Archive for May 2017

MEMORIAL DAY ENTERTAINMENT

May 29, 2017

Suggested.   Suggested entertainment for Memorial Day.      Because the republic of the United States of America cannot exist without truth and the courage to say the truth.

And so I heartily, absolutely recommend for this Memorial Day and the days that follow the series called  The Man in the High Castle.   It’s a series,  on television or something,  that you can get from Amazon Prime or maybe your library DVD collection –  or with a DVD purchase.

man flag

You’ll live in a world in which it’s best not to ask.  Don’t call attention to yourself.   Everything will be all right if you don’t make waves.  Don’t question what you hear on television or in movies or in the newspaper.     Your in-born Bias to Normalcy will help you stay content.

The premise of this series is that the Allies, including the United States lost  World War  Two,  and the governing of  our country is divided between the Nazi victors and the Japanese victors.

man new world

Our country has been broken up now for several decades:  a Nazi controlled East,  a Japanese controlled West, and a kind of no-man’s land in between, somewhere between Colorado and Montana.

Except . . .

The Secret behind this arrangement is that America did NOT lose the world,  but instead, for the sake of our Rulers,  through an efficient and skillful use of deception,  it only appears that way –  in the entertainment-news media.   People are kept in poverty and in ignorance to maintain the deception.

There are a few secret news reels that still exist  that show the Germans and the Japanese surrendering to the Allies — hard to believe! —   but Americans must never know about them.    But some – renegades – are beginning to believe these news reels tell the truth.    And their suppression by the authorities is ruthless.

man logo

We remember today  those who fought and died for our country.   They believed in Truth, Justice, and the American Way.    By and large.   Their children pledge allegiance to  “One Nation Under God.”     We treasure our Freedom.

But all this is so fragile.   It is almost an aberration in world history.   In times of War we fight hard to uphold our values, but times of Peace and Prosperity attack us.

Peace attacks our values.

Prosperity attacks us.

We let our guard down.  We fight no more  We are vigilant no more.   We are on guard no more.

And those who would like to have our country know how to efficiently use deception,  the collusion of the media,  and skillful  psychological methods to confuse us.   Those who would like to Rule over us give us  a new narrative to think with.    History is rewritten.   The game is slowly changed.

Suppression of the old ways is accomplished with ridicule,  isolation,  demonization, and threats,   subtle and sometimes overt.    Economic pressure;  you can lose your job.    And then the lawsuits start.   Fines,  Imprisonments.

The antidote is knowledge.  Certainly not easy to come by!    Awareness doesn’t just drop out of your remote and onto your lap.

Our Founding Fathers said that the continuance of our republic depends upon two things:  an informed electorate and a religious, moral citizenry.

The republic didn’t continue in the Man in the High Castle – and it cost many lives to attempt to get it back.

 

 

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AN “ORDINARY FAMILY” SALUTE ON MEMORIAL DAY

May 29, 2017

Memorial Day is for honoring those who lost their lives as they defended our country.     But in addition,  I’m thinking about all those who served in the military and  risked their lives,   willing to die for us.  

Flag don't tread

I thought I had always faithfully acknowledged Memorial Day here at the Spruce Tunnel throughout the years,  but a quick check of the archives shows me that I missed a few.

(In fact,  one end-of-May entry recorded my  incursion into dinosaur territory where, after wandering around, lost for a few hours in the Utah/Colorado desert I finally came out  feeling like an idiot but happy to be alive and uninjured  That was 2013.   I guess I wasn’t thinking of Memorial Day at the time.)

I’ll try to make a thorough list this time.    (We have a small family.)

My Grandpa, one of the crew of the USS Utah, serving in World War One.

SAMSUNG

The USS Utah,  dashing through the Atlantic –   (I must have inherited some of his experience;  I love to be on the prow of a big sailboat, plunging through the waves (on the Great Lakes.)

SAMSUNG

Grandpa was under threat  by German U-Boats, but he did come home.  The USS Utah sailed to Pearl Harbor where she bravely did duty – as target practice, until in 1941, the Japanese finished her off —

Utah down

My uncle was stationed there in Pearl Harbor in the ’40s, an MP in the Marines.   I wonder if he watched or thought of his own father’s ship being blown up.   Would like to have a photo of him . . . .

My own Dad,   Marine Corps –   18 years old.

MARINE

Hubbie’s family contributed their loved ones too.    Two sons from one family.   Finnish family.

First, Aaro Ikkala.    Sailor, serving on board the USS Aulick,  which has the distinction of being the first plane ever attacked by a kamikazi pilot.    Not everyone on board died.   Aaro did.    We have his Purple Heart.

In the days when the Internet was new and its usefulness was exciting,  Hubbie put together a wonderful tribute to the men on the USS Auulick,  even contacting some of those who had served with Uncle Aaro and remembered him.

Hubbie also put together this “genuine” replica of the Aulick which had been attacked in Leyte Gulf, Philippines:

USS Aulick

I wonder what went through Hubbie’s mind as he glued together all the tiny little pieces  . . .   We actually have the official navy report – of the gruesome details.

Hubbie lost another uncle in the next war,  the Korean war; his name was Arthur,  brother of Aaro.

Arthur Ikkala's Newspaper Article

I got quite a weird feeling in me today as I went through these old papers.   “Col. Ikkala”  looks very, very much like Hubbie at that age.

Next, for us, came the Viet Nam war –

My cousin.    Army.      It was a different kind of war:

Drew

This is a later picture, still in uniform.    Still “Proud to be an American . . .  ”

Drew in Uniform

He’s “family.”     I look at him and see my Grandma’s face.

And then Hubbie has two nephews,  West Point grads,  served in Desert Storm and whatever the next military endeavor was.   Flew  Apaches.

