"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 28, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 80)

1. Dee and I attended the Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve. The church pews were full, our commons area was full and there were people standing.  It was crowed and everyone did their best to make as much room as possible. Father Jim was pleased to see so many people at Mass. His Homily shared a couple of stories about parishioners that received gfts and in turn had shared what they had received. This is exactly what God had intended for us. Our gift was His son Jesus and it is our responsibility to share Jesus with others. The love, compassion, thoughtfulness, and values of our religion. We go forth to share, to love and bring hope for the New Year.

2. My Christmas present from Dee was “Halo 4” for the Xbox 360. The saga continues.

3. December 25, 1776, GeorgeWashington and his troops cross the Delaware River and surprise the Hessians at Trenton. Corey Kilgannon of “The New York Times” has an interesting about the painting that depicts this piece of history. 

Emanuel Leutze's Painting

4. We are getting into the winter months and the snow storms are here. As I was watching the weather reports I noticed that whenever there was an outdoor interview with one of the Weather Channel Meteorologists, the L.L. Bean logo appeared on the jacket. What a great endorsement. If the Weather Channel wears the L.L. Bean gear then maybe I should be doing the same. Perhaps I should take pictures of me in my L.L. Bean clothes. Then I could send them in and see if I could audition for the summer or fall catalog as an amateur Meteorologist. 

5. There was more tragedy on Christmas Eve when four firefighters, just doing their job, were shot. Two of them died and two them went to the hospital. Our youngest son Stephen is a firefighter. Watching this on the news touched my heart and when we were together on Christmas, I hugged him more than I usually do. 
For the people of Webster, N.Y., Joseph Hofstetter, Theodore Scardino, family & friends and for the souls of Michael Chiapperini & Tomasz Kaczowska. You are in my daily prayers, you are not alone. nor forgotten. 

6. “This Christmas, joy wrestles with grief,” written by Michael Gerson is an article about his view on the sorrow some of us are facing this Christmas. He quotes from a sermon by William Sloane Coffin,

“Nothing so infuriates me as the incapacity of seemingly intelligent people to get it through their heads that God doesn’t go around this world with his fingers on triggers, his fists around knives, his hands on steering wheels. . . . The one thing that should never be said when someone dies is, ‘It is the will of God.’ Never do we know enough to say that. My own consolation lies in knowing that it was not the will of God that Alex die; that when the waves closed over the sinking car, God’s heart was the first of all our hearts to break.”

7. Thursday Dee and I took Stephen, Eryn and Haley to Bremer’s Hardware Store to see their Christmas train display. The layout is 18 feet by 56 feet and has eight to ten trains running all at the same time. The best way to see the layout if you don’t go is to see the photos and videos on their website.

The Engineers at the control panel.
Afterward we had lunch at “The Classic Grill.” Hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries. The drive was not too long and we enjoyed listening to the girls sing along with Grandma Dee. 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 79)

1. I am impressed with President Obama’s eulogy to the people and survivors of last Friday’s violence. He spoke of love, prayers and God. He reminded us that we are all together in this time of sorrow and that Newton, Connecticut is not alone. His ending paragraph gives me hope that he will lead us in the right direction.

“May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in His heavenly place. May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort. and may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America.”
2. To the people of Newtown, Connecticut, especially the families of the victims, you are in my prayers. May God watch over you and help you through this time of sorrow. May He provide you the strength to continue with your lives. 

3. This is a beautiful quote from Jennifer that aligns our sorrow and joy during Advent.

“It feels like this has become a season of sorrow. In a way, it always was. The only joy this season ever contained was a joy rooted in eternity, in the knowledge that death has been overcome, and the hope that we will all meet again in a place where there is no suffering.”

4. Basketball is not my favorite sport. Dee loves basketball and our friends, Jeanine, David, Brenda and Lou have season tickets for the Richmond Spiders. So we joined the group as our team beat Stetson last Saturday. The game was exciting and I did have fun. We will be attending more games. Some pictures of our group. 

Me, David and Lou
Brenda, Dee and Jeanine
5. I have not seen The Hobbit, but this review has me excited. Thank you Lee!

Bilbo Baggins
6. I am a father of three sons and I love them all the same. Each one has a different career path and they do well in the occupations that they have chosen. The middle son, Todd, is an education consultant with a blog at “Voice & Scholarship.” He has now started a new blog that I am proud to share with you; “Deo Duce, Ferro Comitante.” Please visit and read his introduction.

