Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Catholic Women's Almanac {CWA No. 3}

School, hence craziness, has started here at the university at which I work. The parking lots are a disaster, and the hallways during my afternoon walks an atrocity (think: a noisy gaggle of 18 year olds wielding smartphones and texting each other while trying to walk, all at the same time). But we persevere! Settle in with me for a reflection on my week. And check out the other CWA posts over at Suspicio!

Thanking God for...

My job. I am privileged to not only have a good job, but one that I actually enjoy and suits my personality well.

My husband and children. Mike and I have been watching Breaking Bad lately on DVD (yes, I know, we're interrupting this lovely and reverent section with the meth-induced debacle that is portrayed in Breaking Bad but it's relevant, I promise), and with each episode I am more and more grateful for the positive influences in my life. I've also been finding myself more patient with my kids when they're trying to test my patience. Seeing what horrors other children live through, I want my kids to have only happy memories. 


Today is the feast of St. Monica! I prayed the novena, and today's prayers and readings from the Magnificat were a wonderful cap to that endeavor. Praying for all those who have lost their faith to regain it once again!

St. Monica was only in her 50's when she died, I don't agree with this likeness. :) Perhaps her son's early antics aged her before her time? This seems more likely.
Also, I've been very inspired by Cristina at Filling My Prayer Closet and her calls out to readers who wish for her to pray for their specific intentions. It's easy to become introspective in prayer, and praying for others is the absolute best way to overcome this. So, if anybody has anything they would like me to pray about on your behalf, please let me know. :) I do have comment moderation on this blog, so if you'd rather that I not publish your request, just mention that in your comment. But rest assured that I'll be praying for you all the same! Otherwise, I will publish all of the comments so that others can pray for you, too. And I'll write back to everyone, letting you know exactly how and when I'll be praying for your intentions. Cristina does this, and I'm so, so touched by it. Looking forward to this! So, don't be bashful about asking. :)


How can I make my job a "ministry" of sorts? I'm not talking about sharing my faith outwardly, but I know that small things, done with love, can be a blessing to others. I work mostly with undergraduate students, and at times they can be annoying. :) Reading directions? That seems too much to ask sometimes. Being aware of the needs of others; being considerate of others by being on time for appointments; being aware of rules and reasonable expectations? As you might expect, these are oftentimes lacking in this age group. But they are in a vulnerable place in their lives and need all the guidance they can get. A kind and understanding word can turn their day around just as easily as it can turn yours and mine around.

I need to remember this the next time Student #1,894 asks me if the library carries all of their textbooks. :)


The New Wine of Dominican Spirituality: A Drink Called Happiness, by Paul Murray, OP. I will be discussing this book on this blog on September 25th as part of the Catholic Book Club if you'd like to join in reading this! I am on chapter 3, dedicated to the Dominican love of study as a form of contemplation. Good stuff!

An Amish Kitchen, a compilation including Beth Wiseman, one of my favorite Amish fiction authors.  This is a *very* sweet collection, I'm on story #2 now. It's available for Kindle for just over $8, but I remember that I snapped it up on a day that it was available for download for $2.50. What I set up on Amazon is that I created a private shopping list that I stow ebooks on that I'd like to read. Every day I check it, and Amazon puts a note in bold if the price has dropped since you added an item to the list. And with ebooks, price specials happens a LOT. This is a great way to nab ebooks that you've been wanting at reduced prices.

In my home...

This fall, I want to really take advantage of the cooler weather and experiment with new recipes. We don't have central air conditioning, so in the summer cooking tends to go by the wayside since it heats up the kitchen so much. What I'd like to do is try recipes that I've always coveted but have been afraid I'd do a poor job with. What's the harm in trying, right? If it's an epic failure it makes a good blog story, but some things may turn out great. In particular, I'd like to try meats that I rarely cook with (this would be anything besides chicken), and vegetables and grains that I've never tried before. Kale, anyone?


Anne's fall cardigan is done:

This is the face I think you're supposed to make when someone takes a camera out.
I cast on for the first of two toddler sweaters for my twin nephews, and the first one is nearly done! It's a dark blue, the color is called "dusk." It's very nice, a comfy garter stitch pullover in superwash merino wool. Hopefully I'll have a picture next week.

