The Clock of Life

Yesterday I was in a hurry to get to my next destination but standing in line at our post office I realized my timeframe was not going to work.  I took a deep breath, let out a disgruntled sigh, and started to study the people in line with me.  As the lone post office staff member methodically helped one person at a time I slowly moved forward.  Near the front of the line, posted on a bulletin board, I saw a 2 verse poem  called THE CLOCK, by Robert H. Smith.  It read:

clockThe clock of life is wound but once, and no man has the power,

To tell just when the hands will stop at late or early hour.

To lose ones wealth is sad indeed, to lose one’s health is more.

               To lose one’s soul is such a loss, that no one can restore

I reread it a few times…our post office enjoys the relaxed family friendly atmosphere of small town America…and although I loved the imagery of using a  clock to illustrate one’s lifeline, it was the final line that stayed with me for the rest of the day.

We all lead busy lives, where deadlines and responsibilities are second nature for most of us. If we slow down maybe we will forget something, miss something, lose something. But will we really?  Slowing down life’s pace is necessary not only for our personal health but  for our spiritual health as well.

Today, take the time to slow down and remember what is truly important.

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Mass Mobs Saving Catholic Churches

If we are lucky, we will learn something new every day. Well, today I was lucky.

Recently I have been doing research into the early Polish-Catholic settlers of Detroit for a series of articles. These early founders of the PolishAmerican Catholic Church faced extreme prejudice and hardships,  yet they never lost sight of what was truly important: their faith. They sought solace and solidarity within the confines of this faith; faith practiced not only on holidays and Sundays, but faith that was truly a living part of their daily life.

To honor this faith, and to practice it among people who spoke the same language and who remembered the same traditions, they built churches…many many churches.

st albertusOne such church was St. Albertus Catholic Church on St. Aubin St., built between 1883-1885, and dedicated on July 4, 1885. At one time this beautiful church was the largest Catholic Church in Michigan.

So it was a wonderful surprise today when my brother forwarded a Detroit news article about St. Albertus and an event orchestrated by the Catholic Mass Mob of Detroit. Begun in Buffalo, NY Mass Mobs have spread across Lake Erie to Detroit and all around the country.  As noted in this article by Kevin O’Connor, word goes out, and a mass mob gathering occurs at a historic church in need, “… it’s to boost the city’s struggling old churches, filling not only the often sparsely attended shrines, but their collection plates, too.”  Over 2500 Catholics answered the call yesterday.

There is no better way to honor the builders of these shrines than to fill the pews once more.

Kudos to the Mass Mob of Detroit!  Having bought a copy of the book Discovering Stain Glass in Detroit, which profiles the beautiful artisry of Detroit area churches, I look forward to attending a mass mob in the future.

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Save His people


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Protesting FOR a CEO – Imagine That!

save market basketIn this day and age of ‘what is in it for me’, I am truly proud of what is transpiring out east across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  It is better than any made-for-TV movie and has all the qualities necessary to keep viewers riveted for hours:  greed, envy, good guy/bad guy, hostile take-overs, he said/she said…a family feud of biblical proportions played out against the backdrop of idyllic New England.

Seriously – it does not get any better than this.  A grandfather builds a very successful supermarket chain (Market Basket) and years later one cousin, Arthur T. Demoulas is fired by another cousin Arthur S. Demoulas.  Only one problem: Arthur S. does not realize the relationship Arthur T. has built over the years with his employees, customers, and distributors.

Big mistake! In fact, this saga has even been likened to the movie “Its a Wonderful Life”, with the one cousin being compared to  George Bailey (Arthur T) and other likened to  Mr. Potter (guess who).

The facts themselves are well-documented by just googling ‘Market Basket'; in fact, a webpage titled We Are Market Basket was created to explain exactly why both customers and employees have been protesting the firing of their CEO, Artie T as they refer to him. What intrigued me though from day one is the bond between this CEO and his employees…a bond so strong they are willing to risk their jobs for him. And,  the bond between this CEO and the customer base of Market Basket…a bond so strong most customers are protesting by shopping at rival stores, many of whom have higher prices.

What does protesting get employees?  Possible pink slips.

