Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
May 29th, 2009

DADDY 1976

Americans -- 1976

Americans -- 1976

Memorial Day and I’m thinking of my Daddy and how proudly he marched with his fellow veterans as long as he was able.  Dad served in the First World War and this is, perhaps, his last picture (bottom row left).  He died in 1978.   I am now as old as he was in this picture.   I have posted a photo of Frank Hodson  as a young soldier and his war-time diary previously.

I didn’t know if I could scan this newspaper clipping right in the frame and through the glass.   As they say, nothing ventured…..

Miss you, Daddy.  Thank you for serving your country and your family so well.   See ya.

May 25th, 2009


An e-mail which arrived in my in-box a few days ago began in this way:

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.  It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.

My immediate response was WOW!   What a column! I have to look into this woman.

And I did.   This is the way her column actually started:

To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me.

It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written. My odometer rolls over to 50 this week, so here’s an update:

So Regina Brett is still a youngster!  You can’t trust those e-mails.   They tend to morph as they make the rounds — they are embellished, truncated, tweaked, and “improved.”   But, even at the tender age of  50, some of Regina Brett’s  columns have been good enough to be nominated for Pulitzer prizes.   This one I thought, with my 86-year-old sageness, is well worth passing on:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others’. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Overprepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?”

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative – dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

You can learn more about Regina Brett here. Her column on Alzheimer’s Disease is especially poignant.  It makes me wonder if I am up to level one.


The young sow wild oats.   The old grow sage. — Winston Churchill.

May 23rd, 2009


I just posted, on Facebook, a warning by Pope Benedict XVI that socializing via computer networks  should not replace real life interaction.   Yet here I am today delighting in the interaction with family that Facebook provides for me.   I cannot tell you how happy I am to have right now on my computer screen, courtesy of that networking site, so many beautiful pictures of grandson Brian’s wedding to Melissa and even to (virtually) accompany them on their honeymoon to Atlantis.

The Wedding

The Wedding

We have here, left to right, granddaughter Amy, son-in-law Ken, lovely and welcome  addition Melissa, grandson Brian, daughter Katy, grandson Kevin.   I did not know until today that Amy was in the wedding party!  It just never seemed to come up in phone conversations or e-mails.  And Kevin – my how you’ve grown!  Newly graduated from college and looking so manly and handsome!

Up close and personal would have been nice, but this is a loud thank-you to Facebook for providing the vehicle that allowed me to witness and enjoy so much – however virtual.  This Grammy is grateful.

May 22nd, 2009


My friend, Jack, drove to Notre Dame to attend the graduation of his granddaughter this past weekend.  That was the day that Notre Dame’s president, faculty and graduates made it crystal clear to the world that Notre Dame is not a Catholic university.  As of that date, 74 U.S. bishops had called on Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to President  Barack Obama to give the commencement address because of his  views on abortion and stem cell research.

Obama came.  Obama spoke. Notre Dame gave him a standing “O”.

“Obama hit a home run,” Jack told me.

He did, indeed.  Our silver-tongued president (with the help of his speech-writers and his teleprompters, of course) told us “Let’s work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let’s reduce unintended pregnancies… Let’s provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term.”

He also said that the Catholic church’s rejection of abortion and his staunch support of abortion for those who “need” one were irreconcilable.  He’s all about dialogue but he knows no one’s position is going to change. Let’s see what he does to reduce abortions and help pregnant women carry their children to term.

He told us, “Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.”  He did not care (or dare?) to recognize the difference between embryonic stem cells and so-called adult stem cells, the former requiring the death of an embryo and so far non-productive, the latter fruitful and the source of our hope.  (See my previous post.)

He told us, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded in clear ethics and sound science, as well as respect for the equality of women.”   We will see, won’t we, whether Catholic hospitals, doctors and medical personnel will be forced to provide services that violate their consciences as has already happened with Catholic adoption services.  Why do I fear that Obama’s “sound science” will trump God’s wisdom every time?

