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


Thank you, Dolly, for this valuable email insight into my options.  (Dolly lives in Florida.)

You can retire to Phoenix , Arizona where
1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away because you found shade.
2. You’ve experienced condensation on your butt from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town..
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!!

You can retire to California where
1. You make over $250,000 and you still can’t afford to buy a house.
2. The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
3. You know how to eat an artichoke.
4. You drive your rented Mercedes to your neighborhood block party.
5. When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
6. The 4 seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud, and Drought..

You can retire to New York City where
1. You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan .
2. You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can’t find Wisconsin on a map.
3. You think Central Park is “nature.”
4. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.
5. You’ve worn out a car horn. (ed note: if you have a car)
6. You think eye contact is an act of aggression.

You can retire to Maine where
1. You only have four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Tabasco .
2. Halloween costumes fit over parkas.
3. You have more than one recipe for moose.
4. Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
5. The four seasons are: winter, still winter, almost winter, and construction.

You can retire to the Deep South where
1. You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
2. “Y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural.
3. “He needed killin'” is a valid defense.
4. Everyone has 2 first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Mary Sue, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
5. Everything is either “in yonder,” “over yonder” or “out yonder.” It’s important to know the difference, too.

You can retire to Colorado where
1. You carry your $3,000 mountain bike atop your $500 car
2. You tell your husband to pick up Granola on his way home and so he stops at the day care center.
3. A pass does not involve a football or dating.
4. The top of your head is bald, but you still have a pony tail.

You can retire to the Midwest where
1. You’ve never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
2. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.
3. You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” on the same day.
4. You end sentences with a preposition: “Where’s my coat at?”
5. When asked how your trip was to any exotic place, you say, “It was different!”

OR You can retire to Florida where
1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2.. All purchases include a coupon of some kind — even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent dermatologist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.

September 21st, 2009


I found this email which arrived this morning so touching I wanted to share it, with a big ‘thank you’ to Rachel’s Vineyard.

Dear Diocese of Bridgeport Pro-Lifers.

Thanks be to God, and to you, we had another successful Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat this past weekend.  The weather was so superb, we actually held a session outside.  The food that nourished their bodies was wonderful. The prayers and caring that nourished their souls will be life-long.  The flowers, the baked goods, the donations they were told about from you brings tears to their eyes, as usual.  None of them can believe that anyone would care for them (since they think they are not worth it) and when it comes from “strangers,” people they don’t know, it has more of an impact on them.

We had seven women and one man make the retreat.  With that, there were eleven babies memorialized.  One of the women had her abortion this past July, another in April.  One woman’s abortion was over 35 years ago.  Two were raped as teenagers, two were molested as children.  These traumatic events led to further traumas in their lives…some to suicide attempts, some to promiscuity, all to deep depression.

It is incredible to see the transformation of their faces, their bodies and their hearts and souls throughout this retreat.  Two of the women were crying so hard and so much that they literally held tissues up to their faces, to cover their tears, sobs and shame most of the day on Saturday.  But, by Saturday evening, when we do our meditations on naming their children and meeting them with Jesus, peace starts to fill their hearts and their bodies and their faces become more relaxed and tranquil.  The constant nagging in their hearts is replaced with stillness and serenity knowing that God has been with them, loves them and loves their children.

I can’t thank you enough.  Without you and your support, these retreats would not be possible.  I am thankful to the diocese for allowing these retreats.  I am thankful to the priests that were there, especially Fr. Peter Cipriani and Fr. Seraphim for their great senses of humor and wit which broke the tension so many times.  But mostly, to them for their love for this ministry, their love for the Church and for bringing the face of Christ to these women.  Thanks also to Fr. Nick Pavia, Fr. Norm Guilbert, Fr. Sam Kachuba and Msgr. Esposito.

Please continue to keep this ministry in your prayers.  There are so many women and men out there that need it.  Know that you are all in my prayers of thanksgiving always.

In His Name and Service,



Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence, that we may receive mercy for our failures and grace to help in the hour of need. — Hebrews 4:16

September 20th, 2009


Funny!  Who would’ve thought it?  When my friend suggested that I should read Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and that I might even find it funny, I had my doubts.  It looked dry to me and I put it off, but finally decided to dip into it because I said I would.

True, I had read that Hillary Clinton had written a paper on Alinsky back in college, and Obama talked much about his three years as a community organizer in Chicago, something Alinsky is famous for promoting, but I didn’t expect it to be such an eye-opener.

