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May 17, 2020

Kristine Robertson

Obituary of Kristine Evelyn Robertson

Kristine Robertson, 73, passed away on May 13, 2020, at her home with her children by her side.

 

View obituary and share memories at http://www.grfuneralhomes.com

DARKNESS FALLS

May 3, 2020

 

 

Look at all the shadows falling over the Spruce Tunnel pathway.  Aren’t they lovely?

imagejohn0000001

!!! CAN YOU READ?

April 24, 2020

 

A VERY ANGRY RANT –

bull elephant stomping

Generally I show a bull stomping me down, as metaphor for my disease . . .  I’m grateful to be home from the hospital, of course,  but the pain has ramped up – unimaginably –  so that’s why I haven’t felt like writing here for a while.   (Part of it is my fault –  I’m so reluctant to take all the pain pills I’m allowed . . . so it gets away from me sometimes all the time.)

It doesn’t feel like a “small”  bull hoof, it’s more like a bull elephant’s hoof.  That’s me under the heavy foot.

Nevertheless,  I’ve been passing my time distracting myself with sometimes lovely streaming shows – Anne of Green Gables,  Longmire . . .  And I watch the daily press briefings from the White House – which are fine as long as you don’t watch the news about them afterwards.   Such lying!

And it’s making me angrier than I’ve ever been!

You may have heard of Lansing Michigan’s demonstration against constitutional violations by the governor.  That has a lot of people worked up.  To demonstrate or not to demonstrate — I can see both sides of the issue.

But to lie or not to lie –  there is only one side in a civilized society.   Demonstrations may not concern you directly – but a viciously lying media does, and the consequences will be out of our control, I’m afraid.

People in Michigan were told so many inflammatory lies about the demonstration that I had to  check the photos, the videos, and even with people who took part.     Here’s one big LIE:   The vehicles taking part in the demonstration prevented ambulances from getting into the downtown hospital.     Ooooh —  how terrible!   Lives could have been lost.  Don’t those people care?

But it was a lie –  no ambulance movements were impeded;  no ambulances were prevented from entering hospitals.   No ambulances were even held up for a little while.

But all afternoon,  that’s what the entertainment-news media reported.   Finally, early afternoon,  the hospital involved had to issue a report saying that NO AMBULANCES are being  prevented from getting into the hospital.    That wasn’t good enough.  that public statement contradicted what the media wanted you to think.
The hospital issued three more similar reports throughout the day –  NO AMBULANCE WAS PREVENTED FROM ENTERING THE HOSPITAL DURING THE DEMONSTRATION!!!

However for a week afterwards,  only the entertainment-news media inflammatory BIG LIE  was broadcast over TV and radio.   A friend today visited –  and she had NEVER heard what the hospital reported.   How many people believe that the demonstrators are so thoughtless and careless that ambulances couldn’t do their work that day?   Many, I’m sure.     What a terrible thing it is to demonstrate against the Authorities.

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CAN YOU READ?     CAN YOU READ????

Today’s BIG LIE is what got me moving – on into the Spruce Tunnel.   The lie is that President Trump has told people in yesterday’s press briefing to inject themselves with disinfectant!      Oh, for goodness’ sakes –  I heard that in the middle of the night when I was half asleep –  but no, when I woke up, apparently the entertainment-news media are still  falling all over themselves with this BIG LIE.

This LIE repeated all day long led me to re-view that press conference,  several times, and to read the exact transcript of the president’s words.  In no place does President Trump tell people they ought to inject themselves with disinfectant – leading a gullible Lysol corporation to plead with people to not inject Lysol into themselves.

Because – because – the media repeated this lie all day long,  people are believing that that’s what Trump said –  So who is really putting that idea into the minds of people?  How many people will think no further than that media lie – and maybe try it themselves?

Media lies are responsible for dangerous behavior.

But can you read At least read the transcript?   Search out what truly happened, hopefully without TDS,

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Transcript:

 

For those who like to read stuff, here is a transcript of what the President actually said:

So, I’m going to ask Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposing when we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light, and I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that, so that you’re going to have to use medical doctors with, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see, but the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute. That’s pretty powerful.

 

He is looking at the doctors as he asks these questions, almost intending that they overhear him . . .  and go off the deep end.

Yeah, I’d bait a hostile media too!

 

DEVELOPMENT

April 8, 2020

calling ambulance now – going to hospital

 

maybe good-bye

 

 

pray for me

A CONTROVERSIAL OBSERVER WATCHES GIGO

April 8, 2020

ME.

I’m the “controversial observer.”     I’m a lifelong observer,  but I’m an amateur at these things I’m observing –  as are you, I expect.    So let’s none of us be too opinionated.   As I’ve written before, my favorite line from a very favorite book is this:

There’s nothing like an idea to blind the eyes of a wise man.

Or as the popular American aphorism goes:

To the man with a  hammer,  everything looks like a nail.

Okay?    So I’m not preaching Gospel here, just observations.

__________________________________________________________________________

It’s pretty hard to find much actual news around here, not on TV, not on the Internet,  a little bit on various radio sources . . . but since late January when the Corona virus was a little blip on the edge of my radar screen to February and March reporting,   it’s been pretty much 24/7 corona virus talk around here, in my home, on the “airwaves.”

Every source.  Every development.  I like science, and I like medical issues.

But from the very beginning there was at the back of my  mind this constant caveat:  “Wait.  Something doesn’t add up.”   If they’re saying this,  why that”  If they’re doing this,  why?    Where’s the follow-up on that story?

To prove to us that this is truly a pandemic, we are constantly shown graphs of virus victims  that go upwards drastically in a J-Curve. And we are shown maps like this several weeks ago:

Pandemic YES

The number of cases for each country duly placed into the little boxes.