Apache

I’ll update with photos when I wake up my old, old computer which has their photos.  One of them patrolled around Babylon –  yes, the desert fortress city of Nebuchadnezzar  and his wannabe descendant Saddam Hussein who was in the process of restoring glorious palaces in Babylon.

We’re an ordinary family, some of whom left factories and mines and farms  (and high school) to defend our country –– to defend their families and our American way of Life. When they were done,  they returned to their factories, mines, and farms . . . .

Mem salute

Thank you, guys.

Trump Honors

America remembers.    Americans still honor all of you.

EVEN A BABY – SATURDAY CONTRASTS

May 27, 2017

Even a baby, a toddler hardly out of babyhood,  perceives that some things are holy.

Baby and Mary

(No, dear protestants –  it is NOT the  statue that is holy in the same way that God is holy!)

This is a famous photo of a little,  little girl talking earnestly to Our Lady –  a Lady that the Bible says will be called Blessed throughout all generations.  A Lady that was given to us to be our mother in a special way,  by no less a person than her Son.

Holiness from a Holy God – exists.      But today is a Saturday —

somber day

—  like the Somber Saturday  almost two thousand years ago when it seemed as though Evil triumphed and got rid of the Christ who had come to earth, come to be  vulnerable –  now crucified and  gone  “for good.”

Has it happened again?   Has Evil  seemed to triumph?    Have two first ladies, one present, one former,  demonstrated for us that long-lasting conflict?

Today, Saturday,  I was studying hard, preparing for my summer classes where the topic will be the events that occurred at Fatima, Portugal  a hundred years  ago.    I thought how like the Portugal of that time is  that first Holy Somber Saturday – darkness before the dawn.

Darkness seemed  to have triumphed over Portugal back then, a hundred years ago.   Atheists and Freemasons had taken over the governments, local and national, and nearly succeeded in wiping out the Catholic faith from public view.  It was even illegal to ring church bells for a time!

Then came the events of 1916 and 1917 to demonstrate for humanity that holiness has not disappeared,  that God is in control,  and that, as always,  a good outcome depends upon our faith and actions.

So,  holiness still exists.    I don’t know what to make of this photo recently  taken in Italy:

Melania

Um . . .     it’s said, and now she admits,  that she is  a Catholic.     All I can understand is the veil she is wearing.    I wear a veil too, and for the same reason:

Tabernacle vertical

The First Lady is under the same roof as the Real Presence of Christ,  Holy God.   Under the same roof –  so you show respect.    (Courtesy to the pope, no matter who the man might be;  courtesy, not a veil.)   But somewhere in all the rooms, under that roof,  is a Holy Object.

Holiness does exist in this world  (though often obscured or unknown)  and it’s a bright and joyful  thing when it’s honored.

By contrast?    Sometimes we know what things are by contrast to what isn’t.

Here is another recent  photo taken in Italy of another who was given the title of First Lady and who is about to visit a holy place, a cathedral in Siena, Italy.   Home of St. Catherine of Siena!

This person cr

 

The cathedral has a dress code . . . um . . . .     She was either just entering or just leaving the cathedral . . . .

In case you can’t recognize her, I’ll give you more of the photo –

This person goes into Siena Cathedral

That’s the easily recognizable partner who is shadowing  President Trump during his State visits to various places,  conducting an alternative US government on the sidelines,  as it appears.

But, there it is:     recognizing that some things are holy;  or not recognizing that some things are holy.

Holiness came down to a dark world  to three little children at Fatima.   The little, little toddler above recognizes that some things are above this profane and presently dark  world.

Jesus and children

“Except you become as little children, you cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven.”   This doesn’t mean living in childish ignorance,  but using our time to grow in understanding – and in the perception and practice  of true holiness.

Precious time.  Very little time.       Relax, and become childlike.

 

ASCENSION CONSIDERATIONS

May 26, 2017

Ascension Thursday this week.  40 days after the Resurrection.   (40,  not 43.)  It’s a Feast Day of Hope.

The older I get,  the more I realize “I’m not getting out of here alive.”   I’m leaving this planet via my death.   Here’s that picture again:

“Will this be me?”    —

SAMSUNG

I’ve already been the one sitting at the bedside of a dying man,  worrying and praying.   Soon, possibly,   it will  be my turn to be the one in bed.      And yours too.

(Sometimes some of my friends hear me say  “Pray for my healing; pray for my health.”   I say it offhandedly,  but few realize how serious I am.)

But though I am a Christian,  and my health matters aside,   I live a somewhat safe life in this country.    My Christian brothers and sisters around the world are not so “lucky.”

A little while ago in the Philippines,  where lovely, peaceful,  beautiful,  friendly Christians live in a sort of tropical  Paradise,  nine Christian  men driving in  cars  were stopped by the   Muslim-“extremists   who are gaining power-by-force on their  beautiful islands.   They were stopped,  dragged out of their cars,   their hands were all tied together,  and the nine men were shot to death.

Youd better believe

See their hands all tied to one another?

They were executed because they were Christians who happened to be on the road at the same time as these Muslims  (who were carrying ISIS flags).

The government is trying to  stop the violence and to stop the drug money that finances these Muslim terrorists.

what war looks like

Sometimes strong and forceful  (violent)  measures have to be taken to eradicate the murderous Threat that has taken hold in a country.  This is what such a “war”  would look like in such a country.  The civilian cars must give way so the military can do its duty to protect.

It’s what a government is supposed to be doing:  protecting its citizens with resources that only it,  the government,  can assemble.

Today,  the head of our DHS  (Dep’t of Homeland Security)  stated publicly:  “If you knew what  I know,  you would be afraid to leave your homes.”   If we had his information about the actual  threats we were under . . . .

Again,  so far  I  live in such seemingly safe circumstances that I can afford to stay ignorant of the severity of the danger.   I can ignore it,  if I want to,  even as more and more people are saying things seem to be spinning out of control,  and  it feels like “something”  big is going to happen.

So,  I’ll just repeat:   I’m not going to get out of here alive!

Jesus did not.     Jesus did not “get out of here alive.”     He laid down His life for us;  He took up His life again at His Resurrection.   And He took His Resurrected body  “up” into  the “heavenly  places.”

He who was seen by many is now unseeable.

But Eternity is all around us.  It penetrates this world.   Or, as I kept saying this morning to my class:  Eternity interpenetrates our world.    The spirit in us is able perceive this presence of Eternity.    That is,  Jesus,  Eternal, can now be perceived by everyone, not just those who stood next to Him so long ago in one small part of this globe.   All  of us can,  “whosoever”  wants to.

Ascension

As  He ascended,  He took with Him something very important:  His human nature.   The same as our human nature.    He made it possible for all  those creatures with a human nature can also enter into Heaven.

It’s possible.

I dearly hope those Christian children and mothers on the school bus today and  those  young Filipinos with their hands tied together took comfort in the meaning of the Ascension as they lay dying.

Christians are those who have chosen to follow Jesus,   through whatever and wherever  He leads us.    It’s our cross,  the way that leads us to Heaven.   Executed.   Blown up.   Needless accidents.   Sickness.    Ascension Day tells us that we can follow Him into glory.   It’s possible.

Follow crosses to Heaven

“It’s needful for you that I go.”     Behold,  I go to prepare a place for you.”     “In my Father’s house are many mansions.  If it were not so,  I would have told you.”

We can pray for the souls of our Christian brothers and sisters who’ve left this world so violently.    And perhaps  “before their time.”  And for their loved ones,  left behind to mourn.

 

 

CANDLES, TEDDY-BEARS, AND FLOWERS – (Go Missing)

May 26, 2017

silence

The entertainment-non-information-news media.

 

 

I looked for this news item  all over today.  Nothing on TV,  nothing on mainline Internet sites,  and only one small sentence on the radio  (but it wasn’t the “news,”   it was a talk-show comment).

More than two dozen little girls and their mothers killed today,  many more injured.

By a bomb.

A bomb set off by Moslem-“extremist”  jihadis  . . .  (they were seen).

Memorial

No tears from the Progressive Western World.

No reporting.   No interest.  No candles, teddy-bears, and flowers for the victims,  yet young children and their mothers were most definitely blown apart;  “bits of skin, bone, body parts”  lying all over, as the British newspaper put it a few days ago — concerning another bombing.

All of today’s  victims,  the children and the mothers,   were Christians.

A traditional Christian faith.

Killed by bombs in their buses.

Bombs set off by Moslem-“extremist”  jihadis,  just fulfilling certain verses of the Koran —  the ones that abrogated the earlier “peaceful”  verses  that are trotted out for us by those practicing taqiyya.     (Because we’re not only infidels,  we’re idiots.)

The Great Silence from the normally talkative entertainment-news media keeps us that way:     Idiots.

 

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In case you want to look it up,  the  several dozen  Christian souls left this earth in a violent manner in Egypt today,  They were on their way to visit an ancient monastery in the quiet desert.

BEND AND BOW AND BU-U-U-U-RN!

May 22, 2017

(Ever read the book of Daniel in the Bible?)

Hey!  How about a rousing  two minutes of Gospel music!!!!

 

Well, the song tells you the story,  but in case you didn’t have patience to listen to it,  long ago  three young men were arrested  because they wouldn’t bow down to the culture’s god,    nor would they bend their knee,  so they were thrown into a fiery hot furnace (so hot that the king’s servants who fired it up were themselves killed by the heat) .    Well, the three young men wouldn’t burn either –  they were protected by a Fourth Man sent from the One True God  who kept them from burning,  from even being singed,  from even having the smell of smoke on them!

“They wouldn’t bend, they wouldn’t bow, they wouldn’t burn.”

Courage.   Truth.   Hope in God alone.

In the last post I contrasted the reception of two presidents in their trips to Saudi Arabia.   I noted that one president did bow to the Sunni king.

Barack Obama, Hu Jintao

Oh,  that’s different  Muslim leader . . . .

Obama Bow Copenhagen

Another Muslim leader . . . . fuzzy.   At a Copenhagen meeting of world leaders.

Here we are – bowing to a Saudi Sunni Muslim . .  .

O bowing again

Here’s the one we want:

Obama bow - Copy

Saudi.   Sunni.   Islam.

We have the school registration of this president.   He was raised as a Muslim,  enrolled in a Muslim school,  and learned his religion and how to get along in this world by studying the Koran.      The young boy in Malaysia learned how to respect the Sunni religion and its representatives.    (You bow.)

As an adult he stated  (it’s recorded on video)  thatThe most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of the muezzin calling out to evening prayer,”  (in which prayers to their god are chanted in classical Arabic).

Beautiful to his ears.

In case you’re wondering:\

ObamaIndonesia school regist.jpg circled

Legal Name:  Barry Soetoro

Previous Residence:   Honolulu

Present Residence:  Indonesia

Religion:   Islam

(By the way,  Islam does not allow for apostatizing to non-Muslim religions.)

So,  one man bowed.   But the other man  “bended.”   —

Trump nt bowing

There’s nothing wrong with being a Sunni Muslim  in this world.    And  there’s nothing wrong with being TALL.   It’s much easier for an older man to put a medallion of honor around your neck if you bend down for him –  that’s courtesy of a different kind.

Every once in a while it used to come up in my daughter’s  concert band which traveled abroad:  “What do you do if you are introduced to someone from some royal family?”   (Answer:  You’re an American.   You shake hands, if such royal hand is offered to you.  Otherwise, you stand politely and respectfully.   After the American Revolution was won,  American citizens do NOT bow – or bend – or hopefully  not “burn” !)

Please,  my readers,  don’t let anyone blur the difference between a bow and a  bending down so someone can slip something over your neck.    Use your own intellect.  Make honest distinctions.

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Hey – you might be a Johnny Cash fan.    He’s got a great (almost)  bass voice too)

A TALE OF TWO PRESIDENTS

May 22, 2017

(A  photographic editorial):

One US president went to Saudi Arabia:

O bowing to many

(In case you can’t find him,  he’s the one with his back end facing us and his head LOWER than the Saudi officials,  king and diplomats.)

And now another president is in Saudi Arabia this weekend:

Highest Civilian HOnor

That is President Trump on the left, in  front, on a long red carpet,  given the highest civilian honors – by Saudi Arabia.     (There is no corresponding scene with the other guy.)

Who represents you?   Barack Hussein who bows to the Sunni leader on behalf of the United States?

Or President Trump who gives and receives diplomatic respect on his state visit?

Does America bow to other nations?

Or is America honored?

WEEKEND FUN WITH “MAMA-“

May 20, 2017

I think my liver has recovered enough from my accidental dandelion poisoning this week.     Lost a day and  half out of my life,  but  I think it’s ready for a little fun    —

Mama Herbs and Roots

You can’t just walk into a bar here in the Far North and ask for a Mamajuana!     (Not that I would personally walk into a bar . . .)   You’d have to have ocean and sun and sand – and beach bars;   Boca Chica, for instance,  Santo Domingo.

Good thing Son took a trip to Santo Domingo recently.   Good thing he’s MY son!  —

Mama Root Bag

He brought me a “souvenir” —  the first step to making your own Mamajuana,  a tropical drink consumed widely, apparently,   and made from these tropical roots and herbs.

“Roots of what?”  I asked.

There was an attempted answer, I think,   “Something that grows down there   . . .  mmmmble …  mmmble…… ”   but I wasn’t enlightened.

“So how do I use this package of exotic roots and herbs?”    I asked.

“You have to soak them –  or maybe boil them —  and you have to make sure to drain the water after the boiling, you can’t use that   . . .  and  mmmmble …  mmmble……  and it’s made with rum!”

Pardon the “mmmbling,”     but that’s about what my brain heard.

I asked my friend who is from Central America about Mamajuana  —  but this is not in her experience.   I asked her to at least read the ingredients on the package for me.    She said, ”  . . .  mmmmble …  mmmble……   —  I don’t know what these things are.”

But I’m making the drink anyway!

Since I’ve just had a nasty run-in with dandelion root,   I’m  being cautious,  but, then again,    I’m not sure what constitutes “cautious”  when you’re using roots and herbs from another part of the world.

So far,  step one,  in the pitcher:   Unknown roots and herbs;   red wine;  honey.     It’s a several week process,  so it won’t be ready in time for Son’s birthday tomorrow,  but we’ll find an occasion.

I’ll let you know.

mamajuana-photo

 

 

 

JOY AND TRAGEDY OF A 24-YEAR OLD

May 17, 2017

 

(Turning serious, now, because it’s Wednesday. ) 

Wednesday 1.jpg Wednesday.  Our culture calls it “hump day,”  a term I don’t like,  but on some Wednesdays I write about the big “hump”  the Western World has to face, and to get up and over it,  or more “Joys”  will turn to “Tragedies.”

We have to face some differences.

______________________________________

There is nothing more joyful than watching  a 24- year old young man — (in general, of course) – – reaching the prime of his life,  the prime of his strength,  the prime of his self-confidence,  optimism, courage, self-assurance.  He’s so “full of himself” !!     Bursting with life.  And fun.       (Another reason why mothers have gray hairs.)

conga fun bl wh

It was with my young, approximately 24-year old Hubbie that I danced on a table in a German bar,  and we all danced the Conga, right out the door, into the parking lot,  and back in through the kitchen, snatching up kitchen staff as we passed through.

Oh, wait.  We didn’t do it in black and white:

conga 1

More like this.   In fact,   I was wearing a tiny dress like that which I had made – out of one yard of brightly colored material!     (Very long blonde hair covered the rest of me.)   Hubbie had fun too.   He eventually “matured” and life went on.

Ein prosit!!

ein prosit

 

A 24-year old man should feel young and joyful and full of life.  He has much to learn, and he needs all that courage and strength for the life that is coming to him.   He must mature and begin to help solve the serious problems  of the adult world.   He must soon know that some 24-year olds don’t live in a free and joyful culture.

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It’s  different in a Different World.    Some 24-year olds are busy trying to escape their World:

sign says for sale

Here are young men;  told to wait out there in the blazing sun.    The white sign above them, the one with the Arabic letters,  says:  “For sale.”     Those young men are for sale.    In the Islamic world,  slavery exists.

One 24-year old escaped his captors, after physical hardship and torture, and he, Muhammed Yusuf,  was able to report this to people from the Western World.

As a matter of fact, although slavery has existed everywhere from the beginning of written history,  it was only in the Western World,  the Western hemisphere and Western Europe,  that people worked hard to abolish slavery.   The popes first called for its abolition from the 16th century  onward,  until finally it became a serious movement and men of European heritage — that would be Caucasian (white)  Christian people — finally enacted laws abolishing slavery in their lands.

The (Christian) Western World is a world apart from the Islamic world.

They have different values from each other.

