Daybook No. 98

daybook tag

Outside my window:: Sunny but also cloudy, if that makes sense. I guess the weatherman would call this “partly sunny”? Or “partly cloudy”? (I never did understand the distinction.)

In the CD player:: 1776 soundtrack.

Wearing:: My PJs. I know. So unexciting. But all my pretty clothes are packed away for vacation!

Reading:: Reclaiming Catholic Social TeachingThe Whole World Over; Mansfield Park; Lisette’s List. I also have a bunch of books packed for vacation, including Middlemarch, The Forsythe Saga, The Girl On A Train; A Memory of Violets; Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, and a few more.

Yes, I bring lots of books when I go on vacation. It’s often like this:


Links you may have missed:: Jane Re-Read: Pride and Prejudice; Sketchbook Skool; The Declaration 

Crafting:: I”ve got some knitting packed for Edel, because there are going to be excellent knitters there, and I need someone to teach me to purl consistently! I’ve also got my scarf and washcloth still on the needles.

From the kitchen:: Not much, since we’re leaving soon! I’m looking forward to excellent Charleston food!

Keeping House:: Cleaning before I leave–making sure all the trash is out, and things are generally tidy, so when I come home it won’t be a disaster. And of course, packing.

Fitness: Today is a yoga day, and tomorrow is a gym day. I am packing gym clothes for vacation (the hotel has a gym), but I think the normal run of things might be enough! We’ll see, though. Better to be prepared, right?

Prayer:: Really trying to keep to my “horarium”, as I’m calling it. That means prayer in the morning (lauds) with some devotional reading; midday prayer (noon) if I don’t make it to Mass; Divine Mercy chaplet and Office of Readings at 3:00 (and rosary, if I have time); Vespers between 5 and 5:30 (with rosary after, if I didn’t get to it already), and compline between 7:45 and 8:45, depending on what’s going on. This is, actually, a copy of a few monastic schedules. It’s not every hour of the office, but it’s a majority of them (It’s four, and there’s seven hours of the office). As a Lay Dominican, lauds, vespers and rosary are required every day. But I really like the office of readings, and compline is special to Dominicans. And of course, Daily Mass when I can.

There will be an adoration chapel set up at Edel on Saturday, which makes me crazy happy.

This week:: Um, vacation? 🙂 Edel is Friday and Saturday. So excited for that. 10 Year Anniversary is on Saturday as well! Rejoice! 🙂

Some cuteness: Princess Charlotte and her family at her baptism yesterday. The baptism was held at St. Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham.

Daybook with Royal Baby Photos! @emily_m_deardo

Duchess Catherine and Princess Charlotte.

Royal Christening @emily_m_deardo

The Duke and Duchess, with Princess Charlotte in the pram, and Prince George checking on his sister. (“I want to make sure she’s in there…”)

Princess Charlotte at her christening @emily_m_deardo

Someone looks like her mommy.


Daybook No. 96

Outside my window::

Cloudy. It’s not supposed to rain, but we’ll have clouds all day. I’m not opposed to that.


My PJs–a black t-shirt and Disney PJ pants. I’m unoriginal. 🙂


I just finished Emma: A Modern Retelling, and I did enjoy it. At first I was sort of concerned because Emma was really different from how she is in Austen’s original, but it all calmed down by the end of the story, and, as always, Alexander McCall Smith is magical. For my birthday I also received Station Eleven: A novel, (which I’m probably the last person to read) so that’s on my list, as well as At the Water’s Edge: A NovelAnd I’m reading Ivanhoe (Penguin Classics). I’m reading it very slowly, a few chapters at a time before I go to bed. I’ve found that this is the best way to work through Big Fat Novels for me, other than a road trip. Small doses, and I get through it that way. 🙂

In the CD player::

The Lion King. Really. I don’t know why, but it’s been speaking to me lately.


