Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now how'd THAT get in THERE?

There are questions which should not be asked. There are questions which cannot be answered. Sometimes, both crop up at once. The result: Even if I knew what to ask, I don't think I'd want to know the answer........
It's a small frog. Apparently, it was tired, and a box fan seemed the best place for a nap. And there it stayed.

Closer? You want to see it closer? Well ok. You asked for it.


Again with this hiatus thing

It's not as though I plan them, for Pete's sake; they just seem to happen here and there. While I do love having my blog, it's nice to know that I can just come here and write when I need and want to, and when I need to take a break, I can. :) Just sayin'.

Things here are steady. I've been about as busy as I usually am, but in different ways. This is the third week in a row during which one of my children is off at camp for the week. The first week, it was Reepicheep's turn. Last week, the Pickle went. This time, it's the Frog's week away.

Now, I miss all of my children dearly when they're apart from me. It's as though an entire segment of my heart is just on hold somewhere, waiting for me to pick it up at the end of a line I can't seem to find. Then when I see them again, my heart is made whole, and I can breathe. You Mamas out there know that of which I speak. Probably Dads as well, but likely in a bit of a different sort of way.

When the Frog is gone, though, I'm missing not just part of my heart, but pretty much my left arm and my right foot, too. While the Reepicheep and the Pickle are immensely helpful and do their chores for the most part without too much aggravation, the Frog is a terribly responsible helper. The little ones cling to her in much the same manner they cling to me. And though we have reached the golden age of Thirteen, and though there is no end of eye-rolling and interminable sighing, she really is a lovely girl, outside and in, and would rather give my teeth than be without her for more than a week!

For a moment, I feel as though I'm hearkening back to the days when I was the Mama of three very young children, the Frog three, the Pickle one, and the Reepicheep brand new. I felt as though the house was closing in on me. I dreaded each new day, longing through the morning for nap time to come, longing through the afternoon for My Darling to come home from work, longing through the evening for bed time, and then longing through the night for sleep to last longer than two or three hours at a time.

It's a bit of an exaggeration, I know, since the Pickle and the Reepicheep are here, and do lend a hand (!!), and the Monkey is 3, and my little Pudgy Bug is a delight......but it seems as though without the dynamic of the Frog, the kilter of the whole house is off balance.

Anyway. I shall pick her up on Friday, and things will come back to the balance I crave.


My prayer life is gearing up again. I really don't know how else to phrase what's been happening. God has again been showing His Hand in ways I cannot possibly question as being anything other than His Will at work in my life, and in the lives of those around me. I don't know if they perceive things the way I do--if they, too, are looking always for signs of God working in their day to day living. I think a great deal of it is that I feel my heart being called to spend every moment, offer every task for my Lord. For whatever purpose He would have, I fold the laundry. For however He chooses to use the sacrifice of my time, I stand at the sink and wash dishes by hand, rather than pop them into the dishwasher. I have found it more pleasant, and easier to offer the small, menial things of my day lately, thanks be to God! This is something I've been praying for and longing for in my heart for a long, long time. What a blessing!!

Another blessing is that last week I was able to have a root canal. Blessing??? you say? Yes, indeed! Oh, the pain! The agony! The only way possible to endure it was to hope that through my suffering I could be closer to My Lord....but I must say, I was thrilled to sit in that chair and have it end! Next week I get the first of two crowns; the second will come the following week. Modern dental care is amazing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The times, they are a-changin'

Check my blogroll over there on the left sidebar...I've been adding like crazy today. I don't often "surf," since one never knows just what will come of it, for Pete's sake. I felt safe, though, linking from one blog to another--especially when I started out with Fr. Longenecker! There are some great new links to check out.

Have fun!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Must watch.

A while back, My Darling attended a men's retreat, and they watched an amazing vocations video. Because this is the Year of the Priest, and because it is awesome, and because this is my blog, for Pete's sake--so I can--I am putting it here. Watch.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

For the birds

This journey that the Lord has me on these days is teaching me a lot.

It's teaching me that every single moment with each of my children, though at times difficult, is so far beyond precious that I cannot measure it on a human scale. That even in the moments of anger and frustration, my vocation is of His choosing, and that He has made me for each moment. That the more I breathe and find Him in the worst of my frustrations, the more I find Him in the calm moments. That, for Pete's sake, "lilies and sparrows, lilies and sparrows," is a great mantra, and a reminder that He clothes the beautiful flowers whose fragrance I cannot get enough of, and feeds the birds I love to watch--and that He loves me more than a rose or a robin.

I am learning to speak clearly, to give voice to my fears and anxieties, and allow My Darling to be the husband God knew I needed, even before the moment that He created me.

I am learning that my instincts and convictions as a mother are very purposeful, and that there are some who claim love and understanding who at times carry more judgement than anything.

I am learning that the steadfast and Sacred Heart of Jesus is a refuge which will not falter, even in the most violent storm, and that all I have to do is seek His refuge, and He will cover me with His Graces.

I am learning that a good confession, even when the devil would have me fret that it wasn't, goes a long way to quieting a restless heart.

I am learning that saints were human, with fears, frustrations, shortcomings and anxieties of their own, and that maybe--just maybe--I am in good company.

I am learning that I cannot judge myself by others' eyes, even my own; that God's eyes are the only ones that matter.

I am learning that I am learning.

Sometimes a day brings more storm than sunshine, and that's ok. Sunshine, without rain, will leave even the most verdant pasture parched.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Muppet hilarity

Sorry folks, I just can't seem to stop. Happy Monday!

Statler and Waldorf classics!

Old Kermit Classic!

Ok--let that give you a good laugh for the day.



Ha! Love the Muppets! I found this fantastic video here at the advice of Fr. Z. Be sure to give her a good read...and thank her for the link!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Firework.

Doesn't that look weird? When you watch colorful explosions in the summer night sky to celebrate the independence of this great land we call The United States of America, you are viewing what are commonly referred to as fireworks. Of course. This is something you knew.

But I speak tonight of just one--which, I assume then would be called a firework. Singular. One. Fire. Work.

The word just looks odd.

But I digress.

So we traveled down the road about 20 minutes to the town where I grew up. The celebration there begins with a parade in the country. Literally, this parade goes down a country highway, beginning at the T-intersection which includes a corn field, a hay field, and a large farm. It ends several farms down the road, where there are about a dozen more houses, a big pavilion, a nice park, and that's it. The end. That's the parade.

It's a huge parade. Ok, maybe I should say that for such a small town area, it's a huge parade. There are fireworks from one of the hay fields that night, too.

Those aren't the fireworks we attended.

The ones we watched were down by the river. (No, we were not in our van...down by the river!--thank you, Chris Farley. We did get there in our van. We parked it at the top of the hill, though.) They close the road to traffic about two-ish hours before the fireworks begin, and hundreds of people come from near and far to get a good place on the bridge.

My idea of a "good place" would be about two blocks west of the bridge. My family let me know that this was unacceptable. They wanted to see the pretty reflections of the fireworks on the water. I'm sure it's beautiful. I may never know. I refuse to believe that being on a bridge for any longer than a millisecond is safe--and probably not even that long. My logic then leads me to believe that sitting on a bridge for an hour or more is probably just really, really bad. We settled for (I cannot believe I'm writing this...) sitting half way between the yellow lines and the white line.

All this being said, I refuse to believe that there is any situation presented in life which does not hold a blessing somewhere in it. Even in the midst of trials and pain, blessings can be found. The blessing of sitting on a bridge over a river to watch a fireworks display is that the air over and under the bridge is in constant motion. Even on a still day, the current in the water disturbs the air above it into a breeze. The end result for us? No mosquitoes. It's been a horrible year for mosquitoes, and yet, we came away biteless, thanks be to God. Apparently the mosquitoes are smart enough to stay off the bridge.

There were four families together. Eight adults. Twenty children. Those big enough to stand mostly did--right at the rail of the bridge. Holy heart failure, Batman. I could picture the water below, black and swirling, just hungry for the snack one of my kids would be for it. *Sigh* Of course, it was fine, but I can never stop my mind from traveling down the Road of Doom, even if it's only a couple of steps.

So then my mind starts swirling, too. It happened earlier yesterday, too. The laundry had piled up in the hamper, we had been running around busy, I had been canning and making jam, the kitchen was a mess, and my head was ready to explode. So here we are, now, on this bridge, and all of a sudden I see my brain, for Pete's sake, exploding above me in the sky.

Picture it: a beautiful, multi-colored circle of tiny lights, popping open, with hundreds more beautiful much smaller circles opening up inside it. It was huge and beautiful and nicely symmetrical, like fireworks would be in a child's drawing.

And then the little circles went nuts. They spiraled all over the place, bringing disarray to what had once been order, creating chaos in the inky night sky.

"Good grief," I shouted, "it's a portrait of my brain!" I was absolutely shocked at how accurately that one firework depicted what had been happening in my brain, for Pete's sake. My Darling hooted. Our friends guffawed. I felt absolutely satisfied--vindicated somehow, as though whoever designed that particular firework was thinking of me, with all of the crazy happenings in my life at this particular moment, and wondered what it would look like against the black sky on the Fourth of July.

Even better? I know I'm not alone. Mama Midwife said she felt the same way this evening.


It's been a week since I was here last. I think I see a few cobwebs in the corners of my little cyber home...so, housekeeping is on the docket.

Kathryn is home, praise God! I'll process that one in another entry. It'll be worth it.


