Sunday, February 26, 2012

Postcards From Paradise - Wishful Thinking

 My family loves to fish and camp. 

There is something about being in nature
 that opens up ones very soul.  

My watercolors never look this amazing!

Absolute perfection. 

Fellowship and togetherness.

 Every day brings another joy to behold.

The "country" of my birth. 

Filling me with happiness. 

Peace and serenity.

Childlike simplicity.

Nature at it's finest.

Gathering in.

Letting go.

Changing in so many ways.

Promise of salvation.

I will cling to it always.

Peace be with you,


Visit Rebecca and the others at 
for more 
Postcards from Paradise. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Catholic Blog Day

I have been trying to prepare this post for weeks now.  It's been on my calendar since the invitation was first offered to participate in Catholic Blog Day.

Once I read the theme was Penance, my stomach started to churn.  Every day a calendar reminder would come up, and every day I would reset it for another day.  Finally on Monday, I decided to explore why I was having such a difficult time with writing the post.  I mulled it over for hours, while going about my regular daily business, and finally went to bed at 8:30 - unheard of - totally depressed and nauseaus.

Tuesday morning I awoke and told myself this post needed to get done.  I realized the reason I was balking at writing about "Penance", is because the thing that came to mind is a story a fellow RCIA classmate told me about her thoughts on penance.  Her mother told her how before confession, her grandmother would make all the siblings walk about on their KNEES until it was time to go to the church.  That story has never left me.  From that point on, even though I was never required to do anything of the sort, I have always been reluctant to go to confession.  Even though the penance given by the priest was always a number of Hail Marys, Our Fathers and the instruction to "sin no more", confession has always been very difficult for me.

It's not that I committed any heinous sins, I had no reason to fear confession.  The damage had already been done, my mind had that picture etched in it.

So, in my reading up on the subject of penance (prayers, fasting and almsgiving) and the whole concept of Lent, I was happy to find a publication in my family library dated 1995 that echoed my sentiment on the subject of penance.  It is entitled 40 Days to New Life:  A Gentle Passage from Ashes to Easter.  It was written by Diane M. Houdek, and published by St. Meinrad Archabbey.

It speaks of an alternative to "giving up" something for Lent and instead "enriching your prayer life" and "lifting your heart to God".  Which all seems so much more productive than walking around on ones knees.

She suggests also "It's not enough merely to turn away from those things that represent death and destruction in our lives.  Conversion is also a turning toward new and unexpected challenges to grow."  This gave me hope, and echoed a sentiment I have long had in my heart.  It paved the way to seeing and feeling "penance" in a new, more loving way.

The booklet goes on to say "Past mistakes need not trap us in a cycle of despair.  We can resolve this Lent to make a new beginning, knowing that God wants us to accept forgiveness so that we can be open to the new life in store for us."  Now, was this something I needed to hear.  I can be my own worst enemy sometimes, and I will bully myself to death when I make a mistake, or use harsh words, or  treat someone unfairly.  After all, I am human, and I can be nasty at times, especially to myself.

"...If we are struggling with low self-esteem, with patterns of punishing ourselves needlessly, or with issues of grief or loss, we need to try to be especially good to ourselves this Lent."  Wow!  I have suffered from clinical depression for years, and after the death of the father of my children several years ago, I have sometimes not made the best decisions and choices, all in the aftermath of grief and loss.

"We do not need to punish ourselves in order to be worthy of the feast.  We are invited because we are loved."  A wonderful sentiment to take to heart, and to remember each and every day - even beyond Lent and Easter.  The world around us is judgmental enough, undeservedly so.  The only One we should be concerned with is Our Heavenly Father, and He loves us unconditionally.  We need only ask for forgiveness.

"If we cultivate a patient and hopeful heart, and trust the good changes going on in our lives, we will find God bringing us out of our own forms of slavery and into a holier way of life - the Promised Land."  Relief.  Forgiveness.  Hope.  This year I can look at the idea of penance in a completely different way.  I don't recall if I read this little booklet back in 1995.  If I did, it obviously didn't affect me the same way, as my life was much different then.  I am glad that I ran across it this year.   I wish that I could link to it, or tell you where to get it, but it seems it is no longer in publication.

I hope that it's words, combined with mine affect someone else in a positive way too.

Peace be with you,
The Rosary Lady

Please follow the link to read others' offerings for Catholic Blog Day.
    Thank you for reading mine.  

Catholic Blog Day - Ash Wednesday 2012

I am formulating my blog post for Catholic Blog Day to be shared and linked tomorrow.  I am also planning to make Fasting Bread,  or perhaps pretzels for Ash Wednesday.

The blog post is really giving me a stomach ache, so perhaps it is time to run those errands that need to be done.  I need fresh Holy Water for the Fasting Bread, and there are rosaries to be mailed.

Tune in tomorrow for my finished blog .  Hopefully I will have an offering for your heart to make it worthwhile.

From Catholic Blog Day:   "The theme for February 22 is: penance. Possible points of departure for writing your blog post include the three traditional methods of penance (prayer, fasting, and almsgiving); a memorable experience in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation; or how accepting the call to repentance has made a difference in your life."

Peace be with you,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Haiku My Heart

words that supplicate,

praise...  and thank Mother of all

beads for my prayers


Please visit  recuerda mi corazón
for more haiku my heart 

Please also see yesterday's post to read about the custom ladder rosary pictured in today's post.

Peace be with you,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Custom Ladder Rosary

In 2004 I was contacted by Ave Maria University in Southern Florida.  They asked me to create a number of ladder rosaries to be given as gifts to the founders of the University.  
The original prototype rosary was made with 8mm Tanzanite Austrian Cut Crystal beads.  

It was soon decided that cobalt blue Czech glass beads were more of a match for the design. I was then also asked to do traditional rosaries for the students. 

The center medal was custom made to read the University's name on the reverse. 

I was very honored to be commissioned to do these beautiful rosaries.  It pleases me to know that there are so many wonderful rosaries about the world that were made by my own hands. 

I have kept one of each design for my own personal collection, which numbers over a hundred rosaries.  Someday I will post more about those rosaries too. 

 Thanks again for stopping by!

Peace be with you,

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Custom Rosary

This is a new custom order rosary I created for my sister in law's niece.  She is being baptized soon and this will be her gift.  I love doing custom orders, especially ones that allow my true creativity shine through.

This is the rosary that started my endeavors with personalized rosaries.  It has my sons' names on each of the decades.  By the way, son number four is Johnny, not Johnzy!  (Actually he now goes by his given name, John.)  My photo stylist skills are sometimes not the best.  I blame it on the background.  

I have made several other personalized rosaries.  I will post again featuring them in the coming days.  
Thanks for stopping by to visit! 

You can see more of my rosaries at my website  
 and in my Etsy shop.

Peace be with you, 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Postcards from Paradise

I am so tired of Winter. 

I spent the morning scrolling through my screensaver file looking at photos of anything but snow and ice.  

To me my crocus coming up again would be true Paradise.

Please visit recuerda mi corazón ~ for more Postcards from Paradise. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

In Loving Memory

I don't feel much like posting today, but I will do this in honor of my beloved dog Tip.

After a losing battle with hip dysplasia, we decided today that it was necessary to send him onwards to Rainbow Bridge.  He would have been 12 come May, and for the last two months lost function of his hind quarters slowly at first, then quickly this past week or so.

My best memories of him were on the trampoline, where he would bounce all by himself if no one else wanted to join in.

 I miss him already.  Bounce away, Old Man, bounce away!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Postcards from Paradise

The Hubby and I went for a drive this morning and happened upon this beautiful sight.  We saw the artists building the wall of snow yesterday and had no idea this is what they were intent on doing.  

Considering it's 31degrees outside the wording is a bit tongue in cheek, but to a Polar bear, I suppose it would be a heat wave. 

See, I knew on Friday's post today would be less grey! 

These are my postcards from paradise.

Visit Rebecca and the other participants of Postcards from Paradise at recuerda mi corazon for more beauty.

Rebecca, thanks as always for having me!

Peace be with you,

Friday, February 3, 2012

Haiku My Heart - It's good to be back

Snow blankets the earth
Entire cities cry snow day
Goin' back to bed

I had so many things planned for today, but Mother Nature felt it was time for something different.  This Winter Storm Warning continues until late this evening, with the storm stalled and circling like a hurricane over the area.  Thank goodness for preparedness and planning ahead.  Perhaps a good book is in order instead...

Please visit Rebecca over at recuerda mi corazon who hosts Haiku My Heart.  Her blog is blazing with beautiful colors and words and thoughts to make your heart sing!  Other participants in Haiku my Heart have offerings there too, be sure to click away and enjoy! 

Hopefully tomorrow my world will be a little less grey....

Peace be with you,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I've Been Asked to Participate In a Catholic Cultural Arts Exhibit

Recently a customer of mine asked me to join their Artists group and participate in their monthly exhibits.  They are held a a local Knights of Columbus Hall, and from what I've read they seem to be interesting.  

So tomorrow I will tote my wares to the Hall for set up and on Monday, I'll be sure to let you know about the whole affair.  I have spent the majority of today deciding which rosaries to include in my section.  I never realized just how much thought and planning goes into this type of thing, and I'm not even there yet.  

Here is a link to the group's blog:  Aggiornamento Art and Cultural Events

Peace be with you,