Archive for the ‘Holiday’ category

PRIVATE PROPERTY PROTECTIONS

May 28, 2018

mem honor

I hope this posting will make you happy — really  happy and grateful for what you might have in your life.      I mean,  Home Sweet Home, right?

I got this photo today    (which I took as an invitation – ha ha! )   —

Picnic Donner Lake 300x400

Never mind that the invitation comes from about 2,000 miles away.    Daughter lives there:  on the shore of Donner Lake,  High Sierra   (as in:  Donner Pass which closes regularly during the winter snows.)    Their property is ideal for summer picnics and parties,  so they get to be the hosts for all their friends for summer fun.

Hold on to that for a moment.

Then,  I was driving home one day and saw this beautiful contrast in Green:

GREEN CON TRAST 380

(I know, I know;   some of my friends think I shouldn’t be taking pictures as I drive.)   It’s been a very nice Spring around here this year.  Lots of Green!

GREEN LAWN400

So I got home to my front yard.      Everything in a kind of monochrome bright green.  Leaves,  bushes,  grass,  all the same shade of Spring Green.

Back yard,  same thing:

DECK m id May right 380

Never in a million years would I,  a “poor”  kid growing up in Chicago,  ever dream that I’d own property like this.    Daughter has done well too.  Son has done well too.    All our neighbors have done pretty well too.

Whether it’s out West in California or here in the Far North,   we and most of the people I know Own Property.

I humbly thank God for this property.

I proudly thank our soldiers for  making it possible to hang on to our property,  defending our country and our Constitutional freedoms – with their lives.

Here’s the Memorial Day thought:     We have the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.     Which part of that does it take to actually own some property?

To own some property, no matter where it is and no matter what it looks like and no matter how big it is?   What does it take?

You can teach your children or young friends this:    It takes  the Freedom to look at some property that you’d like to have,  dream about it,   and then do what the people who live on property like that had to do in order to become owners.

They had to go to school and do good in school and then get trained to get a job that pays steady, living wages with a little bit more for savings.  ( I know some men who did not get married until they had saved enough to buy some property,  and a house,    for themselves and their future wives.)

studying

If you have your mind set on a bigger, more beautiful house and land,  then you do what those kind of people did to get into a bigger, more beautiful house.    Usually that takes (1)  starting your own business)  and/or  (2)  going to some college for  a degree in some job that pays well . . . or very, very well.

And it usually takes  (3)  time and making small steps.  Hubbie and I didn’t’ start out in this house.

Another thing is to NOT do the things the people with nice property didn’t do either.   Like partying every weekend;  like not saving money  religiously, as they say.     Like spending lots of money on entertainment.    Like doing illegal or immoral things that sidetrack you with “complications.”       Like always choosing the easier route.

Contrary to what you see in the entertainment-news media.  Americans  ALL have the Freedom to choose their lifestyle as well as to choose what kind of property they’d like to earn.     Freedom to Pursue Happiness.

Thank you and God Bless all our men in uniform who keeps this possibility going.

Flag don't tread

 

 

 

Advertisements

ROLLING ON FOR FREEDOM

May 27, 2018

deus et patria

_____________________________________________________________________________

On my way home from  church this morning,  I was traveling through a couple towns behind a great and magnificent Harley.    It was a beauty.     Then I remembered –  It’s Memorial Day Weekend!!  That means  Rolling Thunder!!

So here’s just a peek into how many others are celebrating our Freedoms, purchased by the death of so many of our young men during wars.

rolling eagle

Every year on this weekend hundreds of thousands of motorcyclists ride to Washington DC to call attention – and honor – to all those who are Missing In Action;  presumed dead and dead.

They are Rolling Thunder –

roll 2

They come from all over our country, some of them leaving home a week ago to make it in time for this weekend.     (You may have noticed a slightly greater number of motorcycles on the road in your city streets this past week.)

Men, women, and children – and babies! –  meet together in Washington DC —

rolloing

I remember reading,  many years ago,  how strong and peaceful  this group is, and some news magazine praised them for leaving behind no crime incidents and hardly any sign that they were there, by way of trash or broken anything.

(Compare to the Leftist-organized “protest”  demonstrations,  promoted and paid for by Globalists,  Global-Socialists,  and any other Anti-America me-too group,  where people and property are injured and the clean-up lasts for days.)

Literally  millions of people are involved as Rolling Thunder members or as admiring spectators.

roll many

Well, I just wanted to call your  attention to this event.    There was a time when my younger self didn’t’ even know about this.

It used to be that PBS stations broadcasted the event live each year.   Perhaps they did again this year.      Here’s a link to the schedule of events of these four days,  Friday through  Monday:

https: // www. rolling thunder run.com/2018-run-info/_

                                                                    (remove spaces)

There are full, busy days of rallies, speeches,  music,  picnics, and a running event.

This is American Patriotism in Action!

Hope you can take a peek.  See some video footage.    Celebrate our Freedoms and the men who fought and died for them.

Have a picnic!

Watch some of the Top War Movies this weekend!   (Or watch some again.)

Saving Private Ryan

Tora!  Tora!  Tora!

American Sniper

Sergeant York

Band of Brothers

The Longest Day

The Patriot

Bridge Over the River Kwai

The Great Escape

Schindler’s List

Each one of these is a winner.   Thanks to Breitbart news for reminding us.

 

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

May 26, 2018

 

mem honor

The Freedom we enjoy today didn”t come cheap.   Memorial Day,  May 31st,   Memorial Day weekend now;  we honor those who gave their lives to keep us free – in past wars, especially the big world wars when invasion by an enemy was quite possible.

I’m honoring the good things about America   to honor what those men died for.  We all owe them that much.

FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY

It’s in the Bill of Rights,  something that is unique about America.  We can meet with people of our own choosing  without reporting to authorities.      We can be with friends and groups of friends in private,  without fear of being surveiled.   (That’s a freedom we’ve got to hang on to with all our attention.)

How do you exercise your freedom of assembly?     I was in a book club for a long time,  sort of like this:

book club

No one asked us for a list of names who were meeting together like that,  discussing any book we wanted to discuss.    We were not registered with the local authorities.   We all were FREE to meet together!

I also chose to be in a community orchestra for a long time.  I think this is ours as it looks now:

orchestra.jpg

I played flute and  I was the orchestra treasurer.  Everything honest, legal, above board, and quite interesting.         I never had to make reports to any authority.

That’s Freedom of Assembly with whomever  you want and for any purpose.    It’s in our American Constitution –  what our  dead war heroes swore to protect with their lives.

I  “assemble”  with my Recorder friend too,  every other week:
RECORDER

Now that it’s summer,  my friend and I can play outside,  in her gazebo.   The view from inside that outdoor room is wonderful!

Gazebo big outside 380

It’s like  making beautiful music in a park!       Our Constitution gives us a right to Private Property too, and I appreciate that too this weekend.

Gazeborecorder 380

Recorder practice and a nice dessert table.

 

gazebo walking down into 380

Going down the steps into the gazebo

 

We are free in this country – still – to build little out-buildings,  barns,  and . . .  gazebos, too,   on our own property.

My friend has a garden, designed any way she pleases.    This time of the year,  the specialty is rhubarb!

gazebo cake 380

Rhubarb Pudding Cake –  with whipped cream.     She do set a good table!

I’m going to travel soon,  to Florida,  to the Far Far North,  to California,  and back to Florida,  or some such order.

Because of our freedoms,  I can cross state line after state line and never have to show my identification papers.    (So far.)

I guess what I’m sayng is there’s not any activity that we all can choose to do that doesn’t honor our soldiers and sailors,  honor the freedoms they fought and died for.    Make your own list.  Do your own things!

Honor our young men in uniform.  Dead now.

memor day

Land of the Free because of  The Brave!

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS MEMORIAL DAY APPROACHES

May 25, 2018

 

(a little rant before the weekend begins)

grandpa's tombst blurred

I always get “twitchy” around Memorial Day   – so many men gave their lives for . . .  for us    . . .  but for what, now?   

As you can tell by my Grandpa’s headstone up there,  he did not die in a war,  he was a veteran,  and Veterans Day is for honoring all the veterans.   But,  in my own small family,  I don’t think there is any man that died in an American war.   It’s just that I knew my Grandpa,  and I know how much he risked by joining the Navy during WWI –  sailing around France, in danger from German submarines.

But Memorial Day is to honor all those who died in one of our wars.     They had much to risk – and then they died after taking that risk.

mem honor

Hubbie’s family, on the other hand,  did have two young men in the prime of their lives die,  fighting for our country.

Anyone see Hacksaw Ridge?    For me it was the best movie presentation of actual conditions of fighting.  (At least in those kind of wars.)    If you haven’t seen the movie yet, please do.  And if you are one of those who say,  “I can’t stand to see all that violence.”  I don’t want to watch all that violence and death . . .”  —   personally I think you should just excuse yourself from Memorial Day too.

Memorial Day is for the death and violence of war.  Remember the young man,  Dawson Doss,  whose life was depicted in Hacksaw Ridge?        Remember his life before the war? Remember where he came from?     From a beautiful rural area,  green mountains,  fresh air,  American traditions,  family,  and a brother, close in age to him.

wwii frirnds

Here’s a photograph of a similar young man back then,  with his best friend.   Ordinary, young American boys –  risking it all in a time of war.

One of the young men,  Hubbie’s uncle, the tall one,  didn’t make it back from World War Two.

Here’s the sweetheart he left behind (from an album page):

wwii blurred

They were supposed to be married.  Instead, all that came home was his “body.”   He was blown up by a kamikazi pilot . . .   Then, a few years later,   his brother was pinned down with his unit in a river in  Korea –  and nearly all of them died there.

All those of our men who gave their lives in war were loved ones in their families.   They’re all missed, still talked about,  remembered,  honored – as best we can.

I wish we could honor them by preserving, by means other than war,   the country that they died for in order to preserve.

_____________________________________________________________

It’s so dishonorable to participate in criminal activity,  dishonesty in public affairs,  cheating,  lying – tearing down this country by drug use,  gang activity and being soft on gang activity  –  that’s not America –   and by allowing foreign citizens to march into our nation in uncountable numbers demanding that our taxpayers take care of them or demanding that our laws be changed or that their religion be taught in our schools  (oh, yes, that’s happening all around our country);   and then it’s so dishonorable to tear down the moral fabric of our society, by engaging in the immoral behavior that our soldiers never meant to uphold. . .  by dissolving the sanctity of the family (man-woman-children),  and by killing so many of  our little babies.

Okay,  you could make up your own list of things our men did not intend to die for in the wars that took their lives.

