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



Monday, April 04, 2016

How do you blog about nothing? Daybook




In the garden...
...some very slow-moving tulips, only a few of which have bloomed, and some beautiful hyacinth. It's raining today, and it's cool. We had that bad wind storm over the weekend with sideways blowing snow. That was the second snow after the forsythia bloomed; only one to go.




I'm thinking about...
...I feel like I'm in Groundhog Day, except in my world the date changes, but nothing else. Every day starts the same, and ends the same, and except for a spring break week where Faith had no school to do between sun up and sun down, nothing changed. During spring break, I just did more of what I normally do between the hours of wake and sleep.

For those of you who might be wondering, we are still unemployed. We did get our insurance back about a week ago -- I've never held my breath for so long. That was almost a month of not having health insurance. The kicker is, once we got it back via the severance agreement, they took out double premiums to cover the period we were uncovered because, "Oh, you didn't know? It was always going to be retroactive." Thanks for telling us.

One evening while Faith was at dance, a call came in on our landlline. Doug was watching television where the caller ID pops up on the screen. He yelled "Leap of Faith!" (the name of the studio) and we both ran to the phone. All I could think was "we don't have insurance!" She was only asking permission to go get ice cream at Dairy Queen with her classmates and teacher, but I was very upset later when I contemplated the fact that my first thought was not "my daughter is hurt," it was "we don't have insurance for injuries." That was a grim moment.


I am wearing...
...a denim skirt and gray sweater, with gray leggings and gray socks. No shoes.  I'm only wearing socks because it's really cold in the house. 

I'm disappointed that my foot has not healed properly after surgery and it's so swollen that I only wear shoes when I leave the house. I can't even keep my slippers on for long because they pinch the toes. I was hopeful that even after the surgeon told me (three weeks ago) that it was far more swollen than it should be, that eventually it would go down to normal, but I'm starting to lose hope.


I am reading....
...nothing; there is no time in my day for reading, unless you count lesson plans. I've stopped checking FB, too. No time for frivolities.


I am creating...
...everything I can create and sell: scapulars, rosaries, jewelry. I have one scapular left to sew for an order of 12, and then I only have a few other orders that have trickled in. I am hopeful that when First Holy Communion season is on us (like really soon), I will sell some of the stock in my shop. I had an idea last week for some pretty Everlasting Covenant bracelets with dove and olive branch charms. I've ordered all the parts and can't wait until they arrive.





I'm also still altering dance costumes from the dance studio as well. Every time I return some, they give me more to work on. It might be Faith's last year, so I willingly volunteer.


In the kitchen...
...we had a nice dinner with one of Noah's friends last night and there is leftover cheesecake in the fridge. Yum. Such treats are rare these days.



At the school table...
...Monday after spring break. Ugh



Around the house...
...laundry, and rosary-making supplies, and books I'm selling on Amazon.


Plans for the rest of the week...
...just dance lessons -- that's one good thing about unemployment (good for home-bodies), it sure keeps you home.



A few of my favorite things...
...hmmmm, I haven't been enjoying much of my favorite things lately, but the cheesecake was yummy.
...foot baths with epsom salts and lavender


Prayers sent heavenward...
...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day and for employment that fills our needs and not our wants
...for all priests and religious
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers










Sunday, March 27, 2016

Deo Gratias!




He is risen, Alleluia!



PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA
Resurrection
1463-65




"If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him." Romans 6:8


Happy Easter!



Friday, March 11, 2016

A pretty-dress-winner


I'm sorry it's not noon.

Actually, rephrase that: I'm sorry I didn't post this at noon, but today was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, so I'm glad it's not still noon.

I may be late, but I have a winner.



The winner is Julie -- I'll contact you by email to let you know.



And thank you to all of you who promoted my rosary shop. I would appreciate it if you keep me in mind for your rosary, religious jewelry, and First Holy Communion veil needs. My shop is here and my FB page is here -- you can "Like" me!

And of you didn't win, but still need a First Holy Communion dress, consider Noori Dresses -- they have some beautiful dresses and great deals. And I'll have some more veils in my shop very soon.






Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Still waiting



Just a little update on the job situation in case you thought there might be something fantastic going on that you were missing.

