Sunday, July 31, 2016

366 Project - Day 213 - "The Notes"

July 31, 2016 - "The Notes"

As many of you already know, my sister-in-law and nieces recently made the move from Connecticut to North Carolina. It was a difficult thing... yet something the four of them needed to do, if for no other reason than to at least try to regroup and begin the next chapter of their lives. This past year since my brother's death has been hell for all of us - but most of all for the four of them.

North Carolina is a completely clean slate for them. They have no connection to the state whatsoever. They do not have any family there... and, other than the realtor who has become a friend, didn't know anyone who lives there. They just felt the need to do it and, after much research, decided the where, when and how of it all.

It takes a tremendous amount of strength and courage to make so big of a change in life, especially when there are so many unknowns that come with it. I, for one, am incredibly proud of them!

Anyway... What does any of that have to do with today's photo?

I send my sister-in-law hand-written notes which she is not allowed to open until Sunday each week. These are the notecards I use for them... and over the next couple of days I'll be sitting down to write out three or four weeks worth of notes to send to her.

Just little reminders to say "You are never alone!".


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Saturday, July 30, 2016

366 Project - Day 212 - "Up Early (Heading to Brooklyn)"

July 30, 2016 - "Up Early (Heading to Brooklyn)"

I'm up way too early for a Saturday!


So I can get some things done - including my daily prayers - before I get to head out for the day.


My best friend Lenny is picking me up and we're heading down to Brooklyn to the Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg for their "Nitehawk Brunch" screening of "The Fisher King" - which is a freakin' awesome movie - one of Robin Williams' best - and if you haven't ever seen it you need to stop whatever you're doing and go watch it NOW!

Go ahead...

I'll wait...

*   *   *

Friday, July 29, 2016

366 Project - Day 211 - "Mike Piazza Weekend"

July 29, 2016 - "Mike Piazza Weekend"

So we went to the Mets game tonight at CitiField. It was "Day 1" of the "Mike Piazza Weekend", celebrating his recent induction in to the Hall of Fame... and the retiring of his famous #31, which will happen as part of tomorrow night's game.

Well, the game kinda sucked tonight. The Rockies killed the Mets by a score of 6-1. It was still a great night out though! I love CitiField... and tonight was "Free Jersey Night", so we each got a Mike Piazza jersey, which was pretty cool.

Yes, it would have been great if the Mets had won (or at least hadn't lost by so much)... and it would have been even better if there hadn't been a guy sitting behind us who was so drunk that he fell over the seats onto us several times - but all-in-all it was a pretty good night!


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Thursday, July 28, 2016

366 Project - Day 210 - "Abstract (Lessons Learned)"

July 28, 2016 - "Abstract (Lessons Learned)"

Some lessons you just have to learn the hard way.

Today my son learned such a lesson: There are moments in life when you have to accept that you need the help of someone with much more knowledge and experience than you possess.

Another way to put it is: "Just because you happen to have access to a screwdriver does NOT mean that you are required to use it!" 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

366 Project - Day 209 - "Good Morning!"

July 27, 2016 - "Good Morning!"

I haven't been sleeping very well lately... which has resulted in my sleeping a lot later than I should each morning.

Not this morning, though!

This morning I woke up early... went right into my Morning Prayers... got the coffee pot going... grabbed my camera and walked the dog. The sun was incredibly bright... and I couldn't help but take a picture of it.

Well, that's "mostly" true. I tried taking photos, but my meds hadn't kicked in enough at that point to steady my tremors - so I ended up taking an extremely short video instead... and then took a single frame from that video as today's photo. Plus, by shooting a video rather still-photography, I was able to get the glare and flare that looked much closer to what I was seeing with the naked eye.

So... there it is.

That's it.

Good morning!


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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

366 Project - Day 208 - "L-O-V-E"

July 26, 2016 - "L-O-V-E"

After reading all of the news lately, I can't help but have they lyrics to Stevie Wonder's "Love's In Need of Love Today"...

"Love's in need of love today.
Don't delay...
Send yours in right away.
Hate's goin' round...
Breaking many hearts.
Stop it please...
Before it's gone too far."

