Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
September 13th, 2012


It seems something has come over me; something has happened to my urge to go online and tell the world all about my thoughts and trials and triumphs.  To quote Shakespeare, “how weary, stale,  flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world.”  I wouldn’t call it a depression.  I’m still perky and singing around the house and playing Scrabble and appreciative of all my blessings.  Lately, though, I’ve been staying up much too late at night to watch the conventions and posting about them on Facebook.  But the spinning is so crystal clear and disgusting and the prognosis not at all clear and it all seems like such a waste of effort and time and MONEY!

Just this very day my last Letter to the Editor appeared in our newspaper.   It was in response to a longish article which I won’t reprint but here is my reply:


Says ‘deliberate killings’ differ from natural deaths

 Published 4:53 p.m., Tuesday, September 11, 2012

“Natural abortions far outnumber induced ones” says James Mellett on Aug. 31 (“Where I Stand” in The News Times), the last words of his article reading “God is the greatest abortionist of all.”

Using Mellett’s logic, since natural deaths far outnumber murders, God is the greatest murderer of all.

What happens naturally, happens naturally.

Mr. Mellet does not seem to realize that both abortion and murder are deliberate killings of living human beings by other human beings. And, if he believes in God at all, he knows that God is against both.

Let God decide who lives and how long.

Again, following Mr. Mellett’s phraseology, I suppose he would call those who are against murders, “anti-murder loonies.”

I suggest classes in both logic and metaphysics before dabbling in either.

As for pregnancy being “a 9-month parasitic infestation of a woman’s body by an alien genetic being,” what can I say? I was blessed with regular human children, and if he infested his wife with aliens, I’m truly sorry.

Dorothy Vining


So far there has been no response of any kind from anyone. I’m sure it will come in due course.

Among other things going on, the ivy that had taken fifty years to cover the whole front porch has been torn down, leaving an ugly mess that my son thinks he has to beautify by practically replacing the whole porch.  It’s a work in progress and there is a chance it will be done before winter, but he’s such a perfectionist that it has to be all level and plumb and may be a “forever” job.

Then there’s my new iPad, which I am still adjusting to.  (To which I am still adjusting – sorry.)  Have to keep tabs on a grandson visiting France and a new greatgrandbaby in Florida and discuss with sundry other progeny why Obama is not THE ONE.   Love my iPad but now I have the same email on both my computer and the iPad and  download hundreds of new emails each time.  Have to figure out how to deal with this onslaught!

Worrying about my first-ever figs.   Never had any before and they’re cute as all get-out, but here it is mid-September and will they ever have a chance to ripen so I can pick them?

Went to a wedding in a vineyard a week ago where the hors d’ouvres included fresh figs!  Lovely wedding, lovely weather.   Also saw Obama’s America:  2016 which has been playing at our local theater for the past three weeks.   It has done remarkably well in the box office and is well worth seeing.

And forward though I canna see, I guess and fear.  — Burns.

As I enter my 90th year I am acutely aware of the waning of abilities, in my friends as well as in myself.  So I appreciate every little thing that I am still able to do –  that I can still walk and drive and am lucid and continent.  Over and over I tell myself that the one time I thought I heard God speak, he said “My people, I love you, do not be afraid.”  How often does the Bible say “Do not be afraid,”  “Do not be concerned.”  Did not Jesus visit Saint Faustina with the message of his mercy, to have his picture painted with the words, “Jesus, I trust in you?”

What was Padre Pio’s message?  “Pray.  Hope.  Don’t worry.”

Just thought I’d post a note should there be people out there in cyberia who wonder what ever has happened to me.   I am well, chugging along, showing signs of continuing, working on trusting, and thanking God for his inexhaustible love and mercy.


March 18th, 2012


March 2012 marks my fourth year of blogging! Who knew I had so much staying power? Looking back over those early efforts, there is an obvious learning curve as I coped with the differences between WordPress on my computer at home and the Word Perfect on my computer at work. Looking back I am still happy with the photo Johnny took, all on his own, of my church for the frontispiece. I have no desire for any bright, cute creation by any blog design expert. I like the homespun quality of what we’ve done.

