Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back, looking forward

It seems as we get closer to the end of the year we tend to start thinking about next year and how we want it to be better, different, more of this, less of that than the one coming to a close.  At least I do.  And in doing so, I look at this last year and take stock.  What was good?  What could be better?

As I’m trying to think back over this last year, it all seems to be a blur.  New Year’s Day 2011 seems so far away.  How was this year?  Good, bad, indifferent?  I don’t know.  This has to have been the hardest year of my life in terms of job/career, finances, marriage, mental, emotional & physical fitness. 

What was good?  God.  What could be better?  Me.

I just printed a calendar for my desk at work, using some of my favorite photos.  Across the top of it I added “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” – “To the greater glory of God”.  It’s my reminder that, good, bad, indifferent, my life has one purpose – to glorify our Lord. 

All the rest will follow.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Quick Takes (18)

Happy 6th day of Christmas!  I am so grateful that the season lasts 12 days so I can still work on celebrating it properly. 

As I’m writing this I’m “plugged in” to my iPod listening to my all-time favorite Christmas tunes.  It saddens me that the radio stations stop playing them so soon.  But then again, they start playing them so early.

My patron saint for 2012 is Our Lady of Guadalupe.  I shouldn’t be surprised, considering how she’s figured prominently in my life, but I am.  Guess there’s no such thing as coincidences, huh?  Get your saint at Conversion Diary.

How are you bringing in the new year?  Do you do anything special?  We’ll be at home, spending it quietly together, most likely with a fire burning and a glass of wine.

I’m thinking of trying to do Project 365.   It  consists of taking one photo a day to document the year.  I’m not sure I have the persistence to do it consistently, but I’ll give it a try.  I’m going to create a separate blog for it, and maybe I’ll even convince Himself to post to it now and then.  After all, he is the real photographer in the house.

 Someone at work told me about this video.  I laughed until I cried.  So funny!

“The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.”
– GKC (ILN, 10-28-22) 

Check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Asking Forgiveness

For any number of reasons, this Advent/Christmas season hasn’t been what it should have been or what I wanted it to be.  I would like to think I’m immune to all the commercial and societal expectations, but apparently I am not.

Himself and I hosted the family Christmas Day celebration as we have done every year since we married.   Even with a couple of deaths in the family, it has grown.  Now it’s not only our immediate family, it includes my sister’s in-laws and my aunt and cousin.  There’s not a lot more people but just enough to somewhat complicate the gift giving.  And we’ve somehow have come to be known as gracious and generous hosts.  No pressure there!

Combine worrying about getting ready for that along with decorating responsibilities at church and a nasty cold that wiped me out for a couple of weeks, Jesus didn’t figure into my preparation.  Not at all.  No Advent wreath.  No daily prayers or extra masses.   Zilch.  Nada.  Nothing.

And you know what happens then.  Things get ugly. 

I started keeping track of all the annoyances Himself caused me.  Didn’t think about the good stuff.  Nope.  Just the bad.  Which in the whole scheme of things, weren’t really bad.  But keep track I did.  And boom.  Out it all came yesterday after work.  Not pretty at all.

And for that I am truly sorry.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Prayer Buddy Reveal

I had the privilege of praying for G and her family over at Jeremiah 29:11.  Her joyful exuberance for her husband and beautiful son are a delight to read.  Although this was a difficult Advent in many respects, I offered all my masses and daily prayers for G's generous intentions.  I continue to pray that that all come to fruition.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I recently ran into someone at this new job that I had worked with many years ago.  I had left that employer just after meeting my husband but before we were married.  Of course, in playing catch up, the inevitable question “Kids?” came up. 

I think I’m going to get some goats so I can say yes – Billy and Nanny.

And, no, I’m not kidding!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Blessing of Clouds

Lately we have been blessed with the most glorious, stunningly beautiful sunrises.  The colors are so vivid that most times the photographs we take hardly do them any justice at all.  The colors vary from day to day, but are so awesome that I have to stop and look.  Today’s sunrise started with a vivid orange at the horizon that faded into a soft pink that merged into a violet that engulfed the rest of the sky. 

As beautiful as all these morning skies are, they have one thing in common – clouds.  The sun, as it peaks over the horizon, is reflected in the sky’s winter clouds.  The sunrise isn’t quite as beautiful in a clear sky.

It seems to me this is a picture of our lives and God’s love for us.  We are much more stunning when God’s love and the light of His Son are allowed to reflect off the clouds of sorrow and disappointment in our lives.   What we do with the pain and suffering are opportunities to glow and to grow.

During yesterday’s homily, our Deacon read a quote from Blessed John Henry Newman.  It spoke to me loudly about the “clouds”.

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work.

I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”

Lord, let us be a sunrise to all who look our way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Quick Takes (17)

- 1-
And the winner is. . . .  everyone!  I asked Himself to give me a number between 1 and 7 since that's how many comments there were, and he said all of them.  So all of them it is.  If the following ladies could send me an e-mail with their choice from the Pretty Things tab, I get them in the mail ASAP. 
The Road Home
Amazing Life
Ask and It Will Be Given
All in His Perfect Timing
Joy Beyond the Cross
Gates Place
Faith makes things possible
Thank you all for your lovely comments! 

- 2 -
Of course I have to include the gratuitous dog picture.  One of the garden centers near us has photos with Santa for several weekends before Christmas each year.  And it's not just for kids, pets and adults are welcome too.  Jack really didn't care for the big guy but Santa was patient and eventually won him over.  This is last year's picture.   I'm not sure we'll make it there this weekend, but I don't think either Jack or Santa has changed all that much.

- 3 -
I 've been feeling a bit behind with our Christmas preparations and decorations so I decided to take the day off from work today.  Himself and I finally ventured out and got our Christmas tree.  We go to a local farm where you can either cut your own or choose one that's already been chopped.  We went with the latter, a Frasier Fir, and it smells so good.  I can't wait to see it with the light on.

- 4 -
I'm not doing any baking this year.  My dad usually makes about a dozen different kinds of cookies, my MIL bring strudel from the local ethnic bakery, and my sister's MIL usually brings goodies from her local NYC bakeries.  Seems like enough to me, no?

- 5 -
Last year at this time we were buried under mountains of snow, or at least it felt that way.  This year it's been unseasonably warm, but we've been getting lots of rain.  A lot of people are bemoaning that fact that it looks like were not going to have a white Christmas.  I'd much rather it this way.  We have family driving in from out of town so this is much safer.  And you don't have to shovel rain!

- 6 -
I just love listening to all the Christmas tunes on the radio and on my iPod at work.  My favorite by far is O Holy Night.  Do you have a favorite?  I wish the radio stations wouldn't stop playing them right after Christmas.  After all, Christmas Day is just the first day of Christmas. 

- 7 -
“The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings.”
Christendom in Dublin by GKC

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Blogiversary to me! (and a giveaway to celebrate)

I knew I was coming up on a year of writing this blog and when I looked at the date of my first post, I couldn't have been happier or more surprised - the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!  It seems appropriate, as this image of Our Lady has become so important to Himself and me throughout our marriage. 

I've found writing is both easier and harder than I anticipated.  When I have something to say, the words just flow.  And then there are those days when as much as I know there is something I want to get across, I feel at a loss on how.

It was fun to look back on some of the things I wrote about - our IF journey, things that amuse me, relationships, dumb things I've done, finding joy in God's creation.  Hopefully this next year I have fewer dumb things to write about and more thoughts of goodness and hope and joy.  I'm certainly going to try.

It still boggles my mind that you read this, people for the most part I've never met.  And yet you seem like old friends.  And when we do meet, we are friends.  For all of you, I am grateful!

To celebrate, I'm going to give one lucky reader something from my Pretty Things tab.  Just leave a note in the comments.  Himself and Jack will randomly decide the winners on Thursday.

Happy Feast Day to all of you!  And Happy Blogiversary to me!

St. Juan Diego, pray for us!
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What a fun surprise

Rebecca over at The Road Home passed on a Liebster award to me.  What fun - thanks Rebecca!  This award features up and coming bloggers (with less than 200 followers) and asks that it is passed on to 5 other deserving bloggers.  It's a great way to read someone new.  Here are 5 great blogs to go check out:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who would I have been?

This blog was inspired by all the women I see who are dealing with the pain of being infertile.  It seems just as being Catholic, or a wife, a daughter, a friend, an employee, etc. defines us, our inability to conceive somehow does as well.

But while most of you are at the beginning or somewhere in the middle of this journey, I'm at the other end.  Being in my late 40s I know I am not going to get pregnant.  I'm not going to be a mom. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I okay with that.  Now.  I've come to terms with it and know it's not what God had planned for me.

But that doesn't mean I don't think about it.  Himself and I were talking about it the other day.  Had we had children, who would we be today?

I doubt we'd have our youthful good looks. ;-)  I'd probably would have a few, okay, a lot more gray hairs and Himself would probably have less, hair that is. 

Would I be gentle and patient like Michelle Duggar?  Or would I be loud and snappish like Kate Gossling?  How strict would I be?  How afraid of the world and the big scary things out there would I be?  Or would I be more appreciative of God's gifts and graces?

Makes me wonder.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweet Dreams

The night my mom died my cousin, D, had a dream in which my mom appeared.  She was glowing, happy, beautiful.  At the time she had the dream, D didn't know mom was gone.  We both like to think that mom came to D to let her know that she was okay now.

A month or so ago I had a dream in which my mom appeared with a young boy, about 11 or 12, named Jonas, and a baby girl named Evelyn.  It was brief.  I saw them together looking happy and peaceful.  Jonas looked protective and proud of the baby.  It made me smile.  In my dream it was my mom with her two grandchildren - my son and my sister's daughter.

I never had a confirmed pregnancy, but at one time I thought I had what was implantation spotting and CD1 was late.  But like all good infertiles, CD1 did arrive.  For whatever reason I always thought had I been pregnant it was a boy. 

My sister, on the other hand, was pregnant last year.  We saw Sweet Pea's first and only ultrasound picture.  A beautiful sight - until at eight weeks she was gone.  Though it was too early to know, in my mind that baby was always a girl.

The ages of the children in my dream would have been right on the money.  Mom didn't have her grandchildren here on earth, but she had them in heaven.

Perhaps they appeared to me.  Maybe not.  Maybe it was wishful dreaming.

But it sure was sweet!

Monday, November 28, 2011

How I feel

I haven't had a cold in years.  Apparently I'm not as immune as I had liked to think.  And I'm a real big baby about it too!  Luckily I'm blessed with Himself who has been taking really good care of me, even while he's fighting something too.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Thanksgiving Edition

The Lord's been good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun and the rain and the appleseed
The Lord's been good to me!

Check out more to be thankful for at The Road Home.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meet Darryl

There's a couple things I never get tired of seeing and deer wandering the yard is one of them.  We've had a young buck visit us several times lately and I just find him so beautiful.  Of course I had to name him, you know I do that with all the critters that visit us frequently!  So, here's Darryl .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

A couple of days after Himself captured these photos, Darryl was back with a buddy.  So, what did I name him? 


Darryl, of course!  For all you Bob Newhart fans (are there some or am I the only one?) you'll remember the three recurring characters - "I'm Larry.  This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl."

You can see it doesn't take much to amuse me!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday (5)

Today I am thankful for. . .

My job.  I ended up in such a better situation than the last place I was at.  I work closer to home, in a nicer environment, and with people who actually value my experience and opinion. 

Fall.  In northeast Ohio we often say "Wait an hour and the weather will change."  Not this year.  We've had an extremely good autumn.  The weather has been pleasant, and on some days, downright warm for the season.  I've been able to get out on the weekends and get the gardens cleaned up.  I'm looking forward to this weekend and finishing up the last of it.

Our neighbors.  Our next door neighbors have a puppy, Lucy, who is turning out to be a real escape artist.  She's actually figured out how to open their back door.  When she's loose the first place she comes is to visit us, or, I should say, to visit Jack.  So, we play with them, practice her commands, and then walk her home.  We love it.  Jack loves it.  And so does Lucy.  On Sunday, Lucy's human, K, stopped over with a gift bag of goodies thanking us for helping out when she's out and about.  It was so sweet! 


Part of the Thank You goodie bag. 

Check out more to be thankful for at The Road Home.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Yeah God!

My hundred plus pound "puppy" is a creature of habit.  He likes, no, he insists on a morning walk, every single day.  Trying to get that in before work is sometimes tough.  But, lately I've been rewarded.  Gloriously so. 

A few days before the time change we left a little earlier than usual, walking down the street carrying a flashlight.  I had a hard time not tripping over my own two feet because I was walking looking up at the sky.  The stars were nothing short of spectacular!  Orion's belt just glimmered and shined.  All the rest just sparkled.   Yeah God!

A few days later, after the time change, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.  The colors reflecting off the clouds were a glorious mix of reds and oranges and pinks.  Yeah God!

Lately we've been seeing the hawks much more often.  We have a pair of red tail hawks that seem to come back this time of year and must makes their nest nearby.  They are so majestic and elegant.  Yeah God!

As I walked past my friend's house, a blue heron took flight from her pond.  It was large and gangly and flew with an odd, awkward smoothness that was interesting to watch.  Yeah God!

What makes you go Yeah God?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another year older - Giveaway details

You gals who responded all just made my day!  And week, and month and year! 

So you all get presents. I created a tab - Pretty Things - since that was what I called my crafting business - with all your choices.  E-mail me (donna1164 at gmail dot com) with your 1st and 2nd choices and address and I'll get your "birthday presents" right off to you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Essays of our lives

It comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this regularly that Himself and I are big fans of GK Chesterton.  Last night we had the opportunity to attend a fundraiser for a local, private Catholic school  at which Dale Ahlquist spoke.  Dale is probably the foremost authority on GKC as he is the host of The Apostle of Common Sense on EWTN, author of a number of books, and the president of the American Chesterton Society

As usual, he gave a brilliant and most funny talk about GKC ranging on a number of topics.  Since it was a fundraiser for the school there were probably people there who were not all that familiar with this author so Dale gave some background on the man.  Chesterton has written well over a hundred books and hundreds, if not thousands, of essays.  Dale chuckled as he imagined that the students from the school that attended last night's event would themselves be writing essays shortly about what they heard.

That got me thinking.  That's what we do here.  We write essays.  About our lives, our faith, families, dreams, hopes and even our fears and disappointments.  We might not be as prolific as GKC but for whatever reason we feel a need, even a calling, to pour out our words for others to read.

When I was in junior high school we had an tremendous English teacher.  He made sure we knew the structure of our language, how to write well crafted sentences.  We diagramed hundreds of sentences, understanding every noun, pronoun, adjective and adverb.  He would probably be horrified at some the writing and phrasing I do here. 

One of the things Mr. Z had us do was keep a notebook in which we wrote every day.  He would give us a phrase or a sentence and that would be the beginning of our essay.  Sometimes that start would be pretty innocuous, leading to some wildly different writing from each of us.  Sometimes it was more directed.  But, regardless, it sparked our imagination and got us writing.  What a great gift he gave us! 

And, oh, what I'd give to have that notebook back!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another year older

Today I'm another year older, but am I any wiser? 

Birthdays used to be a big deal for me.  After all, it's my day.  I came into the world this day, shouldn't everyone stop and remember?

But now?  I'm just happy if people remember.  And it's not a big deal if they don't.  I don't need the cake and dinner and presents.  (but they are nice!)

I'm just hoping, as I age, that I learn something.  And keep learning.  So what have I figured out this year?

There's just no denying middle age!  Bifocals, a root canal, a slowing metabolism, and more and more gray hairs remind me I'm no longer a "young adult".  I don't mind getting older (as if we have a choice!) but it's the body parts not working like they used to that get to me.

I learned I need to be firmly in charge of my attitude and the words that come out of my mouth.  They're the things, no matter the situation, I can control.  As my mom told DH, "You don't have to say everything you think." 

Time and people are precious, things are not.  'nuf said.

Life's not always about doing, sometimes it's just about being.  Being present to others, to the situation, the quietness of God's voice.  More often then not, He whispers.  When I'm too busy I often fail to hear.

There is just so much more I want, and need to learn.  Here's to making this year one to grow on!

PS - Blogger giveaway!  The first five people who correctly guess my age get the presents.  You'll get to pick something from my stash of handcrafted jewelry, purses and bags from my little crafting business. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two weeks, no waiting

Jeez, time flies.  It's been two weeks since I last wrote.  Kind of funny, considering my last post.  So much has been going on since then.  Where to start?

I interviewed for another job, one which would have been permanent rather than consulting, and it confirmed my decision in accepting the first.  What gets even funnier on the job front is that another company has been courting me for a third position!  Considering where it is, I was tempted to automatically say no, as my drive would go from 15 minutes to over an hour.  But an over 50% increase in pay and this company's name on my resume. . .hmmm???  Got to wonder.

My dad came over one afternoon and we headed down to a local orchard to get freshly picked apples, and pies, and goodies to take to relatives DH and I were going to be visiting.  The pies were yummy and we're still working our way through the bag of apples I bought.

DH, Jack and I headed down to Tennessee to visit my aunt and uncle for my uncle's 77th birthday.  I think if we didn't bring our dog we might just be turned away at the door!  Jack and my uncle just adore each other.  My cousin came up from SC for the weekend and we were able to spend a relaxing and enjoyable time just chatting and catching up.  My aunt so reminds me of my mom that it's alway hard when we leave.  But, we have their visit in the spring to look forward to.

Oh, and we had such a great welcome home from our trip.  DH took Jack out for his evening potty break before going to bed, and just a few feet from the door, Jack met a skunk up close and personal!  Just what I needed the day before I started my new job.  He still stinks.

Speaking of the job, it's going well so far.  I started last Tuesday and am slowly getting the hang of how they do things there.  It seems that they work at a much slower pace than what I have in the past, and that's a welcome relief.  I have time to learn the business and do things correctly. 

In between all of that, I've been learning to use my crock pot again.  I've made some really yummy meals, and one not so good one.  I finished up some sewing I was doing for Christmas.  Yep, you read that right.  For Christmas.  When I showed DH the finished stockings his response was "Who stole my wife?  She never gets things done this far in advance!" 

So, two weeks later and there's just no time to wait.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Ask any infertile.  She'll tell you what 2ww means.  It's the dreaded two week wait.  It's the time between peak day and either long awaited joyful news or dreaded disappointment.  I was thinking about that as I was ironing this evening.  How do you explain to someone that you live your life in two week increments? 

I don't remember when I actually stopped doing that.  Life two weeks at a time.  It just happened.  Some of it was a very conscious decision.  This baby thing may never happen, and if it doesn't, what did I miss along the way?  And, in fact, in our case it didn't.  And I'm okay with that.  Really.

Two weeks used to seem like such a long time.  It took forever.  And now?  It flies by.  I've been out of work a little more than two weeks.  The days are a blurr.  I've hiked lots with DH and Jack.  I've done yard work and sewed and read.  I've spent time visiting with family. 

I've activated my resume on the internet job boards and fielded oh so many calls.  I've gone on several interviews and decided what comes next.   In less than a week I'll start a new job. 

And two weeks, no three weeks, will have seemed like the blink of an eye. 

How did that happen?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've been published

Recently I mentioned in a Quick Takes that a photo I took at the GK Chesterton conference in August is being used on the cover of Gilbert Magazine.  I just got my first look at it.   Here it is in all its glory!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thankful Thursday (4)

* Time.  Being unemployed has its benefits.  I have time to do things I didn't before.  My sister was in a crunch as she was leaving for a long needed vacation and I was able to help.  Hopefully she and my brother-in-law are enjoying themselves in warmer climates.

* The Internet.  Job hunting is so, so much easier now.  No more searching the newspapers, mailing cover letters and resumes, and waiting, hoping for a phone call.  Post your resume and they will come. 

* Friends.  Saturday afternoon a good friend, C, came over for dinner.  We sat and talked for almost five hours, about everything and anything - faith, politics life.  It was uplifting and invigorating.  And I can't wait to do it again!

Reminders.  Someone I know had the picture below on her Facebook page.  I like it.

Check out more to be thankful for at The Road Home.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What a difference . .

. . . a day makes! 

Or, in my case, a week.  Two Fridays ago it was miserable here, in more ways than one as you may recall.  It was cold and gray and rainy.  I lost my job and my mind was spinning about all sorts of things.  This past Friday was just the opposite - a sunny, warm, glorious day in which I felt so grateful to be alive. 

DH and I headed to a local park that we had never visited before.  One time we went looking for it, never found it, and ended up several towns away at a path along an old canal we probably never would have visited had we not gotten lost.  Oh, but I digress.  This park was absolutely stunning.  The leaves weren't quite at peak but the colors were beginning to really pop. 

We had part of the park to ourselves for quite a while.  When we hiked the loop through the woods we ran into so many people - the nicest people, happy to be enjoying the beauty around them.  One talked of how she like to bring her grandchildren there.  Another let us play with her eleven year old "puppy".  When we ran into someone for the second time, a man with special needs, walking the loop in the opposite direction, he asked jokingly if he had seen us before.  "Nope.  That must have been our doppelgangers!"

We left the park smiling ear to ear.  Thankful.  Happy.  Content.

Yeah God!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick Takes (16)

- 1-
I'm going to be published!  We found out on Monday, our anniversary, that a picture I took at the GK Chesterton conference in August is going to be used for the next issue's cover.  As soon as I get to link to the cover, I'll post it.

- 2 -
Whoever thought planting black walnut trees in the yard was a good idea was nuts.  (LOL at my own silly pun)  Yesterday I raked up six wheel barrows full of those little green balls.  And that isn't all,  there's still a ton more to go.  It wouldn't be so bad if we could actually eat them, but we tried, and they're awful.  Definitely not the good walnuts you get at the grocery.

- 3 -
Monday we drove down to Amish country to go to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate our anniversary.  Despite its location, the Inn at Honey Run, is one of the most un-Amish places we know.  It's in a beautiful location, elegant, serene.  Even though it was cool and rainy, it was a great time.

- 4 -
I love naps.  In the last week I've taken several.  I've been doing a lot of yard work and usually come in filthy dirty and tired.  A 45-60 minute snooze has been a great refresher.

- 5 -
Hey, speaking of the Chesterton conference, they announced the dates, location and speakers of next year's event.  It is awesome.  I'm ready to make my reservations now.  One of the highlights is the premier of the movie Manalive, which has been several years in making.   In my opinion, that's got to be one of, if not the best, of Chesterton's fiction. 

- 6 -
You've got to read about this brave and wise young man, a student and hockey player at University of North Dakota.  He has what is an unusual, but incredibly insightful message, for young (and old) women.  He gives me hope in our young people.

- 7 -
"Break the conventions; keep the commandments."

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Answered Prayers

What's the saying?  Be careful what you wish for.  You just might get it. 

I had asked my prayer buddy to pray that I may find financial clarity.  Apparently she was very successful, albeit in an unexpected way.  Late Friday afternoon I was told that I was being let go from my job.  It upset me greatly.  I was hurt and angry.  It felt very personal.

Talking with DH later that evening I came to realize it was exactly what I needed.  You see, I really didn't like the person I was becoming at this job.  It was a place full of gossip, rude language, and some downright nastiness.  As much as I knew I shouldn't gossip, I still did.  As much as I knew I shouldn't engage in petty behavior, I still did.   I knew I needed to make a change but was too lazy to do it.  So it was handed to me. 

I started thinking about things I wanted to do in the time off I might have between jobs.  I really want to make it productive.  I thought this is going to be a great time to address projects around the house and yard, things I need to do for the upcoming Advent season at church, books I want to read, job hunting, etc, etc, etc.  You can see where this is going?  A spinning mind and a terribly unsettled feeling.

Sunday Mass seemed to be designed just for me.  When I heard the second reading it was like a light went on.
Philippians 4: 6 - 9
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.    

During Fr. O's sermon following the gospel, I felt like a spotlight was directed right on me.  He talked about filling your mind with what is right and just and good.  Leave no room for pettiness and evil.   And if someone says "A penny for your thoughts" tell them that what you are thinking is worth much more than that. 

I don't know what is coming next for me, things are still unsettled.  But whatever it is, I'm going to try to approach it with peaceful thoughts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Do

Thirteen years ago today I said I do in front of friends, family and, most importantly, God. 
I love you!

Will you let me be your servant
Let me be as Christ to you
Pray that I might have the grace
To let me be your servant too

We are pilgrims on the journey
We are brothers on the road
We are here to help each other
Walk the mile and bear the load

I will hold the Christ light for you
In the night time of your fear
I will hold my hand out to you
Speak the the peace you long to hear.

I will weep when you are weeping
When you laugh, I'll laugh with you
I will share your joy and sorrow
Till we've seen this journey through.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How do you quiet the mind?

There's a lot going on here, that perhaps I'll write about tomorrow, but my mind is a buzzin' now.  I'm unsettled, like the weather out my window.  Part of me wants to make lists - things that need to be done, books to be read, steps to take, menus to plan, people to talk to, etc.  The other part of me thinks I should head to adoration.  But I'm afraid when I get there I'll be making those lists in my mind. 

How do you quiet yourself - mind, body and soul?

Friday, September 30, 2011

Prayer Buddy Reveal

One of the great things about prayer buddies, besides having someone pray specifically for you, is the opportunity to "meet" other bloggers and focus on their needs.  I had the privilege of praying for Clara at Refining Journey

This isn't a blog that I have read before and I really enjoyed learning more about Clara, a recent convert to Catholicism.  She recently found out that she will be heading to Omaha to become Creighton Model FertilityCare System Practitioner.  Awesome!

When I watered the flowers at church I would often stop in our Holy Family alcove and light a candle.  Clara's is just to the left of St. Joseph's knee, above the plant leaves.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Keep the Home Fires Burning

A year or so after we got married, DH got a new job working second shift.  It wasn't the most ideal of situations, since I worked days, but we managed.  During the week we were lucky if we saw each other for a half hour to an hour each evening before I headed off to bed.  We learned to make the most of our weekends and guarded them closely. 

A couple years into it, I started our Friday Night Feast.  Usually DH would just eat the leftovers of whatever I had made earlier in the day, but on Fridays I would wait to eat dinner with him at 11:30.  I'd make something special and set a nice table.  He would sometimes come home to find me grilling lamb chops or steaks by flashlight!  It was a great way to reconnect after a long work week.

Even though we're not working opposing shifts any longer, we still guard our Friday nights carefully.  It's the time to leave all the office politics and stress behind and concentrate on what is important. 

Last Friday we had our first fire of the season.  We chatted, drank some wine, ate some yummy s'mores, and watched the flames dance on the hearth.  It was quiet, peaceful, calm - what I want my home and my life to be. 

It was good.  And I am grateful.

And I'm looking forward to it again.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Thursday (3)

* An oven that works.  Two months and three visits from the repairmen later, we come to find out that the part they thought was bad was just installed at the factory improperly.  Why isn't easier to buy new appliances?

* Homemade banana bread and brownies.  (see above)

* The ability to work at home on occasion.  It comes in handy.  (see above)

* Going out to lunch with my honey.  Hey, I was home, I may as well take advantage of it!

Check out more to be thankful for at The Road Home.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dumber Things (3)

Why does it seem like most of my Dumber Things involve the car?  I suppose it's a fact of life for me, but they just do.

I've been driving DH's car to work since it is a bit more trustworthy than our almost-thirteen-year-old Saturn.  When the odometer turned to all threes I just had to get a picture.  Wouldn't you?  It didn't matter that I was going 60mph in rush hour traffic!

The mileage on odometers intrigues me.  It marks places I've been, time I've spent, things I've seen.  It's almost like an age or an anniversary, it indicates some sort of shared history.

Don't worry, though, I won't be taking a picture when it's all 6s!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why I Love My Husband

* He makes me smile.  We often say Life is a musical.  We'll be doing something or going somewhere and he'll break out in song, changing the lyrics to fit what's going on. 

* He's my most honest critic and my biggest cheer leader.  He wants what's best for me and for me to be my best.

* He misses my mom as much as I do.

* He loves our Lord, our faith and our Church.  He's helped me learn my faith in a more in depth and adult way. 

* He sends me goofy pictures at work to brighten my day.  I just love his sense of humor.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


God Bless America!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quick Takes (15)

- 1-
It seems like the media is focused on remembering and commemorating the attacks of 9/11 this Sunday.  It certainly is a day and date that is to be marked.  We, on the other hand, will be celebrating, not the attacks, but my mother-in-law's 75th birthday.  My aunt also shares the same birthday and has often said that she wanted to just ignore it because of what had happened on that day.  No way!  We need to celebrate life and its infinite good possibilities.

- 2 -
A couple of weeks ago DH and I went to a neighboring parish's Sunday evening teen rock Mass.  It is an experience, one I can only manage perhaps about every six months.  It is refreshing to see the teens so excited about their faith and to see them participate fully in the sacrament.  But, I guess I'm showing my age, the music is a bit much for me.  It's a bit too theatrical and not worshipful.  I suppose the teens think the same about the music I prefer at Mass.

- 3 -
After that Mass, we stopped at our favorite burger joint for dinner.  We just made it to the front door when the skies let loose and it poured buckets.  A little while later, while we were munching on our wings, someone who was sitting on the restaurant's patio came rushing in a side door.  He wanted to share the massive and glorious rainbow that was out there with all of us inside.  What a moment of kindness and joy!

- 4 -
I'm trying to get my mojo going and start a sewing project.  But I sit here undecided.  Do I start the sweatshirt or the quilt?  Which should it be?

- 5 -
How many is too many book clubs?  They're starting a new one at church, one focused primarily on Catholic fiction, with one non-fiction thrown in for good measure.  I'm impressed with the list of books the organizer has chosen for us to read.  There's a couple I've read before, but should read again and again, CS Lewis' The Great Divorce and GK Chesterton's Manalive.  The first one should be interesting - Fatherless by Brian Gail.  I better get started soon as I saw that it's over 500 pages! 

- 6 -
We've been known to rent movies and not watch them.  Hollywood would not survive if there were more people like us.  Last weekend we actually watched one, Win Win, with Paul Giamatti.  I usually like his movies as they are quirky and a bit off the beaten path.  This was no exception. 
- 7 -
“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”
A Short History of England, GK Chesterton

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thankful Thursday (2)

Today I am thankful for. . . .

Our pastor, Fr. Joe, who's not afraid to tell it like it is.


Grateful hearts.

My big furry friend.  He makes me smile.

Check out more to be thankful for at The Road Home.

Wednesday Weigh In - Week 7 - a little late


I was afraid this week of what the scale was going to tell me so I didn't check yesterday.  I got on today, and, much to my surprise, I saw movement.  In the right direction. 

I don't feel like I'm eating a lot less, but I am drinking a lot more water and I'm watching my sugar intake.  I read recently that consuming too much refined sugar and carbs can cause mental fogginess.  Eliminating sugar has made a huge difference in my thinking. 

All the fresh veggies from the garden and the farmers market have got to be helping too.  I'm really going to hate seeing summer go, but I'll make do with what I can find in the grocery store.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bountiful harvest

My husband and I both grew up with vegetable gardens in the back yard.  There's nothing like fresh tomatoes or peppers or beans.  And BLTs with home grown tomatoes?  Yum!

The summer before we got married I had put in about 20 roma tomato plants.  We made our own salsa, mostly from items grown in my garden.  We canned that, along with our own homemade blackberry sauce and applesauce, and gave that to our bridal party and parents as part of their wedding gifts. 

Even though we have quite a large yard now, we only have a small plot that we use for veggies.  This year we planted six tomato and two green pepper plants, potatoes, beets, carrots, lettuce and peas.  The peas didn't do well, I think I put them in too late as they like the cooler weather.  The lettuce was bitter so we just pulled it out and dumped it in the compost.  But the rest has done the best it has since we moved in. 

I made some homemade tomato sauce on Monday and it was delicious.  I'm wishing I had made more.  We're eating well with all this fresh produce.

I think next year the garden is going to be much, much bigger!

green pepper plant & carrots in the foreground,
tomatoes in the back


potatoes and first harvest of tomatoes

beets, carrots, peppers, and second harvest
of tomatoes