Showing posts from October, 2017

The Grand Book Club

The Town of Franklin’s library director, Dr. Felicia Oti, gave me an idea. She mentioned that she and her daughter have their own mother/daughter book club, so why can’t I have a book club with my grandchildren?

I’m calling it the Grand Book Club.

New Region One Council

The Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic in Saint Joseph's Province elected a new council, in Region One.  Here are the offices, from left to right: Cosette Hyman is Provincial President, Joan Cuomo is Region Secretary, Louise Fahey is Region Vice President, Kathy Kendrick is Region President, Roman Gorski is the outgoing President and Faith Flaherty is the Regional Treasurer and Alternate Delegate.

Poetry Success

Guilt trips, twisting arms, calling in "I owe you's", advertising or whatever, worked.  My Favorite Poetry Project was a huge success.  All my readers showed up and were wonderful.  Better--the audience was overflowing.  I, as moderator, was facing the audience and I couldn't get over the attention the people had, even the sixth-grade students.

Afterwards, I was in the library to just kill time until the time for my "writers' group, the SeniorScribblers, and I could hear people in the hall discussing the event.  Praises were sung!  Everyone loved it.  The favorite seemed to be the sixth graders reciting Maya Angelou's Caged Bird.  And no wonder they were a hit.  They recited, not read their poem.  It didn't hurt that they were cute, either. Two teachers were there and they recited, too. Everyone else read theirs.  All were excellent.

The last person to read was Principal Rebecca Motte from the aforementioned school of sixth graders.  Her poem was I …


It's amazing to me how translations can be popular.  I always thought a lot was lost in the translation.  But Fredrik Backman's novels are very successful here.  He writes in Sweedish.  I've read three of his novels: A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, and a sequel to My Grandmother...., Britt-Marie was Here.  I just finish Britt-Marie.

All of Backman's novels begin with an odd, grouchy character.  I would never continue reading except that these books were all picks from Argonauta, my book club.  So I push myself -- to a certain extent.  But there were times I just gave up and announced at the club that I just couldn't get into it.  Not so with Backman.  I reach a point that I'm hooked.  And then I can't put the book down.  It happened just like that with Britt-Marie was Here.

She's a weirdo.  I guess you could say she was obsessive compulsive. She cleans compulsively (I need someone like her.)  Her husband cheats and…

Walking Through Walls

In with my "cloistered brothers," today, we were discussing Timothy Radcliffe's I Call You Friends.  Radcliffe was writing about missionaries, but were thinking more along the lines of "preachers."  Not that missionaries aren't preachers, it's just that in my "cloistered brothers"' situation, they can't go out to be missionaries.  Yes, they are missionaries in a dark place, but they think preachers is more apt.

Anyway, back to my point.  Radcliffe asks "to whom are missionaries sent..."?  Today, he continues, "missionaries are sent not only to foreign lands but to everybody who is not like us."Those evangelizing on social media are missionaries.  Those writing books.  Those teaching in schools.

You get the idea?

Everybody who is not like us.

Radcliffe refers to Ephesians 1:10.  ...And this his good pleasure he proposed in him, to be dispensed in the fullness of the times; to re-establish all things in Christ...

So …

My Big Fat Poetry Reading

FIVE MORE DAYS!  In five more days, on October 25, 2017, My Favorite Poem Project will happen.  Here's the line-up of readers.  The order is alphabetical according to the poet.

