Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 43

saint catherine of alexandria reading a book by marinari

Happy Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Co-Patroness of the Dominican Order! 🙂 

Outside my window::

Getting dark, and it’s COLD. Like in the teens at night cold. Brrr!


Black v-neck dress with a deep blue camisole, and black flats earlier, but those are off. My “grover” (my furry North Face Fleece, which is bright blue) is getting a lot of use as well these days.

In the kitchen::

Pasta, cacio e pepi, which is basically pasta with lots of cheese and pepper.


St. Catherine of Siena’s dialogues. I should finish this tonight!

Fun links::

Pride and patridges: Jane Austen and food. 

Knitting as a feminist issue? 

Praying for::
Angela in her “cancer eradication” surgery today. 🙂 (That’s what she’s calling it)

My pregnant friends

Around the house::

I have to start wrapping Christmas gifts. I did a lot of cleaning this weekend and my Advent wreath and my Nativity are both us. The tree is this weekend’s project. I only have work until Wednesday at noon, so a nice long holiday is in my future! Plenty of time to clean and deck the halls.

Being creative::

A bit less than 9,000 words left in NaNoWriMo sweeps! Yes! I also ordered a ton of new yarn today for a ridiculously low price, so I want to finish the scarf I have going on now and then clear my needles for the yarn that’s coming!

In the CD player::

Oh yeah, it’s Christmas music. 🙂

Plans for the week::

In no particular order: Thanksgiving (well, on Thursday, duh); three Pure Barre classes; my brother coming over with his girlfriend; the OSU Michigan game; putting up the tree; seeing Frozen, and going to a production of A Christmas Carol on Sunday. And I want to see Book Thief too!

Head over to Suscipio for more CWAs!

Saints Are Not Sad

I believe it was Venerable Fulton Sheen who said, “saints are not sad.” His assertion is borne out by other saints, namely Saint Padre Pio, who said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

‘Tis the season to be thankful. But I’ve noticed a lot of grumpy Catholics lately. Or, more accurately, doomsday Catholics, who feel that we’re all going to perish anon if we don’t give up all pleasures and move to a monastery to weep for our sins….Read the rest over at Suscipio!

Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 40

Outside my window: 

Clouds moving in. We’re supposed to get a cold front that’ll bring frost/freeze weather. Yeah Ohio in October. I mean I don’t like snow, but I don’t like the 80s in October, either. This is fine with me. 🙂


Finished House Like a Lotus, so re-reading Mother Teresa and Me. Also trying to finish A Feast for Crows.


Nutmeg colored cashmere V-neck sweater and a rust/cream/brown skirt. I had on boots that matched the sweater earlier, but I’m home so they’re off. 🙂


For pregnant friends

For Thomas Peters

for Elizabeth D., blog friend. 🙂

For friends who are sick/going through medical procedures.


Do we really think that eliminating suffering is what makes life worth living? Do people actually think it’s possible to eliminate it? Because it’s not…

From the kitchen::

Just sandwiches tonight. It’s the first week post-show, so I’m not up to much more than that.

In the CD player::

the Original Broadway Cast of Aida. But might change it to Loreena McKennit soon here.


Hoping to finish grandma’s Christmas scarf this week. Then on to a scarf for me. 🙂


Back to the Pure Barre classes, since I missed them last week due to Tech Week insanity.

Plans for the week::

Workout tomorrow and W; clean up rehearsal tentatively scheduled for Thursday. Show Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and CCD on Sunday morning.




Prosper the work of our hands

Recently, I took up knitting. I’ve been wanting to do this for many years, now, but somehow I never quite got the gist of it–how to cast on, how to actually knit. I liked to look at the pretty patterns and vibrant yarn shades in craft stores, but the actual art of sewing remained a mystery to me.

Last month, a friend of mine sat down with me and taught me to knit. One of the things she taught me is that knitting isn’t an art where you see immediate results. It takes time for the rows and shape of the item to come into being; in fact, for the first three or four rows of any project, it can look like large bit of knotted wool! I kept thinking I was doing it wrong. But by the time I reached 10, 20, or 30 rows, I could see that I was actually making something. There was form and beauty there, and probably a few mistakes. But for the most part, it was a recognizable object. The yarn had been turned, by my hands and the needles, into a piece of fabric that had uses.

Read the rest at Suscipio. 

Seven Quick Takes Vol. 18



Well I started my weekend off by tripping off my front step, twisting my ankle and landing in the grass. Fortunately it’s not sprained or broken, but it’s turning some interesting colors and I’ve got ice on it. So good thing I walked a lot this week so I can sort of take it easy on the poor foot tonight.

When I fell off the step, I was wishing there was a Willoughby near by to help out, but, like a true 21st century woman, I made it to my car and drove over to my parents’ for dinner. Such lack of romance in my world!


I have almost finished unpacking from NYC–a few things left in the suitcase, and some laundry items. But now it’s time to start talking Orlando packing! I’ve got the beach bag packed with my suit, towel, and a full sunscreen arsenal, bien sur! Next is packing a bag with the maps, reservation confirmations, Guide Books and other navigation and logistical items. And, of course, lots of books have to come. I mean, what’s the good of lounging by the pool sans books? Never! I’m thinking about bringing some Big Books to re-read.


Speaking of re-reading, it’s time for the Annual Jane Re-Read! Every Summer, Starting Memorial Day Weekend, I re-read all of Jane. I’ve gotten a head start this year, in that I’ve already read Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility, so Pride and Prejudice is up next. I’ve also got the books I bought in NYC–Extra Virginity, French Provincial Cooking, and a few others.


Rejoicing in the long weekend with a lot of reading, music, writing, and Les Miz auditions on Sunday. I’ll let you know when I know. First rehearsal is next Wednesday.


So this is what next week looks like: Monday off; Wednesday first Les Miz rehearsal; Saturday off to Orlando. Wowza. So I’m hoping to get a lot of packing done this weekend, as well as cleaning. I also want to do some cooking, since I just got back from a restocking trip at the grocery.


Hopefully, my ankle will just be fun colors, since I have to workout this week to continue prep for Orlando. I don’t want all my NYC prep work to go to waste! I’ve got a pretty good plan of treadmill work + cardio circuits for this next week. Sadly, swimming is out, because it’ll only be in the 60s here. It is almost never warm on Memorial Day, and that’s when pools open around here.


A blog keeping note: I write a regular column for the Catholic Women’s website Suscipio. I’ve included a link to the website, and all my columns, under the “writing” tab above. So check it out. 🙂

This week’s Suscipio column

Can be found here.

Here’s the first few graphs:

Tis the season for graduations, confirmations and first communions, because it’s spring here in the U.S. (and the northern hemisphere). Do you remember your first communion? I’m pretty sure the Apostles never forgot theirs.


The importance of the Eucharist, and the Mass, in Catholic life cannot be understated. You can’t have one without the other. Mass isn’t Mass without Eucharist; it’s just the “liturgy of the word”, and, while that’s lovely, it’s not the source and summit of our lives, as my pastor is fond of saying. The Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, and our belief that it is just that, is one of the hallmarks of Catholicism.


Maybe the apostles had no idea what Jesus was doing. I mean, sure, he’d said “eat my flesh and drink my blood” (John 6) and they hadn’t fled, like so many had. They’d stayed with Jesus, even though this teaching was hard to so many of their countrymen. But did they truly understand what Jesus was doing in that Upper Room? Do we, 2,000 years later, understand it at all?

Preaching the Kingdom

This is one of those mysteries that you can ponder for a long time and never quite finish pondering it. The “preaching of the kingdom” covers just about everything in the gospels: the Sermon on the Mount, the parables, the cures, the Loaves and Fishes, the Bread of Life discourse–all of Jesus’ preaching and activities. In that sense, it’s an easy mystery to pray, because you can pick your favorite image or story or event and meditate on that.

But I think it’s also fruitful to use this to ponder our own sense of mission. For nuns and sisters, it’s their prayer and their apostolate that is their preaching. For married women, it’s their married life, and growing in holiness with their husbands; for a mother, it’s taking care of her family, and raising her kids to know God and to be devout Catholics. For the single, it can be a little harder, but we are all called to holiness, to prayer, and to bringing that to the world.


For the rest, head over to Suscipio.