Monday, September 13, 2010

What's in a Meme?

 A week or so ago, I was tagged in a meme by my friend Suzanne, from Classically Catholic.  What is a meme, you might ask?  Well, I have no idea.  So, I looked it up.  According to Merriam-Webster, a meme is "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture."  Kind of vague, but whatever.  Now that we have that cleared up, the directions for this particular meme are as follows:

Share Your Favorite Catholic Prayers in this meme:
~Step 1: Name your three most favorite Catholic devotional prayers, and explain why they're your favorites. (The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. This meme is only interested in people's favorite devotional prayers.)
~Step 2: Tag five bloggers you admire and ask them to play this meme.
~Step 3: Tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme.

So, in no particular order, my three most favorite Catholic Prayers are:
1.  Ok, I know I said in no particular order, but this one is actually my favorite...well, it is if I follow the rules about leaving out the Liturgy and Sacraments.  Although, this may *kind of* be cheating.  My first choice is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.  I love the songs, the smell of the incense, the Latin, the prayers, and all the pomp and circumstance that comes along with it.  We have Benediction every third Sunday after Mass at our parish, and I look forward to it every month!  Especially because I am not able to make a regular Holy Hour right now.  It just lifts my soul in a way that other prayers can't.  Maybe it has to do with the Real Presence just a bit ;)?

2.  I would have to go with the obvious choice, I know, but it's obvious for a reason.  And while I have trouble concentrating and focusing on the mysteries, and it takes a serious act of will for me to sit down and pray one, this prayer always calms me.  The fruits are so immense, I notice them almost immediately.  And, if I have been really good about saying my Rosary, and then fall off the wagon, I can really tell a difference.  It makes such a difference in my life, it's hard for me to argue against praying it.  Oh, and for the record, my favorite mystery is the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, Jesus Takes up His Cross.  That one always motivates me to work harder at my day's work, because if Jesus can do that, then surely I can wash a sink full of dishes without complaining!

3.  And, third on my list are the Stations of the Cross.  I don't really know what draws me to this prayer, but I just have a special place in my heart for it.  And, similar to the Rosary, it does take an act of will for me to say it, and the focusing problems are there, but I just love this prayer.  It just reminds me what we're all striving for, and that my suffering really does serve a purpose.  

Ok, there you go!  My top 3 Catholic devotional prayers.  Step 2 requires me to tag 5 people...I don't actually have time to do that part at the moment, so hopefully I'll get to that within the week.  So, what are your favorite Catholic devotions??  Thanks for the tag, Suzanne!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Would You Like a New Mantilla?

I just discovered this new blog today.  It's called Will You Mantilla With Me?I haven't had too much time to peruse the sight, but it looks like a really great place to be.  They are having a giveaway for 4 beautiful mantillas from Veils by Lily, so head on over there and put your name in the comment box for an entry!  The veils are really pretty.

"Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!'