We found the camera. Seems that when the kiddos were playing in the addition, the camera was tucked safely out of the way, into a corner, behind the box which contains the tank for the laundry room/bathroom loo. Oops! It was a great hiding spot, obviously, as it maintained a high level of security until My Darling moved said box this afternoon in order to build the platform for the laundry appliances. At any rate--pictures of progress shall be forthcoming.

It's been an exceptionally busy week, not the least of which means I've gotten very little sleep. My mind has been racing at phenomenal speeds, and I have found myself more than once either reading or journaling into the wee hours. Tonight, My Darling and I were catching up on a web episode of one of our favorite shows, so the laptop is at hand. The hour is late, and yet here I am...I am bone weary, but until I empty my thoughts onto the screen, I know I won't sleep.


Friday last was the final day of our satellite television service. We've had dozens of channels immediately available for about 5 years now, and recently we've watched less and less. I love this! We had locked out lots of networks--all of the music video channels, many of the "entertainment" special channels (like E!, Oxygen, Bravo--garbage, slop and bilge is more like it....), and most of our viewing was things like HGTV, TVLand (which has gone sordidly downhill since we first ordered satellite, for Pete's sake...what's happened to Mr. Ed? My Three Sons?? Gilligan's Island??? Gone, in favor of such rubbish as "The Cougar"--gag, puke!), TLC, and of course, EWTN.

About two months ago, the Pickle, good boy that he is, was using the yard stick to sweep things from under the TV cabinet. It's one of his chores--he gets things from beneath the living room furniture.

In the process of his sweep, the yardstick caught hold of the plug for the TV, rendering the poor thing impotent.

Ah! Blessed relief! The difference between quiet with a small bit of background noise which must be carefully monitored so that we don't miss hitting the mute button to block the ads, and Quiet--it's really quite astonishing.

I like Quiet. I think we'll save rather a lot of money, headache and squabbling without the Noisy Black Box going so often. I'd like to chuck it, really, but I don't mind the occasional video. Likely we'll assign it to a lovely corner, keep it mostly covered, and let it out on good behavior once a week or so. I think the curtains look nicer than a mute, blank screen.


Things move along at a pace in the addition. As I mentioned above, My Darling is now in the process of building the platform for the laundry appliances to be moved to their new home. I am noticing two things. First, I am weary of laundry. Dare I give utterance to such a phrase?? Ah, but every housewife knows this fatigue! Matching little socks holds charm for only so long, for Pete's sake. Mind you, I do offer every task as a prayer. I do actually enjoy folding diapers, and I really don't mind doing things which sometimes seem menial. I love to serve my family. However, when the laundry piles up in the living room, it does, at times, take it's toll.

The appliances are to be moved from the main level, directly inside the back door (we so rarely use the front), to upstairs. Right round the corner from the laundry will be the Family Closet--and I cannot even begin to describe how this excites me. Ah, the steamy fantasies of a mother! Laundry on the same floor of the house where 95% of it is actually needed and used and stored?? Yes, Thank You!!! One central room for clothing storage within mere steps from the appliances?? Oh Certainly!!!

The second thing I notice is Just How Much Laundry We Have versus Just How Much We Really Need. As we transition from the current system--drawers, closets, each in his own room--typical of any American family, I think I shall also be paring down quite a bit. It will be far easier for me to manage the task of keeping track of who has what, who wears what, who needs what, and who can do without what. It's hard, I find, to keep myself from thinking that this, at last, will make me happy. But really, I think that it will go a long way toward keeping me at least a little happier--or at least more sane.


Thursday, we gathered with many of our friends to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Dear Fr. E. was there, as was my lovely friend Teresa--so together, we had both of the Bug's Godparents. The love was palpable!

We had Our Lord there on the Altar for us to adore; we had two beautiful priests available for confessions, and we had a lovely Mass, followed by the Litany of Jesus Christ, Priest and Victim. It was so beautiful, and my Little Bug was such a good girl that I only missed about 3 or 4 minutes.

After Mass, we all gathered for a meal together, which was long overdue! What a blessing to be together with dear friends and priests for good food and good conversation (two of my personal favorites...). It really was refreshing to be out and about, and with such a relaxed pace. God is good.


My head is feeling much better, if not a bit emptier. I shall leave you with this delicious morsel I happened upon, thanks to Mr. H. E. Manning. (More information about Mr. Manning here.)

If the trials of many years were gathered into one, they would overwhelm us; therefore, in pity to our little strength, He sends first one, and then another, then removes both, and lays on a third, heavier, perhaps, than either; but all is so wisely measured to our strength that the bruised reed is never broken. We do not enough look at our trials in this continuous and successive view. Each one is sent to teach us something, and altogether they have a lesson which is beyond the power of any to teach alone.

(Click on this for your further enjoyment.)

Pray for the sanctification of priests!