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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