Archive for the month “July, 2011”

{pretty, funny, happy, real}

“capturing the context of contentment in everyday life”

every thursday at like mother, like daughter

{pretty}: red paint for a thrifted bookshelf. which also makes me happy!

{funny}: it is funny that this girl child, even with stitches in her leg, can’t sit still. here she is up and around painting said bookshelf.

{happy}: the baby is happy to help paint same red bookshelf too. only that doesn’t make us happy. so we give him a star to paint instead. ooohhh…that shiny star is pretty too!

{real}: my very real husband caught a very real fish.

he butchered it and together we cooked it right up.

 it was very yummy. ugly. but yummy nevertheless!

my real husband looking so handsome in white. (and letting me take his picture!)

and finally a very real candle.

to mask the not-so-funny- fishy-smell that is permeating the air!

so that’s it!

random daily contentment….one doesn’t really have to look far….there is so much to choose from…..can’t wait to see what everyone else is up to!

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three words

she is fine.

she is breathing on her own.

that’s six words.

thank you, doctor. three.

BLESSED BE GOD. three again.

THANK YOU, LORD. another three.

and finally: Jesus, i trust in YOU.

apparently people have simple surgeries all. the. time. in and out.

they cut you open and send you home almost as quickly as you zip thru a drive thru to order a burger and fries.

this is something that i, the super panicky type has trouble fathoming….i, who once called the paramedics (when this girl child was just a baby) because i cut her little fingernail and it wouldn’t stop bleeding.

me of so little faith.

i teeter at the edge of faithfulness. what can i say?

it’s a trust thing.

Lord, help me in my unbelief.

help me to trust even though i can’t see You.

now if you will excuse me i am going to take a very long nap while the patient and her big sis watch the king’s speech.

AND have a glass of wine later!

thank you, friends for all of your prayers and well wishes too….

dear july….

before i forget…and you are gone…

i wanted you to know that you have been so good to us.

with your cool mornings.

and your scattered wild sweet peas on the side of the road.

of course we picked a few. for our Sacred Heart Altar.

and of course there was that day at the beach…

filled with sand and seashells. the sun was hiding. and the roar of the ocean almost lulled me to sleep…

except there was so much to see…everyone made a new friend to play in the waves with. and then there were treasures to behold…

and then we tried those scones we heard about here.

they were absolutely deliciously lovely.

i was proud to perfect my hamburger buns recipe for the bread maker. quick. easy. and loved by all.

even the pickiest of eaters.

there is still so much i could i write about…but some things will just have to be our little secret…

and instead i will close with my favorite quotable that i read this month…i hope you will enjoy it too…

“one of the commonest natural experiences of the sense of loss is tiredness: it empties us out….it is useless to reproach a tired heart. and when we are tired out the only way to God is the simplest wordless act of faith. a woman too weary for articulate prayer will find that for her the best of all prayer is the unspoken act of faith in Christ in her children when she knows that  she is setting the table and baking the cake (or scones!!) for the Christ Child, her soul will be at rest.”

thank you, july magnificat for that.

those were soothing words to this weary mama.

happy weekend friends.

hope to see you monday.

with good news of a safe and successful surgery.

 

very much

geesh. i just realized how very much i used the words very much in yesterday’s post.

yet you were all so kind!!!

and then i went and changed things again….

excepting my proclivity for using the words very much…

for i very much love our weedy-sunflower “trees”. they grow multiple sunflowers. and they are so tall and colorful. and they last well into summer.

i very much love the little boy who arranged this car club gathering on my ironing board.

(i might start using the word little boy rather than baby…because, well, just because he isn’t really a baby anymore.)

 i very much love the flowers on this little plant…picked for me by the biggest boy…and how they brighten up the spot in my kitchen where i stand and wash countless dishes….because i am too lazy to load things into the dishwasher!

so, friends, what are you very much loving right now????

plain jane and some other things

i am not a plain jane.

who was i kidding?

and so i could not keep that “theme” i had up for those few days.

i might be moping a little bit.

i don’t want to…so i will tell you about that yummy bean dip instead.

very easy peasy. layer some re-fried beans.(heated slightly). (i mashed canned organic pinto beans for a quick fix) top w/ cheese. add a layer of sour cream and guacamole (ours is just mashed avocados, lime juice, crushed red chile pepper, garlic (fresh and powder) purple diced onions and roma tomatoes). then top with salsa (or more sour cream and cheese) and even some yummy, colorful bell peppers.

and how we went to see the ballet folklorico on friday night.

and how we even re-scheduled that darn surgery to see said ballet.

it was so important to her.

and i just may be spoiling her a bit right now.

like by ordering her a whole bunch of new books from alibris and b-n.

which books?

the incorrigible children of ashton place book one (which she already devoured but i want to read it aloud to the baby and not be in a big hurry to take it back to the library) and book two.

two penderwick books

and two callahan cousins books.

am i bargaining with God?

as in:”look Lord, please keep her safe, she has a bunch of summer reading to do!”

maybe.

pitiful of me, i know.

a very dear friend gave me a tight hug today when i expressed my crazy feelings.

 a dear priest friend annointed her with some holy oils and relic of the True Cross. (there IT is…so beautiful, huh?)

with saints and angels to pray for us….what more could we ask for?

i am so very thankful for the gift of our Catholic faith.

because faith is a gift.

a very special gift.

if you are a magnificat reader you remember these words from yesterday:

“it is the assurance of things not yet seen.” st. paul. hebrews 11:1

it is God saying:

come and follow ME into the darkness. I want to know you are ready to go into the things that you do not see yet, on faith alone.

a very important component of true love is: trust.

and i trust HIM.

with my life. with hers.

and with everyone and everything that i love.

because HE loved every bit of us first.

saint ann novena

DAILY PRAYER TO SAINT ANN

O glorious St. Ann, you are filled with compassion for those who invoke you and with love for those who suffer! Heavily burdened with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at your feet and humbly beg of you to take the present intention which I recommend to you in your special care.

Please recommend it to your daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and place it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Continue to intercede for me until my request is granted. But, above all, obtain for me the grace one day to see my God face to face, and with you and Mary and all the saints to praise and bless Him for all eternity. Amen.

Our Father, . . . Hail Mary . . .

O Jesus, Holy Mary, St. Ann, help me now and at the hour of my death.

Good St. Ann, intercede for me.

 

 

FIRST DAY

Dear St. Ann, though I am but a prodigal child, I appeal to you and place myself under your great motherly care. Please listen to my prayers and grant my requests. See my contrite heart, and show me your unfailing goodness.

Deign to be my advocate and recommend me to God’s infinite mercy. Obtain for me forgiveness of my sins and the strength to begin a new life that will last forever.

Blessed St. Ann, I also beg of you the grace to love, to serve, and to honor your daughter, the most holy Virgin Mary. Please recommend me to her and pray to her for me. She refuses none your requests but welcomes with loving kindness all those for whom you intercede.

Good Jesus, be merciful to the faithful servants of Your grandmother St. Ann.

 

SECOND DAY

From the depths of my heart, good St. Ann, I offer you my homage this day and ask you to shelter me under the mantle of your motherly care. You know, good mother, how much I love you, how gladly I serve you, how happy I am to praise you, how eager I am to call on you in time of distress.

Good St. Ann, be pleased to extend your helping hand in all my wants. Listen to my prayers, for I place my trust in your gracious bounty. Make all my thoughts and desires worthy and righteous.

Jesus, I thank You for all the graces which in Your infinite goodness You have lavished upon St. Ann; for having chosen her, among all women, to be Your grandmother on earth and exalted her in heaven with such great and miraculous powers. In the name of her merits, I humbly recommend myself to Your infinite mercy.

 

THIRD DAY

Hail, good St. Ann, who first responded to the needs of Mary, Mother of our Savior and Queen of Angels. Hail to you and to your husband St. Joachim, who watched over her infancy, presented her to the Lord in the temple and, according to your promise, consecrated her to the service of God.

Hail St. Ann, good mother! I rejoice in the marvels you continually perform, because they encourage all to seek your intercession.

Good St. Ann, by the great power that God has given you, show yourself my mother, my consoler, my advocate. Reconcile me to the God I have so deeply offended. Console me in my trials; strengthen me in my struggles. Deliver me from danger in my time of need. Help me at the hour of death and open to me the gates of paradise.

 

FOURTH DAY

Good St. Ann, you offered your pure and holy daughter Mary in the temple with faith, piety and love. By the happiness which then filled your heart, I beg you to present me to your Grandson Jesus. Offered by you, I will be agreeable in His sight.

Kind St. Ann, take me forever under your protection. Deliver me from the temptations which continually assail me. Above all, attend me in my last hour. As I lie on my deathbed, be present with your daughter to console and strengthen me.

Holy Mary and good St. Ann, show yourselves to be mothers indeed by obtaining for me the grace of a good death. When my soul goes forth, lead it to God’s tribunal so that, by your powerful help and intercession, it may obtain a favorable judgment.

 

FIFTH DAY

Hail, all-powerful Lady. By God’s special favor, grant consolation to those who invoke you. Procure for them the eternal riches of heaven, and like a good mother, success in their temporal affairs as well.

Good St. Ann, obtain my deliverance from the punishment which my sins deserve. Obtain for me success in my temporal affairs; especially see to the salvation of my soul.

St. Ann, by your influence with Mary’s son Jesus, you have won the gift of conversion for many sinners. Will you then abandon me, who have chosen you as my mother? No, St. Ann. Your name alone, which signifies grace, assures me of the help of your prayers, and these prayers will surely procure pardon and mercy from Jesus. You will pray for me now and at the hour of my death.

 

SIX DAY

Good St. Ann, do not allow my soul, a masterpiece of God’s creative power, to be lost forever. Free my heart of pride, vanity, self-love. May I know myself as I really am and learn meekness and simplicity of heart.

God’s great love for me leaves me cold and unresponsive. I must reflect this love through works of mercy and charity toward my neighbor.

In your boundless charity, good St. Ann, help me to merit the glorious crown which is given to those who have fought the good fight against the world, the devil and the flesh. Assist me to preserve purity of heart and body. With Mary and her divine Son, protect me always.

 

SEVENTH DAY

Once again, Good St. Ann, I choose you for my advocate before the throne of God. By the power and grace that God has placed in you, extend to me your helping hand. Renew my mind and my heart.

Dear St. Ann, I have unbounded confidence in your prayers. To your blessed hands I entrust my soul, my body and all my hopes for this world and the next. Direct my actions according to your goodness and wisdom. I place myself under your motherly care.

Receive me, good mother. Cover me with the mantle of your love. Look kindly on me. By your powerful intercession, may I obtain from God grace and mercy. Obtain for me remission for sin and release from the punishment my offenses have deserved. Pray that I may receive grace to lead a devout life on earth and that I may obtain the everlasting reward of heaven.

 

EIGHTH DAY

Hail, St. Ann! I rejoice at your exalted glory. You gave birth to Mary, whose divine Son brought salvation to our lost world by conquering death and restoring life and hope to sinners. Pray to Him who, for love of us, clothed Himself with human flesh in the chaste womb of your daughter.

Glorious St. Ann, with your blessed daughter, deliver me from everything that is displeasing in the sight of God. Pray to your gentle and powerful Grandson that He may cleanse my soul in His precious blood, that He may send His Holy Spirit to enlighten and direct me in all that I do, always obedient to His holy inspirations.

Good mother, keep a watchful eye on me. Help me bear all my crosses. Give me the fullness of your bounty and sustain me with courage.

 

NINTH DAY

Good St. Ann, I have reached the end of this novena in your honor. I have asked and ask again. Good mother, let not your kind ear grow weary of my prayers, though I repeat them so often.

Bounteous Lady, implore for me from divine Providence all the help I need through life. May your generous hand bestow on me the material means to satisfy my own needs and to alleviate the plight of the poor.

Good St. Ann, fortify me by the sacraments of the Church at the hour of my death. Admit me into the company of the blessed in the kingdom of heaven, where I may praise and thank the adorable Trinity, your grandson Christ Jesus, your glorious daughter Mary, and yourself, dear St. Ann, through endless ages.

 c/o ewtn

today book

channeling my inner betsy ross i am trying to finish this little flag for my mama. my fingertips are sore. but i’m almost there….

i had a craving for meatball and ricotta stuffed calzones last nite. my goodness they were good!

my kids are still playing with fireworks. and i have to admit…i secretly love it. aren’t they so pretty?

that special prayer intention i told you about…it was for my girl. and that darn needle which is still embedded in her leg. this has been such a dilemma. and although i cannot understand why it hasn’t been resolved yet, i am trying to be patient. and accepting.

