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, April 28, 2011

Darkness Overshadows Us

I listen to country music, where from the Southland, we hear songs of those who love their God, family and homes, where today, they are no more. Scenes on television capture the unspeakable loss, and we are all saddened by their grief.

This is Bright Week, a week that looks and is so gloomy for so many in this, our Country. Scenes of terror-- tornado's a mile wide, ripping through our land, one city to the next, leaving catastrophic destruction, to a nation already hurting by unending floods and so much poverty.

Rescue is on the way, the Red Cross is prepared to reach out, and as well, your neighbors and friends, in these great states of America, while we are praying for you.

Through the impending darkness, the Brightness of the Resurrection of Christ remains and is our only "real hope" for a world which needs to know His love.

Today, we again are reminded that love brings couples together, as we wait for the marriage of a prince and to be princess. There is newness all around us, yet, the sky is overcast. Life is, a mix of joy and sorrow. My heart is heavy for all who suffer, everywhere, and like the myrrh bearing women, we look to share the "good news" of the risen Lord, who will lift you out of the dust.

As, I watched television today, a young man "eagerly" spoke a message over the anchor, as she concluded her story to us about the growing excitement. "I love you America." It brought a tear, to know that some have not forgotten that "we give our all" to so many, always without expecting anything in return.

So, to the heartland of America, and all who suffer, I say Godspeed...Jesus love you, and we do too. Help is on the way....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bestowing Life

On the cross He nullified the curse of the tree. Remember the "tree in the garden" of paradise. Since that day when Eve and Adam partook of its fruit, the world has known turmoil and death. We hear of the tree of life, or plainly put, the cross which brought joy into the world. If it wasn't for the Death of Christ, we would not share in the fruit of the Resurrection, which bestowed upon us eternal life, through Baptism.

While we rejoice on bright week, we remember what this means to us in our world today. It is about learning the message of the "fig tree." Christ cursed the fig tree, because He gave it life, and it's job was to provide and bear fruit for Him, which it failed to do. We are reminded through out holy week, by the many hymns of the church, that even His own people, failed to know Him, the One True God.

Mankind is created to know, love and served the Lord, just like the fruit tree. There is lesson derived from the fig tree. It is not enough to know the Lord, even evil spirits knew who He was. We must be ready to love and serve the Lord in any way He calls us to, and at any time. He is the only way to Life, Hope and Peace, eternally.

We are released from sorrow, filled with joy and gladness, and told to "Proclaim the Good News," as was the women, receiving the message from the risen Christ. This Pascha has sanctified all believers. Are we ready to meet and serve the Master, sharing in His victory?

Today, as I look out of my window, I see newness of life. The baby leaves coming forth from the maple tree, are little clusters of red balls. The new birdhouse that I purchased in the fall, shaped like a star, have already been occupied by cute migrating birds. Yet, it is allergy season for so many people, including me. My home is filled with beautiful flowers, Lillie's, yellow roses, Hyacinth, flowering peace plants, carnations and palms. Yet, outdoors it is grey with impending rain. Spring brings about newness of life and reoccurs each year, reminding us that life springs "eternal." The last enemy "death" has been vanquished, and He, the Bridegroom, will come again in Glory to claim His bride, His faithful people. On that day, He will wash away all pain, suffering, and sorrow.

Just like pruning, we have purged away "the undesirable" and replaced it with the "eternal well spring,"Pascha, from which we draw Life. Wishing you all the joy that the Holy season of Pascha brings, through the Risen Christ, our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Even in this "Bright Week" we are reminded by the Sixth Ode, on Holy Friday, though, that we must do our part, by not forsaking mercy, as we hear and remember the words, "Falsely and in vain do you keep watch, for you have forsaken mercy."

There is no Life apart from the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, who is your creator, and the lover of mankind, who has come to give you, life eternal....and we must remain vigilant and watchful. In this, our season of "Spring" let this be the message that springs forth from our hearts. "Life for evermore!" Christ has Risen from the dead, trampling down death by His death. And in this, we become partakers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What am I eating?

Potato chips are among my favorite foods. This time of the year during great lent, they seem to go with almost anything that we're allowed to eat and not fasting from. They make a great replacement for a cracker, or foundation in a vegetarian dish and, are a time saver--replacing the need to peel potatoes. Just a few in hand are so satisfying. Today you can buy so many varieties, even fat reduced and low sodium as well as sea salt and all different consistencies. Sometimes, I like the very thin light and airy type and today it's the small, hard and crunchy ones. Crunchy means that you have to chew more, and therefore you actually consume less. That's the idea, consuming less. Even though I appreciate the fast foods, and welcome the discipline that the church suggests for spiritual enlightenment, I am at this point eager to change the menu just a tad bit. Went to the doctor's yesterday, where my blood pressure continues to be good. The church has always looked out for our well-being, and we become blessed in every way possible. That is why I am so perplexed as to why the church remains unfilled to capacity. Hopefully, after Saturday, this will change, with the celebrated Liturgy of Christ's raising Lazarus from the dead. If you aren't impressed by this, which is an event that prefigured His own death and Resurrection, then may I ask why? Who do you know that has risen from their grave, lately if ever? And what does that hold true for you? Are you prepared to meet Christ on the day of your Resurrection from the dead? I know we understand that death is a journey that we all must take. As well, we are told of the Universal Resurrection in which we are all called to partake in. This week on Sunday, we will remember the response of the crowd, some were witnesses of the raising from the dead of Lazarus, four days in the tomb, with their palm branches saying: "Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord." There is no question that they knew who he was. Shortly after, there will be a Death and a Resurrection. Not an ordinary death...Not just an ordinary person, but the Christ. The Son of the Living God....Come and see! Receive the Bread of Life, the only Real Food that there is. Sunday we will place the palms on our Icons around the home as a reminder of our King and God, present amongst us, and the great news of Salvation, celebrated on Holy Pascha (Easter).

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Everything is reluctantly peeking out of the ground creating a huge contrast with the lingering winter carpet of greyness. Soon we will be enjoying tulips, hyacinth, amongst the crocus already appearing in vivid shades of yellow, white and purple. The leaves of bachelor buttons and lavender with muted tones brace the bank promising later blooms. Pussy willows largely welcome spring birds who are searching for berries remaining on bushes, near low-lining paved steps. Soon, as the debris has been cleared, new mulch will be placed to compliment the grass that will appear, green and full. Decks will need to be bleach-washed to remove all the green mold and outdoor furniture will be placed, welcoming friends and family. Of course, by that time, the little black bugs, May flies will be antagonizing those who wish to recline, while drinking in the sunshine or reading a book. Playful birds, who have been around for awhile, are now building or finding nests. This weekend, I opened windows for the first time and started changing curtains, putting my flannel sheets away. Spring is in the air. That is what I like about New England, the four seasons. I'm more than ready for "new life" and the beauty it brings. Somehow, we all mesh together, a natural order of things, with a balance that never grows old. Do you recall the wonderful Mother's Day Flowers last year? It will be here soon! I can't wait to share happy days with my family and friends.. Pascha (Easter) is on the 24th. of April, where we will be reminded that all life comes through Christ. We will sing: "Let us arise at break of day, and instead of myrrh offer the Master a hymn. Thus shall we witness Christ, the Sun of righteousness, dawning over all life." Taken from the service book of Holy Satruday Evening, Holy Week and Easter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Photo Shoot Event

As young children we celebrated Easter, the secular one, while the parents took us to church to see Jesus on the cross, it still remained above our understanding. It was, as I recall a very happy day, a day we had ham and chocolate cream pie. My mom was the type that did everything the hard way, homemade. Our places at the table we're decked out in Easter goodies. A soup bowl contained a decorated, hard-boiled egg, and some confections. One year, I recall that she made an Easter bunny cake, covered with coconut, and jelly beans. The bunny face had round pink cheeks, a red licorice mouth, blue eyes and a pink nose. Our eggs were dipped in boiling water with colored tablets and vinegar. There were crayons used to make designs like flowers, which appeared after dipping. We did two-tone colored eggs, and sometimes we had special holders for them. We participated in the fun. It was a time also for blowing bubbles with our cousins and playing with springtime toys. I can still see my mom counting to the number of times she hit the ball, which was attached by a rubber string stapled to a round paddle. Her other hand behind her back, her eye was glued to the ball as it went straight up in the air. I think she held the record. One year, we had a hula hoop contest. I loved to eat the marshmallow colored chicks and chocolate bunny. Candy everywhere, we wisely saved some for another day. We always got a new coat, dress, hat and shoes to wear to church. The radio at that time, played songs like "In your Easter Bonnet with all the thrills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter Parade. And, here comes Peter Cotton-Tail hopping down the bunny trail... We didn't have a parade as such, but it meant wearing your finest which included a "special" hat. Many years in school, we would make a hat suitable for the occasion. Everyone participated in this art project and it was non-negotiable. Easter is Easter. One year, we even had real baby chicks. Little yellow ones that we held in our hands. They were all so precious. Daddy brought them home for us. That was many years ago now, but this Pascha (Easter) we are going to dinner where we will be invited to bring our camera to take pictures at a photo shoot with the children, as they play with the chicks. Many things have changed...few will be wearing their finest, dresses are less fashionable and who has even heard of an Easter Bonnet or Easter Parade? Maybe Peter Cotton Tail is still around, somewhere.... No matter what else is celebrated, or what you call it, the fact is that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. It is the good news that remains through every generation.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Meeting the Grandparents

I have added two photo's today of two wonderful people, my grandparents. I never knew my grandparents as they passed away before I was born. Yet, I knew them through my dad, aunts and uncle. I've often spoken about my grandmother, Laura, who I was named after by my dad. She a was a petite woman, devoted mother, and hard working lady, who like many others of that error, was happily employed as a homemaker. Stories about her are stories about her faith, and life surrounding the church she loved, which you can see in the background of that picture, Sacred Heart, as she lived on a hill just above. I guess you could say we have a lot in common. My dad had dark hair and looked like his mom in this photo. She was part Indian, her mother was a Blackfoot Indian Princess, who being of Canadian French descent, settled here originally. Her husband, Joseph, came from Italy. They spoke both French and English at home, as most people in this town did. My dad used say that my mother looked like his mom, and for the first time, I can see it in this picture. Looking at the photo of the grandparents together, I can see that she had the same problem as I do, with the sleeve length. My aunt Irene looks the most like her. It is said that the apple does not fall far from the tree. It's all in the genes. How can you remember someone that you never knew. Yes, you can when you are so much like them. My mom may have looked like her, but I, in many ways, am the grandmother I never knew. It is hard to believe that the photo and era that I love to recall was just yesterday. Time has changed so much...We do not live anything like the way that my grandparents did, yet we are very much the same.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Impersonal Calls

We now live in world that is becoming totally impersonal. Communication is handled one way--communication NOT. Communication is usually a two-way conversation. That is the problem, you do not get to reply. Messages sometimes require an answer, which leaves you hanging...Did they get it or not? What is their reply? Are they going, or not? Then, comes the waste of time, in getting a reply to your question. Phone computers are the best "drive you crazy" devices. If you don't answer, or if they wish to, they can put you on a loop, a loop of recall, meaning, you have to deal with them at some point, while you may be subject to music or a complete waste of time. Phones that can receive messages, while you are out, (voicemail) can become another job at some point, in their accumulation. Don't even get me started on solicitation calls, maybe your message should be, "please do not leave me a message if you are...". You know the scoop, your in the shower, bathroom, outside or downstairs doing the wash. All of which cause you to go running to get the phone, thinking "must be important" right! Safety reasons require that you let the caller leave you a message. Yet, most of the time, unless it is important, they don't. Without having caller I.D. your left to wonder, "who called, and I wonder if it was important." Today was the best one. I ran to the phone to take what I thought was a call from my husband, since he regularly calls me from the office to see what I'm up to....It was the hospital to confirm my scheduled appointment. The computer call, blurted out my name, time and date of the test, and suggested that I preregister... all I had to do was press the star key. I understand the frustration of the elderly when they tell me that they do not even know if they have a "star" key. I knew I had one, but picked up the phone in a dark room, in which I didn't have time to turn the light on, and not having my glasses readily available, even with the light on, would not have been able to press the star key. So, I ran to the window and threw up the curtain, to "find" and "press" it in a timely manner. Apparently, the computer wasn't able to hear me say "one moment please," or, allow me to put on my glasses, (they should be on my desk as they usually are.) Won't take but a moment. Hello! That's right, you can't hear me your a computer. I pressed the star key but guess what, I wasn't fast enough for the computer, who knew how to hang up in my face. Did it also realize that I didn't quite get all the information that I needed? Modern technology can improve they way you do business, at times. All the modern day offices use these systems, while reflecting proficiency, time and cost savings. I didn't have to say "yes" or "no" to which sometimes the computer will answer, "sorry we didn't get your reply", .... this time. Here I sit not having an opportunity to voice my questions, have no call-back number, and am unable to "preregister". Now, I will be making an incoming call, having no name as a reference, maybe the computer should leave a name like "inefficiency computer calling," remembering (his/or her) pleasant voice with a smile), and obtain the information which a programmed call is unable to answer. This time though, I have the advantage of knowing who called, as well as the pertinent information previously received from the doctor's office; the date, time and place. More and more, computer's are implemented, replacing the need for human workers. It is said that future doctors will be "robots". While I understand that there is "human error", I am not convinced that we are headed in the right direction, with impersonal machines, especially in places like a hospital, which requires human interaction, and a personal touch. We know computers can replace human interactions, but, should they?