Austin, United States

I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...


Rain, New Year's Eve, and My Addiction

Well, we have no rain for months, and then on New Year’s Eve, what do we get? RAIN! Or more accurately, DRIZZLE…ALL DAY LONG! But we need the rain. I don’t know what the festivities will be like – soggy for one thing. I don’t know if the moisture will put out the fireworks or not. But the people were out there putting everything together for the celebration. This is the first time I’ve seen this kind of weather for New Year’s in Austin. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention until I became a camera fanatic.…

I hope wherever you are, there is no rain for the greatest fireworks day of the year. I hope wherever you are, you have fantastic fireworks. I’ll have to watch the fireworks on tv as it is broadcast from New York or some such. It’s supposed to rain ALL NIGHT! Just to let yo

Happy New Year's Card!

Here’s a link to a card I want to share with all of you for the New Year! I hope you enjoy it. It’s one of my favorites, because you can sing along, and I love the atmosphere it creates. I’ve also written a quote from a famous saint regarding the New Year. I thought you might find it interesting. And may God bless your whole New Year and bring you great joy! Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s the link:

And Prospero Ano Nuevo! And Bonne Annee!

Prayer and Bird Song

This morning I was in a rush. I had things to do and places to go by a certain time. So I brought my Morning Prayers with me to say along the way or sitting at a bus stop. I started on the bus, did some shopping, and then found myself alone at a bus stop. So I decided to sing the hymn aloud, since it was one of my favorites: “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”. I sang through a few lines before I began hearing a Grackle trying to sing along with me, with a soft che-che-che-che sound! I never saw where the bird was, but every time I lifted my voice in song, so did the Grackle, obviously approving of the song. Then I went on to another part of the prayers. And again, I decided to sing a part of the prayer. Once again, the Grackle began the soft che-che-che (sounds as in the first part of “ch…

Your Christmas Card

I wanted to post an ecard for you for Christmas, so I did, and here’s the link:

I hope this works! If not, I’ll post a facebook link. The scene depicts the use of luminarias. Most of you probably know about it. Luminarias light the way for the Christ Child to find your home at Chirstmas. It is a lovely hispanic tradition. When we lived in New Mexico, Old Town Square was always decked out in luminarias, and it was an incredible sight! I’d love to go back there now with my camera. This is a sweet substitute, however. Hope you enjoy it!

Merry Christmas everyone! (Let me know if the link doesn’t work.)

Christmas for the Birds

Well, I was late putting up my tree and a few lights. I put them up yesterday and turned them on last night. Late this afternoon towards dusk, one little bird hopped onto the patio wall and looked around. When he saw me, he hopped away. Since it was a very chill evening, and going to freeze tonight, I threw out a handfull of crackers I had. Not too long afterward, a usually shy bird came right near the patio on a low branch of the tree and looked in. I looked up and he did not fly away. Instead, he rubbed his beak on the branch, which I think means he is hungry and is asking for food. I threw out some more of the Japanese rice crackers. Yet again, another little bird hopped onto the patio wall, looked up at the string of lights, and literally leaned over to see past the partially…

Behold, a Rose....

It seems poetic that I was able to capture the Rose photos at this time of year, right before Christmas. It reminds me of the Christmas Hymn:…

“Behold, a rose of Judah
From tender branch has sprung,
From Jesse’s lineage coming,
As men of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter,
When half spent was the night.

Isaiah has foretold it
In words of promise sure,
And Mary’s arms enfold it,
A virgin meek and pure.
Through God’s eternal will
She bore for men a savior
At midnight calm and still."

When I kept trying to capture the red Rose in the most lovely shade of living red with the sun shining through it towards the end of day, I kept getting red Roses reflecting gold lights. It’s only now that I understand – these are little signs of “the Rose of Judah”, a red, red Rose gilded in H

Aftermath of Wreckage Posting

I have taken down the photo of the wreckage of this past weekend, partly because it seems to have offended someone, and partly because people are jumping to MORE false conclusions. So I want to give some background to this whole story, as far as I know about my own after the fact appearance there.…

First of all, someone was monkeying with my photos, adding bits and pieces to them. What appears in one photo isn’t in the others, etc. And I heard much giggling. I didn’t find the situation funny, and it was my hope to save lives by informing them about the dangers.

Many young people are so unaware of the great danger of a slight drizzle onto a paved surface. It is THEN, right at the beginning of a light rain, that the oils surface to the top of the road. You can literally SEE the oil on

Odd Coincidence in the Middle of the Night

I had posted a photo to go with this entry, but because of some local response to that, I took the photo down. But I AM leaving this up for the time being, because young people can get good information from this post that might save their lives. I have also added a second posting to answer the responses to this one. Read on….…

Yesterday was a long day, much of it spent on foot with my backpack. By the time I got home, I realized why I use the little wheels I bought to roll it around. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s TRUE that WHEELS do the WORK FOR YOU! But I digress….

So I arrived home from my day out very fatigued. I felt so fatigued, I was thinking I had overstressed my body and my heart felt very tired. So I listened to my body and rested, then went to bed early. But som

Bobcat Photos Clarify What Was on my Patio!

Eureka! I finally found proof that the “kitty” taking off the baby kittens and eating them was indeed a feral cat! In fact, a BOBCAT! I suspect it was not fully mature, but a juvenile, judging from the photos from PawNation (I think it’s Pawnation anyway). It’s not hard to mistake them for regular cats. The one on my patio was able to squeeze it’s head through a small space to get at the kittens, and at first, when I took the photo, I thought it was one of the other kittens “playing”, because they had all been playing before. Now I know for a fact that the kittens who disappeared were EATEN! UGH! I do like Bobcats, but I don’t like seeing them prey on house cats. That’s like cannibalism! Anyway, here’s the link to the photos from Paw Nation:

Surgical Uses of Crochet!

I just had to post this marvelous information about crocheting, which perhaps some of you didn’t know. I just saw it for the first time and was delighted with the medical uses of the crochet hook! DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! :P Just copy and paste the following link for some surprising information:

<p><a href=""><img src="" border="0" alt="Infographic: How Crochet Revolutionized Medicine. If this image doesn't load, try a server refresh of the page by pressing 'Ctrl + F5' on your keyboard" /></a></p>

J.M. Improving

I want to thank you all for your prayers for J.M.! He finally posted some comments and said the medicine is working and he is doing much better. But he said the pneumonia is still there. So he is still recuperating, but he did post a number of articles. So I know he had some energy yesterday. That’s a very good sign. He was very happy to hear that you were all praying for him. He had asked for prayer. He probably still needs them, and again, thank you very much! :)) You’re all angels!

re: Prayer Request for my Friend

For those of you who read and responded to my previous request for prayer for J.M., I thought I’d post J.M.‘s description of his condition from his last posting, which was a few days ago (very unusual for him), so that you can have an idea of the seriousness of the problem. He still has not posted anything on his page, so I’m guessing he is in bed recuperating, and possibly in hospital now. Here’s the problem in his words:…

“Since 23 November, I’ve been more or less ill with God-only-knows-what. This afternoon, I was diagnosed as having a strain of pneumonia for which Levaquin is the best treatment. The problem is that Levaquin is implicated as the precursor for infection with Vancomycin-resistant clostridium difficile. Mr previous experience, in 2010 and 2011, with Levaquin and several

Toasty Posties and Gourmet Cupcakes

After the Mean Flowers from yesterday, I was so disappointed today when I had nothing at all to post! No Toasty Posties!…

Then, after getting home, I heard such a loud noise that it made the apartment vibrate, and I rushed out to see what was the matter. My first thought had been, “Helicopter!” But this was way more than A helicopter, because the sound was so loud and heavy and intense. I was muttering, “WHAT IS THAT?”, when I saw the first one come right over my apartment, right over my head! It was a huge Army transport helicopter, the long one with two rotors. But right after him came several more. I rushed back into the apartment to grab my camera, and began turning it on and aiming as I was running. I then saw there were FOUR of them, and BARELY managed to get a long shot of the

Being A Witness

Being a witness can be an honorable thing. There are those who “witness” at weddings and “witnesses” who sign the papers testifying that someone is reputable. There are witnesses in accidents and witnesses in crimes and so forth. Then there is the “great cloud of witnesses” to the life of Christ, which as I’ve mentioned, includes the Jewish historian, Josephus, and the Roman historians as well. Christ really lived, and the accounts given in Scripture are accurate. If through no other means, we know through witnessed accounts.…

But there is another kind of witness, and this is the dishonorable witness, the one who deliberately falsifies an event so that he or she can become the center of attention by the outrageous story they tell. Or perhaps the dishonor is in the effort of a suppose

The Light-Bearers

Today a fellow traveller (bus friend) was talking to me about what he is certain is happening right now. He said that God is sending us “the light-bearers”, but we are rejecting them. They are trying to come to us to help us take the right path, but we are killing them. He said that there was also an effort to prevent the Christ Child.…

WOW!, I thought. I knew he had read that somewhere from the way he spoke, but I was thinking about it in terms of what a baby does for a mother and father. They do indeed bring us the light in a way we may not have expected. Ask any parent, and they will tell you. There is life BEFORE baby and life AFTER baby, and they are NOT the same at all! Life after baby makes us realize how limited we were before baby. Why is that? It’s because we spend a peri

Prayer Request For a Friend

Please pray for my friend J.M. He is ill with a bacterial infection and pneumonia at the same time, and he is very sick. Please remember him in your prayers. I know there are great prayer warriors out there. This is a good guy who needs our help!

Moon Thoughts, and the First Day of Advent

The other night, I saw the moon and mercury just above the horizon. The moon seemed so large, part of the effect of catching it at the horizon. But it was also so close in appearance to mercury that it gave an even more lovely sense of a populated sky, of something living, like a magical light. In a way, it is. It’s a light set in Heaven by God. I know there are those who do not believe this, but I firmly do. I do not believe the complexity of life is an “accident”. One surgeon once said that he believes in God, because if one looks even at the great complexity of the human heart, one had to believe it was fashioned by an intelligence beyond our own. And I also believe that the moon was placed there by God to give a lovely, gentle light to the darkness, just as the sun was meant …

Water Patterns

Today, the water was remarkable, and creating remarkable patterns. It was a bit choppy, but that may have been from all the duckie diving. Whatever the case, it created a wide variety of beautiful patterns. So I posted a little series of them. They made me think of the many moods of our lives. We may travel for years in pink waters, only to find ourselves suddenly in the blues. :P Sometimes our path sparkles, and other times, it’s quite plain. But without this variety in life, we would become very dull and bored.…

It was a chilly morning, in the 30’s, and the air was more crisp than a few days ago. Hope you like the captures in my gallery. It’s nice to have a change in the weather, but it has been unseasonable, either like summer or colder on towards winter. The ducks should be

Beyond Myths

From the morning’s readings, I reread this powerful statement in 2 Peter 1: 16-18, which I think many have either never read or have forgotten:…

“It was not by way of cleverly concocted myths that we taught you about the coming in power of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eyewitnesses of his sovereign majesty. He received glory and praise from God the Father when that unique declaration came to him out of the majestic splendor: ‘This is my beloved Son, on whom my favor rests.’ We ourselves heard this said from heaven while we were in his company on the holy mountain.”

