Thursday, November 20, 2008

Offerings to Our Lady

A new art exhibit at the Marian Library Gallery features watercolors from an artist whose work is often seen on Christmas cards.

read more | digg story

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Do you have a Susie in your life?

Do you have a Susie in your life? Please click on the picture below to read a very sweet story!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Alphabet for life

These are not "my" words... I found them on a plaque, and wanted to share! To get a better look, click on the picture and you'll be able to see a larger view. Looking at these words gave me quite a bit to think about... good things... profound things.

Life continues it's hectic pace. It's hard to believe that it's November 11th. Eleven Eleven.... Veteran's Day... My late Grandfather Fisher's birthday. The color in the leaves seems to have peaked. I've got some pictures which I'll post soon. The days are shorter.. and we finally had to succumb and turn on the furnace.

Plans for Thanksgiving are finally taking shape. We've already been stocking the pantry.... I love Thanksgiving probably best of all. In these troubled times, there is still So So So much to be Thankful for!!!!

God's Blessings to you all....

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, October 20, 2008.

Outside My Window... Quiet… there is no breeze on this chilly day

I am thinking... that facilities turns on the heat, so that we can warm up!

I am thankful for... my space heater

From the kitchen... Strawberry Kool-Aid, which I somehow got all over my fingers when I was making it! That stuff STAINS!!!

I am wearing... autumn colors!

I am creating... this blog

I am going... to the pet store after work… we’re out of dog food

I am reading... “The Shack”

I am hoping... for a smooth and easy week

I am hearing... Chitter-Chatter down the hall

Around the house... Ben, our male Newf has a hotspot… and must go to the Vet.

One of my favorite things... Reading a good book during breakfast, which I didn’t get to do today because we were running late!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: To the Vet with Ben, and to the Knee Doctor with Mom.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...(add your picture here) This is my Mom, who had surgery last week. It was rough going, but she is doing ok.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I used to be a "Mall Aficionado"... but in recent years, my need to shop shop shop has faded into a glimmer of what it used to be. I may get to "the mall" once or twice a year. I do shop at other areas, but going to "the mall" at any time, let alone a weekend is not something I want to do. However, I had to take the plunge today... my sister's birthday is this week and the gift she asked for is only to be found at "the mall".

And so I went. I parked in my regular area... near the lower level of Elder Beerman's near Macy's. I wandered in, and around the mall, avoiding aggressive cell phone salesmen. I found the gift I was there to buy, and I got myself a pretzel and soda. It was time to escape, and I headed back to Beerman's. Again, I avoided cell phone salesmen, sneered at the Pet Store selling puppies, and wandered into Beermans.

I found the exit to the parking lot and went out. It didn't look right, so I went back in and headed to the other exit. Again, it didn't look right. There was JC Penney's next to Beermans in this portion of the lot. I began to doubt my memory... perhaps I had parked here. But no.. my Explorer was nowhere to be found. It was easy to look... most other cars are smaller hybrid types, so my green dinosaur is easy to see. I wandered back into the store, seeking out a third exit.

By now, I was feeling disoriented and a little more than concerned. I was also reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Seinfeld, Kramer, George and Elaine can't find their car in a mall garage. It took them all sorts of mishaps, and they finally found the car hours later. This episode has always made me laugh, but I was not laughing this afternoon. Not finding a third exit, I wandered back in to the mall, and that's when I noticed the store sign. "Elder Beerman for Her". Hmmmm.... 'For HER?' I wondered what in the world was going on!

Finally the fog in my brain began to clear and I started figuring things out. This "Elder Beerman for HER" is new... it used to be Parisienne.. which must have closed.... so I wandered back through "FOR HER" and into mall... and after a long walk... again dodging those very annoying and tenacious cell phone salesmen, I found the "other" Elder Beerman and was soon gazing across the parking lot, filled with small hybrid types, and YES, my green dinosaur of a vehicle.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Road Roage

(I did not write this... I received it in an email earlier today but I think it's got a very good message... feel free to share!!!)
A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard.

Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red-light by accelerating through the intersection. The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup. As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects. He said, 'I'm very sorry for this mistake. ‘

You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Choose Life' License plate holder, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper Sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car.'

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tintern Abbey

These pictures are of Tintern Abbey, which is located in the Southern Wales' Wye River Valley, which is located in the United Kingdom. They were taken on our Honeymoon in May, 1994. We toured all over England, Wales and Scotland, and it was an amazing trip! I will be sharing other pictures and thoughts in later blogs. I chose to start with these pictures, because something happened to me during our visit at this historic Abbey.

As we walked around, taking in the gorgeous scenery, I became aware of a great sadness. This place touched me as no other religious site had. It was inconceivable to me that such a beautiful place of worship could be destroyed so ruthlessly. I found my self wondering about the people who inhabited this Abbey at the time it was destroyed. I wondered about the pain they must have felt, and wondered what became of them. Of course, my mind was soon focused on the marvels from the rest of our wonderful trip. Yet, Tintern is the first place I think of when I reminisce about our honeymoon. Tintern Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks in the 12th century. It "fell" to King Henry VIII's men in 1531. A better account of the history of Tintern Abbey can best be read by visiting this site:
I had had similar feelings as we toured St. Paul's Cathedral in London. It survived the German's bumbling blitz during WW2. While touring St. Paul's the docent shared stories about how volunteers climbed up into St Paul's large dome, prepared to extinguish fires during the nightly bombings. At the end of the war, St. Paul's had prevailed, and stood proudly.... distinguishing London's skyline with it's magnificent dome even today. St. Paul's had a profound effect on me, but it was nothing compared to the reaction I had at Tintern Abbey.
I think perhaps, that it's something to do with the vicious destruction of God's House. And how, some of God's Houses can withstand war, devastating hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, while others cannot. Tintern Abbey obviously did not "survive" in it's original state. Yet, it still stands, and it is still majestic... and it still is a place where there is a strong feeling of God's presence. There is no doubt that He is there.
While having dinner a week or so ago, he shared photos that he took on a recent trip to Germany. There were pictures of very old churches in both Berlin, and Dresden, all of which had with had survived the bombing during WW2. What an amazing thing. I found myself gazing at the pictures... realizing that this was awakening something in me. An awareness of the power of God.. the power of God's love. And again I pulled out the pictures from our honeymoon and gazed at my photos of Tintern Abbey. It was destroyed. Or was it? Yes the place is in ruins. But as I've already said, God's love is there. The lesson, I think is that God's love prevails. Bricks and mortar can being torn down... but God's Love cannot! And to that, I say "Thanks Be To God!!!"

A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, October 13, 2008

Outside My Window... leaves flicking in a gentle breeze. Some are golden and some are still green.
I am thinking... about work related issues… planning for an event at the end of the month, and another early in December.
I am thankful for... the wonderful weekend I had… Russell and I had a wonderful time together and I had a good visit with my Mom.
From the kitchen... tee hee… nothing I am afraid to say, yet I do need to start making some suet for the birds!
I am wearing... A green blouse and black pants
I am creating... Beaded jewelry for my sister’s birthday…
I am going... lunch soon with my husband!
I am reading... An amazing book titled “The Shack”. It’s written by Wm. Paul Young, and is the tale of a man’s journey in Faith , and in meeting God. Please read it…. It will move you in such an amazing way!
I am hoping... that my Mother’s surgery on Friday goes well.
I am hearing... a lawn mower, and leaves scraping along the side walk.
Around the house... Doggies sleeping, and letting us know that they are so glad to see us when we get home.
One of my favorite things... The smells on a crisp cool autumn evening.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Puppy Class, Mom’s surgery.

Here is picture thought I am sharing... (the necklace I made for my sister's birthday gift):

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Connecting with my Dad...

There are times, when something very unexpected will happen, and I am suddenly connected with my Dad in an incredbly intimate way. My Father passed away 25 years ago on October 3, 1983. It's staggering to think that he's been gone so long! He was, incredibly vibrant, and passionate about both his likes and dislikes! Birding... or birdwatching as he called it, was one of his dearest passions... and one that I came to appreciate many years after he had been gone. I like to think, that he still shares this with me.. and I am using his beloved binoculars to this day. It's as though, our eyes are looking together, at the wonders that Mother Nature allows us to see.

And so, last night, as we were driving to our favorite Thai restaurant, I was gazing out the window, chatting with Russell, listening to the radio. The evening was pretty... not too warm, not too cool. The sun was beginning to setting in the west. Leaves are changing to the bold bright colors that autumn brings, and it was so easy to enjoy the view. As we crossed a bridge over a small lake, I looked along the shore for herons.. and then I saw it! I saw the unmistakeable silhouette of a belted Kingfisher. I didn't have my camera, and even if I had, I wouldn't been able to capture the shot! It was perched on a branch over the water, silhouetted perfectly against the setting sun. I could make out it's crown and distinctive bill. It's been so long since I've seen one so clearly. I told Russell but he was driving and didn't get a chance to see it. But I did... and I know that my Dad did. It was a tiny moment... one so brief.. and so very special. I was... during that moment, connected with my Dad, once again. Thank you, God... for this gift.

Click here for: photo source

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

This neat idea was started by a woman named Peggy. You can see her page, as well as others by clicking this link: The Original Simple Woman's Daybook.
Here is my second entry in my version of: "The Simple Woman's Daybook":
FOR TODAY: Monday, October 06, 2008...
Outside My Window... a big maple tree, with leaves just starting to look a bit yellow
I am thinking... of all that I wish to accomplish today
I am thankful for... the wonderful weekend we had and for the powerful message I got from yesterday’s Mass
From the kitchen... sadly, some dishes waiting to be done are waiting for me
I am wearing... Layers… it’s chilly this morning but will warm up this afternoon…
I am creating... this and a couple of other blogs
I am going... to see my Mother tonight
I am reading... “8 Sandpiper Way” by Debbie Macomber… actually I’m almost finished
I am hoping... that politics can be kept out of my workplace… I am alone in a sea of those with opposite thoughts… and feeling a bit lonely and woeful.
I am hearing... the 10 O’Clock Chapel bells tolling
Around the house... a raccoon ambled it’s way down our driveway this morning as I was out with two of our dogs. Our “old girl” Cora took off after her…. It was good to see her move out so quickly. And it was even better that I was able to call her back to me!
One of my favorite things... The changing of seasons, Autumn is my favorite
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: A belated birthday dinner with my Mother Inlaw
Here is picture thought I am sharing...(Cora on her birthday a couple of years ago.. she’ll turn 11 at the end of this month.)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dogs In Heaven??? Church Sign Debate

This is a "church sign" debate, being played out in a Southern town, between a Catholic church and a Presbyterian church. The signage from top to bottom shows the original , then responses and counter-responses over time. Someone at the Catholic church has a pretty good sense of humor...but I get the impression that the Presbyterians are taking this way too seriously. Enjoy!!




Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joe Biden's gaff

What's wrong with this picture? Two things... FDR was NOT president when the Stock Market crashed in 1929 and there was NO television yet! We don't hear about these gaffs from the mainstream media... but if it had been John McCain, Sarah Palin or any other Republican, it would have been all over the place. Thanks Richard for the tip!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

I have seen this wonderful idea on other blogs, and have finally gotten around it it! This neat idea was started by a woman named Peggy. You can see her page, as well as others by clicking this link: The Original Simple Woman's Daybook.

Here is the first of what I hope to be several entries in my "The Simple Woman's Daybook":

FOR TODAY September 29, 2008...
Outside My Window... Students walking by on their way to class,

I am thinking... Of all the things I must accomplish this week and of my Uncle’s upcoming visit

I am thankful for... the wonderful day I had yesterday with my husband and his family

From the kitchen... Sadly, the smell of my husband’s late night snack, fried Spam… shuddering as I type this

I am wearing... Black dress pants, and a black turtleneck with brightly colored autumn leaves

I am creating... Beaded Jewelry to sell… proceeds going to Catholic Charities

I am going... to send my friend Caroline a birthday card

I am reading... Debbie Macomber’s “8 Sandpiper Way”

I am hoping... for rain… it is so dry

I am hearing... the chapel's bell ringing the hour... it's 10AM

Around the house... 4 newfies snoozing peacefully

One of my favorite things... laying in bed listening to the rain, and far off thunder

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: dinner on Tuesday, a new round of Puppy Classes on Wednesday and a homecoming football game on Friday

Here is picture thought I am sharing (which is a view from my office taken two years ago in early autumn!):

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Raccoon Erradication!!!

About a year and a half ago, in early April... Easter Eve to be exact, we discovered that raccoons had created a "den" in our fireplace. Horror of all horrors. Of course, Mama Raccoon was with babies. And that presented a problem. After doing much research, we decided to let nature take it's course, and to let them say. Everything they read, indicated that the raccoons would vacate sometime in mid June, and sure enough, they did. End of story. Well, not exactly!!!

Fast forward to this past Spring. Mother Nature is pretty punctual about some things, and sure enough, in early April, our "guests" had returned. Of course, we were feeling chagrined because we hadn't closed off the chimney. DUH!!! We accepted their presence with little concern because we were confident that they would leave in June. And they did... I even saw one of the babies one June morning as it crawled it's way off our roof.. crying loudly wanting Mommy. Apparently, Mama raccoons leave the nest, and don't come back... forcing the babies to come out looking for them. Babies stay with there Mother's for quite a long time, so that they can learn to hunt and survive in the wild.

Weeks passed. And then sometime in late August, we heard familiar noises coming from the fireplace, and upon investigation, we realized that they were back. Russell even saw them "breeding" which alarmed us to no end. Our dogs were very aware of their presence, and were quite determined to get inside the fireplace to see what was there. We of course had it barricaded... such a charming look for a living room. We were perplexed on what to do. We didn't' want to call in critter control, and we didn't want to let them stay either.

We remembered reading that ammonia is a good deterrent, so on Friday evening, just after dark, Russell opened everything up, and sprayed ammonia all over the inside of the fireplace. He also left a bowl of ammonia on the grate, and then closed everything up. He waited until after dark, because being nocturnal, they would always "leave" after dark, and return around dawn. I had to work late on Friday and all day yesterday, so I was completely unaware that he had done this. He told me that he had a surprise for me when I got home, and we went and looked into the fireplace. They were not there, and have not been back. We pray they are gone for good, and are now considering various options in keeping them out in the future!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

So Dissapointed....

I am so upset and stunned. I was in the work room just now, running copies, and one of the other secretaries came in from across the hall, and looked at me, and said "I heard something very disappointing about you just now". I thought she was kidding around, and I said "You did??? What was that?". She said, I heard you had a McCain button on yesterday. I told her I did.. and asked who was talking about me. Another secretary had told her. Then she went on to say... and I thought I liked you!!! OMG. I didn't say anything at first, and then I turned and said... "well why wouldn't you?". I didn't get into a debate, or anything, I just looked at her. She finally smiled and said that she still did, but it was very awkward. Talk about being disappointed. I am the one who is disappointed! At least I kept cool and was dignified... I did act surprised. In the end she seemed to be embarassed... and rightly so! {No pun intended....}

I have my beliefs. I post about them quietly and in my own way. I have colleagues and friends who agree, and who disagree. I respect everyone's right to "their own opinion". Apparently, not everyone does. That is a sad commentary on the mindset of so many. So for those of you who know me, and are on the opposite side of the fence politically, you will always have my respect. I won't stop "liking" you just because you choose to vote differently than me. So please, allow me the same courtesy. We should all just agree to disagree.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A visit from Ike

From this graphic, it didn't look like we would suffer any of Ike's vengeance. However, this turned out not to be true, as Ike came through here as well! We didn't get any rain, but we did get hurricane force winds... ranging from 69-84 mph. Sunday started out nicely. It was warm, the sun was peeking through. It had been breezy all day on Saturday, and we knew that Sunday was supposed to be blustery as well. Blustery is a vast understatement! Because there was no rain, and it was so warm and sunny... the winds grew from blustery to terrifying.

Russell had to go into work, and I was at home, getting ready to do my typical Sunday errands. I could hear the wind outside, but I started hearing things hitting the roof, and cracking sounds. At one point, our neighbor from across the street walked through our yard, looking up. We have HUGE trees in our back yard, which is really a hill. I was really worried that one had come down. So I went outside and looked…. Nothing was amiss at that point. I went inside, and got my things and decided to head out. I noticed a cable truck parked across the street as I backed out our drive, so I realized that the neighbors must have been without power. Driving out of our neighborhood, I saw more power trucks, and I suddenly became aware that the conditions were a lot worse than what I had originally thought. Russell called to find out if everything was ok. His servers at work had rebooted twice, making things difficult for him. He was in “crunch time” on a major project that was due to go live first thing Monday morning, and needless to say, a little agitated.

The first item on my agenda was to get dog food… we were completely out, and the dogs had had a rather skimpy breakfast. Three stores and a trip to an ATM later, I had a bag of food in my car. My hair had gotten stuck in the car window and the car door twice, and dealing with a shopping cart in major winds was not an easy task. At this point, I was really un-nerved. My sister called, and reported that my Mother’s nursing home was without power and there were trees down everywhere. So I decided not to go there. I tried to stay on major roadways because driving around was like driving in a warzone. Trees and limbs were falling… and there were power lines dangling dangerously putting all traffic in harm’s way. What stunned me the most was the number of kids riding around on their bikes… without helmets on? I realize that many parents don’t keep tabs on where their kids are, but it was too dangerous for me to be out, and I was in an SUV, so it was outrageous that any parent would let their child ride around outside. Bicycle helmets would have been prudent, but I didn’t see any of those either.

I realized that I had about an hour until Mass started at Immaculate Conception, so I began looking for a drive through. Every place I went had lines wrapped around the building and extended out on to the street. At first, I couldn’t understand why they were all so crowded. I finally came to a McDonald’s and decided to go inside. It was very busy and took a few minutes to get my meal. At this point, I realized that people were without power, and looking for an early dinner. I chatted with Russell while I ate, and waited for him to decide what he was going to do. He still had a lot of work to do, so he decided to stay and persevere, and I would call him after Mass.

