Friday, July 31, 2009

A 20 minute wake up call

I highly recommend you spend 20 minutes watching the video at this link:


I'm not sure where I heard about it and put off watching it for some time, but it's an excellent presentation and an honest statement about the mess we've gotten ourselves in, but gives several solutions to right some of our wrongs.
Let me know if you watch it!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

just in case...

Originally uploaded by andrewlee1967

you haven't seen your cow today.

A great CCI video!

Read the heartwarming story and learn more about CCI here:

St. Martha

St. Martha

This from: catholicsaints

Feastday: July 29

Patron of cooks

"Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique statement in John's gospel tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Martha, her sister, and her brother.

Apparently Jesus was a frequent guest at Martha's home in Bethany, a small village two miles from Jerusalem. We read of three visits in Luke 10:38-42, John 11:1-53, and John 12:1-9.

Many of us find it easy to identify with Martha in the story Luke tells. Martha welcomes Jesus and his disciples into her home and immediately goes to work to serve them. Hospitality is paramount in the Middle East and Martha believed in its importance. Imagine her frustration when her sister Mary ignores the rule of hospitality and Martha's work in order to sit and listen to Jesus. Instead of speaking to her sister, she asks Jesus to intervene. Jesus' response is not unkind, which gives us an idea of his affection for her. He observes that Martha is worried about many things that distract her from really being present to him. He reminds her that there is only one thing that is truly important -- listening to him. And that is what Mary has done. In Martha we see ourselves -- worried and distracted by all we have to do in the world and forgetting to spend time with Jesus. It is, however, comforting to note that Jesus loved her just the same.

The next visit shows how well Martha learned this lesson. She is grieving the death of her brother with a house full of mourners when she hears that Jesus has just come to the area. She gets up immediately and leaves the guests, leaves her mourning, and goes to meet him.

Her conversation with Jesus shows her faith and courage. In this dialogue she states clearly without doubt that she believes in Jesus' power, in the resurrection, and most of all that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus tells her that he is the resurrection and the life and then goes on to raise her brother from the dead. Our final picture of Martha in Scripture is the one that sums up who she was. Jesus has returned to Bethany some time later to share a meal with his good friends. In this home were three extraordinary people. We hear how brother Lazarus caused a stir when was brought back to life. We hear how Mary causes a commotion at dinner by annointing Jesus with expensive perfume. But all we hear about Martha is the simple statement: "Martha served." She isn't in the spotlight, she doesn't do showy things, she doesn't receive spectacular miracles. She simply serves Jesus.

We know nothing more about Martha and what happened to her later. According to a totally untrustworthy legend Martha accompanied Mary to evangelize France after Pentecost.

But wouldn't it be wonderful if the most important thing that could be said about us is "They served"?

Martha is the patron saint of servants and cooks.

In Her Footsteps
Dorothy Day said: "If everyone were holy and handsome, it would be easy to see Christ in everyone. But it was not Christ's way for himself. Ask honestly what you would do when a beggar asked at your house for food. Would you give it on an old cracked plate, thinking that was good enough? Do you think that Martha and Mary thought that the old and chipped dish was good enough for their guest? It is not a duty to help Christ -- it is a privilege." In what ways do you serve Christ others grudgingly or sparingly? How can you serve them the way Martha served Christ, putting her whole self into it?

Saint Martha, pray for us that we might serve Jesus better. Help us to overcome our distractions and worries to listen to his words and be present to him this day. Amen
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

This from today's readings in Magnificat


Response: Look kindly on the prayer of your servants, O Lord, our God.

You have called some to the service of work and some to the service of prayer:
-grant us mutual respect and support as we seek to further your kingdom. Response

You have called some to serve in public ways and some to serve in the privacy of the home:
-keep us all faithful to the tasks you have give us. Response

You have called some to serve in active ways and some to serve by suffering:
-sustain us all in faith, hope and love. Response

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

proud of myself

Spending the day with such caring, artistic people was certainly a highlight, but I have to say, finding this and getting it made in time for Lila's first birthday is exciting too.

A Day of Joy - International Quilt Festival, Long Beach

It was so much fun sharing the day with San Diego friends, Paula, Davi, Chris and Cindy, meeting long time friend, Mary Ann,
and sister-in-law Lynne and her friends, Joanne and Cheryl.
Missing, to our sadness, Willie, Kathy and Rita.

I'm sorry I didn't document artist's names better, I'm also sorry as I always am, that I didn't take pictures of such dear friends, and even sorrier that my cow picture didn't come out.
You'll have to visit Davi's blog,
to see the cows and the artist's comments.

Here's a slide show of what I did capture:

Here are some photos Chris took, including the cows!!!

It's only a tiny fraction of the phenomenal creativity in abundance.

America, Sis Andia, and buddy, Francie

These were taken at Sonda and Tom's fun meetup event, A Poker Party in the Park

Farmer Rod's beans

The field mice are having a field day with the tomatoes, but Rod's beans are alive and well!!!

Davi's trip

It was such fun hearing about Davi and her family's trip to Italy, before, during and after.
All 16 of them flew together to meet 21 Italian relatives.  They had a grand reunion which Davi has recounted in words and pictures, both on her blog, 
and on Facebook.

The best part for me though is the lovely gift she brought home to me,
gorgeous RED beads straight from Venice.

Thank you for such sweetness, Davi.

From Magnificat today

It's a common mistake to think that God's "works" and "mighty deeds" are told only in Scripture. Every person's life is God's work of art, an expression of his creative love, his goodness, his compassion.

from Psalm 145:
The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all, compassionate to all his creatures.

