Daybook No. 83

Daybook No. 83

Happy birthday, Jane Austen!

Happy birthday, Jane Austen!

Outside my window::

Well, it’s raining, but that’s OK. It’s been in the 50s the past few days–I actually had the windows open in here yesterday. Amazing!


Jeans, t-shirt. Nothing interesting, sorry. 🙂

In the CD player::

Messiah. Because it’s that time of year!


I started The Miniaturist last night, and it’s been REALLY hard to put down so far. I’m a quarter of the way through and I’m loving it. I also have Some Luck, which was an early Christmas gift, and of course all my Advent books. And since it’s Jane Day, I may open one of hers, like Persuasion, which is a bit shorter than the others, and I love it. (Well, I love them all. How to choose, people?!)

Around the house::

Normal weekly cleaning today–dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, etc. Working on cleaning the master bathroom as well.

From the kitchen::

Today I’m having dinner with my parents, but lunch will be a salad, I think. I need to check out my meal plan ideas for the rest of the week.


Lost a pound at clinic yesterday, WIN. Everyone generally pleased, go back at the end of January. I’ve also been noticing that I’m getting a wee bit stronger, so that’s a good thing. Still going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I’ve been having some muscle cramps in my legs which is inhibiting the working out, but we think it’s a problem due to low magnesium levels in my blood (this is a pretty common post-transplant problem), so we’re upping my mag doses to see if that helps. It should.


I made life promises on Sunday. 🙂 It was a pretty great day. I’ll write more about that in a separate post.

Plans for the week::

Not a whole lot, actually! No CCD because we’re on break, so it’s a nice, wide-open week. 🙂

Praying for::

  • Elizabeth’s son Patrick, who’s having surgery today
  • Courtney, and her family.
  • A woman in my Lay Dominican chapter who may have a recurrence of her brain tumor.
  • Elizabeth

Adorable Photo of the Week::

Prince George. Look at those cheeks!

Prince George. LOOK at those cheeks!



Daybook 77 and A Saint for All Times


Outside my window::

Overcast and chilly. It’s definitely fall! But that’s OK! I have a lovely bouquet of red roses in a mason jar on my counter and they make all my mornings better. (My parents gave them to me for opening night of Dolly! They’re really gorgeous.)


PJs, and drinking Mystic Monk coffee. 🙂 My body has been demanding lots of extra sleep lately so I’m trying to obey it, even though it makes me grumpy, because I’d much rather get up at like 8, and not 10. But….the body wants what it wants.


I just won a book from Goodreads, so I’ll be starting that today (It arrived yesterday) and then blogging about it, so look for a review soon! Reading Benedict XVI’s general audiences on prayer as well. Really, I have a bunch of books I want to start/finish but I just haven’t yet, which is inexcusably lazy on my part.


The pontificate of St. John Paul II.


I was so, so lucky to spend the majority of my life under his pontificate, which also meant, sadly, that I didn’t really appreciate it until he had already been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. (Well, one doesn’t really appreciate the pope when one is a small child, to be sure!) He was elected pope on October 22, 1979, just a few months after my parents were married. My siblings and I were all born during his reign. I received all my sacraments while he was pope. His writings, so rich in so many genres (he wrote plays and poetry), and his life, so rich in so many ways, are a source of inspiration and constant study for me.

I vividly remember feeling like I was losing a father when he was dying. My father is still alive–praise Jesus–but I thought this is what it would feel like. He had always been there, always faithful shepherding the church. He had done so much to bring Christ to the world, to “open wide the doors to Christ”, and he did so much to change the world! A pope from a Communist country, who helped bring about the defeat of Communism? Prayer works, indeed. It was unimaginable for so many people. I remember the night the Berlin Wall came down. We watched it on TV in our family room. But I really didn’t understand what was happening–I was only seven and a half. But as I studied history and became more mature, I marveled at it.

For me, personally, I have only admired him more as I’ve gotten older. I ask for his help before auditions, since he was an actor. I ask for his help when writing, since he was a writer (yeah, I ask St. Francis De Sales too, but John Paul II is more immediate for me). His fearless attitude, his call to “be not afraid!”, echoes all the time in my heart. And of course, his great devotion to Our Lady, as he entrusted his entire papacy to her.

