"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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 46)

1. My brother in Christ, Victor, sent this email to our Cursillo community. I wrote about his hospitalization back in November of 2011. Thank you for your prayers.
“By the Grace of God, I am happy to say that I am alive and doing well. Latest tests show that my colitis is inactive and I don’t have cancer. I’m slowly gaining my strength back but it will take several more months to return to normal. I tire early in the day so I have to make sure I don’t overdo any activities.
There are no words to express my gratitude to my Cursillo family for all
the love, prayers and support. It helped tremendously in sustaining me during my two month hospital stay and afterwards. I thank God for sparing my life and for Cursillo.”
2. We have a woodpecker drumming on our chimney. Either it has found some insects, it’s attracting a mate or just advertising it’s territory. I’m not an expert on woodpeckers, although I did enjoy Woody Woodpecker cartoons. So with a little bit of research I discovered that if I acquired a hawk decoy and placed in view of my home it would keep the woodpeckers away. The hawk has landed. All I have to do is figure out where to place it.
3. The honey bee population has been decreasing since about 2006. The bees are dying as a possible result of insecticides. Read the article by Alexandra Ludka.
I have two friends who have just gotten into beekeeping. It has sparked my interest but I have enough hobbies right now. Just ask Dee. Still, becoming a beekeeper is intriguing. There is the Virginia State Beekeepers Association where one can learn the trade. In addition, Virginia has a grant program to help stimulate the beekeeping industry. “$200 for every new beehive, up to $2,400.” Definitely something consider, just don’t tell Dee.

4. Tuck @ denbigh Church had an interesting blog this week. He wrote about making decisions and related it to “Putting Out the Fleece.” A reading from Judges 6:36-40
Many times I have selected the left road when I should have taken the right road. Once down the road it was too late to go back, so I learned to accept my choice and go on. Sometimes there was regret and sometimes things worked out. Later in life I learned that if put my faith in God the choices would be easier. If the choice I made seemed not to be the correct one I was okay. My faith in God gets me through.  

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 45)

1. Bonnie’s blog has an update on Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and the status of his canonization. Please read the blog for details and the prayer for his canonization.
"Earlier this week I received an email from the executive director of the Sheen Foundation with news that the date for the review of the Positio by the "ordinaries" (Cardinals and Bishop who advise the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints) has been set for May 15, 2012.  (The Positio is the official "position paper" explaining why the Catholic Church should declare Sheen a saint.)"

2. I have an “App” on my iPod that provides me the pollen number where I live. Today is 10.6 which is high. The forecast for the next few days; 1.0 for Sunday, 7.1 for Monday and 10.0 for Tuesday. At the beginning of the month the numbers were in the high 10s to 11. Life is looking good for those of us that suffer from allergies. We should be seeing the end of the pollen soon.
3. This has been house project planning week. We are working on painting the downstairs area, landscaping the lawn and taking down trees. Each project requires a different contractor. A time consuming research effort that is worth the undertaking.
4. I completed one of my proxy votes this week and selected “no” for pay raises for the board members. It is bothersome that we have to vote on the issue. We are in an economic recovery that does not appear to be working as well as it should. Those who are in positions of authority need to be less concerned about their income. There is too much greed and not enough “service to others.” Where have we failed?
USA Today had an article written by John Waggoner and Matt Krantz. The following was an interesting comment. “Is this the start of a trend in which millions of investors rise up against outrageous pay for middling — or worse — executives? Probably not.” 

5. Last night Dee and I went to the Byrd Theatre. The feature movie was Walt Disney’s John Carter
It is a trip back into history when you go to the Byrd Theatre. In 2008 the theater celebrated it’s 80th birthday. Just sitting there looking at the huge crystal chandelier, the hand painted murals and the gold and crimson colors made me feel like I was back in the 1900s. 
The movie was not successful for the Disney studios. It lost two million dollars and soon afterward the CEO, Rich Ross retired. However, I grew up on the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter was one of my childhood heroes. So for me this just added to my enjoyment of the evening. I was caught up in the theater surroundings, my childhood memories and sharing this with Dee. I loved the movie and don’t agree with the movie critics who were unkind in their reviews. See the movie and judge for yourself.

6. A gathering of historical gamers by Iron Mitten.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 44)

1. The photo below is one of many located at Pavel Kosenko’s blog. I was intrigued by this farmer and his family and wondered what ever became of them. Some research brought me to the following blogs:      "Somewhere Else Altogether" and "Shorpy."

The Jack Whinery family photographs are at multiple sites with many comments. The information is sparse but I did learn about the difficult times in Pie Town, New Mexico. The Pie Town Council has a website here.

"September 1940. Jack Whinery, Pie Town, New Mexico, homesteader, with his wife and the youngest of his five children in their dirt-floor dugout home. Whinery homesteaded with no cash less than a year ago and does not have much equipment; consequently he and his family farm the slow, hard way, by hand. Main window of their dugout was made from the windshield of the worn-out car which brought this family to Pie Town from West Texas. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Russell Lee, Farm Security Administration."  

