Showing posts from April, 2016

A to Z: Christendom

Once upon a time, I was dead set on being a professional musician.  A degree in arts administration with a minor in trombone performance awaited me, and I would hear of no other possibility, no matter how hard my parents tried.

Then, the summer of 2010 happened.  My parents dragged me, kicking and screaming, to the same week-long program my two older sisters had previously attended at a little liberal arts college in Virginia.  "It's just a week," they said.  "Think of it as a vacation."  Some vacation!  Classes began and ended with prayer.  We had daily Mass, daily adoration, and an introduction to the depths of the liberal arts and Western civilization.

Midway through that week, I sat in the back of the chapel, looking at the monstrance.  I can't leave this behind, I realized.  I knew, with overwhelming certainty, that this place was where I belonged.  The next few days were one long existential crisis, as I fought with myself to put aside my music, my h…

Spring is Here

Finally.  The French balcony windows are wide open, my wool coat has been retired to the closet, and sandals are on my feet.  Yesterday, after a busy weekend, I curled up on the sofa to feel the breeze and listen to the laughter and screams of kids playing outside.
I never realized how claustrophobic I had felt over the winter.  At least at school, I was forced to walk wherever I wanted to go on campus, no matter how cold it was.  But for the last few months, the only times I experienced nature were the thirty-second walk from my car to the office or the apartment.  
In about a month I'll probably get tired of the heat...but for now, it's time to enjoy the warm air, bare feet, and the tinge of new yellow-green leaves!

A to Z: Baking & Beer Bread

Every summer during a decade of 4-H, I did time in the kitchen, working my way through cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, yeast rolls, breads, and more.  Although I never made it to the State Fair, I learned the basics.  Plus, baking skills are inherited on both sides of my family, and our annual Epiphany Open House puts the whole family to work mixing, rolling and baking over a thousand cookies for our friends.

While I didn't cook in college due to tiny dorm rooms, the freedom and flexibility of having my own apartment has opened whole new vistas for baking adventures.  Over the past eight months, I've gone through many pounds of flour, brought sweets to baby showers and office parties, and shared a fresh, homemade loaf of bread with new friends.  Not only have I discovered how much I enjoy baking, I realized that I might have a talent for it!

There's a lot I'm still learning.  My little apartment kitchen has experienced a few fiascos, like the bread that didn't ri…

"The old that is strong does not wither": An #OpenBook

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Time for another round of "An Open Book" linkup via Carolyn Astfalk!  I've already made a new acquaintance in the blogging world through this linkup, so I'm looking forward to another round this month.

If you didn't guess from the quote, I've returned to an old favorite: The Lord of the Ringsby J.R.R. Tolkien.  My copies, a gift from my parents in pre-teen years, are starting to wear.  The paperback covers' plastic layer is peeling at the edges, and the pages are yellowing.  After I first devoured these books, I read them religiously at least once a year until highschool.  Then, new literary discoveries and many musical obligations, followed by a cell phone and college applications, combined to distract me from picking the trilogy up again.  College killed my reading habit until senior year, so it's ta…

Music Monday: Regina Caeli

It's Easter!  If you say the Divine Office, you know that Compline or Night Prayer always ends with an antiphon to Our Lady.  The particular antiphon changes according to season.  During Christmas, the "Alma Redemptoris Mater" reflects the birth of Christ; during Lent, the "Ave Regina Caelorum" appeals to Mary as "the door through which the Light of the world is risen".  At Paschaltide, the "Regina Caeli" throws in LOTS of alleluias for an exultant praise of the mother of our Risen Lord.

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.  R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.  V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.  R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.  R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nos…