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

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sovereign Lord

The supreme authority who determines all is our Sovereign Lord. On the radio program today the discussion focused on self esteem. Just the knowledge that you are created in the image and likeness of God, your creator, should be all the esteem you will need to go by. God does not make junk. We are to preserve life in all form, for everything is created with purpose.

Today my friend sent out an e-mail to announce that she has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Trusting in God's sovereign authority, she submits to His will as He knows what's best for each one of us. She is asking for prayers as much will needed to be done and soon.

I went to church to pray for her today, and while I was sitting there in the pews I recalled the scripture about the fig tree. When Jesus was hungry it bore no fruit, and He cursed it and it withered and died. This is from the Orthodox Study Bible. Mark 11:20 "Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. (21) And Peter, remembering, said to Him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away."

Jesus is Lord of all and all is under His Sovereign Power. (22):"So Jesus answered and said to them, " Have faith in God."

He could turn stones into bread, he can calm the raging sea, walk on water, fill the nets with the catch of the day, multiply loaves and fish to feed the hungry, change water to wine, and raise a four-day stinking corpse to life. There is no limit to what God can do.

Everyone and everything has its purpose, the fig tree did not bear fruit. It met with destruction. We will all be accountable for our tallents. Having faith in God leads to works. Work is serving God and neighbor.

Luke: 13:7 "then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?' (8) "But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. (9) 'And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'

Noone knows just how much time we have to repent and bear fruit. His will is sovereign, so we need to take a lesson from the fig tree.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Taking Communion

This morning while watching the news two anchors were discussing how they take communion, one said he didn't take it on the tongue but in his hands. That told me that they probably were Roman Catholic. She agreed, saying it was safer in her hands, because she feared missing it on the tongue. The story continued with photos explaining that because of the impending flu virus, people will be cautious about touching other's hands and mouths when delivering communion. The common cup will not be used. It is hard to remember every detail, but here we go again. The panic button is already being pushed. Vaccines are already being prepared for selected groups determined by certain factors such as: age, and pregnancy.

We are people that live on the edge. The flu is a virus which is air borne and the only way you can protect yourself from the germs is to stay home with the covers over your head. Seriously who can do that? I don't mean to make light of this very serious potential threat. Hopefully, we're on top of it.

It got me to thinking though about how different churches distribute communion. Our church uses the same methods it has for thousands of years, we take communion by the spoon. We belong to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Yet, the Western Orthodox Church does not use the spoon, but follows the western tradition of the bread on the tongue.

Sunday, we had visitors who confided that they did not take communion because they did not know "how to" in our church. While we have the same faith, we are different in some ways. It will take time to adjust to those changes if they are to feel comfortable in our parish setting. Their all English liturgy includes a full choir with accompaniment. I don't recall if they also take the wine in a chalice after receiving the bread on their tongue, by their priest. Ours is all in one chalice and we receive both the Body and Blood of Christ at the same time.

The Western Orthodox Church is growing steadily and is new around this area. We welcome members new and old along with the challenges ahead. And just as in years before, will place our trust in our maker, fashioner, and our God.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dots Connected

I have been posting about people who are healthy at 100 years old. I have told you stories about eating habits that include cultured milk products, and feta cheese. I told you that I spoke with my cousins wife's mother, and learned that she was cured of breast cancer years ago by drinking raw milk, which is now illegal to purchase in the USA. The subject came up at that time about a clinic outside of Cooperstown, who I heard had done tests on rats with positive result utilizing raw milk. There have been many such rumblings from other sources.

My aunt's friend Irene was involved in other unsuccessful test utilizing carotin (vitamin A) the vegetable source, unlike the animal source of vitamin A. Unfortunately, she died from breast cancer.

The reason dairy had to be processed by heating in the first place, was unfortunate. Its logic initially was to prevent deaths through drinking the raw milk of diseased animals. An effort to protect us, caused us to slide downhill healthwide since then by destroying valued vitamins necessary for good health.

I stumbled on this piece of information today and copied it for you to see. "A major discovery about breast cancer reveals the astonishing preventive power of a simple vitamin found in everyday foods. Read this article by Sherry Baker to learn which vitamin: "--go here.

The scientific community, based on research have been close for a long time. The carotin taken by experimentation on Vitamin A was plant based, and it did not work. The one that is suggested to work is an animal based vitamin A, or retinoic acid. Vitamin A, taken in large quantities is toxic. I am happy to read about milk and eggs (the animal source) as being exactly what I have been saying for such a long time. And that is they are a very good nutritious products especially in their natural form. Thanks to good ol' mother nature, once again.

Research is pending on the sunshine vitamin "D3," and CLA, which I predict the verdict will be overwhelmingly good. Its just good sense, that's all. So avoid the fat and buy low fat or 2% or less cultured milk products and you will benefit from good healty products, nature's best. If you look on my page to the right, you will see one of the woman, Alexandra, who I have been writing about. She is over 100 years young. The secret to her long life, she tells me is that she eats feta cheese daily, even when the doctor objected to it. Some call he "feisty" I call her smart.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Improper pooping

What seems to be on the hearts and minds of those who surround me today? Improper pooping. I kid you not. I can hardly contain myself today listening to their stories.

It all started this morning, when radio host Fr. Peter spent a considerable length of time talking about Westville and the plastic bags that are provided for the unpleasant task of picking up after your dog's droppings. Suggesting that is part of dog ownership responsibility. What I didn't know is that dogs and cats regularly frequent the same spot, after scoping out for themselves a territory.

We used to have that problem on our front lawn, as our neighbors have at least four dogs who never used their own property but had a preference for ours. Several times I stepped in the dog dodo in my Sunday shoes. Then, I sent my husband out with a plastic bag and shovel for a short time. When we both had enough, we called the neighbor to have them come over and pick-up the present that their dog left on our lawn. Now, because the wife got tired of having to do this chore, they got collars which keep them confined on their property. Problem resolved.

