Friday, July 23, 2021

"Watch out for the hole behind you!" Summer adventures in dancing, crafts, and also some novenas!

Hello friends and happy Friday! I've had a lovely week, and I'm definitely feeling perkier and perkier as the summer progresses. I hope for the same for you. *hugging* I'm back to performing, and that has made everything right with my emotional world again. I've had two gigs in the past two weeks, both family parties, and danced with my troupe at a small outdoor festival for the first time in nearly two years. It is just balm to my soul. And butterflies in my stomach. :-0 But it's all so, so wonderful. The troupe performances are always my favorite because of the hijinks that are almost certain to ensue with a group of us dancing in inevitably challenging environs:

"Be careful when you turn around, there's a large sinkhole behind you."

"What's that on the bottom of my shoe? Oh. Goose poo."

(wearing our costume coverups) "Are you all fortune tellers?"

"Oh dear, these hair flipping turns are a bit tricky on an incline, aren't they?"

But I tell you, I wouldn't trade it for the world. We have a few more outdoor performance possibilities in August, and then an actual hafla/showcase in mid-September! It's an amazing feeling to be back to doing this thing that I love.

I've also been praying my July novenas, and am getting closed to the end of Sts. Anne & Joachim. St. Dominic begins July 30th, if you're interested in joining in that one. And I also added in something on the fly: our very own community member Sam is trying to sell her house, so I signed up to start praying the St. Joseph novena for her! Did you know that you can sign up with Pray More Novenas to pray any novena that they have over there at any time on your own schedule? I did not know that! I thought their email reminders only worked for novenas prayed during their traditional date range. So I started St. Joseph today and will for the next eight days. If you'd like to add Sam's house sale into your prayer intentions, I would be most grateful! 🤗

Summer crafting is still ongoing, and has been so lovely lately. I finished a very summery pair of socks for myself!

I'm calling these the Summer Lemonade Socks

I also started a summery cotton top for myself. I just love this pattern, I made one for my mother-in-law last summer in red:

Pattern is the Kelda Tee

Here is the red version from last summer:



I've also been keeping up with the 2021 National Parks Hats collection. June's is based on Denali:

Denali pattern

Hard to see in the light, but there are cute mountain peaks in the design! I'm catching up a bit, as I already have the yarn and pattern for the July hat, but I'm getting there!

Next week, we'll be discussing Part 4 of our Summer Book Club for Set All Afire. We're halfway there! How is everything going for you this summer? Would love to hear about it in the comments!

Friday, July 16, 2021

Summer Book Club 2021 Part 3: Some seafaring adventures...

Hello friends, and welcome to the third edition of our Summer Book Club for 2021! This was a longer segment, but I have to say I was able to follow it more easily, all the way up until the end when I got a bit confused again. But still! I followed along much better in this regard. And I found our roiling seafaring adventures much more engaging, if a bit hard to read at times. 🤮 Let's do a quick chronicling of where we're at:

We start again with Francis in Portugal. They can't sail for India for 9 months due to weather; monsoons are mentioned, eeks! We meet another Francis (whom they call Mansilhas) working in the hospital caring for patients, a lay man who had longed to be a priest but was turned down multiple times because he had difficulty mastering Latin. Francis sees his potential, and wants to bring him with him to India to minister. This was all quite endearing.

The parts where I get confused all involve Portugal, lol! We have the King of Portugal, who is very gracious to our Francis, but there is this wealthy Conde (?) who is extremely confused by their simple lifestyle. I'm not quite sure how he fits in here, any insight is much appreciated! 

As soon as is possible in the spring, they board a ship for India. One of Francis's colleagues stays behind to minister to students in Portugal, and he and Mansilhas (and one other brother) set out for India. Trouble on the ship begins immediately, with the shady ship doctor implying that the months will be arduous and that behavior will be poor. His prediction is soon proven true, with a terrible storm and everyone getting sick or injured, including Francis. And then that horrible period where there's no wind at all and they just sit there baking in the extreme sun for weeks on end, oh my! The descriptions of what happens to their food supply during all of this...

🤮

My, this was quite the life threatening situation, to make a journey like this at that point in time, I did not realize that!

Eventually, when they get moving again, they stop over in Mozambique, and turns out this will extend from August to April (!) when the weather is favorable again. 😳 Wowza! Whole 'nother world, sea faring is. Francis continues to minister to the sick here, and to share the Gospel where he can, to a Muslim population. The ways that some of the Christians described their Muslim brothers and sisters is pretty uncharitable and disappointing, certainly a product of the time. Francis works to combat this attitude a bit.

