When than Aprill with his shoures soote

“Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in switch licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his half cours yronne,
And smale foweles maken melodye,
That slepen al the nyght with open ye
(So Priketh hem Nature in hir corages),
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages”

So did Geoffrey Chaucer begin his “Canterbury Tales.” And so did a few of us learn to memorize this passage some two decades ago in my Anglo-Saxon Lit class. Was it for extra credit or just credit? Blast. But hey, Dr. Rice, I still remembered part of it before googling it!

Anyway, one of April’s shoures, I mean, showers are falling outside tonight as I type and while we aren’t exactly going on pilgrimage this year, we have been full of wonderful events at church. Likely before I post again, the class I’ve had the honor to help teach this past academic year at our parish Faith Formation will celebrate their First Holy Communion, and our Li’l Bit will be among them. Meanwhile, in the same weekend, Docena received her Baptism (wearing the family heirloom gown). And the Rascal had his Confirmation, taking as his patron the rather unknown St. Dunstan, patron of blacksmiths. I should say St Dunstan isn’t as well known on this side of the Atlantic, for the gift we gave him of a replica medieval badge of the saint came from the UK.

Docena’s Baptism day. Her godparents are her aunt and her older brother. ❤️
Rascal being confirmed (picture compliments of a dear friend, the wife of his sponsor).

Around the Haus…

Pipkka is 1! And no sooner did she turn one than she decided that she’d take it to the max. Climbing stairs? Check. Speech? Her vocabulary increases weekly. Walking? Coming soon. I should have been more nervous about that bottom right picture in this birthday montage (newborn + two of her first birthday) because this girl is plowing onward and not looking back!

Happy 1st birthday, Pipkka! ❤️

After all the sacramental festivities, my mom went back home again in Indiana (those who know can’t say that without hearing Jim Nabors), and we thought we were going to settle in to a “new normal,” as it were, but lo and behold a new seasonal cold descended upon us. Haus Meister had it the worst with a diagnosis of bronchitis and a trip to get x-rays and make sure it wasn’t worse (it wasn’t). Fortunately, we were still able to celebrate Posey Pie’s 9th Birthday and our own familial 4th house-aversary on the same annual day last month.

The Birthday Princess

It is hard to imagine that four years before, we were gathering in the same kitchen with the food that our lovely realtor had bought for us and left as a homecoming gift. Never had a tray of cookies from Sam’s Club tasted so sweet! Everything was so different and foreign four years ago. Now it’s delightfully familiar, and we still rejoice.

And yes, still marvel at this view from the hill above and to the left of our home.

Around the Farm….

The sheep have been sheared! While I was posting my previous blogpost, we had been researching the best way to do this, and as we debated this set of shears over that, Haus Meister found a man who travels around shearing small flocks like ours. He literally goes up and down the region and had already sheared 400+ sheep before he came to our house, set up his rig where we requested and within the briefest time, divested our ewes of a year’s wool growth! Haus Meister and the kids learned how to wash and “skirt” the wool (removing any dirt and hay left behind) and soon we shall take our four bags full to a fiber mill north of here where it will be spun into yarn!

Hattie (black sheep) wonders what hit Mattie (the shorn sheep, and her own half-sister). Lottie is obscured by Hattie so I took this pic while Lou was being sheared.
The Squire helps remove Hattie’s wool as she is being sheared.
Four shorn sheep attempt to preserve their dignity.
4.5 bags full

And in other farm news, the population of ducks increased by four with the addition of four Khaki Campbell ducklings to the three Rouen ones mentioned in the previous post.

The Khaki Campbells are the solid ducklings while the Rouen are striped.

Closing Thoughts

By now we are all either intent on keeping track of, immune, or dismissive of the news coming from Ukraine. I’d argue we better darn well pay attention, because in this small world nothing can really happen anymore without affecting all of us (pandemic, anyone?).

Or perhaps I’m biased in a sense because on the ‘net page of this blog for several years has been the widget featuring a toddler picture of a little boy with red hair. We have been the prayer warriors for him for quite a while. His name on the Reece’s Rainbow website is “Clark” and he lives in Ukraine, if he’s there at all right now. And who can guess? Who can guess if a ten year old boy with cerebral palsy made it out to a refugee site? I pray he did. He’s the same age as our Miss M after all. Same sort of red hair, same sort of brown eyes (I saw him on another website with recent pictures, that’s how I know he has brown eyes). And CP, well, we know a bit about that, also. Small wonder I signed on to pray for him. May God in His mercy grant that boy a good place tonight.

We at Misselthwaite stand and pray for Ukraine. 🇺🇦

Pause for a prayer or two

Oh there’s so much I want to write about here. Trooper’s improvements over the year…. our Advent decorations…. Littlest’s first tooth…. but tonight those things fell into the background when I read the news that the Lenaburgs need our prayers.

Mary and Jerry and their son Jonathan have been caring for their Courtney for 22 years.  Courtney’s time with them can “now be measured in days.” Mary’s blog has been a real inspiration for me these past four or five years as I’ve followed her stories of the ups and downs, the joys, light, sorrows, and glories of being a special needs mom.

Courtney took a turn for the worse around September, not long after her 22nd birthday.  Her parents hosted a big bash for the birthday and asked all the blog readers and Facebook followers to send a card.  Rascal and Princess complied and ever since we’ve been keeping them in our prayers before school.

Won’t you please join us now as we keep vigil with them as their dear girl prepares to pass to Heaven?

Rest in Peace

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“Daniel” went to his Heavenly home recently.

More than likely he died in the adult mental institution where he’s been for the past two years. Possibly in a “laying room,” the same four walls around him day in, day out. Very little interaction.

It’s not his fault. It’s not really even his country’s fault. They were under the Soviet thumb for so long, and their own recovery has not been the easiest. In fact, they’re being invaded again.

How could they possibly have the medical care for their neediest that, say, we do here in the US?

And we? Why do we stand by and let the little ones languish in institutions if we had the means, ability, and love to help them?

And what do we do in our own country to help our neediest? Our disabled? The ones born “different.”

Do we offer them a smile?

Do we encourage them to be the best they can be?

Or do we suggest that their parents have a moral imperative to abort them?

To terminate their lives while their very hearts are beating? For what? That they will be spared a life that’s different–or that we will be spared having to “deal” with them.

The latter, me thinks.

While we as a culture entertain such thoughts, we enlightened wealthy Westerners, no finger of blame can we point at anyone for Daniel living and dying bedridden, age 7, unable to walk on his own or even raise his head.

daniel

For Daniel’s sake. For the sake of all of them.

Give them a chance to really live.

Rest in peace, my Ukrainian sweetheart. I prayed for you every day. I rejoice you are now at peace and rest, whole and well at last.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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Well, the first week of the new school year is now behind us. As first weeks go it was definitely one of our better ones, although there was a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth from time to time at the thought of all the work that needed to be done. And then the kids joined in. 😉 No, it wasn’t that bad. Princess did comment that her first grade coursework was definitely longer than her kindergarten one. The one most pleased with course advancement is Trooper, surprising as it may seem. He’s hovering between two grade levels and likes the higher one more. With patience and luck and a good dose of grace I’m hoping to test him fully into the higher grade maybe even by Christmas. He’s in a good spot right now and I want to take advantage of it. 🙂

But meanwhile, it was back to the books, even if it means you’re reading to your little sister. 🙂 

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(Happy)

It’s still summer, though, and last Friday Haus Meister brought me home a treat:

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I’ve made 7.5 pints of Ginger Peach Tea Jam already, then gave a bag to one of my good friends around here, and plan to try and make jam out of the ones in my refrigerator this weekend. Yes, we have also eaten some. These peaches are one of the best things about summer in the Deep South. 

(Pretty Happy)

Going back to the school topic, I’m once again juggling the household/homeschool routine and sometimes during this week, frankly, folding the laundry has had to wait until later in the day or early in the morning. I’ve been folding in the basement family room lately, and sometimes I have company.

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The Mischief Squad at Rest.

Miss M is definitely into tea parties right now. I think she’s hosted more than either of her older sisters. She might host more as her articulation improves, because right now she indicates another tea party session is at hand by demanding: “Come down sit a pahty.” Given that her “party” sounds a lot like “potty,” I myself have often mistaken her meaning. Dear thing.

(Pretty funny)

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Speaking of Miss M, she has a birthday fast approaching. Warning: pictures to-be-posted promise pink profusion.

(Pretty)

Now for some news that I cannot believe I haven’t mentioned yet. As most of you know our Old Haus has been on the market for eleven months after our previous renters moved onto a larger house. We had two potential buyers back down because of financing as they were trying to get the offer made to begin with, and one offer we refused because he was rather unreasonable. He wanted us to modernize the place and pay his closing costs, while offering us under our asking price. Among his requests were that we completely update the plumbing pipes (not that it needed it) and move the water heater to an entirely new and awkward location. Sayonara! And after this the summer doldrums set in and no one looked at the house for a couple of weeks.

So I tried the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots.

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A week later Haus Meister gets a text from a family friend who knew that we would be open to renting the house and knew of two potential tenants who might be interested. An option that we had almost given up hope about suddenly became reality. I prayed the novena in late July. August 3rd a one-year rental agreement was signed and they moved in August 4th. 

I’m keeping that novena card.

(Pretty REAL)

Day of Prayer for Peace

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Most holy and immaculate Virgin, Mother of Jesus and our loving Mother, being his Mother, you shared in his universal kingship. The prophets and angels proclaimed him King of peace. With loving fervor in our hearts we salute and honor you as Queen of peace.

We pray that your intercession may protect us and all people from hated and discord, and direct our hearts into the ways of peace and justice which your Son taught and exemplified. We ask your maternal care for our Holy Father who works to reconcile the nations in peace. We seek your guidance for our President and other leaders as they strive for world peace.

Glorious Queen of peace, grant us peace in our hearts, harmony in our families and concord throughout the world. Immaculate Mother, as patroness of our beloved country, watch over us and protect us with your motherly love. Amen.