Outside my window: It’s black and it’s cooooollllld: 8 degrees, according to my weather app, which is tropical compared to yesterday’s -11…yes, that’s a negative sign.

In thanksgiving: For the wood stove. For the piles of afghans. For thick socks and thick sweaters and not having to leave the house when it’s so cold.

Folded hands, bowed head: For those who grieve. For an end to abortion. For our lingering sickness to end.

Kitchen meanderings: I’m on a roll: last week I made dinner every night. So my goal this week is to keep that going.

Nose inserted: Neeta Lyffe: Zombie Exterminator, by Karina Fabian (which I’m reading electronically) and Walking Together: Discovering the Catholic Tradition of Spiritual Friendship, by Mary DeTurris Poust.

Recent reads: Theophilos, by Michael O’Brien – This book would have consumed me if I had been able to abandon myself to it. The story is based around the “Theophilos” who Luke writes to in his Gospel. How do you build a 400-plus page book around that? Not only did O’Brien do just that, he did it brilliantly. It has a taste of historical fiction, but it also had a devotional nature to it, at least for me. It’s written as Theophilos’s journal, from his point of view, and we see his examination of the new Christian religion. Looking at Christianity so close to when it started, from the viewpoint of rational logic, was intriguing, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.

In my thoughts: I’m thinking about an online class on blogging that I’m leading, even as I think about a book proposal that I need to get cracking on. I’m also thinking about how reading on my iPad isn’t so bad (I’ve read two long works that way since receiving it). And, inspired by an email last week, I’m also thinking about Catholic business resources, things (podcasts, blogs, etc.) that can be used to help Catholics thrive in the business world. Goes with the business book post I did a while back…if you have any ideas for this, I’d love to share them.

In my ears: Yesterday, I finished listening to Peter Kreeft‘s lecture, “A Grief Observed.” It refers to C.S. Lewis’s book of the same name, and wow. Not only did the lecture go back into my listening lineup (which never happens), but I’m going to have to get the book and read it. Grief and the experience of sorrow are topics I’ve been exploring in my mind for the last year, and this dealt with them in ways that felt very “ah-HA!” to me.

A favorite thing: My electric kettle, which boils water all day long on my counter. Said the six-year-old the other day: “Mommy, why are you always drinking coffee or tea?” You see, she is still wearing short-sleeved shirts. Obviously, nerve endings don’t develop until much later in life. I need that hot mug to keep my hands warm!

Plans made, possibly kept: A Pampered Chef party, parent-teacher conferences, a long-awaited photo shoot for the kids…all of this and more, if we stay healthy. And all of us aren’t completely healthy yet…this nasty cold is lingering and keeping us up at night and making the baby cry.

Food for thought: “God, in his mercy, does not tell us everything our yes will mean. Most likely, Mary did not understand everything her yes would mean. She had much to ponder; however, she still gave God permission to work in and through her life as he saw fit. Like Mary, we don’t have to know everything our yes will mean; we just have to yield ourselves, trusting God.” -Kimberly Hahn (today’s entry in Through the Year with Mary: 365 Reflections, by Karen Edmisten)