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

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Les Miserables

Last night we were privileged to see the movie Les Miserables at a nearby show. I've seen an older version on a Classic Television Station, but this was on a "big screen" with color and action that enlivened its effectiveness. These were the insight of another time, the 1800's, in a place far away, but yet, somehow not much different than what is being experienced today. Immediately, I thought of our Bible Study Class, where we learned the meaning of brokenness, being born into this world of sin, death and destruction. And armed with the decision of "free choice," we choose to become like Christ, walking in the Light, no matter how hard that is, or to choose the darkness, where there is no hope. The end of the movie was most telling. The father of the young bride, was not present at her wedding, having fleed to prevent his daughter from finding out about his life in prison, which would have been too shameful to bare.He returned to a convent. She learns of his whereabouts through the identification of a "stolen ring" which was her husband's, now having the understanding that it was her father infact, who was the one who saved his life. Initially, he was imprisioned for stealing a small piece of bread for his sister's hungry son. Nineteen years of torture was not enough as he was forced to carry "papers" which would not allow anyone to trust him enough to give him food or lodging, or a way to earn money to sustain him. A priest changed his lot, offering him food and shelter, to which he repaid him by stealing his goods. Upon being caught,the enforcers of the law, brought him to the priest to make formal charges against him. Instead, in a life changing act, the love,and generosity of the priest, showed him kindness, offering the thief two more candlesticks saying that he "gave" the items to him, without expectation. The thief is "transformed" from bitter, and hateful, having been overwhelmed by the priests words and acts of kindness, as he placed an invisible sign of the cross on the former prisioners head. He sought repentance, from God to do good. In the end, he was called by someone a "saint." The priest earmarked him for Christ,by forgiving him and hoped that he would live to make a difference in an evil world. And, although he was constantly being chased to be returned to hard labor for tearing up his "papers" and failing to appear as ordered, he managed to escape. A young, mistreated lady of the night,lay sick and dying was given care in his charge. She sold her hair, and had teeth removed in order to have support money for her illegitimate child. He raised her only daughter as his own after her death. He was able to put people to work by running a business. He saved a man from being imprisioned in his place, by disclosing his true identity, at great risk to himself, by his revelation as the former prisioner. He released the one person who wanted him to suffer, who chased him without mercy, and lived to destroy him. This, a law abiding man, had been captured by the revolutionaries of that day, who were tired of being poor and hungry, while the rich rode around in carriages, indulged in luxury and endless parties, while the masses went without. Engaging them in battle proved fruitless-- being outnumbered and having superiority of weaponry. It was shocking to see the soldiers kill an innocent child. The freedom of the law enforcer, was unappreciated and was short-lived, as he, like the tormented Judas, jumped to his end, giving true freedom to the former prisioner. The father who laid dying, saw the child in heaven with the many maryters who attained their peace--the only source of hope for any generation. And in his joy, the bitterness, pain and sufferings have all been wiped away. Those who now grieve, know the love of a man that they called father. He will be remembered as one, although overshadowed by grief, illumined a world of darkness by his love.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Impending Doom or Joy to the World

I find myself full of anticipation as in years past, for the coming of the celebration of Christmas, the birth of Christ the Savior. Yet we hear predictions of impending doom from sources such as the extinct Mayans, scientists and some so-called experts. What can we conclude from all that we witness going on in the world today? Simply this: The earth does not offer us sure footing, it never did. Death and devastation have been our lot, since the beginning of time. Simply, we have been born into this condition, a result of disobedience-- having been alienated from our Creator, but not without God having a plan for our salvation, one of God's design, based on faith, and our choices. "Free will" is the gift that He offers us. This plan of salvation includes full restoration, that which was intended for us initially, before our fall and our brokenness. Looking at other voices in history, John the Baptist is the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He comes with a special announcement, "prepare the way of the Lord." John knew of the presence of the Lord when he lept in his mother's womb, before he was born, having foretold the coming of Jesus. Sound predictions can be useful, depending on the source. In order to determine the source for the predictions of John, we refer to bible prophecy, and the the prophet Isaiah 40:3. "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord: Make straight the paths of our God. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill humbled; the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough places into plains. The Glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God; for the Lord has spoken." This prediction of the Good news has come to pass in the birth of our Savior, Lord Jesus Christ. John came with the announcement, from the womb and then, as he baptised, he made known the coming of the Lord, saying "He is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matt:3:11). Other messengers announced the coming--The angels confirmed the birth of Jesus to the sheperds. While, the kings proceeded by way of the leading light. The star that led to the Light of the World, in a perilous and lengthy journey of about two years. This, to reach the true Light, the Light that overcomes the darkness, who illumines us through each and every generation of tribulation, a light of love. Jesus is born for us as predicted in Isaiah 9:5. "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. His name will be called the Angel of Great Counsel, for I shall bring peace upon rulers, peace and health by Him. Great shall be His government, and of His peace there is no end. His peace shall be upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order and establish it with righteousness and judgment, from that time forward and unto ages of ages.
Put away all earthly cares, come hear the voice of angels rejoicing, "Peace, Good will toward men."
Go out and proclaim it by helping those who are needy today. Share your love with those who are lost, for ours is a great promise of Hope, not of gloom. Great joy has been fortold to us as read in (Rev. 11:15),the message of the seventh angel. "And there were loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Further in Rev. 21:4 it is given; "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." It could that the anticipation of Christmas rests differently within each one of us. Why settle for nothingness, more of the same, when you have the ability to look a little deeper. John:7:37 "On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. (38) He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." All scriptural passages have been taken from the Orthodox Study Bible

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ryan's Very Important Question

There is no tree set up in our front room. On Sunday, my husband John bought me a new Nativty, not one with baby animals not even the three kings, but the three pieces that comprise the Holy Scene. I couldn't wait for my little two-year-old grandson to come over, and as I knew he would, notice the three figures, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Above the wooden characters, I placed the large star of Bethlehem. It would have been nice if it had white lights on it, but being gold, with an open weave it seemed to go with the wooden figures. As I knew, it wasn't long after he sighted it, that his little hand just had to reach up to touch it. He spent some time looking at the cradle, then he said Jesus. Ryan knows who Jesus is as well as his mother Mary. He must have guessed that this was special to me as he didn't ask to play with the characters as he does other things I leave in the livingroom, like shells and candles which he likes to smell. Joseph is present with his staff, having a lantern in the other hand, while Mary kneels, bent slightly over the manager. None have faces, yet in its simplicity, we do not get any other message than Christ is Born having a real mother and Joseph. Time will allow facts to present themselves, but for now, there is Baby Jesus. Ryan was quiet in his observance, then finally, the question came. Grandma, where are their shoes?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Nativity Scene

Although the Holy Family is the focus of the Nativity Scene, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, the story encompassed so much more than this. It begins with a great light, the Star of Bethlehem, one that led three wise men to the "place". This journey was anything but easy. It was at great peril that they came, because they believed this star would lead them to find a king, and they would go to worship Him. Would the star have been enough for them to believe, it appeared to be so, as the trip took several years journey. When they saw the star they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. The same star that  went before them in the East, stood over the place where the young Child was. It is important to note what the Kings said, in Matthew 2:2 we learn-- "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." Strong was their belief coupled with determination. Shepherds nearby also, having received a message from the angel, standing before them, said (Luke 2:15) "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." So there we have it the message physically given to three seekers,  (very wise men), and the unlearned, humble shepherds who tended the sheep. This is the awaited Good News of the Gospel, that Christ has come to save the world, a world of darkness for every generation, to give to us who believe in Him, the Everlasting Light, as He is the Light of the World who has come to give us a present, Himself. Today, strangely enough, I heard a song that stuck in my head. It is one that I've heard on a CD some time ago. The words at the end of the song said, "For He is your God, You shall worship Him." Let us put aside all thoughts of darkness, gloom and sorrow, replacing them with joy and knowledge. Christ IS COME and He will illuminate every heart and lead us to the place where we will, like the three Kings, Shepherds and Heavenly Angels rejoice with great expectation and Glorify Him.
(Scripture passages came from the Orthodox Study Bible)

