Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Music

I haven't really blogged about our Christmas yet.  It was quiet, fun, and full of family time and music.  We stayed in town, just the four of us, and have been enjoying each other, with everyone off until January 5.  The boys aren't fighting (much), we've been playing games, cooking and eating together, and laughing a lot.

Musically, this season has been rich.

On Sunday December 21, I went with a friend to Tafelmusik's Sing-Along Messiah.  We sat with the altos and sung our hearts out.  It was a great afternoon, even if it ended up with me cooling my heels in the ER with my sweetie after the concert.

Our parish choir sang Midnight Mass and Christmas Day.

Midnight Mass:

Processional:  O Come All Ye Faithful
Offertory:  O Holy Night  (Adolphe Adam) with soloist
Communion:  Wexford Carol (arr. Rutter) with soloists
Recessional:  Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Christmas Day:

Processional:  Joy to the World
Offertory:  Gesu Bambino (Pietro Yon, translated by F. Martens)
Communion:  Wexford Carol (arr. Rutter) with soloists
Recessional:  Good Christian Friends Rejoice (eek...why can't we just sing "Men" anymore???)

I didn't know the Italian Hymn Gesu Bambino.  We sang it in English...this is the gorgeous text:

When blossoms flower e'er 'mid the snow 
Upon a winter night 
Was born the Child, the Christmas Rose 
The King of Love and Light.

The angels sang, the shepherds sang 
The grateful earth rejoiced 
And at His blessed birth the stars 
Their exultation voiced.

O come let us adore Him 
O come let us adore Him 
O come let us adore Him 
Christ the Lord.

Again the heart with rapture glows 
To greet the holy night
That gave the world its Christmas Rose
Its King of Love and Light.

Let ev'ry voice acclaim His name
The grateful chorus swell
From paradise to earth He came
That we with Him might dwell.

O come let us adore Him ...



Processional:  What Child is This? (Greensleeves)
Offertory:  Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (arr. here)
Communion:  In the Bleak Midwinter (arr. here)
Recessional:  Angels We Have Heard on High


Spiritual Goal Setting

Of all the blogs I read on a regular basis, Jennifer at Conversion Diary has some of the most thought-provoking posts.  Today, she summarizes lessons she learned in 2008, with links to her previous posts on each lesson.  I am committed to going through this before the end of this year and setting some goals for myself for 2009.

Here is what she learned:
  1. If my goal is to have a God-centered, peaceful life, I cannot do nearly as much as I thought I could. 
  2. Life is easier when my days revolve around prayer. 
  3. It's harder for me to trust God with small stuff than with big stuff.
  4. Fear is the absence of love.
  5. Answered prayers are easier to see when looking at the world through a lens of love and humility.
  6. I did not lose my own life when I embraced the idea that my primary vocation is to be a wife and a mother; in fact, I found it.
  7. Christianity is the fulfillment of the atheistic beliefs I was raised with.
  8. There are ways you can structure your lifestyle to make it more conducive to holiness.
Jennifer is the blogger who conducted what she termed A Reckless Experiement with Prayer, wherein she started praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  (See lesson 2 above.)  Here are all her posts on that topic.

Christmas Music

I haven't really blogged about our Christmas yet.  It was quiet, fun, and full of family time and music.  We stayed in town, just the four of us, and have been enjoying each other, with everyone off until January 5.  The boys aren't fighting (much), we've been playing games, cooking and eating together, and laughing a lot.

Musically, this season has been rich.

On Sunday December 21, I went with a friend to Tafelmusik's Sing-Along Messiah.  We sat with the altos and sung our hearts out.  It was a great afternoon, even if it ended up with me cooling my heels in the ER with my sweetie after the concert.

Our parish choir sang Midnight Mass and Christmas Day.

Midnight Mass:

Processional:  O Come All Ye Faithful
Offertory:  O Holy Night  (Adolphe Adam) with soloist
Communion:  Wexford Carol (arr. Rutter) with soloists
Recessional:  Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Christmas Day:

Processional:  Joy to the World
Offertory:  Gesu Bambino (Pietro Yon, translated by F. Martens)
Communion:  Wexford Carol (arr. Rutter) with soloists
Recessional:  Good Christian Friends Rejoice (eek...why can't we just sing "Men" anymore???)

I didn't know the Italian Hymn Gesu Bambino.  We sang it in English...this is the gorgeous text:

When blossoms flower e'er 'mid the snow 
Upon a winter night 
Was born the Child, the Christmas Rose 
The King of Love and Light.

The angels sang, the shepherds sang 
The grateful earth rejoiced 
And at His blessed birth the stars 
Their exultation voiced.

O come let us adore Him 
O come let us adore Him 
O come let us adore Him 
Christ the Lord.

Again the heart with rapture glows 
To greet the holy night
That gave the world its Christmas Rose
Its King of Love and Light.

Let ev'ry voice acclaim His name
The grateful chorus swell
From paradise to earth He came
That we with Him might dwell.

O come let us adore Him ...

Processional:  What Child is This? (Greensleeves)
Offertory:  Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming and It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (arr. here)
Communion:  In the Bleak Midwinter (arr. here)
Recessional:  Angels We Have Heard on High

Spiritual Goal Setting

Of all the blogs I read on a regular basis, Jennifer at Conversion Diary has some of the most thought-provoking posts.  Today, she summarizes lessons she learned in 2008, with links to her previous posts on each lesson.  I am committed to going through this before the end of this year and setting some goals for myself for 2009.

