Saturday, July 28, 2007

I know, I'm supposed to be gone from the blogsphere

but as I'm sitting here taking care of emails and follow-up before leaving, this email just came in and I thought it was rather too timely!

............................................................ Word of the Day for Saturday, July 28, 2007

matutinal \muh-TOOT-n-uhl\, adjective:
Relating to or occurring in the morning; early.


That's me. Okay, not usually, but right now it is... Now back to work! =)

The Hills are Alive

with the sound of music. Or at least, UW-Stevens Point will be! In a few hours, I'm off to the American Suzuki Institute and when I come home two weeks from now, Lord-willing, I'll have my Suzuki Violin Book 1 Teacher Certification. I'm very excited... just not quite fully packed yet. :)

"I want to make good citizens.
If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth
and learns to play it himself,
he develops sensitivity,
discipline and endurance.
He gets a beautiful heart."
Don't know anything about the Suzuki method? Click here for an introduction!
~ ~ ~

I'll have the laptop with me, but am not sure how much time I'll have in between classes, observations, reports, and concerts... however, I'll do my best to squeeze in an update here or there!
Pax et bonum!

Face of Christ

Tonight, I spent some time at a nearby nursing home, visiting some dear souls there. One of them whom we've come to know is probably one of, if not the youngest, resident there. A lady who can't be 55, but who is near helpless. I forget the name of the disease that has taken almost all her self-sufficiency away from her and made her near-blind, but hers is a name I will never forget. It's Judy.

Here is a soul that is useless by the world's standards, but a treasure by Christ's. Judy is one bundle of sweetness. Her room is more photos and religious artwork than walls, with a little sign that reads "Judy's Place". I couldn't help but think tonight... that's exactly what it is. The extent of her world is there. And there she lay, smiling and exclaiming and congratulating as I told her of my recent projects, news, and accomplishments. Here is a suffering soul who looked up at me and told me that I inspire her. Tears came into my eyes as I told her, "But Judy... you inspire me." Pure joy was in her voice as she told me about the nurse's boyfriend who asked her for a rosary. And she pointed my gaze toward her newest beautiful picture of the Sacred Heart, hung opposite her bed. "He's been so good to me," she said simply.

If only each of us would exclaim the same...regardless of our own relatively miniscule difficulties. Tonight, as I looked into the face of a soul that gazes longingly towards the next life, yet continues to suffer patiently in this, and heard her say she wished she could do more for others, I could only whisper quietly... "Judy, only in heaven will we know how much you did do."

Friday, July 27, 2007

To a Young Girl

From Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, one of my favorite theologian-philosophers...

Let us take off our “secular” eyeglasses, and then we shall be able to see that women, far from being “discriminated” against, are in many ways privileged. And this is the “secret” I wish to share with you. The body of every little girl born into this world is mysteriously seated by what is properly called “the veil of virginity”. That is to say, a “secret” is entrusted to her body, and a secret is always “veiled”. According to Christian teaching, this veil closes the entrance to a mysterious garden which belongs to God in a special way, and for this reason cannot be entered into except with His express permission, the permission that God grants spouses in the Sacrament of Matrimony. Any little girl aware of this “mystery” will feel that her body is to be modestly clothed, so that its secret will be hidden from lewd looks.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Fair Snapshots, Part 2

Women's Farm Bureau Stand: the only place at the Fair (I think) that you can get fresh-baked pie!

Me busy at the register (one of my near-full-time jobs)

A braid I did on Mrs. S, which she christened "The Sarah". :) I've taken to carrying my hair supplies with me wherever I go, since there's almost always an opportunity to make a young or near-young lady happy. ;)

Another view

She's real, all right... we think :)

Veronica making a cone... making them was her favorite part, and she kept telling the rest of us that we "needed some ice cream" (made by her, of course)

Adding chocolate

No one leaves the stand thirsty if we can help it!

Sarah and Mrs. S diving into some pie

Mrs. S's son, a "sleeping pink turtle" across some chairs in the dining room at 7 in the morning :o)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Influence of Femininity"

The influence of applied femininity is, by any measure, incredibly determinative. In every culture, in every age, the power is awesome. And dangerous. As with any significant reservoir of power it may be used for good or ill. Its impact may be constructive or destructive. Like a mighty river, it is a force that may turn the turbines and generate power that will light up a community, a home, and a man's whole life. But undisciplined and unchecked, it may devastate, demoralize, and utterly destroy.

Some women have no clue how much actual power they hold, and those are the women who destroy their husbands by default. Other women are acutely aware of their power and make a conscious decision to become high controllers. But still other women, keenly aware of the power God has vested in their femininity, make a deliberate choice to use that power only for good.

