"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, 2016

New Year Takes

1. Please pray for Father John and his family. His older brother Joseph died over the weekend.

2. I do not make New Year's resolutions. My life is good and I trust God. There is a statistic, from the University of Stanton, that only 14% of those 50 years or older will achieve their resolutions. I couldn't find anything on how many of that same group just "forget" their resolutions.

3. Matthew Kelly has a new book that I started reading this week, "Resisting Happiness." Father John has made it available to each family of our parish as his Christmas gift to us. It is also available on the Dynamic Catholic website

4. I've had some shoulder issues and decided it was time to get it taken care of. So I'm working with a Physical Therapist getting my muscles massaged, pulled, manipulated, and stretched. It was great, much better than I expected. The session ended with a machine that applies heat and stimulates the muscle. Now I have to follow through with stretches at home and some return visits. 

5. Celtic Woman sings "Auld Lang Syne."

6. Dee and I are hosting our 2nd annual New Year's party. We enjoy sharing the evening with friends and family and are looking forward to this years celebration. Photos should be available next week.

7. Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, "It will be happier."
Alfred LordTennyson

From Happy New Year Images

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Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas Takes

1. Our tree is up, complete with decorations, lights and the Lionel train. Everything is ready for the family gathering after Mass.

Our creche

2. Brother Tony and I went to the train show last weekend. We both own vintage Lionel trains and enjoy displaying them at Christmas. Yes, we did purchase more items. Track and accessories. Prices are always better at the show.

3. My Lionel 1130 Locomotive and train layout.

4. Faith Hill singing Oh Holy Night.

5. Carol of the Bells, The Piano Guys. This is really good.

6. Alan Jackson, Let It Be Christmas.

Have A Blessed Merry Christmas

Clipart of a painting by Renijpg of the holy famly with an angel. 

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

Friday, November 18, 2016

Army, Linda & Thanksgiving

1. Last Saturday the Irish Lads faced Army in San Antonio, Texas. The Black Knights did not play well, loosing 44-6. This is another one of those traditional rivalries that is enjoyable to watch each time the two teams meet. After completion of the games, both teams gathered together while each of their supporters sang their school anthems. 

2. My good friend Dick sent these photos to me. 
A shoe car, but I don't know what size it is.
One of my favorites, a VW Camper

3. “The more you observe politics, the more you've got to admit that each party is worse than the other.” Will Rogers

4. Calvin and Hobbes, pirates ..

5. Linda Ronstadt and Kermit singing “When I Grow to Old to Dream.”

6. "Today is the anniversary of the deaths of several people who led risky lives for Jesus.  In the early hours of November 16, 1989, commandos of the Salvadoran armed forces entered the university campus and murdered six Jesuits, together with two women who were sleeping in a parlor attached to their residence. Remember the Jesuits and their friends who were martyred on Nov. 16, 1989 in El Salvador. Remember, pray and always stand up, even when it is risky, against repression and violence."

7. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day.

“This Victorian illustration is the work of the very gifted artist, M. Schmucker from around the turn of the century.”

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

Friday, November 11, 2016

Notre Dame, Navy & Veterans

1. Saturdays game between the Irish Lads and the Navy Midshipmen was as good as any game I have watched. Ninety games have been played between the two since 1927. This years game being held at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Both teams scored in each quarter, leaving Navy the winner at 28-27.
I wrote about the “annual intersectional rivalry” on my blog last year. It is a game of tradition and respect between two great teaching institutions. 

2. I completed Ira Bell’s farmhouse. There also a blog showing of my collection of wagons and carts.

3. The elections are over. It is time to put the controversies and other issues behind us. 
We all need to come together, to be thankful for our country, and to pray to God for His blessing as we move forward.

4. Calvin and Hobbes, snowmen in the neighborhood. I was never that creative.

5. Carrie Underwood - Something In the Water. 

6. On November 10, 1969, began the start of a new children’s program, Sesame Street.  The program would introduce new characters that would teach and entertain children and adults. Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, Big Bird, Elmo and Count von Count and many more. Dee and I watched the program with our sons and learned to love Jim Henson’s Muppets. 

Game of Chairs - A Game of Thrones Parody

7. Happy Veterans Day

My photo from the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial in Italy

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

18th Century Wagons and Carts

I have written about showing my complete collection of wagons and carts that I use for gaming. Some of them are recently completed and there a few that were painted back some years ago. I have written about my more recent ones in other blogs.

Starting on the left are three powder carts. One of the carts has a Colonial wagon attendant. He doesn’t represent any particular regiment. Sort of an extra figure that has earned a spot on the table. In the background is a water wagon. 

The center has a dowel sided baggage wagon with a civilian wagon attendant.

On the right are three baggage carts, one with a civilian wagon attendant. In the back is an ox cart which I’ve had for many years. It was originally used for the Anglo Saxon-Viking period. It fits well with the rest of my collection and I've thought about getting another one.

All of them are from Hinchcliffe Miniatures. I haven’t thought about adding any more. However, if I spot something that is different from what I have, it will probably be added.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Holy Days, Durham and Annie

1. The Irish Lads faced Miami on Saturday and managed to “pull one out.” This Saturday they face Navy. I enjoy watching the games every year and have not missed many. It doesn’t matter who wins, it’s the history of the games that make it fun.  
The Richmond Spiders are at 7-1. Only three games to go and two of them are at home.
Go Spiders!

2. This is a quote sent from Sister Claire, a close friend of my buddy Jim. 

“A great source of peace and comfort is knowing that we have a cheering section in heaven: the saints! Like us, they come from every walk of life, every different set of circumstances, every age group, and every part of the world. Like us, they struggled with the difficulties of life, but they held on to God's love and grace, and they made it through their struggles. They never lost hope that God would take care of them in every circumstance.

We tend to idealize the saints, but once we get to know them, we realize that they have a lot in common with us. They relied on the same strength from God that also sustains us. The saints cheer for us because they love us, they help us with their prayers, and they want nothing more than for us to join them in everlasting joy.

As we look forward to All Saints Day, let us be grateful for the gift of the saints, who show us how to persevere in our own spiritual journeys.”

3. The Feast of All Souls provides us an opportunity to pray for loved ones, friends and anyone else who have left this world. At our church we prayed for the 26 souls who departed this earth over the last year. There is a cross of remembrance that is handed out to each family by Father John. A church community supporting each other.

Our prayer for the evening: 

“Eternal rest grant unto Your servants, Oh Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May their souls, and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”

4. Calvin and Hobbes, watching for incoming aliens.

5. Dee and I visited the American Tobacco Historic District while we were in Durham, N.C. last week. It is a beautiful place to visit and we enjoyed lunch at a terrific restaurant, Tyler’s Taproom.

6. Randy Travis - “Shallow Water.” This is a beautiful gospel tune.

7. On October 24, 1901, Annie Edson Taylor made history by being the first person to go over Niagara Falls and living to talk about it. Her statement, after exiting the barrel;
“If it was with my dying breath, I would caution anyone against attempting the feat…. I would sooner walk up to the mouth of a cannon, knowing it was going to blow me to pieces than make another trip over the Fall.”

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ira Bell's Farmhouse

The farmhouse has been completed. Ol' Ira was not happy at how long the project took to complete. However, the winter cold has not started and there is plenty of time for splitting wood.

The house is a lighter color than the barn, but follows the color guidelines that I used when painting my other buildings. I added some stone walls which are from TSC, which I don't believe are in business anymore. I believe the well is from Hovel miniatures.

The pig pen in the back is a "scratch build" I completed a couple of years ago. The pigs are Hovel miniatures. Donald Bates is guiding an Ox cart that I purchased from Hinchliffe.

That covers all my current buildings. I've been researching smithy's for Thom Gillman. The plan is to scratch build a small one. (In the meantime he will be using Ira's barn.) 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pete, Mr. Regan and Randy

1. The Irish Lads continue to struggle. Perhaps the game against Miami will be the one that turns the season to a more positive outlook.
It’s always nice to win at “Homecoming.” The Richmond Spiders did that and now travel to North Carolina to take on the Elon Phoenix.

2. The Chalk Man, sent by my good friend Clark. I love these

3. This is “early” Pete Seeger singing “Turn, Turn, Turn.”

4. Calvin and Hobbes, swimming lessons.

5. Ronald Regan, on his 75th birthday; 
“I did turn 75 today - but remember, that's only 24 Celsius.”

6. Randy Travis is slowly recovering from his stroke. On Sunday he sang a few lines from “Amazing Grace.” The video.

7. Next week is the Central Virginia 491st Woman’s Cursillo weekend. Please pray for the team and the candidates.

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

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fr Simoni, Prayers & Kermit

1. I've missed some weeks of "Takes." The passing of my close friends Rich and Kathy has kept me busy in other directions. Healing, praying and writing. Please see "In Remembrance of Rich and Kathy."

2. College football is still enjoyable to watch. It would be more fun if the Irish Lads were winning more. They sit at 2-4 as they prepare to face Stanford at home tomorrow.

3. The Richmond Spiders are moving along at a 5-1 record. Tomorrow they face Villanova, also at 5-1. It should be an exciting game. 

4. Anthony DeCristofaro posted the following on Tuesday of this week.

"Among the latest examples of the men who will wear the red cap of the rank of 
Cardinal in the Catholic Church is a man some call a living martyr who exemplifies living in the Spirit.  Fr Ernest Simoni who was condemned to death by the communist government in Albania and whose witness moved the Pope has been named Cardinal."

Take a moment to read the entire post.

5. “Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love,
and the future to God’s providence.”
Saint Augustine of Hippo

6. Please pray for my friend Peter and his wife Brenda. Peter was rushed to the hospital this week.

7. Kermit the Frog - "Rainbow Connection."

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

In Remembrance of Rich and Kathy

On Sunday, September 25, 2016, our close friends Rich and Kathy were killed in an airplane accident. They were flying with their club from Hamburg, N.Y. to ST. Mary’s, PA. A weekly breakfast excursion. A Mass of Christian Burial was held that Friday at SS Peter & Paul Church, Hamburg, New York. Dee and I attended along with our sons, friends and the family of Rich and Kathy. Please pray for their souls, for their daughter Carrie and family.

Carrie asked Dee, Dayna and I to stay with her at her parents home. We are blessed to have been able to spend the weekend with our Goddaughters. God was also there.

 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 
(Isaiah 41:10)

Rich and I went to high school together. He and Kathy were the first of our group to get married. They created the foundation of our group. We added more couples to our group, and as our friendship developed, Rich and Kathy were always the couple we focused on. Their example of marriage was one to strive for. “Where Rich was, there was Kathy.”

There were our “core couples.” Bill and Patti who were married next but then moved out of town. Then we met Sue and Tony and Walter and Sue. This was the group that maintained a close “family” connection. We shared, laughed and supported one another through the years. Dee and I moved to Richmond but we still visited and maintained our family relationship.

Now, more than ever we will continue to support and love one another. Each “coming together” will be a reminder of the bond that we all share.

“For everything there is an appointed
season, and a time for everything
under heaven

a time for sharing,
a time for caring,
a time for loving,
a time for giving,
a time for remembering,
a time for parting.

You have made everything
beautiful in its time for everything
you do remains forever.”

The following photos are some that I selected that start in 1992, jump to 2009 and end at 2012. They are memories of the good times we shared.

Rich and Me 1990
Me, Kathy, Rich and Dee 2009
Me, Walter and Rich 2009
Carrie, Me and Rich 2009
Kathy and Carrie 2009
Kathy, Me & Rich - Richmond, VA 2009
Kathy, Christina and Stephen 2012
Sue, Dee, Kathy and Sue 2003

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rain, Toys & John Paul(s)

1. The Richmond Spiders succumbed to the Stony Brook Seawolves last Saturday. It was not an enjoyable game. But, on to the next game as they face the Colgate Raiders (1-1) at home.
    The rivalry between the Irish Lads and the Michigan State Spartans is a time honored one. The games are always exciting and this one was no exception. Unfortunately the Spartans were successful, 36-28. Now at 1-2, the Irish Lads face Duke, also at 1-2. 

2. Finally, after many weeks of dryness and heat, the rain came. The grass is growing once again and the flowers add their beautiful colors to the yard. All is well.

3. I have been waiting for Michael Weatherly’s new series, “Bull.” I was not disappointed. Michael is a great actor and continues to impress me. I like his new new character and the story line of the program.

4. So, now who is replacing Tony Dinozzo on “NCIS?” There are two new characters. 
Special Agent Nick Torres and Special Agent Alex Quinn. Two different types of characters which should complement Gibbs’ team. I’m looking forward to the new season.

5. “Men are like wine, some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”
Pope John XXIII

6. While we were playing the game “Catch Phrase,” “wind-up toy” was one of the selections that the “guys” had to solve. Fortunately we did. Our friend Maureen said that reminded her of a Peter, Paul & Mary tune. 

Peter, Paul & Mary - “The Marvelous Toy”

7. On September 23, 1779, John Paul Jones tells Captain Richard Pearson,of the British ship HMS Serapis, “I have not yet begun to fight.” He proceeds to win the naval battle, which includes a second British ship, the HMS Countess of Scarborough. Read more about him at the U.S. Navy website.

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Football, Remember & Croce

1. The Richmond Spiders started off the season with two wins. The first over the Virginia Cavaliers and the second one over the Norfolk State Spartans. They travel to Stony Brook and face the Seawolves this Saturday.

2. The Irish Lads had a tough loss against Texas but triumphed over Nevada in week two. They are facing the Michigan State Spartans at home this weekend.

3. This is dedicated to John Vigiano Sr. and his family. My prayers are always with you.

4.  “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”

5. Jim Croce - “Roller Derby Queen.” A great tune.

6. The “River City Rollergirls" from Richmond, Virginia. Read about them, learn about roller derby and check out their schedule. 

7. Trisha, at "Prints of Grace," is having laparoscopic surgery today, Friday the 16th. Please keep her in your prayers. 

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