It surprises me that I still have so much to write about. Life, it seems, keeps happening! Just yesterday, for example, in that one day I went to 7:30 Mass, had lunch with my siblings at a diner in Newtown, and visited with my daughter, my grandson and his wife, and their two kids (who would, of course, be my greatgrandkids).   (That 6 month old Sierra is one bouncing baby girl!) And then, to top the day off, Mass again in the evening and a prayer gathering with some inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution. No wonder I had such a good night’s sleep!

And just minutes ago I read this:

A legitimate and duly constituted law enforcement investigation, that obtained sworn affidavits and testimony from graphics experts, law enforcement experts and private citizens, has uncovered compelling evidence that the “birth certificate” released by Team Obama is a computer-generated forgery and that the man who is presently occupying the Oval Office is potentially occupying that office as a result of FRAUD and FORGERY.

AND NOW… it would appear that we can add RACKETEERING and CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY to the list of charges that must be investigated. If the American people could legitimately ask what a sitting President knew about a third-rate burglary attempt and when he knew about it, then the American people DESERVE to know what Barack Hussein Obama knows about attempts to threaten members of the media over his computer-generated “birth certificate.”

Enough is enough. If people are indeed being threatened with frivolous government “investigations” … if livelihoods are being placed in jeopardy… if people are leaving their positions out of concern for the safety of their loved ones, then Congress can no longer ignore this issue. Our elected officials can no longer stick their heads in the sand. Congress MUST finally investigate this constitutional crisis.

That’s frightening stuff.

What has the past year wrought?  A couple of facial surgeries for skin cancer which I seem to have weathered quite well.  On my last trip to my internist I complained about more slowness in walking.  All he had to say was,  “Better to have a head than legs.”

Lately I have been pleased with my quite long post on Media Blackout in Georgia which I thought necessary to write about because there was, in fact, a media blackout of the Obama citizenship trial. See what you think; look, too, at the comments, which add additional information. I also liked my post on Jesus Loves Whitney Houston, a brief overview of her career, beginning with her perfect rendition of the National Anthem, and topped off with a Taiwanese man singing I Will Always Love You and, amazingly, doing it as well as Whitney.

Today is supposed to be sunny, up to about 68 degrees.   The crocuses are up and blooming, daffodils budding, and the lawn starting to green up.   I have sunflower seeds which are thinking about sprouting and potatoes which are actually sprouting, which will go into the ground pretty soon.  God’s in his heaven and the hillside’s dew-pearled!

Looking forward, there is a trip to Puerto Rico scheduled for late April, a greatgrandbaby due in August, and an important election coming up in November.   I’m not about to fold up my tent and jump ship any time soon if I can help it!


August 2nd, 2011


What is it like to be old — really old? Oldness is something I am experiencing first hand, for the first time. It was my thought, when I started this blog, that I might give others some insight into old age. I even hoped that some old folks would enjoy reading about (even communicating with) others in the same boat. A little musing, a little reality, a little humor, perhaps some helpful hints on how to get by — from me and from others. Unfortunately I have tried to tap into a demographic that isn’t there. People my age don’t spend much time on computers. Others my age don’t even know I’m here.

However, I do have children, and it is my hope that someday they may want to know what mom (grandma, greatgrandma) thought about in her later years, before she checked out.

What does 88 feels like?  Let’s say first of all that, having had vertigo for the entire month of  January, I am still grateful every morning,  when I sit on the edge of my bed, that the world is not rotating.  (Of course it is, but not so I notice it.)   And I’m grateful (usually) for having had a pain-free night.  My back does ache during the day, the aftermath of a T8 fracture and a congenital T9-10 fusion, but fortunately lying down makes the pain subside.    Then there are the legs — they just don’t want to go anymore.  I’m told I have one speed – slow.    And I’d never pass the driving test of walking a straight line.

Mentally, I’m still able to blog but notice that I have trouble with sequences.   Even if I can figure out how to do something, by trial and error, I then can’t remember how I did it.   Playing a game with my greatgranddaughter, Selva, in which each person adds a word to make a sentence,  other people can remember  what word each person added, but I only know the last two or three.    And, of course, like everyone else, I’ll walk into a room and not know why I went there.   But I think I do it more often than most people.

I have never been good at remembering faces and have gotten progressively worse. I’ll know the face but the name totally escapes me. I’m no better at dates. I can tell you the year I was born, the year I was married, the year my husband left me, and 9/11/2001. Don’t expect me to know 2001 part next year.   Even as a youngster I thought it was nice to know about the things that happened way back when, but it seemed to me the precise date was irrelevant unless I planned to appear on Jeopardy.

