Monday, May 31, 2010

A Day To Remember

This is a picture of my father, who was in the Army during World War II. He served in North Africa, and then during the occupation in Italy.

Like so many soldiers, he didn't like to talk much about the war or his experiences. I'm so grateful to him and all of those who have served to protect our freedom.

Memorial Day
by CW Johnson

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As Taps began to play.
The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.

They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.
I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.

Now the services are over
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Family Sunday

What a great Trinity Sunday we've had! After having to miss Mass the past two weeks, it was wonderful to be there today and to receive the Eucharist. It's such a blessing to be Catholic!

In the afternoon, Mom and Sandi, Kelly and Mike (and their dogs), and Josh, Cyrise, Reece, Aubrey and Camryn came over for a Memorial Day/Birthday celebration. It was fun!

Josh grilled raspberry chicken and corn on the cob, Cyrise brought yummy potato salad, and I made rice and broccoli. And we had Texas sheet cake and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

The little girls enjoyed their cake and candles and presents. That's Aubrey in the top picture, and Camryn in the bottom one with their big hunks of cake. :o)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cloud Nine

Friday was a really nice day. Josh and his family were here again in the afternoon to swim, and then Reece stayed with us when they went home. I'm so glad he is over his cold! Having him here with us made life seem normal again.

We spent a lot of time playing with a pre-school workbook I picked up some time ago. This is the first time he has shown any interest in it. He loved looking at all the pictures in it. He did a bit of coloring, identified shapes, did some rhyming activities, and we talked about tallest, shortest, long and longer, top and bottom, in and out and other opposites.

But the thing he enjoyed most was finding all of the car pictures in the book and having me cut them out so that he could play with them. I have to cut them just so or he tells me "That's not right! Cut them right, Gramma!" We have a whole sandwich baggie filled with things we have drawn or found in ads and books that we have cut out. He loves to dump them out and look at them, and sometimes makes up stories and conversations with them. I love his imagination!

During the evening I took my little cap off (you just get tired of having something on your head all the time), and he was surprised by my mostly bald head. I still have some hair, but it is shaved short. He saw it when his daddy first shaved it, and liked it, but hasn't seen me since without a hat or cap. He didn't say anything for a couple of minutes, just looked at me with a serious face. Then he reached up, pulled my head down and kissed it! The child just makes me melt! Then he looked my face over carefully, touching my ears, my cheeks, my chin, nose and mouth. As he touched each part of my face, he said, "Gramma, I wike youah eahs, I wike youah nose, I wike youah cheeks---wheah are youah cheeks?" I touched them and he said, "Yes, I wike youah cheeks." Then he touched my mouth, which was smiling real big, and said, "And I wike youah happy face!" (I need that little Cloud 9 emoticon).

His great-gran was so happy to see him this morning when we went over there. She has been missing him, too, since she usually only sees him when he is with me. He stole her away and showed her all his little cut-outs and a car he took along. They took Teddy for a walk, along with Papa, and he had very pink cheeks when they got back. It's hot here!

He wanted McDonald's for lunch, so we stopped on the way back to his house and had lunch there. He got a Puss in Boots cat from the Shrek movie with his Happy Meal, but he really wanted the Donkey. There was one in a display case, and he wanted me to get it out of there for him. I told him that he may get the donkey next time.

He was content to be home when we dropped him off. And we will see him again tomorrow for the birthday celebration.

My sister Sandi called while we were at Josh's to say that she is coming to visit. So it is going to be an especially nice Memorial Day weekend! I'm looking forward to seeing her.

Ron and I stopped to get birthday gifts on the way home. We already got some things for Camryn last week, but had not shopped for anything for Aubrey. We got some toys and clothes for her, and we found a couple of things for Reece for his birthday in June. Toys R Us loves me. So does The Children's Place. :o)

Better get busy and get something done around here. My house is a bit messy for company tomorrow, and I think I'm making a birthday cake.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thursday Chitchat

It's beautiful here today, and I'm sitting on the patio sipping peach tea as I blog. Do you like my hat? :o)

My doctor called yesterday to say that Tuesday's lab tests showed that my platelets are quite low, but that is what we expected. He does want to keep a close eye on them, though, so I had to go back for more labs this morning. He said my white counts actually look quite good, because of the Neulasta they gave me.

