Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
January 31st, 2012


I once had a job as a killer.  Funny, but I never thought of it like that until now, 60 years later.  I had no sooner gotten my job with a pathologist at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago than I found out I was pregnant.  Very early in the pregnancy I started to bleed and started cry, thinking I had perhaps lost the baby.   That was another funny thing.  Until then I hadn’t realized that at some visceral level I cared about – wanted – that baby.   But – back to the job.

My boss, Dr. Cloudman, was doing experiments studying the effects of various carcinogens on white mice.  The only two carcinogens I remember being involved were methylcholanthrene and yttrium 88.  Part of my job was to examine all the mice in the cages every day and keep a record of tumor growths, making diagrams of tumor locations and size.   When I noticed that a mouse’s ears, usually pink, had turned white, that meant it was bleeding internally and I had to kill it.  It is very easy to kill a mouse.  You just grab its tail, hold the dull edge of your scalpel at the base of its skull, and pull on the tail.  This breaks its neck and you have a dead mouse.

The doctor would then autopsy the mouse and give me tissue samples which I would imbed, section with a microtome, mount on slides and stain.  Doctor would read the slides and record his findings.   I had no idea, then, what he learned from his studies,  but I see from his archives that he moved to Argonne National Laboratory in 1947, the year that I married, and some of his publications are on line.

It did not bother me, to kill a mouse.  It was my job.  Because of this job, I can understand how people can work in an abortion clinic and hardly think about what they are doing.  Its just a job.   Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the narrator in the following video, The Silent Scream, was a killer, too.  As a  gynecologist in New York City he was responsible for thousands of abortions, was founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League, and even aborted his own child. Filmed in 1980, The Silent Scream was ground-breaking in that it showed for the first time, using ultrasound, what goes on during an abortion. Back then ultrasound was a new tool, and grainy compared to today’s ultrasound pictures, but for the first time one could actually see the unborn child quietly moving around in the uterus, then the agitation when it senses invasion of its sanctuary, and then the silent open-mouthed scream in its final agony. And no one is more compentent to talk about it than Dr. Nathanson.

Nathanson finally understood  what really  happens during an abortion, saw hundreds of Operation Rescue people blocking abortion mills, praying and singing, and became the most influential pro-life gynecologist ever. He authored several books describing this journey, became a Christian and then a Catholic. Dr. Nathanson died this past year. May he rest in peace.

January 30th, 2012


Once again thousands and thousands of pro-life people traveled from far and wide to say that Roe v. Wade was bad legislation and should be overturned. Once again, the mainstream media saw fit to pretend the pro-lifers didn’t exist. On the other hand, some 60 or so Occupiers camped on public ground in DC and every media outlet was there taking note.

This past Saturday, January 21, in Dallas, several thousand people gathered downtown to march to the federal building for a public rally. I was one of them. Road blocks were set up. Half the city center was shut down. Thirty-three police and one helicopter escorted what police unofficially estimated to be 8,000 people through the heart of the city and back.

The local paper, The Dallas Morning News, did not cover it. Not a single photo. Not even a whisper.

The West Coast March for Life, attended by 50,000 was ignored by local news as highlighted by blogger and pundit Michelle Malkin and other attendees.

In Washington D.C., a crowd that has been estimated as numbering between 100,000 and 400,000 people marched down Constitution Avenue to protest abortion. The New York Times did not report on it. They did, however, include in their “Happenings in Washington” section a White House visit by NHL Stanley Cup champions and the signing of an Environmental Cooperation Agreement with the South Korean ambassador to the U.S.

Does this sound like a coincidence to you? Does this sound like unbiased reporting? Or does it sound like the mainstream media is deliberately not covering these events?

Apologists would have us believe that half a million to maybe more than a million people taking to the streets every year for the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision is not newsworthy. Why? Well, because it happens every year! Where’s the story in that?

Here’s the story: It happens every year. Read more.

March for Life, 2012

And here are the invisible victims of abortion, at that same MARCH FOR LIFE.

January 28th, 2012


Seventeen-year-old Caitlin McInnis has made a short film with a strong pro-life message called The Letter. A home-schooler, she got the idea for the film after watching the movie, Bella. She proves that creativity, talent and a message that goes to the heart don’t need a multi-million-dollar budget to reach a receptive audience.

Help it to get around. It deserves a wider audience. It is needed by a wider audience.


Read more.

I realize that youngsters are very technologically savvy these days, but this little gem of a video is both technologically and artistically impressive.  Though a teenager, Caitlin has the heart of a woman who can understand how an abortion can tear a heart apart. There are many, many women who have actually suffered abortions but have been able to find help and healing in ministries such as Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More.


For thou didst form my inward parts; thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.  — Psalm 139:13

January 24th, 2012


Do you remember, you elder folk, back in the days of old when every family had both a Sears & Roebuck catalog and a Montgomery Ward catalog?  How we pored over them, both parents and children, to see what we  could order  if we but had the money and what could be sent to us by mail!  Sears was my favorite and was the source of my maternity clothes, asphalt kitchen tiles, Melmac dinnerware and even some furniture.

Imagine my surprise when I received via email the following pages from that old Montgomery Ward catalog. The clothing looks familiar and we can remember wearing and buying those things.  Look at those shoes (genuine leather) for $1.99!  Can you imagine paying 9 cents for socks?   Back in those days, about 1936, as a freshman in highschool (should it be freshperson nowadays?) I couldn’t wait to grow up so I would stop growing out of my clothes and could wear my favorite apparel until death  It disturbed me was that I had grown out of my best skirt which was now too short. At the time skirts were worn at half-calf (no women wore pants in the thirties). Those were depression years and we were a family of seven. Most of my clothing was second-hand but I do remember that Mom bought me two NEW dresses and sent me to visit friends in Washington DC when I graduated from grade school.

To get back to hemlines, by the time I graduated from highschool in 1940 skirths were considerably shorter and the one that was too short in l936 was again wearable in 1940. Rayon and acetate were popular materials. Nylon had just been invented and sturdy nylon stockings (with seams, of course) wore forever. That was remedied by making them shearer and shearer until they were easily snagged and needed to be replaced often. It was during the thirties that lingerie which had previously been a peach or flesh color, started to appear in white. Of course I wore a girdle – even at sixteen – everybody did – if only to hold up my stockings! Pantyhose did not appear until the sixties

And here – pages from that old Montgomery Ward catalog!  (We called it, fondly, Monkey Ward.)

We all know that Sears has been around forever and continues going strong.  From what I read Montgomery Ward underwent struggles and bankruptcy.  Imagine my surprise when  I googled Montgomery Ward and came up with an online catalog!  It seems to be under new ownership but has some of the feel of that oldtime catalog.  Some of it is still “coming soon.”   There is an old-fashioned quaintness about it.  The prices, however, on the merchandise they are offering, are quite modern.

Behold the penny postcard (1928) added here because I have it and it’s old and I have no place else to put it.  Penny postcards have risen to 32 cents in a mere eighty years!




If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away – behold, the new has come. — 2 Cor. 5:17

In the 1930’s my family was necessarily frugal. We didn’t throw anything away because “we might need it someday. — MaryEllen on her blog, Grandma’s Musings.

January 23rd, 2012


Every once in a while an email comes around that makes you want to forward it to everyone in the world and surround it with arrows and sparkles so all will pay attention. Here is an explanation of the dangers of Communism/Socialism that anyone (even you) can understand.


There was a chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class.

One day while the class was in the lab, the Prof noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter.

The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back.

He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist regime.

In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked: “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.

The young man said that it was no joke. “You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn.

When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side.

The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again.

You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as business bailouts, extended unemployment benefits, alternative energy loans and subsidies, tax credits for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, farm subsidies, welfare, food stamps, foreign aid, subsidized medical care and drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms, just a little at a time.

One should always remember two truths:

1) There is no such thing as a free lunch.

2) and you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

If you see that all of this wonderful government ‘help’ is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America , you might want to send this on to your friends.

If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably delete this email.

But God help us all when the gate slams shut!

The public trough is inviting. The pigs eat and multiply. Soon Big Daddy can’t afford to feed them all. Then what?

January 21st, 2012


Every once in a while someone explains basic economics so clearly, so well, that you really have to wonder why others just “don’t get it.” To me, John Stossel is a clear-thinking man and his explanation of why people AND COUNTRIES need to live within their means makes perfect sense. Or maybe I’m just simple-minded.

May I present, thanks to Stossel, THE MONEY HOLE.

January 19th, 2012


Of all the pictures I’ve seen of Jesus, this is my favorite. It is not only a picture, but I think it is a portrait. Jesus must have had a superb photographer who knew how to produce a photographic negative on the superificial fibers of a linen cloth centuries ago. This is the face of the crucified man depicted on the Shroud of Turin.

There are people who actually do not think there ever was a historical person in the first century A.D. called Jesus. They can accept Plato. Aristotle. Caesar. But not Jesus.  What are they afraid of?  That he might speak to their hearts?

I’ve written about the Shroud before – here and here.

A new study of the Shroud of Turin has led to the suggestion that it was created by a huge burst of energy accompanying the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The image of the bearded man on the shroud must therefore have been created by ‘some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)’, their report concludes. But it stops short of offering a non-scientific explanation.
Professor Paolo Di Lazzaro, who led the study, said: ‘When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things such as miracles.

‘But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate.’
For centuries, people have argued about the authenticity of the shroud, which is kept in a climate-controlled case in Turin cathedral.

One of the most controversial relics in the Christian world, it bears the faint image of a man whose body appears to have nail wounds to the wrists and feet.

Some believe it to be a physical link to Jesus of Nazareth. For others, however, it is nothing more than an elaborate forgery.

That research was disputed, however, because there was a possibility of contamination from patches of cloth that had been sewn on following a fire in Chambery, France, in 1532That research was disputed, however, because there was a possibility of contamination from patches of cloth that had been sewn on following a fire in Chambery, France, in 1532

The Resurrection of Christ, 1463-65, fresco by Piero della Francesca: The Vatican - which owns the Turin shroud - shies away from statements over whether it is real or fake, but says it helps to explore the 'darkest mysteries of faith'The Resurrection of Christ, 1463-65, fresco by Piero della Francesca: The Vatican – which owns the Turin shroud – shies away from statements over whether it is real or fake, but says it helps to explore the ‘darkest mysteries of faith’
Carbon dating tests carried out in 1988 in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona suggested that the shroud was created some time between 1260 and 1390Carbon dating tests carried out in 1988 in Oxford, Zurich and Arizona suggested that the shroud was created some time between 1260 and 1390
Here is a link to  site which purports to show that Michaelangelo, unknowingly, imbedded in the Sistine Chapel frescoes an encoded image of Jesus which is the same as the one on the shroud.
January 17th, 2012


A couple of years ago I started to dabble in Scrabble on Facebook.  I had never Scrabbled before and I wrote about that learning curve. Now, according to the Scrabble tally, I have played exactly 300 games.   And I’ve learned a few more things.

It was my understanding that on the board game, Scrabble, you had to rely on your brain and the dictionary was only for looking up a disputed word.  One of the first things you learn on FB Scrabble is that there is no such thing as a disputed word. As soon as you play a word it is either accepted or rejected; there’s no arguing. Another difference is that on Facebook Scrabble they provide you with a list of acceptable two-letter words and you don’t have to be able to define them. You can play ae, aa, qi, hm, pe, oe and have no idea what they mean and that’s OK. Right off it has become clear that the rules for playing online are different.

So I looked up the rules for FBS (Facebook Scrabble). They say that it is OK to check the validity of a word before it is played in the little box that is  provided with the game. You could play around with the letters on your rack until you found a combination of letters that added up points and you didn’t have to know what the word meant at all.  When you came up with a word like hae or qat or arim or whatever, that was fine.  And if using the little valid word-checker was OK, then it would certainly be OK to  use a regular dictionary or a Scrabble dictionary but the word-checker was much handier.

I have an excellent vocabulary but eventually I noticed that other people were using words that I had never heard of–that they were finding words in their 7-tiles that were really unlikely to be in their vocabulary.  That was when I discovered the World Wide Web had anagram finding sites that would list all the valid words in your 7 tiles.  You could spend all day re-arranging your 7 tiles and never come up with some of the more unusual ones.   It was a real time-saver.  You filled in your 7 tiles and chose the word that best fit the situation.  I figured it was just a time-saver and I was already spending too much time on Scrabble.   Everyone else was coming up with weird words and I knew their vocabularies were unlikely to be better than mine.

Well, along came Katy, my daughter, and we played a few games, which I usually won.  “Are you cheating?”  she asked.  “Where are all those long words coming from?”  I explained to her that I had seen no rules on Facebook Scrabble against using aids, and we were even provided with the aids I’ve already mentioned.  I told her she was welcome to get her kids to help her, use the dictionary, whatever! There seemed to be no rule against it.

So, Katy fixed my wagon.   All of a sudden her Scrabble playing reached new heights.  I had never scored over 500 points in a game.   All of a sudden Katy’s scores were way up there in the stratosphere!  I could tell by the way the games were going she had found some super aid somewhere and I was never going to win a game again.

So, now I know.  The internet  not only has word-finding aids  but actually game-playing sites!!  You can reproduce your Scrabble board on their grid and it will not only show you the best possible word you can play, given the tiles you have, but where to play it.   “Never lose another game,”  it says!

One of the Scrabble help sites says

Please use our Scrabble Helper responsibly. It is up to you to cheat or not to cheat; there is a thin line between cheating and improving your vocabulary. Our professional Scrabble players – who use our solver daily – make sure to click on words and learn dictionary definitions.

Does that mean that most people use a “solver”  and it’s OK provided you learn the meaning of the words you choose?

Well, I thought I would poll some of the friends I was playing online with, and I asked them, honestly, were they using other sites than the Facebook site for help when they played a game. Some didn’t reply. The three that did said:

Used to use a scrabble words web site. But I don’t use anything anymore. I just play words.

Not during a game.

I use the teacher feature on the iPhone version of scrabble which tells you what the best play was after you go. It helps me quite a bit. Unlike the board game I also use the electronic scrabble dictionary extensively. As such my scores are generally higher when playing electronically. We have a HODSON rule that one can only use what comes with the scrabble app.  If you use some of the sites you pretty much can make the best play every time. Then the game will evolve into luck of the draw in which case we might as well just play “war” with cards and save the trouble.

The fact that some of the people I polled did not respond tells a tale.  In fact, my first tip that others were not playing the old-fashioned board game scrabble  came when one of them got his highest word score with a medical word that had a one-in-a-gazillion chance of being in his vocabulary.

I’ve also learned that those who play from their smart phones and iPads have the teacher-feature mentioned above which will tell you the best word you could have played (after the play is done) — which means maybe you can play it next time!

When you get right down to it, using an anagram site to find all the words in your tiles is really small time cheating.    There’s big time cheating to be done using the computer’s brain instead of yours.   It will tell you what word to play and where to put it!  Katy found it wasn’t as much fun that way.  Scrabblers that use  Scrabble apps on their smart phones or iPads have an advantage over those using Facebook, because they have the teacher-feature.

Recently an opponent played the word bean and my little word-checker box assured me that beano was a valid word.  I played beano along with rhino in the other direction and the points added up nicely.   When my opponent played jaw the word-checker told me jawed was valid and when it ended up on a TW square the points were good.   In my opinion using the helps that come with the game is not cheating.

Katy and I are still enjoying online Scrabble  but staying away from the sites that will play the game for you.  I like the HODSON rule mentioned above that you can only use what comes with the Scrabble app.

Anyone else want to weigh in?

January 15th, 2012


I felt these two recent pieces on the internet should appear together as they highlight a growing anti-Christian sentiment in our own country and in the world at large.

International Christian Concern has released its annual Hall of Shame Awards given to the ten worst nations for religious persecution.  They note that there is a recent gradual  shift in religious persecution from Communist countries to Islamic countries.

ICC ranks the world’s worst persecutors of Christians as following:

1. North Korea
2. Iraq
3. Ethiopia
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Somalia
6. Iran
7. Eritrea
8. China
9. Vietnam
10. Pakistan

Michael Voris on The Vortex tells about the “shadow” that Pope Benedict sees falling over the culture with the collapse of the old world and an ever increasing marginalization of the Catholic Church.

And here, Protestant Evangelist David Wilkerson wails over what is happening in our society.


For her part, the Church in the United States is called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to human happiness and social prospering — Pope Benedict XVI

January 14th, 2012


Congressman Allen West,  (R-FLA), a Lt. Colonel who retired after twenty-two years in the Army, took note of the hullaballoo in the mainstream media when a video surfaced which purportedly showed United States Marines urinating on the bodies of deceased Taliban combatants.

Hardly respectful.  Not, we would hope, typical Marine behavior. More likely one of those “boys will be boys” things.  The liberal media is aghast and we get the impression the culprits should be drawn-and-quartered or, at least,  jailed for twenty-three years.

Colonel West, I think, is both respectful and sensible.  He has this to say:

In an email to The Weekly Standard, West listed a number of very public instances in which American troops were subjected to torture, executed, or had their bodies desecrated. He went on to say:
“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”