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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sign the Petition

If you have any sense of fairness, please sign this petition and spread the word.  The petition can't do anything except keep this situation in the news.  Meriam was a Sudanese Muslim who married an American Christian.  She converted.  On a visit to her parents in the Sudan, Meriam was arrested, along with her 20 month old son.  She is to be executed for changing her faith.  She was pregnant and recently gave birth.  Please keep this situation in the news, until Meriam is freed.

Over 220,000 people signed a petition on CitizenGO in an effort to free Meriam Yehya Ibrahim.
[The 27 year old Sudanese Christian -- who was sentenced to death by hanging for her faith.]
As of this moment, I wish I had better news to report, but thankfully and also sadly (outrageously) her situation has changed. 

This week Meriam gave birth to a baby girl. But disturbing news quickly followed. According to Meriam's husband, Sudanese prison officials left her legs shackled as she was giving birth.
The Sudenese government has announced that they still plan on executing Meriam, but they will wait up to two years so the baby will receive the proper nutrition.

The government does not plan to allow the child's father (Meriam's husband) to see her much. The child will be imprisoned with Meriam, and Meriam's 20 month old son.
At this very moment, Meriam is reportedly being shackled to a "disease ridden floor.” They are being treated less than human. Why? Because of their faith.

If Meriam will deny her faith in Christ and become a Muslim, they will let her go. If she doesn't -- she dies. Meriam is refusing.

We must keep the pressure on the Sudanese government… We must keep this story in the headlines. It is extremely important that we do not forget Meriam. What will help free her (them) is public outrage.

If you have not already, please sign the Personhood USA petition for Meriam:

If you have signed, please help keep Meriam relevant in the headlines. Spread this petition to your friends, family, and colleagues. We must do our part to keep on fighting for Meriam.
In a recent statement, Meriam's husband, Daniel Wani, a US citizen, has expressed his disappointment over the lack of urgency on the part of the US authorities to help his wife:

"Considering I am an American citizen, I am disappointed with the American Embassy's position from the beginning of the whole case. At the start of the issue, I reported it to them but they didn't take much interest, particularly the consulate. They said they didn't have time. In fact last time, they said they didn't care much about the case. They came late – they intervened when they saw the issue was getting press attention – but the intervention was late.”

The situation -- across the board -- is being mishandled: a lack of interest and urgency from the US government… a lack of interest and urgency from UN officials and others in the international community.

As this petition is being sent directly to the UN Human Rights Commissioner, it is being Cc'd to the President of Sudan (a really bad guy), and the Deputy Chief for the US Embassy in Sudan.

Help us urge them to act!

Warmest regards,
Gregory Mertz and the whole CitizenGO team
P.S. -- Many of you have already signed the petition. Could you help spread the word about Meriam by asking your friends and family to join you in signing? We can keep Meriam relevant, in today's headlines, with our effort to keep pressuring the proper parties to free Meriam. Together, let's keep talking about the injustice in the Sudan – the Meriam story!
For more information, I invite you to read:
____ is a community of active citizens 
that seeks to defend life, the family and the fundamental rights worldwide. To know more about CitizenGO click here or follow us in Facebook or Twitter.--

Friday, May 30, 2014

RIP Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou lost her brother when he was in his twenties.  Even though we may not have lost our siblings, so young, I think we all can relate to trying to replace them with "forcing strangers into brother molds."  Maya died, May 28, 2014.  She and Bailey can now walk silently in eternal woods together.  Requiescant in pace.



We were entwined in red rings   
Of blood and loneliness before   
The first snows fell
Before muddy rivers seeded clouds   
Above a virgin forest, and   
Men ran naked, blue and black   
Skinned into the warm embraces   
Of Sheba, Eve and Lilith.
I was your sister.

You left me to force strangers   
Into brother molds, exacting   
Taxations they never
Owed or could ever pay.

You fought to die, thinking   
In destruction lies the seed   
Of birth. You may be right.

I will remember silent walks in   
Southern woods and long talks   
In low voices
Shielding meaning from the big ears   
Of overcurious adults.

