Tuesday, June 30, 2009

At last

With the help of a friend, I should get the sewing done today. I have given up hope on the help that I've been seeking before. It is not forthcoming. Fortunately, another person is available.

Due to rain, we will not be swimming this morning, but will go to the library for story time.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Feast of St. Peter

We have failed God again and again. We've denied him, as St. Peter has denied him. We can never be good enough on our own, no matter who we are or how good we try to be. It is through God's mercy and love alone, that we are redeemed. Faith in Him is the all that we can give.

Today we think on how we backslid and betrayed Our Lord throughout our lives, as St. Peter did. It's also a day that we feast and rejoice in God's Grace.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Too Hot for Baking

Now that we've passed St. John the Baptist's Day, it's too hot for baking. We'll be tending to the garden as we can over July. Saturdays are much more free now. I was able to get in a couple of extra errands. We have another baseball game tonight.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Social Outing

We have a social outing, as usual, on Fridays. We had thought that we might host this week, but another friend desired to have the group at her house. We won't have another chance to host until August. We'll be out every Friday (and indeed every day) in July.

We had an exciting game last night at baseball. My older son caught four (yes, four!) foul balls, and got one signed. I don't know if we'll have another game tonight. Starting tomorrow, we've got a long spread of games at home. After two weeks of no games, it's full evenings, now.

Friday is cleaning day, and boy, does the Cottage need it. I'll be happy to make time to clean. Our guest was postponed until tonight. I'll be happier to have her here with a clean Cottage.

The grape vines continue to thrive in the heat. They're getting quite established and happy. We may even have enough leaves for home made dolmas come the fall. There won't be any grapes for quite some time, but we enjoy their beautiful leaves for now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Guest

Today we're offering hospitality to an overnight guest, our niece. This should be a delightful treat for the boys. My older son, in particular, is attached to her. We'll be staying inside to avoid the heat during the day, but then going to an evening baseball game. I hope she enjoys it as much as we do.

With luck, I may even get time for sewing today. There will definitely be time for reading, with it too hot to play outside. I also have routine shopping for groceries at the supermarket. Today is shopping day, but it won't predominate the schedule.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feast of St. John the Baptist and New Prayers

Today, we'll be celebrating the feast day with two baseball games. It's not a double-header. We're going to two different ball parks. One in the late morning, followed by a nap, then a night game. It should be a busy, fun day for the boys.

Also, I've made a small but substantial change in our morning routine. After reflection upon the 1928 Book of Common Prayer recently, I've moved the readings to before the Lord's Prayer. Also, I'm adding in the family prayer immediately after that. Now, silent worship is incorporated between those two spoken prayers, or is replaced by additional prayers from the Book of Common Prayer.

I forgot to mention that during feeding the chinchilla we sing "Good Morning to You," to her. We will continue this song even after she's gone, but sing it to the children. That's why she has a place in our prayer routine, rather than in the household routine. Since she came into the family before the children did, she'll remain the object of the greeting. She's been supplanted in so many other ways, that I don't have the heart to do this as well. Plus, it teaches the children that we love and care for our pets, as well as they.

I'm also altering vespertine prayers along with study of the prayer book. We are lighting candles with colors to correspond to the liturgical season, either during prayer or family supper. We are saying the Lord's Prayer during this time as well. This Trinity season is a time of extraordinary change here at the Cottage.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

St. John's Eve

We're going swimming this morning. We have a baseball game this evening.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dr. appointment

Today we have a doctor appointment in the morning. We will hopefully get time to clean up after the weekend late in the morning, with some playtime, too, before it gets so hot. Then, I need to get caught up on reading my library books to turn them in tomorrow. If I'm lucky, I'll get more time to crochet, before the baseball game tonight. Summer's in full swing, now.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A New Season

Today is the first day of summer. We begin a new season in warmth and sunlight. This year will be a rather busy summer, what with the activities of two small boys.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Party

Today's weekly social outing involves a birthday party. Then, we'll have cleaning this afternoon. It should be a busy, fun day. It helps that I actually enjoy cleaning.

