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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Life is Good

Woke up this morning with my window open to smell the fragrant aroma from the flowers in the garden below. Not many people know the comfort or beauty that surrounds me. I am thankful. I say a quick prayer that today I can help someone to feel better in some way. The cell phone rings and it is my husband arriving to the parking garage where we engage in small talk, items we will need at the store, and plans we will make for the weekend. Greece is coming soon at the local theatre and we'll probably want to dine at the "Court House" following the stage presentation and musical with friends. Got to remember to give them a call. Sometimes, we make this a group activity at our church. Something to think about.

Made coffee early this morning with our new coffee system. It is so easy. All I need to do is place water in the specified container, decide what flavor of coffee I want from a huge variety, and after placing a prepackaged cup, chose and press one of three size options. Usually in the morning, it is a mug and strong. My friend Linda and I went out for coffee in Connecticut this week where they have a leather sofa which faces beautiful plants just inside the picture window. On the left, there is an antique heavy grinder, which she told me was used to grind coffee in years past. I wish they could see how much easier it is to get a perfect cup of coffee now.

Has modernization really improved our health? Statistics say we are living longer. Inquisitive minds want to know. Longer but are we physically healthier? Could it be that due to available tests we have a marketable answer to all our ailments and a pill for most of our shortcomings. Maybe we are not healthier but are living life longer, and sustaining "suffering," in some cases. (The difference, may be they just didn't know how sick they were because they didn't have anyone to constantly remind of it). I recall my grandparents tell us that the indigestion of a donut was really the heart attack they were unaware of, the fatal one. Yet, I wonder if they suffered from obesity to the degree we now know and its implications. That one factor alone affects negatively many people today in all age categories.

People reading my post already know that we sponsor a feeding program at our church. This community meal has benefited, especially the elderly, of our town and, for the most part it speaks well of the good will and outpouring of our church and its members. Due to its success, we are implementing a plan to increase the number of feeding opportunities in the near future.

With that endeavor, we pose the question, how can we make it better? The church is a place of healing. The outreach is to all and it is our goal to welcome each individual with warmth and provide an answer for what they hunger for. The invitation, like the statue of liberty, says give me your tired and poor. We say give me your "hungry". Some hunger for companionship, some are hungry for a good home-style meal as they no longer can or desire to prepare it for themselves. Sadly, some are too tired, and depressed to even care. Every parish is confronted with its own need depending on who frequents the event. We entertain mostly the elderly, which means that close attention must be given to what type of food is prepared. Fr. Peter is an expert in that department. Believe me, the word is getting out and we have become a very busy and well-run operation.

Our in-house nurse, Linda and I have decided that one way we can make it better is to make available to our "living without" challenged individuals more of the specialties that we are accustomed to preparing. The gluten intolerant, diabetic and those with dietary needs will find a treat that they will be able to ingest without the risk of becoming ill.

Opening the door a little wider, will also open the door to many questions, which we will be prepared to answer by developing a flyer which will help educate those interested in the where, how and why of our speciality. Helpful hints, a few recipes, and lots of funny stories and good humor will delight the reader along with upcoming community tidbits.

It all begins with a "need". Recognizing that there are quite a few people who need a little Lagniappe-- something extra, an unexpected gift, a surprise. Something to lift your spirit. The parish of St. Michael has a reputation for fulfilling "needs" with hospitality and good will. Come and see.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gold-mine in our back yard

Gold mine is a term used to express something of value, not to be taken literally. Recently, we are tuning in to foods which are valuable to your health and raspberries and their leaves rank up there on the chart of medicinals and antioxidants.

I heard that the leaves can be used in a tea to correct the menses, natures way. Twenty-three years have passed as the so-called picker bushes were cut away in the spring as being non-productive. A few were salvaged here and there for the birds. Its no wonder that I have a bird sanctuary here as the plants that I have all around attract them and are a good food source.

Today, as I strolled past the edge of the wood, I couldn't help but see the abundance of the fruit, not far from the many pears growing on my dwarf pear tree.

I'm still wondering if it is because of the weather we had this season? The weeds have grown up to the tree line. Or, perhaps we see the increase due to the five trees that were cut down in that area, greatly increasing the amount of sun that these bushes have received.

I wanted to pick some, but a quick read suggests that the leaves may be mixed up with poison ivy and it would be pretty hard to tell the difference. Since I am very sensitive to the poisonous plant, I will leave the berries for the birds to feast on.

