fruits of our labors…

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought.
There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.

Victor Hugo


(the Mayor, future chef / Julie Cook / 2021)

So the Mayor was hanging out in the new woobooville office for a few days…
She made the executive decision that there was a need
to hone her culinary skills…

The Mayor is honing her culinary skills…one pudding box at a time.

It’s all about a learning experience.

The correct milk, cream, espresso powder, bourbon vanilla extract,
copper pot, whisk, temperature…
And watch that fire…

Now let’s imagine our founding fathers…their learning experience…imagine
the work they poured into what it took to make a democracy.

Imagine the honing of that framework…all the considerations , the focus, the primary goal,
the direction, the hope…

The labor.

The work.
The pain.
The sacrifice.
The uncomfortable growing pains.

The danger, the concern, the risks.

Almost 250 years in the works.

Crumbling now before our very eyes.

I worry for the future– our future…
The future of the Mayor and the Sheriff.

We’ll talk about this more tomorrow…
Today, we just need to find more whipped cream…

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor,
doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have
something to share with anyone in need.

Ephesians 4:28

be peace loving…

“Be peace-loving.
Peace is a precious treasure to be sought with great zeal.
You are well aware that our sins arouse God’s anger.
You must change your life, therefore, so that God in his mercy will pardon you.
What we conceal from men is known to God.
Be converted, then, with a sincere heart.
Live your life that you may receive the blessing of the Lord.
Then the peace of God our Father will be with you always.”

St. Francis of Paola


(tiger swallowtail / Julie Cook / 2021)

“How many souls might reach a high degree of sanctity if properly
directed from the first.
I know God can sanctify souls without help,
but just as He gives the gardener the skill to tend rare and delicate plants
while fertilizing them Himself,
so He wishes to use others in His cultivation of souls.
What would happen if the gardener were so clumsy that he
could not graft his trees properly, or knew so little about
them that he wanted to make a peach tree bear roses?”

St. Therese of Lisieux, p. 64
An Excerpt From
The Story of a Soul

to he!! with…or rather a tender reminder…

I spent my junior year in Switzerland.
On the way back home, I spent some time in England,
and I remember going to Hyde Park Corner.
And there was a Roman Catholic priest in his collar,
standing on a soapbox, preaching the Catholic faith
and being heckled by a group.
And I thought, ‘My goodness.’
I thought that was admirable.

Antonin Scalia


(Families gathered at the Idaho Capitol building on Saturday, March 6, 2021,
to burn masks at a protest over COVID-19 restrictions.)

Ok, so today–I wanted to jump on the soapbox–
I wanted to jump on a box and shout at the top of my lungs that’s
it’s time to burn the masks!!!

I am so over the masks that I can’t stand it!

Two vaccines in and I’m still required to wear a freaking mask????
I can’t breathe…I know… where have we heard that phrase before??

But no, I can’t.

I wash them.
Yet the heaviness is undeniable.
I can’t see as my glasses constantly fog.

I can’t hear.
Because everything is muffled.

I can’t judge people’s reactions
My husband’s gazillion dollar hearing aids constantly flip out when he
attempts to put on and off the masks…
and as he’s gotten accustomed to reading lips…well, we can’t see lips.

I’m tired.
I’m sick…as in literally with upper respiratory infections…

So why after two vaccines do I still have to wear a mask??
Tell me the science there???

Yet rather than continuing this triad…something else stopped me in
my tracks today.

Bloom where you are planted.

Many many years ago–I can remember writing a letter to my godfather,
who was an Episcopal priest.
I wrote the letter when I was a freshman in college.

I was young, rather lost and truly seeking any and all direction
for my future.

One line from his response letter glared from the page…
“Bloom where you are planted”

Meaning…hang in there, wait were you are, because things will
begin to come to light…do your best where you are because
God is at work, right where you are…rest and trust…

So as there has been so much I’ve been wanting to say regarding
all the craziness taking place…
from the constant shootings and murders taking place daily in Chicago,
to the Anarchists destroying Seattle and Portland, to California,
to Wokeism, to the nonsense of systemic racism, to defunding the police,
to Minneapolis, Louisville, to Elizabeth City Tennessee…
to folks like LeBron James who use their lucrative limelight to play politics
and yet who fail to “get it”…to governors putting the kibosh
on their constituents by keeping their foot on the necks of freedom…
to false narratives, to a lack of real science masquerading as fear
mongering…to forcing 2 year olds to wearing masks…to the
maligning of our law enforcement, to people who don’t understand
that poor choices equate to poor outcomes.
That law is law whether we like it or not.
Your actions have direct outcomes…for good or bad.
It’s that simple.
Assinine!!!

All of this was percolating to the surface today in my mind while
I was driving along a picturesque country road.
The hay fields were sparkling under a brilliant April sun
all the while as I was ruminating on what I wanted to say and
how I wanted to say it via a blog post.
Yet suddenly, driving down the road, a school’s billboard caught my eye.

“Bloom where you are planted”

Whoa.

My godfather has been gone now for several years and
I miss him and his wisdom terribly…but here he was.
Grabbing my attention in a way that only he could.

Reminding me…hang in there, God is at work…be patient and make
certain that you do what you need to be doing right where you are…
there rest will fall into place…God is in charge… you are not.

fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

love and truth

“The limitless loving devotion to God,
and the gift God makes of Himself to you,
are the highest elevation of which the heart is capable;
it is the highest degree of prayer.”

St. Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

“We are all sinners. We have all turned away from the Lord,
but the Lord is always ready to take us back.
When we sin we hurt ourselves, we break our own hearts.
The Father sends His Holy Spirit into our hearts to bring us
forgiveness and to heal whatever damage we have done to ourselves.”

Rev. Jude Winkler, p. 21
An Excerpt From
Daily Meditations with the Holy Spirit

Car 54 where are you? The Truth Tellers…. no

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
Flannery O’Connor


(circa 1961)

Do you remember that old show from the early 60’s?
It was a short lived sitcom that followed the exploits of two bungling cops
from the Bronx.
It was the show that seemed to jump start Fred Gwynne from hapless cop to
hapless daddy monster in the sitcom, The Munsters.

That familiar call….”Car 54 where aaaare yoooouuuu?” came flooding to my mind
today when I went to my reader this morning, all in order to play catch up with
my favorite blogs and bloggers, and suddenly I couldn’t find IB.

I was like, “IB where aaaare yooooouuuuu????”

Last week, I remember thinking to myself that I hadn’t read
anything recently from our biology loving friend, IB.
I then thought that maybe she was feeling a lot like the rest of us–
feeling just a bit weary from all the world’s mess and had simply waned–
maybe she was needing a small respite from her daily posting like
so many of us—tired and beaten down a bit,
opting to slow our words and thoughts.
Seeking a need for a bit of introspection.

Now you should know that not only does IB know her sciences and biology,
she also knows all about hopelessness, mental illness, dysfunction,
addictions, and despair but more importantly, IB knows even more about
redemption, hope and joy—
so she gets it…she gets it all.
And she holds no bones back when speaking her mind about Truth!

She’s not one to back down.
Think of a dog with his bone.

IB will meet any skeptic, atheist, rabid Woke person or simple naysayer
on equal turf…all the while holding her ground.
So much so that she has often gotten blackballed by various
social media sites.

I love how the Truth tellers are now, all the time,
being “canceled” by the powers of what should be free speech…
those platforms that once touted being places
where folks could connect while sharing their thoughts and feelings–
yet are now oddly platforms that are anything but.

