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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Maggie the Kitty Does the Grumpies

It's officially Spring 2016, and my dear little cat Maggie has the hairballs to prove it (poor thing!). 

Here is a picture of her looking GRUMPY. 



She's really the sweetest little thing. However, she's been fractious lately, so she's getting lots of TLC.

I, too, am feeling grumpy. My email has been down since March 18-19th except for webmail. I feel like going Luddite and forever forsaking all technological "progress". Do any of us remember old fashioned, archaic, quaint little things that involved penmanship, zip codes, and postage stamps?! Ah! That was back in the Dark Ages before Al Gore invented the internet, right, Kiddies?! *sarcasm fully intended*

Just bought a book of postage stamps and a bunch of pretty note cards. If I can retrieve my snail address book, some of you might be surprised... especially if I can find my stash of old crochet projects and decide to start the hallowed tradition of The Traveling Siberian Spoon Warmers *joke attempted to call out old friends*.

Well, my little grumpus is here looking for food. That can only be a good thing. :)

I'm praying for all of you. I mean that!

Much love to one and all... you know who you are! :)

~Miss Chris



Tuesday, February 02, 2016

So Glad to Be Alive: February 2, 2016

Here in central Wisconsin, USA, on Groundhog Day 2016, we are experiencing a winter storm. It's not as "bad" as the meteorologists were originally predicting, but then again, "It ain't over till it's over". We've got more than nine hours left in the winter storm warning.

I enjoy snow. It is one of my guilty pleasures! It makes me glad to be alive - so very, very, very glad to be alive! Now, I don't have to drive, and I don't have to shovel, and life simply seems grand with a fresh white coating of new-fallen snow. I think the El Nino weather pattern has finally gone es kaput and that winter is - at long last - arriving in earnest for us in our part of the nation. Sighing a sigh of relief and dancing a jig for joy! Color me jigorous (that's a shout out to my fellow Ceili Rain friends!).

It's also Candlemas (the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord). We took down our outdoor Christmas decorations this morning before the snow began to fly. Indoors, however, we are still decorated for Christmas, though I am not lighting the Christmas tree any more. And also haven't listened to Christmas music in a few weeks. Even little Christmas fanatics like me need a break once in awhile. *grin* Nonetheless, I am lining up Christmas crochet projects to begin. I bought two new mega books of crocheted snowflake patterns, I have a jumbo spindle of white crochet cotton, and have polished up my trusty crochet hooks (most of which I inherited from my Italian Nani). Have also unearthed my crocheted angel patterns. I would rather be knitting, but have developed a nasty case of Knitter's Shoulder. Ouch. Meaning, I need to rest my knitting muscles and do something less taxing for awhile.

Isn't it amazing and beautiful how God creates blizzards of bazillions of snowflakes out of nothing in nanoseconds with no two being exactly alike, yet we humans who craft snowflakes must painstakingly stitch replicas from patterns? I think God is some kind of wonderful!

I go bonkers when I'm not creating something. If I'm really, really, really tired like this past month, it is all I can do to color in a coloring book. You all know already that the latest craft rage is adult coloring books, right?!  Well, on days like the past week, I've not even been able to color those with their intricate patterns. No! I have ended up back at Winnie-the-Pooh and Care Bears level! Thank You, Jesus for the $1 big coloring books at the Dollar Tree!!! :)

Got a new camera for Christmas, and also got the second most recent one fixed. The third most recent one is still great. I am a Kodak girl. The two oldest ones are bridge cameras (something between DSLR and a point and shoot), with excellent German lenses and lots of creative control (I can set the aperture and shutter speeds myself if I like). The newest one is a bridge camera as well, but it's not got the German lens. It does have lots of bells and whistles. But what do I do but take a crazy number of pictures of my cat, in an effort to learn how to use all of the bells and whistles in time to take the camera(s) to the zoo this spring-summer-fall. And, I admit it: I like taking pictures of my cat! 

People, however, don't seem to like having their pictures taken. The prefer to take selfies, the goons. Taking selfies is really a sign of a personality disorder. People have been known to attempt and successfully commit suicide over their selfies. People have been known to take thousands of selfies and still not be happy with even one shot. Get some help, people! 

You are not your selfies! You are a precious child of God, created in His image and likeness. There is no one else just like you, there never was before, and there never will be again another you! You are wonderful just the way you are! There's more to life than how you look! Forget about the boob job and the nose job! Your boobs are going to sag eventually anyway, and your nose is going to get bigger as you age anyway! Ask God for the grace to see yourself as the beautiful creature that He made you; ask God for the grace to see yourself with His eyes of love,,, the way HE sees you. Does what anyone else think really matter?! Hell no!

We all just want to be loved, and that's why we obsess over our appearance. But, we age. We gain weight and we wrinkle. We develop health problems that warrant our need to take medications which make us gain even more weight. The latest fashions are for toothpick models who look like they have a foot and two arms in the grave already, and we want to look like THEM, for pity's sake????!!!!! OY GEVALT! You ARE loved already, by the One True God, whose love is infinitely more powerful and healing than that of all of the human beings on this planet put together.