When I read some of the blogposts I wrote two or three years ago, I don’t remember ever having known some of that stuff. There’s nothing like having a blog to bring home the fact that much of what we know today and read today will have vanished into some mysterious cerebral realm in a year or two. Is it there somewhere, somehow retrievable, or is it deleted and the recycle bin emptied?  I tell myself that for eighty years I have been doing things and learning things and forgetting all about them.  So it’s really nothing new.   But I do think I have perhaps stepped up the pace a bit!

Not many people are terribly interested in knowing the inner thoughts of an 88 year-old lady but I put them out there anyway hoping perhaps someday my children and their offspring may want to know me better and somewhat understand some of the traits they have inherited. Some of them lean to the left and are anything but practicing Catholics.  I, on the other hand, was born Catholic and have never found anything that made more sense to me. I regret that my loved ones seem to think Catholicism archaic and dumb and are proud to have moved on to more modern and reasonable positions.

All the above will help to explain why I, over and over, write posts saying, “See, all these highly respected and educated people are Christian. See, this intelligent person became, of all things, Catholic! How do you explain the shroud of Turin, the miracles at Fatima, the caterpillar-to-butterfly thing, the world and life itself? I had hoped for some on-line dialogues taking to me task for my old-fashioned beliefs and putting me straight.

Well, if there are any octogenarians out there delighting in my posts, I don’t know about it. On-line dialogues seeking to right my wrongness haven’t happened. And I am 88 and getting tired. This does not mean I will stop blogging. It does mean I will probably slow down (it is like work, you know) and not post just for the sake of posting (some bloggers do, and I don’t understand that), but when I really feel moved to put something out there for whomever stops by. And my progeny. I really love you guys. Keep on thinking and seeking, and above all, love each other and love TRUTH.

Oldsters, I sure would like to hear from you if you’re out there!

Progeny, I welcome disagreement — and love an honest exchange of sincerely held opinions.


Lawrence Beamon doesn’t sing the words that made me think of this song, but enjoy him anyway.

Ah gits weary, and sick o’ trying
Ah’m tired o’ livin’ and skeered o’ dyin’
But ol’ man river, he just keeps rollin’ along.


Traffic cop: Do you know you were speeding?

She: Yes, but I had to get there before I forgot where I was going!



“If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” — Mark 9:24

July 25th, 2011


I’ve been following Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog,   Conversion Diary, ever since I discovered the blogosphere some three years ago so I am delighted to have discovered this very recent interview in which she traces her journey to the Catholic Church. It is so good to “meet” her in person after having read about her questions and answers and growing family over the years.

She writes:

Research led me to the shocking conclusion that God exists, and the more shocking conclusion that he became man in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. While trying to figure out what Christian denomination to join, my husband and I both agreed that we’d consider anything but the Catholic Church: he said it was corrupt and not Biblically-based. I said it was oppressive, anti-woman and archaic. We were both surprised, then, when months of research led us to the one place we said we wouldn’t go—-

Meet Jennifer, now 34, married for seven years, and mother of five children — a living, breathing, intelligent, struggling, writing Catholic!


Conversion of an Atheist – Jennifer Fulwiler from Renewal Ministries on Vimeo.


May 26th, 2011


As I mentioned in my last post about my new cell phone, coping with a new, fancy phone is not for the faint of heart or chronologically challenged. I think I have, I pray I have, just finished updating my Easy Minutes plan for the new phone, as well as providing my new Visa card number. It may have been too much to ask of Shanda – enrolling in an air time plan AND changing my Visa card number, both on the same call. I’m sure it took well over a half-hour but Shanda was unfailingly polite and we exchanged innumerable Thank-yous and You’re-welcomes. I do hope it all went well.

I finally took a picture with my phone camera and used it for my wallpaper. Not too hard. It was a great puzzlement to me how my friends are able to upload photos from their mobile phone to Facebook. I wondered if I should go online to my Facebook page on the phone (which is not that difficult, once you hurdle the hurdle of logging in and providing a password on that teeny-tiny keyboard) and try to upload from there, much as I do on my blog. You know, they don’t tell you any of this stuff in the instructions! I still don’t know how to email with the phone (but that will be another day.) Oh, for the good old days when you emailed from your computer and made  nothing but phone calls from your phone.

Instead I went to Facebook on my computer to find out how to upload photos and it gave me an email address for that. I had to figure out for myself that it was an email address, because it had an @ in the middle and a at the end. What to do with it was the question!!! Eventually I noted that when I entered contact numbers on my phone there was a space for email addresses and I put the FB address there. I wrote a little message, “inserted” an image of Stanley, and sent it to FB. Twice, I guess. Because there are now on my FB page two photos of Stanley. I haven’t a clue as to what happened to the accompanying message.

So you see, I’m a work in progress. Let’s see if I can show you Stanley, who is 92, and just this morning prayed three rosaries and a Divine Mercy chaplet up by the hospital where we pray to stop abortion twice a week. He truly deserved that rest.

Now, if you find Stanley’s picture on my Facebook page, you can click on it, it will fill the whole screen, you can see Stan’s smile and read his sign. BUT if you click on the one on this blog, it does NOTHING! Someday, perhaps, someone will explain that to me.

It’s a good thing I accumulated lots of minutes when I had my old cell phone because most of my long calls were on my Magic Jack (much cheaper!) Otherwise I might be worried about frittering away so many minutes playing around, experimenting around, trying to figure how things work. And failing, time and time again! I wonder how long it will take before my LG900G is no longer a fascinating toy but a willing and cooperative executor of my every command.

And here, just because I can, is a photo of our snowball bush is full glory. The lilacs have just petered out — each has its own season. You see how it is? Every day I learn something.

And that’s enough learning for one day. The brain is feeling the strain! Maybe someday I’ll give Stanley the “snowball treatment.” Not now.

March 10th, 2011


I’ve been blogging for three years now! Soon, I suppose, my son, the expert, will jump the gun and add a big 88 to my home page. Wonder what color he’ll choose.  How I love my sons!  My other son, the genius, told me recently that I’m creepy.   What he meant is that I’m crepey and it’s true.   My skin just doesn’t fit like it used to.  Remember the wrinkly, stretchy crepe paper of days of yore?  They used to make decorative streamers out of it but I don’t know what else.  When did you last see any crepe paper?

To get back to blogging, I’ve decided I don’t need to write something every day or even every week just because I have a blog.  I no longer feel a need to tell everyone about every book I read unless there’s something extraordinary about it that no one else seems to recognize.  Which  doesn’t happen that often.  I don’t like the feeling of having to write a book report, as in my school days,  and it no longer seems necessary to me. I did, for example, read unPLUGGED by Abby Johnson, but everyone is saying good things about it so why add my two cents worth? I just finished reading Spirit Driven Success by Dani Johnson who went from having $2.03 to being a millionaire in two years! She appeared on the premiere program of Secret Millionaire (ABC asked her five times before she consented to do it), Also on Oprah, 700 Club, and Good Morning America. The day after I wrote the previous sentence she appeared on The View so the lady is getting around. She lives to serve Jesus and it’s nice that someone like her appeared on The View. I only wish she had gotten to talk about the real source of her success to those chatty ladies.

Speaking of books, to bring everyone up to date on the memory problem, when mail arrived with Abby’s book, to my surprise there were four of them. I have no recollection of ordering four copies. I must surmise that there was some sort of pre-release special that I was taking advantage of. Now that they’re here, we are making good use of them and they are making the rounds. Also, I know I recently ordered a book by Pope Benedict but cannot remember what or why. I guess when it arrives it will “all come back to me.”

The postman just left and it has happened again! A lovely autographed copy of How to Find Your Soulmate by Jason and Crystalina Evert has arrived. $31.95! I KNOW I didn’t order it. Even if my memory is faulty, there is no record either in my payments or orders folders of any such thing.  Nor am I looking for a soulmate.  It comes with a notice that I can get additional paperback copies for only $2 to spread the good news. Apparently this is a publicity ploy but it’s getting disturbing. The Pope Benedict book has also arrived, The Light of the World. And yes, I remember why I wanted to read it and I’m glad it’s here.

I’ve also decided that I don’t have to have an opinion on every political happening. Some I find myself commenting on, in spite of myself, because I feel so strongly. But, for the most part, politics is not my strength and I’m leaving it to better men than I. It’s all I can do to try to sort out who is worth listening to. Right now, I’m impressed with Florida Congressman Allen West. We’ll see.  I love Barbara Curtis for the amazing job she does of keeping track what is going on in the world and what we, who are trying to follow God, need to be aware of.