Fr. Peter has announced over the radio station that people will walk their dogs on church property without any concern for the droppings or the sanctity of the area in which it occurs. That is a delicate situation. You would think that people would know better. Maybe they should make diapers for dogs.

Today Nathan came over and he called me his "little grandma." It was very humid and we decided to bring out the portable air conditioner and set it up in the living room. While putting the plastic insert in the window, which allows ventilation from the hose, Nathan was in the kitchen placing the hose in the air conditioning unit. I was so surprised to see that he had accomplished this at three and a half years old. He said "grandma I fixed it" He continues to amaze me by his ability far beyond his years. Nothing goes by him. We played dominoes. That is we count how many on each one and we create buildings with it. Once we have towers established, the fun part is knocking them down. Puzzles are among his favorite activity. Over and over again. We colored in a dog coloring book. He colored the dog black, and I thought that was a sign of being angry, when he reminded me that it was just like Onshu. I read books and we watched DVDs played the organ and he sang. He carries a tune well. Makes up his own words about things he sees. We talked about his trip to see the monster trucks, describing the noise perfectly. He told me he was hungry so we sat down to lunch.

Although we snack all day on his "favorites" we had cottage cheese, tomatoes, slices of lamb, some greens and red grapes for dessert. While he was drinking his milk and we were relaxing, it was time for one of our famous conversations.

He told me he was enjoying his new swing set but the birds were pooping on it. It was concerning to him and he continued to tell me that the poop was not like his, dark, it was white poop. Daddy had to clean it up and he was mad.

Later that evening, his dad came to pick him up and I told him how Nathan had related that story to me. Bill started to laugh. He said he over heard Nathan giving the birds a few of his own words when he was about to go down the slide and discovered the poop droppings in his way. He told the birds that if they didn't knock it off they would get a time out!

Can't do much about the birds pooping on his new swing set, but we sure had a good laugh about daddy having to clean it up. I'll bet no one talked about that when selling the swing set to them nor did they mention the B52 mosquitoes that would eat them alive in their back yard.

The are lots of little disappointments and frustrations we learn to accept because there is little we can do about it. Improper pooping is just one of life's little problems for which there is no real solution.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Clean up or shut up

The majority of U.S. Bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. The suggestion is that when you are young and healthy enough to work and earn a decent income, your finances will be in fairly good order, unlike many struggling elderly.

Years ago, and you've heard me say this before, "make hay while the sun shines," was a saying that our previous forefathers knew all to well. You've got to put something aside for your retirement. Why, because your health care costs are going to kill you even as much as your diseases will.

This is leading back to health care issues which concerns everyone and is the topic of the moment. I recall in my youth that physicals were rare and as well, so were health insurance claims. Were children healthier then? No, I think we just didn't run to the doctor's as often as is the case today. I'm still like that. I go only when and if I have to. Are you doing all you can to keep health care costs down? As I stated in my last post, we are in this all together.

Everything has become out of whack somehow. The constitution does not say we are owed a house or health care for that matter. Luckily a system of compassion exists in America.

Did you ever walk into a room that is so cluttered that you don't know where to begin to clean up the mess? If you were to get the room straightened out wouldn't you want it to stay that way? Perhaps you would even invest in an advisor to help you sort out the source of the problem in the first place. The root cause. Change is good only if it benefits the whole. It is difficult to make changes without input from various sources.

Where do I think we went wrong in our health care system, (The best in the world?) COST.
The young will not understand the plight of the elderly who sometimes have many health concerns, while they have little or none. Medical expenditures are a drain on your salary or source of income, and deplete savings quickly. We are not all born with a silver spoon in our mouths. Our circumstances are not alike. In fact, most elderly that I know were penny pincher's to the degree of going without for the sake of having something put aside for their future, only to see it drained on medical costs.

There is also the cost of not taking good care of one's self. The paycheck can only go so far. We leed lives of excess. Everyone must have a big car, house and wonderful clothes. Entertainment galore, this and that but never enough! Food prices cause people to make unhealthy choices instead of purchasing basic healthy staples, people look for "whats on sale." Maybe we should be asking "what is wrong with our food?" It isn't simply food choices. Environment? "Chemicals everywhere." Pollutants in our water systems, such as: contraceptives and other pills which remain after processing. Or, could it simply be the whole pizza you ate out of gluttony and in which case, what do you want us to do about it? Everyone is aware that smoking is bad for you, yet the culprits I see more often than not are those working in the medical field. Smoking does help to keep you from putting on the weight. There is a reason for that. It's not healthy! Your bad attitude is causing America to suffer the cost of picking up the tab of your indulgence. Having little common sense is part of the problem. Expecting someone else to clean up after our messes, are we? Expectations, another thing to look at. Wastefulness is a big one. Sometimes our own laws are to blame for that. Oh, just throw it out, get a new one. Here's a big one, ordering more pills than we need. How about trial and error. If it works, get more. Save on the cost of having to throw out pills dispensed that you will not need or that do not work for you. Better yet, what happen to all those samples?

Years ago, we would pass things down or recycle, wash and reuse. Today everything must be new. Responsibility for helping to clean up and maintain must be in the hearts and minds of all our citizens.

Balance is important. The costs are so out of reach in comparison to the standard of living for most of our residents. Why? Salary is a good thing to begin to look at. It is the little things that will need to be cut out that add up to the big bill. Are all services given really necessary? I don't recall classes were necessary when I delivered my children. Nor, was any extended home care for infant or mom required. How have we become a nation of extravagance? We should focus on getting only what is needed. Programs are nice, and they put people to work. However, programs add significantly to your bill.

If you learn to be excessive then the junk in your room fills up fast. When you can't move around and wonder why, you won't even see the bubblegum wrappers that you have failed to throw out, yet accumulated to a fault.

I have a friend who has become very good at cleaning house. Something I learned a long time ago. If you don't need it pass it on, if it doesn't fit whatever the reason, pass it on. Do not keep everything that people dumped on you for sentimental reasons, pass them on. Determine what is needed verses what is wanted, and keep things at a minimum. That is the only way you can gain control, through visibility not clutter.