Here is what she learned:
  1. If my goal is to have a God-centered, peaceful life, I cannot do nearly as much as I thought I could. 
  2. Life is easier when my days revolve around prayer. 
  3. It's harder for me to trust God with small stuff than with big stuff.
  4. Fear is the absence of love.
  5. Answered prayers are easier to see when looking at the world through a lens of love and humility.
  6. I did not lose my own life when I embraced the idea that my primary vocation is to be a wife and a mother; in fact, I found it.
  7. Christianity is the fulfillment of the atheistic beliefs I was raised with.
  8. There are ways you can structure your lifestyle to make it more conducive to holiness.
Jennifer is the blogger who conducted what she termed A Reckless Experiement with Prayer, wherein she started praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  (See lesson 2 above.)  Here are all her posts on that topic.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The sad state of mathematics education

A terrific piece by Paul Lockhart.  This was originally published in 2002 and is 25 pages long.    It's an excellent critique of all that is wrong with K-12 mathematics education, and articulates why I have been banging my head against a wall regarding my 8th grader.

But I don't want to go there.

If you care about math, education, or why mathematics is more like art than science, give it a read.

Power Outage

I arrived home from mass early this afternoon to no power.  I had some beef stroganoff cooking in my new slow-cooker, but I decided to let it sit there for awhile, hoping power would come back on.  I called Toronto Hydro and they had a recording saying that there were multiple outages around the city so I didn't bother reporting ours.

The outage had occurred at noon.  I got home around 1:30 and had a couple of clementines and **cough** some chocolate for lunch.  I curled up under a blanket by the window and read for, oh, 10 mintues before drifting off for a nap.  I awoke at 4:00...still no power and it was starting to get dark. And cold.  I lit the advent wreath that hadn't been disassembled yet and read for an hour. 

It appeared that power was out in a rather small area, about 5 blocks down our street and a few houses in on the cross streeets.  I decided to call Toronto Hydro again and actually report our outage.  After checking my account, they stated that no outage had been identified in my area and they'd get right on it.  

We lit some more candles around the main floor and Z, Alex and I did some math puzzles for a while until we decided to just pop the stroganoff in the fridge and head out to our local sushi joint for supper.  

We got back from dinner around 7:3o.  Still no power.  So we fired up the advent wreath plus a few more candles and played a few rounds of Scattergories by candlelight.  T 8:15 the power came on, and the lads hightailed it to the basement to play Rock Band II that they had bought with some Christmas money yesterday.  They were already experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to the lack of power and had had enough family togetherness, I guess!  This is the longest outage I've experienced, clocking in at 8-1/4 hours.  I know that many people have had to go for days without power during ice storms etc, so I guess we've been lucky.  

Upate (Monday morning):  It would seem that almost a quarter of a million people in Southern Ontario lost power in the high winds yesterday, and that some will be without it for another couple of days.  We got off easy.  We woke up to warmth and a working coffee maker.

The sad state of mathematics education

A terrific piece by Paul Lockhart.  This was originally published in 2002 and is 25 pages long.    It's an excellent critique of all that is wrong with K-12 mathematics education, and articulates why I have been banging my head against a wall regarding my 8th grader.

But I don't want to go there.

If you care about math, education, or why mathematics is more like art than science, give it a read.

Power Outage

I arrived home from mass early this afternoon to no power.  I had some beef stroganoff cooking in my new slow-cooker, but I decided to let it sit there for awhile, hoping power would come back on.  I called Toronto Hydro and they had a recording saying that there were multiple outages around the city so I didn't bother reporting ours.

The outage had occurred at noon.  I got home around 1:30 and had a couple of clementines and **cough** some chocolate for lunch.  I curled up under a blanket by the window and read for, oh, 10 mintues before drifting off for a nap.  I awoke at 4:00...still no power and it was starting to get dark. And cold.  I lit the advent wreath that hadn't been disassembled yet and read for an hour. 

It appeared that power was out in a rather small area, about 5 blocks down our street and a few houses in on the cross streeets.  I decided to call Toronto Hydro again and actually report our outage.  After checking my account, they stated that no outage had been identified in my area and they'd get right on it.  

We lit some more candles around the main floor and Z, Alex and I did some math puzzles for a while until we decided to just pop the stroganoff in the fridge and head out to our local sushi joint for supper.  

We got back from dinner around 7:3o.  Still no power.  So we fired up the advent wreath plus a few more candles and played a few rounds of Scattergories by candlelight.  T 8:15 the power came on, and the lads hightailed it to the basement to play Rock Band II that they had bought with some Christmas money yesterday.  They were already experiencing withdrawal symptoms due to the lack of power and had had enough family togetherness, I guess!  This is the longest outage I've experienced, clocking in at 8-1/4 hours.  I know that many people have had to go for days without power during ice storms etc, so I guess we've been lucky.  

Upate (Monday morning):  It would seem that almost a quarter of a million people in Southern Ontario lost power in the high winds yesterday, and that some will be without it for another couple of days.  We got off easy.  We woke up to warmth and a working coffee maker.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Update on the injured one...

Further to this incident:  Z has somewhat more movement in his arm, so that's good news.  He worked at home yesterday and managed to slowly get his shoulder moving a little.  He has recovered some range of motion, but still needs some assistance with things like socks.   He went in to the office for a while today as he has a face-to-face meeting and has some things to bring home before the holidays.  