We don't eat the pears either, as they are not sprayed in the Spring. They are perfect and tempting. Ignorance about the natural verses store bought is the difference. So, we let it go to waste while we pay top dollar at the farm stand. Is there something wrong with this picture?

Maybe we just need someone to come in who knows something about fruit in the wild to tell us it is okay to consume.

How did it ever get to this point where in this country, we do not recognize food? Years ago, we had farms and nut trees and wild blueberries, strawberry rhubarb everything and apples everywhere. Our natural food sources are becoming as extinct as our woodlands.

We now get much of our food from other countries or other states. Some people don't even know how to prepare food in its natural state. They rely on frozen dinners and take-out vendors.

Maybe it is time to slow down and reevaluate what we are doing. Maybe you have a gold-mine in your back yard too...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


We're taught to be tough. Sometimes we appear that way even when we don't feel that way at all. The fact is, that we, for the most part, are very good actors. Only those who know us are not fooled by our expression, voice and by the things we say and do.

When it comes to the pool many are afraid of the water, they are the ones who sit around the pool and do not go in for a dip. We often hide our feelings and find some words hard to express, and that is more prevalent in men than women, young Nate is no different.

On Monday, when he was playing he mentioned that he was going for swimming lessons and quickly added, that he was afraid. That was a brave statement as most will never admit to that. So I said it was okay to feel that way, and as he gets older, he may not always have those feelings, and said that there are others who also are scared of the water. It was brief, and yet something that needed to be said, that took a lot of courage on his part.

The phone rang and on the other end was a proud father of his son, on their way home from the Y, saying that he didn't cry today and didn't seem to be afraid.He jumped right in and began swimming. It was probably the dog paddle. I spoke with Nathan on the phone and he was very proud of his achievement. He also mentioned the reward he was promised.

Several years ago, I took a course that introduced me to a new word. The teacher said it pertained to and worked for all. WIFM--Whats in it for me. It works like a charm, sets a positive picture in setting goals,-- desiring to completion. Everyone wants something bad enough.

Positive reinforcement, a happy and successful goal-setting child with his eye on the prize, and a proud father. All in one day!

All it took was the promise of a root beer. Congrats Nathan, I knew you could do it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tare Down that Wall!

Great words at a great time in the history of the world. All because someone saw something different.

The wall I'm talking about today, is the wall of the heart. Every time someone is hurt, they build a wall around them, a protective one. It can become so thick that it discloses the truth about how they really feel. They tend to lash out answers, quickly and sometimes loudly. They are always finding fault with everything. They complain constantly. It leaves you thinking about their coldness. You judge them to be unkind and avoid being with them in order to avoid the lashing, conflict and the lasting feeling of being battered. They freeze you out...

Why do people appear so bitter and unkind? Is it but a refection of the way they have been mistreated? What is the remedy for those brave enough to endure their company? Is that why we are to love our perceived enemy? Often the way people act is a learned behaviour. It is an expected response by someone who had been subjected to hatefulness, and then became its mirrored image. Unknowingly, their actions alienate them from others... and, they continue down the path of loneliness.

Breaking the cycle is like getting out of the boat. Confront it, lovingly. I have always disliked barking dogs (people) with harsh tones, especially people that talk badly about others. Like dogs that bite, I shy away.

Yesterday, something strange happened at coffee hour. Someone offered me a chair as they were leaving, causing me to sit with several people that I usually avoid, as to not cause conflict. After conversing for a short time, I began to see someone beautiful. The wall had been let down exposing a "loving heart". Whether I had misjudged this person to be different or perhaps, there was a metamorphosis I'll never know. But I know that I will not see anything but a loving person when I look at that person in the future. I was wrong. There sat the pearl hidden in a shell, the diamond cut from the mine, and the brightness hidden by a cloud.

Sometimes it is not the other person, maybe the shackles were removed from my own eyes. I think that is how Jesus is. He sees the good in His creations. Love is like matter what you do or are, your still special in the eyes of someone that loves you, because your focus is only on the good in them.

Looking for the good in others isn't always possible through human eyes, but when we ask for the Lord to "Open our eyes through His," we will see what we have not been able to see before, through the eyes of our heart. And through eyes of our heart we will become better human beings and emulators of love.

