Friday, June 8, 2012

7 Quick Takes for the week

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

So, with not much to write about on any one topic, I have opted to join the fun
for the 7 Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary.  So, this is what I've been up to this week:

-7 - 
This week was finals week for me - not as a teacher, but as a student - and I am happy to say things went well.  My writing portfolio included a couple of pieces that I posted here (and here, and here) earlier in the quarter.  I told my English Professor in my Self Reflection that I like working with Creative Non-Fiction because I find the truths that we discover in the everyday, magical.
Anthropology, which I also reflected on here, went well, too.  I am officially done with my Science requirements.  Summer Quarter is the end of the road for me - After I finish my Math requirement, I'll graduate in August!
- 6 - 
This past two weeks we have spent gardening our little hearts out.  Our backyard has been transformed into a green oasis in the middle of a busy city neighborhood.  We put up a pavilion and populated it with comfy chairs a table and various partial sun/shade plants, so it's kind of like a little outdoor living room.  We used some lanterns that we got for Christmas decorations to light the table area and we have been eating our evening meals al fresca.

Watching the garden come together has been very rewarding, too.  We added an herb garden this year which includes cilantro, parsley, oregano, basil and chamomile.  We have two enormous sunflower plants that volunteered from last year's crop and because we didn't have the heart to pull them up, we just let them go.  They are a little off center of the entire garden and the whole garden looks a little wild right now, but it's pleasant to look at and things are starting to bloom.  I think it'll make a nice little show for the whole summer.

- 5 - 
Since this week was finals week and I finished up my classes yesterday, I found time to read for fun.  Break time is always when I devour books I've been stacking up by my bedside or on my Kindle.  Last night I read In Name Only by Ellen Gable.  It was a charming story, and as Sarah Reinhard warned me, I couldn't put it down.  It's not a great work of literature on the order of Lewis or Tolkien, but it is a lovely story about surviving the storms that besiege married life and a very nice, light-weight alternative to the Harlequin romance novels I used to read when I was younger. But, more on that later...

- 4- 

Who knew that meatballs were so flexible?  Seriously, I have had meatballs three times this week.  I nabbed a big bag of them from my Mom's house because she was afraid that they were going to get freezer burned at her house with just the two of them working on them.  That was not a problem here!
We had Spaghetti and Meatballs, Meatball Sandwiches, and, my personal favorite, Meatballs in Turkey Gravy with Pierogies.  Yum!
I debated whether to do Sweet 'n' Sour Meatballs tonight, but, since it's Friday, we're doing baked Tilapia with Herbs de Provence, and Rice Pilaf.

- 3 -  

This weekend is the Feast of Corpus Christi.  St. Stephen the Martyr,the parish where I work, is hosting the Eucharistic Procession for the West Deanery of our Diocese.  For this celebration we have invited all the choir members and church musicians to come participate in a service of sung vespers.  It's always fun to get to work with people you don't normally work with and to share the experience of praying in song.  I have to say, this week has been amazing with the Spanish and English choirs combining forces and music directors from our part of the diocese lending their talents.  One of my greatest joys in the world is directing a choir in a beautiful piece of music.  To be a part of the chords, to unite my whole being (body, mind and spirit - music actively engages all three) with the others who are singing, is truly a prayerful experience.  I am so honored to be able to do what I do.  I am so humbled by God's gift of my voice when I get to work with such amazing people.
If you are in the Columbus, OH area, please consider coming and spending an hour in adoration or to pray Vespers with us.  The celebration is from 2 pm until about 5:30 pm on Sunday, June 10th.  Vespers begins at 4:45 pm.

- 2 - 

I am happy to report that my Mom, for whom I have been so worried, is recovering from her surgery very well.  She has the tendency to overdo it, of course.  As a mother of five, I don't think she's much used to sitting still and letting other people take care of her.  This is a new role for Mom.
Sometimes it's hard, when you have dedicated your life to serving others, to allow others to serve you.  But we have to allow people the grace of being a servant, too.  It's been wonderful to get to spend so much time with Mom over these past few weeks.  It's a luxury that I haven't been able to afford as my children have been growing and I have transitioned in and out of work and homeschooling.  I am so blessed to have been able to take the time to be with Mom and to help her after all she has done for me.  I think that people who opt to care for their parents in long-term care situations are very blessed to have that time and the opportunity to give back to their parents, even if the relationship heretofore has been rocky.

- 1 - 

Going back to the Feast of Corpus Christi, I would like to encourage everyone, whether you have adoration or a procession on Sunday or not, to spend at least some time in front of the Tabernacle in prayer this weekend.  As Catholics, we are so blessed to have Jesus physically present in all our Tabernacles around the world.  The Feast of Corpus Christi is the perfect opportunity for us to thank God for the Precious Gift of His Son, who remains with us, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Blessed Sacrament.
I find that sometimes, I take that readiness for granted, thinking, "Well, He's always there, so I can go any time," but this week I realized that while I have been running around caring for my Mom and preparing for Finals and this weekend's festivities, I had forgotten the most essential component to my life: prayer.  Not only had I fallen off of doing Morning Prayer, but also daily Mass attendance and I didn't even make my usual holy hour or confession this week.  I can't make Jesus, last place in my life or everything falls apart.  He can't even be second or third in my life.  
Yesterday morning, as I went to my parents' parish to drop off music to their director for this weekend, I managed to blunder into Adoration.  I didn't realize it was still going on from it's overnight hours.  I forgot all about the papers I was carrying, suddenly remembering my forgotten promises to engage in at least 15 minutes of contemplative prayer everyday.  I knelt down in the church and spent 45 minutes there saying Morning Prayer and meditating on all of the blessings that God has been showering on me in these past few weeks, despite my ignoring Him.


  1. I have to try meatballs this week! You also got me wanting to use the word "heretofore" in casual conversation :) Love your posts. Congrats on finishing finals.

  2. Your post is a good reminder. We'll be traveling tomorroif a pregnancy would hinder spouses' ability to care for their spouse and other responsibilities I may walk over to church while the kiddos sleep this afternoon.