You may be right.   
Your slow return from
Regions of terror and bloody
Screams, races my heart.
I hear again the laughter   
Of children and see fireflies   
Bursting tiny explosions in   
An Arkansas twilight.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Violet Iris

I was greeted with the most awesome sight, as I walked down my sidewalk, this morning.  There was an iris which exhibited the deepest purple possible.  It was sych a rich color!  I've seen violet that looks black.  This wasn't it.  It definitely was purple, solid, with a deep hue.  To make it even more awesome, it was still early enough at 8:00 AM to have several drops of dew still clinging to its petals.  The dew sparked like diamonds.

God was blessing me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Very Good Bad DayI

Ordinarily, a cold, windy, drizzly day would be a bad day.  This was not so, this cold, windy and drizzly day.  Hubby and I were invited on a Senior Citizen's trip.  We know some of the senior citizens who belong to the Senior Trail Blazers. They walk around town every Wednesday.  Hubby and I belong to the Trail Hikers, and we hike through state parks and other wooded areas, on Thursdays.  There are some people who belong to both groups.

Can you follow that?  Well, that's how we were invited to go on the Senior Trail Blazers' picnic to Castle Island in Boston Harbor.  They didn't have enough people to fill the bus, so knowing that hubby and I enjoy walking, we were asked to join the picnic.

The weather this morning was cold, windy, and drizzling rain.  The prediction was that this weather pattern would last all day.  Even so, we went, hoping that the trip would be canceled.  It wasn't.

We went to Boston.  We walked around Castle Island.  Although we did have the picnic on the bus.
 We all laughed about it.  We did enjoy the walk.  The rain wasn't pouring hard; it was a drizzle.  It was cold and windy but we knew that, and were dressed properly.  It really wasn't bad at all.  In fact, we enjoyed ourselves.

Think about it.  You can't garden, mow the lawn, or do any outdoor activity.  What would we have done, if we stayed home.  Blog?

We got out and watched the planes land at Logan airport.  We saw a container ship being unloaded.  We even saw a crazy para-sailer surf at Carson Beach.  We met new friends.  We laughed alot.

We even stopped at Bubbling Brook on the way home and had ice cream.

It was a good, bad day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Going Deeper

I picked up a Bible I once used in a Bible study class, awhile ago.  It was highlighted in three colors.  I had forgotten what the colors meant, but I figured them out.  I also remembered that reading with that highlighted method used to bring me deeper into the meaning of the scripture.

So this morning, I read the Readings of the day, and then highlighted them accordingly.  It took me an hour!  I never did get to Morning Prayer.  But I have to admit, this method is a Lectio Divina gimmick.  Before you know it, you see the scripture differently.

This is how you do it.  Read the scripture.  Highlight or underline in one color every time the verse is a command, e.i., "Do unto others..." (Luke 6:31)

Change to another color.  Highlight every time the verse states a truism, e.i., "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  (Matt 11:30)

Lastly, use a third color.  Highlight all promises, e.i., " will inherit the kingdom of God..."  (1 Cor 6:9)

Your Bible will be marked up, but it will be well used, and it's yours anyway.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

It rained on the Memorial Day parade, so we didn't attend.  It's not the same, anymore, anyway.  When I was a child, the family went to two parades.  The first was my home town's and we went and visited my relatives in the Protestant cemetery.  The only one in town and really everybody could be buried there.  Then in the afternoon, we went to the parade in the neighboring town.  And we visited my relatives there.  More relatives were in this cemetery--the Catholic one.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, no one in my immediate family is buried in my current local cemetery.  My adult kids have never visited a cemetery and planted flowers on graves.  We have never had the opportunity.  We live too distant from family.   That's the way it is.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Unwanted Books

This morning I was sorting through books.  I was helping the library for their book sale, tomorrow.  I found an almost brand new Bible.  It had a name and date.  I cleaned from the bookplate that this Bible was bought in 2013 for a 9th grade religion class.  It looked brand new.  I surmised it was hardly used and now that school is almost over, the student gave the book to the library.

How sad!  A Bible can be used for a lifetime.  Even if one isn't religious, a Bible is a reference source.

Education is wasted on the young.  Of course I bought it.  I'm also praying for the person who donated the book, that he especially be graced with understanding to know how important the book he threw away is.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Graduation Speech

No one will ever ask me to make a graduation speech.  But I thought I’d have one ready, just in case.  The graduates hardly listen, anyway.  Even if they did listen, they wouldn’t remember a word.  I know I don’t.  I remember more of my children’s graduation speeches. 

There was one that was so-o-o-o long, when the speaker said, “…one last point…” the graduates clapped.  I felt embarrassed for the speaker.  But I don’t think he understood, because he continued on and on, for an inordinately long time.  The embarrassment I felt for him dissipated, and my feelings of incredulity over his lack of picking up social cues, superseded my previous sympathy.

Most of the other speakers were mercifully shorter.  Those that made everyone laugh are the best.  Speeches that are inspirational and funny are my favorite.

Do you see a pattern here?

I don’t remember any of these speakers’ names.  None of them.  Some of them were politicians.  Some were academics.  And that’s my point.  People don’t remember your name; they probably won’t remember who you are.  I’m very certain no one will remember that I’m a Senior Scribbler and have published articles in the Milford Daily News. 

What people remember is how a speaker makes them feel.  I remember the speeches which made me laugh.  I remember the speeches which inspired me.  I remember that boring professor from MIT that spoke way too long and couldn’t take the hint to conclude his speech.

Therefore, here’s my speech.

Only one thing is important in life.  It’s how you treat others that are remembered.    

Treat everyone with respect.  This is a moral imperative!  It doesn’t matter who they are or what they have done.  We personally, need to set the standard.  Everyone has human dignity.  And I believe we affirm our own human dignity by the manner of respect we give others. 


  •         Strive to be courteous.  Never abuse, demean or physically harm anyone.
  •          People are not to be manipulated, exploited, or used to achieve private agendas.
  •         Never discriminate.
  •          People deserve second chances, and third, and maybe more -- depends.
  •          Listen with an open mind.

In conclusion, treat others the way you hope others will treat your children.  That’s my paraphrase of the Golden Rule. 

And I think that’s all that needs to be said.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Follow the Money

Stealing the Moon and the Stars by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens is labeled a romantic suspense.  That is a true description.  The main character, Jordan is a beautiful, young, femme fatale.  She’s rich.  She’s smart.  She’s also a detective.  And that’s where the story starts.  The client is a non-profit organization called “Stealing the Moon and the Stars.”  The organization tries to give dying children the “moon and the stars.”  Over eight hundred thousand dollars was stolen and Jordan, along with her partner, Eddie Marino, are hired to find the money.

What’s different about this detective story is that Jordan isn’t your typical dirty raincoat, cigarette hanging from the mouth, detective.  She’s 5’10” of gorgeousness.  Her partner, Eddie is “definitely hot stuff.”  The sexual pull between these two is powerful.  Trying to get these two together was woven in between the trails left by the perpetrators.  The reader is led to think the foundation employees are taking from the till, until a mob boss gets involved. 

Solving the crime is the story.  Jordan and Eddie’s romantic attraction is also a story.  Jordan’s wardrobe and her fashion sense were an interesting addition.  Jordan will plan her wardrobe to her client, or her daily agenda.  If she’s meeting a short client, then no heels.  If she thinks her investigation will lead to a quick exit, then no heels.  If she’s trying to impress, then she’d slip on her Jimmy Choo kitten heels.  This fashion addition was fun, and fit the story.

Stealing the Moon and the Stars, looks like an introduction to a series of Jordan Welsh and Eddie Marino crime stories.  I hope so.  I want to see what Jordan wears next.  I received a free copy of Stealing the Moon and the Stars by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens from Tribute Books.  Even so, this review is my honest evaluation.  No compensation was received for this review.

Price: $13.95
Format: paperback
Pages: 242
Release: May 15, 2014
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603819831

Amazon buy link:

Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens' Web Site:

Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens' Blog

Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens' Facebook:

Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens' Twitter:

Sally J. Smith & Jean Steffens' Goodreads:
Stealing the Moon & Stars Goodreads:

Stealing the Moon & Stars YouTube video trailer HTML embed code:
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Eye and Ear Openers

St. Bernardino of Siena

A funny thing happened at the abbey, today.  I was attending daily Mass and looked over at the nuns' section, and they had no shepherdess.  The stall for the Abbess was empty.  Mass was being celebrated by three or four monks.  And it was a Mass for the Holy Spirit.

What was going on?

The Conventual Chapter was electing a new Abbess, today.  It was a special occasion.  Looking at their Facebook page, I see that Mother Maureen McCabe was reelected for a second six year term.  May God bless her work.

Driving to the abbey, I was listening to Father Mitch Pacwa, on EWTN radio.  Today is the feast of St. Bernardino of Siena.  Father Pacwa said St. Bernidiene added the name, "Jesus", to the Hail Mary Prayer.  For that I give him thanks.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Irish Diplomacy

Fr. Chris' homily was on Christian unity.  That's what communion is.  We stand together.  We agree.  Irish diplomacy is the opposite.  Irish diplomacy says:

Irish diplomacy is the ability to tell a man to go to hell and have him looking forward to the trip.

As Christians we aim to bring as many souls to heaven with  us as possible.  We are one with Christ.  We are all brothers and sisters in one family.  Ephesians 4: 3.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

This week was wicked awesome.  The family was on vacation in Brewster, MA, which is Cape Cod.  I know I live on the Cape, but not this Cape!  I live on Vineyard Sound.  The water is calm and warm.  Where we were was the National Cape Cod Seashore.  A new world opened up for me.  Hubby and I were remarking that we were falling in love with Cape Cod, all over again.

We also were simultaneously reading Henry David Thoreau's Cape Cod, (free ebook)  and Henry Beston's The Outermost House.  We were so excited that we kept reading aloud to each other (which we both abhor) and snatching the books out of each other's hand.  Then we'd go find exactly what Thoreau and Beston were describing.

Beston's Outermost House was the inspiration for the Kennedy's (Senator and President) to push for making the Cape Cod National Seashore.  Deo Gratias.

Can you imagine the development that would have taken place, were not this part of the Cape designated as a national park?  I shudder to think of it.

The shipwrecks and forts this part of the Cape inhabit are tourist areas.  The coast guard certainly cemented their need, here.  I thought of my dad.  He would have loved this part of the Cape.  He served in the seabees, during World War II.  He was about 35 years old when he joined.  He was really too old, and had three children to support, but the country was attacked and all able bodied men were called to arms.  My mother was shocked.  I guess he just went and joined up without any consultation with the rest of the family.  That's the way he was.  He always just did whatever whim entered his head, and everyone else be damned.  That's how we ended up with cats, dogs, chicks, and rabbits.  And that's how he enlisted in the navy.  Although patriotic fever was sweeping across the country, at the time.  

We were having such a good time, that I was too busy to spend much time on the computer.  Also, the internet kept going out.  I was thinking it was my computer, but now that I'm home, the internet is fine.  Anyway, I managed to post the following:

Monday -- I thought my computer was dying, or I needed a new router, or it was just too damn                              windy.  But I didn't care.  Imagine that!  I was having too much fun being busy.

Tuesday -- Saunteuring with Thoreau.

Wednesday -- Interesting find in the Pilgrim Monument Museum.

Thursday and Friday --  Book Review of Zero Alternative.

Saturday --  Saying goodbye to the beach.

Now I'm linking up with some fellow bloggers at This And That And The Other Thing.  We do this every Sunday.  Click on over there, and read some other blogs.  It's good Sunday reading.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Walking Along the Beach

from MEK's Pencil in the Hole

A little gray seal followed me while I walked the beach, this morning.  I saw his little spaniel like snout pop out of a wave, as I scanned the varying colors of the water.  I shouted “Good morning,” and laughed as he dove under a wave. 

  I was going to skip a rock across the surface of the water, but I didn't want to scare away my little friend.  My son, so far this year, holds the “rock skipping” record at nine jumps.  He did that, this weekend, with me as a witness.  I was alone, so that was another reason, not to skip the rock on the surface.  Who’d back up my claim to breaking the new “rock skipping” record?

Instead, I started my Rosary.  I was praying in thanksgiving for bringing hubby home safely yesterday, for a beautiful morning, for reacquainting my senses with the ocean, for life—glorious life.  There’s a plethora of seaside life, on the beach.  When I came back home, I looked up some of the plant life; I’d forgotten about since last summer.  The fish and mammals (seals), and periwinkles, etc., even the sand dunes have life.   God is such a show off.

Walking the beach and praying, thanks be to God.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Zero Alternative

Zero Alternative by Luca Pesaro is an action packed conspiracy thriller.  Scott Walker is a stock broker that is very good at his job.  He almost made enough money to retire.  Unfortunately, his good friend, DM is working on a computer system  not only to make a lot of money, but could potentially control the world’s economy. 

