Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

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Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween everyone! I've been getting ready for the little goblins. I am not handing out candy this year because candy has a way of disappearing - no matter how many times I buy it. This year, the gremlins are getting small cans of playdough, small boxes of crayons, a tiny bottle of bubbles, and a ghost stamp.

I've been sick the last couple of days so the program went out the window. No workouts - no nothing. This can too easily turn into a permanent side track. Today I feel much better so it's back on program for me - today! That being said, today is a scheduled non workout day because of Mass with the school kids.


Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 14:1-6
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.
In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”
But they kept silent; so he took the man and,
after he had healed him, dismissed him.
Then he said to them
“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern,
would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?”
But they were unable to answer his question.

God bless the troops!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 13:31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

God bless our troops!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I was hit with some kind of crud yesterday. I was playing a funeral and halfway through it I was all kinds of dizzy. I didn't go in to work. I came home and got into my jammies and spent the afternoon in Harold's chair, finishing off the tops of Christmas stockings and watching Christmas movies. I felt a little better later in the afternoon so I went downstairs and puttered with some stuff in the workshop and - voila! -I made me a lamp!

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I wrote a rather lengthy reflection on the subject of the Narrow Gate in my book "The Tarantella Dancers." It is based on Matthew's version. I wrote it the day after my grandmother died. One of the things that Grandma used to worry about was whether Grandpa would get into heaven. It was her belief that holding onto grudges, hurts, and fears was the very thing that would keep him out. The day after she died, I thought about what she told me - that God would not allow us to enter his kingdom if we were carrying anything that was contrary to the essence of love. These are the burdens we carry on this earth. This is what Jesus came to lift from us. Oddly enough, we tend to cling to these "earthly possesions." Do we have the strength to let go of these burdens so that we can fit through the narrow gate? Grandpa did; it took him three years, but he did it . . . by God, he did it.

God bless the troops!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

No workout this morning. The last couple of days have been insanely busy. I am about 10 stockings behind the eightball. This morning I had to clean the kitchen. Working out is great for the heart, but a clean kitchen is good for the soul. LOL!

Word of the day:

Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles
Lk 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.

When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
We live out in the country. Farm folks place great value on the family name. Most women, even after they marry and take on new names, are still associated with their family name. "You know, Dorothy, she used to be a Miller, or, that's Zeke Garber's son." Each family name has a character all it's own. The same was true in Jesus' time. Names identified who your father was, what your family did for a living, and even what town you were from. Jesus was most likely known as "Yeshua bar Joseph," identifying him as the son of Joseph. As we go through life we acquire other titles and identifiers. We are assigned a social security number, we have phone numbers, we have job titles, we are Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa, aunt, uncle, and so on. But when we go to God, there is only one name by which we are called - the name God gave us at our conception. Just as Jesus called his disciples by name, so God calls us.

God bless the troops!

Monday, October 27, 2008 - Baseline day

The last few days have been ridiculously, wonderfully chaotic. I lost focus - yep, I did. Today is supposed to be a baseline day, but it is going to be a carbdown day because I have a lot of water to dump. Next Sunday, I will be starting a plan with my daughters that is based on the same type of science as the Wendy Chant plan - keep the body guessing. I do much better with the moral support of others. This is not a competition, it is a support system. I will explain much more about the plan once I begin. Until then, I am going to keep the carbs low, do better with the workouts (haven't worked out since last Wednesday).

Daily stats:
Walk/jog (shoot, forgot my weights again)
Route: Deadend and back
Time: 26 minutes
Average heart rate: hrm is hinkey again today

Max heart rate:hrm is hinkey again today
Up 2 pounds from last Monday - this is what happens when I lose focus.

The election is just over a week away. Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, whether you feel like neither candidate is worthy of the office, whether you feel like sitting this one out, please remember that this election is about more than electing a president. There are issues on the ballot that need to be looked at closely. Please do your research because the ads don't tell the whole story. Read the proposals carefully. Look at your core beliefs. Pray - a lot. And then . . . please vote!

Word of the day:
Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 13:10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Sometimes we can get so bound up in rules, that we forget why they are there. Sometimes we have to look at how we define things. What constitutes work? There is never really time off from doing God's will - and depending on how we approach that, it can be either work or a joy. I often wonder what Jesus was feeling when he freed people from their burdens. I can only imagine that there had to be joy in that - not only freeing them from physical burdens, but - more importantly - freeing them from the burdens of the soul. I would think that God would smile at such joy - especially on the Sabbath.

God bless our troops!
Word of the day:
Mt 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"
He said to him,
"You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
From the Jewish virtual library:
The Shema is an affirmation of Judaism and a declaration of faith in one God. The obligation to recite the Shema is separate from the obligation to pray and a Jew is obligated to say Shema in the morning and at night (Deut. 6:7).

It was this prayer that Jesus was quoting. Many years ago, a friend asked me to be a commitment partner on his journey to becoming a lay minister. I was honored to do this because this man exemplified with his life, what it meant to serve God. Part of the process for John was to appear before the bishop, accompanied by his commitment partner. It was my task to introduce John to the bishop and explain why John would make an excellent lay minister. (I knew about the introduction, but not about the explanation.) Many of the lay ministers had priests as their commitment partners and their introductions were eloquent - and wordy. I became increasingly nervous about what I would say in introducing John. The Holy Spirit came to my rescue and gave me these word from the Gospel of Mark: "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strenght: this is the first commandment, and the second is like it, you shall love your neightbor as yourself. "

This was how John lived his life. Ironically, as I think about today's Gospel, I also think about this time last year. John was an important part of the lifeblood of our parish. Every year at the end of October, John took it upon himself to print out the names of parishioners in our parish who had died in the previous year. He would use a huge font, laminate the names, and hang them in a column against a large white curtain. This curtain hangs in our sanctuary from November 1, until the beginning of the new liturgical year. The last conversation I had with John was about those names. He was in hospital and was worrying about how it would get done. I assured him that Bea and I would handle it. So Bea and I handled it. On Friday evening, I was working on the names when Bea called and said John wasn't doing very well. On Saturday morning she called again to tell me that John had passed away. John was 56 years old. With heavy hearts we hung the banner in the sanctuary. We tried and tried to make that banner look the way John always did it, but during John's vigil service, pieces of it fell down. Not all at once, just every 5 or 10 minutes or so. After the service, John's son Matthew approached us and said, "I would be honored to climb the ladder for my dad and fix the banner." Tomorrow commemorates one year since John's passing. We buried him on all saints' day. We have named him Saint John of Alma because if ever there was a saint on earth, John was it. We miss you "Cute John!" "Laudate Dominum!"

God bless our troops!
The stocking orders are coming in steadily. I am grateful because with the current financial situation in the country, I didn't expect for us to do so well. Traditionally I have used stocking money to pay for Christmas including our charitable giving. Soon the Bell Ringers will be out in full force. And there will be collection boxes for our military families. In our school, one of our teachers takes on the task of collecting for those less fortunate. I am blessed that we are able to contribute to these causes. I remember the year of the flood in 1986 when our family was on the receiving end of these kinds of collections. I have never forgotten it and I am grateful to be able to pay the love forward.

Word of the day:

Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Today is a carb up day which means I have 2 starches or sweets with the last 2 meals.
No workout today, maybe later tonight in front of the TV. I have way too much work to do. I took today off as a mental health day because I am so backed up I need the day to catch up and not go crazy.

Word of the day:
Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lk 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
With all real change comes pain - even when change is for the good. In essence, change is death to old ways and birth to new. Eight years ago I quit smoking. This was certainly a change for the good, but even though I knew how bad smoking was for me and the people around me, it was still a death of sorts. It was a a good 3 years or so before I quit mourning the loss of that life quenching addiction. I saw myself as a smoker who didn't smoke. The catalyst for the change came with my quitting, but the change itself didn't truly reach fulfillment until 3 years later - it was an evolutionary process. The story is the same with all of those things in our lives that we must change. There is pain involved - but the greater joy awaits. This is Jesus' message.