I also cast on for, da, da, da, DAH! My very first attempt at two-at-a-time socks. I'm using Melissa Morgan-Oakes' 2-at-a-Time Socks as my guide. This is for cuff down socks, my favorite method. We don't, *ah hem*, speak of my attempt to knit socks from the toe up. Right now I'm knitting the sample socks, which are designed for a toddler using worsted weight yarn. The technique calls for you to use one long circular needle to knit both socks, if you can picture this. Here is my progress:

The initial cast-on and first few rounds resulted in a bit of profanity. *innocent eyebrow arch* It's very fiddly having two balls of yarn going at the same time plus the twisty cable and you're trying to keep two little skinny circles of ribbing in the correct place on the needles. A bit of a learning curve, to be sure. After those initial rounds though things got a lot easier, plus I'm getting more used to the method. My cuffs are taking shape and I'm hoping to move on to the heel flap within the next few days. VICTORY WILL BE MINE.

I just love that there is no Second Sock Syndrome with this method. If Mike were here, he would snort. "Second Sock Syndrome? You make it sound like an incurable disease." But we knitters know that this is nothing to mess around with. In is, in fact, deadly. :)


My crafting has been on my mind this week, mostly because of this bedspread pattern that I have become obsessed with based upon Mike's endorsement of it. Hence, I've been spending quite a bit of time over at Knit Picks, my favorite place to buy yarn. *insert heart here*

And yes, yarn is on its way for the bedspread. Look for information about this project in the "Creating..." section in the weeks to come. For approximately the next decade.


I made this heart lace cardigan for Anne several months back, and she didn't pay it any mind all summer long until very recently. All of a sudden, she has to wear it each evening as she watches a Dora episode. She has a thing for the buttons.

Have a blessed week everyone!


  1. I really enjoy your writing! The sweaters are beautiful. Having to knit the 2nd of anything can certainly be trying . . . and boring. ;) Would you please pray for some special intentions? Thank you!! x

  2. Hi Jane, I most certainly will! I have to finish my rosary in the car on the ride home, and I'll add your intentions in as I pray the 4th and 5th decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries.

  3. You're pondering section hit home. Making the job a "ministry" is something to think about and for me a reminder of one of the reasons I became a librarian. I like to help people and librarianship is a service profession (or at least that is how I see it). Your comment about student #1,894 and their textbooks made me smile. I'm an adjunct librarian for a community college and the start of the semester has brought the ever popular textbook question and with it me explaining how reserves work.

    1. Melanie, thank you so much for writing! I agree with you completely, librarianship is one of the (old fashioned, in a way, in a really good way!) service industries. We are there to *help* and sometimes that requires every ounce of our patience, but that's to our benefit as much as the students. Have a great start to your semester!

  4. Your knitting is beautiful. I wish we all would put on our camera face! The world would be a happier place.

    1. Hi Jenny! Aw, thank you for writing in. :)

  5. We may be the only bible some people read - ever. Are we a good translation? I read that somewhere and keep it close to me when I am at work and especially when I am home. I mess that up all the time, because, hey, I'm human and I get depleted too. But, the intention and the outlook are there. Good stuff. Oh prayers. I have a list for you. Interestingly, I am quick to pray for others but not myself. It's something I am learning even though I feel there are others that need my prayers more than I need them for myself.

    Yay CWA!


    1. Send me your list, girl!


      Hugs. <3

  6. I use trackif.com to track changes on Amazon books especially the ebooks. It has helped me save money!

    1. Saving is always good. :) Thanks for reading, Aleigh!

  7. You are so talented. WOW!
    I love your pondering section as well.
    I can tell you that small things change people's lives.
    Being the Light is not always easy, but it is right.
    Bless you. I love your posts.
    I'm trying not to covet your talents in knitting.

    1. Emily, thank you SO much. Have you tried knitting? I bet you'd be swell at it. :) I took at class at my local JoAnn's, and it was quite good! Enough to get me started. Don't be discouraged if you don't "get it" right away. I found knitting to be quite fiddly at first (am a lifelong crocheter) but it's definitely a skill that you need to hone over time. You start with a garter stitch scarf, and then you try one new thing, and then on the next project another new thing, and next thing you know you're knitting sweaters. :) You can do it!


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