Friday, December 31, 2021

He never became an old man

Blogs are strange creatures (writings, essays, memories).  There are methods to check up on the people "following" my blog, and from them, to look at the other blogs they are reading. Birds of a feather, apparently. You only do this if it's a slow day like New Year's Eve afternoon and the food is all prepared for dinner with friends, one of whom has dropped out due to quarantining for Covid.  So that's how I happened to read the final post of a blogger whose main fascination was the nitty gritty of writing--hyphens, semi-colons, commas, and citations.  He was a copy editor for the Washington Post and wrote things like this in his job, and then wrote about it in his blog. He didn't necessarily like the changes he had to use.

Not mike, in a change from long-standing Post style, as the short form for microphone. Try to avoid inflected verb forms, but use apostrophes and write mic’ed and mic’ing if they must be used." 

The last entry in his blog in 2017 was written by someone else--he had died of the cancer he'd been writing about for less than a year--Intrahepatic cholangio carcinoma, stage 4 (cancer of the bile ducts). On August 2, 2016 he wrote:

"And isn't it lucky to have some warning, at a relatively young age and with my mind intact? Not all causes of death work that way -- I could have been run over by a car. This way, I have time, maybe a little and maybe more than that, to take it all in. To savor the little things. I get weepy now when I see trees and cardinals and cardinals in the trees. Am I really missing all that much if I never get to be a doddering old man?

Speaking of smug boasts, have I mentioned that I can swing neither of my cats without hitting a world-class cancer center? I chose one of the very best: Johns Hopkins is less than an hour away, with a satellite even closer to home at Sibley Memorial Hospital (SMH, as in "shaking my head"). I've since learned that "my team of specialists" is a phrase that doesn't sound nearly as good as you think it's going to, but still, I have a team of specialists. And that team has a plan. I've started chemotherapy. Soon, there will be radiation, in the form of teeny-weeny little beads sent directly into the diseased area.

In other words, as lucky as I am to be escaping doddering-old-man status, maybe I'll be really lucky. Maybe I'll end up a doddering old man."

Bill died on March 27, 2017. Yes, he really did want to end up a doddering old man. He had the same hopes and trust Phil did in his "team" and I'm sure they said the same encouraging words, all the while knowing how grim the future looked. Phil was close enough to the east side Zangmeister center near St. Ann's he could drive himself (although it was very unsafe), in fact he did until they cut him loose and assigned him to hospice. He was so shocked he kept trying to call "chemo-doc" as he called her (difficult foreign name). He never got through.

Cleaning my silverplate to set a pretty table

 How to Clean Silver-Plated Items Without Chemicals (

I scooped up all my daily silverplate and put them in the 9 x 12 baking dish which had the cleaning mix--aluminum foil, boiling water, baking soda and salt.  After a few minutes I dunked them all in sudsy water and rinsed.  The water was still hot, so I set some of my copper bottom Reviere Ware in it.  Some cleaned up immediately, others didn't budge or give up their dusky, dark appearance.

For our New Year's Eve dinner tonight with a couple from our church after the jazz concert/worship service at our church we're having soup and salad followed with cookies and ice cream. Today is our neighbor's birthday so we'd also invited her.  She just let us know that she and the other "funeral ladies" (serve desserts after funerals) were all invited to another woman's home for cookies and tea for the holiday.  Then a few days later, one of them let everyone know she had Covid (very mild), so now our neighbor is quarantining herself and won't be able to come.

Fitness memories

I went to Lifetime Fitness this morning. Rather sparse, and only 3 women. Not the usual older crowd I see later. Also, many people may be taking a holiday--from work and from effort. This memory from two years ago came up on Facebook. I may have included it in 2019 on my blog, but it's a good one for a repeat.

"You meet nice people at the gym. He looked sullen, tough and gruff, but I greeted him, he smiled and we began to talk (riding nowhere on our stationary bikes). I found out he was a plumber, then that he wasn't the type that comes to your home, he helps keep the James serving cancer patients. That's shorthand for Brain and Spine Tumor Center at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. That led to my former position in the Veterinary Medicine Library. That led to his story about his rescue, a black lab, that formerly was kept in a cage as a breeder, and she couldn't walk when they got her. His little cockapoo taught her to walk and play, and now he has the most wonderful dog. But the cockapoo is still the boss! It's easy to ride 6 miles with an interesting companion."

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Masks, mandates and media

"All religions have their representatives. There are cardinals, bishops, imams and rabbi’s etc. They are perhaps the leading voices, but they aren’t the only representatives. There are envoys, missionaries, TV evangelists, religious correspondents and so on.

The State is no different. We have politicians and governmental advisers, as the leading voices, but there are also NGO spokespersons, union officials, the academic & scientific orthodoxy, lords and ladies, multinational CEO’s, central bankers, business leaders and more. Of these, the most powerful, in terms of their ability to shape public opinion are the mainstream media (MSM.)"

This article is from June 2020, when mask mandates, without a shred of science, were just being imposed. And with each mandate we've experienced more loss of freedom and the masks certainly haven't kept us safe. Even those with the 3 shots are getting Covid.

It's warm for December, but January is coming

Our weather is quite mild right now, 58 degrees predicted for New Years Eve,  but the weather reporter on the local channel just reminded us January is coming. That's usually our snowiest month, and he recalled January 1978 (before he was born) when the total snowfall was 34.4 inches and the blizzard we had.  I just checked the predictions for January, and I don't see any daytime temp below 32 degrees.

Pandemic data, end of 2021

After claiming during the campaign, that the virus spread was Trump's failure, and saying he wouldn't trust the vaccine (Harris said it too), the Biden numbers for 2021 (at the same time of year and with the vaccine, and all the therapeutics and research) were higher than 2020. 

“The Spanish Flu” in 1918 infected roughly 500 million people—one-third of the world’s population—and caused 50 million deaths worldwide when the population was much smaller. The Asian flu (H2N2) of 1957-58 which I survived (with no lockdown) killed up to 4 million when the population was 2.9 billion instead of the 7.7 billion of today.

In the last 24 hours Ohio has reported 19,774 cases, 484 hospitalizations, and zero deaths.

The spirit of revolt--100 years ago

 JAMA (which is the journal of the American Medical Association) has an interesting feature called "JAMA Revisited," reprinting articles from the past.  In the October 12, 2021 issue it reprinted an article titled "The Spirit of Revolt" from October 8, 1921, 100 years ago.

"Psychologists today are more concerned with the changing spirit of mankind than with any other psychologic problem.  The literature on the spirit of revolt, of restlessness, of lawlessness and of radicalism is daily becoming greater.  The subject is engaging the attention of our greatest minds.  Thus James M. Beck, Solicitor-General of the United States, devoted the presidential address before the annual meeting of the American Bar Association, held recently at Cincinnati, to this subject. There is throughout the world today, he pointed out, a revolt against the spirit of authority.  Pending criminal indictments in federal courts have increased from 10,000 in 1912 to more than 70,000 in 1921.  The losses from burglaries repaid by casualty companies have grown in amount from $886,000 in 1914 to over $10,000,000 in 1920. [purchasing power of about $138,974,000 today]"   

After quoting some murder statistics from New York City and Chicago, Mr. Beck goes on to report the problem is worldwide.  He attributes it to the rise of individualism which began in the 18th century and which had steadily grown with the advance of democratic institutions, and also the growth of technology saying that man had become the tender of machines rather than a constructive thinker.  "The increase in potential of human power has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in the potential of human character."

The article goes on to say that despite the current (following WWI) peace commissions and conferences,  "Radicals are advocating methods of government that are the expressions of primitive emotional and mental processes. . .  Prejudices, fixed ideas, suspiciousness, sentimentality and outbursts of passion are making more difficult the task of establishing law and order. . . The craze for speed dominates everything, speed in transportation, speed in thinking, speed in living and, as revealed in the war, speed in killing. . . mob spirit governs and the urge is uncontrolled." 

