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

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I am not one for making New Year resolutions. But isn't that what change implies? It means taking a look a your shortcomings and make improvements that will benefit yourself and others. My fortune cookie said today that my best friend is "ME." I'm going to be a better friend to myself.

I give up my time for the needs of other's, often at my own expense. In the past two days I have changed that. I'm investing in "me". The past two days, I have gone for my twenty minute walks, cold or not, it is a good habit to get into.

I've always enjoyed radio in the morning. Our family tuned in, in the A.M., as I was growing up. Mostly, it was to keep watch on the time, having three brother's and a sister with only one bathroom, was "challenging" to say the least. Breakfast was usually eaten while running down the stairs and I jumped the neighbors fence many mornings. My sister and I went at a pretty good clip one hour and a half walk (run) to school. Many mornings, my friend Ginny, after waiting for a bit, would begin to walk to school without me. Of course, detention was administered for being late for school.

The new A.M. Station (WQVR) is very enjoyable, (a good mix) mostly Country Songs. The only change needed is: "Local News and Community updates." The weather and temperature is available, as well as international news, which is a plus.

The other change beside an increase in exercise, will be trying to get to bed at a decent time. I've been reading and sewing which I enjoy and doing word seek puzzles. Playing the organ is another activity that I've been trying to get in on a daily basis. My entertainment room sports two new pieces of gym equipment, which is conveniently placed in front of both the television and Internet. It is fun to exercise to music or a favorite show. I'd like to get a "book rack" for my new bike. I know that they sell them as I saw one on a commercial recently.

There are other changes that I'm working on. We can all find something that could improve our life and then implement the change. If you don't know what to do, just ask someone. Someone you can trust.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Discerning God's Will

Everyone has experienced change. It does not come easy for any of us. For some, chance comes quickly in an instant. We don't know what hit us. When you are uprooted unexpectedly, that is a shock certainly that you are not prepared for. Or, you can pray for years for God to take control of a situation and change it for you. It is easier for someone else to do it for you. Maybe it takes more courage than you have, and its just too hard. Sometimes, it happens the way it did for Saul Paul. Can't get any clearer than that. Most of us receive confirmations which we choose to ignore, because denial is easier. Even if it's Gods will, change can be painful and who wants that? Sometimes it means avoiding a change because you don't want to hurt someone else, and so you would rather take the pain yourself. But should you choose to ignore it? That is the easiest way out rather than to deal with a situation that will never resolve itself. You think, this cannot be happening to me, either way, it comes to us as a shock, even if we knew it right along, deep down. We cry out for God's mercy and, it's more of the same. Maybe it is His will after all. Rather not think about it. But think about it is all you can do. Change is a part of life, not always easy, but sometimes necessary. The question is How do we discern God's will? Somehow, I know we do get the message. What do we choose to do with the revelation is another matter. One thing I've learned in life is, that the God I serve wants me to be happy and you too! Lord have Mercy on us all! Which way do we go, show us Lord, Your will.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Out of the Mouth of a four year old

Nathan is four now, and we see how much he loves grandma's food. Yet, when I served American Chop-Suey yesterday, he quickly said "I don't want that" and then, "I want soup." He looks forward to my soup, and knowing that I should have prepared some ahead of time. Luckily, he didn't ask for his favorite chocolate-chip cookies. Instead he wanted vanilla ice cream and this we usually keep on hand for him.

Food is important to a young child and they don't forget. I immediately pulled out the loosely browned hamburg and onion dish with vegetarian beans that I've given since he was without teeth. Except there is no longer a need for mashing. He "loves this and gobbled it down immediately without complaint. Grampy got his orders this morning, with "grampy I hungry" and it's the usual, waffle toast with syrup and cream, warm chocolate milk and apple juice.

People that know me would agree that I love to spoil others, especially Nathan. He is a very happy child. I opened the refrigerator door and he excitedly said "grandma you have orange pears" so I said, you mean these? He said "yes" and I laughed. They were of course, peppers.
He likes anything orange.

Everything he does is such a joy. He was a little braver today, allowing me to remove the center of the toilet potty, which was just the way "big boys do it". His confidence is building and he knows exactly what he wants. He is beginning to dress himself now, and from time to time he needs a little assistance as he puts his clothing on backward. One of the biggest challenges is to get his hair to stay down, and it's funny to see him try to comb his hair in the mirror.

