Archive for the ‘Humor’ category

ANGERING MARIE LAVEAU

September 19, 2019

devil

 

Marie Light

 

pain

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FAUNA AND FAUNE

July 30, 2019

There’s not a more lovely melody than that of Debussey’s  Prélude à l’aprèsmidi d’un faune. . . .     faune being fawn in English.   Those haunting strains will be with me for a while, just because I’ve thought of it now.   I’m fortunate to have played flute and had the experience of playing this musical piece . . . .  (high school level ! )

You can hear a two-minute selection of it HERE …

Oh,  or just here, if you have a moment.    2 minutes. Just long enough to remind you of the melody.

 

I played flute.  Son played the french horn that you see — but unfortunately never  at the same time.

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FAUNA

So . . .    fauna, again.   Animals.   I remember writing that last post and feeling almost overwhelmed at the number of critters that live in this world.   When you stop to think of it,  the animal world outnumbers us by far.   They’re all over the place!

I am routinely wakened by a family of raccoons who visit my back deck in the middle of the night — turning on the motion sensor light as they munch on my bird feeders … and the bird food inside.   Even when I remember to bring the bird feeders into the garage,  they still come looking.

Deer in gardfen

The deer regularly visit and relieve me of my roses too.   Every few days the blossoms “come back”  and every few days the roses are “harvested” again.

But Mama brought her babies a few weeks ago.  That was so cute:

deer mom and son 380

 

It’s fun to see them, especially when the fawns are frisky.   I don’t know if there is a Mama with twins  and a Mama with one fawn;  or maybe . . .   one Mama and something happened to the other twin.

But I worry about the little thing when he gets too curious:

Deer at ponds edge 380

That   baby   deer  spent  a good five minutes testing his ability to get down close to the water.   Mama was watching carefully nearby.  So was I.     In the end,  Mama snorted or hissed or something,  and the fawn backed up into the grass and off they went, down into the creek and out up the backside of the creek and into the woods .

(There was water there!   A lot safer to explore than in my deep pond!)

I wrote about gators last time too.     Our local news has reported at least three very recent stories of alligators being found our here in our wilderness – way too close by!  Pet alligators let go in the wild when they got too big.     Hope the deer know how to avoid the reptiles.

TRYING TO PROVE HIM WRONG:

Rodents?    At least four  media videos and news articles have reported the rodent problem in Baltimore.   Even the former mayor of the city,  Kathleen something.    She took a tour of her own city and delivered  an  expletive filled narrative of what she saw including all the rats and the smell of dead animals on Baltimore’s city streets.

A famous racist minister also described the rats in the city,  all the depressing filth,   and described Baltimore as having Third World conditions.    “Reverend”  Sharpton, was it?

But when President Trump concurred,  agreed,  and commented on the rats in the city,  of course you know what he was accused of, producing another Twitter storm and the ingredients for another “entertainment-news media” week-long show.

And then — then —  a young anti-Trump media personality took a camera crew and went to Baltimore to report for herself and prove that,  yes, Baltimore has “problems,” but it’s not as bad as Trump says.

But her camera crew told the story while she was talking:

RAT

For the minute or so that the camera was rolling,  along came the star of this show, running across the scene.   Yick.

Has this been shown a lot on the national entertainment-news media?    “Nope.  No rats here.”     Hah!

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SOMETHING VERY WRONG

I need to report what’s going on “in the Amazon,”  but I’ll do that in the next post, I think.  It has something to do with animals too;  all the fauna,  all the critters that the certain Amazon tribe chosen to be the exemplary of the whole Global Society via the mind of the  uber-socialist pope of the new-version of the Catholic church.

amazon men

This poor Amazon tribe (“who has so much to teach us”) live with an amazing array of poisonous spiders, snakes, disease carrying insects, mosquitoes, rabid bats, and dangerous wild animals.   Although this tribal area has the  second highest homicide rate in the world (!),  the survivors suffer from disease, parasites, and poor nutrition in addition to the violence that kills fifty percent of their young men.

But right now  I’m just focusing on the bugs. The insects.  The poisonous spiders.  The snakes.   Leeches and maggots.    Jaguars.   Wild boar.    Troops of dangerous monkeys who can snatch small children.  

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My deer bring ticks with dangerous diseases.    The raccoons chew on things important to the house.   Even the chipmunks chew up air conditioning wires and cords.     Birds leave droppings on my tomato plants.   There are bats around her found with rabies.

Garden of Eden we are not.  Anymore.

Oh- yick yick yick…..   I’m done writing about animals for a while.

bear scary

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Fauna & FAUNA

July 25, 2019

I don’t mean to write only once a week.  Sorry for my absence.   Bad week for my “body.”   (Prayers requested.)

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I’ll never forget that sense of astonishment the first time I drove into Florida many years ago.    I looked into the ditch alongside the Interstate – and there was an alligator.  A wild alligator!    My first thought:    “They let their alligators run wild down here!”