God bless our troops!

Wednesday - October 22, 2001 - Carb Down day

Today is another carb down day. As of last night I was in ketosis. I don't know if that is Wendy's intention, but there it is.

I was busy last night again with stockings. I timed it so I could be sewing them up while watching Biggest Loser. Vicky on the blue team irritates the heck out of me. I don't think she's there for the right reasons, and any weight she loses, I predict, she will not keep off. I noticed her the week that Ed from the original yellow team weighed in with a 0 weight loss. The camera caught her face and she had a smug smile on it. That caught my attention and I have watched her ever since. She is all game-play. I know that she has an alliance with Heba, but if I were Heba, I would watch my back very closely. Heba irritates me too, there is something about Vicky that sets my teeth on edge. Three of my favorites have already been sent home - Ed, Shallay, and Amy P. They were three very nice people. Of the batch that's left, I am rooting for Colleen, Amy C, Michelle, and Renee - pretty much in that order.

Today is a weight training day. The guys are in the field and I have some soup that I need to keep an eye on so I think I will be doing a workout video.

Daily stats:
Type: Video with weights

Route: WATP - Leslie Sansone
Time: 31 minutes
Average heart rate: 111

Max heart rate: 128
Down .6
from last Wednesday (whoo hoo!)

Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
If we truly love God, and truly want to do His will, the above admonition is not necessary - we are already doing the will of God. I've written before about a friend of mine who owns a t-shirt that says, "Jesus is coming - Look busy." Yes, it's good for a few laughs, but how much better it would be if we were truly busy when Jesus came - because he sees it all, you know.

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am so ridiculously behind, but in a way that's a good thing. The stocking orders are still rolling in so my evenings have been spent in my quilting room. We have a craft show on Saturday, so I have 3 batches of fudge and 2 batches of snack mix to make. I'm so glad we got a head start on our stockings this summer. I never did get the grungy candles made last night, but I will tonight. Laundry is behind because the dryer fixer guy is finding a motor for it. Soooooooo, I went down to Melisa's last night and used her dryer for an urgent white load. My little buddies, Clay and Claire were just finishing up their supper. Clay informed me that he eats everything his mom and dad give him to eat. (okay, even Grandma doesn't believe that one.)

Grandma: So you eat vegetables too?
Clay: I don't eat lots of vengables, but I eat my favorite vengable.

His favorite "vengable" . . . pickles

Clairy-bear, as she usually does, ran and got a book and dragged Grandma over to the rocker. Clay was close behind her with his book. When I read to the kids, Claire always puts her hand on my cheek. Clay informed me that no matter how big he gets, he will always be my grandson.

Today is a carb down day which means 1 starch before 3:00 pm

Daily stats:
Route: Deadend and back
Time: 26 min
Average heart rate:
Max heart rate: 137
Down 3.6
from last Tuesday (whoo hoo!)

(Marlene, if you're reading, I thought of you on the walk this morning. At one section of the patch I swear I could smell vanilla bean noel. LOL!)

Word of the Day:
Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
In this passage, Jesus once again turns our preconceptions upside down. He compares us to servants who await their masters' return. And what would one expect to happen upon the return of the master? Would we ever expect him to tell us to have a seat and then proceed to wait on us? If Jesus can do this for us, why can't we do it for each other? But then, some do, don't they? God bless our troops!

Monday, October 20, 2008

I posted this picture the other day, about a rite of passage, but I would like to elaborate a bit more. Last March we lost our barn in a fire from a spark that floated over from our Sugar House. I felt a huge sense of loss because the big red barn is the sign and symbol of the American family farmer. Family farms are declining at an alarming rate. It has always been my contention that as the farm family goes, so goes the country. The agricultural community had a large part in the development of this country. Faith, hard work, and strong families are what made this country great. These days, few young men go into farming because it can no longer support a family.

Our son always planned to farm for a living when he grew up. He spent his childhood traipsing after his dad and his Uncle Howard. He spent his days talking with the farmers in the area. He was a farmer in a little boy's body. He could tell you the make and model number of every piece of farm equipment he saw. When Sam was in middle school, it was evident that he was going to need a plan B. One after another the farmers in our area - and their wives - sought employment off the farm in order to maintain an agricultural lifestyle.

