Sunday, December 16, 2018

Advent Week 3

My friend who is a poet, finds wonderful poems that she shares on the blogs she manages. Here's her entry for this Advent.

“Once a young woman said to me,
“Hafiz, what is the sign?
of someone who knows God?”

I became very quiet,
and looked deep into her eyes,
then replied,

“My dear, they have dropped the knife.
Someone who knows God has dropped
the cruel knife that most so often use
upon their tender self and others.”

Here's one of my new surviving-winter experiments. Quite unsightly but, hopefully,
will do the trick by protecting five (three shown here) new trees that grew
about 12-18" this summer, but would never last the winter,
let alone the deer, if they were out in the open.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

1/2 down-1/2 to go

With great sadness I realized that we are 1/2 way through Advent already. I haven't even heard every song in our Advent music booklet yet, in fact it may be an impossibility as there are 57 songs and only 23 days of Advent this year!

Nonetheless, Kris Kringles are alive and well. Little gifts appear in mail boxes and shoppers get out to purchase their little package for the gift exchange Christmas Eve. Here are two Kris Kringle items that appeared in my hallway: a lovely vase of berries and greens and a Merry Christmas Advent calendar (isn't that an oxymoron?) with Peanuts characters!

By this weekend Christmas will begin creeping in more and more.....slowly, slowly.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Hardball comes to Erie

Last evening we had the opportunity to attend an hour and a half "event" held in downtown Erie, a conversation with Chris Matthews, host of the MSNBC evening show "Hardball." Sure Cokie Roberts was here a couple years ago, and we heard Doris Kearns Goodwin last month as part of the same series, but generally these aren't an every week occurrence here, 350 miles from DC as we are.

In contrast to his rather in-your-face interview/hosting style on TV, he was casual, warm, very funny, Catholic, Irish, and generally "a regular Philly guy" as Anne, a regular Philly gal herself, concluded. He shared his opinions and mostly his experience of years in the world of national politics and journalism. He was not overly judgmental nor overly critical. One of the memories I will have is that although he clearly admired some presidents and politicians more than others, he said that most of our presidents were a mixed bag...good and admirable things in all of them and the opposite, too.

His latest book is about Bobby Kennedy who he thinks was quite the unique man and politician--and often the not-so-secret influence behind his brother's presidency.

It was delightful evening.

Beautiful, unique, special Advent moves into its second week.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

The Fluffy Kind

We haven't had snow in about a complaints here, just the facts!

Today we had the fluffy stuff, really light and really beautiful. Our winter-long commitment to our bird population is strong. Here is how pretty the feeders looked, just before a refilling this afternoon!

Sunday, December 2, 2018


Thanks to recently acquired gift certificates we took in lunch at a new-to-us restaurant, the Brewereie. Located in the old Union Station at 14th and Peach, I was overwhelmed when we opened the front door: "Oh, I wish my Dad could see this" I said out loud. In fact, I wish all old-timer Erieites who remember the station as a busy train hub, could see it now. WOW!

We sat in one of the "booths"--really old waiting room high-backed wooden benches and then walked all around while we awaited our soup and salad lunch--which was delicious. Oozing with natural atmosphere, it is a wonderful nostalgic trip a few decades back when passenger trains came through towns like Erie on a daily basis and were one of the primary modes of transportation.

If you live in Erie or visit it regularly I encourage you to give it a try (it's open for lunch, dinner and its famous beers every day). Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Snuggling up with a good book

Our second--rather mini--snowstorm came along earlier this week and it reminded me that it would be a good time to share one of my favorite winter photos again: St. Scholastica and the courtyard gazebo, taken from a second floor balcony.

Winter is a time for many things that just don't fit quite as well in the other seasons. One of these for me is reading. Michelle Obama's book, Becoming, is making the rounds here, as is Bob Woodward's Fear. Yesterday I received a surprise in the mail, Louise Penny's brand new book, Kingdom of the Blind. There was no note to indicate the sender--perhaps I have a secret admirer!! Anyway, eat your hearts out you Armand Gamache lovers. He's off on another adventure in Three Pines and Montreal, wonderfully described and shared in Penny's outstanding writing. I'll have to read it rather promptly in order to then donate it to the library. I hear the waiting list is really long!

Sunday, November 25, 2018

"Follow the Star"

For the fourth or fifth year in a row, we've hosted the Christmas special dress rehearsal for the local singing group extraordinaire, Tennessee Back Porch. This weekend was no exception in their presentation of a unique holiday event. Many sisters and friends took in the two-hour show in our chapel and marveled once again at the vocal quality of lead singer Julie Moore and, now, her daughter Becca. The accompanying musicians are also excellent in their own areas. A wonderful, wonderful performance all around. They present their "Follow the Star" program a number of times in the area. If you're local, you should give it a try. It's great! Tennessee Back Porch's website. P.S. Who was that mystery guest oboist on that one song?

Our bird feeders are busy these days as the natural food sources for our many birds dwindle.