Archive for December 2016

“GONE – SELFISHLY GONE”

December 26, 2016

One of the things my Mom liked best about living in Florida was the manatees.  One time I made her a set of stationery with manatees on the envelopes and papers,  even on some return address labels.

And today –  I SWAM with the manatees!

m-1

I mean I was right down in the water with them.

m-over-there

They drifted slowly around me, eerily smooth and silent, in their native home.

m-slow-motion

They would come right up to me.

m-at-you-close

And then I stepped back a bit and wondered how close they would get;  they’re big!

So then I looked down at my legs in the water and – yikes!   There was another one getting ready to swim right under me!

m-down-there

I stepped out of the way. but he kept moving, like, behind my legs, although I didn’t feel him brush up against me.

Did you know manatees have belly buttons?

m-belly-button

When one like this rolled over and glided past my face, I could see the big circular indentation where his belly button is.

It was really all so other-worldly  but so peaceful being under water with the manatees moving all around;   big gentle creatures, slowly floating, swimming,  moving, turning              . . .

 

. . . .and then I had to take off the Virtual Reality headset. . .  and give them back to my Son .

Whew!    What a strange experience.  I mean stepping back into the “real” world is strange, where all you have is  . . .  this;  whatever is around you.   So limiting!  

Yes, we are now a family with Virtual Reality.   There is nothing like it.   Not even “real reality.”           It’s hard to make the two worlds “meet.”    You can tell someone has the VR headset on because — well, this is what you hear – in very soft tones:

            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . wooo . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . uh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oh . . . oh,  wha- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  wha- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  nnnnnnn . . . . .

         . . . .SSSST!! – oop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  hoooooooo   . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . .  Oh!    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Whoa! . . . . . .  . . . .

. . . . . . . .HEY GUYS!!!   YOU GOTTA SEE THIS!!!!    . . . . . . . . . . . . . no . . . . . .wait . . . .wait a  . . . . . .  uh   . . . . . .

You get the idea, I guess.   Not very flattering, but you really sound like that when you’re in the Virtual Reality world!       You’re gone,  all gone to the real world.   Selfishly gone because it’s a one-man experience,  one at a time.

And you don’t want to give up that Virtual Reality headset!

 

 

Advertisements

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

December 24, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS  FROM OUR NEIGHBORHOOD TO YOURS.   

xmas-house

It’s so nice to hear “Merry Christmas” from nearly everyone – even from those who are not noticeably or necessarily Christian,   even they are extending courtesy and kindness, getting into the spirit,   to just say the words:  “Merry Christmas.”

Whatever your children’s pageant looked like  —

children

—  it’s so nice to see the children take their roles seriously — and to see the children in the audience paying such close attention,  because they know the Christmas story is for them, and they know it has important meaning, which they will some day understand.

So many other “nice” things to do – deliberately – as though each action has meaning lent to it by the Christmas Child.

gifts

Gift-buying,  gift-wrapping,  cleaning-cooking-baking,  greeting friends and family who live far away, who come for a visit,  being the friend or family  member who arrives for a Christmas visit,   hearing traditional Christmas carols,  singing traditional Christmas carols,  driving around your neighborhood to see the Christmas lights,  checking out the real, authentic Christmas story in the book of Matthew in the Bible,    hearing the long, long line of the genealogy of Jesus  read out to the congregation,  candlelight at Christmas Mass   —

—  going to Midnight Mass when you’re all comfy and warm in front of a fireplace and you’d rather stay home  —

—  but looking forward to that quiet, familiar time before the Altar, communing with the God who timed the Christmas star to shine over the Perfect Mother,  the Just Man waiting to become Foster Father of the Babe  —

—   the Christmas Baby Himself which tells us what we need to hear, over and over again:  we need Love,  He brings us Love;  we need Light,  He brings us Light;  we need  eternal Life after this life,  he offers us Eternal Life, with Him, forever.