Saturday, December 8, 2012


We have had the pleasure of seeing our grandsons this week, at various times due to the fact that their mom was on a business trip in San Diego, CA. Since their dad had to make-up time Wednesday, having swapped days on Saturday, in order that he could attend our nephews football game in Foxboro, I filled in for him. The oldest of the grandsons is in school and having taken the bus, dad dropped the two-year old off at grandma's house. We did all the fun things like going to, as he calls it, Donalds, where he loves to dip and eat French fries. It was a fun week of playing all type of games, mostly football and kick the ball. The oldest rigged up a way to stop the basketball hoop in the kitchen of their home from falling down each and everytime the ball is thrown into the hoop, utilizing his dads big shoes. You would think that with the purchase of these toys, which are not given away, someone would be bright enough to try it out and fix the problem. It is good that the kids live on two levels, which enabled me to seperate them from time to time, as needed. The first night I was invited to dinner, where poor dad had his hands full trying to entertain the two, who both wanted his full and undivided attention, loudly. The kids are all excited about Christmas and it was look at this, grandma, constantly. The oldest is fairly good at entertaining himself, but the youngest was like a little puppy constantly at your feet. I'm glad he took naps in order that I could get things done. Of course, I was told by Nathan, that cookies were wanted as "they ate them all." Ryan likes his scrambled eggs and bunnies. A short time ago, I mentioned that bunnies were to him, white chocolate chips. I hand him a few every now and then when he does something nice, or for a reward. Mom came back today, and because Nathan spent the night with his dad attending a movie night with the cub scouts, Ryan was happy to spend the night at our house. Finally, as promised we took him to see the airplanes, following lunch. The plan was that he would take a much needed nap once he got home. Tonight, there are plans to put up a second tree, this one, with a train that apparently produces steam. The ride home takes us by the Big Bunny Market, in which he shouts each and everytime, "bunny." This time, however, it was a special bunny, decked out in a Santa Suit. I was so thrilled I yelled out to him, "look! Bunny's in a Santa Suit. Unfortunately, Ryan will have to wait until next time--he was fast asleep. Holidays are joyful and especially, when you have friends and loved ones to share them with. These two are looking forward to  Christmas the way our family has been celebrating it for many generations, with family, friends, tree and all the trimming. Toys are the reward for being good, and Jingles the elf is watching to make sure. They said he flies from room to room and then tells Santa. On a table I noticed the Nativity scene, that is, after Ryan brought over to me the camel to see. Christmas, daddy will bring down baby Jesus to place in the small manger, just as he enjoyed doing when he was small. I asked Angie how the trip was and she mentioned all the "homeless" in San Diego and I thought also of those in New York, New Jersey and others on the East Coast who lost everything during the recent flood. It is hard to believe that in America so many are suffering. Then I thought of it, Jesus was homeless too, born in a cave--having no room in the inn. It is the duty of people everywhere this Christmas to remember those who have been shut out of the Christmas scene for whatever the reason. Let's all try to share the joy, for Christ is born in Bethlehem, and like the three kings who brought gifts to honor him, we should do the same for others. Lets not leave anyone out in the cold this Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Should We Call It

We are told that we should be inclusive and everyone has a "particular title" to celebrate what we've come to call "Christmas, or the Birth of Christ. Everyone says that how they celebrate it is correct, and in their own mind and according to what they have learned, in their tradition, feel comfortable saying "whatever greeting suits them". If mom said it should be Christmas--then it is. The fact is that It must be "real" to you. So, the battle goes on-- Is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? Happy Holidays is appropriate because it does not "leave anyone out," nor should it. It should be a day when the entire world feasts on Peace. I WISH IT COULD BE! No matter what others call it, LOVE is what we all "want and need". Getting your shirt ruffled creates bad feelings among friends. We create unnecessary stress and, a diversion as to what the day is REALLY all about?  We are called to live in peace as Christians. We must get along with all our brothers, as Christ "came for all mankind." It would be better not to say anything at all, than offend others. Some people respond with empty sentiments, having no sincerity or belief behind their greeting. They are tired of the commercialism, leaving them in debt because of the expectations of loved ones, who have been fed with the must haves. Why do we not care if its St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus if it's all about titles? To many, those who are cold and suffering from the effects of Sandy, those who have lost loved ones, who are poor, who are lonely-- and who are anything but Merry, Happy Holidays, for them, I hope they can be. Ask soldiers who are defending our nation, what it would take? Peace be with them. The fact is, many celebrate anything but "the Birth of Christ," It is all about the party and gifts. What is Christmas if it does not bring to all love, hope and promise of what's to come? Come let us Worship Him, we hear in the carols of old...but will they? If there is little joy...I don't wonder why. We have less than one month to go before the message of the angel will be told once again about the Birth of a Savior who was born in Bethlehem, bringing us goodness and light. There is still time to seek Him. He will be lying in a cave, the cave of your heart, and you will know Him by His Love for you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Occupied by Greed

What has caused us to become entangled in the mess we're all in today with all it's uncertainty? Simply put...our greed. We need to be the biggest, and the best. Our focus is on us--the me, myself and I. Our quest for things has gone beyond need, demanding more goods and services and not nicely, as we have become the selfish brats that no-one can handle. We want and we're going to get, no matter who it hurts or what it costs. We infact, do not care how much it costs and our society is going to suffer as a result. Parents are using new language, like "use your words". Children do not know how to converse anymore as they are consumed with activity. They become lonely in their own little world, a world of consumerism, where we are greedy especially with our time. More and more we e-mail to get answers back, so we won't have to deal with questions from someone else. Certainly, we do not want to make it "personal," see into their eyes and hear their voice. People want to know what is wrong today? Are we a generation of "real" people, or have we become an unfeeling, busy, distant uncaring lot. I read a Christmas Card that suggested that our faith is in question if we do not say "Merry Christmas" and that we are in a "war on Christmas". That is the most ridiculous statement that I've ever heard. I don't think my "faith" is that shallow. It was never about the "tree" in our house growing up. We knew all about St. Nicholas, and Christmas came whether we had symbols or not. It wasn't about things--it was about each other and being together. One thing is true, your kids will learn from you. Good and bad. The trees will be up and the homes will be beautifully decked out and yes, presents will be under the tree. But, there is much more to it. Will you be with your family? Will you remember your friends? Will it be important to bring your children to worship God on Christmas, the reason for the season in the first place. It is, in the end, all about what is in your heart. You can have everything, but without "love" you might as well have nothing. It was predicted that the hearts of many will grow cold. Are we there yet? Or, like Scrooge, will we be given another chance before it's too late. Those who are making a big deal about denying us "Christmas," I say, don't hold your breath.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween from the perspective of a two-year-old

My two grandsons came to visit grandma and grampy tonight, on Halloween. We waited all week in anticipation of how they would dress. So in walks a little monkey, (good choice mom). He was so cute, tail curled up in back and came with a fake banana sewed to his pocket. The older brother, is clever enough to craft his own costume, and it had glow in the dark features. He came as a red PEZ dispenser. We had two shopping bags full for the tricksters. We were the treaters. Large pops, tootsie rolls, orange pumpkin marshmallows, snack size packages of pretzels and of course, their favorite homemade chocolate-chip cookies. Little monkey and PEZ brother, walked around the familiar rooms, then came the small voice. Instead of saying trick or treat, he said, "Bunny" (his code word for white chocolate). His brother said, "no your not a bunny, your a monkey." He wasted no time in letting me know that he knew just why he'd come. He was here for the "bunny." He knows grandma has some set aside just for him. A word he learned at Easter, when he found all the goodies his mom left on the table. He loves white chocolate chips and often he is rewarded with them for good behavior. Apparently, he associated the white bunny chocolate with anything that is white chocolate--thus bunny. There was no "trick or treat" just bunny. He wanted a bite of everything in the bag, forgetting about the white chocolate. It's got to be tough for parents. They got the rest of the cookies to munch on. The older brother liked his book, which we knew, being a bookworm that likes to read, he would be more inclined to it than candy. I'll be looking forward to the pictures on the internet as his mom is so good about sharing happy times with all our family and friends. That's okay little sweetheart, grandma knows what bunny means...You are a little heart stealer monkey. You and your big brother are so much fun! I wonder how much interest that little money had in his new coloring book?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Everyone Likes a Good Story

Everyone likes a good story and Friday night, we heard one from the past, and still present, as the storyteller recited her old tale. The heritage or tribe she came from in Vermont, took on the tone and form only familiar to me as that of having been associated with movies that I watched growing up. She had long black straight hair, was thin, average height, wore a soft brown hat and spoke with the accent of her ancestors in English. She described how life began from the earth as told to her,  past down through the ages, in the form of a character with an odd name. The story included the birds of the air, animals, even maple trees, and all life. She even had a song-- a lullaby composed for an infant, and led a special dance of friendship, while singing a repetitious song in her native language. All things are created to compliment and help each other on earth and everything has its own value. Her story pleaded a need always to coexist peacefully. Animals and plant life lived to serve us gladly. I quickly could see that love, unity and goodness surrounded a people who were wrongly called savage, by some. The words that I heard were of "thankfulness". She was respectful and thankful for all things that came to her and believed that all were given in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill for her existance. Maybe we could learn from people who have such stories, and not just be entertained by hearing them.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Debate is Over

The Christian debators were asked what their stance was on the subject of life, in accordance to the dictates of their Catholic faith. While the Romney running mate stressed the party's and his position in favor of life, the opposition, although stating he favored life, would not "interfere" in the decision-making of those who did not support his view. He also denied the HHS Mandate, which was debated today, by the (USCCB), who have previously resorted to, and are in the process of legal action. Laws are written for our protection, and the Romney campaign certainly understood the concern for and were in favor of the termination of life in special cases. Does anyone have any interest in speaking for the "unborn"? Where is their law,-- rights? It is sad that we have come to "If I say it is not so, it is not so". Or, believe it because I said it, even if it is untrue. People have grown so accustomed to hearing falsehood, they don't even recognize lies when they hear it. We are living in a strange world, where truth and honor mean little or nothing at all, even to some of the debators.

The Great Distraction

Wearing a garment to cover the head of a woman keeps a man from being tempted to look upon her instead of worshiping as fully as he should in church. Especially a beautiful woman, it's only natural. A child also can absorb the attention necessary for focus and distracts from worshiping God as one should. It is necessary to provide an atmosphere that is not disruptive to insure good communication, as well. And when studying, it is advised that distractions be removed in order to fully concentrate on the subject matter. What happened last night was no accident. It was a ploy to divert ones attention from what was supposed to be a balanced and serious debate about the issues concerning our nation and in obtaining information, to help make a responsible decision. Regardless of the rudeness, we are aware of what is happening in this great nation and that is no joke. Last week while watching a talk show, I heard someone say, if your making $40-$47 thousand dollars a year, you may as well quit your job and get in line. People in line do not have to endure travelling expensives that make your paycheck so not worth it that people want to be unemployed. When is it wrong in this country to make a living? Is success just defined by barely getting by--a roof over your head and food on the table. Some do not have that much. Get is not a funny matter. What happened at the debate last night goes beyond rudness, it was an intentional act designed for the silencing of the only solution for the hope of this country, beginning with a sound energy policy and truthful awareness of the events which do foster growth and safety in our country. Jobs allow people to spend the money that makes for a good economy. And, from employment does the government (that the "people" elect to do our bidding) get the tax money for necessary expenditures. It is the "solution" to the problem, and we are eager to work together to get back "on track" for the sake, if nothing else, of our children and their children. We are aware that we clearly have been moving in the wrong direction. Finally, we know what happens to the joker. He clearly becomes a loser. Time to stop clowning around and get serious berfore it's too late for all of us.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

All Time Decline in Religious Affiliation

A decline in Religion. Why is this being brought to our attention today? This is not new news but it certainly will make a huge difference on the way people live, vote, and ultimately how our country will be run. Yesterday, I endured surgery in which I credit the doctor for being able to do the impossible, removing a fractured tooth from the back of my small mouth. One hour later after using many different instruments removing splinters, and then rebuilding the bone with a cow bone and pig membrane, I was thankful that the ordeal was over. I said the "Jesus" prayer over and over quietly. The tooth was discovered when I went for a routine cleaning, and because it had a root canal previously, the infection which was present, was unknown. In other words, there was no visible sign, and no pain. It is like that with faith. Just because you cannot see "Jesus" doesn't mean he isn't there. Last night,I dreamnt that a huge snake was at my feet, showing me his fangs and spiked tale. I was reclined in a chair and he was beneath. It was made known that he was not to touch me, although he wanted to. He did scare the living out of me. I finally picked him up and flung him away. The entire time, I recall saying the Jesus Prayer once again, in my sleep. Waking up, I was thankful that this was not reality. If your wondering, if perhaps, it was the meds that I was on, it was not, as I didn't take anything, not even Advil. I am convinced that the Lord watches over those who know, love and serve Him. Especially, through the prayers of others. Some people do not believe the bible either, but if you look you will see that in Hebrews 13:5 it says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." As far as Americans that have no religious affiliation, I wonder, what do you do when mankind's promises fall short and you cannot answer those questions that go beyond, like where will your soul go after this life? Matthew makes clear what is going on today, In Chapter 24 verse 12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." Again, the scripture makes it clear if you fail to find Christ in your heart, haboring lawlessness-- Matthew 7:23 "And then I will declare to then, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" Deuteronomy Chapter 31 verse 6 "Be valiant and strong, do not fear nor be afraid of them, nor be terrified before them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes before you and with you and among you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." If you do not know Him, could it be your still searching? In this time of predicted apostasy,find an Apostolic Church, unbroken in belief for some two thousand years. They know the bible taking credit for its source, and strive to live according to God's plan. The One they very much love and believe in. Come and see why. (All scripture references are taken from the Orthodox Study Bible)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Preaching the Gospel

Should all preach the gospel? I think not. When a person's focus is on the length of a woman's hair, I say find another church. Especially, the person who says with teaching authority that a woman must have long hair, and stands in front of his listeners beardless. This is a clear illustration of not practicing what he preaches. Clearly, in (1Cor.11:5) under the conduct of woman --says, "But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. (6) For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn" (shaved). So, where are all those Christians with long hair, or with long hair wearing head coverings? Paul, is giving us an example of God-given "oral traditions". Where was the preachers beard? As read in Psalm 133:2 "It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down the beard of Aaron". Is it really about our hair afterall? Or, is it about Love. Love of God, and love of neighbor. What have you done for another lately? Is one example,PERIOD. Customs are optional. Respect, in the way of our dress and actions, is expected and appreciated. I would think, a person who is clean and dressed in good taste would cover the subject. We are justified by faith. Having the faith and being in "right belief" of Jesus Christ, is what is required. Think of it, if we were so intent on following tradition to the letter of the law, all men would be required to be circumcised, and bearded. God who loves us, gives us a new life through Grace. We are adopted, having a new birth through Baptism, and are in the process of transformation, becoming the sons of God by His grace and His love. We must know, believe in, and worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Anyone that does not preach the Love of God, does not know Him. God our Creator, loves us unconditionally, just as we are. He loved us first. Customs come and go, and it is nice to keep traditions, as long as they do not cause contentions which prevent the focus to be where it should be in the first place---and that's on the gospel message, hairy or hairless. Scripture references have been taken from the Orthodox Study Bible

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Home Delivery

Heard that a woman was delivered a snake along with her new appliance. It literally was taped to the machine. This is not a snake making its way into a product unseen, no it was possibly deliberate. It made me think about how much junk is delivered into our homes, via legitimate sources. Reading Ben Stein today, was refreshing....other's think the same way that I do. Much is put upon us. We have no doubt in what is "really" going on. Oh, would it be so easy to be mesmerized by a brilliant orator, who uses even the worse situations to his own advantage. Some people recognize this, as what they term, "the end times," as mentioned by Ben in his well-written post today. We have the constitution, and are guaranteed certain freedoms, (rights) given to us by our Creator, which we will fight to preserve in this great country. One is the freedom of religion for all. When there is a clash, we do not annihlate our own. In fact, we do not dictate our faith to other's, nor do we tell them how to dress, how and who to worship.The fact is, people are angry when they are not "free to choose". Is there a danger to radicalism? Your seeing what happens when a philosophy of extremism is exercised by the masses, who have the appearance of a violent nature, are needy, and often have been misguided by a dictator with unsound doctrine. No, it is not alright to kill your brother Christians in your land or any other. That does not generate a state of peace.We did not intervene, as helpless as it was to watch, at what has transpired in your country. Taking "out" our unarmed representatives is a different matter. Have you no respect for those who care for you? At what cost can you afford to keep and maintain your violence? Some have forgotten the deeds done here in our country, and some are deluded. The majority assuredly have no need of reminders. We can forgive, and we do. What we believe in is our strength. A strength stronger than hate. There is no apology for sustaining even those that hurt us--for a greater cause. What can you learn from a nation that gives at every turn, is a faithful helper to those that call upon her? Our objective is still the same -- to live in peace in a world that is more and more in need of its example, sharing our beacon of hope. Our strength is not man-made but comes from a higher authority. We exist in a state of assurance--that we will not fail, but will endure. Remember the movie, Independance Day--4th of July, when the president has a conversation with the alien that comes to destroy us. The alien said "no peace". They came with another purpose. We are brothers--living on the same planet, striving to make this a better place for all generations, and all generations to come. Some say that all indicators point to the "end times." We've been living in the "end times" since Christ ascended to heaven, and "still await" His return. Until that time, we have our instuctions while waiting-- fasting, praying and almsgiving. That's what we should all be doing. We are confident that a loving God will take care of the rest. "In God we trust". When all is said and done, what we are called to do, is to remember our calling. Feed the poor, and hungry, and love one-another, here and in all nations. We cannot "fail" at doing this at any cost.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


It takes tact, shrewdness and skill to conduct affairs of any type. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, someone once told me. If you hit someone, you may get hit back, escalating violence. What to do? What to do takes careful anaylsis. If a baby is crying the question has to be why. The baby may be wet, hungry or is there another undisclosed reason? Through a process of evaluation, you can resolve the situation without to much difficulty. As a child is able to speak, they may say yes, or no. Sometimes they say "no" when they mean yes. You must be able to discern by observing their actions. Frustrated children, sometimes resort to tantrums. At times, its best to just walk away until you can sort it all out. Being unwilling to give in to the bad behavior, opens the door to another way, communication. Often gaining an understanding to the situation helps to resolve it. Sometimes, its I want my mommy and nothing else will do. We cannot expect to give the child everything he or she wants, especially materialistically. It is that way in life. There are times when we just have to cry. We can decide to learn to be become more diplomatic. Maybe, we do not have to eat all that is placed in front of us, we can choose to eat a little less, just to please. Maybe, we can juggle bedtime, just a bit to accommodate a favorite show. Maybe, we can be rewarded for doing a chore or for working hard at resolving a behavioral problem, or spending more time on homework or a project--just to please mom and dad. Growing your bank account or buying a special toy "that you earned", may be a resolution to everyones satisfaction. We need always to find peaceful solutions to all situations, through diplomacy, promoting understanding. Anger at any level, leads to hate and even worse. Violence is not the way to respond responsibly to any situation. We always should be open to what others have to say without demanding our own way. We need to establish fair rules, and have clear-cut guidelines. Listening, and observing others and challenging yourself, to work out difficulties, with perservence and in the spirit of good will, will in the long run, lead to lasting friendships and a state of peace. We must be willing to be a peacemaker, and teach our children by example. They should see us always, as non-violent beings. An action that begins with trust. A trust that says, "we can work it out." As brothers on this earth, we are called to coexist in a spirit of mutual understanding, trust, and in a spirit of helping one another. When people react out of anger, our response should be measured -- baby steps, contained and utilizing diplomacy, having forgiveness in our heart, and right action, we must lean on a loving God who will never forsake us. And, finally , we should not let the actions of some pull us into a decision which may lead to escalation, bigger and bolder actions that may lead to unresolvable conflict, and eliminate the good work which we have done in the name of establishing democracy in the Arab world. Which way to go--we should show restraint to the maximum. We know there is a better way. Peace through prayer, and diplomacy. Is this what our decision will be? Or, will "unrest" lead us to undesirable condequences? Consequences, that may be beyond our comprehension. Is there a resolution in this age of terrorism? Can we build a peaceful society? Is their a cost of failure? What is it? Can we afford that? The unknown--the moment of truth, can be unsettling and downright frightful and it's anxiety is not only regional, but world wide in consequences. We are sorely tested. We must show strength, constraint, and leadership, in a world begging example and purpose.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Key Words

