Some things never change

Last year, on the feast of St Martha, today, July 29, I posted this (below) on my blog.

My…. some things never change. Do they?
Just this week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, I did my Cindy Crawford workouts. And today s tough Results lower body circuit.
Just this week, I thought of changing my phone’s ring tone from Lady GaGa to – that’s right, you guessed it, Blondie.
And , as always, as I remember St Martha I try to think and pray about getting that balance right, that balance between being and doing, between contemplation and busyness…And I remember ora et labora. And this post.

At Mass this morning, Mass for St Martha, Fr. mentioned something like ~ Some of us are called to be contemplatives. Some are called to action. Some to a balance of both. Whatever we are called to, we do it all for God.

Nice thought, as we remember St Martha.

O blessed St. Martha, your faith led Jesus to proclaim, “I am the resurrection and the life”; and faith let you see beyond his humanity when you cried out, “Lord I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” With firm hope you said, I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him, and Jesus called your brother Lazarus back from the dead. With pure love for Jesus you welcomed him into your home. Friend and servant of our Savior, I too am “troubled about many things.” (Pause for silent prayer.) Pray for me that I may grow in faith, hope and love, and that Jesus, who sat at your table, will hear me and grant me a place at the banquet of eternal life. Amen.

We are all fighting the sniffles and colds. Poor dh has had a terrible cough..getting better now! I am sure the soup I made and the chocolate and crisps I bought him have helped, have cheered him up! Just call me St Martha, even Martha Stewart, Queen of the Kitchen!

Saint Martha is called by the French la travailleuse de Dieuthe worker for God; this we know she was always and in more ways than one. The Italians know her asl’albergatrice de Cristothe hostess of Christ.

She is the patron of cookery and of housewives. We all know the familiar story of how, as she was busy with preparing the dinner, her sister Mary sat at the feet of their Guest and listened to His words of love and wisdom.

My workout today, my St Martha’s day workout? Cindy Crawford The Next Challenge. I adore this workout. Challenge it is – a fantastic workout, great scenery, cool music (Deborah Harry ~ Looking on The Outside) , lots of jumps and kicks and cardio sparks with three full sets of abs and a killer upper body and chest sequence. Guess who will be feeling it tomorrow?

This Martha..Wanting to work and pray like St Martha, to be a worker for God and to follow in her footsteps as a hostess, serving Christ…Wanting to look like Cindy Crawford in her workouts, fit and healthy…Wanting to dress like Deborah Harry and sing along with Blondie..

Hey, found this WikiHow article ~ How To Dress Like Deborah Harry.

Wear simple plain tops in bright colors with belts around the middle.
Put leggings under 3/4 lengths or mini skirts. Try animal prints; they were a big thing in the 80’s. Leggings are coming back into fashion for fall and winter 2006.
Wear dolly shoes, knee high boots or converse for shoes.
Wear bright red lipstick.
Wear your hair really messy or flipped out.
Mini dresses are your friend!


Kindred Spirits

July 26. Feast of St Anne and St Joachim, parents of Our Lady. My Christian name is Leonie-Ann…so, remembering St Anne, several of us went to seven am Mass at Tyburn Priory. With breakfast after. With a friend and her dh…a kindred spirit to quote that other Anne (Anne of Green Gables, that is).


Another Franciscan Saint…

“Let everyone who has the grace of intelligence fear that, because of it, he will be judged more heavily if he is negligent.”

St Brigid of Sweden. A Franciscan tertiary. St Brigid devoted herself to a contemplative life. And founded the order of the Holy Saviour ( the Bridgettines). St Bridget is a co-patroness saint of Europe.

St Bridget was married at 13 to her 18 yr old husband Ulf..

In 28 years of marriage she and Ulf had 8 children; four boys and four girls. The two younger boys died young and Karl, her oldest died of a fever just before it looked like he could get into serious trouble over Queen Joanna of Naples.

Three of the girls married -Cecilia, Merita and Catherine- while the youngest, Ingbord, became a Cistercian. Catherine’s husband died while she was with her mother in Rome. She spent the rest of her life with her mother eventually entering her religious Order . She is St Catherine of Sweden . St Catherine is patron of mothers who have miscarried.

O Lord, our God, who through Thine only-begotten Son didst reveal heavenly secrets to Blessed Bridget, grant that, through her loving intercession, we Thy servants may rejoice and be happy in the revelation of Thine eternal glory. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Swedish Meatballs for dinner! Found this recipe for Ikea Swedish meatballs


Lying awake at night…

Lying awake at night…I think of mistakes.


I read Julie Unplugged. and sigh . A sigh of recognition.

I was raised on kindness over anger, turning the other cheek, looking at yourself when criticized to see if there is a ring of truth in the accusation so you can grow and become a better person, or at least, so you can get along better with that pickier person. I might only look at myself with defensiveness and anxiety (what if I can’t change?). But I always looked. I have a self-examining scrupulosity that rivals a germaphobe’s anxiety for hygiene while trapped in a gas station bathroom.

