Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Wrapping it up Daybook



In the garden...
...it's dark, and it's cold, and every once in a while we get a thin covering of snow, but so far there is no real hope for a white Christmas. I know most of you are not fans of snow, but I find it to be so soothing and magical, I wouldn't mind a few inches.







I'm thinking about...

...well, Christmas. How 'bout you? I have the third batch of cookies in the oven (biscotti tonight and pizzelles earlier today, springerles last week); about one quarter of the gifts are wrapped; and I still have some that are unaccounted for which I hope show up on my porch tomorrow or Tuesday.

I finished all the hand-sewn gifts, even with my temperamental sewing machine not working half the time, and my gifts of jewelry are finished, as well. Now I have just shopping, wrapping and the rest of the cookies to bake. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I hope to have a few moments through the beginning of the week to rest, watch a Christmas movie or two and catch my breath. If not, I guess it will happen during the Twelve Days, which has become my favorite part of Christmas.








I am wearing...

...a charcoal great skirt, black knit top and a black scarf. Earlier I had on my black suede boots and earrings, but they came off after Mass. 
In case you care. ;-) 







I am reading....
...I just finished One True Thing, by Anna Quindlen, one of my favorite modern books. I love it because I feel it validates my vocation, and work as a homemaker. If you've never read it, I'll warn you, it's sad, but it's good. I don't agree with much of it, but there is more good than bad. The book, of course, is so much better than the film, but the film is good, too. 

I'm also listening to Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, but I haven't had much time for listening.






I am creating...
...a sweater for Faith is on the needles, but most of the other creating is over and ready to be wrapped. I made two pairs of children's pajamas for a nephew and a Godchild, and eight seasonal pillowcases for Doug's niece (one of the favorite gifts among all of our nieces nephews and young gift recipients).


Also pictured is the garter stitch shawl I recently finished.











At the school table...
...no school for two weeks (whoopee!), although we have a stack of Christmas books to read.






Plans for the rest of the week...

...wrapping and baking and celebrating.


A few of my favorite things....

...friends who check on me when I've been absent from here for a while
...children who can get along long enough to put up the Christmas lights -- all by themselves. (whoopee!)
...cookies in tins (though not so much the making of the cookies)
...a lit tree in a dark room





Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children to do God's will
...for answers to medical questions...still
...for all the priests and religious
...for all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart




Thought of the day...


...these thoughts are compliments of my mother-in-law who has been ill with bronchitis, and she sent me this poem she penned the other day:


Trinkets

My heart is filled with many things
Scraps of cloth, bejeweled rings
Sparkling glass and shiny floors
Praise of people and much more

The things that have to be just so,
A perfect gift, the so-so bow
The perfect word for perfect prayer
The perfect weight, the perfect hair

It tires me and weighs me down
 The things I do to gain renown
 The idols fashioned through the years.
My lack of love, the harbored fears

Yet only You can ease this pain
Can empty me of all that's gain
 Free this captive, bring new birth
For this is why You came to earth.

 I've waited in this Advent time
 Longed to feel your touch Sublime
 My heart is filled with many things

 I long to empty for my King.

--Susie Stein




Friday, December 05, 2014

Friday Catch Up


This post should probably be titled "Still Waiting." I feel like I've been waiting all week...

...waiting for Faith's fever to go away, and it has not. Waiting for the cough to settle, and it has not. My daughter has been in bed for one week and one day. That is remarkable. If you really knew this girl, you'd know she doesn't stay in one place for five minutes, much less a week. She doesn't want to get out of bed, even though I told her she can have the sofa in the family room with the TV. If it were not for the fact that she is at least eating, and being very cranky, I'd be really really worried. As it is I'm just really worried. We saw our pediatrician on Wednesday and he says it's just a bad cold. Really bad.

I was waiting for beads so I could have something to do while I worried, but they came yesterday. So now there are St. Andrew chaplets in the Etsy shop if you need something to keep track of those prayers.

