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St. Catherine of Siena is my patroness, didn’t you know? My name, Trena, is a diminutive of Catherine. When I was little this was a source of frustration for me. I remember my mother showing me a picture of St. Catherine in a children’s saint book. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t get a princess saint to go along with my name. The picture showed her kneeling in a dungeon like room, wounds in her hands, and a habit that was decidedly that lacked a flowing veil due to the huge crown of thorns on her head. All the other female saints in the book seemed to have delicate, jeweled crowns like I would prefer. She didn’t look very understanding, or, well, let’s face it pretty. She looked like she was in a lot of pain. The thought that flitted through my head was while my Mom was explaining St. Catherine to me was, “of all the princesses in this book, you chose this sad, painful looking person to be my saint?”

Now that I am older, I realize what an awesome patroness she is. She doesn’t act like a simpering princess either, she’s acts like a queen. She’s a doctor of the Church, co-patron of Italy, and one of the six patrons of Europe. She never takes no for an answer. She bosses people around like no ones business. I think she may have bossed God around, just a little (and I am inclined think God liked it). She’s a mover and a shaker. Seriously, she marched to France to tell the Pope to go back to Rome. Who even does that?

Furthermore, she was so humble and brave that although she received the wounds of the stigmata, she asked Christ to make the invisible so no one else would know. Sure enough, after she died they appeared for all the world to see.

So, happy feast day!

(Disclaimer, I think the picture is one of St. Catherine of Siena. Someone is probably going to tell me it’s someone else. But I like it.)

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I have exciting news! One of my good friends has discerned that she is called to the religious life, and she has been accepted to the Nashville Dominicans with hopes to enter this Fall. You may have visited her blog, Lifeinthegap. She is an amazing individual! There is one hitch, she needs to pay down all her student loans in order to enter. Quickly. Could you help a little? In the past 24 hours almost a 1/5 of the total amount has been raised, but there is a lot more to go! Visit her fundly site here: https://fundly.com/help-mary-beth-enter-the-convent?ft_src=widget_campaign_card

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Its March 25, the feast of the Annunciation and it has been snowing all day long! So I give you my favorite picture of Our Lady of the Snows, a feast that is celebrated in August. (Snow in August? I’ll tell you the whole story some time.)

You also have to listen to this (I think I post this every Annunciation, but I don’t care, its beautiful and you will love it, promise): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pliqObTHxUQ

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I bet you thought that because I posted about writing, I was going to write regularly, didn’t you? Well, that was the plan, but I fell off the bandwagon before it even started moving. That’s a little embarrassing.

What actually happened were the Olympics! Go team USA! I mainly watch the games for the ice-skating. While I am watching ice-skating I feel like I understand for a moment what it’s like for guys when they watch football and basketball. If ice-skating were a regularly scheduled season sport, you could bet your bottom dollar I would be there, sitting on the couch, beer and snacks in hand to catch every minute, every week. And there is lingo to accompany. I might not know the different between a complete and incomplete pass (actually I think I do, but I am never quite sure, so I just keep my mouth shut when people are debating) but, boy, did I learn quickly about Twizzles! Ane how about Davis and White!

And then all the hubub about the women’s figure skating results. What do you think happened? I do think it’s strange that a dark horse wins Russia their first Olympic gold in women’s figure skating, while the Olympics are held in Russia. I am not sure if it was rigged or not, but I really do think Yuna Kim should have won. She was amazing!

And then on the other end of the spectrum, there are the sports you only watch every four years, like curling. I find it so fascinating. I want to find out if there are any local curling teams, just for kicks. Where do these people come from? There are enough people from enough countries to make it an Olympic sport, but I’ve never heard of a curling club nearby.

And then the sad defeat of both US Hockey teams by the Canadians. My boss and I watched the men’s game yesterday. But, losing to Canadians by one point isn’t so bad, in my world, they are the best hockey players.

 

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Hello! I can tell from the stats that people are still reading this blog, thanks for reading! Do I apologize for my absence? Yes. Was my absence felt? I don’t know. That is the big question about blogging for me. Why am I doing this, what is it all for. It often feels like glorified navel gazing. Sometimes it feels like I have a cause, to make the world a more beautiful place, to share things I love with others. And then other times I feel like I am just throwing my ideas in people’s faces yelling, “isn’t my life wonderful!” Which it is of course, but I just crop pictures really well. I crop all the messiness and the chaos out so it can’t be seen.

I wish I could say that I spent the last few months trying to come up with an answer to the reason “why I blog,”  but I didn’t. I spent it mainly trying to find a job and keep my head above the water financially. Both endeavours, I am pleased to report, were successful!

And now, since I have posted here again, what do I continue to blog about? About books, and cabbages and kings? Sealing wax? Paper strings? Sacred monkeys in the Vatican? Whatever it is I write about I hope you will enjoy.

 

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I feel like I should introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. M Street. I pass by them every morning on the way to work, then again in the afternoon, and they always make my day. I prefer the days when he is wearing a bow tie, I’ll have to remember to take a picture when he is. But don’t you just love her outfit?

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When I moved into my current house a badly painted statue of Our Lady of Fatima was already residing there. You can’t really tell from the picture above, but her eyes were terrifyingly black and had the strange quality of following you where ever you might be in the room. Kinda like those old portraits that always seem to be hanging in dark dusty hallways.

I had a little free time last Saturday and I decided to give Our Lady a makeover.  I can’t think of a mother that wouldn’t be pleased with a makeover, so I bought some acrylic paint and set to work. I painted the entire statue with three coats of this paint in 515 Vintage White:

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I dabbed the last coat on with a foam makeup applicator so that there wouldn’t be any streaks from the paintbrush and to give the statue a nice matte finish. Finally I gave her crown a good polish and put it back on her head.

The result is lovely! Now “Scary Mary” looks serene and quite lovely! Having her all one color really calls attention to the drapery of her garments and the sweetness of her face. What do you think?

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I’ve watched this five or six times now and I think the choreography is just amazing:

I know, I haven’t posted in a while, and this is totally random. But how cool is this treehouse bike elevator? I love it! Now I want a treehouse. . . (Via Sho and Tell)

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If you happen to live in the DC area I urge you to hie yourself down to the National Gallery of Art and see the exhibit on Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes. It’s an amazing exhibit on scenery and costume design for the Ballets Russes, it’s brilliant! There are scenes and costumes by Picasso, Chanel, Matisse. I loved it! I was in heaven since it was the perfect combination of my two favorite things, art and ballet!

One of the things I found particularly striking about the exhibit is that the designers made it feel like your waiting in the wings of a theater. It really brought back a lot of memories for me, I could stand just behind a “wing” and enjoy the videos that were playing as part of the exhibit, just as when I was dancing we used to stand and watch the scene/performance before ours. It was wonderful!

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#trenalovesflowers #nofilter #fall

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