Gardening

August is the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today is the feast of St. Alphonsus de Ligouri, who died in 1787 and is a Doctor of the Church. 

The 2nd is the trad feast of St. Alphonsus and the "historical" feast of Our Lady of the Angels-many wonderful Marian feasts to come this month!  Think about how we may honor her Immaculate Heart this coming month.  The feast of her Immaculate Heart is the 22nd, along with her Queenship-what a glorious day!  Of course we also have the Assumption.....the Seven Joys and several other feasts in honor of Our Lady.

It is interesting to note that during this Marian month, we also have....St. Dominic, who gave us the Holy Rosary, St. Maximilian Kolbe, so devoted to Our Heavenly Mother, St. Joachim, her dear father and St. Monica, another famous mother.  We also celebrate 3 Doctors of the Church, 2 saints killed at Auschwitz, one year apart, 2 patrons of gardening (we like them at Nomen Christi!) and the luminous Transfiguration of Our Lord.  Wishing you all summer blessings and don't forget about our Fatima Family Holy Hour, which falls on a Sunday this month!  Here is a sampling of upcoming feasts....

8/4-First Friday/St. John Vianney (The Cure of Ars), 1859 (I saw his heart once!)/St. Dominic, Seer of the Holy Rosary, 1221

8/5-First Saturday/Our Lady of the Snows

8/6-Transfiguration of Our Lord

8/8-St. John Vianney (trad)/St. Dominic (new)

8/9-St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), 1942

8/11-St. Clare (Chiara), Foundress of Poor Clares, Companion of St. Francis of Assisi, 1253/St. Philomena, 304

8/12-St. Clare (trad)

8/13-Centennial of the Fourth Apparition at Fatima

8/14-St. Maximilian Kolbe, Martyr of Charity during Hitler regime, 1941/Vigil of the Assumption

8/15-THE ASSUMPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, Holy Day of Obligation (please pray for my son's safe trip back to school today-ty!)

8/16-St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary

8/20-St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, 1153

8/21-Our Lady of Knock, 1879/Pope St. Pius X, 1914

8/22-Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary/Immaculate Heart of Mary

8/23-St. Rose of Lima, Patroness of South America, 1617

8/24-Our Lady, Health of the Sick/St. Bartholomew, Apostle

8/26-Our Lady of Czestochowa

8/27-Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary/St. Monica, Mother of St. Augustine, 387

8/28-St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church, 430

8/29-The Passion of St. John the Baptist

8/30-St. Fiacre of Brie, Patron of gardeners, 670/St. Rose of Lima, Patroness of gardeners....also! (trad)

I Grew A Potato!

You have no idea how happy I am!  Whenever I try to grow potatoes, something goes horribly wrong.  This year, without even trying, I got a potato! :):):)  Okay, it was only ONE TINY potato, but it WAS a potato!  My husband and I shared it the other night and it was delicious, a bit nutty in flavor.

Here is our compost bin, that my husband built, in which the little red potato grew ("The Little Red Potato," sounds like a children's book!  You're welcome to write it, I'm not going to.).  Since we have tons of leaves, we needed to build this large bin to put them in and of course we also add our raw produce scraps and yard clippings, in addition to wood scrap from my husband's wood shop.  That's pretty much all that goes into our compost.  I am a compost purist, so I do not use any paper products (due to chemicals), no household dirt & dust (yes I've heard of people doing that-bad idea), no cooked food, no meat, no excrement, no animal products except for rinsed egg shells.  And I make awesome compost.  With lots of worms in it.  Stuff can't help growing in it!  So when I saw this potato plant coming up, I decided to leave it alone and see what would happen.  It only grew that one little one, but it was a fun experiment.  I always like to do things outside the box and see what happens.  To me, gardening is very much about experimentation.  In fact, due to all the variables involved in gardening, it really is always something of an experiment.  I hope one day to get more than one tuber from a potato plant-I will not give up!  (Yes, that's my son's old swing in the background, from when he was little-we still haven't cut it down-they grow up so fast!)

Recent Pics.....

I gave Our Lady these gorgeous red coneflowers today, on 9/11.  Just as she watches over my neighborhood from this hill, she watches over all her children, especially at "the hour of our death."

I recently visited this 9/11 Memorial at Eisenhower Park, in East Meadow, Long Island.  Under a somber, smoky sky, this amazing piece of art shows the Twin Towers intertwined...twins....born together, destroyed together....their fates, inextricably linked, like the two people who were seen jumping together, holding hands.  It is estimated about 200 people jumped or fell from the Towers that day.  None of them survived, though some desperately clung to tablecloths from the restaurant at the top, trying to use them as parachutes, hoping against Hope.  An extraordinary final testimony to this Theological Virtue and the preciousness of life.

The Towers were glorious, especially at night.  I stood on the top of one once.  The view was truly spectacular.  I'll never forget it.  On 9/11, I could not bear to watch the news and spent the whole day alone in prayer, having no idea what was happening.  When my husband came home from work he told me......"The Towers are gone."  I'll never forget those words, though it came as no surprise.  Part of me already knew.

This is part of the same Memorial at Eisenhower Park.  An actual piece of a Tower, somewhat rusted over the past 15 years.....in one sense, sickening.....in another, comforting....it rained blood that day, but it also rained crosses.  Much like the Crucifixion itself....unthinkable, horrifying....yet, the Act of Love which wrought our salvation.

I mentioned Saint Fiacre in my post on the month of August, his feast being August 30th.  He is the patron saint of gardeners, along with Saint Rose of Lima, who shares the same feastday!  (Incidentally, on this past August 30th, I was officially accepted into the "Master Gardener" course at Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Nassau County, NY-I took this as a little sign that I'm on the right track!)  I was amazed to see this statue of Saint Fiacre yesterday at Rosedale Nurseries in Hawthorne, NY, where I bought the red coneflowers pictured above.  Unfortunately, it was too expensive for me to buy, so I did the next best thing-I took a picture of it!  Saint Fiacre and Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us!

Took this picture of a beautiful butterfly interested in a rotten apple at a 4-H camp in Riverhead, Long Island last week.  I worked hard to get that shot!  (Zoom in to see it better.)

Last but not least.....I know you won't believe this, but yes, I took this picture and no, its not photo-shopped.  The water really is THAT blue, but its....DYED!  This was taken at a facility in Manhasset, Long Island, where the gardening classes are held.  In a way, its pretty, but do they really think they can do a better job than God???  He is the Lord of all, the Alpha and the Omega Who is greater than all our sufferings.  We cannot forget tragedies like 9/11, but we also cannot be defeated by them.  He's got it all under control, so let us end this post on a note of peace, faith, hope and love!  CM:)