Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 26

Outside my window::

Kinda gray. It rained all day yesterday and sort of on and off today, but tomorrow should be beautiful!

I am wearing::

A blue cashmere J. Crew sweater and a layered gray skirt, and black flats. It was really HUMID today though so I was regretting the sweater pretty quickly.

In the CD player:

Les Miz complete recording, alternating with Josh Groban’s new album


Finished The Bride of Lammermoor last night, and I have to say I was really disappointed. There was all this build up and then bang five pages of resolution. Not cool. And a lot more “telling” than “showing.” Next up is Return of the Native. Also re-reading In This House of Brede, because I can’t go too long without reading that.

Around the house::

I dusted and polished all the downstairs furniture over the weekend. Now it’s the upstairs. Also vacuuming and mopping, the usual stuff, and cleaning up the front of my kitchen cabinets because they get sort of messy if neglected.


Working on my music, always, especially with the show upon us!


Where did April GO?! I can’t believe it’s May now.

This week::

My sister graduates from college. Sob. Friday night is her pinning ceremony for the School of Nursing, and then Saturday is the big day!

Working out::

I joined the “walking challenge” at work, and am back to regular interval/circuit training. Can’t wait until the pools open.


What’s a duke? (AKA, how the Peerage system in Britain works)

And a new CD from wonderful Benedictines!


At the end of the day (weekend rewind!)

(Yes, I just might start titling my posts with Les Miz song titles. bwahahaha.)

So today was absolutely nuts, but good nuts. (Like that scene in Willy Wonka, right? Good nuts and bad nuts.)

Yesterday was sort of spent in the preparation that is involved in this crazy week. My sister graduates from college on Saturday, and my grandma is coming down to visit for about a week starting on Friday, in-between grandchildren graduations. (We’re in the period in my mom’s family where the “stair step” kids are all graduating like falling dominoes, so spring and summer get busy with these. We are almost–sob!–done with First Communions! Only one more to go.) So my sister graduates this Saturday, and one of my other cousins graduates next Sunday.

So yesterday I cleaned and polished things in anticipation that my parents may bring my grandma to visit one of the days she’s here, especially since she hasn’t seen my “new” place. I made some biscotti for the party I went to today (recipe forthcoming!), did some music prep for Les Miz rehearsal, and had dinner with my parents. I watched the Jackets win in the most epic third period I have seen in 23 years of hockey watching, only to have their playoff hopes denied by the {)(!%(*!^%#(&^!)&*%^ Minnesota Wild, who took the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. But I still love our team.

So today: confession before Mass at noon. Then rehearsal at two. We’re working on each piece, doing intensive work with parts, chords, etc. We’re not really doing dynamics yet, but some pieces are up to performance tempo. On today’s agenda was “Drink With Me”, “Turning” (the women’s number in Act II, after the barricade sequences and right before “Empty Chairs and Empty Tables”), the Wedding Chorale, the Finale, “At the End of the Day”, and the guys got to run through the chain gang “Prologue” that kicks off the show. Sadly we women are only prostitutes, not chain gang prisoners. 🙂

So at the end of rehearsal I headed over to the other side of town for a Dominican Party, which is clearly one of the best kinds of parties to attend. Tomorrow is the feast day of St. Catherine of Siena, who is a special patron not only of Dominicans (she was a lay Dominican) but also of our parish in general, so my friend Mary had a party at her house. It involved lots of Italian/Tuscan food (hence the biscotti I made) and wine and proscuitto, yummm. I also couldn’t resist the siren call of her family’s piano so I had to play a few bits. I can never pass up playing on a piano, ever.

It was great seeing so many friends and the friars who staff our parish were in attendance too (3/4 of them, anyway). We said a decade of the rosary and venerated a relic of St. Catherine of Siena, which one of the friars brought to the party, but mostly we hung out in the family’s sunroom and “talked of many things” while Jo, the family’s poodle, wandered in and out, and Mary’s youngest sister showed us the family’s adorable guinea pigs. The one I held was mostly chocolate brown and looked petrified to be out in the sun and out of their basement domain. Poor thing. He was pretty cute, though!

So all in all a great weekend!

Tuesday Daybook


a blue and white Talbots’ skirt, and a navy 3/4 length sleeve sweater from Banana Republic. I love this sweater because the neckline dips a little in the back, which is always a fun feature. And black flats


Middlemarch; Slim for Life (Jilliam Michaels–in the “losing weight” motivation category); Summa; Return of the Native, and some Dear America books that I recently uncovered.

Around the house::

Vacuuming must happen today. Also general tossing in the bedroom. There’s all sorts of “stuff” in there that doesn’t belong. Also finishing polishing (actually POLISHING) my furniture!

