Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
November 16th, 2014


(This was a Facebook post that just kept on growing.)


Yes, the heavens declare the glory of God! We can predict the movements of the heavenly bodies down to the day and hour for years to come. But have you considered the universe that is within you?

Look, really look, at your skin. You are covered from top to toe with trillions of tiny cells that replace themselves every week or so. If you get a cut, your cells know how to start to divide to heal the wound and when to stop multiplying before you have a cancer.

Inside each skin cell there is a nucleus surrounded by the nuclear membrane. Inside each nucleus there are 23 sets of chromosomes, and inside each chromosome there are genes and each gene contains a chemical bundle called DNA, deoxynucleic acid. DNA is different for each person, inherited from both the mother and the father, but different for each child. DNA is a double helix of chemical strands so tightly coiled that unwound they would measure about 5 feet. The chemicals include four amino acids, namely guanine, thymine, adenine, cytosine, as well as phosphate and sugar molecules.
Each molecule, in turn consists of a number of atoms.

At last we are finally getting down to basics. Atoms were first named that because it was believed there was nothing smaller. However, the electron microscope can visualize things four million times smaller than the unaided eye can see. Way down there, teeny tiny, inside each atom, are electrons, neutrons, and protons. The electrons are a constantly whirling mist around each proton, much like the moons around a planet on a very much larger scale!
Each of our organs, heart, liver, thyroid, brain has its own kind of cells, each programmed to perform its own function, to work in harmony with each other, so that each and every healthy human is a symphony of interactions way down to the atomic level where billions of invisible electrons whirl about their “sun” at an ultra microscopic level.

We do, indeed, have a universe within!

Do you believe, (I mean REALLY believe?) that all these arranged, interactive, interdependent wonders actually came about through the haphazard accidental movements of atoms in some primordial slime starting millions of years ago? There is no way I could convince myself of that!

We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully MADE!

March 17th, 2013


Here is my nominee for the WORLD PRIZE, the best prize ever. The WORLD PRIZE should go to the producer of this Power Point. Think of the understanding, wisdom, beauty, eloquence, talent, love, etc. that went into this!

November 7th, 2012


Dan Savage has quite a presence on the internet as a defender of gay sex and an advocate for gay marriage.  To anyone who watches any of these three videos, which are presented as a kind of overview, I would beg them not to miss my commentary at the end of the post.  In the third video, a debate between Dan Savage and the head of the National Organization for Marriage, Brian Brown, I think something important is missing which I will add at the end.


Dan Savage and his “spouse,” Terry, talk about their family:

Dan Savage discusses bullshit in the Bible about homosexuality at High School Journalism Convention

Dan Savage and Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage debate gay “marriage” over the dinner table (mediator: Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times)

Towards the end of this dinner table debate the moderator asks Brian if he could imagine some evidence that could be brought forth that would make him change his opinion about gay marriage. Brian talks about the beautiful complementarity of male and female and says something to the effect that he could no sooner accept gay marriage than he could call a circle a square. I wish he could have made much more clear the fact that man and woman were made – designed – for each other. They fit together like a key in a lock.  Their togetherness is appropriate, functional, and normal.  It is in the very nature of a male to have sex with a female, of a man to have sex with a woman.

What is unnatural is usually also harmful.  The anus is an exit, not an entrance. Anal sex is not only disordered, it is unhealthy. Ask any proctologist. AIDS was originally called the gay disease because the HIV virus is much more easily spread homosexually than heterosexually. See this  Lancet article of July 20, 2012,  titled HIV in Men Who Have Sex With Men.

When certain persons were first referred to as “queer” it was because they were instinctively recognized as abnormal, or disordered, or dysfunctional. To recognize something as abnormal does not mean one hates it.   The abnormality is simply a matter of fact and stating a fact is a truthful rather than a hateful thing.   We are all peculiar in our own  way and bullying anyone because they are somehow different is not acceptable.

Two men or two women can love each other.  In fact, we are called to love each other as ourselves.  Expressions of affection between two humans who love are normal and natural.  But however much they love, TWO MEMBERS OF THE SAME SEX  CANNOT MATE!   And marriage has always been about an agreement to mate.  Whatever else they may do in search of an orgasm, it is not mating.


Sarah Rowe stands for marriage in Anti-Marriage Defamation League.  And she pays for it.

