Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who buys gas at Safeway?

We do!
We traveled up to Ft. Collins today to visit middle daughter and realized we were low on gasoline. Knowing that we'd be driving near a Safeway gas station in Longmont on our way home we decided to use our Safeway points and fill up. How could we resist, after paying $4.50 per gallon this summer? I might just pack up my bicycle!

Yes, that's right! Just under 56 cents per gallon! Wish we had a bigger tank.
Actually, for anyone thinking I might start using the car more often, think again! I still despise driving --- and I love my bike!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We have much to be thankful for this year -- we have enough.

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye." ~Bob Perks

I'm also thankful that the daughter who made the turkey in the photo has grown into a fine young woman. Unfortunately, I don't know which daughter made the turkey as she didn't sign it, but since all my daughters are fine young women, I stand by what I wrote!

And our newspaper announced this morning that Forbes Magazine named our town The Best Educated Town in the US. "The most-educated city in America: Boulder, Colo., home to the University of Colorado with high-tech employers like IBM and Sun Microsystems to keep alumni in the area after they graduate." Impressive? Maybe, maybe not. Never really thought that having a degree (and yes, I do) makes one a better person. Or even a good person. And that's what we need more of -- good people! Nonetheless, Forbes has given us this title and incidentally, our neighbor to the north, Ft. Collins, was named the 10th Best Educated.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To the Rainbow Bridge

One of our sweet old cats went to the Rainbow Bridge last week. Do you know the story?

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

She began life over 14 years ago, down the block from us. Her mama, Rainbow, owned the family living in the corner house. Rainbow had a few kittens and the day we got to see them, this little black and white kitty looked at youngest daughter, age 4, and said, "I'm going home with her some day." A few weeks later she did just that and was known from then on as Pele, or Madam Pele in her later years. She was quite attached to youngest daughter right from the start and would do anything for or with her, including sitting in a doll highchair or being pushed through the house in a buggy.

She clearly owned this daughter.
Over the years, though, youngest daughter's temperament was just a bit too much for Pele, so Pele took up with middle daughter, appreciating her quieter attitude. Two of her particular loves were a pink Queen Anne chair, which she didn't mind sharing with all kinds of clutter in the art room

and her food, as evidenced by her size

And she also was quite fond of her brother, Artemis, often curling up with him to nap or giving him a bath.

Artemis has been looking for her, checking out the closet she sometimes slept in, or hopping up on the bed, hoping for someone to snuggle with, although he's delighted he doesn't have to worry about her eating his food! But I think he looks a bit sad.

We all miss you, Madam Pele. We'll meet you at the Rainbow Bridge.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Cat-daughter

Oldest daughter is working for an animal rescue organization and is fostering two kittens and one 17-year-old cat. She has just discovered that the old one, Cali, talks while she eats. AND she sent the proof:

Apparently Cali doesn't like the camera but thinks the food is "Yum yum."

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Last Home Football Game for CU 2008

Great defense, but offensively -- well --- we'll hope for more consistency next year. We have a fairly young team; in fact, we said goodbye to just 13 seniors at the game.
Here are my highlights from the CU-OSU game last evening in Boulder -- because these photos and videos are far better than the game itself! Except for that Scotty McKnight touchdown -- as reported by 9News: "On fourth-and-9 from the Cowboys 28, Cody Hawkins' pass hit wide receiver Cody Crawford's left shoulder pad at the 15-yard line and bounced high toward the end zone, where alert wide receiver Scotty McKnight cradled it as he fell across the goal line to pull the Buffs to 20-10."
Why couldn't I get a video of that phenomenal play?!
It was a bit chilly while walking to the game but you could sense excitement in the air.

The Ralphie statue on the plaza looked particularly golden.

With the temps predicted to be near freezing, the club level seats looked inviting.

One of many banners hanging in Folsom Field.

Not sure why this fan was dressed in bandages as Halloween was two weeks ago.

Before the game, we rise and sing the Alma Mater. Well, we rise, listen to the band PLAY the Alma Mater, and join in at the end with "Dear Old CU."

