Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category


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




July 25, 2018


Angel sad 75    Well,  this week is turning into a Watch.     I don’t want to give the Watch a name,  what kind of Watch,   but news about my sister in Florida was not good today.    I wait now,  I wait tomorrow,  and will continue to wait for the inevitable even worse news.



ruby red

I wrote yesterday about coffee.   Sure, it’s a nutritious drink,  but it also is a good mood elevator.    So,  this ruby red cup and saucer  was near me today.    It didn’t work.   The approach of death trumps a cup of coffee.

I grew up an only child.   And then my Mom had a baby girl.  Just as I was about to leave home in a couple years,  I now had a sister!

Nancy baby in my arms 380

I had become a sister!

Nancy Mom and Me 390

Mom, Nancy, and me

I even got to be the one to pick out her name.  I chose Nancy Lee because I thought that was such a pretty name.    I was Nancy Lee’s sister,  but I was more a Mom to her, because I wanted to do just about everything one does for a baby.

I didn’t know it at the time that photo of my Mom was taken, but . . .  there was another sister on the way,  eleven months after my first sister:

Nancy Baby Cheryl Me winter 380

(We lived in the Far Far North at that time.)   So,  double good!   Now I have two sisters,      Nancy Lee and Cheryl Lynn.      I did twice the mothering of these two little live dolls.

I never really actually learned what it was like to be someone’s sister because I was too much their “second mother.”    In fact,  the summer after I left home —

Nancy Cheryl Kris rocking chair

—    Nancy recalls that she thought every family had a two mothers,  and she didn’t understand why I went away.  I didn’t know at the time that she missed me so much.  I didn’t understand how close we had been.

Nancy and I took separate paths.  I  graduated from college,  got married, had children, and Hubbie wanted to stay in the Far North;  the rest of my family moved to Florida – a move that I could never understand.     Nancy did this and that  and made a life for herself in Florida.

It was only a couple of years ago, when both our Mom and Dad had died,  that Nancy and I became reacquainted as adults – and most of all,  as sisters.    I was just learning that feeling,  just learning what is was like to have someone know my family background in an intimate way, with all the insight and understanding and pleasure that that adds to one’s life.

And then came the sudden diagnosis about three months ago.   Terrible diagnosis.  The worst.    There is no treatment, and Nancy had a couple months at the very most to live.  Not anyone is ready for that,  when it comes out of the blue.

Not the person who receives that diagnosis.    Not the sister.

CANT do this

The phone call today indicated that she is very much worse than when I was with her in June.  (You can check the archives for my trip to see her.)    But I can’t do what you see in that picture.  I can’t be with her to hold her hand,  and that’s about all I want to do right now.   I want to sit at her bedside  — to talk . . .  to smile . . .  to pray . . .  to pat her hand  . . .  to give her hands a squeeze when necessary . . .

I’ve been told not to travel for a while.

So I keep Watch, up here in the Far North.

Angel sad


Keeping watch, and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the angels are keeping watch with us.




July 24, 2018

c perc


“What’s this blog all about?”    Well, I don’t know,  you can read the column to the right:  it says  “random.”  Random thoughts.    That’s because my mind is like a kaleidoscope —  it’s made up of a thousand bright sparkly colors, each representing something very interesting in this life!  And each one taking “center stage” for a while.

My favorite childhood poem:     (by Olive Beaupre Miller)

The world is so full of a number of things

I’m sure we could all be as happy as kings!

I wish you a kaleidoscope mind too!

So –  some refreshment tonight,  thanks to the good Pope Clement VIII a few hundred years ago. . . .

C outside door

A “necessary”  trip to one of my favorite stores.

And just to the left of that photo is the actual entrance with welcoming signs:

c welcoming entrance

Much to my surprise, the insides had been totally scrambled around  since I was last there.  That is,  they moved the tables and chairs towards the front, so it looks more like a comfortable coffee shop;  and where I was heading is now in the back section:

C whole shelves 380

Hundreds of little white bags of every flavor of coffee you can imagine!     Here is a sample from a previous trip, a few years ago, actually:


This time I got only three bags:  Toasted Almond,  Mackinaw Island Fudge,  and Almond Coco  (which says it taste like an almond joy . . .  and kind of does.)     With the Toasted Almond, I can slant the flavor to the almond side with a few beans.  Or I can make it taste slightly more chocolate by adding a few Fudge beans.

Oh, I like plain coffee too.   Guatemalan is my favorite –  and Light Roast to retain the good enzymes and antioxidants that coffee beans offer.

Before I left I purchased a treat for my young friend which is also sold there —

c smoothie

Peach-Pear smoothie.    With  whipped cream.

They’re delicious!  But I didn’t get one this time.

Although I didn’t drink coffee until I was really old,   old enough to . . .  well, to be someone’s grandmother,   Daughter started me out on espresso, which is still my favorite.   Regular coffee is fun.    But I’m more into juicing nowadays:

c juicing

Blueberry juice today.

I need every bit of concentrated nutrition that I can get.   Everyone does, really.    How grateful we should be that in this country we can get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables,  eat them, juice them,  use them to heal our bodies and give us health and energy!

Coffee beans are vegetables.   Or a fruit.   Or plant material, at least.  Full of nutrition!

And, yes,  at one time, when coffee was new in Europe, it was controversial.    How can something this good and this energizing and coming from the Arab world be  anything less than sinful?

So when coffee finally reached Venice in the early 1600s,  1605-1615,  these scaredy-cats brought their coffee troubles to the pope who refused to condemn the new drink until he had first sampled it.

It gave him a good smile, just as it does with many of us today!    He blessed the rest of the  beans they had brought to him and pronounced it Good.

Deo gratias.




DELAY . . .

June 29, 2018

Sorry, dear Everyone.  I am home,  wonderful home,  but experienced an abrupt surprising health issue myself. It’s putting normal life on hold,  including writing new posts. 

God willing,  I  will be able to act normal again soon.



April 3, 2018


(Do not hesitate to try something new!)

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

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


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

So . . .  here it is:

Lamb 3

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

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

Lamb 4 in oven

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

Lamb 5 eating

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

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

I used another large roasting pan for its platter.

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

And the next day —

Lamb 6 leftovers


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

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



April 1, 2018

Banner Happy Esaater




Well,  it’s all been accomplished:

Alive Again


He is most definitely Alive and Available to all who would seek Him.


Now we hear:      “Whosoever will may come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”   (Rev. 22)       Whosoever will.       We’re all invited.


alive new life

 Whoever wants New Life, forever,  Life everlasting.

Much to celebrate today.











April 1, 2018

Hell face

Just two little things about Hell.    Saying it doesn’t exist doesn’t make it not exist any more than saying it is empty (or practically empty)  makes it actually empty.

Contrary to false notions:

(1)      The Pope does not command what Catholics have to believe.

(2)      No Pope can ever add new teachings to what the original Apostles taught.

(3)      And Popes are merely men and they can be wrong,  even to the point of heresy.   The present pope is wrong in his statement about Hell –  and no one in the Vatican has “corrected”  or denied that statement.


The second thing about  “Hell”   is that’s not where Jesus went between the time of His death and the time of His Resurrection.

In spite of saying the words of the Christian Creed:  “…He was crucified, died, and was buried;  He descended into Hell . . . ”   that word in English is not the Hell of the Damned, but refers to the Lower Regions,   inferos,    where the spirits of the good, faithful humans wait for the Messiah that they had believed in,  longed for,  and lived for.

The Son of God, then, descended into that waiting place, that limbo, to lead God’s waiting, holy souls into Heaven.



Why the Wait?

Heaven at that time was not open for humans.  It would have been impossible for humans to exist so closely to God’s glory.    It wasn’t until the Son of God fully took on human nature while still retaining his divine nature that human nature itself could be admitted into Heaven.

Upon the Earth during Holy Saturday, it was a dreadful day of gloom.   But for those who had died before, it was a day more glorious than we can imagine right now.

Heaven smaller



March 3, 2018

(Well, after all that “thumb-blood” pouring out of me a few days ago,  I have  a ridiculously small mark on my thumb and I have no excuse not to get back to the keyboard.)


chi mts without

I read a headline today, offered by Breitbart News, that read:  “US Catholics More Worried About Climate Change Than Christian Persecution.”      My guess is that you don’t have to be a Catholic –  or have any religious practice at all –  in order to be indifferent to the suffering of our fellowman,  for whatever reason.     Lots of things to distract us.

But no human being has the right to make another human being suffer, except perhaps in the course of a just punishment,  but even then Christ commands us to be merciful.

The Twentieth Century  (of which we are still philosophically a part of) has seen the most widespread, severe, and horrific persecution of citizens by their governments than this world has ever experienced.  Deaths over a hundred million –  death by government decree.    We hope it’s over . . . .

But persecution continues.    (And grows for some.)

chin mountains

We don’t hear much of massive deaths, such as during the Cultural Revolution in China a few decades ago,  but, nevertheless,   there are ongoing government-decreed killings  of two kinds of people in China,  the born and the unborn.

The Church there is under severe and increasingly severe persecution.

Tucked away in the valleys, in distant places beyond administrative reach, here and there,   Catholics practice their faith in China,  quietly.

chi vallley

They are “patriotic,”  in the American sense of the word.  They are proud to be Chinese and they are glad to be Catholic.

They should be just like us, following the same Master,  come to teach us, His children.

chi and Jesus


They should be able to hear the same words in the Mass and in the Bible and to meditate upon those words, without fear or distraction.

chi Jesus and siciples

The Chinese have hearts and souls and minds and bodies like we do, and so ought we to have compassion for them when we hear of their persecution.   And it’s getting very much worse for them.

“US Catholics More Worried About Climate Change (stories) Than Christian Persecution”?

The Chinese Catholics are being persecuted right now on two fronts – from within and from without.  We can understand that a socialist, materialist dictatorship does not want competition and is deeply suspicious of loyalty to anything but themselves –  and devotion to God is seen as disloyalty to the government.

That’s why those Chinese Catholics are usually found in far away places, leading quiet lives,  wishing to not attract attention.       This has worked fairly well for a long time.  “The mountains are high, and the emperor is far away,” as the Chinese say.

chi shrine

Quiet devotion in isolated areas.

But there is a modernist and very arrogant,  heavy-handed,    lead-footed  (lead-booted?) unwise group of men in the Vatican today.    So far are these men from the prudent men of broad and liberal understanding of Catholics in past generations,  that I hesitate to say these Modernists even have a Catholic spirit.

These Modernists have stirred the political pot in China, pointing out that   HEY!   You’ve got Catholics in your country!!!!!    Let’s make a DEAL!!!!!       And so discussions concerning Catholic freedoms in a socialist country have been fired up needlessly.

Heated debates- all ‘graciously’ conducted in diplomatic meetings –  have led to government commands  to crack down on Catholics, to demolish churches and shrines, to restrict freedoms,  and most noticeably to insist that the government has priority over selecting Catholic local leadership.

Socialist leadership over Church matters?    There are a lot of  “Church” issues that must give way  to the government.  Catholics must bow to the government.    Kowtow,  I would say.

The stakes are high.   Loss of government-approved employment.  Loss of homes.   Separation from family.  False charges.  Imprisonment.   Execution.  And the worst of all  –  the  forced choice between “patriotism” or the compromise of one’s own beliefs.

So . . .  just so you know.

The Chinese are included in the Universal  Church, our  universe.   Our brothers and sisters.   Can we spare a prayer for them after we worry about Climate change stories?


Thanks again to Breitbart for pointing this out.








February 24, 2018

I want to see Good News about the very, very youngest generation being formed right now.  I think I see it.    I see resistance.    I see distaste for the attitudes of those who are older.    I see anger that they have been tricked and manipulated –  and viciously lied about when they don’t conform.

But we have a ways to go. *


We give up.  We give in.  In the face of vicious opposition,  as a group  we remain quiet,  quieted down,  because we know there is more viciousness coming.

And here is at least one part of the reason for our quietness, though in my opinion a big part:  We don’t know what to say and we don’t know  how to argue back.

A Debate Team

A Ddebate Team

Trained in rhetoric, argument, and verbal defense


Both deficits come from what was done to our “education” system.   First,  training in  how to say things is important,  as well as how to recognize verbal tactics used against you.

But secondly,  perhaps more crucial is this:    Once,  students all over the world were tested as to their knowledge and understanding of the things they had been taught.     American students  regularly came out on top:  #1 in all categories above all other countries.   Number one, consistently!

class studying

We worked hard in school, as a whole.    We had nothing to be ashamed of, as a whole.   We knew that our excellence in academics  produced  many of  the advancements that created a better world.

classroom science

And we knew, all of us,  that our safety depended upon our academic achievements.    We were number one in science and technology,   we knew we were  unassailable.    We emphasized our dominant position  to the whole  world by being  the first to “go to the moon” (if you are a believer).

Khrushchev and shoe

Our marxist enemies knew this   There is the leader of Russia banging his shoe on the podium,  declaring  to the USA:   “We  will bury you!!”

We thought we were unassailable.     But then we didn’t realize the extent of the Soviet Socialist infiltration into various institutions in our country,  especially the education department.       However,  I was there, as a teacher,  to witness the changes imposed on our schools that changed  American education purposes, permanently, it seems.   Teachers seemed powerless to stop the absurd changes imposed from above, but now our student-victims are the teachers themselves – and they no longer know how children should be educated because they weren’t taught themselves.

I heard on the news this week that that same international committee that ranks students around the world found that out of 70 nations,  American students rank  40th.

We have dropped from First place to Fortieth place.

40th out of 70 –  should we be ashamed yet?

Three generations of school children,  sixty years, maybe,  have gone by without our children  (us) becoming educated in knowledge and in competency using that knowledge.   Schoolchildren are trained and indoctrinated;  they are shown how to be good (compliant)  citizens, how to think about things,   and they are shown  how to vote.  They are demeaned, disrespected, and their minds are being wasted.

Give in to the growing system of Big Government, .    Give up.   “A powerful central State will direct and coordinate all the necessary functions of our nation.”

And most of all,   your attitude and desires should match everyone else’s  (on the Left).

“If everyone jumps off  a cliff,  are you going to do it too? ”  the older generation used to remind us.

jumping off


Kowtow.   Kowtow, you moron.

Kowtow to the commands coming from the entertainment-news media.



.*    We have a ways to go.    It’s not ever too late to learn and to change.     To become who we freely should be.

We don’t know what to say and we don’t know  how to argue back.    Again, it’s not ever too late to learn more, more than you know right now.   

Do you know history?    Do you know how the world got to be the way it is?  Do you know where the enemies of Freedom want to take us?      The serious consequences of, say,  gun confiscation, even incrementally?     The absolute dangers of the recently discovered massive voter fraud in the 2016 election?     The Leftist weaponizing of our most powerful institutions to take down their political enemies?     The Lawlessness of the people in the previous administrations?

We should all still be students!






February 15, 2018

Lent begins as   . . .   Wednesday follows Tuesday:


On Tuesday, according to law-enforcement sources, this is what was written in the letter that delivered the suspicious white powder to the home of Donald Trump, Jr.  —

“You are getting what you deserve.   You are an awful person. This is why people hate you. You are getting what you deserve. So shut the f–k up.” 

This message arises out of the hate and violence fanned daily into flames by our divisive and hate-mongering  entertainment-news media and those they support:

You may  know  what this is —

Kehinde Wiley

But do you understand what this is?      It’s a Black person  holding the severed head of a White person,  which is the most famous product of the artist whose odd depiction of the Barack-Hussein person was made public this week.   (Kehinde Wiley)   Fanning the flames of hatred and division are all around us.

On  Wednesday,  we all watched information about the Florida school shooting on television (our entertainment-news media).    Some private observations:

(The shooter) – marginalized by his society;    full of hate and resentment;    wounded, adolescent pride;    psychologically alone and abandoned by his peers . . .  The sum total of all his responses to these psychic insults was his shooting at the high school which rejected him.  A wicked act;  yes,  a sinful act.

Now,  he was mean and scary to his peers;   the school did have justification to expel him;  people were right to report his threats to the FBI;      . . .

