Archive for November 2013

LINGERING LEFTOVERS FOR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

November 30, 2013

 

No photos –  you have better images in your own mind –

So how was that “shockingly expensive”  turkey that I wrote about last time?   It was good:  delicious, and it didn’t upset our digestive tracts, as other turkeys do.  So we can face all the leftovers with confidence…and those good leftovers allow that Day to linger on….

We did the ordinary things on Thanksgiving Day, with additionally, for Son and me, we “remembered”  — all day we remembered what we were doing three years ago:  the five-hour ambulance ride home with Hubbie from his long hospital stay; a wonderful young lady-friend who unlocked the house for the Hospice people to come in, helped them move furniture, set up the hospital bed so all would be ready for our arrival….and later she so kindly provided a little Thanksgiving meal for us, slipping quietly into the background because she knew “we’d want to be alone…”

And then that next – surprising – day when Hubbie slipped away.

When the Head of the Household is stripped from the family,  then those who are left are left to be themselves, as individuals,  with no Head to revolve around.

We are, now, who we are, by ourselves.   We are what we are.    We are what we do with what we’ve been given.

And, oh,  how much we have been given.   So we come full circle back to this Thanksgiving Day, too.

I randomly came across a Thanksgiving message from Archbishop Chaput.   He pointed out that when you truly feel grateful,  when you truly give thanks,  you are acknowledging your dependence upon the One God who is there, and Who permits good things.

Okay, just one little picture. praying man silhouette

We often see stereotypical little scenes of people around the Thanksgiving table, saying out loud what they are thankful for.  It’s usually:  I’m thankful for… my family … my country .. my health …  my food ….

All permitted for us — all given to us — by the Good God.

Don’t waste this weekend!!   And leftovers help the meaning to linger on…..

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TURKEY SHOCK

November 27, 2013

Today was the day for me to pick up my Thanksgiving turkey.   Our little grocery store has a nice butcher; seems to know me personally, and he quickly brought out my turkey

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I glanced down at the turkey as it was placed into my shopping cart — and then all I could see was $53.76 !!

FIFTY-THREE dollars for a turkey??   And that was the special SALE price!!

I covered my shock with a smile and a dumb question:   “Where did this turkey come from?”

I already knew that:   Otto Farms.   Proper feed.    No hormones  or chemicals.   Open range.    Happy turkeys from a nice family farm nearby.

Family pets.

No wonder. . . .

 

11-26-13

November 26, 2013

11-26-13

So…it’s been an overwhelmingly rough three weeks in the Spruce Tunnel.

And now — it came up unexpectedly —  it is November 26th.   The day that Hubbie died.

Sleeping on rocking chair

I need to remember him in everyday life, as I saw him so often, relaxing around the house.   In his favorite chair.

It’s been three years.  2010 – 2013

The days are better, but the Day is not.

Sunset

We saw this sunset together on our travels, somewhere in central Illinois.

His sunset came;  mine has not.

God has my sunset waiting in His hands.

 

 

 

TUESDAY’S TRIBUTE TO MIXED SIGNALS

November 12, 2013

(Mixed:  young people read the first part,  grown-ups consider the rest.   My day to vent, with you.)

We have snow today,  but here is one last Glory Picture of Autumn. SAMSUNG

I worked hard to get rid of the leaves . . .

SAMSUNG . . . but you see the black brace on my hand.    Little bones still slightly broken — and that makes it hard to get the job done — left hand, right wrist!

Summer-Fall-Winter

So here is our snowfall yesterday, all soft and blurry –

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You can (almost) see the row of green bushes along the creek.  Green!   All the other trees are brown or yellow, as expected,  but we have more green leaves on trees than ever before.   It’s like we have three seasons at once.

This morning showed the same thing,  a little covering of snow over a thick layer of leaves under  an apple tree with green leaves. SAMSUNG Mixed signals.

It’s Tuesday.  The day I pay “tribute”  to the Victors.   11-06-12 sealed the deal.   I know they feel victorious because they aren’t even hiding anymore….no more need for stealth or subterfuge.  No need to cover their deceit.   No need to answer our questions.    No need to cloak their hatred of the United States of America — or of us, the citizens, who are being treated as  “subjects.”

The green leaves, fallen leaves, and snow keep me thinking about the politics of it all.    So clever to keep us mixed and confused,  because then we can’t think it’s “really that bad.”

So, first, the letters S  and H and then D,  in reverse order.   It’s not a real  D “department” in our government because 40% of “department heads”  are not there.  Do not exist.  There is no one in managerial postions in this fake department.  So who is managing this whole scheme?   Let’s make it clearer.     And, as I’ve written before,  America is not and never was understood to be an H  “homeland.”   We are the country people left their homeland for.    This is not Das Vaterland.   Whose idea is being imposed on us?

And it’s not about the S.   It’s about Control.    And arming our local police departments with military tactics and training, heavy artillery, tanks, weapons of mass control. . .    Children,  these are not the friendly neighborhood Men in Blue who will help you find your way home if you’re lost.   There is no Security here, when. . .   well,  you have been reading about the dreadful traffic stops, haven’t you?

This phantom department was created with the help of the head of the East German STASI.  Anyone remember who that is?   Your papers please.

Mixed Signals.

The Health Control Bill.    It’s not about “health,” of course, because there will be much less health care delivery.    It’s not “affordable” – to anyone — but that’s all right because the idea was if YOU can’t afford it, the rest of us will be forced to help you pay for yours — even if you choose not to have it. This is a massive transfer of the money in our bank accounts, the money we each earn,  into the hands of Big Brother,  putting it nicely.     Socialism through ownership of the medical field.

It’s not a law, it’s not an “act of Congress,” it’s a bill – a “bill of goods”   imposed upon an unwilling population.   The half-billion dollar non-working Website  that we paid for is irrelevant.

And to repeat –  it’s not about “health” — it’s about Control.   There are provisions to manufacture a biometric RFID chip to be used on every US citizen.  Eminiently hackable, of course.

Mixed Signals.

Undocumented Immmgrants who are here illegally.  We are supposed to allow them into our country as though they had not broken any laws;   as though we can afford to take care of them, even though we are overspent and bankrupt;   as though we can afford to lose the jobs foreign citizens will take from us;   as though our own country matters less than the votes they bring to the Ruling Class.

But again – it’s not about these “poor people”   who are seeking our succor,  it’s – again – about control.   Tucked into the Immigration “reform”   bill, is a provision for a mandatory biometric I.D. for EVERY United States citizen.  I guess they’ll just have to “pass the bill so we can see what’s in it” — and see the full ugly effects of a country of “free” citizens having to show papers everywhere we go.

Mixed signals.

Television programming is meant to demoralize our nation,  degrade our morals, and corrupt our manners –  We become, then, paralyzed.     Orestes Bronson,   Alexander de Tocqueville, and many of our Founding Fathers stated, warned us,  that we will be a free people only as long as we are a good people.   Do you turn on your TV and internalize these “mixed signals”?

I began with a posting of one last glory photo of this autumn.   I end with …  Old Glory.

Flag Old Glory with Storm Old Glory in a cloudy sky.

A SOMBER LOOK AT “VETERAN’S DAY”

November 11, 2013

(We need to snap out of our collective Happy Trance)

Hurray!   Hurray!   Hurray!

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When I was young  my grandparents and their friends found it hard to start saying “Veterans Day”  on Nov. 11.   For them this day is Armistice Day,  the day that  honors the cessation of hostilities  of the Great War.   It was more than just a vocabulary change.

A case can be made that Armistice Day  marked the final end of the 19th century.    That century began to end noticeably in 1912,  the year the Titanic went down,  to the disbelief and psychic shock of all those who placed their hopes in progress and technology and materialism.

And then soon after came the Great War….Such tragedy, but such possibilities.   This is the “Great War to End All Wars”!!   But as it progressed and came to its  horrifying end, the only thing great was the human tragedy and pain and death and . . . futility,  for nothing, in the end, was solved.        It was shocking and contrary to all reason to think that a century of such “progress”  could end in all the hideous murders of everything humanity held sacred.

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There was the mass homicide of the Great War which began for reasons which the population of Europe and America did not fully understand or nor could they have predicted.

There was the democide by the great socialist revolution in Russia, soon to be followed by subsequent democides that socialism is known for.

There was the genocide in Armenia.

There was theocide,  the life-force of Protestant religions having been dealt a death blow by the great “-isms” of the 19th century:  Darwinism,  Freudianism, the public rise of atheism,  phenominalism,  modernism,  scientism,  progressivism…..  Oh, my!   I don’t have the time to begin to list them, although they are all tentacles of “revolutionism,” depicted by this logo:

revolution fist

So, a great century was ending and nothing was as it was thought to be.   Technology had been turned against the human race.   Materialism had failed the human spirit.   Scientism and progressivism – the idea that we are more and more solving our problems by our clever technologies and inventions had proved to be greater than we could handle.    Our technological achievements had out-run our moral growth.

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An end!   An end to it all!    But none of the “-isms”   could provide a way out.   So…an “armistice”  was declared.    With the last sigh of dying hope, the nations who fought each other signed a cease fire  on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year, 1918).

On a smaller scale,  this was a happy day because soldiers were coming home, families could attempt to rebuild a normal life, and all could use this time of ceasefire to heal.      But many veterans came home like this,  blinded by the chemical warfare and lungs crippled.

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It was an opportunity to look squarely at the cause of such a Great War.   See where we had gone “off the rails.”    Reject the giddiness of progressivism.   Repent and turn back to reality and sanity.

And if not?   We were warned.   “A greater, more terrible war will break out.”   The cease fire will itself cease.

What happened?   What went on in the decades following that first Armistice Day?

The warning…came to pass.

And now we honor – not the cease fire of old –  but we resign ourselves to honoring ALL the veterans who had to die in all the subsequent wars…..And that’s more than just a vocabulary change.

“War is a punishment for sins.”    A true an explanation as any other.   How many more veterans will there be in the future?

 

FALL FALLING

November 7, 2013

Untouched photo –

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Before we leave early Autumn altogether, I’d better post the beauties of this season.     The colors were not really brilliant this year,  but they had a kind of glory of their own.

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These were taken as I drove along on my errands.      There was a lot to look at!

Today, at home,  as I was working at the table that overlooks my backyard,  I kept getting distracted by the view and by the downward motion of the leaves.

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See, the colors aren’t brilliant,  but the air had a kind of yellowish glow to it which lit up this overcast day.    The leaves fell like snowflakes when the wind blew.    It’s hard to see in that photo, but a close-up helps.    The white splotches are actually yellow leaves drifting down.    Constant motion.

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When I walked past another window, my eye caught on a little patch of red.

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That pretty little bush is about the only red I have this year.    But before I could admire it for too long, I saw the pond.   Much of that “constant motion”   has landed in the water.    I’m going to have to figure out a way to rake my pond!

Which reminded me of the work possibly waiting for me in the front yard…..

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Yep.    “Constant motion” out there too.

TRIBUTE TO TUESDAYS: DISHONESTY AND DECEIT

November 5, 2013

Another  Tuesday.   Sighhhhhh.      Another Tribute to that deadly Tuesday  of 11-06-12.

Deceit is in the air presently, in this country.   Deliberate deceit.   Not the kind where you tell lies to get out of trouble, to make yourself look better,  but the kind of lies you tell to get your agenda across to a people, a nation,  that doesn’t want it.

So you tell deliberate lies.

This is a teaching of those who are studied in warfare.   This is a teaching of Islam.   This is a teaching of socialism.    But this is not in the collective nature of the American people.

I read legal depositions, where you take an oath and swear to tell the truth  in your answers or statements.   I’ve read an estimated three to four thousand in the last ten years, and there are some common points that attorneys make as the deposition gets started.  One commonly asked question is: “Have you ever been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty?”    That would be fraud,   embezzlement, passing false checks or counterfeiting, plagiarism, etc.     They ask this because if the person under oath says “Yes,”  then that answer colors the whole deposition and any evidence which may come forth out of the deposition.   The attorneys want to know that ahead of time,

The importance of this question arises from the better nature of the American character.   When our people accepted hardship and danger and hard work in order to build their lives and live their own lives in that precious state of freedom,  honesty was of primary value.   People had to trust you, you had to trust the people around you.    Your word was as good as your honor.  Many a handshake sealed the deal.

If an elected official was suspected of deceiving the people, Americans of old would rise up and yell:  “Throw the bum out!”

If an elected official was suspected of deceiving the people, Americans of old would rise up and yell:  “Throw the bum out!”

If elected officials were suspected of deceiving the people, Americans of old would rise up and yell: “Throw the bums out!”