Well, that certainly sounds familiar, sort of like the evening news.  Much of the collapse and the coarsening of the general populace that the writer of the JAMA article describes can certainly be blamed on the "Great War" (estimates of 22 million deaths) which had killed so many in Europe and more civilians than military, and the worldwide pandemic of 1918. However, in the U.S. we had the most socialistic president, Woodrow Wilson, until Barack Obama claimed the honor in 2008. The eighteenth century was a period of "enlightenment" and the degrading of a Christian society and disrespect for Biblical authority. Then the nineteenth century gave the world Marx and Nietzsche.  Yes, we were well on the way to the Antifa and BLM riots of 2020, and the acceptance of them has been building for 100 years.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, a new Doctor of the Church

Bishop Robert Barron

WOF 306: The Genius of St. Irenaeus | The Word on Fire Show

Pope Francis just announced he’s planning to declare a new Doctor of the Church, St. Irenaeus of Lyon. Who was he? What were his key ideas? Why does he still matter? That's what Brandon Vogt and I discuss in today's episode. Topics include:

- What’s a Doctor of the Church, and why should Irenaeus be declared one?

- How did Bishop first become acquainted with Irenaeus?

- What was Irenaeus’ approach to battling Gnosticism?

- Irenaeus taught that God has no need of anything outside of himself. What does this mean, and why is it good news?

- How to understand Irenaeus’s pithy line, “The glory of God is man fully alive”?

- Irenaeus’ theology of recapitulation

- How Irenaeus remains a great spiritual and theological bridge between Eastern and Western Christians

- Why Irenaeus is still relevant today

A listener asks, how should I respond to the idea that nothing really exists because we can’t prove that it exists?

Thyroid nodules in the elderly

 My doctor referred me for a scan after my fall checkup because she found something on my thyroid with palpation. Then when I had my auto accident on November 26 the scan of my head found a good size nodule and the scan in December found two.  So now I have a consult in January.  Here's what I found when I checked out thyroid nodules in the elderly.

"Thyroid nodules are more frequent in elderly patients, with a linear increase with age in both the presence of nodules and the absolute number of nodules per patient (). Approximately 50% of individuals aged 65 years have thyroid nodules detected by ultrasonography (). A cross-sectional survey of asymptomatic adults in Germany using ultrasonography to detect thyroid nodules demonstrated an even higher prevalence of 80% in women and 74% in men over 60 years old (). In a prospective study of 6,391 patients referred for thyroid nodules at a large academic center, Kwong et al. showed a linear increase in the number of thyroid nodules per patient with age, rising from an average of 1.55 nodules ≥1 cm in patients age 20–29 years old to a mean of 2.21 nodules ≥1 cm in patients ≥70 years old, demonstrating a 1.6% annual increased risk for multinodularity ().

Another potential contributor to this rising prevalence of thyroid nodules is the increased use of high-frequency ultrasound, CT, and MR imaging in routine clinical care, leading to the detection of asymptomatic, or incidental, thyroid nodules (,,,). Lastly, changes in population demographics over time, specifically increased rates of obesity, may contribute. Data from several ethnically diverse cohorts has identified parameters independently associated with the development of thyroid nodules, including obesity, female sex, radiation exposure, iodine deficiency, and smoking. These should be noted when evaluating elderly patients for potential thyroid nodules ().

Once identified, thyroid nodules should be evaluated to determine appropriate management. The differential diagnosis of thyroid nodularity includes benign and malignant solitary nodules, multinodular goiter, autonomous functioning nodules, cysts, and inflammation or thyroiditis (). Nodules causing thyroid dysfunction, compressive symptoms, or harboring malignancy require attention."

Thyroid Nodules and Cancer in the Elderly - Endotext - NCBI Bookshelf (

If it weren't for doctors' visits I'd have no social life.

The best fairy tales of the media for 2021


I've graduated from PT, the good news and the bad

I had started physical therapy for balance and core strength before I was in an auto accident on November 26, and as of yesterday I have "graduated."  I had a few extra sessions to make sure all my injuries hadn't interfered with my balance. So, I was given two check off tests to determine my progress.  The vertigo is completely gone for now. She took care of that the first session with one of those magic head twists.  The balance and fear of falling test I scored much worse than when I started.  Megan, the DPT was baffled.  My explanation is that after learning all the things I was doing wrong and paying closer attention to my balance, I was more aware of how unsteady I am and am actually more afraid of falling than before! She calls it "perception," which I think she means it's all in my head that my balance is poor.  I don't think so. I've seen other old people walk, and I walk like a 92 year old, bumping into things and people and listing sideways.  It was my hope that I could avoid that, so I'll of course continue the exercises.  Megan says I need to develop muscle memory.

One of the more interesting is standing still for 30 seconds with eyes closed and feet together. I think I did get better at that.  

Then that is followed with eyes open looking at a distant object with one foot in front of the other, standing for 30 seconds.  

A seated hip abduction with resistance (a stretchy band) begins with sitting upright in a chair with the band secured around the legs and then moving the legs outward.  That one is very uncomfortable.

An easy one to do that I hope will protect me from another bursitis attack is sidestepping while holding on to the kitchen counter.  Step sideways along the length of the counter (while warming something in the microwave) then sidestep back. Be sure pick-up feet--this isn't a slide.

Difficult to do in the house is walking while turning my head.  Our hallways are very short, but Megan told me to do it even a short distance.

Awkward is learning to get out of a seated position hold a pole or cane against my back--the standing hip hinge with dowel. Then lightly bend my knees while rising.  This is to help with picking things up or loading the dishwasher so you don't hurt your back.

And so forth.  I hope I get better with practice.  

One bright spot of the season is my Christmas present from our daughter and son-in-law.  A new Schwin exercycle. Mark came over on Monday and put it together.  My old exercycle had developed a loud noise--probably and lose gear or bearing. It had about 15,000 miles. This one is silent, has a smaller footprint, and uses electricity not batteries, but like the old one, has some "programs" I'll never use (they also aren't explained in the manual).  Usually, I go to Lifetime Fitness nearby in the morning, but if the weather's bad or I get up later than usual, I can do this at home.

Is it Covid or the lockdown causing rise in mental problems in children?

Surgeon General alarmed by rise in child suicides triggered by pandemic – HotAir

"U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy is shedding some light on a growing crisis of child mental health issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has produced an epidemic of mental health challenges for young people. As the second year of the pandemic ends, the state of children’s mental health has hospitals, teachers, and health professionals thinking an epidemic has already arrived."

Mike Huckabee has an alternative viewpoint.

"That headline, though, needs some rewriting. As Prof. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit pointed out, all those mental health issues weren’t “triggered by the pandemic,” they were triggered by the government’s authoritarian “lockdown everything” reaction to the pandemic, even when dealing with schools full of kids nearly all of whom are basically immune to the disease.

At least the incredible damage wrought by the “expert” class’s wrongheaded overreaction to COVID is finally starting to be recognized, even by someone from CBS News. It’s too bad that CBS felt it had to censor its own reporter for speaking the truth, but having someone from that network grasp the truth and speak up about it is at least a baby step in the right direction."

CBS Edits Out Own Reporter SLAMMING School Closures Causing Mental Health Crisis | Newsbusters According to this Newsbusters' article Jan Crawford "slammed our elected officials and public health experts for “the crushing impact that our COVID policies have had on young kids and children” and the subsequent mental health crisis."  Her comments were edited out of the Face the Nation panel.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Do you have an abortion story? tweeted the ABC reporter

"Within hours, the original Tweet thread received thousands of replies. It became an inspiring Christmas testimony to the beauty of life, the courage of parents who choose life, and the joy of children.

Hundreds of mothers and fathers replied to @FiveThirtyEight with stories of their brush with the abortion industry following a special needs diagnosis of their unborn child. Attaching a beautiful portrait of a smiling teenage girl, Sarah tweeted: “At the ultrasound for my 2nd pregnancy we were told our baby had Down Syndrome and her heart was incompatible with life. They encouraged us to end the pregnancy. She’s completely healthy.”

