Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Hopes Too

I received a poignant email from my brother Jim. It is the hopes of a parish priest by Fr.  Peter Daly.

Fr. Peter Daly is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and has been pastor of St. John Vianney parish in Prince Frederick, Md., since 1994.

Like everybody else, I was surprised to hear that Pope Benedict was resigning. But I was also relieved for him. It has been painfully obvious that he is declining. At Christmas, we saw him wheeled around on that rolling platform. He looked tired. It was time to resign.

Perhaps the most important legacy of Benedict XVI's papacy will be his resignation. It has set a very healthy precedent. In an age when medical science can keep us living well into our 90s and maybe even past 100, it is important that popes should feel free to resign when they feel they are no longer up to the task of their ministry. Pope Benedict showed true pastoral concern for the church when he recognized he could no longer carry on.

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he lived through the final years of John Paul II's papacy. He saw his friend decline, and he knew the church was drifting for the last few years of that long reign. Yet John Paul II felt bound by tradition to carry on until the end. Benedict XVI has freed future popes of that burden and perhaps freed the church from a major problem of having a senile or incapacitated pope. He deserves our thanks for this precedent.

The Benedictines have a saying about the selection of a new abbot: The abbot should be ne nimis sapiens, ne nimis sanctus, et ne nimis sanus -- not too healthy, not too wise and not too holy. In other words, they should select a regular guy. That's what I hope for: a regular guy.

What does that mean in the context of the College of Cardinals? They are 120 guys, all pretty much cut from the same clerical cloth. They are all older men and accomplished church politicians who have been serving in church offices, where everyone is Catholic and everyone deferential.

But I hope we get somebody who has at least some experience as a parish priest. I hope we get someone who has heard confessions and done marriage counseling, been on youth retreats and done marriage prep. It would be nice if he had the experience of being alone in a parish where he had to do all the liturgies, week after week, and struggled to inspire the same people with his preaching. I hope he has had to explain the teaching of the faith to skeptical youth and angry adults. I hope he has had to deal with divorced people.

I hope we get somebody who has not lived exclusively in the world of chancery offices where people give him deference and obedience all the time. I hope we get someone who has dialogued with evangelicals, Muslims and atheists as equals. It would be nice if he has a few friends who are Protestant clergy and he has come to respect them as intelligent and sincere Christians, every bit as saved as he is.

I hope we get someone from a big family, with many brothers and sisters. I hope he has a lot of nieces and nephews who have challenged him around the dinner table and in family gatherings. Maybe some of them have married outside the church or have left the church to join other religions. He has attended their weddings only as a family member. Perhaps one of those nieces and nephews has come out to him as gay and he has had to love them still.

I hope he has several strong-willed and outspoken biological sisters who have more than a streak of feminism. Maybe they have told their brother that they use birth control. Maybe they have responsible and substantial careers outside the home where women are the boss.

I hope he is a man who has many old friends. That he has kept his friends since childhood and that some of the people on his Christmas card list still call him by his first name. Maybe some of them can still remind him of the stupid things he did or impetuous statements he made in his youth. There is nothing like an old friend to bring you down to earth.

I hope we get somebody who is in touch with his own humanity. It would be nice if he was a man who admits that he, too, is a sexual being who has struggled with human desires and impulses like everybody else. I hope we get a man with a sense of humor. It would be nice if he was not too much of ninny. He might even be able to tell a joke once in a while and laugh at himself.

I hope we get somebody who puts on his pants one leg at a time.

In fact, it would be nice if he would wear pants. Clerics should leave behind the silly affectation of dressing like they are still living in some Renaissance villa or a Baroque painting.

I hope we get a man who knows what it is like to be poor. It would be nice if he has dealt with the homeless and drug addicts and the sick for a few years of his life. It would be good if he has had to struggle like the rest of humanity for his daily bread. It would be nice if he has held a job and had to pay his own bills.

Maybe the cardinals could look around the room and perhaps even look outside the room for the new pope. There is nothing in canon law that says they have to elect a cardinal.

One thing is for sure: We need to try something new if the church is to be revived. What Yogi Berra said about baseball managers is also true about the cardinals' choice: "If you do what you have always done, you are going to get what you have always got."

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Emile Sande sings on Jimmy Kimmel Live

My new favorite song. "Next to Me" by Emile Sande. It so reminds me of Patrick.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


I watched Pioneer Woman on Food Network yesterday and I had stewing beef defrosting on the counter. She made Stew with Paprika and Beer - it looked good so I made it, too. The only thing I would change is that I added roasted squash that I had in the freezer. When I roasted it I drizzled it with olive oil so it made the stew a little oily. If I would have stayed with the recipe it would have been perfect.

At 4:00 I decided we would invite our friends over. I found a Snicker Doodle Bar recipe - I made it and baked it by 4:35! That I would make again, for sure! Both recipes are in my Pinterest Boards in Tried in True Board.

Bill and Amy came over and we had dinner and then played a couple of games of Hearts. We had a great time. We haven't played cards in ages.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Goooooo Tigers!

First Spring Training game is on the radio! Martinez is back! However first time up he took first base after getting hit at bat!

I can't say how happy I am - the only thing that could make it better would be Rod and Mario!

Hunkering In

The snow is here!

We are catching up on our DVR shows. We are also watching tons of snow fall from the sky. Big fat snowflakes that need to have children running around with their tongues hangin out!

I used to love to play outside in this kind of a storm. With so many kids in our neighborhood on Hoyt Street there was always someone willing to build a snowman!

We stopped watching shows to eat breakfast. I grilled polenta with a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. Yumola!

Now we are supposed to be watching "The Good Wife." Patrick fell asleep in his chair so lucky you I am writing this blog! He doesn't know I posted this picture!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cream Cheese Cake

Butter Cake with Cream Cheese

I combined ideas from the Niemen Marcus cake and the Bobby Deen's lighter version of his mother's Gooey Butter cake filling.

The picture isn't the greatest - but I wanted to show the cake pulling away from the side and the topping still soft and gooey. There are a few things I would change when I make this again. The cake was absolutely better on the 2nd and 3rd day so I would make it ahead. I also served it with fresh blueberries but I would add whipped cream on top next time, too.

Plan ahead - all the cold ingredients need to be at room temperature. Also preheat oven to 350.

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 Jumbo or 4 extra large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cups sour cream at room temperature
1/2 cup greek yogurt at room temperature
1 lemon zested
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking soda

1 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 cup powdered sugar
1 eggs well beaten, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp melted butter

Grease a 9 x 13 pan.
Cream the butter and sugar about five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the sour cream, Greek yogurt and lemon zest.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Mix the ingredients for the topping and spread on top.

Bake 35 minutes - the cake pulled away from the edges a bit when done.

Cool then store in refrigerator. To serve cut in generous pieces and top with whipped cream and blueberries.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Another Church Sign

We are open between Christmas and Easter


We had an impromptu dinner party last night because my stupid phone I hate isn't working properly.

Amy sent an empty text. It looked on my phone that she was sending a picture. So I called her and told her I didn't get it. She said Bill was going to cantor at 5:00. So I invited them for dinner. Then I got another text that was empty. So I called Jan and invited Jim and Jan. Then I called Olympia and she was available! It was all coming together.

Pat and I were cooking fools all day. A cake with a cream cheese topping, a cucumber salad, homemade rolls, a double meatloaf and a double scalloped potatoes. I put the meatloaf and potatoes in the oven and hoped they wouldn't burn while we were at church.

At church we found out it was Fr. Jack's birthday. So after Mass as we flew out of the church I asked him what he was doing and would he like to come to dinner. He said yes and asked where we wanted to go. I laughed and told him I was cooking!

It was just a fluke that he could even come for dinner on his birthday. His sister had to change their dinner to next week so he didn't have plans.

We had such an enjoyable night. The food turned out-although a bit dark from cooking so long. Lots of stories and laughter.  I just love being surrounded by our good friends, sitting around reminiscing.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Plan B

We are at church fixing the stretched frames. Jean called Pat to say the top one fell and knocked the other two off the wall. Thank goodness it happened at choir practice and not during Ash Wednesday services!

Pat is drilling holes and putting screws into the hangers - they won't fall again!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


A simple birch tree against the purple cloth signifies our letting go of distraction and concentrating on asking God for forgiveness and direction.

After the announcement yesterday of the Pope stepping down let us pray during this holy season that the Cardinals open their hearts and minds to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Javier's Birthday Celebration

Javie, Ayva, Romeo, Caroline, Jesse, Pat and I went to the Children's Museum yesterday. That was our birthday present to Javie. We had so much fun. Then they came over for dinner. Javie didn't want a cake, instead he wanted a big chocolate chip cookie made in the cast iron skillet. We had meatloaf, scalloped potatoes, zuccini coins and a salad.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Major Work on Book Three

I spent most of today working on Independence Day, the third book in the Holiday Series.

Mary Lynn has already edited the first book, No Christmas for Olivia and I just sent it to Kay for a final proof. Well, I say final proof but I never leave a book alone until it is on Amazon.

I sent book two, Easter Break in Florida to Mary Lynn last week. She has been pretty busy so I'm not sure when I will get it back.

The last book, A Very Thankful Thanksgiving has had a lot of work done on it so I don't see too much more I have to do.

The only hold up will be the covers. Dan opted out of this series so I have been researching photographs online that can be used for commercial projects.

So I am optimistic that the new series will be on Amazon around the end of April. Say prayers!

Day Trip

It was just a day, but what a day! We had so much fun. Including a stop at the St. Francis Thrift Shop in Grayling where Pat found a record player/cd/radio that looks like a vintage radio. He really likes it.

Then on to the casino. Lost.

Then dinner at Trevino's that was fabulous as usual.  Then home.

There is a huge weather advisory for a big storm so that was why it was a short one day trip.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What a Gorgeous Drive

We are in Kalkaska. They have had more snow! The blue sky, snow-filled trees and the bright sunshine are a refreshing change.

Yes, of course

Pat's parents have decided to move back to the house. I have nothing to say about this on my blog. I am sure Pat has heard enough of my opinion.

We are at the house so Pat can put another coat of mud on the closet. Robbie helped him on Monday. What a great kid. He worked hard with his Papa.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Day of Marketing

I spent most of the day going from link to link on blogs. I started on Pinterest when I saw a pin of a list of books to read to your daughter before she reads the Twilight Series.

So, I read all the comments on the blog and then linked to that person's blog. I found myself reading some very interesting posts.

I then invited the author to go to my

for links to Amazon to read my book reviews and buy my books. On several of the sites I asked for them to read and review my books. I heard back from a few saying thank you for the recommendation. Hopefully other people will see the comment I left and then go to check the blog out, too.

If you happen upon a blog that has posted about books please recommend the Saginaw Series or send me an email with a link and I will do it. Thanks so much for helping.