According to Alinsky, mankind is divided into three parts, the Haves, the Have-Nots, and the Have-a-Little, Want Mores.   He says, “Our concern is with the tactic of taking; how the Have-Nots can take the power away from the Haves.”  In his mind, the purpose of an organizer is to create dissatisfaction and discontent with the present system.

Alinsky says he is talking about “revolution” and his book is a book of  “rules for radicals who want to change their world.”  He states quite clearly his aim is to suggest how to organize for power and to use it.

On page 113 Alinsky writes:

From the moment the organizer enters a community he
lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one thing and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls the army.


Change comes from power, and power comes from organization.  In order to act, people must get together.  Power is the reason for being of organizations.

How is this all relevant?  In a letter to the Boston Globe, Saul Alinsky’s son, L. David Alinsky writes:

The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event,  Saul Alinsky style. Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness.

It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board. I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.

Alinsky wrote:  “If you start with nothing, and demand 100 percent, then
compromise for 30 percent, then you are 30 percent ahead.”   Obama knows how to compromise.

According to Alinsky, radicals “…have contemptuously rejected the values and way of life of the middle class. They have stigmatized it as materialistic, decadent, bourgeois, degenerate, imperialistic, war-mongering, brutalized and corrupt. They are right … ”  Obama says:   “I will not accept the status quo.”  He keeps apologizing to others for the way we are.

In a seminal paragraph Alinsky writes:

The organizers job is to inseminate an invitation for himself, to agitate, introduce ideas, get the people pregnant with hope and a desire for change and to identify you as the person most qualified for this purpose.” [emphasis added].

Who has campaigned on those very words — hope and change?   Yep, that’s our boy, Obama.

I would find it easier to believe his bible is Rules for Radicals than the New Testament.

Rules for Radicals is easy reading, the language colloquial, and it is occasionally quite humorous.  If I were to characterize Alinsky with one word, it would be “clever.”  He says, “To me, ethics is doing what is best for the most.”   How do we take the power from the Haves and give it to the Have-Nots?   He does not mention whether it would be by vote or by fiat.

The  acknowledgment in the front of  Rules for Radicals reads:

Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins–or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom–-Lucifer.

Saul Alinsky

Here is a new video on Saul Alinsky’s book with Brannon Howse, 11/09.



Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just. —  Pascal

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad.  — Matthew 12:30

September 17th, 2009








The reasonable estimates range from 800,000 to 2 million!

September 16th, 2009



On her blog, Mommy Life, Barbara Curtis describes herself as a Montessori megamom who serves up a smorgasbord of parenting, cultural, political and spiritual wisdom — because she can. And she really can. Barbara got herself to the massive assembly of Americans who marched in Washington this past September 12 and now writes about a similar march she joined in DC when she was a barefoot, braless, tattooed coutercultural radical in 1967. It is an amazing odyssey, three pages long, and well worth the reading.

As the faithful reporter that she is, Barbara also posted 245 pictures taken at that 9/12/2009 march.

Tally by Barbara:

What a president!

Days in office: 233
Speeches: 263


I don’t have a clue as to how Barbara Curtis would feel being teamed up with Michelle Malkin on my blogpage, but for my money these are two entirely different women who are well worth listening to. Both are very intelligent, both are interested in truth.  Michelle has authored four books, has two kids, and has been referred to as the “Asian Ann Coulter!”   Hear!  Hear!

September 12th, 2009




On September 11, 2009, Jim Pouillon, 63, was shot and killed outside a high school in Owosso, MI, as he was holding the above  sign. It is said that the reverse showed picture of an aborted baby.

Jim’s prolife activity dates back to Atlanta in 1988, as does mine. I never met him personally but hear that he was like most prolifers that I know — peaceful, prayerful, persevering.  I understand well that our very presence — whether we carry a sign or a rosary — angers those who favor a right to abortion.  They honk, they shout, they give us the finger.  Occasionally they attack.

Jim was shot 10 times, point blank,  in the chest and abdomen.  He was a disabled man who had, that very morning, dropped his own granddaughter off at the high school where he was killed.

Bloodshed needs to stop both inside and outside of abortion “clinics.”  We have to remember that people who are pro-abortion, by definition, believe in killing as a solution.

WILX reported:

33-year-old Harlan James Drake is charged with four counts; first-degree premeditated murder against James Pouillon– a known anti-abortion activist of Owosso, first-degree premeditated murder against Mike Fuoss, an Owosso business owner, felony firearm and carrying a weapon with unlawful intent.
Police say when they apprehended Drake, he told them he was planning to kill a third person, James Howe, a realtor from Owosso.
Drake has no prior records and will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on September 25th. He remains in custody with no bond.

The battle between the culture of life and the culture of death has been going on since the beginning of time and will continue to the last day. Mr. Pouillon carried a beautiful sign, with truth on both sides. Would that there were similar signs in front of every abortuary in the country. We cannot shrink back now.

Please, someone, will you let me know where we can purchase some?


I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: Therefore choose life. — Deuteronomy 30:19

September 9th, 2009


Joe Scheidler 82.jpgI have been privileged to meet  few noble men in my time but Joseph Scheidler is right up there among them.  Catholic, pro-life activist, Director of the Pro-Life Action League, author, with a quiverful of kids, Joe Scheidler has time and time again risked life, limb, and livelihood trying to shut down the killing mills and save the babies.

On the occasion of his birthday on September 7, Joe penned a poem which I am happy to share with you.

I’m eighty-two! By George, it’s true.  But there wasn’t much that I could do…
I simply missed those lethal things that fit you out with “angel’s wings.”

I tried to have my eye knocked out – with a birthday gift iron-putter.
But Dr. Jimmy put it back. It looks just like the other.

A Roman Candle blew apart one Independence Day,
And left me with an ugly scar. It never went away.

I had a cancer, caught in time – the whole thing was a breeze.
What really made me mad as hell was losing both my knees!

I’ve eaten junk food by the ton, and should have died at twenty.
But I find junk food lots of fun, and felt I needed plenty.

My eyes are clear, my ears can hear – I’m steady on my feet.
I like to read, and walk and talk, but most of all to eat.

So mark my age, and call me old, since that’s what people do.
But one thing I know you don’t know: I’ll live to eighty-two.

God bless you, Joe,  and thank you for your years of leadership and unselfish service.

An Admirer.


It is therefore a service of love which we are all committed to ensure to our neighbor, that his or her life may be always defended and promoted, especially when it is weak or threatened. — John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae

September 8th, 2009


Kim Komando has been a guiding light for me ever since I had a computer, which is close to 15 years.  Just about everyone would benefit by subscribing  to her free newsletters and her daily tips.  If there is anyone more technically savvy and easily available,  I don’t know about them, but she remembers there are always newbies out there learning and tells them that when something she writes is underlined you can click it and it will take you to the relevant material.

In fact, I applauded Kim  in a blogpost over a year ago.   Looking back at that post,  she had written about a virtual pedometer that lets you measure the distance from here to there, and the link to that site still works!  I was really pleased to be able to measure the .67 miles from my house to my church.     Here is that exciting link again!

Kim’s little boy Ian is now 7 years old and today she writes about giving him his first cell phone.  When he started to take out his phone at the dinner table to contact a friend, she felt that was a  ‘no-no’  and that it was time to set up some rules of etiquette for kids with cell phones.  All told she has 11 such rules.   She wants Ian to understand that “family comes first” and you should ask permission to answer your phone with “Would you mind if I took this call?”

Among her rules are:

You are not permitted to purchase anything using your phone. No games. No ringtones. No apps.  Nothing

Cell phones should never make bodily sounds. Ringtones and apps that fart, belch or puke are funny, once. They don’t belong on your phone.

Your phone has a camera. Never take pictures of your private parts, or those of others.

I have to wonder about that last rule as I remember the old story about the parent who left his kid with the baby sitter, saying in jest, “Behave yourself and don’t put beans up your nose.”  It was something the child never would  have thought of on his own and that is exactly what he did!  It might be better not to have a phone with a camera once such an idea is in a kid’s head.

Way back when we got out first radio (I was about 12) I had heard people say there were things on the radio not appropriate for kids.   Need I add  that once everyone was out of the house I did my best to locate those inappropriate programs?  It was a real disappointment not to find
anything naughty.

Left alone with a cell phone with a camera, what’s a kid to do?

Kim also provides a link for cell phone plans for children.


Let the little children come to me. — Matthew 9:14

September 7th, 2009


This reminiscence of RULES FOR CLOTHESLINES in days of yore was an anonymous email offering:

1.  You had to wash the clothes line before hanging any clothes –
walk the entire lengths of each line with a damp cloth around the

2.  You had to hang the clothes in a certain order, and always hang
“whites” with “whites,” and hang them first.

3.  You never hung a shirt by the shoulders  – always by the tail!.
What would the neighbors think?

4.  Wash day on a Monday! . .. . Never hang clothes on the weekend,
or Sunday, for Heaven’s sake!

5.  Hang the sheets and towels on the outside lines so you could hide
your “unmentionables” in the middle (perverts & busybodies, y’know!)

