Friday, February 22, 2013

February has come and is going!

I mentioned in my previous post the blog of Sister Jo-El, a member of the St. Gertrude community.  A couple weeks ago she shared a beautiful reflection on Ordinary Time.  I encourage you to read her words here and to be mindful of what is extraordinary in your daily life.  Maybe there is something or someone you can influence to move from ordinary to extraordinary, maybe especially with new seasons.  While still in the month of February we try to keep hold of our new year's resolutions; a few moments of sitting with the ordinary can do a lot for my brain racing 139 miles per minute, for my heart, and for my body, too. 

Recent outings:
                Did I mention I went to the Holocaust Memorial Museum?  I hardly could take in even a portion of it.  I was on sensory overload, but don’t know if I envision returning anytime soon.  For any of you who have visited the museum, you know the toll it takes emotionally.
                I met a friend in Annapolis a recent Friday afternoon.  We enjoyed hot chocolate…  I have to share this: the place we went insisted the only way they could make the drink was to fill have the cup with mini marshmallows before adding hot water to the mix.  One of my companions was bewildered; she could not wrap her head around such a concept.  Continuing, we enjoyed a brisk walk in the light drizzle around a quiet, wet downtown Annapolis.  It is so charming.  We enjoyed company in a warm, Friday evening bustling pub as we tasted vegetable crab soup.  An evening we could hope to repeat again soon!
                Also when in Annapolis I found the Whole Foods market/store.  I had never been in one (not even in MN), and had been looking forward to exploring.  Wow, what a place!  I enjoyed the plump produce section, the fishes and meats, oooh-ing at the homemade pastas, the cheeses, oh, and more!  This is one of my favorite pastimes, if you didn’t know: food markets, farmers’ markets, co-ops, etc. 
                I have been to Dover, DE a few times in the last weeks.  I venture there with my friends to have some girl time out and about, not even spending money on ourselves.  We went to the “small—though I’m not sure how Caroline County residents can make this judgment” Dover Mall and enjoyed window shopping, trying on 5” heels, chasing 14-month olds around.  Just this past Sunday I found a Plato’s Closet—I didn’t know they were nation-wide.  The women with me were elated with the finds for the great prices.  We will definitely be returning there when we have more time.  We also plan to go to a (bigger) mall in Annapolis in the near future.  Works for me—all the more places I can experience, the more cultured will I be. 
               My babies are growing up.  Lil’ almost-two-year-old repeats, well, tries anyway, everything I say.  She is growing into an identity of her own, and quickly!  One of two school-age sisters just turned six years old, and the other will be four next month.  Just a fun fact about these two: the former falls asleep around seven in the evening and nothing in the world will wake her—noise, moving her, her fidgety sister, and speaking of whom is an insomniac herself and refuses to sleep more than six or so hours each night; but the two share a single bed and don’t want it to work any other way.  The other two babies are as lively and lovable as ever.  They are great pals—just two weeks apart, and give each other a hard time… kinda like puppies, haha. 
                I introduced a few new nutrition/health topics so far this month to the women at St Martin’s.  We had a lesson on portion sizes and a good discussion relating portion guidelines to our everyday experiences with food and food choices.  We talked about whether to eat a huge loaded lettuce salad because it’s our source of vegetables and also some protein, and maybe even good fats and fiber.  On Valentine’s Day we did some interactive learning on Heart Health, as February is the American Heart Association’s Heart Health month.  We mostly talked about fats—bad and better, and how those affect our heart and overall health.  A healthy heart is a happy heart!  I also prepared some quinoa (KEEN-wah) for the residents to try.  It is one of my favorite grains (it’s a seed but most commonly serves as a grain, as a replacement for rice). 
                I haven’t been knitting much lately.  I finished a couple scarves and am working on another different-material one.  Definitely not on a roll, turning out scarves as I was/we were in the fall and before Christmas.  I have, instead, been taking time for reading, both novels and spiritual works.  I also am trying to get started on another cross-stitching project. 
                Yes, Lent is here.  I actually started a blog draft three weeks ago titled, “A new season is around the corner!”  Well, religiously speaking the season is here and enveloping us.  The season of the recent weather is also new and unexpected as of late.  The stars have been bright and dazzling and overwhelmingly breathtaking.  I have taken a few night walks in order to best enjoy them.  This is surely one of the unquestionable blessings of living away from city lights. 
                Back to Lent in my next post! 
Much love. 

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