Posted November 24, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Holiday



Hi everybody.   Just to be accurate . . . .




. . . . . . .   Counting your blessings?

Just remember,  it’s not so important to be thankful for blessings as it is to thank our Blesser.



That is what the official American documents tell us to do.

Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed as a day to thank  God-Most-High,    whatever our blessings may be.




Posted November 23, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

(These plague me every year.  I think they were a big part of this week’s Funk.     Maybe I can exorcise them by writing them down.)

Of course,  the first question is common to us all,  to us who were alive in 1963:  “Where were you when you heard that President Kennedy got shot?”


Perhaps if you weren’t alive then,  you can’t understand what  an important question that was.   Where were you”-  and then we’d tell each other, because this was a common shared national experience and we needed to connect our “local,”  personal experience with the bigger picture.



( I was in study hall on November 22,  studying along with my class for a big chemistry exam.   We were all in a bit of a shock,  but strangely enough not only was our chemistry exam not canceled,  but school was not canceled for the rest of the day.    I heard other schools closed on that memorable Friday.)

I knew we’d get through this as a nation.  We’ve had other presidents assassinated, and we got through.    What remains tragic and depressing is the obvious cover-up that we all saw developing right away.    I hear President Trump was pretty angry with all the redacted pages in the recently released “Kennedy Files.”      Who decides that stuff?  It keeps us on edge.

My Second November 22nd   Question:

Well, this is more personal,  but deeper and maybe still troubling.

dating    November 22 is the date of a guy’s birthday.  A guy I was engaged to but did not marry.     We were young and all passionately in love – the kind where you don’t think about anything else except each other.   He was in the Air Force, so we were separated a lot.

“Passionately” in those days did not automatically mean “physical,”  if you  know what I mean.   I “saved myself” for my eventual real  Hubbie, as it should be.    But this first guy, well, we met in church.

Kind of  like

Everything was in black and white in those days.    This guy had everything going for him:  “Youth leader,”   Good singer.   Pastor’s friend.   And a genuine born-again Christian who read his Bible and talked about it with me.   Oh, yes:  blond, blue-eyed, and handsome.

men's trio

Most commonly I saw him from this angle with his friends,  singing on stage.    He was tenor in a young men’s trio, and I was usually down below, banging away at the piano in accompaniment.  Seemed like everything was going right for us.


But then,  you know,  I was seeing behind the mind of a young male evangelical Christian.   He and his friends.   And I myself was seeing some big things wrong in the teachings.    Though we talked the same talk,  we were heading in separate directions.

It’s a matter of authority.   When you’re a Protestant,  you’re at the top of your heap, so to speak.  You get to decide what to believe,  what Bible verses mean,  who you agree with,  what pastor and what theologian your going to follow,  and you even get to pronounce absolution on yourself, deciding if and when you are forgiven.

Within that one little church there were dozens of different “truths.”     Dozens of different Jesuses.   And none of them connected historically to the beginning of Christianity,  (unless you said so).

So, sadly,   we parted.   No overt argument or harsh words.   We said we’d be friends, but that was hard to do since he had another girlfriend with him.  And then,  so I was told, a string of girlfriends,  and . . .  children.    He went downhill, morally, and I know what his thinking was.    I have always felt somewhat responsible for  . . .   his  . . .   for the changes.   I’m not, of course.

November 22nd,  his birthday, and I know that every year.    What would have happened if we had married?    Was it Providence that stopped us?     Predestination?    Fate?   Or was it that the children that Hubbie and I brought into this world were meant to be.

No regrets.  No regrets at all.

But . . .  that date.

Maybe I can put it to rest now.

Like lancing a boil.




Posted November 22, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Faith

Tags: , ,

Yeah, well, this time maybe I am the “Old Lady.”

But here is the “Master Pastor’ —

Sheen and blackboard

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen,  for whom not too long ago all of America — just everybody — stopped what they were doing on a Sunday evening,  turned on the television,  and watched and listened to this man,  Protestant, Catholic,  non-believer alike.

Whatever you may or may not believe in,   one cannot deny his God-given gift for speaking truth,  right to the point,  succinctly, and with good humor.

I was writing yesterday’s post in a spirit of self-mockery,  because I was observing myself, and while I was trying to “enjoy”  a bad mood,  every time I passed my refrigerator,   I’d see the newspaper article taped up there of “Alice Smith,”  the old, old lady who has such a wonderful, optimistic attitude,  and who at 92 years old loves her job as a burger flipper in a nearby McDonald’s.

Thus ruining my really good bad mood.


I’m good at deep dark Scandinavian-strength funks.  My whole family is.     I’ll bet she isn’t!

So late in the evening,  at the end of my dark, gloomy day,  I picked up a few books and meandered randomly through them.    One is called “Simple Truths.”    By guess who –  Bishop Sheen.   I don’t usually like books that are “just” series of short quotations,  but that’s about all I was in the mood for.

. . .   Found my bookmark,  and the first thing I read was this:

    The astronomer doesn’t give up his science just because he doesn’t find a new planet every day.  The poet doesn’t give up poetry because he cannot write brilliant verses every day.     But the ideal of science and the ideal of  poetry remain.     So,  virtue, faith, and the abiding resolve to save one’s soul remain,  even when one does not “feel”  like saving one’s soul.

     Ideals must never be left to the stomach or the glands.  They reside in the will.   Hence, the Divine Truth reminds us that “he who perseveres to the end will be saved.”

Feelings.   Feels come and go;  they are up and down;  they make us like or dislike something;   feelings give birth to our opinions.

Feelings are alongside our daily activities,  generated by many factors, some we don’t even know about.   But human life –  humans – are made to  live from their Intellect which corresponds to objective reality informed by  our five senses.    Our intellectual activity is made to conform to objective reality, and next comes our will, at the command of our intellect.

Our well-being comes to a skidding halt when we put feelings and opinions in command of our decisions.   We short-circuit our  main purpose in life.

Which is?     Why were you born?      Something else Bishop Sheen taught,  from the catechism:  Why were you born?  To know, love, and serve God in this life,  and to be happy with him forever in the next.      This is the “resolve to save our souls”  that Bishop Sheen spoke about.

going to Heaven

Ask any old lady, Mrs. Smith or me (when I catch up to her age):      “Are you thankful for a good, long life?”    The answer will be:    “It wasn’t long!”   

The next life will be “long.”   Not this one.     Bishop Sheen would say now is the opportunity to see to the health and life of our souls, now is the time to save our souls.  Our “ideal” is salvation.

Feelings be damned.









Posted November 21, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Uncategorized


“AT WAR. . .”


 I’m not the old lady.  It’s  this one:


She is a local nonagenarian who works in a McDonald’s, one little town east of me.   She is a favorite  among the customers, and she loves her work and does it well.  Never misses a day.    A story like that is always good for some “secrets” of living to a good, healthy old age.

It’s not “a cigar a day.”  Or ” a beer a day.”     Or any other unbelievably silly thing.   It’s    . . .  her cheerfulness and optimism.   According to the caption,  she looks in the mirror first thing in the morning and smiles.  She says if you do that, you’ll have  a smile on your face all day.


Smiles are wearing down around here.      Seems like one long,  dark,  dreary day.

dreary fall day

Seems like there’s been a steady dark November rain for a few days.  A few hours of sunshine once in a while, but altogether pretty dark.    Dreary rain during our football game;  rain and snow, actually.     And my leaves are soaking wet.  On the ground.

View from my study:

Dark Day

That photo was taken at 4:15 this afternoon.   The camera picked up a lot more outdoor light than there actually was.  It was all gray out there.

And this morning I woke up to more computer gloom.    It  looks like Mozilla has been trying to update itself for a few days.    It had become so good for a while,   but now this morning, as I turned on the PC,  there was a brand-new Firefox,  new color scheme,  black on black, it seems.   Commands are different.   Settings are different.  And I spent a long time trying to recapture some of my old settings and backgrounds.

And now it appears to be less stable, at least for the way I use a browser.  What more computer trouble is coming down the road?

I took down the happy lady’s photo from my refrigerator today.  

I just want to . . .  think.

Doghouse dreary

About:    some deeply serious, dire  posts I’ve been writing – but not posting.   I know these things,  but no one I know knows these things; and that means, if this is the norm,  “these things”  will increase.    About :   some information about a family member that I received  today.     About:  why is my health not improving as fast as I want it to?   About:    This is the anniversary week of Hubbie’s passing.

Yep,  that’s probably it.   Seven years ago . . . .

But this “anniversary week”  is Thanksgiving week too.    That 92-year-old lady exemplifies good cheer and optimism, and it’s hard not to listen to her.

But if I even start to count my blessings, I will lose touch with why I’m in such a  funk.  Do I want to?     If I become truly thankful for what I have,   I will rise out of this gloom.    Do I want to?      If I think instead:

About my home and my family and my Church and my friends  . . .

About bringing chicken soup to a sick neighbor this weekend – and he liked it!

About having the resources to help out a young friend,  right where she needed it.

About a fun trip to a Christmas Craft Show this weekend.

About receiving some clothes in the mail these days, including a pretty blue parka with a fur-lined hood, like I’ve always wanted.

About receiving some new books in the mail too!

And we won our football game!

There’s so much more.    Too much.  Too much.   I can’t stay in only  a  gloomy mood.  I can feel it all.    What a tiring way to be;  but I can feel it all at the same time;  alive.  Acutely alive.

I need not fight the old lady.

I guess.






Posted November 17, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor

Tags: ,

Follies –    foiled.      That’s me.

I thought it was pretty smart to keep the  sliding glass doors  locked so no one sneaks into the house through the back deck.

I thought it was pretty smart to lock the front door when I’m doing yard work.   It prevents the suburban burglars from making a quick stop, an entry, and a grab, while the homeowner is out working on her lawn.



I thought I was pretty smart   to close down the garage door so the leaves wouldn’t blow into the garage as I raked and dragged the leaves down the 150-foot pathway that crosses the garage opening, in the  wind.

And then I had to go into the house . . . use the facilities, you  know;  and all I had was a rake and a radio and a small pair of gloves.

All those smart moves had led up to the dumbest thing a homeowner can do:  lock herself out of her own house.

After a few – quite a few – panicked minutes, wondering which window I should break,  I tried a door that we rarely ever use,  the sliding glass doors leading into the basement, two stories below.     (An unlocked basement door – burglars love it!)


I unlock every door now before I pick up my rake these days.

burglar in door

Prime target for a burglary.


Pretty smart, huh?


Posted November 14, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Modern Issues, Travel

Tags: , ,

You can get a pretty interesting view of the world from your mailbox –  a changing world.

junk mailbox mine

My neighbor and I stand side by side with our mailboxes.    The mailbox used to  bring a lot of things that it doesn’t,  anymore.  Paychecks.  Other “checks in the mail.”   Birthday cards and lots and lots of Christmas cards.  Letters from family and friends.

And letters from Pen Pals!  

Penpal stack

One of the joys of my teen and young adult years was to write to and receive letters from pen pals.  There were even magazines and sections of magazines devoted to introducing people to each other from around the world.   There are some I still wonder about and regret that our correspondence ended somehow,  but I have one pen pal who has remained with me and I count her among my good and precious friends –  across the ocean!

Today:    Our mailboxes hold mostly  Junk Mail.


And lots of it.

But many years ago,  Hubbie had some advice for his family,  and he had learned it the hard way.    He usually went through the mail, tossing out all the junk mail,  keeping only the “important stuff.”   But one month he was fretting about not receiving a rebate check he had “gone through all the hoops”  to  qualify for.

He was sitting idly at his desk one day,  thinking of complaining to the company,  but just staring  at his little wastebasket which was nearly overflowing.    He looked at it, into it,  and there were a few “junk mail” envelopes unopened.    Sure enough, one envelope was from the same company that had sent  him the rebate.

So –  Hubbie said:   “Always open your junk mail;  it takes very little time,  and you may find something that isn’t junk after all.”

I don’t always listen to my husband’s advice.

Recently I got a big colorful envelope,  something about driving,  something about ENTERING A CONTEST – YOU CAN WIN $$$.   “ENTER HERE TO WIN”

Junk Mail brochures

Well, it was from Colorado.  I had just traveled there a couple months ago – briefly.  It was just a drive-through,  maybe two hours.   I just had to get from western Kansas to Wyoming.     But somehow  “Colorado”  had gotten my personal information.

I didn’t open this ” junk mail”  for  a week or two, until I had more time for it.   That’s a photo of the brochures I got for driving in Colorado and entering their contest.

“Junk Mail”  for a Toll road.    An Express Toll Road.

junkmail letter


“Express”  means:  You don’t have to stop to pay your toll –  they’ll send you a bill later!  (along with a chance to enter a contest).

By the time I opened the envelope to see what kind of fun contest Colorado was offering me,   I saw that I had only five days left to pay this toll bill –  or else!

I wonder –  if I hadn’t opened this junk mail, and if I had seen another  similar piece of junk mail from Colorado a month or so from now (with a “final notice” within),  well,  would there be a warrant out for me next time I drive out West?

(Sigh-h-h-h.   Yet another reason to drive  so slowly that I am just about under the speed limit.)


Read your junk mail, guys.


Posted November 12, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Love, Creator, God

Tags: , ,

Here’s a view down the aisle of our “basement chapel” as people were coming in,  before the Mass began.

sunday view 370cr

I was going to write something “teachy” today, but after I came out of Mass, with a lot of different kinds of happiness for the things I experienced, I was thinking about something I saw today after the Mass was over; and I wanted to memorialize it here in the Tunnel.

What I saw was young,  growing families!    Young pregnant wives, looking surprisingly mature and confident; and then their young husbands, beaming; happy and glad, as though they had something wonderful to present to the world.

I’ve heard it said that new little babies are God’s vote of confidence for the world.   I think, rather, maybe babies are God’s confirmation of His love for the human race.
As I tell my classes, God thought you up; liked the idea of you; and then brought you into existence at the optimum time and place for you . . . (so that you have the very best chance to find your way back to Him).”

He has high hopes for you:    For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you a future and a hope.”   (That’s in Jeremiah 29:11  —    good memory verse!)

silhouette child



We are the baby in our mother’s womb.   We are the child.   We are the young adult with the world ahead of us!    We are the adult,  figuring it all out, gathering wisdom.  We are the old one,  looking for the End of our Journey.

We are all of those things at once.



Posted November 11, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Football, Health issues

Tags: , , , ,

View from a Saturday afternoon:

View from Saturday

Saturday again.   The home team is playing.   Not well.    All I can say is they  played to the end of the game.

I could talk about the value of leisure time:   I could wax philosophical about “winning and losing”;     I could even discuss the metaphorical value of each of the positions on a football team,  the roles we play in life  . . . .

But it’s knitting I was thinking about today.   Knitting and football just go together – for me.  I’m almost done with my royal blue V-neck sweater.    I’m just getting started on the cuff of the second sleeve.

I was reading a book about managing chronic disease, the serious terminal type of chronic disease,  and the author wrote about the importance of endorphins for the maintenance of good quality of life.    Of course we know exercise produces and increases the endorphins in our body;  that’s why many of us like to “run to excess”  to try to induce that Runners’ High!

But among the many other activities listed was knitting!     Knitting produces endorphins!   So while I’m not “exercising”  like the football players during a game,  I’m getting my endorphins another way.   Pure pleasure!

Health is pleasure too.    It’s incumbent upon each of us to maintain or regain and maintain our own health.   We’ve got to find out what our body needs and then go after it.

Yep – it’s work.  It takes time and effort to stay healthy.     We’re individuals and have specific and unique needs to keep our health.     I can’t really tell you what you need to do — but I can make a recommendation:

Football and knitting!

(Or something like that.)




Posted November 11, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Warfare



soldier silhouette

Veterans are those who have trained to fight in wars against our enemies;  some have fought in wars against our enemies;  some have come close to death while fighting our enemies;   and some have lost dear friends who have died fighting our enemies.

Isn’t this obvious?


Before we think about the necessity of our soldiers,  before we start any discussion of war in general,  we need to firmly grasp the fact that we do have enemies and that not all nations are morally equivalent.

A population that doesn’t have that understanding cannot fully “thank a veteran”  for the years of their lives that they have already given for the protection of ours.    Veterans have every right to be proud of their service;   we can second their pride.



Posted November 10, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Veterans Day


Today,  November 10,  is the anniversary of the founding of the United States Marines.    Founded in 1775 to protect against the aggressive advances of the Moors (the Islamic world)  against Western nations, especially in the Mediterranean Sea  . . . .

Today I’ll post a photo of my Dad in his Dress Blues:


1944, I think.

We can – and should – take a few moments to reflect on the enormous benefit the Marines have been for our country;  but in addition to their actual work in protecting and serving the United States,   right now I’d also like to bring out the tremendous good they have done for our nation in their training of our young men.     The training has produced men of good character,  with  qualities of sober, commonsense citizenship and  a habit of self-sacrificing service to their nations, their communities, and their families.

(For those influenced by Leftist rhetoric and always expect a  qualifier:   Of course, this is “in general.”  Of course there are “exceptions.”      But these exceptions prove the rule, and we are always a bit surprised, a bit disappointed when a Marine does wrong.)

High ideals for the Marines!    High expectations!

I’ve often wondered what would have become of me if I had not been the daughter of a Marine.   I wonder how much self-discipline and duty would play a part in my life if I  hadn’t listened to my Dad’s stories of basic training and learning discipline, and  had not watched my Dad go about his daily affairs with precision and purpose.

I wonder how much perseverance and patience  I’d have if  I hadn’t seen my Dad work endless hours for his family, hard, consistent working, because he believed  it would make a better man of him,  just as Basic Training had done for him.

My Dad didn’t talk to me a lot,  but sometimes he told me this — and it may sound unloving;  it may sound counter-intuitive;  it may sound unnecessarily harsh:    “If there is a right way and a wrong way to do something,  always choose the right way. And if there is an easy way and a hard way to do something,  always choose the harder way.”

Can’t tell you how much trouble that advice has saved me;  how simple and uncomplicated it has made my life.  That advice avoids moral dilemmas and embarrassing regrets because you’ve made yourself do the right thing from the start.

And the advice stands before me today,  kind of as a guideline to keep me safe.

My Dad said he figured that out when he was in the Marines.

Imagine a society made up of such high personal standards;  high ideals,  high expectations.       This Marine Corps spirit has bettered our nation.

Semper fi, out there.



Posted November 6, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cultural Marxism, Culture, Current Events, Transforming America

Tags: , , , , , ,

(Super talkative, unrestrained-in-the-morning  thoughts.  Just skip down to the two quote boxes to get the gist.)



It’s a matter of politics to try to keep a civil society stable, beneficial, correcting wrongs, making improvements; protecting against those movements which ultimately tear at families and break down a civil society. I do respect people who find politics their calling for these reasons.

Many work towards, those ends; but increasingly more have an agenda that works against those good ends.  Senator Rand Paul, for instance who is recovering today from five broken ribs because because many people in this country care not about their country’s good, but about their own agenda, country be damned; and that makes them strident, arrogant, and sometimes violent.    I don’t know about each of Senator Paul’s ideas, but I know his is a life dedicated to improving our nation.

if I am ever asked whether I am “Right” or “Left” or “Liberal” or “Conservative,”   I would probably groan (inaudibly) and frown, and look all thoughtful; and after a moment maybe my reply would be a disappointed:    “Ohhhh,  do you really want to go back to the French Revolution? Do you really want to use those archaic categories? They have become a cheap shot; lazy thinking obscuring today’s realities.”

 fr revSitting on the left and sitting on the right

Leftistl/Democrat?   Right/Republican?  These have no meaning now after the  dialectic process has translated those two terms into: Socialist (Democrat) on one side  and Socialist Lite (Republican) on the other, both political parties drawing people into worldwide Global Socialism/Communism which, whatever label you give it, simply means a totalitarian control of the whole world.

(See Nimrod)  (Or see Napoleon, who thought he could do it.)     (Or see Hitler, who was sure he could do it.) .

Maybe you’d want to more accurately ask if I am a Gramsci-ite Progressive or if I am  an Independent political thinker:   pragmatic and people-oriented, rather than State-oriented. Our American Constitution gave us a shot at this: independent and uniquely created individual people, free to be creative and hard-working in the pursuit of their own choices in this world and free to walk humbly before God in preparation for their journey to the next world.

My favorite song? “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Nearly all Young People have never even read the book 1984, nor studied it to understand the warnings therein.     Not that their Leftist schools and universities would want these young people to ever, EVER understand books like 1984 and Homage to Catalonia     That would be so  . . .  so  . . .   un-Orwellian.    Thinking about Orwell’s writing would require independent thinking and the “hard work”  of intellectual analysis.

I was reading a foreign newspaper about the recent Texas church shooting, and I also read down into the Comment Box. Certain people could not understand why Americans could not just “all come together as a country and stop bickering about what we should do next. “Can’t we all get along?” (Teddy bears and flowers . . . and smile more.)   Why do we have to debate every issue?   Isn’t that . . . “divisive”?   Shouldn’t we all be united under one common( political) goal?

Then I saw this comment by some who calls himself “No One In  Particular,”  but he had a great comment on those who would restrict free and independent debate:

We are United by the Document on which this country was founded, the United States Constitution. We are fully allowed, and even encouraged, to disagree. (Amendment 1) We are also allowed, as in not prohibited from, ownership of firearms. (Amendment 2) This individual was not supposed to be able to purchase a firearm as he was disqualified from such by due process (Read: court of law). The fact that he made that purchase, through a Sporting Good Store, mind you, is an oversight that should not have happened. The squabbling that happens in the U.S. is 100% okay. If it truly bothers you, ignore it and never “pop across the pond,: sir.


There can be no debating if people are so willing to jump up and say you shouldn’t say what you want to say, that’s not “correct”!   In this politically-charged world it’s upsetting to the hypnotic dream state created by the Leftist agenda.   It’s not politically correct.

I hope we begin to look at the quality of public discourse in this whole nation. I hope those independent thinkers who have something of value to say will speak out against the suppression of public discourse. A poll recently proclaimed its findings: More than half the people in this country do not speak out because they are afraid of the consequences.

Poll: 71% of Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have, 58% Have Political Views They’re Afraid to Share  (from Cato . . org Oct. 31, 2017)


Yeah, well they killed Socrates for it too. I’d hoped we are beyond that.
“Do not go gentle into that good . . .” etc. etc.


Posted November 5, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Bill of Rights, Current Events

Tags: ,

I think if a few million of us just stated the obvious,  very  simply and matter-of-factly,  it would help to preserve our Constitution,  without which  Americans would not be free.   That was the purpose of the constitution:  to limit government so that Americans will not be ruled over by government.

So,  just simply:   A man wearing Antifa-type clothing, all black,  military style, ran into a church with a gun and killed about 27 people and wounded many others.

An American citizen carrying a gun saw  the shooter run out towards his car and fired at the shooter.

The shooter  got into his car and tried to get away, drove as far as he could,  and then crashed.  Dead in his car.

The police say there were several other types of guns in the shooter’s car.   How many more could have been killed today if that American citizen hadn’t shot  the shooter ?

Pass it on.




Posted November 3, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Current Events, Lessons from History, Socialism, Transforming America


(Random thoughts from The Spruce Tunnel)

Walking through a parking lot this afternoon,  this caught my eye:

Bummper Sticker

Bumper Sticker “art” —

The bumper sticker reminded me that I live in a university town.  Well, I live out here where the professors live,  the students mostly live in the town contiguous with us, but we see a lot of them in our stores.

So . . .  cute bumper sticker, “eh” ?      E   A  R  T    H       

Take out the art, you take out the beauty.  Or maybe the other way around – take out the beauty and there is no real art.     Seeing beauty is an art,  and “poetics”  is what we humans try to do to capture the beauty,  hold it still before our eyes.

Random thoughts and pathways:

But it made me think of all the artists and artist-wannabees around here:   the artistes.  Universities attract them.    Universities and university people live right in the middle of an ordinary town.    Sometimes the two populations don’t understand each other –  with amusing or newsworthy consequences.   This university town is known for throwing couches out  windows and setting them on fire in the streets below — usually when we win a big football game.  Or when we lose.


The police come,  but not until several students have had the opportunity to jump through the fire . . . .   Some people just don’t get it.

Town and Gown

But there has always been clashes and sometimes violence between the university population and the town population.   In the Middle Ages,  sometimes groups of students took their swords to school to fight with other groups of students or with groups of townspeople.     Imagine caring that much about what a professor teaches you that you want to defend the issue or destroy the issue with your sword!

(Not an easy thing to do!   Do you know how heavy a real sword is?   No women students in the 13th century at a public university.   They couldn’t wield a sword anyway.)

Twenty Towns in America  —

Riots and clashes planned for Saturday, November 4, in twenty towns and cities across America have nothing to do with intellectual issues, and not even with the intellect itself.    The International Communist-backed movement called Antifa will try to incite riots this  weekend.   It’s what they do.    It’s what they’re paid to do.   This is the weekend in 1917 that the Leftist Bolsheviks took over the major cities of Russia in a coordinated attack.   Turned Russia into the Soviet Union. Eventually 65,000,000 dead.

I don’t think that will happen this weekend, 2017.    The Antifa people are armed with slogans but not with strong intellects that could drive them through to the “end”  that they are told to shout about.


It will be interesting to see what today’s feeble-minded revolutionary-wannabees will accomplish.

Much, eventually, if there is no pushback.     But not tomorrow.





Posted November 2, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Night person.  Here.   If you want some amusement, call me before noon.  Get me talking while  I’m still asleep and my tongue is unrestrained.

I do my thinking later in the day.   And that’s what gets me up frequently at night because I’m thinking.   Lots of things to check with on the Internet,  when I don’t want to turn the bright lights on.

C Yellow


  Lighted keyboard!!!

I thought I would be buying a little “luxury,”    but now I don’t know how I got along without it.  It’s so handy,  so useful,  and so fun —

C blue


And this color  —

C Red


And a royal blue  —

C blue violet


And you can turn down the color way low . . .

C Green Dark


Surprisingly not very expensive.  The Azio Lighted Keyboard.   Amazon.

Here in the Far North it is rather dark in the late afternoon,  evening, and the long night, so there is plenty of need for it!


Posted October 31, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Current Events, Islam, Uncategorized


Note to policy-makers and those who communicate with policy-makers:


We saw smashed bicycles today — and smashed people.    8 dead so far. 

I join:  shock, anger, sorrow,  “thoughts and prayers” . . . .

Many experts giving advice, much of it good.   One expert tells us that the m  o  s  l  e  m  man who drove the truck into the bicyclists  entered the United States  in 2010  under a “Diversity Green Card”  –  green cards that are issued without the requirement of stated skills or purpose for the sake of promoting diversity.        Just come.

50,000 of these “Diversity Green Cards”   issued per year.


Posted October 31, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Holidays, Humor, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

I tramped around a pumpkin patch last month for two hours with my family (Son, Daughter, and Cooper) just  to get the right pumpkin.   It had to be the perfect one!