End rant! Please know that you are loved!

Well, this didn't turn out to be quite the post that I'd intended, but c'est la vie! I return to  my coloring book and my addiction to certain Pandora stations which I have put together. Am currently enjoying some really rowdy Big Band Dixieland Jazz, and also 1920's Jazz.

Praying for hope for all of us worldwide. The Middle East is in an intensifying piecemeal Third World War. We need to be peace - the peace of Christ - in this troubled world. Each one of us matter in that effort to be peace.

All of you are in my prayers!

With love in Jesus,

- Miss Chris







Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thankful Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's Thankful Thursday! What is your heart glad about today? I encourage you to blog about it!

Topping my Glad 'n' Grateful list today is:

* the precious, wonderful, beautiful, fantabulous gift of life! I might be chronically ill and disabled with acute pain, but LIFE IS STILL SO VERY GOOD! Please don't buy into the pro-death people's mentality of "quality of life"! Abortion, suicide, and euthanasia are not the answer! Those things are never, ever, EVER the answer. I've been ill and in pain for over 35 years, and the fact that Jesus has carried me tenderly like a lamb to His Heart (especially on the really very bad days) gives me the right to stand up and say that Jesus is faithful! He is compassionate! He is tender! He sustains! He heals, and He saves. He gives joy, He carries us, He dances with us, He watches over us with great and tender and personalized care. Never give up!

* for the gift of friendship. Friendship heals! Choose your friends wisely, but don't ever be a snob when someone offers you their friendship and invites you to the party.

* for the gift of laughter! My old readers (are any of you still out there?!) know that I'm an advocate for the healing power of laughter. Yes, take your meds and your vitamins and eat your veggies, etcetera, but please take time to laugh every day! 

Example about laughter: Both my dad and I are in the throes of a nasty sinus infection. Daddy became so ill that he went to the doctor Wednesday afternoon and ended up with a prescription for an antibiotic. He and I decided to watch some Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C  on DVD before saying good night. Oh my goodness, gracious! Did we ever LAUGH! We both felt so much better afterward that we're making it a point to watch more classic TV comedy together in the future. Now, we're both still ill, but our outlook on life and on being able to get through the remainder of our illnesses, is brighter and more faith and hope filled.

Well, I need to get out my "beads for battle" (Rosary) and start my late night shift of intercessory prayer for life, marriages, and families. 

Celebrate life!

I love you, readers! Many of you are strangers to me, and some of you are old friends lurking in the outer realms of blogdom, but I pray for you daily. We will meet in Heaven some day!

God bless you!

- Miss Chris

PS: On Friday, the Day of Prayer for the Protection of the Unborn, please find it in your heart to thank your mother and dad for the gift of life. Even if they've hurt you a lot, at least silently thank God that they carried you full term and let you see the light of day. If you can't do that, then try spiritually adopting an unborn baby and pray that they won't be aborted. I especially warmly encourage you to pray for the babies with Down Syndrome.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

God Is So Good!

A quickie gratitude report from Chez Mademoiselle Chris:

I am thankful for...

... pain medication for treating fibromyalgia, even though it messes with my writing and typing. Lyrica spares me many days and nights of intense pain and tears. It doesn't work every single day, but it does protect me from ultra severe flareups and horrible days happening too often to bear. Thank You, God!

... my internet connection getting to be more consistent! I am able to get through YouTube videos without interruption most of the time the past week or so. Hooray!

... YouTube. As we say here in Wisconsin with mock German accents: "So soon oldt und so late shmart!" Meaning, I didn't really like YouTube until this year. It's saved me a small pile of money by my not requiring a Netflix account for several months. Most of what I'd originally subscribed to Netflix for (classic TV programs, for example) is available on YouTube. I can also learn how to paint, improve my Italian cooking skills, and travel the world. A lot of what I watch is available on public TV's Create channel, but Create TV isn't broadcasting round the clock in my locale, and we all know that I am a night owl! I also like being able to watch what I want when I want.  

... having clean, nicely pedicured feet with a comfy pair of socks. It's part of my night time get comfy ritual each night before settling down to read.

... speaking of socks, I just recently discovered a huge apple box of socks that I hadn't remembered upstairs in the loft. Last week, I spent a morning sorting and pairing socks, then stowing them away in two sock drawers in my bedroom chest of drawers. Yes. Drawers, plural. I am dedicated to better living through happy feet in clean, comfortable socks. This here woman doesn't have a shoe or a handbag fetish. With me, it's socks, slippers, and pajamas!

... my Christmas baking supplies shopping is 99.9% done! I begin baking today, Lord willing. My first batch will be Pure Vanilla All Butter Spritz. Can't you just smell the delightful aroma of baking buttery, vanilla cookies in the air? Oh my!

... oh heavenly day! Have been enjoying some time travel comedy time with episodes of Fibber McGee & Molly, the long running old time radio comedy classic from back in the 1940's. Belly laughs galore! And all clean and safe to listen to with your children or grands. Tons funnier than the tripe passing as entertainment these days!You can find a veritable goldmine of classic old time radio programs at Internet Archive Old Time Radio Programs

... my new portable ice making machine. I keep it in the basement and not only benefit from all those ice cubes, but also from the exercise going down and up stairs. And not only the stairs, but while down there, am more often inclined to work out on the Air-Dyne. A win-win situation!

... the wonder and the miracle of a purring cat. Did you ever consider consider what a wonder, what a gift, what a miracle that is?! Remember to thank Jesus the next time your cat(s) curl up next to you and begin making the beautiful music of purring!

... my two dear, wonderful parents! I am so blessed indeed.

... the fact that winter appears to be ready to show up here in Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA later this week! Yahoo! This 60 degrees in mid-November baloney is too much to take! Bring on the snow and the cold! 

And now it's time to settle in with a book. Am taking time off from reviewing for a couple of weeks so I can enjoy some childhood favorites from Louisa May Alcott. 

That's all for now! I'm still praying for you all.

Blessings,

- Miss Chris





PS: Here is a picture of my dear little cat Maggie taking a very serious nap earlier this month. She's either in perpetual motion, or else taking a power nap.


 





Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Missing in Action!

Hello out there in Blog Land!

My ISP has been having difficulties for the past two or so months, so my internet connectivity has been sparse. This has left me unable to blog. I have been busy reading and reviewing some really wonderful (there's that word again; where is my thesaurus? *wan smile* books, and participating in our parish's intercession ministry. 

I dislike being missing in action from the blogosphere! Please know that you are each in my continued prayers.

It's time to head to the kitchen to bake bread for Tuesday a.m. breakfast. We're going to be realllllllllllly naughty and have fresh baked white bread today.

Much love to one and all in Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and St. Therese... and her parents St. Zelie Martin and St. Louis Martin, just canonized on Sunday, October 18th in Rome, the first married couple to be jointly canonized. How very appropriate during this time of the Synod.

'Nuff chatter out of me. I crave hot chocolate.

Would that this infernal warmish autumn would cool down more and lead to snowball fights!!! :)

Miss Chris



 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Grateful: Monday, August 10, 2015

Today, I am grateful for:

... the strength to get through my workout for the second day in a row in the midst of a virus/fever/etc. I will sleep soundly!

... Chicken Kiev, Uncle Ben's Long Grain and Wild Rice (Original Seasoning), Italian Green Beans, and sweet, red, ripe Watermelon. Yum! Thankful also for fully functioning taste buds!

... my darling little kitty getting over her tummy affliction and being back to gobbling up Fancy Feast (all versions of "Marinated Morsels") again for the past few days. I don't know how you moms of human children can stand it when your babies are sick and won't eat. I become fairly hysterical when my fur child is ailing. 

... "discovering" a gift given to me a few years back which I am very energized and enamored of: Two CDs of Artie Shaw and his Big Band music. Now, I already have a myriad of Glenn Miller, Harry James, and Benny Goodman CDs, but this was a happy and serendipitous discovery today. It also helps me get through my longer workout regime without so much pain.

... for air conditioning ice cubes, iced tea with lemon, straws, and the ability to cool off on an overly warm and humid day. Thankful as I am tonight, I still loathe summer at this point.

... for the fact that what I call "Moctober" will arrive here in central Wisconsin, USA... eventually! 

... for P. G. Wodehouse's delicious and exquisite sense of humor. Last night I listened to an hour of Very Good, Jeeves as narrated by Martin Jarvis, and had to stifle my giggles in a vain attempt to not awaken the neighborhood with gales of laughter. (I laugh loudly).

Speaking of noise, I am thankful...

... that it is the work week again so that my neighbor on the north side of our house was at work and not doing construction on his house right outside my window with HIS VERY LOUD VOICE like he did Friday through Sunday. I will here cattily add that Mr. I is no rocket scientist. And his girlfriend isn't exactly brain surgeon material either. Yes. They are a pair, she equally loud in speech and suffering from a vacant cranium. Perhaps it would help if they were sober... but, I am grateful that they are quiet most of the time, such as today. 

... for the gentle but firm reminder from my dear dad that I shouldn't speak or think of people in such an uncharitable way. Mea culpa. Grateful that at nearly 51 years old, I still have my dad to correct me. Hopefully, I will become a more loving Christian. It ain't going to happen without God doing a major overhaul of my attitude, and I had better get ready to cooperate. I want to be more loving. I just get snide sometimes. I don't say it to people's faces, but it's a sin to even THINK so unlovingly about people created in God's image and likeness. 

... that God is patient with me, and that people are mostly patient with me. I admire patience in other people. 

... that I opted to NOT go for the Windows 10 free upgrade from Microsoft - yet. The free upgrade offer will still be in effect until July 2016, during which time perhaps? Microsoft will work some of the kinks out of 10. Anyway, I am more than content with Windows 7, so why bother with 10? And this way I get to keep Windows Media Player. I just miss Outlook Express, even though Mozilla Thunderbird works mostly okay for me.

... that I have a comfortable bed and many fluffy pillows on which to rest my now very, very tired body and aching head while I listen to more Wodehouse.

God bless you all! I continue to pray for you; please pray a little prayer for me, too, that I cooperate generously with God's grace, from my heart! Thank you so much!

- Miss Chris



Friday, August 07, 2015

Life Is a Polka Is Going Back to Blogspot URL

Hello!

My "Life Is a Polka" blog is going back to a blogspot.com URL, specifically Life Is A Polka

To spell it out, in the next hours or perhaps a day or so from now, if you want to continue reading the blog, it will be at http://lifeisapolka.blogspot.com . If you follow by email, you'll continue to receive the blog posts by email. I will have to go back and tediously redo the links to each post, so, please know this might take me awhile to get the actual blog operational! Thank you for your patience, and thank you for your kind interest in my humble little blog.

Please also know that I continue to pray for each precious, wonderful, unrepeatable, irreplaceable one of you, and I will continue to do so. Actually, much of the time, I consider my role here not so much to write (as we all know that I am not a technically good writer! :)), but to be present to pray for you. The writing is mostly to let you know I'm praying. Even if my changing the URL leaves me with only a handful or even merely one reader, it is my privilege and pleasure to pray for you. I just no longer want to fuss with the custom domain, and so I am going to permanently stick with the blogspot.com URL. Blogspot is very handy, with providing Google Translate tools, among other things. 

God bless you! May the remainder of your summer be kissed with the love of Jesus! And when autumn comes, may you have a nice cat to sit on your lap while you read good books!

Much love in Jesus,

~ Miss Chris





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Greetings!

Greetings!

Those of you who have read my blogs over the years know that I hate, loathe, and abominate summer at this point (migraines are worse from summer heat and allergens). However, I have been gleefully observing the ever lessening amount of daylight, and enjoying the change in our back yard bird community. The cardinals are still going strong (they dine at the front yard bird feeder, known affectionately at Chez Miss Chris as The Marshfield Bird Cafe. The chickadees are back in ever increasing number, and continue to amuse us with chickadee chatter, joke telling, and bird laughter (use yer imaginations, folks! :)). The robins don't sing us early morning serenades during the dog days, but they are still ubiquitous, hunting for earthworms (blek!), and looking rather thin due to the dearth of rain lately.

Soon, the deer will return, and some time after them will be Elvis the Bear. The black bear comes back every autumn, sometimes closer to November. Actually, we are hoping that Elvis is a boy and not a girl, because if Priscilla shows up with her baby(-ies), we face a long winter of trying to avoid her. We all know what momma bears are like when it comes to their babies! *Gasp* If Priscilla arrives in place of Elvis, our winter and spring schedule will need to be amended to make certain that we are indoors (having brought the rather expensive bird feeders to safe keeping) before sundown. Actually, a few years back, the bears were feasting during the mid-morning and noontime hours - those snarfing, gobbling beasts! 

My flowers (Wave Petunias in bright pink and purple, Geraniums in very bright, energetic pink/violet, and Impatiens (mixed colours), are thriving. It has been hot and humid, so I feed and water them during cool, early morning hours - wearing my pajamas.

Ah yes! I have begun a Neighborhood Trend: nearly all of us wear our pajamas (never birthday suits, thank Heaven!) on certain days to do early morning chores and to bring the mail in. We range from Walmart styles to L.L. Bean and many other brands. Nothing indecent. We have a quiet, low traffic, laid back street without many passersby, and many of us work from home, or are resting after driving truck all week, so, we relax and secretly laugh at each others' loungewear.

Hmmm. Perhaps I will entertain someone this morning by wearing my Eeyore pajamas!

Anyhow, my whole wheat bread is about to come out of the machine, and you know how whole wheat can be - dry! so I'd better go and zip it into a bread basket pronto!

Happy Late Summer to one and all, and may Jesus shower blessings upon your dear heads. I continue to pray for each one of my visitors daily.

Blessings,

Miss Chris


Edit: Please excuse open parentheses, run on sentences, etcetera. It's late, and I'm so tired!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I Love Reading (and Reviewing) Books!

I apologize for being AWOL from the blogs again. It has been a great blessing to read and review various delightfully wonderful books, and I continue to read and review - especially am in reading mode recently. It is also garden season here in central Wisconsin, so my time is divvied up between prayer, reading, and gardening. And, of course, time in the kitchen!

Each of you remain in my daily prayers. I mean that sincerely. You are in my visits to the Blessed Sacrament for Holy Hours, remembered at Mass each week on Sunday, and very often during the week for Daily Mass, and in the time spent praying the Rosary. Also, I offer up my suffering for you in union with the suffering of Jesus on the Cross. So much do I look forward to meeting each one of you in Heaven someday!

Those of you who are regular readers of my blogs know that summertime is difficult for me health-wise, so I will be spending Summer 2015 reading and praying, gardening and baking (yes! baking even when the weather is hot!)... and interceding for each of you. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. Also, the CatholicChristianPrayers blog will hopefully be up and running by Independence Day. 

Those of you who love to read, may the Lord bless you with just the exact right books this summer to not only be enjoyed, but also to further your Christian spiritual development as the Holy Spirit of Jesus has ordained! God is so very, very, very good to provide us with so many wonderful authors. If any of you do book reviews, may I suggest looking up the offerings for Franciscan Media... they look absolutely fantastic. Ave Maria is also terrific.

