Monday, July 30, 2012

Catholic Woman's Almanac :: Vol. 3


The boys and I have lots of beach days ahead of us for the next three weeks.  Unfortunately, at the above outing I was stung in the ankle and bled while swimming.  It was probably a sting ray but it freaked me out and now I am paranoid.  My husband said, "It is the ocean you know." Exactly. My. Point.  :{ Fortunately, the boys are completely undaunted and are having the time of their lives in the waves.



Moments of Gratitude
~a week of daily swimming at my sister's pool
~KC (age 4) learned to jump into the pool and swim to the edge all by himself
~a date at the beach alone with my husband (we have never been able to swim without the kids before!)
~thunderstorms and plenty of rain
~waking up this morning to the scent of strong coffee already made by Mr. Mornings 


Beauty in the Ordinary
a doozy of a t-storm brewing Friday night

From the Kitchen
Berry Gallette for Baking with Julia on Aug. 7th
Lots of fresh veggies from the farmer's market (Not much cooking)


Hot Spots
(I am adding this category to consider any projects that I feel are in need of doing this week.)
1.  Gift wrapping closet organized (Still on the to-do list)
2.  Schedule lots of appointments for August
3.  Go through boys' school uniforms and decide on what we need for the fall

Praying
~for RW to make a new and wonderful friend at school this year as his best friend moved to the West coast
~for the families affected by the Aurora movie tragedy, may they find healing
~for my husband who has a wonderful but stressful job, may he find peace in each day
~for my dear neighbor, may she be healed!

Meditating
Yet many believers cease their religious education as children, and expect it to carry them through adulthood. James Martin, SJ from The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything


Reading
~to the boys~
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
~audio~
(I need a new selection after finishing The Chaperone)
~in print~
The Memoir Project : A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text For Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith

Pinned



Looking Ahead
ZJ's soccer season begins with practice tonight
Birthday party to go to on Thursday
Company coming for the weekend

Captured
school supplies have been purchased (phew)


Share your almanac every Monday at Suscipio


Share/Bookmark

Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Room Schoolhouse


"We walked a mile to school, uphill, both ways" goes the old saying.   It's not that far off in this case.  
While out exploring the old farms in my husband's family this summer, his father pointed to this lonely building and said, "That's the one-room schoolhouse we attended growing up."  He turned and pointed in the other direction, "We walked about a mile through that field to get home."  
"Even in the winter?" someone asked.
"No, in the winter Dad brought us in the sleigh.  That was kind of fun."
I imagined riding in a horse-drawn sleigh to school. How very Laura Ingalls Wilder it seemed. I am quite sure my imaginations are far more romanticized than the actual event would have been. These are North Dakota winters we are talking about, wind-whipped open prairie plummeting the temps far below zero.  I bet the last place I would want to be would be in an open sleigh.
Still, it is fun to romanticize this dilapidated old schoolhouse with its wall of sunny windows and one brick chimney to warm chilly children while they studied.  To imagine how they played in the wide open fields at recess and how the snow must have piled against the door during snow-blurred days.  Uphill both ways maybe not, but much more challenging than the one block I walked to my elementary school thirty years ago.


 
 

 
Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Old-Fashioned Frosted Brownies



I am glad to be sharing my mom's favorite brownie recipe today
 at Dianna Kennedy's blog, 
 She recently had a precious baby girl and if I lived near her,
 these homemade brownies would be the dessert item 
I would bring to her house as a congratulatory treat.  
I've shared a few extra photos below
 but the super simple recipe can only be found here










 
Please click over to The Kennedy Adventures blog to find my recipe and add it to your must-try file. 





Share/Bookmark

Friday, July 20, 2012

Growth :: Our Family Apple Tree



In my mother's backyard stands an apple tree that is roughly 40 years old.   The trunk diverges, v-like, forming a perfect spot for standing or a nest for young children to sit in while surveying the seemingly endless backyard.  My childhood is fruited with its apple-tree memories. 


I remember the heavy branches in the fall, sagging with ripe red-green apples, many dropping to the ground for birds to peck and nibble.  Those tart apples still make the best apple pies I've ever had, especially when baked by the hands of my Grandmother, Dorothy.  One bright day each fall was designated for apple harvest.  Out came the tall wooden ladder and as many paper sacks as we could gather.  We picked and filled and picked and filled until the tree was emptied of her fragrant offering.  


When we were back home in June, I wandered out to that old apple tree and looked up into its healthy branches.  Clusters of golf-ball sized baby apples appeared to me like Christmas ornaments, illuminated by the golden sunlight filtering through the leaves.  I wish I would be there for the fall harvest this year.  I wish I could bring home sacks of our family apples to peel and slice into my own pies, crisps, and applesauce recipes.  But it is simply encouraging to see that after all these years, that one tree stands strong and fertile, requiring no particular effort from my mother for it to go about its business year in and year out: budding, leafing, flowering and fruiting; simply growing on.










Share/Bookmark

Monday, July 16, 2012

Catholic Woman's Almanac :: vol. 2

abandoned farm house near Linton, North Dakota where my father-in-law first viewed television
Moments of Gratitude
~naps (for me, too)
~phone calls with family much missed
~stacks and stacks of juicy good books to read
~my four-year-old getting a new bike
~massages

Beauty in the Ordinary
a surprise snail-mail from a blogger in Germany made me smile


From the Kitchen
I canned two batches of jam.  One just plain strawberry and one I call Two-Berry which is the same recipe just replacing half the strawberries with four cups of fresh blueberries.  Both batches turned out perfectly (yay!) and I was able to send a few jars out to neighbors and friends.  Now the boys want toast and jam for breakfast everyday so I had better get to baking more bread!


