Archive for November 2017

FOOD, FOOD, AND NOT-FOOD

November 28, 2017

Well, “from the sublime to the ridiculous,”  as the saying goes . . . .

This is a PROTEST POST!

I hope you all have had a very nice Thanksgiving Day.   This is about the time when leftovers are finally gone in this house.    The dinner turned out very nicely;  everything tasted so good,  the leftovers were good . . .  all these days . . .  the leftovers were enough!  Enough, already!

Maybe part of the reason the traditional food tasted so good is that I used nearly all organic meat and vegetables.   Real food.  Real taste.  I resent the fact that I have to spend so much more to get that real food,  but in the end, it’s worth it.   I no longer dare to feed my body with the chemical concoctions that are called “food”  today.

But.

shrimp

But I wanted a little change from the taste of turkey and turkey-related leftovers,  so I bought a little package of shrimp.   I know they’re bottom feeders,  garbage eaters, and they pick up all the chemical wash that slides down into the ocean bottom –  But, anyway.

I didn’t even buy shrimp that I had to clean and trim and cook;  I bought kind of ready-made shrimp,   chemical breading and all.

But.   Another but.  I didn’t really get shrimp.

Food mush

I got  Mush.  Shrimp mush, I guess.   I re-read the package, and it said “Shrimp” – not “shrimp pieces” or “minced shrimp.”    It said Shrimp.    I like to pick off the breading, but when I did this it seemed to be all white mush inside.    Didn’t taste much like shrimp either.

I re-re-read the package, and I looked harder at the stuff:

Food Worm

See those two white parallel lines?

Have you ever gone hunting for night crawlers, walking around on your lawn at night with a flashlight, and then you see the big worm and snatch it up and put it in your pail so someone can go fishing?

Well, those two parallel lines are about the size and thickness of a night crawler.  As near as I can tell,  those are the shrimp.   Except tasteless.

I went hungry tonight, a little bit.  At least I didn’t have my “treat.”

Where’s George Soros when you need him?   Where’s his Antifa?     I really think we ought to be out protesting this kind of stuff on our grocery shelves!

Should I show you the package so you know what to avoid?

Okay,  but so I don’t insult any Big Food Corp.,  I’ll blur out the label:

Food Pkg

Hah!

CAVEAT EMPTOR !!!!

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ONE LOVELY FURTHER WORD

November 28, 2017

Heavne's turquoice blue

____________________________________________________________

Before I leave the Sabbath Rest
By which all Christian souls are blest,

Before I write of harsher deeds
The Spruce Tunnel notes a truth it heeds.

So, just one more Little Nellie word
Which witnesses both saw and heard:

_____________________________________________________________

The Point of the Post

Yesterday I wrote about Little Nellie of Holy God and how her experiences intersected with my  anticipated “Sunday Encounter.”    (BTW –  the “Encounter”   happened.    So amazingly . . .  um . . .  )   I really meant to convey that Nellie’s Innocent Faith and her Lovely Holiness are things that are within the reach of every single human soul.

We only need to keep an accurate model before our eyes.

Such  holiness is for Heaven, where “Holy God”  is.    It’s rather sobering to remember that the book of Revelation, that Final Book of the Bible, says that “no unclean thing,  nor anything that makes a lie,  nor any that does abomination, nor anything that defiles . . .”  can enter Heaven.      Only clean, pure, holy souls will be in Heaven.

The Beauty of Holiness

Little Nellie’s life was so occupied with Love for God that there were times when her face was transformed into one of unearthly light and beauty.    She saw the holiness surrounding her Holy God, which it was determined the name she gave to Jesus. She saw  and felt His presence and responded with adoring love.   This holy joy is what gave her face that attracting beauty.

This was unexpected by all around her because she had always suffered severe pain from a  bone  disease.   She was too tired and too weak to walk, it was too painful to sit upright in a chair. At times her face showed a grayish pallor from just the fatigue of breathing as well as the ravishes of the cruel disease. Her jaw was crumbling away, and at times small chunks of bones would fall off.

She should not have been so full of joy and she should not have looked so radiantly beautiful at times.      (My own problems, even my diseases, pale in comparison.   That’s why she should be always in my mind.)

Lovely Beauty in Mind

When I was a girl, there is a hymn we used to sing in that basement Sunday School room in a church in Chicago.   It was a slow,  beautiful melody; thoughtful, and instructive. The first line goes like this:

“Altogether lovely;    He is altogether lovely;   and the fairest of ten thousand is this wonderful Friend of mine . . . .  ”

As I sat there, singing with the large group of boys and girls, my almost-a-teenager-me absorbed those words, and while the nasty dirtiness of the Sixties and the Degraded Seventies and the Self-Centered Eighties washed over me during the next decades,  there that song was, deep in my mind, always calling to me.

