Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Raymond Chandler/Robert B. Parker

I was surprised by the similarities between these two books.
Strong, principled (albeit their own) gumshoes as the main characters, extensive description of clothes, alike endings.

Wille explained to me that Robert B. Parker actually finished writing a Raymond Chandler mystery that he was unable to complete before he died.

Fun reads, both.

Pray for priests

I'm so sad for those people who have stopped going to church, using the scandals as an excuse.
The church is so much more than men who have made mistakes.
Leading the priestly life cannot be easy. I'm glad that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen to remind us to pray for all priests.

This is taken from Ryan Duns, S.J.'s blog
He's a seminarian, studying to be a Jesuit.

Dear Lord,

we pray that the Blessed Mother

wrap her mantle around your priests

and through her intercession

strengthen them for their ministry.

We pray that Mary will guide your priests

to follow her own words,

“Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).

May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph,

Mary’s most chaste spouse.

May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart

inspire them to embrace

all who suffer at the foot of the cross.

May your priests be holy,

filled with the fire of your love

seeking nothing but your greater glory

and the salvation of souls.


Saint John Vianney, pray for us.

A little preview of my 4th of July card...

Happy Birthday, Dad

So underappreciated

I don't know too much about my dad's early life other than he had to leave school after 8th grade to help support his family of 5 brothers and sisters.
His father was a hod carrier, which I assume wasn't the best paying job.
I know he loved playing basketball.
He had a tremendous work ethic, first selling for Wrigley, then the rest of his career for Warner Lambert, whose best-known product is Listerine.
He worked long hours, always working on paper work at night, 
but never complaining.
He provided a good living, managing to send both his children to expensive private colleges, without the help of scholarships or grants.
His customers loved him 
and would always wait to hear Henry's latest joke.
(I don't know a single joke teller anymore.)
He would never keep customers waiting as he insisted on being early everywhere he went.
He was a snappy dresser,
always in a suit, 
and most often a hat.
He would scoff at our reliance on calculators today.
He could add a column of figures in a jiffy,
the longer the better.
He lived/loved his faith.
One of his greatest joys near the end of his life was training altar boys.
I imagine he was a strict, but proud, task master.
He was a wonderful husband to my mother, whom I realize now, 
probably was higher maintenance than I remember.
He shared his love of baseball with me.
Thank you, Dad.
I didn't tell you enough, but I love you!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Story of Forgetting

A family story, a learning story, a gut wrenching story.

Seth, a 15 year old boy who can only cope with the sadness gripping his family by pretending to be nothing, sets out to find his mother's relatives so that he can come to grips with her early-onset Alzheimer's.
These descriptions of its relentless march are so telling:
the death of speaking
the death of walking
the death of control over the bowels
the death of standing upright
the death of self-feeding
the death of crawling
the death of sitting up
the death of sleeping at night
the death of swallowing
the final death of the beating heart.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A lovely meditation for today

I am always shocked to realize that I must start at the place I am right this second and nowhere else. Right now I am knee deep in Legos ® and laundry, and this is the place I am meant to be. For me to live in the fullness of my call in this moment, I must accept this reality and start from here. Like spring before summer, I accept this as a way of cultivating readiness for what is to come. I long to race ahead to the place where I see greater fulfillment of my call, but staying mindfully in this space reminds me that in many ways, I am a beginner, and that is okay. In the company of my children, the blank screen or a fresh box of paints, each day I am learning anew the unexpected rhythms of grace. Taking the stance of beginner, honoring the flow of this life season, I'm already becoming the writer and artist I believe I was meant to be.

— Jen Lemen
FaithStreams Archives

I had totally forgotten about my Faithstream newsletter that I used to get daily. For some reason yesterday I decided to check my spam, which I almost never do. There it were with a lot of other interesting things.
Here's the link to the New Morning page which gives you another link to sign up for Daybook.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

CCI Salutes Independence
Open-House Festival
Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a non-profit organization that provides assistance dogs to people with disabilities, will hold an open-house festival at its Oceanside, CA campus for military veterans, active-duty service members, their families and friends on Saturday, July 11, 2009.

The event, CCI Salutes Independence, coincides with CCI's Veterans Initiative, a targeted campaign to increase placements of assistance dogs with disabled veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This community celebration honoring the U.S. Armed Forces is open to the public and admission is free!

Enjoy campus tours, assistance dog demos, children's activities, live entertainment and more!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
11:00AM - 3:00PM

Canine Companions for Independence
124 Rancho del Oro Drive
Oceanside, CA 92057

(760) 901-4300

another great book

I wasn't sure whether a story that takes place in Ethiopia would have any interest for me, but I loved it.

