Tag Archives: holiday

12 Days of Christmas blogging: Day 6

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

Since I’ve already written about my New Years’ Promises{ I hate the word” resolutions”as when I resolve to complete a task I generally fail at the attempt.} I’m writing about music on my Ipod. Irrelevant? Probably, but this is my blog & I’ll discuss what I wat to discuss. :O)

Anyhow, I’m currently waiting for EPC to pick me up for our morning workout at the gym. I’m fairly pleased with the results of my promise to myself that I’d get fit in 2012, but I’ve still MUCH more work in that area of my life ahead of me. Fitness{ at lest to me} is a lifestyle choice–not a ” resolution”.

The Parental Units gave me a new much improved Ipod for Christmas. Currently { as I type} I am transferring a 3 Dog Night CD to my Itunes collection. Although I was born in 1976, m musical tastes lie mostly with the rock & roll music of the 1960s & 1970’s. :O) In my opinion, music of y parents’ generation is fa superior to the music of today. Although there are some bands & solo artists from te 180’s { my ” coming of age” years”} my tastes in music tend towards that of the vintage rock era. I’ll admit that I’ve some current ” pop music” on my Ipod…but its few & far between on my playlist.

I’m an “old soul” musically. :O)


12 Days of Blogging Day 5

It is COLD here in Florida.

I woke with a horrible sore throat, but Best Dude & I made it to Mass anyhow. He served as Chalice Bearer & I as Acolyte. It was a wonderful Mass, even though, as per the Sunday after Christmas, low in numbers. Many people here travel for the long Christmas holiday break. I am told that there were 72 souls at the * PM Lessons & Carols Mass on Christmas Eve.

Today I had lunch with a youth from my parish who is now a student in University. My throat felt like sandpaper & I had a headache but I did not wish to cancel this lunch date.

My kin from Atlanta are still here, so I’ve been at the Parental ‘s house visiting a lot with the brother & sister-in-law. It has been a wonderfully boring Christmas here on the Gulf Coast. :O) Tomorrow is New Years’ Eve & best Dude & I will eat supper with the Parentals & Siblings & then play games.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how important family is to me & how LONELY holidays are when one’s family is either physically and/or emotionally ” far away”.

12 Days of Christmas:Day 1

xmaschurch12 014Christmas is a season in the Church Year. t lasts from Christmas until the Fast of the Epiphany on January 6.

In the spirit of the 12 Days of Christmas, I will blog once daily.

Best Dude, my family & I had a wonderful Christmas Day. Best Dude & I went to Midnight Mass { Candlelight & very Anglo-Catholic–I LOVED IT!} My beloved bought me a brand-new NIKON camera for Christmas & Its been a lot of fun using it already. I bought him a book & ordered a special coffee mug that has a collage of photos of he & I. My parental units bought us two tickets to the musical _West Side Story_ that is playing in Pensacola on January. 3. I adore the movie version, so I am looking forward to seeing the live-action musical play.

My brother & Sister-in-law will be here tomorrow. Best Dude has a busy work schedule this week, so I’m glad I will be occupied with my siblings. They come to Florida every year during the Christmas season & it is always so much fun. I love my family & am so blessed to have such great people with whom to spend the holidays. My heart goes out to all those who spend this wonderful time of year alone, as inasmuch as I am an introvert I do love the few people who do share my life in a big way.

Summertime” Thin Places”

It is HOT here in Northwest Florida. How hot is it? ________ hot { quote from the movie _Good Morning Vietnam_}

It is true that I’ve spent pretty much ALL of my adult life here {14 years} but these hot and HUMID summers depress me. No matter what one does, one cannot enjoy the outdoors here unless one stays submerge in water. Since the July 4 celebrations are coming up in this next week, summer is officially half-over in most parts of the nation. How I wish it were also so here in The Redneck Riviera, as I hate humidity & the ever-present threat of named storms that define Gulf Coast summers.

I didn’t always live here–as a matter of fact spent most of my life in the Greater Pittsburgh area–where summer lasted exactly 3 months.

Due to unforseen financial circumstances, I’ve had to postpone my annual sojourn up North until August. Although I am grateful that I * can* make this yearly pilgrimage to the land of my origins at the same time I feel figuratively & literally smothered by Florida’s intense heat & humidity & CANNOT WAIT to get back to the mountains for a fortnight!

There isn’t much that happens in southwestern Pennsylvania & eastern Ohio, but this is where I go to connect with my past, engage in the present with loved ones now & contemplate the future. I find many ” thin places within the tri-state area. { Thin places, according to my priest, are places where one feels that the connection between the Divine & humanity is closer, or” thin”}

Most of my trip up north is spent at my godparents’ lake & campground up on Ohio’s easternmost border. I pretty much lived here during summers of high school & the first attempt at college while I worked long hors in the snack bar. It was work, but this place fostered a sense of community that one rarely finds in today’s secular world. When I return to The Lake every summer, people who have known me a long time who still camp there say ” Hello, Sarah”. I find myself comfortably returning to the unusual lifestyle of a family owned & operated campground–and it is often as though I never left!

Where is your ” thin place”? here at home, one of my ” thin places is the memorial garden that is located on the parish property. Oftentimes on Sunday mornings, I’ll walk over to this garden for a few quiet moments of communion with Our Lord. Some people might find memorial gardens where ashes of the departed are interred to be creepy, but I find this a peaceful place where I can just sit & ” be”. When I travel North to my godparents’ place in the Allegheny Mountain foothills I also find time alone in te woods { especially in the woods by the creek} as ” thin”.

Football weekend…and a sick day

I know I am remiss in keeping up with this blog. Its een a GREA but busy holiday season, cumulating with the Bishop’s annual visit to Small Parish last Sunday. Our Bishop visited the parish on the Feast of Or LORD’s Baptism.

We had about 8 or 9 confirmads and one Reception from the Roman Church & one Reaffirmation of faith. It was a glorious Sunday. Our Bishop also pronounced God’s Blessings on a ship’s bell and our new Parish Archive. All in all, it was an eventful day. Best Dude & I also watched my Steelers get ” T-Bowed” during the NFL playoff game against Denver. Ugh. But I must admit that my Steelers’ O-Line was NOT there during the first half on Sunday’s game. They somewhat rallied during the second half, but it was not enough to salvage the damage done during that HIDEOUS first half. Oh , well….

Well, I got some really lousy news today. Apparently a high school classmate died today after suffering a long illness. My heart is heavy & this news only strengthens my resolve to live a healthy, active lifestyle. I’ve be criticized for my obsession with health & fitness this year but I am almost on the close side of the BIG 4-0 & I want to have a healthy , happy & active life.

On Monday evening Best Dude & I watch “the” college game: a much-anticipated rematch versus the Louisiana State Tigers & the Alabama Crimson Tide. Although I cheer for Bama & am pleased that they won the National Championship, as a football fan I’d hoped for …much more of a contest between these two teams.Bama DOMINATED over LSU all while kicking FIELD GOALS. Yep…I’ve always stated that games can be either won or lost depending on the skill of any team’s kicker. The loan run over the goal line was scored by none other than Pensacola’s Trent Richardson! :O)

Anyhow, Its Wednesday & I’m nursing a sore throat. I felt so lousy when I awoke this morning that I missed my morning workout with LPC & stayed away from Wednesday Mass. This morning I went back to sleep after enjoying my morning coffee.

When I awoke I sat in bed & read one of the new books I bought on my NOOK Tablet. That little Tablet is an amazing piece of technology & according to an article I read recently on CNNMoney.com, the Tablet-type ereaders are supposed to DECREASE in price in 2012. My NOOK Tablet does eerything that my laptop computer does & is * much* more portable. I’m very impressed with the quality of the e-books I’ve readthus far on my NOOK Tablet— the controls are almost entirely touch-screen based & the ” pages” of the NOOK books look just like paper books. Unlike the first-generation Kindle, one needs not push buttons to turn pages, One swipe of a finger turns pages of Nook books. Best Dude bought me a * PURPLE* leather-like coer for my NOOK tablet & this further aids one in confort while reading.

Currenty I am reading _Nicholas & Alexandra_ on my NOOK—in print, this tome is a heavy 600+ page volume. I carry the electronic it in my slim, light Nook . On B&N.com I also found a complete Book of Common Prayer for the weekly cheap prince of $3.99.
Have a great wek, everyone.

Advent with ++KJS Day 14 “Ready for Grace”

Tonight Best Dude & I are having a traditional Hanukkah celebration. { he’s not Jewish…aswe met in church but he’s interested in learning about my Jewish heritage, so we’ll do this tonight} I’ve got my grandmother’s menorah on the table & we found birthday candles that * just * fit in the menorah. I’m cooking latkes for supper tonight. YUM!

The Presiding Bishop, in today’s sermonette, talks about hunger. There is much physical hunger going on in today’s world . But I’ve also notice spiritual hunger among many people I know. She says that to we Christians, Christ is ” the Bread of Life”. When we attempt to live out our baptismal covenant we are offering that Bread to others who might nt even know they are hungry.

I am blessed with both enough physical food to eat & a rich spiritual heritage into which I have dipped to sustain me. 2011 has been a tough year for most people, but we can take substance both from receiving Christ at the altar & BEING Christ’s Body in the world.

When Best Dude & I sit down to say the traditional Hanukkah blessing this evening, I’ll give thanks to our God, a God Whose Grace knows no limit.


Advent with ++KJS Day 3″ You can’t always get what you want”

One of my pet peeves about the Advent season is that Corporate America has tured it into the worship of the Almighty Dollar. Instead of preparing ou hearts & minds for the coming of the greatest Gift our Creator ever bestowed upon us, we bemoan the fact that{ many of us, myself included} have less capital to buy less ” stuff” for our loved ones.

Bishop Katharine reminds us that God provided the ancient Isrealites not withwhat they WANTED but what they NEEDED during their time in the wilderness. Scripture tells us that the people complained to Moses about
not having enough & we complain about scarcity. Everyone wants more ” stuff”.

Bishop Katharine says that a ” God’s-eye view {of the world} does not see scarcity– its all abundance. Everone gets what is needed in the Kingdom of God. God is more like a Jewish or Itallian mother who urges us to ‘eat, eat, eat people will thinkI don’t love you if you’re too skinny.”

Instead of complaining, we should be grateful for the abundance that God gives freely.

Many of us still have much more food, adequateshelter, medical care & clothing than people throughout most of the world. There is no doubt that economic times are tough worldwide & there are many in this great nation who lack necessities. But God does & will provide, we just need to stop focusing on ourselves & share some of God’s bounty.

If you do not have much by way of material goods, think about sharing some of your talents. Abilities also are given by God & not everyone has the same skills.

Here are some ideas to share gifts of talents with others: Volunteer to teach an adult to read & speak English. Sing Christmas carols at a local nursing home one Saturday morning{ Trust me, they LOVE this…my Jewish grandfather’s deep baritone singing “O Christmas Tree” with my caroling group several years ago.] Volunteer at a free medical clinic if you are trained in one of the medical arts. Become a guardian ad litem.

We are a blessed people, no matter what the stock market does. Amen.

” Black Friday”

I never understood why so many Americans choose to go Christmas shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.

I would much rather stay home & sleep off the turkey & eggnog overdoses than brave a mad crowd of shoppers at the nearest shopping mall or Big Box store. Ugh. By nature I am not a shopper anyhow, I prefer to purchase my Christmas gifts online or at a small, loal retailer. Big Box stores bother my seses, what with the flourescent lighting & high ceilings. Shoppers there also tend to be more rude than usual around the shopping season & this frustrates me. I sympathize with the overworked ad entirely undepaid cashiers at these retail centers.

We are heading home to Northwest Florida today. While I’ve enjoyed visiting with my Atlanta family, I’m very glad to be going home . I’ve missed Best Dude, my Dog & my Betta fish.


In all things, GIVE THANKS!


Last evening Mom’s Brother & his two sons came over to Atlanta House for fun, fellowship & pizza. My brother ordered four pizzas, three without meat & one{ for we carnivores in my family} with three different meat. Haha, you can guess which pizza I allowed myself to enjoy. :O)

This morning Chloe{ dog} and I went for a long walk near where my brother & sister-in-law live.Since I am almost never without my camera, I snapped a few cute shots of my canine ” niece” playing on the playground equipment.

The first of many football games is on the TV & I am sitting here listening to the game with ” half-an-ear”. The Gren Bay Packers are playing the Detriot Lions & for once I am cheering for the Lions to beat The Pack.

We are due to ear The Meal at 4 p.m. EST{ 3 p.m. at home in Pensacola} Since Brother & Sis-in-Law have a house, this will be the first Thanksgiving since they got married & moved to Atlanta that the family Turkey Day celebration is not{ Thanks be to God} at some boring restaurant.

Tonight we will stay in Atlanta instead of making the LONG drive back home to Florida immediately after the meal. Granted, there is almost literally no traffic on Thanksgiving night, but it isn’t comfortable to ride in the backseat of a car for six hours.

Since some of my immediate family are vegetarians, there will be salmon on our Thanksgiving table in addition to the customary turkey. My mother also makes a dressing without any use of turkey ” giblits”.

God Bless you & yours.


It is day 2 in Atlanta. Today I’ll spend the day with my sister-in-law. My brother has to work & the parents are going out to Roswell, Georgia to visit our great-uncle & then see a high school classmate of Mom’s whom I never met. SIL & I will probably take Chloe{ their little dog} over to her parents’ house in Jonesboro, Georgia for the day. I’m looking forward to today, as I don’t get much ” Girls’ Time with my SIL.

At any rate, the issue I wanted to address today deals with the fact that the far-LEFT seems o want to eradicate the words ” Merry Christmas”from the lexicon. Now I am totally accepting & understanding of folks whose relgious beliefs don’t subscribe to the Christian part of the Christmas season, but nonetheless, it isn’t ” The Holidays” One of my pet peeves is when folks wish me ” happy Holidays” when I know darn well that they are{ or at least claim to be} Christian.

We Christians should claim the holiday as what it originally intended it to be: a celebration of our Lord & Savior’s birth.

Stores everywhere bring out the red & green decor on the first of November{ which, by the way, is All Saints’ Day} but individuals need not fall for the overdone commercialization of what politically-correct super liberals call ” The Holidays”. Catholic Christians know that there is a four week time of preparation before Christmas & we call it Advent.

Now I am aware that may popular Christmas images & smbols come from a very pagen source.Thats ine with me, but these symbols & traditions are not known as ” Yuletide” symbols. Even my most agnostic family members call a Christmas tree a CHRISTMAS tree. I think I remember President Obama wanting to call the White House Christmas Tree the ” Holiday Tree” Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I hate how the super-PC left trie to ruin the two most sacred days on the Christian calendar. Of course I respect folks’ right to worship{ or to not worship} as they please, but I do resent the movement to negate Christmas and Advent to “The Holidays”