Saturday, August 28, 2010


After we spent a few days in Paris, France, my husband and I took a train ride. Our destination was to visit the city of Lourdes. Lourdes,France is a city where an apparition was seen by a 14 year old girl, Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Bernadette, claimed that the apparition was that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our intent was to visit Lourdes as it has become a well known city with religious history. The train ride is about 6 hours from Paris. As the train is en route, we see small villages, often with rows of grape vines being cultivated to make wine. Our train ride takes us to the city of Toulouse, where we get a rental car to drive to Lourdes. It's a good thing that my husband is from Ireland as he is familiar with driving in a European city. My husband at times has a tendency to get lost, but for this car ride he has studied over and over the travel route to Lourdes.We arrive in Lourdes with no problem except one, because this city is very old the streets are extremely narrow with numerous one way streets. We kept going around and around until we were able to reach the parking lot entrance for our hotel, Grand Hotel De La Grotto.This hotel was established in 1872, and needless to say, has had many years to become a modern hotel. We are to stay in Lourdes several days.The hotel is clean, but I have to admit I had never stayed at a hotel with small twin beds. I told my husband, I felt we were fighting as we weren't sharing a bed.Another unusual thing I noticed the bathtub was very elevated and I had to pull myself up to get into the tub,also there wasn't a shower curtain. The hotel was indeed unique. A window from the room had a tiny balcony . The benefit of this room was that your view was outstanding. Every evening you can see a large procession of people walking to the grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is a sea of lighted candles carried by the people in the procession. It's a wonderful and very emotional site to behold. It was late so in the morning, we would venture out to explore the area. Unfortunately, Lourdes has become commercialized and there are numerous souvenir shops selling religious items. When Bernadette saw the apparition, there were many who thought this child was making up stories and not seeing anyone. Bernadette kept her faith and eventually a shrine was built as well as a church. There was flowing water from the hillside where the shrine was established. There were some reports that the water had powers to heal the sick. As a result, people came to this grotto hoping to heal their sick bodies. There were some situations that it was believed that the water actually had healing powers. When we were at Lourdes, we saw many individuals in wheelchairs or on crutches. Where the shrine is located, a statue of Mary has been erected and one by one people can go up to the shrine light and leave a candle and pray for forgiveness, healing, and guidance. There a no. of areas near the shrine where a person can buy candles. For Catholics, every day, confession is held in a building with confessional booths and a no. of Catholic priests from different countries will offer confession to English speaking people as well as French,Italian, etc.A large church overlooks the area and at each hour a mass is said in a different language. We went to the mass said in French as we missed the English speaking mass. We had no problem with this. Near the shrine, people can bottle the water that flows from the area surrounding the shrine. It is considered Holy Water to be used in praying. The water is free. In the Catholic church, a parishioner will make the sign of the cross coming and leaving the church where Holy Water that is located near the doors. In Lourdes, I cried, prayed and felt a closer relationship with God.All of this was overwhelming. Now, I have to share my glitch in all of this trip. Being very emotional, jet lag, I made a bad error. I, got my days mixed up and my husband and I left Lourdes a day earlier. We didn't realize there was an error until we returned to the train station to go back to Paris. When this error was recognized I broke down and cried like a baby. My husband was a rock,he suggested we go back to Paris that day. We were fortunate to get a room at the hotel we were planning to stay before we left Paris to go to Prague in the Czech Rep.It turned out that this mistake gave us additional time for us to go on our own sightseeing in Paris. Somebody "upstairs" was watching over us. After Paris to Prague. At this point can you see why our travel agent thought we were brave or nuts for all of this movement. After this trip, I told my husband we need to stay in one place and one country. The photos are from Lourdes. My next post will cover our trip to Prague and eventually meeting more relatives.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I, plan to write at least three posts that describes my trip with my husband to Paris,France, City of Lourdes,France and Prague, Czech. Republic. This trip was planned after my mother died in 2006.We planned this trip especially one year after my mother died.I, was extremely close to my mother who after my father died, mother lived with me for 20 years prior to her death. I, felt that this trip might help me through my grief. If you can recall, my mother was a WW II war bride. She was born in Czechoslovakia and eventually moved to France. During all the years mother lived in America she never went back to see her family. Mother always told me she felt that a trip would be too emotional. Mother had limited contact with her family through letters and at times a telephone call. Many years ago, we did have Corinne, age 17 stay with us for a month. This young lady was a great niece from France. Throughout the years I maintained contact with Corinne. At the time of my mother's death, Corinne was the only person I could talk to in order to notify mother's family of her death. I wanted to make a connection with my European family that I had never met. Corinne was great. She and I made plans to meet her in Paris, France and eventually meet my French relatives. Corinne connected me to Philip, a distant cousin in the Czech Republic. We e mailed and he became the interpreter for my contact with the relatives in the Czech Republic. My husband and I planned the trip . we were to go to Paris for a few days,then travel to the city of Lourdes,where the shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built after three children saw the Blessed Virgin Mary. Lourdes has been a city for visitors both well and physically sick or disabled. It is believed that a person may get healed while at the shrine. After the trip to Lourdes, we would return to Paris , spend a night and then travel to Prague. Our travel agent told us we were "brave" for doing this trip . There were no of airport changes as well as a language barrier. My husband is from Ireland, but he hasn't been there in years. I, have never been to Europe. Was this too much? well, we left Georgia and was met by Corinne and her husband at the airport in Paris. Corinne was now in her late 20's. She looked almost the same when she was 17. We stayed at a hotel located within walking distance of the main tourist area of Paris. Corinne and her mother, Lilli, became our tour guides. we went up the Eiffel Tower. It was extremely cold and the wind was rough, but there was a beautiful view of Paris. Lilli, spoke "broken English". at first she seemed reserved, but that went away. we visited places such as the Cathedral of NOTRE Dame,museums, outdoor art exhibits. We ate at a curbside restaurant enjoying cheese and wine, which is common for French people. The highlight of this Paris connection was being at Corinne's house for a French dinner with the relatives my mother would never know. It amazed me and my husband how warm and open hearted they were to us, strangers, yet relatives. I, cried because I never expected this, Now I had cousins and their families. Corinne interpreted, as most of the relatives didn't speak English. We laughed, cried, ate a formal French meal, with home made pate'made by my cousin, and the wine and liquor was very much a common drink. ALL OF THIS COULD HAVE TURNED OUT TO BE A DIASTER, BUT IT WAS A BLESSING.Before I forget, the French people know how to cook and bake. There were numerous bakeries . I will never forget the Best raspberry tart that I ate. If you ever go to France, check out the pastry. Now, that I've said enough about the pastry, the following day we traveled by train to Toulouse where we would get a rental car to drive to Lourdes. During the train ride which was 6 hours we could see small villages with grape vines to eventually make wine. The countryside was so beautiful. We arrived at the train station where we completed our arrangements to get a rental car. At this, point I will stop and my next post will cover the trip to Lourdes and then back to Paris.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Recently, a friend and myself drove to the Atlanta Airport to meet another friend who was returning to Georgia after visiting family. Having time to wait, the two of us decided to order something to drink and eat. We located a restaurant and sat down to eat. Within a short distance we saw about 12 young people, two were women. What's so special about seeing these adults? Well, they all had the military uniform of the U.S. Army. Looking at these service men and women, the oldest appeared to be no older than 24. My son is 37. All of these people could be my child. They were laughing, talking and appeared to enjoy each other's company. A number questions came into my mind. What were their names? Were they visiting family or at the airport to make a connection to go to a military base? How long had each person enrolled into the Army and their job duties?As I was thinking of all of these questions, my mind couldn't drift away from "the end of the road destination"., WAR. Will any of these young people be sent to a country to fight war with a country who didn't have any of the freedom as America? If they were involved in war, would they come back home alive or in a casket? Being a parent, the thoughts of the possibility of my child losing his life was very frightening. How can these young adults take on so much responsibility? When watching the television news, stories are told of people this age who get into trouble such as killing, theft, etc. These young people have chosen a path of responsibility and dedication to serve in the military Some sadness, came over me as if I could claim all of these young adults as if they were my children.As my mind was wandering, all of the "12 Today's Patriots", got up from their table talked and gave each other a hug and scattered in different directions. What was in the future of these 12? My friend and I felt pride and said a prayer all 12. To be so young, but "so old", in many ways. God Bless our soldiers.

