The Everyday · The fine art of crafting

{pretty, happy, funny, real} meets Yarn Along, version 2.1



First I should mention that I did intend to link up to Yarn Along yesterday, but never quite got around to getting the picture taken of the current work in progress. Then there was also the thought that filling my blog post for the day with pink princessy pictures was probably not the best way to begin Lent. 😉 So here it is today. My reading for the week was Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. However, this time around I am not closing the book only to start it right over again, because I want to crack open one of my Benedict XVI biographies. I’m thinking it will be Milestones

photo (78)

My project in progress is the Girl’s Cap Sleeve Spring Shirt that I originally found on Elizabeth Foss’ website when she knitted her first one probably a couple of years ago now. I queued the project then, later deleted it to make room for others, and re-queued it in 2011, making it one of the longest queued projects I had. Clearly it was time to start. Besides, as I was finishing up the squares for Knitters for Newtown, Princess kept asking when she would get her pink sweater with the pink yarn she had chosen. Clearly it was time for that as well. Posy Pea’s Emma will have to wait another week (though I’m running low on time!).

In home news, Haus Meister treated us to a new look for our bedroom this weekend! The long-awaited blue paint had been chosen, and here’s the results.






Gone are Sunshine’s Sharpie scrollwork illustrations! We also replaced the patchwork quilt with this white coverlet that had been in our linen closet. The wedding picture on the side table is now hung on the wall above my dresser but I have not taken a picture of it yet. We’re still putting things back here and there.


Haus Meister has had a good bit of time on the weekends (when I don’t have him painting or rearranging foyers) to work on his boat project. He also has some eager helpers. 🙂

They’re posing a bit in this one–Rascal wouldn’t have been in there without ear protection. 😉





She stuck in her thumb, and pulled out a plum…. We forgot about my Christmas pudding, and finally got around to steaming it. However, we didn’t soak it in brandy or make brandy butter. We did manage to whip up some cream. I’m pleased with the way it turned out before toddler fingers; having a proper pudding basin makes all the difference in shape.



Did you watch the Ash Wednesday Mass from Rome yesterday? It was the last public televised Mass of Pope Benedict’s pontificate. Of course, my viewing is usually sporadic–I get snatches of it here and there, because the kiddos just aren’t at the point where they can sit through a 2-hour Papal Mass. 😉 However, we were all there at the end when the Basilica erupted in applause to honor this man.

RASCAL: Why are they clapping?

ME: (choking up) They’re thanking him. They’re saying good-bye.

my thoughts on the subject

My two cents…

photo (77)

This morning began like any other, of course. Haus Meister woke me before he left, gave me my coffee as only he can make it, and we sat on the sofa in the living room to say our morning prayers. After he left for work I sat at the computer to finish my coffee, check e-mail, and the weather for the day. Absently scanning the headlines at the bottom of the Weather Channel page, I was shocked suddenly to read: “Pope Benedict XVI to step down.”

Impossible. It must be a hoax.

Now of course it took about three minutes and a quick browse through other news venues to see that it wasn‘t.

Most of the day has been spent in a myriad of emotions, trying to wrap my mind around this. Trying to avoid reading vituperative comments (hard to do down here in Deep Bible Belt where the Pope is the Jack Chick Antichrist). Trying to avoid those who decide to figuratively exhume Bl. John Paul II and point out every physical ailment and how it impaired him and how he should have been the one to resign.

As if we’re the ones to judge. We’re not the ones in the papal shoes.

If any two men in the world ever prayerfully considered this step, I am certain it must have been these two. John Paul considered it but continued on. Benedict considered it and found it to be God’s will for him. No Gallup poll, no amount of Facebook comments, no votes or likes or thumbs up or plus-ones factor into this. It was between them and God. We can speculate all we want, but ultimately that is where the decision lay.

Still, for the practicing faithful Catholics of the world, it’s a blow. There is a shock to it as well. It has been 600 years since a Pope stepped down, and now the man we know, honor, and love is going to step out of the picture. We know he will still be praying for us, but we will miss seeing his smile. It’s like, well, grieving without a funeral. It’s odd also because in our normal parlance we think of someone resigning in terms of failure, like CEOs who step down because of fraud or Nixon resigning, or something like that. This is different. This is so vastly different. He didn’t fail in his task of leading the Church. He just recognized his own limitations, his age, and while he could he wanted to pass on the baton. But he didn’t fail. In fact, so much of his work was done so quietly, so subtly in contrast to the very public John Paul, that I bet we’ll come to see and appreciate it more as the years go on.

