Sunday, February 19, 2017

Prayer Buddies and Lent Ideas

Yikes!  Where did this month go?  I just looked at the calendar and realized Lent starts in less than 10 days.  Ten days, people!!
I haven't given much thought, yet, to what I want to do.  The food thing seems to be out since I'm already doing most of what I would have done for general health reasons - no sugar, no alcohol, limited gluten.  I'm open to suggestions.
- Maybe give up some TV?  Notice I said some TV.  All would be just talkin' crazy.
- Read something other than fiction?  I've had Everything is Grace, Mother Angelica Her Grand Silence, City of Saints, and Into Your Hands, among others, sitting on my bookshelf, unread, for quite a while now.
Two things I am definitely doing for this Lent are:
- Bishop Barron's Lenten Daily Reflections.  You can sign up here.
- Prayer Buddies.  Details are below.
During Lent, you can say prayers, novenas, and rosaries, light candles, and offer up suffering for your secret Prayer Buddy and whatever intentions he or she specifies.  On Easter, or shortly thereafter, you will let your assigned person who you are and how you remembered them.

Those interested in participating, please email me at:
I will need from you is:
Your first name or first initial
Your blog address (or email address if you are not a blogger)
Your intentions
Your full name
Your address
(Address can be provided if your Prayer Buddy plans to send you a small remembrance at Easter)
DEADLINE FOR SIGN-UPS IS: Monday, February 27th.


Monday, February 6, 2017


When my mom died a little over eight years ago, I inherited all her sewing and craft supplies.  It took my dad a number of trips in his minivan to bring everything over.  There were three sewing machines - an embroidery, a serger, and a "regular" one, a sewing desk, a cutting table, and loads of material, notions, crafts and supplies. 
When I first got it all, I went through the material and got it sorted out and stored in tubs.  It was interesting to see when the fabric was purchased by the evolution of Joann Fabrics bags.  But, most of the stuff remained as it arrived, packed in a variety of boxes and bags.
When Himself's aunt started adding to my stash, I decided that it was time to get things better organized.  As I started opening some of the bags and boxes, I found projects mom had started but never finished.  There were several counted cross stitch pictures, a crewel embroidery one, a bedspread for what had been her newly redecorated bedroom, and a couple of clothing items. 
As I handled the items, it took my breath away.  Mom started these new projects thinking she would have more time.  She was optimistic.  The cancer wouldn't win.  But it did.
I got to thinking about what my unfinished objects, UFOs, are.  I have a cross stitch sampler from our wedding eighteen years ago that is half finished.  There are a few more cross stitch pictures in process, a couple of dress patterns with material waiting to be sewn, a quilted wall-hanging in pieces, a quilt started for our guest room, and yarn purchased for a crochet scarf.
But, those are things.  What about the phone calls left unmade?  Or the dinner plans postponed?  And the emails and letters left unwritten?  Maybe Mom had craft projects uncompleted because she spent her time with and for people, talking and listening to them. 
I think I'm going to work on a few of my UFOs this week.  Care to join me?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Time, Words, and Getting SMART

The last two weeks of December at work were really slow and quiet.  Maybe a quarter of my coworkers were in the office.  The rest were out celebrating the holidays and leaving whatever  needed to be done, which wasn't much, to the rest of us.  Let's put it this way - it was so quiet that the Hairy Beast came to work with me, twice.  The second time he even had a friend to play with!
Now it's the end of January!  How did that happen???
Once everyone was back in the office after the holidays, things got crazy busy.  I have a lot of projects going on, my manager was out of the office unexpectedly due to the death of his mother, and I moved offices. 
We've been fairly busy at home as well.  Christmas decorations were taken down and put away.  We move out all the living room furniture and shampooed the carpet.  Last Saturday we took advantage of the unseasonably warm sixty degree weather and drove down to Amish county to stock up on a few necessities.  It's been a blur of a month. 

Earlier in the month, many people were coming up with what their "word" for the year was going to be.  I wanted to come up with one that was positive and glorious and profound.  Hope and Change sounded good, but I think they've been a bit overused, no?  If I really thought about what I wanted for this year, one word stuck out - Reduce
I didn't make New Year's resolutions.  Those always seems to go by the wayside rather quickly.  Instead, I wrote down my goals for the year.  I tried to be "SMART" about them - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound.
When I looked at my goals for the year - lose weight, eliminate sugar from my diet, clean out the basement and garage and sell or give away what we don't need/use, spend less, shrink debt, exercise more, watch less TV, read more - many seemed to have one thing in common: the need to Reduce something. 
It's not a glamorous, sexy word.  It's not profound like I had hoped.  But, it is accurate and something that has been weighing on my mind.  And, it has the potential of having an impact on my life.  At least I'm hoping it will.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Links I Like (#2)

There has been lots of good food for thought this week.  Alicia Colon at Jewish World Review is fast becoming one of my favorite writers.  Her insight, coupled with experience, makes for an interesting read.  This week, she shows up here twice on my links.  Enjoy!
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The totally insane reactions to Donald trump's election by the progressive left is proof that their brains have been wired to behave against traditional Judeo-Christian values. If it sometimes seems as if the whole world has been turned upside down and common sense has been thrown out the window, well, it has and we can trace this disastrous progressive movement to the 1940's and Nazi Germany.
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At last Saturday's Women's March in DC any sign of humor was out shadowed by the stridency, anger and hatred spewed by speakers like Madonna and Ashley Judd who ironically stooped to the coarseness and crudeness they despise in our new president. I really can't imagine Susan B. Anthony and the other suffragettes uttering four letter words and reading obscene poems alleging incest at their rallies for equal rights.