And making me understand the Beauty of that little holy child,   Little Nellie.

 

Where is Little Nellie right now?

Where will I be?

 

 

SUNDAY “EVE”

November 25, 2017

Sunday Eve.”    Well, that would be the evening before a Sunday.     In preparing myself before the “Encounter” at Mass tomorrow morning,  I came across one of my favorite people who ever lived;  she is a kind of teacher to me.  A mentor, perhaps.   Her life is a guide . . .

Do you remember a little of what it was like to be four years old?

Here she is at four years old, just before she died.

Nellie in bed

She’s known as Little Nellie of Holy God.    There are only two or three photos of her.  She came to a Catholic orphanage, frail, very sick, and having just lost both her parents.    When she got better occasionally,  she could join the other little girls in the orphanage’s  school and was fun-loving and beloved by her friends and teachers.

What would it be like to think and feel as you did when you were a little child,  open and sincere and trusting?

She was sweet,  innocent, pure, loving,  generous by nature, and “very sorry” whenever her childish impulses took over and she did some small wrong.

Like a child, who is unspoiled by the modern world.   The way Jesus would want us to raise our children:  sweet, innocent, loving and open to goodness and truth.

Jeus and children

We all have heard that Jesus said “Let the little children come unto Me.”  He said that when the grown-ups tried to prevent the children from interrupting the “grown-up”  conversation.

Jesus and child

Jesus, in His wisdom and knowledge about human beings,  knew that children could hear and understand His words, and He set the children to be an example for us.

Children can grow in the knowledge of Jesus and trust Him.

It is said that Little Nellie spoke of seeing Jesus by her bedside.

nellie and jesus

Little Nellie delighted in the flowers that “Holy God” had made for her and for the whole world.  She always requested that fresh flowers be kept near the crucifix in her room.  As much as her failing strength allowed, she insisted that the “dirty flowers” be taken away –  those that had dried up and withered.

That’s really not a “childish” idea.  She had a natural understanding that we give our best to God.  (Our simple best,  little things  from  our own world around us.)

Jesus also said:  “Unless you become like little children,  you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”       So, not “childish,”  but childlike.  

Just as little children can grow in the knowledge and understanding of the things of Jesus, so can we grow in our understanding of what it is like to be the child we once were.   It is possible.

Little Nellie loved God, and she learned about Jesus and why he had to be on the Cross.   She quickly began to ask question after question, astonishing her caregivers and the nuns with the perception and spiritual understanding implicit in those questions.

If we become like little children —  that is,  if we become more and more like the child we started out to be in this life,  we will not become dumb and ignorant,  we’ll become observant and perceptive.     And, therefore,  docile to spiritual truths.     Docile just means  “teachable.”

Little children know they are not smarter than God. 

It is certainly possible to put away all the sophisticated “adult”  things in your life,  the complicated, complex,  frustrating concerns,  and then just remember (or imagine) how you, as a very young child would fill your time with  learning,  delighting in things,  doing your duties,  knowing your place in the world, accepting that perplexities do exist and we can’t know or control everything around us.

In the end,  we are not in control of everything.  We can’t stop all the Bad and we don’t create all the Good.    There are many things that we must do,  but through it all, we can rest in Him.

Jesus with sleeping child

He sees us as children of God,” He knows our “infirmities” and our weaknesses,  inside out, because He took on our human nature.

My “Encounter” with Him will come during Mass tomorrow morning.   Philosophers can explain it with terms of Substance and Accident,  and with discussions of the Immensity of God, which does not refer to place or space, but rather to an aspect of Omnipresence which intersects with Eternity,  which itself doesn’t refer to time or length of time.

Little Nellie would have pierced right through all the philosophy because she knew that “Holy God”  is present in every Consecrated Host (properly consecrated) — and she had the uncanny ability to tell whether a Host had not been consecrated, and was a mere shape of flour and water.

So sensitive was she to  “Holy God”  that she could tell when someone had just come from  Holy Communion  (properly done) and had Holy God in them.

She was blessed with special graces which inspired those around her and which have strengthened the faith of many;  of many others with childlike faith –  not too sophisticated or too smart for God.

Don’t lose the child in you.

“Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Nellie

 

Little Nellie Organ, of Ireland,  of Holy God.

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THANKSGIVING – WHAT WE DO

November 24, 2017

 

Hi everybody.   Just to be accurate . . . .

 

happy

 

. . . . . . .   Counting your blessings?

