See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

See Grandma, my eyes are really dark blue....not big brown ones like daddy

Ryan and friend

Ryan and friend
Mommy, Daddy, I'm saying Hi to Grandma?

This one is for you, Grandma!


soccer with determination and no airplane distractions

Monday, December 28, 2009

How Little We Remember

Christmas was fun for my grandson. Even the smallest gifts were fun to open and play with. One of the gifts we found for him was an inexpensive bowling ball set. It contained a zipped bag filled with ten plastic pins and two balls.

When he came over to play today I suggested that we set 'em up and roll the ball to see how well we could do at knocking down the pins. It was too funny to see how serious he took all this as it seemed that he used to have a bowling set at his house.

My boys used to have a set years ago, and I remembered how well they liked them. What I failed to remember is what a pain they were as they continuously fell over and knocked each other down. They do not do well on carpeting for one thing, and even the slightest breeze bowled them over.

But, he loved it, and didn't tire of it as it had hoped he would. I can still picture him jumping up and down in delight at having hit the pins with the ball. Right, just the vibration on the floor sent them toppling over. Finally I resorted to setting the pins up on a butcher's cutting block. Perfect! The only exception was that you could not roll the ball on the floor to knock down the pins. When he wasn't successful, he came out with a large plastic yard ball. No problem. He did it and he was the winner, according to him. Of course he was, he was the only one playing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas

Today found me ready for Christmas, almost. Dinner then more shopping, believe it or not. Now, more presents to wrap. There are always loose ends, so to speak and then, the unexplained.

The unexplained is what my grandson told Santa at his daycare party that I was privileged to attend, that he wanted for Christmas this year. Yes, it was the only thing that he said he wanted. I had no clue. That is why we went out again this evening to try and find it. Sure enough it was the only one. It was meant to be his. Needless to say we found other things and that's usually how it happens. Our first stop was the package store where we were able to purchase last minute wines and other goodies.

I can't believe how cold it is outdoors. It's two below in Worcester right now. We forget from season to season what bitterly cold weather is like. The good news is that nothing lasts forever. Tomorrow at this time, we will not care about the weather, nor remember anything but the peace joy, and goodwill that Christmas brings.

I promised myself more rest, so I'll be able to stay awake Christmas Eve. Everything will turn out okay, it always does. Oh Santa where are you? I need some help.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

You Like A Challenge

Famous words from the mouth of my mother-in-law, "you like a challenge." Life is nothing but a continuous challenge, at least it is for me. I have had many days similar but not quite like this one. Christmas Eve parties are always here at our house and I have always had the pleasure of making everyones favorites. The list is growing with requests.

So this is how it went today. It started with oatmeal squares with strawberry filling. Followed by three pies with homemade shells, a "sugar free"pumpkin for my mother-in-law, meat pie and salmon pie for the buffet. Contending with wheat, peanut and pork product allergies, many items had to be duplicated, like the chocolate chip cookies one gluten free and one peanut free. Next, the sugar cookie cut-outs with colored sprinkles, peanut free. And, chocolate cup cakes, peanut free, which will be frosted tomorrow with white icing and colored sprinkles.

The yellow cup cakes, are gluten free. Unfortunately, with rice flour, the batter which is filled up to the top, shrinks half-way down when cooled. Tomorrow, I will have to filled them with pudding or a cheesecake filling with cherries.

I usually go with products that have been tried before, especially when the package does not specifically spell out "peanut free manufacturing facility."

Tomorrow, I will bake corn bread, and make several dips, and fillings for the stuffed sandwiches. Deviled eggs with ham are a must for one of my sons who also looks for his shrimp dip each year. The other likes tuna and egg salad sandwiches. My husband loves roast beef. Luckily, my daughter-in-law just came across Kielbasa made without pork casings, which will be a welcomed addition, along with the cheese platter and shrimp with cocktail sauce.

Eggplant Lasagna with meatballs and sauce is my favorite, with tossed salad. This year the seafood chowder will wait for another evening.

I can't even imagine how I'll manage to do all that needs to be done and still watch Nathan, yet there is no question that I will accomplish it.

Gifts are all wrapped, decorations are all up, even the house village, complete with the park and winter scenes. I wonder what Santa will bring for Christmas? Nate says he's been a good boy. He'll get the chocolate cup cakes that he wanted and the big chocolate cookies, grandma made sure of that.

I don't know who's more excited about Christmas this year, him or Grampy. Liturgy at our church is at five. Other guests will come following their seven O'clock service. As we all picked a name in November, everyone will have a gift to open. There are little surprises and sometimes joke gifts. We always have a good time, which begins with a toast. We say three times, "Christ is born", to which all reply "Glorify Him!"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Unexpected Christmas Present

The best present that one can receive is one from the heart. There are many people in my inner circle, who I live to pamper, friends and family alike. I know that they love me by the way they do little and unexpected things for me.

Yesterday, I got the surprise of my life. Nathan will be four in January. He is like most kids his age, affectionate toward his little stuffed animals, and mom and dad. Usually, when it is time for him to go home, his parents prompt him, saying, "give grandma a kiss" which he does. I'll say grandma loves you. He is our only grandson and the joy which he brings cannot be compared in any way as most grandparents tell you, they are special.

We put up two trees yesterday, and after putting up the one in the dining area, he decided that he liked grampy's better. Although it is bigger, it wasn't big enough for him. And, it didn't rotate, or have colored lights like mommy and daddy's tree. The one in the room that he spends most of his time in watching his movies has fiber optic lighting which is colored on the tips and changes color which he likes, especially the orange. Grandma likes the purple.

I took the sleeping Santa out of the box and set him up for Nathan to see. This is a big Santa who's belly rises and falls as he snores away, having boots on the side of his bed, and a calendar marked with a circled date, which is Christmas. He heard the sound and compared it to a truck backing up. Don't ask me...That's what he hears. As Santa snores it sounds like a whistle singing to the tune of jingle bells. Now that he's seen it, it will promptly go back in the box for another year.

I don't have to tell you how excited he is about all the Christmas festivities. We were hoping to take him to see the Clydesdale horses yesterday, but as the storm approached as the gales were coming through with the frigid cold weather, we decided to forgo that idea. He has a train that he puts together, built with blocks and runs manually, pushing it with no track, which he builds and rebuilds, (it's pretty funny looking at times). He spends a great deal of time ridding it around his room making choo choo sounds. Sometimes, he builds it backwards, and pushes it around that way. He is a master of sounds, especially airplane ones and trucks.

Lately he has been watching ice road truckers. He knows the mechanics of trucks and cars and motorcycles as those are his favorite DVD's. He was never the doll type. Yet he loves Betty Boop. You should hear him laugh, it warms you all over. What a sense of humor he has.

A typical boy of almost four, he displays a little "temper" at times. If he had his way, he'd have grandma cooking his favorite foods all day long. But when grandma says no, out comes the pout. In fact yesterday, I thought I heard him throw something at the wall. I am not a push over and so I let him know that grandma will not tolerate that kind of behaviour. "He said he was sorry." At times, he reminds me so much of his father, but the pout is definitely like his mother. Wanting to get his way is just like grandma.

I admit that I am very spoiled and loved, yet I didn't expect Nathan to say "I love you" without being told to. Nor did I expect the kiss on the cheek. It surprised me because it came from him and was sincere.

You can love someone in life and not expect to get any love in return. And, that's okay. But when love is returned or unexpected, it is the greatest of all presents. Knowing how much my grandson loves me is the best gift that I ever hope to receive from him, and I will never tire of it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Unexpected Surprise

Today was the day we decided to begin to decorate our home for Christmas. Not one but two trees, both totally different. We had decided to put up only one tree this year, but Nathan wanted grandma to put one up in our dining room, as well. If it were up to me, we probably would not have any. Now its not as bad as all that, it's just, well commercial. I've grown to love the real Christmas much more.

Was that the unexpected surprise, putting up our trees? No! During the week I found myself doing some cleaning and stumbled on the book which I had been faithfully reading for some time, only to discover that I had a place mark at the end, clearly indicating that I hadn't finished it. What a joy to finally do that today while Nathan watched one of his favorite movies.

All of you probably know by now that the title of the book is "Darcy's Passions," by Regina Jeffers. Early on, the acquaintance of Elizabeth and Darcy was one of question. It reads: "Each time as he swore to himself he would ignore Elizabeth, he found himself more enticed by her." He wanted to be in her presence where he could observe her, where he could listen to her conversation, and interact with her. "Darcy determined she flirted with him through the verbal assaults, and they worked remarkably."

The problem as I began to understand it, was class struggle. He came from wealth and she did not. "Yet, he found his diversion with Elizabeth Bennet to be an unanticipated pleasure." His thoughts seemed elsewhere and her flirtations of late increased in their intensity and duration. "The chaos of his mind had him hating himself for the turmoil such thoughts created." "All the old insecurities returned. Would he never be able to make her love him?" Especially hearing her say, "I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly..I have every reason to think ill of you..."

Darcy could force himself to be indifferent. Too late, it jumped from admiration to love and He found that he lost his taste for food, retiring early to his chambers. He lost focus and drink was his companion. "Darcy's love for her could not allow him to ignore her."

He became her "hero" because love finds a way, admiration turns to love. That is the story in a nutshell, except for the final scene on New Year's Eve, when Lizzy got sick because the men's clothing smelled of cigar smoke. She is forced to tell her husband the news of her pregnancy, not knowing if it would please him to become a father. The news is shared with the guests at the party and with the announcement of parenthood, the party took on a whole new level of enjoyment.

"God gives us blessings because of what we do for others." "You are more devout than I, but I have come to a new understanding of the infinite power of God since Elizabeth came into my life. I never knew such love of life." Then, Darcy's sister Georgiana makes this remark. "Did you know, Brother, the Greeks did not extol a man's accomplishments upon his death?" "They simply asked one question of his family and friends: did he live his life with undying passion?"

Darcy offered a toast to Elizabeth. "To my wife, Elizabeth Bennett Darcy, a woman of unexpected wit, a devotion to her family, silent courage, and strength combined with innocence and sweetness--I learned from you how to be a brother, a man, and a husband. Soon I will learn to be a father. You are the love of my life."

Real love is the light that never flickers out. It is the unexpected Surprise. This Christmas, give the gift that keeps on giving, the gift of Love.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Wish I Were With You

"The Christmas rush is through, but I still have one wish to make
a special one for you... Merry Christmas, Darling
we're apart that's true...but I can dream and in that dream
I'm Christmasing with you...
Holiday's are joyful, there's always something new...
But everyday's a Holiday when I'm near you...

The lights on my tree, I wish you could see...
I wish it everyday...
The logs on the fire fill me with desire to see you and to say..
That I wish you Merry Christmas, Happy New Year too...
I've just one wish on this Christmas Eve,
I wish I were with you....."

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, originally sung by Karen Carpenter.

Christmas is never the same for the lonely who, missing the one person they love and long for, are apart from them. They go through the motions, while having a great emptiness within.
Christmas is not fun for everyone, especially the military families and those who have lost loved ones.

"But I can dream and in that dream, I'm Christmasing with you..."

Karen is gone from this world. But, maybe you know someone that needs a little Christmas Cheer. "It is in giving that we hope to receive."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dreams do come true

One young man came into this country with a dream of finding a new home. He went to a university with great expectation. It wasn't easy serving a very small, yet distinguished parish to Cantor with the priest on Sunday's, Holy days, and especially during Holy Week. His demeanor was always polite and he has always displayed an enduring spirit.

His lot was of trials and tribulations. He said his first Liturgy as a Father-Deacon yesterday along with the pastor, Father Peter. A party was given in his and his new bride's honor in the church hall. As any parent will tell you, letting go is difficult, and as a parish we now have to let him go to serve the Lord in Chicago.

The torch has been passed, and greater work is his to do. We will miss them and wish both of them all the best. It was no mistake that he was sent among parishioners who have worshiped at St. Michael's Church for at least a part of eighty-five years, because both have one thing in common, struggle. Like us, he will fall down and get up again, and learn that word which is common to all "trust in the Lord."

God will supply all his need according to "His" plan and purpose. And I believe he has his work cut out for him. So Father-Deacon Vasile and Anda be happy and God speed. Your dreams are being realized, the one's you've worked for all your life. Axios and Many Years.

Imagine being the Arch-Bishop's Deacon? What a special honor and what a special dream come true, only in America. Who would have thought it?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beyond glue

Sure enough while talking with my mother-in-law, I knew the subject would come up. Just seems you can't avoid it. It's all over the news, radio, and Internet. So, I tried to skirt the issue. But no, she insisted to pursue dragging the guy down, and now where is this family to go without all the snickering, and gossip? Does the media care that children are involved in this mess? Marriage is supposed to be "closed doors," private, between the two of them "period." Okay, so he is renown for the athlete he is, and he has an image to uphold. We are all so shocked to learn the repeated and sordid "so called facts." There are two sides to every story and more than that meets the eye, so we ought not judge.

Obviously, there are problems that exist, that are not our business. Adultery is not a new condition but one we find even the Lord had something to say about as men put woman aside, divorcing them for sometimes younger gals. See (Luke 16:18, permanence of marriage is made the standard).

The standard does "not imply" that all marriages are made in heaven, and there is room for "compassion" as shown through the church. There is a time to let go, if it just doesn't work out. It is not a simple process, which comes with a high cost. Divorce is a separation, regardless of the reason. It is a painful experience for the entire family, and never to be taken lightly.

Statistics say that more than fifty percent of marriages fail. Sadly, many have lost their moral compass in this culture, lacking accountability to their relationship. Unresolved problems end up in distance and brokenness.

Like everything else, marriage must have a good foundation, called Truth. If it is not based on truth, you are living a lie.

It must be nourished. Without good food it will be starved off. If attention is the problem, or communication, it will be found somewhere else. Often there are many and different diversions. Preoccupation with "other things" that are more important than your spouse, may be a first sign of the impending separation.

When you were first in love you had many secrets, and couldn't wait to see each other. Just to hear his voice over the phone was special. Did it take so much work then?

Sometimes you can get it back. It all depends on how hard you both want to work at it. Other times, the trust is broken, a trust that said "I will never let you down, and I can depend on you no matter what." It must be mutual. If not, it's not the end of the world, however difficult, move on. Your life is not ended, just changed.

Dealing with the shock is another matter. There is room for forgiveness. Then, there is room for forgiveness, but. There are cases where you just can't put the pieces together again.

Open and honest communication is what's needed.

Broken people need messages of hope and comfort. Suffering is not a picnic. Think about that the next time you may want to drag someone through the mud who is already drowning in "sorrow, loneliness, and indecision. Yet, it seems you can't wait to talk about it.

Regardless of who's at fault, sometimes love and trust is lost and you just can't get it back.

Maybe he just thought he could have his cake and eat it too? I doubt it, most men who have happy marriages, do not cheat on their wives. They can't wait to share everything with them. Better we change the subject, it's Christmas after all, and for some out there it just won't be Merry, no matter how much money or youth they have.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mary, the Mother of God, knew Her Son would be great

The Theotokos knew Her Son would be great. All mother's wonder what their baby will be like. Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible, the Angel Gabriel says in (Luke 1:31) "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus." (35) "the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God."

I found a beautiful song on and wanted to share the words with you. It is called Jesus-Mary Did You Know, (Clay Aiken). I hope you will find the time to look it up and listen to it.

"Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new
this child that you delivered will soon deliver you

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with His Hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby you've kissed the face of God

Mary did you know the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the dead will be raised again?
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the Lamb

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is Heaven's perfect Lamb and this sleeping child
your holding is the great I Am."

Many names have been given this precious child, (Isaiah 9" 2-7)"For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be on His shoulder, and His name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Ruler, Prince of Peace, the Father of the World to Come."

The Christmas Kontakion reveals who God says He is.

"Today the virgin comes to the cave
Where she will give birth to the Eternal Word.
Hear the glad tidings and rejoice, O universe!
With the angels and shepherds glorify Him who reveals Himself:
The eternal God, a little child!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Where there is Love there is Christmas

I am fortunate enough to be married to a shopper. We decided to take a little trip to enjoy a weekend at the ocean. This time it wasn't to walk on the beach, like all the other times we've spent in Maine this year. I dragged him to many shopping mall's in Kittery, Wells and to observe Christmas on the Southern coast of Maine. It's like stepping back in time, and the "natural beauty" is hard to describe, if you haven't seen it, you must!

The tree-lighting ceremony was to be the grandest and listed second, when compared to other Christmas events in the country. Kennebunkport, for those who haven't been there, is a lovely New England town, filled with quaint shoppes and wonderful food.

Kittery was bustling with activity of it's own. We shopped for hours, and then took lunch at "Robert's Lighthouse," which is a wonderful place, who actually had a gluten free dessert listed on their menu. I complimented the management for their service and their consideration of people who had "special" dietary concerns. They have our return business because they go the extra mile and are focused on "service."

We could see the ocean from our room which was beautifully covered by ice crystal's this morning, present from last night's storm. The white sand was white glistening snow, just like the trees and surroundings, a gift from heaven. In some ways, it was like home.

Last night was "special" as we walked home from the pub, "The Post-Road Tavern," with gale winds pouncing on weary travellers, who enjoyed the "sting" of our first fallen snow of the winter season, and who were giddy from the wine and warm from each other's company. This was to be our first taste of the wonderful Christmas season. It's people that make a place, and although the food is excellent, we feel like we know the owner and his staff personally, as they are not afraid to interact with their customers, making them feel at home.

We missed the storm going up and it was lovely until it started to "spit," a soft snow, just as we went to dinner. It had started to "stick" as we left. Fortunately, the pub is right next door and we didn't have far to go in the gale. We had the world to ourselves, a very quiet evening, with residents tucked in safely at home. Not a soul around. Then of course, it was time for football.

The ocean offers much all year long. As we woke, the sun was peaking through the curtain in the front window, and by the time we were packed, the snow was all cleaned up. Luckily, the roads were perfectly dry and the only disappointment was "the game". The Patriots game that we listened to on the radio while driving home.

I felt pampered to the max, having had much fresh seafood and lobster.

Take the time to do something "special" with someone you love, and you will find Christmas. The Seasonal Play, Scrooge, says it best, from the song "Happiness." The words --"For Happiness is whatever you want it to be."

If their is love in your heart, give it away for Christmas, for in sharing do you receive the joy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where is Christmas

Late Saturday I stumbled on a program in which people were receiving awards, "hero awards," and the recipients kindness struck me to tears. Their love for humanity was well, there are no words for it, genuine, and not self seeking. It wasn't done so that the honor would be bestowed upon them, for their resume, or other acclaim.

One man stood out to me, only because our church extends an opportunity once a month to the community for a "free" meal. He was driving a taxi cab in NY, and simply rolled down his window, called out to a man to ask, "are you hungry." The man replied that he was. The cab driver along with other's started a feeding program, which consisted of rice, beans and chicken to 140 people, in order that they would eat, everyday. "They would buy food if they had jobs", he said. This has become a second job for the cab driver, possibly paying for the food as well.

A man who went to Iraq to do business, is now doing the Lord's business in supplying children, some who have been carried around most of their lives, wheelchairs.

A woman in Florida is beating at doors to make sure women get their mammograms, so that they will be around for their children, unlike the five year old boy who just lost his mom.

A young teacher in Africa, who looked after women and infants who have been rape victims, teaching them how to pick up the pieces and go on with their lives.

Several years ago, I witnessed stairs on public property being replaced, (perfectly good ones) while I saw the homeless sitting close by and I thought it so wasteful when the money could have been put to better use. Last week, a sidewalk was being raised, a perfectly good one. I don't get it!

Our priorities are all messed up. We seem to care more about animals than people. Then, as I drove down-town I saw the lovely "plastic decorations" some as old as I am, and Seasons Greetings, no less. Does anyone know about Christmas anymore, except for what they want? And, where to find it?

I thought where is Christmas? Then I remembered....I never like the falseness of it all, anyway. What of the suffering people? What kind of Christmas is it going to be for them? Then, I started to remember some words.... "Come," "We have found joy in a secret place....Angels and Shepherd glorify Him, the wise men journey with a star, since for our sake the eternal God was born as little child." I will have to look up where those beautiful words came from.

Like the wise men, we need to find that joy. The joy that can be only found in a secret place. That is the message we need to give to the world, "For by it those who worshiped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee the Orient from on high."(Luke 1:78)

The wise men, had everything yet nothing. Chose to follow a star, once empty, then filled with the Knowledge of Him. The world needs to acquire the "wisdom" of the wise men, and find Christmas in a world that needs it. And, like our hero's give a gift of hope, and joy to those who are needy, especially this time of the year. Love is a gift that keeps on giving.

Maybe the old and tired decorations do serve a purpose after all. It is a time, a season to greet everyone with kindness and to remind us who it was that came from on high to teach us how to love, "Him" the Christ child, and our brother.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Revelation

You hear constantly, "It's time for the revolution, and I say it's time for Revelation.

Allow me to share my past recollection of Christmas. Families would place less emphasis on the exterior decorations and more on the Church. The family visited friends and relatives during the Christmas season. Friendly greetings filled the air. Caroller's "tuned" holy songs. Churches reflected on the "birth" of Christ. And, there was room for frosty the snowman, jingle bells, and Rudolph the red nosed reindeer, here comes Santa Clause, and I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause. Silver bells, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas. Now, some churches feature Santa, with gifts. That is the only time some parents bring their children there, sadly. Talk in most homes is about "toys" and Santa, not a mention of baby Jesus.

We hear talk of revolution, because we are not allowed to say or exhibit the words "Merry Christmas."Displays which remind us of the way it should be are prohibited. Holy and reflective themes of the birth of Christ are hardly seen or heard.

Somehow we all know that we should be putting God first. Yet, for some, it is a way to lore folk into the shopping season, to fill their pockets, ca-ching. They had better be the first in line to the revolution, because if we can't say Merry Christmas, we won't shop there. The bottom line is the almighty buck. And that is their God.

Many had decorated their homes with beautiful arrangements before Thanksgiving, and now that it is December first, we will be hearing a lot more about controversial subjects pertaining to Christmas. I have no objection to the way you wish to spend your time and money on decorations, if it brings you and other's around you joy, as long as you remember why we do it in the first place.

The problem is not a new one, it began when folk allowed the changing of the name of St. Nicholas, a real person, to replace it with a character called Santa Clause. What we did was change the focus to presents for the children. Children of all ages. I love exchanging gifts, however, have we have lost sight of who and what is the gift to mankind?

While the home and neighborhoods will be flashing and all decked out, the church pews remain empty. On the 26th of December, the decorative items will be returned to storage, leaving you to feel just as empty as the container it came in. Did it matter that Merry Christmas was displayed for you to see it? Or, did it matter that someone forgot to say Merry Christmas to you, when you did not come to the stable yourself, to worship the Christ child, who is God in the flesh?

It begins with the message in your church, even if few came. While for other's their party was their priority. We are in the Revelation, or tribulation as other's refer to it. It is not a message you haven't heard before. It has to do with worshiping the Risen Lamb. The Son of God, and His celebrated birth, the first commandment, to Love Him above all else, and then your neighbor as yourself.

Acquire the "vision" of the apocalypse, (a disclosure), that has been going on since He finished His work on the cross, and by His death, and resurrection, grants you Life for eternity. His Kingdom, now and forever, is here and is your "free" gift, but you must accept it and Worship Him alone. The first gift that God gives us is "life." He will come again in Glory, but for now we Worship Him in "spirit and truth". In the end, accepting Christ will be your decision.

There is still time, after all, we are in advent. Let's allow His light to shine on us. It's a time to ponder on Jesus, our only hope. A time for joy, peace and genuine Love, a "gift" for all mankind.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

No Room

When you have something "special" you "make room" for it by creating a space to provide a place to display it. Something of great importance should never be hidden.

Each year when I ponder the story of the birth of Christ, I seem to focus on one aspect, the one that weighs most on my mind at the time. It would appear that every part of the story is important because it reveals a profound mystery. "No Room" has taken precedence lately. Those words stand apart, especially in light of today's understanding of Merry Christmas.

Was Jesus born away from the inn, done to emphasize His place of birth, creating a place of importance, in order to set Him apart from all others? Yet, birthed in a humble stable where animals dwelt, is not my idea of fit for a King. We participate along with the wise men who find Him, following elements in the sky. The two year journey, pinpointed their precise destination. We find an infant King, because there was "No Room?" Or, I wonder, do the words take on a new and hidden meaning for this age?

Ordinary people of that time, turned away this infant "King" Jesus, because they could not make room for Him. Sound familiar?

The fact is that Christians for thousands of years, have welcomed Him in their homes by displaying Nativity Scenes, recalling the "first Christmas." Homes do not have so much as a cross today, never mind the nativity scene. But, most of them have trees. Not "Christmas trees", but "Holiday trees". Christmas has been reduced to "toys" and "shopping until you drop". We refer to "the Holiday's" and there is "no room" for the Holy Christmas.

There is no room for "Christ," No room for the needy, No room for forgiveness, No room for compromise, No Room for Love. No Room for infants, the killing of many innocent babies in the womb. Two words, "No Room" take on a harsh tone, just like the madness of the "first Christmas, and the killing of the innocent." What kind of pitiful state are we in?

Is there room for faith in your life or is there "No Room?" "There is no longer any wiggle room for the Truth. Are you allowing other's to squeeze you from your space or is there room for your expression of the "real" Christmas, and "real" St. Nicholas, a "real" saint.

We are in the season of advent, that is: making preparation , "in waiting," for life, for birth. We expand our capacity for the living and giving and loving because we experience a "joy" for His coming. Keep the spirit alive by finding the way to "make room in the chambers of your heart," by clearing out the mess!

So ponder this: When Christ came, there was "No Room," for Him then, and there is sadly "No Room" for Him now.

If you truly want to be happy this Christmas, you need to lead someone to the manager. Someone who has lost their way, because they can't find Him hidden in a cave as there was "No Room" in the Inn. Your heart will be filled with the "Joy" that will cause you to say, "Merry Christmas," an all too common word that seems to be forgotten, just like the Spirit of Christmas.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A very Happy Thanksgiving

If I didn't have but the thought of you, I'd still have a happy Thanksgiving. For God has provided me with family and many blessings, and for this I am eternally thankful. I am sending "Happy Thanksgiving" wishes to you and your families on this Holiday.

I am thankful for the many who have taken the time to read this post, and from time to time have acknowledged it with your comments, which I appreciate.

I hope that today will bring a smile on your face wherever you are, and that kindness will find its way to you, in some small way.

And, as the day closes, I pray that heavenly blessings will follow you.

We are expecting snow tonight, and so it begins.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

It will always be Merry because of Christmas. Christmas is not just a word, it is more than a phrase. It is a word that says historically, the Christ child came and dwelt among us. A child who was born to change the world's condition. He has many names, Wonderful, Counselor, Savior. He is the Christ, the son of the Living God. Christ is born is an historical fact.

He cannot be stamped out, no matter if we are not allowed to say Merry Christmas as we should, by the right of free speach. We can withhold gifts from under the tree, if we choose to, afterall it itsn't the gift that we celebrate. We celebrate Him. He is the Gift.

Those companies which suggest that we should be "all inclusive" must understand that it is not simply a greeting. We can include everyone in this celebration. Afterall, He came for everyone and did not exclude anyone in his salvation plan for the world. So, It will always be a "Merry" Christmas in our hearts. You are all welcome to join in.

Tomorrow, as we give thanks, we will be mindful of the shopping season ahead and prepare for the gifting of other's yet knowing, nothing is ours that doesn't come from Him, another reason to give thanks and celebrate.

Silent Night, Holy Night, All is calm, All is Bright.---Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King. (Truly a time to reflect on this great miracle).

I just love Christmas. Thanksgiving is not too bad either. There is a time for everything. We will watch Santa who will appear in the Macy's parade, to usher in Christmas, as if this were a promotional event. I guess to some it is as it (means time to start Christmas shopping), but do you know the real St. Nicholas? For that matter, do you know the real Christ of Christmas? Something to think about as Christmas approaches is'nt it? Or, will this be just another empty holiday to throw away with your gift wrap.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

H1N1 Vaccines

What happens when a company, GlaxoSmithKline issues the advice "not to use one batch of swine flu vaccine?" Then you, being of sound mind, need to understand that someone is trying to tell you something of very grave importance. (The advice was extended to "Canadian Healthcare Professionals," not the general public).

Why would anyone want to not use all that is available when people are standing in line waiting for the vaccine that will potentially save their lives? The reason, "it may trigger life-threatening allergies." (reported in a Fox News Internet story, received through Associated Press--LONDON.) Go here to read it.

We are just receiving this today, however, it is old news, as the story broke on Tuesday, November 24th. It appears that "someone" at GlaxoSmithKline is morally, and legally engaged. Engaged enough to alert Canadian doctors of an outcome of serious nature. I give allot of credit to her, and her company for their courage, as I wonder, would all manufacturer's do the same?

Unfortunately, "the affected batch contains 172,000 doses." "7.5 million" were distributed in Canada. The next question is how easy is it to "recall" the affected batch? Do you know where the remaining doses are?

Gwenan White, spokeswoman for the company, revealed the mode of communication on November 18, 2009, saying, "GlaxoSmithKline wrote."

I hope that's not all they did, in this computerized age where communication is instantaneous. How long does it take to distribute 172,000 doses of the H1N1 in which people have been waiting to receive for months? How many people must be exposed to a potential danger before a batch can be considered life-threatening? How many professionals received the notification, or took it seriously? What was the time factor? How many were actually distributed?

Bottom line is: Do you know their is a risk associated with taking the H1N1 vaccine? How much has it weighed in your decision to receive it?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Going "Gluten Free"

Sunday we suffer from the effects of "coffee hour" in that we are tempted to, and do eat products which are enticing, yet not good for our "refined" way of eating. We have decided to change that.

Wheat has always been a staple in our home from which we now find ourselves becoming intolerant to, to some degree. We do not believe that there is any history of Celiac disease in our family, however, gluten is found in many products and eaten at times without knowledge, until various unpleasant symptoms appear, which vary from time to time.

The problem is that people sensitive to gluten's will suffer eventually from malnutrition. Malnutrition is a complication as nutrients are prevented by damaged villi to be absorbed into the bloodstream. (No matter how much you eat, or how many vitamins and minerals the body receives), you are not benefiting from them. You could eventually grow sickly and possibly have symptoms over a period of time, which will hopefully allow you to take hold and change your diet, preventing possibly diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, depression and other psychiatric issues, liver diseases and many autoimmune conditions, including allergies. When you finally find out what has been bothering you all these years, it is a time to rejoice. Now knowing, you can do something about it.

Children who have this disease may have delayed growth or puberty, young women may have miscarriage's or reproductive issues. Other's thyroid problems, making one feel tired, and not able to stay awake. Type 1 Diabetes. These conditions are on the rise. It may affect your skin, and even juvenile rheumatoid arthritis may be associated with celiac disease.

If you suspect gluten to be the cause of your many problems, the only way to be sure is to be tested by your physician and then, like the rest of us who have from intolerance to life threatening allergic reactions, stay away.

Joint inflammation is a common complaint around here. Gluten is not a friend of ours. We are process of removing it from our diet.

Isn't it odd that when you introduce the so called "white products into your meal plan" (salt, sugar and refined flours,) that you gain so much weight?

It may take ten years before you finally understand that certain food stuffs are simply not good for you, and substitution should get you on a healthier path. If you have tried everything and still do not know what is toying with your weight, or making you feel bloated and gassy, sometimes causing serious pain, loss of sleep, awful indigestion and anxiety, take a look at gluten.

What we need in this country is more alternatives, less gluten additives and more labeling to help identify a product that may be "killing you" and your general sense of well-being if you are intolerant to it. Lastly, gluten free products must be made affordable.

Yesterday, I read the book "The G Free Diet" by Elisabeth Hasselbeck. A great read with many sources and ideas for those with sensitivity to gluten. She is the Co host on the "View." Originally from Rhode Island, from an Italian background, her pasta and bread diet, and family stories brought home to me fond memories I could identify with. Especially, I recall my mother making spaghetti and meatballs with Italian bread every Sunday.

Keeping my weight has always been a problem for me, even though I used to walk three miles a day, march in the band and work every evening on my feet. Activity was never my problem.

It is time for the "Hidden Epidemic ( Peter Green, MD) to be discovered." It was reported in Elisabeth Hasselbeck's book that "Catholic communities have already worked out G-free communion solutions for their celiac members." That was an eye opener which made me wonder if anyone in our Church Community has encountered this problem?

Under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, food manufacturers must clearly label all products that contain any of the eight most common food allergens: wheat, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and soybeans. Our family has a history of allergies, food and environmental. These labels must be universal. Additives can be vague, and under a certain percent, they do not have to be listed. We must be precise in some cases.

This interesting story came from Hasselbeck's book. "There's a case report of a woman in Italy who had the diagnosis and didn't get better and they traced it to the fact that she was having a corner of a communion wafer a day and that was calculated out to be one milligram of gluten."

Thanks to Elisabeth for the work and information that will be helpful to so many who are wondering why they do not feel well when they consume food products that are supposed to be good for you.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Community Feasts On Turkey

St. Michael's Parish once again provided the community with a delicious turkey dinner. We are pleased by the continuous growth of the feeding program which is designed to bring people together for a community meal. We advertise in our local paper, and of course happy participants spread the word.

The cook and manager of the event is our parish priest, Fr. Peter Preble. Endearing is what he is to all. As I entered the parish hall yesterday, all I could smell was the turkey's cooking in preparation for the feast. Since he was up at 5:00 A.M., I can only imagine how exhausted he had to be last night. We are fortunate to have him in our small brim-filled parish, filled with activity which is Christian driven. People that contribute to the basket on the refreshment table are feeding our local food share program. So we feed to feed other's. This is a bible solution.

I don't think that many parishes can hold a candle to ours. We focus on our brother, beginning with our own congregation each Sunday. So, look forward to December 17th. for a great meal, hospitality and pastry that's prepared the way mom did it, the old fashioned way.

We're here to serve you, and serve you we did. And, while your at it, don't forget our Sunday Liturgy begins at 10 A.M., your invited.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I love to throw parties. Last night was no exception. There are some people who just will pick up something just to be together. But no, not me. If there were a word to describe my character, "Lagniappe" is it. People arrive to share the very best. It begins with the clean house, with enticing smells, a happy and comfortable atmosphere. Last night, we had some new spinach dip to try, with crispy colorful veggie chips. Everyone was starving, I could tell. Once the drinks were brought out and dinner was finally on the white linen tablecloth, it was salad and cabbage soup. Then, the main dish along with homemade applesauce, sliced carrots, peas and mashed, whipped potatoes.

We always say the "prayer" together and allow time for our little grandson to add his personal intentions, which is usually for his little friends. He happily sits at the end of the table, grampy on the other side, feeling important. Conversation is always welcomed, and it was his opportunity to announce to us that, "I'm a Dude." We were all taken by surprise. It is a term used when addressing other guys, Like Hey Dude, (guy or pal). A guy thing. He sure is growing up. He's my little man. Normally, he tells me things that are important to him. Tonight it was, "grandma, I'm staying at your house." He is almost as happy as his parents are, that they are going away. Then he told me again, that he has a "big boy room now" painted orange and dark blue. Normally when we get together for dinner, he has so many people to play with and talk too, that I'm the last person on his list. He knows that grandma is doing the same, visiting with all her guests. We are both busy doing the same thing.