He has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow first thing in the morning, so we'll get further insight into what happened, and what kind of treatment he needs.  My guess is that it will likely be physiotherapy of some sort.  

The "good thing" is that he has booked off until January 5 so that will give him time to rest and recover.  We'll have a nice relaxing holiday.

Update on the injured one...

Further to this incident:  Z has somewhat more movement in his arm, so that's good news.  He worked at home yesterday and managed to slowly get his shoulder moving a little.  He has recovered some range of motion, but still needs some assistance with things like socks.   He went in to the office for a while today as he has a face-to-face meeting and has some things to bring home before the holidays.  

He has an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow first thing in the morning, so we'll get further insight into what happened, and what kind of treatment he needs.  My guess is that it will likely be physiotherapy of some sort.  

The "good thing" is that he has booked off until January 5 so that will give him time to rest and recover.  We'll have a nice relaxing holiday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook



For Today, December  22, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's sunny and cold.  The streets are narrow and slushy with large snowbanks.  
I am thinking... that I really should clean out the fridge.  Too bad I didn't think of this before buying all my holiday groceries.
I am thankful for... the fact that Z is feeling better today after tearing some ligaments in his shoulder on the ski slopes yesterday. 
From the kitchen... I need to get going on some Christmas baking before we have family over Christmas Eve.
I am wearing... Black turleneck sweater, black jeans, black socks,  pale blue slippers.
I am creating... some calm in the house.
I am going...to fold the last loads of laundry before Christmas.
I am reading...Exiles by Ron Hansen. 
I am hoping...for a relaxing, blessed Christmas.
I am hearing... the dishwasher draining and the sound of my son discussing the eggs he made for lunch with his father.
Around the house... I've got a couple of gifts left to buy and a few more to wrap.
One of my favorite things... is hearing my teenage sons talking together without fighting about anything.  
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I have a massage booked for tomorrow.  On Christmas Eve, we are hosting Z's cousin and family.  They are hosting us Christmas Day.  I will be singing in the choir at Midnight Mass and then at the 11:30 Christmas Day mass.  We have tentative plans to visit family and friends in Ottawa between Christmas and New Years but it will depend on how Z's shoulder is feeling and when his appointment with the orthopedic surgeon gets booked.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My dear husband keeps bringing baklawa home from the Lebanese bakery and I cannot control myself around it.  

Simple Woman's Daybook

Media_http2bpblogspot_dhbhv

For Today, December  22, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's sunny and cold.  The streets are narrow and slushy with large snowbanks.  

I am thinking... that I really should clean out the fridge.  Too bad I didn't think of this before buying all my holiday groceries.

I am thankful for... the fact that Z is feeling better today after tearing some ligaments in his shoulder on the ski slopes yesterday. 

From the kitchen... I need to get going on some Christmas baking before we have family over Christmas Eve.
I am wearing... Black turleneck sweater, black jeans, black socks,  pale blue slippers.

I am creating... some calm in the house.

I am going...to fold the last loads of laundry before Christmas.

I am reading...Exiles by Ron Hansen. 

I am hoping...for a relaxing, blessed Christmas.

I am hearing... the dishwasher draining and the sound of my son discussing the eggs he made for lunch with his father.

Around the house... I've got a couple of gifts left to buy and a few more to wrap.

One of my favorite things... is hearing my teenage sons talking together without fighting about anything.  

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: I have a massage booked for tomorrow.  On Christmas Eve, we are hosting Z's cousin and family.  They are hosting us Christmas Day.  I will be singing in the choir at Midnight Mass and then at the 11:30 Christmas Day mass.  We have tentative plans to visit family and friends in Ottawa between Christmas and New Years but it will depend on how Z's shoulder is feeling and when his appointment with the orthopedic surgeon gets booked.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My dear husband keeps bringing baklawa home from the Lebanese bakery and I cannot control myself around it.  
Media_httphouseofbakl_zyead

Late-breaking news....

While I was merrily singing-along to Tafelmusik's Messiah at Massey Hall yesterday, Z took the boys to Lakeridge for some winter sports.  He skiis.  The lads snowboard.  

As I was leaving the concert, I noticed a missed call on my cell from Alex who was slated to pick me up at the subway station close to home.  When I called, he said he'd meet me, and that "Dad is waiting for us".  I asked for clarification and he said "Dad's at the hospital...he hurt his shoulder on the hill.".

So, we drove over to the ER and hung with my sweetie while he waited to be seen in Ambulatory Care.

It appears that he tore some ligaments in his shoulder and will be referred to an orthopedic surgeon in the next couple of days.  He's got a simple sling and has almost no range of motion in that arm.  It's also hanging kind of funny...it's as if his shoulder has disappeared.  They did an xray and there is no dislocation.  

As long as he doesn't move the arm, there's no pain, so he's working from home today and we'll hope to hear from the surgeon soon.

Late-breaking news....

While I was merrily singing-along to Tafelmusik's Messiah at Massey Hall yesterday, Z took the boys to Lakeridge for some winter sports.  He skiis.  The lads snowboard.  

As I was leaving the concert, I noticed a missed call on my cell from Alex who was slated to pick me up at the subway station close to home.  When I called, he said he'd meet me, and that "Dad is waiting for us".  I asked for clarification and he said "Dad's at the hospital...he hurt his shoulder on the hill.".

So, we drove over to the ER and hung with my sweetie while he waited to be seen in Ambulatory Care.