I drove to church and discovered that it was on limited power. The Priest asked that everyone sit in one section. There were 4 over head lights working, and they had candles everywhere. It was simply beautiful. The readings were read from the ambo, and then the Priest read the Gospel and gave his Homily standing amongst the congregation. And then, he gathered everyone together and asked us to come up onto the Altar for the next part of Mass. I can’t tell you how special and how moving it was. It was incredibly intimate, and despite the lack of electrical power, it was lighter in that church than any electrical power could give. We could hear sirens wailing as the sped by, and it was apparent that the winds were still raging. Yet we were safe inside, blanketed in God’s Light.

After Mass, I went to my car, and realized that the winds had calmed significantly. I began to wonder how things were at home. Traffic lights were out all over. It was just after 7pm and beginning to get dark. I called Russell to let him know I was on my way. Trees were down all over, blocking traffic at times. It was alarming and I grew more anxious. He came out to get in the car, and I told him of my concerns. We decided that it would be best for me to head home before it was completely dark. I wanted to feed and walk the dogs, and get candles and flashlights organized if needed. And so I began the trip home. Some places had power, some didn’t. The Taco Bell was swamped. The closer I got to home, the more concerned I was. Yet the message from Church stayed with me. I knew that it would all be ok. Pulling in to our neighborhood, I could see that some places had light. I pulled in our driveway which was strewn with branches, acorns and walnuts. There were some large limbs down, but everything else looked ok. I carried the food into the house and held my breath as I flipped the light switch.

By the grace of God, we had power. I hurried to get the dogs out… fed them and called Russell to report. He was relieved to hear that we were all ok. He had had a horrible time getting dinner. He went to three eateries on Brown Street, which is close to campus. They were running out of bread and other things. He ended up with “the worst burger every” from Burger King. He ended up driving home around midnight. He tried to find some restaurants that were open. The ones that were open were busy or out of food. He came on home, and we both slept like logs.
Monday morning brought daylight. Driving in to work gave evidence to how lucky we were. And phone calls later in the day proved this even more.

Along with my Mother, Russell's Mother was also without power. She needs oxygen, and was running out, so we went out at lunch and got her several bottles of oxygen and took them to her after work. It’s now two days later, and she is still without power. She ended up going to my brother in-law’s yesterday because it’s just better for her not to be alone.

I have cousins whose cars have been crunched, and some people have major damage to their homes caused by falling limbs and trees. We lost a couple of big limbs but no big trees, thank God. It's been a challenge, that's for sure. We know now what it feels like to be in a hurricane.... sort of. You can't find ice anywhere. Batteries and flashlights are hard to come by, and gas stations are running out of gas. A lot of businesses have been closed. Some people who are on wells also have no plumbing. On campus, the academic buildings have power, as do the dorms. The student neighborhood however has been without, and students are getting a little grumpy! I don't blame them one bit!!!

All in the all, entire “storm" lasted for almost 5-6 hours. Yet, it’s still affecting so many, two days later.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Bell's are tolling....

The Chapel bells are tolling. I work at the University of Dayton, and there are a series of events to commemorate the 7th anniversary of September 11, 2001, when our country was viciously attacked by terroists. Events include

8:46 a.m.: Tolling of the Immaculate Conception Chapel bells for one minute to coincide with American Airlines Flight 11 hitting 1 World Trade Center.

9:03 a.m.: Tolling of the Immaculate Conception Chapel bells for one minute to coincide with United Airlines Flight 175 hitting 2 World Trade Center.

9:37 a.m.: Tolling of the Immaculate Conception Chapel bells for one minute to coincide with American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon.

10:03 a.m.: Tolling of the Immaculate Conception Chapel bells for one minute to coincide with United Airlines Flight 93 crashing in Pennsylvania.

As I was walking across campus, I heard the 8:46 bell... and chills ran down my spine. I was taken back to that horrible day 7 years ago.. memories flooding my mind, and chills shooting down my spine. I feel raw... I feel sad... I think of the the amazing bravery exhibited on all the flights. I remember hearing tapes of the calls made on cell phones. I remember looking at video clips of the family members.. and not even being able to comprehend how they felt.. how they could even continue on.

The 9:37 bell tolled a few minutes ago. Again, I had more chills, and more tears. I remember that day, sitting at my desk. By now we all knew that something so horrible, so heinous was happening to our great country. I remember finding a tv, and watching it with my co-workers, feeling sick.. terrified.. so unsure of everything. I remember calling my husband, just to tell him I loved him. My Mother called... my sister too. We all just needed to connect... to touch each other with our voices.

The 10:03 bell just tolled. People are talking quietly... commenting. I remember how we were all sent home that day. Like most people, Russell & I watched the news all day.. horror and disbelief filling our hearts and minds. Finally it got to be too much, and we went to lay down. With the exception of military flights, all air travel had been cancelled. We were dozing in and out, when suddenly there was a sonic boom. I shot out of bed... terrified. Never, ever have I felt more vulnerable that I did at that moment. The sonic boom was caused by air force flights escorting Air Force One back to Washington.

After all this time... and I realize that as time continues, 7 years really isn't that long... I do know one thing. This country, our country, the United States of America is safer today than it was then. And that is because of the amazing leadership of our President, George W. Bush. He is ridiculed, and slurred on a daily basis. He is hated and reviled, and for what reason? I can't figure it out. Yes, our country has problems, it always will. Yet I feel strongly we were and are far better off under the leadership of George W. Bush. He is a good man, a caring man. I am certain, that as time continues to "go by", his Presidency will be held in higher regard than it is now. I can't imagine what it would have been like if Al Gore had been at the helm. I shudder to think....

God Bless The USA

Dear Mr. O'Bama...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

O'Bama is scared!!!!!

The numbers are changing drastically, and the race is now being declared as "a dead heat" by the media. Personally, I think that McCain/Palin are out in front, but I can't back that up. Senator O'Bama seems to be in a panic, and is getting nasty... or perhaps I should say "nastier".

My friend Pauline sent me this link from Tammy Bruce's website. It illustrates this perfectly:

Tammy Bruce Blog: O'Bama Panics...

It seems to me, that the media, and television talk show comedians just don't know what to do. Last week they were hateful and cruel. I've heard that NBC has demoted a couple of it's lead Campaign anchors because of their over zealous viciousness. Of course, this didn't happen until polls came out showing that the public believed that the media was been too harsh. "Too Harsh" is an understatement.

