Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memory

...of all who have died serving their country. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


Here's something that's a little different but still appropos of today. It's a column from our local Sunday paper, mentioning my parish in a story from decades ago.
He was 12 years old in the summer of 1943. He had finished the sixth grade at St. Joseph School and was an altar boy at the church.

He was called to participate in a funeral Mass at St. Joseph with Father Robert Bryant on the morning of July 21, 1943. It was a Wednesday. He was told nothing about who had died. He just showed up.

Remember the part of the Eucharistic prayer that speaks of how Christ "shared in our humanity"? I am the granddaughter of a war widow whose first husband is buried somewhere in Europe. Of a pilot shot down in World War II (who lived to tell the tale) and his Italian war bride. Like the teller of this tale, I am grateful to be part of the universal Church, reminding us of our common humanity under God.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Deo Gratias! Introducing...

Michael Dominic Stallworth

He was born on Tuesday, May 21. I can't believe it has already been five days! And he's a big boy, almost eleven pounds.

We can't resist the cute little baby toes!

We're wrestling with what to call him. The boys are set on Michael, maybe shortened to Mike. I rather like Dominic. And Jason took to the idea, ten minutes after he was born, to call him Nick. So while everybody gets used to having a new person to talk about, he's full-on Michael Dominic.

The whole family is in love.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

New Five Favorite Things

Hallie's all wrapped up with her very excellent new favorite thing, so maybe she won't notice the two months between my first and second Five Faves posts. I'm a little sporadic about posting and joining. I know you know. But in this case it's because I find it difficult to find things I'm enthusiastic enough about to call "favorites." I guess I'm just good at that "detachment from worldly goods" thing. Yeah. That's what it means.

But I think I have some good ones here. In fact, it's all the more reason to share my little treasures now that I'm finally getting with it—who knows when she will need them! (See my #1.) So here goes.


We're going to start with chocolate.

My most recent love is this gorgeous, delectable find: these chocolate-covered açai-blueberries. Something Jason found. (He always finds the best goodies and brings them home to me.) I've had chocolate-covered blueberries before but the addition of açai is a novelty. I don't really know if it made a difference in the taste for me. All I know is it was hard to make them last longer than a day.


I just bought this panel (actually, it's twice what the image shows) of fabric blocks of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Etsy. I have high hopes for a project I'm dreaming up—simple enough for you real crafters and sewists out there (by the way, is that the term you prefer?) but for a non-finisher like me, it's ambitious. Still, I was happy when it came in the mail. If I ever do make it, I'll show you.


Bolthouse makes the most delicious mango lemonade. But it's never available on sale the way some of their other products are in my grocery stores. And then it's gone so fast.

So I came up with the idea to mix my own.

Just pour them together in a pitcher. So delicious.

I also will sometimes mix some lemonade using 6 parts water, 1 part lemon juice, and 1 part sugar, and just throw in some of the mango drink. I may even graduate one day to mango puree. But right now that 2ish cups of Bolthouse's Amazing Mango is key; and using the two bottles together gives me a more consistently pleasing balance. 


This would be a favorite if I had it. Remember my last Five Favorites when I said I wanted a honey jar?   I love to have butter at room temperature, just ready to be spread over homemade bread or fresh, warm banana muffins. But I don't really want it sitting out open on a plate (or more likely, just sitting in its wrapper) cluttering up the counter. It would be lovely to find a pretty, covered butter dish in glass or ceramic for the table. And if I had that and the honey jar, I would likely be inspired very often to make some delicious honey butter...


I'm just going to give a shout-out to the track Night Prayer on this Martin Doman album, Praying Twice Vol. II. (You can hear a preview at the link.) It is part of a sung night prayer I prayed sometimes at college, based on the Liturgy of the Hours. I bought the track on iTunes a while ago and introduced it to my kids at bedtime. Now they frequently ask for it; I'll play it softly on repeat and they go to sleep listening to it.

Today's Five Favorites link-up is at Camp Patton today. Go check everybody out!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

May Procession

Cora helps decorate our Mary statue. She really needs her own garden!

May is Mary's month, and one of the sweetest memories I have of celebrating it is my elementary school's May procession. The First Communicants would dress in their suits and white dresses, and the whole school and their families, and the members of the church, would fill the school parking lot, carrying their rosaries. The Irish sisters of our school would lead the congregation in a rosary over a loudspeaker, as we slowly walked a path from the school to the church. At the head of this joyful but stately parade was a great statue of Mary on a platform-like altar, carried (by the Knights of Columbus, I think) above the shoulders of the crowd and decked thick with live flowers of all kinds, so that Mary seemed to travel with us on a cloud of blossoms. Behind her were two children, one chosen to carry her crown and one to crown her. At the end of it we sang Marian hymns and the crown was placed on the statue's head.

Our current parish has had a May procession for several years but I have never been able to attend it myself. Last year I decided that if I couldn't attend our church's procession, we would do our own at home. I highly recommend that if you belong to a parish that practices this delightful piety, participate in it! For that matter, there's no reason you can't do both. 

Here are my notes for what you need.

1. A statue of Mary. Ours is an outdoor statue made of concrete, but a small one in the house will be fine. Use what you have and make it work for you. Make a litter out of a serving tray or a baking sheet, or pull it in a wagon like a parade float. You can even use a framed picture if you don't have a statue, and make a garland or swag to drape around it in lieu of...

2. A crown that fits the statue. I like flower crowns. The American Girls Handy Book has some instructions for making flower crowns, and anything viney can be wound ino a wreath and studded with blooms. You can cut and tie them from your rose garden, make a tiny wreath of dandelions or wildflowers, or glue or weave together artificial flowers for a crown you can use year after year. Or you can make a crown like this

3. A path to process along! It doesn't have to be long, just pick a starting point and an end.  If you have a May altar, you can make a ceremony of placing her statue there. You might like to have stations, especially if your path is short. Make five stops for each of the joyful mysteries, or pick your three favorite hymns and sing each one at a different point on your walk.

4. Flowers. It's what May is all about. 

5. A ritual. So many possibilities, but really all you need is a prayer. For more, consider hymns ("Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above," "O Most Holy One," and "Sing of Mary" are my favorites), praying a rosary, and scripture readings (Luke 1:46-55—the Magnificat!).

Postscript: This was supposed to be for May 1, but my pregnant brain forgot to click "publish," so here it is. Then, the next day I saw this post about planning a May crowning which would be great for larger groups of kids, so I'm passing it on. 

Also, I'm getting some weird formatting issue trying to edit this post right now, so my apologies if it looks weird.


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