Nothing has changed, at least not in the ways that are real and that recognizable (we never know about the plans God has in the works). I've been forbidden to speak about it (loose lips sink ships) except I will say that the severance agreement has still not been settled, and we still don't have medical insurance. For those who thought we could go on COBRA, you're right -- we could, to the tune of $2100 a month. If the severance agreement pans out and we have medical insurance for the duration, I pray my husband will have a job by the time the term runs out. If not, we will have to go to "the marketplace" (aka Obamacare). My husband and Faith could use a group like Christ Medicus Foundation CURO because they have no pre-existing medical conditions. But Noah and I do, and we would likely not be accepted, thus Obamacare. But, that decision is down the road a bit (I hope) and I'm trying to live one day at a time.

I hope that I didn't hurt the feelings of our friends and family who either didn't know about our situation, and thus couldn't offer their love, or who had reached out to us. Obviously if you didn't know, you didn't know, and if you reached out, then you were already offering your help and prayers.

I want to thank God for the many friends I have here on my blog. I consider you as real as the friends I can see and hug, except our hugs must be long distance and felt with our hearts instead of our arms. You have lifted me up and kept me in prayer and I am so, so grateful. Thank you also to the friends who have emailed me, some I have made rosaries for, some who have been readers for years and we have established a more personal friendship. I appreciate all your kindness and mostly your prayers. At one such reader's suggestion, I am praying the novena to Our Lady of Prompt Succor. Running to Our Blessed Mother comes very easily to me, and I beg her to take my petitions to Her Son, as He always obeys His mother if it is God's will.

I pray God's will is revealed to us soon.



Countdown to Giveaway


If you have need of a First Holy Communion dress, you have just until Friday to enter the GiveawayIt's a FREE dress, folks, of your choice -- any dress under $79.99! The dresses are from Noori Dresses, and they have a great selection.

Just click over to the giveaway, leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you, or email me at momoffthegrid@gmail.com.












Friday, March 04, 2016

It's a lonely business



When life gives you oranges and limes....


I apologize, my friends, for not coming here and confiding in you sooner. The last couple of weeks have been very difficult, and I have been very alone, except for some immediate family, and a few close friends.

The lonely business is I speak of is...unemployment.

Two days after surgery on my foot (almost three weeks ago), my husband came home in the afternoon with a look on his face that betrayed the reason he had come home early. He had been fired. As I was resting comfortably on the sofa with my foot wrapped in an ice pack, creating a rosary on my lap, he could not have surprised me more had he slapped me (my husband does not slap me). I think my heart stopped for a minute or two -- at least it felt that way.

I thank God that in 30 years of marriage we have never had to deal with unemployment. That fact, however, doesn't make it any easier right now.

I can't divulge much (because we're still trying to negotiate a severance) except that he was the vice president of a Catholic university, and his dismissal was not, at all, handled in a Christ-like manner. We still do not know why he was fired, and as Ohio is an at-will state, one can be fired for any reason, or none at all. We're still reeling from him being fired, so there is a lot of "gunk" running through our heads every waking hour of the day (of which there are more than there used to be), and as we're still in a resolution state of mind, we think a lot about what went wrong (and haven't come up with many answers).

Looking forward, or trying to, we recognize that my husband has been a fundraiser in the same city for 30 years and has a lot of friends in the Catholic community in this town. That means he really doesn't want to move -- the first step in fund-raising in friend-raising -- but, after 30 years, there aren't any positions locally at his level of qualification.

The loneliness I refer to has come from the sudden absence of some of our oldest friends. I am stunned that the phone doesn't ring, no emails or texts, just...crickets. I know it's a difficult situation to acknowledge to someone, just like death and illness, but absence is of no comfort at all. I feel as though we have the plague and our friends have headed for the hills for fear of catching it.

That, my friends, is why I am disclosing our hardship. I rely on you, my long-distance, but not runaway companions, to support me, encourage me, and most of all, pray for us.












Saturday, February 20, 2016

First Holy Communion Dress Giveaway



While it is still Lent by the liturgical calendar and Easter is still over a month away, right around the corner is First Holy Communion season and I bet if you have a son or daughter who is making his or her First Holy Communion, you're starting to plan. That's why I was so happy when Noori Dresses contacted me and asked me if I would like to give away a First Holy Communion dress on my blog.

Heck yeah!

Noori Dresses is a California company that specializes in special occasion dresses at reasonable prices (I wish I had known about them last year when I was sewing dresses for junior bridesmaids and a flower girl!). They also specialize in great customer service, and I guess it shouldn't surprise me that they reached out to me to offer a free dress to one of my readers. When I actually voiced that the offer sounded too good to be true, a representative of the company said, "Instead of spending advertising budget on a media firm,  it is better that the money is going to a Catholic, who are our customers."

 I quite agree. 

They have a wide range of styles available in First Communion dresses, from very fru fru to very simple, and everything in between.



I love all the layers on this one.




And the pin tucks on this one -- so sweet.




And this embroidered bodice with full skirt...stunning.


The dresses pictured here are just a small sample of what is available at their website. The winner of the giveaway can choose any dress priced under $79.99 and Noori Dresses will ship it directly to you. And if you don't win, well you can still get a beautiful dress for a great price. They have veils, jackets and shoes available, too.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment here on my blog, and be sure to leave a way to get in touch with you. You can also email me at momoffthegrid(at)gmail(dot)com (don't forget to replace (at) and (dot) with the symbols).

If you want to be entered twice, you can promote my Etsy Shop Mary Devotions (which happens to be stocked with rosaries for boys and girls, jewelry, and scapulars) on your blog or on Facebook. Just tell me in the comment box that you've done so and I'll enter you twice (or three times if you promote my shop on FB and your blog).






The name will be chosen on March 11 at noon -- and remember, the more you promote my shop, the better your chances.







Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Recovery Day 1 Yarn Along and a Birthday Girl





Day 1 of foot surgery recovery and I got quite a bit of knitting done yesterday. I went in to the surgical center on the second blue stripe and now I'm more than halfway through the last one -- the white stripe. This is a sweet rugby striped cotton blanket for a baby boy. The colors are KnitPick's Shine Worsted white, wisteria, clarity and robot.





Next up is a Tulip Sweater for Faith is these gorgeous blues and gray. It looks like a winter day, with blue skies and a snowy landscape. I love this yarn -- it's Berroco Modern Cotton in white, gadwall, warbler, napatree, and hope. I'm looking forward to starting it. It's such a cute pattern -- I think it will look great in these colors. I'll start with white at the top and work my way down to the darkest blue.





The sweater is not for her birthday, but today happens to be that day! Faith is 14! Can you believe it? That girl has definitely grown up on this blog.














It's so hard to believe my baby is 14! She's taller than I am now and has definitely become a young lady this past year.

While not an ideal birthday, with me on Day 1 of recovery, we're going to have a day of watching princess movies (Cinderella and Maleficent), because you're never too old for princess movies. Mimi is bringing a pot of chili over for dinner, and dad is bringing home her very first bakery birthday cake -- red velvet with cream cheese frosting (and purple flowers). Yum!



PS My read is What Alice Forgot, which I am enjoying so far.








Monday, February 15, 2016

Pretty little birdies





photo by Faith


I thought I'd entice you to come here with a photo my little peach took. Aren't they the sweetest little birdies?

And while I have you here, would you mind offering up a little prayer for my surgery and recovery. Surgery Tuesday at around 9:30 a.m. and crutches and a special shoe for a couple weeks. Hopefully, barring any complications (fingers crossed), I won't have foot pain after I heal. Never again. Thanks!


UPDATED: Thanks so much, ladies. It's noon and I'm home and on the sofa. The surgery went well -- great nurses and anesthesiologist (didn't see much of the doc). They gave me a lovely little "glass of wine" in my IV on the way to surgery, so I had sweet dreams. Now the only challenge is learning to use crutches! Thank you for your prayers. They were most efficacious! Thank you, Lord.






Friday, February 12, 2016

Scattering Petals





"O My Beloved, how shall I show my love, since love proves itself by deeds? I have no other means of proving my love than to strew flowers, and these flowers will be each word and look, each little daily sacrifice. I wish to make profit out of the smallest actions and to do them all for Love. For Love's sake I wish to suffer and to rejoice: so shall I strew my flowers. Not one that I see but, singing all the while, I will scatter its petals before You. Should my roses be gathered from amid thorns, I will sing notwithstanding; and the longer and sharper the thorns, the sweeter will grow my song" --St. Therese of the Child Jesus