Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Thanking God for Snow

This past weekend we had plans to visit with family, Himself's parents on Saturday and my sister and her family on Sunday.  The weather forecast, however, wasn't very promising.  Actually, it stunk - cold and snowy and windy - a bad combination for driving anywhere.

So . . .  We cancelled all our plans and stayed home.

I loved it!
It seems life lately is driven by getting in the car and going somewhere.  Most often it's work or the store or church or the dentist or wherever.  Since our county was under a level 2 snow emergency, the car wasn't about to come out of the garage.
Did I mention I loved being home?  Oh boy did I!
Not that what we did was all that exciting, but it was at home. 
Our neighbor's dog Lucy decided to visit and when Kim came to fetch her we all played in the snow and went sled riding.  Actually, that was the second time we were sledding on Saturday.  Himself and I went out earlier and braved the blizzard to slip and slide down the hill.
I finally made a loaf of Ciabatta bread I have been wanting to try.  Yum!   That recipe is a keeper.

I mended several pairs of pants I have been ignoring and ironed blouses that have been hanging wrinkled in the closet for months.  I read a lot more of the latest book I won on Goodreads.  I caught up on an episode or two of Castle that my friend has gotten me hooked on by his reviews.  We sat by a fire and chatted.
All-in-all we didn't do anything exciting or new.  It was just good to be home.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Abortion and Feminism

There is of course a great deal more to be said. I have dealt with only one feature of Birth Control--its exceedingly unpleasant origin. I said it was purely capitalist and reactionary; I venture to say I have proved it was entirely capitalist and reactionary. But there are many other aspects of this evil thing. It is unclean in the light of the instincts; it is unnatural in relation to the affections; it is part of a general attempt to run the populace on a routine of quack medicine and smelly science; it is mixed up with a muddled idea that women are free when they serve their employers but slaves when they help their husbands; it is ignorant of the very existence of real households where prudence comes by free-will and agreement. It has all those aspects, and many of them would be extraordinarily interesting to discuss.

This quote seemed most appropriate given the anniversary that was marked this week.  GKC saw what evil birth control was bringing to both relationships and society.  I think he would be appalled to see the destruction abortion was wrought.
I've ready a few articles lately where several famous women have spoken out about their role in their traditional marriages.  I found it rather amusing how some feminists were having fits when Gabrielle Reece, volleyball player, and Candance Cameron Bure, actress, have talked about their roles in their marriages and how they defer to their husbands as leaders. Isn't that their choice?
It's a weird, weird world we live in!

Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things for Weekends with Chesterton.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quick Takes (29) - Wicked Winter edition

- 1 -
Like most of the rest of the country, we're suffering through some terribly cold, cold, frigid days.  One or two here and there doesn't seem so bad, but several weeks of highs only in the low teens at best is getting downright depressing. 
- 2 -
Planning for the Waiting Well Weekend is well underway.  (hee hee - pun intended)  If you haven't seen the previous posts, the idea for it was inspired by both the beautiful surroundings we were in and a need for those dealing with IF/subfertility or anyone who feels like they are struggling in their vocation to meet up with others for a fun and faith filled weekend. 
- 3 -
The meet-up is going to be at Oglebay Park in Wheeling, West Virginia in the middle of May.  I am trying to keep the weekend a good balance of talks and time for fun.  The area really lends itself to emersing yourself God's beautiful creation.  Take a look at the link and  think about joining us for the weekend.
- 4 -
We've had quite the gathering of birds at the feed Himself puts out for them.  Although it is just Sparrows in the picture below, we have seen all sorts - Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Tufted Titmice, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Juncos, and even a Rusted Blackbird.

- 5 -
Other critters have been finding the seed and corn Himself puts out for the birds.  This little guy, whom I named Charlie, apparently found it all quite delicious.  Himself sent me this photo at work with the subject of the email as One Thin Mint.  I was laughing so hard I was almost in tears.  If you've seen the Monty Python movie you'll get the reference.  For a movie I'd rather forget, I remember that line and scene all too well.  Charlie, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have any problems partaking in more. 

- 6 -
With the cold weather upon us, we've been spending a lot of time in front of the fire.  With a hot cup of tea and either a good book or good conversation, it has been much more enjoyable than watching whatever is on the boob tube.  Thankfully, we have a lot of firewood we got for free when my aunt took down a tree that had been struck by lightening and friends lost a large Maple in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  Their losses were definitely our gain!

- 7 -
“The servants of God who had been a besieged garrison became a marching army; the ways of the world were filled as with thunder with the trampling of their feet and far ahead of that ever swelling host went a man singing; as simply he had sung that morning in the winter woods, where he walked alone.”
― G.K. Chesterton, Saint Francis of Assisi

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary
Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Waiting Well Weekend

Waiting Well 2014
A weekend of Faith, Friendship and Fun
For women dealing with IF/subfertility or anyone who feels
like they struggle in their vocation, like they are still waiting.

