Friday, 30 August 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #38

--- 1 ---
Yesterday was all about food. We had a Independence breakfast at work for all staff and then my department had a farewell lunch for our intern who left to head back to university. The breakfast is a social event that we have a few times a year like before Mother's Day and the like. The lunch which started out just for my department to say goodbye to our intern turned into it's own mini social event after a few other staff wrangled invitations for themselves, including our Deputy Director. She was actually pretty okay to spend time with, she is my boss at a pretty high level but there she was having lunch with us. Bonus we got to have an extra long lunch.

--- 2 ---
I have a baby shower to go to tonight!!! Friends who got married last year are due with their first baby in a few weeks. She is due near the end of September but at the beginning of her pregnancy she was thinking how cool it would be if he held out a little longer to be born in October just like her, I don't think she is wishing that any longer.

--- 3 ---
All these social functions so close together, my little introverted heart is going to take the weekend off after all this. Deep cleaning the house is sounding very appealing and even more appealing is uninterrupted reading time. Although knowing my friends they may want to get together to watch fireworks or something.

--- 4 ---
It's a holiday weekend, this weekend we celebrate Independence Day.

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we introduced ourselves a little bit more by answering a little survey. We also gave some advice. Check out what everyone had to say.
--- 6 ---
Schools re-open here next week, not really looking forward to that little extra bump in traffic but I do love to see all those kids in their new uniforms, especially those starting new schools. My neighbour's daughter starts Secondary School this year, she is still so tiny it's hard to imagine her being old enough for that. I still remember having to pose for our first day of school pictures and if we all didn't start back to school on the same day we had to take a group shot on everyone's first day.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Not Alone Series: Survey Says

This week for the Not Alone Series we are answering questions of a survey to get to know each other better.

I live in the country of Trinidad and Tobago which is actually two islands and I live on the island of Trinidad.

I live somewhere around the red star labelled Port of Spain.

I would say I've had two previous relationships but I would only call one FB official although I didn't change my status and wouldn't really unless I get engaged or after I get married.

I work in Accounting, but I am also studying although I am on a break right now. I am trying to decide what I really want. I've wanted to be an Accountant for a very long time and I really good at it but right now I am re-thinking that plan because it doesn't feel like what I want to do.

My family is crazy and extended. I grew up in the same house as my mother, sister, grandmother, grandfather and a variety of cousins, an uncle even lived there for a while. My grandmother was everyone's favourite Aunt and she comes from a large family. A couple of her brothers had kids the same age and younger than I am, some of them stayed with us over the years. All of her grandchildren have spent extended time with her as well though not all have lived with her per se. My family sucks at taking pictures, there are about a million pictures of us as kids, embarrassing first and last day of school pictures (which will not be seen on this blog) but somewhere along the way us kids started just taking pictures of ourselves. I need to get some shots of my grandmother.

Prince, yes he's part of the family



 me, first time ice-skating


My confirmation Saint is Maria Goretti. I was actually looking for a November Saint but kept getting stuck on her so I chose her. I was just coming back into my Faith at that time and I only really had my great-grandmother who was a practising Catholic, encouraging me, my grandmother was also very encouraging but she didn't really know her Faith. My great-grandmother's name was Mary and somehow Maria seemed fitting.

My favourite Gospel is Luke. Luke was written for us gentiles plus Luke is the Gospel that the canticles used in the Liturgy of the Hours are taken from.

Top three qualities in a spouse, not one but he has to be someone who thinks my brand of crazy quirky is cute and endearing. 
Patient, I take time to warm up to people and allow myself to be vulnerable so even if I like him it may take me a while to admit it. 
Prayerful, I miss praying with my family. We were never a prayerful family but we said night/bedtime prayers together and then it just stopped. I'm looking for someone who love to pray with me.
Loves kids, I want a houseful, a big houseful. I love the noise, activity and energy of having a lot of kids in a home.

Online dating advice - be yourself, don't try to tweak you to match someone else. Be open, everyone's profile may not match exactly what they are, there may be a hidden gem somewhere in there.

Tweetable advice - Love God First, know yourself, forgive yourself, love yourself. A frog can be a prince so be open.

Favourite thing to do outside of blogging and work: That would be read, I always have a book with me. All my friends know that and always tease me about it, now I also have a couple reading apps on my phone and a kindle. I was reading at 4 (really reading not just turning pages) and I haven't stopped since.
I also like sewing (I'm not very good), crocheting and baking. I love spending time in front the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration. I also like to veg out with a good movie and some snacks.

Check out everyone else's survey visit Jen for the link-up.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Peacocks, Ponds and Iron Chef Cooking

Last Saturday my friends and I went to a beautiful outdoor location called La Vega to have and iron chef-like cookout. The place was gorgeous and I didn't even see half of it. The pond, the birds, the caimans (an alligator like creature), the huts. This is my first time to La Vega primarily because I've never wanted to make the drive, it's a long, long, looonnnnnnng drive and I have no sense of direction what-so-ever. I'm very glad I made the drive this time around though.

