Sunday, February 28, 2016

Psalm 42

We sang this today at Mass:

As the deer longs for flowing streams,
so longs my soul for You, O God.
My soul does thirst for the living God;
when shall I come to see Your face?

My tears have fed me day and night
while some have said, "Where is your God?"
But I recall, as my soul pours dry,
the days of praise within Your house.

Why do I mourn and toil within
when it is mine to hope in God?
I shall again sing praise to Him;
He is my help - He is my God.

and this is the best version I found, if you want to hear the melody.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

our tenant

I think I've mentioned before that we have a cat shelter on the side of the house. My brother built it years ago for stray cats. There is dry cat food, a heated bed and heated water dish.

A couple of months ago he noticed a tortoiseshell cat using the place. It seemed to move a little slowly and chew slowly. He wondered about it, if it was ailing. So I called Diane, who will feed any cat and names the regulars.

on our front step the other day

It turns our her name is Sweetie, and she's one of Diane's older cats. But Sweetie values peace and quiet, and doesn't get too much of that at Diane's. (Twelve years ago when we took Dolly in, there were fifteen cats at her place, coming and going.)

So, it's not a stray cat motel anymore, but Sweetie's vacation place.

Monday, February 22, 2016

fermenting green beans

The bag of beans was so big, I just stuffed a few into a jar with some salted water.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

the Lord is my light, the Lord is my help, the Lord is my salvation

We sang this today at Mass -

The Lord is my light, my help, my salvation.
Why should I fear?
With God, I fear no one.
God protects me all my life.
With the Lord what should I dread?

The Lord is my light
the Lord is my help
the Lord is my salvation.

There is one thing I ask of the Lord that I long for
all of my days with God to be dwelling,
gazing with awe at the beauty of God,
and in wonder look on God's house.

The Lord is my light
the Lord is my help
the Lord is my salvation.

I know I will live to see the Lord's goodness,
now, in this life I'm sure I will see it.
Trust in the Lord, be strong and be brave;
wait in hope for God, our salvation.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

cats listening to Beethoven

 on the same chair!

Symphony No. 3 (the Eroica).

The Staatskapelle Berlin,

Daniel Barenboim conducting.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

spring around the corner

Even though it's only mid February and temperatures have only been in the thirties

it suddenly seems like spring is around the corner.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

the desert

"The desert is the place where we feel our smallness; where, stripped of all that normally buoys us up, we feel how lonely, helpless, fragile, and mortal we really are.

The desert, letting emptiness work in us, is what re-gestates the soul. Emptiness is a womb. It re-molds the soul and lets us be born again, adults still, but now aware. Aware as we once were as small children, that there can be no life and meaning outside of acknowledging our littleness and reaching out, as do infants, to a great providence and a great love outside of us."

                                                          -  Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Saturday, February 13, 2016

quiet days

In summer I put kitchen scraps in the composter, but in winter I was lamenting that they are wasted, until I realized I could make vegetable stock with them, and I believe I got that idea on Leila's blog.

The ziploc bag gets filled up quickly; today it came out of the freezer and I made stock. 

To say it smells good is only part of the truth - it's real aromatherapy, I believe. 

I've been working on turning a small but well made (Talbot's! from ebay!) overall-style jumper into an apron.

I'll be glad to have one that's a solid color, as some of my clothing is print.

Henry patiently waited for me in one of the bedrooms while I vacuumed in the hallway.

He's smarter than we give him credit for.

I think I've mentioned before that sometimes, on a picturesque route, I'll just snap photos in the passenger side in the car and see what I get. Here's a small, cute house in the center of town.

Joining Suki and Leila today.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

being emptied

"'Every tear brings the messiah closer!' This was a refrain in Jewish apocalyptic literature and expressed the belief that a certain quota of tears had first to be shed before any true joy could inhabit us. They understood this mystically, not literally. In order to be filled by God one must first be emptied."

                                                           -  Fr. Ron Rolheiser

"If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."

                                                            -   Luke: 9:23b

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"In the story of Cinderella, there is a theology of Lent."

"The name, Cinderella, itself already says most of it. Literally it means 'the young girl who sits in the cinders'. Moreover, as the tale makes plain, before the glass slipper is placed on her foot, before the beautiful gown, ball, dance, and marriage, there must first be a period of being humbled.

The Church taps into this deep well of wisdom when it puts ashes on our foreheads at the beginning of Lent. Lent is a season for each of us to sit in the ashes, waiting while some silent growth takes place within us, and simply being still so that the ashes can do their work in us."

                                                    -  Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"music and cats"

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."

                                                           -   Albert Schweitzer

I could think of a few more, but he was on the right track.

Monday, February 8, 2016

"not knowing"

"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how..."

                                                             -  Agnes de Mille,  from Simple Abundance

Sunday, February 7, 2016

"marriage is not a penance"

Today during Mass, all the married couples were invited to go into the center aisle and renew their vows of commitment to each other. It was brief but very nice.

Some children carried heart-shaped signs with words and phrases important to remember in maintaining good relationships.  Nancy, who's very artistic, was in charge of this part of it.

a wedding "cake"

There was a "bride", dressed in a real, miniature wedding gown, complete with veil. And she had a  "groom", of course.

You may wonder why this wasn't celebrated next Sunday,  St. Valentine's Day.  Well, Father said that we needed to do it before Lent begins (this Wednesday), because, he said, "marriage is not a penance".  That drew a laugh.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

the past few days

I'm joining Rosie and Leila today -

The snowstorm passed through yesterday and when the sun emerged -

beautiful. For a while, the sun shone but the sky was darkish blue - so pretty.

So, I ended up having the whole day off - it wasn't worth opening the library at two when we close early on Fridays anyway. But before I knew that, and when we were just planning to open late, that cozy feeling which snowfalls always bring came over me and I heated up enough almond milk for all my co-workers, added cocoa, brown sugar and some spices.  Put it in two canning jars and wrapped them up so they wouldn't knock against each other.

And then I got the call we were closing.  I'll have to drink it all - my brother can't eat almond. It was a good thought, anyway.

After telling someone yesterday that I don't bother with plants because the cats love sitting on our only sunny windowsill, I came home from the supermarket today with a basil plant.  I just was unable to resist it - organic, and on sale!

I hope I can keep it going till April when I set up the greenhouse.

I just finished the new Jane Austen mystery by Stephanie Barron; I love this series - they're very cleverly done. And that's what I've been up to these last few days.

Friday, February 5, 2016

suddenly white

Yesterday morning the weather man said the storm which was going to miss us, all of a sudden wasn't going to; it was wanting to swerve back our way.  And every ten minutes when he did the next forecast, he marveled at how the computer models were changing. By the minute.

Meanwhile, the library is going to open later, and here I am with beauty out the window and a little extra time at home.

Monday, February 1, 2016

the weather we're having

This was yesterday - I got so warm in the kitchen I had to dig out my sandals. I had windows open!

today was warmer!