Daybook No. 87

Daybook No. 87

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Outside my window:

Brightly sunny, yay! I like sunny and not cold. It’ll top out at around 40 degrees today so I can walk outside! 🙂

Wearing::

My PJs because I got up a half hour ago. 🙂

Reading::

Under the Wide and Starry Sky (again), Nourishing (which is really good so far), Apollo’s Angels (about the history of ballet) and Benedict XVI’s general audiences on prayer.

In the CD player::

Adele’s 19.

Around the house::

Still taking down the tree. It’s a slow work in progress. Probably because I like my tree. 😦 Today dusting and vacuuming and changing the sheets on my bed. Thrilling, right?

From the kitchen::

Having dinner with my parents so not much today. Rest of the week:

  • Tuesday: Meatballs from Dinner: A Love Story
  • Wednesday: Milanese chicken from Smitten Kitchen
  • Thursday: Curry with apples from Dinner: A Love Story
  • Friday: Out, or Two Bean Chili

Plans for the week:

Working out–yoga and gym combination. Potential movie with my brother tomorrow. Other than that, not a lot! Yay! Teaching CCD on Sunday. We’ll be talking about Jesus’ miracles and four more of the apostles (we break the apostles down into groups of four so the kids can learn about them individually. Well, as much as we know about them. There isn’t a lot out there about some of them. This past week we did Peter, James the Greater, Andrew, and John.)

The NHL All-Star Game is also here next Sunday. My dad, lucky dog, is going to the game, but I’m hoping to go to Fan Fest and see the Stanley Cup!

Writing/Creativity::

Knitting continues, and editing continues. I’m hoping to have finished editing part II of the memoir this week.

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Seven Quick Takes No. 64

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I.

Happy Friday! This week was short, and also long. If that can happen. Monday was long because, seriously, when you can’t eat anything but jello, it’s a long day. Tuesday was short because you know, fun drugs. 🙂

II.

Monday was also long because of waiting for the OSU game. Normally I’m not a huge OSU fan–my parents didn’t grow up here, so we weren’t really into it–but when it’s the National Championship, you can get swept up in it. I’m glad they won. I’m not glad that they scheduled their celebration for the same weekend as the NHL All Star Weekend, which is also here in Columbus.

Seriously, this is my big beef with OSU sports. It’s college sports, but this town treats them like they’re the end-all and be-all of sporting events. All-Star weekend is a big deal, and we have to compete with freaking OSU again?

When my parents moved here from Pittsburgh, one of the things they didn’t understand was this OSU insanity mentality. My Dad is a Pitt alum, and the year Pitt won the National Championship, it was minor, because the city’s major league teams were winning things like the World Series and the Super Bowl. He couldn’t understand how a college team could garner so much press and devotion. And honestly, I still don’t understand it. I realize it’s “all we have”–but that’s not true anymore. We have two major league sports teams. They do not get nearly as much love as the Jackets. It’s sad and irritating.

III.

 The colonoscopy on Tuesday was OK. My doctor was sort of a jerk. He kept us waiting for over an hour and when I got into the procedure room he was playing around with his phone! Seriously? Hint to my doctor friends: don’t do that.

IV.

Here’s the wrap up of  my “big six” Oscar categories from yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing American Sniper this weekend. Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 are on DVD now, so I could catch up with those if I felt so inclined. (I probably won’t do Grand Budapest. That just looks….strange.) The Best Actor race is going to be insane. I think the two contenders are Keaton and Redmayne, since they won the Golden Globes in this category. I love both those actors. I’ll be happy either way, but I’d really like to see Michael Keaton win. As far as Best Actress, Julianne Moore has never won an Oscar, so this would be a first for her, and I’ve been hearing great things about her work in Alice. I’d really like Felicity Jones to win, though. All the acting categories are just chock-full of great names (for the most part), although I think Meryl Streep’s was sort of a…I dunno. Not a throw-away, but something akin? I mean, she’s Meryl Streep. She’s won how many Oscars at this point.

My theater is currently showing Sniper, Imitation Game, Big Hero 6, and Selma, so those are the ones I could see in the theaters right now. I’m hoping Theory and Birdman will swing by.

V.

Reading: Just finished the Big Stone Gap  series, and I should finish Own Your Life today. I really need to get back into The Artist’s Way. I’mw wondering if I should just start over in that regard.

VI.

I have finally joined the masses and watched House of Cards. Wow. What a show. Now, of course, some of that stuff wouldn’t happen in “real life”, but politics is a mean business. It just is. I was talking to my brother about it, and I had the good fortune to work for/with some politicians that were truly servant minded. They wanted to be servant leaders and do the best things for both their employees and the citizens of Ohio. (This is especially true of the Senate President I worked under when I had my transplant. Such a good man.) However, they are not, sadly, all that way. I’m interested to see where season III goes, now that Frank is (SPOILER) President, and I’m interested to see if characters like Linda stick around and work for him.

