Chatty: A way for us to do giveaways, Chapter 5 of The Little Oratory, Random stuff.


The garden. The house (as in, get Will out and get Deirdre & co. in!). The blog! The book! I don’t know how you all do it all! Please tell me!

So… randomly…

We are instituting a way to do giveaways here on the blog. We will put them in with {bits & pieces} — a brief description, a link, a reason we love whatever it is, and then, you get a chance to win! And, of course, all our usual links and musings of the week there, courtesy of Deirdre.

So if you have things to give away, shoot me an email at LMLDblog (at) gmail (dot) com. Subject line GIVEAWAY. We will be up and running this Saturday, I hope! You know us…

I told myself I wouldn’t knit the lace border for this christening blanket. I would crochet it. I bookmarked ideas… I thought about it… and then it was time to board the plane and I had nothing, planwise.

No internet because of the stupid restricted wi-fi and my phone not being exactly the size for me to decipher crotchet patterns on. So I just reconstructed the lace pattern from memory. And yes, I almost certainly will run out of yarn, what else is new.





When you heard of The Little Oratory being about the Liturgy of the Hours, did you quail? I always had a bit of fear of the LOH, because let’s admit it, it’s daunting. Page-turning, ribbons, flipping, getting the wrong week… But then we’d pray Vespers for Lent or Advent and I’d fall just a little bit further in love.

Then we did a sung Vespers at our parish, with beautiful — I mean awesome and fabulous — settings by our erstwhile choir director, Paul Jernberg. And that’s when I realized the fullness of what this prayer is — how it extends the Mass into the other hours, giving us the quiet heartbeat of the Psalms and antiphons so that our souls can rest in the Eucharistic Lord.

Do you know that there are actually few things required of us to be faithful followers of Jesus? (Some of them are a bit sneaky, I admit, like “participating in the Church’s mission of evangelization of souls” — oh, that little thing.) But seriously, seven precepts… Ten Commandments… so, seventeen things! Not as many as you thought, hmmm?

So in Chapter 5, we touch on that and how cracking open that Breviary (or looking online at Universalis, for instance) will just put us right into the river of Church life, the life of Christ. We can start right where we are — maybe choosing one of the antiphons from one of the hours as the prayer of the day! That could be it!


How lovely would that be…

{Join Elizabeth Foss this week for her Summer Study of The Little Oratory — more chatty with me and Elizabeth!}

The bees are doing really well! The Observation Hive got wicked full. The frames had to be moved out, or the bees were going to swarm!

So the Chief populated that smaller hive on the left, and now that the sun is shining, they are flying.




We are picking lettuce, collard greens (yummy baked with olive oil and salt), and asparagus. I planted strawberries in the asparagus bed, on the basis of one, count ’em, one, post on the world wide web. Which is the same as none. Someone out there in the vastness thought that maybe since strawberries have shallow roots and asparagus has deep roots, they would be good companion plants.




My asparagus is always a bit stressed, because the only place I really have for them is very wet in the spring, which they don’t like. The beds are raised, but still. However, the strawberries I planted there are indeed thriving. Many fruits setting, which I hope, no doubt futilely, that the bunnies don’t get. Maybe in the end they will be strawberry beds pure and simple, but we’ll see.

Two steps forward, one step back. We are renovating some outdoor space, and of course, the heavy trucks required left tracks right across my lawn. Such as it was. Sigh.




But the sun is shining, the tank is clean!

The tank is clean?!?! (Sorry, that’s a favorite quote around here!)


Do you have any random chattiness today? Tell us in the comments!



  1. says

    The Little Oratory really inspired me to crack open my Breviary again and attempt to relearn how to use it :) It’s been almost two years since I fell out of the habit which is absurd considering how much better everything goes in my life when I start my day with morning prayers! I’ve been setting my alarm for 5:30 to get my prayers in before all my minions awaken which has had about a 50% success rate so far. It always seems as though as soon as I attempt to restructure my prayer life, the children who had been sleeping in to at least 6:30 (which might not seem great to anyone else, but is wonderful here!) are all of a sudden up before 5 every day.

    • says

      This has been true for me too- it seems that when I try to wake early, my kids wake earlier too. Im working on not letting this discourage me. My inclination is to throw in the towel, but I know its not what I should do. Now its just a matter of me being determined about it when the alarm clock rings in the morning ;) I need to ask for that particular grace!

      • Josie says

        I always run into this too, but I had a somewhat lazy-woman’s thought of putting things by my bedside, so when the alarm goes off I could make the littlest stir possible and get into the habit of prayer in bed. Is that wrong?;) I even daydreamed(dreamt?) about putting a coffee pot in my bedroom! As going down the steps seems to be even more child-waking than an alarm clock. Is all that just too unholy? This is all still in my head though I have yet to try it:).

        • says

          Josie, I can’t say that anyone should discourage you from praying in bed when you first wake up! It might indeed be unholy to drink hot coffee while lying down. At least, impractical!!

          I guess that the idea of the little oratory is that you can be good with praying together with your family, and then having your quiet time when you can. It is certainly true that any attempts at formal prayer alone will act as a kid magnet.

  2. Kate says

    My father was a Benedictine oblate, so I grew up seeing him praying his Breviary every morning and evening. In a zealous phase in my late teenage years, I decided that I too was going to pray the LOTH. My father gave me a little introduction, but all the page flipping and the numerous colored ribbons discouraged me and I quickly gave up. Fast forward to my married life. I married a man. who besides being one of those zealous and learned converts, is proficient in Latin. He begins praying the LOTH (in Latin, of course) regularly. A few years ago, I tentatively mentioned that I think I’d like to give the LOTH another try. We purchase the four-volume set (in English, of course) from a local monastery and under my husband’s guidance, I begin. I was surprised at how much easier it was to get the hang of – I must have gained some patience and smarts through all this childrearing. I don’t say all the hours yet, but I at least get in Matins, Lauds and Compline and sometimes Vesoers. It’s become an essential part of my prayer life that I couldn’t imagine doing without.