We are back in Portugal at the end of this segment, and this is where I get confused again, somebody fill me in please, ha ha!

OK, thoughts on Part 3? I did enjoy journeying on the sea with the men, despite how terrible it sounded to actually endure! I love Francis's gentle way with others, including those who are not Christians, both physically and spiritually. I also adore the addition of sweet Mansilhas and his heart for aiding the sick and dying. Leave your thoughts in the comments, if you please. :-)

Friday, July 9, 2021

Christmas movies in July, and more summertime crafting...

Hello, and happy Friday everyone! I'm feeling pretty perky this early week of July. And I have to admit, although I don't normally get caught up in the Christmas in July movie marathon bonanza over at Hallmark Channel, last night I had the TV to myself for 15 minutes while Anne made some tea for us, and I found myself following along quite riveted to a story about a woman who gets in a car accident just before Christmas, develops amnesia, and is rescued in the swirling snow storm by a single dad and his 3 adorable children. :-0 When Anne came back with the tea, I was sad to have to turn it off, as I was wondering who the woman was and how it would affect her old life when she eventually figured out who she was. 😁 So I set the DVR to record the rest, and am quite excited about picking it back up. 😎 It is called "A Christmas to Remember" in case you'd like to look it up for possible replays in your local area. ;-) I'm now actively back on the Hallmark Channel app plotting out a few other interesting-looking viewings in the coming week. I'm actually enjoying watching these more now than I do in the actual holiday season, interestingly! I guess because now, with the warm weather and long hours of daylight, although I'm enjoying both of those things, Christmas movies get me excited for what is to come later in the year. 

I've also been knitting, and I now officially have 1 summer lemonade sock complete! *virtual high five!*


I've cast on the second sock (no Second Sock Syndrome here!) and am nearly done with the cuff. Hoping to have these done in about a week. I also need to cast on the June National Parks hat, and start a summer top for myself. Excited for all the crafting that is to come!

I've also been dancing more, and the return to in person gigs and shows is here. I could not be more thrilled about it! To celebrate, I bought a new silk veil. ;-) This gorgeous summery one just arrived:

Silks by Celestina

These are hand dyed by a talented woman over at Silks by Celestina on Facebook, @silksbycelestina on Instagram! You can pm her about any of her in stock veils, or about a custom color!

Next week we discuss Section 3 in Set All Afire, our Summer Book Club for 2021! How is your July going so far? Do you like watching Christmas movies at this time of year? ;-)

Friday, July 2, 2021

Summer Book Club 2021 Part 2: Ministering in Rome...

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to the second of six installments in our Summer 2021 Book Club! These sections are shorter than our Lenten book club selection, which is definitely helping me to get through them in a timely manner. Shall we start?

As we begin Part Two, Ignatius, Francis and company are in Rome, and very much into thire lifestyle of poverty and relying totally on God. They work among the population, sharing the Good News and helping those in physical need, especially those with difficult medical conditions that others are unwilling to assist. They officially apply with the pope to become an order, and St. Ignatius doesn't want it named after him, hence how they became the Jesuits, Society of Jesus (I didn't know this!). 

Part of our time this section is spent addressing another priest in the area who is spreading heretical ideas, but who is charismatic and draws in many followers. I can never remember anybody's name besides the main characters (so sorry!) but I'm betting you all know who I am referring to. Ultimately, the Jesuits prevail and the heretical priest is sent away from Rome.

We also have the re-introduction (I'm pretty sure?) of a nemesis back from the university days who resented Francis joining this group, and he joins them now, with unknown motives. I'm very easily confused, so I'm 99% that this is the same guy, but one never knows, LOL! And he immediately causes some trouble. He refers a rich lady who expresses an interest in Francis to a private confession with him. Francis is on to both of them lickety split and lets them know what he thinks of their ideas.

At the end of this section, Francis is bound for India to continue to share the Gospel, and has a premonition that he will never see Ignatius alive again. I'm definitely intrigued to see what he will encounter on his travels.

If I'm being honest though, I'm having a difficult time following who is who with the Itallian names, and keeping up with all of the activity. I know that I'm missing a bunch of details above that totally escape me now as I'm trying to re-remember what I read. Although I had a hard time keeping track of names in the St. Catherine of Siena book we read for Lent, I definitely enjoyed it more than I'm enjoying this book. Thoughts? Definitely leave them in the comments! 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Henry's confirmation weekend, and some summer socks...

Hello everybody, and what a spectacular June day it is! 😎 I have had such a splendid June over here, and I hope you have as well! Since June is somehow nearly over, I'll be putting up a page soon with the July novenas that I'm planning to pray in case you'd like to join along! 

So we had a big sacramental weekend over here in the home of the Catholic Librarian. One of my babies made his confirmation. 🔥😭I can hardly believe how the time has flown. It was an absolutely beautiful confirmation Mass, and Henry chose my dad as his sponsor (and the confirmation was on Father's Day!) so it was all quite special. 💗



I felt so grateful that things went so smoothly, and that the ceremony was so beautiful. Henry chose St. Maximillian Kolbe as his confirmation saint, and can you even believe these absolutely perfect socks I got for him from Sock Religious?!


They were the sock of the month for June, I mean, obviously this was divine intervention. ;-) I highly recommend their comfy and delightful socks! I just got my reminder email that the July socks will be shipping soon, and I can hardly wait to see who it is!

My sister got Henry this gorgeous St. Joseph themed home altar for his desk, and Henry's Godfather gifted him this beautiful wood rosary blessed by the pope:


He also received some St. Maximillian books. 😍 And he got the exact cake that he wanted, and we're all still enjoying it nearly one week later, hee hee!


It's so precious to have these memories. Last year was much more difficult with Anne's First Communion because of the pandemic, and I'm relieved that things are going so much better now.

In crafty news, I've been working steadily on a pair of summer lemonade themed socks:


Currently on the heel flap. They're going a bit slow, but they're the perfect project for upcoming family summer movie nights, and so I'm glad to have them by my side! This week I also received a small order that I placed with Bumblebee Acres, a skein of robin's egg blue sock yarn that I've been admiring for ages, and an outstanding plaid project bag!


Summer is good. The kids are both finished with school for the academic year, and it just feels nice to relax and have things move slower for a bit. :)

OK, that's what has been happening with me! How is your summer going so far? Any sacraments or crafts happening in your part of the world this early summer? I would love to hear about it in the comments! Also, don't forget that we'll be discussing Part 2 of our Summer Book Club novel on the life of St. Francis Xavier right here next Friday! :-0

Friday, June 18, 2021

Summer Book Club 2021 Part 1: Giving away everything...


Happy Friday friends, and welcome to the first part of our Summer Book Club for 2021!

*streamers!*

I hope that you enjoy reading more in the summertime as much as I do! We're taking our time this year, aiming for one segment (Louis de Wohl divides them into "books") every two weeks. Today we're discussing Book 1, so let's dive in!

So, Book 1 gives us a bunch of set-up of Francis's university life and of his family, and we also meet the future St. Ignatius of Loyola, who is known for leading a group of pious men that rely upon begging for their food and other needs. We see that Francis has a devout mom, a few brothers, and also a sister who is Abbess of a local community of Poor Clares. As the story begins, Francis is pretty into his university life and studies, and views the beggers with the same curiosity and suspicion as many of his peers.

To be honest with you, I had a difficult time following who was who (especially amongst anyone who wasn't related to Francis) and getting into the story at this point. As the section started to come to an end, things picked up for me a bit. In a dramatic turn of events, Francis has a conversion of heart, becomes a follower of Ignatius, and decides to join them. I enjoyed the details of what he decided to keep when he gave away all of his belongings, which if I'm remembering correctly, was a rosary, a Bible, and his breviary. Very touching! So now I'm definitely curious to see what will happen next as they set off on their journey!

What did you all think of this beginning of the book? I know that there are a lot of other details in here that I'm glossing over because I didn't fully absorb them, I'm not sure if it was me or the book! I would love to hear your thoughts! 

Discussion of Book 2 will go up on Friday July 2nd. :)

Friday, June 11, 2021

A crafty June...

Hello all and happy Friday! We're enjoying the start to the summer over here in the home of the Catholic Librarian. The kids are nearly done with school for the year, and we're looking forward to some relaxing summertime activities. 

🌞

For my part, I've been in happy crafting mode, and I'm approaching my annual Christmas in July gift list planning insanity, so you have that to look forward to. ;-) Right now though, I'm making a few thing for myself. As I've mentioned previously, I'm making a hat every single month this year as part of the 2021 National Parks collection, and here is May's edition:

Pattern is Big Bend, by Kristen in Stitches

I am absolutely IN LOVE with the pattern and yarn this month! The pattern is linked above, but here is the link to the yarn if you must also have this lusciousness! The yarn is pooling in the most delightful of fashions as I work, must be my gauge, but I'm just so excited to finish this and wear it this fall!

I've also been working on a cabled messenger style bag, and this one took a bit of time, owing to all of the twisty shenanigans wiht the cable needle. Here she is, I'm planning to use this as a project bag:

Pattern is Quin Cabled Bag, and is available for free!

This was also a fun knit, and it had a few challenges in it for me (provisional cast on, braded icord strap, lots and LOTS of cables) but it was a great opportunity to learn and practice some new skills! I will say that the braided strap was a bit more trouble than it was worth in the end. :-0  Next time, I may experiment with other types of techniques for the strap. It was quite boring knitting that sheer volume of icord, and then they were tangling constantly as I worked to braid them (it's a 4 strand braid, rather than the traditional 3), and it was quite a chore to get all of the cords the same length. In the end, it's done, and I like it!

So my plan is to finish the hat, and then plan out some other fun projects for the summer, yay! Don't forget, we begin our Summer Book Club 2021 in just 7 days! We'll be discussion Section 1, and I can't wait! Just downloaded my Kindle copy of the book today. Check the link for all of the details if you'd like to join us!

Friday, June 4, 2021

Summer Book Club Announcements!

 Happy Friday everybody, and happy June! I began my June novenas this week, and am happily speeding right along with them. Details are on the June Novenas page if you'd like to join me in praying both the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary novenas. :) Feel free to also leave prayer intentions on that page in the comments so that others can lift you up in prayer! 

*virtual hug*

And so, it is time to finally announce our exciting Summer Book Club plans for 2021! I got a nice response from people saying they were happy to read about any of the saints, and not really a majority vote for any one title. So I called a bit of an audible, looking through the options on Amazon and deciding based on what I felt inspired by, and the length that I thought would work best for us. And so...

🥁

For Summer Book Club 2021, we're going to be reading about: St. Francis Xavier!


Here is our description, to whet your curiosity a bit:

Saint Francis Xavier's life is, in itself, a dramatic story. With humility and deep religious conviction, the famous Catholic novelist Louis de Wohl takes us into the mind and heart of this great missionary and saint who went by order of St. Ignatius of Loyola to "set all afire" in the Orient. Louis de Wohl captivates the reader as he follows Xavier's life from student days in Paris, through his meeting with Ignatius, his rather reluctant conversion, and his travels as one of the first Jesuits. The story takes the reader from Europe to Goa, India, Malaysia, Japan, and finally, to an island off the coast of China, where the exiled Xavier dies virtually alone. The book captures the dramatic struggles and inspiring zeal of this remarkable saint, giving at the same time an enthralling picture of the age in which he lived.

What drew me to this title is that his role as a missionary means that St. Francis gives us a bit of a travel theme, and that seems perfect for summer! I also don't know much about St. Francis Xavier nor the Jesuits, and this book presents the perfect opportunity to learn more (ideal, given that our current pope is a Jesuit!). We read about a female saint for Lent (St. Catherine of Siena), so I wanted to give our male saint friends some attention this summer. :)

And so here is our schedule, also stickied in our Catholic Book Club page:

  • June 18th - Part 1
  • July 2nd - Part 2
  • July 16th - Part 3
  • July 30th - Part 4
  • August 13th - Part 5
  • August 27th - Part 6

I wanted the pace to be a bit more languid for the summer, and this book, at about 100 pages shorter than the St. Catherine title we read for Lent, and with more, yet shorter, sub-sections, I thought fit the bill nicely. We'll begin with the first part in two weeks, so lots of time to order the book or procure it from your local library, and then we'll move in 2 week increments from there through the entirety of the summer. It's available in both paperback and Kindle form from Amazon if you choose to go that route!

Who's in to learn about St. Francis Xavier and his missionary journeys this summer? 😀

Friday, May 28, 2021

June novena plans!

 

Happy Friday friends! Just a short post this week to let you know that I have a few community novenas planned for June, and they are all linked in the new June Novenas page! By community novenas I simply mean that we can all pray for each other and our intentions, and use the opportunity to espy upcoming feast days. ;-) So for June, we have an overlapping novena situation, fun! The Sacred Heart of Jesus novena begins next Wednesday June 2nd, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary novena begins Thursday June 3rd. I simply couldn't pick one over the other, wouldn't you agree? :-) I look forward to praying along with all of you! If you'd like to leave prayer intentions in the comments, feel free! 

That's really the big news for this week. I will be announcing official Summer Book Club plans soon, perhaps as soon as next Friday, if I can get myself organized enough. I will of course leave plenty of time for people to acquire the book and begin reading before our discussion times will begin! I'm definitely looking forward to that this summer, I really got a lot out of our St. Catherine of Siena read -along for Lent. I pretty much credit her for my keeping up with 1-2 segments of the Liturgy of the Hours daily since Holy Week!

I've been doing a bit of crafting. I'm currently working on a cabled messenger style bag, and am about to finish up the body and graft it shut, I think I have maybe 5ish more rounds to go?

Sideways picture, because my phone insists it's better that way 🙄

This weekend I'm planning to cast on for the new National Parks hat (this month it's Big Bend!) and maybe start a pair of socks! Things are looking bright going into the summer. How are you all doing this last weekend of May? Don't forget to leave prayer intentions in the comments!

Friday, May 21, 2021

Confirmation saints and lots of tears...

Church of St. John the Evangelist (2014), Flickr, CC BY ND 2.0

Happy Friday everyone! I hope that this final week in the Easter season is treating you well. :) I've been keeping up with the Liturgy of the Hours for Morning and Evening Prayer, and I'm excited to move back to the Ordinary Time volume with lots of summer saint feasts coming out way!

Speaking of patron saints, my Henry is preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in June, and I cannot quite believe that this has happened so quickly. Our diocese administers confirmation in 10th grade, so it's like...😳 I still picture him with his blanket lovey, wanting to sleep in our room. Now...well, he doesn't want to do that anymore. :-0 And he's HUGE, the tallest person in the family! This all is the topic of my piece for Catholic Mom for May

*heart*

Emotions aside, I've been guiding him through selecting a patron saint name, and also selecting a sponsor. He has selected St. Maximilian Kolbe as his patron, who has always been one of his favorites. 

*explosion of hearts*

I remember reading his story to Henry countless times when he was little and we still did our saint story time. I'm so delighted that he selected St. Maximilian as his patron! And for his sponsor, there is a happy little anecdote...

Growing up, I was raised Catholic, despite only my mom being an active Catholic. My dad had been baptized in a Protestant church, but didn't attend church services of any kind. When I was in high school, he became interested in a parish that opened on indigenous land near us, as my dad's heritage is half Mohawk. We started going to Mass there, faithfully offered by a local Barnabite community, and a few years later, my dad decided to become Catholic. My dad is a real quiet, reserved kind of a guy, and the priest let him enter the Church in a private ceremony rather than with the larger group at the Easter vigil, becuase he knew that my dad would be more comfortable with this. At the Mass, I remember assuming that my dad had picked St. Andrew as his confirmation patron (and what a worthy one!), as that was his grandfather's name. So when Father announced that my dad had picked (at that time, Blessed) Kateri Tekakwitha as his patron, I felt both a rush of surprise, and also an immediate sense of: "YES, this is the perfect choice." My dad's Mohawk heritage is a very important part of his identity, and St. Kateri is the absolute ideal patron for him. I remember so vividly how powerfully emotional that Mass was to me, even as a teenager not so interested in matters of faith, and Father's tears of joy when he welcomed my dad into the Church.

And so when I approached Henry about selecting a confirmation sponsor, I asked if he had anyone in mind, and mentioned that they should be an adult who actively practices their Catholic faith. I suggested both of his Godparents, who are my younger sister and a good friend of ours who also teaches with Mike, and also my dad. Henry surprised me by picking my dad, and I once again experienced the immediate feeling of rightness. My dad is the *perfect* confirmation sponsor for Henry! Our confirmation saints continue to work blessings in our life all of these years later. 

I am feeling so lifted up by all of this lately. Henry will be confirmed on June 20th, and we're all looking forward to this so much! Finally, I continue to plan in the background for a low key Summer Book Club. What I'm thinking is that we'll have a post every 2-3 weeks rather than every single week, and we'll take the entire summer to move our way through. I can plan more once the book is officially picked and I know how long it is. We'll be reading one of Louis de Wohl's historical fiction books based on the lives of the saints, and so far we have 2 votes for St. Francis of Assisi, and 1 each for St. Helena or St. Joan of Arc. Feel free to comment with your pick! I'll announce the title after Memorial Day weekend. :)