Covid – by Galaxy Jane — According To Hoyt

Definitely worth reading and sharing for the snapshot of one person’s course of disease, informed by a medical background.  It goes a long way towards showing why COVID-19 isn’t actually something to be frightened of, and the way that medical protocols change (or should!) according to information and studies on treatments.

Many thanks to the author for sharing, and to AtH for running it.

Covid – by Galaxy Jane As a medical provider (PA-C with ten years of practice and a focus in Adult Primary Care and Occupational Medicine) who was recently the poster child for physically fit, middle-aged adult with zero co-morbidities hospitalized with a severe COVID-19 infection, I’ve been given an unusual perspective on the disease process […]

via Covid – by Galaxy Jane — According To Hoyt

Dominican Chants

Yesterday being the feast of St. Dominic, I ran across a video of the vespers hymn Gaude Mater Ecclesia, which is sung by the Dominican order on the feast of their founder:

This pair of Dominican brothers, based in Switzerland, has launched a YouTube channel to demonstrate the Dominican chant tradition.  It’s still Gregorian, but the melodies are uniquely Dominican.  It’s a beautiful thing, and goes to show the wide diversity of chant and ways to glorify God.

Definitely a rabbit hole worth going down.

Birthday Dinner

Dinner for my birthday was:

Falafel:

Falafel

I generally follow the recipe from Serious Eats, where you work with raw, soaked chickpeas rather than pre-cooked.  The falafel really do come out shatteringly crisp.  I also used coconut oil to avoid the lingering fried food smell.  We served these with pita, spinach, whipped feta, and tahini/lemon sauce.

For desert, mint/chocolate cheesecake in layers:

Cheesecake in Layers

It didn’t come out nearly as pretty as the template recipe at Smitten Kitchen (there a mocha cheesecake).  Instead, I went with a mint layer and a chocolate chip layer.  For the crust, I used another Serious Eats recipe for the shortbread cookie part of the copy-cat E.L. Fudge cookies.  I probably could have baked the crust a little bit longer to get it more crisp to go with the cheesecake, but I think it turned out OK.  There weren’t really any complaints from around the table, so we’ll call it a success.

Vignettes of Suburban Wildlife

It’s a jungle out there in the suburbs.  Two vignettes of recent suburban animal activities:

The Fox and the Hare

I like to go for a run early in the morning, before it gets too hot and humid (and before the rest of the family wakes up).  There’s a fox that prowls the neighborhood just to our south, and I often see it on my runs in the fall and spring.  Early this spring, I saw a couple of rabbits as well.  Not every time, but often enough so that it seemed pretty normal.  Their usual territories didn’t seem to overlap–there were a good few blocks between them. The last time I saw a rabbit was about three weeks ago.  I saw the rabbit go running across a street, and recalled that I hadn’t seen the fox in a little bit.  I wondered if the fox had decided it was time to head to its summer location (wherever that is).

The next time I went for a run, I saw the fox.  I haven’t seen a rabbit since.  I have, however, seen the fox farther north and east, where the rabbits usually were.  I can guess what happened, foxes being foxes.

The Desperate Battle of the Birds

We have a front row seat to some ongoing aerial warfare outside our back door.  It seems that the finches, wrens, and mockingbirds do not especially care for the crows that come and take food out of the dumpster for the housing complex across the alley.  I routinely watch a crow land on the dumpster to snatch some morsel, only to be divebombed by a mockingbird (making a crow’s caw).  The finches pitch in once the crow is in the air and flying off.  The pigeons and doves generally stay out of it, while the robins seem to enjoy watching the show.

I never knew mocking birds could be so fierce as to drive of a bird at least four times their size.

Like I said, it can be a jungle out their in the suburbs of Northern Viriginia.

Solemnity of Corpus Christi

In many Catholic churches in the U.S., they celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, celebrating the great sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. It traditionally falls on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, but has been transferred in most places and cases, to the following Sunday (our church does a traditional Latin mass on Thursdays, so we got to experience it twice!).

Marge Fenlon at Catholic Conspiracy does a great job briefly explaining what the feast is, and the origin of the beautiful hymns (hint: St. Thomas Aquinas).

While this is great polyphony from one of the masters, the simple chant, sung with heartfelt (but untrained) voices at the end of Eucharistic adoration is one of the most beautiful things to experience. All because of the great gift and miracle we have been given.

A Month of Flowers for Mary

Mary with white and purple iris, sweetshrub, and lilac.

We managed to have fresh flowers from our garden the entire month of May for our Marian shrine. Since the irises took off this year, that was the predominant flower (although I didn’t get a photo of any of the yellow irises around the statue). I filled in with some of the white Korean lilac from time to time.

Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus, also known as Carolina Allspice), with its red flowers, was the feature for today in honor of Pentecost.

Mary with red flowers for Pentecost

The garden is finally coming together. As mentioned, the iris took off this year–a couple of flower stalks were over four feet. Each flower had a secondary bloom just below it on the stock, so we had a long lasting show this year.

Next up is the giant rose bush in the back–I thought I had pruned it at an inauspicious time given the highly variable weather we had all winter and spring, but we have a lot of rose buds just coming in. It’s a bit later than last year, but likely to be just as good a show.

Easter Rosary Project

For Easter presents this year, I made rosaries for each of the kids (except for the newborn, of course) and my wife. Rather than chain or wire-wrapped, these are simple strung rosaries: 6mm bicone beads with seed bead spacers, strung on bead stringing wire. The crucifix is 1.5 inches. On average, it took about 30 minutes to make each one: 15 minutes to string and about 15 to finish. The biggest challenge was getting the wire to sit right for the crimp, with just the right amount of slack, and then running it back up through some of the beads so that there are no exposed ends.

I think they turned out pretty well. The proportions seem right, and the overall size is small, but just about right for putting in a pocket and carrying around. They seem to be getting some good use so far, so I’d call that a success.