Friday, April 17, 2009

Quick Takes Friday

1. It's precipitating in Colorado. We've had two whole days of steady rain, which is almost unheard of here. Rain and drizzle. Drizzle and rain. And mud.

Theresa just said she expects to see some kayakers paddling up the front ten pasture. She knew I'd laugh at that; it's a reference to a family legend, one hard for the Littles to believe in light of the years of drought and semi-drought that we've all grown accustomed to, but true, nevertheless.

It's almost ancient history now, but the first two summers we lived here in the country, we got so much rain we had cuttings of straw hay in both of our pastures ~ which might not sound like much to farmers who have irrigation or folks who live in rainy climates, but it's a big deal to us here in an area which is technically called "high desert." But, it's a cyclical thing, not always desert-like here. The old-timers will tell you that weather comes in seven-year cycles of drought and moisture and that seems to be loosely true. If this rain keeps up through the summer, we've ended one cycle and are moving into another one.

The kayaking incident came at the wet end of our first seven-year cycle in eastern Colorado. It rained so much one summer that we had a pond at the bottom of our front pasture and the ditch that runs along the other side of the road was full to overflowing. All that moisture wakened up a crowd of toads that serenaded us most of the summer and it took so long for the water to absorb into the ground that some of our neighbor children navigated around the neighborhood in a kayak. That was the summer of the thunderstorms, the summer we read Huck Finn.

I'm thinking if we get even a few toads from this little deluge ~ and especially if we start in on a good series of afternoon thunderstorms, we're going to have to hunt down our Mark Twain books for the benefit of the younger set who don't remember it from the first time around.
2. And here we are ~ a chilly, rainy Friday ~ tomato soup and grilled cheese weather...
Check out the pinky.

3. Jon downloaded half his pictures from Rome this morning. (Here he is at right in front of the Coliseum.) He went through the pictures, explaining where each was and the wonders and marvel he got to see ~ the beautiful churches, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, the Catacombs (where Father G., who accompanied the class was permitted to offer Holy Mass in one of the tombs!). And, as if these were not amazing enough, around every corner, they discovered other wonders ~ things like: the incorrupt body of St. Paul of the Cross, the head of St. John the Baptist, the finger of St. Thomas, the relics of the true Cross and the instruments of the Crucifixion, Jesus' footprints in the rock at the Church of Quo Vadis... The list goes on and on! It was overwhelming just looking over Jon's shoulder as he reviewed the pictures with us on the computer ~ I can't imagine the wonder of walking the streets of Rome where so many saints also walked, the springboard to Heaven of so many of the martyrs. I'm so glad Jon got to go with his graduating class! But, now I'm dying to go, too!
4. Tomatoes and peppers started in the kitchen window. Carrots, lettuce, radishes and spinach seeded out in the garden just in time for all this nice rain. We just can't seem to get the peas planted, though. I'm thinking it may be too late now...

5. And, since we're already talking about water... I had a freak accident with my phone yesterday. It went through the washing machine in the pocket of my blue jeans. I shouldn't defer the guilt by using passive voice, though, because it really was all my fault...

Still, it really was freakish. My laundry is never so caught up that a pair of jeans could possibly
get from the hamper into the washing machine before an APB has gone out for a missing phone. Alas, though, the turnover was weirdly fast this time and my phone got to go on a wild ride.

My kids tell me that if you take the battery out and leave the phone open and turned downward to dry out, it may still be resuscitated. It seems they have experience in these matters. But, so far no such luck. Durn. Guess I'll have to get a new phone. Or steal Dominic's...
6. Before the rains came, the girls made the first dandilion chain of the season and gave it to the Blessed Mother...
7. The last day of April is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, one of the great saints of the Church. It's not insignificant to us, and all proponents of the sanctity of life and the blessings of big families that St. Catherine was the twenty-fifth child of a pious Catholic family. I've been informally collecting saints who were members of large families, and her name is at the top of the list, but I'm looking for more. I'd like to post a long list of big family saints on St. Catherine's feast day. If anyone knows of saints from families of five or more children, can you please leave me a note in the combox?

Here's the list so far:
St. Catherine of Siena, one of twenty-five
Queen St. Margaret of Scotland, the mother of eight children
St. Therese of Lisieux, the ninth child
St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother was the eleventh of thirteen children
St. Thomas Aquinas was the sixth son of the noble Aquino family
Pope St. Piux X was the second of eleven children in the Sarto family
Queen St. Clotilda bore five children
St. Catherine of Genoa was the youngest of five children
St. Bridget of Sweden was the mother of eight children
St. Hedwig was one of eight children and the mother of seven
St. Charles Borromeo was the third of six children
St. Thomas More was the father of four children, but also had a stepdaughter and two wards, plus several other students whom he menored

I know I've missed scads! Who else can we add?


Heather Jaracz said...

It's probably not too late for peas. I said the same thing last year and then kicked myself for not trying. A lot of people succession plant them every week for a month, so you're probably just in time for the last plantings. If you have some seeds, go for it!!!

I'm jealous, your season is so much earlier than ours. Our last hard frost last spring was June 2! I only have beets, peas, and onions in the ground so far right now.

SQUELLY said...

Bernadette of Lourdes was one of six named children and there are a couple of other brothers or sisters who we know little of other than that they died in infancy.

I wish I had gone into the Coliseum but at the time I was a student and couldn't afford it :-)

Bia said...

Jon is right where I was two years ago . . . sigh. Is he enjoying it?

MightyMom said...

oh, and she was YOUR inspiration too!!

St Gianna Beretta Molla....10th of 13 children, mother of 4(the last of whom she died to save)

rain is good. and I believe that ALL THINGS are cyclical. everything from "global climate change" to cat fights in the house. it's all cyclical as the tide.

would love to go to Rome one day........sigh.

Rachel said...

St. Faustina was the third of ten