Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"the reason for our joy"

"There is a very beautiful story in the Gospel (Mark 6: 45-52) where Jesus anticipates...closeness [to us after his Ascension] during his earthly life and so makes it easier for us to understand.

After the multiplication of the loaves, the Lord makes the disciples get into the boat and go before him to Bethsaida on the opposite shore, while he himself dismisses the people. He then goes 'up on the mountain' to pray. So the disciples are alone in the boat. There is a headwind, and the lake is turbulent. They are threatened by the power of the waves and the storm. The Lord seems to be far away in prayer on his mountain. But because he is with the Father, he sees them. And because he sees them, he comes to them across the water, he gets into the boat with them and makes it possible for them to continue to their destination.

This is an image for the time of the Church - intended also for us. The Lord is 'on the mountain' of the Father. Therefore he sees us. Therefore he can get into the boat of our life at any moment. Therefore we can always call on him; we can always be certain that he sees and hears us. In our own day, too, the boat of the Church travels against the headwind of history through the turbulent ocean of time. Often it looks as if it is bound to sink. But the Lord is there, and he comes at the right moment. 'I go away, and I will come to you' - that is the essence of Christian trust, the reason for our joy."

                               Jesus of Nazareth, vol. 2    -    Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

wild raspberries

We've always had black raspberries growing wild on this property, but way back, they were in a thicket in a more remote corner of the yard; now, they're growing in the middle of a forsythia hedge on the side of the house - rather messy, but very agreeable at this time of year!

I've already  made a batch of black raspberry frozen dessert.   It doesn't last long.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

more vicarious Italy

"On New Year's Eve, I am coming home from town with a carload of groceries. We're cooking the traditional lentils (tiny coin shapes are the symbol of prosperity) and zampone, sausage in the shape of a pig's foot. As I climb the road toward home, I pass the dome of Santa Maria Nuova below me. Fog completely surrounds the church and the dome floats above the clouds. Five intersecting rainbows dive and arch around the dome. I almost run off the road. At the curve, I stop and get out, wishing everyone were with me. This is staggering. If it were the Middle Ages, I'd claim a miracle. Another car stops and a man dressed in fancy hunting clothes jumps out. Probably he is one of the murderers of song birds but he, too, looks stunned. We both just stare. As the clouds shift, the rainbows disappear one by one but the dome still drifts, ready for any sign that might be about to happen. I wave to the hunter. 'Auguri', he calls."

                                    Under the Tuscan Sun,  Frances Mayes

Thursday, June 23, 2011

{happy} about a couple of things

Emily is finally feeling more like herself, so she came over today to work on the baby quilt. We layered it, then machine quilted it, sort of - with small zigzag areas  here and there.  We chose a golden yellow thread like egg yolk, and like the results, especially the way it looks on the white backing.

Dolly seemed {happy} about the whole thing, too.

I was also happy recently to find this oversized cup at the thrift store,

which I knew would look just right in the secretary, and give the whole arrangement a more summery look.

round button chicken

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a treat with my tea

Beth, a favorite library patron, who frequently appears to pick up her array of intriguing interlibrary loans, showed up the other day with something for me!

Golden sugar crystals on a stick, with threads of saffron in them. A whole box of these! And this isn't the first box she's given me.

One stick is more than enough for a cup, but before I can remove it to save for the next time, everything slips into the cup and quickly dissolves. I'm left with a sweet cup of tea, which - I have to say - goes down very easily, and I don't mind it at all!

Thank you, Beth!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dolly listens to Gregorian chant

and really likes it!

(sorry about the dark photos - it was night)

"Under the Tuscan Sun"

I'm reading this again - for the fourth time? - not to mention how many times I've listened to it - Barbara Caruso, ahhhhhh!  what a voice she has! - and I still love it.

"How Italian will we ever be? Not very, I'm afraid. Too unable to gesture as a natural accompaniment to talking. I saw a man step outside the confining telephone booth so he could wave his hands while talking. Many people pull over to the side of the road to talk on their car phones because they simply cannot keep a hand on the wheel, one on the telephone, and talk at the same time. We never will master the art of everyone talking at once. Often from the window, I see groups of three or four strolling down our road. All are talking simultaneously. Who's listening? Talking can be about talking."

                                                          -    Frances Mayes

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

red raspberry sherbet

I've wanted to post this for the past two nights, but just couldn't manage it.  And this morning I see Anna's apricot ice cream recipe - she's also experimenting with frozen desserts.

The other day I found in my freezer some wonderful raspberries from last summer - my friend Cyndi used to have bushes and I wasn't able to use them at the time. Then forgot about them!  (I say she used to have bushes, because somebody her brother hired to clear up her yard thought they were brambles or something and cut them down.)

Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of high fat ice cream - and the warmer and more humid it gets outside, the more I prefer frozen yogurt or sherbet.  So, I thawed these berries a bit with the intention of making sherbet.

I put them in the blender, and saw by the markings that I had about two cups. I added a cup and a half of sugar, because they were fairly tart, and then enough milk - we usually have lactaid 2% - to bring it up to three and a half cups or a little more. My ice cream maker is the quart size, so I don't want it to run over!

I whizzed up the stuff, and chilled it in the freezer for fifteen minutes. Then made it according to instructions.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

sneaking around

Know what this is?

My co-worker made it, and posted a tutorial for it here. But I think it's so clever, I sneaked a photo of it when she wasn't around.      Just to give everybody another chance to see it.

I suppose I ought to let her know I did this.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost, the birthday of the Church

Come Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul's most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;

Give them virtue's sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end. Amen.

              -      Veni Sancte Spiritus

(Descent of the Holy Ghost - Titian)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a high calling

"We are called to be contemplatives in the heart of the world by seeking the face of God in everything, everyone, everywhere, all the time, and His hand in every happening."

                                        -  Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Thursday, June 9, 2011

my little pretties

This week I'm focusing on {pretty}

{Pretty} cherry leaves in the front yard

That day, I'd brought Dolly out with me. She jumped onto the car to get a better view of her domain, (remember, it's all about perspective!), and I got some nice shots of her {pretty} face.

her yellow eye

and her blue eye

The other day Henry was out back visiting St. Francis and I got this fuzzy picture of them, but it appeals to me

{pretty} heavenly looking, don't you think?

Finally  -  we have some wild roses blooming everywhere these days - invasive, really, but smells delicious and very {pretty}, too.

Thanks to Leila and Rosie

round button chicken

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Our Mountain Laurel is blooming, and that's very {pretty}

As for this week's {happy}, it makes me happy to have one good poly/cotton sheet to use for a tablecloth -something I can wash and dry quickly, if there's no time to iron.

Another photo of the table, which is the {real} -

I need to replace the elastic in these chair covers, or make new ones - they're pitiful.

The {funny} thing is the drinking glass my brother most often uses

He's 53. If you're not too young yourself, you may remember these glasses, which came with grape jelly in them.

round button chicken

40 days later

"...he showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, during forty days appearing to them and speaking of the kingdom of God."

(Ascension of Christ,  Hans Suess von Kulmbach)

"So then the Lord, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God."

                                 Luke 1:3 ;  Mark 16:19

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

do cats have any family feeling?

Dolly's mother, by name of Candace, lives across the street and a few houses down. When she wanders toward our way, Dolly always watches her with interest, and I've often wondered if she knows it's her mother.

Here is Candace -

and here is Dolly watching -

Any ideas?