Love is a decision. That means that you must take the first step.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

No Greater Privilege

Father Peter testified today that the name he took when he was ordained into the ministry of Christ was largely because he could identify with this well-known saint, Peter. When you step out of the boat, like Peter did, in today's gospel reading, you do so with nothing but your heart, which directs your action. You respond to the call because you trust.

Strangely, because of my sir name, which means "little Peter," I feel a great attachment to St. Peter, in many ways.

St. Peter served the church of Christ, answering the call to "feed My sheep." Today, father talked about getting out of the boat, as Peter did during a horrific storm to walk toward Jesus.

There is no greater privilege than to serve Christ in His church. Answering the call means that in the darkest of times, such as the world today, it will take courage to step out from your comfort zone and go forward, no matter what travail exists around you.

We are like children, taking our first step in faith. Jesus will direct your every step because He knows we are lacking courage, "all of us." I've always had a fear of water, darkness, and storms. We are not alone in these things and maybe we always will be afraid of the unknown.

But there is no one anywhere that offers us safety through any storm or that stands ready to catch us when we fall, awaiting our circumstance, anytime , anywhere than Jesus. He will sustain us both now and for all eternity.

Listen for His voice, "He says Come!"

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Helping Each Other

Today will be a busy day, but before I begin, I wanted to get this post in as I didn't have a chance in the last few days.

On Monday, Nathan came over to stay with grandma and as usual it was a "first" for many things. These are the things I hoped to record before I forget.

One of the firsts was the fact that he can now reach the light and fan combination chain, which is located in the kitchen, and he pulled it on and with a grin, I saw in him the look of achievement. There will be many such moments in Nathan's life.

Grandmother's reinforce. I showed him a trick to get his shoes on the right feet, as he is unsure which sneaker goes on which foot. It was off to the church to water the plants, and that meant taking his little watering can with us. What a pain it is to have to stop and refill, yet he loves helping grandma and we played getting each other wet and teasing each other. I still love to play as much as he does. He rode his new scooter around the place, and I had to teach him to ride on the side of the road in order not to go too fast down the middle. Even though he had his hat on, I could sense his discomfort at thinking that he was going to lose control. I know a lot of men in my life like that. A little coaxing and everything was okay. He likes knowing that someone is by his side.

Nathan still gets apprehensive about certain things, like the bouncy house that was deflated Monday, and enjoyed by many children on Sunday, the day of our festival. He resolved the questioning about not participating by saying he'll do it when he is five. The funny thing is that this is his mindset and he probably will do it then, when he is ready. He kept talking about it though, just like the fans which make a lot of noise. Children have little fears. It is a part of the learning process. Some can be coaxed through, other fears take time, patience and understanding. And, it's okay.

I've seen grown men who are afraid to fly. He helped me to water with the hose, and we examined the produce, calling everything by name, and counting as we deposited the water over each and every plant. (This is a positive reinforcement of numbers). Then, he helped me move the hose around and roll it up. He enjoyed turning the faucet on the barrel off. A man has to do a man's work. We obtained a chair from the open pavilion, and placed a hook on the squirrel proof bird feeder in order to hang it on a more secure branch.

Nate didn't even realize how tired he was only that he had worked up an appetite, so off we went home to grandma's house for lunch. Having enjoyed his lunch, he got vanilla ice cream for dessert. It was an understanding that he had to earn it by being a good listener.

After lunch I allow him to play with his favorite toy planes, and trucks and cars then, it was time for puzzles and books, and creative work. He loves the sticker books with all his favorite trucks, saying if he saves enough money "can I buy all of them?" Learning the value of things takes a long time. But there is a lesson in learning to put money aside in his bank. Money he earns by being grandma's helper.

I noticed that if I initiate the puzzle it makes it fun for him to finish. He learns to feel a sense of accomplishment, and competitiveness, saying I beat you, grandma. That will be the story at every level in his life. Funny, I saw it in the newly married couple at our church the day of our festival. Who can beat and who can be better at...A wise woman learns that if she lets her male competitor win, then she becomes the real winner in the end. A man's ego is tender.

When it came to writing his letter's, I understood that the motor skills are just developing and to push him to do more than a few would be discouraging. I use words like down this road and circle, following the direction of the arrow and stop. He is very conscientious and by nature careful which means that he does a very good job. We have a drawing board, and when the workbook is put away, I encourage him to use it to demonstrate the letters he learned. When it comes to the capitol "A" I noticed that he draws the letters correctly but has trouble knowing how to angle the lines. I asked him if he knew what a triangle was? He did. Then I showed him the three dot trick. One at the top and two at the bottom. I left the room, and when I came back he had drawn a perfect "A." These sessions are fun and brief and always earn him a favorite snack, a chocolate chip cookie.

This little man is no different than other men, thinking about the reward.

His mind is amazing! He thinks like an engineer. At the pavilion he looked up and saw the "air conditioners" and as a matter of fact, upon entering the car and from his car seat, he said, "grandma turn my air conditioner on." I've owned that car for years and didn't even know we had one back there. And, he knows how it is operated.

He is not allowed to leave toys or shoes or anything else lying around where people can trip over them unexpectedly. He removes them quickly when I remind him, without grumbling. Why, because he is a good listener and that gets him little chocolate bits to either take home or eat on the bench. At grandma's its always about the reward, grandma's little secret in developing good listening skills. I enjoy Nathan so much. He is always so well behaved for me. He brings laughter and joy to my heart. Just hearing the sound of the little boy voice is music to my ears. I am teaching him to sing "You are my Sunshine." That he is, sunshine to us all.

And secret of anticipation works on men of all ages. Something I learned from Bill's grandmother Leona, always give them a treat to take home in a small bag. It makes them feel "special." And aren't we after all, special?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

People Types

No we are not all alike. There are people types. I'm the type of person that likes things clean and orderly. For example, clean counters, neat draws, and a place for everything. I do not have to see it to know that I have it. Instant recall, is necessary or for some, labelling to find the item in a moments time. It is called organizational skills. A person who is inclined to be this type, will be driven crazy by lazy people who cannot put things away. If you put things in the same place, you will eventually get to where that item is stored.

People of another type, "the lazy type" will open mail, and drop it on the counter, or perhaps they'll skip the opening process as well. Everything eventually, clothes, books, dishes and soda cans or beer bottles appear everywhere. I wonder, is that to remind them that they ate, or how many they drank, or where something may be. The fact is, they never seem to be able to find anything that they need, despite the fact it is right under their noses.

If you live in a small house, and are untidy, your home soon fills up with empties and is so disorderly that you will not have the energy to keep up with cleaning it.

This should be in a marriage contract. Before you say I do, find out because trivial things such as being "irresponsible" for your things can loudly spell out I don't think so... This type is often irresponsible for paying bills on time, simply because they haven't opened them or they don't know where to find them. The result can lead to frivolous expenditures, late fees and other charges. They'll be constant reminders and other notifications which may affect your credit rating. A knew a lady who replaced what she couldn't find, even though she may have had several of them already.

This type of character literally wants to live in a mess and your moving their things can provoke them to the point of argument. How could you be content living in that manner? It will eventually drive you crazy. Ultimately, you will live a life of picking up after someone else and then, have to tell them where you've put the items. On the other hand, your being a "neat freak" will drive them crazy also.

This does not just happen at home, it also happens in places like church kitchens. I don't know how many times some of us have put things back into their little spaces, only to find them back on counter-tops. Why can't they put them back where they found them?

Maybe it's me. I've trained my children to be tidy, and already that made me a good mother-in-law. I even make it a point to teach my grandson, that no, toys are not to be left all over the house, but to be returned to the room they came from, with a little slack there.

Looking at the room this morning, I can tell he had a great time. I am happy to see all the activity enjoyed by him and I didn't have to fall over all the pieces everywhere. We just close the door until we can get to it.

Everyone should have their own space, provided they keep it and respect the fact that other's do not enjoy viewing their messes, nor do they expect to have to clean up your tracks on the way in and throughout your home.

Who said it is easy to live with other's? The type that likes to not be hassled by their junk and expect other's to want to live in a pig-pen style are made for each other. Often they don't even see it anymore and the first thing that comes out of their mouths is "where is the ...." because they are blinded to it all.....

Maybe it is that you like to spend your life cleaning up after others? I don't. Here's the best one. I have a friend who is constantly picking up after her son and husband on her day off from work. And, they have a nerve to complain when she does not have the time to go out somewhere. Why, she is always cleaning.

