Saturday, October 25, 2014

The 60s

I am a true baby boomer, born in the 1950s.  My middle to late childhood was in the 1960s and that is the touchstone of my childhood memories.  Now that mid-century modern is a thing and the houses I lived in that were brand spanking new in my childhood are old, I have sometimes reflected on the 60s.  I won't do an exhaustive study here, just a few reflections from a mid-century modern gal.

We lived in a hip roofed ranch house through most of the 1960s.  We moved on up to the suburbs from a small rural village when I started kindergarten.  I was in fifth grade when Kennedy was assassinated.   People tend to romanticize the past ages.  I remember that we never had air conditioning in our homes and the whole neighborhood would be outside and the adults would talk and the kids would ride tricycles up and down the sidewalk.  Our television was black and white until after I went to college.  I remember my dad remarking that even ads and boring shows drew your attention when they were in color.

We got all the childhood diseases--chicken pox, measles, mumps.  I had a friend who got leukemia and died, because that was what you did back then, there was not cure and very little in the way of treatments.  I took a polio vaccine on a sugar cube.  That was a good thing, because I had an uncle who had polio.  The doctor sometimes made house calls and when there was an emergency we sometimes drove to his office and not to the hospital.

Almost every family had at least 3 or 4 kids.  An only child was a rare peculiarity and to be pitied.  We lived in small houses.  Usually 3 bedrooms--a boys room, a girls room and a parent's room and usually, if you played inside, it was in your room or in the basement.  In the summer you played outside.  Lunch was usually soup and sandwiches and dinner which we called supper was something cooked that contained a meat, a vegetable and a starch and dessert.  My mom was big on desserts and she served them for lunch and sometimes for breakfast (at least that is what I called it when I finished off with a donut after the cereal).

Anyway, that is enough for now.  If I go on longer, it will become a boring post for Saturday!

Friday, October 24, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Jennifer Fulwiler hosts this carnival of the blogs.  Welcome, if you are a visitor from there.

1. I get a lot of "hits" on my pictures of the Advent By Candlelight tables from that event at my church for the past few years.  I decided last year that it was my last time hostessing a table for a while. It seems to me that my church does things in a competitive fashion and I just couldn't keep up with the pressure.  It isn't that I worried for myself that I wasn't good enough, I just didn't want guests who looked around at the other tables and wished they were there.  This year the powers that be decided that the hostess should provide a light meal for the guests and just make desserts for their own tables.  That is what some of the women wanted who didn't want to share fancy desserts and wanted to provide a meal for their guests. 

As for me, I was just able to make some desserts the night before and get there to set up the table.  I planned out things for months ahead, but the physically carrying things in and then out of the church hall at the end of the night was exhausting.  I just can't do it. So this year I am resting.  I am going to Advent not as a hostess trying to provide a luscious feast for 8 to 10 women after a long day of work, but as a penitent who stays home if no one asks me to their table.


2. I got a new cell phone this past weekend.  It is so pretty and white.  I also changed carriers.  I will have to see how that goes.  They offer classes on smart phones.  It seems a little unnecessary.  But, I only just figured out how to shut off data on my old smart phone. As I look at the new one I haven't a clue how to turn the data off.

3. I had parent teacher conferences on Tuesday evening, Wednesday evening, and afternoon to evening on Thursday.  On Friday I will rest.  Nobody really needs to talk to me.  I saw a few of the book club kids and former book club kids.  Otherwise I cleaned out drawers and processed and repaired books and ordered $1000 worth of books.  I put fines in the system so that kids will get bills with their report cards.  I set up the book fair and a plan for the February book fair.  I stayed busy.  It is hard to stay at school until 8pm though.  It makes for a very long day.

4. I took Wednesday, the feast day of John Paul II, off of school during the day to go to a new doctor about the fibroid issue I have.  The hope was that I could have a procedure done that would only require one day of recovery.  It has a really long Latin name, this procedure.  I had been preparing myself to be told that I couldn't have that procedure and would be told that for me there was only a hysterectomy.  And I had been praying hard for the one day procedure with the quick recovery.  After several hours with the doctor and another test scheduled to make sure, it looks like I will have the one day procedure and it is scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving. Thank You, Lord, for this mercy.  The doctor was one of the nicest I have ever been to.  He talked and talked and was interested in my long and sad gynecological history.

