Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
March 10th, 2014


It is ridiculous how happy I am that Lent has come at last! The TV is turned off and will be off for six weeks. I surely love to watch TV but I also love the blessed silence and time that I wallow in when all is quiet in the living room. Of course, I could turn off the TV anytime I chose during the rest of the year but it wouldn’t be the same. There is something about giving up the TV option that is freeing and gives me some understanding of the role of retreats or vacations. Some people might think that at 90 my life is just one big long vacation but it is amazing how busy it is. (Confession: I lie down and sleep more than I used to.)

To follow up on my last post, my balance has improved considerably but I do use my HurryCane outdoors and find in helpful on winter terrain or uneven surfaces. It also seems to make people more solicitous, which is not all bad. The dental surgery I alluded to has occurred — one more lower tooth gone, and not that many more to go! For a while because of dizziness and tooth problems I couldn’t tolerate my new lovely upper denture but am now doing my best to really wear it more often. It does help with chewing and I look cuter, but old dogs don’t take kindly to new tricks.

Alas, the time I hoped to use for more blogging has vanished. When my tenant finally moved out my son brought about a dozen boxes down from the attic that I didn’t even know were there, a real treasure trove from God knows when. It will probably take all of Lent to deal with the contents–baby clothes! diapers! cloth diapers! the old kind! My last baby is now 53 and we moved here in 1963. My old report cards from the thirties! Newspapers about the fire at Our Lady of the Angels school in Chicago, December 1958. Three of my children were in attendance there the day of the fire–92 children and three nuns died as a result but mine were spared, thank you Lord! I remember my mom calling from Connecticut in tears, fearing her first grandchildren had died.

So much to do, so much to blog about, old friends dying, greatgrandchildren that I’ve never seen (Maine, Florida) growing up on Facebook. My children and grandchildren keep in touch on Facebook. As do old friends. So I hope it is understandable that Facebook is a daily thing and blogging is when I have time. There are often things I want to write about “sometime” but the time seems to slip away. I you can’t find me on Facebook, you will know I am very not well!

Friends are so precious. Thanks to each one who bothers to look in now and then. A few days ago I posted on Facebook the lyric poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay called Renascence. If you enjoy poetry take a look–it is a gift from her to me to you.

“You have to allow a certain amount of time in which you are doing nothing in order to have things occur to you, to let your mind think.”
―Mortimer Adler

October 6th, 2013


Orson Bean is a personal friend of mine. He wasn’t last month but he is now. It all started when I heard Orson interviewed by Dennis Miller on a late night radio show.. In the wee hours of the morning I heard Orson proclaim his love for Yeshua (Jesus). Most people are familiar with the name of Orson Bean. Now 85, he has made such a mark in the entertainment world that he must have hundreds of credits on his Wikepedia bio, among the latest being Two and a Half Men, and Despserate Housewives. It has seemed to me of late that most committed Christians have had some sort of experience or encounter with the living God that bolsters their faith and gives them conviction. Orson had just come out with a new book Safe at Home, and I wanted to read it to find out what kind of experiences he might have had. I write more about the book in my post, Mystical Moments.

In this 2011 video Orson is thinking about writing a book.  I don’t know if he ever actually came out with the “funny, raunchy” book he talks about in this clip.

Since I had written about Orson’s life and even plugged his book, I thought he might find my post of interest. I wrote him a letter and he was kind enough to reply:

Hello babydot. I thought it was because I’m 85 that computers confuse me. My grandkids of course, even the littlest ones, can do anything. But if at 90 you’re such a pro I guess it’s not an age thing. Thanks so much for the note and your kind words. I’m not doing much of anything to promote the book, just leaving it in the hands of Himself for it to reach anyone who might be influenced by it. I’ve already heard from a couple of non-believers that they are getting down on their knees and asking if there’s anyone there. A guy named Frank Sontag who does a broadcast on a Christian network asked me to come on his show and I’ll do so next Monday. I enjoyed your blog. Again, thanks. O.

So, though I had barely heard of Orson Bean a month ago, today we are friends, even family. We have the same Father, Brother, Spirit, Mother — it’s funny how that works.

Safe at Home is a quick, enjoyable read about a full and fascinating life, especially for folks who lived through the thirties, forties and fifties.   Scripture tells us that if we seek God we will find Him and Orson sought Him in all directions. To me it seems obvious that the world, the universe, did not make itself, or, as some have suggested, “burp itself into existence.” Man with all his scientific information and technical know-how has never been able to put together a single living cell — a single living, assimilating, growing, reproducing cell! DNA had not yet been discovered in Darwin’s day and I’d love to know how he would explain the volumes of information packed into the double helix in each human cell. Would he really have believed inanimate atoms and molecules over the ages could have accidentally joined together to form baby.exe, the program that brings a baby into existence when the germ cells in a man and a woman unite? I mean really?



Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.… — Matthew 7:7

November 1st, 2012


The sun has just broken through, for the first time in a week.  It has been a harrowing time.

Some have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much of late but it is not because I have died as did my dear blogger friend, Barbara Curtis, a couple of days ago.  That was the day another blogger friend, Leona Choy, wrote to tell me that  Barbara’s husband, Tripp, has called to say Barbara was going to be removed from life support as she had suffered a deadly intracranial bleed.  Both Leona and Barbara lived in Virginia and the two had actually met, becoming close friends.  Both were Protestants turned Catholic, both were published authors – Leona, like me was in her 80’s and considerably older than Barbara  but they had much in common and would meet regularly at Applebee’s for lunch.   I’ve followed Barbara’s blog,, for years.  I was so impressed with her story, her conversion, her 12 kids including four with Downs Syndrome (one natural, three adopted), her Montessori history, her online following, her wisdom, the whole Barbara package.  We communicated somewhat over the years but had never actually met.  A friend  posted the news of her death on her website.  Many commented on how much Barbara had meant to them and I soon learned that I was not the only one brought to tears by the death of someone I had only admired from afar.  Barbara was a force for Christ and I cannot but imagine that she is even now among the Saints, enjoying the beatific vision.  Pray for us,  Barbara, we who are still slogging and blogging away down here.   Leona, thank you for your beautiful heartfelt, heartbreaking letter.


Here is a photo of the shrine that Barbara’s family made for her.

Need I say that the news of this death arrived right after the monster storm named Sandy hit the east coast, especially New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  There were the days of watching Sandy’s progress towards us, the getting prepared with food and flashlights and a bathtub full of water,  waiting for the storm to reach us, the gradually decreasing atmospheric pressure and increasing wind, the night of wondering what it would be like in the morning.  We personally fared pretty well but all around us here in Connecticut suffered (and are still suffering) power outages and downed trees and ravaged seacoasts.  And bad as it was in Connecticut,  there was the TV depiction of utter UTTER devastation in New York and New Jersey.  Huge areas in total darkness; streets and tunnels filled with water; boardwalks and beachheads totally demolished. Airports closed.  Ships not allowed to dock. Gas stations either without gas or without electricity.   “Unthinkable” in the words of Governor Christie.  Words fail one.  Recovery cannot possibly be anything but slow.

It was so good to finally get back to morning Mass and see that old friends are OK.  So good now to see the sun again!  Some of my personal people are still without power but seem to be doing well otherwise.

The period of bright sunshine was short, but so enjoyed. Tomorrow, if all goes well, I will visit the store and see what is still on the shelves.  I understand that people are flocking to Starbucks.  Not for coffee, for WiFi.

Speaking of WiFi it has been my iPad that has kept me in touch with the world since my computer was felled by a virus.  Oddly enough, Facebook has provided me with some of what I thought I’d gain from blogging, i.e., interaction with others on subjects of import.  So, to anyone who wants to engage on the subject of Obama, abortion,  marriage, God or the non-existence thereof, etc.,  I’m on Facebook.  Come to the fray.







August 7th, 2011


It is good for friends to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Patti and Mike have a lovely home with a huge yard and many trees and flowers. And a nice big deck surrounded by many more flowers. All in all, a perfect setting for a friendly gathering. Plus, she has a pool. We were invited to bring our bathing suits!

We had lunch on the deck and then went pool-side and sat in the shade where Patti led us in songs that she says are enjoyed by the “old folks” where she ministers. Three of us, after all, are over 70l


Here’s Mary Lou with her beautiful smile.

And next Kathy holding up a shredded napkin (modern art, I guess.)

And me, dabbling my feet in the pool. So refreshing. Should have brought my bathing suit. (Do I detect a hint of vanity in my not wanting to display this old wrinkly, crepey, scrawny body?)

Then, after they discovered I had just had a birthday, a very cute photo of me blowing out the candle on a brownie.

I very much looked forward to posting these pics on my blog to say how much I enjoyed the gathering, how much I appreciated Kathy’s taking and forwarding such fine photos, how good it was of Patti to invite us, what a nice time was had by all.

My apologies for the delay. I had to find out how to shrink the digital camera pictures to a size that WordPress would accept. FINALLY, I’ve found out how. Just about anything seems to be possible on a computer if you’re willing to put in the effort.

Thank you, friends — for your love and kindness. Better late than never.

April 19th, 2011


I began this blog three years ago for no other reason than I wanted a way to publish a tribute I had written to Dr. Herbert Ratner, a Chicago doctor  who made a real difference in my life.  Today I write another tribute, to Felice, a lifelong friend.

I met Felice when I was 18 and attending  a dinky college, the Junior College of Connecticut, which later went on to become the University of Bridgeport.

A noble schoolie, J.C.C., it nestles ‘mong the maples
It teaches facts and theories, and offers all the staples.
Ten loving profs have charge of it, both male and female teachers
And in their arms they now embrace 170 creatures.

I don’t remember the rest of that little verse by Prof. Goulding – it has, after all, been 70 years!  And I still wonder at the chutzpah of the people who gathered 10 teachers together and dared to call it a college.   It struggled for years but now, as the University of Bridgeport,  has a beautiful campus at Seaside Park on Long Island Sound.

Felice, at that tender age, already knew she wanted to go to the University of Chicago and JCC was a stepping stone.  I, on the other hand, had no dreams of college.  I knew my family couldn’t afford to pay college tuition.  I had taken a commercial course in high school and considered myself competent in bookkeeping and stenography.  I only applied to JCC because it was (a) in town and (b) I had received a $100 scholarship when I graduated and didn’t want to waste it.  My plan was to add to my skills by becoming a medical secretary.

Felice and I became fast friends and sure enough, when the two year course was done, she  headed off to the University of Chicago and I went to work at Bridgeport Hospital as secretary to the pathologist.

That would have been the end of our friendship had Felice not come home on summer vacation and talked me into writing the U of C and applying for a scholarship.   She was excited by what she had found at the U of C and urged me to write to Norman McLean – I forget his title – send my records and ask if they could help me.   I still remember the first sentence of his reply: “Not everyone who writes to me is lucky, but I think you are.”   As I recall it, my tuition would be taken care of and I would manage my own room and board.

Wow!  My Daddy liked me working and bringing home some money.  I had to ask him for permission to go to college – not for him to help pay my way but for me to do it on my own.  And he said OK.

So off I went to the big City of Chicago and the big University of Chiago.  But I was blessed with Felice who had already been there two years, knew the ropes, had a group of friends – and as she swam in the main stream I just swam alongside.   Felice is friendly and talkative – what would I have done without her to grease the skids?  She got me a room in International House right next to hers and shepherded me until I knew my way around.  Who but Felice would have inspired me to sit in on Mortimer Adler’s Great Books classes?  Had it not been for her I would never have meet the luminaries in my life, Mortimer Adler and Herbert Ratner.

In due course we graduated.  Felice married Octavio who was from Mexico and went to live in Mexico City.   I married Dick, a Loyola student, and we lived in Chicago where we produced seven children.  Over the years Felice and I  kept in touch, remembering Christmas and birthdays.  I think I saw her once again when she visited the States, and I went to Mexico to see her at one point, but those memories are quite vague. I do remember I took my Polaroid camera with me on the first trip.

The years flew by.  Finally, the year of Felice’s 80th birthday, I persuaded  my friend Dolores into going to Mexico City with me to visit Felice.   Octavio had died and Felice had a lovely home in a gated community just calling to us.   She had not changed.  She had the same facial expressions, the same drive, the same intelligence.   She had her chauffeur drive us thither and yon, shopping, dining, visiting the shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe, seeing the sights.   I remember abundant fruit, finger-ready, a refrigerator stocked with Cerveza in our little guest suite, beautiful art work by Felice’s daughter.  It was a totally lovely visit.

More years. Felice’s 89th birthday is coming up.   Correspondence from Felice has stopped.   Her brothers, Al and Lenny, still live in Connecticut and tell me they have heard very little from her.   When Lenny called Mexico he was told she was in the hospital.   We knew she had had a long time battle with a slow growing thyroid cancer.  Finally, in desperation, I asked my Spanish-speaking daughter-in-law, Martha,  to call to see if she could find out anything from the servants.  That was yesterday.

Finally, I have Felice on the phone.  It is truly an Easter gift to learn that she is still alive! What a pleasure to talk with her, to hear her laugh!  She had been in the hospital with bronchitis but is home now, with a nurse who comes every day.  She spends a lot of time in a  recliner.   Time and time again I have wished we could communicate via computer – her grandson Pedro has one – but she is having none of it. She could read my blog and keep current  – as long as I keep current.

Felice will be 89 in early May.    She tells me she still reads the New York Times and The Economist.   Yep, that’s Felice, all right!  I have to admit I’ve never seen a copy of The Economist but I have high respect for it as it is admired by people I respect.  Isn’t that the way we decide what (or who) is good, and what’s not?

Felice was a pivotal person in my life.  She changed the whole trajectory!  A true friend!  Thank you, Felice, and God bless.   Vaya con dios!


P. S. Be it known that in order to remedy my unfamiliarity with The Economist I looked it up on Google and forthwith posted on Facebook a quote and a link to an article saying that Obama was “unfair” and “misleading” in his recent budget talk.   If Felice could only go on Facebook I could “friend” her!



A faithful friend is the medicine of life. – Ecclesiasticus 6:16

January 10th, 2011


Here is the backstory about Abby Johnson’s turnaround — how she quit her job as a Director of a Planned Parenthood in Texas and wrote her book, unPLANNED,  which will be released on January 11.  (See note below#)

I know something about dramatic conversions to the pro-life cause. I experienced one myself some years ago in a Chinese abortion clinic. I had never really thought about what an abortion entailed until I witnessed one with my own eyes. But I could not ignore the result — a dead baby and a mother deeply wounded in both body and spirit — and I turned away in horror.

Abby Johnson’s epiphany occurred in similar circumstances, although she was not, as I had been, an innocent bystander to this crime against humanity. Rather she was the long-time director of a Planned Parenthood clinic which, over the course of her tenure, had done thousands of abortions. Abby, in fact, had scheduled the abortion that changed her life.

She had joined Planned Parenthood as a college student because she had been led to believe that the organization was dedicated to helping women in crisis. She believed them when they told her that they wanted to make abortion rare. She repeated their lies when she told naive young women that what was growing in their wombs was not a baby, but just a fetus, little more than a clump of cells, or a ball of tissue.

But as she went from being a volunteer to full-time employee, she learned that a key goal of the organization was to make as much money as possible by performing as many abortions as possible. Instead of helping to make abortions rare, as she had believed, she realized to her dismay that she was helping to make them more common.

Then came the day when she herself was asked to assist with an abortion, holding an ultrasound probe to allow the abortionist a clear view of his tiny target. What came up on the screen was an entire, perfect profile of a baby at 13 weeks. As the doctor inserted the suction cannula, she saw the baby began struggling to turn and twist away. But there was no escape. As she writes, “For the briefest moment it looked like the baby was being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then the little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny, perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube, and then everything was gone.”

Abby was devastated by what she had seen. And she swore to herself that she would never again support abortion.

Perhaps her story would have ended there, were it not for the friendships she had formed with the pro-lifers who had long held prayer vigils outside her clinic. These compassionate prayer warriors had long interceded not just for the women who visited the clinic and their unborn children, but for the clinic personnel as well. It is thus no accident that when Abby walked out of her Planned Parenthood office she went directly over to the office of the local 40 Days for Life director, Shawn Carney, and that he and other pro-lifers helped her transition from abortion advocate to helping women and saving lives.

The story of Abby’s conversion, which was years in the making, is nothing short of miraculous. I was reminded in the telling of how Father Paul Marx befriended abortion pioneer Bernard Nathanson, a friendship which greatly aided Dr. Nathanson in his long spiritual journey from the atheism of his youth to his final confirmation in the Catholic faith. (I understand that Abby and her husband have left the Episcopal Church over its pro-abortion stance, and are receiving instruction in the Catholic Church.)

If you are tempted to despair over America’s continuing embrace of abortion, consider the moral courage of Abby Johnson and those who stood with her, and be reminded that all things are possible with God. unPlanned is a story of God’s grace and redemption that should be read by every one determined to build a Culture of Life.

By Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute.

For a limited time Ignatius Press is making available at a special price a special edition of unPLANNED with bonus contributions by Fr. Frank Pavone and others.

July 12th, 2010


GLORY TO GOD! It is 4:30 AM on THE DAY! All my parts seem to be working. Computer has scanned and rebooted and tells me it is 65 wonderful degrees outside. After that tropical heat wave this is indeed a blessing. I actually slightly covered myself last night and had a good night’s sleep.

I’m one of those people who wake up hungry. Having leftover lobster ravioli for breakfast. Rejoicing in the presence of teeth. When I saw my dentist last week for a gum inflammation all I wanted was to keep my front teeth long enough to go to my birthday party yesterday. Nick’s is a wonderful Italian restaurant where we gather regularly to celebrate the birthdays of our pro-life group. What a blessing to be able to enjoy each other at a good meal! With teeth!

Coffee is now ready. Dawn is breaking, birds are chirping, God’s in his heaven, all’s right with the world. Let’s see what’s happening in cyberia.

E-mail: Several birthday greetings, including an animated card from Sister Betty Igo saying, among other things, WOW. YOU’RE OLD! And granddaughter Nikki, who shares my birthday, says, “Together we’re 111!” It’s hardly light outdoors and already it has been a wonderful day!

Facebook: Prayed the Divine Mercy marathon prayer. More birthday wishes and two people are waiting for me to take my turn at Scrabble. My profound thought for the morning is this: Consider the marvelous creation called a computer. I cannot begin to comprehend how mine works. It works wonders – I can play Scrabble with my grandson in Chicago on it. It brings information from outer space, diagnoses itself, heals itself, yet I know it was made by human beings and every once in a while human needs to fix it. No one imagines that a computer accidentally made itself! Now, consider the marvelous creation called a human being. What a biochemical accomplishment! It grows, reproduces, mends itself, thinks, even makes computers! How can anyone believe that a human being was the accidental result of chemicals bumping into each other? How can anyone not realize that a superior mind is behind it all? He says: Call on me. I made you and I love you.

On to Scrabble. I will lose one of the games, may win the other.

Time to consider getting dressed and ready for Mass. They like you to be clothed when you arrive. More about this great birthday later.

Our Indian priest gave a surprising homily about the devil who is alive and working in our society but no match for God and His people. Fits in nicely with the book by Father Euteneuer on Exorcism which I just started to read. (Be watchful and alert for your adversary the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8)

More phone calls and more online wishes. Brother-in-law, Chuck, who is only 85, wants a picture of me which good friend Jon has promised to take. Leisurely afternoon reading and watching the end of the soccer game on TV (not that I really care). A little yard work, but too hot outside. We’ve had our first ripe tomato. The tomato harvest looks promising — it couldn’t possibly be worse than last year’s debacle. Potatoes are dying down. Will dig soon. Parsley and basil happy. Some critter is dining on my broccoli and leaving none for me. Rose of Sharon in full bloom and lovely. Hostas and petunias blooming.

Roses and lilies from Katy

Katy in Indiana sent me gorgeous flowers and I wanted to share their beauty. Alas, I am so inept at using my digital camera and transferring the photos to the computer that I don’t do it often. And, of course, because I don’t do it often, I am so inept! Anybody, absolutely anybody, could do better. But here is my offering — and thank you, Katy. Had a nice long talk with her yesterday; she is a joy.

Finished the day off with a little birthday party with Dan, Martha, and Nikki (who shares my birthday). We sang  “Happy Birthday to Us” and enjoyed brownies and ice cream with lots of whipped cream. Dan and Martha are not quite over their illness – hope it’s not catching! They gave me some great white sneakers which fit perfectly, called New Balance. I sure hope that New Balance thing works – I could use it.

How could I have forgotten?  The best birthday present ever!  As everyone  knows we have been praying at the Medical Options abortion “clinic” twice a week since 1988.   (See my posts here and here.)  This past week we learned they weren’t answering their own phone and their website was down!!!!  Oh happy day!  We did pray there on Saturday and the manager did come into the office but the abortionist never arrived.  Are they really gone?  Unfortunately there is yet another OB/GYN office in that building that does abortions so our job is not done.  But I have prayed to live to see the day that Medical Options closed.

It is 5 AM on the 12th, and a lovely 67 degrees outside. I think I fell asleep listening to David Wilkerson preach on the computer – not really sure, but had a good night’s sleep and woke up with all the parts still working. It was a good birthday and I am ever so grateful. Thank you everyone!  Thank you, God.


To thine own self be true. And it must follow as the night the day Thous canst not then be false to any man. — Polonius, in Hamlet

March 13th, 2010


Why would an old grammy, alone in her bed, alone in her house, get up in the middle of the night and head for her computer?  She’s looking for a connection.  She knows that, short of an emergency, she shouldn’t call people and wake them up just to chat.  Instead, she turns to the machine,  hoping maybe someone has directed an email in her direction, or perhaps it’s her turn to play a Scrabble word.    Someone  might actually be up and communicating.  Perhaps not.  There’s always email, most of it cute things, political things, or another announcement that someone in Nigeria wants to make her rich.  But some of it might actually be personal.

If email doesn’t come through,  then maybe some of her peeps are up to something interesting.  She can look in on other peoples lives on Facebook.  She finds that a friend has had a new book published and is rejoicing in its coverage.  An acquaintance has cut the hair of all four of her kids.  A newly discovered blogger has written a convincing review of Twilight in which she calls it a misogynistic piece of hardboiled crapola.  A couple tells of their life in a Mongolian yurt in the wilderness of Seldovia, Alaska.  They have broadband.  They have a child.  They have no toilet.

It was on Facebook that I first learned I was expecting a new greatgrandchild!  One day Jason announced he had heard his baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  Later there were photo’s of the very pregnant mother.  A few days ago – behold – 9 lb 2 oz naked baby boy in living color!  They live hundreds of miles away and I would have missed all this were it not for Facebook.  An auntie comments: “The baby is so freaking adorable!”

Grandchildren may not be inclined to write regularly to grandma, but if they write to the world at large on Facebook grammy can get a peek into their lives, their friends, their travels, their troubles.

I played Scrabble with brother, Ernie, on Facebook.  First I was ahead, then he Bingo’d and was in the lead; then I Bingo’d and was ahead.  We were neck and neck until he finally beat me by 6 points.  I complained on Facebook and said I needed ice cream.  He responded that the ice cream was on him.  Hardly great drama but it is the stuff of family relationships.

I rarely tweet but I have one good friend (a priest) who has chosen Twitter to keep up with his world and I stop by occasionally to say hello.  Boy, is that man’s plate full.  He gives his followers a good inside look at the busy life of a priest.  One day Father Joe reports he is nursing a cold and he tweets: “Food offerings for Father in the last week: chicken stew from Rosalinda; chile and spaghetti from Marta; ham dinner from Mary Ellen. Good!”  Another day: “Called to hospital this evening. Could have used Polish and Apache languages. What a diocese! Holy Hour. Knights of Columbus met tonite.”  I understand totally why he tweets – it’s a quick, easy way to keep in touch – just a few keystrokes and it’s done — and I think how nice it is  that his parishioners can log on every day “just to see what Father is up to.”   The people love and appreciate a good priest.

Jennifer at Conversion Diary has an insightful blogpost about the time she gave up her computer for a week and what she learned:

The same force that drives people to slot machines is what drives me to my computer. I realized that when I mindlessly get online, every time I click it’s like pulling the lever on a slot machine and hoping to hit the jackpot. I’m hoping to hit a virtual jackpot — a blog post that changes my life, an email that blows me away, a hilarious video on YouTube, etc. And the truth is that there’s enough stuff online that if I clicked on enough links or spent enough time on email I would get that payoff I’m looking for. But, just like with slot machines, I need to be careful about spending endless amounts of time just sitting around pulling the lever.

Like Jennifer, I could spend endless amounts of time just surfing around and exploring.  It’s hard to call it time wasted – but there could very well be better ways to spend our precious time. There’s a thing called balance that we should be striving for.   On the plus side, I have to say that I am happy to be able to dip in the lives of my siblings, children, grandchildren and friends,  to see what they are complaining about, where they are going, what apps they are playing.   Sometimes I comment. Sometimes they respond.

For old folks who have access to a computer, I’d suggest they be shown how to visit their family-in-a-box, those relatives and friends who email or blog or use Facebook or Twitter.  For sure, they’d rather have real people actually present but they can enjoy being “in touch on line” when being physically  in touch is not happening.  To my mind, people who share their daily insights, struggles, and problems on the computer are more real than the fictional characters in a soap opera.  If there is no family in the house, the “family-in-a-box” is next best.  Linked in is much better than left out.

Personally, I  am blessed with siblings, offspring, and friends who I see fairly often, and I am so grateful for that!  Nevertheless, there are bloggers that I have never personally  met but  have learned to love because of the beauty of their spirit.  It gives me great pleasure to know that they exist–and if I, in my limited browsing, have found these few, the chances are that there are millions more out there, loving their fellow man and living lives that give glory to God.


Reach out and touch someone. — AT & T

October 22nd, 2009


This turned up this morning in my Google reader.   It was such a welcome change from the attitude that an inconvenient baby should be summarily dispatched at the abortuary that I was “suckered in.”  Mr. Roesler writes that people ask if he is looking for a hand-out, and is this a scam?  No, he is just an expectant father who loves his wife and is trying to make things work out.  And if you want to help, well, thanks.

I figured there were many less important things I could do with my ten bucks.  I did hesitate about sending my credit card number and opted to pay with PayPal.   Welcome, baby.


My name is Peter Roesler and I am married with a 18 month old child. We are a single income family. My wife goes to school fulltime. My wife is 5 months pregnant and we do not have insurance for the pregnancy. We tried to get her coverage, but we were rejected because she had a baby shortly before. I really love my wife and my 18 month son Khi, but times are tough and I am not getting new work like I used to. I currently am working 70 hours a week trying to make money to pay for the new baby delivery $10,000 and a cheap $3,000 minivan. Our goal is to get $13,000 by Feb when the new baby is due. The reason for the minivan is because we currently share one truck, and it doesn’t have a cab. So we don’t have room for the new baby.

If you are inclined to help welcome a new baby into this world, here is the website.


And when you welcome one of these children because of me, you welcome me. — Matthew 18:5

July 12th, 2009


When we named my blog Musings at 85 we jumped the gun by several months, but I was close enough to 85 to be OK with it.  And when son Johnny renamed it Musings at 86 a few weeks ago that was OK with me, too.  We were close enough.  But today, for first time, I am actually  musing at 86.   Yesterday (the actual birthday)  was too busy to muse online.  It was a very good day.   Mass a 7:30 with my mass friends.  Praying at the abortion mill for a couple of hours, followed by lunch with my pro-life friends.  Phone calls, e-mails, cards, visits,  gifts, flowers –  what would we do without family and friends?  One friend took me to see My Sister’s Keeper, a real tear-jerker, very well acted, with a up-close look at death by cancer which some would find hard to take.  Another friend took me to Cold Stone Creamery (who knew there was such a place?) where they smashed together (on a cold stone, I presume)  ice cream, chocolate pieces, peanut butter and chocolate syrup for me to enjoy.  I got to see my five-year-old great-granddaughter, Selva, (who lives in Guatemala)  sing on Facebook and visit in person!  I mean – what a birthday!


I was one of five siblings and all are still alive. Here we are at a previous gathering. I’m the one on the left with half a face missing. We are, left to right, Dorothy 85, Bob 82, Annette 80, Ernie 79, and Dolly 70.  We try to get together as often as possible as we are so glad to still have each other. Since Dolly (the baby) moved to Florida, away from the rest of us, we are especially glad when she is able to join us.

Today we gathered again, except for Dolly, who called yesterday to wish me well and tell me they have a new doggie, a Puggle (a Pug and Beagle mix). We called her again today from the restaurant for no other reason than that she is our sister and we love her.   We had a lovely lunch, communed and commiserated, and parted ways.

Plumb tuckered out by two days of celebrating being 86, I am happy at last to settle down and listen (and pray for) Father Groeschel who is also struggling with aging and infirmity.   He is talking about our merciful God and that seems like a happy thought to go to bed with.   Good night and God bless.


Here is the latest photo of the siblings:  October, 2009.



They are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God – They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green — Psalm 92: 13,14