Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Musings--18 July 2011

Right is around 7:00 a.m.  It is our 24th wedding anniversary!  Hard to believe, but it's true.  And I gave us about three months when we first started going out (I didn't have a very good track record, and he was so different from most of the guys I dated, so...normal.  He remains, to this day, the only person I know who carries absolutely no emotional baggage.  Hm...I guess that would actually make him somewhat abnormal, wouldn't it...?).

Truly, I was a mess when we met.  I was insecure, angry, sarcastic and frequently depressed.  I really didn't know how to do much.  I read a lot, could draw a little and was good with my hands.  Not a whole lot to recommend me.  But for one reason or another, he stuck with me--in spite of depressions, anxiety attacks, fits of rage, biting sarcasm and the fact that I had no intention of having children--he still wanted to spend his life with me.  Okay, he is seeming less and less normal as I write this.  He obviously had some kind of masochistic streak...

Anyway, it is funny how God works.  I came into the Church.  I got over my chronic depression.  I learned to trust--at least my husband!--and found that motherhood was the best part of my life.  Twenty four years and six kids later, here we are.  Getting old, saggy and tired together.  The "together" is really nice.

This weekend...was okay.  I made six pints of strawberry-rhubarb jam that came out too runny.  Deciding that I did not want to heat up water in the canner again to try and remake the jam, I am simply labeling it "Strawberry Rhubarb Syrup" and using it on pancakes and yogurt.  I am also working on a cyclops mask for a little theatrical the kids are planning.  In the past, they have created their own masks, usually of paper bags and such, but I thought that perhaps it was time to step it up, so I pulled out the plaster-impregnated gauze and with Sebastian watching (the others were not so interested), began the process.  I actually had a pretty good time with it.

Mass was pleasant, although the line was so long, I didn't make it to confession, but Bret and the kids did.

Some plans for the week:  Okay, tonight we are grilling sirloins and T-bones (our bounty of grass-fed beef is getting a bit thin now, and no calf due to Nuala's fertility problems.  We really need to get Fiona bred) and I broke down and bought a couple of bags of frozen shrimp for the occasion.  We might make some ice cream, since we have abundant cream (and not all of it ought to become butter!).

Tomorrow we are hoping to attend the funeral of Fr. John Malloy, CPM.  He was one of the old Fathers of Mercy, and he has been in a nursing home for the last few years.  Just a few weeks ago he celebrated 65 years as a priest, at the age of 93.  He was an excellent confessor, and his having spent many, many years as a parish priest made him especially good at hearing the confessions of married people and offering them sound, practical advice.

I am still trying--to little avail--to make some headway on my school plans.  I want some structure, to insure that everyone is getting what they need in the way of academics, but I want to get away from textbooks for history, science and geography.  I don't want to transfer the classroom to my home; I want there to be learning in my home.  I am rereading my Charlotte Mason type books and seeing what I can do.  It isn't easy when most of my kids are unable to work independently for many of their subjects.

I have to figure out what to buy/make for Dominic.  His birthday is the beginning of August.

If I can find some time for myself, I would like on Sebastian's cyclops mask, help Una with her sewing project, get more done on Adrian's sweater (one sleeve done--one more and the hood to go--and cast on for some other knitting project because this one is dragging on too long and I find myself less than inspired to knit right now.  I have a bunch of projects in my head for the Etsy shop, but I can't seem to find the time to work on any of them.

I am grateful for...Bret sticking it out with me these twenty-four years; little school right now; my family's health, air conditioning, ceiling fans and iced green tea with jasmine.

Some prayer intentions for this week:  for the repose of the soul of Father John Malloy, CPM; for another 24 years or so with my great husband; for God's grace in trying to work out a plan for learning that works for us and still allows us time for lots of other creative pursuits, and for Abby, who turns three this Saturday, NOT on the 5th of July as I had previously believed.

Something that makes me smile:  photos from about 24 years ago!


  1. Happy Anniversary, Nadja!! :)

    We're running low on beef too (especially after we raided the T-Bones for the first time last night, to celebrate my nephew's Baptism).

    I hope you arrive at a great solution for history/science/geography. We're trying a unit study approach this year and I'm a little scared of straying from the tried-and-true fragmented subjects with neat and tidy boundaries route. But I'm also kind of excited to be learning history and geography along with my nieces, which I was never tempted to do with their textbooks. We're trying Story of the World as a spine and age-appropriate historical fiction (to double as literature/writing) to go along with it so we're all studying the same things at the same time. Having one on American and another on World history at the same time has always been a bear. We're going to try (try being the key word) to do salt maps, a timeline, and projects from historical science (using the "Science in Ancient Greece," "Science in Ancient China," "Science in Ancient Mesopotamia," "Science in Ancient Egypt" etc. books), too.

    Oh, to have an abundance of cream! :)

  2. Happy anniversary, my friend! Una does look like you, doesn't she? I'm not sure that I've ever seen Bret's face... handsome hubby! We'll be celebrating 27 years in August. God bless you both... enjoy your special day! +JMJ+

  3. Happy Anniversary, and many blessings for many more happy, healthy years together!!! (and I can't believe you were so blond, although you do have fair little ones) Enjoy your special day!

  4. I was a "dishwater blond" back then, Kimberlee. I sort of assisted it in the lighter-blond direction...!

  5. JMJ

    Happy Anniversary my dear friend!!!! God bless you both. Wishing you many more years together.

    Love and prayers,

  6. Happy Anniversary, Nadja! Love your pictures, a very sweet couple. :-) Wish you many more happy years together.
    Father Malloy sounds very familiar to me. I attended Mercy Academy (high school) which was run by the Sister of Mercy, many, MANY years ago. Sorry to hear of his passing. I love to visit here, such a nice place.

  7. Hi-
    I found your blog randomly. Congrats on your anniversary :) I can relate to your story. I am depressed, anxious, angry, into reading and making things with my hands but not good at much else. I have been married for 3 years to an eternally happy man who must have a masochistic streak to be able to put up with me, like you said :p I just came into the church last year. I can't figure out how I could ever handle having children. I'm glad you've found so much happiness.


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