Last night, I heard grampy say, don't touch grandma's shells, she worked hard to find them. I have quite a collection, which I place on my little table in front of the sofa. Nathan and I pick them up during our conversation time. The last time, I showed him what a "natural hinge" is, as two shells were still together. You can learn a lot from nature. In my house he can "touch" things and he feels welcome. Comfort precedes conversation. His mother acknowledges his "using his words." Communication skills are the most important of all the learned abilities. He is praised for his "nice manners," I also observed. The affection displayed toward their son, is heartwarming. Nathan is a very lucky boy.

It was a big night, as he helped me with a "gluten free, yellow, butter-cream" birthday cake for Aunt Jean. He loves birthday's and reminded me that I had just had one. It is always a happy time to remember someone else. This was a cake that everyone in the house could enjoy, taking into consideration all the allergies and intolerance.

Then, as usually done this time of the year, we exchanged names for Christmas presents. Done secretly, we use the draw a name method. Part of the fun is in not knowing who has your name. This way we limit the number of gifts to focus on one "special" one.

As I was cleaning up in the kitchen, Nathan reminded me that he was still waiting for his "coffee." It's kind of a joke, as Nathan doesn't really drink coffee. Sometimes, I warm up a little milk and hot chocolate. As long as it's in a "coffee cup" it will do. Last night, it was a touch of decaf in cream. Just like the soup, which I called "ketchup soup" it was just to taste. He really doesn't want the coffee, he wants to be treated like "the big boy he is." Grandmothers understand children. It is the little small insignificant moments that make our relationship "special." Really knowing and listening to someone.

Later, that evening Nathan was sitting on a bar stool, because he can now, finishing up his cake, with watered down orange soda, looking very tired. He had had a very busy day, but was not complaining. I brought him into the bathroom to wash his orange face and hands, gently, and finished with his favorite hand lotion, smelling like lime jello. It's fun to come to "grandma's house," because grandma gives "Lagniappe" a little something extra.

Lagniappe is the gift that grandma gives to everyone that comes to know and love her, because she knows and loves them.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Grace Saves the Willing

Today's churches are missing something, you! And this is your personal invitation. Surely you have heard about Jesus, the whole world has. (Paul was travelling on the road to Damascus and was not seeking or looking to find Jesus, when the Lord made Himself known to him). Belief is not the problem is it?

Jesus stands with outstretched hands, an open invitation. He seeks and makes Himself known to the willing, who obtain the grace of salvation. Those who are contrary or disobedient have a spirit of stupor, and even in hearing accept death instead of life. Do not remove yourself from the love of Christ, instead remove the blinders. This is your alter call.

We are in the Advent of Christmas, the celebrated Birth of our Lord and Savior, preparing to receive Him, and the joy of His presence in Your heart. Do not settle for empty gifts and promises this year, get the Real Gift. You can't out give God, and He already knows what you want. His gift is the one that does not stop giving and lasts an eternity, and all you have to do is receive it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The package

Tonight we tried a new restaurant, which brings home a point. That is that beauty is usually hidden. We have passed by this restaurant, judging it to be second rate because of its location. Others have raved about it yet, it didn't appeal to me as I judged it from the outside.

As I sat in the dinning room, eloquently decorated in my favorite black and golds, my focus was on the full view windows, which used to display furniture in its time. Now, the plush drapes and transparent window dressings took you to an interior dimension which allowed you to forget where you are. I recall saying, "pinch me, we can't be in ---." Then, I tasted the fare of the day, with a glass of red wine, which they poured from a decanter in front of me, and thought myself in a plush restaurant in one of our great cities or, a five-star restaurant in a quaint town like, Kennebunkport, ME. Unbelievable!

Often we miss out on something special because we "prejudge". Years ago, I recall going to a service at a monastery in CT, which was developed from a burnt out barn. Once inside, it was so beautiful, and peaceful. In the newly renovated area hung huge Icons, where bees wax candles provided the light, and the interior smelled sweetly of incense. Yet, looking from the outside, it was unsightly and run-down. Few even knew it was there. It no longer is.

People are like that, from the outside they may not be all that appealing, but it's inside that you will find a beautiful person who will give you the shirt off their back. The first words from their mouth are welcoming , and their interest is not in themselves, but in you.

We hear that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover. At a moments glance, you can be fooled into believing whatever someone wants you to think. Usually, that is a "false impression", so look deeper, for the beauty that is, is within. And, you may find the truth that is obscured, initially. Why are people so afraid to get close, intentionally keeping their distance, when all they want is to be "discovered" if only they could trust. Yet, most people have a thick stone wall built up so high that no one can penetrate it. From the outside, cold and hard, yet on the inside, vulnerable, needing to be accepted and loved for who they are. It begins with "hello." It begins with "me." Let the light in, take a chance.

We were so impressed with Fins & Tales, that we've made reservations for Thanksgiving Dinner. I wonder when I look outside this time, watching the cars go by in the daylight, if Iwill see the atmosphere across the street or will I be so impressed with the inside, that it will be all that matters.

The inside is "the heart" of the matter, and the heart is all that counts. Are you looking deeply? We are conditioned to look for externals. Who and where you come from, money, jewelry, assets, position, education, associates, and all sort of social identities. Yet, from this venue of choices will you discover what will bring you happiness or will you be looking out from the window of discontent, like so many others that don't get it.

Take a chance, it's not the package but the content. Last week I celebrated another birthday and I recall saying that my mom, didn't bother wrapping the gift, often presenting it in a paper bag. She knew where the focus was!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

St. Michael's Feastday

A joyful weekend was had by John and I, beginning with Friday, my birthday party with my family. Saturday noon we had lunch at St. Nicholas Church who were holding their annual Holiday bazaar. A few short hours later found us at St. Michael's Church, celebrating a vesperal service with parishioners and several priests, which was followed by refreshments in the Museum. Then it was out to dinner at our favorite restaurant in our local area, with friends.

Our church was packed fully for our Liturgy on Sunday, where our Pastor, Fr. Peter Preble gave an outstanding homily. I recall hearing that Orthodoxy is not a religion but a lifestyle. We are called to service, love means doing. And our church has been in operation 85 years.

Our hall was decked out in white linens with a wonderful turkey dinner and all the fixing's. Unfortunately, the gravy which was in a container with a lid, opened up suddenly all over my plate, table, chair and floor. Thankfully, my dress was salvaged.

Later, I was to learn how fortunate I was in not wearing gravy when John and I were presented with a gift and Icon by the parish. Fr. Peter with kind words surprised us, thoroughly and unexpectedly, calling us up for it's presentation, (someone was looking out for me).

It seems my family knew, everyone but John and me. I was just happy that they came to church and honored us by their presence at the dinner table. John has served two Orthodox Churches for over twenty-three years and it is his "first" and rightly deserved recognition.

Somewhere on this page, you will see a photo of this very happy occasion. The Icon of the Theotokos is one of my favorites. It expresses the closeness of mother and child. Where the cheek of Jesus touches his mother's face and his arms embrace her neck in a hug.

If you are a mother then you understand that embrace. If you are the child, then it says you adore your mom, she is your world. If you are anyone else looking at that pose, then you see a perfect rendition of love. Possibly followed by an affectionate kiss. Such tenderness.

Many people deserve recognition, and never get so much as a thank you. We didn't expect this act of kindness for our parish but appreciate your thoughtfulness. It was a "tender" moment and we truly feel loved. Thanks so very much.

Father kept saying, "And we're not through with you yet." We are in God's service and it is our pleasure to serve you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Birthday Buzz

It started yesterday, when I placed my shower cap on, getting ready to step into the shower. You guessed it, the doorbell rang. Just as he started to leave, and had gone down a few stairs, I opened the door and said, "just leave it"! closing the door quickly. He saw the shower cap and was off in a flash, getting the message. No, it wasn't that he came too early, I was getting a late start. Who wants to rush on your birthday. If I sound a little spoiled, I am. No one has a nicer family than me. The beautiful gift was from my grandson, who is getting to be a big boy, almost four, and there it was, accompanied by a "happy birthday balloon," which he loves to play with.

We went to dinner last evening and later to the Cannery for entertainment. (What a brass section, a fabulous group). Nathan was tired but stayed up with the adults, saying "grandma, it's your birthday" because he knows birthday's are special. It was spectacular! Red wine, Celtic Nachos, a full course meal and cheese cake. Nathan entertained us with songs, dance and stories.

It just so happened that the "private room" was available, at one of my special eating spots, at 12 Crane. The River Run room had an art exhibit and I was invited to pick one from amongst the many framed designs. The work was my favorite, lighthouses, ocean and landscape images. I found one that complimented the work of my daughter-in-law Angie, which is hanging in my living room. And, if that wasn't enough, out came packages and cards to open.

Some people are lucky enough to get gifts that they actually like and find useful. The best of gift of all, was looking at each one of them, in good health doing well, and happy. It was the best birthday ever.

Since I'm a bottom-line person, I always admire a person that can just say it. It was in the wee hours maybe around 1AM, having come from a very cold evening of thirty-one degrees and just settling in, when I spotted the words on the card that John gave me earlier in the evening, they said, "All I know of love is that it begins and ends with you."

I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Love Never Fails

What is the one thing that everyone needs and wants to know is "Do You Love Me?" Love was the topic of discussion last night at our bible study class. We examined (1Cor.13) where Saint Paul speaks to us about love, the greatest of all commandments.

Love is superior to Gifts. It has characteristics. (Two of the most important to me is that Love is patient and never fails.) That means to me that God will never get tired of trying to gain your love, because He loves you that much. And, He will never let you go for His love for you is eternal.

You can have faith that moves mountains, (that is no small measure), yet without love you are nothing. And you have nothing. The only thing that love cannot do, is fail....

St. John Chrysostom says, "we are to desire the gifts of the Spirit, but pursue the Love of God." (1Cor:14) "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts" (1Cor:13) "Abide in faith, hope, love, these three: but the greatest of these is love."

It is important then to understand what love is, as we are taught by our Lord, Jesus. (Matthew 22:37) "Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' (39) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' This is the first and greatest commandment.

Love is mystery, it is in fact, God Himself. (1John4:8) " He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1John 4:7)"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." (1John4:13) "By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." (1John4:10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (18) "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear" (19)"We Love Him because He first loved us." (11) "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

Love is so important that Jesus asks Peter three times to confess his love for Him. We also need to hear that we are loved. (John21:17)" Do You Love Me?" and he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep."

What if Jesus were asking the same question to you right now? What would your reply be? How are you toward others? Are you ministering to their needs? Do you love them? We are all called to the "ministry of love." Sometimes we hear others say, "God loves you and so do I." That's a nice thing to hear, but is hearing enough?

This is the only treasure that you can bring with you, your love. So we need to ask ourselves living in this world today with all it's sophistication, how much do we exemplify Christ's love, for all our brothers. Or, is it as we find in (Matthew 24:12)"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold."

God speaks directly to the churches (Revelation 2:7) (4-5)"Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. (7)" He who has an ear,let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God." '
"had left her first love, (v.4) presumably meaning love for God and each other", as taken from the Orthodox Study bible, P.594.

There we have it in a nutshell. Churches are diminishing when they fail to heed the warning of not Loving God and Neighbor as yourself. We live in the "what's in it for me" generation. One of self-centered people, who need to get back "their first love." He is the one that created you, died for you and loves you beyond measure. He is waiting to hear from you. (Luke 12:48) "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Survey Says

If you want to know how you are doing, you must take a survey to gain access to people's thoughts. There is another way, of course there always is, and that is to get someone to gain your trust, and they will surely tell all.

Last night at the turkey party I got an earful about what people were thinking and saying about St. Michael's Church. I am pleased to report that they are finding it "changed". Yes, changed. One man who was sitting across the table from me, stated that "it isn't like it used to be." Not willing to pursue a negative discussion, I moved the subject by saying that we are trying to make improvements, and named some of the things we've done recently. They have observed a different atmosphere, a "happier" looking place.

The "big topic" was our priest, how much they all like him, enjoy his cooking and the community meal, which has been growing in the past few months. Just wait! I've got a feeling that we haven't seen anything yet as the word is now out. The only drawback to this endeavor is that our back entrance is not easily accessible in the winter, if at all. The front offers a great deal of difficulty for the elderly because of the number and steepness of our stairs going down to the community meal room. Our own parishioners have also shared this concern. (All except the younger ones, who will someday find out what we mean). The elderly lady sitting next to me, said she was going to "hold it" in order to avoid the stairs. Bathrooms are visible to the left, with fewer stairs from the upstairs entrance. That means, from the hall, an elderly person would be required to climb up the roadway to access the bathroom. I told them we are working on that. Hopefully, it will be one of our next projects.
I thought of the many times, that I did what the lady said, and waited until I got home. One possibility would be to serve from the Museum, we'll have to give that some thought, as we have done that in the past.

What we need is the Lord to send us some hard cold cash, NOW! We use Porto-potties, which are just not practical in the cold of October.

Even so, people were there to have fun, and as we had to set up more tables to bring them in, this event was well attended, and by the look of things, they had a good time. I spoke about our evening services in November, and because people wanted to know when, maybe it would be beneficial to post those dates on our "community board" which is next to the coffee server.

The man and woman told me that their whole family was out of work, and luckily for them, they are at the Lebanon Hill complex for seniors where everything is paid for, with few exceptions. Nevertheless, they were happy that $20. and a turkey would be shared with their entire family and that they would have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. I will get mine at the community meal, as I did not go home with anything but a good feeling.

She told me I was a "nice lady" and that she was glad she got to sit next to me. She had a fun evening and so did her husband, who laughed all night and reminded me of my dad, (who passed away in October more than twenty-seven years ago). He had only one concern, "where to put the turkey?" It seems in the housing they have, they do not have the freezer capacity. What to do? So I suggested that they call someone who has a freezer close by and who could pick it up for them. No problem, I had a cell phone.

This event at our church has been attracting people for thirty somewhat years. It was full of new and old faces last night. There was a good affordable meal available and well received. Others partook of the "free" popcorn, coffee and pastry.

My friend, Linda won a fruit basket and Henrietta won a turkey and $$ for the trimming. All and all I'd say it was "fruitful."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Will you be missed?

Last week that phase stuck in my head. If our church, St. Michael's, were to close, would we be missed in our community? That question was posed to us recently for contemplation.

That is a heavy statement which one has to ponder a bit. The priest would be missed as he is socially engaged through out the community. Speaking of community, today when I went to the hospital for routine test, the answer came to me in an unusual way. The minute I stepped up to the counter, Mary (written on her name tag), said "are you the one who helps out at the Community Meal?" She didn't look like any of the elderly ladies I had already met, then she added that she missed going, being unable to attend the free meal, the last two times.

She continued by saying that Father Peter was a good cook and that all the people look forward to going for social reasons and how wonderful it is to be an active part in serving the greater community. She mentioned that everyone is talking "positive about our church," hall and people who serve. Mostly, they love our priest, who she mentioned first.

I added that we were making plans to do more, and that we enjoy every minute of it. She added that it is hard work and allot of peeling, and I agreed. I have an invitation to theirs coming up, which will be this time, beef stew. Ours, turkey and the fixings. Life is good. And, yes, if you want your church community to grow, you have to work at it, planting flowers, and seeds. But mostly, it is the little touches that people remember, like your smile and your taking a moment to listen to them, because they are important.

St. Michael's Church does much for our community, by way of it's events, services and it puts smiles on people's faces. We would be missed. We simply do what we can, and that's all we can do. Small parishes can and do accomplish great things for our community! The key is to reach out, and in Mary's words learn, "how can we serve you?"

Because, we are all needy in one way or another and as the bible tells us, (Orthodox Study Bible}--James 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Morbid Sense of Humor

Just how am I to express how I felt this morning when I looked at Fox news and found that it had reported a very sad account. Shamefully, that it was thought a joke by a comedian, who made fun of an Icon of Christ, and compared a disgusting act of urinating on it, to the tears of Christian martyrs. (I'm glad that I do not subscribe to the movie channel, HBO).

I was sad, no that's not strong enough. What has, no, what is becoming of us as a people, to make fun of "holy things?" Are these different times? No, I think not. (No one can take the victory from us, ever!) No matter what they do. But, as I sat and listened to the elements outside, today, the rush of the winds, howling, the darkness and the rain, I was reminded that there is such thing as "taking the good with the bad." And, standing firm in faith. There will be justice someday, not my concern. But today, my heart grieves.

We are to pray for our enemies, turn the other cheek. Return good for evil. Love those that hate us. Treat others they way you would have them treat you. (Does that also include our Icon's)? I take offense to such actions, feeling personally persecuted. Then, I recall the transformation of Saul Paul who was confronted by Christ. (The battle after all has already been won). I recall hearing the words "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord." And, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." The action was wrong, yet, who am I to judge my brother. God loves "all" his children.

The day emanates with sadness and tears, like the sopping cold rain. What do I do with this pain? My Lord has been laughed at and worse, publicly... and I'm truly mad. Our priest is on the road again, and forwarded a message on Facebook, which I believe was for a general audience, but applied to me personally. He said, "I found the sun, and it is in Central PA." With those words, I found it too! So I commented, "Send me some." For in this very dark world, one can always find a ray of hope. Glory to You, O Lord, Glory to You!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A day of celebration

Understanding the need of your child effects positive result. It begins with communication. In this case knowing that your child wants and needs to please you. It can be confusing, for example, as a baby there is no bathroom responsibility. Out comes the potty and now comfortable or not in our previous accommodation, the diaper, we now must use a toilet.

It is a big step in the growth and development of a small child. When the parents think it will never happen and their about to give up, a small wonder... the child catches on. I do believe that boys take longer than girls, for some reason.

The key is to zone in on specifics of your child. In this case the young man is very smart and sensitive at the same time. He wants to feel good about his accomplishments, and is devastated into almost giving up when criticized. He's always been cautious by nature. But then, there's no stopping him once he is confident that it is safe.

