Archive for October 2009

LEAVES? NO PROBLEM!

October 30, 2009

I’ve got two cars and no rake…..

Leaves wh house

No guys around. 

Leave Flight tracker

Hubbie and son –

Gone on a little trip. 

No problem….

 

As long as I don’t lose the driveway. Leaves side hs  

I suppose my Friday meditations could include a rake:    Cross Tiny

(The End of all things, the end of the season, the end of the growing season, the end to these leaves….)

THE ART OF BLOGGING

October 28, 2009

Blogging is indeed an “art” — that is, an activity that requires both  (1)  a certain amount of skill and (2) a certain amount of intelligent creativity when  using the skills.

Medicine is an art, in this respect.   Teaching is an art.   And writing is an art.

The skills involve presenting your thoughts with grammatical and rhetorical competence, observational skills,  skills of discernment and then  editing  the many options and choices.   The intelligent creativity is pulling  it all together with a rhythm of context, perspective, and purpose.

Well, that is certainly not an exhaustive lesson on blogging, but I’m beating myself over the head with that much.    Yesterday’s posting is an example of what happens when the “art of the blog” falls apart.    I know what I wanted to say, but even I couldn’t understand the point of it when I reread what I wrote.

Blogging is not only an art, but it is an activity which develops the art itself.   Writing in any form increases intellectual capacity, but short exercises, like a blog entry, requires that you serve the purpose you intended.    It’s an opportunity to focus and to increase self-discipline.

In a few weeks one year will end and a new one will begin – in the Liturgical Calendar of the Church.     I wrote in 9-27-09  about all the new beginnings at this time of the year.    And now comes Advent!

So I supppose it’s just natural to feel the necessity for a little self-assessment:  How did I do last year?  What am I lacking?   What are the absolute necessary things I must attend to?  How can I be better?    And what are all those blogging thoughts that I started but – inartfully – never brought to a close?

Advent resolutions?

 

OUT OF THE MISTS WITH CHRIST THE KING

October 27, 2009

Crown23 percentChrist the King:    The Church celebrated the Feast of Christ the King a few days ago, and I’m thinking that, in these present years, we shouldn’t pass over that Feast too quickly.

Christ the King 100x145We would be fairly open to charges of hypocrisy if  we say He is our king, but we acted as though we have no king at all.  More later on the meaning of “having a king,”  but for now, I’m reminded of the words in that beautiful meditative evangelical chorus called “Jesus be the Lord of all….If He’s not Lord of everything, then He’s not Lord at all…”    Oh- it just has to be SUNG!

And you can go to YouTube it to hear it sung! Cjrist Jesus Lord of allIt can be found at this place….Just a sincere group of girls, poor sound quality, but  it’s the words that are important.  It’s a catchy melody, one you don’t mind popping up in your head once in a while.

“Lord of everything.”    And so, in everything that comes our way we should have in the back of our mind the persistent little question: “Is, indeed, Christ my King in this matter?”  

Christ mists

Out of the mists:   We’re having a fun  “little matter” this week that demonstrates the effect on one’s intellect when we take Christ as our King.   We’re talking about interesting photographic anomalies, especially the ones with unexplained mists.  Like  clouds , we can “see” familiar things in them.

I read that television programming offers a variety of photographic mists and visible vapors which they associate with things beyond our “present world.”  I’ve seen 19th century photographs of scientific experiments which purport to be conjuring up these ectoplasmic eruptions.

Christ sp daily

Apparently, these “scientists” are still at it today!   In a tabloid-type religious Website I saw the headlines:  “Flurry of Ghost-Hunter Shows Exposes the Public to a New Level of Occult Danger.”

Well, yes.   

Christ’s Infinite Kingdom:  When a person unites himself with Christ, his King, he finds himself  in a kingdom that is far greater than the human mind can know right now.   We can study it, learn from it,  marvel at it, enjoy it, give glory to God for it, but we do not HAVE TO explain everything in it!

We have responsibilities in the kingdom, but we are the King’s subjects, not the  King.

“Occult dangers,”  intellectual dangers” – From what I’ve observed, both come from a desire to explain every phenomena, answer every question, and control every experience.  

child silhouetteBut Christ the King has some advice for us:  “Amen I say to you, whosoever shall NOT receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, shall NOT enter into it.”

Objects in the mist?     With Christ as King, King of the Universe,  in control of all,  there are some things we can just enjoy  as “great mysteries’ or even have a great laugh on ourselves!

RORSCHACH IN THE TUNNEL

October 26, 2009

Life is full of strange things sometimes.   The last posting about “lights out in the chapel” was a mere coincidence which faintly reminded me of something I had been reading.   Wasn’t really in the Strange category at all.

