Friday, November 01, 2013

November First

November just sounds like a friendly month. November.

Originally the ninth month in the Roman calendar, and deriving its name from the Latin word novem, November became the eleventh month in the Gregorian calendar in 1582.

Exciting history has occurred in this autumnal month including. . .

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings were first exhibited in 1512.

The Mayflower Compact was signed in 1620.

Captain James Cook discovered Maui in 1778.

Thanksgiving was first celebrated as a national holiday in 1789.

(Now we're talking turkey!)

1805 marked the first Pacific Ocean sighting by Lewis and Clark.

King Tut's tomb was discovered in 1922.

FDR became the first U.S. President to broadcast in a foreign language (French) in 1942.

Howard Hughes' flying boat the "Spruce Goose' made its one and only flight in 1947.

JFK was assassinated in 1963.

Carl B. Stokes was elected the first black mayor of a major city (Cleveland, Ohio) in 1967.

In 1976 "Gone with the Wind" was first televised.

And in 1998 Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sold at auction for $71.5 million USD.

Red, yellow, orange, and some remaining green leaves dot November's sky and soil. Soon they'll be piled up, burned, composted, scooped up into big trucks, or left to fertilize their mother trees. All in season, in order, life as it should be.

The Big Holidays tend to overwhelm November and December, but if we play our cards right we can find simplicity quietly pushes back any unwelcome pressure. Thoughtful choices create space for contemplation, observation, and deeply felt expressions of love which can't be bought or wrapped or plugged into a socket. Yes, the beauty of November awaits those with eyes to see and hearts that instinctively sense the slower drum beat of a more natural life, a spiritual attitude, a mindful connection to the beauty of a slower season, if we but choose to turn ourselves attentively toward its call.

November First. An offering to participate in a sweet-tempered melding of sorts. An invitation to relax, to replace energy happily spent in spring and summer, to take determinative steps toward refining and improving who we are as Children of God.

Sounds fabulous to me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Socialism: The Inca Affect

Before you read the excerpts below please realize that, no, I'm not trashing the Incas, nor am I praising Pizarro and the Spanish conquistadors. I am not promoting whip-cracking missionaries. I'm simply sharing historical facts, the details of which are hauntingly familiar. My hope is that the lessons of history might jolt us modern-day citizens of the United States out of our current stupor in order to awaken us to the realization that socialism in not some far-off fantastical threat. It is here. It is real. We as a nation and as individuals have been influenced and dramatically changed by socialism's workings, to our peril.

A little background before we begin. Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador, had two things going for him in his goal of conquering the Incas. First, a civil war between two brothers and their followers was underway during the time he set out to fulfill Spain's royal decree to conquer Peru in 1532. Second, socialism had, for 200 years, sapped the entire Incan culture of its ability to organize an adaptable means of defending itself. Pizarro set out, with 200 men, to force 12 million people, scattered over Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and northern parts of Chile and Argentina, to capitulate to Spain's military authority.

The Inca civilization had made outstanding achievements. Cuzco, the capital city and heart of the empire, rivaled any major city in Europe at the time, and this with only bronze age technology. It had excellent roads, suspension bridges, fortresses, temples, palaces, aqueducts, and more. This prize deemed Pizarro's ridiculously remote undertaking worth the challenge.

Now, let's get to the point of this post. The following excerpts - which recently jumped off the pages at me - are from the book, The Naked Socialist, by Paul B. Skousen, emphasis mine.

"The Inca system of socialism weakened the people terribly. It took away their drive to achieve and initiate anything from their own creativity. They became indifferent, apathetic, and stopped thinking for themselves. They lost the connective tissue and the emotional bond in their family circles. They apparently didn't care about elderly parents who were no longer able to care for themselves. They didn't care about the suffering by those closest to them. They didn't care about the Inca state. They had become accustomed to being told by someone what to do, when to do it, and when to do it over if things didn't measure up.