I will say though I cannot live in a time without indoor everything; plumbing, cooking, etc. I will make a horrible camper of the tent variety. I survived this day and had fun and this place had electrical outlets for us to use but having to walk to the wash area to wash up multiple times in preparing the meal was a hassle. I can live without a dishwasher, no problem but I like having a sink and everything else right there.

The cookout between our two teams each choosing their own secret ingredient from which we had to create three dishes and we had to incorporate the other teams secret ingredient in at least one dish. We created our own Iron Chef rule for equality sake and also easy shopping, we were outdoors and the only pantry is the stuff we brought. It was a friendly competition between friends so we had no problem sharing anything that was needed. Our team's secret ingredient plantains and the other team's ginger.

In true Iron Chef tradition the ice-cream makers came out. Yes we made plantain ice-cream.

 in the cup plantain ice-cream

I will confess it was not my idea but I do wish that it was, it tasted good. It had a slight figgy taste I would say, and was more savoury than sweet but I love it. The other team made ginger ice-cream which was also delicious. I love ice-cream and many of us myself included grew up with home-made ice as a regular addition to Sunday, I haven't had that in a long time so it was really good to enjoy it again (even if it was Saturday).

 getting ready for the judges

The other team made coo-coo, a ginger pork that was delicious and a ginger fish (coo-coo goes best with fish, one reason it is very popular for Good Friday). Our team made plantain tempura served with sorrel sauce on a bed of salad and moussaka (we switched out the eggplant for plantain), the was also a warm sauce to compliment the dishes.

 the plantain tempura

Everything was prepared on site so I can cross the cooking and baking over an open fire off my bucket list. There are no pictures of that since I was too busy cooking but I nearly burned of my eyebrows a couple times.

After the cooking it was a great day I got to hang out with a few friends I don't see that often and the whole place was beautiful. I kept trying to get pictures of the caiman but all I got were their air bubbles as they were going back down. I did get some of the peacocks though with their offspring.

Going to end this post with a photo dump.

I have no idea how I took this with my phone, the ripple in the middle was a caiman. The birds kept flying over

male and female look at their tails

trying to figure out presentaion

Friday, 23 August 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #37

--- 1 ---
This has been a tiring week and I have allowed myself to be just a little extra lazy, but I think falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 and staying there until 1 entitles me to it, just a little. I am aiming for a very restful weekend so I am saying no to a few things, only one of which I really wanted to go to anyway.

--- 2 ---
This past weekend my friends and I had a cookout, the company was excellent, the food was interesting and good, the location was gorgeous. We went all iron chef with secret ingredients and ice-cream makers. I was supposed to write a post on it and I still want to so I'll keep the better details to myself, for now.

--- 3 ---
I will give a few preview pictures though....
Peacocks and Peachick???

want to know what's in that cup?

--- 4 ---
I got a call from a friend this week and the first thing shesaid  was "I am so sorry that I only call you when I need something but..." usually that is not the only reason she calls me but we have both been very busy lately so this is the second call in a row that she needed a favour but I was happy to help her out. We did get to talk for a long while though and catch up on the last three months since I saw her. We met at a retreat a few years ago and really hit it off, we are totally different but by the end of the first evening a few people thought we had all (there were 6 of us) known each other from before and were just sticking to each other but were all total strangers 4 hours before.

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we talked about love within friendship. Check out what everyone had to say.
--- 6 ---
I saw this yesterday and loved it

Now I just need to find one that says that ice cream is just milk and perfectly acceptable for breakfast.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Not Alone Series: Love of Friendship

"Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

This week we are looking at love within friendship. Love is never easy regardless of what kind it is, love takes work and time and humility. The people who can hurt us most are the people we love most.

The St Francis prayer says it best "Help me to love, not to be loved". It is very easy in friendship to love only as much as you are loved. It is very easy to feel resentful if you believe that you are bringing more to the relationship that the other person is.

Agape is the strongest love there is, it is unconditional. Jesus loved us with Agape love, He gave us more that we can ever give Him and He did it anyway even though many will never appreciate His dying on a cross.

How to be a good friend? Appreciate your friends whether they can buy you a lobster dinner or be a listening ear over cheese sandwiches in their kitchen. Be kind to your friends, even when....especially when they are not being kind to you at the moment, they may be going through something and feel safe with you.

Apologize, we often take our friends' forgiveness for granted, I know I do, so always be ready to ask for that forgiveness when we know we should.

Be ready to correct without judging, it is very hard to tell our friends that they are doing something wrong, heading in the wrong direction but it is more loving to do than not to do. Sure you may lose that friend temporarily or permanently but it better than to sit idly by while that friend slowly destroys them-self or their soul. It is not loving to try to keep a friendship by saying nothing. It will be hard but it is worth it in the end.

Loving a friend is not easy, there are many times when it will hurt but there are also joys, who else will remember your inappropriate love for soft pretzels and mustard, hate it and still go out to get you some when you are having a bad day.

Check out Morgan for the link up and what everyone else has to say.

Friday, 16 August 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #36

--- 1 ---
I have a cookout tomorrow, really looking forward to that. This is my first time attending but the group I will be with are the two-time reigning champions, I hope we don't lose, at least I won't be the only new person on the team.

--- 2 ---
I started a 54 Day Rosary Novena yesterday, it runs from the The Assumption of Mary to the Feast of the Holy Rosary on October 7th. This is my 2nd 54 Day this year so far, I love praying this Novena and I love how this one lines up with two Marian Feasts.

--- 3 ---
Pray-more-novenas St Monica novena starts on the 18th, I will be praying that as well. have been praying with them for a couple years now and I love it. About 90% of the novenas I pray every year I pray with them, it's a lovely husband and wife team.

--- 4 ---
I am back on the regular lector schedule at church for Sundays with my first Sunday being last Sunday. It went pretty well, despite my introvert-ness I don't mind reading in church since it's not my own words that I am speaking, I just need to make sure I don't look up too often.

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we talked about a challenge that we took as an active step towards our vocation. Check out what everyone did.
--- 6 ---
One of my cousins is coming to spend the weekend with us. I really looking forward to it, she is studying law so before she heads back to school and all I see are facebook pictures of coffee, books and her drooling on the couch (having little brothers can be a pain sometimes) I get to spend some real face time with her.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Not Alone Series: Challenge Time

I love a challenge.....Not. I have always felt like the ugly duckling next to my sister, the natural social butterfly and extrovert. I have always preferred my own company and that of a book.

I went to a Catholic Conference a couple weeks ago and I decided to do something different, smile. Now I am not an unfriendly person but I am not one to go around smiling all the time. The single, catholic, male population was out in force. I knew many of them though not well, my plan was just to smile, wave and move on.

I started with S to practice since I kind of knew him well and no interest in him since he is younger than I am plus we had a half an hour car drive to practice my conversational skills. I actually had a pleasant conversation that flowed really well, we talked about music, Faith, aspects of our personal life, work. I met him three years ago but we don't really spend time together so it was nice to have a good conversation with a guy.

I don't know if the weekend just filled me with the Holy Spirit or what but I was really doing it. I spent some time on Saturday with a guy from my friend's youth group, I had also met him before but never had a real conversation with him but I managed to. Introverted me doesn't really want to put myself out there, I just want my future husband to come gift wrapped and delivered to my doorstep (an actual conversation I once I had with my spiritual director, minus the gift wrap). Anyway so there was a little awkwardness on my part but I managed to have a good conversation, there is nothing there but he actually came to have a conversation with me on Sunday so I guess I wasn't a total spaz. He's a hugger so I got a hug.

I smiled and walked past a guy I knew from Latin Mass a few time (not aimless walking), he came over to say hi and introduce a friend while I was chatting with some friends. I have never had a conversation with this guy and I even got him to take a few pictures of my friends and I after I saw him again after closing Mass on Sunday.

I had a nice, short conversation with a guy over books, now to be honest that is my element so I felt totally at ease there. I was talking about old friends and I was getting an opinion on some possible new ones, did not get a name but that's okay this was just about me being approachable and friendly but not pushy.

The most successful of my encounters was a guy I met at a retreat a few years ago and had a crush on. I smiled, waved and moved on every time I saw him. I didn't race away from him as soon as I saw him but I didn't linger either with the un-rational hope that he would remember me and come talk to me. Sunday right before closing Mass, I didn't even see him that time, he cornered me ( he didn't remember my name but he did remember me). He apologized for not talking to me earlier since he had seen me earlier in the weekend but couldn't remember my name. We had a nice quick conversation and that was it.

I am happy with it all since usually I can have a "do not approach" posture or I can be a little too much so it was nice to discover I can have a little balance. I have a cook-out this weekend hosted by a Catholic singles/youth group and then I have a retreat next month. I don't plan to meet Mr. Right at either of these events but I am working on making more of an impression than the girl all by hereslf reading a book.

Take a look at what everyone else did check out Jen for the link-up.

Friday, 9 August 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #35

--- 1 ---
I had a really exciting start to my week, the back passenger side (the left side) wheel of my car off while I was driving. Thank God it did not fly off or fall off before I could get my car safely to the side but nothing was holding that tire to the car. I felt a jerk like I got a flat tire and since I was close to a side street I pulled over there, it just happened to be be near "Precision Auto Service and Supply", God is so good. I may be clueless about cars but I know what a flat tire looks like and I didn't have one. A very nice gentleman, a worker at the auto place pointed out that the (I can't remember) nut had come off.

