Archive for February 2010


February 27, 2010

We are way “down there” in the South – and our first stop was this:Beautiful spiral staircase.      Beautiful steep spiral staircase.

When you get to the top — you look down – of course!

Then you open a door and walk….out:

But hang on to your hat – and sunglasses.  The wind was blowing 40 – 50 m.p.h.  and howling through all those verticle wires and railings.

And then, 178 feet up in the air…you look up again:It was worth the climb to see this Beauty – a Third Class Fresnel lens, slowly rotating in the sunlight.

I “collect” lighthouses.  The shapes are smiliar, the climbs upwards are similar, but the lenses are always a marvel, and so are the views:Way on the distant horizon, one microscopic little bump is Cape Canaveral.    No time to post a 360 view but it was worth the climb.  (Did I say that before?)

I was really there!   That’s me at the door, wishing to go back up again.

Andone more thing about Florida:  They decorate EVERYTHING with PALM TREES!The  Ponce Inlet Lighthouse at Port Orange, FL, … and palm trees.

Today, the ocean.   50 degrees and rainy.   Spring weather!    God is good.


February 24, 2010

“Go ahead,”   the doctor said, with a funny look on his face.    “But call this office as soon as you get back home!”    Well, what could the doctor say to a man with severe heart failure, once on the transplant list, now presenting himself with slight “chest pain”  and a car fully packed and ready to go to Florida, right from his parking lot?

So….here we are.   Two refugees from the snowy frozen Northland, enjoying every mile of the way.     Indiana goes by very, very fast.   Good farmland   (i.e., not much “scenery.”)   — and still a little astonished that we “got away with it” — ha ha.   We’re on our way!

And then, the world opened up, right before our eyes:

That’s a view with the road just stretching before us and mountains way in the distance as far as we could see.   When you live on “flatlands” you can hardly ever see more than a few miles ahead – even  if you’re out in the countryside.

We are always fascinated seeing the “inside’ of those mountains.  Beautiful layers of rock cuts that the highway flows through.  This is in Kentucky,  Mammoth Cave country – and a few hundred other caves, if you read all the billboards.  I like caving, a lot, but this wasn’t the right time to stop.

Tennessee has them too.   


Tennessee again, with a close-up up those rock cuts oozing water.   I imagine the wells up there must deliver delicious drinking water, filtered through many rock layers.   This water was frozen.   I don’t know why…the sun was already feeling hot through the windows.

Traffic was flowing along very, very fast.    Fine with me, although this is a sobering thought:Many of you can recognize the “road” on the left made for trucks  so if a truck loses its brakes on the way down those mountains, the trucker can steer off the side of the highway onto that ramp, and the upgradient will bring the truck to a stop as it reaches the top.  At least, that’s the idea.   This one looked freshly graded – as in “recently used.”   The grade here was 6% downhill.   Everywhere today when the speed limit sign says 70, you drive about 80 or so;  but here, when the speed limit sign said 55, most of us drove about 50.   Steep downgrades, sharp curves.

Mountain driving can be dangerous.

That’s just so…”wrong.”    I listen to the Truckers’ show on the radio every night;  I’ve come to like and respect these guys.  

The accident slowed traffic to a crawl for more than an hour, but you can’t complain at a time like this.   We did have lots of time to see some beautiful scenes again.   A waterfall coming out of the rock cut:

Sorry if this is boring, but we kept staring at the Great Smokies — which are really very smoky!  Hundreds of miles of smoky tops.    There was a place you could stop that offered a view of seven states, all “smoky,” I’m sure.  Dirty windshield, but the mountains really are “smoky” like that.

Coming down in elevation, we crossed the beautiful Chattanooga River, winding through mountain tops.The first one looking north up the river, this second one looking south down the river.   It was a real thrill driving through the middle of  those two scenes, looking right and left out of the windows.

We’ve had nothing but friendliness and politeness from the southerners.   Hubbie likes to close out our time in the lobbies of motels by saying, “Oh, by the way, is the pool open?”     We get the strangest looks.  They solemnly tell us,  “It’s winter here.”     But one young man was ready with a reply:  “You folks from Michigan may be ready for a swim, but it’s too cold for us here.”    Hubbie looked a little surprised: “How did you know we’re from Michigan?”     “Oh,” he said, “I can tell by your accent.”    