6.   It didn’t matter if it was sub zero weather  … clothes would

7.  Always gather the clothes pins when taking down dry clothes!
Pins left on the lines were “tacky!”

8.  If you were efficient, you would line the clothes up so that each
item did not need two clothes pins, but shared one of the clothes
pins with the next washed item.

9.  Clothes off of the line before dinner time, neatly folded in the
clothes basket, and ready to be ironed.

10. IRONED?!  Well, that’s a whole other subject!


A clothesline was a news forecast
To neighbors passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep
When clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link
For neighbors always knew
If company had stopped on by
To spend a night or two.

For then you’d see the “fancy sheets”
And towels upon the line;
You’d see the “company table cloths”
With intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth
From folks who lived inside –
As brand new infant clothes were hung,
So carefully with pride!

The ages of the children could
So readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed,
You’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck,
As extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too,
Haphazardly were strung.

It also said, “Gone on vacation now”
When lines hung limp and bare.
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged
With not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon
If wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows,
And looked the other way . . .

But clotheslines now are of the past,
For dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home
Is anybody’s guess!

I really miss that way of life.
It was a friendly sign
When neighbors knew each other best
By what hung on the line.

September 6th, 2009


Long ago, actually just about a year ago, I wrote about my dental problems and the Homemade V8 that I made to help keep me nourished when I was unable to chew vegetables.  At the time I planned a post on kefir which I hoped I could get my daughter to write since she is both better informed and more experienced.  In fact, she gave me my first kefir grains way back then.  That has not come to pass and the time has come for the kefir post.

Like yogurt, kefir is a cultured milk product but contains several strains of friendly bacteria not found in yogurt.  It originated in the Caucasus mountain region, was reputedly first made from camel or goat milk,  and is said to be the reason for the long, healthy lives of the inhabitants.
Nowadays it is usually made with cow’s milk  with kefir grains which have been handed down through the ages, either purchased or donated.



Kefir grains are gelatinous bio-masses which contain many yeasts and friendly bacteria which ferment milk (making kefir) and reproduce themselves by making more grains.  “Kefir when consumed regularly can help control (and with time decimate)  ‘bad’ intestinal flora and fauna, can sooth and assist in the repair of damaged or inflamed sections of the intestines and also readjusts the ever decreasing balance of bacteria in your intestines helping build your immune system.”  Doesn’t that sound beneficial?

Kefir is rich in B1, B12, and biotin.  It also contains tryptophan which has a relaxing effect on the nervous system and tones the digestive system.  For those who are lactose-intolerant, it makes milk easier to digest. It has antibiotic properties.   Kefir has  everything  you hope to get when you purchase probiotics, but you can make it at home and it goes on forever.

Another good thing about making kefir (unlike yogurt)  is that it doesn’t need a special temperature to grow!  The warmer the weather, the faster it ferments.  It will thrive in the ambient temperature and it will not die in the refrigerator.

This is what I do.   Add a couple of tablespoons of kefir grains to milk (pasteurized or raw, whole or 2%, cow or goat) in a clear quart jar.  Let it sit.  The grains will rise to the top and the milk will thicken, resembling a thin yogurt.  The longer it sits, the tangier the taste.  I let mine sit until I see a little clear whey becoming apparent at the bottom.  Strain it using a plastic strainer (they say metal is not good for the kefir) and there you have it!  The grains will go into a clean jar with more milk and make more kefir.

To the strained kefir I usually add a banana, a handful of frozen blueberries (or mixed berries), an apple (with skin, without core), and another fruit (peaches, pears, pineapple, cantaloupe, etc.)  Blend into a smoothie and drink.   This will make 2 or 3 glasses of a smoothie drink and I enjoy  the taste of it. Sometimes I add some vitamin C, or a “greens” tablet,  if I remember.

A blender is truly a blessing when it comes to getting fruits and vegetables into dentally-challenged seniors.   And fruits and vegetables and kefir do wonders for sluggish colons!

There are oodles of sites with information about kefir on the internet.    One of my favorite sites is Dom’s Kefir in-site from Australia.