Here's Pistol Pete, the OSU mascot, who looked a bit like a cowboy in a witch's costume. In fact, with their orange and black uniforms there was a hint of Halloween in the air. Ahh..........maybe that's why the fan was in bandages!

Some scenes from the scoreboard:

Here's Ralphie leading the team onto the field at the start of the game:

Lest anyone think Ralphie is easy, here's a video from the Spring Game last April:

And finally, the half-time score:

We managed to keep OSU about 13 points under their game average, but still lost the game 30-17. So, we'll have to beat Nebraska in a couple weeks to play in a bowl game. We'll see how that goes.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Handmade is Better

I am so excited that the weather has turned cold (at least for a little while) because my friend, Mary Frances, had just given me a pair of sweet mittens she made. I got to wear them while running errands yesterday and will definitely make use of them at tonight's CU-OSU football game.

I just love them!
Mary Frances and I volunteer together at a food bank on Wednesday mornings. She can whip up the most wonderful scrambled eggs for the folks, who have been known to proclaim the eggs "amazing." I annoy her by washing up her dishes as soon as she's finished -- and sometimes before -- but we have a great time together! Someone once said that we have too much fun at the food bank but when we asked some of the folks why they come to our place they said, "Because you love us." Melts my heart!

I also do some volunteering in a "creative lab" at a little consignment shop nearby. Common Threads offers used/recycled fashions and some new items, some locally-made products, and the creative lab -- where they have different sewing/craft classes. They carry Amy Butler patterns and fabrics which you can check out here. Here is the pillow I finished this week, being held by the lovely Sarah:

I made it using Amy Butler's Zinnia Pattern and Belle Acanthus Duck Egg fabric. You can buy both at Common Threads -- and see my pillow there as well. You might check to see where the shop-dog, Sadie, is sleeping. She seems to like these pillows!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ordain Catholic Women

As a life-long Catholic active in my parish I feel compelled to reprint here the letter that was recently published in the National Catholic Reporter, my favorite source of Catholic news. Years ago, my aunt who is a Dominican nun told me why she felt women should be ordained as priests. Upon our baptism we, both females and males, are called to be priest, prophet, and king. Fr. Roy, know that many agree with you and we are praying for the same issues you are. We consider you a saint.

Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903
November 7, 2008


I was very saddened by your letter dated October 21, 2008, giving me 30 days to recant my belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church, or I will be excommunicated.

I have been a Catholic priest for 36 years and have a deep love for my Church and ministry.

When I was a young man in the military, I felt God was calling me to the priesthood. I entered Maryknoll and was ordained in 1972.

Over the years I have met a number of women in our Church who, like me, feel called by God to the priesthood. You, our Church leaders at the Vatican, tell us that women cannot be ordained.

With all due respect, I believe our Catholic Church’s teaching on this issue is wrong and does not stand up to scrutiny. A 1976 report by the Pontifical Biblical Commission supports the research of Scripture scholars, canon lawyers and many faithful Catholics who have studied and pondered the Scriptures and have concluded that there is no justification in the Bible for excluding women from the priesthood.

As people of faith, we profess that the invitation to the ministry of priesthood comes from God. We profess that God is the Source of life and created men and women of equal stature and dignity. The current Catholic Church doctrine on the ordination of women implies our loving and all-powerful God, Creator of heaven and earth, somehow cannot empower a woman to be a priest.

Women in our Church are telling us that God is calling them to the priesthood. Who are we, as men, to say to women, “Our call is valid, but yours is not.” Who are we to tamper with God’s call?

Sexism, like racism, is a sin. And no matter how hard or how long we may try to justify discrimination, in the end, it is always immoral.

Hundreds of Catholic churches in the U.S. are closing because of a shortage of priests. Yet there are hundreds of committed and prophetic women telling us that God is calling them to serve our Church as priests.

If we are to have a vibrant, healthy Church rooted in the teachings of our Savior, we need the faith, wisdom, experience, compassion and courage of women in the priesthood.

Conscience is very sacred. Conscience gives us a sense of right and wrong and urges us to do the right thing. Conscience is what compelled Franz Jagerstatter, a humble Austrian farmer, husband and father of four young children, to refuse to join Hitler’s army, which led to his execution. Conscience is what compelled Rosa Parks to say she could no longer sit in the back of the bus. Conscience is what compels women in our Church to say they cannot be silent and deny their call from God to the priesthood. Conscience is what compelled my dear mother and father, now 95, to always strive to do the right things as faithful Catholics raising four children. And after much prayer, reflection and discernment, it is my conscience that compels me to do the right thing. I cannot recant my belief and public statements that support the ordination of women in our Church.

Working and struggling for peace and justice are an integral part of our faith. For this reason, I speak out against the war in Iraq. And for the last eighteen years, I have been speaking out against the atrocities and suffering caused by the School of the Americas (SOA). Eight years ago, while in Rome for a conference on peace and justice, I was invited to speak about the SOA on Vatican Radio. During the interview, I stated that I could not address the injustice of the SOA and remain silent about injustice in my Church. I ended the interview by saying, “There will never be justice in the Catholic Church until women can be ordained.” I remain committed to this belief today.

Having an all male clergy implies that men are worthy to be Catholic priests, but women are not.

According to USA TODAY (Feb. 28, 2008) in the United States alone, nearly 5,000 Catholic priests have sexually abused more than 12,000 children. Many bishops, aware of the abuse, remained silent. These priests and bishops were not excommunicated. Yet the women in our Church who are called by God and are ordained to serve God’s people, and the priests and bishops who support them, are excommunicated.

Silence is the voice of complicity. Therefore, I call on all Catholics, fellow priests, bishops, Pope Benedict XVI and all Church leaders at the Vatican, to speak loudly on this grave injustice of excluding women from the priesthood.

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador was assassinated because of his defense of the oppressed. He said, “Let those who have a voice, speak out for the voiceless.”

Our loving God has given us a voice. Let us speak clearly and boldly and walk in solidarity as Jesus would, with the women in our Church who are being called by God to the priesthood.

In Peace and Justice,
Rev. Roy Bourgeois, M.M.
PO Box 3330, Columbus, GA 31903

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Football Saturday

Some observances from the Colorado-Iowa State football game:
It's fun to share, especially when your friend has come to the game without a warm jacket.

And it's also fun to try to dance like the cheerleaders. Why is only one girl dancing?

The team mascots -- our sweet Ralphie, who lost a few of her handlers and nearly took out the whole sideline on her pre-game run around the field --

-- and Cy, the Iowa State mascot --

I thought they are the Iowa State Cyclones. Doesn't look like a cyclone to me. And -- I kid you not -- the full name of this university is the Iowa State University of Science and Technology! Could someone tell them that a cyclone is NOT A BIRD! What is even more amazing is this quote from Wikipedia: In early Summer 2007, Cy was voted by fans on the CBS Sports website as the "Most Dominant College Mascot on Earth" Just who are the fans on CBS sports? Come on, folks, we have a real live buffalo!
At halftime, we figured since we were losing 10-0, this would probably be the best part of the day. What fun seeing our friends up on the scoreboard as honorary C-Club members! They are a wonderful family and we've know them for probably 20 years now. Congratulations Brenda and Paul!

As always, the marching band put on a great show, complete with superheroes this time.

The remarkable thing is that apparently the superheroes stayed on the field for the second half of the game and we ended up winning 28-24. Gotta love Little Hawk!
We spotted some interesting things on the way back to our car. First, some beautiful petunias -- remember, it's almost mid-November!

And then some evidence that Halloween wasn't too long ago..........If you see a witch limping along with just one boot, tell her it's near a bush on 13th Street!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

Here's an email we received this morning. Our next president has so much class! I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off me. I feel so good this morning!

Subject: How this happened
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 05:08:40 +0000

I'm about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don't want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign -- every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it's time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I'll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing...

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hope or Fear: Either way -- VOTE

Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process. ~Hillary Clinton

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. ~Barack Obama

We must win in Iraq. If we withdraw, there will be chaos; there will be genocide; and they will follow us home. ~John McCain
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