Since our schedule is so tight, I hope to have more time for posting later today, during nap time. Unfortunately, this week has not been fruitful in this manner, but I have hopes for today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Third Thursdays

We have a meeting this morning, as we do on Third Thursdays. I'm baking apple walnut muffins to take with us. Then, we'll have shopping afterwards. Perhaps, if we are lucky, we'll have an additional shopping trip to the book store, late this afternoon.

On that note, I've recently discovered the Book of Common Prayer online. I've seen this before, but not online. I'm particularly moved by the 1928 version, as one might expect from looking at my blog for any time. Over the next few months, I'm looking for a bound copy for our home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I just received a phone call that our assistance with the children is not available after all. I may not have a chance to sew or mend today. I'm so grieved that yet again this promise is not fulfilled. In addition, I was told a vulgar joke out of the blue with myself as the butt. I'm a bit out of sorts with this today. When one spends much time cultivating a standard outside of the world's standard, it can be startling to be presented with the vulgarity so common in modern, Western culture. It's an important reminder just how far removed we are here at the Cottage. Preferably these reminders will be few and far between.

Perhaps, I'll instead have more time for prayer today, if I don't have the opportunity to run the sewing machine.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thriving Vines

My two vines are thriving. While I despaired just recently that the summer heat was two much for them, I was wrong. They have both produced new leaves, more lush than when I first saw them. The initial shock of the transfer has passed, and they are establishing themselves well in their new home. I hope to see them flourish over the next few months. What a joy to fulfill my promise to God, and to see the new, green life here in Trinity season.

In Service to the Lord

Yesterday was a beautiful day of prayer and contemplation on the Holy Spirit. I am a blessed woman, in that I have so much time to devote to worship, prayer and love of God. I'm so lucky to have time to care for my children and husband. Even on an ordinary Monday, one can find time to marvel at the glory of God.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Dental Appointment

We'll be away from the Cottage this morning for a dental appointment. It's quite a drive, so that colors the day. We've only got a few minutes to update the sidebar. Perhaps during nap time I'll have time to post further.

I've read two wonderful, short books this weekend, The Circle of Seasons, and Home Tonight. I'd like to elaborate further, if I have the time. If not, please take a look at these books for yourself.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Adding to Vespers

When I posted our vespertine routine earlier, I happened to take a good, long look at it. It was so obvious to me that what was lacking was Psalms. It works for us: Proverbs in the morning, followed by Psalms in the evening. We are not otherwise constrained here at the Cottage; we do not follow liturgical formal worship. Instead, we add in, bit by bit, those things that we need. Perhaps will we grow and change in the future in another direction, but for now, this is where we are spiritually.

Our Psalm of the day is 116.

Worship and Study

Today is our day for worship and study. It's a quiet day, without any tasks, other than the most basic laundry and meals. We'll have time to return to our full schedule tomorrow.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Splish Splash

We're off to socialize at a swimming playgroup today. We'll also be cleaning the house at some point. That is, we'll get out the cleaning supplies, vacuum and scrub the kitchen floor. We tidy every day. They'll be splashing in the pool and splashing the washing up bucket.

The half-hour story time blocks are going well this week. I can't imagine how we ever did things before we were so organized. Not that we ever had disorder and chaos, but rather - we accomplish so much more now. I'm so much less frustrated, and the children have more fun by having less free-play fun.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Our vespertine routine is as follows:

Put on a CD of liturgical chants
Bring in the laundry, if out on the drying racks outside
Put away toys and tidy the living room and boys' room
Sit down
Listen Expectantly, with the CD in the background

Our evening routine is much shorter in tasks, but generally lasts for about half an hour. Sometimes, putting away the toys takes most of the time. Sometimes, laundry dominates. Often, we only get five minutes to Listen, without time for the other duties. The whole point is to transition from day time routines and behaviors to the evening pattern. It's a time to quiet down the energy flow and provide and opportunity to listen to God. It's a time to listen to prayer, not to speak or think of it arising from ourselves.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

An Altered Summer Schedule

Today, on Wednesday, we'll be going to the library for story time. Adding in two half hour blocks of reading has been going well this week. Organization is improving around the Cottage. It's amazing what such small steps can provide, because they act as a catalyst to larger changes. By setting things in motion in one direction, other goals are more easily attained.

