Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

return of the ninja

Well, Cindy is back for another visit - two weeks this time. And that has to be the last time I call her Cindy, because she's been Tootsie at her new home for a while and I must get used to it.

a little sad I think, on top of the fridge

It's going to be like playing the shell game, shuffling cats and litter boxes. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pinterest dinner

I made two Pinterest recipes for today's dinner. Chicken with Lemon, which was delicious, although I used "thin cut" but thicker-than-they-called-for chicken breasts, and not the tenders I was planning to buy; so I just cooked them a little longer - very lemony and good!

And I made zucchini cakes. The recipe called for a large zucchini - well, what is that, exactly? I had three small-to-medium ones, and an end of another. I grated the lot. After mixing everything together I could see it wouldn't hold, so I ended up adding two more eggs - perfect!

the recipe:

grate a large zucchini - i.e., whatever that means to you!
squeeze the liquid out of it, and mix it up with -
1 egg, a cup of panko (I used regular bread crumbs), a half cup of grated Parmesan (mine was more like shredded), one quarter teaspoon of paprika and one eighth teaspoon of nutmeg, a few shakes of pepper and half a teaspoon of salt.

When you mix it up, you'll probably see it needs something to keep it together, so add an egg or maybe two - you'll know when it's right.

Brown on medium heat four minutes per side, in some olive oil. Good hot, cold or in between.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

good prayer for protection

O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

detail of the Nativity window at church

Saturday, August 22, 2015

a sweet surprise

A heavy box arrived in the mail; I wondered what the heck I had ordered and then forgot about. Put on the glasses, only to see Beth's name on the package. What did she send me?

Several jars of homemade jams: rhubarb, strawberry, grapefruit!  And a grapefruit marmalade! But you know which one I opened first?

How cool is dandelion jelly!

ever green

Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.

                                                                           -  George Peele

Thursday, August 20, 2015

stuffed vegetables

I have to make an effort to remember that you can stuff vegetables with anything; it isn't something my mother was in the habit of, except the well-known stuffed peppers with the rice and ground beef mix and tomato sauce to cover.

I recently bought some inexpensive yellow peppers and just layered leftover rice, shredded zucchini, lots of basil and shredded parmesan in them after parcooking. Into the oven in a covered dish and - that was easy.

Monday, August 17, 2015

"quite a task"

"To live fully, outwardly and inwardly, not to ignore external reality for the sake of the inner life, or the reverse - that's quite a task."

-  Etty Hillesum,  from Simple Abundance

Friday, August 14, 2015

"no thought of burdens"

"...they both made her feel a burden when they fussed and worried...How wicked to think of burdens on this still and peaceful morning, with the gulls here. They were no burden to the air that supported them, nor the air to the fields to which it brought the sunshine and the rain. There should be no thought of burdens in the mysterious interweaving of one life with another."

                                                   The Rosemary Tree,   Elizabeth Goudge

(emphasis mine)

Thursday, August 13, 2015


I really think that peaches are the closest thing we have here to a heavenly feast.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

service in the Kingdom of God

"I stand in the service of the Kingdom of God; therefore I do not build up my own kingdom, nor hold myself as the engineer of this kingdom. The gifts of God, his Kingdom, is anywhere a tear is dried, where a conflict is brought to a halt, an unacceptable social framework is altered and an acceptable one found, where faith overpowers doubt."

                                                                      - Fr. Vladimir Koudelka, O.P. 

Friday, August 7, 2015


"There is an inward world into which they enter who come near to Christ, though to men in general they seem the same as before. They hold the same place as before in the world's society; their employments are the same, their ways, their comings in and goings out...But if they have drunk of Christ's cup and tasted the Bread of his Table in sincerity, it is not with them as in time past.

A change has come over them, unknown indeed to themselves, except in its effects, but they have a portion in destinies to which other men are strangers...They are soldiers in Christ's army; they fight against 'things that are seen'...

