Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Anyone remember these things?  The old viewfinders?  This one dates back to when I was a kid.  My mother purchased it with a set of little slides each depicting a mystery of the rosary.  We would insert the slide into the top of the viewer to see the picture, a 3-D (sort of) picture of some aspect of each mystery.  I loved it.  We would pass the viewer around as my family said the rosary together.

The Family Rosary.  I can't say enough good things about it.  But I did write a little essay about it for Catholic 365 and you can find it here.

Monday, September 15, 2014

I hate my new smart phone....

Today is my first full day of owning a smart phone.  I didn't want a smart phone.  My family pressured me into it.

It's a very cute phone.  I'll give it that.

The Apple employees are all so kind and enthusiastic.  I wanted to love the phone from the start.  But I just didn't.  I'm not a techy person.  I see people using their smart phones to write things down and to keep a calendar and I think, "No thank you.  I have a Franklin Planner and it's easier and faster to use than typing into a device with two fingers."  When I first bought my MacBook Pro and I was having "one-to-one" sessions at the Apple store I couldn't remember my Apple ID, but I did have my planner with me.  The Apple guy said, "Oh, I can look it up for you," and he proceeded to do just that.  In a second or two I had flipped open the planner to my Apple ID and told him, "I've got it."  He looked up amazed that I had found it faster than he could on the super fast Apple desktops in the store.   The young always assume that newer techier versions of things are more efficient. (I know, they're usually right.)

The young Apple employees showed me a few things the phone could do, including the feature where you can ask it a question and it talks to you.  They clearly loved that feature.  I thought it creepy.  They said "You're going to love this phone."  I resisted the urge to say, "I already hate it."

And that was before I went to Mass this morning and tried to turn the sound off.  I managed to find the little slide thing and moved the volume to as low as it could go.  But I wasn't sure if that meant it was silent or just very low.  I missed the very clear message on my old phone. "All sounds off."  So, I thought, OK, I'll just turn the whole thing off.  Guess what?  The button on the front face that looks the most like a power button is not the power button.  I could not turn the stupid thing off!!!  (I know all you young people are laughing.  Not to worry.  I've found the button on the top now.)

Yes, I guess it's smart.  But was it so smart when it took all my contacts on my old phone which were organized by first names with a last initial so that now the last initial is listed as the first name and the order of my contacts are all messed up and have to be reentered?

There was nothing very complicated about my old phone. that I think about it, I guess I didn't always feel that way.  It took me a while to learn to adjust the sound, to use my thumbs on the keyboard to text, to save a contact, etc...

And even as recently as yesterday I did mix up the workings of the function key vs. the shift key.

I guess I must just recognize that all things new, especially newer technological items, have a learning curve.  Maybe I will love this new cute thing someday.  But, just for today, I'm going to adopt a bad attitude and hate it.  Just for today.  Or maybe until I attend the Apple workshop on how to use it.  I will do that.  I will.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


All my life I have wanted to go to Ireland.  More than half of my ancestors were from there, my mother having been completely of Irish heritage.

There isn't any other country besides my own U.S.A, of course, that holds a warmer place in my heart. Why is that, I've wondered.  Even before my mother had set foot on Irish soil, she felt the same way.

Is it my Irish genes?  Is it that I love Irish music?  Or is that caused by the genes too?

A friend of mine who is also of Irish ancestry said that when she set foot on Irish soil she felt as though she were arriving home.  I knew what she meant.  When we landed in Ireland this summer while I was still walking across the tarmac with my sister I turned to to her and said, "We're in Ireland."  She Looked at me, smiled, and said, "Yeah."  We both knew how the other was feeling.

We spent four days in Ireland.  Needless to say, we must go back.  The above picture is of the day we took a ferry to the smallest of the Aran Islands, Inishmore, and biked around the island.  It sprinkled most of the day and occasionally rained hard.  I didn't care.  It was gorgeous, even in the rain.  During one downpour I thought that probably my camera which was in a canvas bag was going to be ruined.  And I didn't care.

To be in Ireland with my was just so good.

Such a picturesque island....

 Biking with cousins...

We just couldn't keep from smiling the whole time.  (Here I am with my sister.)

Friday, September 05, 2014 Check it out!

A new authentically Catholic website has been launched! is a "Catholic-focused article and information portal from Catholic writers and bloggers who write about things Catholics are interested in, with 3 main categories- Faith, Life, and What's Going On, from a perspective consistent with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church."  Sound good?  It does to me.  Here is the site.

Check out Larry Peterson's inspiring story of Father Augustine Tolton, From Missouri Slave to Catholic Priest to "Servant of God":  A Shining Example for All of Us.

And this timely article by Kelly Hansen about the challenges of defending the lives of elderly loved ones (and the push for "comfort care.") They Thirst: End of Life Care for Our Beloved Elderly

  And then there's Melanie Jean Juneau on Thank God For Tradition

And Reflections Upon Laughter by Karl Erickson

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Great message in this video made by Larry and Carla Sonntag in New Mexico.

Voting is what we can do for our country.  If you don't like the way this country is heading, don't you dare stay home in November.  I don't want to hear any excuses about all politicians being the same, it doesn't matter, they're all corrupt, etc.  They aren't all the same.  If you think they are maybe you should do a little more research.  Vote!!  October 6 is the deadline to register to vote in the November election in Michigan.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Headache Day

Woke up with a headache this morning.  Since I stopped eating gluten this doesn't happen nearly as  often as it used to.

Still, I'm sure it's because for four days in a row I ate something I know my body does not like.  No, it was not alcohol, although my body does not like that either.  It was dairy products.  OK, specifically, it was ice cream.  Really good ice cream.  Haagen Dazs vanilla over which I poured Smuckers Magic Shell.  It was delicious.  All four times.

I thought I was getting away with it until today.  My digestive track is so restored by my elimination of gluten, there are things I can now eat that caused trouble before, dairy products being one of them.

So, headache today but the good news is that I can at least have ice cream sometimes, just maybe not four days in a row... My body will enforce the moderation.

Any Shell fans out there?  Look at this Whole foods link I found with a recipe for homemade shell topping.

I want to try this.  Three ingredients, including all the benefits of coconut oil.  And the big benefit of not having to wonder if you're consuming some kind of petroleum product.  LOL  Truthfully, the Smuckers Shell has very recognizable ingredients and I consider it a good product.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Some Favorite London Photos (Part 1)

Being in London was fascinating not only because I had never been there, but because we were able to see first  hand where John had lived for the last two years.

The Gold State Coach at the Royal Mews.  The tour of the Royal Mews was fascinating.  This is where the royal coaches are kept.  The one pictured below is used for coronations.

Big Ben, needless to say. :-)

Had no desire to go up in the London Eye, but it was lovely to see at night.

Big Ben at night....very beautiful..