That’s not fair – we swear he can’t – at least he shouldn’t have zeroed in on our state.   So I reminded him he spoke with an accent too.   Ha Ha!     He agreed.   He said, “Yeah, we say Howdy around here.”   (But, I thought,  you say it funny.) Then he asked us to say:  “You betcha!”    Well, of course we could;  you betcha.

The food is delicious!!   Delicious!!   They barbecue everything in a most delicious sauce!!   Even barbecued coleslaw!  Tonight I had Brunswick Soup — in a barbecue sauce.   It was so good I was astonished at the flavor.    I think I must haave slurped it down.   Ever hear of barbecued soup?   (And isn’t “Brunswick”  up in Canada?)   

And the iced tea.   This is the only place in our whole country that makes iced tea just right.   It tastes fresh-brewed and it’s sweetened exactly right.   How do they do that?   In every restaurant – just right!

So we ended Day 2 of our road trip.It was a gibbous moon tonight as we entered our motel.    Hubbie hit the Internet in the lobby, I ran around the motel buildings three times.   Really.   What else do you do when you’re wearing your MBTs and you’ve been sitting in a car all day – and you have a belly full of barbecued Brunswick Soup!

(Thanks, Son, for the phone call about the heavy snowfall at home today!)

And thanks to Our Lord for watching over us.   Deo Gratias.   You have a beautiful world.


February 23, 2010

The Proposal:

The reddish line, south and then north, is  was our proposed route for today.    We’ve done it several times before.  I’m using the same old lines.  We are packed.    Son is in place in the house.

“God disposes” — that is, the timing is, however, at His disposal:

Eight inches of snow today, along with freezing icy other stuff on the roads.      I made an early morning path to the mailbox.

At least the drifts were rather pretty:

One more “timing” matter in His hands:

We have an unexpected appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow.    We are expecting a “Go Ahead” from the doctor, but Hubbie mayhave to undergo tests.     Our  substitute departure date may need a little postponement.

But if I don’t post for a few days,  it’s because we’re on the road!

At least, that’s the “proposal.”


February 22, 2010

First Sunday of Lent.    Also known as Quadragesima, for the  “forty” days before Easter.  So important is this day on the Liturgical Calendar, that it is one of those Sundays that takes precedence over anything else that might fall on this day.   

We are now in Lent, and this Sunday provides a  foundation.

Although the Readings were familiar, the sermon brought out some new ways of looking at the Temptation of Christ.   The Temptation comes, of course, at the beginning of Jesus’ “journey to Jerusalem,”  the reason for which He was born.   This was compared to our own journey through life.   We were told that we must unite our journey with His.   

That’s a nice insightful way of putting it.   “Take up your cross and follow Me” — and unite the journey of your life  with Mine….both are the Way of the Cross.     

Hubbie and I will soon be in the car for a “journey” to Florida.   We’ve got to consider just what we will take with us because once we leave, we will continue our journey until its end.  We won’t be able to come back and re-do our preparations.  Once we’ve set out on our course, the two of us will be united in our daily efforts.    hmmmm

Another thing we heard today in the sermon is that the three Temptations can be categorized as temptations from (1) Materialism, having a material outlook on life which blocks our path to Jesus;  

 (2)  Temptations from Pride (or Ego);  we want to do things and experience things that make us feel good and special.  We want to have great miracles that show that we are important.  But, as we heard today,  Jesus did not come to dazzle us, but to “serve”  and to die on the Cross;    

And then (3),  our way to Jesus is blocked when we place value on status, power, or  money.  We want to climb up some ladder, corporate or political or financial, or just be successful as we can in our own smaller world, but, we were told today, that ladder won’t take us up to God.  

So, the Readings invite us to look at these three kinds of temptations that are espcially prevalent in our own culture, and then watch how Jesus dealt with them. 

He said a lot more in his sermon today, but first I’ve got to recopy my notes and dig out some more of his fatherly lessons for us.

And practice my handwriting.


February 20, 2010

                        Patterns on our Pond.

A little pensive today.

In just a couple days we will be leaving for a trip to Florida.   It will take about 22 hours to drive to the place where my parents live, on the east coast of Florida, about half way down, a little south of Cape Canaveral.   It will be a good trip and a good visit.   We want to take two days getting there.

But now I’m in the packing mode.    What of my life do I take with me?   How much of my life is “dispensable” for a couple weeks?   How much of the things I do in my everyday life are even important?  