"It is little wonder then why a small group of 200 Spaniards could come among them and dispatch the Inca leadership and take over with relative ease. The Spaniards used faction against faction to gain complete control, and waged battles and wars. But in the end, the final tally showed that the Inca's thousands always lost against Pizarro's hundreds."

Now, fast forward more than one hundred years.

"It is interesting to note that more than a century after the Inca empire fell, Jesuit Priests in Paraguay attempted to salvage the local culture from extinction under the spread of European settlements.

"The priests tried to force large groups of people into socialistic society at remotely scattered missions. From the start, the missionaries were frustrated with the native's doleful lack of initiative - a problem they tried to resolve with the whip. Unknown to the priests, the native workers had a long-nurtured proclivity to simply take orders, to do as they were told, or to do nothing if they were not told. This was not a change in biological human nature, it was the outcome of the all-powerful Inca ruler meeting all their needs without demanding personal responsibility.

"The Jesuits attributed the Paraguayan's despondency to the lingering impact of the Inca's socialistic control. They called it the 'Inca Affect.'"

The Inca Affect is alive and well and living in the United States of America. (It lives all over the globe, but that's another post.) The parallels are astonishing.

"They lost the connective tissue and the emotional bond in their family circles." I don't think I need to list the various aspects that constitute the breakdown of the American family, for this disintegration and its causes are all too apparent.

"The Spaniards used faction against faction to gain complete control, and waged battles and wars." Current factions in our country include abortion, immigration, religion, and race. The list goes on and on.

"This was not a change in biological human nature, it was the outcome of the all-powerful Inca ruler meeting all their needs without demanding personal responsibility." Welfare. Public schools. Entitlement programs.

And now, forced universal health care for which we gripe and grouch and suffer but can't seem to find a productive way to battle takes center stage. Why can't we find a way to resist? Could it be that our government uses the same tactics as ancient conquerors? Fear? What keeps us in line? The threat of penalties, the threat of withholding tax refunds, the fear of exorbitant medical costs rendering us bankrupt and homeless, and ultimately, the actual fear of death.

In the duping of America we've become anesthetized. We are vulnerable due to our addiction to the easy life and to fear. Personal responsibility is seen as a quaint notion. We take the path of least resistance for there are no longer noble fires in our bellies; they were extinguished by fear which has since morphed into ignorance, laziness, selfishness, and even violence. We'll put up with our government shoving its hand further and further into our pockets just so long as we can keep some semblance of that status quo. Don't upset the status quo, people might be hurt.

We are being hurt!

Observe the slow dying of a once thriving liberty, handed over to socialists who do not care about you.

"It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." ~~ Edmond Burke, 18th century Irish statesman

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Anniversary Meditations

Sometimes love looks not like gushy, starry-eyed gestures of affection, stereotypically romantic gift showers, and sugary utterances spoken under the moon but the trust, respect, fidelity, companionship, steadfastness, and comfort of a sixty-five year marriage. Quiet. Beneath the surface. Granite solid yet feather soft. Time-forged love, gently born, true growing out of a long, shared life-journey. Beautiful.

She, in rehab, he goes to bed alone each night under his daughter's roof, missing his constant companion - his wife-friend - who has been at his side nearly every single night for years three score and five. He feels intense loneliness.

Aches of genuine love.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Circumstances beyond my control force me to confront and re-evaluate my views on family. My family. My extended family, to be precise.

You don't know how much you love something - or someone - until you lose it, until it is snatched away from you, leaving a torn wound, an empty hole that whispers loudly of tiny voices, smiling faces, cherished people, memories that may never be made.

Beyond ache.

And yet, I trust God. I know He works in mysterious ways. And I know He allows horrible things to happen to me - to all of us - for our good, for us to slam against a wall of reality, a wall we would normally, stupidly not even see. It's good to slam into those walls. Hurts like the dickens. But those painful lesson-moments allow us to discover our character, our growth. We get to witness first-hand the growth God nurtures in us over time.