St. Peter was insisting that the life of Christ was NOT a myth. It certainly was not, because it was recounted by Josephus, the Jewish historian, and we know that the Jews were not favorable to what they saw as an unwan

Phantasms and Vain Fears

Sometimes in those moments between sleeping and waking, we are in a kind of twilight state, where our minds confuse dreams and reality. There, phantasms roam and sometimes emerge into the light, scaring us. It’s those vain imaginings and fears. We may begin to believe that unreal things might be real, and then they haunt us throughout the day. We can worry and weep over them only to come to realize the next day that it was only a fear, a nightmare of possible disasters.…

When this happens, our best defense is to drown the fears and anxieties with prayer and trust in God. We can have waking fears and phantasms also, and we can deal with them the same way. This is my solution to anxiety, those underlying concerns we may have which are not easily resolved. And when we’re at an impasse,

Multiple Thanks, Large and Tiny

What a nice Thanksgiving day it was! Even the bees took part, and a beetle. The Grackles tried, but I forgot about them while I was preparing for my human guests. It was a bit of a surprise that the creatures just KNEW it was a feast day, that it was Thanksgiving, before I even began to cook.…

As I was wiping some grape soda from a dish as I tried to prepare my table, a little bee flew in the patio door. I had forgotten the screen open. He flew right to my table and zeroed right in on the grape soda drops. He began making a buzzing sound very excitedly. I knew from a previous nature episode that this is actually a call to the other bees that he has made a great find. :)) Since I didn’t want him at my table, I filled the “bee feeding station” outside on the patio and came back in wi

Diving Pigs and Feral Hogs

If you haven’t seen this on the news, I thought I’d post it. I just want you to see the happy faces of these swimming pigs. They get lots of exercise in China:…

Actually, they get lots of exercise in Texas too. Wild pigs, hogs actually, that roam the countryside, causing a great deal of destruction. They are all over the country, but Teas has more of them than any other state. It was estimated that the state has 5 million of them, if I remember correctly. I know that in the video (link posted below), which was made in 2007, there were about 1 million feral hogs in Texas. It’s been a problem for years. Back then farmers were worried about the exploding population. Now it

Turkey Show

This Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, PBS is going to air once again the wonderful show, “My Life As A Turkey”. This show is a jewel that shines out the beauty of life and a few stunning revelations as well. The photography is amazing, as well as the insights. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!…

The show was advertised to air at 7 P.M., but I’m not certain what time zone. I think that’s Central Time. I don’t know if it’s going to air in other parts of the country, but it is one of those rare gems among other beautiful films. I was amazed at how incredible a show about turkeys could be. Tis the season, and I hope you get the chance to see this if you haven’t already! Don’t miss the opportunity! You will revel in this great gift which is life, given to us in a most miraculous way by a great G

No Room For A Turkey!

It is Fall, but we’ve had a few crispy nights into the 30’s. The tiny creatures are looking rather ragged. I see very few blooms left…at least in my neighborhood. Those with cultivated flowers seem to be doing somewhat better in other parts of town. There are trees and bushes with red berries, making me think about Christmas. Day temperatures are in the 70’s this week. Basically, nature is winding down for winter. But we haven’t had spectacular leaves this year as we did last fall. They just look bedraggled and dying. Maybe we’ll see some color after this week. Who knows? Every year and every season are different.…

So next week is Thanksgiving, and I have bought absolutely NOTHING. That’s just the way it goes. I don’t have room for a turkey anyway. He’d have to wait outside my

A LOVELY Rendition of "Carol of the Bells"

Check out “The Carol of the Bells”! This group has great vocal talent. Pentatonix is the name of the group. They’re a cappella. Bit of jazz on their new Christmas album, but that’s kind of their style. “The Carol of the Bells” is the very best Christmas song of the season if you ask me! You can listen to it free at this link:…;...

How did I stumble across this group? I was surfing through AOL’s stories of the day and found one on Octomom’s kids singing a Christmas song…rapping a Christmas statement/song. I also found out that Octomon is in rehab destressing! Not a surprise. There’s a REASON God spaces them out….um-hum! But she was a very generous soul in giving life to all those children! It was a great act of love, however over

"bread of the Presence"

As I’ve said before, I am not a Biblical scholar, which is why I read those who are. I also highly recommend this practice, choosing a subject of interest to yourself. So anyway, in this approach to my faith, I have been interested in the fact that it was also a Jewish custom to bless the bread and the wine. This was even before Jesus’ sacrifice. This great book came out titled “JESUS and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper”, by Brant Pitre. I’m eager to begin it. I tried a few times, but I was on the bus and there were babies crying and people talking loudly, and I found I had to concentrate to read this one. It’s not a facile mystery story. So I put it aside for a bit.…

Then yesterday, I was on the bus, not interested in reading the facile

Editing and Prayer

Sometimes I write part of something I want to say. Then I have to stop before I’ve finished. But I come back to it later on. When I do this, I try to modify the title in some way, to alert you that I have added the rest of it, or altered it in some way. Just so you know. Not that anyone much reads these things! But I enjoy writing them. It helps me think something out.…

This is the reason counselors often encourage a client to keep a journal. Journals help us think. And we can review events in our lives also. Sometimes people publish their journals if they are exceptional. For example, a woman who sails around the world in her boat keeps a journal, and it’s interesting to read. That kind of thing. But it just seems to me that writing something out does something to our thinking

The Reason for Hope, And the Rest

“Mattathias’ son Judas, who was called Maccabeus, took his [his father’s] place. All his brothers and all who had joined his father supported him, and they carried on Israel’s war joyfully.” Thus Judas Maccabeus protected Israel as a great warrior. Many came out to do battle with him, and he won.…

In one of the first of these actions,

“When he reached the ascent of Beth-horon, Judas went out to meet him with a few men. But when they saw the army coming against them, they said to Judas: ‘How can we, few as we are, fight such a mighty host as this? Besides, we are weak today from fasting.’ But Judas said: ‘It is easy for any to be overcome by a few; in the sight of Heaven there is no difference between deliverance by many or by few; for the victory in war does not depend upon the size

Only Saints Can Enter Heaven...Then What About US?

Most of us recognize that we have faults, right? We know that we are not perfect. Some of us, because we know we are not perfect, keep working at it all through our lives. We eliminate one fault, and darned if we then don’t notice another glaring fault and begin working on that one. Sometimes we get tired and don’t work too hard…. But we keep on struggling with the effort to “…be perfect because your heavenly Father is perfect”, and He tells us we should imitate Him.…

I got to thinking about this tonight as I watched an episode of “Catholicism…” on EWTN. If you have not seen the series, it is visually and verbally stunning, like a mini-retreat. I found it so inspiring. And it’s available for purchase for $149 at You can also see a promotional video there and

Back to Summer + PART DEUX

Well, it’s been HOT! In the afternoons. Hot like summer again! SHEESH! November already. Oops. Finish later.…

I’m back. It is still Fall in the mornings and Summer in the afternoons. I know because I’m usually out in it. I’m tired of trudging back up the hill in the blazing sun. The only thing missing for it to be the Namib is SAND! Well, ok, so I exaggerated a wee bit…a lot. But it is hot in the afternoons. I’m tired of hot. I’ve had more than I can stand of hot already. If I had a car, I could stand more of the hot, because I would not be out in it so darned much.

That car dealer on TV who says, if he can’t match a price of a competitor on a car, he’s “just gonna give it to ya!” You know he did that last year, and you had to go drop your name in the hat. I kept saying, “OH, C

Why Should You Vote? - Life and Death in America

Well, “The Candidate” was a humorous comment about the election coverage, and I just want you to know that. I am not, as someone seemed to have thought, delusional, and beginning to imagine myself a candidate. I keep forgetting that some people don’t really know me, so they have no idea what I really mean when I’m doing a humorous take on something. So now you know.…

I have something now to say about the elderly and euthanasia, though, since the people of Massacheusettes will be voting on a euthanasia proposition, and it has made me think a great deal about my mother. But I really don’t consider myself a “political” person. I’m a daughter and a mother. You know, my mother had several strokes and was partially paralyzed after that. She was in a wheelchair for the next 13 years. She

The Candidate

Well, the election debating and commenting has finally gotten to me. The other day, I was standing waiting for the bus, and I realized I had struck a Mitt Romney pose. OH NO! I’M BECOMING POLITICAL! Again, the next day, I was at the bus stop, and I realized I had adopted an imitation Mitt Romney expression! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME? So yesterday, as I was looking to cross the street, I realized that I was looking at traffic the way Barack Obama was looking eagle-eyed at Mitt Romney during the last debate! I CAN’T STAND THIS! I AM NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! If I am nominated I will not run. If I am elected I will not serve. SHEESH!…

This is how I can tell the election is not far off. I’ve become so immersed in this campaign, looking at this candidate and then that one, commiserating wit

Morning Inspiration

I used to share Morning Prayer with my mom. It has become a habit, and now that she is not with me, I share a thought or two from it with you. I hope you find it as valuable as I do and as my mom did.…

So from the last few days, a few passages have stayed on my mind. I think they are instructive and they give us hope. One is from a letter to the Corinthians by Saint Clement, pope. He was also St. Paul’s travelling companion. He begins by quoting either the Lord or Scripture: “The Spirit of the Lord is a lantern, searching the hidden places of our inmost being.”

That in itself is a point for meditation. It helps us look within, where we suddenly see what we would NOT like to present to the Lord, and I’m pretty sure each one of us has such a spot!

St. Clement goes on to say of that q

An Apology

I had previously written about Obamacare here, and got a little over enthusiastic about my theme, so I will give an apology and I have deleted the post. Nor did I intend a slight to Ann Coulter when I posted the fellow’s letter about Ann using the “R” word. I basically like Ann Coulter. She, as I can be sometimes, can be a bit overstated. I do enjoy reading our columnists when I do get a copy of the paper.

That said, I remain pro-life, with regard to all stages of life. I always respect the office of the President, and I am no fan of armed revolt. I believe in the Democratic process.

I pray about this election, and I encourage others to do the same.

Otto Wagner

The other artist my friend discovered in Prague was Otto Wagner. Or maybe she already knew him. But it was a first for me. He reminds me of sci-fi films from the 1950’s, but Beth said he really is good, to look him up. So I did. She was right. His decorative work on buildings is cool. He did the balconies in this link:
and here:
Beth’s photos of other pieces he created are wonderful:
See what I mean? Sci-fi from the 50’s! :P…

I found it very interestin

On Being Senior, Marthe Robin...and More...HaHa!

Wow! Today was a series of news items on the SAME THEME! It kind of spooked me! I could only believe that God kind of dropped it in my lap. Of course, with the very first one I thought immediately of Marthe Robin, the French stigmatist who died in 1981. And I do get around to her in the second half of this entry, so keep reading. But let me backtrack a bit and tell you the whole story.…

I was on my way to church…on the bus. I was reading my little newspaper, which gives great news nationally and internationally. I turned the page and something struck me profoundly, and I’ll tell you why. The title of the article is “U.K. ‘Death Pathway’” If you have not heard of it, that’s because our news media doesn’t cover it, has never mentioned it, even though it seems to be wanting to come to

Do You Worship Nature?

Well, there is innuendo that “people should not worship nature”. Duh! I just want to make this more understandable for those who get so confused so easily when they view my photos or read my journal. As I recently quoted from Scripture, Creation is the work of God. What I get from nature is the wonderful and magnificent nature of an all-provident God. God created a world of wonder on this earth. it seems that we never run out of things to intrigue us and engage our minds and hearts. It is God who gave a portion of his spirit to the creatures, and He made us in His own image.…

You may or may not believe these things, but these words are in Scripture, and I have found Scripture to be not just profound, but ALIVE! It doesn’t matter where we are in our lives or how many times we have rea

Hundertwasser, Novel Creations

I discovered an artist and architect I had never heard of before, and I found the perspective very delightful. The fellow has passed away now, but I thought it brings a great inspiration for those who have a love of creating their own vision, especially, I think, it is very good for children, as inspiration and delight. He would be a great artist and architect to introduce to kindergartners, for example. I would use him to stimulate their imaginations, to elicit stories, to teach them how to tell a story or how to create a picture.…

How did I hear about this artist? From a fellow Bubbler who took a trip to Prague and came back with these wonderfully great photos. So I want to start out by giving you the link to her recent photo that made me investigate the artist. Here’s the link, and

Guarding Life

It is because life is precious that we guard it. We guard our children as best we can. We guard our families as best we can. We guard our cities and nations with military might. We all recognize that life is precious. We recognize that life is worth fighting for. A householder, Scripture tells us, will guard his home if he knows what time the intruder will come. We understand that life has value. We are especially concerned when one of our loved ones needs our protection.…

It is the only time, in guarding our own, that we may be forced to kill. Policemen carry guns, and soldiers carry guns, so that they can protect the populace against lawbreakers, dangerous persons trying to kill others. We all understand this as a necessity.

So in yet another way, in our understanding of our ne

On Being and the Psalms

Psalm 139 is one of my favorites. It says so much with so few words. Take these two verses, for example:…

“For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all your creation.

Already you knew my soul,
my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
and molded in the depths of the earth…."

What I have most loved living near a wooded area and a creek, has been observing “creation”, and it has been amazing. I have been surprised and stunned, time after time, at the spirit, the intelligence, and the love I have seen in all the creatures. The more I see, the more I believe it is a great wrong to treat them shamefully. And if this is so for the creatures of the field and stream, how much more

The Bee and the Scone

Today I was investigated very seriously by a Bee. A Honey Bee to be exact. I had opened a container of Pumpkin Scones and was munching one, which immediately caught the attention of the winged one. Knowing that this must be why he was first circling and then crawling all over the jacket I had thrown over my backpack, I placed a nice piece of scone right near him. He immediately went up to it and started EATING! He would munch and munch and then stop and wipe his probiscus. Or whatever that is. He was so cute I was enjoying watching him. I began to wonder what it was that he was eating. I’m still not completely certain, but it seemed to. um, be…..the sugar coating on the top. However, he was also active munching the other parts of the scone. So it seemed. I was amazed. I though…

Grackle Revelations

Well, now that I’m breaking my promise not to write any more, I have to tell you about a few little birds. I was waiting for the bus one morning, and was munching a tasty morsel of breakfast when I noticed a few female Grackles foraging. They saw I had something and came around looking as thought to ask for a bit of it. So I threw out a few tasty pieces and they were delighted, going at it with relish. I noticed one female Grackle took her piece and walked over to a puddle of water (it had rained the night before), and WASHED IT! It was a bit of “tornado”, one of those tiny rolled tacos. I had to smile when I saw her washing the breaded part. Soggy bread! Hm, I thought. I should not have thrown that on the grass and damp earth. She would have preferred it on the concrete. These …

Not the End

I was just trying to see how long I could go without commenting. Haha. I think it was about 48 hours….

Tonight is the second presidential debate. Don’t miss it!

American Families, Obama, Debate

I was just sitting here listening to the rain pelting out a tune on some empty cans I had in a bag for recycling on my patio. It was very pleasant and reminded me of those times as a child when I would sit in the living room or on the covered porch with my brothers and listen to the rain making a lovely melody on the tin roof which covered that porch. If it started to rain, we always ran to the living room to hear this loud and delightful sound. I often think of my brothers when it rains. My sisters came along later, and I was older, and left home while they were still young. But the rain on tin always reminds me of my brothers. A few years ago, Hurricane Rita twisted that roof off, and my dad replaced it with another, less colorful one. I was sad to see the old one go.…

As I’ve bee

About Deceptions

Padre Pio wrote to one of his spiritual children, “Mercy is useful in all situations, and is adaptable to everything in accordance with the circumstances except when it involves sin.” Except when it involves sin.…

That’s why I have decided to make a statement about some deceptions which are being suggested to people about my life. So instead of implicating anyone, I will just say what is actually true.

My life for many years has been about the lives of the saints as it applies to us in this time period. And I certainly don’t run around breaking the Commandments or doing unsavory things against them. Anything which SEEMS convincing to the contrary must be viewed with scepticism. I don’t wish to destroy anyone, but falsifying the truth of another person’s life is way out of bounds.


As Luck Would Have It

My greatest struggle of the past few months has been deciding whether or not to move. And I have discussed it with my family and with my manager, and even with God. So, thinking God wasn’t going to answer, I was kind of giving up. Then after my last entry last night, I picked up my book of daily prayer and read the Morning Office, which I had skipped to read Morning Prayer and dash out the door yesterday morning. So, as luck would have it, settling down with the book, I read from the letter of St. Paul to Timothy:…

“I repeat the directions I gave you when I was on my way to Macedonia: stay on in Ephesus in order to warn certain people there against teaching false doctrines and busying themselves with interminable myths and genealogies, which promote idle speculations rather than that

Give Yourself a Birdie Name

Birds never cease to amaze me. What I have found is that Mockingbirds are a good indicator of what other birds are in the area. They will repeat the calls of other birds. But are they just mindlessly repeating what they have heard, or are they broadcasting what is around as a kind of news board? I tend to believe it may be a kind of news board, like we humans have newspapers. “Hear ye! Hear ye! This neighborhood has CROWS! CAUTION! Be on the lookout for these dangerous predators, and keep watch over your children!” Something like that.…

Here’s why I think this. I noticed this morning a large contingent of Grackles, taking turns flocking in the same direction. Perhaps they are migrating back into town. We have some who are here all year long, but the majority seem to migrate. So as

Unintended Consequences - SQUAWK!

There are times when my aggravation gets ahead of my brain…or my anxiety gets ahead of my enjoyment of something. And then I am misunderstood. Take for instance this morning. I was walking down the sidewalk muttering to myself about something. I was aggravated, and my tone, though low, sounded aggravated. I wasn’t thinking much about it, because everyone had already left for work, and I was running late. I was the only one out on the sidewalk…or so I thought. Suddenly, loud, aggravated squawks broke into my muttering, and I looked up to see a beautiful Monk Parakeet, who seemed to think I was saying something to him. “Oh, I wasn’t talking to YOU!” I told him sweetly, changing my tone. “I love all you beautiful Monk Parakeets! You’re my favorite birds!” And he understood exactly …


Of course, when I write something silly, for laughs, I always get clobbered in my sleep. That’s what it’s like living in the hood. But the thing is, sometimes we have to laugh. I don’t really care who you are. Laughter is good for all of us. Sometimes psychopaths don’t like humor, honest humor, not something created to hurt people. In the course of our noble democracy, we have laughed at all our presidents, laughed at many ridiculous situations. That’s part of a democracy.…

On the other hand, it is true that words matter. What we say and what we do really DOES matter. I know that in my life I’ve uttered things I wished I could take back. I doubt that very many people can say they have not. I am a loquacious soul. Mostly this came about because I was my mother’s narrator. She h

Movies, Previews, Series, Barack

I keep seeing these previews of various new movies. And I learn things from them. For one, I never want to go to Istanbul. I know to watch out for the insincere and disaffected psychopaths in the world. I have learned that people lie. What a shock THAT was! But the most disappointing part was to learn that men lie to women all the time, and that some women are out to destroy other women for delusional reasons. The world has become a very scary place. And Aliesha, the lawyer on the Good Wife, is about to drop THE OTHER SHOE! Boy! THAT had me scared! I’ve also learned that Sherlock Holmes is a little nuts. I’m disappointed. Oops, I’m drifting into the new TV season. The Last Resort really scared me to death, and I’m not sure I can watch that one, even though, or perhaps because, th…

About Visions

I was struck by a comment on a TV interview about visions of the future. It was made by President Obama, and my first commentary on it sounded sarcastic when I reread it, so since I hadn’t intended that tone, I am rewriting it.…

It is extremely productive to create a vision of where you want to be in 5 years or 10 years. It’s very productive to set goals even for the year. You must first decide what you want to accomplish. Then you create a strategy to accomplishing those things. Each month, you check to see how far you have progressed on your plan.

On one job, I created such a job plan, and that year, I accomplished about 10 times more than I ever had before. And it had been an ambitious plan. I was quite pleased, and so was my supervisor.

But I left out one critical part of the who

The Art of Spiritual Warfare

I’ve written about soldiers and Christ before, and interestingly, EWTN has been discussing this issue on “Crossing the Goal”, a GREAT show intended for men, but it’s so good, many women are watching it too!!! This surprised the show’s hosts, who were football coaches and military men and so forth. They are men who love the Lord, and are strong men as well. It’s an inspiring series. Lately, they’ve been discussing Faith in the Military, essentially, and they have retired military guys on there.…

Now here’s another bit of SYNCHRONICITY! :P Tonight I picked up my Liturgy of the Hours to read Evening Prayer, and in the very first Psalm, there is a quote from St. Hilary which is food for meditation: “Christ learned the art of warfare when he overcame the world, as he said: ‘I have overcome


I am always amazed at these little “coincidences” in life, those occurrences which fall together in perfect harmony. In thinking about something, and writing it down, the next day, it appears in our schedule of readings, straight from Scripture. Carl Jung, the famous psychiatrist, noticed such things when he was counseling people. He called this “synchronicity”. Perhaps this is the Holy Spirit uttering wisdom to guide us, or to show us some profound truth. Many the reasons, I’m sure.…

So what I was trying to say in the last post about the power of obedience, kind of popped up in tonight’s readings. When the world has drifted into this kind of neverland of whatever anyone wants to believe, and God has given us the freedom of will, it can be hard to read such Scripture passages as this


After my commentary about the nude photos of the royals, I woke up this morning to find eye makeup on my eyes. As I’ve said before, I never use make-up. My face had also been covered with a whitish cream. The idea here is that I’m supposed to have used the “b” word – “black”. I don’t even recall what I said. I just mutter to myself. There was more, but you get the idea. The world is going insane.…

Some guy told me today that the divorce rate has escalated again. The last figure I had heard was a 60% divorce rate. This guy said, “It’s gone up. Now it’s 70%.” I would not doubt it at all. No one believes they have to work at marriage any more. As soon as it involves any kind of work, or as soon as they see someone they consider prettier or someone younger, they run away to the nex

Regarding Nude Photos of Royals

Gee, I can’t believe how far SOME photographers will go! Have ya heard the news about the photos taken of Kate? Is she a Duchess or a Princess? I never get that quite straight. At any rate, I think she’s a darling young woman, and I find it offensive that anyone would try to ruin her joy in her new life, her recent marriage, and her new duties, by posting such embarrassingly private things! Surely, this has gone way too far, and those photographers are out of control. It’s one thing if someone deliberately chooses to take pornographic photos of themselves and keeps it private. It’s another if they take such photos of someone else against their will and make them public! That is sick and greedy. I’ve never taken pornographic photos of myself, and I would never want any such thing post…

The VERY Rainboots

Do you believe in coincidence? I kinda wonder myself. So the other day, when I was walking to the store, and I saw a girl walk by with these awesome rainboots, I thought, WOW! Those are CUTE! In fact, I realized I NEEDED a pair of rainboots myself. NO, really, I did. Every time it rains, right at my steps is a flowing river. The water rushes right there about six inches deep at least, and there’s NO WAY to get by it without stepping right IN it! I’ve ruined shoes that way. So I REALLY needed the golashes…rainboots. Really, I did.…

That’s why I wandered over to the shoe aisle, just to see. And what to my surprise did I spy, but the VERY rainboots that girl was wearing! And not only that, but a large sign above them said, CLEARANCE! But the best part was that it said, 70% OFF! My firs

What About Pigeons?

I am transforming the previous entry into a totally new story.…

Today on the way home I bought some bread. As it turned out, it was pretty good bread, a kind I’ve never bought before. I recall my mom’s Italian friend used to make this kind of Focaccia bread. So I walked out of the store to the bus stop, a place the pigeons love to frequent. And frequently they get fed by bus riders too. That’s why when they saw me standing there with a few bags, and saw me opening something, about 20 of them quietly appeared, looking at me expectantly, like an audience. I had to laugh, and decided to throw them something. Well…of course it’s very hard to throw 20 birds “just a little something”. One little morsel caused about 10 birds to all dive for the same morsel at the same time. It was so fas

Loving Eternity

This morning I was reading in a book beloved to St. Therese of Lisieux, “The End of the Present World and the Mysteries of the Future Life”. I haven’t read the whole thing, just bits and parts. But after this morning, I think I will apply myself to reading the whole thing from start to finish.…

What I read this morning came from a commentary on St. Theodore of Studium, who counselled bereaved families, saying that those who had died were “…not lost, but remain safe and sound for you, and as soon as you have reached the end of this temporal life, you will see them again, full of joy and gladness.” pg. 228

The author went on to comment that “In heaven, we shall see and recognize one another, and in heaven, we shall LOVE one another.” That thought struck me most forcefully in light of the

Ambassador Chris Stevens

This is a sad day. The murder of Americans in Libya breaks my heart. An American Ambassador is almost always an outstanding person, chosen because they earned it, because they are good human beings, because they care about people. The most ridiculous thing a terrorist could do is to take out the very people who care about your people and your country. It’s a no brainer. Acts of terrorism do not enhance anyone’s cause. You sadden not only your own people, but those trying to help your people as well. And you dangerously burden your soul.…

It’s discouraging when we see people killed senselessly. America, for all her problems, is still the best country in the whole world. America respects individual freedom, and the human dignity given to all mankind by God. We can still decide wher

About Culture, War, and America

I am reading this great book, nonfiction this time, about a Platoon in Afghanistan. Our American guys go out there full of enthusiasm and comraderie. They are good men who want to do something about 9/11. They are mostly young. They are hilarious and cool. In their first skirmishes, they desolate the enemy. But after a time, they encounter things they had not expected, and they are changed, changed by war, changed by horrors they encounter, horrors which haunt them. They are brave and courageous, and the writer is compelling in his writing. I’m nearing the end of the book, and I can tell you that I feel as though I too have been through that war! Through this good soldier, I have learned something about what our guys endure over there, and how men are changed by it.…

In fact, I fee

El Accidente, and more....

What a day! It’s not even noon yet, and I’ve already had quite a day! Actually, it all started last night when a friend called to remind me of the early morning food bingo at our neighborhood grocery. It’s fun, because we all get together and have free coffee and doughnuts. By now, most of us there have been old friends for some time. I won the ice cream. My friend was salivating over it, so I gave him the coupon, and his joy was well worth the sacrifice. But frankly, at that time of the morning, the ice cream just didn’t seem that appealing to me…. He’s still talking about it….…

Anyway, I was on my way to the food bingo. It was so early, my whole body was revolting against having gotten up before the sun, though I really do need to start getting up earlier, I told myself. Even my e


Today brought a lovely surprise. I happened to come home earlier than usual, and unpacked my backpack. It was only 10 a.m. or so. When I heard some noise outside, I peeked through my patio blinds. I didn’t see the source of the noise, but I DID see an incredible mother cat with three KITTENS! The kittens were nursing. I knew they were feral, so I snapped a few photos before the mother ran off. At least, I THINK she ran off. I sincerely hope she was not hauled off, because her kittens are still on my patio at 6 p.m. I’m so afraid she’s not coming back! ACK! But if I don’t see her come back, I will probably have to bring the kittens to the pound tomorrow. I can’t keep them because of the harassment. Every time I express my concern that the mother cat is not coming back, someone se…

How to Get Ovah!

I spend more time on the bus than I really want to, but I am glad to have the service. In a way, it has forced me to do more reading and socializing…or sometimes just meditating. I don’t always want to choose a book for the bus requiring a lot of concentration, because I often experience interruptions of various kinds, and then I can’t focus that intensely.…

So, the long and short of it has been a lot of more leisurely reading than I would ordinarily choose, and it has been surprisingly informative! What a happy coincidence! The book I am now reading is “Outlaw Platoon”, a true story of thirty American men engaged in the war in Afghanistan. Right from the start, the writing draws you in. This is a group of men whose story anyone would want to read. And “Outlaw” just became their nickn


It’s been a strange few days. First was the invasion in the tree outside. Some baby bird falls out of the nest, or is attacked by a predator or something. What a ruckus! Every bird in the complex seems to have responded to the call, all of them in the tree – Cardinals, Bluejays, Mockingbirds, Doves, and more. And later in the evening, when I expressed some irritation over some political comment on TV, the Cicadas began a very loud sawing sound, ostensibly agreeing with me! :P…

Well, that was in the Birdie world. But strange events seem to be going on here as well. Another kind of invasion. I’m not certain what people think they’re doing. Harassment. As I was waiting for the bus yesterday, I just sat down at the bus stop near several other people. It is a business area. There’s a


Hurricanes are a part of Louisiana and other Gulf states. Sometimes they hit the Texas coast too, but far more rarely than they hit Louisiana. I was living in Southwestern La. when Hurricane Rita hit. I took my parents out of the city, and we drove to Baton Rouge to weather the storm. I returned home right after the storm passed, but my parents remained in Baton Rouge for a few more weeks. That’s because when I returned, I was totally shocked at what I saw. It seemed as though the city had been shelled by a foreign power. There was twisted metal and wood from businesses all over the place. Trees were downed in every single street, but had been shoved aside enough to allow at least a one lane passage around them. But there were so many, it was heart-breaking. I didn’t even recogn…

About Mexican Youth

I have been reading mysteries written by Martin Limon, a former military man who served 10 of his military years in Korea, where the stories all take place. I have to recommend them, because along with the very enjoyable fictional mystery, I have learned a great deal about Korean culture, a little of the language (byonso means bathroom! :P) and have identified with many commentaries about his experiences with various other cultures, such as his description of Mexican youth. I came across this excerpt today in “The Wandering Ghost”, and I just had to share it, (though this is only a part of his rich description.), because I immediately recognized something of the Mexican youth I have seen around me here in this city.…

Here is Martin’s beautiful commentary, and I hope it is an inspiration

An Apology on Rotten Meat

Gee, I hope I haven’t insulted anyone with my meditation on St. John Chrysostom’s writings about that passage in Matthew! (See previous journal entry.) This just sprang to my mind and I wanted to write it down. The comment about being rotten and beyond the help of salt was St. John’s idea. He also used the term corrupted. If the meat is too corrupted, salt will do it no good, he said. I was very struck by this passage. It was an interesting way to illustrate the great redeeming power of Christ, that His power is greater than that of the Apostles and the disciples. Only Christ can redeem what is so corrupted it is beyond the help of the salt of the earth. To me, this is great motivation to stay on the straight and narrow, or to turn to Christ when one has strayed so far.…

So I becam

About Rotten Meat

Can we be rotten and still be “salt of the earth”? No, says St. John Chrysostom in a homily on St. Matthew, (from this morning’s prayer readings). As humorous as this sounds, it is a very, very serious statement, one that “modern” man should heed, seems to me. Seems to me that many pay no heed.…

Writing about Matthew’s words, “You are the salt of the earth”, St. John C. comments,

“Do not think, [Matthew} says, that you are destined for easy struggles or unimportant tasks. You are the salt of the earth. What do these words imply? Did the disciples restore what had already turned rotten? Not at all. Salt cannot help what is already corrupted. That is not what they did. But what had first been renewed and freed from corruption and then turned over to them, they salted and preserved in

What I'm Doing

You may be wondering what in heck I’m doing these days, since I haven’t posted many photos lately, and the ones I’ve posted aren’t too terribly spectacular. For one thing, it’s been very hot, and I’ve remained indoors a great deal. That’s what has led me to learn some new skills.…

So it has been a few weeks of knitting, knitting, knitting, and I still don’t have a perfect tension. I see all these lovely pieces made in the books, by CHILDREN no less, and for the life of me, I cannot do that perfect job I see in their photographs. I can tell you I feel like a little mouse next to those remarkable CHILDREN… of course they had a teacher and I don’t…. but I’m an adult…. I will take a photo of something I made. I crocheted some embellishment to hide my knitting…kind of. :))) Now I know th

Making Use of Summer Heat

I haven’t been too photographic lately, and when I DO take photos, they have been few and hurried. At least this month. But I have posted some anyway to give you a feeling for the heat and what it is like in these temperatures now into the 100’s. However, this week, we’re supposed to have some cooling effect. I am grateful that the high heat we have had hasn’t been as bad as last year. I think our highest this year was 103, which we had yesterday. Thank God it wasn’t as bad as last year. But we’ve had cloudless blue skies. Today’s high was 102, the weather girl just said! Soon we will be having Fall cool fronts coming through.…

So what am I doing? At first, when I saw I was going to have to be staying inside in the afternoons because of the heat, I sat home a few days, fiddling on

The Bees

It’s been in the news. This is an active time for the bees, and we do have killer bees here. The newsman said they are gathering what they need to make enough honey for the winter. Unfortunately, some of the bees choose bad places to create their hives.…

Tonight, the hive they were filming was under a trash can, and there were about 175,000 bees in that one! It made the news because a man going to that trash can was stung many, many times. He wasn’t too bad off, but another man stung by bees hundreds of times was hospitalized today. And over the past month, they have shown incredibly large hives in HOUSES! The bees get into the walls and sometimes cellars. The newscasters have photographed some of these for the news, and their sizes are unbelievable. Scary, but surprisingly peacefu

Amazing Bird and Insect Encounters

We tend to give animals and birds less credit than they deserve. I suppose most of us just don’t think about it. We do the same thing to children. But in fact, critters and children have far more understanding than we imagine, even the unborn do also.…

I was thinking about this today as I observed a rabbit, a cottontail, having a bit of breakfast. My camera scared her off, of course. As she walked down the trail, a baby rabbit popped out of the brush and scurried after her. The baby was pretty small. While the mother may have been 2 to 3 feet long (3 feet if you consider the legs stretched out, I guess), and about 18 inches tall when she stands straight, the baby may have been 7 inches tall and about 10 inches long. It was charming to see the baby scurry after Mom. But the mother l

Maintenance and Dying Things

Last night I posted photos showing the Park’s Summer effect, things going “dead”, only to be resurrected later on. It is indeed a Resurrection story! But even the dead stalks and fuzzy tops have a beauty all their own as they stand in the great Summer sun. So that series of photos was to show this and to show the most drought and heat resistant blooms of them all – the Nightshades and the Bull Nettle. Also Sunflowers, but they are going too.…

Today I came to the Park to find Park Maintenance at work again, mowing and grading the trails. This is the key to the beauty and use of any Park area, and the entire community owes these guys a cheer of thanks. I will post some of those photos tonight. The trail has been worn into channels and ruts by the rains we’ve had in the past few months,

He Who Has No Power

My friend Jack has always been a brilliant scholar and a wit, from our college days. He was one of our group. We could sit in the coffeeshop and talk for hours. No one ever kicked us out, and I think that was because the staff was listening too! :) Today, Jack is a Professor of Philosophy, just so you know his credentials.…

Here’s what I just took from Jack’s facebook page, and I think it is important to us today to ponder this deeply with regard to our “modern times” and what we are doing. So I’m just going to post this and let it speak for itself. I’m sure I don’t even have to relate it to the subject I have in mind for it. For the sake of clarity, I have put double quotes over Jack’s writing, because he quotes from others within the text. Here it is:

""The Sum and Substance of Pe

St. Pete, the Third Time!

A third time, they say, is the charm. So today, I went to Mass, and sitting in the pew before Mass, and after prayers, I opened the church Missal (a random pick from the pew in front of me). Amazingly, what did it open to? Again, I read, “The heavens will disappear with a mighty roar….” You know the rest (See previous entry). It was that same passage from St. Peter! What struck me first was the “mighty roar”. Sounds scary to me. Of course, we don’t know when this will occur. It may not happen in our lifetimes. But since I have a great interest in star-gazing, this impresses me. And again, the injunction to Stay Holy, my friends! Ya don’ wanna be found with spot or blemish at THAT time, because GOD is coming BACK…and it sounds like He’s not too happy with mankind in general!…


St. Peter Describes the New Heaven and New Earth Events

AHA! Recall my last posting on New Heavens and a New Earth! Just today, I asked my Guardian Angel to give me a reading from my little Bible, which I carry around with me. (It’s horribly battered.) Then I flipped it open, and whaddaya know! It opened right up to St. Peter’s comments about the subject. So I want to post them here, just for us to think about a bit:…

“The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away WITH A LOUD NOISE, and then THE ELEMENTS WILL BE DISSOLVED WITH FIRE, and THE EARTH AND EVERYTHING THAT IS DONE ON IT WILL BE DISCLOSED.


Fifty Shades and Theology of the Body

I just want to say something about this book so many young women seem to be reading, from all accounts. It’s called Fifty Shades of Grey, and it’s very poorly written sado-masochistic erotica. But frankly, I don’t find abuse erotic. I have not read the book, to be honest. I peeked at a few paragraphs online, just to see. I had heard a commentary, actually condemnation of it, on the tele, so I wanted to see how it sounded. The commentator called the author a misogynist, or one who hates women. Has to be the truth. When I first saw the writing, I could not believe that ever got published. Even for a Vanity Press, this is really bad writing. I would not be able to endure reading anything written like that, and even if I could, I would not choose this kind of subject matter.…

I under

New Heavens and a New Earth

First, I want to say that I am not a Biblical scholar, and I am no prophet either. I read the lives of the saints and Our Lady’s apparitions. Interestingly, Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje dovetail with Revelations and other sources. When she speaks of a “Great Chastisement” for the whole of mankind, because mankind has turned away from God, she says that it is conditional on our repentance, conversion, prayers and fasting. Anyway, that’s kind of a preface to what I wanted to say about Revelations.…

Since I was a wee lass, I’ve heard of and read in Scripture about how there will be “a new heavens and a new earth”. We already know that during the time of the dinosaurs, something happened, and there was a new earth, taking all the dinosaurs with it down to the grave. What would giv

Cicada's Unfortunate Remark

Cicadas were singing this afternoon off and on, their little buzz saw songs. In one of those quiet spells, I opened the door to bring out the trash. As I was muttering about something, being a bit aggravated, a Cicada answered my grouse with a two comment response. I felt bad about it, and reassured the little guy that all was well, and I was sorry for grousing. I walked the trash to the bin and turned around. A Grackle having heard the Cicada’s noise, flew up into the tree and grabbed him in her beak, then flew down to the pavement, threw him down, and began munching on poor Cicada, gobbling him completely down. I felt really bad. Was it my fault Cicada commented when he did, then attracted the attention of the Grackle who ate him? Maybe. Maybe. But it was not intentional, and I…

Creative Saturday

I’m sitting here watching videos of Alaskan ice floes, rivers filled with chunks of ice, ice melting back into the sea. Well, you get the picture. It’s hot outside. I use my umbrella here every day for the sun, and rarely for rain. Austin doesn’t get a lot of rain, though we did have a nice little run of it in the Spring. I thought I’d heard that we were going to get rain today, but I see no trace of it yet. We’re supposed to have an entire week with good chances of rain! I wait and anticipate….…

Now they’re showing the ocean blue against a sky of a different blue hue. Whale fins and whale tales, and whale faces keep popping on the screen. WATER! Oops! Film just ended.

But we do have WIND here! Sometimes. The other day, as I was walking with my umbrella in the burning heat, with a

The Fourth of July and the Big Bang!

Ah! Fourth of July! I have always loved this day of the year! It’s so filled with meaning and life. It has so much to say to us, and so much for us to ponder and say and do.…

When I was a kid, my brothers and I always popped fireworks, because we had plenty of land, and there was never any danger that we would set any fires. We also lived just outside the city limits! Sometimes we made homemade ice cream too, or had wiener roasts. But mostly it was about setting off all the fireworks. We always had great fun with that.

When my son was a child, we always went to the big fireworks display the city offered. We all loved that very much, because the night would be cool and dark, and the people excited. You couldn’t help but catch the spirit. We all waited, chatting joyfully until the mu

Sometimes Preachy

I do apologize for getting preachy from time to time. I’m no saint myself, but I keep trying, every single day. I do my dangdest to never break the commandments. When I do, it’s not usually a major one. But wait…they’re all major! That’s why they’re called COMMANDMENTS! I was thinking of those times I have missed Mass from sickness or some such. I may have been able to make it, but I may also have had a major sick attack on the way and wound up in hospital or bathroom somewhere instead. So I stayed home those days. Well, my point, without getting too personal, is that I’m not perfect either. And sometimes, something gives me an opportunity to respond to some angry remark mistakenly directed at me. Surely it’s a mistake. I don’t know how anyone could dislike such a nice person …

Revenge in Scripture

Tonight on the news I watched a segment about people losing things in a move. One of the people was wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed in loud letters, “REVENGE”, and some other writing I didn’t have time to read. It didn’t surprise me. I’ve seen the following this kind of thinking has here. And revenge has been popularized in magazine articles about “Success”. I can understand someone’s desire for some just cause, assuming they might know what they were talking about or that they even had a clue they could interpret rightly. I see a lot of presumption around me, and the assuming that goes on about me, and is passed on as “fact”, is so totally bogus it could chew the horns off a bull.…

So it was today, and I’m thinking as I watch Ms. REVENGE, about the Bible passage I came across toda

Sympathy and Stories

All sympathy is much appreciated! ;P Thanks to my well-wishers.…

I logged on in order to just make a statement about a local problem. I am a victim of harassment and various attacks and falsehoods. I am not a criminal, an immoral person, or any kind of deviant. I am semi-retired, but my profession was not immoral either. If you see the title of a book I am reading (mysteries or lives of the saints), or if you see me standing out in the parking lot at night (praying or star-gazing), or if you see my buying a particular product (you don’t know what the purpose may be or for whom it may be), it doesn’t mean what you people are concluding. I realize that some people have grown up in certain types of environments, and perhaps this colors their thinking…

Realize that you don’t know what is


Lingering here with a bronchial infection and lots of coughing, I am totally exhausted and rest isn’t helping a lot. I am trying to respond to comments a few at a time. If I sound weird, I can promise you I feel weird on antibiotics and full of phlegm and coughing. So I have little energy or enthusiasm right now. I answered a few comments, but have to go back to the sofa now. Sorry if I am slow in responding, but I’d rather answer when I’m more able to feel the enthusiasm.…

On top of all this, today’s high is 105 degrees! Back to THAT! ARGH! It is downright dangerous to go outside right now, and the news media warned that it will be dangerous to be out in the evening hours as well. Tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 106. I want to go explore some caves or something….where the temper

Why I Like Mysteries

Sometimes, I don’t know whether to be amused or upset over some of the misunderstandings and misinterpretations that we all reach. What started my thinking on this was most recently a book I checked out of the library. It’s a new mystery writer for me, but I picked it up in the library and loved the writing. I have not been disappointed. The story takes place in Korea, and there are several detectives involved in the investigations. Two of them are American G.I.‘s and one in particular is a Korean chief detective, well known for his brilliant detective work. His name is Mr. Gil, but the G in Korean is pronounced kind of like our K. So the G.I.s call him Mr. Kill. This is the title of the book. Now, considering the erroneous gossip factor already out there, a library book by the n…

Dragonfly Company

Today I pulled myself out of my lassitude and went out to take photos, a bit like a slug. I’m not feeling very well today. Something in my bronchials and lungs. I did walk around a bit and snap some photos, kind of half-heartedly since most of the flowers have gone to seed and dried up.…

At a certain point in my wandering, I found that the Dragonflies had taken notice of me. They began following me around, and coming up to me and just staring at my face. At first I thought, “How SWEET!” Then I remembered that I had a pair of silver dragonfly earrings on. So, much like the butterflies in the Spring, when I wore my butterfly earrings, the Dragonflies were fascinated with the tiny dragonflies on my ears. And to my surprise, they seem to have not only accepted me, but began accompanying

Bee Disclaimer

I have to keep adding disclaimers, because someone thinks they can interpret the things I write or say into some kind of criminal thing. I’ve had a lot of harassment since I wrote the Bee commentary. I love bees. I have enjoyed watching them. What I have to say about bees is strictly about bees. I am not a bee. I thought I needed to make that clear, since the delusional insist on creating false stories to go along with everything. The reason I wrote this is because of some recent advertising about bees. People are taught to hate them, but they are really gentle creatures. I’ve seen people swat and kill them when they come around, and they are destroying the very creatures we need to grow food in this country. Bees are beneficial, and they won’t harm you if you don’t try to harm …

Charity Atones

I love the lives of the saints, and I love reading them. There is so much to learn and so much to marvel over in awe. But most of all, there is so much practical information we can each use in our own lives.…

Tonight I was reading an excerpt from the life of St. Margaret Mary. She had many spiritual gifts, given to her by Our Lord. So when a certain soul was recommended to her prayers, as he had just passed away, her response was that he was more in a position to pray for them because of a great act of charity before his death. Now understand that this gentleman was not known to her, and I don’t think he even lived in the same town. And there was no form of rapid communication either. He was the father of a woman who was distraught at his death, and who had petitioned St. Margaret M

About Bees

I love bees, and I’m going to tell you why. For one thing, despite their bad rap, bees are very gentle creatures. You probably didn’t know this. I became aware of it when some little worker bees decided they could harvest something from my patio. Once I noticed this, I realized there was only old soda cans there to be recycled, and I felt sorry for the little guys. So I began putting out a bit of soda for them. At first I would pour a bit into a shallow dish or some such, but they would always fall in and start to drown. So I switched to plastic lids, the kind that fit over a thin rim. These have a very narrow little ditch with purchase on both sides. The bees loved this delivery system, because they could perch on the rim and take their fill of the sweet liquid without falling i…

Summer Heat and the Lottery

We have entered the heat of Summer here in Texas, and there just hasn’t been rain in my part of the city. As a result the critters are suffering. How do I know this? Several unusual events. First, when I went out to creek the other day, I surprised a large turtle sitting in the grass. I’ve never seen him there before. I believe he was moulting, growing a new shell, having outgrown the previous one. But I figured he was getting some relief from water that has not been refreshed in some long time.…

Then later in the same day, I was waiting for the bus and munched some Fritos. I put the remainder back in the bag and tucked them away. A few minutes later, a Western Kingbird CAME RIGHT UP TO ME, hovering, flapping his wings and looking at me as though to ask for a Frito. Or maybe he wa

Weird Void

Today has been a rather strange day, but full of revelations. Strange, in that I felt no compulsion to take photos, so I didn’t even take one. This is a first for the past few years, I guess. I always take at least one on my way to a bus stop or on my way to lunch or some such. But today, zero, zip, nada, niente, rien, nothing. I know some of you are disappointed, but some of you might be relieved. ;) haha. And I don’t know why, but for the past few days, I’ve felt a kind of void. Not a total void, but a sense of being finished with something, and not feeling the need to take any pictures. When I looked at my astrological commentary for the day, it said, “In the morning, the Moon will be void, and you will not be able to start anything new, but in the afternoon, the Moon will mo…

How I Met the Fish Family

After running errands and starting to melt in the heat today, I hurried back to my happy little hovel. However, I quickly became bored, almost unheard of for me. I always have something to do. But today, despite the cool novels I found at the library the other day, I just sat for a few moments thinking I didn’t feel like reading. Since it was hot outside, another trip to another store, which I needed to make, was just out of the question.…

It was in the 90’s out there, a far cry from the triple digits of last year, but still darned hot. So I decided to have a late lunch. But after lunch, my ennui returned, and I felt that very strange sensation of boredom. What was happening to me? I’m NEVER bored! What is WRONG with me?

I finally decided I was letting the heat dictate to me, oppre

Memorial Day and the Park

Well, I finally filled up all available space on my computer, so had to do something about that. Meanwhile photos were accumulating on my camera. Now I’ve been able to download, which encouraged me to go out snapping more photos this morning. As expected, I once again encountered Bunnyland, and…a bunny! I’ll download those later.…

But what most surprised me was that the Indian Blankets were blooming profusely again. It was so lovely, though not as awesome as the first blooms of Spring. I walked like Alice in Wonderland, enjoying their beauty all over again. Rich! And I know of no camera that can capture the scope of what I’m describing. There are so many blooms, about waist high or taller and they cover meadows and hills as far as the eye can see, right up to the dark green firs spr

Summer, Sunflowers, Hick-Ups, Nigh Herons, Sand Queens

Spring has sprung and gone. Now our temperatures are in the 90’s by afternoon, and not too cool at night. I totally hate that. This is usually summer weather. May? SHEESH! I’m afraid of what summer is going to be. I’ve always wanted to see Canada…. But they’re saying el nino might come in and bring us Summer rains.…

Nevertheless, there are still a few things blooming, and now the Sunflowers have started blooming and some are 10 feet tall, like my more recent Sunflower photos. I will probably post a few today from the hilly neighborhood meadows, i.e., the park. I suppose I should go on a walkabout in different parts of the city. But it is hot now… Sheesh. This is the part of the year most difficult for me. The heat last year was so bad, I didn’t know if I would make it through t

Mothers, Love, and Population of the USA

O.K., this is probably my last entry for this year celebrating Mother’s Day. I have celebrated it all week, and it has been delightful. Please humor me if it seems a bit much. It really isn’t. In fact, I encourage all mothers to write creative entries about motherhood – poems, essays, commentary. It would be interesting. I’m sure many can write it out better than my poor self! But here’s my thought for the day after reading this excerpt from JPII in a newspaper:…

I stumbled across a quote from Pope John Paul II on motherhood, and I thought I’d share it here. I may not leave it up longer than a week, for copyright concerns. But here is the quote:

“Thank you, women who are mothers! You have sheltered human beings within yourselves in a unique experience of joy and travail. This expe

Mother's Day Illuminated by Heaven

Wow! What a Mother’s Day I had! It started out auspiciously with the Rain Lilies. And it only dawned on me slowly. As I’d swing my camera to focus on another Lily, the flower seemed to be holding an inner light. I’ve seen one or two of them do this before. But on this, Mother’s Day (last Sunday), so many of them did this very thing in the most marvelous way. I have posted a number of those photos, ending the series with the following capture: The very bright light at the center of the flower radiates outward, ending in a soft outer glow. It made me think of pregnancy. I often heard, when I was pregnant, that I had “that glow”. Hormones? Oh, certainly. Light from heaven? Certainly. W…

Mother's Day Illuminated by Heaven

Wow! What a Mother’s Day I had! It started out auspiciously with the Rain Lilies. And it only dawned on me slowly. As I’d swing my camera to focus on another Lily, the flower seemed to be holding an inner light. I’ve seen one or two of them do this before. But on this, Mother’s Day (last Sunday), so many of them did this very thing in the most marvelous way. I have posted a number of those photos, ending the series with the following capture: The very bright light at the center of the flower radiates outward, ending in a soft outer glow. It made me think of pregnancy. I often heard, when I was pregnant, that I had “that glow”. Hormones? Oh, certainly. Light from heaven? Certainly. W…


Well, we had some rain. ALong with the previous gentle rain, we had a pounding rain last night for about an hour. After that, it was not so hard. There were also strong winds. The largest crop of Rain Lilies had already come up out of the ground, but were buds. Needless to say, the pounding ripped them and pounded them and made them fragile. So that large swath of Rain Lilies we usually see a few days after a hard rain, were actually rained upon and damaged so that they looked like drooping palm trees in miniature instead of magnificent Rain Lilies. So what did I do? Guess. I took PHOTOS OF THEM! What else? Hopefully, I will find one or two that I can post.…

Secondly, our group had a magnificent Mother’s Day celebration today, complete with Mariachis and roses and CAKE! LET US EAT

Saving Grace

After the last entry, I just have to say, “BOY! Am I ever GLAD that Jesus came to Earth to save us!” (Especially when I think of about 50 million abortions in the US alone.) Let’s take advantage of this great and incredible grace! DON’T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY!

A Sunday Meditation from the Catechism

It’s Sunday, so I sat down this morning with some inspirational reading. I opened the Catechism, just to get a short bit of knowledge. It turned out to be rather profound, so I thought I’d share it. (But before I go there, I want to reassure everyone that God is full of mercy and kindness and loves us as His children. There is no sin God will not forgive a repentant heart. As I’ve written before, if you suddenly see you have sinned gravely and are convicted in your heart, hurry to confession, where you will be unburdened and absolved from these serious offenses. The priest stands “in persona Christi”, in the person of Christ, and with the authority given to them by Our Lord (“Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven them; whose sins you hold bound, they are held bound.”), you will …

On "Straying" - the Expanded Edition

I am not “straying”. Just so you know. In fact, I have not “strayed” for umpteen years. In fact, I have been living a holy life for umpteen years. Perhaps the words I heard today did not relate to me. Undoubtedly. However, if anyone is straying, it is not me. I know of others who “stray” routinely, but it is not me. In fact, I think I know a few people who are “straying” together. But it is not me.…

“Straying” is very dangerous. “Straying” can cost you your immortal soul. After one of their visions of the Blessed Mother, the three little visionaries of Fatima asked their mothers, “What does ‘sins of the flesh’ mean?” Then the people found out that this was the reason MOST souls go to Hell. DANG, FANG! I think people need to know this. As I said, “straying” is very dangerous.

About Baby Birds This Spring

Well, I must humbly admit that I visited the bird nest again, and lo! the nest was almost upended, and there were no baby birds in it! TERRIBLE! OH NO! We have been deprived of our little baby birds! How anxiously we watched t hem, how delighted we were each day when we saw them! How ANGRY mother bird was when she caught us! I posted another picture of angry mother bird on that day, who returned to the nest the MOMENT I PEEKED! How weird is THAT? Did she see me coming and hurry back to the nest? If so, she had already caught BREAKFAST, because the bug is in her mouth as her eyes glare at me with reproval…and rightly so. I was the invader, but out of love, not out of malice. Unfortunately, she either moved the babies, having created a new nest, or the wild cats, or some bad human or pos…

Finding the Truth and Living It

The other day, and again this morning, in two different books, I came across the SAME Scripture reading which basically said, “your city is where Satan lives”. That is entirely possible. Lately, almost every day, I encounter someone who says, “I have to get out of here! This place is violent.” Or, “I have to get out of here. I’ve been in two fights in the past two weeks.” It can be a very aggressive city, depending….…

It can also be a very holy city, depending on the choices people make. I believe there must be a few saints living in this city. I do believe there are at least a few very holy people who live here and keep all the Commandments.

We DO need to take a look at what is happening to our beloved Democracy and to our own lives. Why is so much violence springing up in our cit

Temperatures in 100's in April in West Texas

108 degrees yesterday in one West Texas town! It’s only April…. Today, West Texas again recorded 102 in one place and 104 in another. Now I know why I don’t live in West Texas. It has been the new hot spot in the nation in the past few days. Amazing. I’m thinking of Dante’s Inferno.…

There have been some lovely wildflowers blooming, and birdie families raising babies. It’s a beautiful thing. Enchanting, actually. However, I did commit a faux pas when I was surprised by a mother bird returning to her nest, and she caught me in the act of taking photos (which I have just posted in my gallery). I don’t think I’ve ever had such a sense of guilt in my entire life! Mother bird chastened me with one look. That’s all it took. You can see a bit of her attitude in the photo I posted of he

Summer in April!

Well, don’t feel bad about our early Spring, anyone! Our temperatures are already in the 90’s. Today’s high is expected to reach 93! GOD! What is SUMMER going to be like? I shudder to think! I might have to give some serious consideration to moving. What I really need are two houses. One here for Winter and Spring, and one somewhere else for Summer and Fall. If we don’t get more water, there’s going to be serious water shortages too. And with those high temperatures…shudder. The lake level is still 42 feet below its average. This tells you about what last year was like, and this year as well has not replaced the loss. It’s nice and windy and cool this morning, but it will turn hot in the afternoon. I want to go to France, where all you have to deal with are terrorists.…

Speaking o

Under Construction - Baby Onboard!

I have posted this elsewhere and decided it might be of fun to post here. It was done partly in humor and partly seriously. I had been listening to some of the local Planned Parenthood commentary on TV. I get so tired of the obfuscation of truth, and in a moment of inspiration had fun with this.…

As I told you before, I’ve been reading a little philosophy. And one day as I was reading, it hit me, how things fit together. AHA!~ This is what I mean:

The Principle of Non-Contradiction states that a thing cannot both BE and NOT BE at the same time! Ergo, if a woman is pregnant with a baby, the baby is NOT her OWN self, but a separate person. It is a baby, and cannot also be the mother of itself; it is a baby and cannot be a dog. It cannot be both a BABY and NOT A BABY at the same time. Beca

Seeing and Believing

John 3: 11-12
“Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony.
If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?”

I can’t expound on this at the moment, but will fill it in tomorrow. Just ponder what this might mean about the true life of the unborn.


Considering the intelligence of little birds, I decided to try an experiment. From time to time, I greet the little birds with a signal call I have created as all my own. A little do-da whistle. Almost right away, the Grackles copied it exactly. Then, for some reason, they stylized it into their own little sound, just one tone sounded twice. Once I think a Mockingbird may have copied my call, but I’m not certain I remember that correctly. I also just say Good Morning, or if I’m in a good mood, I might hum or sing a little song.…

So I wasn’t thinking about that experiment last night and had kind of let it go, to be honest. And I was very surprised when a totally different bird picked it up in a totally different situation. Someone was very angry last night, slamming the door, runnin

Divine Mercy Sunday

Oops! I’m late writing this, but it is still time for mercy. So while there’s still time, pay attention and grab all the mercy of Christ you can get! I say this, because we do not know our own sinfulness. How do I know this. Haha! Glad you asked. No, it’s not because I’m all kinds of criminal or anything. It’s because I read St. Faustina’s Diary, “Divine Mercy in my Soul”. Powerful stuff! This book is tops on my list. But let me explain what Divine Mercy Sunday is and how it came about.…

Divine Mercy Sunday is a feast day created by Jesus Himself. Through Sr. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun. She was an extraordinary saint. You have to read her story to fully appreciate what I am saying. You will be changed by reading it. This holy nun never violated the Commandments her whole l

About Ann Romney

About Ann Romney. I was totally stunned when I heard about the ridiculous remark by the Democratic mouthpiece that Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life”! HAHAHAHAHAHA! ANN ROMNEY RAISED FIVE KIDS! She has worked harder than any desk minder. The thing about your desk, dear, is that it does not talk back, it does not need its diaper changed, does not need creative direction, does not need constant meals and attention. Nor do you have FIVE desks! My mother also stayed home and raised the five of US! The difference between my mother and Ann Romney is that my mother was almost totally blind for much of her life. But I can tell you how hard my mother worked! I can tell you how exhausted she was at the end of the day! But even then, we would pile into my mother’s bed and listen to the …

Star Lynn

And then there’s the neighbor’s little two year old daughter. When she is able to slip away from her mother, in an instant, she is at my door with a KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! I open it, thinking it is her mother, because it is quite firm and loud. But when I open the door, there is no one at eye level. So I look down, and there’s this little short girl looking up at me earnestly.…

So I say, come in, Starlin! She steps right in and sits in the lounge chair. “Hm”, she says. Then she goes and sits on the stool. “Hm”, she says. Then she goes and sits on the sofa. “Hm”, she says. Next she goes back to the lounge chair, sits back in it, snuggles into it a bit, and lets out a big sigh. “THIS is my FAVORITE!”, she informs me. I have to laugh. “Well”, I reply, “you can come over and sit in y

A Butterfly Experience

Today when I was out wandering through the fields taking photos, I noticed the butterflies were not nearly as skittish as before. In fact, some of them seemed from time to time, to follow me. Finally, they began landing on the ground near me, and I was clicking away in wonder. I decided that they had become accustomed to seeing me and realized I wasn’t a threat. Perhaps they even imagined I was some kind of large insect. This was what I assumed.…

With great delight, I finally got the great close-up of one of the white butterflies I had been trying to capture. While previously, it was so skittish, I could hardly get anywhere near it, now it landed on the ground right in front of me, stared at me curiously, and then posed beautifully for the camera. I have posted a few of these photos

A Field Saved

Highs this week are all in the 80’s. Seems hot to me. Already. But there is some good news. Out in the fields, I found my favorite field was not mowed. Yippeee! However, the heat is getting to some things. And if you don’t make it out there before 10 or 11 a.m., some things may look withered. None of this seems to bother the butterflies and caterpillers, however. I happened upon what I think is a Monarch caterpillar today, munching busily and happily on an Antelope Horn stem and flower.…

I couldn’t believe all the butterflies today either. But most likely, those in the mowed fields made it down to “mine”, and added even more life to it all. I finally got a better look at one of the black butterflies flitting around, and it turned out to be a Pipevine Swallowtail with those lovel

A Butterfly Spring

My favorite wildflower field has been chock full of a wonderful variety of wildflowers, such that it did look weedy, but had beautiful combinations. I have just posted a few, and others will probably be forthcoming. It’s just to give the sense of how lovely our Spring has been, even as the Bluebonnets wane. It’s so wonderful to see other wildflowers filling in as the Bluebonnets begin to look tired. I’ve enjoyed just observing the combinations.…

So I have often walked the little trail and had to stop mid stride to let a butterfly flit by. On other occasions, I’ve had larger butterflies zoom by me at a surprising speed on a straight course. Today, as one large orange beauty zipped by me, her wing literally brushed against my arm. It was a wonderful feeling. Many times this season, b

Truth Laid Out On The Sidewalk

I was shocked a few days ago when I came to a sad sight on the sidewalk. It was a chick embryo, of what kind of bird was not certain, though it appeared to be the embryo of a Green Heron. The sight sickened me, but I took a photo of it for a very good reason. If it had to die, there are things that need to be said about embryos. Here’s the link to the embryo I first saw on the sidewalk. You can look and come back to hear the whole story:…

It was very sad to me, because the Green Heron had befriended me last year, and never seems to have forgotten me, clicking her little greeting every time she saw me. I felt the pain of this loss very deeply, and then I began to wonder if whoever killed the baby had also killed th

Appropriate for Holy Week, if you ask me....

Have you ever had an experience of Scripture which spoke to your morning? Or to your thoughts? Or to something you had done? Of course, Scripture is a history of universals in many ways. But Scripture is much more than that. Scripture is ALIVE! It is ACTIVE! It not only acts in your life in unconscious ways, but in very overt and active ways. And today was a very great example of that for me.…

So here’s basically what happened. And no, I’m not going to “confess” to you. Not in an specific terms. But what happened with me today, I felt was of great import to everyone’s life in terms of a safe path to heaven. I myself was surprised, because I thought I was doing a good thing, after years of patience with a very evil game. It’s a harassment game, and one of quite evil proportions. I’

The Miniature World of Butterflies and Insects in My Park

Well, the last few days, I’ve been enchanted with the tiny world of the little butterflies and insects. Watching all the magnificent wildflower growth with the recent rains we’ve had has been spectacular. It’s very easy to observe the tiny insect forests and become immersed in the life of these little insect habitats. I’ve posted a number of photos in an attempt to depict them, but the truth is that they are quite extensive, and I’ve only been able to capture a tiny segment at a time. They appear to me, watching them, very similar in nature to tropical forests or jungles. The very tiny flowers, next to the tiny insects, are proportionately sized to make up a miniature world of wonder. There are tall (relatively speaking – they’re actually small) Plantain “trees”, and sprawling wild …

Regarding the Future of the World and Our Role in it

I was alarmed when someone began ticking off the names of all the armies surrounding Israel. I thought, oh my!, Revelations is coming true. Then I had a second thought, this time about the meaning of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparitions in 1918, in Fatima, Portugal.…

First of all, she appeared to three Christian shepherd children as the Mother of Jesus. Her dress, which was very modest, and not too different from the dress of Muslim women (while wearing a mantle, she did not wear a veil), held a luminous star near the hem, signifying Queen Esther of the Jewish tribes. She appeared at Fatima, Fah-tima being the daughter of the prophet Mohammed. In this subtle way, she has made it clear that she assumes the prophetic role for all three faiths, and thus also draws all three faiths into one.

Giving Someone "the WING"!

It’s that time of year again. I was sitting at a bus stop this morning, wearing a black hoodie and blue jeans. I had the hood over my baseball cap, because with the moisture in the air, I was chilled. So as I sat there, a Grackle flew right over me, bopping my head with his wing. It wasn’t hard or mean, it was just a soft brush, suggesting I might want to, like, LEAVE! I’m sure the black hoodie set off all their alarms.…

An interesting corollary to that story is some discussion in the news lately about kids going out at night wearing a black hoodie and keeping their hands in their pockets. People feel suspicious, the reporter said, when they see someone dressed this way. Gee, I wonder why that is. Nonetheless, I was wearing a black hoodie…but it was daylight! So what happened? I got

Observations in Nature

What a tumultuous week! I’ve been taking many, many wildflower photos, trying to get that perfect photo to post for everyone. It’s been a challenge in a way, because of all the growth from the recent rains. It’s almost as though we are getting too many wildflowers in our Bluebonnet fields. The Coreopsis have started blooming before the Indian Paintbrush can come out fully. The Coreopsis before it blooms can look like a weed. Ergo, all around the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes, are lots of weedy looking green Coreopsis, not yet bloomed. So a photographer like myself is challenged to overcome this.…

In the process of being so focused on wildflower pictures, my back has been achy to the point of exhaustion. Growing in intensity, it peaked a few days ago, and I had to hurry home an

Storms of Various Natures

We are expecting about five inches of rain with possible tornadoes and flood warnings. All I can think of is that I have no snacks!…

Aside from that, I heard today, after SXSW has just ended, that there were bands from France, the Caribbean, Jamaica, Japan! SHEESH! I MISSED IT! But I heard it was wild.

Now, for George Clooney and Rick Santorum. First of all, they’re both very right, and I find their courage very inspirational. The Sudan has been a Holocaust for a long time. There is now an urgent problem of the upcoming rainy season. Why aren’t people reaching out to help those people. I have read that China is backing the Islamist assailants. I’ve also read that the Janjaweed (or whatever they call themselves) are out to eradicate all of these poor black villagers because they say

A Red Admiral and a Baffling Bug?

Spring is such a time of surprises. Perhaps it’s in the nature of things growing, popping up, new life entering the world. All these things make it such a joyful time. You never know what new thing will happen.…

So today, I boarded the bus and went all the way downtown for Mass, since it’s a Friday in Lent. (I was not disappointed. Mass was utterly beautiful in its simplicity and complexity.) But before Mass, I walked into the bookstore to ask the manager to order a particular book, which I thought would be a great companion to the one I had just finished. So I plopped down my backpack, and to my surprise, up arose a lovely, large Red Admiral Butterfly, who immediately attached itself to the glass bookstore door. (Did he ride with me all the way from the park in North Austin?, I wo

Spring and Cleaning

This has been a very windy week, and today was quite windy. The wind gusts were pretty strong, and when I was trying to photograph the Toadflax, the flowers sometimes flew with a sudden gust before the camera could capture it. Nevertheless, I did manage to catch a few still seconds…and the Gnat again! Curious little creatures.…

As I am writing this, I can hear some empty can rolling down the parking lot with the wind. When I opened the patio door earlier, a strong gust pushed right into the room. It felt quite nice, with temperatures in the 60s. March winds. I have always loved this time of year!

As you’ve seen from my gallery, lots of wildflowers are starting to bloom, and I’m sure I haven’t even seen half of them. This morning when I ran an errand to pay a bill, I walked back out

On Sleeplessness (Don't Count Sheep)

I just read that George Clooney sometimes has trouble sleeping, and has frequent pain. He said that he wakes up sometimes five times a night. I sometimes have this problem too, but I don’t struggle with it. If I wake up and don’t go right back to sleep, I usually figure my Guardian Angel has awakened me for prayer. I may not know the reason, but someone needs my prayers. So I sometimes think. Because of this, I often get up and say my Rosary, which brings me great peace, and I can then go back to a wonderful, restful sleep.…

However, if I don’t sleep very well, I don’t worry about it too much. And I sometimes make it up the next night. I find if I entrust my life and my soul and my sleep to the Lord, I generally have a more restful night. As I wrote before, we do sometimes have tro

On Trolls and Friends

I was just thinking about this today. Sometimes we have trolls in our lives, people who, for whatever reason of their own, decide to be at enmity with us. And this can take varying degrees of expression. But they too are children of God, and thus our brothers and sisters. The mean kids down the block, even if they’re 99. While we hope those sentiments and actions will pass, or somehow be resolved, we survive these times through the good help of friends and family. Many people give up their own comfort to help us sometimes. And we must be grateful to them for this huge blessing. Those people who gather around us in times of trouble or difficulty or illness.…

I was thinking that this is much like what I’ve read about the early Church, how people helped one another. I’ve seen this in

God, Extraterrestrials, Angel Transportation

It has rained almost all night. I woke several times during the night and enjoyed the sounds. I woke this morning finally to rain. So as I sat and drank my coffee to the pitter patter of raindrops, and read morning prayers, I thought I should share this train of thought to add a little inspiration to your Saturday!~…

Reading morning prayer this morning, and it fits right in with my past few entries, about how God cares for us and does marvelous things for us. In light of recent speculation about meteors, and catastrophes we have seen in divers places, it is good to ponder these words:

“O give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his love endures for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords
for his love endures for ever;

who alone

Be Not Afraid

My last entry was just my speculation and wonderment about the phrase in Scripture to the effect that there would be a new heaven and a new earth. I sometimes think, “How will that be?” I probably will never live to see that. Maybe none of us will. However, it’s worth pondering when you have a little spare time and don’t know what to do. Obviously, it’s not for us to know. But I often wonder how it will be that the whole earth will change and the whole sky will change.…

Scientists have often speculated about what would happen if we were hit by large meteors. I think it’s amazing that in the 2,000 years of our recorded history, no such thing has happened. To me, this speaks of God’s care for us. St. Paul said it best, “It is in God that we live and move and have our being.” So to m

Earth, the Universe, and God

We’ve been having the strangest weather. Today’s high is supposed to reach 77 degrees, but tonight a 29 degree freeze is forecast. I think nature is confused, and the poor plants don’t know what to do. Shepherd’s Purse, for example has been blooming and growing in the mild weather. But a few nights of freezing temperatures and fog seem to have affected their beautiful heart-shaped seed pods. My last set of photos were not very good. But the plants, once they’re tall and bushy, have a stately, lacey, delicate look to them. Fascinating little plants. The fact that they’re edible makes them all the more interesting. They are winter-blooming plants though, often used in the USA for winter forage for the animals. In Europe, the leaves are used in salads or steamed, and the seed pods g…

Bird Thoughts, No Pictures

Some rain last night kept the ground wet. Good for us, trying to emerge from drought conditions, which we haven’t quite done yet. It left an overcast morning, which was ok. I left early and spent a bit of time over breakfast, a nice relaxing change of pace. Scouring the newspaper, I found an article which I knew I would answer in a letter to the editor. Probably foolishly.…

I took the long walk home from a different bus stop, going through the woods and by the creek. I was rewarded for my efforts by a lovely bird call. I looked to see what it was, and the Woodpecker was working the tree limb for breakfast. That was cool. But I was taken totally by surprise when I heard a VERY loud Hawk cry. I knew instantly that it was one of the Red Shouldered Hawks, and knew he had to be nearby

Through a Glass Darkly

We’ve all probably seen glass that has some tint in it, so that everything you see through that glass is shaded. It’s like wearing sunglasses. The sun’s light is thus shaded. It’s like my computer monitor. Something’s gone wrong with it, so that it sometimes turns bluish. Then suddenly, in a flash of light, the right colors come back up on the screen. My monitor goes through blue moments. At those times, I cannot always tell what something shows, because the colors are skewed. But then, with the flash of light, the colors return, and then I understand what is before me.…

Sometimes we have mountaintop moments, or moments of clarity, where we see something we did not see before. These can be moments of inspiration, of joy, of love, or of sorrow and regret, whatever our insight has s

Valentines From Heaven

I’m reading this great book I bought quite some time ago. You see, I often buy books I don’t have time to read. I put them on my bookshelf or in a box when I’m rearranging things, and I don’t touch it again for perhaps years. One day, I start rooting around for something to read, and I see the book and say, “OH! I’ve been WANTING to read that!” and I pull it out and start reading it. So that’s what happened. It’s a history of the church, and wonderfully written too, in fact, exciting reading. It starts out dramatically with battle scenes, describing Constantine’s final conquest of Rome. Cool.…

Anyway, as he’s describing St. Paul, something struck me. It’s a famous passage we’ve all heard over and over again, but I heard it with new ears, in a way. You know the passage about how no

Mission: Impossible

Wow! I just got back from the current Mission: Impossible movie. What a great flick! Kept me on the edge of my seat through the whole movie! My fear of heights kicked in during that movie BIG TIME! By the time it was over, I had to gear down, untense my body. In fact, I’m doing that right now with a nice drink. The movie was great and the winding down is also great! (And Our Lord had a nice drink occasionally too! In fact, He created MORE wine when they ran out, so everyone must have already been tipsy!) I really love the Lord. :))…

Anyway, I was more moved by this movie’s sudden twists and turns than I think I’ve ever been. I found myself speaking out during the movie, a bit embarassing, and something I never do. I hope I didn’t ruin anything for the others. But when sudden things

There's Always Hope! No Matter WHAT!

Life in the U.S. these days is not always bright. We have economic problems and other problems, and sometimes a growing fear that things are not right. But all of these things are transitory. These things are NOT the goal! The goal lies at the END of this race! We sometimes forget that. It’s ONE of the reasons that suicide is NOT an option.…

Nor should anyone despair. St. Faustina wrote that “as long as one has life, one can become a great saint.” Let that perk you up a bit! As trite as the following words might seem to you, read them again and realize that they are LIFE-GIVING, and ponder them: St. Paul wrote that “God has not destined us to endure his wrath but to win salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that we might live in him.” So that we might have l

Don't Be Discouraged

Life is not always idyllic, though we don’t think that when we’re young. We expect it to be idyllic and always joyful. We don’t believe those times of sadness or difficulty or stress or anxiety or whatever suffering we may go through, has any value. But with God, everything has value, even if we don’t understand it at the time. The Lord can use these things for our own good and for the good of others.…

St. Margaret Mary must have known this kind of suffering and anxiety, because she wrote:

“We must never be discouraged or give way to anxiety…but ever have recourse to the adorable Heart of Jesus.”

Frankly, I have found this advice to be quite stellar. It has worked for me so very often. A priest too once told me, when I was trying to cope with a situation, to go to the feet of Jesus.

Springing into What?

Here it is late January, which is usually the heart of our winter, and we’re having Spring-like weather. The tiny wildflowers which have been blooming are now prolific. After our heavy rain night before last, everything is greening up! But we still have February. So this weather is dangerous to the plants who decide it’s Spring. They can still get zapped by a freeze and die.…

Nevertheless, the weather has been BEAUTIFUL! Yesterday was blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s. I could hardly stay indoors…and mostly didn’t. The Cardinal families were cavorting and singing. Young, slim and brightly red Cardinals were frisky, darting about in the gray trees, adding so much color and sound. And while I was wandering about, two Monk Parakeets flew down onto the ground with the Pigeons, ri

Oh, please!

O.k., I get it. I titled my last photo, “Killer Mistletoe, a Thief!”, and despite my admonition, “This is just about the PLANT!”, true to form, things were floating around locally. (I do not believe my RB friends have anything to do with that. This is a local phenomenon – assuming something and then believing it to be a fact. And I’m no talking about my frequent visitor. And it’s not everyone who does this here either. Some little spyin’ goin’ on! I’m just sayin’…) The reason I sometimes title a photo in such a dramatic fashion is that many just gloss over another plant photo, or something they think they understand just looking at the thumbnail. But I always do my best to add interesting information about the plant or bird or animal, whatever. If it’s a bird, I will tell the st…

Significance of Forty Years

Forty Years. At the end of 2012, we will be entering the 40th year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This is highly significant. Forty has long held a huge significance in Scripture. And there are far more instances of forty days (and forty years) than you can imagine in the Bible too. I will only list a few of them.…

For one thing, in the story of Noah, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights, and through the flood, the only ones who were saved were those who had remained faithful to the Lord. In 40 more days, Noah finally opened the window of the ark.

Moses fasted on the mountain in the presence of God for 40 days before he finally received the 10 Commandments.

The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years before arriving in the Promised Land.

Jonah warned Nineveh that in 40 days, God w

Coping, New Plaigerism Laws, and St. Martin de Porres

What a lazy morning I’m having! And yet I’m thinking of all I have to do! Sigh! But it’s nice to sit here at the computer while it warms up outside. And the sun is quickly heating things up out there. Not a cloud in sight! Typical Austin weather!…

So what do I have to do? For one thing, I need to go through all my posts and all my descriptors under my photos, and alter what I’ve quoted. Yes. Because of the new law they have either passed or want to pass. It’s depressing. Do you know how many photos I’ve posted with descriptors from Wikipedia, the FREE online encyclopedia? THOUSANDS! Burdensome. They should keep it legal to quote Wikipedia freely. To go through everything like that is burdensome. But you can quote 2 running lines, according to current law. That is for the sake of

A Saint Companion and Prayer Mission for the Year

Every year, a religious community in Medjugorje takes a list of saints and some particular prayer mission, cuts out each saint (with prayer mission) into a strip, folds it and throws each one of them into a hat. Then the papers are mixed up. Each member selects a saint and prayer mission for the year. It is said that the saint then assists and counsels us from heaven. (If you wish to participate, there is a downloadable list at Just click on the tabs at the top of the intro page until you find the listing for saints, then saint companions.)…

I received the year’s list of saint companions in my email today, and opened to one that seems to add to my last few entries:

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
(celebrated on 16 October)
“Make your home in the adorable Heart of

Finding Your Peace

After my own little meltdown, and something I read in the news about someone who was struggling to cope on a certain day, I thought I’d just share some of the things that work for me. I hope it might help you a bit also. If not, just ignore me. But try it once anyway.…

Sometimes we all get discouraged. Sometimes we endure trials we had not anticipated. And sometimes we feel we have bitten off more than we can chew. Sometimes everything seems hard or impossible. This is a part of the cycles of life. We do learn from those times. But there are also things we can do to help us through those times, things that make everything look different, and that put all things into perspective.

Having lived through such things myself, I found great comfort in Scripture, and in Psalms. I recalled

Olga's 95th Birthday and Other Things

Well, here I am again, wondering what happened to the sun. No sun all day. Just a cloud cover and mild weather. After my errands, I came home to wait for the sun. It’s almost time for the five o’clock news, and the sun is still in hiding. Oh well. It was a nice day for reading in the novel I picked up, even though I had planned to do some cleaning and organizing. A neighbor was sleeping, so I decided against making all the noise that a major cleaning would have caused.…

Actually, I was kind of recovering today from all the activity and food from Olga’s 95th birthday party yesterday. It was quite a lovely bash. Everyone came in their church clothes, and of course I, not thinking, showed up in jeans! I have posted a few photos of Olga in my photo gallery. One is the surprised look

How to Cope

Well, once again I needed some time away from my routine. I came across something outrageous (a written thing), directed at me, and kind of blew my stack. Much to my chagrin. I get a lot of harassment. But as I was still aggravated and trying to calm my mind, I opened Scripture, and my eye fell on a passage that said that one who had no control over their tongue could not call themselves religious. (Of course, that applies to everyone. The same is true for the things we do with other parts of our bodies. But my problem was the tongue once I was mad.) St. Peter had spoken the words I so needed to hear. He also said,…

“Everyone must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble. Don’t pay people back evil for the evil they do to you, or ridicule th

A Kind of Ducking and Duck Hunting

Well, once again I needed some time away from my routine. I came across something outrageous, directed at me, and kind of blew my stack. Much to my chagrin. I get a lot of harassment. But as I was still aggravated and trying to calm my mind, I opened Scripture, and my eye fell on a passage that said that one who had no control over their tongue could not call themselves religious. (Of course, that applies to everyone. The same is true for the things we do with other parts of our bodies. But my problem was the tongue. St. Peter had spoken the words I so needed to hear. He also said,…

“Everyone must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love each other, have compassion, and be humble. Don’t pay people back evil for the evil they do to you, or ridicule those who ridicule you. Instead ble

Morning Reading

This morning’s Scripture reading:

“Do to no one what you yourself dislike. Give to the hungry some of your bread, and to the naked some of your clothing. Seek counsel from every wise man. At all times bless the Lord God, and ask him to make all your paths straight and to grant success to all your endeavors and plans.” Tobit 4:15a. 16a. 18a. 19

I liked it so much I decided to share it.

Ant Watch

I left before dawn this morning after I was awakened by a neighbor, so I didn’t see anything of the ant situation. But since it had rained, I figured there wasn’t any progress anyway. The mud would still be mud, and there would still be no progress.…

When I returned home in late afternoon, I found that the mud had been drying throughout the day and even had cracks in its surface. But I saw no sign of ants. Perhaps they figured that their warm cozy underground home was well stocked enough, and they didn’t need to resurface until the rains cleared and they need food again.

Then I began to wonder what they do for water. I mean, sure it rained, but do they have the means of capturing clean water down in their burrows? Have they built some kind of ant aqueduct that stores up water when it


Meanwhile back to the ants. We’ve had a slow drizzle off and on today. When I got home, the crack in the cement step was just mud. There are no tunnel openings to be seen. The mounds are gone, presumably washed back into mud, which has refilled the holes. Was there a “mudslide” in the tunnels? I’m very concerned about that! I might have to pull out the shovel…o.k, a spoon. But I’m afraid I will just cause an avalanche in the tunnels. Can’t have that either. The crack in the cement is just a crack, but the mud is an inch wide all the way across. I have to trust that the ants had the sense to prepare for the worst and that as the mud dries, they will begin to dig themselves out. Otherwise, I could make a disastrous decision.…

All that work the ants did for several days, neatly digg

The Future

The world is not going to end.…

Let me repeat that:

The world is not going to end.

Since I wrote the entry about the reasoning for the 2012 scare, I have had all manner of innuendo and direct anger expressed towards me for writing that entry. I was only telling you why so many people are concerned about 2012. I personally do NOT know if there is any truth to the assumptions that there will be such catastrophe in 2012. Someone else made that association to the messages in Medjugorje. All I know is that in Medjugorje, the Blessed Mother gave 10 secrets to the visionaries about the future. I also know that she has asked people to turn back to God (conversion) and to pray every day for the salvation of the world. I also know that she has said God is going to send “a great chastisement” t

The Magnificent Ant

This morning when I walked out of the apartment and walked down the steps, I noticed that some tiny red ants had been very busy during the early hours. It had apparently rained a bit in the night, and they had exploited a recent crack in the cement of the steps, and built themselves an elaborate dwelling, or series of dwellings. I felt like I was looking at the Indian dwellings of Mesa Verde, carved out of a cliff side, on a miniature scale. Indeed, to these tiny ants, those slabs of concrete must seem to be mighty cliffs. It was quite delightful to observe their lovely work. Obviously, someone had disturbed one of the mounds, but the ants were hastening to repair the breach. In fact, the little ants were still busily working on their new caverns. I found this very charming and too…

A Snit Fit and Misunderstandings

This just documented a snit fit I had earlier in the week over some outrageous remarks. I wrote some things to rid myself of the aggravated feeling I couldn’t shake. Then my anger evaporated. I did not save the snit fit words, but someone apparently kept them and passed them around. If people were offended, I’m sorry. It was not meant for the general population or for publication. There are many good people here who are not participants in creating such situations. However, the provocation was more than deserving of the response. Once I express my anger (in private), I let go of it. I don’t try to bludgeon people with it or do deliberate malice. However, afterwards, I am cautious about those who deliberately create false impressions. In snit fits, one is allowed to express what…

Just Being Cheeky

Entry deleted for fear of being misunderstood. It was just humor. I may have touched on some real thing, as some reactions were seriously not happy. I was only trying to make you all laugh at my misfortunes. If I accidentally hit the mark on something, I am unaware of it. Sorry.

Magoo's Prayer

I remember a cartoon series called “Mr. Magoo”, and the character named Magoo was an elderly man who wore glasses but still could not see things like obstacles in his path. He continued on blithely, always narrowly escaping catastrophe and death. We kids were always entertained by this series.…

I never thought I would be a Magoo character, but it seems that I have been at times. Once, when I was living in another state, I ran out of money by an odd state of events, and found myself living in a shelter for a bit. Strangely, though there were many things going on there, it turned out to be a very blessed time in my life. I was able to make daily Mass, because the shelter was located in walking distance of the church. As things transpired, I made a number of friends there, one of whom wa

A Fly is a Fly and Not a Turtle

I can’t believe this continuing saga. The other night when I opened my door, all of a sudden, out buzzed THE FLY! This guy is coming and going with great ease. There must be a hole in my door. I mean, he, she, they, just squeeze in through the cracks! That is amazing persistence and absolute RUDENESS! But then, it’s in the nature of a fly to be rude. I have to remember that. I mean, I don’t guess i can change a fly into a turtle or anything like that. But now, I COULD buy a bird, and since birds like to eat flies, I would then probably be fly-free. Or a lizard. Lizards love flies. And since I like lizards and birds, but I don’t like flies, it could solve the problem.…

But the truth is that the fly has led me to a transformation. I did indeed hit the gym as I foretold. In fact, I

Freedom to Read, Write, and Watch Movies

Now, what I really wanted to talk about. I am a former librarian and French prof. I’ve also done a great deal of research and some writing. I once was a freelancer. Hard to make a living that way though. But I have a lively interest in culture, in the world, in what’s going on around me. This is not to disparage anyone either. I think it’s tough to live in today’s world, and it’s especially tough for the young. You really do have my sympathies. The world is challenging to young people today, in all kinds of ways. And how are you going to fit in, and how are you going to conduct your life, and what do you do? These are all questions young people must resolve as they grow into maturity. It isn’t simple either. The world pulls forcefully in so many different ways.…

To keep up with

2012 Reflections

Happy New Year to everyone! The year 2012 promises to be anything but dull. As most of you know, the Aztec calendar, which has been so accurate up to the present, ENDS in 2012. I think in December. So there has been a great deal of speculation that the world will end in 2012. The world will not end in 2012. However, that does not mean that there will not be something so dramatic happening in the world that everyone will be greatly moved. Those who survive. IF there is any such thing to the Aztec calendar story. I mean, that could happen.…

I was thinking specifically of the predictions of Medjugorje, where Our Lady has been appearing. The 10 predictions are kept secret, but we do know that at least 4 of them relate to the whole world, and that they are very serious, such as the wor

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