Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

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Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
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Monday, January 31, 2011

Been a long day.  My cold is finally breaking up.  The weatherman is predicting a huge snowstorm.  I hope it holds off until later in the night tomorrow.  We have 1/2 dozen kids who will be confirmed tomorrow evening.I just barely met the 20 stocking per month goal today.  Did some more sorting on my shelving units.  I had a pile of Priority Mail boxes that needed to be organized into a functional system. Got that done.  Did some more cleaning in the sink area.  Poured some candles and started the inventory packing for the Maple Syrup Festival show.  Made a batch of cookies, browned a lot of ground beef for future recipes and for pizza toppings. Made a batch of meatloaf for tomorrow and for the freezer.  Oh, and the laundry is almost done.  When the lye water and oils are cooled, I will be making a batch of Apple Jack and Peel soap.

Word of the day:
Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. John Bosco, Priest (1815-1888) - Memorial
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 5:1-20.

They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!" (He had been saying to him, "Unclean spirit, come out of the man!") He asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "Legion is my name. There are many of us." And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, "Send us into the swine. Let us enter them." And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But he would not permit him but told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I can remember 25 years ago today.  It doesn't seem possible that it's been that long.  We had just come home from getting our taxes done.  Back then, since neither of us worked off the farm, we had to file earlier.  I remember watching in disbelief as the Challenger exploded.

It was a horrifyingly amazing site; one I hope never to see again.

I have been off sugar for several days now and while my body feels much better, my head is stuff and I can't stop sneezing.  Last night I started Justin's quilt.  If you don't enlarge the picture and see the mis-matches at some of the seams, it looks pretty good.

Friday of the Third week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest & Doctor of the Church (+ 1274) - Memorial
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:26-34.

He said,"This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come." He said, "To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ahh, I no longer hate measuring soaping oils.  Yesterday I spent the bulk of my workshop time moving my soaping oils over to the sink.  No, it isn't functional yet, but having everything all in one place makes it so much easier to get the job done.  I can now see at a glance what oils are running low.  And I can set the oil jug in the sink instead of getting my work table all oily.  I have 5 batches measured out already!

I also did quite a bit of organizing in the treadmill/craft show storage room. This week's FLY zone is the master bedroom and one other room.  Yesterday was the "one other room."  Today I will work on the bedroom.

Thursdays are my "me"/errand days.  I'm not running any errands today.  I am going to have a day of 15 minute increments, every other one of which will be something I enjoy!

Word of the day:
Thursday of the Third week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Angela Merici, Virgin (c. 1470-1540)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 4:21-25.

He said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear." He also told them, "Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Well, my peppermint soap gave me a huge headache. It seized up on me while I was mixing in the lye water. Then, the color part also seized up, but I put it in anyway. Then I tried to smooth it all out and it is the ugliest batch I've ever made. It is cut up and curing in a bowl in the front bathroom. I'll be using it for quite a while.

We got a nice order from Beth that put us temporarily in the black, but then the Cancer Relay for Life, and the Shepherd Wrestling team began their fundraising and we are back in the hole again. Just like farming. We think it's important to support the community, but I didn't factor those causes in when I bought boxes for the troops. But I wouldn't take a penny back from any of them. I firmly believe that God blesses our business and provides the funds when we need them.

Word of the day:
Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, bishops - Memorial
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 10:1-9.

Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.'

Monday, January 24, 2011

I have gotten way behind on my blogging. I've gotten behind on a lot of things, but I am slowly catching up. Last night two of my little cuties stayed over and we had a pajama party.  It took Madison quite a while to fall asleep last night because I think she is now old enough to miss Mommy and Daddy.  We got up this morning and had pancakes.

I spent a lot of time today doing some organizing in the dungeon.  Harold said that he hoped to get the sink finished down there.  I hate measuring soaping oils because I have to run up and down the stairs to wash the oils off my hands.  My goal is to measure 5 pails of oils a week so that I can get ahead on soap batches again.  I just finished mixing the lye water for tonight's batch of soap - Peppermint.  I am completely out since I gave the last 2 bars to Kim for Christmas.  She calls it "Tingle" soap. 

I re-organized some of the shelves and my dream is to get that basement into some kind of order.  It will never be pretty, but it can be clean.

I bought an Ipod a few weeks ago and have downloaded quite a few books - you can find a lot of them free on Amazon.  (Thanks, Anna).  I love books - love to hold them, love to own them, but I am trying to downgrade the amount of stuff I have around here.  I also like the idea of being able to "carry" several books with me. 

Word of the day
Monday of the Third week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Francis of Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (+ 1622) - Memorial
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:22-30.

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons." Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hotcha!  I ordered some cannoli shells from Amazon yesterday.  I feel like I'm cheating, but I just don't have a day to spare making the shells myself.  They should be here in time for me to make cannoli for our family late Christmas party this Sunday.  I used to make the shells on the day after Thanksgiving.  Then we started doing family goodie making, but since we now have our little business, we have enough goodies on hand.  So now the girls go shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, and the grandkids and I start the Christmas decorating.

We have a new internet service.  After giving the old one almost a year to get their act together, we finally switched to a local guy.  We have gone from dialup speed to over 2 1/2 mgs on the download.  This morning it was almost 4 mgs.  Yeah!!!!!!

The other day I put together the baskets that we are donating for the St. Mary's Mardi Gras. 
Now I just need to remember to take them with me.  The Mardi Gras is earlier this year and we won't be around for it.

The last few days I have had the sad task of putting together the worship aides and choir sheets for Marian's funeral.  I don't think it has quite sunk in yet that she is really gone.  I am happy that many of the choir people will be available to sing at the funeral.  

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Canutus, King of Denmark and Martyr (1040-1086)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 3:1-6.

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

She's gone.  She was a dear friend.  I will miss her!

But then I found this on facebook and I had to smile.  Meghan is almost never awake when I am there.

Anna said she did this every time she told Meghan it was her 6 week birthday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You would never know it to look around this place, but my plan is slowly coming together.  I have Chicken Pot Pie, Pastacchina, and Chili in the freezer.  I will add to that reservoir and pretty soon meal prep should be a lot simpler.  I've also been able to give other people dinner - our pastor for example.  I am still so used to cooking like I did when the kids were all home.  But I can't scale down because I never know who will be around the table at dinner.  Now I just make "freezer" dinners for the future.

I have started organizing on the east end of my dungeon.  That's where the shelves are.  I have been moving things to where I use them most - I may also buy duplicates if I find myself using them often in more than one place.

I began a Christening gown for our new granddaughter.  I am just hoping she won't outgrow it before she uses it.  :)  I made caps for Clay and Claire.  They were very specific about what they wanted.  Clay wanted brown and black - I added some rows of camo because his dad is a hunter.  He did not want "that ball" on the top.  Claire wanted purple.  She is going through a purple phase.  Her mom ought to have some purple sweaters that I made for her when she was going through that phase.  Claire wanted ear flaps but no "strings" hanging down from them.  And she didn't want "that ball" either. 

We had a funeral today.  My cantor emailed me that she was too sick to sing.  I was kind of expecting it because she sounded terrible last night.  If she'd had any kind of voice, she would have been there because she emailed me from work.  As we got to the end of the Mass, I discovered that I had forgotten to put one of the songs in the folder.  It wasn't in the cantor folder either.  :(    I played and sang it from memory with a whole lot of help from above.

On the way home from church, I stopped at Walmart and bought the fabric for the borders and backing of Anna's quilt.  I have now declared Thursday night as my quilting night.  If I don't set a certain time to do it, it won't get done.

Harold made stew today.  It's pretty darn good.  Whatever doesn't get eaten will go into the freezer for a future dinner.  :)

Word of the day:
Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (c. 315- c. 367), St. Veronica of Binasco, Religious (144-1497)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1:40-45.

A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said, «If you wish, you can make me clean.» Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched him, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once. Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them." The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter. He spread the report abroad so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yesterday was an odd day.  Odd, in that it was a departure from my usual routine.  I tend to take comfort in routines.  John, Bea, Sabina, and I went out the see Marian at the facility next to Covenant.  Her kidneys are failing and she is retaining a lot of water.  I was surprised that she recognized us.  She seemed very alert and was trying very hard to tell us something.  I felt frustrated for her that we couldn't understand what she wanted to tell us.  I know that she knew us - we locked eyes with her.  We stayed a while and then I remember her devotion to the Rosary, so we prayed the Rosary over her.  She tried to pray it with us.  It was so hard to see her that way, but I am extremely grateful that she knew we had come to see her.

I didn't go to RCIA last night.  I just wanted to stay home and wrap myself in familiarity.  I made a couple of Christmas stockings and packaged another box of things for next fall.  These were votive holders.  I love snowmen and it was fun to package them while I watched Biggest Loser.

I also finished piecing Anna's quilt.  I started this thing way back before Clayton was born.  I can remember working on it on the way to Melisa's baby shower at Cheryl's.

Now I need to put the borders on, sandwich it, and the fun of hand-quilting can begin.  I love to handquilt.  I'm not very good at it, but I still love to do it.

Word of the day:
Wednesday after Epiphany
Today the Church celebrates : St. John N. Neumann, Bishop (1811-1860) - Memorial, St. Simeon Stylites (c.401-460)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 6:45-52.

Then he made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were (completely) astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Been a long, long day.
I set up a schedule for myself to keep current on work for craft shows.
Today I:

worked out
made chicken pot pie (had enough to feed us with enough leftover for Sam, Kelli, and Madison)
did 6 loads of laundry
set up cantor folders for weekend mass and Friday morning mass
paid bills
made a trip to the post office
packaged up 36 primitive snowman tealight holders
unpacked a box of ceramic tealight holders - found 23 of them were cracked or broken
made a batch of honeysuckle soap

I'm done now.

Oooooops, I had to mix up a batch of my very special, sooper dee dooper chocolate chip peanut butter cookies dough.

NOW I'm done!

Word of the day:
Monday after Epiphany
Today the Church celebrates : St. Genevieve, Virgin (c. 422 - 512)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 4:12-17.23-25.

When he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen." From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I woke up this morning to a beautiful snowy scene outside.  Fat, puffy flakes floating gently through the air.  Not like last night when the wind drove hard little pellets against my face.  I have been busy making sure that fall 2011 is not the frantic race against the clock that it was this year.  We have started on the stockings.  I have set up a work schedule.  I have sorted inventory and packaged products for next fall.  I have made several batches of candles.  Cinnamon Stick candles continue to be a challenge.  They just will not stay lit no matter what I do.  I think we are going to have to drop them from our line.  I hate to do it because I love the scent.  I have made tiny steps on organizing the basement.  Howard said he would help with lighting if I got things straightened up down there. I have discovered that cleaning is much easier if everything has a designated spot.  Most people learn that early in life.  Well, better late than never.

Christmas was great here.  During the break the girls and I managed to get in two shopping trips.  I wish I had taken pics.  I had the camera along, but just never got it out.

Word of the day:
The Epiphany of the Lord - Solemnity
Today the Church celebrates : St. Basil the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church († 379), Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Bishop and Doctor of the Church († c. 390), St Macarius of Alexandria, anchorite († 394)
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 2:1-12.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: 'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage." After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.