Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Sunday Sermon: A Recipe for Self-Improvement

I read the following a few days ago and I found it inspiring. Food for thought, if you will. Susan gave me the magazine last week. She had been talking about reading spiritual books with an older man in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. He had said to her that was what he was doing. And he gave her a few copies of Turning Points Magazine & Devotional.

For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful.
2 Peter 1:8

Recommended Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-8

Aldous Huxley, the twentieth-century British author, said, “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.”

What area of your life do you want to improve? Just take a moment and think about that. In what area would you most like to grow? With God’s help, you can improve your one corner of the universe. What it really takes is the power of God in our lives, and there is a passage of Scripture on this very subject.

The apostle Peter wrote, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness…. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness… knowledge… self-control… perseverance… godliness… mutual affection… love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive” (2 Peter 1:3-8, NIV).

God will do His part (“His divine power has given us”), but we must also do our part and “make every effort.” Find an area of your life to improve, and start right now.

~From Turning Points Magazine & Devotional

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


I had my DNA analyzed.
I analyzed my DNA.
I had expectorated into a test tube
and sent it off to Ancestry months earlier.
I was hoping for a surprise.
I was hoping to learn 
I had ancestors
From a country I did not know
About. But there was
No surprise.
Great Britain.

Maybe there was a surprise.
I see Scotland.
So maybe, just maybe
The following story is true:

Mary Queen of Scots
It is rumored from whom
I am descended, it says here
Questa famiglia originaria della Scoizia
E nobilissima in molte citta,
Ed e divisa in molti rami
The Barone family, my family
Originated from Scotland
Mary's son King James VI of Scotland
Became King James I of England
King James great grand daughter married
The King of Itlay
It is noble in many cities and
Is divided into many branches it
Had many fiefs and illustrious men in court
In the magistrature, in the army
And in the church it was
Conferred high chivalrous honors and
Was vested with the holy orders
Of Malta from the 15th Century
It includes, as branches, the Counts
Of Casola and the Marchesi di Liveri
The title was granted in 1710
To the celebrated literary figure Domenico
Director, San Carlo Opera, Naples
Praised even by Giambattista Vico
In an assembly of praise of him
Made by the Academitrician in 1735
The family is listed in the Registry of Neopolitan
Feudal families and numbered among
The patricians of the Republic of Marino
The Republic was represented in Lisbon
By the Court of Casola and Marchese di Liveri
By Napoleon Barone son of Marchese Pasquale
Who had as his grandmother Maria Filomarina
Of the Principality of Bocca
Title to Alfrede Domenico Barone
Held from 1869-1952 also as the Count
Of Casoli in the Registry of Nobility
Melchizadek descendant of Pasquale
And likewise Alfred my father
Or so the story goes there is
A castle and a title
Or at the very least a story
That belongs to me in Italy
I write to know

Friday, April 27, 2018

Live Artfully

I received my first issue of Galerie Magazine yesterday. The Spring issue. The magazine was launched in 2016, I believe, and the present Editor-in-Chief is Margaret Russell, the former editor of Elle Décor and Architectural Digest.

According to promotional literature, Galerie Magazine "is a quarterly publication that engages readers who have a passion for art and design. Its distinctive coverage informs and inspires—delivering the finest in art, interiors, and architecture, plus compelling creative talents and fascinating destinations."

It is inspiring and informative.

Here I am holding my copy in our living room. The photo color is a bit off---it was dark and raining; but don't worry, I am about to share some photos of our home.

Why? Because of the magazine's Tagline which is "Live Artfully." I just love this and it so reflects the way my wife, Susan, and I live with our dog, Freddy, a mini-labradoodle, and out cat, Nadine, a calico.

Now that you met the children, let's talk about how we Live Artfully;

There is the kitchen table
round, a place
of gratitude
of grace
Thank You God
for these gifts before us

The food before us

The many books

The art

The colors  on the walls

The bathroom

The office

The Dining Room

The flowers and our garden

Doing our best to live our lives Artfully!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Beautiful Daisy

I love Daisies.
I recently learned that the Daisy is the Birth Month flower for April.
The Daisy conveys innocence, loyal love, and purity. Yet, it is also a flower given between friends to keep a secret; the daisy means “I’ll never tell.”  
They are often known as a token of affection.
Here in Massachusetts, however, we are months away from seeing them bloom in our gardens.
But there are photos:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Hello. It's Me.

I am back.
This is me and Freddy, a mini-labradoodle, just the other day working in my garden.

I have a lot of catching up to do with you and I hope to share with you some past events and some current events.

Stay tuned. Please.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Catch A Wave

"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world"
~The Beach Boys

I have been thinking of this post for days.

I have been wanting to bring all my blogs together in one place.

I have kept an online journal since 2000. And then started this Blog. And the poetry Blog. And the recipe Blog. And the prosperity Blog. And I started another titled My Mom's Bible to promote my Christian Totes & T-shirts online store.

I stopped updating my online journal one month ago. Most of my time has been devoted to journaling in a paper notebook;

counting gifts throughout the day. I have Ann Voskamp to thank for this and Jennifer Dukes Lee to thank for the title of this post.

The counting of gifts has become the record of my days, from the time I wake till the time I fall to sleep. Counting gifts and giving thanks. Catch a wave? I caught the wave of Christ. It is like this. No, it is this:

Thank You God
For these GIFTS
I am about to receive
Through Chirst
Our Lord.

All day. Every day. All is grace. The counting of gifts has become the music of my life. I counted:

On Sunday, July 20 I woke at 5:00 to feed our cat, Nadine. I then went back to bed and got up at 6:15. I woke Freddy and went on a short walk with him. We played Frisbee in the backyard and then I had a cup of coffee and a piece of toast. I trimmed the cucumber plant in my garden. I weeded the garden. I watered the garden.

 I edited photos. I made pickled Jalapenos.

I sat in the backyard and read. Freddy sat at my side. I wrote.

Sunday afternoon spent
Waiting for the bright yellow
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
And the bright orange
Monarch Butterfly.
There is now
A Hummingbird Moth
At the butterfly bush.
Yesterday I saw two
Bunny Rabbits, one zig-zagging
Across my neighbor's lawn and
The other still as a statue
Like the Robin I saw
Dead on the side of the road.
I was a witness
To my granddaughter's Baptism

Last Sunday and afterwards
Attended a party. We celebrated
Emily's Baptism and the birthdays
Of my son and his girlfriend.
She received from us
A bracelet we bought
At the Christian bookstore; Peace
Inscribed on the bracelet and 
My son received a photo album
Recalling our trips from Boston
To Austin. I made
A salad for the party.
Two night ago I grilled 
Shetland Salmon and made a sauce
With dill and cucumber from my garden.
Last night I made Salmon Cakes and
Tonight I'll grill hamburgers and
Make a toasted millet and bean salad.
There will be wine, too and
Desert--a cake or ice cream cones.

On Monday the 21st I got out of bed at 6:30. I had a short walk with Freddy. I made Bacon and Egg Sandwiches on Pittsfield Rye for Susan and me. A long walk, then, with Freddy.

I watered the garden. I read The Wall Street Journal in the backyard. Tuna on Rye Toast for lunch. I mowed the lawn. I enjoyed a beer in the backyard. I made Tomato, Basil (both from my garden) and Mozzarella Salad for dinner. We watched Mass on Catholic TV. We watchhed a documentary about an baby elephant, Eisha. I fell to sleep reading Exodus.

On Tuesday the 22nd I got up at 5:30 to feed the cat. Back to bed and then up at 6:30. A short walk with Freddy. Coffee and a bowl of cereal. A long walk with Freddy. Picking up our car at the auto body shop. I photographed a Cone-flower in the garden bed in the front yard.

I photographed a Zinnia. Made pizza for dinner: Mushroom, Mozzarella. We watched Mass. We watched Jeopardy. Finished reading Exodus and started Leviticus.

On Wednesday the 23rd I got up at 5:30 to feed the cat and I stayed up. Spent time of the computer before waking Freddy at 7:15. I made Bacon & Egg sandwiches for Susan and me. A long walk with Freddy. Watered the garden. Leftover pizza for lunch. Read New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in the backyard. I saw a new butterfly at the butterfly bush.

In and out of the house numerous times with Freddy to play Frisbee or tug-of-war. Slow-cooked pork for dinner with corn-on-the cob and carrots. Watched Mass. Watched Jeopardy. Thunderstorm. Freddy frightened. Sleeping next to Freddy on couch.

On Thursday the 24th I slept till 7:15! A short walk with Freddy. Coffee. A long walk with Freddy.
A drive to the recycling center. A piece of toast. Sitting in the backyard. Leftover slow-cooked pork for lunch. An afternoon nap.  And I remembered:

There is a dead peony
In the garden
Behind the house
Where Wallace Stevens lived.
We could sell the dead
Peony on Etsy to raise
Money to buy the house;
I hear it is still
For sale
And a good location.

My garden? Green.
Lime green.
Forest green.
Apple green.
Avocado green.
Moss green.
Olive green.
A half eaten green
Tomato on the grass.
My dog found it.
Where? A squirrel I know
Took it out from the garden
And an eggplant, too.

On Friday the 25th: Woke at 6:00. Woke Freddy at 7:15. A short walk with Freddy. Went for blood test. Made bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. Watering garden. Playing Frisbee with Freddy. Vacuuming house. Food shopping. Mowing lawn. Reading New York Times and Wall Street Journal in backyard. Bacon, Swiss Chard over Linguine for dinner (Susan found the recipe; YUM!). Watching Mass. Watching Jeopardy. Making Dilly Green Beans for us and our sister-in-law (for bloody mary's).

Watching the comedy network. Falling to sleep reading Numbers.

On Saturday the 26th: Up at 5:00 to feed the cat. Back to bed. Up at 7:00. A short walk with Freddy. Coffee. Making Corn & Raspberry Muffins. A long walk with Freddy. Watering garden. A kind note from Debbie Taylor Williams about being moved by my photography. Editing photos. A trip to Enders State Forest with Susan and Freddy.

A visit to The Garlic Farm. Where there is field of Zinnias:

A visit to Eleanor's. Bloody Mary's and Martini's at Eleanor's. Ordering out for meatball grinders. Watching a documentary on The Real McCoy. Falling to sleep reading Deuteronomy.

And then this:


Our  Rhododendron has bloomed!