In Pictures

I am in the fourth week of teaching a class at Aquinas, so I don’t have much time to post.  Okay, so I’m in the first week.  But with a Maymester class, every day equals a week of class in a normal semester.   At the end of the second class, one of the students stood up, stretched, and said, “Second week down!”  So tomorrow is our fourth class.

But I at least have time to post pictures.  You wouldn’t want to read an entire post about any of these things, anyway.  So here we go…

A few weeks ago, I made a killer lasagna for dinner when a priest friend came to visit.  He blessed my new condo and I made him dinner.  Win, win.  The recipe came from a composer-chef friend of mine.  He and his wife had me over for dinner a few months ago, and I fell in love with this Sicilian lasagna and had to have the recipe.  Lasagna with meatballs inside of it?  Score. And the ricotta cheese wasn’t overpowering.  (Trena, remember shuddering while eating the shells at Christendom?) It was deeelish.  While it was pretty labor intensive, it was a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon and the work produced awesome results.


I forgot to take a picture of the actual finished product.  So all I have are pictures of the prep.

IMG_3811Mmm, meatballs.

I was in the mood to make ice cream, so I did that, too.  I was originally going to make ice cream inspired by “Spouse Like a House” at Handel’s (how I miss you) — namely, ice cream with peanut butter-filled, chocolate-covered pretzels —  but I didn’t dip my pretzels in chocolate, and the ones I bought didn’t have enough peanut butter in them.  So  I ended up throwing in peanut butter cups, too.


It was good, but only because you can’t really go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate in ice cream.  I’d buy different peanut butter pretzels next time.  And dip them in chocolate.  Father ate it without complaint.

My “house” at school (sort of like a sorority, but not) had a bake sale to raise money for veterans who have had trouble getting back on their feet after coming home.  Since Joan of Arc is the patroness of our house, we thought helping veterans was fitting.  My friend Paul did the posters, and they just crack me up:


One of the history professors emailed me and noted, “Joan of Arc must really hate the English.”

Part of my job regularly takes me to Knoxville, TN, where Cardinal Rigali is living in retirement.  Many of his things from the conclave are on display in the chancery, including the prayerbook and Rite book for the conclave, the little briefcase he was given (it had the little sede vacante umbrella embossed on it with “2013” – it’s no wonder it took awhile to get this conclave going, they had to make all these things!), his little red lap desk with his name card that was waiting for him at his place in the Sistine Chapel, a sample ballot, and the pen he used to vote.  I couldn’t get over the humorous fact that the pen is a simple blue Pilot pen.  After seeing all the special books and the embossed small briefcase, I expected some cool pen.  Or maybe a quill.  Nope, just a blue Pilot.


There were also pictures of him taking the oath and processing — right behind Cardinal Bergoglio. Very cool.

A few weekends ago I re-vistited a wine bar my cousin Michael had  introduced me to last year.  It’s in an old house, and in addition to a regular bar area, the different parlors in the house have machines with various kinds of wine.  When you arrive you get a card (similar to a hotel key) that you put in the machines prior to making a wine selection.  Then you choose whether you want a taste, a half glass, or a whole glass.  It’s pretty fun- and can get very expensive if you aren’t careful!  I went down with some friends for happy hour and wondered why I don’t go down more often.  But perhaps it’s a good thing it’s not closer.


May 1st is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.  I happen to work in a building trailer structure named after St. Joseph, and so we decided to celebrate his feast day.  Yes, we celebrated on March 19, too.  But if the Church celebrates him twice, we can too.  In true southern fashion we had barbecue and slaw and chips and invited everyone to come hang out in our building trailer structure for awhile.


Providentially, on that same day, we received the sign for our building place of work that we requested several months ago.  We have formed a nice little community in our portable building (which just means that we’ll probably be split up before too long. Isn’t that the way it works?) and I we decided we deserved a sign on the outside of our building so people would know who we were.  A minor request, really.

Especially since this is the sign on the outside now, just to the right of the front door:


What does that mean, you might ask?  Well I did too-  eventually.  It’s apparently leftover from when the, er, structure was on the property of an explosives testing site in Bucksnort, TN.

You can’t make this stuff up.

So this sign has been on our building for 10+ years.  So leave it to me to be difficult and ask if we can have a sign that indicates we’re the St. Joseph…

But what?  What are we?  Since the philosophy faculty is at home in our structure, they said we can’t be the St. Joseph Building, because by their nature, buildings don’t have wheels.

We couldn’t very well put “St Joseph Structure” on our sign, could we?

So we decided on “St. Joseph’s.”  That’s what everyone says on campus, anyway.  “Where is Dr So-and-So’s office?”  “In St Joseph’s.”

But apparently that message didn’t get to the actual order-er of the plaque. So now we’re St. Joseph Hall.


We’ll take it!  Although as our sarcastic selves, we put the sign in the hallway for the first day.  “Where are you putting the sign?”  “In the hall.”

IMG_3909Our shrine to our sign.

You know what is dangerous?

Homemade Nutella ice cream with Trader Joe’s Ultimate Vanilla Wafers.  I was in charge of bringing dessert to book club last week, and instead of making some elaborate something or other, I made Nutella ice cream and bought those awfully-addicting vanilla wafers from TJ’s.


Too good.  You know what else is dangerous?  Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Cranberry Dunkers. My sister Jill introduced me to them, and they’re deadly.  I bought them without thinking, and quickly took them to work before I ate them all in one sitting.  Everyone loved them. And hated me.

IMG_3918Buy at your own risk.

My week (or two, or three) in pictures.  Food, alcohol, and Catholic stuff.  Sounds about right.


3 thoughts on “In Pictures

  1. Kim Teter says:

    You are too funny! You put a big grin on my face and a craving in my tummy for more Nutella ice cream! 😉

  2. Amy says:

    I hereby request homemade Nutella ice cream when I come visit!

    And the whole building/trailer/structure/hall bit has me totally cracking up.

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