Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Join Me in a Prayerful November!

Oh, oh, oh.....

All Saint's Day.

I'm Catholic and we've always viewed November as the month of remembrance followed by December, the month of anticipation and joy. I don't remember if that was taught to me, or it just made sense because All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day are followed by Thanksgiving later in the month.

Remembering those who've gone home to God is good regardless of denomination, right? And praying for the families of those who've lost someone is also good.

These days, I pray for prayer. I pray that God's people will pray. That we'll all gather physically and spiritually and revive the hunger for prayer in our cities and towns. That we'll take as much time for God and church as we do for shopping or trash TV.

That we reach out every time we see someone down on their luck with whatever we have, even if it's just a smile. An unexpected smile heals a great deal of heartache.

I love prayers. I love sacrifice. I love striving to be less of a jerk.  (That last one is a work in progress, which probably means I'm not striving enough!)

I love going to church because it's a public symbol of unity. It's too easy in our fragmented lives to shrug off that public symbol. I find it heartening to set aside that time. Show up. Pray. Sing. Pray some more. Sure I could pray at home. We all pray at home, right? That's what makes Sunday special. Not just an afternoon pot roast or chicken and biscuits or pizza during the game...

That morning spent in communal prayer.

The world is filled with communal people praying against us. That's a bad scenario. We need to link together through God to be the best we can be. To maintain our country's strength.

Prayer is so easy, so awesome. And this month, a prayerful month, is like the world's very best place to start. And then we can celebrate Thanksgiving together, happy. Prayerful. Joyous.

Join me. I don't care what denomination you are. In Ruthy-world religion doesn't matter because faith ranks supreme. Simple faith. The faith of a child.

Join me in a month of gentle prayer. Many voices, rising upward, hands clasped.

What a beautiful image.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"One Last Thing..."

I love weddings!
A lot of you know this. If you didn't know it before, you do now.
I live in a small town.
I love small towns, too.
But I'm near a city, and I was raised there, and in a city there used to be close-knit neighborhoods.
Places where folks watched out for one another.
They were like a "small town", tucked into a city.
Very nice.

I skated on this pond during the winters of my youth. So not long ago, right???  :)

My church family is like these small towns.
So many nice people, looking out for one another. Kind. Warm. Loving.
And a bunch of us raised our kids together, so when wedding times roll around?
We pitch in to help each other.
Cooking. Baking. Organizing. Cleaning. Serving. Cleaning again!
I love this stuff!!!

I helped with one of the prettiest weddings ever this summer. It was a "Vintage Wedding".
Amazing decorations, hung and placed in an old carriage house.
Yes. It is that historically correct and gorgeous. I would write in the top window cupola/turret and see everything from Lake Ontario to the north to the village church steeples due south.

I would love that THIS MUCH.

I was helping oversee this beautiful reception with two girl peeps, Mandy and Sherrie.
Love them to death!
I got introduced to an aging couple, the groom's grandparents. Sweet. Smart. Eager to talk to me because I owned Blackie the Rooster...

And that's a whole other story, LOL!
And they thought it was cool that I was an author, too.

Such nice people. Just lovely.

The woman wore a pink chemo hat.
A cancer patient.
She was slight. A little stooped. Kind of frail. But tough in voice and stature for a little person.

She asked about my books and told me she'd always wanted to be a writer.
I hear that often, and usually I urge the person to jump on board.
Just do it!
But she explained that she missed her time and knew that now.
She regretted missing her time, but loved her memories of helping raise grandchildren.

Her words made me happy and a little sad. Choices are hard in this world. We talked for a long time, Grandma, Grandpa and me. Grandpa shared stories of his youth and wondered if I could use them in a book.
And his story was strong enough that I just might.
Mandy and Sherrie had everything under control, so I chatted, easy, enjoying this time.

Do you see the hanging canning jars? Each one had a tiny, battery-operated twinkle light inside.
Antique stoves and furniture.
The old fridge, stocked with carrot cake and watermelon. Which do you think I ate, LOL???
A few weeks ago I got a call from a friend, the mother of the bride.
Grandma was sick. In hospice. Dying.
Family issues had made people angry. Upset. 
But two granddaughters ignored the "no visitors" rule and drove in to see Grandma.
She was happy to see them.
She was lonely. As they talked, the girls wondered if they could do anything to help?
She hesitated.
Then she told them yes. Yes they could.

Because you see, she was reading a book when she got so sick. And she can't read anymore,
but she'd like to finish the book because it was that special.
She met the author, you see.
At a wedding.
And the author took time to talk to her about life, about writing.
And she really, really wants to see how the story comes out before she dies.

The girls drove home...
Got the book.
Brought it back to the hospital room.
And they read to Grandma until they finished the book.

Writers get nominated for awards all the time.
They go to gala banquets...
Get plaques in the mail...
Their names get posted on websites.
They make bestseller lists.

But none of that compares with this dying old woman's wish to finish the book...
because the author took time to talk to her at a wedding.

God bless you, Grandma/Nana.
And if heaven's got a library, you cozy up a seat next to my mama.
You can read together.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book Signing!!!!

This Saturday!!!!

Zarpentine Farms
163 Burritt Road
Hilton, NY


Ruthy (that's me!!!) will be there signing your books!  Books available for purchase and we will be surrounded by Zarpentine's amazing food....


Fall colors!!!!

And Ruthy books!!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Post Season???? Yes??? No????

First there's this:

Derek Jeter... NY Yankee shortstop.....

It's October. Playoff season. Days are shorter. Nights, cooler. Pixie fires. Leaves dropping.

Baseball changed the whole wild card/division champs scenario this year and it's CRAZY CONFUSING because the American League is neck and neck.... which is great for the excitement, but not so much if you want your beloved team LOCKED IN.


So this week will tell the story. By October 3rd, we'll know.... Does the season go on? Or does it end and we clean out the lockers????

(Okay, I wrote that this past weekend, but the Yankees are a lock now.... I don't know if they'll win their division, but they're in the post-season one way or another so I'M HAPPY.)

Have I mentioned I have a Yankee bedroom????


Because why wouldn't you? Think of little boys and girls snuggled under a Yankee comforter... Pics of Mariano, Mantle, The Babe, Joltin' Joe.... and Jeter, of course.

Playoffs. SUH-WEEEEET!

(note to Yankees: Who needs a clean house????)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Dave and I went toddling off on a research trip this weekend...

We cruised the Southern Tier...  Checked out the lakes of Western New York... Fell in love with several for different reasons!

First, Chautauqua Lake in the farthest corner of Western New York, practically shouting distance with Ohio and Pennsylvania....

Here's a map-view to give you an idea of location:

That's Chautauqua Lake in the center. Now it looks SMALL compared to Lake Erie above, right??? Which is why I had to go researching because I live near Lake Ontario and when you live on the Great Lakes, these other things are kind of like farm ponds, you know? But learning riparian culture.... Seeing what's needed and useful in a lakeside town during the summer season... and post-season... that's huge because it's truly different from my day-to-day existence.

We went to church in Bemus Point.... Stopped by Webbs (a must-do for awesome candies!!) We did not stop at the amazing quilt show being held at the Chautauqua Institution (a place to visit in its own right) because I would have been too tempted.  But I did not say "no" to spending some bucks on candy to share!

Webb's Candies

Rushford Lake in Allegany County:

Charming, right????  The "T" shape, the points, the coves.... little harbors. A lot can happen in a little harbor, let me tell you, LOL! Isn't this beautiful? And the colors were at peak in the Southern Tier of NYS this weekend. Just stinkin' gorgeous. The hills were flaming. Amazing.

Here's a shot from the Lakeview Bed and Breakfast:

How pretty is that????

And then we headed to Cuba Lake, on the border of Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties:

This is what it looked like yesterday, the colors, the hills.... it's a man-made lake nestled just above I-86 and tucked into its own corner of the world. How pretty is this????

So that was my weekend! Exploring... eating. Maybe a lot of eating.  We discovered how nice Jamestown is , and the set up provided me with GREAT IDEAS.... :)

And the people were so nice.  We ate at the Hometown Grill on Saturday night:

sel monico

Delicious.... great server, April!  And fun, even though the Yankees had just suffered defeat at the hands of those tenacious Blue Jays in Toronto!

Great weekend, now working on applying what I saw/learned to this new series. And loving it!