February 19th, 2012


When a friend handed me State of Fear by Michael Crichton I did not know what to expect. At 798 pages, the size of the book is daunting. I had never read such a big book in my life. Nor had I ever read a book by Michael Crichton though I knew he had written such NY Times best-sellers as The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park.

It is apparent in the first chapter that Crichton knows a lot about science – the science behind  tsunamis, for one thing.  A seduction and murder in the first chapter draw one into this amazing web of intrigue, mystery, and action.  A forenote to the book states:

This is a work of fiction.  Characters, corporations, institutions and organizations in this novel are the product of the author’s imagination, or, if real, are used fictitiously without any intent to describe their actual conduction.  However, references to real people, institutions, and organizations that are documented in the footnotes are accurate.  Footnotes are real.

Because the book is so heavily laced with footnotes, as one reads this page-turner  one need not wonder if the “facts” that are sprinkled throughout are actually facts.   The sites range from Antarctica where the charactors fall into a crevasse, to the jungle, where they run into cannibals.   If you’re looking for action, here’s your book.   If you enjoy strange and interesting scientific tid-bits, here’s your book again.  If you’ve never read a book in which an octopus was a lethal weapon, come along!

Along the way I began to realize Crichton had a problem with global warming and on googling him learned that he is the “most famous global warming denier.”   Obligingly, at the end, he presents “the author’s message” for those who wonder where he stands on the issues addressed after all his research.   He tells  how much he enjoys being in nature.  “I wish natural environments to be preserved for future generations.  I am not satisfied they will be preserved in sufficient quantities or with sufficient skill.  I conclude that the  ‘exploiters of the environment’ include environmental organizations, government organizations, and big business.  All have equally dismal records.”

Crichton obtained an M.D. from Harvard in 1969.   His  biography on Wikipedia is fascinating.  He was a brilliant man, who enjoyed both  story-telling and technology, immensely successful as a writer whose books have been made into immensely successful films.  He died in 2008 of cancer, leaving some unfinished novels.

I enjoyed very much meeting Crichton (below)  and am glad he was so prolific while he lived.  In this video clip  Crichton explains why he did not want to write State of Fear, and why he did it anyway.

January 6th, 2012


Library Journal Reviews offers an up-to-date look at the current science findings in pregnancy.

Pincott, Jena. Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies?: The Surprising Science of Pregnancy.
What a charm! Science writer Pincott (Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?) tackles some myths and legends associated with pregnancy and compares them to peer-reviewed research on the matter. The book covers such questions as: “Do men prefer babies who resemble them?” “What does a baby’s birth season predict?” and “Do bossy broads have more sons?” This is an enjoyable, insightful, and fascinating look at pregnancy that explains what we know and identifies what we don’t. In discussing topics from stretch marks to mama’s boys, Pincott takes a conversational tone, making the science readily available to all readers. An ideal acquisition for public libraries, a great gift for expectant parents, and the perfect choice for the doctor’s waiting room, this winning title deserves some talking up. Way more fun than What To Expect.

In her book, Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? Jena Pincott, science writer, takes an easy-to-understand look at new discoveries about the intimate relationship between baby-in-utero and mother.  Psychology Today has this to say about her.

Jena graduated with a dual major in Biology and Media Studies from Hampshire College. Seeking a happy medium, she worked on science documentaries for PBS, and then moved on to book publishing. She was an editor at John Wiley & Sons. She received an M.A. from New York University; her thesis was on science and the sublime in the works of Thomas Pynchon. Later, she became a senior editor at Random House. Then she left it all to be a science writer.

Jena writes:

Is it any solace to sentimental mothers that their babies will always be part of them?

I’m not talking about emotional bonds, which we can only hope will endure. I mean that for any woman that has ever been pregnant, some of her baby’s cells may circulate in her bloodstream for as long as she lives. Those cells often take residence in her lungs, spinal cord, skin, thyroid gland, liver, intestine, cervix, gallbladder, spleen, lymph nodes, and blood vessels. And, yes, the baby’s cells can also live a lifetime in her heart and mind.

Here’s what happens.

During pregnancy, cells sneak across the placenta in both directions. The fetus’s cells enter his mother, and the mother’s cells enter the fetus. A baby’s cells are detectable in his mother’s bloodstream as early as four weeks after conception, and a mother’s cells are detectable in her fetus by week 13. In the first trimester, one out of every fifty thousand cells in her body are from her baby-to-be (this is how some noninvasive prenatal tests check for genetic disorders). In the second and third trimesters, the count is up to one out of every thousand maternal cells. At the end of the pregnancy, up to 6 percent of the DNA in a pregnant woman’s blood plasma comes from the fetus. After birth, the mother’s fetal cell count plummets, but some stick around for the long haul. Those lingerers create their own lineages. Imagine colonies in the motherland.

Moms usually tolerate the invasion. This is why skin, organ, and bone marrow transplants between mother and child have a much higher success rate than between father and child.

Of course, we nosy mothers would like to know exactly what our children’s cells are up to while they hang out in us. Are they just biding time in our bodies? Are they mother’s little helpers? Or are they baby rebels, planning an insurgency? Read more at Jena’s blog, BOING BOING.

This is stuff for amazement! The more we learn about human biology, the more wonderful it becomes. The interactions! Who knew?!!

Here is a link to experiments done on pregnant mice showing that cells from the indwelling-babies can migrate throughout the mother mouse and actually help her to heal from a heart attack!

We are indeed wonderfully made!

See my previous post on the interaction of the male’s semen with the woman recipient.

December 27th, 2011


Darwin’s theory that we humans gradually evolved from some accidental form of life appearing long, long ago in some prehistoric “soup” is well known and accepted as gospel truth by many. He expected that subequent archeological discoveries would confirm his theory but the gaps and the missing links remain. Darwin himself knew what would cause the downfall of his theory:

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
— Charles Darwin from Origin of Species

Darwin also wrote:

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.

Instead of trying to imagine how the human eye could have evolved step by step from some blind water-creature let us consider the “eye” on the tail of a peacock which is also quite wonderful and inexplicable, even to Darwin.  Technically known as an ocellus, it is a thing of awesome beauty, an intensely blue center surrounded by iridescent concentric colored circles, to be enjoyed many times over as the peacock raises and displays his plumage. It seems to have no purpose but to please the observer. Darwin called the peacock the most splendid of living birds.

He writes about the eye on the tail of the peacock:

That these ornaments should have been formed through the selection of many successive variations, not one of which was originally intended to produce the ball-and-socket effect, seems as incredible as that one of Raphael’s Madonnas should have been formed by the selection of chance daubs of paint made by a long succession of artists, not one of whom intended at first to draw the human figure.

Obviously, even Darwin had trouble in believing in his theory of natural selection!

Nevertheless, natural selection and sexual selection as described by Darwin MUST operate by chance. A brighter color or more beautiful design appears by happenstance, (or, as we would say today, by some quirk of a gene) and appeals to the peahen so that the more elegant peacock pleases her most and wins the opportunity to pass along his genes to the next generation. Darwin attributes to the peahen an apparent delight in beauty, which he also considers strange. Unlike the cock, the peahen remains drab, her coloring protecting her as she nests and cares for her young.

Consider again the eye on the tail of the peacock and the feather on which it is found. A feather consists of a central shaft with barbs on each side equipped with barbules which turn bear barbicels which interlock, velcro-fashion, with similar structures on the adjacent barb, producing a continuous vane. No person comes along and paints the ocellus on this plume after it has formed. No, each individual barb must “know how” to produce the right colors in the right place to achieve the overall ball-in-socket effect. It boggles the mind that there are those who would believe this marvelous arrangement of minutiae to produce an ocellus came about as the result of the random activity of atoms.

There is a PDF devoted to the evolution of feathers.   Obviously a feather must evolve before the beautiful  colorful eye can make its appearance on the feather.  In this little clip from the  PDF we read that the feather is said to have evolved but in the whole PDF there is not a clue as to HOW the feather evolved.  It is taken as fact that it just evolved.

Stage IV
The evolution of differentiated distal and proximal
barbules created the closed, pennaceous vane.
Terminally hooked pennulae on the distal barbules
evolved to attach to the simpler proximal barbules
of the adjacent barb to form the closed vane.  (Emphasis added)


Dropping the discussion of the evolution of eyes of any sort, consider the “evolution” of sexual reproduction which Darwin does not even attempt to explain.

This is what Wikipedia says:

“How sexual reproduction evolved and survived is an unsolved puzzle.”

