Sunday, July 28, 2019

no more struggles

Diane called not long after we got home from Mass - Mr. Kibble wasn't doing well; she thought we might want him for a while to say our good-byes. Yes!

He was here about four hours; we prayed for him and sprinkled holy water on his little self when he seemed to struggle for breath. He was here with us on the kitchen table in his little bed the whole time, and we kept our vigil talking and stroking him; he gave up the ghost around four twenty.

With much gratitude to St. Joseph, for taking such good care of him all this time.

Kibble, in your orisons be all our sins remembered.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

too much self

I've been reading a lot lately, I guess - and too preoccupied to post here....

"I now think the rampant individualism of our current culture is a catastrophe. The emphasis on self - individual success, self-fulfillment, individual freedom, self-actualization - is a catastrophe. I now think that living a good life requires a much vaster transformation."

"For six decades the worship of the self has been the central preoccupation of our culture - molding the self, investing in the self, expressing the self. ...When a whole society is built around self-preoccupation, its members become separated from one another, divided and alienated. And that is what has happened to us. We are down in the valley. The rot we see in our politics is caused by a rot in our moral and cultural foundations - in the way we relate to one another, in the way we see ourselves as separable from one another, in the individualistic values that have become the water in which we swim."

                                                        - David Brooks, The Second Mountain

Not that I didn't already know this, but he puts it very well, and I think has enough popularity and maybe influence to really get the point across.

Monday, July 22, 2019

too true

We strive with all our strength and soul
To do what life requires,
And somehow while we're on the way
Fulfill our hearts' desires.
And often as the days speed on
Too hard our small hearts beat.
Be still, my soul, the Spirit sighs,
Go sit at Jesus' feet.

There is a road we see too well,
Its features fill our eyes;
A quieter path not far away
We barely recognize.
And we must find our way on both,
Or life is incomplete.
Be still, my soul, the Spirit sighs,
Go sit at Jesus' feet.

The many things we hope to do,
The wholeness God bestows,
The center that unites the two
Are closer than one knows.
There is in us a holy ground
Where prayer and labor meet.
Be still, my soul, the Spirit sighs,
Go sit at Jesus' feet.

-  Michael Hudson,   from Magnificat, July 2019

Saturday, July 20, 2019

dog days

A few days of excessive heat with air conditioner running morning and night; fit for eating light meals, quiet indoor activities and plenty of ice cream, iced tea and watermelon.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

a cheerful courage

Awake, our souls! away, our fears!
Let every trembling thought be gone!
Awake, and run the heavenly race,
And put a cheerful courage on.

True, 'til a straight and thorny road,
And mortal spirits tire and faint;
But they forget the mighty God,
That feeds the strength of every saint.

                                                                          - Isaac Watts, from Magnificat, July, 2019

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

the zucchini is coming

Yesterday the produce from the garden starting to roll in. We were going to have Reuben sandwiches, so I decided to also make some of the Neapolitan Zucchini soup we always enjoy to go with it.

It was a warm day, but we let it cool off before we ate it.

I'll have to grate some to freeze. I may try this.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

being pilgrims together

"Being on a pilgrimage also means to recognize our need for each other. When we walk together we need one another's help. When one person gets tired, the other sustains him; when one runs too fast, he needs someone to stop him. This is what it means to be pilgrims in the name of the Lord; to discover that our brothers and sisters  are gifts to us, a richness in our lives..."

                                                            -   Mother Elvira Petrozzi

Saturday, July 13, 2019

good summer for hydrangeas

The hydrangea is stunning this summer.

I had left it alone, which seems to be what it likes. Last year I made the mistake of cutting those dry sticks and it didn't bloom until almost September. They always look like dead things which should be pruned, but I guess not!

It even looks good blurry

that shade of blue!

or faded.

I just like taking pictures of it.

Friday, July 12, 2019

the pilgrimage

"To go on a pilgrimage means to embrace our spiritual poverty because a pilgrim is one who accepts God's call to be poor in spirit. Think about when people traveled on foot with a piece of bread in a sack and when it was gone it was necessary for them to extend their hand and beg. To have a spirit of poverty means to recognize that we are poor people in need of everything, above all the grace of the Lord that fills our heart."

                                                               -  Mother Elvira Petrozzi, (emphasis mine)

Thursday, July 11, 2019

never at my best in the morning

Notice the above dress - notice how wrinkled. There's a story, probably as dumb as this one.

This dress is pretty new; I wore it to work the other day. Before long (thank goodness!) we were talking in the back room and I chanced to put my hand to my neckline. I felt the tag - Lord have mercy, I had it on backwards! Well, I'm sure I hooted and hollered and then went in the bathroom to switch it around.

It's linen.