And I was waiting for Friday to come so I could have my MRI (because you know how excited I get about MRIs). I just had my last sip of anything before my 6 p.m. appointment (no anything by mouth 4 hours prior).

I wish you were here, so you could wait with me.



Monday, December 01, 2014

Where the heck did the weekend go? Daybook








In the garden...

...it's dark, and it's cold, and I believe weather is coming because I have a weather headache. I get those -- weather headaches -- and they are convenient if you need to predict precipitation, but other than that they are just a pain. No pun intended. I think I heard freezing rain for rush hour in the morning. Good plan. Not.


I'm thinking about...

...where the weekend went. We had Thanksgiving here and a houseful of wonderful family and friends, and adult children who used to be the little kids, and now we have no little kid table any more. It is so odd to look into the family room and see all adults, where there used to be kids. 

Then on Friday, Faith came down with a fever and a cough and I lost track of the weekend. We were supposed to have all of our family back over for dinner but they declined to be exposed, not that I blame them. I thought she was better on Saturday and everyone planned to come back, so I cooked a meal with lots of dessert, and then at 3 o'clock I checked her temp and it was back up to 102. My company declined to be exposed, again.


On Sunday, Faith and I spent a veerry interesting several hours at the Children's urgent care, and when I say interesting I mean not in a good way. Bottom line, no pneumonia, no bronchitis, no flu, just a two plus hour wait (in a waiting room with flu, fevers, snot, and barf dishes...ugh) and five minutes with a doctor who told me to go home and do all the things I was already doing. I can't imagine all the souvenirs we took with us, and when I say souvenirs I mean not in a good way. The only reason I went was so that our pediatrician would prescribe codeine cough syrup, which he would not prescribe if there was a chance she had pneumonia. I really wish we had waited a day and just seen him at his office.


By the way, did you know St. Blaise is the patron of coughs? Yup.



I am wearing...
...do you care? 


I am reading....
...I have several books going at once. The Honey Thief in real paper book from the library and Still Life with Bread Crumbs on Kindle. I have The Gift on audiobook but I haven't been able to listen to anything in the last few days because I need to keep both ears out for my patient upstairs who calls out "come up" every fifteen minutes or so, usually to see the digital thermometer, which either shows that it has gone up by leaps, or down.


I am creating...
...I have a baby blanket on the needles and I should be finished with it tonight. I got a lot of knitting in at the urgent care {wink}. That's all I'm working on until the beads I ordered arrive. I realized too late that I wanted to put some St. Andrew chaplets in my shop. I have the medals but the beads have taken two weeks to arrive. If you need one, sit tight.


At the school table...
...there was no school last week, and it's not looking too good for this week. Wednesday at the very earliest.


Plans for the rest of the week...
...I have an MRI scheduled for Friday evening -- I'll take prayers for that. It's to diagnose a possible urethral diverticulum, and you know how I love MRIs. Not much else, especially if Faith stays sick. I'll be at the pediatrician's some time Wednesday is she's not better.


A few of my favorite things....

...Advent candles
...my Jesse tree (which I am going to get out tonight, a little late, but potiusque sero quam nunquam )
...The St. Andrew novena, which Jennifer Miller conveniently reminded me of today (see above) and also has some nice printables. I love that prayer.


Prayers sent heavenward...

...my daughter, to be better soon 
...for my husband and children to do God's will
...for all the priests and religious
...for all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart




A few photos...

...I only got pictures of one table -- it was just too crazy with all the bodies. But I have a picture of an awesome apple cake and a link to the recipe. If you're not afraid of our germs and you're in the neighborhood, stop by for a piece, or a brownie, or some leftover pumpkin or pecan pie -- I'm working on all of it, but I think I'm about done.














Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy day-before-Thanksgiving






The other night I had a dream -- one of those dreams. I've written about them before. They are the kind which do not require an analyst to tell you what they mean. This one meant I was not feeling ready for Thanksgiving -- at all.

