Archive for January 2019


January 31, 2019

Well,  the story around here is still ice.   And today was the third day that I’ve been iced in, as in my doors are frozen shut!    Front door and back door.

It’s okay.    This weather is in my blood.   Here are some of “my people” —   my ancestors, my Grandma’s cousins.  They’re playing with their reindeer.


Reindeer are surprisingly small animals,  but they can give a Lapp or a Sami absolutely everything needed for life.

Well, I wouldn’t see them outside my windows today.   As I said in the last post,  I roam from window to window, just looking outside “at the cold.”       I knew there was no mail delivery today, but I peeked outside my (frozen )  front door curtain anyway.


It’s not Jack Frost,  but that ice is pretty thick.    And that’s my  mailbox out there, temporarily inaccessible to me.

icepalms   Our weatherman  promises really warm weather this weekend, so my doors will probably thaw and release me to the outdoor world.   Our temperatures are supposed to take a wild swing 70 degrees upwards,  from Wednesday to Sunday.      (For a day or two, that is, before another swing downwards.)


It’s a big country here.  I know there are some who are all right during this deep freeze, some who are not all right.       That’s the way life is.   You take care of those immediately around you, and maybe,   if you can,   help those who are reaching out even further away.

Meanwhile,  we can just experience this extreme cold snap with  a little fun:

Here’s a lighthouse along the shore of Lake Michigan  that gets photographed most winters:



For some perspective:



Someone in Ohio,  Cleveland I think, near Lake Erie,  took some photos.  Here are some street lamps:


And then — I don’t know what this is!


Maybe when the Midwest gets its heatwave this weekend,  they[‘ll figure it out.





January 31, 2019

If I were going to give you a lesson today, it would be that some really big things cannot be seen.


As I write,  it’s 15 degrees below zero, with a wind chill index somewhere approaching  40 below.   In this area we’re all aware that something  major,  something extreme is going on outside . . . .

Well, here’s a beautiful photo from my back yard during this deep freeze we’re having.

starlights cr

It’s two of my solar-powered lights which are supposed to be lighting up the statue of St. Joseph in my back garden     I didn’t even know they would work in such cold weather!   The snow depth was just right to catch the light coming from the bottom of the lamps to make these star patterns.

I chanced upon these pretty “starlights” because I go from window to window, looking outside into this frigid weather.   It’s not the snow that fascinates me,  it’s pretty, but I’ve seen it before.   It’s the extreme cold.

As I said, we all know this weather is unusual; it’s a very big event, and  dangerous.  It has already proven to be fatal to some.    So I keep checking the windows, I think  just to  “see”  how different it is out there.

jack frost

Jack Frost*

Like  this weather,  there are other invisible  things that are bigger than humans, notable and very  real.    There are things we have to deal with  that are invisible, but dangerous if we ignore.

heaven cr


The whole spiritual world is very real yet usually remains invisible.  Our own souls.   God Himself  and all His angels — intelligent spirits who do God’s bidding.   Evil intelligent creatures.   Heaven.   Hell.




I can keep on looking out my windows, going from room to room as I do, and yet I’ll never see 15 below zero;    and I’ll never see anything in the spiritual world,  but yet it has an effect on me,  on all of us.

It can be denied and ignored, but only at our own peril.

We were created with a soul and an intellect,  and the created natural world can help us start  our journey back to our Creator.      And then we need to search out more information with open hearts,  humbly, and with our full attention.   We’ll find some beautiful “starlights” along the way.

These Big Matters which are  invisible  are  yet  real.  We need to know all about them.

OR ELSE, we just might step out into the Night and run into real danger.


spirits near



.*    I must “defend” my own windows.   I don’t really see Jack Frost  because my windows are triple-paned and insulated with inert gases.   It’s quite cozy,  but not very artistic in the cold weather anymore.    At least I’m  “saving energy.”



January 29, 2019

(85% of our nation’s lower 48 is below freezing temperature these days, according to news reader on television.    I join. . . .)

It’s “official.”    I am officially frozen in my house,  back and front.

door frozen

That’s a door handle to the sliding glass door that opens out to my back deck.   Only it won’t open today.   It is frozen shut.

It has been cold.  The wind chill index is about 10 below zero right now as I write,  but it’s supposed to get down to as much as 38 below overnight.   30 mph winds –  so I will count myself very lucky if our power doesn’t go out.

See,  my front door is frozen shut too.    The door frame has contracted in the cold so the door can’t leave its frame.     My firewood is out there on the front porch.

Lighting a fire in the fireplace is fun;  but if it’s a necessity,  then  there’s a serious situation going on.

I woke up to this view across my desk this morning:

snow from desk

We did get 7 inches in that storm I was writing about last time.      My neighbor (who played and coached hockey and still likes to skate)  cleared the snow off the pond with shovel and snowblower.     (And left his chair that they all use to fumble with their skates, or to rest.  Wonder if it’s a penalty box too?)

The reason my sliding glass doors are frozen is because I’m using two vaporizers in the kitchen.  When it’s so cold outside,  the humidity goes way down.   The plants and I get very dehydrated — a big no-no for someone walking around with (dissolving)  pulmonary embolisms.   The sliding glass doors are very tight,  but that room moisture seeps into cracks that we can’t even feel. And  the severe cold seeps in from the other side.

snow rink chair

So the pond looks inviting.   My neighbor augered the ice and found it to be at least four inches thick, so it’s safe.

It’s just the air that’s not safe.

Not for another couple days.   A couple days to be,  not  snowed in,  but frozen in!


Stay warm everyone.




January 28, 2019

(Human emotions are so weird – and uncontrollable,  at least when  they come up unexpectedly.   Like an ambush.)

This is about snowstorms,  funks,  and a thought from our Sunday Sermon.


bear talking to you


First your scent.  Then stalking.  Then the sudden ambush.


(Things in life do that to you.)

A restaurant in Austria last week   (“Snow for Dinner”):

snow for dinner

In case you haven’t been following European news in the past couple months,  they’re having a terrible winter  over there;  extreme weather, especially lots of snowfall!  There have been frequent avalanches there,  some deadly, as well as here in the US;  a bad one in New Mexico and another in Utah, in the same suburb of Salt Lake city where I stayed one winter.  Our hosts took us up  a harrowing  snow-covered winding road to one of the ski mountains —  something about a “bird, forgot which one —  and that’s where they had an avalanche this year.

Well, we’re going to get a big  snowstorm tonight and all day tomorrow.   “Hurray!”  I say.  And just in time to raise my spirits.

It started with a visit from Son a few days ago,  enjoying his conversation;  he has interesting things to say –enjoy feeding him;   and he’s really good at lighting up the fireplace.   And then we watched a movie together.

About a bear.       A bear attack.

bear trees a man

That’s not from the movie, but it’s a very scary picture to me.  The movie was about two people hiking in  the woods (why do people DO that?)  up in Canada, and they were stalked (successfully)   by a big bear.

The movie was well done,  based on a true story  and,  as Son remarked,  “intense.”   I enjoyed it, but of course it brought me back to the moments when a bear started to stalk my Mom, Dad, and me deep in the forest in the Far  Far North.

Stalking,  then chasing,  making  lunges through the bushes.

bear brown snarl 350

Not a time that you’d forget.

Unfortunately,  for some reason that also brought back lots of “feelings”  from that period in my  life.  It was a long period of time,  very, very long,  and all the sadness and bleakness of those years  came out and  “attacked” — unexpectedly.

And that started one of those Deep Blue Funks that I get from time to time.


I don’t know what Garfield should have been doing,  but I couldn’t post for a few days. . .

No big deal.  We all have  old emotions hanging over our heads,  stalking us.

funk blue moon

You wouldn’t believe how much sadness a person can contain – usually hidden from the rest of us.    I know this.   And I can easily imagine  the sadness and “aloneness”  that overshadows other people.

funk moon

I wrote.  I wrote and wrote and wrote;  and that helped,  to get feelings out of me and down on paper.   But what ended this Funk altogether were some good words in our Sunday sermon based upon readings from Romans 7.     Be present for the other person.  Be “instant in prayer”  — always ready for a reason to pray and then personally “present”  to God when you do pray.    Being fully present for the person you’re talking to.  

Good advice for all  of us, of course;  good thoughts to meditate on . . .   but what if someone actually practiced that on you!   Someone did!     Friendly chitchat after Mass,  and then a friend made a personal comment on my boots (of all things!)  and that she liked the color and how they matched my clothes!  Since I’m usually unaware of how I dress, I took notice that this was a genuine compliment.    Well, I took notice.   Of everything around me, then.

And I remembered the sermon, in which we were admonished to be fully present and attentive to the people around us.    And —  then . . .  I remember my Mom during some of our blizzards when I was a child around the age of that bear chase we had.    My Mom made our days of being snowed in a happy time of togetherness and mutually enjoyable activities –  reading to each other;  knitting side by side;  and  baking!  Above all,  the baking of treats.    I wrote about this a few posts ago,  but it came back to me again.

Now, our coming  snowstorm reminds me of someone being fully present for me.     A sense of not being alone all the time.    My Mom.  My friend today.   My Son for me.

And now my turn, for others.

That’s what a good sermon does,  makes you think and try to  become a better person in some way.

And that’s what a good snowstorm does,   reminds you of happy times.

And keeps the bear away.



January 21, 2019

Some like to prognosticate based upon natural events.    I wish last night’s  Full Blood Wolf Moon  actually portends something.   Some people like to think it did,  but they don’t make any logical sense.

Nevertheless,  our nation certainly needs something to be “portended” — we really need a change in direction!

moon pic colorful

This month’s full moon is called a Wolf Moon, and it just happened to occur during a total eclipse of the moon.     I  hope you were all able to watch it.

For us,  the sky was very clear but that means no clouds –  no warm blanket of clouds to protect us!   The temperature outdoors on this clear, crisp night was about  -7;  that’s  seven  degrees below zero, and falling  during the eclipse.   Son and I took only intermittent peeks at the moon outdoors.

I did take a few photos as the eclipse progressed . . .

But the black and whites on the ground were far more dramatic.

moon shad on pond 1.1

The bright full moon rose in the east and cast the “tree”s onto the snow-covered pond.  It was so stunning!

Later on, the moon had moved, and so had the shadows:

moon shad later 2

Looking out over the pond in the same direction but a new set of shadows.

Even the trees at the edge of my deck were cast onto the ground.

moon shad see trees

It was weird seeing those familiar tree shapes on the ground instead of up in the air.

I pointed the camera upwards too.      The little cell phone camera did the best it could  with all its pixels —

moon my own reddish

It’s good at taking “moon smears”   but it did get the color right.

During an eclipse, as you know,  the earth passes between the sun and the moon.    It is the earth’s own shadow that advances across the moon.  The moon is reddish during the totality of its eclipse not because of the earth’s atmosphere,  but because because the light from the sun is so strong that some of it bends around the earth and still falls on the moon.      The light that is made up of the longest waves,  the red ones,  are the ones that make it to the surface of the moon.   The shorter wavelengths,  the blues,  are blocked and scattered by the earth into space.


Here’s an official  Q&A –

Will the moon appear red?

Yes. Some commentators are referring to the event as a “super blood wolf moon”. The “super” part comes from the fact that the Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth – when it will be marginally bigger in the sky than usual. The “wolf” part comes from the name given to full moons in January – “wolf moons”.

Walter Freeman, an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University in New York state, said: “A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth. This small amount of red light still illuminates the Moon enough for us to see it.”


So,   Happy  Super   Full   Blood   Wolf   Moon!

(Sigh-h-h-h-h . . .   the world is the same today as yesterday.   It’s going to be up to us to change it,  n ot up to the moon!)



January 21, 2019

Three Tales, a Tale of Three “Groups,” in chronological order . . .  to reveal the  power of the entertainment-news media:

First,  neither Hubbie nor I are “joiners.”  We don’t  “join”  movements, although we were aware of things going on in the world and had opinions,  sometimes strong opinions.  We just don’t seem to trust a group often enough to associate with the group.

So I’m not defending any of these groups,  just observing . . .

And I won’t name any “groups”  because of the hostility and distortions from the entertainment-news media.


Hubbie, a high school accounting teacher,  felt very strongly about where our tax money was going.   So did a lot of other Americans.  Taxes were high and we had no control over how they were spent.  More commonly, we had no knowledge of how the tax money was being spent.

“No Taxation Without Representation”  !!    That was the motto that began the American Revolution.  About ten years ago, we knew we were once again quite  “unrepresented”  when it comes to spending our tax money,  and several  million Americans chose a date to publicly protest  this state of affairs.    A group planned to meet on our nearby state capitol building lawn.   Good speakers were chosen, a couple nationally famous.    Hubbie planned to go, and I went with him because even then I was concerned about his health and his strength.   This was something he really, strongly believed in, though.

Here’s a photo from my camera,  April 2009.

tea party

I was both surprised and delighted to find myself among 2,000 nice people,  just like Hubbie and me,  who felt the same way about high taxes and wanted to be heard.    Men, women, and children were present.  It was a “family outing” with a purpose.

“Real Men”  Take Charge:   A little side note:     Of the 2,000 people, only one young man stood out from the crowd.  He shouted over the speakers,  he used profanity,  he acted angry – it was an act, I’m sure, copying what he sees on television – and he waved a big sign.   What happened?  Several  men,  fathers and husbands,  walked over to him and said firmly, “We don’t act like that here.”   They said  a few other things too and made it plain that if he didn’t leave, he’d probably be “escorted”  out of there.   We didn’t want him there because of his behavior.   The young man did leave, and calmness returned.  As a woman,  I felt safer because of these men.)

After the rally, people walked over to local restaurants and had friendly conversations with new-found friends.  It felt like a neighborhood barbecue!   The event had been orderly, full of  these nice people,  and we left no garbage or damage behind.   Apparently this happened all over the country that day.

I remember being astonished at the hostile press coverage, including outright lies about what took place that day,  until  uploaded YouTube videos proved each of these stories false.  The politicians who  had our tax money in their hands continued to spread the false stories, even to the point of Sen. Pelosi weeping in front of the cameras, pleading with the people in this movement not to  “start riots or hurt anybody.”    I remember thinking “who is she talking about?”



The second group event happens annually, with sometimes as many as 500,000 people meeting in Washington DC to call attention to the decriminalization of killing unborn children.

Same kind of people as the first group:    “nice,”  calm,  orderly,  clean, friendly,  earnest, concerned,  and wanting to call attention to a terrible problem.    Over 3,000 children who haven’t been born yet are killed everyday in this country!!!!

(Another little personal side note:     I taught in public schools for several years – before my own children were born.  When they were old enough to be at school all day,  I decided to go back into public school teaching —  however,  there  was by then a huge surplus of licensed schoolteachers!!!       What had happened?     In the previous eight years, we had been killing off TWO CLASSROOMS worth of children every single day, and that’s just int he state where I live!   Two classrooms   –  just . . .  gone!)


This weekend another March took place, a little smaller than past years, but still as fervent.    There were families and school children,  teenagers, college students mothers, fathers,  ministers, teachers;  there was  no profanity, threats,  violence,  confrontations,  and when it was over,  there was no garbage or damage left behind.

There was also almost  zero  press coverage from the entertainment-news media.   (Except for theattempted controversy over the aggressive move of a  member of a Separatist “Black-Hebrew”  cult who attempted to intimidate some high school kids who were waiting for their bus to come.    Although the media had tried to make the teenagers the aggressors,  actual video shows they were actually victims of this group’s hatred.)


