Friday, March 25, 2011

Quick Takes (4)

- 1-
When I took Jack out for his morning walk it was 19 degrees.  Nineteen!  It's Spring, it should be warmer than that.  But the birds were chattering and singing away.  If they don't mind the cold, why should I?

- 2 -
Friends, K & S, are coming over for dinner tonight.  We're just having cheese pizza, but that's not what I am looking forward to.  We always have some great conversations.  S is one of the kindest, sweetest people I know.  K is a religion teacher at a local Catholic high school and is one of the most brilliant minds I know, second only to DH.  I'm usually blown away by what I learn listening to those two talk.

- 3 -
 I don't think I can come up with seven items today.  Just letting you know. ;-)

- 4 -
Yesterday food got the better of me.  I was bored so I ate.  I was tired so I ate.  It was lunchtime so I ate.  You get the picture.  I went to bed hating food and the hold it has on me.  It seemed like too much of my life is consumed by it - shopping for it, preparing it, eating it, figuring out ways of avoiding it to lose weight.  It seems to be a substitute for other things.  I really need to work on this. 

- 5 -
We live in a pretty rural area and are blessed with a lot of wildlife.  A Crane just flew by as I'm sitting here writing this.  They always remind me of teenagers, especially teen age boys - tall, all arms and legs, gangly.

- 6 -
Well, I guess God is giving me a great nature show.  There is a hawk now circling above the neighbors' pond.  I don't care how many times I see them, I don't get tired of them.  They are powerful, majestic, elegant.  Here's a picture DH captured of one this winter.

- 7 -
"These are the advantages of travel, that one meets so many men whom one would otherwise never meet, and that one feeds as it were upon the complexity of mankind" Hilaire Belloc (First and Last)

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

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Day I Said "Yes"

Thirteen years ago today,
in St. Joseph's Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica

my beloved asked me to be his wife.

I said "yes"

And I will keep saying yes until the day I die.  I love you T!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Prayers Needed

Please keep DD from A Woman's Catholic Journey in your prayers.  I think the devil is working overtime as she prepares to enter the Church this Easter.  Let's bombard heaven with our pleas! 

Sweet Jesus, please watch over and and guide DD as she prepares to enter your chuch.  Guard her heart and mind and body as she faces her temptations. 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Quick Takes (3)

-1 -
Spring is in the air!  At least it was for a couple of days here in NE Ohio and we're loving it.  And it couldn't have come at a better time - St Patty's day.  DH and I enjoyed some "patio time" after work yesterday with some of our favorite local brew.  Life is good!

-2 -
For Lent this year I decided to give up candy.  It's not that I eat a lot of it, but it's been a tempting habit I've gotten into at work.  Our team lead keeps a candy bowl in our room filled with goodies.  It hasn't been that hard.  Shouldn't it feel more difficult?  Maybe I should do something more.

-3 -
 Monday night I hosted our ladies neighborhood book club.  When you host the evening you're in charge of picking the book and providing the goodies.  We've mostly been reading current, popular fiction.  I decided to torture challenge them with a little GK Chesterton and chose Manalive.  The book is deceiving, only 124 pages, but it packs a big punch.  Although everyone didn't get through the entire book, they seemed to have enjoyed it and we had an interesting and lively discussion.

-4 -
I've only got two more days on my "30 day challenge" and I haven't cheated.  Wish I could say I didn't want to, but there were a few days when coffee was calling my name.  I put in my ear plugs and didn't listen.  And if that didn't work I though of this lovely lady and her preparations for coming into the church.  If she's able to battle her demons the least I could do is offer my coffee and Micky D's up for her.

-5 -
I've always liked to read.  Even as a little girl I loved a good book.  I would sneak my Winnie the Pooh books to bed with me and read under the covers with a flashlight.  I've been trying to broaden what I read and besides Chesterton have been reading Hillaire Belloc and Jane Austin.  It fun seeing how much things stay the same, across the eras in which some of these books were written.  If you want a great read, pick up Belloc's Path to Rome.  He's got a great sense of humor, though it took me a while to get it. 

-6 -
Okay, it's Friday and we're supposed to abstain from meat.  But we like fish and my homemade mac & cheese is really yummy.  It just doesn't seem like that much of a sacrifice.

-7 -
"Imprudent marriages!" roared Michael.  "And pray where in earth or heaven are there any prudent marriages?  Might as well talk about prudent suicides.  You and I have dawdled round each other long enough, and are we any safer than Smith and Mary Gray, who met last night?  You never know a husband till you marry him.  Unhappy! of course you'll be unhappy.  Who the devil are yout hat you shouldn't be unhappy, like the mother that bore you?  Disappointed! of course we'll be disappointed.  I, for one, don't expect till I die to be so good a man as I am at this minute--a tower with all the trumpets shouting."  Manalive - GK Chesterton

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

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A few of my favorite things

If Hollywood had to rely on people like us to make their money, they'd go out of business.  We hardly watch movies and go even less to the theater to see one.  I think the last show we went to was "Har.ry Pot.ter", and not this last one, the one before that.  And I almost never watch a movie more than once.  One, though, that I've seen many, many times is the "Sound of Music."  It has everything a good movie should - romance, intrigue, a life changing decision, betrayal, a daring escape, and music.  Good music.  I think "My Favorite Things" has to be my favorite out of the bunch. 

So in honor of it, here are a few of my favorite things. . .

* the smell of fresh cut grass

* listening to DH breathing next to me in bed

* watching hot air balloons float by

* a citus cosmo martini at my favorite Indian restaurant

* long walks on a cool, sunny autumn day

* the smell of hyacynth and lilacs in the spring

* puppies

* Deer in the back yard

* Hummingbirds drinking at the feeder

* "patio time" with hubby after work

* The smell of wet dog

* Picking out our Christmas tree each year

* Midnight Mass on Christmas

* Curling up under a blanket with a really good book and reading for hours

* Watching DH do his "Ansel Adams" impersonation.

What are your favorite things?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quick Takes (2)

- 1-
Sleep.  It's not over-rated.  When I don't get enough it really messes with my day, with my life.  I'm cranky and irritable and I treat my body like yuck, filling it with caffeine to keep it going and bad foods to sooth myself.  I don't know how new mothers do it, I really don't.

- 2-
I'm 22 days into my 30 day challenge and it's going okay.  If you didn't read in the last quick takes, I'm trying to go 30 days without coffee and my habitual stop at Micky D's for breakfast on the way to work.  I've almost given in on the coffee a couple of times after some bad nights sleep, but I managed to resist.  And it seems to be pays off.  I'm eating better and saving some money, and to top it off, I've lost 2 pounds!
- 3-
If you haven't done so already, check out Sarah's auction.  She and her DH are so close to raising all the funds needed for their upcoming adoption.  There are some really neat things there.  Bid, bid, bid! 

- 4-
I can't go too long without putting a picture of my puppy on here.  In spite of the rain last Saturday, Jack decided we still needed our morning walk.  So walk we did.  And we got a shower at the same time! 

- 5-
This Tuesday is March 15th, which is the date the buzzards traditionally return to Hinkley.  People are at the park by dawn, binoculars in hand, trying to be the first to spot one of these large birds.  There's a party, the local news is there, one of the high school bands sometimes shows up, and there's a pancake breakfast.   Have you ever seen a buzzard?  They are ugly.  What's to celebrate?!

- 6-
In spite of the 5-10 inches of snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow, Spring is right around the corner, isn't it?

- 7-
When you can't think of one more quick take, quote GK Chesterton:
“One of the chief uses of religion is that it makes us remember our coming from darkness, the simple fact that we are created.”The Boston Sunday Post, 1/16/21

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

Monday, March 7, 2011

Baking Break - Breaking Bread

Lately I've been into making bread.  Not the quick breads like banana or Irish soda or cranberry, but the yeasty, take two hours to rise sorta bread.  I'm finding something deeply satisfying about it.

I like the creative part of it.  I'll find a recipe on the net and tweak it.  Sometimes it takes several iterations before it's just right.  I think my braided egg bread took three or four times to get it perfect.  But the Foccacia was right on the first time.

I like the anticipation.  You smell the yeast.  I'll peak under the cloth covering the bowl to see if it's rising well enough.  And while it's baking the whole house will smell scrumcious.

But there's more.  I think bread making goes back to something fundamental.  It's basic and simple.  People have been making bread, in one form or another, for centuries, actually millennia.

If you knead it by hand it's kind of like gardening.  You get your hands dirty.  You work the dough and feel it squish between your fingers.  And when you bake it, it's transformed from something moist and sticky to soft, crusty goodness.  The best part comes next - you break it and you share it. 

In a way it's like recreating the Last Supper.  Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me."   The bread I make is not my body, but it is the work of my body.  And I give it to you.

It is a matter often discussed why bakers are such excellent citizens
and good men. For while it is admitted in every country I was ever in
that cobblers are argumentative and atheists . . . while it
is public that barbers are garrulous and servile, that millers are
cheats . . . yet--with every trade in the world
having some bad quality attached to it--bakers alone are exempt, and
every one takes it for granted that they are sterling: indeed, there
are some societies in which, no matter how gloomy and churlish the
conversation may have become, you have but to mention bakers for
voices to brighten suddenly and for a good influence to pervade every
one. I say this is known for a fact, but not usually explained; the
explanation is, that bakers are always up early in the morning and can
watch the dawn, and that in this occupation they live in lonely
contemplation enjoying the early hours.
"The Path to Rome"
Hilaire Belloc