I am amazed at how the platforms of any and all sorts of free thought
or speech have now decided that anyone who supports the traditional family,
traditional biology…those who are pro life,
who believe the Bible is the True Word of God,
those who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior, those that believe there is
indeed a Judaeo Christian base to Western Civilization that must be maintained,
those who kneel for prayer, those who say a nation’s pledge,
those who vie for life and morality…are all now considered a pariah on the land.

IB has been deemed to be all that and more.

And I’m pretty sure that I’d be considered such…
Yet I am but a mere blogger and not on other social media sites…

However, I’m pretty sure that most of you, my friends, would
also be considered such…for you also share the Truth.

We’ve been called backwards, out of touch, myth and fable lovers,
deplorable, ignorant, expendable… as well as a lot worse that I
just won’t touch on for now.

So yes, the ‘watcher police’ are all around and ‘they’ are ready to pounce
on the Truth tellers in a heartbeat.

So back to my quandary…
I couldn’t find IB’s site anywhere on my reader.
I opted to simply google the site.
I found it, and attempted to “follow” it via a random search.
I rebooted my computer.
I logged out and logged back in to WP.
I received an automated response that stated that I could not
follow the site as there had been some sort of error and I should
try back later.’
What???

How is it that I have ‘followed’ a blog site going on nearly 8 years
and all of a sudden it disappears from my collection of followed sites??

Next, how is it that I find said site on the web,
attempt to sign up to follow it,
then I am told that I am unable to do so at this time???

Conspiracy?
Coincidence?
Quirk?
Glich?

Who knows.

I have contacted the Happy Helpers of Word Press–as I now await their reply.
However in the meantime, I worked on one of my many back doors and
found an unbeknownst loophole and worked a bit of magic to reconnect with
IB.

But my question is why should it be that way?
Why should I have to go looking for something that’s been a part
of my daily life now for about 8 years only to be told I can’t
connect??
Connect to a free and open website.

I am not the first person to lament the sudden loss of a long
followed blog.

It is odd that most of the blogs and bloggers that I know who have had
problems are all various Truth tellers.

Something about the Truth just makes folks nervous…

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes,
he will guide you into all the truth.
He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears,
and he will tell you what is yet to come.

John 16:13

focus…

“There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading
a human’s mind against the Enemy.
He wants men to be concerned with what they do;
our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters


(reputation today)

We live in a time without any sense of true focus.

Rather, our culture focuses on the rabbit holes and not the obvious.

Our leaders continue to cross their roles, their lines and thus, our lives.

May God have Mercy…

No one can see God without falling in love with Him,
and no one can meet a saint without meeting God in him or her.
That is the good news: that in a world dedicated to the will to power,
there is no power greater than that of sanctity;
and that in a world dedicated to the pursuit of selfish pleasure,
there is no pleasure greater than that of unselfish love of God and man.
No one can ignore or refute the joy of a saint.

Peter Kreeft
from his book How to Destroy Western Civilization

Steps moving forward…

This came yesterday morning from Stephanie’s Caringbridge post regarding
the progress of her husband Rob.

Remember, Rob is the Carrollton Police Officer who was shot in the head
exactly one week ago today during a high speed chase in Carroll County, Georgia.
His wife is a former long time teaching colleague and a dear old friend of mine.

They rushed Rob to Atlanta’s Grady Trauma Center.
The surgeons could not remove the bullet lodged in his brain but rather
had to remove a portion of the right lobe of his brain.

In an instant, lives were changed forever.

Three officers wounded.
One young man dead.
Another apprehended.
Three officers each rushed to trauma centers.
So many questions then remained.

This madness unfolded in but one small county in one state within 50 states.
50 states who each have their own daily and nightly violence that takes
place between the brazen and the police.

So many choices and so many lives change each and every day.

The news from Stephanie is so uplifting.
We know that Rob still has a long road to travel…but each day there is
tremendous progress.

And we thank God daily for these marvelous steps forward…

Good morning!
I have incredible news, and I could not wait to share it with everyone.
Our pastor sent me this Word this morning –
“And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way:
thy faith hath made thee whole – Luke 17:19.
Rob will be made whole.”
About 30 seconds after that text from him,
the officer with Rob right now and one of his closest friends sent me this text.
“Awesome news!
Just watched a neurosurgeon remove his last tube in his head and stitch him up…
She believes he is doing awesome and will be able to walk,
speak, and move as before.”
We are praising God for his complete healing,
and thanking you all for your prayers.
Have an amazing day in the house of the Lord today.
God is so good and worthy to be praised.
I’ll send another update later tonight. We love you!
🙂 Steph

more and more alone…but we all know we are never alone…and she knows too!

“What you are to do without me I cannot imagine.”
George Bernard Shaw

“The strongest men are the most alone.”
Ibsen


(BBC)

Anyone who might have watched the funeral Saturday for Prince Philip,
or even caught a passing news story regarding his service,
undoubtedly saw the painful image of an elderly woman clad in black, stooped
with age, sitting alone in a cavernous and seemingly empty sanctuary.

Donning a black mask–attempting to breath, shedding tears, mouthing
the ancient words to an ancient faith…muffled and hindered–all adding
to the heaviness of grief.

It matters not that she just happens to be the current sitting Queen
of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland along with
other realms, as well as head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith…

On Saturday, Elizabeth that elderly woman, was very much alone.

Elizabeth is the only ruling leader, from around this great big world of ours,
who is a part of that Greatest Generation…
She is the only remaining active leader who can personally remember the
time when a world was torn a part and a time when she,
along with the rest of her generation rolled up their sleeves,
doing what it took to fight tyranny and defend Western Civilization’s
democratic freedom.

I was deeply struck by that thought…
the only remaining currently active leader…

Awed by such a thought and yet I also was left feeling rather empty.

We are losing members of our Greatest Generation daily…
actually quite rapidly.

“According to US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, 325,574
of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive in 2020.”
nationalww2museum.org

Those who I have known and loved, those who served either in war or
at home, are now gone…all but my one remaining aunt who will be 96
later this year.

Before they were wed, Prince Philip served active duty in HMRN
(His Majesty’s Royal Navy) and while as a young princess, Elizabeth,
upon turning 18 in 1944, insisted on joining the women’s branch
of the Royal Army–the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS)

Despite royal lineage, they each chose the path of service.
It mattered not that their service would be precarious and even dangerous…
doing one’s part for the betterment of the whole was the only thing
that mattered.

And that is what troubles me.

Elizabeth is now alone—as in having lost those who lived that
previous time with her.
Those who knew peril yet persevered none the less.
They were stalwart.
They didn’t complain, they simply pressed on…ever forward.

No limelight, no self seeking attention, no apology tours, no
tell all books, no interviews of self complaints…
no “look, woe is me” placards worn around one’s neck…
there was nothing about self because there was no time to
think about self–there were too many others to worry over.

More or less, it was a stoic approach to a foreboding and
unrelenting storm.

And by the way, you and I, and all the generations behind us,
are the better for their generation.

But the thing that truly saddens me is that the following generations
don’t get it…they have no idea as to the sacrifice or lessons that
are to be gleaned.

I can only imagine the grief this woman feels in her heart.
Her family are all a rather fractured lot and now she has lost her
only remaining stalwart companion–
a man who had been by her side for 73 years.
That companion, that husband, that “stay” is now gone–leaving
a woman lost in her solitude.

Her grief, as witnessed in that picture of a lone figure bidding
her husband good-bye, is palpable…but I also know that Elizabeth
has a strong faith.

She and Billy Graham had a chance encounter decades ago.
A documented encounter that appears to have had a lasting effect
on Elizabeth’s faith.
So whereas Elizabeth is certainly feeling most alone today,
she actually knows that she really is not alone…not ever really.

She knows who her Savior is.

