Archive for July 2018


July 31, 2018


Patching up our cracked-up world with goldfish and sailing.


ground cracks

The ground does seem to be cracking up underneath me.  Nothing I can’t handle.  It’s just . . .  difficult and uncertain for now.

It’s still Tuesday here tonight.  July 31st.   Hubbie’s birthday.     I know he’s been gone for a few little years,  but it’s anniversaries and milestones,  his milestones and ours,  that brings everything back, fresh again.    There are things we must remember and things we must do to make our memories alive and healthy.

One thing that we  feel we must do is our  annual  Goldfish Pond Dump in honor of Hubbie.

Each year  (after Hubbie’s death) Son and I add goldfish into our backyard pond, on his birthday.   How many?    We add as many goldfish as his age would be!

Fish with Son

It was a great tradition begun the very first summer after his death.

Fish into pond

We get them used to the temperature and the water of the pond for a while.

And then they’re ready to meet their new home:

Fish in Pond

Most of them make it just fine throughout our long, icy northern winter. And many of them escape our hungry kingfishers.    But we need to add more fish again this year;  we see only one old goldfish swimming around.

We’ll do it.

Hubbie’s  death was a major crack-up in our lives *,  but the cracks are coming together,  getting smaller; we’re stepping around them.    New traditions patch them up a little bit.

And good things will come out of this difficult summer, if only a deeper knowledge of how rare and  precious each life is and how important we are to each other.


Well.  Well!!     The phone rang just before I clicked “Publish.”        Daughter called from her California home —

donner lake

—-   wishing her Dad a “Happy  Birthday.”     But more!    Her husband was delayed from coming home by a traffic accident on I-80 tonight, so she decided to go out on her paddleboard —


—  and then paddle on over to her sailboat   —


—   And then she paddled home again.      (Sigh-h-h-h,  such is the life when you live on a lake)

Daughter and Hubbie loved to sail on our little nearby lake.    Daughter left home and  took her  skill further, learning  some ocean sailing too,  but tonight she did it for her Dad.

Above all, after our world “cracked apart” when Hubbie died,   we understood that Hubbie worked hard to give us the opportunities we have now, and he would have wanted us to use those opportunities, to keep on living, to enjoy our lives.       My sister also  knows, for very sure now,  that we have things left to do in our own lives,  things to learn, things to enjoy.

It’s what my sister would want.

It’s what I will want after I leave this world too.




.*  (Spruce Tunnel Archives,  November  2010)


July 31, 2018

(Prayer over my sister Nancy) –



The world around me is “cracking up.”     Jesus told us “Heaven  and Earth shall pass away but my words will never pass away. . .”       Normally, that would be comforting.

Peru crack 1

. . .  Comforting words because it means you can absolutely rely upon  the words of Jesus  (and that they have been pretty closely and faithfully passed down to us)  — but upon taking a second look,  Jesus has referred to the world “passing away.”   Not exactly rock solid ground we’re standing on.

Whether it’s the world of men we live in or the planet earth we live on,  we can’t trust that it will always remain the same.    Storms happen.   Tsunamis happen.    Tornadoes happen.   Earthquakes happen.

Here is a before/after photo of what happened this month in Peru:

peru crack 4 beforeafter

That was a pleasant, medium-size village in Peru on the left;  what’s left of it after the earth cracked apart on the right.

Peru crack 2

A close-up of one of the fissures.    In case you haven’t been paying attention,  there have been cracks and fissures in the earth all over our planet in recent years, happening with increasing frequency.    Sometimes they are preceded by immense  groans and howls and roaring noises from deep in the earth;  sometimes the strange sounds are reflected up into the atmosphere.

peru crack 3

The surface, the ground we stand on seems to be undergoing “some changes.”

My yard seems to be okay right now.

But not my life,  not  my world,  not the people in the world around me.   Because of what happened to my body in Florida,  I now have to see a doctor — that is an earthquake of a change for me,  one that keeps me up at night.  But enough of that.

Our dear young Friend (in Son’s life),  our dear young Friend M.,  must undergo surgery for a rather serious cancer.   This week.    We just found out.     Her health is no longer “firm ground” to be counted on, though she is so very young.

“Fissures”  and incisions:

Operating theater


Son is on his way to Florida to close out family business after my sister’s death.  We are her only surviving family.     Sorrow that he just missed seeing her alive.   Uncertainty, as he closes out her house,  makes thousands of little decisions,  meets new people,   perhaps attends a memorial service among people he doesn’t know — oh, yes, and all this in the extreme heat and unusual traffic patterns in that crowded little city, hopefully being able to afford a somewhat unplanned-for trip.

And worst of all —

plane off he goes

—  worst of all, he’s not driving.

I didn’t know it would happen,  but when you become a mother of a son,  every thought and action of that son,  every event,  every experience, good and bad,   squirms around in the mother’s heart.       What happens to him happens to me. *

Because I have a son,   I now understand the relationship between Our Lady,  the Virgin Mary,  and her son,  Jesus.     Even more  “better,”  I understand the Gospel  —   the Annunciation, Birth,  Passion, and Death,  Resurrection,  Ascension, etc.  of Jesus,  (almost) through the eyes and heart of His mother.

Both Rosary mine 70men and women who experience the prayers and meditations in the Rosary have been moved deeply,   broken,  during prayer;  broken,  fractured in their spirits,  cracked apart by the actions of the Holy Spirit,  in the process of being shown new insights,  and growing.     The rosary  can move you to a meltdown,   in today’s  vocabulary.

So —  sister,  son,  young friend,  and me:   my whole world cracks apart around me.   I’m standing on . . .  what?   What to trust?  What to count on?

In the last post I promised you I’d copy down the Last Words that my sister Nancy heard on this planet earth.   I have the permission of the speaker of those words now – with the condition that I do not give him credit for the words,  but that he was only speaking words from heaven that came through him..

Therefore,  these are God’s loving, comforting, encouraging  words to a dying person:

The . . . hospice nurse had the curtain closed, the lights dimmed and a soft, sweet, relaxing aroma in the air.  From Nancy’s ragged breathing and posture, we knew she was close to her journey.  I calmly reassured her that she has no unfinished business here.  (I)  am . . . good, (My Son)   is good, M.    is getting her treatments, Dusty has a home, it is only up to her.  It is okay to stop fighting, to go and join Jesus.  I know she could hear me, she just couldn’t respond.  So I read Psalm 122 to her.  Talked to her and stroked her forehead a bit, then read Psalm 23.   I prayed private prayers of encouragement to her, assuring her that everything she had learned as a faithful servant is true.  Jesus is waiting for you.  He won’t grab you and pull you, He will wait for you to reach out to Him.  There is no need to fight or be in fear of leaving the pain to go to the joy and peace Jesus promises us.  He is God and God keeps all his promises.  The only fear we have as Christians is that of leaving what we know and have lived, for something we cannot touch or even understand.  This, Nancy, is the ultimate display of your faith.  One day you will see all of us again.  And you will see all your friends and relatives who passed before you.


Oh, my.    Deep fissures and cracking apart again as I reread that.    Amidst all the uncertainties and during all the “bad” events in our lives,   the Good God does break in and show us that He is there, waiting for us to turn to Him.

Like the Prodigal Son,  there comes a time when we must  “come to our senses.”


Please.  You have a soul that is everlasting.   You   ( your soul, your whole you)  are on a journey from this life to the next.    Read the words again . . .  that is the pathway that is Solid Ground.   It won’t crack apart and disappoint.

bar dissolve er

.*   Son is quite capable.  He is strong and intelligent and has resourcefulness and equanimity that will see him through.    I’ve no doubt.     But —  he’s still . . .  vulnerable.


WELL . . .

July 29, 2018

The day has come.

Chart in Blue


My sister Nancy passed away this afternoon, July 29, 2018, at about 2:10 p.m.

Well,  just a few hours ago.      Still feel a little numb;  nothing much to say.

. . .

Well,  I have the last words that were spoken to her.    I’ll get that copied down later.    You need to know what she heard during her last hour.   We all wonder what will be happening to us during that last hour, that last half hour, that last minute or so before we die.

That separating point between this world and the next world.

white feather rising.jpg

The soul is mostly up and leaving,  the memory of earth is mostly fading.


Well,  something like that.



July 27, 2018

All time seems to be suspended.  Or all activity suspended while my sister in Florida struggles to die.

Death nis a Feather Rising

It doesn’t always come quickly.    Sometimes it’s a days-long process.   That little white feather rises upwards ever so slowly.

It flutters back down, rests awhile,  then flutters up again.   One time it will just keep rising.


Though my sister has expressed her wish to have known different things,  known more,  done more,  made different choices,  still her life could fill a book, just as all our lives could be written into a book.

Horses would figure prominently in my sister’s life.

Nancy and Dusty 380

Nancy and Dusty

This photo was taken just a few years ago.  Nancy had always had horses.    I guess she got it from our Mom:

Mom on Horses 325

Nancy and our Mom on horseback,  both looking like teenagers.

There is much more to Nancy’s life, written in her Book.   It’s like the Book that is being kept on all of us —

book of life

A  “book” is a good metaphor for the record we are making while we live here on earth.  A record book that will be used in our Final Accounting.  And we hope we are written in the Book of Life.

Our lives not only could be written in a book,  our lives are being written in a “Book.”

We have been watched all our lives —

been watched

If our eyes were opened,  if the veil could be lifted from our eyes,  we would be able to see the spiritual world which permeates our physical world,  all around us and through and through.

Nothing is hidden from that spiritual world.

Of course our misdeeds and unkindnesses are not hidden,  but so too are all the other aspects of our lives an open  “book”  to our Creator and to all the intelligences of that spiritual realm,  including what we call the angels.   Nothing  hidden, good and bad.

It is a good idea to think about “writing”  a “book” about your life.    You could write it and rewrite it,  many times, until it feels right and until you know yourself and until you feel ready for your own Judgment.     Be prepared.

God is love —  but He is just.     You will stand before Love and Justice.

“Search me, O God . . . ”     Prove me, O God, and know my heart: examine me, and know my paths.    And  see if there be in me the way of iniquity: and lead me in the eternal way.    (Psalms  138:  23, 24  — or Psalms 139 in the Jewish numbering)

My sister Nancy’s book is just about all written.     She is nearly out of time to make amendments.

But that’s what our “Book” is for.    You are not the person you were years ago,  weeks ago, days ago —   you are only the person you are at this moment.     You have time to write your  Book the way you really want it to be when you return to your Creator in the  next life.

And I thank my sister for teaching me this lesson.

Angel sad 75



July 25, 2018


Angel sad 75    Well,  this week is turning into a Watch.     I don’t want to give the Watch a name,  what kind of Watch,   but news about my sister in Florida was not good today.    I wait now,  I wait tomorrow,  and will continue to wait for the inevitable even worse news.



ruby red

I wrote yesterday about coffee.   Sure, it’s a nutritious drink,  but it also is a good mood elevator.    So,  this ruby red cup and saucer  was near me today.    It didn’t work.   The approach of death trumps a cup of coffee.

I grew up an only child.   And then my Mom had a baby girl.  Just as I was about to leave home in a couple years,  I now had a sister!

Nancy baby in my arms 380

I had become a sister!

Nancy Mom and Me 390

Mom, Nancy, and me

I even got to be the one to pick out her name.  I chose Nancy Lee because I thought that was such a pretty name.    I was Nancy Lee’s sister,  but I was more a Mom to her, because I wanted to do just about everything one does for a baby.

I didn’t know it at the time that photo of my Mom was taken, but . . .  there was another sister on the way,  eleven months after my first sister:

Nancy Baby Cheryl Me winter 380

(We lived in the Far Far North at that time.)   So,  double good!   Now I have two sisters,      Nancy Lee and Cheryl Lynn.      I did twice the mothering of these two little live dolls.

I never really actually learned what it was like to be someone’s sister because I was too much their “second mother.”    In fact,  the summer after I left home —

Nancy Cheryl Kris rocking chair

—    Nancy recalls that she thought every family had a two mothers,  and she didn’t understand why I went away.  I didn’t know at the time that she missed me so much.  I didn’t understand how close we had been.

Nancy and I took separate paths.  I  graduated from college,  got married, had children, and Hubbie wanted to stay in the Far North;  the rest of my family moved to Florida – a move that I could never understand.     Nancy did this and that  and made a life for herself in Florida.

It was only a couple of years ago, when both our Mom and Dad had died,  that Nancy and I became reacquainted as adults – and most of all,  as sisters.    I was just learning that feeling,  just learning what is was like to have someone know my family background in an intimate way, with all the insight and understanding and pleasure that that adds to one’s life.

And then came the sudden diagnosis about three months ago.   Terrible diagnosis.  The worst.    There is no treatment, and Nancy had a couple months at the very most to live.  Not anyone is ready for that,  when it comes out of the blue.

Not the person who receives that diagnosis.    Not the sister.

CANT do this

The phone call today indicated that she is very much worse than when I was with her in June.  (You can check the archives for my trip to see her.)    But I can’t do what you see in that picture.  I can’t be with her to hold her hand,  and that’s about all I want to do right now.   I want to sit at her bedside  — to talk . . .  to smile . . .  to pray . . .  to pat her hand  . . .  to give her hands a squeeze when necessary . . .

I’ve been told not to travel for a while.

So I keep Watch, up here in the Far North.

Angel sad


Keeping watch, and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the angels are keeping watch with us.




July 24, 2018

c perc


“What’s this blog all about?”    Well, I don’t know,  you can read the column to the right:  it says  “random.”  Random thoughts.    That’s because my mind is like a kaleidoscope —  it’s made up of a thousand bright sparkly colors, each representing something very interesting in this life!  And each one taking “center stage” for a while.

My favorite childhood poem:     (by Olive Beaupre Miller)

The world is so full of a number of things

I’m sure we could all be as happy as kings!

I wish you a kaleidoscope mind too!

So –  some refreshment tonight,  thanks to the good Pope Clement VIII a few hundred years ago. . . .

C outside door

A “necessary”  trip to one of my favorite stores.

And just to the left of that photo is the actual entrance with welcoming signs:

c welcoming entrance

Much to my surprise, the insides had been totally scrambled around  since I was last there.  That is,  they moved the tables and chairs towards the front, so it looks more like a comfortable coffee shop;  and where I was heading is now in the back section:

C whole shelves 380

Hundreds of little white bags of every flavor of coffee you can imagine!     Here is a sample from a previous trip, a few years ago, actually:


This time I got only three bags:  Toasted Almond,  Mackinaw Island Fudge,  and Almond Coco  (which says it taste like an almond joy . . .  and kind of does.)     With the Toasted Almond, I can slant the flavor to the almond side with a few beans.  Or I can make it taste slightly more chocolate by adding a few Fudge beans.

Oh, I like plain coffee too.   Guatemalan is my favorite –  and Light Roast to retain the good enzymes and antioxidants that coffee beans offer.

Before I left I purchased a treat for my young friend which is also sold there —

c smoothie

Peach-Pear smoothie.    With  whipped cream.

They’re delicious!  But I didn’t get one this time.

Although I didn’t drink coffee until I was really old,   old enough to . . .  well, to be someone’s grandmother,   Daughter started me out on espresso, which is still my favorite.   Regular coffee is fun.    But I’m more into juicing nowadays:

c juicing

Blueberry juice today.

I need every bit of concentrated nutrition that I can get.   Everyone does, really.    How grateful we should be that in this country we can get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables,  eat them, juice them,  use them to heal our bodies and give us health and energy!

Coffee beans are vegetables.   Or a fruit.   Or plant material, at least.  Full of nutrition!

And, yes,  at one time, when coffee was new in Europe, it was controversial.    How can something this good and this energizing and coming from the Arab world be  anything less than sinful?

So when coffee finally reached Venice in the early 1600s,  1605-1615,  these scaredy-cats brought their coffee troubles to the pope who refused to condemn the new drink until he had first sampled it.

It gave him a good smile, just as it does with many of us today!    He blessed the rest of the  beans they had brought to him and pronounced it Good.

Deo gratias.





July 20, 2018

Events in Florida very much on my mind:



That picture is not far from what my younger sister described to me about a vision that she had quite a while ago.

As you may know, or remember from being here in The Spruce Tunnel in June,   I drove down to Florida to be with my younger sister after her sudden and surprising  terminal diagnosis.   She was not given much time.

I spent time with her,  did what I could for her,  but eventually I had to return home, leaving her safely in the care of Hospice.     I then ended up in the hospital with pulmonary embolisms, partly from “too much driving”  and told not to drive like that anytime soon.  I cannot be with my sister during her last days.

My sister believes in Jesus,  she is what a Protestant would call Born Again, what a Catholic would call Born From Above.   Her vision was of a private audience with Jesus, Who told her that “everything will be all right,”  among other things.

He is calling her home now – soon.

across the meadow

She is less and less responsive.  Her food has been untouched for days.    Today her visitor from her church texted me to say she did not open her eyes.

I have some serious health issues too, and I may be following my sister sooner than I thought, although not too soon.   If  I get through them, I will tell you how I did it.   But  all of you, dear readers,  all of us, will also follow my sister,  in God’s good time.

I’ve said many times before,   this Earth was never meant to be our permanent home.   If we want,  we all can have the saints and angels accompany us, teach us,  guide us,  comfort us.  Here are the words of one:

Life is Passing

She died at 24 years old — but, oh,  how much she learned while she was here. *

We were all created for God, and by His love he wants to lead us into “the very life of God.”

My sister can’t have that until she leaves this Earth.

I should feel  okay about that.



.*    St. Therese of Lesieux.


July 20, 2018

Just a brief addendum, a kind of coda to the last post:

Apparently others are keeping an eye on the 2018 state and local elections. From WND:

As many as 100 Muslims filed to run for statewide or national office in this election cycle, a record number far exceeding the dozen that ran in 2016.

Many of the candidates say they were motivated by President Trump’s “anti-Muslim rhetoric and policies,” claiming America is experiencing growing anti-Muslim sentiment, reported National Public Radio. 

So, the increased number of M o s l e m s  running for office has been noticed.  These are men and women who are running as M o s l e m s,  not as Americans whose religion is whatever it is.     Actually, there are an increased number of candidates who are running as socialists and proud communists, too.

The second paragraph of that quoted news story is telling, though.   NPR parrots the idea that America “is experiencing growing anti-Muslim sentiment.”      But later in this news article it is reported that what is increasing, alarmingly, is growing anti-semitism:

However, the latest FBI statistics, which came out last fall, showed anti-Semitic hate crimes are more than two times more common than hate crimes against Muslims.

But NPR would not have reported that.   And who brings with them anti-semitism?

President Trump’s attitude?   There are six countries in the world – more, really –  but six  countries named by our administration in which the governments are in such chaos and record-keeping is so poor, that it cannot be determined what the background or intentions of any of the “asylum seekers’ is, and so there is to be  a temporary  ban on people coming in from those countries.

Those six countries are all torn by Islamic strife and civil tribal warfare.     This is the “blame” put on President Trump.  this is the excuse tocall him anti-M o s l e m.    This is the motivation for pushing back against our president by running for office.

This is repeated by National Public Radio, without context or comment.








July 20, 2018

(Who  will be our new state attorneys-general?     How will they change the United States as we know it?)


According to an analysis presented by the JihadWatch Website,  the advance of Jihad around the world is due more to non-Muslims than to Muslims.   All things considered.

The West doing it to the West

Incoming in europe

Incoming (into Europe)


Those geographical areas in  Europe which are the sites of the most decisive victories over Islamic aggression in the past,  are now either overwhelmed  by Islamic “migrants”  or, as in the case of the location of the Battle of Tours,  there are plans,  government-approved plans, to build a big mosque,  right there.  (Please look up the significance of the Battle of Tours, if you didn’t learn it in “school”)

The West allows Invasion of the West

Incoming Greece

Incoming into southern Europe  (Greece)


In our country,  both the radical Global-Socialists and the M o s l e m s   are running for smaller local and state offices this Fall in a new strategy to dominate decision-making positions.    Not too long ago there was a news article about the many millions of dollars that George Soros is pouring into state elections –  chiefly in the positions of attorney general.    People were thinking that was odd, so much money into non-famous elections — until they saw a pattern behind the foreign promotion of Radical Leftists in our elections.

(Do you pay attention to who’s running for attorney-general in your state?)


United Sates doing it to itself

People in Mexico climb the border wall fence as a caravan of migrants and supporters reached the United States-Mexico border near San Diego, California

Incoming,  Mexican-American border – many found to be Afghanis 


Notice that the “Incoming”  are single men of military age . . . .

Oh, running for office:    Here’s a name that the entertainment-news media  shows us once in a while.  The name is “Keith Ellison”  a Congressman from Minnesota  (also nicknamed  Somalistan for the many influential settlements of M o s l  e m s from Somalia there,)  but his real name now is Hakim Muhammad.  And he’s not running for Congressman anymore  —  he’s running   for state attorney-general.     More influence in that position.     Just one problem —  he has let his law license lapse.    He can no longer perform in the position of attorney-general.

But that won’t be a problem, will it?    Just watch presidential politics:  if you are on the far and radical Left,  you can commit felonies,  break U.S. laws,  defy Congressional  requests for information . . .  smash your subpoenaed Blackberries . . . .   And life goes on for you.   Keep an eye on the campaign of Hakim Muhammad.

How do these  deciders of law in  America work?      One area of our law system just proclaimed that  FMG may not actually be illegal in America!               (That would be this) —

Holding her down

  Holding her down for FMG       (United States)

I think this opinion will be opposed for now.

Of course,  we’re allowing unregulated,  unchecked invasion into  our borders because there are “families”  among them.  We’re letting it happen “for the children.”

“Children” in Sweden:

A Swedish dentist has been fired and fined after revealing that 80% of migrant “children” referred to him turned out to be adults.

In a shocking discovery, Mr Bernt Herlitz, a dental hygienist from Gotland, in Sweden, found in 2016 that 80% of the “children” he was inspecting were in fact fully grown adults, determined from the fact their wisdom teeth were fully grown.

“Fired and Fined” —   for telling the truth.    “If you see something , say something.”

Scandinavia is kind of like the caged canary in the mine —  watch what happens to their little countries.    Here’s what happen when a “Child Asylum Seeker”   was domiciled  into a rural Norwegian village:

  • At just before 10 pm on Saturday night, police were called to an attack at the Coop supermarket in Vadsø,  said local media,  reporting that victim Håvard Pedersen was found with cuts to the throat, and declared dead shortly after emergency services arrived at the scene.

With the help of a private boat after the suspect jumped into the sea, police  arrested a 17-year-old Afghan at just before 8 am on Sunday morning. . . .



The article goes on with several other “Children”  committing murders and rapes around Europe.

MACHETE 200.png       I don’t think the only threat is random acts of crime.  The main threat doesn’t even come from  Mo s l e m people like  the infamous anti-Trump John Brennan,  the Barack Hussein person’s choice for CIA Director, and a convert to Islam.

Maybe the greatest threat is the wrecking ball we have created  from so many small decisions, so many small ignorances and misinformations,  so many shrugs of our shoulders, collectively speaking.

It’s a serious situation.  But  maybe some humor will set the point in our minds:


Riding the WRecking Ball



While it is true that Russia provides a threat to us,  by all accounts,  China is an even  greater and more immediate threat.   If you keep an eye on  the “Norse Attack Threat”  Website,  which is an animated real-time map of where cyber attacks are coming from and where they’re going,  you’ll see why the latest report about China  making more than a million attacks a day on American institutions,  chiefly government and universities.   How many are successful?

And yet Islamic aggression  provides a different,  perhaps stronger threat — because we are helping them, ,  helping them to wreck us.


(The Norse Attack Threat Map that I have bookmarked is not working right now.  Perhaps they’re under attack?   #522 Host Error)


July 18, 2018

Here it is:


Courtesy of Gary Larson.  I always love his humor.   On that wrecking ball would be the words:   “Media.”

When I spoke of the “news,”   I used to say:   The Actors and Actresses Who Sit Behind a Desk and Read the Scripts Handed to Them.    That was cumbersome.    I’ve just been calling them the entertainment-news media lately,  because their purpose is to keep us agitated and distracted (entertained)  so that we don’t care anymore what’s really going on.  Too hard to get through all the false drama.   Oh, that’s fiction, isn’t it.    “Entertainment”-news media.

Being in Florida for three weeks, then being in the hospital for a few days had kept me away from following the television “news.”   But – my goodness!    Now that I’m looking at it once in a while,  now I see how far from actual reality the “news”  people are!

news legs

“News” people having a talk about current events

What the entertainment-news media is talking about – nay, howling about! –  bears no resemblance to the news I’ve been following on the world scene.      President Trump’s visit to Europe and meetings with Vladimir Putin are no different, no more startling, no more unusual than what  past presidents have done.    No big changes were made.   No dramatic confrontations that would endanger current events.     I’m so happy and relieved that we have a president that actually sticks up for us and defends our interests – competently.

The entertainment-news media is creating quite another narrative, which evolves and advances more and more every day!    It would be funny to watch  . . .   but these media people do not really know their history.

If they understood how historical events develop,   they would understand that they are playing with fire;  and it’s the fire of civil war.

Remember the  Archie Bunker show?


Do you remember the episode about the  pancakes?       Edith, in her wisdom, was explaining to Archie that he had just about gone too far in his declarations,  and then she told the story of her aunt and uncle and a fight they had over the right kind of pancake syrup.    Something like that.   The two argued and argued and stated and over-stated their opinions to the point that one of them made an irreversibly inflammatory statement –   and those two never spoke to each other again.   A little domestic civil war.

The American people could get like that too.   I was visiting a site which was keeping track of all the attacks against conservatives and/or Trump supporters  which are being reported to the police and also reported on social media or the Internet somewhere.   (Not all the ones that happen,  just the ones that are reported.)

(The entertainment-news media does not cover this.)

I was surprised when the count reached 200-something attacks.   I was too busy to blog that, but by the time I thought I would,  the count was over 300.  That’s attacks and acts of aggression against Trump supporters because they are Trump supporters.

The count showed  just about 500 attacks a couple days ago;  too long a list to read anymore.

The entertainment-news media is fanning the flames of division in our own country, *   at least among people who watch television news or have to listen to it on the radio (and without pushing back) .

There’s an old saying:  “If their lips are moving,  they’re lying.”   Every time.    The media is a wrecking ball,   and the ball is going to come back and hit us all.



.*  I don’t for a moment think they are doing this on their own.    Who wants chaos and civil war in a weakened America?





July 16, 2018

It’s hard for my mind to “live”   in just one country,  but today, a little encouragement and optimism:

Those last couple posts were rather awful.    Just as a matter of fact, it’s good to know what’s going on in this world, even though it’s  not merely  a “matter of fact”  but a matter of the heart –  Compassion.  Empathy.

Pakistan Christians

Our brothers and sisters,  fellow human beings,  may live in the jungle,  the desert, or rugged mountains;  and they may  live in fear of what’s going to be coming out of the jungle at them;  or  what’s going to be riding  (or driving, nowadays)  up over the sand dunes at them;  or what and who they will see advancing up the mountain passes, heading their way.

We don’t live in fear like that,  not yet, but we can certainly help them, one way or the other, even if we’re not in the diplomatic corps or in the military assigned to protect innocent people;  even if we’re not very  wealthy so that we can give our money for their causes . . . .  We can help.


We are “safe” here in the West,  in the United States.    That’s okay,  no reason for guilt,  you didn’t ask to be born here, it’s Divine wisdom that wanted you here . . .   But one young man on a Website I visited recently  asked an ultimate kind of question that is there,  in the back of all our minds, no matter where we live.

beautiful moon reflection

He asks,  and he answers . . . .   I’ve got to copy what he said:

I was always asking, “What’s it all about?” Everything seemed so senseless. You work hard all your life and then you die with no U-Haul behind the hearse and no pockets in the shroud. As they used to say in the old neighborhood, “Life’s a # and then you die.”
A twisted mess of conflicting desires. We want what we want until we get it, then we wonder why we wanted it to begin with. So often the wanting is much more fulfilling than the getting because the having is always transitory and the losing is inevitable.


We enter this world lost and God wants us to find Him so that we can find ourselves in Him.


beautiful daisy

Nothing physical comes with us when we die.     Nothing physical that we’ve earned and obtained will be of any ultimate  value.

beautiful horse

That’s what the young man was thinking about.     What’s it all about?  What is all our striving all about?

Some of you may remember that I went to Florida in June to help my younger sister who is in the process of dying.   Weeks left to live, most likely.     There is nothing like knowing you are inevitably, unstoppably  dying, right now,  to narrow your focus and discern just what is important and of eternal value.  I see things just “drop off” of her radar screen, like so much  dross  falling away.

beautiful waterfall

The young man wrote that we enter this world “lost” — and I’d say rather clueless.

“Lost”  but not alone.  Not unwatched.   Not uncared for.

I’m showing you a few pictures of Beautiful Things.

beautiful camaro

(Heh heh –  If only I could trust myself with buying a Camaro for me . . .  what a beautiful thing!)

Okay –  nature’s beauty;  something that mankind doesn’t make . . .

Meadow flowers

Horses again?  (I just drove through the state of Kentucky –  twice):

beautiful horses

A few posts ago I wrote that St. Augustine told us that beauty is here to point our way to to the author of “Beauty.”        Again:  “We enter this world lost and God wants us to find Him “

Think of the deer, resting on a hillside in the evening.   He sees what you can see:  a beautiful sunset, full of resplendent light and colors.    Your heart may fill with the experience of the sunset,  but the deer . . .  looks on calmly,  content that he is fed,  comfortable, and there is no danger nearby.   There is no sense of “beauty” in him.

But there is in us.  For a purpose.


God wants us to find Him,  and Beauty is just one pathway.   Your grandmother or great-grandmother probably told you, or could have told you:  “Take time to stop and smell the roses.”     Same idea.   You’re not an animal on a hillside.

“… so that we can find ourselves in Him.”      No other way to be who you truly are.

That other young man,  St. Augustine whom I’ve alluded to before,  realized all the ways God tries to draw us to Himself:

Augustine Confessions X.27

Late have I loved you,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong,
I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance,
I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.


“Beauty so ancient and so new.”

Do take notice of his words.  And when we’ve understood them,  we can help.  We can help others.  We can help each other.














July 16, 2018

Really,  don’t look:


It’s long been a habit of mine – on Sundays –  to check out what Christians are doing in other parts of the world.   You know,  catholic means  “universal” —   it’s meant for everyone.     So, what’s everyone doing on Sunday?    How are we all doing?

Increasingly in the last decade, however,  we’re not doing so well.

I shall post this gruesome picture of my fellow-believers,  just to make a record in The Spruce Tunnel  — and then I hope to go on to “normal” Sunday considerations,  like what were the Readings for the day?   What was the sermon like?    Family stuff.

I sort of promise to do that –  usually.


Catholics this year:

Catholics in a Muslim State

African moms and dads, sons and daughters, ripped out of their church.


As violent rhetoric against Conservatives in this country is increasing (kill,  strike at,  chase down,    rape,  and other unspeakable things called for against the sons and daughters of conservatives )    so too are violent acts against Christians rising.


Even when we’re not looking.


July 15, 2018

It’s Sunday and I wish I could go to church today.   I am a Roman Catholic whose teachings and traditions go back almost 2,000 years, from Jesus Christ  (“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light”)  and His apostles..

kneeling visit


They knelt before Him then; we kneel before Him today.

It’s Sunday — and I read these headlines today (from Europe):







 kneeling man   I often pray for the souls of all those killed and injured and threatened when they go to church or are in their churches — all around the world, in every Muslim country, the Asian subcontinent,  African nations , and in Western Europe.


It’s Sunday,  and I belong with the other families,  worshiping too.

kneeling belong with

I wish I could be there with my family . . . .

(Maybe next week as my health improves.)





For certain Commenters in the CommBoxes at the end of those articles who blame the Catholics for “appeasing”  the Muslims and who quote the Infamous, Erroneous, and Destructive Paragraph #841 of the New Version of the “catholic”  catechism:     I say  No!    Muslims and Catholics do not “worship” the same God,.  That is absurd and it is also rejected by the very Muslims you wish to appease.

The New Version of the Church  asserted itself in the last century . . .  well, it tried . . . .  Don’t know if they know enough Catholic teaching to be able to defend themselves against their enemies, Paris Metro or elsewhere.










July 14, 2018

“. . . march straight forward, without turning to the left or the right.”

20th century man didn’t invent the idea of dialogue.    But earlier, a dialogue was civil — well, fairly civil —  and was meant to achieve  understanding.    It’s not a Hegelian dialectic, but rather a chance to honestly put forth your opinions,  which may or may not be subject to reconsideration.

“Education” — of yourself and of your friend — is the point.   Thoughtfulness.    (Not a change meant to take one down the path of revolutionary evolution.)

Hope you can see the difference because the dialogue that I was “eavesdropping”  on today is between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. *

In those days of our early Republic,  there was a sizeable political faction of those who wanted a powerful central government.   They were called, rather derisively,  the monarchical party.

Jefferson wrote to warn President Washington that  there were those in his own administration who were “pushing towards oppressive monarchical-type of powers.”

The president wrote back and said that republican values must be maintained and that “the Constitution we have is an excellent one, if we can keep it where it is.”

Jefferson, though not of the same political party as Washington,  responds in later letters this same sentiment:   maintaining  the government in the straight center, where the Constitution put it.   “Our business is to march straight forward . . .  without either turning to the left or the right.” 


(Yes,  the new Americans are speaking of the top to down or down to top issues of the source of power,  but the politics that would lead to the French Revolution were raging in Europe with its left-right division.)


“… without either turning to the left or the right …”      But Jefferson saw one huge danger ahead for us all:   “If we can  prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them,  they must  (most surely will)  become happy.”


Otherwise —  you get a Welfare State,  where inevitably and eventually the State runs out of the money from  the “labors of the people.”



.*   The 5,000 Year Leap:  A  Miracle That Changed The World.


by W.  Cleon Skousen   (Every book by this genius is worth reading!)


July 13, 2018

“They”  are not “Us.”    We had to work out our opinions on how strong a role that a central government should play in our nation versus how much should arise from the citizens.    (Power up; Power down.)

Our Founding Fathers wisely and prudently wrote the American Constitution to set forth a LIMITED  central government.  The powers of Washington DC are actually limited by the constraints put into the Constitution.

Our Founding Fathers knew well the dangers of centralized authority growing into tyranny.   They had already experienced power coming from the Top down, and they felt that Americans had enough sense to govern themselves.*    Governing power rests with the citizens; and the exercise of that power flows (“upwards”)  from the people.

POWER rests

Our opinions are divided according to how much power the people should have relevant to how much power the central government should have.

We’re divided on the Source of power:  up, down.

“They”  on the other hand are divided into Left and Right,  locked into a paradigm that arose out of the disturbances of the French Revolution.


Sit on the Left in the parlement,  you support Revolution and Regicide.   Sit on the Right in the parlement,   you support the king.

And so has the Left always been for . .  .  Revolution.    Overthrow the existing order – and there are always leaders standing by who are ready to take up the sceptre   “on your behalf.”     As long as you are part of the vast “collective”  of people, all thinking alike and acting alike,  you are easy to predict, easy to control.

“The Left will fix your social and political problems.”


Global Power towering over you

All citizens  need to do is to let a big and powerful State reign over them.   The bigger the State, the more problems it promises to fix.

Except — a big State uses your money to do what it wants to you – and it never has enough.            Work for the State;  pay  high taxes;  sit back and relax.    

“All Power to those in Power!!!”

Left wants that.

Right, the Right today,  want a limited government, as well as the right to govern one’s own country.   “Populism. ”   “Patriotism.”     “Nationalism.”

“Pride in one’s heritage, no matter what that heritage is.”

Because each human has dignity and value and a voice.

Flag don't tread

I really wish we would reject being forced into this Left-Right paradigm.


Because they both stem from the same goal of Big Government.  Call it  Communism or Socialism (Left)  or call it Fascism (Right.)   People’s Democracy.   National Socialism (Nazi);  or  Marxist Socialism . . .  Fabian Socialism . . .  Gramschi-ism . . .  Progressive . .  .

Left or Right –   in the end, their goal is power OVER  the People and diminishing power
FOR the People.

Watch out!


.*    The one caution,  the one caveat is that the citizens be well-informed and of high moral character.       An ignorant, dumbed-down,  immoral citizenry is incapable of governing itself . . .  for very long.

You could:    Work  hard at  being truly informed;  do not allow yourself immoral behavior.

Or you could:      “Work for the State;  pay  high taxes;  sit back and relax.  “


July 12, 2018

(“America made great . . .”)

I  should say in the title:   “How they’re dividng us,”   because it is unwitting on our part, unchosen,  and deliberately unclear.

Back down from that beautiful trip  “up beyond the Blue” in the last post,  I’m ready to return to Earth and its concerns  — especially after having read and watched a few entertainment-news media articles.

Briefly,  bottom line  I have to observe that They have successfully trained us to think in terms of Left and Right.   Have you noticed,  a publicly made statement is usually construed as “political”  and is automatically categorized into Left or Right?

arrow two way

And as the political discourse gets more shrill,  the divide is between Radical Left and the Extreme Right.   And worse.

This is not the correct division.    More accurately, in actuality,  the political course of America  has been determined by examining the Source of Power —   Are the People the source of governing power?  Or is it the State that is the source of governing power?

Here is a historically accurate representation of America’s most important question:


POWER rests


I like this hand-drawn diagram.    Simple and to-the-point.     Factual,.     Accurate.

The foundation of our pyramid of power is from the bottom, up;  power derived from the People.

(If I were your teacher,  I would assign you the task of copying this diagram.   Great way to learn.   You will see the direction  is not Left or Right,  but rather Up or Down.)

A government “of the People,  by the People, and for the People”  — this is the IDEA that founded our nation — this Idea produced the freest, most prosperous,  most unfettered successful nation in modern history.    Emphasis on “free.”    Free to succeed.     Free to fail.   Free to try.

The individual knows what’s in his best interest.   The basic multi-individual Unit of Society is the family, with one purpose,  one set of values,  one voice.     (I’m not referring to the deformed “family unit” that we see today.)     

Families live with other families in clan-groupings,  or in our country, at least, in counties (rural)  or in  towns.     The counties or towns have common concerns,  shared values, pleasures, and dangers.     You elect a chieftain or a “mayor”  or a “county commissioner.”

Nearly every matter can be taken care of on this local basis!

Nearly every matter can be taken care of on this local basis!

Bigger, more comprehensive issues,  interstate commerce and transportation, etc.  — state level.     Even bigger and more comprehensive concerns,  self-defense, etc. —   federal level.

This is the design of the United States of America.

Is that clear?   Who decides how you live?    You — or the far-off state governing force?

Where does power originate from?     The People?     Or from a powerful State?




(Origin of Left and Right next post.   Who has made it “deliberately unclear”?)





July 8, 2018


A story of motion,  of moving,  of constant movement . . . . a journey.


I guess I really did need that ambulance ride last week.  I guess my body really was bad off for a while.    It’s still reverberating with the physical stress, and I’m not quite in command of the way my body is acting.    Yet.

So —   “cosmic considerations”  are very much in  order.    Part of achieving good health is  proper, targeted,  strong,  even intense meditation.    (Sounds like a battle zone.)


So I’m doing that.    I wake up to this scene in the mornings.    Blue summer sky behind deep green trees, lit up by the silvery light of the sun.     (I can’t tell right now if the colors in the photo are as vivid as I see them  because it’s nighttime and the Blue Light Filter is “On” on my screen. )

I don’t have to get up right away.  It’s a good time to think and pray and . . .  meditate, inspired by the blue  green, and silver lights.    Natural colors.

And perhaps inspired by all the space and cosmos programs I watched while at Son’s house recently,     I  imagine   Movement.   That little hole in the middle of the photo is a glimpse of the sky above,  the  heavens.

I imagine myself moving up towards that patch of blue,  higher and higher into the heavens.     If you go high enough, into the blue,  you will reach the uppermost part of our atmosphere, and it will eventually turn darker and then black,  about the level of the ISS.

Those blue heavens will have become a deep velvety black and you’ll begin to see the stars.    Still moving upwards and outwards,  the stars will take on distinctive colors and sizes.

If you   keep  moving   out,  you may be lucky enough to graze past some of our beautiful planets, all so real and “alive” with patterns and colors . . . .

Stars,  then  nebulae,  beautifully lit clouds of gases,  colors and light,    galaxies.

Still moving on outwards, your spirit passes unnamed, undiscovered objects and shapes and “colors.”

And then — far enough away from our home planet —  it seems as though your spirit loses hold of its connection to Earth,  the connection is stretched and thins out, and still you move . . .  approaching the boundary into the spiritual realm.

You can leave the physical behind,  and perceive glorious and beautiful powerful intelligences there,   surrounding the Source of Love and Beauty and Goodness.   You can begin to see the Holiness of Heaven.

Intuition tells you this is a place of pure Holiness.

Angels and archangels are there.   Cherubim.  Seraphim.    The Mother of God is there.  A multitude of (human)  saints,  named and unnamed.   Life and the Source of Life that cares deeply for all other  life in the universe,  including you.

You can go no further.   You perceive  the Creator is there,   the Maker and Sustainer of all things;   you can feel  your neediness and you can make your petitions there,  you can ask for help,  and health,  and above all,  you can ask for Mercy.

At that point,  you know deeply that Mercy is the only thing you need.   Ask for the little things like help and health —  but in the end it is Mercy that you know  your soul needs.

Petitions made,  you can begin a retreat, back to Earth where you belong for a little while more.    Back down through the beautiful cosmos,  down through Earth’s heavens,  down to  Earth.

And you will understand with St. Augustine who wrote so long ago that “Every beautiful thing is meant to draw you to Heaven”   from which Mankind’s Redeemer came so that heaven can be our true and everlasting Home.

Every beautiful thing.

Marble Caves of Patagonia

Blue marble caves of Patagonia


I cannot travel anymore.   For the time being it would mean the formation of more blood clots.

But we  don’t need to travel.   We don’t really even need the Internet.

We just need to look around us.    We can look up  into the morning sky as we wake up,  or  look around as we water our lawns,  or see things as we take a walk.   There is Beauty all around us —

— and we can go traveling upward.









July 6, 2018

(A couple “cosmic”  considerations.     Having a “close call”  healthwise  enlarges your thinking!)


H red finger 380



“Eeeeeteeee,   phone home.”

“Home” ” H-o- -oh- oh-h- m m m mmm.”

If you saw the movie, you’ll know why this picture made me think of E.T.!!

(If you’ve never seen E.T., the movie, I’d urge you to see it now. If you saw it only as a child or young person, please see it again. You will see it now with an adult understanding of the issues that are presented; but you can choose to see it, for the first time or not, with the open-hearted goodness of a child.  It is a well-made, worthwhile movie. It’s also fun! And funny and sweet and sad.)

So, that’s a photo of my finger in the hospital one night. I’ve been discharged now, so I leave behind  that little red light on my finger. *

I also leave behind a bruised arm, the result of numerous (failed)   attempts to draw blood.  (That’s my arm past my orange sleeve.)

H black 380

Well, I took it home with me,  but no more bruising, I guess.

I also take with me a new understanding of what it means to be alive. What it means to have “time” left in our lives. What it means to have friends whose support was a big factor in my well-being and my ongoing return to normal. I had no idea how much they  would mean to me.  Family and friends.  I will never hesitate to visit friends in the hospital, now.

The Church teaches us that that is one of the Corporate Works of Mercy: “. . . to visit the sick . . .” And you don’t do it to earn favor or merit with God, you do it with God, for His sake, being His hands, so to speak, and for love of the sick person. Then it becomes a Work of Mercy, rather than a duty done so you can (subconsciously) pat yourself on the back or cross that duty off the checklist of your busy life.

As E.T. was full of gentle benevolence, so is the way of God: gentle, benevolent, loving, interested, attentive . . .

Alive, dying, or dead . . . Heaven is God’s intended home for us.

Yeah – I don’t have that red-lighted finger anymore, but I can still “phone home.”


cowboy at prayer 90





.*  Oh!   Ha ha –   I’m not an alien!    In case you haven’t had hospital experience,  the light on my finger was monitoring by oxygen saturation.   OxSat.      






July 6, 2018


I have returned home now, a week or so ago, right  before my surprise “health event.”  I wonder if I had a premonition of the ordeal ahead; a hint of “stormy days” coming.

As I wrote before,  as I returned from Florida,   from south of Atlanta all the way to Louisville was one long, slow, sometimes dangerous traffic jam, with added thunderstorms along the way: slippery, mountain driving.

Then as I neared home, a half a day’s driving away, the sky made itself as menacing as possible.   Waves of dark storm clouds ahead

Storm ahead 4 hours 400

Now, I love thunderstorms, and I’d certainly proved I could drive through the heaviest monsoon Florida could throw at drivers!    However, somehow all these bands of clouds moved eastward before I got to them.    Just a reminder?     Just a hint that stormy times might be coming ahead?     Metaphorically speaking.

And then I crossed into my home state.  I stopped at the Welcome Center, something I’ve never done before.  After all,   I know my state, I don’t have to learn about it at a Welcome Center.   But then I saw all the green beauty all around me, and I saw this sign:

Deep dark places 400

What struck me was the deep darkness behind the sign, on into my home state.   Kind of a beckoning, maybe; but still, very deep, dark, strange.

And then a couple days later, one of the biggest “health storms” of my life struck me down. Again, I’m home now, sometimes facing the daunting task of walking across the full length of my house – and still breathing!    But they say that will improve, with time.

I’m weathering this storm.

(I must be better — I’m blogging again!)   


July 2, 2018

Not too long ago I wrote a title called  Not All Sunsets Are Good Ones.   Got nice responses from that.  It dealt with some harsh realities we all will face at the “sunset” of our lives.”

Surprises can be fun.  Sometimes as we grow up, adults find it fun to express our affection for one another by giving them a little surprise once in a while.  We’re delighted when they’re delighted.

But a few days ago I had the bad kind of surprise.  Out of the blue, a few minutes before noon,  I suddenly couldn’t breathe.   I could move my chest up and down but not much air was moving.  There was searing hot pain.   And fear.

When that happens to you or someone you’re around,  it is a medical emergency!

Unfortunately I couldn’t think straight.   Unable to call Son for help, even though I was sitting right next to my phone,  and unable to call  911,   I waited until the struggling subsided.    A few bad decisions later I was staying at Son’s house “so he could observe me.”

That ended with a surprise  ambulance ride  to the emergency room.    Not a good surprise.      And watching the EMTs trying to put an IV needle into my arm on the bumpy ride there was a little surprising too.

There were good,  very good,  emergency personnel at our hospital and they got to work on me.  Oxygen is truly a blessing.  After tests and an X ray the surprising diagnosis, in the words of one doctor,  is that it looked like my chest was  shot up with buckshot.   Both my lungs were filled with numerous blood clots.

Not surprisingly,  I got  admitted to the hospital,  and then tied down with a spaghetti mess of tubes and  cords.    I have only my left hand to wave around.    My body feels like the inside of an unhappy porcupine.   I think it should be illegal to stick a person so many times in so many places.

But I’m breathing again.

Unless I move.

I’ve got a little ways to go.

I talked to little grandson Cooper out in California today.    I asked him if he knew where Grandma was.  He told me in a quiet sober voice where I was.   He spoke two more quiet, serious, joyless sentences.   (I’ve got to get better for him!)

My posting will be very slow for a time.   I can’t tell you for how long.

This whole thing is a surprise to me.

If you know the God who made us and sustains in existence every molecule of our body from moment to moment,  the God of Love and Life and Health,  please think of me (and my family)   in prayer.   I have some plans for the future.  God permitting.

I’ve used up all my strength now…   Bye for a while.