When DM is tortured and killed, Scott is shocked into another realm of existence.  He is set up to take the fall.  Scott has to find out who killed DM and is after the system DM was working on.  Scott is played for a patsy by a pole dancer who really is working for his enemies, or is she?  Scott never knows whether to trust her.  Neither does the reader.  You read how skilled the author, Pesaro is, in the way he interweaves the chase through Europe.  It is a real old fashioner thriller that will keep you on the edge.  

The beginning is an introduction to the world of finance.  At first the economic jargon was confusing, but people are people and the characters are people that hold your interest.  Soon enough you fall into the plot and are running with Scott.  There is violence but that’s not part of the story.  The read is fast and gripping.  The reader will enjoy Zero Alternative.  This story will make a great movie.

I received a free copy of Zero Alternative by Luca Pesaro, from Tribute Books.  No other compensation was received and my review is my honest evaluation.

Formats: ebook, paperback
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 269
Release: April 25, 2014
Publisher: Three Hares Publishing

Three Hares Publishing buy link:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mass on the Back of a Whale

This is a picture I took while visiting the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, MA.  The explanation simply said it was Mass celebrated on the back of a whale.  I googled Mass on the back of a whale and couldn't find enough information to satisfy me.  I learned that there is a legend, from the 9th century, of St. Brendan (Celtic saint) who celebrated Mass on the back of a whale.  When St. Brendan elevated the consecrated host, all the fish in the sea, who were swimming around the whale, stopped, stuck their heads out of the water to reverence the Lord, and turned around and swam in the opposite direction.

Like all myths and legends, the truth is lost.  However, there is some truth, or the myth would never have initiated in the first place. 

I find it interesting that Mass would have been celebrated on the back of a whale.  I'm not surprised at the actions of God's creatures towards their Creator.  It's the location of the Mass.  Why the whale?

Living on Cape Cod, I know the history of whaling here.  I know the livelihood of many depended upon the whale.  But does that warrant its use as an altar? 

In a way, I can see it.  Whales were sacrificed, so to speak, so that man may live.  You could say that like Jesus, whales gave their lives, so that others may live.  The difference, however, is that Jesus willingly gave up His life, whereas the whales didn't. 

Vive la difference!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoreau on the Beach

Today hubby and I met a Park Ranger on Coast Guard Beach who re-introduced us to Henry David Thoreau.  Of course we were introduced to Thoreau, back in the day.  However, today, thanks to Brent Ellis, we met up with the transcendentalist, again.  Ellis was on fire about Thoreau.  We were talking about beach grass.  He told us that the first vegetation you encounter on the beach is beach grass, and then beach rose (rosa rugosa), beach plums, and bayberry.  The beach grass is important because it anchors the sand and helps to keep it from blowing adrift.  Brent would often quote Thoreau.  Here's what Henry David Thoreau said about the importance of beach grass to Cape Cod.

Thus Cape Cod is anchored to the heavens, as it were, by a myriad little cables of beach-grass, and, if they should fail, would become a total wreck, and ere long go to the bottom.

Towns even plant beach grass to slow down beach erosion.  It's rather futile, but it's better than letting mother nature have her way.  She eventually always does, but until that happens, we humans can enjoy the beach, a little while longer.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Too Busy To Post

My own rule to always write at least something, every day, may be broken this week.  The weather is just too nice.  Hubby and I went on a hike in Nickerson State Park.  We went on a picnic.  Then we went to a winery in Truro.  On the way home, we stopped at Coast Guard Beach and signed up for a hike, tomorrow.  Besides, the internet is getting sketchy.  I did some research and found out that dust may be inside my laptop.  When my computer gets too hot, it shuts down.  Maybe that's what's happening.

Maybe I just need a new computer.

So if I don't post, don't worry.  I'm just having too much fun.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Sunday is almost over and I almost didn't get to post my Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival post.  This post is a weekly link-up with other Catholic bloggers where we summarize our weekly post on R'Ann's blog, This And That And The Other Thing.

First, to answer the question about what I remember from my First Communion.

I'm sorry to say I don't remember much.  Mostly because I met Ricky Jerome.  He followed my sister and me home from First Communion class.  My sister noticed the boy following us, and when I turned around to look, I saw someone jump into the bushes.  That's all.

But the following week in church, he came up and introduced himself.  From then until high school, we were boy friend and girl friend.  That's what I remember from First Communion.

