Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tomorrow is April 1 . As I write this I think about the big, fat, fluffy snowflakes that we watched on Sunday. In Michigan, we are always fooled by the weather. A week ago tonight we had our last boiling of the season. Harold had talked of discontinuing the syrup production, but changed his mind when the vote was taken. It IS a lot of hard work. I think he just wanted to know that he wasn't the only one who wanted to do it. All of the guys have other jobs. In this day and age there are very few farmers who don't have to work off the farm, if only for medical benefits.

In my surfing, I found the blog of another primitive crafter - Valerie of Copper Creek Mercantile. Her blog is a lot like this one - thoughts about her day and updates on her crafting. She is a very talented lady and lives a couple of towns over. Our paths cross once a year at the BPA craft show held at Shepherd High School. If you get a chance, hop on over to her blog. She has a slide show of the things she makes. She's just getting back into the game after an illness and would most likely love the company. Valerie's Copper Creek Mercantile Blog

I got the definitive word on our new maple scent from Harold. The last scent I had him try he described as smelling like toenail clippings and raspberries. Despite that, I had him test this one. He declared that it smelled like maple syrup. It took the blending of a couple of fragrance oils, but we finally have it. We are naming it Maple Syrup Festival in honor of our big show of the year.
Word of the day:
Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Jn 8:21-30

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come."
So the Jews said,
"He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, 'Where I am going you cannot come'?"
He said to them, "You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins."
So they said to him, "Who are you?"
Jesus said to them, "What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world."
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
"When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him."
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

God bless our troops!


Monday, March 30,, 2009

The sun is shining today, but my temp thingy on the computer shows 28 degrees.
Yesterday we worked on invitations and party favors for a baby shower we are throwing for Kelli in May. I wish I had taken a picture of them before they were sealed. They are so cute.
The house is a total wreck again, but when I wake up to a messy house on a Monday, I am reminded that I have family and that we gather often. Always a good thing.

We received a website order last night so I spent the evening making some room sprays and packaging up orders. The basement smells of a cacophony of wonderful smells. I also made a batch of vanilla candles to fill another order. We are blessed to be doing well in this scary economy. Every time I see that we need a supply and the coffers are empty, someone places an order and the cost is covered. It reminds me of the story in Kings of Elijah and the widow of Zarapeth. I absolutely refuse to be depressed by the constant flow of bad news coming from the newscasters.

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! The UPS man just dropped off the two new fragrance oils I ordered. They are Maple scents. I've been trying to find a good maple scent. The kind that used to have my boss asking "who's making pancakes?" I don't know if these are it, but I can't wait to try them out.

Word of the day:
Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Jn 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area,
and all the people started coming to him,
and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman
who had been caught in adultery
and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him,
"Teacher, this woman was caught
in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.
So what do you say?"
They said this to test him,
so that they could have some charge to bring against him.
Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him,
he straightened up and said to them,
"Let the one among you who is without sin
be the first to throw a stone at her."
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one,
beginning with the elders.
So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her,
"Woman, where are they?
Has no one condemned you?"
She replied, "No one, sir."
Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you.
Go, and from now on do not sin any more."

God bless our troops!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Word of the day:
Fifth Sunday of Lent (For use with RCIA)
Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.

So the sisters sent word to him saying,
"Master, the one you love is ill."
hen Jesus heard this he said,
"This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
"Let us go back to Judea."
The disciples said to him,
"Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?"
Jesus answered,
"Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him."
He said this, and then told them,
"Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him."
So the disciples said to him,
"Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved."
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
"Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him."
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
"Let us also go to die with him."

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
"Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you."
Jesus said to her,

"Your brother will rise."
Martha said to him,
"I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."

When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
"The teacher is here and is asking for you."
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
"Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
"Where have you laid him?"
They said to him, "Sir, come and see."
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, "See how he loved him."
But some of them said,
"Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?"

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, "Take away the stone."
Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him,
"Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days."
Jesus said to her,
"Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?"
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,

"Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me."
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
"Lazarus, come out!"
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
"Untie him and let him go."

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

God bless our troops!

I can't believe that a week from tomorrow is Palm Sunday. Each year seems to go by faster and faster. I did a funeral the other day and beforehand spoke to the priest who would be presiding. I mentioned that I had met him at our church when he came to speak to us about the Eucharistic Congress. He said, "oh, that was 3 or 4 years ago." Huh? I can't believe it's been that long. Now that I'm semi-retired, I notice that the days just seem to fly by. Probably because I now have more time to do the things I enjoy.

