Friday, April 28, 2017


Sheala earned straight A's for this semester. She took 17 credits. We went out to Harvey's to celebrate. So proud!

Blessed Mother Love

Our sweet Robbie is in Guam for training. This morning he sent me this picture. He said it was at the top of a hill he was walking.  I told him our Blessed Mother was watching over him. I love that man.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Science - it's important

Javie worked many hours on his planet display. Grandma Caroline took him to the store to buy paints and Styrofoam balls. He did research to find out what size each planet should be.

There were hundreds of planet displays, but I knew from their description what to look for.

As we ran to Ayva's classroom to see her snow leopard project we passed one that I thought might be his. Pat said to keep going and we could check after.

Then we got to Ayva's classroom. She was so excited that we came to see her project.  Her Mom was there too.

I asked Ayva three questions and she answered them correctly.  What does adapt mean? What us altitude? What is terrain?

Then she showed me the guinea pigs and fed fresh hay to them. We really enjoyed seeing her in her classroom. She was very at ease and comfortable.

On our way out we stopped at the best planet display. I looked behind it and saw Jav. That's all I could see. But the way he explained how he made Saturn looked great. That's what gave me the idea it was Javier' s.  (Along with the glitter.)

We are so proud of all their hard work. Both of them finished before their projects were due.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Changing the thermostat

So we talked about changing the thermostat several months ago. I wanted some fancy gizmo. Pat went to Joanna's yesterday and stopped at Lowe's on the way there. He saw a thermostat with no bells and whistles and threw it in the cart.

Moral to this story: if you want bells and whistles go buy the dang thing yourself.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

No Bull

No bull..... this is my favorite bull. We love it when this bull is in the front pasture. We always say, "Hi Bull."

He never has any friends with him and looks a little lonely. I always feel a little sad for him.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fidget Quilt

We have a friend with Frontal Lobe Dementia. He has a lot of nervous energy which causes him to ask his wife if it's time to go yet sometimes just after getting there.

The six of us are very good friends and we decided last year to get together once a week for dinner. The guys go for a walk when the weather is okay and then the three women talk. We hope our friendships make life a little easier for them.

Enter Pinterest!

I saw a fidget quilt and was instantly intrigued. After searching I found several examples. I think maybe he will like the quilt. We'll see.

Pat and I went to Goodwill. I found two pillow shams that were brown, maroon and gold. Then we went to Joanne's Fabric where I found ribbons, fabric carrots, a tassle, metal soft sided pyramids on a roll, wooden buttons and a squeeze ball. Then Salvation Army where I found a zipper cosmetic bag and a wrist watch. We stopped At Pat's to buy a watch battery. At home I gathered beads and a couple military buttons from my Grandpa Brandi stash from his tailor shop.

Our friend likes watches sometimes he wears two. I was glad the watch worked with the new battery. He was in the military so I was happy the buttons survived the move. The tassel reminded me of an art and environment project we worked on together. He loved his garden so I was happy to find the carrots which I shaped into a heart because we love our friends.

Recap: The shams seem to be a good size. I opened the seams where I wanted to add an item. Cut open the back of one sham to sew the seams back up. I hid the purse inside the shams and only have the zipper showing. I had to hand sew the two shams together the machine wouldn't go through the edges. I'm not much of a seamstress (I know my Grandpa was a tailor and my Mom was a fabulous sewer) I did use pins to hold the shams together while sewing. I'm glad I did because the silky material was slippery. I used a hair tie for the closure.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Happy Blessed Easter

Easter 2017 - St. Dominic's Parish - SS Peter and Paul Site - Saginaw, Michigan

As I contemplate being Amy's sponsor for the last 25 years I am overwhelmed at the gift God gave this resentful servant.

When she asked I barely knew her. When she asked I was Parish Council president, working, a wife and mother. More meetings was not something I wanted. But I said yes.

As the year progressed we started to get to know each other. Our husbands were in choir together and we began to see each other socially. By the Easter Vigil we already knew we would be friends forever. But I didn't have an inkling that a friendship built with our faith directly at the center of it would be such a gift.

We worshipped together for many years, now we attend different parishes. But make no mistake about it, our faith is still right in the center of our friendship.

Tonight we will worship at St. Agnes to be with Amy and Bill as we celebrate 25 years together.