_________________________________________________________________

 (So I get a little “twitchy”  when I think of these things.   Irritated.     A little prickly when discussions of  how bad wars are – of course they’re bad –  or of how many wars  are fought for illegal reasons benefiting only “the rich.”

I get a little irritated with those who want to avoid facing the thought of the  violence and death that our   men faced in war.  (Put some feathers over your face or something;  our men really had to die for what we enjoy today.)

And for goodness’ sakes!  Let’s make sure the Lawless and Wicked politicians in  high places get prosecuted!!!    Let’s be outraged that those under investigation  are “slow-walking”  their compliance, so that maybe their friends will get elected in November, and then maybe they will never be prosecuted!

This is not honoring all those who died for America.

Well, so, the rest of this weekend,   I’ll honor these men in my heart, as best I can;  I’ll pray for their souls,  which is a good thing to do;  and I’ll just count off in The Spruce Tunnel here  some of the things I can enjoy in my own little surroundings —  because these men died for us all.  

.

(recipe) ABOUT THAT LAMB

April 3, 2018

 

(Do not hesitate to try something new!)

We were coming  out of   church  after Easter Sunday Mass, greeting each other, hugging, talking about Easter dinner coming up . . .  and so I asked a few friends  “Any advice for roasting a big leg of lamb?”    

I had bought a pretty big one!    I’m not sure my friends believed me when I indicated how big,  but it didn’t matter –  no one had ever done a leg of lamb before anyway.   (I did get lots of advice about buying a smaller one next time.)

dinner

But I had a leg of lamb at home that cost about as much as a whole month’s worth of meat;  and I had Son waiting to share an Easter dinner.    (Just kidding about the big dinner in that photo.)

So . . .  here it is:

Lamb 3

That’s my biggest dinner plate next to the leg from a lamb giant.

The directions were to “rub all over” with a mixture of herbs.  I used lemon pepper,  garlic,  rosemary,  thyme, and Herbes de Provence, which I suppose is a bit redundant,  but I like the fragrance of it.   And some Himalayan salt.

Lamb 4 in oven

My turkey roasting pan was scarcely big enough.  I stood it on edge so it might roast more evenly.  It looked a little like a giant salmon.

Lamb 5 eating

Roast at 400+  for about 30 minutes,  then turn the heat down to about 330 – 350  degrees,  and then roast for another couple of hours.    You don’t have to be too specific, especially if you use a meat thermometer to check for the 130 degrees interior temperature which will give you medium rare — pink roast lamb meat.

(My thermometer never got past 110, so Son and I decided it was broken.   Took the lamb out of the oven in the nick of time —  it was almost still medium rare.   Don’t ever overcook lamb!    It’s edible,  but just not at the peak of its flavor.)

I used another large roasting pan for its platter.

From not knowing how to roast this leg and not knowing what exactly I was doing as it was roasting,   it turned out all right.      It turned out really, really good!    Mashed  potatoes,  lamb gravy,   sweet potatoes,  corn,   fresh tomato slices . . .  I forgot what else;   tiramisu layered cake for dessert. . .   Coffee.     And a ginger ale float!

And the next day —

Lamb 6 leftovers

LEFTOVERS!

What was left of it made a kind of oversized   meat treat, with a convenient bone handle.  (No vegetables need apply.)

I will certainly NOT wait until next Easter for another leg of lamb!

.

EASTER DAZE

April 2, 2018

To  internalize and personalize

Poetry first.   Blake,  my favorite:

Little Lamb published

I’ll put the words down below.   It’s the perfect Easter thought.      But it’s poetry.  Not – zip zip – Twitter.  Not  – zip zip and away –  Instagram.   It’s for a human mind.

Slowing Down

The Church doesn’t rush you (us).       When something big is commemorated on the Calendar ,  there is often an Octave of Days that follows  to take it all in.

And so it is with Easter.  There is an Easter octave that follows, culminating with “Whit Sunday”  or  maybe now just called the “Octave of Easter”;  and during this time there are things we can think about,  meditating,  allowing the meaning of Easter to sink in more deeply,  so that we don’t have just a shallow experience with Easter  —  here comes the holiday,  there it goes.

That’s why these Easter Days can be an Easter Daze.

Dazed.    Physically or mentally.

brick   I was  “dazed”   once.  I was a little girl in the city, playing with some construction bricks in the mud and sticks.  Along came some “big boys”  who saw me, picked up a brick, and threw it at me.   It hit me right smack in the forehead.

Nothing personal.  I knew it.   But my Dad came roaring out of our home after those boys.  Of course he didn’t catch them.    Big boys in the city know how to get away.

I sported the proverbial “goose egg”  on my head for a while,  I don’t remember how long,  but I do remember that first day. It was the very definition of “being dazed.”     I smile now because that sense of being dazed is firm in my memory and it gives me a pretty accurate glimpse of what life was like when I was about six years old. –  better than a photograph.

As I grew older,  older,  really old!,   I came to understand that a person can be mentally or emotionally dazed by something he has just heard or seen,  something that has affected him deep down where his fears and beliefs are.

Perhaps you have had a “blow”  like that.   Some news or information has hit you like a “ton of bricks.”       You’re in a daze for a while.

And like the one brick that hit my head,  it doesn’t have to  stay bad, especially if, while you are dazed,  you can learn something.

If you give yourself the time.    Maybe an “octave”   to think about it.