Yesterday was the funeral for my cousin. It was a day of mixed blessings. Of course we all mourned the loss of Cindy. But I was able to touch base with my two brothers, whom I have not seen in years. There was no feud, nothing like that. Our family was hit by many blows throughout our lives. We are not good at keeping in touch - for a variety of reasons. I think that will now change. Thank you, Cindy, for a final gift before you returned to your Father.

The funeral dinner was held at my cousins' house, Carol and Joe Herzberg. It was a nice time of visiting. Clay and Claire got to meet cousins and they had a great time with them. Carol and her sister are quilters and Carol had some beautiful quilts on display. She had 2 antique quilts on racks in the living room. They were hand-quilted and the stitching was absolutely exquisite - tiny and even. It gave me a goal to strive for.

This weekend I need to make a couple batches of candles. My sister-in-law Colleen is a terrific saleswoman. She has kept me busy the last few weeks. And the great thing is, it's something I love to do.

Word of the day:
Saturday of the Fourth Week in Lent
Jn 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
"This is truly the Prophet."
Others said, "This is the Christ."
But others said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, "Why did you not bring him?"
The guards answered, "Never before has anyone spoken like this man."
So the Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed."
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
"Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?"
They answered and said to him,
"You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."
Then each went to his own house.

God bless our troops!


Friday, March 27, 2009

We will be headed for Detroit in a bit for my cousin's funeral. I will update later.

Word of the day:
Friday of the Fourth Week in Lent
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
"Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from."
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
"You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me."
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

God bless our troops!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I find it ironic that Spring hails the anticipation of new life. Ironic because I have 2 funerals this week. It would have been three, but two of them are on the same day. I lost both of my parents during Lent - spring - so I think there is always that feeling of angst that descends on me at this time of year. The smell of emerging plant life stirs up mixed feelings - and they confuse me. I find myself more emotional during spring time - more easily led to tears. But beyond Good Friday is Easter - and to that hope I cling.

I stopped in at my office at church last night. It looks more like a sewing room than a musician's office. In it are a sewing machine, cutting mat, floss for tying off quilts, a basket of soaps that I brought for the rest of the group, a couple of used Easter candles that will be melted down to make candles and gifts for church people, and buried under all of that are my source books for liturgy. I stopped in last night because Sabina left some materials for a prayer quilt. I am excited to get started on this one. I am currently working on some mini quilts, have picked out another pattern for a baby quilt, and am finishing the binding on a prayer quilt. This is such a luxury. I have never had time to quilt in the spring. I am celebrating MY new life.

I don't think I ever posted the pic of the quilt for our new expected granddaughter:

Word of the day:
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jn 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John's.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

"I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?"

God bless our troops!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Last night was the last boiling of the season. Tomorrow it will be one year since our barn burned down. It's ironic because there were a lot of memories associated with that old barn. Now all of the memories are being made in the sap house. Harold is talking about ceasing operation of the Sugar Bush. I really hope he doesn't. I have come to enjoy the impromptu pancake dinners out in the sap house. The culture of family farm life is slowly slipping away to be replaced by corporate farms - probably more efficient, but not rich in tradition and definitely not material for family memories. Sometimes the bottom line isn't the most important consideration.

Word of the day:
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
"Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you."
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end."
But Mary said to the angel,
"How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?"
And the angel said to her in reply,
"The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God."
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.

God bless our troops!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life is fragile. That old cliche. It is fragile, but there is a steel thread that runs through all of life that makes for a tenuous continuity. Last night we received word that my cousin Cindy had died. Cindy has struggled with MS for the last 18 years but has lived an amazingly independent life. She was skilled - very skilled - in computer technology. She had just moved to Maryland and was thrilled with her new job. It seems that life yanks the rug out from under us whenever we are riding high. It's really not that way, but it sure seems as if it is. When an unexpected death hits like this, it leaves me unsettled and waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's times like this that I retire to my quilting room where I can enjoy the sanctuary of basking in creativity and watching old episodes of NCIS - where all of life is neatly wrapped up in a 45 minute episode. Where all the bad guys get theirs and the just are rewarded. Where things make sense and if they don't, you can leave them there and get on with life. Life hurts. Death hurts. But in between there is joy. Rest in peace, my dear cousin. Say hi to Grandmala and Grandpala, and give Mama a kiss for me.

Word of the day:
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jn 5:1-16

There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate
a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes.
In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled.
One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there
and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him,
"Do you want to be well?"
The sick man answered him,
"Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool
when the water is stirred up;
while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me."
Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your mat, and walk."
Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath.
So the Jews said to the man who was cured,
"It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat."
He answered them, "The man who made me well told me,
'Take up your mat and walk.'"
They asked him,
"Who is the man who told you, 'Take it up and walk'?"
The man who was healed did not know who it was,
for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there.
After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him,
"Look, you are well; do not sin any more,
so that nothing worse may happen to you."
The man went and told the Jews
that Jesus was the one who had made him well.
Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus
because he did this on a sabbath.

God bless our troops!


Monday, March 23, 2009

The temps are still cooperating with sap production. This should be a good year. The girls have started the mixes and I am working on the non-food portion of things for the Shepherd Maple Syrup festival. I love this show. I get to see people that I don't normally get to see during the year. It's a weekend long gab-fest that feels like a reunion!

Word of the day:
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jn 4:43-54

At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.

Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
"Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
The royal official said to him,
"Sir, come down before my child dies."
Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live."
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
"The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon."
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
"Your son will live,"
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.

God bless our troops!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Something was going on with blogger yesterday. It wouldn't let me in - accused me of being a spammer. Hmmmmmm.
Yesterday Anna and Melisa began working on the mixes for our shows. They got everything done except the pancake mix and as luck would have it, the guys boiled again last night so I had to quickly mix up a double batch from scratch.
Our pancakes are legend.

Not all of our visitors are of the human variety. We have been adopted by a 4-legged critter who comes over everytime we have visitors.

Harold is on fire duty tonight. They set a timer and every time it goes off, the furnace needs to be fed.

Harold's sister Irene and husband Larry just returned from Florida. They are a regular sight in the sap house at this time of year.

We have a baby shower for Kelli today. I've been itching to post this pic but I didn't want Kelli to see. I doubt she'll be reading the blog today so here it is. I designed it myself except that I did trace the bear off of a free pattern I found on the 'net.


Word of the day:
Fourth Sunday of Lent (For use with RCIA)
Jn 9:1-41 or 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
"Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?"
Jesus answered,
"Neither he nor his parents sinned;
it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.
Night is coming when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
When he had said this, he spat on the ground
and made clay with the saliva,
and smeared the clay on his eyes,
and said to him,
"Go wash in the Pool of Siloam" —which means Sent—.
So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

His neighbors and those who had seen him earlier as a beggar said,
"Isn't this the one who used to sit and beg?"
Some said, "It is,"
but others said, "No, he just looks like him."
He said, "I am."
So they said to him, "How were your eyes opened?"
He replied,
"The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes
and told me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.'
So I went there and washed and was able to see."
And they said to him, "Where is he?"

He said, "don't know."

They brought the one who was once blind to the Pharisees.
Now Jesus had made clay and opened his eyes on a sabbath.
So then the Pharisees also asked him how he was able to see.
He said to them,
"He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and now I can see."
So some of the Pharisees said,
"This man is not from God,
because he does not keep the sabbath."
But others said,
"How can a sinful man do such signs?"
And there was a division among them.
So they said to the blind man again,
"What do you have to say about him,
since he opened your eyes?"
He said, "He is a prophet."

Now the Jews did not believe
that he had been blind and gained his sight
until they summoned the parents of the one who had gained his sight.
They asked them,
"Is this your son, who you say was born blind?
How does he now see?"
His parents answered and said,
"We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.
We do not know how he sees now,
nor do we know who opened his eyes.
Ask him, he is of age;
he can speak for himself."
His parents said this because they were afraid
of the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed
that if anyone acknowledged him as the Christ,
he would be expelled from the synagogue.
For this reason his parents said,
"He is of age; question him."

So a second time they called the man who had been blind
and said to him, "Give God the praise!
We know that this man is a sinner."
He replied,
"If he is a sinner, I do not know.
One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see."
So they said to him,
"What did he do to you?
How did he open your eyes?"
He answered them,
"I told you already and you did not listen.
Why do you want to hear it again?

