Monday, September 29, 2014

Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel

In 1884 Pope Leo XIII had a vision of Our Lord talking to Satan.  Satan boasted that he could destroy the church in 75-100 years if given more time and more power.  The Lord granted Satan the time and the power.  Consequently, Pope Leo XIII wrote the St. Michael prayer and instructed that it be said at the end of every Mass and it was until 1959.  I am please to say that at my parish, Christ the King in Ann Arbor, MI, we have reinstated the practice.  With the world in it's current state, what better time to bring back this powerful prayer invoking the force of St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, to battle for us against the horrendous evil we are now witnessing.

Here is the abbreviated form of the prayer:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray.
And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

St. Michael the Archangel, Pray for us!!!!

Smart Phone Lesson-- Less is More

Such a pretty face.
Cute little phone.  Love the color.
I wrote last week that I hate my new smart phone.

Do I still hate it?  Yes, but not as much.

It's very attractive to look at.  I like that.

I'm getting better at typing messages and that is nice.

But I still have to redo a lot of typing and and I still get stuck being unable to move the cursor...I know what you're supposed to do but sometimes it doesn't work for me.

If I hadn't stopped biting my nails a few months ago I think typing would be easier.

My advice to myself about my smart phone is this:  Stop trying so hard.  The harder I try, the more I mess up.  Less attention to what I'm doing seems to be better than more.  I think, as is true with many things, the more I focus on being aware of what I'm doing, the more I block my body's ability to unconsciously adjust to what is needed.  I'm speaking primarily about typing and getting just the right pressure and just the right spot.

Maybe a life lesson here.  Less is more.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sharing Cars When Everyone is Going in Different Directions!

This is what it looks like when four people are sharing two cars.  Tomorrow is more complicated than usual and I was feeling bad that I was having trouble keeping every detail straight.

Then I wrote it all down.  Looking at it in writing made me realize that this is not a simple plan.  It actually is pretty complex.

I find that when I give myself a hard time about not being able to do this or that better, it is often a matter of personal pride.  Somehow, I think that I should be able to do things perfectly.  And I can't do ANYTHING perfectly!  Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like your heart.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I made what I thought was a delicious meal last night.  It was from the cookbook The Delicate Palate by Michelle Eppich Hood, subtitled For those with egg, grain, and dairy allergies and for others who prefer healthy, delicious food.  Michelle calls the dish Chicken Pesto Pasta with Artichokes (although the "pasta" is really spaghetti squash.)  As some of you know, I can no longer eat gluten.  And what a difference this dietary change has made in my health!

So, I was excited by the title and subtitle of this book!  Spaghetti squash with chicken, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and pesto.  What's not to like?

I'm afraid there was someone who does not like mushrooms, someone who does not like artichokes, and two generally picky eaters.  I'm talking about my children-- adult children, mind you.

Not to worry.  I'm really going to enjoy this dish as a leftover.  And my daughter and son-in-law will be around tomorrow.  They like healthy, tasty food and I know they will love it.

I want to try more recipes in this book.  Looks really good.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tawas Point Lighthouse

The Tawas Point Lighthouse was the site of another victory over anxiety for me this summer.

I have never liked heights and never felt the need to overcome this dislike.  But after my victory at The Shard in London this summer the Tawas Point Lighthouse did not look like such a challenge.

Here I am with my daughter, feeling quite confident of my newly found courage...

Then I found out there are 85 steps to the top, broken up by 3 landings.  OK.

Then I realize that the steps are metal grated steps that you can see through....all the way down the 85 steps.

I took a deep breath.  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  The tickets were already purchased, but these were only $2.00.  I decided I'm going up.

It wasn't as difficult as I thought.  In fact, it wasn't very hard at all.  Above is the beautiful view from the top.

And here is the light-- my proof that I made it to the top.  The guide explained to us that it's an electric light now and that park rangers come out periodically to change the bulb.  Of course, my son-in-law then quipped, "I guess then we couldn't get away with replacing it with a disco ball." LOL

I expected the descent to be harder than the ascent but it really wasn't.  God is good.  All the time.

One very interesting aspect of this lighthouse is that the public can actually stay in it as part of the Tawas Point Lighthouse Keeper program.

Imagine looking out your window and getting a bird's-eye view of sandy beaches, wetlands, shorebirds, an occasional fox and fresh blue water in almost every direction. From that same window, you can watch the sunrise and the sunset, all for just $225 per week. Sound too good to be true? Here's the catch - you live like a lighthouse keeper. That beautiful scenery is partially paid for with your own elbow grease. 
Through the Tawas Point Keeper Program, regular folks apply to be a keeper for a week, usually Friday to Friday. Peggy Allen, a Department of Natural Resource and Environment (DNRE) historian at Tawas Point, coordinates the program. Allen welcomes and trains the keepers in everything from the history of the lighthouse to where to find the lawnmower. The keeper's primary responsibilities are to greet guests and tell the history of the light, but it often goes much further. Keepers quickly adapt to wearing many hats, from tour guide to gardener to window washer.
Sound like fun?  I would love to do this some summer....And then I would climb up and down multiple times, I guess.  I think I could handle it.  Because God is good.

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Template-- An Explanation

I made a really big mistake.

I started playing with template patterns on Blogger just for fun.  I didn't want to change the template created by my blogging friend Alexa.  I loved that custom template.


If I had known that was possible to do accidentally (without having clicked "submit" or "done" I would certainly have made a copy of the html of my old template.

I didn't even know I had done it until late in the day when I went to my blog and the old template was gone!!

I used to have a saved copy of the html on our family computer but that was two computers ago, I guess.  We searched the most recent old computer and couldn't find it.

So.... that is why you are seeing the template I have here.  And lost with the template is the list of "Blogs I Like" so I don't even have those anymore.  To all my blogging friends, if you leave me a comment I will be sure to add you to my new list of "Blogs I Like."

I guess the lesson here is anything can be accidentally erased.  I must remember to make copies!!!

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.