Thursday, July 31, 2014

I have totally wondered that

about re-making beds and self-esteem! Glad to know that such nonsense has a basis (in the usual place -- ingrained psychobabble ...) I was re-reading a biography of Lillian Gilbreth, the mother of Cheaper By the Dozen fame, and reflecting a bit the perceptions of housework and homemaking, which is endlessly fascinating lately.

I love Leila for making Order and Wonder come alive for our family in small ways, for somehow illustrating that tending to hearth is for smart girls too, and (have you seen her new book? You should read it. You'll like it!) for probably my favorite one-liner ever about homemaking:
"Unless you have someone coming over in the next thirty minutes to do all of this for you, it's really your duty to figure it out. Now. Get to it."  Something like that. I've fallen back on that gentlefirm prodding more than a few times.

She first won my heart here...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

For Your Marriage, or anywhere else

My stomach lurched --- the opening scene grieved me in a special way. 
Did he really do that? Boys are just so troublesome.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Indira is a baby name I like ...

But I remember that with choosing Margaret (who followed Vivian), we went in a direction that nullified my hipster leaning when it comes to names. So I'll not have a Harper or Zita or Crowley, you know? Indira is officially with them. Maybe one day still, an Iris or Jameson? Me thinks the 88 year old Portuguese farmer I've hitched up with will never budge in that direction.

Anyway, this post of Ann Voskamp's! Posted to her site on our 15th wedding anniversary, no less --- and her strawberry imagery is so totally where I'm at with driving and doing and pursuing. Plucked. For the greater mission! I do love the mania of Alaskan summer, where road construction crews are just breaking for lunch at 9 p.m., among other signs and wonders in honor of our generous daylight.

I began the most heartbreaking book {The Diary of A Country Priest}, and am learning in my third summer how to weed our garden. "Constantly" is the only real answer.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Be Where Your Hands Are

A mantra for summer ~ free from expectations or anxiety.
Guide my hands to align my intellect with God's will. Focus. 
I will be where my hands are.

Today marks five years since my Grandma Ruby's death. Next month will mean ten years without my Grandma Katherine. Along with my cousins and our parents, I still miss the comfort and dignity of their love. Living a life they could approve of is one of my stronger desires.

Veronica Suzanne, our first November baby
We recently had a pet laid to rest, a milestone I can't quite face on the poetic plane yet --- but a quick depiction of my Grandmas' differences is their approach to precious kitties. Grandma Katherine would've termed them exactly that, with the regal Peaches and Plummy reigning in her Minnesota home for nearly twenty years. Just as tender is Grandma Ruby's response to seeing Stella, our cross-eyed , wiry little Red Point Siamese.  Although she was thoroughly Californian by the time I was born, Grandma Ruby's voice always hinted at wry Texan debutante:
"what -- is that?"
"That's Stella, Gramma."
"Weyhll, you need to get rid of it."

That was at least twelve years ago, and I still laugh when I tell the story. Last night my husband said to my giggling recount, "...She was right."

But Stella's at my side this very moment, so my hands will guide the rest of me today --- every gesture increasing the distance from life with Oscar.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

so you live in a mission diocese...

"...then, as now, degenerate sinners are offended by the inflexible intolerance of Catholic morality..."

Here's a wealth of teaching worth sharing: