I HAVE A COMPUTER AGAIN!!!!!

Oh the joys of a REAL computer and not the horrid lil iPhone screen that was tiding me over! 🙂  That is the reason for the silence and the lack of ramblings!

But in my absence I’ve found that the fun of trolling for pictures on the internet to use to illustrate my musings has been stifled by Chrome saying “no way babe, make your own illustrations” Boo. Hiss. If I knew how to do that I wouldn’t have been trolling to borrow (WITHOUT ANY FINANCIAL GAIN TO MYSELF MIND YOU) the genius work of others.

What am I to do?

Right now I think I’ll go and continue to work on my jankity blankey and forget the icy snow threat which is having over the heads of us Midwesterners.

 

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And lies will be truth and truth will be lies…

It’s been a tough life recently…conflicts with my beloved Spawn in which they really, REALLY want me to voice approval of choices which I ADAMENTLY DO NOT APPROVE OF and which have made me the “bad mama” as other parental figures in their lives think their choices are just peachy.

It’s a lonely time to be a conservative Roman Catholic, or really a person who upholds traditional values and faith in God. It’s a lonely time to proclaim as truth what the Church and bible teaches and which I believe to the very core of my being. For brief moments at Church, in my small groups, and with carefully selected Twitter and Instagram followers I can be recharged with affirmation and see others with the same struggles. But, in my professional world and in the general mass of people I see each day, well there I am bombarded with crude, ugly “jokes” about my faith, how I live my life, and my core values. I have gone from trying to talk with them to now tuning them out as I realized that dialogue only fueled their contempt for Jesus, Mary, God, the Pope, the Church and in all truth – contempt for ME. We can have short, pleasant chats about their incredibly dreary lives and which new worldly and shiny objects are their new false idols, but sooner or later they too want me to say that I agree with their empty value systems and voice admiration. When they do not hear my affirmations, sneaky and sly  looks are exchanged, and vulgar comments slip past their tongues. Which is then my cue to smile sweetly, wish them a great day, and to start my daily journey be-bopping across the state.

When is the craziness that is gripping America going to end?

 

 

How long? However long O Lord!

“Surely, this cannot last forever”  

fruit-of-the-spirit.jpg (1280×800)

That is a phrase well used throughout my life…whether it related to the emotions of a disrupted friendship…a horrid boss at work…or 18 hours of induced labor with my first born.  I’ve always taken suffering with the knowledge and assurance that it is NOT forever and there will be a foreseeable change.

Except, this time the suffering is not being measured across hours…weeks…or months, but rather for years. YEARS!!!  The change in condition which has always been the light at the end of my tunnel does not appear to be coming to a fullness or a culmination. But rather, it is the same thing…day in…day out…

And so, my next thought turns to this… “what is the Lord wishing for me to learn from this?”  because I firmly believe that when life turns to a steaming pile of the poo emoji, one can either sink into the stench and let that become the “new normal” or one can continue to search for the way to lift oneself out and back onto firm ground with sunshine and butterflies and Boston Terrier and Boxer puppies for all.

I believe I’m finding the way out…and I’ll write about that more in my next post…

Mwah and Love and Hugs,

May the dear Lord bless you all!

I will pray for you, please pray for me.

Hodgepodge Ramblings…

Well, here I go again. Over the course of time since my last blog, I had many “AH HA” moments where I had a perfect subject to write about…but then…POOF…the only thing I can recall is that I once had something TO recall, but what that something was…well, fuhgeddboutit (like my wise-guy New Yorker thug speak?)

So much has been happening since the last time…not fascinating stuff, but stuff nonetheless:

  1. V had a narrow escape and thankfully did not go through with his plan to join the military. I don’t think someone with PTSD (resolving somewhat, but sometimes still an issue) should be a member of our esteemed armed forces. He had a somewhat shady military recruiter and I feel like I saved my baby from disaster. (Which leads me to wonder why the recruiter for Beau Bergdahl isn’t under fire, too much was in Bergdahl’s past to go unnoticed. Something is sketchy. But, that’s a post for someone other than me.)
  2. My husband is undergoing some alarming health concerns but is so far doing well. It’s just another layer of stress to make my days more like the Chinese curse which seems to follow me about.
  3. I got a promotion at work! I’m very happy and pleased. I have really good coworkers and am blessed that going to work each day is a joy.
  4. My church has started small group gatherings. I am part of two groups, both of them focused on books. One group is all women of various ages and we are reading “The Prodigal Son” by H. Nouwen. The other is mixed, but we are all older, and we are reading C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters.” Both groups have intelligent, interesting and authentic members and I’m loving the camaraderie and intellectual stretch.
  5. I’m still fat.
  6. I carved out a Mama-Cave in my house. It was beautifully maintained for about 60 days, then the men in my life have sloooooooowly have turned it into a catch-all for junk. I’m quite displeased. Today I started the mucking out process…argh…I’m finding things that only needed to be put away in cupboards and drawers and yet, it was easier to dump stuff in my sanctuary and shut the door.
  7. I will never understand how the minds of men work and feel smug that I’m assuming they even have workable-minds.
  8. I love watching Fixer Upper but am finding all of Chip and Jojo’s designs are starting to look alike from episode to episode. Either that, or I’m just watching the same episode on some time-warped loop from which I cannot escape.
  9. Oh! This is something creepy and not in my happiness zone. Someone who went to school with my late-sister Nancy has begun to have weird poltergeist type happenings in her home. At the time of Nancy’s death she was helping this young woman set up her own business. (Nancy did not have a college degree but was a brilliant go-getter.) So, this woman began hearing noises, bangings, and feeling creeped out.  She very unwisely went to see a psychic who then went on to identify my sister, her cause of death, and admitted that she was the one causing shenanigans from the other world to this world to have “fun” scaring her friend. The woman wrote all of this to my brother who then shared it with us. According to this psychic, Nancy’s soul had left her body prior to her truck hitting the tree, she was filled with joy, and the afterlife was “like a vacation.” Well, there is just something so wrong with that last statement that I insisted (okay, I nagged) my brother to NOT engage in anymore psychic talk about Nancy and to instead offer prayers for the repose of her soul. How could a “good soul” find joy in frightening the living?  Psychics and their “work” just creep me out and that’s an area better left untouched, ignored and avoided.

Well, there you have it, an uneven number of mini-events from the life of this coffee-sipping (at times guzzling) Catholic.

I hope you all are well and that you have a peaceful, blessed week free from all anxiety and filled with joyful hope.

Mwah.

Lazarus and Me at the Chinese Buffet

 Lazarus and the Rich Man

Luke chapter 16

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus.* 19“There was a rich man* who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. 20And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,i21who 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. 22When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23and from the netherworld,* where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24And 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.’ 25Abraham 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.j26Moreover, 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.’ 27He said, ‘Then I beg you, father, send him to my father’s house, 28for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ 29But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ 30* He said, ‘Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”k

This is a parable that I’ve heard many, many times over the 55 years I’ve roamed this earth, but THIS is the year that the Lord has deemed to reveal it to me in a deeply personal way.

A few months ago, in the confessional, Fr. S. told me that I should pray to see myself as the Lord sees me and while doing so it was also put upon my heart to see others as the Lord sees them.

Shortly after that spiritual encounter, and after praying this during my morning devotionals, I was working in town when I got a call from my sweet Rupert, and then from my first born, that the following was occurring: 1. They were at work 2. without cash and 3. they were both STARVING to death.  Cash was, and continues to be, very tight but in the midst of my running around I promised them both that I’d bring them something good to eat and I knew just the thing! We have a Chinese Buffet which is AMAZINGLY delicious BUT, even better, has a buffet where you can cram as much hot deliciousness as possible into one of their containers for only $7! Can you say “BARGAIN” boys and girls? I went to the bank and pulled the last $20 from my account with full knowledge that I could feed my boys AND still have enough left to get a snack for myself.

I pulled into the restaurant and hurriedly locked my car while dashing to the restaurant door. I passed by a young man, neatly dressed, locking up his bicycle.  As I swept by something made me look up and make eye contact with him – which is something I’d normally avoid.

He gave me a sweet smile and said “Ma’am, I promise, I’m not asking you for money, but I was wondering if you may be willing to buy me a meal?”

I quickly scanned my surroundings and noticed that the parking lot was empty and that the restaurant would not be unlocking their doors for another hour. I then selfishly began doing calculations in my head, realizing that I had no other money besides the $20 and if I gave it to this guy, then me and mine would be without!

Immediately, I was ashamed of myself. I looked closer at this young man and while neatly dressed, his clothing was threadbare, his bike was not very roadworthy, and he was woefully underdressed for the bitter cold wind that was beating at both of us.

I pulled out the $20 and said “of course, here you go. It’s enough for the buffet and to get a drink.”

He looked at the $20 in amazement and arching his back, stretching out his arms he began to proclaim God’s goodness and generosity. He looked at me and said “I’ve been so hungry, I was going to ask if they’d let me work in exchange for some food. I just asked God this morning to please help me and He brought me you! What were the chances we would meet up? I’ve been so hungry!”

His joy, his gratefulness, his humility was overpowering and I believe I did see him as does the Lord. A young man, on hard times, trying to earn a meal on a bitterly cold winter’s day.

I will never forget him or the lesson I learned that day. God wants us to see and to be aware that we all pass our Lazaruses on the street, but that Lazarus may have many guises. We need to lift our eyes and see Him in everyone.

We must not also forget that the Lord cannot be undone in his generosity! I got back into my car and picked up the phone to tell my boys that it was time for a Plan B, and you know what? Both of them said “oh, nevermind mom! A friend of mine just bought me lunch!”

Which just goes to show that what goes around comes around!

God is good! All the time!

All the time! God is good!

 

 

Painting for poser-artists!

Now, some of you know that I’ve taken these awesomely fun painting courses that they offer here in town. They are kinda, sorta an adult “paint by numbers but without the numbers” and may be frequented by no-talent posers like me. 😉

I’ve painted two of my beloved dogs (with varying results as you can see below!)

 

But it was fun and relaxing and most importantly they let you drink wine!!!!

But, the most fun I’ve had I have to say was when my beloved Rupert joined me for a night out. Now, aren’t these the most AMAZING paintings ever?? The image was suppose to be the state we live in, but we went RENEGADE and painted those cups all defiantly! In fact, when I asked the artist-instructor for pointers on improving my mug, I got a sniff and a “that’s fine, I’ve no suggestions” and flounced off to help the sheep in the class who were going along with the plan.

For a rule follower like me, it was heady and reckless and I’d do it again next time!

 

If nothing else, it was a beautiful respite from the tumultuousness that defines my life lately.

ps: feel free to leave LAVISH praise!  Kidding…not kidding  😉