7. From the Gospel of Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

A blessed Merry Christmas to all. Take the time to enjoy His birthday with your family and friends.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 78)

1. Our family Christmas celebration was last Saturday. Dee and I hosted a Christmas brunch and everyone brought something to share. There was Dee’s famous egg and sausage casserole, Christina’s delicious hash-browns and Lauren’s special sweet potatoes and a Christmas fruit tree. We followed that with a variety of Christmas cookies, candies and apple and pumpkin pie. Yes, I’m sure there was also a few extra pounds added to our systems.

After desert, while we still have everyone at the table, we sing Christmas songs. One of my favorite is the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” This year I printed out each of the days on an 8 1/2x11 piece of paper and passed them out. As each day came up the person holding that day would hold it for all to read. It turned out to be more fun than I thought, especially when two of the days were backward.  

Lauren and the fruit tree
2. Handel’s Messiah by the Silent Monks. 

3. “Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, 11th Bishop of Richmond, died on Tuesday evening, December 11that his home in Richmond.  We commend him to Our Lord Jesus and ask your prayers for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his beloved family and dear friends.”

4. I was asked the question, “what is your blog?” My friends and family know I write a blog and a journal. Sometimes they ask what I’m putting on the blog, probably concerned that their picture or “unusual” moment will be seen by the “world.” 

My journal is more personal and contains those things I don’t want to share with the world. It contains musings and pictures that my family will read after I’ve moved on.

My blog is for now, my platform for writing on just about anything. It’s an outlet for me to share and learn. An opportunity to reach out to other people all over the world. I write about God, my hobbies, my family, my friends. I comment on news articles, local and not so local events. I share my childhood heroes reminiscing of those values I learned from them. I connect with other bloggers, reading and taking advantage for their knowledge of writing. Praying to one day publish something for all to read.

5. Some unusual magic by French magician Yann Frisch. This is great!

6. This week I started the paperwork for my retirement. The start date of my next journey is February 22, 2013. The Project Manager, Stephen, whom I’ve worked for since 2001 was supportive of my decision. He said to make sure it is a new adventure and not a permanent seat from a rocking chair that sets on the front porch. I assured him it wasn’t.

7. I watched the “Premier Episode” of “Minor Revisions,” followed the Twitter notes and learned much about Jennifer and her journey. My favorite part was the evening with Dad, “amateur astronomer, engineer, wasp killer” and a wonderful person. Thank you for sharing him.  

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 77)

1. My coworker and friend, Leighton called together his IT Team and I over to his cube one morning. He provided a testimonial to God answering his prayers about his health. It was emotional and beautiful. I don’t know how the others felt, but it moved me. I gave him a big hug and thanked him for sharing. I have worked with Leighton for over eight years. He has been suffering with this illness and now has a path to go forward, knowing what needs to be done. 

2. “Advent” is here and I am preparing and reflecting on His second coming. The readings that warn of not being ready have an affect on me. It’s good to listen and remember that we really don’t know when the time will come. Sometimes we get too complacent and it’s easy to forget the real reason of “Advent.” My daily reading helps me to say focused on God and His return, His birth and Mother Mary. 

3. Tuesday evening was build a gingerbread house at our church. Our youngest son Stephen and his family joined us for the festivity. At least half of the candy the children collected was eaten while they made their houses. It was a great evening and some pictures are posted on our church website.
Our Gingerbread Houses
4. Trisha Potter has a excellent book review on Joseph Pearce’s new book, “Bilbo’s Journey, Discovering the Hidden Meaning of The Hobbit.” I am a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien’s writings. His tales of Middle Earth are full of adventure and intrigue. He does an excellent job showing the struggle the characters face between choosing righteousness or being caught up in the wickedness of the ever present evil. Please read what Trisha has written about Joseph Pearce and his newbook. After you read the book you may be interested in obtaining his CD, “Joseph Pearce Unlocks The Lord of The Rings.”  

5. The housing market is continuing it’s slow improvement. The data analysis firm, CoreLogic, reported a 6.3 percent increase from October 2011 to October 2012. 

6. One of our parishioners, Barbara is suffering fro cancer. She struggles with it daily but continues her strong faith in God. Please add her to your prayers. Her latest email: 

“One never knows what the next day brings. I guess our mission is to stay open and aware of the messages sent our way. A friend of mine and I have shared a quote over the years....
"If you are looking for something monumental, you probably closed your eyes."
Sometimes the answer is right in front of us..........
In the midst of this Christmas rush, I hope you can all still find the time to just "Be"
Love to you all, Barbara”
7. The Thursday reading from “Life is Advent” is about our spiritual life and God’s presence within each of us. It suggest’s that if we are aware of His presence, we, “sense joy even as others nurse complaints, experience peace while the world conspires in war, and find hope even when headlines broadcast despair. We “discover a deep love even while the air around” us “seems pervaded by hatred.” 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, November 30, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 76)

1. The Irish Lads finished with a perfect 12-0 season after a battle with USC Saturday evening. The fourth quarter stand at the goal line with just minutes to play was inspiring and exciting. A tribute to the dedication of defensive line and their coaches.

The next game is the BCS title game on January 7. It will either be Alabama or Georgia. Which ever one it is, it will be a tough game. Go Irish!

2. Dee and I tried a new restaurant last week. Poe’s Pub, located on East Main Street in Richmond, Virginia. We started with the Nachos appetizer, which turned out to be enough for three or four people. We did manage to get through most of it. For the main course, Dee had the “Commonwealth” burger dressed with caramelized onions, mushrooms, bacon and Swiss and cheddar cheese.  I had the North Carolina pulled pork BBQ complete with homemade coleslaw. Both sandwiches were served hot and timely. An excellent meal served by a warm and pleasant waitress. 

3. Monday night our men’s group watched episode IV of the DVD series “Catholicism.” This episode centered on Mary ... “explained as an-ongoing presence, an actor in the life of the Church.” It was a beautiful tribute to Mary as Father Baron continues to teach us about our Church. One interesting new thing that I learned was that after Mary appeared to Juan Diego, over a period of approximately six years, “Six million Aztecs converted to Catholicism,.”

4. The cardboard bike, a new innovative design created by an inventor from Israel, Izhar Gafni. He said it could be sold for $20 and possibly be given away free to those who are too poor to buy one. If his cardboard product can hold up to bicycles then that would open up other markets for cardboard related products.

5. A couple of pictures of one of my cowboy heroes, William Boyd. Born June 5, 1895, died September 12, 1972. He played the role of Hopalog Cassidy making over sixty movies.

6. Congress and the President appear to be handling the “Fiscal Cliff” issue as though it were a “soap opera.” We could probably call it “All My Politicians,” or “Guiding Budget.” The writers are gearing up for an episode that will supposedly surprise all of us. Stayed tuned, it’s not hard to miss anything because it’s in front of us every day.

7. Next week is Pearl Harbor Day, December 7. Please remember those who gave their lives. 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 75)

1. Saturday was Senior Day at Notre Dame. Manti Te’o has been named as one of the finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award for 2012. The win over Wake Forest brought their record to 11-0 with an undefeated season at home. Great news, great playing and a great season. The next game, against Southern California, will not be easy. I would like to see a 12-0 record but I’m happy with the games they’ve played and the exciting season they’ve given us. 

2. The Richmond Spiders defeated William & Mary to win the Capital Cup. The season record for 2012, 8-3. That makes 11 conference championships and three CAA  conference championships. This has been a great season!

3. Deacon Steve gave his first Homily at our church last weekend. He is a parishioner who was ordained earlier this month. He shared his journey of becoming a deacon and thanked the parish for it’s support. We are blessed to have him stay with us and I look forward to working with him. 

4. “Durendal” is the sword that was made famous in the “Song of Roland.” The poem describes Roland as laying over the sword just before he died so that the Saracens would not take the sword. There is no mention as to where the sword was taken. The Rocamadour Shrine in France supposedly has the sword stuck into the rock and chained so that it can’t be removed. Fordham University has further information about the poem.. 

There is also a story that states the sword was taken by the Saracens. 
This is a fictitious novel written by Harold Lamb

5. I do not participate in the “Black Friday” chaotic, shopping frenzy. I enjoy sleeping in and I really don’t need anything.

6. The Avria & Aubrey Trapletti Charity Fund Benefit was a success. They raised approximately $50,000. You can follow the continuing story on Facebook.

The Twins

7. Yesterday we shared Thanksgiving with Todd, Lauren and Katerina at their home. Joining us was Patrick, Elizabeth and their children. Lauren and Elizabeth prepared the dinner which was excellent. Dee made her famous apple and I ate a little bit of everything. Thank you Lord for a beautiful day.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, November 16, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 74)

1. Notre Dame won over Boston College bringing their record to 10-0. Last week I showed an incorrect stat of 6-0. Please forgive me. The Richmond Spiders enjoyed Senior Day beating Delaware on their home turf. The Spiders are now 7-3.

2. My Veterans Day remembrance:
          Edward Trimble, WW1 My grandfather
          Paul P. Forgette, WW2 My Dad
          Frank Siracusa, WW2 My Father-in-law
For those who have served our country, deceased and living. You are all in my prayers. 

3. Quotes from Christin’s Quote Book. These are reflections on aging which helps me put things in perspective as I approach the next stage of my journey. 

  • There is always a lot to be thankful for, if you take the time to look. For example, I'm sitting here thinking how nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt.  ~Author Unknown
  • I recently had my annual physical examination, which I get once every seven years, and when the nurse weighed me, I was shocked to discover how much stronger the Earth's gravitational pull has become since 1990.  ~Dave Barry
  • Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.  ~Quoted by Francis Bacon, Apothegm 
  • Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age.  Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.  ~Tom Wilson
  • Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.  ~Author Unknown 
  • In dog years, I'm dead.  ~Author Unknown
4. November is Native American Heritage Month. It is a time to pay tribute to the traditions and culture of a people who are part of our history and lives. My Dad’s family includes Native American blood. According to my cousin Brion’s research our Great Grandma Felicie was from the Turtle Mountain Chippewia or Metis of Canada.  

5. This is a picture looking out our office window. When I walk into the room there’s this beautiful orange aura that brightens the entire office. God at work.

6. There is a website, Arwen-Undomiel, which is dedicated to the “Lord of the Rings” and things associated with L.L. Tolkien. I found my name in the Elvish language; Nibenon. (Nee-benn-on).

7. I was looking through some old things that I had written, “long, long time ago” and found four, original from the paper, “Peanut” strips. The time period was about 1970, I was single, working and going to college. My inspiration came from different things, one of them being “Snoppy.” Enjoy the comics.


Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, November 9, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 73)

1. Our Fair Trade Bazaar was last weekend and it was successful. The team put everything together on Saturday and each worked the different Mass schedules with me. The items that are bought helps our neighbors all over the world by helping them to achieve a sustainable income. In partnership with SERRV, Catholic Relief Services, and Equal Exchange.

2. Saturday football results had a win for the Richmond Spiders and Notre Dame. I was working at Church and didn’t get to see them although I started watching the Irish Lads 
before I left. Just before returning home I checked the Notre Dame Insider app to see what happened and saw a score of 20-6 in favor of the Panthers. I thought the game was over but when I arrived home and turned on the television it was 23-23 in the second overtime. A crazy ending. 

Notre Dame 6-0 and Richmond Spiders 6-3.

3. Deacon Rick is heading back to his hometown in Wisconsin. A new job opportunity for him. He will be missed but remembered by the parish. He is a friend, a spiritual leader and remains in my prayers.

His last Homily left us with a message which he called “The Main Thing.” 

“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.”

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:28b-34

Thank you Rick and may God continue to bless you and your family.

4. Tuesday, November 6, 2012, Halo 4 is here. The saga continues and I’m one of the gaming crowd that owns and has followed from the beginning. It is my favorite game. Brett Molina of USA Today describes the “action powerhouse.”

5. Post election thoughts can be read at this blog. The author and I made our Cursillo together back in September 2012. His article is much better than what I could have written.
Thank you John.

6. New time, old time has worked well this week. I still wake up early, just an hour sooner than last week.

Here is some information when it started, why it started and how it has changed. 

7. Please read my Tuesday blog, SCID Awareness. The picture of the twins will warm your hearts.

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SCID Awareness

I am supporting two beautiful little girls who have an immune syndrome disorder called SCID. Their mother Audra has a Facebook page and there is a fund raiser going on as well. They need your prayers and donations if possible. Thank you.

Avria & Aubrey Trapletti Charity Fund Benefit
Where: Pluma, 100 Colony Drive, Irwin, PA 15642
When: Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 4:00pm - 10:00pm.
Events: Live Entertainment: Boogie Hustlers & the Duo of Rachel & John,

Food, Chinese Auction, Vendor Tables, Door Prizes & More...
Suggested Minimum Donation - $12 in advance/$15 at the door.
* Only tickets sold in advance will qualify for door prizes. ** Tickets required for entry.
For advance ticket purchases mail checks for tickets made payable to the Avria & Aubrey Trapletti Charity Fund to:
Avria & Aubrey Trapletti Charity Fund c/o Albensi Laboratories
1061 Main Street
North Huntingdon, PA 15642

~ A printable order form can be found at www.albensilab.com (Look for link at the bottom of the Homepage) ~
• Tickets can also be purchased in person with check or cash at the Albensi Laboratories reception desk at the address above from 8:00am - 4:30pm.
• For more information contact Laura Albensi at 724.864.8880/laura@albensilab.com or Laura Hoffman at 724.837.1354/laura166@aol.com.

Avria and Audrey

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 72)

1. Notre Dame’s Saturday night game against the Oklahoma Sooner's was different from what some of the sports announcers talked about earlier in the day. Although the score seemed one sided, it was tied 13-13 with nine minutes left in the forth quarter. Another exciting finish for the Irish Lads as they added another win. A record of 8-0.

2. It’s Sunday night and Hurricane Sandy is moving closer north. We have a high wind advisory from 8AM Monday until 6AM Tuesday. Winds will be 20 to 35 MPH with gusts up to 50 MPH. This will probably bring down trees and cause power outages in our area. I pray there will be little structural damage and no injuries or fatalities.

3. Randy Booth shared some very interesting thoughts on the Presidential election. His ideas on politics and religion and how they relate to each of us are simple and honest. I have learned and experienced things during my lifetime. I know there will be more and I know that it is not always going to be easy. I have no regrets and I hold no grudges. I just keep enhancing my faith and put my life in God’s hands.

4. It’s Tuesday morning and we have come through the storm with no damage and still retain power. Unfortunately those in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania are having serious issues. Lord thank you for helping us and please help those who are in the midst of the storm.

5. Halloween night was very sparse this year. We only went through one bag of candy. Perhaps our neighborhood children are growing up.

6. General Motors announced a profit of $1.48 Billion dollars. I read the rest of the article and found out we, the taxpayers, still have a poor “return on our investment.”

“GM shares closed Wednesday at $25.50, up $2.22, or 9.5% That remains well off the November 2010 IPO price of $33 and below the about $53 needed for the government to break even on the 2009 bailout.”
Perhaps when GM makes a profit they could send each of us a tax free check. It would put the money back in our hands and we may use more wisely than Congress. Just a thought.
7. Please vote next week. It’s important for each of us to support whichever candidate we follow. Many men and women fought and died so that we may have this freedom. 

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, October 26, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 71)

1. Saturday afternoon was different in that both the Richmond Spiders and the Fighting Irish played at the same time. I kept going back and forth from one game to the other. When it got to the fourth quarter the excitement began. Yes, It was intense but fun to watch. Two great games and two great wins. 
Spiders overall is 5-3. The Irish Lads at 7-0. 

2. Dee and I have found her Mom’s new home.The staff, facility and amenities are excellent. We have started the process and should be able to get her Mom moved in November.

3. On Sunday Todd, his buddy Patrick and I moved the couch and some other furniture from my mother-in-laws apartment to our garage. Tuesday, Stephen and I finished the move. Dee and I finished moving the boxed items Thursday night. The entire process has been successful.

4. Russell Charles Means died on October 22, 2012. He was an Oglala Sioux who portrayed Chingachgook in “The Last of the Mohicans” and starred in “Pathfinder.” I loved his character in both movies but enjoyed “The Last of Mohicans,” probably because of my interest in the French and Indian War period. There is detailed information about him at Wikipedia.

5. “The Call of Jeremiah,” was Mondays article by Tuck at Denbigh Church. In his discussion of the issues Jeremiah’s faced while following God, Tuck makes an interesting point.  
“Whatever our struggles and hardships, we are not alone. God is with us, God’s Spirit is in us, and God’s people are beside us. God never promises that we will not struggle; He does promise that we will never have to struggle alone!”
Thank you Tuck.

6. Apple introduces the iPad Mini, a new iMac and a new MacBook Pro. Read about it and view photos at USA Today.

7. Hurricane Sandy is on her way north. For those of us on the East Coast, make sure you are ready. Lord help us all to get through the storm. (See number 5 above.)

