Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From 'blinding' to '(almost) perfect'

Well, this is not going to turn into a home improvement blog like the newest one on my feed (Old Town Home), but I am going to use it as a means to share some of the fun things I'm doing in the house.

Tonight's project was to change out the orange slip cover my 'as-is' Karlstad Couch came with when I purchased it 10 days ago.  This is what it looked like before:

Comfortable but orange.  I mean, it's grown on me with pillows and other items in the room.  However, there was not a chance that it was going to stay orange for ever!  My friends who were here helping to move were kind saying that the orange was great - I was soon to correct that my new cover was sitting on a FedEx truck somewhere in Maryland on its way to my house!

And yesterday it arrived!!!  YEAH!!!  Switched it out last evening (not hard for one person to do!) and this is what I have now:

Much better!  And I think the color on the far left is going to be my new living room color.  The colors on the wall are all vasplar, in order from left to right: Betsy Ross House (pretty sure the choice for my living room) Sea Breeze, and Sprinkler.  I was looking more for teal, but it turns out to be too green for my new rug due at the house later today!!!  Cannot wait to unwrap that package and unroll that rug!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

It's the Little Things...

Just a quick laugh for your Tuesday evening!

Each week I import the homilies into my computer at work via iTunes before uploading them to our website for download by all.  If you've ever imported a CD into iTunes, you know that it suggests the title, artist info, and album name.  Sometimes I get some interesting suggestions and this afternoon's made me chuckle!

iTunes' Suggestion:

What I actually wanted to call it:

Oh, Father Christian and his 'rappers delight' - it's so funny and he has no idea that is what I'll be thinking the next time I see him walk by my office and get a little chuckle!

Another dose of Church Humor - yesterday a student comes in for a parking pass and as I'm writing down the expiration date he asks:

"Does this church profess the Nicene Creed?"

I responded: "Yes, of course"

He asked: "What denomination are you?"

I retorted: "Catholic"

hmm... if I had my sarcasm hat on right that early on a Monday morning I wanted to say, "Yes, we wrote it."  Hmmm, was he going to ask for a refund if I had said no? 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Cooking in the Congo

While I was in the Congo, I asked Father Emmanuel if the sisters and Bea could teach me how to cook.  The date was set for Tuesday of the second week where I was told I'd be cooking a chicken from alive to table ... thankfully when I was called to the plate to start cooking - the chicken was dead and even de-feathered.  I was only about 3% disappointed since, um, that would have be the craziest I have ever done - and um, I had just flown to a village in the middle of a war-torn country on my own to village where about 2 1/2 people spoke English ... all by myself.  Yeah, and killing a chicken would have been crazy!  Anyway - I learned to make chicken, cassava, mashed plantains, rice, and preparing cocoa pods for eating.  Here are some pics of the adventure!

Boiling, Frying, and Steaming chicken on the 'stove' ...
yup that's a camp fire!

Mashing plantains in the biggest mortar and pestle
I've ever seen ... this is much more difficult than
I had imagined.  Sister Christian was amazing at it.

The ladies and children who live at the place with the giant
mortar and pestle!  They were so happy to have us!
A few days before that, I shared a recipe with them when I cooked spaghetti and homemade tomato sauce on the fire!

Never before have I cooked spaghetti on a fire.
It was delish - I'd do it again!
Now back to cooking in my new kitchen - no open flames around here, but maybe next week in the back yard!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Answer Me This ... August 17th

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

Well, since I have a new house, I don't know quite yet - but I love the living room for the couch and overall sense of family, the bedroom because I'm a big fan of sleeping, and the kitchen since I like spending my evenings making new things!

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

Nope! Thought about buying a LivingSocial for one a while back, but decided against it.  Don't know if I'd read it or if it would just become garbage.  I do get the Catholic Newspaper for our Diocese though!

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above?

Well, I used to think that I loved it.  Then at my old parish for Daily Mass we were in the Church and we were so far apart, it's just awkward when everyone is so far away and you have to do the 'peace sign' with your fingers - which I dislike a lot during Mass.  Now we don't do the Sign of Peace at Daily Mass and I prefer it that way since I'm sitting in the back of the Church and no one else is around.  For the weekend Masses, I can go either way - I don't go out of my way to make sure everyone I have ever made eye contact with has a handshake.  I say "peace be with you."

4. What is your least favorite sound?

Nails on Chalkboard.   Car Alarms in the middle of the night!

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

I loved Full House, Reading Rainbow, Boy Meets World, Family Matters, and the other TGIF favorites.

6. What are your favorite TV shows now?

My favorite is Bones, hands down.  I also love The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and Master Chef (and all food related shows including competitions and non-competitions).

Head on over to Kendra's with your cocktail for the party!

Friday, August 15, 2014

7 Quick Takes ... August 15th

Today is the beginning of MOVING WEEKEND!!!  Yeah!  I have spent the day preparing some stuff at the house.  For instance the carpets were professionally cleaned upstairs, the internet has been installed (PTL), and the couch and bed were delivered.  The couch being a bigger excitement than anything else because every time I've been over here before, I've been sitting on my homemade floor cushions and they are not as comfy as I first thought they would be.  Oh well, at least I have this couch now...

Yes I did purchase this orange couch - it was 53% off in the As-Is Section and I couldn't resist the sleeper sofa version of my FAVORITE IKEA couch, the KARLSTAD!  Which they are discontinuing this month!!!  So glad I didn't wait, would have been super disappointed!

Never fear though - a cover to make it this color is coming by FEDEX today!!!

