Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cookie Monster Reece

Reece is spending the night. :o) I just love typing that.

Josh's current ride broke down yesterday down the street from my house, so he had the afternoon off to try to fix it. (No luck, it's probably going to have to be towed to a mechanic). I picked him and Reece up on my way back from Mom's.

We ran a couple of errands and stopped for lunch at McD's, then came back to "Gramma's house," which is what Reece was clamoring to do the whole time. He could hardly wait to get here. :o)

We played with his toys, read books, watched Bob the Builder and Pingu. He had a scrambled egg with cheese and an apple for dinner (his choices), then spent some time outside while Papa cleaned the pool filters. Reece loves to go up on the second story deck, and to swing in his swing in the live oak.

He played so hard and didn't want to come inside, so I told him he could take a bath. He loves to take a bath. He was pretty grubby by then, so he needed one.

After his bath we made oatmeal cookies because he wanted cookies and I was out. I pulled a chair up to the counter so that he could watch and help, and he loved it. We made a huge mess, but it was fun! I think he liked the cookie dough better than the cookies. Look at that expression. :o)

When the cookies were baked he started singing, "C is for cookie" in a Cookie Monster voice. I think he picked up every cookie from the first batch, tasting a few.

After we baked all the cookies (and ate some) he found some of his new books, and we took them upstairs. I read three of them, turned off the light and he was sleeping like an angel in five minutes.

I love being Grammama.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
A bright, shiny, blue sky day. There is not a cloud in the sky right now.

I am thinking...
of the things I haven't gotten done today.

I am thankful for...
everything! This beautiful world, my family, my life.

From the kitchen...
pork chops with rice, tomato and onion in the crockpot.

I am wearing...
green capris, darker green tee with a fleur de lis on the front, bare feet.

I am creating...
a family cookbook.

I am going...
I'm just back from Adoration, and lunch at Crumpets with Mom and Kelly.

I am reading...
my dayplanner. :o) I want to find a book that Father referred to at Mass yesterday, but I've forgotten the name of it.

I am hoping...
for a new laptop computer for my birthday.

I am hearing...
Maggie meowing because her favorite guy (Josh) came by and then left again.

Around the house...
laundry is waiting, plants need to be watered.

One of my favorite things...
music. All kinds of music.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Pay bills, make a menu, grocery shop, look for small bookshelves for Reece's books.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Lyssa comforting little sister, Lily.

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman to join other bloggers sharing their daybooks.


September 29 is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.

St. Michael is our warrior angel. He fights against the evil one. We call on him in times of fear or temptation in our Prayer to St. Michael.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who wander throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

O Thou, the Father's glorious Might,
Jesus, true life of ev'ry heart.
Thee do we praise 'mid Angels bright
Whose hope and light alone Thou art.

A thousand thousand hosts, for Thee,
Of glorious warriors, battle wage;
But Michael waves Thy standard free,
Salvation's cross and vict'ry's gage.

The dragon fierce with stubborn crown
He hurls to lowest depths of hell;
The rebel crew, their prince o'erthrown,
He thrusts from Heav'ns high citadel.

The prince of pride may we, too, fight,
And follow this, our captain true,
That so the crown with glory dight
By Jesus given, may be our due.

Glory be to God the Father
Who protects by His Angels,
Those whom the Son redeemeth
And the Holy Ghost anointeth.


O most glorious prince Michael Archangel, be mindful of us, and here and everywhere entreat the Son of God for us. Alleluia, alleluia.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

40 Days For Life

The 40 Days for Life campaign is taking place from September 24 through November 2 in more than 170 cities across the USA and around the world.

Through prayer and fasting, constant peaceful vigil and community outreach, the campaign draws attention to the horror of abortion.

To the left is the famous picture of the perfectly formed feet of an aborted baby only ten weeks from fertilization, taken by Dr. Russell Sacco. The tiny feet were used as a model for the Precious Feet so familiar to those of us who are pro-life. This picture has changed the mind of many women who considered abortion.

I wasn't always vehemently pro-life. It wasn't until I "accidentally" saw some horrible pictures of aborted babies as I was flipping through channels on the TV. The pictures made me gasp and I had to stop to see what had happened to these babies. The program was the old Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker show. Looking back now, it is astonishing that they were able to show those pictures at all on daytime, network TV.

I was appalled that I hadn't realized what abortion really meant. People in my life whom I cared for deeply had had abortions and I hadn't given it much thought. At the time, I thought it was their decision to make. God forgive me. I was ignorant, giving no thought to when the "tissue" is really a baby. I was a brand new Christian, and God gave me a huge wake up call.