Today, being Sunday, we were permitted to take him to church with us. This time, we allowed him to place a large lit candle in the sand to pray for his daddy and mommy. Daddy has not been feeling well, so when Nathan brought home the stub of his candle doused out after church, he presented it to daddy saying "I prayed for you quietly." That usually means the sign of the cross as best as we can and, an Amen. We are thankful that he is well behaved in church. As a matter of fact, we even forgot his little toys (a car or two which usually occupies him). I found a piece of paper and a pencil, and gave him instructions to draw, if he wanted to. That means scribble. It worked! After church I asked him what he liked the best today about church, and he said "the sand that he put the candle in." Of course I thought, little boys like sand. He had a tiny little sandbox in his kitchen, along side his pic-nic table which is placed in front of the sliding doors, so he can look out and enjoy the scenes. Today, it was the squirrel who, as he was reminded by his mom, was given acorns by Nathan in the fall, by piling them up along side the tree. He delights in outdoor doggies, and kitties and was asking earlier where Chippie the chipmunk was.

As we drove into the long driveway we could see his swing set which is visible from the side of the wrap-around country style porch. He was talking about the weather station on it. Of course, we know he gets that from his daddy. Nathan got a telescope for his birthday which attaches to the top of the second level. It reminds me of the forts my brothers used to make when they played cowboys with their guns, holsters and star badges. Those of you who are on face book may have seen the picture of his new tent, which his parents put together for him.

Before we left, he pulled out the dollar bill that Sam gave him for being a good boy in church. Lesson learned, it pays to be a "good boy." His daddy told him that with a dollar he could buy one matchbox car. As he jumped up and down, he already knew which one he wants. A "blue one of course." Then he showed me the new DVD about trains. His mother said, he remarked that "grandma will like this one". Grandma then gave Brownie, his new stuffed dog with a heart, a big hug and kiss, because she missed seeing him. This is the dog he had made for his birthday. Again on face book there is a picture of him sleeping with his "froggie blanket." Just before we left, he was dragging "froggie" down the stairs so he could cuddle with his mommy on the couch.

I'm just grateful for his love and all the fun we have when grandma's big boy comes to visit.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Summertime within

There is a summer place within. It is hard to explain this love that exists and brings joy even in the winter. There is no escaping it, its like the beacon that my grandson looks for at the tower, visible in the night time, but not during the day, yet still is there. It doesn't go away and it captures you, everywhere and all the time. My happiness...My joy.

These are difficult days and its time to remember that no matter how dark they become, there is always the brightness of that summer place within. A love you can live can believe in. It's what is real and it is forever. It's sustaining.

I think you know what I mean. Soon we will celebrate valentine's day. Someone needs your love.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Live Streaming

The momentum is beginning and the polls will open tomorrow with what will turn out to be a big decision for Massachusetts. Two candidates, one Democratic and the other a Republican, are vying for the seat. What matter's here is not the advancement of the democratic party, which the late Senator Kennedy held for many years , but the voice of the people. The voices that I'm hearing is, that people here have had enough. They are not happy with the way things have been going under that party. It seems that far too long the voices of the people in this state have been muffled. We are strong and free thinkers and our opinions and vote is a personal decision based on firstly our Faith. Most of us agree that of all the positions represented on this debate between the two is that known as, "the right to life." Other issue's include the Health Bill in which recent polls say 51% are not in favor.

Without getting into it, Scott Brown is a pro-lifer and the other is not. Pure and simple, duty calls so I'll see you there where it counts, where I will place my vote, for Scott.

Yesterday, was my grandson's fourth birthday party and it was terrific as always. We are fortunate to have him in our life. He is so precious.

Tonight and for most of the day, I listened to the new radio outreach in Southbridge. The program on EWTN hosted a priest and former secular Humanist who witnessed the abortion of an eight month old. This witness changed his opinion and he saw the evil in it. Ultimately, it led him from atheism to a life of faith in God. Life is a gift and not ours to destroy under any circumstance, babies are God's creation without debate.

The other program, Shepherd of Souls discussed the Haiti earthquake and two priests went back and forth on that topic. It was interesting that Job was mentioned, as in the bible he suffered and was tested only to conclude we cannot know or comprehend what God has in store for us here on earth.

This station which can be found here is live streamed and is full of wonderful entertainment and information. You will not believe the schedule posted by Fr.Peter Preble.....The eye of the Commonwealth is watching, so tune in. Go to

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We began adult bible study this evening. Two new people attended and they were not afraid to make comments and ask very good questions. It is great when you have a mix of people of different faiths to get cross-views.

Orthodoxy liberates you. We discussed marriage and one of the things I learned is that Romanian Orthodox seeking to absolve their sacrament of marriage find "compassion." And not all Orthodox churches operate the same regarding divorce. Another lady in the room said that she had been trying to obtain an annulment from the Roman Catholic Church, and is still waiting--the cause of the marriage breakdown is adultery. Maybe, because there is no proof, she's still in the process and has been for years.

Orthodox are allow to marry up to three times and that's it. I find the view of the Church to be one of "reality". You can't force people to live together once the marriage goes south, not to mention the pain and suffering that could be avoided for all parties concerned, especially children. Why kick a dead horse, when it's over it's over. Pick up the pieces and move on. Why place people's lives in limbo? We all know the many reasons why marriages do not work out, and legally the word is "no fault." Pardon my boldness, " happens." Not being able to easily resolve the situation, causes division from the church.

The evening went too fast. We all learned so much, so quickly it felt like a crash course. The questions continue to pop out of my head even now. I think I'll have to start writing them down in anticipation of our next course.

These will be humdingers, I promise. Hope to see you there. Are you ready father?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Linda's Blog

Linda writes well and sometimes very deeply. About ten hours ago she related a personal story that compared with a gut-wrenching account of a young singer who performed at our church hall on Saturday. His was consumed with water, hers light. Entitled "Letting go of your life."

You will want to read it for yourself, check to the right of this blog page. In both cases it seems that people who relate these accounts have suffered some type of tragedy in their life in order to reach such a close relationship with their maker. A common denominator seems to be their fear to draw closer.

We are all afraid to draw close to the one we love. I've come to realize that with love comes responsibility to do something for that person. Is that the scary part or is it that we fear rejection? We are never good enough. Sadly, because of this, some will go to their grave never knowing the love that could have been theirs.

Fear is not is God's vocabulary. Just do it, let go.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's all in the stuffing.

If you had a chance to design something from the beginning, like a stuffed toy, surely it would have those special qualities that a four-year-old would want. What special feature would it have?

This morning I called my grandson, Nathan to wish him a happy birthday. By the sound of his voice he was overjoyed. It's great that they have speaker phones, which allowed him to run upstairs to get his new friend, Brownie, while I spoke with my son, Bill. I introduced myself to Brownie, as if Grandma could see him, just as Nathan expected that I would. And, I told him that I was looking forward to meeting him. Of course, he has a new dog house which he placed next to his bed.

It seems yesterday was spent celebrating Nathan's fourth birthday with special treats like developing "Brownie" as one of his presents. It is a clever idea, which involved the whole family in making "his" B'day extra special. While he was retrieving "Brownie," which Nathan told me all about, and Bill repeated for clarification, I thought "what a wonderful idea and way to teach children about feelings".

The store allows you to pick your own stuffed animal, and, then they stuff it in front of you, inserting the heart, (which Nate picked out) right in front of him. (How would you know that we have a heart unless you see it go in)? And now that this special dogie, "Brownie" has a heart, he has feelings, just like we do. That means, he can love you back. What an idea. Wonder who thought of that?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Remembering the Witch on Oz Movie

I'm sitting here laughing at myself. Perhaps, I'm in a good mood today. I've got my day planned out, music in the morning, catching the latest news on TV, updates and e-mails on the Internet and developing more blogs. House cleaning up of course, and after lunch, the gym. I'm starting to get a hang on the whole operation. I've read the guide which suggests the initial stretching exercises which is a good idea if you want to walk the next day. Later in the evening, I'll be playing cards on the net and reading, if I don't fall asleep in the process.

Yesterday, I tried to set-up a simple routine, about 20 minutes in all. I figured that most busy days I can at least accomplish that amount of time without it interfering with the rest of my duties. It can be fit in at anytime during the day or evening. The stretching, biking and tracking, must be done so that the last exercise is what you would consider a "cool down."

My bike is equipped with a heart monitor which gauges your aerobic exercise, according to your age. My next challenge will be to keep my heart rate to one suggested for my age level and not for a forty year old, (142). How I will accomplish that will be interesting. Guess I'll need to slow down. Not having the experience, this is another area I will need to become familiar with. Maybe I will need to increase the resistance. I certainly don't want to end up with bigger leg muscles. The tracker is working out really well. Now I'll need to put on some great uplifting music. Yesterday all I could think of while peddling away was the ugly old witch on a bike with Dorothy's dog Toto in the basket on the back. I could hear the music in my head (dododododo--dododododo- doo)! Then the laugh, "hee hee hee", "I'll get you my pretty". I'm sure television has had it's effect on me, good and bad...Okay be nice!