Do you want to become his disciples, too?"
They ridiculed him and said,
"You are that man's disciple;
we are disciples of Moses!
We know that God spoke to Moses,
but we do not know where this one is from."
The man answered and said to them,
"This is what is so amazing,
that you do not know where he is from, yet he opened my eyes.
We know that God does not listen to sinners,
but if one is devout and does his will, he listens to him.
It is unheard of that anyone ever opened the eyes of a person born blind.
If this man were not from God,
he would not be able to do anything."
They answered and said to him,
"You were born totally in sin,
and are you trying to teach us?"
Then they threw him out.

When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out,
he found him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"
He answered and said,
"Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"
Jesus said to him,
"You have seen him,
the one speaking with you is he."
He said,
"I do believe, Lord," and he worshiped him.
Then Jesus said,
"I came into this world for judgment,
so that those who do not see might see,
and those who do see might become blind."

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this
and said to him, "Surely we are not also blind, are we?"
Jesus said to them,
"If you were blind, you would have no sin;
but now you are saying, 'We see,' so your sin remains.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
When I read the Gospels and the interchanges between Jesus and the Scribes and Pharisees, I do it through the lens of knowing how the story ends, so to speak. Hindsight is always 20/20. I often wonder if the Pharisees were actually evil in that they knew the truth and refused to acknowledge it, or if they were truly clueless. Did they truly believe that they were doing God's will? Were they motivated by jealousy? Or were they motivated by fear that Jesus would rouse the ire of the Romans and thus they would all suffer for it? It's really hard to judge hearts of the Pharisees without knowing the exact condition of their hearts. Perhaps that's why Jesus told us not to judge. That's a pretty tall order. Enough to keep one busy for a long, long time.

God bless our troops!

Word of the day:
Today the Church celebrates : St Cuthbert
Friday of the Third Week in Lent
Mk 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
"Which is the first of all the commandments?"
Jesus replied, "The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these."
The scribe said to him, "Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
"You are not far from the Kingdom of God."
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Today was Mass with the school children. The kids got to hear about how we as Americans love ourselves too much and that we're greedy and selfish. All Americans? Every single one? It may be true of some people, American or not, but I have to wonder about this steady diet of self-flagellation in which we are expected to participate. The "greedy Amercians" message was for the kids. For the adults the message on greed and self-centeredness was summed up in three letters. AIG

How about instead of pointing fingers at entire groups of people, (particularly when the whole story is not being reported) how about we just focus on our own personal behavior? What can I, as one person, do to make the world a better place? That project alone is enough to more than keep me busy for a life-time.

I think this cynical view can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I would rather make the assumption that good people are the rule rather than the exception. A couple of months ago I left my purse in my shopping cart at Sam's club. I only noticed it as I was pulling onto our road, about 20 miles from the store. I turned around and went back. I entered the store to find that a young man employed by Sam's Club saw the purse on his way in to work, took it in with him and left it at the service desk. Do we hear about things like this? No. We hear generalizations about groups of people - labels slapped on them so that we can de-personalize and demonize them. Our message from the pulpit at election time? Democrats believe in abortion. Really? All Democrats? Republicans don't care about the poor. Really? All Republicans? Young people are lazy and dishonest. (Yes, there was a study done.) Hmmm, all young people? What about the young man on his way to work who stopped to do the right thing?

God bless our troops! (some of the least greedy and least selfish among us)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

I have several more batches of candles to make. It's always a good sign when we run out of product - and it's especially nice if you love to make candles as I do. Even making them in my damp musty dungeon can't spoil my fun. Tee hee

Word of the day
Solemnity of Saint Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Mt 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
"Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

God bless our troops!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well, yesterday's soap does not smell anything like blueberry. It has a sweet primitive smell and the color looks a bit like antique lace. I think I will be calling it Primitive Lace. It isn't ready to cut yet so I won't be testing a piece of it until tomorrow.

Yesterday when I went to retrieve one of my pre-measured buckets of soaping oils, I noticed that one felt lighter than the others. I soon discovered why and within a few minutes I was cleaning up a puddle of oil which seeped from a hole in the bucket. Grrrrr

The candles however, smell wonderful. Oh what a tough job I have testing candle scents day after day.

The baby quilt is shaping up nicely. I am no master quilter, by any means, my squares don't match up and my piecing skills leave a lot to be desired, but I love making quilts and that's all that matters to me.