That's all for now! Dad is grilling up some chicken on the big Weber charcoal grill, and we have potato salad and creamy cole slaw, and Dad just notified me that there are Klondike bars in the freezer! Woot! We had our first air conditioner-worthy days of 2015 this weekend, and it's time to celebrate!

Much love to you in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph - and also St. Catherine of Alexandria, the patron Saint of (1) librarians, and (2) those suffering from migraines.

Blessings galore on your summer! I especially wish many Holy Spirit-ually enlightened books to enjoy and read for the summer, swinging in the shade on your hammock, while gentle breezes caress you and the gastronomically delicious cooking/grilling smells waft through your yard! And the perfume of apple blossoms in late Spring! Too many delights to count!!!

- Christine




Wednesday, April 22, 2015

St. Therese of Lisieux: Be Comforted, Little One!



"Be comforted, little one! In Heaven everything will no longer look black, but dazzling white."


- St. Therese of Lisieux


***
I really needed this quotation from St. Therese yesterday. God is so greatly, generously full of Provident goodness in giving me just the exact words to encourage me, just at the right time. Never, ever, ever give into despair, dear ones! Pain is never permanent, despair is NOT the answer. God is so very, very, very True, Good, Faithful, Beautiful, and Loving... and He is on YOUR side! 

I continue to pray for everyone who stops by the blog, and am so sorry that I'm not able to post more often (it's been rougher than usual healthwise since Holy Week). Please do know that you - each precious, dear, irreplaceable, unrepeatable one of you - are in my daily prayers. Headed to Holy Hour now and I will pray especially for you. Jesus loves you tenderly and personally. He understands. He knows the crosses, anxieties, and emotional wounds which are binding you, and in due time, He will act with speed. In fact, He has already set the wheels in motion to rescue you and bring you the freedom from wounds and discouragement. It takes time, little ones. St. Francis de Sales (Doctor of the Catholic Church) always said that gradual healings are the best.

Shalom. Peace, Truth, Life, and Resurrection Joy to you! I don't know you, but I love you and hold you close to heart in prayer.

Love in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

- Christine




Sunday, March 29, 2015

Holy Week Blessings to One and All!

I have been busy in the struggle and repentance and healing that is Lent. Or rather, the Lord has been busy in me. I'm trying to cooperate!

My focus area this year has been my struggle between "the stuff of earth" and the "winds of Heaven". The stuff of earth has been more and more fighting for my allegiance. Oh my. It is quite a struggle. It's a battle. It's all out war. I like the "stuff of earth" far too much. I owe my complete and total, heartfelt allegiance to the Giver of all good things - the Lord God Almighty, Who gave up His only Son for love of me, to save my soul and set me free from slavery to the senses which blinds me to goodness.

 I want to sail on the "winds of Heaven" to my Lord Jesus! I want to give more and more and MORE of myself to God! Upward and onward, each day closer to Heaven and Eternity with Jesus.

And as far as the stuff of earth goes, I - and none of you, dear friends - can take it with us. And, we cannot serve both God and mammon.

My days and nights are spent in prayer, not just for myself, but in intercession for the world, each individual whom our Great and Good God created out of love to know Him, love Him, and serve Him in this life, and to be happy with Him in Eternity. Jesus loves you so very much! Please don't settle for counterfeit "gods", for idols, for heresies. Jesus died for YOU as if you were the only person in the world, the only sinner in the world! That's something to celebrate with reckless abandon! He rose from the dead for love of YOU! That's cause for jubilation! Dear ones, do not give into despair! Do not dialog with discouragement, which is the adversary's favorite evil tool. You were made for life, for love, for joy, for an eternity of ever exponentially increasing bliss with the God of the entire universe! If you belong to Him, you are royalty - princes and princesses!

***

I have been reading and reviewing books for Ave Maria Press, for Crown (imagine reviewing a Pope Francis book!!! Praise the Lord!!!) for Harvest House Publishers, for Revell, for Zondervan Non-Fiction, and for Zondervan Fiction. And a few for Andrews McMeel Publishing. Oh, and I have some of the Nightingale Girls/Sisters/Nurses to read yet for Random House UK. I hope to shorten them up (if you read me often, you know that I am verbose and rambling... sigh) and share them here this spring, Lord willing.

***

Truly, I have been praying for all who have ever, all who have now, all who ever will read my blogs. I pray for you daily, each individual among you - tenderly known by Jesus - and I hope we will be neighbors in Heaven!

Prayer is the greatest gift we can give to another person. Oftentimes, the adversary tries to tempt us to believe that our prayers are so.... nothing. That we don't "count" if we're not physically able to do something for people. Well, God knows that many, many, MANY of us on the 'net are physically unable to do most things for others because of our physical and emotional disabilities. However, He has ordained it that those of us who are weakest and suffering the most CAN DO THE MOST! YOU can do the MOST to serve God by offering up your suffering in union with Jesus' suffering on the Cross. YOU can do the MOST because prayer is the greatest charity, the greatest gift we can give another person. I have the Mother Teresa of Calcutta and St. John Paul the Great quotations to prove it. And to add another feather in your cap: You can be LOVE in the heart of the Church, the body of believers!

