Saturday, May 30, 2015

prayer to the Blessed Mother

Mother of silence, who watches over the mystery of God, save us from the idolatry of the present time, to which those who forget are condemned. Purify the eyes of pastors with the eye-wash of memory. Take us back to the freshness of the origins, for a prayerful, penitent Church. 

Mother of the beauty that blossoms from faithfulness to daily work, lift us from the torpor of laziness, pettiness, and defeatism. Clothe pastors in the compassion that unifies, that makes whole; let us discover the joy of a humble, brotherly, serving Church.

Mother of tenderness who envelops us in patience and mercy, help us burn away the sadness, impatience, and rigidity of those who do not know what it means to belong. Intercede with your Son to obtain that our hands, our feet, our hearts be agile: let us build the Church with the Truth of love.

Mother, we shall be the People of God, pilgrims bound for the Kingdom.  Amen.

-  Pope Francis

Friday, May 29, 2015

Cindy, last summer

I was looking at photos from last summer and found a few of Cindy which almost got lost.

She'll be back with us for two weeks at the end of August.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

al fresco dining

that is, Dolly on my windowsill

where she insisted on having her breakfast.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

hot like summer, but no fireflies yet

I have surprised myself at how well I'm doing with my hand warmers - I've only had to rip it out once, and that was at the beginning. I'm ready to switch back to the smaller needles to do ribbing, bind off, and make the thumb on the first one.

I'm still enjoying Out of Africa - her way of seeing things, and then telling them is so appealing to me. Here she speaks of a plane ride:

We landed on the white shore, that was white-hot as an oven, and lunched there, taking shelter against the sun under the wing of an aeroplane. If you stretched out your hand from the shade, the sun was so hot that it hurt you. Our bottles of beer when they first arrived with us, straight out of the ether, were pleasantly cold, but before we had finished them, in a quarter of an hour, they became as hot as a cup of tea.

I have this week off from work, and even though it's May, it's just like a summer vacation: hot and humid, except the nights are still pleasant, unlike in July when we usually have these temperatures. I'm loving it!  Memorial Day was very nice; quite warm but cloudy, and comfortable to sit outside for hours.  The only things lacking are the fireflies - it's too early for them yet.

making the pasta salad

The Fireflies

Here in the highlands, when the long rains are over, and in the first week of June nights begin to be cold, we get the fireflies in the woods. 
On an evening you will see two or three of them, adventurous lonely stars floating in the clear air, rising and lowering, as if upon waves, or as if curtseying. To that rhythm of their flight they lighten and put out their diminutive lamps. You may catch the insect and make it shine upon the palm of your hand, giving out a strange light, a mysterious message, it turns the flesh pale green in a small circle round it. The next night there are hundreds and hundreds in the woods.
For some reason they keep within a certain height, four or five feet, above the ground. It is impossible then not to imagine that a whole crowd of children of six or seven years, are running through the dark forest carrying candles, little sticks dipped in a magic fire, joyously jumping up and down, and gamboling as they run, and swinging their small pale torches merrily. The woods are filled with a wild frolicsome life, and it is all perfectly silent.

- Out of Africa,  by Isak Dinesen

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

loving plain yogurt

As recently as a year ago, I never thought I'd ever want to eat plain yogurt.

Now, it's what I prefer, with a little fruit and about a teaspoon of honey.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

sparrows at Stop & Shop

Our grocery store keeps its outer doors open in nicer weather, and you can hear birds tweeting high up in the rafters; very occasionally one will get inside. But last evening as I was rounding the corner near the organic aisle, what should I see but three house sparrows on the floor, eating something there.

from the internet - it was just like this, except mother was also present!

I was amazed, and had to stop and watch. They were unconcerned about my presence. Well, of course - there was a baby there and the parents had to stay near it. It was the cutest thing! As I walked around the store, one would whiz by periodically. I hope they're all settled now, where they're supposed to be. 

Pentecost Sunday

I read this yesterday here, and it struck me so -

To the Spirit all creatures turn in their need for sanctification; all living things seek him according to their ability. His breath empowers each to achieve its own natural end.

The Spirit is the source of holiness, a spiritual light, and he offers his own light to every mind to help it in its search for truth. By nature the Spirit is beyond the reach of our mind, but we can know him by his goodness. The power of the Spirit fills the whole universe, but he gives himself only to those who are worthy, acting in each according to the measure of his faith.

Simple in himself, the Spirit is manifold in his mighty works. The whole of his being is present to each individual; the whole of his being is present everywhere. Though shared in by many, he remains unchanged; his self-giving is no loss to himself. Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person  as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth his grace in full measure, sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive him. To all creatures that share in him he gives a delight limited only by their own nature, not by his ability to give.

The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with himself. 

As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others.

