Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"Mommy, Henry LOOKED AT ME FUNNY!!" Good times on sick days. Oh, and a new novena is brewing. :)

Happy Wednesday everyone! :) I'm back at work following a day at home nurturing my offspring. Henry has been coughing, and given that we have a trip coming up this weekend, I didn't want him to be miserable and sick for it. Plus, I knew that Henry and I would be sharing a room, and I really didn't want his cough keeping ME awake. :0

So, this entailed a decision Tuesday morning to keep him home from school to rest, and then me ferrying Anne to and from Pre-K so that Mike could get some grading and lesson planning done. Henry laid around a bit, but quickly perked up and I could tell that his cough was now productive and breaking up. This meant that he was on the mend *just* in time to start fighting with Anne when she got home from Pre-K. My afternoon was filled with:

"MOOOOOOOMMM! Anne just (fill in the blank with various and sundry nefarious and dramatic deeds)!"

"Mommy! Henry just (fill in the blank with any number of annoying behaviors that he knows Anne hates)!"

SO much whining and bickering. No fun for anybody. And then Anne pitched a fit about something that I cannot recall and stomped upstairs. Next thing I knew, it was quiet, which is a bad sign 99.9% of the time. I went upstairs to check on her, and found her face down on the hallway floor, sound asleep. Well. See, that's the .1% of the time when the quiet is GOOD. ;-) She slept for over an hour, and then was considerably less saucy when she woke up, thank the good Lord.

This morning, both were back to normal and at school, thankfully. Mommy needed a break from that "respite" at home. ;-)

In other news, I'm plotting a new novena. Details are now up on the official St. John Paul II novena tab! The novena starts next Tuesday, October 13th, and goes through October 21st. I have links to a few different versions of the prayers, and I created an audio file of the novena prayer that I chose plus his chaplet prayers. The chaplet (pictured above) is super short, only about three and a half minutes, so download and pray along in your car if you like! I have a short video explaining the chaplet a bit more and the prayer configuration down at the bottom of the Chaplets page. The link to the audio is there as well. I hope that you'll join in!

All right, I'd better go. *feels beleaguered* I have a lot going on at work lately, October is always a busy month here. I have a video for you tomorrow discussing my trip and my anxiety about traveling by air generally, so if that resonates with you, come on back in the morning! In the mean time, are you going to pray the St. John Paul II novena? Write in and let me know. :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Trips to the movies and preparation for another kind of trip, a busy autumn weekend...

Hi all! Here with you on a dreary Monday afternoon, amidst a valiant attempt to keep my spirits high. That's no easy feat on Mondays this semester, but we're persevering and doing just fine.


*halo* ;-)

And so today, I have my usual menagerie of teaching, reference shifts, dueling swim lessons for the kids, and finagling a dinner for them after we get home. Actually, that doesn't look that bad, what am I complaining about? It's not that bad, it's just a little tiring. And Monday is Mike's long teaching day too, so it's a family-wide tiring day. :)

But the weekend? The weekend was lovely. Gorgeous fall weather here. Getting cooler, leaves starting to change. The warm September that we had seems to be impacting the foliage in a negative manner, which is unfortunate, but I still have hope for a glorious second half of October. Saturday morning, Mike and Henry took on grocery store duty, and Anne and I headed to Carter's to get her some warm winter pj's since she had outgrown all of hers. Can I say that I just adore warm winter pajama shopping for young children? ADORABLE.

Those footed sleepers? *swoons* Gingerbread men and women abounded, along with cupcakes, princesses, foxes and owls. I got her a slew of jammies, along with some long sleeved tops, and because Mommy is a soft touch and Anne knows this, she also managed to procure a new stuffed animal. Here she is modeling one of the new sleepers, and showing off her new friend:

What do you think he is? An owl, right? A snowy owl? But with a pink beak and feet? That's what I think he is. Anne insists that he is "a chickie!" But I'm not convinced. ;-)

At any rate, after our little clothing adventure, I took both kids to the movie theater, my mom in tow, to see Hotel Transylvania 2. I have to say, I love this series. VERY cute and funny, for both kids and adults. I loved the first movie, and so was excited to take the kids to see the sequel. And the verdict is... I would recommend, once again. Just as cute and funny as the first one. All four of us had a great time.