About a year ago, my husband convinced me that we needed more property.  We just didn't have enough grass to keep the 4 cows we had at the time!  What we needed was more land!  Well, we now definitely have just that...a whopping 18 acres of it.  So, naturally when we got here with our 4 cows, there was more than enough grass to go around for everyone.  Actually, there was no grass...the previous owners raised horses, who ate the grass down to the dirt.  Plus, it was New Year's Eve when we moved in, so grass was not in season then.  So, we had to supplement with hay.  But, I digress.  
Now that summer has been in full swing for a solid 3+ months, we have more grass than we know what to do with.  I mean, when the kids and I walk out to the barn, or anywhere on our property that is not within the confines of the wooden fence around our house, we walk through belly deep grass.  I think I've lost Andrew and Rachel a few times in the stuff!  So, the other day, my husband tells me what we need to solve said grass overload problem, is more cows!  And, since love is blind, I pretty much let the man do whatever he pleases. 
Some of our cows have calved since we moved here, so we were actually up to 6 cows total:  we have 2 cows each with a female calve, a heifer (who Phil believes to be pregnant!!  I'm hoping for a boy =), and the bull.  But a week or so ago, we added two new cows to our growing herd (one of which I think is also pregnant, but don't quote me on that one), which brings our total up to 8...oh, I forgot one...we have 9, because we are holding a cow for our cousin right now.
Actually, I'm really excited about the new cows.  There's something very quaint and soothing about looking out the window, and seeing a pasture full of cows grazing in the yard.  It makes for a very simple, quiet, and country-esque life...which, is great for raising children!  Please note that nowhere did I say in the country is hard work, but much like being Catholic, it's really worth it.  I have to admit, it's not exactly my natural tendency to be a farm-type gal.  I'm pretty lazy.  But, it's one of those paradox things that are so hard to explain.  Even though it's not my natural tendency, I really do find so much joy living life in the country, and being a part of a family who raises farm animals and plants gardens.  Now, the sewing, cooking, knitting, and more domestic type stuff....that I love!  The harder, outdoor, rough and rugged work takes more of an act of will on my part.  But, like I said, I just get a lot of joy out of this kind of life, despite my tendency to laziness.  It's strange, I know, but it's the only way I can explain it.  And, the kids really like the cows, too.  Natalie loves to name them, Rachel likes to moo at them from the window, and Andrew....well, Andrew just wants to ride one =)  He told me the other day, "Mom, I really want to ride one of those cows.  Not a horse, though...I just want to ride one of the cows.  Can I?"  Love that kid!  Not to mention the fact that those cows will not only cut back on the amount of money we have to spend on diesel to run the tractor to cut our 18 acres of grass, but they'll also be providing lean, healthy, grass-fed, hormone-free beef for our growing family.  And, there's promise of a milk cow in the future!!!  Now, that is something to be excited about!  I've always wanted to try and milk a cow.  However, we've also been toying around with the idea of getting a milk goat, instead of a milk cow.  We are still doing some research on that to see which one we want, but there will most likely be some kind of fresh milk in the near distant future.  

Here are some pictures of our new farm friends:
 She is my favorite!  Isn't she pretty?:
Philip likes this gal:

The cows we already had are Dexters.  We went with a different breed of cow this go round, for a couple of reasons.  First of all, Dexters have horns, which Phil is not too crazy about...those are some strong animals, so I imagine they can do some pretty serious damage with those pointy weapons of theirs, and while I don't handle them very much, the man I love does, so I really don't want him getting hurt.  Secondly, Dexters are a smaller breed of cattle, so they can't keep up with the grass as well, it takes a lot longer for them to grow to full size, and you don't get as much beef off of one of those cows as you would a full-sized one.  So, we went with a Limousin and a Hereford....I think...I'll have to run that by Phil to make sure I'm correct.  And, please don't ask me which cow is which breed...I have no idea.  The only ones I can correctly identify are the Dexters.  We also went with the red variety this time, because with the intense heat in the summer, we thought it might be more pleasant for the cow to not be such a dark, heat absorbing color, like black.

Also on the home front, Philip finally got the chute for the cows finished.  It looks really great!  He's been working to get the barn turned into a cow friendly place, as opposed to a a horse friendly place, and little by little, it's coming together.  The chute is finished, which means we can run the cows through there if we ever need to tag them, administer medicine, milk them, or do anything that requires them to stand still and not try to hurt us.  He also built some wooden gates to make a holding pen, should we ever need to keep any of them separated from the herd.  

Here are some of them hanging out in the holding pen, waiting to be run through the chute:

One of the new gates, and the kids watching the action:

There they are, lined up in the chute:

One of the Mama cows and her calf:

Phil, letting them out through the head gate (look at me, using all kinds of fancy farm terminology!  just don't ask me what any of it means...I can repeat what Phil tells me, and that's about it ;):

The holding pen area:

Well, I think that is about it for what has been happening around the farm.  Oh, and I use the term 'farm' very loosely....what we have here is hardly considered a farm, but it's easier than saying 'our relatively large piece of land with cows, pigs, and a small overgrown family garden'.
On a more serious note, I really want to get some cowbells for our cows!!  How cool would that be?! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Insomnia Combined with Access to Babysitters