To their surprise, as time goes on, they find that their lot is changed. They find that in one shape or other adversity happens to them. ..they almost murmur; they have not yet mastered the great doctrine that endurance is their portion.

O simple soul, is it not the law of your being to endure since you came to Christ? Why come you but to endure? Why did you taste this heavenly feast but that it might work in you? Why did you kneel beneath his hand but that he might leave on you the print of his wounds? Why wonder then that one sorrow does not buy off the rest? Does one drop of rain absorb the second? Does the storm cease because it has begun? Understand your place in God's Kingdom, and rejoice, not complain, that in your day you have your lot with prophets and Apostles."

                                                            -   Cardinal John Henry Newman  1801 - 1890

Jesus said to his disciples: Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for a man to gain the whole world but lose his soul? Or what can one give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. 

-  Matthew 16:24-27

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015

bread in summer

I don't know what's come over me this summer, but when I had to bake a loaf of bread last week on a hot day, I didn't mind doing it. Over the past two summers I put my enjoyment of learning to bake bread on hold because I couldn't bear to think of using the oven.

I also have not put on the air conditioner nearly as often as in previous years. Only when it's been 90 or above. I don't know what's up with me, but I'm glad of it.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

a picnic outside

at home, just three of us. And Dolly, of course.

Who had her own chair, of course. And who, twice, when I had to go inside for something,  moved over to my chair while I was gone - for some reason.

Of course.

Saturday, August 1, 2015


...a seasonally sanctioned sojourn of slow joys.  When it's too hot to be anything but receptive and reflective.

                                                     - Sarah Ban Breathnach,   Simple Abundance

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

hot and hazy

Fit for sitting in flower-covered windows. Or going to work in air-conditioning.

Monday, July 27, 2015

leek and chicken pie

I had leftover chicken, and I had two leeks in the fridge too long; although they were fine, surprisingly, except for a little bit of dried green on the outside. It was a hot day, but what came to mind was chicken and leek pie. Not that I've ever made it before.

I know how to make a pot pie without a recipe - it's easy, so I could have figured out how to do this myself, but I decided to look online in case somebody had a new idea.  I found something - I did notice that the amount of flour didn't seem like much, went ahead anyway. It ended up with a sauce which was too thin for a nice pie. Now, what?

Potatoes!  I got the bag of potatoes and peeled and boiled them all. Cut them up and put most into the pie. It ended up quite good, but that detour added a large chunk of time to my dinner preps, and it was three hours after I began that we ended up eating. Lesson learned.

I did get an artsy photo or two out of it, though.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


You care for the earth, give it water,
you fill it with riches.
Your river in heaven brims over
to provide its grain.

And thus you provide for the earth;
you drench its furrows,
you level it, soften it with showers,
you bless its growth.

The hills are girded with joy,
the meadows covered with flocks,
the valleys are decked with wheat.
They shout for joy, yes, they sing.

-  from Psalm 65

Ground that has absorbed the rain falling upon it repeatedly and brings forth crops useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God.

-    Hebrews 6:7

"As for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance."

                                                                   -    Luke 8:15

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"rock" candy

No, these are not beautiful pebbles scooped up from the shores of Bali Hai.  A co-worker brought them in to share - they're candy. And not just sugary tasting, which I would have left alone; but no, they're chocolate flavored. And, delicious. 

We're all about dessert at the library.

Monday, July 20, 2015

thinking ahead

It struck me yet again the other day how helpful it is to have some things made up ahead of time.

Like pie crust dough. There was a little in the freezer for a while, and I decided I should take it out and use it. So, it was in the fridge when I got some fresh blueberries. Enough to make a bottom crust; I treated the top like a crisp. It took so little time!