I stopped at Taco Cabana on the way to Mom's to pick up chicken fajita nachos for our lunch. She likes Taco Cabana. I've had a pretty good appetite, but have lost some weight anyway.

Then I stopped at Josh's on my way home, so that he could have the truck this afternoon. Reece came out to say hello, and it was so good to hug him and play with him for a few minutes. He was pretending to fish with a little branch he picked up in the yard, and caught a pretend fish that was a blade of grass. We are hoping that his cold is over so that he can come and spend the night soon!

We're expecting hot, sunny weather for the Memorial Day weekend. Ron is taking off Friday, so he will have a four day weekend. We'll have the kids here for the postponed birthday celebration on Sunday after Mass. I'm sure they will want to swim and play outside. It will be a lovely start to summer. How will you celebrate Memorial Day?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Aubrey!

Aubrey is two years old today!

She is such a delightful little girl. She is always on the go, always curious and always as sweet as candy.

She's such a tiny little elf, but she eats more than her big brother. She is talking more and more and has the most adorable belly laugh.

She loved playing in the pool with her family on Monday. She kept trying to jump into the pool to her Daddy, even when he wasn't looking. She has no fear.

She has nimble fingers for taking things apart, and can totally trash a room in two minutes. :o)

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl! I love you with all my heart!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fun In The Sun!

Josh and his family were here yesterday to go swimming. It was fun to watch them having fun!

Reece loved splashing with his Daddy.

All three kids love the water.

Doesn't she look relaxed? :o)

I wonder what sister secrets they are sharing.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I just got back from Mom's. I was out on her patio watering her plants. I had gone in and out several times with containers of water, and went to water the two planter boxes on the left side of the patio. They were not there! Someone stole them last night. Ooooh, it makes me so mad!

Mom didn't see or hear anything, but I stopped at her next door neighbor's on my way out, and she saw the thieves, and even chased after them and talked to one of them!

She said that it was a group of four "older teenagers," and that they had been swimming in the pool (illegally). She said that she saw a shadow on her window blinds, heard some giggling and talking, and opened her patio door. They had already taken the two planter boxes and were about to get the other two when she said, "What do you think you're doing?" They yelled, "Run! Come on!" and ran away.

J went back through her apartment to her front door and saw them running through the breezeway out to the parking lot. One girl was pushing a baby stroller with towels over it, and she was lagging behind. (J didn't see whether or not there was a baby in the stroller. It was probably something to hold the loot they stole). Mom's neighbor followed her, asking "Why are you stealing a sweet old lady's plants?" The others were yelling at the girl to hurry up, and she said she couldn't get the stroller wheels over the curb. They ran to the end of the building and disappeared around the corner. J heard a car start up and the squealing of tires, so she thinks they drove away in a hurry. It's possible that they were visiting someone at the complex, but I doubt it.

The pool closes at 10 PM, and no one is allowed in it anyway unless they are with a resident. Mom's apartment faces the pool, and since it's on the ground floor, is accessible to any creep who wants to steal something. I wish I had been there with my gun. I wouldn't have shot them, but I've had scared the hell out of them. Grrrrr!

Mom is hard of hearing, but I'm surprised that Teddy didn't have a barking fit. She has her TV on so loud, though, that he may not have heard them.

Okay, vent over, blood pressure starting to go down. Josh and his family are coming over to swim this afternoon. That makes me feel happier.

Aww, man!

I got up this morning, fed the cat, fed the dogs, took out the trash and got myself ready to go to Wilford Hall for labs. I checked the paper the lab gave me on Friday to make sure that my appointment was at 9:30. Yep, it's at 9:30-----tomorrow. :o\

Now I remember the tech checking the appointment book and saying that Monday was full and scheduling me for Tuesday instead. Unfortunately, I am a creature of habit and easily thrown off track by changes. Oh well.

The weekend was very dull and quiet here. Ron was sick--sore throat, coughing, blowing his nose and just feeling bad. He stayed upstairs most of the day yesterday, and I stayed downstairs. When he did come down, he wore a mask. He was feeling a little better last night, and went to work this morning.