Women who chose to keep their baby in spite of family and cultural pressures to abort also shared photos and stories of their now-thriving children. Women like Lauren Bower raised voices of encouragement: “I got pregnant at 19 during the first semester of my sophomore year in college. I kept that baby and I now have a 6’3” 17 year old preparing to apply for West Point. He will change the world. Never kill your children.”

Roxanne wrote, “I was pregnant at 16 & was supposed to spend the summer in France as an exchange student. The baby’s dad’s family knew Dr.s who could ‘take care of it’. My dad said ‘we will help you if you want to have this baby’. That ‘baby’ turns 41 in Thursday. [sic]”

Their children also applauded mothers who kept them. Kenneth Landers knows he beat the odds: “Abortion was designed for ppl like me: low income, brown, fatherless. I’m 30 years old, helping my mother retire, thriving professionally and personally.” "

Can Christians practice Yoga? No.

Alex Frank tells Matt Fradd of Pints with Aquinas (Australia) that he used to be very heavily into Yoga.  He was also not a Christian. The one good thing he did learn from Yoga was that the spiritual side of life is real. That led him eventually to Christ.

He grew up in an atheist home--nominally Jewish--but also lived in DC where leftist ideology and constant focus on politics were numbing.  He went away to college and found some relief in studying physics.  It was in the military where he became interested in Yoga, but also learned about servant leadership which helped lead him to an interest in Christ.  He explains in detail what happens when you do/imitate the poses. If you think you need Yoga as exercise, he now suggests pilates--alignment and flexibility without the spiritual side. Buzz words that are red flags--uuuming, or the instructor speaking in an odd voice or touching, or referring to gods' names. He had hired an excellent Yoga teacher/spiritual director who began as a fitness instructor while he was at Yale (after military) and he began to face up to how he was living his life. The modern mindfulness movement is not secular but spiritual according to the founder and is based in Buddhism (Jon Kabat-Zinnaccording to Alex. McMindfulness--Yoga is a big business.  Many of the claims are very commercial. 

Hatha yoga is the most common in the West.   Don't start, is Frank's advice. It's not harm free.

Weigh down and Way down--cult leader Gwen Shamblin

The New Year is always a time for resolving to lose the extra pounds packed on during the fall and holiday season.  That said, I was only casually familiar with the Gwen Shamblin diet plan called "Weigh Down." [established in the late 80s]   I have a vague memory of seeing her book [1997] about the diet plan on our church library shelves and maybe 20 years ago I believe there may have been a group of her followers/dieters at our church.  Gwen, her husband, her son-in-law and some friends died in a plane crash in Tennessee in late May.  It was completely off my radar (excuse the pun) and I hadn't heard about it.  I just found out that she had moved from diet planner and nutritionist to a prophet and leader of a cult that denied the Trinity and still claimed to be "Bible based" and a follower of Christ. She taught that the Father was physical being and the Son was created, and the Spirit was Christ's teaching.  She isolated her followers, and said her plan was the way to salvation. She said the teachings of grace were a license to sin. There is a documentary about her and the cult, called "Remnant Fellowship" Gwen Shamblin: The Documentary | Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc ( 

 Al Kresta, a Roman Catholic (EWTN) recently did a monologue on his radio show about the difference between ignorance and arrogant.  Many Christians, he noted, are ignorant about church history and the Bible, but others become arrogant and decide they know better than 2000 years of church teaching and all the scholars and church leaders and believers of the past. Shamblin he put among the arrogant. He said her ignorance about church history was breath taking.

 Unfortunately, if they have even a smidgen of charisma or a few Bible verses to hang their teachings on, they can find followers.  If you think there are oppressed peoples among the intersectionality groups (LBGTQ, women, minorities), there's no group as oppressed as the obese and they are quite vulnerable to affirmation/manipulation and new ideas to retain their dignity and humanity in a world that ridicules them.

"On Aug. 10 [2000], Mrs. Shamblin disavowed the Trinity, the Christian belief that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are united in one Godhead. She also invited people to the Remnant Fellowship, an 80-member nondenominational church she and her accountant husband had formed.

Almost overnight, what slimmed down fastest were the ranks of Mrs. Shamblin's Weigh Down Workshop followers. Thousands of churches that embraced Mrs. Shamblin in their battle against gluttony have dropped the program." . . .  

"In eight years, Weigh Down became the biggest in a wave of Bible-based diets. It now operates in 70 countries and 60 denominations. Groups of five and more meet weekly, mainly at churches. They pay $103 apiece for a 12-week workshop, including workbooks.

"Diets made God look stupid," Mrs. Shamblin asserts. "He was the chef behind lasagna. He loves sour cream. He was not happy that broccoli became righteous while Haagen Dazs became sin."" 
Church Lady of Diet Weighs In On Trinity and Her Flock Flees (  (Wall St. Journal article from October 2000)

Shamblin became another very wealthy religious celebrity selling deceit and lies, and according to an article I read, left nothing to Remnant Fellowship in her will.  Another story said her daughter (whose husband also died in the crash) will continue with the teachings of the cult.

‘This is a cult’: inside the shocking story of a religious weight-loss group | Documentary | The Guardian

Inside Gwen Shamblin Lara’s creepy weight loss cult - News Flash

Gwen Shamblin's will leaves nothing to Remnant Fellowship (

What's Up With Weigh Down? My Brush With A Dangerous Cult (  (Personal testimony)  When her Trinity views alienated followers  (includes a video clip of her using the Covid lockdown to promote her church/beliefs/weight loss program)

Note: I'm not familiar with any of the websites or news channels that I've listed here. I don't claim they have any more authority than the cults they describe.  But making weight loss equal to salvation is certainly not Biblical.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Zuckerberg purchased the 2020 election for Joe Biden

"What happened in 2020 involved a highly coordinated and privately funded “shadow campaign” for Joe Biden that took place within the formal structure of the election system itself. Through the injection of over $419 million of Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s money, laundered through the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), the professional left presided over a targeted, historically unprecedented takeover of government election offices by nominally nonpartisan, but demonstrably ideological, nonprofit organizations and activists in key areas of swing states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin."

The Wisconsin Purchase - The American Conservative

"Absentee Ballot Chaos Heavily Favors Joe Biden in 2020

CTCL won Wisconsin for Joe Biden, and they did it mainly with absentee ballots. Covid-19 was used as a pretext in many states to put a moratorium on election integrity laws, guidelines and ballot verification procedures that have been long standing and time tested. The result was chaos, especially in states that suddenly moved from very limited absentee voting toward near universal mail-in voting in a very short period of time, such as Wisconsin.

CTCL’s major objective, as set forth in all their internal documents and grant applications, was to promote absentee voting. This involved getting absentee ballots into the hands of reliably Democratic demographics, showing them how to complete them correctly, convincing them to submit them, and providing as many avenues as possible for those ballots to be returned and counted.

CTCL’s involvement in the 2020 election appears exceedingly complex on the surface, at times requiring a program to keep track of the major players, scandals, and institutional relationships that grew out of the CTCL Safe Elections Project. This aspect of CTCL involvement in Wisconsin has been extensively documented by Mollie Hemingway of the Federalist and M.D. Kittle of the Wisconsin Spotlight, among others."

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on 19 Months of COVID with Hoover Institution

What we (Fauci and friends) did wrong: Dr. Jay Bhattacharya on 19 Months of COVID with Hoover Institution's Peter Robinson. Public Health agencies said we can't lock down only the vulnerable because that would be too difficult, and instead locked down the entire country, causing unimaginable damage to the young and to the economy, especially the low income. Wealthy people were hardly affected at all.

Recorded on October 13, 2021: From the very beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya has been on the front lines of analyzing, studying, and even personally fighting the pandemic. In this wide-ranging interview, Dr. Bhattacharya takes us through how it started, how it spread throughout the world, the efficacy of lockdowns, the development and distribution of the vaccines, and the rise of the Delta variant. He delves into what we got right, what we got wrong, and what we got really wrong. Finally, Dr. Bhattacharya looks to the future and how we will learn to live with COVID rather than trying to extinguish it, and how we might be prepared to deal with another inevitable pandemic that we know will arrive at some point.

Take away for me (paraphrasing Dr. Bhattacharya):  The liberals' concern for the poor, for the working class, for children was all lip-service as soon as Covid hit--then it all became ideological.  It was about power.

Friday, December 24, 2021

The Potter case

 COUNT I – Charge: First-Degree Manslaughter Predicated on Reckless Use/Handling of a Firearm GUILTY

COUNT II – Charge: Second-Degree Manslaughter GUILTY

I didn’t watch the trial (if it was on TV I wasn’t aware, and didn’t follow radio updates). I knew the outcome before the trial started, even with different scenarios.

If the police officer who had made a mistake while in confrontation with a black criminal had been a white male, there would have been riots, and he would have been found guilty, if he’d lived to see a trial. The criminal would have been lauded, and perhaps had parades and statues. Like George Floyd.

If the police officer who made a mistake had been black, male or female, there probably would have been a guilty verdict on lesser charges, but much less publicity. If he or she had been Asian, no break there. Most hate crimes against Asians are committed by blacks.

If the criminal who was shot had been white with all the same circumstances, we wouldn’t have heard about the case, and the policeman (black, white or Hispanic) might have had a much lesser charge and found guilty. If you’ve ever known a case of a white policeman shooting a white criminal (and that's a higher number and higher rate) that stayed on the national news longer than a day in the local papers, please provide a link. I can’t remember any.

Jury finds Kim Potter guilty on all counts in “Taser taser taser” trial – The New Neo

Christmas and adoption

Mike Huckabee in today's newsletter writes about adoption.

"One of the hardest jobs a parent faces is answering all those questions kids ask that sometimes force us to think about things that hadn’t occurred to us as adults. Mary from Ohio wrote:

“Our 6-year-old grandson, Isaiah, who was adopted from Guatemala, posed this question to his parents: ‘Was Baby Jesus adopted?’ Wow! The answer is so deep, and leads to so many other Biblical references to adoption. Joseph wasn't Jesus' father - God was, but Joseph raised him here on Earth. When we accept Jesus, we're adopted into His Heavenly Family, so we're all brothers and sisters. When we become a member of Jesus' family, we're also adopted into the Family of His chosen people, the Jews. seems to me, not only was Jesus adopted, He was the author of Adoption. From the mouths of babes.”

Thank you, Mary. I have a feeling that as that special little boy has grown up, he’s given your family a lot to think about and a lot to be thankful for. And here’s a story that highlights another aspect of adoption, from the other point of view:

Tia from Kansas wrote that Christmas was always the hardest time of year to face, until she discovered a very personal connection to the true meaning of Christmas:

"When I was 16, I was alone and scared on Christmas -- having a baby that I decided to give up for adoption. For years afterward, I didn't like Christmas and never did much during the season. But the Lord changed my heart, showing me that I gave a beautiful gift to some family, my only son, just like He did. I've enjoyed and celebrated Christmas ever since."

Thank you, Tia. I know your son's adoptive parents would thank you a million times over, if they could, for the greatest Christmas gift they ever received. I’m sure Mary from Ohio would agree."

Ohio now requires life saving treatment for babies born alive

"The new law requires doctors to provide the same degree of medical care to a baby who survives an abortion that they would to any other infant born at the same gestational age. According to the Ohio Capital Journal, it also expands the criminal definition of manslaughter to include abortionists who neglect to provide medical care to a baby who is born alive in an abortion. Those who fail to do so could face felony charges."

Ohio Gov Mike DeWine Signs Bill to Require Life-Saving Treatment for Babies Who Survive Abortions -

Ohio House Passes Bill to Require Life-Saving Treatment for Babies Who Survive Abortions -

It isn't known how many babies survive an abortion because most states don't collect that information.  From what is known 143 survived between 2003-2014. How many lived is not reported either.

Natural immunity and Covid-19

 If You’ve Had COVID You’re Likely Protected for Life

BY Joseph Mercola

TIME December 21, 2021

If you’ve had COVID-19, even a mild case, major congratulations to you as you’ve more than likely got long-term immunity, according to a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine. In fact, you’re likely to be immune for life, as is the case with recovery from many infectious agents — once you’ve had the disease and recovered, you’re immune, most likely for life.

The evidence is strong and promising and should be welcome and comforting news to a public that has spent the last year, 2020, in a panic over SARS-CoV-2.

Increasingly evidence is showing that long-lasting immunity exists. 

Initial Reports That COVID Immunity Was Fleeting Were Flawed

Seasonal coronaviruses, some of which cause common colds, yield only short-lived protective immunity, with reinfections occurring six to 12 months after the previous infection. Early data on SARS-CoV-2 also found that antibody titers declined rapidly in the first months after recovery from COVID-19, leading some to speculate that protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 may also be short-lived.

Senior author of the study, Ali Ellebedy, Ph.D., an associate professor of pathology and immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, pointed out that this assumption is flawed, stating in a news release:

“Last fall, there were reports that antibodies waned quickly after infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, and mainstream media interpreted that to mean that immunity was not long-lived. But that’s a misinterpretation of the data. It’s normal for antibody levels to go down after acute infection, but they don’t go down to zero; they plateau.”

The researchers found a biphasic pattern of antibody concentrations against SARS-CoV-2, in which high antibody concentrations were found in the acute immune response that occurred at the time of initial infection.

The antibodies declined in the first months after infection, as should be expected, then leveled off to about 10% to 20% of the maximum concentration detected. In a commentary on the study, Andreas Radbruch and Hyun-Dong Chang of the German Rheumatism Research Centre Berlin explained:

“This is consistent with the expectation that 10–20% of the plasma cells in an acute immune reaction become memory plasma cells, and is a clear indication of a shift from antibody production by short-lived plasma cells to antibody production by memory plasma cells. This is not unexpected, given that immune memory to many viruses and vaccines is stable over decades, if not for a lifetime.”

When a new infection occurs, cells called plasmablasts provide antibodies, but when the virus is cleared, longer lasting memory B cells move in to monitor blood for signs of reinfection.

Bone marrow plasma cells (BMPCs) also exist in bones, acting as “persistent and essential sources of protective antibodies.” According to Ellebedy, “A plasma cell is our life history, in terms of the pathogens we’ve been exposed to,” and it’s in these long-lived BMPCs were immunity to SARS-CoV-2 resides.
Long-Term Immunity Likely After COVID-19 Infection

For the study, blood samples were collected from 77 people who had recovered from COVID-19, about one month after the onset of symptoms; most had experienced mild cases. Additional blood samples were collected three more times at three-month intervals to track antibody production; memory B cells and bone marrow were also collected from some of the participants.

Levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S) antibodies declined rapidly in the first four months after infection, then slowed over the next seven months. The most exciting part of the research is that, at both seven months and 11 months after infection, most of the participants had BMPCs that secreted antibodies specific for the spike protein encoded by SARS-CoV-2.

The BMPCs were found in amounts similar to those found in people who had been vaccinated against tetanus or diphtheria, which are considered to provide long-lasting immunity.

“Overall, our data provide strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans robustly establishes the two arms of humoral immune memory: long-lived BMPCs and memory B cells,” the researchers noted. This is perhaps the best available evidence of long-lasting immunity, Radbruch and Chang explained, because this immunological memory is a distinct part of the immune system that’s essential to long-term protection, beyond the initial immune response to the virus:

“In the memory phase of an immune response, B and T cells that are specific for a virus are maintained in a state of dormancy, but are poised to spring into action if they encounter the virus again or a vaccine that represents it. These memory B and T cells arise from cells activated in the initial immune reaction.

The cells undergo changes to their chromosomal DNA, termed epigenetic modifications, that enable them to react rapidly to subsequent signs of infection and drive responses geared to eliminating the disease-causing agent.

B cells have a dual role in immunity: they produce antibodies that can recognize viral proteins, and they can present parts of these proteins to specific T cells or develop into plasma cells that secrete antibodies in large quantities.

About 25 years ago, it became evident that plasma cells can become memory cells themselves, and can secrete antibodies for long-lasting protection. Memory plasma cells can be maintained for decades, if not a lifetime, in the bone marrow.”

In addition, in 2020 it was reported that people who had recovered from SARS-CoV — a virus that is genetically closely related to SARS-CoV-2 and belongs to the same viral species — maintained significant levels of neutralizing antibodies at least 17 years after initial infection. This also suggests that long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 should be expected. Ellebedy even said the protection is likely to continue “indefinitely”:

“These [BMPC] cells are not dividing. They are quiescent, just sitting in the bone marrow and secreting antibodies. They have been doing that ever since the infection resolved, and they will continue doing that indefinitely.”
Nature May 24, 2021
NewsWise May 24, 2021
Nature June 14, 2021
Nature. 1997 Jul 10;388(6638):133-4. doi: 10.1038/40540
Nature May 26, 2021
Adv Immunol. 2002;80:115-81. doi: 10.1016/s0065-2776(02)80014-1
Nature. 1997 Jul 10;388(6638):133-4. doi: 10.1038/40540
European Journal of Immunology May 19, 2021
Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020; 9(1): 900–902
"Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder of An osteopathic physician, best-selling author, and recipient of multiple awards in the field of natural health, his primary vision is to change the modern health paradigm by providing people with a valuable resource to help them take control of their health. This article was originally published on"

As you can see the original article in Nature was published in May 2021, and I don't recall much discussion of this in the news.  However, another paper in June suggested the vaccine would have longer immunity than it did, but also said boosters would be needed.  I'm not convinced Mercola has presented the entire case.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

What's the North Fund

"A newly obtained copy of the fund’s 2020 IRS Form 990 filing reveals its shocking growth between 2019 and 2020, from $9.3 million to over $66 million, a single-year increase of 613 percent. That’s impressive growth for an organization created just three years ago. If it were a private company, North Fund’s success would’ve surely skyrocketed it to the front of Forbes magazine.

Where did that money come from? At least 46 percent—nearly half—flowed in from two “sister” nonprofits: the Sixteen Thirty Fund and New Venture Fund. Both are part of a $1.7 billion nonprofit empire run by the enigmatic consultancy Arabella Advisors in Washington, DC. The rest of the eye-popping, seven-figure donations came from a handful of anonymous donors. . . 

North Fund bankrolled activist groups pushing gun control, amnesty for illegal aliens, fracking and “fossil fuel” bans, federally funded abortions, and targeted get-out-the-vote campaigns to boost Democratic turnout."

Bad news for conservative states--they are being invaded

 Red States Grow as Blue States Shrink: Census |

Many people are leaving the high tax, high crime blue states and moving to the red states, particularly Texas and Florida.  Unfortunately, they bring their politics with them, and although they vote for Democrats they don't want to have to pay the bills.

A family member of ours did that in 2018.  Sold their million + home in California and had a new one built in Arizona, much nicer, newer, 3 car garage, patio with all the perks, with all the upgrades for about $600,000. They enjoy it very much, yet are close enough they can drive back to California occasionally to see the grandchildren.

It's a given--can't take back a gift

"The White House announced Wednesday that the pause on federal student loan repayment will be extended for another 90 days, following fierce backlash from progressives after the Biden administration said the moratorium would end in February. "

If it's one thing the Progressives know about human nature it's that once the government "gives" a benefit, it can't be taken away without a battle.  The longer they drag this unfair repayment deal out, the harder it will be to stop it.

Biden extends pause on federal student loan repayments after progressive backlash - TheBlaze

It was one of his first acts, and there are 41 million Americans who have loans to repay.  Needs to hang on for the 2022 election.

The Huron Carol--with gifts of fox and beaver pelt

I came across this hymn in a collection of Christmas carols during my morning meditation today. Better known in Canada, but I'd not heard it before. It's quite charming. No matter the language or ethnicity, all can know the baby Jesus in their own culture. The explanation is from the UMC Hymn history website. Discipleship Ministries | History of Hymns: “'Twas in the Moon of… (  Take time to look at why Mennonites don't think it's good enough to be in their hymnal.
‘Twas in the moon of wintertime when all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou* sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim and wondering hunters heard the hymn,
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

Within a lodge of broken bark the tender babe was found;
A ragged robe of rabbit skin enwrapped his beauty round
But as the hunter braves drew nigh the angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

The earliest moon of wintertime is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on the helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before him knelt with gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

O children of the forest free, O seed of Manitou
The holy Child of earth and heaven is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy who brings you beauty peace and joy.
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born, in excelsis gloria.

*That God of all the earth
"This is probably the earliest Christmas carol composed in North America. “‘Twas in the moon of wintertime” is a collaborative work between a 17th-century French Jesuit missionary to the Huron Indians and a 20th-century Canadian newspaper correspondent in Quebec.

Jean de Brébeuf (1593-1649) was born in the Normandy region of France. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1617 and arrived in Quebec in 1625. Overcoming many obstacles, he spent the first long winter in a wigwam and set out in spring by canoe to Lake Huron, where he was left to minister alone after a fellow priest was recalled.

His early efforts in evangelism were unsuccessful. Life was also complicated because the English and French were at war over this region, with the territory changing hands twice. He was forced to return to France in 1629, and then returned when the French again gained the upper hand in 1633. He set out again for the Huron region with a fellow priest, and lived and worked among the Indians for 16 years.

Brébeuf suffered hardships unimaginable to most present-day missionaries. In 1642, he was caught up in a war between the Iroquois and Huron tribes. Two fellow missionaries had been captured and killed. Brébeuf was sent to the region to attempt further contact with the Huron people. Though the Iroquois had made peace with the French, they continued to fight the Huron tribe.

Between 1644 and 1647, Brébeuf’s ministry among the Huron people saw thousands baptized and following the way of the black-robed priests. But the war with the Iroquois intensified. Being French, he could have escaped, but chose to remain with the Huron people. Brébeuf was captured by the Iroquois on March 16, 1649.

The original Huron carol was written around 1643. Over 150 years later in 1794, Father de Villeneuve, also a Jesuit missionary, wrote down the words to “Jesous Ahatonhia” as he heard them. Paul Picard, an Indian notary, translated them into French and they first appeared in written form in Ernest Myrand’s Noel Anciens de la Nouvelle France (1899).

Hugh McKellar, a leading Canadian hymnologist and authority on indigenous song, says that Brébeuf “does not present Christ’s birth as an event which happened far away and long ago, nor does he linger on its details; what matters for him is the immediacy of the Incarnation and the difference it can make in the lives not just of the Huron, but of believers in any culture.”

Collaborator Jesse Edgar Middleton (1872-1960) was a reporter for the Montreal Herald and later The Mail and Empire in Toronto. His interest in Ontario history led him to the story of Jean de Brébeuf.

Carlton Young, editor of the UM Hymnal, notes that “Middleton’s poem extends beyond the original French [translation] and tells the story of Jesus’ birth into Huron everyday life and its retelling in their folk symbols, such as ‘rabbit skin’ for ‘swaddling clothes’ and ‘gifts of fox and beaver pelt’ for the Magi’s present.” Middleton’s version maintains the Algonquian name for God, Gitchi Manitou.

Middleton’s poem was set to a traditional French tune (“Une Jeune Pucelle”) and appeared on Dec. 22, 1926, in the New Outlook, where it was romanticized as a “charming little Christmas song... [in which] the devoted missionary has adapted the story of the infant Christ to the minds of the Indian children.”

Hugh McKellar calls the carol an “interpretation... not a translation, written to provide English-speaking Canadians with an opportunity to sing the first Christmas carol ever heard in the Province of Ontario.”

The carol comes to us by way of the Canadian Anglican Church’s Hymn Book (1938), edited by the famous 20th-century Canadian composer Healey Willan. Walter Ehret brought the carol to public schools and churches in the U.S. with The International Book of Christmas Carols (1936).

In whatever form we receive the carol, it is an artifact of a missionary who through incomprehensible hardships and danger spread the gospel to the Huron people. Brébeuf’s martyrdom with a fellow Jesuit in 1649, too gruesome to describe here, was recognized by the Catholic Church when he was canonized on June 29, 1930, by Pope Pius XI. The humble Jesuit priest to New France is now the patron saint of Canada."

Why the Mennonites did not include it in the newest hymn collection (not pure enough) “’Twas in the moon of wintertime” not included in new Mennonite hymnal | Canadian Mennonite Magazine

Mandates for public health or loss of freedom and growth of totalitarianism?

Supreme Court to hear oral arguments on challenges to Biden vaccine mandates | Fox News

"The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in two separate challenges to President Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The Court announced Wednesday [Dec. 22] it will hear oral arguments challenging both Biden's vaccine mandate for businesses with over 100 employees and for healthcare workers at facilities receiving Medicaid and Medicare funding."

"A federal judge in Louisiana issued a nationwide preliminary injunction Tuesday [Nov. 30] against President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers.

Judge Terry A. Doughty in the U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana ruled in favor of a request from Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to block an emergency regulation issued Nov. 4 by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that required vaccines for nearly every full-time employee, part-time employee, volunteer, and contractor working at a wide range of healthcare facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicaid funding."

"The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is abiding by a court order and suspending enforcement of the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate on large private businesses.

In a statement shared to OSHA's website, the agency said, "The court ordered that OSHA 'take no steps to implement or enforce' the [Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)] ‘until further court order.’" [published Nov. 17]

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Rest during the Flight into Egypt by Francesco Mancini

It's almost the end of December, so this morning in my devotions I read the story behind the cover art on the December issue of Magnificat, vol. 23, no. 10. Pierre-Marie Dumont, the publisher, writes these very interesting and erudite 2 page articles. I can't find out much about him except he is a Catholic layman and has 12 children and is also the president of the website Aleteia.   This article is titled, "The gaze between a Father and His Son." I really like this magazine and have been subscribing for about 3 years.  Although it is keyed to daily readings and holy days with brief essays and writings from 2000 years of Christian history, the old issues are really never out of date, and sometimes you can find them in used book stores. There are usually two articles about art.
"Francesco Mancini († 1758), successor of Carlo Maratta († 1713), enjoyed his moment of glory in Rome at a time when the Baroque was expressing its swansong in the form of the Rococo style. Pope Clement XIV († 1774) purchased this Rest during the Flight into Egypt in 1772 to hang in the paintings gallery of the Vatican museums which he had just founded.

This charming work is inspired by a famous episode, “the miracle of the palm tree,” from the Book of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Childhood of the Savior, known also as the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. Drawing on tradition—including the apocryphal Protoevangelium of James dating back to the 2nd century—this ­apocryphal Gospel appeared in the 5th century, and was then ­reworked and enriched until the 12th century. It should be noted that the miracle of the palm tree is also mentioned in the Quran, Surah XIX, Mary, v. 23. Here then is the story according to the apocryphal Gospel: On the third day of the flight into Egypt, Mary was suffering from the scorching heat of the sun. Seeing a palm tree in the distance, she asked Joseph to take her there. As the Holy Family rested under the generous shade of this providential tree, Mary expressed the wish to eat of its fruit. Joseph replied that the high-hanging fruit was out of reach and, moreover, before gathering fruit, he must go in search of water, for their gourds had run dangerously dry. With that, the little child Jesus said to the palm tree, “Bow down and feed my mother with your fruit.” And the palm tree bowed down until Joseph was able to gather its fruit and offer it to Mary and Jesus. Then Jesus said to the tree, “Stand up again, and make the spring that bathes your roots rise up and flow forth.” And immediately, a spring of clear fresh water appeared.

To this basic story, later versions and the theological ­imagination of artists added other wondrous elements. For example, the palm tree didn’t simply offer dates, but fruit suitable to this earthly ­trinity that wished to eat of it. Thus, Gérard David painted a luscious bunch of grapes with clear Eucharistic symbolism. Here, as in the famous painting by Barocci on the same theme, it is cherries that Joseph has gathered in the wicker basket lying at Mary’s feet. For heart-shaped red cherries symbolize the Passion of Christ, his blood shed for many, and his pierced heart. Taking another artistic liberty with the apocryphal narrative, Saint Joseph is not depicted as an indifferent old man, but as an attractive young husband fully assuming his role as head of the family.

Let us then enter more deeply in contemplation of this work. In the background, we find an obelisk and a temple whose presence suggests that this episode takes place at the gates of Egypt. The characteristic trunk of the palm tree forms a diagonal around which the scene is constructed. While an archangel holds the crown of the immaculate conception above Mary’s head, two angel-musicians play a celestial hymn: this is clearly the Holy Family. In her hand, Mary holds a cup brimming with water from the miraculous spring. On her lap, the infant Jesus takes a cherry from his father’s hand. The unfathomable depth of the gaze he shares with his father attests to their mutual awareness of the symbolism of this gesture: it is no less than his Passion for the glory of God and the salvation of the world that Jesus grasps and will consummate. And there is the hand of Mary reaching out, as though to prevent her child from doing something foolish. But this isn’t a reflex of maternal instinct who wants to protect her child from all harm. It is the image of the consecration of the Mother of God who will accompany her child’s every act… right to the foot of the cross and the entombment.

The Rest during the Flight into Egypt, Francesco Mancini (1679–1758), Pinacoteca, Vatican, Italy. © 2021, Photo Scala, Florence.

Note on Magnificat by Dumont Magnificat Foundation - Home


Who is being rude and hateful? Let's Go Brandon  Hate speech is protected.  Democrats believe ridiculing and threatening the life of President Trump is OK, but saying "let's go Brandon" is hate speech that must be outlawed.  Rising, November 4.  I don't think much came of this.  Ridiculing celebrities and politicians has been going on a long time, especially in the 18th century. Tennessee Democrat says 'Let's Go, Brandon' equal to burning the flag | Fox News


I just discovered "Rising" today; it's aimed at young people, but I may take a look. "Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan hosts that breaks the mold of morning TV by taking viewers inside the halls of Washington power like never before. The show leans into the day's political cycle with cutting edge analysis from DC insiders who can predict what is going to happen. It also sets the day's political agenda by breaking exclusive news with a team of scoop-driven reporters and demanding answers during interviews with the country's most important political newsmakers." Today's story (Dec. 21) is about friendships and college education. There's a friendship gap between those with a college education and those who didn't attend.  I can't find a good way to post the video interview, so here is the story. The college connection: The education divide in American social and community life - The Survey Center on American Life (

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Covid hospitalizations and deaths in Ohio since January 1

On the local news tonight I saw that 2,652 fully vaccinated people in Ohio had been hospitalized, and 646 had died, since Jan. 1, 2021. On the other hand, among the non-vaccinated 44,406 had been hospitalized and 13,326 had died since Jan. 1, 2021. Biden was handed the vaccine, and his people had the benefit of incredible research all before taking office. His administration has struggled with bureaucracy, mixed messages, and scary bullying of the unvaccinated. They obviously were caught off guard by Omicron variant. His CDC ignores natural immunity, and other already approved drugs that could help and which other countries are using. Now test kits are running out in Ohio. This is trusting science? Somehow, there are still Democrats giving Biden a thumbs up for his handling of the pandemic. It's a mystery that so many Americans will accept a tyrant and king.

Year end report from the Lakeside Women's Club

President Barbara Browning sends Christmas greetings:

As I think about last summer at Lakeside, I cherish all the friendships that I have made through the Lakeside Women’s Club. When someone asks me, “Why should I join the Lakeside Women’s Club?” I can honestly say, “For the wonderful friendships that you will make.” Many of you were strangers to me when I became President, but now I consider you a valuable part of my life and my Lakeside experience. Last summer 238 people attended the book discussions, 255 women attended the Bible Studies, and 737 “Lakesiders” attended our Tuesday programs. Many thanks to Joanne Dempe for finding such great programs; to Beth Sibbring and Peggy Malone for leading our Book Discussion groups; and to Jeri Hoopes, Jane Linville, and Susan Eisenman for leading the Bible Studies. The 4 Porch Stories on Monday evenings, coordinated by M.A. Stephens, were at “room capacity” as Lakesiders shared their personal stories. Gretchen Curtis chaired the Book Reviews on Friday afternoons that were enjoyed by all!!
Patti Foley is going to be scheduling our Friday Book Reviews for next summer. If you have read a great book and would be willing to share it with the group, please contact Patti.

The Corner Cupboard brought in over $1500 last summer. Thanks to Judy Haines for a record year!! And, thanks to Barb Hoffman, our librarian, who sold $490 of used books!

Wendy Stuhldreher delivered 25 bags of American Girl Doll Clothes to the Columbus Ronald McDonald House and 24 bags to the Morgantown, West Virginia Ronald McDonald House, 54 bags in all. Ironically, Detra Bennett delivered 54 blankets to the Salvation Army, 30 of which were made by Gretchen Curtis.

The Lakeside Women’s Club Board met last week to make plans for the 2022 Season. At this point in time, we have sold over 870 cookbooks! That’s amazing for 3-6 months! Thank you everyone for your support! The LWC Broad also voted to donate $250 in memory of Joan Price for the Storybook Trail. What a wonderful way to pay tribute to a woman who brought books to so many children at Green Gables. We can’t wait to see the Lakeside Storybook “Trail” next summer!

Franny Cranfield, our Green Gables hostess, has started taking reservations from those women who stayed with us last summer. We give them”priority” until January 2nd, when we open the reservations to everyone. If you need to house your “overflow” women guests at Green Gables, or you need a reservation for yourself, be sure to call Franny at: 419-798-4734.

Many of our guests want to know when the Quilt Exposition and the Cottage Tour will be so that they can plan their Lakeside stay. The Quilt Exposition will be July 21st, and the Cottage Tour will be July 28th.

Byrdie Stocker, our new Membership Chairman, will be contacting you next Spring about renewing your membership. Last year we had over 235 members which made over $6,000 in dues and donations - let’s go for even more members this summer! Invite your Lakeside neighbors to join us! The more, the merrier!! I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!! Being in Lakeside for the Christmas weekend was like living a Hallmark movie! We are so fortunate to have such a loving, caring community.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Preparing to be called to account--Maria Von Trapp

 Last night we watched the movie, "Sound of Music" the fictional account of the Trapp Family singers starring Julie Andrews. Christopher Plummer who played the father, died this past year, and I looked up the actors who played the children.  Two of them have died within the last 6 years. The music is charming and has aged well.

Movie vs. Reality: The Real Story of the Von Trapp Family | National Archives

'The Sound of Music's von Trapp kids: Where is the cast now? (

The November 2021 Magnificat magazine featured an essay written by the real Maria who died in 1987.

"I was alone in the hospital in Vienna, my family hundreds of miles away.  As I lay there with eyes closed, waiting for death, I heard the doctor say to the nurse that it wouldn't make any sense to try to contact the family.  It was definitely too late for them to reach me.  Although the doctor talked in a whisper, I could hear him very clearly.  All my senses seemed to merge and concentrate into the one sense of hearing.  I noticed that while I was opening my eyes wide, I could see nothing, although it was 10 in the morning.  Sight was gone.  I heard the rustle of the sheets as the nurse removed them from the foot of my bed, and I heard her hand gliding over my feet and her voice when she said, "Her feet are already cold," but I couldn't feel it.  touch was gone.

"Am I dying?" I wanted to ask, but I couldn't move, couldn't speak.  And then hearing also stopped, and there was a silence more intense than any silence I can remember.  The body might have been helpless, but the soul was wide awake and in full possession of its faculties.  Undisturbed by the outside, memory was keener than ever before.  And in this anguish of a last agony the soul passed once more through its past life, seeing everything so much more clearly.  Although nothing is to be seen, the soul senses very sharply the presence of an evil power which wants to influence it to give up: the sins are too many and too horrible to allow any hope.  But it also senses another spiritual power present.  It may be the guardian angel soothing the soul, reminding it, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow: reminding the soul of the bottomless mercy and love of the heavenly Father whom it is to meet very soon now.

And then?  Well, I did not die.  But for the rest of my life I shall be grateful for those most precious moments.  Afterwards I found out that this seems to be a general occurrence and not just my private experience.  They say the sense die slowly, one by one.  Therefore, we should take great care what is said and done in the presence of the dying.  While they are fighting their last decisive battle, it would mean such a help if they could hear us talk to them about the mercy of God, about having trust and confidence.  One day we shall have to take that same step too.  This might be the best preparation.  And when everything is over and one of our beloved has died, we should remember the words of the Revelation of John:  I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this: Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them." (Rv14:13)."

Maria von Trapp (from Let Me Tell You about My Savior, New Leaf Press, 2000)

Update:  When I posted a link to this on Facebook, the "fact checkers" placed a warning label on it!  

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Christmas season thoughts

 Our son used to call me in the middle of the week and paraphrase what the sermon was about at his church, Gender Road Christian Church. the previous Sunday.  Had a great memory.  Not me.  The sermon is gone by the time I leave coffee time (which this week included donut holes). Aaron Thompson is a fine preacher, probably the best on our staff, and I know it was good--from Isaiah 55--but by the time I chat with a few friends it's gone.

I always enjoy seeing the young couple with 7 kids.  They are all beautiful and well-behaved, and even with that new baby that was baptized 2 weeks ago, mom is as slim and trim as a teen-ager.  I particularly watch the fourth one--we prayed for him for weeks and weeks after he was born because he was a preemie.

Yesterday I attended at our Mill Run location the second funeral in a week--Tim Robison.  I didn't know him, only his wife, but by the end of the service I really wondered why God called him home (b. 1960). He had such a fine record of service for God--even as a young man. We definitely need more men like that, and his wife and two young adult sons also needed him.  We will always miss our brother-in-law Bob, whose service we attended on Monday in Indianapolis.  He was 88 and it was wonderful to see his family who had been with him his last weeks.

The final candle in the wreath arrangement at UALC was lit today as we sang Oh come Oh come Emanuel.  I couldn't help but recall that terrible Christmas of 1976.  I think that was the year.  At that time each Sunday during advent had a different family come forward and light the candle, and it was our turn at the early service.  At the later service, another family had the honor.  The next day, the mother of that family shot and killed her husband, 2 of her children and the dog, with a third child escaping the tragedy and running to a neighbor. Then she turned the gun on herself. It was so awful the congregation was reeling for weeks.  And now I can't remember their names. 45 years ago.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

How we got here--explained in clear language

 Bishop Robert Barron explains the complex chaos of today, the ideologies behind the riots and violence, based on philosophies of two 19th century and two 20th century philosophers.

1.  Marx

2. Nietzsche

3. Sarte

4. Foucault

Atheism. This is critical to all of them.   Oppressed and oppressor. Class struggle.  Control of language. Culture of self-invention.  Being and non-being. Existentialism. Death of God. Power.

Ideas have consequences.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Pope Francis--deliberately cruel? Insecure? Misled?

Why is he restricting the traditional Catholic Latin mass? The World Over program Thursday Dec. 16, 2021.  Treating the old rite like a virus.  It has been flourishing, why is he squelching it when Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI approved it?  Why are some Catholics treated like second class citizens?