I've been moderately involved in the pro-life movement ever since. Sometimes I get very discouraged because so many babies are dying. Over 40 million babies have died since Roe vs. Wade--that is a holocaust. What are we, pagans, sacrificing our children for convenience, money, self? We are destroying the most precious gifts God has given us, for no good reason. It has to stop. We can't give up.

Tonight Ron and I joined others at the 40 Days for Life vigil in front of a large abortion mill, and again I wondered how much good we could possibly be doing, standing on the sidewalk holding our signs. But on the way home I thought that if just one person during the whole 40 days has a change of heart because she sees us standing there, a baby will live. That's worth everything. Tonight as I was reading some articles about the campaign online, I saw that many babies have been saved and some abortion clinics have closed or cut back their hours due to the 40 Days for Life campaign, so it is making a difference.

Our experience at the vigil was quite pleasant. The people were all sweet and friendly, and many people driving by honked their horns, waved or gave the thumbs up sign. There were a few who shouted obscenities, maybe three or four, but I think two of them were the same guy. :o) A fellow pro-lifer simply said, "God bless you," as the guy drove off. A young girl driving a pickup truck stopped to tell us thank you. The owner of a restaurant/donut shop across the street allows picketers to park in his parking lot, and he has a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe on his sign, facing the abortion clinic. The clinic was closed when we were there. It might not have been so pleasant had it been open.

If you would like to join the 40 Days for Life campaign, go here. You can pray and do the daily devotions, join a vigil, contribute financially or shop at their on-line store.

Here is Fr. Frank Pavone's prayer to end abortion.

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life,
And for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.

I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion,
Yet I rejoice that you have conquered death
by the Resurrection of Your Son.

I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.
Today I commit myself
Never to be silent,
Never to be passive,
Never to be forgetful of the unborn.

I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement,
And never to stop defending life
Until all my brothers and sisters are protected,
And our nation once again becomes
A nation with liberty and justice
Not just for some, but for all.

Through Christ our Lord.


Burning Down The House...

What Caused Our Economic Crisis?

Confused about how we got in this situation? Watch the video. It goes pretty fast, so watch it again until you get it.

You can turn off my playlist music in the left hand column to hear the video.

(Thanks to the poster PurpleMountains at Free Republic for posting the link to the video).

Friday, September 26, 2008

An Autumn Meme

I saw this on A Catholic Mom In Hawaii.

Fall Meme

When does fall begin for you?
After Labor Day. It still feels like summer here in Texas, but there's a little undercurrent that tells me colder weather is on the way.

What is your favorite aspect of fall?
Cooler weather.

What is your favorite fall memory?
A trip to Virginia in early November one year when Ron was there for several months attending a class. The leaves were beautiful colors, the air was crisp, and we had fun sightseeing. I was only there for a week, and it was fun to be with him.

What do you like to drink in the fall?
Earl Grey tea with honey.

What’s your favorite fall food?
Apple pie with cinnamon ice cream.

What is fall weather like where you live?
Still hot through September, and warm after that. It doesn't really get cold here until January. We sometimes have the heat on at night, and the AC on during the day.

What color is fall?
Sky blue, green, gold, red and orange. We have to drive to Lost Maples State Park to see really pretty fall leaves, though.

What does fall smell like?
Wood smoke.

Holiday shopping in fall?
I always say I'll have my shopping done by the end of October, but it doesn't happen. Maybe this year. :o) I do have a few things already.

If you could go anywhere in the fall, where would you go?
New England.

What is your favorite fall sport?
Hmm, I'm not into sports much, but I guess baseball during the World Series.

Do you have a favorite fall chore?
I like to bake when the weather gets cooler, but I don't think of that as a chore. So no, no favorite chore.

What is your least favorite thing about fall?
The end of summer. I love summer, and fall always makes me feel a little melancholy.

What is your favorite fall holiday?

What’s your favorite kind of pie?

Which do you prefer, the Farm or the Fair?
I like both. Farms for the produce, the fair for fun.

Do you have a favorite fall book?

How about a favorite fall poem or quote?

The morns are meeker than they were --
The nuts are getting brown --
The berry's cheek is plumper --
The Rose is out of town.

The Maple wears a gayer scarf --
The field a scarlet gown --
Lest I should be old fashioned
I'll put a trinket on.

By Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 25, 2008


This is a web picture of Kalbi ribs, but it looks just like the ones the guys made. Wish I had taken a picture of theirs.

Here's the recipe I promised. It has Jason's variations, but not Josh's. I keep forgetting to ask him what he changed, if anything.

