Monday, July 28, 2014

Getting Ready for Winter with Ma Ingalls

25 pounds or 1/2 bushel of ripening Georgia peaches.
Have you ever read through all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? After reading listening to The Long Winter in the car, I will not complain too much about winter ever again. The poor Ingalls family (and the whole town) nearly starve to death and their only source of fuel is straw twisted into sticks, because there is so much snow that the trains cannot get through.

After blanching, these freestone peaches were easily peeled and pitted.
Plus, it is as bitterly cold as last winter was. M's Uncle T, who has lived in Wisconsin for 20 years, thinks that long winter in South Dakota was exaggerated having never experienced blizzards like the ones described in the book. However, the Native American that warned Pa about the winter said that every 7 years is a bad winter and every 21 years is a 7 month awful winter.

The philosopher starts to lose his mind if he does too much manual labor.
So, my guess is that we are due for that awful winter with blizzards that blind you entirely and cold so bitter that last winter will seem warm. Or maybe, like Uncle T says, we won't even notice it is winter, and then it will be April.
Melt in your mouth peaches. Yum, yum!
At any rate, after all those polar vortexes, I am feeling a lot of camaraderie with Ma Ingalls as I store away summer fruits for the winter. I don't expect that there will be a lack of food in the cities, but I like the idea of having warm summer fruits canned or frozen and ready for eating this winter.

G says, "This is the most beautiful pie you have ever made Mom! It is like a pie from story books! It looks like a flower!"
After our 30 lbs of strawberries, I learned from a friend how to obtain 25 lbs of Georgia peaches and Michigan blueberries just across the border in Wisconsin. This company ships fruit in bulk in for us poor, sad Northerners that cannot grow our own peaches. The peaches were delicious and we canned 14 quarts, plus had enough to make a pie.

I can't wait... well, I can really.
This summer is so nice as it is slowly wiping away the memories of the cold. The children run around in sandals or barefoot, and we do not even think of sweaters or winter coats. It is absolutely lovely out and everything is green. We have fresh peaches to eat now, home canned peaches to look forward to, and better yet, a livelihood that cannot be eaten by a massive flock of blackbirds.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Saturday, July 25, 2014

 1. I have two medical things to discuss this week. The first has to do with my dad. You may remember about his emergency surgery back in January to repair his aortic dissection. Well, the surgery was a success and he is alive and getting better day by day. We learned yesterday after a CT scan that his aorta did not heal as well as the doctors would have liked, and they recommend that he not run at all ever again. This is a blow for him, especially since he has been looking forward to running again since his surgery. They do not think that naturally any further healing of the aorta will occur. His aorta is as healed as it is going to be, except by miraculous divine intervention. So, I again ask for prayers for Dad, that he be healed completely from his dissection and that he is able to be happy with his limited aortic ability should his complete healing never occur. We are so thankful to have him with us still, even if I am never able to run with him again. Thank you for your prayers. 

I can't decide which shoe I like better...

2. In other medical news, I broke my little toe on the right this week. It is pretty lame to have a broken toe. This means no more running for me for 4-6 weeks and I have to wear a funny shoe and have a purplish toe. It happened when I was walking through a doorway and accidentally kicked the edge of the wall. It was like: step, kick, hop, hop, hop on the other foot, OW!!!!, tuck L back into bed, hobble back out to the couch, send G down to get M to get me ice, feeling nauseated, ow that still really hurts, maybe I should see the doctor for an xray, calling my awesome physical therapist sister to get her advice, calling the doctor, calling a friend for a ride so I don't strain the possible break, seeing the doctor, getting the xray, maybe not broken, getting call from doctor... and yes, it was most definitely broken. A teeny tiny hairline fracture which disables me for a month. But there are lots of things to offer it up for these days, so the Catholic in me had no problem there...

3. We have a new little rabbit living under the shed. The girls have named him "Peter Rabbit." He is pretty cute and looks cuddly. In my surplus of lettuce this week I donated some of the wilted, bug eaten lettuce it to the rabbits. Both rabbits chowed down on that stuff. It had a soporific effect on the rabbits (a la The Flopsy Bunnies by Beatrix Potter), and they went and took a nap.
Cottontail and Peter. Cute bunnies until they find a way into our garden. For now, we can watch the life of bunnies while we eat breakfast.
4. I organized the pantry today. Having this broken toe is limiting in some ways, but not enough to prevent me from reorganizing the pantry. It looks so nice and tidy, for now. I even threw a few stale things out. It was quite freeing. Now I must organize something else....
The bumper and crib sheet we have had forever. They kind of match the decor... and that wall is looking really bare...

5. I have been wanting to get a rug for F's room since we moved into the house. It is the only bedroom I did not paint, which was fine since all the bedrooms had been repainted before the house went on the market. But it was stuck with these cream colored walls which matched perfectly to my rocking chair, making a very creamy, woody room when you had the crib, chair, and changing table all together. Slowly I changed things. I got some curtains of a pretty teal. F got a handmade quilt from her great grandmother which I threw over the rocking chair. Then I found the toy bins on clearance, which replaced the diaper boxes. And after looking out for the right rug for over a year, I found it. It was $18 (a back to school sale), and has all the right colors. Even F likes it. I am pretty happy with it. The only last thoughts I have for the room is maybe something more for the walls, and curtain ties instead of clothes pins...

That little door looks like it might lead to a secret passage for babies. It is actually a door to plumbing.
6. This bowl of fruit makes me really happy. 

We have kept our Easter candle out without the lilies since Pentecost and it looked so bare and plain. So, today I was inspired by fruit. The only problem is that by the end of the week, it will be an empty bowl...

7. M and I have decided to repaint the outside of the house. It is a stucco house, which normally does not need painting, but someone in the past painted it. This means we have to maintain the paint. Plus, the windows need re-caulking. So, we are doing it all on a whim we had last week. We do not normally do things like this so spontaneously, but it just made sense to do it now, especially since we have no little babies this summer. It is not like I can do much to help anyway (my toe), but at least I will be able to managed the kids easier without a tiny nursling. And while that kind of sounds like I might be pregnant, I am not. It just means, we would like to have a tiny new baby by next summer, but it is not happening yet.

That's all folks! I am linking up with Carolyn, the guest host of Quick Takes, this week.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Don't do NFP alone!

Catholics are talking about Natural Family Planning all over the internet this week. It is after all, "NFP Awareness Week." Simcha Fisher is doing some NFP giveaways. Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas has a neat series she shared on her blog featuring various writers on NFP. Kendra at Catholic All Year wrote a very sweet letter to newlyweds on the fact that we cannot take our fertility for granted. Kelly at This Ain't the Lyceum wrote last month on how Catholics should just learn NFP, because you never know when you will need it. There is so much more out there.

I have written some on the topic as well, and have compiled all my writings on a new page at this blog. My pages are all listed in a row under the header photo of the blog, "Home, About Me, Who is this Lady Philosophy?, etc." The new one on NFP is labeled "NFP." You can find it by clicking there or here.

If I have any new advice about NFP, and it is not really new it is this: my positive experience with learning it and being confident in it has been because I have maintained a relationship with my practitioner. Even if we don't talk for months at a time, due to pregnancy and the breastfeeding actually delaying cycles sometimes, I always send her that email when I  need her. And she always gets back to me. She told me at our last pregnancy eval (for the baby that we lost), that we have been charting for seven years together. The last time I talked to her was not even for an eval; I just needed some practitioner and friend advice on how to deal with post-miscarriage cycles. She knows my signs as well as I do, and because we have been charting with her for so long, she knows what we can handle. She knows how well I know my signs, and encourages me to trust my knowledge. She is pretty great. Anyway, I did already write her a tribute, which you can find on my new "page."

My point is, you do not have to chart alone. I am pretty sure that I am right in saying all the methods, have practitioners and doctors you can go to for help. We have been very happy with Creighton. Even as someone who uses yellow stamps, I love the ease of one sign to look for.

I feel like someone should have linked up how to find practitioners in your area. I think the posts on Haley's series have links to more information. If you can't figure it out and want some help, I would be happy to search around with someone or answer any questions. My practitioner thinks that I know enough to be one, but please don't email me about mucus. Just email me: livingwithladyphilosophy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Seven Quick Takes: Friday, July 18

1. I have not done Quick Takes in weeks now, but I will do them now since I know people really like them. I am pretty sure that I saw all of my blog readers while on my trip; well at least those of you who are in the family. I was teased by several of my aunts about my writing, but at least they read my writing. :)

2. Several people in the family joined in with the Novena to Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin, which I thought went very well. I loved that it did no just have the daily prayers, but a reflection on the life of the blesseds as well. I hope to read more about them soon. The creator of the site which has the novena text, Maureen O'Riordan, contacted me after seeing referrals from LWLP. She was really excited that so many of you joined in the novena. I plan to do it again next year.

3. I said earlier this week that the trip went well, but apparently I blocked out of my memory the children having trouble in the Appalachian Mountains. Their stomachs and the mountains did no agree, and one child neglected to inform her parents of the situation until she was a stinky mess. Yeah, that was fun. And I just realized today that Dramamine could have solved the problem of the mountains and children who will not nap in the car. Next time we go, we will bring the Dramamine! But the mountains were lovely. Apparently, we took no pictures of the mountains, just the people. So, here we have F an I on a .5 mile hike at an overlook. We hiked after we drove to the top of the mountain.
4. The next day we took a real hike: 531 steps down into a gorge and 531 back up with children on our backs. G (5) did them all by herself.
The way down.

At the very bottom.
All I could think about on the way up was how hard my heart was pounding and if my aorta was going to dissect. If it could happen to my father, then it could happen to me, right? It turns out that it is harder to carry a 3 year old on your back than a one year old, and that G is in better shape than us all. M and I were wiped out at the top and G was running around ready for more.

5. The highlight in Ohio was our huge family Fourth of July gathering, where we had all of my maternal grandparent's descendants except for 5 (of the 17) grandchildren. (In my count I include the one on the way.) The 7 great-grandchildren did their best to make up for the missing grandchildren. We also had a baby shower for my aunt (in-law) who is having her and my uncle's first child very soon! It was a lovely shower, and my creative and talented mother made an adorable centerpiece. I wish I had her flower arranging skills:

6. Michigan had a couple of highlights, one of them being seeing good friends. One evening, after the kids were in bed, M and I went over to our bachelor friend's house and we chatted until 1am with four other guy friends. It was just like back in college when the guys would debate and discuss about the Church, morality, charismatics, tradition, etc. It was a lot of fun, but the next day I was soooo tired. I guess I have lost my stamina for late nights... We also had lunch with another friend on a different day. Our last day in A2 we spent with our dear friends, and L's godparents, from college (and high school for M), and their two cute boys. I tried to convince them to move to Minnesota, but I don't think they will. They have a great house and all of their extended family there. We will just have to settle for seeing them a couple of times a year and try to plan more vacations with them.

7. The last two days of our trip were spent in Western Michigan at a wedding of one of M's cousins. It was a lovely wedding in a very modern looking Catholic church. I love that M has lots of head-covering at liturgy cousins and their little daughers in hats or veils. M's mom's side is even bigger than my mom's side. His grandparents had a celebration for their 60th anniversary the day after the wedding, and they are so awesome that they had the caterer make food especially for the kids separate from the adult line. The kids actually ate their food, and my kids managed to not spill the red punch all over their nice dresses even though relatives continued to give them more and more punch. The kids were thoroughly entertained by their teenage boy cousins pretending to put them in the trash cans. F handled the crowded by sitting possessively in her booster seat and then napping in a stroller. Once she woke up, she looked suspiciously at anyone who caught her eye. Anyway, we drove home the next day, the kids only needed one day of cranky transition time, and we are back to our comfortable at home routine.

For more Quick Takes, head on over to Jen at Conversion Diary:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Home again, home again, Jiggity Jig

Whew! What a long 17 days.
2,673 Miles, 40 hours, 3 children ages five and under, five stops, one wedding, two audiobooks...

Also, we were blessed with what my grandfather calls an "uneventful trip." For those of you outside the family this translates into "no car trouble." It was a lot of fun. We got to see all living grandparents and great-grandparents, lots of cousins and aunts and uncles on the maternal sides of M's and my families. And F managed to scream half the time we were in a large crowd unless she was in her booster seat or stroller or in my arms (and she screamed about 1/3 of the time she was in my arms). Otherwise everything was awesome.

We were fed so well and so much, M and I were talking seriously about just eating salad for a couple of weeks. In reality that means, less fatty, carby foods, lots of salad, but other food as well. :)

We came home to crazy growth in the garden.


Lettuce anyone?
 We have to eat massive salads every meal in order to eat all of this lettuce. I wonder how long it will stay good. I have just been harvesting leaves, but I am thinking maybe I should just pull up the whole head. And my spinach started seeding, but still tastes okay... should we still eat it? I am not joking, when I offer lettuce to anyone who wants to come by for some. :)

Alright, that's it for now. I will be back soon. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Litany for the Feast of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin

Happy Feast of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin! Thank you for joining in the novena. It has been an honor to pray with and for you.

Here is the litany for the feast day!

I will be back to my regular blogging next week!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Day Nine, July 11: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Louis Martin

Welcome to Day Nine of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Nine, The House of the Father. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us! Please come back tomorrow for the litany.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day Eight, July 10: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Zélie Martin

Welcome to Day Eight of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Eight, The House of the Father. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day Seven, July 9: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Cathedral in Lisieux. Photo by Katie Boos.

Welcome to Day Seven of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Seven, Abandonment in Hope. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day Six, July 8: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Les Buissonnets, The Martin family house in Lisieu. Photo by Kristi Tyler.

Welcome to Day Six of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Six, The Night, The Desert, The Purification. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Day Five, July 7: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Statue of Bl. Louis and St. Therese. Photo by Katie Boos.

Welcome to Day Five of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Five, Beyond All Suffering. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day Four, July 6: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Rue Saint-Blaise's house at Alençon : The family home and Thérèse’s birthplace. Photo by

Welcome to Day Four of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Four, Breakup of the Family. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day Three, July 5: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Our Lady of Assumption Basilica in Alençon, Orne where the Martin's were married. Photo by Pierre-Yves Emile.
Welcome to Day Three of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Three, the Test and the Sickness. Click on over for the prayers.

We are so glad that you have joined us!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Day Two, July 4: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages

Welcome to Day Two of the Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages.

Day Two, Fruits of the Spirit. Click on over for the prayers. We are so glad that you are joining us!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day One, July 3: Novena to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin for Marriages
 Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin

Welcome to the first day of the novena. I will be linking to the novena from here each day. If you have not yet read it, here is an introduction to the novena.

And here are the prayers for Day One, The Meeting, God's Time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Novena for Marriage to Bl. Louis and Zélie Martin Starts Tomorrow!

Here is my original post with the details of the novena to Blessed Louisand Zélie Martin.



If you would like to have your marriage or for someone else’s included in the novena intentions leave a comment or you may email me your intention to livingwithladyphilosophy at gmail dot com (skip the spaces and use the actual punctuation), and I will add you to my list. If you wish to remain anonymous just give your first initials (ex. M&S) or your last initial (Mr. & Mrs. S) or even make up initials.

I am so excited to share this powerful novena with my readers and to have this opportunity to pray for your marriages!
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