We  —  now, not one person,  but the human race as a whole –  We’ve just had the “very bad” experience of Holy Week,  all those events that led up to the Crucifixion, one day at a time,  carefully following and fulfilling the entire Passover actions:

lamb perfect

The perfect little lamb came into Jerusalem and  was chosen by the people (Palm Sunday), and then on Monday and Tuesday it became familiar to the people,  and then it was examined by expert – and found to be perfect, without blemish, without fault.

And on “Spy Wednesday” it was rejected and plans for its death were put into place:

30 pieces

Judas,  the “spy.”

The Perfect Lamb knew it wasn’t going to live much longer.   The Lamb made provisions for its future ongoing presence in the world . . .

last supper

And then, as we know,  that what the Lamb came for – it happened:

Lamb on the Cross

Mean anything?   Or is this just an Instagram photo?  Life resumes . . . . after the Easter dinner and candy.

Or are you  in on  the Meaning?  the  Effect?   The death that split time into  B.C.  and A.D.      Split the Old Covenant from the New Covenant,  the Old Testament from the New.

The Church thinks we all need these Easter Days – at the very least! – to internalize and to personalize what just happened.

Go slow.  Go thoughtfully.   Go new, like a child.   Here’s William Blake,  to help –

 

The Lamb
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little lamb, I’ll tell thee;
Little lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb.
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little lamb, God bless thee!
Little lamb, God bless thee!

 

 

For all friends of the Victorious Lamb:

lamb victorious

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS DAYS

December 28, 2017

We participated in our country’s Christmas snowstorms.    Enjoy a little snowy drive with  me.

It’s enough to give weather forecasting a bad name:

1 temp pic

See that weather forecast for  O   in.  of precipitation?    As in no inches for Christmas Day.    Well,  this is what it was doing outside:

1 backyard storm

About 7 inches, Christmas Day.  Not as much as what some of you had, I know.

It was beautiful, but I had to drive out  to Christmas Mass in all that snow.   Snow  plows on vacation, I think.

2.2 snowy branches

Other cars had gone before me and cleared some tracks.  Honestly,  it was a pretty day.

6 white out

Roads got better in the city, but it was harder to see.

Here’s the skyline of our little city with the big capitol building right straight up ahead:

6.8 Skyline up

Our clock tower:

CLOCK

I was going to make it in time,   to a snowy, misty church building —

5.5 church arrived

Again,  really lovely in the snowfall.

Sleepy as I was that early in the morning and challenging as the drive was,  I’m glad I made the effort.    It always feels better after being present for a Mass,  feels brighter and stronger inside me;    and then,  even the sky changed on my way home.

5 Sunburst

The sky had turned an “innocent blue”   in just about an hour.

5.5 Innocent blue sky

On my way into the city, I could hardly see the beautiful  campus I drive through,  but now the buildings could be seen clearly.

7 sunny campus buildings

I always enjoy their classic beauty.   This   is just one  little peek.     It’s a large Big Ten campus.   There’s a very nice “other” church in the  campus area:

8 sunny campus church

It’s one of those friendly, all-purpose churches where there’s nothing too much to believe in, you just have to be nice, be friendly to everyone.  I think it’s called an “open”  church.  I’ve been inside when one of my children had a concert in there.  It’s really, really pretty, all stone, even around the large wrap-around second-story choir lofts.     Stone walls, stone floors.     Dark wood benches, if I remember correctly.     Like the inside of a castle . . . .

Arriving home, the clouds returned,  but everything was nice and frosted in my neighborhood  –

4 frosted christmnas trees

Ready to have my little California family start their Christmas Day.

Later on those California people and Son traveled all the way off to festivities in Detroit on a day of plunging temperatures.    Here are Detroiters, bundled up in  -9 degrees:

Fireworks 380

That’s  minus 9.   Bundled up !  and watching fireworks.

Daughter’s face;  playing around — outdoors:

Dauighter Too 260

They all had brought their ice skates but there was too many other things to do in the city.

Cities can be so glamorous during Christmas holiday season.

Cold too, so they had “warming centers”  which were actually pretty nice.    Here are the three big guys of my little family at an activity center in the “warming tent”:

Detroit Market 260

Weather was a big player in our Christmas celebrations.

 

bars xmas boughs and bells

 

One big holiday recommendation:   Forget what all the critics are saying about the new Star Wars movie, positive or negative.  Just go see   Star Wars: The Last Jedi – and preferably in 3D!    Enjoy the fun!

‘Tis the Season for merriment!!!!!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVENT’S STATE OF THE WORLD – MUSIC

December 6, 2017

notes

Part of preparation for Advent is, of course,  cleaning up!  Getting rid of the old trash –   physical, spiritual, or digital.

I’ve got to get rid of all these half-written posts with their attendant numerous open Browsers and Tabs.     My computer is a mess!

So.    Music first.   Music and Unmusic.   

  Here are the Vienna Choirboys:

vienna on stage

A couple dozen of the most pure and sweet and musically accurate voices you will ever hear.      Yes:   “angelic.”

This was Son’s birthday present to me –  tickets to see the Vienna choirboys when they came to our area –  and he came with me!   Here’s what we saw:

vienna front stage

The boys are approximately age 8 to 12 years old.    They were talented and well-trained, and their  choirmaster was at the piano leading them in a variety of music, from classical to Christmas.

The “sound”  was melodious, harmonic,  pleasant,  engaging, and –  real.    Somewhere in all my files I have kept a scientific article describing the effect that live music has on a person, as opposed to recorded-and-replayed music, whether it be on  vinyl, on cassette,  or digital, some kind of MP3.

There are specific and beneficial changes to a person’s physiology that occur with live music that does not happen with recorded music, although there is enough benefit in good music to make it worth hearing, when you cannot hear or produce live music by yourself.

So-called “modern” music does not count.   The anti-rhythmic, inharmonious,  discordant, constant off-keyed, repetitious  cacophony that passes as  modern “music”  does not have the same beneficial physiological effect.  Indeed,  in the long run  it does harm to one’s spirit.

In pursuit of more good music,  I turned to YouTube and was delighted to discover two young pianists  – boys, really –  who were new to me.      First:

PIANO Michael Andreas Haringer

His hands!      His hands go blurry in the camera;  they are that fast!    Note his name:  Michael Andreas Häringer, shown here when he was 10 years old.   I watched him play Beethoven’s  Appassionata (Piano Concerto # 23)   when he was 8 years old.     He had a teddy bear set on the lower keys as he played.

All I could say is “Now I believe that there was a real Mozart, boy composer.   It can happen.”

Then I discovered Lucas Jussen, concert pianist.  he has a different technique, using the style of holding his fingers high off the keys, yet they are just as fast and brilliant.

lucas jussen

15 years old.   Piano prodigy.     He has a brother:

lucas and arthur

Lucas and Arthur.

Now my Preparation for Advent includes music,   practicing Christmas songs on recorder and piano and guitar.   Learning new classical pieces.       Taking out my Beethoven and feeling so . . .  inadequate!

But as GK Chesterton said:  “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”     Too late for me to ever be a prodigy in anything,  but I can do it, pretty badly sometimes!      I love real music,   and music stirs up the very soul.

Alive!  Awake!   Ready to receive!

Of course, real music is part of Advent preparation!

Thanks to Son for starting it all!

 

NEW . . .

December 4, 2017

 

thinka nd do llue

Some of you may remember the old Think and Do workbooks that we had in school to help us learn how to read.      It was an excellent way to learn reading skills such as phonics,  spelling, and composition.      It taught us to take time with the details.

_________________________________

Well,  I think I’m having a “Write-and-Do”  problem –  I’ve been doing so much, I haven’t been able to slow down and write . . . .

_________________________________

Clip Advent 1   However, I cannot let the start of this New Year go by!   St. Augustine has praised God with the phrase:  “Ever Ancient, Ever New.”      Exclamation point, I think,  because as a grown man,  he was deeply astonished!  to discover the reality of God and of all His attributes as taught to Him by the Church, when Augustine lived, 1,600 or so years ago.

Ever Ancient, Ever New!       God-Most-high, Ancient of Days,   is also Ever New to every part of His creation, at every place, at every moment.    And we poor humans,    living in time and space,  must take God in each new day, each new year, and hence –  the cycles of the Liturgical Year,  which emphasizes God’s closeness and the necessity of a response from us.

Advent begins the Liturgical Year,  and so today was the first day of this new year.

For what purpose?      Advent is ad + vent;   that is, ad ( to, a movement towards)  and vent/ venire (  He comes,  He comes to,  He arrives).      God, Ancient of Days,  yet Ever New,  comes (again)  (and again and again….)   to each person, as prophesied  by the ancients,   as foretold by the great prophets,  in a threefold advent:

Always moving towards  each  human born, as individuals:

One time, moving towards us by His incarnation, taken on our human nature to teach and to act for us;

And in the future, sooner or later,   very soon or a little bit later,    to enter this world once again as Great King and Judge,  ending this world system, putting all things to rights.

Advent,  but a Threefold Advent.    Moving towards us;  unstoppable.

We have more than three thousand years of witness to this movement-towards-us, and much written down for us to read.

The first day of Advent –   time to start.     Time to learn the details.   But there may not be much time left!

 

 

THANKSGIVING – WHAT WE DO

November 24, 2017

 

Hi everybody.   Just to be accurate . . . .

 

happy

 

. . . . . . .   Counting your blessings?

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

ty

 

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

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

 

HIJACKED*

October 9, 2017

This man’s story was:

Columbus 1 (2)

 

And here he is again:

Columbus 2

Or maybe for the children:

Columbus 3 ch

 

He came to our hemisphere.

Columbus 4

Although not the first European to sail here,  his journeys came at a time to have a prominent – and positive – impact on this hemisphere.

(Which history has been thoroughly hijacked. by those who MUST destroy Western Civilization.    It’s what you do when you’re waging war.)

_____________________________________

 

.*  Hijacking is an illegal act in all nations of the world.

 

HARD WORK – UNCERTAIN RESULTS

July 8, 2017

flag

Saturday night;  the Week of Fourth of July celebrations and remembrances is ending. My house tonight is quiet and cool,  and I’m finishing a book that takes place during the Revolutionary War.  *

The American Rebels were fighting for  personal Liberty,   and for that they needed to be a free and sovereign nation,  independent of foreign influence.

It was not the Libertie  of the French Revolution that would soon kill their king and set up a powerful State governing force, a revolutionary government more ruthless than any monarch had been.

And it was not the  “Liberty”   motto,   the war cry that inspire some  revolutionary men with dreams  of unrestrained freedom, even yet today.

These first Americans understood Liberty to mean the right to make choices for your own life and to have the freedom to carry out the responsibilities that those choices required.   Nowhere in “Liberty”  was success mentioned;  only the promise that you could work as hard as you wanted to,  to possibly gain a measure of success.  For yourself.   As you defined it.

