Monday, September 30, 2013

At the end of the entry for today in Magnificat there is a quote from Saint Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (whom I've never heard of :-)

"Prayer is a private audience granted to us by God."

May I never think of prayer as something I must get to.  Indeed.  A private audience with God!!!
It's a beautiful Fall day which I would be enjoying on a bike ride with my daughter if it were not for this persistent headache and mild stomach distress.

I don't eat gluten anymore as a result of advice given me by another daughter.  She thought gluten might be upsetting my digestive system.  Once I tried eliminating gluten it was obvious that she was right.  I may have accidentally been glutenized last night.  Any time I eat out it's a real possibility.

So.....still kind of getting used to this new way of eating....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I do not have a notable view from my bedroom window.  It looks out over rooftops of houses not very far away, but still there's a lot of sky to take in.  The window I most enjoy at night is the Eastern window because it's high and the shade does not need to be closed for privacy.  Sometimes I can see the moon from this window.  (Once I pinched a nerve in my back by trying to arch backward to see the moon with my head on my pillow.  Not a good idea. :-)

But this morning this was the view I was treated to.

NOT. a bad view.  "In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Great is his faithfulness!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Morning Glories!

The other day I wrote about my neighbor's morning glories blooming all over his white picket fence and how he had told me that the blue ones need their roots in a cool location and generally "are prissy."  LOL.

Well, if the blue beauties are prissy, what would you call these white ones?

I'd call them rockin' hardy survival-of-the-fittest morning glories!!  Note that these are growing where they were NOT planted, right out of a crack between two cement patio blocks.  I love it when flowers do this.  OK.  I know it's not supposed to be there.  In fact, in my last post about morning glories, Mimi commented that where she lives white morning glories are considered weeds.

American Heritage Dictionary entry for weed:  a plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one growing where it is not wanted in cultivated ground.

The little flower is attractive though, is it not?  It is not undesirable or troublesome because I like it there.  (All right, truth be told, these same morning glories in a nearby bed are entwining themselves all over the other plants.)  Weed vs. it in the eye of the beholder?

I love the blue morning glories for their vulnerability and strikingly beautiful blooms.  But I love these little, white, weedy ones too....for their resilience.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I have a favorite time of day to take my dog Nala for a walk.  It's twilight.  That time of day just before it's dark.  The sky is so beautiful, such a deep, dark blue.

But any sunny day is a good time for a walk.  I love the brilliant colors of the flowers I pass, the green of the trees, the lush grass...Nature, in the sun, drips with the glory of God and I find it almost spectacular.

This morning the sky was grey.  It was drizzly and the usual bright colors seemed washed out, overcome by the moisture in the sky.  It was dreary.  I missed the lovely Autumn weather of Michigan.

But I realized that the glorious colors of nature are only possible because of the grey, moist skies that nurture all living things on the Earth.  Without the rain there is no growth, in fact, no life.  I think there may be a life metaphor here.   There are the days of wonder and the days of struggle.  Is it perhaps the days of struggle that nurture the days of wonder?

Ahhh, maybe there are just good days and bad days.  :-)  Sunny days and rainy days.  And it's all good.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Phantom Coffee Pot...

Yes, the phantom coffee pot.  My husband commented that it had never looked so clean.  Indeed.

This is all that was left after it bumped another glass.  Looks funny though, doesn't it?

It looked even funnier with a big hole in the side but coffee still in it.  No, we didn't try to drink what was left.  :-)  I think that decanter only lasted about a year.  Thankfully, you can buy just the pot.  Have to be careful with glass!!

Monday, September 16, 2013

His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

I planted a number of morning glories right next to my front porch in the Spring.  The vines took off and climbed up the railing very nicely.  We eagerly awaited their blooming as the vines climbed all the way to the edge of the roof.  And we waited...and waited....and waited.  Finally I concluded that the soil or the weather or something was wrong.   I accepted that they would probably not bloom at all.  The vines still looked pretty.  Then one morning we woke to a couple of these little flowers smiling back at us.  And eventually there were regularly 8 or 9 opening every morning.  Mind you, this is September in Michigan.  It's pretty late.  Still, a treat nonetheless.

