Pepper Pot!

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Look Out Stomach....Here I Come!

I looked out my window yesterday and thought I saw a few hot peppers that were ready to pick. HOLY MOLY….I picked about two gallons of peppers: jalapenos, serranos and bell peppers! And a few Roma tomatoes, cucumbers and a zucchini! This only means one thing! Salsa!
Today just may be a two-fer! That is….I’m going to post again later on in the day!

What’s Growing In Your Garden?

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Ahhh,…it’s Wednesday! My alleged day off. If you lived at your job site you would fully appreciate what I mean. It means not necessarily a day off but time off. But no moss gathers under these feet. I will be busy doing my laundry and other things around the rectory. I’ve already ironed my shirts and picked up around the house. My housekeeper, Michelle (aka Hazel), will be here around 10:00 a.m. to clean up the bathrooms, kitchen, dust and vacuum. She visits every Wednesday to keep things in order. Including me! Often times she will make a suggestion and I will dutifully obey. I like a clean house and with six critters it can be messy.
My pets are house trained with the exception of Bud, my Yorkie. He’s still having “ooopsies with the poopsies”.  Thank goodness I have a Little Green Machine to remedy that!
My big project today will be working on the back yard and finish some last minute stuff for a patio party I’d like to have soon. Then it’s off to Johnson’s to buy tomatoes for canning. I’ve been canning my own tomatoes now for 10 years. There’s just something wonderful about your own canned goodness.
On another note I really need to go and pick some peppers out of the garden. I planted several jalapeno plants and serrano peppers. Those serrano’s have a delightful snap to them whereas the jalapeno pepper has a burn that lingers. It’s all good. My cucumbers are crazy. I think they grow overnight. I think they are magical!
Last night we had a meeting for the Festival Chairpersons. It was a very positive meeting where we synergize our thoughts and ideas to forge plans for the festival next year. I feel so blessed to have so many dedicated people who love their parish and sacrifice so much of their time and talent. That’s true stewardship!

A Mixed Bag!

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I woke up to a very disturbing news story about a former Bishop Noll Student. Ricky Szweka was only married one month ago and this week his new wife will bury him. He was shot while visiting his in-laws to offer his presence at the passing of a family member. I fondly remember him and his sister Aimee. Eternal rest Grant Unto Him Oh Lord!
On a lighter note….my niece and goddaughter Evie gave birth to her second son last night. We welcome John Stephen MCKinney to the world at a weight of 7#, 11 0z.! It was just three weeks ago that Evie and her parents and I went to see Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field. She looked as though she was ready to pop a baby that night!
So here we are at the crossroads of life once again. One goes home to the Lord and another soul enters. The circle of life is quite a juggling act.
On this Feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, the readings today tell us there is indisputable evidence that God is with us through the good and the bad. We are not to let the confusions, discouragements and mysteries of today not cause us to doubt God’s presence with us and his abiding love for us. The Lord has given us an eternal pledge of his fidelity which is clear, certain and forever!

Welcome to the World John Stephen McKinney!

We Have Lift-Off!

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I love Mondays! I hate Mondays! Monday is usually the busiest day of the week for me because our money counters are in the office, I’m finishing the bulletin for publication and normally I have people waiting to see me. Somehow I scheduled two appointments at the same time but, fortunately for me, one was late and all is well.
Yesterday our school had a picnic for returning students and new students. It was great to hear how happy it made our returning families to see the newly remodeled office and Cana Room floor. There have been a few other cosmetic changes as well. This year we have two new members of the faculty joining our school family. Mrs. Beth Franzen and Mrs. Jennifer Dietrich. Both have many years of experience in working at Catholic Schools. Mrs. Jenny Chandler has been appointed a resource teacher as well as being our music teacher. Jenny has been with us for quite a few years and we happily welcome her into her added responsibilities.
As for me, I slept like a little baby which was not the case a few nights ago. Insomnia comes and goes with me. If I awaken at 2:00 a.m. in the morning, chances are I will not fall asleep again. I have to force myself to lie in bed and if I’m lucky I may snooze in and out of consciousness. One thing for sure is I’ll never oversleep. As soon as daylight peers through my bedroom windows, my dogs, Gus and Bud start to gently lick my face. It’s both annoying and soothing! In the winter time it’s not unusual for all six of my critters to be in bed with me. Yep….just one big happy family!
On this Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, my thoughts always turn to the trip I made to Israel back in 1995. There’s something daunting about being in the same space where our Lord and disciples walked. I think people would be surprised to see how beautiful it is in Israel. I long to go back. Trying to imagine where and how all these events took place to shape civilizations around the world is difficult to wrap our heads around. I guess in true Catholic form I have to say the eternal phrase, “It’s a mystery!” Some years ago, I had a young man tell me how disappointed he was that I didn’t speak more of how Mary was assumed into heaven. I think he wanted to know if she went up into the sky like a bottle rocket, was lifted up into the heavens with a choir of heavenly angels or drifted away like a helium filled balloon. What matters is how we appreciate how Mary lived her life! We can do this too by participating in the mission of our Lord by responding to those who are poor and oppressed in our own time. How can and will you respond to the things in your community that can be addressed?

Indiana State Fair

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I have formed a habit of “praying the news.” It’s nothing new. It is merely a different approach by praying for people, places and things while reading. It extends a little further than just “reading the news”.  I see it as a more positive enlightened way we can approach our world. Our prayers have no limits or boundaries but, how God answers them is another matter. So often we pray for the wrong things. But God, in God’s wisdom KNOWS what we need! This doesn’t mean we can’t ask but hold on to your bootstraps because they may be answered in unexpected ways.
Today while watching the news on TV, I saw the footage of the stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair. It was difficult to witness as the stage came crashing down on people. As of now there are four dead and many people injured. I cannot even imagine the horror of being there or being close to the stage as the possibility of being injured or killed was unfolding.
Today my prayers are directed towards all of those good people who were there.

On a lighter note I am also praying for the youth across the world meeting in Spain this weekend for World Youth Day. There are two people from my parish in this mix. I am anxious to hear what Joe and Shannon can share with us!

Without the Lime!

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It’s not easy being a Roman Catholic priest with the last name of a popular beer.  I am the owner of a Corona Beer Museum with every possible article ever made promoting beer. I am always receiving gifts from people. Can openers, bar mirrors, night lights, pool toys and even a pop-up tent!

So how does one distinguish themselves from the priest and the beer? The answer is I’m the one without the lime! Henceforth….this is the name of my blog.

I decided to create this blog from the inspiration of my dear friend and brother priest, Fr. Mike Yadron. Because we are two very busy guys, I do not get the quality time with him like I used to. When he started writing his blog, I felt like my buddy was back. He knows I’ve been worried about him and his health and through his blog I have been able to see what’s going on with him. AND, he was the one who helped me put this blog together. So, THANK YOU MIKE!

One of the first things you’ll see on his blog is a quote from him which says something to the tune of “you may not agree with what I write but at least you’ll know what I’m thinking.” That struck me so deeply because I sometimes get the impression that people feel that I do not have to ability to think and have feelings. In fact, I have strong feelings about many things however I keep much of it to myself. But I’m reaching that point in my life where I no longer fear what other people think about how I approach things. I think it’s called “wisdom”. Okay, maybe it’s something else…..but I find myself speaking out more than I used to do. I just don’t want to turn into a mean and crabby old priest!

It is my hope that I can use this blog to “clear out the cobwebs” and allow myself to be a good human being. I want to be a priest for a long time and I just pray that this blog will be another way to express myself. Give me some time as I learn to steer my way around and figure how this all works! If you comment… nice! Or I may have to hurt you! : )