I look at the available space in the car  (Big Red) and suitcase, sort out essentials, non-essentials, and balance the desire to be proud of myself for packing light with the desire to bring all the things that make me comfortable.    How many books do I take?  …notebooks for classes,  CD players, cassette players, camera, teenycamcorder, laptop,MP3 recorder, cell phone,  PDA, hand-held games, knitting…running shoes, rollerblades…

Well, jeepers!    Do I want to sit and stare at the ocean for two weeks?   

So I stare out my window at the patterns the shadows make across the pond today and think about what’s important and what’s not.   I think I’m beginning to see some patterns in my life too.

My turn here tonight; a time to sit, kneel,  prostrate yourself before the Presence of the Lord;  truly a place of great privilege.    I expect I’ll have a few things sorted out  in my mind  afterwards; a few things to “take with me,”  so to speak.


February 19, 2010

For my friends in class today, here it is, Ecce Panis!

“Behold the bread!”        Wonderful bakery.

Ecce is a useful Latin word.   Pronounced “et’-chay” it is often translated into English as “Behold!”   

“Ecce homo!”  Pilate said to the crowd who thirsted after Jesus’ blood.    Pilate had had Jesus scourged and he presented the Blood and the Man to the crowd.     “This is your man!   I did what you asked.  Behold.”       What Pilate had really said to all of humanity is:  “Behold, this is The Man sent to the World;   the Son of Man Who alone is able to atone for all your sins.”

Ecce tells you to look at something and note its significance.    What parent has not heard the excited words:  “Lookit!  Lookit!   Lookit!    Look at me, Dad!   Look at this, Mom!”      That is, look!  this is important!   Ecce!

So today, in our class, Our Lord has just “made an offer”  a certain young man could refuse….”Sell all you have … and follow me.”    And the young man sadly walked away;  it was too much for him right then to follow the Lord with his whole heart.

Jesus had just before this taught everyone that they must receive the Kingdom of Heaven as a little child;  that is openly, freely, with no defenses or conditions, because how else does a child have his needs met but to receive everything…and then trusts that it is enough?      But this young man could not become childlike and receive.    He had his stellar record of obedience to the Law and the material reward for such obedience. 

The young man just had too much going for him to lay it all down and simply trust, as a child.   For all those who can’t leave behind their earthly treasures to follow Jesus, Jesus proclaimed:  “It’s easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

No – wait.   Sometimes we are bigger camels:

You can be sure the disciples were pondering this.    They sure weren’t rich.   They didn’t have any possessions with them.   They didn’t even have permanent homes anymore.

So Peter says:  “Ecce!”     Ecce nos…!”    Look at us!    We’ve done better than that young man!   We’ve left everything in order to follow you!”  

This was a proud and self-confident kind of “Ecce.”        They had much to learn from the events of the next week which was to follow.

Enjoy the bread, my friends.


February 19, 2010

My own son:Sometimes it’s the wrong time to let go.

But “letting go” is always the right thing to do when it comes to allowing God to work in your life.

You see, they say “God is a Gentleman,”  and what they mean by that is that God will not force you to do anything against your will nor will He pry anything out of your hands, no matter how desperately you’re trying to hang on to it.

Around this time of the year I used to worry about my son and his friends making the very long drive down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.   They would stay at a friend’s house, make the long walk back and forth to “where the action is, ”  and they would never, never appear before the Live Streaming Webcams on Bourbon Street.   

Ha!    I could worry “real good.”

This year they didn’t go to New Orleans;  they went to the Rockies;  Wyoming, Utah, anywhere they could hurl themselves down snowy mountains on snowboards.   At least, that’s all I thought I had to worry about.

The day I spent relieved that he was heading to the airport, soon to be on his way home, he wasn’t.      What he and his friends had been doing before they got to the airport is taking a little detour to Red Rocks, Nevada – for a little mountain climbing up sheer rock faces.    Oh…..about 180 feet up right there in the photo.

He made it up there too and he felt pretty great about it.  And I was (secretly) pretty proud of him.   I really was.

Although, this was the only physical object keeping him “safe”:Someone was down at the bottom taking a picture of our son on the other end of that rope, but Someone was looking down on him  from above watching over him and continuing to guide him to his Home….

