My Nieces and Nephews are like a Tiny Cathedral




Grace is God’s Unmerited Favor


“Grace is God’s unmerited favor.”

I’m going to go ahead and claim that I wrote that sentence, even though it is part of my six month old scribbled notes that I made while on Wikki (of all places). I was working on a tab for this blog which explains why I would pick an often uncute theme: grace.

Wait! Red light! Am I tiptoeing around the stickiest theological debate of all time – for me anyway: Exactly where do toil and grace meet?

Know what I mean (jellybean)?

And…who, how, when and where is grace found? And why…of course we ask over and over, is toil and suffering so often what we associate with the experience of God being in our midst?

Let’s just put that on the chalkboard for now:

“Def.: Grace = God in our midst.”


So, let me explain

Tangent: here’s why I’m bogging down your computer with huge photos:


I just want to.

Want to bog mine down anyway. I was lucky enough to have scored a job for a couple of months at the end of the school year and that was a really wonderful experience. My title was “Communication Coach” for a Kindergarten student who is hard of hearing.

If I can get back into a routine to blog more often, I’d love to share more about my experience. It was just what I didn’t know I was praying for.

The huge pictures in this post? Because as soon as I signed my contract, I treated myself to a new printer that has a scanner so that I can try and organize old photos.

So far, what I have is an office and moving boxes that are a jumble of…

a jumble. In a room with stinky carpet.

(insert music or images that lead you to toil and suffer,

if my friend, you are on my side…)

I am still committed to try and not write more than a few hundred words per post, but for now, as I brush away some midlife cobwebs, I need to see these snippets in biggie size. Image

“Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up on such grace.

What you need is

someone to take hold of you –

gently, with love,

and hand your life back to you.”


~ Tennessee Williams



I’ve already growled at my family twice, And you?

So many of us in the U.S.  may be feeling like my two oldest sons (who are now men!) did on that 4th of July years ago. I woke up this morning both elated that Election 2012 is finally here, and a bit miserable as well. 

I have been exchanging anxious messages with a college friend on Twitter, and thankfully a second friend has joined us this week. She doesn’t get quite as over excited as my other friend and I, so she is doing a good job of diverting our mouse clicking with some silly conversation as well.

It’s only 8:00 and I’ve already growled at my family twice, so this could be a long day. To that end, I’m making myself listen to the full 21 minutes of prayer by Benedictine nuns. I think it is from Erie, which makes it at least near a chapel that I went to retreat in as a teenager from Meadville PA. I find it odd that at age 45 I’m far less able to sit still that long. I’ve had to restart the podcast twice already. I suppose it could be that my rebellious years have just begun.

How is everyone else doing so far this morning? Let me know.

@kateocoop on Twitter,

or the comment box below.  : )

I doubt that I am alone in my excitement and worry today. This is how I spent the afternoon trying to Get Out the Vote yesterday. ( YouTube by trial and error )

Last Minute Sign Language Photos, and a Link to My Girl Natalie

No more A-Z blogging for April 2012! Sun’s up, day is rolling and darn fast, and May is here.

I came in at the last minute with my last three letters of the alphabet and was too tired to find some sign language examples from the alphabet…so, I’m throwing ’em in here, and adding a link to a song that I’m adding to a prayer CD that I’m making for a grieving friend…

See you next year Blogging A-Z!


“v” for victory at last! The challenge is done.
this is a “w” in sign language – try it – it feels good to stretch those piggies.
go ahead…scrunch that inde *X*
“Y” ? Because I said so darn it!
That index in the air, and you have done the whole alphabet – good job!


click here for a link to a youtube slide show of the best Easter song of all,

King of May by Natalie Merchant….


Happy Easter Everyone…honest…

How “Words With Friends” Ruined Her Ability to ThinkThink

This is Totally a "t" in sign language!

Made up Word of the Day (post dated from Monday): ThinkThink

Definition: The moment when one needs to stop in his or her tracks, place both hands on his or her head, and make a concerted effort to remember why in the world they just walked into that particular room.

Example: After the extraordinarily intelligent and beautiful Italian woman spent two intense hours at the computer pummeling her opponents while playing Words With Friends, she pulled herself away from the screen and went into the other room. “Oh no!” she said outloud to her two cats, “I have no idea why I came into this r-o-o-m (24 points).” Placing her hands on her head she had a brief ThinkThink, and remembered that it was bedtime, and snuggled under her cozy comforter for a long night’s s-n-o-o-z-e (18 points, 32 if on a double letter score space).

Q = Quiet QuickQuack in the Quad Cities

A quiet day in the Quad-Cities for a snapshot of the letter "q" in sign language. It's an easy one. Try it!

Made Up Word of the Day: QuickQuack

Definition: When two people have a very brief exchange of a word or two, or an animal sound.

For Example:

They must have been in a mood for a QuickQuack, because when she passed him in the hallway and simply said “Bananna,” he said: “Split.”


At the playground they worked hard to pump their swings to an equal height. They were sitting in opposite directions on the seats. This was great because when they passed each other they would trade animal sounds like: “quack,” “honk,” or “bleet.” It was a satisfying QuickQuack.

My Pops is “P”erfectamundo

Whoah Nelly, this one was quite the close up! Here's the letter "p" in sign language! Only 10 more letters to go. It has been fun, I'll miss this challenge so.

Made up word of the day: Perfectamundo

Definition: (adj.) So awesomely great that one would be tempted to describe that noun, proper or not, as “perfectamundo.”

For example: The burly son said, “Hey Pops! That birdhouse you made is perfectamundo!”

Monday A-Z post: “N” is for Nincompoop

This challenge is wearing me out...can't find my "n" photos. Here is a noodle instead. The sign "n" is just like "m," but with your thumb between the middle and ring finger.

Made up word of the day(n or adj): Nincompoop

Definition: A goofy or inept person or animal…or an inept way of handling things that is often sort of funny.

Preview of the letter "o"!

Example: The boy was trying to not be a nincompoop when he was learning how to do the sign language alphabet, but the crazy puppy was a ginormous distraction.

“Mahna”Stands for “m” of Course!

Made up “M” word of the day…

Mahna (v.) : To get up off your duff and dance, sing, groove and generally take yourself and the world less seriously for a minimum of a minute or two.

Eg: What fool could watch the Muppets, during any point in their history as premier entertainers, without getting his or her “Mahna Mahna” groove on for at least a short while?