PETER KWASNIEWSKI, senior fellow at The St. Paul Center in Steubenville, OH, and FR. GERALD MURRAY, canon lawyer and priest of the Archdiocese of NY discuss new instructions expected from the Vatican on the implementation Pope Francis' moto proprio on the Traditional Latin Mass. The World Over with Raymond Arroyo airs on EWTN Thursdays at 8pm ET. It re-airs on Fridays at 1am & 9:30am ET, and Mondays at 10pm ET.

This reminds me of another situation.  An old man with unpopular views in charge of a huge organization, but everyone wonders who is pulling the string?

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Number is not rate

Tricky statement. Number is not rate. Of course, most women having abortions are white, just as most of anything in the U.S. is white. Most poor people are white. Most criminals shot by police are white. Where are the riots?
"Since 2013, most abortion patients have been white, non-Hispanic people. The only exception was in 2016 when Black, non-Hispanic people had the largest percentage of abortions by race." And notice "people" not women are having abortions? Crazy. (USAFacts)

While African-Americans constitute 32.2 % of Georgia’s population, 62.4 % of abortions in Georgia are performed on African-American women. By contrast, whites constitute 60.8 % of the Georgia population, but only 24.7 % of abortions were performed on white women. (Public Discourse) Even Planned Parenthood admits black women are 5x more likely to have an abortion than white women. Planned Parenthood preys on blacks, young, vulnerable and poor--of any race, but particularly blacks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Advice from Kurt Vonnegut

In 2006, a group of students at Xavier High School in New York City was given an assignment by their English teacher, Ms. LOCKWOOD, that was to test their persuasive writing skills: they were asked to write to their favorite author and ask him or her to visit the school. It’s a measure of his ongoing influence that five of those pupils chose KURT VONNEGUT, the novelist responsible for, amongst other highly-respected books, Slaughterhouse-Five; sadly, however, he never made that trip. Instead, he wrote a wonderful letter. He was the only author to reply.
November 5, 2006

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut


I checked this on the web, and it appears to be authentic.  I met Vonnegut when I was working at Ohio State--probably 1968.  I remember standing in line to ask him a question.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Kash Patel

Keep an eye on Kash. He's a good writer/investigator and a Trump supporter. I love his diversity. "Kashyap "Kash" Patel was born in Garden City, New York, to ethnically Gujarati parents who had immigrated to the United States from East Africa, via Canada, in 1970. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2002 and earned a Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law in 2005. He also received a certificate in international law from University College London.

Of course, any official from the Trump administration is being scrutinized for the January 6 protests. This was the so-called insurrection for which many are being held in gulag type conditions with not proper representation, It's a shame to our nation, particularly the hoax and hate filled Nancy Pelosi. No one has been charged with anything, and look how long it has been. Truly, these are USSR conditions.

Former Trump admin official Kash Patel meets with January 6 committee - CNNPolitics

Trump ally receives racist death threats following Jan. 6 panel subpoena ( Tucker interview with Patel. How does Christopher Steele still have influence in the main stream media when he's been proven to be an idiot? He should be in jail.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Jeanne Robertson, 1943-2021, her final show

 I loved her comedy--squeaky clean and clever.  This was her last performance in July 2021.  She died August 21, 2021.  Jeanne tells the story about her friend Norma Rose.

Jeanne Robertson, Humorist, Dies Unexpectedly After 'Severe Illness' (

(2) Facebook  During the pandemic she did a back porch show.

Her friend Patrick Henry whom she mentions in the above routine.

Her son Beaver at funeral

June's recipe for Butterscotch Pie

 My husband is well known locally and in his family for his dislike of corn.  What good midwestern boy could hate corn (includes corn on the cob, escalloped corn, fresh cut corn), but he does.  Little known except by me, is he also gags at the thought of eating anything "butterscotch," which would include caramel or toffee or pecan pie. So I was surprised when looking through one of my recipe book treasures, "Favorite Recipes from the One Dozen Mums" (1974, index cards attached with plastic binder) that his own mother had submitted "Butterscotch Pie" as one of her contributions to what was probably a fund raiser for her club:

1 C. brown sugar

1 C. milk

2 T. flour

yolks of 2 eggs

2 T. butter

Cook in double boiler until thick.  Put into crust previously baked & spread slightly sweetened beaten whites over the top.  Place in oven to brown very little.

That's it.  Pretty simple with no details.  I enjoyed some of her specialties like Goulash or spaghetti with garlic rolls, but don't recall ever eating home made pie at her home.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Humanized mice, Covid and bioethics

When I begin to read a medical article, and a phrase introduces a topic with, "Although Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Texas Governor Greg Abbott have promoted monoclonal antibodies while opposing vaccine and mask mandates, they're not a substitute for Covid-19 vaccines." 

You have to read it carefully, though. They are not against vaccines or masks, only the mandates. Opposing mandates is a political stance. It's about opposing growing totalitarianism, the huge failures of Biden and the lies of Fauci. This journal obviously is political too--JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

But here's my question for medical/scientific folks, because I'm way over my pay grade here: the monoclonal antibodies for Covid preexposure prophylaxis use 'humanized mice" in their development. Is that for testing or is some of that matter passed into our system? Using animals as chimeras is not new, but the bioethics of this seem to only be discussed in some committee locked in a closet in a research institution. Maybe in Wuhan?

Blame for woke goes way back, embedded in academe

Michael Hurd posted a jolly photo of Michelle and Barack Obama linking arms with Jussie Smollett on Facebook, but I didn't care at all for the comments and blame posted with it. Conservatives weren't kind. Yes, what we were seeing may be three narcissistic black celebrities, but if you made your career in academe as I did, the roots and unraveling were there long before their time, 1970-2000. It was the privileged white professorial class, not a rising, wealthy privileged black class that embedded this oppressor/oppressed Marxist ideology into everything from elementary education to high tech/high touch culture. We're reaping what was sown. We allowed them to teach our children (who are now gen-x woke grandparents) and it took a tragedy like a totalitarian lockdown for us to "wake up" to "woke."

Friday, December 10, 2021

Power, abortion and the beltway crowd

If Roe v. Wade collapses because it is bad, made up law by SCOTUS in 1973 usurping Congress, it won't stop abortions. It simply moves the responsibility to the states. So why do Democrats become so hysterical about it? They can still kill babies. Power. Power shifts from DC to the state capitals. This has always been about power.

States That Will Be Most Affected If Roe v. Wade Is Repealed | Stacker  (This is very pro-abort, and uses the term "pregnant person" which immediately flags the piece for what it is, but may contain useful information about states)

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

What exactly is "woke"

"When we “wake up” to the belief that everything is about the conflict of the oppressed versus the oppressor, and after we deconstruct our own inherited oppressive thinking and set out on a mission to dismantle everything in our inherently oppressive world view, then we are considered members of an elite class known as the “woke.” Everyone else, of course, is asleep."
A lot of people using the word "woke," admit they have no idea what it means. Watch this and be informed.

Oppressed and the oppressor.  Sound familiar?  Sound like Marx? 

I think the TV advertising from Gillette a few years ago to Coca Cola insulting white consumers without addressing obesity and diabetes has really become ridiculous.  Now in 2021, 95% of the actors in TV commercials are black, and they appear to be wealthy, entitled, and just as addle brained as the white consumers of the 1990s. They tell a story the opposite of an oppressed minority marching for justice and reparations.  The corporations are reaching for the young, and they like to see themselves as "woke." 

"The U.S. industries most obsequious to Chinese audiences present themselves as socially, culturally, and economically progressive at home. The National Basketball Association, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and major financial institutions are exemplars of the “woke capitalism” that has transformed the business landscape in recent years. GM cannot meet the demands of 48,000 striking workers, but it wants you to know that it supports wind power and gender equity. GE suspended pension benefits, but remains a signatory to the U.N. Global Compact, is a highly rated workplace according to the Human Rights Campaign, and received a State Department award for “inclusive hiring in Saudi Arabia.” (from the AEI article above)