Friday, April 30, 2021

Of rancid refrigerators, and Summer Book Club?

Hello all, and TGIF! For the first time since mid-March 2020 I am IN MY OFFICE, and boy has it been...interesting. 😂 To be honest, I am thrilled to be back, I am a creature of routine, and thus it feels so incredibly good to have a sense of purpose to my mornings again: to get dressed, put on makeup, drive in while listening to podcasts, and come to do work in my office. I'm coming in two days a week right now, and that'll increase as the spring and summer wear on, til fall semester classes start when I'll be back full time and teaching in person again.


I can't wait! But I tell you, that first day back was incredibly strange. My office was frozen in time from March 2020, and that wasn't a pleasant place to be, to be sure. My wall clock was dead, pictures had fallen off my fall and were just lying on the ground for months, the calendar was trapped on that terrible month, and my mini fridge...


Whoa boy, that was rough. :-0 There was a full container of what used to be Half & Half for my coffee. And 3 ziploc baggies full of things that I could not discern. 


It was pretty traumatic, let me tell you. :-0 The dash to the trash can commenced forthwith. But at the same time, it felt so cathartic to get rid of that stuff and put fresh new things in their place. My clock has a new battery, I put up a new 2021 calendar, the old planners are now all was good, very good. I'm feeling more and more back to my old self every day.

In other news, I'm thinking ahead to the summer, and I'd love to host a Summer Book Club! It wouldn't have to be every week, we could take our time and maybe shoot for twice a month. But I'd love to read another Louis de Wohl historical saint fiction novel. What do you think? We have options for:

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Benedict

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis Xavier

St. Helena

St. Joan of Arc

Vote in the comments if you'd like to participate!

Friday, April 23, 2021

Religious socks, and other Easter joys...

Happy Friday everyone, and isn't our Easter season just so lovely? 😊 My spirits have been so much higher since Holy Week, and it's such a good feeling. I've been keeping up with my Liturgy of the Hours and other devotional reading (so ironic that that has mostly been AFTER Lent, but that tells me that my Lent was sowing a lot of important seeds!) and I have lots more to write on that next week. It's not perfect, I of course forget occasionally, but overall my consistency has been motivating me to keep going, and I'm feeling a new curiosity and fervor for my faith that I haven't experienced in a while, certainly in the past year. 

And somehow, Facebook sponsored ads knows this ;-) as an ad for these socks showed up in my feed a few weeks ago:

Photo from

St. Catherine of Siena socks. I mean, did you ever?! I resisted for a few go rounds, but eventually Facebook won this battle, and I clicked on the link to further admire the socks over at their home of Sock Religious. I nearly ordered them right then and there, and then stumbled upon the All Saints Sock Club whereupon you get a little discount for signing up to receive socks featuring a new saint each month. This was too adorable to resist, I absolutely LOVE monthly subscriptions like this, especially when the monthly design is a surprise, so I signed up without hesitation. My socks shipped the next day, and look who I got!

St. Teresa of Avila, and I LOVE HER SO MUCH. I adore these socks, as soon as they're out of the wash, I'm wearing them again. They just make me happy to look at them, and they fit nice and snug to the leg (no slipping down, which I hate!) while still being incredibly comfy. I cannot wait to receive my next pair!

This company is so amazing, following my order, I got a personal thank you email from the owner. And after I ordered some more socks, this time for my mom for Mother's Day based on their suggestions (Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Visitation and Our Lady of Guadalupe, so sweet, right?! I ended up ordering Mother Teresa and a pair of rosary socks for her) I received another thoughtful thank you note, and the socks shipped within hours! Truly, I am so delighted with Sock Religious.

These definitely make cute gifts for upcoming celebrations (Mother's Day, Confirmation and First Communion, they do have kids' sizes!). If you do decide to get some socks, you can head over now via this link. This is an affiliate referral link, so I do earn a discount back from our friends at Sock Religious if you shop from that landing page. :)

Just a little fun tidbit I wanted to share with you that I discovered this Easter. It's the little things that are really making me smile these days, and we all need as many smiles as we can get right now! What is making you smile this 3rd Week of Easter? I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Friday, April 16, 2021

An eye opening octave of Easter, and spring crafting as we journey towards Pentecost...

Hello all, and I hope you are well on this Easter Friday! I've been enjoying the season so, so much, and I've been continuing on with my journey in the Liturgy of the Hours. In fact, this was also the subject of my Catholic Mom piece for April

And here's something I didn't know! I guess I've never praying the Hours during an octave before, but...for Morning Prayer, you're literally using the same Psalms again and again from that particular celebration (Easter or Christmas) and praying them over and over for 8 days. Because the octave is a continuation of the celebration of that solemnity. That makes perfect sense, but I had not realized that that was how it worked before in the Liturgy of the Hours. One learns something new every day! It's one of the things that I love the most about our faith, the richness of the traditions and devotions. 

