Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category


July 6, 2019


Can’t be a “forethought” — I’m a bit late.     But it’s still a “thought”  about the “Fourth.”

The Declaration of Independence was signed 243 years ago.  That document signified our determination to become a free and sovereign nation, and that determination was strong enough to produce a constitutional republic  more than a decade later.


I’m not going to make a comment about the state of education today, compared to what our forefathers had available to them – and what kind of men of character was produced.

I’m not going to make a comment about the superiority of homeschooling versus government-run schools.

I’m not going to make a comment about all the superannuated children in our society (that is,  adults acting like juveniles).

I’m not going to make a comment about the  maturity of young people — 243 years ago.

But it is a bit interesting to note the ages of some of our Founding Fathers at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1776:       (just a few players, not everyone was a signer….)

Marquis de Lafayette was  18

James Monroe was 18

Charles Pinckney, 18

Henry Lee III, 20

Aaron Burr, 20

John Marshall, 20

Nathan Hale, 21 years old.

Alexander Hamilton, 21

James Madison, 25

Henry Knox, 25

Edward Rutledge, 26

John Paul Jones, 28

John Jay, 30

Elbridge Gerry, 31

Nathanael Greene, 33

Thomas Stone, 33*

Ethan Allen, 38

Charles Carroll, 38

John Hancock, 39

Thomas Paine, 39

Patrick Henry, 40

John Adams, 40

George Washington, 44

And the king we fought for our independence from:

King George III, 38


Kind of takes your breath away to consider how young rthe men were who gave us our nation!

John Adams, one of the “older” men,  said, once our independence was won,  that we should remember the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence for ever after,  with fireworks, parades, gunshots, and whatever else families can do to mark the day!


I was glad to see our nation celebrated:

4th Flyover

Celebration hosted by our President and First Lady:


In spite of the rainy day, many, many, many people came out to celebrate,  more than expected!


I hope you all made this a special day  (special weekday too!)  as I did.

I had a small group of great friends over for a little picnic and good conversation.

Earlier in the week, my Recorder practice friend hosted our musical afternoon, followed by a delicious chocolate/vanilla swirl ice cream cake:

4th Recorder


And, of course, around here, we all celebrate my Daughter’s birthday!


Kathy alone

“Born on the Fourth of July!”





July 1, 2019

          . . .  surprise . . .

Grief pours out and there is not an end . . . .

A bird flew around inside my house last year and that means someone’s going to die but it was  you not me.    I’m still here and you’re not . . . . . 

Oh, Meghan.

So young.

It’s been one year since you hovered over me and nagged me until, even though I could no longer breathe on my own,  you and Son convinced me to get an ambulance called . . . . I couldn’t think straight and you did the thinking for me.

And you hovered over and cared for Son during all this.  

And we love you so much and we still need you.

I said so often:   May God give you now all the love you wanted and deserved.   

Be in God’s loving hands.

That won’t make us feel better, but  that’s  a  little bit  all right for us to think of.   It’s just got to be, after a whole year.  


I need a few days.

Love can be awful.




June 21, 2019


Observations:   Vast empty lifeless areas in the Pacific Ocean.    Vast.  Lifeless.     Starving larger fish species.  Starving  seals and  baby seals dead of starvation.    Ocean food species disappearing.   Coastal species dying and disappearing.  Starfish limbs dissolving.  Salmon industry collapse.    Etc.

If we read only scattered  headlines  like these, here and there, over the space of eight or nine years,  our minds are not doing the addition.     It doesn’t add up to anything.


Here’s another recent story:


It was followed quickly by the reports of hundreds of whales beaching themselves in the Pacific Northwest, and hundreds of seals found dead on a Pacific coast beach.

The photo shows Bill Laughing Bear, who lives near this newly dead whale in Alaska.  He normally tests dead salmon and halibut for radioactivity and says he has not found one which did not test positive for radioactivity.   That made him curious about this recent dead whale.   He said he found the whale to be “radioactive,”  although there were no specifics.   He thought that it would have tested higher near the stomach area than down by the tail fin, but he didn’t want to get wet that day, walking up to the stomach area, but he also said he wouldn’t be eating whale blubber anymore.  Hmm.

As I used a search engine to find and re-read the article for accuracy,   I found subsequent reports of “another,” and then  4, then 5,  and the latest 24 dead whales found recently on the beaches up there.

The stories  of radioactive dead sea creatures began shortly after the Fukushima event which “downloaded”   gabillions  of tons of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, and still ongoing today, and that is in addition to an uncounted amount of radiation spewing into the air  from the heavily damaged nuclear reactors..

Fuku Spraying 380

The meltdown is still going on.     Sometimes we forget what a dangerous, hopeless, unsuccessful mess it was to try to ‘cool” the damaged reactors after the earthquake and tsunami.  

I saw (and posted occasionally)  the maps of the world showing how the radiation  dispersed, especially across the United States.  I know grasslands for cattle became radioactive in Colorado, for instance, and milk as far away as Vermont tested positive for radiation, so I was often curious about what the rain was delivering to us here  in the Far North.

I bought a “Geiger counter” –  The Inspector brand.

After I saw  that article about the dead gray whale and read that someone had gone out  with a Geiger counter and found it three to four times more radioactive  than expected, I decided to check out any possible radiation in our current days of “endless” rain this week.  After all,  my herbs and tomatoes are growing outside there on my back deck!

I thought maybe we have less radiation in our rain now than we did when I used to measure it a few years ago.

Inspector 114


Normal background radiation is 22 – 38.      This “114”  on Wednesday is “higher than normal background radiation,”  I’ll state that explicitly.

When the rain stopped,  the radiation count went way down, into the 50s,  but I was getting wet.  I’m sure it went down to where it should be eventually.    As usual, my eyes burned a little after I came in from the rain.

Nuclear power plants are NOT a safe alternative to the-called “fossil”  fuels.

02 Nucl Reactors in N Caroliona

Another Fukushima waiting to happen?    To us? 

So what about our fish that comes from the Pacific Ocean?     I made it a point  to buy  only “Atlantic” Salmon from my grocery store — only to find out that “Atlantic” means only a type of salmon, not its origin.     My butcher assured me that all the fish in his display counter came from the Pacific Ocean – nothing from the Atlantic!

Today I found out that most of our “wild-caught Atlantic” salmon comes from Chile, which is,   for some  reason of ocean currents,   safer from Japanese radiation.

But then you don’t want to eat “farm-raised” salmon either, even though American farm-raised standards have improved.  But doctors still give warnings to not each too much salmon per month.     One to three salmon meals, maximum.



But salmon from our country,  our “Atlantic” salmon caught on the West Coast   —   tumors are common.

slmon tumor

Poor things:

salmon mouth

I won’t buy them anymore anyway.



Sorry to have kept those old Fukushima links up so long in the right columns.   They are useless now.    They have petered out or moved to other locations.   I haven’t found any other central location for Fukushima news.    But the stories keep coming.

I’ll remove those links soon . . . .


May 26, 2019

It occurred to me that although I posted many  photos of our new church building in the last post, I didn’t really show you what the whole building looks like from the outside . . .   nor why we are so happy to be moving (Deo volente again).

So here:


Looks to  like a “real” church!

And this is why:   here’s where we worship currently:

Ch crypt sign

Yes,  you read that correctly:  “Crypt.”    We have to go down into the “crypt”  for our Mass.     We are the group equivalent of persona non grata.   The new version of the church is uneasy around the Mass that always used to be;  they changed abruptly,  we didn’t.

So we are consigned to the crypt . .   an actual crypt.   Down here:

Ch our stairs



However, we did make it look nice:

Ch our front.jpg


During Lent   (purple)   our priest:

priest during lent

The crypt works just fine for us.


But we’re going to be very happy with a “real” church building.


May 9, 2019

Hi.  I’m pretty sure I’m on # 23  in my What’s It series.    These are photos of genuinely unexplained things . . .  and they’re just for fun.    Some day — I promise — to figure out how to get them  all on a Page, so they’ll be easier to find all together rather than using the Search box.


I just thought I’d run out of little mysteries.   But here’s another:

Rat creatures movin g



Whoever found these on his kitchen floor and took a video of them calls them “aliens.”

I don’t know.    They’re tiny.   You can see he’s holding them in the palm of his hand.  And there were a couple dozen of them.   They were moving and squirming in the video.  They do have rat tails or maybe mice tails, but the bodies didn’t move like mice (or baby rats),  but they have no ears.

They’re deformed . . .  somethings.   Not all of them had faces.

Just a couple dozen tiny unformed living things that found there way onto the middle of  someone’s kitchen floor.


May 2, 2019

May Day has a terrible connotation too, when it is wrenched out of the hands of common, everyday people and orchestrated by powerful political forces who take power “in the name of the common people.”

Convoluted, yes?


Since the 1920’s  Socialism had begun to be inserted into our education system in America.   (John Dewey:  “education for-living”;  education for social engineering; “education” that no longer educates….)


Here is this year’s triumph of Socialism over Education.    (United States, 2019)

Makes me ashamed that I was ever a public school teacher.  Decades ago I saw it, so did other teachers, but we were powerless.

Now three generations of children have been raised unabashedly Socialist.

The “end” point of Socialism is State Control of . . .  everything,  whether it is called democratic socialism,  parliamentary socialism,  communism, or fascism.   The State controls and regulates everything,  giving you permissions —  if . . . .  if you comply.

And if not?

socialist DEATH TOLL


The toll is greater now,  because  (1)  as we look back in history, we can  see these numbers are generally underestimated, and (2)  Socialism has continued to advance elsewhere.   Anyone counting the number of dead in Venezuela?

Socialism is always the imposition of the will of a powerful State onto that State’s own citizens.    Probably safer (in the minds of some people)  to become a Socialist and get in on the action.  However,  Socialism has NEVER worked, everywhere it’s been tried.

It should be such a good idea:   Give the government everything,  the government will give you good things:

Socialism's FREE electricity for free

Why wouldn’t under-educated young people fall for it?


The fall of societies may be slow and prolonged or it may be rapid,  but societies do fail under Socialism.   Socialist systems are illogical and unrealistic – that is,  not related to the real world.  

And as they fail,  more and more rules and regulations, laws and restrictions have to be put into place.  they may harm the nation, but at least they tamp down the opposing voices and keep the people under control.

So what’s the connection to May Day?   Why May 1st for the Global Socialists?

When formal socialism was being created in the 19th century,   the leaders relied upon the support of  “workers.”      Working conditions in city factories and industry were inhumane, and this is where the socialists hoped to get their support.

A movement went out to limit the number of hours worked to 8 hours each day.  I think that’s a good thing.  “Workers” in the Middle Ages often worked less than that, and their Guilds took care of them, from training, to assuring just recompense, to material support in times of trouble.   (The guild system broke down after the Protestant movement began.)

Modern type trade organizations and unions announced that May 1, 1886 would be the Day that  “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor.”

Opposition,  riots,  bombings accompanied that proclamation, and socialists from Europe got on the bandwagon and used the deaths and injuries of the riots as their own launching pads for “workers’ reform”  under Socialist control.

It’s complex.    Good goals, terrible means.

May Day is now their day to celebrate “Workers”  around the world.    “Workers of the World,  Unite!!!”

But remember,  “Workers”   are not people;  they are human  resources . . .  factored into the bottom line of politics and corporate management, and must be “managed” (controlled):.

So these:

mayday china

And also these:

mayday tanks.jpg

Protect these:

mayday workers


There were big May Day celebrations all over the world.    Guns and artillery on display,  flags and soldiers, crowd-enthusiasm.


May Day can remind us of “terrible”  things too.   Let us be on guard about this version of May Day — BECAUSE  . .

Poster Socialism SKULLS


   . . . . .  there are people in our country who would like to give Socialism another try.


Brief Conclusion

April 18, 2019

  The not-very-heavily redacted report.   Democrats passed a law that the “raw” or complete report cannot be released publicly, without careful redactions.


For my foreign readers on this day that the “Mueller Report”  came out:

You have watched the spectacle of a political faction in the U.S.  government  using the powers of government agencies to investigate, accuse,  calumniate, and spy on a sitting president and those who work with him, with the collusion of the entertainment-news media.

The would-be president Mrs.  William  Clinton and her campaign financed the production of a false dossier written and delivered by a Russian, and used to trick a U.S. judge into opening up an investigation which included spying on American citizens.   (We have the paper trail for this purchase.) 

Who  were the “investigators?    More than a dozen  avowed and adamant enemies of the man  Donald  Trump.   His self-proclaimed enemies were chosen to investigate him!

Bottom line,  what has been revealed:


(1)    Even this highly adversarial investigation   — adversarial, not impartial —   could not find any  wrongdoing.

(2)    It has been revealed that the highest agencies of U.S.  law enforcement and agencies of government functioning have been taken over by partisans who used these agencies to go after their political  opposition.


That should frighten  everyone.




Since the entertainment-news media have lied about this for two and a half years,  fanning the flames of HATE towards the president,  what other lies have they told about him,  just to get you to hate this man?



MARCH MADNESS (to be cont.)

April 2, 2019

Well!     That’s a little odd, having March Madness in April.

But here we are — and here I am —

MSU brackets

950 points, they tell me.    100%.        82K  above me!!!

First time I’ve done Brackets.  I didn’t know how much fun it would be!!  son urged me,  and urged me,  and finally reminded me I have only a few minutes left . . .  and I made it;  I clicked Submit with a minute and a half to go!

I kind of questioned why I got 100%  because I missed a team.  One of my picks didn’t win,  but Son explained that they round the percentage  upwards,  so I guess that’s all right.

Of course our “hometown”  team  is still in the running.   Final Four!   We have a particular and traditional; way to celebrate — it’s been this way since Hubbie and I were college age…..

First, a huge crowd gathers:

MSU crowd

The main event is in that center there where you see an orange glow . . .

They did it.  They kept the tradition:

MSU chair fire

The tradition is you find a big easy chair or,  even better,   a sofa;  drag it out into the street;  and then  set it on fire!!!!!   And then .  . .  I think what that guy in gray is doing is he’s getting ready to jump across the burning chair.

Great fun!  (The police hate it.)      

Maybe if I still had college age  children I’d hate it too.    But I’ve never heard of anyone getting hurt and I can understand the “fun” aspect to it — so I just sit back and enjoy the spectacle.

I mean,  we WON!     

Might as well celebrate!!!

We have a couple more games to go. (to be cont.)


April 1, 2019

(Some religious-type thoughts for the day):


You all know I like humor,  and while I’m no Dr. Seuss in my title,   I thought I’d turn to some absurdity today;   and as last time I got “political,”  since it is Sunday today,  I thought I’d get a little “religious.”

Only not really —  because the word “religion”  is from the ancient Latin word “religare.”  Like “ligaments,” it signifies a tie or a bond between two persons or  things, in this case between God and Man –  or in ancient days,  between the gods and men.

So — not really, unless we’re not too specific about how we use that word “religion.”

It’s not about mindless submission to an all-powerful concept of a god.



It’s not all about Rules and what happens if we break them:

hand off


It’s not about how kind we are and how we treat strangers in our midst:



It’s not even about how we treat women:

Islam Womenin chains


Or even animals:

camel sacrifice

camel sacrifice


Religion is about “binding” oneself to God,  learning as much about our Creator as possible,  and then having our devotion and worship facilitated by the One Church that His Son left behind.

Maybe I said that like a clumsy oaf tripping over my keyboard,   but you can’t have all religious ideas be the correct one.     I mean there is only One Creator who sent His Only Begotten and  Beloved Son to this planet and this One Son is the source of One Church that helps us find our way to Him.

His Church is our facilitator.


So, there was once a leader of that Church, a man of dignity,  good humor, great learning, piety, authority, and wisdom.

leo xiii

He once said this:

To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. [Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei, 1885] 


“TWO POPE”    –

The current pope says “When there are religious forms that are unlike each other, contradictory and “even contrary” to each other,  there is NO difference!

Ruins YICK

It gets  yicky.    (Yes,  that word is in my dictionary.)

This  man who holds the same office as St. Peter once held  has made many pronouncements about “worshiping the same God”   as the Moslems.”    He could not be more wrong.

Other religions do not have the same understandings or goals as traditional  (non-modern)  Christianity.    In speeches, sermons,  radio programs, and television spokesmen for other religions seem to be singing  different tunes.

Crescent on Top


However some leaders seek to use mankind’s religious make-up for their own advantage.

This present man (holding the office of pope)  and his followers  seem to be working hard to create a one world religious blend,  having met with all kinds of religious leaders lately, with the view towards working together from the top down… that is, creating policies from the top leaders  that would apply to everyone “down there,”  to us ordinary people.


Islam-Cath LOGO 2



“Top down” –   “Central Control”  –  State Policy-Making implemented by committees or conferences,  community organizers, parish councils, to get everybody on board —   this is  the classic system of soviets;    and the man holding the office of the pope and his followers have all been trained in the last century  in these methods —  all for the sake of Social Justice and the good of the workers  citizens people.

Oh, and by now we’ve left the true purpose of religion far behind.


(Revelation,  chapter 13)

We all know this world system will end one day.    Indifference to God and wickedness, cold-heartedness has increased to incredible proportions in our popular cultures, and an end will come.

The leader of all the world religions will have a blackness in his soul that does not come from  God.

Absurd, but not humorous after all:

How absurd that the leader of the Church would lead people away from God.

How absurd  that people would reject the 2,000-year-old Church because of its leaders or its members.    (Haven’t quite found a “church” made up of perfect people yet.)

How absurd that a man would try to make up his own version of “church” or “religion” or of a “god”  or  . . .  Guess that man is trying to be his own God!

How absurd.

And precarious for one’s soul.



March 11, 2019

Could be anybody’s.  Could be yours, someday.   Will be mine someday soon.


A very good man died early Sunday morning.   He was a friend.  He and his wife attended my classes for many years,  but our relationship grew beyond class.    I did speak to him two days before his death, in the hospital, where he was very ill;  but I thought I had time for another talk.

Thought I could see him again, even if only one more time.

I’ve had a lot of deaths in my life in the past nine years:  Suzy,  husband,  father,  mother, sister,  our dear Meghan – “second daughter” –  every death is new and different.    You don’t get used to it.

And you always, always have regrets.   Something you could have done; you could have said;   you should have done; you  should have done more;  you should have said;  you should have said more fervently.     You should have shown your love more.

I think everyone in church knew, before the Mass started.   It seemed “quiet” in there;  heavier.   More solemn.   But the Mass began, as it would have.   A brief announcement before the sermon started;  then the sermon continued on, as it would have.    Communion occurred, as it would have.

We all went home, as we would have,   but we’re waiting for information; and when we know the details of the funeral,  we will all come together as a family of those who knew this good man —  as we should.

Perhaps we will try to become better friends to the people we know – as we should.

Death . . .  will be everybody’s.


March 6, 2019




Just don’t.

It seems like everything about Lent is just what you’re not supposed to be doing.   And that’s supposed to be good for your soul.     The Church gives us Lent —  which is supposed to make us closer to God . . . .


“Reverend Fun” isn’t a Catholic,  but I guess he knows about Jonah whose main claim to fame is that God told him to do something  –  and he promptly ran away.  Went in the other direction, as a matter of fact.      (God found a way to bring him back.)*

mg whale


So . . .  none of us really have to think about Lent:

MG beads

I’ve got a pile of those beads in my house, that I’ve saved from past years.  (But, no, I didn’t get them in the “usual” way.    I wouldn’t do that.)   

MG Beads down

Thanks to Son and to Grandson in various years,  I have some beads and I treasure my little collection.    They’re just fun to have.

It’s fun to watch the live webcams too.    Right now I can hear a siren, but the camera isn’t picking up whatever it is.  

The streets of New Orleans are just beginning to thin out now.   

MG sdtreets

At the stroke of midnight,  it gets pretty quiet, and empty down there.

Paczki Haven’t had my Paczki  yet this year.

I suppose I shouldn’t.    But I still want one.    Here are the rules of fasting during Lent:   One whole meal,   then two more  little meals but that don’t together add up to another whole meal.     Abstinence means you don’t eat meat that day.      (Says nothing about  Paczkis,  although one has enough calories to equal your one “whole meal” for that day.)

Don’t, don’t, don’t –  about eating.   Don’t indulge in your bad habits.   Don ‘t gossip.   Don’t watch  much TV.   Don’t be on the Internet, unless it’s something you need to do.   Don’t  swear.   Don’t take sugar in your coffee.    Don’t . . .   whatever else makes you comfortable . . . .

What’s the point?    

The Church gives us Lent;  why shouldn’t we “run”  from it?    Well, of course it prepares us for Easter —  the true meaning of Easter.     If you don’t have a good Lent, you won’t have much of an Easter.  

But as far as the Don’ts of Lent — “Lent is a time for us to learn to love our souls more than our bodies.”

Our bodies,  our physical world, our life on this planet,  all this is temporary:


If we intend to end up in a good, holy place when we die, we need to start working on that now.     Death does not confer holiness  on anyone.    It is God who confers holiness, His holiness, that makes us fit for Heaven.

But we need to dispose ourselves to the holy work of God in us.    We’ve been taught some ways to make us open to God:

  1.   Voluntary amendment of our life.
  2.   Do acts of Penance  (better now than after we die!)
  3.   Do works of charity.

We  have the period of Lent to work on all this.    I can write more about them in the days ahead.   By doing these three things,  you would be showing God that you truly do “love your soul more than your body.”    

It’s a lot of work.  It’s an interruption into everyday life.     It’s easy to forget about it,  to “run away”  from Lent.




  •   (It wasn’t  a whale.)






January 15, 2019

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


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

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

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

w pieces

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

Next you take the cork out:

W Opener Action.jpg

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

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

w cork

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

w breathing


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

It’s red.

It was sweet and delicious.

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



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

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

blue light tester 300(a Blue Light test pattern)

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

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

w skal

“Skål”  as my Scandinavian family says!

Night life can be good! 







October 7, 2018


St. Therese of Lesieux,  Little Flower,  who promised a shower of roses on us, 

Meg Yellow Rose 380

.     —  shower on Meghan now your intercession for her soul,   and your   “Little Way of Love”  on all of us she left behind.

We can do nothing more . . .   we  too  are “little” . . .  all that is left is love.


What I feel strongly today, this first day after Meghan’s funeral service,  is not what I truly believe;   nevertheless,   it is what I feel:

M eg Flowers 380

It is this:

I give the fight up
Let there be an end
A privacy, an obscure nook for me
I want to be forgotten, even by God.

(from Parcelsus by Robert Browning 1835)

Usually it’s the poet Blake that I quote here for you.   And often Yeats, since God saw fit to place me in this place and time, this most wicked, inhumane, un-religious, God-forsaken century. *   Our Heavenly Father’s love and care for us is still there, infinite and eternal, but we have so thickly veiled it  that it takes  effort on our part to see through that cold, dark veil.

Our Dear Meghan  touched so many lives, and circles of lives, and so profoundly,  that as one of her friends put it, we all have her  flame like  a little “pilot light”  burning in us, each in our own way,  because she knew each of us, each in our own way,  and she gave herself to us wholeheartedly with cheerfulness, proficiency, and unconditional friendship.

She herself was the bright spot in any room.

In observing all the people that came to honor Meghan,  and the young men and women of Son’s circle of friends — Son’s and Meghan’s circle because to know one was to know the other ––   in observing all these people,  I could see that Meghan’s light was in them too, and they live and talk in reference to her . . .  and they are better people for it.

Works in progress, of course, even as I am,  but we want to be like she was.

Here is the young man,  Meghan’s,  at the end of it all:

Meg Son there

“….A privacy, an obscure nook for me…”

At the end of words.   At the end of thoughts.

Viking blood.  Viking courage.   Viking strength.   Viking-size feelings.

He’ll be all right.    He has a surprisingly close group of friends,  the young men standing by him;  I call them a Band of Brothers.   Who else commandeers an extra table at the funeral parlor and writes a sign with the words   “Care Package”  with a calendar for his friends to sign up on certain dates marking when and how they will do something to support him, my Son?

He’ll be all right, but not just yet now . . .

I give the fight up
Let there be an end
A privacy, an obscure nook for me
I want to be forgotten, even by God.

It’s about feelings now,  not belief,  not faith,  not Truth.  Just feelings.



Advice from a Mom (me):

Meg Book of Friends

When you go to a funeral or to a Memorial, go to it!    Help the family set up and plan  for it, if possible.    Those are difficult days between the death and the funeral.    Sign the book!     Mix and mingle with others who come. Make new friends and acquaintances – you belong there too, having known the loved one, now absent.

Sadly,  I give that advice to all of you because we will all experience someone’s death, eventually, and some day our own.

Don’t ask:  “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”    John Donne had the answer.     It’s a good time to look it up and review it.


(Not the book, not the movie, not the song . . .  the poem, in plain, simple English.)




.*   Don’t misunderstand:   I have NO complaints about God’s wisdom in placing me in this “here and now.”    He was right,  this is the best time and place for me to be able to be directed back to Him.

(And for you.)



September 27, 2018


Two true stories:   Two Little Girls;  Two O’clock in the morning:

civil war stone


Imagine you are a child in school.   Think back to when you were a child  and remember how much you didn’t know yet, but school was a safe and friendly place to learn.

Two Little Girls

Two schoolgirls, actually;  maybe one elementary school, one middle school.   Every day when they go to school there are loud and profane demonstrators just outside their school, frightening them and their schoolmates.

Grown-Up Security people and their methods all accompanying their movements.

kav fam

The demonstrators are targeting the two little girls and their family.

Free speech and all that.    As used by the Leftist cultural-marxists ( socialists)  in  our country, financed in part  by an anti-American billionaire foreign citizen.


Two O’clock in the Morning

Not in our country (yet)  but in other well-known marxist countries there are the eyewitness, survivor accounts of those fearful footsteps and that dreaded Knock on the Door at Two O’clock in the Morning.     

Someone has accused you of something that the Leftists in your government do not like.   You now have to prove that you didn’t do it, but it’s hard because the accusation is vague and changing, becoming worse and worse each day, more lurid.    It’s hard because your accuser is on the side of the governing voices.

Even if you are returned home,  you – and your family – will  be under suspicion for the rest of your life.    In the case of Judge Kavanaugh, under threat of impeachment for the rest of his life.

The accusation proves his guilt.

The Innocent must prove his innocence.


Look again at our nation’s headstone:

civil war stone

The same political party which Carpetbagged the South,  began anti-Black, anti-Catholic, anti-foreigner movements such as the KKK, and who resisted with all their might the civil rights efforts of the 1950s,   that same political party is trying to win the upper hand by starting movements, societies, and actions against their political opponents.

race mixing

 Democrats against integration in the South

Today, their targets can be the two little girls,  anyone not of their own kind who runs for political office, anyone who gives an opinion not accepted by the Left, as promulgated by the main entertainment-news media.

They want to tear down the Rule of Law and equal protection before the law and civility in politics, because Civil War is the first step to their Revolution.

While future accusations and arrests won’t come at 2:00 A.M. necessarily,  dossiers are being compiled on each of us who have ever used or encountered the large Leftist-led institutions that we know so well by name.   Dossiers,  or databases, as they are called now.      Why are there so many lists and categories?

Everything we do creates a profile of us.

Harmless, so far.

True stories:   Two frightened little girls; two and more accusation which alone “prove”  the guilt of a man.  

When one side in a Civil War doesn’t fight back hard enough, it becomes a Revolution.




Can you imagine a movie about America’s great scientific achievement which evidenced the ingenuity, intelligence,  patriotism, and positive contributions to all mankind —  but made without reference to America and taking out one of the iconic, inspiring events, that of the planting of the U.S. flag on the moon?  

I think it’s called “First Man.”    

Anti-American by omission.

A subtle way of diminishing your enemy in a Civil War.


September 22, 2018

Update, for friends and family:

Intensive Care Patient

Our dear young friend, M,  whom I wrote about in the last post,  in the hospital, in serious condition,   has taken a turn for the worst today.    She is now in an ICU unit I know that’s redundant)  and on a ventilator.

It came as a surprise because yesterday she was talking, talking, talking, as is her wont;  but she was breathing heavily.     We left her last night, noting good cheer and a bit of energy.   And breathing heavily.

Her body is being destroyed by the Medical Industry protocol to treat a common illness, and that “standard treatment”  is  what put her in such serious condition in the first place.     And it’s put her in “excruciating” pain.  Her words.

But now she’s worse.

M.     She told me to use her full first name.     Meghan.    Purple is her favorite color.

Please remember her with your prayers or at least your good wishes.

I, too, took a little “turn for the worse.”   Some of you may remember that after my stressful, harrowing trip to Florida in June to take care of my sister,  I managed to drive myself home, but ended up in the hospital with pulmonary embolisms.    (You can read the June and early July Spruce Tunnel archives.)   Standard medical Industry protocol is to be placed on a blood thinner.   A new modern one, easier on the body,   “with no side effects or problems.”

Except I now am having severe  and increasingly severe allergic reactions to it.   Scary allergic reactions.

icu bad pills

Remember all those TV ads you see about medication s,  how wonderful you’ll feel and then a long list of side effects?   Well, I’m not having side effects,  I’m having an actual allergic reaction .  .  .    and then they say “if you are allergic to this “pill”  stop taking it,.   Duh.

Through things I don’t understand today,  I was told to call the clinic’s pharmacist and set up my own  appointment with her and a doctor to change over to a new blood thinner.  It’s a weekend now.     I got as far as voicemails to that pharmacist.

Guess I’m on my own for the next few days.

But I need to be preparing for a week-long visit from Daughter and Grandson Cooper next week.

Won’t be doing too much preparing, I guess.   But hope to keep blogging.


August 31, 2018

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



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



August 27, 2018

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

Unsolvable Problem  – 3    Pederasty in the Church



(Pardon the absence.    After that traumatic month of July, the death of my younger sister, and the discovery of four deadly physical conditions in my body,  two of which have been known to cause  sudden death –   most likely not in me – after all this,  sometimes I withdraw and retreat, just to process everything.   Then I come back all okay.)

(One thing a period of time like that produces is a desire to speak truth plainly.  Just put it out there.)



Once a well-known saying for anyone who was educated,  it means, roughly, “the corruption of the very best is the very worst” (that can be done).

I will get back to my series of “Unsolvable Problems”  in a minute,  but all weekend,  I wanted you to know that there is a purpose to such “gloomy”  writings.  There is a solution.   If your feet are on  Solid Ground,  you will discover the wisdom and receive the power to effect changes for the better.

So we’re not stuck.

It’s gloomy only if you don’t know what’s going on.

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

To all nations that have been formed (in their past)  by Christianity,  it is common knowledge  (not accepted by all,  but known by all)   that “The Church is the pillar and ground of our Truth.”     (That’s in the Bible, for you Bible-only type Christians.)

That firm foundation for action in our lives,  that Solid Ground for us, is the Church.

Corruption of the best is the worst.

Today the Church stands in the mists.

Church in the Mist 390

After the Great Infiltration of the Church by the World in the mid-Twentieth century,  Church leaders took a GIANT step to the Left, taking with them the majority of Catholic laymen — who did not so deeply understand their faith anyway.

As one Church theologian said:  “We have accomplished the French Revolution  in the Church.”    (That’s not a good thing.)  (quote from Cardinal Suenens)

We have to look back to the fourth century to find a similar march into heresies by the bishops, cardinals, priests, laymen, and perhaps even the aging,  somewhat confused pope.    At that time,  St. Athanasius consoled his people by saying “They have the buildings and the institutions;  we have the Faith.”

Among the things that entered the Church in the last century is the sexual deviances of the World.    Let’s call it  “sexual practices that stand in opposition to the firm, unchanging teachings of the Church.

Step away from those teachings and you no longer stand on Solid (safe)  Ground.

So today, we read the headlines:   POPE REFUSES TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE SODOMITES IN THE CHURCH WHO PREY ON TEENAGE BOYS.”    Something like that.

A shock?   Nope.   Given  the Extreme Left politics of the man  who is in the office of the pope,  this is no surprise at all.    Do not the Left in our own country praise and promote those who are openly homosexual in our entertainment media?   then why should he take a heavy hand remove the sexual corruption in the Church?

Pope John Paul II is reported to have pounded his fist on the table, shouting “WHAT is going  on with those Americans?”    after receiving a report of rampant homosexuality in the  seminaries. Pope Benedict XVI demanded to know how bad the sexual activity was in the Catholic world.     Is there really a Lavender Mafia?  Is there really a St. Gallen Mafia club?      He received a 200-page summary of the study that was done . . .  200 pages never made public . . .  after which he suddenly and perhaps  contrary to canon law “resigned.”   St. Gallen wins?

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

Fish in greek

Every field of knowledge seems to be saying that the world cannot go on much longer the way it’s going.   The financial world.  The military world, with super weapons that can destroy human life.  The natural world with earth changes and perturbations.     The social world, with increasing chaos, totalitarianism,  and impending civil wars.   And Christianity in general,  co-opted by the World it was meant to bring the message of salvation to.  .  .  .

Things will end.  Quite badly.    The Age of Pisces is ending.

Jesus told His Church,   “When I come back,  will I find any faith left in the world?”

If anyone can, He can –  and He expresses doubt that He’ll find any!   Or at least not much.  The corruption inside the Church is very severe.   The lack of knowledge inside the Church is very severe.   The lack of faith inside all Churches is very severe.