Kalbi Ribs

5 lbs. beef ribs, cut across the bone to 3/8” slices

12 oz. soy sauce

6 oz. sesame oil

¼ cup brown sugar

A splash or two of hot chili oil (more than a splash) (helluva lot more)

2 cloves of garlic, minced (more garlic is okay)

2 bunches of scallions, sliced finely

¼ cup of toasted sesame seeds

1 hot pepper (fresh or dried), diced

fresh grated ginger, to taste

Marinate the ribs for several hours or preferably overnight. Grill. Oh my.

Jason's additions are in parentheses. He also added the hot pepper and grated ginger.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Our Lady Of Ransom

The Blessed Virgin Mary by repeated visions inspired St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymund of Pennafort to found with the aid of King James of Aragon the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the redemption of Christian captives from the infidels. The Church commemorates today this incomparable work of charity. (From The 1962 Roman Missal)

The Virgin Mary appeared separately to St. Peter Valasco, his confessor Raymund of Pennafort, and King James of Aragon on the night of August 1, 1218 requesting that a religious Order bearing the name of her mercy be established to deliver Christian captives from the infidels. Christians at the time were being seized from the coastal towns of Europe, especially Spain and Italy, and being cruelly tortured to force them to deny their faith by Muslim Moors. Many were taken as slaves, the children raised to be Muslim. It was possible to rescue these unfortunates by paying a ransom.

The Order of Our Lady of Ransom was also known as the Order of Mercy or the Mercedarians. The original Mercedarians traveled throughout the Muslim territories rescuing Christians by paying a ransom, thus restoring Christians to their Faith.

The prayer to Our Lady of Ransom is as important today as it was back then, for the same problem exists today. Christians in many places are persecuted, tortured and killed because they will not deny their faith. Many European cities have huge Muslim populations. Christians need to be ransomed not just from physical torture, but from apathy, from political correctness and pressure, from fear and secularism. Please pray.

O God, who by means of the most glorious Mother of Thy Son, wast pleased to give new offspring to Thy Church for the deliverance of Christians from the power of the heathen: grant, we beseech Thee, that we too, who love and honour her as the foundress of so great a work, may by her merits and intercession be ourselves delivered from all our sins and from the bondage of the evil one. Through the same, Christ our Lord.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Death's Head Hawkmoth?

As I was leaving the house this morning, I saw this moth on the wall of my front porch. It was about 2" long.

I bent down to look at it and saw a sort of skull marking near its head. I went back inside and got my camera, but didn't get a very good picture of it. (Still having trouble with that darn Kodak).

Today I looked online to see if I could find out what kind of moth it was, and I think it is a death's head hawkmoth.

The bottom picture is from the internet, and is definitely a death's head hawkmoth. The top picture is my front porch visitor. What do you think? Is it the same kind of moth?

Thrift Store Treasures

It's been a busy Tuesday. I was up early so that I could call my mom's dentist and get to the grocery store before I went to her place.

On the way home from Mom's I stopped at the thrift store. I'm looking for large jars with lids to use in my pantry. I didn't have any luck finding those, but I did find two cute dresses for Aubrey and about a dozen books for Reece.

Oh, and those cute little white bowls are for Josh and Cyrise. We like small dishes for ketchup and other sauces. They would also work for ice cream or other desserts.

The little dresses were half price (orange tags were 50 percent off today), so the pink Sweet Ivy dress was $1.50 and the darling Zoey dress $2.00. They are too big for Aubrey right now, but they will fit her next summer.

I know that Reece will like the books. He already has Goodnight Moon, but it's at his house. This one will stay at Gramma's. :o) And I found the companion book, My World. They were 45 cents each, as were most of the other books. The most expensive one was The Baby's Lap Book for 99 cents. It is a hardcover book of nursery rhymes with beautiful, charming pictures that Reece will love, and it's in perfect condition.

He is coming to spend the night with me tonight, and I'm excited to show him the "new" books. :o) We are having chicken jambalaya for dinner, and I think we will make some oatmeal cookies and go for a walk around the block.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
A blue jay making a racket in the live oak tree in our back yard, blue skies, fluffy white clouds, green trees. It's a pretty day, but hot.

I am thinking...
that Ron is probably in Colorado by now. He just got home Wednesday evening after two and a half weeks away, and flew out again today. This time he will only be gone until Thursday, though.

I am thankful for...
the time I got to spend with Jason and his family.

From the kitchen...
Cool Mint Oreos.

I am wearing...
Blue and black plaid capris, a black top, bare feet.

I am creating...
Still working on Aubrey's blanket. I keep starting over. I hate circular needles.

I am going...
Nowhere. I've already done my running around for today.

I am reading...
A Southern Living Cookbook.

I am hoping...
that the transmission is not going out in my car.

