Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Nor'easter Slammed Us

New England is well known for its crazy weather but this particular storm caught most of us off guard. A big storm like this in October? Very rare. I'm not sure I've ever seen a storm like this. The snow was so wet and heavy that it took down trees, branches, and power lines throughout New England and over three million people are still without electricity. We were one of the lucky ones and our power was restored within 24 hours but most of our city is in the dark. It will be a week before some folks have electricity again. What's hard is that with temperatures in the twenties, no electricity means no heat for many people. I guess it's a little better than when the ice storm hit us a few years back, the temperature was in the single digits that time. We had to sleep with coats and hats on!

One of the power lines that leads to our building caught on fire during the storm. It was dropping sparks on the cars in our parking lot (we live in a condo) and was working its way to the building. The fire department came and looked at it but simply told us to call them if the line came down. I watched the fire worm its way down the wire and it made me quite nervous. "Lord," I prayed, "I'll never be able to get to sleep with that wire on fire so close to the building. Could you put it out, please?" Less than three minutes later a tree above the wire let go of a huge load of snow and the snow put out the fire. "Wow! Lord, you work quickly!"  Fire wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to dying. Not that we get a choice but it never hurts to give the Lord a heads up.

The roads were cleared of snow fairly quickly this morning so we attended Mass ( dirty, because there was no hot water and nobody takes a cold shower when there's no heat in the house) and then went to my parents' house for breakfast since they have a gas stove. As we drove and looked around we were shocked by the damage the storm left in its wake. There were tree limbs and downed trees everywhere! On cars, houses, in the was crazy! No one seemed to escape this storm unscathed. Heavy snow and high winds can cause a lot of damage. The clean up around here will take weeks... if not months.

It seems that we are constantly breaking weather records these past few years. What next? Tornadoes in the Winter?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sabbath Moments

Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. Here are a few of my special moments this week:

~ My sister and I visited St. Joseph the Worker Shrine in Massachusetts this week. We went to Confession and visited the gift/bookstore while we were there. The store has a used book section and I hit the jackpot! Someone had just dropped off a huge stack of great books, some of which I had been wanting to read for a while, and I left with just about the whole stack! It felt like Christmas in October! I love when this happens! They sell the used books for dirt cheap and I would never have been able to buy them all new...well, not all at once anyway.

~ It snowed a few nights ago! When I woke up the next morning and looked outside I was awestruck by how beautiful the trees looked wearing their bright fall colors topped with a layer of white fluff. We don't usually get snow this early so it was a nice surprise. We are supposed to have a huge snowstorm tonight too! My puppy, Caesar, ate his first snowball and loved every bit of it!

~ After Mass Friday morning, I met a friend for breakfast and we spent an hour and a half talking, laughing, and simply enjoying each other's company. We've known one another since high school and try to get together regularly. Thank you, Lord, for good friends!

~ I enjoyed my break from blogging...maybe a little too much. I got a lot accomplished this week and am tempted to extend my blogging break a bit longer :) Not too long, though!

I hope everyone had a great week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fall Cleaning Break

I'm taking a short break from blogging to do my fall cleaning. When the handprints on your walls start waving at you and the dust bunnies are having litters under your bed and in your closets it's a sign that your house is trying to tell you something. Be back soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Link to a Great Post

Barb at Suffering with Joy has written an excellent post on reading the Bible. I highly recommend reading her article How to Get More from Reading the Bible. She has also listed a number of resources that she has found helpful. Well worth checking this out!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hey! I've got a bit of time on my hands...

...anyone want me to +1 them for a while?

I need a "test market".

What's all this +1 Stuff About?

What is the purpose of the +1 symbol I'm seeing everywhere lately? Does anyone know anything about it? Out of curiosity I tried to click on it a short while back but it said that only certain people had been selected to take part in it.  Can anyone do it now? I can see that it's to recommend sites and articles but what exactly does it do? Raise your Google standing?

 Yes, I'm looking for the logistics behind it.

Puff? You know "stuff", right?