What does protesting get former customers?  Higher grocery bills.

And yet, they are not backing down…in fact, their numbers are growing.

They are supporting a man who does not put corporate profits over the well-being of his employees.  They are supporting a man who feels it is best to keep food costs low so families can feed their families well and still have money in their pockets after pay-day.  They are supporting a man who does not see balance sheets – but the faces of his employees and their families.  They are all supporting the man who to them is the head of their family.

Either the Board of Directors misread the relationship between Artie T, the employees, and customers or they ignored it completely in their quest for revenge and greater shareholder dividends.  Today, after weeks of million dollar loses at stores across the region, they are deciding whether or not to sell their shares to Artie T who wants to buy them out.

My thoughts and prayers are with these employees and customers. I hope they are successful.

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Planning and Preparing

Will you be ready?

Will you be ready?

Are you planning a backyard Fourth of July party?  Did you plan a graduation party?  How about a wedding, a baby shower, a wedding shower, a retirement party…or even the annual birthday party?  Without fail, at some point this year all of us will be planning something!

And that something will take preparation!  And from experience, I know preparations for ‘events’ take hard work, require plenty of time, and above all…you need to be flexible!

If it rains, do we have an alternative venue?  What food should I serve?  What time?  Who to invite?  How many to invite? What day do we have it?  And then there are the lists of groceries to buy, the never-ending ‘to-do’ list, the who-drinks-what list,  who-is-allergic-to-what list, entertainment activities…the list seems to be endless.

All of the above occurred when my daughter planned her son’s 6th birthday party.  In the end, after hours of discussion and explaining how other parents hold them at bowling alleys, Chuckie Cheese, movie theatres, skating rinks…to name a few… she opted for an in-home ‘old fashioned’ type of party.  She served pizza, the obligatory cake and ice cream, hit the piñata, pop the balloons, open the presents…and then go play in the backyard type of party.  They had a great time, and my daughter did it with half the stress.

My family is holding a 65th wedding anniversary party for our parents this weekend.  My brother and sister-in-law just held a High School Graduation pool party.  My daughters planned a beautiful baby shower for their brother and sister-in-law.  If we are not throwing a party, we seem to be planning a trip to go to a party, or a vacation, or a meeting.

We seem to be in a perpetual state of preparation and anticipation!  Our eyes are on the clock, the calendar, the mounds of clothes yet to be packed, the chores that need to be finished, the food yet to be baked.

And yet, how many of us spend time preparing for the greatest event of all?

In John 14:3 Christ promised, “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.”

If He came today – would you be ready?

Have you handed back the treasures God gave you to others  or have you hidden them away? Have you taken the gifts God gave you at birth and used them to teach others about Him?  Have you looked into the eyes of God’s other children and found their worth?  Have you thanked God for this world, and tried to make it just a little bit better?  Were you flexible enough, humble enough, to ask for help instead of going it alone?  Were you able to forgive not only others but yourself when you came up short.  Did you remember to praise God daily in your actions, words, and thoughts?

Christ is preparing a place for us, just as we prepare a place for others when we plan all the events that comprise our lives. The difference is our event is temporary and over quickly.  His ‘event’, our entrance into His Kingdom, will be for eternity.

Are you ready?

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Quinoa with Spice-Roasted Shrimp and Pistou


This was an amazing dish! Even my meat and potatoes guy loved it. Perfect dish for Good Friday.

Originally posted on :

I was craving shrimp recently when I came across this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine.  The green-hued, herb-flecked quinoa stopped me in my tracks, and I knew I had to make this ASAP. If you haven’t had quinoa before, you will find that it is a great, healthier replacement for rice in many recipes.  Hailed as probably the best plant-based source of protein, it has a delicate nutty flavor that pairs nicely with just about anything.

It was such a hit in my house that I have made it a few times since, and it will definitely be in regular rotation.  Pistou is easy to make and freezes well, so you can make a big batch of it, pop it in the freezer, and then take it out when you are ready to use it.  I also used a nice smokey pimenton (from World Spice here in Seattle)…

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Help Alex…an Amazing Teen

Alex collage

Alex Berube is in need of your help.

You don’t have to go anywhere, buy anything, call anyone, or even get up off of your chair.  What you need to do is click-through the link below to read her blog and see what she has been through  these past two years, read her incredible journey, and then click-through to the Vote For Alex page listed.  In her mother’s words:

On 2/2/12, Alex Berube woke up to a day like every other. A beautiful, healthy 14-year-old, who had never been sick a day in her life, usually just jumped out of bed to start her day. By 7:15 that morning, Alex was laying on the floor, unable to move anything from her waist down”. 

Two years later she has YET to catch a break. Alex had contracted a very rare condition known as ‘Transverse Myelitis Syndrome‘ More surgeries, more disappointments, more pain…but she never complains.  She wants to help others out.

For THAT she needs YOUR help.

Today,  on her Facebook page, Alex’s mom wrote:

“Please take a moment to read what our page is about and hit the pinned post to read Alex’s story and to vote. We are trying to win this van for her so she can have a better life, an independent life. Alex is a girl with different abilities than us walking folks, but that’s where the difference ends. She wants to hang out with her friends, go to college, work in the health care profession and share her story. Become an inspiration to those having a tough time and to teach no matter what abilities we have or don’t have, we basically are all the same. Even if she wasn’t my daughter, I would be inspired by this girl. She is amazing! Thanks for joining and helping us out!”

Like the ‘Vote For Alex’ Facebook page.  Every day when updating  your Facebook status remember a young girl whose life now revolves around a wheelchair. VOTE FOR ALEX! You can place one vote every day until the contest ends in May.  Three winners will be chosen to receive a handicapped van for mobility.

YOU may be the one to put the vote count over the top.  YOU may be the one to help Alex ‘catch a break’.   Your vote will make a difference in Alex’s life.

Let’s get Alex a van! God bless all of you for taking a few minutes each day to help Alex.

 Visit Alex’s blog @

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Happy St. Joseph’s Day


As a Polish-American great-granddaughter of immigrants from the northern coast of Poland we have always celebrated the Feastday of St. Joseph.  He is our go-to-saint for everything associated with  family.

He was the head of the Blessed Family.  He was the provider for Our Lord Jesus and Mary, our Blessed Mother.  He was a carpenter, a husband, a father, and the man who presided at the head of the table during mealtimes and prayers.  He suffered through the mundane minutea of daily life. I am sure he experienced every emotion known to man: worry,  sadness,  discouragement,  happiness, and even fear yet he shouldered the burdens of his young family without complaint. He knew exactly how demanding life can be within the confines of ‘family‘.

I know St. Joseph watches over my husband and family because he totally empathizes with the problems faced by families today.  He will hear our prayers, and will answer them.  As St. Teresa of Avila said “I know by experience that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.” 

I too believe this.  Enjoy today, and when the day is done – say a quick thank you to St. Joseph on his feastday.

Prayer to St. Joseph

O blessed Joseph, faithful guardian of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, protector
of thy chaste spouse, the virgin Mother of God, I choose thee this day to
be my special patron and advocate and I firmly resolve to honor thee all
the days of my life. Therefore I humbly beseech thee to receive me as thy
client, to instruct me in every doubt, to comfort me in every affliction,
to obtain for me and for all the knowledge and love of the Heart of Jesus,
and finally to defend and protect me at the hour of my death. Amen

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The Justina Pelletier case: Frustration on all fronts in struggle over child’s future – Metro – The Boston Globe

March 17 is the next chance for the parents to gain access to their daughter.  Please lend your voices to support their efforts.  As parents we all need to know that the state CANNOT take away our children because they think they know best…the doctor at Tufts is the parents choice of doctors.. Return Christina to CT and her family.  Massachusetts Court and Boston Children’s have overstepped their bounds

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Palin on Ukraine: I told you so


Please pray for the Ukraine. Unlike our leader this is NOT an uncontested arrival of Russian troops…it is an invasion!!!!

Originally posted on CNN Political Ticker:

(CNN) — Sarah Palin may be having a bragging rights moment.

In 2008, when she was the GOP vice presidential nominee, Palin questioned in a speech whether then-Sen. Barack Obama would have the foreign policy credentials to handle a scenario in which Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.

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