From Mr. Cornwall’s book:  “Liberty isn’t  heaven, Sam,  it isn’t a blessed reward.  People will still die in sorrow and in poverty when they have liberty.   It’s simply only the freedom to choose your own life, and no one promises you success.”

 

Fireworks

Someone in the neighborhood is setting off fireworks now,  probably for the last time this summer.

I’m glad for the sounds.   It’s a good ending to this Fourth of July week;  a good reminder that we still have something to hope for and to work for.

 

_______________________________________

 

.*  (Redcoat  by  Bernard Cornwall.)

FOURTH SHORTS – 3 Birthday Time

July 4, 2017

FOURTH OF JULY!

Happy Birthday — well, to our daughter!

cake

She shares a birthday with our country – and always celebrated her birthday with parades,  picnics, and fireworks.   What a fun date for a birthday!

ballet shoes

…She’s grown up to be her own person, now:  wife, mother,   a professional in business, a vice president of North American Operations for . . . something, actually.   But along the way we watch her learn how to read and write,  navigate her way through  “schools,”  and develop a few hobbies.

 

We’ve had many days of car-pooling to sports games, gymnastics  track practice,  orchestra practice,  and always . . . ballet.     Ballet classes,  ballet rehearsals, and ballet performances.

Ballet

Today,  out in the High Sierras,  she is hosting a huge deck party on the lake;    the one where you invite your friends – and their children.  And people seem to be having a lot of children nowadays!

Though they could,  there won’t be time for snowboarding this year.

Happy Birthday,  Daughter!

 

 

 

D-DAY – COOPER AND OUR YOUNG PEOPLE

June 6, 2017

D-Day:  The Sixth of June.   1944.     Lest we forget.

____________________________________________________

Some of you know Cooper is my grandson.   He’s a typical six-year-old;  he plays and swims and skis and kayaks and white-water rafts (down the beautiful and rather tame Truckee River)  and he golfs and he takes dance lessons and he plays violin, he’s just discovered reading —  and he appreciates some good red balloons!

Cooper aNd bigred balls cr

That’s his home, on Donner Lake,  California.

He can do all those activities  BECAUSE   American   young people did this:

DDay arricing

 

16, 17, 18 . . . 20 year olds  . . .   24,  30, 32,   38 year olds . . .  and every young man in between arrived on those Normandy beaches for an impossibly difficult mission.

 

Not everyone made it to the beach:

dday dragging

Up and over, right into German artillery – firing at them.

DDay hump

So many died.   I don’t think they’d want us to forget their story.

Because our young people in uniform do things like that,  Cooper can remain safe and play and learn . . . .

 

 

We MUST make sure our young people are taught this, once again.  

 

AN “ORDINARY FAMILY” SALUTE ON MEMORIAL DAY

May 29, 2017

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

Flag don't tread

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

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

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

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

SAMSUNG

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

SAMSUNG

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

Utah down

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

My own Dad,   Marine Corps –   18 years old.

MARINE

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

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

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

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

USS Aulick

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

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

Arthur Ikkala's Newspaper Article

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

Next, for us, came the Viet Nam war –

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

Drew

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

Drew in Uniform

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

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

Apache

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

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

Mem salute

Thank you, guys.

Trump Honors

America remembers.    Americans still honor all of you.

COLUMBUS DAY AND MORE

October 10, 2016

Clarifying the Story:

 

col-3-ships

So,  the national celebration of Columbus Day  (October 12)  is  moved this year to October 10th so that there can be a three-day weekend.

Fewer and fewer know the story of the journeys of Columbus to the New World.  Four or five journeys, I think.    Might be hard to look up the real story of faith and courage and intellectual curiosity that has inspired people for centuries.  You’d have to look it up in older books, before the Global-Socialists got ahold of American education and inserted a false narrative into the story of Columbus.

The Old Broad beats the red, white, and blue –

False history.jpg

You must, now, accept the false narrative that European Whites are bad, bad, bad.   We are told we should be ashamed and embarrassed about our past — and we, today,  must make amends, and apologies — and that isn’t enough –  we must make “reparations”  to people who live hundreds of years ago!

This is an intellectual fad,  but a very destructive one.

Modern “presentations”  of the story of Columbus will not tell you the reason that a new trade route to India and China had to be found.  (The savage Muslim pirates had cut off trade routes to the Middle East and the East.   Tens of thousands of Christians along the Mediterranean coastline were being kidnapped and enslaved or forcibly converted.)

Modern tellings of the story will also  insert tales of   greedy and violent intent and even “genocide” and against the Caribbeans Indians,   who have received a total makeover in modern books,  obscuring the fact that by the 16th century the Caribbean Sea had become home to warring tribes who killed and enslaved and . . .  ate …  each other, and were rapidly dying off from warfare,  diseases,  and human sacrifice.

Stick to Columbus for a moment.     He was not an evil, greedy,  violence-prone leader of a murderous expedition out to conquer unsuspecting, innocent indigenous people!  He was a Catholic gentleman with an interest in sailing uncharted ocean waters because he had a belief that it was possible to sail far enough west to find India, where much of the desired trade goods had come from.

I’ve studied history for many, many decades and have never found any serious writings or teachings that the world was “flat.”   Or that “if you sail too far, you’d fall off the earth”!  That didn’t come about until the so-called “Enlightened”  people began to re-write history with the purpose of making the Medieval World (i.e., the Catholic World)  sound ridiculous.  *         Another deceitful intellectual  fad.