I hope I’m giving the impression that I’m going to be more selective in what I bother to write about. It’s not like everyone is hanging on my every word and needing to know my every thought. In the old days when Letters to the Editor were my forte they would be written when something started taking shape in my mind almost without my willing it. It now happens that I sometimes find myself at morning mass with the subject of my next post becoming clear even while I pray the rosary. (So much for focusing on the mysteries!)

On the whole, three years after my first blogpost, I am older, slower, but apparently in good health. Years pass amazingly quickly. I find I wonder about everything. When I fell on my face last month I scraped the palm of my hand. It was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill scrape, but I find myself marveling at the fact that it has totally healed and entirely back to normal. I have been hurt and healed many times before but this particular little patch of skin speaks to me of a mystery within.   How do those dumb cells know what to do? I just look at my hand and say, Oh, My God!  There is a power within me that I can’t begin to  understand.

I’m getting curiouser and curiouser. I’m always wondering about the backstory, how something or someone got that way. I marvel at the iPad but know that somewhere there are real people who know how to produce this wonderful complicated thing. Is there a real person somewhere out there who knows how to make a universe and a seed?  Just asking.

Three years of blogging having been dutifully noted, it is now time to think about Lent. TurboTax and my 2010 income tax return are  next  on the agenda.  It has been a long hard, hard winter but trees are starting to bud.  Thank God for Spring!  And others have had harder winters, thank God for that.  Mind you, I’m not thanking God that others had harder winters, but that I was spared.   It’s all about me, you know.  Many (perhaps most) of us are not nearly as concerned about the suffering of others as our own.   As my friend Stanley says, I don’t mind dying as long as it doesn’t hurt.  I must confess I do not look forward to  suffering with joy, as a proper saint would.  May the dear Lord give me to grace to accept  it should the time come.


Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations.  — James 1:2

March 28th, 2010


This month marks two years of blogging – who knew it would come to this? Almost 300 posts with subjects ranging all over the place. This being Lent I have given up TV which leaves more time for musing and wondering where I am going, what I’ve done, and why.

Just put up a little TED video on how to live to 100+. Much of my blog has to do with the pluses and problems of aging. Unfortunately there aren’t many people my age who follow my blog but it might be of some help to those who have to deal with, cope with, care for older folks. If you’re browsing this blog to see what old age is really  like, don’t stop here. Click on Days With My Father. This is how 98 looks and acts.   If it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you must have a heartstring missing.

In the past two years my own walking has become progressively worse – much slower, not nearly as sure-footed, with an occasional stagger.  My “senior lapses” and word-finding difficulties have become more frequent. At Christmas-time, for example, I tried to remember the name of my poinsettia and could only come up with forsythia and pachysandra (they had the right number of syllables and both ended with “a”) but the word poinsettia was nowhere to be found. Yesterday, saying the  rosary with a group, I couldn’t remember what day it was and what mystery we were saying. But, as you see, right now I’m pretty sharp! My blogging skills are increasing somewhat. When I forget how to embed or upload an image, it will probably be time to stop.

Early on, I thought I’d be writing about the things I wrote about all my life – mostly religion (catholicity, charismatic renewal) and science ( covering a broad range of subjects from evolution to motherhood and breastfeeding to homosexuality) and these things have indeed been frequent topics. Who could have told me I’d be taking on the Mormons? In my humble opinion, the video on my recent post on DNA and Mormonism is as devastating at it can get.

And who would have guessed I’d become so political and have so much to say about persons known as Obama and Palin, who I place at opposite ends of the poles of trustworthiness. These have been two of the most critical years in our country’s history. We went from a pro-life president to the most pro-abortion president in our history. We went from a country with the motto “In God I Trust” to a county antagonistic to any sign of religion in the public square. We went from a culture of life to a culture of death. Against the manifest will of the people, the Democrats wheeled and dealed themselves, Chicago-style, into the most astounding power grab ever!

Recent release of visitor logs at the White House revealed that Nancy Keenan, head of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) , visited the White House ten times in Obama’s 13 months and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has had frequent access as well. Pro-life groups were left out in the cold. How’s that for an inside glimpse into the heart of the presidency? Now the most powerful woman in Washington is not Nancy Pelosi but Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, who could not possibly be more pro-abortion.