Hah!        (Hah! on me.)

bumblebee    Here in the Far North I’m surrounded by a variety of birds, squirrels, an occasional gopher or chipmunk, bumblebees —  (Oh, yes,  our bumblebees are very large and are full of personality.   They’re curious, rather friendly,  and quite territorial, although they usually give us a gentle “shoulder bump”  when we get too close to where they don’t want us to be)  —    Fifty feet further from my house I have deer, lovely little fawns, fox and  coyotes.     Today I had a small brown critter visit my back deck.  I have no name for it.  It was about 18 inches long,  fat, had a long fluffy tail,  no ears I think,  and it shuffled off when I came close to the door where it could see me.

So if you focus just on all the creatures around here,  I guess my immediate living space is alive with living things.

But . . .  alligators?    I eat gator meat.  Long after they’re dead and harmless.    I can make a really good etouffee with gator meat.

But they shouldn’t come visiting to your house, as this Florida family recently experienced:

GATOR Coming

Somewhere else in Florida,  these homeowners had a visitor for dinner:

Gator in house

 

Well, up here, deer can cause damage and smash through large plate glass windows, but the bad news about gator damage —

GAtors NOT COVERED

—   is that insurance won’t cover gator damage in all instances!

In other geographies,  recently,  a pack of pit bulls killed a flock of sheep.   A flock of birds attacked a group of people.   Monkeys killed a couple people in a village in Southeast Asia.  And Bengal tigers are still a  menace in India.

I’m a city girl at heart.  It may look like my back yard is a wilderness . . .

DECK mid May left 380

. . .  but it isn’t.

All the beauty,  none of the danger.

Deo gratias!

 

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Oh, here’s a picture of my etouffe, with a link (here) to how I made it:

gator-voila.jpg

 

 

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY RANT – 3/3

May 29, 2019

3/3 –  “Lemonade Happens”

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Okay,  I can’t stay ranty for long.   I was “real mad”  when this first happened – right before all my out-of-state Memorial Day weekend company (which, by the way, are all still here).

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”    I don’t like that little saying.  It’s too . . .  too . ..    too Pollyanna.    Most often, in real life,  you just have to deal with the lemons.

But once in a while —  lemonade happens.

Last Friday was the day I should have been all ready for my California family to visit for the holiday weekend.   Laundry done, house cleaned, shopping,  baking, cooking, activities planned —

—  AND my new refrigerator had arrived and my old one was now clean and emptied, ready for pick up from the utility company,  which would give me a nice $50 check,   I guess for “upgrading” to a more modern refrigerator.

FRIDGES

 

Company coming and TWO refrigerators in the kitchen.   Everything else pushed over, displaced, or covered up.  But it was going to be okay because the utility company was going to come and take one away.

A “four-hour window”  for their arrival, during which time I couldn’t do any last-minute shopping;  just hang around the house.    Waiting.

And they never showed up.   No phone call.  Nothing.   They had called two days before to ask for my confirmation.    I confirmed.  Twice.   No idea why they didn’t come,  but with all the busyness and tension — happy tension, getting ready for company —  frustration turned to anger.

I called fifteen minutes before the end of the business day when I was pretty sure they weren’t coming.  As withi all corporations,  I endured multiple transfers to various departments,  but I finally got a nice Customer Service lady who said she would look into it right away and come back with an answer — maybe they were still on their way.   She put me on hold (yet again)  and I waited.  She came back to ask some questions, put me on hold again.

And then a corporate type recording came on the line announcing that business hours were over, please call again on Monday.   Which of course the Robot Recording didn’t know that Monday would be Memorial Day.

So the Customer Service lady and I were cut off while we were communicating.

That’s the LEMONS!     And I let them have it via email,  text messaging, and the complaint form on the Website.

Then,  free to go out shopping for company, I came home with a load of groceries and found my new refrigerator was overfilled . . .

. . . . and overflowed into my old refrigerator.

That’s the LEMONADE.  I can’t tell you how many times we were all grateful for plenty of refrigerator space!      We’d bring home leftovers from restaurants and  have plenty of room to store them!     Lots of bulky fruits and vegetables.  Lots of things to drink!  No spills, knocking things over,  stuffing the shelves.

So the joke’s on me.  I laughed at my previous anger;  I laughed at myself,  many times!  We’ve had a great fun visit, everyone enjoying the novelty of using two refrigerators.

fridge double

Moral of the story:   Things are often better than  what they seem.    I can handle this.   No need for such momentary frustration.

Glad to have two refrigerators!!!

(But I’m not going to tell the utility company that!)

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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

May 23, 2019

Well,  it concerns everyone, really,  but this posting is also for one certain  person for whom I promised some photos.

Now, the photos concern a purchase our small congregation is making.  We’ve bought a church building!      But here is a way that this posting concerns everyone:

Purchasing a church building is made possible in America by the First Amendment, where we are guaranteed the free expression and exercise of our religion.      You are.  I am.   We are.  No one can make us stop believing and acting according to our religious beliefs — or choosing  to not have religious beliefs at all.  That’s okay in America too, although it ultimately doesn’t lead to happiness.

What was that survey that the New York Times just published?    That more than 70% of the happiest women in America are married with religion important to their marriage.  And you’re free to be happy that way in America.

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So,  here’s where we start:

ch 1 pkg lot

 

The parking lot.  Probably adequate,  but all grass.  How does that work for snowplowing during our “six months” of snow here in the Far North?

