ST. PATRICK’S DAY IMAGININGS

Posted March 17, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Food, Holy Days, Liturgical Year

Tags: , , , ,

edu pat in glass

If you study a little philosophy (the real stuff, not the modern stuff) you will discover that Imagination is one of the faculties of our God-given Intellect.     Fun!

_____________________________________________

 

So.      Imagine a four lane city street, divided in two lanes each way by a lovely boulevard down the middle,   with green grass, small trees, and statues;  and imagine that street going right next to  a Big Ten campus.    

edu people   Now imagine that street, that grass, and that campus, as far as the eyes can see,  thousands of students,*   decked out in green and orange and checkered pants and leprechaun hats with jaunty green feathers!   

Yep.    That was my challenge (and my delight)   driving home from church today. 

Not my own photos, sorry.  I left my cell phone at home.  I wasn’t planning to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in any special way.       My mistake.

_________________________________________________

I’ve written about the “real” St. Patrick many times before in all the years of this blog’s existence, so I won’t do it again this year.  ( He’s there in the archives. )

Just keep in mind who and what we’re really celebrating today – or if you can’t celebrate,  then at least acknowledge, for this day has been on Western calendars for many, many centuries,  long before you or I came about.

So.     Imagine a young teenager living in   Scotland, kidnapped from his family’s estate and sold into slavery by Irish pirates.   Kept in slavery for many years. . .  more than half a lifetime to one so young.

Now, just as when a soldier is captured by the enemy,  his first duty to his country is to escape,  so  I can imagine that young Patrick’s daily thought was returning to his home.  Somehow.  But he didn’t know where he was, he had no money or means, and he would have to escape through lands owned and watched over by his master’s warriors and servants.

So Patrick’s years passed;  tender years, growing into manhood.     Although he slowly learned the language and the customs of his captors,  he also turned back to his Catholic prayers and met God daily through them;   all throughout the day,  growing in  patience and trust and firmness of faith.

Just imagine all that.   You know “The Rest of the Story.”

edu hill

A hill worth climbing;  a life worth knowing.

 

_________________________________________________________

So.     Now I imagine that my last-minute decision to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a traditional Irish meal will turn out all right!     I hadn’t bought any of the food until late last night  –   just on a whim.   (Good prices and all.)  

Instead of boiling everything together,  as is traditional,  I’m roasting everything.   I did have that packet of spices that comes with corned beef,  but I’ve amped it up a little with extra cardamom, dill, allspice, cracked pepper and garlic.  

Five hours from now,  I’ll find out if reality meets my imagination. 

corned beef

Kind of like this.

st patrick's day greetings

 

Banner St Patrick's Day

 

“Everyone’s Irish today!!!”

.*   Imagine!      Young adults,  trained by our socialist college professors that “nationalism is a bad thing,    especially   “white nationalism”   have come out in the thousands to celebrate a nation’s culture and to honor its (Christian) patron saint!!!

One would think St. Patrick would be on their Naughty List,    white, Catholic, male,  and loving the people of one country!

 

 

Advertisements

WINTER’S SLOW GOOD-BYE

Posted March 16, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cooper, Seasons changing, snow Photography

Tags: , , ,

 

It will be Spring in less than a week.

This week we’ve seen a couple of major blizzards in the Rockies and in the Northern Plains.  Whiteouts.  Thousands of cars stranded in the snow on the Interstates.

Yesterday while driving I was caught in an interesting storm:

hail

We had strong winds,  stronger gusts,  four tornadoes,  heavy rain, occasional snowflakes  and an extremely heavy hailstorm.    My car rumbled across the hail stones on the street and I had no traction on the slippery marble-size balls.   I do not understand why the thousands of  hard sharp “cracks”  on the windshield didn’t result in actual cracks and chips in the glass.  My car seems to be all right.

We saw a few snowflakes today;  more promised for tomorrow.

Out West in the High Sierras,  my grandson is still dealing with snow.  I mean  SNOW.  I saw a photo of a mountain road near him,  familiar to me because it’s the route I take on my way to church when I’m out there:

Tahoe bank

 

Here’s an aerial view of the road, further on, that leads to Squaw Valley.

Tahoe rd to skiing

 

What it probably looks like from in your car:

Tahoe road 1

 

Just in time, I guess,  I finished  Cooper’s winter sweater:

Sweater Sent

The cardinal sits on the pocket.   Cooper can put his hands into either side, and I lined it with red fuzzy yarn to keep his fingers warm,  just in case he steps outside.   The little cardinal is chirping out the word  “Joie!”     After Cooper’s stay in France last Fall, he loves to say French words.

Sweater Label

He is a special little boy, full of inner “Joy.”

And he doesn’t seem to mind  the snow all around him.   I’ll be losing my back yard snow cover pretty soon, by Spring, I’m sure.      But he’ll have his snow cover long,  long after Spring arrives.

Spring.  Is.  Coming.   .  .  .  Probably.

HOWL AT THE MOON, BARK AT THE SUN

Posted March 15, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Climate Change, Rulers, War Against America

Tags: , , , ,

 

Students around the world!    Don’t go to school today!!     Take action against climate change!

“Bark”  or  “Bare your teeth”    —  either way you’ll have no effect on the SUN!

___________________________________________________

We don’t know all the reasons that wolves howl under a full moon.   Maybe they don’t; maybe it only makes a dramatic picture.

cc wolf

 

But I think we know why the “students”  are being told to go out and bark at demonstrate against the sun.

As is repeated many times,  U.N. officials freely admit that the “climate change” idea is a great scheme to tax the industrialized (successful) nations of the world, and with the excuse of distributing that money to “needy” nations,  carbon tax money will pour into U.N.  coffers, enriching our would-be Rulers along the way.

cc redistribute

You’ve got to get this tax money flowing by first putting out the underlying propaganda that somehow cyclical changes in climate are anthropogenic;  that is,  that mankind’s activities can affect climate change.

Talk about howling at the moon!   Hah!

cc dorught   We are bombarded by falsified charts and computer projections, accompanied by highly selected and doctored photos of drought, extreme storms, wind damage, diseased and starving people, and of course that famous polar bear stuck on a piece of ice floating ever so far from shore — because he’s running out of ice — a photo carefully cropped to give elementary school children reason to cry themselves to sleep for love of the poor polar bears, as reported by the entertainment-news media.

(Have these children also been told that the polar bear population around the world is at  its highest since measurements began?) 

It is the changes in the sun that drive climate and climate change and climate catastrophes upon this planet.  *

The sun’s changes especially and immediately affect our climate.   Some of the changes are cyclical, some are random.     There are so many charts and diagrams and studies available for us to examine.

The sun affects earth’s climate changes.

Against Climate Change

Our dear youngest generation of (superannuated)  children  were told to go out into the streets today  and bark demonstrate against the sun!

cc fierce dog

Maybe they think it will help.

Our global rulers do.    Global socialists –  if you earn money,  they want it.

________________________________________________________________

 

.*    At this present time there is a a drastic reduction in sunspots, resulting in less protection by the actions of solar wind;  but in addition we’re also experiencing  a dramatic lowering of the earth’s protective magnetosphere;  a measurable and observable warming up of the entire solar system;  and the results of our present location in  a cosmic “cloud”  full of energetic particles, adding “energy”   to our weather systems as well as probably heating up the core of the earth.

All science points to a coming ice age, although “weather swings”  will first become noticeable. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A LUDDITE LOOKS AT THE INTERNET’S 3OTH YEAR

Posted March 12, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Current Events

Tags: ,

(Maybe I’m not quite actually a Luddite.  After all,  I use the Internet many, many times a day for many different things.  )

But I can still think like a Luddite —  and make a case against the Internet.

My last posting was “A Death.”     My friend’s death is still very much with me . . . and so maybe I’ll be a little more gloomy.   (Than usual.)

There he is!

Gloomy Gus

“Gloomy Gus.” 

Gloomy Gus with a “Good,  but on the other hand,”  type of commentary.

________________________________________________

LDY pc   In the early 1990s I could hardly wait to get the Internet in my home.    Thank goodness Daughter, who was a business woman by then, convinced  her Dad that our home just must have a real computer . . .  which needed a connection to the Internet.   No questions asked.

It was fun.  It was interesting.   It was entertaining.  But I could see that the things I did, even  though I could do them on the Internet,  did not require the Internet.  I still had easy access to  books and libraries,  encyclopedias,  a word processor, a post office and stamps.  I could communicate with friends and family,  pay bills,  study and learn, play games (with real people) — I still had a familiar off-Internet life.

Bottom line(s) –   it’s been a mixed blessing,  with the scale tipping towards the negative.

In these last 30 years bill paying, for instance, became convenient, automatic, almost forgettable,   but we realize that we’re now vulnerable to the existence of a healthy, functioning Internet,  not in our control;  and vulnerable to hacking and criminal activity with our personal information.

Has the Internet helped our doctors use and store and access information?    Well, now my private medical profile seems to be free for the taking!  (Several times.)

Letter writing became less an act of thoughtful  friendship and more, just,  email.  Then chatrooms, IMs, PMs, DMs.   Texting.      Quick “sound bites” while swatting away  spam and trolls.

More enemies to take measures against:  hackers, worms, viruses, privacy breaches, censorship,  shadow-banning  — criminals,  foreign interest groups,  Deep State  — even “dark heroes” to push against our Rulers.

robot

Mr. R…..

Reading the news and reading news opinions became a quick glance at headline aggregates,  and  the frustration of reading “click bait”  knowing a half an hour has gone by without  ever having reached a broad overview of the events of the day or gaining any deeper understanding of current events.

Political analysis became he said/she said about the latest scandal, usually over-hyped and dependent upon fake stories.   Or some were fake.   Or maybe some were not.   Or if you follow it long enough maybe you’ll figure it out.   Or not.

lady lib down

Attitudes, and emotions became the foundation of decision-making.   Justice is subject to polls and popular opinion.

Our attention is drawn to flashy bits of flesh,  cute kittens, and disaster photos.

The promise was the Internet would  open up the whole world to us:  travel,  explore new cultures and customs, more information at our fingertips,  learn by seeing things . . . and it was fun, until we realized the easy availability of limitless information came with a thin layer of superficiality in what we saw and what we thought.     Superficiality became boring.

Now we are  overly-informed, overly-surveilled,  overly-confused,  overly jaded,  overly concerned —

Wait,  maybe justifiably concerned:   Never before have our lives been so vulnerable to the vagaries of Nature.   Large, disruptive CMEs and solar flares are very likely in the near future.  EMPs from our enemies.   Failure of the electric grid for large periods of time.

Imagine life without those modern “considerations,”  both natural and man-made.

Imagine life with letters from friends;   a satisfying stack of bills paid, ready to to be mailed;  a friendly trip to the bank, or local store, seeing familiar faces;    books from the library or a book store;    photos that are special and cherished – because they are less common;    magazines and newspapers that had to be informative, or else people wouldn’t buy them;    entertainment that involved other people;   traveling by actually .  . .  traveling;   using a recipe from my mother’s handwriting;   and having time —

Time, because everything takes more time, and life slows down to the speed of humans.

A Luddite wishes to live at the Speed of Human.

 

 

 

 

A DEATH

Posted March 11, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Death, Uncategorized

Tags: ,

Could be anybody’s.  Could be yours, someday.   Will be mine someday soon.

____________________________________________________

A very good man died early Sunday morning.   He was a friend.  He and his wife attended my classes for many years,  but our relationship grew beyond class.    I did speak to him two days before his death, in the hospital, where he was very ill;  but I thought I had time for another talk.

Thought I could see him again, even if only one more time.

I’ve had a lot of deaths in my life in the past nine years:  Suzy,  husband,  father,  mother, sister,  our dear Meghan – “second daughter” –  every death is new and different.    You don’t get used to it.

And you always, always have regrets.   Something you could have done; you could have said;   you should have done; you  should have done more;  you should have said;  you should have said more fervently.     You should have shown your love more.

I think everyone in church knew, before the Mass started.   It seemed “quiet” in there;  heavier.   More solemn.   But the Mass began, as it would have.   A brief announcement before the sermon started;  then the sermon continued on, as it would have.    Communion occurred, as it would have.

We all went home, as we would have,   but we’re waiting for information; and when we know the details of the funeral,  we will all come together as a family of those who knew this good man —  as we should.

Perhaps we will try to become better friends to the people we know – as we should.

Death . . .  will be everybody’s.

GO AWAY, “WHITE MAN” !

Posted March 7, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History, Civilzation, Modern Issues, War Against America

Tags: , ,

 

(A rant about a book I just read.)

_______________________________________________________________

 

Our entertainment-news media seems hell-bent on taking down our way of life.  One has to be prepared to  wince  whenever some “screen”  is turned on:  television, laptop,   tablet,  cell phone . . .   They all deliver their words on annoying spears.

It’s actually Western Civilization that they want to take down —   the marxist progressives need to first destroy what has been accomplished before they can build for themselves their own version of utopia;   dystopia for the rest of us.

 

hawaii

A little up-to-date evidence:  The governor of Hawaii has just stated he’s on board with banning all airplanes within a few short years . . .  a lá   AOC and her “New”  Green Deal.   That ought to destroy the tourist industry in Hawaii!

But to get at Western Civilization,  our Rulers, or they who do their bidding,  must first put a face onto Western Civilization.   They have identified Western Civ  with being male and being White.     Easy target.  A deliberately softened target,  softened by decades of aggressive female rights movements . . .

beating up

an ugly idea

       . . . .  and the propagandizing our children with social justice ideas – without any necessary context.     They want “rights,”   and retribution,  reparations, based upon racism and sexism.

So, according to them,  we must destroy  White Males  because they dominate  Western Civilization.  And Western Civilization is bad.  So White Males are bad.  Everything is bad …

I recently finished a novel – a big, big one,  713 pages –  and I really liked the theme,  the history,  the action,  the character development, but I became increasingly aware that the story was delivered with a heaping dose of anti-White, anti-male, and anti-Western bias.

The theme of the book is that White Man came to the North American continent and promptly deforested great swaths of land.    Apparently the author thinks  “permanently.”

White Man came to destroy.

tree fall

The book has history and facts mixed with radical leftist ideology and anti-Western bias.    Here is just one example which came towards the end of the book, where the bias has become blatant.  A character says:

“Men behave as overlords.   They decide what will flourish and what will die.  I believe that humankind is evolving into a terrible new species, and I’m afraid that I am one of them.” 

Probably one of the most self-pitying and pessimistic thoughts I’ve ever read!   Any sense of dignity and self-worth and the ability to accomplish something good has been destroyed in that character’s mind.

Watch for this bias from many sources.  it’s easy to spot.     “We are a world destroyed.”    The Western World has destroyed all of Nature.

Here is another excerpt from the book:

“Autumn lurched clumsily out of the equinox.”      Well, sort of, maybe it can.    Is this a romantic idea?    A lover of Nature?    Transcendentalism that sees meaning beyond Nature?     A highly disturbing experience?

“A few straggler tourists were still underfoot . .  .”     Probably the “annoying tourists”  which provide a measure of prosperity to the area.   It’s the kind of prosperity which today’s young socialists believe will exist  forever, effortlessly,  there for the taking.

Negative thoughts even dominate the  experience of Moonlight along the North Atlantic coast:

“In the eastern quadrant of the sky the moon was small and very white, and its impersonal brilliance showed the rocky coast, ravaged forests, silent feller bunchers (logging machines),  a black glowering mass of peat bog and spiky forest . . .  The sea itself lifted toward the light.  And kept on lifting.”

“Kept on lifting”?    That is an eerie vision.     The dark sea obliterates the light of the moon?       It is a reflection of what Western Man does  to Nature –  destroys, obliterates – until Nature swallows everything back  up and goes away.    Everything has become cold and impersonal.

Yes, the book is about the supposed deforestation of Europe and  the Americas.    But in reality,  the lands are being reforested in many places.    Mankind knows how to do that!     Ancient forests have been destroyed?   Yes, by lightning and  wildfires, storms and hurricane force winds have flattened hundreds of thousands of acres of trees,  disease,  critters  like beavers have moved through forests;  and men have cut down many trees.

But only Mankind knows how to replant, rebuild,  and  take care of the forests.    From what I’ve seen of history,  this reforesting takes place in nations which were built up by the values and technical skills of Western Civilization, but not noticeably elsewhere in the world.

If “White Man”  or Western Civilization goes away,  there is no one, so far, to take its place.

Western Civilization deserves a second look and a reconsideration of its  moral  and philosophical values   —    all stemming,   after the fall of the Roman Empire and terrible disintegration of society . . .  all stemming from Christianity.

Western Civilization does not destroy.  it builds up and invents and corrects itself and guards the dignity of Mankind.

______________________________________________

I don’t personally endorse the book  . . .  but . . .

Well, the book is Barkskins, an apparently derogatory term.  And the author includes her obligatory  normalization of homosexuality and prejudice against Christianity  (which gets people published today, and movies made from their books).

But I’m glad I read it.   I learned some historical things along the way.

If I were the author, I would have” fallen in love”  with the words I wrote:   she writes well and has a satisfyingly large vocabulary.

Her last name rhymes with “true.”    How odd.

 

 

 

 

DON’T

Posted March 6, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Holy Days, Lent, Liturgical Year, Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Don’t.

Lent.

Don’t.

Just don’t.

It seems like everything about Lent is just what you’re not supposed to be doing.   And that’s supposed to be good for your soul.     The Church gives us Lent —  which is supposed to make us closer to God . . . .

DONT LENT

“Reverend Fun” isn’t a Catholic,  but I guess he knows about Jonah whose main claim to fame is that God told him to do something  –  and he promptly ran away.  Went in the other direction, as a matter of fact.      (God found a way to bring him back.)*

mg whale

 

So . . .  none of us really have to think about Lent:

MG beads

I’ve got a pile of those beads in my house, that I’ve saved from past years.  (But, no, I didn’t get them in the “usual” way.    I wouldn’t do that.)   

MG Beads down

Thanks to Son and to Grandson in various years,  I have some beads and I treasure my little collection.    They’re just fun to have.

It’s fun to watch the live webcams too.    Right now I can hear a siren, but the camera isn’t picking up whatever it is.  

The streets of New Orleans are just beginning to thin out now.   

MG sdtreets

At the stroke of midnight,  it gets pretty quiet, and empty down there.

Paczki Haven’t had my Paczki  yet this year.

I suppose I shouldn’t.    But I still want one.    Here are the rules of fasting during Lent:   One whole meal,   then two more  little meals but that don’t together add up to another whole meal.     Abstinence means you don’t eat meat that day.      (Says nothing about  Paczkis,  although one has enough calories to equal your one “whole meal” for that day.)

Don’t, don’t, don’t –  about eating.   Don’t indulge in your bad habits.   Don ‘t gossip.   Don’t watch  much TV.   Don’t be on the Internet, unless it’s something you need to do.   Don’t  swear.   Don’t take sugar in your coffee.    Don’t . . .   whatever else makes you comfortable . . . .

What’s the point?    

The Church gives us Lent;  why shouldn’t we “run”  from it?    Well, of course it prepares us for Easter —  the true meaning of Easter.     If you don’t have a good Lent, you won’t have much of an Easter.  

But as far as the Don’ts of Lent — “Lent is a time for us to learn to love our souls more than our bodies.”

Our bodies,  our physical world, our life on this planet,  all this is temporary:

ship

If we intend to end up in a good, holy place when we die, we need to start working on that now.     Death does not confer holiness  on anyone.    It is God who confers holiness, His holiness, that makes us fit for Heaven.

But we need to dispose ourselves to the holy work of God in us.    We’ve been taught some ways to make us open to God:

  1.   Voluntary amendment of our life.
  2.   Do acts of Penance  (better now than after we die!)
  3.   Do works of charity.

We  have the period of Lent to work on all this.    I can write more about them in the days ahead.   By doing these three things,  you would be showing God that you truly do “love your soul more than your body.”    

It’s a lot of work.  It’s an interruption into everyday life.     It’s easy to forget about it,  to “run away”  from Lent.

“Don’t.”  

___________________________________________________

 

  •   (It wasn’t  a whale.)

 

 

 

 

SOUP IN THE COLD

Posted February 28, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Recipes and Cooking, Winter

Tags: , , ,

All over America record cold and snowfalls have been recorded.  Here in the Far North we got our share of extreme cold,  lots of snowfall,  and  recently our strong wind storm.

We stay warm by eating (drinking)  hot things.

Oh, and if they tell you to drink hot tea and honey,  because honey is a good antibiotic, especially on your sore throat,   be sure not to take a shortcut and pour the boiling hot water  over the tea bags which are in your jar of honey!
Soup Honey

I just wanted to get the last bit of honey out of a jar that was almost empty –  but, well, it didn’t work too well.     The tea pot was nearby to catch the big drips.

Well, I have a good soup recipe, which I’ll summarize below, but it’s so easy to make that if you have a basic idea of how soup is put together, you don’t really need an exact recipe.

Start with really good butter:

Soup Butter

I use butter from a grass fed cow to get the maximum amount of nutrients that you’re supposed to get from butter.

A warm cozy soup starts by saute’ing a good sweet  Italian sausage and onions.

Soup onions sausage

Our priest actually has a small farm and it was time to use some pigs;  he made part of their meat  into sweet Italian sausage with his own recipe.  He had  so much that he distributed some  to us, his parishioners.     Thank you!

When the meat is no longer pink, you can add more vegetables, like cabbage and celery  and things,  and a lot of broth or water, maybe some bone broth if you have some on hand.

soup green

This is the point where you don’t really need a recipe.  Just chop up lots of things that are good for you and add it to the broth.

But if you notice,   that soup looks awfully monotone.   It needed some color.

Back to the cutting board!

Soup peppers

Now that looks more like a good-tasting soup!

Soup Red

You just need to use your eyeballs and a spoon.       Eyeball the soup, to see how it’s looking;  and use the spoon  frequently to see  how it’s tasting.

Adjust taste with salt, pepper,  turmeric,  cayenne, onion powder,  garlic powder,  spice blends  (I like a Berbere blend), and herbs and herb blends.     Whatever you have time and patience for.

I can’t complain about the snow and the cold here.   Daughter lives in the High Sierras where they got 8 – 10 feet of snow in  the last 48 hours.    She sent me a photo of her two-story house, of which you can see only the second floor and part of the first sticking out of the snow.

I took a look at her village’s Live Webcam:

Village Webcam

Someone needs to clean the lens.    The Webcam on Donner Lake, where she lives, was “Offline” — more like buried, I think.

And woe to anyone who stays still in one place during one of these storms:

 

Tahoe car

One lady couldn’t go any further in her car during the storm.   The snowplow found her car the next day.     She was okay, still inside.

With extreme weather,  your body faces cold-weather stress.   To stay healthy, turn to soup again.   My favorite immune system soup remedy is mushroom soup:

Soup Mushroom soup.jpg

Now there’s an easy recipe, no eyeballing or taste-testing!   Wild Mushroom and Chestnut soup from Whole Foods, with a little extra miitake mushrooms,  re-hydrated in warm cream.

Enjoy winter!   Happy Eating!

____________________________________________

 

Ingredients for cabbage sausage soup:   (adjust every single ingredient!)

6 medium potatoes, cubed

1 small onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1/2 head of cabbage,  chopped

3 (beef smoked) sausage foot-long rings (or whatever)  . . ..  sliced or diced . . . (whatever)

1 tsp salt

1 T black pepper

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp sage

2 tsp  onion powder

 

Mix all together in a 5 quart pot with 8 cups of water  (or whatever).

 

Cook until tender.   (But the longer the better)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOME DELIVERY – FROM ABOVE

Posted February 26, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Humor, Nature, Winter

Tags: , ,

 

God’s watchful Providence:

____________________________________________________________________

smile

When we run out of things around our homes, we get used to the idea of going to our computer,  Click!  Click!  Zoom (submit)!  — and in two days it’s delivered to our mailbox or onto our front porch!

We’re so used to receiving things based on our own efforts that we think our own efforts  will assure that we receive things.

Well, a week or so ago I ran out of kindling for my fireplace.   I need those tiny little twigs and sticks to get the fire going.    I didn’t want to cross my icy creek to get back into the woods to pick up more sticks . . .

creek 2

(something like that)

And Amazon doesn’t deliver kindling.

So . . .   next?      Here in the Far North we had a terrific windstorm during the weekend.  30 m.p.h.  winds,  with 50-60 m.p.h.  gusts.

And some snow.

Road Snowfall Lights

 

The wind made driving treacherous,   lifting up the snow in great clouds, causing whiteouts over the roads.   Here,  I took a picture of  the snow being driven laterally across the road.   The car was shaking.