As the child gets older the parents are embarrassed when he or she is not toilet trained especially when day care providers start with their wisecracks. Everyone else is, why not "Johnny" or Jill, even the younger children are. "How's he doing with the potty?" Talk about putting on the guilt trip. The parents become beside themselves, wondering what they are doing wrong. Surely, everyone knows that they have tried everything. The first question is "is the child ready?" or obstinate. Maybe their child is just to absorbed in whatever they are doing, and not really listening.

Listening is never a problem when it is something they want. Sometimes giving a child his reward first works. Sometimes right after a job well done works suggesting that every child is different and interacts differently with different people. It depends what they can get away with and they know. Irregardless, they must learn to be toilet trained, and it's your responsibility. It is a long repetitious process which takes more patience than most working parents have.

Today, was a celebration! A job well-done by the parents who raised his awareness of having to, by setting a timer all by himself, because he likes to show us what he can do, because he is a very smart boy. Now, having done that, the alarm reminds him "to check in to the bathroom." A habit which has proved to be successful. Then there are the "rules" that we go before leaving the house and once we return and before going to bed and when we get up. After all, all he wants is to be a good boy for his parents, so they will love him, as they surely do, because he lives for them.

The reward was praise from his parents and all who would listen. He is now wearing big-boy pants, having crossed a new thresh hold and is like his peers, wearing "no more baby pull ups". He's advanced, proudly. His voice reflected how happy he felt.

Showing further confidence in his ability to handle bathroom responsibilities, he was allow to "dispose of the former," and in exchange, is wearing Wally underwear.

Grandma was so happy! He got cookies and grapes, a huge sticker and many hugs. Yes he can do it. All he had to do was believe in himself. Will he still hang on to my drapes, looking down at the floor on occasion, or mess up from time to time? Perhaps. I'm sure we all did. I'm sure he probably has that on the back of his mind, too! It's only natural.

Today I saw on his dad's hand held camera, the video of when he was walking for the first time. I think it was the third day and it was quite humorous. Looking very stiff, a reminder of how scary it was, he was probably thinking that at any given moment, he would fall, once again. I remember the joy I felt on that Easter Sunday, when he came to visit and I saw him walking down the hall, all grown up in a little suit.

Isn't that what life is all about? Falling and getting up again and in it's experience knowing that no, we don't want to do that again.

All I know is that he was happy that he made someone he loves, his daddy, very very happy. And that made him happy too! Because, he proudly is a big boy now.

He is a man after all just in smaller trousers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saint James, the Just

Today we remember the brother of the Lord, St. James the Just, who was not one of the original apostles, and who was named by the apostles, the Bishop of Jerusalem. Known in the early days of the church to quell disputes among Christians.

The Liturgy that will be celebrated today, will remind you of the earlier tie between the Catholic Church and Orthodox Church in several ways. The service begins from the back of the Church. The bread will be given without the spoon, in the right hand, and wine from the chalice, to those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ, (the way the priests receive it.) This requires several priests to serve. I have had the opportunity to attend the Liturgy of St. James, on his feast day last year. The hymns and words are a little different and very beautiful.

"According to some, this Saint was a son of Joseph the Betrothed, born of the wife that the latter had before he was betrothed to the Ever-virgin. Hence he was the brother of the Lord, Who was also thought to be the son of Joseph (Matt. 13: 55). But some say that he was a nephew of Joseph, and the son of his brother Cleopas, who was also called Alphaeus and Mary his wife, who was the first cousin of the Theotokos. But even according to this genealogy, he was still called, according to the idiom of the Scriptures, the Lord's brother because of their kinship."

This James is called the Just. Go here (Mark 15:40) to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee. More information can be found here.

Another source is here.

This year's celebration was held out of town and unfortunately, I was unable to attend. St. James was known for his "boldness" for the faith, which we need to think and pray about today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

White Frost

There are different degrees of frost, today it is "white" frost. That is what is visible on the neighbor's rooftops this morning. The plants are glittering as if syrup has been poured on them and sprinkled with fairy dust. They will die now, it is the end of what was a beautiful garden, and I will be sad to see it go.

Yesterday, while praying at the church, I observed that the impatiens were long gone, perhaps since last week when a snow storm hit this area, taking out the most vulnerable of plants. Yet, the roses were still in a budding state and looked great. Now, this is a killing frost only plants that were sheltered may have made it, if they can endure the cold. If I could, I would wrap my hands around each one of them, trying in an effort to preserve that which is destined to have but a season.

As the days grow shorter, we must take a lesson from nature. Bill said it was below 30 degrees on the hill, as he works to maintain his snow blower. Our two vehicles are 4 wheel drive as we live in a hilly area which gets a fair amount of snow, it is a necessity.

Along with the changed weather, the aged family members are feeling poorly, so today I will make my famous chicken soup and become a delivery service. I hope also to make chicken pot pie for our evening get-together and some colorful cut-out sugar cookies, (pumpkins, teddy bears and cats). If there is time, a carrot cake with cream cheese, (my husband's favorite), for the Thursday community meal at the church, and a homemade bread.

I sure wish my kitchen were a little bigger, but wishing does not make it so. I love being in it cooking for those I love. Yes, I will miss my gardens but will dream of the coming spring surprises.

Oh I can smell it now, hot apple cider with cinnamon, and time for a smile and a chat.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Reflecting October Weather

Today at coffee following our church service, a scrapbook was passed around showing a recent wedding held in Romania. I couldn't held but observe the wonderful weather they were having, and, as I did make mention of it, Carol said that Paul related a change the very next day. That's October, warm one day and cold the next.

That is how it happens here in the states in New England. One day the tree seemingly vivid for a day, is blown clear of it's leafy brilliance and left bare amidst the sunny yet dark cloudy sky of bitter-sweet. It is how I remember it last year and the year my dad passed away unexpectedly, while taking a brisk walk on a lovely, sunny, yet dark puffy clouded Autumn afternoon.

A time when you see and hear the winds blowing in the cooler temperatures and morning frost begins to appear on your rooftop and windshield. While the birds fly in uniformity going south, loudly. A hint of the wood stoves permeating the air, and thoughts of apple pie, pumpkins, and Thanksgiving visit you, reminiscing times past with family and friends.

Here in New England talk of the Patriots and the Bruins help you forget that winterizing doesn't necessarily mean that fun at the beach is all that there is. Instead of ice cream, it's chili and chowders.

Last week was unusual at least, weather wise. John and I spent time in Maine vacationing, where we witnessed a huge rainbow, more brilliant than any I recall seeing lately, yet it was surrounded by black clouds, a reminder that up North, they would be having snow in the evening. Our weather was fantastic, allowing us to walk the beach for five miles at a time, and stroll in the evening even though it got dark earlier.

This A.M. brought rain, of course, especially when coming out of church in Massachusetts. Yet in Connecticut this evening, after the play and dinner, we experienced large snow flakes, which did not stick to the ground, unlike it did in the hills of Worcester County this past week, with a small snow accumulation. We live on the border of the two states.

One of my sons hobby is observing weather. His yard and home are filled with scientific gauges in which he monitors conditions throughout the year. So, it came as no surprise that he transmitted a picture of the snow "that we missed" while away, and sent a text message along with it. His son is very much like him, going from window to window to watch the snow and other precipitation falling from the sky. I often wonder who is worse. I asked his mom Saturday and she said Nate was complaining that he couldn't see the snowflakes falling while sitting in the bathtub. It all happens so quickly, one day it's fall and the next it's winter. Blink and the summer is gone.

I can hear the wind outside tonight, which tells me it can be brutally cold when your walking, snow or not. Can we ever prepare ourselves for what we know is coming, Like it or not?

I will take a cup of tea and tell myself how pleasant it is. Come to think of it, I haven't even had a chance to view tomorrow's weather report. Sometimes it's better not to know. October is like that. You've got to be prepared for whatever is dished out.

Maybe, I'll cuddle up in a nice chair and read a good book. It's all what you make it. Are you ready?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rise 'n Shine

Last night Bill told me the latest story on Nathan. Of course on a Holiday, like yesterday, you are hoping to sleep in later. Upon waking up Nathan tip-toed into his parent's bedroom, only to find them sleeping, (so he thought). His parents were just pretending to see what he would do.

Nathan went down the hall to the big toy room, (family room upstairs), and returned with a toy. He then placed the toy on the floor near mommy and daddy and played the "rooster," one of many animal sounds. Then, he said, "mommy and daddy, it's time to wake up!"

Children today are very bright. His parents are still laughing over that one. Where on earth did he get that idea? So much for sleeping in. It was a holiday, and Nathan wasn't going to miss not one moment of fun with mom and dad.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I had the luck of having my grandson Friday overnight through Saturday evening. We had so much fun, as always trying to get it all in, favorite places, toys and foods.

It was time for new videos, and new toys and having those great heart to heart talks. Its hard to remember all that was said. I recall him telling me again how much he likes the orange flowers I plant in my garden each year. He tells me when Chippy (the chipmonk) is near and Blackie the cat, that brings me dead mice.