But again, in the back of my mind,  I’m thinking – Wait…  these numbers are far far less than the number of seasonal flu cases for this time for each country.   But — they’re the experts, maybe they’re seeing something the ordinary person does not see.

Daily , every day, we are getting alarming statistics – at least we’re told they’re alarming.

And then comes GIGOGarbage In Garbage Out.  this is the warning that was given to students of computer sciences to warn them to be careful not to have preconceived conclusions work their way into the computer program, via your own input.

US NOW DEATH CHART

Observing this chart,  I ask further:  How was this chart constructed?   What are the intervals for each bar on the graph?   If you changed the size of the intervals,  then how would the bar graph look?

Where did the numbers come from?     We are now hearing that people who have died of other problems  but with the virus, (not because of)   are being included  in death-by-virus numbers.

“New York City can’t keep up with disposing of the dead bodies!!!!!”  the headlines screamed for a few days on end.  Then we are shown photos of this:

REEFERS lined up 2

Those are reefers lined up alongside a big New York City hospital.  Reefers are refrigerated tractor trailers.  Big trucks.   Inside?

REEFER

 

Body bags lined up inside the trucks.  Scary to me too.   These photos have their effect.

The pictures are true,  but what about the use they are being put to?   The mayor of New York City   says there are fewer corona virus cases and fewer deaths than expected.  Not all reefer trucks have been utilized.  Not all the new hospitals hastily built, including the temporary one in Central Park, are being filled.      He and now the medical experts are downsizing the amount of projected cases and deaths.

All over the world,  the new statistics (and projections)  match the seasonal flu, and sometimes doesn’t even reach seasonal flu deaths.   Erroneous computer modeling has led us to false conclusions, upon which unprecedented measures have been imposed on the world.

This is just a small sample of the questions that I had.

The measures taken by governments around the world, just didn’t match the numbers –  unless they wanted to gin up the fear,  and coincidentally the compliance,  It’s been a successful public information campaign.   Government power is developing and increasing.

So only  one more question:     IS THIS A CLOWARD AND PIVENS EXERCISE OF “NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE”   ???

(Please please please know who those two people are,  Cloward and Pivens)

Then one more “observation:  I see democratic governments,  even socialist democratic governments all over the world exercising authoritarian, dictatorial powers.  Our good governments are being encouraged to “try their wings”  flying us into a World Wide dictatorship.

With this development accompanied by the Roman pope putting aside his historical titles and influence –  the New World Order pope –   we are rapidly being steered into that Brave New World.

That’s the desired outcome.   This latest worldwide “danger” is the justification.

GIGO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS WOOD FOR WOOD

December 25, 2019

wood banner

 

Merry Christmas to each one of you.    May your day be filled with thoughts of giving, of gifts, of loving and receiving love.

We are told right after the birth of Jesus he was “swaddled”  and placed into a manger,  an eating place in the middle of the stable or cave that sheltered the family.

He was placed into the wood  of the manger –

wood m

His presence was received into the hay (not straw)  which is food.

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Some day, as an adult,  He would be placed on the Wood of the Cross –

wood cross

He will lay down his life on that Wood and His Presence will become our spiritual food.

 

chalice

 

Even unto this day.

THE QUALITY OF PUBLIC DISCOURSE

December 11, 2019

I had a lot of fun writing that last post,  Where Fake News Begins,  but I hope I had made it clear that I think it begins with a very poor educational foundation, which actually puts our Republic at risk.

Here’s some more “fun”  with a remedy at the end.

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Asleep

In the middle of the night, last night, as I was drowsing my way into a good night’s sleep,  suddenly my eyes popped wide open.   I had just heard on the radio someone who just said in an interview that:    “19% of us Americans couldn’t find the United States on a map!”

Really?   What ages were surveyed?  How many people?   So few details followed that statistic!

Instantly my blogging  mind formed a new posting  about how poor our schools are.  I know in the Twentieth Century our Rulers removed from our schools the study of  history,  cultural geography,  physical geography,  civics and government,  a study of economics —  and replaced them all with the vaguely titled “social studies”  with a whole different aim altogether,  but not one of imparting knowledge  (facts and understanding).

So,

MAP world

Just where is the United States?     Don’t be smug!!   Where is Iraq?   Where is Israel?   Where is Bolivia?   If there’s a Tasmanian Devil,  where is Tasmania?

When our children were very,  very young,  we moved a globe into the television room so  they could find whatever country was being talked about on the  news, in a movie — or even by the weatherman.     They’re both quite good about geography now and they enjoy travel.

The man I heard on the radio  last night isn’t the only one who has stated various percentages  on  this issue.   Here’s an official question asked of a beauty pageant contestant:

The question: “Recent polls have shown, a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”

And the now famous answer:

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so
because uh some uh people out there in our nation don’t *have* maps
and uh I believe that our ed- education like such as in South Africa
and uh the- the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe that they should uh
our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S. or- or- should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future  ((for our children))

It’s fun to reread that answer!   (It’s on YouTube too.)

Well, she was from South Carolina; yes, the same state that gives us the Senator that feared that Guam might tip over if we added any more soldiers to our military base there.   (That was Senator (!)  Elijah Cummings).

So,  that was a funny answer  and an alarming statistic,  but where did that number in the question come from?

According to an official survey by the National Geographic Society,   6% of people asked could not find America on a world map.   Higher percentages of people could not find countries that were in the current news cycle,  but 6%   (or close, 5%)    is a long way from the 20%  that is often repeated.

One person on a site called The Language Log said that perhaps the pageant organizers just “misremembered”  the number that was incorporated in that question.     But then, it said,  more likely the oft-repeated erroneous number may actually reveal  our general inability to use numbers accurately that does this.  Innumeracy.   Like illiteracy with numbers.  Inept with numbers.

5%  sounds like “one out of five”  if you’re not too sure of fractions.    Or 5% could be turned into “one out of twenty”  —   which could then be remembered as  20% and then  back to “one out of five.”

Whatever happened here, as I did a little research, the percentages given for Americans who couldn’t find America on a map is “all over the map, pardon the pun.

I think there’s a lesson for us here  and some questions that could be asked.   I mean,  I know we have a mendacious media, so if you get most of your news from the television or Facebook or  Yahoo,  all of the entertainment-news sources,  and if you believe what they say,  then you deserve to be dumbed down and act just . . .  dumb.

But illiteracy,  innumeracy,  made-up statistics and information can be found everywhere in our public discourse.

Let’s restore intelligent public discourse!  Do the research yourself!

We can all be smarter than we are right now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(SQUANTO) : TISQUANTUM THE PATUXET

November 28, 2019

 

A little (true) holiday reading:

 

So many providential circumstances led to  the survival of the small Pilgrim colony at Plymouth in the early 1600s.  It was as though many unrelated little pieces were brought together to form the  mosaic which became the Massachusetts Bay Colony,  England’s foothold in New England.

One

The first “piece”  was a series of unjust laws put into effect by England which led to the persecution and attempted eradication of all Catholics from England in the 16th century.  That wasn’t good enough for some Englishmen, called Separatists,  who wanted to completely get rid of any vestiges of “popish practices”  and appearances and to “purify”  the newly founded Church of  England.

These “Puritans” themselves were looked upon as dangerous non-conformers and were  persecuted by the Church of England.     The Puritans then fled to  Holland where they thought they could carry on their own form of worship.

(Each Protestant group is its own “pope”  and decides what to believe, leading to disunity, scattering, and disbursement.)

Two

During this same time,  the mid-16th century,  the Vatican became aware of the discovery of native people in all the Americas.  In a series of letters, decrees, and papal bulls, the Church officially forbade the exploitation and  slavery of the native Americans, commanding respect for their cultures, the most famous of these being  Sublimis Dei, opposing the mistreatment of the native Americans in any way.

(No,  greedy, immoral men didn’t get the message.   Mankind is unfortunately free to disregard Church teaching.)

Three

The first  English explorers and “governors”  — not being Catholic — captured from New England a couple dozen native Americans, intending to bring them to Malaga to sell them as slaves.    Most died en route,   most were sold,  until some Franciscan monks intervened and rescued  Tisquantum,  the Patuxet Indian whom one we now know as Squanto.   They cared for him.   He became a Catholic  and expressed a desire to go “home” – wherever that was.

He was sent to England where he worked at shipyards for a while, learned to speak English, and eventually was taken back to  America.   But he was alone.  His own tribe had been wiped out by disease.  He was the last remaining Patuxet Indian left.

(We don’t now what disease, it wasn’t smallpox, and the source may or may not have been contact with the Europeans since other plagues were raging from time to time, wiping out whole tribes before the explorers got there.)

Four

The individual tribes in this region warred against each other, and this “spirit of warfare”  is what saved the Pilgrims, who had shortly before landed at “Plymouth Rock.”   There were many raids against white settlements,  and when it was known that the Pilgrims had carried with them some cannons and other European type weapons,  a raid was planned on the struggling, starving, ailing Pilgrim colony – who would have been defenseless.

Squanto, probably the only  Catholic in the area,   suggested he go to them peacefully and negotiate, since he spoke their language.    He then stayed with the Pilgrims for almost two years, and this is where we get the stories of Squanto showing them how to plant and harvest corn  (an unknown crop among the Englishmen),  how to fish, and how to use the fish and fish parts as fertilizer for the seed corn.

(If it weren’t for the warlike nature of the American tribes,  they would not have targeted the Plymouth colony, and Squanto  would not have been sent to them.)

Five

That second and more successful harvest assured the new colony would be  able to feed themselves,  and a harvest celebration of  thanksgiving to God was held,  thus going down in American history as “The First Thanksgiving.”
The Pilgrims took all these events to be providential – a sign that God was with them in the founding of the New World.     They were to be that “Shining City on a Hill”  to give hope to all the world.

Stories about  this time took shape and became part of our history,  part of our heritage that used to be taught to all American schoolchildren   (until recently when many of our children are being cut off from their historical roots, with the intention of molding them into a different society.)

But  facts are facts.  And it really happened that way with Squanto,  his Catholic faith, and the rescuing of the little Plymouth colony.

The country that became America:  we have much to be thankful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A THANKSGIVING QUIZ

November 26, 2019

 

It’s the week when we make our preparations for our Thanksgiving dinners.  If you’re having a home-cooked dinner,  there are many things to put on your grocery list — takes careful planning.

Grocceries

But it’s not this kind of list that I want to write about tonight.   After all, we don’t spend every waking hour planning for dinner;  and even while we’re eating and watching the games on Thursday,  there are still other Thanksgiving things we naturally think about to make the day more than just about our indulgences.

ANOTHER LIST:

And those “other things” include The First Thanksgiving that provides the foundation for our own day of thanks-giving.  And that’s where another list would be very handy  because we have two generations of Americans,  at least two,  who really don’t have much to put on that list.

I know.   I was a public school teacher, and I saw the changes in our schools, when we were told that fun and games and self-esteem and enjoyment was far more important than learning any facts about the world.

disorganized kids

Actually, the word “fact”  became a four-letter word!

So we have at least two generations of superannuated children who are pretty much devoid of facts and information.   As I said in the last post,  we have to be the ones who improve our situation.  We  have to be our own teachers of the things we ought to have learned.

So I’ve been thinking of a  “list” of things you ought to know about The First Thanksgiving.  Q&A -.    No,  just Q.    You do the A.

Thanksgiving involves Pilgrims.  

Pilgrims 2

 Q.  What is a Pilgrim?

Q.  What is a Puritan?

Puritans

Q.  What’s the difference between a Pilgrim and a Puritan?

Q.   What country did they live in?

Q.  Why did they move to Holland?

Q.  Why did they have to leave Holland?

Q.  Why did they want to go to the New World?

pilgrim map

Q.  What was the name of the ship they crossed the ocean with?

Q.  What is important about the Compact they drew up while on board that ship?

Q.   What time of year did they land in North America?

Q.   What were conditions like when they landed?

Q.   What was the name of their new settlement?

plymouth

Q.   Why did so many Pilgrims die during their first year?

Q.  What was their guide book?

Q.   What form of government did they begin their settlement with?

           A.    (I’ll give you the answer to that one):  It was a form of communism.  Everyone held all their land “in common,”  and all were expected to work on it.    Then, all were expected to receive an equal share of the results of their collective labor,  even though all did not put in the same effort.

Q.   What was the next form of governing themselves?

            A.   Private ownership of  property.   Self-reliance.    Responsibility for one’s own property and plot of land.

 Q.   That second form of governance resulted in an abundant  harvest.  How did they celebrate?

Q.    Who were they giving thanks to?

 Q.    Who was Squanto?

plymouth indian

(Some surprising things about him in the next post.)

 

Bonus questions:

Q.    Who was John Winthrop?

Q.   What is “The City on a Hill” ?

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Brief – CONVICTED ALL

November 15, 2019

This is the third “Brief”  posting.      A brief Brief, because there’s not much to argue here.  You can’t change your verdict, and no do-overs.

I’m on my way to class soon.  And since it is just about the close of the Liturgical Calendar,  I know what the class will be hearing in their Readings for this Sunday.  In looking for some context to help them understand their Readings, I came across this picture:

HELL hands in fire

Lurid, but not inaccurate in meaning.     The Four Last Things:  Death.  Judgment.  Heaven.  Hell.

The warning:    “The way to Heaven is very narrow and few there be who find it.”

The verdict:    “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

The Judgment:   “Hell.”

Here are about 70,000 people who heard the warning and understood:

Hell 70,000 getting it

They got the point.   1917.  Portugal.

It was supposed to teach us, in these last 100 years.

Looking back,  the “Lord of This World”  seems to be winning.

demons 400

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KINGDOM OF GOD: WHO CAN’T GET IN

October 27, 2019

(A Sunday Three-Parter, I think):

(Six-hour delay on posting this today — all that “nice, exciting”  wind knocked our power lines down)

____________________________________________________________________________________

First, let’s have some fun – on this glorious day!

GLORIOUS, EXCITING WEATHER

There is a freezing rain and a strong wind outside my window, just now!   It stirs the blood!  It  excites the senses!   Leaves are smacking against the windows –  a change of seasons!

1 380

Try to imagine a dark gray sky with all those golden leaves whipping around,  and that is what you’d see outside my front door.   (So . . .  not my house there.)

Think:   fireplace!  football!  good outdoor exercise in the cool fresh air (raking leaves)!  apple cider;  hot apple cider;  hot spiced apple cider!   Permission to eat donuts ( a little)!

Cozy, warm flannels and sweaters!

Just to name a few Fall delights.

 

PLACEMENT MATTERS

It’s also a Glorious Day because today is the Feast Day of Christ the King!

christ the king

An artist’s rendition, of course, but one which uses many elements to present factual ideas.    And, yes,  that’s the globe He has in his hands — like Tennessee Ernie Ford’s  “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.”

Oh, well,  how about if we be a little bit “diverse”  here and have  just the Tennessee Gospel Choir –

(Uh . . . listen to it later, and sing along if you wish,  but I have more to write right now):

The placement of the feast of Christ the King comes now, in the Liturgical Calendar – now, because Christ  is  King,  right now;  King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  King over all the mighty kings (and powers) of the Earth.  (Now;  and not just “at the end of time”  as the other calendars have placed it.)

The placement of this Feast right now comes also because it is direct defiance to the millions of people who pulled out of the Church in the 16th century,  seeking their own version of Christianity,  their own rules, their own idea of salvation –  and every man his own pope, and in the end, every man decides for himself what he wants to believe in . . .  although that seems to be a changeable state of mind.

The Church decreed that this Feast should be placed in October at the closest Sunday to Halloween,  a decidedly pagan affair if you examine it too closely.   Hallowe’en turns out not to be All Hallows’ Even.

PAGAN CONNECTION

Again — let’s keep it light and funny:

2009: “Is the Pope Catholic?” – A rhetorical question
2019: “Is the Pope Catholic?” – A serious question

Or, given what has gone on in the actual Vatican Garden and St. Peter’s Square and several nearby churches:

pope call 911

Absurd, huh?

But just think of this:    he (the pope)  really did  (call the police)   when the pagan idols brought into the Christian churches were thrown out of the churches and sent floating down the Tiber.

ha ha Minions

 

Some of you may know and may have even read my post of a few days ago about the pagan shenanigans in the Vatican,  attended by and participated in by the current pope, Vatican officials, and “guests”  from the Amazon.