While some people are better at this than other's. I've got to get motivated to do this. Any ideas??? Walking is still the best exercise they claim, but it can be difficult in the winter for a number of reasons. I may go to the market and walk around the store, who knows.

Now to get thinking about a wonderful dinner for this evening. No motivation needed there. I am passionate about good cuisine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Christmas Clean-up

Today, I've got to finish the Christmas Clean-up. This is got to be one of the worse jobs that there is and I'm trying to get myself "psyched up" to do it. It requires running up and down the stairs all day. I'm never in the mood, and promise myself many rewards. So what's involved, two trees, many balls, and favorite trinkets. Several wreaths, excluding the front door which has a cute little wooden girl welcoming winter, and a whole collection of Christmas Scenes. A large church with carolers, and people, two train stations, a restaurant, grocery store, jewelry store, ice skating pond, with seats and a flag, a fire station complete with a horse-drawn sleigh, a garden shoppe, the homestead, kids playing hockey and building a snowman, the park complete with shoppers and travellers and a gazebo with a real bell. We didn't pull out the electric train this year, having concerns for our grandson, who will be four on the 11th. He sure enjoyed the village, playing with the characters. I recall telling him that the little boy playing hockey in the green coat was uncle Steve, as a young boy. He spent many hours outdoors on the pond with his friend Eric. And that is also why we invested in all the firehouse displays. His dad bought us the lovely Jewelry Store. My favorite is the church.

Nathan helped us put up the trees again this year. Outside of the Nativity Ball, which grampy puts in the front on the livingroom tree, which lights up and has baby Jesus in a manager with baby animals, Nathan liked the lighthouse which sends across the room a rotating blue light. His analysis of our tree is that the lights are yellow and not colored, like at his house. The tree is too small, and the lights do not rotate. He liked the tree in the diningroom, which has changing lights with his favorite color orange. These are fiberoptic lights which display many colors, appearing to twinkle as they constantly change. He couldn't decide which tree he liked best. The Church was decorated beautifully, and as we celebrated Vesperal Divine Liturgy on the Eve of Theophany, the brightness was symbolic of Christ's enlightening the world. It will be a major job to take down those decorations which I'm told took more than three days to set up.

Christmas is fun at our house. But, here we are in January, and once again, I'm looking at the clean-up. I'm thrilled that we were all able to enjoy "Christmas Eve" together. These decorations added to what was a wonderful night. Bill said it best when he remarked that the evening went by so quickly because, "we were having such a good time".

In life you have to take the good with the bad. John and I did not know what fate awaited us the next day, finding his elderly mother on the floor. She had been there for hours, undetected. So, as I continue to put things away, I will put things in perspective. The real joy is being together celebrating the "Birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord." And, the only hope that there is....

Resolutions are not for me. I don't keep them. Maybe this one will do....I resolve to be more thankful this year for the people that I "love" in my life. Maybe, I should work on cleaning up some messes that I've made there too. Or how about this one, I resolve to love more....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Gym Complete

I am pleased to receive my new gym equipment. The tracker is very comfortable and all you need is to be coordinated to use it. The bike is more complex, having an advanced console which has an 8-week weight loss program which directs your workout. You simply select a program by choosing one of the 10 manual modes. Then the readout displays the time you will need to work while revealing the elapsed time, and distance in miles that you have travelled. It measures how many MPH (miles per hour) as well as your heart rate. Of course, you have the option to return to the manual mode by pressing the Workout button. Sometimes you want just to ride without getting involved in a program. You can just ride around the track, by watching indicator bars which connect up to what represents a 1/4 mile ride or (400) meters.

A dial allows you to select your resistance using a simple left or minus or right for plus. This controls the resistance of the pedals. Sort of like having power steering on a car or not. The bike also allows you to keep a record of the total distance travelled and the number of hours the exercise cycle has been used.

It comes complete with a cup holder. Not bad...Now where can I get a book holder like the gym has. Better yet, I recall that they would play music to get into it. I have them both aliened by my television set and computer as well. I have some new Cd's to get into the mood.

It is possible that this time it may all work out! Pardon the pun. The only down side was that after it was adjusted down, the seat was still too high for me and I had to make one small adjustment.

So I advanced onto the nice wide seat using a stool to get on. I pedal with the front part of my feet as if I were a ballerina. Without stretching the truth, it is a big bike. A very handsome and quite machine. Now how do I get off???