Saturday, March 17, 2012
You Know You're a Yinzer When...
...getting a picture with your Terrible Towel on the Great Wall is one of your favorite and most eagerly anticipated moments of your trip to China. :)

What can I say? After I saw that Towels Across the World commercial during football season, I couldn't wait to do this myself!

But anyway, I am happy to report that I had a wonderful and smooth trip to China, and that I made it back to my dear homeland safe and sound. I was actually more nervous for this trip than I have other journeys in the past (maybe even moreso than for my semester in Rome)--I think it might've stemmed from anticipation of a greater language and cultural barrier than I ever have experienced in the past. But whatever the origin of the fear, it lingered through a good deal of the trip, and I was definitely a happy camper when I touched down in my beloved hometown.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy myself while I was there. On the contrary, I had a fantastic time on the trip--I got to meet new friends from Rice University in Houston and Keio University in Japan. I got to chat with students from China and tour various universities and factories. I got to see landmarks like the Great Wall, Olympic Village, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Bund in Shanghai, to name a few. The Bund was AWESOME. It's basically a long pier along Shanghai which looks across the water to the downtown area. Here's the view:

I even got to go to Mass in China, thanks be to God! I was worried that I would not have the chance, but the Lord is very good and gave me the opportunity. I went to the South Cathedral (or Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) in Beijing with a professor. Interestingly enough, she was interested in the rise of Christianity in China, and she wanted to see whether the church would as full as she heard it was (and it was!). I don't think I would've been able to go if she hadn't gone with me--I needed to get a taxi there, and spoke no Chinese, while the cab driver spoke no English. The next week in Shanghai, however, I was able to walk to Mass since the church was a block away (which was providential in itself!), so since my teacher was feeling sick, I went solo to the St. Ignatius Cathedral. I want to elaborate more on the architecture of the churches and my thoughts there and stuff (as well as some other thoughts from the trip), but I think I'll do that sometime later.

All in all, I'd say I had a good trip. Deo gratias! :)
posted by Kristin @ 7:36 PM   0 comments
Monday, February 27, 2012
Knitting project (finally) complete!
Awhile ago, I went with Caitlin B. to a knitting class at Knit One in Squirrel Hill. We started some lovely garter stitch scarves, and then I got really caught up with school and stuff (hence also the severe lack of posts), and I put the project aside. Thank goodness Rosemary had a knitting party last week, because it got me back on the trail to finishing it. And, well, here it is:

I looked up how to add a fringe...mostly (I'll admit) because I wanted to get moving on a new project and wanted this one to be done, but also because I thought it would add a bit of flair.

Well, now I've already got the materials to start my next project. It's another scarf, but this time I'm trying a pattern for lace. (This pattern, to be exact!) I've been told this is a pretty easy lace, but it's a step up from what I did last time, so I want to try my hand at it! Luckily, thanks to the generosity of an attendee at Rosemary's party, I've already got the yarn for the project. I just had to buy a new pair of needles, since this one calls for a smaller needle than what I had. Hopefully I'll be able to get lots of this done over the next two weeks, when I fly to and from China! :)

Pray for my safe flight!!
posted by Kristin @ 10:05 PM   1 comments
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Grandma's (Graduation Party) Pizzelles
This is a somewhat unusual topic for a post for me (though...let's be I really have a usual topic?), but I was really excited about this so I wanted to make a post about it in Caitlin's style. :)

My Grandma, who died two years ago, was very devoted to her grandchildren. Not a marching band concert or CYO musical or graduation would pass that she would not try to attend, and that was an awesome feat, considering that she did this for all of her 17 grandchildren and stepgrandchildren. (There was the one year that two graduations for two different schools happened on the same day...but even then, one was postponed due to rain, and she got to go to both.)

For each grandchild's graduation party, she was the first to come and the last to leave (literally), always looking for ways to help. And she'd always come with a full batch of pizzelles for everyone to enjoy. It was her signature contribution to the graduation party fare.

Well, my brother graduated high school last week, and Grandma is no longer with us. I thought about this a few days ago and lamented to my mom that we would not have her present at his graduation, or have her at his graduation party with her pizzelles. My mom mentioned to me that one of the last gifts that Grandma gave her was a pizzelle iron. So I got really excited and decided to make them. Here's her recipe, and my attempt at a worthy result. :)

My mom's pizzelle iron--I forgot we had this!

Grandma's "Famous" Pizzelles


6 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla or anise
1 cup margarine/butter, melted
4 tsp. baking powder


Beat eggs, adding sugar gradually. Beat until smooth.

Add cooled margarine and vanilla or anise.

Sift flour and baking powder. Blend into egg mixture until smooth. Dough will be sticky enough to be dropped by spoon.

Bake in Pizzelle Baker for 30-40 seconds. Makes approximately 60 pizzelles.

VARIATION: PIZZELLES WITH NUTS. Finely chop one cup of walnuts or pecans. Blend into Classic Pizzelle dough.

(Mine are vanilla and without nuts.)