In my dream, I was coming out of the doctor's office and the doctor was walking me out...to my bike. She started to say goodbye and I said "you've never told me what my due date is" and she said "we'll do that next time." I said "but I don't have any of the baby's things ready so I really need to know" and then she waved goodbye and walked away. Due date -- yes, I was pregnant, but big pregnant. How could I not know when I was due?

Well, it was a dream.

After the doctor waved goodbye, I got on my bicycle -- yes, big pregnant me got on my bicycle -- and then I started cycling down a really long hill (now that I think of it, it should have been uphill, but it was downhill), but before I got to the bottom I had to brake hard because the sidewalks were really crowded and the bicycle in front of me had broken down. When I braked hard my tire popped and my sandals broke.

??

So I had to walk my bike with my broken sandals and I wanted to call my husband for help, but didn't have a cell phone. I don't think anyone had cell phones because there were banks and banks of public phones -- the kind you never see anymore. And come to think of it, everyone looked like they were Chinese.

??

But there were people at most of the phones and those that didn't have people were broken because my dime, yes, a dime, kept coming right out. And then the dream ended.



Ok, do you think maybe the bicycle and my sandals represent my broken old body?

And the doctor thing...the doctor was actually the doctor who treats my uro-gynocology issues. I think I might share the dream with her the next time I see her. She is my age and might get a kick out of me being pregnant and coming to her (she is not an ob), and if she thinks about it, she might realize the dream probably means that, at some level, conscious or not, I think she is not really resolving some issues.

And being pregnant and not knowing my due date? Well, Thanksgiving is this week and I was not ready. At all. But, the goods news is, Faith wants to go shopping with my mom on Friday (at the mall, yes) and my mom told her that if she doesn't help me before Thanksgiving, then no-go. Yesterday, she was actually thinking of chores to do, and then did them...a miracle I tell you. So, almost all the chores are done and I'm feeling better about Thanksgiving. The big kids will be home tonight, I'm not cooking dinner, but they will be here to peel potatoes today and tomorrow and lift big turkeys for me, and it should all be good.

So if I have time tomorrow, I'll post pictures of the tables...you know I love doing the tables -- the very best part. And I hope you are feeling ready for your Thanksgiving -- no broken bicycles, sandals or pay phones. No unknown due dates. And if you are traveling, prayers for very safe travels.

May God be with you and bless you.






Tuesday, November 18, 2014

First Snow







Oh, snow covered tree on a winter morn
You're a gorgeous reminder of a wicked storm





You stand so tall with proud beauty
A sight for all to stop and see





You gently dance with winter's wind
You never break, but slightly bend





You give me a smile of pure delight
As your ice crystals sparkle in the light




Oh, snow covered tree on crisp winter morn
A reminder that winter is not to be mourned


Poetry source: Booksie



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Life trumps blog Daybook



In the garden...
...rain at the moment. Some days it's cold, some days it's in the 60s. I definitely have to check the weather before I dress each day. Most of the leaves are gone in our yard, but there are some yellows left and one of the red maples is hanging on. I keep telling Faith I want to coat leaves in beeswax to make a garland (as I have a bunch of beeswax pellets which will go bad before I use it all) but I have a feeling the leaves will be gone before we get to it.





photo credit to Noah



I'm thinking about...

...so much my head is spinning. My health issues continue, but other than waiting for the doctor to schedule an MRI and getting into a new endocrinologist, I can't do much. Yeah, my primary care physician was astounded that a doctor told me my problems are in my head. She did some blood work and my cortisol levels are  low, which paired with low DHEA levels means something is up with my adrenal glands. Praying I get in before February.

...thinking about Thanksgiving (wondering how I'm going to get through it without complete exhaustion, but confident God will give me the grace and the strength to make good memories for my family). Most of my menu is set because my family insists on the same dishes every year, but I am trying to incorporate some more vegetables because I want a healthier menu. I usually make green beans with red peppers and shallots, but I wonder if you have any suggestion for good vegetable sides, even a cold dish, though not a green leaf salad. Maybe a brussel sprout salad, or an asparagus salad? any suggestions?

...thinking about Advent and St. Nicholas Day. I'm trying not to break the bank, but it gets really hard to fill the stockings of big kids. They are no longer thrilled with chocolate coins. I have nail polish and bobbles for the girls, but boys are hard. A couple of years ago they got small Swiss pocket knives, and last year they got little Streamlight keychains, but I'm stuck this year. Any suggestions appreciated.

...I am also thinking about hiring someone to come twice a month and help me keep my house clean. Just keeping up with laundry, ironing, cooking and homeschooling, not to mention sewing and Faith's dance schedule is wiping me out. I am barely keeping my house clean. Don't look too closely if you visit. Any thoughts? Do any of my readers use cleaners?



photo credit to Noah



I am wearing...
...my flannel nightgown. I watched the twin girls next door from 5 until 7:30, and when I got home I went straight for my nightgown.



photo credit to Noah



I am reading....
...I have several books going at once. The Honey Thief in real paper book from the library, The Book of Tomorrow on audiobook, and Still Life with Bread Crumbs on Kindle. Nothing deep that's for sure. I just finished Every Last One and it was a really good read. It was the first time in a long time that I just sat and read during the day. It felt quite decadent, but possibly something I need to do more of.



photo credit to Noah


I am creating...
...I'm still working on the gray shawl. I was practicing on some baby items for a project I have in my mind for the future, but I just don't have much time for endless knitting right now. I have bridesmaids dresses to sew. The practice dress was a hit so I ordered 44 yards of fabric (yikes!) to make seven dresses. That doesn't count the flower girl dress which will be white. Or the veil fabric for the bride.



photo credit to Noah



At the school table...

...same old, same old there. Chugging along. I'm enjoying the history, and Faith couldn't be more bored. I get excited about English and she dramatically weeps. Sigh.

Plans for the rest of the week...
...an orthodontist appointment, dance class and a mammogram. Oh, and catering lunch for the dance studio  teachers. Just chili -- nothing fancy.


A few of my favorite things....

...Real Salt, which I recently discovered -- it tastes really good
...red, orange and yellow leaves falling
...pan roasted sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts with an egg cooked in the middle for breakfast. I never thought I could eat veggies for breakfast, but I'm liking it.
...long evenings with lamplight


Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children to do God's will
...for my health, mental and physical (you can join me here and I would be most appreciative)
...for all the priests and religious
...for all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart




Quote of the day...

I've been thinking about this quote all week, since St. Charles' Feast Day last week.


“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out… Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter… Do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself." ~~ St. Charles Borromeo





photo credit to Noah





Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The winner



I might be two days late, but I'm not a winner short. There's a story behind my tardiness, but that will have to wait. There's a kid standing behind me waiting to get on the computer for homework. For now, the winner of the rosary:



Gail, send me your address please, and I'll get it in the mail.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Daybook (and a giveaway)



In the garden...
...well, the garden is pretty much dead, except for a few roses. It's chilly out today, and I have a feeling we're finished with warm, sunny days for a while. I could be wrong, but the chill feels real and long-lasting. I don't mind. You know I love weather that keeps me indoors, but I admit I have recently felt the need just to sit outdoors and breathe fresh air. I can always have Doug build me a fire and bundle up well, right?



I'm thinking about...

...my health and not getting answers from doctors. I've decided doctors really don't know the answers to a lot of questions, which is why they "practice" medicine, right? I think I'm going to look for a 70-year-old doctor who has a lot more answers than the young ones. I'm on the second dose of the third antibiotic for this UTI I have had for months (the doses are ten days apart -- it's an antibiotic you mix in water and take once) and I'm tired of being sick. Done. 


