Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Boys...girls...and age differences

Since we're past Easter now, I'm tempting nature by washing the snow gear today. Usually, I don't check pockets when I do the laundry. Every child has been warned that if it's left in a pocket, it's mine, and they are (usually) good about emptying things out. But I hadn't told anyone that I was washing coats and snow pants, so I thought I should check.

Matthew has 4 pockets in his winter coat. In them, I found:
-one Nerf dart (kind of surprised there weren't more of these, actually)
-two granola bar wrappers (glad he didn't throw them on the ground somewhere ;-))
-a slightly rusty Heineken beer bottle cap (for the collection, presumably)
-Lego pieces: sword, shield (broken, but the pieces are both present), tricorner hat, and a brown, claw-like thing: is it a hand for a Lego person?
-one penny

Meghan's 4 coat pockets were emptier:
-one granola bar wrapper
-one used tissue (this poor girl has been sick almost as often as Benedict this winter)
-blue beaded bracelet
-two holy medals that fell off the bracelet (in a different pocket)
-one ponytail holder
-a note from a friend

Joseph's coat pockets:
Were empty. Except...
I could tell there was something in the coat, more than one something, and one something that felt like his wallet, but I couldn't find the pocket. Finally, I called Joseph over to empty it. Aha! The hidden ski pass pocket! It held:
-one AAA battery

It's funny what you observe about people when you see what they carry in their pockets.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A poem for Easter Sunday

Sonnet 68

Most glorious Lord of lyfe, that on this day,

Didst make thy triumph over death and sin:
And having harrowd hell, didst bring away
Captivity thence captive us to win:
This joyous day, deare Lord, with joy begin,
And grant that we for whom thou diddest dye
Being with thy deare blood clene washt from sin,
May live for ever in felicity.
And that thy love we weighing worthily,
May likewise love thee for the same againe:
And for thy sake that all lyke deare didst buy,
With love may one another entertayne.
So let us love, deare love, lyke as we ought,
Love is the lesson which the Lord us taught.

Edmund Spenser

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Sacred Music

Here's one example of the beautiful music we have at St. Jerome's.

The best part is some of this comes home with Katie, who's in the 10:30 Mass Choir, and with Matthew, who's in the Children's Choir!  Yesterday evening we heard Matthew and Meghan singing "What Wondrous Love is This" and we couldn't bear to interrupt them to tell them to finish one of their chores!

A poem for Holy Saturday

Limbo by Sister Mary Ada, OSJ

The ancient grayness shifted
Suddenly and thinned
Like mist upon the moors
Before a wind.
An old, old prophet lifted
A shining face and said:
“He will be coming soon.
The Son of God is dead;
He died this afternoon.”

A murmurous excitement stirred
All souls.
They wondered if they dreamed –
Save one old man who seemed
Not even to have heard.

And Moses, standing,
Hushed them all to ask
If any had a welcome song prepared.
If not, would David take the task?
And if they cared
Could not the three young children sing
The Benedicite, the canticle of praise
They made when God kept them from perishing
In the fiery blaze?
A breath of spring surprised them,
Stilling Moses’ words.
No one could speak, remembering
The first fresh flowers,
The little singing birds.
Still others thought of fields new ploughed
Or apple trees
All blossom-boughed.
Or some, the way a dried bed fills
With water
Laughing down green hills.
The fisherfolk dreamed of the foam
On bright blue seas.
The one old man who had not stirred
Remembered home.

And there He was
Splendid as the morning sun and fair
As only God is fair.
And they, confused with joy,
Knelt to adore
Seeing that He wore
Five crimson stars
He never had before.

No canticle at all was sung
None toned a psalm, or raised a greeting song,
A silent man alone
Of all that throng
Found tongue –
Not any other.
Close to His heart
When the embrace was done,
Old Joseph said,
“How is Your Mother,
How is Your Mother, Son?”

Friday, April 3, 2015

A poem for Good Friday

The Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot
East Coker, IV
The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we fell
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s, curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires.
If to be warmed, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is roses and the smoke is briars.

The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food;
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood–
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday: three videos

3 videos on what we're celebrating today:

The Eucharist as Meal, Sacrifice, and Real Presence | Word on Fire

The Eucharist as Meal, Sacrifice, and Real Presence | Word on Fire

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Please indulge me for a few minutes. I'm landscape dreaming.

We are growing to love our new house, but it has its challenges. A big one is the amount of concrete and asphalt on our property. I'm not really sure why concrete was the material of choice; maybe because it is cheaper than other options? long lasting? There are multiple walkways, the front stoop, the back patio, two sets of stairs, a driveway, and the ponds, which are lined with, and surrounded by, concrete. That's a lot of impermeable surface for people who live on a hill. And don't forget the bowing brick retaining wall that is going to need to be repaired or replaced sometime in the next 5-10 years. Oy!

We have been thinking and dreaming this winter of what we would do with our yard if we were starting from scratch.  There are so many ways to make a landscape more beautiful:

Natural swimming pools

Cobblestone walkways

Flagstone walkways

Dry streams, rain gardens, downspout alternatives

Image result for dry streams

Image result for dry streams

Image result for dry streamsImage result for dry streams


Image result for stacked stone retaining walls

                                                                                                     Image result for gravel stairs
Image result for gravel stairs

Image result for natural stone retaining walls

Image result for gravel stairs
Image result for gravel stairs

Image result for stacked stone retaining walls
Image result for natural stone retaining walls

Natural stone retaining walls

Image result for natural stone retaining walls

Image result for natural stone retaining walls

Image result for natural stone retaining walls

Image result for natural stone retaining walls

And maybe going down to the driveway, something like this, which would make a great stage/amphitheater ;-)

'Much Ado' house

Stacked stone retaining wall

Image result for stacked stone retaining walls

Natural playgound

Image result for natural playground backyard

Image result for hobbit playhouse

Image result for hobbit playhouse

Image result for natural playground backyardImage result for natural playground backyard


And one indoor folly: I'm dying to put floor to ceiling bookshelves on either side of the front window in the living room. And a window seat underneath.

'Much Ado' house