Outside My Window ::
We're 10 days into the official start of Spring and there are signs of it everywhere. Buds on trees and my grape hyacinths are in full bloom. Daffodils have been out for a while as are many other flowering trees and shrubs. On my daily walks I've noticed the cheerful, little faces of pansies adorning the gardens of many of my neighbors. I have not planted any.
Today is cloudy and rather chilly, not unusual for March in Virginia. There's the promise of rain tomorrow - not only from the meterologist - but I feel it in the air.This Old House ::
Jim and I have completed our plans for a remodel of the bathroom adjoining our master bedroom. The master bath or en suite as they say. It seems a daunting task, however it needs to be done if we ever wish to sell this place one day. Which we will want to do after Jim retires. Not very soon, yet soon enough, especially considering how long it takes us to complete a project. And then there's the kitchen and the floors and, well whatever else figures in to carrying us out of the 1980's design-wise. It never seems to end.
We did re-do the powder room, quite successfully, if I do say so myself! A small, but needed uplift to a very manageable-to-update room. And we converted Kevin's former bedroom into a home office. That project is still on-going, although it's mostly complete. All the difficult things are done - built-in shelves and cabinet that Jim built and the hardwood floor that he installed.
I'm always struck by how crooked the walls are in this house.From the Kitchen ::
Jim and I continue to try to eat as healthy as possible. I have recently added a little more red wine - one glass at dinner most nights - a little dark chocolate and a teaspoon of pure cocoa sprinkled in my morning coffee. Half way through Lent I decided to give up bacon and processed sausage. I'm eating less cheese only because my doctor says my LDL cholesterol is inching up toward the borderline level and I'm curious to see if it makes a difference along with abstaining from the bacon and sausage. I am waiting for a (used) copy of The Great Cholesterol Myth Cookbook to arrive from Amazon. I've read a bit about it (the myth) and I am intrigued. My copy of Nourishing Traditions includes an interesting discussion of cholesterol as well. I'm just amazed at the advice of some healthcare professionals "out there" to still eat margarine instead of butter, and who make no mention of the benefits of consuming grassfed beef and the dairy that comes from it as opposed to conventionally raised beef.
I'm not the best fish eater. I like some fish very much, but not all and I don't always know the best way to prepare it. However, I'm also adding more of it to our weekly meals. Trying to have it at least twice a week. Omega 3's and all that good stuff.
We are looking forward to the opening of our local farmer's market and to getting the vegetable garden growing again. Should I buy a quarter of a cow?I am Reading ::
Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy -- I'm about 170 pages in. I love Percy's writing style and Love in the Ruins unsurprisingly has some really excellent passages. Like this one:
The sand trap and the clouds put me in mind of being ten years old and in love and full of longing. The first thing a man remembers is longing and the last thing he is conscious of before death is exactly the same longing. I have never seen a man die who did not die in longing. When I was ten years old I woke one summer morning to the sensation of longing. Besides the longing I was in love with a girl named Louise, and so the same morning I went out to this same sand trap where I hoped chance would bring us together. At the breakfast table, I took a look at my father with his round head, his iron-colored hair, his chipper red cheeks, and I wondered to myself: at what age does a man get over this longing?
I am reading this for the book club I moderate. I've only completed about 35 pages or so. Mostly he's defined relativism and the methods by which many of us fall into it. I'm looking forward to reading more and the ensuing discussion with my book club friends.
The Way of the Cross by Caryll Houselander. I haven't read it yet as I'm saving it for Holy Week. I have to say that Houselander is one of my all time favorite Catholic writers. Her words move me like few others do.I am Hoping and Praying ::
For a very, very special intention that I am not at liberty to mention right now.I am Grateful ::
For St. Joseph's intercession concerning Jim's employment. Thanks be to God that he is able to continue to work for the same company and we're looking forward to good years ahead.Our Father's Promise (Am I listening?) ::
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.But there is another who testifies on my behalf,and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.I do not accept human testimony,but I say this so that you may be saved.He was a burning and shining lamp,and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.But I have testimony greater than John's.The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,these works that I perform testify on my behalfthat the Father has sent me.Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,and you do not have his word remaining in you,because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.You search the Scriptures,because you think you have eternal life through them;even they testify on my behalf.But you do not want to come to me to have life.
"I do not accept human praise;moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.I came in the name of my Father,but you do not accept me;yet if another comes in his own name,you will accept him.How can you believe, when you accept praise from one anotherand do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:the one who will accuse you is Moses,in whom you have placed your hope.For if you had believed Moses,you would have believed mebecause he wrote about me.But if you do not believe his writings,how will you believe my words?"
Words to Ponder ::
"Getting older, he reflected, was about letting go: our youth, looks, athletic prowess, jobs, parents, other loved ones, various abilities, and eventually our independence. We let go so that we can turn to God's grace to know how much we are loved and look to Him as the destination of our journey. " - Fr. Mark O'Keefe, St. Meinard Archabbey Seminary, Indiana. (Excerpt from Retirement: An invitation for something more by Carolyn Woo)
More about this later ...Picture Thoughts ::
We lost our dear dachshund Holly over a year ago to complications from intervertebral disc disease. At the very end of August we welcomed two of the sweetest, goofiest, cutest little canine beasts into our hearts and home. May I introduce Teddy and Roscoe, the Havanese half-brothers!
But the best news of all is that in 2016 we also welcomed two of the most adorable little grandsons who are loved beyond all measure.
|Killian Jacob Coffman|
|Henry Jean-Marie Phillips|
Our family is growing!
So sweet! So blessed!