Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Musings--8 July 2013--with photos

Right is nearly done for the day and it is amazingly quiet.  Gabriel is finishing his math on the computer, Una is writing, Gemma and Dominic are painting and listening to a book on tape, and Sebastian and Adrian are playing with Legos.  It is sticky and warm outside, but at least it's not raining.  After rain all day long from Wednesday morning through Friday night, it is nice to see some blue in the sky again.

This weekend...was eventful.  On Friday Bret spent the day working in his shop and on a few Etsy shop orders.  He's working on Gemma's birthday gift, which is the most elaborate of the gifts he's made for her.  I sewed up a pair of pants for her baby doll, and now I only need to make a shirt or two for him.  Unfortunately, I really stink at making tops for dolls.  I only know how to make a peasant-type blouse, and I'd like to make something a bit more "boy".  I also baked a cake for my nephew's First Holy Communion from scratch.  Ever since I gave up making cakes from mixes, I have been pretty nervous about cake baking, as I've had a few fails.  This one turned out very nice, although too sweet with the butter cream frosting for my tastes and those of my kids (I used less powdered sugar than called for, and it was still too sweet).  I think that I'll make the cake again, only with no frosting--just a dusting of powdered sugar and then some berries.  Maybe whipped cream in the middle.  However, it was just the thing for decorating a special-occasion cake.

On Saturday, Bret went to get feed and also picked up five young broiler roosters, which he processed himself, with some help from the older kids with the plucking.  I was happily occupied with making the frosting for the cake and decorating it. At one point I yelled out the door words that I, born in New York City, never thought I would hear myself say: "Save the chicken feet!"  That's where the gelatin is for a really great chicken stock.  I'll spare you the details.  Let's just say that the majority of my kids are true country kids and understand the difference between a pet and a food animal.  I'm still a little sensitive on that point, and were it completely up to me to do the butchering, we'd probably be vegetarian.

Yesterday was more rain, and a lovely ride to Mass.  We had a wonderful homily from Fr. Bill Casey, CPM, and my nephew made his First Holy Communion.  Afterwards we came home quickly to grab a snack, change clothes and go to my sister's for a little post-Communion celebration.  We were happy and honored to have two of the Fathers of Mercy come by my sister's to join in.

Some plans for this week:  I have to finish making the doll clothing for Gemma's birthday on Sunday.  I want to bake some sourdough bread if my starter is far enough along this week.  I have to keep up with the kids' school, as we take August off--just barely enough time for me to get things together for the coming year, but I must say, with the exception of the two oldest--Una, going into her sophomore year, and Sebastian, going into 7th grade--I sort of fly by the seat of my pants with schooling.  For years I invested in textbooks and programs we hardly used, and I felt totally inadequate.  Now we just read and talk and do a lot, but only have textbooks for a few subjects, and we fill in the rest as the fancy strikes.  I find that the kids learn a great deal when they are interested in something, but retain little if they are not.  Case in point:  Gabriel has learned a lot about the Civil War, but lost interest in American History after that.  Instead, he picked up an interest in Greek mythology.  Now he knows more than most of us about Greek myths.  So, maybe I worry too little about school, but I do try to make sure they keep up with math, reading and writing and foreign language once they get to a certain age.

I am grateful for...good priests and good homilies; pastured chickens in the freezer; a few sales in the Etsy shop; a break from the rain so that I could hang out my laundry again.

Some prayer intentions for this week:  For my nephew Thomas, that all his communions might be as special as the first; for my friend Cindy and the Rachel's Vineyard retreat she will be helping to facilitate this coming weekend; for my nephew Matthew and my sister; for my grandma Fran, who will be 87 on Friday and for Gemma, who will be four on Sunday.

Something that makes me smile:  One of the Fathers of Mercy with whom we are friends  found out that he and I both love the music of Scythian (we were both disappointed to have missed their concert in Owensboro, not that I'd have paid a pile of money for the privilege of being jostled by dancing crowds at 10 p.m. at my age), and it so happens that he knows two of them personally.  He left for his vacation on Saturday, but after Mass on Sunday, another of the Fathers came up to me and handed me four Scythian CDs!  It's been wonderful playing them today...


  1. What a lovely cake! I surely wish it would stop raining here... the kids are only getting to swim a little here and there and end up having to cut it short due to thunder most days. Yesterday was nice, so they swam until bedtime! Let Gemma know her package is on the way. :) +JMJ+

  2. JMJ
    Thanks for remembering me and the retreat in prayer, I really appreciate it. We are up to 7 with the possibility of 1 more. Blessed be God, may there be much healing this weekend.

    Love and prayers,


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