August newsletter

from the Core Team

Summer Pavlova…my first ever (CF)

Summer Pavlova…my first ever (CF)

As our record-breaking summer winds down, the warmer (understatement) weather, longer days, and time spent outdoors all begin to fade. Thoughts around the start of school (or work), cooler temps, and shorter days begin to creep in before we even realize it.

So before we say goodbye to summer—and all the things that made this season so special—we thought it might be fun to hit the reset button and share with you some of our magnificent memories of the summer season. Take a look at the posts below - you might find something you would like to try or that you have been meaning to do before this splendid season slips away…


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from Ann O’Hara

I am heading out to Zion National Park next month - and in googling around for information on Zion, I came across this headline: “The largest bird in North America was nearly wiped out.  Here’s how it fought its way back.” You can click here to read the article, see the pictures and watch a wonderful video.

This story of the condor has become my feel good story of the summer. I find myself telling everyone I meet about it. It gives me hope. Here’s why. In 1982, when there were only 22 condors left on earth, scientists captured all 22 of them to breed them…and then in May of 2019 – some 37 years later - the 1000th chick was hatched --- in Zion National Park!

I plan to keep my eyes opened for the condors while I am there – and if any of you have any recommendations or stories from your travels to Zion, I would love to hear from you in the comment section at the bottom of this post.


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from Christine Miesowicz

This summer is our second in Florida so I am more heat-acclimated, if such a thing is possible. Even still, grilling, if I had a grill and a grill master, is a bit of a sauna-like experience that requires a change of clothes before sitting down to eat what one has grilled. Hence, my return to the practice of preparing dinner salads OR dinners that cook in under 30 minutes. I now also live close to my dad and his wife who have consented to be my “recipe testers” for our newly-instituted, healthier “dinners at lunch time”.

This one was a huge hit! (PS I left the skin on and baked skin side down.) Click here for a taste of this fabulous Sheet Pan Pecan Crusted Salmon.

As the fall approaches and the temperature and humidity moderate somewhat, maybe I’ll attempt the grill, but I sure will miss these summertime quick one sheet dinners. 


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from Linda Bedo


Linda offers a bit of practical advice for Grandparents of teens and pre-teens…”Learn to love Steak and Shake and to play Dungeons and Dragons.”

I think the picture below says it all…

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from Mary Morch

Unsolicited Quiet Time - I suddenly found myself at home, totally alone, for four days after a hectic June and beginning of July.  My husband was away, the grandchildren were in other states and volunteer commitments accomplished.

What?  Alone? I panicked. No one to cook for. No one needing my attention.

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Suddenly  I  felt God was laughing at me.  For years I knew well that contemplation, listening, reading scripture was an avenue to a relationship with God. I was also aware that I found busyness my prayer of choice all these years. Who had time? God was aware of my intentions. So why the need to sit quietly and just listen?

As it turned out, this alone time was a wonderful experience. Days turned into dusk and I was able to focus. I was able to sit still longer than imagined.  I fooled with chalk, listened to music and let my thoughts wander. There was no TV, no interruptions and I ate when convenient.

By day three the comfort of this “not doing” settled upon me like soft sunshine on a breezy day. It was a feeling of having been here before and re-remembering the world of just “being”.


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from Maureen Leahy

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This is my little Maltese named Niki on his first birthday. Last month we celebrated 14 years as companions. For all the years that I worked I always knew that, as I returned home, he would be waiting at the door with wide eyes and a wagging tail that would not quit. At six months I took him to puppy training. Everyone would laugh as he raced in circles around the other dogs with so much energy. Now in his senior years he has become a little slower, sleeps more but never misses an opportunity to beg for a treat. Sounds a little like myself! The core team of the Band of Sisters meets regularly at my house. They have all been the recipients of Niki's greeting and begging for a treat. We may have a few more years together and I will always treasure the companionship and loyalty my Niki has shown. These furry friends are truly a gift from God.


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Pat is enjoying a week of vacation at the beach with her family - we are hoping it is one of her favorite times of the summer.


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from Cindy FitzGerald

Before you go - here are a few fun activities to consider if you want to get the most out of these final weeks of the season:

Journal About Your 5 Favorite Summer Memories

The act of writing accesses your left brain (the analytical and rational side). While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit, and feel. Writing in a journal about happy thoughts and memories from your summer can evoke a state of mindfulness. Use this positive spin of gratitude journaling and spend 15 to 20 minutes (or more, if you wish) writing about your Top 5.

Create a Collage from your summer photos - to preserve your memories

Surround yourself with fun photographs that will keep you in happy spirits for months to come. They're a great conversation piece when friends and family come to visit. Photos have a way of taking us back to “the moment”…they provide us with a form of time travel.

Put together a collage of photos from the summer that you can put on display in your home or office. Or look into one of those great apps that can turn your individual photos into a photo book for your coffee table or work station.

Devise a fun meal plan while your favorite fruits and veggies are still available

Revisit your meal plan and design one that includes fresh seasonal veggies and fruits, and explore new recipes you have been meaning to try - while you can still find the freshest ingredients.

Look for farm stands and road-side stalls. Stop by the Farmer’s Market. Check with your neighbors who garden - there is always and abundance of tomatoes and zucchini this time of the year. And remember to shop around the outside perimeter of the grocery store, where all the fresh foods can be found.

Get Social

Research shows that individuals who lack social connections or report frequent feelings of loneliness tend to suffer higher rates of infection, depression, and cognitive decline. Don’t let that be you. Plan some fun get-togethers with friends. Join us to walk the Labyrinth on 4th Thursdays of the month. Consider helping with Note in the Pocket…Band of Sisters volunteer on the second of the month.

Perhaps it’s time to create a FaceBook account - so many wonderful folks to stay connected with on FaceBook. Instagram is another way to stay connected - it’s quick and easy to follow people, favorite restaurants, bands you enjoy, view posts from around the world, behold incredible photos of natural beauty…

And here is some fun news - Band of Sisters is on Instagram. You can find us as bandofsistersraleigh (BOS). Want some help creating an account so you can follow us? Click here for a step by step…so you can follow us on FaceBook and on Instagram!

Update on our Fall Retreat

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We have begun a waitlist for our Fall Retreat - Dipped and Dyed in Prayer. We are headed to St. Francis Springs (just North of Greensboro) on October 21, 22, 23. You can read more about the retreat here…and can get yourself waitlisted by clicking here and scrolling down on the calendar page to October 21 where you will find retreat information and waitlist instructions.