In the Transfiguration Christ enjoyed for a short while that glorified state which was to be permanently His after His Resurrection on Easter Sunday. The splendor of His inward Divinity and of the Beatific Vision of His soul overflowed on His body, and permeated His garments so that Christ stood before Peter, James, and John in a snow-white brightness. The purpose of the Transfiguration was to encourage and strengthen the Apostles who were depressed by their Master's prediction of His own Passion and Death. The Apostles were made to understand that His redeeming work has two phases: The Cross, and glory—that we shall be glorified with Him only if we first suffer with Him. (quoted at catholicculture.org)
By her death on this feast day, we are reminded that her suffering is over and she is heading to her glorification with Our Lord, His Mother, and the saints that she relied on for intercession.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles, California
Have I mentioned how much I love my Kindle? I have? I’ve now carried it with me about town, on the subway, into cafes, and have totally loved the freedom to have a bunch of books with me wherever I go. I like that I can increase the font size when I want to lay it on a table while eating, and that I have a choice of books for every mood. One of my friends asked me to bring it with me on our outing yesterday so she could see it, and I may have a couple of converts. I’ll never totally give up paper-based books (Toronto has one of the best library systems in the world), but it’s making reading very pleasurable nonetheless.
Am reading (on my Kindle) The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr. I’m currently enjoying the section on neuroplasticity, the idea that our brain can change depending on the experiences/tasks/trauma it undergoes. Carr and I have had a similar history with computers and the internet, and similar feelings of loss of the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time. A snippet:
At first I’d figured that the problem was a symptom of middle-age mind rot. But my brain, I realized, wasn’t just drifting. It was hungry. It was demanding to be fed the way the Net fed it — and the more it was fed, the hungrier it became. When when I was away from my computer, I yearned to check e-mail, click links, do some Googling. I wanted to be connected. Just as Microsoft Word had turned me into a flesh and blood word processor, the Internet, I sensed, was turning me into something like a high-speed data-processing machine, a human HAL.
I missed my old brain.
I am working on my third course through the Institute of Genealogical Studies, the second Methodology course called Organizing and Skill-Building. I’ve been creating numbering systems and binders for each of the families associated with my four grandparents. It feels great to get my stacks of paperwork and documents organized, and my next step is to try to make some headway with a Rubbermaid bin of photographs. I’m also hoping to do more genalogical blogging, and possibly set up a separate site for those posts.
My summer choir program is coming together nicely. We have a concert scheduled for August 15th at a Marian Shrine in west Toronto. The music is lovely, is a workout for the brain and the voice, and I leave rehearsals feeling calm and happy. Almost meditative. I’ve met some very nice people and have enjoyed it very much. I may decide to stay on in the fall if I can get the okay to skip the last Monday of each month for the Toronto Branch (OGS) meetings.
Michael has been working on both his tuba and bass trombone this summer. He’s taking lessons on both from two excellent (and very different) teachers. He’s getting ready for music camp at the end of the summer (jazz camp on trombone) and the three music courses he’ll be taking in the fall. He’s hoping to be in the Junior Concert Band, Junior Orchestra, and Junior Stage Band this year as well as a vocal ensemble, so he’ll be a busy boy. He’s also planning to audition for a couple of community bands with the hope of getting some more playing. I’m just thrilled that he’s enjoying music so much as I know how much pleasure it’s brought me over the years.
Made a very tasty quinoa salad this week. Will definitely make it again, possibly adding more parsley and/or cilantro to green it up a bit. Keeps quite well in the fridge for a couple of days.
We said goodbye to our niece, Magali, on Wednesday. She came to Canada from France 2-1/2 years ago to work for Danone in Montreal and is returning to work for their Evian division. She frequently came to Toronto on business, so we saw her every couple of months. It was great getting to know her better, and having her relatively close to us here in Canada. She leaves Montreal on Sunday, will have a few days in Paris to relax, and then will start apartment hunting in Evian. We wish her the best!
Here’s a little memory of Canada for her…the visit to Niagara Falls on an incredibly cold day two winters ago!
Visit our host Jennifer at Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!
I have had the same pair of (bright pink) earbuds for my iPhone for months and they have disappeared. One of my sons has the annoying habit of borrowing them without asking. (I bought bright pink specifically so the men in my life would NOT feel so inclined.) Said son went away for the weekend, about the same time as they disappeared.
He claims (via SMS) to not have them.
It will take all my self-control to not search his bags as he walks in the door tonight.
I wouldn’t be making a big deal out of this, but there are no other earbuds in this house that have a freezie’s chance in Hades to stay put for more than 2 seconds. I must have weird ears or something.
Thanks for listening.
I feel better now.
My mother-in-law has not been well, and we’re heading to Paris to see her as soon as Michael finishes his exams mid-June. Alex has to return after a week to start his summer job, so I’ll fly back with him. Z will stay on for another week with Michael and do some travelling.