Pacha worshiping

This is a screen shot from a video of a worship service taking place within a venerable old Christian basilica – the Traspontina, I think,  right there at the side of St. Peter’s Square, near the bridge that crosses the Tiber  (hence the word: “pontina.”)

What does worship look like?    They did an incensing of the area and of the statue Pachamama and of the people.  They did an asperges-like ritual.   They chanted.  They danced.  They bowed down, with faces touching the dirt.    And they prayed to Gaia or Mother Earth or Pachamama, whatever you want to call it.

All within a church!   And it outraged ordinary Catholics who found out about this.

ANIMUS DELENDI   (the Desire to Destroy) –

( some of  you may know the book that that phrase comes from.)

Here is the offending goddess, brought into the Catholic Church:

PACH ON TOP

I’m sorry to show that.  Even if it weren’t an idol that is worshiped in the pagan South Americas,  it would be offensive to women, to femininity, to modesty, to virtue, to chastity, to family,  to the meaning of art,  to God-Most-High.  It is offensive to all Christians,  men and women.

There are many of those idols hanging around the Vatican these past three weeks or so.

And one early, early morning,  two young men placed a few of them there on the railing of the bridge that overlooks the Tiber River.

And then – – – – –

PACHA DOWN

One by one the pagan idols were knocked into the river below, and floated away.  This was followed by about 48 hours of “righteous elation,”  but also  “apologies”  from the pope to  pagans religions everywhere,   and now these Vatican officials seem to have retrieved the idols from the water and taken out even more.

All for their big self-congratulatory synody celebrations today (today!  of all days!)

pacha pope

It is the ending day of the “Amazon” Synod,  a meeting of “advisory”  prelates, using Amazon natives as a prop to bring in pagan practices and Liberation Theology methods into mainstream Catholic practice.  Among the “big changes”  that they propose is ordaining women to be deacons and allowing for married priests.

I’ll get more serious in the next post,  but for right now,  I want to “teach” my non-Catholic friends that Catholics do not worship idols.   Statues, pictures, whatever art medium,  are not the same thing as idols that represent a pagan deity – or as the Bible calls declares it:  “All the idols of the pagans are demons.”  (Psalm 95:5 –  not the Jewish numbering of the Psalms).

Statues in a Catholic church or home represent nothing more than a reminder of the person they depict.    A bust of Abraham Lincoln does not mean that he is worshiped.   A bust or statue of a great Christian,   a saint,   does not mean that the saint is worshiped.

Of course not.

But I do like to tweak my friends’ sensibilities with this little humorous photo I took many years ago in a pretty little garden:

Statues bowing to statues 390

Yep.     Three little children statues bowing down to a big statue!   Even Catholic statues worship Catholic statues!!!

(That is a reminder scenario of the three children of Fatima kneeling before St.  Michael, the great archangel who taught them how to pray and prepare themselves for God.)

 

“WHO CAN’T GET IN”

Oh,that matter was settled thousands of years ago, and specifically for us, two thousand years ago.

I Corinthians 10:21: You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.

(So, choose.)

Well, here’s a longer list: I Corinthians 6:9b-11 – Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, [10] Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

(That pretty much covers the activities of our society).

Perhaps another description of our society: I Peter 4:3 . . . for them (the Gentiles, non-Christians) their time is past, who have walked in riotousness, lusts, excess of wine, reveillings, banquetings, (eat, drink, and be merry), and unlawful worshiping of idols….

 

CHOOSE!

Catholics tend to  take the Bible literally:  you can’t be a Christian and worship idols at the same time, it says.

Yes, well, you rulers in the Vatican, choose. “Choose ye this day who you will worship. But as for me and my house, we will worship the LORD.” (Joshua)

 

 

INJUSTICE ON THE FIELD

October 15, 2019

Feels like I’ve  “rejoined the world”  after five straight days of “important”  football games!    I’ve “released”  myself today from the television screen!

And what an enjoyable long weekend it was!

But.

The sports world is still reeling and talking about the game last night between the Lions and the Packers.   I’m a little bit of a Packers fan.  And I’m a little bit of a Lions  fan.   When they played each other last night I wasn’t too emotionally invested in the win of either one of them, until I saw how well the Lions played.     I thought they deserved to win, by their playing.

But the Packers didn’t defeat them — the referees did. 

Lions were in the End Zone, about to make an easy catch and get the touchdown, when — even I could see it! —  a Packers player pressed his arm down against the chest of that Lions player,  preventing him from reaching his arms up and catching the ball.

pass true

(different game, same pass interference move)

It was a textbook definition of Pass Interference.   The call, however,  was an incomplete pass,  which changed the outcome of the game.

Then there was a Lions player who tackled a Packer,  putting his strong heavy hand on the Packer’s shoulder.   That’s allowed.   You just can’t put your hand on a players face, face mask, or neck.

The referee called  “Hands to the Face”  or whatever,  gave the Lions a big penalty, lost yardage, lost down,  and no matter how many times the announcers showed us what happened and described what happened,  that penalty,  unjust as it was,   prevented the Lions from having an all-important First Down.

pass inter

(not touching his face or face mask)

 

And then the same thing happened to the same player, same erroneous call, same review of different camera angles,  same loss of another all-important First Down . . . .

 

We all know that refs make mistakes in every game.    They’re not usually this game-changing, though.   We all know, too, that it shouldn’t come down to a “bad call” — the players should have been better – to leave room for mistakes.

Still. . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A HAWAIIAN CHAIN TO MEMORY

October 9, 2019

banana

One time I had a vision of a banana dipped in a creamy white sauce, lying on a bumpy green plate.

I conjured that vision because  I had a short grocery list to remember, and no handy paper and pencil or voice recorder.     My grocery list consisted of bananas,   that good white queso sauce that you put on corn chips,  broccoli (bumpy green stuff),  and some lettuce (the green plate).  At the grocery store I had no trouble remembering my mental list.

And all because of a rather helpful book.

_____________________________________________________________________

book

 

“CHAPTER 7:  The End of Remembering:     Once upon a time there was nothing to do with thoughts except remember them.  There was no alphabet . . .  no paper to set them down upon.    Anything that had to be preserve3d had to be preserved in  memory.  Any story to be retold, and idea to be transmitted, any piece of information to be conveyed first had to be remembered . . . .”

So begins a very good chapter in this book I’m reading:  Moonwalking With Einstein,  a book which is not about Einstein and not at all about moonwalking.   It’s a book about human memory,  its uses, historically speaking;  and its falling out-of-use in recent times  (oh,  several centuries ago).

alarm clock Actually, our memory began failing with the invention of writing and more profoundly with our reliance upon books.   That alone should earn this post a small alarm,  very small because losing our ability to memorize ordinary things will have long-term consequences for humanity,  but as all long-term considerations,  this is easily put off as non-important to the present day.

“One more Mountain Dew” — and see?  Nothing happens.  One more cigarette — and see?  Nothing happened.  One more speedy trip to downtown — nothing happened,  no speeding ticket, no accident.    One more good intention put off — nothing perceptible happens.

But deep down we know something is happening, even though we are not compelled to take care of it right away.   It’s this “something”  that is happening to our minds something that we should want to examine.    After all, if we don’t know things,  anyone can tell us anything about everything.

lies

Is it okay to have poorer memories than our predecessors did?

At the very least it’s annoying at times!

My ongoing pain built up a little this morning, so I took some anti-pain stuff and laid back down in my reading chair for a while, reading more into this book.   Then I had one of those many random  intrusive thoughts you get while reading.  This time it was “I keep hearing about manuka honey;  maybe I ought to get some and try out its healing properties.”   Amazon is only one room and a couple short clicks away, by computer.

But I’m supposed to be resting, and it still hurts.

But I’ll forget.

question marks

So I used one of the techniques in this book,   remembering a list of what to do using visual images:  I created a question mark in my mind.  Does Amazon even sell manuka honey?     How do you spell it, by the way?   Is it expensive?    How long before my body will let me get up and move around?

So I created a visual chain of question marks,  connected together, from me to the computer.    The chain was dripping with thick golden honey.

What kind of honey?  Would I forget that?    So I created a visual image of my college housemate from Hawaii who had come to us in the Far Far North, and not yet realizing our cultural differences.  Her speech was a blend of English and Hawaiian words and Hawaiian expectations.  (Snow was NOT what she expected it to be!)

hawaiian puka scene

 

One morning as we were all getting ready to go out to our various duties,  she came running down the  hallway, yelling in distress:  “I found a puka!  I found a puka!  Someone help!”

We didn’t know whether to run to her aid or run out of the house in fright.  What is a puka?!

Well, a puka is a hole, like seeing that Hawaiian scene through a puka in the rock.  She had found a hole in her skirt, right where it showed,  and it  caused her appropriate distress.       Some places you just don’t want a puka.    Some are okay.

 

haw sells black

 

Manuka – puka.    See the connection?  For good measure,  I threw in a neatly folded pretty blue muu muu on my computer chair so I would remember to look for this Hawaiian honey.

For the next hour I could hardly wait to get up out of my chair and look for this honey!

Honey is not important to you today.  Buying something on Amazon is probably not important.  Me?   Not really . . .   But I hope I’ve illustrated for you one of the most fun and efficacious ways of remembering things.

Associate each word you want to remember with some visual image.  It’s the way our mind works.    The more visual images and other cues you can attach to something,  the more “hooks” your mind can grasp onto to retrieve that memory.

It’s that easy.   At least  one aspect of memory is that easy.

 

(There are more.  I’ll have to reread parts of this book and take notes.)

Hah!

.

haw puka hike

Hawaiian hiking spot to find that scene in a puka.

.

 

 

 

A SEPTEMBER INTERLUDE: BIRTHDAY AND VISITORS

September 30, 2019

I need to start out with a huge and heartfelt Thank You to all my family and friends who sent birthday cards and called or emailed.     I scarcely have the words to tell you how much they were appreciated and needed this year.   They were.

(And that includes the birthday card with the reprimand to the “angels.”     Someone up there dropped the ball and those angels certainly deserve a good reprimand.  Or so it seemed.)

Birth cake

Because although I had been feeling a little better, a little diminishment in the pain, right on cue, on the day of my birthday,  it all came back with a vengeance.    What came back?  The sledge hammer driving a railroad spike into  my back at various spots, my shoulders, and the top of my leg.

Enough said.  My plans,  both spoken and unspoken were gone.

Nevertheless,   Daughter, Son, and Grandson graciously carried  on birthday activities and I chewed up the inside of my mouth trying to keep up with it all.   We had a really special dinner . . .

Birth seafood

Lime-Cilantro rice, and a nice kale cole slaw; with scallops,  large shrimp (scampied), lake trout, salmon, and Chilean sea bass!!!     (It being a Friday birthday  . . .  which was kind of cool because I was born on a Friday. )

My  only self-inflicted disappointment was the football game I was so much looking forward to wasn’t on TV.   It  wasn’t Saturday!    Nevertheless, I missed that football game all day!

Birth Family Football Day

But that’s okay —  when your birthday falls on a Friday,  you get to call it your “birthday weekend”!   And what a great game it was the next day!

Daughter and Grandson came all the way from California — where it snowed while they visited here;  icy cold snow and rain in the High Sierras.

