Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
August 26th, 2012




Robert Beck
And a FAMILY is born, and my life filled with a wonderment, and newfound purpose indescribable to anyone whom hasn’t experienced it themselves…

What hath God wrought? LOVE this pic.  


Laura VonBeck
July 11 via BlackBerry Smartphones App


August 17th, 2012


After five years, we finally have figs!  Not yet edible but definitely there and growing.  It was five years ago that I told Rita that I’d love to have a cutting from a fig tree she knew in Brooklyn.  For two years it was kept in the house during the winter until it was a couple of feet tall.  For two more years it stayed outdoors during our Connecticut winter, wrapped up in a old down coat.  Each year in the spring I wondered if it had survived, the old branches looked so wretched, but it due course it would arise from the roots and give life another try.   This last year, after a relatively mild winter, and a rainy, hot , hot summer it again sprang forth and it now taller than I am, with those great big fig leaves as in the paintings of naked people, and now, at last, FIGS are growing in the crotches of the branches.  The largest is not yet the size of a walnut and it is time I studied up on figs.

Here they are, in all their figgy beauty:

From Wikipedia

The flower is not visible, as it blooms inside the infructescence. Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig is actually the infructescence or sсion of the tree, known as a false fruit or multiple fruit, in which the flowers and seeds are borne. It is a hollow-ended stem containing many flowers. The small orifice (ostiole) visible on the middle of the fruit is a narrow passage, which allows the specialized fig wasp to enter the fruit and pollinate the flower, whereafter the fruit grows seeds.

When you read this you wonder how figs ever got going!  That they continue is surely some sort of miracle!

The infrutescence is pollinated by a symbiosis with a kind of fig wasp. The fertilized female wasp enters the fig through the sicon, which is a tiny hole in the crown (the ostiole). She crawls on the inflorescence inside the fig and pollinates some of the female flowers. She lays her eggs inside some of the flowers and dies. After weeks of development in their galls, the male wasps emerge before females through holes they produce by chewing the galls. The male wasps then fertilize the females by depositing semen in the hole in the gall. The males later return to the females and enlarge the holes to facilitate the females to emerge. Then some males enlarge holes in the sicon, which enables females to disperse after collecting pollen from the developed male flowers. Females have a short time (<48 hours) to find another fig tree with receptive siconios to spread the pollen and assist the tree in reproduction.

I hope everyone will forgive me if I have decided the understanding how figs reproduce in above my paygrade. I, will, however, let you know how they taste and what we do with them, once I know myself.

I am seriously worried about the fig wasps that seem to be necessary to get figs.  Where, or where, are they going to find another fig tree hereabouts within 48 hours????

August 9th, 2012


I’ve written before about my experiences with Mohs micrographic surgery for skin cancer but since skin cancer is such a common occurence among senior citizens my report may be of help to other old folks. (Yesterday, in the waiting room, there were three old men, one with a bandage on his nose, another on his forehead,and the third on his right arm.) I had had a biopsy of a lesion on my right cheek several weeks ago and it came back with a diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma. I was told to bring someone with me to drive me home after the surgery since the pressure bandages under my right eye would be likely to obscure my vision. They were right about that!

The doctor first drew a circle about the spot where the biopsy was done, as well as a line indicating the direction for the final sutures.  The nurse injected me with anesthetic, draped my head with a hole to allow the procedure, and turned on a bright light overhead.  Doc then came in and proceded to remove tissue, quite painlessly.  Nurse applied great big pressure bandage and sent me the waiting room to await microscopic exam on the removed tissue.  By this time, my coffee in the waiting room had cooled down and was very welcome.   I had brought food with me but had no appetite for it.

About an hour later I was called back it with the happy information that the edges were clear of cancer and I could be sewn up.  Back to the drape and the lights and more anesthetic and Doc proceded to stitch me up.  All I could feel was a little tugging.  It seemed there were lots of stitches and the final suture line was measured  at 3.5 cm.  More pressure bandages, good-bye, go home, come back in a week for suture removal.

At home I was to strictly limit activites for 24 hours.  Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes each hour for the rest of the day.    “If surgery is performed on head, face, or neck, AVOID STOOPING OR BENDING, AVOID STRAINING WITH BOWEL, MOVEMENTS, SLEEP WITH AN EXTRA PILLOW TO ELEVATE YOUR HEAD.”  I could take Tylenol if needed for pain.  No Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, Excedrin or any products containing aspirin.   I did not feel my discomfort needed medication.

After 24 hours remove pressure bandage, wash with gentle soap and water, apply Vaseline and a bandage.  ONLY IF a bloody crust develops over the wound site, add one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to a cup of water and clease the would with this solution.  My surgical site really looked quite messy and bloody, as if blood had oozed from each stitch. and  I was afraid to wash it, fearing it might bleed.  But I did, and it didn’t, and I proceeded with the peroxide solution which helped the appearance considerably.  On with Vaseline and a bandage, and that is where I am right now.

I can finally wear my glasses and see what I’m doing on the computer.  For the time being, I am content with my progress and, God willing, stitches will be out in a week.  Thanks for listening and may your Mohs go as well.












August 7th, 2012


My daughter, Katy, came to visit from Indiana and brought me an iPad for my birthday.  True, on first seeing what an iPad can do, one is filled with wonderment.  But when one learns that one is expected to learn how to make the iPad perform, one (or at least this one person) is worried about one’s ability to meet the challenge.

Fortunately, Katy set the whole thing up for me before she left.  It involved something called iTunes, which had never been on my radar before, multiple passwords which I will never remember, and a brief lesson on how  to access Scrabble on Facebook.  Of course Scrabble on Facebook on iPad is not like Scrabble on Facebook on my PC.  But I seem to be coping with that reasonably well so far.

Then there’s the  iCloud.  Somehow my computer and my iPad meet in the iCloud and exchange data!!!  Katy showed me how to get my email and delete the rejects.  I am still not at all clear as to what emails are still where – haven’t figured if I’m deleting the same emails twice on the two machines or what.   Yesterday, without my even asking it, my iPad went ding-dong and informed me that I should be up picketing our abortionist at 9 AM.   It was then 8:52.  Fortunately, that was in my plans.   Obviously that iCloud has been looking into my computer and knows my future plans by looking at my Google calendar!

Oh, yes.  Face Time!  When Katy arrived home after her flight my iPad started making a racket.  I opened it and there she was, laughing at me, wondering where the rest of my face was.  She was safe home, cooking, and showed me the meat on her stove.  Truly, truly this is a marvelous invention.  Before her visit, it had been a year since Katy and I had seen each other.   Now we can look at each other and talk FACE TO FACE.  Lucky me — in just a few days I’ll be able to show her my bandages after surgery for a facial cancer!

Also, she left me without showing me how to recharge the iPad.  I couldn’t find anything on my PC as basic as how to plug the thing in.  But I did have a charger and was told I should put one end in the wall outlet and then look around the iPad until I found an opening that would match the other end of the charger.  Sounds easy, doesn’t it?   I found an appropriate looking hole but decided I needed to take the iPad out of its cover so I could plug it in.  Once the iPad was freed and I turned the plug around it went nicely into the hole with a happy little sound.  But there was no notice, as on my cell phone, that it was “Charging.”  So I unplugged and replugged and it made the happy sound again and didn’t display the dreaded “Not Charging” that I had read about.  After a little while I unplugged again and found the battery percentage had gone from 33% to 34%.   I considered that progress and left it for several  hours. It is now 100% charged!

Now that it was  nicely full I put my iPad back in its cover but when I opened it – where were my icons?  Instead there was a notice I should “Slide to open” or something like that.  Also it no longer made a cute little click when I closed it again.  The next day it occurred to me that it might be in the folder backwards so I took it out, turned it around, and noticed that now the camera hole and the hole in the folder were now aligned  – which would be good if I wanted to use the camera!  And it also displayed the icons when opened and made that cute click when closed.

Do you supposed I’ll ever be really competent with this thing?   Stay tuned.





August 5th, 2012


Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took

The melody out of music,

The pride out of appearance,

The courtesy out of driving,

The romance out of love,

The commitment out of marriage,

The responsibility out of parenthood,

The togetherness out of the family,

The learning out of education,

The service out of patriotism,

The Golden Rule from rulers,

The nativity scene out of cities,

The civility out of behavior,

The refinement out of language,

The dedication out of employment,

The prudence out of spending,

The ambition out of achievement or
God out of government and school.


And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

We do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.

Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their hand over their hearts!


August 2nd, 2012


Bristol Palin has a blog which is called, of all things, Bristol’s Blog.

Matthew 5:11 reads: Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Bristol Palin first became acquained with the cost of holding Christian values when her mother, Sarah Palin, burst upon the political scene as vice-presidential candidate in the 2008 election. I had it on good report that a group of evangelists who were watching Sarah’s  maiden speech spontaneously stood and gave her a standing ovation in front of the television they were watching. My own response (as a new blogger) was to head for my computer and start expressing my pleasure in all capital letters for the first time ever. Among many viewers there was an immediate recognition of Sarah’s obvious goodness and a welcome to Sarah’s candidacy.

On the other hand, Sarah was immediately and viciously attacked by the left to such an extent that Bill O’Reilly would repeatedly ask, “Why do they hate Sarah?” and I, too,  blogged my wonderment. She was a good woman with impressive record as governor of Alaska,  with a strong family background, “fresh from the boonies,” who could dress a moose and shoot a bear if need be. What was not to like? But she was trashed relentlessly.

So it is not really surprising to Bristol Palin that she is now receiving the same treatment that her mother received, since she seems to publicly  espouse similar views.  For such a youngster (she’s only 22), Bristol has already had more life experience than most young women and seems reasonably reasonable.  She embarrassed her mother by getting pregnant during the campaign, kept her baby, ditched the baby-daddy, reached the finals on Dancing with the Stars, bought a house, and has a boyfriend but has decided not to sleep with him – yet.   She earns money advocating abstinence before marriage and also wrote a book, Not Afraid of Life:  My Journey so Far.

She had to know, when she decided to blog, that the hatred for her mother would follow her — especially since the wanted to share her thinking with the world.  Being Sarah’s daughter was bad enough, being pro-life was  not popular, preaching abstinence to single folks was passé, but then she really touched the third rail when she stated she was in favor of traditional marriage!   These days there is nothing – NOTHING – that will bring a rain of hate mail down on a person faster than standing for old-fashioned marriage.

I know.  I’ve been there.  Letters to the Editor used to be my thing – usually pro-life or contraceptive stuff.   But the real hot button to get radical creeps really crawling out of the woodwork is homosexuality.   Read the responses to a letter I wrote to a small local newspaper on Gay Activism!  Well over 250 people wrote to call me names, consign me to hell, even publish my name and address.  Poor Bristol Palin is quoted on a national scale, on TV and social media.  I can only imagine what it must be like to be a Palin and hated worldwide day in and day out.

Look what happened to Chick-fil-A when the owner professed to stand for marriage between two sexes.  It used to be normal, expected, honored, celebrated.  Our parents did it.  Marriage was a time-honored institution.  Now, all of a sudden, the thought police come after you and forbid your restaurant to open in your city, not because you won’t hire gays, not because you won’t serve gays, but just because of what you think  — that gay marriage is stupid and physically impossible because gays can’t mate — and that’s what marriage is about.

Let’s pray for the Palins, especially Bristol, that they can weather the storm and keep their eyes on the prize.

Check out this article for another view on the subject.