November 2009 Archives


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Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. --C. S. Lewis

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Brant Morgan, also known as my "Uncle Buck" -- as in "Watch it, Bucko!" A Vietnam veteran, he was one salty sonofabitch on the outside, but just a "dandy lion" on the inside. He was the strongest man of my childhood. He will be sorely missed.

Cold-Fighting Garlic Soup


The season is upon is. My youngest caught a cold, which spread to the next child and on up so that we have varying degrees of illness amongst us. A friend aptly calls this the domino effect.

I've been making this soup with every respiratory illness since my oldest was wee. Chock full o those garlicky ninja cold-fighting powers. And pretty delish. It serves about 4, I started doubling it this year.

LaMa's Cold Fighting Garlic Soup

10 large garlic cloves, crushed a little as you peel them
1 white onion, sliced into rings
2 TBS butter
6 cups vegetable broth
juice of half a lemon
1 pkg garlic croutons

In a heavy soup pot or wok, saute garlic and onion for 2 minutes or so until soft, being careful not to brown them.

Add broth and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Dump into blender and puree until smooth.

Return to heat, stir in lemon juice.

Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Serve warm with croutons floating on top, while covered with a blanket with a box of tissues handy!

Hope you have no need for a cold-fighting soup all season at your house, and happiest of Thanksgivings to you from all The Summa Mamas!

Music for your Monday


Oh, how I love this. "Comin' Home Baby" by the GREAT Mel Torme:

And because Mel Torme is like potato chips, who can have just ONE? Here's another, because I love you!

If your toes aren't tapping, I suggest you check your pulse. You just might be dead!

Daybook for today



For Today, November 16, 2009

Outside my window... it is cool! Yay! But all my windows are fogged up. What's up with that?

I am thinking... about the oh so comfortable ruts we find ourselves in, and how maybe, just maybe, it takes a little, or a lot, of pain to move us to a different place.

I am thankful for... the fact that I really like, and love, my soon to be daughter in law. I am so glad that I don't have to "make nice"--it can really BE nice. Yay!

From the kitchen... the last of the freezer stuff this week. Should have been last week, but we got sidetracked. So it looks like Palouse with sausage tonight, sweet and sour pork on Wednesday, smothered steak on Thursday, tuna salad on Friday (ok, so that's not from the freezer!), hot dogs for lunch on Saturday, and pork medallions on Sunday night. Got to find a recipe for those. When I am out on Tuesday, the folks here at home will probably have sausage and eggs.

I am wearing... black track pants (that seems like a Monday staple), black shirt with big pink, orange and white dot flowers, black sneaks, groovy earrings (seriously--the best! They were my mom's) and Tiffany perfume.

I am creating... the crochet blocks for my 2009 crochet along. Each month, the group posts 2 12 inch blocks--and I do 'em. At the end of the year, I'll have enough blocks to make 2 lap size 'ghans. I'll show you a picture when they are done.

I am going... with Celeste to the florist to talk about bouquets and stuff. Then to the rental store to look at tablecloths. Yike!

I am reading... a regency romance by Mary Balogh. I wanted to compare others to Georgette Heyer. I am learning there is simply NO COMPARISON.

I am hoping... I can get the horizontal surfaces in my house cleaned off. AGAIN.

I am hearing... Squirrels running across my roof. Darn those tree rats. They are pests, but God made them SO DARN CUTE and fun to watch.

Around the house... there is way too much work to be done. Isn't there always?

One of my favorite things... is the website Ravelry. If you are a knitter or crocheter, you should check it out. It is SO fab. So many free patterns, you would be able to crochet your whole life and never get to the end.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a fairly unplanned sort of week. I'm going to go with the flow this week, trying to DO more and THINK less.

Words I'm pondering From Peter Kreeft: "We are all destined to be martyrs because our destiny is not merely to experience joy while remaining the same person, not merely to fill our existing capacity for joy. Rather, it is to increase that capacity infinitely by a bursting of our seams, a shedding of our snakeskins, a transformation from caterpillars to butterflies."

Here is picture thought I am sharing... This is one of the blocks I have finished for my crochet along:

2009 CAL Square #18

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Purty Puttern Tuesdee



Lovely, eh? Sure I'm an infant crocheter. It's in my queue anyways. It's how I roll.

Here's the pattern. Check out the blanket of these yoyo squares! I'll probably shoot for a single pillow but wowza. What a stash-bust.

Some Monday Music

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I'm pretty sure I've posted Lisa Hannigan here before, but what's one more. I love her so.

Today's Daybook



For Today, November 9, 2009

Outside my window... It is gray, but not cold. I think this is the weirdest weather of all.

I am thinking... That I need to make a grocery list and get myself to the store, or pretty soon we'll be eating ice chips and cake mix.

I am thankful for... My friends, who are towers of strength in a dark time.

From the kitchen... I've got to make my weekly list. Tonight it is probably chili-cheese dogs, baked chips and fruit. I'm still in the process of cleaning out my freezer. Weirder meals ahead.

I am wearing... Black track pants, black shirt with white embroidery, little black flat sneaks. White heart earrings, perfume!

I am creating... an absolutely gorgeous crocheted log cabin patterned afghan. Son and future bride have both mentioned how beautiful they think it is. I think that's a hint.

I am going... To craft circle tonight at the church! I'm excited by this--it's a new group, and I hope it will take off and be successful!

I am reading... Aunt Dimity's Good Deed by Nancy Atherton. Complete fluff. Very enjoyable, given the chaos of the rest of my life. Just finished Pamela Aidan's Fitzwilliam Darcy trilogy, which I enjoyed very much.

I am hoping... That my friend's son, Jason, stays in drug rehab long enough to do him some good. If you could shoot a few prayers to heaven for him, I'd appreciate it!

I am hearing... The dryer. Which means I have a little more time before I have to fold and put away.

Around the house... It is time to start cleaning out the garage and hauling things to Goodwill. Yuck.

One of my favorite things... Are books on CDs to listen to while I am crocheting. SO much better than TV. Well, except when my sports teams are on.....

A few plans for the rest of the week: Paying bills, preparing church financial statements. Laundry, the never ending task. Finishing my afghan, i hope. Finding a little peace.

Words I'm pondering From St. Francis de Sales: Let us often have recourse to the holy cross, embracing it in our hearts. Let us rest in the shade of this holy tree! It is impossible that anything can hurt us if we keep to our resolution to belong totally to God. Do not get all upset, therefore, when difficulties come your way. Laugh in your enemy's face; you are in the arms of the Almighty. Therefore, let God be your strength and your love.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


Polly Put the Kettle On
Kate Greenaway

I like this, because I had a whole book of nursery rhymes illustrated by Kate Greenaway. Don't know where it went, but this brought some happy memories back! Plus, I just put the kettle on to make a cuppa, and if you'll come over, I'll make you one, too!

Happy Monday, ya'll!

Things have been busy and I apologize for my absence with rambles and photos.

Very often I will think, "Mental note to blog about this!"; "Remember to link to this from the blog!", only to have it swept involuntarily under my mind-rug. I'm making a conscious effort to be a better blogger, just so you know.

Little 20 month old Camila and I took a trip to Seattle about three weeks ago to visit some friends. It was so much fun but the longest she and I have ever been away from the boys. They got to have a fun male weekend with Papa, however. The flight from Texas to The PNW is a beautiful one. I felt like every time I peered down at the earth the landscape was totally different.


Cloudy sky; Space Needle!


Mila and I (far left) nursing with friends at the Sneedle fountain. I love that picture.

The next week was my birthday. I rained the whole week but Jeff was home and made it festive and fallish. He surprised me with a gift certificate to my favorite little local yarn store and these vintage patterns. It's why I keep him around.


Two days later was our ninth wedding anniversary. Also the feast of St Jude. Here we are I Do-ing nine years ago:


A few days later came All Hallows Eve. Having just freshly enjoyed Star Wars marathons while I was in Seattle, the boys were pumped to pull their S.W costumes out of the dress-up box. We went to my uncle's for a little party and then did some serious trick or treating. Driving back to Fort Worth from Arlington with sugared up and then passed out kids is a feat, I tell you. We got them home, stripped, brushed, kissed and tucked; then their Papa and I got a Guinness, put in She Beast and sat back with bags of candy earned by our little Jedi.



The day after, All Saints, was my little Jude's fourth birthday. He woke with a fever. So congested and coughy was he that we had him hold off his chocolate birthday cake and requested cheesy veg lasagna in favor of less snot-inducing foods on his big day. It was awful.

The next day, Monday, he felt just a tad under the weather and perfectly capable of celebrating so we made and ate the chocolate cake, feasted on the cheesy lasagna, and went bowling to boot. He's four! The years, how they fly.



After the week of festivities, school is back in session. Homeschooling, like most everything I do, I freak out and stress over at first, only to realize how fun and relaxing it is when I breathe and chill a bit. We went out and lay among leaves and examined their veins while we talked about what makes them turn colors and fall. We used acorns as math manipulatives, made pumpkin bread a half dozen times, from the same recipe, using one different sized measuring cup each time. We've read Autumnal poems to each other, physically re-enacting any spooky ones.

When we first started this year as a new homeschooling mom, new 1st grader and new preschooler, I had everything planned and sorted in my head to the letter. I should scan my lesson plans. We homeschooled through kindergarten but for some reason FIRST GRADE put bees in my bonnet. But as I've relaxed I've recovered more of my wits and we're all having way more fun. They've also learned more than I could have expected for their age levels. I think we're okay.

Here's Jake learning to play soccer with the homeschool P.E group. He was supposed to be offense but desperately wanted to be defense. He hung back until the ball got close and then attacked.


Knitting is still going strong. I haven't crocheted in a while; with Christmas looming I've been falling back on what I knowknow. But I have Christmas Crochet Plans and MamaT and I have planned a parish craft circle so I won't be able to use the Idon'tgetit excuse any longer.

Progress on the Log Cabin Blanket:

I made myself of pair of purple woolen slippers last winter that the esposo kept putting on and stretching out, causing me to wash them to shrink them, causing them to felt, etc, over and over. This year I got wise and made him some Manly Ruby Slippers. There's no place like home?


I've just finished these leg warmers for myself. They were a really fast and fun knit and I'm not sure how I've lived the past twenty or so years without leg warmers.


Two hours before Smock's water broke with Beautiful Greer I finished this little Acorn Beret for her. I had some matching pants to go with and thought I finished this baby gift all early and with plenty of time. God knew the next day I'd be taking them to the hospital.


On the book front! I'm currently reading Heart of the Ronin by Travis Heermann. I'm not far enough in to give an honest review yet.

Finished Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners by Laura Claridge; it was at times hugely boring but for the most part pretty engaging. I knew almost nothing about Emily Post so I was really interested to read it and am glad I did.

I finally got to read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen. Love, love, loves me some Jane Austen, P & P in particular, loves me some zombies, adore ninja; this book was right up my alley and didn't disappoint.

Also The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag by Kang Chol-Hwan; which I recommend you read if you haven't.

My last update is on little Agnes Tater! She is a feisty scamp and is looking forward (or not) to her spaying. She allows herself to be toted and squeezed by the children and is still blissfully unaware of her mustache. Just in case you were wondering. Here she is window gazing by Jeff's homemade drafting table.


I hope your Autumn has been blessed and continues to be!

This year's roster of my precious Saints



"Pain is never permanent."

-------------------------St. Teresa of Avila


"Desire to be what you are and to be good at what you are; all your thoughts should be directed to perfecting yourself in this. Be ready to carry all the crosses you will be asked to bear in the process. Believe me, it is a great secret, but one that is least understood in the spiritual life, because everyone loves to do his own thing and few want to live according to the plan and wishes of Our Lord."

-----------------------St. Francis de Sales


"Lose yourself wholly; and the more you lose, the more you will find."

--------------------St. Catherine of Siena


"If we wish to reach eternal life, even as we avoid the torments of hell, then while there is still time, while we are in this body and have time to accomplish all these things by the light of life we must run and do now what will profit us forever."

---------------St. Benedict


"Jesus whom I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God."

---------------------------St. Athanasius


"Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired."

---------------------Blessed Teresa of Calcutta


"...God is more nearer to us than our own soul, and in falling and rising we are ever preciously kept in one love. God's dealings with us are in homeliness and courtesy for love maketh might and wisdom fully meek to us. With this we must correspond to God by a happy confidence; failing of comfort is the most mischief into which the soul can fall."

---------------Blessed Julian of Norwich

Happy All Saints' Day, ya'll!



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2009 is the previous archive.

December 2009 is the next archive.

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