In our area only 2 farmers remain who support themselves solely from farming. Sam now operates his own collision shop. He worked out for a while, but his ethics, formed in his youth, led him to open his own business. Those same ethics have made his business a success. Owning his own business now allows Sam to farm with Harold, Howard, and his cousin Cale.

When a farmer puts "and son" on his barn, it is an official announcement of a special bond formed between a farmer and his son. On Saturday, when Harold called me out to take a picture of the barn, Sam was seeing the "and Son" for the first time. In typical Sam fashion, he said nothing, but I know what he was thinking and what he was feeling. Mom stood there in tears as the dreams of father and son were spelled out in a sign on our new barn. No, it isn't the red wooden barn that held so many memories, but it is sign and symbol of a lifestyle that farm families everywhere struggle to maintain. Congratulations, Harold and Sam!

Today is a baseline day.
I thoroughly enjoyed my carb-up day yesterday.

Daily stats:
Route: Living room watching Regis
Time: 20
Average heart rate: 114

Max heart rate: 134
Down 1.6
from last Monday (whoo hoo!)

Okay, so I head out for my walk with weights. It's sprinkling. Been sprinkling all morning. As soon as I hit the road it starts to rain. So I headed indoors. (No, I'm not a wimp - my walkman doesn't like water) I look ouside now that my workout is over - it's sprinkling again.

Our stockings are selling amazingly well. I'm surprised because of all the talk of a depressed economy. Our season usually starts around October 15, but this year it started mid-September. This week we are preparing for the craft show that I thought was last week. Last Monday I made a batch of the "Hunter's Green" soap. I can't wait for the guys to try it. We've gotten a few testimonials from some bow hunters and they said it works great. Tonight I want to make another batch of Harvest Home candles. I love the smell of those!

Word of the day:
Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Lk 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
It is so easy to look back in hindsight and snicker at some of the antics of the people around Jesus. The parable of the man who stored riches in his barn is a classic example of what our priorities need to be. The people of Jesus' time had ignorance as their excuse. What's ours?

God bless our troops!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Today is a Carb Up day. These are a little tricky because the day after a carb up day, there is always some water weight. That is why my comparisons are not to the previous day, but to the same day of the previous week.

I am headed out the door on yet another beautiful fall day. I finally remembered to ask Harold to cut the corn shocks so now my scarecrow and jack-o-lantern are gracing the front yard.
Last night my friend Marlene (hi Marlene) told me about a trail that goes, or will go, from Alma to Greenville. I knew there was one, but didn't know how extensive it was. I think next year I will investigate that trail on Fridays after Mass.

Didn't get much cleaning done yesterday. Seems I was rushing the whole day without much to show for it. The laundry is in a pile on the bedroom floor, and we won't even talk about the laundry room. I managed to get dishes done, but the music room still has piles of stuff all around with the centerpiece being the vacuum which sits there in an accusatory manner.

Daily stats:
Route: Corner and back
Time: 10
Average heart rate: hrm battery died
Max heart rate:hrm battery died
Down 1.2
from last Sunday (whoo hoo!)

Word of the day:

Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Mt 22:15-21

The Pharisees went off
and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech.
They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man (too truthful; we wish you would keep quiet)
and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. (sneer sneer)
And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, (particularly ours)
for you do not regard a person's status. (if you did, you would treat us with the respect due us, you itinerant preacher!)
Tell us, then, what is your opinion: (you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you before the Sanhedrin)
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" (let's see you answer this one. Heh Heh!)
Knowing their malice, Jesus said,
"Why are you testing me, you hypocrites?
Show me the coin that pays the census tax."
Then they handed him the Roman coin.
He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?"
They replied, "Caesar's."
At that he said to them,
"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
(Curses, foiled again!)

