About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

Today I attended the second day of a four day training for catechists for our parish's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.  The program is Montessori-based and was founded by Sofia Cavaletti, an Italian scholar.

The classroom, or atrium, is set up in a beautiful, simple and accessible way for the children to explore and learn about their faith, the love of God, the Liturgy, the Bible, the liturgical year, the prayers, rituals and sacraments of the Church.

While I don't plan to be a catechist in our parish program, I will probably help behind the scenes in some way.

I will take some pictures of the atrium and show them in a later post.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Jerusalem Workshop - Shameless Commerce Division

Well, despite the bad news of yesterday, today was a bit better.

I made some sample icon shrines and we mounted some icon prints on wood panels as examples to take to the Juneau Artist's Gallery, where we have applied to be among the artists who display their work.

Here are some of the images we have mounted on panels and in the prayer shrines:

St. Agatha, Patroness of Women with Breast Cancer

Korsun Mother of God

We also will be making panels of the Holy Family and the Wedding Feast at Cana.

Keep us in your prayers that the gallery artists want us to join their group!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Prayers, please: Update

Today I am asking for your prayers for my friend Darlene and her family.

Her son Kevin was attacked and is in the hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He graduated in the same class as my son, and is only 19 years old.  He is in intensive care with severe brain injuries.

The family is making a difficult decision today, whether to continue life support.  They are in need of prayers for a miracle, and failing that, strength to deal with making their decision.

Please pray for them today.  If you can ask your friends to do the same, I know Darlene and her family will appreciate it.

Through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Our  Lord, may this suffering family be consoled and comforted.

Update:  Kevin died earlier today.  Thanks for your prayers and thoughts.  The family will continue to need prayers as they grieve the loss of their son and brother.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A houseguest, and a link!

Charles' student, Sharon, arrived on Saturday and has already posted a couple of times on her blog, On A Mission about her visit here!  Stop by her blog and visit!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Around the Neighborhood

Sometimes, when I am doing the most mundane things, such as driving out to the Mendenhall Valley to go grocery shopping, or walking to the post office to mail a package, or just weeding the garden, I am struck by the unbelievable beauty of where I live.

The other day, Charles and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  I wish I could say that these pictures are all of my garden, but most of them are of my of neighbors'.

This is Douglas Harbor - I love the evening light on the trees.

This is a State of Alaska office building down the street from our house - they have a nice garden too, and they provide picnic tables for their employees (and the neighbors).

Our former neighbor painted this Killer Whale on his garage - it makes a nice landmark when directing people to our house: "Turn right at the Killer Whale!"  Our friends James and Maura just moved in!

This is our house - we need new siding.  Note the requisite blue tarp over the wood pile (very Alaskan!).

The sign for the Douglas Community Garden, which is in our lower yard.  Local school children painted the sign.

Our modest crop.

More views of the garden.

Charles' studio.

Our spirea bush - it started out as a little sprig.  I am going to divide it this fall and put it in pots so it won't get destroyed when we side the house.

The view from our front yard.

When we got home, I made raspberry/blueberry/rhubarb mini pies!

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our neighborhood!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sunday: A Blessing, a Birthday, a Porcupine, and a trip down Memory Lane

Our friends Rich and Jeannie have increased their happy family!  They have adopted their second daughter from China.  This is a picture of Jeannie, Rich, their son Colm and their newest daughter, Li Ming being blessed at Mass on Sunday morning.

Phoebe celebrated her 26th birthday on Tuesday, but we had our family dinner and traditional North Douglas Chocolate Cake on Sunday evening, so that her friend Rachel, who was visiting from Seattle, could join us.

The birthday girl making a wish!

After dinner, I looked out the window and saw this little guy in our yard.  He climbed the fence and turned his back to us to present his quills.  We quickly brought Beans inside and closed the dog door.

Here is a picture of Charles and me (along with two of that year's Jesuit Volunteers) at the Fourth of July Parade in 1985.  Note the belly!

Phoebe, right after her birth.

Phoebe, at her baptism.

I can't believe that it has been 26 years since our beautiful daughter was born!  She has brought so much joy to our lives, and I am grateful for every year, every month, every day, every minute and every second of those 26  years!  Happy Birthday Phoebe!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


When I first moved to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer in 1978, my housemates and I would go for hikes on the trails around the area.  There are so many trails here that there is a book entitled: "90 Short Walks Around Juneau".  That's a lot of choices for places to hike.

We would go on hikes up Mt. Roberts or Spaulding Meadows or Last Chance Basin and I would be several yards behind my fellow hikers.  They would stop and wait for me periodically, until it got embarrassing. 

The problem was that I  have short legs, and have never been in great shape (although when I moved to Juneau as a 22 year old, I had been running every day for a year and weighed 98 pounds - this, however, didn't make my legs any longer).   

So I began to stay home because I thought I was slowing everyone down.   I would bake cookies and cinnamon rolls for them to enjoy on their return.  I got out of the habit of walking on the trails which were all around us.

For years, my kids would say: "Why don't you want to go for a hike?  You never go for walks on the trails!"  and I would reply that I didn't like hiking.  And I didn't because, in my mind, it involved climbing hills (not to mention that I am afraid of bears).  

Then, a couple of months ago, I went to the doctor, who informed me that I am overweight (not just overweight, but that if I lost 30 pounds, I would still be obese).  Her prescription was a strict diet (I mean, "Lifestyle Change"), nutritional supplements and an exercise program.   

I burst into tears in her office because I was imagining a yawning abyss with no chocolate in it. 

When I calmed down, she explained that I could start slow, just being aware of what I was eating and how much I was moving.  She was pretty firm about walking at least a half hour a day, however.  

I thought: "Well, I can walk for a half an hour a day".  So, while I was resistant about the eating part, I embraced the nutritional supplements and half hour walk.  Even without strictly following the diet (I mean "Lifestyle Change"), I lost five pounds in two weeks.  I've slowly continued to lose weight.

I still have more chins than the Hong Kong phone directory, but my clothes are a bit looser and I feel a bit stronger.  I have also learned that I like walking on the local trails.  Not the ones that are uphill, but the ones that are pretty flat, like the Treadwell Historical Trail, the Auke Lake Trail, the Brotherhood Bridge Trail and the Gold Creek Flume.

Miguel and I went for a walk on the Flume yesterday, and we had such a nice time!  The pictures in this post are from that lovely walk with my son.  (When he saw me taking pictures of the trail and of the flowers in a beautiful gardens on the way to the trail head, he asked me if I was going to put them on my blog.  "Yup!", I said.  He rolled his eyes, but held my camera case for me.)

The lesson from all this is that walking in the woods is good for the body and good for the soul.  And, in my case, because my nineteen year old son (who is moving across the country soon for his second year of college) asked me to go for a walk with him, it was good for my heart.

I linked this post to At The Picket Fence Inspiration Friday