BOOM – Diet 2


Many of the homes in our neighborhood are decorated for Halloween and Thanksgiving. There are pumpkins on hay bails in abundance all around.


Why then is ours the only home where these big orange beauties are treated as snacks by the local wild life?


Its not like we don’t have warning signs and scary monsters in the yard too.


Could it be the curry calling? Certainly when the chef has fired up the stove the aroma is powerful  and pervasive. Pumpkin spice is certainly a popular combination.


Which critter is the culprit?


One of those deer who call our yard their home? Or a spooky white squirrel that Scooby and I encountered yesterday.


Or maybe it’s just a big beak digging into the rabbit food just like me.

Blessing # 496 – Head Start on Carving

BOOM – Diet 1


Two years ago I went for my annual physical and the doctors scales weighed me in at 145lbs. That caused some extra frown lines to appear as it was 7lbs more than the scales at home! So I weighed myself at the gym and guess whose scale was right!


Out went the VERY old predigitals that must have suffered some serious defect and in came a fancy dancy new pair that measure not just body weight but body fat, lean body mass and bone (I’m guessing by difference).

You have to introduce all your vital statistics age, height, sex etc. Seeing me do this of course Aaron jumped in too and then of course so did Dad.

We (I) decided we were going to do a family check in each week and see all that fat fall far far away. We would muster the mighty muscle. Of course Dad has everything recorded down to the finest detail in a journal labeled Family Health so there is no escaping the truth!

As always with gritted teeth I took a serious lead in the path to eternal fitness. The pounds fell off all the way down to 130lbs this time last year when I had to do that house clearing in Ireland. People started asking was I feeling all right! Maybe I’d gone too far!

Aaron had his ups and downs depending on season and experiments and access to all you can eat buffets. Dad pursued as is his want the slow but steady path.

With the arrival of Dibley’s Cushing Syndrome and his reluctance to walk further than the nearest mailbox my daily steps dwindled and the weight crept upwards. Dad sickeningly continued downwards!


Six weeks ago when Scooby arrived Dad felt the need to include him in the weekly check in as he was skin and bone weighing only 25lbs. Dad was determined to make him mighty.


Thus began a period of ad libitum feeding for the newest member of the family and as you know what goes in must come out. He has been walked almost exclusively by me morning noon and night ever since. There is no end to his desire to roam.  My steps have skyrocketed! One walk alone is almost a days worth!

Secretly and smugly I was imagining that as Scooby gains I will loose. No way! Each week the boy has indeed put on a pound and Dad feels triumphant. But guess what? So too have I. Scooby is now a stellar 29.6lbs and I’m 139! Some gift that was!

Can’t be muscle or I’d have calves and thighs like Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s fat and it’s floating all around the tummy.


All that fresh air does give you an appetite for a few baked goods and peanuts but the end has come the Diet has begun!


The salad has been purchased the cucumber chopped and the path downwards has been planned today. With five weeks to go till Thanksgiving I should be able to loose just about as much as I’ll put back on in a big bird belly buster!

Blessing # 495 – Checks and Balances

BOOM – Gifts 14


Right in the middle of our pretty little town of Powell there is a railroad crossing.

We live about two miles by foot from the center of the town or as the crow flies maybe just a mile.

The traffic through the town is always quite busy as it joins two arterial routes into Columbus.

So when the train is some distance off it begins to toots real hard and it toots for a really long time.

We can hear the 4:00 am passing somedays in the still of the night even with the bedroom windows closed.


This morning being Sunday we got to sleep late so it was close to seven when I took Scooby out for his ablutions.

The poor soul had just dropped his first dribble of pee on the grass when the train horn struck. It was synchronized to perfection and he gave me such a look of astonishment it was as much as I could do not to laugh out loud.

Made me think of Pavlov’s dog and if he’d ever potted trained his puppies with a bell too!


It also made me think of a much loved song I hadn’t played for years Paul Simons beautiful Train In The Distance. If you don’t know it do listen to it. Better still get the album it full of fabulous tracks. Here’s the lyrics for now.




It’s really a gift of great poetry and to think I’m sharing all this because of a puppy’s pee-pee!

Blessing # 494 – Greatest Hits

BOOM – Gifts 13


7FA9073F-F28D-4454-954C-258C73C6A67C.jpegToday we had the last of our five preparatory meetings of our Kairos #51 Prison Ministry team.


We are all set and ready to go to the Ohio Reformatory for Women on Thursday for a four day retreat with residents selected by the prison chaplain.

This preparation time allows us to get to know each other and share a lot of laughs and a huge amount of food. We also get to open up and show our vulnerability and weaknesses. Most importantly we learn that we must listen, listen, love, love!


The volunteers are always so diverse in Kairos. On this team ages range from people in their twenties to people in their seventies.

We are all shapes and sizes and have all sorts of colors of skin.

All Christian denominations are represented and what we learn is that while we are all different we are all needed.

Each has a gift and each a role to play in making the weekend work. We simply are links in the same chain!

Blessing # 493 – Sisterhood of Diversity

BOOM – Gifts 12


Aaron had the day off school so I got him to help me take a table to my little antique booth.

The garden bench I’d worked so hard on earlier this year still hadn’t sold so we were swapping the table and the bench so I could load the table with festive goods!

The move entailed jiggling items around and it was pêlemêle. While we were in the middle of this two ladies arrived. They were interested in my beautiful velvet chairs that I’d bought earlier in the year for my planned guest house that never materialized.

We stuck a deal and the chairs are no longer mine. It’s such a good feeling seeing something you have cared for going to a good home. They are very lucky red chairs!

Their sale has also opened up quite some room in my little space so I’ve crammed it full of gifts for the season.

There are angels dangling from every possible hook and not an inch to spare on shelves and tables. Now all that’s needed are a few more gift hunters to stop by.


If anyone has personal links to the big man in the red suit send him my way!

Blessing # 492 – Right Place Right Time

BOOM- Gifts 11


Do you have any little clues that tell you how your day is going to go?

Mine is my porridge.

When Aaron leaves for school around 6:40 I stick my porridge in the microwave.

Now the reason I have good and bad days is because I don’t take time to measure things precisely. I go by eye on the water and milk and toss in my round about a third of a cup of oats.

The one thing that is constant is the bowl and the time in the microwave 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

In the time it’s cooking I pour my second coffee and turn on the TV and trip over Scooby once or twice.


When I open the microwave the quality of the day is determined.

If the porridge has boiled over it’s going to be a bad one! I brace myself and clean with furry.

If it’s all in the bowl but runny it’s going to be disappointing. Nothing exciting lies ahead.

If it’s like cement it could be tough.

BUT if like today it was just about to boil over when I opened the door and is all creamy and smooth you know the days a winner.


Why you might ask don’t you measure and make every day a perfect porridge?

Well, there’s no anticipation in that. What goods any gift if it’s not a surprise.

They don’t call me Goldilocks for nothing!!!!!!

Blessing # 491 – Taking the Rough with the Smooth

BOOM- Gifts 10


There have been a lot of pictures on social media this past week of the moon. Some call it the blood moon others the harvest moon. Regardless it’s been spectacular. So bright that it felt almost like day light when I was out with Scooby before dawn.


My efforts to capture it have been unimpressive although it does give Scooby that spooky kind of look his name sake is known for.


One shot though that was posted on Twitter is absolutely amazing. Taken over Manhattan the moon looks more like a mighty planet than our own dear little satellite.


There is no other part of the night sky so familiar to us. It’s a light, a clock, an inspiration, a reassuring and comforting presence a truly out of this world gift.


Do you love it with a passion too?

Blessing # 490 – Heavenly Bodies

BOOM – Gifts 9


The Democratic debate is taking place tonight. Usually it’s not something we’d watch but we will tonight. Why? Well because it’s happening just down the road at the beautiful Otterbein University.

Funny how proximity peaks interest. Our local TV is coving the run up with details on all the measures that had to be put in place for security and so on.


We know people who attended the University. We even could have applied for tickets to attend.

The whole area looks so well today with blue skies and the trees in their autumn glory it really is a showcase for Ohio.

The state is critically important in all elections. If you don’t win Ohio chances are you won’t get the White House.

So tonight we will tune in and watch with interest the gift of free speech.


Hard to imagine that this doesn’t exist everywhere in the world. Look though at what’s happened in just one hundred years. Votes for women not least among these things. Mass media to let us all hear what is being said and now social media to allow us to openly voice our thoughts and influence outcomes.

Blessing # 489 – Freedom if Speech

BOOM – Gifts 8


We have a really fancy family run store close to our home called The Hills Country Market. To survive in a world of supermarket chains and megastores family businesses have to be very special.


The Hills is certainly that, they have a fine florists, a divine deli and a bounty of baked goods to die for. As you know we shop at Aldi but we hit the Hills now and then to pick up whiskey for Krishna as they have an exceptional wine and liquor selection too!


Its rare that we go and just get whiskey. We always check out their wine selection which is extensive. They have what they call « close outs » at great prices and that’s what we home in on. We’ve never been disappointed.


Yesterday we made the whiskey run after church and hit on an 2014 Italian on close out for just $6.99. Of course it had to be opened and tasted last night and it is nectar.


With new health benefits regularly announced and being loaded with all those things that help mind, body and soul to function so well we need to invest in the best!


So we’ll be making a trip tomorrow to develop an out of stock situation. When you find a gift you gotta get!

Blessing # 488 – In Vino Veritas

BOOM – Gifts 7


Some of you may have a Baby Book that your parents kept for you or maybe you’ve kept for your own babies.


My Mum was really good at this and the records she made of all major milestones up until I got married is a gift that is much treasured.

The Baby Book stayed in her house  until she moved into sheltered accommodation and then it was handed over to me.

All the photos it contains are falling out as the tape has lost its stickiness after all those years. Some day I’ll get around to making  them secure again.


Many of the photos are of Christmas showing me and my still best friend Carol posing with our gifts from Santa.

In this age of digital a real life album is still something to consider. I know we kinda lost touch with keeping one since everything went into the cloud. Fortunately Aarons younger years are all safe in his album too.

For new Moms and Dads though do think ahead of the joy such a treasury will bring in years to come and start sticking soon!

Blessing # 487 – Permanent Pics