2. We surprised my mother-in-law Lucy for her 90th birthday on Saturday evening. Dee told her we were taking her to dinner and when we showed up at the restaurant family and friends greeted her, singing happy birthday. She was surprised, overwhelmed, emotional and happy. The biggest surprise was a telephone call from her son Pat who told her to turn around and he and his wife Judy were standing behind her. 

Pat, Lucy and Dee

3. Easter Sunday was a beautiful day. We went to 9:15 Mass and I was pleased to see the large number of people who were there. Father Jim welcomed  everyone and his homily was inspiring and warmhearted. This was his first Easter week with our parish and he was thankful to be part of our family. We had our traditional Easter egg hunt with the grandchildren and enjoyed Dee's manicotti with Sunday sauce. 

4. Wednesday night Dee and I went to our son Eric’s hockey game. A while back I wrote about going to his son Justin’s game. This was a little different in that the players were much older. Eric’s team is the PogMoThoin and they played the Cougars. Both teams are in the over 35, “Grumpy Old Men’s League” of short Pump, Virginia. They have three 20 minute periods and two officials. We enjoyed watching and it was nice to see no altercations, arguments or delay of game. The players seemed to be having fun and enjoying just playing. We were treated with a great goal by Eric which he scored late in the third period. 
The games are played late at night so there are no crowds and seating is free. Family members seemed to be the only ones in attendance.

5. There was a Championship game that Justin played in last week. Dee and I missed the game but Eric provided some pictures. Justin’s team won.

Winning the Championship

6. Lions and tigers and "a scorpion?" Oh my! We have no scorpions in Richmond, Virginia but we do have other arachnids. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Holy Thursday Mass is the washing of the feet and watching this reenactment of Jesus puts today’s reading into perspective. Father Jim, Msgr. Shreve and Deacon Rick wash the feet of some of our parish community. Each year different parishioners are asked to participate. Dee had her feet washed and said it is a humbling experience that touches the heart. It allows us to feel what the disciples felt and teaches us that what they are doing, so should we be doing.
“So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." John 13:12-15

Easter week is special and brings me closer to God than any other time of the year. I get closer as I read and reflect on His suffering and sacrifice and then His rising. Passing from death over to life, all through His love for us.


Wednesday morning Jennifer Fulwiler provided a link to Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He has a message that is inspiring and passionate. It makes me shout AMEN! Take a moment and watch it.


My brother-in Christ Tony bought some hot cross buns at our weekly Sunday gathering at Panera. We got to talking about the origin of hot cross buns so I did some research and found a story about Saint Clare of Assisi. Read it at “Discover-Catholic-Miracles.”
Don’t forget the hot cross buns nursery rhyme.
“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns”

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Slow Takes (vol. 43)

1. The bathroom project is completed. My son Eric and my brother Tom helped me finish the electrical work. Tom showed up as a surprise visit and was unaware of the project. He said next time he’ll call before he drives down from Maryland. Dee is now adding the accessory items, colors and pictures. 
2. Iron Mitten does an excellent job of drawing historical and fictional characters. This week was a simple but comical drawing from “Lord of the Rings.” 

3. It’s allergy season and my eyes are tearing, making it difficult for the early morning. It’s a great excuse for not working out in the yard, but things do need to get done. I figure if I spread out the time that I spend outside it might make it a wee bit easier. So the plan is to try every other day just working for a hour or two. We’ll see how that works.

4. "My covenant with you is this: you are to become the father of a host of nations.”
“I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you
throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”
"On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages."
The above reading from Genesis 17:3-9 made me think about how much God gave to Abraham. The only thing that Abraham and his descendants had to do is keep His covenant.
We are children and even though we have, there is always something more that we would like. Our minds like to keep things simple. Remembering what we have been told is easily forgotten. If we are not corrected the first time or the second or third then we think the sin is no longer a sin. We create our own problems and wonder why our lives are not what we think they should be. Our eyes can’t see and our hearts don’t love.

It is simple, our Lord loves us and provides the tools we require to stay away from sin. Open our eyes, love Him, love our neighbors as we love ourselves and keep His word.   
5. I waited until Thursday to mow the lawn. My plan didn’t work and I suffered for it. I need to get some help with the lawn until the pollen goes away.
6. Dee manages a “Curves for Women.” The owners, Anne and Rob are a wonderful couple and Dee loves working for them. They belong to the New Bridge Baptist Church where Rob is the Pastor. Over the weekend they moved the location from the upper front of the building down to behind the building. Dee asked if I would help and I spent some time Friday night and Saturday morning moving furniture, boxes and setting up their computer and related equipment. I was impressed by their friends and members of their church who arrived with a trailer to move the big things. Everyone pitched in and the move was completed by the end of the weekend. God at work; as always.