Wednesday, August 31, 2011


"The man who does good follows the lines of an architectural plan which has not been conceived by himself and which he does not understand as a whole, nor in all of its parts. This architectural plan is revealed to man from moment to moment. In each case he sees only a tiny segment of it, as through a narrow crack. Never, so long as he is in the state of 'being-on-the-way', will the concrete architectural plan of his own self become visible to him in its rounded and final shape."

                               - Josef Pieper,  -  The Four Cardinal Virtues

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

all gone

It's nerve-wracking when a dangerous storm is expected -

You keep busy with preparations, getting everything ready you might possibly need, but you keep looking out the window...

At night, you try to sleep, but you turn this way and that,

it's hard to get any rest, even though you know your friends elsewhere are thinking of you and praying for you.

Only when you know it's over, are you finally able to relax

and have some peacefulness

Thank you to everyone who was thinking of us and praying for us.

Good night, Irene.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Yesterday the gospel reading for Mass was about the wise and foolish virgins, from St. Matthew, chapter 25, verses 1 - 13:

 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride.  And five of them were foolish, and five wise.  But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them:  But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept.

 And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet him.  Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.  Now whilst they went to buy, the bridegroom came: and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.

 But at last come also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not.  Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.

 The air is quite tropical tonight. We're expecting a guest named Irene any time now - she's most unwelcome, but she's coming, nonetheless. 

I think I thought of everything.

Friday, August 26, 2011

getting the pantry into shape

This little shelf out of a clementine box is what gave me the idea. But not at first. I wasn't quite clear on why Leila would think it a good thing to make a little shelf-within-a-shelf. But I've been slowly going through the basement closet areas, and now I'm in the pantry, and...

the shelves are rather large, and things tend to get spread out.  While I was working on the "baking stuff" shelf, I suddenly had a flash of understanding about her little idea, and ran upstairs to the pile which I'm saving for the thrift store. I grabbed a couple of plastic "boxes", and put the extra herbs and spices in them.
Hoorah!! Now that they're corralled together, I'll be far less likely to buy yet another oregano, because my extra one is in a sensible place, together with others of its kind.

You see those two blue, stripey things? They're just right for the spices. And there's a wider one behind for other, similar things.  They're not shelves like Leila's, but it's the same concept. Small things get swallowed up on a large shelf.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011


...the earthquake was felt at the library today.  But I didn't feel it - I was in a centrally located room there, on the main floor; maybe that's why.

A geologist on the Newshour said the Haiti earthquake was ten or fifteen times what we had today. He said the Japan earthquake was one thousand times worse than Haiti's.

We are fortunate.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

God's order within

"There can be no peace between men unless there is peace within each one of them; unless, that is, each one builds up within himself the order wished by God."

                     -    Pope John XXIII

Friday, August 12, 2011

made another pizza

This one had a better flavor - I'm improving.   But I'm not there yet.

The crust isn't thin enough, and I stretched it as much as I dared. Today I looked up thin crust pizza recipes and came across something which said that if you let it rise the crust gets thicker. Well, that makes sense, I suppose!  I've been using Frances Mayes' recipe ("Under the Tuscan Sun", page 128), and she lets it rest for half an hour. So, I'll stop that and see what happens.   I also think I'll increase the salt a bit. And slowly add some rye flour, a tablespoon at a time, maybe. I would prefer the whole grain, but am not entirely crazy about whole wheat all the time.

Lento, lento.  Pazienza.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Edith and Corrie

Today was the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, or, Edith Stein.

Brought up an orthodox Jew but losing her belief in God by her teens, she studied philosophy in university where she became a Christian, and then later, a Catholic.  Eventually, a Carmelite nun. She ended up in Auschwitz, where she died, probably on this date, in 1942.

Today also happens to be Tisha b'Av in the Jewish calendar - the saddest day of the year because of the destruction of the two temples, which occurred both times on this date in history. It's customary to read the book of Lamentations on this day.

I was up too late last night, finishing The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom.  Brought to a concentration camp with her sister, because they were suspected of hiding Jews (which they did). Her sister died there.

A couple of Protestant friends recommended it to me several times - I finally got around to it. It would be hard to imagine a more devout and faithful Christian family, whose beliefs spilled over into their actions so much that even as they suffered terribly for their protection of Jewish people, they never regretted it.  If you consider yourself a Christian, read it!  Apparently, Corrie Ten Boom was released from Ravensbruck by "accident"; a week later all female inmates her age were gassed.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

an invitation to dinner

At the home of two sisters

with plenty of good food and interesting conversation.  A charming house built in the '20s, on my favorite street; filled with their own artwork, rescued furniture, personality.

Thank you, Nancy and Eileen!

Friday, August 5, 2011

a silly person

Good thing he has a lot of fur, is all I can say -     :-O

Thursday, August 4, 2011

getting organized

See this?  This was the situation in a corner of my bedroom - a so-called organizer which I hadn't realized would hang out so much over that area and what I'm keeping beneath it.  It was a {real} eyesore.

It's gone!  I made this to replace it -

and it's working out very well. It's {pretty} enough to be nearer my desk, and it also eliminated a box from my desk. I threw out some stuff, put some in this new thing, and found other homes for the rest. 

I was concerned about the pockets hanging out and gaping, so I put this button on -

One button will be enough.    I'm definitely {happy} with this organizer!

I decorated it with this {funny} thing

from my friend Cyndi a couple of years ago - tied around a gift in instead of ribbon. I'm not exactly sure what it's supposed to be, though.  A strip of fabric, with a motley assortment of buttons on almost half of it

and buttonholes on the rest of it!  What could it be?  But it's cute - I like it!

As  for that corner of my room, I decided to hang this -

I can't stand to open my mail more than once a week (unless it's something nice!), and it's way too much to fit into my new organizer, so I'm clipping it up with clothespins - hey, it's tidy!

Thanks to Leila and Rosie -

round button chicken

Monday, August 1, 2011

on the island: the views

Being a small island, you could see the ocean wherever you were.  Everywhere I turned, there was a beautiful scene, with boats floating by. So, here are the rest of my pictures.

These two are as we approached the place

The rest were taken on the island

and this last is from the car on the way out - I just like the way it looks.

A perfect place to relax and refresh yourself - or, I should say, to be  refreshed. There was really nothing to do there. 

Except, maybe, imagine you're in Heaven.