Outside My Window… A heavy frost again…the days are much shorter now and the sunrises so beautiful. All the leaves are on the ground now – none remain on the trees and our faithful bluejay family is back up front eating peanuts from the birdfeeder again. I love the winter birds. I hope we can lure the downy woodpecker up from the treeline with some homemade suet this winter.
I am thankful for… Sunny rooms. This past couple of weeks the children and I have been doing some reading in preparation for Thanksgiving. We’ve read some lovely books – Sarah Morton’s Day, Samuel Eaton’s Day – among them. Those first pilgrims had cold, dank, dark homes. Many things struck me about their first struggles and the spirit of perseverance they had, and I’ve often wondered if I’d be able to maintain cheerfulness in a bleak situation. I don’t know. Dark, cold rooms in which to keep up the daily duty might be a challenge. I’m spoiled in my sunny learning room. Utterly spoiled. Nothing to do but be thankful for the sunniness of it. 🙂
From the kitchen… My cooking plans got sidetracked yesterday with an impromptu invitation to dinner at my in-laws. So…today, I’m cooking what I was supposed to cook yesterday (and freezing a portion of it for a rainy day) – lasagna! Tomorrow, I’m roasting a chicken after we get home from Rob’s folks. I’ve never made anything resembling a Thanksgiving meal – we’ve always been priveleged to be enjoying this time with other family. This year, it’s us – I’m excited to see what comes out of the kitchen.
I am wearing… A khaki skirt, white t-shirt, and a slate blue sweater. Can I confess to you that I cut my hair yesterday? It’s not the first time I’ve cut my own hair, but I’m always nervous when I start cutting around back. I don’t have super straight hair – it’s sort of wavy (in a frizzy, unattractive sort of way) so it’s quite forgiving if I don’t accomplish a really straight line. I think it looks ok. I’m a little obsessive about symmetry, so this is an exercise in humility for me.
I am creating… Advent plans…well, actually I’m just finishing them up. I had my plans kind of everywhere – Jesse Tree plans here, recipes over there, book lists in yet another place. I didn’t plan anything new this year, the liturgical rhythm sets a lovely pace without my hyperventilating about adding 8 new crafts in a 4 week space. I used iCal to gather all my plans up in one location and I like it very much. It’s all pulled together and easy to follow one day at a time.
I am reading… Oh, I’m so excited to tell you what I’m reading right now — “Around the Year with the Trapp Family“! I found a copy at AbeBooks for a steal and snatched it up as I’ve been hoping to add this book to my collection for a couple of years now. Fortunately, there is a digital version here at EWTN, but I’d much prefer to hold a book and feel the paper in my hands as I read it. This is a jewel of a book, and one I have so much to learn from.
I am hoping… to tidy my learning room today. I have piles of books laid out from doing my Advent planning. I have baskets of books to strew and some new clay purchased on sale at Michael’s yesterday that the children are longing to get into.
I am hearing… The boys discuss their plans for their clay creations next to me. They’re sitting under the sunny window and rolling clay around in their hands. See what I mean about sunny windows – I’m thankful again.
Looking to the rhythm of the liturgical year… I could say so much about Advent. The calendar is packed this month! It used to overwhelm me and then I realized why it did – because I was cramming too much in and was tempted to yield to all of the adorable crafts and activities the season has to offer. If we just faithfully follow the rhythm Holy Mother Church sets for us and observe Advent – not Christmas – if we spend our month in preparation there is much peace and anticipation. I’m looking to that rhythm and I’ll leave you with a quote from Maria von Trapp which resounds in my soul on this very subject…
“The events that come to mind when we say “Christmas,” “Easter,” “Pentecost,” are so tremendous that their commemoration cannot be celebrated in a single day each. Weeks are needed. First, weeks of preparation, of becoming attuned in body and soul, and then weeks of celebration. This goes back to an age when people still had time–time to live, time to enjoy. In our own day, we face the puzzling fact that the more time-saving gadgets we invent, the more new buttons to push in order to “save hours of work”–the less time we actually have. We have no more time to read books; we can only afford digests. We have no time to walk a quarter of a mile; we have to hop into a car. We have no time to make things by hand; we buy them ready made in the five-and-ten or in the supermarket. This atmosphere of “hurry up, let’s go” does not provide the necessary leisure in which to anticipate and celebrate a feast. But as soon as people stop celebrating they really do not live any more–they are being lived, as it were. The alarming question arises: what is being done with all the time that is constantly being saved?
Only the Church throws light onto the gloomy prospects of modern man–Holy Mother Church–for she belongs, herself, to a realm that has its past and present in Time, but its future in the World Without End.”
Around the house… Well, I’ve tidied almost everywhere – I need to clean bathrooms today…ugh. There is nothing more penitential to me than scrubbing a toilet…nothing! If you have boys in your house, you know exactly what I mean!
I will claim a moment for myself… in front of the fire reading…and sipping tea or maybe hot chocolate. True mother nurture.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Hmmm….well, there will be cooking tomorrow (I pray everything comes out ok), and then Friday, Father is coming over – that’ll be so much fun! Not sure about Saturday – it’s all ours. And Sunday is the first day of Advent – the first day of the new Church Year. We’ll be reading about St. Wenceslaus to follow in the good kings generous footsteps and starting our Advent journey.