What about  “. . .the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church . . .”?    Well, first of all, think about what that means.  A gate.  Gates don’t rise up and march against its enemy.   Gates provide a kind of barrier.   Perhaps it’s the Church itself which is supposed to knock down the Gates of Hell.

Whichever way you take it,   those Gates can rise to predominance pretty far, and by the end of the World,  it will seem that they have prevailed.   The Church seems not to be able to tell the World anything!

In case you don’t know The Age of Pisces,  the Age of the Fish,  that ancient sign of Christianity,  here is an explanation:


Pisces seems to be ending.   It was predicted.

When I say we have “unsolvable” problems,  I mean they are unsolvable without supernatural aid.   We cannot do it by our own physical power,  our own brain power,  our own good will.

They are unsolvable to us alone.

“There is only one name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

So don’t despair. . .

We won’t know where to start if we don’t know what’s going on!

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?




August 19, 2018


Here is a good “Sunday School” lesson which everyone should know.

The Ten

This lesson has been read in the Church on this Sunday of the year for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.       The yearly repetition is wise.    I heard it and read it as a child and learned the basic story.

Each of the following sentences or phrases has layers of meaning that a child can discover as he matures:

Jesus is walking with his friends on a pathway that takes him into some rough areas between towns.     From afar stood ten lepers who dared not get close to Him, but called out to Jesus for mercy.   “Jesus,  Master,  have pity on us!” 

Jesus came to the lepers,  and before He did anything else, He told them to go into the town, find to the priest,  and present yourselves to him.  

They weren’t healed yet,  but they went.  They weren’t supposed to go into a town near people,  but they did.    

On their way, they discovered they were healed from their leprosy!

One of the men came back to Jesus,  got down on his knees,  and thanked Jesus . . . .

Only one.

jesus and the one

There’s a bit more to the story,   Jesus remarked that this grateful man was a foreigner,  he asked where the other nine were,  and he told the one grateful man that it was his faith that had made him whole.

In our sermon we were reminded that “leprosy”  is a metaphor for the action of sin on  our soul.    As Hansen’s disease (leprosy) eats away at the skin, the victim loses fingers, toes, ears,  parts of the face,  and the sores are ugly,  repulsive and smelly.


In the same way,  doing something “wrong,”  or  sinning,  defying or ignoring God turns one’s soul into an ugly mess of stinking sores — if you could see it with spiritual eyes.     Committing a sin,  a big one or a little one,  is a big deal to your soul.

When Jesus heals,  it’s for the purpose of making that person “whole,”  again and holy.   Healthy,  whole, and sweet-smelling,  spiritually speaking.

What deep healing went on inside of that  one grateful  man who came back to be in the presence of Jesus and to thank Him profusely!!

I understood this story as a child,  but each time I hear it  I see so much more in the story.     How easy it is to be “thankful”  like the other nine.    Healed,  happy,  superficially pretty thankful,  but unchanged interiorly as they continued on their way, without the presence of Jesus.

How deep was their gratitude?    How long do you think their gratitude will last?

That  one grateful man was deeply changed inside.   We can tell,  because he came back to be with  Jesus.




August 12, 2018

I’ve been writing about Bryce Andrews, the young man who left his home in cool, wet Seattle to head east to find the West as a  cowboy in Montana, where it is dry,   windy,  stormy,   very hot and very cold.  Also breathtakingly beautiful;  open, boundless, and free.

mon scale

You can take the deepest breath you want to in land like that.

And there is work to do.

Mon angus hills

That about looks like Montana (and Wyoming),  and that’s the reason for all the work:  Cattle.    Beef cattle.

mon bull

You may not see much in the eyes of an Angus bull,  but you have to be able to know them well in order to move them where they should be going and to care for them.

mon walking cattle

How do you get them to walk straight down the road like that?

There are mothers,  newborn calves,  yearlings,  cows, bulls . . .  each with its own particular needs pertaining to where it is in its life cycle.   Tagging, counting, vaccinating, inspecting, doctoring, feeding, moving to fresh pasture, and protecting —

mon black

This is not as peaceful a picture as you would first think.   See that row of trees behind them?  The edge of a little forest.   In that forest are wolves, coyotes, bear,  and whatever other predator stalks and feeds on cattle.      These cattle are not at ease.    They are all facing the same way.     Something has alerted them.    (Probably the photographer in this case.)

And when cattle are “alerted,”  they sometimes bolt;   that is they take off running.  They either run in all directions, and then you have a big job finding them and putting them into a herd again.  Or else they take off in the same direction and you’ve got a stampede on your hands.   A mass of hundreds of thousands of pounds of mindless, frightened animals.

So it takes skill to watch over cattle.  But I’ll let the wonderful words of Mr. Andrews describe his job with the cattle.

Flight Zone:

In July  we moved cattle almost every day.   More than any other chore on a ranch, herding is an art.   when approached correctly, and if the animals are willing, a cattle drive becomes a complex, intriguing dance.   I’ve always believed that cattle understand the steps  a lot better than all but the most practiced and attentive humans . . . The movements are ruled by two interrelated principles:  flight zone and herd instinct.

To understand the flight zone,  imagine of rough circle around each cow in the herd.  Certain animals,  mostly other familiar ruminants, are allowed inside the circle.  The rest of the world’s creatures, including cowboys, are personae non gratae!

Walk toward a bunch of contented, grazing cattle.  At first they’ll watch your progress with dull interest . . .  Draw near to the edge of the flight zone, however,  and you’ll quickly have their full attention.  Worried glances fly back and forth within the herd.

Press the issue by taking another step or two forward, and the animal nearest you will react, generally by moving away. . .  I learned to picture the circle as an elastic sphere;   when the sphere is pressed from behind,  the animal springs away, forward.   Direction matters.  Pressure from the left rear would cause cattle to bend their course obliquely to the right, and pressure from the right would send them yawing to the left.

The principle is not as simple as it sounds.   The circle can vary infinitely in size, based on the mood of the animal and the condition in which it finds itself.    Yearlings often skip all the steps between curiosity and full-on panic.  Older, more dominant cows will force you to prove that you’re serious.  They’ll sometimes stand their ground until you’re close, then toss their heads and paw the dirt to test your nerve.  Make one wrong move with a cow like that, or hesitate one little nervous beat,  and she’ll charge right over the top of you.

Terrain matters too.   The past experiences of the herd matters.   The temperature and the barometer can make or break a day’s work. 

Herd behavior:

Mon dusty herd

Nobody wants a stampede,  neither humans nor cattle.  Controlled, sustained motion was our goal and we tried to be judicious where we applied pressure . . .   A cattle drive has to stay calm.   It also has to be comprehensive — every member of the herd must arrive at the intended destination.  Failing at this task even once or twice leaves stock scattered across the ranch, created unnecessary work down the line, and gives the neighbors something to talk about.     Leaving a heifer behind amounted to offering her up as a sacrifice  (to predators).

When we wanted to turn our herds, we simply exerted pressure to one side or the other.  If we did it right, the effect was striking:  without anyone out in front to guide them, the cattle found a new trajectory.   There always seemed to be something magical about the way they swung around like a compass needle finding north.

In cattle, the desire to stay close to each other exerts a subtle but undeniable magnetism.   Move one animal, and the cow alongside her will almost always follow. 
When everything was working well, it was possible to gently steer a herd across the land,  ford creeks, pass in an orderly fashion through gates, and settle the cattle on new pasture with a minimum of stress.    An outcome like that depended on a lot of things going right, some beyond our control, and some within it.

It’s July/August right now.   This is what our cowboys are doing every day this summer in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming,  Idaho, Montana,  and everywhere else in our Western states where ranches are often measured in the millions of acres.

It works.     We eat meat.     Something is going right.    So far.





. *   Excerpts these past three days from Badluck Way:  A Year in the Rugged Edge of the West  

by Bryce Andrews,  2014


August 4, 2018


Spooky stuff  tonight. 


Is there really such a thing as signs and “messages”  that portend the future?  Should I file this under Humor?   Or perhaps  “Horatio”?  *

Several weeks before Hubbie died  a few years ago I was awake in the middle of the night,  just thinking about things in the dark.     Suddenly a “formation” of three very  dark birds  appeared and flew very rapidly right past me.    Now,  that seemed impossible,  but it also seemed like an actual vision and a vision that portended something.

As I said,  several weeks later Hubbie died,  unexpectedly sooner than everyone thought.


Just a few weeks ago I arrived home from Florida.   A little tense and worried after taking care of my very sick sister during June and then a long, long drive home —  and not feeling too well.

And then, to make matters worse  —


—  as I was lying in bed waiting for sleep to come,  out of the corner of my eye it seemed  that something moved.     And then it swooped by again,  making a perfect circle over my bed.  It was a bat!    Probably.    It didn’t flutter up and down like a bat and the sound of its wings was very loud,  but it was live and flying.  It was a bat in the house.

I ducked under the covers for a little while,  long enough to think about a bat we had once before,  thirty years ago!,    and thinking “It’s a BAT,  not a BIRD.”   No evil omen here.  No portent of death.

Soon I made a dash out of the  bedroom,  dragging a quilt with me, and stationed myself in the bathroom with the door closed and the light on all night.     By morning light there was no more sign of the bat,  but I was on high alert.

During the  next several days I had my hospital adventure and then spent time  at Son’s house and by the time I returned home I had almost forgotten  the bat.

My sister died two weeks after I first saw the  bat.


Last night, I was standing in my kitchen, next to my table,  looking over things before I went to bed.     As I stood there, seemingly out of nowhere  another “bat”  (I think)  flew towards me and then made a perfect circle over the table and disappeared into the next room (I think).


I yelled, ‘No !  Not again!”    and ran around a little,  got a blanket to hide under, and turned off the lights and opened the sliding glass doors to the deck.    I sat (under the blanket)   and watched in the dim light to see if the bat would fly outside.   After ten minutes — and a bigger fear of raccoons or other critters walking in — I closed the door and went to bed behind closed doors.,

But —   I remembered that this bird didn’t fly quite like a bat either.  Or else it was a very big one.  And its wings fluttered loudly.    It seemed more like a solid gray color,  not black,.     It just came so close to me that I couldn’t think clearly.   It could have been a bird that had somehow come into the house . . . .   And maybe it flew out when I had the door open.

But I got the impression that the circular flight right in front of me was deliberate — like I was supposed to see that.

No sign of the bird today, and t doesn’t even feel like it could be in here anymore.  But . . .

Now what?




Well, now a good word:       Tragedy has struck our family, bad health news for many of us,  family and close friends.      These things happen.  They’re difficult,  but they happen to all of us fellow-humans.    For those of you who have helped us with your prayers,  I give you a heartfelt thanks.

One abiding request for prayer has been my own health;  healing . .  .  sometimes when things get dark and uncertain,  there is a feeling of something “fluttering”  around me,  just out of my range of knowledge,  but it’s there, nevertheless.     It feels soft and benevolent and spiritual.   It could be your  prayers,  around me,  fluttering like the soft wings of sweet little butterflies.

Of course that’s fanciful.    But it’s good.  It’s a good way to  say that I believe in your prayers and I can almost feel the effects of your prayers.      God will hear.   He will hear because e are all connected.

An ongoing thank you  and Deo gratias.



Where the natural world intersects with supernatural thoughts:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horatio