August 31, 2013

{simple saturday} Chloe's prayer

Well, we had quite a fright last night around 10:00 (Aug. 30).  Angela's brain pressure spiked dangerously, and she was put back on strong meds for sedation to keep the pressure down.  The doctors had performed another routine CAT scan at 3:30 yesterday afternoon (we do not have the results yet), and as of 5:00, she was under the meds, with her brain pressure safely at 19.  At 10:30, she was not oxygenating well, and that's when I started giving rapid fire updates on Facebook.  Myself and friends, Mrs. Fife and Kate, rushed to our parish's perpetual adoration chapel to pray and keep watch while many from our group prayed a rosary.  At 12:30, praise the Lord, Angie was finally stabilized though very fragile, as can be expected, and Mr. D had offered a beautiful prayer at her bedside.  Her brother, Michael, was able to leave his college and be with his family.  All your prayers are greatly appreciated, and we ask that you keep them coming!!  (She is back on the coma-inducing medications at this point, in order to control the swelling in her brain, and will be for the next several days.)

Last night, when I first heard of all this, I messaged a friend of mine, Chloe', whom you've heard about here a few times, and who I've always known to be a powerful prayer warrior, begging her for prayers and freaking out, and this is what she responded with.  What touched me the most is that Chloe' had never even heard about Angie before tonight - no idea who she is - and yet she still poured out her heart into this beautiful little prayer.  If anyone is living out the role of "Child of God," it's Chloe'.  I tell you, I have no idea what I've done to deserve such amazing friends, but God has really laid 'em on me over the years.  This is....

August 30, 2013

in which i attempt to sing - 7QT (vol. 18)

Please continue to pray for Angela.
What happened.
If you want to get to know her a little.
Updates - August 27
August 29
August 30
It's so nice to have a real life friend who is a real life blogger.  Like, SO nice.  As Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), one of my heroines, said at BlogHer '13:  "Your family [and friends] might support you blogging and they might be excited about your blogging, but they don't understand blogging."  They're not behind the scenes and all around it as I am.  Jenna and her family recently started coming to my parish, and it's been lovely knowing their existence outside of blogland.  We have been trying to meet for brunch after Mass, but our schedules haven't worked out so far.  Soon.
Speaking of P-Dub and other bloggers, I recently stumbled upon a hate blog against the Pioneer Woman, and I think a few spaces in my mind actually exploded.  I can understand one person not liking or disagreeing with another, but I simply cannot fathom how someone could devote so much time and effort into tearing another person apart.  Just.don't. get it.

August 29, 2013

{theme thursday} shadows

Because I'm a rebel and like to shake things up on a regular basis, I'm not posting pictures for this week's Theme Thursday.

Because, THIS.  Meet Lindsey Stirling, violinist and rock star.  Aemelia mustered a group of our people to see her live a while back, and our minds were blown.  This is her piece, Shadows.  Fitting, you think?

Tell me this is not art.

August 28, 2013

good times - angela

Well, since many of you have agreed to pray with us for dear Angela, I thought I might have you get to know her a little bit, and tell some stories.  (I told you Instagrammers I'd do that on Monday, but I wasn't able to.  Sorry.)
Hmmmm, let me see.  Angie is...  stunning, genuine, hilarious, sweet, kind, honest, reliable, gregarious, sincere, upright, faithful, intelligent, affable, exuberant, inspiring, gentle, optimistic, modest, patient, sensible, self-confident, independent, holy.

Angela is one of those friends I've been friends with for so long, we don't even remember how we became friends in the first place.  We have a standing joke that we've known each other since birth, since our parents have been friends for as long as we can remember.

We'd get ourselves into all sorts of trouble with the valiant assistance of our older brothers...  When my mom used to help Angie's mom clean their house once a week, Navy brother and I would go along to do homework, only our parents would separate the pairs of us, because they knew we'd never get anything done if we tried to work together.  Unfortunately for the parents and fortunately for us, we discovered that the laundry chute in one of their bathrooms

August 27, 2013

an angela update, red paint & a chicken coop

Good morning, readers!  An update on Angela:  She is doing well, considering her condition is critical as it is.  On the night of the accident (August 25), her brain pressure was in the high twenties and spiking into the thirties - anything above twenty is dangerous.  After her surgery yesterday, which, according to the doctors, went very very well, her brain pressure is holding steady at four.  The surgeons successfully removed two pieces of her skull to relieve this pressure, and she was more settled last night because of this.  She is, however, still in critical condition and her family humbly asks for your intensive prayers over the next 3-5 days.  At present, Ange is in a medically induced coma to give her brain a chance to heal. It will continue to swell over the next 2-4 days, and then the swelling will begin to abate. As that occurs, the doctors will begin to wean her off of the medications inducing her coma and see how she handles the brain activity.  She needs to remain quiet so she can move forward in this critical step to her recovery.  Thank you all for your love and support and prayer...  please, please keep it coming!  Angela's family is asking specifically for prayers for healing and restoration of Angela's brain function and abilities, and for her complete recovery.