It appears that he tore some ligaments in his shoulder and will be referred to an orthopedic surgeon in the next couple of days.  He's got a simple sling and has almost no range of motion in that arm.  It's also hanging kind of funny...it's as if his shoulder has disappeared.  They did an xray and there is no dislocation.  

As long as he doesn't move the arm, there's no pain, so he's working from home today and we'll hope to hear from the surgeon soon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Britten's Hymn to the Virgin

The choir sang this during the Offertory yesterday.  It is a stunningly beautiful piece.  Britten wrote it when he was 17 and confined to the school's sanitorium one summer.  The text came from The Oxford Book of English Verse and was written c. 1300 (unattributed).

It is sung by two choirs, antiphonally.  Here is a free .mp3 from St. Peter's, Nottingham, UK.

A Hymn to the Virgin

Of one that is so fair and bright 
Velut maris stella, 
Brighter than the day is light, 
Parens et puella: 
I cry to thee, thou see to me, 
Lady, pray thy Son for me, 
Tam pia, 
That I might come to thee 
Maria.

Al this world was forlon
Eva peccatrice, 
Till our Lord was y-bore 
De te genetrice. 
With ave it went away 
Darkest night and comes the day 
Salutis; 
The well springeth out of thee, 
Virtutis.

Lady, flower of everything, 
Rose sine spina, 
Thou bear Jesu, heavens king, 
Gratia divina: 
Of all that bear'st the prize, 
Lady, queen of paradise 
Electa: 
Maid mild, mother es 
Effecta.


The Simple Woman's Daybook



For Today, December  15, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's damp and grey.  And 10 C degrees above freezing!  It feels like a little dose of summer.   The urban forestry people from the city came today and pruned one of their trees on my property.  Unfortunately, they neglected to prune the tree that drops branches during every storm and for which there is an outstanding work order!
I am thinking... that I have a huge amount of work to get the house decluttered and clean after being under the weather for two weeks.
I am thankful for...the opportunity to sing in the chorus with the Aradia Ensemble yesterday, performing Vivaldi's Gloria.  It was exhilarating!
From the kitchen... I'm going to try a new recipe today that the lads pulled out of the paper.  Chinese noodles with peanut sauce.  Looks delish!
I am wearing... blue Adidas zipper sport top, black yoga pants, cozy socks, slippers.
I am creating... a quiet, calm space for the boys to finish preparing for exams.
I am going...to tidy, dust and vac the living room.
I am hoping... that I can wake up in the morning without a headache in the near future.  This sinus congestion is getting me down.
I am hearing... the sound of my roomba cleaning the kitchen floor, and Wilson growling at the Toronto Hydro guy installing a PeakSaver device on the air conditioning unit outside.
Around the house... we've got a Christmas tree on the back porch waiting to be put up (after some minor rearranging of furniture in the living room.)
One of my favorite things... is choral singing.  There is just nothing like being part of a musical experience.  And nobody in my immediate family get it at all (and that's okay).
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: The lads finish their exams midweek. I have bible study tomorrow morning, lunch with a friend on Wednesday, and the Tafelmusik Sing-Along Messiah on Sunday.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Antonio Vivaldi, master composer of the Baroque period.  A priest and teacher. 

Britten's Hymn to the Virgin

The choir sang this during the Offertory yesterday.  It is a stunningly beautiful piece.  Britten wrote it when he was 17 and confined to the school's sanitorium one summer.  The text came from The Oxford Book of English Verse and was written c. 1300 (unattributed).

It is sung by two choirs, antiphonally.  Here is a free .mp3 from St. Peter's, Nottingham, UK.

A Hymn to the Virgin

Of one that is so fair and bright 
Velut maris stella, 
Brighter than the day is light, 
Parens et puella: 
I cry to thee, thou see to me, 
Lady, pray thy Son for me, 
Tam pia, 
That I might come to thee 
Maria.

Al this world was forlon
Eva peccatrice, 
Till our Lord was y-bore 
De te genetrice. 
With ave it went away 
Darkest night and comes the day 
Salutis; 
The well springeth out of thee, 
Virtutis.

Lady, flower of everything, 
Rose sine spina, 
Thou bear Jesu, heavens king, 
Gratia divina: 
Of all that bear'st the prize, 
Lady, queen of paradise 
Electa: 
Maid mild, mother es 
Effecta.


The Simple Woman's Daybook

Media_http2bpblogspot_pchdy

For Today, December  15, 2008...
Outside My Window
... it's damp and grey.  And 10 C degrees above freezing!  It feels like a little dose of summer.   The urban forestry people from the city came today and pruned one of their trees on my property.  Unfortunately, they neglected to prune the tree that drops branches during every storm and for which there is an outstanding work order!

I am thinking
... that I have a huge amount of work to get the house decluttered and clean after being under the weather for two weeks.

I am thankful for
...the opportunity to sing in the chorus with the Aradia Ensemble yesterday, performing Vivaldi's Gloria.  It was exhilarating!

From the kitchen.
.. I'm going to try a new recipe today that the lads pulled out of the paper.  Chinese noodles with peanut sauce.  Looks delish!
I am wearing
... blue Adidas zipper sport top, black yoga pants, cozy socks, slippers.

I am creating
... a quiet, calm space for the boys to finish preparing for exams.

I am going
...to tidy, dust and vac the living room.

I am hoping
... that I can wake up in the morning without a headache in the near future.  This sinus congestion is getting me down.

