Today is the last day in November. I can’t believe how fast the time is going. I have been cutting out fabric to make pillow covers for my daughter for Christmas. I also have gotten the supplies to make casserole carriers for each of the girls. And new table runners. I have quite a bit to get done. None of it is too difficult, just takes time.
Yesterday was the beginning of Advent. It’s a time when we prepare for Christmas. The birth of Jesus Christ our Lord.
So much of our preparations have lost the meaning for celebrating. Decorating, baking, shopping, partying…the list goes on and on. But do we stop and think about the why? Over the years Christmas has taken on a very secular meaning and so has Advent.
Advent is a time to prepare spiritually for the miracle of Christ’s birth. A time to cleanse our spirit in readiness to receive the New Born King. A time of introspection. A time to be prayerful. A time to be penitent. A time to be joyful in anticipation.
There is nothing wrong with the shopping or decorating or baking in preparation for celebrating, but without spiritual preparation too, we lose so much of the joy of Advent.
I always love when Advent arrives. It means that Christmas is just a month away. When I was a child we had an Advent Wreath. We used it in the beginning, but as the season wore on it was forgotten. I guess that’s the price you pay when both parents work. Too much to do in too short of time.
Again, when I married and started my family I had an Advent Wreath. I was in nursing school at the time. After nursing school I began working nights so the practice of lighting the Advent Wreath fell by the way side. Actually, when my children completed 8th grade CCD, I let my faith go by the wayside too. Something I am not proud of.
So this year I treated myself to an Advent Wreath and I am so excited to begin the practice of lighting it at supper time. I had to research the prayers and blessing for it. I was surprised that now a Christ candle has been incorporated into the practice. On Christmas a white center candle is lit. Often a white pillar candle is just added in the center of the wreath, so no new wreath is necessary. As I think about this I see that it is a very appropriate option and one I may include in my new tradition. I have three grandchildren who live close by. I am anxious to teach them about Advent and the importance of the season.
Daily Reflections for Advent & Christmas by Bishop Robert F. Morneau, is a wonderful little annual book that my parish distributes to us. It contains what Scripture versus for each day as well as reflection on them and a concluding prayer. I got mine last night after Mass. I really like how Bishop Morneau uses down to earth reflections bringing God’s word into today’s life. If you have an opportunity to get one, you won’t be disappointed.
I am hoping that during the Advent and Christmas seasons, I will come to better terms with my husband’s death and the consequences he left behind. I miss him and I pray he is with the Lord.
Happy Advent & God Bless!
I will be spending Thanksgiving with my family. My daughter Kelly is doing most of the cooking. We’ll be at her home for supper with Joe, and the kids Andrew, Aidan and Alannah and the 7 cats. Well she says they have seven, I have only seen 3. They stay pretty well hidden when company is around. Sam and Stephen will be there as well. Actually I drove to their place and will ride with them to Kelly’s. That way I can stay longer and I won’t have to drive at night. Joe, my son in law’s dad will be there too.
Today we spend with family and close friends. It’s all about the turkey dinner and pumpkin pie. The chilled eggnog and football. But it is also a day to give thanks to the Lord for all of the blessings he has bestowed upon us. Family, health, friendship, food, clothing, shelter, safety, love, education…the list goes on and on. It’s necessary for us to know that without God we would have none of it. In 2016 it is very hard to imagine not having these things. But there are millions of people living today that don’t have what we take for granted. Many in our own country are lacking the very basics of human need. So, enjoy the turkey, eggnog, football and family…but say a sincere thank you to the Lord for his blessings and whisper a prayer for those without.
I am actually speechless at the behavior of so many of my fellow citizens. To be carrying on because their candidate did not win. I think that the media is playing a huge part in this craziness. I haven’t liked our president for eight years. However, Mr. Obama is my president, for that reason alone I show him respect. To do otherwise, in my opinion, would be unpatriotic.
After elections we all must make peace with the outcome, put our personal feelings behind us and work together for the betterment of our land. It’s important to remember there is always a loser in an election.