Health care is not working because of all the clutter causing us not to visibly see the root problem, which is getting costs under control. Should the private industry not be able to do this, the government will need to step in. The question is, what is the government track record on programs like medicare? I think that will speak volumes for itself.

The old grandmother who was cautious, out of concern for her grandson used to say, "don't run your going to fall." She didn't want to see him get hurt. There was some wisdom there. On the other hand, she was instilling the fear of falling in him, which could cause a caution that would hold back the successful runner, perfectly capable of sprinting ahead. The moral to this story is simply sometimes you have to fall down in order to learn how and that you want to stay up.

I say you have to walk before you can run, and would extend the flag of caution here before proceeding. So get going, and begin to clean up your act or shut up about health care.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Healthcare Insurance

What is the cost of becoming a doctor? Around 300,000 dollars. It will take many years to recoup those losses. Setting up a medical practice in which the government will determine your income and intervene in your practice is why students are reluctant to enter the field. It may mean difficulty staying in business, a business which earns them a sub-standard life.

Today we are being asked to think about changing the way we do business concerning our health care services into a governmental run system of treatment and protection for the health needs of all our residents. Most people that I talk with see this as a universal health care nightmare. Other countries that have a socialized system say that we have the best health care system in the world now and wonder why we would want to change it.

First of all how does insurance work? We buy insurance so that costs, which we cannot individually afford, are offset by premiums which are collected from the many who have subscribed to the same carrier. Payments are made to the providers, which help to supply additional funds to absorb the balance of "portions" due. The cost of medical care has skyrocketed, causing premiums to go up.

What is the goal, cut costs or save lives? If it is government control, cut costs. Insurance companies want to maintain positive reputations in order to be able to sell their policies. They are in it to make money, yes however they want to help control costs while giving individuals choices.

5% of people need health care resources because of diseases that are not preventable but are genetically imposed. One size does not fit all in this industry.

In our town, the hospital employs more people than any other company. It is big business. My family was born at that hospital which is one of the best in this area. The first question always is "do you have insurance?" that means it is not about health care. It is about how are you going to pay for services rendered? Currently, money or not, you are not turned away.

The suggested change with a government plan would be that all are insured and all would have a plan, paid by additional taxes of the people. The bottom line is this is about power. Who is in control of your life. What is your life worth? That would be determined. Basically, if your too old or too sick, sorry.

Your money will be given over to a program which is doomed to fail because the concern will not be your freedom to choose. You will no longer be able to choose a course of treatment that may save your life, as your life will be determined by a bureaucrat. Does it matter how much you will pay into the program? No. It will be taken from you irregardless.

If we already have the best system in the world, why are we in favor of changing it?Just how long will transitioning to a new health system take? What are the additional costs involved in maintaining a new type of health care establishment? Massachusetts has determined that all its residents will have a policy--health care insurance that they must buy into. Yet, people who cannot afford insurance must pay the penalty on their tax return. Some do because it is cheaper and if they are self-employed, they cannot afford to carry a policy. They are still provided medical care at the highest possible cost since they have no primary doctor and use emergency services for basic health care. (This is the suggested pilot program suggested to the government to be used universally)? Just ask people working in the field how this new plan is going. I haven't heard one good comment. It's in the red. It did nothing to reduce costs and has created major deficits. Hospitals are cutting back, in their effort to curtail costs. The care in this area is second to none. We pay out of the nose for the ability to take care of ourselves, beyond the premium. That is, a portion of the doctor's bill, pharmacy, and over-the-counter drugs. Why would we want to pay even more?(additional taxes) on a failed system.
What about medicare or medicaid which already exists?No mention is made of them. Expand those programs to cover the uninsured.

This state sees all residents as "insured". What needs to change? Not much. We have failed in this endeavor as we have a deficit, with growing costs, for many reasons this vision did not hold together. All people get treated in this state by just going to the emergency room whether or not they have the money, or carry a plan. We don't need reforms, we need cost control, eliminating waist. We certainly do not need fewer doctors, and more government control. Who wants their private medical records stored in Washington?

All we need to do is stimulate the health care system with about $30 million dollars to cover those who fall through the cracks.

Don't let the government think of you as disposable by denying you care because of the disease you have or your age. Especially when you are paying for it. What would stop the government from euthanasia? We will not buy into that plan.

Health care reform is needed, just not in the way it is being offered to the American people who already have the best system in the world. Sorry, you will need to come up with a better answer. We need coverage we can afford without losing our right to choose our doctor's and course of treatment which may determine our life or death. Tell Washington we refuse to give up our right to life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Medical Grumblings

When we finally get it all said and done, health care reform is a necessary evil. It is very difficult to examine all the questions, so I will tell you what concerns me as both a taxpayer and a human being, as I try to sort it all out in my mind. I will contact my representative and let them know how I stand and on this and that will not be an easy job.

My cousin Carol and I were trying to remember whether we were vaccinated for some childhood diseases that may or may not have been available when we were children, like whooping cough. We will always wonder why some children were and some were not, for whatever reason, and possibly suggesting a double standard in this country. I'm big on prevention as it saves you money and suffering. Yet, in a free society, can and should inoculations be forced on people. I've heard pro and con stories about "flu" shots and both state and government mandates, and rationings. I feel availability with choice is the way to go. Sometimes in order to eradicate certain diseases "all" must participate in available treatment and that is where choice should not be allowed. Some of the diseases that were unknown for years in this country are now back and concerning.

In a pandemic, with limited beds, staff and pharmaceuticals available, how would a priority for chosing patients be established? At the top of the list, possibly would be the politicians, service workers, teachers, medical staff, and whatever method they have devised to maintain a list of importance. I'm sure that you will agree that it will not be on a "first come first serve" basis. The question will be "status" and what determines how and who and in what order you fall on the list. That does not sound like a new idea to me. Those who have influence will win out here.

I can just see the lines now. Who will get to decide where you will go and how? Residential address? Years ago, a physician came to your house and saw everyone who was in need at the same time. Just think of what a cost saving that was. There were a lot less specialists then. On the other hand, it is so vital to health care to see a specialist who's experience in the field is critical to your health issue. Choosing your own doctor as a provider of your health saves money and time, having become familiar with your particular conditions. This is especially important during an emergency situation where time is not wasted on gathering information to relay to a new doctor unfamiliar with your circumstances.

Now clinics are established at work places, schools, and wherever people gather, to receive shots needed after a disaster like a flood or perhaps information or tests. One word describes this, impersonal.

Some plans are not accepted by Dental or Doctor's offices. Turning patients away, inevitably results in increased hospital visits. Hospitals turn patients away for a toothache referring them to a dental practice, who refers the patient to other dental practices, causing the patient undue inconvenience, pain and suffering. (All because they did not have the right coverage) or, the doctor did not subscribe to their particular policy. Having dental emergencies on one health plan would eliminate that problem.

You've all heard the story of people being transported to other hospitals by ambulance adding to the cost of the patients bill. (A person seeking treatment in a small local hospital, should not be bussed out to a large city hospital), increasing the cost and having the worry about having to find a way home. Taxpayers eventually pick-up the tab of the uninsured. What stops the uninsured to run to the emergency room for situations that could be handled at the doctor's office in the morning? Do doctors still refuse some patients health plans, offering treatment by cash or by a credit card? When was the last time you went to the doctor or dentist and didn't walk out with another appointment? Or, perhaps a scheduled appointment for a test, or pharmacy script?

Who is not looking to sue a doctor these days for malpractice? Just watch the ads on TV. My point is how do lawsuits affect the bottom line of health care? We need to eliminate waste at all levels, including the perks, run away costs and pork barrel spending.

The cost of health is high. People paying premiums for their coverage should be allowed some choices and some of those are cost effective plans for receiving medications as well as generic alternatives. How about having medical offices open to receive working people who are not able to take time off from their jobs only to sit in office waiting rooms for hours at a time.

Instead of looking at treatment only such as for obesity in children, why not give better choices at mealtimes? Maybe more opportunity for lifestyle changes, like walking instead of being bused everywhere? Bring back physical education programs, chores and shorten school days instead of after school programs which often keep children indoors.

Explore avenues for adult fitness centers which are affordable to all including bike and walking paths. Campaigns which effectively teach the benefits of good health, against drugs, alcohol consumption in moderation, and lifestyle changes that promote a healthy society. To be healthy you need to work at it and that requires more than a pill.

We all win when our residents in the USA are fit. When we anticipate disease by prevention, and design programs that will keep us fit as we chose to be healthy and all work toward that goal. We cannot afford to pay for even one person who will suffer due to neglect. Neglecting our brother will result in higher health care costs in which we all share the responsibility for in one way or another. In the end, its our decision.

I will continue with this debate on another day when I will talk about who is competing for your business, as everyone is in it for the money, yours.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Orange Lips

Yesterday was so much fun for my grandson, Nathan. I arrived at the table to find a couple of overturned chairs waiting for us. John and I would take our dinner break and finally get a chance to taste the wonderful shish kabob and chicken kabob that we'd been smelling for at least three hours. Before it was all sold out, John wasted no times in getting two plates full. We were also treated to a couple of beers from the Southbridge Brewery, the best around. I had what I believe was called the pale-ale. It was wonderful weather-wise and we met many nice folk, family and friends at the 85th annual Romanial festival.

Steve and Jean joined us, and Bill, Angie and Nate had already started to eat while enjoying the live band, which would have been the highlight for Nathan, if not for the arrival of Wally the Green Monster, from the Boston Red Sox. His mom was ready with her camera, and of course Wally was ready to give a postal card with his signature to him. I wonder how the pictures came out with the orange lips Nathan had from drinking his favorite beverage, orange soda. When his parents asked who gives him orange soda, he said grandma. Of course they blamed me, but it really was grampy.

Nathan was concerned that the basketball hoop lay on the ground. The one he likes to use and the one he tells everyone that the ball gets stuck and grandma has to get it down. We explained that after the picnic it would be put back. He was amazed by the white pipe that was attached to the downspout coming from the gutters and roof. Typical boy. Then, out of the clear blue sky, he looked at me and said "grandma, wanna dance?" He's three and one half years old and already knows how to have a good time. It didn't matter how we did dance as long as we got up to dance. He had a ball. It doesn't look like he will be shy as he posed for the camera which will be on our live local television station.

He spotted Onchu the puppy which also made his day as he ran over to say hi. Nathan loves the area and has spent many happy days at the Romanian Church, hall and grounds. Today, while the radio personalities were discussing their experiences at the picnic, I heard Dick mention Nathan's name.

I'm looking forward to hearing his stories on Wednesday when he comes to visit grandma for the day. He'll probably want to have some more of that wonderful lamb patty that he enjoyed at the picnic. Who would have guessed? We were all pretty tired and didn't go to the concert on the common to see the oldies band, maybe next time. His dad said he still had plenty of energy left. Enough to go on the slide. We hear that he's getting a new gym set that was so large that his dad had to have two trees removed in order to fit it. I know he is excited about that.

It is scheduled to arrive and be built this week. He is looking forward to swinging just like grandma does or at least used to do.

The picnic was grand. It was fun times for all from the littlest to the oldest. I saw my several of the church ladies dancing with Alexanda and her daughter Loretta just before they left. She appeared to have a lot of spunk. I hope I'll be able to cook and dance at one hundred years old. Who would have thought that possible? A good time was had by all.

Baring It All!

Yesterday the subject came up about what people were wearing to the Romanian picnic, which was held after the 10:00 AM Sunday Liturgical service. The answer seemed to be whatever was comfortable according to ones work station or preference. Yet, one person chose to bring up the subject of how our priest should be dressed. He and some other's suggested that Fr. should have his collar on. Otherwise, people would constantly be asking "where is the priest?" I say, what about his comfort?

Most people know who our priest is, and, as he is involved in the community, most new people I spoke with, told me they were coming to the picnic because they personally know him from the organizations he serves. For example, there were several from the Rotary, a couple of tables from the local radio station, and several Town Councilors. I saw firemen, as he is a chaplain serving Dudley and helps by filling-in in Southbridge.

Other people there were his face book friends and other friends that he's made from the Thompson speedway, and many from Worcester, as he has served organizations such as, the nursing home. Then, there are the local collages, being a Nichols College Professor. Since he wears so many hats, I cannot name all of them. Most recently, he's known to engage in lawnmower racing, and is newly elected to serve on the Bay Path Regional High School Committee.

Our priest has been known to reach out to people everywhere, every age and is relentless in helping those in need. More recently, is his quest to feed the lonely and hungry, a new program in which he cooks for many others. That is, in addition to the food bank that he is also involved in, such as the local Food Share program. Trust me, he is known by many.

I think you get the picture. It isn't that we would have to constantly point him out to others, because Fr. Peter has many friends. That person was viciously trying his hand at controlling the good father by his suggestion. I wish I didn't have to tell him otherwise, (that in fact, I found his suggestion wrong). It is my opinion that this is just another power struggle, controlling and unfounded.

I wonder why anyone would take offense to a nice white shirt and a straw hat at a picnic. Get a life, or better still mind your own P's and Q's. You dressed comfortably by your own choice or, did someone else tell you what you had to wear.

You know what father Peter has learned, young priest as he is, is that relating to people is far more important than how you look. In all honesty, do you feel as comfortable with a person who is staring back at you wearing a dress with a collar? How do you think this applies to the younger generation of today? Does the collar make him different somehow? Or, does it make you different. Is it like a police car with all the lights and decals which may cause you to act differently, guarded-- because of consequences.

Stop putting on false airs. Stop trying to control others. Believe me, he knows he's a priest and he doesn't need a ball and chain to prove it. Some priests feel comfortable in their collars even at picnics. Their choice. Through the years priests have been bullied and pushed around in order to keep their parishioners happy at the expense of their own comfort.

It is time to let go of your old-fashioned ideas. Take a deep breath when someone starts foolish rumors about picnic dress codes and have the courage to turn your head the other way. Father is just writing the wrong, the wrong that was inflicted on clergy for generations.

He is free and approachable, and the young people I spoke with agreed that one should not hide behind one's collar, tie or anything else that puts you above someone else. After all when we remove those garments, aren't we all the same? I guess not, but it goes way beyond ones dress code. There is a time and place for proper attire that defines us, but not at a picnic.

Expecting Father to wear a collar is the same as judging a book by its cover. Judging all priest to be the same is undeniably a mistake as they are like night and day. You should be happy that ours is down to earth, approachable, outreaching and humble enough to be himself, especially at a picnic.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The good old summer time

I've been selling raffle tickets for prizes that will be given away tomorrow at our church picnic. On three occasions I set up a small folding table and on Friday, a large beach umbrella shielded me from the sun, making up lost time. It was a scorcher.

It is flea market weekend here in Brimfield and that brings out many people both dealers and folk from all over the world. Driving can be a bit tricky and at times, it seems impossible. Everything is in place for the event, our 85th annual Romanian Festival. Hopefully the people will come out as the weather should be fine. Following the church picnic, which will see Wally The Green Monster, from the Boston Red Sox, will be an oldies group featured on the common, which we hope to attend.

We had a wonderful day weather-wise today, but being Saturday, it was a day of chores and shopping. Last evening we had dinner with friends at the pub, and tonight it was Dresser Hill, an outdoor eatery with little parking, long lines, and the best ice cream around.

Here in New England, we must make the most of the Summer, cause the good old summer time slips past us so quickly. The strawberries have gone by now, and its about time for blueberries, my favorite. The corn is not doing well this year I've heard, and it did take a long time for the flowers to produce with all the rain. One farmer told me tonight that we've been having a cooling for the past nine years. It does seem cooler so far this summer. August is right around the corner and for those of you who hate humidity, you know what that means.

Heard on TV a couple of days ago that some women were drumming up their cleaning business during the heat by cleaning topless. I didn't quite get where. Job security during a recessive market I guess. What will they think of next in the good old summer time.

The Look of Love

Hopefully everyone has experienced the "Look of Love" sometime in their lives. It usually comes as a response to kindness. It goes beyond the thank you and I appreciate what you have done for me stare.

Wednesday, I had the opportunity to be with my grandson and we did all the things he likes to do and more. The more was having a picnic lunch out on the lawn on a big old Walt Disney towel. It meant running in and out of the house around the deck and much work for grandma. That followed bringing out all the big trucks to dig with from the front garage all around to the back yard. (Three in all, with shovels and cars and you name it.) We made a road, of course. It was time to water the plants, which led to the water sprinkler, and eventually the pool, with a boat, froggies water toys and a little boy who didn't want to get out.

After the run into the house to change into warm clothing, it was bedding on the swing. An over sized pillow, on a pillow-cased covered mat, sheet and his yellow blankie. All of his favorite stuffed animals, snoopy white, pepper, and waggon to name a few. "Grandma, you forgot the radio!" he exclaimed, because they do not forget anything. Back into the house for the radio. He was in heaven, so to speak.

He lay across the swing, hammock style and grandma rocked him, and "don't stop" "more" grandma, until he finally fell asleep.

I'm not sure if the look of love came before the long nap, (the one where his little arms extend up over his head, suggesting pure comfort), or after the vanilla ice cream with blueberries. But there it was, the same one I've seen his father give me so many times before. The first time at the hospital, having received life.

Life has its rewards, mostly materials ones today, but I wouldn't trade anything for that special look that says it all. "I Love You."

