Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ann-Style New Year Blessings

Everyone knows that at the end of the year it is customary to wish happiness, good health, and prosperity upon all you meet. This year I’ll dispense with the customary non-specific wishes and instead offer these concrete sentiments which are surely the keys to happiness.

I hope you will have:
– good coffee-great even;
– comfortable shoes and fun socks to wear with them;
– restful sleep;
– a bicycle, perfectly adjusted, with the inclination and time to ride it;
– funny stories to share;
– a helmet to be replaced this time next year because it is stinky, not due to a crash;
– a dog at your feet;
– some tasty new recipes that will become old favorites by the end of 2010;
– a few really great books to read;
– an engaging hobby and the time to enjoy it;
– the time and inclination to enjoy the 2010 World Cup and the Tour de France
(I’ll gladly explain what’s going on in either case);
– someone to love;
– few sorrows and comfort found in prayer;
–cold beer (or lemonade).

Now you know what I’m up to when you say Happy New Year and I respond, "great books," "good coffee," "bicycle," "funny stories," or "no crashes"– I just want good things for you and I’m being specific.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Investiture Adventure

We, meaning Kelly, my mother (Emily or Granny), Meredith's friend Whitney, and I traveled to DC for the occasion of Meredith's investiture with a habit as a Sister of the Servants of the Lord (Servadoras). The Order has over 900 sisters with a presence in 31 countries. In this province, which includes the US, Canada, and Guyana there are 13 convents, including two houses of formation (training centers) and a contemplative monastery.

We arrived on Saturday, 12/12, feasted on a great crab dish called the crab-bomb at a place called Jerry's Seafood. Then we found our way to St. James Parish where the police had stopped traffic for the procession of Our Lady of Guadalupe which was in process as we arrived.

We hopped in behind Our Lady and joined the fun, including Mass said by Archbishop Wuerl.

On Sunday we returned to St. James Parish for Mass again. Then we got to take Meredith with us for the day, which consisted mostly of wandering up-and-down & up-and-down the National Mall in the RAIN.

Everyone in sight was wearing either a black or navy coat. We, however, were more colorful. Whitney and Meredith dubbed us: Mango (Kelly), Kiwi (me), and Old School TV (Granny) they made a little chant of it, which was not the least bit annoying.

Anyway, we took in the Botanical Gardens,
and a few important exhibits at the various Smithsonian museums,

but we didn't stay long at any one place, probably
because we couldn't wait to get back outside to
wander about
in the rain some more.

When we had enough of the rain and the wandering, we went back to the convent for Adoration, followed by dinner. Father Kastl and Father O'Brien also traveled from Tulsa for the event and were happy to bless the rosaries made for the new sisters by the father of one of the

The sisters entertained us with song, including Ave Maria.

On Monday Meredith was tied up with her sister-pals all day, so poor Whitney had to endure a day of sightseeing with Kelly, Granny and me. Indicative of our navigational skills, we are probably the only people on earth who could not find JFK's grave. (we eventually did, with the operative term being eventually). Our attempt to return to the hotel was thwarted by poor listening skills (Kelly) and poor navigational skills (Ann), or construction (Kelly's lame excuse) so instead of traveling east toward Annapolis, we somehow ended up on Fairfax, Virginia. In time (lots of it) we did, however, arrive back at the hotel in time (barely) to change our clothes in order to drive to the Investiture.

Mass for the event was held in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and was said by Cardinal McCarrick, attended by two bishops and a bazillion priests as well as about 100 sisters, including the newly vested, Meredith,

who is now known as Sister Mary, Our Lady of Divine Providence. The name is a good choice for Meredith because, as some will know, when things improbably work out for her she often says, "See it is Providence."

Before Mass, I lit candles for friends and family. These were just to the left of the altar in the Crypt Church and mine were the only ones lit there at the time. I could see them during the Mass, so it is like all of you were there too.

After the Mass, everyone traveled to a nearby high school for a banquet. It was only about a 6 mile drive, but afforded plenty of opportunities for taking wrong turns. Never one to miss an opportunity, Kelly took what I will charitably call a creative route to get to the banquet. We did arrive, but the ordeal led the new Sister to say, "I don't think I even want to sit with you people." That sentiment aside, we all put on happy faces and did enjoy the banquet.

When we picked Sister up for breakfast the next day, she told us that, alas, our family driving, yelling, and nagging experience was NOT UNIQUE. In fact, a number of sisters had nearly identical stories of driving induced family strife, and one family even had a fender bender caused by an impromptu stop in the middle of an intersection. And so, we spent Tuesday feeling much better about ourselves as we toured Washington on a double-decker bus and tromped around monuments.

Be advised that the clothes and name have changed, but Sister is still full of the same old fun and 'tude we have come to love.

The gals formerly known as Meredith and Angela Kmetz, now Sister Divine Providence, and Sister Servant of the Cross, seen rockin' the Sooner Shades, supplied by brother (note the lower case "b") Alex Schneider.

And, then we flew home.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

So, this is Christmas

and, my first attempt at dish towels is off the loom.

These little numbers were woven with the Christmas tree border at each end. The weaving structure is called summer and winter. The reverse side has a white tree with a mostly green background.

The color varies because although the warp (lengthwise) threads were the same for all of the towels, the warp (crosswise) threads differed.

The more brownish was made with a cotton/linen blend, the brighter one made with cotton.

They are meant to be gifts, but I'm going to have a hard time giving them away.

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know