My good co-workers protested that it really didn't matter if I left it on that way, as they thought it could be worn either way. This is the back - very nice tucks there.

But this is the front -

I suppose any dress designer who wanted to could put this smocked-look on the back of a dress. But it isn't likely. I sure wasn't going to. I mean, not deliberately.

But that's why it was so wrinkled in the front. Good grief.

journey to the North Star

"What is a pilgrimage? It is a symbol of our life that is sometimes long and sometimes brief. We do not know how long it will last, but it is a journey toward God. We walk toward the Lord because he is the North Star, the point of attraction on our compass which guides our journey. If we lose our direction, we go to the right or to the left and our journey wavers."

                                                  - Mother Elvira Petrozzi, from Magnificat, July 2019

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

foolish musings

We've had this set of dishes for Many Years; I believe they are from the supermarket, in the days when you could get dishes in boxes of laundry soap. That's a long time ago.

We don't tire of them. The scenes are so pleasant, like this one. But in recent days I looked at this more closely, and thought it couldn't have been so hot on this dish day, otherwise that lady could never have dressed like that, nor would they have seemed so calm. But I love it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

the necessary grace

"Let us hope! He who teaches us so carefully will give us the necessary grace to benefit from his lessons....  All that he tells us to do, all that he calls us to do, gives us the strength to do it, through the sheer effectiveness of his divine Word. ... By the very fact that his Word is divine, Jesus gave to all of us this grace that will be sufficient for all the moments of our life. Therefore we should never get discouraged.... No matter how laden with ingratitude, sins, and crimes, even at death's door, it is still possible for us to be perfect and saints during the moments that are left to us in this world and in life eternal...

                                                                  -   Charles de Foucauld from Magnificat, July 2019

Monday, July 8, 2019

fur and feathers

I wanted to name this post "two lousy photos", and you will soon see why.

An oriole showed up in the forsythia hedge along the side of the house; he wouldn't keep still.

His head is busy eating a black raspberry, I'm sure. They seem to be way inside the foliage this year and too hard to reach - the birds can have them.

A good year for orioles and rabbits, and here is one near our bridge -

I see them here, at work and yesterday we visited our cousins at the shore - there was one hanging out in the bushes there.

I used the digital zoom on the camera, and it's really a last resort.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

home again

Diane came by all tanned and rested, picked up Mr. K., and now he's back at home. We really were pleased to be able to have him for a while, after all these years of seeing him outside and trying to help. It was a blessing for us. My brother took down the platform and everything is washed and put back. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

our little guest

Mr. Kibble is here. He is in very reduced circumstances, poor fellow. Meaning, his neurological issue is pretty bad, he can't close his mouth and his little tongue is out much of the time. He eats and drinks well, however, and is so happy to let you rub his tummy.

He is in the spare bedroom, in one of the cat beds Diane brought over and a radio near by, playing jazz. (of course) We keep the door shut to prevent the other two from bothering him - since he can't see, it wouldn't be fair if they were to come up and clip him or whatever and he not being able to see it coming.  He drools, and is incontinent sometimes. He is happy, rubbing against you when you pet his head. I tell him he is beautiful and that we always loved him.

We spent much of Monday clearing out that room; my brother built a platform under a window there with a ramp going down to the bed. This really won't work because he might fall off the bed, or tumble down the ramp. Probably. Except that he doesn't seem to move from his bed all through the night, or today when we were at work. He can get up, but he doesn't seem to. So, this morning before we set out for work, my brother put his bed up on the platform so he could smell the air and feel the breeze and hear the birds. He did enjoy this. We'd check on him frequently.

Diane had, I think, a brilliant idea to get him to drink water. She puts a handful of his dry food (which he won't eat) into the water bowl, and he can smell it and will drink willingly. The food gets wasted, but it flavors the water at least.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

tea enough by morning

Last night the jar of iced tea was low and the hour was late. Too late to boil water, steep the tea and let it cool long enough to be put in the fridge. I suddenly remembered Carmella's method: put the tea bags in the water and put it in the fridge overnight. It's tea enough by morning.

And cold enough when needed.

Monday, July 1, 2019

getting ready for a visitor

Right after Sunday dinner I lamented to my brother that it's been almost four weeks since I saw Mr. Kibble at Diane's - I just don't want to be a pest over there. My brother hasn't gotten over there at all, and we do like to see him. Immediately after making this remark my phone rang; it was Diane. She and her husband are going on a family trip for a few days and would we like to take Mr. Kibble?

Well, yes!  From Tuesday night to Saturday afternoon we will have that little fellow here and we can visit with him all we want. I only have to work one day; we'll be home on July 4th, and I also happened to have taken the next day off - how perfect! Another neighbor will feed her other animals, but Mr. K. needs more attention and we are very willing to help him.

I am so psyched!