Thoughts from the cornfield:
I don't know about you, but when someone starts schmoozing the way these guys did, my antenna go up - my translation is in red in the previous passage. I can't help but picture them the way they were portrayed in "Jesus Christ, Superstar," as scavenging vultures.

God bless our troops!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

This just in: A Rite of Passage has occurred.
You can see the sign better in the second picture.

Today's agenda? Clean, Clean, Clean, play Mass, do a Vigil service.

Okay, I'm angry. Really angry. Let me be clear. I am pro life in all areas. I do not believe in capital punishment because I believe that only God has the right to take away the life he has created. In the clip below, we hear Obama saying that he supports efforts to save a baby who has survived an abortion. He hems and he haws. We see no evidence of the cool, collected, eloquent speaker for which he is almost diefied.

Here is Senator Obama, caught off guard speaking from his core beliefs. Please, Mr. Obama, exactly how has this been misrepresented? It saddens me that the BAIPA is even necessary. It would seem that basic humanity should be enough. Mr. Obama, exactly what issues are within your pay grade?

No, I am not pro-war, but there are some causes that are worth dying for. The people who died in the 9-11 attack had a right to life, the people who died under Saddam Hussein's regime had a right to life, the people killed by Al Quaida and the Taliban had a right to life. Would I love it if there were no wars? You bet! Do I have enormous love for our men and women in the military? You bet! Do I think they are over there just "air-raiding villages and killing civilians?"

I have yet to hear Senator Obama apologize for this dispicable remark.

And I am sick unto death of Mr. Obama's skin color being injected into this presidential race. It is not the color of Senator Obama's skin that frightens me - it is the moral code from which he operates that scares me to death. From a Christian point of view, neither party lives up to Jesus' command - that is true. It's been pointed out time and again by my own pastor. But . . . the unborn cannot speak for themselves. It is one thing to preach on peace and non-violence, but let's remember that non-violence is not just a "Sunday" virtue. Non violence does not just involve what we do, but also what we say and how we treat people each and every day of our lives. I am not guiltless here, by any means. I have a quick temper and tend to sometimes fly off the handle, reacting before thinking. My husband and kids have taught me valuable lessons about thinking before speaking, so I am not exempting myself from these issues.

Now, if you disagree with me, that is fine. I just ask that if you feel the need to comment on this blog, you be respectful. I will not tolerate profanity or any other kind of abuse on this blog. It is mine, and I have rights guaranteed by the constitution.

It was never my intention to let politics take over my blog, but there are some exceptions that are worth making.

Word of the day:

Feast of Saint Luke, evangelist
Lk 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Too bad Jesus isn't in charge of political campaigns. Think of what tremendous good that money could do in the hands of - say - a person like Mother Teresa?

God Bless our troops!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I got up late again this morning so I fell behind on my morning routine. My program is going very well, although I didn't get a workout in yesterday. The motor burned out on my dryer so I needed to clear the mess from around it so the poor dryer fixer man would not be buried alive in piles of music, balls of yarn, and myriad mounds of other stuff. Then I had to make a batch of Hunter's Green soap because I am selling out of it now that hunting season is here. Oh, this batch turned out gorgeous. I poured it at just the right time and the green swirl is amazing. The house smells like freshly turned soil. I love making soap. Then, after that I needed to pour a flameless tealight shell. That one was cranberry. The 2 smells together were awesome.

Tonight I will be making stockings. I have about 10 waiting in my craft room. I am going through the Criminal Minds series from Netflix so I have a pleasant evening ahead of me.

The rotation seems to be working very well for me. It is the best of several worlds. I like Atkins, but can't stay with it for long periods of time. With this program, even if I am derailed, I have my daily plans in place so there is no excuse for staying off track. Knowing that I can have whatever I want 2 times a week (limited, of course) makes it very easy to stay focused the rest of the time. When Mary Ann rears her needy little head, I can appease her with the knowledge that the answer is not "no." It's "later."

Last night I stopped by to see Clay and Claire. I go into withdrawal if I don't see them every couple of days. Just since Sunday, Claire has gone from calling me Amma, to Gramma. When I come in the door they both run to me, and Claire will say "book." I know better than to stop if I don't have time to read each of them their book. Ah, fun times.