Word of the day
Feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Wednesday of the Third Week in Lent
Mt 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
When I listen to some of our "enlightened" leaders in the Church, I am often left scratching my head. The new enlightened thinking is that Jesus said none of what was attributed to him in the New Testament - red ink or not. We are not smart enough, lettered enough, or learned enough to know what the Scriptures are saying. I am growing weary of the new intellectual Theology that scoffs at ordinary people. Those who try to follow Church teachings are labeled Pharisees, and woe to them if they should stumble in their virtue for they are held to a higher standard, while those who are openly irreverent, flip, and sometimes downright mean are hailed as honest, open, and transparent oh, and human - let's not forget human.

We are Pharisees if we hold our priests, deacons, and bishops to a higher standard than the lay people. They SHOULD be held to a higher standard. They have been called to and ordained to an office and a responsibility that requires it. Yes, they are human beings and they will stumble, but there is a difference between stumbling and rationalization.

I have listened to lofty Biblical scholars discuss the folly of God placing a tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden. We don't need a 2 hours special on PBS to tell us why God placed that tree where HE did. And yes, I said HE. If it's good enough for Jesus, it is certainly good enough for me. Ooooops, I forgot. Jesus didn't really say it - according to the enlightened.

I guess Jesus didn't say the following either. How convenient that, like God, we can make Jesus over into our image and likeness.

In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

Luke 10:21

I guess I would rather be an unenlightened babe. Rant over.

God bless our troops!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top 'o the marnin' to all ye Irish (and Irish wannabees)
Today is the day in Michigan, tradition has it, for Mother Nature to be done with all of her winter shenanigans. But I do remember a day in May one year, when after Mass on a Saturday night, I looked out to see big fat snowflakes whirling in the air. Never a dull moment in the Mitten state.
We are having a good syrup year. I think Harold said we had 70 gallons at last count.

I just got a call for samples of our Spring candle scents so I'll be venturing down to the dungeon later to put together a sample box.

Afternoon update:
I had a pretty productive day. I packaged some soap, made 2 batches of candles (country orange spice and blueberry), and a batch of soap. The soap gave me some trouble. I wanted to try and make a blueberry soap, but I don't have any blue soap dye. I decided to just make it plain. It is in the mold. It doesn't really smell like blueberry, but it smells very, very good - kind of like early morning in the country. Hard to explain, but it may just turn out to be my favorite. I put together the sample basket for the Walmart people (my sis-in-law works there and she was the one who called earlier). Now Walmart sells candles too, but her co-workers are asking for ours. I guess it's because - as one of my friends says - we don't skimp on the fragrance oil.

I forgot to mention that last night our Disciples in Mission group met. The closing prayer called for everyone to light a candle and to take it home with them. Good thing I am a candle maker, because I didn't really have time to go out and buy any. I made them a beautiful Lenten purple and scented them with Blackraspberry Vanilla. They smelled so good.

Word of the day:
Tuesday of the Third Week in Lent

Mt 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
And have we ever truly forgiven even once, from the heart, if we still count the times?

God bless our troops!


Monday, March 15, 2009

I just canceled my appointment with the dentist. I'm feeling better, but I still hack every now and then and I don't want that happening at the dentist. I'm at day 4 on antibiotics so I don't think I'm contagious anymore.

The guys are boiling sap again this morning. We should have a pretty good crop of syrup this year.

The girls and I were accepted in the Highland Festival show in May. I'm kind of excited - that's a first for us. It seems like we have been doing this a long time, but actually, we are in our 3rd year. We've learned some things, refined some things, and have generally gotten better at what we do. Now that the rains have let up, I need to get downstairs and take stock. Most things are pretty well stocked up, but if we need soap, I have to do them now so they'll have time to cure. I made Country Apple cold process soap last week. It smells wonderful.
Word of the day:
Monday of the Third Week in Lent
Lk 4:24-30

Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
"Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian."
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

God bless our troops!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

I never blogged yesterday - on either blog. I don't miss blogging very often. I have been battling bronchitis, but this morning was the worst I have felt in a long time.

The guys boiled sap again last night and again we had a sap house full of people eating pancakes and fresh maple syrup.