Read more here.
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Still, “pro-lifer” is a useful abbreviation. You try saying, “Eighteen anti-abortionists ate enchiladas in the open air,” five times fast. And “pro-lifer” has now been hallowed by decades of use. In case the consistent crowd didn’t know, that’s actually how words become standard usage – not by extensive attempts at twisted logic. So I am perfectly willing also to be branded as a “pro-lifer” – with the standard meaning.

Just don’t extend that meaning. If everything is a pro-life issue, then nothing is.
It's all here.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Links I Like (#1)

The internet can be both a blessing and a curse.  I find I can whittle away hours on Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest and whatever.  But, the web is also a great resource for sharing ideas and finding truth.

Have you ever read something and think "Yes! I get that." or "Hmm.  I hadn't thought about it that way."?  There have been a lot of good, no, great articles lately that have been like that for me.  I read them and find that they are worth sharing.  I'd like to do that more often. 

Since politics seem to be on most people's minds these days, here are a few with which to start.
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His obsession was so out of touch that the Supreme Court, divided as it is, issued a unanimous ruling telling Obama he must find another way.  When Ruth Bader Ginsburg joins hands with Clarence Thomas to rebuke your fixation with forcing nuns to violate their conscience, you have reached the pinnacle of ideological extremism.

  - - - - - - - -
"When the Department of Justice used Operation Choke Point to target legal businesses because they disagreed politically with those businesses, the Democrats on this committee were silent," Cruz said.  "When the Obama Justice Department sent millions of dollars of taxpayer monies to sanctuary cities that were defying federal immigration law, the Democrats on this committee were silent."
   - - - - - - - -
While the environments may be completely different, the larger principle is exactly the same: Why should one type of person be supported for refusing to participate in something antithetical to her values while another is not and even organized and legislated against?
Read the rest here: Remember the Christian bakers

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And just in case you think I can only post serious articles, please consider voting for this cutie


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Someone To Watch Over Me

A number of years ago, Jen Fulwiler created the Saint's Name Generator website.   Say a prayer, click on a button, and a saint is randomly selected for you.  Is it really random or is it who our good Lord thinks we need in the coming year?
Some people like to do this at the beginning of the liturgical year at the start of Advent.  Others prefer to find their new saint for the new calendar year.  Me?  Usually it's when I remember, and there's no rhyme or reason as to when that is. 
Other than Our Lady of Guadalupe, I have known nothing about the other saints that I have been given - St. Cajetan, Blessed Titus Brandsma, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
For the coming year, I received a saint that I have heard of but know little about - St. Mark the Evangelist.  He was one of Christ's original twelve disciples and author of one of the books in the Gospel.  He is also patron saint of lions, lawyers, notaries, opticians, pharmacists, painters, secretaries, interpreters, prisoners, and people dealing with insect bites.  I am curious as to how St. Mark fits in to my 2017.
 Did you get your saint yet? 
St. Mark, pray for us!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thanks, Mom!

One of the many things that my mom taught me was how to sew.  She was an incredible seamstress.  She sewed her own wedding dress as well as those of her bridesmaids.  Growing up, we always had beautiful, handmade clothes, including our First Communion dresses.  I don't have half the talent nor the precision and patience she had.  But, I'm working on it.

Since Sis doesn't sew at all, I inherited all of mom's machines and material stash when she passed.  One is a very finicky embroidery machine.  For me, it's hit or miss getting it to work properly.  Usually it take me multiple attempts to get it right.  Either the thread breaks or the bobbin runs empty or the material rips, or, or or.  You get the idea. 

I mentioned in a post that I was making a quilt for Aunt Paulette.  We had made plans to visit a couple of Fridays ago and surprise her with it.  The night before I had one thing left to finish on it - the label.

When I took a quilting class many years ago, the teacher told us that we should put a label on every quilt we made.  It is like an artist signing her work.

So, Thursday night, out came the embroidery machine.  I had a quick "chat" with mom, asking her to help me make this label go smoothly.

One time.

That's all it took.  Just one time and it looked good.

I "talk" to my mom a lot.  This is probably the first time I got such a quick answer.

Thanks, mom!


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Where There's Smoke . . .

. . . there's tasty beef!

We host Christmas every year.  The number of people changes year to year, but usually there is a dozen of us.  I like to cook and have gotten pretty adept at making a nice meal.  I used to make a turkey for dinner, but the last few years we've had beef tenderloin.  It's easy and fancy all at the same time.

The day before, I get all the food prepped so that all I need to do is put things into the oven an hour or so before we're going to eat on Christmas.  The corn pudding and Catholic potatoes go into the warming drawer.  The beef and the veggies roast in the oven.  Simple.  

Until the smoke started.  

I opened the oven door to see what was the matter.  Apparently the butter I put on the tenderloin to hold the seasoning on doesn't do well at the high temperature at which the meat is roasted.

I started the vent.  And opened windows.  Himself opened doors.  

The smoke alarm chirped.  There was a foggy haze in the living room and it was even worse upstairs.

Finally, the meat thermometer showed that the tenderloin was ready.  I should have taken a photo, it was picture perfect.  And, it tasted even better than it looked.

I think next year, I'll skip the butter!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Worst Christmas Present, Ever??

I listen to talk radio on the way to work each morning.  I like getting the news, weather, and traffic reports.  Some of the commercials, however, leave a bit to be desired.

There have been a few that are played over and over and over again.  It got to the point that when the baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit commercial came on, again, I would change the station.

This latest commercial, though, has me wondering.

Give your loved one the gift of health.  Squatty Potty will help them have better elimination.

I don't know about you, but if I found that under the tree, I would think you hated me.

Worst present ever.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Winner, Winner! Candlelit Dinner

Thanks for all the comments on my last post.  The winner is Susan Kolosionek

I'll be in touch shortly.