St Andrew’s Novena starts Today

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

Starting today, the feast of St Andrew. We begin this novena. It is to be said fifteen times a day every day from November 30th to December 25th. Last year I managed it once a day. This year, I’m doing the total fifteen times. I have four very important (to me ) intentions. If you have been blessed by this novena, please share your story.


A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

1) I am thankful for friends who offer prayers willingly without tons of explanation.

2) For the kindness of a stranger who approached me to ask about my children outside a Mexican restaurant. Her hug and kind words are with me still today.

3) For hot chocolate on cold mornings

4) For neti-pots

5) For sweet little boys who tell me “Mama, I love you so, so much.”

6) For darling friends who see how much my daughter loves a book and surprise her with it. As my friend said, “Any child who loves a book that much, deserves to have in their personal library.”

Let’s get an attitude of gratitude with Judy!

One of my absolute favorites of all time

Birches by Robert Frost

When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.
But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust–
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
(Now am I free to be poetical?)
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows–
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father’s trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It’s when I’m weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig’s having lashed across it open.
I’d like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:
I don’t know where it’s likely to go better.
I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.

Ten on Tuesday

These questions were written by Chelsea.

1. Do you wear glasses, contacts, or are you one of those perfect eyed people?
Contacts except when I don’t and wear glasses.

2. What is the next item you are going to purchase?
No idea…probably groceries of some sort.

3. Have you ever watched Judge Judy or any other real court show?
It used to be on in the break room at work while I would eat my lunch.

4. How do you feel about fake nails?
I don’t.

5. What is your favorite sport to watch?

6. If you could create your own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor, what would it be and what would it be named?
totally drawing a blank…maybe something with bubble gum and call it Hubba Bubba Bubble? (totally unoriginal, but it’s early)

7. Do you have any scars?
I have a huge one across my lower abdomen from my c-sections. One on each knee from falling on them as kids. And I still have a couple of errant chicken pox scars on my stomach.

8. Does your pet’s name fit them? Is there a more appropriate name?
Gilligan’s name gets yelled. A lot. So yeah, it fits him. Charlie’s just does. I don’t know why.

9. What is your favorite television show theme song?
I’m going to totally cheat on this one. The original CSI’s “Who Are You” by the Who. “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan for Parenthood.

10. What was your favorite activity on the playground?
Okay, I agree with Chelsea and report I have never seen one on any of the playgrounds I take my kids to: That giant spinning thing. You know what I mean? The one you can only play on when the grown ups are around because they are the only ones strong and fast enough to spin you and all of your friends.

More poetry…I need to live with poetry for a moment

I was like a lot of teenage girls. I wanted to write poetry. I later realized I was okay, but I wasn’t a poet. I had stories to weave and tell, not poems which are altogether different. But I still love poetry. I will never give a book of poetry away. It’s my biggest superstition that it’s bad luck. Right now I’m in a bit of a rut for various reasons. Poetry, for whatever reason, is making me feel better as are Advent preparations. So, for a bit, at least, I turn to poetry to inspire…

The Idea of Order at Key West

Wallace Stevens

She sang beyond the genius of the sea.
The water never formed to mind or voice,
Like a body wholly body, fluttering
Its empty sleeves; and yet its mimic motion
Made constant cry, caused constantly a cry,
That was not ours although we understood,
Inhuman, of the veritable ocean.

The sea was not a mask. No more was she.
The song and water were not medleyed sound
Even if what she sang was what she heard,
Since what she sang was uttered word by word.
It may be that in all her phrases stirred
The grinding water and the gasping wind;
But it was she and not the sea we heard.

For she was the maker of the song she sang.
The ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea
Was merely a place by which she walked to sing.
Whose spirit is this? we said, because we knew
It was the spirit that we sought and knew
That we should ask this often as she sang.
If it was only the dark voice of the sea
That rose, or even colored by many waves;
If it was only the outer voice of sky
And cloud, of the sunken coral water-walled,
However clear, it would have been deep air,
The heaving speech of air, a summer sound
Repeated in a summer without end
And sound alone. But it was more than that,
More even than her voice, and ours, among
The meaningless plungings of water and the wind,
Theatrical distances, bronze shadows heaped
On high horizons, mountainous atmospheres
Of sky and sea.

