Monday, February 22, 2010

A Lenten Observation...

Today is the first Sunday of Lent. Since early last week, it's been virtually impossible to not notice that restaurants and groceries are poised to have a variety seafood and fish to offer to those who are observing Lent! To get a better look at thw picture, click on it.

I snapped these pictures this weekend as I was out and about doing errands.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Need some ideas for Lent? We’ve got a few.

From the St. Michael Society.... awesome ideas. Take a look:

Need some ideas for Lent? We’ve got a few.

Mardi Gras Today, Ash Wednesday tomorrow....

Today is Mardi Gras a.k.a. Fat Tuesday. We're buried in snow, yet there are promos on the radio and the news about Mardi Gras events locally, and even in New Orleans. It's interesting to me that while schools and many businesses are closed here in Ohio due to another huge snow storm... that by tonight, people, determined to celebrate and party will make their way to bars and restaurants to celebrate. I have to wonder, however, exactly how many understand the significance of Mardi Gras. I'm sure that many do, but for others, it's just another reason to party. defines Mardi Gras as
Mardi Gras, literally "Fat Tuesday," has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event. But its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the "last hurrah" before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. That's why the enormous party in New Orleans, for example, ends abruptly at midnight on Tuesday, with battalions of streetsweepers pushing the crowds out of the French Quarter towards home.

What is less known about Mardi Gras is its relation to the Christmas season, through the ordinary-time interlude known in many Catholic cultures as Carnival. (Ordinary time, in the Christian calendar, refers to the normal "ordering" of time outside of the Advent/Christmas or Lent/Easter seasons. There is a fine Scripture From Scratch article on that topic if you want to learn more.)

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning "farewell to the flesh." Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it likely has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. Some believe the festival represented the few days added to the lunar calendar to make it coincide with the solar calendar; since these days were outside the calendar, rules and customs were not obeyed. Others see it as a late-winter celebration designed to welcome the coming spring. As early as the middle of the second century, the Romans observed a Fast of 40 Days, which was preceded by a brief season of feasting, costumes and merrymaking.
In years past, I've always had a vague idea of the significance of Mardi Gras. My parents called it Fat Tuesday... and it's a day where people party hearty one more time before the beginning of Lent. As a child, I was fascinated by my Catholic friends giving something up for Lent. Yet I didn't understand why.

I recall one friend giving up all meat for Lent. She went so far as to inquire as to whether or not the school's doughnuts had been fried in animal fat. At the time I thought that was a little "overkill". Today however, I respect her dedication and diligence! As for my "Mardi Gras" celebration, I'll eat plenty of chocolate, prepare for the next 40 days of Lent, and look forward to Spring and the beauty and renewal of the Easter season... specially after all this snow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Snow? Really? Ugh....

Time will tell what Mother Nature has in mind. This will be the third storm in the last 10 days. Certainly, we haven't gotten near the amount of snow that the mid-atlantic regions have. But we currently have approximately 10-12 inches on the ground.. and we're all growing weary. Well, I should say... "most" are growing weary. Our dogs, how ever, are loving it. Here are some pictures I took of Yelda this morning, as she jubilantly romped and frolicked in the snow:

It was a fun romp, and I managed to stay on my feet the entire time. And that was quite a "feet"... pun intended! All three of our newfs, Ben, Kira and Yelda are currently asleep in their beds. The forecasted weather has not yet begun to fall... but when we wake up tomorrow morning, it should have begun, and as we make our morning trek outside, I'm sure they will have a blast!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hope that Spring will soon be here!

After back to back snow storms, from both of which left significant accumulations on the ground (12-16 inches total), it's been pointed out to me that this picture is proof of the hope that spring will eventually get here! I took this yesterday as I was going to lunch at Kennedy Union, on the University of Dayton campus. Let's pray that this is true! Click on the picture to get a better look!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

I was out walking our dogs this morning... it was a bit foggy with the sun trying to peak through. The air was filled with birdsong, and I could see them diving down from the sky to our bird feeders. They were in a frenzy.. eating like crazy.

Looking out our kitchen window, I could see some sort of wren foraging on the ground looking for food. All of this makes me think that we are going to get a significant snowfall this weekend. Time will tell as to what Mother Nature has in store for us! I do know that I'm going to need to get more bird-cakes and suet. I'm reminded of one of my favorite poems:

All Things Bright and Beautiful
by Cecil Frances Alexander

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

And in closing, I can't help but think of the lyrics from a song from one of my favorite movies, "Mary Poppins", called "Feed The Birds"! Click here to see a Video Clip! As far as the impending weather, stay tuned!