Last of all we need Joy.  Jesus,  the Christ Child says:   “I have come that you might have joy, and that your joy may be full.”     He brings us joy.

Each Christmas activity is a confirmation of the truths we hear every year at Christmastime.

bars-dividers-big-xmas-pretty-balls

Faith.    Hope.    Love.

It’s so nice to create the Christmas spirit  and freely give it out – to all.  

Freely receive,  freely give.

 

DEC. 19 – SOME THINGS YOU KNOW

December 19, 2016

December 19th,  you know the Electors voted for  Trump to be our next president.

You know that H.er  R.oyal  C.lintoness received  “the most” popular votes.

You know that if you take away the votes cast for her in just one state,  California,  that Donald Trump received the most popular votes (in the remaining 49 states).

And that’s why this country is not a Democracy,  but a Republic and why we elect our president through the Electoral College system.     (Genius)

Did you know that Russia *  affected the outcome of our election??????

We got proof! –

ps-note

 

Observations from The Spruce Tunnel:  a/k/a  Flyover Country.

.* (Thanks and credit to someone who copied and pasted and copied that from a                      re-retweeted, retweeted Tweet.)

 

 

 

DAD IN DECEMBER

December 18, 2016

dad-at-400

My Dad.   Probably in December.    Holding a . . . baby . . .  (any hunters know what that is?)

It would be typical of my Dad,  who did hunt at times,  to notice a small baby game bird on the ground on a cold winter day,  and then pick it up gently,  check to see if it were hurt or something.

Today,  December 18th is his birthday — and I wish he could be here to tell me more about this picture.    I wish, too, that I had seen this photo of him when I was a little girl.  It would have added texture and perspective to what I was learning of him as I was growing up.   Perhaps he would not have been so utterly  powerful and “scary.”

And I wish we hadn’t lived 1,200 miles apart from each other because I would have liked to have gotten to know him, not as “a dad,”  but more as a man.    That knowledge came slowly.  Perhaps that’s natural,  but the more I knew about him as a man,  the the more the “scary dad” figure I had diminished,  and I could see all the real parts of him:   musician,  jazz genius;  Les Paul and Mary Ford,  Tommy Dorsey . . . .  Gave it all up for his “family.”   Me and Mom.

Electronics genius.  there was nothing he couldn’t do with electronics and nothing he couldn’t invent to solve an electronic problem,  including   “how to design a colored television so it could be mass produced.”    Helped make the Raytheon company big, in that department.     Gave that career path up too because World war Two took him out of high school and he felt he could never get in on the college degree path.

A man who lived under the certain knowledge that God exists — and that God is indeed God and Lord, no matter how very tough his life got for him.

Above all,  he was a strictly,  strongly moral man who could be depended upon to always be right!    Especially in social matters.   And as I was growing up:  “The Times They Are A-Changing.”

Whatever.     My Dad was right about that too.

We children,  whatever age  we are,  are supposed to have received and grown into the wisdom of our fathers.   

Our Dads   plus   us —  that makes the new generation.

Without our dads,  the world is pretty hard to understand:

dad-gone

But we can be pretty secure following in the wisdom – and footsteps – of our dads:

dad-and-baby-fox

 

Dad –  Happy Birthday.   I’m hanging on to what you showed me.

 

“MAP” OF LOVE

December 14, 2016

Much to do for Christmas,   much accomplished today.      Late.    Late and tired.    Will have to do serious “Tuesday”   posting tomorrow.

Meanwhile . . .

cookie-map

There is no limit to what we’ll do for Love.     

If there is,   it’s not Love.

Those aren’t Christmas cookies on my cabinet tonight.   They are Cookie Maps.   It’s a joke that I hope a six-year-old will appreciate.

He flies to me next week,   all the way from California.    The cookies are so he’ll know where to find me!      (Grandpa’s origins are at the blue dot.)

No limit to what crazy things we’ll do for Love.