  3. Molly R says

    “How do you all do it all?” That makes me chuckle. But I have to thank you because, while I am far far from doing it all, things are slowly getting done around here, thanks to you! With baby number eight on the way (a bit sooner than I would usually expect), the need for order is becoming desperate. So I started re-reading your cleaning and order and wonder posts, and they have given me great inspiration for how to tackle things. Especially the idea of putting beauty first, and allowing order to flow from it. Form before function, I guess, but I had never thought of applying the idea to homemaking. I usually either organize (which never lasts long, since it is not usually exactly beautiful) or make things look nice, but only now am I finally putting the two together and in the right, godly order. And it is transformative! I’m hoping to finally have relative peace when preparing for and recovering from birth, which has been elusive in this large old farmhouse with a project around every corner and several children busy with everything they can find. So thank you, Auntie Leila and daughters, for sharing your insights and collective wisdom!

  4. says

    Loved the podcast with Elizabeth Foss!

    Your asparagus looks yummy! I just discovered I have a rhubarb plant here at my rental house AND my neighbor said I could have as much of her rhubarb as I want. So far Ive made a rhubarb fool, and canned a jam and a marmalade. Im so excited!

  5. Adele says

    We finally got our goats and chicks last week. So we are overloaded with babies, luckily our human one is waiting till fall. In my experience one gets most everything done in the fifteen minutes of quiet before a major tantrum or fall or other such mishap (perhaps you can tell we have several small children in tow). Our bees did not take to their hive and left us before we could retrieve them. We will try again next year as we simply can’t afford to try again this year. It is nice to know that there are successful beekeepers out there and maybe someday we’ll be one of them. Now all we need to do is actually get the garden weeded (I’m pretty sure that never actually happens anywhere ever).

  6. Loretta S. says

    Just a note- when I do manage to pray the LOTH I do it off of an app for my smartphone. It’s called Laudate and is loaded with all kinds of prayers, not just the hours. Also it’s free!

    • says


      I just tossed them with olive oil and salt and put them in the oven for a while at about 375. You have to toss them and I recommend a layer of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. They get crispy and are awesome in a salad or on a serving of rice.

  7. says

    How do we get it all done? I don’t know, but I am feeling the pain you are. The blog, sewing, designing, grandchildren, the house….etc……. I have just 3 days left to be full time grandmother and then I can be in my own home. I think that solves a lot of the problem.

    I downloaded the LOTH app and have been listening to morning prayer on the way to my daughters and afternoon prayer on the way home. Last week the Psalm was a song sung by the Notre Dame Folk Choir. I heard them sing in Kentucky at NPMC. My best friend’s daughter was a member. Just beautiful!

  8. says

    chatty? not sure I’m a chatty person. But here goes… I’m determined to start some intentional unschooling this summer. As in library runs each week, and doing a ‘science’ activity each week. Of course, this requires planning from me… oh, dear. But I good way to just get started, I think.

  9. A. says

    OK, I have to comment on a post that includes a Finding Nemo quote! We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on our honeymoon a few weeks ago and among other wonders I got to touch a starfish, which of course made me want to say, “Can’t hear ya Peach!” The sun is shining here too, and our garden is full of lovely little vegetable seedlings, although I am not very excited about thinning them; I hate to pull up seedlings that I planted! Perhaps my husband will do that for me and spare me the anguish :-) We also received several pounds of dried cherries for our recent wedding, which I am going to start using in scones and cookies this weekend (husband is particularly excited about the prospect of cookies). I finally ordered my copy of The Little Oratory and am saving all the podcasts on Elizabeth’s blog to listen to until I am caught up, hopefully before Chapter 3! Happy Wednesday!

    • says

      A., I have to chuckle — I hate pulling out seedlings also! I almost never can — so I end up trying to replant them and overcrowding everything. Must be the mother instinct with a dash of frugality thrown in.

    • says

      Margo, it’s from Finding Nemo — there is a link there in the word “quote.” A very bad quality clip because I was looking for something short.
      The gist of it is that sometimes you need the tank to be dirty so you can make your escape… you just need to watch it!

  10. Mrs. Pickles says

    Ha — love the Nemo quote! Our other fave is “Look! Something shiny!”

    Your yard is so lovely (tire tracks and all). And look at Bridget working so diligently!

    I am so grateful for your book, and your discussion of it here and with Elizabeth Foss. I am taking copious mental notes, as I am planning on using your book for a mother’s pray-and-play group I’m staring in the fall. I know it will encourage my fellow mothers in the trenches. :) Just… thank you.

  11. sibyl says

    I too have been disheartened by the breviary, but I do so love praying the psalms that I hope to get started on it again. Here in MN our last frost date is May 15, so unfortunately our vegetables are only now poking out of the ground, and if we get a nice long warm fall (it sometimes happens) we will maybe have beans and pumpkins.

    However, I’m going through a bout of depression as to homeschooling, gardening, and home maintenance in general. Everything costs more money than we have. Nothing stays clean.

    • says

      Sibyl, it’s like Monday morning, spring where the winters are hard. So much to do, all at once! But you can do a lot in an hour…
      Let’s make a list and take a deep breath. Prayers!

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