Monday, March 31, 2008


The Duke

Belle, Wally and Duchess.

Yes, just imagine 4 dogs and 3 adults. I realized this weekend that having that many dogs in one space at the same time, well...leaves me speechless. You might say, "Why do you have that many dogs?" This weekend was Ron's birthday, and though three of the kids and their families had some distance to come, Marianne came from INDY.

Let me explain. We have two dogs, The Duke and Duchess of Keller. Duke the patriarch, being 15 years old, really is not interested in play and the antics of his young friend, Duchess. Marianne has Wally, the Earl of Keller and his friend, Belle, and were coming for the weekend to celebrate Dad's birthday. Well, if you can imagine the barking, posturing, and rivalry of three of the dogs with the Master simply looking on. (Oh! and Sam, the Secretary of State--the cat, who is the epitome of diplomacy, merely avoiding the entire group.)

This was a tremendous learning experience for us and in all honesty, except for the first 30 minutes after their arrival, Duchess and Belle got on pretty well. Except when Belle, woke up in the middle of the night lost and frightened in a new environment with a blood-curdling howl. The girls especially liked running in the muddy backyard together. (Yuck!!!)

Blackberry Pie Birthday Desert

The party was grand and after dinner we played party games. We played Rummiekub and Clue and it was late enough that the decision-making during Clue became laughable at best. We had so much fun and really hated to see it end.

All in all it was a grand weekend.


Thanks be to God!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Funny story about me!

I just came from a visit with Mike at This I Do. It was all about waiting on the Lord and receiving answers in his good time. It really struck home this morning. When I pray, you know, being patient is not what I do best. But of late He has been asking me to do just that.

I can give you a personal illustration, and an image of how impatient I can be. Remember the YouTube video a few days ago titled "Alleluia by Randall Thompson"? Well, I tried to upload it directly on Monday, not once, but five times. Each time I would wait and check the blog and it was not there, so I'd do it again. Finally, I was able to use another process and I was successful. When I opened my blog this morning, much to my surprise, there were ALL five uploads. Now, I don't have any idea where these were for the last three days. Floating around in cyberspace, no doubt, and finally decided to land. I could only laugh at myself and at the zeal with which I wanted you all to experience my excitement.

Yes, this morning I see it as a lesson I must be taught again and again about being patient. And, I suspect, until I get it right. Only He knows when I will be even slightly successful.

Though this project did not have anything to do with prayer or being sure I am following his plan for me in my life at that time, it just goes to show that if I would just WAIT, there would be an answer. It doesn't mean I should stop praying, it teaches me that maybe I should not nag (uploading, uploading, uploading...). In three days I got the answer, not yesterday as I hope, but an answer nonetheless. And yes, I got three days! As Mike says, "May we know His strength as we wait upon the Lord."

God is Good!!! All the Time!

Thanks, Mike, and thanks be to God!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Seven Random Things About Me!

Eileen at Eileen on least, I try! asked me before Easter to do this and I postponed it until now. I know there are those out there who have been just holding your breath to acquire this information about me. First I must say thank you to Eileen for tagging me...Now I must THINK (not an easy task some days) of seven things you absolutely must know about me.

First, here's the list of rules....

1. When tagged place the name and URL on your blog.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write 7 non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Name 7 of your favorite blogs.
5. Send an email/comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged.

Well, here goes...

1. When I was a freshman in high school I was playing softball with some classmates. I was tall and "skinny"--at the time--I'm still tall, but "skinny" has been gone for some time--At any rate, I hit a home run. The supervising teacher yelled, "Splinters, I didn't think you had it in you!!" Thus, the nickname.

2. I have five children, two girls and three boys. The girls are the oldest and the youngest with the boys sandwiched in between (the meat between the delicate bread).

3. God planned the family that way...He knew I would need at least 10 years between the girls in order to plan the weddings. He did such a good job that the youngest is still a maiden and her sister is now married 16 years. (but I see a wedding in the future...)

4. None of the children wanted to go into nursing. They were most adamant. Just didn't want to work in the medical there mother. So, Wes is an athletic trainer who works for orthopedic physicians and is a trainer and cast tech. Marianne works for Eli Lilly as a study coordinator working with physicians on a regular basis...Yep, and I'm still working as a nurse.