And I didn’t really have to do any worrying….All I had to do was the Mom’s duty of praying for my children — and then be sure that I was the one to “let go.”

The son was pretty competent at rock-climbing…and God is pretty competent leading our loved ones down their best road.


February 18, 2010

Now that the Novacain has worn off, or whatever they hit me with, I was thinking, I ought to have a little  more “Lenten” type of posting.  I did hear a short but very effective sermon based on the book of Joel today.

The circumstance which brought about the book of Joel was the devastation brought on by a particularly servere plague of locusts.   When you grow up on the edge of the great American Prairie, as I did in Illinois, you know what locusts mean. 

But I saw it as a child, and not as an adult needing to protect and provide for his family.

Here’s how Joel described the land after the locusts came through:    “The country is destroyed;  the ground has mourned, for the corn is wasted, the wine is confounded, and the oil has languished.”   (Joel 1:16)

In the sermon, the bishop said that the book of Joel opens with a severe famine brought on by the locusts;  and he said, “And then what did they do?  They called for a fast!”    Yes,  there were no crops left, the people were starving,  and the remedy was to fast.

They had been brought to the point of realizing that by leaving God behind in their daily lives, that they had also left behind God’s graces and mercies.    The only remedy is a repentance serious enough to show it by fasting, prayers, and genuine sorrow for their sins.

From that point I understood the “spirit of penance” and the value of serious prayer and fasting as an expression of genine repentance.     Surely, in this age, when repentance is so very much needed, “giving up something for Lent” doesn’t quite sound rigorous enough.

The sermon went on to bring out the fact that our own Lenten penitential practice, whatever it is that we choose,  is a private matter between us and Our Lord.   That is a freeing thought.

Our Lenten practice should be private, interior, and personal, expressing the degree to which we understand the serious necessity of repentance.


February 17, 2010

I discovered something:

For a Sure-Fire Whiz-Bang  Kick-Start beginning to your Lenten fast, try a two-hour stint in the dentist’s chair.    In the morning.

What not to eat will not be a problem for the next couple of days.

And for a reminder that we are Dust and we will crumble up  to Dust once  again….your teeth are happy to oblige for the lesson.

Afterwards:I went here….or under there, actually.      Got out of the dentist 25 minutes before I needed to be there;  it’s a 15 minute drive….I thought I had “plenty of time.”

Well,. I didn’t.  By the time I got there it was Standing Room Only.    In fact, the Standing Room Only was Standing Room Only.   I think there were people having trouble getting all the way in through the doors.   That’s a good thing, I think.  A good sign.

It was good to see our bishop there too.   I’m not really un-tall, but there were a lot of men in front of me.   But by a coincidence of  heads and shoulders placement, I had a direct view straight up to the front, so I could see the bishop.   

That was nice, too, although it was a little disconcerting seeing him walk around …things…up there.    No altar, really.    I could not stay for the whole “service.”      

I’ll have some serious missal-time later.   Did you know you could send your Guardian Angel to the Altar, when you cannot go? 



February 16, 2010

I’m usually inclined to draw lessons from things.   Maybe it’s the teacher in me, but whatever I see, wherever I go, the things I bump into or that bump into me usually offer a variety of lessons “for my classes.”

But this one has me stumped.    I can think of no lesson;  no meaning;  no purpose; no comment.    Nothing to say.    Just….enjoy:

That photo  was taken by a pilot of a helicopter * – as he was flying his helicopter!  That reddish thing and the black fuzzy shape is a turkey vulture.   It flew into the cab while he was flying near Miami, during the Superbowl;  and then it stayed there, resting on the seat,  for the last twenty minutes of the flight. 

I’m really touched by that.    What was going on in that bird’s brain? 

We have turkey buzzards around here too:

That photo was taken a few months ago in the sky above my neighborhood.  Usually one or two or three circle around in the air over a small dead animal, or maybe a dead deer.   I don’t know what they were seeing this day.

They’re good birds, with a good purpose.    If it were not for them, we’d be rapidly buried under a layer of carrion.   They help keep our planet clean.    They usually don’t need us to be able to do their work.

I don’t know why that one turkey buzzard needed a lift in a helicopter, but it’s a charming image of mankind “having dominion over” the animal kingdom, including our responsibility to take good care of them and to help them whenever they need it.

Adam and Eve in Eden, with some “reptile” friends.