So whereas I am not worried that Elizabeth will succumb
to her grief–because she is a woman of duty and service who knows where
her true Hope lies—rather—I worry for us…
I worry for both you and I.

We are rapidly losing the leadership who understood what it meant to serve.
To put others ahead of self…putting others before their own self-centered
wants or needs.

No talk of self or selfish agendas…
No dalliance in to false ideologies.

Simply the defenders of both freedom and faith.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus,
who will judge the living and the dead,
and in view of his appearing and his kingdom,
I give you this charge:
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct,
rebuke and encourage—-
with great patience and careful instruction.
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.
Instead, to suit their own desires,
they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say
what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship,
do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

when change is needed

When we are no longer able to change a situation –
we are challenged to change ourselves.

Viktor E. Frankl

For the last couple of days my posts have centered on, firstly,
the notion of tradition.
That thought then lead to the notion of change.
And not that I believe tradition needs to change…
quite the contrary.

But then the news hit close to home Monday when a friend’s husband, who happens
to be a police officer and was responding to an all-call for officers in the county
to respond to an immediate need to render aid to the Georgia State Patrol who were
actively involved with a high speed chase and shots being fired.

My friend, her husband the officer and their teenage son’s lives
have now changed forever.

The following link is to an Atlanta news station offering a video of one of
the suspects firing at other officers responding to the call following the shooting
of my friend’s husband.

https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/video-suspect-seen-firing-multiple-rounds-directly-at-officers

These types of incidents are happening all over our country.
A police officer stops a car for a minor traffic offense and
suddenly the stop escalates into utter violence.

The driver and passengers pull out firearms and decide, rather than deal with
what would have been a routine traffic stop, they opt to shoot and run.

Why is that?

Law enforcement all over our country seem to have bullseyes on their backs.

But again, why is that?

Of course we are hearing the masses cry out that the police are targeting minorities.
That the police are profiling.
That the police are brutal.
And I’d agree that not all officers are good.
But the majority are good.
They are doing a job that is taken seriously.

And we, you and I, are the better for it.

So what would have precipitated all this negative thinking?
What has precipitated all the violence directed toward law enforcement
who are out simply doing their job?
What of this defund the police movement?

While all of this madness was swirling in my head, I happened upon the latest thinking by Newt Gingrich…but what does Newt know…he’s just some old white guy…

Consider these indicators that our civilization is beginning to fall apart.

Several days of looting and rioting in Minnesota have occurred even as a trial of a former policeman is underway proving the rule of law works.

A policeman is killed during a car stop in New Mexico, and our elites ignore the murder. In fact, Mayor Mike Elliott of Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis said in the middle of the rioting: “I don’t believe that officers need to necessarily have weapons, you know, every time they—they’re—they’re making traffic stop or engaged in situations that don’t necessarily call for weapons.”

There is a war on police underway with 264 killed in 2020, a jump of 96 percent over the previous year. In New York City, hostile forces use Molotov cocktails to set police cars on fire. Murder rates are skyrocketing around the country with 2020 the biggest one-year jump in homicides in American history – 36.7 percent.

Faced with aggressive criminal behavior and violence against innocent people – including young children being killed – Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib calls for “no more policing, incarceration and militarization.” Ironically, Rep. Tlaib represents Detroit. According to the City of Detroit’s 2020 Crime Report, there were 327 homicides in 2020, up from 275 the previous year – a 19 percent increase. There were 1,173 non-fatal shootings in 2020. This is up from 767 the previous year, which is a 53 percent increase.

In Seattle, Portland, and Milwaukee, no-go zones similar to those in France have been created which are effectively localized secessions from the United States.

Portland continues to be attacked nightly by anarchists. Despite pious statements by public officials, no effective action is underway to restore law and order.

In San Francisco, the declaration by the communist district attorney that theft under $900 will not be prosecuted has led to so much shoplifting that Walgreens is closing all 10 of its drugstores in the city.

The threat to American civilization goes far beyond violence in the streets.