I won’t turn this into a political post stating my reasons for voting for whom I did. I am just saying that ya’ll need to put your big boy pants on and grow up. There is a lot of work to do in this country, we need to give Mr. Trump a chance.
OK, on to other things. My friend Iris is in town for a few weeks and we have been getting together to do a little sewing. I am having such a good time. I’ve pulled a couple of patterns out to make the girls (daughters and daughter in law) table toppers. I always try to give them something holiday themed. It’s not always Christmas, sometimes I do Halloween or Easter. So I have them ready to go. I actually cut one out this morning.
I have finished another book. Water for Elephants. It was good. I recommend it. I didn’t see the movie and I probably won’t unless it comes on TV. I don’t usually go to the movies. If I am going to see a movie made from a book, I always try to read the book first.
So, Thanksgiving is coming up. This is the first year in over 40 years I won’t be hosting Thanksgiving dinner. My oldest, Kelly, is taking that over for me. I love having everyone here, but being by myself now, I am really not into it. And I was much younger when I took it over from my mom. So I am happy to pass that over to her. Of course we are all making a dish to take. My grandson loves my sweet potato casserole so that’s what I will be taking with me.
It’s sad when I think about how few there are of us now. My parents are gone, my brother and two cousins are gone, I am not sure about the third cousin because he dropped off the face of the earth years ago. My aunt and uncle are gone. So it’s just me left on my dad’s side with my children and grandchildren. Life goes on and it’s up to us to make the best of it. Right?
On my mother’s side I had two uncles who are both dead, and two aunts and one of them is dead. There were also four cousins and one of them is dead. I had lost contact with my mother’s family in 1960 and last saw my Aunt Anne and three cousins in 1958. When I was in PA for Gary’s Celebration of Life we had a reunion. My Aunt Anne and my cousin Joe came to the service for Gary and the next day we went out for a wonderful lunch. It’s amazing how you can reconnect with people on ancestry.com. My other two cousins are in California. Joe and I are making plans to fly out to see them within the year. It will be so cool seeing them again.
Speaking of ancestry, I have gotten back to the 1600’s on my dad’s side and that on Gary’s mother’s side. It’s so much fun looking for your ancestors. It’s easy too. I can sit for a few minutes and work on it while waiting for laundry to get done. I think that’s why I am getting so much done on it.
Well I hear the dryer buzzing so will end it here. Have a good day.
There are a lot of important decisions to be made today. Think, pray and vote. Please vote the issues, not the personalities or the media presentation of the candidates. We have a chance to make changes in our country with our votes.
I have a guild meeting at 10 AM this morning. I haven’t been there in so long. I still have not done any sewing since I have been home. I’ve been too busy trying to get my house in order. It’s coming along, but there is still much to do.
Have a good day!
Today we choose our next president. Both candidates in my opinion have faults. Our responsibility as Catholics is to vote for the one with the least offensive of these faults. But, not offensive just to us, but offensive to God.
This is the year we can overturn Roe vs Wade. It’s the year we can stop abortion. So many lives have been lost due to this scourge in our society. I believe that a women has a right to choose what happens to her body, but not the right to murder an innocent child. Her choice lies in deciding whether to have indiscriminate sex or not. That’s where her rights lie. Abortion has become for many, a form of birth control. I doubt that the Supreme Court had any idea what their decision would create.
I realize that one of the reasons given for the need of legalized abortion is that women are raped and become pregnant or are carrying a child with birth defects. I don’t believe that murder is the answer. We as a society are smart enough and strong enough to come up with a better solution.
On this issue I can speak from experience. I had a very complicated pregnancy and was continually told by my physicians that I should abort my baby. I fought them on this and delivered a baby boy four months early. He was beautiful. A perfectly formed person. Yes, he needed to be in the NICU on a ventilator, but he was a person with his own personality. I shudder when I hear that women abort babies at the stage my son was born.