 

ch 2 pkg lot 2

 

We heard there was a worrisome house next door, a group home of some sort,  but there is actually a barrier of trees growing tightly together.   I think this marks off our territory clearly enough  —

ch 3 barrier

 

Here, my friend,  is our entry!     Not bad looking.  Note the beautiful limestone.  It looks nice.  Perhaps some day it could be sandblasted  . .  .

ch 4 entry limestone

Walk through the doors and up the stairs –

ch 5 entering

Inside.  Looks just like a church!   It’s estimated that it can seat about 100 people at this point.

ch 6 inside

Looking up,  the ceiling was quite nice.   I know there are plans to make it look more like a “cathedral”  ceiling with beautiful wooden beams,  but there is nothing wrong with this for now, in my opinion.

ch 7 ceiling

 

Turning around, looking up at the back are really ugly plastic panels placed across the choir loft.  People wondered why you would “wall off” the choir loft if you wanted to hear the  “schola cantorum”?

ch 8 looking into loft

Rather small cloakroom, although most of us leave our coats on during Mass.

ch 9 small coatroom

The elevator door is close by,  but it is “out of order,” as we were told.

 

Here you can see the window looking into the cry room.

ch 10 cry room window

Needs work:

ch 11 cry room inside

 

I have video of all of this for you, including  me walking down the stairs into the basement,  where there is a very nicely equipped kitchen:

ch 12 kitchen appli

And a large eating area/meeting hall/rec room, looking back at the kitchen on the far wall  –

ch 13 eating area

I could upload those videos here,  but I can’t figure out how to blur out the faces of all the people that were there (for their privacy).    I’ll try to send them to you directly,  but, if not,  you can see them on my phone on Sunday.

This is going to be a HUGE  project for us for a long time,  but the vote to go forward was unanimous, I think,  and all the young families are so enthusiastic about it.

After all:   Have Church, Will Grow!   ( If God so wills and if we stay humbly within His will.)      Deo volente.  

In this small area of our America we are about 70 families.   We would like to be more. We are called St Gregory the Great —  and we worship just exactly as he did.    He is a man who cleaned up and reformed the Church;   taught and strengthened the faithful,  especially applying the words of the Four Gospels to all;  he sent successful missionaries into England;  took care of persecuted Jews;  and shepherded the Church through severe plagues,  military attacks, economic chaos, drought, famine,  and general panic and discouragement among the Christians.

We look to him for inspiration and example.

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HUMOR!

On a humorous note,  because we know far less than the people of St. Gregory’s day did;   we have less ability to think clearly,  we don’t know formal logic (which would save us from many a damaging error),   and we can’t  analyze and assess all the information that comes our way.    Because of all this,   I have come across several Websites which say:  “However, it is doubtful that Gregory the Great was responsible for the Gregorian calendar.”)

I should say so!     These Websites are off by 1,000 years!!     That was done under Pope Gregory XIII  in the1580’s who employed scientists, astronomers, and mathematicians to make a more accurate calendar that was in sync with the heavenly bodies  — and not done by Pope Gregory the Great after the 580’s! 

(Be careful what you read.    We are arguably the least educated population that the world has ever seen.)

.deadheads

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6.666666666666 . . .

April 30, 2019

 

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Well, it could be just a coincidence.    I like funny coincidences.  I like jokes.

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You get that number if you divide the number 500,000  by 75,000.  The answer is:

666

 

When King Solomon “went bad”  and let all his power and riches go to his head,  he walked away from God-Most-High and went his own way,  building up a dictatorial kingdom, demanding from his subjects absolute obedience and compliance.

Spies and surveillance,  24/7.

He incorporated many foreigners into his realm.

M5

Many, many crossed his borders

Many were very “foreign:

M2

(MS-13 among the invading forces)

King Solomon  surrounded himself with a huge bureaucracy,  magnificent office buildings,  and great riches.    He was admired by all the known world.   He married and made treaties with all the surrounding powers,  and he “honored” them by accepting their religions into his Kingdom.

P0   “All religions are welcome!”      He was supposed to worship God alone, but instead he allowed other religions to worship in Jerusalem and even set up their altars and held “worship services”  there.   The place where the most false religions were worshiped is still called today Mons Scandali  or Mountain of Abomination  or Mount of Offense.  Various names on the map.

God was not pleased.

P4

All religions in a Catholic Church (“The Sacrilege of Assisi”)

To support his kingship,  King Solomon needed to impose heavy taxes.     It is said in the Bible that he  annually demanded in  taxes 666 talents of gold.   Pure gold.   666.  (III Kings 10:13)

In his later life he becomes a forerunner of the anti-Christ.  A ruler of a one-world government  and the head of a vast economic system which linked everyone to him.

For those of you who know only the Modern Version of the Catholic Church,  there may be no recognition,   no alarm bells.     I’m not a part of the New Version of the Church.

P1

In fact,   I am one of those who is described with terrible words coming ouot of the Vatican, because  I have kept to the original teachings and practices of the Church.     I worship with the same language and meaning as  St. Augustine;  and   St Albert the Great, St Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi,   St. Anthony,  St.  Bellarmine,   St. Francis de Sales;  I even worship the same way and believe the same things as someone as recently as St. Therese of Lesieux.    St.  Padre Pio,  St.  Maximilian Kolbe  . . .   GK  Chesterton  (not a saint!)