When she was here over Christmas, I posted about her and her special relationship with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Here’s a repost of something I wrote a number of months ago in her honour.
Things I learned from my Mother-in-Law
In no particular order:
- Tabbouleh should have a high parsley to bulgur ratio with NO parsley stems.
- Dishwashing soap is the best pre-wash treatment for clothing stains.
- It is entirely possible to spend your life raising (and praying for) your children and make a HUGE difference in the world.
- It’s always better to have too much food on the table than too little.
- Always welcome visitors for a meal or a night, even if it means Ikea mattresses in the living room.
- Leftovers are a **good** thing.
- Morning prayers are better if you light a candle.
- Make your way in the world with confidence, even if you don’t have much education or speak the local language.
- Be patient and forbearing with those who annoy you, but speak your mind in matters of faith and morals.
- Your freezer is your friend. Use it to store herbs, tomato paste, leftover lemon juice, old bananas, nuts that you buy in bulk, bulgur. [It’s REALLY your friend when your MIL visits you and fills it with home cooking.]
- Partake of the sacraments as often as you can. It doesn’t matter if the mass is in your language. You know what’s going on.
- There’s always room for a statue of the BVM in your suitcase. And gifts for every friend and relative that you will see on your trip.
- If you love something, buy one for (or recommend one to) everyone you meet. Think enamel roasting pans, Swedish lemon pepper seasoning, over-the-sink colanders, Cuisinart food processors.
All this from Josephine, my “mama”. We communicate in our second language (French), and live an ocean apart, but she has taught me so much over the 26 years I have been married to her son. And I love her very much.
- My allergies are killing me. The week started with me getting over a cold, and then wondering why it was taking so long to feel better, then realizing that there was a big ol’ oak tree shooting pollen over my back door and deck. I have most of my energy back, but the itchy eyes, stuffy nose, and scratchy throat, despite prescription allergy meds, is very annoying.
- Alex is coming home for three days to study for his final exams. I can’t believe that he’s finishing his first year of university. He broke a bone in his foot (long-boarding) while we were in Rome, and so we’re going to drive to Kingston to pick him up tomorrow morning as he can’t manage public transit with his crutches and bags. I”ll drive him back to Kingston on Tuesday so he has a day to prep for an exam on Thursday.
- I’ve been remiss on blogging about our trip. I had hoped to more-or-less liveblog while we were there, but difficulties with network access through my iPhone were extremely annoying. Despite a long call with our service provider here in Canada, we were unable to get my phone to do any data transfer, and I didn’t feel like paying the exorbitant rates for the hotel access. So I want to try to post at least some of the highlights over the next week.
- Keep Toronto Reading is a wonderful festival happening this month in my beautiful city. I haven’t managed to attend any events yet due to sickness, but I’ve been participating via Twitter (#ktr2010 and #keeptorontoreading). Next week there are some author events that I’m planning to attend, including Michael Crumney (Galore) and Linden MacIntyre (The Bishop’s Man).
- Today’s to-do list:
- Make bread
- Organize Alex’s room
- Pick up prescriptions
- Go to Service Canada to get CPP info
- Return library books
- Pick up a video or two for tonight
- Tackle some of the ironing pile
- Tidy main floor
- Clean Michael’s bathroom
Too many people, when asked for their opinion, dissemble. Instead of giving an opinion, they push back. They ask,
- What do you think?
- Did you do any research?
- Can we do a focus group?
- What did Will say?
- There’s a typo on page three
- How long do we have to study this?
- Can we form a committee?
This is the work of the resistance. This is your lizard brain, hiding. It feels safe. It’s not.
You’re an expert. If nothing else, you’re an expert on life, on your opinion, on being a consumer. When I ask you for your opinion I’m not asking you for the right answer. I’m asking you for your opinion.
This is so apt for the workplace. The funny thing is, I’d like a little more dissembling at home. I get more opinions than I really want a lot of the time!
But maybe that’s a good sign, a sign that all voices in the family are at least being heard. I’d just like to be able to agree on a restaurant without a big discussion for once …
Alex was home for the weekend from Queen’s and it was great to see him. Z arrived home on the red-eye early Friday morning from Santa Clara, bearing gifts…Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade, LOL! I received Windows 7 Home Premium for Christmas, so I passed that on to Alex and kept the new one.
Before the concert we checked out a French restaurant down the street called Le Saint Tropez. It was quite nice, with very good service. We shared fish cakes and mussels to start and then Z had lamb shanks and I had tiger shrimp in Pernod. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but a pleasant meal out nonetheless.
Today, was nice and slow. Choir and mass this morning, Japanese food at Seoul House with the boys, and then home to push Michael through a science project, which he is still working on. Alex is gone, and everything has quieted down.