Columbus:   I have his captain’s log.    Not the Starship Enterprise,  but the Santa Maria  Logs:    Contemporary writings,  “as they happened,”  and so I can say:   Don’t let the Old Broad in the green dress in the cartoon beat you down until you submit to her ideology. 

 Be free to look at the whole picture, the good, the interesting, and the bad. 

Here’s a start:      In 1537,  it came to the pope,  Pope Paul III,  that the explorers were finding a “new type of human,”  with a culture very different from Europeans.   So different were they that the question was raised whether or not they were fully human.  They certainly were savage and dangerous.  When the question came to Rome,   Pope Paul issued a decree,  binding on all Catholics, about the matter.  It was called Sublimus Deus.

You can read it today (in English, if you like).   It was one of several similar decrees, but in this particular one you will find  that the Church opposes the enslavement of indigenous peoples and opposes the destruction of their culture.  

“The said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.” —Pope Paul III, “Sublimus Deus”

Later, similar decrees EXCOMMUNICATED any conquistador,  colonist,  governor,  or explorer  that abused and subjugated the “Indians.”      **

Again,  the story of Columbus is an inspiring story of faith and courage and the desire to solve a common problem for  his native Europe.    Children should know the basics of Columbus’s voyages.  Then older children should be told of some of the complexities of the issues raised by finding new societies.

And adults should be able to ponder the lessons that can be learned from exploration and pathfinding  and developing relationships with people who are different from you.

The Truth truly does allow us to be free to think!

HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!

bar-dissolve-er

“COLUMBUS DAY AND MORE”:   Today,  October 10,   is also the Feast Day of St. Francis de Borgia – the saint that sits so heavily on my shoulder.   Among his many achievements was to assist Rome in defining and clarifying what the missionary policy should be towards the indigenous peoples that were being discovered.

His directions were in line with the papal decrees of the time,  and he outlined the method of caring for and instructing native people, as well as practical means for improving their physical conditions.

 

bar-dissolve-er

. *   (Anyone who lived along the seacoast could see that when a ship approaches land,  you will see the tip of its tall sails first, then more of the sails, and then finally the boat.   People in the Middle Ages were not blind.   Nor dumb.    Especially when the works of the Greek scientists and philosophers became known and studied,  it was common knowledge that the earth is a globe — that revolves in the heavens as other planetary bodies do.  Long, long before Galileo came around,  the scientists, working under the auspices of the Church,  were speculating that the earth revolved around the sun.   They didn’t have the mathematics, yet, to explain the motion of heavenly bodies — but neither did Galileo in his time!)

. **   Examine the crewmen on the ships captained by Columbus.   Where did he get his crew from?  What kind of men were they?     (They were no more Catholic in thoughts or actions than were the native peoples they came across in the New World. )

Killing of the indigenous people, enslavement,  destroying their cultures,   all this was ANATHEMA.     You’re OUT of the Church, unless you stop and repent.

Obedience to the decrees of the Church?     The pope and good church officials of the time could no more  “control”  the conquistadors than the pope of today can control some of our very “uncatholic”  and personally immoral supporters of sodomy and abortion that we find in the US Congress.

All a good pope and good church officials can do is define what the church teaches and to propound church teachings.       The choice to obey lies with individuals.

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY MAJESTY

May 30, 2016

Just want to put some Memorial Day thoughts up here.  I’ve done it the traditional way many times before – honoring my family members who have served in the Armed Forces.

This time I’ll get a bit . . . philosophical.

EAGLE

Prettiest picture I could find today.  The bald eagle.  Our national  emblem.   Our majestic bird.     Head bowed.  Claws folded.

Of course, that’s an anthropomorphism,  but sometimes it’s useful to see ourselves in others.        Part of “majesty”  is being humble enough to gratefully acknowledge things greater than ourselves.   We hope our nation, we hope our people, we hope we ourselves can aspire to majesty.

Certainly,  the honor and duty and self-sacrifice of our soldiers, sailors, and marines who have given their lives to defend our country are also part of the majesty that describes our great nation.   And all of us:  knowing what’s right and wrong;  doing our duty;   willing to work and to sacrifice for a higher cause — we all make this nation great.

And a big salute to you who salute our Fallen Heroes:

Bikers

I love these people who make up Rolling Thunder.    They’ve inspired me from their very beginnings in 1988.    They remind us to think of those who are Missing In Action, dead or alive,    as well as those who are known to be dead.

It was odd to comb the news sources yesterday and today and find only photos that show a few bikers at a time.   They’ve been arriving in Washington D.C.  all week!  And there are most likely more than a half million of them!   Their parade from the Pentagon building to downtown Washington D.C.   took more than four hours of solid bikes,  four across the lane, to complete.   That’s a huge number!

Their patriotism:  majestic.   Their dedication to our country:  majestic.        The honor given to our military:  majestic.    Their sheer numbers – representing all of us who can’t make it to our nation’s capital this year:  majestic.     Their manifest love for our country:  majestic.    They  are honest, decent citizens,  living normal, honest, decent lives:  majestic.

We can all  be that eagle.    Humbly acknowledging a  great country that is worth defending.

 

 

 

JANUARY 6 – BEGINNING THE END

January 6, 2016

The “end of Christmas,”  that is.

Good-bye reindeer in my front yard.  Hope you haven’t kept too many neighbors up in the night with your bright lights.

SAMSUNG

 

I woke up sometime in the middle of the night last night;  opened my eyes;  and my vision was filled with  Christmas tree lights.  I don’t know where my “consciousness” was as I was sleeping there near the tree,  but when I opened my eyes,  it was as though I was coming into this world and seeing these lights for the very first time.   They were utterly beautiful!  Each little light bulb was a separate brightly colored gem.

(No photo would do justice to the deepness of the more-than-beautiful lights….)

I think I told myself,  “Oh,  it’s so pretty!”    Like I had never seen them before.   The sensation of delight lasted for a very long time (until I fell asleep again.)   How lucky to have been sleeping just about ten feet away from the lighted Christmas tree!

I was aware that I must take it all down, now, on January 6th.   Epiphany.   the Wise Men have arrived.

I took a walk last night too –  freezing cold.   Our winter weather is here.  I saw the same neighborhood Christmas lights as before,  but this time the snow surface was frozen hard and shiny.

SAMSUNG

Looked like Santa was on a lake.   Last chance to see him.

SAMSUNG

My hands were getting numb from the cold,  but it was worth it —  kind of sad to think the season is over;  last chance to see the snowmen until next year — at least I hope this family decorates so well again.

SAMSUNG

Time to put away nearly all of my own Christmas decorations.   It is the “twelfth day of Christmas”  now.

Twelve official days to think about the Incarnation of the Son of God.   (He made the Light.   He turned the Light into physical, material atoms.  Could He not visit us by making use of His own physical world?  Sure He could.)

Incarnation –   In-carnated.     Enfleshed.    With a fleshly, carnal body, like we have.   So we could see with our own eyes what God is like;  what He says;  what he does;   what He wants Love to be;  and coming with a job to do for us.    Hope!     And a smile on our faces.

With the One God like that,  with so much effort to show Himself to us,  wise people respond with gratitude and gift-giving.

Giving gifts

But I’m not that wise;  not wise enough to “make a list”  of things that I could give to show my dim understanding of the Incarnation . . .    That’s why we’re told the only thing we can do is to give Him our “all” — give to Him all that we are.

I don’t even quite know how to bring that about,  but I know He is pleased with our efforts.   Twelve Days of Christmas?     That’s hardly enough time for a proper show of joy and gratitude!

And now it’s over.

The Church doesn’t end the season completely until February 2nd, of course,  but this first phase is ending.

It’s the beginning of the end of this year’s Christmas.   Time to look forward,now, into this unknown New Year.

 

WE DON’T LIKE BEING MOCKED

December 11, 2015

At least I don’t,  and the people I know don’t like being made fun of,  being mocked.   But mockery can be a powerful tool, so this is a photo-rant against such mockery:

The ongoing programmed invasion of the Third World, non-Christian cultures into the First World, Christian-influenced cultures – with the intention of breaking down the First World Christian-influenced cultures –  will continue on in the near future.

I don’t know what the outcome will be.  I’m a historian.  I’ve seen civilizations come and go.   I’ve seen what happens when good people “do nothing.”   I don’t know if there will be enough people today to rise up and defend their own cultures.

But I do know that good people who are defending their lives have been mocked.    We have been told by an  anti-American leader  that we, the American citizens,  are “afraid of women and three-year-old children.”  Remember that?

We are afraid to let these little guys “immigrate” into our country:

I  5 yr old

Okay,  he might be a little older than “three years old.”

 

 

Palestinian-girl-stab

Well, okay, that’s a pretty big knife.   She might be older than “three years old ”  too.

 

But how about another children’s class with  teddy bears and cute stuffed animals?

muslim-kids-animals

The video had been “removed” —  i.e. censored — off the media,  but the accompanying article described a class in which very small children were being taught how to hack off the heads of all kinds of “cute little stuffed animals.” And some  were “three years old.”

How about the “moms”?

Mom

 

Nothing to fear there?      There are moms;  such moms.

Ask the ladies:

Islam ask the ladies

The “ladies”  come with papers.  That proves they’re friendly, right?.

(Headlines today:  “ISIS found with passport-printing machines.)  Or as the media said, “may have.”    They  don’t want to scare us too much.

Or you can ask the Muslim-friendly leaders if we have anything to fear:

The three islamists

And you’d better know who the Muslim lady in purple is.  She rules the one who was placed in the office of the American presidency!

Do we have anything to fear?  You can ask the guy in the middle who is bowing really low —  oh, never mind.

O bowing to many

Can’t ask him.  He’s the one who mocked us in the first place.

This is the season of Advent.   We look to the coming of this planet’s Messiah,  the first phase of it and the second, final,  phase.  We hope to understand more during each annual remembrance.

The Bible, both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament  indicate that the Babe in the Manger had come down from Heaven as a conquering Warrior, into this Land of Doom,  this Land of Destruction,  and He will defeat all that has given us reproach and ruined us. *

And the Word of His mouth is like a two-edged sword.

I asked my class this morning to design a new kind of Christmas card . . .

We had a good laugh.

But we were not mocking.

{Advent}

 

  *     (see Zephaniah 3:14-18  and Wisdom 18:10-15 and Hebrews 4:12)        “Do not fear, O Zion; let not your hands grow weak. 17The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory.

 

 

 

 

 

A NOVEMBER PAUSE

November 27, 2015

A brief pause for all of us  . . .

praying man silhouette

 

. . . .   a brief time to give thanks to Our Creator.

 

May the Giving Thanks have been a good one for you.