Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday without the Musings--24 March 2014

Right now...I seem to be yawning out of control; in fact, I may have to put this aside until later if I can't stop myself from yawning every 15 seconds.  The weather is clear but cold this morning (27 degrees it was at 7 a.m.).  I am quite ready for warmer weather.

The day I did my last post three weeks ago, we had freezing rain, and I took a few pictures:

I've found this a difficult Lent.  I don't seem to have the strong motivation I have often had in Lents past, and I really have to kick myself in the pants to make sacrifices.  I'm afraid I haven't done as much with the kids, either, but my plan--outlined a bit in my last post--has wavered a lot. I have to get back on track with that as well.  My worst bit of guilt is from the fact that I haven't been spending as much time getting Dominic ready for his first confession as I ought to.  He's not very enthusiastic about anything that requires him to sit still and memorize anything, and I feel too weary to fight with him about it.  It seems tough enough to get him to read or do math, so I'm happy to let him run off after he's finished work for the day or sometimes even before that...

We did have a respite where we had a few warm days.  I made fruit smoothies and the kids had them outside.  It was a lovely taste of spring that only whet our appetites.  The cold returned almost immediately.

We got our largest Etsy shop order a couple of weeks ago--40 sword and shield sets, and they were required for a birthday bash STAT, so everyone got involved.    Here the boys were tracing out handles for the shields.  47 lbs is what it weighed, packed into two really big boxes.

 Green grass is finally beginning to peek out of the ground, and a good thing, too, as we are on our last few bales of hay.  Since I started running, I eat a couple of eggs just about every morning.  I never was much for breakfast, but now now I find that I'm fairly hungry by 9 or so, and since I am not one for sweet breakfasts (I don't care for the oatmeal, muesli, pancakes, baked oatmeal or whatnot that I make for the kids), a couple of eggs on toasted sunflower bread or pumpernickl are just the thing. I could actually do with a few more hens, as we have been really loving the eggs and using a lot of them.
 Just a few shots taken on the way home from Mass yesterday...still getting used to my new camera.

 Hope you are having a fruitful Lent, and wishing you a pleasant week!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Musings--3 March 2014

Right now...It is nearly 6:00 a.m., and is just beginning to get light, revealing a blue world.  We had freezing rain last night, covered by a little snow.  Frankly, I'm fed up with the cold weather.  It's March and the kids have been indoors way too much lately.  They are bickering incessantly (the youngest being the worst culprits).  Can't very well send them out to play in this sort of weather...

This weekend...was good.  Saturday was pretty much a day spent in the kitchen making kombucha, pre-baked pizza crusts and lacto-fermented veggies while Bret took the two older boys to the new house to clean up and pull some wire down below the house.  We are hopefully just about ready for insulation, and then comes the drywall, and that will certainly make the house look more like a house on the inside.

Yesterday we had a very nice Mass and good homily.  Also had fun chatting after Mass with some of the pleasant folks we go to church with.  The weather was getting foul, and when we left the church, the temperature had dropped significantly.  We stopped at Walmart for a few things I needed and noted the shelves going bare from the panic-purchasing.

At home we just relaxed and I worked a bit on my writing and responded to a couple of emails.  Sloppy joes and oven roasted potatoes for dinner.

Some plans for this week:  Getting ready for Lent.  There have been years when I actually looked forward to the challenge of Lent, but not recently.  Life seems challenging enough, and I am a wimp these days.  I used to do things like rise at 3:30 on Fridays to do the St. Bridget prayers, and fast on bread and water, but I can't manage such penances now.  I will give myself a few penances that I hopefully will have the strength to handle throughout the lenten season.  I'll also put up our Lenten calender and the kids and I will decide this morning how to have a fruitful Lent.  Our usual preparations include putting up Stations of the Cross around the house (we pray them in lieu of the Rosary on Fridays during Lent), putting out a bean jar for keeping count of sacrifices, and picking out some spriritual reading.  If you look in my labels under Lent, you may find a few ideas...