-  St. Basil the Great

stained glass window from I don't know where

Thursday, May 21, 2015

mostly wool mitts and Out of Africa

I wanted to join Ginny for yarnalong today (which was really yesterday).

Cyndi gave me some different yarns for Christmas which I hadn't done anything with yet; so, I picked out this Kathmandu Aran the other day, which is mostly wool, with some silk and a bit of cashmere, 104 yards. Since I have such a weakness for hand warmers, I chose this pattern - 70 Yard Mitts, by Hannah Fettig. They're cute, and I only just started.

Working with size three dpn's took me a few minutes to get used to, but now I think I'm good. I'll switch to sixes soon (that is, when Linda loans me hers, because I could have sworn I had some, but I guess not). The color is a sort of brick tweed, which is hard to tell here.

Two weeks ago I brought home Out of Africa to watch - had never seen it!  Now I'm reading the book, out of curiosity for the real story, because I know the film was romanticized; and I've looked with interest at it many times at the library. She was a real poet in her descriptions of Africa.

The chief feature of the landscape, and of your life in it, was the air. Looking back on a sojourn in the African highlands, you are struck by your feeling of having lived for a time up in the air. The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless, ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it, but it has a blue vigour in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue. In the middle of the day the air was alive over the land, like a flame burning; it scintillated, waved and shone like running water, mirrored and doubled all objects, and created great Fata Morgana. Up in this high air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Pinterest recipes: peanut butter munchies

I meant to make these last week to bring to the library, but after mixing the dough, I couldn't find time to finish. So I did it yesterday, and was glad everything was chilled, because it was much easier to work with.

I didn't take a picture, because the ones you see here with the recipe look much better than mine did. You see, I forgot the last step - to press them down with the sugared glass - you know. But everyone at work was quite enthusiastic. So, I would say "Try them! You'll like them."

Monday, May 18, 2015

"the phantoms of the day"

Into the darkness and the hush of night
  Slowly the landscape sinks, and fades away,
  And with it fade the phantoms of the day.
  The ghosts of men and things, that haunt the light.
The crowd, the clamor, the pursuit, the flight,
  The unprofitable splendor and display,
  The agitations, and the cares that prey
  Upon our hearts, all vanish out of sight.
The better life begins; the world no more
  Molests us; all its records we erase
  From the dull common-place book of our lives,
That like a palimpsest is written o'er
  With trivial incidents of time and place,
  And lo! the ideal, hidden beneath, revives.

                                              - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Sunday, May 17, 2015

singing to the Lord

Sing to the Lord, all the earth,
announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.

For great is the Lord and highly to be praised;
and awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty go before him;
praise and joy are in his holy place.

Give to the Lord, you families of nations,
give to the Lord glory and praise;
Give to the Lord the glory due his name!
Bring gifts, and enter his presence;
worship the Lord in holy attire.

-     I Chronicles 16:23-29

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

fresh and green

I came home to a bag full of freshly picked asparagus spears, from a customer of my brother's. I cooked the thinner ones for our supper, and the fat ones are standing in two glasses, waiting for their turn.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Dairy Hollow House pumpernickel

I've been baking lots of bread lately, making any and all recipes which sound appealing to me, but using my own method - I'm learning a lot!  Today it was Raisin Pumpernickel Bread with a Secret, from Crescent Dragonwagon's Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread. The secret being a half cup of chocolate chips, and sooo good!  I've got four round loaves.

A year ago I was getting into bread making but when the hot weather hit, it all fell apart  -  I shrink from using the oven in summer. So, I don't know what'll happen this year, but for now I'm really having fun.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

little blue vase

I was happy to find this pretty pitcher after realizing that little vases would be just the thing for the four small shelves near the kitchen sink.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

opening up

With temperatures all week in the seventies and eighties, the cherry is beginning to bloom.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Pinterest recipes: toffee surprise brownies

I made these today because I wanted to bring goodies to work for tomorrow. They're good, but I'm not saving the recipe  -  it's very similar to Anna's, except she has one extra egg in hers, and chocolate chips. This one is studded with toffee pieces and has a less simple method.

I'm sure they'll be welcome, and my co-workers won't be wondering about which recipe I used; but here it is, and here's Anna's.   In case you want to compare.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

a jar of grape hyacinths

Grape hyacinth comes up every year by itself, next to the rose bushes.  There was so much of it yesterday in among the overlong grasses; when I realized my brother would just cut them down with the weed-wacker, I cut them down before him and brought them inside.

I looked for a pretty vase, but they truly look better in a mason jar.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

something to think about

"There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person."

                                                                  -   Rumer Godden,  from Simple Abundance

Friday, May 1, 2015

"as if the sun were hers"

Napping everywhere
Stretched in the sun
As if the sun were hers
Awash in warmth
And furs.

                                                                                                            - Karla Kuskin