And, like many others, I want Claire Underwood’s clothes. Not her haircut. I don’t look good with severely short hair. But the clothes!

VII.

Weekend plans: Spending time with a friend tonight; Mass tomorrow; American Sniper with my brother on Sunday, after I teach CCD.

Seven Quick Takes No. 61

Seven Quick Takes No. 61

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I.

This week felt like it flew by.It’s that time of year again, when it just gets closer to Christmas and there’s so much to DO and not enough time to do it! Totally the theory of relativity, right? As a kid, you remember these days going so slowly. And now? Gone so quickly. It’s amazing.

II.

This is partially because there’s a lot going on–tomorrow I’m going to a Penguins/Jackets game with my parents (in which I will be happy with the outcome, because one team I love will win!). On Sunday, it’s the last CCD class before the break, which basically means a video on St. Nicholas and bingo games; then we have a catechist meeting; then there’s a Third Order meeting which concludes with life promises (EEEEK), and then dinner with Mary and lessons and carols at my parish. WHEW. And Monday I have a doctor appointment with all that attends that, and an audition that night.

III.

So, life promises. Yes. Basically, this means I’m a Lay Dominican forever and ever (amen), I promise to live by the rule of St. Dominic for the rest of my life, and be a good Lay Dominican. 🙂 The rule requires that I say morning and evening prayer of the liturgy of the hours, attend Mass as often as possible during the week, go to confession once a month, say a daily rosary, and perform individual religious study. None of these are bound by pain of sin. If I miss vespers one day or something, it’s not a thing I need to confess. But these are the “pillars”, so to speak, of my life, forever, after Sunday. I’ve been in formation for five+ years now, and I’m so glad to be making this final step.

IV.

My Christmas shopping, however, is 98% finished. I still have to get something for two more people, who are hard to shop for. Sigh. I’m hoping to come up with magic inspiration over the next week.

V.

My 2015 calendar is starting to fill up–January has good things (a Symphony concert!) and some unfun/fun things–a colonoscopy (Oh YAY!). Yes, my friends, I need to have one, and the hospital, of course, is freaking because I have a PORT, and we’re going to USE IT, and OH MY GOSH!

Really, guys, it’s not that hard. They don’t even have to access me–mom can do it. All they have to do is push the lovely happy meds into the tube. I do not understand the freak out. It’s an adult hospital I’m going to, but they treat cancer patients, so a port isn’t some exotic medical things they’ve never seen. Sigh. I guess it’ll be a “teachable moment” for them. AS long as they don’t break the port, I don’t care. Just give me the fun meds and do what you have to do, doc.

VI.

in 2015, revision on THE BOOK will begin in earnest. Yes. I have left the draft alone for a few months, I’ve gotten some feedback from my beta readers, and in January it will be time to start massaging it into shape again, and bring out the long knife of editing. Oh yes, my friends. The knife is coming out!

VII.

Next week has two of my favorite days! JANE DAY, her birthday, on Dec. 16, in which we shall all drink tea, watch the Wet Shirt video, and read her books, and Dec. 17, which is Beethoven Day (it’s the day Beethoven was Baptized.) Such great genius!  They were born five years apart (Beethoven in 1700, Jane in 1775), and died ten years apart (Jane in July 1817, Beethoven in March 1827). So on Beethoven Day we will listen to much Beethoven and rejoice in his genius. (Yes, he’s my favorite composer, why do you ask?)

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(Side note: people: stop using this to mean “pounds.” I See it all the time: “The fish was 8#!” REALLY?!?!?!)

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Seven Quick Takes No. 43

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I.

It’s a hockey night! Tonight I’m going to the Penguins/Jackets game with my dad. It’s my first Jackets game this season, so I’m really excited to go. I love hockey. Dad took me to my first game when I was about seven or eight and I was hooked. (If you’re a hockey fan: that was so long ago, Hartford still had a hockey team….) We are Pens fans, originally, but we love the Jackets too. So we usually split our team spirit gear for both teams. 🙂

II.

Rehab goes well. I did 8 miles on the bike on Wednesday and not sure what’s up today, other than meeting with nutrition after my workout time. Yeah nutrition…sort of. As I’ve done more reading on food and good ways to eat, I’ve been inclined to go for a whole food diet as opposed to Weight Watchers/etc., which is mostly processed stuff (at least the pre made foods they have), and the recipes require things that are generally altered. I like to cook, so I might as well do it, right? With real foods? That’s my thought process.

III.