We didn't go to Mass. I should have gone and taken Mom, but was feeling lightheaded when I stand up and move around much. I didn't want to faint on my way to the communion rail, and I'm a bit paranoid about germs and crowds right now. I really hated to miss Mass though, especially on Pentecost Sunday!

We had planned a birthday celebration Sunday afternoon for Mike, Ron and Camryn, but that's been postponed until next weekend. Aubrey's second birthday is Wednesday, so we will add her to the birthday group. We have so many May birthdays!

It's gray here today. No rain yet, but possible thunderstorms expected later today. I'm washing sheets and towels today. It feels like Monday. I'm happy, though, because our son Jason will be here sometime this week. Yay!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Camryn!

I can hardly believe that our youngest grandchild is one year old today! The year has gone so quickly.

Camryn is the most delightful baby. She is almost always happy, has the sweetest smile, and likes to snuggle. She's a little charmer.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. I love you with all my heart. May God bless you always.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Missing My Grands

I am going through Reece withdrawal. :o(

My white cell counts are down, and he and his little sisters all have the sniffles right now, so I can't be with them.

Ron has also caught a cold. That couldn't have happened at a worse time. It's hard to stay away from someone who lives in the same house.

Nothing new going on around here today. I had to go to Wilford Hall again for more labs this morning. Then I went to my mom's and stayed there while she took the world's longest shower. :o) I didn't get home until around 2 PM. I had some leftover pasta with olive oil, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper for lunch, then took a nap until Ron got home from work. I'm tired.

I just fed the puppies and cleaned their ears. They love to have their faces washed and their ears cleaned. It's so cute how they just melt against me. They are very loving little girls.

I'm half-way watching a movie called The Hunted with Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio del Toro. Did you know that Tommy Lee Jones is from San Antonio?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ron!

See the cute guy with his arm around his oldest granddaughter? That's my Ron.

We've been married for 41 years, and they have been wonderful years. I am so blessed to have met and married the man I know God meant for me.

He is one of the good guys. He cares about people, and his family is everything to him.

He's unabashedly patriotic, he's funny and he likes to tease everyone. He loves God and his Catholic faith, enjoys politics, can fix almost anything, does beautiful woodworking, is a fantastic potter and artist, and gives the best foot rubs ever.

He retired from the US Army as a LTC, and still works for the military as a civilian. He will fully retire in a few years, and will be able to spend more time doing the things he enjoys. I'm looking forward to sharing many more years of life with him.

Happy Birthday, Ron. I love you!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Late Night Chitchat

Something was wrong with our server or router or modem or something for the past couple of days, so I haven't been online. Ron was able to get it fixed this evening when he got home from work, with a little help from a service tech. :o)

I had an appointment for labs and a picc line flush this morning, so I was at my home away from home, Wilford Hall. They are so wonderful to me there. My doctor is keeping a close eye on my lab reports because of the strong chemo I had over the weekend. I was there on Monday, again this morning, and I'll go back again Friday morning for more lab tests.

I'm doing okay after the second cycle of chemo. I'm short of breath with just a little exertion, a bit of nausea that started today from the yucky taste of the dying cells in my bloodstream, and some fatigue. Nothing I can't handle, though.

After leaving Wilford Hall, I stopped and picked up lunch for me and Mom. I was at Mom's for about an hour. My appetite is good (so is Mom's). :o)

When I got home Kelly came over with Darcy and Banzai. We left the dogs playing together in the backyard while we went shopping. Sis and Katy are always delighted to see their pals.

We went to CVS for some things Kel needed, then to Burlington Coat Factory to look at hats. We had fun trying on hats, but they didn't have any that I liked. Kelly saw my bald head for the first time since I had Josh buzz it. I told her I looked like the bald guy in the Six Flags commercials and she laughed and sang the little song. :o)

Kelly was looking for a fabric sunhat and some garden shoes, so we went to Macy's, then WalMart. No luck. So we stopped at Academy on the way home, and she found the perfect little Crocs there, and I found a cute pair of brown and white sandals for only $10.

It was a nice afternoon, and good for me to be out and about rather than sleeping on the couch at home.