I am wearing...
...gray tights, a gray skirt, a plum long-sleeve shirt and my new shawl, which is navy, gray and plum. Black shoes, bronze and plum earrings, an amethyst bracelet and my copper chains. Got the whole picture now? {wink}


I am reading....

...two books, depending on my mood. I have A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute for when I am not feeling anxious, because the characters in the book are having a really difficult time (and I thought my situation was difficult? ha!). And I have Every Last One by Anna Quindlen, in which so far nothing really bad has happened so I can read it any time.









I am creating...
...the gray shawl, as it has become known as in my mind. It's very gray, but then gray is nice and neutral and can be worn with colors. It's the same pattern as the last shawl. I like the rows and rows of nice neat stitches. Nothing complicated at all. I think knitting rows of nice neat stitches is more productive and maybe more efficient than therapy, but then I've never gone through therapy...yet. Never say never.

After a visit to an endocrinologist yesterday, I might be headed there (not really, at least not yet). He told me that low DHEA levels (a hormone made by your adrenal glands and through hormone testing I found out I am in short supply of) don't mean anything and my problems are in my head (he did not say I was crazy, but just that I can tell myself nothing is wrong. He's lucky he didn't get bit.) He went so far as to say DHEA does nothing in our bodies (which I know not to be true). 





At the school table...

...Faith was sick on Monday, so technically (in my head -- it's all in my head) we are a day behind, but we're chugging along, learning math, new things in history and science and we finished Pictures of Hollis Woods, which I highly recommend (I just saw there is a movie -- I had no idea -- gotta get that one). Speaking of movies, have you seen The Trail? Really good movie, and good for the kids to watch (there is a death in the movie -- not graphic, but nevertheless, so kids of a certain age). It faith-filled, and riveting, at least it was for Faith and I.

Plans for the rest of the week...
...I think...nothing. Yay! We will celebrate the feast days on the weekend, and nothing else. 


A few of my favorite things....

...a new cinnamon tea, which I can get at the grocer
...red, orange and yellow leaves falling
...trick-or-treat night, which is tonight and is fun because almost all of our trick-or-treaters are under age 6
...chili on trick-or-treat night -- always


Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children to do God's will
...for my health, mental and physical (you can join me here and I would be most appreciative)
...for all the priests and religious
...for all the babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion this week, for a change of heart

And last, but not least...
...a giveaway of this knotted rosary with the Our Lady of Sorrows medal at the center. Leave your name and contact information in the comment box (or email me using the address in the sidebar) and I'll draw a name at noon on Monday, November 3.

These knotted rosaries are the best sleeping rosaries. I take mine to bed every night and wake periodically with it wrapped around my hand -- then just pick up where I left off.







Monday, October 20, 2014

Menu Monday


I lieu of actual writing, today I am posting my Menu on Monday with Mary Ellen Barrett. Well, I guess I'll link to Mary Ellen when she gets hers up.



I'm trying a few new recipes this week and trying something different tonight for Doug and Noah while Faith is at dance, and I am waiting on her. She and I will probably eat soup or something simple when we get home.

Monday: homemade Big Don Subs for the menfolk

Tuesday: Chilaquiles, black beans, fruit salad

Wednesday: Shredded beef, Sweet Potato pancakes, green beans with bacon

Thursday: Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese

Friday: Baked Bean and Steamed Brown Bread

Saturday: pizza

Sunday: Birthday party for my 25 year old! (boy does that make me old!) He hasn't chosen his menu yet.


PS Anyone who thought that Lidia's chicken from last week's menu sounded good (hint, hint, Barb) was right. It was very good! And there's a story there also, but I'll have to tell it tomorrow.




Friday, October 17, 2014

Catching up, week 2


It seems I am just not very good at time management as I can't seem to get to the computer between Monday and Friday.

Or maybe I just choose other activities in my spare time (knitting...reading). I guess those other activities are better for my frayed nerves than blogging. sorry.

I thought I'd give a quick update, health-wise, even though it's all rather boring, even to me.