I must give credit to the authors of Wikepedia for being up-front about the fact that there has not been any plausible explanation for the origin of sexual reproduction.  Apparently Darwin did not wonder about it.  Either it has not occurred to his followers  that they have no explanation for the beginning of sexual differentiation into male and female, or they are deliberately ignoring it.  They do, indeed, treat at length the advantages of sexual differentiation.

Evolutionists have many theories about the “‘why” of sexual differentiation.  They think reproducing sexually is costly in that time and energy have to be devoted to finding an suitable partner, there is a risk of remaining unmated, there is a risk of producing offspring less fit than themselves because of recombination. Other things being equal, asexual reproduction is quicker and easier.     On the other hand, sexual reproduction increases diversity and the likelihood of  survival in changing circumstances, it purges the species of damaging mutations, they are able to evolve new defenses against infections.  Some animals actually breed sexually and asexually at different times!

But as to  “how” sexual reproduction first came about there is nothing said.  In Why Have Sex?  The Population Genetics of Sex  and Recombination, (2006) Otto and Gerstein mention some of the reasons for sex listed in the previous paragraph.  But they offer no answer as to how it all got started.

Confronted with the fact that sexual differentiation actually does exist in most multicellular animals, we have to surmise that at some point throughout the millenia one of these creatures in the process of cell division just happened to  develop a cell with only half the usual complement of genetic material. We might call this a rudimentary egg (oocyte or ovum). Whatever could be the advantage of producing an egg? An egg would be of absolutely no use unless there was a sperm to fertilize it. If this animal found no mate, it would, of course, have been the first and last of its kind!

If we accept evolutionary theory we are required to imagine that each animal that today reproduces sexually,  was, in the distant past,  going about its business of reproducing asexually, dividing and budding away, then ALL OF A SUDDEN it accidentally produced an egg and at the same time, in the same locale, another animal of the same species just happened to make a sperm cell. Also, simultaneously and independently they each accidentally acquired the apparatus to get the egg and sperm together so they could produce offspring with a full set of genes.

Are you buying this?

If ever there was a case of “irreducible complexity” we have one in the transition from asexuality to sexuality.  (Irreducible complexity means simply that the process cannot be reduced to a series of simple steps one after another.  If a number of things do not happen and come together all at once, nothing works.)

Asexual reproduction is going to produce progeny identical to the parent, unless genetic accident occurs.    For an organism to initiate sexual reproduction there is required additional genetic information, not only added to one organism but simultaneously to two organisms of the same type, at the same time, but differing so that the changes will be complementary.  There is no point in having a genetically female animal if there is no matching male anywhere around.

Accidental genetic mutations are almost always deleterious and have never been shown to involve an increase in genetic information. Consider that the informational content of the DNA in a single human cell equals that of 30 volumes of the Encyclopedia Brittanica or 10,000 floppy discs. Where did all the new additional information required for sexual differentiation come from?

Like sexual coupling, the supposed evolution of mammary glands is another case in which two individuals have to come together at the same time:  the needy offspring and the parent able to supply that need.  In a rather humorous criticism of Darwin a Mr. Mivart asks: “Is it conceivable that the young of any animal was ever saved from destruction by accidentally sucking a drop of scarcely nutritious fluid from an accidentally hypertrophied cutaneous gland of its mother? And even if one was so, what chance was there of a perpetuation of such a variation?”  Darwin goes back to the baby kangaroo suckling in its pouch but does not deal with the beginning of this process.


What about DNA?    What about those things we call instincts?  What would Darwin have said if the chemistry of heredity, now known as DNA, had been discovered in his lifetime?  If we did not know it was true, the fact that a package as small as the period at the end of this sentence could contain all the programming necessary for the life cycle of the butterfly we would find it unbelievable.  Consider the butterfly egg  (.)  That egg will become a caterpillar — which will eat and grow — which will make itself into a chrysalis.  Inside the chrysalis the caterpillar will dissolve and rearrange itself into a butterfly — which will emerge and fly and find another of  its species of the opposite sex and mate and, behold, more eggs!!!!   Awesome!

Consider the human sperm.  How does it know to swim upstream to find a human egg?  How does it “recognize” an egg?  How do the egg and sperm merge to create a new human entity which will traverse the fallopian tube until it nests in the lining of a uterus and goes about the business of making a baby?