 Don't let the enemy drag you down! Lift up your drooping and dejected heads, beloved suffering brothers and sisters! The Father does not despise or spurn you in your bonds of suffering. On the contrary! You are mighty, precious, and beloved in His eyes, and held very close and dear to His Heart. His "foolishness" is greater than our human "wisdom". He uses the poor, the weak, the suffering, the infirm to shame the so-called "strong"  of our world. 

I could launch off into the Beatitudes right now, but we'll save that for another time.

It's time to sign off for my evening Rosary. Shalom, dear brothers and sisters. Shalom! Peace as only Jesus can give it! Peace of body, mind, and spirit. Peace that the world cannot give. Peace that surpasses understanding. Peace that the pagan peoples ponder down in their hearts!

God bless you, one and all!

- Christine




St. Therese of Lisieux: Passing Things


"Jesus, hidden in my poor little heart, has once again made me understand how hollow and empty are all passing things."

- St. Therese of Lisieux


 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Favorite Things, January 4, 2015

It's often the so called "little" things which make life so pleasant. 

One of my themes for 2015 blogging is "Favorite Things".

Yesterday, we had some snow. Not enough to have blown out with a snow blower, but enough to need to be shoveled before the bigger snowfall hits us today. The neighbor who so kindly shoveled our walks and driveway shovels so nicely, like he's enjoying it and possibly thinking happy thoughts. Not everyone shovels that way - with a nice, gentle, even rhythm. Some people sound so... uptight, violent, and nervous. One of the great pleasures of wintertime is listening to snow being either shoveled or even blown. So much nicer than summertime when the lawn mowers sound so angry and noisy!

Another pleasant thing is the comforting sound of our furnace in the cold of winter. I am so grateful to have central heating, after having lived in a place with electric heat for 10 years. A Lennox furnace finely tuned is like a musical instrument, and in my opinion, makes lovely music. Music to read books by, with a nice and fuzzy gray and white cat at one's feet purring. A lot less dust with a good furnace than when one has electric heaters, too!

Not much else to say right now. Struggling with tummy virus, but it beats getting the influenza which is rampaging through town.

I shall return. Just wanted to drop in and let everyone know I'm still praying for you daily. I mean that.

Much love in Jesus! Happy and Blessed Feast of the Epiphany!!

- Christine






Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's Time Again for Christmas Baking!

I had an exquisitely LOVELY birthday despite having a worsening head cold! Was absolutely showered with love and prayers and gifts, and most of all, the Holy Spirit just loved on me so much that day. I turned half a century old last week! My dad turned three-quarters of a century old in August. God is good to let us live so long!!

Have been put out of commission by a series of severe migraines since the weekend due to some really intense weather. One morning, we were below Zero degrees F. and had substantial snow on the ground. The next day, we had London fog like something out of an old, old Sherlock Holmes movie and 50 degrees F. And hurricane levels of low, low, low barometric pressure for a couple of days. And then a cold front which ushered in a good, decent, measurable snowfall and cold temps. I feel sane and happy again. I only mention the weather because a lot of my readers are CFS and fibromyalgia patients with migraine problems. You all know "what I mean is". :)

ANYWHO, tonight I got my test batch of All Butter Spritz Christmas Cookies baked, to test the butter and to test the oven. My dad pronounced them absolutely delectable and delicious, and I have found my adjustments to make on the oven temperature and the timing. I think we are due for a new oven element in the not too distant future. I pray it behaveth itself with proper decorum until I have baked seven more batches of Spritz. *grin*

Here is a night time shot of the test batch of Spritz, circa Tuesday, November 25, 2014:




My mom started taking Lipitor recently, so that means not as many baked cookies for her this year. I am being spared baking the evil, wicked, and nefarious "paper thin" Cut Out Cookies!!!! *Praises to the Lord!!!!* Just a ton of Spritz, and a couple of tons of Rum Balls. The recipes for both are Top Secret. I may have shared the ersatz versions of them on a blog or MyFamily.com website some years ago, but I assure you, my prize recipes are  Top Secret. I will keep a couple of copies in the safe deposit box, though, in case menopause makes me lose my memory completely! *tongue planted firmly in cheek*

***
I am behind on reviewing books, so, I'm going to don a fresh pair of pajamas, pamper my feet with a warm bubble, scented foot bath, put on some home crocheted wool socks (my own creation; I could crochet these forever, as they make my feet deliriously happy), curl up in my bedroom Lazy Boy recliner, and finish reading what I promised I would read and review. When I had enterovirus, I could not read even children's lit, just much too ill.

I won't promise more pictures of cookies. Once I get into cookie baking mode, I find I just don't have time to tidy the kitchen enough to make the cookie photographs presentable. Yeah, I know, do Photoshop Elements, but that gets to be too much like work!

Will see if I can hunt down some pictures of the Rum Ball making process from a few years ago another time. For now, this is more than enough out of me!