I need to take a day each month, size up the situation, and make up batches of things like biscuits, pizza dough, pie crust dough, pancake mix; browned hamburg ready for chili, meatballs. That would be nice.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

for Ellie

Ellie was a Canadian lady who followed my blog. I only knew it from the statistics which show me where people are coming from. She didn't comment, but for some reason I was on her blog list.

Ellie passed away yesterday. She'd been struggling against cancer for a while.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord
Let perpetual light shine upon her
May she rest in peace. Amen.

May the angels lead you into paradise,
may the martyrs receive you at your coming and lead you to the holy city, Jerusalem.
May choirs of angels receive you
and with Lazarus, once a poor man,
may you have eternal rest.

window by Marc Chagall

God has chosen us in Christ: let us give thanks and praise!

- from Magnificat, July 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015

St. Benedict of Nursia

Today was the feast of St. Benedict, known as the father of Western monasticism.

He was the twin of St. Scholastica, who once, on a rare visit from her brother, prayed to God to prevent her brother from ending his visit to her. A big thunderstorm rose up and kept him with her a little longer. 

Now Benedict had a sister named Scholastica, who had been consecrated to the Almighty Lord from the time of her childhood. She had the custom of visiting him once a year, and the man of God would come down to meet her at a place belonging to the monastery not far beyond the gate. One day she came, as was her custom, and her venerable brother came down to meet her with his disciples. They spent the whole day in the praise of God and in holy conversation. The darkness of night was already falling when they took their meal together. The hour grew later and later as they sat there at table carrying on their holy conversation. His sister, a holy monastic woman, then made a request: "I beg you. Do not leave me this night so that we may talk until morning more about the joys of heavenly life. But he responded, "What are you talking about, my sister? Under no circumstances can I stay outside my cell."

Now the heavens were so calm that no cloud appeared in the sky. When this holy monastic woman heard her brother's refusal, she folded her hands and put them upon the table. Leaning down, she put her head on her hands to make a prayer to God. When she raised her head from the table, there broke forth such powerful lightning and thunder and such a flood of rain that neither the venerable Benedict nor the brothers with him could set foot outside the door of the place where they were sitting. Indeed, while resting her head on her hands, this holy monastic woman had poured out a flood of tears on the table, and in this way she had attracted the rain to the calm skies. The flood followed her prayer in an instant. The connection between the prayer and the storm was such that her head rose from the table together with the thunder as if both the raising of her head and the falling of the rain were one and the same action.

 When the man of God saw that he could not get back to the monastery because of the lightning and thunder and the great flood of rain, he was irritated and began to complain: "May God have mercy on you, my sister. Why have you done this?" And she replied to him: "See, I asked you, and you would not listen to me. So I asked my Lord, and he has listened to me. Now then, go, if you can. Leave me, and go back to the monastery." But unable to go outside, he stayed against his will in a place where he had been unwilling to stay on his own. So it happened that they spent the whole night in vigil, and during their holy conversation about the spiritual life they found fulfillment for themselves in their relationship with one another.

                                                       - Pope Gregory I

by Fra Angelico

Ora et Labora is the motto of the Benedictines, and it means Pray and Work. A good motto!

Friday, July 10, 2015

white again

Yesterday afternoon I did a load of whites, and when I went to the washer I found them all looking like they'd been smeared with dirt. I thought I'd done something wrong: had there been a clump of dirt there I'd missed? (how likely is that?); had I loosened grime when I cleaned the machine last week? But when I started to let water in to re-wash them, it came in brown and that's when I called the water company.

The fellow didn't know of any work being done in our area but maybe sediment got in the pipes and he told me to run water from the highest faucet for twenty minutes. (Isn't that an awful thing to have to do?) He also said they had stain remover if I wanted some; but I decided to try with what I had.

Enter Oxi-Clean. I had a small tub of it from years ago which I'd never even opened, but knew the time had come. I put in what I thought I should, and then doubled the amount. Everything came out white and clean!  A relief!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

two more cats

from the thrift store. And they're reversible - so it's really like four cats.