Showing posts from December, 2017

First Lesson in the Grand Cooking School

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my venture, The Grand Aggregation, composed of a book club, cooking school, and spa.  It's a very exclusive, private club.  It consists of myself, as the Grandmother, and my various grandchildren.  No one else is allowed in, unless invited. 

Tomorrow, the first lesson in the Grand Cooking School is to take place.  Actually, I will let you in on a secret.  The purpose of the Grand Cooking School is to teach my grandchild how to read and measure.  Besides learning fractions, she will learn how to follow directions.  Oh yeah, she'll learn how to cook, too.  If I remember correctly, children love to cook because they see the results of their work, immediately.  That's the hook--immediate reward.

Our first exericse is how to make lasagna.  Here is the recipe: 


·1 jar (26-28 ounces) spaghetti sauce ·1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes (do not drain) ·1/2 cup water ·1 ounce parmesan cheese, or  (1/4 cup) ·1Tablespoon parsley ·

Because I'm the Mommy That's Why

« December 30  |  January 1 »
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and JosephLectio SIR 3:2-6, 12-14 God sets a father in honor over his children; 
a mother's authority he confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins,
and preserves himself from them.
When he prays, he is heard;
he stores up riches who reveres his mother.
Whoever honors his father is gladdened by children,
and, when he prays, is heard.
Whoever reveres his father will live a long life;
he who obeys his father brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old;
grieve him not as long as he lives.
Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him;
revile him not all the days of his life;
kindness to a father will not be forgotten,
firmly planted against the debt of your sins
—a house raised in justice to you. Studium Sirach is also known as the Wisdom of Sirach or the Book of Ecclesiasticus.   The Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures did include this book making it popular amon…

"Cloistered" Pizza

One of my "cloistered brothers" makes the most delicious pizza.  Here is his recipe.  It makes about 6 large pizzas.


1 -  2-pound bag of flour
1/2  of a box of pancake mix
4 teaspoons of oregano
3 ounces of sugar
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of black pepper

Mix and let it sit for about six hours.  This makes it easier to roll out and handle.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your toppings:


3 jars of any pizza sauce
2 tubs of your favorite cheese
5 bars of provolone cheese
2-3 whole onions
2-3 green peppers
pepperoni and hard salami

Prepare the crust: roll into pan size, handle and stretch to fit the pan.  Butter the pans well.  Butter the bottom of the crust, too.  Butter the top of the crust.  Bake the crust for 10 minutes.  Butter the top and bottom, again. Add your toppings.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  Enjoy.

There is No Rest with Vengeance

"I'm sorry to tell this, girls," says she, but there is no rest with
vengeance.  It doesn't make you feel any better, it doesn't
relieve the pain. There is only the slight satisfaction of retribution..."
These words were spoken by Molly McGill, who knows what she is talking about, for she killed her husband, who had killed their daughter.  There wasn't sweet revenge.  There was no satisfaction to speak.  The hurt remained.  The emptiness continued to dig deeper into her soul.  And for killing her husband, she was sentenced to Sing Sing Prison for life. 

That was Molly McGill's life until she was offered to be part of a government program.  "The Brides for Indians Program," in 1873, offered one thousand white women in exchange for three hundred horses.  Molly McGill jumped at the chance.  She wasn't alone.  There were other women who saw this program as a chance to freedom and adventure.  The Vengeance of Mothers by Jim Fergus is a book a…

Celebrating God's Sanctifying Grace

God uses all kinds of means to let us know that He's omnipresent.  Whenever we see someone helped or something happen just in the nick of time, that's His work.  I believe that's what we're celebrating on religious holidays.  Yesterday, was Christmas day.  I saw God bring my husband back to me.  I saw God helping neighbors shovel snow from the morning's snow.  I saw God give presents to express human love.

I believe these and more are evidence of God's grace working in human lives.  My feelings were confirmed when I read Brother Hyacinth Grubb, O.P. article in Dominicana.  His topic was the Puritans banning the celebration of Christmas.  The Puritans were correct in recognizing Christmas as an important holy day.  But they did not see the working of God's sacramental grace in the birth of Jesus.  Maybe they did but did not believe in celebrating it.  I guess; how could you not rejoice that your Savior was born?  Anyway, the Puritans banned celebrating Chri…

Christmas Consternation

I'll begin with a few facts.  Today is Christmas.  Hubby's persona is the strong and silent man.  Now here's the story.  I woke up this Christmas morning alone.  Does hubby have a surprise for me?

Yes, he certainly did, but not a nice one.  He was gone.  He left a note which said.  My heart is beating too fast, I drove to the hospital.

He had an A-fib episode.  This is the second one in a couple of years.  A-fib is short for Atrial fibrillation, which is an abnormal heart rhythm. And this is the second time he has sneaked off to the hospital, alone.  The first was a gallbladder attack.  I hate when he does this because I want to hear what the doctor tells him.  You really need two people talking to the doctor to remember and ask questions, never mind support.

While I was trying to decide what to do, he texted me saying that he was OK, but they wanted him to stay in the hospital for four hours.

That was a relief.

Did I mention the weather?  There was a little snow storm ou…

Picky Eaters

Yes, I admit I was a picky eater.  When I was a child I didn't like eating and I hated meal times.  My parents were always after me to eat.  I swore that when I was a parent I would leave my child alone.  For the most part, I did.  They didn't have to eat what they didn't want BUT they couldn't have dessert.  I hope I made my kids' mealtimes pleasant.

Today, I was sorting through some old magazines to see which ones to keep and which ones to toss.  In allrecipes, February/March 2014 edition, an article on "Why kids are picky eaters (and why it's no big whoop) caught my attention.  The author attests that nature makes young children be picky about what they eat.  Afterall, in caveman days fear of different food was necessary or children would be eating poisonous berries and other dangerous things. 

My three kids from age 2-5 subsisted basically on one food:

the oldest was cottage cheese (plain!)

the middle hardly ate at all

the youngest only ate Cambell…

Lazy Loopers and a Hungarian Vizsla

Besides learning a new area to walk in, I met the most charming dog.  His name is Tyson and he is an Hungarian Vizsla.   His coat is beautiful--so soft and velvety looking.  He is a light brown.  His expression is alert with light brown eyes.  He was only a couple of years old and very playful.
The hiking group walked around Mirror Lake in Wrentham, this morning.  Then we walked to a field that had a curious sign: Flying Loopers.  It's a field for those who like to fly model airplaines. 

 No one was flying however.  We only saw Tyson and his owner.
It was a beautiful day, sunny but cold, good companionship and some new sights.  We walked 2.9 miles.

The Digital Continent

In the recent Dominican General Chapter, held in Bologna, came the term "Digital Continent."  Since the Dominicans are the Order of Preachers, the Master is giving instructions to the Dominican family to go out and preach to the Digital Continent.  From the Acts: 

The digital continent, comprising more than three billion persons connected to the internet in the world represents the new “continent of mission” for the Church, and more particularly for us Dominicans, whose mission is the devotion to the total evangelization of the Word of God. “This information explosion provides twenty-first century Dominicans with a new pulpit, allowing us to bring the Gospel to people often beyond our reach, as well as advancing causes, such as justice and peace, which are rooted in our foundational charism”.

Of course, I'm on board and have been ever since I've had internet access.  I love social media.  I have found many Lay Dominicans that I would have never met, were it not for s…


Told you so.  I fulfilled scripture. Everything written by the prophets is fulfilled. Was it not necessary that One should suffer for many? Everything written about me is fulfilled. Amen.
I make the powerful vulnerable. What am I up to? I am considered a loose cannon. I break shackles. Take warning you who judge.
You have been forewarned. I comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. I accept no evildoers. And I love the repentant.
I see the hearts of my people and I look at their intent. Lie down in peace and sleep. I embrace all who love me. Amen.

The Grand Aggregation

My granddaughters and I have formed The Grand Aggregation.  This is a group of classes, clubs, and discussions.  It started small.  At first, it was just The Grand Book Club, composed of my seven-year-old granddaughter, i.e., Grandma and Granddaughter.  But she has a sister.  Naturally, she is included.  Also any other grandchildren I hope to have.

Last week we added a cooking school.  Since I had my granddaughter for supper, she learned how to microwave chicken mcnuggets.  She also learned how to peel carrots and potatoes.  We microwaved those too, to make cooked carrots and mashed potatoes.  Mashing the potatoes with butter and milk was an experience.