Monday, October 17, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Vicky at Victoria Leach - Portrait Art has passed on to me a Stylish Blogger Award. Vicky is a gifted artist and an incredibly sweet lady that I am honored to have met online. Many thanks for the award, Vicky!

One of the rules is to share 7 things about yourself and then pass the award along to 5 other bloggers. Here are seven things about me that you might not know:

1. I am a total bookworm and passed the bookworm gene down to my daughter. My parents owned a bookstore when I was a child and I was allowed to read as many books as I wanted to as long as I handled the book very carefully and did not crease it in any way. Randy bought me a Kindle last year because my books clutter up the house. I am currently deeply absorbed in a book titled The Night's Dark Shade: A Novel of the Cathars by Elena Maria Vidal who is also a blogger. The book is so engrossing that I went to sleep two hours later than planned Saturday night because I had a tough time putting it down.

2.When the Lord healed me of Myasthenia Gravis He threw in a couple of bonus healings that I was too embarrassed to mention before now. He healed a large cyst on my head that I had for twenty was gone within three days of the healing service. I had never bothered having it removed because it required shaving an area of my scalp almost two inches wide and my hair is too fine and would not have covered the bald spot. He also healed my toenail fungus :) Yeah, I gross! This cracked me up and made me realize that God has a very good sense of humor.

3. As strange as it may sound, shortly after these healings I mentioned above, God also healed a hip and foot problem I had since birth. The healing took place while I was reading the book The Third Floor Window by Colleen Spiro. Colleen had sent me a copy of her book...little did I realize the impact it would have on my life.  God works in funny ways at times. My gait, while not perfect, is more like a regular person's now and I have much less back trouble. Weird but true.  What is it with me and books, anyway? It was a book that first led me to attend a healing service in the first place.

4.  For a couple of months after these healings took place my body was as flexible as a child's - it was remarkable! I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed when this extreme flexibility went away :)

5. My vision is terrible and stayed that way! Lol! If it weren't for the fact that I wear contacts (or glasses) I would be considered legally blind. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

6. I love to doodle and to sketch but could not draw for many years because the Myasthenia Gravis had affected my hands so much. One of the things I did after being healed was that I started drawing again. Am I very good? No, but it brings me joy.

7. I cry when I write poetry about God. Am I very good? No, but it brings me joy :)

I'd like to pass this award on to :

~ Anne Bender at Imprisoned in My Bones
~ Colleen Spiro at Thoughts on Grace
~ Karinann at Daughter of the King
~ Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii
~ Sarah at Harbor of Aloha
~ Barb at Suffering with Joy
~ Mary at Hope Echoes
~ Puff at Puff's Blog About Stuff
~ Victor at Time for Reflections

I's only supposed to be passed on to 5 people, but I'm very nosy and like to know more about people. If you've already received it, please ignore :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Saint Maker

 Willem Joseph Laquy - credit Wikimedia Commons
God is determined to make saints out of us. And believe me, He has an endless supply of saint making material and most of these materials are other people. If you ask God for a particular virtue you will get plenty of chances to practice said virtue.

For instance, did you ever notice that when you ask God to increase your patience, everyone, and I mean everyone, wakes up grouchy the following morning? Including the cat? You wonder who stole your family and replaced them with the sour-faced aliens glaring at you across the breakfast table. Let the games begin.

 I won't tell even you what happened after I prayed the Litany of Humility by Cardinal Merry Del Val but let me assure you that it wasn't pretty and involved a sick person, a clothespin, and a ton of scrubbing in the ladies room at church. And that was just the morning.

Did I mention that I only prayed the prayer once? I planned to pray it regularly, I really did, but I'm still recovering from the first time. I figure a year or two should do the trick.  I really DO want humility just not quite yet.

Afraid? Who me? Hey, if  procrastinating worked for St. Augustine it should work wonders for regular people, right?