(To clarify, Angela's injury is primarily to her brain. She did not break any bones, and suffered minor abrasions and bruising to her lung.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Five or so years ago, when my mother first conceived the idea of raising chickens, she bought an old rabbit hutch from our neighbor to use as a chicken coop.  It wasn't nearly big enough, so my father opened up the back and attached an addition, making it a double-wide.

And just yesterday, my mother decided to paint it, because, well, it looked like this:
and this
left - original
right - addition

August 26, 2013

prayers for angela

Last night (August 25), a very dear childhood friend of mine was hit by a car while she was riding her bicycle.  

UPDATE 10:05- She is going into surgery right now, and we are praying for a miracle. 

UPDATE 1:30- She is still in surgery now, and according to the doctors, it's going very well.  We aren't sure when she will be out, though.

UPDATE Around 3-ish: Out of surgery, which went very very well, and in PostOp for about an hour.  

UPDATE 9:41- Her brain pressure is at a stable 4.  It will probably increase over the next 2 to 4 days, making it more serious.  

Please join us in storming heaven for her smooth and complete recovery.  Her patron saint is Rose of Lima.


God our Father, for love of you, St. Rose gave up everything to devote herself to a life of penance.  By the help of her prayers, may we imitate her selfless way of life on earth and enjoy the fullness of your blessings in heaven.  Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Here is the link to the novena we will be praying in honor of St. Rose.

I'll add more updates to this post as time goes on.  But for now, Sweet Jesus, zap dear Angie with your healing power.  We believe in miracles.

Look at her beautiful smile...  We're all waiting anxiously to see it again soon.



August 24, 2013

{simple saturday} goings-on

Happy {simple saturday}!

Some things going on around the ranch as of late:

- I'm beginning to prepare for the inevitable return of the monster named College, and my desk is beginning to drown in folders and paper and books and other such nonsense.  I have to admit I'm a little nervous for this semester, and I don't even know why...  (Phil 4:13, Phil 4:13, Phil 4:13...)

- The gentleman who bought one of our chicken coops yesterday took our rooster as well. I'm so happy, I think I might actually cry.

- We are in the process of downsizing, so many of our belongings are packed away in boxes, including things we didn't think we'd need, but we actually do need, so we have to go digging through everything to find it...  We've already done so much, but it seems like this process is never-ending.  I will most definitely be glad when this is over.  Stuff accumulates when you've lived in one place for 19 years (and your parents for longer).  Why we're doing this now instead of during summer break I will never know.  Ohhhhh, RIGHT.  SUMMER BREAK DOESN'T EXIST!

- Caitlin leaves today, and I'm already sad.  Goodbyes never get easier.

August 23, 2013

i give opinions you may not have asked for ~ 7QT (vol. 19)

Once more, I'm asking you for prayers.  A friend of mine was involved in a serious car accident, and ended up getting a wedge fracture in his spine.  Thank God he doesn't need surgery and is doing very well, but now he must wear a full chest and neck brace for the next twelve weeks, and I can only imagine how difficult and frustrating that must be...  But we can get through anything by the grace of God, right?  Right.  A few Memorares would be fantastic.  Thanks, all.
Talking about frustration, there are few things quite as frustrating as having a malfunctioning computer, especially when a good deal of your life depends on having a good one...  I took her in to the Mac store a few days ago, and haven't heard back yet, so here's hoping it wasn't too serious.  I have an inkling there's something wrong with the hard drive, even though I've been making sure not to fill it up too much.  Ah well... in the meantime, cheers to family fighting over the desktop computer.

Also, this happened last week.  Apparently, this mouth o' mine decided to go and get all poofy and painful on me.  NOT COOL, and the dentist doesn't even know why.  So, they took X-rays and gave me drugs and sent me on my way, promising they'd call me when they know what's wrong.  That hasn't happened yet.  So I'm just putzing around, waiting for it to go away.  Being a mystery medical patient is no mucho funno.  But at least I don't have to deal with Dr. House.  That would probably make me snap like a twig.  Anyhow, pain.

