"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, January 27, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 34)

1. There were two exciting football games last Sunday. Although it was disappointing to watch a kicker miss a field goal close to the end zone. Remember that I moved down from Buffalo and have seen this situation before. Anyway, I did choose the Giants and now they face the Patriots. It will be a good Super Bowl.

2. The story of Jonah is an interesting one filled with miracles, disobedience and forgiveness.

The miracle is Jonah existing in a "great fish" for three days and then being deposited onto dry land. This is after he refuses to go where God told him to go. Then, after being re-directed back to Nineveh, he complains about God's forgiveness of the Ninevites. Jonah is not like other prophets in the Bible.  His problems are self inflicted and they are a result of his disagreements with the Lord.

The king of Nineveh repents immediately and tells his people to listen to the message of Jonah. The Ninevites are enemies of Israel, yet they listen and do as they are told. The message is similar to other stories of the Bible but is more of a satire. I find it quite interesting.  

3. Dee and I went to the University of Richmond men's basketball game this week. Their opponent was Fordham and we won. It was a great evening with friends.

I don't attend many basketball games so I found it interesting that there were ten men in suits guiding and coaching the team. You have a coach, three assistant coaches, two directors of basketball operations, an academic advisor, a strength and conditioning coach, an athletic trainer and finally the video coordinator. There is a lot more support for a team than I realized.

The other part of basketball is the number of "time outs" they have. I was a soccer referee and we didn't have "time outs." So I'm still amazed at this.

Me, Dee and Brenda

Me and Lou
4. This week I reached my 65th birthday, which happened to be the same day we went to the basketball game. I don't feel 65 and I am still working. It's interesting how fast the years passed by. I keep telling our sons to enjoy each moment.

I received telephone calls from all three of our sons. One sang "happy birthday" solo to me. Another sang with his sons and the third one called and left a message while we were at the game. Just a note, we are not a family of melodious voices.

Friends called and sent cards and I even received a birthday cupcake. This weekend the family will gather at our house for the celebration.

Thank you Lord for letting me be here. Thank you for my health, family and friends.

If it be your will, I would like to say longer and continue enjoying life.

5. Met with friends at Panera this morning. A second prayer group, although the format is still evolving. Each member present had prayer intentions which I have added to my prayer list.

This is a good group and I'm learning more about them each week.

Thank you Lord for new friends and please listen to our prayers.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 33)

1. Friday night we went to Justin's, our oldest grandson, hockey game. He is on a U11 team and it was fun watching the variety of skills by the players of both teams. Each team seemed to have at least one skilled player, at least one novice and then everything in-between. They can all skate and move up and down the rink. They kept the game exciting and were tied after the first two periods. Justin's team finished up with the win.

I love being a grand parent! 

Justin Heading for the Ice

2. The Divisional playoffs were fun to watch even though the team I chose did not win. So now we are heading to the Conference Championships. Time to select a team for Super Bowl XLVI, and I will go with the Giants. I was impressed with their play and I think they have it all together for the "Big Game."

3. Super Bowl brings out the best and worst new commercials. This year a company called H&M is appearing for the first time. They are going to be promoting their new line of men's clothing, the "David Beckham Body Wear Collection." The ad will have David Beckham modeling the new line. Apparently men don't purchase under ware. The ad is for our wives, girlfriends and mothers. In addition the price is rather high. Staring price for a pair of briefs is $12.00.

Just a note, I buy my under ware and I don't pay that kind of money. Love those Fruit of the Loom briefs. They use funny dudes dressed as fruit and most recently riding horses. A "guy" type of humor.

4. This weekend my brother Tom and his wife Karen are coming for a visit. They live in Maryland and it's only a two or three hour drive. My brother and I both celebrate our birthdays this month. This weekend falls in-between them so we are doing a double celebration.

We will have dinner at a restaurant so Dee doesn't have to cook. I'm not sure which one, but that will not be an issue. We have many to choose from.

5. A Thomas Merton quote from "Your Daily Tripod."

“It is a glorious destiny to be a member of the human race although it is a race dedicated to many absurdities and one which makes many terrible mistakes; yet with all that, God Himself gloried in becoming a member of the human race! ... we are because of Him who dwells in us. But precisely in Him and by Him we are deeply involved by compassion: yet compassion is useless with our freedom."

Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours, Kathleen Deignan, edt., Sorin Books, Notre Dame, IN, 2007, pp.52, 56.

6. Wednesday evening as I approached our home I noticed that the mailbox was missing. The post was still there, just no mail box. The neighbors mail boxes were all present so this eliminated the thought of high wind gusts in the neighborhood. I saw the mail box in the garage  and then entered the house. 

Dee explained that a local plumber was working in the neighborhood. Somehow he managed to knock the mail box off the post using the door of his truck. I don't  know the details, but he was kind enough to bring the mail box in and explain to Dee what had occurred. He said he would replace or install a new mail box. 

We moved down from Buffalo, New York about 18 years ago. In the winter months it was not uncommon for us to loose a mail box as a result of the county plows. They would be driving at about 40 miles an hour throwing snow at what ever high velocity snow can travel. But this is the first time we've had a plumber encounter.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Historical Miniatures

History was one of my favorite subjects to read about when I was in High School. The period that most interested me was the American 17th Century. Canada and the United States during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. I read every book in the school library and I still read today. My library consists of historical research, novels and movies.

I became involved in historical miniatures, "long, long ago." Dee has been paitent with this hobby and even supports it. She has shopped with me to obtain display cases that fit into our home decor. The photographs of my figures are taken by her and she even attends my gaming conventions. 

My favorite historical miniature blogs, are listed on my blog to share with my readers. The historical knowledge, painting and drawing skills are a few "notches" above my abilities. They provide ideas for my painting and usually send me on research adventures. There is always something to learn.

Me At Play

Jesuit Priests (Figures by Conquest Miniatures)

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 32)

1. Our grandson Conner took part in his Cub Scout Pack annual Pinewood Derby. I met him and his Dad Eric at the event Saturday morning. There are five Dens in the Pack. Tiger Cubs, Bears, Wolves, Webelos 1 and Webelos 2. Conner is in the youngest Den, the Tiger Cubs. His  car, "Lightning McQueen," took first place in his Den. His enthusiasm for this feat was, "can we go to Panera now?" So, we enjoyed brunch at Panera, returned to the derby and watched the other Dens race. At the end, the computer showed that Conner's car took 4th place overall.   

Conner's car is the red one with the "eyes"

The weekend didn't end there as Dee and I attended our grand daughter Isabelle's first gymnastics meet. She participated in four events, the bar, the balance bar, floor exercise and the vault. She took 2nd place in the first three but did not place in the vault. However her scores were high enough that she took 2nd place overall. She is twelve and has a little bit more enthusiasm than Conner.

These are memories that Dee and I will cherish. Thank you Lord for children who share their families with us.

2. “Patience is not a waiting passivity until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.”

I borrowed this from Steve Givens , his January 8th blog. The quote belongs to Henri Nouwen.

My patron saint is Saint Francis De Sales and I have my favorite quote from him at the top of my blog. I have to work at patience every day and pray to St. Francis for assistance.

It is not easy but I make myself aware of my imperfection, similar to recognizing that I have allergies. My medicine for patience is concentrating on keeping calm, not rushing and working on my "inner peace." I am getting better.  

3. My brother in Christ, Victor, has made it through the worst part of his medical issues. This is an email from his daughter, sent out to our Cursillo family.

"Finally after SEVEN WEEKS in the hospital my daddy is coming home today!
Thank you all so much for all the prayers and support. I don't know what
we would do without such a wonderful community of family and friends. BUT
please please please keep the prayers going. This thing isn't quite over
yet. Now it's up to my family to take care of my dad full time, which is
going to be difficult especially since I have to go back to school :( and
there is still a very likely possibility that he will need surgery once he
gains back his strength. So thanks again everyone and thank you God! ?"

4. A great definition of a Cursillo weekend. 

"The purpose of going on a weekend is not to get more people active in the Cursillo movement. The purpose is to show you that God (Jesus) loves you & to fill you with the Holy Spirit when you to go back to your home, work, church, neighborhood, wherever you go, and help that environment change for the better, i.e., be a Christ-like environment."

5. This is Divisional playoff weekend for those of us interested in professional football. Two games on Saturday and two games on Sunday. I have already let Dee know that the games are on and to plan around them. Her team, Denver, plays Saturday at 8PM and my team, Green Bay, plays Sunday at 4:30PM.