Archive for the ‘Football Days’ category

FRIDAY’S “SCHEDULE”

February 2, 2018

 

In ascending order of importance to us as individual souls:

February 2nd –      Ground Hog Day, of course.

Groundhog

Restless last night, so I got to hear the report from  Gobbler’s Nob right as it was first announced.   (Guess they call that “morning.”   It’s going to be a long day without sleep.)  And so, according to the Prognosticator from Pennsylvania,    (one of his official titles) our winter will be –  six weeks longer.

“Thanks”  from the Far North where it is current  9  degrees, with snow predicted all weekend.    At least we were also told that the Ground Hog is right 39% of the time.

football happy

February 2nd –  Time to be thinking about what to have for your Super Bowl experience, whether it’s a party or simply private enjoyment before a fireplace and a big screen.      corn Looking at email newsletters from Kraft,  all grocery store flyers,  and I suppose television ads,  you’d  think there was only one meal, ahead of us!

I have my favorite team.   Predicted to win by four points, and it’s not the underdog.  I hope those prognosticators have a better than 39% record.

statue

February 2nd –    The day of the publication of the Summary of wrongdoings and questionable practices in the collusion between the Justice Dept. and the political appointees at the FBI,  erroneously called The Memo.

Who is it that famously said  governments fall from within?     Well known to historians is the fact that  republics last an average of 200 years.

I hope we Americans can prove both “prognostications”  wrong.

dec

Are we serious about this?   Are we happy that we Americans are (supposed to be)  self-governing?  That means self-correcting too.   Read what it says:  we have the DUTY  to overturn our government if it becomes a tyranny.    It’s our responsibility to be on the watch for signs that it is becoming a tyranny.    (Lois Lerner anyone?  Weaponizing the IRS against the political enemies of the radical Left?)

We have plenty of catching up to do.

February 2nd –  A busy day in Christendom!   It’s Candlemas today.   Candles are blessed in church today, a token of our acknowledgement that something Supernatural and Sacred is possible and existent in our world.

presentationThe Presentation at the Temple,  Jesus and Mary.     

Yes,  it’s an actual, historical event.

Mary has given birth 40 days ago, and this is the day she presents herself at the temple for the formal end of her  ritual seclusion from public and religious activities.

(Can you imagine how kind and gentle it is to allow  (to require) a woman who has just given birth to stay at home,  rest,  recover,  and have time to bond with her new child?!

When my Filipina friends told me how kindly the Christian culture there treated their new mothers,  I nearly cried for joy.   How they honor the one who labored to bring new life into this world!

Do not let the God-haters tell you that women who give birth are shamed and isolated and are looked down upon as “unclean” (as American s understand that word)  until some “white male priest declares her all right again.   Rather,  this whole ritual is an affirmation of the sacredness of the whole, process of the co-creaion of  a new human being.

The second thing that happened back then   – that we remember, for our instruction –  is that Jesus was presented to the Temple –  with a sacrifice of a lamb and a little bird.  Id you were too poor, the family could substitute a second little bird    (usually a dove)  in place of the lamb.

You have a baby,  you make sacrifice to God to  acknowledge all life is in His hands.  Sacrifice the dove, not the baby.    You GIVE the baby back to God –  but you can Redeem him for a small price and raise him as your own.     Jewish people will recognize this as the ceremony of Pidyon Haben,  which is returning to modern practice in many places.

pid

Ceremonial coins for Pidyon Haben

Two very old people who were living at the Temple at the time of the Presentation saw and recognized the Messiah they had been waiting for all their lives.

Their  words  deserve a post of their own.

 

Meanwhile —  it’s a busy Friday!

Advertisements

SATURDAY BLUES

October 28, 2017

It’s the weekend.   “Saturdays”  are not supposed to be like this.    You’re not supposed to work harder and with more frustrations than, say,  a weekday at work.

My first activity probably made the rest of the frustrations feel a bit better.

DUMB AND DUMBER:

I raked.   Two hours of raking.  Hey!  That’s not a complaint!      The weather was perfect!  Overcast  (no bright sun in your eyes)  and about 45 degrees (energizing!).  It was a good day to get a head start on our leaves which are finally beginning to fall.

But as I removed the leaves,  I came across a lot of  holes in the lawn.  A  LOT.

Acorn many holes

There were all these little black holes.

A closer look revealed they were little “nests.”

Acorn holes cl

Cure little round nests made by the squirrels which are so dumb that they usually can’t remember where they buried their acorns.   So they bury lots of them.

Or they’re supposed to.

These really dumb squirrels don’t bury them, they make little open-air nests for them.

Acorn nests

 

Acorn nests

Half of the holes had two or three acorns resting in them.   The other half looked like they were forgotten.

 

 

Sometimes the little nests had a little bed of leaves under and over the acorns:

Acorn leaf hidnig

 

Okay.   So I rake the leaves so that I have a nice lawn next year, and what I found was a lawn full of holes and holes filled with acorns . . .  ready to rot all winter and kill the grass.

Because these dumb squirrels are not going to be remembering where they put all their acorns.

I don’t know how they can miss them:

Acorn many

My squirrels seem dumber than  others.

 

THE NEVER-ENDING PHONE CALL –  ENDED

I freely state that Choice Hotels and all their brands are GOOD places to stay when you’re on a trip.  They are consistently clean and comfortable with a lot of amenities for a modest price.     But their Loyalty Program is not exactly adapted for the casual traveler.  Nor is it easy.

Each time I’m on a road trip,  I find myself locked out of my own account, and – just what you don’t want to spend your time doing on vacation –  I have to try and try and try and finally CALL their Customer Service in order to get back in.

CS woes.jpg 3

It’s like that today when I decided to take care of a few things on my account.  I finally got someone to talk to  — just as the Football Game started!    After 40 minutes on the phone with him, in which I had to fire up two of my laptops to “try it on those” —  and then one of the laptops went blank  –  I told him politely to forget it, and he answered that he’d transfer me to Member Services.

Which I wasn’t.   I got Reservations.   She told me they were having problems with their transferring function.   Once again I told her to forget it –  after I unloaded my frustrations, including the one about losing 7,000 loyalty points all of a sudden, just before I started my traveling;  and why am I always locked out when I do travel?!!

So forget that Loyalty Card business.    Fifteen nights of hotel stays on one trip is not enough to get you anywhere anyway.   Except frustrated.

 

BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?

laptop sad.jpg

Yep.    I meant it.  One of my laptops,  the newest one, went dead.   Could not get anything on the screen.

I have now missed nearly all the first half of the game  (MSU vs  Northwestern.  Pretty big Big Ten game.)       I had to decide between the pleasure of a football game or taking care of this laptop business.   But if I didn’t make a quick decision,  I’d be fussing about this all weekend.

So, since it is still under warranty,   I made an appointment to “bring it in”      . . .

best buy

. . .   and that’s where I was  JUST AS THE GAME WENT INTO OVERTIME!

Fortunately the nice young Geek at the counter was also interested in the game.   He was watching one of the store’s TVs from a distance . . .

BB TV

. . .    which is where I went after he took my laptop . . .  DURING THE SECOND OVERTIME!

I watched with the small crowd during the THIRD OVERTIME   as we kind of went down in defeat.

I don’t know,  is it a “defeat” when you lose by one touchdown in Third Overtime?

______________________________________________

I’m okay.  I’m okay.   I’m okay.    I think two hours of raking produced enough endorphins in me to get through the rest of this day.   I’m unreasonably cheerful.

TOMORROW

Tomorrow is Sunday.   A day of  slowing down and absorbing and enjoying the things that are really important.

I’m going to need that.

Deo gratias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TINY WIN AMIDST A BIG LOSS

October 21, 2017

 

We Won!

f a football

We won our homecoming game today. I’m . . . happy.    I’m not ecstatic or excited as in years past, whenever we could win a homecoming game.  I’m just feeling kinda glad.

Eric Gordon, Johnathan Strayhorn, Kyle Selden

In the whole world of Football, though, it’s been a big loss this year.

That world has been co-opted by the loud-mouthed bullying globalists with their incessant theme that “white men are bigots”; America is a racist nation”; you have to feel ashamed of who you are”!

f not playing

NOT playing football

 

Well, each nation has received its particular “scolding.” If you don’t like the forced migration of third world people into your country, why . . .why . . . why,  you’re Xenophobic!!!!   And racist.   And bigoted.     And – let’s throw other terms in here. You’re “fa scis ts”! You’re” n a zis” (Any other bad terms out there? Well, you’re that too!)

(These name-calling bullies remind me of the eight-year-old girls on the playground that I saw who form cliques and then proceed to bully and shame anyone not in their clique!)

I listen to foreign news services sometimes. I have heard the Public Service Announcements, those little smarmy blurbs that are supposed to change your attitude toward something.    (Stop causing forest fires; stop making poor children go hungry; stop making animals die . . .)    I could give lots of examples, but here’s a recent one I keep hearing that makes me very angry.    It usually ends with the statement:    “And the white race is inherently racist and oppressive.”

Really?

f loud tv

Is this historically accurate – or is this what people are being told is history?   I know really nice, kind people who really truly believe this is true about themselves. No matter how much evidence from history you can give them,*  (see Useful Knowledge below)   deep down they have been made to believe that the White race is guilty, guilty, guilty.

I don’t know, maybe there is some odd sort of comfort in feeling guilty. because, you know, then someone is going to come in and take control of this whole mess. Feeling guilty seems to be just an effective way of backing out of life, waiting for the angry globalists to fix things. In any way.

 

f dam collapse

The dam collapses

Now the dam has broken, the White race is damned, and all this flood of accusations have overwhelmed the NFL and anything associated with it.  I don’t get my entertainment from watching mud-slinging against America.

f muddy waters

 

Tomorrow.  Sunday.  Football day.  . .   will be a free day of rest and reflection, a walk in the Spruce Tunnel to take some pictures, some time spent privately with my God . . . and lots of time to do it all!

A “big loss” can have advantages – at least until the globalists enact laws their against our innocent people.

Unless we do something . . .   unless we try to do something,  it will soon be a time of great persecution.

 

________________________________________________

Useful knowledge for you  —  History’s evidence on the White Race:

In 1863  America, a largely White nation, declared an end to slavery:

f emanc proc

 

Before that,  England, a largely White nation, declared an end to slavery:

f england ending slvaery

And long before that the Catholic Church, universal in its racial composition  though administered  largely by Italians,  proclaimed in at least three papal Bulls that slavery is wrong, unacceptable;    and “indigenous” people were to be respected and not used for slavery.

(Got a problem with that?    Good Catholics, actual Catholics,  obeyed;   and some became saints as they gave their life-work to the succor and  freeing of slaves.   Don ‘t judge the Church by its disobedient and very sinful “members.”   That’s just a cheap shot.)  

In the Twentieth Century,  the Republican Party,  largely WHITE people in government, fought hard against the Leftists  (the Democrats in this country)  —  fought hard to enact Civil Rights laws.

f repub civil rights act

These are mostly Republican  (white males)  who are watching a very reluctant President Johnson sign in to law the Civil Rights laws.

Ironically,  it’s the heirs of this same Democrat Party that is joining the anti-American globalists in calling Americans “racists.”

This is a tactic of Cultural Marxism:  make a nation feel guilty for its past.  Even if the guilt rests on false premises.

 

 

 

I. FLAG, FOOTBALL, AND DROUGHT

October 7, 2017

Looking out my kitchen window right now, a lively, noisy scene:

f Window

Sunshine.   Cool air.     Fall flowers.   The after-effects of a little rainstorm.   The leaves are changing,  and the wind is blowing.   If you stood outside under a tree,  you’d think it was still raining because the wind blows the raindrops off the leaves and creates a second rainstorm.   Acorns plunk down on the roof and roll all the way down to the ground.

I love Fall,  not the least because it m e a n s  used to mean football.    I always dreaded February because that was the beginning of  the “long drought”  of no football.

Droughts are no fun.  But I see now that they can end;  they can be ended.   Apparently some droughts are a matter of opinion:    Several weeks ago  I left this rather damp northern climate and traveled across the (dry) prairie and the (dry)  Great Plains and the  (dry) high desert, and then to the (very dry)  High Sierras.

f bottle grass

Family and friends who live there high in the mountains have learned to drink water – all the time.   The desert and altitude suck the moisture right out of a person’s body.    Everyone on a bicycle, skateboard, walking, boating was carrying a container of water with him.  Even the children, whether at parties or swimming or playing a game of soccer – when it was their turn to do something,  they would first set their water bottle down in the grass,  go do their thing, then come right back to the water.

“Drought normal.”   I didn’t mind it, but I did have difficulty returning home, where I kept remarking in astonishment – to everyone –  how humid it is!    I could  hardly breathe in the hot and  thick, sticky air!   Needless to say,  they were experiencing “normal”  air, and even corrected me by saying, “It’s been so dry for so long . . .  we need rain . . . our lawns are turning brown.”   (Not that I could see.)

f and ross
So I was able to become philosophical about this drought thing with  football,  the “long wait”  until the next game.    I had returned home right in  the middle of the “disrespect your flag” controversy that some of the football players were perpetrating by making their knees a sign of resistance –  although resistance to what was a movable target.

Betsy Ross and the ladies who sewed our first flags together did so not only believing in the United States of America and all the things the new nation stands for,  but also knowing full well that their men, their loved ones,  might very well be dying for it.

f scott flag“The bombs bursting in air”   gave Francis Scott Key reassurance that the flag was still flying,  but you can see that flag now, in our nation’s capital,  and it’s in tatters.

The price of America is American lives.   It cost us something.   And it still will cost us something in the dread near future.

My Friday morning class was discussing “things in general” for a while,  and although they really aren’t political and they really aren’t too aware of current issues,  they do watch the entertainment-news media — and they all expressed a vague sort of fear for the near future.    That surprised me.   One lady patted her stomach and said, “It’s not very strong, but I feel in here a small sense of  doom.”

Doom?     We don’t have “doomy” discussions, usually,  but I could see it struck a chord in the others.    And, unfortunately,  now that she mentioned it,  in me.

So that’s what I meant:    “America”  cost us something.   And it still will cost us something in the dread near future.   

I used to count up the hours per week that I watched football, (yikes!)  and told myself,  oh, well, it’s such a short season . . . .       But  here’s my new equation:

NFL Players Union  +  the Global Socialist Soros-funded activism =   Not me

 

f blimp

“Not me.”       I’m out of this picture for a while.

This kind of “drought”  is all in one’s personal perception.

There is  the big annual intrastate university football game today.   Big rivalry!    I’ll watch that.  But as for the NFL games –  I’ve think I’ve gained a lot of free hours.     I love football,   but when I want to watch a game,  I don’t want to watch the Opposing Team’s politics.

Not me.

 

f off

 

I love football.  And my country.  And my flag. 

THE NINETY-0NE PERCENTER vs. NFL

September 23, 2017

(In the Autumn Desert):

In the last post it was President Trump who was the “Ninety-One Percenter,”  having been the recipient of 91% negative news and entertainment coverage in the past year or so.

football in the fall

Autumn in Washington

But I think I see a reverse percentage –  This time it appears that the People are the Ninety-One percenters,  supporting the sentiments expressed by President Trump about certain football players and the patriotically impotent officials at the NFL.

football football

I   love football!  I love the playing of the game,  the rules of the game, the fans, the noise, the field,   and even some of the players.     I love my one team!!  And I like a whole lot of others.

It began here for me,  on the playing field:

football field

Our Junior High marching band was invited to participate in half-time events – before most of us even knew what football and half-time was all about!    But there we were, in bright blue and gold uniforms,  in the chill night air with bright lights pretty much blinding us.

And then you hear the whistles and the drum beats and you see the drum majors taking off,  and you march in formations,   formations after formation,  rhythms,  trumpets blaring, feet pounding,  and because it was the year of The Bridge on the River Kwai ,   all of us,  maybe 800 combined school band members, had to take our frozen lips off of our cold instruments and start whistling  “Colonel Bogie’s March!”   Look up that amazing song!

Maybe the whistling wasn’t that great,  but we were doing it for the football team!    We were doing it for our high school!  We were doing it for our city!    We were all doing it!

And I fell in love with the whole football world right then.

For the past several years,  many posts in The Spruce Tunnel on Fall weekends were enthusiastic reports of the latest (Bears)  game.   Or the Spartans.

football fun

After the Super Bowl I knew a “long desert” of time was coming before I could watch any more football.

Except for last year.   I  became uneasy.    More  and more I saw the political Left intrude into the enjoyment of the sport.    Well-publicized rule violations;  well-publicized criminal investigations;   well-published medical investigations;   and well-publicized  anti-American antics.

football knee

Everything about football had become politicized.    It’s not that these issues didn’t exist;  football fans are generally intelligent enough to know about them – and care.  But it was the hysterical hype about each issue that demanded an end to this and an end to that, a change to this, a change to that . . .   and  (in accord with the rhetoric of the Extreme Left):  “Shame, shame, shame….”      Leftists must have their way!

In the words of these Leftists:  You’d better feel guilty and start agreeing with us.

In the words of our president,  in his best New York-ese:   “Get em otta here!!!!”

I’ll bet ninety-one percent of football fans agree!

 

 

 

NEVER GIVE UP, EH?

February 6, 2017

(I’ve got to express . . .  my football self.)

What a game!!!

patriots-logo-jpg

How did that happen?!!     (Speechless!)      Wow!     Never give up, eh?

We saw “history”  made tonight.   The  game will be talked about for a long time.

Interesting:    I heard a lot of predictions for the outcome, but no one even came close to what happened in the actual game.

CROSSING INTO THE “DESERT”

The memory of this year’s Super Bowl will linger a little longer than past Super Bowls, but it will soon blend into the long, long desert of . . .  no   football.

desert

Six months?  Six and a half  months?  It’s going to be a long trek again through that desert.

All we can have are memories and dreams and . . .

desert-to-football

 

. . . . hope for the next Season.

bears

GO BEARS!

THE END.

November 20, 2016

I’m beginning to like my fuzzy moon pictures.   They have an interesting . . .  charm.

moon-lines

“Moon lines.”  Looks like a black and white Jupiter on edge.

I’ve got some “end of the year” resolutions to take care of soon.    I’ve got to accept my good friend’s offer to teach me something about photography.  Then I have to install my new editing software so I can do useful things with the photos.

I’ve got to get serious about  getting my summer and fall clothes packed away and my winter clothes out and ready —  and sewn!

sewing

I need a couple new vests.  Here’s fuzzy black velvety one almost made.  I had to create the yellow tissue paper pattern so the vest will come out with the right shape and length.   The sewing up will go fast but I need to bring  this  winter wardrobe issue  to an end.

I need to do the end-of-the-year holiday planning,  company,  decorating,  parties.

Lots of things are coming to an end now.   Autumn chores.   NASCAR.  Football season.

You can learn a lot about life from football –

end-at-the-end-zone

After all,  the whole game is a series of drives and the goal is getting to the  “end”  zone.     (The Bears made it this time!!)

And today we arrived at another end,  the end of the Liturgical Year:

lit-yr

We’ve come full circle, and have finished up the green patch at about 11:00, or 11:30.   11:59, actually.      Next Sunday we will be in the blue.

It’s an orderly way of keeping track of time,  which at the same time instructs us in keeping track of  our journey  throughout the year, with Our Savior,   as the major events of our Faith unfold,  one after the other.

It’s like a circular timeline.     And when we reach the end of the year,   the 11:59, so to speak,  it’s appropriate to think more on   those all-important “Four Last Things”  which we all will confront, at the “end”  of our time on earth.

I’m sure you’ve thought of them throughout the year,  perhaps without even realizing that these are “end time considerations” that are common to all.    The Four Last Things are:  Death.    Judgment.     Heaven.     Hell.

Obviously,  we’ll be intimately caught up in only three of those Four Last Things.

We all have common experiences with these things.

Death.    Perhaps you’ve known someone who has died this past year.  Or almost.    Or perhaps you had a close brush with death.    What might have, could have happened, if you didn’t get lucky.

Judgment.    Those twinges of guilt,  self-judgment,  an “oops, I shouldn’t have done that.”       All fundamentally pointing to the existential certainty that we will experience our last and final judgment.   Perhaps you think it will be a glorified self-judgment.   But,  nevertheless,  the judgment will result in . . .

Hell.     Perhaps.    You probably heard Hell referenced at least a few times during this past year without really thinking about it.  Someone nearby curses:  “Oh,  Hell!”    “Damn!”    It’s a curse word because . . .  well,  it’s a curse that is a reality.    It’s just that we don’t often “think about it.”   Why is the entire human race so “fallen”?    So damned?

Heaven.    A hoped-for glorious End,  but one which we’re entirely incapable of producing by ourselves.

Incapable:     Remember the miners in South America who were trapped by a massive cave-in?   All escape routes solidly blocked.   They had little water,  very little food,  no electricity, no light. 33 men trapped deep below ground.  And they were incapable of getting out of there.

They had no way of knowing that a multi-national effort was underway to attempt to reach them.   

But weeks went by.  Weeks with not enough provisions, not much oxygen.  

How do you think they passed that time, knowing they could not help themselves out of that deepest, darkest pit?

69 days later!   It took 69 days to reach them,  and miraculously  all the men were still alive.

Help had come from Above, by means of which the miners did not have,  by efforts that the miners were incapable of accomplishing.     Can you imagine how beautiful the sunlight must have seemed to them?      And they saw the Light and lived again!

The Fourth Last Thing:    Heaven.     Available for us,  by means of the Cross reaching down to us and reaching out wide to all mankind.

Advent,  next Sunday,  begins that process.

SEPTEMBER! REWARDS!

September 3, 2016

 

SEPTEMBER !!!!!

bar blue flowers

 

September !    September is a reward for being alive!!!     (Around this household.)

We made it through the worst of summer!    The annoying heat and humidity is lifting,  promising the cool, crisp air soon to come;  the skies are blue,  the stars in the night are easily visible again now that the veil of humidity  is thinning.  Some of us become more active in this clean, cooler air!

Here in the Far North we begin once again to share our little city with 40,000 “foreigners” – students from every part of this country and others.    Once you’re resigned to the influx of students,  you can accept their  arrival  and all that it brings.   Their attempts to navigate our traffic patterns, lanes, and signals and  their passing from the far right lanes diagonally across traffic to make a suddenly necessary left-hand turn.

driver bang

As long as you’re not in their pathway,   you can just smile fondly at the newcomers.       “Here they are again.”

You remember that you must suddenly share stores and restaurants with 40,000 more people,  many of which cannot speak English.    It’s kind of interesting to hear a small, polite, and rather timid voice coming from somewhere beneath shoulder level, asking you to reach something from a top shelf,  or to find some item on their list – which seems to mystify them anyway.   And the request mystifies you too,  because they may or may not be speaking English.

love worldGood way to enjoy  nonverbal communication skills!    And to enfold your arms (metaphorically speaking)   around people from all over the world.     As small kids in Sunday School we belted out the song:   “Jeeee-sus LUVS the litt- ttell chilll-dren!  All the children of the wuuuurld.    Red-and-yellow-black-and-white- they-are-precious-in-His-sight.   Jeeee-sus luvs the litt-ttell  children of the wurld!!!!!”

A song like that doesn’t ever leave you!!   Neither does its Christian teaching.

So:  new weather patterns. more easily endured;  new students arriving;   and, of course –  Football!       I’ve seen our Spartans back-to-back with da Bears — what a glorious weekend on television!       A new season with the promise of many more games to come.

I was sure that I’ve written here before about all the new things that September brings,  all the new beginnings.   I searched all the September archives and didn’t find what I was looking for,  but here are some of the things I remember being glad for.

It’s a whole new year!

Anyone who has ever gone to school feels the newness of a whole new school year coming up.    We advance one new higher grade in school.    In the university we advance one year closer to our professional goal.

In our careers Labor Day weekend is our last summer fling and we know we have to return to the seriousness of everyday issues,  hoping to create a better routine, a chance for more success.   For Hubbie and me who were teachers,    our professional careers wouldn’t let us forget that  “this is another brand-new year.”       There is an eagerness and a thrill upon seeing your new students in September.    (No mistakes yet!  No frustrations yet!   It’s good.    I’m good.  Everyone’s good!)

As a matter of fact,  although current  contemporary times tell us that the new year begins in January,  “September”  reminds us that other civilizations begin their year at other times:  the Romans, for instance began their year in March, giving the seventh month its name:  Sept-ember.

poms  And in the Jewish calendar  THIS month,  September,  contains the beginning of a whole new year before God,  Rosh Hashanah.      Of course,  they begin it a little more seriously than we begin our new calendar year seven days of solemn soul-searching,  forgiveness, and restitution where possible.   A whole new year’s worth of time is, after all,  a gift from God.     And then they’re ready!

I have plans for my own personal new year too.  I’m a little shy about telling them to you,  but I can just say that it involves increasing my intellectual and artistic skills.    Some very serious self-discipline involved here.   But it IS    “my new year.”   My birthday is sometime this month.

Morning Glory

September’s Morning Glory

I enter a whole new decade of uncharted territory with this birthday.       “I’ve never been this old before!!!!”

But someone reminded me that right now today I’m still as young as I’m ever going to be. (I hope that helps)      And I can say that on  each day of my life, as long as God gives me heartbeats for my body to use.

I teach a few classes, as you may know if you’ve been to the Spruce Tunnel before.   A long time ago someone asked me to do a class on aging.   Aging, I guess, according to God’s plan.    At the time, I felt I didn’t have enough experience to do a good job of it.

Hmmmm.    I’m going to have to start paying attention to my life now.    I’m beginning to feel “experienced.”

Stay tuned.     There are a lot of other wonderful things in September!

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALLIGATOR SEASON

August 23, 2016

It’s that time of the year!!!

Football

Football season!!   I know it’s pre-season,  but it’s not “just” pre-season;  it’s “you get to watch your favorite team many  times and see who all the second and third string players are and who can be a back-up for your favorite players”  season!

You really get a chance to see players on your team who you’ll probably seldom even hear of again – if you’re lucky,  because if you don’t hear much  about these “new” players,  it means your first string is all right.

Besides.   No pressure.   No season rankings.  Just plain, pure football playing.

So,  time for football to begin!!   And time to take out the knitting needles again!

ALLIGATOR 400 Football

Five-year-olds love alligators.

Last year Grandson Cooper got a bear in the woods with big pine trees,  just like where he lives in the High Sierras:

SAMSUNG

But this time he knows he’s going to get that alligator — and he’s excited,  so I have to deliver.

I know,  the world seems to be in such serious trouble,  about to “break” – so how could we be thinking of football?

I could get all philosophical about the importance of recreation . . .   The saints caution us against too much frivolity.  But they also warn us against too much seriousness and tell us that a little fun and recreation spice up our lives and keep us from getting all tied up in knots.

The story goes that there was a young monk who was playing some sort of ball game, and a man looked on with surprise at the young man’s obvious involvement in the fun.  “You’re a monk!   What if you knew Jesus should come to take your soul right now and find you playing games?!”

The young monk replied, “If I knew that,  I would continue on playing because this is the hour designated for my recreation – and Jesus would find me doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing.”

There are many variations on that story,  but it shows us an important point.   Do what you are supposed to be doing, right now,  in the manner in which it should be done,  for as long as it should be done, before you go on to the next thing that you should be doing, according to your station in life.

Just focus on your duty.  That ought to eliminate a lot of stress in life.

Meanwhile,  I’ll worry about not dropping stitches and getting the pattern just right – and I’ll worry about not dropping passes and working through those patterns . . .

Oh, well.

My team is, of course,  the

bears

 

 

 

 

 

AT THE ENDING OF A YEAR

January 1, 2016

You know,  a lot of things don’t end at the end of the year.   No serious issues in the world got “fixed”;  none of them ended.     No use to write about those.   We’ll see the same things again.

But closer to home, there were a few “endings.”  Holiday visits ended and the “last day” arrived:

Last chance to play with the new drone:

SAMSUNG

Uh, the bright green thing floating in the air.

Last hours in Grandma’s state, ending at the airport.  He’s California-bound:

SAMSUNG

Last happy moments with “uncle” –

SAMSUNG

The airport walk puts a final end to the visit:

SAMSUNG

Last glimpse of our little family,  Daughter in red amidst the Green of the Marching Band :

SAMSUNG

Our  Marching Band,  heading to the Cotton Bowl.

SAMSUNG

So . . .it’s the end of this year’s football season too.

Kind of wish we had seen more of this:

NYE didn't get there much

38 – 0

Sheeesh.

sad football   Kind of wish we had played while we were out there on the field.  It wasn’t that Alabama was so good  (ahem);    it’s just that we were so . . . not good.     Season’s ended.    Good.

But the game gave us an opportunity for a little New Year’s Eve party.

SAMSUNG

(Sorry for the blur, guys — just preserving a bit of your privacy.  )

It was fun being with friends as the year ended.  We watched the painful ending  of our football season together,   along with the ending of the year,  and the ending of any attempts at dieting for a while.   That’s what parties are for ??  !!

And then the little party ended, and all I have is the aftermath at the end of the night:

SAMSUNG

Not much food left, pizzas are gone,  glasses are empty, “Sparty”  blanket is empty and alone, and the fireplace is on its last log.

The Old Year is Ending:

old year new year

Time to let go and get on with a whole New Year!

And I’d better stop writing now and bring in the extra drinks that were cooling on the back deck;  our “warm spell” is ending too and winter weather has finally arrived.

Banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THAT’S NOT NOTHING

December 6, 2015

It’s the Post-Thanksgiving Football Season now.        I’m not a “man”  and this  is not my “cave,”  but I live alone, so I CAN put a turkey in front of me . . .  in front of the TV.

SAMSUNG

I began the season enthusiastically with football on my TV and knitting needles firmly in hand . . .

SAMSUNG

. . .   and now  I’m coming near the end of the season – with football on my TV and knitting still in hand.

A couple of you have asked how my projects are coming.  Here they are:

SAMSUNG

I’ve just about finished Cooper’s bear sweater – just the sewing together.   And I’ve started on a pretty  sweater for me.   Not pink.  It’s “Iced Orchid.”     Very pretty and soft.

Well.  And one more  –

SAMSUNG

I did the green vest too.  Almost finished, just a few more stitches.   (Might take those buttons off and put different ones on.)

Uh —  I suppose this indicates I’ve spent a lot of hours watching football!

My great-grandmother would not approve of sitting in front of a television set, watching football games — and “doing nothing.”     (That’s her in the right-hand column somewhere;  Hilda Larsen.  Farm wife.  Hard worker.)

My grandma would not approve of me sitting in front of a television set, watching football games — doing nothing.   She was always busy and occupied.

My dad would not approve of me sitting in front of a television set, watching football games — doing nothing.    He had  very high standards for behavior and productivity.

So I knit.   That’s not nothing.   And I generally do housework during half times.  I clean things when the teams are taking a break.    Because I’m “driven.”       Hard work;  keeping busy;  be useful and productive.

I let my Friday class “loose” in their discussion last week.    I joined in, and the Advent discussion about Christ’s first coming meandered off into His second coming and what conditions will be like when He does come back.   These are Advent themes;  we were being “productive.”

And we discovered how lucky we have been.

We concluded that we have no experience with how bad things will be getting, soon perhaps,  and we were all struck with the realization of how very sheltered we’ve been in these last seventy years of upward material prosperity and relative peace — relative peace, because none of us have ever experienced war on our soil.  We don’t know what it’s like to be invaded by a foreign army.   We don’t even know domestic civil war.

We’re grateful for this.    I’m personally grateful because these many decades of relative peace and relative prosperity have given me time to learn; to reflect; to feel gratitude;  to prepare;  to discover what is serious about life; maybe to grow stronger in faith and character so that when things change for the worst,  I will not be surprised, but I will be ready to do my part and to be useful to others;  and to meet Christ, my Maker,  if the coming Bad Times result in my death.

So that’s why I watch football –  to take pleasure in some small things of this world and to show gratitude for leisure time,  while we have it.   And that’s why I knit and clean during the games – to show that there is always work to do that each one of us owes.

It’s not my great-grandmother;  not my grandma;  not my dad.   It’s   Jesus, my Lord and Savior, who said:

I must work the work of Him that sent me, while it is day the night is coming when no man can work.   (John 9:4)

So,  work!    Don’t do “nothing”!

“Work for the night is coming. . . ”     Oh, dear.   And that’s the first line of a wonderful old hymn.

piano happy

And now I want to go waste time at the piano!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(ABSURD) FOOTBALL INJURY

November 15, 2015

No photos today.  Can’t quite manage that.

I’m suffering from an injury which is  a little more severe and bothersome than I expected, and life has narrowed to a strong pain in my foot and whatever perimeter I can gain around a pair of crutches.   “Yardage,”  so to speak.

It happened during a football game.    Oh, yes, we won, great, thanks guys.     But somewhere in the third quarter an enormous pain sprang up from my right foot, right on the outer edge.   I had been sitting down,  but leaning forward because I was also knitting (during commercial breaks)  and I must have had weight on my right foot — all that time.   Like an hour or so, without moving.

The pain actually increased over the next few hours and it was clear I couldn’t bear any weight on that foot.   Saturday activity had come to a screeching halt.   No more errands;  No finishing up the Saturday housecleaning . . .  No yardwork on this beautiful sunny Fall day . . .   No  nothing.

After a few hours that side of my foot swelled up and turned red near my little toe.    A distressed phone call to Son,   and a few aspirin and a magnesium footbath later,  I  thought of . . .  what?     a slow motion break?    a slow stretching of the tendons on that side of the foot?  a dislocation of the toe joint?    Or am I developing some deep inner infection and I”m going to have to have my foot cut off like my Grandma did and like my Dad did and now it’s my turn?

Once I recognized the hyperbole,  I got myself into bed,  turned on my favorite radio stations,  clutched my Holding Cross,  said my prayers…  and woke up many, many hours later …   with the pain not quite so acute, just as Son said would happen.

Now, today, Sunday,  I am facing two more football games. 

And I have only one more foot to give.

King david

As King David said long ago in his Psalms:           I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: wonderful are thy works, and my soul knoweth right well.    (Psalms 188:14)

And I don’t understand anything about how I’m made or what happens to me.

Bears flag

GO BEARS!