Archive for March 2017

INFORMATION, PLEASE

March 31, 2017

(Whew!  This has been quite a week here in the Spruce Tunnel with deep,  dark,  dire postings – and maybe  more to come.   But time out now for a little humor  . . .)

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So I thought I would offer this official government memo to help those who are still looking for any “reports”  of Russian influence on the outcome of  American elections.

“An agency subject to the provisions of the Federal Reports Act may enter into an arrangement with an organization not subject to the Act whereby the organization not subject to the Act collects information on behalf of the agency subject to the Act.    The reverse is also true.”   *

Or these people could just stop their  fruitless quest  and accept the numerous and consistent denials from government agencies that there is no evidence of Russian influence.

Or, did Russia successfully deliver votes on behalf of one candidate or the other?    Well, on the liberal West Coast and on the liberal East Coast,   Mrs.  Clinton seems to have received  millions  more votes.     Certain people could turn their questing to  that issue.

Maybe that government memo can be of help!

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.*     A memo from the Office of Management and Budget,  ca 1993,  quoted in the little book called:   “The 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said.

(You may be hearing from that book again, from time to time.

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POWERFUL FORCES

March 29, 2017

WEDNESDAY:   Human laws don’t give us our freedom and dignity;  but human laws can suppress them.

It’s like we’re living in a perpetual Wednesday,   that mid work-week day that if we could just get through it,  the battle is half won – and we are encouraged to continue to work till the end of the week.

Safeguarding individual liberty and dignity:

const

That’s what America is supposed to be all about –  the Constitution was written in such a way so as to prevent any governing force (even our own)  from  infringing on or limiting those freedoms.    Freedoms, for instance:    We should be able to speak freely, to express our religious beliefs freely,  to assemble together freely and without suspicion (and without harassment from the IRS),  and to read and publish our thoughts freely.

Two major “humps” that we have to conquer in our perpetual Wednesday have combined together to produce a powerful totalitarian force against the God-given freedom and dignity of each human being,  you and me.

Yesterday’s post about the horrors at an airport was an example of the first totalitarian force.    Today I offer two photos and one quotation  that point to the increasing spread of  the totalitarian mindset of the second force.

Can you guess who this is?

Leila Hasik com director

Her name is Leila Hasic.    She is the new “communications”  director between Norway’s people and Islam.    That will be her appearance as she works to keep Islamic intentions “transparent.”

Guess who this is:

islamic-chaplain_to 14,000

He is Army Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz.   As chaplain  of the Army’s 7th Infantry Division he will hold a position of leadership for American young men.   When he first  received the call to this position,  this is what he said:    “I was jumping all around like a little kid.  I was running around the office saying, al hamdulillah, al hamdulillah, praise be to (god)!”

(Oh,  yes, he was born an American himself;  but he did not know his own protestant religion,  and when he was unable to defend it to a moslem friend,  he decided he’d better convert . . . .)

Although we read many stories of violence,  killings,  rapes, knifings,  shootings,  beheadings, going on all over Europe,  it is these positions of leadership and influence that we also must observe.     Despite parental objections,  schools all over America and Europe are still teaching the children how to say moslem prayers and how to practice thinking, acting, and dressing like a moslem.    Despite parental objections . . . .

The moslems have stated – in so many words – that they are going to build a worldwide caliphate which includes, well, the world – America and Europe too.    They must first tear down and destroy evidence of European culture, and then they must teach the Europeans how to submit to Islam.

So here is a quotation that was not widely published in newspapers – at least if you read only the headlines or the first paragraph, you may have missed this:

 Recently, in Paris, an Egyptian terrorist tried to strike the great museum, the Louvre. He planned to deface the museum’s artwork, he said, because “it is a powerful symbol of French culture”.

And those symbols of French culture must be destroyed!

In America?   Wikileaks.     John Podesta’s  personal emails.    His job was to fill top government posts in the new administration:  2009-2017.      The list of candidates were almost exclusively “moslems.”     The Muslim Brotherhood now has a strong presence in top US government positions.      

The two powerful anti-freedom forces that have combined, temporarily,  have the same goal, although with different purposes.    So these are (1) Global totalitarianism which will allow no exceptions,  and (2)  the Worldwide Caliphate,  which will allow no exceptions to their rule.

They each must control every aspect of our personal lives.   And we must submit to survive.

And that’s my Wednesday observation.

HELPLESS AND ANGRY

March 28, 2017

(Guess I”m writing this post  from out of extreme anger. Don’t read on if you don’t like XXX situations.    Just skip if you’re feeling comfortable.)

bar-thorns

What has happened to Americans?

I had written and collected photos for this story earlier today and put it in my “writing queue,”  saving it for when I’m a little less angry about it.     But then on our local TV news I saw a short article about the story . . . .   Sanitized.  Like this was a one-off incident.   Nothing to worry about.

The local TV news didn’t tell much of the story.

travel by car

I love to travel.   I’m already mentally planning my summer trip, cross-country again.       I would love to travel to Scandinavia, where my grandparents came from,  and to Portugal this year for the 100th anniversary of the events in Fatima, Portugal.

Cooper, my little grandson,   is actually in Portugal right now this week,  but Mommy and Daddy don’t’ know much about Fatima – so . . .  well, maybe they can be tourists in some of the big cathedrals there in Lisbon.

I would love to travel there too.  I have the time,  the means,  the interest, and about 60% of my health –  but I can’t go to Europe.  I can’t fly.    I won’t fly.

Not until and unless they remove the GYNECOLOGICAL-GESTAPO-WOMEN  from the airports.    I’ve  had two bad experiences;  two bad traumatic experiences,  which occasionally still visit me in the middle of the night when I’m half asleep.    And I’m feeling tense and wary now as I write this.

There was no brother/husband/father/son  nearby to protect me from what can only be called an obscene gynecological exam by a large woman who stared into my eyes the whole time, challenging me to object.

She waited.  travel handcuffs

She had all-power over me.   And she smirked.

The second woman in the other airport didn’t even smirk during her deep thrusts.

 

trav uniforms

 

(Oh.  wait a minute.    You don’t have to wear uniforms in an airport.)

 

My family, who all fly,  deny any remarkable mistreatment.    But one day the issue was raised in my Book Club, and I was shocked to hear the degree of  anger from these women as they reported being obscenely mishandled at airports.    I couldn’t bring myself to speak up . . . .

So.  you may have seen today’s  story too:

1 Begins in crotch

 

The video was taken  by his shocked mother who said the “inspection” lasted about 17 minutes.   The airport officials say 2 minutes.  I watched it for about 10 minutes.    I watched that man rub slowly every square inch of that boy’s shirt,  over and over again,  slowly,  up and down —  and then go back for a second round,  fondling and rubbing the body under that shirt.

Then he moved on to the crotch.    And rubbed and thrust and massaged and petted  . . . .

2 closeup went to crotch a second time

The boys crotch is being moved upwards.      This is not a “pat- down with the back of the hand”  like the airport says.       This is what a pervert does to stimulate himself.

The guy straightened up for a while,  then took a step forward and went back for a second round.

Then he worked the front of the crotch area.

3 working that crotch

 

The boy was supposed to keep his arms out of the way and not move them,  not even to protect himself.

You know,  when I was a teacher,  I taught my little kids about Friendly touch and Unfriendly Touch;   never let a stranger touch you in your private places.    Call for help.   Fight back until help comes.

 

trav inspec tor

But if they wear a uniform,  we are supposed to obey.

4th time at crotch

The guy moved his blue-gloved hand so that he could apply MORE PRESSURE onto the boy’s crotch.   This is his fourth approach to the boy’s crotch.

The man left and  another uniformed man came by,  and then this first man went BACK to the boy for a fifth go at it.

5 left and came back

Working that crotch area.

Do “big boys”  not cry?    Do grown men accept this as part of some weird male ritual –  it’s just “what happens”  sometimes?     in the “gym” ?    in the YMCA?

This is a boy with   some sort of “sensitivity stimulation”  difficulty, a heightened sensitivity to stimuli around him to the point where he is officially,  medically disabled and  who  was  manhandled by a pervert in an airport, Dallas, I think.    His mother was traumatized;  she reports that it took a long time to calm her son down and try to explain to him that he didn’t do anything wrong.

And then she posted her video.

The airport is  “looking into it,”  but deny any wrongdoing.

Today’s  “warriors”  wear soft business suits and will smooth over the legal aspects.    That’s how they will solve it.

Did you notice the American flag in the background of the photos?    Das Vaterland!   I mean,  Das “Homeland.”   When did that start?   Submit for your own good.   Submit so we will make you safe.

What has happened to Americans?

bar-thorns

No wonder this flag has been banned on campuses –

flag-dont-tread

 

March 28, 2017

winking
(I hope I didn’t melt any Snowflakes in that previous posting ) 

I really was just musing about how important that “warrior” spirit is to building up and maintaining a  ccivilization.      Included in that term “warrior spirit”  is a very high system of ethics and morality,  without which warriors would devolve into barbaric free-for-alls.   Might makes right, etc.

In a nice serendipitous point on our calendar,  we are directed today to look at St. Gontran.   I never heard of him.  (Or I probably read about him before as I cycle through the yearly saints – I simply don’t remember him.)

St Gontran de Bourgpgne
In that last post,   I had just referenced my study of Merovingian kings,  and here is one for today!    Gontran was the son of that first great Merovingian king,  Clovis, a pagan Frankish warrior  who converted to his wife’s Christianity to save his life in battle  and then went on, with God’s help,  to establish a stable Frankish kingdom which contributed to the development of Western Civilization as we  know knew it.

His son, Gontran, was raised Catholic from  birth and probably had an even  better understanding of Christianity than his father.    He was devoted to Christ,  and when grown was given the land of Bourgogne to rule,  that is,  the big area we call Burgundy,  which played such an important role in our  history.

St Gontran king of lotsA dignified and respected leader, King Gontran

Although King Gontran has an interesting biography,  I’ll just give you this partial  summary   from  Butler’s . . .  “The prosperity of his reign,  both in peace and in war,  condemns those who think that human policy cannot be modeled by the maxims of the Gospel,  whereas, in reality,  nothing can render a government more flourishing.  . . .  He was the protector of the oppressed and a tender parent of his subjects.     He gave the greatest attention to the sick.   He fasted, prayed, wept, and offered himself to God night and day  . . .    He was a severe punisher of crimes . . .   and by many wholesome regulations he restrained the barbarous licentiousness of his troops.”   He lived to 68 years of age, after reigning for 31 years –  a great long life span!

Note that this freedom from the godless barbarism of the day came with the application of the Christian notion of the warrior of high moral conscience.   Fighting for what is right.      Only a people who are willing to be free and who are willing to defend their freedom will be free.

Now, today,  as we saw,  that warrior spirit is on beer bottle labels.    Or we put our warriors in the land of make-believe and give them  imaginary, unrealistic and superhuman faculties, confining them to  movies or games.     If  warrior spirits dare to emerge in elementary schools,  we suspend those young boys.   Even if their “weapon” is a munched-on Pop-Tart!  College males go around apologizing for who they are.   We’re content to come home from work or school,  kick off our shoes,  and rest in an electronically induced somnolence, while our Rulers silently consolidate their power over us.

deep

Again,  freedom isn’t free.   Freedom didn’t come to us for free.    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”   Not just a sentimental phrase from history.  And though we don’t know for sure who first stated it,  the truth of the matter is that  we won’t keep our freedom without paying a price.     Perhaps we only need to pay attention – and do our duty appropriate to our station in life and to the circumstances around us.

Perhaps we’ll be called on to do more.

Not necessarily with battle-axe and sword.

So,  I’m not sure,   but it would seem that  if a  foreign “warrior spirit”  threatens our freedoms or even our very existence, . . .

Slay and Butcher

        . . .    then it ought to be matched by an equal or great warrior spirit coming from us.

Unless our culture is suicidal.

History will record . . . .

SKULL SPLITTIN’ GOOD

March 27, 2017

(Well,  I guess this is a 180 degree turn from my last posting.)

I’m writing today to sort of apologize to my class this afternoon —  No.   No, maybe to tweak their noses a little bit.    (Humor,  guys,  humor!)   You know how one things lead to another  .  .  .

It all started with Gideon.    Of the Bible.     And after he became a mighty warrior,  because he was a little wimpy at first.

Gideon's Army    He won one battle after another and finally saved his people from the Midianite army that was threatening to wipe out the Israelites altogether.  Just one more mopping up excursion – and the last two enemy kings were captured.

Brought to camp.   Tied to a post.    Ready for execution, which they expected.    And then — Gideon called his very young son over and said. “You do it!   You have honors.  Pick up the sword and kill them.”

Gideons Sword

The Bible reports that the young boy refused.  He was afraid.     Now “afraid”  covers a lot of reasons, and  not necessarily cowardice.     I explained to my class  that it’s not as easy as you’d  think to kill a man,  even if the  strong warrior prisoner has been tied to a post and can’t hurt you.

And once you have killed a man,  even the youth would understand this,  you’ve crossed some line;  it changes you.   So why did Gideon think of asking his son to do the killing?

tacitus writing

A little over a thousand years later,  a man named Tacitus wrote the history of ancient times all the way up to his times.  Through him we have a pretty good understanding of warfare and all the necessary practices of war.

Tacitus explains that young boys had to be trained how to be warriors – for their own safety,  for their own self-protection.  Their training included running,  strength-training,  “target” practicing,  and then learning how to kill the enemy — that is,  how to actually kill a man, because that’s what warriors have to do.

taCITUS PAGE

The young warriors-in-training were given live prisoners  to practice on.   How to thrust your sword between the bones;  how to hit a vital organ . . .  the best way to cut off . . .  you know,  anything.    These  “practice” kills harden the young boys, in their skills, in their consciences, in their hearts.

This is what Gideon was offering to his young son, training.   That’s what every nation who takes seriously its own self-defense must do for its young men:  train them, just in case.  You’d need to know how to use your sword or your javelin or your (heh  heh)  I added for my class,  your battle-axe  (if you’re a Viking) and need to learn how to crack a skull . . .

. . .   Yes, well,  I must have sounded too enthused because someone gently spoke up to remind me that “we are Christians,  we’re supposed to be people of peace . . .”

 

clear-left

 

Who ever said history was dull?

My enthusiasm may have been a bit pumped up  because I’m  studying the Merovingians, right now,  and the Carolingians,  whose reign was cut short by the Vikings at the very  end of the 8th century on through the next almost two hundred years.       Great stuff!

I’m listening to several lecturers, one from The Great Courses –

great courses

–   and today in my car I  heard an off-the-cuff comment about the Viking named  Thorfinn Turf-Einarsson Hauskaluif    —    Thorfinn Skull Splitter, for short.   The lecturer dryly commented that their names often indicated Viking “procedures.”

We don’t know too much about him.  We don’t need to know;  we can guess.

Fast forward to today –  a century I don’t understand too well.         I have a few questions about the warrior spirit.

But  at least Thorfinn Skull Splitter lives on –  or, at least in name:

OOO skull guy

 

Yes.  There he is.

OOO Best Skullsplitter

 

On a beer bottle.     Apparently it’s a good Viking-strong beer,  a dark ale that is 8.2 alcohol by , um,  weight, I think.  A hefty punch!

You can get it from anywhere in the world, but the brewery is in the Orkneys –  that Viking stronghold now under the control of Scotland.

OOO orkney-brewery-logo

But, see?  I have a few questions about today’s warriors.    Today’s men, under the influence –  of  socialism,  such as Scotland and the whole of Great Britain.    Europe actually.

Skull Splitter beer has become  quite popular, and it attracted the attention of the socialist thought-police,  or whatever.   They had apparently discovered the name of this beer and they contacted the brewery.    Well, let me give a quotation from some reporter about this incident:

. . . the brewery was forced to defend Skull Splitter back in 2009 when it came under investigation from a British drinks industry “watchdog” called the Portman Group (which has the power to issue a nationwide ban against the sale of any alcohol product that steps afoul of its guidelines), who commissioned a report that concluded the beer’s name and labels were too aggressive. Apparently they felt that drinkers would read the name and then enter into an uncontrolled primal enthusiasm for drunkenness leading to the loss of all faculties except fervent engagement in all manner of ribald, reckless, and destructive behavior. And some good ol’ medieval axe-swingin’ violence, of course.

See?   I have a few questions about this current century . . . .

 

 

 

WHAT IS LOVE.

March 25, 2017

Period.  Not a question mark in that title.  We owe the invention of the question mark to Charlemagne and his renaissance of Christian learning which helped to create the European civilization we’ve inherited  (and perhaps squandered).   Charlemagne notwithstanding,   I choose a period after “LOVE”) 

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On this day,  a  Saturday,  Christendom keeps in mind that one Saturday long ago when Love Itself was defeated.     It was mocked, ridiculed,  demonized, crucified,   done away with – finally! –  then shut away in a tomb – boom! –  out of sight forever!  It seemed that Love had been conquered.

tomb

Friday evening,  Saturday, into the wee hours of Sunday morning,  three calendar days;   it certainly seemed like a defeat for the Gospel.    A dark time for the followers of Jesus  in which all that “religion talk” from God’s chosen people  ended.

That Man,  that Son of Man,  had talked of  love between God and man,  God’s love to man through man,   and an eternity of Love, loving and being loved.

Humans  have always been  capable of the motivating factors  which we’ve called “love”:      parental love,  filial love,  friendship love,   spouse love  —  the love we have for a certain kind of pizza!!        Apart from God, the source of Love,    we can get quite distracted with loves of various kinds.

Should I give the four  Greek categories?     Storge,  Eros,  Phileo  . . . 

freud long (Beware:  the “modern” lists of “Greek”  love using six words from popular culture or seven words from  psychologists who seem to be trapped in the perspective of 20th century agendas.    They elevate minor subcategories into unwarranted importance and are certainly not time-tested throughout human experience.)

. . .    And the fourth:     Agape,     which human beings do not seem to be capable of – on their own,  on their own strength,   on their own willpower.

We need no instruction in the first three categories.    dad and sonBiological forces,  affections fondnesses,   familiarities make these first three loves common and natural to us.

They can be  very powerful,  of course,  overwhelming us sometimes.

I’ve just finished another book by Michael D . O’Brien, the last in his series which speculates whether our current events and personalities might indicate the formation of the last one-world governance with the antichrist at its head.   It’s a deeply thoughtful book – I’m going to have to read it again and take notes this time! –  but I was struck by his definition of that Agape love:

     Dr. Abbas  (the blind Christian Arab)   paused to clear his throat.  He then resumed his story:   What is love,   . . . ?   Do we not love most what is best in another but lacking in ourselves?  to see in someone else what we should be?     That is a part of it.

Another part  is to have one’s eyes opened to the gift that each person is. Subtract him from existence and the world is poorer.   When he is present, the world is richer – and full of wonder, really, if we can sustain that vision.    I’ve had glimpses of it . . .    (from Elijah in Jerusalem)

 

Yes,  this thought from Dr. Abbas is only a glimpse.    He  knows he’s seen only a glimpse of Love.    Love from the Christian definition is to desire the best and highest good for another – and to be always ready to act on it.

It is a deep-seated self-sacrificing commitment to that other person.     “No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for another.”

(“It is a far, far better thing . .  .  than I  have ever done.”)  —

tale of two

 

And:  “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church.”   How did Christ love the church?    He died for it.

To step up and die for the good of another?     Yikes!    Occasional heroic acts of self-sacrifice to save the life of another occurs,  of course,  but it is especially Christian to  die for the good of the other person’s eternal soul.

Or to live for the good of the other person’s eternal soul.   Most of us are not required to prove our love by our deaths;  but we’re required to live with that kind of love.       This kind of original Christianity is not for half-hearted sissies, but it is rather the defining characteristic of a true follower of Christ.

not afraid to love

Nor are we capable of it without  that gift of Love being first given to us.   The Bible puts it simply:  “God is love.”      God created out of Love.  God loves His creation.   Dr. Abbas had a glimpse of this:  “. . .   to have one’s eyes opened to the gift that each one is.”   God opens our eyes;  he gives, we receive.

Perhaps the Bible, Charles Dickens,  and Dr. Abbas can say it better than I can,  but I do try to frequently explain it to my classes this way:    God is.   God is love.  Before the universe was created,  He thought you up.   He liked the idea of you!   And then, after He created the universe,  he created you and put you down into the best and most optimal time and place so that you’d be able to find your way back to Him, and to His love.

anthony

Hold Him.    Hold Him in your heart.

You love God back,  and you love all the human beings that He loves, and hold each one  in your heart so that you can act,  with sacrificial love,  for their  welfare, here and now.

Period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEVOUT IS JUST AN ADJECTIVE

March 22, 2017

Wednesday.   Time to look again at the “hump”  we have to get over.

As of Wednesday night,  we still don’t know the identity of the man who killed the four people in London today, seriously injuring more than a dozen more. But we often read that a terrorist  attacker had become a “devout Moslem.”

Devout means . . .  well,  here’s the dictionary definition:

devout  (adjective) :  loyal to something : devoted to a particular belief, organization, person,religion, etc;       : serious and sincere

We tend to want to know Who, What, Where, and When in a news article.   We’re a little blurry about the Why.

What happened.  Where did it happen.   Who did it.   When did it happen.    That’s all we have time for.

“Why”  kind of taxes our time and our mental energy.   Motivation and all that.

“loyal to something”  —   To what?     Who cares;  I can kind of figure it out.

pray 1

All those people;  “serious and sincere,” the definition says:

pray 2

“devoted to a particular belief” 

pray 3

“devoted to a particular religion” 

pray 4

 

” . .  .  a particular   organization,  person,  religion . . .

Yes,  they sure are.

“Devoted”  is only an adjective.  We need to know the noun it refers to.   We in the Western World better find out the details about their particular  organization, person,  religion, or belief,  or we’re going to get blindsided by their devotion.

machete

I think it takes interest, though;  and energy;   and effort to learn;  and time to study and think about it.

studying

And it requires us to be  equally devoted to a different organization,  Person,  religion,  and belief.   I’m afraid this “hump”  that lies before us will be surmounted only  by the side who is the most certain, the most faithful, the most devoted to their cause.

And the most aware of what’s going on.

 

 

 

 

GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN !

March 21, 2017

Okay,   this might be my last post title that sounds like a command.)

I returned  again this year on a  March cold-almost-spring day to  where —

1.5 Trees with pails 350

—   to where  buckets hang from trees.

Sugar maple trees, specifically.

I’ve been writing lately about the importance of doing something new or different,  but really,  sometimes you should just go out and do something that you’ve done before!  You know,  been there, done that.    It  might be worth a repeat effort  too.

I was very surprised to meet Son and his friend there at the arboretum  – they were busy at one point drilling a hole in a tree:

4.5 Son and Friend drilling 300

That gives the sap a place to run out.

5 spout

And, yes,  we all tasted the drops.

6 sap licking

Sweet in a gentle, diluted way –  but sweet.   Like rainwater with a grain of sugar.

And we watched exactly how the Indians made maple syrup, collecting the sap,  hollowing out long half-logs with burning coals,

mani hot stones

and making birch bark baskets,  boiling the sap . . .

8 Boiling syrup 220

I’ve seen all this before because I’ve been here before.

I was glad to do it again.   I was glad to learn all this again.  A few old facts stuck out in my mind differently this time.      Like,  I knew the North American Indians — in the northern part of North America, that is —  were the first and only nations to develop the method of making maple syrup –  but, wow!   That’s  big.    I’m glad they did.

pancakes

  I’m glad someone did!

Now,  there is a lot to see in  the arboretum where these sugar maples grow and where the demonstrations were held,   but,  since I’ve “been there, done that,”  I’ve also posted it all before.

It’s worth a click:       CLICK!

https://thesprucetunnel.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/maple-syrup-time/

And then for the   “Native” American lesson,  there’s more to see:       CLICK!

https://thesprucetunnel.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/a-maple-syrup-lesson/

 

Or you can find some place to drive to your own maple syrup demonstration if you live near a nice, fresh sugar maple grove outdoors on a cool spring day . . .

 

thicker than

 

Maple Syrup!        Mmmmmmm.       So important!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GET OUT AND EAT !

March 21, 2017

 

Exploring my own home town:

4 thai large shell

(We don’t have seashells around here.)

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Well, I’m not always enthused about eating.   Same ol’ same ol’ —

Eat

What chunk of wood do I want to munch on today?

It’s easy to lose interest,  fall into bad, boring eating habits,   eat the same thing  . . .   So sometimes I have to make myself just go –  just do it –  just leave home and try out a new restaurant.

So here’s a “brief commercial from a local eating establishment”  that  is actually pretty good.  And it has the endorsement of Son,  daughter, son-in-law,  and even little Cooper who is a worldwide traveler, eats everything,  and knows good food when he gets it.

So after a   l  o  n  g   delay,   I finally tried it out:

1 Thai Outside

That’s about as different as it gets around here.   It has a quaint, comfy entrance.

2 Thai Entrance

Lots to look at.

3 Thai Chairs

Small,  cozy,  locally-owned,  totally fresh, natural and organic ingredients.   The owners, husband and wife,  were successful professionals,   retired,  then they opened up this place based upon her ethnic background.  I like those wood floors.

6 Thai pick plate and shells

Pretty table setting with seashells embedded into the table.

And sand dollars:

5 Thai silver dollars

Each table different.   Someone took some extra  care to keep us diners . . .  amused.

7 Thai Menu

Very helpful menu!  Since I don’t know the first thing about  Thai food vocabulary,  the pictures and detailed descriptions of each entree was a  good idea.    In fact, after I ordered my food,  I kept the menu so I could read it some more.

The waitress gave me a choice of “spice level,”  0 – 5.    Since I’m Scandinavian,  and the hottest spice I use is cinnamon,  I took a bold chance and ordered a 0.5   –  kind of halfway to the first level.

I’ve gone back a few times and now I order a 0.    Plenty hot for me.    The complimentary cabbage soup up there in the photo is a nice touch.    It’s  a meal in itself.  And check out that Thai tea –  it came with instructions:

8 Thai Tea.jpg

It comes in red or green with a huge puff of whipped cream floating on top.   I ordered red, and I was instructed to “gently stir the whipped cream into the tea until it turns pink. ”  Unusual,  but  so good!     Gently, creamy sweet.

Main course?

9 Thai good food

Well, I don’t know what it is.   I don’t even know what’s in it.

But I liked it.

I did  “get out and eat!”   like the title of this post says.   I’m glad I did.    Gotta get out and explore the world a little bit, even when you don’t know what you’re eating.

 

 

 

 

DON’T STAY HOME !!

March 19, 2017

At least don’t always stay home!      (mostly photos today)

I have a tendency to be mildly interested in activities that go on around here — and then decide not to go out to them  after all.    I can get by like that without any trouble at all.

But this weekend I chose to be “different.”     So if you’re at all like me sometimes,   come, take a walk with me today.

______________________

I’ve been seeing these ads all over my house for a while:

HGS 1 ad

I guess I’ve been saving these ads in case I might be interested . . .   This is not my cup of tea, really.    But,  who knows?

I had my typical morning today.  Woke up at — literally woke up and got out of bed at 9:20,  and was in the car and on my way to church at 9:30.    Believe me,  after Mass the only thing I wanted to do was to go home and go right  back to bed!

But I didn’t.   Guess I was too sleepy to say “No,”  because I ended up here:

HGS 2 pavilion

Now, that is one giant building on our university campus.    It was a long walk from my parking place.    And –  I’ve never been there before.

HGS aisles

Inside were probably a few miles of aisles.  You want to check out something like this first —

HGS map

On the other hand,  there was too many small words to read . . . .

So,  I do have a yard to take care of;  back yard,  big pond in the back yard,  front yard, stone stairs going downhill on one side,  and a fenced in dog run and other stuff on the other side,  a rock garden . . .  it’s not just a rectangular yard full of grass;   there are interesting places and one who has skill and imagination can probably see a lot of possibilities in my yard.

So I’m wandering around inside that immense pavilion looking for “possibilities.”

HGS flower array

I wouldn’t know how to create that, but it looks nice.

And I have a raised area, a little hillside,  that would look nice like this:

HGS raised

My stone stairway doesn’t look like this,  but . . .  maybe  . . .

HGS stone setting

I do want a pretty place to walk in one certain  area of my back yard:

HGS walkway

Remember,  this is all  indoors!

HGS flower booth

 

I wish I knew how to make nice arrangements like this —  not in a vase on my table,  but outdoors,  in a little corner of my back yard:

HGS yesllow flowers

There were opportunities for instruction everywhere,  demonstrations of waterless cookware,  shampooing your roof,  soil feeding, whatever you’d want to know:

HGS lecture

I peeked in, but didn’t “participate.”   But this next display caught my interest:

HGS learning stones and fill

have to get a load of topsoil delivered to my yard this year …  and probably some other things.     there are plenty of interesting “substances”  to spread around in your yard.   So many interesting things to do with stone and water:

HGS fountain

I’d love to get a little waterfall or fountain going back there this summer.

Well,  you get the idea . . .   a little bit interesting.    There were other things in parts of that big pavilion too:

HGS quilts

Exquisite quilts of all colors and patterns.   My Mom made very beautiful quilts.  I don’t know how she learned,  she just start making them one day.  And whenever I see a beautiful hand-made quilt,  I miss her very, very much.

Here’s another one:

HGS pink square

The embroidery was exquisite.

There was a flower contest too –  I guess they’re called Flower Shows.  Here is a Blue Ribbon prize  white orchid,  nicknamed the Moth Orchid –

HGS orchids

Somebody worked very hard and long to nurture these thick, beautiful flowers that just seemed to glow with white light from within.

I didn’t come out all excited and clapping and saying “Wow!”

But I think I gained something by going.     Something slightly unexplainable.

 

 

ST. PATRICK TODAY

March 17, 2017

When the Roman soldiers withdrew from Ireland —

Romans in Britain

—    their protection,  their Roman administration,  and much of the Christian religion  also left the island.      Warring tribal clans ruled.

They left behind ruins in this beautiful green place –

roman fort

It’s still a beautiful green place with distinctive scenery.    This has become one of the most famous places to visit.

pat mount

Especially on March 17th.

pat climbing up

People walk up this mountain,  which gets impossibly steep the farther you go.

It’s a difficult, steep,  stony path.

pat dfifficult

Many people,  mostly men,  make the trek  barefoot.

pat barefoot

They know they’ll shred their feet,  but many still do it in spite of discouragement from the officials.   They want to climb the mountain  in whatever way is meaningful to them.

The mountain is Croagh Patrick,  and St. Patrick is said to have climbed it to look out over his beloved island at “the end of the earth.”

He had been a boy living in Scotland,   then  kidnapped by pirates and sold to some clan chieftain in Ireland to tend the animals way out in the countryside.  The boy was lonely.     Unprotected from the elements.   Cold.  Hot.   Wet.   Unsheltered.     Uncared for by his master.

The rest of the story is familiar:   During these years young Patrick  turned to the God he had heard about when he lived  in his own father’s home.   By his own free will he chose to believe in the one Triune God,  and   God filled him with such love and grace that Patrick responded with complete loving surrender.

pat boat The story of his narrow escape from Ireland,  another kidnapping, another escape,  study and recognition, and desire to bring the knowledge of Jesus to the people of Ireland  would make a great movie!

 

pat st patrick

But what leads  all those people to climb Croagh Patrick  is his love for the Catholic faith,  his dedication to the Irish people,  his insights and instruction in his many writings in which we can see the heart of this great man.

Ireland became a Catholic land and sent out many missionaries to other lands that needed to hear the gospel.

People want the kind of faith that he had.    People want to be close to him and to be like him.    People want to understand what St. Patrick knew.   People want to become as close to God as St. Patrick was.

 

pat cathedral tribute to him

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, a  tribute to the real St. Patrick.

Green beer,  green rivers,   shamrocks,  and snakes,   leprechauns and rainbows are all fun ways to remember this country,   but what is truly fulfilling for a human being is to rest in the peace and love  with the God that St. Patrick loved and taught us about.

That is a goal  worth climbing a mountain for!

 

pat past cute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A FREE DAY FROM TWC!

March 17, 2017

I had a “free” day today,  courtesy of The Weather Channel (TWC).

twc

All day yesterday,  The Weather Channel told us here, locally, breathlessly,  that we were going to get a storm today:  1 – 3 inches of snow,  mixed with freezing rain and then wet snow alternating with rain.

Hmmmm.

Not much snowfall, but the roads could be really slippery.    Felt sorry for the St. Patrick’s Day party-goers, of which we have many in this college town.

By evening,  the ladies in my Friday morning class decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea to drive on those roads today, and since we’re not mandated to have any specific number of classes,  it was fine with me if we canceled the class today.    Got some “free”  hours to use today.

I love a good storm;  I love a day off!    But I really should have remembered the changes that  the people at NOAA,  the National Weather Service,   and any other weather news source has undergone in the past few years.  “This is crazy weather!”   “We’ve never seen such extremes!”    “Records highs  (or lows)  every day!”    “The storms are getting more violent!”

So many times predictions and descriptions of weather have turned out to be hysteria and hype.   People are beginning to be annoyed and to comment about this.

Well, why has this happened?  Why all these exaggerations?     Why is our weather “out of control”?       “Yikes!”        It’s  . . .

twc earth

         . . .    C  l  i  m  a  t  e      C  h  a  n  g   e    !!

Gosh.    It’s not even funny anymore.    TWC  has been told to report the weather in such a way that the viewers will believe  “something”  is going on.

The problem is that the globalists who need to promote climate change, in order to develop their massive transfer of wealth out of First World Nations into their hands,  are deliberately using faulty computer modeling  rather than actual  empirical  (measured)  data.    GIGO –  put in “Garbage”  info,  your computer will spit out “Garbage” results.   And that’s why their  computer modeling data does not match the real world.

More than one UN official has stated the truth:

twc poster

I love these beauties from Antarctica:

twc ice core

20, 30, 40 feet long  ice cores that hold the actual record of evidences of past earth climates changes.        It’s actual physical evidence from the real world.

twc temp lower atmos

Take a deep breath, Weather Channel.     This is a chart of the average temperature of earth’s lower atmosphere  (where we live)  for the past 400,000 years –  and it’s based upon a  study of those ice cores.   (Read right to left.)    Looks like our warming sort of peaked out a while ago.

The actual weather today?   The “storm”  came about ten hours late,  and we got maybe a half inch of snow.   We had some  “thunder snow” — that was fun —  and then a little rain,  but nothing that would keep you off the road.

I think I’ll stick to my cute little Weather Widget on my computer’s bottom right corner:

Radar

I click a tiny green circle and up pops this 6X6 window with our current radar.    Just a quick peek at what’s out there and which way it’s moving.

Probably won’t be missing any more classes.

And meanwhile,  I’ll  just wait for the grown-ups and the scientists to return  to TWC.

WIKI AND THE SWORD OF DESTINY

March 17, 2017

 

(I have to repeat this yet again:  “There is something wrong with the passage of time!  It is speeding by too fast” —  too fast to take in all the things that each week offers us.)

And so this post is still thinking through the things of March 15 . . .

_________________________________

March 15,  on this day we remember the life and martyrdom of St. Longinus –  the name given to that Centurion who thrust the spear into the side of Jesus after He had died on the Cross.

Longinus Card 220

      The story makes sense:    The Jews in Palestine at the time knew the Law:  “Cursed is anyone who hangs from a tree”  (i.e.,  a criminal, executed);     and if the criminal is allowed to hang there overnight,  then the whole land is cursed.

       The three men executed had to be killed before sunset and taken down from their  “trees”     or else the large Jewish population would revolt against the Roman authorities.

      The Jews in Palestine would also have known that any lamb to be sacrificed had to be perfect,  unblemished,  and never to have any broken bones, before, during, or after.

To fulfill the Law,  then, the Roman authorities sent out the order to the Centurion in charge to break the bones of the three so that they would die quickly, before sunset that day.    But the Centurion found Jesus already dead.   Probably.   It looked like it.   To make sure,  he thrust his spear into the side of Jesus.

The Catholic Church was born that day,  from the water and blood,  (the spiritual meaning of the Water and Blood)  that gushed out of the side of the dead body of Jesus.*      Eerie, un-explainable phenomena had taken place in the natural world that day;  and now at the sight of this Water and Blood,  it was remarked, then,  “Surely this   (actually) was the Son of God!”

All parts of this Day have been preserved and recorded –  including  the part that this Centurion played and the lance that he used.    The tale was told in Greek and Latin and in subsequent languages of Europe.    Thus, in Greek:   λόγχη   –   meaning “lance”  which is not too far from the name  “Longinus”  now given to this Centurion.  For his part and for his conversion to the faith of Christ,  he is called St. Longinus.      The remark attributed to him,  (surely, this was the Son of God!)  has confirmed the faith of many.

It’s a tale well worth pondering – and internalizing.      My Roman Martyrology for March 15th begins with this short statement about him:  ” At Caesarea in Cappadocia the martyrdom of St. Longinus who is said to have pierced our Lord’s side with a spear.”   

____________________________

SED CONTRA   (but contrariwise):    (just in case you haven’t joined the cynical modern-day scoffers,  religion-wiki offers you that chance!)    —

I had time to look around on the Internet for some more information –  and eventually came to the odd and sometimes untrustworthy site of Wikipedia,  which carries the predictable words:  doubt, doubt, doubt,  unreliable sources,  apocryphal,  legend, pseudopigraphical,  perhaps,  been asserted to,   folklore,  local tradition, etc., etc.

And then this odd statement:   In the Roman Martyrology he is mentioned, without any indication of martyrdom, in the following terms: “At Jerusalem, commemoration of Saint Longinus, who is venerated as the soldier opening the side of the crucified Lord with a lance.”

Wait!  But my Roman Martyology  said he WAS martyred.

He was mentioned along with an indication of his martyrdom . . . .

It’s not a big thing, except as it is part of a subtle rewriting of the history of Western Civilization that is going on all over, all around us, and at breathtaking depth and speed.

We truly live in an age of Fake News,  Fake Information,  just about Fake Everything.  There is a reason for this,  a methodology,  but that’s not my point here.      Right now, these days,  I am more concerned with something called The Tipping Point,  as well as the growing  movement towards Totalitarianism.

The stakes are high.

spear of destiny

We have this spear from almost two thousand years ago.      It was the “Spear of Destiny” given all sorts of supernatural powers by those who believe in . . .   anything.    (“When one stops believing in God, one doesn’t believe in Nothing;  one will believe Anything!”  (GKC))

And such we have personified by the man who last led a portion of our world into Totalitarianism.    Hitler.   He truly believed that the two   “spooky, supernatural”  items from the time of Christ  (the Christ Figure, I suppose),  which are the Spear and the Holy Grail, would give him the godlike powers he tried so hard to attain.