He said, “It is beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us, and those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.”   Does Mr. Obama think anyone’s wisdom is greater than his own?  He doesn’t give us a clue as to what he thinks is God’s wisdom.  It can’t imagine that it’s the  ten commandments!

He said he hopes to more fully “realize the dream of civil rights for all of God’s children.”   This is from the man who opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act!   Jill Stanek (below) tells what happens to God’s children who are intended to be aborted but are born alive.

Yes, Obama hit a home run.

And, smart man, he said nothing at all about homosexual marriage, one subject on which he ostensibly actually agrees with the Catholic church.    He wouldn’t want to rile his gay base.   He knows which side his bread is buttered on.

His talk was all platitudes and kumbaya.   He talked about “Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words.” But, talk is cheap, Mr. President.  Will you walk the walk, or will you just talk the talk and do whatever  you  please?


If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. – 1 Corinthians 13.1
For the record I am adding comments by a few of the many bishops who disapproved Fr. Jenkins’ honoring Obama:

Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Denver:  “‘Notre Dame didn’t need to do this to show its openness to ‘dialogue.’  And candidly, very few Notre Dame faculty members would accept from their students the kind of creative reasoning now being used to defend the invitation.”

Most Rev. Joseph Naumann, Kansas City:  “In reality, NotreDame’s invitation signals to President Obama that there is no need to dialogue.  Why should the president feel a need to dialogue when he is honored by our nation’s most prestigious Catholic university no matter how extreme his policies and actions supporting legalized abortion!”

Most Rev. Thomas Doran, Rockford, IL:  “I would ask that you rescind this unfortunate decision and so avoid dishonoring the practicing Catholics of the United States, including those of this Diocese.  Failing that, please have the decency to change the name of the University to something like, ‘The Fighting Irish College’ or ‘Northwestern Indiana Humanist University.'”

Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz, Lincoln, NE:  “[Fr. Jenkins,] I can assure you of my prayers for your conversion, and for the conversion of your formerly Catholic University.”


September, 2009:

Tradition Family Property Student Action launched an online petition yesterday urging Fr. John I. Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, to drop trespassing charges levied against eighty-eight pro-life advocates who entered university property during the 2009 commencement address of President Obama.

Among those arrested are Ambassador Alan Keyes, Fr. Norman Weslin, and Norma McCorvey.

If Notre Dame does not drop the charges, the pro-life advocates face up to one year in jail. “As the original complainant,” the petition reads, “Notre Dame has the choice to drop the charges.” reports: “While witnesses say pro- Obama protesters were allowed to roam free, the arrested individuals were singled out for displaying any pro-life message — including slogans on the sanctity of life, photographs of aborted children, a large wooden cross, and images of Mary.” Notre Dame “has repeatedly refused to seek such leniency or even answer the pro-lifers’ requests for dialogue.”

“The double standard is shocking,” said James Bascom, TFP Student Action volunteer. “Why does the most pro-abortion president in American history receive an honorary degree while pro-lifers receive a jail term? Pro-life Americans should respectfully ask Fr. Jenkins to drop the charges.”

May 16th, 2009


This video needs no comment.   I will follow it only with Father Weslin’s biography, taken directly from his book, The Gathering of the Lambs. You decide if we have here a crazy old man or a martyr for Jesus’ babies.


Father Norman retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army after twenty years of active military service. He was a paratrooper, commander, and chief of a war plans division on the General Staff. He was the Operations Officer responsible for the nuclear-tipped missile defense of New York City, Chicago and South Korea.

Father Norman was a married man with a wife, two children, and two grandchildren. He has been involved in the pro-life movement for twenty-five years. He and his wife started Birthrights, Life Support Centers, and political action committees in an effort to stop the killing of Jesus’ babies.

After his wife’s death in an automobile accident in 1980 he converted his home into a “home for pregnant, unwed mothers.” 252 mothers have since lived in the Mary Weslin Home for Pregnant, Unwed Mothers. 115 babies have been born directly through the home. At this time Father has five pregnant women living in his home.

Father was an alcoholic for twenty years. He recovered thirty-one years ago. He worked as a priest with Mother Teresa for a nine-month learning experience — counseling alcoholics and drug addicts in the slums of New York.

After twelve years of picketing killing centers and sidewalk counseling, Father realized that we could not stop satan’s multi-billion dollar child-killing industry by ourselves but that Jesus could and would if we made the sacrifice of confronting satan directly at the killing centers.

A Contrast in Integrity

A Contrast in Integrity

Left: Notre Dame denies its Catholic heritage by giving pro-abortion Obama the “necklace” of an honorary Doctorate.
Right: Father Norman Weslin lives out his Catholic faith on the Notre Dame campus and is “necklaced” by the police!


Though he was cruelly treated he submitted humbly and said not a word like a lamb led to slaughter.   Isaiah 53:7

May 15th, 2009


So sad.  So sad.  I’ve been watching  live streaming video of the protest at Notre Dame – Catholics protesting the most prestigious “Catholic” University in the world honoring the most pro-abortion president the United States has ever known.  Watching a black woman crying “Shame!  Shame!”  “Something wicked came our way last fall…..this is not the America I was born in 59 years ago.”  “This is terrible,” and she turns away in tears.

She has seen Father Norman Weslin, 78, of the Lambs of Christ, painfully handcuffed and carried away.

Banners of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn,  were prominent,  with the caption “Defend her Honor.”  She is, after all, Notre Dame.

Blue-shirted Notre Dame Security Police stand  by watching the recitation of the rosary.  Alan Keyes, former presidential candidate, speaks and prays that their witness will go throughout the world as a light in the darkness.  He explains that it was a “movement of the heart” that prompts him to be present, to be arrested.

Stan Solomon asks that people phone Bishop D’Arcy’s secretary in Fort Wayne, 260 422 4622 x 3321 to use his authority to stop arresting Catholics for being Catholics and stop inviting anti-Catholics to affect and infect the minds of young people.  He asks that you call the number nicely, respectfully, in a way that would not embarrass your mom.

Joe Scheidler, of Chicago, reports that he is bringing four buses full of people and asks us to pray for the conversion of Father Jenkins, president of Notre Dame, and President Obama.

Randall Terry’s statement on the site reads:

Our hearts soared when Bishop D’Arcy announced his boycott of Notre Dame’s graduation because President Obama will speak.

Our hearts sank when he urged Catholics to “to stay away from unseemly and unhelpful demonstrations against our nation’s President or Notre Dame or Father John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.”

I wish the Bishop had followed biblical teaching, and contacted me before making his public statement against our efforts. Since he has spoken publicly, I have a duty to respond in the same venue.

It is ironic that Bishop D’Arcy chose Good Friday to issue a statement urging Catholics to remain silent in the face of this treachery. Sadly, it appears that he is following in the most regretful steps of St. Peter.

……There are times it offends God if we only pray. If you could feed a starving man, yet don’t, and tell him: “I’ll pray for you!” you have sinned. If you can save someone’s life, yet you pass by like the Priest and Levite did in the parable of the good Samaritan, you have sinned. If you know the right thing, and don’t do it, you commit the sin of omission.

We must pray – yes – and then act courageously. We must seek justice, rebuke the ruthless, defend the fatherless, and cry out for righteousness.

This I know for certain: Bishop D’Arcy has stepped far beyond his canonical authority by urging the faithful to abandon the babies  – and thereby abandon Christ – and to honor President Obama and President Jenkins with our silent cooperation. We do not deny Bishop D’Arcy’s right to question certain tactics, but he has gone far beyond that. He has asked us to commit the sins of omission and silence. Respectfully, we will not.

Tune in Sunday for live coverage at to see how this all plays out.

It is sad – so sad.  God help our nation and our church.


So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. — Revelations 3:16

May 14th, 2009


Melissa and Brian Chase

Thank you so much, Wendy, for my first glimpse of the marriage of grandson Brian Jeffrey Chase to Melissa Nicole DiFalco in the wedding pavilion at Disney World in Florida, May 12, 2009. I would have loved to have been there but it was not to be.

Melissa and Brian, may God bless your union.   I pray that you have chosen wisely  and will treat each other kindly — that’s all it takes, you know.

Again, God bless.   You are  beautiful people and I pray for you a beautiful life together with beautiful  great-grandchildren!

With much love,


May 10th, 2009


Many things arrive in my e-mail — some funny, some strange, others stupid, helpful, or cute.   Occasionally one arrives that I consider worth sharing with the world.  One such follows:

Recently, I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged, and the mother said, ‘I love you, and I pray you enough.’

The daughter replied, ‘ Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I pray you enough, too, Mom ..’

They kissed, and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there, I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy, but she welcomed me in by asking, ‘Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?’

Yes, I have,’ I replied. ‘Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?’

‘Well…I’m not as young as I once was, she lives so far away & has her own busy life. I have some challenges ahead, and the reality is – her next trip back will be for my funeral,’ she said.

‘When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I pray you enough.’ May I ask what that means?’

She began to smile. ‘That’s a prayer that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.   She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail, and she smiled even more. ‘When we said, ‘I pray you enough,’ we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them.’

Then, turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I pray you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I pray you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I pray you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I pray you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I pray you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I pray you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I pray you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

Then, she began to cry, and walked away.

To all who may read this, especially to my children and their loved ones,

To those who would like to celebrate Mother’s Day by vicariously experiencing the water-birth of a baby, click here.


Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. — Exodus 20:12

May 9th, 2009


Last night on The Factor Bill O’Reilly asked commentator/comedian Dennis Miller if there was anyone in the Republican party that he really felt was worth listening to. Miller came up with Newt Gingrich who he seemed to think was so informed could run rings around Obama in a debate. He also suggested a Republican slate (rather early, I’d say) of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.

Why does he like Palin? He likes her because the people he least respects hate her so much!

Newt and the Beaut! I rather like the sound of it.

May 3rd, 2009


I sent a nasty letter to the Credit and Collections Department of my gas company.   I’ll admit I was irate.   The first sentence read:

I swear, the loonies must be running the asylum there!

I explained further:

In 45 years I have NEVER made a late payment to my gas bill! Last month, for the first time, I made a partial payment because of the hugeness of the bill.  You charged me $2.35 for late payment.    Not nice, since I’ve been so good for so long, but understandable.

NOW, when the next payment due date is still more than two weeks away, you threaten me with “collection action” if I don’t come across with the balance due PDQ!   Have you no couth?  Give a gal a little breathing room!

If I could take my business elsewhere, rest assured I would.

Having gotten that off my chest, I forgot about it.  Weeks went by.  I sent in my next payment on time. In full.

Then came a call from the gas company.  Having received my letter they wanted to assure me that I was in good standing, they had remitted the late charge, and it was nothing personal, just a computer-generated notice.

I told them they should change their policy for computer-generated collection threats and their public relations department should get on the ball. The nice man gave me his  name but since I’m almost 86, I’ve forgotten it.   So much for that.

Speaking of Hillary Clinton.   (We weren’t?)  (Oh, well.)  Hillary, you know is our new Secretary of State.   A few days ago —

  • Clinton praised Margaret Sanger, the racist and eugenicist founder of Planned Parenthood Federation. She compared Sanger to Thomas Jefferson!
  • Clinton praised the UN Population Fund, the UN agency that helped set up and run the Chinese one child policy which is responsible for millions of forced abortions.
  • Clinton said the US would ratify the pro-abortion CEDAW treaty, meaning the last meaningful CEDAW holdout will now fall.
  • She also said that:

  • The full force of the US government will be used to get governments to change their laws on abortion all over the world.

The United States has the most radical abortion laws in the world: abortion for any reason and no reason through all nine months of pregnancy. Hillary Clinton wants this for the entire world.

Now THAT’S something to really complain about!

I swear the loonies  are running the asylum!