And then there’s the anticipation. The joy and hope in the knowledge that Christ will never abandon the Church. There will be a conclave in a few weeks. There will be a new Pope (by the by, I wonder how the eligible Cardinals are sleeping tonight). We’re standing in the thick of Church history. More of my children will be able to remember this day, will be able to tell their children about this day. I’m excited for them. Trooper was only a little guy–maybe 19 months old when Benedict was elected. Rascal was months from his due date. Now they’ll remember, and so will Dino and Princess and maybe even Sunshine. We’re going to make this a big celebration.

But oh, we will still miss you, and pray for you, Pope Benedict XVI.


family life

A little praying never hurt anyone…

Hat tip to my cousin for reminding me of this. Starts tomorrow!

Novena to the Mother of God for our Nation.

Catholics have always turned instinctively for help to the Mother of God in times of need. And so, in 2012 we turn to Our Lady for help. Many of the values that shaped our Country from the beginning seem to be at risk. Pope Benedict XVI and the American Bishops have noted the erosion of religious freedom in the United States, the first value guaranteed by the Constitution.

This Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation will remind us of some of the central truths of the faith, in particular, the Incarnation, passion, death, resurrection of the Lord and Mary’s unique role in our salvation. It will be, in a way, a catechism lesson that challenges us to a deeper conversion to Christ and a more generous life of charity.

The proximity of the Novena to the 2012 Presidential Election will also offer an opportunity to pray for all of our government officials and seek Divine Assistance in the elections.

my thoughts on the subject


Tomorrow we celebrate this great and wonderful country in which we live.

I mean that; we do live in a great country.

Our country is an amazing diversity of landforms; natural beauty is around us no matter what corner of the land we happen to be visiting. The people in our country are an interesting diversity of ethnicity and cultural backgrounds, all contributing to the fabric of America’s tapestry. All play a part of what makes her great.

Some Americans are descendants of people who were brought here unjustly, whose freedom was taken from them and made to work and treated no better, sometimes worse than animals. Eventually the slaves were freed and no man now can enslave another in our land.

Many Americans are descendants of those who left the Old Countries to seek freedom–freedom to educate their children without fear of reprisal, freedom to seek work and a better life for their families. Usually, people flocked here because once this country was founded it became a safe haven for those who wanted to freely practice and hold to the beliefs and tenets of their religion.

And now, here in this country, the freedom of religion is being threatened. Are you tired of hearing about it? Do you think it doesn’t apply to you because you’re not Catholic? If one person in this country is wrongfully denied their lawful freedom, then we should be angry. We should stand up in their defense, because if it happens to them today then it happens to you tomorrow.

Whether or not you believe in the use of contraception is not as material as whether you believe that our government should overreach its own ability to impose fines on the Catholic Church and other religious institutions for not abiding by this unjust mandate. Hospitals will be affected by this. Schools and colleges will be affected by this. Charities will be affected by this–charities that already help millions around the world by responding to disasters with medical care, food, and true aid (and by that I mean without first demanding that the areas receiving aid also receive condoms and “family planning” programs–as if that helps after a famine, earthquake, war, hurricane, you name it).

We are told to just forget what we believe, what Catholics have held for centuries and yea, what even Protestants accepted as late in history as the 1930s. Forget and submit, or even just accept an unacceptable “compromise” wherein the government can decide which charity, school, institution of higher learning, hospital, and even church is “religious enough” to be granted exemption from fines and penalties. That is NOT freedom of religion. That is coercion.

And why must we do this? Why must we bend or lose our freedom? We are told so that health care may be more affordable since less undesirable or unwanted children will be born.

Say again?

Our freedom is violated so that less children cost this country money?!?! Are we animals? Are we commodities to be bought and sold like this? Is there no other way to save money on health care than to make sure less Americans are born and contributing to the country in the future?

What gave us the right to decide this?

Who gave us the power over life like this?

And what is to come if the mandate passes? Who is next to be sacrificed to supposed “economy”?

How does this keep America great?

That is why we will not bow, nor will we submit to this.



The Everyday

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

I came across this picture from Haus Meister’s phone and decided to go ahead and post it. I might as well make it onto my blog once in a while. 😉
She’s not sad or anything like it; her head is bowed to keep the hat on. On Sunday she didn’t want to change into her playclothes right away. Always nice when the rough and tumble one wants to stay dressy once in a while.
Big brother sits on the floor making the Baby laugh. That’s his gift. He can always make his brothers and sisters laugh.
Watch out, walls! He’s armed and dangerous! Not sure what the ladle is for in the holster there, but he’s not afraid to use it.
(And see–we do wash our walls)