Odds and Ends and Autumn


Throwback Thursday and very relevant! The Ember Days are this month…Sept. 19, 21 and 22.

It’s around the corner….the loveliest time of the year (in my opinion)! Kansas has the most beautiful autumns….lengthy and temperate….and such a relief from the heat!

The following post is a few “fallish” thoughts to get you in the groove for autumn and God’s glory shown through this lovely season.

These photos are posted (with permission) from a lovely FB page, Kansas Whispers by Brad Neff. You didn’t know Kansas was so lovely, did you?


Ember Days

Don’t forget the Ember Days in September…this year they land on Sept. 19, 21 and 22. Teach your kids about them. Fast and abstain, if you can.

These days are voluntary since the new Code of Canon Law (just because they are optional does not mean they aren’t important) but individual Catholics can and many Traditional Catholics still celebrate them, because they help to focus our minds on the changing of the liturgical seasons and the seasons of the year. The Ember Days that fall during Lent and Advent are especially useful to remind children of the reasons for those seasons.

As always, such fasting and abstinence has a greater purpose. As the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, through these activities, and through prayer, we use the Ember Days to “thank God for the gifts of nature, . . . teach men to make use of them in moderation, and . . . assist the needy.”

Here is an excerpt on Ember Days from https://fisheaters.com/emberdays.html:

Four times a year, the Church sets aside three days to focus on God through His marvelous creation. These quarterly periods take place around the beginnings of the four natural seasons  that “like some virgins dancing in a circle, succeed one another with the happiest harmony,” as St. John Chrysostom wrote (see Readings below).

These four times are each kept on a successive Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and are known as “Ember Days,” or Quatuor Tempora, in Latin. The first of these four times comes in Winter, after the the Feast of St. Lucy; the second comes in Spring, the week after Ash Wednesday; the third comes in Summer, after Pentecost Sunday; and the last comes in Autumn, after Holy Cross Day. Their dates can be remembered by this old mnemonic:

Sant Crux, Lucia, Cineres, Charismata Dia
Ut sit in angaria quarta sequens feria.

Which means:

Holy Cross, Lucy, Ash Wednesday, Pentecost,
are when the quarter holidays follow.

These times are spent fasting and partially abstaining in penance and with the intentions of thanking God for the gifts He gives us in nature and beseeching Him for the discipline to use them in moderation. The fasts, known as “Jejunia quatuor temporum,” or “the fast of the four seasons,” are rooted in Old Testament practices of fasting four times a year.


Thoughts and Beauty from Margy

Our 15 year old daughter, Marguerite (better known as Margy) has taken up painting. It was quite by accident. They had a friend over on a Saturday and there was a lull in the merry-making so the friend suggested they all do some watercolor painting. We dug up what we had (not much) and everyone went to it.

When Margy finished hers, we all were quite astonished at the loveliness of it….it was a picture of pansies and was surprisingly very good (she surprised herself). I would show you but she sold the picture…… to a friend…..but nonetheless she was quite astonished!

So she is just getting her “feet wet” but I thought I would show you this sweet picture of roses that she painted…..






She did a bit of writing, too, and when I read the little piece, it inspired me about this lovely season. So, without her permission, I am sharing it with you! 😀 (Hopefully she’ll show me her next one…).

Waking, I curled my toes more securely under the covers to escape the slight chill of early morning. This is one of the sure signs of approaching autumn.
Savory smells of summer gardens are fading and the bright shades of green that capture the essence of summer are deepening to rich hues of golden browns and oranges.
Ah, the glories of fall, my favorite of all the seasons!
The fruit, so long waited for, is ripening on the weighted down boughs of the orchard. In the pantries of many farmhouses, the sweet, ripe vegetables and herbs are now cans and preserves waiting for the coming hunger of the winter months.
Indeed, the seasons are such fascinating things that every day show forth the glories of God!

Sweet thoughts, Margy!


I would be remiss if I didn’t show you Rosie’s (our 17 yr. old’s) handiwork. She is the gardener….this is her baby. Truly lovely are the flowers and gardens she has taken the time to plant, weed and nurture. I am very grateful!

IMG_1588 IMG_1591 IMG_1592 IMG_1593 IMG_159509

When the married girls come over to visit or craft together, it is a good excuse to celebrate the season and indulge in some homemade Spiced Chai Tea with that added dollop of real whipped cream sweetened with pure maple syrup! Following the pics is the Chai Taste of Home Recipe we pull out every fall.


“Chai (rhymes with “pie”) is the word for tea in some parts of the world…but in India, it’s a spiced milk tea that’s becoming more popular in North America. This recipe is just as tasty as any coffee-house chai” —Peggy Fleming


TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 25 min. YIELD:4 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 individual tea bags
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream, ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, optional


  • 1. In a small saucepan, combine the first six ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • 2. Stir in milk. Return to a boil; boil for 1 minute, then strain. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour into mugs. Top each with whipped cream, cinnamon and a cinnamon stick if desired. Yield: 4 servings
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“There is nothing insignificant in the life which we live within our own doors. There is nothing which is without influence in the building up of character. . Let no one think that the history of any day in the life of a home, is not recorded imperishably on the sensitive lives of the children.” -J.R. MIller


Delightful Catholic Mother Goose Poetry Book! Lighthearted Poems to Inspire Your Children!

This book gives us some lovely rhymes that can, and should, be committed to heart by your children. Not only will it provide all the benefits of reading and memorizing, but it will supply some simple reflections that will turn those little minds to what is most important in their life….their Catholic Faith…. More info and available here.





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