Thursday, June 30, 2011

They've hatched!

We've got babies!  Sometime earlier today Barney and Bluebell's eggs hatched.  Here they are.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Almost Heaven . . . West Virginia!

DH and I needed a little change of scenery this past weekend, so we dropped Jack off at the dog sitter and headed to one of our favorite “go to” places – Wheeling, WV.  It’s amazing what 36 hours or so away from home can do to refresh you mind and body, heart and soul. 

We hit the casino and greyhound races – to “play the puppies” as I call it.  Did you know that can win and you still come away with less money than you started with?  The odds on the one dog were so bad that a $5 bet yielded only a $3.20 return!

We played miniature golf at Oglebay and went to Wheeling’s rib-burn off where we ate great ribs and mac 'n cheese and listened to a terrific country band.  Of course we had to go to Oglebay’s Good Zoo so I could see the baby zebra and feed the Lorekeets.  They are basically parrots, native to Australia.  For a dollar you can buy a small cup of nectar and the birds just flock to you.  I find it hoot.  Or in this case, a squawk.

Monday, June 27, 2011

This, That and the Others

I seem to be an all or nothing sort of person.  I either have a lot to say, or not much of anything.  DH would tell you that the latter happens fairly infrequently.  He probably would be right, but we won’t tell him that!

Here are a couple things I’ve been mulling over.  There are still a few others, but I want to put them in their own posts.

* For Corpus Christi yesterday we processed after Mass with the Eucharist through the neighborhood by our church.  The Knights of Columbus were there as escorts and the ushers carried a beautiful red and gold canopy over Father and the monstrance.  I had never participated in a procession like that before.  DH said as a child they used to do that often, though even more elaborately.  I’m grateful our pastor feels demonstrations of our faith like this are important.  It can never be too old-fashioned to bring Christ out into the world.

* At work I sit next to a gentleman that is an observant Jew.  Although we differ on the basic tenant of our faith, Jesus Christ is our Savior, there’s so much we do seem to agree upon.  Lately we have been talking a lot about life and death.  He just lost his mother-in-law a little over a week ago and is trying to help his wife and three kids through it all.  They could all really use your prayers.

* So far, so good.  Mama Bluebell is still guarding her eggs and critters haven’t discovered them.  The eggs should be hatching any day now.  I can’t wait to see them.

* I’ve had weird dreams, but I think last night’s takes the prize.  I dreamt that I gave birth to a fetal pig but the doctors wanted to put it back in me so it could grow some more.  Where in the world did that come from???

* Well, it’s officially summer – I got my annual case of poison ivy.  At first I thought it was a bug bite and I scratched it.  So, a little poison ivy goes a long way!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame!

This is my time of year.  Trees are green.  It's warm.  Flowers are growing.   The days are long.  And the boys of summer are back in town!

There's something about baseball I just love.  It has a continuity and life of its own.  Unlike football or basketball, soccer or hocky, it's not dependant on the clock.  Fast or slow, they'll play nine innnings.  Except for the exceptions.  Rain's not going to stop?  End of game.  It's tied after nine?  They'll play more.  Even those nine inning games are unpredictable.  They can be two hours or they can be four. 

And how do you score?  By making it home.  How comforting is that?

It has a history.  There are statistics about everything.

     Who had the most home runs in a single game? 
     Actually, 12 players have hit four homeruns in one game.

     What was the fewest pitches thrown by a single pitcher in a game?  
     Red Barrett Fifty-Eight Pitch Complete Game | August 10, 1944 at Crosley Field

     What was the longest game?  shortest?
     timewise: Chicago 7 vs. Milwaukee 6  8h 06m  25 innings, 5/8/84
                       New York 6 vs. Philadelphia 1  51m, 9/28/1919
     innings: Brooklyn 1 at Boston, 26 innings, 5/1/1920

     Who is the winningest pitcher?
     Walter Johnson with 417 wins

Teams and players are always trying to get better, set a new record.  They want the most RBIs, the lowest ERA, the longest consecutive hitting streak, the perfect game.

A good game isn't always defined by the score.  The Indians had a game earlier this year in which they won 1 to nothing.  The one run?  On a stolen base.     It was a real pitcters' duel.  They lost one recently in similar fashion, 1-0, both starters pitched complete games.

And then there's the blow-outs.  Those are great fun.   How about the come from behind wins?  Hey, they may be losing four to nothing, but don't count them down and out!  That five to four victory is sweet.

