Archive for the month “December, 2009”

winter darkness

starts early in the afternoon.

nevertheless the woods still look so magical.

especially after a sprinkling of rain.

we bundled up. and we found pinecones glistening after their bath. a solitary rosehip and a bit of mistletoe. a few birdies. and lots of mud. this walk was so peaceful and refreshing. i can’t think of a better way to spend the last days of december.

if i don’t get back here in the next few days. happy. happy. new year to you and yours……

home fires and creating warmth


my husband often calls me during the day to see what we are up to.

i say i am keeping the home fires burning.

creating warmth with the resources we have been given.

and that does include sewing sweet things. forcing bulbs in the kitchen. and making peanut butter and banana sandwiches on WHO bread.

i feel so blessed.

God is so good.

to me. to us. and to you too, i am sure!

as a side note: my washer has been going almost non-stop since saturday. so there is real work being done around here too.

during break time we sat outside and ate lunch on the back porch today. soaking up sun. sweet. warm sunshine. and watching birds stealing chicken feathers from our yard for their nests. i don’t know if you’ve ever seen a little chickadee with a big fluffy feather in its’ beak, but it is rather comical.

so what are you up to? especially those of you who live in the really cold parts of this great big world. i don’t know how you do it. i am a weakling when it comes to truly being cold.

misplacing Jesus

i had them all in a box. the baby figurines for Christmas morning were in the same box as the wise men. so that the natural progression of adding the “characters” at the appropriate time could occur of course.

only i don’t know what i did with that box.

and to this day my over-tired. over caffeinated brain is still puzzled how i misplaced Jesus.

not just because He was supposed to be the reason behind all the hype. the praying. baking. the stories. the crafting. the cleaning. the cooking. the lights. etc. 

but because what kind of good Catholic mother loses baby Jesus. 

but then it dawned on me that it happens to the best of us.

“Your father and i have looked for Thee with sorrow”. mary’s words to her lost Child. they spoke to me from my missal.

and then i looked at the manger in the chapel.

He was there. they hadn’t forgotten.

so though the mangers at home remain empty i am leaving them that way for now. as a reminder of sorts. first for me: to keep looking. like mary did.

and finally it is a reminder to quit trying to put limits on Someone so vast and eternal by squeezing Him into one day. i should know better than that by now.

emmanuel. God is with us.

not just on Christmas morning. but always.

and most especially in the Holy Eucharist.

so what of  this dance of misplacing Him and finding Him? it is something i have done my whole life. and so it will continue i am sure. until my last day. when i will see Him face to face. Judge. Redeemer. Friend.

i hope He forgives me.


packages tied up with string (cotton yarn).

kitties who love cottage cheese.

morning sunlight. and the way it makes things look so sophisticated and elegant.

the roses in my mother’s sleepy december garden.

my new striped socks. and favorite red shoes.

a rosemary tree and red chrysanthemums.

a little girl who stole my sweater. with cheeks almost the same color as the flowers on it.

peppermint bark.

hope your Christmas is filled with lots of sweet things too, dear friends. may the sweet baby Jesus bless you all during these next few days. and always.

’tis the season

to make up ridiculous rhymes like: matching dresses and kitchen messes. homemade gift tags and barf bags.

i had a few others in my head. earlier. when i sat down to write a blog post. and then realized that just because it is Christmas vacation, i am still required to cook my family dinner. so i had to get off this thing.

and then i had a sick little boy to tend to. he started throwing up after we got home from mass yesterday and continued to do so every time he ate a cracker. or drank a sip of water. which happened to be about every hour. hence my thoughts on barf bags.

the best laid plans always come to a halt when someone gets sick. and i. ever the pessimist. am waiting to see who the next victim of this messy stomach virus is going to be. is it terrible to hope it skips me? because i’ll happily hole myself up here at home. and sew. read. bake and snuggle for as many days as it takes for us to get over this. i just don’t want to be the one barfing. i prefer the handmade gift tags part….

the tree pattern taken roughly from here.

and last, but not least: to all a good nite.



i am home alone. i was supposed to get up bright and early and head out to finish my Christmas shopping, but i couldn’t bring myself to leave until i took a few pictures and did some sewing. i only have a few projects on my list: some more wool felted lambs, winter/Christmas pillowcases and a joy banner. i have been keeping it simple. focusing mainly on doing things with the kids. i am done decorating. and this week will be spent doing our baking and tying up a few loose ends on some homemade presents.

somehow i can breathe a little easier knowing that we have a break from school.

all in all i am feeling rather merry on this very sunny. warm. saturday morning and i hope you are too!


warm. toasty. sweet. glittery. bright.

ember wednesday

i woke up with the rising sun. its’ orange.purple glow lit up the otherwise grey sky. i watched the chickens eating remnants of sweet oats from yesterday. clucking happily while their beaks pecked greedily at the soft, damp dirt. i looked out my bedroom window and revelled at the sight of my favorite tree in the back yard while i folded some laundry. i blessed each child as i held their clothes in my hands. i made a quick trip outside to bring in some dish towels and i could see my breath. for just a moment i tried to soak in the warmth of those towels. the heat penetrated through my clothes into my heart. 

i have been asking God for fervor with regards to this sacred vocation of mine. to be faithful in all of these little things. and this morning i was really feeling it. i don’t always, mind you.

when my littlest son awoke we made some of that sweet milk he loves. we paused to watch the nutmeg dance in his cup.

it got late and the noises in and around the house were less soothing. the trash truck. people arriving at the offices on the busy street.noises of a hectic world broke the silence. and me. us. in our quiet. safe. little domestic church. carried on.

i heated the library long before the little ones were awake and prepared a craft. glitter and tissue paper look so lovely in the morning light. later some christmas music and a read-aloud story “sounded so beautiful”. said my littlest son.

i didn’t do all of the things i wanted to on this ember wednesday. after all we had music lessons and the loft was a terrible mess. i overcooked some broccoli and poured almost a ton of rosemary into the spaghetti sauce i was making. that is the second time this week i almost ruined something i was cooking with rosemary. the bottle is mismarked and i thought it was something else. i laughed. my girl laughed at me. hugged me. and said that was why she loved me. because i was so extraordinary. imagine that. all because of that rosemary. (which has a very pungent smell btw.)

so i was a little worried i’d ruined dinner. but then my husband came home and ate two servings……..

this was one of those beautiful. predictable. yet unpredictable days. they don’t happen often enough. but i am sure glad i had the presence of mind to enjoy it.

and i hope you are doing the same!


This is found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:

              People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

i needed this! so i thought i’d share it here.

it’s raining, it’s pouring…

and the old man is snoring. just don’t tell him i called him old. he won’t like that .

a terrible rain storm almost ruined my day. i get the blues really bad when it is cloudy and grey. but my mom talked me into taking the kids to a free Christmas concert at the library. so we went. we bundled up. and it really was lovely. i never thought i’d be so proud of a bunch of public schooled teenagers. but they sang their hearts out. and they even treated us to a few hymns sung in latin. it really was beautiful and i am glad we went.

after the music was over we picked up some items we had on hold. my girl has gotten quite good at reserving things at the library. it always makes me laugh when the little electronic/automatic calling thingy rings us to say that the items of ……are ready. it sounds so sophisticated. kids are so much more with it these days. i never thought to do things like that when i was little. the most exciting thing i did was call the library for those automated stories. did any one else do that? i was such a dork. a book dork. but that is a good thing i think. and my girl is too. the other day we were talking about jane austen, since we are reading pride and prejudice, and she commented on some of the crazy things she’s read about authors. specifically louisa may alcott and emily dickinson. she noted that they were kind of weird. and then a look of horror passed over her face and she asked me, “i am not weird, am i?” and we laughed. because really, aren’t we all just a bit funny in one way or another? 

anyhow, we then went to joann’s. for fabric of course. i am going to make some warm flannel pillow cases for the t.v. room. and of course all of their holiday fabric was soooo tempting. then i had to pick up zots and gold ribbon. nothing earth shatteringly important.

this evening we started the dough for our st. lucy’s day bread. i’ll be using barb’s recipe here. and then there was a request for some warm milk from a certain little boy. so i heated it on the stove and served it with honey and a pinch of nutmeg. it was a BIG hit and i can see it becoming a new favorite. we are really big on experimenting with drinks here. we do love that s***bucks place. but my kids tend to expect to get something too which costs a whole arm and a leg. so….i try to pick up different teas, spices, oils, cream, sugar, honey etc. and we actually have a lot of fun trying new things.

well. i am way past tired. luckily mass isn’t until 1:30 tomorrow. we are so blessed to have a very holy priest coming to say mass for us these days. rumor has it he is mel gibson’s priest. but that doesn’t really surprise me. that is how tiny the latin mass circle is here in california. one minute we are having a crisis. no priests. and then this one shows up. with a driver. in a svelte. black. lincoln town car. go figure.

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