But it would have been easier if we lived in Wyoming or Colorado.

WINDING DOWN BEFORE CHRISTMAS

December 12, 2016

(A snapshot of Dec. 10;  just keeping a record.)

Yup, we had that snowstorm.     I was buried today.    Not too bad,  I’ve seen worse –

d-second-shoveling

This area had about 9 inches of snow today.  That photo is my second  round of shoveling the driveway.  Still hadn’t made it out as far as the mailbox.     I knew I’d have to drive out in the late afternoon, so instead of shoveling all at once,  I did it in   “shifts.”     12:40 . . .  2:30 . . .   4:15.

You might recognize that as pre-game,   half-time,  and  post-game  (or rather between the first and second games.

Now I’m home,  I don’t care how much more snow has fallen,  and I’m enjoying the effect of the “frosting”  on my blue deck lights:

deck-blue-lts-400-dkn

I can NOT get a good picture that shows how soft and beautiful the lights are.   I think I’ll  go to sleep by that window tonight.

Another view with dramatic lights and shadows, but even less of the blue lights.

deck-snow-400

I’ll make good use of my insomnia tonight and just enjoy the winter beauty as I “wind down”  from all the things that have stirred me up during the past week or so.     The usual, of course:  holiday cleaning,  decorating,  gift-buying;   good preparation for the last-classes-of-the -year.   I can “wind down” on that too because we’re just going to take up where we left off after we begin  to meet again.   What I didn’t say or didn’t say well I can try again in January.

There was a flurry of party preparations for a while,  our Annual  Christmas-Movie-Pizza party,   but we had a less elaborate party this year.    We voted to have actual pizza this year,  so all we had to do was eat and enjoy.   I was very, very, very nervous about whether or not my guests would like the movie.    I wanted them to very much.

They did.    In fact,  they seemed to enjoy talking about it,  mulling over it,  letting it sink in,  beyond what I had hoped.       I can relax now.

I must have begun minimizing things,  simplifying,  winding down during the party.     I worked hard on creating an album of our past parties – that was fun –  I’d very much recommend keeping a small album of your own special group of friends…  just gather up photos from the past.

n-1-album

Here’s a Rule of Life I discovered:  The older you get, the more your past experiences mean to you, so be sure to  record good moments for your future reference!!    But even so,   for some odd reason  I didn’t take one picture during this year’s party.      Not one.

d-party-leftovers

That’s about all I have left….  some sorry-looking punch.     Good friends cleaned up most of the rest.     The leftover glögg  is outside on the deck,  staying cool.      It won’t freeze with all that . . .  you know,  alcohol doesn’t freeze!

So,  this is  “Random Thoughts in the Spruce Tunnel.”     I’m minimizing my Advent activities too.   Most of it is internal, for me, anyway.    And now I have this to think about:     It is Gaudete Sunday.    Letting up from fasting and penance a little, we focus for a  moment on the  Joyful Event that we’re preparing for.

So it’s  Pink,  not Purple:

pink

Except I had some discordant thoughts today.    My first quick peek at the news this morning revealed several groups of killings:      Kenya,   a chemical gas truck accident killing a couple dozen;  in Turkey,  an explosion killing about three dozen;   in Egypt, an explosion in a church killing a couple dozen or so;   and back to Africa, Nigeria, where a church roof collapsed, killing  160 people.    Several  stabbings,  shootings, and rapes were reported this weekend in Europe,  courtesy of their  “refugee”  guests.

Not a good way to begin Gaudete Sunday.

And not a good way to end it either,  in the late afternoon,   in one of those modernist-awful new-version of the Church churches….    where the new young priest or deacon or whatever  continually mispronounced   the word “gaudete”   (that’s okay, lots of lay people do),  gave the wrong meaning to the word “gaudet”    and where, after making brief reference to  the purple colors used in Advent and Lent, asked us  what the color purple means.

“Preparation,”   he says.    Purple indicates preparation.

Nope.

I don’t mind mistakes,   but what this young man said in the rest of his sermon displayed a shocking lack of education,   understanding, and knowledge of Church doctrine.    One more generation of this . . .  and it won’t even really matter.

I’ll do “purple” in another post soon.   Did you know there was a Purple Revolution going on?    And I’ll do better on Advent things.

bio

 

Right now my biorhythms chart shows my Emotional line  (the red one) scraping bottom.

It’s a good time to slow down,   wind down for a while,  without coming to any specific conclusions.     After all, snowstorms are for warm quilts, hot cocoa,  and a good book in front of the fireplace.

Things can only go up from here!

 

DEC. 8th – OF WOMBS AND WITNESSES

December 8, 2016

The movie  Indiana Jones . . .   had it    a   l  m   o   s   t     right.

ark-indy

The real Ark of the Covenant contained the enormous supernatural power of the Holy Almighty One.      And no human dare mess with it or take it lightly.

The real ark was made of hard and finely grained precious acacia wood,     and then completely covered inside and out and all around with gold.

Of course there were prequels to the Ark,    inklings in the pagan world that a real ark would be built some day to hold a divine something.    You can find archeological examples all over the Middle East.  But one day the real Ark was indeed built, along with gold rings at the corners and two long gold-covered acacia poles to put into the rings so that the Ark could be moved and carried without the touch of human hands.

After the Ark was filled . . .  the top was shut . . .  and no man – ever –   could ever open it again,  ever.    Nor could the Ark be touched,  not only not by profane (common) hands,  but neither by ordained, consecrated priestly hands.

ark

The Ark of the Covenant contained a “trinity”  of objects*,  each representing the holy presence of God-Most-High.     Centuries later,  when a young virgin was addressed as “blessed,”    she then “contained” in her womb the Divine Presence;   Mary is like the Ark of the Covenant and her womb “contained”   God.

How can this happen to a human girl?    How can this be?        “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, ”   Gabriel told her.

The  “Son”   was the Son of God-Most-High, and as such,  as “son,”  He too was of the same eternal substance as the Father.      It didn’t take long before the example of the Ark of the Covenant was understood to have been a foreshadowing of Mary,  “Blessed,”  called by God for a special purpose,   and  Ever-Virgin,  untouched,   never opened by man,  never to be opened.

On December 8th we acknowledge and celebrate Mary,  created without blemish,   just like the Ark of the Covenant,  perfectly made,  perfectly created by an act of God so that as soon as she was created,   she was conceived,   and she was conceived without the blemish, the macula,  the stain of sin because she was,  so to speak,  “saved”   by her Savior,  her Son,  from the first moment of her existence.

Yes, she is human, she needs a Savior **,   she has a Savior,   but in this special, one-time unique act of creation,    she was made to be the perfect Ark,  the perfect container,  the perfect womb to hold  the Son of God.

Her human body could “touch” the Holy  Son of God without annihilation.

Christians have written about this for many,  many centuries,    nearly 1,800 years;  and then, during a certain crisis in history,   the church decided it was time to formally define this doctrine so that people would know what Mary’s  “Immaculate conception”  meant and also what it didn’t mean.

No new doctrine, just a clear definition –   but not many knew what had just been written in Rome.   No cell phones in those days.   No tweets.

But an affirmation was sent, in the form of a visitation from the Immaculate Conception herself.   And to make sure it was a heaven-sent apparition,  Mary appeared to an unlikely witness:   an illiterate,  unschooled, rather ignorant peasant girl who could not have imagined nor understood the new definition, even if she had heard about it.

bourn grotto.jpg

It’s an interesting story,  a lovely story, really,  and told very well in the movie  “Song of Bernadette.”       Though her family, her town, the authorities,  her priest and her bishop resisted her testimony,    when she reported that the “beautiful lady” in the apparition had called herself “The Immaculate Conception,”    they began to listen.    Was this an inadvertent confirmation of the Church’s definition of an age-old doctrine?

How could Bernadette have known?

But what is also interesting is what happened to this ignorant,  uneducated peasant girl after the visitations.

This is a photo of her, a few years later:

bourn-alive

She became a very private person;  a nun;   holy;   humble;   serene.

And this is what happened to her after her death-

bourn-casket

 

Oh – how about a close-up —

bern-in-death-30-yrs

30 years after her death  they wanted to move her body, and, as was the practice,  they opened her casket.    Beautiful.    Her body untouched.   She had beheld a holy and heavenly visitor,  conversed with her,  and it changed her spirit,   her personality,  and even her physical habitation.

We do not celebrate Bournadette on this day, nor her apparition at Lourdes,  but we celebrate the reality of the Immaculate Conception,  a young virgin,  created to be the perfect, holy vessel for the Incarnated Son of God;     the real  Ark of the Covenant.   (See Revelation 11:19  and 12:1)

bar-gold-with-cross

 

.*      The three objects are:    A sample of the Manna which fell onto the people, from Above,   to be their food and sustenance for forty years of wilderness travel.

The second “object”  was the stone tablets which contained words given to Moses,  which represent the will of God,  the Word of God,   and since He is God,  His word is Himself.    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . ”

The third object was the rod, or staff, of Aaron,  the brother of Moses,  which, though a dead stick,  budded to manifest the   Affirmation of God’s presence and approval during a crisis among the Israelites.

Three objects, all containing and representing the Presence of the Living God,  and more specifically,  His Presence among us in the Person of His Son, threefold for emphasis:  Life,  Word of Life,   and Bread of Life.

 

 

.**     Mary is human,  like us,  and as such,  she is never to be worshiped as God is worshiped.     Any goodness in her comes from God, her Savior,  just as any goodness in us is the work of God.    Mary is receptive to God’s working,  just as we must be.

Any honor given to Mary is because of her Son and is due her Son.   “Behold, all generations shall call me Blessed . .  .”      because —  not because of her,  but because of her Son.   (There are some who don’t want to call her Blessed,  but this is not biblical.)

PEARL HARBOR & THE AGE OF MAN(HOOD)

December 7, 2016

(The local news gets personal.)

Our local television news decided to run a feature story on the USS Utah today.  They showed the Utah,  the Utah being blown up at Pearl Harbor, and a little of the museum they made out of its wreckage.

This 07 December 1941 file photo obtaine

Now,  the USS Utah is the ship my grandpa served on in World War One!    After its service it was taken to Pearl Harbor and used for bomb and torpedo sightings, where my uncle was stationed at the time.      But the Japanese are the ones who actually sunk it.

Afterwards  it was put to rights –

utah-on-side

My grandpa enlisted in the Navy when he was 18 years old.  

My dad enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was 17 years old.

When I was 18 and even when I was 17,  I didn’t think there was anything remarkable about those ages . . .   it sure felt old enough.   After all,  I was leaving home and going away to college and to  a job and new home of my own.

But a few decades later I had a son.

You want to know why there are all those paintings of the Madonna and Child?  All those Christmas cards with the Madonna and Child?

madonna

It’s because a woman looks on in wonder as her son grows up to be a man.    But!    Her son lives in her heart in all the ages he ever was,  including the most tender  and innocent stage of his being.    The wondrous person her little son started out to be,  with all its promise and hope;  yes, he grows up,   but the love began at his beginning and it never fades.

So when my son became 17 and then 18 years old,   and I thought of my dad and my grandpa at that age,  signing up to go to war . . .    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

It is unthinkable!

Whew!   We’ve had no wars where mothers must  make this sacrifice. . . .

And now a little story:    I heard an author on the radio last night who had just written a new book on Pearl Harbor.   He said he did all his own original research for the book, so it could be a clear and new as possible.

Among the interviews he read (and conducted)  was a man who had been at Pearl Harbor.    The man said most of the officers were sleeping that early morning of December 7th  on shore,  but the men on the ships were the very young sailors.    The author  said he hadn’t realized how   young that  group of men were who  served on those ships,  young and innocent and unsophisticated.

He said it was a Wally Cleaver world!

wally-cleaver

Wally Cleaver

I do hope you are familiar with the older brother of the Beave,    in Leave it to Beaver.  Wally was a typical teenager of his times,   good, sincere,  open to the world,  a little bit on the klutzy edge of approaching adulthood.     A real guy.

Echoing the attitude of Wally Cleaver,   this interviewee of the author of the new Pearl Harbor book said,  after watching the ships blowing up,  “Gee,  we didn’t even know the Japs were sore at us!!”

Why was Japan mad at us?    Why would they bomb us?

Well, there are all kinds of “grown-up”  theories about why Pearl Harbor happened.  We may never know the complete truth,  but we do know that many, many, many of these very young men,  teenagers,   learned how to fight hard for their country and many, many died.

It’s a heck of a way to grow up into manhood.

flag-dont-tread

 

 

 

 

MISSING SOMETHING?

December 5, 2016

(Integrity  –  the quality of being complete or whole, without any missing parts ):

whiskers-cut-cr

Yeah.  Sometimes you think you can make an improvement by jettisoning the “old things.”      “Let’s do it a new way.”       “Let’s free ourselves from the restrictions of the past.”  

Whoever gave us “whiskers”  didn’t understand the new, improved, modern ways of doing things.

I’m speaking, of course,  of our recent presidential election.

Politics, or “how to get your man elected.”

I frequently hear our  “new and improved, modern-minded”  Progressives talk about our “democracy.”     Democracy this, democracy that.   The Barack Hussein person recently went out visiting other countries in imitation of a final Victory Tour, and everywhere he went he talked about  the American “democracy,”  and what happens in our “democracy.”

Problem is,  the United States of America is NOT a democracy.   Our Founding Fathers were too smart for that.      They knew that any “democracy”  quickly becomes  a “tyranny of the majority,”   so we don’t elect our president by counting  a majority of “democratic votes.”

So they devised the Electoral College.  

It’s as important to us Americans as  —   as whiskers!

 

MEAT IN CUBA

December 3, 2016

(Or:  “Meat in Cuba.  Not.)

Cuba:

old-man-winds

I’m not the sentimental type.   I don’t really cry when I read a touching book.   But decades ago when Ernest Hemingway was fast becoming one of my favorite authors,  I needed some summer reading and chose  The Old Man and the Sea.    And I cried then,  not for anything specific that happened in the book,  but for the unrelenting, helpless tragedy of the whole  human situation.

old-man-sea

I read it the next summer;   same reaction.  Next summer;  same reaction.   It became a tradition,  something to mark the coming of summer.    I began to struggle through the book in German – that distracted me –  but I still “feel” that same awful, helpless feeling when I think of The Old Man and the Sea.

That wasn’t my first emotional experience with Cuba.

It was 1962, and I came home from school to see my big strong Marine Corps veteran dad sitting in front of the TV with a white face.     It was the Cuban Missile Crisis.    My dad’s exact words were:  “This could be it.”

cuba

He feared nuclear weapons, which were about 90 miles away from our coastline.   I didn’t.  I mean I grew up with the threat of being instantly incinerated without notice — it was common knowledge —  but to my dad it was a new threat.

Neither of us could do anything about the current threat that Cuba was presenting to us.

Later, as a young adult, I saw the Godfather movies.    Got a good firsthand glimpse of how Cuba had been changed by the Socialist Revolution.      Our family’s country-of-origin was strongly affected by the Socialist Revolution of Russia.  My Grandma would never wear the color red.