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Katie and Derek

It was a beautiful July day, two years ago, when Katie and Derek professed their love for each other.
I hope each day will bring them more and more happiness!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad

Lila Caroline Selstrom

Henry Bernard Dietz

married, Little Rock Arkansas,

July 26, 1933

This would've been their 76th anniversary.
I'm guessing they didn't plan it that way, but it coincides with what used to be the feast of St. Ann. The church has now changed it so that she shares her day with her husband, Joachim, and this year, it doesn't even get celebrated at mass since it falls on a Sunday. I still faithfully carry on my mother's tradition of praying a novena to St. Ann, starting on July 18th and concluding today, July 26th. I pray with gratitude for the many blessings in my life and petition for continued care for my family and friends.

Who can say what their parent's marriage was really like, especially when they died when I was too young to be much interested in anything but my own life, but I must mention one of the most awesome rituals they carried out every night, praying together before retiring, on their knees!

God bless you , Mom and Dad, for the gift of life, my faith, and the prayerful example of your marriage.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mike and Lila

A rare visit from Michael to spend time with his niece.

A Facebook Wonder

How on earth Lisa found me after 37 years is beyond me, but I'm very excited she did.
Imagine, so many students remembering their 2nd grade teacher after all this time and probably even more unusual is that I have so many clear memories of them.
It was a particularly fun class. We made an educational film called, There's Nobody Else Like You which involved a field trip to the zoo.
The down side though was having to wear the same dress three days in a row.

I'm looking forward to hearing more from them.

I told you Facebook was cool!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A flaw in the system

As magical as it is, ordering my book requests online and having them delivered free of charge to the library of my choice,
there is a drawback. I only order the best of the best and then I can't stop reading.
An entire lovely Sunday, 'wasted'. That's Rod's word, not mine, as his nose is in the latest Lee Child best seller I ordered for him.
Reading this book:

can in no way be considered a waste of time.
The writing is superb, recognized by Barbara Kingsolver, who granted it her sought after Bellwether Prize.
It was recommended as a companion to Help, but it tells a far more gruesome story of racial prejudice.
I read it in one day; need I say more?

More Peter H. Reynolds

I still can't get over the wonders of Facebook.
If you follow my recent posts you'll see that I added some links to books by one of my most favorite children's author/illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds.
Peter H. Reynolds

He caught my attention once again, because Patti Digh,
author of the renowned book, Life is a Verb, mentioned him, not once, but twice, in her Facebook posts in the last few days.
You may remember from a previous post, I said, "When Patti Digh speaks, I listen." I love that she loves him too.

She posted both on her blog and on Facebook, Peter's remarkable animated short, He was Me.
Click here:

Anyway when I was searching I looked at Peter's website which had a Facebook link. I followed it and he graciously accepted my invite. Now we're friends!
I'm a happy person!

This is a link to more PHR wonders for you to enjoy.
Fablevision Library


I was totally blown away by this book. It chronicles the accident of Cathy Cimmins' husband when he is severely brain injured, and his subsequent 'recovery'. Actually there is never full recovery for a TBI patient. It is an ever-after sort of illness that can rear its ugly head at any unsuspecting moment. This book is full of horror, humor, intelligence and gives a very realistic picture of the monstrous effects TBI can have, especially on the family.
Thank you so much, Davi, for the recommendation. I was skeptical at first, but it's definitely a 5* book.
I found it equally as fascinating and informative as this book:

On a totally different note, for those of you who are still reading, thank you for your clicks on the Amazon links, and especially for all 4 of you who actually ordered books from my recommendations (or one of you who ordered 4 books). I was pleasantly surprised to find that I've actually earned $1.58 toward my Amazon addiction!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lila Rose Kennedy

I can't believe I've never heard of her before or that I can't find out anything about her.
All I can do is find posters of her darling prints all over the web.

Here's a small sample:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hello! Hello! Hello!

Hello! Hello! Hello!
Originally uploaded by karenmp56

cute, huh?

Babies and Pups

what could be cuter?


This was taken yesterday when I still loved her.
Today after she's harvested two tomatoes I'm not so sure.

Peter H. Reynolds

I'm so happy to see one of my heroes, Peter H. Reynolds, get some recognition.
His vision for children is extraordinary.
His books can't help but touch the children in everyone of us.
I hope you'll watch this short video which explains a little of why I'm so in awe of him, then VOTE!

If you love art/artists and/or children, read these books!

Here's another sweet Peter H. Reynolds creation:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Many more photos to come from a busy week

but I wanted to highlight these first to showcase Cindy McQuade's beautiful glass pieces.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Now here's a list!

This book recommendation list from Daily Candy, Books
is far better than Oprah's list.
I checked them all out, most received 4 or more stars on Amazon (funny that I never rate books on Amazon, but am totally guided by Amazon readers reviews).
I've already ordered a few from the library.
Happy reading!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Another intriguing read

Another title might be PATHOS at it's best or worst...
Not being a fan of short stories, I was surprised by how engaged in this book I was. Olive is an unusual character, someone you may love to hate. Her husband, at one point, decries her self-importance this way, "In all the years we've been married, all the years, I don't believe you've ever once apologized. For anything."
In some of the chapters she's the central character, in some only a vehicle to introduce another's story.
One of my favorite stories, near the beginning of the book describes how she gets revenge on the woman who 'steals' her son through marriage. Quite hilarious.

I'd love to hear from someone else who's read it...

Prayer for today

from Magnificat
God of all peoples and nations, you have called those who live in this land to pursue your vision of freedom, justice and peace for all.  Keep us faithful to your gifts, that we may use them for the world's good and the good of our own nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen