Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Georgia Tech student shot by police

I was wrong when I said there are no riots when whites are shot by police. The media do not identify Scout's race as they always do when a black man is shot, nor are they identifying (with pronouns) his gender, since he was an LGBTQ leader confused and unhappy in his body which is probably why he was asking to be shot while approaching police with a knife. And the rioters are not students--they are equal opportunity mobsters. Students were having a peaceful memorial, at least to an interview I watched.

I've read four accounts from NYT to ABC to Fox--all are extremely careful how they identify him-- "Scout," "student" and "LGBTQ activist." I've chosen the male pronoun because he was either a man trying to be a woman, so his DNA tells the story, or he was a woman trying to be a man and was using testosterone, which has been shown to be at the root of most violent and risk taking behaviors regardless of whether it is natural or injected.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Memories--my ablation and hospitalization

From a letter. "I had my ablation (AV node reentry slow pathway) on January 18th [2002].  Then while I was wearing a Holter monitor on the 29-30th, it picked up some serious a-fib again (this was my fault for doing too much while we were moving to our condo and having the house closing).  Apparently the pulmonary veins don’t know the ship has left the dock and they continue to do what they’ve always done.  So it was back to the hospital for 3 days to be put on Rythmol. It sure is good to be out of the hospital!  The doctor didn't make rounds until about noon, so I didn't get out until about 1:30 Friday. I had lunch there--it was pretty good, a vegetable lasagna.

I only got 2 hours sleep each night.  The woman in my room was on some sort of machine suctioning fluids and gurgling--sounded like a creek running through the room.  A long time smoker, she had emphysema and an aneurysm. Plus, because her surgery was so serious, there were always medical staff trooping in and out, and when they weren't testing her, they seemed to be taking my blood pressure or temperature or giving me medication, but not all at once, just spacing it out so I couldn't sleep. Anyone who can survive in a hospital must be pretty darn healthy. I felt sorry for this woman's daughters though. They had flown in from different states, and would sleep in the lounge and then come in and try to watch her. They were exhausted, and of course, it is pretty boring just sitting. And they frequently had to alert the nursing staff to problems, so I think it is very important that family be around when there is surgery recovery.

My first morning there, about 5 a.m., I was watching two male staff, one teaching and one learning, drop off our medication.  They unlocked the two boxes for 4007 for bed A (Bruce) and bed B (her name), and I heard the one tell the other “this is for Bruce,” and he pulled out box B, looked at the name, and put mine in it, thus mixing up our medication.  The learner was definitely old enough to need glasses and he had a white pony tail hanging from his almost bald head. So when the RN came in I told her.  She went over and unlocked the boxes, looked at the names, and switched them.  The next morning, I noticed he was wearing glasses.

Holly brought in dinner Thursday night to the hospital, and all the stuff for a manicure (a huge bag of colors to choose from) and gave me a nice relaxing manicure. So that evening I had Bob, Lindsey, Holly, and Mark and Phoebe at my bedside, but only one chair. Phoebe brought me tapioca from the Chef-o-Nette which is located in our old neighborhood.  Either the manicure or the tapioca could be a special gift to anyone in the hospital.  Holly has artificial nails, but knows how to do it. Phil stopped in on Thursday and Friday morning and brought me Caribou coffee from my favorite coffee shop."

Little Golden Books

Yesterday I received a “Little Golden Book,” EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK. It’s adorable AND Printed in China. Little Golden Books were part of Western Publishing which bought Kable Printing in 1957, a firm in the town where I grew up, Mt. Morris, IL. The town provided a nice living for many and printed, published and supplied magazines and serials for the world, especially in agriculture. It's struggling now. Although eventually, changing technology would have downsized it, Kables was ruined by a union strike in Mt. Morris in 1974. Western was purchased by Mattel in 1979 and possibly another 4 times that I know of before the permanent closing of the plant we continued to call Kables a few years ago. Now the town has a retirement home as the largest employer, no elementary or high school, and a community arts program to bring in visitors. It should be Trump country. Its story is repeated all over mid-America.


A humorous "guide to life" for grown-ups! One day, Diane Muldrow, a longtime editor of the iconic Little Golden Books, realized that, despite their whimsical appearance, there was hardly a real-life situation that hadn't been covered in the more than 70-year-old line of children's books—from managing money, to the importance of exercise, to finding contentment in the simplest things. In this age of debt, depression, and diabetes, could we adults use a refresher course in the gentle lessons from these adorable books, she wondered—a "Little Golden guide to life"? Yes, we could! Muldrow's humorous yet practical tips for getting the most out of life ("Don't forget to enjoy your wedding!" "Be a hugger." "Sweatpants are bad for morale."), drawn from more than 60 stories, are paired with delightful images from these best-loved children's books of all time—among them The Poky Little Puppy, Pantaloon, Mister Dog, Nurse Nancy, We Help Mommy, Five Pennies to Spend, and The Little Red Hen. The Golden greats of children's illustration are represented here as well: Richard Scarry, Garth Williams, Eloise Wilkin, J. P. Miller, and Mary Blair, among many others. Sure to bring memories and a smile, this book is a perfect gift for baby boomers, recent grads, lovers of children's literature—or anyone who cherishes the sturdy little books with the shiny cardboard covers and gold foil spines! (Good Reads)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The kitchen sink protest

“Angeles Maldonado, a professor at Arizona State University, gave her Global Politics of Human Rights class the option of completing a group project or taking a final exam.

Her students opted for the project, and the 20 students in Maldonado’s class decided that their final project would be a protest against President Trump’s policies.” Breitbart News

Just protesting the wall wasn’t enough—after both Clinton and Obama had voted for it as senators, so they also included  LGBT rights, women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and the prison system.  And the kitchen sink.

What really happened—Wall St. Journal

"The Democratic Party saddled itself with an ethically compromised and joyless candidate, because it had nobody else. Hillary spent eight years planning her first presidential bid, and the next eight warning Democrats not to get in the way of her second. The Clinton Foundation was erected to serve as bank and Rolodex, and to enable the Clintons to retain their grip over the party. And that party was committed to a Clinton coronation, right up to Mr. Sanders’s cheeky assault.

Mr. Obama aided Mrs. Clinton’s ambitions by decimating his party. By the time Barack Obama finished his eight years in office, his party held 65 fewer House seats, 14 fewer governorships and controlled 30 fewer state legislatures. It had turned a once-filibuster-proof Senate majority into minority status. The big-tent Democratic coalition shriveled to a coastal, progressive minority, wiping out a generation of Democratic politicians and most of the party’s political diversity." Kimberley A. Strassel, Sept. 15

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Another beautiful story by Carol Shaw Johnson whose granddaughter Lily is being treated for cancer after 5 years in remission.

"Today is September 17th – the 17th day of Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Today I want to honor Matthew LaRocca. Matt’s journey with childhood cancer began in November of 2009 when he was 11 years old and in the fifth grade. His family was living in Florida, and his parents took him in for an MRI to confirm a sinus infection. Instead, the doctor looked at Matt and said, “Buddy, you have a pretty big brain tumor in there.” The LaRoccas’ lives changed forever in that moment. The tumor was over 5 cm, and the doctors thought it had been there from birth. That would’ve explained some minor issues Matt had dealt with for years for which they never had answers. Matt had brain surgery on November 16, 2009, but the surgeon was only able to remove a small piece of the tumor for a biopsy. The tumor was a Ganglioglioma and it was benign. However, it was growing and it was located on Matt’s brain stem, and that made it very dangerous. The brain stem controls major bodily functions such as breathing and heart rate. Amazingly, Matt returned to school within a week of surgery.

Matt’s parents, Dean and Kim, left no stone unturned as they sought out the best treatment for Matt. They sent Matt’s records and scans to doctors throughout the country to get opinions to help them determine what to do. Matt was started on a chemo regimen to hopefully shrink the tumor.
Meantime, the family realized that they couldn’t make the journey alone. In addition to Matt, they had an older son, Jordan (15 at the time), a daughter, Alyssa (14 at the time), and then Ryan, age 5, who was the youngest of the 4 siblings. Since so much of their extended family lived in Nashville, they decided to move back home to Tennessee. There, they would not only have a large support system of friends and family, but they’d have Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital as well. Once they were back in Nashville, Matt continued his chemo while Dean and Kim continued their search for Matt’s best treatment options.

Matt had varied interests. One thing that Matt enjoyed was cooking. He had the idea that he would start making and selling snickerdoodles, 7-layer bars and “crazy croutons.” He named his made-from-scratch goodies “Miracle Matt’s Munchies.” He often took treats for the nurses and other patients when he went to clinic, and they looked forward to his homemade yummies. Matt even had a cookbook printed that was sold to help raise money for his treatment. I was happy that I was able to buy one. Kim wrote: “ He loved to bake for the very people that would stick him with needles, administer chemo, and make him do such odd facial gestures for neuro checks. He took his cooking seriously and did it all with such joy, passion, and love. I sometimes would wonder how such a young man could be so giving in spite of such a frustrating plight. But He pushed himself in everything he did. He kept up with school as best he could, read with his little brother, and offered to help bring the groceries in from the car when it was all he could do just to walk on his own.”

Matt had a great sense of humor, and he applied that humor to his brain tumor! His family started a website: http://www.braintumorhumor.com. Matt loved seeing the looks on people’s faces when he wore one of his t-shirts with a funny quote or saying about brain tumors. He felt it was a way to break the ice when people didn’t know what to say to someone going through such a difficult experience. Leave it to Matt to find humor in even the direst circumstances.

Matt also loved Legos. They were a signature interest for him. He enjoyed putting together Lego kits and creating designs with them. It was good therapy, both emotionally and physically. One day Matt said, “Hey mom, you know how sometimes people send me a little money in the mail?” Kim replied, “Yes.” Matt continued, “Can you tell them to just send Legos instead?” The boy loved his Legos!
Cold weather was something that Matt especially enjoyed, and so when he was offered a wish through the Make A Wish Foundation, he chose a cruise to Alaska. That trip was one the whole family will always remember.

As Dean and Kim explored options, they unexpectedly were able to talk with Dr. Ben Carson at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Carson discussed Matt’s case with Dr. George Jallo – another doctor in his group and the top doctor in the country on brain stem tumors. Everything fell into place to the point that the LaRoccas felt assured that this was the path God wanted them to follow. They went to Baltimore to meet with Dr. Jallo who would perform the surgery. As they were leaving, Dr. Carson came in and said, “So this is Matthew LaRocca!” He told them the story of a little boy who had a tumor similar to Matt’s and how he had been given 6 months to live. He laughed and said, “That was 20 years ago and he is in college now.” Kim said that the look on Matt’s face was priceless – a mix of relief and shock. That trip gave them hope. Matt’s surgery to de-bulk the tumor was done by Dr. Jallo at Johns Hopkins in January 2011. Matt had been suffering for 16 months from violent hiccups because of the tumor, and the surgery finally gave him relief from that, too.

Matt returned home and seemed to be doing well when, without warning, on April 6, 2011, his battle on earth ended. He was twelve. His mom wrote: “He won! Matt beat that cowardly brain tumor. While we are broken and void in heart, we are so thrilled that Matt is free to run again! Life will never be the same, but we are thankful for the battle he waged.”

Months after Matt’s death, Kim wrote on his CaringBridge page: “Matt was brave beyond his years and fought with the knowledge that the end of his life's story wasn't promised to be long. I recall him taking me to lunch not long after he was diagnosed. We talked about many things, I'm sure - music, food, school, life - but I clearly remember him looking at me and casually saying, ‘You know, Mom, there is no guarantee I'm going to make it through this.’ I recall looking him in the eye to see if I could read anymore into what he said (which I couldn't) and knowing my only response could be, ‘Matt, no one is guaranteed tomorrow. Not me, not your dad and not you, but I am going to see to it that you out-live us both because parents aren't supposed to bury their kids.’ In a way, he did outlive us. He accomplished real living sooner than we did.”

After his death, Matt’s family donated lots of Legos in Matt’s memory to help kids with brain tumors in their therapy. If you're reading this and wondering what you can do to help, here it is. Why don’t you buy a couple of Lego kits and take them to your nearest children’s hospital. Tell them you’re giving them to honor Matt LaRocca – a young boy who battled a brain tumor with humor, determination, snickerdoodles, and Legos. If you do, come back to this post later and leave a comment letting us know. Matt’s family would love to know that people are still honoring his memory by giving Legos to kids in the hospital.

Matt, you must be smiling down from heaven as you see how your family has continued your work to help others who are battling brain tumors. You taught us all lessons in treasuring life and helping others.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Boycotting Grey's Anatomy and NFL games which I never watched anyway!

Ellen Pompeo says she doesn't want Trump voters to watch her show, the popular and over rated Grey's Anatomy. She hasn't aged out of any influence on that show (14 seasons and she's almost 50--worth over $30 million), so gen-xers are sticking by her. She also used a lot of profanity in kicking her supporters and fans off the train.  I didn't know the show was still chugging along, since I've only seen it occasionally in reruns. She always looks like an angry frump--plays to type. With her political views, and if she were a real doctor, I'd be terrified to have her near me. So self important. And then there's the NFL millionaire jokers who disrespect the flag and national anthem, a publicity stunt begun by the ungrateful Colin Kaepernick (3 white parents, white Muslim hot girlfriend, bad stats). So darn it, can't even watch football!   Filthy rich people who've never read the Constitution.  What would we do without their telling us what to think and where to go?

When I Googled "Ellen Pompeo wants a boycott" I see she's done this before for other shows she doesn't like usually for presenting ideas that conflict with her personal far left views (why do TV and movie celeb-millionaires who read other people's words for a living have such missionary zeal for Communism?) But by telling Trump voters to not watch her show seems counter productive if she wants a platform.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday family photo--the laundry

This is the laundry at Lakeside after I decided the dryer was unsafe. Pink, blue and cream are our colors
I've had a lot of jobs in my life time from newspaper carrier to agricultural worker to author to librarian, however for 57 years I've been a housewife. Let me tell you my most exciting laundry story. I've been buying bargain laundry detergent my whole career, but recently bought a small jug of Tide. Hey. It works. My husband does all the hard stuff and gets really dirty. His work jeans look fabulous.

Manning is a pardoned traitor

Lipstick, hormones and blonde hair does not make a man a woman and a pardon by Obama doesn't make him less a traitor. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/09/14/former-cia-directors-shun-harvard-after-the-school-invites-chelsea-manning-to-campus/?

  • "After serving in Iraq since October 2009, Manning was arrested in May 2010 after Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker in the United States, indirectly informed the Army's Criminal Investigation Command that Manning had acknowledged passing classified material to the whistleblower website, WikiLeaks. Manning was ultimately charged with 22 specified offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source, and the most serious of the charges, aiding the enemy. Other charges included violations of the Espionage Act, stealing U.S. government property, charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and charges related to the failure to obey lawful general orders under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Manning entered guilty pleas to 10 of 22 specified offenses in February 2013." (Wikipedia) 
  •  "Among the records Manning has admitted to passing on to WikiLeaks were a video showing a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 11 men and 750,000 classified documents that contained military and diplomatic dispatches." (NPR) 
  • "Manning placed the lives of at least 900 Afghans aiding U.S. troops at risk by orchestrating the biggest leak in American military history." (Breitbart) And he has the gall to claim discrimination because he's a transwoman. (Twitter)

Margaret Sanger's legacy

In 2014, a total of 303,844 blacks died in the U.S., but 343,440 black babies were aborted. That's more than all the Africans imported to the colonies as slaves in several centuries--but just one year! But Mrs. Clinton called Sanger her hero, she's honored by numerous organizations as a "first" among womanhood, and we tax payers provide half a billion a year to the organization she founded. The Smithsonian has her statue--which I don't think should be removed, but it needs a plaque dedicated to the millions of children she's help kill. (73abort.com)

There is Nothing Tolerant About Killing the Weak and the Helpless.

Robert E. Lee statue in Texas

Robert E. Lee complied with all the requirements for amnesty and restoration of his citizenship in 1865, but his request was never acted upon. Finally, in 1975 President Ford corrected the error of the Andrew Johnson administration.

"In 1975, Lee's full rights of citizenship were posthumously restored by a joint congressional resolution effective June 13, 1865.

At the August 5, 1975, signing ceremony, President Gerald R. Ford acknowledged the discovery of Lee's Oath of Allegiance in the National Archives and remarked:
"General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride." https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2005/spring/piece-lee.html
Now ugly racist elements in our society that wish to destroy the hard fought unity won in the bloodiest war of our history, are demanding not just the removal of Civil War statues, but also founders, poets, musicians, college presidents, etc.

 But these same elements revere statues and the memory of the biggest murderer of all, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder. Hillary Clinton claimed her as her hero. Her centennial was celebrated last year.  Our government sends the abattoir she founded half a billion dollars each year. Thirty percent of her victims are blacks. And here's what she thought of immigrants. (A Plan for Peace, Margaret Sanger) was published in Birth Control Review (April 1932, pp. 107-108) https://www.issues4life.org/pdfs/1932_peaceplan_margaretsanger.pdf

Of a population of one hundred million, Sanger considered only about 15% were fit to reproduce.  The others should be sterilized and sent to special concentration camps. Would you be here if your immigrant ancestors would have met the fate she recommended?


Thursday, September 14, 2017

So, Hillary, why’d you lose the white women?

1.  Basket of deplorables.

2.  Ferguson and Baltimore.

3.  Women have sons-–fake campus rape charges.

4.  Benghazi.

5.  E-mails.

6.  First amendment.

7.  Second amendment.

8.  Same old , same old.

9.  Entitled.

10. Bathrooms.

Love me like a Princess had a fund raiser last night, and I saw a photo of my cousin (2x removed, Joy's daughter) on FB at the event.  Not sure, but she may have been modeling for the fund raiser.

 "Love Me Like A Princess© is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We advocate for domestic violence survivors, based in Central, Ohio. Our Program is designed to help survivors take the final steps to reestablish themselves as productive and self-sufficient members of our communities. Our goal is to help those survivors who are willing to help themselves, speed up and complete their healing process. Love Me Like A Princess© workshops, continuing education programs, resources and services are effective, flexible and convenient for all survivors, including those with unique working schedules and special circumstances."

What happened, Hillary?

The official book jacket cover for Hillary Clinton’s book "What Happened"

Counties won:
Trump 2626
Hillary 487

States won:
Trump 30
Hillary 20

 Trump 304
Hillary 227





Decline in global poverty is breath taking

"The global middle class expanded, as real income went up between 70 percent and 80 percent for those around the world who were already earning at or near the global median, including some 200 million Chinese, 90 million Indians and 30 million people each in Indonesia, Egypt and Brazil.

Those in the bottom third of the global income distribution registered real income gains between 40 percent and 70 percent, Milanovic reports. The share of the world’s population living on $1.25 or less per day — what the World Bank defines as “absolute poverty” — fell from 44 percent to 23 percent."


The country with the most success in overcoming poverty did not receive foreign aid. Nor did churches and NGOs set up camp there.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tax reform

So no wonder Democrats claim ANY reform will benefit the rich. They pay the bulk of the taxes, money that could be invested in businesses, charities, or their children's education which employ millions of people, or on spending and purchasing from other businesses which support workers who do pay taxes.The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.5 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.1 percent).

What if Democrats had supported the 2007 bi-partisan effort?

But Senator Obama voted against it with other Democrats beholden to big labor interests.


Here's how Obama excelled in politics. As a senator, he either didn't show up to vote so there would be no record, or he'd vote no if it was something that would benefit the country but not him. As a president, he vetoed everything the Republicans supported on immigration and health care because he couldn't be king if they passed.

In the Illinois legislature, the U.S. Congress and in the WH he supported abortion on demand for any reason, 40% of which are for blacks. I'm not going to guess about his motives on that holocaust. "In the United States, black children are aborted at three times the rate of white children; Hispanic children are aborted at one and a half times the rate. Whatever the intentions of the abortion industry, by functional standards, abortion is a racist institution." (73abort.com)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Miss America contest uses Anti-Trump questions

The Leftist culture  hated the Miss American contest--ridiculed it--until they found out they could use and manipulate these women as a weapon against President Trump.
  • "By presenting an unattainable image of the ideal woman, Miss America not only reinforces noxious gender roles and stereotypes, but also implies that a majority of women have failed at womanhood itself." (2015)
  • "Yet, there's this ridiculous message the pageant peddles: We enjoy judging women on their looks and bodies, and we will set as a body ideal a standard impossible for the vast majority of women on this planet.' (2013)
  • "Can you believe it? They still have Miss America pageants. I thought they went out with Capris and beehives, or at least bangles and roller disco." (2008).
  • "Watching the pageant "is almost the experience one gets when one opens a time capsule," says Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University in New York. "Miss America is in many ways a perfect reflection of a slice of American values as they stood a quarter-century ago."" (1999)

An anniversary celebration--sort of

Our condo association had its fall picnic Sunday evening on the grounds and I announced that we and our neighbors were celebrating our anniversaries on Monday and Tuesday for a total of 115 years.  We’d gone out on Friday at the Rusty Bucket for dinner together.  When I told the waitress she looked at me strangely, and said, "Anniversary of what?"

But the fun part was we have new residents who had moved in during July, so we’d never met.  He’s the new director of the school of music at OSU. They are from Texas, but natives of Iowa and met in high school (one of the questions on the quiz).  When we’d finished eating and playing our games, a group of men singing OSU stuff like Carmen Ohio and Hand on Sloopy walked up to our group—it was about 1/3 of the men’s glee club.  Wonderful voices. Their director was a friend of our new neighbors and did lots of inside jokes and stories.   It wasn’t for us, and it was all planned, but it sure was fun.


Monday, September 11, 2017

A surprise for our anniversary

I knew my husband attended a one day art class at Lakeside this summer, but hadn't seen the results.  It's a pendant he painted of the Marblehead Lighthouse, with lake, trees, sky and sailboat, and it's an anniversary present.

Monday Memories--Aunt Muriel September 2002

From a letter.  "Aunt Muriel called twice this month to wish us a Happy Anniversary and also on my birthday.  I said something about my last letter, but she didn’t receive it for two weeks.  I looked back in the computer, and I’d written it Sept. 4.  Even allowing that maybe it sat a day or two, it seems even by pony express it should’ve made it to Illinois by the 11th.  I said to Bob that sometimes I don’t know how she stays so perky.  She no longer has parents, husband or siblings, and most of her contemporaries have passed away. I think she and Mom lived next door to each other for 40 years, and as a teenager she lived with my parents.  I was the one to tell her of the death of her last surviving cousin, making her the only surviving cousin out of 28.  Fortunately Diane and Frank live close by--I think they visit almost every week-end.  She is really wonderful to her mother.  Just a rock."

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ready for Irma

We have a lot of family in Florida--my sister Carol's children Cindy and Greg and grandchildren, my brother's children, my husband's niece Susie and her children, my cousin Janet, and my husband's cousin Norma Lou and husband. And then there's my friend Jerry and her husband Jim, who use to live in Michigan and vacation in Florida, and now it's the other way around. A few days ago they were driving south as Floridians fled north.  Now they are ready.

Carol's granddaughter and great granddaughter waiting out the storm

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The English Reformation was like Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the 20th century

Did you ever wonder why the Crawley family of the fictional Downton Abbey TV series lived in an abbey?  “There are many old country houses in the UK called "xxxxx Abbey", due to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, after which the land and the buildings themselves were sold to the wealthy.”  (Quora) “In Apr 1536, there were over 800 monasteries, abbeys, nunneries and friaries that were home to over 10,000 monks, nuns, friars and canons. By April 1540 there were none left. Much of the property was bought by or granted to landowners; monastery churches were sometimes converted to parish churches, while some buildings, such as Tintern Abbey, were left to ruin.”

“One of Eamon Duffy’s key resources [The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580] are the extant last wills and testaments. By collecting the data from wills he was able to trace the changes in English religion that Henry VIII and his officers enforced. Put simply, the wills made by Catholics before Henry VIII’s break with Rome expressed simple belief and enthusiasm for the Catholic faith.

In their wills the English provided for Masses to be said for the repose of their souls. They left funds for the maintenance of the church and her services. They left money to build extensions to churches and monasteries, provide for bells, vestments, altar cloths and candles. They provided funding for the poor, left money in their wills for schools and hospitals, and left endowments for colleges and orphanages.

In short, the wills are evidence of the health and vigor of the Church in England just before Henry VIII enforced the destruction of English Catholicism.

Similarly, the wills after the break with Rome reflect the new understanding of the faith. The old clauses granting funds to the Church and all her good works began to disappear. Being taught that Masses for the repose of their souls were pointless, they stopped providing for them in their wills. Being taught that religious art, vestments, stained-glass windows and statues were vain or idolatrous, they stopped leaving money for such things. They no longer left money for the poor, but left it for their relatives.

England in the Middle Ages was referred to as “Mary’s Dowry.” The churches, cathedrals, monasteries, convents, colleges and shrines were wealthy. There was corruption, certainly. Wherever there is a concentration of money and power there is bound to be corruption. But Duffy shows that the state of the monasteries and of religious life in England was robust, dynamic and strong.

Henry VIII’s depredations were about more than wanting to marry his mistress and have a male heir. He and his commissioners had also spotted that the monasteries and churches provided rich pickings. The king himself grabbed vast amounts of land for the crown and he awarded his faithful subjects with rich prizes of religious houses and their lands and goods.” Catholic England

DWS and the Awan deal

HT Happy Hayride.  “The legal teams for Imran Awan and Hina Alvi are close to finalizing immunity deals with the Justice Department that could spare them jail time in exchange for testimony against sitting members of Congress, federal law enforcement sources said. FBI sources familiar with the case said late Friday that Imran Awan’s legal counsel was “deep in the process” of structuring an immunity deal for himself and his wife with Justice Department lawyers. The deal would allow the couple to freely testify against any or all Democratic lawmakers they worked for as IT specialists, including Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. True Pundit reported on Thursday that the couple was working on a plea deal to avoid prison time. But on Friday federal sources said those talks had progressed into a likely immunity deal for the duo.”http://truepundit.com/fbi-awans-finalizing-immunity-deals-with-doj-in-exchange-for-testimony-on-members-of-congress/

Irma, Harvey and Climate Change

Has climate change created fewer hurricanes?  Something to think about. Things have been historically quiet since Katrina, when it was predicted that we were in for terrible storms. I’m watching TV with non-stop coverage, and they still don’t know where Irma will go even with deserted streets and hunkered down people who aren’t leaving. So why do these climate mystics and gurus think they know what will happen next month or next year or in 2030? We even have better technology, and drones, since 2005 and they still have computer models that look like a plate of spaghetti on the floor.  They should look backwards.  Last week I was walking on the shores of Lake Erie, the shoreline of 10,000 years ago on 6th street.  Absolutely climate change exists.
“What ensued [after Katrina] was an historically unprecedented 12-year absence of major (category 3 or higher) hurricanes making landfall in the United States, until Harvey, which ties for 14th-most intense hurricane since 1851. The events after 2005 were “consistent with” some projections, but any other events would have been as well.The long absence of landfalling hurricanes also points to another problem when opinion writers connect GHGs [greenhouse gases] to extreme weather. Science needs to be concerned not only with conspicuous things that happened, but with things that conspicuously didn’t happen. Like the famous dog in the Sherlock Holmes story, the bark that doesn’t happen can be the most important of all. 
It is natural to consider a hurricane a disruptive event that demands an explanation. It is much more difficult to imagine nice weather as a disruption to bad weather that somehow never happened.”

Jan writes for “The Verse” about crises

“Sometimes it takes a crisis for me to value our connectedness. A hiccup in travel plans, an unexpected diagnosis, a natural disaster, actions against loved ones -- any challenge can bring out the best in our shared humanity, if we choose to participate.  Recent images and stories of people helping each other, offering whatever assistance each could provide, across divides which suddenly seem much less significant than before, give me hope for the future.” Jan

I’m copying her words from the newsletter of the Hymn Society just because they reflect my own views. I’ve watched the videos and photos and stories coming from Houston, and I’m sure it’s repeated in Louisiana which is also having flooding, and Oregon and Montana with the terrible fires, and in Florida with people now fleeing in long lines on the the 2 ways out.

This issue of The Hymn Society Verse also has a link to a nice list of hymns from Gia Publications suitable for worship in times of crisis and some downloadable hymns free until November 1.

Friday, September 08, 2017

What Happened, Hillary?

No voter gets all she wants in any election. I wanted Ted Cruz--young, son of immigrants, conservative values, Christian, best debater in decades on the public stage. After 8 years of stumbling speechifying, I was so looking forward to something different. I certainly wasn't looking for snippets on Twitter.

That wasn't to be, and I didn't run away and join the NeverTrumpers. Although I didn't care about the wall, I did care about saving future generations of Americans, who would in turn give life to more generations, so I voted for Trump. Not that he was a huge advocate for life, but hey--"anyone anytime ladies' choice" Hillary was a sure bet against life. Donald Trump is not the one who elevated the judges to their current over weighted roles, but he at least can influence and balance it. Judges were never meant to make law based on their feelings or on their hatred for the President.

Second, I wanted to see low income Americans helped with something besides hand outs to their ineffective leadership. Democrats have kept them on the dole so they would keep cranking that D lever in the voting booth. Nothing helps the poor like a good job. That meant fewer regulations and laws against the small capitalists coming up who hire Americans and grow the economy at home. That meant less crony capitalism with the big players like banks, high tech and big Ag. The only candidate who seemed to care was a business man, not a politician.

Third, I wanted to see the brakes put on the erosion of the First Amendment, especially stopping the federal government from destroying our freedom of religion. Again, that was Trump, not known for being particularly religious, but he understands that is the solid foundation of the First Amendment.

Fourth, race relations had plummeted under Obama and he empowered and emboldened the left to destroy our basic values. Not sure which candidate could reverse that, but it sure wasn't Hillary Clinton. The Alt-Left, socialists, globalists and SPLC types are trying to convince us that "Make America Great Again" is racist and neo-Nazi, but it certainly has more gravitas than "Hope and Change."

Fifth, I was quite sure Trump wouldn't hand our biggest enemies billions of dollars, or welcome home traitors who worked against our military. He might prove me wrong, but with NKorean nukes pointed at Japan and South Korea, would we really want Hillary who ran out on Benghazi making the deal?

Friday Family Photo--Phil and the praise band

Labor Day parade in Canal Winchester, Ohio, praise band from Gender Road Christian Church on a float.   Phil is 2nd from left, playing base guitar. Phil says everyone on the parade route was very enthusiastic, praising God, singing and dancing. The children particularly treated them like rock stars.

Relief for Houston

I was looking through the web page for First Presbyterian Church of Houston that has suggestions for disaster relief (no more material stuff—the drop offs are full), and I decided to look through the sermon and Sunday School topics, because some churches that say they follow Christ actually follow the culture and a political ideology.  Found this one on architecture, part of the church’s Faith and Culture series, not a topic that churches usually focus on.  http://fpchouston.org/messages/architecture/651/

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

President Trump's message on DACA

"In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers, and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36.  The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their twenties.  Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time. . . .

"The temporary implementation of DACA by the Obama Administration, after Congress repeatedly rejected this amnesty-first approach, also helped spur a humanitarian crisis – the massive surge of unaccompanied minors from Central America including, in some cases, young people who would become members of violent gangs throughout our country, such as MS-13. . .
"The decades-long failure of Washington, D.C. to enforce federal immigration law has had both predictable and tragic consequences: lower wages and higher unemployment for American workers, substantial burdens on local schools and hospitals, the illicit entry of dangerous drugs and criminal cartels, and many billions of dollars a year in costs paid for by U.S. taxpayers.  Yet few in Washington expressed any compassion for the millions of Americans victimized by this unfair system.  Before we ask what is fair to illegal immigrants, we must also ask what is fair to American families, students, taxpayers, and jobseekers."

And Speaker Paul Ryan

"President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority, an attempt to create law out of thin air. Congress writes laws, not the president, and ending this program fulfills a promise that President Donald J. Trump made to restore the proper role of the executive and legislative branches. Now, the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will work to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution on this and many immigration issues, such as border security and interior enforcement." From Facebook

Unions and right to work

Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (34.4 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.4 percent). So our taxes pay the salaries of govenment workers and then they lobby against us. Never waste a crisis, so government union membership grew during the recession. Among occupational groups, the highest unionization rates in 2016 were in education, training, and library occupations (34.6 percent). I think this suggests that women, who dominate those fields, seem to want protection despite all the bravado and complaints about a patriarchy, and see the government as a father/spousal figure. (Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016.)


"The union agenda has also shifted since the 1940s. What was once a collective bargaining focus has morphed into a political operation using those millions in member dues to support other liberal organizations and campaigns. From 2012 to 2015, union bosses have given away over a half-billion dollars to groups many of their members would never support."