Every day now I read of one or more attacks by “extremists”  against people of the Western cultures.   Here’s one that appeared in the news just today:

catedral-mexico_Muslim-attacker

This young man in his mid-20s is being detained on a cathedral floor, just after he has stabbed a priest in the neck, as the priest was saying Mass.   Mexico  City.    The young man is a Muslim.

A Different World.    They do not respect what we respect.

A few days ago we heard that Bin Laden’s son has declared Revenge on the Western World,  us,  and has called for our murder.

Meat Cleaver

Anytime.  Anyplace.

They do things differently.   It’s a Different World.

I wonder sometimes why the full implications of these differences do not motivate us more. 

But our government (through the entertainment-news media)  has given us a vocabulary that emphasizes a false sense of  Sameness,  obscuring deadly differences.

Our schools – and there are plenty of examples –  are teaching our children to accept the ‘differences”  that come from a Different World.

San Diego Pub Schls

These are California schoolchildren, learning that all worlds are “equal”  and “diversity”  means Sameness.

Leaders in government don’t seem to realize there are two Different Worlds.

Trudeau among worshipers

Here is the young leader of our neighbor to the north seriously practicing Sameness with the Muslims.

And tragically,  those leaders who should be teaching us the differences,  have just voted to welcome those adherents of Islam who are colonizing the Western World:

Toe the Mark Islam

As old as some of these men are,  they do not appear to have been given a classical Western education, or at least they have  rejected Classical education and are therefore unable to make intellectual distinctions between one set of values and another.

Appalling and deadly ignorance.    They cannot tell victims  of persecution from the Colonizers.      They call them all “refugees”  but accept only the Islamic ones.

Young men of military age from a Different World.

Poor Refugee

Call them refugees, but I don’t think they plan to assimilate into any Western nation that opens its doors to them.

 

 

 

 

MOSCOW MULE – (Improved)

May 16, 2017

(From time to time  I post a recipe —  not unusual  .  .  .)

There are so many variations of the recipe for a Moscow Mule.    But since I had no experience with any of them,   I think the one Son and I used on Sunday was – the best!

MM glass

We used glasses – that’s already a variation from the copper cups you’re supposed to use.

MOSCOW MULE

Ingredients:

couple ounces of vodka    (we used rum;  rum improves everything)
three ounces of GOOD ginger Beer    (it’s not beer, but a fizzy, boldly-flavored ginger ale)
juice of half a lime   (or a few tablespoons of  bottled lime juice)
a few sprinkles of sugar – to your taste
a teaspoon or so of maraschino cherry juice

Put ingredients in a shaker.      . . .  “shaken not stirred”   or blended

Shake it up,  . . .     (Please see added instruction in the comment below!   There’s a way you should do this!)  . . .   pour into your drinking vessel,  garnish with a lime wedge,   maybe  sprinkle with  a little powdered sugar

Keep it cold.   Somehow.    (That’s why you use a copper cup;  it holds the cold better.)

 

Well, maybe that’s a BIG variant from the original recipe,  but it’s summer!                     Hot weather makes you do strange things.

MM copper

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Hat tip to my Friday morning Bible study class –  who told me all about this drink.

Hat tip and a thanks to Son who already knew about this –  and made it for me!

“MOTHER’S DAY” DAY

May 15, 2017

(Just so The Spruce Tunnel has a record . . . )

I know,  it’s a day late,  but that’s because “it”  was Mother’s Day –  and I was kept busy!

The day started, as it should,  with a seriously good Mass – actual contact with the Creator!      Then Son had sent me a reassuring text informing me that he “had the whole day free . . .”  We weren’t always together,  but he was  . . .    here.

I,  the “mother,” did  “whatever I wanted to do!    I read,  I napped,  I puttered around in the kitchen,  I did a little sewing work on a new summer top,  I watched another episode of my very favorite video series from Italy, and from time to time visited Son who was keeping busy outside, on my behalf.

(I might have worked him too hard.)

A digger

He is closing up a long trench in which he laid drainage pipes.

A trench

I know I needed them.   Son understands why I needed them.

We had a visitor for a while:

A snake cr

He seemed to be enjoying the sunlight.   Fascinating.   We were also visited by a lively, happy woodchuck who was busy running here and there,  munching on the water weeds near the backyard pond.      Nice to have time to enjoy these little critters.

The lawn is nearing perfection this summer, under Son’s care:

A Lawn

I said I was puttering around the kitchen.   Son was taking care of the Main Course:

A grill

. . .  and we put our work together —

A dinner cr

. . .    just in time to watch some really good movies.

And Daughter?  

A cell

A very nice, very long distance phone call – and not at all rushed! (A mother can tell if you’re under time constraints.)         And then there was a Kazoo concert,  via cell phone –  from  Cooper!  –  followed by a lot of Kindergarten news!       (Thank you for sharing with your Grandma.)

 

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Mother’s Day is one of the great highlights of my whole year, and I have to explain why:   For fifteen years I was an “only child,”  so I guess that’s long enough for me to have many “only child”  characteristics –  and feelings.    The Great Alone.   When I first became pregnant,  my world changed:  I knew I would never, ever be “alone”  again.   My daughter,  my son;   two other human beings in this world would always be a part of me, and I would belong to them.

This Mother’s Day was a good one.     Son and Daughter were both “present.”

a rose

Be good to your Moms.

 

 

A DIFFERENT KIND OF LIGHT – 100 YEARS AGO

May 14, 2017

 

“Like crystal,  when the sun shines brilliantly through it.”

It was hard for the little children to describe the brightness and purity of the whiteness,  the white light that the Lady was made of,  like she was made of the sun, but it didn’t hurt their eyes.