 Of course, I use the term "regular" people loosely. In truth...there is no such thing as a "regular" person.  The irate lady honking her car horn at you to make you go faster? The apple of God's eye. That screaming toddler hanging from your leg? His beloved (albeit grumpy) child. And that bald, chubby man behind you at the grocery store impatiently drumming his fingers on the checkout counter as you paw your way through your messy purse trying to find that dumb rewards card? A saint-in-the-making. If you were to see his soul with the glorious indwelling of the Trinity your jaw would drop in awe.  We are, each and every one, children of the King. And the glory of God surrounds us. It's a good thing that God blinded us to a degree or not much work would get done here on earth. We would spend all our days lost in wonder at the glory of God, both in ourselves and in others. We are temples of the Holy Spirit and this is no small thing.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.
                                                                                       C.S. Lewis

Chew on that one for a while. Leave it to C.S. Lewis to state the truth so bluntly. Made me think twice about yelling at my child, that's for sure. I am likely losing my temper with a future saint. I came across this quote by C.S. Lewis last year and  to say it affected me is an understatement. With a few simple words it puts life into its proper perspective, doesn't it?

We may not see this splendor in others yet...but it is there.

God sanctifies his people and usually uses ordinary, everyday circumstances to do so.  I joked around at the beginning of my post about the means He uses to form a holy people for himself but in all actuality... it's no joke. The everyday circumstances of our lives (that may seem so pointless, monotonous or possibly disgusting  in our eyes) have the ability to produce great saints if we cooperate with the grace God gives us. Virtues have the chance to flourish and vices can be overcome just by our day to day responses to the challenges the Lord allows to be thrown in our path. There are no circumstances on this earth that God cannot use as saint making material. Even scrubbing a public
bathroom that a stranger was very sick in.

Sorting through junk mail, scrubbing floors, taking care of children, dealing with frazzled customers - each small (and large) detail of our daily lives has God's signature written all over it.

It's all saint making material...every single bit of it.

We choose whether to use it as such.

What can I say? I mean I was traumatized.

But you are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises" of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
                                                                      1 Peter 2:9

Simple Laws of Life - How "Regular" People Become Holy

I have learned a lot thus far during my years here on earth. Here are some of the lessons I've learned:

~ If you knock something off the counter in the bathroom it's almost a guarantee that it will fall into the toilet. Especially if it's a toothbrush or dental floss. This is God's way of teaching us "to be neat and close the seat".

~The grocery bags with the glass jars of red tomato sauce are always the ones that rip. This is God's way of teaching us not to swear.

~ Even if your house is mostly flooring, a new puppy will find the two carpets in your home and do his "business" on them. Pups like to "go" in comfort and carpets are softer and warmer on their paws. The chances of a puppy "going" on your rug rises to almost 99.9% if the puppy has diarrhea. This is God's way of teaching us humility. Picking up "dog poo" will do that (yes, humble you) after the 100th time. It also may be God's subtle way of hinting that you just might be a bit smellier than the dog and that it's time to go to Confession.

~ If you are in a terrible rush driving to an appointment that you waited until the last minute to leave the house for, you will most likely be stuck behind two elderly nuns off to do the convent grocery shopping and travelling at 15 miles per hour because they took a vow of poverty and the grocery store tempts them. Never try to pass said elderly nuns, they drive in "beastmobiles" or other very large sedans and take up most of the road. They'll throw you to the curb in a heartbeat. This is God's way of teaching us patience. Yes, and prudence also. Trust me on this one.

~ If a store is having a 75% off sale and you have a 25% off coupon do NOT, I repeat, do NOT, go to the store that rhymes with "Bohl's". This is a subtle tactic of Satan's to get you to spend money frivolously and works on most women because women believe that 75 and 25 equals 100. The devil is a liar, though, and makes the 75 and 25 add up to just 76. How he does this I'll never know... but the Lord allows it to help teach us to be good stewards of money and to rid us of greed. (And, personally, God, I think this one is very unfair for teaching us wisdom. A simple two-by-four over the head might work more quickly.)