Last week, I spent 4 days in my home town at my Mom's house, who lives 2 1/2 hours away.  My two sisters, one brother, their spouses, and children all live in my home town, as well.  It was really nice to get to see everyone.  I am actually the youngest of the four kids, and I have 9 nieces and nephews, ranging in age from 21 all the way down to 18 months.  So, with all that access to babysitting, my current lack of ability to sleep at normal hours, and peer-pressure from one of my sisters, I spent a good portion of that time doing some sewing for my girls!  And, man it was fun!  I left the kids with my Mom one afternoon (O.K., it was 2 afternoons!), and spent some time alone just browsing at the local JoAnn's Fabric Store.  Did I mention I was alone??  As in, without small children around me??  Like, pure bliss for a whole 2 hours!?!?!? (1 hour for each afternoon...don't start thinking I'm greedy, now).  It was SO NICE!  I managed to find a nice little selection of some very cute fabric on sale, and my sister and I both made a couple of pillowcase dresses for our little girls (who are both around 18 months old...they are about a month and a half apart), and a twirly skirt for our older girls (they are both 5 1/ Natalie is 7 months ahead of my niece).  

My sister already had some fabric at her house, so I went over there with mine, and we let the older girls decide who got which print.  They decided that they wanted to have their skirts match with each of their little sister's dress, instead of matching with each other (which is what my sister and I would have, it's a hard thing when your kids don't want to follow your dreams for them! ;)  Anyway, here are the creations we made while I was in town:

Rachel's Pillowcase dress.  I kind of combined a bunch of different tutorials around the web, so I don't have just one link to post for the pattern.  But, just do a Google search, and you'll be able to find something if you are interested.  

This picture would have been so precious if it hadn't been so humid outside!  It fogged up the lens on my camera =(  Oh's still a nice shot:

Natalie's Twirly Skirt.  I used this tutorial from The House on Hill Road Blog.  However, I must insert a caveat here...If I ever make this skirt again (which, I most likely will), I would do it a little differently than she did, because the waistband was kind of awkward the way she has you do it.  If there is enough interest in what I did differently, I'll post about it, but I won't get into details right now...

Another view of the skirt to show the fullness:

I never did get a nice picture of Natalie wearing this skirt, but that's ok...she wears it all the time, so I'll get one soon enough =)

The dress my sister made was in a cute pale yellow fabric, with butter flies and daisies, and it had a brown with white polka dot trim.  See how cute!:

  I wish I had gotten a picture of her finished stuff, but she didn't get a chance to finish her dress and skirt until after I left.  We bought 2 yards of the main print, and 1/2 yards of the trim, and there was enough material to make 3 items!  My sister and I decided to trade material, so now I need want to make either one more dress, or one more skirt....I can't decide....oh, the choices!

Aside from all the sewing, we did some other fun things as well.  Like, going to the park to feed the ducks:

They were everywhere!  And, VERY friendly:

Andrew hanging out with the ducks:

I wanted to take this guy home to our farm, but he wasn't having it...

Natalie and Andrew:

Little Rach, enjoying the ride:

Andrew kept pointing and yelling at the Muscovy ducks:  "Hey Mom, look at those roosters!"

What you might see at a park down in Acadiana...lots of cypress trees growing in the water:

You also might see a nutria...

or two:

And, my Mom also took the whole family out to eat at this really great restaurant called Hub City Diner.  If you ever go there, do yourself a favor, and have the fried green tomato salad, with grilled shrimp and roumalade dressing...oh, and a cup of their chicken and sausage gumbo!  Talk about good!  We made sure to go on Kids' Night, so they ate free, and the Balloon Man was there!  He was not only a great entertainer, but he had the best Cajun accent you've ever heard!  It was awesome =)

Needless to say, we all had a really fun visit at Granny's!  And, a long over due one at that!  It had been about 3 months since we've seen them. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tip of the Day

Just a few words of wisdom for parents...

When it's bedtime, and your 5 year old tells you that your 18 month old put a wash rag in the toilet, be sure to go and take it out immediately.  That way, when your 5 year old uses the bathroom in the morning, she won't flush the towel down the toilet because everyone forgot it was in there in the first place.  
I really hope this does not cause clogging issues....
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