I did a couple of loads of laundry, and Ron and I got some beef fajita nachos from Taco Cabana for dinner. I made old fashioned cherry pudding last night, and that was our dessert. A foot rub, Criminal Minds on TV, and some computer time and now it's time for sleep.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Wishing you a year filled with happiness, adventures, sunshine and love.

We are so glad you are a part of our family.

Love you bunches!

Happy, happy birthday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Second Chemo Cycle Is Done

Lyssa and Lily at the Rockport Beach. Reasons to live. :o)

I went into the hospital on Friday for my second cycle of chemo. This time it was Rituxan first, then four doses of Cytarabine (also known as Ara-C) over two days. I had an allergic reaction to the Rituxan, even though they gave me pre-meds including Benedryl beforehand. I felt awful, as if I had barbed wire in my throat, my ears were itchy, and I had some trouble breathing. The Ara-C wasn't so bad, it just took 3 hours for each dose to be administered. Amazingly, I didn't have any nausea--so far, anyway.

I got to come home today, in the afternoon. I have to go back tomorrow so they can give me a shot of Neulasta. It has to be administered 24 hours after the last dose of chemo.

I was glad to get home and see the puppies. I played with them in the yard for a bit, then let them inside for a nap. I took a nap, too.

So far, so good. I'm doing okay. Two rounds of chemo done, four to go, then collection of stem cells from my healthy bone marrow, another high does chemo to make sure all the cancer cells are killed, then they will give me my healthy stem cells back again. My doctor is going for a complete cure. I am praying that is God's will. I know that He is with me through all of this.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ascension of Our Lord

Forty days after the Resurrection, our Lord Jesus Christ, attended by Angels, ascended into heaven, in the sight of His most holy Mother, His Apostles, and disciples, to the great wonder of them all.

St. Paul declares that God "hath made us sit together in the heavenly places, through Christ Jesus." "There where the Head has gone, the Body is called to follow."
The Roman Missal, 1962

Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

O clap your hands, all ye nations; shout unto God, with the voice of exultation!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end.

Ye men of Galilee, why wonder you, looking up to heaven? alleluia. He shall so come as you have seen Him going up into heaven, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Introit (Acts 1.11)

Happy Birthday, Josh and Caelen!

May 13th is a very special day in our family.

It is the birthday of our youngest son Joshua, and our oldest grandson, Caelen.

Happy Birthday to two of my favorite guys in the whole world!

I wish you both a lifetime of happiness.

Love Always,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Without Reece :o(

Busy, busy day today. I was up early and at Wilford Hall by 8:30 AM for a PICC line flush and bandage change.

While I was there the techs said my doctor had called to order labs, so they also drew blood for those. He also wanted the nurse practitioner to take a look at an abscess that appeared on my chest over the weekend. After checking it, she sent me to a dermatologist who put me on an antibiotic. It's nothing serious and shouldn't affect the start of chemo on Friday.

I picked up the antibiotic at the pharmacy, then called Kelly as I was leaving to see if she wanted to have lunch (by then it was 11:30). She did, so I picked her up and we went to a little Vietnamese place called Pho Ha Long (sounds like Fa Ha La) that sells the best noodle soup ever! It was fun having lunch with her, and I got to see her veggie garden.

I dropped her off at home and drove back across town to BAMC to pick up refills for my diabetes and BP meds. Thankfully, they had them ready and gave me a high priority number, so I didn't have to wait long at all.

By the time I stopped by Mom's it was 2:30 PM. I got home around 3:30, let the puppies in and we all crashed for a long nap.

Ron is volunteering with some of his co-workers at the Texas Valero Open. Today was the day they got to meet the golf pros and hang out with them. He just got home, very tired and a little wind-burned, but said it was a fun day.

My Christmas amaryllis surprised me by blooming 5 months late. :o) Isn't it pretty? There are two huge blooms, and a couple more little buds still growing.

Hope you're all having a good week.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Running From The Scary Bear

I love this picture. :o)

One of Reece's favorite games is The Scary Bear. I always have to be the scary bear, with big sharp teeth and long sharp claws. He runs from me and I "chase" him. He calls the grape arbor "the cave," and likes to run there to hide. If I get too close, he doesn't know whether he is thrilled or scared. It's so cute! He usually throws himself into my arms for a hug, abandoning the scary bear for Gramma.

