Cluster of wheat image Grapes and vines image Cluster of wheat image
July 12th, 2009


When we named my blog Musings at 85 we jumped the gun by several months, but I was close enough to 85 to be OK with it.  And when son Johnny renamed it Musings at 86 a few weeks ago that was OK with me, too.  We were close enough.  But today, for first time, I am actually  musing at 86.   Yesterday (the actual birthday)  was too busy to muse online.  It was a very good day.   Mass a 7:30 with my mass friends.  Praying at the abortion mill for a couple of hours, followed by lunch with my pro-life friends.  Phone calls, e-mails, cards, visits,  gifts, flowers –  what would we do without family and friends?  One friend took me to see My Sister’s Keeper, a real tear-jerker, very well acted, with a up-close look at death by cancer which some would find hard to take.  Another friend took me to Cold Stone Creamery (who knew there was such a place?) where they smashed together (on a cold stone, I presume)  ice cream, chocolate pieces, peanut butter and chocolate syrup for me to enjoy.  I got to see my five-year-old great-granddaughter, Selva, (who lives in Guatemala)  sing on Facebook and visit in person!  I mean – what a birthday!


I was one of five siblings and all are still alive. Here we are at a previous gathering. I’m the one on the left with half a face missing. We are, left to right, Dorothy 85, Bob 82, Annette 80, Ernie 79, and Dolly 70.  We try to get together as often as possible as we are so glad to still have each other. Since Dolly (the baby) moved to Florida, away from the rest of us, we are especially glad when she is able to join us.

Today we gathered again, except for Dolly, who called yesterday to wish me well and tell me they have a new doggie, a Puggle (a Pug and Beagle mix). We called her again today from the restaurant for no other reason than that she is our sister and we love her.   We had a lovely lunch, communed and commiserated, and parted ways.

Plumb tuckered out by two days of celebrating being 86, I am happy at last to settle down and listen (and pray for) Father Groeschel who is also struggling with aging and infirmity.   He is talking about our merciful God and that seems like a happy thought to go to bed with.   Good night and God bless.


Here is the latest photo of the siblings:  October, 2009.



They are planted in the house of the Lord, they flourish in the courts of our God – They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green — Psalm 92: 13,14

December 22nd, 2008


This is just too great not to pass along.  We only had seven kids but have heard all those comments from “perfect” strangers.

November 29th, 2008


I just turned on the computer to see what weather I had to dress for.  We will pray at the abortion mill this morning and one needs to be prepared.   I noted a “Ta-Da!” in my Google reader and wondered what someone was ta-da-ing about.  It was a fellow muser, at Musings of a Housewife and the ta-da was about her Christmas tree – up and beautiful and it’s still November!   Well, OK.

I noted to the right of the tree a blog title “At the Foot of His Grave, I Sat Down and Cried.”  Intrigued, I clicked it.  It seems our housewife’s father died over a year ago and she had not attended the funeral – she explains why.  But now she has the opportunity to visit his grave at the Florida National Cemetery.    She finds the grave, does not know what she feels or should feel. She holds her baby and kneels before the gravestone:

I took her, and kneeled in front of the stone. I looked at the words, ‘Beloved Father and Grandfather.’

‘Dad,’ I said, ‘This is Cassidy.’

And I started to cry.

And I started to cry.

So here it is, still dark, before breakfast, and I am crying.  But crying not only for Cassidy’s grief (until this moment I had not know our Musing Housewife’s name was Cassidy) but for the outpouring in the comments that followed.   They are all short, beginning with “Oh my friend”  and “I’m so sorry” and sending love and hugs.

It is still dark and I haven’t had my breakfast and I am marveling at the connectedness of humankind in this impersonal cybersphere.

Surely it is a marvelous world and we are wonderfully made and mysteriously linked.


Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.   Romans 12:15

November 19th, 2008


It was a TV comedy series.  The bride-to-be looked lovingly at the groom and whispered: “If it were possible to promise to love you forever, I would.”  They then proceeded to go through a wedding ceremony–-for their parents’ sake.

More and more nowadays in real life marriage is getting little respect.  There are couples who are living together because they love each other, are “committed to each other,” and don’t need the formality of a paper that says they are committed.  There are others who “marry” for the time being because it is unrealistic to expect what they feel now to last forever.  Still others live together but are not committed; they just want to enjoy each other, no strings attached.

“Marriage is on the way out, it is a dying institution.”  “Marriage is an anachronism.”  “Marriage is the tender trap.”  Marriage is a mirage.

Yet people continue to get married.  And, if the tears are any indication, people continue to find marriages very moving.   What is it about marriage that makes it at once so attractive and so off-putting?  So heart-warming and yet so frightening?

When people say that marriage is outmoded they are not, of course, talking about group marriage, trial marriage, open marriage, two-stage marriage, or contract marriage (with an option for renewal.)   They are talking about marriage in the traditional sense–a commitment, a contract, if you will, “to take each other, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

After the couple in the television program had gone through the wedding ceremony, were they married under the above definition?  I would say they were not, simply because they did not believe such a marriage was possible and therefore their promises were empty mouthings. Read the rest of this entry »

July 19th, 2008


Each Sunday after Kristin’s mom confided to me, “I’m going to be a grandma,” I would check during mass to see how Kristin’s pregnancy was progressing. Kristin and Ken’s baby would be welcome — the first grandchild — coming into the world with a mommy and a daddy, doting grandparents, aunts and uncles in abundance. It all seemed so normal and right — the way it ought to be for every baby.

Having a baby is always a step into the unknown. There are no guarantees, but this baby seemed destined to be born to healthy parents and well-cared for, both emotionally and materially. To my way of thinking, little Olivia would be born under the protection of God’s umbrella. She would have what God had planned for every baby.

Children are not dropped out of the sky but are born into families, to be nurtured by a mother and a father. Nor do they come without instructions. In fact, God has really gone out of His way to provide a manual for living, not leaving us to our own devices. He has sent us his son, Jesus Christ, and the guidance of Scripture.

Some might say we should call the Ten Commandments the “ten prohibitions.” “Thou shalt not!” Thou shalt not!” Thou shalt not!” Whatever happened to freedom? Whatever happened to choice? How limiting they are! But, like the Operator’s Manual for your automobile, the Ten Commandments are instructions from the Maker and are ignored at our peril. Read the rest of this entry »

June 29th, 2008


Katy is coming in a week. Katy is my fourth child and fourth daughter. It doesn’t seem possible it is already two years since I’ve seen her. At that time I visited Katy and her family in Indiana on the occasion of Brian’s graduation from Ball U.. I cannot remember the last time Katy visited me here. Have to get the house and yard in order so it won’t look like I’ve neglected everything big time. Have to figure out what I’m going to feed the child. Though she’s well into her fifties she is still my child, and she’s been away long enough so that I don’t know what she likes to eat!

This momentous event requires a moratorium on blogging. So much to do, so little time. If we have a few dry days in a row, I’d like to paint the porch rail. Actually, it seems to me more substantial than a rail and probably it has another name, which is not coming to me. It surrounds the porch and the columns that hold up the porch roof rest on it. Whatever it’s name it needs painting.

There was a doctor appointment yesterday and a dentist appointment scheduled in the coming week, not to mention a lunch this Sunday and the usual prayers at the abortion mill each Tuesday and Saturday (the killing days). Read the rest of this entry »

April 25th, 2008

The LARGE Family

Everyone knows there are disadvantages to having children in quantity. We happen to have had seven. One day a neighbor child said to me, “My mother doesn’t know how you stand it with all those kids.” Another woman said , “How do you do it?” meaning “How do you manage to keep them all fed, clothed, and reasonably clean?” Others would ask, “How can you afford it? We have just the two and we never have any spare cash.”

These people are voicing the three main objections to children. The noise and constant demands of children can be nerve-wracking; caring for children requires a lot of hard work when they are well and even more when they are sick; children are expensive.
Read the rest of this entry »

March 30th, 2008


As a Catholic woman, mother of seven, with a BS in Biochemistry and a stint in the U of Chicago medical school, the subjects that have intrigued me over the years have involved the relationship of faith and family, science and scripture, biology and the Bible. Thus I have studied and written about natural childbirth, breastfeeding, health and nutrition, child-rearing, abortion, contraception, evolution, homosexuality, stem cell research, and so on. At each stage of my life it seemed natural to learn about what was impacting me at the time, all the way from pregnancy to old age–which is where we are now.
Read the rest of this entry »