Archive for the month “May, 2010”

like beaches


only not sad.

yes. this pen pal thing is quite sweet. i so enjoy the banter between these 2 little girls.

neither of them have a sister. so this could be a very rewarding experience!

on a different note:

i just picked this up from the library and my mouth is watering on every. single. page.

i have a feeling i’ll be in the kitchen more than i intended these next few days….

happy weekending friends!

you can put your white shoes on this weekend! hooray!

toile-la-la-la-la have red. black. green. and now blue toile. this particular piece will be turned into some pillow covers for my newly covered denim sofa sometime within the next few days.

sometime in between the many impromptu “reading lessons” that the baby wants to do. long after school is officially “over”. you know how stingy new readers can be. he likes the fact that there are “levels” to reading. i try to block it out of my mind that he probably equates this to xbox and can’t wait till his level is “up”. but if that is his motivation, then hey, who am i to complain?

his newest word: crud buckets. used when things aren’t going so great. but when you are the baby there aren’t many chances to use it. but he does so anyway.

top picture: oatmeal pancakes with powdered goatmilk. honey and butter on top. yes, my kids will eat the darndest things. but they are so yummy. heart healthy and gluten free too!

that green silky mess of yarn is my feeble attempt at a first shawl. we shall see….is all i am going to say. i was going to say i christen it my “third time’s a charm” shawl because that is the number of times that i started it. stopped it. ripped it out. and started over again. how many more times i actually repeat that same process remains to be seen.

on posies aka:tiny bouquets: we have them in every nook and cranny of this house. the kids are going crazy with the wildflowers and i love looking at them. the baby even adds foxtails and i have to admit, they are interesting to say the least. new header picture c/o of a sweet little bunch of flowers my dad brought me the other day…he is THE greatest. even though we don’t agree on who should’ve won american idol.


with my 10th grader

the great heresies by hillaire belloc

-lepanto by g.k. chesterton

-don quixote

with the middles:

by the great horn spoon

the donner party

and last. but not least. for myself:

how to find God and discover your true self in the process.

needless to say. my days are a whirlwind of busy. there is a part of me that is eager to wrap up this school year and welcome summer. then there is another part of me that says wait! i am just getting it! we’ve found a rhythm that i like. but that is just the way it goes, isn’t it?

so i am letting go. and letting God. and signing off. because i hear the little mother reading in my stead. and that is a heartbreaking sound to this mama’s ears….

many happy returns

is such a cheery thing to say, wouldn’t you agree?

and i always love it when pooh and piglet say it.

i thought i’d greet you that way since i have been such a bad blogger lately.

there is just so much to do when things and people are disordered. disheveled. and discombobulated.

those three words might very well mean the same thing.

but i must say disheveled is my favorite as of now.

disheveled as in that one applies to me.

my husband came home early from work today to find me in bed knitting a pretty moss colored green shawl. my words not his.

mind you i am not sick any more. i just don’t. want. to. face. it.

the housework.

i know i promised i’d be better about this….the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

i won’t even go into detail as to what my breakfast was…and for the record it was NOT mint ice cream out of the carton!

anyhow, i did wholeheartedly ask for the grace to AMEND MY LIFE tonite as i said my examen. it’s the best i can do. keep asking.

as a side note i don’t even want to talk about LOST. there are no words. i feel empty and betrayed. and besides i am too disheveled to care about a dumb t.v. show that i wasted invested years of my life on.

now where are the happy returns you say? probably in the freezer with my carton of icecream!

and back

i am just now recovering from quite possibly THE worst flu of my entire life. if i thought i could’ve been vaccinated to prevent it, in hindsight, i think i would’ve. as much as i hate vaccines.

it was one of those illnesses that make you feel like you’ve been to hell and back.

last nite as i took my place on the couch. to wallow alone in my misery. for the fourth nite in a row. so as not to wake my husband and the baby. the most horrendous chills. fever. and aches overcame me.

and as i lay there. all i could do was pray.

there was no rosary to grasp. i had taken my scapular off the day before to take a shower. and in a fog i never put it back on. it was just me. the pain and the darkness.

and for some reason. when i asked Jesus to have mercy on me. He didn’t. it was as if the pain intensified. every. time. i begged Him to take it from me.

but in that darkness. out of the blue. (that’s a contradiction, no?)

a thought came into my delirious mind: i imagined that i had read recently about a man who was told that whenever he was alone. even if he was sinking at the bottom of the ocean. all he needed to do was call out to the Blessed Mother. and she would rescue him. and lo and behold. he happened to find himself in that exact predicament. drowning. sinking to the bottom of the ocean. he quickly remembered to invoke the Queen of Heaven. and she came to his rescue.

so i grasped for the words HEALTH OF THE SICK. and i repeated them slowly. and with God as my witness. i was relieved. but no sooner did i finish. and the pain would return to me. and so for four hours. in and out of consciousness. drowning in my misery. i invoked the REFUGE OF SINNERS. TOWER OF IVORY. COMFORTER OF THE AFFLICTED. MYSTICAL ROSE….every name and title i could think of. from her litany. the only devotion i have managed to recite. and poorly at that. during this month of hers.

i called out to her. mother in my time of need. at an hour long past when my own mother had gone home. leaving homemade chicken soup and a clean kitchen in her stead.

but i really have to give credit here to my mama. not just for the chicken soup. because just the other day i shared with my children that part of the reason i knew that litany so well was because every morning on my way to school. my mama and i read our morning “prayers” from a tattered little dominican prayer book. and that was one of them. the words so poetically rolled off of my tongue. first as a child. then later as a bratty teenager. and now as a mother myself.

chicken soup for the soul you could say. then and now.

that’s what a real mother gives. nourishment not just to the body. but to the soul as well.

and never has that been more apparent to me than during this bloody week.

as my family has been existing on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and frozen chicken pot pie. my poor husband can only do so much.

looking back to last week i was so whiny and worn out. complaining and grumbling about all of the work. the schedules. the misbehaving.

and today i longed. as i have never longed. to wash out the soap dish of all the grime it had accumulated during these past few days. to prepare a meal. to do a reading lesson with fervor.

i can see now why HE didn’t take that pain away from me. sometimes HE uses fire to purify us. it is HIS way.

and not that i ever have. but friends, do not ever discount the help that only the Mother of God can give.

she knows only too well the weariness of motherhood. whether we are sick or well.

it’s really too bad that sometimes we have to go to hell and back to realize these things.

hope you are all well. and i wish you a glorious weekend!

facing it

the “lense”. at 34.

the elizabeth taylor way.

with fog. and touch up effects. hiding my tummy behind my innocent daughter.

so why am i posting this? when there are 2 missing children?

because this is as good as it got for mother’s day 2010.

(i am positive the other 2 were feasting on doughnuts somewhere nearby).

and because i just wanted to say “hi”…..

the blues

these are the best kind of blues.

the hues of my life right now.

a life lived “simply, bravely and joyously beneath the gaze of God and for HIM….”

there’s so much i want to write about. but that is the lot of a wanna-be writer. there is always something to write about. but the realities of motherhood don’t always allow for it.

the realities of : trying to re-write the rule. for this particular season of our life. utilizing an organized homekeeping notebook.  forcing myself to weed out many nasty. bad. habits. especially going to bed and getting up earlier in order to make it to daily mass on time. something i’ve been feeling called to do. something i’ve always wanted to do and something i finally have the opportunity to do.

there is nothing this side of heaven quite like that time spent with Our Lord in the early morning.

and then i get back here.

to the never-ending crumbs. laundry. dishes. and schoolwork.

and then life seems a bit like a bad case of groundhog day.

“didn’t i just wash those?” i ask myself for the umpteenth time.

and then there is the soreness and tiredness from exercising.

when does that stop?

maybe it doesn’t.

maybe i’m just getting old.

it really is true that the more things change. the more they stay the same.

at least in my little. blue. corner of the world.

from me

to you.