Road Lines

I had both hands on the wheel during the whiteouts (no photos) !

Road Red Green

The storm turned the traffic lights into red smears and green streaks.

At home, the trees roared overhead and things dropped onto the roof,  bounced and rolled.    Nothing I could do, but . . .  enjoy!

A storm like this is so  strong;  it makes a person feel very small.     All the storms,  all of Nature . . .  the world . . . the universe;  so immense, our efforts so small.   As King David asked:  “What is Man that Thou art mindful of him?” 

And yet God cares and watches over us.    He watches out for our well-being, and He knows what we have need of.        Jesus said:  “Ask, and you shall receive . . .”    

The next day, after the winds subsided and the snow stopped,  I stepped out onto my front porch —

Kindling 3 porch

—  and there was a delivery of fresh new kindling!

All over the front yard,  the “kindling”  had been deposited.

Kindling 2

I checked the back yard and found so much more.

Kindling 4 back

I’ll be doing a lot of tramping around back there to collect all that kindling!

 

Once, long ago,  the Israelites in the desert complained to Moses because they hadn’t had meat for so long.     God “caused a strong west wind to blow . . .”    and the wind picked up thousands of quail and dropped them in abundance into the Israelite camp!

quails

 

With a little hyperbole and absurdity,  Jeff Larson records the event, in Numbers 11 of the Bible.

quail humor

We call that “Providence,”  God’s watchful care over us, noticing what we need,  providing for us in sweet and abundant ways.

Jesus said:  I have come that they may have life,  and that they might have it more abundantly.”     John recorded that in his gospel,  John 10:10.

Now that’s something to wonder about.   He didn’t promise an abundance of things.  The Israelites got lots of “things” —  lots of quail!      But they got sick from overeating, and many died.

We are the “they”  that Jesus was bringing an abundance to,  but what is an “abundance of life”?    If we’re alive, we’re alive, right?    But what is it to be abundantly alive?  Fully alive and aware,  fully living?

Look up in your needs,  during your “storms,”  and  ask,  and receive.   So little of our blessings are the results of our own efforts.

praying hands

Click!  Click!   Submit!

Life with God is an abundant life.

 

 

SEXAGESIMA SENSATIONS

Posted February 24, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Liturgical Year, storms, Sunday Readings

Tags: , , , ,

All kinds of “sensations”  on this Sexagesima Sunday.

First of a mild remorse because I have missed so many “dates” on the liturgical calendar.  ( It’s that calendar that propels us through the year, on towards a deeper understanding of God — and our souls, and our own soul’s  destiny.)   I’ve written about them all in past years,  but that doesn’t take care of the present.

So we are in the third Sunday of that set of Sundays which gently prepare us for the more sober time of  Lent.   (Lent should not take us by surprise – )   Septuagesima,  Sexagesima,  Quinquagesima;   “seven,”  “six,” and “five,” Sundays before Easter.

So, remorse,  I let you down.

Next ‘sensation”  is one of pain. Lots of pain.  I do NOT have back trouble, and I have little comprehension of those who go around with groans, and sighs, cries,  grimaces and crippled  movements because of their back pain.

I comprehend now.  I hurt my back on Friday while lying on Son’s couch.    I am pet-sitting for him,  the pets were off to their own nap times,  and I turned on local late afternoon news – and promptly fell asleep, which is odd, because I don’t sleep in the daytime very often.

I woke up to the sensation of being stared at.  Intense staring!

Staring 380

I have no idea why they were watching me like that, but even after I opened my eyes, said “Hi, guys,”   the staring continued.  I grabbed my nearby camera and attempted to get up –   and their eyes got bigger.  (Maybe I said something then as the pain struck.)

Though it subsided somewhat on the next day,  on the next day when I as at Son’s house again,  I reached into the pantry for something and hurt that place again,  even more.   Wow.

(What can a  couch  do  to a nice, strong lady?)

Well, that’s all I can say about that.   Except I’m glad I live alone so no one witnesses my “groans, and sighs and cries and grimaces.”      I’ll get better quickly.  After all,  I do NOT have back trouble.

 

wind

Third sensation of this Sexagesima day:   Overwhelming forces of Nature going on outside my house today.    The winds are literally roaring through the trees,  howling around objects, and whistling through the sides of  windows that are apparently not sealed shut.   Outside,  the tall trees around my house are swaying,  each dancing their own dance according to their size and strength and their place inside the wind gusts.  52 m.p.h.  gusts right now, but the weather service promises even  stronger gusts later today.

It’s fun,  but there is that sensation of being “under siege.”   It’s supposed to continue until 7:00 A.M.  tomorrow,  by which time we will probably have the sensation of Silence – our power will be out.

(Storms of winter, followed in less than a month by Spring.   Storms of this life,  followed very soon by the next life,   hopefully of  eternal Spring for us.)

________________________________________________________

Sensations all around us, all the time; physical and mental and spiritual sensations,  should we but choose to listen.

I’ll atone for my previous negligence by writing a little about the Sexagesima Readings all  this week,  but I want to start with the Epistle Reading,  epistle being “letter,”  and this epistle being written by St. Paul,  recounting the many “sensations” he willingly endured for the sake of getting the message out there. *

He writes  —  and yet just reading it doesn’t do him justice.  We need someone to explain and to reveal the depths of what Paul is saying to us,  so I’ll turn to St. John Chrysostom —

He (St. Paul)  endured shipwreck,  so that he might stay the shipwreck of the world.  (Yes, we are a shipwrecked world,  going under, being destroyed — that’s how God sees us.)

He says: “A day and a night he passed in the deep  (the deep waters of the Mediterranean,  having been literally shipwrecked himself),  so that he might draw up the world from the deep of error.

He was in weariness that he might refresh the weary  (and strengthen us along the way).

He endured smiting  that he might heal those who have been smitten by the devil (and yet, sometimes the “blows” of the devil seem so easy, so attractive . .  .Paul writes so that we would want to be healed.)

He passed his time in prison so that he might lead forth into the Light those that have been in the darkness of prison.

He was beaten with rods, so that he might bring them under the “rod and staff” of Christ (“thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me, Psalms  22 {23} ) .

He was in the wilderness, so that he might take them out of their wilderness (the person who is apart from God).

He endured hunger and thirst, so that he might deliver them from a more grievous hunger.

He experienced “nakedness” so that he might clothe their unseemliness with the robe of Christ.

He was set upon by mobs so that he could extricate them from the besetment of fiends.

He burned so that he might quench the burning darts of the devil.

He experienced constant journeyings so that he  might stop our wanderings and  show the way that leads to heaven for us

 

That was St. Paul,  recounting all the trials he willingly endured in this life, to get the message out to us.

“He who has ears to hear let him hear…”  Jesus said.

Humans are body-and-soul creatures,  all sensations go together and communicate back and forth between the physical and the spiritual realms.   We stand in the middle, belonging to  both.

There is a kind of “life” and “death” in both realms, and it’s the soberness of Lent that allows us to contemplate these two things more fully.

No matter what happened to St. Paul, and the other Apostles, and to many, many of those early Christians,  they understood what really mattered;  and that is the life of our own soul, that must be fed and nourished and worked for.

“Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling,”  St. Paul also says.

 

_________________________________________________________

Found in the Bible in the book of II Corinthians,  chapters 11 and 12);  that is Paul’s second letter to the Christians of Corinth.

.

 

GOING DOWN WITH “WHATEVER”

Posted February 21, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Education, War Against America

Tags: , , ,

 

Alternate title:   William C.  or  Robert E. —   whatever.     Whatever.     WhatEVER.

_________________________________________________________

Two kind of funny stories; 

First:

American students in universities and high schools are being taught that American heroes of the past are   evil racists!   oppressors of women!    greedy capitalists!  

Or whatever.

But  “Words have consequences.”

Recently some young people in North Carolina pulled down and damaged a statue of a war hero from their state.   It was placed prominently in an outdoor public area of a museum, for all to be proud of their native son.  (He is the founder of the army air corps of World War II – the foundation of our modern air force.)

But what was his “sin”  in the minds of theses vandals?        His full name is William C.  Lee.

Get it?      . . .  “Lee.”

Like Robert E.,  the highly moral Christian southern gentleman with proven and respected military skills,  who was asked to defend his home state of Virginia, whose history he loved,  where his family lived.      He was asked to lead the army of the CSA.      Robert E.  Lee.

The South has a right to be proud of this man.

William C.   Robert E.     These vandals simply saw “Lee”  and mindlessly  (I mean that,  without using their minds)   vandalized a statue.         “Lee.”   Whatever.

 

Miseducation and words   have consequences.*

 

Funny Story #2

Sometimes the consequences are just funny on the surface.

An interviewer went around asking young adults if they could name the Seven Continents.

One pretty young lady, smiling in the bright sunny day,  was asked is she could name the seven continents.

She looked a little shocked, at first.   A blank, bemused look on her face.   And then she asked:  “You mean of the United States?”

Now, the interviewer could have answered,  “Yes,  what are the seven continents of the United States?”

Or he could have said,  (and what he did say) :  “No,  what are the seven continents of the world?”

Either way her answer began:    “. . . . America . . . .”

Nope.    Mercifully, she didn’t make anymore guesses.  She was stymied after that.
“America”  is not a continent.    But what if she’s old enough to vote?   How will she know anything about the world?  About international politics?   About the issues that face our lawmakers and representatives, and our president?   About what money should be allocated to which systems of defense?    How will she know that we actually have  borders,  and that our borders define our country.

____________________________________________________________

We’d better find out what’s going on in the minds of the next three  generations, alive today.     Words have consequences.   Words mean things.   If they ‘re not too precise about the words they hear and use,    these young people will be wide open to those who are.

Is it too much to ask that adults take some action, maybe start calling attention to our failed and hi-jacked  educational system?     Protest?      Make changes?

 

Or else our nation  will go down . . .  in flames . . .   carried by the Whatever’s.

_______________________________________________

 

.*   Sow a thought

Reap an action

Sow and action

Reap a habit

Sow a habit

Reap a character

Sow a character

Reap a destiny.

GREEN DRAGONS AND ANALEMMAS

Posted February 21, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Backyard Pond, Science Fun

Tags: , , , ,

Expanding your  (mental)   horizons here:

I’ve written a bit about Light lately, here in the Spruce Tunnel.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot more.

Last night I was positively kept awake  all night by . ..  light.    Right in the dark,  there was the Super Snow Moon,  full and bright, about 30% brighter, they say,  because it’s a bit closer to the earth right now by 17,000 miles, I heard.      (So many conflicting facts out there!)

It wasn’t the moon that kept me awake,  it was the light of the moon:

Moonlight back

I think I showed similar photos a month ago,  but here’s the one from this week’s Super Full Snow Moon.      My house was surrounded by the sharp shadows of trees and shrubs.    As the moon moved in the sky,  the shadows were cast from different angles and the patterns kept on changing.

It was a constant delight from window to window.

I had visitors in the moonlight too:

Moon deer

That got pretty grainy because I was trying different settings on my camera.   I had deer footprints all over the pond and the yard the next morning.    Guess they were enjoying the moonlight too.

So Light reflects off the moon,  and it comes from our sun.

Here’s some fun with sunlight:

camera

Start with a  camera.    Pick a time of day,  the same time every day.   Take one snapshot of the sun.    Come back each day at that time and take another snapshot.   If you can do this every day for one year,  you won’t get 365 pictures that look all the same;   you will get a pattern.

 

The pattern is called an analemma.

Here’s one professionally done:

Analemma

 

Look it up in a Search Engine,  Images.    You’ll see that the sun makes that same pattern no matter who does it.   It won’t be quite that same pattern from the south or north poles, because your camera will see a different angle.     And if you do it on Mars?   It looks like a tear drop!

Speaking of Mars,  and outer space,   and lights and shadows,   remember that object that they discovered out there at the edge of our solar system that they called “Ultima Thule”  — making a joke, they were.   It caught their attention because it looked like it was made up of two unequal sized globes glued together somehow.     Since they didn’t know how that could be,  some speculated that maybeit wasn’t a natural object.

Well, then it moved.  And now we have a different view on it:

ULTIMAThule pancake

It wasn’t two globes stuck together at all.   The distant light shows us a peculiar double-circled flat shape.    And now scientists  really  don’t know how that could have formed naturally.

And here’s an un-natural natural phenomenon:

Green DRAGOn Aurora 260

A brilliant green dragon rises from the earth,  unfurling its wings, tossing its head,   ready to roar and spew out fire . . . .

Or so it seems.

It’s a recent aurora;  the northern lights.     If you were lucky enough to be in Iceland that night,  maybe you would have been a little startled.

Once you see something, you can’t un-see it.

I know what northern lights are.   But this still looks menacing!

The first command given in this cosmos:  “Let there be Light!”

Indeed.

 

DONNER REDUX? – 173 years

Posted February 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History

Tags: , , ,

 

Well, I hope not.  Not really.  Not an actual  “redux”  but that’s been a word that’s popped up in my writings a lot this week.     As well as the location.

_____________________________________________________________________

A mother’s  thoughts  

173 years ago  the Donner Party left  their known world.    172 years ago the first rescue party made it to the members of the Donner party, camped here and there,  buried in the snow.

This week, in February, 2019,  Son will be heading in that direction —  heading exactly  for Donner Lake, exactly  172 years later.      He’ll be visiting his sister and her little family;   being “Uncle”  to Cooper.

Son  will be well fed, I’m sure;  he won’t have to eat his dog – or his friends,   but he’ll be equally buried in snow.       Here’s where he’ll be staying, somewhere under that snowstorm:

Truckee Storm now

Donner Lake is just over that snow bank.

His brother-in-law is clearing a path for him.  

Truckee MORE snow

Yeah,  well,  more snow in the forecast.  

The public school system has this week off – so they can go skiing.  Ski Week, they call it.   However, I just read a news article that tells them they can’t go skiing.   Too much snow!  Again.    Buried the lifts.

Too much snow

 

I’ve been to this area many times.  I’ve walked through the  Donner Party Museum.   It’s not a place where you want to buy trivial souvenirs from;  but  I have a reprint of the journal of young man, a keenly observant teenager;  harrowing writing  . . . . The church I go to when I’m out there is just across Alder Creek,  mentioned below in the Donner Party Timeline.    These people are very real to me.

This week our local weather forecast is  -1   (one below zero),  freezing rain, and 1-3 inches of   snow.    I have nothing to complain about.

Except the temporary  “loss” of my son.

 

__________________________________________________________________________

THIS WEEK IN FEBRUARY,    172 YEARS AGO

 

  • February 19, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Froze hard last night. 7 men arrived from California yesterday with som provisions, but left the greater part on the way. To day clear & warm for this region. Some of the men are gone to day to Donner’s Camp. Will start back on Monday.” Daniel Rhoads, one of the rescuers, recalled, “At sunset, we crossed Truckee Lake on the ice, and came to the spot where, we had been told, we should find the emigrants. We looked all around, but no living thing except ourselves was in sight. We raised a loud hello. And then we saw a woman emerge from a hole in the snow. As we approached her, several others made their appearance, in like manner coming out of the snow. They were gaunt with famine; and I never can forget the horrible, ghastly sight they presented. The first woman spoke in a hollow voice, very much agitated, and said, ‘Are you men from California or do you come from heaven?’
  • February 20, 1847: Catherine Pike dies. Three of the rescuers go to Alder Creek to check on the Donners.
  • February 21, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Thawey, warm day.” The rescuers return to the lake camp from Alder Creek bringing six emigrants who are strong enough to travel.
  • February 22, 1847: First Relief: Rescuers leave the lake camp with 23 refugees. Second Relief: After spending several days drying meat at Johnson’s Ranch, Reed’s party sets out for the mountains. Patrick Breen’s diary: “The Californians started this morning, 24 [23] in number, some in a very weak state. Fine morning. Wind S.W. for the 3 last days. Mrs Keysburg started & left Keysburg here[; he was] unable to go… Paddy Reid & Tho[mas]s. came back.” Patty Reed, eight years old, and her little brother Tommy give out and have to be taken back to the Breen cabin. Patty tells her mother “Well, Ma, if you never see me again, do the best that you can“; thirty-one people remain in the camps. There have been ten deaths at the lake camp and four at Alder Creek.
  • February 23, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Froze hard last night. To day fine & thawey. Has the appearance of spring. All but the deep snow. Wind S.S.E. Shot Towser [a dog] today & dressed his flesh. Mrs Graves came here this morning to borrow meat—dog or ox. They think I have meat to spare; but I know to the Contrary. They have plenty hides; I live principally on the same.
  • February 24, 1847: First Relief: John Denton is unable to continue and must be left behind.
  • February 25, 1847: First Relief: Ada Keseberg dies and is buried in the snow. Patrick Breen’s diary: “Froze hard last night. Fine & sunshiny to day. Wind W. Mrs Murphy says the wolves are about to dig up the dead bodies at her shanty; the nights are too cold to watch them; we hear them howl.
  • February 26, 1847: Patrick Breen’s diary: “Martha’s jaw swelled with the toothache: hungry times in camp; plenty hides, but the folks will not eat them. We eat them with a tolerable good apetite. Thanks be to Almighty God. Amen. Mrs Murphy said here yesterday that [she] thought she would Commence on Milt. & eat him. I don’t [think] that she has done so yet; it is distressing. The Donners, 4 days ago, told the California folks that they [would] commence to eat the dead people if they did not succeed, that day or next, in finding their cattle, [which were] then under ten or twelve feet of snow, & [the Donners] did not know the spot or near it; I suppose they have done so ere this time.

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Posted February 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History, Christendom

Tags: , ,

“With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

If in Black History Month we are supposed to honor great Blacks of the past . . .  then let’s see a few more:

My favorite man –

Pierre Toussant

He is Pierre Toussant.   A Catholic gentleman who lived from 1766 to 1853,  born a slave, was a reliable man of good character, learned a valued skilled trade, was eventually freed,  went into business for himself – but yet  not for himself and his wife and children alone —  he became the Founder of Catholic Charities  in the United States of America.

He relieved the suffering and ignorance of countless thousands of people in New York City.

(I started with more and have done less.)

I’ve written about him here at The Spruce Tunnel previously,   (Although now if you look him up elsewhere you may have to endure  atrocious anti-Trump rhetoric in some articles first, before you get down to the story of PIerre Toussant.)

You can read about his equally venerable wife, Juliet Noel, devoted to charitable works in New York City.

Bl Juliet Noel

Juliet Noel

A few of  their foundations and their charitable buildings still stand.    The life of these two people should be included among the great biographies of American history, although they are not being taught in our children’s textbooks.

Mother Mary Lange is another black woman in American History you should know:

Bl Mother Mary Lang

Born Elizabeth Clarisse Lange  (in Colonial Cuba — see the missionary work of St. Anthony Mary Claret), came to the United States in 1833, to South Carolina,  to Virginia,  then to Maryland,  and then opened free schools for Black children, with the encouragement of the Church.  Eventually she and a co-worker founded a new religious  order of women working   called the Oblate Sisters of Providence working with women and children in needy and poverty stricken situations,  teaching them all both faith and skilled work.

Bl Mother Mary Lang 2

(an early photograph of B. Mother Mary Lange)

(Their work still exists today, but I don’t know if they have been “modernized” into focusing on a more secularized “social justice.”   I hope not.  God is the foundation of  all justice.) 

Well,  that’s my contribution to Black History Month……

Of course the Catholic Church has many other “Black”  saints.

As St. Paul said,   “With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

All are equal in the dignity and worth that God gave us.

 

A SERIOUS CHILD’S GAME

Posted February 18, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: American History, Current Events, Founding Fathers, Necessity of Virtue

Tags: , , ,

 

Putting the entertainment-news media on the dock, in this post.

_______________________________________________________

Children’s games are fun because children have the capacity to blur the line between reality and imagination.  These childish games are less fun  as the child matures because he’s beginning to have a firm grasp on what is imagination and what is reality.

______________________________________________________

So here’s a common pretend game many of us learned in childhood —

We all know that men pray,

ch men pray

 

And we all know what this is:

ch pic

So the game starts like this:

Put your hands together and intertwine your fingers.  (“Here is the church.”)

ch do 3 is 1

 

Now place your thumbs together and  rotate your hands outwards so you can see your thumbs together.     (to make little doors)

c h do 1

Now move your two forefingers upwards and make them touch at the tips.   (“Here is the steeple.”)

ch 2

 

Now  OPEN   your hands apart,  and  “See all the people!”  —

ch do 4

 

Wiggle, wiggle,  wiggle  your fingers.  Those are the PEOPLE!
ch see thepeople

Little ones,  3, 4, 5, years old giggle with delight when they feel that blurry existence between “fingers”  and  “people.”    6, 7, even 8 years old  do it again to feel their “distance”  from childish beliefs, and they smile inwardly knowing they  know better,   they’re  becoming mature.

It’s a natural process,  children do it  themselves.

(This is why you don’t yell at your five year old for “lying” because he really doesn’t yet have the capacity to always, fully grasp when his statement is a ‘lie.”    In fact, you’ll retard this process if you respond with parental intimidation . . . the child will never feel safe when he contemplates, on his own,  what is reality and what is imagination. and so the process may never completely mature)

Maybe that’s what happened to the entertainment-news media.  They seem to get more howls of delight and glee (and rating$)   if they blur the line between what really happened and what they pretend had happened.

And they capitalize on how much of an agenda some of the public has internalized.   The entertainment-news-education media has taught many people that “America is a racist society.”    “Institutionalized racism,” they explain.

So dearly do they want to hang on to this idea that a young hijab-wearing student in an Ivy League University can fake an attack on herself and claim it was “white Americans”  — and be taken seriously without any proof.  Later, when she admits she lied, she receives no societal punishment, legal or otherwise.

Homosexual college students write homophobic  epithets on their own dorm room doors!

Political ads show outrageous atrocities committed against Black victims,  all imaginary and dramatized to imply these things are being done today.

Jusse Smollett,  an actor of some kind,   claimed to be attacked for his race and for his sexual proclivities by  some “white” men (who later turned out to be Black)  and was taken seriously by the news readers on network television.

Why did this almost work?   Because people on the network entertainment-news programs  solemnly intoned:   “This  . . .    is America   . . .     in 2019.”      I watched one woman say that on television,  just like a 6 year old discovering her wiggling fingers-people.

Furthermore:    “And those attackers were “wearing MAGA hats . . .”    Why that detail?   Because, it is repeatedly  and solemnly declared:       “Trump   . . .    divides this country  . . .   because he . . .    is a racist . . .   and a homophobe  . . . . ”

This would be a pretty long posting if I gave you so many more examples –  daily, really.

Maybe it’s our entertainment-news-education media programs that have never really stopped blurring the lines between imagination and reality.

ch whole thing

Here is the church

And here is the steeple

Open the doors

And see all the people!

______________________________________________

I would be remiss if I stopped right there.    Because- –   if we as a society live in that blurry magical line of what is real is what we want to be real,  then, like children,  are playing with fire.

It is the fire of Civil War and destruction, a collapse of all the societal safety nets that America has built up over the last two centuries.

Of course there’s a remedy, within easy grasp of every adult qua adult.

const

There is NO conflict between faith and reason,  between religion and reality,  between private and public  religious thinking.       Our Founding Fathers knew this, and also warned that the continuing success of this Republic,  based upon our Constitution,  relies upon the goodness and moral behavior of the  people of the United States,  “We The People.”    Alexis de Tocqueville observed and reported this about America in the early 19th century — as we were growing as a nation.   “America is great because America is good”  he said.

Post Govt needs Morality

The American people  were informed by their Christian faith –  not each individual personally,of course,   but in our laws and institutions, and public behavior.

As in the last two postings here,    Christian faith,  Christ – ” Christ is the Light of the world,”   ” His Light is the Life of Men, ”    the true enlightening of men’s minds, so that we can be a good and moral people:

ch the way

 

If, as a society, we can stumble our way back to Him,  then there is hope that we too, like an 8 year old,  will mature in our thinking – and be able to sustain our American Republic.   

 

 

 

MYSTERY AND LIGHT – NO GOOD-BYES

Posted February 16, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Death, Faith, Lent, Science Fun

Tags: , , , , ,

I’m not ready to leave the subject of Mystery-and-Light;  too many more things to say!  And because of that,  here are some seed thoughts for you,  so to speak.

______________________________________________________

In the last post I said:  Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

How many are the human souls who will say a permanent good-bye to us at the end of life!   What a sadness!.  What a horror!!   A horror because the permanent good-byes are given to those who choose not  the Light,  and  who then  will exist in a horror of Darkness that we cannot now fully imagine.