I am hearing
... the sound of my roomba cleaning the kitchen floor, and Wilson growling at the Toronto Hydro guy installing a PeakSaver device on the air conditioning unit outside.

Around the house
... we've got a Christmas tree on the back porch waiting to be put up (after some minor rearranging of furniture in the living room.)

One of my favorite things.
.. is choral singing.  There is just nothing like being part of a musical experience.  And nobody in my immediate family get it at all (and that's okay).

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week
: The lads finish their exams midweek. I have bible study tomorrow morning, lunch with a friend on Wednesday, and the Tafelmusik Sing-Along Messiah on Sunday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing
...
Antonio Vivaldi, master composer of the Baroque period.  A priest and teacher. 

Media_http2bpblogspot_lfpdn
.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Choral Report

I'm back in the choral saddle, so to speak, after a week out of town and a week of sickness.  Yesterday was the dress rehearsal for the Aradia Ensemble concert in which I am participating this afternoon.  I am in the chorus for Vivaldi's Gloria, that is being performed with a small group of (period) instruments and about 20 voices.

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent.  Our celebrant was, I think, in rose.  It was somewhere between liturgical purple and red.  But not the pepto bismol pink that is typical in churches that play by the book.  So I'm really not sure if it was rose after all.
Processional:  No actual procession.  Celebrant was in his seat with lights down.  We sang The Canticle of Mary (CBW3, 14I) as the opening hymn, while lights came up.
Offertory:  Benjamin Britten's Hymn to the Virgin.  This is a gorgeous piece that should be done with two choirs.  We had two altos and two tenors today, so it was a little light, but it sounded beautiful, better than any of our run-throughs in rehearsal.
Communion:  Rorate Coeli (Gregorian Chant).  This was written in chant notation, the first time I have sung from this type of manuscript.  Here is a video clip of this chant.


Recessional:  Tell Out My Soul (CBW3, 575).  I had never noticed that this hymn is based on the Magnificat.

Sunday Choral Report

I'm back in the choral saddle, so to speak, after a week out of town and a week of sickness.  Yesterday was the dress rehearsal for the Aradia Ensemble concert in which I am participating this afternoon.  I am in the chorus for Vivaldi's Gloria, that is being performed with a small group of (period) instruments and about 20 voices.

Today is the Third Sunday of Advent.  Our celebrant was, I think, in rose.  It was somewhere between liturgical purple and red.  But not the pepto bismol pink that is typical in churches that play by the book.  So I'm really not sure if it was rose after all.
Processional:  No actual procession.  Celebrant was in his seat with lights down.  We sang The Canticle of Mary (CBW3, 14I) as the opening hymn, while lights came up.
Offertory:  Benjamin Britten's Hymn to the Virgin.  This is a gorgeous piece that should be done with two choirs.  We had two altos and two tenors today, so it was a little light, but it sounded beautiful, better than any of our run-throughs in rehearsal.
Communion:  Rorate Coeli (Gregorian Chant).  This was written in chant notation, the first time I have sung from this type of manuscript.  Here is a video clip of this chant.

Recessional:  Tell Out My Soul (CBW3, 575).  I had never noticed that this hymn is based on the Magnificat.

Monday, December 8, 2008

General update and concert info

It's that time of year, busy, shopping, travel, and I've got another cold.  I spent the last weekend of November in Ottawa, visiting with some friends from my Bell/Stentor days, and hanging with my mom for her birthday weekend.  My sister and I took her out for dinner at Allium, a lovely restaurant in the Westboro area.  I had my first gourmet poutine experience (hand cut fries, le riopelle cheese, smoked chicken, creamy lemon gravy, greens) as an appetizer and the fat content just shot up as the meal progressed.  The red wine we enjoyed was a meal in itself (Kingston Estate Shiraz, 2006).  

Middle of last week I caught a cold that Alex brought home.  He wasn't all that sick, but it has completely sidelined me.  This is the second cold I've had this fall, which is wierd because I am rarely sick.  Actually, none of us get sick much.  I can't remember the boys ever missing a day of school due to illness.  Z also caught it, although not a severely, and Michael is hacking and sniffing although claims to feel completely fine.  I'm still fighting nasal congestion and I'm not sleeping well due to my cough.  

We had a relaxing weekend of lazing around, reading, playing Scattergories, and generally trying to be low stress and promote a healing environment. And a studying environment as the boys start Christmas exams this week.  I've gotta kick this thing because this Sunday I'm singing in the chorus in a concert by the Aradia Ensemble.  They are a period instrument baroque chamber orchestra, and they needed some singers for Vivaldi's Gloria. Our parish music director who plays with them volunteered as many as could make it from the choir.  I've sung the music before, so the fact that I missed the note-bashing sessions for the chorus is not a disaster.  Dress rehearsal is on Saturday afternoon and I MUST be well before that.  So I'm taking it easy, making simple meals, and drinking lots of tea and orange juice.

The concert is this Sunday, December 14 at 3:00 pm, at Blessed Sacrament Church, west side of Yonge St just south of Lawrence Ave, steps from the Lawrence subway station.  Tickets are (I think) $25.

