Tuesday, December 27, 2016

MSE Day 30, and the CHRISTmas Experience

Warmer yestreday - up to 53 degrees on our deck - but back to low thirty's to-day. The wind overnight knocked out our power, but thankfully it came back on within about five hours. The Lions lost to Dallas, and my Whitmore Funk Go Blowers lost the championship to micmat thanks to the Lions.
Oh, well.

Thankful for health and food and family and job and vehicle and Otie and friends and Jesus and God's grace.

Monday, December 19, 2016

MSE Day 22 - and also - Our Weekend Adventure with the Grape

About midweek last week, the vehicle I drive to work and back - and occasionally to metro Detroit for family visits - told me she'd had enough of this cold nonsense and would not start. I tried to get a jump several times but no luck. There was very little gas in her as it was payday and this might have contributed to the problem. Saturday was supposed to be the big warm-up (near 30 de3grees!) and so we let the jumper cables sit on her a good hour with no luck. I added HEET, a quart of synthetic Valvoline, and 1.6 gallons of gas but still she would not start.
I finally waddled over to O'Reilly's with the battery for a test and sure enough, it was dead. A buck oh seven later and I waddled back to the Grape and slapped in the new and improved ONE YEAR WARRANTY battery and wouldncha know she still wouldn't start. I was beginning to feel confident that it just needed to warm up a bit so we waited as the temperature  went up: 25, 26, 27, 28... It finally started (after about two hours total working on this) but when I parked her last week the exhaust pipe was right in the plowed snowbank and so immediately I was engulfed in exhaust fumes inside the Grape. I pulled her forward a little bit, opened the windows, and thanked God for our good fortune.
I made a quick feel-good stop at my second favorite Kroger for sixteen pounds of lunch meat and cheese, and then headed home. I shoveled a path on the lawn to get the vehicle back to the deck and was able to stack our firewood without carrying it all that way from the parking pad.
I shoveled off the rest of the snow, fed the birds, covered the firewood with the tarp, and thought about making some cookies or something.

The Star Wars sextet was running on TBS or TNT (who have both agreed to the exclusive rights), Frozen was on Freeform, and the Bourne triology on BBC America, so I forced myself into some comfortable clothes, made a fire, and settled in with the remote and a bigass sandwich.

Thank You, Father, for allowing us to get the Grape home; thank You for your protection and providence. We praise You and we adore You - Hallelujah to the LORD!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Advent Prayer

So many moments of my life are filled with my own needs.
'Turn to me and be safe', You say to me.

Give me the great grace to let go
from the depths of my soul.

I hear Your invitation to ask for help
and I begin to list all the places in my life that need healing.

'Turn to me and be safe'.

We must... Be... We need to...

“We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace.

 - Pope Francis

MSE Day 17

Thank You for getting us up this morning, LORD! Thank You for the safe ride to work, and for the huge white moon that lit our sky these last few nights. I praise you - Light of the world, King of creation, Lover of men, Savior of sinners!
Thank You for the big stack of firewood, the trunk full of groceries, the smiles while shopping, our vehicles, our family and friends, and for Jesus.
Please heal Monica's back, Lord.
We pray also that you would be near all our soldiers, and bring them home safely.
In Your mercy, hear our prayer.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

MSE Day 10

The mornings of late have been cloudy, overcast; with the sun trying to squeeze through where it can. I enjoy my morning rides in to work as a time of prayer and reflection. I keep the radio off, and try to keep my mind on our Father - with adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.
Some days I would rather listen to the radio or think about all that was waiting for me at work. ('Some' days? Probably most days.) But I'm never sorry I prayed. I have never ever thought 'Dagnabbit why the heck did I spend all that time in prayer?!?'

Father God, You are all good, all loving. Thank You for this new day. Guide me, change my heart, make me more like You.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

MSE Day 9

I am still gorging myself although it has been a full week including all my 'special' times that I looked forward to: tuesday after work, wednesday after work with survivor, thursday after work, friday after work, saturday in the kitchen cooking and watching football/basketball, sunday in the kitchen cooking and what not, &c.