One of my all time favorite songs was from "Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66" called The look of Love, (1967). Where it says something like: the look of love is saying more than words can ever say. I believe that look comes from the heart.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

There is a limit

Today I had an opportunity to watch one of my favorite shows, where childhood problems were being discussed. Breastfeeding after the child was once weened off of breast milk, that would seem to me to be a no-brainer. Honestly just think about that one for a moment and you will not require the consultation of a psychologist. Breast milk is for babies not for children. A child asking for breast milk is having another type of issue, and it is usually competition of the attention of mom because of another sibling.

The other case, one which is very familiar is that the child decided what he or she will or will not eat. My mother who had five children, knew how to handle that one. What? you don't want to eat, your not hungry, leave the table. Nothing would be given in between either. One of my aunts told me she was punished for asking for a second cup of milk, during the depression and while she was bringing home the bacon. We are too soft with our children, who are playing us. Yes, it is a power struggle and if they win, have fun when they are teen-agers.

The other two dealt with going to bed and getting up, and that again is their way of testing your tolerance. I learned how to deal with that one when my oldest son was still in his crib and a wise doctor told me to have my husband block his ears or go out while the infant screamed himself to sleep and eventually the resistance would become nil and go away. It could have meant that he even could get sick and he said to that, "clean it in the morning". Now they have come with videos that show animals yawning and stars along with soft music and eventually after 20 minutes, lights are out for the night. The understanding here is that this is the behaviour of the child continually, and not an occasional sleep disruption, where something may be off, like a nightmare or fear or illness.

Children usually do not become disagreeable for nothing. What the experts claim is that this is in fact a power struggle. Who should rule the roost? You. It is that simple. Learn to say NO. And never allow them to say "NO" to you.

I believe in positive reinforcement. Bribing is okay. They gladly go to sleep when Santa's coming. They want things, mostly your attention. Gold stars work. A favorite video, and sometimes pennies saved toward a favorite toy. Let them earn things by "good" behavior or a special treat. Sound familiar?

I once knew a boy who would not go potty. Nothing worked because he loved watching his parents squirm. With everything, it was his way or the highway. One day while playing with friends, one of the boys said Uh! you still go in your pants, and he told all the other boys who made fun of and teased him. The humbled boy changed his tune fast, peer pressure, is a good tool. The experts say that a young child should learn from watching an older child use the potty, or dad in the case of a boy. And believe it or not besides reading about it, you can purchase a doll who demonstrates the bathroom technique.

Its probably a sad fact that some parents never really get it. Or, perhaps they just cannot discipline their child. What that means is that unfortunately, you are setting your child up for failure. A person who is disciplined in their behaviours will be able to face all problems with a sense of security and recourse of action. Everyone knows that you cannot always have it your way and when you cannot and you can't handle it, it sets you up for an unhappy and insecure life. Relationships will be shattered, and that may include yours.

I have a neighbor who has three boys, and she said something to me once that I thought wise. Something my mother said that I forgot. "They've got to respect you." And that is something that you teach them. Is it time to stop letting them dump on you? I would say so. Everything has its limit.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bestest Buddies

We are supporting each other in trying to lose a few pounds in an effort to fight back dread diseases known as a result of aging, and being overweight.

Tonight we took another walk for forty-five minutes in a different neighborhood and we find that change is helpful. W get a different feel for the road, so to speak. The funny thing is that we didn't feel we worked as hard at it as the lake walk, and it was the same amount of time.

We take special care in getting the right breakfast and all the vitamins, and minerals, and fresh fruit and salad.

John's already loosing weight which I'm very proud of him for, while I gained almost all the weight that I lost, back. Don't ask me. I've been working outdoors for a week and it may be muscle weight. The same thing happened to me at the gym, when I put on quite a few pounds working out. The funny part is that my waist has gone down. Basically, it is a redistribution.

All our foods are measured and almost all natural or homemade, in other words, having many enzymes.

I'm not giving up the ship yet. There is also water weight which usually happens just before the weight loss. I am having fun walking around with my bestest buddy. He knows that it takes patience and when it come to me, he has it. The old adage, "nothing good comes easy."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cold Feet

Just got back from the concert, where it seemed that as usual the dampness was creeping in and although I had my hooded sweatshirt on, my feet were growing cold. It felt more like August this evening. The Country band played a good variety of music and it was a welcomed rest from the exercise we engaged in today.

After my PLN, we decided to try the Westville trail going around the lake to the dam area. It was perfect today for a walk in the woods. The entire walk was 1.8 miles. And, I hope I got more out of it than a blister on my toe. The walk was approximately 45 minutes long and it was pleasant as I was not alone.

John and I have been trying to put in some time walking different areas of town each night when possible.We enjoy walking where beautiful, scenic gardens are trying to make their appearance. He claims to have already dropped five pounds. It is generally agreed that the first ten pounds, especially males, come off pretty easy. It is the remaining weight, unless you are a dancer or runner, that appears to come off slowly.

People that love me have encouraged me to work at it. This of course includes the food we eat and the amount. Yesterday, we shopped while we had an oil change and ran several errands. My sister-in-law turned 50 and we attended her party. I never got so wet, my clothes were drenched right through, on the way out, thank goodness. The ride home was difficult due to deep puddles and excessive rain, not to mention the thunder and lightening. That's where the cold feet started.

It is an unusual year to say the least. I find I don't how to dress anymore. I probably should always carry an umbrella with me. We got Rita a gift certificate to 12 Crane St., where we usually go on Friday night for a brew, Celtic Nacho, and fish dinner. Everyone seem to do the same thing, as those at my table gave her a gift certificate to Finns and Tails. Another family member will be celebrating sixty years in August. And in a couple of weeks, we will hold our church pic-nic. We are people on the move constantly.

Sounds like we will try to take in a concert in Sturbridge on Thursday, after selling raffle tickets during the day. Just happen to get a run down on the July 19 concert in Southbridge on the common, so we may go from one party to another.

Life is good. It was fun to see the family again, as we celebrated the 4th on the lake in Connecticut with them. As I viewed Rita's pictures, as realized how much time has slipped away, and how precious time is.

Tonight I heard the band play a wonderful song. It is called "The Keeper of the Stars." I am reminded by that tune that "someone had a hand in it, long before we knew." God has blessed me with happiness, love and a wonderful life. Now that my feet have warmed up, its time for some ice cream. In closing, I don't believe things happen without reason, and purpose. All we need to do is believe.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Work out

Are you working out? We all need to be fit. Just what does that mean? Why are people known to be over weight in alarming numbers? Again I hear the words BMI, Body Mass Index, I believe it means, a one-size "fits all" chart. It all boils down to one thing, everyone has the right answer to correct the problem. Your the problem. That is, if they can get you to agree there is a problem. It means $$$$$ for them.

Now how does all this look when you ask the real questions. Why is everyone over weight? What is in the food? It begins there. How much do you need to eat? Different amounts for individuals, according to your lifestyle. A person mostly "sitting" does not require a lumberjack special. Years prior, women had small waists. I saw my grandmother's boned girdles. Once they tied you up, you couldn't breathe never mind eat. Portions were smaller. The food preparation was different. There was no need for corn syrup and synthetic additives, never mind scientific altered food stuffs. Transportation was mostly your own two feet. And, who made the chart? People are different all over the word. So, who was the model?

If your overweight, the doctor has a revisit. Possibly the pharmaceuticals have a prescription, and the gyms are packed. Weight reduction equipment is purchased. Then comes the special clothing, sneakers and high fiber snacks and bottled water. It will cost you plenty.

Its been going on for years. Not my moms generation, they had to chop wood and do chores.
Now we come to several of the reasons. Laziness. If its not that one, then possibly, could there be something wrong with the chart? One that does not take into consideration all factors, such as: bone size, and muscular structure? We are not all constructed the same, if you've noticed. Each generation produces tallers and bigger people. Knights were only four feet tall, I'm told.

Keep everything into perspective, and everything in moderation. Eat a little less, eat a little better, walk a little more, and do more physical work. Make it part of your daily routine, and it should not add stress to your situation.

If your so inclined to believe that you've got to become extreme to lose a few pounds, then good luck with that. This is not a lifetime change and it won't last. Some people eat to comfort themselves, you've heard of "comfort foods". Food may be replacing another need.

The fact is that most people who are over weight tend to be unhappy, especially couch potatoes. I don't hear many people who want to address that -- possibly because there is no or little profit in it.

People live a lifetime being told what and when to eat, wear, be, do, and all they really need and want is to just be themselves. Maybe once they are, they will be happy and all will be well.
You decide, its just that simple.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Don't Miss It!

We are getting it on! (Sixties lingo for planning a great party). It takes a lot of groove, hard work and everyone knowing and doing their part. It is more than a family pic-nic, barbecue style with ethnic goodies and dancing, it's an adventure.

Wally the Green Monster, will be there to entertain you and for sure the kids are going to go crazy. I understand other's like Twister may be there also. Summer is time for fun. Here in New England, focusing on summer events is our business, one after the other. This is going to be super by all accounts.

I have copied the invitation for your review so you can gather your friends and family, and spread the word to a fantastic event. I'll get to see some of my blogger friends. Maybe we'll even share a beer together, from Southbridge's finest brewery. I'll be looking for you. And, I'll be in a party mood! Just a few weeks away, I can't wait.

No need to confirm, just bring yourselves and your smile.

85th Romanian Festival --Host: St. Michael Orthodox Christian Church-- Type: Party - Barbecue, entertainment, family picnic --Date: Sunday, July 19, 2009 --Time: 12:00pm - 6:00pm --Location: St. Michael's Orthodox Church-- Street: 16 Romanian Ave-- City/Town: Southbridge, MA-- questions: Phone: 508-765-5276
Description--The 85th Annual Romanian Festival! Featuring Shish Kebab - Cooked to Perfection, Chicken Kebab, Hot dogs, Hamburgers
Featuring: Beer from the Southbridge Brewery-- Home Made Romanian and American Pastries --Live Music - Near East Sounds Band-- Special Visit by Wally the Green Monster, FREE PARKING, FREE ADMITTANCE Fun for the whole family! (Rain or Shine). See You There! Don't Miss It!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Two Double Rainbows

Living in New England we sometimes see beautiful rainbows. As I child my parents always told me that means good luck. Associated with the covenant with Noah and God's promise that the world would not be destroyed by water even again.

We have had very unusual weather and it did not surprise me that the sun had come out, yet it was pouring rain. Normally when that happens we look for a rainbow in the sky. Sure enough there it was over the gas station. This time there were two, one faded more than the other. I wondered if I have ever seen a double rainbow.

Then I went into the market, and on the way out noticed that the sun was as bright as ever, yet it was pouring. I looked up for the rainbow, and there it was to my right. Then, looking left there was another one. Not a single one, another double one. That means two double rainbows.

I just know there has to be significance in seeing two double rainbows back-to-back. I'll have to research that one more. One unknown source said. "When double rainbows appear it means that whatever is coming to you has great meaning in your life and that one good thing will lead to another good thing." ...

If that be true, what happens when you see not only one but two double rainbows, not only in the same day, but at the same time? And what were the odds of that?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The V. Rev. Fr. Peter Preble, celebrates 5th year

This is a special post dedicated to a very "special" person. No matter how he feels, his work, serving the Lord and God's people, has been his priority. I know he'll be there for me and for anyone who needs him. He puts up with all our teasing, of course having a great sense of humor himself, gives it right back. I try not to talk politics with him, as he knows it boils my oils. Yet, he is approachable, knowledgeable on any given subject and nothing is off the table. The first step in any healing process is admitting your shortcomings, and he is good at getting you to see them. That's why healing is possible with him as pastor. He possesses the power to reach you deep inside. And, like my mother, he has that penetrating stare, eyes that look right through you. The look that needs no words, that say it all.