As I walked our dog Nala one recent morning I saw one of my neighbors whose morning glories are blooming and climbing all over his white picket fence.  I said, "I'm enjoying your morning glories."  Then I explained how little mine were blooming.  He told me that they take a long time to bloom if the roots are in a shaded location (Mine are.)  He also asked what color they were.  His are purple.  Mine are pink and some blue.

He said the blue ones bloom late.  I guess I'm lucky to have the one beauty pictured above.  He said, "They're prissy."  I laughed.  Prissy flowers are not a good choice for my flower beds where survival of the fittest is the rule of my not-very-green-thumb.  These "prissy" flowers are beautiful though, aren't they?

Whenever I see these lovely vines with just a few reluctant blooms I'm reminded of the Lord's mercies.  New every morning.  Indeed.  Great is His faithfulness.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Reflections on September 11

I have to confess that throughout the day on September 11, I more than once looked up when I heard the sound of a plane flying overhead.  The thoughts that were so frequent in those days and weeks after the attack returned several times.  Is that plane flying unusually low?  Do planes that size usually fly over this area?  It's been twelve years...but I still bear the scars of an American who remembers the day that evil had its way with my country.

September 11 was also the anniversary of the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi where four Americans were killed, including our ambassador, and where calls for help were ignored.  It was a shameful example of executive incompetence in the State Department and the White House.   That the subsequent explanatory deceptions were largely ignored by the mainstream media made the situation all the more tragic for the families of the people who died.

John Yoo wrote an excellent article in the Sept. 16, 2013 issue of National Review entitled  A Thousand Little Tyrants in which he  details the bloating of the administrative state under the Obama administration.  I recommend it.  I particularly appreciated his mention of the handling of the Benghazi tragedy.  Here is an excerpt:
President Obama's allegiance to the liberal administrative state guaranteed that his presidency would run aground on the very shoals that Hamilton marked out.  It's operations are so vast, and its reach so sprawling, that it lies beyond the control or comprehension of any one man or group of men, making rational management impossible. 
It's dispersal of authority and dilution of responsibility produced the debacle in Benghazi, where no one felt responsible for the fates of American diplomats trapped in the consulate, nor would any decision, had it come, have been executed with the speed necessary to save them.
Surely the "dilution of responsibility" did contribute to the horrors of that night, but one has to wonder if the president's hesitancy about what to do in Syria was not also in play during the Benghazi attack.  A leader needs to lead.  The most important time for that to happen is when American lives are at stake.  If the media were doing its job we would know by now what exactly happened and why no rescue was attempted.

These are strange and disturbing times we're living in....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11-- 12 years later

In some ways it's hard to believe that 12 years have passed since that fateful 9/11.

In other ways, it's very clear.  I picked up my son John from grade school on that day.  The school had not told the students anything, thinking it best for parents to take on that job.  I was grateful.  John was only 11 at that time but the stunned look on his face communicated that he understood quite clearly the horror of what had happened.  Now he's in graduate school in London.  Funny how the aging of our children confirms for us the passage of time.

I don't want to see any replays any more.  I don't want to the see the towers collapsing again.  It's just too painful.

Several weeks after 9/11 there was a mysterious plane crash in New York.  I was in the waiting room of a doctor's office at the University of Michigan Health Center.  A number of people were gathered around, glued to the TV, wondering if this had been another terrorist attack.  My daughter Mary, only 6 quietly cried as she looked at the TV and I realized she had seen the 9/11 replays way too many times.

A woman from the registration desk had seen Mary's reaction and came walking over to her.  She leaned down and quietly said directly to Mary, "Would you like to watch Sesame Street?"  Mary nodded through her tears.  That woman walked right over to the TV and changed the channel to Sesame Street.   She glanced back at us and I silently mouthed "Thank you."  She smiled, giving not a glance to the adults in the room and went back to her desk.  I will always be grateful to her.

9/11 was an awful day.  The most powerful country in the world had been brought down with a couple of box-cutters.  So many people died, so many died trying to help.