- Stu Weber, Four Pillars of a Man's Heart, pages 258-259

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Thanking God for Friendship

Today, I enjoyed a precious afternoon with a dear, longtime friend. This "nurturing" time was a great blessing. I think it's easy for us to forget sometimes that good friendships need nurturing, and energy, and effort to thrive. And it can be a challenge to take the time to do these things.

I encourage you to take the time to reach out to a friend today. Whether it's an old friend you've lost contact with, a new friend you're getting to know, or a longtime friend that you "see but you don't see" (our way to describe paths crossing frequently, but little time for bonding and visiting), take the time today to nurture a friendship. And watch the joy abound.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Home... and Faired Out :)

It's a term we use around here. There are only so many days one can take of a Fair, you know? Even if one is working almost the whole time. :)

Jesting aside, my sisters and I just came off of another great week of volunteering at the Fond du Lac County Fair Farm Bureau Women's Food Stand in Wisconsin with Grandma and Grandpa. Being there again, it almost felt like we'd never left! (I said the same thing at Ave Cor Mariae Camp this year, though...evidence of how speedily time goes by from one year to the next, I suppose). This experience for us at the Food Stand is one I hope to tell to my grandchildren about someday. Or maybe, take them back there to work, if it's still going! :) Despite the long days (6:30 in the morning till 8 or so at night), and the sometimes-sore feet, we look forward to this every year. It has something to do with the joy of service, the satisfaction of hard work, the sweetness of volunteering one's time and energy for a good cause, and of course, the pleasure of making others happy. Offering a smile while working the cash register or taking orders seems to evoke a "waking up" response from the person across from you... "Have a nice day" and "Enjoy your meal" take on new meaning when you say them several hundred times in a day! I would try to really mean that, too -- not just rattle it thoughtlessly. What a difference!

I could write tons more, but I really think the snapshots we took say it best...

Note: I just got a chuckle out of the fact that when glancing back at my last year's post after the fair, I also mentioned "hoping to tell my grandchildren" about this. What can I say? It will always be a dear memory!

Sarah, poised and ready to fill an order

"Scrambled eggs there, ma'am? No problem!"

Sarah takes orders, and I fill them

Me making pancakes...there were times we couldn't flip them fast enough!

Grease that pan well...

Pour them on...

A plate of the finished product!

A photo Veronica took while all of us stood at the top of Grandpa and Grandma's hill, praying the Chaplet and enjoying the blue sky and breeze (one of those where she extended her arm and took it!)

Veronica had fun taking photos of Sarah on top the hill... I thought this one was neat

In between working, we did get a few breaks to stretch our legs and walk around the Fair. :) And we bought these pretty cotton/wool blend homemade capes made by a family from's a view of the cranberry-colored one

Grandpa and Grandma, at 87 and 80 years old!
More to come...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Here and There and On the Go

I know I've had too many unaccounted-for absences here as of late... truth is, this summer is flying by even quicker than I anticipated. We were at Ave Cor Mariae Camp from June 30-July 7, then came home to our 4-H County Fair this past weekend (my last! I'm a graduating member this year), and now are preparing to leave in the morning for Wisconsin to be with Grandpa and Grandma till this weekend. Never a dull moment, to be sure!

I realize that I've rather neglected my blog the last few months, and do hope to "revive" things here after this. In my continual striving for balance in my daily life (ho -- there's a topic I could write pages about!) it seems the blog had to (unintentionally) be placed in the background for a while. It was probably good for me... it's far too easy to let these things take too much precedence, you know? The activities of the next two months are extensive, but I'll do my best to bring some more life here.

In the meantime, here's a beautiful quote from John Paul the Great for you to meditate on:

"Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."
(Pope John Paul II)
Till next week... Pax Christi!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Elections '08

I've really been praying and thinking about what my role (aside from prayer, of course) is in preparing for the 2008 Elections. I notice that too often, people of Faith are just so busy in their various good and charitable works, or raising their families -- or perhaps they figure politics are simply too corrupt to bother with -- that they just don't do anything; don't try to be a voice. I want to bristle with righteous indignation sometimes when I hear good, pro-life folks say things like "Well, so-and-so is a good candidate, but we've got to support someone with a chance of winning." I always feel like looking them in the eye and quoting "Oh you of little faith!". (Haven't said it that bluntly yet, but one of these days I might). We have to learn to expect miracles. And then help make them happen. Just think: if every person who sighed and exclaimed, "Ah, too bad that pro-life candidate doesn't stand a chance to win" and put their vote somewhere else instead stood up, voted for the "unlikely" candidate and got at least a few others to do the same, that "unlikely" candidate would stand a much better chance!

I've been disappointed in the number of blank looks I received when I mention Senator Brownback to friends and acquaintances. He has a vision for ending abortion. He has a track record of fighting for innocent human life. He's supportive of homeschooling. He has a heart for the needy -- check out this video of him with his two adopted children!

Today, my challenge for myself and each of you is this: what will you do to help this election be a pro-life victory?