A Brave and Startling Truth by Maya Angelou, read by Dr. Dawn Poirier, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Dean College Caged Bird by Maya Angelou, read by students in Horace Mann’s sixth grade The Lanyard by Billy Collins, read by Franklin Library Director, Dr. Felicia Oti Poem 341 Hope Is A Thing with Feathers by Emily Dickinson, read by Horance Mann teacher, Noreen Langmeyer The Calf Path by Sam Foss, read by our Town Administrator, Jeff Nutting Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, read by Franklin Cable TV, Ken Norman
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, read by Jeffrey Roy our State Representative   Democracy by Langston Hughes, read by Horace Mann teacher, Joe Corey  
Go Down Death, by James Weldon Johnson, read by Senior Scribbler, Clarice Cargill Untitled—by Barbara Karmelin, read by S…


In Matt 22:15-21, I was reminded of an Aesop Fable I was reading to my granddaughter.  The scripture verse was The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.  They sent their disciples to him with the Horodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, for you do not regard a person's status..."
    Knowing their malice, Jesus said, "why are you testing me, you hypocrites? ..."

The Pharisees flattered Jesus telling Him that they knew He was truthful.  But their flattery was obvious.  Jesus knows their hearts and called them hypocrites!

Aesop has a fable about a sly fox and a bird.  The bird had a big yummy cube of cheese in its beak.  The fox wanted it.  So the fox flattered the bird.  "I heard that you had the most beautiful voice in the forest."  The bird was a fool and fell for the flattery. …

Dying to be Beautiful

A while ago, I received a gift.  It was the novel, Dying To Be Beautiful by M. Glenda Rosen.  It's been sitting in my kindle waiting for me to be sitting in a waiting room.  Finally, while waiting for a train, and while riding on the aforementioned train, and coming back, I read the book.  I liked it enough to finish reading it, at home. 

It seems Dying To Beautiful is the name of a mystery series.  The novel I read was "Fake Beauty." In this mystery, Jenna and her boyfriend, Troy, solve the murder of a designer found stuffed into his own creation--a dress that was too small for his fat body.  Then there's another murder.  Follow the money and you solve the crime.  But in so doing, you enter the fashionable world of the Hamptons and the glamorous people who live there.

This book and the series are the type of easy reads some people like to follow, one novel after another.  Hence, the Dying To Be Beautiful series is attractive.  In this particular book, I admit I didn…

De Porres Connection

Today I was admiring a statue of St. Martin de Porres.  An acquaintance came over to me and told me the story of the statue.  Essentially, she rescued it from a yard.  The owner offered it to her and she snatched it up.  She had it repainted.

So I told her my story about a statue of St. Martin de Porres.  Once upon a time, I wasn't a Lay Dominican.  I don't think I even knew there was such an organization as the Order of Preachers, never mind that St. Martin de Porres was a famous member of the Order.

I was teaching in a parochial school.  I was team teaching with a religious sister.  I don't remember what religious order she belonged to.  That fact alone, tells you how ignorant I was of things religious.  Every day, my class and I prayed a rosary.  We used a statue of a "black Madonna" for inspiration.  One day, Sister and I were talking and I happened to mention the statue in my classroom of the "black Madonna."

"What black Madonna?"  Siste…

Nota Bene: This is Fiction

It’s the 1980’s and we have a president with no political experience.  (Nota Bene: 1980) Winter Warning by Jerome Charyn is about a cop who becomes president.  The president’s advisors and even other world leaders are expecting him to fail.  There’s a lottery betting on his demise.  And I don’t mean his resigning from the presidency; I mean his being assassinated.  (Again, nota bene: this is 1980’s.)
I don’t know if there is a lottery in place for how long our current president, Donald Trump, will last, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were.  But that’s the end of the similarities between Isaac Sidel and Donald Trump,i.e., lack of experience and not expecting him to succeed.  Charyn’s Sidel is a president with a glock in his pants.  He was a cop, is still a cop, and always will be a cop, because he thinks like one.  It’s a good thing, too.  He can’t trust anyone and he has to be alert to deflect physical danger besides the dirty machinations of political maneuvering.
The story be…

Our Lady of the Rosary

Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!

Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!

Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the stem, Christ the Rose blood-red!

Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood!

Mary the temple, Christ the temple's Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!

Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven's Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!

Mary the mother, Christ the mother's Son
By all things blest while endless ages run.

Son of a Gun!

