"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 21, 2017

Seeds, the Beach and Moria

1. Last Sunday’s Gospel was the parable about the spreading of the seeds. Some seed did not grow, but those that “fell on rich soil,” did. Father John talked about each of us being a seed. Each seed being different as each of us is different. We grow, we develop, we interact with each other, but we are not the same. We have different color of eyes or hair, different physical characteristics. Some of us are female and some us are male. 
   The sameness we do share is that we are all God’s children. It doesn’t matter where we were born, what color we are or or what language we speak. We are all “seeds,” planted by God. 
   Have a blessed day!

2. My 70th birthday present was a week at the Outer Banks with our three sons and their families. It turned out to be the best birthday present I ever received. The house had rooms for everyone, including Great Grandma Lucy. It was beach front property, complete with a pool and awesome view of the beach and the ocean. We had sunshine all week and spent each day on the beach. 

3. Morning sunrise from the balcony.

4. The Sandcastle Building Crew

5. Eric and Dee, kayakers extraordinaire.

6. Brett Young - “In Case You Didn’t Know.”

Go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where Kelly is hosting more takes and has written an excellent post on NFP.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Pirates, Corvette & Annie

1. Dee and I were in Buffalo, New York last week helping our goddaughter Carrie. We worked with her organizing the belongings of her Mom and Dad, completed some yard work and enjoyed time together.
We were also able to visit with my sister Kim and our Aunt Beth as well. Catching up on news from the past year and laughing about old family stories. 
The last few days were with our son Eric and his family. Since we normally don't get to Buffalo on Father's Day, this year became a special day for Eric and I.

2. We went to see “Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Men Tell No Tales,” with our two granddaughters Eryn and Hailey. The movie continued the Captain Jack Sparrow saga and was well done. Another great Disney movie.

3. Jack, Tony and I were invited to a “Italian-American” gathering. The owner of “Angelo’s” hosts this once a year at his home. Fabulous Italian sauce, homemade bread and pizza baked in an outside oven. We are looking forward to next year.

4. On June 30, 1953 the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan completed the first production Corvette. Wikipedia has a great article about this “first generation sports car.”

5. “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”          Helen Keller

6. John Denver, “Annie’s Song.” One of my favorite. 

7. Happy Independence Day

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

Friday, June 9, 2017

Chickens, Music and Mark

1. "On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France." Details of this large assault are at Army.Mil.

2. We met a beautiful woman this week who owns a chicken farm. Her name is Shawna and she and her husband Todd have been farming in Buckingham County Virginia for over 20 years. They handle 44,000 chickens which produce about 30,000 eggs per day. This is not a small operation. Please pray for them as Todd has some heart issues that required some hospitalization.

3. The deck is completed.

Flowers by Dee

4. I saw this on Linkedin, a unique idea.

5. Dee and I attended "Singing' into Summer," a local middle school musical presentation. Our granddaughter Eryn is one of the singers an(d her and the choir did an excellent job. Some of the music included; The Lion Sleeps Tonight, How Far I'll Go and You're Welcome, from Disney's "Moana") and my favorite, Hallelujah.

6. Carrie Underwood, “Inside Your Heaven.” A beautiful song by a beautiful lady.

7. Thursday’s Gospel, MK 12:28-34, has a scribe question Jesus as to which is the most important commandment. 

“Jesus replied, The first is this:
Hear, O Israel! 
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, 
and with all your strength."

However, Jesus does not stop there. He continues,

“The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Father John, in his Thursday morning Homely said that these are powerful statements. To fully love God and then to turn to another and love them as you love yourself is not an easy task. The statements are not only powerful, but require much effort for me to fulfill. It is a daily challenge that requires my full attention. One that keeps me a “ work in progress.”            

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

Friday, June 2, 2017

Trisha, Lisa & Our Garden

1. Trisha’s blog gave me a boost Saturday morning. It started with words from Matthew West’s song, Mended. Beautiful and inspiring words. Trisha reminded me that “we are not worthless or useless, we are loved.” Please take the time to listen to the song and read what she has written.

2. In June 2011 I wrote about my experience reading “Still Alice,” by Lisa Genova.  

“There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease as of this writing. My Dad had Alzheimer's for many years and died on Monday October 8, 2007. I was there when he opened his eyes, looked at me and then slowly closed them. I know that he wanted to make sure he was not alone. He was not one for much talk so it was also his way of saying goodbye. Dad, you were never alone, I was there and so was your family. I love you, but during your illness I 
never told you that. I felt that you didn't know who I was, so it would have no meaning. I was wrong.”

This week my son Eric sent our family a link to TED Talks, a video by Lisa Genova. My reaction was more positive than what I wrote back in 2011. Lisa talked openly about Alzheimer’s and shared her knowledge about the disease. Her talk was informative and provided some positive things we can do about Alzheimer’s.

3. The squirrels keep trying to get at the bird seed on this bird feeder. It is a major project for them and once in a while one of them just sits mediates on the issue.

4. We had our house spray washed this week. I’ve removed some planks on the deck for replacement and wanted to have everything clear for my staining project. We are suppose to have dry weather for the next few days. It will be a busy weekend that should provide some positive results.

5. Some photos of our newly completed garden area. Dee has put a lot of effort into this project.

6. “All our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions.”
     Leonardo de Vinci 

7. Joe Cocker, “You Are So Beautiful.” 

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Trailers, Mark & Geronimo

1. I've been watching "Nothing but Trailers" on AXS TV. It's a great program that shows all the new movies that are coming out. I just sit back and pick which movies I want to see. 

2. Dee has a new car that she bought from her good friend Pam. It’s a 2010 Honda CRV and is in perfect condition. 

3. We’ve had rain all week which is good for the lawn and the flowers. Friday was a beautiful sunny day and Saturday is suppose to be the same. Thank you Lord.

4. “I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell - you see, I have friends in both places.”                         Mark Twain

5. On May 17, 1885, the Chiricahua Apache, Geronimo, broke out of an Arizona reservation. He was difficult to apprehend but finally surrendered about a year and a half later.

6. Joe Cocker, “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

7. Memorial Day Remembrance ……

Bruce Cohn - Pvt. 338 Infantry, 88 Division, Illinois, Sept 19, 1944.
Bennett Bielema - Pvt. 350 Infantry, Illinois, Oct 1, 1944.
Earl Alfred Thompson - 1st LT., 65 FTP SO 57 FTR GP, Missouri, Apr 22, 1945.

Dwight Carlton Williams - Sgt., 86 Regt 10 Mt. Div., Massachusetts, Apr 30, 1945.
Seymour Weinstein - Pfc. 349 Inf. 88 Div. New York, Sept. 26, 1944.

Neil Ellis Bateman - Pfc. 327th Inf. 101st Airborne Div., Cheektowaga, New York, May 15, 1967.
My classmate and friend from Maryvale High School, Class of 1965. His name is inscribed on Panel 19E Line 125 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. He will never be forgotten.

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Brendan, Tom & The Mummy

1. Dee and I completed work on a new section of the garden area. St. Francis has a new home.

2. One of my favorite movies was "The Mummy," followed by "The Mummy Returns." I enjoyed both and have watched them many times. Brendan Fraser did an excellent job of portraying the hero. Rachel Weisz, rounded out the action couple. And, don't forget the "comic relief " John Hannah. 

Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah

3. Apparently it's time for a new version of  "The Mummy." A different "twist" and a new hero,Tom Cruise. He faces a different "Mummy," but one that appears to be just as interesting. I'm looking forward to the release in June.

4. Jamestown was founded on May 13, 1607. While researching names for my historical miniatures I found this interesting information from by Myra Vanderpool Gormley, CG.

“The Jamestown, Virginia colony which was established in 1607 shows many of the same popular English names: William, John, Thomas Richard, plus David, Daniel, Abraham, Jonas, Nathaniel and Samuel. The latter six show the signs of the Puritan influence it is claimed by George R. Stewart, author of American Given Names (New York, Oxford University Press, 1979). Stewart also notes that among this group, Edward Maria Wingfield, possesses one of the first middle name recorded in America. His middle name was that of the Virgin, which was commonly so used on the Continent for a man, but not in England. "One guesses that his parents may have been bold eccentrics, under Catholic influence," Stewart says. This Wingfield was a leader of the Jamestown colony and went down in history as one of the first Englishmen in the New World to keep chickens.”

5. This Sunday is Mother’s day, to all Mom’s …..

6. “Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!”     

From the movie, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. The character was Gold Hat, portrayed by Alfonso Bedoya.
7. Louis Prima sings “Angelina,” from the movie “Casino.”

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

Celtic Festival, Kim & May

1. My brother and I attended the Celtic Festival and Highland Games last Saturday. We sampled a couple of “local Stouts” which were excellent. There was a nice size crowd and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The Greater Richmond Pipes and Drum were there. The band has grown and changed since my time, and continues to play well.

Tuning up the band
Preparing for the competition 

2. Kelly wrote about teaching the "Middle Ages" to Catholic children. I always enjoyed studying the period as it was the time of one of my favorite heroes, Roland. I wrote about him back in June of 2011. This was my post.

"The "Song of Roland" is a 12th century French poem about the legendary hero Roland. He was a knight of Charlemagne's court and also his nephew. My middle name is Roland, named after one of my uncles. I love stories of knights and deeds of valor. So this poem became one I read when I was younger. This week the memory of the poem came back to me. 

The climax of the poem is a classic battle fought between the French Christians and the Saracens from the city Saragossa in Spain. An ambush, for the French rear guard, was set at the pass of Roncevaux. Commanding the rear guard was Roland. He was joined by his best friend Oliver and a warrior clergyman named Archbishop Turpin. The Saracens, numbering four hundred thousand, charge into the small French force of twenty thousand. Many heroic knights, both French and Saracens, are killed in valiant chivalrous combat. In the end the French are defeated but Roland manages to blow "three long mighty blasts on his oilphat," which Charlemagne and the main French army hear. Roland then turns and facing his enemy dies a heroic death. Saint Gabriel and Saint Michael arrive to escort him to heaven. Charlemagne returns and defeats the Saracens.

An "oilphant" is a wind instrument made from the tusk of an elephant."

3. This was a week of yard-work, cleaning up the residual stump grindings, putting down top soil and attempting to repair one of the sprinkler lines. Two out of three went well.

4. My sister Kim had a foot operation, which will keep her off her feet for a couple of months. She is doing well and her husband Frank sent a couple of photos.

Kim's wheels
A new cast

5. “The month of May is the pleasant time; its face is beautiful; the blackbird sings his full song, the living wood is his holding, the cuckoos are singing and ever singing; there is a welcome before the brightness of the summer.” 

6. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

7. Mariachi Los Camperos- Popurri

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

Friday, April 28, 2017

Earth Day, Rain & Peggy

1. Earth Day was Saturday April 22. A time to think about toxic dumps, use of pesticides and dwindling wilderness. A day to remember the impact we have on our environment. Alina Bradford has an informative article at Live Science. Please take a moment to read it.

2. Rain, rain and more rain. Yes, we did need it, but sometimes God has a tendency to provide more than we ask for. I’m not complaining Lord, just an observation.

3. “There are three things you can do in a baseball game. You can win, or you can lose, or it can rain.     Casey Stengel
4. April 27, 1963 a fifteen year old high school freshman, Margaret Annemarie Battavio, reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. The song, “I Will Follow Him.”

5. Happy 50th Anniversary to our friends Brenda and Peter. We were blessed to share this special event with them and their daughters.  

6. Dee and I spent the last couple of days working in the yard. Tomorrow we'll take a break and head over to my brother's home. He and I will be at the Celtic festival while Dee and Karen do a wee bit of shopping. "Scots We Hae!"

7. Bobby Bare - 500 Miles Away From Home

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

Siblings, 95 Years & Trees

1. Monday, April 10, 2017 was Siblings Day. This is a photo of me with my sister Kim and brother Tee. I chose one from a few years back. We look just as good now. 
I'm the oldest.
2. Dee’s Mom, Lucy, reached her 95th birthday on April 9th. Dee’s brother Pat and his wife Judy showed up as a surprise. We gathered the family at our home for the celebration. The next big birthday will be 5 years from now when we put a photo of her on the "Smucker's Jar."
Dee's brother Pat, her Mom, Lucy and Dee
3. I completed some French and Indian period Militia as part of my historical miniature collection. Just in case you missed it, view them here.

4. Stephen, Christina and the girls joined us for Easter Mass. It is always a joy to share our church community with family. Our friends all know Stephen's family and make them welcome every time they are at church. Thank you Lord.

5. We had some trees taken down this week. The tree service we used were excellent. The next phase is to eventually grow grass where the trees were. That will commence in the fall.

First 2 trees trimmed.
Trees Down
Trees, stumps & roots gone.
6. “April was just beginning, and after the warm spring day it turned cooler, slightly frosty, and a breath of spring could be felt in the soft, cold air. The road from the convent to town was sandy, they had to go at a walking pace; and on both sides of the carriage, in the bright, still moonlight, pilgrims trudged over the sand. And everyone was silent, deep in thought, everything around was welcoming, young, so near— the trees, the sky, even the moon—and one wanted to think it would always be so.” 

7. Van Morrison - Brown Eye Girl

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

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Surprise at Bates Creek

Donald Bates found a new creek northwest of his old fishing spot. There was no sign of anyone having walked the creek so he was confident that the fish would be more plentiful at this location.

The morning was better than he expected and by noon he had a large catch of fish. Pleased with his success, he sat back and finished the last bit of biscuit and dried meat. Donald was imagining himself presenting the fish to Mattie Bevan and hoping he would receive a kiss for his efforts.

Caught off guard, he was surprised when the small band of Hurons stepped out of the woods. For a brief moment everyone just stared at each other. Then Donald jumped up and ran. The Hurons had to find a place to cross which gave Donald the lead. Unfortunately he left his gear and fish on the bank. His only thought was to stay ahead of them and get to Briartun as fast as possible.


I just completed this small unit of Militia, which will represent a squad in the skirmish rules I play. (Buckskins and Rangers by Robin Empey of Battlefield Game Designs.) 

These figures represent some of the Briartun characters, with more on the painting table. The Hurons, and lonely Coureurs de Bois, are figures that I painted awhile back. All are Old Glory figures.

Issac Gantt and some Briartun Militia

The Hurons come out of the woods. Behind them is Armond Langevin, a Coureurs des Bois from Quebec.