The first big stumbling block in the theory of evolution, much discussed, is the source of the first living cell.  The likelihood that it put itself together (spontaneous generation) has been judged by Yale physicist Harold Morowitz, in the Origin of Cellular Life (1993) to be one chance in 10100,000,000,000.  Francis Crick, Nobel prize winning co-discoverer of DNA, thought the possibility of life arising spontaneously in some super-soup so unlikely that he posited “interstellar spores” coming from outer space as the source of life on planet earth!

There are too many stumbling blocks before one can believe that the theory of evolution actually explains present day creatures!  No explanation for the first cell with its cell membrane,  its DNA, ability to assimilate and reproduce!   No explanation for the mammalian eye or the eye on the peacock’s tail!     No explanation for the shift from asexual reproduction to sexual reproduction.  Who has even attempted to explain why Darwin does not deal with this?

What did Darwin say?

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.
— Charles Darwin from Origin of Species

I think Darwin’s theory just broke down.   All of the above are examples of programming — programming beyond understanding and almost beyond belief.   Programming requires intelligence.  It doesn’t just happen accidentally, by chance!

In the end, Darwin found the whole subject “too profound for the human intellect.”

I cannot anyhow be contented to view this wonderful universe, and especially the nature of man, and to conclude that everything is the result of brute force. I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of what we call chance. Not that this notion at all satisfies me. I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can.
(emphasis added) — Charles Darwin
Letter to Asa Gray (22 May 1860). In Charles Darwin and Francis Darwin (ed.), Charles Darwin: His Life Told




The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an agnostic.  —  Charles Darwin




July 11th, 2011


(Vital statistics:  Dorothy Agnes Hodson, first child of Agnes and Frank Hodson, born July 11, 1923, in Detroit MI, weighing 6 lb 6 oz)

Most of us, even when we were young, have caught a glimpses of ourselves in a store window as we passed by and thought: “Is that how I really look? So, er…….un-wonderful!?” That happened to me again this morning. I saw myself in the door window as I entered church and thought:   “That is definitely an old lady. See her posture. See how she moves. Look at that face?”   Well, duh, what can I expect?  I am old.

I see a lady friend from a distance crossing the street. She is more than ten years younger than me and I think, “Omigosh! She’s turned into a little old lady, too!” Her hair is white and she seems to have gotten smaller. She’s still spry and sharp but she’s one of us.

Another friend has come out for the summer – into summer clothes, that is. He has gotten leaner over the winter. Arms are scrawnier.   Knees and elbows are knobby. He should have stayed under wraps. But we’re all in this together. When I asked him how he liked “this growing old thing” he said he didn’t.

It surprises me how often I leave church in the morning after mass with something already in my mind to blog about that day. Lately I have been comparing the seasons of life with the “seasons” of a pregnancy — something I am quite familiar with. You start out amazed that such a thing has happened to you — you are actually PREGNANT! — and then you settle into it and await developments. It goes on, and on, and on and on. And on and on. You get more and more uncomfortable and more and more looking forward to the end, with both fear and anticipation. The birthing thing doesn’t sound like much fun. The baby thing — what will it be like to have a wee human counting on me for every little thing? All day. Every day.

In the meantime, what is the baby inside thinking? Perhaps in some way it knows it has eyes, and ears, and arms and legs. Does it wonder why? Is it looking forward to being held in loving arms, tasting sweet milk, seeing a beautiful world, running, dancing, singing, enjoying a new and wonderful freedom? Of course not. It hasn’t a clue.

On the one hand, I feel like the pregnant woman at 9 months. We old folks have beening going on and on and on for some time now. And it’s not getting any easier. Sometimes it’s a serious drag. We look forward to the end with both fear and anticipation. The dying thing is inevitable — and scary. And then what?

On the other hand, I feel like the infant still in the womb, awaiting a new birth! What potentialities do I have that will then be actualized?

I came across this darling video just a day or two ago. It runs through all of a pregnancy in two minutes. And then? Voila! Le denouement!

Genevieve Damascus goes from skinny to full-on preggo in this time-lapse video. We took photos every week during her pregnancy, and what you see here is the progression from nine to 39 weeks pregnant… and beyond!

In another video we are given the privilege of watching Genevieve actually giving birth. She thanks God it is over and thanks God for the outcome.

We old folks (and Genevieve) are in the hands of a master designer. We have seen the polywog grow legs, the butterfly emerge from the cocoon, the baby robin go from hatch to dispatch in a three weeks. And we have known the blessing of a baby.

How can you wonder that I am anticipating the next scene?

He has shown me he is able, and he has promised.



Our times are in His hand
Who saith, ‘A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God, see all
Nor be afraid. — Browning

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. — 2 Cor. 2, 9.


June 25th, 2011


A few days ago my son commented that he had been watching me grazing in the back yard.  Well, when you think about it, I guess that is what I do do.  I think it’s hereditary.

Way back when I had a Mommy one of the rites of spring was to dig up young dandelion plants before they bloomed, or even budded, clean up the leaves and boil them to prepare what Mom called “a mess of dandelions.”  They were quite tasty with butter on them, not yet bitter as older dandelion leaves tend to be.  Back in the day, after a long winter, people somehow knew they needed something green inside of them.  There were, of course, no supermarkets laden with salad greens of many sorts in cello bags.   Dandelions were right  there in the yard,  edible, and, of course, free.

Just last week coming out of church I noticed that purslane had started to grow where the daffodils had died down.  I picked a little piece and said to friend, Jim, “This stuff has lots of Omega-3’s.”  “It’s fresh,” he said.  “Are you going to eat it?”  And I did.   At this time of year, mid-June, purslane starts growing all over the place.  Many consider it a weed but I welcome it and I expect that I was nibbling on purslane when my son caught me.  You have to get your Omega-3’s when and where you can.  It has a bland taste, interesting texture, and makes a fine addition to any salad.


Health benefits of Purslane

This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats; but is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more Omega-3 fatty acids (?-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provides about 350 mg of ?-linolenic acid. Research studies shows that consumption of foods rich in ?-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and also help prevent development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children.

It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision. This vitamin is also required to maintain healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and manganese.   Read more

As kids somehow we had all learned that “sourgrass” was edible. It, too, is everywhere, with its clover-like leaves and little yellow flowers. On looking it up, I find other people know much more about plants than I do but it is described as pleasantly sour and “palatable.”


We kids used to pull at the tall grasses and nibble at their tender white insides. Purple clover, too, would provide a sweet nectar when you pulled the flower apart and sucked at it. (I wonder what happened to purple clover — haven’t seen it around lately.) Back in the day,  children would  spend time out in the fields investigating “things”.   Fields? What are those?

When my great-granddaughter was here a month ago she informed me that you can eat violets – the flowers, that is, not the leaves. Her Daddy told her that.  He takes her out exploring.

Another thing I tend to “graze” on when available is milkweed, especially the tenderest little tips. On investigating, I find that milkweed is much more edible than I knew.   Chickweed and lamb’s quarter are also free and nutritious in most back yards.  Here is a link to edible “weeds.”

Do something different today.   Go outdoors.   Graze.


June 24th, 2011


My daughter, Wendy, lives in Cerrillos, New Mexico. Just west of her in Arizona thousands of acres are burning and burning and hundreds of homes have been lost. At last report, close to five hundred thousand acres are involved. Wendy has the dubious privilege of looking at this angry sun trying to shine through the smokey air each evening.

It is now reported that the fire has crossed into New Mexico. Wendy keeps us up-to-date on Facebook.

It seems New Mexico also has a fire of its own, per Wendy’s Facebook report:

Wendy Beck
Pacheco Canyon Fire Update 6/18/2011 4:30 PM
Crews from the Santa Fe National Forest are responding to a wildfire in Pacheco Canyon north east of Santa Fe, NM. The fire is reported to be 5-7 acres at this time and burning actively. Smoke is visible from the city of Santa Fe, US Highway 285 and I-25 north of Santa Fe. 2 additional Air Tankers, 1 Type 2 Helicopter, and 1 Type 2 IA crew ordered.

This, too, was accompanied by a photo:

It beats me why the sunset is so small and the FIRE! so humongous when I used the same procedure on both. The sunset, enlarged, is a really great photo! Anyway, I sure prefer the continuous rain we’ve been having in the East to that dreadful hot dryness out West.

Wendy says this fire will have to go through Santa Fe before it reaches her.

Lord, please send some of our rain westward.

June 27, More photos from Wendy:
Early am difference between the massive smoke cover and clear skies, which are rapidly being overtaken by smoke.

