"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 29, 2017

More Than 7 Quick Takes

Wine Barrel Designs

Dee has an Amazon Echo which was a gift from our son Eric and his wife Lynne.
She's been having fun with it and especially enjoys having Alexia track her grocery list and greeting her each morning.

Todd and Lynne gave me some cabins and a farm house for Christmas. They will be converted to match the Briartun buildings that I currently have. I'll have more information and photos as that project progresses.

On Christmas day we were invited to Susan and Roger's house for dinner and a relaxing evening sharing stories and meeting new people. Dee took some photos which she will be showing on her Facebook page. My favorite photo is this one with Susan's Mom Pat and Dee's Mom Lucy. They enjoyed each others company.

Pat (96) and Lucy (95)

The Polar Vortex has returned.

"This whirling mass of snow is like a “Frost Giant” from Dungeons and Dragons. Charging down from the north with his snow axe. Swinging and spreading snow, ice and freezing winds. Impervious to magic swords and wizard spells. I sit in my chateau, protected by my armor of wool and my elixir of black coffee. Safe from the frigid 12 degree temperature outside. I know that it’s just a matter of out-waiting the beast. Soon, “Sunbringer,” she who wields the sword, Meltan, will arrive. She will clear the snow and ice and stop the freezing winds. She will send the winter beast back to the north." Me  

The Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman was held on Dec. 28 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. This year saw Navy play against UVA. It was a great game for Navy fans.

Dee and I watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 the other evening. I have seen the first "volume" of Guardians of the Galaxy, and have been waiting for Vol. 2. I was not disappointed and especially enjoyed the music. See Rollingstone.com.

My favorite songs, not in any particular order, “Bring it On Home to Me,” Sam Cooke, “Southern Nights, Glen Campbell, “Come a Little Bit Closer,” Jay and the Americans and “Father and Son,” Yusuf/Cat Stevens. 

The characters are all unique and the writers have done an excellent job of blending them together as an unlikely team of superheroes. It is important that they be watched in oder, Vol.1, then Vol. 2. 

This is the 5th Day of Christmas ....
however I did not receive "5 Golden Rings." What I did receive was a warm morning hug and kiss from my lovely wife Dee.

Here are a couple of ol’ time favorites.

Bill Anderson - “Still”

Claude King - “Wolverton Mountain”

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.” — G.K. Chesterton

Kelly has returned so go over to "This Ain't the Lyceum," where she is hosting more takes.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Friday Musings December 22, 2017

Our good friend “Muffie” shared this poem with us at one of our prayer group meetings.

"The world is charged with the grandeur of God. 
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; 
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil 
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? 
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; 
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; 
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil 

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod. 
And for all this, nature is never spent; 
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; 
And though the last lights off the black West went 
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs — 
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent 
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.”

I continue to watch the History Channel program, "Knightfall." Each episode gets more interesting as characters develop. The most interesting person is Pope Boniface Vlll, played by Jim Carter, who was excellent as Mr. Carter in Downton Abbey.  

Pope Boniface lll with the Templar Knights

We had a large woodpecker enjoying the suet in the backyard.

Photo by Dee

This is from Dynamic Catholic’s “best advent ever” for December 20, 2017. I’m sharing this because I have been through a similar situation. I believe that God does bring hope if we let him into our lives.

“You know, I remember a time when I was in my early twenties, getting ready to graduate college, and someone close to me was struggling with a very serious addiction. We had done nearly everything we could to help him. I prayed for a miracle nearly every day. At night before I went to bed, at Mass on Sundays, and even in the Adoration chapel by my parish where I would stop most Wednesday afternoons. I begged God for a miracle.
It took nearly four and a half years of persistent prayer, but this person close to me came to seek help. And they've now been sober for five years. Being around my family now, I can't help but see the peace that surrounds them. God is good.
When is a time in your life when all you could do was hope?”
Chris Kaiser

Alan Jackson - "Silent Night"

Roger Miller - "Old Toy Trains"

Martina McBride - “O Holy Night” This is beautiful, it gave me chills ……

Have A Blessed Merry Christmas

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Musings December 15, 2017

“Do not cast all hope away. Tomorrow is unthinkable. Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.”
             J.R.R. Tolkien

I took these photos from my iPhone around 7:30AM last Saturday.

Back Porch

Front Porch
 The Army Navy game was an exciting game that went to the very end. I don’t pull for one team or the other. The enjoyment is in the game itself and watching the teams play as they seek the “Commander-in-Chiefs Trophy. However, it was nice to see Army win as Navy had led the series for many years. Army now has two consecutive wins.

The most moving moment for me was the singing of our National Anthem sung by both the Navy Midshipmen and Army Cadets.

 “You might be from Buffalo …..” if you have to take a shovel to a Buffalo Bills game.

“The weather in Buffalo is frightful, but the the football could be quite delightful.”

 This is from Anthony DeCristofaro in Friday’s “Your Daily Tripod.” Take a moment to read the entire blog.

Robert M. Pirsig writes: “It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I'm looking for the truth, and so it goes away.’ Puzzling.”

Carrie Underwood - “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Musings December 8, 2017

 “One of the beautiful things that Fr. Mike Schmitz talks about in his chapter of Beautiful Hope is this idea that life has meaning. Every decision we make every day, everything we do every day, leaves this whole world to become more hopeful or more hopeless. Your life has meaning, and it has mission. And he wants to send you out into the world to be a great ambassador of hope.” Matthew Kelly - Day 3 of Advent 12-5-17

The new History channel series, “Knightfall,” began this week. It’s different, but I need to follow it for a couple of more episodes. Some history mixed in with some non-historical intrigue.

Knight Templars
Our son Todd was visiting this week and we got into a discussion about reading. He spends time reading with his daughter and was commending on the writings of Charles Dickens. One thing in particular was the fact that Mr. Dickens could write long sentences. So I found one that he wrote ….

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” 

“A Tale of Two Cities,” by Charles Dickens

Brad Paisley - “What Child Is This”

Friday, December 1, 2017

Decorating, a Poem & Randy

1. The Irish Lads are finalists in the “Offensive Line,” Joe Moore Award. 

The Richmond Spiders win back the “Capital Cup,” in an exciting win over William and Mary.

2. Dee and I have been putting up Christmas decorations. In the process we have decided that there is a lot of things we really don’t need anymore. Some are old and worn out, but some are in excellent condition. I took a couple of those to church for our “Christmas family.”  

3. I’m not going to talk about leaves again. Yes, they keep falling and I keep picking them up, but it’s Fall. So, here is a nice poem to finish with.

The leaves had a wonderful frolic.
They danced to the wind's loud song.
They whirled, and they floated, and scampered.
They circled and flew along.

The moon saw the little leaves dancing.
Each looked like a small brown bird.
The man in the moon smiled and listened.
And this is the song he heard.

The North Wind is calling, is calling,
And we must whirl round and round,
And then, when our dancing is ended,
We'll make a warm quilt for the ground.

4. “The Grand Ole Opry” began broadcasting on November 28, 1925.


6. I own a portable scanner from 2015. The name is not relevant and I don’t want to pick on the company that made this device. It has performed well over the years and was instrumental in my paperless journey. The “company” has decided to move away from their scanner software. They have apparently researched that providing web access is more profitable. So, to continue using what I have would requires purchasing a “plan.”  No thank you. I’m now researching new scanners and will provide my findings on in a later blog.

7. Randy Travis - “How Do I Wrap My Heart Up For Christmas,” a great song.

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

Friday, November 24, 2017

Brothers, Life and Runaway

1. Saturday’s game between the Irish Lads and the Navy Midshipmen was better than I expected. Watching the brothers, Navy junior OT Adam Amosa-Tagovailoa and Notre Dame freshman DT Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa playing on the same field added to the excitement of the game. The teams respect each other but play hard and for a period of time it looked like Navy would be the victor. But it wasn’t to be and now the Lads are at 9-2.

2. We had a beautiful Thanksgiving with family. Dee and her Mom made the turkey, along with some roasted chestnuts. Christina and her Mom, Debbie, brought side dishes and desert. I ate too much.

3. “On November 23, 1936, the first issue of the pictorial magazine Life is published, featuring a cover photo of the Fort Peck Dam by Margaret Bourke-White.”

4. I’m staying even with the leaves, but as I was gathering them a thought came to me. Did Adam have to rack leaves in the garden?     
5. “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”          Mark Twain


7. Del Shannon - Runaway (1961)

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

Friday, November 17, 2017

Veterans Day, Sam & Leaves

1. I graduated in 1965. My plans were to enlist in the Navy, but God had other plans. I dislocated my elbow in a toboggan accident and was given a 1-Y classification. ( Available for military service only in the event of war or national emergency.) I watched as my friends went off to Vietnam. So, I chose the following poem for Veterans Day.

Vietnam Tears

I stood and I watched as a mother cried, 
when she had heard that her son had died.
He didn't die because he was sick, 
or he didn't die because he was in a wreck.
He died doing what he felt was right. 

I watched a father try to hold back his tears,
His son had lived only a scant 19 years. 
His son had died nine thousand miles away,
And what was there left for a father to say? 
He got down on his knees and said a prayer,
His brave son knows his father did care. 

I stood and watched as a little girl cried. 
She didn't understand why her brother had passed on;
Why he never again played with her on the lawn. 
Looking at the little girl's tears I knew,
That her big brother died fighting for you and me.
~ Author Unknown ~

2. The Richmond Spiders are now at 5-5 after their loss against James Madison last Saturday. Miami controlled last Saturdays game against the Irish Lads, dropping them to an 8-2 record. This Saturday is the annual U.S. Navy game which is always a good game no matter who wins.

3. I watched the movie “Casablanca,” (released in 1943) last Sunday evening. A movie that should be viewed at least once a year because it’s so good. I love the plot, the characters, the music and the lines. 
“Round up the usual suspects,” spoken by Claude Rains as Captain Louis Renault.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine,” spoken by Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine.
“Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By,” spoken by Ingrid Bergman as IIsa Lund.
If you enjoy the “old flicks,” it is worth taking the time to watch.

4. Leaves were piled up last weekend so I spent Saturday picking them up. On Thursday I was able to mow the lawn without worrying about additional leaves. We’ll see how next week goes.

5. The History channel has produced a new program entitled “The Warfighters.” It is a series using “first-person accounts, the un-narrated series chronicles recent U.S. Special Operations Forces missions in the global war on terror, giving viewers an inside and candid look at the realities of war. Over 90 veterans participated in the production.” It is an excellent series and worth watching.

7. Don McLean - “And I Love You So.”

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

Friday, November 10, 2017

Travels, Wine & Ampersand

1. Dee and I were traveling with our friends Pam and Tony last week. Attended the LaRue wedding in Hadley, MA then headed to Buffalo, NY to visit family. My nephew Chris and his wife Adrienne provided a place for us to stay while we were there. We enjoyed their hospitality,  listen to ghost stores on halloween night and learned about Adrian's school, Nardin Academy. 

2. In Massachusetts, we visited Mineral Hills Winery. Did some wine tasting and bought wine and gift items. Tony had Sue autograph the wine bottles. It was the first time anyone had made such a request. 

Photo By Dee
Photo By Me

3. Canada has some great wineries along Lake Ontario. We showed Pam and Tony Niagara Falls then drove to “Niagara On The Lake.” In addition to some shopping, we had lunch at Caroline Cellars Winery and completed some wine tasting there. Keeping with Tony’s new wine tradition, we had Linda sign our wine bottles.

Photo By Me
4. Season 5, of the History Channel series Vikings, starts November 29th.

Bjorn, Lagertha & Ragnar (Season 2 Episode 1)

5. Our son Eric sent me some information on the “History of the Ampersand.” A great article.

“As with a lot of aspects of typography, the history of the ampersand begins with our triumphant and progressive friends, the Ancient Romans.

Roman scribes would write in cursive so as to increase the speed of their transcription, often combining letters into one form to save time while also increasing legibility, where certain characters overlap in a visually discordant mannerthis was the birth of the ligature. The ampersand is simply a ligature of the letters E and T (et being the latin word for and).” 

6. "The soldiers did go away and their towns were torn down; and in the Moon of Falling Leaves (November), they made a treaty with Red Cloud that said our country would be ours as long as grass should grow and water flow."           Black Hawk

7. Willie Nelson - “On the Road Again.”   

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