05 may 2010. lovely day. good food. cool breeze. sangria. lunch guests. crafts. little girls making homemade tortillas. a little bit of knitting with a friend on my comfy-slipcover-less sofa. playing tennis inside the house with laughing children. praying the litany of the Blessed Virgin with those same children before bed. all lined up. youngest to oldest on the church pew in my living room. the soft glow of the dim light making their beautiful. clean faces shine.

all those sweet memories and no pictures to share. there was never a “moment” to go and get the camera.

some moments just can’t be captured.

and so hopefully those few words will be all that i need. in the days and years ahead. to recall the beauty that was today.

somehow i titled this post shallow. because i thought i was going to ramble on about shallow. senseless things. like how i am catching up on LOST. and how i was so upset when the locke-ness monster pushed desmond into that well. i’ve always liked desmond. brother. and …just in case you are watching this season of american idol, who you think is going to win? and did you think that the disturbing lady gaga’s performance look like something out of the lower depths of hell? and what about harry connick jr.’s beautiful blue eyes ….even if he didn’t sing very well tonite.

but i think i’ll stop.

not trying to be holier than thou or anything.

i just feel a strange peace tonite.

and for some reason i don’t need to hear myself speak.

for once….

maybe i’m not so shallow as i thought…

sometimes i just wanna talk about cool stuff too. i try to be a little cool for my kids’ sake. they already think i act too much like a granny. knitting while telling them whose behaviour is going to land them in hell if they don’t straighten up and fly right. 

so i’ll leave you with that image of me. a bible-thumping. crazed. shallow. granny. with blonde-highlights…..

somebody. stop. me. please.

i rambled anyway.

cheerful subjects

why hello may. i hadn’t formally greeted you here.

you are a busy little month. and you snuck in on a saturday. shame on you. which means today is already the 4th….how is that for fair?

has may played that naughty trick on you too?

before i know it cinco de mayo will be here. and we are having guests. and we’ll be eating mexican food. homemade tortillas. guacamole. more sangria. and lots of other good stuff.

is your mouth-watering? mine is. especially since i had a shake for dinner and not another bowl of that creamy-roasted chile-chicken dish i made. damn diet.

‘xcuse the french. but really, when one is exercising. and dieting at the same time. one gets hungry. and grouchy.

i should go stuff my mouth with nuts or something.

i played tennis all by myself today. just me and a wall. and there are parts of me that hurt really bad. muscles i didn’t even know i had. and it really has nothing to do with the fact that while i played tennis with that wall. my youngest. the baby. watched me. from the second story window of his brother’s bedroom. with two rolls of toilet paper sitting on the window ledge. sniffling. crying. and begging me to let him come down. all the while making it a point to show me how. much. toilet paper. he needed to dry said tears.

the drama that boy is capable of is UNBELIEVABLE.

i tried to be a nice mama. and take them to play soccer. but then there was an incident of name-calling. and crying. and it made me mad. so i sent those naughty kittens inside.

they’ve only been home one day and already they are making me regret that i didn’t sew those slip covers while they were gone.

or better yet leave for a european holiday.

oh. i almost forgot i titled this post cheerful subjects.

who was i kidding? i just did that so you’d read me.

i tricked you. i am sorry.


actually there are some cheerful highlights.

here they are…we are reading narnia-starting with the magician’s nephew- out-loud again. this time the middles can fully understand and the baby. well,at the very least he can listen.

our simple. yet beautiful may altar is up.

the middles have started their missions. who said california history was for 4th graders? we’re getting there….if we can keep the baby from stealing all the pieces of styrofoam to  use for weapons.

the baby is doing some math. addition facts. number lines and counting. as well as an insect unit. we are reading these delightful stories. and coloring in this book. he is all ears when it comes to the violent world of wasps and spiders.

and last. but certainly not least. i am extremely intrigued by Ignatian spirituality. and can’t wait to delve a little deeper. this is something that has been on my mind for years. and i am prayerfully trying to get started.

here are a few points worth sharing:

Ignatius left his Society two spiritual legacies: the examen, and the spiritual exercises. The examen (or, The Examen of Consciousness) is intended as a short daily period of reflection. St. Ignatius believed that he received the examen as a gift from God that not only enriched his own Christian life but was meant to be shared with others. The examen was a “method,” a way to seek and find God in all things and to gain the freedom to let God’s will be done on earth.