August 22, 2013

{phfr} softball

Before my grandparents (my mother's parents) passed away, they made it a tradition for their 13 children and their families to have a reunion every summer.  It's always a great time to catch up, show off children and grandchildren, and to celebrate the family together.  I'm always amazed at how quickly the little ones are growing up...  I know I used to be one of them, but now I'm watching it from a whole different perspective.  Tempus definitely fugit.


At the reunions, we have a standing horseshoe throwing tournament and softball game.  In the spirit of our Irish heritage (on my grandpa's side), my grandparents taught all of their children how to throw horseshoes, and now at the reunion every summer, we draw out a chart and hold a tournament.  My cousin, John, even made a fantastic wooden trophy (that I forgot to take a picture of) the champions keep at their house until the next year.  It's a beautiful wooden box, with the box base maybe a foot tall, with a stake and horseshoes on top, and a magnetic picture frame on the front to hold a picture of the winning team, which is swapped out yearly to honor the new champions as they come.  My dad and I always play as partners, but we only made it to the second round this year - and it was a darn close game...  You'd be surprised how intense we get over these things.  But, hey.  It's important!

August 21, 2013

friendship

When it comes to friends, I am so abundantly blessed...  I don't really have all that many, but the handful I do have are remarkable.  Each one is so uniquely wonderful with his or her own set of talents and preferences and qualities that inspire me to become a better person.  They teach me and uplift me.  And over the years, how amazing it has been to see our friendships bloom.
photo cred: stranger in the park

August 19, 2013

shekinah


*This is an essay I found during one of my organizing rampages last week.  It discusses the topic of veiling sacred things... I believe I wrote it to send to a friend who didn't understand the matter.  Feel free to discuss.*

The Shekinah Cloud (Glory Cloud) appears every time God manifests His power in a direct way in the Old Testament.  It comes down on Mount Sinai when Moses is speaking to God, and again when the Temple is built.  It descends on the Ark of the Covenant, and, in the New Testament, at the Transfiguration.  When we veil something, we implicitly reveal it by drawing attention to it, though not in an outright way, but by drawing attention to the presence of something mysterious or sacred.  It is revelation in hiddenness.  This is also why, technically, the tabernacles we use today are supposed to be solid, and have a cloth veil over the door(s).

St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:22-27 regarding veiling and modesty:  “On the contrary, the parts of the body which we think less honorable we invest with greater honor, and our un-presentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.  But God has so composed the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.”

August 17, 2013

birthday girl

Happy Simple Saturday, everyone!  Today, we're linking up a little bit differently, since it's a very special person's birthday.  This is how it'll work:  If you were planning to post a link to your Simple Saturday blog post here, go instead to my Facebook page and post your link to my wall.  I look forward to stalking you!

Now, back to the Special Person, one of the brightest, sparkliest lights of my life, Caitlin.

What can I say?  I love this girl to bits, y'all...  It seemed like just yesterday we were shoved next to each other in the tiny back seat of a pick-up for the four-hour ride to a young girls' summer camping trip Up North, and she ended up letting me sleep on her shoulder because I kept dozing off during the Rosary, and she didn't want me to hurt my neck.

And ever since then, what a tremendous blessing she has been and continues to be.  What an honor to grow and live alongside this girl, who has always been there for me as a sister, a friend, and an inspiration (and a slap in the face when I needed one).

"Faithful friends are beyond price, and no amount can balance their worth," (Sirach 6:15) and this girl is an unbelievable treasure.

A very, very blessed and happy 19th birthday to my best friend.  I love you, Caitlin!

August 16, 2013

7QT (vol. 16)

Yesterday, I posted a recipe for the scrumptious slow cookered lemon chicken, and mentioned my plan to make extra juice for the next batch.  Well, I couldn't wait for the next batch, so I quadrupled the recipe and made a little soupy concoction out of the leftovers.  'Twas terrific.  Unfortunately, though, it didn't last long enough for a picture.
Call me crazy, but I've been smelling snow these past few days.  I'm not happy about the fact this is happening already.  I'm not ready for summer to be over yet.
As it turns out, one of the hens my mother acquired earlier this year (against my wishes, I add) is not a hen...  Every single morning, as soon as he sees a light go on in the house, no matter what ungodly hour in the morning it might be, he starts trying to crow at the top of his lungs.  This is exceedingly unpleasant, since he hasn't figured out how to crow properly as of yet, so he sounds more like a mule in labor, and because my mother gets up at 4 every morning for work.  I'm starting to have a taste for chicken soup.

August 15, 2013

lemon chicken. ooh, baby

As promised, here is the recipe for the lemon chicken I made yesterday afternoon and was bragging about all over the Facebook.  Surrusly, though, it was deeeeeeeelicious.  And here we go!

My mother found it in this book:
Lemon Chicken
Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 5-qt

Ingredients
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp fresh parsley, minced

August 14, 2013

these things I love (vol. 3)

- hammocks

- ice water with lemon in it

- vintage looking notebooks

- the scent of yellow roses

- deep conversations with friends

- finding new recipes

- orange soda

- drinking said orange soda out of old-fashioned glass bottles

- singing at the top of my lungs and not caring about how dreadful it sounds

- coconuts

- breaking creme brûlée with a spoon

- skipping stones

August 12, 2013

sheep


At the beginning of this year, I had the privilege of working at a small sheep farm near the ranch.  A friend of mine raises these darling creatures and makes her living on their wool (making yarn and her own knitted/crocheted creations), and needed some help cleaning out the barns in preparation for summer, and she came to me for help.  It was a big job, since such a deep cleaning is only undertaken twice a year, but of course, I couldn't resist, so I jumped at the opportunity.  I love sheep - always have.  For whatever reason, I always find it soothing to spend time working with and around them.  They're quiet creatures and they like to be in the quiet, too - maybe that's why.  Or maybe it's the sweet scent of the lanolin in the wool that always reminds me of summer.  Either way, I find sheep to be darling creatures, no matter their cognitive abilities...

August 10, 2013

{simple saturday} water

I must admit my life is exceptionally NOT simple as of late for reasons I'll not delve into,
except for one thing.
Water.  No matter what's going through my mind (or life) at the moment,
it all seems to disappear when I find a spot by the water.

August 9, 2013

ghosts - 7QT (vol. 15)

1.  Last Friday morning, my mother joined a few other ladies on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Father Solanus Casey in Detroit, and came back with a little gift for me:
Brand spankin' new phone cover, complete with one of my favorite paintings of the Virgin.  Horseproof, kidproof, floorproof.  A very good investment, if you ask me.


August 8, 2013

theme thursday - statues


This statue of the Virgin has been in this Church for as long as I can remember, and I’ve loved it since then, too.  I think it’s the simplest and most beautiful portrayal of Mary’s Queenship and Motherhood together.  Power and tenderness.

August 7, 2013

Guest Post by Kate @ LuckyStar

*Kate and I attended the same homeschool program and had many fun times together while I was there. I only recently discovered her little bloggy, Lucky Star, and she offered to guest post for me on occasion. I'm thrilled to have her here... Let's give her a hearty country welcome as she shares her thoughts on courtship and dating, two things often confused (guilty...).*


I recently saw an article by Lori Chaplin in The National Catholic Register about the topic of courtship vs. dating. It proved to be rather thought provoking, so I’m here giving my two cents on the subject.  Some people, upon hearing the word “courtship,” might think of a Jane Austen novel - at least I do!  I say this because the topic of courtship was recently discussed at my youth group, and to quote one of the guys in my small group, “Courtship is from, like, the olden days!”  I think this, among many others, is a common misconception about courtship  Some people assume courtship is gone, and dating has taken its place… Out with the old, in with the new, right?  But these two are not as similar as so many think they are.

In the article, Chaplin writes that the modern dating set up is one big heartbreak waiting to happen.  I wholeheartedly agree with this; the idea of emotionally kamikaze teens being in “serious relationships” is not one that appears to protect the heart.  I think this quote explains perfectly what I’m about to say: "With modern dating, couples date for the fun of it or for the emotional or physical draw of the relationship, but not for the purpose of discerning marriage." I believe this kind of teen dating (and even extending to adults) is void of reverence, making the means of choosing a spouse (since that is, in fact, what dating is for) into a game.  I believe a relationship deserves more respect.  It’s important for children and young adults to have a correct and concise understanding of love, marriage, and what they seek in a spouse. The secular idea of dating doesn’t really provide this, pushing the notion that if a person is attractive, or makes you feel happy, then they are good for you.  Do the words “He’s so hot!” or “She makes me feel so special!” sound familiar?  The problem is, there’s so much more to a person than how they look or how they make you feel. 

