Outside my window-It's getting chillier every day and night, but we haven't had a really hard frost yet. We brought some of those lovely colored leaves inside for dipping in wax today. The vegetable garden is mostly a ghost town of weeds and forgotten fruits while the flower beds still have lots of vibrant colors. The trusty standbys of marigolds and mums still provide fresh blooms for the altar and the potted geraniums still cheer the deck with their impossible reds.
I'm hearing - The nightly serenade of harp music in the dark is always a pleasure. While one girl likes to play super-fast, flowing music late at night in the quiet house, jigs and reels and planxty this and that, presently it's slow and poignant, where every pluck of a harp string pulls a heartstring as well. Mary Rose is playing the likes of Keep the Home Fires Burning, And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Hard Times, and so on, and the harp makes these already melancholy tunes even more wistful. Whichever harpist is bringing the nighttime tunes, it's lovely to end the day with soothing music from the strings.
Thinking about-The rousing sermon we heard this morning! The reign of Jesus Christ as King is to be achieved through devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by Our Lady in her apparitions at Fatima. Do not despair! Do good works and avoid sin, fast and pray and make reparation!
Thankful for - the Sacrament of Confession and the graces received through it, our holy priests, the blessings of home education (and the jolly fun of it too!)
In the kitchen- We hit the farmers' market on Saturday morning and we stocked up on all sorts of fall goodness. They had lots of 'wildlife apples' - this cracks me up as I buy them for my own 'wildlife' - and at $6 a bushel! We had apple cake yesterday and we'll be having lots of apple everything this week, including applesauce of course. While summer has its own pleasantries in the fresh garden bounty, I always welcome fall cooking and getting back to hot soups and warm breads as a staple of our evening meals. I made a delicious vegetable soup (thanks Jenn!) last night, adding green beans and zucchini and skipping the chard, served with tiny soup shells to mix in. So good! This evening a chocolate sour cream bundt cake awaits us to celebrate the feast day.
In the learning house - Only five days left in October and my writers are in high strung planning mode, awaiting the start of NaNoWriMo! That stands for National Novel Writing Month, in which writers compose an entire novel during the month of November. Crazy times, ahead for sure, but the rewards are oh so sweet. Chapter outlines, character lists, plot summaries, research, and planning, planning, planning is happening here with a frenzy. Edited to add: Here is the direct link for the NaNo Young Writers' Program, for the under eighteen crowd.
Living the Liturgical Year - Tu Rex gloriae, Christe!
We celebrated the Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ today! This feast is celebrated on the last Sunday in October on the old calendar, and I must say I like it that way (on the new calendar it is the last Sunday of the liturgical year, before Advent). It seems more emphatic celebrating the Kingship of Our Lord on an isolated Sunday like this, as it keeps the focus on the Kingship and not on 'today is the end of the liturgical year and next week is Advent'. As it says in The Church's Year of Grace by Pius Parsch, "The purpose of the feast is to renew in the minds and hearts of the faithful the ancient concept of Christ as divine King who, enthroned at the right hand of the Father, will return at the end of time in might and majesty." He goes on to say, "It is true that in the liturgy's sacred sanctuary this concept of Christ and His kingship has never lost lustre. It accompanies us throughout the Church's year of grace; daily we are brought face to face with it in missal and breviary; but the faithful to a great extent have forgotten it. The stern truth of divine kingship will give something meaty and strengthening to popular piety so strongly inclined toward sentimentalism. Furthermore, the faithful will be led to visualize Christ as He is presented in the liturgy." I admit I chuckled aloud as I read this and the rest of the passage aloud to the family yesterday - if Pius Parsch noted 'popular piety so strongly inclined toward sentimentalism' when he wrote in the fifties, what would he think of 'popular piety' today? He goes on to point out many images of the royalty and kingship of Christ presented to us in the Scripture readings throughout the liturgical year, remarking that artistic expressions and popular devotions change throughout the ages, but "Classic liturgy knows but one Christ: the King, radiant, majestic, divine."
The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honour; to Him be glory and empire for ever and ever! Revelation 5: 12, from the Introit (opening prayer), Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ
We are creating - Michael is working on plans for something lovely using some new woodworking tools he got for his birthday. Lydia is working ever so hard to finish up a major endeavor and is at her watercolors all hours of the day and night. (You'll get to see both wonderful things when they're done, promise!)
A few plans for the rest of the week - Preparing for the feasts of All Saints and All Souls and the month of November. We also plan to host our annual All Saints Artist Trading Card Swap in November, and hope to have a post up for that later in the week.
A few of my favorite things - fall cooking, fresh produce, rice pudding, library book sales, my children's artwork (and their friends'!), the crisp smells of autumn air brought inside by children after they've been playing out in the cold, music and children who make it or play it or dance it or sing it all day long.
A picture thought- after the book sale!