I am hearing...
the sound of silence.

Around the house...
sheets and towels to be washed after the kid's visit, carpets to be vacuumed and floors to be mopped. I'm in no hurry. :o)

One of my favorite things...
the smell of bread baking.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
Plant my onion sets, pepper plant and tomato for my fall garden.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman to join other bloggers sharing their daybooks.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our Lady Of The Atonement

The kids left for their home near Houston this afternoon. We didn't go to the TLM at St. Pius today so that we could see them off. We went to Our Lady of the Atonement this evening, to the Missa Cantata in Latin. The Mass is a Novus Ordo done the way it should be done.

I absolutely love this church and wish we lived closer to it. I am grateful that we live near enough to visit now and then. The church is beautiful and the Mass really is Heaven on Earth. The church has an amazing history, and is one of a handful of Anglican Use parishes in the country. Read about the parish here.

Be sure to browse the site to see the pictures of the beautiful sanctuary, the church and school. And check out Father Phillip's blog while you're there. He's not afraid to say what he thinks about politics or anything else. What a great priest!


Here is Caelen, our first grandchild, our oldest grandson, stealer of hearts and player of video games (see his shirt). :o)

I can hardly believe that he is in middle school. Smart, funny, sweet, he loves adventure and doing new things. He had a ball at Six Flags this summer, and he does a great imitation of the Asian guy on the Six Flags Commercials. ("More flags--more fun!")

He likes hiking (even when attacked by a wasp), going to the museum and the zoo, swimming, touring the nearby cave, camping and floating the Frio--all that boy stuff. :o)

His favorite subjects in school this year are drama and skills for living. I think he's going to grow up to be an actor or a writer. I suggested a priest, but he says no. :o)

Here he is with his sibs. He's the best big brother and an all around wonderful kid.

I love you, Caelen!

Beautiful Lily

Lily is our little ray of sunshine, except when she's our little storm cloud. :o)

Tears literally fly out of her eyes when she cries, but the storm always passes quickly and she is happy again in a flash.

She is inquisitive, always full of questions. She charms everyone around her with her sweet smile and sweet spirit.

She is totally guileless, and will spill the beans about anything that she sees (such as telling Papa as soon as we walked in the door that Gramma ran over a big curb and had to have an angel help her lift it off when she couldn't make the car go forward or backward).

Lily is happy to do whatever I'm doing. If I'm washing dishes, she wants to help. If I'm knitting, she lies on the bed watching me and asking questions. :o) If I'm watering plants, she is right there, wanting to water the pots on the patio. She's a love, and we are so blessed to have her in our lives.

I love you Lily!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beautiful Ahlyssa

It's fun to take pictures of Lys because she enjoys posing for me. Isn't she pretty?

Her beauty is not just on the outside, though. She also has a beautiful heart. She takes care of her little brother so sweetly.

I pray that she will always be loving, compassionate and caring.

She is our artist. While she was here she made the most charming little fairy from leaves, flowers and an acorn.

After more than a week away, she is ready to go home to her own room, her friends and her cousins. She will return to school on Monday and life will resume it's routine as things get back to normal after the hurricane. I'll look forward to the next visit Lyssa, and I promise we will find some time to do crafts and thrift shop.

I love you.

Family and Kalbi Ribs

We've had Kalbi ribs three times during the past couple of weeks while the boys perfected their marinade. They've all been delicious, but I think today's turned out best of all.

Here's Josh showing the ribs to Reece and telling him, "Cook Meat!" in caveman talk. :o) Reece likes to say "Cook Meat!" too. He loved the ribs!

Here is sweet Aubrey on the patio. She is wearing a little thrift store dress that I got for her, and she looks adorable in it.

And here is Lyssa and Jacob, posing for me next to the plumbago while their daddy, Uncle Josh and Papa "Cook Meat!" ;o)

We had a lovely Saturday.

PS: I'll post the kalbi marinade recipe soon.

Reece And Jacob

Reece got a haircut and it makes him look so much older. But he still looks adorable. I love it!

Here he is being pensive, but in the next picture his twinkle is beginning. He has twinkly eyes like his Papa. :o)

He has really enjoyed having his cousins here the past 10 days while they are waiting for things to return to normal in the Houston area. He's going to miss them when they leave tomorrow.

He and Jacob are 9 months apart in age (Jake turns 4 October 1st, and Reece turned 3 in June). It's been so much fun to watch the two of them together. Their personalities are different, and yet there are similarities between them. They seemed to enjoy being together more this time than ever before.

Aren't they beautiful? I love them so much!