In CCD this week, I’m teaching the kids about the second coming, the Four Last Things, and Purgatory. In case you were a poorly catechized Catholic (or not Catholic at all): The Four Last Things are Heaven, Hell, Death and Judgement. So yes, we’ll be talking about those things with the kids. Yes, Hell is real, guys. I’ll try not to scare them too much. 🙂 (We’re watching a video about the Fatima apparitions in a few weeks–The Day The Sun Danced–and it has a scene of Hell, since Mary showed the children a vision of Hell. So they’re gonna get the picture in an age-appropriate way.)

IV.

Back to yoga with a vengeance. I know I need to be. I can do it at home and there’s a great center nearby. The body needs it, I need it, so that’s that. Full stop. 🙂

V.

Next weekend: Silent retreat! YES! So excited. I love silent retreats and can’t wait to go on this one. How can I pray for you? Leave an intention in the com box, if you have one. 🙂 This will be my first one in a few years, and I need it!

VI.

I’m in the midst of Elizabeth Foss’s brilliant RESTORE workshop. I am loving every second of it. I have to lay down routines and plans and habits so I can have the life I want, and a life that will promote/preserve my health. This is especially important since I got my CT scan results back Thursday and I appear to be in chronic rejection, which means there is scarring happening in my lungs and we want that to stop. Sometimes this scarring can lead to a second transplant, sometimes you can live for decades with it. We’re not sure exactly how it starts or what it is or how to fix it. We’re on the cusp of modern medicine here. So: I need to really, truly focus on what is important to me and make it happen. I have to do these things and not waste words, breath, or pixels. I gotta do it. RESTORE is so helping me get there, providing me with great essays, community, and tools. Because it’s pedal to the metal time. No more messing around with things that waste brain cells and induce frustration.

VII.

So, the book proposal is going out. It is. I’m finishing it, printing it, and mailing it. We’re gonna get it done.

Catholic Woman’s Daybook No. 55

catholicwomansdaybookOutside my window::

Well it’s not “my” window, it’s the hospital’s window–I’m hanging out here all day, first with tests and then with pulm rehab crew at three. I’m in the hospital’s “magic forrest”, sitting right behind this guy’s tail:

Squirrel!

Squirrel!

This guy, coincidentally, is also the “mascot” for the transplant floor. Each floor has an animal mascot that greets you when you come off the elevator.

It’s crazy sunny, so I can’t complain about that , especially after being in a dark room in Nuclear Medicine for the past two hours.

Wearing::

Jeans, black flats, and a green and blue stripped sweater.

Reading::

A Dance With Dragons, City of God, and St. Faustina’s Diary. I made good progress on Dragons over the weekend. Sometimes I’ve found the Game of Thrones books a little hard to start, but once I’ve started, I’m sucked in.

Lent::

Went to confession on Saturday, so I’m glad I got that done. I will never be someone who loves confession, so yeah, I talk about “getting it done.” However, I did have the best confessor my parish has, so that’s a definite plus. For my lectio, I’m working my way through the Gospel of Matthew in the Ignatius Study Bible.

Around the house::

Today it’s the normal stuff, like taking out the trash and dusting and vacuuming. This week’s focus is in the living room, according to the Fly Lady plan I’m valiantly attempting to follow. So the idea is to do some serious cleaning in that room this week. I also have to change the sheets when I get back to the house today.

In the kitchen::

Making cock-a-leekie soup tonight from the Unofficial Harry Potter cookbook. It just sounds fun. And it’s sort of chilly, so soup is good! Not sure what else this week. I have ideas, so I need to do that later today too. I might reprise the potato salad from last week, because that was crazy good.

Plans for the week::

Tomorrow: Lunch at my alma mater with one of my favorite people. 🙂

Wednesday: Back here for a CT scan and more rehab.

Thursday: Stuff with mom–lunch and making a fleece blanket

Friday: Rehab and Pens/Jackets game with my dad (wheee!)

Sunday: Teaching the kids in CCD about Jesus’ second coming and the four last things.

And also, I’m doing this crazy awesome workshop called Restore, which, I gotta tell you, is really exciting. The whole idea is to, well, restore. To slow life down to a manageable pace and not be all frantic and all over the place, like, oh, my life has been for the past four months or so?

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 33

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I.

Happy feast of St. John the Evangelist!

II.

So how was your Christmas? Mine, as usual, was pretty excellent, and it continues (Christmas is 12 days, y’know) with the family reunion, which kicks off today. We went to the 4:00 Mass on Christmas Eve at my parish, where the priest (a son of the parish, who was ordained in June–as a Jesuit, but we limited the Jesuit jokes) gave a wonderful homily based on a line from the psalm, “blessed the people who know the joyful shout”. He also talked about God’s intense love for each one of us, at every moment of our lives. It was a really beautiful homily. The children’s choir provided the music.

