Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year’s Prayer

Night Warriors-Wayne BeyaleIn beauty may you walk.

Through the returning seasons,
May you walk.

ON the trail marked with pollen,
May you walk.

With beauty all around you,
May you walk.

~from a Navajo Song

MAXIMS by Kahlil Gibran


“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.

Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection.

Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood.

All that spirits desire, spirits attain.
An eye for an eye, and the whole world would be blind.

If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury;

but if you injure him you will always remember.
Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children. I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art.
And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.

If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours.

And if they don’t, they never were.
If you cannot work with love but only with distaste,

it is better that you should leave your work.
If you reveal your secrets to the wind,

you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.
If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?
Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.
Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof. Faith is an

oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.
Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.”

Tuesday, December 23, 2014



article by Doug Johnson, John Ross Schroeder

The biblical accounts of Jesus Christ's birth present some surprising differences from popular ideas and traditions. Do you know the facts from the fiction?

Most of us have been brought up with the traditional Christmas story—you know, the one about Jesus being born on Christmas day in a stable in Bethlehem with the shepherds and three wise men looking on as depicted in countless manger scenes.
But is that the way it really happened? Most people think so, but a careful look at what the Bible really says reveals some surprising differences. Let's examine what the Bible actually does say about the circumstances surrounding Christ's birth.
While the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Luke describe the true story of Jesus' birth, we'll see that they assuredly do not describe the Christmas story so popular at this time of year.

Luke's important background
Consider first Luke, the Gospel writer who had the detailed mind of a physician and a historian. He wanted to make sure he presented all the pertinent facts.
Notice his preface: " Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed"

