Monday, November 30, 2015

Photo Blogging Challenge (November 2015): Morning

"Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance"

Chesterton had it right.  The dawn of a new day is a glory and a miracle that repeats itself over and over.  Sometimes getting out of bed to meet that new day can be challenging, especially now that the mornings are so dark and cold. 

But, once we do, the reward is great: glorious sunrises, good coffee, the attention of a hairy beast, and morning prayer with my love.

I am blessed.

To see more, visit A 'lil Hoohaa

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Last Call: Advent Prayer Buddies

With Advent fast approaching, there is still time to sign up for Prayer Buddies.  See this post for details.  You don't have to be a blogger to join in.

I will be sending out emails either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning with your assigned buddy.
Join us this Advent in praying for a specific blogger/reader's intentions!


Sunday, November 22, 2015

TToT (12) - I "Auto" Know By Now

- one-
It seems nothing is ever as simple as it should be with cars anymore.  I brought the car in for an oil change at one of those "quick" places, which it was.  But, when they went to pull the dipstick out to check the level, it broke.  Thankfully they took care of getting a replacement and installing it. 

- two-
We made an appointment to get the snow tires put on that same car.  I arranged to work from home on Friday so we could drop off the car.  When we arrived we found out that they hadn't put the work on the schedule and were booked for the day.  The shop managed to get the work done in spite of their busy schedule and even gave the car a good once over for other things as well.  That garage is a keeper!

- three-
We didn't get any snow! 
- four-
Himself detailed the inside of the car, ridding it of copious amounts of dog hair and dirt and gravel from our hikes in the park.  I feel like I'm riding around in a chariot now!

- five -
I am ever so grateful that the price of gas has dropped.  It's now under two dollars a gallon here. 
- six -
Since my tip to the UK was cancelled last weekend I had time to get some yard work done that I hadn't yet gotten to do.  I had been wondering when I was going to get it done.  All the perennials in the back garden have been cut back and the leaves raked up and put into the compost.
- seven -
I had time yesterday to plow through my messy, messy office and rid it of much clutter, old craft and sewing projects, and paperwork.  Somehow it always seems to sneak up on me.  It's not perfect, but I feel so much better in there now.  I don't know about you, but I find neat and clean to be very calming.

- eight -
Did you know you can get playing cards made with whatever picture you want on them?  Sis had a deck made up with my most beautiful niece's photo for my birthday.  It was such a perfect present since Himself and I often play rummy in the evening and Sis and BIL join us for euchre games now and then.

- nine -
It's only a three day work week this week.  Whoo hoo!!

- ten -
It's once again time for Advent Prayer Buddies and there is still time to sign up.  It is a great opportunity to spend time these four week before Christmas remembering the intentions of someone else. 
Check out more goodness at  A Fly on Our (Chicken Coop) Wall.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Advent Prayer Buddies Anyone?

Yikes!  We're more than halfway through November and quickly approaching Thanksgiving and Advent. I've been pleasantly surprised, so far, that I haven't seen all that many Christmas commercials.  I'm sure that is all about to change soon.

But, before I start planning for Christmas, I want to start planning for Advent.  I have found putting time, thought and a bit of effort during these four weeks makes for a much more joyous and meaningful Christmas season. 

Last year a bunch of us returned to an old Catholic (IF) blogger tradition, Prayer Buddies.  During Advent, 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 Christmas, 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 gift at Christmas)
DEADLINE FOR SIGN-UPS IS: Thursday, November 26th


Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Most Unsettled Feeling

All my bags are packed
I'm ready to go
Well, no I’m not.  I was supposed to, though.
I’ve had a work trip planned for the last six weeks or so.  I rushed to get my passport renewed.  I worked hard to complete a couple of projects needed for the meetings and trainings that were to occur.  I did laundry, bought new shoes (because what trip cannot occur without those?) and made GORP.  I downloaded videos to watch on the flight.  I packed my suitcase. 
What was supposed to be a quiet evening at home Friday night, before taking the red-eye the next day to the UK, instead became a night glued to television and internet news reports and sending emails to my manager who was already there.  What have you heard?  Is it safe?
As the horror unfolded in Paris, Himself thought it best I didn’t go.  I still wanted to try to make it, mostly for selfish reasons.  I was to have a free afternoon on Sunday and had located the Catholic church closest to the hotel.  The Mass I was going to attend was in Polish, in England.  How universal!  Afterwards I was going to go wander an old cathedral and grounds and then peruse a used bookstore for Chesterton, Belloc, Lewis, and Fletcher. 
Saturday morning came and the breadth of the carnage in Paris was more apparent.  Along with that came threats elsewhere.  The travel advisories were being raised quickly to the highest levels in the UK.  Emails from the company’s CEO and President were coming quickly.   And it was decided that if you weren’t in the air, you weren’t going to be.
That quickly changed my plans and my coworkers' plans for the week.
I wandered the house trying to figure out what to do.  For the last few weeks, I knew what I was going to be doing yesterday and today and the rest of this week.  And now?  I felt very unsettled.
All will be back to normal in a week when I was supposed to be back home.  For me.
But what about all those people who were there?  The ones that won’t come home, ever.  Or the ones injured and maimed.  And those that, though not physically harmed, witnessed it, escaped it, lived it.  They woke today with their lives changed.  The husband or wife who was supposed to be next to them, isn’t.  A daughter or son, sister or brother, gone or hurt.  Their plans for tomorrow, next week, next month or the years that follow are suddenly changed.
I can handle being “unsettled” for a day or a  week.  I thank the Good Lord that, for right now, that’s all it is.
Agnus Dei,
quitollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei,
quitollis peccata mundi: miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei,
quitollis peccata mundi: dona nobis pacem.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wonder Doubled: Don’t Feed the Monkeys

We have a new post up at the USCCB website For Your Marriage.

I lived with my grandparents for a few years before I started grade school.  They were of Eastern European descent and were an endless source of ethnic food, culture, and insights which I retain to this day.  When I wasn’t immersed in Slavic culture, I was exposed to the influence of 1960s America via the television set resting on doilies in my grandmother’s living room.  I was particularly enamored with the colorfully cartoonish Batman show of that era.  I would pester my grandmother to let me know when my show came on.  This was especially important because I had once turned the television on by myself one afternoon, only to be confronted by the fanged visage of Barnabas Collins, a character on the Dark Shadows gothic soap-opera.  I relied on Grandma after that.

You can read the whole article here.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

TToT (11) - All of November Should Be This Good

- one -
We are only a week into November and already it as been a great month.  After trick-or-treating with my niece, we spent the night at Sis and BIL's house and went to Mass and out to breakfast with them on the first.  What a perfect way to being the month!
- two -
I unexpectedly had a the day off on Wednesday.  Since the weather was perfect, we decided to go to the zoo.  I haven't been to the zoo in years and we had never been to this one.  Oh my goodness, what fun!
- three -
Three cheers for being silly!  Himself took a ride on the caterpillar in the zoo gardens.
- four -
Not to be outdone, I posed as a penguin!
- five -
And the alpaca posed for many pictures.
- six -
The zoo not only has a lot of animals, it has a lot of animal statues.  Some of them amused us more than others.
- seven -
The Bradford Pear tree in the backyard still has a few leaves left on it.  It never ceases to amaze me each year to see one tree with so many different colored leaves on it. 
- eight -
The awesome weather this week extended into the evenings.  My walks with the hairy beast were just lovely.
- nine -
Friday I was treated to lunch by my friend, T.  We could have talked all afternoon.  Unfortunately, I had to head back to work.
- ten -
When T. picked me up at work for lunch, she handed me a lovely pink box from the local cupcake store.  Isn't it great when a friend knows you so well that she knows exactly what flavor will make your eyes light up in anticipation?  The raspberry chocolate cupcake was delish!
Check out more goodness at  A Fly on Our (Chicken Coop) Wall.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

First Photo: November 2015 - Gold Leaves

This month starts in beauty and I have no words to add to it as I head out the door to enjoy what sunshine we now enjoy.  I'll let the master of words speak to the season.
 Gold Leaves
G. K. Chesterton

Lo! I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold;
Grey hairs and golden leaves cry out
The year and I are old.

In youth I sought the prince of men,
Captain in cosmic wars,
Our Titan, even the weeds would show
Defiant, to the stars.

But now a great thing in the street
Seems any human nod,
Where shift in strange democracy
The million masks of God.

In youth I sought the golden flower
Hidden in wood or wold,
But I am come to autumn,
When all the leaves are gold.
Taken just one week earlier, on Oct 25th