Read other "Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 70)

1. College football provided two exciting games over the weekend. The Richmond Spider’s lost a close game to New Hampshire, 40-44. Stanford and Notre Dame went into overtime with the Irish winning 20-13.

2. Prayers for our sister-in-Christ Rose who made her journey home on Sunday. We lived next door to each other and watched our children grow, attended weddings and shared the ups and downs that life brings. Thank you Lord for the memories.

3. Sunday’s homily by Monsignor Shreve suggested that selling everything and giving it to the poor is something we face more often that we realize. If we think of our possessions not as physical things but rather our time, it might be easier to understand Mark's Gospel. Our neighbor calls asks us for help tonight, but we have scheduled a night to go to the movie so we respond with a no. Your brother asks you to help him move furniture out of an apartment. It’s your turn to drive the “guys” to the ball game this week so you respond with a no. If we make the sacrifice to sell or time and give it to our friends and family, it may be the same as selling what we have and giving it to the poor.

4. Your Daily Tripod for Monday provided an excellent prayer by St. Teresa of Avila.

“Lord, you know better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old.
Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.  Release me from craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all; but Thou knowest, Lord, that I  want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;
give me wings to get to the point.  Seal my lips on my aches and pains; they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is  becoming sweeter as the years go by.
I dare not ask for improved memory, but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.  Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.  Give  me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people; and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.”

5. I have painted Norman knights, Templar knights and Hospitaller knights but sold them when I started concentrating on other periods. Every once in awhile I think about getting some knights to paint again. So when I saw these figures from Paul’s Bods I got interested in his diorama and my mind started wandering toward some knights I saw at the Historicon convention this year. Just don’t tell Dee.

6. The review of assisted living continues. Completed two this week. We have been asking friends for suggestions and they have been teaching us things we didn’t know. A little more time will be worth the effort to find the right place.

7. The Fair Trade Bazaar takes place in two weeks. I received the consignment order and will start tagging all the items. There are some new items that we added including jewelry and scarves.

Read other "Quick Takes" at Conversion Diary.

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 69)

1. College football scores, for my favorite teams. Richmond won over Villanova adding another victory to their win column; 4-2. Notre Dame dominated Miami bringing their record to 5-0.

2. Our men’s group started watching the Catholicism series narrated by Father Robert Baron. When he was talking about “The Teachings of Jesus,”   one of the readings he spoke about was from Matthew,

   “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” Matthew 5:44,45.

We got into a discussion about who is your enemy. My thought was that today’s enemy is someone who doesn’t agree with you, someone who irritates you or just makes you feel uncomfortable. It can be a neighbor, a person at work or even church. We don’t have to hug them. Smile and say good morning or good afternoon when you see them. Someone has to start the process. Why not let it be you?

3. Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY writes about a study that claims the Protestant population in the United States has dropped from 53% in 2007 to 48%. They didn’t go anywhere, just stopped following or practicing a religion. What is growing are those who don’t have a “religious identity.” The study calls them, “Nones.” 

4. From BigLee’s blog, “Never paint your last model.” For those of us who paint miniatures and have a never ending collection of "unpainted lead."

5. My pet peeve this week is the “drive-through.” Never go through the drive-through, something always goes wrong. My wife doesn’t have this issue, just me. So when we went to pick up prescriptions for her Mom and her she said go to the drive through. 

“What is the name please?”
“Can you spell that?”      (Hm, can I spell? Yes, I can.)
“Date of birth”
“March 12, 1922”            (There is silence as she looks through the database.)
“I’ll be right back.”
A second person shows up.
“What is the name please?”
“Can you spell that?”      (Here we go again.)
“S, like Sam,-i-r-a-c-u-s-a”
“Date of birth”
“March, 1922”                   (There is silence as he looks through the database.)
“Found it”     
So the transaction is completed.Then I informed him we had a second prescription, different name ..... Yep, same process, name, date of birth, search the database and couldn’t find it. We left.

6. Me and our son Stephen at a wedding reception last month.

Photo By Dee

7. Dee and I are visiting assisted living facilities for her Mom. This is a new experience, time consuming but interesting. So, far we have talked to three communities and will finish the preliminary search by next week. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 68)

1.Todd and I tasted the Luc Pirlrt, Pinot Noir Reserve 2010, and were pleased with the wine. Unfortunately we could not determine the flavor of the wine. So I bow to the Wine Curmudgeon who stated, “it has a moderate black fruit, plus some pepper and earthiness.”

2. My replacement iPhone 4s showed up on Friday. Dee was there to accept and verify that the package had not been tampered with. The FedEX driver was very cooperative and pleased that all was fine. It makes his job easier. My phone is setup and functioning great.

3. On Sunday we celebrated our son Eric and his son Justin’s birthdays. We enjoyed a beautiful warm and sunny Sunday afternoon with family. Todd and Lauren brought a piñata. We hung it on one of trees in the front yard and starting with the four year olds, letting each of the children take turns attempting to get at the treasure inside. The piñata proved to be a challenge but they finally got it opened. 

4. Roger Yu, USA Today explains some features we may not know about Apple iOS6. I like the “private photo sharing.”

5. Todd has a new blog, “Voice & Scholarship.” Please take a moment to view his writings on education and scholarly information.

6. Acorns ... acorns ... are all over my drive way. Every time I drive in or out it sounds like small firecrackers sounding off.

7. Please pray for a healthy recovery for my sister-in-Christ Jeanine. She had hip surgery yesterday.

Friday, September 28, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 67)

1. PCs vs Macs: How they stack up by Kim Komando, Special for USA TODAY

2. I received a new bottle of wine from our “adopted” son Patrick. It is a Luc Pirlet, Pinot Noir 2010. My assignment is to slowly drink the wine and determine what I taste. What fruit is there? Is there a slight taste of spice or wood flavor? We’ll see this weekend.

3. It was a good weekend for college football. University of Richmond won over Georgia State; Notre Dame had a “not to pretty” win over Michigan and Virginia Tech embarrassed Bowling Green.

4. We were discussing change the other night at our men’s group. Some of the fellows were concerned that the world has been changing and we are getting to the point where it could end. War, economic disaster, a solar storm, maybe zombie’s. (Not really.) Anyway our brother-in-Christ, Dick reminded us that there has always been change and it has always worked out for the better. His faith is stronger than ours and we are blessed to have him in our group.   

5. FedEx delivered my new iPhone on Tuesday. Well, sort of. The box was empty. It had been re-taped and fortunately the driver made a note of it. So my iPhone box arrived and now I’m working with FedEx on a claim and Verizon for a replacement.

6. A correction from my last blog. I misspelled my granddaughters name, it was supposed to be Ekaterina, not Katerina. Not a good thing for Grandpa to do.

7. This morning Melanie Rigney wrote about today’s reading from Ecclesiastes. It fits well into the “change discussion” we had at our men’s group meeting. “We turn over control and worry and fear. We know He’s coming back. We don’t know when. All we can do is to do as He asked: Love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s always time to obey the two greatest commandments.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Slow Takes (Vol. 66)

1. I have a pet peeve; people working or playing on cell phones during a function. Whether it’s a meeting, a seminar, a wedding, a church service or general gathering of friends it’s rude. My two cents. 

2. Saturday’s wedding was beautiful and I especially liked the reading from Sirach 26: 3-4

“A good wife is a generous gift,
bestowed upon him who fears the Lord.

Whether rich or poor, his heart is content,
a smile ever on his face”

I am blessed that He entrusted me with Dee’s love. My heart is happy and my life is content.   

3. “Your Daily Tripod” wrote about the theme "waiting." 

My “waiting” is for retirement. 153 days to go. That of course is my plan and not God's. So we'll see what develops.

When I was a child I was always waiting for Christmas, summer break, waiting to be 16 so I could drive, waiting to be 18 so I could drink, waiting to be 21 so I could vote, waiting to graduate from college, waiting for our first child to be born, waiting for the "right job," waiting for things I thought I needed. These things have all passed and I have learned that patience is more important. Life is much easier when I put my faith in God and follow His example.
4. Fantasy football, an example of humility at “Thoughts of A Flawed Disciple.” 

5. Thursday night we celebrated one of our coworkers retirement. He is 55, has spent over 30 years with our organization and is ready to explore new horizons. Gary’s plan is to retire somewhere in Florida on a houseboat. Maybe find a small island off the Florida Keys. The evening was cheerful and sad. We are happy he is leaving but will miss him. Lord please watch over him and keep him safe.

6. Tomorrow we celebrate our granddaughter Katerina’s birthday. A day in the country with family.

7. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish face Michigan Wolverines at 7:30PM Saturday and have field advantage. Michigan leads the series 23-15-1 but that will change when the Irish lads triumph over the northern guys.