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Our First Baby Gift!

Thank you Susan!

I love them and I can't wait to put the sprouts in them.

This made my whole day.

Fabric Score

I just got 2 yards of this Charlotte Moss fabric and I couldn't be more in love with it - total cost $11. Yup, I know! It's a gorgeous navy and white linen, and it's either going to find its way into the nursery or into our basement which is in the planning stages for finishing right now. I purchased the fabric on One Kings Lane and was able to use a $25 referral credit I had toward the purchase (thanks Kate!) 

If you don't already subscribe to OKL emails, here's an invitation to do so. That site has some seriously good deals on gorgeous stuff for your home. 

And if you know me and my curtain debacles, yes those are the infamous Arklow Paisley panels hanging in the guest bedroom formerly known as the mancave (RIP). I sold four of the panels and kept two hoping I could make them work somewhere in my house. 

Sorry for the bad lighting, I know I have sick photography skills. Jealous? Oh and don't mind the turtle tank and the random furniture in the middle of the room either. We managed to paint this room and hang these panels and that's as far as we've gotten. We have a painter coming in to do the trim starting next week, which is why everything upstairs is hari kari. 

I think these panels look SO much better with white walls (BM's floral white) than they did in our living room against the darker walls (BM's spice gold). Plus, I think one window of a large scale patterned fabric is all this girl can handle. 


I'm happy and they're finally staying put.

Once the trim is painted I'll move the rest of the furniture over, move Ike (the turtle) to his new permanent home and take better pictures, pinky promise.

Oh, and speaking of the nursery…rumor has it that we'll be able to find out the babies' gender on Tuesday. I'm literally counting down the seconds. I've decided to have the crib bumpers and skirts made since I can't find anything I like online and I'm heading to Osgood's to look for fabrics in two weeks if anyone wants to join me. I'll even treat you to lunch. Let me know!

While You Were Sleeping

I'm beginning to realize that there's a whole slew of weird things that happen to you while you're pregnant that no one talks about. (Or, should I say, warns you about.) You can't read about them in any of these must-buy baby books either. 

Lately I've been waking up to myself having an orgasm. It's very bizarre. Each time I wake up, I scramble trying to think about my last dream and half the time I can't remember and the other half the time I wasn't even dreaming about sexy time. 

These are not just, um, little orgasms either. They are giant crotch spasms. And it's not like a sex-gasm. I don't wake up feeling all tingly. I wake up feeling half-confused and half-embarassed, wondering if my husband can tell what just happened. (As though he has some sort of built in sonar device that detects uterine contractions.) 

I tried googling this and, while other women have mentioned that this has happened to them, no one seems to know why it happens or what the cause might be. Is my body doing self induced kegels to strengthen my pelvic muscles? Did I turn into a 14 year old boy in my sleep? What gives? 

Part of me wants to ask my OB about it and part of me doesn't want to suffer through the potential side-eye I may be given after asking such a question...

Wordless Wednesday

Guest Suite

I found the perfect headboard for our guest room.

The pièce de résistance.

The final touch, and then done.

I envisioned it painted to a gloss black and dressed with a bed of ivory, 

white and sand toned linens of different textures. 

Excitedly I called the owner and literally begged him to send me measurements.

It took him over a week to get back to me.

And the headboard is 5" too narrow.

Story of my life.

I will now spend the next part of eternity looking for a replica.


Baling on Papa Stronsay

The last week or so has seen the winter feed cut and bailed here on Papa Stronsay.  Unfortunately no photos were taken of the cutting, but the rest of it can be seen here.  It's a time consuming but necessary task if the animals are to get through the winter without starving.  This year has been our best ever harvest.

Fr. Anthony and Br. Martin took the haybobbing in turns.  Fr. Anthony is driving here.
We were very lucky this year to have the generous help of Tony and Matt Duffy, farmers from Stronsay.  Matt came with their baler and did all of the fields.  It took a little over 12 hours to do.

This baler not only bales the hay, but also wraps it in plastic.  It can put much more hay into each bale, so that although they are the same size as our normal bales, they are 1.5 times heavier!



Baling on Papa Stronsay

By the end of the evening there were 203 bales!
Matt changes the rolls of plastic wrap.
For the evening recreation, the community came down to cheer him on!
Matt with his tractor...
...and with the community.
A job well done!
Many thanks to Matt for all his work - and a happy birthday for today!

Our Lady's Garden, 2007 - 2010. Update.

"Our Lady's Garden."

Chant of the
Salve Regina
on the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 2010.

2007 - 2010

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes
11 February 2007.

The future greenhouse blessed for the Queen of Heaven
"Our Lady's Garden"

Brother Paul Mary in the trenches.
4 May 2007
A lot of work was done.
And a few days later, same trench:
Fr. Anthony laying the raised bed over it.

Since May 2007 we have seen Our Lady's Garden
taking shape,
we are still experimenting on what works
and what doesn't.

16 July 2010

Grapes were planted last year.