I have another friend who says "It'll wait." That's it! They are called procrastinator's...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

EVACUATION at 12 Crane

We didn't need to be told to leave the building when the smoke detector and white blinking lights went off at a local restaurant tonight while we were enjoying a glass of beer from our hometown brewery.

12 Crane Street as we call it, or the Dark Horse Tavern is one of our favorite watering holes and we boldly state that it is the best around.

They also have live entertainment which has featured plays, as well as musical groups and live bands. The place is wonderfully designed and we have attended banquets, Christmas parties and a spectacular New Years Eve dinner. I was impressed when the owner, Gabe, told me that the decorations placed for Christmas were "artificial," as public safety was a priority there. All the same, they were beautiful. We appreciate that and all the little extras they do to make us feel welcome.

Each and every event was top notch, from birthday parties to a quite evening with my spouse, like tonight. So we thought it would be, until we understood we were to evacuate. Beer in hand, we left the tavern area and went outdoors to sit in the patio area, which was quite comfortable on a hot evening such as this.

Everyone proceeded orderly, peacefully and quietly. No one seemed distressed and in fact, we wondered what was happening, as it was not on our level, but up above us. Shortly after, we were informed by our servers that we were "allowed" to return inside. The alarms had been turned off, as well, the overhead blinking white lights. I never knew they were even there before tonight. They reminded me of the lights located on the traffic lights which warn us of oncoming fire personnel.

There was no question, everything was done on a professional level. Once inside we received our wonderful meal and enjoyed every bit of the evening. Our adventure over, and homeward bound, we remarked at the wonderful place we frequent often and are grateful for.

This area is fortunate to have such a unique place as the Dark Horse Tavern, and we hope to be able to continue with the fine dining and relaxing atmosphere that this establishment has provided for us and this town.

Many times I've heard over the scanner, fire calls going out in response to smoke detector's going off. Sometimes it's just a matter of burnt toast, lets say, at the Hospital or Nursing Home. It was interesting to be on the other end to experience the other side of it. This adventure turned out to be a small inconvenience for us and a room full of people. It proved once again that we have the very finest fire department around, who regard "safety first" and handle every call professionally and with great efficiency. It was rumored that there was smoke in the kitchen, and some smelled it, slightly.

I don't usually write two posts in one day, but I wanted to say thanks to "all" for a job well-done. Our town prides itself in serving it's public. We appreciate the fine job they collectively do for it's citizens.


This has been the year for big, fat toads. And, the worst part of it is that they tend to surprise you. There was one in shed of the church the other day which luckily was spotted before it jumped out in my direction.

We spotted another one near our mailbox at the bottom of the driveway. It was dark so I went out to see the huge toad that my husband, John was telling me about.

This has been the year for dragonflies, butterflies, and fireflies, which come out around the fourth of July, and of course, toads.

Yesterday, while sitting at my indoor computer, which is located next to a window, with a large air conditioner in it humming to the sound of coolness, I heard a strange sound. Turning to my right and looking across to the wooden door was the reason for the splat sound. It was sort of transparent and very small the body size of about an inch. It had appendages and was looking rather scared.

Why it was froggy! How this baby frog got into my home, I'll never know. So I called for my husband to remove it from the door. I don't think he liked it any more than he likes spiders. After seeing it hop around I was through fooling around and decided to capture it.

Don't ask me why I remembered the paper cup method. I worked like a charm. Placing a cup over the frog, and inserting a thin piece of paper under the cup, allowed hubby to carry it outdoors and release our little unwanted visitor.

Could you imagine if he crawled into my bed during the night? What a frightful tale I would have to tell? I'll bet it happens to people who sleep outdoors in a sleeping bag all the time. And that's why among other reasons I haven't.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Gardener

Life is but a season. Short. The way plants turn out has largely to do with resources and environmental factors, just like us.

Plants, in order to reach their potential, takes much contemplation and hard work, and the right condition which is unique to each one, like us. Sometimes, it is an educated guess, a matter of experience, or pure luck.

Some plants will thrive no matter what the conditions are, you just can't snuff them out. I have a weed that won't happy until it prevails throughout every inch of space that I cultivate. Many fall prey to predators of all type, just like us.

Plants are like people, they have feelings and desire ideal circumstances to ultimately produce at their best, like good soil, sun or light and water. This balancing act is a struggle at best for us all and, existence is difficult without ideals, it's hard work. There is always something we struggle against, weeds, bugs or whatever blight or disease is trying to succumb us. They share with us the burning sun, storms and drought. Worse yet, is a complete and devastating frost. "Coldness" kills just about everything, like despondency. Yet, we depend on them for our existence. Like toddlers, they have a mind of their own and we must be willing to cope.