That there were people so full of hate, so lacking in any kind of rational conscience, was horrifying.

May they rest in peace, Lord.  You have told us to pray for our enemies and so I do.  But I pray too that you would open the eyes of all those who would kill innocent people, all those who hate.  Please protect this country, Lord, from all those who wish us harm.  You, who have loved our country from the start, please do not abandon us to the forces of evil.  Please protect us.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us!!!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Yesterday it was chilly enough for me to change into jeans from shorts.

Today we have a heat advisory.  The high is expected to be 95.  I kid you not.  This is MIchigan.  But I'm not complaining.  It's a beautiful, clear blue sky.  Just lovely, really.

Some scenes from my backyard.  Love this flower..

This is my favorite flower bed.  I can see it from my kitchen sink and lots of birds come to the bird bath.

This is my least favorite bed.  OK, I kind of lost interest in it.  The mint (which I do love) is taking over along with weed and vines.  Oh well.

I  love the color variations in this flower.  Is it orange?  Is it pink?  It's both!!

Basic sweet, bright pink zinnia.

This is kale which replanted itself from last year.  The stalk is big and woody but we've gotten a lot of kale from it.  I've made white bean with kale soup, but usually we make kale slaw out of it.  I posted the recipe a few years ago.  You can find it here should you like to try it.  My entire family loves it.

And this is our very silly dog Nala.  Here she is eating pears that have fallen off our pear tree.  She eats loads of them, whole!  She really does!  She can eat an entire pear in about 5 seconds.  We're trying to limit her food so she will lose weight but it's useless.  She just makes up all the calories in pears!!!  It's so funny!

Well, I'm off to pick up one of the girls.  Have a blessed day!

Monday, September 09, 2013


It's raining.  Sometimes heavy, loud downpours.  Sometimes light, misty dribbles.  It makes the white rope hammock look dirty.  It probably is.  The sky is that light, grey even color that lets folks in Michigan know it may indeed rain all day.  It's the kind of day that makes 63 degrees feel chilly.  I'm thinking about the shorts my daughter wore to campus today.  It's good we went back for the raincoat.


It's peaceful.  A little chilly.  I may put jeans on instead of the lightweight, cotton capris I'm wearing at the moment.  My arms in this t-shirt and bare feet are asking for a little more coverage.

I'm getting things done that I've put off.  Love that feeling.

Praying for...

Angela... a seventeen year old girl whose mother I know.  She was hit by a car a few weeks ago.  Praying for a complete recovery from her head injury.

Peace!  In Syria and throughout the world.  My goodness, things are getting crazy out there.  Grateful to be an American.

For Alexa....Over ten days of a migraine headache.

For my family....Always.

For all the intentions in my little notebook... there is a lot to pray for....This isn't heaven.

Time to go put on those jeans....

Thursday, September 05, 2013

My youngest child has started her senior year of high school.  How the heck did that happen?  She's also decided she wants to be a pilot and has started ground school.  She only got her driver's license a month or so ago.

One of my sons is at the University of Dallas and is now a senior there!

Another son is attending graduate school in London!

My oldest daughter and her husband are in Atlanta where my son-in-law is completing chiropractor school.

How did my children come to be living so far away?

I don't like having them so far away.  It feels unnatural.  I miss them so much.

At least those in Dallas/London/Atlanta are all in school.  Maybe they will wander back to Michigan as they graduate.

My oldest is out of school and settled in Indiana.  At least it's in the Midwest and only a few hours from here!

The hardest is having a child overseas.  It's just SO FAR.  There's an entire ocean between us!  And with the world becoming more and more unstable, more crazy, I really would feel more at ease if all my children were at least in this country.  But my London son is doing good things over there and it is his plan to come back to the U.S. when his degree is complete.

My second oldest daughter is going to school locally and is living at home!!  Woohooo.  So nice that she is still here.  I love having my children around.

But...I realize it is unlikely that they will end up permanently here in Michigan.  I'm hoping for at least a couple though.  Or a couple who are at least in the Midwest?