My parish altar, decorated for Christmas

My parish altar, decorated for Christmas

After Mass we headed to a local Italian place for the usual Christmas dinner, and then back to the house for the exchange of sibling gifts, and my brother and his girlfriend exchanged presents. There was much watching of A Christmas Story, per usual. We love that movie at our house.

III.

Christmas morning–my brother had to go to Mass on Christmas day (Since he worked the Eve), so once he was home we opened gifts and had the Traditional Christmas Morning Feast, which is sausage and cinnamon rolls. I look forward to that meal all year. I love it. I delight in it.

One of my favorite gifts: tickets to see the new US tour of Phantom of the Opera in March. My love for Phantom is deep and well-documented–it was the first professional musical I ever saw–and to see it again is always exciting to me, especially in a new production.

Christmas Day is a fairly low-key affair at our house. We stay in, nap, watch movies, and things like that. Bryan and I spent the night again while my sister went home (she had to work the 26th).

IV.

A nice “Christmas surprise” on the 26th was that my vacuum had given up the ghost, so dad ran to Best Buy and got me a new one. It’s nice, living where I do, in that there are three big box stores on one street, so it’s good when you need food and/or appliances. The new vacuum works amazingly well–it got up a crazy amount of dirt from the carpets. I was suitably impressed. As a reward for our efforts, we had Chipotle for lunch.

V.

Today kicks off the Annual Family Reunion and I am, as usual, psyched about it. It’s always great to see all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and my grandma for a few days, especially now that everyone is getting older and it’s hard to see everyone when my family visits during the summer. Most of the family lives in Pittsburgh but some live in NYC, St. Louis, and Indianapolis, and my cousin Diane lives in Houston with her husband and two girls. So at Christmas we get to see about 98% of the family. There is lots of food, drink, frivolity, shopping and movie-seeing.

VI.

On Sunday I’m going to a hockey game with a friend’s family–Penguins vs. Blue Jackets. This is a tough game, because the Penguins have been “my team” since I was about six years old, but the Jackets are my hometown team. Either way, a team I like shall win–but the game is here, in Columbus, so it would probably be safer to root for the Jackets? Maybe? I might just wear a neutral blue shirt and “Grover”, my North Face fleece. 🙂 Then I’m good either way!

VII.

As usual, I got several books for Christmas (to be augmented today–I got a B&N gift card, too): Longbourn, Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking, and Jane Austen’s EnglandLongbourn was amazing, and I highly recommend it. I was a bit wary of the premise–it’s the “downstairs” version of Pride and Prejudice, basically–but it turned out wonderfully well. And since my sister got me a scarf with a quote from P&P on it, it was a very P&P Christmas. 🙂

Seven Quick Takes Friday Vol. 24

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I.

OK, so first up: please pray for Thomas Peters, AKA The American papist. He was in a swimming accident and has a broken neck; a Halo is being placed as we speak. They don’t think surgery will be necessary and that the spinal swelling will reduce on its own. Please pray.

II.

Also this article stunned and saddens me: 16 out of 17 babies found to have CF in utero are aborted. This is, of course, the result of several things, fear and ignorance being the top two. As a society, we fear suffering. We see it as an evil we can “avoid.” It’s not possible. So we kill people to avoid it. What? What sort of twisted logic is this?

It is an indescribable feeling, realizing that some people think you would be better off dead, than alive. Truly, indescribable.

I did meet someone like this, once. A girl I knew in high school. She was making the argument that we’d be better off not being born, and I said, “Well, then I guess you’re wishing I wasn’t here right now, because…” and then I filled her in. Complete silence. It takes a lot of gall to tell someone to their face that they shouldn’t be alive.

III.

Wow, those were cheery first two quick takes, huh? 🙂 Sorry! Here’s some poetry.

IV.
The NHL 2013-2014 schedule is out. My Penguins and Jackets play each other back to back here at Nationwide Arena Nov. 1-2. Those will be great days, indeed! I’m excited to have the Jackets in the Eastern Conference.

V.

Tonight I’m heading to Hocking Hills (so you’ll be reading this, as I’m going down there) for a weekend with my friends. This should involve s’mores, hiking, board games, and kids (two of the couples have kids now) and cooking. All things I greatly enjoy. Oh, and knitting! Hopefully I will complete one knitting project this weekend!

VI.

This week’s really good read: Veronica Roth’s Divergent. It’s being made into a movie with Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), so I thought I’d pick it up. Dystopian lit, yes, but good distopian lit! Do read it. It’s the first book of a trilogy, the last book of which comes out later this year (I think).

VII.

Speaking of movies and books: There is a new Percy Jackson movie coming out! Sea of Monsters, with new casting and new everything so that Percy is actually sort of the right age! Score! I’m excited for this one.