A comment from a FB friend:  "And, in Ohio, they have what they call a "fair share fee" for those who don't wish to join the union, but pay their share of the union representing them. The difference is supposed to be what goes to political activity. What is a fair share? 100%, of course. Nothing fair or accurate about that at all. Having served as union rep and on state executive board, I can tell you much of what is done is clearly partisan political activity, including much of what goes on in their conventions."

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Fourteen years later the OSU fire is still a cold case

I was looking through some old letters to my family and noticed this one, April 19, 2003, and I wondered what had happened with the investigation into this tragedy: 

 "I don't think our latest tragedy here would have made your news, but 5 students died in a house fire on the campus early last Sunday (13th) a.m. Actually, only 2 were OSU, the other 3 were Ohio University (Athens, OH). Many still hospitalized. An old house with 12 bedrooms that the kids just love to rent, close to campus. Celebrating one of the guys’ 21st birthday, so everyone had been drinking. Happened about 3 or 4 a.m. Now they've decided it was arson, so people are really upset. Will be a big murder investigation--maybe the biggest Columbus has had. All the bios in the paper indicated they were all really good kids, but if you combine the gases and smoke inhalation with the fact that they may have not been as alert as possible, it was lethal. One young OU girl was from Dublin, north of here, and 1200 people came to her funeral yesterday.  The smoke was so dense the firemen had trouble finding them.  One girl was rescued unconscious by the fireman lying on top of her to protect her and scooting her by looping his arms under her.  But he didn’t know there was another student also in the room--and had barely found her."

Then it was 5 years. http://www.10tv.com/article/victims-legacies-live

The Dispatch caught up with the survivors 10 years later. http://www.dispatch.com/article/20130413/NEWS/304139720

Now it's fourteen and it's a cold case.  Families of the deceased still stay in touch and try to make life good in memory of their loved ones.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Monday Memories--Book club memories 2002

From a letter. "I had book group here September 9. I finished the book, “John Adams,” that Monday morning!  I made my mother’s apple walnut “Autumn bread” recipe and Phoebe’s cheese ball with crackers.  The leader, Carolyn A. did a fabulous job.  She’s been a John Adams fan for 20 years, and brought along all her other books about him, many of which had wonderful illustrations.  Our next selection for Oct. 7 is “Peace like a River” by Leif Enger.  I’ve been taking it down to jury duty, but haven’t made much progress.  In December I’ll be leading “The Persian Pickle Club” by Sandra Dallas, a wonderful story about women in the Depression.  Everyone loved the condo [we'd moved in January 2002].  It was still light enough they could see the grounds.  One lady asked me if we overlooked a park.  It really is that lovely.  I must get busy and finish the decorating.  It is hard after you live with it for awhile, because you sort of don’t notice some of the oddities.  This group formed in 1979, and still has about 3 or 4 of the original members, and some who’ve been with it for 19 or 20 years.  I didn’t join until I retired in 2000, so I’m a real novice at reading on command.   One woman said that when they started they had 20 women and 24 babies."

From a letter.  "Book group meets tonight, [November 4, 2002].  I stop at Adrienne’s about 2 miles north, and she’ll drive us up to Muirfield (northwest of here) to the hostess’ home.  The book is Anne Tyler’s “Back when we were grown ups,” and I can’t say I enjoyed it much.  I hope someone else has something to offer.  I can’t imagine a woman taking so long (she is 53 when the novel opens) to figure out her 4 daughters are all losers. With names like Patch, No-No, Biddy, and Min-Foo, what can you expect? Although people usually talk about Tyler’s humor, I thought the only funny part was when she gets together with her old boyfriend from high school/college for dinner (she is a widow and dumped him to marry her husband) and finds out what a dud he is too.  She had sort of romanticized the memory of their time together. I sort of felt they deserved each other--she’s been wearing a fake happy face for 30 years and he’s been following rigid routines and is mad because she walked out on him."

Secrets of the Alhamba

In September 2015 we visited Spain, including Granada and the Alhambra. It was an amazing trip hosted by our Finnish friends the Tulamos.  We celebrated my birthday at a Flemenco theater in Granada.  Interesting video on how it took 500 years to figure out the inscriptions of the Arabic in the Alhambra. http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170817-the-secret-world-of-granadas-alhambra-palace



Did the federal government create the obesity epidemic?

Lots of pretty charts in this report, but it looks to me like obesity rates began soaring with the War on Poverty, about the same time that marriage rates began dropping. Hmm. More government is supposed to solve what government created?


A Harvey rescue of a Chihuahua Rescue

Many people support the rescue services of specific dog breeds, especially when one breed becomes popular and then people lose interest and discover a Great Dane doesn't work well in a one bedroom apartment.  I don't know the source of this photo, but it looks like this Good Sam has picked up a boat load from a Chihuahua Rescue.  (Website of a California rescue.) There are some "deer heads" (like our little Abby), "apple heads" (sort of a pug nose), long hair, short hair, and mixed breed.  All sizes.  But bless this guy who apparently took them out of the rain and flooding--and I'm sure they are grateful, but shivering more than usual. In 2005 was blogging about Jinky The Hollywood Dog who was a long hair Chihuahua mix rescue with a lot of personality.

Sources for abortion from the Bible

From Catholic Answers: Question: where is abortion mentioned in the Bible?

Answer: Though we don’t find the word abortion mentioned in any biblical text, we can deduce from Scripture, not to mention natural law, reason, Church teaching, and patristic witness that abortion is intrinsically evil. On abortion, consider these Scripture passages:
  • Job 10:8,
  • Psalms 22:9-10,
  • Psalms 139:13-15,
  •  Isaiah 44:2, and Luke 1:41. 
In addition:
  • Genesis 16:11: Behold, said he, thou art with child, and thou shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Ismael, because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.
  • Genesis 25:21-22: And Isaac besought the Lord for his wife, because she was barren: and he heard him, and made Rebecca to conceive. But the children struggled in her womb...
  • Hosea 12:3: In the womb he supplanted his brother, and as a man he contended with God.
  • Romans 9:10-11: But when Rebecca also had conceived at once of Isaac our father. For when the children were not yet born, nor had done any good or evil (that the purpose of God according to election might stand) . . .
The truth that these verses tell is that life begins at conception. Rebekah conceived a child—not what would be or could be a child. Note James 2:26: ". . . a body apart from the spirit is dead. . ." Since the soul is the principle which gives life to the body, then a child carried in the womb of its mother has a soul because it is alive. To kill it is murder.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

DACA, the Executive Order mess

I don't know what President Trump intends to do about DACA, but it is a mess that Obama handed him that should have been decided by Congress, not the President. So. . . he should turn it over to Congress and step aside. Let the Republicans get some backbone and the Democrats take back their party. Obama had a Democratic Congress his first two years, but he squandered his power on the failed ACA theft instead of getting Congress to make some tough decisions on immigration.  Also, he knew the Executive Order could be undone by the next president, but it made him look good--compassionate, kind, and power hungry.

The main problem with the current immigration law is it wasn't followed.
The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the exclusive right to legislate in the area of immigration. Most of the relevant laws, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), are found in Title 8 of the United States Code. State governments are prohibited from enacting immigration laws. Despite this, a handful of states recently passed laws requiring local police to investigate the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens, creating some controversy.

Three federal agencies are charged with administering and enforcing immigration laws. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigates those who break the law, and prosecutes offenders. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) handles applications for legal immigration. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for keeping the borders secure. All three agencies are part of the Department of Homeland Security. https://www.hg.org/immigration-law.html

Winding down the season at Lakeside

Yes, it’s September. But chilly here on Lake Erie. The heat is on in the cottage! We return to Columbus today after church on the lakefront and breakfast. There was a terrific, end of season program last night—Riders in the Sky—a cowboy quartet, their 10th time at Lakeside and I think we’ve seen most of them. They showed some Roy Rogers footage; it was great fun played to an almost full Hoover auditorium. Then we picked up Bob’s paintings at the Patio restaurant and went to the fireworks.

This morning will be my final walk—I’ve been getting 4-6 miles a day, something I can’t do at home unless I get in the car and drive to the park. I still need flat areas for walking or I’ll irritate the bursitis. Here I’ve got streets that 10,000 years ago were Erie’s shoreline.

I’m watching EWTN thanks to Roku, which has worked well this summer with no cable TV. A Mother’s Day gift from our daughter and son-in-law. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen is on, still going strong after all these years. I remember my parents watching him; a real pioneer in religious TV. He’s talking about people marching and protesting in the streets who have no program or ideology, not even a coherent Marxism, so I assume this one is from the 1960s, but it plays well today.

We’ve decided to keep the cottage, year by year. We’ve got more help now and Bob is hiring more than he used to. He bought a new light for the hall and probably paid the handyman more than the cheap fixture cost. He thought our nephew would be coming near the end of summer and could do it, so when that didn’t work out, he hired a local man. Next year it will be a new washer dryer, and maybe new carpet for the porch. This has faded, but then 30 years isn’t bad

It's what real men do; the Harvey hurricane and flood

This has gone viral. Can't find the original source. I've seen it combined with video of a redneck monster (huge tires) car pulling a submerged military vehicle out of the muck.

"Let this sink in for a minute.....Hundreds and hundreds of small boats pulled by countless pickups and SUVs from across the South are headed for Houston. ...Almost all of them driven by men. They're using their own property, sacrificing their own time, spending their own money, and risking their own lives for one reason: to help total strangers in desperate need.

Most of them are by themselves. Most are dressed like the redneck duck hunters and bass fisherman they are. Many are veterans. Most are wearing well-used gimme-hats, t-shirts, and jeans; and there's a preponderance of camo. Most are probably gun owners, and most probably voted for Trump.

These are the people the Left loves to hate, the ones Maddow mocks. The ones Maher and Olbermann just *know* they're so much better than.

These are The Quiet Ones. They don't wear masks and tear down statues. They don't, as a rule, march and demonstrate. And most have probably never been in a Whole Foods.

But they'll spend the next several days wading in cold, dirty water; dodging gators and water moccasins and fire ants; eating whatever meager rations are available; and sleeping wherever they can in dirty, damp clothes. Their reward is the tears and the hugs and the smiles from the terrified people they help. They'll deliver one boatload, and then go back for more.

When disaster strikes, it's what men do. Real men. Heroic men. American men. And then they'll knock back a few shots, or a few beers with like-minded men they've never met before, and talk about fish, or ten-point bucks, or the benefits of hollow-point ammo, or their F-150.

And the next time they hear someone talk about "the patriarchy", or "male privilege", they'll snort, turn off the TV and go to bed.

In the meantime, they'll likely be up again before dawn. To do it again. Until the helpless are rescued. And the work's done.

They're unlikely to be reimbursed. There won't be medals. They won't care. They're heroes. And it's what they do."

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The man who predicted the resurgence of Islam

“The more important a book to our civilization, the quicker it disappears from the [library] shelves today. Recently, for instance, I discovered that the whole classics section (Greek and Roman) had been eliminated from Toronto’s Central Reference Library, on grounds of “no public interest.” And then that the classics sections in several college libraries had shrunk to the point where I now had more standard texts in my little apartment. . .

And no wonder, it seems to me, that we have ignorant mobs attacking relics of the past, such as public statuary. It becomes much easier to animate these mobs because, in the absence of materials unread and unrespected, they will believe anything about the past they are told.”

(By David Warren writing in The Catholic Thing, who was shocked to see that The Great Heresies by Hilaire Belloc had been reprinted.)

Hate crime bias

I've always been against the concept of "hate crime," especially in murder cases since people don't usually kill people they love (domestic violence for instance is not called a "hate crime" between 2 gays or lesbians, but it's very high), but the belief that blacks can't be racists, or the extreme caution in labeling their deeds as "hate" is absurd. Fredrick Demond Scott may be mentally ill (as his mother says) but he also has a grudge against middle age white men. It's hate. It's race based.

"Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Scott is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Steven Gibbons, 57, and John Palmer, 54. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Baker also named Scott as a suspect in the shooting deaths of 67-year-old David Lenox, 57-year-old Timothy S. Rice and 61-year-old Mike Darby.

Palmer, Leno, Rice and Darby were all shot in the back, three of them in the head, on Kansas City trails. Gibbons was shot in the back of the head on a city street, according to prosecutors.

Police said they don't know if the killings were racially driven and are still searching for a motive. Scott is not believed to have known any of the victims."
"Kill all white people" ought to give police a clue about motive.

MS-13 in Columbus, Ohio

Here are the fine folks that sanctuary cities are protecting.  Notice, this designation as a criminal organization happened long before Trump became the president.
"In 2012, the United States government designated MS-13 as a “transnational criminal organization.” It is the first and only street gang to receive that designation. MS-13 has become one of the largest and most violent criminal organizations in the United States, with more than 10,000 members and associates operating in at least 40 states, including Ohio. In Ohio and elsewhere in the United States, MS-13 is organized into “cliques,” which are smaller groups of MS-13 members and associates acting under the larger mantle of the organization and operating in a specific region, city or part of a city. "

Disaster reports by CRS

Congressional Research reports on national disasters the last 5 years (through Obama's second term) via beSpacific Research.
"Updated daily, beSpacific  (Sabrina B. Spacific) has a searchable database of over 44,000 posts on subjects including: the financial system, high profile government documents, privacy, cyber-security, knowledge management and strategic knowledge services, legal research, FOIA, civil liberties, privacy, Congressional and regulatory issues pertaining to law and technology, copyright and intellectual property, energy, the economy, education, tech related litigation, and libraries/librarians."

Although I look at her site every day, she is politically to the left in what she selects to show, although that seems to be the standard for government and civil liberties research.  Still I always find something worth investigating further in her research. She keeps her editorializing at a minimum. All information, all library collections and all librarians have a filter, and that's where information restriction begins.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Childhood cancer--a grandmother's guest blog

I first met Carol, her sisters and mother (a Methodist pastor), all bloggers, years ago but only on-line.  Then everything changed for her, including her blog.  Her seven year old granddaughter Lily was diagnosed in 2008 with cancer, and the battle continues after a heartbreaking relapse in 2016.

        *                           *                           *                          *

Today is September 1st - the first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and I want to honor my #1 childhood cancer warrior, my smart, brave and beautiful granddaughter, Lily. Lily was first diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on December 1, 2008 at the age of 7. When she was diagnosed, I wondered how we’d make it through the 2+ years of treatment. It was a hard journey with daily chemo, fevers, hospitalizations, missed school, and missed childhood experiences. However, she made it through and finished treatment in February of 2011. She had a skating party to celebrate. She then had over five years of building back her health.

She went from being behind her peers academically (missing a year and a half of school will do that!) to beginning her sophomore year of high school in 2016 in advanced classes and being an active member of the high school girls’ volleyball team. Then in September 2016, she started feeling unusually tired again, and she had unexplained back pain – back pain that was all too familiar to her. She tells me that she suspected what was wrong well before it was confirmed. Blood tests were done again, and we got the heartbreaking news that she had relapsed. There was less than half of one percent chance of relapse that many years off treatment, and yet it happened. Learning your child or grandchild has cancer is horrible! Learning they’ve relapsed is so much worse!

Larisa – Lily’s mom and my daughter – tells about receiving that phone call confirming the relapse. She had to tell Lily and her younger sister, Sophie. When she went into Lily’s room, Lily said, “It’s back, isn’t it?” Larisa confirmed that it was. Then she, Lily and Sophie hugged each other and sobbed together. They KNEW how bad the treatment had been the first time, and they knew that treatment for relapse would be so much worse. The odds of cure go significantly down with a relapse as well.
Any of us adults in the family would have swapped places with Lily in a heartbeat if we only could have. I begged God to let it be me instead of her. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Our only choice was/is to be there for her as much as possible as she travels this terribly rough road.

Lily’s relapse was diagnosed on a Friday, but her oncologist wanted to wait until Monday to start treatment. That meant we had a weekend. A weekend during which Lily had her hair highlighted because she wanted it to look pretty before she lost it. A weekend to be with her friends and family. I asked if Lily wanted a family dinner during the weekend. Lily said yes – as long as we were upbeat and didn’t talk about the relapse. She didn’t want everyone being sad or feeling sorry for her. So we invited the whole family over to our house for dinner that Sunday night. Lily chose the menu, and I bought a bunch of small pumpkins – thinking that decorating them and making jack-o-lanterns would be a fun activity for all the children. After dinner, we took the pumpkins to the front porch, and the children started drawing and carving faces.

Then Sophie asked if it would be okay is she smashed her pumpkin on the concrete walkway. Smashing pumpkins? Well – sure! Go for it! Within a few minutes, all the children - preschool through teens - were standing on the steps and smashing the pumpkins on the walkway. Pumpkin pieces were flying everywhere. Lily mostly watched and shook her head at the silliness. We adults watched and laughed at how enthusiastically even the youngest kids were throwing the pumpkins, but we also understood what was going on. Fear, anger, and uncertainty were being expressed via smashing pumpkins. It was a needed release. When they finished, the kids picked up all the pumpkin bits, and we all went back inside. It is a scene etched indelibly in my memory. The next morning, Lily entered the hospital, had surgery to install a port and receive spinal chemo - and began treatment again.

With her relapse, Lily was faced with another two years of treatment. Right now, she’s about half-way through the relapse protocol. Lily’s body has not dealt well with the new, more aggressive relapse chemo. She lost her hair three weeks in, and she’s gone through some rough and life-threatening reactions to the chemo. One chemo she tolerated well back in 2009, put her in anaphylactic shock this time. So far during this relapse treatment, she has had just about every unusual and extreme reaction in the books – and some not in the books. She has been a frequent topic for discussion at the oncology team meetings at the children’s hospital.

She is participating in a clinical trial (research study) and was randomized to the experimental arm of treatment that includes a new immunotherapy drug, blimatumomab. This drug was not available back in 2008 when Lily was initially diagnosed. The study involves three cycles of 28 days each of continuous IV infusion of the drug. Lily has to wear a backpack that contains the pump that keeps the drug going into her body through her Hickman line 24/7 for those 28 days. Surprisingly, Lily has responded well to the blimatumomab and, so far, her months on it have been two of her less sick months of treatment. The third and final cycle of blimatumomab is the next block on her treatment protocol. She will then have surgery to remove her Hickman line and install a new port. Then she'll continue with the rest of treatment.

She missed most of this past year (her sophomore year) of high school, but kept up with her school work thanks to her school’s amazing teachers who went so far beyond the call of duty to help her. And thanks, also, to the school district’s home-bound program (Thanks, Jojo!). She also took some classes online. She’s now into her junior year of high school and hopes to be able to attend more regularly, but that depends on how she does with the upcoming chemo.

When Lily was in the hospital during the early days of treatment in 2008, she told Larisa that she wanted to do something so other children wouldn’t have to go through such rough treatment. Out of that conversation, the Lily’s Garden Foundation at Vandy’s Children’s Hospital was begun. Lily’s goal was to help raise a million dollars for childhood cancer research. She reached that goal several years ago! Amazing! Lily didn’t stop at a million dollars, though. She continues working to raise money for childhood cancer research. She has become a proficient speaker for childhood cancer research. And there is a lot of exciting research going on right now! I'm very optimistic that Lily's dream of no childhood cancer will someday be realized.

Meanwhile, she still has another rough year of treatment ahead of her. She will finish treatment in September 2018. Incredibly, she will be a senior in high school then. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. She needs every one of them.

Lily was asked, "What can others do that would be helpful?" Her response: "Help bring awareness, and help raise money to find a cure." You can help Lily reach her goal of finding a cure; find out how by looking at her website: http://lilysgarden.org.

God bless you, Lily. You were dealt a rotten hand at age 7 and again at age 15 – and yet you handle it so well. I can't wait for our Northern Lights adventure as soon as you're finished with treatment and can travel again. You are my hero, and I love you to the moon and back!