Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Kind-of Birthday, Margie Rose!

Today is the birthday of sorts of the reason for the rest of my life - Margie Rose Verly now Raterra Rashana...She was born on leap year, so she celebrates between the end of Feb and the 1st of March on the off years where there is no leap year. 
Her daughter asked for a copy of this picture... as she had not seen many of her mom at this age - about 20ish.  We had shared our trip out West in the summer of 1971 after meeting at Freshman camp at the U of M orrientation.  So I just found the original in my Bible and scanned it in 3 different zooms... we are sitting on the front porch of our house behind the Guthrie theater in Minneapolis on Mount Curve. 
After meeting Marge and spending our Freshman year together... she did a good job of keeping in touch and even invited me to her wedding 6 years later!  That is where I met her brother, Pat, and a year later we were married!  A city girl come to the farm!  Thank you, Raterra, for taking ahold of me and never letting me go!  My whole life depends on you... talk about divine providence.  I can definitely feel the Lord's hand touching my life through your coming into my life! 
In honor of your birthday... the kids that love you and you love them... all dressed up in big shoes.  They wanted to dress up - yet entertain you at the same time!
And they are enjoying a homemade grape juice popcicle together - sharing is big for them as Maria is showing them how to be good kids... it is 100% pure grape juice in honor of your love of healthy eating and drinking!  We have much to learn from you and we honor you for it on this your special day!  Have a wonderful 2 days!  We love you and thank God for all you have meant to us in our lives!  Without my meeting Pat... none of them would be here to brighten our lives!  Too crazy to even give a thought to!  Bless-bless, Barb and all! 

"Our Lord needs from us neither great deeds nor profound thoughts. Neither intelligence nor talents. He cherishes simplicity." St Therese of Lisseux

What's the name of that cow, grandma?

Feeling a bit overwhelmed as I awoke with only 4 hours of sleep after working the night shift... a big family meal was to happen that night with our children home from the Cities, and Pat was so busy with calving and all that goes along with it... Eventually I could find the push to get into the weekend and with the warm sun on Sunday, and the mass with the guys leading the singing - John and Paul, and the delight of the little ones, and the many calves that arrived safely - John and I got home from mass and watched one being born... while we sat on the couch and watched the TV screen!  It all added up to a wonderful sharing of a family weekend on the farm!
To see our large dining room table full was a joy!  Grandpa surrounded by his little boys is another delight and how he loves to have them right there on his lap to share the whole eating experience with him!  Many times as we were outside I thought about how in a year there will be a new 8 month boy outside meeting the calves and the smells and sights and sounds of the farm for the first time - little Baby Boy Bandzuch!  Our cup runneth over! 
Grandpa giving the older Davey a lesson on sharing his lemonaide with the younger Davey...
Sometimes life's lessons take a while to sink in and a thing like sharing can be difficult even for the older ones... much like the rich man that wanted to follow Jesus today in the Gospel and asked what he must do...Mark 10: 17-27  Jesus tells him;  "Go sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me."  Jesus, help us to give our all for you and to not be too attached to material things that can come between us!
After our meal we did the big push of getting all the little ones dressed for a trip outside, and it became quite an adventure!  Soon Mary led the way to Snowball... As usual she was able to walk up to her and greet her with a pat on her head...
Therese has learned to be slow and quiet around the big animals and found a respect and love for them by emulating her cousin, Mary.  The two girls share some time very close to Snowball...
With gentleness and respect they share some time very close to Snowball on a beautiful sunny Sunday - man and beast are feeling comfortable and relaxed and have found a Trust!  It is a sight that warms a grandma's heart, yet makes me want to be close and protect and instruct them on where to stand and to be slow and careful and repectful of this being a big and somewhat unpredictable animal...  The girls are very sweet and trusting with Snowball, and so far she has given them no reason not to believe that she knows them and likes them...
Grandma feels much more comfortable when they are in the hayrack, and then they can look Snowball in her big brown eyes, and try to give her some hay from their hands!  We told Mary that a year from now Snowball will have her first calf - that will be another exciting event for Mary!  There will be a new cousin here for calving next year and Snowball will have her first calf!  Life doesn't get much better or any more exciting than that! 
Maybe for Therese it was when she was petting Snowball, and...
She reached out and surprised another brindle faced heifer standing there... brindle means that it has white markings on its black face... The calf was surprised by the unexpected contact and backed up, but Therese then asked me what her name was..."She doesn't have one - you give her a name."  She took no time to name her... her favorite name in the world - "Anna!"  Hence we now have a new special animal out there now named Anna... she is not as tame as Snowball, but easy to spot with her markings among the all black ones! 
Mary had to come and check out the newly named calf... Therese has made another animal a friend from a distance and warm thoughts and ideas about how Anna is doing and news to Therese... whereever she might be living next year in the military will have to be shared when she has her first calf next year too! 

Lord, life is such a gift, and sometimes it is hard work, and we fear that we are not doing all that we can to protect and support the responsibility we are given.  Thank you for the gift of family and may we work hard to bear the fruits of the Spirit in our homes... Peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, sharing and many more that we see are lacking so often in what we say and do.  Give us the strength to leave the material behind and to follow you.  May we see you in the poor in our midst!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
O dear Jesus,

I humbly implore You to grant Your special graces to our family.

May our home be the shrine of peace, purity, love, labor and faith.

I beg You, dear Jesus, to protect and bless all of us, absent and present, living

and dead.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Lord of our time..." hymn in evening prayer

With my son and daughter, and her husband home for a calving weekend... it was a time that we all experienced the Lord's time in the busy family time.  Pat had his two son in laws and son out there not to mention a daughter here and there to give him a hand with the many calves that were born over this weekend.  Thankfully is warmed up quite a bit today and we could all go out for some great time in the sun!  The big excitement was to see for the first time - Snowball's new baby brother that was born a few days ago...
First we went out to see Snowball and the other heifers... getting into the hay feeded is the safest place for the kids to get nose to nose with the big animals...
Then grandpa took Mary into the barn to see Snowball's mother and her new calf for this year- Snowy, who is a steer calf... He is super cute with his white eyebrow, but Grandpa took Mary out pretty quick as Snowy's mom was pretty possessive and was not liking the little kids coming to see her new calf.  But we were happy that we had gotten to see the new little Snowy!
After all the outside activity - naps were in store for one and all on grandma's bed in the sun! Lord of our time... we are ever grateful for all the miraculous things that fill each day with all the life and love that you pour out upon us!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Please continue to be with us during calving and thanks for the warming sun that felt so good today to the little calves,the little grandkids and the big ones out there too!  Bless-bless, Barb
"The goal of every human life should be the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament." 
Blessed Charles de Foucauld

Too cute for words...."Can a mother forget her infant?" Isaiah 4: 11-12

This is what totally made me laugh during mass, and yes I had my camera in hand... Bigger of the two Daves found some green sunglasses in the kid-activity-backpack, and it was needed as we were in the straight bright sun... but he was making the little Dave laugh out loud... along with all the rest of us adults trying to hold our composure!  So appropriate today were the readings about how we are to give it all to the Lord, because he cares for us more than a mother for her child and that is quite a statement!
Nancy is about 3 months away from welcoming her little boy into the world... Her little Therese loves her "Nana" so much - they got very close after living together last year... such a blessing for the two of them!  John and I just got home from Church and watched a cow have her calf on the camera... we sat on the couch together and cheered when we saw the calf and the mother was immediately licking it and it was all very wonderful!  Maria just told me that after only half an hour that it is standing up!
Words from Christ to us today... such amazing words in the Gospel - Matt 6: 24-34
"I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are not you more important than they?"
John and Paul delighted us by leading the singing at mass this morning... we were hoping all to be there, but the calves just kept on coming... So now Pat and Nancy and her husband are just coming home from the next mass...  John just went outside to check on things until they get back.
More from the Gospel for today... I don't need to talk... who better to tell us about how we should live in trust and the Light than Jesus himself!  "Why are you anxious about clothes?  Learn from the way the wildflowers grow.  They do not work or spin.  But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.... O you of little faith?  So do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?'  or 'What are we to wear?'  Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and these things will be given to you besides."

"Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself."  Thank you Jesus, for telling in no uncertain terms that we we should give all that we need and all of our burdens to you!  You are in control and to think that we can make our lives happy is a joke!  Without you and your Love for us our life is lost and misled into the wrong paths that are everywhere trying to distract us and turn us from the light into the darkness of fear and death.  We thank you for your Words of LIFE!  We trust in you with all that is within us!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you." Isaiah 49: 14-15

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Family fare thee well, Ally Cat...

Food was made with lots of love and care...
The decor was a labor of love and no expense was spared...
The guest of honor arrived in style and was waited on hand and foot...
She was treated to a full body massage by the group of adoring fans...
"Ally is a super cat!   Ally is a super cat!  Ally is a super cat... Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow."   became the song of the night as a candle was lit and place in the banana splits and then blown out as a special going away/birthday party celebration for Ally cat, who will be going to Wisconsin to live in a few weeks. 
Therese finally got to blow out her candle with the help of Uncle Paul... stopping the Mary wind! 
Now family game of Skipbo followed by a game of candyland between 4 year old Mary and close to 3 year old Therese!  The adults are gathered around cheering on the two young girls and laughing at the cuteness factor.  Thanks Ally for a reason for our family to gather and share some fun together on a cold February night with lots of new calves out in the barn!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

Friday, February 25, 2011

4 calves today and counting... and its 5 below zero out there!

Last year about this time I was outside on some nice days taking some adorable calf pictures... now with the super cold weather... the new babies are whisked into the warming box to get good and warmed up before Pat gets them out to nurse on their mothers for the first time! 
Lord watch over the new babies, and please start to give us warmer weather as we are all tired of the cold and really ready for some signs of spring!  There is something about those white faced ones that is so silly, cute and goofy looking, and they are very desirable too!  Jesus, your creation is wonderful and a blessing - help us to take good care of the new little ones.  Jesus, we trust in you!  Bless-bless, Barb

The black ones are pretty great too!
"There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:

Jesus is my God,
Jesus is my Spouse,
Jesus is my Life,
Jesus is my only Love,
Jesus is my All in All;
Jesus is my Everything."
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Calving is here! More thoughts on marriage.

Getting up to see a new calf on the TV... that's right we have a surveilance camera in the calving barn and we can see the cows and know that they are calving or have calved from our couch!  We all say Hail Marys and hold our breath until Pat appears on the screen, and we see that the calf is healthy and doing well... it is cold, so it is heading for the warming box for a quick warm up! 
I am using pictures today from calving 3 years ago... it looks to be a less snowy winter and I haven't gotten out there near as much this year other than some time with the little calves in the barn... with the grandkids along to watch too... we haven't gotten out to the new barn yet, nor have the pairs of cows and calves as there are not that many yet.  Pat is calving a few weeks later this year, and it still is miserable snowy and cold... Each year has its challanges! 
From the readings for mass today - see   "When a husband is joined to his wife, 'they are no longer two but one flesh.'  Each has found a faithful friend, and a 'faithful friend is a strudy shelter... is beyond price... is a life-saving remedy.'  The spousal friends that 'God has joined together' in the sacrament of marriage 'no human being must separate.'" 

The first reading from Sirach 6: 5-17 is amazing words about your "one in a thousand confidant" - your spouse really would be this person in our lives... so many amazing thoughts about what this very close to us "freind" means to us in our journey here on earth. "A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure.  A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth.  A faithful friend is a life-saving rememdy, such as he who fears God finds; For he who fears God behaves accordingly, and his friend will be like himself."  Sirach 6

Fr Paul spoke in a homily a few weeks ago that if we all in our marriages thought of the other ahead of ourselves - "I think that the number of divorces would come to a almost complete halt."  Yes, it would certainly make such a difference, and I am not saying that I do this very well at all.  There are many times that I see that Pat is like sandpaper to my rough edges, and getting the shaved off is painful and hard!  But I also see that he is allowing me to become a better Christian and together in our prayers every day... we come to a more loving and forgiving place with Christ in our midst... "May we always put you first in our lives, O Lord!"
The Gospel today is Mark10: 1-12 where the Pharisees approach Jesus about divorce... The words of Jesus to us..."From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.  So they are no longer two but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate."  I am stirred deep within me whenever my Lord speaks to me in the Gospel... it truly is Christ come alive to me in His Word! 
Mary and her Snowball... this morning Pat told us that Snowball's mother had her calf... a bull with a white spot on it's face... Cow and calf are doing well.  It was that calf that we watched Pat put into the warming box on this cold day in February! 
Sweet Jesus, your design for us as married couples has enriched our lives with the blessings of family and faith and farm!  WE are humble and unworthy of all the blessings that you pour out upon us.  Give us the strength to give without counting the cost, and as a result to reap the benefits of a rich harvest.  We give you our spouses and our families... we are yours - use us!  May we fight for all that is Truth, and Life in this world.   May we protect ourselves from all that is evil and lurking in many disguises to lead us away from you and into darkness!  Jesus, we trust in you!  Amen and Halleluia!

Bless-bless, Barb
"As to our love, it cannot fail to be creative love if it is Christ's.  Loves that we had supposed to have no importance but for ourselves - love between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers, the love of friends - all these natural loves, if we love with Christ's heart, increase the life of the world, and build up the kingdom of heaven here on earth.  The harder love to achieve, the love of our enemies, of those who hate us and persecute us, does not merely bring us pardon in our own sins, but is redemptive; it has a reach as wide as the cross, and not only brings mercy to those who are its object, but to the whole world." 
Caryll Houselander (1954) was a British mystic, poet, and spiritual teacher.

"Bless us with a happy healthy family."  Paul Lanoue to Venerable John Paul II three days after their wedding November 25,2003 in St Peters in Rome!