Then look what son did to it!!!

Their pumpkin cr

Son and his lady friend worked on this.  I suspect she did the cleaning,  he did the knife work.

I came home  late one night and decided to take a short walk to stretch my legs.   My  neighbor’s eerie handiwork turned me home again with shivers:

Neighbor dec 370


Cooper’s cookies:

Cookies 350

Nice  job!

I usually don’t take too much notice of Halloween,  but it’s a fun holiday;  a time for creativity to shine!    whether building a maze , decorating your home, making a costume,  or carving a pumpkin!

Halloween. Just have fun!  A  little or a lot.

Tomorrow is the serious, religious day,  and Christendom celebrates all the great saints!



(Are not all believers in Christ called saints?  called to be saints?   Yes!  Of course!   that’s what November 2nd if for!  All Souls’ Day follows All Saints’ Day which followed the Hallowed Eve!)





Posted October 30, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Nature

Tags: ,

Ever been disappointed in yourself?    Well, that’s me last week.  “Tunnel Fail.”  Or rather  “Me Fail.”      Me-in-the-Tunnel Fail.

I needed a new photo of the Spruce Tunnel for a project I was planning to do.  No problem driving there.

ST road and pasture

In fact, it was a beautiful autumn road, with colorful trees on one side and a pasture on the other side.   (You can’t see the horses from my windshield.)

Then closer and down the hill . . .

ST road to

… to a flooded area aside the Spruce Tunnel area:

ST flooded

Actually, that was beautiful in its own way too.

I parked my car and began the trek in to where the Tunnel would be.  The leaves had made a gorgeous carpet.   Lighting just right.    Fun to walk on.

ST orange pathway

You get this only once a year!

It was a busy day for me and I had allowed myself only twenty minutes for my mission.   I still had more walking to do.

ST approaching tunnel

The lighting changed and bleached out the colors.   That dark spot up ahead isn’t the Spruce Tunnel,  but it’s the approach to the Tunnel.

I walked on,  into the beginning of the Tunnel:

ST pathway

And just as I got to about where I wanted that new photo I hit a dilemma —

ST barrier

Now, that doesn’t look like much of a barrier in this photo,  but the fallen tree is maybe forty feet long,   into the thicker brush,  and  about four feet high, just about to my waist.   I used to love running hurdles.  I was good at it.  It was a joyful thing to do!    But I was thinking  “used to.”

Also, those little branches sticking out in every direction were, in reality,  rather thick – and unyielding.    Unlike my skin.   There was really not a big enough gap in those branches for me to sling my leg through and over.    I kind of tried but my face began to get scratched hard by those littler branches.

Also I was hanging onto a big purse with long tangle-able straps.

Also,  I’m afraid of spiders.   (Big factor in my dilemma).

Also I’m a “woman alone.”   No one to pick me up or run to my rescue.

I accepted the challenge.

And then I thought again  of all the  “might happens.”

And then I was determined to meet this challenge.

And then I thought again.

(Repeat about six times.)

How disappointed I was that I  . . .  just . . .  didn’t.    I could have done it.   Somehow.  But I had a camera in one hand,  a big purse in the other.    Maybe I couldn’t have done it successfully.

The “old lady”  in me won out.    Maybe that was wise;  but it sure isn’t fun.

I’d like to go back to that day,  that spot, and this time  just  LIVE A LITTLE –  and jump that tree.


This is a sad ending —  and not because I never got that new photo.



Posted October 29, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Holy Days



Today, all of  Christendom celebrated the Feast of Christ the King.

Christ the King

From the ancient times of  King David,   people understood that the Messiah would be King over all the kings on earth.    From all Eternity He was Sovereign King, and when he came to earth,  then Jesus the Christ was hailed as King of Kings  –  over everything and everyone.

Many didn’t understand.    Or they couldn’t.     Or they didn’t want to.

Today,  the world in general doesn’t understand either:

christ world doesn't understand

And so, rejecting the Supreme and Sovereign King,  the world gives Him a crown in the worst way it can:

christ diff crown


God is Love, and tends His Love towards us.   He radiates His Love towards us.

And we have a King to draw all men towards Himself.









Posted October 28, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Football Days, Modern Culture

Tags: , ,

It’s the weekend.   “Saturdays”  are not supposed to be like this.    You’re not supposed to work harder and with more frustrations than, say,  a weekday at work.

My first activity probably made the rest of the frustrations feel a bit better.


I raked.   Two hours of raking.  Hey!  That’s not a complaint!      The weather was perfect!  Overcast  (no bright sun in your eyes)  and about 45 degrees (energizing!).  It was a good day to get a head start on our leaves which are finally beginning to fall.