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Monday, July 25, 2016

366 Project - Day 207 - "Abstract (Thunderstorm)"

July 25, 2016 - "Abstract (Thunderstorm)"

It's raining.

Actually, it's pouring.

We're in the middle of a thunderstorm and the rain is coming down so hard that the sound of it pounding on the roof is deafening... though not nearly as deafening as the thunder. Every crack of thunder is so loud and so strong that it is shaking the house and you feel it in your feet. The lightning is so close that - even before you see a single flash - there's a pulse of electricity in the air that you can actually feel hit your body. You feel the pulse... then see the flash... then the roar of thunder makes you jump backwards (or, in the case of my poor dog, it sends her cowering against my legs shivering so much she is making my body shake!)

Anyway... this is the view from my front porch, looking out at the birch trees in our front yard. The screens are soaked - but even if you duck you hear out the door you cannot see too far. The rain is that "thick".

Personally, I kinda like this weather. Something about it makes me feel "alive"!


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Sunday, July 24, 2016

366 Project - Day 206 - "Leica"

July 24, 2016 - "Leica"

I love my dog!

She truly is the greatest, most affectionate, most wonderful dog I've ever been blessed with sharing my life with!

She does get a little annoyed with me when I disturb her naps to take pictures of her though!


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Saturday, July 23, 2016

366 Project - Day 205 - "Abstract (Strained)"

July 23, 2016 - "Abstract (Strained)"

Just finished processing 18-lbs. worth of San Marzano tomatoes with my new Victorio food strainer.

Now it's time to start cooking them down for tomorrow's "Sunday Gravy".


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Friday, July 22, 2016

366 Project - Day 204 - "9:00PM (Sky After Adoration)"

July 22, 2016 - "9:00PM (Sky After Adoration)"

Tonight I felt a very strong need to spend an hour before the Blessed Sacrament at my parish's Perpetual Adoration Chapel. I emerged from the chapel just before 9:00PM, and the sky was still quite bright... with soft flashes of lightning here and there. It was too beautiful not to capture!


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

366 Project - Day 203 - "Abstract (Cold Shock)"

July 21, 2016 - "Abstract (Cold Shock)"

Sometimes life has you feeling as if you're an egg in a giant pot of boiling water. The heat of things around you seems to be doing its best to change what's within you. It's chaos upon chaos upon chaos.

Then something happens... and you're taken from the boiling water and "shocked" in an ice bath that brings everything to a halt and wakes you up, so-to-speak. Yes, the chaos has changed you... yet suddenly it all seems to make sense. It all seems to have happened for a reason... a reason which you just couldn't figure out, until now.

I've been in the boiling water for many, many months. Today, however, I was plunged into the ice bath and shocked into understanding at least some of the reasons "why".

(Oh, by-the-way, I'm making egg salad today.)

*   *   *

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

366 Project - Day 202 - "Switching to Latin"

July 20, 2016 - "Switching to Latin"

I've decided to start saying a portion of my daily prayers in Latin, rather than English. This is partly due to the formality and tradition of the use of Latin within the Church... partly due to the fact that in September my parish will start offering the Tridentine Mass - aka "The Traditional Latin Mass"... and partly due to the fact that I just happen to like Latin as a language.

Today all of my afternoon prayers - including both the "Rosary" and the "Divine Mercy Chaplet" were said in Latin. That won't be the case every day though. Some days it might be just a single "Pater Noster", followed by an "Ave Maria" and finished with a "Gloria Patri". We'll see.

I had to laugh a bit after I completed today's prayers, and my thoughts wandered back twenty-plus-years to memories of high school and three years of Mr. Rohleder's Latin class. He always insisted that, some day, we would find ourselves being thankful that we had chosen to take "Latin" instead of "Spanish", "French" or "German". He'd teach us something awesome and then he'd stop, point to the window (through which you could see the windows of the Spanish class next door) and, laughingly, say something like "They're over there learning how to say "My pencil is yellow"! We're in here actually reading and writing in Latin!".

I loved Mr. Rohleder... he was one of the best teachers I ever had. His wife was my English teacher during my freshman year... and she was one of the best teachers I've ever had as well. They each had a passion for what they were teaching that came through in how they would teach it. You'd actually pay attention... rather than passing notes or anything like that (which I guess was our version of "texting"). The world sure could use more teachers like Mr. and Mrs. Rohleder!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

366 Project - Day 201 - "Open and _____."

July 19, 2016 - "Open and _____."

It's amazing to me that so many people choose to remain ignorant of the fact that our attitude towards things affects every aspect of our experience as we journey through the wonderful gift that is "life".

People often use the "Is the glass half empty? Or is it half-full?" analogy to try to get people to understand that it's really about how they choose to perceive it.

To me, life is more like this bottle. Yes, along the lines of the glass we can view the bottle as being "Open and Empty"... or we can view it as "Open and ready to be filled". That's just part of it though. We also have the free will to choose how "open" the bottle is at any given moment - and what it is, exactly, that our bottle contains.

Some of us keep that little lid on so tight that we're not open to the possibility of anything we don't already approve of entering our lives.

Some of us keep the lid completely open at all times, and deal with whatever life throws our way.

Others fall somewhere in between. They try to keep the lid closed enough so that what they already "know" and are already "comfortable with" doesn't escape... but from time to time they'll allow little bits of life to either drip out of the bottle or seep in to the mix.

"Open" or "Closed"... "Empty" or "Full"... it doesn't matter. Ultimately the bottle is still made of glass... and so the container that we think makes us who we are is more fragile than we're willing to admit.

But enough of that! When life gives you lemons, make Limoncello! That's what THIS particular bottle is meant for, anyway!

*   *   *

Monday, July 18, 2016

366 Project - Day 200 - "Abstract (???)"

July 18, 2016 - "Abstract (???)"

It has been a relatively quiet day...

... except for the thunderstorm that seemed to come out of nowhere, and disappeared just as quickly as it came.

I have absolutely no idea what any of that has to do with today's photo though.

Oh well!


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Sunday, July 17, 2016

366 Project - Day 199 - "Time for My Dad"

July 17, 2016 - "Time for My Dad"

Today I went down to Stamford to visit my Dad and to give him one of the watches that had belonged to my brother Peter.

It was a very tough visit.

The last time I saw him was on Father's Day. That day he was in good spirits, but it was obvious how frail he has become. Today was worse. He seems even thinner now than he was a month ago... almost skeletal. He's on oxygen, and it appears that he hasn't been able to leave his room much for several days. He has moments where he's confused... but then moments when he's still sharp as a tack. He's slow... weak... and it's getting harder to understand him when he talks because he just isn't talking as loudly or opening his mouth as big as he thinks he is.

The worst part? He doesn't smile. At least not the same way. He smiled only a slight smile... and even then only a few times.

The first was when he saw me walk through the door.

The next was when I gave him the watch and told him that it had belonged to Peter. He instantly wanted to wear it. He's so thin now that I had to remove most of the links to make it fit... and it still was a bit too big on him. (Today's photo is of some of my watch tools sitting in their toolbox)

The next was a bit of a smile when he asked how my sister-in-law, nieces and my brothers are doing... but then it seemed to fade away quickly as he tried to remember when the last time he saw everyone was.

We were there for about 45 minutes or so... until it got obvious that his attention was fading away. I hugged him goodbye... and was afraid that I was going to break him if I squeezed him the wrong way.

I did not break down when we got to the parking lot... at least not on the outside. On the outside I tried to crack jokes about stupid things and get everyone in the car laughing - but inside I was screaming.

I know it's a selfish thing... but I just don't think I could handle another loss, yet I feel it coming.

Lord, grant me the courage and strength to accept the cup you have passed to me.

Thank you, Lord, for trusting me with so precious a cup.

*   *   *

Saturday, July 16, 2016

366 Project - Day 198 - "Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel"

July 16, 2016 - "Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel"

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Today we celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary's appearance to St. Simon Stock, a friar with the Carmelite religious order. It was during that visitation that the Blessed Virgin Mary gave him the Brown Scapular, which ultimately became a sacramental worn by many faithful Catholics who have devoted themselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Promise of the Brown Scapular, spoken by the Blessed Virgin Mary is:

"Whoever dies invested with this Scapular shall be preserved from the eternal flames. It is a sign of salvation, a sure safeguard in danger, a pledge of peace and of my special protection until the end of ages."

To wear the Brown Scapular you must be formally "enrolled" in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular by a Catholic priest using the specific formula of investiture according to the Catholic Church and the Carmelite religious order. Enrollment is a form of dedicating oneself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in order to receive the "Promises of the Brown Scapular" you must wear it at all times, most especially at the time of your death. You must also commit to a life devoted to Our Lady... a life that includes piety and prayer. Once you've been invested by a priest, you do not need to do so again. If/when your Scapular becomes worn out or unwearable, you simply replace it with a new one. Your initial investiture/enrollment is really a blessing on the wearer, not the Scapular itself... so once you've been enrolled you remain enrolled.

The Brown Scapular shown in today's photo is the one I was actually enrolled with back in November of 2012. I wore it until the cords were worn so thin that they were about to fall off, then I replaced it with an identical one. This one now rests on my prayer altar.

I wear my Scapular continuously. I only remove it when I bathe, which is really the only time that it is acceptable to remove it - though you are not required to do so, and some people actually have a second one that they'll wear just for bathing.

Enough about the Brown Scapular though...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!

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Friday, July 15, 2016

366 Project - Day 197 - "Abstract (Wishing for Pizza)"

July 15, 2016 - "Abstract (Wishing for Pizza)"

I've got a very strong craving for some pizza today.

That has absolutely nothing to do with today's photo... I just thought you should know, that's all.


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

366 Project - Day 196 - "Abstract (Mind the Gap!)"

July 14, 2016 - "Abstract (Mind the Gap!)"

Today has been a long but quiet kind of day. My wife and daughter are in Massachusetts today and tomorrow doing the whole "college orientation" thing. They left around 6:00 this morning. I had to stay behind because, 1) we couldn't bring our son Brandon with us and he can't stay home alone... and 2) someone had to be here to take care of the dog, who is already very upset with Holly and me for having been gone for four days this past weekend.

So it's just Brandon, the dog and me today. For the most part it has been a good day, except for the fact that my brand new travel mug (which I just got last week and absolutely love) cracked this morning. That made me a bit sad, but there are far worse things in life than having your travel mug crack!

I'm trying to get things done... and have actually gotten through 99% of my "To Do" list for the day. The rest will just be added to tomorrow's list though, because I'm much too tired to do any more.

I had to go out on the porch for something and as I was making my way back inside the lines of the metal scaffolding platform that goes with my "Little Giant Ladder" caught my eye. So of course I had to grab my camera and take a shot.

Now, looking at the image, I cant help but think that even the firmest of foundations can have holes in it.

I know what you're thinking... you're thinking "What the heck is he talking about!?!". Let me explain...

Every chapter of our lives involves a bit of "self construction"... and any form of construction requires a firm foundation on which it can be built... otherwise it's just going to fall to the ground sooner or later. So we try to build our lives on the firmest and strongest of foundations that we can.

This scaffolding, when attached to the ladder, becomes a foundation. It's a nice solid metal foundation, right? Yet it has gaps, and therefore it has holes. They may be slim, and the likelihood of me falling through the thin gap of the scaffolding when I stand on it my be next to none - but the gaps ARE there nonetheless. I might not fall through one... but I might find that as I'm walking along the platform, my shoelace gets caught in a gap... and I get pulled backwards and go tumbling down to the ground.

For even the slimmest of gaps is still a hole in the foundation.

The key is to recognize the possibility of gaps and holes in your foundation - not matter how strong or how firm you believe that foundation to be. Recognize the possibility of gaps and holes, because they are the doorways to the things that can pull you backwards and bring you tumbling down in life.

So, as they say on the trains and subways: "Mind the gap!"

*   *   *

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

366 Project - Day 195 - "The Latin Mass"

July 13, 2016 - "The Latin Mass"

My parish announced some wonderful news this past weekend: The Bishop has given our parish permission to start celebrating the Tridentine Mass (Traditional Latin Mass). It will take some preparation before it can begin... but starting in September we will be celebrating a Tridentine Mass on the first Sunday of every month! This is something I've been hoping and praying for, so I am very excited about this! Perhaps some day in the future there'll come a time when we're able to host a Tridentine Mass every Sunday... but for now "once a month" is wonderful news!

Parishioners who plan to participate in the Latin Mass have been encouraged to purchase a copy of the 1962 Sunday Missal, which features the Latin on the left page and the English translation on the right page. This is the "Old Form" of the Mass, which was replaced by the current "Novus Ordo" Mass as part of the changes stemming from Vatican II.

So today's photo is of my beautiful 1962 Saint Joseph Sunday Missal - which I cannot wait to begin using!

Gloria in excélsis Deo!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

366 Project - Day 194 - "Sleeping In"

July 12, 2016 - "Sleeping In"

Now THAT was a long trip! We pulled in to Manhattan around midnight. Our train from Manhattan left a little after 1:00AM. A little after 2:00AM we were in Norwalk, grabbing a cab so we could pick up our car. We didn't actually get to our house until around 3:45-ish this morning... and went straight to bed.

Today I slept late. Very late. I didn't get out of bed until around 12:30/1:00PM, and even then I was so exhausted I could've slept another three or four hours. I had to push myself to get up though... because there's things to do.

I spent an hour in the Adoration Chapel at my church this afternoon, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. Then Holly and the kids and I went over to the Italian Center (Danbury's "Sons of Italy" Lodge) for their weekly "Pasta Night"... followed by a stop for some ice cream before heading home for some wine and relaxation.

I think tonight is going to be an early night.

*   *   *

Monday, July 11, 2016

366 Project - Day 193 - "The Journey Home (Saying Goodbye)"

July 11, 2016 - "The Journey Home (Saying Goodbye)"

I was right... I wasn't ready to have to say "goodbye".

It really hit me hard last night, as I was stretched out on the couch desperately trying to fall asleep. I cried for what seemed like hours. I don't want to have to say "goodbye". I mean, I know that this goodbye will not be forever... that it's temporary, and is more like a "see you sometime soon" than a "goodbye". It hurts though.

My heart hasn't hurt this way since April 01, 2015... the day my brother Peter died. Now here we are... fifteen months later and I'm about to say leave his wife and daughters almost 700 miles away. It kinda feels like I'm losing him all over again.

Over the last fifteen months there hasn't been a single month where I haven't spent at least one day with Angel and the girls. During the first couple of months after Peter's death I'd see them two, three, four days or more each week. Then, when things calmed down a bit, it became two, three or four times per month. The difference between today and that day fifteen months ago is tremendous. I've watched my sister deal with things no one should ever have to deal with, and she did it better than I ever could in the same situation. I've watched my nieces grow and change so much... and have become quite attached to my youngest niece, Liliana.

But it's time to go.

This morning we performed a little House Blessing ceremony just before Holly and I made our way out. We gave our hugs and kisses... and when I hugged Angel it was the hardest hug I've ever had to release.

I know that things will be OK. I know that this move is going to be good for them. Somehow I just know that my brother is up there smiling... and that as the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, Angel and the girls will find more and more reasons to smile too.

I also know that there's at least two houses for sale just down the road from their new house, so...


Today's journey will be a tough one - and also a very long one. Four hours on an Amtrak bus to get to the train... then we'll be on the train until we pull into Manhattan just around midnight. We'll have to make our way from Penn Station over to Grand Central Terminal to catch a Metro North train from Manhattan to Norwalk... then a cab from that station to Angel's old house to pick up our car so we can drive home to Danbury and collapse on our bed. That moment probably won't come until around 4:00 tomorrow morning... and I fully intend to sleep as late as possible tomorrow!

Today's photo is from our "seventh-inning-stretch" in Washington, D.C.. The train will rest here for about a half-hour before we continue, so we're taking advantage of the opportunity to get off for a bit to stretch and walk around.

*   *   *

Sunday, July 10, 2016

366 Project - Day 192 - "Wilmington, North Carolina"

July 10, 2016 - "Wilmington, North Carolina"

It has been a very long day!

We arrived in Wilmington yesterday afternoon and immediately got to work helping to get the unpacking started.

My sister-in-law's new house is absolutely beautiful! The fact that the air conditioning wasn't working when we got there, however, was not so beautiful. It's really freakin' hot here! Thankfully she was able to have a repairman come and get it working rather quickly - and the house went from almost 90˚ inside to a comfortable mid-70s.

Today was more unpacking and settling in. We managed to go to Mass this morning, which was quite an experience! I'm not used to seeing a Catholic church packed with people in shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops or sandals! Plus, when I went up to receive Communion, the priest gave me what turned out to be the single-largest piece of the Holy Eucharist that I've ever had. He kept trying to put it in my mouth the wrong way (he was quite old and quite short) so I had to sort of squat a bit and turn my head sideways to get it right, and even then he almost dropped it. The host was so big I almost choked, so I immediately went to receive the Wine (which I don't normally do) and took more of a "gulp" than a "sip".

After a long day we ended up heading for some ice cream at Kilwin's, which was nice, before heading to the beach, which was even nicer! The sky was absolutely beautiful and a storm was rolling in. You could see the rain off on the horizon... and every once-in-a-while a beautiful strike of lightning would crack down from the clouds. You can't really tell it from today's photo, but the waves were actually quite large and the water was so warm on your feet, it was like bath water.

Tonight we'll get some rest and enjoy two or three or four glasses of nice cold Pinot Grigio before drifting off to sleep. Tomorrow morning Holly and I will be heading back to Connecticut. I'm not sure if I'm ready for this.

*   *   *

Saturday, July 9, 2016

366 Project - Day 191 - "North Carolina"

July 09, 2016 - "North Carolina"

We woke up early... enjoyed the free breakfast at the hotel and downed several cups of coffee... and we're back on the road.

Today's photo is of the moment we crossed into North Carolina. I think Angel is in a bit of a hurry... because the speed limit here is 70mph, and that's what we're doing, yet we can't seem to keep up with her!

This afternoon we'll be at the new house in Wilmington. Then it'll be time to start unpacking and helping my sister-in-law and nieces settle in to their new home and the start of a new life.

Did I mention that it's really freakin' hot down here?

*   *   *

Friday, July 8, 2016

366 Project - Day 190 - "Virginia (Beginning the Move)"

July 08, 2016 - "Virginia (Beginning the Move)"

Today has been a long day.

We're helping my sister-in-law Angel make her move from Connecticut to North Carolina. Angel, my three nieces - Frannie, Jessica and Liliana - and their dog Mocha are in one car... while my wife Holly, Angel's aunt Lynn and I are following in my niece's car.

The day started off very early, with Holly and me driving from Danbury to Wilton to pick up Aunt Lynn. Then from her house to Angel's house in Norwalk to load up the cars. Our car will stay in Norwalk while we drive Frannie's car to North Carolina. Today's drive will only bring us as far as Richmond, however... where we'll stop for the night before continuing the journey tomorrow.

Today's photo was taken at one of the "Scenic View" stops on the side of the highway in Virginia. So far the ride has gone nice and smoothly... and we're loving the scenery, especially here in Virginia. It has been a beautiful drive!

Tonight we'll be at a hotel in Richmond... maybe grab some Cracker Barrel for dinner... then we'll be waking up early to hit the highway and complete the drive to the new house in Wilmington.

St. Christopher watch over and protect us on our journey!

*   *   *

Thursday, July 7, 2016

366 Project - Day 189 - "1 Corinthians 16:14"

July 07, 2016 - "1 Corinthians 16:14"

Tomorrow morning my wife Holly and I are heading down to Norwalk to meet up with my sister-in-law Angel and my nieces so we can accompany them as they make the move from Connecticut to North Carolina. We'll be driving my niece's car for her, then we're spending a very short time in NC to help with the move before heading back home by train.

So today is kind of a hectic day... trying to wrap up a lot of last minute things before we leave tomorrow for what will be a very emotional few days. I've got a very long list of things I should be doing... and don't really have the time or the energy to do much photography-wise today, so this is my shot for the day... a very quick shot of the current quote on the chalkboard that hangs in our kitchen.

"Let all that you do be done in love" - 1 Corinthians 16:14


*   *   *

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

366 Project - Day 188 - "Abstract (Holes)"

July 06, 2016 - "Abstract (Holes)"

Another morning...

Another doctors appointment...

Another Parkinson's-related meds change.

Another day of feeling too overwhelmed by it all, and not having the energy to get anything done.

Another day full of holes.

*   *   *

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

366 Project - Day 187 - "Fixing Watches"

July 05, 2016 - "Fixing Watches"

Later today my oldest brother Xavier and sister-in-law Lisa will be coming for a visit and some dinner. In the meantime I'm sitting here working on some watches, trying to keep my hands busy.

It's strange... the Parkinson's has affected many things in my life. My handwriting has become very small, and it takes me a very long time to write even short sentences. I cannot text nearly as fast as I used to be able to. Most of the time I need to brace my hands against something when taking photographs. I cannot draw like I used to, because even if I'm able to stabilize my hand enough to draw, at some point the movement causes me to make a mistake that ends up pissing me off. Fixing watches though - no problem. I'm able to keep my hand steady even when I'm working with screws and gears that are so small I need a magnifier in order to see exactly what I'm doing. I can easily replace the tiniest hands on a chronograph without any problems... but I try to eat soup and sometimes the spoon shakes so much that the soup flies off of it!

So today I'm sitting here working on watches to try to keep my hands busy and to steady and calm myself... and it actually seems to be working. I'm restoring a couple of watches I bought at tag sales which will be flipped on eBay... and also cleaning and restoring one of my brother Peter's watches to give to my brother Xavier when he gets here. (He doesn't know that is happening though)

For a moment I find myself thinking about the fact that the tiniest little ticks of a watch are able to calm the very big ticks Parkinson's brings to my body... and I actually find myself laughing at that. Sometimes it takes something very small to overcome something we view as being very big.


*   *   *

Monday, July 4, 2016

366 Project - Day 186 - "Sunset (Fourth of July)"

July 04, 2016 - "Sunset (Fourth of July)"

Today is the Fourth of July... but there's no fireworks for us. It's just my wife, daughter, son and me... eating hot dogs, macaroni salad, corn on-the-cob and baked beans out on the front porch while singing Lionel Richie's "All Night Long (All Night)" quite loudly.

Personally, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the day!


*   *   *

Sunday, July 3, 2016

366 Project - Day 185 - "Abstract (Beer Can Chicken)"

July 03, 2016 - "Abstract (Beer Can Chicken)"

I have this red and white splatterware enamel tray that I use whenever I'm grilling. Tonight I'm grilling up a Beer Can Chicken, and the pattern on the tray caught my eye... which then drew the attention of my camera's lens... which ended up with the image being captured to become today's photo for my "366 Project".

That's it.

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366 Project - Day 184 - "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion..."

July 02, 2016 - "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion..."

"Eternal Father I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

(Photo taken from behind the bronze statue of "The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on The Cross" along the "Way of The Cross" at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.)

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Friday, July 1, 2016

366 Project - Day 183 - "Abstract (No Enchiladas)"

July 01, 2016 - "Abstract (No Enchiladas)"

I was supposed to make Beef Enchiladas for dinner a couple of nights ago... but it turned out that some fifteen-year-old boy - (I won't name any names) - used up all of the shredded cheese making himself Cheese Quesadillas, so the Beef Enchiladas never happened... and the empty aluminum tray they were supposed to made in has been sitting on the kitchen counter ever since.

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