I don’t think theologians have even begun to mine the brilliance of his writings, and what they mean for us. I’ll really always consider him “my” pope, like so many other people in my generation. It wasn’t just the length of his pontificate, but the way he spoke so intensely to young people, and even remembered them on his death bed: “I have looked for you. Now you have come to me, and I thank you.” I was a young person during his papacy; I was about to turn 23 when he died.

Watching him in prayer was an intense experience. I never got to see it, personally, but I’ve read accounts and seen video. He had such intense communion with God, such a deep prayer life. You could see how it imbued his mission, how vital it was to him.

And of course–his suffering, the idea of redemptive suffering which is so unique to Catholicism–was on display for everyone to see. As a sick person, this also inspired me. He showed us that life has worth always, even when fragile and failing. His spirit never faltered.

There’s so much that could be said about him. If you want to learn more, I suggest George Weigel’s monumental Witness to Hope

Around the house::

(I really need to reorder these when I have such a long pondering!)

Sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor today, and dusting the furniture in my bedroom.


Working on my NaNo2014 novel–getting the prep done before it starts up November 1!–and also it’s the last weekend of Dolly. Come see it!

Daybook No. 72

Outside my window::

Sunny, some clouds, really nice temperatures. We’re going to hit the 60s by the end of the week, which is sort of exciting. Fall is invigorating to me.


A brown skirt, blue v-neck t-shirt, and my black workout leggings. I had rehab this morning and just tossed my skirt on over my leggings post workout.


Man, I’m behind in reading. I just re-read the Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan because the last book comes out next month, so I wanted to be fresh on the story lines. I’m still reading Summa of the Summa, although now we’re in the interesting parts about ethics and what makes people happy, as opposed to the highly highly philosophical stuff like matter and yada yada. This is better for me. Working my way through The Artist’s Way with the workbook and the morning pages that I wrote about here.


I joined Planet Fitness last week and I really enjoy working out there. I know, gasp and all that. My PT would like me to go tomorrow and Saturday in addition to our 3x/week sessions. I’m OK with that.


So I’m doing Hello, Dolly! with PCT now. The music is harder than I thought. Sometimes much harder (“Put on Your Sunday Clothes”, anyone?). So I’m practicing daily in addition to our weekend rehearsals. Show goes up October 17. I really need to get a cast recording because the movie is pretty different, music wise (a  lot of the chorus parts are cut out and made unison), so it doesn’t help as much as it could.


CCD is back in full swing. We had our first class yesterday and I think, tentatively, that it’s going to be a good year. Much smaller class this year, not even 20 kids, as opposed to the 30+ we had last year!

In the CD player::

Frozen. I’ve been feeling the need to belt when I drive. 🙂

From the kitchen::

I have to do this week’s meal plan but I think it’s going to be a fair amount of stuff from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, which is one of my favorite cookbooks.



Daybook No. 67

Outside my window::

A lovely sunny blue sky day with fast-moving puffy clouds. Going to be in the 70s today so windows open!


Um, my PJs. I slept in and it was good. I really needed it!


The Wings of the Dove, All The Light We Cannot See. And I really need to re-start The Goldfinch. It’s just sitting here looking accusingly at me.

In the CD player::

Once–I was wearing one of my Once t-shirts yesterday, so I thought it would work. 🙂 I’m cycling between that, Music Man and Bridges, so basically I’m either in Dublin or Iowa in my car. 🙂


Oh my gosh, people, the book. I am this close to finishing the first draft. I am really proud of that. I can’t wait to send it to my intrepid first readers!



The show has three more performances, and we have brush up rehearsal on Thursday. We’ve had great audience response thus far, and it’s just such a fun show. Want to come give Iowa a try? 🙂


From the kitchen::

Lots of eggs, actually. A frittata for lunch and then spaghetti with meatballs for dinner, and then other eggy things the rest of the week. I don’t know what’s possessed me. I’m watching The French Chef because it’s free with my Amazon Prime membership, and man, does it make me hungry. Bon Appetit! 


A Hocking Hills Trip with my friends next weekend. Once the show’s over I have to pack for that.


