Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category


April 20, 2017

(An update on Cooper)

(Boys and girls.   Nothing like having one of each to appreciate the differences!)

When Hubbie and I were expecting our very first child,  we didn’t know whether we’d have a girl or a boy.    I wanted a boy.    In my naivete I wanted a whole basketball team full of boys – and then maybe a girl later.

Well.     After knitting little blue sweaters,  I got a  girl.

Appreciated having a girl.   So when we were expecting another child,  I though how nice it would be if she had a little sister!    So I knit little pink sweaters.

And then we got a boy.

I will have to say that after each birth, my only thought was “How perfect!”

Now,  I was more used to girls because  as I was growing up,    I had become the big sister of two little girls.     I understood them,   I knew all the subtle little things to expect.

But boys!    That was a new experience!    Straightforward.  Direct.  Practical.   Honest.   Not afraid to show delight.   And their sense of humor is really funny.

So I offer you two “boy”  samples.   One is a joke.    But it’s a boys’ type joke.    Non-sentimental.   Non-fussy.    Just plain funny.   (It’s all over the Internet, associated with the name of  Corden,  that’s all the attribution I can make.)     Here it is:

A 16-year-old boy in Bosnia broke a world record this week by smashing 111 concrete blocks with his head in 34 seconds. When asked how it felt to break the world record, the boy said, “Lampshade tricycle is my favorite flavor of pizza truck.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha . .  .  really appreciated that!

And now there’s  another little boy in my life,  Cooper,  my grandson.     Just returned from a trip to Portugal.     Here he is,  straightforward,  direct, and matter-of-factly enjoying a visit with the pilot:

Cooper Pilot

He excused himself from his airplane seat and knocked on the “pilot’s door”  and had a nice long conversation about flying airplanes.    He knows quite a bit about airplanes — he’s on his SECOND passport book right now.  The first one got all filled up with stamps.    The pilot came out after a while and gave his email address to his Cooper’s Mommy, offering to help   in any way possible should Cooper ever want to become a pilot!   He called Cooper “remarkable.”

My word exactly.

This little boy takes on  the world exactly as it comes to him,  an attitude that is frankly quite charming.

Hawaii?    Just a place to express your joy.

Cooper Dancing Ocean 300

I think he’s ready for the whole world.


(There’s a lot of “girl”  still in me,  but  I’m learning a lot from observing the boys!)


April 16, 2017


The other Easter joy:


peeps one gone


(once a year)


April 16, 2017




What can we say to the God of Love, Our Father,  who planned this all along so that it would be possible for us to enter into His Heaven?

It was so unexpected.  It is so above our means.

jesus risen



We say this prayer.   Repeated throughout this day.     Repeated throughout our lives.  This prayer of gratitude:


Adoramus Te, Christe, et benedicimus Tibi,

Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.   Amen.



We adore Thee, O Christ,  and we bless Thee,

For by Thy Holy Cross thou hast redeemed the world.   Amen.



And to each other:

“Christ is risen.”

“He is risen indeed.”

Happy Easter!






April 14, 2017

(At the 9th hour):        “It is consummated.”           It was.


“By means of men and their actions,  God governs the world.”*


.*  “What Jesus Saw From the Foot of the Cross”

by  A.G. Sertillanges


April 13, 2017

The “beautiful thing” of this week:

3 Moon 1

Moon and moon-in-pond.

My camera could not capture its lovely golden color.  

3 Moon 3 with effects

 The Paschal Moon shines down through my back yard trees.

The first full moon after the first new moon of the first month of the year, Nisan.

The Paschal Moon shines down on all of us this week, because once, 2,000 years ago,  it rose over Jerusalem:

3 moon above.

And Jesus died.






March 7, 2017

(… You might have already figured it out, the “degrading slavery” part —  but confirmation from Scientific American is rather dismaying.)

Purg 1

GK Chesterton was asked  why he,  a renowned literary figure of great intelligence and perceptive wit,   had converted as an adult (a seemingly sane and responsible adult!)  to the Catholic Church.

His answer is both instructive and universally true.

Here’s the beginning of his answer:    “The difficulty of explaining, ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true. I could fill all my space with separate sentences each beginning with the words, ‘It is the only thing that…’”

‘It is the only thing that…’      and he proceeded to list a few examples.    As a historian,  by avocation and by six years of university education,  my favorite example is this:

” It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

That instantly made sense to me.

Because God doesn’t like us to be in mental slavery,  not in command of our own intellect; psychological slavery, not in command of our own emotions;   spiritual slavery,  not in command of our own free will – to do good and to choose God.    That is,  as human beings,  we have souls, and our souls are free and we must act from this freedom.

Chesterton observed that those who are informed mainly by the thoughts and activities of their own (generation)  become entrapped by their own (generation).       Without any effort at all we absorb information  by watching and imitating other people,  by giving subconscious assent to the attitudes around us,  and  by  absorbing the content of the media we choose:

tv watching

That’s why an education always includes a knowledge of the history, the philosophies,  the challenges,  of ages past,  as well as a thorough knowledge of the rules of grammar, logic, and rhetoric – that is, how to think and how to express yourself and how to recognize when   someone   is  feeding  you  a line of  . .  .

Think these guys are dead and gone and irrelevant?

school of athens

Maybe dead,  but not “gone” nor irrelevant.     In fact,  their ideas and the problems they worked out are vital  to the decisions we make today.      (If you don’t want to be held in mental slavery by our current Rulers.)

Again, Chesterton  says that 90% of what we call “new ideas”  is simply the old errors coming back again,  and the Church  (not the neo-Church, but the original one)   has for one of her chief duties to prevent people from making the same old mistakes.

Here’s an “old idea” –   a “new”  prejudice from the  19th century,  at least.     I recently had a woman come into our class, just to say Hi,  and then  she stayed and talked to us for the next 2 1/2 hours!    She is a modern,  extreme-liberal,  feminist of the New Catholic Church, superior in every way, and she proceeded to instruct us in the new and better ways of the modern world – in a most friendly way . . .  sort of.


Among the things that the bad old Catholic church had done was to suppress the “rights and opportunities” of women.   Just because they were women!    They were disrespected and their talents were ignored!

She was so steeped in the contemporary attitudes of the 19th and 20th centuries, that she could not even “think outside of”  that Box.

Fortunately,  my educational credentials had come up sometime earlier in that conversation  and so she listened while I smiled and  told her about my respect and affection for Queen Etheldreda …  a Catholic  woman of centuries past.

Queen Etheldreda was intelligent.  Well-educated.   Married.   And she was also the administrator of a large population in a major religious center and surrounding “city area.”     She was like the authoritative presider over a very large number of men and women.

She is one of many women who were well-educated and well-respected leaders of people throughout the “Dark”  and “Middle”  Ages.  And she is recognized as a saint.

But our new friend,  our lecturer in the ways of modern superiority,  would not hear of any further examples.   It is sometimes painful  to “think outside of” your Box.   You would have to break with your fellow slave-thinkers.     You would have to defy your slave-masters – and risk the consequences.

I insisted on all of us  laughing a lot during our 2 1/2 hour long near-confrontation,  keep it light,   find lots to laugh at;  when someone said, “Well, we’ll just agree to disagree,”  the whole class burst out laughing.   I even heard myself invite her back to our class sometime.   Hmmmm.

” It is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

Oops –  almost forgot the Scientific American magazine.      Well,  I’ve been reading more Douglas Preston novels,  so I turned to Scientific American for  current thought on some issues in physics.    To my dismay,   here are some of the titles of the latest articles:  “Trump Administration Seeks Big Budget Cuts for Climate Change.”    “The Real Reason Autism Rates Are Up”  (and it does not encourage vaccine research!)  – “This Is Your Brain On Poverty”   (for all you SJW’s out there)  –  “Maps Show Where Americans Care About Climate Change”   “What Apple Cider Vinegar Can and Can’t Do For You” (and if you’re  “educated”  you won’t seek out natural remedies.)     “Climate Deniers –  You’re Climate Deniers, Deal With It”   –  (huh?   are we supposed to feel inferior?)    “Ten Solutions For climate Change”  (aw gee . . . )    

I got excited when I finally saw a hard science headline,  I thought.   “The Most Important Idea About the Universe.”     But no physics.   No hard science.   Just a promotion of energy conservation and Darwinism.   

Do you know how dated and old-fashioned these articles will be in a few short decades?  Are these guys wearing bell-bottom trousers?     Are these women wearing corsets?

The Catholic Church “is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”

Once you catch on and once you can recognize when someone is speaking merely as a child of his own age,   you can almost feel compassion for his slavery.

And mental slavery is the most degrading kind of slavery of all.


I have never experienced such mental freedom since I entered into the church.


So,  if you’re interested, and if you’ve been told that “physical”  slavery is the worst kind of all,  I’d invite you to consider the life of African-slave-then freedman  Pierre Toussant – one of the men in this world I look up to.

Pierre_Toussaint 120

Pierre Toussant is in Wikipedia,   but I’ve also written about him  here in the Spruce Tunnel.

He is a Catholic.   A slave, but not a degraded type of slave.   (“. . .  for Christ has broken down the divisions between slave and free,  male and female   . . . “)  When he received his freedom,  he moved to New England during those colonial times, opened up a business,   became wealthy, and used his wealth to create orphanages and homes for the unfortunate.

He is on his way to Catholic sainthood.

Which, to the Church,  means only that his life is worthy of a “second-look” on our part.



February 26, 2017

(updated, to tamp down the enthusiasm and perhaps make more sense):



Strengthened,  happy,  and all-pumped up —  and ready for this:


Daytona Day!!!    I’m happy to have this one day out of the week when we’re commanded to stop, pause,  refresh,  recreate,   change your pace,  change mental gears so we can look upwards,  make this day set apart  (made  holy)  — to remember God.     His idea:  one day out of seven, right?

The age-old Reading given to us  to ponder on this particular Sunday concerns  a man who sat in a dusty (probably smelly) heap on the side of a well-traveled dirt road holding out his hand,  begging.


No one cared.  No one glanced his way,  because he was annoying.   We have bums like that today,  but for this man,  his situation wasn’t entirely his fault.    He was unseen and  unseeing.  He was blind from birth.  Really,  of no use to the society of his day.

This is one of my favorite stories from the Gospels, because it isn’t really about this man’s   blindness.

Jesus walks by with a great noisy crowd around Him,  but then he comes to a sudden halt – causing the crowd around him to stop too.   What for?   Jesus has heard the call of the blind man,  and He has heard the man dare to call him “Thou Son of David!”    There is only one Son of David,   but the crowd missed it.


Jesus rewarded  Bartimaeus’s  faith with a physical miracle.

I like the story, sure.  I’ve written about it before, like here.    But after the sermon,  the Mass went on . . .

As I was driving home,  I was musing on why I often feel so strong and happy after the Mass.  (   I’m referring to the actual,  original real  Mass which was entrusted to the Church and cannot be lessened and diminished.)

The (real) Mass is  a spiritual miracle,  but, like Bartimaeus,  it seemed like I often experience a physical miracle too.   I can’t explain it all,  but I thought of all the people who “don’t get it”  and what it is they don’t seem to “get.”

They don’t get:

Why we go to Mass every week – or more – and willingly.

Why we’ll bother with ashes this week.

Why we don’t eat meat of Friday.

Why we keep the marital act within a marriage.

Why  our commitment to stay in a marriage is a strong one.

Why we give our hard-earned money away to people in need.

Why we hold back when there is reason to be really angry.

Why we refrain from cussing and swearing and talking trash about other people.

Why we look uncomfortable as we’re hearing dirty jokes.

Why we dress modestly.

Why we read the Bible,  on our own, because we want to.

Why fun feels so . .  .  fun!

Lots of other things too –  but I was writing this list as I was driving home and thought it best to keep the list short.

There are many things to be blind to.    And I know there are many reasons for a man to be blind,  willingly blind.


Jesus reached out to Blind  Bartimaeus  with  concern,  pity,  love,  kindness,  and with power.   Suddenly Bartimaeus  sees  Jesus standing before him.

As we all will some day.   When we leave this world,  we will see Him with perfect clarity.   No explanations from us are needed.

No explanations  from us are possible.

No excuses.

“We will know as we are known.”   We will no longer “see through a glass, darkly,  but clearly,  face to face.”  Some day not one of us will be blind to what we should have known.

Seems safer to call out now to the Son of David   (as Bartimaeus did);  today,  rather than after this life.   Jesus reaches out today with the same ” concern,  pity,  love,  kindness,  and  power..”      When we look up,  respond, call out His name,   we begin to “see” so much.   “I have come to give you Life, and that, much more abundantly.”

Strong,  happy,  whole, and mysteriously  pumped up after each encounter!


February 17, 2017

Life was freer  140 years ago:


I applaud the new administration for attempting to tackle the removal of tens of thousands of regulations that are stifling our economy and personal freedom.

But I guess we can keep a few.

Hat tip to Cousin Lois in the Far Far North.


February 14, 2017

St. Valentine!



We have St. Valentine’s Day.   A cute,  fun, innocent opportunity to show affection for our friends and “sweethearts.”        Teachers use this day to teach their children to have respect and caring for all their classmates.    Other people enjoy a reason to share fond feelings with some activity like special meals,  special notes and cars,  special . . .   smiles.  make your Mom or your Grandma or your aunt feel special!

So many times in the New Testament we’re reminded to show love and affection and tender caring for each other.    Jesus is gone now, for the moment,   and we are to be His hands,  showing His love to each other.

This was a common  remark from the Roman citizens about the early Christians:   “How they loved one another!”


Among these early Christians were bishops and priests who both taught and modeled the love of Christ for their people.

There really was a man named or nicknamed “Valentine.”  (“Valentine” for “a valiant man.”)     The story has come down to us that  he converted many to Christianity during the second half of the 3rd century;    that  he worked among the young soldiers of the Roman army,  teaching them and marrying them to their “sweethearts”   so that, as Christians, the young man would live honorably with their wives.


. . .  Thus angering  the Roman officials.   He was beaten and then beheaded.   His relics were rescued, saved, and honored – and passed around!    An important part of his relics ended up in modern Ireland.


How do we know what he may have looked like?     Today there are experts in facial reconstruction, starting with the skull, and knowing how the tissues and muscles fit upon the skull.


So now we have a pretty close idea of what St. Valentine may have looked like!


A real, actual,  historical man.   A real, actual saint.

Love is real.




February 2, 2017

Well,  I’m not!


This was my back yard a few nights ago.    So pretty.    I had a floodlight set up into the air so I could see the snowfall better.     We got only four inches, though.

Unlike my little grandson in the high Sierras:



This photo isn’t from his area,  but it very well could be.

A story from a nearby newspaper   . . .   (The San Jose Mercury News –   Do they still use the name San Jose?)  . . .   today discussed the  well over 100% of normal snowfall they’ve received this year.


Now, “the sky is not falling,”   and no “climate change connection”   and they’ve had higher snowfall amounts in previous years from time to time,  but nevertheless, when you get a big year,  you’ve got to deal with it.   You’ll still find people who are happy with all the new snow for skiing and snowboarding  –  after all,  most of the people up there chose to live there so they could have plenty of snow to play in!     But the news article today said that people are beginning to show signs of “enough is enough”   and “we need a break.”

Normal life has been disrupted.    Schools,  postal delivery,   electricity,  cell towers.      Firefighters have to use  metal detectors to find the fire hydrants!

And what happens when you open your door — and the door is still there!!


I just keep thinking about their weather forecast for the rest of this week.   About a foot more  by the end of the week;   and another two feet by the end of the weekend.   The comment that followed was that the winter sports snowpack will last into  July.

Great.     Cooper’s Mommy,  my daughter,  has a birthday on the Fourth of July.   This wouldn’t be the first year she’s gone both swimming and snowboarding on her birthday!









January 26, 2017

Whew!  It’s been a busy 180 years!

I woke up this morning to my local radio station telling me that our state is 180 years old today!     We’ve been a state since January 26,  1837.

We’re the one that looks like a mitten.


If you ask someone from Michigan “Where are you from,”    — stand back!   One of our hands will go up and we’ll point with the other hand right where we live . . .  on the mitten.

We have a “hat” too.    A two-part state that you need a Bridge to get from one part to the other.    We have a great Bridge; the Mackinaw Bridge,  Big Mac,  5 miles long  –


“The fastest five miles on the whole trip.”

And we are surrounded by four of the Great Lakes:


Our mitten is green!     We know what “Lake Effect” snow means, and we’ve got great winter sports opportunities,  all kinds of summer and winter outdoor sports,  water sports,  hiking in giant sand dunes and in great forests.  We have the oldest exposed rock outcropping  in the United States.     And so many great places  for photography!

My grandparents and great-grandparents were immigrants to this state.   Legal immigrants, so proud to learn to speak English and to live just like the Americans!   They showed me that we’re not a nation of immigrants.  We’re a nation of legal immigrants.  Law-abiding citizens.

Unfortunately for the past 60 years we’ve been ruled by the increasingly-extreme Leftists in the small southeast section of our state.   Their voice over there is louder than all the rest of our state, and they have run that great city into the ground.   Only vast amounts of our tax money has been keeping them going.


One day   George Soros/Mrs. Clinton/Jill Stein decided they didn’t like us not voting for them in 2016 so they ordered a (rather expensive)  investigation of Voter Fraud.

The investigators found it.   The found Voter Fraud.   They found  (and this was on our local TV stations) ballot boxes that hadn’t been counted;  ballot boxes with more ballots than were possible for the precinct’s population numbers; and ballot boxes that had been opened after voting hours, overstuffed until the boxes themselves ripped open, thus invalidating all the ballots inside.    There were other details too that I can’t remember, other instances of fraudulent activities, quite a high percentage in some precincts.

These  instances of Voter Fraud occurred in that small southeast area of our state.  It began to look like the greatest amount of Voter Fraud occurs in areas where the greatest number of Leftists are.

George Soros/Mrs. Clinton/Jill Stein   quietly withdrew.



Perhaps there really should be an overall investigation of our past elections.   Perhaps the Democratic National  Committee busloads of “voters”   could explain themselves, nationwide, especially where they drive over state lines with their passengers or where they arrived too late to vote but demanded that the voting place re-open for them or where the “voters” were handed their voter registrations once they were on board the bus.

Yep.  I think Mr Trump has a good reason to wonder.

I sure do.   Mittens are meant to keep your fingers warm,  not to cover over a stolen treat.







January 20, 2017

From what I’ve seen and heard on this day I can’t escape the one final and lasting impression:   we have a president who seems to be genuinely proud of his country, the United States of America. 

And all it stands for.


All its history.


All its beauty.


All its geography,  “from sea to shining sea.”.

The Moorings Village Pearl of Florida Keys resort, Islamorada Key, Florida Keys, Florida USA

All its ordinary industry and small family enterprises.


