Thursday, December 31, 2009


This 25 cent word means to be placed side by side.On our mantle, the Nativity of Jesus is juxtaposed with His Crucifixion. I like the way the lean-to shelter of the Holy Family  points straight to the cross.Great joy is side by side with great sorrow. The statue of Mary used to be my Grandmother's and that means a lot to me.I also like the fact that it is St. Joseph who is holding the Baby Jesus. Just for the record I have never " prayed to" these statues.They are like  pictures of  people that are important to me and that I want to be reminded of, like the pictures of my family that I also have on my mantle piece. As guests come in and as we ourselves sit in the living room, we can be reminded both of  the birth and death of our sweet Lord Jesus and of his Holy parents that He allowed Himself to be subject to while He lived on earth.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dinner Table Topics

            Although we are not known for being fussy eaters and have eaten some VERY  crazy casseroles to prove it, we generally allow no complaining about the food served at the table.In the first week of our marriage my husband learned that we would eat whatever I served and we would eat it at the Dinner Table, every night.This has led to some good family discussions on many different topics.The most common one is Politics and I can assure you,the coverage is not fair or balanced!                                                                
           We sometimes talk about religion and as I write this I realize that it would be wise to bring this up more often while we have a captive audience.We could delve more into  the reasons WHY we believe what we do . Many Catholics do not understand the thinking and the wisdom behind our Faith, and it can be too easily abandoned if it is not processed at a deeper level for each individual. These reasons are sometimes touched on when we mention celebrity gossip.                                                                                                  Larry loves history and we have had some great discussions on Civil War Battles.We also talk about sports and what the Redskins' chances are in that week's game.The girls will tell us which horses they rode and how  they (the horses!) behaved. In the past, I have  brought up discipline problems that we are dealing with in our school day,but this has led to a very negative atmosphere and it is better left for immediately after dinner.                                                                                                                                                                    There are some words and topics that are absolutely not allowed at the table and if they are uttered the offender is hastily and vehemently reminded before we all loose our appetites.The word  most often found in this category is" blood". Yuch! Other no-no's are sick or dead animals, surgery or trauma of any kind and especially, the gory details of how the deer that we are eating was shot .There are some other  behavioral standards that we enforce at the table and these are no blowing one's nose, leaving before everyone is finished or texting. The area that we are surprisingly lax in is gaseous emissions.For some reason this is always considered funny at our dinner table and is always good for a laugh.Maybe we ought to learn a few good jokes instead!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thank God I have a Husband!

Those really  were my first words as I made my way to the peacock house after hearing that my big male peacock had died this summer.Although this picture is not he ( my peacock ,not  my husband!), he looked just like this when he died. His tail was over 5 feet tall and absolutely gorgeous.My exclamation was because dead and /or sick animals disgust me and now Clyde would need to be buried.We were not able to save any of the feathers although he was due to loose them all the next month. The previous summer I collected about 100 beautiful feathers when he molted.Larry got right to the job of digging a 3 foot hole (yes, you do the math) and he was buried in our pet cemetary, Boot Hill.We were all saddened by his loss but the good news was that our female was sitting on 5 eggs! Those hatched  and we had baby peacocks in June.We gave three to friends and kept a male and a female and still had their mother.
            Last week and again today, there was more bad news amongst our pets.One morning last week, Tori found that our four rabbits had been attacked and killed in the night time by an animal that was strong enough to create a 5 inch hole in heavy duty wire under the cages.There was much upset particularly because the killer did not eat the rabbits but left them. The foot prints left behind  made us wonder about a dog, bear,fox, mountain lion, coyote or bob-cat.Today when Tori went out to feed the pony she discovered that the same animal had come back, ripped into the pen and killed our peacocks.This time there were foot prints left in the snow. Greg was here to chop wood and he and  Larry attempted to track the animal but had no luck. We realized that only two dead peacocks were left in the cage.It is unclear whether the other one was able to get away or was taken away.If she is alive, she may come back. I'll let you know. Meanwhile,I went back into the house and Larry took care of the remaining dirty  business at hand.  Thank God I have a Husband!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Plenty

         No Christmas is complete without books, nor apparently, comfy pants!

The Feast of the Holy Family

I once read a quote "Catholics do families well."I can honestly say that in my experience,this holds true.Today our parochial vicar gave a great homily on the importance of marriage as the backbone of a happy and healthy  family.He said that the Will to love and the self sacrifice for the good of the other involved in marriage provides the stability necessary for the family members to develop as human beings. He described family life as a great "rock tumbler."As we bump up against one another, our rough edges become softer and smoother. This requires an ever present dose of love, forgiveness, patience and tolerance for our own and each other's weaknesses.That is how we grow in holiness which, of course, takes a lifetime! He quoted Pope Benedict XVI 's writing on the Holiness of the Family (which is in today's Magnificat) where he says that it is in our families that we receive the gift of life and  then are taught how to live it.I also like the quote from  Pope JPII "Families- become what you are- a civilization of love serving life." It was our great priviledge to celebrate Christmas with my whole extended family (my Parent's family)as we always do on Dec. 26 ,the Feast of Stephen ,the first Christian martyr.We spent the day with my parents who have celebrated more than fifty Christmas' together.We had more good food and goodies and exchanged modest gifts with each other's families. Mom and Dad had the eight children they raised there, most with their spouses,many grand-children(I counted 30) and three great-grandchildren.I get a kick out of how many of these grand-children who are now teen-agers and young adults in their twenties choose to spend their day with their grand- parents and aunts and uncles and cousins.It is so hard to pick a gift for my parents who really need nor want anything because they have each other and that is enough for them.So, our gift is our"presence".This year, as a large family, we  had three Brides, three new babies(not the brides'!)many college graduations, new houses,a very exciting engagement with the most beautiful ring seen in years and by God's mercy, no deaths.We had a lot to celebrate! But even in the very sad years of death and dissappointments, we have continued to gather to be together and to share  the great gift of Family.Thank you, Mom and Dad for a lifetime of Merry Christmases!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I love you too, Jeff

Jeff was appalled when he noticed that he was not in the family portrait. I will note that I do have more children then shown in the picture, and the little boy is my grandson! I have three older sons that were not pictured but who are very much loved. Here are a few snapshots of them!!

Tim and his wife, Kristy

Greg and his wife, Cindi, and Jeff, going out for a ride!


My husband grew up playing Canasta and many other card games with his parents. This fall he played with his Mom, sister, and her friend a couple of times and enjoyed it so much he decided to teach our kids this old game. They LOVE it! They tell me  that it is challenging and requires skill. The best part for me is that they are having fun with their Dad and with each other.He has taken the boys to his Mom's to play with her on teams. She is thrilled that her love for Canasta is being passed on to the next generation.

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Blog of my Own

I received a camera for Christmas which I wanted in the hopes of being able to record and share my thoughts, hopes and experiences in the Blog world. After trying out at least 12 titles for a blog and finding them all taken, I wondered if there was any need for me to continue as it seemed that anything I could add is already being said! I also worry that I might inflame my most glaring fault which is Pride by posting anything. My world is rather small as it stands right now and that works well for me. I do truly mean it when I say however, that other blogs inspire me- the honesty and gratitude that I see in sharing about living an active family life. We are not called to hide our light under a bushel basket but to be a city on a hill-giving Him all the Glory.

  Here are two pictures from my new camera taken on Christmas Eve. The plates of treats are for our neighbors.Santa has already arrived. Every year I say "This is going to be a very modest Christmas. We all  have everything we need. There is no need to overdo." This statement tends to be the kiss of death for all thoughts of a "small" Christmas! By God's Grace, there was an abundance of everything - food, family, fun, and plenty of useful ,thoughtful gifts exchanged with love that we will all enjoy in the coming year warmed by the memories of another Merry Christmas.