Saturday, December 31, 2016

Someone To Watch Over Me

A number of years ago, Jen Fulwiler created the Saint's Name Generator website.   Say a prayer, click on a button, and a saint is randomly selected for you.  Is it really random or is it who our good Lord thinks we need in the coming year?
Some people like to do this at the beginning of the liturgical year at the start of Advent.  Others prefer to find their new saint for the new calendar year.  Me?  Usually it's when I remember, and there's no rhyme or reason as to when that is. 
Other than Our Lady of Guadalupe, I have known nothing about the other saints that I have been given - St. Cajetan, Blessed Titus Brandsma, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
For the coming year, I received a saint that I have heard of but know little about - St. Mark the Evangelist.  He was one of Christ's original twelve disciples and author of one of the books in the Gospel.  He is also patron saint of lions, lawyers, notaries, opticians, pharmacists, painters, secretaries, interpreters, prisoners, and people dealing with insect bites.  I am curious as to how St. Mark fits in to my 2017.
 Did you get your saint yet? 
St. Mark, pray for us!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thanks, Mom!

One of the many things that my mom taught me was how to sew.  She was an incredible seamstress.  She sewed her own wedding dress as well as those of her bridesmaids.  Growing up, we always had beautiful, handmade clothes, including our First Communion dresses.  I don't have half the talent nor the precision and patience she had.  But, I'm working on it.

Since Sis doesn't sew at all, I inherited all of mom's machines and material stash when she passed.  One is a very finicky embroidery machine.  For me, it's hit or miss getting it to work properly.  Usually it take me multiple attempts to get it right.  Either the thread breaks or the bobbin runs empty or the material rips, or, or or.  You get the idea. 

I mentioned in a post that I was making a quilt for Aunt Paulette.  We had made plans to visit a couple of Fridays ago and surprise her with it.  The night before I had one thing left to finish on it - the label.

When I took a quilting class many years ago, the teacher told us that we should put a label on every quilt we made.  It is like an artist signing her work.

So, Thursday night, out came the embroidery machine.  I had a quick "chat" with mom, asking her to help me make this label go smoothly.

One time.

That's all it took.  Just one time and it looked good.

I "talk" to my mom a lot.  This is probably the first time I got such a quick answer.

Thanks, mom!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Where There's Smoke . . .

. . . there's tasty beef!

We host Christmas every year.  The number of people changes year to year, but usually there is a dozen of us.  I like to cook and have gotten pretty adept at making a nice meal.  I used to make a turkey for dinner, but the last few years we've had beef tenderloin.  It's easy and fancy all at the same time.

The day before, I get all the food prepped so that all I need to do is put things into the oven an hour or so before we're going to eat on Christmas.  The corn pudding and Catholic potatoes go into the warming drawer.  The beef and the veggies roast in the oven.  Simple.  

Until the smoke started.  

I opened the oven door to see what was the matter.  Apparently the butter I put on the tenderloin to hold the seasoning on doesn't do well at the high temperature at which the meat is roasted.

I started the vent.  And opened windows.  Himself opened doors.  

The smoke alarm chirped.  There was a foggy haze in the living room and it was even worse upstairs.

Finally, the meat thermometer showed that the tenderloin was ready.  I should have taken a photo, it was picture perfect.  And, it tasted even better than it looked.

I think next year, I'll skip the butter!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Worst Christmas Present, Ever??

I listen to talk radio on the way to work each morning.  I like getting the news, weather, and traffic reports.  Some of the commercials, however, leave a bit to be desired.

There have been a few that are played over and over and over again.  It got to the point that when the baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit commercial came on, again, I would change the station.

This latest commercial, though, has me wondering.

Give your loved one the gift of health.  Squatty Potty will help them have better elimination.

I don't know about you, but if I found that under the tree, I would think you hated me.

Worst present ever.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Winner, Winner! Candlelit Dinner

Thanks for all the comments on my last post.  The winner is Susan Kolosionek

I'll be in touch shortly.


Monday, December 12, 2016

A Timely Visitor, A Blogiversary, and a Giveaway

Socrates and Sophia came over for dinner on Saturday night.  As they walked into the house, Sophia told me that she hoped I didn't mind, but she had brought an extra guest along.  She was sure that the guest wouldn't eat much.

When Sophia handed me a cloth bag that contained the framed icon, I saw that the surprise guest wouldn't be eating anything.  But, she would be feeding us, our souls.

Our Lady of Guadalupe has long been my favorite depiction of Mary.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because the way she appeared to Juan Diego.  Maybe it's because of the roses she gave him in the middle of winter.  Or how she pops into my life at different times - the start of this blog and my patron saint one year.

To celebrate my favorite lady's feast day and blogiversary, I have a gift certificate to my favorite online candle shop, Quick Candles, to give away.  Just leave a comment and Saturday evening the hairy beast will determine the winner.

“Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything. Do not be afflicted by the illness of your uncle, who will not die now of it. be assured that he is now cured.” 

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


Monday, December 5, 2016

Advent Wreath 2016: A Time for Hope

"There is no more dangerous or disgusting habit than that of celebrating Christmas before it comes, as I am doing in this article. It is the very essence of a festival that it breaks upon one brilliantly and abruptly, that at one moment the great day is not and the next moment the great day is. Up to a certain specific instant you are feeling ordinary and sad; for it is only Wednesday. At the next moment your heart leaps up and your soul and body dance together like lovers; for in one burst and blaze it has become Thursday. I am assuming (of course) that you are a worshipper of Thor, and that you celebrate his day once a week, possibly with human sacrifice. If, on the other hand, you are a modern Christian Englishman, you hail (of course) with the same explosion of gaiety the appearance of the English Sunday. But I say that whatever the day is that is to you festive or symbolic, it is essential that there should be a quite clear black line between it and the time going before."
- GK Chesterton "All Things Considered"

Check out Catholic Mom to see more Advent Wreaths.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

First Photo: December 2016

December, at last.  I have to admit I am glad to see November end.  It's not that anyting bad occured.  We celebrated my birthday and Thanksgiving, so there was good to be had.  We had some remarkably good weather, bookending the snow that arrived mid-month. 

It was dark, very, very dark.  The shorter days are so noticble, especially with the time change.  When I get home from work, all I want to do is either curl up under a blanket with a good book or go to sleep.

I know December brings more of the same.  But, somehow it's different.  I think observing Advent helps.  We are in a time of both preparation and contemplation.  We start out in the darkness, and week by week another candle glows bright. 

“Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate.”