*   Photo was first presented on the Coast to Coast Website, for any of you who are familiar with that nighttime radio program.


February 16, 2010

A  post about seeing:

This was our sky today:

And this is our “earth” —  we see a lot of this, this time of year:

If you’ve visited the Spruce Tunnel before, you may note that I’m pathetically besotted with my new MBTs (shoes) and I find that I’m out walking at various times of the day (now that I’ve got the hang of it).    I’m seeing lots of snow and sky lately.

Today I looked up as I was walking and noticed how beautiful the sky was.  The sky was really a fairly bright white today.    And then I saw the snow, matching the sky.  White above and white below.   But it’s not  fair to call it white, really.    The sky was grayish, blue-ish, white.    And the snow?   Grays and blues and whites.

There are many shades of whites that slide into grays….and the grays slide into greens and yellows and blues.    The blues proceed from the whites and also from the grays.    Blues from whites becomes light-filled shades of silvery blue and then silver and then….invisible, I think.

Blues from grays become opaque colors of grayish blue, blue-ish gray; light blue, light and medium blue-gray, and because they are opaque, the colors suggest shapes and patterns of their own.     Am I seeing densitities in the clouds and in the snow?    Or am I seeing streams and strands of colors flowing through the clouds and snow?

Do the mists which hang under the sky and over the snow have color?   Or do they just convey  and reflect color in their shapes?

So many times I’ve regretted not investing  money and time into oil paints.  I’d like to have control over capturing some of the beauty of the winter snow and sky;  but in order to have that control I’d need a forgiving medium like oil. 

Then – because I’m not an artist, and because the last time I seriously thought I was was when I had a box of Crayolas in front of me — I began to remember all the colors in a BIG box of Crayola Crayons. 

About 20 years ago I had thought about buying one last big box of crayons for my kids.  The Crayola company had just brought back some of those wonderful old colors that I had used as a kid:   Midnight Blue,  Flesh,  Copper;   and then a couple of silvers, Silver and Silver-Blue;  and Gray and Light Gray and Charcoal Gray.

A kid could really aspire to become an artist with a box like that!

But I didn’t buy the big box for my kids.    Neither of them showed much interest in really, really getting down to drawing and coloring;  and they both were leaving childhood — and all the accompanying possessions — and were entering a new age of their lives — with all the new necessary possessions.     We were beginning to need either a new house or some serious weeding out of the old house.

So no more new boxes of Crayolas.  

And now I don’t have any.   And I’m old enough to wish I did.   Because I’d really like to set down what I see above and below.


February 14, 2010

Aren’t these beautiful!

Hand-painted Valentine cookies!    A very talented member of one of our Bible Studies made these for us, gave us each a little packet.     I do believe it was a husband-and-wife project;  at least for the essential taste-testing duty.  

These looked way too good to eat for the first day or two, but then we gave in, and all I can say is “Good thing I took a picture of these beauties!  They were delicious!”

Thanks, my friends, and thanks for making me part of the Giving-and-Receiving stream among friends, and thanks for reminding me to do my part in the future!


February 14, 2010

MMX !  How interesting!   In this Year of Our Lord MMX the world’s Valentine’s Day falls on Quinquagesima Sunday!   In this happy coincidence may Christians see the contrast between the culture we live in and our life of Faith.

First, here is an old representation of St. Valentine:

Beautiful!   But not too informative.   That’s because the Church doesn’t know much about this saint, save that he is a martyr from the 3rd century.     We infer that he held true to the Faith that was passed down to him by the Early Church Fathers, which is the same Faith, traditions, and teachings, that had been passed to them by the Apostolic Fathers.   We believe that St. Valentine was beheaded for his Faith.

Not much else is known for sure.   The Church calls stories about him “legends.”   He is technically quite a minor saint, merely mentioned publicly in today’s liturgical prayers.     Martyr!  May his example protect us as we hold on to our Faith!

Our culture celebrates “in the name of this man” quite differently:I was in the grocery store last night about 11:00 p.m.; there were just a few things I needed that I didn’t want to have to purchase on a Sunday.   It was a bit busy in there!   Lots of men, by themselves or with little daughters, walking from aisle to aisle, some of them holding bunches of flowers.  It was so sweet.     Our culture tells us that today is the day that we recognize the love we have for our sweethearts.   That’s a good thing!

I live in two worlds.

I’ll honor St. Valentine as a member of the Communion of Saints.  And I’ll also….well, I’ll let Hubbie know I love him.

But something for maturing thinkers to think about:   When the Church wants to become part of the modern culture, it will describe itself in the terms of the culture.  It will choose from among the legends of this saint and give “Valentine’s Day” a religious spin in today’s sermons.    That is unnecessary, but it is also a very dangerous path to begin walking down.

It seems so “okay” and so “right” to take the good customs of this world and bring them into the Church — but I can’t help thinking of Proverbs 16:25 – “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof is the way of death.”    

And that’s why it’s interesting that today is also Quinquagesima Sunday.   This is the last of the three Sundays which prepare us for that descent into the serious, sobering thoughts which come at Lent.

We have a different path to take.

This is the heart for which St. Valentine died.   Today we can see how we “part company with the world,”   or else we too march to death.


February 13, 2010

The Master returns home to his Castle.  Though it’s seen dimly through the mist, his memories are clear.

As is his wont, he will (soon) ride into the court, dismount, and entrust his stallion to the stable hands.    Then he can remove his helmet and breast shield, his mail, his spurs and gauntlets and give them to his boy;  but he will not relinquish his sword for the long walk to his Castle, up the great stairs, and in through the oaken doors that shield what is his from that which is outside.

Within those doors he knows he will find family and servants to welcome him home.  He knows their gladness is true because his presence means safety.    He will find affection from his wife, fidelity in the eyes of his servants, and his young sons will greet him with their own merry selfish hearts.

But before these beloved occurrences, his eyes will seek out a bright silvery cage in the outer hall, which holds a token of all that is good and precious in the world.   In the silver cage is a bird of soft, colored beauty,  and he will be pleased to see that the bird is well and safe and happy.   And at the sight of his Master the bird will sing out its own sweet song, delighting his Master’s heart.

For this, and for all that, the Master is glad.

(It was truly a rough morning today;  but these gentle lessons from St. Francis de Sales transformed this painting that hangs on my wall.  Now I remember why I keep it near me.)



February 12, 2010

Sudden death, this afternoon:

I’ve been writing about the possibility of cosmic changes, rapid earth changes, changes that might end “life as we know it.”

All these are “minor” changes.

This young luger from Georgia experienced a Sudden Change a few hours ago.    That photos was taken moments before his accident.

And we’ll all experience this kind of Change.      From the world’s perspective, some of these Changes seem sudden, some seem long, but when it’s happening to us, somewhere at the end of the process there will be a sudden irrevocable Change, and we will be where we are, at that instant, for ever.


February 12, 2010

Yesterday I wrote about Robert Felix and the Coming Ice Age.

He has another Website  that  presents his science-based speculations on “evolutionary leaps” in our DNA caused by exposure to cosmic rays and changes in the electro-magnetic environment of our planet.

 I remembered I had an actual “output” from a DNA-finding machine that was sent to me by my sister who is a real scientist (unlike me who only guesses at the names of things.)

The only bright place in the house was on the deck, so I stuck out my arm and held the DNA thing over the snow.   

Maybe I can lighten it up a bit:

Now, that’s not human DNA.  Knowing my sister, it’s probably one of her poor ocean sponges that she gave cancer to in the hopes that it would tell her its secrets about killing the cancer cells.    I just thought it was fun seeing some actual DNA results.

(Pardon the orange stains.   That sheet has been through many a school classroom, Girl Scout meetings,  and other strange places.)

They tell us our DNA is like “software” — information that tells our bodies what to do with itself.    I subscribe to the idea that our bodies are electro-chemical systems, in which every cell is surrounded by and operates on principles of electrical communication, within the cell and from cell to cell.

This has big implications, especially in our modern world where we have created technology  that uses an electrical frequency which most affects and  inteferes with  our living functions including our health, our well-being, and our ability to use our minds.

Robert Felix and many others think that, even before this technological age,  highly charged (electro-magnetic) streams  originating far away from Earth have also  affected human DNA, usually degrading it, so that we have been  collectively changed.

It’s interesting that lots of people think we’re in for another bombardment…soon.  

If they study the sun, they believe we’ll have another round of super-sunspots and coronal mass ejections.    ( The link to SpaceWeather on the right-hand column keeps track of those.)

If they study plasma physics, they believe we will soon pass through fields of streaming plasma….

If they study far objects in the universe, they speak in terms of exploding bodies that eons ago gave off cosmic rays that will soon intersect our pathway through the universe.

Often there are identifiable cycles of interferences like this.   But whatever has happened and whatever will continue to happen to our planet tells me that we are not living in an “ideal universe” —   Something has happened that caused “cosmic” changes — just like the Bible says.   We have had a Fall.     Humans, the planet Earth, and all of the cosmos is not quite the “perfect place”  that we collectively long for.

I’m not sure if I agree with Robert Felix on “evolutionary leaps” due to changes in our DNA.   Any “leaps ahead” would be more due to spiritual matters, and they would be managed by our Creator working with “cooperative” human creations.    And I can’t speculate  what a “leap ahead” would actually mean;  I just believe in “the resurrection of the body”   (credo in carnis resurrectionis):

“Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.”      (St. John the Divine in his  First Epistle;  1 John 3:2)

 “But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.”   (St. Paul to the Corinthian Christians;  I Cor. 2:9)

I don’t know,  seems like we can’t speculate too much further than that;   John and Paul  didn’t know;  we’re not going to “know” for sure.   And it seems like we have enough to do meanwhile  just to  make  sure that we’re “in cooperation” with our own Creator!


February 11, 2010

In light of all the snowstorm news lately, I thought I’d weigh in on my opinion of the global warming hoax (always, always tied to new legislation and taxes  imposed on the developed world – us!.    “Why do you rob banks?”   Jesse James: “Because that’s where the money is!“)  

The Coming Ice Age

Since the mid-90s I’ve been hearing Robert Felix  interviewed from time to time on short-wave radio and other “alternative” media sources.   He has been giving out the message for these last fifteen years that there are signs that (1) when this planet cycles back into its ice age phase, the change is quite rapid, a matter of a very few years, not decades or centuries;   and (2) that there are increasingly urgent signs that this planet has entered its ice-age forming period.

Glaciers all over the world are advancing!   Here is a photo of one in Alaska which in 2007 had advanced one third of a mile.    He has scientific documentation and many photos of glaciers all over the world which are also advancing at his Website

The main page of his Website is www . iceage now . com   (with no spaces)  but that link in the last paragraph will take you to his glacier page.    Late last summer I heard that for the second and  third year in a row in certain mountainous areas out West the new snow of the season began to fall before the old snow had completely melted.   That is the way that glaciers form, and this was getting downright noticeable.

And interesting.   

It’s fun to play around at his Website.  He is certainly not the only source of scientific measurements that indicate a general and rather rapid cooling of our planet’s recent average temparatures.  Perhaps more of these people will be given a “voice” in our media.  

During an ice age, the whole world doesn’t get cold.     All it takes is a two or three degree lowering of average temperatures and a lot of snowfall which doesn’t melt from year to year.   Once the process gets going, it develops quickly.  Less and less land is available for living, for growing crops, and for wild animals to spread out in. 

W. Michale Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear write some very interesting speculative fiction based upon their long research as scientists.  Their series of books about humans redeveloping civilization at the end of the last Ice Age is very instructive, especially the one called People of the Nightland.    This is a great “read” which describes not only the physical planet at the time, but also its subtle effects on humans and perhaps the role that personal decisions make in the development of war and peace among people.      At the very least it brings home the fact that the quality and activity of our lives is very much ordered by the conditions of our planet.

It’s a little “chilling”   (pardon the pun) to realize that, currently, scientists say that we are in the middle of planet Earth’s long ice age, reckoned in hundreds of thousand years long cycles.    We are in an ice age.   But for the past 13,000 years or so, for some reason,  there has been a temporary melting of the glaciers.   

Within that 13,000 years there have been mini ups and downs in glacier coverage which we find can be correlated to events in recorded history and the rise and fall of certain ethnic groups in certain parts of the earth. 

You can Search for the charts….they all show a probable end to our last temporary mini-warming period.

Next posting I’ll introduce Robert Felix to Enoch, the man who “walked with God.”



February 10, 2010

The night before all the snow was supposed to arrive I put out bird seed on our railing so the birds would have an early morning head start on the food they need.    After I had “inspected” the snowfall at the front of our house  this morning (last posting), then I opened up our back door to the deck.

Now, I didn’t make those patterns along the deck railing.   The railing should have had an even coating of snow.   It was the birds who knew where the seed was and they had pretty efficiently dug down to the railing to get it.

But then I noticed something interesting  (interesting to Morning-Brain here).  So I zoomed up on the railing:

And there was a little “bird sculpture” on the railing.   Instead of knocking off all the snow, they left a little formation — looked a little like…one of them!   Even when I walked up close to it, it still looked like a snow-covered little bird.   Charming!

When I walked out, I had scared some doves, who took refuge in a thick limb – which looks like it was bent under the weight of snow.    There are three of them there, only two show up real well.  

Of course my camera caught all our little visitors:  blue jays, cardinals, cedar waxwings, snow buntings, chickadees, and a few brave goldfinches.    But I’ll just show the doves again.   They are so skittery, I have to sneak up on them, kind of from below.

Just imagine that railing also filled with yellows, blues, reds, black-and-whites, navy blues, and beautiful soft oranges.   

But…too many photos….

How about just some “diamond dust” ?    When the sun finally came out, I had to take time to enjoy the myriads of ice crystals in the air….You can almost just see the sparkling “dust” — each speck alive with brilliant  sparkles like minature diamonds.

Too bad the camera can’t see quite what our eyes can see.


February 10, 2010

“Reps” – That’s gym talk for how many times a certain weight is lifted in the same way by a body part;  right?

Today I figured out Snow Reps.   This sight greeted us this morning:

Early in the morning;  still kind of dark at 9:30 a.m.      This is our driveway, taken by me, standing on our front porch.     Mother Nature has something against driveways.   You may remember last Fall when I couldn’t find this driveway under a layer of multicolored leaves…also probably about 10 inches deep.

So….here’s the arithmetic:      

It takes 8 Shovel-Fulls to remove snow in  a 5-foot long path.

The driveway is about 75 feet long.   75 divided by 5 is 15.

15 x 8 is 120.     Right?

So 120 Reps for each path.     One  skinny path down the length of the driveway.  Then you have to do that for the width of the driveway.   At least 10 shovel widths.

At least 1,200 Reps.     Snow Reps.  

Before I could find the shovel, our mailman went by.   At first I was amazed that the old saying is true: “Neither rain nor sleet nor snow….”  etc.    Nothing will stop the delivery of the mail!

Only it did.   The mailman slowed down at each mailbox, deemed the distance between his window and the mailbox too far – and drove off slowly to the next mailbox.    We don’t get our mail actually into our boxes unless he can reach….

More math:   Each box has an overhang of about 3 feet.    The mailman’s truck is about 2 feet beyond that.    2 + 3 is 5.       8 Shovel-Fulls for each 5 feet of length….

And how wide a pathway to allow the mail truck to approach….. 

All these Reps for free.     No gym required.    I saved a LOT fo money today.


February 8, 2010

The weatherman promises us a two-day snow event starting later this evening.   About time.   The Spruce Tunnel needs a little Refill on the snow.   Its pathways today were hard-packed and icy.   Very difficult to ski on….or to snowshow on….

I’ve thought a lot about Bishop Baraga, The Snowshow Priest,  since we returned home;  since my unfrutiful search for his crypt which was supposed to be right where I was, below the cathedral complex.


I was talking about my search for Bishop Baraga with my cousin on the phone a few days ago.  She lives way, way up north.   She said she “saw him”  last summer  and the next day she sent me several photos she had taken.  

                Many thanks, Cousin!


He has a memorial park and a large statue looking over the northern land he came to love.

There is a pathway leading up to him.  You can walk right under his statue.

Closer up, you can see that he always has his snowshoes with him:

There is information about his life:

“I believe in the Communion of Saints….”

What we know is that all believers in Christ, and all who live united with Him, are part of the Communion of Saints.   Living or dead, we love our Lord and we love each other with His love and for His sake.    With the power and the permission of our Lord, those who have gone ahead can help us with their example and with  prayers on our behalf.   

Looking down from his statue, here is the edge of the northern forest which he knew so well, with its many lakes and bays of the Great Lakes.

There are  hundreds of thousands of square miles of  deep forest where the Chippewa and the Ottawa lived, and  the French traders and the early American settlers.  

All precious in the sight of God, and to whom He sent His servant, Frederic Baraga, a young man from the city life and universities of  Eastern Europe.

Summer and winter  he traveled through a lot of wilderness — and we have a lot of difficult traveling weather up here!