Grandson Cooper is so big and mature now at 8 3/4 years old.     His most favorite activity here was to make stop-action Lego movies on his I-Pad.   I can’t believe how good those little video shorts turn out!    Imaginative, detailed, and creative.    I wasn’t physically able to transfer some of his videos to this computer, but you can find many on YouTube (stop-action Lego movies) made by others.

Meanwhile we could “find” many  Lego stuff on the floor . . .in the hallway,  where I had to carefully and painfully pick my way up, over and around the pieces.   But,  hey,  that’s where the “studio”  got set up.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is birth-lego-hallway.jpg

(He’s from California.  I hope he doesn’t grow up to be a movie producer.)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is birth-morning-glory-blue.jpg

Mother Nature celebrated with me.   All summer I’ve been carefully nursing many morning glory plants (the flower for the month of September – I love them!).    A week ago one, two, then three  lovely blue flowers blossomed,  but on my birthday,  one of the vines put forth a trellis full!

 

The other trellis gave me two flowers which quickly died, but produced many good see pods — and hope for next year. I do NOT have a green thumb, so these blossoms are very precious.

I can grow a beautiful mushroom colony, though:

Daughter, Son, and Cooper made their annual visit to “Uncle John ‘s Cider Mill” where there are plenty of things to do and see. I couldn’t go with them this year, but they brought back apples, cider, and pumpkins:

So now my porch is decorated.

You know, Fall is a very beautiful and distinctive time of the year. It’s worth the effort to do Fall activities and to decorate. Live the seasons!

Nightfall brought into view the gorgeous fountain that Son installed in the middle of our pond.

Son is back to work today. The California family is in the air, en route to Donner Pass where their home is. It’s not quiet here yet, not “too” quiet. I’m recovering. I think I hurt almost as much, but today I don’t have to move around if I can’t. I think I’m kind of indulging myself with inactivity.

Feels good.

My mind is not inactive. It’s still full of gratitude, among other things. It’s full of what having a birthday means. And having another birthday. And I have many people to contact and thank.

Climate change, politics, Church follies, and other problems are still out there, but Life is lived at the level of the individual.

You. Your individual level.

.

ANGERING MARIE LAVEAU

September 19, 2019

devil

(UPDATE:  REVERSE COLORS SO IT’S EASIER TO READ)

Marie reversed

Marie Light

 

pain

ONE GAZILLION TO GO

September 10, 2019

“Gazillion”  is a fearful word.

 

buffalo

I think I might be entering “society”  again.      Trying to move closer to others out there.

Pain is so much less;  kidney stones are probably all dissolved by now — thanks to dandelions and an odd little substance called BreakStone capsules.   ( They work,  should you ever develop horrible kidney stones yourself and need a cure.)    About my other big health “challenge” – it’s still there,  pretty dire, causing a little pain itself . . .  if I let a medical-industry doctor tinker with my body I’ll be dead within a year, almost certain sure,  so I’ll do it the hard way,  the scary way, the right way.  Please remember me in prayer.    It’s hard work.

About the “gazillion”  —   if a student of mine ever used that word in an essay,  I’d be fine with it.  I wouldn’t mark it down at all because it’s a useful English word.   It’s probably in the dictionary too.

As I’m resuming a slow and guarded,  more normal way of life,  I look around me and see a gazilion things that I have to do.  It’s okay.   I’m the only one living here in this house, and I’m easy –I’m easy on myself  (and on others too).    Whatever.   Things will get done.

However — I took a look at my computer Desktop.   Oh, my.   There are literally a gazillion pictures and blogging ideas dumped onto my Desktop.

I did it.    Apparently,  I’ve been looking at news articles from time to time and saving things for future blog postings.    So I might be doing some “data dumping” here — lots of little postings about totally random things.   Maybe it will develop into a theme.

The only trouble is:  if I start blogging again,  I’ll have to start writing in my own personal journal — there are a gazillion fearful things I will have to face up to during these past weeks.     A serious sickness does that to you.   I’m not sure if I’m strong enough yet for all those things.

As I said at the top,  “a  gazillion is a fearful word.”

 

____________________________________________________________

So that  this isn’t a totally useless posting,  try looking closely at your friends and family —  see if anyone is overwhelmed and a bit fearful.   Not that they’d tell you.  But they’d still need you.    If you do,  maybe this whiny post will do some good.

________________________________________________________________

 

( Meet an ordinary man who achieved extraordinary holiness):

St Sharbel bl and white photo

Almighty God and Loving Father,   you are glorious in the lives of your saints.   Because of the heroic level of poverty,  chastity, and obedience with which you blessed your holy monk, St. Sharbel, you have given him the ability to make powerful intercession for us.      St. Sharbel, pray for us;   intercede for us in matters of health.

BUFFALO GROANS

August 29, 2019

I know a snowstorm like this –

buff lying down

—  the snow comes down strongly in fine sharp needles that besiege your body . . . .

Nothing for a buffalo to do but stay still until it passes.

Have you ever heard a buffalo groan?   It’s a rumbling that comes from deep within that massive chest and then rises up into a full-volume  mournful moan of  despair.    Over and over and over again.

Because the problem isn’t going away.  No relief in sight.

Like my so-far intractable pain these weeks  . . .  I’m having many “vocalizations” right now, including probably sounding like a buffalo groaning.   But I  popped up into the world today long enough to hear some news headlines.

Like a harsh winter storm, I felt besieged by betrayals from so many places in our society, so many things I’d like to expand on and comment on.

jail

We have unelected Leftist political appointees,   apparently, so far, all put into positions of power in our government who have repeatedly weaponized their departments against their political opponents, lied to Congress,  committed felons, and were otherwise irresponsible and vicious in their jobs — but escaping indictment and conviction.  Too many names to handle now,  but the  (C ome  y)  report today is yet another one.