And they love each other!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama

To turn off the music on my blog, go to the Playlist player on the left and click on the two vertical double lines.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bad Pictures, Brownies and Weevils

Our son and his family are still with us. Our daughter-in-law talked with her sister today, and she said that food and gas are in short supply in the Houston area, although the power in Jason's neighborhood has been restored. I'm glad they aren't rushing back. They have everything they need here, and of course I love having them here. Jason works from home and has his computer with him, so he doesn't have to get back to go to work. School was supposed to start again on Thursday, but it may not, and it won't hurt the kids to miss a couple of days anyway.

So they are settled in. Reece spent the night with us last night, and he and Lily went with me to visit their Great-Gran this morning. They had fun walking Chuy and playing at Gran's apartment. We dropped Reece off at his house on the way home. The kids played in the pool most of the afternoon, and have been playing video games together this evening.

We discovered weevils in a box of corn starch in my pantry yesterday, so I spent some time this evening throwing out everything in boxes and scrubbing down the shelves with soapy bleach water. I threw away two bags of stuff, and my pantry looks great. I hope I got rid of all the weevils!

When I finished with the pantry the kids wanted to make brownies, so we did that. Goodness a pan of brownies goes fast when there are four kids and three adults to eat them! :o)

The picture of Jacob above isn't a very good one. I can't seem to figure out how to use my new Kodak digital camera correctly--I miss my Fuji that was stolen. Anyway, despite the darkness I love the picture of Jakie. Doesn't he have the most adorable face? :o) (Click on the pictures to see them better).

While I was cleaning the pantry I found some old cookbooks for kids, and the older three enjoyed looking through them. Lily said that she wishes she could read so that she could read the recipes like Caelen and Ahlyssa. Maybe tomorrow we will pick out one of the recipes for them to make.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Lady Of Sorrows

Today, September 15, is the Feast of Our Lady Of Sorrows.

The devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows began in the 13th century, recalling the seven sorrows Our Lady endured during the lifetime of Jesus.

The Seven Sorrows are The Prophecy of Simeon, The Flight Into Egypt, Losing Jesus In Jerusalem, Meeting Jesus On The Road To Calvary, Jesus' Death On The Cross, Receiving Jesus' Body Into Her Arms, The Burial Of Jesus.

You might like to pray the Chaplet Of The Seven Sorrows (or Dolors) today. You can find the prayers, Scripture verses and meditations here. (Scroll down the page to the chaplet).

"Let us bind ourselves tightly to the Sorrowful Heart of our Heavenly Mother and reflect on it's boundless grief and how precious is our soul."

~ Saint Padre Pio


Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today is the day that we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world.

Chosroes, king of Persia, carried away the True Cross to Persia: but Heraclius, Emperor of the East, defeated Chosroes, and himself carried the Holy Cross to the Basilica on Calvary A.D. 629. --The Roman Missal, 1962

Dear Brothers and Sisters, we are invited to look upon the Cross. It is the “privileged place” where the love of God is revealed and shown to us.… On the Cross human misery and divine mercy meet. The adoration of this unlimited mercy is for man the only way to open himself to the mystery which the Cross reveals.

The Cross is planted in the earth and would seem to extend its roots in human malice, but it reaches up, pointing as it were to the heavens, pointing to the goodness of God. By means of the Cross of Christ, the Evil One has been defeated, death is overcome, life is given to us, hope is restored, light is imparted. O Crux, ave spes unica! …

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15), says Jesus. What do we see then when we bring our eyes to bear on the cross where Jesus was nailed (cf. John 19:37)? We contemplate the sign of God’s infinite love for humanity.

O Crux, ave spes unica! Saint Paul speaks of the same theme in the letter to the Ephesians…. Not only did Christ Jesus become man, in everything similar to human beings, but He took on the condition of a servant and humbled Himself even more by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (cf. Philippians 2:6-8).

Yes, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son” (John 3:16). We admire — overwhelmed and gratified — the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Ephesians 3:18-19)! O Crux, ave spes unica! …

Through the mystery of your Cross and your Resurrection, save us O Lord! Amen

— Pope John Paul II -- Excerpts from homily September 14, 2003

Today we celebrated the Feast Day at Mass, and at the end of Mass we were invited to venerate a True Relic of the Cross. The relic was placed in a tiny monstrance, and we knelt at the rail as we do to receive the Eucharist. The priest brought the relic to our lips so that we could kiss it. It was extremely moving to think that this was a piece of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. In honoring and venerating the cross, we honor and venerate Our Lord.

We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless thee, for by thy Cross thou hast redeemed the world. Amen

Friday, September 12, 2008

I Love My Grandkids!

