There's no place like home.

There's no place like home.
Home is where my husband and I reside; wherever that may be.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle

On Sunday April 24th 1994, Pope John Paul II recommended this prayer be used by all Catholics as a prayer for the Church when he said:

September 29 is the Feast of the Holy Archangels.  It is also the day that we commemorate my oldest son's feast day.  His middle name is Michael and when he was born I said a prayer asking St. Michael to take him under his special protection.  Little did I know that later on in life my son would become one of Michael's own soldiers.

'"May prayer strengthen us for the spiritual battle we are told about in the Letter to the Ephesians: 'Draw strength from the Lord and from His mighty power' (Ephesians 6:10). The Book of Revelation refers to this same battle, recalling before our eyes the image of St. Michael the Archangel (Revelation 12:7). Pope Leo XIII certainly had a very vivid recollection of this scene when, at the end of the last century, he introduced a special prayer to St. Michael throughout the Church. Although this prayer is no longer recited at the end of Mass, I ask everyone not to forget it and to recite it to obtain help in the battle against forces of darkness and against the spirit of this world."'

Saint Michael the Archangel,

defend us in battle.

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;

and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -

by the Divine Power of God -

cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,

who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.


Following these Scriptural passages, Christian tradition gives to St. Michael four offices:

•To fight against Satan.

•To rescue the souls of the faithful from the power of the enemy, especially at the hour of death.

•To be the champion of God's people, the Jews in the Old Law, the Christians in the New Testament; therefore he was the patron of the Church, and of the orders of knights during the Middle Ages.

•To call away from earth and bring men's souls to judgment ("signifer S. Michael repraesentet eas in lucam sanctam", Offert. Miss Defunct. "Constituit eum principem super animas suscipiendas", Antiph. off. Cf. The Shepherd of Hermas, Book III, Similitude 8, Chapter 3).

Wordless Wednesday

Savannah Anne

Safely nestled under the rainbow

Last night there were some thunderstorms in the area. We were spared the worst of the lightning but boy howdy did we have some heavy downpours. I think even my minimalist husband would have called a couple of them torrential downpours.  Sitting here at my desk during one I couldn't see past the overhang of the front walk.  Later, when they were over the sky was gloomy and over cast still so no one thought to look for a rainbow.  Suddenly, like a promise fulfilled the sun came out and there was not only a rainbow but we could see both ends of it shining brightly like a newly minted coin.  When I went outdoors to take a picture, faintly, very faintly next to one end of the rainbow glimmered the image of another, as if it was valliantly trying to immitate the first.  There in the picture, behind the house I managed to catch the faint glow of the second rainbow. 
The rainbow is a sign in the sky of God's promise that he would never again destroy the earth by flood again.  Between my husband and I a rainbow after a storm is a promise also.  It is a promise of his abiding love for me and his protection of me against danger, real and imagined.  Though the man cannot understand being afraid of anything unreasonable as lightning (something that I fear), he doesn't question it but provides me with his love, comfort, and protection during the worst fears of my life.  When the rainbow comes after a storm he points to it and reminds me that he loves me too, just as God does.  He has even been known to call me from work to remind me to look for the rainbow so that I will remember that even from a distance, just as with God, he is loving me as no one else does.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Good Eats (of the Kraeger variety not Alton Brown)

Periodically I am asked for recipes.  Frequently this causes a certain amount of apprehension for me because I mostly don't follow recipes and I rarely measure.  However when pressed to the wall I will whip up the desired dish and attempt to approximate the amounts so that whoever is asking can make it in their own kitchen.  When I do hand out the recipe it is always with the disclaimer that it doesn't come with a guarantee of success.  That being said, here is my recipe for a family favorite.  This makes for good "Friday Food" for those of you who are Catholic and observe the no meat on Friday restriction.  The fennel gives the taste and idea that there is sausage in the dish without there actually being any meat in it.

'Taters 'n Greens

2 cups greens (I use swiss chard, beet greens, or spinach. The greens have to be mild or they will overwhelm the taste of the dish)
4 med. potatoes cut into 1-inch cubes (we cook potatoes skin and all because under the skin is where all the nutrients are but you can peel them if you prefer)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed (some stores have ground fennel if you have a problem with seeds)
1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt (may substitute sour cream)
3 to 4 tbl milk, warm
1 tbl butter (again, you may substitute margarine)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Wash greens. Drain but do not pat dry; leave som water clinging to leaves. Remove stems; thinly slice. Set aside.
Place potatoes and 1 inch of water in medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heart. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.  Drain; set aside.
Coat small skillet with cooking spray. Add onion, garlic and fennel; cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add greens; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until greens are wilted and tender.
Mash potatoes; beat in yogurt, milk, butter, salt, and pepper. Stir in greens mixture.
Serve immediately.                         Makes 6 servings.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Photos, I hope.

Let me preface this post with the fact that I used my camera phone to take these and I am no photographer to begin with.

This is the skirt that I made using the book that I bought. I took my own measurements and drafted the pattern for a simple A-line skirt. I think it came out pretty nice for a first try. I put elastic in the waist for my first try because I am not that great at putting in zippers and I didn't have one on hand anyway.

This is detail of the patch pocket that I made. It has jumbo rick rack around it and I used my embroidery sewing machine to make a heart with a frame around it.

I finished the whole thing off with a decorative stitch around the hem. Not bad for a first try.

Another thing that I have been experimenting with is different embellishments for children's clothing.

Here is the detail on the front of a dress that I am working on. The butterfly is embroidered on by machine. The stems and leaves I embroidered on by hand. The flowers are yo-yo's that I made by hand and sewed on. In the middle of the flowers I sewed various decorative buttons to coordinate with the colors of the yo- yo's.

In the past when I was making clothing for little children I always stayed with classic match-ups when choosing colors. I am not saying that it wasn't a good choice but it was certainly a safe choice. Lately I have been looking at a lot of magazines and online store-fronts to see what is the current styles for childrens clothing. Some of the color combinations are definitely not what I would have chosen but I find that they are cute together.

So, in the spirit of learning new things I have been stepping out of my usual choices and mixing it up a bit. This little set is one of my successes. It is too bad the photography is not that great.

Finally, this little dress is something that I finished up today. I got a kick out of the ladybugs on the bright pink print. I wasn't sure about pairing it up with that stripe but I have to say they are nice. The little ruffle at the bottom brings it all together.