So if you yell at me, tell me I’m doing something wrong? I might verbally kick the dirt, work up a counter-argument lawyer-style, scrunch my eyebrows and cry… but by morning, I’ll be doing the thing you expected. Because more than any other impulse in life, I want to get along.

Yep, I so want to get along, that I lie awake and feel bad about things-I-didn’t-mean-to-do. Like giving ladies a lift…but someone arrived late, missed my lift…..phoned me….and I spend the night in pangs of gulit. I should have waited longer, l tell myself.

And ,yet, as the other ladies point out, I did give them a lift,I did wait around. I didn’t know if the other was coming.

But I should’ve called and checked, I say.

You can’t be everything and do everything, they tell me. Who put you in charge of giving everyone a lift they say. How about others? And thank you for the lift.

So, I now lie awake and think of how-to-make-it-up-to-the-other-person. Perhaps flowers. Perhaps chocolate.

And, like Jule, I keep on aiming to get along.

A good or bad thing?

Be peace-loving. Peace is a precious treasure to be sought with great zeal. You are well aware that our sins arouse God’s anger. You must change your life, therefore, so that God in his mercy will pardon you. What we conceal from men is known to God. Be converted, then, with a sincere heart. Live your life that you may receive the blessing of the Lord. Then the peace of God our Father will be with you always.

Saint Francis of Paola


Re-kindling unschooling

In my last post, I mentioned how my workouts had become blah. And how new, tough, workouts had re-kindled my passion.

I find that the same thing happens with unschooling..which, in our house, is life. We can get in a rut, of doing what we do, without thought, without joy, without passion. We need something new. or we need a new attitude, a new outlook.
So, Julie’s Bravewriter post was an unschooling passion igniter for me.
Yes, we can do something different. Create. Go out. Do. Don’t do.
In other words, try to create different niches, in our home or in our routine , for something new.
To capture that love – of working out yesterday; of learning and of being together today.
St John Bosco was a strong believer in play, in enjoying time with kids. He said Love what they [the children] love; and they will come to love what you love [God, prayer, the Church, the Sacraments]. The Saint also said, to the boys and young men in his care and under his guidance, Enjoy yourself as much as you like – if only you keep from sin..
The things that struck a chord with me, from Julie’s list?

  • Take a walk
  • Swing
  • Climb a tree
  • Listen to music
  • Read a book
  • Read a magazine
  • Reorganize your bedroom (moving furniture around)
  • Learn a new recipe
  • Jump rope
  • Blow bubbles
  • Write a poem
  • Play a board game
  • Make a picnic under a tree
  • Do something for someone else (vacuum a room, empty the dishwasher, fold clean clothes)
  • Play jacks
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Collect wild flowers for a centerpiece at dinner
  • Memorize riddles, poems, rhymes…….Go on, re-kindle your passion for life, for learning, for being together!


Fun, Fun, Fun

“We’re gonna have fun, fun, fun..”

I’m having a lot of fun lately. I have been dying, panting, sweating, my family front of the DVD player…doing some new, tough workouts.

I workout regularly, it is who I am. I workout for health, for fitness, to keep my weight in check and for personal me-time, de-stress time, fun time.

I decided that it was time to get some new workouts . My workout time had become mundane. Blah even. I thought some new workout DVDs would rekindle my passion.

And they have! I have bought about six new workout DVDs; many of these have several workouts on the DVD. I am in fitness DVD heaven!

Today, I worked my way through Ten Days To A Better Body – high impact intervals; alternating one minute cardio and one minute strength for the whole workout. There are two workouts – an upper body and abs circut workout and a lower body and abs circuit workout. The upper body in particular is a killer. Puke-in-a-bucket workout for sure! ( You know, that feeling when you have pushed yourself almost too far…I’ve talked about it here before.).

Yep, puke-in-a-bucket workouts. That’s what my friends at the VF Video Fitness internet forum call hard workouts, workouts that may push you a little to the edge, that may make you want to puke. Barf. Vomit. Pass out.

Call me masochistic but I
love those sort of workouts. Yes, they may (sometimes) have a high dread factor for me but, I feel a great sense of accomplishment when the workout is over. I feel like an athlete, like it is so worth the pain. And I can’t wait to do the workout again!

It does sound masochistic, doesn’t it? But there is something liberating about rising to the challenge and seeing what one can achieve physically. Those endorphins last! (As does the muscle soreness..that delicious feeling of muscle soreness the next morning, when you climb out of bed, after the previous day’s tough workout).

This morning, my alarm went early. So I could get up and get ready for morning Mass. As I rolled out of bed in the dark, dark, cold, cold morning, I felt, really felt, my abs, my backside, my arms. Ouch!

The muscle soreness came from yesterday’s workout…Tracy Anderson, the trainer of Madonna and of Gwynneth Paltrow. The killer abs and lower body section from Perfect Design and the tough arms from her Mat Workout.

As Jane Fonda used to say, in those old Jane Fonda workouts ~ Feel the burn.


Remembering Br John Joseph OFM Conv…Laughter, conversation, Singstar, and, yes, serious discussions…

Eternal rest grant unto him,O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Réquiem ætérnam dona ei Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat ei Requiéscat in pace. Amen.