No changes.   God does not change his teachings.

I cannot predict what will happen to the “Catholic Church”  in the near future.   I know that Pope Paul VI gave his papal crown to the United Nations.  I don’t know what that portends.

P5

The World acclaimed him.  He was pretty popular.

 

P2

And now today’s pope has also garnered a lot of worldwide praise.

So let’s get back to those “funny” coincidental numbers again:

m1

All the young men of military age who are citizens of other Central American countries who are climbing into the United States much faster than we can stop them — well,  they get stopped temporarily in Mexico. . . .

The current pope has zeroed in on 75,000 of these people who are still in Mexico;   and he has announced that he – in his Vatican – is donating  $500,000  to help them out.

$500,000    divided by  75,000.

Just a funny coincidence.

HOME DELIVERY – FROM ABOVE

February 26, 2019

 

God’s watchful Providence:

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smile

When we run out of things around our homes, we get used to the idea of going to our computer,  Click!  Click!  Zoom (submit)!  — and in two days it’s delivered to our mailbox or onto our front porch!

We’re so used to receiving things based on our own efforts that we think our own efforts  will assure that we receive things.

Well, a week or so ago I ran out of kindling for my fireplace.   I need those tiny little twigs and sticks to get the fire going.    I didn’t want to cross my icy creek to get back into the woods to pick up more sticks . . .

creek 2

(something like that)

And Amazon doesn’t deliver kindling.

So . . .   next?      Here in the Far North we had a terrific windstorm during the weekend.  30 m.p.h.  winds,  with 50-60 m.p.h.  gusts.

And some snow.

Road Snowfall Lights

 

The wind made driving treacherous,   lifting up the snow in great clouds, causing whiteouts over the roads.   Here,  I took a picture of  the snow being driven laterally across the road.   The car was shaking.

Road Lines

I had both hands on the wheel during the whiteouts (no photos) !

Road Red Green

The storm turned the traffic lights into red smears and green streaks.

At home, the trees roared overhead and things dropped onto the roof,  bounced and rolled.    Nothing I could do, but . . .  enjoy!

A storm like this is so  strong;  it makes a person feel very small.     All the storms,  all of Nature . . .  the world . . . the universe;  so immense, our efforts so small.   As King David asked:  “What is Man that Thou art mindful of him?” 

And yet God cares and watches over us.    He watches out for our well-being, and He knows what we have need of.        Jesus said:  “Ask, and you shall receive . . .”    

The next day, after the winds subsided and the snow stopped,  I stepped out onto my front porch —

Kindling 3 porch

—  and there was a delivery of fresh new kindling!

All over the front yard,  the “kindling”  had been deposited.

Kindling 2

I checked the back yard and found so much more.

Kindling 4 back

I’ll be doing a lot of tramping around back there to collect all that kindling!

 

Once, long ago,  the Israelites in the desert complained to Moses because they hadn’t had meat for so long.     God “caused a strong west wind to blow . . .”    and the wind picked up thousands of quail and dropped them in abundance into the Israelite camp!

quails

 

With a little hyperbole and absurdity,  Jeff Larson records the event, in Numbers 11 of the Bible.

quail humor

We call that “Providence,”  God’s watchful care over us, noticing what we need,  providing for us in sweet and abundant ways.

Jesus said:  I have come that they may have life,  and that they might have it more abundantly.”     John recorded that in his gospel,  John 10:10.

Now that’s something to wonder about.   He didn’t promise an abundance of things.  The Israelites got lots of “things” —  lots of quail!      But they got sick from overeating, and many died.

We are the “they”  that Jesus was bringing an abundance to,  but what is an “abundance of life”?    If we’re alive, we’re alive, right?    But what is it to be abundantly alive?  Fully alive and aware,  fully living?

Look up in your needs,  during your “storms,”  and  ask,  and receive.   So little of our blessings are the results of our own efforts.

praying hands

Click!  Click!   Submit!

Life with God is an abundant life.

 

 

SNOW “BURIAL”

February 10, 2019

 

Well, what do you do when a blizzard buries your front yard?

Snow angel toppers 280

You jump down on top of the snow and make snow angels!

(That’s Cooper and his Daddy – I think – several feet above their front yard, and beautiful  Donner Lake in the background,  with the High Sierras of California.)

When you have a blizzard burial,  you try not to let you and your friend get  buried —

Snow burial 230

But it makes it really hard to play on your  swing set —

Snow jungle gym 390

The swings are down there somewhere.

They’ll have to wait till Spring.

Snow porch 280

Cooper and Daddy  (I’m sure Cooper helped!)   dug out their front door and shoveled across their raised deck . . .  and I’m sure Daddy said, ‘Now, stand in front of the snow so I can take a picture to show Grandma.”

Oh, yes.  Grandma loves winter.    I’ve told you that before!   Even when I visited them one winter and shoveled three feet of snow off their deck so it wouldn’t collapse.  But it kept snowing and I had another four feet to shovel the next morning.

What that gives you is . . .  an experience to remember!

 

PIZZA IS ITALIAN

February 1, 2019

 

Now that our extreme weather emergency is over for a while, the “pressure”is off,  we’re not on “alert” anymore —  things are lightening up a bit.

Only two things to think about this weekend:   Grandson Cooper, who lives in the High Sierras,   will be having a blizzard, expecting 3 – 6 feet of snow.  That’s nothing new for him and  his mommy and daddy,  but it still is a bit disruptive.

6 Snowed in 400

Cooper’s snowfall a couple years ago.

And it will  probably be a  fun blizzard, since they live surrounded by ski resorts on every available mountain top.

The second thing this weekend is  the Super Bowl.   Last game of the season.  Of course I’m not going to miss it!  

football food

While I don’t plan a party,  I still look forward to the last indulgence in football food. Pizza’s  been on my mind — so that’s what caught my attention while reading the news today, an article about illegal immigration and its effects on our country.

We all know we’re “a nation of immigrants”  — legal immigrants.  Our grandparents,  whoever came here before us,   had enough wisdom to understand that our new American culture would be a Melting Pot . . .  all blended together sharing American values and language and experiences — and especially food:    Like  pizza, apple pie . . . .

I read the comments following the article.   Seemed to be a pretty good-natured set of comments, many listing the good things we enjoy today  in our America.

And then someone commented:

Pizza is Italian. Apple pie is Dutch. Louis Chevrolet was French. And Donny is  Scottish and German.

“Donny”  referring to President Trump probably.

 

Yeah,  Think of all the football food!     Throw in tacos,  Chinese takeout,  sushi for some, uh —  popcorn from the American Indians, and  hot dogs from . . .  well, Chicago maybe, via all the wonderful German sausage makers.   Cheese from Switzerland and other European countries.

Football!   A real international experience!

 

So how did we create an American culture?    How did we blend ourselves all together?

Ask a “wise man” —

ET GO HOME

 

The ones who wanted to be American, stayed here!   The ones who didn’t, went back to their homes.

Here’s the new caravan of “would-be”  Americans coming:

Caravan New Note Flags

Proudly marching behind the flag of their “new country”?

Not.

 

 

 

ICE THINGS

January 31, 2019

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

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

reindeericeancestors

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

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

icewindow

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

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

 

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

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

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

icelighthosue

 

For some perspective:

icepersepctive

 

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

icelamps

And then — I don’t know what this is!

icedon27tknow

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

 

 

 

CORK . . . SCREWED

January 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

w pieces

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

Next you take the cork out:

W Opener Action.jpg

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

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

w cork

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

w breathing

 

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

It’s red.

It was sweet and delicious.

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

 

 

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

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

blue light tester 300(a Blue Light test pattern)

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

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

w skal

“Skål”  as my Scandinavian family says!

Night life can be good! 

 

 

 

 

 

1440 – 8 = 1432

January 9, 2019

 

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

______________________________________________

1440 – 8 =   1432.

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

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

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

 

cnn

 

And their comment:

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

Can someone tell me why they need to do that?

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

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

Sure, they’re giving Trump eight minutes tonight.

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

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

 

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

cnn pic trump in crsshars

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

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

But there’s a cumulative effect.   

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

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

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

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

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

all the best

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

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

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

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

civil war stone.jpg

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

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

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

And that’s not so humorous.

 

 

FROM THE TOP OF MY POLE LAMP

January 6, 2019

Okay.

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

_________________________________________________________________

 

f kicking

That’s Mr. Parkey.

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

INTO the goalposts.

f circle upright

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

____________________________________________

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

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

f at uprights

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

 

Gloomy Cloud.jpg

 

But I’ll still love my Bears .  .  .

bears flag 80

. . .   a bit.

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COMETS AND COLD FINGERS

December 10, 2018

Under the category of How Does This Even HAPPEN ???

_______________________________________________________________

Do you know what you’re looking at here?   —

gloves

It is a  “set”  of left-handed gloves.    Some are Hubbie’s;  some are mine.  All unable to become a pair.

I wanted to take a long walk tonight after suppertime, not too late,  but very, very dark here in the Far North,  so the stars were brilliant, the constellations were identifiable.

It was my intention to walk 2 or 3 miles in the crisp, cool air —   Well, crisp, very cold wintry air — walking, as I looked up into the sky trying to find that new comet Son told me about.

Comet Wirtanen!  A Finnish name if I ever heard one.  And we are all half Finnish here.

Wirtanen

Comet Wirtanen

Photo is from Norway, I think,  not our Rocky Mountains.

After the first mile of walking,  I had to come in to get warmer gloves.    My fuzzy-lined knit gloves weren’t enough to keep the two fingers on my right hand from freezing into a block of ice, so to speak.    And I wanted to get back outside –  fast.

I looked into the small totes on the top shelf of my coat closet and impatiently grabbed a  leather glove.    Fine.    It seemed warm.   Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

Grabbed another  leather glove with a lining.  Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

And another.   Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

And another.   Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

Yes, insanity:  you keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

I got mad enough to put a left-hand glove on my left hand and one on my right hand.  After all, I just wanted two  fingers on my right hand to be warmer.     I’m not going to be doing any fine-tuning with gloved hands.

