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Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 5

Isabella Breviary was given to Queen Isabella I of Castile (Isabella the Catholic) as a gift on the occasion of the double marriage of her children.  It was composed in the late 1480s in Bruges in the Dominican style.  Here is an extract from the Wikipedia article on the Isabella Breviary:

A page from the calendar of the Isabella Breviary.  Note the Zodiac sign of Virgo in the top right of the page. 
“Besides the feast days, the calendar contains also the computistical entries necessary to determine the day of the week corresponding to a given calendar date. In the first column one can find the golden number and in the second the Dominical letter. In the third column the date is expressed in the according to the Roman calendar with kalendae, nonae and idus. Also the date on which the sun enters a zodiacal sign is indicated in the calendar.  In the heading for each month the number of days and lunar days is given and the length of day and night is indicated.”
Again notice the miniature illustration of the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius in the top left corner, as well as the indication of the date on which the sun enters the sign of Sagittarius: Sol in Sagittario.

As noted above, the highly Catholic Isabella Breviary notes the date on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac, just as the Papa Stronsay calendar does. See the image of the 2015 Papa Stronsay Calendar below to witness over 500 years of Catholic tradition in action!

 In the Papa Stronsay Calendar, the date on which the sun enters each constellation of the Zodiac is marked: Sol in Sagittario.

Keep watching this space for more great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

i, Tif, do solemnly swear ...

hello hello, its official, i have become allergic to my inbox and colin the computer. just the thought of being online has me breaking out in a rash and a cold sweat. i am wondering with breathing exercises and the right medication if i will ever get my allergy under control. 

since i last tippity tapped, i have become a whole year wiser. i told myself all the right things one tells oneself when one is very grown up, but still i could not help but be gripped by an inner panic it is all going way too fast for my liking.

i have been knitting my february lady sweater and working at Tolt yarn shop and also working on their autumn window display.

i have done all this with a terrible case of 'avoidance' which has now left me down to the wire with my very nitty gritty important deadlines. i am quite cross with myself, i have asked myself why time and again i do such a thing to the point where i lie awake at night fretting. i need to get a grip.

my february lady sweater does not look like the thousands of other lady sweaters on ravelry and i have discovered why. apparently i do not 'yarn over' like others yarn over and thus, no holey lace pattern is appearing.

Veronika suggested i could rip it back and start again, i laughed and laughed at such a silly notion having calculated just the few repeat pattern rows achieved had taken the best part of twenty hours. therefore i have declared my lady sweater most suited to chilly days for there are no pesky holes to let in cold air. i would like to put all this on my ravelry page but so far have been unable, due to my aforementioned allergies 

Our #1 is visiting till monday, she has been here since the 15th and it has been rather jolly to have her around.

she has done a very sensible job of drawing up a calendar and filling it in with all my 'must dos' so i can see what i have to do each day to reach my looming deadlines. even she remarked i needed a small miracle. thus i started praying 4 days ago

this afternoon i am having my tattoo finished off.

Wayne (my trusty tattoo buddy) says it will only take an hour, i am thankful for this as the last time it took four and a half and at least a week for my arm to forgive me. did you know there are 'collectors of tattoos' out there? i did not know this term existed till a few weeks back. having six now i am wondering if i am part of the pack or if true collectors of tattoos would take one glance at my 5 'nineties' ink and laugh out loud. 

i am moving colin the computer. i have come to the conclusion living in the 'manly quarters' of our mossy shed is draining him and me of any creativity. we are surrounded by posters of Star Wars, Halo, World of Warcraft, Borderlands and many other things i have no idea what, where or who they are, which loom down upon us. we have both come to the conclusion that it is near on impossible for us to find our creative grove when not a floral is in sight. i am hopeful this move will happen pronto and then perhaps my allergic symptoms will lessen

i found a coat in the thrift store last week, so perfectly perfect in its tweedy goodness i am crocheting a scarf to make it feel welcome.

however i should not be crocheting, nor knitting, nor staring at posters of strange worlds, i should be frock pattern and sample making, yes, Miss Ethel is rusty and dusty, yes, my frock making knee socks have turned into ankle socks and yes, i have no one to blame but myself and Mr Procrastinator.

i, Tif, do solemnly swear
i will stop wandering around in despair,
claiming i have mislaid my time
and my frazzled mind.
i will pull up my crafty knee socks,
whilst jolly well getting on with making some frocks.
i do pinky promise with fingers crossed
and my mind no longer lost
from this day forth for the next four weeks or more
i will live by my newly made up law.
"inbox, blog, make
only then can you take a break"

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 4

Ancient astronomers and keepers of time divided the annual course of the Sun across the 12 Zodiac constellations into 12, 30 degree segments. In a year, the Sun moves across the Zodiac to complete a 360 degree circuit. The Sun takes about a month to move from one Zodiac constellation to the next. A reason why a year is divided into 12 months. The Moon takes 29.5 days to complete a cycle from Full Moon to the next. Another reason why a month, on average, is 30 days.

The Zodiac therefore is not a superstitious method of predicting the future by looking at the stars, but rather a perfectly wonderful, God-given method of telling the time and calculating the date.  By looking at the image, you can see that you could just as easily say Pisces as you could March; after all, March is named after the Pagan god of war, Mars.

Keep watching this space for some great examples of the Catholic Church using the Zodiac constellations through the ages!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 3

During a moon-cycle, the Moon moves across the 12 Zodiac constellations. The first astronomers divided the monthly orbit of the Moon into 28 different sections called 'lunar mansions'. Each 'mansion' is approximately one day of the lunar cycle, or about 12.2 degrees of the Moon's 360 degree circuit. This 28 division of the Moon cycle can be divided into four phase periods of the Moon. How 7 days was determined to be a week, correlates with the 7 day moon phase division of 28.

This is important as is demonstrates that the constellations of the Zodiac are not the same thing as astrology.  They are simply part of the intricate calendar designed by God.  This is why, in keeping with the ancient tradition of the Church, the Papa Stronsay calendar tracks not only the sun's progress through the constellations of the Zodiac, but the lunar calendar as well! Order your Papa Stronsay Calendar below.

More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

The Queen's Message

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Portrait taken at Balmoral

Message from the Queen following the Scottish Referendum

After many months of discussion, debate, and careful thought, we now know the outcome of the Referendum, and it is a result that all of us throughout the United Kingdom will respect.

For many in Scotland and elsewhere today, there will be strong feelings and contrasting emotions – among family, friends and neighbours. That, of course, is the nature of the robust democratic tradition we enjoy in this country. But I have no doubt that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others.

Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all. Knowing the people of Scotland as I do, I have no doubt that Scots, like others throughout the United Kingdom, are able to express strongly-held opinions before coming together again in a spirit of mutual respect and support, to work constructively for the future of Scotland and indeed all parts of this country.

My family and I will do all we can to help and support you in this important task.


Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 2

The Papa Stronsay Calendar is out now to order, and it can be purchased at the bottom of this post.  In the promotional video, also found below, the sun's course through the constellations of the Zodiac is mentioned as being marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac is these days associated almost entirely with superstitious astrology, but the Zodiac is not astrology.

Timekeeping was devised by identifying and measuring the movement of the Sun and Moon across the Zodiac constellations.  A 360 degree system plots and times the course of the Sun in a year. The coordinate system can be easily divided by 60, 30 and 15.  A minute has 60 seconds. An hour 60 minutes. One day of 24 hours divided by 2 is 12.  The stars move towards the west one minute in distance, every minute, or one degree every four minutes.  The sun and stars move fifteen degrees in one hour.  Fifteen degrees multiplied by the four which it takes to complete one degree gives us sixty minutes.  Thus the very time which we daily read from our wrist-watch is determined by tracking the motion of the sun and stars across the sky.

More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

Signs, Seasons, Days and Years — 1

There has recently been a question regarding the Papa Stronsay Calendar, which you can purchase at the bottom of this post.

The question regards the signs of the Zodiac which are marked on the calendar.  The Zodiac does not mean astrologyAstrology is a superstitious system of divining which is condemned by the church.  With the signs of the Zodiac we simply track the sun through the constellations of the Zodiac during the year.  The sun takes very nearly one month exactly to transit one constellation.  Thus it is simply marking the months.  Nothing whatever to do with predicting the future.

It is a venerable method of time-keeping and has been used by the Church since the beginning.

"In the fifth century there was a controversy between Rome and Alexandria about what the latest possible date for Easter could be.  According to Alexandrian tradition, it was April 25.  Pope St. Leo the Great (440-461) criticized this very late date by pointing out that, according to the Bible, Easter should fall in the first month, and the first month did not mean April, but the time when the sun is passing through the first part of the Zodiac — the sign of Aries.  The constellation in the heavens seemed to speak, in advance and for all time, of the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world (Jn I:29), the one who sums up in himself all the sacrifices of the innocent and gives them their meaning.  The mysterious story of the ram, caught in the thicket and taking the place of Isaac as the sacrifice decreed by God himself, was now seen as the pre-history of Christ.  The fork of the tree in which the ram was hanging was seen as a replica of the sign of Aries, which in turn was the celestial foreshadowing of the crucified Christ." - Pope Benedict XVI, The Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 99-100

Scholars show Pope Gregory XIII a chart of the Sun against the Zodiac to indicate the location of the Sun throughout a year.  This great pontiff was responsible for the reform of the calendar into form we have today.

The Zodiac is profoundly bound up with Catholicism.
More to come, so watch this space!

"And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years." Gen. 1:14

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

Papa Stronsay Calendar - Better than Ever!

The Papa Stronsay Calendar for 2015 is out now!  Have a look at the video below to see what you're missing out on:

There really is so much packed into our calendar, that you won't need any other calendar for the whole year!

You can order the Calendar right here and now:

If you have problems, you can use this link to do it directly from our online store.

There have been some questions regarding why we mark the suns transit through the signs of the Zodiac.  To understand why and how this is Catholic, click the "Signs of the Zodiac" label, or click here.
Remember that if you are already a subscriber to our Catholic Newspaper, you will automatically receive one copy of the calendar as part of that subscription.  Please also allow up to three weeks for delivery of your calendar.

this & that, that & this ... and a this

hello hello,

recently i have noted a number of baskets are finding me. i am not looking for baskets and yet there they are, popping up in front of my thrift store path. yesterday Our #4 asked if i would like to go to the thrift store with him. i could not help but smile at the reversal of roles. i agreed if only he drove, he muttered and mumbled and then got his permit. i have never known such a reluctant driver. well i have, but it was many many moons ago and it was me. 
and so this little basket found me. i liked her very muchly, 

i am pondering my next move. 
for i am thinking bling and i am thinking selling 

Our #4 officially became an Eagle Scout last night, this is tres nothing short of a miracle. according to him, only 4% of scouts become Eagles and it is the tippity top recognition. i could not help but feel proud, thus i felt it worthy of a proud mother moment, to mention it

i have cast on a cardi. yes sirree! i am taking my phobia of sleeves and laughing in the face of it. i have a feeling i could have made knitty life a lot easier upon myself if i had found a pattern in my size, but alas the one i fell for was, and i quote, for 'grown-ass women'. alas and alack, i am lacking such a thing so with the help of my lovely yarny buddy Veronika, we plotted and we planned. 

i am now launching into the lace knit bit. i must confess i have launched into it several times only to rip it back again and again. does not matter how much i keep my beady eye on things, after a row or two a pesky 'yarn over' plays hooky and my stitch count goes awry. as of yet i have not thrown in the towel, for now i will continue upon my lace knit cardi ways for i am determined this vomity mustard gold colored cardi and i will be the besty best of friends in the end, that is if i have not been carted off to the funny farm...

i have been busy pondering fabrics for the sample frocks i need to stitch for my frock pattern. it is quite one thing to see a fabric in passing, have it talk to you and rustle up a frock. quite the other thing when you must find a fabric, or two or three, which talk to you and will rustle up nicely into 3 frocks of differing looks. it is also quite one thing to zippity zap merrily along with no care of when it gets finished and quite another to zippity zap along with a deadline and knowing another is waiting upon you.

and a this:
i have cut down my several years old sanita fleecy clog boots. 

it was in a moment of madness when i wondered as one does when one is procrastinating and avoiding other things, "i wonder what they would be like if i removed their boot bit and made them into little fleecy clog booties". 

i am most happy that i did, 

for they are like little clippity cloppy moccasins. and i do so very muchly like how they remind me of those fleecy suede little winter booties you see grannies wearing when chilly days come to play. actually i think they wear them all year round as they tend to feel the cold in their toes and fingers despite warm weather. 

Phase Two Completed

August, 2014, saw the completion of phase two
 of the work on the Oratory of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour,
 the chapel attached to our monastery in
 Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Oratory as it stood after phase one in March, 2013.
 The dome over the altar and beautiful arch window
 allowing light to stream in during the morning Mass is in place.
 Much of the sanctuary furnishing is in place along with the altar steps.
The Oratory on 31 August, 2014. 
The Gospel side of the sanctuary in March, 2013.
The Holy Baptism of little Ambrose Green on 31 August, 2014.
The Gospel side of the sanctuary has been transformed
 with a new door and window installed,
 new panelling fixed on the lower walls.
 To see the many young families that crowd into the
 Oratory every Sunday, injecting so much
 life and joy into the community is 
an hundred fold reward to all those 
who have contributed to the work.

In the wall of the Gospel side of the sanctuary
 an Ambry for the reservation of the Holy Oils
 has been installed. 
Two side altars have been installed
 in honour of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
 and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The altar of the Sacred Heart is erected
 in memory of Mr Duncan Simon, R.I.P. 
while the altar of the Immaculate Heart
 is erected in memory 
of Mrs Nancye Price, R.I.P.

