Saturday, June 29, 2013


Time has been crunched by two major celebrations this week, the first of which was last night, the second today.

Once upon a time, my church, St. James the Greater, was your standard small town church - a pretty, white-steepled building near the center of town.

It was a comfortable, small town sized building seating 175, complete with a basement room  for community assemblies, and it served Charles Town, WV, well enough.   Then the eastern panhandle of West Virginia became a bedroom community of D.C.  Along with the rest of the area population, the Catholic population exploded.  An energetic and charismatic young priest, assisted by an equally energetic and charismatic young deacon, both preaching and teaching faithfully, drew converts by the dozens and grew the Catholic population even more.   Dozens of ministries were established, squeezing into any space they could find. By the time I moved here,  5 Sunday Masses were being offered in order to accommodate the numbers, and even at that we were virtually hanging out the windows.  There was nothing for it - we had to have a bigger church.  Seating for 175 just couldn't handle 1200 families, let alone the nearly 4,000 parishioners that 1200 number represented.

When a substantial piece of property came up for sale the parish, with the permission of the diocese, bought 24 acres and planning began.  A vote was taken on what style the new home would be - the majority wanted  a classic Gothic style building.  The diocese bought the old church and rectory from the parish, giving permission for our priests to remain at the rectory until such time as we can build a new one next to the church.  With this seed money building began.  And eventually, with a mixture of joy and sadness, we moved to the new St. James.

Like the great Gothic churches of old, it's a work in progress.  Things are being added as we go and as we have the money.  And an interesting thing happened - when our financial burden for the building increased (the diocese does not pay for new churches - parishioners do) the parish's charitable giving increased as well. Father Brian started commenting that he was afraid to go out of town because every time he did he came back to 5 new ministries established Deacon Dave, who is also known to some of us as Obi Wan Galven for his ability to get people to say "yes" when there is a need.

There have been odd things, sometimes funny, sometimes not so funny.  When the concrete pillars were poured for the light posts for the parking area Father Brian got a call protesting the fact that we had set up all those pillars to put statues on to worship.  Father Brian politely explained that we don't worship statues and what the true purpose of the pillars was. Another time a local Wee Disciples group was being displaced by asbestos remediation and were hunting for a place to move to.  The church starting getting calls threatening us if we didn't let the group use the classrooms downstairs.  The classrooms were already in use by our own programs and the threats nearly ended any consideration whatsoever of accommodating Wee Disciples.  But in the end we did, despite it requiring Deacon to fish toys out of at least one clogged toilet during their stay with us.

Anyway, St. James mostly runs on volunteers - we only have 6 paid positions outside of the priests.  And we were having a major celebration today - one of own was to be ordained to the transitional diaconate here in his home parish.  And so we needed to spiff up in preparation.  I'm an outside spiffer - I spiff flower beds.  And we have a LOT of flower beds.  So for a week I've been digging and pulling and digging and pulling and was glad that Deacon Dave shanghaied a bunch of teens to do the bush trimming because I was running out of umph.

It was a spectacular Mass, celebrated by our bishop and priests and deacons of the diocese, and a wonderful party afterwards, and my stomach will probably pay me back but one thing about church people is that they can COOK.  And eat.  We are very good at the eating part.

The other celebration?  Well, believe it or not, out here in the boonies of West Virginia we have a priory, a small monastery if you will, of traditional Augustinian monks (called canons).  They took over the old St. James, and they have made it beautiful.  They too are beautiful, kind and loving men, and active in the community.  They teach school and run summer camps:

They bake as one of their ways of supporting themselves:

But most importantly of all, they have brought the traditional Latin chant Mass to the community and with it the most reverent, focused worship I have ever experienced.

And you know that lovely chant that people spend money on CDs for? Well, every day of the week the 3 canons make that music for free several times a day as they chant the Psalms, and they have voices like angels.  On Sundays they add two choir members for a High Mass, and it is exquisite, and well attended.  I've been counting 40 to 50 adults, many of them young and with families, each time I've been there.

Last night was a birthday Mass and party at the Priory - the order of The Canons Regular of New Jerusalem was 11 years old this week.  The always beautiful Mass was breathtaking.  And I'm very tired now because partying with monks kept me out way past my bedtime.

I know this post has been long and rambling.  And I haven't even tried to take on all the misunderstandings and misinformation that's out there about the Mass.  But I find it amazing that here in small town West Virginia we have more offered to us spiritually, more to feed the life of a soul,  more beauty than I ever experienced when I was living in the big city.   As I told Dom Daniel, the head of our little group of monks, last week, the Church is like a treasure chest that is so full of beautiful things that you don't always see each individual piece of treasure immediately.  Then one day you see something that's really been in the chest all along and it just blows your mind. 

h/t to whoever took most of these pictures, most of which have been stolen off the web.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Calling All Us Everyday 2nd Amendment Types!

From The Washington Times:

Own a gun? Emily Miller, an award-winning columnist for The Washington Times who’s made waves and rocked boats with her coverage of Second Amendment issues, wants your photograph for her new book.
The tome, “Emily Gets Her Gun … But Obama Wants to Take Yours,” will include photographs of average, law-abiding Americans posing with their weapons. And thousands of the pictures are sought, Ms. Miller’s publisher, Regnery, said. “Anti-gun extremists try to paint gun owners as back-country crackpots who can’t be trusted with the weapons they own,” the publisher said in a statement. “Send us your picture to show that gun owners are just like you and me — ordinary people with a sport, a passion, or just the plain old need to defend themselves.” 
Get the info here.

And for the guys, this is Ms. Miller:

Beautiful, smart, writes and speaks well, shoots, and fights for 2nd amendment rights. Why aren't you guys already on her doorstep with flowers?

Using a Small Caliber Pistol to Stop an Attack

This is a story of self-control and marksmanship with an itsy bitsy shooter by a woman facing a fierce predator. What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?
She trusts the 25 cal. Beretta Jetfire:

Here's her story: "While out hiking in Alberta Canada with my husband we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of nowhere. She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire with me I would not be here today! Just one shot to my husband's knee cap was all it took. The bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace. It's one of the best pistols in my collection."

h/t Bud

(Yeah, I know, but it's the best I got today - too much going on.)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Irony

“We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society,” Obama said, in reference to folks who actually pay attention to history and science.  And then he left for Africa on a trip that requires:

56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines
Three trucks loaded with bullet proof glass
Hundreds of Secret Service agents
The air transport to move all of the above
Fighter jets flying in shifts for 24 hour air coverage
Air Force 1

Sure glad this flat earther only has one vehicle.   I have to make up for the gigantic carbon footprints of the people who tell me to reduce my carbon footprint. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Have Another Because...'s A Week.  Training, evening meetings, and what I took on to help prepare for an ordination at my church on Saturday has, of course, turned out to be a much bigger job than I expected.

These are the days of Elijah
Declairing the Word of the Lord
And these are the days of Your
Servant Moses
Righteousness being restored
And though these are days of
Great trials
Of famine and darkness and sword
Still we are the voice in the desert crying
Prepare ye the way of the Lord

Behold He comes riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call
Lift your voice it's the Year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill salvation comes

And these are the days of Ezekiel
The dry bones becoming as flesh
And these are the days of
Your servant David
Rebuilding a temple of praise
And these are the days of the harvest
The fields are as white in Your world
And we are the laborers in Your vineyard
Declaring the Word of the the Lord

 Behold He comes riding on the clouds
Shining like the sun at the trumpet call
Lift your voice it's the Year of Jubilee
Out of Zion's hill salvation comes

Sunday, June 23, 2013


...our liturgist doesn't include songs like this in the Mass...

Can you hear it thunder in the distance?
When We worship the Lion of Judah roars
Strong holds crumble all around us
In the presence of our Lord

There'll be vic'try in the camp
At the shout of el Shaddai
Every enemy will flee from the fire in His eyes
Every captive will be freed in this year of Jubilee
When we hear the shout of el Shaddai

Can you hear it thunder in the distance?
When We worship the Lion of Judah roars
Strong holds crumble all around us
In the presence of our Lord

There'll be vic'try in the camp
At the shout of el Shaddai
Every enemy will flee from the fire in His eyes
Every captive will be freed in this year of Jubilee
When we hear the shout of el Shaddai

In your name power of darkness tremble
Jericho thumbles to the ground
In your name chance of death are broken
Lord of Hosts put your power out

We have overcome by the name and the blood
Of the Lamb of God
Every wall must fall, every knee must bow
To the Lord of all

In your name every curse is broken
Sin and death underneath your feet
In your name we will bow before you
Every tribe and tongue will sing

We have overcome by the name and the blood
Of the Lamb of God
Every wall must fall, every knee must bow
To the Lord of all

There'll be vic'try in the camp
At the shout of el Shaddai
Every enemy will flee from the fire in His eyes
Every captive will be freed in this year of Jubilee
When we hear the shout of el Shaddai
When we hear the shout of el Shaddai
When we hear the shout of el Shaddai

Can you hear it thunder in the distance?
When We worship the Lion of Judah roars
Strong holds crumble all around us
At the presence of our Lord...

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Obvious except to those who believe that an application of fairy dust changes non-human to human.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Well. Drat. Project Delayed.

"Boy", I thought.  "Digging and moving dirt sure does work the core muscles."  "But," I thought, "I shoulda bought the more expensive wheelbarrow.  This cheap one flexes too much."


Guess that project is on hold until I can tote another wheelbarrow home on Saturday.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Call Out The Pattyrollers!

He's off the plantation!  Liberal heads explode!


In the eyes of the Democrat Party, blacks are suckers to be manipulated to maintain power.  Elbert Guillory finally declared that he won't be a part of the betrayal of the black community anymore.

But of course he'll be called an Uncle Tom, or an Oreo, and/or all the other lovely things blacks are called when they finally reject the cultural slavery so many others accept.

Yeah, I know.  I'm racist.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Insert Explicative Here

What did I find in the road in front of my house yesterday evening but this:

Since it was just a few yards from where I found the turtle I blogged about yesterday, I'm assuming it's the same turtle.  The white things below the carcase are her eggs.

I wish people would slow the $#@! and pay attention around here. There's no reason why anyone should have been going too fast to see her on this street.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tis the Season

The green and flowery season, that is. My favorite season.

But pretty comes with a price and is labor intensive, so there are always projects to work on.  My iris beds became too crowded and then got infested with a root borer pest.

So they all have to be dug out, the dirt replaced, and the rhizomes rinsed with heavily cloroxed water.   I didn't think the main bed was all that big but a couple of hours work over the weekend still only got it partly emptied out. 

I've got to decide if I want to put an iris bed in the front yard - I'll have plenty of roots to start a new one with.  It would have to be a raised bed because the area it would go into  involves a very large rock just under the surface.  I tried to dig around it once and never did find the outer edges.  I'm thinking of getting the adjustable raised bed brackets and laying out a single level hexagonal bed with boards, then using that as my pattern and building around it with retaining wall blocks.

Unfortunately, I had to relocate some occupants of the bed before I started.  I hope he's happy over in the brushy area.

This guy, a five lined skink, didn't need encouragement to relocate into the rocks.  The one I found moved too fast for me to get my own picture of him so I had to steal this pic from the web. But I did notice at one point that he was peering over the edge of a rock at me as I dug.

And I really need to fix the peony bed.

They bloomed beautifully this year but I planted it too far back, and one of the problems caused by the bed's location is the lack of proper air circulation.  This in turn has caused them to develop powdery mildew.

Unfortunately, it's close to impossible to get rid of the problem, so I'll probably just get rid of these plants and start new.  Hate doing that.   Hate the idea of digging another bed in our clayey, rocky excuse for soil, too, but I don't want this bed to be a raised one.  On the upside, powdery mildew is plant specific so I don't have to worry about it spreading to neighboring plantings.

Funny.  When I first moved here, I fought for about 3 years to get a lawn established and then fought, with many hours on my hands and knees, to make it 99.9999% weed free.  Now I'm doing everything I can to replace the grass I fought for with trees and flowers, even though I don't mind mowing.  I just can't seem to help myself - I look at a spot and I think "What can I do to make that more interesting  that the deer won't eat?" And the next thing I know I'm digging away.

Monday, June 17, 2013

They Can't Ask

With all of our health care data now flowing to various government entities regardless of any concerns for privacy, we get to look forward to more forms even if the info is never actually used.  And questions about gun ownership are now popping up on doctor's forms.  Most people respond with "Not your business."  Well, it's not only not their business, but they can't ask.  Obamacare contains the following provision:

‘‘(1) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.— A wellness and health promotion activity implemented under subsection (a)(1)(D) may not require the disclosure or collection of any information relating to—
‘‘(A) the presence or storage of a lawfully- possessed firearm or ammunition in the residence or on the property of an individual; or
‘‘(B) the lawful use, possession, or storage of a firearm or ammunition by an individual.
(2) LIMITATION ON DATA COLLECTION.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used for the collection of any in- formation relating to—
‘‘(A) the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition;
‘‘(B) the lawful use of a firearm or ammunition; or
‘‘(C) the lawful storage of a firearm or ammunition.
‘‘(3) LIMITATION ON DATABASES OR DATA BANKS.—None of the authorities provided to the Secretary under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or an amendment made by that Act shall be construed to authorize or may be used to maintain records of individual ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.
So if a doctor's office asks, they are out of bounds legally. 

h/t a caller on

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Nancy Pelosi as she opposed a ban on late term abortions:  "As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this."

Enough is enough. Her bishop (and the bishops of others such as Biden), need to make their excommunications formal and public and make sure they are not given the Eucharist.  They are already excommunicates - that happens as soon as you commit a mortal sin, which promoting abortion is. No formal statement is really needed.  But a formal pronouncement can be made if it's felt necessary, and because they are public officials it IS necessary.

What a foul, evil person, kept company by foul, evil supporters.

Isabella, Born at 23 Weeks

Charlie, Born at 23 Weeks

Haley, Born at 23 Weeks

How dare anyone demand that Isabella, Charlie, or Haley be executed.  How DARE they!  And how dare our Church leaders not stand up in union and formally rebuke those who demand it!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Possible Derecho Redo

About a year ago the D.C. metro area got slammed with straight line winds of tornadic force.  We learned a new word - derecho.  It caught us by surprise, did about $1 billion in damage, and killed 13 people.  And I was about one step behind the cats as they dashed for the closest thing to shelter in the house, the laundry room. It was SCARY.  The only other time I've heard a roar like that was when a tornado hit nearby.

Apparently, meteorologists learned some new predictive skills from it because they've put out a forecast for the area for tomorrow that includes the possibility of another derecho.  So if you live anywhere from Iowa to the Atlantic, hunker down.  The system coming across is supposed to be a bugger.

Of course, I need to be out  ...

More here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

It's A Trust Thing

Pat Archibald puts it so well over at National Catholic Register.  "It's a trust thing", he says.  I do not trust big government.  Inevitably, a large government, which is just a synonym for socialism, brings nothing but suffering for the people it ostensibly claims to serve.  When St. Thomas More named his imaginary land Utopia in 1516, he was well aware that the word was made up of the Greek for "not" and "where" - the island of perfection was nowhere.

But the government, especially this latest incarnation of it, has repeatedly shown that it does not care about truth or our constitutionally protected freedoms and has trampled upon them with various combinations of lying, subterfuge, intimidation, and demagoguery.  Just the last months alone have myriad cases of the government abusing its power in direct assault on the freedom of religion, freedom of press, the rights of assembly, and on matters of national security.
In almost every way imaginable, our government has brazenly violated the trust placed in it and the oaths of its members.  Most of these transgressions have taken place with the full consent and imprimatur of all three branches of our unchecked government.

I am not shocked, not shocked at all.  Liberalism - and I don't consider the Bush clan to be strongly conservative, although I think they have more integrity than the Clintons or Obama - lacks a true core.  It lacks the ability to understand that there is no such thing as a little bit of evil - that given a crack in the door evil pours in and takes what it wants.  The ends justify the means, and with the feel good Utopia, Nowhere, as a goal, they think they can crack the door and use a little evil to get to there.  Now some, the ones who aren't still blaming it on Bush or making excuses, are surprised that evil has slammed the door back and left their noses bruised and bloodied as it rushed in. 

And it IS evil.  An over-reaching, corrupt state always is.

Archibald's  full commentary can be read here.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


I especially like the part where he says "No more ignoring the law when it's inconvenient."


Thursday, June 6, 2013

My How Things Have Changed. Not. Updated: 6:34 pm

January, 2008, Barack Obama campaigning:
"My job this morning is to be so persuasive...that a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack," he told a crowd of about 300 Ivy Leaguers--and, by the looks of it, a handful of locals who managed to gain access to what was supposed to be a students-only event.
For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and "wiretaps without warrants," he said. (He was referring to the lingering legal fallout over reports that the National Security Agency scooped up Americans' phone and Internet activities without court orders, ostensibly to monitor terrorist plots, in the years after the September 11 attacks.)
Forward to June, 2013

The Obama administration on Thursday acknowledged that it is collecting a massive amount of telephone records from at least one carrier, reopening the debate over privacy even as it defended the practice as necessary to protect Americans against attack.
That would be in reaction to the revelation that the NSA has a court order requiring Verizon to turn over ALL telephone data daily for all customers both foreign and U.S. 

And before the stupids start with the BOB defense - it was wrong then, just as it is wrong now.  But I know the BOBers think that if one person does something wrong that makes it OK for another to do it.

And if the we've won the war on terror, since Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive and Al Qaeda is on the run, why is spying on every American citizen necessary?

Oh, and happy birthday to 1984, first published 64 years ago today.

Update  - There's now a report that NSA is tapping 9 top internet servers for e-mail messages, photos, etc.  Sorta knew this was happening.  Looks like it will be confirmed.  h/t Weasel Zippers.

Can we say "Police State"?  And can we say .... well, that wouldn't be nice.  And possibly not physically possible. But the gun registry people can bugger off.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Homeland Security Threat Words

One of the things I blasted Jay Rockefeller for was his "no gun owners were placed on government registries" statement.  I asked him if he thought I was so stupid as to believe that information wasn't being culled from my e-mails to him, or if I was one of the two people left in the U.S. who didn't know that the IRS has been used to target conservative groups - a process that requires lists, i.e., registries.  Or if Nixon and Obama didn't have enemies lists.  Or if there aren't conservative bloggers with enough tech savvy to see when they get regularly pinged by Homeland Security.

And we ARE being monitored.  A FOIA request has forced DHS to release the list of key words that they search for as they monitor social media.  And they DO monitor social media.

If you look at it closely what do you NOT see?  That's right:  their search words do not include words like "jihad", "Muslim", "Middle East", or any common words that could be used in social media by those who at war with us.

Our government is increasingly at war with its own citizens.  It has seen the enemy and we - you and I - are it.

h/t WCBM

Spot On!

I heard at least three home runs yesterday - this is one of them.  Congressman Bridenstine hits it out of the park.  I think I'm in love.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rockefeller's Response

I wrote our Senators months ago concerning gun control.  Rockefeller just answered today.

Knowing of your interest in issues related to the Second Amendment and gun safety, I wanted to be in touch to update you on recent action in the Senate.  
            Making sure our children, families, and communities are safe from harm has always been one of my top priorities.  The unspeakable crimes in places like Blacksburg, Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson have served to remind us of the terrible fact that American families lose loved ones every day as a result of gun violence.  
Over the last several months, parents, educators, police officers, hunters, and elected leaders have worked hard to find common ground and come up with new solutions to solve the very real problem of gun violence.  Too many lives have been taken from us too soon, and I believe strongly that we can do more to keep everyone safe while also protecting the important Second Amendment rights and traditions valued by West Virginians. 
I believe we should consider ideas that have worked in the past as well as new ideas.  I have been disappointed that some of my colleagues have not kept an open mind about solutions, but I'm hopeful that we still might be able to have honest conversations about next steps.  
We should tackle all important aspects of gun violence – expanding mental health services, studying the impact of violent media on children, aggressively going after gun traffickers, reinstating previous laws on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and closing the loopholes that exist today in the background check process.
Two of those issues that I have long supported are better mental health support services in our communities and a better understanding of the impact of violent images on our youth.  I have introduced bills on both of these issues this year.  
Another measure that I have supported in the past and think we should reinstate today, is the law that was in effect in from 1994 to 2004 that prohibited new purchases of a limited number of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.  It's important to note that when the prohibition was in place no one had to give up any of the guns they owned, no gun owners were placed on any government registries, and thousands of guns were exempted.  
Finally, the loopholes that exist in today's background checks are something I believe we need to work together to address.  Right now there are too many ways for violent criminals and the mentally ill to buy guns, especially at gun shows – and we have to fix that.  This wouldn't result in any type of registry.  It would simply mean that those who want to harm others couldn't avoid background checks by going to gun shows.  
Thank you for sharing your views with me on these critical issues.  I want you to know that I work hard every day to protect West Virginians' rights, safety, and well being.
I wish you the very best.   

With Warm Regards,

Jay Rockefeller

My response to this did not involve warm regards and started by quoting the part about assault weapons and high capacity magazines, followed by "Twaddle".  It ended by telling him how disgusting I find it when politicians use a tragedy to jump on a band wagon.  I didn't close with warm regards, because I have none. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Stupid Purple Pill

Because of the chance that I may have an ulcer, the doctor put me an an acid reducer, Nexium.  You know, the purple pill with the dumb commercial where people are driving around in a purple truck preaching its virtues to Americans suffering from indigestion.  The last couple weeks were, at times, miserable.  I managed to perk up enough to enjoy time with my family in Detroit, but I was feeling sicker and sicker.  Light-headedness, weakness, nausea,  a weird metallic feeling/taste in my mouth.  It was getting a little scary - gastric cancer does not have symptoms until it's too late and that was much on my mind.  Then, finally, Thursday night I thought to look up Nexium side effects.   Oh.  Good. Grief.

I feel so much better since I stopped taking that stuff.  Something is still wrong, but at least that layer of misery is gone.  I suppose it helps many people, but right now it has been replaced with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water a couple times a day and that will have to suffice until the surgeon takes a look at my innards.