My mom wanted to take the kids to see the 3D version as a treat, and although I usually don't see movies in 3D (it's a waste of money for me, since I have a vision impairment that impacts my ability to see 3D images on a screen. I know, lame, right?!) I agreed that it would be fun for the kids, so why not?

Well, Henry enjoyed the 3D. He popped his glasses on, and sat back happily munching popcorn for the entirety of the movie. My mom enjoyed the 3D. As for me, 3D means that the screen looks fuzzy, I pop the glasses on, and then it looks super clear, but nothing else. A little anti-climactic, to be sure. ;-) Anne?

"Mommy, I do not like these MOVIE THEATER SUNGLASSES!"

Of course, it makes the experience less than enjoyable when you muck around with the glasses while you're eating your buttery popcorn, and quickly, your glasses become coated with layers of gunk. Multiple times. And then Mommy has to put down her beloved popcorn and Diet Coke to *clean plastic glasses 3 times*. But overall, Anne did not want to be bothered with the perching of glasses on her tiny nose in order to watch the movie, so I don't think she'd vote for 3D a second time.

On Sunday, we went to our favorite 10 am Mass *blissful sigh* followed by the monthly parish coffee/donuts social. We kibitzed. Then we went home and drank beer and watched football. Or, at least that's what Mike and I did. ;-)

In other exciting news, in preparation for a trip I'm taking this weekend (more details about that below) I upgraded my e-reader to a Kindle Paperwhite, da da DA!

An autumn scene, because I would have it be autumn year round ;-)
Isn't he handsome with all of his customized collections?
I had a Kindle Basic (that I coined "Patrick") which I loved, but which I was starting to have a difficult time seeing the screen in certain light conditions. I gave Patrick to Henry (who happily received him) and ordered this new Kindle Paperwhite, whose name, if you were wondering, is Francis. :0 And oh my goodness - SO MUCH BETTER! It's not just in dimly lit situations that I can see the screen more clearly now. I love it.

The reason this was on my mind is because I'm traveling on Friday, and when I travel, I read a lot on my Kindle. Traveling? Doesn't Tiffany not like hurtling through the sky on an airplane? Yes, yes, you would be correct, my friend. :) I don't really like doing that. BUT there are people that I love who do not live near me, and so I sometimes suck it up and force myself onto one of those tubes so that I can visit them. This time, I'm going to Maine (with Henry in tow) to visit my younger sister, brother-in-law, and twin nephews. I'm very excited, but you know, FLYING. And I'm going to miss Mike and Anne, who will be home enjoying a Daddy/Daughter weekend. *sad* But four airline tickets just wasn't in our budget right now.

I'll talk more about my trip likely in my video post for this week. In the meantime, how was your weekend? Did you go to a movie? Do tell. Have a Kindle Paperwhite? How do you like? :) Write all about it in the comments!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Tea Time with Tiffany #18 - Confession!

Hi all! It's the feast of St. Therese, so I hope you're wearing pink or red today! :0 And leading up to her feast, I was in bad need of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I stopped earlier this week, providing me with perfect fodder for:

In this episode, I talk confession, and why I find it so difficult to go sometimes. I also relate my experience this week, and the story involves a guardian angel lady and a very sweet ending, so I hope that you'll tune in! Caveat: something WONKY was going on with my web cam in this video, and can I be honest? I don't have the energy to re-record. :0 I am imperfect, and so are my videos. That's right, I MEANT to do this to further bring home my point about the need for confession. ;-) But my blue cowl takes on a mystical quality throughout and changes hues from light to darker. It's really quite distracting, my apologies. We'll just call it the Holy Spirit coming down to enlighten us and call it a day, yes?

