Monday, September 30, 2013

My Pilgrimage Weekend

     My it has been almost two weeks since I posted on here!

     Wow, how many of my posts start with a line like that.  That is pathetic.  I had big plans for this blog over the summer and here I am, posting once in a blue moon with random updates on how life is going.  Well, I have made a resolution that here on out, by hook or by crook, I will post something at least every other day.  Anyways...

     I have had some requests to do a post about my pilgrimage last weekend.  I will have to start out by saying that was probably one of the most exhilarating, inspiring, exciting and painful experiences of my entire life.   

     Taking pictures was not something I did very often over the weekend because on the occasion that I thought about snapping some shots I was either a) walking, b) too tired to haul the camera out of it's waterproof packaging in my backpack, c) lying down in my tent too sore to even lift a finger, or d) eating and/or sleeping, usually the first closely followed by the second.

     Each morning we woke at 4:30 to pack up, eat breakfast, and attend Mass before stepping off before 6am.  We would walk for a solid few hours until a mid morning break, then walk again until lunch which was an hour, walk some more until mid afternoon break, then walk until we reached the campground.  Then we would have to set up camp while our feet were too sore to even walk on.  But the evenings were fun and enjoyable after a long day's hike, and we even had a talent show on Saturday night!

Anyways, I did snap a few pictures, and stole from my friend for the rest. :)  The landscape was absolutely beautiful... it was my first trip to New York state!

These were from the car trip in my friends' van.  It was a beautiful ride!

Our break on Saturday morning. The weather was a bit overcast, but we were grateful for the break from the sun.  This spot reminded me of the opening scene of the Sound of Music. ;)

Yes, candy keeps you going even though it's terrible for you.

For the one morning and afternoon break, we would get 15 minutes to take off our shoes and rest our feet a while, have a snack, and catch our breath before they called us to our brigades all too soon.  I was usually okay until the afternoon break, then from the stretch to our night campground is when the real test started.  It was so tempting to hop on the buses that would drive by, taking weary pilgrims.... but the unspoken credo of our brigade was "Die Before Ride".

Here we are when we arrived at the shrine!  We got to lead that day, which was fun.  Once we arrived at the shrine we had Mass in the chapel of St. Kateri Tekakwitha.  It was so cold and we were all so tired we could barely stand but it was an amazing end to a long three days!

The sisters were so inspiring. Just when you were ready to curl up in a ditch on the side of the road they would turn around and smile wide and sing all the louder and it made you think that maybe, just maybe, you could keep going and make it to the end.  And we did!

So, I will definitely be going back next year and I already can't wait.  Maybe I could steal my brother from the Academy and take him too!

Let's see, what else has been happening in the last two weeks...

Oh!  I just had my very first guitar lesson yesterday!  Being a string instrument player already, it was pretty simple for me to pick it up.  I've already almost got Eidelweiss figured out.  It's a lot of fun playing and singing.  Can't do that on violin!

Well I better wrap this up.  And like I said, I am making a point to post on here more now that my schedule is finally worked out for the semester.  Until next time...

God bless!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

What I Love About Fall

It's nearly fall and the weather has taken a dip these past few days.  Okay, maybe not the past few, more like just yesterday morning.  I woke up early to a chilly breeze floating through my window.  I drank my tea and was out the door and headed to my nanny job as the sun was just rising above the thinning leaves on the trees, its rays sparkling on the dew drops in the pastures that rolled by my window as I flew down the country road.

What do I love about fall?  It is probably my favorite season of the year.

I love how the edge is off the weather and you can get out your cozy jacket and warm embroidered stockings.  Sometimes I even wear a cotton petticoat under my skirts to keep warm (shhh, don't tell anyone :).  

I love the feel of crunchy leaves that start skipping across your path with each breath of wind.

I love curling up in the studio with some elderberry tea and my embroidery hoop, listening to The Hobbit soundtrack.

I love the smell of big bonfires on crisp evenings.

I love taking nature walks and painting what I find.

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."
~ Jane Austen

What do you dearly love about fall?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Homestead Diaries | Plowing Competition

My goodness it has been a while since I have shown my face around here!  I spent my Labor Day weekend at the farm for the United States plowing contest, held each year right here.  It was very sunny and hot, and walking around in my best dress (three layers of skirts plus a corset under the long sleeved bodice) made for a sever bout of dehydration the first day.  By Monday I had learned to drink enough water. :D

The horses came from all over the country... all beautiful.  I saw some of my favorite breeds: Percherons, Belgians... even a Haflinger team show up.

I roamed around with my camera and parasol, admiring the teams.  The judges were assessing the straightness of each furrow, as well as evenness of depth, neatness of the dirt... even the temperament of the teams.

This was one of the most impressive teams.

And yes, this foal was absolutely adorable in person.  Quite the personality he had!

The judging lasted long into the afternoon of the second day.  I talked with some of the judges who are farmhands for the historical farm, and they were able to tell me how the judging was going.  It was fun keeping tabs on each contestant.

This man's team was gorgeous... harness included!

I liked these Belgians.  They were very sweet tempered and did really well. 


Yeah there's the Ohio countryside.  Kinda flat and boring... I know. :P

Over all it was a lovely weekend of horses and history.  And now the fields are plowed for planting alfalfa for the stock during the winter.  The steam group even brought out the steam engine and made steamed corn for all of the visitors as well as other period food.  

Hope you all had a lovely Labor Day weekend!  Oh and I was flattered by the enthusiastic response on my Vera Bradley knock off... so.... I am working on the tutorial for y'all!

God bless,

Other posts of interest....

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