The Altar of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima in its own chapel. 
This altar is erected in memory of Mr Michael Hayes, R.I.P.
The shrine of St Joseph 
erected in memory of Rev. Fr Augustine Cummins, C.SS.R., R.I.P.
The first and last thought in entering the Oratory 
is Our Blessed Lady of Christchurch.
 The ceiling around her altar is coffered 
and embellished with fleur-de-lis.
 The newly refurbished 
Stations of the Cross line the walls. 
 The stars which adorn the ceiling remind us
 of our Heavenly home,
 wherein dwells the Father of Lights!  
Our thanks to all our many and dear friends in Christchurch
 who gave of their time and substance
 to make this beautiful work possible
 for the glory of God and His Holy Church -
 helping with painting, woodworking, building,
 purchasing materials,
 cooking and catering for the work days, etc.
  This chapel is a fitting tribute to you all. 

As Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, 
it has been our privilege to make this humble effort
 for the rebuilding of the fair city of Christchurch,
 and provide a little sanctuary
 where souls may come to spend time
 with Our Heavenly Queen,
 and may enjoy some of the
 beauty of the traditional Rite.

Indeed we cannot repeat too often in our lives: 
Thanks be to God for all He has done
 and is doing for us.

peachy frock news ...

i have some peachy frock news 
but alas i cannot share all the nitty gritty.
"boo Tif, boo"
however i can share a few things

thing one:
i have been fine tuning my original dottie angel frock pattern,
(i call it my original merely because it was the first one i created
my other frock patterns have come along since 
but this sweetie was originally the first, 
thus she is called original)
i fine tuned her using several yards of a fabby rowan fabric 
i stumbled across on clearance 

and another little ditsy number which caught my eye.

i also fine tuned her with a vintage bed spread 
which caused my knees to go weak.
when the knee weakening fabric arrived upon my doorstep 
i had plans to make window dressings.
however it did not take long for my friend to tell me 
she wished to be a frock.
i noted some clever bit of trickier would be required 
as the width was not there.
so i went with the flow, original bed seams and all

and i must confess,
this is my fabby favourite frock to date.

thing two:
alas and alack i must confess yet another confession.
 things did not go according to plan
and i will not have a frock update this fall in my shop
"boo Tif, boo"

thing three:
however i am rather giddy to share,
if all goes according to my cunning plan
and the plan of another,
there will be a dottie angel 'original' frock pattern
released for spring 2015
for every man, dog and granny chic frock wearer to make.
"hurrah Tif, hooray"

copyrighted image courtesy of Anna Dianich of Tolt Yarn and Wool

my thoughts exactly dearest reader ...

saggy baggy knee socks ...

summer has come to an end, school is back in and the morning alarm is causing the shadows under my eyes to appear again. i must confess to having achieved very little in the way of anything the past few days.

i have gone to work. 
i have stayed at home.
i have avoided my inbox because it frightens me. 
i have grocery shopped.
i have stared at the walls.
i have cooked too much food
for too few mouths.
i have noted the chilly morns and eves.
i have put my knee socks on
and tried without success to keep them pulled up.
i have started knitting a cardigan,
only to rip it back hours later.
i have stared at the walls again.
i have dabbled with my 'woolly waifs'

mainly it has been button changing for my 'woolly waifs', 

however i did go to town on the little green shrug. if you recall i called him a bolero but fortunately a facebook dearie reminded me of the word shrug and yes, i do believe that is what my little found green cardi without a body is. 
or was. 
for i did a bit of sewing surgery. 
i gave him elbow patches 

and a new body from an old cardi. 

then i did a bit of natty sewing with some lace doilies, 

i did the lace bit yesterday.

today i have no idea what to make of my patched and pieced green and mustard woolly friend. 
i am going to ponder if we have a life together whilst continuing to stare at the walls, avoid my inbox, cook too much food, all whilst wearing baggy saggy knee socks. i will also remind myself that my thoughts of today are where i will be tomorrow thus i must pull myself together, find some energies and start polishing my little light, less his flicker disappears altogether...

and then there was one ...

Our #3 flew the nest today

seems like only yesterday 
he was just a little laddie

three have now flown in four years.
there is only one left...

i thought i was good at it by now,
however i was sorely wrong.

so i will plot and i will plan,
(whilst pulling up my saggy baggy knee socks),
how i can happen to find myself 
across the pond early next year.
for i am thinking,
 waiting till next summer to see him again
is just a tad too long
for me


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