But here is a strange one that I can’t explain away.   Oh, I labeled it “Rorschach” in my album because I could make an explanation, but it still doesn’t explain it “away.”

Rorschach

It was cropped slightly so I could remove the Date Stamp that my camera put on it, so here is the full photo:

Rohrschach dated

The photos before and photos after did not have this “anomaly” and so I’ll give you what I think is the one before and the one after.   It was a fairly “warm” winter day, and I was the only one in the Spruce Tunnel that afternoon. Rohr date forest

Rohr Karhu Ski Tip

That’s my ski tip up there.   Since I’m half Finnish I was going to show my Karhu ski tip to someone, I forget why now.

Once I got home and saw the photo with the “mist” in it on my computer, I had an eerie feeling.   I could only focus on the “snout” — It’s because I’m very, very afraid of these:Bear Snarl          “The Sum of All Fears.”

And there were occasional local Bear sightings reported in our newspaper, but…

…That “mist” doesn’t look like a bear.   It’s like a wolf maybe.

From my childhood I have  been very, very, very afraid in any forest.  (Walking in the Spruce Tunnel always has an aspect of “whistling past the graveyard,”  but I’m supposed to be “grown up” now.)

And then the history here — this area is built over an area that was settled by Indians, and our town is named for the chief of the village, Chief Okemos.   I often wonder if the Chippewa Indians here walked through the Spruce Tunnel too.

Or what else walked through the Spruce Tunnel!?

Ideas welcome!

SUNDAY – CHRIST THE … KING

October 25, 2009

Today is the last Sunday of October, the Feast Day of Christ the King. 

dark church lt

Internally and spiritually and in truth it’s one of the brightest, happiest feasts of Christendom, but I’ve placed a dark picture here of the interior of a church because I experienced something strange on the Eve of Christ the King.

Christ before fadedIt’s hard to tell what’s going on in this old piece of artwork, but the Gospel today relates this scene of Christ standing before Pilate.   True Divine Authority being questioned by human authority.   Pilate is perplexed.   He finally asks, “Ergo, Rex es Tu?”    The True Light does not penetrate the darkness of Pilate’s intellect, and he can’t understand how Jesus, the Christ, Who was standing before him, can be King of Kings.

 When that artwork above was first made, it was easier to see what is going on.   But this is what happens when the elements of the Faith are not passed down clearly.  The scene gets obscured.

A couple posts ago I referred briefly to Mother Mariana, a holy woman who lived about 350 years ago, and who one day was praying, alone, in a chapel.   The only light for her was the Sanctuary Lamp, but it suddenly went out.   She was enfolded in a deep, empty darkness.    She was given to know that this darkness represents the deep spiritual darkness that will enfold the people who will be born in the 20th century. 

The people who will live then will choose evil and corruption, sin and darkness, beyond what this woman  could understand.

Dark sanct crA darkened Sanctuary Lamp.

Last night, the Eve of Christ the King,  was my turn to pray in our Chapel, before the Presence of Christ.   I look forward to this time.

Before I entered the Chapel, there was a sign that said:  “An electrician has been called to fix the spotlights. ”     Okay.    There are tiny little spotlights you can turn on above you if you want to read for a while instead of pray.    But I’ve read in very dim light before, so I just shrugged it off.

When I entered the Chapel, however,  there was an unusual blankness up ahead.  The chairs and kneelers were slightly illuminated, but   the front wall, where Christ is present, was very dark.     Dark and blank.

That was the spotlight that was “out.”

It’s being “fixed.”    God grant we can fix our darkness.

MSU TAILGATE – A PHOTO STORY

October 24, 2009

Hi Mom and Dad,    I’ll print this out for you so you can see what a Big Ten tailgate party afternoon looks like before a big game!   (Little did I know you were at an outdoor party of your own at an air show, with Mom enjoying the partying, the food, the friends, and the airplanes, and Dad’s band providing the entertainment.)

90-degree sunshiny day for you;  42 degrees and….well, you can see what we had.

First, coming home from an errand:Fall Agate

Turning the corner, and there’s our little yellow house under the yellow tree:Fall Yel Tr Yel Hse

Then we had to drive into town and find a parking place.  He found one!Fall Found parking

Then we had a long walk through campus, over a beautiful bridge.Fall over the bridge

We heard some noise behind us, and GUESS WHO was coming!    That’s our team, all protected from the weather.   I had no idea I caught our COACH, Mark D’Antonio, with my camera!    (Pretty big deal for me.) Fall Coach!