Jason decided to get his family out of the path of the hurricane, so tonight I have sleeping grandbabies in every bedroom and my heart is happy.

They arrived around 7:30 PM (Thursday). It took them about an hour longer than usual to get here, due to the traffic on I-10. (I was wrong. Jason said it took them 5 1/2 to 6 hours from the time they left their house). Reece was spending the night, so he's here, too. He loves to be with his cousins and is crazy about his Uncle Jason.

It's been fun watching them all together, playing and laughing and talking to me about all kinds of interesting things. The only grand missing was baby Aubrey. I can hardly wait until she is old enough to spend the night and have tea parties with Lyssa and Lily (and me).

Tonight I had three boys listening to Where The Wild Things Are at bedtime. Jacob, who will be four years old next month pronounced it "weird." But he was happy to listen to it twice, and examine all of the pictures. :o) His big brother Caelen listened too, rolling his terrible eyes, gnashing his terrible teeth, and showing his terrible claws along with the Wild Things, to the delight of the little boys.

It's a relief to have them all here out of harm's way. So tonight I am not rattling around like a ghost in this house. There are eight of us here and it feels very nice, even though they are all asleep. :o)

Prayers continue for all in the path of Hurricane Ike.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We Have Not Forgotten

I woke up that morning and turned on the TV, something I never do. It was a morning news show--Good Morning America or The Today Show. I wasn't much interested in what they were saying, so I fluffed up my pillows and leaned back, settling in to read a magazine.

The newscast was from a tall building in NYC. I was half listening when I heard one of them say something about a plane flying too low. As they watched the plane, I could hear the alarm begin to sound in their voices. Then the camera focused on the airplane. It was low and it was headed toward one of the towers of the World Trade Center. The announcer was saying something about pilot error or problems with the plane, but my first thought was "terrorism." I said, "Oh my God," and the plane hit the tower. It was unbelievable.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Crying, hands pressed to my mouth, I continued to watch in horror as smoke poured from the building. The news people continued talking about the crash, speculating about what had happened. One of them mentioned the possibility of a terrorist attack.

I started calling my loved ones. I called Ron at work, who hadn't yet heard what had happened. The second plane hit the second tower after I talked with him. They had turned on the TV at the office and saw it happen, too. We knew for sure then that it was a deliberate attack. I called my kids and my mom. I don't know what I thought. Maybe in the back of my mind I was afraid the whole country was being attacked and I needed to let them know what was happening, and that I loved them.

The rest of the day was spent glued to the television. It was heartbreaking. The people in the streets of NYC were in shock. The firemen and policemen everywhere. The priest blessing the firemen. And then the sight of bodies falling from the building. Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing? The firemen could hear the sound of bodies hitting the roof where they were gathered.

And if that wasn't enough horror, the news came of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash in Pennsylvania. It was one of the most horrible days of our lives in America.

I don't like to remember, but I think we must never forget. There are people in the world who hate our country, who hate us and want us destroyed. We can become too complacent. The tragedy at the WTC, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania was a wake-up call, wasn't it? We must not think this won't happen again. We are vulnerable if we are not on guard.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Last night around 11 PM I heard hooting outside my window, so I slipped outside to listen. By then the owl had flown into one of the live oak trees in our neighbor's yard. There was moonlight, but it was still too dark for me to see him. I went all the way to the back of the yard, underneath the tree, and he didn't seem to mind. He just kept hooting. I was hoping that he would fly so that I could see him, but he stayed in the tree. After about 20 minutes I finally went inside so the mosquitoes wouldn't eat me alive. (I wish that was a picture of my owl above, but it's not).

We see great horned owls here now and then, mostly when the weather is a bit cooler. There is a creek that runs through our subdivision, lots of trees and still some open land around. One evening I saw a huge owl on the television antenna on top of our house (it isn't used, but we've never taken the antenna down). I watched him for a long time and he just stared back at me, then finally flew. His wing span was enormous!

Sometimes we hear more than one owl hooting. One night we heard them from three different directions! I love the sound. Hoot owls are one of my favorite birds. I even like Mr. Hoots, the jazz sax player on Sesame Street. :o)

Catholic Vote

Turn off the music on my playlist by clicking the little double lines in the upper left corner of the playbox in order to hear the video.

Please go to CatholicVote.com for information about the elections this fall. You can download a voter registration form, find suggestions for ways to pray for the election, read important articles about the election by our Bishops and others and find internet resources about the election.

Here Comes Ike

It's time for the hurricane prayer again. Ike will probably hit the Texas coast around Corpus Christi Saturday. We're expecting lots of rain (which usually means flooding around here) and high winds over the weekend in our area (near San Antonio). What we will experience is nothing like what the people on the coast will get, though.

