Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday


Menu planning is something I try to do on a regular basis as I have found that I not only make healthier eating choices when I do it, but I invariably spend less. To help me do this more consistently, I will be posting my menu plans here and taking part of the blog-world's

This week's compilation of Menu Plan Monday is here. Sometimes I peruse the links for inspiration, sometimes I don't. This week, I didn't. I based my menu on what I have on hand (although I will need to get a few ingredients for things, I will not have to do a "big" shopping).

My plan for the week of March 30th:

Monday - Roast Pork Loin, Baked Potatoes, Asparagus (for King B), Baby Carrots (for the rest of us)

Tuesday - Baked Ziti, Tossed Salad, fresh baked Rolls

Wednesday - Stir-fried Pork and Broccoli over Brown Rice

Thursday - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (cheddar cheese, whole wheat bread), Fresh Tomato Soup

Friday - Manicotti, Tossed Salad, Garlic Knots

Saturday - Pizza Night

Sunday - Roast Chicken, Potatoes, Beets, Cranberry

Breakfasts will be: oatmeal, eggs & toast, farina, cold cereal
Lunches: pb&j or pb&h, tuna salad sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches
fruit, chips

Snacks: muffins (blueberry, corn), fruit, veggies, crackers, popcorn

Blessings to you,

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Daily Meditation Inspiration


The other day, while reading Fr. John's blog, a part of this post jumped out at me: "If you are a woman, don't try to be perfect clones of Mary the mother of Jesus. She was preserved from original sin; you weren't!

Choose instead Martha or Mary, the sisters of Lazarus of Bethany, depending on whether you are a doer or a dreamer.

In conclusion, be yourself! And if your immediate answer is: I'm not sure I know who I am! then as Margo Channing said in All About Eve: "Hold on tight! It's going to be a bumpy ride" . "

This relates to my striving to be like the Proverbs 31 woman.... she was a balanced combination, I believe of the "doer", Martha, and the "dreamer", Mary. I most definitely have mostly "dreamer Mary" tendencies. I love planning, and it is something I am fairly good at. Give me paper to write lists and ideas on, and I am a happy woman. I look at this picture and I so identify with Mary.
While I am not always at Jesus's feet in Adoration, I do love reading my spiritual blogs and books; and feel that while I am reading them that I am figuratively at His feet, learning more about how He wants me to live. Unfortunately, life being what it is, I am required to be much more of a "doer Martha". And this is something I am not as good at. I would much rather sit and think and plan or read or do some creative thing than settle down to the mundane, practical tasks required for living. Even now, while Busker is napping beside me, rather than taking advantage of having my arms free to clean (although I did take a couple of minutes to remove the bread dough from the breadmachine and set it to rise more in a warm oven), I am instead here - pondering, reading, learning.
I find that I get very easily overwhelmed by the physical aspect of homekeeping. There is just so much to remember and to do. Part of the being overwhelmed is not having a routine set up. I've never yet been able to stick to one. Now whether that means I haven't found one that works well or that I'm simply lazy... well, I don't know that I care to ponder that too much. I have a strong feeling that it's the latter, even with my ADHD clouding the issue.

Well, I should go. I have to run some errands, and I really do have a lot of work to do here in preparation for the weekend (we will be heading out to the LI house to ready it for the first Open House after M's wedding). I will have to dig up the "Martha" hat and do laundry, take King B's suit to the cleaner's, hit the thrift store to see if I can find a nice suit for Buddy (he

outgrew his and should wear one to my friend M's wedding on Saturday), and pack for the weekend. I think I will add in a "Mary" task though, and stop at AC Moore and pick out some sock yarn to try out some of the crocheted sock patterns I found earlier this week. And while I know crocheting does *produce* something and could technically fall under the "Martha" hat,

for me it really does feel more like a "Mary" thing.... as picking out the yarn, choosing the
pattern to follow (and learning how crocheted socks are constructed), and planning when/where to wear the new socks all involve the more "dreamer" parts of "doing". Hmmm, maybe that's a way I can get to develop my "Martha" side more - by incorporating as much of my "Mary"-ness as I can into it!

Blessings to you,


Earlier today I saw an offensive ad on my blog. I entered the URL in my adsense filter, so hopefuly that will eliminate it. IF you see any ad that is advertising anything contrary to my Catholic Faith, please help me eliminate them from this site by emailing me the URL so I can add it to my filter list. Thank you so much.

Blessings to you,



Easter Triduum

What a busy time! On Holy Thursday King B sang at the Mass of the Lord's Supper at our parish. What a beautiful Mass! The music was wonderful. I think my favorite part of the entire weekend was when they processed the Blessed Sacrament to it's place of repose and turned out the lights. That moment was so very quiet and peaceful. Thankfully Busker slept through the whole Mass.

After Mass, we went to dinner (no one had eaten before hand and we were all very hungry), then headed out to LI. We spent Good Friday doing a lot of cleaning / clearing out at the house in order to get it "showing ready". My SIL had some fabric that she had bought a while back to make curtains for the family room. I was inspired by a post I'd read on another blog (and if I can remember which one it was, I'll post it), and suggested tacking up folded lengths of it as valances. It turned out well! As soon as she sends me pictures, I'll post those too.

A little before 3 we headed over to St. William's for the Communion Service. Good Friday service always gets to me, and I spend a good bit of it fighting back tears. After the final veneration of the cross, we headed over to the rectory to a) visit with Fr. F. (the priest who married us; and b) get a copy of some music King B needs for my friend's wedding next week. Fr. F seemed to really enjoy getting to hold Little Ben Busker, and we thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

We got home very late Friday night (it was actually early Saturday morning by the time we got settled), and slept in a little bit on Saturday before getting up to clean the house. Breakfast was choice of pancakes or eggs. Padawan chose eggs, the rest of us ate pancakes. King B headed out to choir rehearsal, then came home instead of teaching his guitar student. Rehearsal had gone late, so they will double up another day.