May 16 – 18, 2014
Weekend Schedule
Friday, May 16th
Arrival (the cabin becomes available at 4pm)
Light dinner

Saturday , May 17th
Talk 1 – “Waiting Well – What the heck does that mean?”
Talk 2 – TBD**
Resort activities – zoo, putt putt, paddle boats, spa, pool, hiking

Sunday, May 18th
* Time of Mass has not been confirmed and will depend on the Father’s availability.
** Please forward any suggestions for a second talk.
Cost includes two nights cabin stay, meals and one day pass for resort activities (excluding the Spa).
Cost: $130.00 per person
Registration and $50 deposit ASAP 
(Balance due by May 1, 2014)  

Questions?  Email me here.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.
--Romans 8:25


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Weekends with Chesterton: Turn Back the Clock

There is one metaphor of which the moderns are very fond; they are always saying, "You can't put the clock back." The simple and obvious answer is "You can." A clock, being a piece of human construction, can be restored by the human finger to any figure or hour. In the same way society, being a piece of human construction, can be reconstructed upon any plan that has ever existed.

Linking up with Sarah at Amongst Lovely Things for Weekends with Chesterton.

Monday, January 13, 2014

What do you think? - UPDATED

Back in November Himself and I met up with Rebecca and The Man. We met at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling to see the Christmas Lights.  Awesome!

It was an great visit and we talked about everything and anything. One of the things she and I discussed was Jen’s recent announcement at Conversion Diary of next summer’s “a conference / gathering / party thing.” It sounded like a wonderful get away for Catholic women and mothers to relax and connect with others.  

As we were sitting and talking about this at a resort, uh duh, at a resort, the thought came to me - why not do something similar on our side of the country geared toward wanna-be-moms and may-never-be-moms. As much as we know we are welcome at the Austin event, our needs are perhaps a little different from moms. 

And then, as if to remind me of this conversation, one dear lady, T, posted the following on the St. Gerard FB group: "Brainstorm idea: Wondering if we could pull off planning a retreat somewhere in the middle of where we all live? This would take some interesting planning, perhaps late Spring or early summer." 

Himself and I have gone many times to Oglebay and once stayed in the cabins with my family.  It's a comfortable, casual, relaxed sort of place where you can do as much or as little as you want.  I pictured a "girls' weekend" kind of like that - a couple of planned things, Mass, a talk or two, and time to hit the putt putt course, paddle boats, pool, zoo, or spa, and more time just to sit around and chat.

The cabins fit anywhere from 8 to 26 people and have fully equipped kitchens, fireplaces, heating & air conditioning, and in some cases, are carpeted.  Hardly roughing it!   

What do you think?  Anyone interested?



* I contacted Oglebay this morning.  Apparently cottages are filling up fast.  The weekends with the most cottages availabe are May 2nd-4th or June 6th-8th The weekend of May 17th-19th, there is one 8 person cottage.  The rest of the weekends are filled up.

* I picture this as anyone who wants to come can - married or single, IF or you beat that beast. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to normal?

Lately I've heard any number of people say that they can't wait until things get back to normal. Not me. Not yet anyways.

For the last several weeks we’ve celebrated the birth of our Lord. How awesome is that? We’ve had parties, spent time with family and friends, ate special foods, given and received gifts. My work weeks were interrupted and shortened. People seemed kinder and gentler.

What does back to normal look like? For me it’s five day work weeks without another holiday until the end of May. It’s snow and cold and nasty driving conditions. 

I get what people are saying, that it’s time for the decorations to go away and get back into a rhythm. So many people start taking them down the day or two after Christmas. The Christmas season isn’t over then. Actually, tomorrow, the Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas is the end.  

Okay, I can do without the shedding pine needles on my carpeting, but I’m not ready to see our angels fly away any time soon.

And why the rush? My guess is anticipation and the preparation started too soon. And then with all that behind them, they are too tired to enjoy the actual event.  Catholic Mutt, in her New Year’s day post, had a great observation about enjoying the moments as they come.

I'm not sure I want things to go back to normal.  

I want to stand at the top of the hill and see beauty and face the challenge.  

I want to fly down the hill screaming like a little girl.

 And I want to arrive at the bottom knowing I conquered something special.

Back to normal? Nah, not me.


Friday, January 3, 2014

First Photo - January

Something I've been wanting to do for a long time is to pick a location a take a regular picture of it.  I want to see how it changes throughout the year and throughout the seasons. 

I knew whatever I decided to photograph had to be something easily accessible.  We have some great county parks around here but getting to them on a specific date isn't always feasible.  So, I decided that the easiest picture to take regularly is right in my backyard.  And, for me, the easiest way to remember to take it is on the first of every month.  Hence - First Photo.

The tree on the hill is a Linden tree.  It took a friend of ours with his tree manual to figure that out for us.

For us, it's a tree of some significance.  We have had picnics under it.  It sits near our vegetable garden and has provided a place of shade and rest after planting, weeding and harvesting.  It's a great place to just sit and watch the world go by.  It's also a wonderful place to say a prayer.

You're welcome to join me in First Photo.  If anyone is interested, I can do one of those linky things.