A variation of the game is The Mean Dog. I think the mean dog came from the scenes with the mean dogs in the movie Up. Reece never wants to be the mean dog or the scary bear.

When I was little, my dad would crawl around on his hands and knees and scare us. It was so exciting--scary and fun all at the same time. I'm sure that's the feeling Reece has when we play.

Reece usually spends the night on Tuesdays, but I have an early appointment at Wilford Hall tomorrow, so he won't be here tonight. He spends the night on Fridays, too, but this Friday I will go back to the hospital early in the morning for my second round of chemo. I'll be there for a couple of days, so I won't see him then either. It's hard to have to give up our special times together, for him and for me.

Meanwhile, I'll keep fighting my own "scary bear" so that some day soon we won't have to be apart because I'll be well and can play, just like always, with all my grandkids.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

What a wonderful Mother's Day I had!

A High Mass at noon, with Fr. Kloster and the schola.

Then we picked up Teddy at Mom's apartment and brought them both here to our house. Josh was here earlier this morning to put a brisket in the oven. It smelled so wonderful when we got home from Mass. After slow cooking it for hours, he smoked it for a couple of hours. It was delicious!--moist, tender and full of flavor.

Josh and Cyrise made dinner for us. In addition to the brisket, Josh made homemade macaroni and cheese and Cyrise made a pot of beans. I cooked some broccoli, and there were two cakes. Kelly brought a chocolate cake for Josh's birthday, which we celebrated today. And Cyrise brought a white cake with strawberries, which we didn't even touch we were so full! My appetite was great, and I ate way too much.

We played outside, but it was a little too cool and cloudy for swimming. The kids had fun, anyway. Ron set up the umbrella near the patio because we did get a little bit of rain during the smoking process. All of us enjoyed sitting outside off and on throughout the day. The whole neighborhood smelled liked smoked brisket. Yum!

All the dogs were here--our two, Sister and Katy, Kelly and Mike's two, Darcy and Banzai, and Mom's Teddy. They had fun playing together, too!

Josh gave me a buzz cut. My hair has been falling out so fast that it's everywhere. It was looking very thin, so I just wanted it gone. I'm wearing one of the cute caps Kelly gave me. Reece watched my haircut, and liked it because he has the same haircut. His daddy buzzed his head a few days ago. He keeps feeling his head, and he looks adorable.

Everyone left around 6 or 7 PM, and I was pretty tired so I took a short nap.

Ron took Mom and Teddy home for me. She had fun, too. She liked her little Stardust memory shrine. We also gave her a big box of chocolates (she loves candy), and Kelly made her a beautiful pair of earrings.

I got beautiful earrings from Kel, too, and a bag full of all kinds of wonderful candies. Our oldest son sent me a lovely bouquet--I got that on Friday. It's been a fabulous Mother's Day. I feel very loved. :o)

I hope your Mother's Day was wonderful, too!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stardust Memories

I made a little pocket memory shrine for my mom for Mother's Day. It's tiny--about 2" by 2 1/2".

Stardust was my mom and dad's song. When I was little, Mom had a little round blue metal powder box/music box that Dad had given her. I used to love to wind it up to hear Stardust.

The pictures inside show my dad on the left, and Mom and Dad together on the right. They were married in 1946. They didn't quite make it to their 50th wedding anniversary before my dad died of leukemia in 1992.

Their marriage was sometimes tumultuous, and though they tried a couple of times, they could not live without each other.

The most important lesson I learned from their marriage is that you don't give up when things go wrong. You keep on loving one another, and work it out if it's at all possible.

I've been hearing Stardust in my head all day today. :o)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Simply Catholic

H/T to Father Horton. Please turn off my playlist to hear this great video.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hey look at me, I'm Jamie Lee!

Well, today was a big day. I got my hair cut very, very short.

My sweet daughter Kelly came over this afternoon and we had lunch at my house, then went to get our hair cut. Hers is still long and looks cute. Mine is almost gone and looks...short. :o)

I'm not crazy about it, but it's just a transition from my longer hair to bald anyway, so it's okay.

It's been a good day. No nausea, a fair amount of energy, and time with my mom and then Kelly.

I went to the library to return books this morning, went to BAMC for lab work, then went to Mom's. She and Teddy were out in the gazebo when I got there, so we sat out there for awhile. It's absolutely gorgeous weather, but starting to get hot.

Kelly called while I was there to find out my plans for the day. She brought Darcy and Banzai to visit the puppies. :o) She enjoyed watching Sister dive into the water for her ball.

Kelly left a little while ago, the puppies are having an afternoon nap in their crate, and I'm out on the patio enjoying some quiet time. Ron will be home soon. Boy, is he in for a shock! :o)

Monday, May 3, 2010


Tonight while I was showering and shampooing, my hair started coming out by the handful. I knew it was coming, and I thought I'd be okay with it, but I cried.

Hair is a stupid thing to cry about in the grand scheme of things, but unexpected tears came anyway. :o(

My little sis always says I have enough hair for five people, and I still have plenty left, but at the rate it was coming out, it won't be long until it's all gone.

I guess it just makes all of this seem more real.

Defenders Of The Catholic Faith

I have belonged to a Catholic on-line forum, Defenders of the Catholic Faith for many years now. My husband and I have met some of the members in "real life," and they've all been exactly as they seem to be on the board--wonderful people.

I found the board around the time I decided that I wanted to convert to Catholicism (2001). The board owner is Steve Ray (shown at left),a well-known convert who was formerly Baptist. We have heard him speak a few times at Catholic conferences, and he's funny, down-to-earth, sincere and totally in love with Catholicism. He has written books, gone to Israel to make videos and has a busy speaking schedule, all because of his love for God and His Church. I'm so glad to have found his Catholic convert board, and I'm blessed to have so many friends there.

When the DCF ladies found out about my cancer, they planned to surprise me with a card and gift shower, but I am so nosy that when I saw my name on a thread title, I clicked on it and spoiled the surprise. :o) That didn't stop them, though. Almost every day when we get the mail, there is something wonderful from my friends at DCF. It has been a joy and a blessing to hear from them, receive their gifts, cards and notes, but most of all to know that they are praying for me. Thank you DCF ladies! I love you all.

Click on the links above to visit the DCF forum or Steve's website to see his books, videos and speaking schedule. If you have questions about Catholicism, he has the answers!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Missing Reece

Reece and I are having a bit of a hard time getting used to not being together as much as usual.

He spent the night with us last night. The plan was that he would sleep with Papa in the spare bedroom. I went in there with him and read him some stories, then Ron came in. Reece didn't want me to leave, but he finally gave in.

In the middle of the night I heard a little voice say, "Gramma?" And he crawled up into bed with me and snuggled against my back. I let him stay, and we both slept well.

We went to see Great Gran, then took Reece home where he showed me his new swimming pool in the backyard. I admired the pool, then gave him a hug and told him good-bye. He ran after me and said, "Wait Gramma! I got to kiss you!" I stopped and waited and he gave me a kiss on each cheek and told me he loved me. He melts my heart.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Is Mary's Month

    May Magnificat

      MAY is Mary's month, and I
      Muse at that and wonder why:
      Her feasts follow reason,
      Dated due to season-

      Candlemas, Lady Day;
      But the Lady Month, May,
      Why fasten that upon her,
      With a feasting in her honour?

      Is it only its being brighter
      Than the most are must delight her?
      Is it opportunest
      And flowers finds soonest?

      Ask of her, the mighty mother:
      Her reply puts this other
      Question: What is Spring?-
      Growth in every thing-

      Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
      Grass and greenworld all together;
      Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
      Throstle above her nested

      Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
      Forms and warms the life within;
      And bird and blossom swell
      In sod or sheath or shell.

      All things rising, all things sizing
      Mary sees, sympathising
      With that world of good,
      Nature's motherhood.

      Their magnifying of each its kind
      With delight calls to mind
      How she did in her stored
      Magnify the Lord.

      Well but there was more than this:
      Spring's universal bliss
      Much, had much to say
      To offering Mary May.

      When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
      Bloom lights the orchard-apple
      And thicket and thorp are merry
      With silver-surfed cherry

      And azuring-over greybell makes
      Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
      And magic cuckoocall
      Caps, clears, and clinches all-

      This ecstasy all through mothering earth
      Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
      To remember and exultation
      In God who was her salvation.

      Gerard Manley Hopkins