So, thanks to Cristina (again!) I have a new plan for posting. This week is a little off because I had clinic yesterday and I was cranky afterwards so I didn’t get a lot of posting done. But the new plan is to have fresh content on the blog here and the author site twice a week (on both), with Thursdays being the days I work on my manuscripts. So if you don’t already subscribe to the author site, do it, so you can get that content as well. I won’t always cross-link over here. Read this post for more on how Important the Author Site Is. 

There is also going to be some redesign happening here, so if you see any crazy test posts or changes, fear not!


About to start the third piece of the housewarming gift. I hope to have a few rows cast on before tomorrow’s Yarn Along.


Steering back toward a better diet, which means really cutting back on carbs and other empty calorie snack things. Time to focus again on whole foods and protein. Wheeeeee. Of course this does mean strawberry and mint omelets, which are yummy!


So many people I know are going through hard seasons. Really hard seasons. Join me in praying for them?


Plans for the week::

Writing. Working out. Lunch with Dad on Thursday. The normal fun things. 🙂

Daybook No. 95

Easter Sunday 2015

Easter Sunday 2015

Outside my window::

Cloudy. It’s going to rain. Because it’s April and that’s what the weather does in Ohio in April. 🙂


jeans, an emerald green tank top. When I go out later a navy blue v-neck cardigan will go on top, and I’ll have navy flats. Navy is my bag, today. 🙂

Listening to::

The Hallelujah chorus from Messiah. Because, YES.


The Best YesFood: A Love Story


I’m taking part in WordPress’s writing 101 course, so there may be some of those posts going up on the blog throughout the month. You’ve been warned.
Also! The Fantastic Cristina is helping me make this site and my author site better and Much More Awesome. Check out the author site and please give it a follow! 🙂

Around the house::

Post-Easter cleaning. I had the place looking really good (for the most part) pre-triduum, but now there’s stuff that needs done from the Triduum fall out. 🙂 Like tossing shoes that are broken/don’t fit/I can’t wear anymore, sorting clothes into clean/need washed piles, things like that. And meal planning.

Plans for the week::

It’s birthday week! So I’m going out to dinner tonight with a friend, then dinner with the family on Thursday (actual Birthday). This weekend CCD is back, so I have to update my records, and I’m teaching the Lay Dominican novices about the Liturgy of the Hours and lectio divina, so I have to prep all that as well. Whew! And baseball season starts!

Daybook No. 94

Daybook No. 94


Outside my window::

Cloudy and chilly! My iPhone says it’s 28 degrees out there, and I’d believe it.


My PJs–blue t-shirt and Disney PJ pants. So, you know, nothing exciting.


I’m about to finish The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of Our Times, and this is REALLY good, guys. I highly recommend it!

Also, this arrived at the house yesterday!:



This was originally a Christmas present! But there was so much interest, and the press that publishes this is so tiny, that I’m just now getting it. I’m not going to link to it on Amazon because I don’t think they have any–but your local bookstore might! If you’re a LIW fan like me, you will really love this. And if you’re a real fan, then you’ll appreciate this photo of a hay log!


(If you’re not a LIW fan, then just….move on. :-P)

Around the house::

The usual. Changing sheets today, though, and working on cleaning out the office. I need to get some trash bags up there so I can bag stuff that’s been tagged for discarding.


Why people think that good food should be cheap. I mean this in terms of meat and produce, milk and eggs.

A good product that is raised humanely and responsibly, by actual family farms, is going to cost more. It just is. There’s a lot more that those farms have to pay for. And we’re not even coming close to really covering their labor costs. BUT they provide a product that is better–for the animals, for the environment, for us. Have you tasted local milk before? Let me tell you, it’s awesome. I gladly pay more money for it because it’s so good. Stores that have higher price tags on these items are usually (Not always) but usually providing you with a better product. If you want healthier food, you’re probably going to have to pay for it.

I’m just touching the surface here–if you’re really into this, read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, which is amazing.