5. I love to travel. And though our trip to Ireland has been put on hold until next summer (we WILL be going) we plan trips to Montana and New Mexico this summer, all family related! Yeah!!

6. I love to knit and crochet. I'm working on the baby afghan for David and Kelly's new arrival in August. She will be my 4th granddaughter.

7. Finally, I really, really like the West Wing and think Martin Sheen should run for President!!!

Since I realize that nearly everyone who is reading this will have already done this MEME, I will invite those who are new to my blog to pick this up and run with it...It was great fun and hope if you do you will let me know so I can read yours.


Thanks be to God!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Alleluia by Randall Thompson

Cy suggested I listen to this and he was right it is beautiful. Thank you, Cy.
Thanks be to God!

He is Risen, Alleluia!

The Risen Lord
porcelain by Therese Meisling

Two thoughts for the day. The first is offered as an introduction to Easter Sunday's Mass in Magnificat and written by Pope Benedict.

Faith in the resurrection of Jesus says that there is a future for every human being; the cry for unending life which is a part of the person is indeed answered. Through Jesus we do know 'the room where exiled love lays down its victory.' He himself is this place, and he calls us to be with him and in dependence on him. He calls us to keep this place open within the world so that he, the exiled love, may reappear over and over in the world...God exists; that is the real message of Easter. Anyone who even begins to grasp what this means knows what it means to be redeemed.
Pope Benedict XVI

The other is offered by Richard Rohr, O.F. M. in his book Radical Grace.

The Subversive, Risen Christ

Jesus is among us now in a new way as the Risen Christ, the Christ who is everywhere, beyond all limits of space and time. On Good Friday we say the relationship of all humanity to God: We kill what we should love. We're afraid of the gift that would free us. On Easter Sunday we celebrate Jesus coming back into a world that rejected Him.

If you have ever been rejected, you know how unlikely it is to come back into the midst of those who have said, We do not want you. Yet that's the eternal mystery we celebrate: God is always coming back into a world that for some unbelievable reason does not want God. It's almost impossible to believe that could be true. And yet Jesus, in his humility, finds ways to come back. Jesus knows we didn't like the first time what he had to say. We weren't ready for that much freedom or that much truth. Humankind can't bear that much reality or that much love in one moment of history.

So God had to come back in a disguised form. God had to come back, as it were, secretly, as a subversive, hidden--the Risen Christ. Now he can be everywhere, but we can't capture him. We can't name him too precisely. He can always break through in new and unexpected ways. That's the Risen Christ the world is never ready for and never expects, and sadly, does not even want. That's the Christ who energizes his Church, The Christ forever beyond our control.
from For Teens on the Risen Christ

We have been given so much in the love of God. If we could just accept the gift of life offered with humility by our Risen Lord! We are such frail lace tatted by the hand of God. The strength of the fiber is in the love of the Risen Lord and the intricacies of the life of that work is in the working of the Holy Spirit!


Thanks be to God! Alleluia!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sacred Space

The Crucifixion
porcelain by Therese Meisling

This Good Friday reflection will be my last until Easter Monday as I begin my celebration of the Triduum today. And this speaks for itself.

Mary, Mother of God
Luke 2:34-35, 42-50

His mother said...

Who are you, Mary? Did you wonder. too? Mother of the Son of God--no job description, no model no mirror, no precedent.

No wonder, in spite of Simeon's warning, you weren't prepared that day in the temple. Exhausted, foregoing food and rest to find him, fuming perhaps (after all, he was twelve...and you've given him some freedom...and you've made this trip before!) Could this be a mistake? Had you carelessly handled God's precious Gift? Fear and guilt and the feeling you'd been somehow tricked. Did these loose your tongue to echo our own ready responses to inconsiderate children?

Mother of the Son of God, what lessons you had to learn! How patient Jesus was--returning home to be predictable until the time was right.

Was it then, beneath the cross, you learned it all? Jesus--Son, Savior. Mary--beloved, redeemed. We stand with you, Mary, beneath his cross, muddling through, misunderstanding, learning who we are by learning who he is.

