Gathering my Thoughts Seaside


::outside my window

We overlook the golf course and a swimming pool and a pretty stand of palmetto trees. Scarcely a moment passes when I am not intensely grateful. I am so sensitive to my environment (my husband says I'm "high maintenance" in this regard). This setting is balm for my senses. 

::listening to 

my children playing card games. They have been enjoying one another tremendously this trip. Another thing for which I am unspeakably grateful.


::clothing myself in 

Mornings find me in a tank top and yoga shorts, logging 4-6 miles in the neighborhood before leaving for dance obligations. At the convention center, it's jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweatshirt. Early mornings are hot, sweaty messes dirpping with nearly tropical beauty. Daytime is an overactive air conditioner in a dark, loud room punctuated with loud music and flashing lights. 

::talking with my children about these books

The Seashore Book

How to Hide an Octopus 

Hotel Deep: Light Verse from Dark Water

Seashore: One Small Square

The Underwater Alphabet

A Swim through the Sea

What Lives in a Shell?

Out of the Ocean

Hello Ocean

What's it Like to be a Fish?

Seashells by the Seashore

We're having fun with these this week, bringing them to life in real life.

Also, Shakespeare. Karoline is obsessed with Shakespeare. I think she might know Shakespeare better than I do. (This has everything to do with it.)  So, I find myself talking about plot twists with her all the time and I hear her just dropping a little Shakespeare quote into--you know-- normal, everyday seven-year-old conversation.

:: in my own reading:

I listened to Anna Quindlen's Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake all the way down to the beach. What an incredibly great writer! It's such a pleasure to me to read long, thoughtful chapters woven with great words--such a contrast to many of the memoir books I've recently read, which are really just compilations of quick blog posts. This book is meaty. It was also thought-provoking and jarring. At the beginning, I found myself nodding with the recognition of shared experiences. Then, abruptly, we diverged.

In her arrogance and her misinformation, she has intellectually eschewed her faith. The faith chapter doesn't even make sense in her illogical assumptions. I listened to book on Audible, read  by Quindlen herself--an experience which brought depth to the book. I could hear her voice choked with emotion as she talked about her mother's death, now 30 years ago. I felt her pain and I strongly identified with how cancer in one's early twenties can change the perspective she has on life forever. You never take a moment for granted and you barrel through all of life, determined to squeeze every second out of it for the good. I get that. I live that.  

But I also heard Quindlen's the contempt and the superiority in her voice when she spoke about the Church. I wish I could access my Audible bookmarks so I could share a quote or two.  She has clearly been poisoned by secular thought and one wonders how someone so bright and so well-read has managed to avoid reading the actual teachings of the Church to which she professes to still belong. She says she's Catholic, but she also says she doesn't believe in heaven or hell. Huh? I have so much to say about this book. Maybe we can talk about it again on a needle &thREAD day. At the bottom of it all though, I have yet to find a midlife memoir that ends hopefully. I've also yet to read one that is rooted firmly in faith. Coincidence? I think not.

::thinking and thinking

:: About marriage. At Anne Bogel's suggestion, I've been listening to The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work. Very interesting. Very, very interesting. 




 You're never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. ~C. S. Lewis

::carefully cultivating rhythm

Every day is a little different here. The dance obligations are inked in. I determined to get up well before the children and make time to walk and spend quiet with God. Everything else that happens during the day is intentional--we don't want to waste a moment--but is dictated by weather and energy levels and budget. It's all worikng rather well. The only glitch has been (and I so can't believe I'm writing this) IT issues. IT issues just follow me around wherever I go. It's absurd now. In ana attempt to save data usage on my phone, I've clearly disabled something critical. And Internet use at the condo is throwing a wrench in some time management and challenging my dependence (and more importantly, Sarah's dependence) on Oh, well. I love the internet. I hate the internet. I love the internet.


::creating by hand

I brought my sewing machine. And I cut some very pretty headbands for the girls to give as gifts. Then I realized that I didn't pack the pedal. No sewing happening this week...

::learning lessons in

Data usage and my iPhone. I asked on Facebook and learned so much! Very eye-opening. the post isn't too far down on my wall. I can't figure out how to link to it directly. If someone knows, please enlighten me.


::encouraging learning in

good manners. We are surrounded by people all the time this week. Time after time, my children have opportunities to practice graciousness. 

::begging prayers

 for Elizabeth DeHority

Please pray for people struggling with doubt and faith and fear and hopelessness.

The Pope asks us to pray for this intention in July:

 That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.

::keeping house

It's always simpler on vacation, isn't it?. 

::crafting in the kitchen 

 Lots of watermelon smoothies (watermelon is $3.99), tacos and leftover tacos, hamburgers on a charcoal grill, South Carolina peaches, and a ham that just keeps on giving...

::to be fit and happy

I'm getting lots of fresh air and sunshine. I'm eating well, and I'm working that walking program. It's taken me a very, very long time, but I've finally learned that self care is not selfish. Period.


::giving thanks 

for safe travels, good friends, and a beautiful place to spend the week.

::loving the moments

when I have a good FaceTime connection and actually get to see my husband's face. 

living the liturgy

 Mass was amazing here. Totally packed and the whole thing was sung. And, we saw lots of familiar dance faces in the parking lot.

Thursday, The Little Oratory series continues. Leila and I chatted about scripture study for this one. Come join us! 

::planning for the week ahead

 Just going with the flow...