Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reminder for me

From our 'Year in Mercy' daily devotional study this morning:

Year of Mercy Calendar for Today:  "We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us."  ~ Pope St. John Paul

Almighty Father, help me to always remember this; give me the grace to not dwell on mistakes - those of my own choosing or made by others - but to dwell on the power of Your love, and Your good Spirit in me. 
Praise to You, Eternal Word!
Blessed be God forever!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Woodpecker Posing

Our Downy Woodpecker stopped by to-day for a photo opp

Recipe #19 - Saturday Chili

This turned out to be a good batch, and I want to remember how I made it. It was the first time I used our new (previously owned) Presto Kitchen Kettle Plus Crockery Multi-Purpose Slow Cooker so it was a type of practice. Practice? I'm talking practice.


1 or 2 turns of the pan of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1# ground beef
1 large yellow onion diced
3 large cloves of garlic diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 can Brooks mild chili beans
1 can Miller Lite
Dollup of dijon mustard
large squeeze of ketchup
several squirts of Worcestershire sauce
several dashes of Louisiana hot sauce
a handful of diced mushrooms
seasonings, listed below

It was tough to get everyone together and holding still before preparation began

chili powder
garlic powder
ground black pepper
ground cayenne

I browned the meat and drained most of the grease and then seasoned the meat in my favorite T-fal pan. Meanwhile, I threw everything else but the mushrooms into the Crockery turned up to 400 degrees and let it go until it really gt simmering - about an hour.

I then added the mushrooms, and turned down the control knob to 250 and let it go all day. The house smelled real good and we enjoyed this dish with some sharp cheddar on top in front of a fire while rooting the Spartans on to victory.

Life is good; God be praised!

Our Retro Corner

What I Found While Looking For the Remote

Six socks a'crumpled, five used tissues; four m&m wrappers, three kitchen forks, two Chapsticks and the long-missing remote control. Oh, and my little pocket knife :-)

Saturday, in the (trailer) Park, Can You Dig It? (Yes I Can)

For much of our married life, Saturday mornings have often been a time of travel and adventure: 'Feel like going for a ride? Yeah; where to? I dunno; let's go west. Let's!'

So we'd pack a cooler with snacks and beverages and insulin and head out. We'd pick a spot for breakfast that we didn't get to go to regularly and that brought even more anticipation to the beginnings of our drive. Sierra the Malamute was our third party for many years (her big last hurrah was 2010 when we took her camping at several spots along the Lake Michigan coast), and if a place existed showing a 'No Dogs Allowed' sign, we steered clear. We'd go see the Big Lake (my favorite and almost always our final destination), or just drive through the beautiful Michigan countryside looking for yard sales or fun photo opps or even nothing at all.
Sometimes we'd be having so much fun that we'd just grab a room and spend the night, so as to have a leisurely Sunday drive home.

For the past several years however, due to several factors, our travel has all but stopped. We occasionally will make a day trip somewhere looking for a bargain on Pyrex dishes or to find a mom and pop roadside stand where they make the best grave blankets ever, but these trips are now (to both of us) all too infrequent. Saturday mornings, now, have become a time of Pioneer Woman and Rachael Ray, of Turner Classic Movies and College Game Day. Yes, we are getting more bargain for our satellite dish buck than ever before.

I enjoy the Pioneer Woman because she uses butter and flour and meat and potatoes and just plain old good stuff. She doesn't create her recipes based on what trends the other hollywood show hosts are using and she doesn't talk a whole lot about calories. She makes good food for her and her family.
Rachael Ray is thrifty, and saves half a banana and even half a can of broth for another dish. I like how she does the week's meals all in one day and her recipes are usually also pretty simple.

In my old age, I am becoming more and more a fan of TCM. The initial draw for me (and still a major selling point in my opinion) is that they show pictures un-interrupted and un-edited. I curse with great vehement the other 'movie' channels for the abominations they present: opening and closing credits sped up and unreadable, entire scenes removed, commercials adding 50 and 60% to the run-time - allowing them to show an hour and forty minute picture over three hours of tv time...