Jesus, help us hold these lessons deep with in our hearts.
Donna Streufert


May God bless us with deep love and appreciation for the gift of his Son
as we walk with Jesus on the path of our Salvation!!
Thanks be to God!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Woman Healed


This reflection touched me because is gives hope to all who suffer in any kind of pain or anxiety. It can touch those who feel they have no worth or value.

A Woman Healed From Hemorrhages

Mark 5:25-34

A woman suffering...

You were captive to the bleeding, your life drained away, leaving you weak and ashamed and helpless, your money drained away by liars who left you for dead and considered you worthless. Twice victim.

Dear suffering sister, were you afraid to meet him face to face? Is that shy you crept up behind, shy, yet sure he had more power in the hem of his robe than all the charlatans you'd seen?

And you, Jesus, when you terned to her, calling her daughter, you turned to us as well. You assure us that it's O.K..., wanting to be whole. It's not O.K. to be a victim.

You draw us out and encourage us to tell the whole story, from beginning to end--just how it is--just how it feels--just what we want and need. Suffering in silence earns few points with you.

It takes Spirit-driven courage to lay hold of your promises to forgive and heal and empower. What must we risk as we step out, reach out, even with one trembling finger in faith? Perhaps to show we really care? Perhaps to reconcile? Perhaps to say the truth? Perhaps.
Donna Steufert

Again, I find in this reflection that we are not called to be passive individuals. If we want help we must ask for it, seek it, listen, be guided to it. Who will know if we do not ask? And then after we are aided in this quest by the Son of Man, we must accept it actively and aggressively with a thankful heart and soul.


Thanks be to God!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Resurrection Cookies

Monte Cassino, St. Meinrad, IN

This was a gift to us in this Sunday's bulletin. I really want to share it because it is such a beautiful journey for a child through our Lord's Passion and Resurrection.


1/2 cup pecan halves
1 tsp vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
Ziplock bag
Wooden spoon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place pecans in Ziplock bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested the Roman soldiers beat him. Read John 19:1-3

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross he was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19: 28-30

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27

So far the ingredients are not appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3

Fold in the broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:65-66

Put the cookie sheet into the oven, close the door and then turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27: 56-66

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tome was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22

On Resurrection Sunday morning, open the oven and five everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are HOLLOW! on the first Resurrection day Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tome open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9


Thanks be to God!1

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I wish you, with all my heart, happiness and joy in the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. I also offer this meditation on the prayer, St. Patrick's Breastplate. God Bless you all!!

St. Patrick's Breastplate

In gratitude for St. Patrick and all the saints, I say,
"Thanks be to God."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Short break...

As Bible Study will take place tomorrow night and we will travel to St. Louis to visit with family this weekend, I am leaving you with this Gift given me by my dear friend, Juliene.

I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did and will be back again to visit on St. Patrick's Day!! God Bless you all!!!


And for you all remember, I say,
"Thanks be to God"

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Listening as Spiritual Hospitality"

When I visited Poetry, Prayer and Praise the other day, I was reminded of a wonderful book by Henri J. M. Nouwen call Bread for the Journey--A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith. I have used this book for reflection for a number of years and go back to it frequently. I'm not sure I ever finished it because like all books like this I tend to skip the calendar day I missed and go on to the present date. Well, I picked it up today and this was the reflection offered me. A reflection on "listening." That means, "Be quiet, Cathy, I have something to say!"

To listen is very hard, because it asks of us so much interior stability that we no longer need to prove ourselves by speeches, argument, statements, or declarations. True listeners no longer have an inner need to make their presence know. They are free to receive, to welcome, to accept.

Listening is much more than allowing another to talk while waiting for a chance to respond. Listening is paying full attention to other and welcoming them into our very beings. The beauty of listening is that those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends , to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.

I fear that I am not a very good listener. No, I so want to make my point that I fail to "hear" the inspirations of others...And silence to me is frightening. I feel the "need" to communicate something, anything instead of being silent.

So, at the risk to my pride, I ask for instruction on being "quiet" and being a good listener...PLEASE! It's never too late to learn.

Thanks be to God!

One of my favorite parables...