Daily stats:
Scheduled rest day

Down 2.8
from last Friday (whoo hoo!)

Word of the day:

Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr
Lk 12:1-7
At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees. “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
The comparison of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and leaven is an interesting one. What does yeast do to a loaf of bread dough? It spreads throughout the dough changing its texture and form. Evil can do that. It can permeate society and change it. But God can see through it all. He, and he alone, can separate dough from leaven, goat from sheep, wheat from tare, good from evil. A God who can count the hairs on our head is more powerful than anyone or anything. And he loves us. Always he love us!

God bless our troops!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Update: For those of you who have been praying for Kevin, the brother of Jimmy Moore, please take a look at Jimmy's blog. Kevin passed away early this morning. May God grant the Moore family strength and peace through this difficult time.

It was yesterday, and I almost missed it. What am I talking about? I'm talking about October 15. That is the day each year when I ask myself if it is too early to begin preparing for Christmas - as opposed to December 15 when I ask myself why I didn't get started on October 15. I am so behind this year, I never got my fall decorations up. I did put out my autumn leaf quilt, but that's pretty much it.

I overslept again today. I guess it's time to put the C-Pap mask back on. Thursday is a cardio day so I'll either do a tape or go for a walk when I get home from work.

Word of the day:
Thursday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 11:47-54
The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
The woes continue. More later . . .

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, October 15, 2008

Well don't I feel stupid. We have been getting ready for a craft show on Saturday the 18th of October - only it's not Saturday the 18th of October; it's Saturday the 25th of October. As I write this, the girls do not yet know of my gaffe. I don't know how I manage to do stuff like this. I've had it in my head that this show is on the 18th and it wasn't until I went to email Anna about setup times that I noticed my mistake.
Got up late this morning so it's going to be a scramble to get a short weight training workout in today.

Daily stats:
Treadmill with weights and inclines
Route: Workout room
Time: 18
Average heart rate: 115
Max heart rate:136
Down 1.4
from last Wednesday (whoo hoo!)

Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor of the Church
Lk 11:42-46
The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Do we know people like this? Are we, ourselves, like this?

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008 - Week 2 day 2.

Today is a carb down day. That means I get one starch that must be eaten before 3 pm. This morning it will be oatmeal. Oatmeal with peanut butter is just the best. I should explain that I am re-doing week 2 because I messed it up last week. A beloved daughter of mine (hi Neen Bean) pointed out that I have a habit of starting things and then not following through. I did say at the beginning that I was going to give this 8 weeks. But in usual "me" fashion I started tweaking the plan in week 2. I've shifted days so that my carb up day is on Sunday.

Yesterday I forgot to take my weights out on the road with me so I didn't get the weight training in. But considering the mood I was in yesterday morning, I did well to even get the walk in. It is pouring outside so I will be using the treadmill this morning and watching last week's "Loser" which taped very poorly.

I made some peppermint candles last night. They smelled wonderful as I was pouring, but the tester that I burned was disappointing. I don't know if it's the wick, or that fact that I used part essential oil along with the fragrance oil. I have the tester on a candle warmer right now to see if it smells truer to the fragrance.

Daily stats:
Type:walk/jog (went outside after all - it quit raining)
Route: Deadend/back/east edge of the maple woods/back

Time: 30
Average heart rate: 120
Max heart rate: 138
Up 1.2
from last Tuesday

I saw a whitetail this morning. I love it when I see deer. He came out of the maple woods, headed across the road into the ditch, caught wind of me and bounded back across the road and into the woods.

When I got back I the tester candle on the warmer smelled nice and minty. I'm guessing it is the combination of the wick and flame that is altering the scent. I guess I'll have to try a batch with straight peppermint FO rather than using part EO.

Word of the Day:
Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Callistus I
Lk 11:37-41
After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
In order to live civilly, each culture has its own set of laws. Ideally, laws give us boundaries on our behavior so that we can live in peace with our neighbors. The Pharisees used Mosaic law to browbeat the poor. Yet, never did the Pharisees do anything practical to help them.