~ If you decide to take "just a quick dash down to the store" with greasy hair, no make up, and ratty sweatpants, you are likely to run into every old school friend (male and female) you've ever known but haven't seen for twenty years and the words, "Boy, did she go downhill..." will echo through your ears as you stand in the longest checkout line in history. God allows this to teach you not to be vain. It also teaches you not to be a glutton as you realize that "just maybe" that pint of "Ben and Edy's Maximum Choco-power Caramel Swirl Delite" is NOT a necessity...not even on "those" days. He also uses this to teach you that you actually DO NOT have ESP and cannot read the minds of others. This is a great one (in God's eyes) because it kills three birds with one stone.

P.S. (Those coupons don't work at "Lacy's" either. Not even at "J.C. Pennypinchers".)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I would feel bad for a robber...

...if he picked me to mug. Yesterday, Randy and I headed to his work's credit union which is about twenty minutes away. You have to take a toll road to get there. About 30 seconds before we got to the tollbooth, Randy glanced over at me:

"Hon, you got any money?"

"Uhmmm, nooo, how 'bout you?"

"Nothing in these pockets  'cept lint."

"Well, lint won't work. You think they take debit cards?"

 "Don't think so. Can't you scrape something out of that bottomless pit you call a purse?"

"I'll try." So we pulled over into the breakdown lane while I started digging into the pit purse. Ten balled up gum wrappers later I handed Randy my "treasure".

"That's only 70 cents! That's all the change you have?!"


 "Dig deeper, please. We can't turn around, there's no place to do that!" I scraped up three more pennies from the dregs of my purse and handed it to him.

" goes nothing." We pulled up to the tollbooth, heads hanging, and showed the lady our 73 cents. The three pennies had little bits of gum encrusted on them. The lady frowned down at it and handed us a bill for $1.50. Red-faced we drove away.

Moral of the story:

When you go on trips that require toll money, don't forget to bring the kid who collects all your spare change and keeps it in her little Hello Kitty coin purse.

And, just as a side note for those whose deepest desire in life is a career as a tollbooth operator - you must past a lip curling and eyebrow waggling exam to apply. This is not an's a requirement.  Just a friendly reminder for all you tollbooth operator wannabes out there.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sabbath Moments - The "Good Thief"

Sabbath Moments is a weekly meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. These are the moments when we "let go and let God" and live in the present moment. Here are a few of them :

This is "Porky" and she lives in the woods next to our home. She, along with "Foxy Roxy" (sorry, no picture) are the neighborhood "pets" (yes, this is an anagram).

And this little guy below? Well, I'll let him speak for himself:

I chew on everything!

      Including Mommy's books. That's what she gets for leaving them in piles behind the sofa. Slob! I
      steal them and drag them under the sofa sometimes. I steal from her purse when she forgets to put it
      on the table as she comes in. I can't get it when she puts it in the fridge. Why does she do that? She
      says it's hormones but Daddy says she's been doing it all her life. I believe him because I saw her
      put ice cream in the cabinet once. Plus, she loses her keys every single day. (I help her lose them.)

                  I can hear you even when I'm asleep. These ears aren't just for show you know!

                                She won't know what hit her when I wake up! I better hide my grin!


                  Five minute naps are too long! Now, where did I hide Michaela's new shoes?

Friday, October 7, 2011

I am curious...

Am I the only one who is still having trouble commenting on the sites of my fellow bloggers? Every single day at least half the comments I leave do not go through. Is this happening to anyone else? It was suggested to me that the problem may be with my browser, Internet Explorer, so if anyone else is having this problem I'd be interested in hearing from them. Thanks.

Though it wouldn't surprise me if I'm the problem. Technology and I never did get along very well...

Community of Catholic Bloggers

I posted at the Community of Catholic Bloggers today. If you have not yet visited this new site, I invite each of you to come on over and check it out. It's a community effort and we would love to have your feedback! Thanks!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Scoop

My puppy has giardia. He has the runs as he runs...I kid you not. And he never stops running.

Run, Caesar, run.
See Caesar run.
Stop, Caesar, stop.
Caesar won't stop.

- My puppy is leaking  :(
- I can't catch him  :(
- Pooper scoopers don't work on diarrhea :(
- The medication takes weeks to work fully :(

Sigh. Poor little tyke.