Sunday, September 18, 2011

My New Favorite Band

If I had a facebook, I would "like this"! But since I don't, I can only put youtube videos on my blog.

These guys seem to have great chemistry! There is only a demo out now, but I can't wait to hear more!

Monday, August 29, 2011

What One Thing Would You Give Up

I've been following a group of bloggers who went to Bolivia a few weeks ago. The idea was for them to blog about their experience and hopefully find sponsors for children through the International Relief Organization World Vision. I have never sponsored children through this agency, but I know this is a great charity. The posts from Bolivia were really heart-breaking. The pictures made everything seem more real. Real children, living in real poverty, at this very moment. The same children are still there. You can read all the posts here.

One post in particular has had me thinking for a couple of weeks now. Elizabeth Ester wrote it after she came home. It's titled "Can you be a Christian AND drive a BMW? I can't. At least not anymore." I guess she used to drive one, but can't imagine having another one after her experience in Bolivia. This conversation is very interesting to me. We all have so much here in America compared to the Third World. How much should we be giving? That is putting it bluntly. I struggle with this a lot. Am I giving enough? Am I really sacrificing anything at all? I know there is a balance to this, I just have a hard time seeing where the balance should be. I know that God wants us to take care of ourselves, and that God gives us beauty and loves beauty. I don't think it is wrong for us to want to make our surroundings more beautiful because of this, but I do think in America there is a tendency for us to have excess and to waste... I think it's harder to see the need for sacrifice because of the abundance we see.

In the Catholic calender year there are certainly times to feast, but there are also times of fasting. During Lent Catholics give something up, something good, and offer it back to God. During Advent also, some type of preparation of prayer and fasting is encouraged. But these times are always followed by big fat feasts of Easter and Christmas! I know there is a balance in the Church calender year, the struggle is finding a balance in my finances! I wish I could have a charitable-spiritual financial advisor who could whip me out a print-out.

Today I saw this post from one of the bloggers: "What One Thing Would You Give Up?" The idea is to think of one or two things that add up to ten bucks that you might spend money on this week and instead, donate that money to the famine relief in the Horn of Africa. Small things like this are immediately do-able. No wrestling with the thoughts of need verses want and the precise definition between the two, and discerning the difference and so forth. I thought it was a good post!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit"-- William Shakespeare

"I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born."-- Ronald Reagan

Really, what can you say after this?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It'll Work On You

In the introduction to this book I'm currently reading, Peter Kreeft tells this story: (Oh by the way, this is a quote. I am too lazy right now to do the quote inside the quote thing)

A student asked a famous Zen Buddist roshi (master) to teach
him the secret of Zen. He agreed and promised the student that if he obeyed everything the master told him to do, he would attain satori ("Enlightenment"). The student came to live with the master in his monastery. Everyday, the only command the master gave to the student was "Wash your dishes!" and the student dutifully obeyed. After a month, the student, impatient, asked the master when he would begin teaching him the secret of Zen. The master replied, "I have been teaching you every day, but you have not learned." "But master, all you have told me to do is to wash my dishes." "That is true, and if you had obeyed me, you would now be enlightened." "But I did obey you, master. I washed my dishes every day." "No, you did not. You never washed your dishes. You have never washed your dishes in your life." "But master, what did I do, then?" "You wobbled."

Deja Vu. I thought this was funny because lately I have been feeling this is my life! I so relate to this, even though I never wash dishes! And boy, do I wobble! But the other night I found this song. Put some stuff in a different perspective. Made me think about how God uses the ordinary to shape and mold souls into beauty if only we let Him. Made me remember that all the Saints learned this obedience simply by this type of letting and working. Not only can God use oceans or cars to accomplish this but ordinary life things that might not be so enjoyable... like washing dishes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

There Be Dragons

It's been awhile since I've been excited for a movie to come out... Next Friday, May 6th!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Peeps...

are animals. Even though I treat them like children, I am constantly reminded of this. Like a few weeks ago when Tahoe ate some roadside barf before I could stop him. And today...

I was doing some gardening, but grabbed my camera for a few pictures. Trying to get them together for a cute "family" shot. They were all really interested in something within these flowers... I thought it must be rat pee or some other wild animal poop or pee. I was trying to get them to all look for a picture (this is right before the incident) when Tahoe reached into the flowers to pull out a live gopher. I am kind of proud that they all "teamed up", but I still screamed...

Here he is.

And here is T. showing off his Pyrenees genes.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Water To Wine

I was reading a book by Malcolm Muggeridge this morning called "Conversion," (a book that I haven't been trying hard to get through for over 3 yrs now) and read these quotes taken from St Augustine's Confessions:

"We take for granted the slow miracles whereby year by year water irrigating a vineyard becomes wine, we stand amazed when the same process takes place in quick motion in Cana of Galilee"

"Men go to gape at mountain peaks, at the boundless tides of the sea, the broad sweep of rivers, the encircling ocean and the motion of the stars, and yet they leave themselves unnoticed; they do not marvel at themselves."

This reminded me of a song by Peter Mayer called "Holy Now." The lyrics go:

When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine
And I remember feeling sad
That miracles don't happen still
But now I can't keep track
'Cause everything's a miracle...

Wine from water is not so small
But an even better magic trick
Is that anything is here at all
So the challenging thing becomes
Not to look for miracles
But finding where there isn't one

Sometimes I stop and think how God could have always existed? It is beyond any experience we as humans have. But then almost immediately I put myself in the atheist's shoes, and my thoughts always shift back to us, and all we see and experience. How in the world (or beyond) does all this exist without God? At least something, (the space that the universe contains maybe?) would have to have always existed. Stuff coming from nothing is beyond any experience we as humans have too. It is so much easier to believe that God is God, and we with only finite human minds, cannot even begin to comprehend His Infinite Vastnass then to consider the alternative which is beyond irrational. Atheists tend to say they cannot believe in miracles because they don't believe in God. Unscientific. But they do believe in themselves and they do believe in wine... When looked at it this way, from St Augustine's standpoint, does it really matter whether it came to be by the slow or the fast way? It should be nevertheless miraculous to an honest atheist. Even without God the atheist still has to grapple with miracles.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

On book 7 of my reading venture I discovered a book I want to describe as "delightful!" I have heard this word in reviews of books before, but I am not sure, up until now, if I would have ever used that word to describe a book no matter how much I enjoyed it. I most certainly would have said a book is really wonderful, informative, inspiring, or even "spellbinding- on the edge of your seat thriller type of material," but I don't think I have ever experienced true delight in what I was reading as I did when I read this one!
Last year- in a previous blog post- I mentioned reading "Yesterday, Today, and Forever" by Maria Von Trapp. While I did enjoy that one as well, this one brought you into the family more by telling the details of their story. You really feel like you almost know them- even if you know you really don't know them and can never really "know" them- (primarily because they are dead mostly) this book makes you wish you knew them! Maria Von Trapp is so hilarious that I almost spilled my coffee several times because I was laughing so hard!
Before you read this book you think it is quite a simple story of a talented Austrian family coming to America and making it big in the 1940's, but it is so much more. If you want to read about a genuine exceptional family, who truly seemed to have lived lives well lived, then buy this book now ...Or borrow it from me! This book will also make you want to go out and find any new immigrant to help and welcome to America! It also might make you want to plan a vacation in Vermont to such a place as this...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Favorite Fast Pastime

I always have to remember to close the bathroom door, or inevitably this will happen in less than a minute's time...

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I am making 2011 the year I read more books! I like the idea of having a theme for the year... It gets me motivated to make change, set goals, and do things a little differently. I still have this major problem of wasting much of my free time. I still can't understand why I do this. Time flies while you are having fun or doing nothing. To try and combat this, I am going to seriously see how many books I can read in a year. I'm excited about my new goal, and have set up a wishlist at Amazon, so I can immediately add a book when I hear a recommendation. I added about a dozen off the top of my head the other day. Yesterday I ordered this one by Walter Williams along with "Introduction To The Devout Life by St Francis de Sales, and "The Duggars: 20 And Counting!"- This family is kind of facinating to me! I think they must be extraordinary, and I want to know more! I am happy that almost all of my books so far have 5 stars by them- this means I have gotton good advice! -Ciao

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Bottle

My dad has this bottle. I have always remembered him having it. Today he told me he found it in '71, the year I was born. He used to put it on the top of his dresser to display it, and I remember my mom would always put it back in his dresser cabinet when she dusted. Several years back my mom and dad went to the Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala and found the exact bottle in one of the little museums. Today we took it there to compare. Come to find out, there was a real-life archaeologist on-site giving a tour! The lady in the gift shop said we had come on just the right day, so we had it examined. It is a handmade whiskey flask that is probably at least 100 yrs old. It could have been made anytime between 1870 and 1918 because they stopped handmaking the flasks when they invented a whiskey flask making machine in the early 1900's. He said it was a quality handmade one. My dad found it in Lytle Creek up some very remote path. I speculated that someone was drinking some whiskey out of a very old reusable bottle, drank way too much, stumbled back home and days later said, "damn, where's my cool bottle!?!" It's funny to me that even this bottle can have a story that is somewhat epic!

Me and my mom at Mission