Pruning the Grapes.

I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he will take away:
and every one that beareth fruit,
he will prune it that it may bring forth more fruit.
(Jn. 15:1)

Fr. Anthony's Peach Tree.

Some of us doubted
the introduction of a peach tree
to Papa Stronsay!

From the beginning,
when the tree was but a spindle in a pot,
it produced abundant peaches
although those first ones were but the size of golf balls.

This year they were large, soft and brimming with juice.

Could these be the most northerly peaches in the world?

Fr. Anthony's Peach Tree
was a very successful introduction.

...the wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily.
(Is. 35:1)
We have produced our own flowers for the altar since March.

Br. Yousef Marie with the Jerusalem Artichokes.


The Passion Flower.

Doing well but it didn't need to be inside.

Corgettes everywhere.

The tomatoes are in abundance.

Post Scriptum.

11 May 2007
the planting of the Kiwifruit vines!
Understandable perhaps,
(rich in Vitaman C)
we were hopeful,
but alas!

It flourished
and remains fruitless
three years,
a failure!

2007 - 2010.

"Behold for three years I come seeking fruit on this and I find none.
Cut it down therefore,
Why cumbereth it the ground?"

But he answering, said to him:
Lord, let it alone this year also,
until I dig about it and dung it.
And if happily it bear fruit:
but if not,
then after that thou shalt cut it down.
(Lk. 13:6)

(2 male and 4 female Kiwifruit vines are growing together
their fruitlessness is probably due to our degrees of latitude (59.2° North).
The sun remains close to the horizon at this latitude
and there may not be sufficient sun intensity to bring forth flowers for fruit.)

The unsuccessful Kiwifruit vines
of Fr. Michael Mary!

Crickets Crickets

So this post isn't going to have any pretty pictures, which isn't something I do often. Bear with me here. I've hesitated to post anything on this blog for a while mainly because I was ashamed of how I was feeling and I didn't want to share my thoughts with anyone.

Yesterday after car shopping I had a full blown meltdown and all I can say is thank goodness for my mom who made me feel like I was normal and my feelings were okay.

When we first found out about this pregnancy I braced myself for more bad news or failure. After the last IVF ended in miscarriage I guess I didn't really think that I was someone who would ever be a mommy. Then we had this hail mary cycle #2 - our last insurance covered cycle. And everything was amazing. Every test, every ultrasound, every procedure. My first ultrasound came and the good news kept rolling in and here I was pregnant with twins. And as full as my heart was, something was just off. I wrote about it here, and I even posted about it on the message boards.

People automatically assume that when you are discussing all that you give up to be a mother that you automatically mean your body or the way you look. Yes, that's part of it, but that's not all of it. And it's not even the biggest part of it. And so I struggled to find the words that would make people understand, and in the meantime I just kept quiet. Because frankly I want these babies. I have always wanted them. And I know how blessed I am to have them. So I never wanted to appear ungrateful or stupid or shallow. Yet something wasn't right.

And so yesterday my (wonderfully patient and understanding) husband and I went to look at minivans and crossovers and station wagons that would accommodate our growing family and we finally settled on a car that was a good fit for us, our lifestyle and our needs. Joe had a lacrosse game last night, so after we test drove this car, we shook the dealer's hand and told him we'd be back in tomorrow to talk numbers. We got in the car and that's when I burst into tears. The first thing I said was something like "I love my car and I don't want to give it up!"

My current car is my first real grown-up car. I worked for 11 years before I could buy it, and while it's nothing super special, it's mine. I got it because I liked it, not because I had to have a car and it was what I could afford. I bought this car because it had features and leather interior and a sunroof and a MP3 jack and because it was cute. And I've only had it for two years now. And it's mine. MINE and I am not ready to give it up. And so I cried. And my husband told me we could wait, or that he'd buy the station wagon and trade his car in and everything would be okay, and that I didn't have to do anything I didn't want to do. He's so awesome. But I digress.

My mom called last night and I cried again. And somehow she understood. She was the first person to understand and OH MY GOD someone else gets it. It's not the car that I'm giving up, it's everything. Two weeks ago I packed up all of my clothes and put them in the basement, I can't eat things I want to eat, I can't sleep some nights, I can't muster up enough energy to go to the gym, and now I have to give up my car. And it's not any of that, but it's all of that. My life is changing forever and while I welcome the change EVERYTHING IS CHANGING and I just need it to slow down, just a little. Because I went from being this girl (this woman?) who thought she would never be a mommy to being this person that is having every single facet of her life turned on its ear and I'm scared!

So I'm taking a break from getting ready for the babies. Just a short one. Just enough time to breathe. Everything doesn't have to be perfect tomorrow.  I'm going to give myself some time and rip the band-aid off slowly and stay focused on all of the blessings in my life and hope that things just work themselves out in the end. Because the truth is I am so happy to be welcoming these two little blessings into my life. I cannot wait to meet them and know them. But that doesn't mean that my whole world isn't changing. So I'm going to acknowledge all of these feelings - the love and excitement AND the fear and frustration. Because I think they are things that all? most? of us feel. And I hope that they are normal and I hope that with this, like all other change, time will make it all make sense.

* I had to come back and add to this post, I was reading Paulo Coelho and came across this:

"When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I
am, I found myself."


i have so many things i wish to say.
but alas time has beaten me to it...
i leave for old blighty on tuesday,
Our #1 and my man staying behind to hold the fort.

i am tres excited to be going home,
but also a little nervous this time around.
for this time around i cross the pond as
a 'challenger of the utmost' kind!
and if ever there is a time when Mr Temptation will sit upon my shoulder
whispering 'tempting thoughts' in my ear
then this will be it.

but before i unplug, i wished to let you know,
without you, my dearest readers,
my little blog and my crafting would not be what it is.
once again i find myself thinking how fortunate i have been
to have your encouragment in all that i do.
you make me whole in a way i cannot explain
and for that i am thanking you kindly.

on my return in mid August,
i have an amazing adventure waiting for me and dottie angel
and i hope with all my heart,
you will come along with me on the journey
but for now
i have a happy cluster to share with you,
just to tide us over until we meet again...

i found several paper lanterns at the thrift store a few weeks back,
similar to these ones, the colors of mine were tres bright.
i hung them outside for a week or so, undercover so as not to get wet.
when faded to a perfectly perfect vintagey color
i bought them in, and pinned them into the ceiling,
next i spent a happy half hour adding little kite tales using my 'sprightly spring' scraps.
and voila! a lovely cluster of happy vintage looking lanterns,
simple but pretty,
with the ability to
make a corner of one's home feel most happy and summery indeed...

my happy lanterns are hanging above Miss Ethel,
i placed them there so she may feel loved whilst i am away.
knowing that i am thinking about her on my travels
and looking forward to spending quality time with her again soon.

she is wishing you all a peachy and perhaps a little silly month and will be back rambling on monday August 23rd ~ Tif x

Come ye also sons of earth, come ye and adore Him.

Solemnity of the Most Holy Redeemer.
(Third Sunday in July.)

V/. Lord, Thou hast redeemed us by Thy Blood.
R/. And hast made us unto our God a kingdom.

Answering the Matin's Invitatory.
Where in heaven JESUS reigns, Angels bow before Him. *
Come ye also, sons of earth, come ye and adore Him.
(Invitatory, Matins of the SS. Redeemer.)

Come ye also, sons of earth, come ye and adore Him.

... ipsa me deduxerunt et adduxerunt
in montem sanctum tuum et in tabernacula tua.

.... it is He who will open the way to Thy holy mount,
to Thy heavenly tabernacle.
I cried unto the LORD with my voice,
and He heard me out of His holy hill.
(1st. Antiphon, Matins of the SS. Redeemer.)

Come ye also, sons of earth, come ye and adore Him.
In the Bollandists’ life of St. Colette (6th March), who was remarkable for her great devotion to Holy Mass, we read: On one occasion, when she was assisting at the Mass said by her confessor, she was heard, at the consecration, to exclaim: “My God, my Jesus! O angels and saints, O men and sinners, what marvels are these that we see and hear!” After Mass her confessor asked what had made her cry aloud in this manner.

... When your reverence elevated the sacred host ...
She replied: “When your reverence elevated the sacred host, I beheld Christ upon the cross, the blood flowing from His precious wounds; at the same time I heard Him thus address the Eternal Father: Look upon this body of flesh, in which I hung upon the cross, in which I suffered for mankind. Look upon My wounds, look upon the blood that I shed, consider My sufferings, consider My death. All this I endured to save sinners.

... For My sake, spare these sinners, O My Father ...
Now, if Thou dost consign to perdition on account of their iniquities, and deliver them over to the devil, what compensation shall I have for My bitter passion, for My cruel death? The reprobate sinners will render Me no thanks; on the contrary, they will curse Me to all eternity. But if they were saved they would praise and magnify Me forever in gratitude for My sufferings. For My sake, therefore, spare these sinners, O My Father, and preserve them from eternal damnation.”
Come ye also, sons of earth, come ye and adore Him.
Of dying creatures are born dying creatures,
and of them that once could not die
are made beings that must die.
From Adam all men are born to die;
but JESUS, the Son of God,
the Word of God, by Whom all things were made,
the Only-begotten Son, co-equal to the Father,
was made so that He could not die,
for "the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us."
If then He accepted death,
and crucified death upon His Cross,
dying creatures are freed from death.
(St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Tract on John iii.)

The Altar, the holy hill,
to which God comes down from heaven ...

No man hath ascended up to heaven,
but He that came down from heaven.
For He came down; and died;
and by His death delivered us from death.
Death slew Him, and He slew death.
(St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Tract on John iii.)

Come ye also, sons of earth...

come ye and adore Him.

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