. . .  Let’s see . . . . . .   read the package insert –   “Side effects:  homicidal tendencies and suicidal ideation . . . .”       Yep  –   turn a blind eye to the side effects and give him these  psychotropic drugs;  that will quiet him down . . . .    Abandoned, alone,  no uptick in the intensity of the counseling and spiritual instruction . . . No understanding of what it means to be a human being,  a man. . . .

. . . .   for that matter,  most likely no man (or a man and his friends)  to provide a good spiritual role model for this young man   —    18 years old?  19 years old?  We can’t even get his age right . . . .

Now society wants to kill him for his crimes.  Justifiably, I guess.   But to send him to Hell after a life of misery .  .  .  At least in Christendom, a condemned prisoner was given a priest to talk with,  to hear his confession,  to give him hope,  to give him understanding of the necessity of his death:  “a life for a life” –  Or perhaps to stand by him as the appeal process goes forward and the young man is confined to our dungeons for life.

And what of the victim families?    All we have are words and feelings, so far –  sympathy,   prayers,  “my heart goes out to them,”   my heart is heavy”   ” we are with you  . . .”     Good things to say and to feel.

If all you want to do,  if all you have time for,  is to analyze  (endlessly)  the problems in our country,  (cluck your tongues along with the media),  then stop here –  fine.   Just realize that the White Powder (sent to more than one address now)  and the School Shooting are closely related and arise out of the same broken culture.  This is a culture that cannot work anymore, as we Americans presently live it.



   . . . ..  “Say nice things to the victims’ families  but we,  as a society,   as observers of what our culture has become,  we want to do something, so this  “never happens again.”

And so we must, if we truly want to see less of these tragedies.    But it’s not a political matter.  It’s not a legislative matter.   It is absolutely a matter of the spiritual underpinnings of our culture.   “No man is an island,”  the English poet tells us.   In this case, it is true,  our culture changes one person at a time.  Some  persons will effect needed procedural changes.   Some persons will feel responsible to teach and to mentor.

But all persons in a viable culture must dedicate themselves to civilized living,  all equal before God,  all responsible to know God’s mind and to subject himself to It,  and all  persons living out freely their God-given talents and characteristics.

I would commend to you the writings of JW Unwin,  a philosopher and observer of Western culture,  especially his book:  “Sex and Culture.”      (Not a favorite of Amazon’s and general liberal sources,  even though Dr. Unwin began his study by believing that a free culture should allow free sexual conduct, including divorce, remarriage,  and “free” sexual behavior — that is,  “if you have an itch you should be allowed to scratch it.)

But his scholarly and well-researched writings concluded that any culture which lets go of strict adherence to high moral values, including monogamy,  eventually and inevitably crumbles, falters,  and fails, disintegrating to barbarisms such as “Might makes Right,”    “He who has the Gold Makes the Rule,”   “Every Man for Himself,”   and   “If it feels good, do it.”

I want to do it,  therefore I have a right to do it.      If someone hurts me,  I’ll hurt him back.

In a well-ordered and morally-restrained culture,  right and wrong is derived from intellectual and unchanging truths –  not from the Situations around you.   Circumstances do  not drive “right and wrong”  in a mature human society.

If Americans really want to “do something about it”   then we’ll all have to recover lost knowledge,  go back to school (self-schooling please),   and learn what it is our Founders knew and cautioned us to adhere to – or else our nation is . . .  over.     Freedom, safety, stability, happiness . . .  over.

Tuesday slid into Wednesday this week, and the beginning of Lent;  so I also commend to you this writing of  Amy Welborn, who reminds us that Lent is not for the aggrandizement of the Individual  (that is, our own self-improvement).   Rather it is a collective exercise of Christendom –  what is left of it.  We join, as a Body of Christ,  in the rightful penance that will detach us from temporal things, which will come to an end,  and attach us to eternal things –  to things of God, who cannot ever fail.   Lent is about living in a Christian society;  promoting the strength and truth of the Body of Christ,  not our own bodies.

You can find her writing on this blog (remove the spaces):

https: //  amywelborn.wordpress . com/

Have a good Lent – and don’t do something childish like  “give up coffee” or “give up “chocolate.”   Not, at least, if you think of yourself as a grown-up with an adult mind – responsible to know right from wrong.

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