Obamacare has put the health of all Americans into government hands – and we all know how efficient the government has been to date.   The issue is not really health care – it is freedom.

Here I am, getting all wound up again. My blog seems to have covered not only the daily happenings in an old lady’s life, but a national upheaval in our beloved country which I find most disturbing. Lou Pritchett, former Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble, has written a more trenchant commentary on what has happened than I ever could. Pritchett “is one of corporate America’s true living legends – an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher…foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as “partnering.” He wrote the following open letter to President Obama. He sent it to the New York Times but they did not acknowledge it.  (Hardly a surprise.)

Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me. You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.

You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.

You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don’t understand it at its core

You scare me because you lack humility and ‘class’, always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the ‘blame America’ crowd and deliver this message abroad

You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.

You scare me because you prefer ‘wind mills’ to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.

You scare me because you have begun to use ‘extortion’ tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.

You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.

You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh’s, Hannitys, O’Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.

You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

A recent CNN special revealed that Americans generally view their government as corrupt. On this rather dismal note, I begin a third year of blogging. Did I tell you I saw an opossum in my yard last week? And yesterday, two robins (or perhaps the same robin twice.) The crocuses and daffodils are blooming,  the peach tree and the lilac bush are budding, and my daughter has moved in next door. There’s a new greatgrandbaby up in New Hampshire. His name is Caleb Nicholas. It would seem life will go on, willy-nilly.

As Thomas Paine wrote, “These are times that try men’s souls.”  We obviously need serious prayer and much moral courage.

I just want to say, “Welcome into my life, such as it is. I would be pleased if we were friends.”


Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. – Psalm 68:1

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

January 3rd, 2010



I’ve just come from a veritable blogfest!  Elizabeth Esther of the Saturday Evening Blog Post has assembled (and is still assembling) a collection of the favorite posts of various bloggers in 2009.   Each blogger is invited to choose the 2009 post they would like to share and to add a link for it to Mr. Linky.    (See the Saturday Evening Blog Post site for complete details.)  When I last looked,  78 people had provided favorite posts.  As she says, “You’re next!.

I must admit, however, besides the wonderfulness of being able to quickly review the favorite posts of 77 people, I have the distinct feeling of being quite out of place.  The blogs are mostly bubbly and bursting with babies, and child-raising experiences .    I was there once there myself – the newborns are SO precious — and it’s truly all very wonderful!  Then I come back to my own blog with its parchment wallpaper and sedateness and wonder why anyone would stop there to read.   Of course my original reason for blogging was to preserve my memories and thoughts as an old lady,  primarily for my family,  and perhaps shed some light on the aging process for others on the downhill slope.

And my favorite post for 2009?  My thoughts on evolution – The Evolution Fairy Tale!    But if I have written anything momentous in 2009, that is it.   Sorry.

I invite others to join in the blogfest and enjoy the best of 2009.  (Thank you, Elizabeth Esther, for this feast.)   Leave a link to your own favorite post.  And if you don’t chose to read about evolution today, that’s OK.  I still think it’s an important post.  Enjoy the babies.  God knows they’re our hope!

December 5th, 2009


I had to assume when my recent letter to the Editor of my local liberal newspaper (Gay Priest Cover-Up) was not published that they were operating from a position of anti-Catholic bias.   How right that turned out to be!   Today they have devoted three full pages, six very large photographs, plus an editorial on the opinion page to this story.    The editorial reads:  “Supporters of the diocese…have argued that release is unfair because it deals with decades old claims, and decisions made by officials who have long since left town.  They have a point.”

And yet – yet – it is SPLASHED all over their teeny newspaper and, as I’ve written before, the misdeeds of a few are magnified and perpetuated until it seems the church is full of bad bishops who deliberately  coddle pedophiles.   I might add that their coverage gave serious input to the Voice of the Faithful, a small group of disaffected Catholics who are anything but faithful.

Well, anyway, since I could not get my Letter to the Editor published locally, I sent it to the next town (a bigger town) and it was published in their paper (a bigger paper).

Waterbury Republican-American

I would urge anyone who would like to see beyond the bias of the mainstream media to read Archbishop Dolan’s  very comprehensive appraisal of anti-Catholic bias on his blog.   Of course the New York Times wouldn’t publish his letter, either.  He’s only the Archbishop of New York!