"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, December 30, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 31)

1. The annual December OBX trip was made possible because of the loving friends that shared. Photo by Dee.

2. January 1, 2012 is the start of a new year. What better way to reflect on "we are Christ for those around us." Steve Givens writes about seeking those that we have lost among us. Do not search in the cemeteries, merely look around you and see them with you. 

3. On December 31, 2011 I was inducted into the IORB, "International Order of the Red Bandannas." It is an honor bestowed only on a select few. The ceremony took place at the Outer Banks, N.C., which is the founding location of the IORB. 

I received the official "red bandanna" as well as the IORB shirt. I tied the bandanna to my head and replaced my current shirt with the infamous blue tee with the IORB insignia. 

The unofficial IORB photographer then took several pictures for the IORB archives. The photos below are designated as non-proprietary, non-secret, non-detrimental, non-authorizeable documents that would be a non-security risk to the organization. It follows the guidelines, by-laws and preamble as listed in rule number one. That's me in the middle.

4. College football currently has over 30 "Bowl Games." If you are a fan of college football then this is the sport season for you. I watch some of the games, but not all of them. I was curious about the "Bowl Games" so I went to "Wikipedia" for a quick history. From 1901 through 1959 the number of games reached a total of nine. That was before cable television when we only had a couple of local television stations. Then from 1968 through 2010, 25 new "Bowls" were added. And, according to the article, there are more coming. 

My favorite "Bowl" games were: Rose Bowl (started 1901); Orange Bowl (started 1934); Sugar Bowl (started 1934); Sun Bowl (started 1934) and the Cotton Bowl (1936). Please note that I was not around for the starting dates.

5. Sunday, January 8th, is the celebration of the Epiphany. It is the day we celebrate the Baptism of Christ. It has also become known as the "visitation of the Magi."

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 30)

1. Monday was a pack and visit day before heading out to the Outer Banks. We were able to meet Brenda and Lou's new grand daughter and parents. They are visiting from Florida, so this was an opportunity for us to meet them. Cristina is a beautiful baby.

2. Tuesday; there is a high wind advisory until 4PM with a tornado watch until 7PM. Not a great way to spend a vacation day in the Outer Banks.

The good news is that we went out early, completed some shopping and ate lunch at the Red Sky Cafe. Excellent food and drink.

3. Wednesday; no storm damage from last night. The sun is shining, brightening the trees and the homes around us. It is a beautiful morning and the coffee is good. Jeanine and Dave arrived last night. We enjoyed a simple dinner of soup and sandwiches.

Pam, Tony, Maureen and Jack arrived this afternoon. Dee made "sauce" and brought it with us. So we had her famous homemade Italian sauce, meatballs and sausage with Penne pasta. 

We are blessed that we were able to share dinner with great friends. Thank you Lord.

5. Thursday was another beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the high forties. I took a walk on the beach and watched a variety of people. One jogger, one fisherman and several families. One family group was sitting on the beach while the children dug holes in the sand. A young couple sat next to each other wrapped in a blanket. They were reading books and attempting to get some winter tan. 

Only a few birds and some driftwood. The beach art was also interesting.

6. Today is the fifth day of Christmas. "Five Golden Rings." 

Four Calling Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree." 

During the 16th Century Catholics were not allowed to practice their religion openly in England. The Jesuits are credited with writing the "Twelve Days of Christmas." The words having a specific meaning that were used to secretly teach those about the Christmas season which starts on Christmas Day. "True Love" refers to God; Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testament; Three French Hens refers to the Trinity; Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels, and Five Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament.

More information available at Catholic.net.  

7. I own the Barnes & Noble Nook which is similar to Jennifer Fulwiler's Kindle. It is the older version of the basic eReader and I love it. I use it to read books. It is simple to use and can store more than enough books for me to read. Sitting in waiting rooms, lying in bed, sitting on the couch or just relaxing at the beach, the eReader is with me. So, if you love reading, consider an eReader.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Who Was That Masked Man?

One of my favorite cowboy heroes was the “Lone Ranger.” Clayton Moore was the actor who portrayed him. He was one of the few actors that promoted the good qualities of the character we watched on TV. His side kick was “Tonto,” portrayed by Jay Silverheels.

I’m sure that I never missed an episode.
There was a second “Lone Ranger.” His name was John Hart and he portrayed the character for only one season. That was in 1952 and ran 52 episodes.
The “voice” of the Lone Ranger was Brace Beemer. He was on the radio from 1941 through 1954. 