My swelling has diminished and I have been nicer, i think. I am getting encouragement from people who care, thank you, Father.

A three minute retreat, from Loyola Press


Saturday, December 3, 2016


“That is the wonder of all wonders, that God loves the lowly…. God is not ashamed of the lowliness of human beings. God marches right in. He chooses people as his instruments and performs his wonders where one would least expect them. God is near to lowliness; he loves the lost, the neglected, the unseemly, the excluded, the weak and broken.”   
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Ode to Zachary Smith

I began writing this in 1989 or so, and it is still a work in progress.

The narrator's voice so familiar to me
Tells of John, Maureen, Don, Will, Penny, Ju-dy
Whose ship, which was bound for Alpha Centaur-i
Was sabotaged by our good friend, Zachary

From suspended animation the Robinsons woke to find
The Jupiter II having a terrible time
Pounded by meteors, being tossed like a toy
And the Robot's only words were 'DESTROY'.

John finally stabilized the Jupiter II
The Robot's power pack was removed
But we all wanted to slap Zachary's face
Because the Jupiter was now Lost in Space


Oh Zachary Smith, Zachary Smith,
The stowaway from hell...
A nightmare for the Robinsons 
We remember you well.

The Robinsons traveled throughout the stars
But they never got home, they never found Mars
Many adventures were theirs to be had
Some were quite scary, and some were quite sad:

 John wrestled Gromak, the Robot got large;
The Jupiter landed upon a fuel barge.

In an early adventure, we heard the Bubble Creatures hiss
So Zachary fired, and said: 'They'll read this!'

They met the Chicken Monster, the man who was gold,
They visited a planet where no one was old;
Will kissed the princess, and doomed the whole world,
But he played his guitar, and ...

MSE Day 6

It is well with my soul, and it is much better with my ankles without much of the swelling that has come on in recent years. That's what I need, Lord, something I can see. Not just 'knowing' I'll be better of for it.
Thank you for that visual reminder; blessed be God forever!

Per my prediction, I gorged myself last night to the point of feeling nauseous. This will pass, I know. I have taken already my psyllium fiber drink and am looking forward to tonight's small portion of shepherd's pie and the salad we have planned. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels

'Well how are you?'
'Good, good; I'm Sam, I've seen you around town.'
'Yes for sure. My name is David - like the lying, murderous king.'
'David, like the man God describes as a man after HIS own heart.'
'Yes, Sam; thank you.'
'God bless you, David.'

Oh, He does; He surely does

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Copied from Vinita Hampton Wright, an author and editor at Loyola Press:

A driving dynamic of Advent is hope. If we had nothing to hope for, there would be no point to this season. The original hope was for a child to be born who would bring justice and peace to the world and who would heal the rift between humanity and God. But that larger hope is filled with smaller ones—daily hopes that can shape us as people.

Some hopes will shape our relationships. The Christ Child grew to be a man who embodied forgiveness and generosity. A life of hope sees the good in others, is patient with their shortcomings, and tenaciously envisions them at their best.

Some hopes will shape our life work. The promised Messiah proclaimed God’s realm of justice and mercy. No matter what jobs we do or work positions we hold, as hopeful people we maintain fairness and integrity as short-term and long-term goals. We make our work matter for the common good.

Some hopes will shape our character. Jesus exemplified hope that cultivates true interior freedom. A hopeful person cannot continue in anxiety, grasping, need for control, and habitual anger.

How is hope visible in your life? Where has it faded?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

God is good

Thanksgiving was a special day at mom and dad's with all my sisters kids there and my brother and his boy also came in from Urbana. We ate and sang and played Scattergories and laughed much.


The radio in our office at work is struggling these days to play something clear and listenable, but I have found an almost crystal clear W-4 country station for our 9-5 listening pleasure.

Working on Bradville, McMinor, Balsner, Wilhurtz, Robertland, HannaBarbara, Hartz, and O'Tipsy. LeFarnsworth we are hoping we can finish up soon.

Have not heard from Amanda at CVS about my part time gig - kind of hoping I don't until after Thanksgiving weekend anyway. We have no television so I watched 1951 Scrooge last night and still cried when the reformed title character repented to his overjoyed nephews wife. Good stuff.

I am thankful for my job.

David! Are you listening?!?!?!

The Lord took his wounds with him to eternity. He is a wounded God; He let himself be injured through his love for us. His wounds are a sign that he understands and allows himself to be wounded out of love for us. These wounds of his: how tangible they are to us in the history of our time! Indeed, time and again, he allows himself to be wounded for our sake. What certainty of his mercy, what consolation do his wounds mean for us! ... And what a duty they are for us, the duty to allow ourselves in turn to be wounded for him!
—  Pope Benedict XVI, Homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, 2007

Monday, November 21, 2016

David, are you listening???

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty. 

- St. Teresa of Calcutta

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Great Weekend!

I have not been keeping up on any journaling of late; here begins my attempt at rectification.

This past work week was warm and sunny with cool nights but the ominous news loomed heavy on our hearts: snow storm this weekend! Friday was absolutely gorgeous near 70 (keep in mind this is 18th November near the 42 parallel of North latitude!) but the forecast was for snow (big snow) on Saturday pm with strong winds. What we did not expect was the storm that approached quickly that night - while watching the Wings ( I think, or maybe it was A Cookie Christmas on Hallmark) they showed a severe thunderstorm watch for our county. I quickly accessed the local radar as the winds started picking up and beheld a thin red frontal line moving west to east the entire length of the State about a mile away. As i ran outside to close the Grape windows in nothing but my shorts (it was real warm remember, AND i think we had a fire lit inside), I began to hear the distinct pinging of hail on metal siding and vehicles; in an instant my bare back confirmed this meteorological phenomenon. God be praised we did not lose power - although our brother-in-law did only a couple miles away - and the temperatures began dropping.
The wind has been howling and gusting ever since then, but it did not stop us from putting up some nice white lights around the deck railing last night during the Michigan victory over Indiana.

Mom has again invited all of us over for Thanksgiving and brother Gary will be in town for the weekend! I'll bring cranberries (Simple and Amazing, according to the online post), pickles (experimentally hot with jalapenos from the garden), stuffing (a variation of Claire Robinson's Thanksgiving 5 Ingredient Fix menu item), a song (written 'specially for the occasion) and possibly a pumpkin cheesecake (thanks to our briefly turning in to The Pioneer Woman yestreday morning and hearing the voice of God speak to me on this subject).

I think

Friday, November 11, 2016

11-11, from my daily flip calendar

To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us - and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence a gift of grace.

~Thomas Merton

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mild, so mild; sunny and clear with stars and sunshine and beautiful color in southeast Lower Michigan. We bought Kingsford applewood briquettes instead of a roast for the crock pot.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Fast

Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works.
If you see a poor man, take pity on him.
If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.

Do not let only your mouth fast,
but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands
and all the members of our bodies.

Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.

For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, 
but bite and devour our brothers and sisters?

May He who came to the world to save sinners, strengthen us to complete the fast with humility! Have mercy on us and save us. 
- St. John Chrysostom

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Jesus is happy to come with us, as truth is happy to be spoken, as life to be lived, as light to be lit, as love is to be loved, as joy to be given, as peace to be spread.  I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, he can work through anyone.

 – St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Thomas Merton was a sinner who loved God; you can read more about him here: http://merton.org/chrono.aspx.

His prayer copied here is mine this morning

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Amen.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Day 1 of my vacation

My heart leapt when the alarm went off, knowing I didn't have to get up RIGHT NOW; George Bailey was sitting in front of Henry F. Potter asking for $8000 like a miserable little clerk crawling in on his hands and knees.
I then put together our riceless unstuffed cabbage with pork and beef lo-carb dinner just before my lost insulin package arrived via the nice UPS man.
We are now enjoying a mild restful evening; I am listening to Bambi while I type.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hip Pocket childrens record: peter pan

Henny Penny (Peter Pan records 78)

Jack Arthur - Pony Boy / Buffalo Gals

Jack Arthur - Peter Rabbit (Full length version)

Jack Arthur - Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Jack Arthur - Little Red Riding Hood

    narrator sounds like Groucho Marx

Three Little Pigs - Peter Pan Records (1950) - 10" 78rpm Picture Book ...