5. One of the good things about the phone/camera thing I see is that parents always have a camera to document the moments of their kid's lives.  As long as that doesn't get taken too far, that is great.  I was happy to see the parents of one of my readers documenting his accomplishments on the reading board.  So nice that it isn't just sports that gets noticed.

6. There has been glorious fall weather this week.  The trees are all decked out and looking fabulous. (And this is a placeholder.)  Also, the great horned owl has been hooting on our roof in the middle of the night again this week.  Hubs calls him Hooty.




7. I have been so busy and tired lately that my deep prayer time has gotten short shrift.  As I sat the other day and wasn't feeling very prayerful it came to me again that it isn't about the feeling and I just had to sit in prayer, even if I wasn't feeling it.  Whenever I started to get distracted I started or continued the rosary and I was able to get back into prayer again.  Good advice, if I can just remember it. Prayer isn't about the feeling.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thank You, Father

Dear Father God,

Thank You for creating the universe and the stars and planets and setting them all in motion and time.  Such a gift You made for me.  Thank You for the time and place You set me into motion.  Thank You for my life and all of its gifts and challenges.  Thanks for all the days to come to try to know and understand You as my small mind allows.

Thank You for the mystery and the wonder of it all!

Your beloved daughter,

Mary

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Five Favorites, Again!

The "Call Her Happy" blog author sent me an email inviting me to join into the 5 favorites that she is hosting.  When the favorites started moving to different hosts, I lost the 5 favorite interest.  It is hard to come up with 5 favorites every week.  Lots of things I am indifferent about or so-so about, and not "5 favorite" about.  But, I have decided to give it a whirl again this week.

5 Favorite Fall Foods.

In my house the oven is banned during the hot season which lasts from April to October around here.  So once a good space of fall weather hits I bake up a storm.  Hence, many of the favorite fall foods are oven dishes.

1. Apple Crisp.
I peel and slice up the apples.  Taste for sweetness.  If they are sour, add sugar.  If they are pretty sweet, sprinkle a little sugar.  Dash with some cinnamon and a little bit of salt.  Then melt some butter into some oatmeal.  Add a little sugar and dash in some cinnamon and salt.  If I want to be fancy, splash in some vanilla.  Before I put the oatmeal on top, I run the microwave about 4 or 5 minutes with the apples.  Then top with the oatmeal mix and bake for about 20 minutes in the oven.  (Can you tell I make it up as I go along?)


2. Meat Loaf 
I usually make "mini meatloaves."  They are one serving sized. I use a Weight Watchers recipe and modify it. 

3. Lasagna
I make up my own recipe for this as well. But, it is pretty basic, no secret ingredients.


4. Soups (not baked, but cool weather food)
I do this. Or this.  Or this.

5. Italian Baked Chicken
Bake chicken in Italian salad dressing for about an hour.  Whatever chicken you like--whole, skinless breasts, wings,  your choice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Casting the First Stone

Let the one without sin cast the first stone.....

I was praying about criticism.  As a child, as a parent, as a spouse, as a teacher, I have criticized and I have been criticized.  Criticism is different than telling someone what you would like them to do.  It really is. Criticism is like throwing stones at people.  It hurts and it doesn't cause them to love or desire to please.  It may engender fear or hatred.  In fact it seems to me that criticism is like sending out little jabs of hate.

A better strategy, it seems to me is to either be a broken record in requesting the thing that you want done, or doing it yourself, or lowering your standard and letting it go.  If you are sending out a lot of criticism I would ask you to ask yourself--what do you want to accomplish by the criticism? Fear, hatred, submission to your will?  And why do you feel the need to criticize someone else?  Would you throw heavy stones at someone else?  Are you, yourself perfect, without sin?

And so, I am trying to lay down the sin of criticism and become the person I am called to be.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Conference

The St. Louis Catholic Renewal Conference for Fall 2014 was a little over a week ago.  So, if you didn't go, you missed it.  And I mean, you really missed it.  A chap for England gave The School for Charisms.  I was a little skeptical of how much could be covered in one weekend on the charisms.  I can say that I was truly surprised and amazed.
I received lessons on prophesy and praying for release of the Spirit and healing prayer.  I had, of course, previously learned about these and practiced them.  As should every good Christian.  But, my knowledge and practice was added to by this school.