Farming is hard work, people. Raising food, raising crops is hard work. Some of that should be reflected in what we’re paying (and I say this as someone who is, by no means, rolling in the cash). That doesn’t mean you can’t love Trader Joe’s. I do love Trader Joe’s.

You can get deals at Farmer’s Markets. In fact, I direct you to Elizabeth on this. I don’t have a vast experience with farmer’s markets, and that’s something I’m hoping to change this summer. Don’t go to places like the market or more expensive grocery stores thinking everything is going to be expensive. In fact, when it’s in season, it’s usually cheaper! It’s when we’re paying for tomatoes to be shipped from Chile that they’re expensive! (And they just don’t taste as good.)

Anyway, read Elizabeth’s link, read the book, and think about food as more than just a price tag, guys. Just some food for thought, this morning.


We’re in Passiontide–the last two weeks before Easter. Yesterday I was teaching CCD and the two questions were:

“Is Pilate a Bad Guy?”

“Is Judas in Hell?”

I had to refrain from pulling out Dante for that last one. 🙂


I’ve got a list of writing projects to work on, so I have to get cracking there. This includes making an omelet so I can photograph it later this week.

Daybook No. 93


Outside my window::

Sunset time. The sky is a lovely robin egg blue, one of my favorite colors, and it so feels like summer.

Or as Olaf would say…..”SUMMMMMMMMMERRRRR!”


PJs–my BalletMet t-shirt and Disney World sweatpants. There are, by the by, the only pair of sweats I own. Apparently sparkle and tiaras must be had for me to go this route. 🙂


The Pilgrim’s Progress (Oxford World’s Classics)

On the Passion of Christ: According to the Four Evangelists : Prayers and Meditations

I also read Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat- Inspired by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatiusover the weekend, and found it excellent. Really, it was the perfect book for me to read this year, since the word of the year is Trust. 🙂 A great read. It’s big, but if you’re a fast reader like me, you can get through it in much less than the weekend he recommends, but it’s not a book you really speed read, anyway.

In the CD player::

Jesus Christ Superstar, alternating with Lent at Ephesus. These nuns are amazing, folks.  Get their Easter CD, too!

Around the house::

There are several corners of the house that require deep tossing/cleaning. So I’m going to put them on my to-do list. I also need to take the HUGE pile of books/movies/CDs to Half Price Books and get some cash for them! It’s really an impressive pile.

From the kitchen::

various meals I’m making this week: sautéed salmon, French onion sou, Chicken with grapes, turkey burgers, Greek shrimp and feta penne, Provencal stew, balsamic chicken. (These are all Rachael Ray recipes. I’m on a Rachael Kick atthe moment.)

Plans for the week::

Dermatologis appt. in the morning. St. Patrick Feast Day Mass tomorrow (my parish’s patron, so we have Mass and then we party with Irish music and Irish tea party fixings). Also planning on getting to the gym several times this week.


Whenever I go to the chapel, I put myself in the presence of our Good Lord, and I say to Him, ‘Lord, I am here. Tell me what you would have me do.’  If He gives me some task, I am content and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him since I do not deserve to receive anything more than that. And then, I tell God everything that is in my heart. I tell Him about my pains and my joys, and then I listen. If you listen, God will also speak to you, for with the Good Lord, you have to both speak and listen. God always speaks to you when you approach Him plainly and simply.

–St. Catherine Laboure

Daybook No. 92


(More on grace later in this post, y’all)

Outside my window::

It’s WARM!!! It was brilliantly sunny most of the day but now it’s clouding up a bit. But it’s still warm! My bedroom window is open! The snow MELTS! I rejoice. 🙂


A J. Jill jersey skirt with an asymmetrical hemline; a long-sleeved gray t-shirt (v-neck) from Eddie Bauer. This is one of my favorite outfits. Earlier I had on a pink and coral scarf but that went off when I had to cook dinner. I don’t want to set myself on fire.

In the CD player::

I had Surfacing in yesterday because I needed to sing to some nice songs. 🙂 🙂 Nice meaning with a decent beat. First sunroof opening of the year? Cause for celebration.

In the book pile::

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love
Death On A Friday Afternoon Meditations On The Last Words Of Jesus From The Cross
A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander)
Be Holy: A Catholic’s Guide to the Spiritual Life
That last one?I love it. I read it on a sort of regular basis, and it always goes on retreat with me. I highly, HIGHLY recommend it to all people. It’s one of my favorite books ever.

Around the house::

It’s so much easier to keep the place clean when it’s easy to take the trash out. Really. No snow? No drifts? Straight shot to the dumpster. 🙂 I changed the filter in my vacuum, swept the kitchen floor, and am mopping after I finish writing this.

From the kitchen::

Dinner was Rachael Ray’s leek-y chicken with a rice pilaf. Normally I’m not good at cooking rice, but this was great–it has white wine, chicken stock, thyme, and lemon zest in it, along with a shallot. Win. basically the only thing I needed to buy for this recipe was the chicken and the leeks!

Rest of the week–Black Bean and Rice “Stoup”; Garlic Roasted Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon; Luna Marinara (Friday lunch), and taco bowls. Yum.

Pondering//Retreat Notes:: (One of many to come, I’m sure)

There’s a lot I could say about this retreat. And I will. But in re the photo at the top of this page, I have this from our retreat director:

“Grace doesn’t just sit on a shelf. Grace is mediated, grace is given, grace is asked for, and grace is used! It’s not just something in a box.”

The theme of the retreat was the Virtues of Mary, but we talked about a lot of other things as well. Stay tuned.

Plans for the week::

Holy hour on Wednesday, lunch with my Dad on Thursday, and not sure about Friday 🙂 Going to see Donna del Lago on Saturday!!! Yeah Bel Canto! I can’t wait to see this opera. It looks like a gorgeous production, and I adore Joyce DiDonato.

Photo I’m sharing::

Tiff at I at the Columbus Hofbrauhaus.

Tiff at I at the Columbus Hofbrauhaus.

Daybook No. 89


Outside my window::

Snow flurries, on and off. It snowed, then rained, yesterday, so the snow isn’t really sticking. But it looks pretty falling!


Jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt. It’s a house day so nothing fancy.


Amata Means Beloved, by Sr. Mary Catherine, Cardinal Wuerl’s book about the creed (which was a Christmas gift from this person). Also need to start Our Mutual Friend.


Working on the ending of THE BOOK. Not exactly sure where this is going. I mean, I have an idea, and I’ve started, but I’m not sure how that will play out in actual words. (That makes sense. Right?) I’m also working on the cowl so I’ll have an update for YA this week!

You may have noticed a new widget on the sideboard. I’m a new contributor for Real Housekeeping! Squee! Go check it out. My first piece should be up in March. I think. At the moment, I’m planning on writing about food glorious food.

From the kitchen::

I have every single meal for the entire week planned out. I’m happy with myself, yes? But I won’t bore you with all that. I’ll just give you dinners:

M: Jamie Oliver’s pork stir-fry

T: Curry from Dinner: A Love Story.

W: Chicken Caesar Salad from 30 Minute Meals

Th: Jamie Oliver’s stew

F: Out

Saturday: Rachael Ray’s chili con carne (Saturday and Friday can be flopped, if necessary)

I have to make stew a lot during the winter, for obvious reasons. 🙂 For breakfast this morning I had a cheese omelet that turned out very well, If I Do Say So Myself!

Around the House::

The usual–vacuum, mop, dust, that sort of stuff. Nothing different here.


Why can’t people go anywhere without their music in their ears? Seriously? I saw a guy at the grocery yesterday who was wearing huge Beats headphones while he was grocery shopping. I love music, people, but this is just getting ridiculous. It’s OK to have silence every once in awhile! Really!

Photo love::

The winning trivia night team! I love my church’s trivia night fundraiser. It’s a chance to use all the random factoids that hide out in my brain!

Trivia Night 2015

Trivia Night 2015