Everyone is pickin apart the speeches by those who freely gave of their words of wisdom at the convention last night in Tampa, FL. Like "pay the bills down, so we can control our future." That one had to ring in the ears of most people. Another, we need to face the "truth." Wow, how many are willing to do that? Yet, if we are going to survive as a great nation, these two things are of utmost importance, affecting the future of America. Wouldn't it be wise to ponder these thoughts. Ann was criticized for sounding like a corporate wife, like she was out of touch with other women, (especially single moms), as if she could rewrite her own story. Keep in mind, you are a product of your own making, for the most part. Your decisions will affect your life as well as those around you. Both candidates wives are well above the standard of most woman. As her story goes, she lived a "real" marriage, not one without pain, suffering, sorrow and hard work, like those in storybooks. It was an uphill climb by a beautiful, caring person, and no one can take that from her. They built-it by their blood, sweat and tears. The key word I heard was empathy --it is "tough out there", everything has a great cost, including sports. Everything is going up and up, without question. We all know that this is not right. It is harder to achieve the American dream. Hopefully, we are smart enough to know that we can change it. We all know that the breaks have got to be put on, and we need real solutions now. Who will lead us out of this mess? The one who is tried and true. One who knows what hard work is all about. And, one who understands that the best he has will never be good enough. One who will have to give every ounce of courage and the toughest years of his life for a greater cause, --liberty. You know who I'm talking about...And what about Ann? She will have the same role she has always had, a supportive, strong, caring and loving woman behind her humble man, picking him up when he falls and pushing him ahead to achieve his goal of greatness.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Getting to the bottom -- the source

The common denominator is....the first course of action when you are ill,is to find the "root cause", the source of the discomfort. I read a caption this morning that said, "is your job causing you to"????? That started the wheels turning. Many diseases are related to stress. The better question is what causes you to be stressed and how can you eliminate it? The world around us is, let's face it, stress-filled. Yesterday, when I was cleaning the bathroom, I noticed that the soap container was low. In order to fill in, I thought I'd rinse it out, adding water and shaking it. The result was bubbles overflowing. Of course, they had to be removed by cleaning with water before new liquid soap could be added to the container. We are like that too. Most of us are just a step away from exploding, sometimes unaware. No wonder our bodies take on illness, like diabetes. We are taught from the time we are young to be controlled, never to upset the applecart. We should be agreeable. But happens when someone says something contrary to our beliefs? We say nothing, acting unaffected. Like a soda bottle, don't ever shake the merchandise, it has consequences. In a material world, we must also remember that we are made of substance,-- chemicals that react to stress and we can become unglued, sickly. It is a daily kindness to yourself when you learn to become still and remember that in "peace, let us pray to the Lord". Put on the robe of peace,trusting in the Lord. He is the mantle of health and all that is good. No matter what else is going on in the world, He cares for and will take care of you. I quess that's what it means to throw your cares to the wind. Give it over to Him today, and try to do something purposeful. Relax, He's got your back, trust in Him.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Real causes of Heart Attacks

Sometimes your sitting there minding your own business, reading a book, and then it hits you....someone has said something profound. Something that you wholeheartedly agree with. The subject of heart attacks is one that is little understood and for many years, has been attributed to our diets. A doctor named Mike, has come out to say, he believes that the two main causes are not being happy, and not liking our jobs. I can tell you that I am in agreement with that logic. How often do you hear that someone died from a broken heart? The fact is that someone who is lonely shows it in his or her demeanor, like having a weight on their back. We must have the will to live, experiencing joy and know what our purpose is. Do you know how to have fun? Do you know how to laugh? Some elderly say that they actually laugh out loud each day, improving how they feel. It's actually good for your health. Happily married couples are said to live longer happier lives. Emotion has everything to do with the quality of your life. I recall the dreaded statement, by a family member each Sunday, "I have to go back to work tomorrow". It added years to that persons life, like doing the work before even reaching the bench, robbing of time, and precious happy moments on Sunday. What do you stress over? That is what is killing you,-- a heart attack waiting to happen. Put aside all earthly cares, trust in God, who will provide for you. And be thankful for all things, especially, in the work you do. Make the hours of your life pleasing, for yourself and those around you. Live a joy-filled existance. Blame, worry, and fear are the capital sins that steel your happiness and deminish the life that you deserve to have. Fear is not a heavenly source. So when you look at life, and aging, look again....your as old as you feel and as old as you think you are. My grandson once said to me that what he likes best about me is that I like to laugh. Imagine! You should see me dance all alone in the kitchen while listening to the radio. Remember the old expression "whistle while you work". What is ageing you? Change your attitude. You do not need to add to the weight of your problems, life provides enough of them on its own. Don't listen to bad news repeatedly, tune it out. Can you hear me singing? Wow, life is fun. Choose to believe it-- bask in the joy of it and most of all ditch the negatives. Just put on a happy face. Happiness will change your life. It is the best anti-aging medicine that I know of and it's free for the taking. Unwind, your stress is killing you.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feeling Better with Good Balance

I've been researching foods for many years. What causes sickness, and simply, how you get back to feeling better. Since I am a bottom line person, here is what I've found. If you want to feel better, you've got to clean up your liver. So how does one know that the liver needs cleaning in the first place? A doctor with testing can determine if your liver enzymes are elevated, and therefore steps must be taken to reduce tissue acidity. This fact has been known for many years. Detoxify, before there is a problem. In other words reducing your tissue acidity. Inflammation in your body is the root cause of many diseases and aging. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet and go "alkaline." Remember, cancer loves acid. Sugar feeds cancer. So there you go. Most diseases can be related to diet. What to avoid when your ill or when your pH is higher than it should be is acid causing foods like---meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, grains, legumes and nuts, until you get back in balance. Usually, that's all it takes folks. A well-balanced diet is the key, to feeling your best. Years ago when some had a belly ache, they were given a teaspoon of baking soda in a 8 ounce of glass of water. What that does is alkalize the acid in your system. People who suffer from stomach acid reflux disorder benefit from eating a banana which is loaded with potassium the alkalizer. It really is that simple. We all need calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium in our diet, which help us to maintain good balance. We all need good balance in our lives which allows us optimum health.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Laughter helps to overcome fear

Often, I hear it said about my little grandson, that he is fearless. He can't tell us when he is or if he is afraid, but the response that we got when he saw Wally or the Easter Bunny made it clear. The trouble is when your fear is not overcome or dealt with in some way, it will grow. People will accept your situation, often providing the excuse you need to allow it to continue. All well and good, but the old law applies--give them an inch and they'll want a yard. Several posts ago, Peter began to doubt himself, expressed his fear while walking on the water, and he began to sink. Self-doubt or thinking you cannot do something, leads to "I can't and I won't. What will change your attitude? Not much... It is sad when everyone is having a good time and because your not sure you can,(having self-doubt will lead to fear, (founded or unfounded)causing you to miss out. You sit on the sideline watching everyone else have fun, while your miserable. If not overcome, you can bring those fears into your adulthood, sometimes, even magnifying your fears. Carrying fear around is burdensome. Time to unload it...Our pastor made it clear that we do not know how long it took Peter to get out of the boat, but that he did. Mind you, the boat was in deep water, being in the middle of the sea, in the dark of evening, with the winds boisterous, and contrary, the boat was tossed by the waves. Of course, he was afraid...once he realized what he had gotten himself into. Jesus said be of good cheer, do not be afraid, and Come. Peter "was told" that he had "little faith" and was called a "doubter". The truth is that we are all afraid unless we are assured that we are in safe hands. Lord, save me, are words I say all the time, just like Peter. God is quick to hear. Was Peter's fear justified? Who wouldn't have feared getting out of the boat--to walk on water nonetheless, given those conditions? Fear is overcome usually by taking little fears on, slowly, building confidence. First, are you aware that whatever it is, causes injury? It may be all in your mind. That's what my mom used to tell me. There are ways to help you overcome those feelings, sometimes you do in time. A sense of humor always helps. Its easier when its play and involved with others. It is nice to know that someone is around to protect and watch over you, with an outstretched hand, like Jesus. Just think of all the things that you could accomplish, though, without the anguish, worry and tears that drags everyone down, especially you, once you get a handle on it. I can recall my mom, who having had five children and no time for fooling around, would say, "never mind your dilly-dallying, just do it. We understood perfectly, especially, the "or else." Just get over yourself....and you can and will accomplish all the goals awaiting you in this lifetime, one step at a time. Jesus expects us all to "overcome" and get out of the boat. That's what He meant when He told Peter to "Come." We are capable of more than you know with the help of Jesus.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Into the Arms of Jesus

Does your faith call you to put it all on the line? Today, in the gospel reading Matthew 14:32 tells us what type of courage is expected of us. We have to assume that Peter who is a fisherman knows how to swim, has seen many storms in his life and knows what it feels like to be afraid, and regardless of the risk, he would go to Jesus. He trusts Jesus enough to ask Him to bid him to come to where Jesus is on the water, knowing full well that he couldn't do it on his own. I wonder if Jesus waits for us to ask. Several days ago, I went on a boat cruise where we got to see the waves rip around us on a sunny day, and for some, that was challenging. The attendant suggested to me that the boat headed for Martha's Vineyard, which was off in the distance, on a day like this one, with the seas waves (rough) 4 to 8', could see many on-board who would become ill due to the length of the trip. None of us would have gotten off of the boat to step into the sea. No matter what! Yet, that was what Peter did. This man showed courage, by stepping out of this wind-tossed boat in the middle of the sea, at night, all the while being told not to be afraid, and to be of good cheer. He did as Jesus said, and walked on the water. The initial steps were fine. How long can you walk on water and where does it take you? Peters walk ended when the negative thoughts began, and, consumed with thoughts of perishing, fear took hold of him and he began to sink, only to be caught into the loving arms of the only One that can ever save us. He will call us on that day, through the storm of our life, when we too must walk alone, calling out for Him to save us from the terror of the night to an unknown destination. But for now, Peter returned to the boat, safe and unharmed. The only question that Jesus had for Peter was "why did you doubt"? A good question for the world today. Yesterday, a teardrop ornament came in the mail. It was unexpected, but strangely, it was like a message from beyond from my brother, Stan who recently passed on. This tear drop glass ornament having a lighthouse beacon on it, was engraved with his name,and also had the two most important dates, his birth and death. It read: "Don't grieve for me, for now I'm free. I followed the path God laid, you see...Be not burdened with times of sorrow. I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow...Lift up your hearts, and peace to thee...God wanted me now; He set me free!In reading this, I have no doubt that in some way he was reaching out with a message of hope and that he wanted me to know that everything was going to be okay.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I have been taken on a roller coaster ride in the past few days, unlike any other. That is what happens when someone close to you passes away-- you become filled with emotions, like a dam that once held back, is now bursting forth, revealing a lifetime of information, at a torrential rate. As if all these thoughts aren't enough, the comments that others make, or things that you may observe, magnify this state, creating in you an awareness that becomes an overloaded circuit. At best-- an "informational overload". My mind is working "overtime". The what, where's and when of it all, while on the inside, your in often another place, trying to understand and deal with what your feeling-- Beyond sad. Other times, I'm laughing and crying at the same time. As a wise person used to say, "this too will pass" and "nothing lasts forever". It's this last one that I take issue with. Yesterday, I planted some flowers in the wood, next to my bird house. I did this thinking that when I look out of my kitchen window, I will be reminded of Stan and that living continues in all its glory, each thing having its special time frame and purpose. Even though it has its season, usually short, it will come again. Everything takes its rest. My brother is at rest, we haven't seen the last of him. It is helpful to remember some of the comments other's have said. One said that we all have our own special demons within us--some loneliness, sickness and poverty of all sorts. I think he was talking about the unknown sufferings. We saw the many physical ones. My cousin said, "he never caught a break" another said, "I wish I would have had a chance to speak to him, knowing he was afraid, I could have said something." Many diseases are inherited and he had so many of those ailments. Then came another comment "we're down to three." Where did the time go? Another said, "we all must go down the same road." We will all beat up on ourselves for our regrets and shortcomings, I'm sure. Another will recall his last words to him, at a party, that even though he slept much of the time, and carried an oxygen tank with him, he managed to enjoy himself very much, thanking his guest with a kind word. Stan was that kind of person, he always tried to make others happy, even if it was sharing a cup of coffee. I hope in some way, that he found happiness, too. Several days ago I learned something from two people giving their condolences. One said it had been forty years for her--you never forget. The other couldn't look me in the eye without sadness presenting itself, she turned away quickly. Stan, your presence will always be inside of the hearts of those who love you and in the safekeeping hands of the love of Jesus, forever. You are such a big part of us. Love is all you take with you and, at the same time leave behind. Christ gives us all the assurance of eternal life and eternal memory... I heard this song today, and thought of you......The song is by: Elton John, (Sorry, seems to be the hardest word) "What am I gonna do to make you love me... What am I gonna do to make you care... What'll I do when lightening strikes me.... and to wake and find that your not there.... what am I gonna do to be heard.... what'll I say when it's all over.....Sorry seems to be the hardest word"

Monday, July 30, 2012

Remembering Stanley

Stanley was the first born of the five children born in our family. I was the next in line, born approximately 19 months later which made us both immediate baby buddies. He was already sitting up and walking but, it didn't take me long to catch up, walking at eight months. As big brothers would, he'd share everything with his baby sister. I have vivid memories of him sitting on the wooden step with me, I was wearing in a pretty dress and had ribbons in my hair, he in a stripped t-shirt and shorts. We were both blue-eyed blondes. Stanley had eye surgery, due to the illness which crossed his eyes, "measles". It didn't stop this intellectual from learning, and books were number one on the list,(one summer, we were interviewed on WESO Radio, having completely read twenty books). Then came his rocking horse, and--Hop A Long Cassidy, a popular TV fare. We had, a very small picture TV that came out around 1948. I also recall that each afternoon, as we walked home from school for lunch, we would watch, cartoons and raising our glasses of milk, would say the pledge of allegiance of the flag. Of course, there was Clara Bell the Clown every Saturday morning on, "It's Howdy Duty Time". Along with Hi Ho Silver, and Buffalo Bob and many other shows, like Lawrence Welk and Ed Sullivan. Gosh, I even can recall seeing us in front of the set, wiggling our ears, (Micky Mouse Hats) that we would put on in the evening. He liked tinker toys, and building things, rubber stamps and had a coin collection. I know he had an interest in print and would use clay to capture comics from a newspaper. He was particularly proud of being able to speak French, which enabled him to engage in the language of my mother and aunts. Stanley was named after my mom's dad. He carried both grandfather's names as was the custom then, Joseph was his middle name. As I recall, even as a youngster, he wanted to help mommy and auntie Doris, who lived on the first floor getting into household things which got him into trouble. One day, he put comet all over auntie's floor, with his cousin, Susan, preparing it for a wash. This intellectual had difficulty learning to ride the red Columbia bike that my parents got for him, and I still can see my dad running after him, and picking him up after the crash. I recall, he was not the athletic type. The summer brought pic-nicks and fireworks and a circus that used to come to town, at Henry Street Field. There was always Sunday Mass and fishing which he didn't care for. We would fly kites and blow bubbles, and catch insects, to place in a jar. There were the usual birthday and Halloween parties. One time, he couldn't see where he was going and walked into a pole on the sidewalk, (getting a concussion was no fun). Holidays were special at our house. Stan loved classical music which he shared with me. I know he sang in the choir, but I don't remember that he had an exceptional voice like my sister Ruth. Photography was his thing. I recall the time he got one of those instantly developed black and white cameras which we could see the image as it dried. Thankfully, he provided many of the photos that he so proudly kept of us through the years. We spent many Saturday nights going to the drive-in theatre, Strand theatre, and bowled at the Hippodrome. Stan enjoyed purchasing movies for the kids to watch when they visited grandma, which became one of their favorite past-times together. Stan loved to eat, especially whoopee pies, and would buy us donuts when he came to visit. He was always just a phone call away. (Many knew he had to have a phone in every room.) I'll never forget how excited he was about his first new car. I think it was red. I remember his speech the day of graduation, being valedictorian of his class, having graduated from Cole Trade, as an electrician, which made the family so proud of his accomplishments. He always thought about pleasing others. Charity was at the top of his priority list. Many times he would surprise my mother with large appliances and purchased many things for the home, like dimming light fixtures. While he was in school, he worked under a school sponsored program, giving over his full paycheck to mom, to help care for our family, during the absence of our father, who was hospitalized due to illness. He loved going to New York to visit me in the city. Stanley was close to the family, keeping for us names, addresses and phone numbers. We could always depend on him for information and help, when needed. He was a 3rd. degree Knight of Columbus and former Exalted Ruler of the Fraternal Order of the Elks. The baton is now being passed on --as his remains will be placed over the mother he spent a lifetime loving, she having died some years prior from cancer, and along the side of my dad. Stanley, will be given a Christian burial on Wednesday, and will share in the hope of Resurrection and life eternal. We will see you again in a better place. Thanks for the many things you've done for us and for me and my family. Stan, may you know the peace of Christ and have the knowledge that you were and are loved by many, my friend and brother. I will miss you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Mercy and Peace

It is well to learn the meaning of these two words. We are at the mercy of others and we need to be merciful toward others. The result of mercy is peace. Your health is reflective on how your relationship is toward others. If your not healthy, your not happy, no matter how many wordly goods you may acquire. Stressful relationships can destroy your peace. Avoid stress and acquire Peace! Being nasty or unkind is a decision. Choose kindness. Be merciful and charitable. It is the better way. Learn to turn your head instead, avoiding conflict. Deflect injury when you can. Learning to avoid a fight helps maintain a balance within your body which results in good health. Be a good communicator. Look into the other persons eye, keep your tone down, and listen to what someone else has to say. Agree that at times you must disagree and that is okay. Work on patience, some things take time. And, remember the word "Love One Another". Some things are better left "unsaid." Work at not provoking another. Are you a muller? Someone who rehashes things that people have done to hurt you, whether in word, or something they did. Reliving negative events will take its toll over and over in your body. "Let it go". Some people live to hurt others, and they know how to get to you. We can't control others, nor are we responsible for their actions. Forgive, forget. Let go of the past. You can only exist in the moment. Sometimes, you simply must walk away, leaving it behind you. Try, and if that doesn't work, try again. Everything has it's limit. You've heard this before, "You reap what you sow." ....When you hurt others it comes back to you. What happens interiorly when thoughts are released from your brain and heart that are negative or harmful toward any living thing, or (yourself)is a reaction that destroys the natural balances in your own body, which result in illness, and sometimes death. One of the best ways to prevent sickness and aging is to keep the body in an even keel. A forgiving, positive, and prayerful soul is a well-tuned instrument created by God, who reaps the full enjoyment of their being, in good health, and exists in peace.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finding the Narrow Road

Are you on the road to destruction? Then, possibly you are over-stressed and over burdened, and most likely lacking peace. The peace that brings about healing. Some of us travel on the wide road until rather suddenly, we are slowed down. Did you ever feel like your on a roller-coaster ride and want to get off? You just want to stop the madness. Maybe there is time to smell the roses before it is too late. We are told that because of our stressed lifestyle, our health is at risk. Coupled with toxins, external and internal, we are literally dying with each breath. The quality of our life is determined by our choices and we want to be able to enjoy life to the fullest, not being robbed by sickness. So we exercise, exercise, exercise, throw out the cigarettes, a known carcinogen and we eat anti-inflammatory foods. We pay particular attention to our brain, stimulating the neurons with activity, avoiding alzheimer and dementia.Awareness of brain-killing chemicals and substances keeps us at realizing our best intellect. We are told that we can ward-off cancer by consuming proper nutrients, which are rich in protective spices, and anti-oxidants. Of course, we heed to the the required 7 to 8 hours of rest to assure good balance and repair. All this is good, but if you haven't "unloaded your stress," that which is causing you to become ill in the first place, you are waisting your time. Billions of dollars have been raised and utilized along with radiation, therapies and pharmaceuticals--to no avail. The secret to good health is balance. Bad habits produce bad result. Along with the stress that you have acquired over your lifetime, possibly you have learned and taken on to yourself undesirable behaviors, like undesirable eating habits, which help lead to your demise. There is a road to healing, that is the "road less travelled," which leads to healing, powerfully. Orthodox Christians are called to the practice of prayer, bible study, and the correct worship that opens the door to permanent and lifegiving healing. (Matthew 7:7)"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." (Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible). There is a factor which has been overlooked. Until you unload the burden that holds hostage your emotions, releasing that which prevents healing, spilling dangerous cortisol output into your system. This can lead to weak adrenals, sleeplessness, and ultimately poor health. It's like a drop in a bucket, or sweeping it under the carpet. The build-up will take it's toll, eventualy. The first thing we say at our worship service, (Liturgy) is: "In peace, let us pray to the Lord." Are you lacking peace? Becoming forgiving and calm, helps to silence "interiorly" unhealthy static and creates a balance that leads to spiritual and physical healing. And on this path of wellness, you will find happiness.

Friday, July 13, 2012

America Awakes

Today we awake to the news that our lawmakers are furious to learn that Olympic unifoms, as tasteful as they appeared, were manufactured in China. What a surprise! Many of the things I purchase today are made in China and other parts of the world. They are "willing" to work. Somebody has got to do it when we fail to produce our own for whatever the reason. It was noted that on a news clip, Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-Nevada, took particular exception to the out-sourced tailoring. Maybe we need to wake up and smell the roses, so to speak. This is not a recent behaviour, it has been going on in our country for a long time. If you want something done, you must do it yourself, an attitude which has fallen by the wayside, showed the determination of past generations to succeed, no matter what it took. Now, its, for the most part, let someone else do it. They can and they do. I for one, still dream of a day when I will wake up to find that our lawmakers are concerned with their jobs, like having a budget, for example. Lets roll up our sleeves and work together for a better America. All we need be is responsible for doing our "own" job. The question is: What did we accomplish today, or are we waiting for someone else to do the job for us? Especially, when we are elected to fill the job of the lawmaking of this great country. Wake up, America. The world is watching. Are we just beginning to open our eyes? When you do open them, do you like what your seeing? If not, let us work to change first of all our attitudes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The importance of a two-letter word

As a child, I heard people say that the biggest word in the dictionary was "if". If I were a millionare how different would my life be? If is a pretty big word. What about the word "no". This was always a word that carried it's weight. No is a defiant word which I never allowed my kids to use, or, if they answered me back using that word, they knew it meant --in modern terms, a "time-out". Parents are always the boss, at least they should be. That's how I raised my children, and that is how I was raised. Today I'm thinking that my little grandson loves to use the word "no" because he is aware of what it means. Learning to say "No" is a good thing, that perhaps, I can learn from my grandson. He has a little mind of his own. And, he is not afraid to express himself. If only I could say "no" to many of the sweet things that I know I'm not supposed to have, wouldn't I'd be better off? Today, I think the most important word in the dictionary, if people still utilize one, would be "NO." Should the word "NO" be supressed? Was Dr. Spark right after all? I wonder. How can I correct my little grandson from saying "NO" when I have to learn to say NO, myself? Maybe, "No" is not the biggest word in the dictionary, but it certainly carries it's weight.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thoughts of Ryan

I don't know why we compare one child to the other expecting them to be the same, cause it's rare that you find children even in the same house being raised under similar circumstances, to be alike. This is the case with my grandsons. Nathan and Ryan are simply not from the same mold, with a few exceptions. I can remember what an experience it was to toilet train Nathan. I think little Ryan must wonder why he is the only one that doesn't use the bathroom. Didn't know it was on his mind until this week when he was visiting grandma. Ryan doesn't talk very much, but he makes himself understood. I got the message when he carried the three pieces of his portable potty into the bathroom, and was trying to assemble them for use. His parents may find him trained before you know it. Ryan seem to catch on quickly. He makes all the sounds that his big brother makes when operating cars and airplanes. I think he has observed that good behavior gets rewarded at our house. On many occassion, he watched his brother insert a coin or two as a reward into his bank. One evening my husband observed Ryan wiping a coffee table that I had just washed. We were both so surprised that grampy reached into his pocket and, after praising his effort, helped him insert the reward into his blue, crayon bank. It must have pleased Ryan, as last week, after he pickup something off of the floor to "help" grandma, I responded with a thank you. Moments later, he came into the kitchen, holding onto his crayon bank, happily waiting to be compensated. It's still a fact that the second born doesn't have as many pictures, and, mostly and especially to his big brother, he'll always be a tag along. Many of the things that he does, we've seen that done before by Nate. But he sure knows how to be cute, and smart and truely unique. And, on quiet nights, such as this one, you find yourself chuckling at something that he did and you think about how special he is. I find myself saying that grampy and grandma are very lucky indeed to have two wonderful grandsons. Today, Nathan played T-ball with his mommy and daddy watching, along with Ryan. Daddy said he could hear Ryan cheering Nathan on from the carriage. Without a doubt, Ryan will be a ball player. They are both growing up so fast. Nate has lost his first tooth, while Ryan continues to cut-in new ones. This summer will hold many new adventures for both of them, and we'll all be a little richer for it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Two Angels in White Raiment Appear

Angels are our helpers. They do the bidding of God. They are known messengers. So why did two Angels appear in white raiment? And what news did they have for those who stood around them? This extraordinary occurrence is something that we must pay attention to. The message is clear, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand Ye gazing up into heaven?" The men were looking up as witnesses, an end of what was a victorious mission. Jesus, on Mt. Olives, Ascended into heaven, to sit at the right Hand of God, leaving a very important revelation to His followers. He promised to send the Holy Spirit, along with His commandment to "Go forth and proclaim His name to all nations." They were instructed to stay in Jerusalem, the place where the Holy Spirit came upon them. The two angels revealed that Jesus will come again "in like manner as you have seen Him go into Heaven." Today, we are like the disciples, given power by the Holy Spirit, and on a mission. A mission to the world telling them that Jesus did indeed die and has indeed risen from the dead. He also ascended into heaven, and is coming back, in the flesh, to judge the living and the dead. What this says about our humanness is important, as we are created in His image and Likeness. Do we appreciate our gift of life? How do we treat others? Do you stand up for life, the right of life from conception to natural death? It is time for all to understand that there is a greater accountability, and He is watching. Today, we celebrate the Ascension and the good news at the departure of Jesus, who in giving instructions said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen (Matthew 28:19-20). (taken from St. Michael Orthodox Daily Readings --The Ascension of the Lord, May 23, 2012)

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Presence of You

Through the years I have noticed that you look for someone that you love to be with and near you. It is like that each and every generation. It is the face that you need to see, it is the person that gives to you something very special, even without a word. It is that person, who without the knowledge of their closeness, provides for you a certain strength. In that one person, you have all you'll ever want and need. Nothing can go wrong when that person is near. And one wink or smile can set you to soar. You are that presence. It is the presence of love. Love that never fails and is eternal. What a strange and great mystery this is.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


I have been reading about Christian Bashing, and an event that took place recently in a high school located in California. The story is told by a journalism adviser, Rick Tuttle, for Union High School, who told FOX that Savage's speech was a "pointed attack" on Christian beliefs" that made many students uncomfortable enough to leave." I recall at seventeen, I was easily embarrassed and shy, but trusted in the leadership of our teacher's and principal's, and their integrity and somehow knew that we were protected from the likes of this kind of savageness. Certainly, our beliefs were private, and just as respected as we were. What has happened to our rights that allows bullying and bashing to occur in a high school setting? As thousands of students were present, shouldn't this adjenda have merited careful preview and planning? Finally, those responsible for all programs and lectures, upon hearing, should have put a quick end to this verbal abuse. As well, where is the response from our Christian Communities? I applaude the one hundred students who showed the courage to walk out. Rick in his article said,
"It became hostile.""It felt hostile as we were sitting in the audience--especially towards Christians who espoused beliefs that he was literally taking on." The courageous, who left, "were heckled and called pansy-assed." And, "while he was heckling them, other students cheered him on." That says to me, that the other's who participated were either, afraid to put an end to the offensive behaviour, or simply agreed with it. Freedom means choice. As Christians know fully well, that judgement is not ours, and you may also have the right to speak as you will, but it is also a Christian's right to hear only to the extent that they allow it. Calling people names will not get them on board with you, it is a waste of your precious time, which goes faster than you know. Instead Christians have more serious things to concern themselves with, like feeding the hungry and attending to the poor, and yes, even praying for those who persecute them.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Prophet

Today, we hear accounts from many "prophets" warning us of coming doom. People are beside themselves in preparation. But what right do they have to frighten people, unless they have an ulterior motive. We have had prophets since the beginning of time. Who then, do you believe? What is their source? Certainly, not those who are out there to make a profit on you.
I agree, if there were anytime that we needed sound prophecy, it would be now, as things are surely a mess, worldwide, (as they always have been). The only creditable source that I know of, is the Bible. The bible, which spans thousands of years of wisdom, and is the Word of God.

One of my favorite prophets was King David. In Psalm 89 (90) taken from the Orthodox Study Bible, we learn that God exists outside of time, that a thousand years are like yesterday. (Verses 14-17) teaches us that we should come to Him each and every morning, looking for His return at the Second Coming. He fills us daily with His mercy, joy and enlightenment, and becoming prosperous daily, we will find our strength and hope. We know success in averting spiritual warfare. For He is our help, shelter and refuge. This is where our victory will come from. We do not live in fear. He upholds us with His right hand. We are safe from all calamity, in a world that has always known nothing but, as it is in a fallen state. We must be at the "ready" at all times, seeing God before our face.

On Pascha (Easter) we learn that all has been provided for those who have put on Christ, through Baptism, and that he has given us the Victory through His Resurrection. Christ our Lord is the promised One to King David. (Luke 1:32) "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end."

What does this prophetic king, David, have to say to this generation? We find his words in (ACTS 2:22)
"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourself also know--Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, and have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it."
Today, like David, we can be glad. Having celebrated the Resurrection of Christ, as the many who have rejoiced before us, and those who will after us can say. Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

In other words, there is no such thing as death, to those who believe in Him, and have put on Christ.
In the words of King David, (Acts 2:25) 'I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken, therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope."
The only question left is this: Are you, prepared like the wise virgins?
(Psalm 119:105) "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
Maybe it's time to stop walking in the darkness and put on Christ, who is the only light in life, our only true HOPE, who gives us the promise of everlasting life in Him through faith.

Christ is Risen, Indeed He has Risen. And because He lives, so shall we live!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Our Right to Creativity

Appearing all over face book is the story where some people changed words to a famous song because they didn't want the word "God" to appear.

One song was written by Lee Greenwood, and it is a "hit" as far as I'm concerned. I gave this some serious thought, and while my opinion is just that, I read some responses that gave me pause. What are people trying to do? Do they think that they can remove God? Perhaps, it offends them to hear the word, God. I thought everyone knows this but, just in case, you will never remove God, He is everywhere present and He fills all things. It doesn't matter that His name is there or not, He still IS There. I'd like to see someone try it, if it were possible, because it is not.

I am sick of the excuses. It is wrong to change someones music, words to a song, or even creative art. We still have our opinions. Censorship is dangerous, as it places us on a slippery slope.

Commonsense tells you not to believe something just because someone says so, or because it is a "popular belief." Are you strong enough to stand up for your own position? If you don't fight for your rights, you will lose them to a "common voice," one you may not like to hear or agree with. Maybe you like to be swayed by the crowd, it is easier sometimes than making the wrong choice. That way, you do not have to be held responsible, if the choice is different, or unpopular.

I don't believe that the majority of people would agree that God should be taken out of the lyrics of Lee Greenwood's song, but only a small amount of cowardly people, who prey on the likes of innocent victims. Who better, than children who have no choice but to follow your sick propaganda.

I've got news for you. God not only is present, but He hears and sees all that you do. I'm sure somehow, that you do not need reminders about that either. What is it that your so afraid of?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Only babies are spoon fed

It comes as no surprise what this title means. It suggests that when you are an infant you must eat what is given to you. Mothers know that if a baby does not like it, it will come back at you as fast as you give it.

People need not be spoon fed when they are as adults, able to think and reason for themselves, through the gift of discernment.

Many have watched what has transpired on television recently concerning the death of a young man. Some, have rushed to judgement, at the suggestion of wrong-doing coming from an emotional voice, exciting the crowd. People now, "react" right or wrong. Discernment is called for here. What needs to happen is a careful analysis of the facts. Where did the information come from, and who is this person that said it. Misinformation can be deadly, as we learned recently in our own town, as someone thought a comment was intended for a loved one, and was not. A lethal head injury was the result. There will be no resolve, just pain.

Sometimes we get emotional and without thinking, take things too far. Justice requires a quieted and calm soul, and much evaluation, given the evidence. The situation in the case of the young boy shot dead, can become violent beyond nasty, if justice is not upheld, and people react, sometimes out of fear.

Who do you listen to? Those who say "Your not smart enough to think for yourself, and therefore you must be "spoon fed." Maybe it's someone of influence, who does not allow you the choice of making your own decisions, given the facts. Maybe it is a person of power, a bully. Questions mean that we "care" to find out. Freedom requires "choice." Being spoon-fed requires "trust." All response must be measured, carefully, not to injure anyone, at anytime.

People respond well to eating at their own pace, in the proportions that they choose, not being coerced when full, and not forced to eat what they do not like. They certainly would rather not be spoon-fed. Force feeding and the like, usually does not sit well, and you know what can happen after that.

While all that is pretty bad, especially the spitting up part, it doesn't top the refusal to eat. It's better to keep the peace at any age.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


We live in a society that has now noticed a sharp increase in "going alone." In America, 28% of households consist of one person. What has caused this increase of loners? Many feel that we have not adequately provided for this demographic change, and in some ways, have not addressed the need of especially the lone seventy year old persons, who in times of a heat wave, may need to be looked in on. These are safety issues,but there are many other concerns.

City life allows the lone person the social atmosphere to spend time at bars, or clubs, interacting with friends or neighbors. That number is said to consist of 40%. Small towns do not offer the same small housing units needed, nor in some cases, transportation, allowing them to connect with other people. Some are totally cut-off from society, and are sad and lonely.

What has caused this unnamed social change, which now includes one out of every seven, where living alone, does not necessarily mean being alone? Yet, in some cases there is an appeal of going alone. Sometimes it is a case of not settling for living with the wrong person, as in the past. It means not having to share with anyone else, and to keep what is mine. Not having to answer to anyone but yourself could be another reason. Doing what you want and when you want, could be another reason. All good enough for some but that could suggest other social factors not being addressed. Would they want to be with someone if that person were to be made known to them, somehow?

This lifestyle is sharply on the increase, for whatever reason, it has it's appeal.

Life is constantly changing here in America. Years ago, people were so community minded, and the more the merrier, is not the case now.

I for one, do not find these statistics healthy. It means to me once again, that sadly we are losing something rich and essential.

Our parish offers a community meal three times a month, with a growing need for many reasons. Feeding lone people is one of the reasons that it has become such a success. People tell us that sometimes, it is the only meal that they get to eat out with someone else all week. It is good to be with others, as there is nothing else going on in a non-city atmosphere most of the time, which is affordable. And for some singletons, it is an answer to prayer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Toll-houses is the teaching of the church

The latest rave on television, is from what I hear, the ability of the mystic to confer to other's information from someone who has passed on to the other side. The one question that no-one asks is how do you know that the information came from them. Could it have been from another source?

We have been studying the subject of life after death. The teaching of the Church will help to answer some questions on how mediums receive answers, as well as reveal the teaching of the church regarding after death experiences.

Answering this question, the church strongly presents it's tradition that St. John the Baptist, who was beheaded, went rejoicing to declare to those in hell, the good tidings of God having appeared "in the Flesh," (Troparion for the feast of his Beheading), while Christ was in the tomb. The gospel tells us what the three eye-witnesses saw on the Mount of Transfiguration, as they beheld Moses,(whose body was buried in the grave) and Elias, having never died, yet dwells in heaven. Yet, both were present at Christ's Transfiguration. There is no need to try to understand what the Church presents to us.Clearly, our spirit does not "sleep," just our body. Sleeping is a condition of inactivity in which it does not function, hear, speak or see. Clearly all of creation is in the care of a just and loving God.

The Soul After Death, Written by: Fr. Seraphim Rose, says the following:
'"For some sixteen centuries the Fathers of the Church have spoken of the toll-houses as a part of the Orthodox ascetic teaching, the final and decisive stage of the "unseen warfare" which each Christian wages upon earth. For the same period of time numerous Lives of Saints and other Orthodox texts have described the actual experiences of Orthodox Christians, both saints and sinner, who have encountered these toll-houses after death (and sometimes before). It is obvious to all but the youngest children that the name of "toll-house" is not to be taken literally; it is a metaphor which the Eastern Fathers have thought appropriate for describing the reality which the soul encounters after death." '

' "It is also obvious to all that some of the elements in the descriptions of these toll-houses are metaphorical or figurative. The accounts themselves, however, are neither "allegories" nor "fables," but straightforward accounts of personal experiences in the most adequate language at the disposal of the teller." '

The writer then goes on to tell us that in life we are unaware of the actual nature of the unseen warfare waged during our life until the eye's of our soul are open. We then can see "the actual beings who have been attacking us during our lifetime. There is no paganism, no occultism, no "oriental astrology," no "purgatory" whatever to be found in the Orthodox accounts of the toll-houses. These toll-houses teach us, rather, of the accountability of each man for his own sins, of the fact that at death there is a summing up of his success or failure in battling against sin (the Particular Judgment), and that the demons who have tempted him throughout life make their final assault upon him at the end of his life, but have power only over those who have not sufficiently fought the unseen warfare in this lifetime." '
' "The teaching of the toll-houses in Orthodox sources has never been defined as a "dogma," belonging rather to the tradition of Orthodox piety; but this does not mean that it is something "unimportant" or something that is a matter of "personal opinion." It has been taught everywhere and at all times in the Church wherever the Orthodox ascetic tradition has been handed down."

Saint Macarius the Great, one of the basic works of Orthodox ascetic literature (A. J Mason translation, Eastern Orthodox Books, Willitis , CA, 1974): "When the soul of a man departs out of the body, a great mystery is there accomplished. If it is under the guilt of sins there come bands of devils, and angles of the left hand, and powers of darkness take over that soul, and hold it fast on their side. No one ought to be surprised at this. If while alive and in this world, the man was subject and compliant to them, and made himself their bondman, how much more, when he departs out of this world, is he kept down and held fast by them (Homily 22, p. 171). But if whilst they are yet in the flesh, they shall with much labor and effort obtain from the Lord the grace from on high, assuredly these, together with those who through virtuous living are at rest, shall go the Lord, as He promised....(Homily 43, p. 274)."

Taken from "On Spiritual Knowledge" by St. Diadochos of Photike:

"If we do not confess our involuntary sins as we should, we shall discover an ill-defined fear in ourselves at the hour of our death. We who love the Lord should pray that we may be without fear at that time; for if we are afraid then, we will not be able freely to pass by the rulers of the nether world. They will have as their advocate to plead against us the fear which our soul experiences because of its own wickedness. But the soul which rejoices in the love of God, at the hour of its departure is lifted with the angels of peace above all the hosts of darkness (#100, p295)."

There are many sources that verify the demonic testing at death, even if one thinks the toll-houses imaginary. The teaching of the toll-houses is given us to help us overcome our lifetime struggles in order to avoid meeting with them after death, repelling the assaults of the dark spirits of the air. Orthodox Christians seldom hear such things nowadays, and owe much to the representatives who hold the Orthodox ascetic tradition, from the earliest centuries.

We are accountable to a "loving God" and must understand the judgment that death brings to us all. We must be spiritually awake, and put off the "old man" and ways that lead to death, knowing that we cannot be assured of salvation without the mercy that only Christ can give. We therefore, with the fear of God, struggle for the Kingdom of Heaven against all the unseen enemies who oppose our path. Orthodox tradition remains the same, no matter how few may follow it. Who do you believe? Not some mystic, I hope, with clearly an unknown source. It seems that the evil spirits are very aware of all that goes on here on earth and in the air while they remain hidden.

We are in the end, called to be the children of God, to put on Christ, our only
Savior. We are to be obedient to His commandments and do His will, loving our God, neighbor, and, to pray for those who have gone before us, especially on those special days assigned by the Church for that purpose, because of our love for them and to help them to a place of blessed peace, which is also our hope.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love is in the air

I have been happily sewing these past few weeks, usually in silence. During those moments, life stirring all around has taken on a joyful sound, which is the sound of love in the air. It is a joyful noise which nature provides from the animals which surround me in their natural habitat. Luckily, my home sets in a wooded area, which allows me the opportunity to bird watch.

They are the first to utter the breath of Spring. It is a "feeling" you get in the midst of the advent of life. That is, birds are busying themselves building nests, gathering. I've also seen snakes, and many ants, as well as other insects, and bees. I hear the distinct sound that cats make on the prowl, and have observed the pussy willows, now in full bloom.

Life is precious, all life. The changing weather, sunny days, and the coolness of the evenings, make the preparation for planting a priority, that is, if your to have a garden, or perhaps you will wait until the danger of frost has passed before setting plants into the ground. Whatever you decide, it begins now.

Each year, we still do spring cleaning, inside as well as outdoors, to rid the home of unnecessary accumulations that stifle our existence to some degree. If we allow our lives to be cluttered-in in any way, we will miss the opportunity of "newness" and "freshness" of life. It is a time for renewal. A time to break the habits of seclusion that comes with the darkness of winter, and breathe in life. Get rid of the clutter, both spiritually and physically, and you may discover as I have, that Love that is in the air.

Love is a many splendid thing, it puts a skip in your walk, a smile to your face, and a reason to live. Love springs "eternal." It is the song of life.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pink Slime Exiting

Just read that title, one of which does not require any explanation. It says it all. If you haven't been introduced to the yucky substance, your one of the lucky ones. I find myself wondering, oh heck, I just don't care to even think that I ate anything that contained pick slime. The fact is, we really do not know what we are consuming from one meal to the next, when we purchase our food in restaurants, or eat out at fast food chains. How about supermarkets? Is it listed on the package as an added ingredient?

Lately it was announced that the slime was being put into some meat sources. One more thing I am going to have to watch out for. Where did it all begin, better yet, when will this all end. We do not care to have any color slime placed in our meats. Years ago, we are appalled to learn what was in the hot dogs that we consumed, unless they were "all beef."

I'm glad that my grandchildren bring their lunch to school. Some schools are feeding this gunk to kids who eat in the cafeteria.

Just got through eating a nice homemade bowl of cabbage/bean soup, chunky style meaning everything but the kitchen sink, and pink slime, are in it.I could stay on the fast forever. No need for anything "pink." Maybe I'll become a vegetarian.

And, for a side note, I wonder how this affects the cost of the product. Maybe this filler is weighty and your paying the price in more than one way.

I hope to see "Pink Slime Exiting" in all the stores that I frequent. When it comes to one's health, there are more important considerations, than the cost.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Steel-cut Oats

Years ago I utilized minute oatmeal for cookies and recipes that called for oatmeal. At that time, it was also instant oatmeal for breakfast, and a quick fix for those on the run.

Today we learn that processing takes away some of the beneficial nutrients and that leaves us full but empty. We ate but did we get the full benefit of the product?

It seemed in our haste, it didn't matter, as long as we were out the door, able to juggle everything for everyone, in our busy lifestyle.

The end result of not eating properly is premature aging. That is, taxing the body to obtain what it needs to provide cells with adequate vitamins, minerals, proteins and healthy fats.

You become what you eat, pure and simple. Today I used steel-cut oats, which are the better product, however, timely in preparation. They are better than the old-fashioned oats that I am accustomed to using, and far better than the quick oats.

I used to hear the expression, "time is money" meaning it costs you to waste valuable time, especially, if someone is paying you to do something. Or, if your sitting around, what a waste of time, if you could be doing something else.

There is another way to look at time... If it takes you additional time to have a better product such as in your food preparation, that results in better health, isn't it worth the effort, when it means that you'll spend less time and money at the doctor's office? Can you afford to lose the benefit of good nutrition? Just think of what it'll "cost you" in the end.

Can you really have it both ways? Better nutrition is worth it's weight in gold in the long run. And just wait until you taste the difference...

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Bad Egg

The bad egg is not just an expression, but poisoning from a bad egg can make one extremely sick. Fresh eggs contain nutrients not found in other foods and are a valuable source of protein. They are worth their weight in gold, as the story of the golden egg suggests.

Today, I learned how to test for an egg that has gone bad. This happens when hens lay eggs apart from a nesting area, all over the place, and sometimes it is overlooked for a period of time. I read that eggs can be as old as two years in the marketplace. I sure hope that is not the case. The test for a fresh egg is so simple that it should not be overlooked.

Beside the checking for a good egg, normally an egg is cracked open and placed in a small bowl for examination before consumption, especially if you have a rooster who resides with the hens. Blood spots found within an egg, called meat spots are okay to use.

So how do you spot a bad egg? You lower an egg, one at a time into a deep bowl. It should sink to the bottom and lye flat on its side. That usually denotes a very fresh egg. If the egg begins an upward trend, it is still good as long as the bottom still touches the bottom of the bowl, pointing to the surface. This egg is about three weeks old. Should the egg float to the top of the bowl, it is not good. Throw it out.

A bad egg will be light in weight and give off an offensive odor.

I will take the time to examine my eggs more carefully now that I have learned why my grandmother dipped the eggs in a deep bowl before consuming them. I thought she was just washing them. Little did I know. These processes, now almost never done or heard of, can save your life, and much unpleasantness. The fact is that there is nothing better than a fresh egg from your own coop, which is starting to gain popularity once again.

Usually, eggs are washed for purchase in the store. I never knew that they should not be washed, as they have a protective coating. Store bought, are washed and I believe, oiled. It is important to be mindful of the freshness dates stamped on the carton.

The only way that chicks could be determined years prior, was by weight. There is a story told that after cooking a boiled egg, and cracking it open, a chick was discovered. Who knew!

My dad believed like many, that "the cure all" was an eggnog made from a fresh and uncooked egg, with a little sweetening, vanilla and fresh milk. So much is said today, that cooking food kills all the best nutrients in foods. We had many of his special shakes growing up. Today, it is unwise to eat a raw egg unless you know it was freshly picked from the hen that day.

Even those who suffer from heart conditions are allowed to consume four eggs a week. Soon we will not be fasting from eggs. It is tradition to color the eggs (red) in preparation for Pascha, or Easter, recalling the great miracle of Christ's Resurrection from the tomb, (colored on Thursday,) and delivered to church on Holy Friday.

As each person comes up to venerate the Holy Cross on Pascha, (Easter), they will be given a red egg, which has been blessed by the priest. This egg is a symbol of life and every good thing.