Face Masks Suck. Embrace the Suck.

No Mask No Service

It confuses me beyond measure; the arguments, craziness and down-right meanness I see online about face masks. I know that wearing a face mask sucks. It’s hard to breathe, it fogs up my glasses, the elastics hurt my ears.

But I understand there is a reason for the ruling. And I understand that my actions (or inaction) can have powerful implications for those I encounter.

My son works at a grocery store. He’s an essential worker. He wears glasses and has to wear a mask all day while he works. His glasses fog up and it’s hard to breathe. All the essential workers going out and about have to wear masks all day long.

I deeply dislike wearing a mask when I am out in public, but I do it because it’s the right thing to do. Embrace the suck, do the right thing and wear the darned mask.

The Enneagram

Wow, what a discovery! It’s all new to me, though it’s been around for thousands of years…. a system of understanding personality types and how each of those types can impact not only how we interact with one another, but also how we habitually fall into negative habit patterns or get caught in our own “cognitive errors” which leave us spinning in circles.

I am diving deep into studying the Enneagram as a prepare to apply to the Spiritual Director program at Fairfield University. I will keep you posted on what I learn.

Charisms: Your Superpowers from the Holy Spirit

Sometimes thinking about it, I say “No, can’t be. Superpowers!?”

© Creative Commons "A Multi-Wavelength View of Radio Galaxy Hercules A" by https://goo.gl/FplzUy is licensed under CC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/

But when you learn more about the Charisms – special supernatural gifts given by the Holy Spirit to every person for his or her personal Mission, for their Calling to perform his or her task in the Church and in the World. These special gifts are given for the benefit of others, not for ourselves. But when we are exercising our Charisms we feel “in the flow” and as if the action “fits us” in a special way. The other wonderful thing about Charisms is that when you are exercising yours, you are effective in a remarkable or extra-ordinary way: when a person with the Charism of Teaching teaches, people learn as if God were teaching, when a person exercises the Charism of Healing, people are Healed as if God were healing.

Interested in learning more? Check out the Catherine of Siena Institute: http://siena.org/

I am hoping to be able to offer a small group workshop soon for the Discernment of Charisms at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown. Stay tuned.

FotoJet – Super Easy, Free Online Art Designer

I am not an artist…but I appreciate good graphics and love it when I find a tool (especially a FREE tool) that lets me get creative with words and photos. FotoJet has a bunch of really creative collage formats and styles and includes pre-formatted templates like: Facebook Post, Google+ Cover, YouTube Banner, Instagram Posts, Pinterest Graphics… the list goes on!


This afternoon I played with creating Magazine Covers (Time Person of the Century!?)

Time Joanne

Check it out and have fun!

Special Education Services – Age Limits by State

States Special EducationI had a challenging time finding this information until I hit upon the right search phrase, so I thought I would publish a quick reference to Special Education Age Limits by State. This is one of the areas that is not mandated at the Federal Level, so if you are planning Transition services for your child, you need to know the age limits in your state.

The following information was gathered from a PDF published by the U.S. Department of Education on the Ages that Special Education Services are provided (by State). The end dates often include additional details. See the PDF or contact your State Department of Education for further information. https://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/letters/2002-2/osep0206-2q2002.pdf

State Ages
AL 3 through 20
AK 3 through 21
AZ 3 through 21
AR 3 through 20
CA 3 through 18
CO 3 through 20
CT 3 through 20
DE 3 through 20
DC 3 through 21
FL 3 through 21
GA 3 through 21
HI 3 through 19
ID 3 through 20
IL 3 through 20
IN 3 through 21
IA 3 through 20
KS 3 through 20
KY 3 through 20
LA 3 through 21
ME 3 through 19
MD 3 through 20
MA 3 through 21
MI 3 through 21
MN 3 through 20
MS 3 through 20
MO 3 through 20
MT 3 through 18
NE 3 through 20
NV 3 through 21
NH 3 through 20
NJ 3 through 21
NM 3 through 21
NY 3 through 20
NC 3 through 20
ND 3 through 20
OH 3 through 21
OK 3 through 21
OR 3 through 20
PA 3 through 20
PR 3 through 21
RI 3 through 20
SC 3 through 21
SD 3 through 20
TN 3 through 21
TX 3 through 21
UT 3 through 21
VT 3 through 21
VA 3 through 21
WA 3 through 20
WV 3 through 20
WI 3 through 20
WY 3 through 20

I work during the day too.

There’s a Bible Study at our church (Walking with Purpose at St. Rose of Lima) that last year only took place on Wednesday mornings, but this Fall will have an evening offering on Tuesdays. It’s a study just for women and is transformative to say the very least.

Frequently when I would mention it to people to invite them to the Connect Coffee sessions they would respond “I’d love to, but I work.” or “Sounds nice, but I work during the day.” Now, maybe it’s me, but I always heard the implication that I, who also “work during the day” but have a flexible schedule was being seen as a “woman of leisure” who spent her day eating bon bons and reading books instead of working for a living.

I am very grateful that I do have a flexible schedule, that I can work evenings and weekends to make up for any time I take during the day for something like a Bible Study. I hope that in the future more people will have the option for flexible schedules. Schedules that allow them to take that elusive afternoon or morning off to spend time with family, or in a Bible Study, or just appreciating the great outdoors.

Petunia Care: How to Prune Petunias

How to Prune Petunias

I mostly limit my gardening to my organic veggie garden, but I do love the look of flowers around the house. I love petunias for their bright, happy looking flowers, but somehow mine always end up looking leggy and ragged a few weeks after I bring them home from the nursery. I did a search on the web to find the answers to the burning question of how to properly care for and prune petunias. Here is what I found.

How to Cut Back My Petunias to Make Them Bloom More

This article from SFGate has a good basic step by step for cutting back petunias.

Locate a node or point at least half way between the tip and base of the main stem where smaller stems or leaves branch. When petunias produce long stems with few leaves and stop producing flowers, trimming them back improves the overall look and promotes new growth and flower production. Make these pruning cuts in mid-summer.

This video has a nice demonstration where to clip the stems (at about 1:57 seconds he shows the part of the stem that you should remove behind the spent flower).

And this article from gardenlady.com does a very good job of explaining how to keep your petunias full of flowers and bushy vs. “stemmy”

Problems with Petunias

If you look at your petunia plants you will notice that they only form flowers at the END of the stems.  So as the stems grow longer all the flowers are at the edges of the plants, with bare stems leading up to them.  This is the case if you are growing the Wave, Super Petunias or regular ones.

In order to keep the plants full, bushy and not “stemmy” – you need to clip some of the stems each week.

And here’s some really great advice for rejuvenating a stemmy plant and even rooting the cuttings that you take from the plant… and who doesn’t love MORE plants for FREE??

What should you do if your plant is “stemmy” or has stopped flowering?  Clip the stems back by 2/3 and fertilize.  You could clip all at once, or do a third at a time (randomly over the plant – clip a third every week or 10 days) so that the plant isn’t cut back all at once.

You can also root the ends of the stems you clip off – cut them to 8″ long and put them in fresh, damp potting soil after coating the stems with rooting hormone.

Lastly, don’t forget to fertilize! The GardenLady recommends every three weeks. Always water first, never fertilize a thirsty plant.