Little Brave Sambo (Peter Pan Records) 1971

In a small clearing in the middle of lahge fahrest, ...

Run, run, as fast as you can, ...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

............................... a song of sorrow and praise........................................

small insignificant rat bastard loser angry wondering why when helpless sometimes no hope forgive me please change my heart please please

don't care sometimes

... ... ... 

... ...


I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need the sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly.

- Madeleine L'Engle

Thank You LORD for hearing me and not counting my sin against me. Forgive my doubt, increase my faith, satisfy my thirst.



Friday, October 7, 2016

This morning at the lake

Beautiful Savior, thank You for showing us Your glory in so many ways; thank You for the wonder and anticipation of each morning; thank You for blessing my drive to work every single day.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

LORD, let me smile more!

“It is not fitting, when one is in God's service, to have a gloomy face or a chilling look.” 
- St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Food and Poison

“No matter how good food is, if poison is mixed with it, it may cause the death of him who eats it. 
So it is with conversation. 
A single bad word, an evil action, an unbecoming joke, 
is often enough to harm one or more young listeners, 
and may later cause them to lose God's grace.”  
- St. John Bosco

Friday, September 23, 2016

St. Ephrem of Syria


Virtues are formed by prayer.

Prayer preserves self-control.

Prayer suppresses anger.

Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy.

Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, 
and raises man to Heaven.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mm mmmmm mmm

"To sing is to pray twice."
- St. Alphonsus Liguori

Oh Yes

"Just as water extinguishes a fire, so love wipes away sin."  

- St. John of God


“I sought to hear the voice of God and climbed the topmost steeple, 
But God declared: 'Go down again — I dwell among the people.'" 

– Cardinal John Henry Newman

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Keep Looking Up

Occasionally I enjoy a romp on the roof of Coney Joes outside the back door of our upper office. This afternoon, I was treated to a pretty well defined roll cloud stretching across Livingston County.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Drive

I took a little solo sight-seeing trip this morning, south but mostly west and then back (coming north and then east) until I arrived back at our sub.

I started driving along the west edge of Whitmore Lake going south, and stopped for a cold driving beverage at Speedway at 6 Mile and US 23.

From there I headed back across the expressway and then south on Whitmore Lake Road, throwing into the ditch the majority of the shitty cardboard buy one slice and get one free Speedway "pizza".

Just south of North Territorial Road I passed Alexanders farm market, where they sell produce, flowers, shrubs, trees, and many other things. Across to the left side is Tractor Supply, where I used to buy dog food and still like to get bird seed and cowboy hats.

About a mile south is Old St. Patrick Catholic Church, old indeed and proud, and with old wooden pews so close together I barely fit.

St Pats in on the corner of Whitmore Lake Road and W Northfield Church Road, and I have never traveled the latter so westward I began.

There were horses and farm fields, farm houses and brand new ugly brick mansions with no porch and long driveways. I followed Northfield Church Road until it turned into Jennings Road going north. I took the first left I could - intent on staying on the Great West Road - which was Farrell Road, and which went west about a half mile then angled to the right about 30 degrees north of west for another mile. 

The stopsign there was Webster Church Road, which made sense because the nice folks of Webster United Church of Christ were hustling and bustling right there with a huge outdoor event.

Farther west on Farrell, I passed the Cottonwood Barn, and farm fields and cool homes.

 After about three miles due West, I ran into Zeeb Road, and had to go north for about a half mile, where Gregory Road welcomed me back into the westerly direction.

I went past Cobblestone Farms and said hello to the horses, horses, horses, ...

Gregory Road did not take me to Gregory like I thought it would, but dead-ended at Huron River Drive, which is paved and lined, which pretty much ended my scenic route. I took this north to North Territorial Road and hung a right there into even more traffic and motorcycles aplenty.

I stopped at CJ's Party Store and Disc Golf Paradise for a cold beverage for the last couple of miles home.

It was a beautiful morning for a Sunday drive and I was thankful I had very few people behind me in a hurry.