Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Antidote to Hurricanes: A Psalm and Shalom

With hurricanes causing much havoc, I bring to you a most beautiful rendition of Psalm 91 (a promise of God's protection) by Harpa Dei There are more here: Psalm 91: Fifteen musical versions – Art & Theology ( I loved the Josquin adaption for 24 voices. We are praying for all in the path of Hurricane Ian. Nature is both so beautiful and devastating. I love satellite pictures. By the way, this young man with Dagny is Ian and she had so very much wanted to have a "hurrication" to visit him but her wiser nature prevailed. We've been teasing her about surviving Ian :) She's a good sport.

I had a piece on Guardian Angels published in the Sept. issue of Shalom Tidings. Always invoke your angel in times of distress. Aren't we blessed that God has appointed an angel to guide us? The more you listen to him, the more he prompts. Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel--we pray to him daily for his protection. I like to begin my day with a Glory Be to the Holy Trinity in honor of my guardian angel for keeping me safe. I love waking up with Jules beside me; she has the softest fur on her pretty belly. Here she is covering her face with her paws...instead of helping me type. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

A Gift: My Kim-Norman-Repurposed-Train-Case

It's like Christmas and birthday all rolled into one. A few months ago, Kim Norman, writer and artist extraordinaire posted an unusual post on her seeming lack of organizational skills, only to show how it feeds her creative life. I was delighted to see pictures of her wicker baskets and artistic projects from various items she's collected over the years and I especially enjoyed seeing how she's decorated her home from old things--picture books, jewelry, etc. And she has quite the collection of vintage make-up cases that she repurposes as well. And I--lucky me!--won one. 

Actually I'd forgotten about it because I'd not heard anything. But when Kim contacted me a couple of months later to let me know I'd won, I was over the moon! You see, I love little boxes and containers and have all sorts of them for various items--pens, pencils, paperclips, buttons, sewing supplies, etc. And here it is! I'm no artist, but I do so enjoy coloring psalm cards and sending them out. I also enjoy calligraphy and a coloring Bible. So now, the cards and pens and pencils all fit in the train case and I can take it out on the porch, instead of bringing two cupfuls of pens and the psalm cards, invariably dropping some of them on the way there. I love the blues and greens, the pattern paper that looks like sand and the compartments. Kim told me that the oil from the hands of the previous owner gave that interesting speckled pattern. I love such happy accidents. I am sure as my artistic skills develop, more items will find their way into this one-of-a-kind train case. I might even take it with me on my next train ride...

What a joy to be part of a writing community and to give and to receive gifts. Thank you, Kim! 

Monday, September 12, 2022


Today, on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, I am especially grateful to Joseph Zaccoli, who lost his father on 9/11 and made this beautiful painting commemorating it. And so we pray: 
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Some events are so important, you remember everything about them, where you were, what you were doing. On Sept. 11, 2001, I was at home with my babies--Dagny was just four months old, Max a toddler--listening to the radio when it was interrupted by a news story about the Twin Towers in NYC collapsing from commercial planes flying into them. Holy smokes. When I heard that the pentagon had been hit as well, and that another plane had crashed in PA, I wondered if Michael would be safe in Seattle. He was at an aircraft manufacturing convention downtown instead of at the Boeing factory. I was so relieved when he came home. We didn't have a TV but later that evening, I logged on our dial-up computer and saw the horrific pictures--the smoke, the people jumping to their deaths, the firefighters going in to save lives. I didn't know anybody personally who died there, yet over the years I met many people whose lives were changed by this event. Some who survived because they didn't go to work that Tuesday or were running late left the corporate world to pursue a rural life, others left to pursue a religious vocation, and for some, like us, it was the beginning of a conversion.

I've written about it before: Vijaya Bodach: Tragedy and Grace. But now, what a privilege it is to pray for those who died in that terrible terrorist attack. Yesterday, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (intentions for Michael), we had the catafalque, that represents all those who died in that tragedy. I thank them for their sacrifice because unbeknownst to them, they've had a share in our salvation. It's a mystery. I hope to meet you in heaven. Requiescat in pace!

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Texas Trip

It's September and Dagny has returned for her last semester at Ave Maria but I'm still not in a writing routine. Ideas are stacking up and it's a wonder my head hasn't exploded yet. Choir practice is starting up, so there's that. Discipline in one area usually carries over into other areas of my life. 

As is my habit, the pictures will speak more eloquently than my words. And yes, I still call myself a writer :)

Pictures from my Texas trip to visit my brother and sister and their families. We're almost twinnies :) Everybody in the family is so artful, but those two darling grandbabies are the finest works of art.  

The motorcycle was made by an artist in India using only wires, twisted and folded just so. Texas has 254 counties and my BIL has visited each and every one. He made that topological map! I just loved that Jenni keeps some of her spices in test tubes! Her little girl is so lucky to get to play with real fairy houses. 

At my brother's place--we laughed and cried and ate so much wonderful food all prepared by my SIL. Their daughter is following in her father's footsteps studying geology. She'll finish up the same time as Dagny so I'm hoping those two will connect. They share so many interests. 

What a joy for me to share my stories with the kiddos, big and small, listen to theirs, pray and sing together with my sister in beautiful St. Williams.

Alas, I brought a bug home from Texas--not Covid, not flu, not Strep--and it lodged in my upper chest and ear and even after two rounds of antibiotics, it's hanging about, so I'm turning to more traditional remedies like colloidal silver and there's improvement. But it's taken its toll on me. All the plans I had for writing went out the window. I scribbled in my journal and it's amazing how long it's taken me to again realize that it's okay to just be and not do. I've had a lovely time remembering every detail of my visit with my sweet family, entrusting them over and over to our blessed Lord, and reading. Oh, yes, I've read some wonderful books! But I'll save them for another time. Tell me, how did you fare this summer?