Sunday, 29 June 2008

Wimbledon, and How the Other Half Live..

We've had quite a busy week - piano, grade 2 exam on Tuesday morning, very exhausting for me, since I kept waking up all night with his tunes playing around in my head, panicking because I hadn't really heard him consistently play them well, because he does NOT practise enough. He's not a natural born musician, but he can play, and play well, if he applies himself. As far as his Father and I see it, he needs to have some discipline; and learning to play, and pass exams gives him this - since as a homeschooler, he won't be getting the same experience of being tested and examined as other children his age. He will be glad of it one day, even if it means he'll be able to bash away at the old joanna down the pub, with his mates, once he leaves home! Anyway, he didn't seem too phased by the whole affair, so we'll see....
Then in the afternoon, we drove down to stay overnight with an old friend of mine, (from Uni) and her husband, who live in a town just north of London. We spent time in the Abbey, and the Roman museum, and arrived at their house at a time when she would be back from work, about sixish. We had a cuppa, and a biccie, and chatted for a while. My son watched a bit of the Wimbledon highlights on the tv, and I suddenly realised how uncomfortable I felt being in the home of someone who is a dear friend, but who has no understanding of how we have been keeping our son from the impurity of tv. If we are at the grandparent's house, he knows he has to leave the room whenever the adverts come on - even when flicking through channels, but they at least have some understanding of why. Anyway, we got to the sports channel, without witnessing too much advertising for adult programmes - yes, they like to pack in sex, violence, and horror excerpts into the previews they put on before 9 o'clock of shows which are to come on after the ha ha "9 o'clock" ho ho, "watershed"; although I did have to stick my rather large backside in front of the box, whilst one such preview came on. Then my friend and I chatted some more, and I wondered when we'd be having supper. Her husband arrived, and we all decided we'd go to the allotment, and water some of their plants. I wondered some more when we'd be having supper. We got back, and I still wondered when we were going to have supper. Her husband asked my son what time he normally went to bed, he spouted some nonsense about half past nine - oh yeah, that's what he'd like it to be, but I could hardly insist too much in front of them that it was usually half eight to nine, since that was the current time, and we STILL hadn't had supper. But I think the hint was dropped, and my friend thought she'd better get on with starting to prepare some food!
It is interesting that some people who don't have children, don't have any idea that it might be appropriate to offer food to a child at a slightly earlier time than they themselves might eat!! Anyway, we got fed, and got him off to bed, ready for his big day at Wimbledon - his birthday gift from us, since we'd been offered tickets for court number one, via his tennis club - they cost an arm and a leg - but since the good Lord has only given us one child, we can afford to indulge him occasionally!
And of course, he took his own spending money, so that he could indulge himself, on the famous Wimbledon "Strawberries, and Cream" - which weren't bad, but not half as good as the strawberries we'd picked from the garden of our friends down the road, earlier in the week!!

It's taken me to the end of the week to recover from the late nights, and the travelling though!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Homeschooling Craft Activity for the Sacred Heart

We had our monthly homeschooling group today, and I foolishly volunteered to "present" a subject, followed by an "activity". It's quite an undertaking, since there are a lot of children, ranging in age from babydom to young adultdom. I gave a simple presentation on the Sacred Heart seeing as it's the month of June - (it's REALLY difficult to find anything pitched at the littlies, on the subject, but after much trawling of the 'net, I came up with a simple story about St Margaret Mary, and the Sacred Heart. I had a brilliant "wheeze" about a craft activity, which, when there's plenty of older people to help the youngsters, could work quite well; I'm not sure how it went down today, as I did notice a few wails of "Mummy, it's not working", from the younger ones who couldn't quite manipulate the pipe cleaners, and were getting frustrated - there seemed to be less teenagers around today, who are usually good at helping out.
Anyway, since there is a dearth of activities in relation to the Sacred Heart, on the web, I thought I would offer this contribution for all those of you out there who have "crafty" minds!

We start with two identical heart shapes cut out of thin card. One of them has three holes punched in them as you can see. Both have central cuts in them, the "holed" one is cut from the bottom point up, to half way; the other from the centre top down, to half way. We also have three pipe cleaners, of varying lengths.

The middle-sized (orange, or yellow) pipe cleaner is formed into a "flame" shape, and passed through the central hole in one of the hearts, and then secured in place.

This is followed by a smaller white piece of pipe cleaner - which can be secured to the first pipe cleaner.

Slot the two hearts together (I've missed off the flames in these pictures).

And finally thread the darker "crown of thorns" pipecleaner through the two remaining holes, being careful to leave enough "slack" for it to fit round the opened out heart.

And voila! the final product -

And here's one I made earlier, with better colours for the flames and crown, I think!


I've been busy lately, with someone's birthday (a good time was had by all!).

Monday, 9 June 2008

Early Canonisation!

I have been canonised.

I was at Mass the other night, in a Church I don't often get to, which has the Old Rite on a first Friday. After it was ended, huddled inside my mantilla (I have a very large one - a sort of "gorilla" mantilla,) making my thanksgiving and avoiding any of the chit-chattering old dears, I sensed someone shuffling into the pew ahead of me, and then stopping directly in front of me. I realised I could avoid the inevitable no longer, (there was no-one else around, so I knew the visitation was for me), looked up, and saw a little old lady, who eagerly wanted to talk to me. She wanted me to pray for her family situation - the new great-granddaughter whose father has abandoned her and the mum, due to the fact that she is to be baptised, he being a Moslem. It's funny, but whenever I get "feelings" about our failure to adopt, I often hear of a baby in need of prayers - spiritual adoption is definitely a much needed thing, these days - so many children need prayers. I have an extreme reluctance to talk to anyone whilst in Church, apart from Our Lord, unless it is really necessary, so I kept my responses to her, to many smiles, and nods of sympathy, with promises to pray for the situation. But what truly horrified me, was what she came out with next - "You are a Saint" - I think I looked suitably aghast, and then laughed in embarrasment, that she should think such a thing, but again, being in Church, I couldn't protest too loudly now, could I?

Anyway, just in case anyone else out there has got the wrong impression of me, I will now post what my husband read out to me from our Saints book, as being pertinent to my salvation - he being under no illusion as to my level of sanctity -

(This is from Saint Francis de Sales - brilliant man)

The remedies against anger are:

1) To forestall its movements, if possible, or at least to cast them aside quickly, by turning the thoughts to something else. (Tried this, it worked well for about half a day).

2) In imitation of the Apostles when they saw the sea raging, to have recourse to God, whose office it is to give peace to the heart. (Forgot this one, on the spur of the moment).

3) During the heat of passion, not to speak, nor take any action as to the matter in question. (This one lasted about half a minute).

4) To strive to perform acts of kindness and humility towards the person against whom one is incensed, especially in reparation for any of a contrary nature.(Mmmm have to wait 'till the anger subsides!)

Humble mildness is the Virtue of Virtues, which Our Lord has recommended to us, and therefore we ought to practise it everywhere and always. Evil is to be shunned, but peaceably. Good is to be done, but with suavity. Take this for your rule: Do what you see can be done with Charity, and what cannot be done without disturbance, LEAVE UNDONE. In short, peace and tranquility of heart ought to be uppermost in all our actions, as olive oil floats above all liquors.

To keep the soul continually in a state of gentle calm, it is necessary to perform every action as being done in the presence of God, and as if He Himself had ordained it.

Now isn't that the most fantastic advice for those of us who are prone to anger? - even Saints like me!

(By the way, if anyone wants to make any of those little Holy cards with pictures of a saint on, please feel free to use the images in this post).