Tomorrow we will go to St. Dominic's at the SS Peter and Paul Site with Caroline and Jesse and the kids.

Wishing you and yours a very Blessed Easter.

Mary's sister, Mary?

How many times have I heard the reading of the Passion? Yesterday when I heard that Mary's sister, Mary, was at the cross I wondered why St. Ann would name her daughters the same name. Then I thought of the Shinner's family I went to school with where all the girls were Mary.
Mary Rita
Mary Martha
Mary Brigid

So I decided to do a little Internet research. EWTN had a good explanation.

Christopher Y Wong

"And there were standing by the cross of Jesus His mother and His mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen." How should we understand "His mother's sister," literally, as in having the same parents, or in the same sense that Jesus's "brothers" are to be understood as close relatives?The short answer is that Mary of Cleophas is probably the Blessed Virgin's sister-in-law. Mary of Cleophas may have had a previous husband named Alpheus, or this Alpheus may have been Cleophas. The Blessed Virgin Mary, of course, only had one husband (Joseph) and remained a virgin. The long answer follows.
Jesus' relativesReading the Bible, we find that Jesus had brethren named James, Joseph, Simon (Simeon) and Jude (Mt 13:55). We also know that His mother Mary had a "sister" called Mary. This other Mary in turn had a husband named Cleophas (Jn 19:25). I hope here to summarize and untangle this maze of relatives. I do not seek to prove the Blessed Virgin Mary's perpetual virginity here; there are many other sources for that purpose that I will list below.
First, let us see what the Gospels tell us. At the death of Jesus, we are told that Mary wife of Cleophas/Clopas (Jn 19:25) was present. She was described as the mother of James and Joseph (Mt 27:56) in one account, and mother of James the Less and Joses in another (Mk 15:40). On the other hand, James is described as the son of Alphaeus in the synoptic Gospels' listing of the Apostles (Mt 10:3, Mk 3:18, Lk 6:15). We can infer that Mary wife of Cleophas is unlikely to be a true sister of the Virgin Mary, since they bear the same name. However, they are related in some way. This parallels the semitic use of "brother" in relating James to Jesus.
An ancient historian named Hegesippus can shed further light. A native of Palestine, Hegesippus finished his Memoirs in the reign of Pope Eleutherius (AD 175-189) when he was an old man. He draws his information from personal sources, as he was able to question some surviving members of Jesus' family. Hegesippus can tell us that:
"After the martyrdom of James, it was unanimously decided that Simeon, son of Clopas, was worthy to occupy the see of Jerusalem. He was, it is said, a cousin of the Saviour;" Hegesippus recounts in fact that Clopas was a brother of Joseph (Eusebius, Hist. eccl., III, 11).
St. Epiphanius (Haer., LXXVII, 7) says the same and adds (ibid., 14) "that this Simeon, the son of Clopas, was a cousin of James the Just," as Hegesippus says in another passage. (Prat, Jesus Christ, p. 505).
Cleophas is the brother of Joseph (Jesus' adopted father). It follows that Cleophas' wife Mary is the Virgin Mary's sister in law, which explains why they can have the same name and are called sisters. It also follows that James is Jesus' cousin. Ferdinand Prat reasons:
"We know, then that the mother of two of the brothers of the Lord was Mary of Cleophas, the sister of the Blessed Virgin. We also know that Cleophas, St Joseph's brother, was the father of a third, called Simon or Simeon. Since the remaining one, Jude, is always connected with Simon and is, like him, part of the family of David, it is natural to suppose that he was also a son of Cleophas.
All the points that remain obscure would be cleared up, in our opinion, if two hypotheses are risked. Mary, the sister of the Blessed Virgin, having two sons, James and Joseph, by a first marriage, was married a second time to Cleophas, brother of St. Joseph, who also had two sons, Simon and Jude, by a former marriage. In light of the customs of the country and the age, there was nothing extraordinary in the marriage of a widow and a widower, each with children. The second hypothesis is that the sister of the Blessed Virgin had as her first husband a man of the tribe of Levi, called Alpheus.
In this fashion nine or ten problems would be solved. Thus one could explain why James, Joseph, Simon and Jude are always named in that order, as brethren of the Lord; why James and Joseph are a pair distinct from Simon and Jude; why Mary, sister of the Blessed Virgin, is called the mother of James and Joseph and not the mother of Simon and Jude; why, according to Hegesippus, Simon and not James is the son of Cleophas; why, again according to Hegesippus, Simon and Jude are of the family of David; why, according to tradition, James was of sacerdotal ancestry; why the common opinion of Catholics identifies James, son of Mary, sister of the Blessed Virgin, with James the Apostle, the son of Alpheus; why Mary of Cleophas is called in the Gospel sister of the Blessed Virgin, when she was really her sister-in-law, being the wife of St. Joseph's brother; finally, why, after the deaths of Joseph and Cleophas, the two sisters brought their families together, so that thereafter the two families seemed to be but one." (Prat, Jesus Christ, p. 136-137).
We do not hear of Cleophas or Joseph (Jesus' adopted father) in the Gospels during Jesus' adult life. We can imagine that after their deaths, the two families—deprived of their protectors and heads—came together under one roof. This would further strengthen their ties: the two Marys as "sisters" and Jesus and His cousins as "brothers". Gospel and tradition kept these names without denying Mary's perpetual virginity.
Further reading and bibliographyRereading my writing above, I fear I may have omitted too much material. I do not pretend that any of the above is my original work; the original sources should be consulted for the full picture. I will mention some further reading.
Prat, Ferdinand. Jesus Christ: His Life, His Teaching, and His Work, 2 vols. (Milwaukee, 1950). An orthodox Catholic work, this is my primary historical source. A strong defense of the Catholic position, and a fascinating work, it is described by Carroll as "thorough and profound".
Carroll, Warren H. The Founding of Christendom (Christendom Press, 1985). The first of a projected 7 volumes (3 completed), this book's detailed end-notes and annotated bibliography led me to Prat. Vivid and readable, this is the only attempt this century at a history of Christianity from an orthodox Catholic viewpoint that I know of. Warren Carroll is an expert on the Ask Experts forum.
St. Jerome. Against Heldivius. Where better to get a scriptural defense of Mary's perpetual virginity than the greatest Bible scholar of his day? The standard Protestant objections of today were handily refuted in AD 383, such that this heresy did not resurface again until relatively modern times. James Akin has an electronic copy at
Fr Most, William G. "Brothers and Sisters of Jesus". This short article defends Mary's perpetual virginity, with some attention to linguistic issues. Available as jesbrs.txt on Fr Most is an expert on the Ask Experts forum.

