Friday, December 9, 2011

Seven Things About Myself

      Over at Family in Feast and Feria,  Jennifer posted seven things about herself and suggested her readers do likewise.  So, here are the seven things:

1)  I always have a pile...I mean A PILE... of books on my nightstand that I am reading simultaneously.  I love to have options!  Right now on my nightstand I have Primitive Christian Symbols (also available as a free ebook here), I Believe in LoveRobert the Bruce: King of Scots, Conferences to Children on Practical Virtue, The Way of the Storyteller, Christmastide, and, always, The Liturgy of the Hours.  I sometimes read novels, but not usually.  I just finished Mink River , a birthday gift from my sister, which I really enjoyed.

2)  I grew up in the lovely, wet state of Washington.
I still miss the salt water of Puget Sound,
the moderate climate, and my many family
members who live out there.  I visit for weeks
every summer and get my fill (almost!) of rock
throwing, motorboat riding, and sisterly chatting.
I just had to post this picture of my amazingly adorable
great-niece (YIKES!) standing in front of the beautiful blue Pacific...isn't she so cute? 

3)  I have lately gotten hooked on Lumosity, which is a brain training website.  As I get (lots!) older, I find my brain is not what it once was!  This site has lots of fun games to build attention, speed, problem solving, memory, and something else that I have now forgotten!  So there it is!

4)  I am dreaming of spring and expanding my little garden.  I have loved my herbs best of all: rosemary, thyme, chives, tarragon, basil, sorrel, summer savory, and oregano.  I keep losing my sage...maybe too much water???  I am currently enjoying reading books that help me dream:
In the French Kitchen Garden  and Taylor's Weekend Gardening Guide to Kitchen Gardens.  Oh, and The Glass Pantry. (Umm, these aren't on my nightstand...they are in the living room in ANOTHER stack of books by my embarassing!)

My Rosemary
And here's a favorite appetizer recipe I often make for holiday gatherings:

 Recipe for Rosemary Walnuts
from Nourishing Traditions

2 cups crispy (that's roasted) walnuts
2 T. butter
2 T. dried rosemary, or use a bunch of fresh (like 8 T.)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Melt butter with rosemary, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Toss with walnuts.  Bake at 350 for ten minutes.  Store in covered container in refrigerator.

5)  Because of the circumstances of my life right now, I am without many of my beloved Advent/Christmas liturgical year resources.  I am trying to learn to focus on the spiritual preparations that are appropriate to this time of year.  Detachment doesn't come easily to me, but the Lord keeps on putting me in situations where I am forced to let go.  I consider this a great grace on His part; He doesn't give up on pathetic me.  Each time I must let go, I learn a tiny bit more about His sufficiency and my own weaknesses.

St. John of the Cross

     In detachment the spirit finds quiet and repose, for coveting nothing, nothing wearies it by elation and nothing oppresses it by dejection, because it stands in the centre of its own humility...

St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mount Carmel

6)  I have a crockpot of split pea soup made with homemade stock simmering away for dinner tonight.  I'm the only one who will like it, but sometimes Mamma just has to be kind to herself!  I make it once a year, so I figure they will all survive having it for ONE meal.  I mean, it's a penitential season, right?  I think I'll read George and Martha to the kids (George hides his split pea soup in his shoe so he doesn't offend  his friend Martha, who made it).

      "Martha was very fond of making split pea soup. Sometimes she made it all day long.  Pots and pots of split pea soup.
     "If there was one thing George was not fond of, it was split pea soup.  As a matter of fact, George hated split pea soup more than anything else in the world. But it was so hard to tell Martha."
               from George and Martha: Split Pea Soup
               by James Marshall

7)  I am contemplating these days the nature of the proper balance between reading about living and actually participating in life.  It is good to read about holiness, but then we must live it.  It is fun to read about gardening, but then we must get out and dig.  Sometimes I read too much.  A few years ago at Lent I actually gave up reading for about a penance! (Obviously, that didn't include books I read to my children, just my own reading).  I am finding as I get older that there is so much to learn in this world and so little time to learn it that most of what I want to accomplish will surely be left undone.  I am working on making my days more about a steady pacing of living a holy life well and of experiencing nature, life, and the people around me.

Life is a balancing act.

So, there ya' go!  Everything you never wondered about me!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, so interesting, Caroline! We have lots in common about books. I have piles all overs. Once in a while I think maybe I'm not getting any read, but I realize I do get through them, even with all their varied subjects!

    I'll have to check that brain site out -- I think I need help in that area! Absolutely love herbs, but my herbs are scattered around, not a concentric nice little herb garden. Have to work on that.

    You are with what's more important, and you can make Advent and Christmas wherever when you are with them! But I understand! My biggest problem would be without my books.

    My boys cannot stand ANY soup, and it's a battle, but split pea is even worse, because of the green color. I love it, but like you, it's only an annual penitential meal for the rest of the family. I have reserved George and Martha books now -- haven't heard of them before! Thanks for the tip!

    My days need a lot of balance and work...praying for you as you strive ahead!