All its abundance.


All its normal, everyday people.


All its goodness and faith.


All Americans.


I saw all the new people coming into the government, and they seemed to be glad and proud that they are one of us, among us.     I think they’ll do their best.

Makes me want to be a good citizen.

These new ones have their job, now, and I have mine.



January 20, 2017

Honest to Pete!!!!             


That’s about the strongest swear word in my arsenal of mean words . .  .  but I really mean it!

I woke up this morning to   this  —


He is, of course, someone who was at Washington DC to celebrate and to support Mr.  Trump. The accompanying story and eyewitnesses say he did NOT provoke this, he and his wife were not engaging the Leftists, and you can tell because his injury is from behind!


All throughout the campaign I’ve had people tell me, “Tsk, tsk,  those Trump supporters are so violent….”  ––  and I was astonished, because what I saw with my own eyes were the Leftists (many of them hired by the uber-socialist George Soros and his organizations)  who were doing the pushing, shouting, spitting, throwing, damaging cars,  blocking highways,   and dearly trying to provoke a response from the Trump people.

My eyes saw one thing,  the entertainment-news media was telling me the opposite:  “Violence at a Trump rally again.”   NO!   It wasn’t like that.

These Leftists shout out  “No KKK!”  and then they use the violence that the KKK used.  They shout out  “No to Fascists!!!”  and then they use the same violence that the Fascists used.

I’ve got to run quickly now for my morning class.   If all is well,  we shall see a new president – in spite of the media rubbing their hands together and smacking their lips as they deliciously speculate what would happen if all the newly elected people were suddenly  k  ill  ed and Leftist appointed people would have to take their place . . .


Honest to Pete.






Lil Ol’ You

January 19, 2017

(Your prayers,  prayers from little ol’ you,  are needed.   You’re not too little;  you faith is not too small.)

I know it’s not January 17th anymore,  but on January 17th the Church’s calendar remembers what happened in France on that date,  in 1871.    There was a tiny village of “Lil Ol’ You’s” that was right in the pathway of the mighty Prussian army  — and they were approaching fast.

People in that threatened village of Pontmain prayed for help.    Little, unnamed, unimportant people with hopeful faith, faith of all sizes, even the skeptical, doubting kind of faith, turned to prayer.

And the region was  also fighting an outbreak  of typhoid fever.    And smallpox.

And then the Prussians advanced on the neighboring village  and overtook it.

And then there was a weird and overwhelming display of the Northern Lights which put everyone on edge.

And then,  on January 17th, there was an earthquake –  and by then the growing sense that their prayers were not really being heard, although the dangers were increasing.

We are familiar today with a growing sense of danger.  We have an Inauguration coming up with determined Leftists making threats of violence, disruption, and . . .  worse, in our nation’s capital.    The President-Elect is in real danger.   And the danger won’t end on Inauguration Day.

By evening of that January 17th the adults were coping as best they could and children were sent out to finish up their chores.     Two of them  were near a barn on their family’s property and happened to look up and see above the barn “a beautiful lady”   dressed in a dark blue robe.    Then two more children came and saw her too.

I like this apparition of Our Lady because she is dressed in a midnight blue clothing, not the the light, holy colors she usually appears in.   The children described her gown as dark blue, covered with a pattern of stars,  and wearing a darker, perhaps black sash.   Imagine! — Our Lady in dark colors!


This is a plaque commemorating the visit on the wall of the actual barn.

The adults who had been praying for Heavenly help for days came – but couldn’t see anything.   They relied on the children to describe the apparition.   Most of the townspeople came out to watch.    They could feel something was happening and they began to pray and sing songs,  liturgical songs of praise.

There are many more lovely details,   but as the story ended,   the “beautiful lady”  allowed a banner to unfurl and words appeared across that banner:    “Pray, my children; God will soon answer your prayers.”

A painting of the scene of the evening of January 17th:


Eleven days later    ( !! )  the Prussians had still not attacked.  They had been stopped. The Prussian general  reported the reason:   “We can not go farther.   Yonder, in the direction of Brittany, there is an invisible Madonna barring the way.”

A small village of very few people had prayed in the face of danger and uncertainty,  and their prayers had been answered in a visible and definite way.    When troubles pile upon troubles,  no person is too small or insignificant to pray – and be heard.   There are not “too few” people to pray for the health and safety of their nation and of their leaders.


This night I was going to post some of the threats made by the enemies of our  Smooth Transition of Power from one president to the next.    I don’t know how successful their malice will be,  but here is a partial list of the threats:

These Leftist extremists call for riots   

They have published job offers, paying up to $2,500 for the day to participants.  (Help Wanted: Offer of $2,500 to Online job postings offering to provide travel expenses, insurance benefits to ‘operatives’)

CHAIN THE TRAINS!     They are forming a strategy to disrupt transportation, to stop DC  Metro trains from moving on Friday –  by the use of chains on the cars

There are multiple plans to stop people from getting into the Inauguration area

They will shut down DC bridges and highways to block access  into the city

Leftists announce their plans to create   “chaos”  to overwhelm security forces.

Leftists have many plans to target Trump supporters.      (Again!     Paid operatives attacked Trump supporters during the political rallies.  I’ve  posted that already, showing threats, punches,  property damage. . .and the Fake News media dutifully blamed Trump supporters. )

HACK ATTACK:    They have plans to take down   whitehouse . gov   on Friday to disrupt communications

Leftists have shut down several  news sites that don’t submit to the liberal mainstream media “news” agenda, some of them having their homepage  show   previous days’  information-  in other words, interfering with current news reporting.

Leftists plan to set off building water sprinklers on inauguration ball attendees

Leftists were video’d  discussing the best ways to spread Butyric acid through air vents into the rooms of Trump supporters at the receptions and balls

They are preaching HOPE HOPE HOPE that Martial Law can be proclaimed before Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office  — and if not,  to cause Martial Law during the Inauguration.

 Several caches of weapons were recently found in the area near Inauguration activities in DC .  Some are admitting   there may be “a massive conspiracy to stop Trump” being planned exposing the desire of Extreme Leftists  to commit acts of  te*    rr *  or.   

Oh,  I think I’ll stop now.   You get the idea.

We are not Pontmain facing the Prussian army,  but there could be danger ahead, either immediate danger for those celebrating the Inauguration or long-term danger developing for all of us,  by the actions of increasing desperation of the anti-American Leftists that are not stopped.


“The price of Freedom is constant Vigilance.”


January 16, 2017

 (  Just one observation to correct our “modern” prejudices.)

“The development of Western Civilization  has allowed for the greatest manifestation of the highest human values.”


My daughter visited the above church in Sao Paolo,   Brazil,  an actual result of  Western colonialism.   It’s an attempt to glorify God and show the beauty of His Kingdom with the use of higher philosophy leading man’s spirit upward,  with order and hierarchy,  and an architecture intended to reflect the beauty of heaven, focusing the eyes on the presence of God at the altar.

Yes, those floors are mirrors!   The edges of the pews are decorated with sweet smelling flowers for one of the many weddings that take place in that cathedral.   Hopeful promises of better things to come.

Western civilization is the culmination of Greek thinking and  Roman law and governance in combination with  Christian principles.       The enemies of the West have prevented nearly every citizen from knowing what those Greek philosophies are,  what the genius of Roman government was,  and the actual Truth mediated to mankind through the Kingdom of Christ.

In fact, each of these three elements are so thoroughly denigrated today, that it seems impossible to have anything good to say about them.

Now,   real Truth is identical with Beauty and with Goodness and with Purity and with Holiness  . . .   with God the Creator.

Historically,  wherever Western Civ has spread,  there has been the spread of  kindness and respect for the dignity of the human being:


Hotels and Hostels   for travelers

Safe, free traveling

Universities,  schools,  and literacy


Commerce and common methods of bookkeeping,  common laws of interchange

Advanced technology:  Farming;  Beer and Wine-Making;    Irrigation;  Grinding Mills

Scientific   inquiry,  discoveries, and knowledge

Architecture that uplifts the human spirit

The ideal of honesty in politics and peace treaties

Equality before the Law and the presumption of innocence when accused


Exterminate the Church and the Christians;    destroy knowledge of the past.

Then cross out all those things in red.   Because all those things in red don’t come to humans just because they are humans.      They existed here and there, perhaps,  but not all together in one civilization.


Just one geographical example:     When Christian colonialism came to   African nations, for instance,  it brought with it all those things in red.     (Please  don’t look to an imperialism divorced from Catholic Christian principles.)     When Christianity was kicked out by the enemies of Western Civilization,  African nations collapsed into anarchy, chaos,  poverty, starvation, and the rule of whichever tribal despot could gain power.

And anarchy can happen anywhere.

To follow after the dystopian future vision I wrote about in the last post,   how long do you think it will take for all our institutions to also collapse – without a firm commitment to the principles and values of Western Civilization?

To my Foreign Readers:  Perhaps this explains why supporters of Donald Trump are cautiously optimistic;  not that Mr. Trump will lead us into some wonderful future and solve all our problems.    He has very little power, in the face of our anti-West Rulers behind the scenes.

No,  there is optimism because perhaps the social and political climate will now allow those who understand the value of Western, Christian, European, American ideals to live freely and without fear of reprisals and destructive opposition.

Optimism.     Hard work,   but optimism.

Something for all of us to do!



January 7, 2017

I thought I’d share   (my grandson)  Cooper’s Family Christmas card this year — although I think it could double as a New Year’s greeting.

(Yeah,  I cut off his family name for privacy . .  .)



Well, how’s that for pure and innocent good cheer!!!

Cooper is standing on the shore of Lake Tahoe, near his home.    I told his Mommy (my daughter)  that he really looks like he’s demonstrating pure pleasure.

Oh, no,   she said,   we told him to look into the camera and he was just being silly.   A serendipitous  moment of silliness, I would say!)

So I too wish you all a Happy New Year of just pure goodness,  innocent joy, and fun!

Good cheer to all of you in 2017!!



January 5, 2017

  Taming that awful bug now; cutting him down to size.   

angry blue germ 25.jpg

I always say we were given Self-Healing Bodies;  that helps,  that  and keeping to a strict regimen of dozing-sleeping-dozing-sleeping-dozing . . .    (Heh heh — or is that just plain self-indulgence?)

Began to “return to the world” and  listen to the radio today and heard the national weather report.  Little Cooper, my grandson, is back at his home now in the Sierra Nevadas.    THAT Sierra Nevadas.   The one the weather service is giving three to five  FEET of snow to  this week!

I texted his Daddy and told him his weather has made our local news.    He looked out  his front door and sent a photo back.


That was the first two feet.   More to come later that day.    And then the three-five feet on Friday/Saturday.     They’re talking ten to fifteen feet in some places.   Not surprising, I guess –  they live near Donner Pass . . .    THAT Donner Pass — the documentary they keep showing on the Weather Channel about the ill-fated wagon train party that never made it over Donner Pass one winter.      Twenty-two feet in that snowstorm.      Cooper lives within a couple miles of the Donner Party Memorial.

Their story is actually worth knowing.  It has some elements of general human importance.      I wrote about it a couple years ago, so you can read the story,  here.    

If you read the story,   you’ll see a beautiful lake in the midst of the forest.   Cooper’s house is on that lakeshore.      It’s all grayed out in the above photo, though;   too much snow in the air.

The Donner Party was caught off guard, but Cooper and his family just take all that snow in stride.   They wouldn’t feel  “buried.”     Cooper shovels snow too.    He has a six-year-old size shovel.   But I happen to know that that area has  mountain-blizzard sized  snow plows!     Loud, horrendously screeching metal behemoths that move mountains of snow off the roads.    The sound still gives me chills.

I had been taking care of him for several weeks one winter, and  I was thinking about ending my stay, making the long, long cross-country drive that would take me home — and then they got one of those snowstorms.   In one afternoon, we went from almost no snow cover to three feet of snow, drifting all over the place.

And forget about driving home!


That was my little blue car,  parked under a car port!     We got more snow that evening and more snow the next day.    For a few panicked moments,  I could almost feel what the Donner Party had begun to experience.     Stuck!  Stranded!  Buried!

“GRANDSON BURIED.”      That’s not what they would say.      They live there and that’s their playground.        “Skiing!!”  is what they would say.


Here’s Cooper on snowshoes a few years ago.    They  have no problem getting around.

We had a baby snowstorm today:  15 degrees;   40 m.p.h. wind gusts, and, oh,  maybe an inch or two of snow.   More weather like that coming this weekend.


It was hard to get just the right photo of the clouds of snow swirling around, but the wind took the snow and made pretty patterns in the air.

Well, it’s winter, and we’re in for it for a while  –  all over the Northern Hemisphere.    How about a trip to the German Alps?   Like this  –


Think how beautiful it all can be!!!


Ahhhh. . .   now I have something lovely to think about as I go back to my couch and doze off some more . . . .



January 1, 2017

Happy New Year.

I’m down for the count. . .   Since mid-December I’ve been fighting  . . .   everything.    Lots of “bugs,”  germs, and infections.

angry blue germ.jpg

Finally succumbed.

I seem to be outnumbered:


All three lines are hitting bottom these days.  Mental, physical, and emotional.     (Not that I believe in biorhthyms.)

Sorry to friends and family and readers (for no contact).     It will take a few more days to get these “lines” to go up again.   God willing.


Just — it’s a good thing I’m not writing what I’m thinking.

“Happy”  New Year seems to be an ironic phrase for 2017.


Oh, wait.  There’s an afterthought.      It came in the form of  a Whisper in my ear.

I was reminded of this:If in this life only we have hope in Christ,  we are of all men most miserable!”         I’m really not  miserable miserable;     just fatigued and sick and a little uncertain and worried, as a good mother and grandmother should be.   And citizen…

Jesus did not come to solve our problems and make us feel better in this life!    If that’s what we think,  we’d really be miserable!

2017 is a new year ahead.   Eternity is a New Life ahead.     Real hope and joy touches Eternity.     I’m okay.



December 19, 2016

December 19th,  you know the Electors voted for  Trump to be our next president.