I read about Saint Anthony Mary Claret,  a wonderful, hard-working sainted man who was sent from Spain to Cuba and fell in love with the new land  and the people.

cuba-sp-clarets-name

He suffered physically and emotionally there  as he  brought the Gospel to the people, climbing up and down the beautiful green mountains of Cuba on foot – so he’d be sure to reach all of the Cuban people he could find.

cuba-hills

Beautiful hot, humid, mosquito-infested,  disease ridden mountains.     But lives were changed for the better as the people learned of Christ’s love.  Villages became workable and more prosperous.  Both crime and despair lessened.

cuba-mountains

I admire this man very much.  I admire his faith in the goodness of God and His power to change lives.   I admire his faithful persistence on behalf of the Cuban people and his love for them.     He was actually made the Bishop of Cuba and his memory is honored . . .   was honored.

More Cuba:   After I had children of my own and they had grown up safely  (whew!),  I watched as people fled from Communist Cuba.

cuba-fleeing-wave

 

Conditions were so bad that they tried anything and everything to get away.   Tires, tied together,  attached to sheets of plywood or canvas — and off they’d go into the ocean, towards America.

cuba-fleeing

They would drown,  often in sight of Castro’s gunboats –  who were ordered to NOT save them as they went under the waves.   Thousands of people died.

And then Elian  Gonzales fled into the ocean, with his family.   He was the only survivor.  He was picked up near our coast floating on some tires and was happily received by his own relatives here, who began to get him set up with his own room, new clothes,  good food,  a school . . .    They rejoiced at having him here with them.

And then the socialists  who had infiltrated some high offices in our government —  global socialists  ….

CUBAN BOY SEQUENCE

…. kidnapped him — our own government kidnapped him out of his own  new home.

And they sent him back to Cuba,  where after a short time he was taken from his  “biological father”  and placed into the group dormitories the socialists built for little children  where he went to school for a few hours and then picked sugar cane or tobacco for the rest of the day — to enrich  that socialist government under the dictatorship of Fidel Castro.

That was a pretty emotional experience with Cuba for me.

Fidel Castro.    A man of the people  luxury and privilege.     Lived in a $900,000,000   compound with more luxuries than I even knew existed and  had many other estates.   “One of his estates came replete with a rooftop bowling alley and indoor basketball court, as well as a coastal villa next to a private marina with pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna.”

Here’s another quotation from a book by his former bodyguard,    Juan Reinaldo Sanchez,          “With its orange, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and banana trees, the estate resembled a veritable garden of Eden…”

Two wives,  several mistresses,  hundreds of “lovers” flown in,  and at least nine sons….

Oh, wait.

This is supposed to be about  MEAT IN CUBA.

The government owns it all.  The socialist government own the pastures, the herds, each dairy and beef cow,  and all the meat.     You line up at government offices,  prove who you are and how many people eat in your household,  and then you get  ration  vouchers    . . .   you do this  once every fifteen days!    And you don’t always get a meat ration.

You can have some milk twice a month — if you are pregnant, or if you are under seven years old.

Before socialism,  there were more cattle than people in Cuba.  The island people were prosperous,  hard-working,  and they fed themselves and exported food to others.    Now, another quote:  “Beef is elusive.”       ” All cows are property of the government and anyone caught cooking beef have been known to commit suicide rather than face incarceration. Some farmers would fake a death of a cow just so they could eat them legally. “

Meat in Cuba?

Ask Fidel.

Ask the hundreds,  thousands,  of United States journalists,  movie actors,   and college professors, who praise Fidel,    all  (nearly all)  of whom are radical,  leftist, socialists.

Ask Elian Gonzales how he’s eating today.

Pray for Cuba.

cuba-clarets-suffering-words

 

 

MEAT ON FRIDAY

December 3, 2016

“Meat”  has always been kind of a  loose word in the English language.  It can mean not only the “flesh” or the “muscle-flesh” of animals  that we eat and gives us strength  (like my Highland beef cattle in the last post),   but also, it can mean food in general:  “Meat and drink at the end of a long trip.”