Items mentioned in this episode:
  • The Sacrament of Reconciliation! It's good for our souls. :)
  • Confession app for Android. I'm not necessarily recommending it, since I've had technical difficulties with it, but it's a good concept. Then again, this is me. I have technical difficulties with *everything*, so maybe the problem is me?! :0 But I do love the included Examination of Conscience, it's very helpful.
  • Happy feast of St. Therese
Do you have any confession experiences or tips to relate? Any upcoming novenas that you're looking to pray? Chime in!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Catholic Book Club: Chasing Francis

Happy Catholic Book Club Wednesday everyone! And this month we have a particularly fascinating title: Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron. I downloaded this book for my Kindle due to a sale advertisement, and when I did so, I was under the impression that it was a spiritual memoir dealing with Franciscan spirituality from a non-Catholic Christian perspective. Want to know something interesting? It is the latter, but it is *not* the former. Confused? :) This is actually a fiction title, but written in the style of a non-fiction, spiritual memoir. Ingenious!

Frankly, I wish I had thought of this idea, I like it *that* much! ;-) I was very much looking forward to reading how the author presented this format, and the fact that he is an Episcopalian priest made the book all the more interesting to me. I think that it is valuable to read from a number of different Christian perspectives, and given that he was writing about St. Francis and Franciscan spirituality, I was intrigued. All right, off we go!

Here is our description, courtesy of Amazon:
What happens when the pastor of a mega church loses his faith? Pastor Chase Falson has lost his faith in God, the Bible, evangelical Christianity, and his super-sized megachurch. When he falls apart, the church elders tell him to go away: as far away as possible. Join Chase on his life-changing journey to Italy where, with a curious group of Franciscan friars, he struggles to resolve his crisis of faith by retracing the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, a saint whose simple way of loving Jesus changed the history of the world. Read this riveting story and then begin your own life-changing journey through the pilgrim’s guide included in this powerful novel.
Great premise, yes? And overall, I really liked the book. This is the first book for this author, and indeed, it does show in some ways. There are instances of "telling" rather than "showing," especially at the end of the book where we read Chase's sermon to his congregation in word-for-word detail. My attention tends to wander in such monologue situations. As a reader, I do not enjoy them. That being said, I did not find this to be a pervasive problem, and I found myself quite engaged in the story throughout.

The beginning of the book had me hooked. Reading about Chase's crisis of faith, and how his congregation reacted to it held me at rapt attention. His trip to Italy to meet up with his Franciscan friends was absolutely delightful. There is a romantic subplot (who will he choose?!) that is very sweet. A little predictable, but hey. I read a LOT of romance novels, and every single one of them is predictable in that sense, so no judgement there. I also loved Chase's exploration of Franciscan spirituality, and journey of self discovery about his own faith. I laughed aloud at some of his scenes with the humorous Franciscan friars.

Towards the end of the book, I found that the plot lost a bit of steam. Certainly, I was interested to see what was going to happen with Chase's church and his faith. That's all good stuff. But something about the narrative lost its sense of wonder, if that makes any sense. There were more of the aforementioned monologue sequences as the book wore on, that was part of it. I enjoyed the beginning and middle of the book more than the end, I suppose is a way of summing it up. I also had one Catholic quibble with this book. :) And granted, it's written by a non-Catholic, so that is understood. But the Catholic characters in this book encourage Chase, a non-Catholic, to receive the Eucharist at Mass. I certainly don't want to make anyone feel excluded at the liturgy, I think it's wonderful that non-Catholics enjoy the Mass. Please, come! We want you. :) But there are theological differences there, and that is the reason for the doctrine surrounding the Eucharist. I'm looking at this from a Catholic perspective, and the author is approaching it from a non-Catholic viewpoint, and so it's certainly of value to try and see things from the others' perspective.

I liked this book, and I think it is well worth your time to read. Sweet anecdote: Someone who read and thoroughly enjoyed Chasing Francis found this blog when he was searching for more information on the author, since it has been on my book club reading list. He sent me a tweet saying that he is a former Catholic, and after reading this book, is, for the first time in years, thinking about the Catholic faith again. That really touched me. Books like this can move hearts and minds. That is indeed a beautiful thing.

What did you think, dear reader? I so enjoyed this foray into Franciscan spirituality that I chose another Franciscan title for October, given that it's the month of St. Francis's feast. :) Next month we will read When St. Francis Saved the Church, by Jon M. Sweeney. I have a print copy that I found when over at Ave Maria Press's web store picking up the new Sacred Reading book. So, a tip that you can get When St. Francis Saved the Church in hardcover at Ave Maria Press for a sale price of $10, if that appeals to you.

Leave me your thoughts in the comments!

Monday, September 28, 2015

A weekend of worries, dance workshops, gift knitting & parish planning, settle in with your coffee...

Happy Monday everyone! And yes, we're being generous on the "happy" part. I'm still very much mired in what I would call Challenging Time In Life In Which I Am Worried About Everything mode. Worrying comes naturally to me, if it were an Olympic sport I would have wrapped up the gold in that one DECADES ago. I think I actually burn calories due to the sheer force with which I worry. It's a gift. ;-)

But you know, press on we must, so that's what I'm doing. I had a very nice weekend, I can definitely look to that as a bright point. And my Mike? Oh my gosh, a GEM that one is. He has been nothing but comforting and supportive, which I of course greatly appreciate. But he also just has all of those Admirable Husbandly Qualities, you know? As he spearheaded an effort to clean out our attic (which was covered with a verifiable MESS of grit from the new roofing project that we had done last month), I was admiring his cute working form and thinking that of all of the decisions I have made in my life (some of which have been epically bad, for sure and for certain) I really made a charmed one when I chose him.

OK, mushiness aside, it was a good weekend. On Saturday, I spent some time with Anne, playing dress up:

Isn't she adorable? With the braids, she really does look just like Frozen's Anna. She also has the Anna winter dress option to wear for Halloween. Little fashion princess, she is.

And suddenly, Halloween doesn't seem that far away, right? Somehow it's already going to be October at the end of this week. Thus, I am hard at work on my Christmas gift list. I have begun the annual ritual of dishcloth knitting:

The yarn is sublime, right? I'm hoping to get 3 cloths out of the one hank I was lucky enough to snag. This yarn is in high demand! In the absence of more yarn (and I need more cloths) I'm thinking of securing patterns featuring other fruit-themed dishcloths. Apples? Orange slices? What's your favorite fruit? :)

On Sunday, the kids and I were at our usual 10 am Mass, and finally the Children's Liturgy of the Word program is back for the year.

*angels harmonize*

Anne gets so antsy in Mass without that. And the bulletin (read judiciously between the start of the Offertory & Anne's return to the pew) featured a boatload of interesting announcements. The Worship Committee is meeting next week, and I'm bursting with excitement about attending. We'll be discussing a Mass of Remembrance for the feast of All Souls, and Advent preparation.

*happy sigh*

The coffee & donuts with Fr. Joe shindig is also starting back up next Sunday, and I saw Henry perk up with interest when that was mentioned. It's nice to see all of the parish activities starting back up and fall settling in.

In the afternoon, I headed happily off to a dance workshop at my studio, and considered that my workout for the weekend. And it was, indeed, a workout. It was a drilling workshop of important movements within Middle Eastern dance, plus short choreographies in pop and baladi to learn some new combinations. LOVED. I got some great new ideas and my muscles felt seriously worked at the conclusion. I have a lot of dance events coming up in the next two months, and I have to admit, I'm just the hairest of nervous about them. :0 I'm certain they will provide good stories, if nothing else. I will report in as events transpire.

How was your weekend, dear reader? Start on any Christmas crafting of late? Oh, oh, and don't forget book club on Wednesday! Chasing Francis, by Ian Morgan Cron.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tea Time with Tiffany #17: Waiting!

Happy Thursday morning to all of you, and I hope you're looking forward to another installment of:

In coming up with a topic for the week, I had dwelled on this during my commute in to work, and spent some time contemplating the future structure of these videos. I'd love your feedback on that! I also talk about that, and other projects (the podcast! future novena planner/calendar/newsletter/something?!) as well as our prayers, in the context of...waiting. Waiting on God for resolutions to our questions.

Items mentioned in this episode:
  • We're currently praying the St. Therese novena until Oct. 1st!
  • I hope that you enjoyed the 54 day rosary novena, if you participated in that. We'll pray another one again next year!
  • New chaplets have been added to the Chaplets audio recordings page! Go check it out to pray along with me.
  • Future novena planning tool that we can share together. Link coming your way in 2016!
So. Do you have any video or audio ideas for me? Thoughts on awaiting answer to prayer? Google calendar for novenas or something else? Let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Catholic Book Club: Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag

Oohhh, what's this? A surprise edition of the Catholic Book Club, how fun, right?! I was asked to review a women's devotional, and since the topic is perfect for this blog, I happily agreed. Books are what we do, yes?

What we have here is Walk Softly and Carry a Great Bag: On-the-Go Devotions, by Teresa Tomeo. This is a small book, strategically designed for you to be able to carry around in your purse. If you get the physical book, that is. It is indeed also available as an ebook, but we'll come back to that.

Verdict? This is a cute little thing! I like books that are sized like this for convenience. And the tone of this book is my very favorite - light, humorous, applies real life anecdotes to larger spiritual realities.

There are 70 devotions included, so this isn't  an "entry a day" type of devotional. It's a "whenever you need a pick-me-up, open this up to a new spot and await inspiration" type of devotional, reminiscent of the Don't Sweat the Small Stuff series. Each entry starts with a scripture verse, and is followed by two to three pages of reflection on how the spiritual is woven into everyday, ordinary moments. All of the reflections conclude with a short prayer to apply the spiritual lesson into our own lives.

One of my favorite entries reflects upon the following verse from Psalms:

"When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." Psalm 34:17.

Teresa then recounts how at one point she was struggling with an important decision about her career. She went to Mass and prayed about this. Afterward, someone came up to her and gifted her a medal of St. Gabriel with a clear answer to her question printed on the back. Obviously, the person who gave her the medal had no idea how instrumental this was for Teresa at that moment, or that the words on the medal would be so moving to her. There are a lot more details about this story in the book itself, but just using what I've written here, I LOVE reading about moments such as these. Why? Because we've ALL had moments like this. There is a storm brewing in our hearts and minds, and then suddenly...we see something, or someone says something to us, or we hear something on television, and it just FITS. It's clear to us that God was using this other person or situation to speak to us. And when we're feeling overwhelmed or blue, we need those reminders to LISTEN, you know? God hears us. He wants to speak to us and soothe us. But we need to prayerfully await His voice.

This is a lovely and engaging little book, and if you enjoy devotionals in this style, I think you will truly like this one. It's available from Amazon for $13.50 in print, and $9.99 for Kindle. From the author's website, you have an additional option: you can purchase a print book/purse combination for $45, and there are a bunch of colors to choose from. Here's my purse, hanging out on my desk in front of my holy card collage:

Isn't it precious?! I didn't know which color I would receive (since the publisher graciously sent me one) and I have to say, they obviously know me very well, because I adore fall colors. I am in love with the yellow! But there is also pink, blue, orange (*swoons!*), mango and purple, and a few sparkle options. Great gift option for the coming holiday season? Absolutely. The purse texture reminds me of those jelly shoes that were so popular when I was in junior high. ("Tiffany, you grew up in the 80's didn't you?" "How ever did you know?!") Very sturdy and durable, and importantly for moms, cleans up super easily from leaky beverage containers or explosive poo diapers. I'm just *saying*, we all know it happens. :0 There are no pockets or anything, it has a single zipper running across the entire length and sides. But the bottom is extremely wide and hence the interior is downright spacious. You could pack a lot of stuff in this girl! It is *very* cute.

I have not read any of Teresa's other books, and so I was very excited to receive and read this one. It's perfect for this time of year, with back-to-school craziness eating away at all of our peaceful mental states. Have any of you dear readers perused this book or another work by Teresa? I'd love to hear from you in the comments. :)

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Let's blearily pray the St. Therese novena together, shall we?

