Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
June 27th, 2010


When you’re on the verge of 87 and have just snapped off at the root a lower incisor that has served faithfully for 81 years (and are afraid that come Monday the dentist is going to say it’s time to pull the remaining lower teeth!) well, then, you try to look at the sunny side of things.

Right now, I can neither bite nor chew without some pain.  One good thing is that having been “dentally challenged” for some years, I have learned how to eat without chewing.  If you boil an egg and smash it all up with a fork, you can swallow it right down. Yesterday I made a chocolate malt in my blender with ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, and WALNUTS!  That also goes down nicely.  As usual, I have kefir smoothies with bananas, apples, and blueberries (or other available fruit.)   Then there’s yogurt, custard, soup, and mashed potatoes (white and yellow).    Chocolate obligingly melts in my mouth.  All in all, it’s doable, but being able to chew would be much nicer.

Another triumph:  Long ago I tried the shoewear  known as thongs, flip-flips, or zoris and decided I couldn’t wear them because they rubbed between the toes and hurt.  Since I have bones where my arch should be it really hurts to walk barefoot and I need some sort of cushion between me and the floor.   Last week I actually picked up some flip-flops at Walgreen’s, introduced my feet to them gradually, and find this is something else that is doable, comfortable, and very handy.   Also cool.

Another blessing, not of my doing, is that a robin has just built a nest in the rosebush on the front porch trellis.  I went back and looked at my Robin Reports of 2008 and 2009. Each year I marvel at robin instincts  and faithfulness.  My friend Dolores tells me that the ducks nesting by her pond would fight to the death to protect their eggs.  Where is the human instinct to protect the as yet unborn?  The robin nest, as I say,  is not of my doing, but I did plant the rosebush umpteen years ago!

The lovely lady who leads the rosary after Mass in the morning, follows it with some Legion of Mary prayers which include Mary’s Canticle (Luke 1:46-55).   I have been dismayed that after saying it regularly for well over a year, I had not yet learned the responses.  It seemed they just wouldn’t stick in my head and, of course, I blamed it on old age.  Well, behold!, finally, I seem to have learned them.  Don’t know how long they’ll stay, but for the time being, they’re mine.  And my soul glorifies the Lord!

v. My soul glorifies the Lord.
R. My spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
v. He looks on His servant in her lowliness;
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.

R. The Almighty works marvels for me.
Holy His name!
v. His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.

R. He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
v. He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.

R. He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.

v. He protects Israel His servant,
remembering His mercy,
R. The mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons for ever.

POSTSCRIPT:   When I finally got to the dentist on Monday my lower central incisors had been flopping around for a couple of days and he hardly had to pull at all – just sort of lifted them out.   Then — miracle of miracles! — he worked on them a bit and turned around and glued them back in!   (Not in their sockets, mind you, but onto the remaining teeth.)   So I’m back in business, biting (gently) and chewing (gently) and I won’t have to go toothless to my birthday party on July 10.   What a dentist!


Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. ” — Luke 9:58

June 17th, 2010


I started this post two Lents ago.  I hoped to publish it when my bad habit was gone.  That has not happened.  This morning at Mass I decided I should post it anyway, even though it is not a success story.   You are invited to pray for me.

Compulsions abound.  Many people have them and there are many different kinds.  Some folks suck their thumbs or bite their nails.  Some like things arranged super-orderly.  Some eat too much, drink too much, some binge and purge.  Some twist their hair and pull out their eyebrows. Some masturbate.  Some are kleptomaniacs and some are child molesters.  Some of these compulsions are more serious than others, less socially acceptable, more harmful to self and society.  One thing true about compulsions is that most people wish they didn’t  have them – but by now they are habitual.  They say, “I can’t help myself.”

Habits develop one fine gossamer strand at a time.  You do it once.  It somehow comforts you.  You do it again. And again. And again.  Soon the gossamer strand is a strong cable–the action becomes second nature.  When you are tired, or anxious, or bored, or lonely, you go there, almost “naturally.”

I’m an old lady and I’ve noticed that the older I get the longer it takes for little wounds to heal.  I do not seem to have the patience to wait for nature to take its course.  The mosquito bite that I’ve scratched until it bled would heal in due time but I will scratch it when I think the scab is “almost” ready to come off, and keep that up over and over again.  Every little protuberance on my epidermis annoys me and I’ll pick at it, actually making it worse rather than better.  Eventually I’ll develop what is essentially a callus, and I can peel off the top layer every now and then.  The blemish could have been gone in a month.  Now it will take six months, perhaps, for it to disappear, even if I never touch it again.  Once I had such a “hyperkeratosis” on my right hand which the dermatologist froze with his zapper, and I actually allowed it to heal.  But I found something else to pick at.  Once I had one on my left hand and when I broke my left wrist the cast covered it.  Six weeks later it was still there, just waiting for me, with a few little skin flakes on top.    I kept it going for a long time after that. If I had a raised mole anywhere on my body I suspect I would have  to have it surgically removed or I would scratch it off.  Once I pulled a wart out by its roots and it bled all over my white cashmere sweater.

I can admit I have a problem.  I have been picking at myself for years.   My fingers are familiar with every little bump on my body.  My mind tells me I should let God heal my little wounds in his time, in his way.  But I pick and pick and scratch and scratch.  I have a habit I don’t like.  I’ve tried replacing it with another habit.  I thought that saying the rosary would occupy my hands.  But my mind would wander and one hand would pick while the other fingered the beads.  I would ask God to take away my habit– presto, change-o.  No miracle was forthcoming.

Notice that all the compulsions I have listed  somehow involve the hands.  If we could just keep our hands still we would not do any of the things mentioned.  We know these actions are things we can control, if only a little bit, because we don’t do them in public. That is important – we still have a wee bit of control.  But not enough to stop entirely.

It is Ash Wednesday, 2009.  I am going to give up TV.  (When you think about it, watching TV can become a compulsion.  You just flick it on and it comforts, amuses, occupies you — takes your mind off yourself and your problems.)  And chocolate.  (Another “comfort food.”  How often have I thought “I need chocolate, do you have any chocolate?”  I can empathize with addicts of all kinds.  Fortunately, my fix is chocolate — so far.)

The third thing I wanted to give up was picking.    This was not as simple as turning off the TV for six weeks, or just not buying anything chocolate.  This was not a one-time choice that you make once and it’s done for all of Lent.   No, picking is a thing to be dealt with daily, or even numerous times a day.

This has been a long-ingrained habit.  I remember visiting with my grandmother-in-law when the kids were small.  She commented, “That child [meaning me] has done nothing but scratch since she’s been here.”  I wasn’t even conscious of it.  There’s a tactile thing going on that seems to be a tension reducer.  After all, the skin is our biggest sense organ and the skin arises from the ectoderm, as does the nervous system.  Why do we love massages? Someone fussing with our hair?  A back scratch?  I note that even seasoned performers on TV occasionally do a little nervous scratching, usually on an arm, because it is so handy.  The arm is  not itchy but somehow it needs scratching.

Why do I write about my picking habit, which hardly anyone knows about?  Because habits are hard, hard, hard to break.  It was not enough for me say a prayer that God would take away my habit.  I could not use my intelligence to find a solution on my own.  We need, of course, to take advantage of whatever helps we can.   Use whatever you can think of that might delay or prevent indulging in your particular habit.    With my picking, tiny spot Band-Aids are helpful. After I have shelled out several dollars for a box of little bandages I am less likely to tear one off to scratch something I really want to get rid of.

However,  I found it necessary to call upon God for help, not just once but rather minute by minute, to have any real self-control at all   And then, of course, it was not MY control – it was my little effort combined with God’s help.  Calling on God: “God, you are my help.  God, you are my help.  God, you are my help”  Over and over again, like a mantra.  I decided to keep on saying it until I fell asleep.

If my mind wandered, my fingers wandered.   As long as my mind was directed to God, my hands were still.  Than I noticed a remarkable thing.   I was no longer restraining hands that wanted to wander.  My hands didn’t even want to wander.  In fact, they felt heavy, and I felt peaceful, somewhat like the feeling when someone prays with me and I rest in the spirit.  I would feel my prayer had been heard and WE had some control.

Does my “solution” to bad habits sound too easy?  Am I saying that all you need to do is call on God and your bad habit will disappear?  Not at all.  Breaking a habit  is not an easy thing to do.  It requires repeated decisions.  It requires constant efforts of the will, repeated turning to God to ask for help.    It is not easy, but it is possible.  God is our ever present help in times of need.

It’s not as if calling on God for help is anything new!  It’s a time-honored remedy for many things.  Whether you have a scab you want to pick at, or a neighbor you want to pummel.  GOD IS OUR HELP.   We don’t need to go it alone.

My bad habit is one that is relatively easy to talk or write about. It is not expensive, life-threatening, or harmful to others.  It is hardly worth mentioning.     But I, who like to be in control, found myself with lack of control.  Perhaps God has let me struggle with this because it might help others with different bad habits.  Perhaps just one person in Brisbane or Beijing will read this post and find hope and help.

That was the way I wrote at the beginning of Lent.   I was sure that God and I would conquer this bad habit.   Now Pentecost approaches and it is time for full disclosure.   Yes,  my two favorite scratching spots are now just blips on my skin, almost unnoticeable.   I am still tempted to scratch at them but usually don’t.   Why?   Because I have started a NEW scratching spot.  I like having something to scratch at.  It gives me something to do.  It relieves tension and I am wired fidgety.

I know turning to God is the way to go.  Maybe if I had a habit that disfigured me or threatened my health I would have tried harder to get rid of it.   I would have leaned harder on God.  I do not have a success story to report but habits are known for their tenacity and relapse is usually part of the healing story. I never like to admit defeat but the failure is mine, not God’s.  It is true that God helps those who help themselves but, as Scripture says, when we are weak, he is strong.

The entire selection from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 reads thus:

And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.  Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities, for when I am weak, the I am strong.

I should, therefore, thank God even when I am weak for it is a blessing in that it keeps me looking to him for strength.  Should I ever become whole and healed, I might forget where it all comes from, I might forget from whom comes my very breath.

Another blessing comes with my “thorn.”  It has given me enormous compassion for those who are trying to kick  bad habits.  I know from experience that they have a hard row to hoe – I pray for patience and perseverance for myself and them.


For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. — Romans 7.

Just because you got the monkey off your back, it doesn’t mean the circus has left town. — Anon.

June 16th, 2010


Michael Voris, 47,  a Notre Dame graduate, received a degree in Sacred Theology (magna cum laude) from Sacred Heart Major seminary in Rome. Formerly with CBS and Fox, he has won four Emmys in broadcast news production. Voris has now teamed up with St. Michael the Archangel to “overcome the darkness” and help lead the battle against Satan in our time. Founder of St. Michael’s Media,  he has begun producing Catholic programming on his television show, The One True Faith, and in collaboration with Voris is creator and host of The Vortex and I have included two samples of Vortex videos below.

In this first video, Michael Voris tells the story of his return to the Catholic Church.

In my opinion, this is quality Catholic programming, hard-hitting and on-target.  Why not try it out?  A subscription is free.

“Coming Home” is so easy:
1. Go to confession.
2. Go to Mass.


As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  — John 15:4

June 14th, 2010


Who is behind the Tea Party? What gives it heart and strength? Listen up!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I challenge you to watch this story behind our National Anthem without weeping.

June 12th, 2010


If you’re over 100, you’ll remember THIS!

1909 FORD

Mom and Dad married in 1922 and moved to Detroit to make their fortune because Ford was making cars and Dad could work as a carpenter building homes for their workers.    When they bought their first car in the twenties, it looked more like this.   (I distinctly remember the crank in front and brother  Bob remembers the running board.)

1926 FORD

About 1930 no one was building houses in Detroit.   Mom and Dad piled the four of us in our Ford and drove us from Detroit to Lebanon, PA, where Dad got a job in Uncle George’s silk mill.   The GREAT DEPRESSION had begun!    I don’t know how our car ended up.  It just disappeared and our family never had a car again until Dad bought a used car about 1946.


Here are some statistics for the Year 1909 :

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Fuel for this car was sold in drug stores only.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone…

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel  Tower!

The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year ..

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,  a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press  AND the government as ‘substandard. ‘

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza  
2. Tuberculosis  
3. Diarrhea  
4. Heart disease  
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented yet.

There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day..

Two out of every 10 adults couldn’t read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school..

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.

Back then pharmacists said, ‘Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,  regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health’

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!

Plus one more sad thought; 95 percent of the taxes we have now did not exist in 1909.

From here, this data  will be sent to others all over the WORLD all in a matter of seconds! Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.


June 9th, 2010


It is my pleasure to introduce Danny and Nathan Ong, who are (almost) relatives of mine.

Danny and Nathan on the trampoline


Nathan and Danny on their new skateboarding ramp (with a cameo appearance by Ginger, the dog).



Great kids!  Lean and healthy!

June 8th, 2010


This year, on August 26, the date on which Mother Teresa would have been 100 years old, the U. S. Postal Service will be honoring her by issuing a commemorative stamp bearing her picture.  As a further tribute to Mother Teresa, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League wrote to the Empire  State Building Partners requesting that also on that date, August 26, the Empire State Building display the colors of Mother Teresa’s organization, the Missionaries of Charity, by shining blue, white and blue lights.

The decision to issue the stamp brought an immediate protest from the Freedom from Religion Foundation spokeswoman, Annie Laurie Gaylor,  who said it runs against Postal Service regulations.  “Mother Teresa is principally known as a religious figure who ran a religious institution. You can’t really separate her being a nun and being a Roman Catholic from everything she did,”  Gaylor told Fox News.   Nevertheless, in the past stamps have been issued in honor of Malcolm X, Father Flanagan, Martin Luther King.

And as a response to Donohue’s request that the Empire State Building display Mother Teresa’s colors, the request was denied without explanation.

Says Donohue:

Mother Teresa received 124 awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Freedom.  She build hundreds of orphanages, hospitals, hospices, health clinics, homeless shelters, youth shelters, and soup kitchens all over the world and is revered in India for her work.  She created the first hospice in Greenwich Village for AIDS patients.  Not surprisingly, she was voted the most admired woman in the world three years in a row in the mid-1990s.  But she is not good enough for the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building has a website,, which will tell you what color the Empire State Building is today (in case you’re out of town or it’s daytime), and also  will tell you why.  For example, today, June 8, it is purple, blue and white, in honor of  United Nations World Oceans Day.   Last year on the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Communist revolution they honored Mao Zedong, perhaps the greatest mass murderer in history, by shining red and yellow lights.

Well!  Mao Zedong but not Mother Teresa?

We are petitioning Anthony Malkin, owner of the Empire State Building, to reverse their decision.  Write him at: Malkin Properties, One Grand Central Place, 60 E. 42nd Street, New York NY 10165.  When CBS reporters sought to interview Malkin they were escorted out of the building.

The Catholic League plans a demonstration outside of the Empire State Building  on August 26 to protest this obvious  discrimination against a world-renowned humanitarian  because of her religion.

June 5th, 2010


Last month my grandson suggested that I watch the movie Zeitgeist so that I might be better informed and I have written about that in a previous post. I had intended to delve into its claims that an international monied banking cartel is working behind the scenes towards a New World Order but have been side-tracked by a death in the family and visiting relatives.  However, since that time I’ve come across The Obama Deception (video below) which says many of the same things as Zeitgeist and brings it up to date with Barack Obama as the current puppet whose strings are being pulled.   Together the two films, from different sources,  deliver a double whammy.

I have no words to say that would be harder hitting than these two videos together and I invite my readers to watch them and weigh the evidence.   Following is the blurb that accompanies the film.  It has seemed clear to me that the Obama administration started out corrupt, is getting more corrupt, and that the mainstream media, in general, are complicit–one might even say criminally complicit.  Obama does not seem at all interested in preserving “the American way.”  Judge for yourself.

The Obama Deception is a hard-hitting film that completely destroys the myth that Barack Obama is working for the best interests of the American people. The Obama phenomenon is a hoax carefully crafted by the captains of the New World Order. He is being pushed as savior in an attempt to con the American people into accepting global slavery. We have reached a critical juncture in the New World Order’s plans  and only by exposing the con can we help to save freedom in America. The Obama Deception is not about Left or Right: it’s about a One World Government. The international banks plan to loot the people of the United States and turn them into slaves on a Global Plantation. Covered in this film: who Obama works for, what lies he has told, and his real agenda, and how his initial appointments and actions prove he serves the corporate oligarchs, not the American people. If you want to know the facts and cut through all the hype, this is the film for you.


Global strategist Henry Kissinger, someone we all know, reputedly a member of the Bilderbergs and Rockefeller front man, is featured in the following video.

By way of a very brief historical background, Wikipedia offers an overview regarding a  new world order conspiracy.   It also lists members of the Bilderberg group.


Stand still, little sheep, and be shorn.

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings,and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths. — 2 Timothy 4:3

June 2nd, 2010


Making the rounds on email:


A distraught senior citizen phoned her doctor’s office:  “Is it true,” she wanted to know, “That the medication you prescribed has to be taken for the rest of my life.”     Yes, I’m afraid so,” the doctor told her.  There was a moment of silence before the senior lady replied, “I’m wondering, then, just how serious is my condition? — because the prescription is marked NO REFILLS.”


An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation.   As he was about to get the anesthesia he asked to speak to his son.  “‘Yes, Dad, what is it?”

‘Don’t be nervous, son; do your best.   And just remember, if it doesn’t go well, if something happens to me, your mother is going to come and live with you and your wife….’


Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.


The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.


Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me! I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way  — and some of the roads weren’t paved.


When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of Algebra.


You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.


One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young.    Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.


First you forget names, then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It’s worse when you forget to pull it down.


Two old guys are pushing their carts around Wal-Mart when they collide. The first old guy says to the second guy, ‘Sorry about that. I’m looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.’   The second old guy says, ‘That’s OK, it’s a coincidence. I’m looking for my wife, too   I can’t find her and I’m getting a little desperate.’

The first old guy says, ‘Well, maybe I can help you find her. What does she look like?’ ‘ The second old guy says, ‘Well, she is 27 yrs old, tall, with red hair, blue eyes, long legs, and is wearing short shorts.  What does your wife look like?’

To which the first old guy says, ‘Doesn’t matter, — let’s look for yours.’


Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder, and your hand over my mouth! ——————————————————————————–

June 2nd, 2010


The teacher wrote the song and the third graders of Tussing Elementary School, Colonial Heights, Virginia, sing: