What is Catholic culture? Wednesday, Sep 29 2010 

There is a lot of talk about reviving Catholic culture.  But what is Catholic culture?  We can’t even define it any more because it has been lost to the last couple of generations.  This new series is worth watching.

Raising the hearts, minds and souls of those who behold art to God.

Now it’s turkeys Saturday, Apr 10 2010 

This morning as I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I glanced out the window and saw a turkey coming around the corner.  On its heels was another, then another, and finally a fourth one.  I have never seen a wild turkey in Black Forest so I was pretty excited.  They didn’t stop to  feed, but rather kept marching on as if they had a destination in mind.

They continued forward to the end of the corral where they found themselves trapped in a corner

For several seconds they rammed the fence with their heads (they are good candidates for the Darwin award).  As I approached with my camera, they started to panic and literally were ramming the fence harder and running in circles trying to get away.  Then it dawned on the Alpha that wings were made for flying, and three of these flightless birds found enough internal resources to fly over the fence.  The fourth continued ramming its head into the fence until at the moment it thought it was lost, it discovered its own wings and flew away.

I ponder why seeing these birds was so exciting, and I am so grateful for the sense of wonder God has given us.  I am so thankful for the variety and beauty of nature all around us.  Last night it was four deer right outside our kitchen window, today it was four turkeys.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Spring in Colorado Monday, Mar 29 2010 

These are a few shots of the area around our home in March.  Springtime in the Rockies is lovely–70 degrees one day, 24 degrees and 8 inches of snow the next.  These snows produce a lot of moisture, unlike the winter snows.

Ireland Saturday, Feb 13 2010 

We made it to Ireland despite my fears of flying in this dangerous world, and we are so glad we did.  It isn’t often a couple celebrates 40 years, so we decided to do it up big.  Fifty years aren’t guaranteed to anybody, so we are marking the milestones in 5-year increments!

The first thing we realized when we got to Dublin was that we were going to have to take it easy.  No rushing, no hurry anywhere.  That is because except for the motorways, traveling is very slow—-around 35 miles per hour.  The roads are lined with rock walls which I was sure we would hit at any minute; they are winding; and they are narrow.  Frankly, I was glad for the slowdown in pace.  Larry did a fine job driving on the left and I managed to navigate him through the hundreds of roundabouts we encountered in the course of a week.  Roundabouts are more common than intersections with traffic lights and you have to be alert to stay the course.  And due to snow and ice storms the week before we arrived, the roads are full of potholes, making driving more difficult than usual.

The landscape begs you to take it all in slowly.  I couldn’t get enough of those Irish hills mapped out with rock walls everywhere.  There were roadside shrines to stop and see, and breathtaking views of steep cliffs dropping right into the sea.   There were lovely beaches, and of course, there were the lovely little villages which begged you to stop for a walk and a visit to the local church.

Perhaps because of the dreary weather, the Irish use a lot of bright colors to decorate their churches and homes, inside  and out.  One of the B&Bs we stayed in had an orange living room.  I think hot pink was used in every breakfast room and elsewhere the colors were equally as bold.  It was delightful to go from room to room because we never knew what color would greet us.

And the people lived up to the reputation the Irish have for friendliness.  More so in Galway than in Killarney, but most of the people everywhere were cordial and helpful.  Their pace is more relaxed than in the States, and we didn’t encounter many people in a hurry or racing down the road in their cars.

I loved it all,  but perhaps most of all, I was overwhelmed by the kinship I felt with the early Christians who inhabited Ireland from the very  early days of Christianity.   Visiting beehive “houses” and seeing the rocky points of Skellig Michael in the distance made me so proud of the lasting heritage of Catholic Christianity in Ireland.  Those people put up with Viking invasions, hostile weather, conflicts with pagans and then the forces of Cromwell who was determined to wipe out the Church.  He didn’t succeed but the ruins are everywhere and I have continued to ponder the lives of those determined people.

A few pictures will illustrate what I have described:

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad…and Thanks Wednesday, May 13 2009 

My wonderful parents were married on this day in 1939–70 years ago.  My Dad died in 2000 and my Mom died two years ago come July.   They were wonderful parents and it is my prayer that they are celebrating their 70 years in Heaven.  I continue to pray for them and ask that their souls rest in peace.

luis and Aggie

Their gift to us today was the sale of the house they bought when Dad retired in 1973.  It has been on the market for about 1 1/2 years, and today it sold.  Perhaps Mom and Dad decided to wait till today to let go of their last earthly dwelling.

This was one of their hothouse plants which I brought home after Mom died.  I never even knew it was a bloomer.  But it started blooming on Dad’s birthday, May 3 and continues today.  Another little kiss from my wonderful parents.

Mama's hothouse plant 2

No Larry, you can’t plant the garden yet! Monday, Apr 27 2009 

The plants and seeds have arrived and the calendar says it is spring.  Better wait awhile longer!

hpim2385

View of the corral

hpim2386

View from the back

hpim2388

View of the garden

hpim2389

Snow makes everything beautiful

hpim2390

Except the construction

hpim2387

The blizzard of 2009 Sunday, Apr 5 2009 

This is the blizzard that was, the storm that wasn’t.  I have figured out that the weathermen are paid extra to distract us from what is going on in Washington by hyping the weather to keep us tuned in.  On and off this year we have been told that “the big one” is coming, bringing with it “up to 18 inches of snow.” 

Well, I have learned that a blizzard is defined by the wind and blowing snow, and we have had that, but nowhere have 18 inches of snow fallen except in the mountains.  As a matter of fact, IF we have gotten 5 inches, I will be surprised.  What has managed to fall out of the sky has quickly been blown to Kansas.   Yesterday the wind was positively unrelenting.

Some photos:

april-2009-blizzard

In our storm of 1997, there was a 9-foot drift in front of the barn!  This blizzard didn’t create enough snow for a 2-foot drift.

deck

There was snow in the air all day, but it was just being moved from one spot to the other by the wind

bird-feeders

In spite of the wind and cold temperatures, the birds managed to empty the birdfeeders

garbage-can-in-front-yard

The wind managed to do some decorating for us.  Don’t you think the garbage can in the front yard is a nice touch?

 

 

 

early-morning-sun

The early morning sun sent it rays through the trees with the promise of a brighter day. 

Spring in Colorado.  You gotta love it!

We sang our hearts out! Tuesday, Jan 22 2008 

This past weekend provided a unique experience for some 120 people who came to Colorado Springs to learn about the musical heritage of the Catholic Church.  Scott Turkington from St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Stamford, Ct. and our own Horst Buchholz from the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver, took the mystery out of singing square-note Gregorian Chantalleluia.png 

and Sacred Polyphony as they prepared the assembled singers, music directors and Sacred Music enthusiasts for the Mass of the Second Week in Ordinary Time, which was celebrated by Bishop Michael Sheridan.  Great things can happen in little places, and we hope the effects will reverberate all through the diocese and beyond, wherever the attendees came from.  The musical heritage of the Church is truly a thing of beauty, and hats go off to those passionate people whose mission it is to facilitate its spread in today’s Church.

Celebrating God’s Gifts Thursday, Nov 8 2007 

This morning while at Curves, the owner asked me to listen to something beautiful, and I invite you to listen as well, and see if you can hear it through without any tears. 

God’s gifts come in a variety of packages, and this one surprised everybody.  We never know what gifts God will give our children, but we should be on the lookout, because all are unique, and as parents we want to insure that those gifts do not remain hidden under a bushel basket.  (to paraphrase Matthew 5:15-16)  The gifts are from God, and He wishes us to use them to glorify Himself.  All the best to this young man.