The bridge to our day and a new totalitarian way of thinking?

Hitler (and his companions) were masters at managing the attitudes and enthusiasms of millions of people.     He was a master of propaganda  and mass mind control (of the “scientific”  or “psychological”  kind – I’m not referring to any spooky supernatural mind-control),   and of manipulating the minds of crowds and masses of German people.  There were subtle changes made to their history,  their culture,  their “destiny.”

Studying the minute details of how this was accomplished day to day in Hitler’s Germany will reveal chilling similarities to what is being accomplished today.    From  subtle and not-so-subtle changes in our textbooks and other sources of information,   to entertainment which entices us to enjoy the new morality and agree with the new mindset,   to  Fake News that knows it’s Fake but also knows its lasting effects even when it gets caught out,  to the “children” on campuses who will not allow any other opinion but the one they’ve been propagandized with – and will become violent to shut out any diverse opinion . . ..

We have it all – and so much more.

I watch this growing trend towards the Group Think of the totalitarian mindset –  and I wonder:  When are we going to reach that Tipping Point – and experience the fulfillment of consequences that we didn’t even realize we were forming.

The Tipping Oint towards the full reality of Totalitarianism.

Bar Cross in middle

.*    It was His death that was the Sacrifice, offered to the Creator,  God the Father,  that enabled the many benefits of salvation and grace to pour out into the world.      (This Teaching has been a bit mangled in the last few decades – but that is our fault,  it’s not the Teachings that have changed.)

  To Abraham it was said that one of his descendants would bring Blessings upon the whole world.”    These Blessings refer to the future one-time Sacrifice of Christ which effected the  sure possibility of Salvation offered to anyone in the world who wants it.     Thus, at the time of His death,  Christ’s Church begins.

Quicumque !!!     

QQ 150

  (for those of you who have visited my house and seen the wall above my computer!)

………

WEDNESDAY: WHAT THE HUMP IS

March 15, 2017

I hate that term  “hump day” to refer to that middle day of the workweek.;  it seems slightly  “not nice.”    Nevertheless,   I understand,    we work hard all week, look forward to the weekend and after that middle day of the week, Wednesday, we seem to have the “worst” of the week’s work hours behind us.

We’re “over that hump”  because we’ve been doing our duty.

By analogy,  we as  a nation have a big “hump” to get over, but I don’t know the duration of our work, so I don’t know  how long  we’ll even be tackling that “hump”  or looking forward to putting it behind us.

This is the hump,  a growing hump, actually   —

9 11 end

This is its message to us,  whether we’re listening or not.    Its principles are 180 degrees away from our own culture and values.    That means someone grasps your head and jerks it halfway around on your neck so you’re seeing something opposite of what you want to see.   Shariah is 180 degrees away from “democracy.”

I will try to dedicate Wednesdays’ writings to this topic.

With examples and illustrations.    

Let’s start with the children.   I’ve already showed you photos of little toddlers learning how to cut the heads of their teddy bears off – with  a knife.     I’ve showed you little children training with guns that seem  too big for them.    How about these BOOM TWINS?

BOOM Twins s

The BOOM TWINS.   For real.    That’s a screen shot of their last photograph.   The accompanying article described how their father kissed them after this shot – kissed them good-bye.  They were fitted with ex pl^  osi ve    vests – and used in a baw^ming somewhere in the Middle East.

BOOM.   They’re all gone now.

As a former teacher of 12-year-olds, sometimes;  as a  mom of kids who used to be 12 years old;    and as a woman who was 12 years old once;   as a human being who hopes there are many happy  12-year-olds in the world now and in the future,     I find this repulsive,  evil, alarming,   and, quite frankly,  I’m frightened by the deafening silence coming from most of the world. 

This aggressive political/religious movement has awakened and is advancing much faster than we have even noticed yet.       Recently,  these people planned to build a 220,000 square foot  mos^  que/religious center in an American community quite near where I live. The community voting overwhelmingly against it, something like 38,000 to 1,400.   

The “religious” people promptly sued, crying discrimination,   and . . .  they’re not only building their new facility,  but the American city will pay for their insurance costs – and will pay for their $200,000 insurance deductibles in the future.   

It would be very useful if we stopped to figure that one out.    It’s becoming a very big hump.

I’ve been saving these next photos for a while, and I don’t want to wait any longer.   Men and women are so complementary to each other.  God made us equal in value, equal in worth,  and happily,  of great help to each other.     A culture cannot put down one sex or the other and expect to function well or for very long.   Denigrate one sex and you weaken the whole culture.

Here is a very eager crowd:

Woman eager camera

They’re waiting for something to begin and they’re taking photos of the people coming up onto the platform.

There are bareheaded young men and head-covered young women.

And the action BEGINS!

Woman and cane

The man in brown is taking aim.   The woman is going to be caned, in public. Does it matter what her crime was?    Does it even matter how many blows she was given?   It is an abomination – to a Christian mind –  that this could even happen.   No one in the crowd wants to stop it.    Their minds are 180 degrees turned around from our minds.

Yes, it’s in Indonesia.   this time.   But here in America we are already having a problem with  “honor” killings,  faces destroyed by acid,  genital mutilations,   forced abortions,  forced rapes,  forced marriages . .  .  humiliations and beatings within those marriages.  Rapes, beatings, and bullying of Americans.    Please remember, for instance,  the little child in Idaho,  raped and beaten in her own apartment building, by a group of boys from this foreign culture, some too young to even carry out the rape.

When this caning was over with,  the women, in the pink headscarf,  had to be carried off.

Woman carried away

This is not a religion.    This is not even a political movement.

This is just . . .  Trash:

Religion of Trash.jpg

This is the new “movement”    that faces the Western World, formerly Christendom;  a Western World  that used to know how to deal with growing “humps” like this.

Humps can grow mighty big.

 

 

 

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY

March 14, 2017

 

A hint of Beauty this week:

Snow stars on cars 380

It was a cold morning, and I had left Hubbie’s car outside of the garage, but I needed to get going anyway.   It was routine . .  .  mumble mumble mumble . . .  gotta get going . . .  mumble mumble . . .   get those car keys in . . mmb . . .   start up the engine  . . .

And THEN —  I looked up, out, through the windshield!    There,  right in front of my face I looked, I really looked at the windshield, and saw the beautiful pattern the frost had laid down on the glass.

It was fascinating.   It pulled me up out of my routine and I just had to stare and appreciate and “feel”  the little snow stars.

Snow Stars 380

Fractals.   I’m sure there are mathematical formulas to describe those patterns with numbers;  beautiful  formulas to describe the beautiful material patterns!

______________________________________

We’re created for Beauty.     We’re created with the capacity to recognize Beauty.  We’re created to find enjoyment in Beauty.      We’re created to desire the Source of Beauty,  the Creator Himself.

I’ve been reading from that book on Heaven  *  to my Monday class.  It says we’ll see our Creator, face to face, in all His glory. Our intellects will be glorified and we will see things in all their glory and splendor and beauty.  We won’t see just reflections of Beauty,   hints of Beauty,   we’ll see the essence of Beauty itself, and we will see our own soul as the beautiful creation that it is.

We will know ourselves clearly.     We will see ourselves as we really are.     Quote:

“We shall see (our soul)  clothed with a surpassing Beauty, adorned with gems of grace and good works,  and shining in the presence of God like a bright star.  This sight of ourselves will kindle in us sentiments of unbounded gratitude to God who is the giver of our existence.”

Enough.

An encounter with Beauty can take our breath away.

But with our intellects clarified and glorified (in Heaven)   we will live forever within the full enjoyment  of surpassing,  enchanting Beauty that is the Presence of God, Ever-Beautiful, Ever-Glorious,  Ever-Lovely.

Heavens Gate

And we will know and love and possess Him and all that He has for us.

It’s enough to make one want to seriously begin preparing!!!

______________________________________________

.*    The Happiness of Heaven   by  F.J.  Boudreaux

(easily available at Amazon and as an eBook elsewhere)

OUT FETCHING

March 13, 2017

(Fetching:  going out to get something and bringing it in)

Been “disabled for a few days” – so no posting here.   It all began one “Dark and Stormy Night”  last week,  Tuesday,  about midnight.   The only light came from above my desk where  I had all my books and notebooks  spread out,  studying and writing,  when all of a sudden I heard a big   noise in the basement  (I thought).

Something – big – had shifted or collapsed  in the basement –  and I didn’t want to go down there to see what had collapsed,  or what critter had caused it!

But the next morning,  I glanced out the window and saw this:

PO 1 Tree in pond 390

I didn’t use the panorama mode in my camera,  so that’s only a portion of the approximately 60-foot tree that had fallen into my backyard pond.      It had been dead for a while,  and Son had picked it out as one he’d have to take down soon.

Our big wind storm here in the Far North took care of that!        And the ducks enjoyed the new feature in their pond,  trying out  various positions on the floating tree.

PO 2 ducks on 380

The wind continued, and after more 60 m.p.h. wind gusts,  the power line and telephone poles around here came down too.   Temperatures fell,  and “mister”  gently corralled his lady-wife into a sheltered little cove:

PO 3.5 Cuddle ducks 370

The lady fluffed up her feathers and slept for a couple hours,  with mister watching over her.     (I think we’ll be seeing some duck eggs soon.)

RECORDER   I went off to play recorderat my friend’s house while her lamps “browned out” once in a while.       And Son  texted me that the power had gone completely out at my house –  and to be careful driving home because things were flying all over on the roads.

pinned under

I arrived home to find a happy,  busy Son pulling the tree out of the water.  I helped – and although I’m usually not clumsy,  as I was pulling on my end of the tree,  my feet slipped in the muddy bank just as the tree pivoted over me and I got pinned under the top of the tree.  The narrow end,  only about two inches in diameter,  but I couldn’t extricate my legs by myself!    Kind of a creepy feeling.

We got  me and tree out onto the grass and son got busy with the chainsaw :

PO 7 Son w chainsaw 380

As the house cooled down,  I got my revenge on that tree –

PO 6 burning that tree

We burned those round logs that had pinned me down that day!

And there began a few days of “fetching.”

Fetching firewood periodically as the temperatures plunged to 12,  15,  17 degrees.

Fetching water from the creek for certain  “necessities”   in the bathroom.

Fetching gasoline for the generator which we kept running to protect the refrigerator and the freezer,  light one lamp for the evening,  although we had a beautiful source of light on the table for the nights:

PO 5 beautiful night lamp

Light was always necessary because we lived among cables connected to the generator for a few days:

PO 4 cords

We were “ugly,”  inconvenienced,   and unclean for those four days,  but eventually power came back on and it didn’t take long to  get all the mud off the floors (from all our “fetching trips, in and out  of the muddy backyard),  clean the grime,   and put things back in their proper places.

And the heat from the furnace  feels so good!   And a warm shower feels so good!   And bright lights at night is so good!

And freedom from all the hours spent  just fetching!!     So good!

See,  I did okay during this power outage –   I’d be a good Luddite.

But I’ve experienced “modern technology” –   and it can feel   so good!!

LDY pc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DADDY DUG HIM OUT!

March 7, 2017

Week after week after week this year,  my grandson Cooper has been receiving snowfalls by the feet!   I kind of wondered if they’re able to move around or something.

Cooper on his sidewalk 380 x 500

Daddy’s been working hard!     That’s the walkway to their house!     Kind of looks like Cooper has his backpack on.   Ready for school?

Behind him,  over his shoulder, you can just about see  Donner Lake.   This is where they live,  somewhere down there on the lake shore.    I’ve been on that lake in the summer, and those mountains stay snow-covered – and beautiful.

donner lake jewel

Between snowstorms  you can “get there from here”  —

road to

Meanwhile,    I heard about their weather this week:

snow total

48 hours.   They got more feet of snow than Cooper is tall.

_________________________

 

Cooper’s Mommy is in India this week where the temperature is in the 90s.

What a planet!

GLOBE

YOUR DEGRADING SLAVERY per “SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN” mag

March 7, 2017

(… You might have already figured it out, the “degrading slavery” part —  but confirmation from Scientific American is rather dismaying.)

Purg 1

GK Chesterton was asked  why he,  a renowned literary figure of great intelligence and perceptive wit,   had converted as an adult (a seemingly sane and responsible adult!)  to the Catholic Church.

His answer is both instructive and universally true.

Here’s the beginning of his answer:    “The difficulty of explaining, ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true. I could fill all my space with separate sentences each beginning with the words, ‘It is the only thing that…’”

‘It is the only thing that…’      and he proceeded to list a few examples.    As a historian,  by avocation and by six years of university education,  my favorite example is this:

” It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

That instantly made sense to me.

Because God doesn’t like us to be in mental slavery,  not in command of our own intellect; psychological slavery, not in command of our own emotions;   spiritual slavery,  not in command of our own free will – to do good and to choose God.    That is,  as human beings,  we have souls, and our souls are free and we must act from this freedom.

Chesterton observed that those who are informed mainly by the thoughts and activities of their own (generation)  become entrapped by their own (generation).       Without any effort at all we absorb information  by watching and imitating other people,  by giving subconscious assent to the attitudes around us,  and  by  absorbing the content of the media we choose:

tv watching

That’s why an education always includes a knowledge of the history, the philosophies,  the challenges,  of ages past,  as well as a thorough knowledge of the rules of grammar, logic, and rhetoric – that is, how to think and how to express yourself and how to recognize when   someone   is  feeding  you  a line of  . .  .

Think these guys are dead and gone and irrelevant?

school of athens

Maybe dead,  but not “gone” nor irrelevant.     In fact,  their ideas and the problems they worked out are vital  to the decisions we make today.      (If you don’t want to be held in mental slavery by our current Rulers.)

Again, Chesterton  says that 90% of what we call “new ideas”  is simply the old errors coming back again,  and the Church  (not the neo-Church, but the original one)   has for one of her chief duties to prevent people from making the same old mistakes.

Here’s an “old idea” –   a “new”  prejudice from the  19th century,  at least.     I recently had a woman come into our class, just to say Hi,  and then  she stayed and talked to us for the next 2 1/2 hours!    She is a modern,  extreme-liberal,  feminist of the New Catholic Church, superior in every way, and she proceeded to instruct us in the new and better ways of the modern world – in a most friendly way . . .  sort of.

ehteldreda

Among the things that the bad old Catholic church had done was to suppress the “rights and opportunities” of women.   Just because they were women!    They were disrespected and their talents were ignored!

She was so steeped in the contemporary attitudes of the 19th and 20th centuries, that she could not even “think outside of”  that Box.

Fortunately,  my educational credentials had come up sometime earlier in that conversation  and so she listened while I smiled and  told her about my respect and affection for Queen Etheldreda …  a Catholic  woman of centuries past.

Queen Etheldreda was intelligent.  Well-educated.   Married.   And she was also the administrator of a large population in a major religious center and surrounding “city area.”     She was like the authoritative presider over a very large number of men and women.

She is one of many women who were well-educated and well-respected leaders of people throughout the “Dark”  and “Middle”  Ages.  And she is recognized as a saint.

But our new friend,  our lecturer in the ways of modern superiority,  would not hear of any further examples.   It is sometimes painful  to “think outside of” your Box.   You would have to break with your fellow slave-thinkers.     You would have to defy your slave-masters – and risk the consequences.

I insisted on all of us  laughing a lot during our 2 1/2 hour long near-confrontation,  keep it light,   find lots to laugh at;  when someone said, “Well, we’ll just agree to disagree,”  the whole class burst out laughing.   I even heard myself invite her back to our class sometime.   Hmmmm.

” It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

Oops –  almost forgot the Scientific American magazine.      Well,  I’ve been reading more Douglas Preston novels,  so I turned to Scientific American for  current thought on some issues in physics.    To my dismay,   here are some of the titles of the latest articles:  “Trump Administration Seeks Big Budget Cuts for Climate Change.”    “The Real Reason Autism Rates Are Up”  (and it does not encourage vaccine research!)  – “This Is Your Brain On Poverty”   (for all you SJW’s out there)  –  “Maps Show Where Americans Care About Climate Change”   “What Apple Cider Vinegar Can and Can’t Do For You” (and if you’re  “educated”  you won’t seek out natural remedies.)     “Climate Deniers –  You’re Climate Deniers, Deal With It”   –  (huh?   are we supposed to feel inferior?)    “Ten Solutions For climate Change”  (aw gee . . . )    

I got excited when I finally saw a hard science headline,  I thought.   “The Most Important Idea About the Universe.”     But no physics.   No hard science.   Just a promotion of energy conservation and Darwinism.   

Do you know how dated and old-fashioned these articles will be in a few short decades?  Are these guys wearing bell-bottom trousers?     Are these women wearing corsets?

The Catholic Church “is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

Once you catch on and once you can recognize when someone is speaking merely as a child of his own age,   you can almost feel compassion for his slavery.

And mental slavery is the most degrading kind of slavery of all.

bar-gold-with-cross

I have never experienced such mental freedom since I entered into the church.

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So,  if you’re interested, and if you’ve been told that “physical”  slavery is the worst kind of all,  I’d invite you to consider the life of African-slave-then freedman  Pierre Toussant – one of the men in this world I look up to.

Pierre_Toussaint 120

Pierre Toussant is in Wikipedia,   but I’ve also written about him  here in the Spruce Tunnel.

He is a Catholic.   A slave, but not a degraded type of slave.   (“. . .  for Christ has broken down the divisions between slave and free,  male and female   . . . “)  When he received his freedom,  he moved to New England during those colonial times, opened up a business,   became wealthy, and used his wealth to create orphanages and homes for the unfortunate.

He is on his way to Catholic sainthood.

Which, to the Church,  means only that his life is worthy of a “second-look” on our part.

 

THIN ICE BENEATH OUR FEET

March 5, 2017

I woke up one day this week to this:

thin-ice

Thin ice!   We had thick ice earlier this winter,  a little bit of ice skating was possible,  but then we had a thaw . . .  and  then a slight re-freezing.     A little later that day the cold continued and the ice had completely closed up over the water.

But it was still thin ice.    I looked at it often that day and thought about that “one last heartbeat”   between us being alive – and then we’re dead.   A very thin boundary it seems between us and our final destiny:   “up,”  as we say,  or “down.”

Some of us, the Bible says,  will have to “pass through the fire” ;   the things we have done here in this life will be tried and tested , and the worthless things burned up out of us,  before we can go “up.”   .*

It is with a kind of wry  humor that I’m reminded of this every time I go to Mass or to class,  because I have to pass through the smoke    . . .  of burning heat below my feet!

purg-0

The city steam  pipes below the sidewalk are vented right near the entrance to our church!

In our art work, down through the centuries,  painters have shown  that the location of Purgatory is right below us,  right below the altar during a Mass;  so how funny that the smoke of Purgatory seems to be vented right nearby!

purg-2

 

And someone in the city decided that this would be a good opportunity for the children to display some artwork   . . .

purg-3

 

Except I don’t think they called upon young painters who understand much about the Four Last Things:  Death. Judgment.  Heaven.  Hell.

purg-4

Yeah,  maybe bad language is one of those things that will need to be “tried by fire” –  the hay, straw, stubble of their lives.

I thought it was  ironically funny,   but someone must have complained,  because one day I walked by and the steampipe was rather plain:

purg-5-new

The “pipe of purgatory”  had been “purged.”

One can find humor anywhere, I think,  as long as we take care of the major things,  have it all settled between us and God,  all, all, all settled;  and then do the right things.  Then you’re so free to enjoy life as it comes to you — and to see the love and joy and humor all around.

It’s soon becoming Sunday here in the Far North,  so I’ll leave you with one last picture that shows how   this all  works together.

suffering-and-fruits-of-mass-260

God the Creator,  Our Father, started it all;  the Son sacrificed His life for us,  which is made present to us at every Mass;   and every Mass touches Eternity and all the angels and saints in  Eternity.

And the souls in Purgatory,  beneath the altar,  are being made ready.

suffering-hand-in-purgatory

 

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. *  Found in:  I Corinthians 3:11-15    –    (A life of  …  gold, silver, precious stones?  Or  wood, hay, stubble:)      [13] Every man’ s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every         man’ s work, of what sort it is. [14] If any man’ s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’ s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. 

 

 

 

“Up” is unimaginable, indescribable good things that God has prepared for us;   and down is the pain of forever being “out.”    As I wrote  before,  intense pain,  like a physical pain, like a fire.

And it’s also one heartbeat below us,  waiting for us.

 

 

LANGUAGE IN A POLLUTION JAM

March 3, 2017

(Time out for some humor)

It’s hard to talk to each other in the midst of a raging storm.

new-haven-lighthouse-storm

We get used to it.   We shut out the powerful raging storm all around us.  We shut out the tumult of conflicting interests battering up against each other,  battering up against us. Life goes on with great uncertainties,  no safe and quiet ground to stand on;   and still we talk to one another as best we can;  we care,  we’re interested, we help out when we can.  We’re pretty sure there’s been some mutual understanding.

So,  communication can be difficult, of course, but sometimes we can  find humor in  the situation and just enjoy the wonderful human absurdity of it all.

Son gave me a little gift one day – a fun little gadgety gift that is actually of some help in the dry indoor air.  Here’s the box —

bottle-cap

Kind of cool –  you fit this cap onto any bottle of water, and it makes a nice mist.

It wasn’t, however,  “made in America,”   so the instructions sounded a little “foreign.”

Instruction #1:    Pile the filter into humidifier completely.  When you pull out, please do it on the opposite direction.          (Okay.  I think.)

Then in the “Notes” —

This is not waterproof products.   When using the product erect, avoid the water into the product.        (uh,  this is to be used with a half-liter plastic bottle with water in it . . .)

Please place it beyond the children’s reach.

Please place the product away from the human body for 30 meters,  for without ventilation completely,  drops of water will come into being.      (I don’t think my house is 30  meters long.)

When you are aware that the spray output of the humidifier is in a pollution jam,  please change into a new filter.

Plug the cable softly.

When you use automotive electrical appliance,  electrical appliance, expensive products,  pay attention to not make it wet.

Dropping out the product will make the product out of work.        (Makes sense.)

Do not use it for the other purposes.       (Yeah,   I won’t.)

And then the big caution:    Any problems happen,  please do not disassemble,  repair the product and contact with retailers.

 

__________________________

(Amusement aimed at me!)

I dabble in languages.

der-spiegel

There are  certain things I like to read in one language or another;    those darn footnotes in my books are in many languages;   I feel compelled for some reason to check the news in German every few days;  I worship in another language altogether.    But if I were to write or talk in those languages,  I’m very sure my words would be a source of amusement for the native speakers of that language.

I’d be the only one who knows what I’m talking about!

jesus-speaking

I think of Jesus teaching on a  hillside speaking important truths to the people crowded around Him, listening intently to every one of His words;    and the look on His face is one of bemused affection,  because He is knowing they don’t understand what He’s saying —  yet.   Bemused affection:  gently seeing the humor in the situation.

He is patient with us;  oh, so patient.

During this Lent,  I’ll be writing more and more about the Church’s teachings.     That is,  doctrines,  practices, and spiritual growth.

I suspect I’ll not communicate  well.

One big language pollution jam.