Woke CEOs who refuse to condemn genocide and police state tyranny in China are quick to attack Georgia – even though President Joe Biden was just plain wrong (perhaps lying) about the state’s new election law. Moving the All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado hurts Black small businesses (there are eight times as many employees of Black-owned businesses in Georgia than in Colorado). Furthermore, Colorado’s current voting laws are stricter than Georgia’s new ones. For the woke, it is virtue signaling – not fact – which matters.

The television establishment systematically lied to defeat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. CNN’s Charlie Chester recently asserted: “I came to CNN to be a part of that. Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100 percent going to say it, and I 100 percent believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out…I came to CNN because I wanted to be a part of that.”

Of course, The New York Times, The Washington Post, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, and ABC would dispute any CNN claim that it alone defeated Trump. The two papers won Pulitzer Prizes for lying about Trump.

Traditional media hostility and dishonesty are overshadowed by the internet giants, who are increasingly acting like Russian oligarchs. They are trying to erase a leader who was supported by more than 75 million Americans with a ruthlessness worthy of Soviet tyranny and the Chinese Communist Party.

Crony capitalism is becoming bolder as big government and big business reinforce each other at the country’s expense.

Overt racism through race-based reparations, school quotas, and anti-white and anti-male curricula are a return to government-fueled discrimination and segregation.

Finally, when the state of California is considering requiring students to chant every day to an Aztec god who was the center of a human sacrifice cult, there are sound reasons to believe American Civilization is in crisis.

If we are going to remain America, we must oppose the forces trying to destroy us.

The Crisis of American Civilization

Sometimes change can be painfully slow

“Everyone thinks of changing the world,
but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Leo Tolstoy


(The Holloway Family)

I wanted to offer an update regarding my friend Stephanie’s husband, the Carrollton Police Officer
that was shot during a high speed chase in the wee hours of Monday morning.

Rob was shot in the head by a 22 year old young man.
His 26 year old cousin was driving at speeds upwards of 111 mph.

When pursued by law enforcement, the two boys began firing upon each and every law enforcement
vehicle that attempted to intervene in stopping them.

They hit Sgt Rob Holloway in the head.

Rob is the husband of a longtime colleague of mine from school.

Yesterday, my former principal text me the latest condition regarding Rob after he was life flighted
to Atlanta’s Grady Hospital Trauma Center.

The bullet remained lodged in Rob’s brain and could not be removed–
rather the surgeons had to remove part of the the right lobe of the brain.

Miraculously, by yesterday morning, Rob was talking, albeit through a morphine haze.
He asked for a sweet tea and was able to sallow his meds by mouth.

Rob is moving both hands and feet.

Brain scans are looking very positive.

We all continue to pray for Rob, Stephanie and their only child, Grady, a senior in high school.

But here is my angst in all of this.

Rob has been a police officer since 2008.

He had risen to the rank of sargent.
He was always so good to check my husband’s jewelry business in the wee hours, always
leaving a note that in the middle of the night, all was well.

He was thoughtful to this small business owner and we, in turn, were greatly appreciative.

His wife, when we worked together, was a devoted teacher who has since
moved on to being an active school administrator…
Their only child is a high school senior.

They have lived life by trusting God.

They are what we say in the South, “good people”

And yet, because of his profession as law enforcement, Rob is pigeon holed.
He is placed, by our current culture, into an ambiguous position…
a possible pariah against all mankind…
all because he simply wanted to protect and defend…

Contrary to popular belief, support for our law enforcement is not equivalent
to something racist…
despite what our current presidential administration claims to believe….the majority
of our law enforcement and first responders aim to serve the betterment of their
fellow human beings.

We have got to hold on to that and support our first responders.

Thank you all who have offered prayers of healing and hope…
There is a go fund me page for Rob Holloway set up by the wives of
local Carroll, Co. Georgia law enforcement wives.

One day, maybe, this madness will end.