August 4, 2013

{gratitude sunday} scrrrrrrumptious

No, not food.  Sorry.


Sweet Canadian Grace of MissMarch has graciously extended a second Scrumptious Blog Award my way!  And, since my life seems to squash the inspiration to write anything decent or substantial from the end of July through the middle of September, and answering questions from my readers (and fellow bloggers) is usually pretty fun, I thought what the hey?  I’ll snatch that.  So snatch I did.

Thank you, Grace!

Y’all may safely ignore this post, but only after you go visit Grace’s blog.

Here are the rules for this thang:
1.  Once awarded, write about it on your blog with a link back to the person who awarded you.
2.  Answer the questions written by the person who awarded you.
3.  Pass the award on to five to ten other blogs.
4.  Some pointless rule everyone ignores anyway about how many readers your nominations have to have.
5.  Come up with ten questions for your nominees.
6.  Keep it clean and refrain from using vile language.

Grace’s queries to yours truly:
1.  Who is your favourite martyr?
Definitely Maria Goretti.  Though shorter than many, she has a life to live by.
2.  C.S. Lewis or G.K. Chesterton?
I DISLIKE THIS QUESTION.  I CANNOT ANSWER.  I WILL NOT ANSWER, AND YOU CANNOT MAKE ME.
3.  Something you love that everyone else thinks is totally nuts?
Orange tic tacs.  Too many people do not understand the pure magnificence of these tiny bits of heaven.
4.  Do you have a special relationship with a saint or member of the Holy Family?
Maria Goretti.  Read why here.
5.  Favorite painting or sculpture?
This one:
6.  Most annoying thing in books?
When the characters to whom I become very attached: a) say something irreparably stupid, b) do something irreparably stupid, or c) die.
7.  Your Achilles Heel, food-wise?
Well, my first response is “orange tic tacs,” but I don’t know if that qualifies as food, so I have to say my mother’s lemon/spinach/soy sauce/sesame seed/parsley catfish recipe.  Heaven, y’all.
8.  Do you have a scarring childhood memory involving seagulls, garden rakes, or telephones?
Um, no, actually…  I did fall out of a bunk bed onto a vacuum cleaner once at summer camp, and haven’t cared for either vacuums or bunk beds since….
9.  How would you prefer to die – unknown martyrdom, poverty for the Kingdom, or peacefully after a long arduous life?
Peacefully after a long, arduous life. :)
10.  Have a really good Catholic joke?
Sadly, I do not.  I am so bad at remembering things like that…

I would like to nominate these bloggies:
Mae Mae @ MaeMae

Annnnnd my queries for these lovely ladies are:
1.  What is your favorite song to play while you’re working?
2.  Which book character would you most like to be friends with in real life?
3.  If someone asked you for a random piece of advice, what would you say?
4.  Your favorite non-American food (Mexican, Asian, Thai, etc…)?
5.  Who is your favorite poet?
6.  Sharks?
7.  What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you since you started blogging?
8.  What is your favorite place to read?
9.  Which person of the Old Testament do you most admire and why?
10.  Describe your worst kitchen disaster.  (Muaha, I’m looking forward to this one.)

Happy Sunday, all!  Have a great day.  Make it a great day.

August 3, 2013

one moment {simple saturday}

The essential joy of being with horses is

that it brings us in

contact with grace, beauty, spirit, and fire,

all in one moment.

Happy Saturday!

August 2, 2013

in honor of summer ~ 7QT (vol. 14)

I'd like to take a moment of silence in honor of Summer 2013 (especially June and July).  We loved you, and we are so sad to bid you farewell.

Okay.

HOLY CRAP, people!  It's August!  I'm having some major difficulty wrapping my mind around this tidbit of information.  Where did the time go?  It was good time, sure.  But did it have to go so quickly?  I guess it's true that time goes faster as you age.  Sheesh.
Sweet Clare of Come Further Up wrote a beautiful piece on Monday called Seeing Gratitude in the Mirror, and I'd like you all to go read it, please.  Sneak peak: "Forget about the modern ideal of beauty that will die before you do. You have the things that you criticize. So many people don’t. Is it really so bad to be able to see, to walk, to hear, to dance? Does it make sense to be so harsh on what gives you so much?"  I love this girl, y'all.
My gal Friday - I mean - Maria and I had a grievously overdue girl's night on Monday.  We went to see The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  I won't deny some of the action sequences were a bit extreme and unbelievable, but the rest of the film was so enjoyable, that part was easy to overlook.