Just remember,  it’s not so important to be thankful for blessings as it is to thank our Blesser.

ty

 

That is what the official American documents tell us to do.

Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed as a day to thank  God-Most-High,    whatever our blessings may be.

 

TWO NOVEMBER 22nd QUESTIONS

November 23, 2017

(These plague me every year.  I think they were a big part of this week’s Funk.     Maybe I can exorcise them by writing them down.)

Of course,  the first question is common to us all,  to us who were alive in 1963:  “Where were you when you heard that President Kennedy got shot?”

kennedy

Perhaps if you weren’t alive then,  you can’t understand what  an important question that was.   Where were you”-  and then we’d tell each other, because this was a common shared national experience and we needed to connect our “local,”  personal experience with the bigger picture.

(Me?)

studyhall

( I was in study hall on November 22,  studying along with my class for a big chemistry exam.   We were all in a bit of a shock,  but strangely enough not only was our chemistry exam not canceled,  but school was not canceled for the rest of the day.    I heard other schools closed on that memorable Friday.)

I knew we’d get through this as a nation.  We’ve had other presidents assassinated, and we got through.    What remains tragic and depressing is the obvious cover-up that we all saw developing right away.    I hear President Trump was pretty angry with all the redacted pages in the recently released “Kennedy Files.”      Who decides that stuff?  It keeps us on edge.

My Second November 22nd   Question:

Well, this is more personal,  but deeper and maybe still troubling.

dating    November 22 is the date of a guy’s birthday.  A guy I was engaged to but did not marry.     We were young and all passionately in love – the kind where you don’t think about anything else except each other.   He was in the Air Force, so we were separated a lot.

“Passionately” in those days did not automatically mean “physical,”  if you  know what I mean.   I “saved myself” for my eventual real  Hubbie, as it should be.    But this first guy, well, we met in church.

Kind of  like this.church

Everything was in black and white in those days.    This guy had everything going for him:  “Youth leader,”   Good singer.   Pastor’s friend.   And a genuine born-again Christian who read his Bible and talked about it with me.   Oh, yes:  blond, blue-eyed, and handsome.

men's trio

Most commonly I saw him from this angle with his friends,  singing on stage.    He was tenor in a young men’s trio, and I was usually down below, banging away at the piano in accompaniment.  Seemed like everything was going right for us.

 

But then,  you know,  I was seeing behind the mind of a young male evangelical Christian.   He and his friends.   And I myself was seeing some big things wrong in the teachings.    Though we talked the same talk,  we were heading in separate directions.

It’s a matter of authority.   When you’re a Protestant,  you’re at the top of your heap, so to speak.  You get to decide what to believe,  what Bible verses mean,  who you agree with,  what pastor and what theologian your going to follow,  and you even get to pronounce absolution on yourself, deciding if and when you are forgiven.

Within that one little church there were dozens of different “truths.”     Dozens of different Jesuses.   And none of them connected historically to the beginning of Christianity,  (unless you said so).

So, sadly,   we parted.   No overt argument or harsh words.   We said we’d be friends, but that was hard to do since he had another girlfriend with him.  And then,  so I was told, a string of girlfriends,  and . . .  children.    He went downhill, morally, and I know what his thinking was.    I have always felt somewhat responsible for  . . .   his  . . .   for the changes.   I’m not, of course.

November 22nd,  his birthday, and I know that every year.    What would have happened if we had married?    Was it Providence that stopped us?     Predestination?    Fate?   Or was it that the children that Hubbie and I brought into this world were meant to be.

No regrets.  No regrets at all.

But . . .  that date.

Maybe I can put it to rest now.

Like lancing a boil.

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THE OLD LADY &THE MASTER PASTOR

November 22, 2017

Yeah, well, this time maybe I am the “Old Lady.”

But here is the “Master Pastor’ —

Sheen and blackboard

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen,  for whom not too long ago all of America — just everybody — stopped what they were doing on a Sunday evening,  turned on the television,  and watched and listened to this man,  Protestant, Catholic,  non-believer alike.

Whatever you may or may not believe in,   one cannot deny his God-given gift for speaking truth,  right to the point,  succinctly, and with good humor.

I was writing yesterday’s post in a spirit of self-mockery,  because I was observing myself, and while I was trying to “enjoy”  a bad mood,  every time I passed my refrigerator,   I’d see the newspaper article taped up there of “Alice Smith,”  the old, old lady who has such a wonderful, optimistic attitude,  and who at 92 years old loves her job as a burger flipper in a nearby McDonald’s.

Thus ruining my really good bad mood.

tundra

I’m good at deep dark Scandinavian-strength funks.  My whole family is.     I’ll bet she isn’t!

So late in the evening,  at the end of my dark, gloomy day,  I picked up a few books and meandered randomly through them.    One is called “Simple Truths.”    By guess who –  Bishop Sheen.   I don’t usually like books that are “just” series of short quotations,  but that’s about all I was in the mood for.

. . .   Found my bookmark,  and the first thing I read was this:

    The astronomer doesn’t give up his science just because he doesn’t find a new planet every day.  The poet doesn’t give up poetry because he cannot write brilliant verses every day.     But the ideal of science and the ideal of  poetry remain.     So,  virtue, faith, and the abiding resolve to save one’s soul remain,  even when one does not “feel”  like saving one’s soul.

     Ideals must never be left to the stomach or the glands.  They reside in the will.   Hence, the Divine Truth reminds us that “he who perseveres to the end will be saved.”

Feelings.   Feels come and go;  they are up and down;  they make us like or dislike something;   feelings give birth to our opinions.

Feelings are alongside our daily activities,  generated by many factors, some we don’t even know about.   But human life –  humans – are made to  live from their Intellect which corresponds to objective reality informed by  our five senses.    Our intellectual activity is made to conform to objective reality, and next comes our will, at the command of our intellect.

Our well-being comes to a skidding halt when we put feelings and opinions in command of our decisions.   We short-circuit our  main purpose in life.

Which is?     Why were you born?      Something else Bishop Sheen taught,  from the catechism:  Why were you born?  To know, love, and serve God in this life,  and to be happy with him forever in the next.      This is the “resolve to save our souls”  that Bishop Sheen spoke about.

going to Heaven

Ask any old lady, Mrs. Smith or me (when I catch up to her age):      “Are you thankful for a good, long life?”    The answer will be:    “It wasn’t long!”   


The next life will be “long.”   Not this one.     Bishop Sheen would say now is the opportunity to see to the health and life of our souls, now is the time to save our souls.  Our “ideal” is salvation.

Feelings be damned.

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AT WAR WITH AN OLD LADY

November 21, 2017

“AT WAR. . .”

______________________________________________________

 I’m not the old lady.  It’s  this one:

Nono

She is a local nonagenarian who works in a McDonald’s, one little town east of me.   She is a favorite  among the customers, and she loves her work and does it well.  Never misses a day.    A story like that is always good for some “secrets” of living to a good, healthy old age.

It’s not “a cigar a day.”  Or ” a beer a day.”     Or any other unbelievably silly thing.   It’s    . . .  her cheerfulness and optimism.   According to the caption,  she looks in the mirror first thing in the morning and smiles.  She says if you do that, you’ll have  a smile on your face all day.

Mmm-hmmm.

Smiles are wearing down around here.      Seems like one long,  dark,  dreary day.

dreary fall day

Seems like there’s been a steady dark November rain for a few days.  A few hours of sunshine once in a while, but altogether pretty dark.    Dreary rain during our football game;  rain and snow, actually.     And my leaves are soaking wet.  On the ground.

View from my study:

Dark Day

That photo was taken at 4:15 this afternoon.   The camera picked up a lot more outdoor light than there actually was.  It was all gray out there.

And this morning I woke up to more computer gloom.    It  looks like Mozilla has been trying to update itself for a few days.    It had become so good for a while,   but now this morning, as I turned on the PC,  there was a brand-new Firefox,  new color scheme,  black on black, it seems.   Commands are different.   Settings are different.  And I spent a long time trying to recapture some of my old settings and backgrounds.

And now it appears to be less stable, at least for the way I use a browser.  What more computer trouble is coming down the road?

I took down the happy lady’s photo from my refrigerator today.  

I just want to . . .  think.

Doghouse dreary

About:    some deeply serious, dire  posts I’ve been writing – but not posting.   I know these things,  but no one I know knows these things; and that means, if this is the norm,  “these things”  will increase.    About :   some information about a family member that I received  today.     About:  why is my health not improving as fast as I want it to?   About:    This is the anniversary week of Hubbie’s passing.

Yep,  that’s probably it.   Seven years ago . . . .

But this “anniversary week”  is Thanksgiving week too.    That 92-year-old lady exemplifies good cheer and optimism, and it’s hard not to listen to her.

But if I even start to count my blessings, I will lose touch with why I’m in such a  funk.  Do I want to?     If I become truly thankful for what I have,   I will rise out of this gloom.    Do I want to?      If I think instead:

About my home and my family and my Church and my friends  . . .

About bringing chicken soup to a sick neighbor this weekend – and he liked it!

About having the resources to help out a young friend,  right where she needed it.

About a fun trip to a Christmas Craft Show this weekend.

About receiving some clothes in the mail these days, including a pretty blue parka with a fur-lined hood, like I’ve always wanted.

About receiving some new books in the mail too!

And we won our football game!

There’s so much more.    Too much.  Too much.   I can’t stay in only  a  gloomy mood.  I can feel it all.    What a tiring way to be;  but I can feel it all at the same time;  alive.  Acutely alive.

I need not fight the old lady.

I guess.

 

 

 

 

FALL FOLLIES

November 17, 2017

Follies –    foiled.      That’s me.

I thought it was pretty smart to keep the  sliding glass doors  locked so no one sneaks into the house through the back deck.

I thought it was pretty smart to lock the front door when I’m doing yard work.   It prevents the suburban burglars from making a quick stop, an entry, and a grab, while the homeowner is out working on her lawn.

leaves

 

I thought I was pretty smart   to close down the garage door so the leaves wouldn’t blow into the garage as I raked and dragged the leaves down the 150-foot pathway that crosses the garage opening, in the  wind.

Traped
And then I had to go into the house . . . use the facilities, you  know;  and all I had was a rake and a radio and a small pair of gloves.

All those smart moves had led up to the dumbest thing a homeowner can do:  lock herself out of her own house.

After a few – quite a few – panicked minutes, wondering which window I should break,  I tried a door that we rarely ever use,  the sliding glass doors leading into the basement, two stories below.     (An unlocked basement door – burglars love it!)

Unlocked!!! 

I unlock every door now before I pick up my rake these days.

burglar in door

Prime target for a burglary.

.

Pretty smart, huh?

MAILBOX VIEW – A NEAR MISS!

November 14, 2017

You can get a pretty interesting view of the world from your mailbox –  a changing world.

junk mailbox mine

My neighbor and I stand side by side with our mailboxes.    The mailbox used to  bring a lot of things that it doesn’t,  anymore.  Paychecks.  Other “checks in the mail.”   Birthday cards and lots and lots of Christmas cards.  Letters from family and friends.

And letters from Pen Pals!  

Penpal stack

One of the joys of my teen and young adult years was to write to and receive letters from pen pals.  There were even magazines and sections of magazines devoted to introducing people to each other from around the world.   There are some I still wonder about and regret that our correspondence ended somehow,  but I have one pen pal who has remained with me and I count her among my good and precious friends –  across the ocean!

Today:    Our mailboxes hold mostly  Junk Mail.

junkmail

And lots of it.

But many years ago,  Hubbie had some advice for his family,  and he had learned it the hard way.    He usually went through the mail, tossing out all the junk mail,  keeping only the “important stuff.”   But one month he was fretting about not receiving a rebate check he had “gone through all the hoops”  to  qualify for.

He was sitting idly at his desk one day,  thinking of complaining to the company,  but just staring  at his little wastebasket which was nearly overflowing.    He looked at it, into it,  and there were a few “junk mail” envelopes unopened.    Sure enough, one envelope was from the same company that had sent  him the rebate.

So –  Hubbie said:   “Always open your junk mail;  it takes very little time,  and you may find something that isn’t junk after all.”

I don’t always listen to my husband’s advice.

Recently I got a big colorful envelope,  something about driving,  something about ENTERING A CONTEST – YOU CAN WIN $$$.   “ENTER HERE TO WIN”

Junk Mail brochures

Well, it was from Colorado.  I had just traveled there a couple months ago – briefly.  It was just a drive-through,  maybe two hours.   I just had to get from western Kansas to Wyoming.     But somehow  “Colorado”  had gotten my personal information.

I didn’t open this ” junk mail”  for  a week or two, until I had more time for it.   That’s a photo of the brochures I got for driving in Colorado and entering their contest.

“Junk Mail”  for a Toll road.    An Express Toll Road.

junkmail letter

 

“Express”  means:  You don’t have to stop to pay your toll –  they’ll send you a bill later!  (along with a chance to enter a contest).

By the time I opened the envelope to see what kind of fun contest Colorado was offering me,   I saw that I had only five days left to pay this toll bill –  or else!

I wonder –  if I hadn’t opened this junk mail, and if I had seen another  similar piece of junk mail from Colorado a month or so from now (with a “final notice” within),  well,  would there be a warrant out for me next time I drive out West?

(Sigh-h-h-h.   Yet another reason to drive  so slowly that I am just about under the speed limit.)

_________________________________

Read your junk mail, guys.

SUNDAY VIEW

November 12, 2017

Here’s a view down the aisle of our “basement chapel” as people were coming in,  before the Mass began.

sunday view 370cr

I was going to write something “teachy” today, but after I came out of Mass, with a lot of different kinds of happiness for the things I experienced, I was thinking about something I saw today after the Mass was over; and I wanted to memorialize it here in the Tunnel.

What I saw was young,  growing families!    Young pregnant wives, looking surprisingly mature and confident; and then their young husbands, beaming; happy and glad, as though they had something wonderful to present to the world.

I’ve heard it said that new little babies are God’s vote of confidence for the world.   I think, rather, maybe babies are God’s confirmation of His love for the human race.
As I tell my classes, God thought you up; liked the idea of you; and then brought you into existence at the optimum time and place for you . . . (so that you have the very best chance to find your way back to Him).”

He has high hopes for you:    For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you a future and a hope.”   (That’s in Jeremiah 29:11  —    good memory verse!)

silhouette child

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_______________________________________________________________________________

We are the baby in our mother’s womb.   We are the child.   We are the young adult with the world ahead of us!    We are the adult,  figuring it all out, gathering wisdom.  We are the old one,  looking for the End of our Journey.

We are all of those things at once.

 

SATURDAY VIEW

November 11, 2017

View from a Saturday afternoon:

View from Saturday

Saturday again.   The home team is playing.   Not well.    All I can say is they  played to the end of the game.

I could talk about the value of leisure time:   I could wax philosophical about “winning and losing”;     I could even discuss the metaphorical value of each of the positions on a football team,  the roles we play in life  . . . .

But it’s knitting I was thinking about today.   Knitting and football just go together – for me.  I’m almost done with my royal blue V-neck sweater.    I’m just getting started on the cuff of the second sleeve.

I was reading a book about managing chronic disease, the serious terminal type of chronic disease,  and the author wrote about the importance of endorphins for the maintenance of good quality of life.    Of course we know exercise produces and increases the endorphins in our body;  that’s why many of us like to “run to excess”  to try to induce that Runners’ High!

But among the many other activities listed was knitting!     Knitting produces endorphins!   So while I’m not “exercising”  like the football players during a game,  I’m getting my endorphins another way.   Pure pleasure!

Health is pleasure too.    It’s incumbent upon each of us to maintain or regain and maintain our own health.   We’ve got to find out what our body needs and then go after it.

Yep – it’s work.  It takes time and effort to stay healthy.     We’re individuals and have specific and unique needs to keep our health.     I can’t really tell you what you need to do — but I can make a recommendation:

Football and knitting!

(Or something like that.)

 

 

VETERAN ARE SOLDIERS

November 11, 2017

 

soldier silhouette

Veterans are those who have trained to fight in wars against our enemies;  some have fought in wars against our enemies;  some have come close to death while fighting our enemies;   and some have lost dear friends who have died fighting our enemies.

Isn’t this obvious?

No.

Before we think about the necessity of our soldiers,  before we start any discussion of war in general,  we need to firmly grasp the fact that we do have enemies and that not all nations are morally equivalent.

A population that doesn’t have that understanding cannot fully “thank a veteran”  for the years of their lives that they have already given for the protection of ours.    Veterans have every right to be proud of their service;   we can second their pride.

 

USMC – HIGH IDEALS

November 10, 2017

Today,  November 10,  is the anniversary of the founding of the United States Marines.    Founded in 1775 to protect against the aggressive advances of the Moors (the Islamic world)  against Western nations, especially in the Mediterranean Sea  . . . .

Today I’ll post a photo of my Dad in his Dress Blues:

MARINE

1944, I think.

We can – and should – take a few moments to reflect on the enormous benefit the Marines have been for our country;  but in addition to their actual work in protecting and serving the United States,   right now I’d also like to bring out the tremendous good they have done for our nation in their training of our young men.     The training has produced men of good character,  with  qualities of sober, commonsense citizenship and  a habit of self-sacrificing service to their nations, their communities, and their families.

(For those influenced by Leftist rhetoric and always expect a  qualifier:   Of course, this is “in general.”  Of course there are “exceptions.”      But these exceptions prove the rule, and we are always a bit surprised, a bit disappointed when a Marine does wrong.)

High ideals for the Marines!    High expectations!

I’ve often wondered what would have become of me if I had not been the daughter of a Marine.   I wonder how much self-discipline and duty would play a part in my life if I  hadn’t listened to my Dad’s stories of basic training and learning discipline, and  had not watched my Dad go about his daily affairs with precision and purpose.

I wonder how much perseverance and patience  I’d have if  I hadn’t seen my Dad work endless hours for his family, hard, consistent working, because he believed  it would make a better man of him,  just as Basic Training had done for him.

My Dad didn’t talk to me a lot,  but sometimes he told me this — and it may sound unloving;  it may sound counter-intuitive;  it may sound unnecessarily harsh:    “If there is a right way and a wrong way to do something,  always choose the right way. And if there is an easy way and a hard way to do something,  always choose the harder way.”

Can’t tell you how much trouble that advice has saved me;  how simple and uncomplicated it has made my life.  That advice avoids moral dilemmas and embarrassing regrets because you’ve made yourself do the right thing from the start.

And the advice stands before me today,  kind of as a guideline to keep me safe.

My Dad said he figured that out when he was in the Marines.

Imagine a society made up of such high personal standards;  high ideals,  high expectations.       This Marine Corps spirit has bettered our nation.

Semper fi, out there.

 

 

November 6, 2017

(Super talkative, unrestrained-in-the-morning  thoughts.  Just skip down to the two quote boxes to get the gist.)

 

athens

It’s a matter of politics to try to keep a civil society stable, beneficial, correcting wrongs, making improvements; protecting against those movements which ultimately tear at families and break down a civil society. I do respect people who find politics their calling for these reasons.

Many work towards, those ends; but increasingly more have an agenda that works against those good ends.  Senator Rand Paul, for instance who is recovering today from five broken ribs because because many people in this country care not about their country’s good, but about their own agenda, country be damned; and that makes them strident, arrogant, and sometimes violent.    I don’t know about each of Senator Paul’s ideas, but I know his is a life dedicated to improving our nation.

if I am ever asked whether I am “Right” or “Left” or “Liberal” or “Conservative,”   I would probably groan (inaudibly) and frown, and look all thoughtful; and after a moment maybe my reply would be a disappointed:    “Ohhhh,  do you really want to go back to the French Revolution? Do you really want to use those archaic categories? They have become a cheap shot; lazy thinking obscuring today’s realities.”

 fr revSitting on the left and sitting on the right

Leftistl/Democrat?   Right/Republican?  These have no meaning now after the  dialectic process has translated those two terms into: Socialist (Democrat) on one side  and Socialist Lite (Republican) on the other, both political parties drawing people into worldwide Global Socialism/Communism which, whatever label you give it, simply means a totalitarian control of the whole world.

(See Nimrod)  (Or see Napoleon, who thought he could do it.)     (Or see Hitler, who was sure he could do it.) .

Maybe you’d want to more accurately ask if I am a Gramsci-ite Progressive or if I am  an Independent political thinker:   pragmatic and people-oriented, rather than State-oriented. Our American Constitution gave us a shot at this: independent and uniquely created individual people, free to be creative and hard-working in the pursuit of their own choices in this world and free to walk humbly before God in preparation for their journey to the next world.

My favorite song? “Don’t Fence Me In.”

Nearly all Young People have never even read the book 1984, nor studied it to understand the warnings therein.     Not that their Leftist schools and universities would want these young people to ever, EVER understand books like 1984 and Homage to Catalonia     That would be so  . . .  so  . . .   un-Orwellian.    Thinking about Orwell’s writing would require independent thinking and the “hard work”  of intellectual analysis.

I was reading a foreign newspaper about the recent Texas church shooting, and I also read down into the Comment Box. Certain people could not understand why Americans could not just “all come together as a country and stop bickering about what we should do next. “Can’t we all get along?” (Teddy bears and flowers . . . and smile more.)   Why do we have to debate every issue?   Isn’t that . . . “divisive”?   Shouldn’t we all be united under one common( political) goal?

Then I saw this comment by some who calls himself “No One In  Particular,”  but he had a great comment on those who would restrict free and independent debate:

We are United by the Document on which this country was founded, the United States Constitution. We are fully allowed, and even encouraged, to disagree. (Amendment 1) We are also allowed, as in not prohibited from, ownership of firearms. (Amendment 2) This individual was not supposed to be able to purchase a firearm as he was disqualified from such by due process (Read: court of law). The fact that he made that purchase, through a Sporting Good Store, mind you, is an oversight that should not have happened. The squabbling that happens in the U.S. is 100% okay. If it truly bothers you, ignore it and never “pop across the pond,: sir.

 

There can be no debating if people are so willing to jump up and say you shouldn’t say what you want to say, that’s not “correct”!   In this politically-charged world it’s upsetting to the hypnotic dream state created by the Leftist agenda.   It’s not politically correct.

I hope we begin to look at the quality of public discourse in this whole nation. I hope those independent thinkers who have something of value to say will speak out against the suppression of public discourse. A poll recently proclaimed its findings: More than half the people in this country do not speak out because they are afraid of the consequences.

Poll: 71% of Americans Say Political Correctness Has Silenced Discussions Society Needs to Have, 58% Have Political Views They’re Afraid to Share  (from Cato . . org Oct. 31, 2017)

 

Yeah, well they killed Socrates for it too. I’d hoped we are beyond that.
“Do not go gentle into that good . . .” etc. etc.

MAN WITH A GUN vs. MAN WITH A GUN

November 5, 2017

I think if a few million of us just stated the obvious,  very  simply and matter-of-factly,  it would help to preserve our Constitution,  without which  Americans would not be free.   That was the purpose of the constitution:  to limit government so that Americans will not be ruled over by government.

So,  just simply:   A man wearing Antifa-type clothing, all black,  military style, ran into a church with a gun and killed about 27 people and wounded many others.

An American citizen carrying a gun saw  the shooter run out towards his car and fired at the shooter.

The shooter  got into his car and tried to get away, drove as far as he could,  and then crashed.  Dead in his car.

The police say there were several other types of guns in the shooter’s car.   How many more could have been killed today if that American citizen hadn’t shot  the shooter ?

Pass it on.

 

 

TOWN&GOWN, SWORDS, AND ANTIFA

November 3, 2017

(Random thoughts from The Spruce Tunnel)

Walking through a parking lot this afternoon,  this caught my eye:

Bummper Sticker

Bumper Sticker “art” —

The bumper sticker reminded me that I live in a university town.  Well, I live out here where the professors live,  the students mostly live in the town contiguous with us, but we see a lot of them in our stores.

So . . .  cute bumper sticker, “eh” ?      E   A  R  T    H       

Take out the art, you take out the beauty.  Or maybe the other way around – take out the beauty and there is no real art.     Seeing beauty is an art,  and “poetics”  is what we humans try to do to capture the beauty,  hold it still before our eyes.

Random thoughts and pathways:

But it made me think of all the artists and artist-wannabees around here:   the artistes.  Universities attract them.    Universities and university people live right in the middle of an ordinary town.    Sometimes the two populations don’t understand each other –  with amusing or newsworthy consequences.   This university town is known for throwing couches out  windows and setting them on fire in the streets below — usually when we win a big football game.  Or when we lose.

couch

The police come,  but not until several students have had the opportunity to jump through the fire . . . .   Some people just don’t get it.

Town and Gown

But there has always been clashes and sometimes violence between the university population and the town population.   In the Middle Ages,  sometimes groups of students took their swords to school to fight with other groups of students or with groups of townspeople.     Imagine caring that much about what a professor teaches you that you want to defend the issue or destroy the issue with your sword!

(Not an easy thing to do!   Do you know how heavy a real sword is?   No women students in the 13th century at a public university.   They couldn’t wield a sword anyway.)

Twenty Towns in America  —

Riots and clashes planned for Saturday, November 4, in twenty towns and cities across America have nothing to do with intellectual issues, and not even with the intellect itself.    The International Communist-backed movement called Antifa will try to incite riots this  weekend.   It’s what they do.    It’s what they’re paid to do.   This is the weekend in 1917 that the Leftist Bolsheviks took over the major cities of Russia in a coordinated attack.   Turned Russia into the Soviet Union. Eventually 65,000,000 dead.

I don’t think that will happen this weekend, 2017.    The Antifa people are armed with slogans but not with strong intellects that could drive them through to the “end”  that they are told to shout about.

poster

It will be interesting to see what today’s feeble-minded revolutionary-wannabees will accomplish.

Much, eventually, if there is no pushback.     But not tomorrow.

 

 

 

NIGHT LIFE

November 2, 2017

Night person.  Here.   If you want some amusement, call me before noon.  Get me talking while  I’m still asleep and my tongue is unrestrained.

I do my thinking later in the day.   And that’s what gets me up frequently at night because I’m thinking.   Lots of things to check with on the Internet,  when I don’t want to turn the bright lights on.

Solution:
C Yellow

 

  Lighted keyboard!!!

I thought I would be buying a little “luxury,”    but now I don’t know how I got along without it.  It’s so handy,  so useful,  and so fun —

C blue

 

And this color  —

C Red

 

And a royal blue  —

C blue violet

 

And you can turn down the color way low . . .

C Green Dark

 

Surprisingly not very expensive.  The Azio Lighted Keyboard.   Amazon.

Here in the Far North it is rather dark in the late afternoon,  evening, and the long night, so there is plenty of need for it!