I find it interesting that this particular Pharisee invited Jesus to his home. One can only wonder what the motivation was. This is another instance in which Jesus points out hypocrisy. Here he doesn't bother with parables. He tells them outright what they are. And still they don't get it.

God bless the troops!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mini rant for the morning.
I am a fan of the series Criminal Minds. Lately I have been watching re-runs from Netflix. These are episodes that ran before I discovered the show. In the episode I watched yesterday, Gideon is sidelined due a an injury. So he takes over Penelope Garcia's office. He just sets up shop in there, doesn't care that it's her office and he just moves her stuff and basically is a PITA. Now Gideon is a good man and a terrific part of the BAU team, but he is oblivious to Garcia and whatever Garcia may have going on. Poor Garcia attempts to deal with the situation, but Gideon's total disregard for her space and her needs drives her up the wall. Good man - totally clueless.

I do not like it when my mornings are hijacked. Is it asking too much to be let in on plans that mean I have to do something - especially when these plans are made the day before? I get angry and upset when people treat me as if I don't matter - and lately those people seem to be in my face at every turn. I got my walk/jog in early today. I did it, but I didn't really enjoy it. 'Nough said. I am moving on.

On the flip side, I have some wonderful friends who look out for me and help me to stay on track. (Yes, Marlene, Monica, Jennifer, Teresa, Sue, Angela, Bea, and Barbara, I am talking about you. :) ) These ladies help me stay focused and reaffirm my belief in the innate goodness of people.


Yesterday at Mass our deacon preached on the Gospel. He did his usual excellent job. I wonder if people in the parish know that John takes an entire day to prepare his homilies. Anyway, before he got into the Gospel, he reminded us that there is an important issue on the ballot - Prop 2. I have friends who have said they are not going to vote in this election because of the negative rhetoric in both campaigns. I understand where they are coming from. But I hope they reconsider going to the polls. In Michigan, Proposal 2 is about embryonic stem cell research. That needs our attention. We need to look inside ourselves and find out if we support life from its conception or not. I am all for stem cell research - adult stem cell research - umbilical cord stem cell research. As far as I'm concerned the push for embryonic stem cell research is aimed at legitimizing abortion in an effort to keep it legal. Life has become a disposable commodity in this day and age - on both ends of the spectrum. Who decides the importance of one life over another? Do women have the right to do with their bodies what they choose? However, it isn't the woman's body I take issue with - it's the pre-born life inside her.

Daily stats:
Type: Walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back

Time: 24 (cut short due to morning hijack)
Average heart rate: 124
Maximum heart rate: 136
Up 3.8 from last Monday :(

Today is a Baseline carb day. I planned ahead and should be good to go today. Hopefully now that I have established a week's comparison, the daily up or down stat will now stay a "down" stat. I do so much better when I have a plan in place. Winging it doesn't work for me anymore.

Word of the day:
Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Don't you just want to shake people when they don't see something that is smack dab in front of their faces. Jesus performs miracles right and left and still the people ask for a sign. Jesus IS the miracle and sign in their midst. He still is. I am so glad that God is in charge of the world and not me. I wouldn't have the patience - nor the grace - nor the courage.

God bless our troops!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Word of the day:
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Wilfrid, Our Lady of Pillar
Mt 22:1-14 or 22:1-10
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and elders of the people
in parables, saying,
"The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants
to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”’
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then he said to his servants, 'The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests,
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
The king said to him, 'My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?'
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
For years I struggled with this passage because I couldn't understand why the guest who had no wedding garment was treated so badly. Then I heard a homily that talked about the culture of the time. In Jesus' day, wedding hosts provided their guests with wedding garments. It wasn't that this man was poor and couldn't afford a garment. A garment was provided and this man chose not to wear it. Then the parable became clear to me. God invites us all to be a part of his kingdom - but unless we "put on Christ" we cannot be part of the celebration. The mantle of Christ covers us and we can choose to put it on or not, but unless we do, we cannot enter the wedding feast of God.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I can't believe how fast this year is going by. Shepherd had its homecoming last night. I am ready to write my retirement letter to the superintendent, but I can't do that until my papers come back telling me it's official.