We share our lives in a sort of way, being so close to the Church as I am, cooking in the kitchen, working in the garden, on various committees or, singing a Liturgy. He knows us and our lives intimately, as we know him. He's a work-a-hol-ic. Who else do you know that gets up at four in the morning to keep in touch with so many people? A goodmorning on facebook, or, a note or two on his many modes of communication, and more recently radio programs, he lets people know that he cares, as he sends out his smile in so many directions.

He participates everywhere where there are people who are in need of help and a friend. More recently he was known to ride a lawn mower on a race track, (LOL). To think about him, he is approachable, youthful, down to earth and funny. It seems he doesn't have a care in the world. But we know better.

He makes me laugh even during in a snowstorm, and because of this unique personality, people of his parish feel lucky to have him as pastor. July 5th, he will celebrate five years at St. Michael's parish in Southbridge.

I recall, joining that parish around four years ago, and he was so happy to see us in church, he couldn't hide his joy. I recall seeing him shovelling snow all alone one day as pastor, he goes beyond his pay grade. He keeps us entertained where ever he goes, because he takes us with him in his heart, which is, for those that know him "huge." And, I hope I am a better person for knowing him with his gentle correcting and guidance.

The church, community, and area towns are lucky to have Fr. Peter. Our lives are better for his being with us and with all he brings to us, everyday. I see him as the "lifeblood" to the community, with his positive influence. If we had to pay him for all he does, we could not afford him. Among his many talents are fire chaplin, cook, chief and bottle washer, radio host, and pod caster. This priest gives the best homilies and adult classes that you ever want to hear.
It has been a comfort to me, to know that while my son, Lt. Steve was serving at a fire, and I couldn't be there, Fr. Peter was there and as chaplin, was doing his duty, sometimes--just passing out much needed water to the firemen. While, at other times, it was much, much more!

He lives what he preaches: (John 15:12) "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." The Orthodox Study Bible. So, come out on Sunday to meet a very dedicated pastor, a loyal friend, and a great human being, get to know him and find out why "we love him" as we do.

We are blessed Father Peter to have you, thank you for letting us share in your life, and for all the things you do for us, just because your you. For the joy you bring to our lives, and for your hard work. May you truly be happy in the work that God called you to.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Expecting Fireworks

The state of Massachusetts frowns on fireworks on the Fourth. The only way to see a display is to go to the Old Sturbridge Village, (which is our neighboring town) and that is by purchasing a ticket to the event.

Budget cuts will not allow firework displays in our town this year. Children will be disappointed but they'll live. We have got to trim the fat everywhere possible. That means no additional programs, if people's jobs are on the line due to budget cuts. Last evenings paper made it clear that the stimulus dollars hoped for will be stalled. We all know that means unpleasant news on the way.

Tonight's paper shows a picture of the neighboring town of Dudley, and neighbor to our town of Southbridge, Thompson, Connecticut. I have driven by the tent displaying a sign which reads "FREE" and they are also selling Fireworks. Our instinct is do not go there. Why? Tickets make good revenue for the town. As the the caption reads "Police plan checks for DUI, fireworks on Fourth." Courtesy of the Southbridge Evening News, Thursday, July 2, 2009.

The title says it all. The fact is that fireworks can be dangerous. I'm probably being redundant in saying that I still remember the fact that one year in Holland, after a wonderful chicken barbecue, one of the fireworks backfired onto the crowd and caught a ladies hair on fire. People ran screaming, everywhere!

It is no mistake that fire apparatus is present at all displays and public safety is always a concern. Years ago so many accidents happened by careless users that a public ban was placed in effect. It is no fun when people get hurt. One year my husband, John and I went to Webster and attended a display, but I was afraid to go to our car, as kids were throwing firecrackers underneath vehicles and all over the parking lot.

The fourth will soon be here. It is a time for celebration yes, but use your head. Do not drink and if you do, drive responsibly. I hear that there is much going on, like a tea party in Boston. Usually the Boston Pops perform and with the nice weather promised, it should be a great time for welcoming in the summer fun.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Editing the Editor

Lots of laughs once again in our local news. I thought it was the job of the news to publish the truth. That is why frankly you cannot believe everything that you read, or see for that matter. The front page of the Southbridge News showed a picture of Albanian dancers, with a caption that read "CELEBRATING ALBANIA." The Albanian annual event was held on Sunday, and the youthful dancers are brought in for entertainment, as the majority of parishioners there can only remember when. That is if they still can remember! I'm sure when they got their paper today, they were as surprised as we were at seeing the Albanian picnic was held at St. Michael's Romanian Orthodox Church, which is just a stones throw away and off of Morris Street. I thought it was the job of an editor to review the paper before it goes to print. I shouldn't be so tough on the editor, normally I wouldn't even mention it, but this is the second time the error has occurred. The mistake was also made last year.

St. Michael's parish and church picnic will be held in July, and we are all looking forward to enjoying lamb the way it should be done. I must admit that the dancers were a nice touch. We will also be having some great entertainment along with the traditional dancers.

Luckily the St. Nicholas Parish picnic was a successful event and not one drop of rain fell while I attended.

Still, I find it laughable that an Albanian picnic was held at a Romanian Church. What they did get right was "Orthodox Church." There are three Orthodox Church structures in Southbridge. One is of the Greek ethnicity, one Albanian, and one of Romanian decent. These churches are found on three separate streets. Maybe we have to send the Southbridge News pictures to clear this up. Let's see, under the caption it read, Shawn Kelley photo. Maybe Shawn is not from Southbridge. People who were born here are familiar with all of our churches, and we have many of them.

Perhaps, this will continue until someone brings this situation to light. Otherwise, the people who read the "rag," (I wonder why?) and that is what it is affectionately referred to, will continue the course, and we may have to wait and see if "three is a charm."

Oh don't be mad, so they made an honest mistake, what else is new? Besides, we could look at the bright side, that we both got the publicity on this one. Isn't that what counts?