And when they're not doing so well?  There's always next year!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Shell Babies

I mentioned in my last post that we finally have bluebirds nesting in the box.  Making their debut, although they're still a bit shy, are Bluebell and Barney's little ones:

Mama's doing a good job keeping those eggs warm. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quick Takes (9)

- 1-
Wow!  I feel good today - happy, content, grateful.  I'm not sure why.  There's a number of reasons to be grumpy.  I slept lousy last night.  I've had PMS for a week.  I had a long drive this morning.  Maybe I'm feeling this way becuase it's Friday.  Or because I had a great walk with Jack this morning.  I don't know why, all I know is Life is Good.

- 2 -
If you're looking for something to do in August and can either travel or live near St. Louis, think about attending the Chesterton conference.  We went last year for the first time and it was awesome.  Be prepared to be entertained, to be educated, to meet the nicest and most interesting people, and just plain have a good time.  Information is at their site

- 3 -
This is probably old news, but have you read about the dad who gave his son the ultimate send off each morning?  What started out as an embarassment to the son seemed to have turned into something that really united the family.  Funny how that works!

- 4 -
We're expecting!  Baby Bluebirds that is.  We've had bluebird boxes in the yard for years.  The birds have nested a couple of times but critters have gotten the eggs before they hatched.  After that the birds seemed to have ignored the box until this year.  Mom and dad, Bluebell and Barney, seem to be really attentive to the eggs in the box.  Here's hoping we have successful hatching.

- 5 -
If you want to see some really awesome nature pictures, check this link out.  Getting these pictures is such a combination of good timing and dogged persistance.  Usually I have neither. 

- 6 -
DH and I had "date night" last night.  We went out for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  It was good to sit and chat and let someone else take care of us.  Sometimes I think we don't do that enough - let someone take care of us
- 7 -

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”
 – GK Chesterton The Everlasting Man, 1925 

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Yesterday I had a really bad attitude toward work.  I was informed that for the foreseeable future I would be working at a different office further away from my home.  Although the mileage is only about 50% more the time it takes more than doubles.  I was really not happy.

When I got home I b!$&*ed and moaned about it to DH.  He listened patiently and then reminded me that, yes, I had made my feeling known about it; no, I couldn't change that fact that I had to go there; but, it was time to change my attitude about it. 

Yep, it's time to be a big girl and suck it up!  I'm employed.  I'm working at this office because I was specifically asked for because of my skills.  It's a change of scenery.  AND, it's not forever.

I remembered one of my favorite quotes by Charles Swindoll:
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.

The donuts I brought in help sweeten the deal too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sensory Overload

Do you ever feel like you have sensory overload?  I was driving to work this morning I had this crushing feeling of too much.  I usually listen to talk radio on the way up to catch the news and traffic reports but I had to turn it off.  With all the traffic it just felt like too much was coming at me and I couldn’t take it all in.  And the feeling continued at work as well.  I sit in an office with seven other people and the chattering, the printer grinding away, the clicking of keyboards, the humming of the air conditioning fans, the beeping of a cell phone being dialed, people walking in the hallway, and doors opening and closing just seemed to be all too much.

I am craving the thought of being home,  listening to nothing other than the birds chattering away and the water flowing in the stream - listening to God’s creations not man’s. 


Oh well, one hour down, seven to go.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Blogger Meet Up - I'm so Thankful. . .

. . .to have gotten to meet and have a great dinner with Thankful from Always Giving Thanks and her beautiful daughter Addie!  We've only got a little more time that she will be an Ohio blogger before moving out west so we just had to get together.  It was such fun and like meeting an old friend for the first time.  I really wish we would have done this sooner.  It's such a treat to be able to talk with someone about everything and anything.

Addie is just so sweet natured I instantly fell in love with her.  It was wonderful to get to snuggle up with her while her mama and I chatted away.  You can see where Addie gets her good looks from!

Thankful & Addie

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cranky is as cranky does

Boy was I cranky when I got home.  I think it was the Monday let down.  We had such a great weekend.  It wasn't anything spectacular and yet it was. 

Saturday we drove up to my aunt's house to get logs from the great big maple she had cut down.  It had been hit by lightening a couple of years ago and was dying from the inside out.  We'll have some great fires from it next fall and winter.  Afterwards we took her out to brunch.  It was nice just for the three of us to visit, usually it's with a whole load of family.  This time we truely got to hear what was on her mind.

Later that evening, when the sun wasn't so strong, we worked out in the yard.  It's been fun to see the gardens take shape.  I really enjoyed listening to the Indians game while I pulled weeds with the sweat rolling down my back.  It was rather satisfying.  Unfortunately, the outcome of the baseball game wasn't the same.

Sunday a friend joined us for dinner, steaks on the grill.  Afterwards we sat on the patio and watch the bluebirds, now known as Bluebell and Barney, duke it out with the house wren for control of the bird house.  I'm glad to say the bluebirds won.  And, yes, we tend to name a lot of the critters that wander into out yard.

And then we get to today.  New construction on the highway brought traffic to a creepy crawl on the way to work.  And once I got there, it was a slooooow and boring day.  So, I was cranky when I got home. 

DH to the rescue.  He sat me down on the patio and we watched the bluebirds work on their nest.

I was reminded of the spectacular. . .

. . and I am happy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

For such a small word, No packs a big punch.

     Mom, can I have ice cream and cookies before dinner?   No

     Can I drink and drive responsibly?  No

     Dad, can I use the car tonight?  No

     Can I sleep around without ramifications?  No

     Will you go out on a date with me?  No

     Can I lose fifty pounds overnight?  No

     Is it going to snow is July?  No

     Mom, can I play ball in the street?  No

     Can I win the lottery without buying a ticket?  No

     God, can I be a mom?  No

Sometimes No is a physical impossiblity.  As much as I'd like to wake up fifty pounds lighter, it just isn't going to happen.  Nor am I going to grow wings and learn how to fly.

Sometimes it's a personal preference.  I really don't want to go out drinking and dancing at the local bar.  I don't want to chair that committee.  And, no, I don't think you look good in green and purple horizontal stripes.

Sometimes that No keeps us from bad consequences.  I won't drunkenly crash the car.  I won't get an STD.  I'll eat a healthier meal if I skip the cookies before dinner.

But what if the reason for the No isn't so apparent?  I think as Catholic women we feel the sting of God's No to children particularly strongly.  It's painful.  Being a mother is what we were created for.  Or is it?  What if God put me here for some other reason.  It doesn't always seem clear to me what it is.  I have to trust, believe, and have faith.  Is that easy?  Emphatically No!

Can I still be happy?  Most certainly!  How?  By looking for truth, beauty and goodness in the world God has given me.  Is it easy?  Well . . . maybe.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quick Takes (8)

- 1-
I wasn't going to do Quick Takes this week, didn't think I had anything to say.  But a long walk with my dog on a beautiful morning got the juices flowing.  I'm just a day late and a dollar short!

- 2 -
We've been asked to write a recommendation letter for friends of ours that are starting the adoption process.  I have no doubt that they are going to be terrific parents.  They are a strong couple who put God at the center of their life.  But in fear of saying the wrong thing, I haven't written anything.  Just do it Donna!

- 3 -
It's been a busy week here.  I finally finished landscaping around the tree I put in last week.  I also put in our vegetable garden.  I planted tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, carrots, beets, lettuce and peas.  I just love tomatoes fresh from the garden - yum!  We make our own salsa and BLTs are a must.  Potatoes are fun to grow as you never know just what you're going to get until it's time to dig them out.  I don't think I've ever cooked the peas that we've grown.  We just pop open the pods and eat them as we pick them.

my new tree - Persian Ironwood

- 4 -
We've had some interesting critters in the yard this week.  DH happened to look out the window at just the right time.  He saw a snapping turtle racing across the lawn.  It actually was moving pretty quickly, so we named him Flash.  I went out about a half hour later and he was gone.


- 5 -
DH was walking along our stream and came across this next visitor.  Had I seen it, I probably would have screamed like a little girl!  Check out those beady eyes!

- 6 -
We've got Baltimore Orioles building a nest in one of the trees in the backyard.  It's not a bird that's seen often in NE Ohio so we've been enjoying the opportunity to watch them.  They build their nests in the most precarious of locations, at the very end of a very high branch.  But the nests are so solidly built even the biggest wind doesn't seem to knock them down.

- 7 -
“Man is always something worse or something better than an animal; and a mere argument from animal perfection never touches him at all. Thus, in sex no animal is either chivalrous or obscene. And thus no animal invented anything so bad as drunkeness – or so good as drink.”
– Wine When it is Red, All Things Considered 

Don't forget to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

Have a great weekend!