General update and concert info

It's that time of year, busy, shopping, travel, and I've got another cold.  I spent the last weekend of November in Ottawa, visiting with some friends from my Bell/Stentor days, and hanging with my mom for her birthday weekend.  My sister and I took her out for dinner at Allium, a lovely restaurant in the Westboro area.  I had my first gourmet poutine experience (hand cut fries, le riopelle cheese, smoked chicken, creamy lemon gravy, greens) as an appetizer and the fat content just shot up as the meal progressed.  The red wine we enjoyed was a meal in itself (Kingston Estate Shiraz, 2006).  

Middle of last week I caught a cold that Alex brought home.  He wasn't all that sick, but it has completely sidelined me.  This is the second cold I've had this fall, which is wierd because I am rarely sick.  Actually, none of us get sick much.  I can't remember the boys ever missing a day of school due to illness.  Z also caught it, although not a severely, and Michael is hacking and sniffing although claims to feel completely fine.  I'm still fighting nasal congestion and I'm not sleeping well due to my cough.  

We had a relaxing weekend of lazing around, reading, playing Scattergories, and generally trying to be low stress and promote a healing environment. And a studying environment as the boys start Christmas exams this week.  I've gotta kick this thing because this Sunday I'm singing in the chorus in a concert by the Aradia Ensemble.  They are a period instrument baroque chamber orchestra, and they needed some singers for Vivaldi's Gloria. Our parish music director who plays with them volunteered as many as could make it from the choir.  I've sung the music before, so the fact that I missed the note-bashing sessions for the chorus is not a disaster.  Dress rehearsal is on Saturday afternoon and I MUST be well before that.  So I'm taking it easy, making simple meals, and drinking lots of tea and orange juice.

The concert is this Sunday, December 14 at 3:00 pm, at Blessed Sacrament Church, west side of Yonge St just south of Lawrence Ave, steps from the Lawrence subway station.  Tickets are (I think) $25.

Simple Woman's Daybook



For Today, December  8, 2008...
Outside My Window... cold and windy, with dry snow on the ground.  
I am thinking... that my cold is taking a long time to disappear, and after not sleeping well last night, I'd kinda like a morning nap.
I am thankful for...a relaxing weekend spent with family, a few good books, some board games, and easy meals.
From the kitchen... I need to get out and get some groceries today.  It would be nice to clean the fridge, but that will have to wait until I have more energy.
I am wearing... a decidedly non-trendy velour lounge suit and thick purple socks.
I am creating... a sweater in brown heather, that I started last spring. Still.
I am going...to have a shower, throw in some laundry, and hit the grocery store.
I am reading... The Seven Sisters, by Margaret Drabble.  
I am hoping... that I'm 100% well by the dress rehearsal for a concert I'm singing in this upcoming weekend.
I am hearing... the whoosh of warm air coming through the vent at my feet.
Around the house... we're getting the basement ready to remove old carpet and install a new subfloor.
One of my favorite things... is spending the day in comfortable clothes, drinking tea, and reading.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Advent bible study tomorrow morning, a massage on Wednesday, cut and colour on Thursday, concert dress rehearsal Saturday afternoon and concert on Sunday afternoon.  I'll be in the chorus for Vivaldi's Gloria performed by the Aradia Ensemble.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
icon by Fr. William McNichols


Simple Woman's Daybook


Media_http2bpblogspot_jxebv

For Today, December  8, 2008...
Outside My Window
... cold and windy, with dry snow on the ground.  

I am thinking
... that my cold is taking a long time to disappear, and after not sleeping well last night, I'd kinda like a morning nap.

I am thankful for
...a relaxing weekend spent with family, a few good books, some board games, and easy meals.

From the kitchen.
.. I need to get out and get some groceries today.  It would be nice to clean the fridge, but that will have to wait until I have more energy.
I am wearing
... a decidedly non-trendy velour lounge suit and thick purple socks.

I am creating
... a sweater in brown heather, that I started last spring. Still.

I am going
...to have a shower, throw in some laundry, and hit the grocery store.

I am reading
... The Seven Sisters, by Margaret Drabble.  

I am hoping
... that I'm 100% well by the dress rehearsal for a concert I'm singing in this upcoming weekend.

I am hearing
... the whoosh of warm air coming through the vent at my feet.

Around the house
... we're getting the basement ready to remove old carpet and install a new subfloor.

One of my favorite things.
.. is spending the day in comfortable clothes, drinking tea, and reading.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week
: Advent bible study tomorrow morning, a massage on Wednesday, cut and colour on Thursday, concert dress rehearsal Saturday afternoon and concert on Sunday afternoon.  I'll be in the chorus for Vivaldi's Gloria performed by the Aradia Ensemble.

Here is picture thought I am sharing
...
icon by Fr. William McNichols

Media_http3bpblogspot_brsgj

.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Books in the mail!

Today I received three parcels in the mail via BookMooch.  (BookMooch  is an online community that facilitates book trading, letting you swap out the books you've read for books you'd like to read.)

By fluke, three of the four books I had requested over the past few weeks arrived today.
  1. Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourette.
    I have his other book, From a Monastery Kitchen, and really enjoy his recipes and commentary.  And just in time for soup season!
  2. Teresa of Avila:  Progress of a Soul by Cathleen Medwick
    This is a biography of Saint Teresa that was mentioned by the lecturer of the course I'm taking.  She has read some passages from the book in class to illustrate some issues and it should be a great read.
  3. Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson.
    One of the excellent Inspector Banks mysteries that I am working my way through.  I've managed to score half a dozen books from this series through Book Mooch, which is great because there is always a big waiting list for them at the public library, and I want to read them in order.  They are also an easy to sell at my local book exchange, where I get credit for even more books!
I can't believe the condition of these books.  They are all like-new.  Three great additions to my home library (until I decide to swap them out!)