Meanwhile, outside again,  I was watching a “fuzzy”  slightly cone-shaped patch  in the sky.   Possibly the Pleiades.    Or maybe the new comet.     They say ancient peoples, even ancient “Native Americans”  could see all the stars of the Pleiades, the seven main ones and the little cloud of smaller ones.

Pleiades

We know this from their writings, drawings, and legends.    In general, ancient people  were stronger and clearer thinking than we are, and they had better  eyesight than we have,  and so they could see The Seven  Sisters.

It probably wasn’t the comet I was looking at.  But I still wasn’t sure.

I got in 2.8 miles of peripatetic-skywatching, and then came inside to check out where in the sky Comet Wirtanen could actually be seen.      Well, here:

where wirtanen

See Orion?   See Orion’s arrow, almost dead center of the sky map?   Wirtanen is straight across from the point of the arrow,  just across the middle. . .   A fuzzy gray, slightly cone-shaped formation.    And the Pleiades?   About 20 degrees above the comet,  just under the B of December.

Was I sometimes looking at the comet and sometimes looking at the Pleiades?

I’d like to go back outside to see.  But I think I’d better be back in my coat closet, looking for right-hand gloves.

And amending my disorganized, hoarding lifestyle.

WHAT’S IT? #22 (humor)

October 19, 2018

(Every time I hear the phrase “dumb and dumber,”  I think of grim and grimmer — a description of our past couple of months around here.   But . . .  we’re getting through it.  Life still keeps happening “out there.”   And we’re alive.)  

Perhaps a little humor . . . .

____________________________________________________________________________

 

I used to have a series here called “What’s it?”  in which  I showed you some inexplicable photo or phenomenon  that truly had no explanation.   Just plain fun.   There are 21 previous What’s Its if you’d like to use this page’s search engine below (type in WHAT’S IT)  or maybe I’ll see if this blog has a “Page” function and I’ll put all the What’s Its on one Page.

Well, here is the latest one:

Lighting up sky

Something appeared over the sky somewhere in China a few weeks ago.   Shook up a lot of people.    Many photos were taken of the thing, from many different locations.

Many explanations were offered, but none quite fit.  And, no,  it was not a meteor streaking across the sky.   It didn’t move fast across a trajectory, and it wasn’t a fireball (I’ve seen those).    It “developed.”   Soundlessly.

Changed shape and added some color:

Lighting up curved sky

More importantly,  it changed direction.

As usual with intriguing news stories, there has been no -follow-up.

Arrrrghhhh!!!!!

YOLO

October 15, 2018

 

(A chatty post for those who like to read — and meander a little)

YOLO:  It took me a moment to remember what this meant.  It was spoken in response to a dangerous, seemingly impossible  “situation”  that the characters of a book had gotten themselves into.   It means:  “Oh, well;  forward!”

(The actual letters stand for You Only Live Once.)

________________________

News Rock 1

Recording the history of a past Age

I have been defiantly unproductive today.

Apparently my body thinks it’s at the end of its rope;  you know,  too many things going on;  too many “issues” all at once, as I wrote to a friend.    I’m pretty darn resilient, and I’m pretty (almost)  healthy,  but I guess my body has limits.  I’m not physically tired, not too much, though I should be.

What I am is mentally tired.  I guess that’s why I’m always walking around with my eyes stinging and burning, wanting to close down to repair themselves in a long,  deep sleep,  no matter how well I’ve slept the night before.  I just want – enough – sleep.

News rock 2

The whole Newspaper Rock,  Utah,  made by people long ago who Only Lived Once.

So I had an errand today, and then I decided to return a library book I’ve just finished:  a second errand on a day when I didn’t want even the first one.  But I would not take home any  more books from the library for a while because . . .  then I’d just have to return them some day, and it would probably be on another day when I didn’t want to return them.

I came out of the library with four new books.

I think one of them will aid my unproductivity.

The plot involves one of those minor, minor interests you have, so minor that you don’t even think about it until you come across it again and remember,  “Oh yes,  that was kind of interesting,”  and you spend a few moments on it again.

new mt cl in grand canyon

Exploring in the Grand Canyon

 

Well, here’s a whole little minor-interesting book that’s giving me an excuse to “take care of my body,”  wrapped in a warm quilt, next to a steaming hot pot of tea-and-honey and my go-to comfort food from childhood:  soda crackers and slices of Cracker Barrel cheese.     Hot tea,   crackers and cheese, and the promise of a few chocolate chips after a while.

(It’s relatively cold out there in this Far North October.    A sudden abrupt drop in temperature;  high temperatures in the mid-40s.     Quilt and hot tea weather.)

new party of six

Searching for signs of ancient cultures

Apart from the slightly intriguing theme of the book,  it has the added bonus of being written by probably a Millennial with a warped, hip sense of humor — the kind I like:    flippantly irreverent.   Or is that irreverently flippant?     And slightly hyperbolic.   Perfect for a light read.

FUN WITH WORDS

In addition to the flippant humor,  there is the creative use of familiar words and phrases.  Just one example for your enjoyment:     The small group of about a half dozen men and women,  none of whom are rock climbers,  are climbing up the almost sheer wall of the Grand Canyon.

