Monthly Picks

June Picks: Late Edition

Yes, it is now July, and I’m very late in getting after this.  Somehow the summer days slip by, and I thought, ah well, better late than never.

My Favorite June Things

  1. Jumping off docks at 8:00 in the morning is always a great thing.
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    Exhilarating!

    We spent a few peaceful days at my parents’ lake cabin.  Naturally the children wanted to swim all day.  My only requirement was that they first eat breakfast and then wait that full hour before taking the plunge…yeah right.  They shoveled in breakfast, scrambled into their suits, and literally ran off the end of the dock–end of story.

    And how about me?  Did I follow suit?  Not a chance.  I drank my coffee and read The Remnant on shore.

    2.  Catching Fish is a favorite for the boys.
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The boys caught this thing off the end of the dock.  Don’t ask me what kind of fish it was.  I love to eat fish, but I hate to touch them.

3.  Drinking wine on the deck with my husband and eating olives is a lovely way to spend an evening.

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I buy these from Sam’s Club because they’re reasonably priced.

I think I could live off of wine, bread, cheese, and olives–in all their varieties of course.  I’m pretty sure that all the food groups are present in the above list: fruit, grain, milk, vegetables…  Well, what are olives anyway?  Vegetables?  Fruit?  Meat?  Somebody clue me in, for I’m too lazy to Google it.

4.  I love fresh wild flowers from the backyard for my table every day.

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This is the Little Girls’ job.

The Little Girls supply me with fresh flowers for both the dining room and the breakfast-nook table every day.  They just hike up our hill in the backyard and gather at will.

At our old place in North Dakota, the ditches were very obliging for these kinds of bouquets.  We always found such things as alfalfa, aster, sunflowers or goldenrod.

Here, on the very edge of eastern Minnesota?  I’m still figuring it out.  We’ve got butterfly-weed, clover, fleabane, and what looks like daisies.

5.  Corpus Christi Processions are definitely a June favorite.

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Here’s the start of ours, as they were processing out of the Church.
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Father, Jesus, and 4 “Laymen of Distinction” holding the canopy.
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And heading around the block.

Our Corpus Christi procession featured six Torch Bearers, two Acolytes, two Thurifers, a Cross-Bearer, an MC, four Laymen of Distinction carrying the canopy, our priest, and Jesus Christ King of the Universe.  The rest of us trailed behind in gratitude and thanksgiving.

6.  Another favorite?  Campfires in the backyard with s’mores.

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Sure bliss.

The boys built a fire pit in our backyard up on the hill.  After dousing and sanctifying it and the surrounding area with Holy Water, we proceeded to enjoy a small blaze.  Everyone had to have a bath afterwards.

7.  Lastly, a DIY project.  Who doesn’t need a white cross in their backyard?

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In our neighborhood a couple of houses have erected large white crosses, which they lit up brilliantly during Lent and the Easter octave.  (Given these dark times, perhaps we ought to keep them perpetually lit?)

Anyway, as we had some extra wood lying around, my husband put one together.  And if you look closely at the photo, you’ll also see a small statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus off to the right.  This is our children’s mini shrine.

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Here’s Jesus.  We didn’t want Him to tip over, so we had to “ground” him in a flower pot.  The Little Girls are growing marigolds for Him.
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This is a view of the valley which our Cross overlooks.

DIY: Instructions on how to build your own Cross:

  1. Rummage around the garage for some spare wood.
  2. Get one of your sons to saw two pieces of wood to whatever lengths you desire, allowing extra length for the vertical beam to be buried.
  3. Grab the spare can of white paint from the basement.  If it’s not crusted and rusted over, and if it happens to be an exterior paint as well, paint your wood.
  4. Use one stake and a couple of screws to affix the crossbeam to the vertical beam.
  5. Get your husband to dig a deep hole.  (Who are we kidding?  In this household, my husband’s been doing all the work on this project already.)
  6. Keep digging.  You’ll need the hole to be deeper than you think.  (Apparently 10% of the length of a transmission pole, plus an addition foot, is buried beneath the ground for stability, etc.)
  7. Stand off from afar, as your husband holds the heavy cross, and say such things as, “A little to the left now.  Oh, well, a little to the right.  That’s it.  No, now it’s crooked!”
  8. Send a kid to the garage for the level to place on the crossbeam.
  9. Fill in the hole, crack a bottle of wine, and enjoy it from a distance.
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It’s nothing fancy, but because it’s white, you can see it when you enter the valley about a 1/2 mile away.  I can’t wait to wrap bright, white lights on it for Lent.
Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: Buying, Selling, & Fishing

How was your week?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

  1. We enrolled two of our children in a Catholic, Montessori school for next year.  (I’ll still be homeschooling three of the seven children.)
  2. As this particular school is 30 minutes away, and we’re growing out of our house quite literally, we’ve decided to move.  (This decision was not made in a week, but over the course of this last year.)
  3. This is a terrible process – the buying and selling of houses.  Keeping mine clean for showings?  Ha!
  4. Child #4 was playing outside the other day, and he noticed a car slowly driving by, checking our place out.  This car drove by a few times, and this child decided that that was enough.  So, he stuck his tongue out, put his hands up to his ears, and gave a little sass to the driver.  The car didn’t drive by again.  And didn’t buy our house either.
  5. I have the best father-in-law in the world.  He took the children fishing.  The boys on one day.  The girls the next.  They had a blast, cruising up and down the Missouri River, catching walleye – 17 total.  We love eating walleye, by the way.

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The following paragraph is the caption for the above photo.  This little girl is my talker.  I asked her about this photo, and she’s still talking to me, right now.  Even while I type this.    She doesn’t quit!

Photo Caption:

“Mom, you should have seen what this fish looked like inside!  It was all red and black and yellow and grayish.  It didn’t feel gross, but slimy.  Mom, you should have seen it’s teeth.  They were really sharp.  And I got to see sacks of eggs.  They were redish and pinkish.  Like birds.  And Mom, you have to put little fish on your hook.  Grandpa had to do mine, because I didn’t know how.  But Mom, you have to have those little fish to catch a big fish.  And I drank a Dr. Pepper – a whole can!  And I dipped my toes in the river, but it was cold.  Mom, do you know that your rod bends when you get a fish on it?”

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The big girls with their catch.  They were thankful that grandpa cut them up, even though he did make them help a little.
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The three boys taking a break from fishing.