I have haircuts to do for the boys.  Ugh.  Does anyone know of a home hair clipper that lasts more than a few months?  I have been through possibly 8 or 10 clippers in the last few years, and it is always the blades that go dull, which results in hair being pulled.  Don't they make replaceable blades for those things?

Not much else on the agenda, really...just school, writing, housekeeping, planning for Lent and Easter.

If I find some time for myself, I want to...just write and read lately. With limited time, I have to pick and choose, and lately that is where my heart is.

I am praying for...an ever growing list of people and intentions.  For my sister and mother, who are both having some health problems; for friends with cancer; for friends with mental health and/or addiction problems and for friends who have kids who have these problems; for continued progress on the house and that at least one of our cows is pregnant.  For two friends who are expecting, that they have good pregnancies and safe deliveries.  For my aunt Donna, who, at the age of 60-something, is recovering in Thailand with 17 broken bones from (drumroll, please) having fallen off a spooked bull elephant.  The list goes on and on.

I am grateful for...my family and my friends--the few, the true.  For my health; for music and books and great movies that bring me such pleasure; for my faith, which keeps me grounded and hopeful.  And for the fact that I don't need to go anywhere today in this really cruddy weather!

Something that makes me smile:  WARNING--if you would be offended by a lot of exposed skin, and a certain amount of grinding, please forego watching the following.  But a friend posted it on FB the other day, and I have watched it a few times now because it puts me in an instant good mood.  It's our young men in Afghanistan spoofing the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders.  I think they nailed it brilliantly...

Have a great week!

Friday, February 28, 2014

{this moment}: He's so fun to shop with

{this moment} A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. Sponsored by Soulemama.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Maybe that's why when we get to a certain age, we say we are "over the hill"...it appears to me that things are picking up speed as I roll on, and I go to Mass on Sunday, and the next day is Monday and always so busy, and before I can figure out where the week went, it is Friday once again.  The landscape of my life is going by in a blur.  Did we actually have a January this year?  Really?  Alright...I'll give it some thought, and maybe some details will come back to me...

Last week we had dental appointments for five of the kids, and then an orthodontic consultation for one.  It took up the better part of the day.  And there were preparations for Adrian's birthday.  His 9th birthday was actually on Wednesday, but we weren't celebrating until Saturday.  Still, I made naughty chocolate chip pancakes on his actual birthday (okay--not so naughty--I did use some whole wheat flour, ground chia seed and coconut oil), gave the kids the day off from school and let them watch a disc of Superman from Netflix.

His actual birthday celebration was great.  I made a fantastic carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (and the kids all agreed that neither the cake nor the frosting was too sweet--their usual complaint about cakes and frostings).  I did reduce the amount of sugar by 25%.  He was very happy with his presents--Legos, pajamas, two stuffed animals--one of them a rather adorable oppossum--a clip-on lamp for his bunk bed so that he can read and write in bed, a hat he requested I knit for him, and the last part of the animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender.  He also received some greatly appreciated monetary gifts from family and Godparents.  I received several kisses from my sweet boy, thanking me for such a wonderful birthday.

On the one hand, I really hate the idea of my kids growing up and moving on (Adrian is making things easier on me by not growing too fast. I know it is a point of frustration for him, but I love that I can still pick him up and carry him around, he's so darned light!); on the other hand, I really love watching them unfold.  It's like watching butterflies emerge from the chrysalis...Adrian is a smart kid, a thinker who often throws out philisophical observations and astounds me often enough.  He's a talented drummer who is longing for a drum set (hoping there will be money in the budget for it, and room in the new house), and he's made great strides in maturity this past year, learning to get a grip on that fiery temper of his.  I love his gravelly whiskey-and-cigars voice (so amusing that it comes out of someone so small!) and I love his crazy imagination.

So glad to have been entrusted with such a fascinating soul...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rural Icecapades

We've never had such low temperatures for as long as we've had them in the ten years we've been here.  We are on our second arctic blast--or third, perhaps, as we just had a two day respite with temperatures back to the 40's and even the low 50's yesterday.  It will be cold again today.  But Saturday, although not bitterly cold, still gave us a bit of snow on the ground and the ponds were still frozen.  Bret took the kids out to play.

He called me on his cell phone and said, "You need to come down here with the camera and take some pictures."  I obeyed.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday Musings--20 January 2014

Right now...it's after 10 a.m., sunny and cold.  We had a late breakfast since the kids were involved in building a dummy from Gabriel's camo clothing.  

I'm feeling a little bit limp, as I stayed up with Una--suffering a bit of teen angst--until after midnight, and still got up at 5, since I could't get back to sleep after the alarm.  After prayers and coffee, it was my intention to do at least a mile on the treadmill, and I wound up doing 3.  My gosh, I'm becoming an athlete in my old age!  I couldn't do the 12-minute-mile in high school without grabbing my sides in agony and gasping for air.  

It's going to be one of those days, I can tell.  The younger kids have been bickering on and off for most of the morning, and I'm hearing a lot of um, uncharitable talk.  

This weekend was...too quickly over.  In fact, the entire week went by in a flash.  I hardly have a memory of last week, except for a highlight or two.  On Saturday, Bret went into town to run errands and here I did laundry, put up some crock pot chili, showered and did a few other chores I can't seem to recall right now.  The goal was to get everything done before lunch so that I could find time to work on my writing and spend a little time reading as well.  And that is how I spent the afternoon.  

Mass yesterday was very nice, the nicer for friends of ours whom we've not seen in ages being there.  We had a few things to pick up at the store on the way home, and then at home we relaxed and I did a little more writing.  We watched an old movie from Netflix, and then, as I said, I stayed up way too late with Una.


Some plans for the week:  I'm not feeling terribly ambitious at the nonce.  If I can manage to get the skeins wound for the hat Adrian's requested for his birthday next month and write a stack of receipts into the checkbook, and get dinner done tonight, I'll be satisfied.  I may write a bit or read a bit (if I can keep my eyes open), or maybe play a board game or cards with the kids.  Right now, sitting here, I am yawning incessantly.

Other things I need to do: cast on and start knitting the above mentioned hat; pay some bills, maybe try my hand at homemade tortillas (my sister and I have been discussing this) and of course do school work with the kids.

If I find time for myself, I'd like to...just read and write, really.  But I need to squeeze in some knitting, too...

I'm grateful for...the internet.  I grew up without it and had to rely on the Encyclopedia Britannica and infrequent trips to the library for research.  It is nice having all the information in the known universe at my fingertips.  I love the internet.  There; I said it.  I'm grateful for health right now, and for the gift of music (how bleak my life would be without it!) and for books and our lovely hens.  And wine.  

Some prayer intentions for this week:  I have a lot of people for whom I'm praying.  My sister and two close friends are at the top of the list this week.  My sister awaits biopsy results from her colonoscopy, one friend is getting a biopsy to tomorrow, and another friend needs to have some mammogram pictures retaken...it's all too much.  Thank goodness I also have some friends who are cancer survivors.

Something that makes me smile: her utter disregard for the mores of fashion.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Yarn Along--Yellow Mittens

I'm back!  Joining Ginny's Yarn Along over at Small Things for the first time in eons.  Months ago I began putting my limited time into writing rather than knitting, and my knitting bag in the van was replaced by my notebook, and in the evening I generally had the word processor on my laptop open.  So I've not been doing much knitting.

The mittens above are being knit in Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool which I dyed with onion skins
(my first experiment in dying with natural dyes).  A pretty color, but no one likes bright mustard yellow and the wool is on the tough-and-scratchy side, so I think mittens or slippers may be my only options for it.  So I'll do a set of mittens to start...

The only other knitting I've done has been a black watchman's cap for Bret and a Mike Nesmith of the Monkees hat for Sebastian (there's a photo of him wearing it here).  Adrian wants a hat in the same style--with a pom-pom--for his birthday in 3 weeks, and Una wants some elbow-length fingerless mitts, so I guess I'll have get back into it.

As for reading, I just opened and account on Goodreads.com, and have a list of books I want to read.  Currently I'm reading some online articles on writing and have just begun reading O'Henry's works, but I'm finding it tough to find time to read, write and knit...so we'll see what gets dropped!

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