Normally, I am a fan of David Letterman, but his monologues have been really hitting a nerve with me. Last night he seemed to be back-peddling again, yet he still managed to get his barbs in. And then there is Oprah! She refused to have Sarah Palin on her show until after the election. She claims that she doesn't want to get involved in Politics!!! I about fell out of my seat!!! For crying out loud! Who does she think she is kidding.... she has been campaigning for O'Bama from the beginning. And she has been very involved in raising funds for his campaign! How can she say she doesn't want to get involved!!!! I found this blog about Oprah shunning Palin. Check it out!

In response to Oprah's "shunning of Palin", I heard on the news last night that republican women in Florida are boycotting Oprah. Not a bad idea! Click here: to check out the scoop on the Oprah boycott

And now I need to get back to work. I could probably post stuff all day long and there would still be more!

Have a good day everyone... and remember to Count your blessings AND to give Thanks!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Who Knew??? The Media is sexist!

I am thoroughly disgusted by the media's attack on Sarah Palin. I understand that they are afraid, very afraid. I understand that the majority of the media are Liberal, and O'Bama supporters. I regret their inability to set aside their own views and agendas and report just the facts. I abhor the fact that they feel they "KNOW" what the American people think, feel and want. I believe that the Media thinks that most people in America are stupid, and need to be told what and how to think.

I've felt this way for a long time. Yet, in this weeks attack on Governor Sarah Palin, they have outdone themselves. And yes, I am angry. However, I am a bit hopeful... hopeful because they've gone overboard- their overzealous "rabid-ness" is showing! Perhaps they are afraid that they "are looking bad" because after Governor Palin's fantastic speech last night, they are back peddling some. They have shown their true colors! Yes!!! For being "Liberals" they seem to be incredibly sexist. Their actions have set women back 50 years!

Bottom line: I understand and agree that "We", the American public are not always going to agree. I respect that. I respect each person's right to his/her own opinion. And I believe that each voter can make up their own mind with out the "MEDIA" cramming slanted facts down our throats.

I found this clip on Yahoo News. Diane Sawyer is interviewing Cindy McCain, about her views on the media. Enjoy!

Cindy McCain on the Media

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Newt Rocks! See him on the Tavis Smiley Show

I saw Newt Gingrich on the Tavis Smiley show on Monday evening... he was awesome, and really did a great job of cutting Tavis Smiley off!!! Here is a link which includes a transcript of the entire interview, plus links for audio and video.

Newt's Interview with Tavis Smiley

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two More Pieces

I have made two more necklaces... and I'm pretty excited by them! The first is "The Holy Trinity". I call it it this simply because the cross reflects The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.... in other words, the Holy Trinity! The beads are pearls, white and gold "topaz" glass beads, pewter flowers and round beads, and amber colored glass beads.

The second necklace is called "Mary's Garden". The charm is the Blessed Mother in solid pewter. The beads are fresh water pearls, blue/clear glass beads, blue lampwork beads with pink flowers, silver flower beads and italian millefleur beads. This is by far my favorite so far....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This year, to date!!! ;)

Happy Summertime!!! It has been ages since I've posted, and life, in it's typical fashion, has been wonderful and challenging at the same time. I haven't been coming to 360 or Multiply very much... time simply hasn't allowed for much of that sort of thing. I have been hanging aroundon facebook a bit, so if any of my friends here and there, would like to connect, send me a message and we can do so!

It's been both a joyous and challenging year. As you all know, I became Catholic at Easter, and that continues to give me great joy. Since then, I've:

  • helped to move my Mother to a new facility
  • turned 50
  • got my AARP card (much to Russell's great pleasure)
  • went on vacation to Rhode Island
  • almost lost my Mother due to complications from a gall bladder surgery
  • attended my first born nephew's high school graduation (how can that be? it was just yesterday that he was religiously wearing his superman costume from Halloween 24/7)
  • had migraines and numbneses and after a whole bunch of tests, have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The medications have made a world of difference
  • undergone a full sleep study and have been diagnosed with sleep apnia
  • almost lost my Mother again, this time to a septic infection caused by a kidney stone...
  • rushed Russell to the ER with a kidney stone of his own
  • helped staff a funnel cake booth at the church festival and another festival for Russell's scout trip
  • had 6 weeks off, as usual and got nothing done
  • lost my PC after a vicious thunderstorm, and now have a laptop that I'm happy with
  • have started making beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings

In writing this, I am aware that it's been a rocky year. Yet it doesn't seem all that bad. There has been alot of joy and laughter mixed in with the worry and the heartache. Most of all, I am taking advantage of the fact that I was blessed to receive a clear warning sign that if I don't take measures to take better care of myself, that I won't be around. Too many dear ones have not been as blessed. God is with me... every moment of every day... so how can I complain?

Here are a couple of pictures of some of the jewelry I've made. Nothing amazing, but pretty and fun.





Thursday, July 17, 2008

Military Dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan

I think it's safe to say that most people are aware that the United States of America has Military stationed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder though how many people are aware that the USA also has canine soldiers working hard and risking their lives every single day in both of these countries. Clearly, our country's involvement in both of these wars has created much conflict here at home. And I'm not going to debate those issues here. My point and focus are on these dogs. On average the daily temperature in Iraq is approxiately 110-120 degrees. This is hot enough to melt the asphalt that these dogs walk on. It makes the sand hot as well. Sand blows around in any breeze that comes along, and gets into the dogs eyes. Several months ago, another member of our local dog club, Gem City Dog Obedience Club, approached the club's president and asked her to go to the Board and ask if they would consider donating one cooling vest, doggles (goggles for the eyes) and booties. These sets are very expensive... costing approximately $200-$300 per set. The Board's response was too donate two complete sets, and to launch a major fundraising effort. To date, the club has raised over $2000.00 and efforts continue. Also, a locatl 4H club has embraced this cause, and in less than 9 days, raised enough money to sponsor several sets. Last night, the club had it's annual ice cream social. The canine unit was on hand and we were able to watch demonstrations of what these dogs are able to do. It was amazing. These dogs are all treated very well. They are loved and very happy. And in all truth, not only do they work very hard, their presence there does wonder for the morale of our troops. The kids from the 4H group were there as well and they presented one of the dogs who will be deployed to Iraq very soon with his set. Our local ABC/Fox News affiliate was present and gave us nice coverage.

I am adding a link, that will hopefully allow anyone interested to watch their report.

Here is a link, where you can read more about this project:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

How to find the "best" gas prices around

We just got gas for $3.98 a gallon. The fact that we're "excited" about this disgusts me! However, after yesterday's all time high (in the Dayton area of $4.09 a gallon), $3.98 doesn't seem so bad. There is a website where you can go to check on local gas prices in most areas. Here is a link: You can find your area, which probably has it's own page/site. You can sign up and help post prices of gas in your area. There are points to be earned, but truthfully I have no idea of what benefits these "points" bring. I just do it to pitch in and help to share information. For example... we are driving to Cincinnati for brunch tomorrow. I just found that gas in Springboro is currently running $3.85 a gallon. So we'll wait to fill up then. We only got a few gallons today... in hopes that prices would go lower. I hope anyone reading this will benefit from this information. And if you have any comments, please don't hesitate to share. I know my friends in Europe and Canada will likely find this amusing. Sadly, you have faced higher gas prices for a long time! Have a safe and wonderful weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spring cleaning, and update from Annie

This is a rambling blog of sorts, because it has been quite a while since I've posted any sort of "real" update! First of all, allow me to say that we are all fine. Russell and the dogs are peachy and I am well. As always, our lives are hectic, and I will share some highlights and thoughts with you, in bullet points, for which I hope you will forgive me... I'm being lazy, but there is much to tell. Since I have last posted, I turned 50, we moved my Mother to another Nursing Home, there are raccoons living in our fireplace, again, and suicidal bunnies in our yard. So where should I begin? I guess the beginning is always a good place so, fasten your seat belts, because here we go!

When I last posted, I had recently just become Catholic. That continues to be the highlight of my year... and will probably be the highlight of this decade. Being Catholic, and being able to receive communion, fills me with such joy. The experience has been so much more profound than I ever anticipated. And I had anticipated that it would be amazing!

We moved my Mother to another Nursing home the week after Easter. It was a scary thing to do, but miraculously (thanks be to God!) she adapted well, and really loved the new facility. And the amazing thing is that she is only in a semi-private room, but is much happier with the quality of care that she is receiving. This is such a blessing. She also has been showing signs of wanting to do things.. to get up and let us push her outside so she can enjoy a sunny day. She's not wanted to do something like this in over two years... so we are rejoicing about this.

So for a couple of weeks in April, things were relatively quiet and we just muddled along. And then the 12th day of April came, and I turned 50. Getting my AARP card was not the happiest thing in the world, but it is a reality. We threw a small dinner party for family and friends. Initially it was going to be a "wake" with me sitting in a big bed..... making fun of the fact that women in my family tend to "go to bed" at a young age, because they don't feel really good, but are not really sick. I refuse to do this... I'm making that emphatically clear. But, because of prom season, and weddings, we couldn't find a good location for this, so we just reserved a room at a local restaurant and invited family and friends. It was a fun night and a really upbeat way to celebrate such a dubious milestone! My cousin Virginia, who happens to be one of my closest friends, is 16 days younger than I am. She lives in Seattle, so we see each other usually only once a year over Christmas. However, she came home for her birthday and we were able to have an awesome visit. So there are good things about turning 50! And in all truth, it's not so bad.
I took a week off to attend the Newfoundland National. It was great fun and good to see friends that I never see enough of. And to be surrounded by a mere 400-500 Newfies is a wonderful thing. Of course, the shopping is good as well, and I got my annual souvenir! After all, sometimes (not always) it is about the stuff!

We've had a few more bumps in the road with my Mother, but things are seeming to straighten themselves out.

I think the thing that amazes me most is that each day, is filled with so much. It's often time to find quiet and think. It's so easy to get caught up with whatever is happening.... and to lose sight of the larger picture. And I am learning... to slow down and breathe... and I am also learning that prayers are answered... and for that I am so incredibly thankful to God.. for all of his blessings.
I've eluded to raccoons in our chimney. Well this is the 2nd year that we are hosting a Mother Raccoon and her babies. Of course after this happened last year, we planned on closing off the chimney. But in our typical fashion, we never got around to it, and so here we go again. They'll be gone sometime in mid June, and hopefully we'll be smart and take measures to prevent this from happening next spring.

And finally, to the suicidal bunny. There is a rabbit that sits at the far end of our lawn, and suns herself. She sits there every day and watches as we come out with our 4 dogs... and when they get close, she runs like the wind to the other side of the road. So she is well aware that the dogs are there. So why did she build a nest there... and have her babies??? Kira (and it would be Kira) discovered the nest the other day. She got one of the babies in her mouth and then dropped it. The other baby took off. Kira was so excited. Russell had her out at the time, and after getting her back into the house, went to look for them. They were nowhere to be found.. and hopefully they are hiding and will stay hidden in the future. Kira is still eager to check that part of our yard.. but we keep her away from it. Thankfully, the others didn't realize what was happening and are not aware of the suicidal bunnies.

And last, but not least, Russell and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary yesterday. That is amazing to me. It doesn't seem like it's been 14 years since we were married!And that is it, for now at least. I hope that all of you are well, and as things calm over the summer, I'll try and post more! Hugs and Blessings to you all!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Clever Rendition of The Lord's Prayer

Rather cleverly done. I got this and thought to pass it along...
This is in two parts, the prayer in regular type and God’s response in indented and boldface italics type.
Our Father Who Art In Heaven.


Don't interrupt me. I'm praying.

But -- you called ME!

Called you?
No, I didn't call you.
I'm praying.
Our Father who art in Heaven.

There -- you did it again!

Did what!?

Called ME.
You said,
'Our Father who art in Heaven'
Well, here I am.
What's on your mind?

But I didn't mean anything by it.
I was, you know, just saying my prayers for the day.
I always say the Lord's Prayer.
It makes me feel good,
kind of like fulfilling a duty.

Well, all right.
Go on.

Okay, Hallowed be thy name .

Hold it right there.
What do you mean by that?

By what?

By 'Hallowed be thy name'?

It means, it means... good grief,
I don't know what it means.
How in the world should I know?
It's just a part of the prayer...
By the way, what does it mean?

It means honored, holy, and wonderful.

Hey, that makes sense.
I never thought about what 'hallowed' meant before.


Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in Heaven.

Do you really mean that?

Sure, why not?

What are you doing about it?

Doing? Why, nothing, I guess.
I just think it would be kind of neat if you got
control, of everything down here like you have up
there. We’re kind of in a mess down here you know.

Yes, I know;
but, have I got control of you?

Well, I go to church.

That isn't what I asked you.
What about your bad temper?
You've really got a problem there, you know.
And then there's the way you spend your money --
all on yourself.
And what about the kind of books you read?

Now hold on just a minute!
Stop picking on me!
I'm just as good as some of the rest of those
People at church!

Excuse ME.
I thought you were praying
for my will to be done.
If that is to happen,
it will have to start with the ones
who are praying for it.
Like you -- for example...

Oh, all right. I guess I do have some hang-ups.
Now that you mention it,
I could probably name some others.

So could I;

I haven't thought about it very much until now,
but I really would like to cut out some of those things.
I would like to, you know, be really free.

Now we're getting somewhere. We'll work together -- You and ME.
I'm proud of You.

Look, Lord, if you don't mind,
I need to finish up here.
This is taking a lot longer than it usually does.
Give us this day, our daily bread.

You need to cut out the bread.
You're overweight as it is.

Hey, wait a minute! What is this?
Here I was doing my religious duty,
and all of a sudden you break in
and remind me of all my hang-ups.

Praying is a dangerous thing.
You just might get what you ask for.
you called ME -- and here I am.
It's too late to stop now...
Keep praying. (pause... )
Well, go on.

I'm scared to.

Scared? Of what?

I know what you'll say.

Try ME.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us..

What about Ann?

See? I knew it!
I knew you would bring her up!
Why, Lord, she's told lies about me, spread stories.
She never paid back the money she owes me.
I've sworn to get even with her!

But -- your prayer --
What about your prayer?

I didn't -- mean it.

Well, at least you're honest.
But, it's quite a load carrying around all that bitterness
and resentment isn't it?

Yes, but I'll feel better as soon as I get even with her.
Boy, have I got some plans for her.
She'll wish she had never been born.

No, you won't feel any better.
You'll feel worse.
Revenge isn't sweet.
You know how unhappy you are --
Well, I can change that.

You can? How?

Forgive Ann.
Then, I'll forgive you;
And the hate and the sin,
will be Ann's problem -- not yours.
You will have settled the problem
as far as you are concerned.

Oh, you know, you're right.
You always are...
And more than I want revenge,
I want to be right with You... (Sigh).
All right all right…
I forgive her.

There now!
How do you feel?

Hmmmm... Well, not bad.
Not bad at all!
In fact, I feel pretty great!
You know, I don't think I'll go to bed uptight tonight.
I haven't been getting much rest, you know.

Yeah, I know.
But, you're not through with your prayer are you? Go on.

Oh, all right.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Good! Good! I'll do that.
Just don't put yourself in a place
where you can be tempted.

What do you mean by that?

You know what I mean.

Yeah. I know.

Go ahead. Finish your prayer.

For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory forever.

Do you know what would bring me glory?
What would really make me happy?

No, but I'd like to know.
I want to please you now.
I've really made a mess of things.
I want to truly follow you.
I can see now how great that would be.
So, tell me . . .
How do I make you happy?

YOU just did!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Belated Easter Greetings


Hello to all my friends. All is well with me, and I hope and pray that all is well with you. I have been away from here for far too long, and an update is long past due!!!!

My time in the past few weeks has been divided between my journey of faith and issues with my Mother. As many of you know, I have been in the process of becoming Catholic. I am thrilled to say that I received the Sacraments of Confirmation and was accepted in to full communion by the Roman Catholic Church during Easter Vigil! I cannot begin to describe what this was like. The joy in my heart is purely indescribable. Never before in my life have I embraced the experiences and traditions of Holy Week as I did this year.

On the Saturday before Palm Sunday, I made my first "Confession". This is something that I thought I would dread... and while I was nervous, and anxious, it was a powerful experience, and I couldn't believe that when it was over, that I didn't really want to leave! The next day was Palm Sunday. Russell was camping with his troop, and they go to Mass on Saturday afternoons. So I went with my Mother Inlaw. The Passion was read, and it was incredibly moving.

On Tuesday, we drove down to the Saint Peter In Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati to attend the Chrism Mass, where Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk blessed the sacred oils. The Mass of Chrism is celebrated once a year. It is always celebrated at the cathedral and is one of the most solemn and significant liturgies of our church. During the Mass, the bishop blesses the oil of catechumens, the oil of the sick, and the oil of chrism. The first is used for for adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars. All three are basically an olive oil; chrism spices the air with the scent of a perfume, traditionally balsam. The music was sung by the Athenaeum Chorale and was spectacular! This was definitely worth driving through torrential downpours through rush hour traffic. I am hoping to be able to go again next year.

The next day was spent dealing with our flooded basement. We got about 4 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. It was a mess, but suffered from no major damage. Our backs ached, but it was kind of a good experience. From listening to the news, it was clear that we got off easy. We only had water in our basement, and not sewage. Russell and I worked well together... there was no bickering... and we actually managed to laugh and joke around a bit.

Russell and I attended the Mass of The Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. I attended the service on Good Friday and then we attended a prayer service on Saturday Morning, followed by a rehearsal. And then, the big moment came.... Easter Vigil!

It began at 9 pm. I was very grateful to have dear friends and family there to celebrate this moment with me. It was long, but truly amazing. A night that I will never forget. And at the end, I was officially Catholic! Words can't describe what it was to receive Communion for the first time!! And the scent of the oil stayed with me all through the night. I'd wake up and smell it, and would smile and fade back to sleep!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Week In A Nutshell

Hi everyone.. I've been so immersed in other things that I have neglected my blog and my friends horribly. Please accept my apologies.

What an amazing week it has been. It started out last Sunday with attending what is called a "Rite of Election". During Mass on Sunday, those of us in my RCIA class were introduced to the congregation and asked to sign a book. The book was then brought by our priest to the official "Rite of Election" on Sunday evening, at a very large church here in Dayton. I, along with my fellow candidates attending this service along with our sponsers. We were called up by parish, and our sponsers were asked questions about our preparedness. We were asked some basic questions and then we all prayed. It was an incredible event. This was one of 4 such services within the Cincinnati Archdiocese. There were 2 in Cincinnat and two in Dayton. Between the 4 services, over 1000 people are in the process of becoming Catholic. That number amazed me!!!

During the week, I took part in what was called "A Busy Person's Lenten Retreat". It was... awesome. It began with an opening prayer service on Monday afternoon. I was assigned to a spirtual advisor, with whom I met for 30 minutes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. There was a lunchone on Wednesday and a closing ceremony on Friday. My Spirtual Advisor was Sister Mary Louise, and we had some amazing discussions. I got some good feedback and she gave me some wonderful tools about how to pray, and how to connect. I know that the will help me greatly.

Tuesday brought snow and then ice. Way too much ice for my liking. The University cancelled morning classes and we did not have to report until noon. Of course, Russell wanted to go in early. That was fine, because I had reading I wanted to do. In addtion to all my reading for RCIA, I have also begun reading the Harry Potter series... and I'm enthralled with them.

Thursday, of course was Valentines Day. The morning started out on a wonderful note. Russell and I had lunch with a friend, and then on the way home discussed what we were going to do for the evening. After calling a 1/2 dozen restaurants, we decided to wait to have our Valentines dinner until Sunday or Monday, when they wouldn't be so busy.

I had lunch with Karen, my sponser on Saturday and then visited with my Mother. I took her a dog book for her valentines gift. She has been asking for one. I don't think it was the one she wanted, so I may be taking it back. Saturday night saw us attending the Annual Banquet at our local dog training club. We teach their ever week, but have not been as involved. So it was very very good to catch up with alot of old friends!!!

And that, in a nutshell was my week. Hugs to all my friends. Have a grand day and hopefullly, I'll be able to stay in touch more this coming week. And in closing.. good luck wishes to Dale Ernhardt Jr at today's Daytona 500!!! Goooooooo Junebug!!!!

Saturday, February 09, 2008


As many of you know, I am currently undergoing one of the most incredible journeys of my life... I am currently going through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). In other words, I am becoming a Roman Catholic. I have regularly been attending Mass with my husband for the last two years. This past Wednesday, was my very first experience in receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. It was a very powerful experience, one that I embraced deep in my heart. It was also the first time I've fasted on Ash Wednesday. Fasting is never fun, or easy... but I noticed that it wasn't as difficult as when I need to fast for other reasons! I believe that my reason for fasting helped me endure and embrace the experience, and to stay positive!

As I was walking to the Chapel for the Ash Wednesday Mass, I noticed a hawk, sitting at the very top of the cross on the very top of the chapel. Intrigued, I got a really good look and was easily able to ascertain that the hawk was a red tailed hawk. This distracted me for a few seconds, and then I hurried inside. The chapel was full.. it was standing room only. So I found a spot at the back of the chapel and waited for Russell. He arrived a few minutes later, and I whispered to him about the hawk. After Mass, we looked and sure enough, it was still there. In sharing this with friends, I learned that Native American lore says that the presence of Red Tailed Hawks are good luck. They ward off evil spirits and protect from dangerous weather! Of course, the nation was currently being ravaged by horrible storms, blizzards and floods. We were spared for the most part here in Dayton. So I wonder if there's not something to this folklore. Either way, it added to my wonderful Ash Wednesday experience.

In addition to not eating meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Friday's of Lent, I've decided to give up sweets (candy and desserts). Visiting my Mother is always filled with eating candy. She has tons and tons of it, and it's in little bowls all around her room. Knowing this, I got into the "right mindset" as I prepared for our weekly visit. I was able to ignore her candy with ease. I felt no desire for it. I prayed a prayer of thanks, and asked for continued strength in my resolve. Will power has never been my strong suit. I also manged to ignore all the valentine's candy displays at the grocery.... it's all over, and I typically fall prey to at least one of this displays. However, I stayed focused on what I was looking for and checked out without any feeling any temptation. Thank you, God!

Yesterday, being Friday, meant "no meat". Russell and I met for lunch at the Faculty/Staff dining room on campus. The Chef was serving the loveliest pork roast. I looked at it with longing.. pork is my favorite. I mentioned this to the manager, and he groaned. He wanted it to. He told me laughingly that they had really messed up the menu, and didn't think about this being Lent. Of course, it's a little more astonishing, because this is a Catholic University. He was pretty chagrined and I giggled and said, well.. just don't take it off the menu because it didn't sell. He assured me they wouldn't.

So I chose the fried shrimp, and a cheddar garlic biscuit. And then I went to the salad bar and scooped up a large dish of napa cabbage salad... and then walked around and generously sprinkled sunflower seeds and crumbled bacon on top! I didn't even realize what I had done until Russell pointed at it in mock horror. It took a minute for my brain to click and I too gasped in horror.. more real than his. So, after we sat down, i proceeded to scrape off all the bacon. Our table was right next to another, where two priests, both of whom I am good friends with, and who know that I'm going through RCIA, were sitting. Fr. Teddy immediately noticed, and started laughing, asking me if I had put bacon on my salad. I groaned and grinned at him. Fr. Joe laughed and and Fr. Teddy said that they could give me a dispensation. I looked up from my scraping, and said "really?". I was so mortified and sad that I had messed up. Russell grinned at them and said "that's a rookie for you!!!". They both laughed and told me not to worry about it. Finally, I thought I had it all and took a bite. NOPE. I told Russell there was bacon mixed in... so I went and got a lid, and brought it home to eat this weekend. Another Priest, named Fr. Bert came over to say hello. I told him what I had done, and he was very sweet and told me that not to worry, that it was an honest mistake. He then went back to his table and came back once more and said, don't worry... one of the Brothers forgot and got a cheeseburger on Ash Wednesday! That definitely made me feel better!!!

These are my first "Lenten" experiences... and I may share more as time passes. If you are taking part in Lent, I'd love to hear about yours.