Why do I struggle to drag my tired body and groggy mind out of bed at 4:30 in the morning, even when get to bed late and nurse a cranky baby with a runny nose (likely culprit: allergies) through the night? I do it because I like to pray and read--or try to read, if I'm really zonked--in a quiet house, and I love the transition from night to dawn. The moon up, the darkness, the sound of insects and bullfrogs; and then, just before the first hint of light on the eastern horizon, birds singing, geese honking in the distance, our new rooster crowing. It is magical, and it is mine, since no one in my house likes to rise as early as I do.
My friend Marilyn made me aware this morning of this Spokeo.com thing. Try typing your name in and see what information they have on you. It is rather edifying, even if, as I noticed, some of their information is incorrect (What? We have no central heating or cooling, but our house is worth more than a million bucks??). If you do not like seeing your information there, find your page and copy the URL for it. Click on "privacy" at the bottom of the page and then copy your URL where they tell you to in order to have your information removed. They will email you a link to click on for the removal. The information will still be "out there", floating around, amongst the third party sources from which Spokeo gathered the information, but at least it is one less spot where people can find it all in one place. By the way, isn't it interesting that this is their logo:
I am still trying very hard to become a "dog-person." We have two very, very cute pups who are now entering puppy-adolescence (read: "obnoxious period"), and although I realize that a farm, albeit a small one, is not a farm without a couple of farm dogs, I find myself really gritting my teeth quite frequently. Actually, Shiloh is just about perfect: he's relaxed, well-behaved, sits when you tell him to and generally stays out of trouble. Max, on the other hand, is hyper-active, doesn't care to obey and is into everything; in other words, he's a lot like Dominic. I have an easier time tolerating this behavior in Dominic because I gave birth to him...
Part of my morning prayer routine consists of reading from this book. I received it as a gift from a first-time client (back in my old book restoration days) only months after I came into the Catholic Church, and it is still a favorite of mine after 13 years. I've bookmarked a prayer I am praying daily, one I intend to put into my sidebar soon. By means of it and by the Grace of God, I hope to overcome some of my spiritual lethargy:
Lord, make me eager to hear Your voice and to
follow Your holy words in my daily life.
My pride and foolish self-seeking make me so deaf to You
that too often I hear only the voices of this world.
One distraction after another fills my thoughts.
Give me grace to hear Your loving voice within my soul.
Grant me a great, unselfish generosity
to give You more of my time and attention.
You desire only my true and lasting welfare.
Make me an active listener; that is,
one who honestly tries to follow what You tell him.
I shall avoid all self-deception and foolish extremes
by consulting my confessor in all doubts or difficulties.
Never will I follow my inspirations if they interfere with my daily obligations.
Speak to me, Lord; Your servant is listening. Amen.
My family, my sister's family and my mom will be getting together for Mother's Day as we have been doing since we moved to Tennessee. I like to bake cheesecakes. No matter that Bret has high cholesterol and most of us are lactose intolerant to one degree or another (N.B.: raw milk does not affect me in the least!), we don't eat it except on special occasions, so it's okay. Anyway, I made this one last year for Mother's Day (but with a crust of Vanilla Wafers and ground almonds) and this year I am going to try this one out. Yum.
I missed out on making my annual trip to St. Louis to the St. Louis Catholic Homeschool Conference, and those of you who attend these conferences already know how helpful they can be. They offer encouragement, camaraderie, and an opportunity to look at curricula first hand. Well, not everyone can make it to a conference, and things sometimes come up which prevent it, but I got this email last week about an online Homeschool Expo. I don't know that I will opt for it, as I can't even listen to a Corelli concerto without a dozen interruptions, but I was really amazed by all that is being offered for $40. Take a look and see what you think.
Isn't this sweet? Gemma fell asleep on my lap sitting up.