We played band, banging on tin pie plates while wearing our green plastic St. Patrick's Day hats. It was cars, monster trucks, airplanes and puzzles. Grampy read book after book, while I prepared dinner.

It was a couple of wonderful days. Then, just before his dad picked him up, he said the most wonderful words to me that I had ever heard. I don't even know where he learned such a thing, telling me what I meant to him and how special I was. I was so shocked that it came from a three year old. Who no question, loves his grandmother and that is a very special blessing.

At coffee this morning, I shared my story with our parish priest, who said "out of the mouth of babes." It is true that children are not shy or inhibited and because of that, love comes easy. We need to be like that. Saying we love someone is often difficult for reasons of shyness or inability to express something so personal. Yet, someone out there is waiting for you to say it. It will mean the world to them, as that might be all they are living for, your love.

You've been trying to tell them in so many ways, they probably already know, but are just waiting to hear the words we all need to hear. Don't be shy. Take the example from out of the mouth of babes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Not quick to blink

Those of you who know me know that I am not quick to blink. That means that I am not gullible. In fact, I am over cautious about anything that goes into my body. I do not even take aspirins or cold remedies. I believe instead in prevention, where possible. Yet, I'm no fool. There are people out there who are predicting "the big one". The long over-due flu epidemic which will, if it is a pandemic, take the lives of many, especially the most vulnerable.

The state that I live in has a bill in which mandating the flu shot may be imposed on it's residents. I do not believe that the government at the state level especially, has the right to play God.

It is still and always will be my body and my decision. What offends me is when I am being manipulated to do or believe in something by other's deciding what I want or need. God gave me my own brain and I am capable of making an adult decision on every level, given the information, so far as I am able. There is only one word for "we believe, we say, we conclude, we decided, and that is "sneaky controlling." I have my own beliefs.

Easy for other people to say, you should get your flu shot, not taking into account that we are individuals and as such, may have a different outcome. I am mulling tonight over whether or not I will have the flu shot, as suggested my physician and priest. I value their opinion.

I am not impulsive by nature and find that I will mull through a decision, not taking unnecessary risks. So what is bothering me? The chemical Thimerosal. If they offer a formula free of this dangerous additive, I would not hesitate. Yet, if I got the H1N1 virus, who knows? This is a moral decision, as I am responsible for what I put into my body. As a Christian, I take my responsibility seriously.

The findings of this chemical additive, (inorganic mercury exposure) causes poisoning which causes neurological damage and death.

Immunization Safety Review Committee
"The IOM urged that "full consideration be given to removing thimerosal from any biological product to which infants, children, and pregnant women are exposed" (IOM 2001). Routine administration of influenza vaccine is recommended in pregnant women, yet currently available U.S. licensed influenza vaccines contain thimerosal. Why are pregnant women receiving influenza vaccine containing thimerosal?" " Nonetheless, FDA is in discussions with manufacturers of influenza vaccine encouraging them to further increase the supply of preservative-free formulations." I am a bottom-line person, I think you have some idea of my thinking. We need to be informed, not led blindly. If you want to read more go here.

So, I remain indecisive. Sigmund Freud said, "In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart." As I way the options, I realize that there is no "right decision." Just choices and consequences, to which I will give prayerful consideration.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Focus on God

What will result in seeing and loving God? Happiness...

You can be surrounded by all evils and still live in the light of God by placing your focus on Him, and on His words. I believe the greater sin is not seeing Him in everyone and everything.

Do not be weighed down by the cares of this world. Instead, sing praises to His name, then, decide how today, by some small action, you can make this world a better place, and you will find love.

Love is the special gift that only He can give us. It is what Orthodoxy is to me. If you have Love you have everything.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Inside Sunshine

I arrived early at the Yard Sale on the grounds of St. Michael's Parish, where things were already bustling inside with busy customers and Linda pricing items that were brought in today. She was to be the cashier and because breakfast became a floor item, we sent John out to buy food before we resorted to pastry.

It was pouring and dark. The only way not to get soaked was to make a dash from the car. Luckily, there was a continuous stream of people coming through the door. The only problem was the door was left open constantly. I quickly became a multi-tasker initially, to close the door, as the heat was on, and to benefit those who checked out the items. The floor became wet at the entrance, which was not too good for people with canes, so out came the mop. (Not anything I'm not familiar with). That was to no avail, as the floor would not dry. I came up with the resolution of laying newspaper covered with paper bags to absorb the water. Luckily, it did the trick, and it was funny at that, watching people automatically wipe their feet before entering. New England folk are used to wearing boots six months of the year. Often, we placed newspaper at the door, and as it dryed we would turn it over to reuse.

It was fun greeting people as they came in, sharing their enthusiasm in finding something to take back, to brighten their day. At the same time, many sat and shared pastry and coffee with friends. People asked me questions, like if we were serving lunch and at what time. I presold our next event, the Turkey Party and Spaghetti Feed and thanked them for stopping by, inviting them to have a nice day. I was a door facilitator, floor mopper, greeter, and general informer for shoppers and the daily news, and managed to find a few trinkets for myself and family. (All and all it was a good day).

Standing there I observed something that I took home with me. On one side of the door was sunshine, and all that spoke of a bright and happy fall, with happy people inside enjoying themselves, while just beyond the threshold, on the other side was darkness and misery. And all you had to do was enter in. Enter in or stay out in the cold. Sounds like there is a lesson to be learned here.

Raining on our Parade

I know that "raining on our parade is an old expression" so, for younger readers it implies that today, for our church yard and food sale, a damper may be placed on it. Hopefully, not. Yet, all the harvest scarecrows and pumpkins outdoors will get a free bath. The hall floor will be most likely slippery when browsers come along to look at the indoor yard sale items.

As luck would have it, there is also a bake sale going on in the nicely decorated hall, with havest flowers and bright signs. Linen tablecovers are yellow with brown stripes, except for the orange layout with leaf patterns which with be covered hopefully with fudge, orange cookies, baklava and other treats for sale.

A food court, with four round tables will accommodate hungry lunch visitors, when soups on. Pita's, coffee and dessert usually go over pretty well at our church. I can hear the lively conversation even now!

If your in the neighborhood, stop by and maybe you'll find a treasure or two. No matter what the weather, we plan to have fun!

Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Up to You

Our annual yard, bake and lunch sale will be held on Saturday at our church and it is in conjunction with the entire town. How it works is that everyone wanting to participate, sets up and registers to have their name added to the list. People purchase the sheet on the day of the sale, managed by a town representative, or shop owner, which places your name or organization alphabetically on the sheet. Then you go from place to place, utilizing the sheet, until mid-afternoon.

Today, I spent most of the afternoon transplanting pots to seasonal plants, colorful mums and getting the church grounds ready for fall events. Every season has its own special look. We will ad a scarecrow and pumpkins here and there, and then foliage planters indoors with spicy scented candles. I usually bake many apple and pumpkin desserts. And unlike summer bake sales, we reintroduce fudge and chocolate goodies.

Every year I drag out this poem, which was found many years ago on the computer signed anonomous. It gets quite a few comments, and makes one think. Wednesday a group of us will begin to go through the donated items, price and sort. It is a lot of hard work, but also a fun day where we get to meet new and old friends, raise a few dollars, share thoughts and ideas and make some people smile. There's something for everyone!

Here's the poem:
"It's up to you
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring
One smile begins a friendship
One handclasp lifts a soul
One star can guide a ship at sea
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness
One laugh will conquer gloom
One step must start each journey
One word must start each prayer
One hope will raise our spirits
One touch can show you care
One voice can speak with wisdom
One heart can know what's true
One life can make the difference
You see, It's Up To You!"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spreading Lies

It has become clear to me that if there is money involved, the ad or story is run. Free-bee ads and stories are often used in the fill-in sections, or canned altogether. I read with interest this story and am passing it on to you.

"Ten Swine Flu Lies Told by the Mainstream Media
Mike Adams
Natural News, September 19, 2009
The mainstream media is engaged in what we Americans call "bald faced lies" about swine flu. It seems to be true with this issue more than any other, and it became apparent to me recently when a colleague of mine - a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist - told me their column on natural defenses for swine flu was rejected by newspapers all across the country. Many newspapers refused to run the column and, instead, ran an ad for "free vaccine clinics" in the The media, it seems, is so deeply in bed with the culture of vaccinations that they will do almost anything to keep the public misinformed. And that includes lying about swine flu vaccines. There are ten key lies that continue to be told by the mainstream media (MSM) about swine flu and swine flu vaccines." Go here to read more.

I am tending to believe his theory. Another blogger, named Artintel reported the following remark: posted Sep 24, 2009:
"I watch web-TV internationally. Watching Canadian-Ottawa TV, where autumn brings in its flues, it's been discovered that those who took anti-flu shots are now more vulnerable to swine-flu. In the last two years we had to review all we knew about nutrition and 'label' information. All has been revised to cryptically enter questionable substances into food. Among the older suspects –Sodium Fluorides we find that all artificial/substitute sugars cause havoc with our nervous system – tumors, cancers… billions in profits to the medical industry."

The rest is up to us, what do you think?