Just when you've finally arrived after all the pain and glory, it's over and gone. Unlike them, we hope for eternal life.

What was the purpose for your existence that you struggled so hard for and what will you leave behind? Will your existence have made the world a better and a more beautiful place?

What will you be remembered for? Life is but a season, but hope springs eternal.

Faith, forgiveness, and love are the only elements that will produce lasting joy here and hereafter.

Remember, you were and did not do it alone. We are but the instruments of His garden.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Years ago I would cringe when I heard a family member say "I Can't" in a sort of crying manner. It made me so mad that I would not let my children say that. That was a deafest attitude and surely it would not be tolerated.

How do you know you can't if you don't try? The task at hand needs to be doable and not beyond one's expectation to be fair.

The mind is powerful. It may tell you that your too fat and you'll believe it, even if it is not true. It can even play tricks on you. You need to protect what the mind can observe. If you hear on television a suggestion that you have a disease enough times, you may convince yourself that you do in fact have it. You can make yourself sick. And, talk yourself well.

It is said that you can become like the people you hang with, simply by imitation. My grandson used to try to laugh like me. He liked it when I laughed.

A good coach can help a student reach their goals by a reminder that they "can do it."

Yesterday, someone told me after I said I Can't do it, that I was not allowed to say that there. I had done the task the night before with difficulty, so the proper way to say it was probably, "I won't do it again".

I can't do it, sometimes means, "I won't do it," "I shouldn't do it," and for some reason, am incapable of it. Maybe I'm uncertain, but should I say that? I know there are things that I should never attempt to do.

It's kind of a funny story, as just the other day, I amused myself thinking that finally something was being done that should have been done ages ago. Yes, you can do it, and finally you did it. You could have done it all along. Who knows what kept you.

The mind is the boss, and when you decide it gets done, because we can and must do it at some point.

Like you, I must decide for myself, given the risk.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

After Much Contemplation....

This is the second time food supply has become the topic of interest. It used to be said if we knew what they put in hot dogs, we would not eat them. The problem then was additives, chemical preservatives and too much salt.

Some manufacturers are aware, and because of public insistence, have cut down and with the new labeling, if you do not like it, you do not have to purchase it. When it hits them in the wallet, they take note.

Sugar is the second culprit, which is also being addressed. This includes corn syrups, and again, your the boss.

Partially Hydrogenated oils and Hydrogenated oils are less tolerated by concerned consumers. As well, saturated fats.

Christian consumers, being advised of respecting the temple of Christ, as we take communion and believe that Christ dwells within us, are careful to make good nutritional decisions which will result in good health. We are not to smoke, and we should limit alcohol.

It has been a battle between what science says and what history teaches us concerning food product, through the ages.

Then, there is the manufacturer. Goods come from all over to be pooled for distribution? Does that require unhealthy additives and preservatives? How do we know what is in the food we eat and where it comes from? Does it contain unhealthy hormones? How have they been genetically altered or in some cases cloned?

We have laws which are strictly enforced and the consumer is protected were told. So what is all the controversy about? Tons of food appear at stores with packaging and labelling that allows competent adults to make choices from a larger variety of fruits and vegetables in season, as well as choice meats and fish. This includes imported goods.

The only other option is to buy locally or grow your own. We always support our local farmers, and are guaranteed freshness and quality, especially where growers specialize in organic gardens.

Producing your own is risky. There is such a thing as crop failure. Sometimes you just can't produce enough and putting up vegetables for the winter requires allot of space. Potato crops do well around here as well as butternut or any type of squash and pumpkins. Beets are a favorite along with carrots, cabbage and onions.

You'd better know what your doing as we have a very short growing season. I know people who finish harvesting their tomatoes in their garages, pulling them up to avoid heavy frost.

If your up to producing your own vegetables, you'd better plan on having a good size family. You certainly cannot do it alone. Time is of the essence when crops need to be harvested.

Why do we go through all that trouble when food is so accessible today? Maybe when we bite a tomato we know it does not have enticing dye in it. Like cake frosting dyes which are supposed to be non-toxic, it is not natural. That's where I draw the line. I want foods to be as "original" as possible.

