Friday, August 28, 2009

Meet Jake

Meet Horse Haven's newest arrival, Jake. He is a beautiful Morgan, but he's also a very shy boy. Hopefully with time and a little TLC, he'll be able to trust humans again. While there is no humor that we still receive horses, it is a little funny that Jake came to us fat. Usually, we get thin skin-and-bone troopers. The next step is waiting (and praying) that some good soul will come along and take him to a loving home.

Here is an updated picture of baby Wild Fire, who is now over a month old. He loves to have his rear scratched, and he likes to follow you around.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stairs and Cattle Calls

So posts have been few and far between here. I'm still adjusting to life here. Today however, I felt brave enough (and I actually remembered) to take my camera along with me.

As I mentioned in the previous college related post, I do a lot of walking...which I don't really mind unless it's a particularly hot day. There are a lot of stairs that I usually avoid by taking flatter routes to class. Today I forgot to cross the street at the right spot to take the University Center Walkway which meant I had to take these all the way to The Hill:

Basically at the bottom:

This is halfway (notice the walkway to your right):
There are two smaller sets once you get to the top of these:Let me tell you, they were a bear. Although I do enjoy that feel good feeling after coming to the last step. I no longer believe in the "freshman 15" because of all the walking I do. On a campus that is home to somewhere around 26,000 students, you may feel like a number. Luckily I have classes and professors that do not make me feel like just a number. However, I do feel like part of the crowd sometimes...which I don't like and normally am not part of the crowd. Actually, I feel like a cow in a big herd. When we all pile up at the side of the street waiting to cross, it is impossible to not be close to someone. Some mornings I feel like mooing when I cross the street.

My dorm room is almost finished. We just need a few more posters!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Good Reflection

I thought this was a great reflection, especially living in the times that we do. We have to remember the reasons that we are here, that we are living for. If we let go of those, if we let go of a good conscience-a God-filled conscience-what do we have to live for?

"Keep hold of a good conscience. Some people have let that go and have had their faith ruined." -1 Timothy 1:19

Saintly words: "A good conscience is a treasury of riches. Indeed, what greater riches can there be--or what can be sweeter--than a good conscience?" -St. Bernard

Talking with God: All-knowing God, let me be able to stand in Your presence with a good conscience. Help me to avoid anything that would sully my conscience and do all I can to remain united with You.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Dorm and College...So Far

So this won't really be a new series, but I thought I'd update the world on my college days so far. Classes haven't started yet, but they will tomorrow...dun dun dun. I'm pretty proud of my dorm room, so take a gander. My roommate and I aren't finished yet though; we still have some wicked awesome posters to put up. We're both not big time decorators, so compared to other rooms that I've seen, ours doesn't look like it came out of Home and Gardens or the Sears catalog. My bed is lofted over the desk. Please don't ask me how many times I have hit my head getting up from the desk...because I can't remember anymore.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville campus is rather large, and to get anywhere one must do a little walking. I personally enjoy it at times, but since it has been hotter than hot the past few days, I don't particularly enjoy sweating like it's going out of style. I am proud of myself because I can now get to certain areas of campus without a map. Actually, I haven't used a map since I've been here, which is a surprising feat since I am directionally impaired. One day when I'm brave enough to walk around campus with my big monstrous Nikon, I'll show you some of the sights to see.

I live in a suite-style dorm. Basically it is two rooms per one semi-private bathroom (no community showers for me!!!). Lucky for me, and to the quite obvious relief of my mother, a cleaning crew comes in once a week to scrub the toilet and shower. I live on the 5th floor, which to me, is sort of a punishment because I absolutely abhor elevators. I know I know, take the stairs...but would you take them everyday? The defunct dorm next door to mine is now a cafeteria, and I can't tell you how awesome it is that I don't have to walk too far to get food. My dorm is also conveniently located on the strip (Cumberland Avenue). I'm also not too far from the bagel shop where I work, although I still take my car for that jog down the road.

Next post I'll show you the finished dorm room, complete with Led Zeppelin and Batman posters. Peace and love.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Prayer for Friends

The majority of my friends are going off to college within the next few days (some within the next few weeks). The rest are still finishing up high school. I am going to miss the ones that I won't see everyday, and enjoy the time that I do have with the ones who will be close by. I came across this prayer and now have read it everyday since. God's peace and love to you all.

Lord, how life is brightened by friends! They warm our lives with their smiles. They keep us believing that life is worthwhile. They carry us on days when our courage fails and comfort us when we are sad. They make our parties more enjoyable, our drudgery more tolerable, our discoveries more exciting and our loneliness more bearable. They are honest with us when we are not honest with ourselves. They let us grow in our own time. They respect our feelings, even when they do not let us get away with snap judgments and foolish projects. In a world where love seems lost, they love us. Thank you for all of them! Amen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Show Us Them Pearly Whites

Today I paid a visit to the dentist's office. I have never been afraid of going, but I have always been afraid of what he might say. For instance, you have a cavity. That was years back though, and I've never had any trouble since. My pearly whites are fine. The visit was for the most part uneventful. It was cold inside (which I like); it smelled faintly of cigarette smoke, which didn't bother me but was puzzling nonetheless; I had the extreme pleasure of looking at hundreds of cars pass by (since I had a beautiful view of the highway from the chair); and that annoying overhead light didn't make my eyes water like it usually does.

However, last August, I was told that my wisdom teeth were coming in but that I would be able to wait awhile before they needed to come out. So, I planned on getting them out Christmas 2008. That didn't work. Easter and spring breaks didn't work either. But why worry? He said I had awhile...right? Well, surprise! The dental hygienist said that I should get them out this Christmas. I looked at the x-ray of my teeth, and sure enough, the little terrors are more visible than they were last time (last time you could barely see them). It's funny though because I've never had any wisdom teeth related pain.

I don't want them out (...all "losing your wisdom" jokes aside). When he said awhile, I ridiculously hoped and thought that meant a few decades! Not one year! I'm terrified of having an IV in. Can you believe that is the only reason I don't want to have my wisdom teeth removed? Well, it's true. I'm deathly afraid of needles. But, I have to have them out. So my request to you readers and friends is that you pray for me and that my wisdom teeth can hold off until Christmas break. And may your next visit to the dentist not include the talk of wisdom teeth removal (if your's aren't already out).

Sunday, August 9, 2009


The Communion song today was "Song of the Body of Christ." It is one of my favorites. It is a song about community, which is why I love singing it during Communion. Taking part in the Eucharist is one experience of its own accord, but when you are with countless others who are also giving thanks to God, it becomes a whole other experience. This faith community has become so much a part of me. The lyrics really sum up what we are all about...or at least what we should strive to be about.

By David Haas, taken from

We come to share our story,
we come to break the bread,
we come to know our rising
from the dead.

1. We come as your people,
we come as your own,
united with each other,
love finds a home.

2. We are called to heal the broken,
to be hope for the poor;
we are called to feed
the hungry at our door.

3. Bread of life and cup of promise,
in this meal we all are one.
In our dying and our rising,
may your kingdom come.

4. You will lead and we shall follow,
you will be the breath of life;
living water,
we are thirsting for your light.

5. We will live and sing your praises,
"Alleluia" is our song.
May we live in love and peace
our whole life long.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Max the Hamster

Meet the newest member of my family, Max the Chinese dwarf hamster. He's a tiny little guy and very shy. I guess you could call him my youngest sister's first pet of her own.

He's pretty rad, but he hides all of the time and is hard to catch. The cats are very intrigued by him, and so is the dog.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Yesterday's reflection included one of my favorite verses from Sirach. It's about friendship, and yesterday was certainly a day to spend time with friends that I don't see much outside of church/church functions.

Even though St. Thomas the Apostle's feast day was back in early July, our parish celebrated St. Thomas and our faith community at the annual Celebrate! St. Thomas shin-dig. An awesome puppet show about Thomas the carpenter (he's not just a doubter!) was put on by the youth group, and true to form, we had one rehearsal right before we started the real thing. It's always a barrel of laughs and then some with this group. For some reason, we can't not laugh. If laughter isn't present when 2 or more of us are together, then something must surely be wrong. A few times yesterday, I was laughing so hard that I had to wipe tears from my eyes. The best part about it is that our youth minister, Melanie, was right along side us...quietly horse laughing as she puts it. That, my friends, is a great group of...friends.

After the puppet shows were over, we had a prayer service and skit about St. Thomas. "The Legend of Flat Thomas" was an opportunity for the parish to relive its own history, as well as get a few good laughs in. Actually, a lot of great laughs. It was also a time to thank Fr. Christian and to say hello to Fr. Tom and goodbye to Fr. David.

After that, I did a lot of mingling. I don't consider myself a social butterfly, but I did get around to talking to a lot of good people and friends. I really love this church and the people that make it such a great and loving community to be a part of. When my friends Alicia and Kim found out that Fr. David and Fr. Christian had disappeared (left) for the evening, we set off on a little adventure to find them. And find them we did. We didn't want to announce our presence until we were at the door to the rectory, but the neighbor's dog barked at us when Kim tried to call him over; it didn't help that Alicia and I were laughing and shushing the dog. FD and FC came walking out and weren't surprised to see us (at least I think). The only reason we came up here to see you, I explained, was because Alicia is leaving for college and won't see you for some time and she didn't get to say goodbye. And we weren't about to let that happen! After the "until next time" goodbyes and quite a few jokes, FD and FC left. As we walked down the driveway, Kim, Alicia, and I talked about how we have some really cool, awesome priests who are also good friends.

As we were walking to our cars (which happened to be in the same row), Kim, Alicia, and I ended up sitting on the curb just talking. It was nice, especially because Alicia and I are leaving for college within the next two weeks. Alicia is going down to Chattanooga, I'm staying in Knoxville, and Kim will be a senior in high school. It wasn't until I got home and read the reflection and thought about my day, that I truly realized how valuable my friends are. They are priceless blessings from God, and I'm thankful to have them in my life no matter how far apart we may be.

"Faithful friends are beyond price; no amount can balance their worth" -Sirach 6:15

Saintly words: "Friendship constitutes a country for those in exile, a fortune for the poor, a remedy for the sick, and a life for the dead. It provides pleasure for those who are well, strength for the weak, and a reward for the strong." -St. Augustine

Talking with God: Loving Father, grant me the great grace to form true Christian friendships. May my friends and I help one another to lead good lives and attain the happiness of those who serve You.