The massive smoke cover from the Jemez Mtn fire. Fire is rapidly approaching Los Alamos and voluntary evacuations are currently in place. PRAY there is no repeat of the last fire there!

Update: July 2 – from Facebook
Wendy Beck
Rudely awakened by shrieking smoke detectors.
Sky is totally overcast with smoke, but it doesn’t seem as if ground level is smoky enough to keep setting off the smoke detectors.

Richard Pijnenburg what happend?? are you okay?

Wendy Beck It’s all the wildfires raging in NM right now. We are rather surrounded by them, even if the nearest one is 20 miles as the crow flies. Hundreds of thousands of acres burning.


June 10th, 2011


A Canadian couple, the Witterick’s, are keeping the sex of their baby, Storm,  secret for the time being.  They don’t want their child programmed by society into being either a boy or a girl.  I presume they will provide the child with both trucks and dolls and dress “it” in unisex clothes.  The idea is to let “it” choose its identity.    We all know this can’t last long.  Sooner or later (certainly by first grade)  the child will be “outed” and “it” will learn that she is a girl or he is a boy.  Because the fact is, she IS a girl, or he IS a boy.  The kids will look at each other and decide, or the teacher will send he/she to the girl’s or  boy’s bathroom.

Human beings come in two genders, male and female. The males have penises and eventually can produce sperm.  The females have uteruses and eventually can produce babies.  The bodily structure, inside and out,  is determined by the genetic make-up.  Normal males inherit an X and Y chromosome while females have two X’s in every single cell of the body.

Abnormalities in the sexual chromosomes occur so seldom (0.2% to 0.02%) that they are rightly described as rare.

A single Y chromosome is sufficient to produce maleness while its absence is necessary for femaleness.  Female abnormalities are due to variations in the number of X chromosomes.  Male abnormalities are the result of irregular numbers of either the X or the Y chromosome or both.

If it is a fact that humans come in two genders, why are elementary school kids in the following video being taught there is a gender spectrum, depending upon how you feel?  In a previous post, I have described how others have come up with anywhere from 6 to 23 genders??

This program in a California public school is ostensibly being done  in an effort to prevent bullying. In my humble opinion, it is really being done in an attempt to normalize sexual perversions.   Of course, bullying should be discouraged.  Instead if multiplying genders, to me it makes much more sense to teach children to treat others as they themselves would like to be treated. There are accidents before birth, and some children are born with defective or missing parts. Ask children how would they want to be treated if they were born that way? There are accidents after birth, and people are broken, burned, handicapped, etc., etc., through no fault of their own. Ask children how would they want to be treated?  Teach children the Golden Rule.   At this age they have no need to confused about their gender and learn about sexual abnormalities.

We do well to celebrate the diversity among human beings. A boy may do needlepoint, ballet dancing, build huge buildings, or fly across the ocean. A girl may do needle point, ballet dancing, build huge buildings, or fly across the ocean.  Intelligence, beauty, abilities, inclinations, choices — these are the things that have a spectrum, not sex.

The sexual life of the clown fish (even Nemo!) is not relevant.  Clown fish lay eggs and all are born males.  The dominant clown fish will replace the female when she dies.  Who cares?  It has nothing to do with human reproduction.  It is introduced into the classroom to make it seems normal for a human being to change from one sex to another.

All of which brings us to the meaning of normal.

In his article on The Meaning of Normal, in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, C. Daly King writes: The Average may be, and very often is, abnormal.  The normal, on the other hand, is objectively and properly to be defined as that which functions in accordance with its design….Averages from a medical point of view do not define a normal state of health; it is the absence of malfunction which does so…….

Unlike the male clownfish which is able to become a female and lay eggs, no matter how much a boy or girl may want to be the opposite sex, no matter how many male or female hormones they are given, no matter how their external parts are surgically  removed or re-arranged, genetic males will NEVER produce ova, and genetic females will NEVER produce sperm.   On a cellular level, kids born male will always be male and kids born female will always be female.

What we need to teach our children, in the final analysis, is to love one another.  An anti-bullying program should teach respect for all human beings, however odd or different they may be.  We should listen to them, speak truth to them, be patient and kind.  How simple!


The White House has a special web page, It Gets Better, directed to people who are bullied, especially LGBT folks.

Research reaffirms traditional understanding of gender.


A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. — John 13:34,35