Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men...

The fruit of silence is prayer
The fruit of prayer is faith
The fruit of faith is love
The fruit of love is service
The fruit of service is peace

-Mother Teresa

I was listening to some cds on Advent and Christmas today. This quote from Mother Teresa on silence really struck me. How wise was she? This was a great lesson for me to hear today! Actually for sometime now, I have been feeling like I need to shut up and listen! I'm really tired of hearing my own voice! It is so true that there are so many distractions all around us, and it's very easy to surround ourselves in all the hustle of everyday life, especially around Christmas time. We live in a very noisy world... It's so easy to get caught up in all the business of everyday living that I forget to take the time to be quiet and pray.

I have had the song, O Little Town of Bethlehem in my head for several weeks now, thinking about the words. They are really beautiful... they embody the stillness of that night, how it must have been and bring it into the imagination! I learned in the cd series today that this song was written by a Priest, Anglican I believe, named Phillips Brooks in 1865. He was visiting Bethlehem on a pilgrimage and went and sat on this hill overlooking the city and outcame the hymn! I've never been to this part of the world, but I can imagine the inspiration of the place... the quietness and peacefulness of the night with the stars shining overhead... This song really reminds me of how beautiful the whole Christmas story really is and how Christmas isn't merely about giving gifts and being with family... Christmas is a FEELING of longing for hope, fulfillment, and joy that everybody has because God made us all and put it there. It is what makes this time of year seem more holy and magical and sets it apart from other times of the year. It made me think about how shallow this holiday would seem without that Wondrous Gift that was given on that night!

O little town of Bethlehem,

How still we see thee lie!

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by;

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting Light;The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,

And gathered all above,

While mortals sleep, the angels keep

Their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together Proclaim the holy birth!

And praises sing to God the King,

And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently,

The wondrous gift is given!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of his heaven.

No ear may hear his coming,

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him, still

The dear Christ enters in.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mt. Rubidoux

Went for a hike up to Mt. Rubidoux yesterday... Had to do a post because I love this picture with the cross! Was happy to see that Serra has his own plaque up on the top of the hill!

The Babies

My kittens are turning into cats really quickly now. They seem to grow a little more each day!

Monday, December 7, 2009


Tahoe turned 2 a couple of weeks ago!
Since he and my dad have the same birthday, me and my mom took them both to Whitewater Preserve for a picnic. They both had fun looking at the fish!
To celebrate Tahoe's birthday, I bought myself this present! As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to hang this in my house! Tahoe is MY dog, and he takes his job VERY seriously! His ad on said "He is shy but playful, and will warm up to someone quickly." And boy did he warm up! So much so that not only will he not go anywhere without me, he is very aware of WHO is even holding his leash. He gets very upset when someone else takes it, even if I am walking right beside him. It is funny. Pessimists will call this separation anxiety. I call it loyalty! All dogs are born with this virtue, but Tahoe takes it to the extreme! "Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay." - Ruth 1:16

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two Thumbs Up!

If anyone is looking for a good Christmas time movie... This is the one! I saw it last night, and it was really good! Again, I wish people would make more inspirational movies like this! It reminded me to remember that we never know what type of postitive influence we can have on other people's lives. This family did it in a hugh way, but I know even small acts of kindness can go a long way!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mr. Coffee

My mom and dad bought me an early Christmas present today! A brand new Mr. Coffee! They said it was time for me to chuck the old one and start over. I feel kind of sad for old Mr. Coffee though because it still works and has been so faithful the past 6 years! I use it just about every morning, so I calculated it must have made me well over 2000 cups of coffee! It has been such a hard worker that I wish I could send it to some type of Mr. Coffee refurbishing/recycling program... Kind of like a Mr. Coffee purgatory that would remake him into a new model! Yes... I think I do have that disorder that gives life to inanimate objects because I'm havin' trouble throwing this item in the garbage!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Real Story of Thanksgiving

I have established a tradition the last 3 or 4 years of either listening to Rush Limbaugh recite this story on his program or reading it myself from his book... It is a great true Thanksgiving story, and I want to continue with this tradition, so I can remind myself each year why we celebrate this holiday! We are so blessed to be born here, but it is only because of the solid foundation laid by the people who came before us... the sacrifices they made, and the principles they held that established this country as someplace great! Here is a portion of that story:

"Well, folks, let's allow our real undoctored American history lesson to unfold further. If our schools and the media have twisted the historical record when it comes to Columbus, they have obliterated the contributions of America's earliest permanent settlers, the Pilgrims. Why? Because they were a people inspired by profound religious beliefs to overcome incredible odds. Today, public schools are simply not teaching how important the religious dimension was in shaping our history and our nation's character. Whether teachers are just uncomfortable with this material or whether there's been a concerted effort to cover up the truth, the results are the same. Kids are no longer learning enough to understand and appreciate how and why America was created. The story of the Pilgrims begins in the early part of the seventeenth century (that's the 1600s for those of you in Rio Linda, California). The Church of England under King James I was persecuting anyone and everyone who did not recognize its absolute civil and spiritual authority. Those who challenged ecclesiastical authority and those who believed strongly in freedom of worship were hunted down, imprisoned, and sometimes executed for their beliefs. A group of separatists first fled to Holland and established a community. After eleven years, about forty of them agreed to make a perilous journey to the New World, where they would certainly face hardships, but could live and worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences. On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible. The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims – including Bradford's own wife – died of either starvation, sickness or exposure. When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well. Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives. He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. That's right. Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years – trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it – the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future.

'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing – as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote. 'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.' Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They un-harnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. Not just use themselves and not just send to a common store but they could market. They could grow as much, they could sell it for what they could get for it, and the incentive was clear to do as much as possible on both sides. And what was the result? 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, 'for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been.' Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? Yes. Read the story of Joseph and Pharaoh in Genesis 41. Following Joseph's suggestion (Gen 41:34), Pharaoh reduced the tax on Egyptians to 20% during the 'seven years of plenty' and the 'Earth brought forth in heaps.' (Gen. 41:47) In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians. The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'" And he goes on a little later..."This brings us to our Founding Fathers, the geniuses who crafted the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. These were men who shook up the entire world by proclaiming the idea that people had certain God-given freedoms and rights and that the government's only reason to exist was to protect those freedoms and rights from both internal and external forces -- and that simple, yet brilliant, insight has been all but lost today in liberalism's relentless march toward bigger, more powerful, more intrusive government. Don't believe the conventional wisdom of our day that claims these men were anything but orthodox, Bible-believing Christians. They were. And they were quite adamant in stating that the Constitution- as brilliant a document as it is- would work only in the context of a moral society." Rush goes on to quote John Adams... "Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the goverance of any other." And... George Washington: "Of all the dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." And James Madison: "We have staked the whole future of the American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future...upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves, according to the Ten Commandments fo God."

I love reading truth! Here is one more inspirational quote for a very happy thanksgiving!

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” -Abraham Lincoln 1863

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Before Thanksgiving...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Everywhere you go! Got my lights up today! Did my garage this year too... Thinking maybe I need some garland around it with a bow or something. Thought I would do a post to motivate everyone to get a jump on things like me! HA!
Serra and Pio got a Christmas picture taken today too! Thinking the cats could have used a bow or something too, but this was a spur of the moment type of photo... Didn't really think it through.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Taxes, Tips, and Tithes

I'm also wondering how come the IRS gets more than God as well? I think I'm going to change my tipping practices because there isn't anything I can do about Caesar.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


The Fam...

Tahoe made sure he was comfortable.
Definitely fall...

My dad is looking at this...

Yosemite was fun and beautiful everywhere! I still don't know why I have never gone here before!

Even the Best Western was beautiful! Here is where the deer were standing when we pulled in...

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This made me want to move to Iowa's 5th district! This is Congressman Steve King questioning Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner. Isn't it rare these days to be really proud of an elected official? Well, I was today! Even if the exchange was only about someone's right to be able to put in a bid to own an NFL team! It really is heartening to see someone stand up for what is true!

I especially liked the quote at the end! I get so angry at times when people accuse Rush of being a racist! I wish people would actually LISTEN to his program instead of letting the media shape their opinions. They would then hear things like this... (From today's program.)

"You know, it really is true, I've always believed in this notion of colorblind. That's why I treat people the way I do. I do not treat people differently based on what their skin color is or what their sexual orientation is, and I assume that most people are intelligent. And maybe I have missed the boat in assuming that everybody else wants a society that's colorblind. And maybe what I'm learning is that there are people out there who say they want a colorblind society in no way mean it. I'm thinking, yeah, it's a good thing, it would be a great objective, so I'm out there living it, and that of course dictates a lot of how I behave, what I say. People are people first, Americans, and then all the other hyphenated things come in to me much later. It's like Jamie Gangel, NBC, "Aren't you overwhelmed with the first black president?" Yeah, it was great, but I got over it in five minutes because his policies matter more to me. I don't see him as a black guy, I see him as the president of the United States. He's got policies here that I really want to fail, and not because of the color of his skin but because of his policies. There are people who want to turn that around and, "It's racism," and I sadly predicted all that would happen, too. "

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Franciscan Friars and Fall!

I own pets that like to smile! I've been REALLY feeling happy the last couple of weeks! Even though it is still alittle hot, it finally FEELS like fall! It is my very favorite time of year! Leading right into the holidays... It is the best time of year for hiking, mountain bikes, pumpkin spice lattes, candles, fire places, and just driving with the windows down in my truck instead of cranking up the air conditioner! The trees turn beautiful colors... Me, my dad, and Tahoe all have birthdays! It is clearly the best time to be born! We give thanks, hang Christmas lights, and break out the Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. It really is the best time of year!
I took Serra and Pio outside this morning for a quick photoshoot. They are growing up so fast, and I wanted to get a couple of pics of them at "this stage." Tahoe wanted to get in on the mix. It's funny how the best pictures aren't planned. Just like life! I actually had the pumpkin and a scarecrow set up to the left of this. I kept yelling at Tahoe to get out of the way... Then there was this adorable shot, and I feel really bad for yelling at my baby. He IS this sweet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I found this on someone else's blog last week... This is both heartbreaking and inspirational! I participated in a Walk For Life this last weekend... The proceeds going to Riverside Life Services. They are trying to raise 30,000 dollars for an ultrasound machine. Statistics show that 9 out of 10 women will choose life if they can see a picture of their baby!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I couldn't care less either way... But Tahoe is a very strong willed dog!
Man! Shouldn't they be knocking down my door, offering me big money to allow them to use him as their mascot?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009


I love this song! Somebody just posted their whole house concert on youtube... Isn't that illegal? The video and sound on these is actually really awesome!

HA HA! This is REALLY funny! Get medicine here!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wonderful Riverside!

Random pictures from the weekend!

Looks like I did some traveling... but only by bike!

These aren't marshlands in Florida... No alligators down there!

Not an ancient bridge in a foreign land!

Local ducks...

The green water is everywhere isn't it?

Not Hawaii...
All in my own backyard!!! But really, how cool is that old Riverside bridge (at the top!) that I never knew for 37 years? The things you discover by bike!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi...

Is this coming Sunday... Don't forget to give your pets extra hugs and kisses and thank God for making them so special for us to enjoy!
I decided to hang my bird feeder that my grandparents sent me for Christmas a few years back. I have been admiring it on my kitchen counter for all this time and thought this would be the perfect occasion to finally place it outside where it belongs... with all the birds! Well, hopefully all the beautiful ones will come to my yard to feast!
In honor of the Patron Saint of animals, here is the Saint Francis Prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Their official names are Padre Serra and Padre Pio. Since I want them to experience freedom and the outdoors, and they are gonna be wandering cats, I thought I would name the orange one after the great wanderer who walked up and down the California coast establishing the Missions! As for Pio, last weekend I saw this movie called " Padre Pio: Between Heaven and Earth". It was REALLY good if you don't mind subtitles and provided a great saintly name for my new cat!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Bertrand Russell

I rented a movie last night called "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed". I had actually forgotton what it was about, but I knew I had wanted to see it for sometime. It is a documentary about how schools and universities across the nation are no longer teaching Intellligent Design as an alternative to Darwanism. Ben Stein (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) uncovers plots of teachers and scientists being dismissed and shunned outrightly by their colleagues if they merely mention that Intelligent Design might be a possiblity, along with being fired or denied tenure. This movie was really refreshing and informative compared to most of the crap out there! But the punchline came at the end of the movie for me... and I was pleased once again that I could find it on Youtube! I love Youtube! I know this was way more than a coincidence that I rented this movie on this night! As I said in my post yesterday evening, I had found that video on David Wilcox a couple of weeks ago... I was really curious as to what philosopher David was referring to... I even googled it but found nothing... Like I said yesterday, the mystery was solved with my Peter Kreeft CD! Here is the final 6 minutes of the movie last night:

What are the chances? I have never even heard of Bertrand Russell in my life! Jerome was watching this with me, and as soon as I heard his name mentioned, I told him I had just did a blog post about this guy right before he came over! This was the climax of the whole movie! The whole context of all this was way too coincidental to be accidental. I have been feeling a lack of encouragement lately and have been praying for more inspiration... even yesterday morning. The beginning of the Peter Kreeft talk was about seeking God with all your heart (Deuteronomy 4:29 ) and those that do this and find are reasonable AND happy. Last night before I went to bed, I REALLY felt God talking to me in a profound way saying... "See! You seek, you find, and I make you happy!"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vow of Silence

I've been listening to these CDs put out by Lighthouse Catholic Media. They started a program at my church, and they are now selling them for 3 bucks! Anyway, this is a portion of one I bought and listened to today! I was happy part of it was on Youtube! I was also happy that he quoted Blaise Pascal. I have been reading more of his writings online lately. The picture that goes with the audio is perfect because this is my favorite place in the world! Right there in that shot! I've been to this place twice and both times it was a surreal experience to be sitting there in this square where Peter was executed! I think it's the most beautiful city in the world!

A couple of weeks ago I found this video ( I know too much youtubing!) of David Wilcox, ( just about my favorite artist to see in concert) explaining one of his songs called "Vow of Silence" off of his new album. The song took on a whole new meaning to me when I heard it explained. Now I think it is really beautiful. I wish the audio was alittle better though! I am assuming that he is talking about the same Philosopher that Peter Kreeft is talking about here... Bertrand Russell. Peter Kreeft's answer to this problem rings forth so much truth, as does the guitar's answer! If anyone is interested in listening to Peter Kreeft's whole CD, just ask... It's worth listening to.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Here are some pictures of the kittens that I took today! I babysat them last night and today. Tahoe was really curious. I let him look at them in the bathtub. We tried to practice being gentle with some freshly picked roses in a vase that I held up to his face... I told him to be nice, and he bit them and smashed them with his nose. I decided the kittens were too young to practice such things on... Maybe in another week or so!
This is my baby cat! Stay tuned 'cause I'm workin' on a name...

Here is his brother... He has a name, but I'm not sure how to spell it.

This is Chewy. You can't tell by the pic, but he is enormous compared to the others!

They pretty much eat, sleep and poop.

They spend most of the time in their huddle like this... They really are adorable!