The Turner movies are, for the most part, quite wholesome. My favorites are from the '30's and '40's. Prior to 1930, most of the pictures were silent, and to me they are wayyyyyyyyy too slow-moving (twenty- or thirty-second shot of the room of people just standing there while the up tempo old western saloon piano music blares, then a closeup of one of the males made up in ghost white, black eye shadow and some dark color of lips while he utters something most heinous and detestable [causing the saloon music to modulate into a minor key, and giving the villain the opportunity to apply his oft-practiced raising-one-eyebrow look at the end of his monologue], then for about a minute we get to read '...and then the ranch will be mine!' over and over and over; finally a closeup of the damsel with a look of horror and dismay and fright as she puts up her arms in front of her face as if fending off flying monkeys...). And after the mid forties or so, the music starts getting a little wild and the dialogue includes way too much infidelity. There are exceptions to my not-so-hard-and-fast rule, of course: The Sound of Music, Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments, Pulp Fiction, From Here to Eternity, Jaws, A Few Good Men, Ghost-busters, The Town, Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Knight and Day, Scrooge (1951), Despicable Me, Mega-Mind, Inception, Star Wars Episodes 4, 5, and 6, and Day of the Zombies are but a few.

College Game Day is a story for another entry, and I've got to go check my chili.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Just Imagine If We All Could Only

“Here, then, is the reason for the Jubilee:  because this is the time for mercy.  It is the favorable time to heal wounds, a time not to be weary of meeting all those who are waiting to see and to touch with their hands the signs of the closeness of God, a time to offer everyone, everyone, the way of forgiveness and reconciliation.  May the Mother of God open our eyes, so that we may comprehend the task to which we have been called: and may she obtain to us the grace to experience this Jubilee of Mercy as faithful and fruitful witnesses of Christ.” 

- Pope Francis, homily at First Vespers on Divine Mercy Sunday

Insyderz - You Are My All In All [HQ]

Thursday, January 21, 2016

η λέξη

My mom asked me this morning if I had been blogging lately, and I had to confess that I hadn't.
No, Mom; televised college basketball games, pro football games, and movies of divers natures have been the priority for me of late. Along with food.
And drink.

So, having been prodded sufficiently, I have committed to producing something this morning that is at a very definite maximum 85% original in nature (i.e., minimal copying and pasting here, bub).

I am still reading through my first 'Catholic' Bible: The New American Version - St Joseph Edition, and I recently finished the Old Testament. This is noteworthy because I began reading Genesis back in the fall of 2011 when I was living in Bear Lake, and during the past five years, I've for the first time read the books Luther removed from his Bible: Tobit, Judith, 1st & 2nd Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. I am told that writings from these books are referred to or quoted quite often in the New Testament, and often by Christ himself. Which leads me to wonder: Why would you take these books out of your Bible? (For that matter, why would you also want James' Epistle, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, and portions of the Letter to the Hebrews removed?)

I enjoy Genesis and Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua,Judges, and Ruth, because in those books, I am reading a story (the beginnings of HIS-story, really). Even though the narrative is ancient, contained therein are heroes and villains, blessings and cursings, delighters in good and extreme departures from good, followers of God and enemies of God, espionage and virtue, deceit and honesty, adventure and ritual.

Many of these themes are played out again in Samuel through Maccabees, where we also read about the Kings of Israel from Saul to the split of the Kingdom, to the deportation and enslavement by Assyria and the Babylonian captivity, and the return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple.
What I remember the most from I and II Kings and I and II Chronicles are many variations of '...and David son of Jack did evil in the eyes of the Lord, but not to the extent that his fathers did...'; listing king after king with a brief synopsis of his evil-ness (or good-ness), while often adding supporting stories and anecdotes.