Please be assured that EVERY SINGLE ONE of my blog readers - past, present, and to come, are in my daily prayers. Thank you so very much for keeping on coming back to visit with me. We will be neighbors in our Heavenly Homeland. Don't give up hope of things working out! There is someone out there reading this blog post who has a serious, serious family and marriage situation going on and is on the verge of despair.  Please don't give up hope! Our Heavenly Daddy Father is on the side of marriage and families! He WILL rescue! Just surrender to Jesus and ask for the grace to pray, "Thy will, Thy way, in Thy timing!" Pray to St. Joseph and to St. Teresa of Avila. I wish I could sit down with you and pray the Rosary with you, or go to Mass with you. I have the solution! I will send my Guardian Angel to pray with you! I promise! And I will pray, too! God bless you! God's Help IS ON THE WAY!!!

Much love in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

- Christine


PS: The First Sunday of Advent is coming up on November 30th - a brand new liturgical year! Consider picking a particular Saint to focus on their example and writings and intercessory prayers in a special way for the coming new Church year. And... what are you going to give Jesus for His birthday? This year, I am asking Him to help me to fall madly, passionately in love with Him forever. He is the One Pure Prince, the Redeemer, the Ransomer, the Beloved of my heart. Here is a little quote from St. Therese of Lisieux:



Monday, November 10, 2014

Thankful Thoughts: Monday, November 12, 2014

'Tis the season to be thankful! The national American holiday of Thanksgiving is on Thursday, November 27th this year. Of course, it's always the season to be thankful! Even when we're suffering, there is always something to thank God for! As numerous Saints have said over the past many, many centuries, we need to thank God when we're suffering or undergoing tribulation. And let's not forget about St. Paul the Apostle's words on "giving thanks in all circumstances". By doing so, we not only exercise our faith muscles, we also disarm the power of the devil in our lives. Thanking God in trials and pain not only confounds the enemy, it also draws down the power of the Lord's love to help us through it all. It takes time to get to the point of even beginning to thank the Lord for trials, but He wants to give us that grace.

Today, I want to thank the Lord Jesus here instead of just in my private journal.

I am thankful for...

* my dear little pet cat with multitudinous, beautiful, long whiskers who wants to play boisterously with all of her cat toys in the middle of the night. She belongs in this house with my dad and myself; we are each Night Purrsons. *big smile*

Seriously, I am so grateful that the allergy season is so thoroughly over so that Maggie the Kitty is back to being VBT - Very Bouncy Tigger (for you Winnie-ther-Pooh fans!). Poor little kitty had a nasty, hard time with the allergies since spring. She's having a blast feeling like a kitten again. 

* our furnace, which makes such a comforting sound when it starts to heat up and gets ready to blow delightful, deliciously warm air throughout the entire house. I love our furnace! Furnaces are like snowflakes; no two are alike, and ours makes simply the most splendidly comforting sounds. Sometimes, when I'm drifting off to sleep, I imagine that our house is some kind of time travel chamber, and when the furnace kicks in, we take off for destinations and times from history. Wouldn't that be wonderful?! At least it would be wonderful to me.

* the satisfaction of having the house and yard ready for winter. It's a good thing we are ready, because we are under a Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service now through Tuesday afternoon. Six to twelve inches of snow (at least) and blustery winds. This is my kind of November! Whee!!! *giggles*

* the memories of a glorious, beautiful childhood in a safe, good suburban neighborhood, where we kids had simply the most wonderful, perfect hills to sled, saucer, and toboggan down all winter, every winter except for the nefarious "Brown Winter" back in the early 1970's - yek! But the hills around the school were simply perfect and glorious for winter fun! And the snow forts we built during recesses and after school - what happy fun! And the snowball fights, too. Then coming home to homemade hot cocoa and to play piano and read books like Snowbound with Betsy. My parents gave me a splendid childhood.

* dear little pet cats who are part Domestic Shorthair/Tiger/Siamese, who love to "talk" and to "sing" dramatic, passionate opera arias - especially when they are feeling neglected. Maggie has not forgotten that her ancestors were once worshiped... ha ha ha! Truly, if you can stand all the communication noises a Siamese/part-Siamese kitty makes, then get one. They love to talk and to be talked to intelligently *and* in "baby talk". If you like a kitty that plays practically non-stop, then get a Domestic Shorthair. I'm so grateful for my little Siamese Tiger! I've got the best of both kind with her!

* the thrill of the excitement which comes with a nearing major snowstorm! Did I mention that our nighttime low temperatures will soon be in the single digits Fahrenheit for at least a week, with daytime highs only in the 20's?! What a glorious way to celebrate my birthday month! Thank You, Heavenly Father!! I feel energized even though I'm still struggling with wicked tummy bug.

* for classic children's literature, such as things written by Louisa May Alcott. Am currently rereading her book Jack and Jill and loving/enjoying it immensely. It little lessons on suffering patiently are not lost on me. What a merry little book! 

* for sales on baking goods for Christmas 2014 baking! The fridge is full of butter for Spritz cookies, and I've got a very, very large apple box filled with all of the other things I need - except for pecans for Rum Balls, and various colored sugars to adorn the Spritz cookies.