But as I removed the leaves,  I came across a lot of  holes in the lawn.  A  LOT.

Acorn many holes

There were all these little black holes.

A closer look revealed they were little “nests.”

Acorn holes cl

Cure little round nests made by the squirrels which are so dumb that they usually can’t remember where they buried their acorns.   So they bury lots of them.

Or they’re supposed to.

These really dumb squirrels don’t bury them, they make little open-air nests for them.

Acorn nests


Acorn nests

Half of the holes had two or three acorns resting in them.   The other half looked like they were forgotten.



Sometimes the little nests had a little bed of leaves under and over the acorns:

Acorn leaf hidnig


Okay.   So I rake the leaves so that I have a nice lawn next year, and what I found was a lawn full of holes and holes filled with acorns . . .  ready to rot all winter and kill the grass.

Because these dumb squirrels are not going to be remembering where they put all their acorns.

I don’t know how they can miss them:

Acorn many

My squirrels seem dumber than  others.



I freely state that Choice Hotels and all their brands are GOOD places to stay when you’re on a trip.  They are consistently clean and comfortable with a lot of amenities for a modest price.     But their Loyalty Program is not exactly adapted for the casual traveler.  Nor is it easy.

Each time I’m on a road trip,  I find myself locked out of my own account, and – just what you don’t want to spend your time doing on vacation –  I have to try and try and try and finally CALL their Customer Service in order to get back in.

CS woes.jpg 3

It’s like that today when I decided to take care of a few things on my account.  I finally got someone to talk to  — just as the Football Game started!    After 40 minutes on the phone with him, in which I had to fire up two of my laptops to “try it on those” —  and then one of the laptops went blank  –  I told him politely to forget it, and he answered that he’d transfer me to Member Services.

Which I wasn’t.   I got Reservations.   She told me they were having problems with their transferring function.   Once again I told her to forget it –  after I unloaded my frustrations, including the one about losing 7,000 loyalty points all of a sudden, just before I started my traveling;  and why am I always locked out when I do travel?!!

So forget that Loyalty Card business.    Fifteen nights of hotel stays on one trip is not enough to get you anywhere anyway.   Except frustrated.



laptop sad.jpg

Yep.    I meant it.  One of my laptops,  the newest one, went dead.   Could not get anything on the screen.

I have now missed nearly all the first half of the game  (MSU vs  Northwestern.  Pretty big Big Ten game.)       I had to decide between the pleasure of a football game or taking care of this laptop business.   But if I didn’t make a quick decision,  I’d be fussing about this all weekend.

So, since it is still under warranty,   I made an appointment to “bring it in”      . . .

best buy

. . .   and that’s where I was  JUST AS THE GAME WENT INTO OVERTIME!

Fortunately the nice young Geek at the counter was also interested in the game.   He was watching one of the store’s TVs from a distance . . .


. . .    which is where I went after he took my laptop . . .  DURING THE SECOND OVERTIME!

I watched with the small crowd during the THIRD OVERTIME   as we kind of went down in defeat.

I don’t know,  is it a “defeat” when you lose by one touchdown in Third Overtime?


I’m okay.  I’m okay.   I’m okay.    I think two hours of raking produced enough endorphins in me to get through the rest of this day.   I’m unreasonably cheerful.


Tomorrow is Sunday.   A day of  slowing down and absorbing and enjoying the things that are really important.

I’m going to need that.

Deo gratias.








WHAT’S IT # 21

Posted October 27, 2017 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Nature Speaks


Remember all my What’s It posts – a series of interesting photos which remain unidentified?    Some day when I learn how to put up another “page” in The Spruce Tunnel,  I’ll gather them all together.  For now,  you’d have to use the little Search box for all the “What’s Its.”

I think I’m up to # 21.

Siberia again:

globe in siberia

Nobody really has a good explanation for this beautiful globe of light.  Many people were outdoors one night this week, watching and taking photos of the aurora.    Then this appeared,  grew bigger,  seemed to travel,  then it faded so that all you could see is an arc of light . . .  then it went away.

All quick answers  have been refuted so far.

globe city

It was seen in many locations.   This is a photo of it from a city some distance away.  Many people got photos of it from many locations.

The phenomenon occurred not too many hundreds of miles from the site of the
“Norway Spiral” several years ago.    There area still pictures of that on the Internet.  After many attempts to explain the spiral,  the official line is that it was a rocket re-entry.  Or a rocket malfunction.   Russian,  of course.   So,  end of story.

So the Russian people were outdoors again,  filming the beautiful auroras:

global aurora


They kind of got a bonus that night.

I,  for one,  would like to know what the “bonus”  is.