Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

This picture is from the Arlington National Cemetery website, which I thought was appropriate. Thank you to all who have served, especially those who gave all they had.

(Special and specific thanks to Pop, Dad Thomas, Roger, Brandon, Nan, Doug, Rob, and many other relatives and friends.)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TUESDAY Daybook -- because I can!


For Today, May 25, 2010

Outside my window...sunshine, blue sky, and a light breeze. Which is good, because the indoor/outdoor thermometer says it is 85 in the shade.

I am thinking... that the hours I spent yesterday on the music sheets were worth it. They will be done by Thursday, but today I can blog and not think about them. Until tomorrow.

I am thankful for...the cool breezes blowing through my house. One thing I will never miss from our old house was the abyssmal ventilation. Three windows in the living room and none of them could be opened. And for you Southerners, no, we didn't have AC. Most years it's only "needed" for at most two weeks. Our town is one of the places where folks from the big city used to come to get away from the summer heat.

From the kitchen... leftovers tonight. But roast beef and apple pie on Thursday, and on Friday I'm trying a chile con queso recipe. We have been buying multiple jars of the commercial stuff, and it adds up.

I'm am wearing... pink floral tiered skirt, deep pink Tshirt, and my older SAS sandals. But I'm about to go put on shorts and do my exercises. :-(

I am creating... nothing much right now. But I saw a hat today that I'd like to recreate in crochet, and my favorite cotton-lace sweater is getting holes in the sleeves. So I'm thinking about a trip to the store...

I am going... to the Feast of the Sainte Claire this weekend. It's put on by a nearby museum, and draws reenactors from several states. We've taken our kids, and now our grandkids, since we only had two kids! (The link gives a slide show of pictures, which really gives a taste of the ambiance, except that you'll have to imagine the smell of wood smoke....)

I am reading... Holly Blues by Susan Wittig Albert. Garden variety mystery, with a very nice dose of returning characters other than the "detective". I plan to finish it tonight.

I am hoping...that Tracy and her family have a safe trip to visit their ailing relative, and that the visit is worth the looooong drive. I suspect it will be.

I am hearing... somebody's lawn mower. We are "in the country" enough that lots are large, and one mower or another is constantly going. On Sunday afternoon I could look out one window and see three people on riders.

Around the house... I have just finished putting the laundry away, and the place is mostly tidy. Kelson is sleeping (his usual after-school nap) on a couch in the basement. It's cooler down there.

One of my favorite things... is my big library book bag, which is sitting here next to me to remind me to hit the library tomorrow. Two of my books on hold became available at once. The bag is an LLBean extra-large tote, zipper top, natural with extra-long blue handles. They retail for around $40, but I payed $15 for mine because I got it at their outlet with somebody else's initials on it. My trusty seam-ripper took care of that.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Clean bathrooms tomorrow. Grocery shop Thursday. Finish music sheets. Await arrival of kids and grandkids on Friday. Feast of the Ste. Claire Saturday. Grill out twice. Collapse.

Words I'm pondering : "It's not how big our faith is, but how big God is."

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... and this happens a lot at our house...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hymns for Pentecost

I've really gotten away from my "Musical Monday" posts because I've been (and still am) enamored of the Daybook thing as a quick way to get something onto the blog. But I can't let Pentecost go by without a sampling of my favorite hyms for the day. I didn't get to sing all of these today, but I got to read and hum them as I made my choices, and that's a win for me! Enjoy.

First and foremost:
Come Holy Ghost

Come Holy Ghost, Creator Blest,
And in our hearts take up Thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O Comfort Blest to Thee we cry
Thou heav'nly Gift of God most high;
Thou fount of life and fire of love,
And sweet anointing from above
And sweet anointing from above.

Praise be to Thee Father and Son,
And Holy Spirit Three in one;
And may the Son on us bestow
The gifts that from the Spirit flow,
The gifts that from the Spirit flow.

The Latin lyrics are attributed to Rabanus Maurus sometime in the 9th century. These verses are part of the 19th century translation by Edward Caswall. I like it sung to Lambillotte, heard here.

Next up:
Breathe on Me, Breath of God

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.

These lyrics are by Edwin Hatch. I've sung it to several tunes, and frankly, anything in Short Meter will do. (Scroll down the link if you are curious about hymn meters.)

And: Spirit of God, Descend upon my Heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
and make me love thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
no sudden rending of the veil of clay,
no angel visitant, no opening skies;
but take the dimness of my soul away.

Has thou not bid me love thee, God and King?
All, all thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see thy cross; there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek thee, and O let me find.

Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh;
teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love thee as thine angels love,
one holy passion filling all my frame;
the kindling of the heaven-descended Dove,
my heart an altar, and thy love the flame.

Written by George Croly, and sung to Morecambe.

And finally, a peppy one from my college days:

The Comforter Has Come

O spread the tidings ’round, wherever man is found,
Wherever human hearts and human woes abound;
Let ev’ry Christian tongue proclaim the joyful sound:
The Comforter has come!

The Comforter has come, the Comforter has come!
The Holy Ghost from Heav’n, the Father’s promise giv’n;
O spread the tidings ’round, wherever man is found—
The Comforter has come!

The long, long night is past, the morning breaks at last,
And hushed the dreadful wail and fury of the blast,
As o’er the golden hills the day advances fast!
The Comforter has come!


Lo, the great King of kings, with healing in His wings,
To ev’ry captive soul a full deliverance brings;
And through the vacant cells the song of triumph rings;
The Comforter has come!


O boundless love divine! How shall this tongue of mine
To wond’ring mortals tell the matchless grace divine—
That I, a child of hell, should in His image shine!
The Comforter has come!


Lyrics by Frank Bottome, tune by William J. Kirkpatrick. This link is about 2/3 the speed I'm used to; think a peppy waltz in one.

And that's it for my Holy Spirit music for Pentecost.
May the Spirit fill your day and your life!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday Daybook Three Weeks in a Row!


For Today, May 17, 2010

Outside my window... it is gray but warm. I wore a sweater when I took my walk, but I kept pushing the sleeves up. But I would probably have been cold without it. One of the paradoxes of spring....

I am thinking... about why I am stalling on the music planning sheets. I am up-to-date on every other responsibility and discipline in my life, so why am I procrastinating???

I am thankful for... our visit to Arwen and Bryan's last weekend. We got to spend and extra day with Miriel before she flew back to D.C. for the summer. And it was just all-around fun! Watching Blaise on the playscapes at the park was priceless.

From the kitchen... smoked sausage (cut up and browned), corn, and sauerkraut heated and then stirred with the sausage drippings. Easy, and I love it. Roger and Kelson tolerate it, but I tolerate a number of things they like, so since I'm cooking....

I'm am wearing... Tan cotton pants, navy scoop-neck Tshirt, navy cable cardigan, navy socks, and black loafers with holes in them.

I am creating... a summer dress for Camilla out of a skirt that Arwen doesn't want anymore. It should be quite cute, if I cut it correctly, since I'm not using a pattern to take advantage of the existing flouncy hem.

I am going... to sit on the couch and read for the rest of the evening. Bliss!

I am reading... three things at once, as usual. Two restaurant cookbooks and a fluffy mystery. I also have a non-fiction on frugal living in the pile next to the couch.

I am hoping... that Saturday will have good weather. Our Right to Life chapter is having a Wheels for Life event (bicycles, skateboards, strollers, for all I know wheelchairs!) We will be making circuits of the pond on the nature trail I talked about two weeks ago. Rain would be way less fun.

I am hearing...the refrigerator running. We just put in the dinner leftovers, and it's trying to catch up.

Around the house... vacuuming needs to be done. It's usually a Saturday chore, but we weren't here on Saturday. Maybe it will get done before next Saturday, and maybe not.

One of my favorite things... is The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Roger is reading our paperback edition right now, and when he is done I'm going to do a long-overdue re-reading myself. If I can stop reserving new books at the library, that is. But I'm homesick for Middle Earth.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Bible study tomorrow, a stop at the library for two books that are on hold for me (see what I mean about the requests?), and major grocery shopping on Thursday. This week I made the list and the money come out even with less work than it's been for a while.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

and I hope I have a relationship with some of you. Content is a little more problematic -- that's why I do the Daybook. ;-D

Friday, May 14, 2010

Seven Quick Takes -- Loving the Laptop!

Seven Quick Takes are hosted by Jen.

1) This is the "laptop edition" of seven quick takes (even though all of them are done on my laptop now) because I actually took my laptop off my desk! Miriel is in the area until tomorrow on her break between internships, and has been spending the week with her sisters 100 miles from our new house. But today Roger and I pulled Kelson out of school -- it's "senior skip day" anyway -- and came down here for a last visit before she flies back. And I can still do this post without kicking anybody else off their computer. Hurrah for the laptop!

2) Speaking of "Senior Skip Day," does that happen where you live? None of our six kids has ever participated in this unauthorized holiday, but we have been assured that nothing will be happening in any of Kelson's classes anyway, so he isn't missing anything. (Since he has an aide hour, three AP classes -- and those exams are over -- and band, for which the end of season concert was last night, I'm pretty sure it's true.) I still felt a little underhanded when I called in his absence, even though the reason I gave -- to visit his sister -- is completely true.

3) Tonight we are all going to Potbelly for dinner. All of us love "belly-pot", which is what Camilla called it when she was learning to talk. Every time we go I think about ordering something different; I expect tonight I will once again have a "Wreck with provolone on wheat" (scroll down the link) and an Orangina. I'm either boring or consistent, depending on your point of view. ;-D

4) I hope we go relatively early, because I'm hoping to be hungry for some cookies later. Arwen baked oatmeal cookies this afternoon, and we have FINALLY solved the family dilemma of "raisins (them) versus no raisins (me)!" Craisins solved the problem! All hail the sweetened dried cranberry, restorer of family harmony!

5) Arwen and Blaise are taking a nap at the moment. This is possible because Camilla has two aunts, an uncle, and Grandpa to play with. Grandma is being boring and typing on her computer. But we are planning to go to the park later, so it's OK. Actually Grandma could be tempted into a nap herself, but not nearly as much as I could have yesterday. I have seasonal allergies, and yesterday was such a bad day that I took TWO (generic) Benadryl. Not a good idea! My nose stopped running, and my eyes stopped staying open without g-r-e-a-t effort. Next time I'll stick to one.

6) Branwen and her family are not here, because they are traveling again. Larry's youngest sister is graduating from college tomorrow, so they piled Daniel and Matthew into the van and are driving 11+ hours to be there. The boys other grandparents will be there, and some aunts and uncles, and they will all have a great time. And although some of you are cringing at the idea of 11 hours in the car with children, 90% of the drive is the same one we took to my home town a couple of times a year while our kids were growing up. It's beautiful country, with enough change to keep it from being too boring, and Branwen knows all the points of interest, like the tunnel under the mountain.... We'll find out on Monday how it went, but I expect the boys will have been fine.

7) I've been sitting here for 10 minutes now trying to figure out a topic for my last take, but I keep getting distracted by daughters and a granddaughter, so I'll just say "I love my family!" and see y'all here next week.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Daybook


For Today, May 10, 2010

Outside my window... the sun is shining, the grass is green, the lilacs are in bloom, and it's downright chilly! We had frost last night.

I am thinking... about which leftover to choose for supper. There are three good options, for a change.

I am thankful for... the enormous help all my kids were in entertaining Daniel and Matthew last week/weekend. Everybody stayed happy, their parents had a wonderful time in Barbados, and I'm only three-quarters exhausted, instead of totally.

From the kitchen... leftover night! But before that I'm going to make myself a salad of some kind for lunch.

I'm am wearing... Blue cotton pants, hot pink scoop-neck Tshirt, light pink cardigan and socks, and black walking shoes. And I'll need to add a jacket for my walk later :-(

I am creating... menu plans and the grocery list.

I am going... nowhere today, which is wonderful. I had a trip to the library on my agenda, but it turns out my book isn't due until Wednesday, so I'll combine errands then.

I am reading... Ad Hoc at Home, a cookbook by Thomas Keller of the French Laundry restaurant in California. I'm not far enough into it to be sure what I think.

I am hoping... that I will have the energy to get the whole house tidied and clean in the course of the week. Today's project was sweeping the garage, since at one point Daniel amused himself by throwing several large clods of dirt into it. Now I can walk to the freezer without feeling grit under my feet. (And Huzzah! for attached garages!)

I am hearing... traffic on the road, and the sump pump periodically. Our basement is dry, but good design and the sump pump are what keep it that way. We live in Michigan, but we don't have a Michigan basement!

Around the house... toys, toys, and toys, with a side of books. I kept the living room under control, and most of the upstairs bearable, but I didn't even try on the basement. I also need to search for the ball from Kelson's track ball mouse, which was last seen being batted about by the cat. Maybe he'll remember to put things away better the next time there are small fry here. . . .

One of my favorite things... is an iced decaf "mocha". And I have cold decaf in the fridge. Maybe that would go well with lunch?!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Bible study tomorrow, then the regular routine, with a side of toy sorting. Choir practice on Thursday will be especially fun, since we aren't doing a mass next Sunday and can concentrate on special stuff for upcoming events.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...
This is in honor of the card some of my kids got me for Mother's Day:
Optimist -- The glass is half full.
Pessimist -- The glass is half empty.
Mom -- Who didn't put their glass in the dishwasher??!

Monday, May 03, 2010

Daybook, 5/3/10


Outside my window... it is beautiful! The neighbors' crab-apple tree is in blossom, my lilac bush is putting out buds, and the back lawn is carpeted with violets.

I am thinking... that the next few days should be interesting! Tomorrow we pick up Daniel and Matthew, Wednesday Tirienne picks up Miriel at the airport and they come (probably bringing Camilla), and on Friday Arwen, Bryan, and Blaise will be here. From almost-empty-nesters to a full house in four days. Whee!

I am thankful for... a compliment I got yesterday. During the Peace at mass I let a fellow choir member know that I would be praying for their peace in regard to a specific issue this week. The response -- "That's exactly what I would expect from you." Um, wow. Because I am not sure I'd expect it from me; I had had to make a conscious decision that I would actually do it before I said it. But I want to be a person of prayer and love, so it's nice that this friend thinks I show signs of it.

From the kitchen... Creamed Chicken and Biscuits. And I have been spending most of my allowance recently on iced mochas and iced coffee, so Roger made me a big pot of decaf to chill so I can make my own. (We already chill any leftover daily coffee for Kelson's consumption.)

I am wearing... aqua/blue/green (tiny) plaid "beach pants"/capris, a white Tshirt, aqua socks, black loafers with holes in them, and a blue shawl, because the evening is starting to cool off but we haven't shut the windows yet.

I am creating... the bi-weekly "big" grocery list. I get my grocery money in weekly allotments, but I find it saves time and money to spend most of it one week and fill in milk and produce on the alternate week. Occasionally I will change things up if a household staple like cheese goes on sale on the "small" week, but the habit is so strong that I actually write "Major Grocery Shopping" on my master calendar a year in advance.

I am going... to women's Bible study tomorrow, and then 100 miles to pick up Daniel and Matthew. And then stopping at McDonald's on the way home.....

I am reading... Pythagoras' Revenge by Arturo Sangali. I'm a math geek, but this is turning into something resembling History of Mathematics Meets The DaVinci Code. Don't bother.

I am hoping... to not get too tired this week, and if I do get tired, not to get crabby. Prayers appreciated!

I am hearing... cars whizzing past in front of the house, and the birds on the bird-feeder in back.

Around the house... it is relatively clean and tidy. This will last approximately 17 seconds after the grandchildren get here, and although I will keep tidying the main living area, I have resolved to let the basement play area deteriorate to chaos if it will, and not clean it until after everybody leaves.

One of my favorite things... is chocolate-covered ice cream bars. We bought a box last night, and I just had my second one. Sometimes I only get one from a box, even though we buy the store brand which has more (smaller) bars. But this one was perfect!

A few plans for the rest of the week.... family and more family! And grocery shopping, and choir practice on Thursday. And Saturday 5PM is our parish's Confirmation mass. Choir sings, of course (with First Communion yesterday, that makes 3 choir masses in seven days...) But I am looking forward to hearing the bishop, because before he became a bishop he was pastor of this parish. He both baptized and confirmed Tirienne. And he's fun to play bridge with!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing.. This trail is actually in Texas, but it looks a lot like the one about half a mile from our house. We are having a lot of fun walking different parts of it and learning what all there is to see.