Today is a baseline carb day, but but I veered off schedule somehow. I am going to do a carb down day today, just to be safe, and do my carb up tomorrow and then continue the rotation from there.

Daily stats:
Type: Walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back

Time: 30
Average heart rate: 119
Maximum heart rate:: 141
Up 2 from last Saturday

Word of the day:
Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Firminus
Lk 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Mary was indeed blessed to be chosen carry our Lord and Savior in her body. But we, too, are blessed because we are chosen to carry Jesus in our hearts.

God bless the troops!

Friday, October 10, 2008

We are getting all kinds of traffic in response to our ad in Country Sampler, however most of it is bouncing - which means they land on our website and then leave. I'm not sure why this is happening. Our reason for placing the ad was to drive traffic to our site, so it is doing what it is supposed to do, but for some reason, people aren't staying. We are going to have to look at our home page and see what the problem could be.

I have Mass with the school kids this morning so no workout. I also don't have a statistical comparison to Friday of last week because my computer crash wiped out some of my data in my Diet Power program.

Word of the day:
Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Today the Church celebrates : St. Francis Borgia, St. Ghislain
Lk 11:15-26
When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
“By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
A pastor friend of mine once told me that he didn't preach on evil because Satan is a foe defeated. That is true, however, that foe is not yet dead and he will take with him anyone he can. Baptism does indeed remit our sins, but we have a responsibility to stay aware of the fact that evil is still a force in our world. Baptism opens the door, but we still have a battle to fight.

God bless our troops!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Okay, here's a little update. I took my computer in yesterday to have Corey, our technology guru, look and see why I was having so many issues with my computer. Seems that I had multiple viruses on it. My antivirus software? Zone Alarm. Apparently it didn't do what I paid for it to do, and oh, they have a 30 day guarantee so no pro-rated refund for me. Nice. Corey installed a free antivirus program. I wish I had consulted him, or my daughter Anna, in the first place.

Daily stats:
Type: Walk/jog
Route: Deadend/back

Time: 25
Average heart rate: couldn't find my hrm
Maximum heart rate: couldn't find my hrm
Don't know where I am in regard to last Thursday (will update when I have my own computer back.)

It was a beautiful morning for a walk. My right knee was giving me some trouble - I think it's because I used the highest incline on the treadmill yesterday and then didn't stretch enough afterwards. The scale is moving downward but I am still creating the carb cycling baseline. I am in ketosis again, as of last night so that is a very good thing.

I have no meetings tonight - whoo hoo - so I am going to check inventory and make some jar candles. I need to buy at least 2 more carts and it totally ticks me off that the price has jumped from 15 dollars to 22. I also need to order more pillar wax, but I am going to wait until after the next craft show when there is more money available. I do, however, have lots of container wax so that is where I will concentrate my efforts for a while.

Word of the day:

Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lk 11:5-13
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
God's doesn't always give us what we ask for, but he always gives us what we need.

God bless the troops!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I am having computer issues. One of the advantages of working in the media center is access to tech people I can trust with my machine. It is now in the competent hands of Corey, the computer whiz.

Daily stats:
Type: Treadmill
Route: Workout room

Time: 25
Average heart rate: 111
Maximum heart rate: 129
Up 3 pounds from last Wednesday

I am not obsessing about the 3 pounds I'm up from last Wednesday. I am sticking to the plan and creating a baseline for next week. When carbs are reintroduced as they were on Monday, there is often a lag time. That is why Wendy talks about a 72/48 hour cycle. In coming weeks Wendy allows food passes. I am taking Wendy's info about how the body uses nutrition and other info about carb cycling and constructing my own plan. I don't have all of the details worked out yet, but I'm getting there. I am expecting the scale to be down tomorrow. Last week when the scale went up it was followed by a lot of "water dumping" and a woosh the next day. We will see.

Word of the day

Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary TimeGospel
Lk 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Going forth:

It's all there.

God bless our troops!