As I read this reflection this morning I thought of how at one time or another in my life I have been the seed described in this lesson by Jesus as written in the Gospel of Mark.

Women in the Garden

Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding. Let any one with ears to hear, listen.
Mark 4:1-9

In the beginning, God created--formed us from rich, red earth. Created in God's own image, we are good earth, God's earth. God speaks like falling seeds and rain. "I have made you, you are mine. I am your Rock and Redeemer. I will bless you and be merciful."

Jesus, the Good Seed, is scattered into us. Listen, he says, listen! "Your faith has made you whole. Your sins are forgiven. I have come for sinners. I am the resurrection and the life."

Sometimes our good soil is trampled by heavy traffic and the seeds of love are snatched away. Sometimes there are hard and rocky places and tender plants of trust wither. Sometimes our good soil is overgrown with other demands, responsibilities, spirits, or messages and there is no room for Jesus. Always there is good soil where the cross and Jesus are planted, surrounded by a brilliant array of flower and fruits. The garden is lavish, abundant and ready to be given to others. We live in God's garden of good seed and good soil. We are in the middle of a spectrum of hearty plants that stretch to every horizon.

Spirit of God, cultivate our good soil and give a bumper crop that others may share in all your good gifts.

Eleanore Sudbrock


It seems that my analogy of the "gathering of the fruits and nuts" yesterday was not too far off. We are to BE the fruits of our labors and a gift of thanksgiving to Our Father, through His Son, Jesus!

Thanks be to God!!!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Dessert and More...

I thought of two things this morning when I was baking desert for after tonight's Bible Study . First, that this group of 12 dedicated people gather each week to share their thoughts and love of the Gospel. And in the center of the table is always dried fruit and nuts and lots of water (I'm not saying we are a verbose group, but it's not all salted nuts). Second, that the desserts invariably have fruit in them...thus, a gathering of fruits and nuts...

Any way, I am going to share with you tonight's "fruit desert" because it's easy and it is really good!!!

It's from a wonderful cookbook called Delightfully Southern Recipes by Lucy M. Clark.

Mandarin Orange Refrigerator Cake

1 Box Duncan Hines yellow butter cake mix 1 can Mandarin oranges, drained and chopped
4 eggs Icing (recipe follows)
1/2 cup Crisco oil

Combine eggs, oil and cake mix until moistened. Beat about 4 minutes on medium speed. Fold in Mandarin oranges. Bake in 3 layers at 350 degrees [according to box directions] until done .
(I bake it in a 9"x13" baking dish,)

1 small box instant vanilla pudding mix 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple,
1 (12-ounce) carton Cool Whip, thawed well drained

Combine ingredients and ice cake layers, top and sides. Keep refrigerated.

Finally, I leave you with this bit of wisdom at the end of the page, "Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the harvest of love." God bless you all this and every day!!

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Wonders of God's Hand

From the ice storm in February,

to the snow we that was sent our way yesterday,

I find that two Friends have sent me "spring flowers".

Esther at A Catholic Mom in Hawaii and Marie from A View From the Pews have graciously given me this great friend award. I have met some tremendous people since I started this adventure nearly a year ago. I have been affirmed, guided, educated and I have laughed along the way! Thanks so much to you all. But I would like to add a special thank you to my daughter-in-law Kelly at Musings, for assisting me in starting this effort and would like to offer this award to her first. Thank you, Kelly, for your example and grace, sense of humor and gift for writing. As for those other gifted and talented friends I would like to add these who have shared much with me in friendship.

Oh, And...This
Eileen on Him...At Least, I Try!
...UKOK's Place...
Are We There Yet
Christ's Rose
Contemplative Haven asylum for your refugee soul
La Dolce Vita: The Good Life with Three Sons
And one for good measure!
Mommy of Four


Thanks be to God!!

Must add an addendum: While visiting UKOK I found that she had gifted me as well with these lovely flowers so to her I say, "Many Thanks!"

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Kellie and Winter Guard...

Tonight Ron and I were able to go to an exhibition of the Memorial High School Winter Guard, Drum Line, and Cadet Guard. Kellie was part of the Guard during Marching Band season. When one of the girls broke her foot early in Winter Guard, Kellie was asked to perform with them. Quite an honor for an 8th grader.