The Examen traditionally has five steps:

  1. Recall you are in the presence of God. No matter where you are, you are a creature in the midst of creation and the Creator who called you forth is concerned for you.
  2. Give thanks to God for favors received. Pause and spend a moment looking at this day’s gifts. Take stock of what you received and gave. Notice these clues that guide living.
  3. Ask for awareness of the Holy Spirit’s aid. Before you explore the mystery of the human heart, ask to receive the Holy Spirit so that you can look upon your actions and motives with honesty and patience. The Spirit gives a freedom to look upon yourself without condemnation and without complacency and thus be open to growth.
  4. Now examine how you are living this day. Recalling the events of your day, explore the context of your actions. Review the day, hour by hour, searching for the internal events of your life. Look through the hours to see your interaction with what was before you. Ask what you were involved in and who you were with, and review your hopes and hesitations. What moved you to act the way you did?
  5. Pray words of reconciliation and resolve. Having reviewed this day of your life, look upon yourself with compassion and see your need for God and try to realize God’s manifestations of concern for you. Express sorrow for sin, give thanks for grace, and praise God for the times you responded in ways that allowed you to better see God’s life.

The Spiritual Exercises

The term “spiritual exercises” denotes every way of examining one’s conscience, of meditating, contemplating, praying, vocally and mentally, and other spiritual activities, as will be said later. For just as strolling, walking and running are exercises for the body, so “spiritual exercises” is the name given to every way of preparing and disposing one’s soul to rid herself of all disordered attachments, so that once rid of them one might seek and find the divine will in regard to the disposition of one’s life for the good of the soul. Annotation 1, “Spiritual Exercises”

The “Spiritual Exercises” of Ignatius is essentially a manual for giving 30-day retreats, the purpose of which is to bring the retreatent to an understanding and awareness of God while dealing honestly with the failing and drawbacks that hinder such prayer. All Jesuits experience the spiritual exercises during their first year as a novice. Lay men and women are also invited to undertake the spiritual exercises under the direction of an experienced director at several local retreat centers.

The sense of the spiritual exercises can perhaps best be summed up by the introduction found in The Spiritual Exercises itself, titled “the first principle and foundation.”

The First Principle and Foundation

The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.

All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.

It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end.

To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.

Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.

our faith is so beautiful and ripe with various devotions. this one attracted me for many reasons. but this month, as we focus on mary, who lived to do the will of the Father, i felt, that these exercises might actually help me to do the same.

see, i didn’t disappoint you now did i? i even gave you something to think about.

aw, i’m preachin’ to the choir, i know.


cheerfully signing off now….


holding on to april

because in april i never dreamed that the baby could be away from me for 3.whole.nights.

but for a child. who is most often confined to a home in the city. pavement. sidewalks. lights and lots of cars. the beckoning prairie is too loud to ignore.

the special rocks. the weapons. wildflowers. food cooked over a campfire. the smell of smoke in your hair. and the chance to wear moccasins instead of shoes.

oh, yes. they are having a grand ol’ time without me.

and they are in good hands.

well, this quiet may evening is over. the house is picked up. my husband snores softly. and i sit here alone. too tired to do any sewing now. feeling like i’ve misplaced something.

like 4 children….

those slipcovers?

i never got around to them.

i figured it’d be better that the 4 children came home to a clean. organized. house. and a rested mama rather than new slipcovers.

maybe some other day.

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