Remember the spinal injection I was going to have? Postponed twice, finally done the third time scheduled...weirdest feeling ever, and I mean weird (that is after the pain of the injection). You know that feeling you get in your lip when you've been to the dentist and had Novocain -- where you can't make it move? My whole leg, from toe to hip felt that way. I tried to stand up after the procedure and almost fell right over. Luckily there was a wall to grab onto. I could bear absolutely no weight...very, very weird. And, unfortunately the injection did not work. Very disappointing. Can't wait to get the bill.

The spine doctor referred me to a neurosurgeon (I've already seen two other neurosurgeons) who he thinks can cut the nerve. He really had to talk me into the referral -- "just see what he has to say." But, I'm inclined to make this the end of the road and just live with the pain. How do you decide when you are just supposed to suffer? You know, suffer for spiritual reasons? There are risks that the nerve damage could get worse with surgery and that other nerves could be damaged, so even though this doctor says he is the only surgeon he would let operate on him, I think I'm just going to listen and then decline.

In the meantime, my anxiety is a little calmer (although my daughter might not agree). Maybe the progesterone is working, maybe not. I went to my gyn to get a second opinion on the whole hormone/menopause thing and she did more blood work. From those results it appears I am in menopause, and should be having fewer symptoms. Unfortunately, the results also showed my adrenal hormones are low. The nurse would only go so far in revealing what the results mean and I have an appointment with the gyn next week. I have thought for a while (years) that I have some form of adrenal exhaustion, but when I went to a doctor about it he poo-poo'd me. I have a lot of the symptoms, so I am adjusting my diet (no sugar and very little white flour, lots of veggies and protein, and adding some vitamins and minerals) to help (hopefully). I'm on my fourth UTI in about three months, and recurring infections is a classic symptom. Thyroid issues are also a symptom, as is anxiety, hypoglycemia, and low blood pressure. I'm praying I don't have adrenal insufficiency or fatigue, but at least it would be an answer.

~~~~~

Ok, onto happier topics -- knitting. I finished the first garter stitch shawl I was working on and I love it. With my gray hair I have to be careful how I wear a shawl so I don't look like a little old lady.








The other day I wore it tied in the front like if I had thrown a sweater over my shoulders. It looked ok. I can't deal with heavy, bunchy stuff around my neck, so I am limited in my fashion statements. I cast on another this week in solid gray, to wear with more colorful clothes. It's nice to just throw on to run to dance or even in the house if it's chilly.

~~~~~

Another happy topic -- food. I baked this on Sunday before I had blood test results, so I enjoyed a piece. This week (after test results and subsequent research), I made a pan of Snickerdoodle bars for the kids and my mom brought over my very favorite iced butter cookies. I resisted. And I have been eating protein and vegetables for breakfast (aren't you proud of me, Sara?) which is really hard for me. I really want cream of wheat with sugar and milk, but I'm trying.




Apple Galette


Recipe found here, but I used the classic Crisco crust instead of Zoe's. The filling was delish, however, and easy. Way easier than pie.

By the way, the pie at that pie crust link is a winner too. Can't go wrong. And it's sweet potatoes -- healthy, right?

Well, I'm off to put on a nightgown, get a movie set up and knit all evening long. Until my eyes just close. That's the plan anyway. 



PS Thanks for all the kind words and prayers about Noah's accident. The car is totaled (I think I told you) and Nationwide is being really slow in settling, but I think we all learned a lesson that needs learned every once in a while -- life is short and it can change drastically at any moment. 

PPS Keep your eyes open for a rosary giveaway. I have some new twine colors and I think there might be a few of you who need a new knotted bedtime rosary (my Mary security blanket).


And I'm leaving you with a photo of our pretty Maggie pup. Her summer cut is growing out and she looks cute. Unfortunately she has been diagnosed with thyroid issues and has to be on medication, so I guess it's true what they say about dogs and their owners.



photo by Noah