Light through Stained Glass Windows by Susan Doubet

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Duck Blinds Part 2

Wed, 2020-12-02 20:23

"The recent several-days windstorms blew many of the blinds across the road or onto the multi-purpose trail. One was even blown into one of the lagoon ponds. That is the reason for the support pole and the oddly positioned blind. Some of the blinds were even blown apart. During my Presque Isle run they were interesting sights, well over a dozen blown off moorings." This is the comment that my Duck Blind Part 1 received by community friend Victor R. Thanks so much Victor for sharing this fascinating first-person story of this year's duck blinds at Presque Isle.

Here is the final grouping: 


                                    This one seems to be in the water. I liked its side door!

Here's one we spied across Misery Bay--again in the water.

This one looked like it had a hard time in the storms Victor mentioned.

We almost missed this one. It's quite hidden from cars whizzing by.


Nature Watch

Sun, 2020-11-29 19:10

Our local newspaper carries a weekly column every Saturday titled, "Nature Watch." This weekend part of the entry was this: "This week an estimated 50,000 ducks were concentrated about 2 miles off-shore from the entrance to Presque Isle State Park, and it is possible there might have even been as many as 100,000 birds."  

On Saturday afternoon we took a car ride around the peninsula, as it is locally known, and I got the idea to give readers of this blog a duck blind tour, as this is prime duck hunting season and the different configurations of the duck blinds are fascinating. Little did I know it would be so timely.

Here are three of the more interesting ones I found. Others will be coming in Duck Blind, Part 2 on Thursday.


I'm not quite sure why all the camouflage. Doesn't it look like some sort of sci-fi woods monster!

This is a much more common looking one, except for the piece of wood appearing to hold it up.I'm not sure what that's for.

This is a very nice one, wheel chair accessible...

except that it wasn't positioned along the shoreline of the bay as were all the rest. 

It was across the road. Maybe it just hasn't been positioned yet or 

maybe these hunters catch the ducks flying over land on their way to the water???

Thanksgiving 2020

Wed, 2020-11-25 21:50

 Since we aren't able to have guests this year....as everywhere else in the world, it seems, I thought I share a couple photos of Thanksgiving scenes here at the Mount. You'll see them next year when you come!


Here's the simple yet lovely place settings for our noon dinner Thursday.We sit four at a table during this distancing time.

Here are the two niches in chapel, both with ferns and grasses. Again, simple, yet beautiful.

Some of the Christmas cacti in the library are blooming now, too.

I'll show those next week: red, salmon, white and yellow.

Thanksgiving week

Sun, 2020-11-22 19:20


 This photo doesn't really do justice to the sunset one day last week. But I tried! This is the time of year when we get these lovely, bright orange, yellow, panoramic sunsets at about 5:15 pm when the sky is clear of clouds. This one is right outside our front door, with Benedict in the foreground. 



Here's one that turned out a little better. Our Presque Isle state park has entered a really bleak period: there is very little color since the leaves and flowers are gone. And there is no snow cover yet to bring those beautiful Norman Rockwell-like winter scenes. Everything is brown and tan and quite uninspiring. A place that only locals could love! And we do. Here is Horseshoe Pond and a photo that I've taken a hundred times--but with the water almost like glass, I couldn't resist yet another: one of the two dozen houseboats and its perfect reflection. Not so bad for a bleak period!
Otherwise the days are going along here. Erie County is having an upsurge in COVID-19 cases. They can't even do much contact tracing anymore, because the daily numbers and the spread are too great. We are being faithful to masks, distancing, hand washing and little presence in public or even private group gathering outside of "our household" as they refer to it. 
Thanksgiving will be muted here, too. Our sisters who would normally travel out of town to visit parents, siblings or friends will be visiting via Facetime, telephone calls or texts. We are trying to reach out to the needs of our area, too...with financial donations and through contacts in our ministries, with our employees and in responding to any need that is brought to our attention. I am sure that you are doing the same. I read this line recently and thought it was perfect: Be safe, stay healthy, help others.

Snow showers predicted

Wed, 2020-11-18 20:34

 

Anticipation is rising here...the other day we had what's called "snow showers." That's sort of like fluffy rain or half snowflakes coming down fast. Then the next day we had what the newspaper called "a trace" of snow. which means that there was the slightest covering of snow, but too small to be measured. It's always made me wonder if the "manna" in the biblical story would sort of been like that.

The point of this story is that no one has won our First Day of Snow contest.....yet! You see, the house rules, so to speak, say that the local paper is the "judge" of the contest and they have to report at least 0.1" of snow and we haven't had that amount yet this season.

When you're rather housebound as we are and very limited in any serious visiting or shopping, you have to make your own fun at home. And this contest one of our recent ways of making our own fun. (Yes, there is even a prize!) The upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are sure to bring lots more.Stay tuned to this station!

In Between November

Sun, 2020-11-15 20:47

 November is an in between month for us--especially this year. In just the first half of the month we have had a week of record-setting high temperatures for each date and another week of cold and pre-winter days.

This weekend Saturday was cool but added lots of sun to balance it out. Sunday, on the other hand, was cool, also, but a wild, strong November wind and rainstorm swept through the area for a couple hours in the afternoon. 

Here are two scenes from this weekend:


The 7:00 am sunrise on Saturday morning.

Our beautiful and much-loved willow tree in the backyardwas toppled by the ferocious wind and rains Sunday afternoon. (VL)

I have 10 new trees from this summer's plantings that we just "winterized" so that they will make it through the upcoming snow and winds. Maybe one of two of them will be able to take our willow's place.


Better late....

Thu, 2020-11-12 16:40

Well, since it's still Thursday I'm not really too late with my post today! Yes, I forgot....but thanks to my friend I'll get in right under the "midnight" wire. 

Like many (good) bloggers I'm going to share with you one of the most delightful/unique things that happened in my day. Here it is. I promise you'll love it and maybe forgive me for being late!

A trip to Mongolia....enjoy. Click here. 



Combining patriotism and faith

Sun, 2020-11-08 20:14

 So, all you Catholics/Christians out there, did you catch the great combination of patriotism (the American eagle) and faith ("He will raise you up on eagle's wings") that president-elect Joe Biden included in his address to the nation Saturday night?! 

In case it had you humming that great hit of the 80s, but maybe not able to come with all the lyrics, here you go: enjoy. "Eagle's Wings"












November's experiences

Wed, 2020-11-04 21:46


 Capturing an autumn tree at Glinodo, with its reflection. (JF)

It's mushroom time here and there is no better placethan along side the boardwalk down to the lake. (JF)

Not a moment of artistic beauty, this is part of the lineI was in to vote at 7:00 am Tuesday. It started at Fairfield Firehouse, extended outto East Lake Rd and then alongside the road,which is where we picked it up.
I was #30 to vote in the A-L line, the M-Z probably had the same number. Theline was longer than the one there in 2008,Obama's first election. 

All Saints-All Souls

Sun, 2020-11-01 19:05

Again we have the first two days of November, which in the Christian calendar has us praying for and remembering saints and souls both from the past and those with us in the present. The prayers and hymns are really lovely and so meaningful.

The weather here in Erie is entering its two and sometimes three seasons in a single day. We are having rain and wind a lot but also 50 degrees and very nice fall afternoons when the sun comes along. 

Here's a recent autumn shot along Seven-Mile Creek as it winds its way through our grounds:


And here is one of many seed pods that hang in our larch tree. I have one of our novices to thank for this shot, as I didn't even know these things were on this favorite of all trees. It is currently in its beautiful gold phase and is always the last one that will lose its leaves. Fortunately, we recently planted another larch in the front yard and it is already showing the same patterns of the mature one in the back.





Feast days and feasting days!

Wed, 2020-10-28 19:59

We're having one of those schizophrenic days this coming Saturday. In the morning we'll pray the psalms for any Saturday, but by evening prayer it will be the Vigil of All Saints for November 1. And not to miss that Saturday night we're having a Halloween party!

I was thinking about going as RBG, especially after I found a roll of 3" lace in the sewing room...but I'm just too tall to make it real. (If any of my shorter friends are reading this, see me for the lace needed for your black robe!!)

All Saints, November 1, and All Souls, November 2, are really lovely feasts to celebrate. Lots of special hymns, readings and prayers. Our community's November program allows us to dedicate the entire month to remembering our living and deceased family and friends--a very nice practice. 




The realities of hunger

Sun, 2020-10-25 20:47

This community weekend brought a number of discussions and information on topics in the community right now. One that caught my attention was a summary of our local Food Bank's programs by a sister who has been there for over three decades! I didn't know the particulars that she shared and was impressed by the 12 programs that they currently run and the scope and range of the people they serve in the 11 counties of northwest Pennsylvania. 
The amount of food they provide and the variety of places and people that receive it range from school children to military veterans, food pantries to low income seniors. It was heartening to learn how much of their food is donated from local stores, farms and agencies.
In conclusion she reminded us that if we come upon people in need of food there is certainly a program in the Food Bank network that can help them. I hope that if all of this exists in Erie, that there might be something similar in the place where you live. Thank you, Karen, for your longtime dedication to the hungry poor among us.



 

Current events

Wed, 2020-10-21 21:19

 This week my friend's "blog door" is more of a visual current events meditation. Always good for a smile or head shake. Interjecting humor into some of these issues is a real challenge.






Leaves

Sun, 2020-10-18 19:56

 


This weekend we welcomed two women to the novitiate. You can or will be able soon to read about the ceremony on our website. We are blessed and I hope they feel the same.

Otherwise it was a very fall-like weekend: cooler temps, rain occasionally, college football on Saturday and the Steelers vs the Browns on Sunday afternoon. Another sure sign of the change in seasons is the change in clothes. All of a sudden all the browns and oranges, tans and olive greens appear. The sister who sits right in front of me in chapel has a sweatshirt that has a bouquet of fall flowers on the front. But it's the single red-orange maple leaf on the back that catches my eye every time she wears it. It's trimmed in a sort of muted gold glitter with gold rope-like tails coming from the single leaf. It screams "October," but in this scenario...of course, whispers it.

There was even a "West Wing" showing in the community room---in connection with the upcoming West Wing reunion-type show to encourage voting and, I'm sure, to remind us of better days through a great TV show and its message of hope and promise.



Four Seasons or not

Wed, 2020-10-14 21:34

One day at lunch this week I was in a conversation that included two young 20-something gals who are living and working in Erie with us for awhile. At one point the talk got around to the beautiful colors of fall that are quickly encompassing our area. I'm still chuckling inside at the differences that came out as our weather conversation continued.

You see, one gal is from Michigan, close enough to the Great Lakes so that her experience of autumn and the-sure-to-follow-winter is pretty much as ours is. The other one, however, is from the Atlantic shore area--eastern Maryland. I knew that she (and we) were in for a great time this year when she, proudly, mentioned that she had bought and brought with her brand new snow boots and a heavy winter coat---already, in October! Oh my, as they say, our reputation precedes us.

Not to worry--we talked about how beautiful a white world becomes with fresh snowfall, and a white Christmas, and cold, fresh walks on the snowcovered sidewalks. Have you ever tried cross country sking, someone piped in? Or ice skating? 

I finally summed it up, as I often do before a visitor's eyes glaze over, "Erie's weather is really beautiful, you just have to appreciate (and love?) all four seasons--because we have each one--intensely." 

And BTW, our summer WAS just beautiful! 