God forgive me for being so impatient. but as a mama my aim is always to fix things. as quickly as possible. to help. to kiss things and make them better. so after 5 different doctors and opinions. professional ones. she will be having surgery on the 25th to have it removed. under anesthesia. much to my dismay.

so yeah, i am still asking for prayers. maybe more for me than for her. she is such a strong little thing.

be with me, Lord, at my rising in the morning. give me reverence of YOU and a repentant heart.

that was in the magnificat this morning. very lovely, don’t you think?

it summed up my feelings rather nicely.

the weather here is delicious.

i simply cannot think of a better word. really.

the cool breeze has actually been causing my vertical blinds to clap. with joy. because it’s july. and it’s not hot.

selfishly i do not want this cool spell to leave.

but like all good things i am just trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

ok. so i am off…cousins are here…to play…and offer a form of companionship that i cannot. so i will be puttering around…forgotten…trying to find something to do…at least until everyone is hungry again. then i am suddenly the go-to-gal….

and…just for inquiring minds…these pics are taken with the new toy. not much different than the other pics you say? well, no, not really. you’re right! except it is wonderful for low-light conditions. which in this old house…almost every photo is taken in such conditions…so…well worth it to me!

 

ps. do you like this new look? tell me what you think…i am not sure if it is too stark?

calm. cool. and collected.

forgive me. please. but Someone. very kindly. sent a wee bit of cool weather our way and it has me under its’ spell.

and i have become a fool for boys who sleep clutching their harmonicas…now whether he is doing it out of love for said harmonica or because he knows if he doesn’t  i might just hide it somewhere really good…might be one of those things i will never know…

and maybe we are both better off.

because let me tell you…tolerating the noise sound of that harmonica MIGHT just be one of the criteria that needs to be met for sainthood.

and if that is the CASE, friends, i have failed miserably.

for i hate that little harmonica.

but i LOVE that baby.

and so i digress…

from the title of this post…wherein i tell you how calm. cool. and collected i am.

and how the sight of these peonies makes me calm….

i think it should be mandatory that people  HAVE to buy peonies at least ONE time every summer.

and then have a drink….

like my mama did at this wedding we went to on saturday.

just me and her.

i was her escort.

i made sure that she didn’t have too much wine and that her friends didn’t spin her around too much on the dance floor(that really almost happened).

hence my cautionary warning about too much wine.

at least for middle-aged ladies.

well, really any lady…because it just isn’t proper.

summer weddings are so nice.

it was kind of fun sitting around watching everyone talk and laugh.

everything so magical and enchanted. white orchids kissed by afternoon sunlight.

a tented reception. chandeliers hanging. glowing candles.

very pretty.

but all i could really think about was my new toy.

and how much i wanted to play….

so off to bed i go.

but before i do i wanted to ask for prayers. for a special intention that will hopefully be resolved tomorrow.

and if not, well, then it is not the will of God.

and i will ask Him for peace.

until then….

hope you, too, are staying calm. cool. and collected!!!!

xo.

 

 

glittering summer days

dirty feet. water balloons. a wet kitchen floor.

i am having a staring contest with my messy house.

things get a little bit crazy around here when mama is not feeling well. 

i have slowed way down.

like snail slow….

 when you lose your health (even if temporarily), things sort of shift into proper perspective (with God’s grace).

and suddenly you hang desperately onto something as small as teaching the baby how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe…because that’s important.

at least it’s important to me.

so what if the stuffing is coming out of the couch….i can deal with that later.

right now we are enjoying these glittering days of summer:

a very empty calendar (by choice!!!) = time to create.

butterfly craft found here.

i had way too much fun punching all. those. butterflies. out!!!!!

and she, well, she is the artist. so there were pages of watercolors…

the pottery…well, that is courtesy of our local pottery shop which holds children’s classes….

yes, this is me screaming…”look how talented my daughter is!!!”

what can i say? i really love watching my children blossom. 

and make things.

(that is a decorative wine-cork-topper btw. a painted button glued into the top of a cork.)

i think it is (one of the many) very special components of homeschooling…dabbling in this and that…

and we do dabble…

speaking of my daughter…she went and turned 12 on me last month…did i mention that?

how dare she!

my june bug.

but what a lovely person she is turning out to be!

donning an apron and whipping up some sort of yummy baked (or not) concoction at least every other day is something that has me in awe these days…i am impressed.

and not just because her peanut butter cookies are so good!

i am impressed because of the little woman she is turning out to be.

useful. joyful. and so faithful.

these are the things i see during this time of pulling back…

and because there are so many things to say “yes” to these days…it is hard.

but i want to say more yeses to these…

these gap-toothed smiles.

and inquiring minds.

so worthy of my attention.

i often feel like there must be some well-adjusted woman out there who i was meant to be

a woman who has her act together and cruises through her days….

but until i find her…i will soak up every moment i can….staring at faces with pink cheeks and scratches from the kitty…reading stories and laughing.

because it won’t be long before these glittering summer days will be gone….

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