Books in the mail!

Today I received three parcels in the mail via BookMooch.  (BookMooch  is an online community that facilitates book trading, letting you swap out the books you've read for books you'd like to read.)

By fluke, three of the four books I had requested over the past few weeks arrived today.
  1. Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourette.
    I have his other book, From a Monastery Kitchen, and really enjoy his recipes and commentary.  And just in time for soup season!
  2. Teresa of Avila:  Progress of a Soul by Cathleen Medwick
    This is a biography of Saint Teresa that was mentioned by the lecturer of the course I'm taking.  She has read some passages from the book in class to illustrate some issues and it should be a great read.
  3. Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson.
    One of the excellent Inspector Banks mysteries that I am working my way through.  I've managed to score half a dozen books from this series through Book Mooch, which is great because there is always a big waiting list for them at the public library, and I want to read them in order.  They are also an easy to sell at my local book exchange, where I get credit for even more books!
I can't believe the condition of these books.  They are all like-new.  Three great additions to my home library (until I decide to swap them out!)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook




For Today, December  1, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's damp and slushy.  
I am thinking... about the remaining gifts on my Christmas shopping list.
I am thankful for... seeing friends and family in Ottawa this past weekend, and how great it was to reconnect.
From the kitchen... I made chicken divan for dinner tonight.  Haven't made it for a long time and it was a perfect meal!
I am wearing... jeans, grey v-neck sweater, black socks.
I am creating... a sweater in brown heather, that I started last spring. Still.
I am going...throw in one more load of laundry this evening so that Alex has some clean running clothes for tomorrow.
I am reading... Bitter Medicine by Sara Paretsky.  
I am hoping... to find peace and calm during Advent.
I am hearing... Stephen Colbert interviewing Bob Woodward.
Around the house... I was pleasantly surprised to return from a weekend away and find a clean kitchen and vacuumed stairs.
One of my favorite things... is walking in from a chilly damp walk to a warm, fragrant home.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Advent bible study tomorrow morning, Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Thursday (The Planets and Rite of Spring), some baking and Christmas shopping.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Sculpture titled "Mother and Child II" by Jacques Lipchitz.
On display at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.



Simple Woman's Daybook



Media_http2bpblogspot_dvrrj

For Today, December  1, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's damp and slushy.  

I am thinking... about the remaining gifts on my Christmas shopping list.

I am thankful for... seeing friends and family in Ottawa this past weekend, and how great it was to reconnect.

From the kitchen... I made chicken divan for dinner tonight.  Haven't made it for a long time and it was a perfect meal!
I am wearing... jeans, grey v-neck sweater, black socks.

I am creating... a sweater in brown heather, that I started last spring. Still.

I am going...throw in one more load of laundry this evening so that Alex has some clean running clothes for tomorrow.

I am reading... Bitter Medicine by Sara Paretsky.  

I am hoping... to find peace and calm during Advent.

I am hearing... Stephen Colbert interviewing Bob Woodward.

Around the house... I was pleasantly surprised to return from a weekend away and find a clean kitchen and vacuumed stairs.

One of my favorite things... is walking in from a chilly damp walk to a warm, fragrant home.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Advent bible study tomorrow morning, Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Thursday (The Planets and Rite of Spring), some baking and Christmas shopping.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Sculpture titled "Mother and Child II" by Jacques Lipchitz.
On display at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, Toronto.

Media_http1bpblogspot_chnqw

Monday, November 17, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook



For Today, November 17, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's sunny and cold.  The garden is still sadly unattended.  It needs to be tidied up for the winter.
I am thinking... about my meetings with Michaels' math teacher and learning enrichment center staff tomorrow.  
I am thankful for...  a wonderful birthday dinner out at Terroni last night, to celebrate Z and A's birthdays this week.
From the kitchen... I've got a bowl of great northern beans soaking for my first attempt at homemade baked beans.  There's also an organic chicken ready to go into the oven for dinner tonight.
I am wearing... lack trousers, black shell, red embroidered blouse, black socks.
I am creating... a sweater in brown heather, that I started last spring.  I have half a sleeve and the front/neckline finishing left to do.
I am going...to prep my chicken and make some bread stuffing.
I am reading...  The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci.
I am hoping... that I have the courage to continue on my Couch-to-5k plan as the weather gets colder.
I am hearing... Vivaldi's Gloria, which I will have the opportunity to sing with the Aradia Ensemble at their Christmas concert.
Around the house... the laundry seems to be overtaking me.  I need to get back on my load-a-day schedule.
One of my favorite things... is a hot bath with epsom salts and a good book. 
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Tomorrow is the first of our parish's advent bible studies on Luke.  I also have meetings at Michael's school in the afternoon.  Wednesday is Alex and Z's actual birthday...must bake something.  Thurday is a free concert by the Ottawa Bach Choir at noon at Massey Hall.  On Sunday, Father Larry is taking the choir out for lunch after mass.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My birthday boys at dinner last night.



Simple Woman's Daybook


Media_http2bpblogspot_sygkv

For Today, November 17, 2008...
Outside My Window... it's sunny and cold.  The garden is still sadly unattended.  It needs to be tidied up for the winter.

I am thinking... about my meetings with Michaels' math teacher and learning enrichment center staff tomorrow.  

