Saturday, December 29, 2012

On Vacation


On Vacation.
Wishing you a Happy New Year.
See you in 2013!

Cathy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIb6AZdTr-A

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Interlude



Gone in an instant
The wrappings and bows
The moments of surprise and delight
Take flight
Tumultuous the fanfare
And quiet the aftermath
A year’s interlude
A month of preparation
Fleeting so quickly
I wouldn’t change a thing


Cathy


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas

To all

And Christ’s Peace

Always

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sleigh Ride




Dreams of a white Christmas
Fill the air
As much as the dreams of Santa
Coming down the chimney
Images of Currier and Ives
And covered bridges of New England
With horse-drawn sleighs
Bring smiles to the faces
Of young and old alike
As the approaching holiday
Recreates our fondest memories


Cathy

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Gift Of Giving



There are many ways of giving a gift. There is only one way to give unconditional love. That is to give without the expectation of getting something in return.

At this holiday time of gift giving, the gifts come with good thoughts, best intentions, beautiful wrappings and the usual exchanges from one to another. Very often comparisons come into play: equal costs, what did I give last year and what did I receive. The ultimate gift is to give with no expectation attached…now, at the time of giving without any past comparisons and no future thoughts applied to it… a gift of perfection in the moment. With no future attachments, the receiver bears no burdens of reciprocity. Their joy and love completes the transaction. They in turn can take the moment of perfection and do as they wish…live in the joy of the moment, pay it forward to another or just relive the moment whenever the thought comes to mind. Without the burden of reciprocity, pure love and joy lives forever.

The season of Christmas is a season of giving. The greatest gifts are given without the expectations of receiving which is what Jesus did in His life. When we attend Mass, we hear and celebrate the words…”Do this in memory of me.” Jesus asks only that we pay it forward. Give your love freely and continually as unconditional love taught by The Master.

Cathy



Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Handmade Christmas




Popcorn strung in a row
Ribbons tied to branches
Gingerbread cookies
Paper-chain garland
Pipe-cleaner stars
Homemade candy
Hand written letters to Santa
Construction paper ornaments with glitter
Macaroni wreaths sprayed gold
Hand-made candles
Pinecones brought in from the cold
Boughs of green along the mantle
Packages wrapped with ribbons and bows
Quilted stockings by the fireplace
A rocking chair staged for old stories to be told
Choir books for new voices to sing
Each Christmas handmade with love



  
Cathy


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It’s Almost Christmas


Joy
Love
Gift Giving
Anticipation
Apprehension
Lists For Santa
Wrapping Paper
Sugar Plums Dancing
Christmas Cards Mailed
Stockings Hung With Care
N
O
E
L
It’s Almost Christmas…Excitement Fills The Air!





Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Question To Ponder


The other day I met a little boy. With December in full swing, I expected him to talk to me of snow, Christmas and other holiday topics. He looked me straight in the eye and said…”Do you have food in your refrigerator?” It literally took my breath away. I
paused, although I was trying not to pause or look upset by his question. I simply responded, “Yes.” He asked no more questions and neither did I.

Coincidentally, I was on the Internet soon after and came across an article about world hunger. As I read, I found the statistics startling.
·        Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger
·        20,864: the number of people who have died today
·        2,073,588: people in this world will die from hunger this year
·        15 million children will die from hunger this year

36 million in the USA experience hunger including 13 million children annually.
The current USA population is 312, 000,000 people; third in the world behind China & India.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” 
 Mother Teresa

This holiday season, please make an effort to donate to ease the pain of hunger. Most supermarkets have a bin for food donation to supply a local food pantry. Most communities and many churches have a food pantry. With statistics like these, every effort matters. 


Cathy












Monday, December 17, 2012

Illumination




As I gaze up towards the heavens
Into the indigo skies
The millions of stars reflected
Twinkling in my eyes
I realize their light
Is merely us
Reflecting back the day
For we are illuminated each day
By the sun
And as the moon is reflecting
This same light
So do the stars shine of us
For the ephemeris clear
Reflects our hearts
Our radiance
Our light
And smiles back to us
In a spectacular array
That we may examine the accounts
Of our encounters
At this so special a time of year
We pay closer attention
To the heavens
A shooting star
To catch our eye
As Christmas approaches
A sign
A light
A miracle
An angel perhaps
With a message
Just for us
Yet the message has already been sent
Some time ago
Peace acclaimed
To all
A message so powerful
It was never forgotten
On the eve of a night
With a midnight so clear
It was a reflection of us
Our light shining so bright
A journey not over
But an ending in sight
A Christmas star with a tail so bright
To tell a tale of eternal light
A light that shone ever so bright
In the hearts of all
With a reminder
To look not to the night
For the light
But within
And not just in yourself
But within all
For this is the light
That you gaze at each night
The twinkle in God’s eyes
Of us
In His ever watchful sight
Never forgotten
Always in reach
As we illuminate the skies


Cathy


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Restoration


Mending a broken heart
Takes love and forgiveness
A difficult task
Seemingly insurmountable
When the emotions are high
When wounds are fresh
Multiplied
    Ties are more complicated              
Entangled
Extended pain
Takes many hearts and hands
To unravel the heartaches
Of the deepest wounds
To give the love and respite
Needed by the grieving
To continue
For recovery
And
Restoration


Dedicated to all in pain.



Cathy

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The True Spirit Of Christmas




In the small town of Possum Trot, Texas, population 700, a commitment to give more as a community was made. As a town and parish worked together, homes were found for 76 foster children over the course of a decade. Their story is told in the two sites listed below. Their truth and legacy is that Christmas does live everyday in the hearts of these people. The truth is in their actions and their legacy lives in their children.

To quote Donna Martin, one of the ladies interviewed…”The Lord may not come when you want Him, but He always comes on time!

Generous donations were made to the families, children and parish by Wal-Mart to help this very needy town whose food bank had been closed.

Cathy




Friday, December 14, 2012

Authentic Inner Peace



“A great question to ask yourself as we celebrate the end of our year (and even the end of an era) is this: How may I serve others so that they may have what I desire? The answer to this seemingly contradictory question holds the key to authentic inner peace.”

 Wayne Dyer


At this time of the year we may question so many things. The holiday season can bring stress, confusion and uncertainty in the quote “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all men.” Finding inner peace means more than just giving, more than just doing and wishing good. The greater question is this…’do you wish greater for others than you do for yourself?’ This is a generosity seldom sought and measured. Ultimately it states that you will be happy only when others will be complete in their peace and happiness…a high mile-marker.

Wayne Dyer you may know from his shows on PBS. An author and motivational speaker, he constantly strives to find, explain and achieve the balance of spirituality desired for us to be fulfilled in our lives.  I do hope you find his sites as insightful as I do.

Cathy





Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holiday Recipes



With the holidays upon us, I’ve taken the time to find some easy recipes for your last minute holiday planning.  The recipes are easy with few ingredients. Some are no-bake for those on the run. I hope this helps your busy holiday schedule.

Enjoy!

Cathy










Graham Cracker Gingerbread Video: http://www.marthastewart.com/holidays




Sandy Relief Concert

12 12 12 concert

  
One thought, shared, became a collective effort. Over thirty million dollars were raised in just ticket sales alone. Congratulations to those who designed and produced the show along with all the supporters of this great effort.

Cathy




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Winter Fairies



As we prepare for winter
The path has already been prepared for us
The Keepers of Frost and Snow
Know what is to come
And are at peace in their knowing
All is in order


Cathy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Spirit

Taunton, MA



Washington, DC



I do love looking at the lights. They just brighten your heart while dazzling the eyes. Knowing that so many are sharing the spirit of the season gladdens my heart. Here are a few pictures of Christmas trees from near to far…all lighting the way to Dec. 25th.

Cathy

Boston


NY






Saturday, December 8, 2012

Feast of the Immaculate Conception




Mary our Patroness of both our local parish and the USA is celebrated today, Dec. 8th. For Mary to be free of sin and original sin for the birth of her Son, Jesus, she had been prepared her entire life for this her time and purpose. She was prepared to be the model mother, teacher and counsel for her Son. Although so young, she accepted her vocation with grace and inner strength. Her devotion to God and the life paved before her met with her belief that God would be ever present to help her along her path.

As she was guided, so should we continue our devotion to her as mentor and mediator to God and the Trinity. Her guidance will help us find our inner peace that we may put peace into our daily lives.

This month, dedicated to the birth of Christ Jesus, cannot be separated from her life and her connection to us, all her children, and all one in the Church.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.

Cathy


Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed are thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. 
Amen.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Root Of Jesse




Tree of Jesse

While most of us well remember the four weeks of Advent with the lighting of the purple and pink candles on the wreath, I have the memory of the Root of Jesse in our Advent season. There was always a bare tree in our December decorations about the room. There were winding branches and roots reaching up and down…a tree both grounded and reaching out.

I thought that I would refresh my memory and found that the entire month of December is dedicated to the Root of Jesse, which is of course Jesus our Savior. The tree represents the lineage of Jesus in the House of David and the continuity of his genealogy in His Tree of Life.

One website has a notation of celebration for every day from Dec. first through Dec. twenty-fourth up to the birth of baby Jesus. On this chart, today, Dec. 7th is the celebration of the Root of Jesse. There are many ‘Trees of Jesse’ noted on the Internet, which I personally have never seen. An ornament is placed on a branch each day in celebration of the ‘coming of light’ of Christmas. It would appear to have a direct correlation with our current Christmas tree traditions.

O Come, O Come Emmanuel is the song most associated with this celebration. I have chosen two songs for your enjoyment.

May your Christmas season be one of continuing celebration.

Cathy

24 days of Jesse tree:




O Come, O Come Emmanuel:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VItsGtI1RX0

O Antiphons:


Root of Jesse

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Everyday Can Be Christmas



We all know the song “Why Can’t Everyday Be Like Christmas”. With a little thought and effort everyday can. The first Christmas didn’t come with packages and bows. It came quietly for a young family amidst difficult social settings. With all the setbacks, they triumphed and celebrated the birth of a child. This single moment in time is still celebrated today.

All we must do each day is to find that moment and celebrate it. Seldom does a daylong celebration come along. Moments are what smiles are made of. Moments of happiness and triumphs over adversities are woven into our lives and memories. These are what make our Christmas last the whole year through.

I’ve selected a few pictures from this past year from our collective family as moments that have been celebrated.

Enjoy.

Cathy

Cutest Butterfly

Grand-Girls

Jake

Heather & Noah

Shane & friend

Monday, December 3, 2012

Keeping Things Under Wrap






The Christmas season can be a bit hectic & frantic. The Thanksgiving bird is barely carved and we kick into a higher gear for a full month… planning & shopping, shopping and planning and so much more. We need lists, cards, gifts, food, and above all… the time to do it all as the everyday routine doesn’t come to a halt for us nor the holiday season at hand.

My greatest insight to this is us! Yup…us! There’s nary an email since Thanksgiving. I know I’ve been very busy. There’s no bantering back & forth on the net as there was a month ago. We wasted no time getting into typical holiday mode.

I know I allow my memories of us from the past year to come and go and flow through the routined brainwaves of life. The cup of tea and a quiet moment brings grateful flashbacks of our get-togethers. These moments are a great joy…a pause in the day before rejoining the daily routine.

I hope you are enjoying the season. I have found comfort in the Christmas music on the radio…like an old friend…familiar, relaxing and cheerful….a lot like us for the other eleven months of the year.

Happy holiday mode to all.

Cathy


Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Piano Guys

The Piano Guys


As I was watching TV today, I saw this music group and immediately headed for You Tube to see what else they had to offer. It was love at first sight for me. I loved the music, their talent, senses of humor and the way they all blended together. In the first video there is one instrument, five guys and one mind. It is amazing to watch them moving, playing and singing together as one.

The following three videos are Christmas related. I hope you enjoy them.

Cathy



And for your Christmas listening pleasure:






Friday, November 30, 2012

Measuring Your Life





3600 seconds per hour
1440 minutes per day
168 hours per week
365 days per year


How do you measure your time? Do you glance at your calendar for a monthly glance? Do you check your daily itinerary?  Are your days measured by your time-off…
vacations, long weekends, coffee breaks? Did the day fly by…or was it the year? Was it all a blur? 

Is your time measured in accomplishments or regrets…what you didn’t do? Is it measured in love? Consider those you have touched in your life. Remember those who have reached out to you. If it brings a smile to your face, then the moment was filled with love. If it tugged at your heart, then it’s worth repeating. If you long for that feeling again, then make it part of your daily life.

Love’s the answer. Reflect and act according to that which makes your heart smile.
Love is there. Love is all around you. Let it in, let it out and share the moment.

Love is all there is. Tis the season to love.

Cathy



Thursday, November 29, 2012

Driven




A vibrant bloom
The final testament to spring
Summer and fall
Not yet a faded glory
Surviving a frost
Defying the snow
Beckoning the sun
For a last ray of warmth
Before its slumber
Winter’s hibernation
Affirming its return
Manifesting its beauty
For the springs thaw
With the tenacity
Driven by
Mother Nature herself


Cathy


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Operation Homefront





This Christmas, one way we can support our troops is by contributing to Operation Homefront. This is just one of a number of organizations supporting our veterans and their families year-round. Many stores are participating in their support during this holiday season. Please look for their logo at participating stores and websites. A number of informational websites are listed below as well as their supporting companies.

Cathy








Dept. of Veterans Affairs:  http://www.volunteer.va.gov/




Monday, November 26, 2012

All Things Great And Small




“E pluribus Unum”
“Out of many, one”

There are times that we think we don’t or can’t make a significant difference in the world. Only large corporations can make a difference may be one excuse we could make for not taking a positive stand for a cause. They have more money, influence or power than an individual could be our next justification. BUT…what happens when many take a stand for a united cause? Community action results.

Here is a website listing five interactive charities. The minimum donation for one is just one dollar; another is five dollars per month.


These sites allow you to choose your cause and collectively use the money with other contributors. Every dollar and intention is counted. When budgets are tight for all, including communities and schools, every penny counts.

If such a commitment, as the ones listed on this site, may still be out of reach for some please consider giving a penny. 

 

Mark 12:41-44

New International Version (NIV)

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

So many times we empty our pockets for the burden of carrying spare change. A large jar or vase usually comes in handy for such a collection. Many of us have just such a jar. Pennies almost seem like a bother to tote around…yet their value is still there or they would have been eliminated. Online I found that a pound of pennies is worth about $1.90. It would seem that a ‘penny drive’ would well be worth your time. There are many a pocket, purse and piggybank with forgotten pennies. Every person’s donation, including that of a child, would be valued. Everyone would be able to afford a contribution. Penny collections could be intended for a specific cause. It would be fun to watch the numbers rise.

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat;
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do,
If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you.

There are many in this world without a ha’penny. If you have a spare penny, please consider putting it towards a worthy cause.




God Bless,

Cathy