Friday, August 28, 2009

The Hills Are Alive.....

This is "Sound of Music" weekend for us. Once again the Father Gabriel Richard High Dramalums are putting on an outstanding show to help raise money to build a theatre in the high school. The drama coach at this high school is so amazing that her alumni actually come back in the summer to do this for the benefit of the school.

It's a fabulous show and I encourage all of you local people to come see it. Shows are tonight at 8, tomorrow at 8 and Sunday at 2. (And it's a good cause.)

Here are some pictures. (not in order, I'm afraid. Sorry)

Here is Mary as one of the final acts in the show right before the escape of the Von Trapp family.
Jim, as Friedrich Von Trapp (oldest son.

Maria and Friedrich as Maria agrees to teach him a folk dance.

Mary as one of the dancers at the ball. She is dancing with Tom, the son of Pat who sometimes comments on this blog.
The Von Trapp Family...
It's a busy, busy, fun weekend. Mike is coming in from South Bend tonight with a friend to see the show. John is the musical director and also moved into an apartment today. And... I purchased all the refreshments to sell at intermission tonight and will need to go early to set it all up (and sell them at intermission....and sell tickets.)

I love these drama productions. Maybe I'll post more pictures when I have more time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No Rationing in National Health Care? Think Again

In today's Wall Street Journal Betsy McCaughey has written an excellent article entitled "Obama's Health Rationer-in-Chief." You can read the entire article here.

"Dr. Emanuel argues that to make such decisions, the focus cannot be only on the worth of the individual. He proposes adding the communitarian perspective to ensure that medical resources will be allocated in a way that keeps society going: "Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity—those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberations—are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Covering services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic, and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia." (Hastings Center Report, November-December, 1996)"

What is going on here? Where are the journalists with integrity? (I know there are some on Fox News.) How can they let Obama continue to say that his health care plan will not require rationing. Dr. Emanuel is the health policy advisor at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Research. AND....are you ready for this? He is described as a bioethicist!!! Yup, this guy is a bioethicist. We actually live in a country where a man who has said the above quote is not dismissed as an irrational and ill individual, if not a sociopath. He is a bioethicist and advisor to the President of the United States!!!

So, Dr. Emanuel, if those with dementia are not to receive health care, how about those with Downs Syndrome? Those with learning disabilities? How about the physically handicapped? The mentally retarded?

And Dr. Emanuel, may I ask, when exactly did you decide you were entitled to take on the authority of God?

If President Obama is not interested in health care rationing he would not have this man as an advisor. Just because rationing may not be spelled out in the bill does not mean it will not happen. The President clearly thinks these are good ideas.

I will write about this more later. Some of you may remember my mother suffered from Alzheimer's Disease for many years. I am actually too upset about this to go on. Plus, Blogger or something is messing with my spacing. It feels like harassment. If there are odd spaces in this post, know that I'm trying to fix it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yikes! A Spam blog?


What a relief.  I can post again.  

Yesterday I received an email from Blogger saying my blog had been locked because it was identified as a possible "spam blog!"  I had to "appeal for a review" online, which I did.  I must say Blogger did attend to it quickly.  I was only down for about 24 hours.

It said if they didn't hear from me in 20 days my blog would be deleted!  Whoa!  That got my attention.  There are a lot of things I've written about that I want to remember.  You know, posts that are really journal entries of the life of my family.  Has anyone ever printed out their whole blog?  Can you do that?  I wouldn't want to print out the color template with every page.  If I did it at home, that would be a lot of ink.

Has anyone printed out their blog or know someone who has?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Memento or Useless Item?

What am I doing today?

Well, I set the timer to make sure I spent at least an hour sorting through things in the garage and tidying.

There are four or five boxes of stuff in there that are full of things taken from my parents' house on the day we left it.  Liz is going through some old slides, seeing if there are some we should save.  My parents traveled a lot and there are a lot of pictures.

It's hard for me to throw things out.  I am sentimental.  And I tend to hoard.  I never know if I'm hoarding or treasuring a family memory.  I never know if I'm throwing out something that's of no use to anyone anymore or throwing out an irreplaceable memento.

Here is Liz's rule on the slides.  If' it's scenery with no people we know in it, throw it out.  If it's a good picture of Grandma or Grandpa or some other family member or family friend, keep it.  She keeps calling me, "Mom!  Look at this one!" or "Mom, here's a picture of Grandpa." or "Hey, Mom, do you know these people?"

But we HAVE gotten rid of a lot of stuff.

It's hard.  There's the step stool that always sat in my mother's kitchen.  We're all short.  We used that thing all the time.  It's so familiar that it feels like I should hang on to it.  But I have no room for it in my kitchen.  And, after all, it's just a step stool.

There's the chair my grandmother (my grandmother, mind you, not even my mother) always sat in when she played the piano.  My father kept it when she died and then my parents had it in their house.  Now that sounds pretty sentimental, doesn't it?  But my family room and living room are full of furniture that belonged to my mother and grandmother.  I mean, there's no more room.  I have given quite a bit to my adult children.... 

Maybe I need to remember that these are things, not the people themselves.  May my dear departed loved ones rest in peace.  May I keep what is truly important and discard what is really not meaningful to anyone. 

Sheesh.  This doesn't come to me easy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weight Loss Wednesday

My oldest daughter Anne and I laughed so hard when we saw this refrigerator magnet in a gift shop on Mackinac Island.  I had to rush across the street to the public restrooms.  It's made by a company whose web address is  ( Just to give credit where credit is due.)

I decided to give it to good friend and Weight Watcher buddy Jill who I think will also find it hilarious.

Yes, I'm back at Weight Watchers.  Some of you may remember that I used to post a "Weight Loss Wednesday."  I stopped because I got sick of going up a pound, down a pound, up a pound etc. like a see-saw.  I decided to stop writing about it until I wanted to be serious about losing weight.  Well, now I"m serious and was doing pretty well until Mackinac Island fudge was purchased and my resolve melted like the fudge itself in my mouth.  I love that stuff.

Well, I'm back on track now and may even start a Weight Loss Wednesday posting again.  (I've had enough fudge.)

P.S.  While I generally do not enjoy exercise I am trying a lot harder to get it done.  In the last three days I've exercised 60 minutes each day.  (Curves, walking, Wii fit)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Loyal Friend and Visitor Award

Jean at Catholic Fire has given me the following Loyal Friend and Visitor Award. I am so very honored. As many of you surely know, Jean's blog is one of the best. It is intelligent, very Catholic, and very timely. I have regularly read it for some time now. I can always depend on Jean to keep me informed of news important to Catholics. Thank you, Jean!!

Here are the rules:
1. Copy the loyal picture above and post it on your blog.
2. Pass it on to who you think who is/are deserving.
3. Leave a message to them
4. Pass as many as you want.
5. Message back or leave a comment to the owner.

I pass the Loyal Friend and Visitor Award to the following friends, perhaps many of whom have already received it. I have not had time to keep up with everyone's blogs lately....

Suzanne at Suzanne's Shorelines-- I love the sincerity and honesty of Suzanne's blog. She is a longtime and dear blogging friend

Sarah-Kala at So This is the Road I'm Traveling On-- Sarah is a newer e-friend. Her posts are always interesting and often very funny. I've enjoyed her journey to Hawaii.
(although Sarah has already received it:-)

Mimi at Bigger Than a Breadbox-- (who has also already received it:) Mimi has been a blogging friend for a long time. Her posts are always thoughtful and interesting.

Deb at Ukok's Place-- Deb has been an e-friend from the beginning of my blog. She is one of those people I really hope to meet one day. Sincere, creative, and fun, Deb's blog is always a good read.

Denise at Catholic Matriarch in my Domestic Church-- Denise's blog is wonderful. She is a doctor (among many other things) and her posts on current events, especially as they relate to health care and life issues are always extremely informative. And, let's face it. She has one of the coolest blog names around. I had the pleasure of meeting Denise in person at this year's March for Life!

And there are many other blogs I love a lot!!! Thanks to all of the above for reading my blog from time to time and for providing such enjoyable reading on their own blogs for me!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our trip to Northern Michigan

This is where we were in Northern Michigan.  It's a lovely group of simple cottages in a quiet, peaceful place.  My dear friend, Ann, (one of the owners) is pictured here at the entrance.

 On our first day we went to Mackinac Island, a lovely, picturesque island in the Straits of Mackinac (between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.) Cars are not allowed on Mackinac, only horse drawn vehicles and bikes.  Tandems are always a fun choice for rental.

In the past, we have biked around the perimeter of the island, along the shoreline.  It's a gorgeous route all the way around and completely flat so an easy ride.  This time some adventurers wanted to ride across the middle of the island.  We all agreed but found out that across the island is a MUCH tougher ride-- all uphill on one side and and all downhill on the other.  Below is pictured the view from on top.
OK.  Photos are out of order.  You have to take a ferry to Mackinac and below are some of the kids on the ferry ride.

I rode a tandem with my nephew and Godson Mitch!  I must confess I was a little hesitant to be on the back when I realized what our ride was going to be like (especially the downhill part).  But 14-year old Mitch was a pro at controlling that thing, speeding downhill but making a smooth stop, weaving in between people, with his superior reflexes, eyesight, and intuition.  It was a great ride!

Mike and I at a scenic overlook.  We really appreciated the water which was free with the rental!

Jim... deep in thought.....:-)

On other days we visited lighthouses...
celebrated our two mid August birthdays.....16yo Monique in the middle and 13yo Liz on the right.  Sweet Mary on the left.
The kids swam a lot and had fun trying to push each other off the raft.  Here both Monique and Mary are trying to push Liz off and they were repeatedly unsuccessful!!!!  Liz is strong.

One of the most wonderful things about Lorien is that it is only advertised by word-of mouth.   We usually know at least half the people there when we arrive.  There are nearly always other kids that my children already know before they get there.  Below is a volleyball game of almost all the young people there.  I think there was a good 13 year age difference between the oldest and youngest, but all were welcome to play and all were having a great time.

We brought our hammock from home and I must say it was almost always occupied.
This is a photo of the moon rising.  The picture doesn't really do it justice.  It was the most amazing pinkish color.  So beautiful.

I know there are at least several people who read this blog who have been to Lorien many times, and at least one who was there with us!!   (Feel free to add your two cents:-)  Others who may want to know how to contact Lorien about rental information feel free to email me.

It was a blessed time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The "Cash for Clunkers" Deal

I'm going to write about my trip soon but I just had to write on the cash-for-clunkers deal of the Obama administration.

My husband has worked for an auto company and auto related companies for many years.  I am happy there is an incentive for people to buy new cars.  It is great for Detroit.  (At least in the short term.)

But it does bug me that when you turn in a "clunker," that being a high mileage car, you do get a nice rebate from the government(which we all pay for), but the catch is that the dealership must have the "clunker" crushed.  The evil gas-guzzling car MUST BE DESTROYED!!!

I think this is a waste.  There are many people who will never be able to buy a new car and all of these used vehicles could be helping someone who needs a low budget car.   I know. I know.   It helps the environment, or so they say.  But what about the poor (and even not-so-poor) who can't afford a new car.  These cars could be GIVEN to them, rather than crushed.

Why not require that they be given away?  Because those who have made the environment their idol care more about emissions than they do about the poor who need cheap transportation.  Am I being too harsh?  

That's how it looks to me.  (OK.  Next post I'll talk about something nice-- my vacation :-)

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Liz is a teenager!! Woohoo!

We have another teenager in the house!  (That makes four at the moment:-)

Here she is at the Presque Island Lighthouse near Alpena, Michigan.  This is the tallest lighthouse open to the public on the Great Lakes.

Anyway, back to Liz.  Born less than two months from my forty-second birthday, Liz is a special blessing to our family.  She was born perfectly healthy (although not the easiest pregnancy for me-- she would have been worth it even if it had been many times as question.)

She has a colorful personality.  She's very creative and has a great sense of humor.  Warm and very outgoing, she is loved by everybody.

And... she is the only one of my children who decidedly favors my side of the family in appearance.  In fact, she bears a striking resemblance to my mother.  And that would be both in appearance AND personality.    It's very funny.  My mother who had Alzheimer's for many, many years never really knew her.  But Liz knew Grandma and was very attached to her, even in her very debilitated state.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Liz.  I can't believe you're thirteen!!!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Very Limited Access

We're having fun here in Alpena, Michigan, but internet access is very limited.  I'm waiting with my husband for a small car repair to be finished.  We stopped at the local hospital so he could use the bathroom and, lo and behold, I'm getting wifi in the parking lot!  Woohoo!  Free, too.  I was not going to pay McDonalds $2.95 for two hours.  (Cause I was not going to be there two hours, for one thing.)

I will post some pictures soon.  They're not on this computer yet so I can't get to them now.

We spent Monday on Mackinac Island.  Always fun.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Mackinac, it's an island in the straits of Mackinac (between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron).  No cars are allowed on Mackinac.  It's very beautiful, lots of old historic buildings and lovely homes.  Bicycles and horse drawn vehicles are everywhere.  And.... they make great fudge!!  (not good for weight watchers...)

We rented bikes (three tandems and two single bikes).  It was a lot of fun.  

Car is done.  Gotta go.  More later  :-)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

We're off!

This morning we are leaving for Northern Michigan for a week.  I might have Internet access once or twice (in town) but maybe not....

So, if you don't hear anything from me for the next seven days, that's why.  (Although I do hope to post once or twice.)

Right now I'm feeling a little overwhelmed from the packing and planning.  And I feel like I might be getting a cold.   Oh well.  Once we get there I'll get lots of rest, hopefully in my hammock.

Have a great week!