Times like these make for happy memories.
Word of the day
Third Sunday of Lent (For use with RCIA)
Jn 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42

Jesus came to a town of Samaria called Sychar,
near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there.
Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well.
It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
"Give me a drink."
His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
The Samaritan woman said to him,
"How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"
—For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.—
Jesus answered and said to her,
"If you knew the gift of God
and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,'
you would have asked him
and he would have given you living water."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep;
where then can you get this living water?
Are you greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself
with his children and his flocks?"
Jesus answered and said to her,
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst;
the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him,

God bless our troops!
"Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty
or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus said to her,
"Go call your husband and come back."
The woman answered and said to him,
"I do not have a husband."
Jesus answered her,
"You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.'
For you have had five husbands,
and the one you have now is not your husband.
What you have said is true."
The woman said to him,
"Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain;
but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."

Jesus said to her,
"Believe me, woman, the hour is coming
when you will worship the Father
neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.
But the hour is coming, and is now here,
when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth;
and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
God is Spirit, and those who worship him
must worship in Spirit and truth."
The woman said to him,
"I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ;
when he comes, he will tell us everything."
Jesus said to her,
"I am he, the one speaking with you."

At that moment his disciples returned,
and were amazed that he was talking with a woman,
but still no one said, "What are you looking for?"
or "Why are you talking with her?"
The woman left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people,
"Come see a man who told me everything I have done.
Could he possibly be the Christ?"
They went out of the town and came to him.
Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat."
But he said to them,
"I have food to eat of which you do not know."
So the disciples said to one another,
"Could someone have brought him something to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me
and to finish his work.
Do you not say, 'In four months the harvest will be here'?
I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
The reaper is already receiving payment
and gathering crops for eternal life,
so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.'
I sent you to reap what you have not worked for;
others have done the work,
and you are sharing the fruits of their work."

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him
because of the word of the woman who testified,
"He told me everything I have done."
When the Samaritans came to him,

they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days.
Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
and they said to the woman,
"We no longer believe because of your word;
for we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."

God bless our troops!


Friday, March 13, 2009

I have bronchitis so I will be cleaning today, and resting often.

Word of the day:
Friday of the Second Week in Lent
Mt 21:33-43, 45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
"Hear another parable.
There was a landowner who planted a vineyard,
put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press in it, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.
When vintage time drew near,
he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.
But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat,
another they killed, and a third they stoned.
Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones,
but they treated them in the same way.
Finally, he sent his son to them,
thinking, 'They will respect my son.'
But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another,
'This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.'
They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?"
They answered him,
He will put those wretched men to a wretched death
and lease his vineyard to other tenants
who will give him the produce at the proper times."
Jesus said to them, Did you never read in the Scriptures:

The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?

Therefore, I say to you,
the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you
and given to a people that will produce its fruit."
When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables,
they knew that he was speaking about them.
And although they were attempting to arrest him,
they feared the crowds, for they regarded him as a prophet.

God bless our troops!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Tweetlebugs are coming over today. I can't wait to see what they think of my stability ball.

Word of the day:
Thursday of the Second Week in Lent
Lk 16:19-31

Jesus said to the Pharisees:
"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen
and dined sumptuously each day.
And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,
who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps
that fell from the rich man's table.
Dogs even used to come and lick his sores.
When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham.
The rich man also died and was buried,
and from the netherworld, where he was in torment,
he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off
and Lazarus at his side.
And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me.
Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue,
for I am suffering torment in these flames.'
Abraham replied, 'My child,
remember that you received what was good during your lifetime
while Lazarus likewise received what was bad;
but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented.
Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established
to prevent anyone from crossing
who might wish to go from our side to yours
or from your side to ours.'
He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him
to my father's house,
for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them,
lest they too come to this place of torment.'
But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.'
He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham,
but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.'
Then Abraham said,
'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded
if someone should rise from the dead.'"

God bless our troops!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's been 45 years, but sometimes it seems like yesterday. On this day in 1964 I came home from school to find out that my mother had died. It's funny how some details can be so clearly etched in your mind. Mama was 32 years old. That seemed old to me from my 12-year-old perspective. Now it seems so very young. I still miss her.
I made soap yesterday. It's been a while. I also did some room sprays. I'm looking out the windwo right now and there are flurries. The guys are out in the sap house boiling sap. They boiled from 3-11 last night. Taxes are still not finished. Today I will work on those.
Word of the day:
Wednesday of the Second Week in Lent
Mt 20:17-28

As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day."