There are many very desperate physical trials,   Indiana Jones style,   but they have to be faced and they do so  courageously.       If you die trying, you die.     YOLO.

One woman  climbing  above the main character-narrator,  slips and falls, sliding down into him.  He breaks her fall, just barely.  Not much to be said.    (She’s a tough,  hard-mouthed “modern”  independent woman.)    She wipes off the blood and climbs again.

new cave gr canyon

Later, when they’re resting at the cave opening where they intended to go,  she thanks him for saving her.     He tells her  it was more like “collateral salvation;  he was just busy hanging on tightly to save himself.

Collateral  Salvation.

Silly made-up phrase.  But, see?    It has a ring of deeper significance to it.   I’ll die soon, some day.   At least “dying”  is in my future.    And I desperately want to  please my Creator so that I can be with Him forever.     I want to know the right thing and to do the right thing so that I can be with my Creator forever.  And ever.  My soul depends on it.    I want to please my Savior and live with Him forever.   Simple.

Perhaps my quest, my journey, my choices will have the effect of “Collateral Salvation”  upon some of you.

new patagonians

Portion of an engraving recording the 16th century  meeting of European explorers with the Patagonian giants, leftovers of a previous Age

This little book I read today winds its narrative around the premature triggering of the next Age.     Fun to think about,  but  we were given this present world Age to live in.      To learn.  To find our way back to God and to choose Him.

It’s a matter of Life and Death.  YOLO.   You get only one try.

Risk all to attain it.

It’s a worthy fight.

CURSE OF PELE

October 4, 2018

We’re not feeling very humorous right now, Son and I.    We both want to tell Meghan what a horrible awful sad and grievous week we’re having.   She’d know what to say.  She’d know what to do.    But Meghan’s not here right now.    She’s not with us.  She’s not in this world.

But, this is some humor – for you.      Maybe it’s humor.

________________________________________________________________

We absolutely do not believe in superstitions, Son and I.    I think.

peles hole

But things happen in Hawaii.

Volcanoes and things.  And goddesses, like Pele, who watch over the islands.

closer

And jealously guards everything that belongs to the islands.

You know the legend.   If you remove rocks, especially lava rocks, from the islands,  Pele curses you with bad luck and things until the rocks come back and she is restored.   So many people have found this to be true that the post office in Hawaii has built several warehouses now to contain all the rocks sent back by chastened tourists.

Volcanic rocks like these:

lava rocks

And like this one, which Meghan picked up  a few years ago, brought it home with her.

lava holes

Her home is not in Hawaii . . .  .

Some day we’re going to write down  all the things that have gone “wrong” in Meghan’s life.  All the bad luck, the bad timing,  the unusual one-of-a-kind bad results.   No matter how hard she planned and worked at something  — and she was intelligent and talented and determined —     at the very last minute something pulled the rug out from under her — and always through no fault of her own.

So many projects that just couldn’t be brought to a conclusion.

It’s astonishing really.  Kind of amusing sometimes.  But always,  you just have to shake your head and say, “That’s Meghan.”

So here was her plan:

Rock in paper 380

 

Before she went into the hospital this last time,  she had wrapped her souvenir Hawaiian lava rocks in newspaper and placed them into a Priority mailing box.

And she placed this one in the box too.

Rock White

Then she arranged the newspapers and rocks, and also put in an address to be used,  one like this:

Rock Return

But as efficient and prepared as she was,   she never quite made it to the post office.   Bad luck intervened, bad timing.     She never came out of the hospital …  at least not alive.

Son and I took the box to the post office.

The box is on its way to Hawaii right now,  I think.  Oh, we have the Tracking Number.   I haven’t dared to check it out yet  —  you know, to see just where the box actually is.   Given bad luck and unforeseen outcomes,  it could be anywhere.

All I know is Pele is not yet happy:

Pele

 

Pele is not yet done with messing up Meghan’s life.

And here’s how I know.    Son and I had to have that very difficult meeting with the funeral home director.   Painful.  We nearly had ourselves under control as we answered all the questions,  made all the decisions.

One decision was which day to have Meghan’s Memorial Service.   Saturday?  Sunday?   No,  Saturday.   Noon.

Which we afterwards realized just turned out to be  our local Big Ten college Homecoming day:   everyone around here has  tailgating plans,  football watching plans,  and kickoff is at . . .  noon.

Of course.

Pele strikes again.

Or is that Meghan?

BRIEFLY – A LITTLE WICKED HUMOR

August 31, 2018

Speaking in hyperbole,  to repeat a picture posted here recently —

sodom

(Sodom)

Although, by rights,  that is what we expect to happen to the Vatican,   all we’ve gotten so far is this —

Lightning no fire

That’s St.  Peter’s dome, in the Vatican.   Lightning.  It didn’t even start a fire.

(I think that photo was taken on the day that Pope Benedict was forced to announce his resignation.   Another lightning bolt was recorded on the day the present man was installed into the See.)

With all the crime,  scandals,  sexual aberrations,  misrepresentations of Christ’s teachings, and contradictions to Church practice coming out of the hierarchy of the Church,  either promoted or permitted,  more and more voices are beginning to admit that there is a schism forming in the Church.