                   It was her voice that made
The sky acutest at its vanishing.
She measured to the hour its solitude.
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.

Ramon Fernandez, tell me, if you know,
Why, when the singing ended and we turned
Toward the town, tell why the glassy lights,
The lights in the fishing boats at anchor there,
As the night descended, tilting in the air,
Mastered the night and portioned out the sea,
Fixing emblazoned zones and fiery poles,
Arranging, deepening, enchanting night.

Oh! Blessed rage for order, pale Ramon,
The maker’s rage to order words of the sea,
Words of the fragrant portals, dimly-starred,
And of ourselves and of our origins,
In ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds.

 Continual Conversation With A Silent Man

Wallace Stevens


The old brown hen and the old blue sky,
Between the two we live and die--
The broken cartwheel on the hill.

As if, in the presence of the sea,
We dried our nets and mended sail
And talked of never-ending things,

Of the never-ending storm of will,
One will and many wills, and the wind,
Of many meanings in the leaves,

Brought down to one below the eaves,
Link, of that tempest, to the farm,
The chain of the turquoise hen and sky

And the wheel that broke as the cart went by.
It is not a voice that is under the eaves.
It is not speech, the sound we hear

In this conversation, but the sound
Of things and their motion: the other man,
A turquoise monster moving round





A little Poetry



625. Ode on a Grecian Urn
  John Keats
THOU still unravish’d bride of quietness,
  Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
  A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape          
  Of deities or mortals, or of both,
    In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
  What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
    What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?   
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
  Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
  Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave   
  Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
    Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
    She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
  For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!   
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
  Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearièd,
  For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!   
  For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
    For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
  That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
    A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.   
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
  To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
  And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,   
  Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
    Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
  Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
    Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.   
O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
  Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
  Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!   
  When old age shall this generation waste,
    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
  Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
    Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’

Advent is TOMORROW????

Or tonight if you are attending the vigil…and it didn’t creep up on me this year…I just know a lot of people that is did creep up on.

And don’t forget it marks the changes in the mass if your diocese didn’t adopt them back in September.

And St Nicholas Day is December 6th…please sign up to follow Mary’s blog by email or google reader to make sure you are getting 25 days of Christmas cookies! And if you haven’t been following her blog previously, please read the chapters of her amazing story of her life with her beautiful sweet daughter Courtney. (Sending love and hugs Courtney!) You will cry, you will feel revitalized in your faith as well.

Have a great Advent!


Seven Quick Takes Friday

— 1 —

Can I just say…I am so glad I have never shopped Black Friday. Now, I do plan on going to one local store tomorrow because I believe in supporting our local economy. I’m considering where to go…we actually have a few REALLY good choices.

— 2 —

I wasn’t going to do Quick Takes today but I needed a NaBloPoMo post…so there you go.

— 3 —

No re-cap of Thanksgiving…sorry folks, just not going there.

— 4 —

Aaaaand…we have no leftovers 😦

— 5 —

Here is a much more inspiring read than my Quick Takes for today. I encourage everyone to read it. Roxane is the bomb… 🙂

— 6 —

And now I’m going to plug Surfers Healing.

You know you want one of those boards!!!

— 7 —

Have a great weekend…really.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

A Thankful Woman’s Book of Blessings

1) I am so thankful to our hostest Judy for starting this meme. An attitude of gratitude is so awesome and even the weeks I don’t participate, I make sure to reflect on what I am thankful for.  Judy, you are inspiring in so many ways and I am so thankful to have found you and this meme.

2) I am thankful for Munchesmom who introduced me to this meme and is so encouraging and motivating herself !

3) For playdates. Good for kids, great for Mommy too!

4) The wonderful teacher and teacher-assistants we have been blessed with at Shelby’s school. They are wonderful people so dedicated to her and the other kids. And they encourage me with their reports and love. On top of all that, they do the cutest crafts with the kids. The pinecone turkey that came home is adorable (even if it did scare my two-year-old for some reason!).

5) Shelby’s wonderful occupational therapist. She is a family friend in addition to a therapist and we treasure her presence in our lives. She has helped Shelby in numerous ways and our boys and Jeff and I too.

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow, what are you thankful for?