In the CD player::

Les Miz Complete Recording. But oh my goodness…the woman singing Cosette has the most annoying female voice EVER.

From the kitchen::

I haven’t done a meal plan (yet) this week, so tonight is sort of a soup and sandwich night. Tomorrow I think I might try a barefoot contessa chicken recipe.


packing lists; my travel journal for all the traveling that I’m doing this summer, and a bit of creative writing and journaling. Also working on Les Miz music for at least 30 minutes every day. That’s creative. 🙂


for our diocese

for Syria

for those injured/killed in the Boston bombing, and their families.

This week::

Not a whole lot, other than Les Miz rehearsal on Sunday and a St. Catherine of Siena party that same day. Getting my car fixed on Friday so I’m swapping cars with my parents for the Friday commute.


I just love this.

Getting Healthy::

Lost a pound last week. Huzzah! I think the new drug I’m on is causing some muscle issues, though, so we might have to dump/change it.

Seven Quick Takes Vol. 16




So I wrote a lot about Catholic topics with week. If you missed them, here’s the first one, and here’s the second.


I have been praying for the people in Boston all week. My brother is a marathoner and has run Boston in the past. Seeing all those Boston Marathon jackets–just like my brother’s–made me so grateful no one I know was there. But the stories of the injuries and deaths–especially of the eight year old–are absolutely heartbreaking.


I’ve gotten a lot of movies recorded since I got cable and my DVR. I’ve seen The Bodyguard, and really liked it, but had less patience with Thelma and Louise, and I’ve watched the first half of Footloose, because that soundtrack was heard a lot when I was a kid. It’s sort of cheesy. It may get cheesier! But I’ve also got Unforgiven to rescue me from cheese. 🙂


Books: I”ve got some reading planned for this weekend, mainly some work on The Return of the Native, and Summa.


Prep for my MANY vacations this year has begun! I’m buying sunscreen for the Orlando trip, and I know what I’m wearing for my Jeopardy! tryout on 5/21. I am so excited to spend a little mini vacay in NYC, and get to go to Central Park and hopefully have high tea at the Met. 🙂 And see a show, of course, if I can find one where tickets do not cost the Earth. Ideas?


The Blue Jackets, our local NHL team, is, right now, in 8th place in the Western Conference, meaning playoffs. I am hoping this holds. Hoping very, very much that it holds. Playoff hockey is an amazing thing and I’ve never experienced it in person, which I would love to be able to cross off my bucket list!


Another mini-break (GREAT British-ism) is in July, the weekend after Les Miz wraps up. Me and my friends are going to Hocking Hills, where we’ve rented a lodge for the 15 of us (12 adults, three kidlets!). It has a grill, a fire pit, a hot tub, a deck, a game room with pool, foosball and air hockey, and a lot more. I am envisioning hiking, knitting (many of us are crafty) and yoga on the deck.

I was also the Freshman Class Air Hockey Champion at Capital University during Freshman Orientation. I have skills.

Birth and death

(I know, right after posting my birthday post!)

None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die we die as His servants. Both in life and in death we are the Lord’s. That is why Christ died and came to life again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

–Romans 14:7-9

This story is sad, and disgusting.

In states across the country, including New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, graying baby boomers have been lobbying lawmakers in recent months at hearings, in letters and by phone, pushing to make it legal for doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. Advocates and opponents say there is more support this year than in past attempts with five states considering such legislation…

“The baby boomers are aging, and we all have witnessed or are about to witness the death of our parents or people very close to us,” said Barbara Coombs Lee, who runs the advocacy group Compassion & Choices, which lobbies for so-called aid-in- dying laws. “There is an attitude difference about the boomer generation. There is an expectation that we can be empowered and we can impact our fate.”

Guess what. You’re not empowered. You know who decides when you die? God does. You don’t get to, darling. If you’re sick, and you’re terminally ill, and nothing more can be done for you, you can choose not to have life preserving measures, that really won’t help you (i.e., machinery in an ICU). You always have the right to refuse treatment and to enter into hospice, where yes, you can die peacefully, and without pain.

The most common reasons cited for ending life in Washington were a loss of autonomy, dignity and the ability to participate in the things that make life enjoyable.

“Most people we hear from are fairly well educated and they don’t like the choices available in the medical world,” said Judy Epstein, director of clinical services at Compassion & Choices, who oversees the Denver-based group’s volunteers and has been at several assisted deaths. “They are people who want to be proactive and want to ensure they will have a peaceful death on their own terms, that they won’t be in a hospital on a ventilator, that they won’t be knocked out on drugs or be in pain.”