Ha!  I have to laugh.  I'm working on My Favorite Poem Project.  Today, at Franklin Senior Expo, I was talking to my State Representative, Jeffrey Roy.  He's reading at the event.  He chose a Robert Frost poem to read, The Road Not Taken.  We were talking about poetry and Robert Frost.  He was telling me about a quote he had just seen at the Kennedy Library.  He took a picture of it.  I could see that it was a draft Kennedy had written to commemorate Robert Frost, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College.

At home, I googled, "Kennedy speech at a groundbreaking ceremony for Rober Frost Library at Am..." that's as far as I got because my computer blinked.  And on
my screen was just a large microphone.

It surprised me.  Here I was writing this long sentence, "Kennedy speech at groundbreaking ceremony for Robert Frost Library at Amherst College" and now I had to write it again.  Again!

Out of my mouth came, "SON …

The Nuthatch Trail

The Trail Hikers went to the State Forest in Upton, MA, today.  We followed the Nuthatch Trail.  The first sight I saw was this sign.  And I stepped in horse poop!  I was wearing hiking boots and the tread on hiking boots isn't conducive to cleaning.  ugh.....

We walked 4.1 miles.  It was a beautiful Fall day.  The foliage didn't turn, yet, but there were plenty of interesting sights.  Mushrooms proliferated here and there.  Our leader, Joan, picked some to eat.  She looked for spongy, clean bottoms.  That kind is non-poisonous.

We also saw a snake swallowing a frog. 

That's hiking in the woods.  Horse poop and snakes!  But the weather was in the 70's, the walk was comfortable, the companionship interesting, and the exercise stimulating.

Stupid Questions

Whoever said there's no such thing as a stupid question, must have never given a lecture and then asked for questions.

Ugh!  Today, the majority of the questions had nothing to do with the subject.

The rest made me think, "Weren't you listening? This was addressed!"

Then the last one made me hit my head with my book.  She just asked what was spent an hour explaining NOT to do.

Blasphemous But Theologically Correct

Crazy thoughts for today.  Yesterday, I finished reading Stephen King's 11/22/63.  There was an expression in there that I never heard before, and I keep thinking about it.

A man and a woman made a bet on the outcome of a boxing match.  The favorite was heavily favored.  The woman bets against the favorite.  She won the bet.  The outcome was so impossible that the man profaned "Jesus wept!!!!!!!"

She exultantly responded, "And His disciples made blueberry pancakes with His tears.  And they tasted the best, ever!"

????????????  That's a new expression to me.

Using God's name in vain.  Certainly.  But the theology is correct.  Jesus' tears would make anything perfect.

Well?  They would, wouldn't they.

Stephen King is Too Good

Once upon a time, I read a Stephen King novel.  Salem's Lot was about vampires.  I know vampires are ridiculous.  But still.  I remember being alone at night and deeply engrossed in the story.  When I looked up, it was dark.  I had to pull down the shades.  And I didn't want to look out the windows.  So I walked to each window, backwards, felt around behind me and pulled down the shades.  Then I went to my jewelry box and searched through my necklaces for a cross.  It couldn't be just a cross; it I specifically had to have a corpus on the cross.  Jesus protect me!

That night I couldn't sleep and swore I would never read another Stephen King book.

October's Book Club book is 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  Everyone assured me that there were no vampires in it.  That is true.  But the book kept me awake last night, again.  Now I'm walking around like a zombie vampire.

It's not scary, just too real.  It's about the assassination of President Kennedy.  I was in…

Please Check Back For Reopening Date

How many books have we read?
     How many stories?
     How many genres?
     How many?  How many?

But there is never enough.
     No one says I'm quitting reading.
     Who says I'm fasting from books?
     That's it!  I'm giving reading up.

Surely that would be a horror story.
    Fiction macabre.  A tragic development.
    A bad dream--an awful nightmare.
    Like the library closed for a month?