Sunday, December 31, 2023

The turmoil includes Africa

This is a Happy New Year message from Wall St. Journal this morning: "I hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend because 2024 isn't likely to provide much rest. The world is in turmoil, with wars in Europe and the Middle East, and American adversaries pressing their advantage everywhere."
This isn't mis- or dis- information, but it is missing information. There are some brutal wars going on in Africa. There are millions of refugees and "displaced" and thousands have been killed. Just as Hamas used rape as a weapon of terror against Israel, so it is in Africa. So it is that U.S. "feminists" ignore what is happening to women and children outside their own political agenda.

There are many Africans coming across our southern border, and many risking their lives on the Mediterranean to get to Europe. When I read the few scraps of information I become bogged down in tribal warfare, acronyms and regions.
Where are the journalists? Where's the Squad? Our so-called "free press?" Just chasing Trump stories, that's where. It's their mother-lode, busy disenfranchising millions of voters. No need to report on foreign wars. Just people being killed. Look the other way and laser focus on the lies about Trump.
The "peace agreement" for South Sudan (400,000 est. dead) has been moved to 2024. I think Sudan which only flared up in 2023 is still waging battles between acronyms.

Next comes famine in Ethiopia because I think there is a fragile cease fire right now, or did it end last week? No one is around to farm or fetch water. But maybe some rock stars will organize and have a big concert. Worked in the 80s. Someone got rich. Remember "Live Aid." Ethiopia and Sudan--same countries at war today. Black Lives Matter? What a trick from our Leftists.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Bone health and falls

 I don't think a lot about fractures or bone health--until--a friend falls after stepping on a stone or sidewalk irregularity, or my friend Cindy fractures her thigh after taking the same med I do for osteoporosis, or Karen a woman I met at the gym fractures her foot playing pickleball, or Jim's wife falls over the leaf blower in their garage, or I fall in the shower.

That last fall happened a week ago, Christmas Eve morning.  I fell in the shower.  It wasn't the usual slip on the soap or not having a grab bar.  I had the brilliant idea that in order to protect the paint on the bathroom walls when I use hair spray, I'd spray my hair inside the shower stall where it could be washed off.  So, I was completely dressed, except for shoes--I was wearing light slippers.  My hair (which is thinning) was just the way I wanted it. I picked up the container and stepped inside the shower, which was still damp. It was a little awkward, but I could see the mirror and sprayed my hair.  Then as I stepped out--holding on to the door and the other hand on the opening with 2 fingers while holding the spray--the slipper stuck briefly on the floor of the shower.  That was enough for me to lose my balance and I went down. As I knelt there with my right knee on the slightly raised marble frame and the other pressed against the glass, I had to struggle to get up. My legs are weak but my arms are fairly strong--even so it was a long haul to get upright. A few bruises, but no sprains or fractures.  Whew!

Four other bad falls come to mind.  In the 1990s (I was in my 50s) I was walking briskly down the hall in the old Sisson building of the Veterinary College at Ohio State where I was the librarian. I didn't know that one of the labs on the second floor had a leaking faucet, and water had run under the door and into the hall.  The halls were not well lit, and as I hit that water (in those days I wore high heels to work), my legs flew out and I went splat landing on my back with one leg forward and one back.  It knocked the breath out of me, momentarily paralyzing me. The halls were empty--nothing to use to pull myself up and no one to help--so I just waited to catch my breath and then gradually using the walls for support and grabbing the doorknob to the lab stood up. Nothing broken, but I was so sore I could hardly move.  I recall looking into filing for Worker's Comp, but it was way too complicated, and I never followed through.

Then after I retired and we were spending the summers at our lake house on Lake Erie, I fell down the last four stairs in the basement carrying a laundry basket--probably in 2007.  I seem to remember the date because I wore the bruises to a class reunion. I was alone in the house (the last time I ever went to the basement without someone in the house). Again, nothing broken.  I crawled up the stairs, and into one of the bedrooms to lie down.  I eased off my shoes and my jeans.  I had bruises from knees to toes, and the shoestrings of my athletic shoes had left bruise marks on my feet in a crisscross pattern.

Also at Lakeside was my last bicycle ride when I was 70.  I was leaving a morning meeting at the hotel on Third Street, Fountain Inn, got on my bicycle (a no-speed from 1968), wobbled a bit, and fell--into a stop sign at Third and Maple, about 15 ft from where I got on it! The stop sign made a loud noise as I hit it--Boing, Boing. And people came running from their cottages to help the old lady on the ground. I lived just two blocks so someone (don't remember who) walked me home, wheeling the bike which I never rode again.

But the worst fall of my life wasn't actually my fall, but when my horse fell on me! It was probably 1952 so I was 12 years old, and had owned the horse only a few days. The bit was too tight (I figured out later) and the horse kept backing up, then started to rear, I began to slip off the back, but the horse lost his footing and fell--on top of me.  That REALLY hurt. The horse strolled away, and my mom came running out of the house. Nothing was broken, and I lay around for a few days, and today each time I get a back spasm I blame my horse.

Falls in the elderly statistics by CDC are all over the place and don't make a lot of sense.  Illinois elderly seem to be less likely to fall than Ohioans.  Whites more than minorities, women more than men, but the death rate for men is higher than for women. Of course, the statistics don't reflect the falls that are never reported--like mine--because I didn't get medical help.  Even so, 14,000,000 for people over 65 is nothing to be sneezed at.  The age adjusted fall death rated increased by 41% from 55.3 per 100,000 older adults in 2012 to 78.0 per 100,000 older adults in 2021. I personally attribute that to the fitness craze--people are taking more chances and think they are 40 instead of 80.

Ladders are really dangerous. According to the CDC each year in the U.S., more than 500,000 people are treated and about 300 people die from ladder-related injuries. The estimated annual cost of ladder injuries in the U.S. is $24 billion, including work loss, medical, legal, liability, and pain and suffering expenses.

It’s National Ladder Safety Month | Blogs | CDC

Nonfatal and Fatal Falls Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, 2020–2021 | MMWR (

Hip Fracture Overview - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (

Falls and Fall Prevention in Older Adults - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (

The risk of falls among the aging population: A systematic review and meta-analysis - PMC (

Lifestyle Approaches to Promote Bone Health - Bone Health and Osteoporosis - NCBI Bookshelf (

Nutritional Supplements and Skeletal Health - PubMed (

Vitamin K as a Powerful Micronutrient in Aging and Age-Related Diseases: Pros and Cons from Clinical Studies - PMC (

Friday, December 29, 2023

Democrats are destroying our legal system out of pure hate for Trump

I find it hard to believe that all the Democrats and many Republicans think it is worth destroying our legal system because they fear that Trump might act as badly as Biden/Obama if elected again. He supported the unborn's right to live, he lowered taxes, he didn't start any new wars, he protected our border against a massive invasion, the economy rose out of the ash heap of Obama, and he promoted the biggest increase in wealth for minorities in one term ever. Think what he might have done if he were allowed to live as a free American!

Laura Hollis, Patriot Post, Dec. 21: "It started in 2016 with the baseless accusations that Trump had somehow “colluded” with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. The FBI lied multiple times to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court to get federal warrants to spy on Trump and his advisers. The Justice Department launched a multiyear investigation, based upon “evidence” that they already knew was falsified “opposition research” commissioned and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign apparatus. Despite more than $30 million in taxpayer dollars spent, the “investigation” produced exactly nothing.

But Trump’s enemies have not let up.

Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives twice and acquitted twice.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, tried to prosecute Trump for “falsification of business records,” despite expiration of the applicable statute of limitations, and zero evidence of anything that would make the alleged conduct a felony.

New York’s Democrat Attorney General Letitia James filed an action for civil fraud against Trump, alleging that he undervalued his extensive property in Palm Beach, Florida, when applying for business loans. James wants to confiscate all of Trump’s New York properties and cancel his licenses to conduct business.

Arthur Engoron, the judge presiding over the case, is determined to help her do it. Engoron ruled pre-trial that Trump had committed fraud. During the trial, Engoron has deliberately ignored defense testimony from multiple real estate experts supporting the valuation of the property in Trump’s financial statements, as well as that of the lenders themselves, who testified that they used their own appraisers, were paid back promptly and were not defrauded.

The latest travesty is the decision of the Colorado Supreme Court to strike Trump’s name from the ballot in that state “for his role in the January 6, 2021” riots at the U.S. Capitol. [Written before the Maine travesty.] This gravely inappropriate decision not only exceeds the court’s power according to legal experts on both the Left and Right, but is an obvious effort to ignore mounting evidence that undermines the Left’s narrative that the Jan. 6 protests were an “insurrection” that Trump “instigated,” an accusation for which Trump has not been criminally charged, and for which he was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in the second impeachment proceeding.

A bare 4-3 majority of the Colorado Supreme Court has disqualified the candidacy of a man with nearly 70% support from his own party, and increasing support from constituencies traditionally outside the realm of the GOP. This is disenfranchisement of Colorado voters and interference with a national election.

Whether one thinks that Trump is the devil or that his enemies are, the best protection against unlawful conduct is integrity in the application of the laws themselves.

When the rule of law is compromised, diluted or discarded — even in pursuit of some purportedly lofty aim (“Saving our democracy!” “Fighting misinformation!” “Dismantling systemic racism!” “Liberating Palestine!”) — wrongdoers profit while the public suffers.

We’ve seen this already in the cities and states that have eliminated cash bail, refused to enforce theft and immigration laws, or looked the other way when left-wing mobs steal, burn and destroy. We’re watching it play out at our southern border and on college campuses. Crime and antisocial behavior increase, because those who engage in that behavior know they can inflict damage without any consequences — to them.

What is being done to Donald Trump is part of the same pattern."

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

2023 social events, meetings, clubs, and eating out

 The health research shows that older adults need socialization. That's the main reason the Covid lockdown was so hard on us.  The non-Covid deaths were higher than needed to be. Research like this showing the need for socialization was put on the shelf. Social isolation, loneliness in older people pose health risks | National Institute on Aging (   Collecting My Thoughts: Music is good for you, especially in your later years  

Our church, UALC, did not have an active older adult ministry for two years, unless a group met on ZOOM, and reopened in March 2022. Collecting My Thoughts: Older adult ministry at UALC   Collecting My Thoughts: A statement from Pastor Steve Turnbull, UALC, Columbus, Ohio    So when I record my social activities for 2023, I don't list Sunday School (most Sundays), or Women of the Word (fall, winter, spring small study groups using videos and workbooks), or Thursday morning Bible Study (taught by a pastor, often combined with Lenten or Advent services and lunch). Those pre-2020 church programs are in place now and not recorded here.  

I'm also not listing my trips to Lifetime Fitness about 4 times a week.  I do occasionally meet and talk to people there.  Like yesterday.  I met Karen, a very active athletic baby boomers who is recovering from a broken foot playing pickle ball. And you'll be happy I'm not recording grocery store visits to Aldi's and Marc's, or doctors' visits--but those add up and are "outings." These figures are estimates, although most I have recorded in my journal.

Dinners with friends and family at our home: 9

Dinners at friends' homes: 12 

Dinner or lunch with friends at restaurants (most often Rusty Bucket): 15

Dinner with Phoebe and Mark at restaurants (most often Rusty Bucket): 13

Party or Picnic: 9 

Art gathering: 13

OSU Librarians retirees' lunch: 3

Lenten/Advent worship/lunch at UALC: 6

Concerts: 9 (including a Jazz concert on Dec. 31, 2023)

Travel (Arizona, Indianapolis, Lakeside, D.C., Oberlin: 8

Funerals or visitations: 7

Coffee dates with friends: 11

Book Club: 6

House guests: 1 week

Congregational meeting: 2

Condo meeting: 2

Book Club December 2023

Condo Christmas Party, Wine Bistro, Lane Ave. 

Tulamo Visit, October 2023

July 4 party with neighbors
Visit with Bob's sister, Indianapolis, July

Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation, or SAFE Act

Never thought I'd see the day when a special law would be needed to keep kids safe from mutilation.

 God save us! 

 There is no such thing as a transwoman or gender affirming care. Don't be fooled by snake oil wording intended to deceive and divide (what the D in DEI stands for). "The Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation, or SAFE Act, requires transgender athletes to compete in the sport of their biological sex and prevents healthcare providers from utilizing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, or invasive surgeries to treat gender dysphoria in minors." Our governor says he wants to get this "right." Why does he have questions? If an adult man wants to cut off his testicles or his ears it's none of my business, but I wouldn't recommend it and I'd suggest counseling by someone trained before 1995.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

My new Gratitude Journal for 2024

This is a customer review of one of my Christmas gifts--a narrow line journal I can use all year, and I hope I'll love it as much as she does.

 "Pen + Gear Leatherette Jumbo Journal in a beautiful blue color and embossed with a botanical design that i just love ! It measures a large 7.375 x 10.25 x 0.75 and has 192 pages that are lined. There is a ribbon that can mark your place. Along the top of the pages are 3 letter abbreviations for months Jan - Dec and numbered 1-31. This is fantastic when journaling, just circle the month, then circle the day! The leatherette cover feels so soft, it feels like real leather. It is just beautiful...and extremely well made. Love it ! " 

I keep a daily gratitude journal with 6 categories, and most "journals" just don't work for me. I found one in 2021, and never found another one. If I like this on Jan. 2 or 3, I may order one for 2025.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Marion Duncan Thompson, obituary

Marion E Thompson, 84 died suddenly at her home in Mt Morris on Friday, December 22nd 2023.

Marion was born May 7, 1939 to Robert and Lola (Blake) Duncan, Mt Morris. Marion attended Mt Morris schools and graduated Class of 1957.

Marion married John G Thompson on March 17, 1961 in Mt. Morris, IL. Marion is predeceased by her parents of Mt Morris, sister, Barbara (Duncan) Satterfield, brother in law, Donald Satterfield of Genoa IL and niece Heidi Brooke Ann (Duncan) Tintori of Sterling IL

Marion was employed at Kable Printing/Quebcor/QuadGraphics as Purchasing Secretary and later as Office Copy Department Manager and retiring after 30+ years.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, John R (Jack) Suzanne Thompson, Mt Morris; daughters, Kim Duncan (Tim Cox), Mt Morris and Tammy Knott, CO.; 6 grandchildren; Troi (Terra) Knott, Tonya (James) Joseph, Kristin Alexander (Mitch Mann), John M (Jay) Jessica Thompson, Kraig (Stephanie) Duncan and Shauna (Michael) Raimondi and 12 great-grandchildren with another on the way. Brother Steve Duncan of Mt Morris and sister Linda (Duncan) Gary Nesemeier of Byron IL along with several nieces and nephews.

Marion enjoyed and loved time spent with family, her children and grandchildren, her early years of camping and later their cabin along the river, gardening, studying/watching hummingbirds, Sunday family lunches, yearly family reunions and being active and involved with her High School Class of ‘57 outings, reunions, daily coffee-clutches and traveling. She also spent her early morning hours faithfully reading her devotional and Bible. Actively involved over the years within the Disciples United Methodist Church in Mt Morris by serving as a past pre-k Sunday school teacher, Choir member, served on various committees and the Prayer Shawl crochet/knitting group.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday December 28, 2023 at 11:30 AM in Disciples United Methodist Church, Mt. Morris, IL; with Pastor Marcia Peddicord officiating. Burial will be held in Oakwood Cemetery, Mt. Morris, IL. Visitation will be held on Thursday December 28, 2023 from 10:00 AM until service time in Disciples United Methodist Church, Mt. Morris, IL.

From Finch Funeral Home:

Christmas Eve dinner

I was setting the table for Christmas Eve dinner using the hand painted gingerbread boy plates and thought the silver looked really dark, so I flipped to my blog for my silver cleaner recipe, which I'd forgotten (only 2 ingredients). I came across this blog from 2010 written at the Lake.

"At our summer home on Lake Erie in Lakeside, Ohio, we wash and dry the dishes together. At home we have a dishwasher. This is such a pleasant, companionable task we often say we'll do it in Columbus, but we never do. And as he washes, and I dry, my husband says the same thing every evening, "How can two people create all these dirty dishes and silverware?" So, I go through it piece by piece--this fork was used for cat food, this spoon was for the Cool Whip, this spoon served the main dish, this one the vegetables. It's like talking to a toddler who asks "why," you explain, and he then says, "but why?" "

Our menu tonight:
potato salad
cauliflower soup
corn, frozen fresh in summer 2023
fresh fruit--green grapes, cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries

Friday, December 22, 2023

The Fourth Wiseman  1985 movie

Based on Henry van Dyke's classic, The Story of the Other Wise Man, this fictional story set in Biblical times is told in gently comic terms. A Magi named Artaban (Martin Sheen) sees a sign in the heavens that he hopes will lead him and his faithful servant to the Messiah. Artaban takes with him three precious gifts to present to the Messiah. For 33 years Artaban pursues Jesus, only to miss Him at every turn. 

Along the way, Artaban uses his gifts to help people in dire need. He now has nothing to present to the Messiah when he finds Him. The story culminates on Easter Sunday as Artaban, old and dying, finally encounters the new King, bringing peace to his life. A deeply moving experience examining what true faith really means.

Body wash return

This morning I hope to return a 24 oz bottle of Renpure body wash because I can't get the pump/cap to work. I thought I would exchange it for a different bottle. But since I'd never tried this product before, I decided to go on-line and read a little about it. There I did look at the customer reviews. Some raved about the product, but. . .

Customer comment: "But these bottles are basically impossible to open. Exceedingly frustrating to spend 30min or more struggling to push down and turn, passing it around to family members to see if they can open it, before hopefully the spout pops up. Some sort of serious design flaw and by far the worst “childproofing” mechanism I’ve ever encountered in a beauty product."

Also, lots of discussion about the scents--seems they don't match the advertising. Although a few loved the scents and disagreed, many said there was no vanilla scent in the vanilla--smelled like grapefruit. Others (who had ordered on- line) said the caps leaked and made a mess, or the pump didn't work. Also, I was sort of surprised at some customer reviews. Why would you buy 8-10 bottles of something you hadn't tried before?

Customer comment: "I have been ordering their product for a while now. Love the body wash. I just received my new order of the vanilla scented. It honestly smells like grapefruits. No vanilla scent whatsoever. The other ones I have bought have been terrific. Also the pump would not open up so I had to take the old bottle I had and use that pump."

Most reviews were very positive. But I laughed at this one: 

Customer comment:  "This smells NOTHING like Shea butter OR Vanilla [which is what I bought]. It smells citrusy (not in a good way), and per my husband’s feedback, he said it smelled freakishly similar to Round up. If I could have given it a negative star on smell, I would have. In addition, this soap is not gentle on delicate parts of the body... you know what I am talking about, Ladies... It did not dry my skin out, I will give credit for that. If you want to walk around all day smelling like rotten orange Roundup, with your girly parts on fire, then go ahead and buy it. Good luck! Yuck, yuck, yuck."

So maybe I'll just take a credit.

Thursday, December 21, 2023

International Slave Trade

There are an estimated 46.9 million enslaved people around the world. About 70% of them are women and girls. “Sexual slavery is the most profitable industry with annual returns of 90%,” states award-winning human rights activist Jánelle Marina Méndez Viera, author of “The Pathway Towards Peace: U.S. Human Rights Manifesto.”

When I retired in 2000, international slavery was on my list of problems I hoped to address--right up there with abortion. At that time most figures (and they are all a guess) was 28 million slaves, both sex, labor, and domestic servitude. The State Dept TIP program was started under Pres. Clinton, and each year issues an annual report. I see little improvement and I hope there are real people being saved behind all that country data.Fact Sheets for 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report - United States Department of State
"Boys represent the fastest-growing segment of identified human trafficking victims. UNODC’s 2022 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, released in January 2023, notes that the percentage of boys identified as victims of human trafficking more than quintupled between 2004 and 2020—a much larger increase than for men, women, or girls. The same report notes males (including boys and men) account for 40 percent of all identified victims of human trafficking. While women constitute about twice the percentage of identified trafficking victims as men (42 percent to 23 percent), the percentage of trafficking victims who are boys and girls is almost identical (17 percent and 18 percent, respectively). The growing awareness of boys exploited in human trafficking is fairly recent. While male trafficking victims are receiving more attention than in years past, “social and health services as well as legal and advocacy frameworks still predominantly focus on female victims of sexual exploitation,” according to the UNODC report. Media and civil society groups alike consistently refer to boys and adolescent male human trafficking victims as “unseen and unhelped,” a “silenced minority,” “invisible,” or “secret victims.” "
Because our own country spins its wheels focusing on the slave trade of the 18th c. and the results of the Civil War to free the slaves, little is said about a slave trade that far surpasses the Atlantic slave trade. It's easier for groups with a different agenda (punishing Americans) to ignore today's pressing needs. Also, our border situation which allows sex slavery to walk in the door would need to be addressed, and Democrats don't want that distraction.

Fall out from George Floyd riots in 2020

There is still a lot of fall out (deaths, crime) from the BLM/Antifa scourge of 2020 when they lionized an ex-con druggie and demonized the police. Seattle isn't the only city suffering. BLM only mattered to fill the wallets of a few. This nationwide crime spree is far worse than anything that happened on J-6, but since Democrats can't tie it to any but their own lackies, no one will be punished. Focus must remain on Trump for this cover-up.

From 16 homicides in 2016 to 52 in 2022. "Per data compiled by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, homicides had been on a steady decline since 1994, reaching an all-time low of 16 in 2016 before beginning to climb. In 2022, per the department's end-of-year report, 52 homicides were reported, up from the previous year's 42. There were 53 homicides in 2020, according to the department's reports."

Monday, December 18, 2023

Christmas cards on a snowy day

What could be better? I opened 11 Christmas cards and it's snowing outside! I love them all, but really enjoy the notes and letters. It's a big project--opening, cutting off labels, taping them inside the card, and cutting off the cancelled stamps hoping I'll find someone who wants them.

The stamp bonanza was on an envelope from a non-profit. Someone must have sent their donation in stamps. 
1993 .29 Hank Williams; 
2016 .05 grapes, 
2022 .04 blueberries; 
2 1987 .10 Red Cloud ; 
2 1957 .03 stamps of NEA honoring teachers  
2 1957 .03 stamps of 200th anniversary of LaFayette; 
1985 .22 Special Olympics; 
1988 .25 Carousel horse (Cedar Point, OH). 

I remember when 3 cents was the first class postage rate.
Rather than wait in a line that went to the door at the only USPS branch around here, today I purchased my stamps at the machine. First time.

Who will be left?

Michelle Wu, daughter of Taiwanese American immigrants, is the racist mayor of Boston. She decided company (i.e. city) holiday parties based on ethnicity, color, sexual preferences and disability could add some festive cheer to equity and diversity. Does she know nothing of the roots of what is now called Wokeism, but the rest of us know as Marxism? Did her parents never tell her about Chairman Mao? Once you successfully get people separated by political cause, skin color, disability, LGBTQxyz and gender confusion, and the people you insult just go along with it, then further division is required. Lesbians and gays have little in common, so they'll be in separate party rooms; then blacks by shades of white privilege; then immigrants from Mexico from Cuban immigrants; then Jamaicans from Haitians; then quadriplegics from amputees; and then short, fat transmen from tall, muscular transwomen, and of course the Taiwanese speakers from the Mandarin speakers. The guest list and room arrangements could get messy, not to mention tacky.

I wonder if Mayor Wu would be in office if no whites had voted for her.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Why is it either or? Ukraine's borders or ours?

Why is it so unreasonable to protect our borders from Hamas, sex traffickers, drug cartels, Russians, and run of the mill criminals (like we didn't have enough) while protecting Ukraine with billions at their border? "CBP encountered 57,163 foreign nationals from Russia between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023, over 20,000 more than the previous fiscal year. In the same time period, 52,700 Chinese nationals were encountered on America’s borders and at ports of entry." (Daily Signal) Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists have been found in border screening for the last 15-20 years! (probably now running college campus peace groups)
"A bill combining aid and border security would be a political win for both sides, but partisanship is holding up a commonsense solution." (WSJ) 

That means, the Democrats want to call Republicans right wing nationalists, xenophobes and white supremacists for protecting our borders.

Sitting down too long can hurt you

I came across an article on sedentary behavior in the LA Times, Opinion: Sitting down all day is killing us. The cure is surprisingly simple — and difficult ( and looked at the original article published in May 2023. Breaking Up Prolonged Sitting to Improve Cardiometabolic Risk: Dose-Response Analysis of a Randomized Crossover Trial - PubMed ( My first reaction (and last) was YIKES. Sedentary means time in your car, sitting in meetings at work or organizations, church attendance, computer browsing, checking e-mail and FB, TV watching, sitting with someone you're taking care of or visiting, going out for dinner and then to your friend's for dessert and conversation (which we did last night and I figure counting travel it was 4 hours of sitting), reading a good book, discussing it at book club, attending your grandchild's athletic, musical or drama event, taking classes at university or by Zoom (I'm doing A Christmas Carol class via internet), preparing Christmas cards, drawing or painting from concept to final product, sewing, knitting, crocheting or crafting just about anything, and that's just in the life of an old lady. If you have a desk job with an hour commute and are 40, goodness my dear, you are in trouble! This article recommends five minutes of being up and walking about after you've been sitting for 30 minutes!!!! It looks to me that the only time I wasn't sedentary in my adult life was when I was a fulltime home maker with children running around. An older article I read said exercise (like working out at the gym or walking with friends) doesn't compensate for long hours of sitting. It's 7:40 a.m. and I've already had 2 hours of sedentary behavior! So I'm going to walk around a bit.

Update: This morning in church (traditional service, Lutheran) I thought how healthy--up and down, up and down. We're there a little over an hour but no chance to be sedentary.

Physiology of sedentary behavior - PubMed (

Saturday, December 16, 2023

What is Woke and where did it come from?

This is a Wikipedia definition of WOKE. "Woke is an adjective derived from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) meaning "alert to racial prejudice and discrimination". Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as racial injustice, sexism, and denial of LGBT rights. Woke has also been used as shorthand for some ideas of the American Left involving identity politics and social justice, such as white privilege and reparations for slavery in the United States."

That was then, the old days of 2010s, and you never know where a word will go once it escapes prison or academe and others start to use it. *Woke is now just shorthand for Critical Theory, or Critical Race Theory, and those are at their core, just Marxism--i.e., the American Left. The Left are a murky, tasteless porridge created by a bunch of old European (mainly German and French) white guys with a few other nationalities: Hegel, Marx, Engels, Nietzsche, Sarte, Foucault, Feire, and others. Hate for the Jews is several thousand years old, and God only knows where the gender lies and binary fiction came from, maybe Kinsey. In any case, it looks like black folk and the Squad can blame white academics for misleading blacks and causing so much mayhem.

A friend we met in Scotland: "I went to school in Scotland. An ‘accident’ of choosing the wrong parents, I was born a Jew (my mother). Raised Presbyterian. In my childhood there was no way I would admit to having any Jewish ancestry. Even then extreme wokeness existed. Jews were degraded and abused verbally and physically. Interestingly (and sadly) Catholics were treated even worse in that solidly Protestant country. Wokeness has existed for ever. We (they) just found a new name for it. I don’t know if Webster has it as a formal word yet. It’s all about prejudice in any form. To paraphrase Rodney King (again) “ why can’t we all get along?”

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Origin of the term "false narrative"

"Shelby Hewitt was accused of creating "multiple names and dates of birth for herself" and allegedly created a false narrative of a being an "extremely traumatized teen" with special needs, according to prosecutor Ashley Polin."

Just curious. When did the word LIE become a "false narrative?" I know Trump popularized "fake news" which is also LIE, but perpetrated by media. I checked some grammar/dictionary sites and saw the question was being asked 8 years ago. So, it was at least well known in the Obama era. It's not in my 1948 2nd Unabridged or 2012 Collegiate 11th Merriam-Webster. Still don't have an answer. But it looks like sometime during Obama's first term it took off so someone could sound erudite. When I see the Left is overtaking simple language with new words for lie (like affirming care for child mutilation or reproductive health for killing a baby in the womb) I avoid the term. 

Is it a lie with more clever story lines? Or a lie with more deceit?

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Plagiarism accusations

Harvard President Claudine Gay is being accused of plagiarism by Dr. Carol Swain. If the big guns of academe and the Democrat party decide to attack Dr. Swain, look out because they are joined at the hip and extremely well-funded (Harvard has billions). They'll never admit she, like Vice President Harris, was chosen because of skin color and sex. And maybe she wasn't. 

Both of the women put the lie to the "Woke" mythology and the systemic racism philosophy foisted on our school children. Dr. Gay is the daughter of well-educated and successful Haitian immigrants. Dr.  Swain worked her way up from poverty, daughter of parents who didn't finish high school and her mother was disabled. Swain didn't finish high school either and eventually got her GED and worked at McDonald's. She worked hard and got a PhD and later a Master's in Legal Studies. Neither woman let her race or personal challenges stop her, and both succeeded far beyond the level most women can dream of.

If Swain can prove her case (and she's not the only author who Gay is said to have plagiarized), then it was a crime not perpetrated by a racist society, but by a fellow academic, black and female. It could be that Harvard was virtue signaling in appointing Gay president, trying to flee the reputation liberals had created. If Harvard loses this one, well, if I believed in karma . . .

Dr. Gay made herself look ridiculous last week during the House hearings on the failures of college presidents to limit the bullying and harassment of Jewish students. The woman who cancelled people for using the wrong pronoun, suddenly became a big freedom of speech advocate. That said, the plagiarism charges were already being investigated before she performed so poorly before the nation.

Are apartments more expensive than 1967?

I've been watching the real estate values. Right now mortgage rates are really high, although nothing like the 80s. Then I saw a chart that showed renting is cheaper than buying right now. Although I'm math challenged, I did a bit of real estate snooping.

If you want to live in Lancaster, OH or Marion, OH you can find a fixer upper under $50,000, although one had no walls or plumbing fixtures. Nice property near Springfield, OH on 8 acres with several barns, quiet road, and a 4 bedroom house that didn't look too bad for $400,000.

Then I did an inflation calculation and looked at townhomes in our first Upper Arlington neighborhood. In 1967 I think we paid $150 a month for 2 bdrms, 1 bath, living room, dining room, kitchen, basement unfinished, and 1 car garage. Using inflation calculator that's $1,366 in 2023. I poked around the rental listings for this month and found one almost the same (nice) neighborhood near shopping and schools and park for $1,395. But it had a finished room in the basement, a dishwasher, and breakfast bar and the kitchen was updated with granite tops (appeared to be older cabinets). No garage. So essentially, the same, trading a room in the basement for garage for the 1967 model.
Of course, in 1967 I had the advantage of living on the same street as Arlene, but we didn't find that out until about 6 years ago (Lakeside neighbor).

Monday, December 11, 2023

Praying for Kamala Harris

Today I prayed for Kamala Harris to become a Christian. Sin is sin and hers don't count any more than mine at the cross, but she has a lot more power. If Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Muslim and now a former atheist, can see the light, why not Harris? Join me.

"Here is what makes her [Ali] public testimony a sign of the times: She states that she converted in part because she realized that a truly humanistic culture—and by that I mean a culture that treats human beings as persons, not as things—must rest upon some conception of the sacred order as set forth in Christianity, with its claim that all are made in the image of God. “Western civilization is under threat from three different but related forces,” she writes. These are resurgent authoritarianism in China and Russia, global Islamism, and “the viral spread of woke ideology.” She declares that she became a Christian in part because she recognized that “we can't fight off these formidable forces” with modern secular tools; rather, we can only defeat these foes if we are united by a “desire to uphold the legacy of the Judeo-Christian tradition,” with its “ideas and institutions designed to safeguard human life, freedom and dignity.” Carl Trueman, First Things, 11-30-23

Saturday, December 09, 2023

Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act

When the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act on Thursday, every Democrat lawmaker present — 203 in total — voted against protecting women's sports. CNN reported to its readers that Republicans had passed an anti-trans bill. Yet, most Americans support the values and benefits organized sports can provide all children even if they don't go on to compete for college scholarships or the Olympic gold. Most Americans don't want the 50 year old protection and encouragement for girls destroyed to assuage the angst and ignorance of a political group. So, are we really divided as a country, or is the Democrat Party lying about caring about women?
We have a Democrat vice president chosen because of her sex; the newest Supreme Court justice chosen because of her sex; and at least 3 unbelievably naive college presidents hired because of their sex (all 3 who testified evasively about hate on their campus for Jews this week). But putting 6 ft boys on a volley ball team against 5.5 ft girls and in their locker room risking assault--then it's OK for men to take away women's rights. It's the Democrat way.

If you are a registered Democrat, leave now. Flee the plantation. Throw away your crutches. Escape from the poor house. Break out of prison. Beat down the doors of that insane asylum.

Thursday, December 07, 2023

Funeral hymns--do you have a favorite?

A favorite hymn for a funeral? It would depend on the "guest of honor" or the audience or the church tradition. I personally like "For all the Saints." This summer we attended Rev. Irwin Jennings funeral at Lakeside, in the pavilion named for him and his wife Janet on the shore of Lake Erie. This hymn was sung, and in the Methodist tradition, all the clergy present came forward to lead the congregation in singing the hymn.

The United Methodist Hymnal 711. For all the saints who from their labors rest |

The most recent funeral we attended was at a funeral home and had only one hymn, which we'd never heard before. Community singing, which usually can bring strangers together even in mourning with a familiar hymn, was replaced with a long "come to Jesus" sermon. However, that was her wish, and often people do plan their own funerals.

Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Magical thinking about biology and gender

I'm so done with the magical thinking that people can retroactively change their biology. The prefix "trans-" has been very useful in our language until the Left took a hold of it and then attached it to the word gender. It seems to me that trendy, confusing terms come either from prisons, or academe. Both habitats are closed, bound, narrow societies.
The root of GENder means birth, descent, race, kind, to beget, to be born; from that root we have useful words like Genesis, genre, gene, genealogy, general, generate, generic, genital, genocide, genuine, genius, progeny, indigenous, gentile (not belonging to the race), and gentle (noble birth). It's basic. Even as a suffix GEN means origin. There are no do-overs, except in being born again (from above, and that has nothing to do with the topic).

The prefix TRANS is used for across, beyond, or change. Transubstantiation (bread and wine after consecration change to the body of Christ in the eucharist), transnational, translation, transportation, transfusion, transgression, transform, transcription, transcendentalism, and so forth.

Transgenderism cannot exist in reality--it can be a philosophy, a religion, a fantasy, a mental illness, but it is not origin or from birth; removing a penis and then using the flap to create a vagina is mutilation, not affirmation of a personal desire to be something else.
Stop coddling these word thieves who insist that the other 99% be blind, deaf and stupid about reality and biology. Every cell in the body has a sex. Cutting off some parts or padding other parts doesn't not change sex. Mascara and rouge for sure doesn't. This doesn't mean there aren't accidents that happen in the womb or at conception, but usually the whole world doesn't need to genuflect to these anomalies. There are no transwomen, no transmen, no transgender, no T in LGBQ; and for those barking at the door of reality, remember there are also no transspecies or Otherkin so we don't have to have litter boxes in the classroom. They can fantasize at home.

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Our new railing

At the beginning of the summer and I knew we wouldn't be in Lakeside for 10 weeks, I thought we'd get a lot done around the house and maybe take some interesting trips.  In June we did take a short trip, sort of, to the Fortin Ironworks in Grandview to look at the possibility of an attractive handrail at the front door.  It just got installed yesterday.  It's not my original plan, but I'm happy with it. After we picked something out, and had an employee come out and look at the sidewalk which slopes to the stoop, then we had to get approval from the association. I wanted it because of the drop off of about 6 inches next to the front door.  If I'm carrying something, I need a railing to grab if I am unsteady.  I suppose I could call this "assisted living."


Monday, December 04, 2023

"Once upon a Wardrobe" by Patti Callahan

I hate to read names in novels and not be able to pronounce them. It slows me down, and I'm already a very slow reader. So I'm reading "Once upon a wardrobe" a novel by Patti Callahan for book club this afternoon (see, I told you I was slow) and there is a character named Padraig. By p. 142, I'm just calling him Patrick because phonetically (pad-rag) it sort of sounds like that to me. So I looked it up. Close enough. Podric

I finished the book at 11:15, fixed lunch, we ate at 11:30, and after lunch I summarized the entire novel for Bob, whose eyes were starting to cross. But I should be able to remember it by 1 p.m.

Saturday, December 02, 2023

Ten Things that made me happy today

1.  I wore my new Christmas sweater

2. in a cheery royal blue

3. to a Conestoga Party

4. at a lovely venue I've never been to

5. with a dinner prepared by Schmidt's Sausage Haus

6. our Friday date-night spot of 40 years ago

7. enjoying Bahama Mamas and German potato salad

8, with cream puffs for dessert

9. sitting with our neighbors Joan and Jerry

10. while renewing old friendships.

Friday, December 01, 2023

I get offers in my e-mail

I get offers. 

1. Asking for money. 
2. Asking me to write a book review.
3. Asking me to promote a story on my blog. 
4. Asking me to interview someone and promote their ideas, candidacy or book.

Then there's the "loaded potato" tease.
"The first and only reproductive justice organization in Nebraska—a state ranked among the highest for its maternity care deserts—seeks to provide a long-term solution to this health crisis by creating a community of doulas and increasing access to doula care."
I say loaded because of the politically, economically or racially charged phrases: let me translate leftist gibberish.
1. "reproductive justice (aka abortion),
2. "maternity care desert" (aka rural, but could mean pockets of poverty)
3. "long-term solution" (aka government)
4. "health crisis" (obligatory political term used by all parties)
5. "create a community" (this is usually a progressive/socialist term, but increasingly used by conservatives just to keep up--may mean no spouse or children, so create a family/community)
6. doulas (feminist term to push men out of labor and delivery, and encourage home birth ala 19th century or birthing huts.

95% of doulas are female, but no one seems to be demanding equity for men in that field.

Anyway, by this point in the e-mail I've hit delete just based on the language, not the meaning.

Today's New Word--casque

1: a piece of armor for the head : HELMET

2: an anatomical structure (such as the horny outgrowth on the head of a cassowary) suggestive of a helmet

Our bird calendar provided us with a very strange one; Oriental Pied-Hornbill (Anthracoceros albirostris). It looks strange to us, but the females seem to like it.

 A close look at an Oriental Pied Hornbill - Bird Ecology Study Group (

The 13 Hornbills of Indonesia (

Thursday, November 30, 2023

New York's ridiculous quarantine regulation is reinstated

While you weren't watching . . .

New York has reinstated one of the biggest power grabs I can remember. It was struck down last year, and has now been reinstated on a technicality, like "standing." The way it's worded, "highly contagious communicable disease" can mean the state could take over a citizen's health care and quarantine her because of a cold or the flu, both of which fit all the definitions in this regulation. It's a HUGE attack on civil liberties. And what NY does [like California], other states will follow. Hochul has an even bigger power lust that Cuomo. It was struck down in July 2022 as unenforceable. Now it's been unstruck down, if that's a word.
"Rule 2.13 was first enacted on Feb. 22, 2022 and has been extended by successive 90-day periods through July 20, 2022. Rule 2.13 states in pertinent part: “whenever appropriate to control the spread of a highly contagious communicable disease," the state health commissioner may issue and/or direct local health officials "to issue isolation and/or quarantine orders, consistent with due process of law, to all such persons as the State Commissioner of Health shall determine appropriate.” The rule allows the state health department to coordinate with local health authorities to mandate isolation and quarantine for individuals exposed to communicable diseases, even in locations outside of their own homes." The word "appropriate" is another squishy term for the power hungry to chew on.

Rape as a weapon of war


As a "community," American feminists are a huge fail. They are narrow minded, self-centered, and duplicitous. Begin with the Squad in Congress, follow them with the Women's Studies mafia at the Universities then clean up on aisle 7 with the Hollywood aging celebs digging up dirt on men they chased during their failed careers. Silence in the case of rape as a weapon of war really is violence, unlike using the wrong pronoun.

It's almost two months since the October 7 massacre in Israel. The U.N. virtue signalers (many women) who can make all sorts of pronouncements and create documents about a fraction of a degree in temperature, have been much too busy preening to condemn the rape of women and children, not by the military, but by Palestinian civilians. It's disgusting. I'm ashamed of all those who say they fight for women, from AOC and Tlaib in D.C. to the motley crew and noisy gaggle in the U.N.
Israeli women are making waves, but even they don't say anything about rape as a war weapon in Sudan and Ethiopia, where some estimates are that 70% of the women have been kidnapped for sex or raped and left to fend for themselves as the men are killed.

I'm sorry to provide such a biased link (pro-Hamas), but it's the only one I found which even had a small paragraph about rape as a war weapon being addressed by U.N. It may be my search skills or Big Tech algorithms.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Giving Tuesday

Opinion: Giving Tuesday (following Thanksgiving, black Friday, small business Saturday and cyber Monday) might have been a good idea when it began, but it has become annoying. I think I deleted about 35 messages yesterday and threw out some snail mail. Some were from organizations I've already given to, and even though I know these are mass mailings, it irritates me to see begging and manipulating after I've already been generous. I'm of the opinion that, unlike true growth or the expanding economic pie, charitable dollars are probably fixed. We donate about 10 or 12% of our income and have for about 50 years. Our income and interests change (higher when we were employed) but our values haven't. Our cat died in 2017 so we don't contribute now to Cat Welfare. When Project Veritas dumped the founder, it lost our donation. When Pinecrest was taken over by Allure I no longer send a memorial to honor my parents. The money was shifted to Lutheran Bible Translators or Pregnancy Decision Health Center, saving babies from abortion.

Whether you give $5 a year or $5,000, getting an e-mail may move more for this orphanage or that little league team, but it may not change your overall percentage. There are only so many charitable dollars to go around. Does Giving Tuesday make people more charitable?

A few facts:  Now, AFTER I wrote the above paragraph, I actually checked my opinion against the AI fact checkers. I was told that 2012 was the first year with 2500 non-profits and over $12 million given/pledged. Now (2022) it's up to $3.1 billion, an increase of 15% over 2021. So what self-respecting manager of a non-profit wouldn't sign on for what appears to be an increase in gratitude and charity?

So, I ask you, are people more charitable than they were in 2012 or is it a shell game and the money just moves around, with the bigger and better advertisers getting the bigger share using a good gimmick, Giving Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Many years ago, I read a short piece in a woman's magazine about clearing out the home of an elderly woman after her death. Among her belongings they found a large ball of string (frugal people used to save string, rubber bands, pieces of foil, bread bags, etc. for some need in the future). It was labelled, "Pieces of string too short to use." That's how I feel about my memories; I'm grateful I started a blog (web log, or diary on the internet) 20 years ago, because I remembered then details I can't recall now. I occasionally recall something from Alameda, CA during our time there in WWII, or an event at Faith Lutheran in Forreston, IL where we lived after Dad's time in the Marines. One piece of string I found today for which I have no story to write because I was trying to remember the pastor's name, is how cute my little brother looked in his Bumble Bee costume for the Mother's Day program at the church.
It's a piece of string too short to use.

Billy Collins wrote a poem called "Forgetfulness" in 1994. It's the only poem I have posted on my refrigerator. You can hear the audience laugh, but you'll recognize every line. It's happened to you,

This 2011 blog entry includes both Alameda and Forreston at Christmas. Collecting My Thoughts: Monday Memories--Christmas in the 1940s

Monday, November 27, 2023

Meeting IRMAA

 Irma was the name (not used) of my mother-in-law. Beautiful blonde, lots of fun.  But this IRMAA is different kind altogether.

If you have a "one time" event like selling your summer home in Lakeside, the IRS will increase the cost of your Medicare the next year. It's called IRMAA. Of course, on the sale price, those inflated costs since the purchase in 1988 were figured as real dollars. The government never loses, but it sure can go in debt spending a billion here and a billion there.

The appeal seems to be written in a foreign language that no one but a bureaucrat could read.

More hostages released today

"A fourth group of hostages was transferred out of Gaza on Monday, capping a temporary truce negotiated between Israel and Hamas after weeks of conflict.

So far 69 hostages have been released by Palestinian militant group Hamas over the first four days of the truce. Israeli civilian women and children were freed in groups of 11 to 13 each day, per the deal’s terms, along with varying numbers of other nationals, including citizens of Thailand, Poland, the Philippines and Russia."

I've been watching Israel TV i24 almost every day since October 7, and each story is riveting, and upsetting. The bad behavior of the rioters in this country is terribly depressing. What sort of idiots and haters have our young people become?

Who are the hostages released so far in the Israel-Hamas deal? ( CNN

It's true, I'm a one issue voter

"Mifepristone, also called RU-486, blocks reception of the pregnancy hormone progesterone, shutting off the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the baby in the womb. Forty-eight hours later, the drug misoprostol is taken to induce labor.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the abortion pill is “safe and effective,” chemical abortion is four times more likely to result in complications than surgical abortion, [Dr. Christina] Francis said."

Daily Signal is a media product of the Heritage Foundation.

Yesterday I listened to a September interview on the podcast Edify with Abby Johnson, who helps women give up a good income by leaving their jobs at Planned Parenthood. Making Abortion Unthinkable - EDIFY. Abby Johnson is a former Planned Parenthood clinic director turned pro-life advocate.

EDIFY is a Catholic podcast on hotly debated issues in our society. There's nothing I've heard that wouldn't benefit all Christians.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Blindsight is 2020

I'm reading "Blindsight is 2020; Reflections on Covid policies from dissident scientists, philosophers, artists, and more" by Gabrielle Bauer, Brownstone Institute, 2022. It begins with two stories we've lived through the last almost four years. And I'm guessing it's not over.
Story one is the one all the media agencies, tech and pharma giants, politicians, local, state, and federal governments insisted we believe. And I did, and maybe you did, for about the first month after which not much made sense if you knew anything about economics or social sciences. It had the momentum of a patriotic war--if you didn't go along or found it fantastical, you were the enemy of the people. You weren't saving lard or scraps of aluminum to help our boys in Europe and the Far East.  And miraculously, it turned out to be just the crisis that the Democrat Party dreams about to turn to their favor. Demonize the incumbent and change the rules for voting,

Story two is the one that moved underground--it is told in this book by 46 epidemiologists, public health experts, doctors, psychologists, cognitive scientists, historians, novelists, mathematicians, lawyers, comedians, and musicians. They all took issue with the way the people in Story one were trying to stamp out a virus using unproven and dangerous methods, including lockdowns, experimental vaccines, masking and destruction of our basic liberties.

A lot of Democrats and liberals have been "red pilled" by this health crisis and trauma, even though they still don't like President Trump (who also got suckered by some of the "believe the science" deep state). I hope there are some answers in this book. I'm still in chapter one.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

What's stressing you this season?

What's stressing you this holiday season? Each year we see articles like the one I saw at OSU Health:
"This year the top sources of stress for Americans are national and world affairs, higher prices putting a crimp on holiday budgets and increasing cases of respiratory illnesses, according to a recent national survey conducted here at The Ohio State University."

Most of the items (there were more) could be crossed off your list if Biden weren't in the White House. We'd all be richer, healthier and more secure. Five or 6 years ago Trump was being blamed and experts would recommend meditation and not getting together with Republican relatives.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Whatever the Left Touches It Ruins

Dennis Prager (and many others) say: "More than two years ago, I wrote a column titled "Whatever the Left Touches It Ruins." I listed eight examples:

• The universities.
• The arts: music, art and architecture.
• Sports.
• Mainstream Judaism, Protestantism and Catholicism.
• Race relations.
• Women’s happiness.
• Children’s innocence.
• And, perhaps most disturbingly, America's commitment to free speech.

One should now add the sciences."

"If you send your children to a university, you are endangering both their mind and their character. There is a real chance they will be more intolerant and more foolish after college than they were when they entered college.

When you attend an American university, you are taught to have contempt for America and its founders, to prefer socialism to capitalism, to divide human beings by race and ethnicity. You are taught to shut down those who differ with you, to not debate them. And you are taught to place feelings over reason — which is a guaranteed route to eventual evil."

