Saturday, January 30, 2010
I first saw Chris at the Middle School Rally last fall. He had the youth mesmerized with his stories. They were up singing and dancing with his songs. And now he is coming to our parish for a day full of community service and worship.
The community service will be filling 100 shopping bags with food for the needy. I can't wait for the youth to give a mountain of can goods away. The worship will be all day. Talks, singing, activities, sharing a meal, Adoration and Mass.
If you aren't in our parish, contact me and I can get you signed up. It is open to all youth, ages 11 to 13, and then some.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Due to the tiny nature of the glass and the strain in my back this task is painstaking. So I set the achievable goal of 2 pieces a day. I can do two pieces. It will take me cut to finish 30 minutes -- tops, with a 15 minute coffee break.
But really what happens is I do three or four or five pieces. Some are new to the window, others are recuts or do overs. Pieces that sort of fit, but not really. Pieces I can do a better job with.
So by setting an achievable goal of two; I meet the achievement with four and usually a cleaner layout.
So many tasks, projects, ministries would benefit from taking a piece by piece approach.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
But still one thing sticks with me about that time. And that is my boss described himself as a catalyst. Someone who has an idea of megabomb proportion and then runs with it. And lately with all the activities and ideas I have been involved with at the parish, I realize, I'm a catalyst too.
A crazy catalyst who doesn't sleep because the ideas gallop through my head. I have "visions" of how events should flow. Plans and ideas worked out to the very last foreseeable detail. And the worries for implementation that go along with it. Without a thought of being socially awkward, I contact people who are huge in their field, and ask them for stuff, or to reduce their fee. After all we are just a small parish in these tough economic times. The worst they will say is no. I've heard no before and survived. The best they will say is yes. I can live with that too, and move ahead with a yes.
And I wonder where all of this is going to take me. All I know is next November 21st I'm sitting down for a very long time.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The little boy thought for a moment then looking down at the starfish clutched in his hand, he answered, "It matters to this one."
The matter of one; it can be easily start with one piece of litter, one empty soda can, one flip top, one can of tuna, one sandwich, one used winter coat, one newspaper, one box top for education translating into a cleaner environment, a nickle for charity, money to help the families of seriously ill children, a dinner, a lunch, warmth, money for nonprofits.
Irena Sendler saw a problem and she acted, one child at a time. How lucky for those 2500 children she chose to rescue from the Nazis. Life mattered to each of them.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
When a person is being disrespectful to another person it is all I can do to bite my tongue. And when it is my own children, it takes a great deal of self control not to be disrespectful in my own way and thrash them right there on the spot.
Yesterday setting up for the parish breakfast the little ones tagged along to help. They have helped in the past, and have been great helpers. Yesterday was not the case. Yesterday when told to do a task, they full forced argued with me, right in front of the ten or so other people, all adults, who had calmly taken direction and scurried off to work. For some strange reason and after odd turns of event, I am in charge of these Sunday morning feedings of anywhere from 100 to 300 people. Making matters worse, I sent them off to play, which of course turned into fighting and whining. By the time I finished my tour of duty and was able to leave, my already high blood pressure was sky rocketing and the dears were asking if we could buy gum on the way home. Anger choking me, I couldn't speak.
This wasn't the first time they had embarrassed me. But after a calming 30 minute walk out in the fresh air, I told them it was the last time I would be bringing them out in public when they could easily be left at home.
So this morning they won't be working or partaking at the parish breakfast. They will serve Mass and then go straight home to have cold cereal; rotten mother that I am.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Do I care? Yes and No. No, not really. So he posed nude. But what caused the hairs on my neck stand up was hearing the news coverage of his stating his daughters are available. My question is available for what?
One of Mr. Brown's daughters attends his alma mater, Boston College. As a matter of fact yesterday, Mr. Brown's first day in Washington DC saw him fly down from Boston for 10 AM meetings, to have him fly back to watch his daughter play in a BC basketball game last night.
My question is, what if his daughter entered into a contest and was voted Sexiest Woman Alive. And what if she provocatively posed for a national magazine? What would we think of her? Would it hold open political doors? Would Mr. Brown be so quick to tout his daughters' availability?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
We sat down together, her pen poised, she asked, "What do I write?"
My answer, "Whatever you want. As long as it fits in with the moon theme, is 3 lines in length, with the syllable count of 5 - 7 -5."
She was stymied. What to write? I asked her about how the moon made her feel. I asked her if she ever thought about traveling to the moon? I told her she was in control of her poem. It was her world, her words, her universe to unfold.
As a writer, I know that writing is very liberating. I can create my own space, delve into mental closets and write out screaming. What a gift.
So I wrote a haiku on writing. It's predictable, but so what, it's mine.
Ink reveals the space.
Feelings, ideas soar, mature.
Paper holds no bounds.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Today, here, we dealt with an apple with a bruise, and having soup again for supper. We have a roof, a bed, blankets, food and water for drinking and bathing. We have electricity, phone, and family. Today I practiced the banjo and worked on a stained glass project. Our earth is not shaking and cracking.
It's a different world on the same planet. Are we one village?
Today a five year old was pulled out of the rubble that was once his home. The same rubble that killed his parents.
The Haitian Project. Think about it.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
According to the weather people in the know this storm was supposed to be over a noon. Well at noon instead of leaving it kicked in with a vengeance. There was suppose to be little or no accumulation. The 3 or 4 inches covering my backyard are a bit more that little or no. And it is still snowing, and has been all day.
Sleeper... I wonder what tomorrow's weather will bring.
Monday, January 18, 2010
What are you called to be?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Do Unto Others: Together
My sister Betsy is a Massachusetts teacher who decided to volunteer to teach high school for a year in Haiti. She is teaching outside Port Au Prince at the Louverture Cleary School, whose mission is to educate a generation of leaders to help Haiti emerge from its third world status.
Fortunately, all 350 students, teachers and staff were outside when the earthquake hit just 12 miles from them. Amazingly the school buildings remained intact, though walls surrounding the school were damaged. No one was injured seriously. They spent the last two nights sleeping on the soccer field.
The school is highly self-sufficient. It has a large network of solar panels and a huge well. So the teachers and staff decided they will turn the school into a refugee center, serving 1500 meals a day and sleeping over 400 people. There's plenty of fresh water and a kitchen staff from the local area that is absolutely amazing in their ability to cook lots of nutritious meals.
I don't know what this means for Betsy, but my guess is over the next six months she and the other teachers will help 350 students understand how to serve others. As you know the scope of the devastation is just becoming known, but the school wants to do its part in the neighborhood where they live.
US AID and the Red Cross are urging those interested in helping to donate money, not clothing or other items as there is no reliable distribution infrastructure yet.
If you are interested in helping Betsy's school and the people living in the neighborhood, you can donate on line here: http://www.haitianproject.org/donate.htm All funds raised go directly to the school and through them, to their suffering neighbors. We have been donating to the Haitian Project for nearly a year (as soon as we heard Betsy was accepted to the program), we can personal vouch for the organization and we have seen the people who benefit from the charity.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
It goes without saying that I love my family -- and I feel welcomed and loved by my husband's. But why why why do we not get together for the life of it. In the near future we will be heading to Alaska to visit Kyle and clan. We will spend more time in Vermont visiting family and friends. We will stop in Virginia to kiss the cousins and hug the kids. We will have impromptu family dinners. Funerals should not the only reason for families to gather.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Now, I put the pictures, under restrictions, up on facebook. After all I am sure these athletes would like to see pictures of themselves. And it turns out they do. Even to the point of using some of the shots for their profile. I'm flattered. But then the other fb shoe dropped when a couple of these high school boys invited me to be their friend.
What could we possibility have in common? I can't imagine they are interested in chiming in on my discussions on maple sugaring, stained glass or banjo for that matter. And God forbid we should share our thoughts on religious ed. or parenting.
I mentioned my latest fame to my track star, and we both agreed that they have no idea who they are friending in fb. Imagine a fb lineup... Okay pick out the person you have asked to be a friend. No, it's not the gum chewing cute high schooler with the point and shoot in her hand. It's the older, gray haired plumper person with high water jeans wearing a hat that doubles for a tea cozy. Yes the very nonstylish person feverishly trying to figure out the best settings on her new fangled camera.
The news will be spread at practice today a la Wizard of Oz style, "Don't friend the person behind the camera. She is my mom."
Sunday, January 10, 2010
My husband surprised me with an early Anniversary present: a new SLR digital camera. YAHOO! Less than 12 hours after taking delivery, I used it for the first time at a local track meet. Getting used to the new operating system; there was no love for the beast. But halfway through the meet I was able to trial and error my way into a few shots.
I'm feeling the love.
Friday, January 08, 2010
Yesterday I helped a friend pick up a computer desk with our truck wanna be type vehicle. Ten minutes the job was done -- no worries, no strain. Sometimes it pays to have a gas guzzler.
Last night I had a dream this same, truly wonderful friend, asked me to return a sofa to the local furniture store. I was all in a quandary about whether she really wanted me to help her lug this huge piece of furniture out of her house and then drive down the road with it hanging out the back of vehicle. Crazy. In the end all she wanted was a ride to the store to ask the saleman to come and pick it up. Crazier.
Then this morning I am faced with the usual morning dilemma of what to cook for dinner. "It's 6:50, do you know what you're having for dinner?" One of these days I will answer that question with a yes, reservations. I've been doing a lot of cooking this week, soups, stir fried chicken, boulettes, an Italian sausage chili... I'm really not in the mood to cook, and my afternoon cooking time is complicated with appointments. So whatever I come up with has to be ready early.
Maybe a Shepherd's Pie... We have a ton of potatoes...
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Today I had a 2 and a half hour lunch with a dear friend from high school. We were in the same grade. He had a thing for my sister. They even dated for a while; a short while. We were friends. Now fast forward 30 years when we run into each other a noisy class reunion. Except getting older, I think we both sort of look the same. Okay, I'm fatter, but we won't go there. We tried to chat over the din, but finally agreed to have lunch sometime.
Well that sometime, after over a year, was today. We met a local place and when he walked in there were no big hugs or crazy expressions of affection. I saw him. He saw me, and I said, "Hi Bob." He said, "Want lunch?" I replied, "Yeah." Such conversationalists.
Over a couple of sandwiches we discussed life in general, travel to this country's beautiful national parks in specific. He brought his computer that holds a billion pictures. He was always a great photographer. We looked at them all, oooohing and ahhhhing. Comparing for light and color.
We parted as we always had, as friends, a brief hug and with the promise to do lunch again sometime. And hopefully, sooner than later, we will.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Forget the continuity for the youngsters, forget the sense of belonging, and still you have a parental and transportation nightmare.
When the presentation was over, I thought, and I gave up practicing my banjo for this? They are looking for parental feedback. They will have mine.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Earlier in the day, we had gone food shopping and the Auggie Doggie was his usual self; riding shotgun to the store. As we walked to the trail, he walked along with us, tail wagging. But ten minutes into skiing, we found him motionless, barely breathing, lying across the path.
You are missed.
Monday, January 04, 2010
And to top it all off, it's snowing, and there is school. It would have been wonderful to have a snow day. A do over; an unexpected day to play outside. A day to put the laundry, cooking and cleaning aside. Instead it's making lunches, school drop offs and pick ups, religious ed., dance and clarinet. Start working on the parish breakfasts, and food shopping.
How crazy would it be to let the girls sleep and declare today a family holiday?
Saturday, January 02, 2010
It will go into the shop, but I suspect this 9 year old camera is about to meet its maker. And it is with mixed feelings that I contemplate a new hand held viewer of the world. This camera has been there for the birth of my last, the many family gatherings, my niece's wedding, World Youth Day in Australia, my brother-in-law's wedding, and a multitude of walks in the woods, fishing trips, birthdays, Christmases, sugaring seasons.
The lens cover went missing too many years ago, and the port covering fell off somewhere in Hawaii. The everyday lens isn't even a digital one, but my old tried and true from my old Elan IIE. So many memories tied up in the over 20,000 plus images captured at my finger tips.