Here are the rest of our guys: Fall Guys coming

This is it – the emblem of our team.   The great Spartan.    The players all walk by and touch him as they pass.   We arrived just a bit after they finished. Fall SpartyThen we had to find the tent that we belonged to.Fall Finding TentIt’s this one, right across from the stadium.        (Not exactly sunny and warm!)   Here is a close-up of that green sign on the Sparrow Hospital tent where hubbie is a volunteer.   Fall Sparrow Words

What goes on inside the tent?   FOOOD!!!     Chili soup; big meat sandwiches; cheesy shredded potatoes;  fruit;  cole slaw…hot cherry something;  lots to drink Fall Inside Tent

Now for the big event:   Sparty leads the parade and we all line the streets waiting for the marching band.  Fall Sparty in car

Then comes the  Color Guard with flags from  the Big Ten schools: Fall Big Ten Flags

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then comes the Michigan State Color Guard: Fall MSU color guard

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then comes the MSU Marching Band.  Trombones first!!   (Have you ever marched in front of the trombones?  Ha!) Fall Trombones in Motion

In honor of YOU, Dad – the cymbals!    (But they’re not wearing their Dress Blues!)  Fall Cymbols

I love these next two.   They stir my blood.

Fall Drums in motion

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Bass drums

 

 

 

 

 

 

A brief sad note, and a tribute to our young neighbor who died flying one of these.  He got his pilot’s license before he got his driver’s license, but he went down doing what he loved. Fall Banner readable

Time to leave campus…in a blaze of glory.

Fall BLazing leaving campus

What do you wear to a party like this?  Fall Sw Shrt

Thank you, my husband.   You know just what makes me happy!

The game?    Well, the score was 13 (us)  to 9  (them)  –  and it got down to they had the ball with 7 yards to go and TWO seconds left.       And….Mom and Dad….you’re not football fans, you say.     So…..whatever…..

FRIDAY – WHERE ARE YOU GOING, LORD?

October 23, 2009

Cross TinyWill try to write a thought for Friday while it is still Friday.    The day started well, with early prayer and efficiency and a “mission of mercy” – surprising a sick someone with a pleasant little gift…But the afternoon presented too much to do and too many obstacles.   I didn’t know the right decisions to make, and I missed out on any further serious prayer or Bible  reading.   NOT GOOD for a Friday.

And yet, a day like this brings me back  to the movie we all saw yesterday at the party.    Peter arrives in Imperial Rome, to the great joy of the new Christian community that is already there.    He gives a sermon (in the movie) full of great love, encouragement, and personal humility.   You can tell from his words that he still very acutely remembers his former weakness and then betrayal of his Lord.

Perhaps  a little of his former self resurfaces as things “heat up” in Rome against the Christians.    How does one handle false accusations?    How does one meet severe opposition?   What does one do in the face of official oppression and persecution?     Perhaps just back off, give yourself a breather, get away from it all for a while?

Tree sun shining downAs Peter is leaving Rome, walking with a young friend,  he wishes, out loud, that he could be with Jesus once again, face to face, to ask Him questions, to sort out his busy and difficult life.   He is weary.   And then he sees a light near a tree.  

Here is my favorite part of the whole movie.    We, the movie watchers, see a light growing brighter and brighter, clear and brilliant Light, and Peter recognizes it is the Light that is Jesus.   He says:  “You ARE here, Lord!”  

But the Lord is moving towards Rome.   TOWARDS Rome.   “Where are you going, Lord?”             “Quo Vadis, Domine?”

Jesus says He is going to Rome to be crucified again.     Peter must have  remembered that earlier in his life, 30 years ago, he watched and heard his Lord say, “If anyone wants to be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me.”

The cross that Jesus gives us, no matter how difficult, is the one that makes us His disciple and leads us to the path of glory with Him forever.glory-sunsetJesus shone down the light of His glory for just a while onto Peter, to encourage him and to remind him that his cross will lead him to Jesus in heaven.    It was a very touching moment in the film;  it touches us deeply whenever the Lord reminds us of his nearness.  

Mother Mariana350 years ago, a very holy woman* was allowed to see the great evil that would characterize the 20th century.   It would be a time of complete corruption of culture, morals, of clergy, and of the innocence of children.   Complete corruption.    Her visions were meant to be a warning for any faithful who might be found at that time.   

They would have a heavy cross to take up, because there will be so much confusion and disorientation.      Like Peter – and many others – I understand that we will grow weary.

But these are the words she heard:    “Oh, if only human beings and religious knew what heaven is and what it is to possess God, how differently they would live, sparing no sacrifice in order to enter more fully in possession of it!”  

And so Peter gladly “picked his cross up” and headed back toward Rome where he had work to do.

*  Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres;  Quito, Ecuador

A PARTY OF HAPPY GLITCHES

October 23, 2009

Glitch Party TableWell, the party went well  yesterday.  In fact, there was quite a lot of laughter and fun, in spite of a few glitches.   Maybe the glitches just added to the fun.

Glitch 1 Centerpeice crGlitch #1 – The centerpiece just never quite got out of my head and onto the table.    I’m just not “artistic.”    Actually, this looked better in person than it  photographed; it’s  just not … framed well.

Glitch #2 – The night before the party:   my dishwasher broke.    Yeah, you can  have a party without a dishwasher.    Cleaning up is another thing.    And convincing your guests NOT to help you is another thing yet!    But – making a joke about the dishes are your husband’s job AFTER he fixes the dishwasher –  that was the best thing!

Glitch 3cGlitch #3 – Happy glitch.  There was still MUCH to do in the morning but I turned around and saw our lttle deer family right out the window.   Glitch 3GLitch 3b  Had to take time out for the camera.

They kept looking right at me.

Kind of eerie.

 

Glitch #4 – I was fairly well on time, preparing the food, when in walked the first carload of guests, a half hour early!   And then another car came!    I just told everyone, “Well, you can sit down in the kitchen and keep me company while I finish up the cooking.”    

Old Hag FaceBut I got some funny looks.     I wasn’t exactly dressed for company.  In fact, I must have looked like some eccentric spinster that just walked out of her cave.   From head to toe, I was “not quite ready for prime time.”

Glitch 5 wrinkly

Glitch #5 –  And I never got time to rewrap that wrinkly “black”  balloon.   It actually was a source of amusement.   Guess that’s okay.

So everyone had fun and lots to eat and the movie was a great hit.   We almost had another glitch when I couldn’t get rid of the “Resume” function and it took several long minutes to try to find the beginning of the movie.Glitch 6Here is half the room watching  “QUO VADIS?”     If I had previewed the movie, I might have suggested another one for the ladies.   Although it was made back in 1951, the graphic impact of Nero’s persecution of the Christians was harrowing, riveting, unsettling, disturbing – and quite intense.

Much was left to the imagination, but that’s right where it hits you most.Glitch ColiseumI took out my “Before and After” pictures of the Coliseum  (Yes – I KNOW the Coliseum was built after Nero….but this is a Hollywood movie, after all.)       The photo on the left was taken by my son when he was in Rome.   It’s a tourist attraction.    The photo on the right is a depiction of the Coliseum –  in use.     

The screenplay was wonderful.    The words were authentic.   As one of the ladies said:  “That hits too close to home!”

On the other hand, I never heard so much laughter and giggling during a movie.  You’d think we were watching a comedy!       It was NOT a comedy, but it was a little comical in places.    But watching the elegant and stately young Deborah Kerr act like a silly simpering youngster swooning in love … ..    60 years after this movie was made…well, “we’ve come a long way, baby!”

I will tell you my favorite part of the movie in the “Friday” posting.

One more part of the movie made us all burst out in laughter:Glitch  8 exit“Gee,”  they said, “did we need the movie to tell us it was time to go home?”

Bye!

 

1. PARTY – BLACK TO PURPLE

October 21, 2009

Okay.      I’m really good at obsessing on little, little  things. Okt balloons

This is Oktoberfest.    Germany.   The three balloons are supposed to black, red, and yellow.   

The balloon that was very black in the package became purple ( !!)  when I blew it up.

I don’t know how that happened.   The party is tomorrow and I had to think of something to do to make that purple balloon be black!    

I wrapped it with a black plastic bag.

Tomorrow I will obsess on rewrapping and rewrapping.   

Okt balln clsup

If I wrap it tighter to the balloon it will look balloon-shaped.       I can do this.   

Someone might look up and wonder, but they will just think it’s a wrinkly black balloon.   

At least it will be black…..

You’d think I’d worry about the bigger things, like getting everybody fed and making sure the movie actually works.   I bought the DVD and have not yet taken it out of the package.

Menu:

German potato salad

Reuben sandwiches

Shredded sweet and sour cabbage

Bratwurst and the BEST mustard ever (Henski’s)

Ginger cookies with spiced pumpkin spread

Apple slices with caramel sauce

Black Forest Cake

Assorted….other things

Ginger ALE, Root BEER,  Ginger Tea, Apple Cider

(These are the ladies of my Friday morning class.   It’s a Modified Oktoberfest for the beverages.)

Movie:   Quo Vadis.   1961

 

 

ANNUAL STARLING EVENT

October 20, 2009

This is a sight we’ve been seeing all day!   Birds B in flight

If I could upload some audio, you’d hear the air filled with loud cackling and singing, cawing and croaking…one species of birds making so many sounds at high volume.  It’s quite overwhelming.   And when a few thousand of them take flight, their wings beating in the air is louder than the sound of a great gust of wind in our tall trees.   Our first instinct is to duck!

I had my Girl Scout troop over here one day in October.   We were in the back yard when the starlings took off like that.    The girls’ fascination with their loud noises soon turned to screams of fear as they ran for cover.    As one girl said, “I don’t like so many birds.”

Well, apparently the birds “like” something in our neighborhood: Birds B out side windowThis is looking out our bedroom window.

And these are looking out across the street:

Birds B across st

They are obviously finding FOOD for their journey southward:Birds B across to side

In our front yard too: Birds B front and long

More birds in flight, looking like little airplanes:  Birds B in little flight

My husband and I think they are starlings.   I looked them up and found a Website that identifies them by sight and sound, here, so I think we’re right.   They called them European Starlings.   “Brought to the Unites States by Shakespeare enthusiasts in the 19th century. ”    Now I’ll have to research what that means!

We sat on the deck for a while, taking videos of them in our back yard.  Here is a shot of what the camera saw.   You can’t see a bird – but you could have surely heard them!  Birds B nothing

Thank you, Lord, for tranquil days when we can take time out to enjoy the noisy wonders of  your world!

Wheee-Hawww! TIME ARE GOOD!!!!!

October 20, 2009

Try to visualize it:    Our precious White House, the one that used to belong to the American people, lit up at night, looking glamorous with shining lights illuminating the graceful columns at the top of a majestic stairway.  Red banners gracefully floating in the breeze, and a world-famous rock-star group entertaining the fortunate ones below!

I’d post the photo here, but the elite are taking away more and more of our freedoms and I never know which ones we have already lost.  We are told not to post something that the elite media has already shown us.    But you can see that photo here  where Mr. Mat tDrudge lists  newspaper articles of the day.  It will be in his October 20, 2009 archives.

But really, do you NEED a photo?   Do you need a photo to enjoy the thought of this rock party which is the latest in a frequent series of music and entertainment parties, exclusive guests, expensive foods, and all the other items resembling the court of Louis XVI? 

How GRAND that our rulers can travel around the world for expensive dates for the intimate enjoyment of Mr. and Mrs.  Ruler, someone who has been called in the press  the World’s President.   

What about the REST OF US?      We can plan our vacations at home, we can pull our budgets a little tighter, we can give up our houses, we can search for jobs…we can pull out our recipe books and make our own little parties to save a little money.  

 Mr. and Mrs. Ruler will approve, I’m sure.   Looking at our recipe books, they will proudly say:  “LET THEM EAT CAKE!”

“ENEMY MINE”

October 18, 2009

Now……in no way is my husband my “enemy.”

On the other hand…..Ken in uniform  He was going through some old photographs today and came across this one of himself – in uniform.    A really, really old photo!   Ha ha!

He showed it to me and we sure enjoyed looking at that one.   But then….

I.  Noticed.  The.  Uniform.      Wrong color – wrong army!

The uniform is not like these:

Stars and Bars menI can’t help it…..Growing up where I did, about a third of my friends were from Tennessee!    Rebel territory!   We didn’t play Cops and Robbers;   we didn’t play too much Cowboys and Indians;    mostly we “hunted the hills” looking for Yankee soldiers!     Many a late evening carried the Rebel Yell through the windows and into the comfortable living rooms of adults watching…I Love Lucy or something!

We  relived the entire War Between the States!  We ran and fought and sweat and spied and plotted against the Yankees – and we ran around yelling “I’d rather be dead than a Yankee!”      (While the grown-ups were hearing other grown-ups say:  “I’d rather be dead that Red!”)      Those were the days!

Little did I know that –  technically speaking – I WAS a   ….can’t bring myself to say it.   Anyway, I was born in the North    Always made my home in the North.  

Thank goodness we were children and we were friends, and they overlooked my geographical impairment.

Now, about the  title of this posting:   “Enemy Mine.”     I know that’s the name of a  pretty interesting movie, exploring relationships between two sentient beings who ought to be enemies and then discover they are not.  (The real enemy is a godless tyranny that threatens them both.)

I see a parallel here.  

 I guess if you know your enemy, he may not be.

A FATIMA THOUGHT FOR FRIDAY

October 16, 2009

Mary at Cross 90x143Fridays are designated  to be the at-least-one-day-of-the-week for us to contemplate the crucifixion of Jesus, and to unite our hearts with Him in both gratitude and penance.

It has been said, “If we don’t impose penance on ourselves, a  ‘penance’ will be imposed on us.”    

This is the photograph that went around the TV and print media and Internet this week: Halo Cloud croppedIt was that sort of shining halo ring-shaped cloud that appeared in the skies over Moscow recently.

It captured people’s imagination and then prompted the usual “move along, folks, there’s nothing to see here; move along…” from the officials as they hurried to declare that this was a simple meteorological event..   I just thought it was “pretty” and I forgot about it until someone in last night’s class made a very interesting and perceptive comment about this phenomena.

He pointed out how close in time to the anniversary of the great Fatima sun miracle this phenomena appeared — and in the skies above Moscow, of all places!  Fatima speaks directly to two paths for Russia, either as  a source of chastisement for the world’s wickedness *, or as a nation which converts back to the Church, ushering in a time of great peace for the world.   To confirm the supernatural origin of the messages, people within a 20-mile radius of Fatima were shown some awe-inspiring  manifestations of the sun above them.

So:  (1) the days around the Fatima anniversary **; (2) another remarkable appearance of the sun; and (3)  Russia.

Thank you, my friend in class, for tying that all together for us!   Something to ponder!

* The “errors of Russia” would spread around the world, as a consequence of turning our backs to the Lord;  i.e.the practices of  atheistic socialism. 

**(   Most newspaper articles were unspecific as to “time,”  and I had to read through many until I figured out, I hope accurately, that this modern sun event ocurred over Russia on Wednesday, Oct.  7, and although it made the newspapers right away, it didn’t become widely known until October 13 and 14, after video was posted on YouTube and picked up by news services and blogs all over the world.   So, not the “exact”date  – but the knowledge of it was pretty close.)

GOT MY WHEELS BACK !!

October 15, 2009

THANKS BE TO GOD FOR A SELF-REPAIRING BODY !

“Left Foot reporting for duty, SIR!’   (or, ma’am-  me) Red Car BladingNah, really!   That’s how free I feel on  my Rollerblades!    It’s been eight long weeks waiting for those little bones in my left foot to heal up and quiet down – enough to put my Rollerblades back on. 

The Left Foot reported in for duty, but the leg muscles didn’t.   But I gave them a good wake-up call.   Nothing like a hot searing burn  in the muscle cells to get things going.

My own original key

My own original key

My feet have been on wheels since I was four years old.   The world looks better when you glide along on top of wheels:  roller skates, bicycle, or Rollerblades.    

(Although I see young men appearing to move freely along on skateboards, I always felt more restricted.   I don’t get it, how a skateboard moves.    I wonder why that is.)

I’ll have to see if that’s true for snowboard versus skis this winter.   But I think I’m bipedal, not monopedal.   Ha!

I hope that “self-repairing” business extends to icy cold ears, nose, throat, and neck.  It’s 43 degrees out there with a hint of rain in the air.    I forgot how weather can change in eight weeks at 42.5 degrees north latitiude.     Will have to dig out a jacket soon.

Well, the (big) left foot is out of its Rollerblade now.   I can go put the crowbar back.

October 13, 1917; Revelation 8 – 13

October 13, 2009

October 13, 1917, and 70,000 people!

fatima heads of corwd

A sizeable minority of these people who were photographed on that day were atheists, skeptics, and proud “modernists,”  including the photographers, newspaper reporters, and minor government officials.   They came to ridicule.  But most had their lives changed.

The location is a large field near Fatima, Portugal.    The occasion was the rumor that the three children who had been reporting “visions” of a lady were now expecting “something big’  on this day, something everyone would be able to see.

And they saw something:  fatima witnesses

What they saw has been nicknamed The Miracle of the Sun, but there was more to it than that.   

It started out as a miserable, dark, gloomy day of pouring rain.  Still the crowds came and waited.   fatima newspaper photo Pouring rain.    But after the clouds opened up a bit and after  the strange behavior of the sun which had held their attention for a while, then seemed to come down at them, then retreated to its rightful place and became ordinary again, it was then that the people noticed that the muddy fields had dried up, their clothes had dried, and the mud and dirt that covered skirts, pants legs, and shoes had disappeared, leaving clean clothing.  (As someone who does a lot of laundry, that one impresses me!)

People twenty miles away had seen the “Miracle.” fatima newspaper     

Here is the familiar picture of the three children. fatima 3 childrenAlthough they were visited  only five times in the previous months, the messages they heard have significance far beyond their own times and are the subject of many books and much speculation.   

Two are of special interest to me.    Severe  punishments were in store for earth’s people but could be mitigated or turned away depending upon general repentance and returning to God;  the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart;   and the Communion of Reparation, made on first Saturdays of five consecutive months.

If Russia was not consecrated and converted, then Russia would spread her errors throughout the whole world – to all the nations.   Including the United States.   I didn’t see the Miracle of the Sun,  but I have indeed seen the inexorable spread of the “errors” of Russia, that is, atheistic socialism,  to every nation of the world.   

If you have doubts about socialism being enacted here, use any Search Engine and search for The Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto.    They are all part of our laws and practices now, whether by legislation or by executive orders.   Here is one place you might look and determine for yourself.

The second thing that interests me is that the Third Secret, the mysterious one that concerns us all today, still looms over our heads.   When Lucia, the oldest of the three children,  was later asked what horrors the Third Secret contained, she replied that it is all there in the Apocalypse of St. John, commonly called the book of Revelation, in chapters 8 – 13.  

No, Revelation 13 is not “behind us.”   It was not fully fulfilled in 70 A.D. with the destruction of Jerusalem;  and it did not occur in 1981.   

It’s still to come, more or less.

 

COLUMBUS DAY – A PARABLE

October 12, 2009

Columb chat w river

Once upon a time, long ago, there was a good and pious nobleman who noticed that the people who lived around him on his lands and in his village were not quite as happy and prosperous as they could be.   They did the things they had done for generations, but there  was nothing new, no challenges, no excitement, no motivation to work hard.  He knew his people were intelligent and good and skilled, but they saw  no need for these fine qualities.

He cared about his people and regretted that they were becoming dull-minded and lazy.   As a Christian gentleman, he wondered what he could do.

Columbus prep chateauOne day some friends came up to his castle to visit.   They told him that a traveling fair would be passing near his village at  harvest time .  They would bring new wares, new food, songs and music, news from afar.      Perhaps a little buying and selling would go on, if they could stay long enough.

colum prep factoryThe nobleman noticed he had some extra buldings on his property, some tools, and plentiful trees.     He wondered if the people of his village could use their skills to build shelters, corrals, tables for the traveling merchants.     Maybe they would stay an extra day or two and everyone would benefit from the longer contact.

Well, the end of the story is that his proposal was well-received.columb prep tent   The king gave him money to get started and the village and the traveling merchants each benefited from their contact.   More villages came to the nobleman and asked if he could provide such things for the merchants when they came to their villages.

*     *     *

columb prepr carpenterBut as the years passed, more and more workers were needed to keep up with the demand for the goods that were built to keep the traveling merchant fairs coming.   More workers were needed and men were  hired from distant places.    They didn’t care about the quality of life that surrounded the nobleman’s castle and they didn’t share his values, nor his concern for the welfare of all people.    He had long passed on to his Heavenly reward.

columb prep criminalsVagabonds came, attracted by the manufacturing, buying, and selling.  Then came thieves and pickpockets and other opportunists.   Greed, envy, drunkenness and worse entered the nobleman’s land and village.  Their bad behavior spread to all the surrounding villages. 

The  nobleman’s castle lands  became known for its wickedness.  Later generations blamed the nobleman for the troubles that infected the area.   His great-great grandchildren spoke of the nobleman with shame and anger for the troubles which had developed.

But he was long dead and could no longer  explain how things had really begun.

THE WAY, THE WEDDING & WHAT TO WEAR

October 11, 2009

19TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – We are told that a wise man is always aware of the ultimate results of what he does.    In today’s Gospel we are shown a Beautiful Wedding Feast.  When the guests come in, the host provides them with a fine wedding garment, a place at the table, and sumptuous food.

But there is a disturbance as the Feast gets underway.  Someone has come in and sat right down at the table, but there is no wedding garment for him, and he doesn’t belong there!   How rude and presumptuous of him!

Today’s Gospel reminds us that if we want to get in on that Wedding Feast, we’ve got to know the right Way to get there!   

The Way

The Way

The Way:    “I am the Way, the Truth, and the LIfe,”  said Jesus.   “Take up your cross and follow Me.”     Father Garrigou-Lagrange reminds us * that the way to Heaven is narrow – but it only seems to be narrow from the point of view of material worldly thinking.   He also explains that continuing on that Way actually leads us to a broad, immense place of union with the Infinite Good God.

wedding-feastThe Wedding:    The place of communion and union with God is likened to a great Wedding Feast and you are honored and blessed to be there, in complete happiness and fulfillment and joy of being so close to the Bridegroom!

What To Wear:  Each thought, word, and deed we offer in honor of the Bridegroom is like a portion of the glorious grace of Christ that will cover us, like a Wedding Garment.  The more that we give to Him, the more He will reward us, and the more we honor Him at the Feast.

Wedding but hellBUT – we are told that those who have no wedding garments will not only be kicked out and cast into “utter darkness” but they will also be “bound.”      Why?    Why are they bound and not just thrown out the door?

The way-of-the-world seems so very broad.  It seems like you  can do anything you want.  But the further along that pathway you go, the narrower and narrower it becomes, until finally, at the end of your time on earth, your life will have narrowed to a single, solitary point that is just your thoughts and desires.   You  – bound up in darkness, confusion, and bewilderment.    Only you.   And you’re not big enough to satisfy you. 

There is nothing left to do, no time left to decide differently,  no time to choose the better Way.

The Wedding Feast is now being prepared.

* The Three Ages of the Interior Life:  Prelude of Eternal Life   by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange  (Volume 1, chapter 19, Practical Naturalism and Mortification According to the Gospel)

US – THEM (Game Day)

October 10, 2009

Good game today.   Not a second-to-second nail-biter like last week, just a fairly certain victory over Illinois, 24-14.   Big injuries, though, for two of our major players.   A gut-wrenching video of a knee-wrenching injury.   (Pardon my language, but that was visual pain!) 

Here’s the game through my eyes this afternoon:   Spartan KnittingYep, that’s knitting – there has to be something to do with the hands during the slow times.     Knitting helps a person think.    (Maybe that’s not known too much anymore.)

So I was thinking about the game, the game of football in general, rivalries, opponents…. And the concept of Us and Them. 

           US:Spartan fans

 

            THEM:Spartans Them

The “opponents.”   There would probably be a lot of nice people in that crowd, wearing those colors, but it’s their association that puts them on the opposing side.   And, of course, it’s our association with our school that makes us their opponents.

I wonder if that’s true in general?     Alliances, groups, societies, political movements, religions, ethnic groups….we are judged by our associations.

It isn’t until we get down to the  person-to-person level that we can acknowledge the worth and dignity of each individual.

“For God so loved the world…”  we read.   But then the invitation is  “Whosoever will….”   on an individual by individual basis.      That means our spiritual health – and our sanctification – depends upon the strength of our individual relationship with the Good God Who loves each person He created.

It’s not Us and Them with God.     It’s  Him and me.

FRIDAY’S SHROUD

October 8, 2009

A digital reproduction of part of the Shroud of Turin:

Shroud middle view

In  class (Thursday night) we had a discussion on Mark 8:31….  Jesus took His disciples aside and began to teach them that it was necessary that He, the Son of Man, would have to suffer many things and will be rejected by the elders (of His own people),…will suffer….will die….

So I asked everyone, what were the kinds of sufferings that Jesus went through?  

One of the great answers was:  He knows, He knows what’s going on, He knows the truth,  and no one is believing  it.  He knows Who He really is, and no one is really knowing it.   What pain to know something important and to be the only one who knows it!

He went through it all anyway, alone and rejected.

The Holy Shroud existed from the time of His burial.  Very few knew about it; fewer  knew what it was.    No one yet understands how it was made.   Those who reject Him keep trying to duplicate it to prove it is nothing special, but there it is.   He is still being rejected.

Com-passion:   to experience pain,  passion,  and suffering along with someone.

BreadFridays:   The very least we should do is…remember… and perhaps “compasionate” with Him.

TWINS IN THE WIND

October 7, 2009

Mama brought the twins back!   They’ve grown so much and their coat is no longer the beautiful rusty brown but has become a greyish brown, suitable for hiding in winter trees. Wind all three betw

It was months ago when they first came, and we announced “Mama had twins!”   And then we had fun watching them run and leap more like little antelopes. 

They were mostly here for eating today.Wind 3 eating

Between our creek and our pond there are patches of fresh very-green grass which is good for storing up energy for the winter. 

Wind whittail rump

 

So actually I saw a lot of rumps this morning.

They are whitetail deer.  When they are alerted, they put their tails straight up and you see a really startling patch of white.  Sometimes that patch of white is the first thing you see in  a group of deer.

Wind 2 rumps

 

One twin was more independent than the other, and frequently strayed from the group.

 

Wind Twin one away

The bolder twin came quite close to the house, and even looked at me through the window from time to time.

But there was something making them all nervous.   We were having strong winds this morning, with long  noisy gusts whipping through the trees.   They would stop eating and glance around until the winds died down.

“The Morning After the Night Before”

I love wind and this is what greeted me this morning, even before the deer came. Wind chairs We were hearing thumps throughout the night and assumed it was branches falling onto our deck.     But this scene –  Looks like the chairs just couldn’t take a wild night of wind!

“Wind Treasure”

WindChimes

It’s in our front yard and it’s 25 years old.   (Does that quailfy for being a “genuine antique” ?) One of the delights of deep housecleaning is finding little treasures like this wind chime, made by our son, so long ago.    It is our “alert” to rising winds – and it actually sounds rather nice.    And it feels….”terrible.”    A huge nostalgic hole in your heart for the little boy who once was…and who now is a man.

Well, this Mama is alert too, making sure there is nothing in the wind that would harm her little ones:

Wind mom alert