The Soldier

He had no facial wrinkles:
His hands weren't calloused.

He was tall and lean:
This 21 year old Marine.

As he walked, He showed a sense of pride:
He joined the Service, not knowing where he may reside,
Let's hope it's not Afganistan or Iraq.
But, if this should be,we hope everyone
Will see,this Soldier did his mission:
He did it for you and me.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

THE wind

The Wind is silent
no movement of trees or bushes.
Oh! How I wish to hear the echo of wind
blowing in the air,
trees swaying back and forth.

But, No, stillness remains.
No wind bellows,heat so
unbearable to the touch.
Oh! wind display your power.


Do you ever think about the wind? Reflect, close yor eyes, visualize,you are going down a country road. To your left, to your right, there are fields of tall golden corn. They are doing a dance as the wind touches their tops. The corn fields become more alive and sounds are heard. Let's walk along an ocean beach. The wind is hitting your face and playing with your hair. The ocean has movement as the wind pushes up against the water and waves move causing a claping sound. Have you ever looked out through a window and saw lightening and heard thunder? The trees and other objects scatter as the wind gets in it's path. Trees moving back and forth, flowers swaying. Oh! how mighty is the wind.The wind can be both friend and enemy.

WHO has SEEN THE wind?

Who has seen the wind?
but when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

Christina Rossetti

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


In the last two days, I have been preoccupied and haven't been able to devote more time to my blog as well as read and respond to comments left on my blog. Is this August? Well, why am I Spring Cleaning? My sister, said " Aren't you a little behind in months to Spring Clean"? Have you ever did something that made no sense and then decided to go forward to address the issue? As much, I loved my Mother, you won't catch me at 4 a.m. cleaning the house. The word of today is PROCRASTINATION.. PROCRASTINATION, according to Roget's Thesaurus, means to hesitate, a play for time,stall, slackness. So why do we PROCRASTINATE ? We PROCRASTINATE for different reasons;to delay to make a better decision about an issue, laziness, fear, anger ex. husband pushing wife to clean up the kitchen,and changing priorities. Is PROCRASTINATION GOOD or BAD? It could both,if we have to make a decision that will affect others ex. relocating to another city. This would be a decision that isn't taken lightly. To delay paying a bill, which could affect you having or not having electricity. Let's procrastinate and we our out of clean underwear. When traveling, we might delay making arrangements in order to find the less expensive air fare. So, why am I spring cleaning in August? I, know that I've seen this issue to be less important than other issues. I, also know that I go NUTS and won't stop and will do more than I planned.My house is 2400 sq. feet. The size requires me to pull out more cleaning products, rags, mop as well as a bunch of other items. Getting older, as much as I try to keep things together there's the problem ,did the mop run off with the broom? I thought I put the furniture polish over there. Where is the furniture polish? So far, I've been working for two days, and still have plenty of housekeeping to do.It's tempting to give up. Can I, just take one day off and will I go back "on track"? I, remember I had a saying,"I'll move so I won't have to SPRING CLEAN". This is my 5Th. house that I have bought and occupied in my hometown. No, I'm not planning to move unless it's to Texas to be near our granddaughter and her parents. I, have put photos with this post. Note, the dogs in the kitchen, no table, it's getting refinished.Oh! I forgot, is anyone interested in pantie hose? My husband has said on a no. of occasions" you buy things that you already have". Back to the pantie hose, note the Great selection , I think I have over 20 pairs of hose. I lost track,and pantie hose is important. So the pantie hose shop is open for business. I, think,I'll stop buying hose. This might be another reason to Spring Clean so I will not forget what items I have in "bulk". Time soon to "hit the hay" another day tomorrow to continue my quest. As you are reading this post, what issue do you tend to PROCRASTINATE? Will try to read some posts on other blogs, if I'm not dead or have fallen asleep in the closet I'm cleaning

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Nature Bounties

My husband and I are "early birds". We usually get up by 7a.m. this is probable crazy since we have been retired for years. At our house, we are surrounded by 4 acres. I, love it in the morning. There are so many sights and sounds of nature. Early in the morning, it sounds like an orchestra is preforming. I, usually don't see the crickets, but the sound is overwhelming. I, always wonder what those critters are saying or singing. Are they telling us we" need to get up and enjoy God's earth "or are they saying" don't bother us , go away." I wonder how many crickets occupy our property.It's got be millions based upon the loudness of their sound. Magically, this sound disappears with the light of the day becoming more noticeable.When we moved into this home over 5 years ago, I thought we didn't have any squirrels but given time I was mistaken. It's amazing how squirrels can act like a circus performer, running, jumping among the trees. They have great speed but can't always make up their mind. Do I go left, do I go right,do I move at all. Well, if you can recall we have 5 dogs(our Babies), and they are determined to conquer and take the squirrels to their deaths. It's funny watching our babies thinking they can jump up a tree that over 12 ft. high. Oh! let's add the charming sounds of the "babies" to the early morning hours as well as day and night. Our "babies" don't give up this battle. I think I witnessed only one capture seeing my youngest baby Micki, running across the yard with his enemy in his mouth. Naturally, his parents yelling to Micki"drop that, Come here". Micki, isn't the best well behaved child, if you can, "get my drift". As the heat and summer are at odds with each other, the beautiful flowers are dying. Let's hope they grace us with their beauty next year. Lo and behold, we still have some sunflowers smiling to us and could be saying"catch our beauty, we are slowly dying".Years ago, we planted a butterfly bush. WE cut this bush back and this amazing bush grew much taller. The sight of butterflies enjoying this bush ,flying from one frail limb to another. Butterflies of different sizes and colors have no hesitation to flutter about no matter who is present.This morning, I hear birds chirping and flying. Well,I need to go into the kitchen to do the dishes. As I am leaving nature's bounty, I can't imagine life would be so empty without God's gifts. There's a saying "smell the roses". We need to do this and not take life and nature for granted.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Let's go back 19 years ago. My first husband was deceased and Mama Millie continued to live with me in my home. My niece, Emilie, called me to ask if I wanted a cat. She had found a cat and she couldn't keep it, and it needed a home. Now, let's say I haven't had any experience with cats,but agreed to give it a home. I'm a sucker and now we had a cat. We named it Fluffy as this cat had alot of beautiful thick grey hair. We noticed that this cat ate alot and since we had to take it to the vet, we would enquire about this and taking care of a cat. The vet gave us the good news(drum roll) Fluffy was female and pregnant with possible 5 kittens. I don't believe that Fluffy had consented to having sex, she was raped. No matter, we were going to be "grandparents". The time came for the birth of the "grandchildren". Fluffy gave us the "high sign", and we were ready in the "operating room", which was the bathroom. How was Mama Millie and myself to know that cats don't lay down in delivery. My sister was our consultant. At delivery, we had 5 babies, 2 were grey, 1 totally white with a mass of hair, 1 black with a mass of hair, 1 calico.After the babies were born Mama Millie, got emotional and wanted to keep one cat, the calico, and then we would try to find homes for the other 4 babies. Mama Millie and I named her cat Humpty Dumpty as she was the last kitten to be delivered. When it was time that the kittens could be separated from their mother, we placed an ad in the newspaper for free kittens. Now my mother cries for any reason, she did this when we placed the ad. It amazed us the response we received from the ad. The first night from the ad, we had visitors coming to our house about the kittens. The weird thing, it was raining and we had thunder storms. There must be a large number of cat lovers in the world. We had two families who each adopted a grey kitten for their families. Mama Millie, started with the tears. She was worried that these people wouldn't take care of the kittens. Later that evening, while we were still having heavy rain, the doorbell rang and a father and his daughter looked at the remaining kittens and decided to adopt the white kitten, that meant we had one more kitten left,the black kitten, remember we are keeping the calico. As this man was getting to leave,I did a "salesman pitch",and asked this man to also consider the black kitten, My words, ," Don't you want this kitten as well, this kitten it's a match with the white kitten". They left only with the white kitten. Mama Millie once again cried. Shortly, after that time, the doorbell rang again, low and behold the man and his daughter said "we will take this other kitten, it matches with the one we already have". I, couldn't believe that my sales pitch worked. Again Mama Millie cried. We kept the calico because Mama Millie got attached , we named her "Humpty Dumpty ". Days after the 4 babies were gone, I got a telephone call. The man who took the 2 kittens (I was afraid he was calling to say He couldn't keep them)His question was," what was the date that the kittens were born," his daughter wanted to have a birthday party for the kittens. Mama Millie cried again because this was so touching and we got a good feel that they would be in a good home. As the years went by, our mama cat "Fluffy", had a tumor. Two weeks after surgery she died. Both Mama Millie and myself cried. Humpty was Mother's cat that she loved, spoiled and was constantly holding. When, Mama Millie, got sick, she made me promise to take care of Humpty. On the day that my Mother died, Humpty wouldn't get off mother's hospital bed that was at my home. Mother died with Humpty, laying alongside her. When we buried my Mother, we placed a photo of Humpty in the casket. The years went by, Humpty was 18 years old, but she looked like a younger cat. Within the last 6 months,of this year Humpty got sick. The vet advised us to put her to sleep. She is buried in an area near our barn. As I am writing this post, tears are coming down my cheeks. When Humpty died, this opened up the grief that I had when Mother died. Humpty was 18 years old when she died, I had known that cat longer than my husband in my current marriage. I know, I will always have this memory.We have grief for animals,as they became a member of our family. Humpty outlived Mother by 3 years. This cat was my last physical connection with my Mother. Mama Millie and Humpty, are blessings that I have and their death's can't take that away, unless I eliminate them from my mind and heart. When we lose someone or something , we can lose the value of that blessing, if we "put it in a closet", in order to run away from sadness. I choose not to "put this memory in the closet" as this is a blessing,not to be given up by myself. So, let the tears cry for sadness, but let the tears cry for happiness . HElP I tried to delete the photo that is sideways, couldn't do this. I didn't want to continue this,so it's on my post.Still learning this blog process. Rose,Blogger in training.

Monday, August 2, 2010


In my last post, I shared with you that my husband had gone from Georgia to Texas. His mission was to build an outdoor playhouse for our grand daughter within a 2 week time frame. I, remained home to babysit our 5 children(dogs). The word HODGEPODGE, refers to a jumble, assortment, mixed bag. In this post I would like to share this HODGEPODGE of photos which will include those taken of our grand daughter's playhouse as well as photos taken at our home in Georgia. Background, my husband is a very smart man . He has a mechanical background and is a tinker. He will try his very best to solve a problem and complete a project. Having no experience, he agreed to build this playhouse. Upon arriving at his daughter's home, he came up with his daughter and son in law a basic idea of a playhouse. Supplies were purchased, there was no turning back.I, would have daily discussions about his project. Time going bye, he admitted it was more work than expected. Now, let me tell you this, my husband always will say "I can do this,it won't take long". Not so as my husband gets more mentally involved in a project that extra time and work becomes noticeable. As daily discussions occur, it's apparent that this playhouse was going to be unique. The size is big enough that it could be used eventually as an office. there is electrical wiring, windows, insulation, and a small air conditioner. It's hot in Texas, so we needed to have a way to cool the inside of this playhouse for our grand daughter to be comfortable while playing. I, told my husband, he built a mini house, he agreed. No matter what this mission was accomplished. the playhouse was completed in slightly over 2 weeks. It was the combined efforts of my husband, the contractor and builder, as well as the chief money suppliers and designers, Mom and Dad.There is no doubt that this project became a labor of love by all parties ,from myself , my husband and his daughter and son in law. Isn't this what family is all about, sharing ,caring,helping those we love. There is no doubt that this wonderful memory will always be in our hearts. Included in this post are photos of this playhouse, as well as photos of my life with our babies at home in Ga. while all of the planning and building was completed. Please note that our children are taking it easy. it's just too hot. Can you recall any family efforts that will always be in your mind as so important or unusual?