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

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Carmel's Flower

Pietro Novelli
Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Saints (Simon Stock, Angelus of Jerusalem, Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, Teresa of Avila)

Carmel's Flower,
Vine ever blossoming,
Heaven's splendor!
Virgin who bore a child.
No one is like thee.
Mother gentle and kind.
Yet never touched by man!
To Carmelites give thou the privilege.
Help us Star of the Sea.

--Simon Stock

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mary's Heart

The Two Trinities
Bartolome Esteban Murillo

"And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." Luke 2:19

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The woman of hope, faith, love

Madonna della Scala

At the top of some steps, hence the traditional name of the work, Mary is kneeling and holding the baby, and with one hand holding the veil inflated by the wind. At his feet are St Matthew an angel, while in the distance, in the background, one can see a woman from behind walking with a child ( Elizabeth and John on the run from the slaughter of the Innocents ) and a fortified city in the hills.


 Mary is the woman of hope…Mary is a woman of faith… Mary is a woman who loves… Mary has truly become the Mother of all believers. Men and women of every time and place have recourse to her motherly kindness and her virginal purity and grace, in all their needs and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their moments of loneliness and their common endeavours. They constantly experience the gift of her goodness and the unfailing love which she pours out from the depths of her hear. ~~ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mother of Jesus and Our Mother

La Madonna della Sedia

“May the Mother of Jesus and our Mother, always smile on your spirit, obtaining for it, from her Most Holy Son, every heavenly blessing.”--Saint Padre Pio

Celebratory Daybook

In the garden...

...green everywhere. It's been so long since I posted a Daybook, the entire landscape has changed. The hostas are up and the tulips and daffodils are finished. The day lily greens are lush and full, and the clematis (clemati?) are blooming. I haven't had time to get any annuals in, but an upcoming grad party will force that soon, maybe this weekend when we have an extra day.

photo credit to Faith

mama duck came visiting up from the creek the other day
I'm feeling like mama duck these days -- I'd like to just tuck all my ducklings under my wings and keep them there forever.

I'm thinking about...
...being so happy that all of the bridesmaids' dresses are finished (hence the "Celebratory Daybook!") The flower girl still needs a fitting and one dress is being shipped off to Florida because the bridesmaid won't be back to Ohio until the day before the wedding (and I'm not doing alterations the day before the wedding!), but they are finished! I can't tell you how good it felt to finish up. I really had nightmares about sewing the night before the wedding (not truly nightmares, but visions -- scary visions). 

Now I get to start on the bride's veil. This I am excited to work on -- beautiful tulle and scalloped lace trim shipped from Atlanta, Georgia, sequins, beads and Swarovski crystals shipped from the west coast -- it's a girlie girl dream. I am so looking forward to sitting with armfuls of tulle in my lap on the guest bed upstairs-- nice and clean, door locked -- with a romantic movie on and just enjoying every stitch.

I haven't thought too far ahead about the wedding yet, other than just what needs to be done. My two boys need to be fitted for their tuxes, my dress is here (I wish I could link to it but it's no longer on the Dillard's website -- but it's navy blue, my signature color). I'm afraid if I think about it too much, I'll get weepy, so we won't go there. We picked a fun, but not too emotional song for my boy and I to dance to -- James Taylor's How Sweet it Is. I'm sure I'll cry. Anyone have anything to help you get through an emotional event without crying? I don't think there is a waterproof mascara out there that will get me through even the Mass.

Ok, moving on...before the wedding, we have three days of dance recital dress rehearsal, a Baccalaureate Mass/Commencement, and three days of dance recital -- and of course, two of those events are at the exact same time. Thank goodness my aunt and uncle are driving up from Cincinnati to take Faith to her recital, because I promised her, after she had to miss two years ago, that I would try to prevent that from happening ever again. Dance, unlike most sports, is a nine-month commitment. It's pretty frustrating to work for nine months and then miss "the big game." 

Then in June, we have a grad party two weeks before the wedding. I really didn't have my thinking cap on when the bride and groom chose their big day, but then again, they didn't ask either.

I am wearing...

...a blue and green poplin skirt, blue top, and white sweater. It's warmish out, but supposed to storm later -- just in time for my haircut appointment.

I am reading....
...I'm finishing Girl of the Limberlost, which I've been reading at bedtime forever, it seems, and I just finished listening to Hope's Boy, a sad story of a foster boy who grows up to become a lawyer and help other children in the foster system. I need to find something new to listen to now.

I am creating...
...well, see the above because the dresses are finished. And all of the dance costumes and First Holy Communion veils I was asked to work on are finished as well. Just a veil to sew now. 

