September 08, 2014

Can Can

Saw this on Face Book The Fifteen Can Challenge and I thought it was a worthwhile idea.  So I shared it on Face Book and Now I'm sharing it here.  Note, I think it started a few weeks ago since, including this week, there are only 13 weeks until the first week in December.

If you don't subscribe to Face Book, here are the details from the event invite:

Christmas Time for most is a time of great joy and celebration. For some, for many reasons, it's a time of sadness and going without.
This year we can change this for some.
Please join our 15 can challenge - it's simple and easy to do.
1. Every week when you do your groceries, purchase one extra item. It could be a can or something non perishable. eg soup, baked beans etc
2. Collect one item each week for the next fifteen weeks.
3. Drop them off to the charity of your choice, first week in December to various places in your neighborhood.
4.Invite as many of your friends as you can - remember together we can change someone's life
Many communities will benefit.
All Food Pantry's and Charities, will greatly appreciate any and all donations. It is your gift to give, we are simply attempting to source charities in great NEED.

What a wonderful idea to help those in need.  And spreading it out over a few weeks makes it easy on the budget too.

August 05, 2014

Starting Over Again

Six years ago I wrote a post about the merger of my parish with another parish in town.  I was so very unhappy with the outcome of the merger and the promise of equality, which, of course, never happened.  I threatened to leave after a year if nothing changed.  At the time, it felt a bit like an empty threat because I thought things would change.  So, about a month ago, after waiting to see if the pastor would be transferred (he wasn't) or if things would change (they didn't) it was time to take action.  We finally changed parishes.

The past year, we have been attending another parish about a 20 minute drive from our house.  Our first trip there was the first weekend that a new pastor was there.  For the first time in a long while (except for going to churches when we were away) I felt like I had been to Mass.  People participated in the mass, the homily was interesting and the people in church were friendly.  After a year of test driving it, we pulled the trigger and signed up.

It has been the right decision for us. We miss seeing our friends from our old parish at Mass.  But we can always make plans to see them.  We see more and more people from our old parish at our new parish.  And most of all, we are happy.

May 14, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

What can I say about Mother's Day this year, except that I am so thankful to have been able to celebrate it with my Mother.

This time last year, we were waiting for my mom to have open heart surgery.  She was diagnosed with a failing aortic valve and at least one blocked artery in April of last year.  She would need to have surgery to replace the valve and bypass the blockage or she would have about 9 months to live.  The surgery was considered high risk because she is a diabetic with high blood pressure and bad kidney function.  This diagnosis was sandwiched between the loss of one of her sisters and her remaining brother.

Her cardiologist sent her to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania to consult with the chief of Cardiac surgery and her consultation was May 1.  He was wonderful.  Realizing that the procedure needed to be done sooner than later, she was scheduled for May 23.  We celebrated Mother's Day wondering if it would be our last.  Through prayer, wonderful doctors and nurses, therapists and all the other hospital staff, the surgery went very well and she was only in the hospital for about 8 days.

So this year I was so happy to celebrate Mother's Day with my mother who taught me the value of my faith in God and the power of prayer.  Because last year, my prayers were answered.

Photo taken in November 2013, six months after my Mom's surgery while we were doing our annual Nut Roll making.

April 24, 2014

April Showers

What's up with April?  Last year it was marked with my aunt and uncle passing away and my mother being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and needing open heart surgery.  This year, my father needed two surgeries just nine days apart (thank goodness nothing life threatening) and in the middle of this, my cousin has a massive stroke and passes away on Easter Sunday.

Next year, I think I'll just skip over April and go directly from March to May and hopefully we'll have  a healthy and happy spring for everyone.

January 21, 2014

Happy birthday Mom

Wishing my mom a wonderful 85th birthday today.  

Nutroll making November 2013

What a difference a year makes - this time last year we didn't know that my mom's aortic valve was not working well.  In fact, it wasn't working much either.  But she has recovered well from open heart surgery and this past weekend, we celebrated "Peg-palozza!"

My oldest brother flew in for the weekend on Thursday.  On Saturday, my parents, brother, niece who is staying with my parents, along with my husband and I traveled to North Jersey to meet up with my nephew who lives in North Jersey and son, who is now a New Yorker, at the restaurant where my nephew is a manager.  We enjoyed a long and leisurely late lunch where there was much laughing and carrying on.  And on Sunday, we all met up again at a restaurant in my Pennsylvania home town where my niece works for another lunch.  It was a weekend of eating, story telling and lots of laughing.  A perfect way to celebrate my mom, who has a wonderful Irish sense of humor.

We also got to attend an open house at the home that my mom's family lived in (for almost 100 years) and recently sold after my uncle's passing.  It was sold to some young house flippers who did a wonderful job fixing up the house.  We were able to relay some great stories to the patient real estate brokers who were not fazed when 11 of us in my family showed up and none of us were buyers!  In fact, my mom was born in that house 85 years ago, the baby in a family of 8 children.

Of course, today we celebrated with a snow storm.  Good thing I visited yesterday because getting out of my driveway was kind of hairy today!

November 28, 2013

On being thankful

This Thanksgiving, I have so much to be thankful for.  Even more this year than in years past.

I am thankful for my wonderful husband as we celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary today.  He has been my rock, a terrific father and my best friend.

I am thankful for my awesome son, who has given me the best name, Mom.  I am more proud of him every day.

I am thankful for my parents.  I am so blessed to have them at 91 and 84 years of age and still going strong.

I am thankful for my brothers - I love them both so much.

I am thankful for their families - my sisters-in-law, my three nephews, my niece and my nephew's fiancé.

I am thankful for the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital who took wonderful care of my mom during and after her open heart surgery.  You all rock!

I am thankful that my husband has a good job and allows me to be a stay at home wife and mother.  And this year, it allowed me to be a care giver to my mom and a helper for my dad.

I am thankful that my son has a good job, and will be starting a new one in January.

I am thankful for a loving God, who listens to my prayers and always answers them.  Even if I sometimes don't like the answer.  But He know better than I what I need and He always provides.

I am thankful for wonderful friends, some near and some far.

November 20, 2013

Atlanta in October

While I still haven't gotten pictures from my husband, I will post with limited pictures of my own.

My oldest brother attended college in Atlanta.  And after college, he settled there.  I miss having him close, but we keep in touch and that helps.

So this year, for the first time since the '96 Olympics, we traveled to Atlanta for a visit.

We had a few things planned for this trip - so here's a summary:

Thursday we traveled to Kennesaw to visit with blog friend Sue and her husband.  But on the way there we stopped at Livi-Rae of the Double Diva's fame so I could get fitted for a bra.  It was a great experience.  Then off to see Sue who out did herself as a hostess.  This is the table - just look at that wonderful spread.
 Sue has an absolutely beautiful home.  And to my husband's delight, a lot of cars!  Our husband's got along great and the afternoon was just wonderful.
 Our hostess with the mossest and yours truly.

Friday we ventured into Atlanta to Olympic Park and finally got to see our brick that we purchased during the Olympics.

Then we hit the CNN center.

Saturday we were off to Dawsonville for the 46th annual Moonshine Festival.  It was a cacophony of cars and noise as running moonshine was the early beginnings of NASCAR.  

I think there were about a thousand cars there, most of them classics with a few new ones thrown in.  My husband was in car heaven!

Saturday night, we got to see the legendary Leon Redbone in concert - he was great!

Sunday was an easy day of visiting - a little shopping and dinner out.  

We had a wonderful weekend visiting with my brother and sister-in-law.  Can't wait to visit again!