Again,t his is lack of knowledge about how these things work. You do not have to be in a hospital or on a ventilator. And, um, if you don’t want to be in pain, well then, you will be sort of knocked out on drugs. It’s a choice. You can be present, or in pain. Pick. This is such an example of the selfishness of people, the way people want everything done the way they want it. It reminds me of Veruca Salt, in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”: “Don’t care how/ I want it now!”

They think they’re being noble. “Oh, I don’t want to be a burden on my family.” everyone is a burden on their family. That’s what family does–it takes care of each other. I am a TOTAL burden on my family, sometimes. My mom has had to change my dressings, administer IV drugs, bathe me. My dad has spent tons of nights in an ER, in an ICU, in a hospital ward, getting no sleep and taking showers in cramped hospital bathrooms and then going to work. Do I think that sometimes their lives would be easier if I wasn’t there? I guess I have. But I don’t think they’d think that.

If you are concerned about death with dignity, that can happen. Hospice. Palliative care. These are options. If you are afraid of pain, that can be dealt with. If you do not want machines or live saving measures, you can fill out a living will and invest someone with power of attorney, to make sure your wishes are fulfilled.

Death is a totally natural part of life. We are so afraid of it, so afraid of pain and things we can’t control. This attitude needs to be adjusted, post-haste.


So, the day I turned 31 was pretty awesome.

First of all, it was 82 degrees. Yes. You read that right. EIGHTY TWO. The day I was born, we had a blizzard, and usually it rains or snows on my birthday. I was very thankful that it was a gorgeous day. It actually got hot in the late afternoon. Going to a hockey game sounded like an excellent idea. Usually, there is no hockey on my birthday. The season is over, and it’s before the playoffs start. So going to a game on my birthday was a new and exciting thing.

My dad came and took me out to lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse, which is now become a thing, since we did this last year for my birthday.


birthday lunch 2013


After lunch, my office surprised me with a card and a party of Dilly Bars in one of our offices, which was a lovely treat (especially since the last office I was in, it was like pulling teeth to get people to celebrate birthdays, which, as we know I love to do!). After that, it was time for HOCKEY!

We ate dinner at Bostons–my dad, my sister, and her boyfriend, who also was celebrating a birthday that day! It was so great to be in the Arena District with all the excitement, both of a team that was winning, and the great weather. Kids were playing in the nearby park, people were everywhere in shorts and t-shirts.

me and mel at Boston's

me and mel at Boston’s


Mel brought a slice of cake she’s gotten for Mike, so Dad and I had a bit of that, to celebrate. 🙂


Me, Mel and Mike in the park near Nationwide Arena

Me, Mel and Mike in the park near Nationwide Arena


After dinner it was time for hockey! Dad had gotten us tickets right behind the opponent’s goal, which was great, because we’d be able to see the Jackets score (if/when they did).

shots on goal

shots on goal


They did a LOT of scoring–the Jackets beat the Sharks 4-0, so it was a great game. The arena was totally vibrating with the fans’ excitement. To cap off the win, Dad got the three of us a big cup of Coldstone Creamery soft serve at the second intermission, and we shared that. It was divine.

A HUGE win, since the Jackets are in the playoff hunt, and a great way to end my 31st birthday.

Our starting goalie, "Bob", the game's first star.

Our starting goalie, “Bob”, the game’s first star.





Seven Quick Takes Vol. 15



So, I turned 31 this week.

Originally this blog was just supposed to be about my 30th year, but I liked y’all so much and I love the WordPress platform, so I’m keeping it as my “one” blog. I managed to import my Tumblr over here, too, so there’s lots to look through and read, if you haven’t, from pre-30 days. 🙂

Last year was a great year, and this year promises to be even better, with Walt Disney World and New York City coming up in the next two months, and Les Miserables in the summer. And my eight year transplant anniversary. Huzzah! So thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the stuff to come as much as I will.

(And the birthday was awesome. Separate post coming about that. With art.)


Les Miserables: A lot of people have been asking about this. It’s being done by one of the community theater groups in town. I love working with them, for a few reasons, one of them being they mount these huge, awesome shows and do them well. The first show I did with them was Jekyll and Hyde, and since then I’ve been in their productions of Oliver! and Ragtime.

Les Miz rehearsals have started, but they are only chorus rehearsals; no one’s auditioned for a part yet. Those auditions are Memorial Day weekend. If you’ve done a show with them in the past, you can do the chorus sans auditioning. Now, since Les Miz is completely sung, it makes sense to get the chorus parts down ASAP so that we can focus on the interplay between chorus and characters, and blocking, once we get into the true rehearsal period in June.


For my birthday I got a lot of movies: Les Miz, which I had seen back in December, Argo, and Lincoln. Argo, as we know, won Best Picture, and I have to say it was well deserved. That was a well-crafted, intense, visceral film, and I applaud Ben Affleck and crew for the great job they did. But Lincoln was certainly no slouch, although there were times when I wondered by Spielberg chose to shoot some scenes so darkly. (And I mean it was actually dark, not dark in content, like depress) If you haven’t seen either of these, please do so.

(A note on the Les Miz film: The extreeeeeeme close ups that were so irritating in the theater? Works a lot better on the small screen. Not that I mind getting up close and personal with Eddie Redmayne’s freckles, but still, it’s not nearly as jarring at home.)

My brother also got me season 1 of the Sopranos, which I certainly will enjoy, since I love binge viewing TV series (watching a bunch of eps at one time–I’m doing that with Game of Thrones since I don’t get HBO). We watched the pilot episode last night while we ate pizza, and verily, it was a good time.


Can I do a bit of grammar here? What the heck, I’m going to.

People: To make something plural, you add “s” or “es.” iPads. Dresses. Teddy bears. Candles. Cars. Tests. Chairs. Boxes. You do not write: iPad’s. Dress’s. Car’s. Test’s. Because, if you do, you’re not making plural. You’re making it possessive. If you write, “we’re getting ready for the test’s,” you have written a sentence that makes no sense in English. WHY do people think this is correct? It is not. Stop it. Now.

Also: Your and you’re. YOUR is the possessive form of “you.” Your car. Your soda. Your house. Your prom dress.

YOU’RE is a contraction of the subject/verb “you are.” “You’re pretty.” “You’re late.” “You’re smart.” “You’re insane.”

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


So I saw my endocrinologist on Thursday, to check and see if our “no insulin” experiment is working. And yea, it is! My A1C (which is like a player’s batting average in baseball: it shows blood sugar levels over time) is 6.1%, which is normal (anything under 7% is normal). My blood sugar levels are also normal, so we’re all super happy that my pancreas is working as it should! I don’t have to go back to see him until next April, and I’ll have A1C levels drawn every three months, just to keep track (this is a super simple test–it’s just a finger stick. You need a drop of blood, and that’s it.). So rejoice!

Also, we’ve scheduled my two days of Yearly Testing Extravaganza for July 8-9. Eight years baby! Whee!


The clinic was held over in the old hospital, because the current clinic building is being renovated, a floor at a time. So it was on the 5th floor, and let me tell you, it was weird to be back there. That was the old pulmonary/CF floor, where I’d had my first CF hospitalization at age 11, shortly after my  diagnosis, where Dad had ordered pizza for the whole floor the night before my discharge, where I had wheelchair races with a kid named Elvis, and where I’d watched fireworks on the Fourth of July. The floor holds lots of memories, and I kept expecting my former selves to pop up in the rooms. I hadn’t been on that floor in awhile, not since they opened another section of the hospital (4AE) for CF patients, and now, of course, I’m on the transplant service’s floors. But 20 years ago, that floor was home.


Wacky Ohio weather continues–it was 82 on my birthday, and today it’s in the 50s. Oh well. The grass is really green and the flowers are up, so I’m a happy camper.

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 26

Outside my window::

Typical for early April–overcast, but warm, huzzah! I hope it doesn’t rain tomorrow but it usually rains on my birthday, so I’m used to it.


Jeans, a pink t-shirt, a cream colored scarf. Home with a cold today, which is fortunately a lot better than it was yesterday. Oh, and my charm bracelet. I recently got a new bracelet part, one which has a clasp I can use, so I’m wearing it now!


A Clash of Kings; about to start The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things; Summa of the Summa

In the CD player::

The complete Les Miz recording so I can learn it all (every. single. word!) before May. I know about 97% of it already.

Around the house::

changing sheets and vacuuming.

From the kitchen::

Chicken soup tonight. Tomorrow my dad’s taking me to a hockey game for my birthday, so I’m tres excited about that!


Novel #2, in the Camp NaNoWriMo sweepstakes. I’m a bit behind so I need to pick it up. 

Plans for the week::

Hockey game tomorrow; hopefully my last endocrinology appt. on Friday! My blood sugar levels sans insulin have been great so I’m expecting we can fully approve the plan to ditch insulin. 🙂


Over the weekend I got to see one of my oldest friends, Milia, who had come home for a visit with her brother and his family. Our other pal Tiffany joined us, and the three of us, and T’s husband, had a lovely time at Easton, where we went to Cafe Istanbul for my birthday (Milia got my meal) and then to B&N, where Tiff gave me Lincoln for my birthday. (And it’s a great, great movie!)

This photo is the three of us in front of one of Easton’s fountains.