Voila! I guess my family will be the judges tomorrow whether I did her recipe justice...I'm hoping for a good response! And congratulations to my brother Andy!!! :-D
posted by Kristin @ 10:18 PM   1 comments
Monday, May 30, 2011
Happy Memorial Day!
First of all, I have to say that I had a wonderful Memorial Day! I got to see some family that I haven't seen in awhile, and some family [em]and[/em] friends with whom I wish I could spend more time. But I would be remiss if I did not remember that the opportunity to spend time freely with family and friends today is due to the sacrifice of many who came before me, and of those who continue to sacrifice for the good of our nation and our freedom. May God bless and keep all those who have served our nation, past and present.

My Great-Uncle Chester was one of these people who served our nation, and he paid the ultimate price for it. I have never met him because of his death in WWII, in an Air Force airplane off the shores of France, June 21, 1944, but my grandmother still remembers her big brother fondly, and I have come to know him through her. He is buried in France, and my friend Steven got to visit his grave at Lorraine this year. Here's a picture of his gravestone, which I have thanks to Steven:

Lately, I have felt the need to continue to pray for Uncle Chester's soul, since he is a member of my family. Though I never knew him, I know that his sacrifice, as well as the sacrifices of many others, are what give us the freedoms I enjoy today.

And for something a little lighter, here's an "unofficial" translation of the Star-Spangled Banner's first verse that I translated when I was bored at work last summer. (I meannn...I always work at work. Duh.) I borrowed the last two lines from a website I saw, and I translated the rest myself. It's not a direct translation, in the interests of keeping with the song, but it's got the right general concept.

Potesne videre
Prim(a) aurorae luce
Quod superbe nocte
Salutavimus ibi
Cuius virg(ae) et stellae
Belli periculo
Ventilabant ample
Super nostr(o) inimico?
Radius ignifer
Fulgor quoque ruber
Per noct(em) ostendit
Ut vexillum staret.
Ecce, vexillum stellatum
Vibratne etiamnum,
Super patria libera domoque fortium?

May God bless all of our troops past and present this Memorial Day!!!
posted by Kristin @ 9:58 PM   1 comments
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Beautiful, sunny days...
Make me very, very happy...

...but they also remind me of summer, and make me terribly unmotivated.

Gotta keep pushing for 3 more weeks!!!

But praise the Lord for this glorious day!!! :-D

Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where'er I turn my eye,
if I survey the ground I tread or gaze upon the sky!
posted by Kristin @ 10:58 PM   2 comments
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Carmen III
Here's my third poem! I started out in elegiac couplet, but elegiac couplet is HARD, especially when you've got a few specific words you just want to fit in there, doggone it. So I switched back to good old dactylic hexameter.

Carmen III: "Dixit me puer esse renidentem sibi bellam"

Dixit me puer esse renidentem sibi bellam.
Laetificat me magnopere ut putet ille puer nunc,
Ex enim primum tempore ego hunc cognoscebam ubi, inquam,
Esse virum iustum et bellum rectumque putabam,
Esse venustum illum, inquam. Nunc et opinor ego false
Me a viro amari esse illo. Et nunc arbitro ego vere
Invicem ego et vir sive beavissemus alacros
Si tempus passum esset nos esse simul tunc.
Mox discedet amatam urbem nostrum vir et umquam
Non fortasse redibit ad urbem, eheu, puer ille, hunc!
O, mea inepta puella! O cur nunc pateris tu
hanc tuum imaginem ineptam, cara, invadere pectus?
Nam nunc quaeres illum, frustra, care sed ineque
Ille enim quaeret te nequaquam, non memorantem.

"The boy said that I am beautiful to him when I smile. It makes me happy that the boy thinks this now, for from the time when I first met him, I say, I thought that he was a just, handsome, virtuous man; that he was charming. And now I imagine falsely that I am loved by that man. And now I wonder whether he and I would have made each other happy if time then would have allowed us to be together. Soon, the boy will leave my beloved city, and alas, perhaps he will never return to it. O my foolish girl! O why would you let this silly thought enter into your heart? Now you will miss him dearly but unequally, in vain, for he will not miss you at all, not remembering you."
posted by Kristin @ 1:23 AM   2 comments
Friday, April 1, 2011
Working hard or hardly working?
I finally was inspired to write a poem in English last night! My muse came forth when I was doing yet another round of homework, and I was inspired by my toil.

(Oh, and this is what happens when I study with Caitlyn late at night. :-P)

"It's the Most Studious Time of the Year"
(To the tune of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year")

It's the most studious time of the year
With the term papers beckoning,
Midterms are reckoning,
Finals are near!
It's the most studious time of the year.

It's the most sleepless season of all
With our coffee a-brewing
And schoolwork ensuing
And books all a-sprawl!
It's the most sleepless season of all.

Diligent, we are reading
Astute, we're proceeding
To study through all that we know

Though we're red-eyed and bleary
And tired and weary
We're hoping that good grades will show!

It's the most stressful time of the year
But a few more assignments,
Some essay refinements,
and summer is here!

It's the most stressful time,
It's the most sleepless time,
It's the most studious time of the year!

Hope y'all enjoyed that, and I'm sure y'all can relate! Happy studying!
posted by Kristin @ 9:45 AM   2 comments
About Me

Name: Kristin
Home: Pittsburgh, PA, United States
About Me: Seeking my true Fatherland as I travel this spiritual journey with Our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope, with the help of God, to follow in the example of the saints and strive for holiness.
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