Last night, when I tucked Anne in bed, I had that Knowing Mother Moment, kwim? She had had a sore throat earlier in the day that I attributed to seasonal allergies. She perked up as the day wore on, and had normal energy and appetite levels, but by bedtime was looking worse for the wear. She complained about her nose, and started coughing. Ugh. I gave her a dose of her prescribed allergy medication, had her blow her nose, and got her a cup of water. I got her all soothed and tucked in, but I Knew.

Later, I went upstairs slightly ahead of Mike to prepare for bed, happily listening to a podcast with my earbuds in. When Mike came up 10 minutes later, I could see that he was trying to talk to me, so I took a bud out:

"What's up?"

"Anne's crying."

"She is?"

See? Once again, when you no longer have infants in your house, you totally turn off that Will I Ever Sleep Again?! frenzied mode, and go back to Normal Sleep, Thank You Jesus, mode. I did suspect that we would hear from Anne in the night, but my traumatized mind was still repressing that possibility.

So, we banded together for a soothe session, figuring we could get her cleaned up and comforted and back to sleep in no time. Isn't it funny that even after 10 years of parenting, we are still so naive?

"Sweetheart! We're here, what's wrong?"

*intensified crying*

"Does your head hurt, Honey? Why don't we get a tissue so you can blow your nose."

*dramatic shake of head indicating "NO"*

"How about some more water? It'll soothe your throat."

*More head shakes* Rinse And Repeat.

She refused to talk to us, yet managed to reject every single offer of comfort we suggested. It's a skill, that is.

We did what we could, and left her bedroom. 20 minutes later, we hear crying again. I go in, and we have a repeat of our earlier interaction, complete with dramatic thrashing of blanket. She still wouldn't really let me help her, but I got her to stop crying, and went back to bed. Unsurprisingly (since Anne has *always* had this skill, from the moment she was born), the INSTANT I became completely exhausted and drifted off...


*Tiffany assumes a position of denial*

*more crying!*


And I KNEW. When you're up with a newborn all the time, you pretty much can sleep anytime, anywhere, because you're so exhausted. All the time. For like, a YEAR. But when you're not in that mode anymore, you have that one perfect opportunity to fall asleep. Once that passes, it's allllllll over, friends. I was awake, and I knew I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep.

I went into Anne's room, and this time she did allow me to help her blow her nose and do other things to make her more comfortable. After that, I went back to bed beside a comfortably sleeping Mike. I didn't have the heart to wake him.

 I read for a bit, hoping to get re-tired, but all to no avail. During the next two hour stretch, one further intervention was required in Anne's room, but then I could tell she fell more deeply asleep, and she was fine for the rest of the night. Me, on the other hand, stayed awake for another hour before finally dozing off, and I really had to force it. Naturally, when 6 am rolled around, I was SOUND ASLEEP, totally incoherent, and could have slept for another five hours, easy.

*nostril flare*

That's just the way it is sometimes. But it was a long night. I suspect now that Anne has a cold and not seasonal allergy symptoms. Lots of snuggling will follow tonight.

So I was pretty bleary-eyed this morning as I got ready for work, but I'm persevering. Today is the first day of the St. Therese novena, and guess what? Pray More Novenas now has the prayers available as a podcast, so for those of you who wanted audio to keep up with the novena prayers themselves, this is a huge yay, right?! Here you are, have at it! Go forth and subscribe! If you'd like audio for St. Therese's chaplet, you can pray along with your host, little old me ;-) over here. Fun, yes?

All right, I need to plug along with my day. Mike and I are attending Henry's school open house tonight, and I have lots to do at work. I'll be talking to you again tomorrow or Thursday!

How are you all? How is the first day of the novena going for you?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Of soggy dance performances & brisk apple fetching, a fall weekend with the Catholic Librarian family...

Hi all *beams* and hope that you are surviving this fall Monday along with me. Today is the craziest day of the week for me, so I'm doing what I can to perk things up. For instance, da da DA!

Isn't it adorable? It's my new Scentsy fragrance warmer for my office. I have a cube of Coconut Pumpkin Pie wax melting in there and my office smells like a bakery. HOW did I not know about such possibilities before?! I love it. In terms of fragrances, my favorites are "foody" smells. It if smells good enough to tempt one to actually consume wax or soap, then that's the one I want. I noted with amusement that Scentsy advertises their wax as "food grade, and thus safe for pets and children." Something tells me these little cubes get nibbled on from time to time.

So, I'm happily sniffing the air in my office and preparing for class right now. Monday is my teaching day. So far so good, but I'm always relieved when that's past for another week. When I teach, I have to be "ON!" kwim? Just like when I perform dance. Or hang out with people that I genuinely like at conferences. ;-) Social interaction can be taxing for introverts. I absolutely love it when in a fun situation, but it uses up my power supply faster, that's for sure.

OK, so the weekend. On Saturday my troupe was scheduled to dance at an outdoor artisan's market. There were projections for rain, but I thought that the timing was going to work out, and that we would dodge it. We had rehearsed the group numbers, and I had a loose plan for my solo music both with or without veil, depending upon wind velocity. Saturday morning found me with makeup on and perky, ready to don my Saidi dress and head out the door, when...

...we received notification that the market had been cancelled due to storm conditions down by the water.


Major bummer. I was really looking forward to it. I love performing with my troupe. I do get very nervous still about dancing solo (working on that, but it's a glacial process :)) but with my troupe? Safety in numbers. And we always have so much fun together. So that was a drag.

When Anne went down for a nap, I put on a new performance playlist I've been working on (and it still needs work, I discovered...) and swirled around the kitchen for a bit, bringing out both Veil and Sword. They were both thrilled to be included. That was a fun workout for the day.

Oh, I should mention that although we put Anne down for a nap, she didn't actually SLEEP. Thus, when we later went to the vigil Mass, she was in such a foul mood that she refused to sit in the pew. Instead, she chose to stand, unmoving, and stare at us menacingly, looking like something out of Village of the Damned.

Mike, in whispered tones: "Is she always like this during Mass?"

Me: "No, it's usually the opposite problem."

*long suffering sigh*

On Sunday, we made our annual apple picking pilgrimage. We've found a really cute farm about 30 minutes away that we love. There is a hay maze and animals for the kids to pet:

Anne: "Mommy, look at this little turkey, she is my friend!"

Henry: "Um, I read the sign about Thanksgiving. I think the turkeys..."

Me: "...are very, very hungry, look at how they're going to town on delicious-looking pile of fruit and vegetables! Anne, did you see the goats?!"

Also lots of pumpkins for sale, of course, and tons of apple trees. In season this past weekend were Macintosh, Gala, Macoun and Cortland. We picked quite a lot of them, and have cobbler and pie plans for later in the week.

And so a good time was had by all. Unfortunately, the wine tasting guy wasn't there, which would have enhanced the fun had by Tiffany and Mike ;-) but everything went very well. We got some photos:

This pretty much sums up the story of Henry's life, right here...
...and headed contentedly home with our apples. :)

How was YOUR weekend, dear reader? Don't forget, the St. Therese novena starts tomorrow!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Tea Time with Tiffany #16 - A few updates & St. Therese!

Happy Thursday everybody! Have your tea or coffee? I do, I do! Let's settle in for another installment of:

I've been keeping these shorter, have you noticed? ;-) Instead of 10 minutes, I've been in the 6-7 minute range the past few weeks. Once I get the podcast up and running, I'm hoping to whittle these videos back to about 5 minutes, so that they're quicker and easier for more people to watch. Working on it! At any rate, today's topic is twofold: a few updates on current life events, and my devotion to St. Therese, plus her upcoming novena!

Looks like I may be about the say the Pledge of Allegiance, but just deep in thought. ;-)

Items mentioned in this episode:

St. Therese Novena tab! Novena begins Sept. 22nd.
Pray More Novenas will send out the prayers to your email!
Archival photographs of St. Therese

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