Monday, May 11, 2009

General update

In the past two weeks, life has been busy. I have started the boys on their next grades so that we can keep on moving. They are both excited to have started another school year and to have moved up a level.

Here in Fort Worth it was interesting to watch the occurrences with the swine flu scare. It turned out to be a non-event, even though the schools were closed and many other activities were canceled. For us, the only real impact was the fact that the boys' soccer playoffs were postponed until this past weekend.

We have had lots of rain here in the past 2 weeks. My garden is looking very good. Plus, we put in one more raised bed. With this latest bed, we are trying out a technique called "square-foot gardening". We actually made a grid of the bed (in our case, with string) and planted various things in the different squares. The boys each got four squares to plant, so it will be a learning experience for them, too.

I recently found a very interesting local podcast by a guy who is a modern survivalist. I really like his podcast (some salty language, so beware), and especially his tips on gardening and making your backyard produce some food for you instead of just being one more thing to take care of. Check out his site here.... I have learned a lot from him about composting, square-foot gardening, companion planting, organic pest control, etc.

The Fort Worth Schola Gregoriana is doing well. We continue to get compliments on our singing at weekly Mass. Right now we are getting ready for four great feasts in the liturgical year: Ascension, Pentecost, Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi). I have several propers that we are working on for those weeks that are sounding very good.

The new propers we will be singing in Gregorian chant are:

Ascension: Introit -- Viri galilaei
Pentecost: Introit -- Spiritus Domini
Alleluia: Veni Sancte Spiritus (from Chants Abreges)
Sequence: Veni Sancte Spiritus
Chanted Latin hymn: Veni Creator Spiritus (to be used during Offertory)
Corpus Christi: Alleluia -- Caro mea (from Chants Abreges)
Sequence: Lauda Sion (shortened version from Ecce panis...)
Communion: Qui manducat

Lately I have also been working on teaching the schola the Latin chants for the Latin Requiem Mass. I think it is very important that any schola learn those chants. The schola already knows the ordinaries and the In Paradisum/Chorus angelorum. We will continue to work on the propers as time permits.

For the last two Saturdays, I have also been singing for the children making their first Holy Communion at our parish. Each time, the church was absolutely packed. The children looked beautiful and were very excited.

This weekend the boys camped out in the backyard. Happily, they picked the only night that it didn't rain (Saturday). They and two neighbor boys were happily set up in the tent right next to the tree house... with plenty of snacks and drinks... much fun was had by all. We had a monitor out there so that we could monitor them and be sure they were safe... Finally, near midnight, we had to tell them that they really had to go to sleep and settle down... we listened to them say their prayers through the walkie talkies...

I'll do better on my updates in the future... really!