Happy Feast Day, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha! She's the patron of ecology but doesn't that belong to St. Francis? He's a patron of many things, though, so I guess he doesn't mind. He's still the animal dude.
Speaking of animals, today marks my first full year of a dog-less household since Shannon went into the care of Blessed Kateri and St. Francis on this day last year. I've had at least one dog in the house since I was about 12 or 13 so it took a long time to get used to not having one around. I decided last year not to get another do since I have two cats now, and it's the right decision. Dogs are great, but I can't make the commitment to one at the moment, and I think the cats are enjoying their reign right now. I have to admit that, although I'm tempted by the occasional cute pup, I don't miss the work involved with having a dog and am not anxious to take it on again.
I sprinkled some of Shannon's ashes in my new flowerbed in front of my Mary statute in remembrance of her. It's blossoming with pink zinnias and has some morning glory and moon flower vines happily climbing. I'm still waiting on the daisies do something more than grow at a snail's pace.
In other news, my application has been accepted for the BTMI secular institute and formally began the process as an aspirant today. I met with institute's custodian at the Mother Boniface Center and have much reading and prayer exercises to do over the next six months. That's how long the aspirant phase takes. After that, I will begin the two year candidacy and then take temporary vows.