And my supplements came!

I am IN LOVE. 😍 The Dominican supplement, in particular, is fascinating in it's depth of coverage for all of the Dominican saints and blesseds. And for major Dominican saints, even where they're covered in the main breviary, the supplement has additional stuff for them (for example, the feast of St. Dominic is a solemnity in the Dominican order). Now that we're past the octave, I'll be excited to dive in when saints in the supplement come up in the calendar!

This has all been such a lovely addition to my daily routine. Now I can't imagine my days without the cadence of Morning and Evening Prayer. I've also been doing some crafting, and enjoying that as well. I'm working on a series of hats themed after the National Parks, one each month for all of 2021, and it is so delightful. I'm signed up to receive the kit each month with the yarn the designer chose specifically for that month's pattern. I am currently working on March, called Crater Lake:

I just love the rich blue shades in here! I am a huge fan of hats, I wear them all the time. Now that it's spring, the weather is all over the place here in WNY. Sometimes it's mild, but sometimes it's freezing (hat AND coat), or it's chilly, so I'll just wear a sweater and pop a hat on instead of bundling up with a coat. Works out well!

I'm also working on a cotton project (cotton is a favorite of mine in the spring and summer!) and making a bag to carry my yoga mat in:

The tube shape is underway! It's pretty simple, and works up very fast since it's crocheted. Ultimately, it'll have a drawstring tie and a strap to carry it on your back. I've needed one of these for years, so I'm glad that I'm finally getting to it! I'm trying to use up some of the yarn stash that I have acquired over the quarantine period 😬 and this lovely orange sherbet cotton is one of those additions. We're getting there!

How has your Easter been going? Any spring projects that you've started? Let's hear about them in the comments. :-)

Friday, April 9, 2021

A beautiful Holy Week, and some unexpected developments in my prayer routine...

Hello all, and HAPPY EASTER! I hope that you had a spectacular Holy Week and Easter Sunday, and that Easter blessings continue to shower your way. For my part, I doubly enjoyed it this year, after missing the liturgies so much last year. I didn't make it to the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, but I made it to both the Good Friday liturgy, and the Easter vigil. It was *so lovely*, and I felt so blessed and grateful to, (a) be there with my kids, and (b) be a part of something so much larger than myself that is so magnificently rich and beautiful. It really struck me anew this year at the Easter Vigil how much I have to be grateful for, and how much I value my faith. 

And I decided to do something new this year. Instead of giving up/resolving to do something for all of Lent, I decided to try and pray both Morning and Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for the entirety of Holy Week. I mentioned an idea to my sister and a few mutual good friends that we could perhaps pray them together when we could via video chat. We began on the vigil of Palm Sunday, and though here and there 1-2 of us couldn't make some of the sessions, we were able to pray the Hours together a lot during Holy Week, and on the times we couldn't be together, we prayed them individually. It was so uplifting and cheering, and I looked forward each day to seeing the faces of those who could make it, along with any children who came along for the ride. :)

This all worked out so much better than I ever could have expected. I was so inspired by our commitment to this that 6 days into the Easter octave, I'm still praying the Hours. Mostly by myself because evenings were tough for everyone this week, but I've been praying Morning Prayer with my sister pretty much every morning (we're in the same time zone, definitely makes that easier!), and it has given a lift to my days that I haven't felt since the pandemic started. I've also found myself seeking out books about praying the Hours, and commentaries/reflections on the psalms in the Psalter, because my curiosity has been so whetted. I treated myself to this as an Easter gift, and am LOVING IT:

This is all quite unexpected. Although I've long had a love for the Liturgy of the Hours, I've never found a routine for praying them with regularity and consistency. I've picked up the St. Joseph guide each year and prayed here and there when the mood struck, but it sadly hasn't been a daily thing for me. Now I find myself craving more and more information about this form of prayer, and adding in additional Hours when I can (Daytime and Night Prayer). It's so delightful that I'm just going with it, hoping that this means it will really stick this time. I even have the Supplement to the Proper of Saints on it's way, as well as a special supplement for Dominican saints! 🙌

So my Holy Week and first week of Easter have been even more special than usual. I'll likely continue to blog about the Liturgy of the Hours and how that is going, and generally about spiritual topics this Easter season. I'm still planning out what I'd like to focus on here at the blog for Easter season and summer Ordinary Time. Thoughts on what you'd like to see? How was your Easter?! I'd love to hear from you in the comments!