Luke, in other words, interviewed those who had witnessed or were knowledgeable of the events of Christ's life, and that information was the basis for his Gospel. After this important introduction, Luke begins the true story leading to Jesus' birth with an account of God's dealings with Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist:
"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division [or "course"] of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth " (verse 5). Later in the account it tells us she was a cousin of Mary (verse 36, King James Version).
"And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years" (verses 6-7).
Zacharias' priestly assignment or "division" helps us to know and understand the general time frame of Christ's birth. His was "the course of Abijah." But what does this mean?
About a thousand years earlier, King David had organized the Levitical priesthood into 24 "courses" or "divisions." As explained in 1 Chronicles 24 and more specifically in verses 3, 10 and 19, there was an abundance of priests to serve in the various temple functions.
Not wanting any to be left out of serving, David's solution was to divide the priests into 24 courses. Each priest would then serve for a specified week-long term twice during the year, plus the three festival seasons when all the priests would serve.
The question is: Do we know at what times of the year the course of Abijah served at the temple? Yes, we do. The determination can be made by combining the information in 1 Chronicles 24 with a study into the traditions of Judaism regarding when the temple courses were carried out during the year.
The evidence points to Zacharias' week of service described by Luke being around Pentecost, which generally falls in late May to mid-June on our calendar. Although they fall at specific times on God's sacred calendar, the dates of His annual Holy Days and festivals vary up to several weeks on the Roman calendar we use today.
So it seems we can ascertain when Zacharias was serving in the temple. One resource, The Companion Bible, calculates it to the week of June 13-19 in the determined year (1974, Appendix 179, p. 200).
An unexpected angelic appearance
Luke's account continues: "So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord".
What happened next would have been rather frightening to anyone. "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him . . . And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, 'Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John'" (verses 11-13).
Then the angel explained the mission of Zacharias' son-to-be, John the Baptist: "He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb . . . He will also go before Him [Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah] in the spirit and power of Elijah . . . to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (verses 15-17).
Although a righteous man, in this instance Zacharias was all too human and displayed a lack of faith in the angel Gabriel's message. Because of his unbelief, he would not be able to speak again until his son John was born (verses 18-20).
Timing of Elizabeth's and Mary's conceptions
"So it was, as soon as the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months"
Since Zacharias' temple course was in mid-June, assuming she became pregnant within a couple of weeks, five months would put this into mid- to late November.
The scene then shifts to the Messiah's birth: "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph . . . The angel said to her, 'Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women" (verses 26-28).
This account clearly shows that Mary was a remarkable young woman of faith. Gabriel said to her, "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest . . . And He will reign over the house of Jacob [Israel] forever" (verses 31-33).
Mary, since she was a virgin, then asked the obvious question. The answer came back: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you" (verse 35).
Gabriel emphasized God's miracle-working power: "Now indeed, Elizabeth, your relative [ cousin, KJV] has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible" (verses 36-37).
Mary and Elizabeth
So a little more time has elapsed. It is now Elizabeth's sixth month, perhaps late December or a little beyond. "Now Mary arose in those days [the same basic time frame] and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb" (verses 39-41).
Elizabeth at this time was in her sixth month of pregnancy with John the Baptist. It would not be a stretch to understand from the previous passage that Mary was now also pregnant with Jesus. Elizabeth even speaks of Mary as though she knows Mary is an expectant mother: "But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy" (verses 43-44).
Verse 56 says, "And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house." Timewise it was now late March. Mary stayed with Elizabeth right to the birth of John the Baptist. "Now Elizabeth 's full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son" (verse 57).
We see, then, that Mary was probably three months pregnant when John was born. John was probably born in late March or early April. So when was Jesus Christ born? Six months later would be late September or early October—in the autumn of the year, not in the dead of winter, as so many today mistakenly assume.
The evidence of the Roman census
Can we find other biblical evidence that Jesus was born in the autumn rather than in winter? Indeed we can.
Continuing in Luke's account: "And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered"."All the world" in this context would mean all the areas under Roman rule. "This census took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city" (verses 2-3).
What kind of people were the Romans when it came to order and efficiency? They built bridges, roads and buildings that in some cases are still in use to this day, 2,000 years later. Their roads were marvels of engineering. They constructed great waterworks and sewage systems. Even today, our city planning owes a great deal to the Romans. Even much of modern government and military organization is copied from the Romans. They were masters of organization and structure.
Would the Romans, then, have ordered a census in the dead of winter? Of course not. This would have defeated the whole purpose! In winter, temperatures drop below freezing around Jerusalem, and the roads would have been muddy and wet with cold rains and occasional snow. It would've been a terrible time to travel, especially for a wife nearing her delivery.
One author states that this census "could hardly have been at that season [winter], however, for such a time would surely not have been chosen by the authorities for a public enrollment, which necessitated the population's traveling from all parts to their natal districts, storms and rain making journeys both unsafe and unpleasant in winter, except in specially favorable years. Snow is not at all uncommon at Jerusalem in the winter months, and I have known it so deep that people lost their way outside the gates" (Cunningham Geikie, "Christmas at Bethlehem," Edward Deems, editor, Holy-Days and Holidays, 1968, p. 405).
No rational Roman official would have scheduled a census in winter. For an agrarian society such as that of first-century Judea, a census in the autumn, when the crops would've been safely gathered in, would have made much more sense.
Why was there no room in Bethlehem?
Picking up our story in Luke again, we find other biblical evidence for the true timing of Jesus Christ's birth.
"Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth . . . because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered" (verses 4-6).
We don't know how far ahead of time they traveled, nor how long they were there for the census. The essential point is that the most important human birth in all history took place under these circumstances.
"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloth, and laid Him in a manger [margin, feed trough ], because there was no room for them in the inn" (verse 7).
But why was there no room for Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem? We learn a great deal from understanding the culture of the time.
If we have judged the time frame correctly based on John being conceived shortly after the time of the first term of Abijah around Pentecost, and his birth following nine months later, followed by Jesus' birth six months after that in late September or possibly early October, was something else happening at that particular time of the year that would've created crowded conditions in Bethlehem?
Indeed there was. Late September and early October is the autumn festival season on God's calendar, one of the three times in the year when families would travel to Jerusalem to observe God's Holy Days.
With the Jews of Israel still obeying this command, even today it is difficult to find a hotel room in Jerusalem at this time of year!
The population of Jerusalem swelled several times over to overflowing at this time. This affected nearby towns such as Bethlehem, a few miles south of Jerusalem. Because of this huge influx of people, every house was filled. Joseph and Mary did find a place in what was normally used to shelter animals. It certainly wouldn't have been first class, but likely they were thankful to have even that.
The shepherds and their flocks
Continuing in Luke's account, we find further proof that Jesus wasn't born in winter. Verse 8 tells us, " Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night."
This likewise shows that these events did not take place in winter. The common practice of shepherds was to keep their flocks in the open fields from April to October, but in the cold and wet winter months they took their flocks back home and sheltered them.
The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary (1971) says this passage argues "against the birth [of Christ] occurring on Dec. 25 since the weather would not have permitted" shepherds watching over their flocks in the fields at night.
Adam Clarke's Commentary explains that, "as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact, which casts considerable light upon this disputed point."
Again, the evidence in Luke points to a late September birth.
The shepherds come to see Jesus
" Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day
in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.' ". . . And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child."
We might notice that only the shepherds arrive in time to see Jesus in the manger. The wise men, as we will see, didn't arrive on the scene until later.
" And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord'), and to offer a sacrifice . . . a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" " This was called "redeeming the firstborn." this ceremony occurred 40 days after the birth of a son. So if Christ was born in late September, we are now into mid-November.
We'll now continue the story flow in Matthew 2:1-3, "Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 'Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.' When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him."
Why did this news disturb Herod? Other historical accounts attest to Herod's paranoia about being overthrown. The news that a new king of the Jews had been born threatened his position.
Herod obviously knew of the traditions and the prophecies relating to the Messiah. "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, 'In Bethlehem of Judea'" (verses 4-5).
King Herod carefully concealed his murderous intentions. "Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, 'Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also'" (verses 7-8).
Notice that now Herod referred to Jesus not as a baby, but as "the young Child." He realized how long their travels would have taken the wise men—possibly from as far away as Parthia or the region around Babylon, where the Israelites and Jews had been exiled centuries before. Herod knew from when the star had appeared that he was not seeking a newborn baby, but a boy by now considerably older.
And to remove any threat to his position, Herod "put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men" (verse 16). Herod, covering all of his bases in protecting his throne, ordered the murderous slaughter of those 2 years old and under.
It wasn't the common nativity scene
The wise men were miraculously guided to the Christ child (verses 9-10). "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother" (verse 11). The typical nativity scene completely falls apart at this point. There is no mention of a manger here. Rather Jesus was, as stated, in a house. And Jesus was no longer an infant, He was a young child. The wise men obviously visited Jesus long after the shepherds had come and gone—perhaps a year or more later.
The typical manger scene includes three wise men. The Bible, however, nowhere says how many wise men there were. It does note, however, that they presented three kinds of gifts to Him—gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Matthew and Luke reveal the true story of the birth of Jesus Christ and the general timing of when it really occurred. John the Baptist was born in the spring. His cousin Jesus was born six months later—probably in late September, possibly early October. The shepherds visited immediately; the wise men—their number unknown—arrived much later.
It's tragic that the true story should have become so badly garbled by human traditions. It's also tragic that people ignore the Bible's clear instructions and invent their own. Jesus Himself roundly condemned religious leaders of His day who were "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition"
A strong and weighty biblical principle is found in Deuteronomy 12. It tells us why we should observe the annual Holy Days and festivals God has revealed in His Word—not traditional holidays borrowed from paganism:
"You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates have they done to their gods . . . whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it, nor take away from it"

Sorry, could not control the bold type… The link at the top gives you the actual scripture quotes. This blog post is in answer to some comments from a friend who insists Dec 25th IS Jesus' birthday because it says so in the Bible and I won’t even bother to try to explain the Solstice holiday again and all the pagan aspects of this Holiday Season.   So, telling me the Bible says that Jesus is the Reason for the season just doesn’t fly.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Rusty wishes you a very Happy Holiday, whatever your belief. See? He is bringing you some Yule Tide camellias.

DSC_1043     DSC_1047





Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Sorry it took me so long to get the Santa Train on the Blog… but I am using my broken foot as an excuse.DSC_1032 OK, it might not be a good excuse, but it is a fact. It will also explain why there are not very many pictures of the kids with  Santa… Well, my inability to stand where I could get a decent shot and the crowd in the building, because we had trains running and because it was raining outside. The parking lot was filled with cars but no crowds of people like in the past. Just too wet! So, in they came, and stayed!


So, everyone crowded inside, some enjoyed watching the trains, some enjoyed the popcorn, hot chocolate, and cookies, but everyone enjoyed being inside a building where it was not raining and was warmer than outside.


Niall was wonderful with the little ones, as usual.

 DSC_1025 DSC_1021

Santa had a comfortable spot to sit this year. He did not have to be under a tent – he had a brand new room to sit in.

DSC_1036  DSC_1037

it was almost dark when they left. DSC_1039 DSC_1040

Monday, December 15, 2014

Thursday, December 04, 2014

SAD, AIN’T IT? (cuz its true.)

The world is most certainly ruled by a small group of extremely wealthy evil men who desire ever more treasure, supremacy and control, but the vast majority of Americans have stood idly by mesmerized by their iGadgets and believing buying shit they don’t need with money they don’t have is the path to happiness and prosperity, while their wealth, liberty and self-respect were stolen by the financial elite. Our idiot culture, that celebrates reality TV morons, low IQ millionaires playing children’s sports, egomaniacal Hollywood hacks, self-promoting Wall Street financers, and self-serving corrupt ideologue politicians, has been degenerating for decades.

“We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.” - Carl Bernstein, 1992

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Wisconsin  FARM KID joins the Marines

Dear Ma and Pa,
I am well.  Hope you are.  Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man  Minch  by a mile.  Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

I was restless at first because you get to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m.  But I am getting so I like to sleep late.  Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things.  No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water.

Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee.  Their food, plus yours, holds you until noon when you get fed again.  It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much.

We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us.  If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different.  A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home.  Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The sergeant is like a school teacher.  He nags a lot.  The Captain is like the school board.  Majors and colonels just ride around and frown.  They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing.  I keep getting medals for shooting.  I don't know why.  The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home.  All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it.  You don't even load your own cartridges.  They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training.  You get to wrestle with them city boys.  I have to be real careful though, they break real easy.  It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home.  I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in  Silver Lake .  I only beat him once.  He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6' and 130 pounds and he's 6'8' and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

Monday, November 24, 2014


November is American Indian & Alaska Native Heritage Month. Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. It’s also an opportunity to highlight the important contributions of Native peoples and the shared histories between tribal nations and other communities. Please click here to read more about it.

November in America we celebrate the harvest festival of Thanksgiving. Over the years, much lore has evolved surrounding early Thanksgivings and feelings of brotherhood and good will between pilgrim settlers and the Native inhabitants of North America. Sadly, most of these stories are inaccurate at best, and serve to ignore or gloss over a broad history of atrocities. In our hearts, we cannot celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the way revisionist history teaches our school children. We still feel the pain and suffering of our ancestors as the pilgrims celebrated their thanksgivings by theft of our lands and the genocide of our peoples.

Still, Native Americans are grateful for all that nature provides, and many of us celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in our own ways. Moreover, we give thanks every day as we greet the morning star in the eastern sky giving thanks to the Creator, our families, our ancestors and our survival.

We wish you and your families a happy holiday, and hope you are able to set images of pilgrims aside and join in gratitude for the bounty the living earth provides us. In that spirit, let us share with you the words of “Thanksgiving” from our Mohawk relatives in belief that one day there will truly be a Thanksgiving for all.


Thanksgiving Address

Greetings to the Natural World

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as people.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms-waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of Water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to the all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting of thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We are honored by them when they give up their lives so we may use their bodies as food for our people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many people of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds-from the smallest to the largest-we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help us to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We are thankful that they keep those evil things made by Okwiseres underground. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together to give thanks to our oldest Grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of woman all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for all the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


AN EXERPT FROM”": Decline of The American Empire, Part Two"  by James Quinn

When I was researching the similarities between the fall of the Roman Empire and our American Empire fall in progress, I stumbled across an essay written in 1956 by Ben Moreell called "Of Bread and Circuses."   

Toxic Bread, iGadgets, Circuses, & Zoloft: “The evil was not in bread and circuses, per se, but in the willingness of the people to sell their rights as free men for full bellies and the excitement of the games which would serve to distract them from the other human hungers which bread and circuses can never appease. The moral decay of the people was not caused by the doles and the games. These merely provided a measure of their degradation. Things that were originally good had become perverted and, as Shakespeare reminds us, ‘Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.'” – Ben Moreell, 1956, "Of Bread and Circuses"

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There is nothing inherently evil about food, iPhones, professional sports, television, computers, music or medicine. Human beings need food to sustain them, entertainment to provide relaxation and diversion from their daily labors, and medicine to alleviate illness and prolong their lives. Only when the people allow themselves to be lured into servitude by malevolent purveyors of bread and circuses doe6s the perversion of seemingly harmless things begin to fester and overwhelm a nation with the fetid stench of decay and decadence. The moral degeneration of the American populace, like the Roman people before them, happened slowly over time as they sold their liberty, freedom, and self-respect for full bellies, an endless array of modern day distractions, and promises from their highly educated rulers they would be taken care of and protected from all threats to their well-being, whether foreign, domestic, physical, mental, or social.

It did not happen all at once. It happened gradually over time. We allowed the weaker facets of our human nature to succumb to the pleasurable promises of a minority of power seeking manipulative men who always attempt to control and influence the majority because they believe they are wiser and deserving of riches, glory and supremacy. The greediest, most arrogant, ambitious and well educated amongst us tend to rise to the top in all societies. As Ben Franklin stated, only a virtuous people can keep sociopaths from gaining control of our political, economic and financial systems and perverting a republic built upon a foundation of free markets, liberty, and self-sufficiency.


My comments: I just felt this explained our culture today better than I ever could.

I sent part one a couple weeks ago (not on the blog but to my Musings subscribers)... did you read it?

Answers: No, mostly. No? Too long, you said. Football is coming on TV, you said. Or NASCAR - gotta sit and stare at cars running around and around and around... like the cat stares at the hamster running on its exercise wheel. Too long, you said. World Series is on the tube! (I don’t even know who was playing – or who won. Dumb me.) Gotta go to the corner store – out of beer. BBL.

How do you block out the world? How do you hide from YOURSELF?

Monday, November 10, 2014


THAT MAGIC time of day – almost night… this first shot is ordinary day time – NO color enhancement.

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The second shot was taken at twilight. I was sitting here at the computer and looked out the window and noticed the unusual coloring on the tree across the street. Again, this is with NO photo color enhancement. The tree was just glowing!


The 3rd shot of the same tree is the result of just clicking on color enhancement… if I hit it a few more times, the tree would be a bright red. There are a lot of bloggers who use color enhancement especially this time of year. I do not but just wanted to see what would happen. I guess I ended up wondering what is the point in faking the color… it really doesn’t look better. But then I prefer the beauty in nature as it is – just wait until the right time of day. Notice the lavender/ pinkish sky? Natural.


Which do you prefer?

Sunday, November 09, 2014


YOU ASKED… Well, he has been getting into things, as usual.

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And he has “discovered” PBS and the Nature programs. He sits right in front of the TV and watches every movement every animal makes, and occasionally talks to them.

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He also loves animal videos on the computer.

No, he is NOT spoiled.

Saturday, November 08, 2014



We had a great Open House today as part of the Town’s Veteran’s Day Parade and festivities! 43 visitors – 8 kids – some Boy Scouts – and a Yorkie! The trains ran well – we discovered we need a governor on one of the layouts… when the kids shove the handle to full throttle… well… So we had a derailment or two, but, hey. This happens.

We got the farm together somewhat… not done, but the corn is about ready to be harvested and the hens are laying eggs. The goat ate some bushes, but that happens. The Exmore diner was open for business even tho construction is still going on.

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Anyway, if you were there… thank you so much for helping out! If you could not make it – you missed out on a fun day – maybe we will see you for Santa Train – Dec. 6th. Santa usually arrives around 2:30. Mark it on your calendar! Wait ‘til he sees the new room! (I wonder if he remembers the year the roof leaked so bad we had to put him under a tent – inside the building!) Progress!

Come see how much progress we have made on the building, the new rooms, and the layouts!

Progress. We are all about Progress.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


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Kid’s room under construction A handicap ramp Something for all ages

______________________________________________________________________________ SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION



VOL. 2, NO. 1 ONLEY, VIRGINIA October 1st, 2014


Construction Status

Thanks to the very generous grants from the Town of Onley, the Eastern Shore Community Foundation, Wal-Mart, the Tom E. Dailey Foundation, the United Way Campaign, and the strong contributions from our members, we continue to turn this sweet station into the jewel in Onley’s crown. Much remains to be done, but we have come a long way since our last newsletter.

With the enthusiastic help of our board and other members, we have now completed the inside of the original station. Three train layouts are up and running in “O” , “HO” and “N” gauge in a beautiful heated and air conditioned space with wall paintings and scenery enhancing the trains.

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Laying HO Track Placing scenery A busy Saturday Measuring

A 12 X 22 foot addition has been added to the south end of the station. This 264 square foot addition provides a multiple purpose space for the 3-8 year old children to play with Brio wooden trains and listen to train adventure stories as well as serve as a small local meeting place. An ADA compliant bathroom is almost complete with only the plumbing fixtures and the flooring left to install. The bathroom has a diaper changing station, a toilet with handicap bars and a sink and mirror. Insulation under the main building still remains to be done as does scheduling of the classes and finishing the scenery on the layouts.

Future Plans:

We are very excited to be so close to finishing the construction. We will be holding an open house on November 8th to celebrate and hosting the Santa Train on December 6th.

And as usual, we will have our annual Plant and Bake sale next spring. Be sure to come visit us then!


We are currently talking to the local preschools, elementary, middle and high schools to organize field trips and see if we can help teach American Railroad history to the students. We also want to hold electrical classes and scenery classes to help those interested in building their own layouts. We are looking forward to working with scouting groups and many of our members are Certified Merit Badge Counselors.

We will have open Play with Trains Night when we will be open to the general Public, and will schedule outings for Senior Groups, Church Groups, and Nursing Homes.

As always, we will be open for Santa Train again this year. Mark it on your calendar for Saturday, December 6th. The train usually gets to the Station a little after 2 PM.

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Trains inside and out!

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It was worth the wait to see Santa and the Trains

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Please come and see what six years of work and your generous donations have accomplished. If you are not a member, please consider visiting and joining our Crew. We think you and your children will want to come back again and again.