Thursday, June 30, 2016

Another beautiful morning here in southeast Lower Michigan, glory and praise to our heavenly Father!

Cooler nights and eighties but still dry, dry in our area. Lawns are brown and (I'm hearing) flowers are dying. Praise God our corn, cukes, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, sage, cilantro, chili peppers, sweet red peppers, petunias, vincas, daiseys, turtleheads, garden phlox, grasses, plum tree, pear tree, burning bushes, and Rose of Sharons all are doing well. We put some split rail fencing out front near the drive and will add some color perhaps this weekend. Also, we're doing a thin planter box which will sit against the house adding color (and hiding the ugly skirting) along the south wall. Otherwise, the fourth of July is Monday meaning a long weekend from work and obnoxious thundering evening loud boomings and pops from the local yokels.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I never used to like crunchy peanut butter, but I do now.

Sparrows will sit in dirt and flap their wings as if they were bathing... in nothing but dry dirt!

Why does every step kill my left knee when I'm going up the stairs to work, but up and down our deck stairs a hundred times a day and it feels fine?

I did some fish on the grill tonight and it was good. No, it was wonderful  -Thank You, Jesus!
Basted with butter and dried herbs from last year's garden, topped with mushrooms and onions that were grilled in foil... ohmygoodnes.

I put another hummer feeder out by the trapezoid and it only took the black ants three days to find it. The hummer is doing his sweeping flyby and then a bee line to our kitchen window for a drink. Then off! like lighting to who knows where.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

From my Year of Mercy daily emails...

June 22, 2016

The World-Weary Man
There is a story about a world-weary elderly man after the time of the French Revolution who was reduced to begging. He wandered from town to town, seeking alms to keep himself alive. Upon entering one small town, he made his way to the church, hoping for a handout. He wasn’t a churchgoing man himself, but he stayed there because of the steady stream of passersby.

One day, after watching the beggar on the church steps, a young priest of the parish approached him. He gave the beggar a cloak and invited him to his own house for a meal. The beggar hesitated, saying he was not a religious man, but the priest insisted. For several days afterward, the priest invited him to find shelter in the rectory. Finally, the beggar agreed and spent many days receiving the care and hospitality of his new friend. Eventually, through this priest’s witness, the man decided to come back to the church.

He tearfully confessed to the priest that he felt alienated from God because of the guilt he felt for betraying the family he had worked for as a young man. His employer had entrusted his wife and children to his care during the Revolution, but the man betrayed them. He handed them over to the authorities, and all but the youngest child were sent to the guillotine.

After telling the priest his story, the man lifted his eyes and saw on the wall a portrait of the very family he had betrayed. He asked where the painting came from, and the young priest, with tears in his eyes, said that this was his family. He was the youngest child. Everyone else had been executed during the Revolution. Uttering the words of absolution, the priest added, “And I forgive you as well. Be at peace.”

We may not have to forgive such a grievous wrong, but we are all called to forgive—especially those closest to us, who often hurt us most deeply. Forgiveness like this opens the gates of heaven and allows God’s grace to be poured out on us and on the person we forgive. So let this story inspire you. And let it move you to be merciful as well!

“Lord, help me to become a channel of your mercy in my home!”

The full text of this article by Maurice Blumberg is found at the Catholic Exchange at

Monday, June 20, 2016

Warm, warm this past weekend.

Built a box to put plants in
Didn't hesitate to sin
Went to see my papa Jack
Got some sun on upper back

Painted all that had been brown
Put the corn into the ground
Fed the plants and birds and bees
Tore some sleeves off of my tees

Watched our Tigers win and lose
Made myself put on some shoes
Drank a little and then some more
Got some lunchmeat from the store

Took a photo of the moon
Ate my ice cream with a spoon
Faded off with George Bailey
Only got up once to pee

Garbage by the road in cans
Tigers have the bestest fans
Lunch salad with ranch on top
Hair is long, looks like a mop


Sunday, June 19, 2016

So far today, God, I've done all right.
I haven't gossiped, haven't lost my temper, haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent.   I'm really glad about that.

But in a few minutes, God, I'm going to get out of bed and from then on I'm probably going to need a lot more help.  Thank you.  In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Friday, June 17, 2016

3 Workday Prayers

God my Creator, thanks for giving me work to do

Remind me, Holy Spirit, when my attitude veers off

Walk with me, Jesus; and help me to walk with my co-workers

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

No, Why? Me? Of Course Not

I struggled to reign in my tongue for years, wanting to be kinder with my speech, but not as much as I wanted to fit in. Then a wise priest gave me James 3 as penance after I confessed my struggles with gossip. Reading that 'We bless the Lord and Father, and curse human beings who are made in the likeness of God' (James 3:9), I was struck that my worship and honor of God was only as authentic as the honor I gave those created in His image. Basically, every comment I made about God's creation was the ugly footnote to my words of worship.  

Resolving to be kind to others is difficult, because humans can annoy and hurt us. If you struggle with gossip or unkind speech, don't act based on what you think others deserve, act based on what God deserves. In the end, it wasn't kindness that helped me reign in my tongue as much as my desire to worship God authentically, realizing the power of words, and the reality of the community St. Paul describes in Ephesians 4:25 when he states, 'Speak the truth, each one to his neighbor, for we are members of one another.' Worship the Lord in truth by honoring those He created.”
An excerpt of an article by Alison Blanchet at the blog at

A Wind of 2-14 Meters Per Second

Thank You, LORD, for the morning breeze

Sometimes it gets still in the evening, and in the summer, hot; and the bugs are heavy

But Your morning breeze always refreshes and enlivens me

I smile, and I am thankful

I will never curse the breeze

For I remember the days without it


Monday, June 13, 2016

Monday, Monday

Why is my Mozilla browser jumping to sites to which I have not directed it?!?!?
How do I get a digital signature to send things 'securely'?
see the bee?
see the bird?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Blue Jay

The dappled's housing a tiny hummer right in the middle

Beautiful Saturday

3:00 in the afternoon and it's 97 degrees out on the deck. Thank God the trailer park captain has not forced us to remove our illegal window air units - it's a comfy 71 inside!
The european starlings have learned how to land on the caged suet cakes out by the deck and as soon as I get paid, I'm ordering a Crosman Legacy 1000 and will use its 1000 feet per second to keep the local population of those little phawkers controlled. How come for years they can't seem to be able to land on the cages of suet and now all of a sudden the avian bullies are dominating the food?!? don't get it

It was peaceful at the creek this morning but nobody was biting except the cottonwood. Floating heavily on the surface of the water, I had myself a 'keeper' every cast dagblammit. But the frogs were happy and singing; and the crow family didn't mind my temporarily parking adjacent to their nest.

I've noticed this young summer so far that everything growing around our home is full, thick, and healthy. The forsythia and lilac out front, the dappled willows surrounding the deck (used to be 'next to' the deck, but when you cut back one arm, seven more grow in its place!), the vinca and it's beautiful lavender flowers. The crab apple tree has never been fuller, our (planned) plum tree is healthy and provides a resting spot for the sparrows and the hummingbirds, and our (unplanned) pear tree is thriving.

Our Dappled Willow bushes are bigger than ever
The vinca is healthy - each year this gets thicker and spreads farther

The crab apple out by the road is healthy, and the robins are thankful

The catmint perennial is a favorite of the bumblebee and the hummer

Our thriving Hosta Sagae, the 2000 Hosta of the Year award winner

Mr. Plum is happy nestled between the house and shed

The boss forbade it's demise, and so our volunteer three year old Bartlet Pear needs frequent pruning

Even our bamboo is happy and spreading like a bouquet

Meanwhile, I have found the street in Chicago (perhaps even the home) that my immigrant great-great grandparents Frank (Fritz and Mary; or Fred and Mary, or Friedrich and Maria, or Fredrick and Marie - depending on the source) lived at after arriving from Germany in 1872. They were married and had at least five children there (my grandpa Frank's aunts and uncles); for some reason they came to Detroit in the early 80's. I am still investigating their children's families...

Thank You, LORD, for this beautiful day. Thank You for the sunshine and for the sun-loving basil.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Blessed be the LORD forever!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Note to Self: A Prayer

Confused, tired this morning
Not much sleep, too long the wide awake stare into the damnable television screen
(should have been praying instead)
then comes the morning
the beauty
the sun
the glory of the bright new day!
the birds alive with song
the city alive with motion and industry and bustle

How can you not put your trust in Him?
How can you still hold that petty claim to be captain of your own destiny?
Does He not show you often enough the fool you are?

Precious LORD, forgive me for holding on to the meaningless self
Forgive me for hesitating in the letting go

YOU are my ALL

YOU are my Strength

May the Name of the LORD be praised forever!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Note to Self

The word ‘humility’ comes from the Latin word ‘humus’ which means fertile ground. To me, humility is not what we often make of it: the sheepish way of trying to imagine that we are the worst of all and trying to convince others that our artificial ways of behaving show that we are aware of that.

Humility is the situation of the earth. The earth is always there, always taken for granted, never remembered, always trodden on by everyone, somewhere we cast and pour out all the refuse, all we don’t need. It’s there, silent and accepting everything in a miraculous way making out of all the refuse new richness despite in spite of corruption, transforming corruption itself into a power of life and a new possibility of creativeness, open to the sunshine, open to the rain, ready to receive any seed we sow and capable of bringing thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold out of every seed.

~ From the book, "Beginning to Pray" by Archbishop Anthony Bloom

Blessed be God forever!