--- 2 ---
(Continuing 1) I called my uncle, cause I don't know cars. As they started to raise the car to get a better look the wheel fell off on it's own, everything that was supposed to hold the tire to the car had flown off. Thank God, thank you to my Guardian Angel (I only recently restarted saying the Guardian Angel prayer daily), thank God I always carry around a Miraculous Medal in my pocket, thank you to the Blessed Mother (I have prayed the Rosary in that car more times than I can count), thank God I always prayer the driver's prayer when I get behind the wheel. Thank God my uncle always comes when I call him, he drove my car home and I drove his for a couple days, although mine was fixed I wasn't in a hurry to drive it.

--- 3 ---
Today is a public holiday so Mass is at 7 instead of 6:30 but here I am up as I normally am. I don't like to get unaccustomed to my normal routine then have to be re-accustomed to it. Some call it crazy, some anal and still some disciplined. I call it me being me. I do have a brunch later this morning with some great ladies so I'm glad to be up to get things out of the way just in case brunch turns into a whole day. Last time I had plans for brunch with my friends it turned into lunch, snacks, games, dinner and movies.

--- 4 ---

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we looked at Envy and Singlehood. It was a topic open to our own interpretation so check out what everyone else thought
--- 6 ---
I need to get some songs for our upcoming retreat. Anything that sounds like a love song to God or songs about Faith or trust are what we are looking for so I am taking any and all suggestions. Right now we have a song by Hillsong and "Lord I need You" by Matt Maher.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Not Alone Series: Inferiority vs Inspiration

"The LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it." Gen 1:6-7

This week on the Not Alone Series we are looking at Envy and Singlehood. In one of my devotionals envy is described as counting someone else's blessings. It is very easy to ask "what about me?", "when is it going to be my turn?", to feel like you are not worth it or God has forgotten you. "How did they deserve that more than I did?"

You see all those girls that are never without a boyfriend. Your 21 year old neighbour gets married and has her first baby less than a year later. The friend who has always been in the same boat as you gets married and you still don't even have someone to hold your hand. It is very easy to feel inferior to everyone else who seems to have everything we want. To feel angry about those who are being blessed with the husband and the kids all the while living contrary to the way God has asked us to.

Cain killed Abel in a fit of jealous rage. Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery.

How about feeling inspired? Yes I want to cry when another friend says she's getting married. I wonder what she did right and I didn't but instead of dwelling on that I can Thank God for a new, beautiful witness to family life. I can pray for the road ahead of them because one day God willing I will also be on a similar road and I would love for someone to pray for me.

I am not quite there yet but I am working on closing that door that envy opens and sin lurks behind. It is not always easy. Dante says it is a rare person who loves enough to rejoice in all goodness whether he or she benefits directly or not. I've always wanted to be unique so I am working on practising that happy attitude.

Want to know what everyone else had to say on the topic of Envy and Singlehood then visit Jen for the link up.

Friday, 2 August 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday #34

--- 1 ---
It's Thursday night and the house is smelling deliciously of home made bread. Just go home from being out with my friends so I am baking bread for my lunch tomorrow. I wanted to bake a brioche bread but I didn't have enough time if I want to get to sleep at a reasonable time. It's already 12:20 so I guess it's actually Friday.

--- 2 ---
Every time I spend a day like I did on Thursday I gain a new respect for working mothers and I see myself as a stay at home mom. Since it was a holiday here I set myself a to do list to catch up on some of my "chores", everything seemed to take forever to get done. I usually spread everything out a little at a time but work has been a little stressful so I've been coming home tired so I've been skipping a few things so I'm behind. How do all these great, brave, wonderful women do it? I don't have kids so I can skip every once in a while.

--- 3 ---
Today is my boss' soon to be ex-boss' last day at work. I have no idea what is going to happen from Monday since we don't have a replacement yet.

--- 4 ---
I'm doing some research on Rosaries and Chaplets for the retreat that my friends and I are planning for the end of September and I feel so overwhelmed. There are alot and so many variations. We are all familiar with the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, these us 58/59 beads so a regular Rosary Chaplet will do but there are those that require 100 beads. It's quite a choice.

--- 5 ---
For The Not Alone Series this week we looked at our favourite resources. There is a good chance I may end up broke there are so many great resources being discussed that I want to get.

--- 6 ---
I've reduced my cable channels and I have survived the first week. It was hard at first, I was missing channels that I didn't even watch to begin with and there were channels that I watched one show once a week but I can catch those in a couple of days. I am trying to get my budget in an even better place so I can save for some items I want to get. I think I'll survive.

--- 7 ---
A song to end the week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!