What's ironic is that Ron is still in the Florida panhandle working with the people who prepare for and clean up after these hurricanes, and now one is headed our way.

Please pray again that the hurricane loses it's force, and for the safety of those in it's path.

Prayer for Safety in Hurricane Season

O God, Master of this passing world,
hear the humble voices of your children.
The Sea of Galilee obeyed Your order
and returned to its former quietude.
You are still the Master of land and sea.
We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control:
the Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,
can awake from its seeming lethargy,
overstep its conventional boundaries,
invade our land and spread chaos and disaster.

During this hurricane season we turn to You, O loving Father.
Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid
and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time.

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, Our beloved Mother,
we ask you to plead with your Son in our behalf,
so that spared from the calamities common to this area
and animated with a true spirit of gratitude,
we will walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son
to reach the heavenly Jerusalem where a stormless eternity awaits us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

...was yesterday, September 8. I am a day late, as often happens around here. Anyway, I wanted to share what my 1962 Missal says about our beautiful Mary.

At the time of Mary's birth the whole world was plunged in darkness. The heathen nations were steeped in vice and pride. The Jews, beloved of God, had strayed from Him. Everywhere there was sin and gloom, no bright spot on the face of the earth. But when Mary was born a light arose amid the darkness: the dawn that was to usher in the Redeemer.

So, too, the the darkness of the sinner's soul is dispersed by Mary's holy influence. Where the love of her is born in the soul, all becomes full of light, and Jesus comes to make His habitation there. Mary, in the first hour of her life, brought more glory to God than all the Saints of the Old Testament. In her were made perfect the obedience of Abraham, the chastity of Joseph, the patience of Job, the meekness of Moses, the prudence of Josue. It is because she is the pattern of these and all other virtues that she can communicate them to us.

Sub Tuum
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God;
Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
There's a noisy street crew sealing the street beside my house. They've been working on the streets for weeks, and not doing a very good job. There is clanging, beeping, engine sounds, hammering.

I am thinking...
that I need to get off the computer and get to Mom's. We have Adoration today. I called her this morning to remind her, and I think I woke her up. (I started this earlier, and we went to the church for Adoration, but the chapel and church were closed because they are installing new AC units. Even the parking lot was closed and full of big cranes and equipment).

I am thankful for...
the fact that the AC in my car started working again. After Mass yesterday it wouldn't come on. Mom and I stopped to eat lunch and it was working again when we got back in the car. You don't want to live in South Texas in the summer without air conditioning.

From the kitchen...
Granny Smith apples in a bowl on the counter waiting to be made into a pie, and fresh nectarines...yum!

I am wearing...
khakis, a sleeveless tropical print top (tans, browns, greens, coral) and bare feet. Got my hair cut a couple of weeks ago, so no ponytail today, just a bob.

I am creating...
a charm bracelet. Well, I bought the charms and they are on my craft table. :o) The charms are a church with a steeple, Mary, an angel, a crown, a tiny heart and the word Love, a Christian fish symbol, a crucifix and a heart with a cross in it. The chain I have for the bracelet is sterling silver, but the charms are pewter. I need to get a pewter chain. I'll have a mix of charms and beads. Haven't decided bead color yet.

I am going...
to take Cyrise to the doctor this afternoon to have the stitches taken out where they removed the pins and stuff from her ankle.

I am reading...
All I've read lately is Green Eggs And Ham and Thomas And Percy And The Dragon. Oh and course, Where The Wild Things Are. :o)

I am hoping...
that Ron will get to come home from Florida sooner than the 19th.

I am hearing...
the hum of the AC and the street crew.

Around the house...
messy kitchen and laundry to be done.

One of my favorite things...
church bells, incense and Gregorian chant. Oh wait, that's three things.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
To declutter my bedroom, rearrange and make it look pretty.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Visit A Simple Woman to see the guidelines for your daybook.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Birthday Celebration

My Mom's birthday was Friday, September 5, but we celebrated it today, September 6, because my sister came for the weekend.

Sandi and I took Mom to Pappadeaux's for lunch. We all enjoyed fresh seafood. After lunch we picked up Chuy at Mom's apartment, then picked up Reece because I had his car seat in my car, and came back to my house. Sandi took a quick catnap before everyone else arrived. Josh, Cyrise and Aubrey arrived around 3:30, and Kelly, Mike and Darcy a short time after that. Kelly brought the birthday cake.

We had cake and ice cream and Mom opened her gifts. Reece was very interested in her birthday cake. :o) He didn't really eat much of it, but he thought it was pretty and wanted to touch it. Mom had a good time, and it was fun to be together, talking, laughing, looking at pictures, watching the dogs play and loving the babies.