I tried to video with the digital camera but apparently I was not able to tape the entire performance of either the Cadet or High School Winter Guard. They both end abruptly, but you can see most of the Winter Guard's performance. I was trying, like any good grandmother, to keep Kellie in the frame. I was pretty successful I think, but all the girls are very talented. They have been competing weekly now for the last 5 weeks with their final performance to be this weekend, barring any bad weather.

The music is Phantasmagoria.

We were grateful for the chance to see them perform. And we wish them success this weekend!

For being a grandma I say,
Thanks be to God!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hot Chocolate

We are still tasting Hot Chocolate weather here. We are to get snow on Friday. So, in order to add more joy to this still winter season, I thought I would share this e-mail with you from my friend, Maggie! I love hot chocolate, but after reading this analogy I don't think I will appreciate it in quite the same way anymore.


A group of graduates, well established in their careers, were talking at
a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now

During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints about stress
in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot chocolate, the
professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large pot of hot
chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass, crystal, some
plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help
themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:
'Notice that all the nice looking, expensive cups were taken, leaving
behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only
the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing to the quality of the hot
chocolate. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases
even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was hot
chocolate, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups...
And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate; your job, money and
position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and
contain life. The cup you have does not define, nor change the quality
of life you have. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail
to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.

God makes the hot chocolate, man chooses the cups. The happiest people
don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything
that they have. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
And enjoy your hot chocolate!

Does any of this ring a bell? It sure does for me! And He has always been good to me...even if it isn't what I really wanted. He knows what's best!
Thanks be to God!!!

Urgent prayer request...

I remember last year at this time I was praying for my dear friend, Margaret. She was taken to be with our Savior on Good Friday. Today I am here to request prayers again for one who is suffering and will surely be suffering because of the treatments she must undergo. Melissa needs our prayers and I have been asked by Kathleen Miller at The Daily Grotto to link you to her blog so that you might have more information about Melissa and her status. Please pray for this young lady and her family as they endure these trial. God bless you all...
and Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Woman of the Day...

Mary Anointing Jesus Feet

Do you cower when you read the Gospel in which Mary boldly walks into a room full of people and proceeds to anoint the feet of Jesus? I find that I do. I am not courageous. Yet, here she is, the example for us all to follow (John 12:1-8).

"Mary took a pound of costly perfume made a pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair."

Mary, you are outrageously bold. How did you dare such a display of intimacy--perfuming the feet of Jesus and toweling them with your hair, heedless of cultural rules and guests' comments? You passionately responded to Jesus' passion for the sick and lame, despised and outcast and the poor who are always around.

We sing the story of Jesus' Passion. But Jesus' passion led him bound and burdened to the hill of crucifixion. He walked the way of sorrows with fragrant feet. It is not a scene of polite, cool Christianity, rather the fire, brilliance and riskiness of passionate love. Mary, your boldness and tenderness teach us how to be in the presence of Jesus. When we gather with followers of Jesus, we can boldly and tenderly love and care and encourage. We can anoint each other for ministry with the poor, sick, oppressed and despised because we are people filled with holy passion.

Lord Jesus, we have experienced your life-giving passion. Our hears are fill with humbleness and thankfulness. Give us a passion for others that reflects you.

Elenore Sudbrock
Face to Face --Daily Lenten Devotions for Women


I thank God for those who minister to me. I thank God for those who encourage me in my poverty of faith, who bolster my weakness, who love me as He loves me!

Thanks be to Almighty God!!!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Thought for the Day...

I have read this before, but today I feel the need to share this offering sent me by a friend. Please read it and reflect on it, for it truly is a wonderful analogy!!!

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
Malachi 3:3

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where
the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Letter from Shannon

By e-mail I got an update from China Little Flower and the work Shannon Walsh is doing for those unfortunate children she works with. And so this I share with you...


I could not get the letter to link so this is the best I could do...just click for larger view. And here is the link to Shannon's web page, China Little Flower

The work she does with these children and the love she gives them. Oh, my! And all this with the love and sincere trust of Our Lord! My best to you all and have a Grand Day!!!

Thank be to God!!!