That was politics,  how about religion?

Amazon Synod prelate

Talk about betrayal by church leaders!!    This is a photo of a Catholic priest from the Amazon, where they’ll soon be having that major synod on changing the Church’s teachings.   I had to read the accompanying article twice to make sure they said he was a “prelate.”    Yep.   Those Amazonians have a lot of new things to teach Jesus Christ.     Stay tuned for the “new understandings.”

Local radio news today:  Third graders in our state can’t read or do math at their grade level.     Less than 30% competency.

report card

I’m paying a whole lot in “school” taxes.     For many years now, decades, American children are  being trained, indoctrinated, lied to, and propagandized, all to prepare them to be good socialist citizens.   They’re not being educated.   They’re not being informed, nor are they taught to evaluate and assess information.

Let’s see:  politics, religion,  education . . .   oh , the list is longer, but I can’t do any more  tonight.

I’ll just give you  another buffalo . . .  who might feel like giving up:

buffalo lying down

Seems like the right thing to do for a while.

Socked in.

 

 

 

 

NOT YET

August 23, 2019

 

Just,   not yet . .  .

buff

 

So much to say, so much to comment on . . .  so much to teach . . .

But just not yet, okay?

 

(Dealing with Pain . . . .   I’ve got four diseases”  merging . . .Sometimes this happens.    Prayers, please.) 

 

 

________________________HUMOR________________________________

 

Dear Spruce Tunnel Archives:  It’s just a writing pause.   I think I have a handle on this. 

Or else one of these things should work:

pill spoon.jpg

 

(That’s the humor part – driven by discomfort:  none of these things in the bowl work.   I remain a strong, unhappy buffalo in a snowstorm.)

DO GOOD; A REMEMBRANCE

August 3, 2019

I needed to take a walk in the actual Spruce Tunnel recently, just to think, to clear my mind, give me some time to . . .  breathe.  I often write that I hope each of you have a place to go to like this;  although in the undisturbed quiet, you have to be prepared for  any  thoughts that arise.

Here’s how you enter the trails that lead to the Tunnel.  A nice, inviting, lush green trailhead:

ST Entrance 380

July begins a time of the year for not-so-good anniversaries for us.

My thinking on this day:    We like to think that when we leave this world,  someone will care.     We don’t wish our family and friends  unbearable grief or unending sorrow,  but it would be nice if we are remembered for something . . .  something good, some good effect we’ve had . . . .

And since there is someone who left us who really did have a “good effect” on us,  I want to pay tribute to her.    She left us almost a year ago,  way too young, it shouldn’t have happened  (from our point of view)  and we keep bumping into little “anniversaries” of our last months, weeks, and days with her.

Oh, dear.  This has to be “brief.”

This is about Meghan.  She was a bundle of energy, busy, busy, busy,  always doing something good,  doing some good for other people,  wise about other people’s needs . . .  how can I explain?

Her flowers 370

She made the earth around her a better place. The flowers she planted last year to beautify Son’s front yard — came up again this year – gorgeous and glorious.

She was wise and very  observant about just exactly what a person needs.  She seemed to have an encyclopedic knowledge of how to improve things and how to fix things;  but she had the ability to know when she should back off a bit too.

 

She was always there for the needs of any of her friends.   I don’t think anyone in her circle of friends ever did as much for her as she did for all of  us.

About a year ago,  I brought her a drink that she liked:

Her Drink 400

There it is.   Just a Peach-Pear smoothie, sold at our local coffee shop.  I go there to buy some of the white packages you see in the background.  Coffee of every variety you can imagine.    She already wasn’t feeling very good,   but I just thought she might like a smoothie, maybe.   We all knew she needed to eat more.

A small thought on my part but she was so happy with it.   Such a little thing,  but it made her happy.    Looking back,  she delighted in giving to others many unexpected little “surprises.”  but I don’t know how many spontaneous little “gifts”  she received from other people         How grateful she was to be the recipient this time.

ST Tall Trees 338

The Spruce Tunnel will last longer than I will.    It will be there longer than the thoughts I was thinking.    But one day it will be gone too.

Some of you will hear a passage from Ecclesiastes read to you this Sunday:   “Vanity of vanities;  all is vanity . . . .”    Everything we commonly strive for will actually  come to nothing.      It all passes away.    All our effort is in vain,  in the end.   Only the good we do for others will count for anything in the eyes of God.

Love.  And do good.

Jesus a man at His feet

It’s what He taught us.

It’s what Meghan seemed to be striving for.  Love people.  Cheer them up.  Do for people. Help them out.  Have fun and make fun.

If you want to live forever and have all your efforts count for something,  Love and Do Good because God is Love, and you count for something in Him.   It is something you learn and then grow slowly into until it becomes instinctive.

You know me,  I’m  a teacher – by nature, by profession, by habit;  I teach but sometimes I just give advice.   So my advice to all of  you, my dear Readers:    Do good.  Do good to all you know so that you don’t some day regret not doing  enough good things for the family and friends you will lose some day.

We did not love her back — enough.     Or, we did not show her enough that we love her.

Jesus enfolded at His lap

We can hope that she is now enfolded in all the love she deserves.

.

I John 4:19 –    “We love, because He first loved us.”

 

Crucifix

.

 

A FOURTH THOUGHT

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!

Firewroks

I was glad to see our nation celebrated:

4th Flyover

Celebration hosted by our President and First Lady:

4TH MELANIA

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

4TH RAINIY DAY

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!”