But Light is eternal,  and Light is eternal Life.   Light is from the Creator,  it is the Creator:      “He was the Light of the world,  and His light was the Life of men.”

Here is some photo-miscroscopy for you:

1 light conception

We are told there is a  “flash” of light at the moment of conception; at the moment that the sperm enters the egg,  whoosh!  However brief and instantaneous it is,  it does occur.

 

1 cell suicide.jpg

We are told that when  our immune system causes a cancer cell to self-destruct —  whoosh!    Again,  a flash, a release of energy.

 

1 destroy tumors

Light has been used (in a laboratory)  to destroy tumors.

And we can see a strand of DNA in a powerful microscope.

1 dna

Bathed in light (energy).

 

Light is Life.     

I don’t know how many of you have read the classic book which describes the qualities of our existence in the next  Life;   Heaven, that is,  for those who have chosen the Light of Christ.

(Now,  this is Light as a Catholic is instructed,  not a New Age concept of “Peace and Light.”   Not the secular-atheistic concept of “Enlightenment.”   It’s not some esoteric and nebulous Nirvana.     As Christians are instructed, the Light is from God,  the Light is God,  the Light is a Person entering this world,  giving and bringing Light.)

That Light raised himself from the dead and is able to raise each of us, in that same manner.  We will have new resurrected bodies with new qualities,  reserved until then.

(in no special order):

.  1,   Impassibility  –  our new bodies won’t change,  won’t be subject to pain or aging and decay

. 2,   Immortality –  our new bodies will never die

. 3,   Agility –  our new bodies won’t be subject to the limitations of time and space

. 4,   Understanding –  our new bodies will have the full use of our intellectual capacity which will enable us to fully  know and to  understand  everything  around us – as far as “humanly” possible.   We will still be human;  merely human.  We will know ourselves as ourselves – and we will know others.

.4,    Glory –  our new bodies will have Beauty and Glory,  which is the reflection of the Glory of God,  which manifests as pure and radiant Light.

We won’t have “light bodies.”   We’ll have human bodies filled with the Light of Pure Love, which is God.

Eternal Light.   No good-byes to the people around you,  no good-byes to the glorious angelic beings;  no good-byes to the One who loves you with a powerful and eternal Love.

No ending.

____________________________________________________

 

The “classic book”  which discusses these matters, based upon solid Church teaching is called:  The Happiness of Heaven,  by Fr. J.  Boudreau.  Easily available on Amazon.

Also helpful is a passage in the gospel of John, first chapter.  (John 1:1-14)

What will you think,  what will you feel, at the moment you realize you are dying?  This is it!  I’m leaving this world and going . . . .      so, another helpful book is called Preparation for Death,  by  St. Alphonsus Liguori   (Don’t get the one by the 20th century author.   It has little depth of understanding.)

The Sinner’s Guide is helpful.   It’s by Louis of Granada and will guide you away from the darkness.

PURPLE cloud

Lent is approaching!  

We cannot stop our calendar! 

Time to choose a good book to read.    One that is profitable for your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYSTERY AND LIGHT

Posted February 15, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Cooper, Creator, Nature Speaks, Science Fun

Tags: , ,

 

Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal Good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

____________________________________________

The End of the Mystery is a mystery in itself.   

A well-crafted mystery is a pleasure to read.

ag christie vic

A really good whodunit engages the reader and draws him into the story — temporarily,  because then when the mystery is resolved, the story is over;    and then the reader sits back with satisfaction knowing, now, how it all worked together.

ag jek

The best authors have given the reader little facts along the way that only as the story progresses does the reader begin to perceive the smallest facts as clues.

ag writer

The author must have great skill to weave those important facts into the narrative, being fair to his readers but respecting the reader enough to require him to use his intellect.

Wherever we are confronted with a mystery,  the closer we look at it,  the more we see there are facts and clues that lead us to greater and greater understanding.

Light is like that.  It’s actually the greatest Mystery we have.   We know  it when we see it.   (Or do we?)   We can give it a definition.  (Or can we?)   We know what it does.  (Or we know some of its effects.)

We even know its origin:  “Let there be Light.”    It isn’t that at the first moment of Creation some kind of “light bulb” was turned on so we can see what the Creator is doing.

Instead . . .

ag big bang

. . .  energies,  forces,  vibrations,  frequencies began where there were no “disturbances”  before.    It began in an instant.

Such,   let’s call them energy frequencies —  such energy  frequencies  moved “outwards,”  became organized  into irregular areas and forms,  some slowed down and coalesced into what we call high energy particles, which built atoms,  some of which became matter,  plain old material that we can touch and feel and use.

af particles

We’ve read the clues, we’ve learned some facts,  but much of this is still unknown to us,  still undiscovered.  The whole truth about Light remains a mystery.

It’s exciting and very interesting to some people.   They want to keep on learning more about this thing we call Light, observing nature, examining science books,  research, studies,  results of experiments at CERN — the nuts and bolts of hard science.

Grandson Cooper will be receiving this book soon –

a book moon

–   from “Science Grandma.”   Ha!     I gave him a seven-inch diameter moon for Christmas,  a night light,  which he likes very much.    Little by little during his lifetime he will pick up “clues”  about the mystery of Light.

But apart from hard science,   we can approach this mystery of Light by examining the Equivalent of Light –  an equivalence that exists in Reality.     The Person who said “Let there be Light”  actually called Himself  the Light, our Light.  “I am the Light of the world.”

eden 2

That Light was all over the first home of the first humans, whatever that was;   it was still there after the Fall which darkened both the world and the intellect of man;  it was there choosing and enlightening one portion of the human race, one race, one tribe;   and then later,  the Light came to enlighten all the rest of mankind.

Now the Light was identified as “the Light to Lighten the Gentiles.”

That Light had been long-promised, and It was  the long-promised  Messiah sent by the Creator,  the long-promised Christ.      He came to “enlighten” us about the nature and reality of God, giving us more facts and clues about our Creator.   Infinite.    Infinite Power.    Infinite Love.     Infinite Fatherly Caring.

The Christ chose a small group of men to teach His mysteries to, as many as they could endure.

a transf

 

And then Christ returned to that Father, leaving us enough information, enough clues,  so that we can now call the Creator “the Father of Lights.”     (James 1:17)     He used that small group of men to set up a living system,  a Church,  to preserve and  transmit that information, and it has endured for almost 2,000 years.

The more we seek and search,  the more facts and clues we learn about how this all works.    We were not abandoned,  the Light can live in us – if we so indicate our desire – and then Christ, the Light of the World, will return to us.

a return

What will that look like?

Now  the End of all this  Cosmic Mystery is a mystery in itself.       Some humans will recognize and choose to live in that Light.   Some,  many more,  will choose to continue on in darkness.

If there is One Light,  One Christ,  One Church,   why would some choose to live apart from it?

Do they truly think that when they die,  the Light will go out?

.

 

 

 

WATCH YER FEELINGS

Posted February 12, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Christian Analysis, Truth

Tags: , ,

(“Cooper’s Cardinal”  next post.)

A more serious post tonight:   “You can stifle your feelings,  but feelings can stifle your ideas.”

'It always hurts more when...'

_______________________________________________________

 A WORLD OF FEELINGS*

We don’t even question it.  We ask each other,  “How do you feel about . . .?”    We watch ads on television that are devoid of any meaningful information but are meant to give us feelings towards the product, one way or the other, blatantly and annoyingly!

Since mass media developed in the early 20th century,  appeals are made to all people, men and women, on the basis of how they can be made to feel.

Political speeches were always like that – but not always political debate.

(“How do you  feel about  the Wall?   Doesn’t it make you mad/hopeful?”)

Today, if a person doesn’t accept the many socially correct ideas like man-made climate change,  or evolution from one species into the next,   gender fluidity,  central state control of all of society . . .  you can name other ideas we’re supposed to accept . . .  but if  a person doesn’t agree or accept,   there is a kind of emotional-social horror towards him.   It’s not “oh,  so what do you know about that subject?”  It’s  “you don’t!?”

There’s a big difference.   One invites human discussion; one doesn’t.   One seeks to advance understanding, for the benefit of all;  the other seeks to shut down the “dissident” voice,  to the benefit of no one.

They say ordinary conversation between people has become self-restricted;  we dare not say exactly what we think because we may get called on it.  Or we may get told it “offends”  someone’s feelings.   So we talk a  lot but dare not say a lot.

I wonder how common this is?

 

FEELINGS COLLAPSE EDUCATION

Parents used to see their children off to school with the words, “Be good!”   because good children can think clearly and learn.   Now it’s common to say, “Have fun!”

We make our children “feel good”  about going to school.   We make sure their self-esteem is bolstered.    We make sure our college students are not offended in anything,  so we carefully guard them from points of view that differ from  the ones they’ve been taught.

Unfortunately,  since socialism has increasingly taken control of our education  (early 20th century)  our children have been taught that Western Civilization is the root of all evil, in general.  This precludes teaching students anything that contradicts this ideology, so that they won’t be upset.

There is no transmission of  all those characteristics and values that built up civilization since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

I wonder if we can anticipate all the consequences of an ignorant generation coming into positions of leadership normally reserved for the mature mind.

I wonder how we’ll “feel”  as society around us falls apart – and just doesn’t seem to work anymore  – and no one knows how to put it back together again?

 

SERIOUS DISCUSSION HAS BECOME AN APPEAL TO FEELINGS

No matter what field of inquiry,  appeal is made to our personal inclinations but not to observable and objective facts and analysis of those facts for the purpose of advancement of understanding and possible improvement.

Especially sad is the lack of serious discussion for the development of understanding in the field of religion.   No matter how often we’re told that religion isn’t important,  religion is outdated, religion is the cause of war, etc.,  the fact remains that humans are religious.  They all believe in something.  The Creator of humans have given all humans the capacity to seek and to find Him . . .

Humans do frequently choose to not seek out their own Creator, much to the delight of the powerful Enemy of human beings,  but when a human  stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe, now, in nothing,  he will believe in anything — but he will continue to believe.

We’re just made that way.

So we seek after answers.

Unfortunately, if you’ve read any religious book, any “Christian”  book that was published in the past fifty or so years, you are likely to be “encouraged,”  made to feel “confident” in God,  “soothed,”   and directed to not be afraid.   Reading some of the most popular Christian books is like reading a vapid woman’s magazine, where we are shown how to be happy people,  happy Christians,  happy members of our society.   All is well.    things will work out.

Boring.   Boring because such books don’t satisfy the deepest questions we are asking ourselves.

In a recent brilliant essay entitled:    Why How You Feel Is Not All That Valuable,   Father Stephen Freeman,  an American Russian Orthodox priest,  explores how we are defined by our feelings –  in our current culture. **    He says:

Sentiment is a function of the passions, and rather shallow passions, at that. It is a disposition towards pleasure. A sentiment that says, “I think human suffering is terrible,” is generally a sentiment that will avoid confronting the nature of suffering and its true depths. If you’re decently middle-class, you can afford to avoid encounters with many forms of suffering. You can filter your friends-list in a manner to see and hear what you find pleasant and agreeable.

But as he implies, our character should not be equated to our feelings.  “I feel, therefore I am.”    No matter how a person feels about something, if we watch what he does,  that reveals his true character.

Or, as the old adage has it:  “character is what you do when you think no one is watching you.”

And character  is  destiny.

I wonder if a society that runs on its feelings could ever know what its “destiny”  is — until it smacks it in the face.

 

It’s the rug you’ve been sweeping things under that gets pulled out from under you.”

 

___________________________________________________

.*   For those of you who are used to marxist rhetoric,  of course none of my statements are intended to indicate all, all, all, all cases in some kind of 100% mathematical completeness.     I’m observing general trends.    There are always pockets of good thinkers here and there.    I hope you find them.

 

.**  If you’d like to read the whole serious article by Father Stephen,  it can be found here:

(remove spaces)

https  ://  blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2019/01/28/why-how-you-feel-is-not-all-that-valuable/

 

It is satisfyingly intelligent.

 

 

 

 

 

SNOW “BURIAL”

Posted February 10, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Cooper, Humor, Winter

Tags: , ,

 

Well, what do you do when a blizzard buries your front yard?

Snow angel toppers 280

You jump down on top of the snow and make snow angels!

(That’s Cooper and his Daddy – I think – several feet above their front yard, and beautiful  Donner Lake in the background,  with the High Sierras of California.)

When you have a blizzard burial,  you try not to let you and your friend get  buried —

Snow burial 230

But it makes it really hard to play on your  swing set —

Snow jungle gym 390

The swings are down there somewhere.

They’ll have to wait till Spring.

Snow porch 280

Cooper and Daddy  (I’m sure Cooper helped!)   dug out their front door and shoveled across their raised deck . . .  and I’m sure Daddy said, ‘Now, stand in front of the snow so I can take a picture to show Grandma.”

Oh, yes.  Grandma loves winter.    I’ve told you that before!   Even when I visited them one winter and shoveled three feet of snow off their deck so it wouldn’t collapse.  But it kept snowing and I had another four feet to shovel the next morning.

What that gives you is . . .  an experience to remember!

 

ROARING WEATHER

Posted February 8, 2019 by thesprucetunnel
Categories: Socialism, War Against America, Winter

Tags: , , ,

It’s not often that the weatherman predicts  “Roaring Winds”  as part of his weather report.

But he did yesterday, and we did have roaring winds all night long,  into today, from the sound of it.    Along with the high winds we had  drizzle, heavy rain, sleet,  snow, and a temperature plunge from 52 degrees down to -6 (below zero) wind chill, this morning.  Oh, yes,  and sunshine with snow squalls.    Normal winter weather(s).

Throughout all this, somewhere along the way —

Door free front  .     — my front door thawed out and I’m able to open it now.

Ditto the back sliding glass doors –

Door free back

So, just to report up here in The Spruce Tunnel,  I’m free! and no longer iced into my house by frozen doors.

Our Winter Faery:

Winter Fairy 300

I took this  photo recently, and it astonishes me that I can’t remember where.   It was hanging on a wall in a public place;  I walked by,  did a double-take,  and embarrassed myself by taking out my camera right in front of a  bunch of strangers . .  . .

Well,  you find interesting pictures where you can,  and this one reminded me of my own back yard — and the woodsy sprites and fairies that haunt human imaginations.

Hey!  Anything is possible,  right?

dignity of a congressman

She is the new young congressman who tells us we can eschew airplanes and cars and build a railway system to cross the oceans!

(At least   I  don’t really,  really believe in magic and fairies.)

Here is my frozen fairy-world back yard:

Weather Iced Trees

Normal, after an ice storm.

Our birds are not going to get a drink:

Weather no birds

We’re actually having a normal winter,  full of everything that happens during the winter in the Far North.

Here is the surface of my driveway:

Weather iced driveway

It was actually not slippery to walk on because the ice had come down with snow and sleet, producing a measure of bumpy traction:

 

Weather not slippery

 

Another astonishment came, however, from a “weather”  report from the entertainment-news media on the radio last night.   The news reader —   (I wish they could hire readers who could actually read and pronounce the words they’re reading.  They obviously have no idea what they’re reading –  which maybe lets them off the hook for this:

“2018 is yet again an extremely warm year on top of a long-term global warming trend,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. . . .     Two U.S. agencies, the United Kingdom Met Office and the World Meteorological Organization analyzed global temperatures in slightly different ways, but each came to the same conclusion on Wednesday: 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record behind 2016, 2015 and 2017.

Followed by the ever popular:  “It’s going to GET WORSE so you’d better listen to your climate change politicians . . . .

While 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years will be much hotter, maybe even record-breaking.

You know,  there’s been a lot of analysis of these ridiculous statements;  you can find it all over the Internet.    The temperature charts have been selectively used, and the “conclusions”  even contradict their own previously-published charts.

Cold weather, like today,  is not a Cold Climate,  or even evidence of a Getting-Colder Climate.  Hot weather is not Hot Climate,  nor evidence of a Getting-Hotter Climate.

The climate on any planet in the solar system  changes as it’s affected by our changing sun.

The Grand Scheme of a Massive Transfer of Wealth across the globe planned by the Global Socialist Rulers  is simply not supported by any science or any history of our planet.

Yet the scares go “roaring out” over the airwaves.

Time for us to do some roaring  back.

Listen up, dear young lady –

WIDE-EYED Cortez

.