I am thankful for...  a wonderful birthday dinner out at Terroni last night, to celebrate Z and A's birthdays this week.

From the kitchen... I've got a bowl of great northern beans soaking for my first attempt at homemade baked beans.  There's also an organic chicken ready to go into the oven for dinner tonight.
I am wearing... lack trousers, black shell, red embroidered blouse, black socks.

I am creating... a sweater in brown heather, that I started last spring.  I have half a sleeve and the front/neckline finishing left to do.

I am going...to prep my chicken and make some bread stuffing.

I am reading...  The Origin of Species by Nino Ricci.

I am hoping... that I have the courage to continue on my Couch-to-5k plan as the weather gets colder.

I am hearing... Vivaldi's Gloria, which I will have the opportunity to sing with the Aradia Ensemble at their Christmas concert.

Around the house... the laundry seems to be overtaking me.  I need to get back on my load-a-day schedule.

One of my favorite things... is a hot bath with epsom salts and a good book. 

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Tomorrow is the first of our parish's advent bible studies on Luke.  I also have meetings at Michael's school in the afternoon.  Wednesday is Alex and Z's actual birthday...must bake something.  Thurday is a free concert by the Ottawa Bach Choir at noon at Massey Hall.  On Sunday, Father Larry is taking the choir out for lunch after mass.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
My birthday boys at dinner last night.

Media_http4bpblogspot_itehq

Friday, November 14, 2008

Couch-to-5k: Week 2

Despite almost losing my iPod, I managed to make it through the three Week 1 runs.  This morning I did the first Week 2 run, which involves the same five minute warm-up and then 90 seconds of running followed by a two minute walk.  Six times.  This means the total run is nine minutes, vs. the eight minute total last week (8x60 seconds).  

Like my first Week 1 session, I had to push pretty hard for the last 20 seconds of each run, and my legs didn't feel so hot, but I made it.  I think this is going to work, although I've had to forget about running with Wilson as he's too erratic.  '

And then I had poutine at the mall for lunch.  Don't click on the link...your cholesterol will shoot up just looking at the pictures.

I am so weak.

Couch-to-5k: Week 2

Despite almost losing my iPod, I managed to make it through the three Week 1 runs.  This morning I did the first Week 2 run, which involves the same five minute warm-up and then 90 seconds of running followed by a two minute walk.  Six times.  This means the total run is nine minutes, vs. the eight minute total last week (8x60 seconds).  

Like my first Week 1 session, I had to push pretty hard for the last 20 seconds of each run, and my legs didn't feel so hot, but I made it.  I think this is going to work, although I've had to forget about running with Wilson as he's too erratic.  '

And then I had poutine at the mall for lunch.  Don't click on the link...your cholesterol will shoot up just looking at the pictures.

I am so weak.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just for fun...



You Are Boggle



You are an incredibly creative and resourceful person.

You're able to dig deep and think outside the box to get things done.

You are a non linear thinker. You don't like following directions

You draw your inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. You're constantly inspired.

Just for fun...



You Are Boggle

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You are an incredibly creative and resourceful person.

You're able to dig deep and think outside the box to get things done.

You are a non linear thinker. You don't like following directions

You draw your inspiration from the strangest places sometimes. You're constantly inspired.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An answered prayer


This will seem silly to many of you, particularly my Protestant friends.  But here goes.

Monday afternoon, I lost my iPod.  It's an iPod Touch, with virtually all the features of an iPhone without the phone.  It is my mobile calendar, address book, web-browser, mail and feed reader, and my music player.   It stores the podcasts I listen to while walking the dog, and most importantly (in the past week), my couch-to-5k running podcast, the only thing that has actually motivated me to put on my running shoes and run.

It was gone.  I moved all the furniture I could, checked under and between the car seats, in all my purses, bags, coat pockets, kitchen cupboards, you name it.  I had taken it downtown to my course on Monday morning, but the battery got low so I stowed it in my shoulder bag and read all the way home on the subway.  I remembered plugging it into my laptop Monday afternoon, and then entering an appointment in it later that afternoon.  But I never plugged it back into the computer to synch, and couldn't lay my hands on it.  The only time I'd left the house Monday afternoon was to pick up Wilson from the vet after his dental work.

I was frantic.  It was not cheap.  I use it for probably 3 hours per day for various things.  Yes, all the information was on my computer, but I couldn't use it in the car, or on my walks, or runs, or lying in bed when I needed to look up a word.  

Yesterday afternoon, I did the Catholic thing.  I asked St. Anthony to intercede for me and to help me find it.  Being a young catholic (of 4-1/2 years), this still feels kinda wierd.  But I was going through this strange grieving process and I needed to stop thinking about the iPod for a while and let it be.  

This morning I spent 20 mintues with a flashlight looking under all the beds and furniture that were too heavy to move.  Reminded St. Anthony that I really wanted to find this thing.

I left to get groceries this afternoon and looked once again between and under the car seats.  Then stuck my hand into the pocket on the door of the car, where I had looked before.  I pulled out all the maps and google printouts and tourism guides, and receipts, and there it was.  It must have fallen out of my coat pocket when I went to the vet to pick up Wilson Monday afternoon.  

Thanks to St. Anthony for this great favour.  Now, I need to get my running clothes on and hit the road.  I'm a day late for the third and final run of my first couch-to-5k week!

Update: Moving a Church

Here's an update to my post about the possible relocation of a church building in Buffalo to the building site of my former parish in an Atlanta suburb.