And when I drive my granddaughter back and forth to school, we have discussion time.  We solve the world's problems.

So far my second granddaughter is too young to participate.  But she'll get there.
P.S.  Add Spa to the Grand Aggregation.  We do manicures, pedicures, and facials.  We put on makeup, too.  We experiment with d…

Walking With Sticks

In my hiking group, the Trail Hikers, there are two schools of thought regarding “walking sticks.”  Many feel that “walking sticks” are very useful.  They aid in walking.
Others feel that “walking sticks” are an affectation.  More than that, they can be a hindrance.  They are something that distracts one from concentrating on their footing.  I can attest to that, so I subscribe to this opinion.  One time going downhill on a rocky terrain and using a “walking stick”, it was the stick that caused me to trip up.  It was like I had too many legs and feet.  Somehow or other, the stick was caught between my legs, or in the way of my foot, or whatever!  I tumbled down the boulder.  And I almost speared myself with that “walking stick.”  I think it did blacken my eye.  I swore, “never again!”  I climbed back up that huge boulder and flung that “walking stick” into the netherworld.
Well, that was quite a while ago.  Yesterday, on a hike around the Blackstone River and Canal, a stick on the g…

God Leads Me into Temptation?

I've been saying this for years!  Actually, a friend called my attention to it.  She was first, then I thought about it and agreed.  I'm talking about the "The Lord's Prayer," or "The Our Father." 

She said it always bother her that we prayed:

Our Father who art in heaven,Hallowed be thy name.Thy kingdom come.                                                                   Thy will be doneon earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us,and lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil.

I understand that this wording is only in English.  Other languages say the equivalent of protect us, or keep us away from, temptation.  Now, I read that our Holy Father agrees.  He asks for a better English translation.  
The sooner, the better.

Splitting Hairs

This morning a story that was related by Lee Strobel in his book The Case for Faith, caught my interest.  The author tells the story of a molecular biologist, Michael Denton, giving an example of facts misleading to incorrect conclusions.

The story is about a murder.  The man accused was Ronald Williamson.  The case against him:

          a witness who saw Williamson talking to the victim earlier in the evening of the murder          an admission by Williamson that he had a dream of killing the victim          four of Williamson's hairs were found on the victim's body. The jury found Williamson guilty, but he wasn't.  After spending twelve years in prison, nine on death row, an analysis of DNA proved that Williamson was innocent.
What about the hair?  Hair evidence isn't conclusive.  It's "scientifically unreliable."  
Note this:  at the writing of this book, hair evidence has been used against eighteen death row inmates who were eventually declared innoc…

The Christmas Sweater

Back when I was first made, I was quite the catch.  My brother and sister sweaters were not snatched up as quickly as I.
I was beautiful.
My holly berry red was brilliant.  My accouterments were a wonder to behold.  I was decked out with santas, sparkles, stars, ribbons, angels, and bells that tingled and tassels that begged to be yanked.  And they were too!  Although that was always a surprise!  Strangers would come up very close to me and pull on my tassels and ping my bells.  At first, I was taken aback by this sudden invasion of my personal space, but I understood.  Who could resist the allure of my Christmas spirit?
Every year I was worn for the Christmas season.  I didn’t mind only being worn for such a short time because the happy feelings were kept within me.  I basked in that Christmas warmth for the rest of the year.
This December, when my bureau drawer was open, the conversation was lively:
Mom, have you any Christmas sweaters? Oh yes, and turtlenecks and tunics and cardigan…

By the Highway

What worked then, doesn't work now.  No. That's not right.  My tastes have changed. I've matured.


I use to meditate by using my hands and saying the mantra: "All is passing.  God alone abiding.".  I'd sweep my right arm out--"All is passing."  Then I'd take my hand on my outstretched arm and bring it to over my heart and say--"God alone abiding."

But a revert to Catholicism via Buddhism taught me his technique.  He envisions that he's sitting next to a highway watching the cars zoom past:  zoom, zoom, swish, swish...   Once he's calmed, he looks down the highway to a car on the horizon and watches it come closer, closer, closer and closer until it reaches him.  He keeps his eye on it as it is in front of him.  He sees who's in the car.  He's there, too.  He watches it pass him.  He watches it go on, and on, and on, until it's just a dot on that horizon. He's gone off too.

Perfect.  All is passing.  I …