Introducing each episode of the Lone Ranger was the voice of Fred Foy.
"A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi Yo Silver!"
The Lone Ranger. "Hi Yo Silver, away!" 
With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains, led the fight for law and order in the early west. Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger rides again!"
Jay Thomas told a wonderful story about the Lone Ranger. Please take a moment to watch it here.
Thank you to all of those who brought to life a hero for us to grow up with.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 29)

1. Saturday evening Dee and I picked up two of our grand daughters, Eryn and Hailey. Dee had laid out a "tacky tour" that led us to five beautiful homes. The first and last houses had Santa Claus sitting outside so the girls had a chance to update their Christmas list, twice.

My favorite house was the one that had the lights set to music. All we had to do was dial our radio to a specific station and then watch the lights dance with the music.

The last house we visited had the largest display of lights, a manger scene and even provided free hot chocolate. 

It was a nice evening sharing with the girls. We plan to do this next year and may even expand it a little bit.

2. Dee bought a Christmas story book that has a personal recording feature to it. It allows you to read the story and then save what you have read. When the recipient opens the book they hear your voice telling the story. It's a great gift for the young children and adds a personal touch to the Christmas gift.

The story is not long and the book has about ten pages. We rehearsed the lines and then started. All went really well although I noticed that Dee had used a wrong word on the last page. "A" instead of "the." Not a major issue but when the girls are following what we have recorded they would probably notice it. So I suggested we re-record the last page. Everything was fine until Dee got to the "the" word and then she started laughing. It was like watching "TV Bloopers" She couldn't stop and then I started laughing along with her. When we finally regained our composure we started again. Dee went through her part and then I started mine. Well, I did the same thing she did, changed a word. We both started laughing all over again. 

It took us longer to do the last page than it did to do all the other pages. This turned out to be a double gift. We shared giving a gift only to have God provide us a gift of togetherness. Thank you Lord!   

3. Please take the time to read "Prints of Grace, Excellent Advent Advice Part Vll: Wait Patiently."  She asks an important question about waiting. For whom or for what, for family or friends or for those you don't know. There is a link to Becky Kelley's song "Where's the Line to See Jesus?." A beautiful song for this Advent Season.

4. I went to the dentist Wednesday morning. There was a small part of my crown that required a little bit of work near where it covers the tooth. Dr. Russ said, "we can do this without Novocain."

Ah, the old "you won't feel a thing" routine. I immediately explained to him that he wouldn't feel anything, but I would. It actually was not bad and afterward I was able to get a cup of coffee and drink it without having it dribble down my chin. 

5. December 14, 2012 "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" will be released. Check out the trailer. It is directed by Peter Jackson who also directed the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. You will notice some familiar actors along with the addition of Martin Freeman as the young Bilbo Baggins.

6. This morning I listened to a song that touched my heart. "Labor of Love," written by  Cunningham Grant Evan and Davis Christopher. It is sung by three lovely voices, Point of Grace. Listen to it here and pay close attention to the lyrics.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the feast-day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The celebration based on the story of Juan Diego, a peasant farmer of Mexico. On December 9, 1531 Mary appeared to him causing a tremendous affect with the Christian religion in the Americas. But it wasn't until 2002 that Pope John Paul II added December 12 to the "General Calendar of the Roman Rite." It was added as an “optional memorial, the liturgical celebration” of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

Read more about this day at Catholic Online. 
Last night Dee, her Mom and I attended a Christmas production, “Festival of Lights,” at the New Bridge Baptist Church in Sandston, Virginia. I am pleased that the church family there is no different from being with our church family. We all share the same belief in Jesus.
My favorite moment of the evening was the rendition of Mary talking to baby Jesus. She then sang "Mary's Song.” The words both spoken and sung provided an insight how Mary embraced her gift. She was a young mother talking to her baby as any mother would. But, still in awe that she was the one God chose.
I am sure that God was involved in the selection of the young woman, Katelyn, who portrayed Mary. Her facial expression and soft clear voice transported me back to the stable over 2000 years ago. I felt that I was one of the shepherds sitting and listening to her as she spoke and sang to baby Jesus. That moment touched my heart and enriched my faith.
Tonight we attend Mass at Church of the Epiphany, to continue our celebration of Mary. Christmas is only a couple of weeks away. We light the candles of our Advent wreath each Sunday and read our devotionals for that day. Our hearts are open and our faith is strong as we wait for His arrival.

