Life is Worth Living

“Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled…”

“Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

This is from the Gospel of Luke 10:41-42.

It was not the Gospel reading this weekend, but I kept thinking about it. For you see, usually on Saturday–after my cleaning is done–I glance at my missal and scribble down the Introit Psalm, the Epistle, and the Gospel for Sunday, and sneak out the door for a Holy Hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

I like this hour of quiet, and when my mind begins to wander, I open up my Douay-Rheims Pocket Psalms and New Testament and pray the next day’s readings, in preparation for Sunday Mass.

Well, I lost the paper where I had written them down. So, yesterday I guessed and ended up in Luke 10. (I was only 3 chapters off.)

And I read, and reread the verse above, for I am such a Martha–careful and troubled about many things. Things that are secondary. Things that should be set aside. Things that should be cast into hell, as a waste of my time.

For example, I wonder about this blog. Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting your time? Surely there are better things to read on the internet, if one should even bother with the internet.

Furthermore, I never can quite say what I want to say. Even now. I’d like to tell you to step out of the Rat Race of the World, but here I am, in the middle of it, online.

I’d like to tell you to quit comparing yourself to other families and to just put First Things First. Go to Confession. Pack a picnic lunch with a bottle of Flat Top Rose, invite another family, and spend a few hours on the grass.

Throw away your Wendell Berry novel that promotes breaking the Ninth Commandment and read some Hilaire Belloc poetry or his The Path to Rome or his The Cruise of the Nona. (I finally secured a copy–it’s ridiculously hard to find–and chuckled endlessly at his dedication. I haven’t finished the book yet.)

Do you have little girls? Let them haul their baby dolls everywhere.

My sons found some nasty, white maggots the other day. Do you know what they decided to do with them? Put them in a jar with a slice of cheese to observe them. Those slimy things wormed right into the cheese and then formed a cocoon-like shell, which darkened after a few days. Then, more days later, a fly emerged. So revolting and yet, fascinating.

Do I have a point for that story? Nope.

Is there a point for this blog post? I’m not sure, and I apologize for wasting your time.

Monthly Picks

January Picks

Here are some of my favorite things lately.  Is there anything you’ve been enjoying?  I’d love to hear about it.

January Picks

Favorite Children’s Book on Audible:  Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Brink.  Since we’re moving to Wisconsin, we thought this book pertinent, which it is.  But, seriously, it’s very entertaining too.

Favorite Read Aloud:  Rebecca Caudill’s Tree of Freedom, which we’re in the middle of.  The children groan every time I put it down.  “Ah, Mom!  Can’t you just read one more page?”  But a girl’s gotta have Quiet Time; I can’t read aloud all day long.

My Favorite Read:  Hands down, Hilaire Belloc’s Path to Rome.  Every time I read it, I just chuckle and laugh to myself.  He’s so witty!  Everything I’ve ever read by him is a gem, including this travelogue.

Best Amazon Purchase:  Besides my new dress with pockets?  The board game Catan.  We can’t stop playing it; our whole family is addicted.  In fact, we should really consider purchasing the 5-6 player Expansion.  And Sea-Farers.  Or Cities and Knights

Favorite YouTube Video:  Yes, I just made this a category.  But if you haven’t been watching Dr. Taylor Marshall, you’re missing out.  We especially enjoyed THIS one.

Best Movie Seen in an Actual Movie Theater:  Yeah, I know, right?!  I actually saw a movie in the movie theater.  It’s the first time that’s happened in about ten years, and it was worth it, even if there were jabs at marriage and the plight of women in the 1800s.  The ironic thing is, is that in this movie (and the book) all the women end up married.  Go figure.  In any case, go see Little Women.  You’ll sob.  (And thank you to my mother-in-law for inviting me!)

Favorite Drink:  A Gibraltar.  This is a double-shot of espresso with an ounce or so of steamed milk served in a tiny tumbler.  You gotta try it.  If you live in Bismarck, North Dakota, go to Anima Cucina and order one.  Jason makes the best drinks there.

Best Idea Ever:  Pay your children a dollar for every lesson in the Baltimore Catechism that they memorize.  Our children are on a learning frenzy, thanks to my husband.  I guess money can be a good motivator…

Happy January!

 

Kim's Kitchen, Life is Worth Living

Chopping Tomatoes With Patrick Coffin

I have a tomato problem.  I didn’t think it would come to this, but it has.  There are just too many tomatoes in my garden.  Every day the children are bringing in buckets of them.

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The Latest Bucket

I thought that having six tomatoes plants would be manageable because I treated them so poorly.  In fact they’re just lying all over the ground in a tangled mess.

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Remember this photo from early September?  Utter neglect.

But I guess one can mistreat tomato plants, and they’ll still produce.

This is a problem because I don’t “can.”  I don’t know how to can, nor do I have any desire to can, but I do hate wasting good produce, so lately I’ve been making fresh salsa every day.

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Making fresh salsa.

But that still didn’t get rid of all these tomatoes.

So I sallied forth and made my very first pot of homemade tomato soup.  I did this by roasting a bunch of tomatoes, onions, and garlic first.

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Here’s a pan ready to go into the oven.

Then I blended them all in batches with basil from the garden.

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Blending.

My husband loved this soup, but the children thought it needed a little cream cheese.  Me?  I don’t care, I’m just trying to decide what I’m going to do with these:

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More tomatoes

In the meantime, what have I been listening to while chopping tomatoes?  The Patrick Coffin Show.  Have you heard his September interview with Joseph Pearce?  It’s soooo entertaining!  He and Pearce talk books for an hour and a half.  It’s delightful, especially because they’re mentioning such great books like Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Belloc’s The Path To Rome.

Speaking of good books…if you’ve never read Joseph Pearce’s autobiography Race With the Devil, you should.  I have a tremendous respect for that man.  He went from being the leader of white supremacist group to writing Catholic biographies and editing a series of literature books for Ignatius Press.

Incidentally, my local Saturday Morning Book Club will be reading Pearce’s book Unmasking of Oscar Wilde in a few months.  I can’t wait for it.