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Good Friday

Looking at Facebook this morning I saw this of the Diocese of Saginaw pictures for Good Friday. St. Mary Cathedral is using St. Andrew's church during construction. I really think this cross in front of the altar is a powerful symbol.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Thursday

St. Dominic's Parish
SS Peter and Paul Site
Saginaw, Michigan

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Palm Sunday

We worked with a severe handicap - No Pat. But Nancy, Jean, Sue, Gary and I got it done.

Seeing the palms stretched on the frame behind the cross made me smile. It's one thing to search the Internet for palm ideas and quite another to take the leap of faith to buy a shower curtain! It worked.


Pat put his back out. He went out to the garage to make a frame for a project at church. Bent over and when he stood up it hurt.

Praying this is a small problem that rest and heat will fix in a short amount of time. Last time it took a year.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Manchester by the Sea



We wait for most movies to come on cable. Some, like the Shack, we go to the theater. Today the weather in Michigan is windy, rain/snow, very cold. So we decided to look at my "Movies we want to see" list and hunker in on the couch with blankets.

Manchester by the Sea had such good reviews. So many people recommended it. It was depressing, jerking back and forth in time, and the ending - just plain stupid.

If you're wondering if you should rent it - A GREAT BIG NO FROM PAT AND ANOTHER ONE FROM ME.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Yikes! Fractions!

When I was in 5th grade we switched to "new" math. So I learned exponents instead of fractions. I never got fractions.

Tonight Ayva needed help with a pizza project tonight. All fractions.

We got a good start.

We worked on making the pizza and coming up with fractions. I must say it was much easier coming up wirh art projects at the other house.

Ayva was amazing coming up with taping over the felt pizza toppings.

Caroline is on the bad list. Saying I did the easy part with Ayva.