"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." Saint Francis De Sales

Friday, July 29, 2016

Calcutta, Jacques & Merton



1. Please pray for the soul of Wayne Grabenstatter. He is the brother of my sister-in-law Karen. Information is at Amigo Funeral Home of Buffalo, New York.

2. The young missionary Katie, who traveled to Calcutta, India, spoke to our men’s group Monday evening. She was part of a team from Ava Maria College that lived and worked at Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. Learning to deal with temperatures exceeding 120 degrees, they helped and cared for children and adults. Loving, working as aids and consoling the dying.

I was humbled by her experience and love of compassion for people that face illness and death on a daily basis. She read a short passage from her journal. It showed how her spiritual journey has progressed during the short years we have known her. Please keep her in your prayers as she continues with her studies and other missionary work.

Information about the Mother Teresa Project is located here, complete with a photo and a video of the team.

4. This is from “Your Daily Tripod,” posted by Anthony DeCristofaro. 

“Today Père Jacques Hamel was martyred in the town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, where St. Joan of Arc was martyred in 1431.
“Like many martyrs, Père Hamel did not seek martyrdom or court death, but was simply carrying out his ministry among the People of God.
In such times, whether it is priests, brothers, sisters or lay men and women who are martyred, I always remember Tertullian, who said, "The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed.”"

“Meditation by Fr. James Martin, JS”

Father Hamel

5. Hell On Wheels ended its series with the final episode, “Done.” Ross Bonaire writes about his “5 Best Moments” of that episode.

I enjoyed watching the variety of characters and an ever-changing story line. Just when I thought I had things figured out, along came a twist that kept bringing me back. I was never disappointed.

My favorite character was Thomas “Doc” Durant. Ruthless and conniving, with a passion of getting the railroad completed. I like Colm Meaney and enjoyed the two series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” His character, “Miles O’Brien,” was nothing like Thomas Durant. The role he played as Durant showed Colm’s excellent acting ability. I found it interesting watching as Durant’s character developed. His ending speech, with the line, “America needed a dream and I gave them one,” was great. A truth that know one wanted to hear. 

Colm Meaney

6. “I believe we are going to have to prepare ourselves for the difficult and patient task of outgrowing rigid and intransigent nationalism, and work slowly towards a world federation of peaceful nations. How will this be possible? Don't ask me. I don't know. But unless we develop a moral, spiritual, and political wisdom that is proportionate to our technological skill, our skill may end us.”   Thomas Merton

7. Gordon Lightfoot - Did She Mention My Name



Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum,” where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sand, Cursillo & Harry




1. I posted “The Morgan Classic in Italy” this week. If you didn’t get an opportunity to see it, “pop” on over.

2. Anthony DeCristofaro, “Your Daily Tripod,” provided some spiritual thought into the loss of life that has been in the news.

“Jesus died because all souls matter…especially sinners, particularly sinners.  All lives. The Pharisees. Peter’s mother-in-law. The Roman centurion. The leper. The man born with the crippled hand. The prostitute.  The woman at the well.  He did not walk around with a sign that said #JewishLivesMatter.  His mercy extended in ALL directions to the ends of the earth.  Jesus also left a little instruction booklet that can be boiled down into two rules: 

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:36-40”

3. Historicon 2016 was last weekend. I added a new page, “Historicon 2016.” Take a look for info and photos on my games as well as photos on some other games that went on. 

4. I enjoy building sand castles when we are at the beach. However, my talent has it’s limits. Check out these sculptures from Sandcastle Mike.

5. I thinking about getting one of these and putting in the kitchen. It is from a company in France called Polycave.


6. The Central Virginia 487th Men’s Cursillo is July 21st through 24th. Please pray for the team members and candidates.

7. Harry Chapin - "Cat’s In The Cradle."



Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum,” where Kelly is hosting more takes.

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Morgan Classic in Italy

While Dee and I were at the Hotel Garden in Sienna, I discovered a beautiful Morgan Classic. My knowledge of them is based on photos and old movies. They have always intrigued me and seeing one got my heart racing. I took a couple of photos with my iPad Mini.

The Morgan Classic
My buddy Jack next to the Morgan

The next day I asked Dee to get a photo of me next to the Morgan. We were walking down the line of parked cars, the Morgan being somewhat out of site. As we came around the last vehicle, there it was, but the owners were sitting in it, ready to leave. So I went up and introduced myself and explained my excitement in seeing a Morgan up close. Dee asked of she could take a photo of them and the wife agreed. She then suggested that we get in the car and they would take a photo of us. The husband backed the car out, left the engine running and had Dee and I get in. This was a very special moment for me. There we were sitting in the Morgan, the engine running, the road ahead clear. All I had to do was slowly push in the clutch, move it into first gear, slowly engage the accelerator as I let up on the clutch, then head out for a drive in the countryside.

