Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Just a quick update on my idea of painting the windows to save the birds: it bombed. I painted some flowers on one and geometric shapes on another. It was only then when I realized how wonderful it was to have large, CLEAR, unobtrusive, completely TRANSPARENT, glass panes on the windows! Both KDM and I decided we couldn't live with the painted eyesores. The end result of my endeavor was that the windows received several washings on a single day.

I have moved on with other ideas to alert the birds that those big, inviting skies and dark foliages they see in the glass are illusions. In the meantime I keep my fingers crossed and pray that the birds smart up before my help arrives.

And in the mean-mean-time, I've found this YouTube vid on one of my favorite American painters, Milton Avery, whose work never ceases to pleasure and startle my eyes and mind. I don't much care for the music, though. I watched it on silent:

Thursday, May 12, 2011

On My Calendar

For the coming two weeks:

  1. One First Communion, which I'm hoping and praying won't turn out just a photo-op.  But it really isn't my business to worry. Or, maybe it is.
  2. One church carnival, the occasion for justified /compulsive impulsive shopping and eating. We're known suckers here. I had the pleasure to be introduced to funnel cake just a few years ago. 
  3. One baby shower slated in a town about 100 miles away.
  4. One wedding reception/party the attendants of which are mostly likely arty brie-eating people, some of whom like to wear shoes of different colors, on the same day, one on each foot. I fear for KDM.  But it will be on the same day as Number 3. We still have our options.
  5. Three birthdays to send card/present to; probably just presents. We're hardly card people.
  6. One birthday party to attend where we will see people who are known not to enjoy the sight of us.
  7. One veterinarian appointment to dread because the dog is neither leash-trained nor knows how to get in the back of the truck on its own.
  8. One group painting session to consider
  9. Several boxes of mail to expect from various parts of the country, brought to me by eBay.
What's on your calendar? Feel free to scatter them in the comment section. And yes, I want to know.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This Was My Day

This was my day:
  1. Got up. Went sit on the porch with KDM. Drink Coffee. Watch birds (did I tell you that for the first time, ever, we saw Baltimore Orioles on our farm?). Shoot the breeze.
  2. Dragged the hose, watered flowers, trees, herbs. Dug out the crepe myrtle which was planted too close to another bush. Replant the myrtle after moving it to a spot where KDM will have trouble getting the mower through. KDM protested, I answered I ain't moving the myrtle again. He'll figure out how to mow around it. He has a manual mower. No, no push mower, but the old fashioned, mechanical mower. 
  3. Picked up one dead bird, victim of window crashing. I was sick to my stomach - it was the fourth one in three days. Yesterday I found a blue bird with wings spread out on the grass, alive, but couldn't get up. KDM picked it up. Blue bird was upset in his hands and made its feeling know LOUDLY. It flew away shortly. 
  4. Made up my mind that I would see to it that no more bird shall crash into our windows. My idea is to paint the glass with glass paint, tomorrow. 
  5. Bought bamboo Roman shades on eBay. I've been shopping on eBay quite a bit lately. As of today I have coming by mail shoes, shirt, paint, scarf, more shoes, and of course, Roman shades. 
  6. While I was making payment to the eBay seller, the screen of my computer all of a sudden went nuts. A window/curtain dropped down from nowhere with pulsating warnings of a bug, red-hot spots everywhere shouting "This system has been infected!!" Within seconds the downloader went into action and I watched, breathlessly, stuff being downloaded by an invisible hand onto the hard-drive. The pulsating window is now securely perched on the top of my screen, carrying on its fire and brimstone of warning and threats. When I clicked on what I now don't remember, to supposedly "clean up" the bugs, I was asked to register and purchase the software. In a second I knew I'd been scammed. When I tried to find where the malware was installed, the homepage of my browser suddenly disappeared and a porn page popped up in its place. I launched into warrior mode and closed it like I was slaying a dragon. No sooner did I get back to the homepage to check the Internet settings than another popup parachuted in with ads pitching Viagra...Long story short, it took me another good half hour to finally stamp out the vicious invasion. I double-checked all places, emptied the trash can, reset Internet preferences, shutdown the computer, restarted. I tell you, it was like breathing fresh air again. 
  7. Then I finished making my eBay payment for bamboo Roman shades.
  8. Ate lunch.
  9. Set up to paint a picture of the living room. 
  10. Painted for several hours.
  11. Meantime, KDM was on the tractor putting out fertilizer. Rain and storm were predicted to happen in the evening. Farmers try to time fertilizing pastures before the rain, which helps dissolve the material. 
  12. I stopped painting. Time to cook. But what to cook? I wanted to eat cucumber salad, Chinese style. I looked out the window and saw KDM hard at work. KDM is a cowboy. Cowboys shouldn't be fed cucumber salad after a day's hard work. I repented the idea. 
  13. I sat in front of the computer. Internet is where I find answers and solutions to all of life's persistent questions these days. "What's wrong with my azaleas?" "How to find a dead mouse and deodorize the place?" "What is color fruitwood?" "How to keep birds from crashing into windows?" Surely it would tell me "What's for supper"? I was poised to type the last question in the Google bar, then I paused. In stead, I clicked on Pioneer Woman Cooks.
  14. I could always count on Pioneer Woman. It was meatball sandwich for supper. 
  15. Dirty sweaty cowboy couldn't believe his luck. Turned out cowboy's wife liked the meatball sandwich too. Thanks to Pioneer Woman, and her insanely helpful, step-by-step, shot-by-shot photo illustration for making the meal. 
  16. Cleaning and washing the dishes. 
  17. Checked email, finding out that Neglected Teenager had just changed her college major for the, hm, the sixth time? Well, I guess she has time to make up her mind, she's only nineteen. 
  18. Reporting the above on my dragon-free computer.
  19. Good night.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Father Rutler on Mother's Day

I receive weekly by email the Sunday homily of Father George Rutler, pastor of Church of Our Savior, New York. Below is today's to share:
Our nation’s Mother’s Day was the worthy idea of a lady, Anna Jarvis, in West Virginia, but it took the promotion of Philadelphia’s department-store king, John Wanamaker, to persuade Woodrow Wilson to give it official cachet in 1914. Miss Jarvis died in 1948, regretting that her original intention of honoring motherhood had been commercialized beyond recognition.

     It is ironic that many people who think that Catholics pay too much honor to the Mother of God have set aside a day for their own mothers. If people are deprived of truth and the rituals that honor that truth, they will invent substitutes. Various cults and fraternal societies offer ceremonies that are absent in lackluster religious sects. The fact is, Catholics have three mothers: our biological mothers; the mother Christ gave us as He was dying on the Cross; and the Church.

     The Church was shown to the world when our Lord’s heart was pierced and there flowed from it the water of Baptism and the blood of the Eucharist. Just as the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” the Blessed Virgin so that she might conceive her own Saviour, so the same Holy Spirit filled the Church at Pentecost, bringing her to birth and empowering the apostles to preach boldly. We can no more have Christ without the “institutional Church” than we can have ourselves without our bodies. The Church is an institution, but one instituted by Christ. And the Church is our Mother, nurturing us in the Faith; thus, she is more our "Alma Mater" than any school. We do not call our own mother “it,” so we should not call the Church only “it.” She is our Holy Mother Church.

     Christ came to us with a human body that took physical shape in the womb of a mother, and this He did out of mercy, or “loving-kindness” as St. Athanasius wrote, so that we as humans might recognize the divinity that had always filled His creation invisibly.

     George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were born seventy-seven years apart, but each said virtually the same thing about his source. Washington said: "My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her." Lincoln said: "All I am or can be I owe to my angel Mother." My own mother would have marked her ninetieth birthday this week, and I can say the same, as all of us should. The best mothers teach us about our other mothers: the Blessed One who makes her Son our brother, and the Mystical One, into which we were baptized. St. Cyprian said: “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” God wants every day to be Mother’s Day.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Late, but not Never

This hasn't been a smooth day - the iPhoto application on my laptop went berserk. I un-installed and re-installed the operation system, downloaded and reloaded the program itself, each several times in between painting, laundering, and cooking. When I finally got it back to behave and accept photos from the camera, it was almost 10:00PM. I'm not sure how I got it back to work, though. It's a computer software, you know. You can't sit it down, hand it a cup of water, and say to it: "Well, now, tell me, what was the matter?"

The smartest computer is still stupider than Homo sapiens, it can't say "I've decided not to release the photos."

And all I ever wanted was to show you this:

Hot Cross Buns made on Good Friday, by me.

In both getting it posted and the timeliness of the subject matter, it's better late than never. That sums up my day.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Morning Joe

  • They got Osama bin Laden. Here's what makes me glad: I am glad that our troops once again showed the world what they are made of. They sparkled and shone through years of what began to look like a quagmire. They proved that the American soldiers, when determined, and un-hamstrung, can pull off a spectacular operation as this. It gives me hope amid a global chorus singing the decline and unprecedented weakness of the United States.
  • It also gives me somewhat ironic satisfaction, to see the President, finding himself in dire need of a ratings boost, knew exactly where to get it. It seems that in his heart of hearts, he knows what REALLY works when the rubber meets the road,  and it is exactly the sort of thing which he despises, such as military might. This is why he hasn't closed Gittmo, this is why he has kept in place all those national security policies put in place by his predecessor, President George W. Bush, the man he ceaselessly, classlessly maligns. 
  • I am sick and tired of those so-called Trad Catholics, who hungrily grab attention in the comp boxes in the Catholic bloggersphere by attacking the Blessed Pope John Paul II. It's not the content of their criticism that bugs me, it's their smugness and hardly-concealed pride. I often remember what Blaise Pascal said about some heretic nuns of his times, that they were "pure like angels, proud like the devil."
  • Just to get a couple of things off my chest, so to speak, this morning. 
  • Also, get over to Ree Drummond's (Pioneer Woman) place. She's giving away $500 donations to your favorite charity. All you do is leave comment for a chance. She's also giving $.25 for each comment left to help the tornado victims in Alabama, who are virtually forgotten by media amid the royal wedding and the death of bin Laden.
  • KDM and I have a field trip date today: we are headed to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to see this golden painting at the Philbrook Museum by my very favorite American painter, Fairfield Porter:
October Interior, Fairfield Porter
  • Basking in the painting's golden light, I will surely feel blessed. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011