Monday, May 25, 2009

Once Again, Let Us Celebrate the Third Most Important Day of the Year

First is Easter, then is Christmas, then is ... my birthday!

As I have mentioned before, some people ignore their birthdays or don't want much fuss made. Not me. I OWN my birthday ... just something about it. Everyone in the household knows it too. (To be fair, they all regard their birthdays to be the third most important day of the year.)

You notice that only Jesus trumps this day for me ... so then imagine the place He holds to overcome a lifetime of "most important day of the year" before I became Christian.

Hannah showed the proper spirit several years ago when she was filling out a job application on Sunday and asked me what the date was. Then she answered her own question with, "Oh, wait. It must be the 22nd because I know Wednesday is the 25th." Yep, just like Christmas. All other dates are figured around this one.

I think that I am going to make a French strawberry tart. A very short crust, vanilla custard on the bottom, whole strawberries placed atop that, then brushed with a thin glaze of currant jelly (melted and cooled). Then refrigerated briefly to set the glaze. With some whipped cream perhaps? Yes, perhaps.

Also it is St. (Padre) Pio's birthday which is very cool. I couldn't find anything online that communicates the sense of joy and light-heartedness that I received while reading a biography of him. It was a photo of him with his head thrown back laughing that first made me notice him. I thought, "Now there is someone I could talk to..."
While praying before a cross, he received the stigmata on 20 September 1918, the first priest ever to be so blessed. As word spread, especially after American soldiers brought home stories of Padre Pio following WWII, the priest himself became a point of pilgrimage for both the pious and the curious. He would hear confessions by the hour, reportedly able to read the consciences of those who held back. Reportedly able to bilocate, levitate, and heal by touch. Founded the House for the Relief of Suffering in 1956, a hospital that serves 60,000 a year. In the 1920's he started a series of prayer groups that continue today with over 400,000 members worldwide.
And it is the Venerable Bede's saint day which is also very cool. You will never read a better death than that of the Venerable Bede ("Write faster!").
Even on the day of his death (the vigil of the Ascension, 735) the saint was still busy dictating a translation of the Gospel of St. John. In the evening the boy Wilbert, who was writing it, said to him: "There is still one sentence, dear master, which is not written down." And when this had been supplied, and the boy had told him it was finished, "Thou hast spoken truth", Bede answered, "it is finished. Take my head in thy hands for it much delights me to sit opposite any holy place where I used to pray, that so sitting I may call upon my Father." And thus upon the floor of his cell singing, "Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost" and the rest, he peacefully breathed his last breath.
Many thanks to those who commented or emailed with birthday greetings!

The French Strawberry Tart was indeed divine and I am going to post the recipe soon. My loving family gave me some movies and books ... all much coveted with one surprise movie that I'd never heard of thrown in there. And dishes were washed, trash taken out, and many small favors done. I was Queen for a Day.

ALSO, now that we were back from our big summer trip, Tom put into action our pet search. We love Boxers and thought it would be great to have two of them at one time so they could truly play as they love to. Our first Boxer, Tory, was paired with our Chow Chow, who was a great dog but certainly didn't play the way she did. The second Boxer, Daffy, was paired with Pepper who, as a Black Lab-Great Dane mix, also didn't play the way she did. Through Craig's List we got a line on a sweet little 9-week-old male who we picked up yesterday evening. He is adorable and clearly is a people puppy from the get-go. When tired he loves nothing more than draping himself over someone's foot and conking out completely. This morning he continued to charm us with the fierce way he conquered a little nylabone ... jumping at it, sharply barking and growling at it, and then throwing himself on it to chew. Of course, there is the less charming fact that babies aren't so good at knowing when they are going to need to wet, but he's partway trained there so we just have to keep a good eye on him.

Next up, seeking the female to make up the pair ...

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