This photo does not do justice to the delicious steak and veggies I made last week.  I am so afraid to make steak that I almost never do it.  This recipe combined with a commercial for WalMart steaks convinced me to try.  I did not make the chive sauce but used red wine and a bit of butter to create a pan sauce.  I also used Mrs. Dash's Steak seasoning and kosher salt to season the meat and added many more minutes to the cooking time as I like my steak well done. It was so good I will be making it again very soon.  



Hot Spots
(I am adding this category to consider any projects that I feel are in need of doing this week.)
1.  Gift wrapping closet organized
2.  Book donations to library
3.  Get boys started on summer schedules

Praying
praying Mary at old-time cemetery

Meditating
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:17

Pondering
My boys return to school on August 20th.  That suddenly seems right around the corner.  I need to get started on the marathon project that is buying and organizing the school supplies each teacher/department requires.

Reading
~to the boys~
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
~audio~
The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty 
~in print~
The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy and Dinner {a love story} by Jenny Rosenstrach

Pinned
a dreamy craft room ~ I would love this!
the four gift rule ~ thinking ahead to a simplified Christmas

Looking Ahead
I am in the mood to go swimming everyday at my sister's pool, wear no make-up, sip iced coffee in the shade and eat at my sister's favorite sushi restaurant. Can't wait to go on another little road trip next week.

Captured


Share your almanac every Monday at Suscipio



Share/Bookmark

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Five Free Apps I Love




I love finding new apps for my devices 
and I especially love it when they are free.  
Today I am sharing a list of five 
of my recent favorite free apps at Catholic Mothers Online.  
Please click over to read about them and then 
share your latest app finds with us in the comments. 
I can always use more apps!








Share/Bookmark

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Catholic Woman's Almanac :: my first edition



Moments of Gratitude
~my month of vacation in my home state full of many more moments than I can share in this small space
~finding enough coffee grounds left in the cupboard this morning to be able to make a full pot of coffee (after standing in the coffee aisle yesterday and not purchasing coffee because I was certain I had an extra bag)
~a break in the heat wave
~air conditioning
~doctors, nurses, medicine and x-rays
~friends who welcome me home

Beauty in the Ordinary


honeybee at the farm


From the Kitchen


farmer's market shopping



Stopped at the Farmer's Market yesterday and picked out some lovely scented strawberries.  On the docket: strawberry jam.  I am also looking forward to grilling some chicken and veggie kebabs this week.  Plus this post from last summer is also calling out to me.  As for baking, I have missed out on three Baking with Julia recipes and so must get back on track. I believe the next recipe on tap is Semolina Bread.  I must try it!


Praying
~for my niece and nephew going away to college in the fall that they may stay strong in their faith and true to themselves
~that our country will not become overly dependent on the government for 
just plain everything


Meditating
"Say what you mean but don't say it mean."


Pondering
What to do with my boys for the next few aimless weeks of summer.  Now that we are bereft of cousins and activities and have no scheduled camps or sports this summer, I fear we may just stay home and destroy the house all day.  Not. Good.  Must. Plan. Something.


Reading
~audio~
Just finished listening to The Shoemaker's Wife by Adrianna Trigiani (I give it 4 stars) and immediately began The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty (Elizabeth McGovern is narrating and is wonderful at it).  I adore listening to audio-books on my phone, computer and iPad.  I have been using Audible.com but am not pleased with their cost plans.  Anyone have another (i.e. free) option? 
~in print~
The Baker's Daughter by Sarah McCoy and Dinner {a love story} by Jenny Rosenstrach


Pinned
~Melt in Your Mouth Chicken (looks divine)
~Crock Pot Applesauce (yes I am getting excited for Fall days already!)
~Outdoor Fireplace  (just dreaming here)
~Summer Manifesto by Ali Edwards (must make one too)


Looking Ahead
Cannot wait to drive south for a lazy summer visit at my sister's house later this month


Captured


KC wandering in the wheatgrass of North Dakota

Share your almanac every Monday at Suscipio


Share/Bookmark

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Different Path :: 52 Photos Week 11


I am so happy to be home from vacation.  We have been away for exactly one month. While I loved every moment of our time with friends and family and I sincerely wish we lived next door to each of them, there is nothing as comforting as returning to one's own space, especially for an outgoing~introvert like me.  

I need my down-time, my sacred time alone with my family of choice: my books, my blogs, my pens and journals.  Yet, as I poured only one cup of coffee this morning (rather than the three or four for my relatives over the past thirty mornings)I found myself a tad lonely.  Oh the contradictory nature of living far from those you love the most.  Selfishly loving the freedom and independence it allows while missing being a part of their everyday lives and sharing the beauty of simply being in their presence.

The photo above is one I snapped through the windshield of our car as we bumped along the gravel road to visit the several North Dakota farms in my husband's family.  Miles and miles of roads like these section the land where our ancestors made their new homes following the one-way trip from Russia via Ellis Island.  One can only imagine the courage it took to travel so far with only two suitcases per person, to an unknown, unseen territory and believe a better life was possible. My own husband is the first generation to not be born in one of those farmhouses, the first to leave the homestead state entirely and make his own path toward an unknown future.  Will our own great-grandchildren re-trace our paths someday as well?


Sharing with...
kimklassencafe






Share/Bookmark
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...