We think the problems I’m having with chest pain are from my port, believe it or not. I’ve had it for more than 10 years, and it’s getting old and is probably irritating the muscles and skin and other things in my upper chest. So we’re going to see if it stops with the muscle relaxers. If it does, then we’re good. If it continues to be a problem, then we might have to talk about getting a new one put in. But that’s OK.


Rehab tomorrow, and it’s so nice, I’m definitely taking a walk today.




Catholic Women’s Daybook No. 64

Outside my window::

Bright sunshiny day. HOT sunshiny day, but I’ll take it, because hot=swimming.


Navy blue tank top and jeans.

Listening to::

The groundkeepers mowing the grass in the complex

In the CD player::

The 2000 Music Man Revival recording–this has the entire show on CD, so it’s much better than the movie soundtrack for show work!


Re-reading Written In My Own Heart’s Blood. Also The Nesting Place and The Last Promise (which I LOOOOVE you guys need to read this! The cover doesn’t do it justice, ignore it and read it. Please.)


Some interesting “career” pathways…I have no idea if any of this will pan out but it’s fun to think about possibilities, yes?

Also, this:

It is the same with the dogma of the Blessed Trinity. It is a completely transcendent mystery. It coneys to us the unspeakable profundity of that divine life that draws its own life from itself and has no need of any other–for, indeed, what could other mean to God? And yet, when I, as a believer, speak of the Blessed Trinity, I do not speak of It as I would of some constellation in the sky, but I understand by It the first principle and ultimate end of my Christian existence, and faith in this supreme mystery leo includes me. And the redemption in which I believe is not redemption in general, but my redemption: that by which I have been redeemed. And the sanctification in which I believe is not sanctification in general, but that in which I have  a stake.

So it is with everything. God has no need of me. He could live and reign in complete fullness of his all-holy and unspeakable existence without the world existing, or I in it. This is one of the dogmas that are erected like walls to preserve our idea of God from contamination, from the confusion of pantheism, and from confusion with the world. But God has decreed from all eternity the creation of the world and my creation; he has called me to return to him by faith and love; he has willed a world in which I am to be a believer and which can be completed only by my existence as a believer; and so the world will become that which God has willed it to be only when I really believe and, by believing, return to God.

My faith is, therefore, insofar as it concerns me, the ultimate completion of the world as God the Creator has willed it. And thus my poor human existence, by the sacred liberty of the divine will, is indissolubly linked with him. I recognize him, by an act of faith, as the one who creates, redeems, and sanctifies me.

–Monsignor Romano Guardini

Cultivating rhythm::

Well I’m starting another pulm rehab session the week of June 30th. Yay! But this time it starts at ten and goes until noon. So–motivation to get up in the morning and establish morning routines? BAZINGA. I’m pretty pleased about that, gotta say.


The book proceeds apace. My goal is four pages a day and I’m sticking to that pretty well. Also, the ebook is formatted but apparently there is paperwork one must fill out in order to sell said ebook. Oh well. Working on that!

From the  kitchen::

Today is leeky chicken with a salad for dinner. I have a CT scan at 1, so I’m going to eat lunch at Children’s before my test.  I have to meal plan for the rest of the week. I lost weight at my appt. yesterday (YAY!) and I have determined that when I cook, I eat better, and I lose weight. So that means–meal planning.


The show is going crazy well. We started rehearsing with the pit this weekend which is amazing–that never happens this early on other shows. Normally you get them for tech week and that’s it. To have a bit less than a month to work with them? Incredible. It’s such a fun, fun show, with a great cast.



Catholic Women’s Daybook No. 63

(using Elizabeth F’s prompts today 🙂 )

I find myself::

::Noticing God’s glory

A red-winged blackbird was hopping around the backyard today. These are such gorgeous birds that I love it when they come to visit.

::Listening to

The Cast Recording of The Bridges of Madison County is in my car, and I’ve got Giada at Home on the TV.

::Clothing myself in

Jeans and a deep pink colored t-shirt. Around the house today, so I chose easy things.


Goals for the month–religious goals, creative goals, fitness goals….all sorts of goals. 🙂

::cultivating rhythm

This is something I’ve been working on for a few months now–the idea of a daily rhythm. When I have rehab, it’s easy, because I have to be at the hospital at a certain time. But when I don’t, I can’t just be willy-nilly with my time. So I’m working on a schedule. Since we’re back from Disney, it’s easier to think about those things now.


I gulped down Written In My Own Heart’s Blood today…..yummmmmm….now I have to re-read. 🙂


My first Ebook should be making an appearance this week. I am really excited about that. I just have to do a last round of proofing and then get iBooks Author formatting to work with me! 🙂  The book proposal is still being worked on, as well.

::In the kitchen

I have a meal plan for this week. One of the problems I’m noticing is that making three “big” meals every day, or most days of the week, is hard for me. If I make breakfast and dinner, then I crave Chipotle for lunch. Or if I make lunch, I want to go out for dinner. Hmmmm. It’s not that I don’t have the capability to cook just abut anything–it’s that my kitchen is smallish, and cooking three meals a day gets hard on the pots, pans, dishwasher, sink, etc. I have to think of a way around this that doesn’t just involve salads for lunch, because that would also get old fast. I made a really good Rachael Ray chicken recipe today that involved a brown butter sauce (I only used a little, it’s all good), herby chicken and a small bed of mixed spring greens with lemon and coarse salt. That was really good.


I’ve missed my theater family, so I’m glad to be getting back to Music Man this week! We open in a month.


Catholic Women’s Almanac No. 62/ Weekend Rewind

Outside my window::

Man, it’s a gorgeous Memorial Day. Sunshine, blue sky, a few clouds, nice and warm. (The swim this morning was excellent due to weather.) One of my neighbors is grilling out and it makes everything smell yummy.

In the CD player::

The Bridges of Madison County. Oh my gosh, people. This show is awesome. I’m sad it’s closed.:( Here’s a clip of Kelli O’Hara, who plays the female lead, Francesca, singing the show’s opener. It’s a stunner.  (I mean, of course, it’s Jason Robert Brown, but still. It’s so much better than you may think.) I’m alternating between this and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, because who doesn’t need some 80s music every once in awhile?


Sense and Sensibility (Marianne just met Willoughby), Watership Down (I’m about finished and it’s really good), The Pickwick Papers, Keeping Home (a Christian perspective on housekeeping).


Around the house::

Getting ready for the Disney trip which is rapidly approaching! SO excited. I may have mentioned how excited I am. 🙂  So I’m packing clothes and books and toiletries and all the gear I need for a trip to the House of Mouse. Also doing regular cleaning so that when I leave the house (and come back to said house) it won’t be a disaster of Epic Proportions. I also have to make sure I have all the meds ordered and ready to go for the trip, since I don’t want to track down a pharmacy in Orlando that may or may not carry the drugs I need. 🙂



Only one rehearsal this weekend, and it was to run through our existing Act I blocking, block Trouble and work on polishing Iowa Stubborn, which is going really well. I love this show and the cast more every rehearsal, which is great and really exciting, since we also get better every rehearsal.

Well, blocking for three hours counts, right? 🙂 There has also been much swimming since the pool officially opened on Thursday. (I’ve gone twice, which is good for me.) And of course there will be lots of swimming/walking at WDW.

Fun links::

This Jane  discovery.  (Everyone needs more Jane in their lives) and where Richard III will be buried.  So, yes, a British flavor to these today. 🙂

Weekend Rewind::

There was swimming, there was X-Men: Days of Future Past (I will say it is probably helpful to have seen the other movies before this one, but I don’t think you’ll be irrevocably lost if you haven’t seen them before seeing this), there was a cookout with perfect burgers. In general, great summer kick off. 🙂

X-Men, by the by, is definitely worth seeing, especially for James McAvoy’s disillusioned and mournful Charles Xavier. Also, Ellen Page has a small but very well done and important role in this installment. And Jean-Luc Picard! (I know, I know. Patrick Stewart, Okkkayyyyy! I grew up with a Trekkie Dad, what do you expect? )

Plans for the week::

More rehab (W and Fri), packing, and then The Happiest Place on Earth. 🙂