Right now...nearly 8:30 a.m., and outside it is still delightfully cool. The sun is slanting in through the windows, Gemma is on the floor playing with Legos and a couple of the boys are discussing Percy Jackson.
This weekend...was not bad, if a little busy. Friday was pleasant enough, with a visit from my friend Cindy and 7 of her kids. The weather was pleasant, the kids kept well-occupied, and we were actually able to converse. It is certainly getting easier for us to chat now that there are more older kids and fewer toddlers and babies about. In the evening we watched The Grapes of Wrath. The upside of watching old, black and white movies based on literature and lacking in action and special effects is that half the kids fall asleep before half the movie is through, and it's a lot easier to watch.
Where did Saturday go? I can hardly remember...Oh yes, I spent a good deal of time putting up some pickles. I did a half-gallon of garlic dills with the Perfect Pickler, which uses just a brine solution, and then I did 3 quarts of lacto-fermented garlic dills. I want to compare them after a week, and if I don't die of botulism or the like, I'll tell you which I prefer. I've only been accustomed to the brine/vinegar and canned variety, so this is something new for me. There was also the usual kombucha-brewing and laundry washing going on, and a last-minute order for Dominic's birthday next Sunday.
Yesterday we had a beautiful drive to Mass. I never tire of Tennessee and Kentucky's lovely landscape. I must say, I have been in some of the most beautiful places on earth, the west coast of Ireland, Cornwall, and Austria ranking very high, but Tennessee and Kentucky are truly lovely. Replace the old barns with castle ruins and the cattle with sheep, and the fences with rock walls, and you have something very close to the bucolic landscape of parts of England. Which I loved when I was there for 6 months as a teen.
After a good confession and a lovely Mass, we did a little shopping (both Adrian and Dominic needed new pants for church and Gabriel needed black socks) and came home. Pizza for dinner, ice cream for dessert, and Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid on dvd, puchased at a thrift shop for $3.
Some plans for this week: Today I have to make butter and water kefir, roast a Boston Butt, fill out some forms online for the kids' dental appointment on Thursday and try to give haircuts to at least a couple of the boys. Also this week, I need to get my basil plants (10 of them, all cuttings from 2 plants I purchased) in a big planter outdoors. I plan to have a lot of pesto this winter! I need to wrap Dominic's gifts as they come in, and I sure am praying that they all arrive in time! And I need to at least begin making a list of things we'll need for the coming school year, which we generally begin after Labor Day. I'm really not very organized, which is a laugh, since I spent probably all of my adult life up to age 40 or so being hyper-organized and micro-managing everything in the household. Old age is creeping up on me!
A few prayer intentions for this week: for my sister, Tara, who has a birthday tomorrow! Wishing her peace and joy and good health! For Cindy, as she travels to Canada with a few of her kids to visit her grandbaby; for Fr. Tony and the parish of St. Joseph in Clarksville, TX (Father Tony is the new pastor and a very wonderful young priest, and he has an enormous amount of work and prayer cut out for him in his new parish); for my girl Una, who has been suffering pounding headaches again--she's very prone to them--and Ibuprofen only helps about half the time. For a little girl named Dinah, who also has head-splitting headaches. She is 6 years old and is recovering from a bout with meningitis that is going to have long-term side effects. Please say a prayer for her, too, if you would. She is perhaps no longer in danger, but is still in a great deal of pain.
I am grateful for...sunshine; a break from school; my dear, hardworking husband; music; old movies; Paul Newman : ); good and faithful priests; friendship; family.
Something that makes me smile: Trying to get Dominic to bed when he's fallen asleep in the living room!