Sunday, November 30, 2008

Feast of St. Andrew

I like old customs, and one of the customs I grew up with was the Christmas Novena that started on the Feast of St. Andrew (November 30) and ran till Christmas Day. According to tradition, if you said the following prayer 15 times a day from the Feast of St. Andrew to Christmas Day, you would receive whatever you were praying for. I actually have never tried doing this novena, but here is the prayer if you care to say it:

Hail and Blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the Most Pure Virgin Mary at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe O my God, to hear my prayers, and grant my desires (here you ask for what you want), through the merits of Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His Blessed Mother. Amen.

(Imprimatur, Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York, NY, February 6, 1897)

I just want to tell you that some of the Novena prayers I am familiar with are very powerful, so I guess the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for", is a good caution.

It has been very cold here. Tom went out hunting but didn't even see any deer. Now the poor guy has a cold.

I have been very busy deep cleaning the house -- it's always hard to keep the house really clean during the warm months because of being out in the field all the time, so I look forward to the arrival of cold weather. Boy, does the basement need to be organized! I usually do a pretty good job of keeping the main floor the way I like it, but the unfinished part of the basement does get neglected. I have piles of "stuff" everywhere and that is bad feng shui for sure. Like everybody else I could sure use some money so I will soon have the whole house sparkling and the wealth areas of the house enhanced. And I hate it when I can't find books I want to refer back to -- I am looking for two craft books that I bought from Gooseberry Patch a few years ago to look for Christmas gift ideas and I can't find either one of them. I just hate that when that happens. It's like the pot lid I was looking for a couple of weeks ago: I searched high and low for that dumb pot lid and couldn't find it, and then two days ago while I was looking for something else, I found it! I think as one gets older being organized becomes a more important part of life as it helps one maintain one's equipoise. Got to watch that high blood pressure!

I haven't made it out to the woods yet to start gathering those fence posts, but it is still on my list. I figure that working out in the woods and working out on my Nordic Track exercise machine will help whittle down my weight. My doctor changed my high blood pressure medicine and it does not help with my water retention as the old medicine did. I am drinking parsley tea throughout the day but the weight is coming back on. I am faithfully on a 1,000 calorie a day diet so I know the gain is from fluid. It's too bad my elderberries weren't big enough this year to collect leaves from -- elderberry tea is the best diuretic I know of.

I ordered my potato seed from Moose Tubers yesterday. Holy Fright, has the price of seed gone up! 40 pounds of organic potatoes cost about $85! I am going to cut those tubers into smaller pieces where possible and chit them before I plant in an effort to get more plants. I really mean to plant up my whole field (except where I want to range the chickens) with potatoes, corn, wheat and oats. I'll sell the potatoes and save the grain for animal feed and the following year's seed. Most of the veggies will come from the garden boxes in back of the house and the high tunnel. Which reminds me that I need to bring in some feed sacks from the garage so I can sew up some grow bags for tomatoes to hang in the high tunnel. And that reminds me that I need to cut some wood posts to build a trellis to hang the grow bags from! The Circle of Life -- one thing always leads to another. . . .

I have one gift basket to get for my sister and her family, and then the Christmas shopping is done. $500 for Christmas this year (roughly $100 per person). That covers all gifts. I already have most of the food we will eat canned or in the freezer, so a Christmas turkey will be the biggest food expense. That amount is 1/3 what we spent last year. We live on a fixed income and I worry about expenses for next year -- I don't see the bottom yet in the economy.

Well, stay warm and I'll talk to you soon!

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