The Remains of Summertide – Daybook

For today… September 10, 2009

Outside my window… It’s warm, but noticeably milder out. Our ash tree has a touch of gold to the upper leaves. We’re just at the beginning of being able to note signs of autumn. There are hickory nuts covering the forest floor and berries are abundant on all the wild bramble bushes. We saw a wild turkey on one of our last nature walks and that was exciting. We are entering my absolute favorite time of year!

Right now, the big kids are just coming inside from a morning of play so the house is again full of noises. They report to me that our compost bin is hosting 13 volunteer pumpkins of varying sizes and our crows are becoming bolder and bolder as they inch nearer the house for morsels of bread.

I am thankful for… the reminder to live in the present moment…to love these children right now…to stop everything and be present to them, to my husband, my family. So many losses of late have served to remind me that we have been promised nothing, that the gift of today is not promised for tomorrow, and that Our Lord, always Loving and Merciful, may ask for his precious children back at any time. I’ve been at the Foot of this Cross before, and it is a mercy and gift of our rich faith to be back there with those that are holding these Crosses right now and make this Fiat with them and surround and hold them in prayer.

~ Fiat ~
Let it be to me according to your word.

From the kitchen… I pulled together a dinner at the last minute last night that I was proud of. It’s nothing that will be featured in a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, but it was a good meal that made me grateful for a stocked pantry of basics to pull from. I’m really looking forward to picking up the rest of our pantry stocks from our buying club soon. I should be fairly stocked with basics for the winter. What a delightful feeling! Let the autumnal menu making commence!!!!

I am wearing… a red dress with pretty, delicate cream vines on it. My hair is pulled back with a cream ribbon and I’m contemplating my tan Mary Janes, but haven’t committed yet! 🙂 I’m not sure which apron for the day either, but I do need one – no pockets on this happy dress!

I am reading… Customs and Traditions of the Catholic Family compiled by the Family Life Bureau and reprinted by Neumann Press. A good friend loaned it to me, and now I’m anxious to grab a copy for our family. The small book, originally published in the early 1950’s, gives a lovely glimpse of the family religious customs of various cultures here in the US. My heart was overjoyed to read the article by Father J. Albert Le Blanc entitled, Religious Customs Among the French of Louisiana. My family heritage is Cajun French – also known to many as Acadian French. Some of my most treasured memories are of my Granny in the kitchen, her phone chats with friends and family in French, the stories of her family and their rich history, the constant clicking of the segmented roads in Louisiana as we made our way from one set of grandparents to the other, the long 18 mile stretch of bridge (on I-10) across the Atchafalaya basin and the gorgeous swamps and bayous that seem to stretch out endlessly on either side. Reading the article by Father Le Blanc was a delight and a window into the rich and faithfully held religious customs of my family…and honestly makes me a bit homesick!

I am hearing… Sparkly, Peanut, and Doodlebug playing in the hall now. They have constructed an elaborate train system using my laundry baskets and their church belts. 🙂 The Doodlebug does not appreciate it when Conductor Sparkly informs her that all of her (many) dollies may not accompany her due to the increased weight! She is most seriously displeased and it appears from my vantage point that Sparkly has acquiesced and will now pull all said Dolly friends happily piled on top of Princess Doodlebug. Joy to my ears!

Looking to the rhythm of the liturgical year… September has some lovely Memorials and Feasts we’re looking forward to. I’m thinking we will do something for the Optional Memorial of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the 12th, the Exhaltation of the Holy Cross on the 14th, and the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows on the 15th. I love the ideas in Meredith’s book, Mondays With Mary for both of the Marian days so we’ll probably follow along with her ideas. There will be lots of blue – blue dresses and shirts, blue silks, blue tables, blue berry muffins – a special Feast Table set up, some art projects and of course a litany or two…I’m still thinking on my menu for those days. For the Exaltation of the Holy Cross we’ll be able to assist at Mass that day, and I’m thinking this would be a lovely day to gather all the standing Crucifixes in our home for display on the Feast Table. I’d like to make something with fresh basil, maybe a bruschetta chicken, because of the tradition that basil grew on the hill where St. Helena found the Holy Cross.

In our learning spaces… I finally found a way to get a few of the Montessori activities for the children on upper shelves so there was access to them by those with more vertical reach (read: Octo-baby can’t get to them). And, I’m working away on the Ivy Basket plans since Sweet Pea is nearly there!

Sweet Pea is really enjoying her Latin lessons on DVD – Latin Alive by Classical Academic Press. I find them engaging and I’m enjoying sitting in on them! She’s also enjoying Botany in a Day – this morning she identified monocots and dicots in our yard and used the leaf press to press leaves from each of these classes of plants. The Botany Coloring Book is a really nice addition to these lessons as well!

Sparkly’s highlight are the unique K’Nex Simple Machines kits (Levers and Pulleys, Gears, Wheels, Axles, and Inclined Planes) that parallel the reading in David Macauley’s The Way Things Work. Read about gears…build a geared car window that goes up and down. Perfect for him!

Peanut’s favorite thing right now is his poem he’s been working on – F is the Fighting Firetruck – a bunch of books on firetrucks from the library, and the new Dinosaur show on PBS! He’s a simple little fella and these are treasured days with him!

And the Tater-tot…loves to be read to! and have her big brother pull her and all her dolly friends around in a big basket! She believes all four-legged animals are “kitty-cats” and takes seriously her mission to alert us to all things out of place with a loud “uh-oh” and finger pointed adorably towards the object of concern. 🙂

Around the house… I got some major cleaning up done in my closet, which is a catch-all for everything outgrown, no longer used, in use, stored, or waiting to move on to other storage. I needed to make better use of that space which had become a drop zone. Feels good to have that behind me! I’m looking forward to a weekend of vacuuming and space tidying. I need to order my pantry a bit in anticipation for pantry stocks being added next week.

I will claim a moment for myself… Rob and I have set a date for a movie night and I can’t wait! I need to give some thought to how I can further punctuate the evening – a glass of wine? something chocolate? Perhaps I’ll do something excessively romantic…like actually folding his clothes and putting it away rather than asking him to dig through the basket for clean socks! 🙂 Isn’t that generous of me?

A few plans for the rest of the week… well, I’m posting this on a Thursday rather than a Monday, so my plans have mostly been accomplished for the week. I do need to get some clothes into the attic from cleaning out my closet. I’m shifting books into new bookshelves, and accomplishing a house cleaning this weekend…I hope!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

My treasures

We spent the day at the Jack Daniels Distillery for Rob’s…ahem 48th…birthday. 🙂 Because…who doesn’t want to spend their birthday touring a whiskey distillery??? Princess Doodlebug was not impressed with the chemical transformations taking place in spite of my repeated attempts to convince her of its spectacular nature. The Peanut was less than impressed as well…except for the cool spider web we spotted. But, I think/hope Rob had a good time! Can I just say, some people take their whiskey way too seriously! Loosen up people! Enjoy your Jack Daniels and live and let live! 🙂

I hope all of you are enjoying these waning days of summer with your treasures!

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries. 🙂

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  1. Did you get to drink lemonade in the … oh, I can't remember exactly what it was… the place where they have all the barrels? Every time our relatives came to visit from OH, we ended up taking a tour of Jack Daniels. Then we went to Rock City. A few of my friends in high school had fathers who worked at the distillery… one was a barrel maker. And we had one of those glass bottles of spring water in our refrigerator for *years* as the water jug. I wonder if they make those anymore?

    Ah, memories. And, of course, that smell stays with you a long, long time… 😉

  2. Happy Birthday to your dear husband! What a fun outing! You guys will have to make a trip to Texas and then we can take you to some of the local wineries, if you like that kind of thing! Enjoy the beginning of Fall!

  3. Sounds like a birthday celebration my dh would LOVE!!! Your week sounds lovely so far and I can hardly wait to hear about your Marian celebrations and your feast tables 🙂 Thank you for your very kind words!

  4. Happy Birthday to dh!!
    I always love your “ramblings”…it keeps me motivated to do the same here…keep looking at my daily blessings as blessings and not drudgery. Thank you for the beauty today! {{{{HUGS}}}}
    time to get my 11mo climber off the computer table…he is trying to type too…;o)

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