OL Fatima

As you’ve probably heard,  this is the 100th Anniversary of the First Apparition that occurred in Fatima, Portugal.    I’ll write much about it in the days to come;  six months we  have.   The Apparitions came once a month for six months,  with one big Fireworks of an ending!

fatima people

That it happened there could be no doubt.  In fact,  among the many in the photograph above who were there on that last day were many, many doubters, skeptics, mockers, and downright nay-sayers.    They were there to ridicule the so-called pious believers who believed the children’s tales.

But for  even those who were convinced nothing would happen – something happened to them!      Why were they so convinced nothing was going on?      Because the ones who were able to see or hear “something”  were the innocent,  the pure in heart,  the honest,  the open,  the pious, and the humble before God.

There were a few, even in this atheistic country!

According to the heart of each person,   some heard only a soft buzzing when the Apparitions occurred.  A few heard the booms.  A few saw the bright flashes.   Some saw a small, soft white cloud.    Two of the three children heard the words of “the Beautiful Lady,”  but all three saw her.

And that was exactly how they described her.    This Beautiful Lady, who was really appearing,   was a Lady with a face and with hair and eyes and clothing, but nevertheless “all made of Light.

In fact, later,  when Lucia, the eldest, was pressed to describe her,  she said even her gown was made of Light.  It was not “folds of white cloth,”  but where there would be folds, it was like the Light was thicker there,  the Light was draped in folds, and at the edges of the  Lady’s gown,  the brilliant white Light became golden,  like an outline of golden Light.

a white

The Beautiful Lady would not identify herself until October,  her sixth visit.

But remember –  she was made of Light.  Clothed in Light.  A Light that made everything beautiful and brought with it the presence of God,   Who is the Source of Majestic Light –

I Timothy 6:16 –  (God) . . . who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

 

SILENCE OF THE MIND

May 14, 2017

Sorry I’ve been away for a while again.

House upo High

I’ve found a hideaway again,  or pretty close.   It’s been very silent and quiet around here for about a week.   No TV.  Not much radio.  Not much YouTube.    I’m not sure why —   I’ve just “retreated.”

I guess people do that once in a while.

Actually,  my back yard makes a perfect Retreat in the Spring.

BACK YARD I prefer

I just want to sit on my deck and gaze at this.     It makes it hard not to withdraw from the world when I want to even when maybe I shouldn’t,  not so much.

Tree in Bloom cr

It’s just so pretty out there.

I think I’ve been looking normal.    I’ve had two repairmen come to my house this week.   That’s normal.   Now I have TV,  if I want to.   And I have clean water again.    Things  . .  .  break down from time to time.   Normal.

I’ve had an epic Drapery-Fail.    Got free curtain material with a comforter I had bought awhile  ago.    Time for me to get those drapes put up . .  .

Sewing is nice silent work.   Normal,  but silent.

Sewing

I hit snag after snag after snag  (no pun intended)  but it looked like I was solving the problems.  Son even moved the drapery hardware for me on the walls near the windows.    But then –  I had misgivings.

I sewed for many hours this week, but I will now have to  redesign the whole project.  And the hardware will have to be re-done.    —  Well, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow.   Can Son refuse. . . ?

Had a normal scheduled recorder session this week.    I hope I was a “good conversationalist,”  though I was struggling with paying attention sometimes.

And I’ve been going to class off and on,  I mean whenever classes are scheduled.   Nobody would know that in between activities I retreat into deep solitude and don’t want to talk.      It’s like a Funk  without feeling anything.

But I think I’ve been normal.

Books

Been studying.  As usual.   Normal for me.   Got another problem I’m working on:      How did the assumptions of  univocal metaphysics arise out of  equivocal  categories   . . . ?   It’s the old Aquinas vs. Scotus thing.   But it’s not made any easier with Avicenna’s use of the word “being”  which tripped everyone up.   You can’t make good Latin from Greek via Arabic!

Owls

But I’m working on it.    I don’t always agree with this author,  so maybe he’s the one with the problem.

(How could I have been so busy these last few days when all I wanted was Silence around me?)

Opened up   a new laptop and got it  going . . .   Easy.  No brainer.  No thinking.    Then  I really didn’t want to   go   anywhere on the Internet.

But I did go somewhere a couple days ago.  I went to a good site, and there was a review of a book that presents exactly what I’ve been doing this week –  and what we’re all going through,  and it’s consequences, perhaps a remedy or two.

It’s a new book written by Cardinal Sarah-   one of the Good Guys   – a minority in Catholic thinking today.   Here’s a bit from that review:

We are in an age of increasing social madness. Cardinal Robert Sarah, in his new book, The Power of Silence, reveals this to be symptomatic of a widespread spiritual illness in modern Western culture. This illness, according to him, is largely caused by an absence of crucially needed, God and truth-revealing periods of silence of the ears, of the eyes and of the heart in the life of modern men and women.

“Silence of the ears, of the eyes and of the heart.”   *

He also talks about the    “tyranny of destructive external and internal noise.”

All that noise,  All that information.   All those words demanding that you pay attention and make some sort of decision.     It becomes a tyranny.    That’s what I’ve been shutting out, I think.

Because of all the noise experienced by our eyes, ears and hearts, modern man no longer hears, experiences and knows God. He is unable to comprehend the purpose and even the value of his life and the lives of others . . . Our world no longer hears God because it is constantly speaking, at a devastating speed and volume, in order to say nothing. Modern civilization does not know how to be quiet.

Quiet.   Silence.

Everything that enters the mind and heart through the senses, emotions and memories can create howling internal “noise” and greatly disturb our internal equilibrium, sense of being and relationship to our Creator.

Howling.   No TV howling.  No radio howling.  No music howling.  No Internet howling . . . Not much talking in the Spruce Tunnel either.   And sorry about that,  because today was an important anniversary for the whole world.    I’ll get to that in the next post —

—   but meanwhile,  one more glance backwards here.  I wonder if my craving for silence is coming from the Blood of my Forefathers.

sami sign

I’ll go visit them there, in Samiland, ,  once again,  before I move out into the “howling”  world where there is that “tyranny of noise”  and everyone is expected to comment on everything.

No.

SONY DSC

Solitude.

sami mountains

Nature, being quiet.

sami reindeer

Oh.    I guess it’s usually winter there.

How about a quiet cabin,  all alone . . .

sami in snow

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.*  If you want to read the article about Cardinal Sarah’s new book,  it can be found here by removing all the spaces when you use this URL:

http:// angelqueen .org/ 2017/05/13/cardinal-sarah-reveals-surprising-cause-and-remedy-for-the-fears-and-anxieties-of-our-time/

A BRIEF COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

May 9, 2017

(I have these once in a while,   commercial announcements.   Usually they’re about something I’ve just found out about and am delighted that it exists. )   

wi fi jiggly  This has been me for the last few weeks,  sitting at my computer with a tangle of RF fields around me.   I know that’s a cell phone signal strength photo,  but it feels the same on my body.  It hurts if I’m there too long.

So there’s something  wrong with the electrical fields in my house which magnifies signal strength and electrical surges.    My TV got zapped once again, and I’ve been without television- watching for almost three weeks.  (It’s all being repaired right now as I’m writing, so I’ll soon have a TV again…..)

However,  what I learned,  being without all the entertainment-news that the alphabet channels present to us,  is that nearly all the news is  not  accurate,   or it’s  distorted, or flat-out not true.    And overwhelmingly against the president (and any conservative, somewhat Republican, viewpoint).

(Now I don’t think that President Trump is any kind of Savior for our country.  Maybe.   But likely not.   It’s just that the alternative would have been so destructive to all of us that we’ll settle for what President Trump might be able to do . . . )

A recent study, however,  by some independent communications outfit showed that 89% of all news programming showed President Trump in a negative light –  nasty things said about him;  suspicions;  innuendoes;  criticisms;  opposing views;  supposed errors;  and accusation after accusation after accusation – without any supporting proof.   The American public and the world is being trained to “hate” Trump and all he stands for.

Check out, for instance,  the “images”  of Donald Trump that search engines will give you.  (See below.)

I’ve gotten used to hearing a news segment and then mentally “ducking”  for the anti-Trump onslaught that is sure to come.

So,  without my TV,  I’ve been “forced” to watch the news over the Internet –  and there is a LOT there to choose from!!   Streaming everything from every country you’d want!  It takes only a few moments of watching local news (on the Internet)  to  remember how awful the Mainstream Media News is.

So here’s my “commercial announcement”  —     OAN news.  Streaming 24/7* on YouTube.   You’ll get a few short  commercials between news segments,  but you’ll also get some well-done segments showing some great event in American history — and you don’t even have to “duck”  for the cynical comments that would normally follow.  Just really nice informative spots that showcase something good in American history.

OAN   –   One America News:     news without the attitude adjustment.

 

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.*    Actually I found it by searching on YouTube for “F o x N e w s  s t r e a m i n g.    Then I clicked on the Fox News Streaming 24/7 –  and got  OAN news.  Maybe there are other ways to find it.

Try it out.   What a relief not to have to listen to how you are supposed to “feel”  about each news segment.

 

________________________________________

(Search engine results for images of Donald Trump.)

 .**    “Fair and balanced,”  I notice:

trump 1

 

trump 2

 

trump 3

Are we, the public,  being manipulated?

 

 

FRIENDSHIP

May 8, 2017

(That is,   “Friendship in General”)

I came across this old cartoon which is one of my all-time favorites:

Math Joke cr

It never fails to make me smile – and even laugh along with these guys – and it always makes me think.   (Well, I’m not a mathematician;  I don’t think like that.)

I was cleaning out yet another box of old papers —  I mean if I’m going to be removed from this earth soon enough,  I’m thinking at least the Good Lord has given  me time to remove the detritus that has accumulated around me so I’m not a burden to others . .  .

And as I went through all these old favorite things I’ve saved,  I also thought about the years that I had first saved them, what I was doing, why I saved them,  and the people I knew back then . .  .  and some of those people whom I still know.

The two gentlemen in the cartoon speak their own language – perhaps a language only they understand!    But it is their mutual understanding of the world,  their bond of friendship,  the glue of similar outlooks on life that holds them together.    From such things can friendship grows –  if what they have in common is stronger than what might keep them apart.

Everyone can annoy anyone at sometime in their lives.    So, the advice ought to be:  just don’t!

But that’s impractical.   Better advice for forming and keeping and enjoying a friend is to not let your friend’s annoying things  matter.

See the two gentlemen in each cartoon panel.   One is not doing any speaking.  Who knows how long it takes the first guy to get each thought across!   The second guy is showing patience  . . .  3/4 of the way through he is showing patience and is listening, kindly and attentively.

And then it’s worth it!   What a joke!  How funny!   What a surprising point he has made!    They have a foundation of mutual understanding,  similar experiences and observations, which have given them an attitude that is familiar to each of them –  the bond of friendship is strengthened — and appreciated!

And I am humbled.  So many elements to friendship!   I’m not sure I’ve been that good a friend, through the years.  Such moments as these two men enjoy are rare, I think.

Awwww.    Look at the cartoon again – and  just enjoy!

 

 

 

TWO PERSPECTIVES

May 4, 2017

I’m into my third week of having no TV.   The system components are broken.  Or else all the HDMI ports are fried again.    Someone is going to come to fix the ports next week, and then I’ll be able to tell what else went wrong.

One gets a different perspective on the world without TV.

Here’s something I saw on my way in to class this evening:

Ducklings cr

Right downtown, in our little city which is the capital city of our state,  in busy traffic,  6:10 p.m.,   someone had gotten out of his car and stopped all traffic to allow this mother and her little ducklings to cross the street.   The streets were full, cars coming from all directions,  and yet no one even beeped their horns.   Lots of smiles and thumbs up to the man who was out there guiding those ducklings across the street.

It reminded me of how many “nice” people I see every time I drive in this area.   There are groups of people on the street,  men and women talking together,  men of different races carrying briefcases and walking together or discussing something on the street corner.   Race, age or sex,  it doesn’t seem to matter.    Rich people poor people;  people are just . . .  working together,  living next to each other.

It’s not like you see on the television entertainment-news.   Not like the Soros-funded staged “protest”  riots, protesting everyday American things.

I think there was an attempt at that this week, though.  On Monday,  our local news announced over and over again that there would be protest meetings and demonstrations on the capital lawn for – I forget what all, but one of them was the legalization of marijuana.

cap

Here’s our capital building,  just one block west of where those ducklings were.   When I heard about the scheduled “protests,”  I thought,  oh, oh,  I have to drive that way right in the middle of all that.    May Day protests – all around the world, the news said!!

Well, as I drove by,  I saw some people.  Maybe about 18, maybe a little more,  standing near those steps.   Didn’t look like much.  Less than a busload of schoolchildren gathering for a tour of the capitol building.

I’ve seen bigger crowds there, of course.  I was part of really big rally once.    That crowd was concerned and alert, but friendly and peaceful.  When one young man waved a poster and shouted out some bad language in imitation of what he’d seen on television,  people around him formed a circle and one man said, “We don’t do things like that here.”   The circle kind of edged toward the side of the capitol lawn and the young man “dispersed” himself and walked away.

Without television programming and “news,”  I forget we’re supposed to be a “divided” nation on the brink of civil war.     That’s not what I see when I look around me, at my neighborhood,  my town,  our little capital city.    It’s not what I see when I drive cross-country through many other little towns and cities.

We have problems, of course, and sometimes local politics get “hot,”  but you win some, you lose some,  and you come back to fight another day.    We don’t destroy our political opponents.

So what’s real life?   Raging cities,  burning, rioting cities?   Or everyday life,  like I see most commonly,  wherever I go?    I wonder about that.

As long as it lasts,   these days are okay.   We can work to solve our problems.

I hope the hyped-up drama we see on television doesn’t produce a new reality.

GOING ROUND IN CIRCLES

May 1, 2017

(Good Shepherd Sunday this week)

Every once in a while, when I get into a discussion of sheep,  someone in the group tells me the story of the farm boys who tease their father’s sheep by getting them to follow each other — around in  a circle!

(Here’s a sketch; sorry it’s so light. I used mainly a grey pencil.)

good sh in acircle

Around and around and around;  “because sheep are so dumb they’ll just keep following the one in front of him”   —  around and around  .  .  .   Great joke!     Then the farm boys would get into trouble because — well, it’s just plain mean to take advantage of dumb animals.

So is that story ever true?     Really?     That dumb?

But maybe.

I’ve read about sheep.  Here are two great classic books describing the behavior of actual sheep with the not-so-subtle suggestion of the many ways we are like the sheep too.

good shep books

The books are entertaining.   The author is a real shepherd and has intimate and detailed knowledge about the care of sheep.    What a job!  They can’t take care of themselves like, say, a herd of beef cattle.    Or trout in a trout pond.    Chickens in a coop . .  .

Sheep stray.   They have no idea how to find their way back.   They eat things they shouldn’t.   They get pretty sick and easily  die.  They get thirsty, but have to be led to the nearby watering hole.    They don’t wander home when it gets dark.

good shep on a hill

The shepherd pretty much has to do all the thinking for his sheep and lead them along, staying alert and attentive.

But he has to lead them gently.   They spook easily.   A harsh voice will spook them.   They get confused easily.    A stranger’s voice will spook them.

One spring day when I was a teacher,  a student’s mother brought in a baby lamb.   She warned me ahead of time that lambs are extremely sensitive to sudden noises, bangs or shouts.  Any sudden change in volume would be enough to shock the little lamb to death!

god little lamb

She said it sometimes happens in their barns.

Try keeping 32 seven-year-olds   still and quiet when a  tiny little lamb appears in the classroom!     That day is impressed deeply in my memory, I was so worried.   (Nobody died that day!)

We are taught that we are like sheep.  We people.   We who think we know so much.  We who think we know what we need.  We who think we know where our lives are taking us.   We who think we can find our way,  but, really, we’re merely following.

Here’s what the Good Shepherd would like us to know about ourselves:  “All we like sheep have gone astray.  We have turned  everyone to his own way.”    He told the great prophet Isaiah to teach us that.    We have a fatal flaw;  we’ve strayed away from the One who made us and  turned to our own ways.

In all my decades of life,  I’ve never found that not to be true.

The Good Shepherd knows everything.     We’d all be lost in the end,  if we didn’t have a Good Shepherd inviting us to follow Him.

good shep holding little one

The pathway is Narrow.   Cliffs and quicksand,  cunning wolves,  sheep rustlers   (thieves),   bad weather and misfortune,  hunger, thirst, and sickness, enticing shadows, fake shepherds  — all  distract us and lie in wait for us.

Think how dangerous it would be for these sheep to leave their Shepherd!!

“I am the Good Shepherd; my sheep know my voice and I know them.”    Nobody can get to Heaven without Him.