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, "What do you wish?"
She answered him,
"Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom."
Jesus said in reply,
"You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?"
They said to him, "We can."
He replied,
"My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many."

God Bless Our Troops!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Word of the day:
Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent
Mt 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
"The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people's shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.'
As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.'
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called 'Master';
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

Thoughts from the cornfield:
Jesus chose to lead by example. Talk is cheap.

A modern polish rabbi with Talith and phylacteries. In this picture the phylactery is rather small. It is worn on the forehead.

God bless our troops!


Monday, March 9, 2009

I have lots to do today. We moved our prayer quilt meeting to today because we didn't have it last week. I finished the top I was piecing. Today I will take it in and we'll work on getting it sandwiched with the backing. My kitchen table is just not big enough. If it ever stops raining and I can get downstairs, I will clear off the big antique table down there and I can use that for future quilts.

I really want to get a batch of soap made today. I have a new technique I want to try. I've also been hearing some good things about yucca root powder and I ordered some. I think I'm going to put some of that in the next batch.
But the soap will have to wait until tonight. At the moment there is mud all over the house and water in the basement so I guess my morning kind of planned itself.

Word of the day:
Monday of the Second Week in Lent
Lk 6:36-38

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. "Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned.
Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you."

God bless our troops!

First boiling of the season

I should have been warned when Harold said that they would be boiling sap tonight. I'm in my craft/quilting/getaway room working on little Baby Moeggenborg's quilt when Harold calls to say that Kelli is here and that Linda and Judy are on their way. So I take the batch of cookies out of the oven to take out to the sap house. The next thing I know, Sam is mixing up pancake batter and swiping my grill. I head out to the sap house and find Judy, Linda, Janet, Summer, Anna, Kelli, Sam, Sarah, Kim, Cale, and Howard out there. Of course I forgot to bring my camera out so I slogged back to the house through the mud and almost lost my boot a couple of time. Impromptu family gatherings happen at the drop of a hat during sap season. We missed out last year due to our barn fire.

This is the evaporator we use to make maple syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

The evaporator is powered by a woodstove that needs to be fed constantly. Kind of like the kids when they were growing up. Here our son Sam is loading the wood into the stove.

Here Harold is holding court in the sap house.

Sam has two specialties - pancakes and no-bake cookies.

Sarah is enjoying pancakes with fresh maple syrup and lots of butter. The pancakes are made from our very own Moeggenborg Sugar Bush pancake mix. Sarah was in town because Judy and Linda threw her a bridal shower earlier in the day.

Here Harold pours more syrup on Linda's pancakes. Mmmmmm

This is the stuff of happy memories. I am indeed blessed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's 30 degrees out this morning, but it feels a lot colder. As I walked by the woods, I was checking out the sap lines. The entire woods is flooded. I don't know how the guys get back there to do anything. Harold said they might be boiling tonight.

I can't believe that this year has gone by so fast. I have a lot to do between now and the syrup festival.

I finished Clairy-bear's quilt last night. I think she's pretty happy with it. This picture was taken before I was finished. I will be giving it to her soon.

Word of the day:
Second Sunday of Lent
Mk 9:2-10

Jesus took Peter, James, and John
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
"Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
"This is my beloved Son. Listen to him."
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.

God bless our troops!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

It is rainy and foggy out today. And it's cold. 31 degrees. How can it be rainy? Only in Michigan. I got outside for a walk today and it felt really good. But some sunshine would be nice.

Anna finished the labels for our laundry soap kits so I am hoping to get them listed on the site by next week.

And taxes - I still have taxes to do. Have I mentioned how much I hate taxes?

Word of the day:
Saturday of the First Week in Lent
Mt 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies,
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers and sisters only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

God bless our troops!


Friday, March 6, 2009

I woke up this morning to find that back door was blown open. It was mighty chilly in the laundry room. I see by the paper that the Shepherd Sugar Bush has been out to the woods. That means that when you drive through Shepherd, you will see the twin buckets attached to every tree. Harold and Howard spent yesterday out in the woods. The temp is 53 degress right now which means the sap has been running all night. The sugar house will be busy tonight.