* for the Amish men who put a new roof on our neighbors' house right before it turned wintry. The spoke English and German, but their German was a different dialect than that to which my dad and I are accustomed. I am almost always edified by the presence of the  Amish and Mennonites around here.

* speaking of German: Some wonderfully talented German speaking LibriVox.org volunteer recorded the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol and it's MARVELOUS! It's Version 2 of the German edition on LibriVox, done by a woman whose surname is Schnabel! Danke, Fraulein Schnabel!

* lastly for today (I think!), I am thankful for my decision to take "Cyber Sabbaths" and to spend less time on the Internet. After nearly fifteen years online, I need a break from "cyberness". I am handwriting greeting cards and letters again, and I am listening to music CDs (and even a few cassettes!!!) and to local radio on my new Sony boombox. I'm watching antenna TV and DVDs instead of watching as much on the Roku, and came across some terrific Bob Ross painting courses on Public TV, and a perfectly hilarious episode of the George Burns & Gracie Allen TV program on one of the retro TV stations. Talk about Time Travel Tripping! As Joe Gargerry said to Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations, "What larks!" (So much fun!!)

OKAY! Enough of me already!

Please know that I (and my dad with me) pray every day for each one of you, whether you're a regular reader here, or whether you happened upon my blogs by accident. I am so overwhelmed with joy by how many of you come from all over the world! I had always wanted to travel when I was young before I became disabled, and now I get to visit wonderful sisters and brothers in the Lord via the 'net! God bless each one of you. I promise you my daily prayers - God knows you as a unique individual, and He knows and wants to provide for your particular needs. May Jesus console you and heal your hearts with love this week!

Much love in Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,

- Christine




Monday, October 20, 2014

Thankful Thoughts, Monday October 20, 2014

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! In fact, I sometimes wonder if it's God's favorite holiday as well. We owe our all wise and all loving God our thanks even in seasons of pain - be it physical, emotional, or spiritual pain. Look it up in Psalm 50! :-) It's called a "sacrifice" of thanksgiving, so it means we can (and should!) give thanks to our Heavenly Father at all times, and not because He's some kind of egomaniac, but rather because He knows we are happier (and healthier, too) in spirit, mind, and body when we take time to count our blessings and experience true joy in Him, rather than thinking we need more, more, more stuff of this world.

I love Autumn! Even when I'm too ill for car rides through Wildwood Park or the gracious, glorious, gorgeous west side of our city, all I need to do is take a few steps out the back or front doors to take in the warm, golden view on our lovely street filled with grand and stately maple trees. I can breathe in the scent of autumn leaves which evokes the nostalgia of a thousand happy childhood memories, listen to the leaves crunch beneath my Woolrich slippers as I traipse from the garage to the front yard bird feeding stations. When my current "contagious illness du jour" (I have a mild to moderate case of enterovirus these past weeks) leaves me unable to go no further from my cozy bedroom/office/library/entertainment room than to the living room, I still get to celebrate the fall season. The birds at the three bird/squirrel/chipmunk feeders are fantastic entertainment, while the maple leaves sail gracefully down.

Yesterday, I felt well enough to be messing about in the kitchen for a couple of hours and baked Nani's gingersnap cookies with a recipe that I think goes back to my Italian great-grandmother Caeserina/Chezarina - however it's spelled (she changed it to "Mary" when she went through Ellis Island, while great-grandpa changed his from "Giuseppe" to "Joseph" when they immigrated to the United States from Northern Italian (15k from the Swiss border - Great Grandma from the village of Livigno, and Great Grandpa from a very, very, very tiny village of Isolachia,  close to a hundred years ago. I think some of Nani's recipes date back to Great Grandma's first American recipes. My great-grandparents tried very hard to be good Americans. They spoke English, ran their own small business, joined the Republican Party, and learned American ways, while quietly hanging on to some of the Italian ways. I use the AccuWeather app on my Kindle Fire HD to track the weather in Livigno (ski country) each year, and I sometimes think that our Wisconsin weather must have seemed nearly tropical to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa after living in the Alps!

Speaking of cookie baking: I am making my Christmas 2014 Cookie Baking List out and checking it twice. I also scouted out the kitchen (which has mostly been my dad's domain over the past year) and found what needs to be replenished, organized, and washed. Several years ago, I had both knit and crocheted a multitude of hot pads and pot holders - and it looks like they'll all need to go through the washer. I'm also hunting up a few new  Christmas cookie recipes.

Anyway, I will let everyone rest their eyes now. I think I'll listen to some more Abbott & Costello Old Time Radio programs - great laughs and merry medicine to boost the immune spirits and lift the spirits!

Thank you for reading! I continue to pray for all readers of my blogs - past, present, and future! May the dear Lord bless you!

I have a long and growing list of "Thankful Thoughts" items to share, but with my neurological problems it is difficult to type very often. I hope and pray that, Lord willing, I'll be back again soon!

Much love in Jesus,
Christine


September 30, 2014


My maternal grandparents' house. The lady who lives there spotted my mom and I looking and taking photos of the exterior and invited us in for a leisurely tour (very kind of her!) Many happy memories there!