There was another  “march”  in Washington DC this weekend.    I can’t show you any posters and signs because they are pretty much full of profanity,  bad language,   violent suggestions,  accusations,  X-rated words and embarrassing pictures.  It was ugly and immoral and totally unAmerican.    You don’t convince your fellow Americans of anything by shouting at them.

I can’t show you any photos, but you know what angry faces look like.

The speeches were strident and angry and promoted violent actions against those who disagree with them.     Some spoke of violent things they wished to have done against the president, and again, against his family, including the children in it.   They seemed to not even like differing factions within their group.  Even the press called their movement  “fractured.”

There are a few photos of garbage left behind,  broken things, overturned barrels and cones . . . .

The entertainment-news media gave them many hours of coverage.



I said this was going to be about the power of the media.   I don’t know.   The media distorted and demeaned the first group, so that I don’t even know if it’s in existence anymore except as a term of derision.

The  media lies about and ridicules the concerns of the second group, when they’re not ignoring it altogether.   There are fewer numbers now in that group too,  but I don’t know exactly why.

The third group seems to be destroying itself by its own viciousness,  but so far its basking in glory and great hope from the media.













January 18, 2019

This is to update some of you who have been asking to see Cooper . . . .


I wrote in the last post that I was eating some “nice hot red lentil soup.”


And the reason is:  it’s COLD around here tonight!

(Not my bowl,  not my soup,  but pretty close.)

Our weatherman tells us it’s going to get a whole lot colder in the next few days, and that we’ll be getting a little snow tonight, probably less than five inches,  but in a few days we’ll be getting  another snowstorm and that one promises to be bigger.

Finally!   Maybe some cross-country skiing this year.

However, I’m keeping an eye on my grandson and his home in the High Sierras:


warning blizzard


I knew he’d be all right in just a few feet of new snow,  but it was interesting.     I didn’t even think he’d have a snow day,  but he called me yesterday and said he was having a snow day then and there was one the day before.

I told him that I used to think Snow Days were fun because my Mom and I would use that extra time to bake some treats:  penuche was my favorite;  or fudge;  or brownies;  or cinnamon rolls.

cooper cooking 270

Guess he took it seriously.

And, yes, he’s really using the mix-master.  He bakes and he cooks his own meals sometimes.   He’s 8 years old now.    (His Daddy took the picture and wrote:  Chocolate-y  Chocolate Chip cookies!)

That’s the way you pass down traditions –  baking treats on a Snow Day!

I tried taking a peek at their area during their blizzard,  but the Donner Lake web cam and the Truckee downtown web cam were both covered by snow.     They were last night and they still are today.

They got three or four feet of snow.   We’re supposed to get three or four inches of snow this weekend.    But I’ll probably be baking anyway.






January 18, 2019




Maybe I shouldn’t combine these two stories . . .   Maybe not,  but they are both contributing to my experience on this Friday –  one funny and serious;  one unfunny and serious.


Funny and serious:

So it’s Friday today!   Who doesn’t like Friday!!!!?

These guys don’t, apparently:

sad fish 300

I was shopping  for some fish this week,  at a store that is known to fly in its fish twice a day.   The fish is always fresh and it tastes just the way you’d hope the fish would taste.   I took a few photos of their colorful display of fish of all sorts of varieties, and when I got home,  this photo caught my eye.

What a sad group of little guys lying there on ice!     Their expressions stopped me in my tracks.     They look almost human in their . . .  sadness.

sad fish cr

So, well,   it’s Friday today.    A day of abstention from  meat.   One way to get good daily protein is by eating fish, although right now, as a type these words,  I’m eating a nice hot bowl of red lentil soup (but the reason for that I’ll put in the next posting).

Fasting and abstention, among other religious practices, have been a part of the Hebrew and Christian religions for far more than 2,000 years.

Since Christ died on a Friday  (the end of the Thursday/Friday Passover feast),   Christians participate in that act of sacrifice by their own acts of self-denial and penance, abstention from meat being the most common and the easiest to do.    Sort of easy.

These fish seem to understand the tragic necessity of Good Friday.


Unfunny and serious:

Another thing that I’ve experienced on this Friday is not abstinence,  but absence.   And that’s not funny.

I knew that the annual March For Life was going to be held today, but I waited until today to really pay attention.    But I couldn’t find it anywhere.   Radio news, television news,   not even the DrudgeReport  carried the March.  Maybe it was just me.  Maybe they did carry it but for such a short time that I missed it.


I watched my local TV station,  and there, at the end of an hour and a half of local news was a 10 second mention of people from our state and the state next to us who had left on buses today to attend the March in Washington . . ..    That’s it.   I went to their Website.   Same short video.

I went to  our local  newspaper’s website;   nothing.  I used the search engine and typed in  March For Life.   I got ONE result,  an article about  the 2017-2018 March For Life –  I don’t know how they combined them.     Then I searched for March For Life 2019.   I got nothing, except for a warning that I had only one more “free” article to read, and then I’d have to pay 99 cents for more.

Yahoo “news”  had an extremely   short mention of the March,  just the what, when, and where, and that it happened.    I went to the Washington Post Website and found a slightly longer article,  what, when, where,  followed by a long refutation of everything the Right to Life people believe in, throwing statistics around as though they were invented out of thin air.    Uh,  maybe . . . .

Finally I came across an article on LifeSite news which reported exactly what I had been finding.  ABC/NBC/CBS  according to their findings,  had completely ignored the March For Life  event this year, but spent a lot of time on the pro-abortion, pro lots of things  Women’s March on Saturday.   (Full of controversy itself, as liberals are pulling out of it, afraid to be tainted by anti-semitic members in the movement.)

So I wasn’t wrong.


But this is serious,  far more serious than we all care to admit   I sure hope I’m wrong    about that.

Not too long ago,  in living memory of some people still here with us,    Germany began marginalizing a group of people.   Here’s the process:

First they ignore and and de-legitimize that group

Then they demonize that group, calling them names,  making up false stories  (fake news) about them;   mocking them;  making them look ridiculous

Then they make that group look un-social, anti-social,  dangerous to society

Then they begin to identify members of that group and isolate that group.

(In today’s world they would have “de-monetized”  any member of that group and pulled their videos and messages off of YouTube and Facebook, etc.)

Then the State criminalizes speech.    It criminalizes that group and everyone who thinks like the group.

Then criminal sanctions are applied . . .  fines . . .  arrests . . .  imprisonments . . .  and,of course,   execution is the inevitable and most efficient way to get rid of the opposition.

That’s serious.

Just pay attention to the words and attitudes of our entertainment-news media and see for yourself how far along this pathway we’ve come.



Memorize that process.    It’s still a mystery why the very highly educated,  cultured, and refined German nation slipped into that process.


It’s the very opposite of  the free discourse, political discussion,  that any culture must have in order to survive.

no right turn




January 16, 2019

It’s really not too early to think about the next election.   Normally it would be, but these are not normal times.   There is much we have to learn and not much time to learn those essential things.   I offer an effective prayer . . . .


In one state (California)  in the 2018 election,  Republicans won ten seats in congress.  TEN!   Ten.   Ten.

Ten Republican seats in Congress.

But the radical, progressive wing of the Democrat party would not accept that the election was over.    After a couple  weeks of a process called  Ballot Harvesting,  nine congressional seats were handed over to the Democrats.

v how many times

(How many times?)

(That’s humor . . . )

Now, this went on in other states too.     Republican victories handed to Democrats.

vote handling

It’s the latest  winning move on the part of the radical wing of the Democrat party.   Would all Democrats be happy with this dishonest method – as long as the result is a win?

Nine congressional seats transferred over to the party that didn’t get those votes from the actual  voters  —  and that’s just one state.