Then follow the Wisdom Books: Job - wonderfully renown as poetry excellence; Psalms - ancient songs of praise, lament, joy, wonder, supplication; Proverbs - short tidbits of wisdom arranged in themes; Ecclesiastes - 'is there a point to life?'; Song of Songs - a love song!; Wisdom - nuggets in the manner of Proverbs, and Sirach - a collection of ethical teaching written only a couple centuries before Christ.
These collections are wonderful to behold but were not meant, I am sure, to be read like a story. Many single verses (Remember, they weren't written in 'verses', they were just written. We added verses later.) can be read and re-read and memorized and pondered and used as a guide for making decisions or as a life-motto if you desire. For example Sirach 1:27 reads:
For the fear of the Lord is wisdom and discipline;
faithfulness and humility are his delight.
Then, starting with Isaiah and ending in Malachai, are the books of the Prophets. These are toughest for me to read. Many are loaded with typology and metaphors and I refer often to the notes at the bottom of the page while reading these. The message, though, is as time-less as it is time-ly: return to the LORD or else!

Actually, the more I read through these, the more I understand; and I appreciate the good folks at and for their commentary, discussion, and help tools.
Daniel provides historical stories, chock full of visions and warnings; but it contains my second favorite story in the entire collection of sacred scripture.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are the longest, and are the toughest for me to get through.

I have been trying to commit to daily readings since I started the New Testament, even if it's only a couple of chapters a day.

I like to simplify things, so my summary so far of the Gospel of Matthew:
Genealogy, Nativity story, John the Baptizer, Temptation by the devil, Preaching of Jesus, Miracles of Jesus, Scribes and Pharisees want to do away with Him.

History is always and unabashedly HIS story, God be praised.

I love you, mom

Monday, January 18, 2016


Wisdom from Dr. King:

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of war and racism that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


Cold, cold, cold, and windy cold. Another couple of inches overnight but mostly sunny to-day. I like having Moni home during the day - she makes me a lunch to take to work and has dinner ready when I get home. She's sweet like that.

The Grape is running again thanks to Scott and his sexy computer he hooks up under the dash. I have no idea what he does with that device but I am thankful. The computer here at O-O-O-O'reiley's said all the electrical components 'Passed', so I'm hoping we're good for another hundred thousand miles.

Is it spring yet?

The Tigers have acquired a middle relief guy from the Yankees, a closer from the Brewers, and a starter from the Nationals.

Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 last night in the Big Game, meaning there is no college football for about six months.

Michigan plays the Terps at home tonight and Sparty hosts Iowa on Thursday. We lost to Iowa before the new year bad - that was our only loss.

I talked to old Detroit buddy Tony for a while to-day. Nice guy, Tony. Lives not far from here.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

TLH #463 For All the Saints

Thank you to my dear sister @Nana_Banana65 for putting this one into my head this evening - blessed be God forever!

1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4. O blest communion, fellowship divine,
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5. And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6. But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7. From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest.
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Be blest by the leading quarter note the organ gives us:

"For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest"
by William W. How, 1823-1897 

Hymn #463
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Heb. 12:1
Author: William W. How, 1864, cento
Composer: R. Vaughan Williams, 1906, arr.
Tune: "Sine nomine"

Alleluia, Alleluia!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

I don't know on which day God created harmony, but i thank Him for it

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Hallelujah!!

Red and Black

I'm watching the DirecTV Red Zone but it's weird not rooting for my fantasy team. I did well in my first fantasy football season ever - winning the Central Division in the CBS Sports Rookie League, and ultimately winning the championship with my Red and Black team: Devonta Freeman, D'Angelo Williams, Cam Newton, Randall Cobb, Danny Amendola, Alshon Jeffery, Brandin Cooks, Allen Robinson, Cairos Santos/Robbie Gould/Matt Bryant, many different tight ends, Jets/Lions/Chiefs defense, with Brock Osweiler on the bench.