After everyone left, Sandi and I took Mom to get her hair cut, so she looks a little different now than the picture shows. Isn't she a cutie?

Friday, September 5, 2008

John McCain

I thought Senator McCain's acceptance speech was good. I felt like I knew him better after the speech, and I like him better. I especially liked the end of the speech, when he told about being imprisoned in Hanoi and how that horrible experience changed him and made him a better man. I believe him. I was going to vote for him anyway, but his choice of Sarah Palin for VP and his acceptance speech last night strengthened my decision.

And I laughed out loud when the crowd was chanting USA to cover the shenanigans of the protestors, and Mr. McCain said, "Friends, don't be distracted by the ground clutter and static." :o)

Regarding Governor Palin, I've been reading articles and blogs from women on both sides of the political spectrum who believe that she should not have agreed to run for the vice-presidency because she should be home with her children. My opinion (as a stay-at-home mom for many years) is that if Sarah Palin and her husband and children believe that she can be a good mother and a good VP at the same time, it's not my place to say that she can't. She is an intelligent woman who knows her own mind and heart, she's energetic and focused, and her husband seems to be standing firmly behind her and willing to help. So I say, you go Sarah!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Reece and I watched the Republican convention last night. When Sarah Palin came on stage to deliver her acceptance speech, I told him, "Watch Baby, we are seeing history in the making." He did watch, liking all the applause, hat waving and sign raising, but he fell asleep on my lap halfway through her speech. :o)

I don't imagine too many other people in America fell asleep watching her speech, though. I thought she was incredible; totally poised and in control. To me, she comes across as very natural and honest. After all the media has put her and her family through this past week, I wasn't sure how she would do, but I need not have worried. She is one tough cookie. Funny, too.

I've been reading responses to her speech on-line, and see that a lot of Democrats also like her. What I'd say to them is that if you agree with the Republican party platform, you are under no obligation to vote for a Democrat. Just because you've been a Democrat all your life, your parents, grandparents all the way back were Democrats, doesn't mean that you can't vote another way. I know, because I was raised in a family of forever Democrats. My dad would probably never have voted for a Republican, no matter what. I haven't been a Dem since Jimmy Carter, though.

I think you have to vote for the candidates who most share your values. If you are pro-life, you won't vote for a candidate who advocates abortion or leaving a child who is born alive to die, even if that candidate belongs to "your" party. Here again is the chart comparing the two candidates on the main issues. Please know where your candidate stands on important issues before casting your vote.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Who Is Without Sin?

1 And Jesus went unto mount Olivet. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came to him, and sitting down he taught them. 3 And the scribes and the Pharisees bring unto him a woman taken in adultery: and they set her in the midst, 4 And said to him: Master, this woman was even now taken in adultery. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?

6 And this they said tempting him, that they might accuse him. But Jesus bowing himself down, wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When therefore they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said to them: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again stooping down, he wrote on the ground. 9 But they hearing this, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest. And Jesus alone remained, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 Then Jesus lifting up himself, said to her: Woman, where are they that accused thee? Hath no man condemned thee?

11 Who said: No man, Lord. And Jesus said: Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more. (from the Douay-Rheims Bible)

Many families are going through the same trouble as the Palins, all over the world. But many of them will deal with the "problem" by insisting that the pregnant daughter have an abortion. Sarah Palin's daughter is carrying her baby to term. Unlike some who believe that unplanned babies of unwed mothers are a "punishment," this baby will be loved and cherished. The girl made a mistake, but she is not compounding that mistake by aborting her baby.

That Bristol made a mistake does not mean that she or her parents are bad people, but simply human. Unwed mothers are a part of every culture, everywhere, because none of us is perfect--we all make mistakes. I don't think Bristol's mistake means that her mother would be a bad vice-president. On the contrary, a woman who stands by her daughter as Mrs. Palin has done, who refuses to abort her own down syndrome baby, who stands up for her strong, conservative values, is just the kind of woman I want to vote for!

Showing off my cheese and eggs.

Oh baby, the goat cheese I got at the goat farm yesterday is out-of-this-world good! The goat farmer and his wife make and freeze the cheese immediately, so it's super fresh.

And look at those cute little eggs. :o) Yes, one of them is speckled and one is green. The farmer said the eggs are small because the chickens are young.

Here is the link to the Ragels Ziegenhof website. Robert Ragel, the goat farmer, got our email addresses so that he could add us to his Yahoo group. He said that other farmers post to let people know what they have available, and people can also post to ask for a specific item.

Now I have to decide just how I will use those fresh eggs and cheese. Yum!