I have mass this morning with the school kids. Today is one of my bigger groups - 5 kids. Since there was no mass last week, today's music is new to them since it is the seasonal music for Lent.

I have some Ebay orders to fill today. Yesterday I started working on inventory for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival. It's always hard to decide which scents we will limit ourselves to. I was working on Candy Apple room sprays yesterday. We've also decided to do the Alma Highland Festival. That show will probably be limited to just our mixes because we will only be using one space - our 10x10 tent.

Word of the day:
Friday of the First Week in Lent
Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."

God bless our troops!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Word of the day:
Thursday of the First Week in Lent
Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Ask and it will be given to you;
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.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

"Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets."

God bless our troops!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's official. Spring is on the way. I know this because the guys have begun running lines and tapping trees. Soon we will be gathering in the sugar house at night for fish fries or any other excuse to gather the family. It's so funny to go into the the sugar house and smell boiling sap. In past years that building was our farrowing house. We used to raise fat hogs, and later, feeder pigs. It smelled very different then. Sap season saw the loss of our hundred-year-old barn when a spark flew from the sugar house and touched off a barn fire. A new pole barn stands there now. It's a nice looking building but I still miss the old red barn.

Today my Tweetlebugs are coming to visit. That means more pictures for the fridge and some fun on the Wii Fit. Even the kids are calling her Wii Tillie now.

It's been wet downstairs so I have not made any candles in over a month. In fact, I've not done anything down there in over a month. I did, however, get several batches of laundry soap and dishwasher soap made, so all is not lost.

Tonight I begin rehearsing with the Easter choir. At Christmas we work on only one liturgy, but at Easter it is much more complicated. The choir sings for 4 liturgies. We start with Palm Sunday. On Thursday Lent ends and we begin the Sacred Triduum made up of Holy Thursday (the feast of the Last Supper), Good Friday, and Easter Vigil. I wish I could gather a choir for Easter Sunday, but Easter Vigil is a long liturgy.

I spent all of yesterday putting together folders and getting the rehearsals organized. That leaves me free to have fun with the Tweetlebugs today. Oh, life is good!


Word of the day:
Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
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."

God bless our troops!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I just got back from the eye doctor. My pupils are huge and they will stay that way for a few more hours. Not fun. The bad news is I have cataracts. The good news is that it is completely curable with surgery. And after that I may not even need glasses. Cool! However, I have a lot of work to do today. I have cantor tapes to make, choir folders to put together, laundry to finish, bills to pay, and a bunch of other stuff that I can't recall at the moment - gotta check my planner.

Word of the day:
Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Mt 6:7-15

"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This is how you are to pray:

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

"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."

God bless our troops!


Monday, March 2, 2009

If you look outside this morning you would think it was warm and mild. But don't be fooled. Here in mid-Michigan it is 3 degrees. This winter has been long and cold. But when it's over, spring will be that much sweeter.

Today is Monday. That means laundry, bills, and zone 1 - entrance, front porch, dining room. I also have a Disciples in Mission meeting tonight. Wednesday the choir begins to rehearse for Easter so there are folders to be put together. Today is also Prayer Quilt Monday. I probably won't get there today as work piled up last week - mainly due to me putzing and not getting done what I needed to get done. I never got to the basement - which is now wet due to last week's rains. The tiles are coming up. I wish we could water proof, but the way things look with the economy, I think I will be happy with getting the drain fixed and putting down a rug. The bathroom probably won't get done any time soon, but that's okay too. The tub doesn't leak and the sink faucet has been replaced. I like my birdhouse bathroom. But since the remodel isn't in the near future, I am going to have to do something about the contact paper behind the new toilet. Looks pretty bad. Fortunately, I am the queen of contact paper and I will fix that soon.

I am now off to start my day.
Word of the day
Monday of the First Week of Lent
Today the Church celebrates : St Chad, St. Simplicius, Pope
Mt 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
'Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.'
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?'
And the king will say to them in reply,
'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Then he will say to those on his left,
'Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.'
Then they will answer and say,
'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?'
He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.'
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life."

God bless our troops!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A new month and more signs of spring. I guess it's time for me to put away my snowmen and to get the garland and wreath off the front porch. But it's 12 degrees out!!!!

I head for the Cathedral today for the Rite of Election. There are very few things for which I will give up a family day.

Word of the day:
The first Sunday of Lent
Mk 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."

God bless our troops!