After running a couple of errands, we rested and got ready for Vigil Mass. One of the things I like best about King B being in the choir (aside from getting to hear him sing every week) is the fact that the choir needs to be at church an hour before Mass (although we rarely get there on time). This enables me to have some quiet, prayer time to prepare myself for Mass. And nurse Busker while the church is relatively empty, rather than full for Mass.

Vigil was amazing. They didn't have the full choir - instead they had a quartet consisting of the music director (alto), regular cantor (soprano), the cantor's husband ( a bass), and King B (tenor). King B sang the Exultet. He did it in the Gregorian chant style and it was beautiful. The quartet sounded so nice.

I was nervous attending the long Vigil with the kids, but they did well - even Buddy. I think having the candles in the very beginning was a huge help with Buddy - it gave him something to focus on and fiddle with. Busker actually slept the entire time! After Vigil, King B had to bring Padawan back to LI. He didn't get home until close to 2 am! And yes, I stayed up waiting for him. I can rarely fall soundly asleep until he gets home.

Easter Sunday, King B again sang at Mass at our parish, while the children and I stayed home and made a yummy brunch. We had "scramblies" (KTbug named them that years ago - basically it is just seasoned scrambled eggs with ham), English Muffin bread (new recipe since I lost the old one.... need to find the old one as this one was not quite as "Nook and Cranny" filled) and juice. We then finished doing the cleaning up chores and got ready for my BIL and SIL to come for dinner.

We had a lovely visit with BIL and SIL, and SIL filled the manicotti as I made them. We had manicotti, pork loin roast, cranberry and green bean casserole. It was yummy! Pigeon made brownies for dessert. OH! I just realized we never sang Happy Birthday to BIL! His birthday was actually on Good Friday, so we were going to celebrate it on Sunday since Good Friday is a day of fasting. I'm sorry BIL!!

After dinner, we watched a video of a play that King B was in, that BIL directed. I'd never gotten to see King B in any kind of a play production - only singing. He's a good actor as well as a phenomenal singer. I enjoyed it very much!

While we were watching, I was working on crocheting a new diaper cover for Busker. I was going to make the entire cover using the Thistle Stich pattern, but decided it would end up being too bulky, so left it as just having two pattern repeats at the waist. SIL really liked the stitch pattern, and felt it would make a nice cardigan. I'm going to try my hand at designing a cardigan pattern utilizing this stitch. Here is a picture of the back waist of the cover to give you an idea.

Yesterday was a day of recuperating from all the busy-ness from the weekend. Going to try to get back on track with household stuff today. Mostly today I am planning on the planning of things. With going back to work in a few weeks, I need to have a mental map of how that will work. Off to visit with FLYlady, to get some inspiration!

Blessings to you,

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome to Grasp the Spindle


On September 30, 2007 the world lost an amazing woman. My grandmother was a prime example in my life of the "Proverbs 31" woman, and I was chosen to read that passage at her funeral Mass. This passage has been in my life for a long time. Upon first encountering it, early in my adult years, it was very intimidating. I wanted very much to emulate this praise-worthy woman, and yet most days I was lucky to get dinner on the table while nursing and changing the current baby. Of course, I had limited help and 3 children under 5 at that point, and always felt consumed by the baby's needs. Even now, with much more willing help (albeit limited by available time), I find I struggle with accomplishing all I feel I need to in order to be that Proverbs 31 woman.

After a few years of feeling intimidated by this passage, a particular phrase struck me: She orders her handmaidens. Ah, a revelation... no wonder I couldn't do it all by myself! The P31 woman didn't either - she had household help! And this became almost an excuse for letting things go when I was tired after working out of the home all day after my divorce. Rather than properly training my own force of handmaidens (and handgentleman), I "rested" from my daily labors, leaving the bulk of the housework to the weekends, and thus never feeling caught up.

Now, I find the passage a challenge. And I have learned that this intense period of baby needs won't last forever, so it's ok to have things not quite as I'd like them (although I'd like them a little better than they currently are today, however, the Princesses and Prince - *my* handmaidens and handgentleman - have been quite unwilling to do their chores of late, and I feel that if I cave and do them for them, I will only be reinforcing that), and in this apartment I know that unless I go out to the laundromat laundry will never be caught up (6 people full-time + itty bitty apartment-sized washer/dryer + dryer that doesn't dry in less than 2 or 3 cycles = Mt. Laundry the Unending), I am challenged to do better with creating HOME for my family.

While looking for a blog title that would encompass all I want to be able to do with this blog (there are myriad topics I want to be able to cover - crafting {especially crochet and fiber art}, homemaking/organizing, green/sustainable/frugal living, my faith/purposeful living), I returned to that passage. Since my favorite craft is crochet, and I'd love to learn how to handspin my own yarn, the phrase "grasp the spindle" jumped out at me from it. That phrase conjures for me the image of taking something unfinished and making something beautiful and useful from it.

I can't promise to post daily, or even weekly sometimes. I have 4 children living with me full time, one of them being only 7 weeks old. I will also be returning to my "day job" of teaching in an inner city school come May 1st. Since I want to strive to be a better homemaker, my blogging will have to take a back seat to other tasks.

I hope and pray that I am able to use this blog to help me keep focused on being that Proverbs 31 woman, just like my grandma was. I love and miss you Grandma!!

Blessings to you,