This is what I remember from this week:

Monday --  Advertised for World Communication Day.

Tuesday -- Book Review of The Voyage to Alpha Centauri

Wednesday -- Silliness

Thursday -- Sex sells.

Friday -- The Pope is a compassionate pastor.

Saturday --  Internet Service was out.

Sunday -- Homily inspiration.

For more blog post, click over to R'Ann's.

God, Learning and Fun

What does Spring mean to you?  That was the question Fr. Bernie asked at Mass this morning, at Our Lady of the Cape Parish.  Some answers were:

  • crocuses 
  • daffodil
  • spring training
  • Mother's Day
  • opening day at the Red Sox
The answer for Fr. Bernie was the Herring Run in Brewster.  There is a famous one in Brewster, and you know the herring are here because of all the sea gulls hanging around for dinner.

My hangout is Falmouth, MA, and we have a Herring Run, also, at Truck River.  The River is rife with sea life, which is why it's such a good place to see the ecology, biology, and marine life.

The herring are important in the food chain, which is why they are monitored.  Their health and well being reflect the overall state of well being of the coastal ecosystem.

Isn't Catholicism a great religion?  Not only do you receive Jesus in the Eucharist, but you learn about herring.  God, learning, and fun, you can't get any better than that.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Grace Trumps

The Church should bestow the grace of God not bureaucratic obstacles

Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website 

I can just picture my "cloistered brother," Dennis, getting bent out of shape over this sound bite.  And that's all it is: words taken from a larger talk (sound bite).  And it's also out of context.

People have to realize that Pope Francis is quoted all the time, and the quotes are cherry picked to:

  • get attention
  • sell
Most of the time Pope Francis is speaking pastorally.  He is not speaking ex cathedra.  As the headline intimates, "grace" trumps.  And that's not news to me.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

How to Get Attention in the Emergency Room

The day was perfect.  We saw a chirping swallow, a gold finch, and heard an oven bird.  A harmless garter snake slithered across the path.  We screamed because of the surprise of suddenly seeing something move, but no one was frightened.  Our bridge was washed away, but we just walked around.  Nothing spoiled our hike.

During conversation, I heard a funny story.  It's tick season, so that was the subject we were discussing.  Kevin told us a story about a man who found a tick in his armpit, when he was showering.  Deer ticks can be tricky, and this one couldn't be reached safely.  So the man and his wife decided to go to the emergency room, even though they didn't want to sit and wait, and wait, and wait.  The wife said to tell them you must have picked up the tick having adventurous sex in the woods.  "That'll get their attention, fast!"  They both laughed.

Once in the emergency room, they gave their insurance and history.  When the recorder asked, "What's the problem?"  The man said, "I have a tick in my armpit."  But the wife piped up, "We were having adventurous sex in the woods!"

There was no response.

But they were seen immediately.  And as they walked down the corridor to their assigned room, doors opened and heads popped out to look.

BTW,  the tick was expeditiously removed.  He's fine, so far.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Rewrite of This Little Piggy

This little puppy learned to wiggle.

But this little puppy couldn't get the hang of it.

This little puppy stood at attention.

And this little puppy whined weakly.

And this poor little puppy was often stepped upon.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Alpha Centauri

The Voyage
Being the true, candid, and unadulterated account of yet another great leap for mankind, mixed with the personal memories, irritations, and ramblings of Neil Ruiz de Hoyos
by Himself
(for his future edification and entertainment)