When our people accepted hardship and danger and hard work in order to…live in that precious state of freedom,  they would yell:  “Throw the bums out!” – and then roll up their sleeves and get the work done.

(And we have Local Elections day, on this day, Tuesday.)

 

ALL-SAINTS and ALL-SOULS

November 2, 2013

“Hey.  We all have souls, and when we die it will all work out all right then, right?”

It’s about midnight here.  As we make the transition from All Saints Day to All Soul’s Day, we get an opportunity to look at these two terms more closely,    There was a time when I took offense at the idea that the Church could declare some people “special” and call them “saints.”

st louis ixWhat right do they have calling some people more special than others?

Are some men and women “holier”  than the average  believer?

Well, yes — as long as you remember that their holiness is not their own, but comes from God Himself, Who alone is the only Source of what we know as “holiness.”   And the distribution of  holiness appears to be unequal among believers.

So, if this is a Good God who is so willing to give us blessings, why does he give more holiness to some believing souls?    I suspect it’s  because He could give some more than others.

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That is,  it was something in the saints themselves that allowed the blessings and graces to flow into them more easily.    Any soul that believes in  Christ as Savior is said to “cooperate”  with grace (supernatural aid) from  God.     A saint is said to have shown “heroic” virtue  or “heroic” faith and perseverance, right to the end of their earthly existence, and every November 1st  Christendom remembers in so many ways those who left their good example for us — and who live on, consciously aware of our ongoing struggles.

But it’s All-Souls day now, and we acknowledge all those who are technically saints,  but in a more general sense of that term   There could be at least three levels of believers below a canonized “saint.”

There is the ordinary good person, a believer, doing the best he knows how, climbing that upward ladder.

ladder

Then there is the half-asleep believer who vaguely assents to what he has been taught,  sleep-walking through life, picking and choosing what appeals to him, avoiding any serious obstacles.

Sleepwalking

Nice guy, though.

And the lowest category has to be the wrong-doers.     They certainly exist.     They align themselves with the Church, they probably believe in something about God  , but they aren’t (yet)  seeing a connection between their behavior and Christ and His teachings.

Talk about “Christianity”  and the enemies of the Church will draw your attention to this third category of “general saints.”

But what is the Truth of the matter?      I don’t know.    Jesus said the fields would be sown with wheat and weeds and it’s going to be hard to tell the difference.    If you uproot the seedlings you don’t like,  you’re likely to take out some good wheat too.

So that’s not our job because  we’re all seedlings! 

All those who have chosen to believe in Christ, the Son of God, Savior,   all those are “seedlings.”     We’re not quite the best that we’re going to be.    And that’s what All Souls Day tells us to remember:   those believers who have died, who are still part of the Communion of Saints,  and who still need our friendship and our prayers.

 

ALL SAINTS DAY – JOINING IN

November 1, 2013

 

saintas beatific

That we have saints at all is completely due to the goodness and kindness of the Creator towards us humans.   That is, it’s His goodness, kindness, compassion, His many gifts and graces, the offer of His companionship that draw us toward Him;   and then it’s His grace and power, given to us, that enable us to make that move. . . .

It’s always our choice,   but our choice is so richly rewarded,  beyond what we had anticipated.

saint

It doesn’t take much on our part.    Just send up a little question mark, a fragile, little “question mark,” upwards towards what God “might” be.   Your question will be noticed. . . and rewarded.

Do it again. Send up a little more based on that experience, and you will be able to receive back even a little more.

Repeat.   (Your choice.   This is an act of your free will.)

It can’t be this good!

Somewhere along the way you will say:  Oh my goodness!      God can’t be this good and perfect and attentive!     But He is.

All His Creation is an expression of His glory.    The glory of the Light of the stars is the same Light that is meant to be in us.

stars and all

Here are the words of Baruch, the prophet, more than 2500 years ago, giving testimony to this God calling all things to His glory.

“He that sends forth light, and it goes: and hath called it, and it obeys  Him with trembling.  

And the stars have given light in their watches, and rejoiced: 

They were called, and they said: Here we are: and with cheerfulness they have shined forth to Him that made them. 

This is our God, and there shall no other be accounted of in comparison of Him.”      (Baruch 3:  33-36

“With cheerfulness”  the stars shine out.   With cheerfulness and great joy humans were meant to shine out with the glory of God.

The Church gives us today and a whole Octave of days to celebrate what that means!