In these days of investigations, findings, and admissions concerning Big Tech corporations who are opposed to Republicans of any kind,  those such as Google and YouTube have been found to have conspired against the American people to influence elections in favor of the Democrat party:

Just don’t show  the popularity of  conservative subjects in people’s searches.   Just don’t show videos by conservatives.

v unblock



And, yes,  political analysts have studied the issue and have determined that millions of voters were influenced by the skewed presentations of YouTube and Google,  Facebook “news,”  and Twitter feeds.      Shadow-banning is real and it’s useful to the radical Democrats and progressives.

More and more,  people are beginning to resent having their minds molded by the desires of employees at Google.     They have become the Joseph Goebbels  of the whole world,  with effective technological means that would have astonished Goebbels himself .

google dictator


The resentment builds.    There are lawful ways in this particular country to correct this dangerous course we are walking down.

I’m hoping we take these lawful ways.

I’m  looking for that famous  “Tipping Point.”



If you are the praying type,  here is a prayer for our country.    It’s attributed to Sister Marie de Saint Pierre of a century ago.  I think she and President Abraham Lincoln were reading from the same Holy Book:

“Eternal Father,  I offer Thee the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ and all the instruments of His Holy Passion that thou mayest put divisions in the camp of thine enemies for as Thy beloved Son hath said,  A kingdom divided against itself shall fail.*   Amen.” 

Jesus died for our iniquities.   He offered Himself up for our sins.     This is a valid prayer. 


. *  (Mark 3:25)


January 15, 2019

(Pardon my language – if you think that’s what I said… but this post is under the category of   “Humor.”)


During this time of year one frequently comes across handy little health-related articles.  “Good sleep”  or “good sleep patterns”  or  “enough sleep”   is often a part of a good health regimen.

One helpful author wrote that having a little glass of wine before bedtime is a good idea, so next time I went out on errands,  I included a very unfamiliar item on my list:  “get some good red wine.”  I did.  I bought some and brought it home.

And then I did all the “winding down” things you’re supposed to do to help your body enter its sleep mode,  including “open the wine”  and “take a bath while you’re waiting for it to “breathe.”    So first —

w pieces

Found the bottle of wine, a butter knife,  a sharp knife,  a screwdriver,  a pair of scissors . . .  and ten minutes later I’m thoroughly awake and alert, surrounded by little chips of plastic sealer around the opening . . .  and a little sweat and a little cut on my finger.

Next you take the cork out:

W Opener Action.jpg

A little blurry.     The cork opener  seemed to have a constant motion of its own.  Its little arms have to go up  (or maybe down) as the cork comes smoothly out of the bottle.   I could have used a third hand as I tried to penetrate the cork with the twisty end keeping  the arms up when they slid  down (or down when I think they should have been up — tried it both ways).

We were both a little uncorked by then;   I sure didn’t feel like I was getting ready to “sleep” anymore.

w cork

But eventually the bottle (and I)  took a breather.

w breathing


I’d like to tell you who made this wine or where it came from, but the label just has  “Francis Ford Coppola”  on it, and something about red,  fruity,  with a robust spice . . .  something.

It’s red.

It was sweet and delicious.

I can tell you it was not sleep-inducing,   not after all that work.



My”sleep patterns” can only be described as Industrial Strength Insomnia – beginning at age 3.     I’ve really never understood just  how one goes about falling asleep, at least when everybody else says you’re supposed to.

I’ve tried it all:  mild exercise earlier in the day, no caffeine after noon, no caffeine at all, hot shower, warm bath, warm bath with Epsom salts (to get the magnesium), warm bath with Epsom salts and lavender (aromatherapy), warm milk or hot chocolate, hot tea with honey, a spoonful of honey, quiet reading, no TV (not a problem),  bright light for a while sometime during the day,  don’t look at your clock, avoid naps, eat high fat food before bedtime well, yuck),  relaxing music, tai chi,  visualize happy things,  sleep enhancing supplements, plenty of water  . . .

blue light tester 300(a Blue Light test pattern)

I even purchased  Blue Light blocking glasses for evening use, and I have the Blue Light Filter on my computer screen,  which makes sudden  and always surprising changes on my screen at about 9:00 PM.

After that cork challenge,   I’m not sure that “wine” is going to be a part of my bedtime routine,  but it did taste pretty good!

w skal

“Skål”  as my Scandinavian family says!

Night life can be good! 







January 15, 2019

(The “teacher” in me – trying not to be too preachy.  But then, as we all know,  “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”      – Lord Acton)


Still talking about Liberty, here.  Something that should concern us all.  I’m a little disconcerted with the way things are going;  i.e.,   increasing loss of our personal Liberty.

The Truckers in America have noticed this.

trcu convoy

Some have a truckers’ strike planned for sometime in April to call attention to their liberty-less plight. *   Since I listen to their show nearly every night, I understand where they’re coming from even though the disruption to the supply chain in our country could be very bad.   (But the truckers’ strike may not happen.)

I’m going to let other people do some writing for me tonight.     First,  just for fun,   here’s an interesting bit on Liberty vs. State interference of  religious practice  from a blog written by a Father Hunwicke, of England:

—  Well, wait a minute.  if you’re not up to speed on European politics,  this might not make sense to you.  You see,  Belgium recently passed a law saying the government will no longer support particular religious requirements concerning meat.    And then Father Hunwicke contrasts that decision with Poland’s bishops declaring that such laws are prejudicial  against religious practices.

He writes with wit and  sarcasm:

Surely, it is outrageous that the Belgian regime should outlaw the provision of Kosher and Hallal meat.

I seem to remember that the Polish Bishops’ Conference opposed, successfully, the adoption of such a law in Poland. I wonder how long it will take for the generality of people to realise that secular liberalism as promoted by the Zeitgeist will give you tyranny; while a robust Catholicism is more likely to support freedom.

But then, we recall how sensitively the Belgians ran their Empire.

I wonder how aware they are that the claim of one of their ministers, that State law takes precedence over Religious law, aligns them with so many great historical figures, from Nero and Domitian down to Stalin and Hitler.

“Plucky little Belgium”, indeed.

Boorish Bully-boy Belgium.

What we can take from this is his observation that the Catholics in Poland are showing much more religious tolerance than the socialist government of Belgium.

The myth is that if you are religious, you are ipso facto “intolerant.”    Actual reality proves otherwise.     It is today’s Big State governments that are intolerant of religion — and are a danger to anyone with religious convictions.   Hence,  the American Bill of Rights,  First Amendment, specifically.     The Bill of Rights is there to restrict government power.

In the last posting I wrote about  State versus Church issues that are confronting us more and more today,   in society,  our workplace,  our public office duties.    Previously, in America,  we held on to the principle that there is no religious test  for belonging to this society.


We don’t have to prove that we are of a certain religion, nor do we have to prove that we have no religion at all, at least not one that would interfere with our  public life .

Hold on to that principle!    There is no “religious test”  for Americans.   At least there shouldn’t be.   I would recommend that you recognize it wherever this attitude crops up – and that you have “rehearsed”  ways to combat it.

Nicely, of course.  Respectfully.




The rest of this blog just repeats the last posting, with names this time of those who have acted like the Inquisitors of people nominated for public office who just happen to have religious faith.

We don’t know where this is heading,  especially is we do nothing and let it happen,  but we should all remember that    “The first thing you do as a Fascist Government is to remove all Religion. Just ask Hitler or Stalin. “

Here’s the quotation:

Quick,somebody please remind Democratic Senators, Kamala Harris and Mazie Hirono, that they’re members of what’s supposed to be the tolerant party. Based on the bigoted questions they recently posed to a judicial nominee, they may think that Democrats are the heirs of the anti-Catholic Know Nothing party.

Senators Harris and Hirono challenged federal judicial nominee Brian Buescher about his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, an international Catholic charitable organization with nearly 2 million members. What, specifically, are the senators upset about? That the Catholic organization espouses the teachings of the Catholic Church. How dare it!
And remember, Harris and Hirono aren’t the only senators making these suggestions. In 2017, Democratic Senators Dick Durbin and Dianne Feinstein suggested that judicial nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s religious belief rendered her unfit for the bench. A few months before that, the supposedly progressive Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., suggested that Russell Vought, an evangelical nominee for a position in the Office of Management and Budget, was unfit for public service because of his belief in the Gospel.

Sanders’ treatment of Vought makes clear that it’s not only Catholics who should be alarmed by this trend among Democrats and progressives. The left seeks to stifle any public expressions of religious belief, whether it’s relevant to one’s job or not, and block from government anyone whose religious beliefs run counter to the ideology of the left.

From:    https://   www.   foxnews.   com/opinion/senators-bigotry-threatens-all-believers-the-left-gets-closer-to-stifling-all-public-expressions-of-faith



. *  #BlackSmoke Matters





LIBERTY AND DEATH (Sunday Thoughts)

January 13, 2019

“Willingly giving our lives for something or Someone is the ultimate expression of our Liberty.”

My ongoing 5G technology thoughts have a lot to do with our Liberty,  but I don’t want to make that connection right now.  It’s Sunday.   The day is set apart, if you choose to be a follower of Christ.   I do.   So I’ll stick with “Sunday Thoughts.”


liberty or death

Every American is —  (used to be)    familiar with this phrase:  “Give me Liberty or give me Death!”   We cherish our Liberty, those of us who have been taught what Liberty actually is;  and many step forward, willing to die to retain our Liberty.

God gave each of us uniqueness, individuality,  free will, worth, and dignity,  and our Founding Fathers pointed out that these qualities endow us with certain Rights which are “inalienable”  from us in order to truly live and become the people we were each meant to be.

Of the several enumerated Rights,  one is the Right to Freedom of Conscience,  freedom to worship the way we want to worship and to freely speak out what we believe and hold dear, without reprisals from our Rulers.     No one has to hide what he believes.

But we’ve seen recent  attempts  to erode this particular Right.  We’ve watched several video clips of  nominees for public office being interrogated by Senators whose inquisitorial questioning reveals their contempt and suspicion for anyone who adheres to a religious conviction.    “How can you convince me that your religious beliefs will not interfere with your public duties?” 

(As though that Senator does not have his own set of religious-type beliefs, based upon Humanism,  Marxism, Secularism, or any of the other “isms”  that oppose themselves to Christianity today.)


(Our evening Bible study location watched over by our State capitol building)

No,  it’s the Christian religion which is under assault, and few Christians seem to be aware of the assault.  Can we win the war if we don’t know we’re fighting?

But thus it always was, from the very beginnings of Christianity.  This is not new, nor should it be a surprise.    Jesus told us that the World will hate us because it hated Him.  We are not “above” Him, or more privileged or protected than He was.

jesus arrested

And yet, we must not sit back and wait for our own arrests.     We have a job to do, to make the world a better place, a place where all mankind is able to know  to consider, and then to freely choose to come to the Gospel.

china extreme persec  We know that today Christians are being persecuted and killed around the world.   The Chinese government has recently been given complete control of all churches within China,  unfortunately with the full cooperation of the head of the Catholic church who seems to be unaware of  the consequences of his political machinations.  At least I hope he is “unaware.”

If he knows what he’s doing, then that is of the highest evil . . .

We all  know there are some “unconstitutional”  laws in place in our country which force Christians to pay for some very unchristian-like government-sanctioned acts of murder and immorality.   We know certain jobs and certain Internet sites do not welcome  beliefs based upon Christianity.

So, it’s interesting that during this season of Christmas and Epiphany,  two of the saints that are honored are  (1)    St. Thomas à Becket,   that close  friend of King Henry II in England . . .  until Henry II put him in a place of high government office.   As Shakespeare describes the conflict,   Henry became so aggravated over St. Thomas’s refusal to appoint as bishops his own nominees that he peevishly uttered that damning statement:  “Aaaargh!  Who will rid me of my enemy?”


Well,  Shakespeare and TS Eliot and Lord Tennyson all said it better than that,  but however that question was worded,  the king’s friends got to work to “eliminate”  Thomas à Becket,   right in his own cathedral.

Saint Thomas à Becket is a martyr for the Liberty of the Church and her freedom from control by any State or King or Empire or Ruler or Supreme Court.

(2)  On January 14th the church honors another man whose courage and stalwart faith encourages the Church in her fight for freedom from any earthly control.  This is St.  Hilary of Poitiers.

hilary  Beloved bishop,  admired and beloved for his personal holiness, wisdom, and administerial skill,  he ran afoul of not only his emperor(s)  during his lifetime,  but also of factions within the Church who were very “slightly”  changing the teachings that had been passed down to them from the time of Christ.

“Just a small change in wording.”  “Just a simple nuance of meaning.”   “Just a little difference in the way of doing things.”     It’s not something to split the church over,  is it?

But such changes in wording, thought, or meaning do bring corruption and death into the Church and the Arian Christians knew what they were doing.   Temporarily in power and allied with the Roman government,  they sought to move away from the revelations from Christ.



Control of the Church by government or by smaller factions within the Church –  St. Hilary fought against them both, at the cost of his life.

He is another martyr for our Liberty.



(Sorry for the length . . .  I’ve edited it downward but,  even so,  it’s longer than I wanted it to be.   I hope you don’t have to “rush” through your Sunday with lots of commitments and activities.   I hope you can use the day to take time . . .  to think;  and to see where we’re going,  where we should be going, and why.      We need all the intelligent,  thoughtful, and “woke”  people we can get!)


January 10, 2019


(A continuing thought from yesterday,  but I hope this post title is not disrespectful.)


I present to you Patriarch Kirill,   the head of all the Russian Orthodox people.

krill patriarch

Officially his title is:  “Patriarch of Moscow and all Rus and Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church”    . . .  (The Rus being the area around Kiev  that my Viking ancestors conquered and developed into a little economic empire.)  

I believe he is well-liked by his people.    I have read some of his words from time to time, and he seems very well-educated,  experienced with people, wise, and above all a man of sincere faith.

He also sees the world over the  shoulder of a very important world leader.

kirill putin conscince

And it  seems that he has been “looking up”  too,  observing the development of our Microwave Radiation Communication devices  and all the ways that we are being digitally identified and followed,  whether with our Internet use,  cell phones, and microchips and online travel plans and  financial transactions.

He also seems to know the book of Revelation, *    which is one glimpse of conditions at the end of this world,   one glimpse among many others which all seem to tell the same story:    One day all power and all wealth will be consolidated into one governing force, with one “person” at the head of it all.   This “person”  will need the absolute compliance and loyalty of all people of the world.   

And this will be a difficult and dangerous development for the world because each human must transfer his faith and loyalty away from Christ  (or any other political or religious philosophy)  and to himself.     No strays allowed.  No dissenting opinion allowed.

k watching you

Compliance is safety in this New World governance headed by an anti-Christ figure.

What Patriarch Kirill has pointed out this week is that all our “connected”  electronic gadgets, from TVs,  phones, cars,  household appliances, our hands if we’re microchipped (for our convenience),   and all the millions of CCTV cameras everywhere and the satellites looking down on us  — all this makes it easier for a powerful world political leader  to rise to power,  eliminating his opposition, and then staying in power, eliminating any dissidents.

We don’t know who this powerful global leader will be,  but the world seems to be trending towards the coming of  his reign.

k coming

Although the anti-Christ-Global Leader will be imbued with very strong negative supernatural “energy,”   he is still human and less than omniscient.   Even Satan himself is less than omniscient.  Only God knows all things.      But the coming Global Leader will need to know everything that might be a threat to his power.

He will be  at the center of all information.

k center of allthings

We are building the  electronic system of interconnectedness that will make this possible.

Oh.  that’s  what Patriarch  Kirill is saying. . . .


So, a caution (from me):     It’s not the humans that are insisting on 5G technology.   It’s some vague,  unknown, little understood “force”  that is pressing us on to further dependence upon  digital technology.

k ww.jpg

” Wouldn’t you want a little more candy?”

“Wouldn’t you want a little more downloading speed?”    “Wouldn’t you want all your appliances conveniently connected to you cell phone controller?”    “Wouldn’t you want the latest digital development?”


Then this caution about the oh, so fast and convenient microchips , from a Futurist:

The website Futurism calls it a     “digital security nightmare.”

Besides being vulnerable to hackers, a chip implanted in your body means, “They could track where you are, how long you take for lunch every day, or how many times you went to the bathroom if the chip were scanned by a reader,”  Futurism writes. “And opting out of this kind of data collection is a lot more convoluted when you’ve got a chip implanted in your bodily tissues. If you want to go off the grid in even the smallest way, you can leave your wallet at home, but removing a microchip requires a bit more, uh, effort.”

Does our future history have to play out this way?


. *  Especially Revelation, chapter 13.





January 9, 2019

No overall comments from me;  just . . .  sharing interesting stuff.     Good reasons to keep “looking up” –   some things are of neutral importance to us (we think);  some things up there are interesting and further study may yield new information about our solar  system;  and some things . . .  downright scary.

You’d never know if you don’t ever look up!

Well, this happened a few years ago . . .


The Planet Jupiter lost its southern  belt of clouds.    Scientists don’t really know why that happened,  but they speculate among themselves.   Can’t wait till warmer weather when I can get my telescope out and see this for myself.

jupiter spot  And then,  the thing that identifies Jupiter for us,  that mysterious Red Spot that scientists call a “storm” — we’ve seen it for centuries  . . .  well, that’s going too.  It’s shrinking, and at the present rate it will be all gone in a couple  more years.  Scientists don’t really know why that is happening either.  I can’t imagine Jupiter without its Red Spot.

And then our scientists took us to that farthest border of our solar system,  that uttermost outer boundary that separates us from . . .  well, from the realm of dragons in Nordic literature:  Ultima Thule!

New Horizons sent us photos of this strange object 4 billion miles away  (in the Kuiper Belt):

ultima thule

With an attempt at whimsy,  they named the two segments  Ultima and Thule — and they don’t  really know how it formed that way, there isn’t actually observable evidence for the more usual,  and facile,  explanations.

Just interesting.      Pretty sure I disagree with those who speculate that it is of deliberate design,  except that we’ve photographed other objects like this, somewhat more corroded, but of the same recognizable design.

Another space object, more recently and closer to home — much closer to home!

ast path

Much too close!!   Sometime yesterday,  January 8th,  a small asteroid flew by our planet at a distance of   0  (zero!)  Lunar Distances.     Well,  0.04 LD, to be exact.  It didn’t hit us, after all.   That is the closest approach of an extraterrestrial body in a long time.   It was little, only a meter wide,  but believe it or not,  we’ve got some bigger ones coming and  even closer according to some estimates.

SpaceWeather . com  keeps track of these for us so we don’t have to exercise our own vigilance . . .  but then,  vigilant or not,  what can we do if we see one coming?

Oh,  0.04 LD translates to about 9,000+  miles and that’s well within the orbits of many of our satellites.

And that brings me to the scary stuff that is up there,  or soon will be.

Many of us use these Personal Microwave Emitting devices:

cell phone

In today’s society we’re taught to communicate with someone by turning on our microwave oven and then putting our head up against the door while it’s on . . .  for several minutes – or an hour – however long we want to communicate.

Or we can just turn on our phones and stick it by our ears and communicate  that way. Same effect.

I’m one of the “fortunate”  8% – 15% of the world’s population (according to the W.H.O.)   who can feel the harmful effects of cell phones and cell towers, and which are, of course, everywhere around us.

tower threats 380

I say “fortunate” because at least I can physically feel the necessity of protecting myself and limiting exposure to microwave radiation.    (The “lines” and smeary clouds in the sky are another issue, though perhaps related.)

We are communicating with what they call 4G technology, which is quite powerful radiation and is doing a good job of letting us communicate, download, and whatever else we think is important.    4G technology works, and there’s plenty of “bandwidth” left, plenty of speed for us consumers  (coverage may be a problem in some areas,  but that doesn’t relate to 4G).

We are being told,however, that ‘we want more” – more speed, more bandwidth, more powerful radiation.   You have probably seen many,  many ads convincing us of our need for this.  It’s called 5G.  It’s not just “more,”  it’s 150 times stronger than the 4G that we use.

Here’s a more complete statement from Health Impact News:

5G Phones will be much more Powerful than Previous Phones

The effective radiated power of the 5G phased array antennas in phones will be 10 times more powerful than 4G phones.

No one will be free from exposure.

In addition, 5G beams of microwave radiation will be received and transmitted from new computer equipment, household appliances, and automobiles.

Stationary equipment such as Wi-Fi hubs in homes and offices will be permitted to use microwave beams that are 15 times stronger (300 watts) than the signals from 5G phones or 150 times stronger than 4G phones. [2]

. *   (More scientific stuff for our bodies below for those interested.)

Now, for “Looking Up” as the title of this post says:   Satellites will be used to send the 5G signals to small but ubiquitous antennas placed  everywhere in the world in close proximity to our houses, schools, hospitals — anywhere they want.  Some satellites have been launched in 2017 to test the technology;   hundreds more satellites were launched in 2018;  and by 2020,  20,000 satellites will be up there in the sky beaming down these dangerous microwaves at us,  through our rooftops,  through our bodies . . . .

More on this subject in later posts . . .   So few know that dangers.  But it doesn’t matter.  When some of us tried to stop the construction of new cell towers so close to the other cell towers in our (farming) area,   our Township government looked into it.     At the end of their research, they discovered that the new construction was unstoppable.  Out of our hands.   The command came from some international source.

Now that scared me!

Europe is uncomfortable with the 5G technology too:

5g moratorium

I don’t think they’ll get very far with their “call” for a moratorium.

There is a higher, more powerful spiritual reason this is happening. . . .


. *

5G  More Dangerous than Previous Microwave Systems

Arthur Firstenberg, author, researcher, and advocate for limiting RF exposure from the environment, explains the analysis of 5G radiation that was published in Microwave News in 2002. He stated:

When an ordinary electromagnetic field enters the body, it causes charges to move and currents to flow.

But when extremely short electromagnetic pulses enter the body [5G], something else happens: the moving charges themselves become little antennas that re-radiate the electromagnetic field and send it deeper into the body.

These re-radiated waves are called Brillouin precursors.

They become significant when either the power or the phase of the waves changes rapidly enough.

5G will probably satisfy both requirements. This means that the reassurance we are being given—that these millimeter waves are too short to penetrate far into the body—is not true. [2]



Read the whole article here,  removing the spaces, of course:

http  ://  healthimpactnews  .com/2019/20000-satellites-for-5g-to-be-launched-sending-focused-beams-of-intense-microwave-radiation-over-entire-earth/





1440 – 8 = 1432

January 9, 2019


Some  Political Humor today, in my endeavor to keep current with the news….


1440 – 8 =   1432.

I did the math for you.    We are given 1,440 minutes in every day.  The entertainment – news media  chooses to spend those minutes bashing President Trump,   partnering  with the not-so-veiled radical global-socialist  attempt to take him down, removing him from office, at the very least.    24/7/365.

Well, there.  I guess you know I’m not “with” the Leftists.

I am going to give The Patriot Post full credit for this one.   Although I thought this up independently too, and I’m sure many others of you have noticed this,  The Patriot Post writers really said it best:




And their comment:

Chuck and Nancy are demanding “equal time” to give the Democrat Response to President Trump’s 8-minute address tonight.

Can someone tell me why they need to do that?

It isn’t like CNN hasn’t already been providing the Democrat talking points 24-hours a day, seven days a week since Trump was inaugurated.

Do we really need an official Democrat Response to air on CNN when it has been acting as the Democrat Response to Trump for two years?

Sure, they’re giving Trump eight minutes tonight.

But that just means instead of the 1,440 minutes of Democrat talking points CNN normally airs every day, they will only be able to squeeze in 1,432 minutes today.

Is 1,432 minutes today not enough for these idiots.


This is not a one-time observation.  We’ve seen President Trump hung in effigy,  burned (pictorially),  ” beheaded”   with a ghastly model of his bloody head,   his young son physically threatened with foul acts,  his wife maligned at every point —  and then “in the cross-hairs” —

cnn pic trump in crsshars

The circular cross-hairs of a gun-sight show up better in other photos,  but that’s the one I saved.   It does have little cross-hairs with the president in the middle.

Honestly,  I thought threatening the life of any one in high office was a felony.    I guess if leftists laugh,   they can say,  “I was just joking….”

But there’s a cumulative effect.   

If we liked what the president said last night in his eight minutes,   these entertainment-news media people have already called us  “like the KKK”;  “fakes”;  “racists”;  “idiot”; “stupid”;  and more.     You get the point.

But the president had more to bear from his “loyal opposition” – a phrase of honor in actually democratic societies  —   before he spoke last night,  before;     he was being called a “liar”  for the points he was going to make in his speech.

You don’t have to agree with every political decision in order to remain civil.   You don’t have to put your intelligence aside  in order to work with the opposition.   

Passion !  Yes.     Polemics . . .  ineffective and potentially dangerous.  

Now, it might be I’m a little more sensitive to these untrue and unfair polemics because of a book I’m reading:  “All The Best”  by GHW Bush.

all the best

This is a collection of letters that Bush 41 wrote throughout his life, from a young man of 17 who could hardly wait to join the Air Force all the way through significant life changes and developments in his career to   . . .. the very end,  I suppose.     Letters reveal a lot about the writer.    I am being impressed by his decency.

Last night I was reading his letters (and some speeches)  from the Sixties and Seventies.   Hubbie and I were young then, and we knew what that  “Globalist Cronkite”   was telling us each evening,  but it seemed all so “small” and “far away” — it would never permanently affect ordinary non-political people like us.

I had never thought of all that political rancor and threats and protests and violent demonstrations from the point of view of those at the head of government – those who were under daily personal attacks.  It’s a wonder that they continued on with their duties and with their lives . . . .

And, yes,  that period of time did eventually have a devastating effect on ordinary Americans.    Cumulative effects.    I will certainly write about that here from time to time this year.

civil war stone.jpg

I’ve used this picture before.   It turns out to be true.   Not that our current Civil War began in 1861,  but it’s that the  marxists-socialists-globalists-progressives-extreme leftist fascists   NEED to have a Civil War because, according to them,  they cannot rebuild a society in their image unless they first tear it down —

—  and they’re using every excuse to divide us as a nation to produce the factions that will fight each other, including reaching back to a century and a half ago and closing their eyes to all the positive developments since then.

I wasn’t afraid for our country decades ago,  but I’m worried now.   The seeds of Civil War have a way of getting out of hand.

And that’s not so humorous.




January 8, 2019

Had no “dog in that fight,”  Clemson vs. Alabama,  so I’m okay with the outcome.   I’ll listen to the Truckers debate it all night on the radio.  I did have more free time (away from football ) this weekend, a big weekend in Christendom, but I’m behind in my reporting on that. . . .  Next post.

Meanwhile . . .   I have been busy.    And not unmindful of this weekend of Epiphany, which apparently brought  out in me an urge to “clean.”

silhouette three wisemen at manger

I cleaned everything I could.     Took care of mailing mail, packing up packages;    getting rid of old holiday food, bringing in new food;  doing the guest laundry and making up the beds;    organizing library books, bringing books back, bringing new reading projects home . . .   Even  doing special, long-put-off projects —

f floor

Yes,  scrubbing the grout.   I have a big kitchen floor, new tile with lots of grout.  Light colored grout.    And a whole big foyer of ceramic tile.  Light colored tile – with  lots of grout.

Which is light-colored once again.   Ugh.

And as I cleaned and scrubbed and made the grout look new again,  I had lots of time to think.   Philosophically,  as my habit is.    As “muddied up” as my grout looked,  so did my mind feel “muddied up” and a bit muddled.   Things were no longer “light.”  Things in my mind were rather tangled and . . .  some things were wrong.

As I worked on the floors, I understood it was time to work on my inner self too  — time, that is, to go to Confession.

Because Epiphany was approaching.    We all know that’s when we “think about” the Three Wise Men.   “Three,”  by tradition, from somewhere in “the east.”    They had studied for a long time their own histories and prophecies, and then understood, these particular students of prophecy,  that the time was Right.   The  King had been born, and they had to travel to a town in Palestine to pay homage to Him.

They’re called three “kings.”     Three kings of the Orient.    They certainly worked in royal circumstances,  in the royal households,  the royal libraries;  they’re pictured wearing “crowns”  and carrying royal gifts:

f king gifts

Gold,appropriate to give to a King;

Frankincense,  appropriate for a priest, as this Infant King would stand as priest between God and Mankind;

Myrrh . . .  a costly, bitter “perfume” – appropriate for burying a royal body.


I continued to clean the whole darn house that had gotten so dirty during the holidays!

fire and clean

Scrubbed the fireplace next.  As Son says,  the fire seems to burn better when you start with a clean fireplace.   Sometimes we can skip that step, a time or two,  but you get the best fire if you start out clean, and his comment gave me no excuse to skip this step of preparation.

The three Wise Men Kings certainly prepared for their journey to Bethlehem.

f wise men finery

Their minds were prepared by devoted study;  their hearts were ready to meet this One and Only, Long-Promised King;  and their bodies were clothed with their finest raiment, showing both self-respect and respect for the Holy Infant whom they will visit.

I’m not sure all my cleaning was done consciously to prepare for Epiphany,  but it all worked together.   I’m glad my house was clean for Sunday.    And a  good Confessor  can help out with some really needed insights and “clean up” some of the mud(dle)  that has been collecting on your soul for a while.   “Inside,” too, I was ready.

And then I had time to think in front of the fireplace  . . .

fire and foot

Being “clean”  doesn’t change the whole world,  doesn’t make things that much easier.   I had to continue to work hard to get that fire going.    I’m beginning to believe that all those  boxes used to start a fire are made from inflammable cardboard.  And the kindling –  it must have been wet from all our rain . . .

But as I was working hard trying to keep the fireplace lit,  I was thinking about those Wise Men who worked hard all their lives, studying,   preparing, traveling,  desiring that one necessary thing,  that glorious meeting with  Christ Jesus, the Infant King born in their Day.      It  would be worth it all.


fire going 380

Finally got a nice big fire going.

I had time to sit back and remember, now,  what I had heard in our sermon on the day of Epiphany.       It was remarked that the Wise Men  visited the Holy Infant with hearts prepared;  minds prepared;  best clothing prepared.        And we?  When we think about Jesus . . .  what have we prepared for meeting Him?      How do we come to Him?    I have no royal clothes.  I have no crown to wear.  I have no “wisdom.”   I’m not even very well studied.

I’m never going to be more than just “me.”

f drummer

If all I have is a drum to play,  then that’s all I can do, is visit Him and  play for Him.   And show Him I want to be there with Him.


It’s just not “January 6th” on the calendar and “let it go by.”     There’s an opportunity here.


January 6, 2019


No more football for me until I can talk myself down from my pole lamp.



f kicking

That’s Mr. Parkey.

Kicking his FIFTH football into the goalposts.   Not past the goalposts.  Not between the goalposts.     FIVE times this season.

INTO the goalposts.

f circle upright

That is a terrible way to lose a game.   That is a terrible way to end the season.


No more football for me until  . . . .    maybe until the Superbowl.    I’ll have lots more free time now.

Maybe I can write here at the Spruce Tunnel more often.

f at uprights

And stop trying to climb my living room pole lamp in an attempt to guide Parkey’s filed goal attempts.


Gloomy Cloud.jpg


But I’ll still love my Bears .  .  .

bears flag 80

. . .   a bit.



January 2, 2019


Caution:    Some “dark” thoughts.  When I say  Do Not Read if you’re squeamish or easily offended,  I really mean  Do Not Read.  Good-bye until next time.


Sometimes I make plans to write about just “happy” things —  instructive, interesting, uplifting things . . .  But then the Real World intrudes.

I’m trying to watch less of the entertainment-news media.     It’s upsetting.    It’s all about things I can’t really influence in my private position here in the Far North.

I’ve made a good start in my personal life:


Then again, there are things that we should be concerned about;  even upset about,  fearful.   At least we ought to be informed — and ready.      Maybe some opportunity will come along that we can have some small effect.      If you don’t know about things in the Real World,  you can do nothing about them.

Circumcision and “the other” circumcision:

So,   yesterday we celebrated the Circumcision and Naming of the Infant Child Jesus.

It was noted that these were the first few drops of Blood shed,  foretelling a greater shedding of Blood in His sacrifice for the human race, judged guilty and condemned.    Why “death” to the whole human race?

Hell - Silhouette Man before Red

Are we evil enough to deserve that?

Well,  recently in this region of the country,  some federal judge,  appointed by the Barack Hussein person,   has just ruled that the U.S government has no right to make a law against FMG. *    This isn’t the flippant and blasphemous  OMG —  but it probably deserves a comment like that.   This is the real thing,  “Female Genital Mutilation.”   Also known as Female circumcision.

It’s not a “circumcision.”  It’s actually an excision.

We have laws against it in this country.  Except not all over.  And except now those laws will be considered unconstitutional.    Something like 13  (is it 17?)    (23,  it’s 23, states in this country permit FMG.      We could become a  Safe Haven  for such deeds:    The United States of America!  – formerly a culturally Christian nation

(This is  one reason why the matter of Cultural Assimilation by Legal Immigrants is so important.)

The reason for such a practice is just . . .  just . . .  dastardly!    There is no good reason for doing it.      It’s done on little girls, usually elementary school age.



And without anesthetic or the usual sterile environment for a surgical procedure.


Private homes are usually the location in this country.

Here are the usual instruments:
FMG 3 tools

This issue comes up from time to time as we read the news, read books,  hear the celebrity news-readers read out brief  little references to FMG.     Few of us can be really ignorant of the practice.

So,  are we, collectively, as a human race, that evil?    guilty of condemnation for thinking up such ways to harm each other?    for letting such things continue on?    for keeping the knowledge right out of our heads?    for taking no measures,  writing no letters,  doing no praying for such things to cease?


That was my question.

HELL spoke

Let us at least pray that someone is working on this issue.

Maybe some people will stop electing officials who make it possible for this practice to continue.

FMG Poster 4



.*  He says it is the individual states which must do so.   The federal government can’t dictate to the states . . .  at least in this case.     Isn’t this what the War Between the States was fought over?    States’ Rights?     The Federal Government,  even one presided over by the Abraham Lincoln presidency  can’t tell individual states what to do.      Can Washington DC dictate what laws each state passes?


“Civil rights”  supersedes states’ laws?    If that’s okay,   then maybe little girls should  be protected from FMG – as a matter of their civil rights?

These are deliberately thought-provoking questions.     Nothing worthwhile is easy.   Nothing good that must be done will get done by itself.




January 1, 2019


“For as a man thinketh in his heart,  so is he.”    (Proverbs 23:7)

(You can’t hide what you really are . . .)

8 for as a man thinketh

Today’s the day we think about “who we really are”  and how small acts of our will, small decisions,  small actions indicate who we are and what we will become.


It happens  to be New Year’s Day,  but it’s  also always the Eighth Day after the birth of the Infant King.    By Law,  Jesus was to be circumcised and named on His eighth day of life.     On this day, throughout the ages, throughout the whole world,  Christians  honor, celebrate, and think about this Day.

8 circumcision

So important is this day and so fruitful (for our benefit) are the meditations from this day’s actions,  that it is called a Holy Day of Obligation.   One that would surely nick our souls if we miss it.  We hear today these words from Luke:

“At that time, after the eight days should be accomplished that the child should be circumcised,  his name was called Jesus, which was called by the Angel before he was conceived in the womb. “

See?    All planned out from before His birth.


X carpenter shop boy

As we saw before, this Holy Infant will live and grow in the shadow of His own Death;  He came to die.   He will take on  Death not for His own sins, because He has none, but for each of us,  each of our own sins, each one.   Blood will be shed.


His sacrificial death begins with the spilling of a few drops of blood on this day of His circumcision.    Wouldn’t make sense, except that His name was given to us:  Jesus.  In older English language:  “Jehovah saves.”    “Salvation (of the human race)  is from God.”   That’s what His name means.     It was appointed to Him long before He was ever conceived and born, and it was given to Him on this Eighth Day of His life; our “Savior.”



Long ago, God called out one man to be separate from his familiar World so that he could become the father of a great nation,  great in number and great in purpose.

8 abraham's journey

(Abraham’s journey south to the Promised Land)

Through this man, Abraham, and all his descendants would one day come the world’s Savior.    The descendants are appointed for this purpose,  separated out from the rest of the World,  to become “different”  and worthy.

Circumcision is the symbolic act that demonstrates this separateness, although it was supposed to go beyond the mere physical.

Abraham’s descendants  by birth and Abraham’s descendants by faith are supposed to be separate most importantly by what’s in their hearts.

8 blue circ

Even in the Old Testament, the Hebrews (the Jews)  were supposed to live with the true meaning of circumcision.   It’s more than just a symbol of the child’s entry into a certain society,  it’s an outward symbol of a whole different,  separate way of life.   It’s the man’s testimony to God. . . .

And that difference,  that separateness,   carries into New Testament understanding:

8 circ of the heart

Circumcision now is the separating yourself from sin, from anything that is not God’s way for you.

God cares very much what you do in your body:  your  gestures, postures,  your “body language,”  your words spoken;  but He also cares very much for the invisible things you do:   your attitudes and intentions,  your meanings, your choices,  and He looks for  love and kindness in your hearts . . .  because  “as a man thinketh in his heart,  so is he.”


Without getting too clinical here,  the little piece separated from the infant boy’s body during circumcision indicates “separation,” from the World  and also a removal of that which causes the man  to be  “covered over” and restricted from responding to God.    God looks down and sees a people who have “stiffened” their resistance to Him,  “stiffened”  their necks by hardening their heartfelt response to Him.

Circumcision for the Jews was meant to create a people with “softened hearts” towards the will of God.    Not stiff-necked hearts:

8 harden not your hearts

Remember,  according to St Paul,  Jesus has removed the divisions between God and all humans:  no more “rich and poor,”  “slave or free,”  male or female,”  “Jew or Gentile,” and any other division that might be important to our eyes.

We all have a Heart that could benefit from meditating on circumcision.

This Feast Day is so important . . . .





Have a Good and Fruitful New Year, everyone!!