Did you, dear reader, do a double-take?  Did you look up, down, and around, to see if this review was a book review of Michael D. O’Brien’s Voyage to Alpha Centauri?
        Now you have experienced what the reader experiences upon opening O’Brien’s novel.  The very first page reads: The Voyage by Neil Ruiz de Hoyos.  The next page gives the usual Library of Congress information.  If this introduction was simply the beginning of O’Brien’s novel, would he go to such detail to introduce the story? 
Any doubts regarding O’Brien’s methods are quickly laid aside as you begin to read.  Immediately, the reader realizes he is reading Neil’s journal.  The journal relates an expedition in the future aboard a massive space ship, the Kosmos, to a planet orbiting the star, Alpha Centauri.  The story is told by the Noble prize winner, Dr. Neil de Hoyos, whose contribution to technology made the space ship a reality.
Life aboard the ship is recorded by Dr. Hoyos.  Life turns out to be extreme totalitarianism, managed by the DSI .  However, the ship’s captain and crew have autonomy in their own quarters.  The DSI are social engineers who act like big brothers forcing people to all behave in what they, alone,  have determined to be correct, manageable, and happy comportment.  This will prove to be the “end justifying the means.”
      The first half of the book establishes the war against human freedom and dignity.  The last half unabashedly establishes Catholic themes because the characters form a Catholic society, on the new planet.  It turns out that there was a Catholic underground aboard the ship that Neil never knew about.  There was a priest and a bishop, plus many faithful laity.  Mass was celebrated along with all the other sacraments.  A Catholic world will be established on this new planet, after overcoming the evil.  The evil will also be overcome on the space ship, also.  
      The novel is long.  The journey takes nine years, each way.  Trouble will waylay plans and the reader will be surprised by the twists and turns.  The end will tie up all the loose knots and satisfy the reader.  As usual with an O’Brien novel, the themes will keep you thinking. 
      I highly recommend The Voyage to Alpha Centauri.  It is very long, maybe too long for most people.  The first half was setting the scene for the second half, but if the reader has patience to stay with the story, he will be rewarded.  The pace picks up fast in the second half of the book.  All the action occurs in the second half.  The twists will keep the reader engrossed.  Best of all, is the mark the story will leave in the reader’s thoughts.  The reader will be left reconsidering his own perceptions about himself, society, freedom, science, and God.  Good writers can leave their mark on you.  Michael D. O’Brien is one of the best.

Monday, May 5, 2014

World Communications Day 2014

All these selfies?

"It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply “connected”; connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness."
- Pope Francis, Message for World Communications Day 2014
Does it seem to you that people don't communicate with each other, like they use to.  Everybody seems to be looking at their phone.

I'm beginning to think that looking at the phone is an avoidance technique.  They feel alone and don't want to look alone, so they look busy.  Let's change this fad/idea/culture.  Say something: "Nice day!", "You look happy, today.", ask for direction, ask for help, etc.  Just break in and ENCOUNTER.

1. Follow “True Encounter” on Facebook and Twitter (
2. Turn a virtual interaction into something practical. For example:
-- Don’t just ‘like’ or ‘retweet’ a friend’s post, call him/her and ask how they are.
-- Instead of ‘sharing’ a cause on Facebook, write a letter to a politician or give a generous donation to practically support that cause.
-- ‘Accept’ an invitation to a Catholic event, and actually show up!
-- Or another idea that you can come up with... 

3. Share a photo with us, or tell us how you responded to this challenge, by using the hashtag #TrueEncounter

Let's make World Communications Day -- June 1, 2014, change the culture.  Spread the word.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Snippets -- A Catholic Carnival

Pic from MEK, Pencil in the Hole

Hello, and welcome to Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. To participate, go to your blog and create a post titled Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. In it, discuss and link to your posts for the week--whether they deal with theology, Catholic living or cute Catholic kids.  If you click over to R'Ann's, I'm sure you'll find something to interest you.

First, let me tell you about my Mom.  Back in the day, when I was a child, everyone's Mom stayed at home.  There came a time, (I was only three.) when Mom had to go to work.  The first thing she did, with her first pay check, was buy me a tricycle.  Boy, did I love that trike!  But actually, that purchase symbolizes the main purpose of her working--to provide me with those little "extras," that Dad's paycheck didn't cover.  God bless you, Mom!

What did I do this week?  Well:

Sunday -- What happened to me on Divine Mercy Sunday.

Monday -- One of Mick's poems and drawings.

Tuesday -- Reflection on the Feast of St. Catherine of Siena.

Wednesday -- Wed. was the Feast of Pius V, but I was reading about an Icon of the Virgin of Nicopeia
                         which was carried on one of the ships, in the Battle of Lepanto, (Pius V's reign) and
                         got sidetracked.  

Thursday --  This post was inspired by Father Kevin's intro.

Friday --  Origin of the scapegoat.

Saturday -- Another prayer group tale.

To find out how the other Sunday Snippets' bloggers week went, click of to This And that and the other thing.  How'd your week go?

A Good Mystery

  Chances Richard Russo is about three friends vacationing on Martha's Vineyard.  Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey met in college. Fo...