Wednesday, July 18, 2012

S.Q.U.A.T. Team: Written by a Kid

This has got to be the most hilarious thing I've seen in a loooooong time: stories written by a kid and animated by professionals. Hi-freakin-larious!

After watching this, you too will want to be on the S.Q.U.A.T Team!  Enjoy Scary Smash!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monster Aparagus Growth Spurt

It is hot. hot. hot. out there. So hot that nothing much is growing. My grass is a brown patch in a sea of brown-ness.

Earlier, in spring, things were a lot more green. I planted asparagus late in the season last year, and it's been coming up great as of this year. Next year will be the first harvest. Asparagus takes a long time to establish, but will keep coming up for about 10 years.

The rate of growth on an asparagus fern (yes, they are ferns) is phenomenal. On week 1 I noticed a beautiful purple spear sticking out of the ground (I got a special purple asparagus breed). Isn't she pretty?

At this point this spear was 6-8 inches in length. I came back two weeks later and it was over 3 feet tall and putting out fern branches. It had also lost most of its purple color and was now more the traditional green.

That's an amazing growth rate! In the warm season, asparagus can grow up to 1 cm per hour. That's right, I said per hour.  My asparagus ferns are now around 5 feet tall, but it's so hot that nothing much is growing right now. In the fall, the ferns will die and turn golden in color and I'll mulch them into the soil.

Next spring is harvest time, and I plan on having lots of well-established and yummy asparagus from my own back yard.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spiritual Direction Questions

Not easy but worth asking yourself:

On p.109, Question 41 re: spiritual direction topics from Dubay's Seeking Spiritual Direction:
  • Does my way of going about meditative or contemplative prayer seem to be working? Am I profiting from it? Am I making progress? And how do I determine that? Where am I in prayer development? Am I hitting any snags? Do I have problems I don't know how to handle? Am I faithful to giving adequate time to  prayerful solitude? Is it my top priority, the "one thing" in my life?
  • Am I prayerful during the day -- without neglecting others or my work? How can I grow in this recollection?
  • Do I waste time? Engage in idle gossip? Indulge in superfluities or in excessive amusements?
  • What have I been selecting for spiritual reading? What audio and video? Am I going about this exercise in the best way for me? Am I growing in and through it? Do I read or listen in a prayerful manner? What books should I read now? What books should I avoid altogether or read with caution?
  • Am I improving in humility, patience, love for neighbor, obedience, frugality, indeed, in all the Gospel virtues? What are my weak points that need focused attention?
  • In my daily round of duties, is my motivation mixed, that is, are unworthy motives mingled with my worthy ones? Am I even aware of this problem? What can I do about it?
  • Is my mind in accord with Scripture and the teaching of the Church, which is to say, is it in accord with the mind of Jesus himself?
  • How am I using or misusing the mass media? Am I wasting time in my use of them?
  • Have I been chaste in thought and reading and speaking and looking (television and actual life) and in my actions? In practical ways am I trying to serve both God and mammon?
  • Do I suffer daily crosses like a disciple of the crucified Master, with love and in union with him? Do I welcome these opportunities to unite with the Lord on his cross?
  • Have I been warm and cordial toward everyone, even toward unattractive people, including those who are cold and indifferent toward me?
  • Is my emotional life balanced? Are my responses of joy or sorrow or fear excessive? Am I oversensitive? Do I live more by feelings than by will? Am I insensitive?
  • Am I concerned for the poor, both the materially and the spiritually poor? Do I come to their aid? Do I live frugally and share with the needy?
  • Am I handling my time pressure problems properly, so that first things come first?
  • Where is my center of gravity: earth or heaven (Col 3:1-2)? Do I seek things for themselves or as a means of leading me and others to God?


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