The music was great.  The company was fantastic.  I continue to rejoice in Christ's love and mercy and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Prayers

Lord, I worship You.  I give You thanks and praise.  I ask for Your mercy and forgiveness.  Help me to find peace in Your presence with me, now and forever. Amen

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where Are They Going?

I wonder where the worms are going?  And why aren't the robins eating them?  Worm migration or worm suicide.  My husband throws them back in the grass.

Friday, October 17, 2014

7 Quick Takes

Jennifer Fulwiler hosts this meme/ carnival.  There are lots of others to read.  Go around and see.

1. Last weekend was the Fall Catholic Charismatic Renewal Conference.  It was Friday evening, all day and night Saturday and most of Sunday.  The presenter was good.  But, he was too long winded.  Every presentation started late and then went longer than it was supposed to.  Even when there is good stuff, the getting off-topic and not respecting time gets old.  I am trying to remember that there were really good things I got out of the conference and not how tired I was at the seemingly endless chatter that didn't matter. Hubs and I made the executive decision to leave an hour early rather than stay until the announced closing time and having that extended by an hour or so.  Perhaps when I get my thoughts together I will blog about the good stuff I got from the conference at some future point.  Now I just want to rest.

2. Monday when the rest of the world, or at least my Hubs and the postman, were off of work, I had school.  My district doesn't take the fall holidays, Columbus and Veterans Days.  After the conference all weekend, it was hard to go back to work.  I had to get groceries and call my mom.  When I talked to her Sunday she told me that she was set to go to the doctor to do the final carpal tunnel check up on Tuesday.  The problem is, the appointment is Thursday.  That would be a long wait in the office....

Mom is 93.  She still drives.  She lives in an apartment, shops and cooks for herself.  She walks across the street to church on most Sundays if the weather is fine.  She is remarkable.  But, she is getting more forgetful.  She is less able to think things through and figure them out.  She repeats herself.  A lot. The doctor says it is not Alzheimers yet.  Not yet.  But, my brother moved up to the Chicago area this week.  Now I have no family in the town 2 and a half hours north where my mom is.  It would make so much sense for her to move closer to my sister or me.  But, Mom doesn't want to, not yet, not ever if she has her say.  We shall see.  I get a little desperate sometimes and with my brother gone, I suspect that it is only getting worse.


Mom had figured out by the time I called that the appointment was on Thursday.  So, there is that.  I called Mom on Thursday night.  She made it to the doctor fine.  She said that she saw him for five minutes.  I am glad I didn't drive up there for that.

3. Tuesday I planned to order a pizza and wings for dinner.  Hubs requested that I do something easy--frozen pizza and homemade chicken noodle soup instead.  That sounded good to me, so I stopped by the store for some ingredients. Whilst eating the soup, Hubs asked--is that Campbells or Progresso?  (Next time it will be, next time it will.....)

4. We have had endless days of rain starting last weekend and through Wednesday.  I was getting seasonly depressed.  I am trying to remember that the sad feeling I have is more relative to the weather than to anything that is actually happening in my life.

Then on Thursday we had a glorious sunny day.  I mowed the front yard.  I hope it was the last time of the year for that.  A girl can dream, right?



5. I have a few kids I am not checking out books to anymore until they find and return the books they checked out in August.  Sometimes they tell me that they just keep forgetting.  Then, poor children, I tell them this--In your young teenage years your memory is the best it will ever be.  That is why we teach children so much at this age.  If you can't remember a simple thing like a library book for several months, then by the time you are my age, you will be drooling in your pudding.



6. I haven't been on the radio, or quoted in book, or been on television, but I got up every morning and went to work.  Just to clarify.

7.  My brother closed on his house in Quincy on Tuesday and purchased a townhouse in Cary on Thursday.  I will miss him.  I will be up to see him.  I wonder what he is doing for Thanksgiving....lol

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thank You, Lord

Dear Lord,

Thank You for sweet sleep and blessed rest.  Thanks for the rain.  Thank You for the worms that seem to be migrating away for the sodden earth.  Thanks for the green grass and the changing leaves.  Thanks for the changing season and the owl on the roof.  Thank You for the miracles every day.

Lord, thanks for the interior knowledge that You are with me, that You love me, that I am worthwhile.  Thanks that for some unknown reason I live in a place and time where I have plenty of food and medical care.  Thanks for these gifts and so many more.

Your beloved daughter,

Mary