Archive for February, 2020

Neighbor watching!

Saturday, February 29th, 2020

When I wrote my book back in 2005 I was watching the neighbors on our block put up and take down hurricane shutters for the “old guy” across the street. Four times neighbors marched over to “Mr. Stark’s” house and put shutters up and took them down. When Chuck and I took a cruise and hurricane Irma struck, our neighbors cleaned up all the millions of yard toys I kept in my yard… and closed up our house and sheds. Last night my neighbor across the lake called us because she saw a bright light low in the street trained on the lot and space next to our house… It reminds me of what a neighbor is: One who keeps an eye on us and calls if something is amiss; one who doesn’t worry to call if she needs several potatoes; one who calls if she needs a baby diapered because she just hurt her shoulder…. Our neighbor Kathie called us when she fell off her stoop… she actually couldn’t use her right arm, but she was baby sitting her little great nephew. Chuck went over and diapered the baby and ensured Kathie would get to the emergency room. She had broken her shoulder in that fall! For months we cooked for her and I put her hair in pony tails while she healed. In a sense it was fortunate because that was the exact time we needed help in the rebuild of the back of our house after hurricanes Katrina and Wilma took our back roof off… and Kathie’s husband worked with us so he could be near Kathie! It was a true case of neighbors helping neighbors.

So! What’s the take away here? If you are like me… You appreciate a neighbor watching for you! If you are my neighbor, know that I’m checking your yard and doors occasionally and looking for you to be outside, working on your boat, hanging laundry, mowing the lawn or just out there picking up stuff. I try to be outside every day as sunlight is so important for us, and, so my neighbor will know, if she needs anything; we are here. Hey Kathie! Need a can of beans or milk….? Love you! God bless you. Angels with us.

To the Market or to Prayer?

Friday, February 28th, 2020

I tuned in the News to see if anything is happening…. I had news on when Sulli Sullenberger landed in the Hudson and saved a plane load of people! So occasionally I turn it on looking for something good And today… It’s the market dropping (again) and I went off to see what day of the month and what month it is on the Jewish calendar. The old Jewish state of Israel was warned to give the land a year off, feed the poor, and forgive all debts every 7 years… and the people (among other disagreements with God) did not follow the dictate. So God let Israel’s defences fall, in a sense, letting Israel be destroyed by the Assyrians and then Judah by the Babylonians. God never forgot his people, and after the land had rested for 70 years God inspired the Babylonian king Cyrus to let the people go back to Jerusalem. (the people had not observed the law of rest for 7 times 10 years give or take… anyhow they languished in Babylon for 70 years to make up for disobedience). So with markets falling and it attributed to Coronavirus, and my realization of Isaiah 9 how we “vowed” to rebuild after the towers fell, without asking God for forgiveness for our turning away from God (Pope called our abortion laws “a culture of death”)… Rather than begging God to defend us and turning to our Creator for help, we vowed to build back even greater…. So now, I wonder: we can’t beat this Coronavirus/Market falling thing as people are travelling worldwide, why don’t we all stay home for 2 weeks. Turn off business; EVERYBODY stay home. We would save half the electricity, gasoline, and water used in the world. Get out the books and games. Huddle around fires, eat popcorn, (we used to stock up peanut butter and crackers for hurricanes), go to bed early. Rest. Get over this push for money. EVERYBODY! I have not gone crazy; go get a book called The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. He’s not Catholic; in fact he is Jewish so he knows Isaiah and the laws…. I am checking every quote because it seems too much to be true and his facts check. You will need a Bible to check facts although he does footnote everything. …. When we are all finished… Rested; and the land has rested; Then take 2 people to vote with you. God bless us. Angels with us.

Prayer only

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020

My friend from church gave me a book to read based on Isaiah chapter 9… Isaiah prophesied the destruction of the kingdom of Israel if the priests, leaders, and people did not turn away from evil, idol worship, greed, sin all the stuff we hear about daily including desire for “our own way rather than God’s way.” From the start of page one chapter one I couldn’t believe how real the story was… Isaiah preaching to ancient Israel that the Lord pledged to protect the kingdom in honor of the love God had for Israaael and in honor of David who loved God… to today in America where we established a country with the Declaration of Independence to establish a nation under God… for people to celebrate religious freedom and peace. I have gathered up to read Isaiah and the Declaration of Independence, but I know already the words of the Declaration and of the second Inaugural Adress wherein Abraham Lincoln called upon his faith that God judges us based on our inhumanity to man… What happened to us? When did we turn into a war-like hateful country that banished God from the courthouse steps and from the school? I was so startled when the hospital asked if I wnted prayer before my cataract surgery. “Yes” and my RN stopped in her duties, with me all strung up to the IV. She took my hand and prayed a beautiful prayer thanking God for me and Dr Pearce. We never know with even the most banal of procedures that something might go wrong and… we are off to judgement. So I asked God, Mary and angels to be with me. For Mary to pray for me “at the hour of my death.” For an hour or maybe a little bit less I was asleep, breathing gas and being infused with sleeping medicine. I’m OK, thank God, and I will go on to live. But we must ask… what is our mission? What does God want? Each of us must ask and contemplate, what is in me? Is it a spirit? Is it a soul? Am I just a thing that rots and goes away when I die, or do I live on in spirit? Pascal said it would be better to believe in case it’s true… what if God and heaven exist? Believe now and receive the everlasting gift later on! If it does exist and I don’t believe it, I don’t get it! That’s quite a loss. God bless us! Have a beautiful sunny day. Look up! Angels with us.

Gentle dreams

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

I wrote this yesterday after cataract surgery. I was more than half blind! I would like to Thank God for the doctors who were able to make lenses for my glasses so I had 20-20 vision over the years because with the left eye patched, and no glasses on yesterday, I could not really see very well. I couldn’t see the television from 3 feet away and typing was ridiculously difficult! So I drafted a word document, and today, with eye patch off, and cataract-free eye working at almost 100%, I will make corrections and send along! Here it comes from yesterday!!!!

I just woke up from a great sleep after getting home from the hospital after having cataract removed from my left eye. I think I told you how one day about a month ago I closed one eye and said “wow the vision out of my left eye is foggy’… So even though I thought I could see… the right eye was doing a lot of work to keep things seeable. I do believe the last time my dear friend Saba corrected my vision with the best refraction she could do, she said she couldn’t correct that left eye to 20-20… oops , it was almost time for cataract surgery a year ago. In 2019, I missed my annual visit to Saba because we bought this house in Lake Placid and moved and I was busy with boxes and concrete slab and new shed and finding stuff and putting things away. Suddenly as many of you know, time passes by and …. It was almost a year later and past my refraction time. I did manage to slip in a mammogram though so I guess I got some good things done. So… I met Dr. Pearce here in Lake Placid. He is Austrian. His mother and Father’s families managed to get the children out of Austria in 1939. I think Dr. Pearce said his father lost his whole family which is really sad. Let us remember Auschwitz which was liberated 75 years ago this month. God bless millions of innocent people who are safe now. Both Dr. Pearce and his brother became healers. God bless them.

So today (Wednesday) Chuck drove me and I bravely marched into the hospital and I was nervous. It is a new hospital and all new people… AND so nice every one of them. I met all new gracious nurses and the RN who prepped me, put in my IV prayed for me! She thanked God for me and Dr. Pearce.

Advent Health is a Christian hospital with Scripture quotes and beautiful pictures on the walls. I could not read them or see the details because my glasses were now in a plastic bag with my clothes and shoes. I was wheeled into 3 lovely people in a surgery room who promised I would go right to sleep, but first the young man put an oxygen mask on my nose and said “breathe, it’s oxygen,” but I think the mask smelled funny, like medicine. “Now you will sleep”…. And they did something down by the IV and I woke up an hour later spitting out nasty tasting spit. I have to ask about that. Fortunately people watch and someone wiped it. I’ve never done that before. Note to self, was that the rubber oxygen mask or the anesthesia?

More gentle treatment and I was awakened and moved into “recovery”, a chair, apple juice, you know the drill…. And there was Chuck to take me home. We told the recovery nurse I wanted Eggplant rollatini with spinach and she suggested chicken soup… So we stopped at Publix and Chuck got chicken soup and chili. He is feeding two now. I ate half the soup, watched a little Hallmark and headed into a blissful sleep.
Remember Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird? I was Scout for a while, riding on skates in a little dress. The dress was little, because I was little. I don’t think I ever wore dresses and I know Scout didn’t like to wear them either. My Scout was a Tom girl growing up in sunny Miami! OH Then I was painting with my Sister Sarah and I wanted to learn how she paints the little beautiful dots all luminescent because someone wants to buy my painting with luminescent dots. (She really does and that is not a dream.). The fact that some one wants to buy my painting with luminescent dots is a dream. I slept sweetly for 2 ½ hours. And now am trying to recall more. Thank heaven I remember the dots. I’m drinking water. And I will try to watch the Mass if it is on at 7pm. My friend Karla told me the Scripture reading is about Jesus healing a man’s eyesight. Jesus wants us to be able to see. Later he will heal Bartimaeus who will see and understand and become a disciple and a witness! Pray for healing of our sight so we see what Jesus is and what he promises if we accept him as Lord. I thank God daily for all kinds of things: hooting birds, sunshine, our life here on the canal to the lake so beautiful; thank God that my eye doesn’t hurt, that I have beautiful sisters and friends, all the beauty God made for us. For anesthesia that allows us to be cut into, healed, and then have beautiful dreams!!! Maybe I’ll have a scrambled eggs sandwich with lots of lettuce layer. “OH Chuck!!!!! May I have a snack?”

Let us thank Jesus. Let us say thank you Mary. I prayed a lot of Hail Marys before surgery. My own mother must have been nearby. They both know I love them. Thank God for sending angels. Angels with us.

Is winter longer here?

Sunday, February 9th, 2020

The wind is coming out of the north today. The sky is clear promising another sunny, warm noon, but for now it’s “brisk” for this Miami girl. I say “brisk” and I mean chilly. A month of 60 degree mornings is chilly to me! Fortunately because we traveled a lot to the north and to ski country in our youth, we have long sleeved shirts and a few sweat pants. So I go outside to review my little lawn, my painted shed, the birds on the bird feeder, the one bird at the top of a tree, and my piece of the canal, and I contemplate… “winter is longer here than it was in Miami”. Chuck talks about the tropic zone “beginning” at Fort Pierce and heading south… well this is not the tropic zone in Lake Placid. And I love the difference. Today I’ll pull more weeds under a bush that has been overgrown since we moved here. With the end of the shed facing the street “finished,” I am pointing my face to weeding the “borders around flowers” for a few days until I start painting the long (32 feet long) wall on the side of the shed facing the neighbor and the west. History is happening in the primaries and I hope you willl vote. If the entire nation gets out to vote we will have four years of what the nation chooses. Go out there folks and vote!!! God bless you. Happy and blessed Sunday. Angels with us.

Notice color and light!

Thursday, February 6th, 2020

What do babies notice first? Bright colors, soft, light, their toes, bunnies, birds, butterflies. If the baby has laughed yet, you will hear gurgling laughter as if there were a private joke between bunny and child… (sometimes it takes a little while to get a laugh out of a quiet baby, but, wait….) and the babies’ fascination with these things makes us laugh! Let us try today to see and do what makes us laugh!

Notice what babies don’t like: darkness, mean faces, ugly words, loud, sudden noises, sharp. Stay away from the darkness, the sharp, voices saying mean things, angry faces that make babies cringe and cry, not laugh. God makes babies to respond to love. Babies have recently been embraced by angels. God bless you. Angels with you.

Angels with us

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t believe in angels, that angels are with us, serving as messengers from God and helpmates. We can’t see them when they are working… or if we pay careful attention, I’ll bet we could pick up the presence of angels at the birth of a baby or at the death of a loved one. When my mother was dying, I leaned over her one day and I felt a presence brushing up against my shoulder. Looking at mother too. It wasn’t my sister for she was out of the room at the time. Mother saw presences in her room. All positive. I don’t think mother ever feared. Thank God. I wonder if angels also prompt others to advise us, or whisper to us themselves when we are contemplating doing a wrong thing… Today in Mass we read from 2 Samuel 24. God had told the people not to count themselves, not to want a king, not to give every thing to a King who would take their sons and daughters to cook for him and fight for him, but the people wanted a king, “Just like the other countries around them.” “Don’t do it” said the prophets, but they did. Then when David decided to count the people so he could “organze his armies,” Joab said, “don’t do it; leave these things to the Lord.” (I’m paraphrasing). You have heard this advice; “don’t do it.” But David did do it to count “his people” then he realized immediately he had sinned against God, and he begged mercy. This is one of the reasons that God loved David so much. The man was a fighter and a leader, but he was proud…. He was just built that way. God had mercy. Anyhow, who was doing all that whispering in David’s ear and who does the whispering in our ears?

As Sacristan at daily Mass, I have to pick the hymn, and I can’t read music, and I don’t know many hymns enough to start the singing. I opened the book on Tuesday morning (yesterday) and it fell open to “On this day, O beautiful Mother, on this day we give you our love.” We reserve songs to Mary for her feast days and days in May when, as a small child, I used to march with other little girls to bring flowers to Mary. When I announced the song, people started singing it, most from memory. We started Mass with a smile! Mary is the most important whisperer we have. So on that same morning…

For 2 months or so I’ve had the name and number of the eye doctor my new internist has recommended. The doctor, an opthalomologist, is a Board certified graduate of Johns Hopkins, Emory and Tulane. Been here since 1985. He isn’t a fly by night. What was holding me back from making the phone call for an appointment? I loved our eye doctor from Miami, friend and Emmaus sister Saba Millares. I just was resisting leaving her. Then one day, I closed my right eye probably to judge the size of something and I realized, “The left eye is blurry, … a lot!” People have been telling me, “No the moon does not have a hazy circle around it…” But I resist resist change. So yesterday, after Mass, grocery shopping, and gas fillup, I was picking up Chuck’s formal shirt from the dry cleaner and a voice whispered… “the eye doctor is right next door.” “I guess I’ll go over and make the appointment and save myself a phone call I won’t make.” I walked in and 2 ladies greeted me and heard my request, “I’ve moved and I need a full complete eye exam, it’s been a year, and I might have a cataract.” “Come right in; we have just had a cancellation!” the receptionist said! “OH I have groceries in the car…” “I have a refrigerator,” she said. So I was inside the gates. Plopped into a chair and tested, dilated, examined, and the doctor, regaled me with stories of his experiences in Miami while he waited for me to dilate. He looked in and he said, “you are an easy diagnosis. You have cataracts.” He then explained how our lens is clear when we are born but get cloudy. He also showed me what the new lens will do. He will correct my vision at the same time but not to 20/20. He said I haven’t seen 20/20 since I was 5 when I got my first glasses. He said that would be a big shock. He showed me how a near sighted person can’t see far but can read well. And indeed I can read tiny type without my glasses. So, it’s scheduled. A pre op on Feb 11 and surgery on the left eye Feb 19. I’ll bring all the chest studies so the anesthesiologist has my aneurysm info. All will be well! Why do I know that? Because I have faith that what the Bible tells me is so! Remember we used to sing, “Jesus loves me; The Bible tells me so!” Go do something you have been resisting. (Well do it if it’s the right thing to do…. don’t go out and rob a gas station. If you have been resisting that it is a good thing!) God bless us. Angels with us!

Ice cream??? Oh No!

Sunday, February 2nd, 2020

I gave in and bought ice cream as it was a BOGO. I got our favorite flavors, moose tracks and turtle tracks first introduced to us by Heather… I had held out strongly until we were outside the Publix with my credit card clutched in my hand… for milk. We had such a good time at Renee’s eating Renee’s Lamb and at a lovely French restaurant in Winter Park. Then Chuck and I went to Winter Haven and ate dinner at Arabella’s, a small lovely Italian restaurant on Main Street in Winter Haven. …. Then we went to the submarine memorial and meeting with barbeque with 51 submariners and wives. Filled with great flavors, I couldn’t resist the ice cream. Once one begins to sin… sin becomes easy. I didn’t regret it until I tried to put on long pants this morning. Capris were not an issue as it was cold (66 degrees) and I was 2nd lector and I had to get up and read twice. We are supposed to dress up a little. I pinned my pants closed… and hanging my head over needing to lose weight and not doing it…. went to read. After Mass I came back to meet our friends Rick and Penny who came up to the memorial in Bartow and spend the night with us… We went to the Americn cafe and had a beautiful breakfast. Then we went to the Lake Placid festival. It was chilly, but warm in the sunshine. What a lovely place with friendly people. We looked long into the eyes of a Cur-Shepherd whose owners just couldn’t take care of her…. But I don’t think we are ready to adopt a puppy yet. What I’m going to do and I’m trying to talk Chuck into… is volunteer at the Humane Society to walk dogs and generally serve and make sure we feel we want a dog and will be responsible parents. If I were making this decision on my own, I would take her home, but there are two of us and we need to share the responsibilities. The humane society will do all the vet work for a small fee after the dogs are adopted and I am sure they help new adoptive parents… be parents. So pray for us that we find the right fit. I also met some wonderful folks at the Art society booth and I’ll do a painting class or two and get myself kick started. We bought a beautiful copper angel fish for the shed and I will copy it to make 2 for the shed! Home now with a list of things to do while the Super Bowl preview is on. I like Super Bowl Sunday and just enjoy one full day of football! Have a wonderful week. God bless you and keep you warm!!! Angels with us.