Sunday, May 31, 2020

heading to the semi-ordinary

It's Pentecost, and the end of the Easter season.

My brother starts back to work tomorrow. He will be working twelve hour days, six days a week, for hopefully not more than three weeks. He'll come home for lunch, but for much shorter times than usual. He expects he may be caught up after that.

he made a new gate for the garden

He'll have to wear a mask all day. I suppose we'll have to, when we re-open at the library. I don't look forward to that.

it looks nice in there - keeping it up will be my job now

I expect Dolly will notice that he won't be around so much. But he hasn't been in my way, and I told him so. He kept busy all these two and a half months. 

Come, Spirit,
Holy Spirit,
Into every crevice of my heart.
Leave no narrowest defile
For pride to walk,
For hard-lipped judgments to stalk,
Leave no smallest part.

- Mother Mary Francis, from Magnificat, May 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020

striving for enjoyment

I finished two more face masks today. My brother finally goes back to his shop Monday and I wouldn't want him to be short on masks. Of course he has paper ones for clients who need them, but it's better to save them for that. I would not want to have to wear a face mask all the day long. When it comes down to it, I suppose he'll wear the one which bothers him the least. And we'll see which one that is.

The chickens come through every single day. I get a real kick from seeing them, but I wonder what the neighbors think. They peck around everyone's gardens, which may not be welcome to everyone.

I read this today:  "Enjoyment is a catalyst for owning what one is learning." From The Life Giving Home, by Sally Clarkson.

Friday, May 29, 2020

hope for quickening

I've been listening to the talks given during the Anselm Society's conference, Imagination Redeemed. At the end of this one, this prayer was read, and I had never heard it before.

God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry
chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; 
when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening;
when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely,
and our souls have lost their courage. 
Flood the path with light, 
run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;
tune our hearts to brave music; 
give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age;
and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage
the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, 
to your honor and glory.

                                                                  -  attributed to St. Augustine

Meanwhile, my brother pointed out a robin's nest in the cherry tree, almost hanging over the driveway. 

Life continues.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

a little Anglo-Saxon spirituality

"...the Lord wills that all people be whole and sound and turn toward true knowledge. ...He hears their prayers when they call to him and ask him for grace.

Let us now hasten with all the strength of good works and be eager for God's mercy, now that we can see that the end of the world is approaching. Therefore I exhort and admonish everyone to consider deeply his own deeds so that he might live righteously here in the world before God and in the sight of the highest King."

                                               -   Anglo-Saxon Spirituality*,  from Magnificat, May 2020

* an anthology of sermons, homilies, and poems written during the Anglo-Saxon age, c. (660 to `1066)

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

knitting and reading

My knitting is about twenty two inches long now,but the ball of yarn seems as huge as ever. I can't possibly keep going until it's used up - there's too much of it; the resulting bag would be bigger than anything I could find a use for. I've been thinking about types of handles but can't decide on anything.

I've been reading the most fabulous book about John and Abigail Adams, by Irving Stone. It's old, from my father's book shelf. He loved Irving Stone, and I can finally see why. This is a novel, but history; it's like living through everything with them - just fantastic!

I also am following along with a podcast about Shakespeare's As You Like It, so I'm reading that again, and just finished one on C. S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. I've read almost none of his work - never read the Narnia series! And, a little at a time of Mike's book, which amazes me, as does his blog - he knows so much about his country. Was he a history teacher? Or is it a hobby of his? He's a mystery, but a nice fellow.

Joining Ginny for yarnalong. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

improving cookies

My brother got a cookie mix for Christmas, in addition to all the actual cookies. Which are long gone, of course. But this mix was still around.

I finally got around to deciding I would make some a few weeks ago, and was surprised to find three bags of mix inside the box. Well, that explained why it was so heavy. I made up a batch.

Dolly dreams of sitting outside with us tomorrow

They look like peanut butter blossoms, but they're not peanut butter, they're a shortbread and we agreed they seemed a bit bland. So with the second packet I thought I'd salt and some spices - namely, cinnamon and ginger. It is somewhat improved, I think. Unless I'm just imagining it - I could be.

But I'm not sure what to do with the last batch.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

another copy

There's a rabbit who appears across the brook most days, usually in the evenings. They can stay so still, can't they? Indefinitely, it seems. But it's hard to get a decent photo.

Of the three face masks Yoko sent, the one that has a molded shape is the style I have avoided making from the beginning. I saved several different youtube videos and made a few of them. Things aren't always what you imagine - and here I am, realizing that the shaped mask seems the least stifling to wear.

