went after them with more corn in hope that they would come back. She still thinks she's Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty, and the animals will come to her. She had on a pink nightgown, black fur-collared sweater, and purple rain boots -- quite a getup.

Ave was hoping she would come home with some Roasted Mallard Duck with Red Currant Sauce

But she just came home dirty. And happy. Silly girl.

There are some Amazon affiliate links in this post.

Monday, March 24, 2014

All about a mother's heart

I didn't know what I was going to call this post, because it was just a thought. Really, just one thought, all about a mother's heart. 

It's been a week since I blogged last and that is getting to be a habit. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's that old "if you can't say something nice" thing. But there's a line from Steel Magnolias that I always loved, "If you can't say something nice, come sit by me."

It seems like every week is real penance these days. Yes, it's Lent, but it's also life. Life with a teen. I know every family doesn't experience teen angst amongst the children, and if you are one of them, get down on your knees and praise God, and thank Him for His infinite mercy. But, I think most every mother, even if her teens are really good kids, has her heart broken every now and again. Ginny, at Small Things, really struck a nerve in her post last week.

She said, "There comes a day when you realize that parenthood is going to break your heart, again and again."

Oh, boy, does it ever. I have "chatted" with Ginny about that fact. And the fact that you just don't realize how badly your heart can break until it is broken. It hits you like a Mack truck.

Since I have been a mother, at least prior to the last year or so, my heartbreak was limited to a few really devastating times. In the last year, however, my heart is breaking on a rather regular basis.

Our hearts, fragile as a robins' eggs, break so easily, I think, because these little people that God gives us, that we give birth to, and feed, and change their diapers thousands of time, and teach to walk and talk...we think they are pretty close to perfect. God gives them to us when they are so close to perfection, and when they are helpless, and they worm their way right into our hearts just moments after we see their perfect little faces, or even months before. 

God does that for a reason, as I'm sure you know. So that we grow to love them so very much our hearts could burst, and then one day, our hearts do burst. Because those perfect little beings are not perfect. We learn, one awful day that they are human and they are weak, and they will fall. And we have to watch them fall. Just as Our Lord fell with the cross, three times, and His wonderful mother watched. Except he fell from our sins, not his own human weakness. 

I remember when the two oldest boys were little, and I had an infant and a two-year-old, and most of the time I was in love with life and these two precious souls, but some times I thought, "Wow, this is hard work." And I truly had no idea. I don't think anyone knows how hard mothering can be until you're on your knees begging God to please, please, please fix things. Now, I am one of those "older women" who says, "Enjoy them while they are little, when they are so easy to just love. All they want is love and you can fix their problems, and they are all safe in bed at night, and you can rest your head and know that everything is ok." When someone tells you that, just believe them, because they know. And you might be cocky and think, "Mine won't turn out that way" but really, you just don't know. The best parents can raise the worst kids, and mine aren't even close to the worst kids, but they still break my heart.

At my grandma's funeral recently, I saw a man and woman from my childhood, the mother a women who had her heart broken over and over again, and she is one of the most wonderful women I have ever known. She did things right, but, still, her children broke her heart. I remember when my mother told me that her son, an older teen at the time, struck her, and I thought that was the worst thing a child could do to his mother. I still think it is one of the worst things a child can do, but I realize now that a child can pierce your heart with a sword and never lay a finger on you. When I hugged her at the funeral, after not seeing her for many years, I realized she was one of those women who knew, who would tell you just to love them when they are little, when love fixes every little problem. She knew that the peace you feel when they are under your roof at night, all tucked in their beds, that is a peace you will not know forever.

I don't have an answer to the problem's of a mother's heart, so I guess this post is really of no great help to you. I think one of the greatest difficulties in having a large family is that when the older children are breaking your heart, you have the younger ones to love, but you know they will break your heart at some point, as well. A friend texted me last week to tell me how hard it is to raise teenage boys these days. Yes, it is. But this friend had a baby and a preschooler to go home to, to love, to appreciate their perfection at this moment. I think that's a real bonus. I have only raised boys to their teen years thus far, and Faith is right on the cusp. I can't say I am feeling very brave about entering the teen years with her. I can see now why younger children get away with more. You're just worn out by the time they get to the "age of trouble."

can offer one solution, or if not a solution, because really there is no true solution, a help...Our Lord's Mother. She watched her son fall, she held His blessed face in her hands and saw His agony. She stood at the foot of the cross and watched Him die. How she did not die herself, well, only God knows, because sometimes heartbreak feels like it could just bring you to your last breath. So when I feel like my last breath is imminent, I go to His mother. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Several questions daybook's supposed to get warm today. I should say warmish, it won't be balmy I'm sure. It's sunny -- not a cloud in the sky and the birds are singing joyfully.

I am thinking about...anxiety, and how it creeps up on us and we don't even know we're anxious. At this time yesterday I was headed to the ER. I woke up with the alarm at 6:20 and my heart was racing, and my hands and feet were clammy. I hit the snooze like I always do and fell back to sleep for a minute or so, and woke up feeling the same way. I got up, tried to do prayer, sipped some water, took a Benadryl (because it generally calms me), tried to go back to sleep, woke up each time with a racing heart, and finally called Doug to come back home and take me to the ER. I didn't think it was fair for Faith to have to deal with me calling 911 if things got worse. Long story short, after some blood tests, and being on the heart monitor for a couple hours, they gave me an Ativan (which only made me sleepy) and sent me home. Crazy Lady Syndrome, I guess. The nurse suggested that this might be menopausal. I have experienced this twice before, months apart (the last time was last July), and I am beginning to wonder if any of you have ever experienced this "anxiety" related to menopause. I thought hot flashes were uncomfortable they they pale in comparison to butterflies on steroids.

I am wearing...a denim skirt, a blouse and sweater. I also have on handknit socks and slippers because I'm not going anywhere for awhile.

I am reading...Shirt of FlameBringing Lent Home with St. Therese, and  Anima Christi. I am watching the Call the Midwife series over again, and I am waiting for the first DVDs in this past Downton series to watch with my mom. By the way, in answer to the questions about why Downton has such a short season. I don't know the answer, but I can say that many British programs have short seasons. Sherlock is only three episodes. And, Jamie, I can't believe you don't remember the soap episode. "Her Ladyship's soap!" Remember?

I watched a very interesting film yesterday on Netflix about autism called, A Mother's Courage, Talking Back to Autism. I was really just curious when I saw the title, but it was fascinating to learn about giving non-verbal autistic children the opportunity to "speak."

I am creating...I'm off rosaries for the most part, the shop is pretty full. I have two commissioned rosaries to create when the parts arrive, but mostly I'm sewing scapulars, a baby quilt, and today I am tackling that coat of many colors, which I never got to over the weekend. Maybe that's my anxiety.

At the school table...right now Faith is talking to the birds outside the window, because I'm not sitting next to her. I am trying to stop spoon feeding her, because I think she is too dependent on me to get her work finished. It takes her a lot longer, but she has to learn. She is planning to have a friend over later, but she's not too motivated to finish. 

On the table...venison chili. Our neighbor gave us several pounds of ground venison and a couple of steaks. We had the steaks. They were ok. I probably wouldn't buy venison over beef, but I am not used to it either, the steaks were my first taste. I am told by my future daughter-in-law that ground venison in chili tastes just like beef. True?

A few of my favorite things...
...a candle and a dark room (one bonus to daylight savings time) with morning prayer. I am starting to enjoy the Liturgy of the Hours, though I do wish I could find a daily English chant version, just simple chant. I tried doing it myself, but I don't pray as well that way when I'm concentrating on holding the chant alone. I like the idea of praying in community, so I continue to use the audio version available at, but I would prefer to sing. 

And can someone tell me when the Glory Be changed? I used to pray "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen" Is it only shortened in the Divine Office? It prays "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spiritas it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen" and I keep praying it the old way.

Prayers sent heavenward for... husband and children
...all those who are sick and alone son, to learn his chemistry this semester
...our priests and religious, especially our parish priests, and Fr. Howe
...all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart

A picture thought...

St. Patrick's Day was not spent the way I had hoped, baking Soda Bread, and preparing Beef Pasties and Fruit Rainbow, with layered mint and chocolate pudding parfaits for dessert. I managed the Beef Pasties and Fruit Rainbow for dinner (I'm a stubborn German) but not the rest.

Lent centerpiece

St. Patrick's Day decorations a la Faith

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