It is a convenient time for improvement, because busy summer days are upon us. We have an additional activity, swimming, on Tuesday mornings, which fits in well with a block of active play. More structured activities, in turn, facilitate nap time. It's not that I didn't know about this before, but rather, he's just now at the age to really benefit from this. We're in the last days of toddlerhood, and the preschool years are advent.

Some time today, I really must make time for sewing. I have an errand this morning that necessitates walking, and no carrier for the baby. So, I'll have to leave half an hour early to allow for the slower walking of a toddler. The baby will ride in the stroller, instead of on my back. I may have lots of hard work and juggling, especially if I have to hold an umbrella, too. This should be an excellent motivator to get some babysitting, or mother's helper, to get some time for sewing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sprouting New Leaves of Hope

Yesterday, while attending to the new vines, I noticed that both of them are sprouting new leaves. Praise be to God for his blessing! Even the vine that I feared was already dead is looking good. It appears that it was a small shock of the transplant, and now new growth is establishing. Never give up hope. Even when I thought it was gone, I continued to water it. It was not gone, but had I not continued to care, it may have been. It's not out of danger yet. I will remain vigilant in nurturing it.

What a wonderful analogy for our Cottage.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Reviewing a Typical Day

Late last week, I reviewed what a typical day for my older son was like. I was surprised to see just how much time he spends in free play. Of course, any two year old needs quite a bit of free play. However, I think he needs more structured time for reading and active, or outdoor, play. This week, I'm actively adding in two half-hour blocks of reading to him, morning and evening. It helps that we don't have too many errands to interfere. Once we get established with this routine, it will be easier to have a busy errand day in a couple of weeks. This should also transition well to when we have homeschooling preschool in the autumn.

I'm also doing the same written reviewing of nutrition and potty learning. Altering these behaviors may take more time and energy. It's a worthwhile tool, for those on the path to better organization.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Grape Vines

I'm a bit concerned for one of my two new vines. It may be too hot for it, or perhaps the roots were damaged in the transplant. We'll still plant vines there, and I know not every vine thrives. Even just one vine is a start. I'll monitor it closely.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Offering Hospitality

This morning, we're offering hospitality to our friends, instead of visiting them. I have a busy time preparing for their arrival in an hour, hosting, then getting lunch and the children's nap. This evening, we'll be going to a baseball game. Our team has it's opener, and it's at home. So, we're hosting then, too - so to speak.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Our matinal routine is as follows:

Feed and bathe the chinchilla
Turn on the computer
Sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" followed by, "Texas, Our Texas"
Open the blinds
Recite the Lord's Prayer
Silent Worship
Read the Proverb chapter of the day, and decide on the verse of the day
Read the New Testament passage of the day
Turn on the radio to music
Start the laundry
Update this blog, specifically the Proverb of the Day and the New Testament Passage of the Day