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 28)

1. Saturday was our family Christmas gathering. Our sons have their wives families to visit so we find it easier to share Christmas with our family early.

Dee and her Mom put together the main dinner and the caught-in-laws prepare the afternoon hors d'oeuvres. Everyone pitching in to make the day enjoyable.

We eat, sing Christmas songs, eat, open presents, tell stories, eat, share Christmas memories,  and eat some more. I'm sure that I added a couple of pounds by the end of the day.

The grandchildren enjoy being together and Dee is always tells them the reason we celebrate Christmas. Each year they have a better understanding, so she is laying the foundation for their  spiritual journeys.

2. I've added some new links this week. They are blogs involved with history and historical miniatures. A hobby that I have enjoyed since I was, well, it's been a long time. I started with the old Marx collections and then moved to the "lead" figures. Today my collection of figures includes the American Revolutionary and French and Indian War periods. 

I belong to the Historical Miniature Gaming Society (HMGS) and attend the annual conventions. Dee joins me when I go to Lancaster, PA and manages to find time to shop the outlets.

3. Basil Rathbone played Sherlock Holmes in a number of old films. I have seen many of them and enjoyed the characters and plots. His roles as a "swashbuckler" were my favorite movies.

A new Sherlock Holmes has appeared and has taken the role of Sherlock to a different level. He is Robert Downey Jr. and he portrays a unique character that is "quirky," extremely intelligent  and always one step ahead of his adversaries.  The first movie was great and I'm looking forward to seeing the second one.  

4. The newest release of "Tour of Duty, Modern Warfare III" has passed the $1 Billion dollar mark. It's hard for me to comprehend that a computer game is able to generate that much business. Perhaps I am in the wrong occupation.

5. I love honey, especially on toast and in a hot cup of tea. Bees produce honey and beekeepers gather it, bottle it up and we then we buy it off the shelf. So, I was quite surprised to learn that honey may or may not be real honey. "Relax, Folks It Really Is Honey After All."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor

Please take a moment to pray for those that died, those that survived and all their families.

Some sites to visit. Naval History and Heritage and an article from CBS News.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saint Nicholas and Santa Claus

Happy Saint Nicholas Day.
Last Sunday Msgr. Shreve gave an interesting Homily which touched on the life of St. Nicholas. He does an excellent job of tying in the history of Catholic beliefs to our present day understanding. He sparked my interest in the connection between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus. So I went searching on the Internet and found a website dedicated to St. Nicholas. There are two sections that provided me with the information I was looking for. "Who is St. Nicholas?” and the “Saint Nicholas and the Origin of Santa.”
“Catholic Online” also had information which supported my research.
My Catholic upbringing did not include St. Nicholas. I became aware of him through church but I never celebrated his day nor took the time to explain him to our sons. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get focused on the important things. Fortunately God is patient and forgiving.  
Please don’t wait as long as I did and read about St. Nicholas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 27)

1. One of my favorite Christmas albums is Michael Bolton's "This is the Time." I have it on iTunes for my MacBook and my iPod and play it all through Christmas. 

Here is a sample from the album, "O Holy Night." 

2.  Thomas Nast - “Merry Old Santa Claus

3. Sunday afternoon Dee had the grandchildren decorating the tree and setting up the manger scene. They did a great job and had fun doing it. 

4. The annual making of gingerbread houses was Wednesday night at Church of the Epiphany. This was our second year and we were joined by our youngest son Stephen and his wife Christina. I picked up two of their children, Eryn and Hailey, after work and we all met at church later.

Stephen worked with Eryn and Christina with Hailey. They made two beautiful houses. I loved watching Stephen work on the house. He really enjoyed sharing with his daughter. 

After their houses were completed Dee and our friend Pam got into the action and created two more. Pam working with Eryn and Dee with Hailey.

All of this was possible because of Diann and her helpers. They worked hard providing dinner prior to the house building. Then they setup the tables containing the icing, various candies, pretzels and other food items for the houses. Afterward there was clean up. A full night for the volunteers. Thank you all. 

5. Yesterday was the celebration of the Immaculate Conception. To me, Mary's Day of recognition of faith, setting an example for me to follow.

Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."   Luke 1:26-38

Every time I read this I am awed by Mary's faith. There was no hesitation in her statement, she put herself in God's hands knowing that it was the right thing to do. My responses to situations are not as defining as Mary's. It is not easy for me but I know it's the right thing to do. I am blessed that He has the patience when dealing with me. Thank you Lord for your continued love.   

6. This morning I attended a group that Bill defined as a "fellowship" group. I was invited by my friend David who call it his "prayer group." Bill was trying to explain that the meetings were not "Bible study meetings." My definition, if one is required, is a gathering of Christian men sharing God's love. 

In addition to meeting Bill I was also introduced to Clyde and Gene. The were a couple of people not present but for group meetings that is not unusual. Besides; "for where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

I look forward to attending next Friday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Year And Counting

This is the one year anniversary of my blog, “Literature and Angels.” I choose the title because I wanted to be able to write about a variety of topics. Religion, literature, hobbies, family, friends, politics and anything else that came to mind. My thanks to all who have visited my site, especially those who return.
I need to acknowledge my brother in Christ, John, who writes, “Thoughts of...A Flawed Disciple.” It was his blog that gave me the “little push” to place my musings out there for the world to read. He is now one of my followers.
There are two other followers on my blog. My best friend Phil and our middle son Todd. Their continued support is appreciated. They are the three legs to my writing stool.
Who visits my blog? The majority are from the United States. But there are others from the countries of Germany, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, Singapore, France, Netherlands, Philippines and Uruguay. Thank you.
One of my favorite blogs is Jennifer Fulwiler’s “Conversion Diary.” Every Friday she posts, “7 Quick Takes Friday,” and invites others to add their “Friday Takes” to her blog. Thank you Jennifer for the invitation.
My editor in residence and biggest supporter is my loving soul mate Dee. Thank you my love.
Where do I go from here? I continue writing. It is an enjoyable, fun, educational, and inspiring hobby that allows me to share with the world. It is an extension of my journal and an expression of my love for God, my family and friends. It is an opportunity for me to explore new topics, learn more about myself and improve my writing skills.
This blog is made possible through God. I am blessed and grateful for His love. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Brother Victor

My brother in Christ, Victor, is in intensive care at St. Francis Hospital. He is not allowed visitors, just family. There are tubes connecting too many parts of his body so that he can be provided nourishment and medication. He has multiple issues and each has to be dealt with individually. So, we need patience and time to get through his recovery.

Victor was the "Rector" for my weekend back in September 2010. His presence made my weekend beautiful and fulfilling. It raised my spiritual awareness to a level I never thought possible. His soft spoken words, his warm smile and his spiritual glow provided the strength for the weekend. This same love of Christian brotherhood wasn't just for the weekend. It continues at church, at Ultrea's, or anytime you are with him.  

Yesterday when I walked into his room that smile and glow was still there. He was unable to speak much and I told him to just lay back while I said a prayer for him. But when I finished he started telling me that God was with him and how blessed he was. He was receiving the care needed to recover. There was no discussion of his pain or comments of "why me." He said that God had a new plan for him and when he got out of the hospital he would be off on his next journey.

I have asked God to let Victor stay with us. He has touched the hearts of many people. We are not ready for him to join Jesus. We need his strength to guide us in our faith.

So please pray for him, his wife Kathy and their daughters. They need our prayers now.


Friday, November 25, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 26)

1. The New Roman Missal started Sunday, November 27th which is the first Sunday of Advent.  The Mass we attended went well, Father Jim doing an excellent job. Individually we all made minor mistakes even though we had the words right in front of us.  "And also with you," instead of "And with your spirit," was what I did and also those around me. An habitual response that I've been saying for a long time. It forced me to concentrate on the new words. A good thing as perhaps we have become complacent. Now we can focus on the liturgy of the Mass and become closer with God. 

2. Our family Christmas gathering, the time when all of us can share together, takes place prior to Christmas Day. So, it's my job to get the tree, decorations, lights and train down from the attic. Dee and I will spend the next week or so putting everything together. 

We set up the "Manger Scene" next to the tree which consists of the original set her Dad Frank use to setup at this house. I have been repainting and repairing the figures over the years and they still look beautiful. The grandchildren love the figures and Dee allows them to handle each figure as she teaches them about the coming of Jesus.

The Advent Wreath is on the kitchen table and we completed the first lighting of the candles on Sunday. We are celebrating His coming.

3. I have been reading "The Our Father, Word by Word" for the last nine months. It finished up this week and on Wednesday the entire series was posted on Jennifer Fulwiler's blog. She created the project and invited other contributors to work on it with her. Please take the time to read what all of these talented, blessed by God authors wrote. 

Now when I say the "Our Father" I am concentrating on the words and their meanings. It is no longer just a "memorized prayer." Thank you Jennifer and all of those who contributed their thoughts.  

4. We have a Wii and I've been using the Wii Fit program. Tuesday evening I was doing the "free lance jogging" and managed to pull a muscle. But it's okay because I was jogging on a "virtual" running course. So, I have a "virtual" pulled muscle and completed some "virtual" stretches to help relieve it. Then I contacted my "virtual" doctor and he recommended a couple of "virtual" ibuprofen. All of this while still in my living room, controller in hand.

Wednesday morning I woke up to reality. None of the "virtual" stuff worked, so I'm hobbling around and will be off the Wii for a few days.

5. My friend Guthrie is excited about the Christmas holidays but sorrowful about the change at his work. The company he works for is not having a Christmas party. They are having an “end of the year gathering” instead.

Our society continues to take Christ out of things because they are afraid to offend those who do not believe in Him. Sometimes we have to be unpopular when it comes to our Christian faith. God never said it would be easy.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12 

6. Just received this from one of my brothers in Christ, Dick.  

                      Say Merry Christmas with Carrie Rinderer and the American Life United choir.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

This is a beautiful day, warm and full of sunshine. Dee and I were up early to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner this afternoon. Mom showed up around 9:30 AM to work with Dee to prep the turkey and get it in the oven. My job was washing windows, cleaning bathrooms, setting the table and being available for those last minute things we may have forgotten.

It's quiet now because the grand children are not here yet. To get an idea of how that goes please read Jennifer Fulwiler's article this morning on the 'National Review Online.". She made me laugh because we experience similar activities in our home. I call it "controlled chaos." She reminded me how important it is to be thankful to God. Thankful for everything, not just those moments when my life has no challenges and I am at peace with family and friends.

George Washington presented the first Thanksgiving proclamation in 1789. I made a copy of it, read it and then highlighted how many times he referenced God, prayer and religion.

[New York, 3 October 1789]
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

I am thankful that our first President had the belief in God and the understanding of the importance of Him and religion. We need to continue to practice and evangelize and to remind ourselves that God is our Savior.

Happy Blessed Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 25)

1. Please add Cathy and Victor in your prayers. They have just retired from their positions of Chairs and committee members for our local Cursillo family. Both are dealing with some health issues that prevent from continuing their ministry. Victor has checked in to the hospital for some tests. 

2. Sunday we celebrated Father Jim's 30th year as a priest. There was a small reception at the end of each Mass with a lager one after 11:15 Mass. Dee and I attended the later Mass and brought two of our grand daughters with us. 

Members of St. Therese, his last parish, came to the celebration and presented him a plaque with the picture of the church and signatures from all the parishioners. It was a tribute to his love for them and theirs for him.

As always Father Jim's Homily was beautiful. One of his comments was that many people like to ask when did he decide to become a priest. His answer was "today." If we can say that today we like what we are doing, then we are where we are suppose to be.

He also said that when in middle school he went to his father and told him he wanted to be a priest. His father's comment was, "you don't even sing in church." Today Father Jim sings.

3. Pastor Tuck has a reflective musing entitled, "The Problem with Thanksgiving." It is worth reading.

4. Chris Woodyard has an article in USA Today, 11-23-11, about Dynacorn. See a related article here. The company is making 1965--66 Ford Mustang bodies which will be available for about $15,000 each. Then you need to acquire the engine, wheels and tires, steering wheel, instruments, etc. Final cost could be $60,000 or more. It's a "build it yourself" car for those who enjoy vintage cars.

I owned a 1968 Mustang, 3-speed hard top with the 289 v8 engine. I loved it, but paid about $2200. When I met my wife she also had one but hers was an automatic. The Mustangs are gone but we are still together.

5. Please take the time to read Steve Givens, "Onlookers and faces in the crowd."  
It is beautiful and brought me closer to the last day of Jesus.

6. We went to see the new "Muppets" movie this morning, It was more enjoyable for the adults than the children. We, the adults, were reminiscing from the old "Muppets" television shows. I enjoyed the movie and suggest that y'all go see it. It is a great family movie.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Hobbies

Women don’t really understand men’s hobbies. When a man gets into a hobby he puts his full effort into it. It begins with an introduction by a friend, an article in a magazine, a conversation at a party or something he discovers on the Internet. The next step is to go out and acquire the basic items required for the selected hobby. He wants to make sure that it is something that he is going to enjoy. Then as the hobby ‘pulls him in” his initial investment in dollars and time begins to increase. The hobby almost becomes an obsession. He begins attending meetings and gatherings with those who also enjoy the hobby. They share a common bond.

This bond, this camaraderie he shares with his new friends, almost always conflicts with his wife. Girl friends usually don’t cause a problem because they can be easily replaced.

My hobbies have included hunting, historical miniatures, soccer referring, bagpipes and writing. There are probably other things but those were the most prevalent. Now I just do historical miniatures and writing. I have been thinking about trying the mandolin but haven't figured out how to squeeze in the time for it. Maybe at retirement. 

I have a Lionel train that I put out out during Christmas. My original track, engine, tender, box car, gondola and caboose are over 50 years old. I have been buying new cars and now have reached the point that maybe I need another engine. I purchased the new Lionel "Fastrack." And then I bought on book on track layouts. I love the new stuff and now, just maybe I need new switches and should expand the layout. This is not an easy thing to do around the Christmas tree. And, my wife would not be thrilled if I took over the living room. So now I'm thinking about other options.

1. We have a screened in porch. If I could cover the screens and add some heat then I could put a layout on the porch. 

2. What if I moved some things out of the office. The small recliner chair could be put somewhere. I could replace the desks with a smaller configuration.

3. Convince my wife that the new bedroom doesn't have to be finished until after Christmas. That would give me a whole room to use!

The question is do I need another hobby? Maybe not, but maybe at retirement.

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Slow Takes (vol. 24)

1. Our annual Fair Trade Bazaar was a successful event. The volunteers that support our ministry devote their time and effort to make this work. I am blessed to have such a loving team.

2. I went for my eye exam which showed that I needed to update my prescription. Bought a new set of frames to go with the new lenses. Went back for a fitting because as they were too low and "digging" into my nose. So a after the adjustment all seemed fine at the time. Nope, not quite right, they are still "digging," only a little farther up. Will try another adjustment this afternoon. 

3. The "New Missal" is coming Sunday November 27th. It has created some interesting conversation in our men's group. Some of the new words are questionable because they are "new" and "different" from what we are use to. The words that stand out the most are "consubstantial" and "incarnate." This is change and we don't like change. However, if we put our minds in order and think positive about it these new words will become natural to us. The Mass has not changed, we are still in God's house and taking part in the liturgy.

Please listen to Jimmy Akin, "Are You Ready for the New Mass Translation?" on "Catholic Answers Live."  This is a question and answer session that gives insight to what other people are asking and provides some explanations as well.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has a printout available for reference.

4. Since I am talking about change, there is a book entitled, "Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life." It is written by Spencer Johnson, Ken Blanchard and Kenneth Blanchard.

I read this book back in 2001 while working for a title insurance company. The organization was making some major changes. Many employees were getting stressed over these new and different things. The book was given to me to read by one of my co-workers in another department. After I read and handed it back to her she passed it to other people. She was an angel helping us to adjust. It helped people think about what was going on and calmed their fears.

The book is available at "Barnes & Noble." However I found a .pdf version by Spencer Johnson that provides some background and the "Story Behind the Story." 

5. I just returned from the "retina specialist" and everything is somewhat blurred and too bright. This is my annual checkup and everything is fine.

6. "For he is never long in any one condition, and his life on earth flows by like the mighty waters, heaving and tossing with an endless variety of motion; one while raising him up on high with hope, another plunging him low in fear; now turning him to the right with rejoicing, then driving him to the left with sorrows; and no single day, no, not even one hour, is entirely the same as any other of his life"

More on change, only this quote is from "Introduction to the Devout Life" by St. Francis De Sales, Chapter XIII. I read this while in the waiting room this morning and it brought to mind how my days go. Things are not always rejoiceful, but they aren't always sorrowful. But He is with me through everything. This is no different from what people encountered back in the 16th century.