The wonderful couple from England whose names I forgot.
Dee and me.
A closeup photo.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Wines of Italy


While we were in Italy we had the opportunity to try many different wines. The reds were my favorite although we did have some excellent white wines as well. This is just a sampling of what we discovered. Photographs by Dee.

Wine disclaimer: I’m not a wine curmudgeon nor connoisseur. There will be no description of taste or aroma or of anything similar. The wines I’m showing are wines that I liked and enjoyed drinking. 

The first bottle of red is Antiche Cantine Terenzi Terra Madre. It is from the vineyards of 
Antiche Cantine Mario Terenzi, located about 50 miles south of Rome. 


The second bottle is Cantina Sociale Cesanese del Piglio Cerciole. It is from the vineyards of Cantina Sociale Cesanese del Piglio, about 60 miles east of Rome.


The third bottle of wine is San Cirino Chianti. It is from the vineyards of Fattoria II Colombaio, located in Monteriggioni, Italy in the province of Tuscany.


Now we get to one of my favorite wine vineyards, Castello Di Verrazano. A beautiful winery located in Greve, Italy in the province of Chianti. It is here where the Chianti wine is called “Chianti Classico.” The term "Classico," designates the Chianti is truly from the province of Chianti.

We were greeted by Gino Rosi, who provided a warm welcome complete with a monologue that was full of history and humor. He started us with a glass of ORO 24 Brut and a lesson on wines. Afterward there was a tour of the wine cellars and then lunch was served.



Tony and I are holding the wines that were served with lunch. We started with the IL Rose, then went to the Chianti Classico, finishing with the Chianti Classico Reserve. There was also a RED blend that we tried, but the photo of the bottle does not show the details of the label.



After lunch we were served Castello di Verrazzno Grappa. It is similar to brandy or cognac, but is a drink unique to Italy. One does not drink it like wine. It is to be sipped and the flavor enjoyed.










Friday, July 8, 2016

Italy, Jordan & the Rhondels



1. I’ve been writing about our trip to Italy this week. The first one was about "Remembering the Fourth of July" and the second one was about "Porto Venere, Italy." There will probably be a few more, just have to get them together. In the meantime, here are some photos.

2. Our Italy “gang” at the Colosseum.


3. Me and Italian food.

Me with fresh anchovies and homemade bread.

4. Dee and I on the balcony of the Royal Sporting Hotel in Porto Venere.


5. Jordan Jachm is the host for the blog “Defending the Legacy.” This week he was the guest post for “My Lady Bibliophile.” His topic, “Why Modern Readers Should Care About History.” While there you can also check out Schuyler’s blog.

6. Original Rhondels July 4


7. Temperatures have been in the 90's all week. Some rain but no storms. The weeds seem to love this. The flowers still thrive and the grass grows. All part of God's plan.




Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum,” where Kelly is hosting more takes.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Porto Venere, Italy

One of my favorite places, while in Italy, was Porto Venere. It is located on the west coast in the province of La Spezia. We stayed at The Royal Sporting Hotel for two nights. There was an enjoyable cruise in the Cinque Terre area, which included Vernazza, Monterosso and Manarola. Lunch was at an excellent restaurant in Monterosso called Al Carugio.

Dee and I visited the Church of St. Peter, walked through the village visiting the local shops. There were no cars, just alleyways. It was beautiful and very picturesque. I spent some time walking through the Castle Doria which was built around the 12th through 14th centuries. The walk up to the castle was an interesting challenge. Fortunately the trek down through the village was easier.

Here are some photos I took using my Apple iPad Mini 2.

Dee standing outside the Church of St. Peter
View from the Church of St. Peter
View looking up at the Doria Castle 
The Church of St. Peter from Doria Castle

Monday, July 4, 2016

Remembering The Fourth of July

Dee and I just returned from a trip to Italy. I will write more about that in another post.

Whiled we were there, we visited the Florence American Cemetery. I was unaware that the cemetery existed, but thankful that we were able to spend time there. We were asked to select one headstone, collect the name and information of the individual. When returning home we could do some research then learn about them and their family.

The day was warm and sunny, but I felt a chill as I walked through the headstones. I was approaching them from behind. My thought being to select some at random and take a photo showing the name of the individual. Their names, as well as their families, are now part of my prayer list.

Please take a moment to go to the website. Learn about the history of the cemetery and memorial. There are 4,398 headstones, 1,409 missing in action and 213 unknown. It is only one of "25 American cemeteries and 27 memorials, monuments and markers in 16 countries."

Have a blessed July 4th.


Bruce Cohn - Pvt. - Sept. 19, 1944 
Bennett Bielema - Pvt. - Oct. 1, 1944
Earl Alfred Thompson - 1st LT. - Apr 22, 1945 (Selected by our close friend Pam.)
Dwight Carlton Williams - Sgt. - Apr. 30, 1945 (Selected by Dee.)
Seymour Weinstein - Pfc. - Sept. 26, 1944 (Selected by Dee.)