You know that  R.oyal  C.lintoness received  “the most” popular votes.

You know that if you take away the votes cast for her in just one state,  California,  that Donald Trump received the most popular votes (in the remaining 49 states).

And that’s why this country is not a Democracy,  but a Republic and why we elect our president through the Electoral College system.     (Genius)

Did you know that Russia *  affected the outcome of our election??????

We got proof! –



Observations from The Spruce Tunnel:  a/k/a  Flyover Country.

.* (Thanks and credit to someone who copied and pasted and copied that from a                      re-retweeted, retweeted Tweet.)





December 12, 2016

(A snapshot of Dec. 10;  just keeping a record.)

Yup, we had that snowstorm.     I was buried today.    Not too bad,  I’ve seen worse –


This area had about 9 inches of snow today.  That photo is my second  round of shoveling the driveway.  Still hadn’t made it out as far as the mailbox.     I knew I’d have to drive out in the late afternoon, so instead of shoveling all at once,  I did it in   “shifts.”     12:40 . . .  2:30 . . .   4:15.

You might recognize that as pre-game,   half-time,  and  post-game  (or rather between the first and second games.

Now I’m home,  I don’t care how much more snow has fallen,  and I’m enjoying the effect of the “frosting”  on my blue deck lights:


I can NOT get a good picture that shows how soft and beautiful the lights are.   I think I’ll  go to sleep by that window tonight.

Another view with dramatic lights and shadows, but even less of the blue lights.


I’ll make good use of my insomnia tonight and just enjoy the winter beauty as I “wind down”  from all the things that have stirred me up during the past week or so.     The usual, of course:  holiday cleaning,  decorating,  gift-buying;   good preparation for the last-classes-of-the -year.   I can “wind down” on that too because we’re just going to take up where we left off after we begin  to meet again.   What I didn’t say or didn’t say well I can try again in January.

There was a flurry of party preparations for a while,  our Annual  Christmas-Movie-Pizza party,   but we had a less elaborate party this year.    We voted to have actual pizza this year,  so all we had to do was eat and enjoy.   I was very, very, very nervous about whether or not my guests would like the movie.    I wanted them to very much.

They did.    In fact,  they seemed to enjoy talking about it,  mulling over it,  letting it sink in,  beyond what I had hoped.       I can relax now.

I must have begun minimizing things,  simplifying,  winding down during the party.     I worked hard on creating an album of our past parties – that was fun –  I’d very much recommend keeping a small album of your own special group of friends…  just gather up photos from the past.


Here’s a Rule of Life I discovered:  The older you get, the more your past experiences mean to you, so be sure to  record good moments for your future reference!!    But even so,   for some odd reason  I didn’t take one picture during this year’s party.      Not one.


That’s about all I have left….  some sorry-looking punch.     Good friends cleaned up most of the rest.     The leftover glögg  is outside on the deck,  staying cool.      It won’t freeze with all that . . .  you know,  alcohol doesn’t freeze!

So,  this is  “Random Thoughts in the Spruce Tunnel.”     I’m minimizing my Advent activities too.   Most of it is internal, for me, anyway.    And now I have this to think about:     It is Gaudete Sunday.    Letting up from fasting and penance a little, we focus for a  moment on the  Joyful Event that we’re preparing for.

So it’s  Pink,  not Purple:


Except I had some discordant thoughts today.    My first quick peek at the news this morning revealed several groups of killings:      Kenya,   a chemical gas truck accident killing a couple dozen;  in Turkey,  an explosion killing about three dozen;   in Egypt, an explosion in a church killing a couple dozen or so;   and back to Africa, Nigeria, where a church roof collapsed, killing  160 people.    Several  stabbings,  shootings, and rapes were reported this weekend in Europe,  courtesy of their  “refugee”  guests.

Not a good way to begin Gaudete Sunday.

And not a good way to end it either,  in the late afternoon,   in one of those modernist-awful new-version of the Church churches….    where the new young priest or deacon or whatever  continually mispronounced   the word “gaudete”   (that’s okay, lots of lay people do),  gave the wrong meaning to the word “gaudet”    and where, after making brief reference to  the purple colors used in Advent and Lent, asked us  what the color purple means.

“Preparation,”   he says.    Purple indicates preparation.


I don’t mind mistakes,   but what this young man said in the rest of his sermon displayed a shocking lack of education,   understanding, and knowledge of Church doctrine.    One more generation of this . . .  and it won’t even really matter.

I’ll do “purple” in another post soon.   Did you know there was a Purple Revolution going on?    And I’ll do better on Advent things.



Right now my biorhythms chart shows my Emotional line  (the red one) scraping bottom.

It’s a good time to slow down,   wind down for a while,  without coming to any specific conclusions.     After all, snowstorms are for warm quilts, hot cocoa,  and a good book in front of the fireplace.

Things can only go up from here!