Home buyers are much older today than in 1962 when we did it

What would the media do without a constant stream of crises? Home buyers are getting older! Sure, we were first time buyers at 22 with a baby in tow, but that was an important value for my generation. Today? Hey, at 22 they are still hanging out in college or back packing in Europe, waiting for Joe to pay their college loans. Even at 35, a lot of young adults prefer granite countertops, a gym and a swimming pool they can get with their pricey rental. Our first home was a duplex with a dirt floor basement and no garage. You only make money in real estate if someone else is paying the mortgage.

"Repeat buyers were a median age of 58 in 2023, while first-time buyers were 35, per National Association of Realtors annual data released this week."

America's first-time and repeat homeowners are getting older (

                                    First home on White St. , 40+ years later--many changes.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Pro-Hamas protestors at DNC and Biden home

You get to protest in this country (except election results), but pro-Hamas riots in front of DNC headquarters? Or in front of Biden's Delaware White House? There will be no arrests and punishments, and especially no show trials on TV.
"House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, House Minority Whip Katherine Clark and Rep. Pete Aguilar were inside as the clash between protesters and police sparked and turned violent,  according to authorities. Six officers were injured during the melee Wednesday evening and one person was arrested for allegedly punching a female officer. According to US Capitol Police, officers had worked “to keep back approximately 150 people who are illegally and violently protesting” in the area – a characterization activist groups later disputed – and escorted members of Congress, including the top House Democrats, from the area." (CNN report)

"The pro-Hamas harem of intersectional oppression Olympians, outright bigoted Islamists, and trust fund slacktivists coalesced on the Democratic National Committee headquarters in a demonstration that devolved into, shall we say, a proper insurrection." (Washington Examiner)

Protesters have gathered near his personal home to call on the President to push for a ceasefire in the brutal Israel-Hamas war. A video shared on Twitter, shows a large group of protesters waving Palestinian flags outside his home chanting "ceasefire now!" and "President Biden, you can't hide! We charge you with genocide!." (Mirror US)

January 6 tapes released by Johnson

Speaker Mike Johnson announced on Friday that nearly all of the surveillance footage from the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol incursion will be released.

And some of the initially released video showed non-violent protesters moving freely through the Capitol with Capitol Police monitoring the situation, but seemingly not too concerned.

Officers weren’t directing people out of the building, though there was an exit door right behind police.

The MSM didn't show it, the J-6 Committee didn't see it, and those who breathlessly watched the hearing/trial didn't see it.
Insurrection my foot. So why didn't Speaker Pelosi release the footage? Trump had to be destroyed.

Friday, November 17, 2023

Conservatives Owens and Shapiro fighting each other instead of their enemy

When it comes to famous people, even famous conservatives I like who are much less duplicitous and nasty than leftist famous click baiters, I'm never sure what's true and what's media. But apparently Candace Ownes, famous black conservative who is a Christian and Ben Shapiro, famous Jewish conservative journalist and speaker who both work for the same company are having a spat.
Truly, no Christian should be telling a Jew how the Hamas Jew haters and terrorists should be handled by Israel. Hamas picked this fight and put the Palestinian people in grave danger--they plotted to bring on this war so Israel would retaliate. I haven't read anything but the bare bones of the Owens/Shapiro argument, and Tucker sure didn't help. But I'm horrified that Owens was quoting Jesus to Ben. Really? How's the historical record for Christians on that? Has she read what Luther said about Jews? And btw, what did she or Tucker or Ben say about the half a million killed in Ethiopia, or the thousands of women raped and terrorized in Sudan? Have any of them asked about the grannies in Russia mourning their grandsons who died in Ukraine? Why be so selective on deaths in war time? Let's calm down and let the people who have been chased out of every country on earth for 2,000 years figure out the best way to stop the killing and rebuild a better world.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

A Crisis of Confidence

 America’s Crisis of Confidence Rising Mistrust, Conspiracies, and Vaccine Hesitancy After COVID-19

Americas-Crisis-of-Confidence-Rising-Mistrust-Conspiracies-and-Vaccine-Hesitancy-After-COVID-19.pdf (

Visiting former coffee spots and coffee blogs

After I got Bob settled in this morning for his Zoom men's Bible Study I headed down the road a mile or so to Panera's at Five Points next to the Aldi's grocery where I could shop at 9 a.m. I rarely go there any more for my morning coffee, but at one time (pre-2015) I was a regular and had many friends I would see each morning while I read the Wall Street Journal.

I used to have a blog (Coffee Spills) devoted to my coffee habits--the places I enjoyed and the people I met--staff and customers. I continued it until December 2014 because I was parting ways with a habit begun in 1956 and saving the money for a trip to Spain (about $2, 5 times a week). I glanced at my final entry today before my closing--
November 10, 2014: "It happened in the parking lot. I was getting out of my car; one space away was a man on the passenger side of his car straightening his pant leg. He looked at me and said cheerily, "I change my socks 20 times a day; I guess I'm a little weird." "Uh, you betcha," I thought, but I said, "If it works for you." So I just had to Google it. I found 6.5% of Americans change their socks more than once a day. But 20 times seems a bit OCD."

November. 21, 2012: "I greeted a coffee shop friend today with a casual remark about "How are you celebrating Thanksgiving?" But she wasn't feeling thankful. It turns out a trusted employee, a woman she’s known and been friends with for 25 years, was embezzling from her. Now they both have lawyers, and the woman has admitted to stealing about $100,000, but my friend suspects it’s much more. And as you may guess, losing the money hurts, but not as much as her feeling of grief and backstabbing over this woman whom she considered a friend. She said, “She smiled at me every day, clucked over my children, we did things together. What sort of psychopath does this?” A very sad holiday."

January 7, 2005: "The clerk at the coffee shop told me today (Friday) she'd been late to work every day this week. She's supposed to start at 6 a.m. but didn't get to work until 6:10. I've supervised enough people in my work life to see a problem.

Bad work habits and excuses do not ever fool a supervisor. We've heard every story from alarm clocks to a tear in my slacks, to a sick baby to a traffic jam. Actually, I've heard some fairly imaginative ones, but didn't believe a word.

The solution is always the same for the employee who wants to move ahead to a better job, or keep the one she/he has. Whether a bakery clerk, an auto tech, or a library assistant, always plan to arrive early--15 minutes is good. That way you can handle the dog throwing up or the malfunctioning traffic light. And if you actually do arrive early, straighten up your clothes, comb your hair, wash your hands and turn on that smile. And don't ever kid yourself that coming in 15 minutes early on Thursday makes up for being 15 minutes late on Friday."
Reading my old blogs is like looking through someone else's diary. I often don't recall the occasion and had forgotten that one. That habit change did work--I think I saved about $500 for the trip and learned to make coffee (decaf) at home. Now if I go out for coffee with a friend, we go to McDonald's where it's $.60.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Lakeside selects new President

Lakeside is pleased to announce today that Jim McConoughey has been selected as the community’s new President and CEO after an extensive search.

McConoughey brings over 25 years of experience in business development, fundraising, and community engagement to the position. Most recently, he served as the President for the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation, where he led strategic planning, fundraising, and community outreach efforts.

A Lakeside resident for 5 years, McConoughey has volunteered his time and talent to support various organizations in the community. He and his family have been coming to Lakeside for over 50 years. This is in direct connection with his ties to Lakeside where his grandfather played the organ and piano for decades. In addition, his wife Gina was the owner of the Lakeview Inn for four years.

Christmas catalogs

I enjoy the Christmas catalogs. 2 or 3 a day from mid-October to New Years. Love Uline ULINE - Shipping Boxes, Shipping Supplies, Packaging Materials, Packing Supplies . But yesterday Signals arrived. 

I like the t-shirt, door mat and sweatshirt slogans. 
Hardware stores are my therapy.
I don't want to go through things that don't kill me but make me stronger anymore. 
Ring the doorbell and let me sing you the song of my people--the Dog.
Wallet, Glasses, Keys and Phone, Keys and Phone. (to the tune of Head, shoulders, knees and toes. 
Life Goal pet all dogs. 
Mothers of little boys work from son up to son down. 
I remember when things only cost an arm. 
I don't mind getting older but my body is taking it badly.


Saturday, November 11, 2023

No wonder they didn't work--Covid boosters

Judicial Watch through a FOIA request learned that only 23 people were used in the 2021 vaccine booster study by Pfizer before asking FDA to approve it. Three weeks after its approval, 8.9 million boosters were administered.
Pet food gets closer scrutiny than that.

Interview with Ari Folman, Israeli film director

Today I watched an interview on i24 cable new with film director Ari Folman, well-known in Israel. He's been making some of the touching interviews with family members of those taken hostage October 7. The host asked him if he was surprised about the reaction from his friends and colleagues in the "west" in the industry. He hesitated, but concluded that they just didn't know enough. The "left wing liberals" didn't know enough to understand the gravity of terror, murder and evil. And I thought to myself, how naive. Even now he doesn't believe that a movement grounded in Marxism which murdered 100,000,000 in the 20th century, most their own citizens, "doesn't understand."

Friday, November 10, 2023

Do you have any New Years resolutions ready to go?

Now that we've made it through the time change (I haven't adjusted and am waking up at 3:30 a.m.), is it time to think about New Years Resolutions? The only resolutions I ever kept for any length of time (forever) were 1) to stop biting my fingernails, and 2) always put my keys in the same place in my purse. Those two tiny changes made a huge difference in my appearance, and my frustration level--and I did it about 48 years ago. I've done some of the top ten too but could never keep it going.

1. Lose weight.
2. Make a budget and stick to it.
3. Get out of debt (we never had any except mortgage or a car payment so we never did this one).
4. Find a soul mate. Hate that phrase. I got married at 20, so don't recall ever making this one.
5. Spend more quality time with family and friends.
6. Quit smoking. Nope. Never smoked. Think of the thousands of dollars I saved. Wished I knew where it was.
7. Find a better job. I'm retired, and I don't remember if I ever thought of this at the end of the year. I took my last position in Sept. 1986 and retired in Sept. 2000, and generally loved it.
8. Learn something new. No problem. Today I learned that a lifetime smoker spends $1.1 million. Just looked it up.
9. Volunteer to help others.
10. Get organized. I wish I had a dollar for every time I made that one. This year I tried it as a Lenten "fast." One thing each week. Only 6, how hard could it be? Very.

Those are the top ten according to Gary Ryan Blair who has a website on goals, or used to.

Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Rape as a military weapon to terrorize civilians

Last night I was reading an investment report which referred to 2 wars--one in Europe and one in the Middle East. And self said, what about Africa? What about South Sudan, Sudan, and Ethiopia? Millions of people, don't they count? So, I started looking at other news sources. South Sudan seems to be holding in a weak cease fire; Sudan is going full-bore killing thousands and making millions refugees; and Ethiopia's problems--I get so confused with the tribal names and the government and non-government militia, I just had to give up. Although in Africa, it isn't skin color or religion, it's all about the tribes. All seem to be on the edge of a food crisis.

Then I came across the horror statistics about rape. I don't remember if it was South Sudan or Sudan but the figure was 70% of the women had been raped as part of war booty--the soldiers are paid with whatever they can loot or steal and permission to rape and torture.

One of the illustrations (journalists try to bring horror down to a manageable level) was about a young woman who had used her college holiday to travel back to her home village, and got caught in one of the raids. Her parents and grandparents were killed, and she was taken hostage and held in a slimy snake filled pit and raped every day. Finally, she was starving so they just expelled her from the camp to make her way back home. And she survived (although these women are usually not accepted back into community). In what she calls a blessing, she learned she was pregnant, and had her baby, who is the delight, love and hope of her life. With the help of other disgraced women who have banded together, she hopes to earn enough to return to college and make a life for herself and her child.

Please vote for life today, November 7, 2023, if you're reading this in Ohio. Vote NO on Issue One to change Ohio's constitution, a bill which is far beyond what most Pro-Choice voters can imagine, and they don't even realize it. They are believing lies. Many call themselves Christians. I know some of them. I grieve.

Sunday, November 05, 2023

Abortion amendment to the Ohio Constitution should have been on every church's sermon list.

The Bible has several verses that mention the fruit of the womb. It's shocking the number of churches/pastors/Sunday schools that couldn't find a single Sunday or sermon to address "fruit of the womb" as a theme, topic, or even a footnote. Here are a few:

Sarah (Genesis 21:1): Sarah had a child when she was past the age; this means that she is post-menopause but our God can bypass menopause and do the impossible

Hannah (1 Samuel 1:20): Hannah also waited on the Lord before Samuel was born. She cried to the Lord year after year in Shiloh.

Racheal (Genesis 30:22): Racheal was loved by her husband Jacob, but she was barren. Her sister, Leah, who is also married to her husband, had children freely.

Elizabeth (Luke 1:36): Elizabeth and her husband were devout and blameless before God but they were barren. Elizabeth was now old but they continued in their devotion and duty to God.

Psalms 127:3-5: "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward".

Psalm 127:3: "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward".

Luke 1:42: "And she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”.

Exodus 1:7: "And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them".

Deuteronomy 7:13A, 144.
These verses highlight the importance and blessing of children, often referred to as the “fruit of the womb”. They also emphasize the power of God to bless individuals with children, even in circumstances that seem impossible.

This list was created by Bing Chat--and it didn't even go to seminary!

And then there's that cute little story in the Gospel of Luke about a young girl whose body gave us Jesus.  But never mind.

Saturday, November 04, 2023

African food crises

 Conflict Remains the Dominant Driver of Africa’s Food Crisis (

Highlights of the report

  • An estimated 149 million Africans are facing acute food insecurity—an increase of 12 million people from a year ago. This equates to a risk category of 3 or higher (Crisis, Emergency, and Catastrophe) on the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) scale of 1 to 5.
  • Some 122 million of those facing acute food insecurity are in countries experiencing conflict—82 percent of the total—accentuating that conflict is the primary driver of acute food insecurity in Africa.
  • 8 of the top 10 African countries experiencing acute food insecurity are facing conflict.
  • The 149-million-person figure represents a 150-percent increase in the number of Africans facing acute food insecurity since 2019 when 61 million people were in this category.
  • This highlights the compounding humanitarian effects of Africa’s unresolved conflicts.
  • While 38 African countries are experiencing some level of acute food insecurity, roughly two-thirds of this threat is concentrated in five countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, and South Sudan—all of which are conflict-affected.
  • Nearly all of the continental increase in acute food insecurity in the past year was a result of the eruption of conflict in Sudan and a deterioration of security in northern Nigeria.
  • Four of the top 10 countries facing the most acute food insecurity are in East Africa—Sudan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Somalia.
  • 19 African countries have at least 10 percent of their populations facing acute food insecurity.
  • Conflict compounds the impacts of other external shocks like climate change, inflation, and the disruption to global grain supplies caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Moscow’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain deal that enabled 33 million MT of grain to reach global markets and lower food prices, especially in Africa, has further worsened the food outlook.
  • Historically, El Niño climate patterns, which have now returned, have historically led to decreased precipitation in Southern Africa, Western Africa, Sudan, and Ethiopia.
  • There have already been fatalities due to hunger reported this year in Ethiopia and Somalia. WFP has predicted that before year’s end, 129,000 people are expected to experience Catastrophe levels (IPC 5) of hunger in Burkina Faso, Mali, Somalia, and South Sudan. A rapid scale-up of assistance has averted even more people facing starvation.
This is the one where our church has a mission--South Sudan.  Technically, it is a Christian country, but Sudan, which is Muslim, is also having a war and food shortages.

South Sudan

In South Sudan, 7.8 million (71 percent of the population) faced Crisis and above levels of hunger this year. This number included 2.9 million people facing Emergency levels of hunger countrywide and 43,000 facing Catastrophe levels in the state of Jonglei.

The situation is being driven by rising levels of violence and insecurity  as well as “chronic vulnerabilities worsened by frequent climate-related shocks (severe flooding and dry spells), the macro-economic crisis, and low agricultural production.”

Since the outbreak of the Sudan conflict in April this year, almost 293,000 South Sudanese returnees and Sudanese refugees have entered South Sudan. This influx is exacerbating the already severe humanitarian situation in South Sudan, placing additional strain on limited humanitarian resources and escalating food and fuel prices.

Read the rest of the report for the other countries.