I am also knitting, at night when I need to wind down and do something mindless. As soon as the wedding is over I'll reveal the little project I have been knitting for (no, it's not a grandchild). Also after the wedding, I have some First Holy Communion veil supplies to use up and put in the shop. And some fabric to sew into skirts -- never-ending projects.

In the kitchen...
...not much. A couple weeks ago, when I was kneeling on the floor pinning the lace trim to the tulle for the veil, I really messed up my knee. I never had an "OUCH!" moment, but I think I sat back on my feet in a way my 52-year-old knees have not been accustomed to doing. Later that day my right knee was really sore and swollen, and by Friday I could barely hobble. Poor Noah had to take his mom to the Mom Prom that way and most people probably thought I was his old grandma. (ugh) I found out from the orthopedist on Thursday that I tore something. He drew off 45 cc of blood and now tomorrow I "get to" have an MRI to see what I tore. When it rains, it pours, I tell you. By Thursday I'll know what happened and what the solution is. Because of my clotting issues, I'm not a candidate for knee surgery, so I have a feeling I'm just going to have to pray it heals.

In the meantime, not a lot of cooking is going on. I made a big Sunday dinner yesterday and my knee it telling me about it today. We're getting by on simple dinners and food from the freezer.

At the school table...
...Faith is finishing up some subjects, but I plan to school in at least math, English and history all summer.

Around the house...

...well, see "in the kitchen." Just the basics are getting done and laundry is a real challenge with the laundry room in the basement and the dirty laundry on the second floor.

Plans for the rest of the week...

...today a haircut, and a consult with my stylist on Faith's hair for the wedding, then dance this evening; an orthodontist appointment for Faith -- she'll have her braces off by the wedding, and an MRI tomorrow; a dermatologist appointment for Faith (blackheads -- yuck!) on Wednesday; and another orthopedist appointment for me on Thursday, after dance classes. Looks like a busy week. Looks like Friday is open -- yay!

A few of my favorite things...

...green mango mint iced tea -- I can finally drink something cold because I'm not freezing
...flowers and green outside my windows
...sparkly beads, sequins and lace

Prayers sent heavenward...

...for my husband and children, to do God's will every day
...for all priests and religious, especially our priests Fr. Sill and Fr. Schmit, and for Fr. Howe
...all babies whose mothers are contemplating abortion, for a change of heart
...for friends who have asked for prayers

Photo of the day...

...Geoffrey has become a real photography buff and even bought a Rolleiflex to fool around with. Doug gave him his to play with, and I guess it was so much fun he wanted one of his own. He's learning, however, how expensive photography used to be, when you have to purchase and develop film. There was discussion about using space in our basement for a darkroom, which I immediately nixed. I breathed developing chemicals for three years during college. I'd not be happy not smell them again. This pic was taken with his digital camera at the conservatory.

photo credit to Geoffrey

Linking up with Jenny at The Littlest Way

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mother of Hope

Christi Himmelfahrt 
Gebhard Fugel

From Mary we learn to surrender to God's Will in all things. From Mary we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary we learn to love Christ her Son and the Son of God! 
 ~Saint John Paul II~

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mary's joy and sorrow and glory

Bartolomé Esteban Murilla
Virgin and Child with a Rosary

Take the Holy Rosary, one of the most deeply rooted of Christian devotions. The Church encourages us to contemplate its mysteries. She wants to engrave upon our heart and our imagination, together with Mary's joy and sorrow and glory, the spellbinding example of Our Lord's life, in his thirty years of obscurity, his three years of preaching, his ignominious Passion and his glorious Resurrection.  
~~ St. Josemaria Escriva Friends of God, 299

Friday, May 15, 2015

Immaculate Mother

 Francesco Albani
The Annunciation

"To give worthy praise to the Lord's mercy, we unite ourselves with Your Immaculate Mother, for then our hymn will be more pleasing to You, because She is chosen from among men and angels. Through Her, as through a pure crystal, Your mercy was passed on to us. Through Her, man became pleasing to God; Through Her, streams of grace flowed down upon us." (1746)
--St. Faustina

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Health of the Sick, pray for us

Jacques-Louis David
St Roch Asking the Virgin Mary to Heal Victims of the Plague

Lord, you desired your Son, Jesus, to have compassion and heal the sick. Through the intercession of our Patroness, Mary Health of the Sick, we beseech you for the grace to care for our suffering brothers and sisters, being true to our name as Servants of Mary. Make us instruments of salvation and peace, of consolation and love, imitating our Mother Foundress. May the sick be comforted with your divine grace and united with your Son. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us

Our Blessed Mother's words at Fatima: "When you pray the Rosary, say after each mystery: 'O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Your mercy.'"