Women believe the lies that Planned Parenthood tell them. This is the largest abortion business and it is funded with our taxes. Now, I take offense with my tax dollar being used this way and you should too. I heard Hilary Clinton say on TV that she supported Planned Parenthood because they offer women counseling, mammograms, and other health care issues for women. I can tell you that it is a bold face lie. Give Planned Parenthood a call to schedule a mammogram. They will tell you they do not provide that service. So, instead of our government using our tax money for feeding the hungry, or for health care issues, they (we) use it to murder innocent lives.
Now, this right to decide to abort comes with many complications. After believing the lies that the baby she is carrying is just a lump of tissue and she aborts, she develops many problems. Sometimes they are physical, but always there is emotional and psychological problems. The decision to just take a life is no answer to an unwanted pregnancy. There are other options.
This decision, Roe vs Wade has led to a clear disrespect for life. When will our country realize that we are headed for a terrible place if we do not stop this lack of respect for God’s laws. Today it is legal to murder the unborn and marry someone of the same sex. What comes next?
So I ask you to please go over the candidates platforms, pray about your decisions and vote. Voting is a private privilege and responsibility.
God bless you.
Good morning all! It’s a beautiful, sunny, mild day outside. I am sitting here in front of my office window just marveling at the beauty of our planet drinking my coffee. I haven’t posted for quite a while. I got home from Miami on the 20th and was back on a plane to PA on the 28th. In between I was going through years of Gary’s collecting. The house was appraised and everything is on track for the closing this month. It will be nice to have that straightened out.
There are a few things I would like to take care of with the house. Just some minor changes. I would love to get rid of all of the carpeting. Since I now have asthma, dust really bothers me. So, I think it would be easier without the carpets. Also there are a few things that need to be repaired. Rome wasn’t build in a day, so I expect it will take me some time to get it all done.
I so look forward to getting back to my quilting. I miss the wonderful women I have gotten to know through it and just the joy of creating something out of the fabric.
I have been waking up at 5 in the morning. I’ve gotten a lot done, but I find I need a nap in the afternoon or I fall asleep early in the evening. Gracie is influencing my sleeping habits. She’s doing so well and is really great company for me. I was so afraid that when I got home from Miami she wouldn’t really know me. She had spent more time with my friend than with me. But she came running to me tail wagging and jumped right into my arms. It warmed my heart. I was watching TV last night and she was sleeping on the end of the sofa. I woke her up. She looks a little perturbed with me. LOL
I have to head out to do some food shopping before it’s time to go to Mass. I am manning the gift shop at church today. So have to get my errands done early. I have a few book reviews to post, but it will have to wait until I get back.
Enjoy this wonderful fall weather.
My last post was on August 23rd, the day our water pump died. Well, all by itself it started working that night. It was very strange. On Wednesday August 24th my husband got up and walked into the bathroom. He called that he needed help. He was not looking too good so I called the rescue squad. Before I knew what was going on, he was lying on the floor with several people working on him. Within 30 minutes my husband had died. I still cannot believe he left me. I am so blessed to have three wonderful children who have been unbelievably helpful and have given me strength. They were here with me going through my husband’s things and helped me pack his clothes for donation to area thrift stores and Goodwill. We laughed over some of the things Gary held on to. He was a bit of a pack rat. I think I will probably be going through stuff for a year!
As I was standing outside of the bathroom, I said, “God’s will be done.” I meant it then and I still mean it now. I learned along time ago that the Lord has a plan for us all and it doesn’t necessarily agree with our plans. Gary was only 63 years old. I expected us to live into our old age together and to make memories with our grandchildren. But, God called him home and I need to learn to live without him.
My girls handled Gary’s Celebration of Life for me. We had one here in September and one in PA in October. It was comforting to see all of the people who came to remember Gary and hear some of the stories about him we had never heard before.
It has been hard.
Because of my daughter in law’s illness I spent almost a month with them to take care of my 7 month old granddaughter. I am so sorry that the kids had to go through Karina’s illness, but I was so blessed to spend the time with the baby. That time was a time of healing for me. I was able to focus on the wonder of life given us by God. They live right on the beach so I also had the beauty of the ocean for comfort.
So, one day at a time. Learn a new routine. Enjoy the life I’ve been 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.”