The characters were intriguing, the story unique. As I got nearer the end I was concerned that the pieces would all fit together too glibly, but the author threw in some ringers so that it wasn't a completely happy ever after predictable ending, but still satisfying.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wyanne and her Daddy

Wyanne, aka Annie, and her daddy

America had to sneak in this picture too

Who cares about a silly old agapanthus when the dogs are having so much fun?

Americans for the Arts

I'm not particularly fond of the new Newsweek, however the ads have taken on much more respectability.
This one caught my eye, maybe because of the brain graphic in the right hand corner.

It grabbed me enough for me to check out this site:

Part of its reason for being is to emphasize the importance of art in children's lives.
This page, artisimportant lists several reasons why art enriches your child's life.

This page, tensimpleways
gives you ways you can bring more art into your child's life.

Art smarts for all!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Oprah's Reading List

Several years ago I decided Oprah and I had nothing in common in our reading tastes. So many of her choices were full of misery for hundreds of pages and then resolved into cheer in the last three pages. I was determined not to fall into her trap

I broke my resolution for Julie, who said I must read A Million Pieces by James Frey. She was right. It was compelling, if not exactly true, as was later discovered.

Oprah called it right when she chose Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, as that is on my all time, all time best book list, having read it ten years before she chose it. But it did lead me to the follow up book, World Without End.

OK, a little more credence in her corner. Then she picked Edgar Sawtelle, which definitely did not follow her formula. There was fascination for hundreds of pages before the horrible let down at the end. It was pointed out to me, that my angry reaction to the ending (for days on end) only meant that it was a book I was passionate about.
I have to agree.

Well now comes her summer reading list, '25 books I won't be able to put down:
I was absolutely sure The Help would be first on the list. No where to be seen...
I hope some of you readers will check it out and tell me I'm wrong, but not one appealed to me. Help...

Woman's Day

Look at the cover of the newest issue of Woman's Day:
I had to send them my version of
celebrate america!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Help

This is THE best book I've read in a looonnnng time, even better than Guernsey, and you all remember how taken with that book I was.

It takes place in the early sixties in a small town in Mississippi.
It tells the story of a young, but oh so courageous, white woman, who decides to tell the stories of the black housekeepers, who are often horribly mistreated by their 'mistresses', yet love and care for their children as if they were their own, but also suffer daily humiliation, sometimes in the form of sharp commands, or just having their presence ignored.
The story is gripping, I couldn't put it down for days, yet, hated to see it end.
It's a subject I've never given any thought to, though I remember well how beholden my own mother was to our black maid, Lillian. She spoke of her often. I don't remember her, except mostly through stories, but I do attribute my desire to always having the radio on to her. That's a faint memory in my life. I can almost see her ironing to music or feel my little self being comforted in her bounteous lap with the radio playing in the background.

Mrs. Stockett's writing was superb and, while the subject didn't call for humor, she found some places to inject some intense scenes that made me laugh out loud.

So, Willie, now to the Lucy Pants, the water aerobics, I now get to add the Help!
Fair trade for Chief's?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

America and friends

Here she is with the ever lovely Crista

and meeting her half sister Wyanne, aka Annie

all tuckered out

Rod's new hobbies

I love that Rod has gotten both into gardening:

AND breadmaking.
Here's his Father's Day present:

A Kitchen Aid Pro model to get the perfect knead.

Didn't bother me a bit to retire my 39 year old Sunbeam mixer!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Cleverness of People

Using mombloggers to introduce the world to a new singer, but making it worthwhile because with every purchase of the CD, either through Amazon or Itunes, $1 is donated to a designated charity. How cool is that???
Here's a link to the full story:momblogging plus some links to some great momblogging sites, including my favorite, pioneer woman.
Thanks, Derek, for the tip! Can you believe how lucky I am to have a son-in-law who actually follows my blog???

Thursday, June 4, 2009

America's daddy and sis

Here's are two sweet pics of America's handsome dad, Alijah and her sis, Ariel

Who Knew???

I'm so grateful to Cindy for introducing me to a whole new needle art, afghan stitch, tunisian crochet.
It's a cross between knitting and crocheting, using one long needle that looks like a knitting needle, but with a crochet hook at the end. She was kind enough to get one for me.

She's working on a lovely scarf that I wish I had taken a picture of, but here are some other possibilities using the hook: