Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend Rerun

The National League champions have been crowned (congratulations Phillies!). 

The New York Yankees are the American League champions. (Boo!) Oh, did I say that out loud? I'm sorry. I have never been a Yankees all stems from my days, long past, following the KC Royals.

In honor of one of America's favorite pastimes, this week's weekend rerun will feature the song stylings of my daughter Bethany, performing the National Anthem at a local minor league game this past summer.

Oh say can she sing!

I apologize for the orientation of the video...I cannot figure out, for the life of me, how to edit and rotate! I'm so technologically challenged!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Giveaway! And an SOS

Heads up!

There's an awesome giveaway over at The Domestic Mama. Just click here. As a recipient of a previous prize package I can assure you that you won't be disappointed should you win.

Good luck.

On another note, Julie, over at My Good Babushka, has written the following:


"I have just read there is no unemployment extension and we are at the end of our benefits. If any readers out there could circulate my etsy shop address, that would be a big help to our family." 

You can reach Julie's Etsy site by clicking here.

A Halloween Tale

A True Love Story

Long ago, back in the Land of Sunflowers and Giant Grain Silos, lived Little Polly Parrot. Poor Polly Parrot. She was stuck in a job she hated, dreaming of the day when she could spread her feathers and fly the coop. As luck would have it, that day came sooner, rather than later. 

One autumn day, a wolf, in sheep's clothing, came down to visit the company Polly Parrot worked for. He was curious as to how this company earned it's golden accreditation. You see, he wanted a golden accreditation all for himself! He decided that the only way to receive this rare treasure was to lure Polly Parrot away from her humble nest. She was wined, dined and flown to the Land of Buckeyes and Lake Effect Snow. Polly Parrot  feared that if she didn't seize the moment she might forever dread opportunities missed. "Yes!" she shouted.,"I will see that you obtain the golden accreditation that you seek and so greatly yearn!" For Polly Parrot knew just what those sly regulators, who hoarded those golden accreditations, were looking for. So Polly Parrot got her wish and, with a mixture of both fear and excitement, flew far away from the wheat fields and prairie grass and found herself a new nest in a magical land north of the Bengal's den.

Meanwhile, a bit earlier that fall, a silly but handsome young wizard left his home in the Land of Longhorns and Yellow Roses for his magic was no longer needed there. He returned to his beloved home state. He, too, found a new dwelling in the Land of Buckeyes, where he began his new wizarding contract.

Three days after Sweet Polly Parrot arrived to this enchanted land came All Hallow's Eve and the annual Spook's Ball! How exciting! Polly Parrot decided to attend this festivity with her new friend, Jennifer of Sales. Oh what fun they would have.  Maybe, just maybe, she could make a new friend or two.

Across the village, the handsome young wizard and a few of his wild apprentices were looking for a way to spend a Saturday evening. Ah, the Spook's Ball! That should be fun. They decided to make an appearance. Maybe they'll meet someone special on whom they can practice their magic and their charm,  weaving enticing spells.

Polly Parrot, dressed in her finest feathered frock, timidly arrived at the ball. Oh what clever and friendly characters she met there. The Cattle of Dairy were quite silly and the Ski Bunnies a bit revealing. What an assortment of ghosts, ghouls and goblins to behold! There was also a lost and lonely Mr. Sombrero Man lurking about. Sad, sorry Sombrero Man. Unbeknownst to Polly, Mr. Sombrero Man was enamored and had his eye on her. 

Alas, someone else had their eye on Pretty Polly Parrot. It was that handsome young wizard. Yes, he was indeed intrigued by her glamor, her beauty, her stature (or lack thereof) and...well, her beak. As if under a powerful enchantment he had never encountered before, he couldn't help himself...he strode across the room with a mighty swagger and (dare I say it?) tweaked her beak! Magic and fireworks filled the air! It was love at 1st sight! The spell was cast. This wonderful wizard and the lovely parrot were inseparable! They danced the night away and stole kisses in the cold, crisp autumn air.

What about Mr. Sombrero Man?  Apparently he got caught up in the magic of night, too. For he spent the next few hours lingering near Polly's side, hoping to catch her eye. Unfortunately for him, she only had eyes for the handsome and silly young wizard, the man who would eventually become Mr. Sister.

The end.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Empty Table

…You've prepared a marvelous meal to serve to some very special guests. You've doted on this meal, lovingly making sure everything is just right. You have used the finest of ingredients, the bounty of the harvest. You have set out your very best china and linens. You have painstakingly prepared everything to perfection. At the last minute your guests arrive. They grab the feast, take it, and leave to dine in another’s home. All you are left with is an empty table and a broken heart…

This was part of a most amazing blog post. The original post was scheduled to appear right here, in this very spot. Today. You would have really enjoyed it. It had a little of everything:  religion, intrigue, scandal. Yep. It was a doozy all right.

Fortunately, this morning, a cooler head prevailed. I deleted the publication for it may have caused more harm than good. But boy, oh boy, it felt so good getting it out of my system!

Tomorrow’s post will more than make up for what you missed out on today. I promise!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Haiku Wednesday

Join the fun!

This week's theme: Halloween

Boo! Scream! Screech! Squeal! RUN!
Ghastly goblins, ghouls, and ghosts
Tricking for our treats!

Thank goodness for faith!
All Saints' Day follows this 'eve.
Please pray for our souls!

You guys should know me by now...I had to add a faith based connection!

To participate in the weekly Haiku Wednesday posts, please click on the photo above and follow the directions. Can't wait for you to join us!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Married a Geek

If you haven't guessed by Mr. Sister's guest blogging appearances, I am married to a geek. I have visual proof of this fact.

Mr. Sister's laptop.

Not "geeky" you say? I beg to differ. See how he's attached a keyboard? What about the wireless mouse with a DVD cover as a mouse pad? See how he uses my bentwood chair as a desk? Honey...they call it a LAPtop for a reason, you know.

Yeah, I thought you'd see it my way.

All in all Mr. Sister may be a geek, but he's MY GEEK! And I love him!

Speaking of love, there is an awful lot of love going around the blogosphere these days. My friend Holly over at 504 Main gave me not one but TWO blog awards! How cool is that? (If you haven't done so, please go check her blog out. She's got a style all her own and will make you feel quite at home)

Anyway, here is what she generously gave me:

The Heartfelt Blog Award followed by...

The 2009 Friendly Blogger Award.

Wow! Could life get any better? I'm unsure of the "rules" of acceptance but I think the awards speak for themselves. 

I'd like to pass the Heartfelt Award on to the following blogs who always write from the heart:

Musings of a Catholic Lady
Jumping Tandem
From Misery to Happiness in 365 Days

For the Friendly Blogger Award...hmmmmm...this one is difficult. All of the blogs I follow and all of the bloggers who either follow me or comment on my postings have been the friendliest bunch I've ever run across. You are the best blogging buddies this gal could ever hope for. With that said, I pass this on to ALL OF YOU! Take it. It's yours! Don't be shy now!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Musings

Dear Carolina Panthers,

I took a vacation day from work so I could attend the game yesterday. I don't think I'll ever do that again! What a miserable and pathetic game. It didn't help that I was surrounded by Buffalo Bill fans and disgruntled Panther fans. Not fun, not fun at all.

What in the world happened to you? Statistically, based on total yards, 1st down conversions, etc. we should have won that game. Now Jake...I've been defending you all year but don't think I can anymore. 3 interceptions for a league high of 13 for the year. We're not going to win games that way. And you, offensive line...don't think you're off the hook. Run your patterns and just maybe we could have averted an interception or two. Oh and Mr. Kasay...are you ill? You NEVER miss short yardage field goals. I'd be happy to send some chicken soup your way. I'll cut you a little slack...THIS TIME. As far as defense goes, where were you Mr. Peppers? Yeah, yeah, yeah, one sack. Big whoop. You're making the big bucks to put forth a little more effort than what you've been doing this year. Your performance has been abysmal to date.  I'm going to have to call your mama. Maybe she can knock some sense into you. 

Oh, management? I hope you've learned you cannot put your eggs all in one basket both offensively (Delhomme) and defensively (Peppers). First off, Jake is getting older, and we should have a QB in the wings to take over should this type of game happen again. Sorry, and I really hope I'm wrong on this, Matt Moore ain't ready. And what in the world were you thinking signing Julius Peppers when HE DIDN'T WANT TO PLAY HERE? You had to let go of some pretty solid football players in order to free up salary cap room to keep him. This season definitely shows what a boneheaded decision that was. 

We've been fortunate that we've been able to sell those tickets to the games that take place when I work (and may I say thank God that is most of the games this season). You all keep playing this way, I'm going to make you buy back the tickets we can't sell. 

Disgruntedly yours,

Mrs. Sister

PS  I have no beef with you, Steve Smith or with you, DeAngelo Williams. You both always put forth 100% effort and I enjoy catching moments of brilliance during each and every game you play. 

On a Happier Note

Lee, from Headaches, Hotflashes and Hormones awarded little ol' me with the following:

I couldn't be more thrilled. Why? Because it came from Lee. I mean, she's like one of the blogging greats! She's bent on blog domination you know. I told her if I keep getting awards like this I'll be nipping at her heels in no time. Go check her out. Her blog is quite silly and irreverent and makes for a great read. Thank you Lee!

And since I'm in a giving mood this morning I'd like to pass this on to one of my dear, dear, blogging friends, Su at This Stop Willoughby. She has been a constant support since the very beginning of this blogging venture of mine. She has also been of great support and help to me on a personal level too. Su, this one's for you, with all my heart and love. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sacred Sunday

Welcome to my (hopefully) weekly Sacred Sunday post. 

DISCLAIMER:  I envision these posts as a way to share the faith that, upon my conversion 15 years ago, made me who I am today. It is by no means meant to be a  way to proselytize but rather a sincere effort to explain why certain practices, saints, Bible verses or hymns are important to me. There may even be an occasional catechism lesson of why Catholics do what we do. I hope you find these weekly musings informative.

I have a confession to make...

I don't hold hands during the "Our Father".  I know, I know. Many do. I don't. I have some very valid reasons why that I'd like to share with you.  Before I go on, I insist that you understand that I am not implying that this practice is wrong. It is a valid tradition in many faiths. It is, however, a relatively recent phenomenon occurring in the Catholic church. 

I have both personal and doctrinal reasons for choosing not to participate in this gesture. First and foremost is this act is not, nor ever has been, a part of the liturgy of the Mass. Period. In the liturgy of the Mass, the Our Father is said after the consecration of the Holy Eucharist, where bread and wine actually become the body and blood of our dear Lord Jesus. Our whole being and focus should be upon Christ Jesus. I personally find it very distracting and disconcerting to have a stranger, in the pew, trying to grab my hand. In essence, I equate it with having my prayer interrupted for my concentration is shifted from where it should be. Additionally, it assumes an intimacy, a communion, before actual real and true communion takes place.  

I, however, am not eloquent and, in actuality, still a "child" in my spiritual journey. Because of that I will end my Sacred Sunday post quoting an article on the topic by Father  William Saunders: 

Throughout the Mass, various gestures are prescribed for both the priest and the faithful worshipers. For example, we begin and end Mass by making the sign of the cross; during the Confiteor, we strike our breast; we sign ourselves with the cross on the forehead, lips, and heart at the proclamation of the Gospel; during the Creed, we bow at the words professing our faith in the incarnation of our Savior; we kneel during the Eucharistic Prayer and after the Lamb of God; and we receive Holy Communion either on the tongue or the hand.

All of these prescribed physical gestures help make the act of worship at Mass one which involves our whole being, body and soul, thought, words, and actions. They also help create a spiritual disposition to receive our Lord in Word and Sacrament. Moreover, these gestures are prescribed, just as the readings from Sacred Scripture and the Order of the Mass are, to make the Sacrifice of the Mass a unified act of worship throughout the whole Church — in a sense, every Catholic is doing the same thing, the same way. To find the rubrics (regulations which govern the Mass) concerning these gestures, one may turn to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (1970), On Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery Outside of Mass (1973), Instruction on Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery(1980), and Instruction on Certain Norms Concerning the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery (1980).

However, in all of the liturgical documents for the universal Church or of those particular ones issued by the United States Bishops Conference, no where is the holding of hands during the Lord's Prayer mandated. Frankly, this gesture arose among the various liturgical innovations in the aftermath of Vatican Council II. Perhaps the holding of hands was introduced with good intentions to highlight the unity of the congregation as they pray, "Our Father," not "My Father." Yet, if unity is the key, then should we not be holding hands throughout the entire Mass?

The unity that is sought really comes later and after a spiritual progression: First, we fall on our knees as the priest offers the sacrifice of the Mass: we recall not only our Lord's passion, death, and resurrection but also our need as individuals to offer ourselves to Him. Second, we pray in the words our Savior taught us, the Lord's Prayer, in which we ask, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," even the person next to us in the pew. Third, we offer the Sign of Peace, a gesture found in the earliest Masses to show a genuine unity based on peace and forgiveness. Finally, we receive Holy Communion, which truly brings us into communion with our Lord and with each other. Looking at the logic of this spiritual progression to real unity, the holding of hands at the Our Father is extraneous.

Can a congregation hold hands anyway, even if it is extraneous? While no one can find fault if a husband and wife, or a family want spontaneously to hold hands during the Lord's Prayer, the priest does not have the right to introduce, mandate, or impose it. The Code of Canon Law (1983) does mandate: "The liturgical books approved by the competent authority are to be faithfully observed in the celebration of the sacraments; therefore, no one on personal authority may add, remove, or change anything in them" (Canon 826.1). (Note that this Canon repeated a previous mandate found in both Vatican II's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1963) and the Instruction on the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery, No. 45 (1967), which was issued to address certain abuses arising in the liturgy after the council.) Therefore, a priest who introduces, mandates, or imposes the holding of hands during the Lord's Prayer is violating the norms set by the Church.

The Church also reminds the priest, who is the guardian of the sacraments and who acts in persona Christi in offering the Mass: "The priest should realize that by imposing his own personal restoration of sacred rites he is offending the rights of the faithful and is introducing individualism and idiosyncracy into celebrations which belong to the whole Church" (Third Instruction on the Correct Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, No. 1 (1970)). A person in the pew should not feel obliged or coerced to hold hands with someone else during the Lord's Prayer, yet congregational "peer pressure" could easily lead to such feelings. One can only imagine how intimidated a person must feel by the rest of the congregation if he does not desire to hold hands, whether because of personal preference or because of another reason such as arthritis.

Granted, the holding of hands during the Lord's Prayer seems to have become almost a tradition in some parishes throughout the country. Nevertheless, we must remember that this gesture is not prescribed, it is an innovation to the Mass, and in its goal to build unity and sensitivity, it can be alienating and insensitive to individuals.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Weekend Rerun

In honor of National Respiratory Care Week, this week's Weekend Rerun will feature a return to a post I did about my profession after a particular grueling day at work when I worked with some very sick babies.  

Originally posted January 9, 2009

As many of you may know, I am a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I work in a 60 bed community hospital and am responsible for the respiratory care of a diverse patient population...from the preterm babies to the aged. This requires the ability to respond to intensive care, critical care, neonatal and pediatric emergencies where my role is, simply put, is to maintain the patient's airway through a variety of therapeutic modalities. Additionally, being part of a small, but state of the art facility, means there are only 2 of us scheduled for any given shift.

We are now in "respiratory" season. At this time of year there is an increase in admissions due to Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP), Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), asthma exacerbation, etc. This makes for very busy shifts. This past weekend it appeared that every admission was one requiring the service and care our department provides. It's a good thing I enjoy my work!

RSV is a particularly vicious infection in the compromised patient population. This is especially true for premature infants. It is not uncommon to be called to the Emergency Department due to a "blue baby" in transport. These infants sometimes require intubation, respiratory resuscitation and transfer to a larger facility with a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. The reason for this is that their airways are just too tiny and are easily occluded due to the amount of secretions this virus produces.

The above actually sums up what my day was like yesterday. Despite all of that, I love my job and feel God has put me exactly where I am needed: to provide compassionate care and prayers for the weak and infirm.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Things I Have Learned From My Meatloaf

Ketchup only covers up and hides meatloaf's true beauty.

Just because a meatloaf isn't made of ground beef doesn't mean it can't be delicious.

Meatloaf can handle change. Don't be afraid to mix things up. Unexpected and exciting results may occur.

Surround meatloaf with only those ingredients that enhance the meatloaf, that make the meatloaf a better loaf, not with those that lead meatloaf astray from it's natural goodness.

As meatloaf is prepared, beware the heavy hand or meatloaf will wind up a dense, hard, and unyielding brick, impenetrable to those things designed to help it achieve its full potential.

Always remember to grease the pan.

Although small and insignificant in and of themselves, when part of a meatloaf bread crumbs and seasonings are transformed into something bigger than themselves. 

Meatloaf is inherently good.

Meatloaf does not form itself. There is a higher power at work. 

So, what has your meatloaf taught you?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Day in the Life of 5th Sister

4:00 am: Mr. Sister's alarm goes off at "wake the dead" decibles

4:15 am: Can't get back to sleep. Might as well go pee.

4:30 am: Tossing and turning. No sleep for the weary.

4:45 am: Give up. Get out of bed and pull on some jeans. Grab a cup of coffee that Mr. Sister has already made (thanks hon!).

5:00 am: Walk the dog. Feed the dog. Love the dog.

5:30 am: Catch up on blogs, email.

6:30 am: Get darling daughter up and ready for school. Shower, change. Maybe makeup. Maybe not.

7:30 am: Carpool

8:30 am: Wake Munchie Boy. Feed Munchie Boy.

9:00 am: Begin homeschooling day.

1:00 pm: NAP TIME! If I'm lucky. I'm usually not so lucky. Science has a tendency to thwart this plan.

2:00 pm: What's for dinner? Prep time.

3:00 pm: Car pool

4:00 pm: Music lesson, church choir practice or catechism, depending upon the day of the week.

5:00 pm: Swim Team or Charlotte Children's Choir rehearsal, depending upon day of the week.

5:30 pm: Walk the dog. Feed the dog. Love the dog.

6:00 pm: Dinner. Maybe now. Maybe later. Whenever it can be squeezed in.

7:00 pm: Catholic Athletes or Scouts.

8:00 pm: Catch up on blogs and email.

9:00 pm. Bedtime.

In between I do try to pick up, do laundry, wash dishes, sweep and vacuum, etc. TRY, I said. I also try to squeeze in a daily Mass now and then because, goodness knows, I can't do it all without the help of our dear Lord!

And on those days I have to's everyone fend for themselves!

So, how does your day look?

And We Have a Winner!

Heather, from The Extraordinary Ordinary became my 50th follower! She will be receiving a generous portion of my Signature Spice Blend just in time for the coming holidays. Watch out Heather, it's addictive. And for those of you who haven't done so, please check out Heather's blog. It's amazing. Truly.

How exciting it was to show Mr. Sister that I can rise up to any challenge he sends my way. And what did I receive in return? His hearty congratulations and utmost respect. Gee. I'm touched.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

5 by 50

Mr. Sister has issued a challenge.

You see, he's pretty impressed that my followership (is that even a word?) has grown to 45. He thinks it would be pretty nifty if I have 50 followers by his 50th birthday on November 2nd. He doesn't think it will happen, however. Oh he of little faith. Let's prove him wrong, shall we?

To make things more interesting, I will give away a sampling of my Signature Spice Blend to my 50th follower.

Game on, Mr. Sister!

Haiku Wednesday

Join the fun!

This week’s theme: Seasons


Seasoning my life
With love, joy and tenderness
Seeking to nourish


Autumn’s vivid hues
Blood red skies and trees of gold
Haunting journey’s dusk

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Tale of Two Women

A True Health Care Scary Story...

Woman #1: An elderly woman in her 80’s was at home when she began suffering increasing confusion, delirium and mental status changes. This state of mind was very unusual for her. She had a history of a stroke so no punches were pulled and an ambulance was called to take her to the Emergency Room. Once there, they found she had a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), also known as a “bladder infection”. They drew blood and sent her home on oral antibiotics. The next morning, upon receiving the results of the blood test, they found that she had urosepsis. Sepsis is an infection in the bloodstream that is extremely dangerous if untreated. Her sepsis was caused by the UTI, hence the name urosepsis. She was rushed to the hospital, via ambulance and is on a several day course of IV antibiotics. Her confusion is waning and she is returning to her old self.

Woman #2: This woman, also a senior citizen, underwent cardiac bypass surgery and was sent to a skilled nursing facility (aka nursing home) for rehab. While there she began speaking gibberish and responding inappropriately to questions and situations. They moved her to the Alzheimer’s Unit. It was only after the transfer that they discovered this woman was suffering from a raging UTI. Her mental status returned to normal after a course of IV antibiotic therapy.

What is interesting in these two stories is the following: neither woman had outward signs or symptoms of the UTI. Also, both women remember absolutely everything. They realized they were talking nonsense but the infection created a “disconnect” between their brains and how they were communicating. Fortunately, in both cases, the cause was discovered, and treated, rather quickly.

As a health care professional I have seen this scenario all too often. What surprised me, however, was that each woman had absolutely PERFECT MEMORY of their experiences. Even though I always try to treat my patients with respect , I wonder about the numerous times in my 30 year career that I’ve heard thoughtless comments uttered in the presence of these type of patients. What humility they must have felt. It saddens me greatly. 

I pray that these scenarios point us to the dignity all life deserves. Let us all be more aware of how we treat those in positions of disability, weakness and infirmity. Let us never, ever abuse this sacred trust.

On a Lighter Note...

Thank you Ms. Bibi, from From Misery to Happiness in 365 Days. This lovely lady had such nice comments to say about me  on a recent post, when bestowing upon me the Honest Scrap Award. I graciously accept this honor.

I received the Dragon's Loyalty Award from my long time blog friend Tats (Nicole) over at Tattoos and Teething Rings. We've been there for each other since the beginning, almost 1 year ago. Please check out her out if you have the time. 

I would like to pass this off to all of my long time blogging friends who have been with me from the know who you are so go ahead and grab this award and go. I'm talking to you, Willoughby, Luis,Thames, Raouly;s Girl, Christine, Lisaloo and Who am I!. If you have the time, please check these folks out if you haven't already done so. They are all unique and keep me grounded in this place called cyber space.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday Musings

Heap o' Greens

I was gifted some fresh garden greens the other day. Here they are, a mixed heap of turnip and mustard greens, awaiting their fate.

It's a good thing I have a stock pot. I was able to subdue and blanch those green little buggers in only 3 batches.

My 3 batches gave me 3 quarts of ready to use greens.

I used one baggy for our dinner Friday evening, a remake of my Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas, substituting the greens for the spinach. It worked beautifully!

A Little Bit of Lovely

My new friend Kys, over at Stir Fry Awesomeness, gifted me with the following award:

I had seen this lovely award around the blogosphere since the day I first began blogging. Never did I ever imagine that someone would find my blog worthy enough of this honor. Thank you, Kys! Oh, and if anyone of you haven't had the opportunity, please jump over to visit her HERE. I think you'll find her quite amusing.

I'd like to pass this on to a couple of blogs I recently discovered and to a dear bloggy friend.

First the new:

Julie at My Good Babushka
Julie is an artist and I find her works in progress quite intriguing, especially her "Early Americana" series. If you have a love for the art, please check out her work.

Heather has such a beautiful grace and style in her writings. Her posts are touching and thought provoking. She's well worth the visit.

And the old:

I cannot rave enough about my friend Michelle's website, The Domestic Mama  This link will direct you to the website she just developed. I'm sure you'll agree that her food photography is absolutely stunning! Presently, however, commentary is closed. You can always jump over to her blogspot to post any comments you might have.

Have You Heard of Tim Hawkins?

I, only recently, discovered his comedic talent. He's a riot! I'd like to share with you 2 of his videos that had me actually LOL'ing. Enjoy.

Have a wonderful Monday, dear friends!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sacred Sunday

I'm thinking of doing "Sacred Sunday" as a weekly feature. I envision it as a post about favorite saints, Bible verses, hymns and an occasional  brief catechism of why Catholics do what we do. I will not use it to proselytize but just as a way to share the faith that, upon my conversion 15 years ago, made me who I am today.

This week I'd like to share what is perhaps my very favorite Christian song verse:

Who am I that the voice that calmed the seas,
Would call out through the rain and calm the storm in me.

-from Who am I  by Casting Crowns

Wow. When I first heard these lyrics I was literally brought to tears. That is EXACTLY how I felt when I discovered Jesus. You see, I began this journey about a decade prior to my actual conversion. I was a mess. I was a college graduate with a good, decent job but emotionally I was terribly scarred. I was suffering from anorexia and bulimia, self loathing, and depression. It was an intensly lonely and isolated time in my life.

On a whim, I decided to go to church one Sunday morning. When I walked into the beautiful sanctuary I wanted to fall to my knees. An overwhelming sense of love and acceptance enveloped me. At that moment, I knew I was where I belonged. Our dear Lord began to calm that "storm" within me. 

This, my friends, was the beginning of my conversion. I continue to be a "work in progress", but then again, aren't we all?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Weekend Rerun

From January 5, 2009
What's this?

I found it yesterday.
Actually, I've known about it for quite some time.
I guess I really should do something about it.

Never mind, It's gone now.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chicken Divan

Want an easy recipe that can be put together in 20 minutes or less and ready in another 45?
If so, this one is for you.

First layer some frozen or fresh broccoli in the bottom of a greased casserole or pie plate.
Next add some cooked shredded chicken over the top. This is a great way to use up leftovers or you can boil and shred a couple of chicken breasts. I often times use leftover turkey from Thanksgiving with wonderful results.

In a mixing bowl blend 1 can of cream of chicken soup, about a cup of mayonnaise, a third cup of sour cream, a splash of lemon juice and a squirt of mustard.  I then add the following seasonings to taste (clockwise from bottom left): my Signature Spice Blend, cardamom, coriander and curry powder. I find you don't need any extra salt but some freshly ground black pepper is a nice touch.

Blend the seasonings into the soup mix and spoon over the top of the chicken and broccoli.

Now top with grated cheddar, some chopped, fresh parsley and maybe another dash or two of my Signature Spice Blend for added color.

Bake in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes (until golden and bubbly).

Allow to rest approximately 5 minutes before serving.

Yum! Pure comfort on a plate!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Study in Progress

I find it interesting the posts that receive the most commentary. Whether on Blogspot or on Facebook. The following is my status for the day on Facebook:

"As a homeschooling mom, I ask: Is it wrong to be thankful for a "sick day"?"

I then went on to comment: 

"I say this because, as Paul is in bed sleeping, trying to recover from the flu, I finally have time to fold the laundry monster that has taken over my dining room, to thoroughly clean and disinfect the kitchen and bathroom and to prepare a totally from scratch home cooked meal."

I went on to accomplish all I set out for myself and then some to include raiding a friend's garden, grocery shopping, and carpooling.  This post received a record number of commentary (all favorable, btw.)

My question to you is, what type of either Facebook or Blog posts bring you the most traffic? Curious minds want to know. 

How Does Daisy Do?

An Update

(For my new followers: Daisy, formerly "Roxie", was a neglected and abused black Labrador who decided to adopt us as her new family by showing up on our doorstep not once, but twice, last summer. She was underweight and had not been receiving her medication on a consistent basis to relieve her arthritic pain. Her prior owners neglected to use heart worm preventative. Daisy also had suffered several injuries to both front and hind ACL's and a terrible chest wound that almost killed her when she was younger. This was not a case where the family couldn't afford proper care. This was pure, simple, and willful neglect.)

Daisy has integrated herself well into being part of a loving family. She has gained weight. She's no longer in arthritic pain and her heart worm treatment has, thus far, been effective.

We are, however, experiencing a few minor issues. Now that she's gained weight she is much stronger. Now that she's no longer arthritic she is quite hyperactive. Now that her heart worm has been treated she has much more stamina. She's pushing boundries, that's for sure. 

I used to be able to take her for walks without her lunging in every which direction trying to chase that rabbit, meet that dog or sniff that human. She used to be so sedate and sweet but now I'm having to pull out every Dog Whisperer trick in the book to try to get her to behave on her walks. She has even dragged my poor son literally off his feet to get at a couple of chihuahuas out on their evening jaunt. 

She knows the commands sit, stay, lay down and heel. I think she has decided that maybe we really don't mean what we say. It's like having a 2 year old all over again. 

Regardless, we love her and are very glad to have her as a part of our family.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Haiku Wednesday

Join the fun!

This week’s theme is: Passion


Whipped, stripped and beaten.
Nailed to the Cross...The 4th Cup.
The Passion of Christ.

Dying for our sins,
Body pierced. Blood, water flow.
The heavens cry out!

In tomb hewn from earth
He was placed. Disciples mourn.
Are we foresaken?

No! For 3 days hence
Our beloved Lord arose!
The birth of our faith!

Haiku is simple! It is 3 non-rhyming lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively. To participate click on the Haiku banner above and then click on "Home". And if you decide to try to do one yourself, I dare you to not use your fingers! I can't get through a Haiku without mine!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Until further notice the Sister house is now under full quarantine.
Mr. Sister has the flu.
Big Sister has a bad upper respiratory infection and is now wheezing.
Munchie Boy has the "coughs".

Based on my usage of the following products, I suggest buying stock in this company.

Me? I'm doing well, for now. Thanks for asking.
They told me I should wear a mask around my sick little darlings
but this is all I could scrounge up.
I don't think this is what they meant, though.

(thanks to Jenn from Rook No. 17 for the
photoshopped image of moi!)

Good Blog

I'm hesitant in posting my latest award because of its double entendre.
Actually, I didn't see it at first (goes to show you how naive I am) A friend, at work, had to explain it to me. Egads, people! My mother reads this blog!

Anyhow, I am going to graciously accept this award in the spirit it was intended from my new bloggy friends over at Life Laugh Latte. You can follow this LINK to see the actual award. In the meantime, with my apologies, you'll have just deal with viewing the censored version:

As part of the rules, 4 other blogs need to be nominated for this prestigious, although a bit naughty, award. I would like to bestow it upon 2 of my oldest blogging buddies and 2 of my newest:

1.  Tattoos and Teething Rings: This gal is a delight. We come from very different worlds and have become the best of blog buddies. I think she'd really appreciate the "humor" of this award, too.

2.  Who Has the Thyme: This blogger is NOT afraid to voice her views of the world. The marvelous thing about her is that you can debate an issue you may vehemently disagree with her on and she, although not swayed by your very clever rebuttal, will listen to and remain your BFF. Love you RG!

3.  Speaking From the Crib: A new cyber pal that has had me laughing to the point of tears on several occasions. I would love to have her over for coffee some day. Go ahead...go visit her. She's a riot!

4.  Rook No. 17: Jenn has such a pretty blog that is a joy to visit each and every day! I am currently loving her vintage "clip art".

To post on your site, you may pick up the true award at this LINK

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ooh, Ooh That Smell! Monday Morning Version

Yeah.  The house is pretty stinky. 

You see, the flu bug has bit Mr. Sister in the butt. Unfortunately, GI disturbances are one of his symptoms. I will need to get off my blog and take care of him now. But first, a Public Service Announcement.

How can you avoid getting this bug? 
One word.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ooh, Ooh That Smell!

Ooh, ooh that smell

Can't you smell that smell?
Ooh, ooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you.

-Lynard Skynard from "That Smell"

(While reading the following keep in mind that I work 3 days every other weekend.)

Friday I arrived to work with my canvas work bag in tow. I sensed the foulest of odors surrounding me. What in the world was it? I bathed so it shouldn't be me. The stink was pretty bad. I eventually found the source: the smell was emanating from my bag. I carefully removed items from my tote, one by one. The stench was overpowering. At last, I found the culprit . . . a leaky container of chopped tomatoes from the deepest depths of my duffel. These tomatoes had been fermenting for 2 weeks! Trust me . . . it was not a pretty site.

My colleagues, at work, were none too happy with me either. The aroma of air freshener does not cover the putrid and rancid scent of rotting tomatoes but rather forms a whole new nasty and pungent smell all together.  (Gag!)

In the meantime, it may be awhile before I have the stomach to look at, or even eat, another tomato.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October is....


image courtesy of Jemima's Journal

Have you had your mammogram?

This past Thursday I went in for a diagnostic mammogram. I've been having some breast pain, of late, in my right breast. They wanted to perform the diagnostic mammogram, rather than a screening mammogram, just to be on the safe side. 

After being smooshed, squeezed and compressed in every which way imaginable the radiologist determined, based on the results, that it was best to go ahead and perform an ultrasound on that right breast. Now worries begin to beset. Oh no, surely not the big "C". Fears escalate a bit when the technician comes back into the room to tell me that the radiologist would like to speak with me, personally.  

The radiologist enters and tells me that what I have are benign cysts. Oh thank God, only the little "c". One cyst had enlarged  from my previous mammogram and that could be why I was feeling some pain. All in all GREAT NEWS. 

Unfortunately, the news isn't that great for other women. Please use this "close call" as a reminder to regularly examine yourself and get your yearly mammograms. Your life may be dependent upon it someday. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

I'm So Late....

Yes it's true. I'm not perfect. I am not as organized as I should be. I have my faults. One of them being that I forget birthdays. I'm not proud of it. I try, though, I really, truly try to remember. I have everyone's birthday marked in the "Day-Timer" I use every single day. Still, I forgot Sister #3 way back at the end of August, Sister #2 in early September, my husband's godchild's 1st birthday mid-September, and Sister #1 just a few weeks ago. I felt bad enough about it to go pick up some belated birthday cards last week. Have I sent them out yet? Nope.

This is so embarrassing! I'm so late that even my belated birthday cards are late!

My question to you all is this: Is it too late to send them out now?

I will not be able to reply to your comments today as I will be too busy helping people breathe, sucking snot, and passing gas! All in a day's work for this Respiratory Therapist. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

End of Harvest Salad

I had a few items, left over from my 1st ever garden, that made for a delightful salad the other night.

I believe I shall call it "Summer's End Salad". What do you think?
It is very simple and, therein, lies the beauty.

Summer's End Salad


2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chunked
1 yellow pepper, sliced
Several basil leaves, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
A splash of vinegar (any variety will do)
A few dashes each of my Signature Spice Blend
A pinch or two of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Combine gently and serve. 

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Haiku Wednesday

Join the fun!

Today's theme: TIME

Awake during night.
Tossing, turning. Craving sleep.
Drats! TIME to get up.

Dragging through the day
Hoping for TIME to take nap.
No such luck. Carpool.

DinnerTIME is near.
Oregano, garlic, THYME,
Pasta al dente.

Night approaches fast.
Bed's lure...intoxicating!
Relishing bedTIME.

This was fun! Everyone is invited to join in, just click on the "Haiku Wednesday" picture above and go the the "home" page. You will be directed to the fun and frivolity! Bonus points if your comments are in haiku form: 5 syllables first line, 7 syllables second line finishing with 5 syllables on the third line. Go ahead and try it...I dare you!


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