Monday, January 26, 2015

A reflection

In the old days, Death was always one of the party.

Now he sits next to me at the dinner table:
I have to make friends with him.

Dag HammarskjÓ§ld

Please remember our Sisters, Audrey Berdis and Claire Hudert, who died Monday, January 26. Their families and we are deeply mourning them.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Into your elbow, please

Ordinary January days in our part of the country mean ordinary winter respiratory "adventures." Whether it's colds, sinus infections, bronchitis or even pneumonia, with 63 residents, up to a dozen visitors/week, 20 or so lay employees, and sisters from the Mount and Erie who travel back and forth, in and out daily, we could be a CDC study, I swear, on the transmission and sharing of bacteria, viruses and such.

We try, we really do: flu shots, hand washing, sanitizer, hydrating more than usual,and sneezing into elbow rather than hands. We know it all, the signs and the preventions---but we cannot stop our annual migration of germs and such from making their merry way through the people here. So when we're felled, it's rest, liquids and staying in our rooms away from crowds as much as possible. It drags you down--both literally and otherwise. But, the shortest day of the year has passed already, the sun does shine brightly here and there and the air is crisp, albeit too dry....and we carry on! We're natives, we're Great Lakes region dwellers and I, at least, look longingly at my summer Presque Isle pictures knowing that in a few months another world will open here and "all shall be well"-----both people and the climate!

Stay well yourselves!

Here's a pretty look at our inner courtyard magnolia tree with a fresh wet snowfall that laid on each branch, along with the Christmas lights that are still there! The lights are on a sunset-to-sunrise timer.These lingering dark days of January often have the lights still on as we go to Morning Prayer at 6:25 and leave at 6:55 a.m. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday morning musings

We're #1 by quite a bit now. Even our Erie Times News carried a story this weekend. A couple weeks ago I actually sent this photo into the site and got a nice response from "Patrick" who said they might actually post it on their blog. But, the good news is that we had a mini-break over the last few days with highs in the 30s and even 40s...Yeh!

This is my own snow gauge, a new bird feeder on my window. This particular amount accumulated over two days. The poor birds!

Today being a National Holiday we move Morning Praise to 8:30 which is a little Monday morning surprise. It's especially nice this week because we hosted a memorial service for the brother of one of our oblates Sunday afternoon. It was very, very nice and attended by many of both her and his friends..quite a number who most probably had never been to our chapel before. These events are always very moving for us, as we get a chance to share our liturgical gifts and expressions with a new and wider audience/world.

And finally, for today's miscellaneous assortment: As our Christmas things were packed up last week I got a chance to do my annual Christmas card weeding to find my favorite, that will spend the next year under the plastic desk blotter in my office.

A darling whimsical trio of angels playing little musical instruments. Their halos sparkle adding to the look that I couldn't resist. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Peak times

During the months of December-February, when the grey dome that usually covers our area has lifted and bright, bright sunlight shines through....between the hours  of 9:30 a.m. and noon, lovers of our stained glass windows should "come a runnin'."

At least that's the theory I have. And here's a little proof: these were taken last week on a day that matches those peak conditions.

If you come, tell the sister at the foyer desk/switchboard that I invited you and that you're here to take photos of the chapel windows. She'll nod knowingly and point you in the right direction! Enjoy!

My back is up against the south windows, looking north across the chapel..along the ceramic tile floor, past the wooden chairs, through the Christmas candle arrangement, ending at the less photographed north windows.

Remember that little photography workshop we had? She talked about shooting at different angles, being creative and less controlling and being surprised at what turns up. WOW, was I surprised at this. Pretty isn't it?! Did you notice two of the thin west windows in the upper left?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mystery lovers

Dear mystery lovers,
I just found a new author and began her first book, Black Raven, c. 2006. Ann Cleeves is her name and her hero is Inspector Jimmy Perez. The setting: the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland. Give her a try and see what you think. I'm 73 pages into it and like it very much.

One windy snowstorm this week left beautiful swirling designs on the screens of our windows.

Here's the stained glass window in S. Rosanne's office with the back drop of a snowstorm outside, 

Here's another hanging stained glass window as we're looking out into the library courtyard.

Because of all the freezing temps throughout much of the country lately, you may have seen some crazy home science experiments on the Weather Channel. Here's a little 2-minute video you may enjoy. Click here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

How's the cold where you are?

Not too bad here....snow in the city has been about 2-4" each overnight or daytime accumulation this week...nothing we can't handle. Our streets guys are tough! The cold is so-so, surely not the below zero temps we've seen reported in the upper Midwest and other places. It's primarily been between 10 and 25 degrees, though today it dipped below 10 for a bit. If we can hold on one more day things are suppose to get better on the weekend; the key word here is "suppose."

Meanwhile indoors we continue our last days of "O Come All Ye Faithful" in both English and Latin today. The Canisius kids are joining right in--at least they know the words to all the songs! Delightful to have them around, especially after their morning in our kitchen with our food service manager who led a huge cookie baking session: chocolate chip and fudgie no bakes for everyone.

Here's the Dickens Village that Sisters Cecilia and Bernadette share with us each year.

This tree is right outside our lower level back door. It is still covered with red berries and Tuesday evening they were covered with a layer of freezing rain-snow. Beautiful, but hard to capture. The feint grey lines you see around the edges are flying snow that prevented me from getting a picture outdoors. This one is from inside, through the glass door! Click to enlarge.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas hymns continue

In accord with the liturgical year we're still celebrating the Christmas season (until next Sunday) so here is a look at our chapel for this year's holiday. Very pretty indeed!

A forest of poinsettias at the base of the altar.

The north niche with a nativity icon as the highlight.

These four candles were with us for Advent with blue cloths and are now with us during the Christmas weeks.
Very, very nice.

Four gals and one guy (and an adult leader) from Canisius College in Buffalo are with us for a winter service week. We took them on a hike along the creek and down through Glinodo to the lake. "Kids of all ages" love crossing over the steel girder bridge.
Note: no sign of snow--but that is about to change dramatically, if the weather predictions come true....8-12" throughout the next week. We'll see!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015--a reflection

This reflection by our oblate John Coleman on his blog A Napper's Companion is, I believe, a perfect beginning for the new year. He speaks so lovingly of our recently deceased Sister Phyllis Weaver and offers simple yet very profound thoughts on daily Erie realities that he's recently encountered. I couldn't do any better---so I'm sharing his. I know you'll like it.

Happiness and blessings of 2015 for you and yours.