[UPDATE for Bridgeport CT] : #Blizzard Charlotte HITS #Bridgeport CT hard!

They announced on the news last week that Bridgeport, CT could get up to 24 inches during Blizzard Charlotte. When I heard it I didn’t believe it. Two feet of snow, yeah ok. Despite my reluctance to believe that we could get that much snow I checked my inventory on candles, flashlights, and food. I picked up an extra supply of items that did not need to be refrigerated. Knowing that Stop N Shop would be low on supplies by Thursday night, I picked up dried fruit, fruit, nuts, snacks, and protein bars from Target. I was prepared for whatever was going to come. We got a little more than two feet of snow. Bridgeport got a whopping snow total of 30 inches. This does not take into account the snow drifts caused by the high winds that brought some areas with heights of 3 feet or more. Bananas right?

On Saturday morning I walked out onto my porch to take picures and tag #News12CT, after they asked for pictures of Bridgeport. I couldn’t see my car in the driveway. Taking a quick glance at the street, my jaw dropped open. I knew there was going to be days to pass before the snow plows could come and begin to move this amount of snow. People have referenced the last snow blizzard to hit Bridgeport this hard to be the Snow Blizzard of 78. The grand total for Bridgeport during that blizzard was 18 inches. This go round we got double that in one shot.

Here are some pictures from Instagram with #blizzardCharlotte:



To see my own Follow @djrelat7 on Instagram!

People are upset and agitated as they call into Channel 12 News in CT. I have been following along since Saturday morning and here is some information for the residents of Bridgeport.

 
Top FOUR Reasons YOUR street has not been plowed:
  1. People are in cars following the plows as they clean. If they need to stop and back up when they find abandoned cars in the middle of the road to get tow trucks in, the twenty cars behind the plows are now in the way.
  2. Cars abandoned during the storm that are parked in the middle of streets. They cannot plow through abandoned cars, a tow truck has to come to move it out of the way, this wastes time AND prevent the rest of the street from being cleared.
  3. Snow is between 2 and 3 feet deep, a Pay Loader is necessary to move the snow off the street, THIS TAKES TIME.
  4. Cars are on the road when they’ve been told not to be. My boyfriend got beeped at a women trying to travel to Fairfield to get their nails done. This creates a problem when the cars get stuck on streets that haven’t been plowed now they are in the way when the plow trucks try and come through.

Mayor Finch of Bridgeport, has issued a travel band on its residents, for good reason to. It may be a while before all the streets are plowed, patience is a virtue here. I advise you to take this time to do the things you haven’t been able to do because of the busyness of life. Relax, watch your DVR, read a book, sleep,write AND share your pics with My Pocketful of Thoughts on Instagram with tags #blizzardCharlotte & @DjRelAt7.

In case you weren’t able to get to church today like I was, here is today’s first reading:

English Version
Until then,

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[Word of God] A Vision of God in the Temple

Until then,

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What am I giving up for Lent?

It seems to be that time of year again. I’ve been thinking these last couple of days about what I might give up for Lent this year. Everything I think of does not seem to be enough though. Jesus gave his life so that we would be saved. What sacrifice can compare?


Lent is a religious observance by various Christian denominations, including Catholics. It lasts a period of forty days and forty nights that lead up to Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday is the official first day. “…The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer—through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, marking the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, which then culminates in the celebration on Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ…” Wikipedia

photo credit: Sarah Korf via photopin cc

This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 13th. The day begins with a special Mass where we receive ashes on the forehead. The priest marks each person‘s forehead with the sign of the cross, using the ashes of the Palms from the prior year’s Palm Sunday celebration. He says the words, “Remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”

We use this time to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ and to remember that we are saved because of him. Do we follow in his footsteps? Do we follow the ten commandments? Have we gone to confession? We also follow other traditional observances like fasting. On Fridays, during Lent, Catholics do not eat from sun up to sundown and abstain from eating meat.  Lastly, we give up something we consider to be a sacrifice. We know that nothing could ever compare to Jesus’ sacrifice but we attempt to do it all the same.

This Lenten season I will be giving up:
  1. Chocolate Bars
  2. Coffee
  3. Shopping of Unnecessary Purchase  

Do you observe Lent? What are you giving up?

Here is Today’s Second Reading: 

English Translation

  

 Until then,

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[Word of God] The Power of Love

Until then,

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Feliz Dia De Los Reyes …It’s 3 Kings Day

photo credit: Vectorportal via photopin cc  

When I was little, we would fill a shoe box with grass, the night before Three Kings Day. I remember
that come January the east coast was cold and finding enough grass to put in the box for myself and my sisters was a chore. I wondered if there would be enough grass to satisfy the camels of los Tres Reyes or if we would end up without gifts. Mami would always convince us that there was enough and come morning she proved us right. They always left us regalos. It has been many moons since we celebrated the Three Kings in my house. My sisters and I are all grown now. Our traditions of our youth have not been practiced with the next generation. However, I know that when my kids finally come to greet this earth, they’ll have similar experiences as mine. In my old age I’ve realized how important my Spanish Heritage is.

What cultural traditions do you celebrate?

…I leave you with a small piece of today’s mass.

Sunday’s Second Reading:

Until then,
Click here for More Information on Three Kings day!

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Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series: Winter Break

Happy Sunday! Let today be a day of rest and reflection on the week that just passed. Envision all the great things that happened to you, hold on to the feeling of having those moments in your life and carry it into this new week! If you’re just tuning in, the last couple of weeks have been covering the words of wisdom from a Priest I had the pleasure of listening to during an RCIA retreat back in November. There are a few more pieces left to the series but as I have been catching up on my DVR this weekend I thought it would be the perfect time to have an official “winter break” and have the Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series return after the holidays. Today will be an opportunity to catch up if you have missed any, a mini marathon if you will.

photo credit: Mexicanwave via photopin cc

Before I do, I just want to wish the Catholic community a Happy New Year. It is now officially the second week of Advent. We’ll learn all about that next week!

Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series

  1. Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah
  2. Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series: Chicken and Pig

I’ll leave you with today’s second reading.

Phil 1:4-6, 8-11 [Cooperating with Joy]

Paul rejoices in the progress of faith among his Phillippians. He is sure that God who began this good work will help it grow. Paul prays that their love may even more abound that they may be rich in harvest.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Phillippians

Brothers and sisters:

I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.  God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.  And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.

-The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Let it marinate!

Until then,

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Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series: Hot Chocolate

Good Morning!  I hope today you have taken a moment to be grateful for all of this past weeks occurrences so you can start this week off strong.  Today the week does not end but begins.  If you haven’t done it yet, close your eyes, real quick, and say Thank You for ONE great thing that happened.  I’ll wait.  Today we’re reading Father Ian Jeremiah’s third installment.  If you’re just tuning in, after you’ve read today’s words of wisdom, head on over to Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah and Putting Life Into Perspective with Father Ian Jeremiah Series: Chicken and Pig .

Hot Chocolate
A group of ten friends had gathered on Thanksgiving Day, at my home, in the later part of the evening.  The turkey had already been eaten for hours, the dishes washed, and the left overs sent to new homes with guests.  It was time for some Hot Chocolate.  My hot chocolate is made from special ingredients and LOVE, the secret ingredient.  I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I have seen people fight over it.  It never failsI grab every single mug in my cupboard, all of them different.  Some of them I admit are not so pretty, but that little fact never changes the deliciousness of the hot chocolate.  Every time my friends and I gather for Hot Chocolate though, I put the mugs out and everyone seems to scan them.  I close my eyes and I just hope they do not see the one with the small chip on top.  I did notice that everyone does seem to go for the prettier, newer mugs first.  This leaves me with my favorite chipped cup.  I close my eyes with each sip to relish in the sweetness of the chocolate and the subtle heat of the chili.  I smile and look around at my friends and they each seem to be checking out each others mugs.  Weird.  But hey you love your friends anyways, right?  Wait, are those two arguing over what mug they have?  SMH, for the love of Hot Chocolate. Guys your cups have the same thing inside, yes, so drink! 

When Father Ian’s friends came over for his famous Hot Chocolate on Thanksgiving Day, he noticed that his friends seemed to be more interested in the mugs they were brought out in then that actual hot chocolate.  Two of his friends even fought over who saw the prettier mug first.  He explained that Hot Chocolate in this story is really Life.  We are given this beautiful thing called life, but we do not enjoy the richness of the flavors.  We do not savor the subtle hints of LOVE.  We scan the mug.  We get distracted with our jobs, with what clothes we wear, with what we drive and with what our other friends have.  Are you shaking your head, not me?

It’s human nature to sometimes feel superior or inadequate when we compare ourselves to others.  When we look around to see what mug our friends are drinking out of, it seems to change our perspective.  BUT, we are all drinking the same thing.  It is easy to become distracted.  It requires a lot of self love and appreciation of YOURSELF and LIFE to be truly happy with what you have and to be happy for OTHERS.  Father Ian’s favorite cup was the chipped cup, but he was still able to relish the dreamy taste of the hot chocolate.  He reminded me that Saturday, at the RCIA Congress meeting, that I need to just enjoy hot chocolate and stop getting distracted by my mug.  If you are already doing that, YAY!  Please share some words of wisdom below in the comments.

I’ll leave you with today’s Second Reading.


Rv 1:5-8                                [The Alpha and the Omega]

By the shedding of his blood, Jesus has made us a royal nation of priests to serve God.  The Lord God is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end.  He is Almighty.

A reading from the Book of Revelation

Jesus Christ is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth.  To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, who has made us into a kindgdom, priests for his God and the Father, to him be glory and power forever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he is coming amid the clouds,
and every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him.
All the peoples of the earth will lament him.  Yes Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, ” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”

-The word of the Lord.
-Thanks be to God.

Let it marinate.

Until then,
*The story of Hot Chocolate has been modified slightly as I did not take exact notes of the story line.

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