At our parish we have this great event each month from May to October celebrating Our Lady of Fatima on the 13th.  We recite the Rosary, recount the events of the month in 1917, and have a candlelit procession around our grounds.  Here's a video of what that looks like!

even though some of the candles aren't focused,
this is really a beautiful evening at our parish

And two of the most special little boys from our parish.

Michael with his special candle.

Patrick with his new, custom made hat!

Last Saturday I ran a 5K with my new running partner and got my personal best time: 41.32.

My very kind running partner informed me that I came in 2nd to last in my age group - well... Oh Well, I ran at least 75% of the way and finished!!!

Again, moving this weekend - best pic of the week for that - the fridge at the apartment with only the essentials!

And when google made me a 'story of Wednesday evening' - it had this picture and all of the pics I took at the Fatima Procession ... hmmm, feels a lot like 'one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong' (in the story not in this fridge)!

See you next week - check out Jen's for some more quick takes!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Experiencing the Mass in any language but English

I have always had an opinion ... well, yup that sounds about right - but today I wanted to reflect on the language of the Mass.  I attend the Novus Ordo in English on a regular basis.  Until a few years ago I would have no idea what that even was and would have responded with - "Um, you mean - Mass, in English, what else could there be?"  Well, many people would still say that ... there are only certain circles of Catholicism that would even have any idea what I'm talking about when I use those Latin words.

I always thought that going to the Latin Mass was terrible for one reason: "I cannot understand anything they are saying, and it's very difficult for me to participate when I don't know what's happening."  That is no longer why I don't attend (and in general I don't think it's 'terrible' ever - I mean, Jesus comes - body, blood, soul, and divinity so it can't be all bad!).  Why has my opinion about my reason changed?

Three weeks in the Congo and three days in Rome.  This Lent, as you may know, I took off for the Congo after the 8:30am Mass at my parish.  Fr. Winslow gave a great homily and then I didn't hear another homily for almost an entire month.  Over those three weeks, I went to Mass in Otetella, Lingala, and French in the Congo.  The language depends on the diocese and the region.  At my last Mass in Kinshasa we said the creed in Latin which was the only thing I understood and could say the entire time.  Otherwise I just had my Magnificat and said the responses in English as we went along.

In Rome, I went to Mass at St. Peter's - Yes, you read that correct - Mass at St. Peter's.  I do wish my life involved the opportunity to attend Mass in a beautiful Cathedral every day!  My parish is nice, but it's not St. Peter's, that is for certain.  Mass there was in Latin with the readings in Italian.

Then I came back to the States - and the next homily I heard was at the 5pm Sunday Mass from my pastor, Fr. Winslow.  It was fine - nothing so profound that I remember it now six months later, but it taught me some things.

  1. Mass is not about the homily.  If you don't understand it because it's in another language, over your head, geared toward children, you fell asleep, were preoccupied by your life, etc... - that doesn't mean that Mass was a waste of your time today.
  2. Mass is not about the music.  If you aren't able to sing the songs, if you don't like the songs, if the songs have terrible lyrics, it really doesn't matter about whether Mass was a waste of your time today.  It's great when the music is great, but the world isn't crashing down when it's not.
  3. Mass is not about you.  This is the hardest one for us to grasp in a society that tells us everything is about us, making us happy, what we get out of it, etc...  It's great when you are moved by the homily, struck by the prayers, or have this amazing experience during Mass.  However, it's okay if you didn't.  If you actively participated (which is a controversial term in itself) and you came to give glory to the Lord, then you lived out his Will.  But the Mass will go on if you aren't there.  Yup - it will be the same whether you are there or not.  Our presence (unless we are the priest celebrating the Mass) is not required for the Mass to be what it is.  I read a post (that I cannot find now, sadly) about how the fact that you are not needed there for Jesus to come is really the reason why you should be there.  To witness a miracle!
Anyway, back to the Mass - these three weeks of Masses were more meaningful than three weeks with homilies at Masses in English (and that's not a knock to the priests at my parish - I love them).  It's because I was focused on the Lord, on what He was telling me, who I was, why I was there, and where I was.  It's hard to explain how to do this - but for me, when the words weren't in my language, the Lord spoke clearly in English.  Maybe I had his full 'English Attention' since no one else there was listening in that language!?

So now, I still prefer to attend the Novus Order in English over a Mass in Latin - but it's not because of the language ... but that's a post for another day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NAS: Great things from this weekend...

I'm going to commit myself to write in the NAS series this year ... so a few random things on the last Summer Link-Up for the Not Alone Series!

I saw a few things I couldn't help but share with you on this Tuesday!

From Kendra at Catholic All Year for the Feast of St. Dominic on Friday (8/8) posted on Facebook:

one, very holy man!
not sure if I could say the same thing...
On the other end of the spectrum (ie: completely opposite of Holy Saint Dominic) - some late night fun!  A friend and I love reminiscing about our years of childhood as Reading Rainbow.  Go ahead, click over ... if you were a Levar Burton fan as a kid - this will make your Tuesday!

Two completely opposite great things - but both worth it!

Happy Tuesday Y'all!

Also just cleaned my new kitchen this weekend and can.not.wait to cook in my new kitchen next week!!!  Last night I packed up the last remaining items from my current place - it's official, I have just one fork, two very small bowls, a coffee mug (full right now), and glass for water.  I'm living like I'm in a hotel - just 4 outfits (enough until I move), travel size toiletries, and no curtains.  Cannot wait for Saturday when I can start unpacking boxes!!!

Many Pizzas, Pasta, Salads, and more will be coming
from my new home soon enough!!!
Moving on Saturday!  YEAH!
Check out Jen (the link-up for this week) and Morgan for more NAS stuff!