Sunday, December 14, 2014

Saint Perpetua

Today at Mass, an excerpt from the diary of Saint Perpetua was read during Scripture reading.  She was a young mother, martyred for refusing to renounce her Christian faith.

 "Perpetua, unwilling to renounce Christianity, comforted her father in his grief over her decision, 'It shall happen as God shall choose, for assuredly we depend not on our own power but on the power of God.'"

Monday, December 8, 2014

English Country Dancing

Last week Paul and I, along with our friend and her daughter (the daughter is in the process of choreographing a Regency dance for her school's production of Pride and Prejudice) went to St. Mark's Church in Evanston for their biweekly English Country Dancing.  I spontaneously decided to dress up.  My recent weight loss enabled me to fit back into my Regency stays, and a gown I made several years back.  I even found enough time to do a Regency hairstyle.

The dancing was fun.  We were all a bit confused, but the more experienced people helped guide us into the proper places.  I would like to do this again soon.  Below are some photos of me in my gown, and my hairstyle.  (Please excuse my wrinkled appearance; although I had ironed my dress prior to dressing, it got very wrinkled in the car ride to pick up our friends and drive to the church.)


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Saint Nicholas Day

Yesterday was Saint Nicholas Day.  Tyler found a surprise in his shoe:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two Gluten-Free Dessert Ideas

I have tried going gluten-free previously on health cleanses I have done, and I have always felt great during these times.  This time, however, my doctor has placed me on a gluten-free diet due to lab results showing an auto-immune problem (nothing super-serious, but requiring medication and lifestyle changes).  This has not been too bad (three weeks so far), but I was concerned with Christmastime and treats.  I recently tried two gluten-free desserts.  Both were very easy (one requiring no real baking skills at all!).

First I tried gluten-free amaretti cookies.  These were very good, and especially important, as our go-to meal for any holiday is a butternut squash lasagna that calls for three amaretti cookies to be crushed into the squash mixture.

Some of the amaretti cookies.  I made a few plain ones for the squash recipe.

Next I wanted to try a gluten-free pie.  I was completely lazy on this one, but what can I say, I have been working a lot lately.  I ordered pie crusts and some all-natural pie filling.

These pie crusts were pretty good, but ever-so-small.  
I will try to find a larger crust for next time.

I loved this filling.  Not too sweet, and no corn syrup, gluten, or other undesirable ingredients.  You can find it on amazon.  Caution, these are large jars - more than enough for one pie each, and the link is for a four-pack.  It might be best to buy a single jar to try.  But I was glad I ordered four, because I will definitely use this again.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent Prep - Grandparents' Day!

Just before Thanksgiving, Tyler's school held a Grandparents' and Friends Day, where the children could have their grandparents (or another special friend if their grandparents were unavailable or no longer with us) come and help them with an Advent project.  Fortunately, both Paul and I were able to come.  We traced our hands in red and green construction paper, added paper candles and a bow, and made a fine Advent Wreath for the season.  It was fun.  After that, we all went to the gym for a prayer service led by our priest and some of the children from the school.  It was a wonderful start to the season.

Da and Tyler

Nana and Tyler

The finished project

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Experiencing the 1920's/Folkwear 264

Another Book Club costume!  This was from our late summer book in August.  We read An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, which was written in 1925.  It is a bit out of the time frame we usually read (Victorian), but it was perfect for a summer setting.  I was Sondra Finchley for this gathering.  I made my dress using Folkwear's pattern 264.  

I liked the pattern; however, it is far too long.  Plus they were a little short on direction for making the section where the top meets the skirt at a point go in properly.  So I may re-do the attachment, and in the process shorten it. It's not a measure of simply turning up more of a hem - I lined the dress, and attached the skirt and its lining together at the hem line to make a smooth edge.  But all I will need to do is detach the skirt section from the top and restitch the bottom edge where the fabric and the lining form the hem about an inch or so above the current joining, making it a little shorter, and cutting off the excess.  Then I can rejoin skirt and top, fix the point and sew it in more professionally.  I also made the chiffon scarf.  I love chiffon!  It feels so soft, just perfect for spoiled Sondra to wear to an afternoon tea!


Saturday, October 18, 2014


Tyler and "Grammy" last month at a late-summer visit to the Botanical Gardens.  Such a blessing for the both of them that they have gotten to know each other - not everyone gets the privilege of knowing their great-grandparent or great-grandchild.