The leaves are coming down

Sun, 2020-10-11 19:17

We had a chance to do a very "autumn-like" thing this week, we visited the updated and expanded Wintergreen gorge trails--about 6 miles from our place, just south of the Penn State Behrend campus. I hadn't been on the old trail in ages and found the new ones quite marvelous. There must have been 25-30 cars in the parking lot, many overflowing from the designated places to the No Parking areas along the road! But, it didn't seem crowded at all, a testament I suppose, to its size, I think it's about 4 miles long in its entirety. Anyway, we were among families with children, people walking their dog, Behrend College students and miscellaneous folks such as we were. 

This is my favorite shot from the day, a four-year old walking with her older sister and her Dad, shaking the tree to see the leaves fall. Happy autumn.


Our leaves haven't reached their peak yet, but they are close. On the other hand one of our sisters said to me this weekend, "Are you getting your first-day-of-snow contest ready to put up?" I said, "No, I am not!" Imagine---(But I will have to get it up before the end of the month.)

A Trip to the Zoo

Wed, 2020-10-07 22:00

 Cape May Court House, the shore town we spent some time in recently, has a marvelous zoo. It is quite large and includes a large playground for the 3-10 year old age group. The day we were there, a cloudy,  non-beach day, we were part of a big crowd of pre-schoolers and their parents. The variety of baby carriages and strollers was amazing! Did I mention that admittance is Free? Amazing!

Here are some of the best pictures I caught.






From shore to shore

Sun, 2020-10-04 17:26
Along the Atlantic shore.

 


A sweet summer wildflower along the Middle Township 8-mile nature trail in southern NJ.
 
The Atlantic shore with boats and bathers--mid-September.
 
A family-owned vegetable and fruit stand--with a strong box and the honor system for payment! Amazing.

Back home again--the Lake Erie shore.

A pumpkin from our compost endeavors.
 
A fishing family at the Presque Isle Marina pier.
 

A blue heron hanging out at the marina, too.

Respite

Wed, 2020-08-12 21:46

 

Since beginning this blog in May 2007 I don't know that I've missed more than perhaps one or two Monday and Thursday entries. But that is coming to end with this post. After 10 years of 24/7-365 days of ministry to our wonderful community, Anne and I are taking an extended break to unwind, relax and become "our everyday selves" again. The ones without the constant responsibilities, decision-making, worry and endless availability. 90% of which was really no problem, it's just the everyday life with 85-100 other women (and many more in the friends and family category!) with whom we are on our monastic journey. But these "down" weeks have to include my taking a break from writing LTSGW.
I know that your life won't be the same without it!!!!! So many of you, faithful beyond my imaginings, have expressed to me such kind remarks about the little daily "stuff" that is shared here. Thank you...you're very nice. I'll be back Sunday night October 4th, Feast of St. Francis. Until then, try some of our other blogs that perhaps you haven't followed so much. They are very good at sharing a tiny glimpse into our life, also. Blessings to you and yours...stay healthy and come see us as soon as we get this virus under some sort of control. We miss seeing you very much.

Deep into summer

Sun, 2020-08-09 21:25

 

After a busy May and early June of hummingbird activity, the summer's sightings tailed off greatly and we seldom saw them at all for a while. But lately they have made a great return and I'm filling our feeders at least once a week, if not twice. Here's a little fellow sitting on the smallest of branches "guarding" my feeder from any other hummers that decide to come by!

In our COVID-19 "return to nature" summer the sisters are continuing their reports on our resident wildlife. These include two young-ish bucks that come around almost daily; a growing fawn and its mother that come separately from the bucks; more chipmunks than normally (so the sisters attest); and the occasional appearance of our coyote, wild turkeys, ground hogs and other "critters." The wide variety of birds continues to be the most enjoyed, however. In fact that's what our Birds and Blooms magazine reminds us, "Feeding birds in the summer is for human enjoyment, feeding them throughout the winter is actually for the birds health."

BTW if you haven't had a chance to go to our website or Facebook page lately, I think you'll enjoy a picture collage of our golf tournament and Jubilee celebration, both held last week. Even though we seem to be able to make our own fun, so to speak, we are missing our guests greatly. It will be a wonderful day when we can have our friends and visitors back with us.




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