I keep to this specific sequence (with the possible exception of laundry, depending on weather and laundry pile) for a few reasons. I want to make sure that all of these things are attended to daily. I want them to become automatic, and that I do them comfortably without too much thinking about getting them done. Matinal prayer is the basis. If I can only accomplish one item on this list, it's the Lord's Prayer. Everything else is built around this, either added before or after it. I have other times during the day, such as vespers, with alternate routines. By having routine blocks of related tasks, I can get more accomplished in an organized manner. Also, I like the structure that it gives the children's lives. I like to think that they will have fond memories of a seamless order, of a mother who gracefully goes from song to prayer. Starting here provides a sense of freedom to the free time mid morning for daily, weekly, montly, seasonally or yearly duties. Occasionally, the Vintner's schedule or needs will trump my matinal routine. By missing it or reducing it, I appreciate how much more smoothly the days go when I do practice this routine. I also appreciate the block of time. I can add or subtract various blocks for what the day may hold. Instead of locking the whole day in a tight or rigid schedule, as I used to do, I have a flexible routine that provides a place and time for everything. This is my way of applicating the wisdom of Ecclesiastes: to everything there is a time and a season, a time to every purpose under heaven.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Project Day

Today is project day, but yesterday felt like it. Perhaps, I'll do my ironing today instead, and take the boys to the library. We don't have a schedule so much as a routine and a pattern. We can do whatever we like, whenever. Having a pattern just allots a time for everything, giving the opportunity to get everything accomplished. We're not rigid.

The other task on Wednesdays is a focus on needlework projects. I have quite a bit going on with that. Hopefully, I'll accomplish my goals there. Check the link at the sidebar for that blog.

Decluttered the Boys' Room

Yesterday morning during my shower, my older son lost his toothbrush. I spent quite a few minutes looking for it, since it's the third one he's lost recently. I had had enough of the clutter and disarray. I snapped, but not in an angry sense. I piled all of the boys belongings - toys, clothes, diapers - into a giant pile in the center of their room, and another in the living room. Their room's pile was chest high to me, with only the furniture at the perimeter of the room. Then, I got a trash bag, and bagged up the toys given to them that I wanted to give away. While piling this up, I saw just how large the volume of gifts is in our house. I had purchased three or four of these toys, none of the clothes (they've outgrown the ones I made), and made most of the diapers. Well, the diapers we'll keep. However, the toys are too many to even be counted, much less enjoyed. I spent most of the rest of the day organizing the remaining toys. I filled their toy box with the toys to share. I have two extra bins of toys, sorted one for each boy. The corner is filled with stuffed animals. I'll assemble an extra bin to store these. On the bottom shelf below the toys, their books have a place for now. I'll sort out those to keep and those to sell. Currently, their clothes are in a pile, waiting to be sorted into clean/store/hang up/wear. This will take the longest time, but at least the pile is at the bottom of the closet. The bag of toys is waiting in the laundry room, in case I change my mind or find extra parts. Happily, I found some missing pieces to toys they do play with and returned them to together. I was amazed what a huge difference such a small bag of toys made. The boys have plenty, but they only had a small portion of too much. I feel relieved that I got on top of this before they really did get too many, and they couldn't be easily organized in one day. Now, they can enjoy them, and put them away at the end of the day. The same will be true of clothes, soon, although I'll need help from the weather to line dry all those. Having grown up in chaos, disorder and excess, I want to spare my children that toy environment. I know how much more they will enjoy playing and living with freedom to walk around, and find their favorites. Vespers will be an easier time as well. It shouldn't take but ten minutes or so to put whatever they get out back into the organized places. Before we lived in the Cottage, there wasn't a place for everything. Now that there is, it's such a joy to have everything in its place.

Oh, and I did eventually find where he put his toothbrush - the trash can! I did all that organizing and it wasn't even in his room.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Yesterday was so busy that I only made it home at 5:30. I missed our evening prayers! Typically, from 5 to 5:30pm we listen to a selection of Christian chants on cd. It's the time to clean up, bring in the laundry from the line and transition from the day to the evening pattern. I feel so relaxed and serene when I hear the monks and the liturgy. I hope to expand my choices of vespertine prayer. Having children has made me appreciate the wealth of Christian tradition for matins and vespers. I never had this in my own childhood or early adulthood years. Hopefully, my own children will appreciate this valuable time. Missing it for one day has made me appreciate it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

First of the Month

On the first of the month, I have monthly errands. I'll be out most of the day, buying supplies and such.