And more and more are beginning to understand that it could take a generation or more to wrest control away from those in power and make necessary corrections with a necessary and canonical Council.

It can be done,  but it is unsolvable by merely human means.

Unsolvable Problem #3.

 

And that’s not a hyperbole.

Bar Cross in middle

 

YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

June 7, 2018

          “Here” is where you are right now

           It’s your present Location.

           “There” is where you want to go

           It’s your desired destination.

_________________________________________________________________

My Dad used to say that the streets of  his little city here on the Space Coast of Florida were poorly designed for so many people:  “They let in too many people in too short a time and they didn’t pay attention to the streets.   Some people got very rich with all this growth and look at the mess we got.”

 

“You can’t get There. . .”

Making a mundane shopping trip can seem like a complicated itinerary to some exotic destination.     There are two obstacles to straightforward travel around this little city:

traffic planning algorithmtraffic planning algorithm

 

One obstacle is the traffic  lanes around here.   Invariably,  going “There”   involves two or more left-hand turns in which you must maneuver within two or three permissible left-turn lanes and an array of multicolored traffic lights.

Well,  red, green, and yellow circles and arrows.   With four-minute cycles, I think.

There is a left left-turn lane;  a right left-turn lane,  and sometimes a center left-turn lane.  That means you have to know where you’ll need to be up ahead a half a block further on.    The lane you’re supposed to stay in is marked with white dotted lines –  when the dots aren’t too faded.

Everyone has his own idea of how wide an arc he must make as he turns –  and sometimes that leads to, not bumper-to-bumper,  but door-handle-to-door handle driving.

There are very narrow lanes for bicycles and motorcycles too — and not always at the edge of the street, but in between the left-turning lanes.     They have left and right left-turn lanes too.

So,  you’ve made your last left-hand turn.  You’d think your destination is actually “on the left.”    But, no . . .

Remember, “you can’t get There from Here” — at least not easily.

Usually, you have been forced to drive past your destination.   That’s the second obstacle.

The median between the two directions of traffic is rather wide and made of solid concrete, punctuated with little openings through which to make the necessary U-Turn, often ducking into another left-turn lane.

Once I found myself driving in a  lane marked  “U-Turn Lane”  for about a half a block.  I thought I was doing something wrong until I realized I’m the one who needs to make a U-Turn here eventually.

After a while I was able to make that left-hand turn,  but I think I would have gotten to that store faster on foot.

I took my sister to her doctor appointment yesterday.

She soothed my frustrations with our Dad’s words:  “. . .  Poorly designed roads . . .  they let too many people in . . .  Someone made a lot of money with all this growth!”

blue car

Which does not make driving around here any easier.

_________________________________________

Beware NASCAR  fans.  Daytona is like that too.

 

TROPICAL STORM ALBERTO AND OTHER WET THINGS

June 2, 2018

I mentioned in the last post that Aberto was heading our way.     Tropical storm in the Far North!

We saw it coming down our street:

1 Albertoapproaches 311

First the dark clouds above the street;  then the clouds were across the street:

2 A,berto clouds across st 370

With the clouds came strong winds and big gusts of strong winds;   the air was saturated with moisture, a strange “foreign” kind of humidity.   The trees blew noisily, small things flew through the air.

And then the sheets of, rain!   We ran for cover.

3 Not fog, rain 380

That’s rain in our yard,  not, fog!     We have big thunderstorms sometimes,  but this was different, somehow.   A “tropical”  flavor to this storm,   Rather fun.

The  storm passed, but left debris behind.  Those oak flowers we have to deal with:

6 little ones

Masses of these little stringy things come down this time of year,  and they must be swept up, forming many fluffy piles –

7 Big Pile

Ever sweep a 70-foot two-lane driveway?

They come from here:

8 Oak from above

Of course.   Oak trees right above the driveway.

But after our storm they can down wet and sticky.   Unfortunately we had left three cars out in the driveway and they plastered our cars with their “flowers.”  —

4 Plastered

And to my alarm,  after I washed them off,  they had left stains on the finish of my car:

5 stains

Little indentations like the stains were eating into the finish.    When I bought the car, however,  I had a layer of Teflon put over the paint job.

Tip for you:   Always get that Teflon coating!    (I’ve traveled a lot of strange places and I’ve parked under a lot of strange things, including birds.   the Teflon has definitely saved my paint job.)

Son’s car was one of the victims of these wet, sticky oak flowers.

GTO right front first 380

When something like this is parked in your driveway,  it’s a pleasure to wash it!

GTO right side 380

I’m not sure if I was admiring my wash job or admiring  the car!

GTO left rear 370

That’s a (fairly)  new GTO.

Next to bright red cars, I like a gleaming black one.  So how did I end up with a powder blue shiny one?     I just thought it was very pretty.

Son and I did a lot of yard work this hot, humid week, and a lot more today.  We decided about 8:30 that it was time to eat . . .

9 Gas Leak

. . . and that was the sign on the door of the restaurant we had chosen.   Someone’s party had to be moved because of a GAS LEAK in the restaurant!

Well, we found another, all was well:    scallops drizzled with some smoky bourbon sauce  and   crab stuffed salmon.

It’s Friday, after all!

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