And it can even mean  “that which sustains you and gives you the strength to go on.” When asked if he had food enough to eat,  Jesus once answered: “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me . . .”       Meaning, of course  that doing the will of God gives a person motivation and the reason and the spiritual strength to go on.

“The meat which sustains me” on Fridays   is fish;   cod, specifically,  on this Friday.

fish-in-half-and-half

Baked cod.     The flesh of the cod was particularly rich and pink today.    I like to bake it  in half and half, which has fewer carbs than milk,  and it makes the cod very smooth and  creamy.

And then the onions:

fishs-onions

I cut up two onions for that pound of cod.      But I wanted a little more flavor –

fishs-pathetic-chives

I went out to my deck and picked some rather pathetic-looking  chives.  We’ve already had some very frosty nights, and I don’t usually bring my herbs in for the winter so my   chives are rather limp now,  but they still smelled real good.     Many of the herbs will come up just fine in the Spring.

The herbs are given to us for our “medicine.”     Each one has a different function in our bodies.     The Creator’s design is that all these good  health-giving herbs enhance the flavor of our food and make us want to use them in our cooking.  If I hadn’t thought of the taste that the chives would add,  I wouldn’t have thought of them at all.

“Herbs.”   From the Garden of Eden . . .   to us!

So,  all the ingredients,  all  together —

fish-in-chives-and-all

Ready for the oven:

fish-in-oven

There is another “flavor-enhancer.”    It’s said that  Hunger is the best condiment!  I was very hungry.  I hadn’t had anything to eat yet, but I had rushed off to my morning class and then  I didn’t get home until well after “lunch time”  so it was going to be a long 25-minute wait while my lunch was baking.

But, at last —

fish-in-a-dish

Baked cod and buttery boiled potatoes.

That’s the only meal I’ll have today.   The leftovers will be breakfast tomorrow and maybe a light supper on Sunday evening.      Funny how you don’t really have to eat much as you grow older.

And funny how “abstaining”  from meat is not really a  difficult penance for Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEAT IN THE MODERN WORLD

December 2, 2016

Or maybe I should call this post:  MEAT BECAUSE OF THE MODERN WORLD.

 

Meet my meat:

my-beef

They’re fine (Scottish) Highland cattle, big shaggy things.

Contented:

my-meat-contented

They do well in  pastures here in the Far North,  and their owners let them graze  on grass during their whole lives.    Even when it’s time for their lives to end,  they are not “force fed”  vitamin and chemical laden grains to  add marbling (streaks of fat) to their muscles in their last six weeks,   which is what happens to a lot of “grass-fed”  cows.

I know their owners personally.   I don’t mean they’re “friends of mine,”  but I have come to know them, talk to them,  and respect the way they handle their herd and the way they handle the meat and bring it to  market.

(From an informative flyer):

my-meat-source

They’ve patiently answered all my questions and taught me a lot about what makes good meat.

I’m a meat-eater.    It’s in my genes.    My gene pool has been traced back 11,000 years (if you can trust the  gene-tracing company) —  and my family certainly came from a protein oriented culture (deep cold-water fish like herring and haddock and cod;  eels,   trout, salmon,   fish eggs, seals, walrus, and the occasionally bear and reindeer. )

So I’ve always taken meat for granted.

Until I learned how “modern”  industrial cattle factories have corrupted the meat supply and turned “meat” into something unwholesome – and not really very tasty, either,   compared to these:

my-meat-looking-at-you

It’s more expensive to buy a cut of real meat.    I know that.   But you can really get away with eating less.   You’re satisfied with  a smaller piece that is very tasty and full of nutrition.

I know this modern world and all its broken promises.     You have to pay more, sometimes much more,  just to keep even with the quality of the past.    That’s the challenge.

It’s “quality of life.”      Sometimes we just have to slow down and pay attention to the Quality of our lives.

We actually honor our Creator when we take care of the body He has created for us.    And so . . .   food is  a moral issue.