Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vacations: A Public Service Announcement...

Are you considering going on vacation this summer? Well be careful when booking a tour...

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Sugarplum or Angelcake by Any Other Name...

Wendy is back with her life is funny blog carnival. You should really click on the link below and check her post out. Then you should write a Life is Funny post of your own and join the carnival!

How is my life funny lately? Hmmm.... This happened a couple of weeks ago, but I am still amused by it.

I was in the kitchen helping to set up for a Church luncheon. An older woman who could not remember my name (nor I hers) was also in there. She'd ask me to pass her something, but not knowing my name, she kept calling me dear. No big deal to me: I have been called other things. Then she says to me so sadly "I hope you don't mind that I keep calling you "Dear". I know it hurts some people's feelings, but I just don't remember names anymore?"
My sweet, sensitive reply? "It's okay. I don't remember your name either, Angelcake!"
She laughed, and starting calling me "Sugarplum". So that is our names for each other now. Yes. She DOES remember how I became "Sugarplum" and she became "Angelcake".
Where's the funny?

Picture this at another Church Social...

AC: Hi Sugarplum! How are you doing?
Me: I'm great, Angelcake! How are you?
(insert minor chit chat that isn't funny or revelant to this post)
AC: So so... Well, see you in Church, Sugarplum.
Me: Take care of yourself, Angelcake.
Bob: Who was that?
Me: I dunno, some lady at Church....

Yep. My hubby gets no explanation about this incident (which, knowing him, he probably forgot) unless he chooses to read this post. Nyah nyah...

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Gift of Grace

John 1:12-13 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.

I refer to Him as my Heavenly Father
He affectionately calls me His girl
("Daughter" when I need a little push)
Sometimes I feel like I'm his favorite child,
Other times, I'm the family screw up.
It doesn't matter which I am, though
Either way, thanks to Jesus Christ,
The Almighty calls me His
This, to me, is Grace.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

"She'll Always Be With You..."

I heard that phrase more than once at my Mother's wake. People who meant well said it, some of them who had actually lost their own mothers and knew what they were talking about. Still, at the time, I remember thinking "No. She is not with me anymore. She is with Daddy and Catherine, but not with me.."
I would not have said that to my comforters, though. If they want to believe that their Moms are still hanging out with them in a ghostly fashion, who am I to take that away from them? No. Their sorrow was once as fresh as my own, and if believing their moms never really left them were a balm on their wounds, I wasn't going to spill vinegar on it.

However, yesterday, I heard my Momma's voice out of nowhere, quite unexpectedly. I was standing at the grave of a dear friend and family member whose coffin was soon to be lowered. It's May, so none of us expected it to be so chilly (32 degrees Fahrenheit). Actually, I wasn't even expecting to be at graveside. Most of my family has had the "graveside" service in the cemetery chapel. Then again, most of my family seems to choose the Winter or rainy season to die.

A man was passing out cards printed with the Psalms we'd be praying and the hymns we'd be singing, but there was not enough. I let Bob hold the card while I looked on. I stuffed my cold hands into my pocket and felt a bit of silk. I pulled it out and found a babushka.
"HALLELUJAH!" I heard my Momma's voice call out.
I looked around.
"HALLELUJAH! I always tell you to bring a scarf! Finally you listen!"
I heard my own voice say in echoes from the past "You probably snuck it in there!"
"No I didn't!" she said. "You're too old for me to go putting everything you need in your pockets for you. How will you learn then?"

I tied the scarf around my head, and felt the wind much less piercingly. No, it was not my mother's ghost speaking to me, nor did she place that scarf in my pocket. No, this was just a long forgotten conversation. We may have had it when I was 17, or 37. I hope to hear her voice many more times, and remember far more long forgotten conversations. I finally understand that she will always be with me.

I suppose it seems foolish to wish a Happy Mother's Day to a woman enjoying eternal happiness, but I am going to indulge myself now and do so.

Happy Mother's Day, Momma!

Happy Mothers Day also to my friends out there who are moms.

BTW, if any of you are wondering how that scarf got in my pocket, I later remembered going to a party in the same black dress I wore to Momma's wake and funeral, and adding the scarf as an accessory to jazz it up and make it look less somber. I must've put the scarf in my coat pocket when going home.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Annie! And Many Blessings!

Today is my friend Annie's birthday! Why any Hungarian chooses Cinco de Mayo to be born is beyond me... ;-O

I love Annie, and she has a few blogs, but if you REALLY want to wish her a happy birthday, and trust me, you do, then you should contact her at

@buzzbyannies on the twitter

Happy Birthday, Annie, love you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Joy and Purpose

Q. Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

I am too young to remember the days when one had to memorize a list of questions and answers in order to prepare herself for Holy Communion. At one time, that was how we Catholics learned the fundamentals of the faith. After Vatican II (when I was born, honestly), we Catholics were discouraged from doing that. I, however, had a Godmother who did not know that, and was extremely disappointed that I was not going to a Catholic elementary school. She ended up sending each of her three children's Baltimore Catechism booklets to me at separate times. Mom hid them away in a drawer in my room, figuring they are obsolete. But sometimes when I was bored, I'd look through the drawers in my room, and I found them. So, I did what any curious child does: I read them. Looking back at those list of questions and answers, there was nothing wrong with them per say, except that such rote learning was hard on some kids. It's hard to teach children that God loves them when they believe they are spiritually defective because they aren't good at memorization. (St. Bernedette wasn't good at memorization either, and her parish priest allowed for her to make her First Holy Communion anyways because he knew how much she desired to...)

God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

I had come to believe while taking care of Momma, that people needed to have a purpose in order to be happy. No, not the kind of spontaneous happy that finding your lottery numbers are the winner is, but the kind of inner lasting happiness that is there even when we are unhappy. Momma felt joy to be able to help me make CCD gifts, or party favors, or dozens of scarves for homeless children in the winter. And I felt joy to be able to take care of her. Not exactly happiness... who could be happy that her mom can't walk. But serving her did give me an inner sense of joy.

Since her passing, I hadn't thought much about it, but I did feel purposeless. When God used me as a teacher, I was happy. When He used me as my mother's caretaker, I felt happy. But since Momma died, I have felt about as useful as a mosquito. I have tried to "be useful" here and there. but didn't feel this use was my purpose.

Then last Friday, I called my friend who is in charge at my parish of getting everything ready for First Communion Day. I used to teach First Communion without having a resource like my friend, so I do know all that is involved, so I called her Friday to see if any last minute details need to be done!
Her answer? "God must have sent you! I was all prepared ahead of time as of yesterday, but now there is concern that some parents don't want their children's nick names in the booklet, but their birth certificate names, so I need to make a new page, copy it, take out the old page from the booklet, and then put the new page in!"
I told her I'd be right there and she said to me "You are an answer to prayer!"
Now, I have to admit, when I hung up the phone, I said to God ...
"She is such a nice lady! YOU ARE THE ALMIGHTY!!! Couldn't you answer her prayer with something a little snazzier than me?"
God's answer: "You sound kind of like Moses did.... ha ha..."
Me: "I thought he was slow of speech... you mean he used the word snazzy?"
God's answer: "Cute. I made you to know, love, and serve me, Daughter. You can only be happy when you do that. So yes, I am sending you, and not only to help her, but to help you, too! Now go!"

Chris kept repeating all afternoon how good God is for sending me, and a friend of my mom's who saw me going into the Parish Office and asked why. When I told her, she thought an afternoon of sitting together collating would give us an opportunity to chat and catch up, which was very nice.

My point is that joy can only be felt when we are filling the purpose God has for us, and it doesn't really matter if that is a purpose that covers years or an afternoon.

BTW, isn't He a GREAT God that He has so many purposes for us?

Also, I don't normally believe that God speaks to me, but since I NEVER call myself "Daughter", I was pretty sure I wasn't answering myself back....