I made a pattern from Yoko's.

It came out very well, and is almost finished.

It wasn't difficult to do!  I'll make more.

"To make the idea of the Holy Spirit more concrete to us we should remember that he is the Spirit of love. He is the divine love sent to infuse us with the sense of God when we read the Gospels, when we pray, when we receive the sacraments, or when we show love for other people."

                                                                 - Ronda Chervin,   from Magnificat, May 2020

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
Altissimi donum Dei,
Fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
Et spiritalis unctio.

Thou who art called the Paraclete,
Best gift of God above,
The living spring, living fire
Sweet unction and true love.

Friday, May 22, 2020

come, Holy Spirit

Pentecost is in nine days. The disciples of Jesus prayed after He ascended, then the Holy Spirit came nine days later. We also will pray until Pentecost.

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita:
Imple superna gratia,
Quae tu creasti pectora.

Come, O Creator Spirit, come,
and make within our heart thy home;
To us thy grace celestial give,
Who of thy breathing move and live.

Stefano da Verona

Thursday, May 21, 2020

one year old

Little Annie is a year old today.

Well, we don't know what day she was born, but May twenty first was on the receipt the last time we went to the vet, so I guess they figured it out and picked a date.

Meanwhile, it's the Ascension of the Lord, and we still aren't going to church. It's strange. But I'm grateful that I'm still going to work - I still have that structure to my week.

Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. 
  Matthew 28:20

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

warmth ahead

Overnight, I went from wearing my flannel nightgown to one of my summer ones. There's no going back now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020


The little dogwood looks particularly lovely this spring.

At last.

A package came yesterday from our cousins in New York. Yoko made four masks! They are beautifully done; she sews far better than I.

Three different styles, but you can see best on the red one (with the little snakes), she's got blue pieces at either end which make it look so tidy and perfect.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Dolly says no more cats!

When the weather got nice, we put the little Kibble figure out on the back stoop. Cyndi said it's made to be outdoors, but we still wanted to wait for it to be warmer before putting it outside.

It's about one third the size of a real cat and when I pass by, it does give me a jolt and remind me of our little friend.

Yesterday was like a summer day; I came home from work and Dolly was awake and alert - I said, Dolly, let's go out. When she came out the door and saw the figure she gave it a slap. I had to laugh - that's our Dolly! It looks real to her.

But later, when I put a chair in the doorway for her to sit on, I could tell that she was disturbed to see this "cat" still there - she is bothered by it! And so we moved him over into the side garden where things are starting to get planted. I wonder if I were to bring it in and show her it's not alive, if that would make a difference?

Thursday, May 14, 2020

it's good to laugh

This one likes to go up and underneath the chair covers.

We laugh a lot here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

sewing a mask

A couple of weeks ago someone from the town came to the library with cloth masks for all of us.

I've been bookmarking youtube videos with different mask-making methods. But I rather liked this one (except it's a little big). I copied it.

It took me a while to notice the packaging. I wonder if some group in town made them.

Monday, May 11, 2020


After the warmth of the previous weekend I expected things were taking a turn, but the weatherman is still saying we are twenty degrees cooler than normal.

I wore my sandals to work Friday; Saturday I could have worn my boots. In mid-day, while the sun shone, it snowed.

And then it squalled after dark with more snow. I'm talking about May 9th! But I believe things may be improving near the end of this week.

Meanwhile, today we had a couple of thunderstorms, with rain and sun together, which made me look for the rainbow. And there it was, through the raindrops on the windowpane.

Where I live, May is the month when the weather starts turning warmer, and you know that there's no going back. At least, that's how it's supposed to be.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

opening the door of our freedom

"Since we are all so different, every so often I ask myself how God can love every single one of us with a unique, specific, and personal tenderness. He can, because he even knows every cell in our body. He created us, and wanted us. He calls us by name, and we must discover who we are in his eyes: risen, new creatures, who have welcomed the love of God in that grandiose space that is our life; he comes, because he is a God who loves to be welcomed. He stands outside the door of our freedom and knocks. Let us not leave him outside like a beggar; let's open that door so he can enter!"

                                                                  -   Mother Elvira Petrozzi,  from Magnificat, May 2020

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

the annual event

Who can resist, when they have such a tree in their yard, taking photos?

Monday, May 4, 2020

knit and listen

I knit while listening to podcasts - make something while I'm (hopefully) being formed into something.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

warm and blooming

Yesterday and today are gifts, making up for the coldness of last month. And the cherry tree is blooming at last - later than usual.

The gentle breeze I feel right now is SO WELCOME.