Garden vegetables will have bugs and little imperfections as most who have had produce know. My mother used to say, just cut it off. Peaches had brown spots, and so forth.

We have come a long way, and it appears we've gotten better. But to be honest we still have kinks.

If our forefathers were to witness our progress they would be amazed. Every generation will be confronted with challenges. Challenges which test us sorely, but education is the key here. Careful selection of the goods you consume will make the difference in your health and that of your family.

As I contemplate, why are people dying from cancer, and endowed with diseases, I wonder at the cause? Is it from the goods consumed, or other environmental issues which pollute our water and air. How would those issues affect your garden? I read recently that fluoride in water is a health hazard. Some medicines are also appearing in our drinking water with serious consequences. The oil spill will eventually make its mark everywhere. The list is a mile long and a foot deep.

Who holds the truth? We read and decipher facts for ourselves. Statistics say we are living longer, and our lifestyle is easier than ever with many modern conveniences and choices.

The fact is that no one really knows. We may have gone too far, but who wants to go back, not me.

A very wise person remarked that even the scientists and specialist are baffled. Why is it that one of twins, having the same food and being exposed to the same conditions and elements can develop cancer while the other doesn't?

That tells me there is more....

Friday, July 9, 2010


When I was a young mother at home, I used to watch a Christian program where prayer was being held for other's. Part of that was a blond woman who sang "To God Be the Glory for the things He has done." She would talk about things taking place, those who were receiving healing.

My life is not that dramatic, but I wish to give God the Glory, that is the precious name of Jesus. I belong to a "prayer group" on the Internet and daily I see prayers of Thanksgiving, as people's lives are being changed because of His mercy. We are all called to bear one anothers burdens, and I have a great compassion toward others.

Yesterday, while at the church, Father Peter put down mulch on mounds located on the two sides of the church. Having some left over, Tom was kind enough to help me place more where the bird feeders and birdbath area is by the huge rocks. In the interim, he moved an old worn and unsightly sign, disturbing a nest of hornets. I said the Jesus Prayer, as I was taught to do in time of danger and was okay, but he got stung.

Tom is not allergic to bees but has an intolerance and needed to take something along with his ice pack. I called him last night and it was swollen. As a child, I remembered to put mud on it, but it didn't sound like a good idea to Tom.

We finished what we could, but being in the nineties, I gave up and went home, deciding to finish it in the A.M. once the hornets calmed down.

After filling the wheel barrel with the rest of the wood chips, hoping to finish my project before the impending rain, I proceeded to the spot where we left off, the nest area.

Sure enough, they were still there and, proceeded to come after me with a vengeance. I hadn't come this far to quit now, so while they were circling in on me for the attack, I started to say, "Lord Jesus, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner."

No sooner than the prayer had been uttered, they vanished, all of them. It was as if they had been summoned away. I don't where, it was all to quick. But I do know beyond the Shadow of a doubt, my prayer was answered almost before it was uttered. It happens all the time....

Job completed, I watered the potted plants and went home singing "to God be the Glory for the things He has done," having another incredible tale to tell.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Wonder of it all!

Twenty minute bike ride, a quick shower, second cup of coffee and reminiscing. As it is not too long before the birth of my second grandchild, I called to find out how my daughter-in-law was doing carrying the baby in all this heat. I recall years ago my cousin had her first in August. She got so large that her skin couldn't stretch much more and her discomfort was enormous. I said a quick prayer for all women carrying in this heat as I can hardly stand it myself.

The wonderful part about being pregnant is the care that women receive today, for the most part. We did not have ultra sounds as part of our prenatal care. Little Nathan and daddy were treated to "seeing the baby" which raised many questions...typical of a four-year-old, whose baby brother is "almost ready." He got to see the movement from the screen and I'm told the baby has lots of dark hair, unlike Nate.

Maybe this one will have large dark brown eyes like his daddy, too. Nathan wondered what color he will be. A normal question for a little one as well as "how will he come out?" Mom was ready with all the answers.

This guy will be one of the lucky ones, coming into a family that already loves him, and are excited to meet him, especially Nathan. Nathan will be a great "big brother." And, since he doesn't miss a trick, he will fill him in on all the wonderful joys of being a boy.

There is great excitement in the air. As you can well imagine...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Incredible Story

Incredible and unbelievable. Here we go again with a live tale that proves over and over that it is good to begin your day with prayers about your health, safety, peace and protection.

Most mornings, I begin my day with a trip to our local church. Today was no exception. Shortly after, I found myself in our back yard with the intention of moving my swing.

I had thought of a better arrangement, which would allow room for a table to be brought out for a family get-together, sometime soon. I managed to get it across the yard and in the process the seat portion which is anchored by a huge spring, dismantled. I should have realized that this undertaking was too difficult for me and waited for help. But no, my personality will not allow for that, I had to give it a try.

I removed the canopy top, and ventured in to try and lift the two seat steel monster. Being short has its disadvantage at times and this was one of them. The weight and movement caused the swing to come crashing down on me as the spring missed its intended destination.

The top of the heavy pole struck my foot with a terrible blow, luckily it didn't hit me on the head knocking me out, with no one around.

At first, I thought it cut my toe off as I had no idea what the injury was initially looking downward, I feared the most. People that know me also know that I live in flip flops or go barefoot inside.

The sight of blood usually does not bother me as I've patched many wounds in my lifetime, growing up with a working mother and physical brother's. If it was a good gash, it was taking time for the blood to appear. I wondered if I could move it, in order to get inside to take a look. It appeared nothing was broken. I looked down on the ground at the green cap at the edge of the pole, with it's plastic ridges, and decided that's what hit me. I must of moved fast and it almost missed me altogether.

I ran the foot under cool water in the tub and it started to feel better. There was a small cut, not even requiring a bandage. There is a leather strap which fits between my big toe and the first of four on its side, connecting it to the sole, which is about 1/2" wide.

I wonder, was it the strap that saved me or something else? Scientific evaluation would probably credit the leather, but I'm inclined to think differently, as I am certain "someone is watching over me".

Beside all the incredible stories I tell you, Fr. Peter, this one can be added to the list, a very long list. And, many prayers of thanksgiving.

If you haven't been to church lately, maybe you should.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We didn't invite you.

It was a grand three-day holiday weekend. Saturday, my family got together at the home of my brother in Connecticut for fun on the lake which included fireworks and a wonderful barbecue.

Sunday, was spent at Jean and Steve's place, in Massachusetts, which included dinner on the boat and a tremendous display of fireworks all around the waterfront homes as we were entertained by the Boston Pops from the boats entertainment center, which was playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" while the fireworks were going off with beautiful design and colors. The residents go all out decorating with lights, and wonderful colors, like Christmas. Some cover their entire boats revealing their shapes and we even saw an aquarium in the shape of colored fish. Their were lights in the shape of the American flag, and a piece sign. We could have slept on the comfortable white leather cushioned seats on such a perfectly warm night. Who wanted to go home. The fires roared from the beach fronts and as we docked, the candles were visible from the windows and a perfectly groomed yard welcomed us with lighting from the landing, which looked like an airport runway. It doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, we went to breakfast on Lake Lashaway in Brookfield, where a quaint "Trolley Stop" restaurant, which serves home-made breads, and has a wonderful breakfast menu, that provided an old-fashioned bit of atmosphere and fun. Later in the day, Steve and Jean fixed my computer as it has been malfunctioning for quite some time. John and I picked up more perennials at the garden shop and watered plants constantly because of the heat. We stopped at the local farm for zucchini and corn on the cob. Fresh strawberries and yogurt, and a few other ingredients made for a wonderful frappe. When its over ninety out, we sure appreciate our air-conditioned home, the Internet, and a good book, and an occasional nap. Stay cool, as it will continue for a bit.

Life doesn't get any better than this. I realize that I am truly spoiled and surrounded by wonderful family and friends living in a country which enjoys freedom. This holiday is possible because our founding father's, servicemen and women fought for it pure and simple. The celebration is to remember and celebrate them, their struggle and their courage.

We Americans will always stand up for what is right. We are willing to fight for it. That is what makes us different. And in this common bond, freedom will ring.

God bless and keep America.

So, who wasn't invited? Those darn mosquitoes. I've got bug bites everywhere. They were so hungry that they ignored the bug spray and bit right through our clothing.

There's always something isn't there? Living in New England has its ups and downs. But this green valley is heaven on earth. Now to plan for dinner...It won't be a favorite New England soup or stew. Maybe, cold salads, with chips and watermelon for dessert. And later, my favorite scoop of ice cream.