Tested. Tried and True. "Hey, look, God! I responded correctly this time. Thank you for working a miracle in me."

Belief that joy follows sadness keeps bitterness at bay, creates laughter in a heart that cries for hugs from little ones, the sounds of giggling voices, the sight of tiny faces, the delight of making family-children happy. While the future appears stolen, my heart lies safely in its Master's hands. I am fine.

I have lived long enough to know that when we hurt others, that hurt always - always - follows us and stings us back sooner or later. So, I pity these people for whom correct understanding and wisdom evades. I pray for them. I know they will undergo a nasty reckoning just as do we all when prideful missteps get the best of us. Lord knows it's happened to me enough times, and will no doubt again.

Today, I choose gratitude for what I do have rather than tears for what I don't. I trust God to reunite and reconcile whom He chooses. I count on Him to lend justice to an unjust situation.

Whatever He decides, I accept. For He really is good at this Supreme Being thing.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it". ~~ Soren Kierkegaard

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Perspective on Disabilities

"Part of the problem with the word disabilities is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities." ~~ Fred Rogers

Monday, July 08, 2013


Another niece added to my family.

A tiny girl.

She joins four siblings and  lovely parents.

Welcome, little one! Can't wait to meet you someday.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Words of Encouragement

Please click on this photo to enlarge, for these flowers are for YOU.
"The millions of Americans who live decent, praiseworthy lives deserve our highest admiration because they have opted for the good when the good is not the only available option. Even amidst the temptations that a rich and free society offers, they have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen." ~~ Dinesh D"Souza, What's So Great About America

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lovers' Stroll at Midnight

A radio news story irked Tom, wouldn't let him alone.

Unkind words to me - from a stranger - looped and spun my mind around and around in an off-kilter sort of way.

We were grumbly, frowny, withdrawn, and tense. Not upset with each other, just unable to unwind. Relentless frustration blocked reasonableness. We knew what was happening, even tried to console each other. It didn't work.

Midnight found Tom changing from street clothes into sleeping clothes and me changing from pajamas into walking clothes.

"What are you doing?" asked my tense husband.

In muted tones I responded, "I'm going for a walk to clear my mind. Feel free to join me. It's nice outside."

"Okay, sure."

Arm in arm we walked, speaking in hushed tones so as to not disturb a slumbering neighborhood. After just half a block the cares of the day began to flow and smooth off our backs like a wake behind a boat, only to dissolve amidst green, freshly-mown lawns, bulbous red tulips, infant rhododendron blooms, and new leaves sticking out of dark, twisty branches silhouetted against the night sky.

I could feel my muscles slowly relaxing, my mind regaining its equilibrium. Tom's arm felt softer under my hand as his elbow drew me closer.

"Oh, Tom," I whispered as we stopped on the park's winding path, "Look at the stars!" Bright, twinkling, comforting. Right where they were supposed to be.

"Makes you feel better, somehow, doesn't it?" Tom responded.

"Yeah, it does."

We stood there for a few minutes, just gazing upwards, letting the universe calm our silly stresses.

As we walked the last three blocks home, our conversation turned to funny things we'd experienced during the day. By the time we reached our welcoming front porch we were completely calm and happy.

We both slept marvelously well last night.

Midnight walk under a romantic sky. Good choice.

Movie Woman

If you are in the mood for a movie, perhaps one nobody you know has heard of, or if you want to be forewarned of a clunker, I recommend visiting Cassie's blog. She finds trailers for all sorts of interesting movies, offers her lively opinions, and often, after she has viewed the films herself once they become available, gives spirited, insightful reviews.

Many a drippy, dreary weekend evening around here has been lightened, rescued, and enlivened thanks to Cassie's deep-digging research.

Enjoy your visit to A Little Step Into My Head!

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Liberal Political Madness

Here is an excerpt from the book, The Liberal Mind, by Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., MD. Haven't read it, yet. Must say, it's intriguing.

"The Liberal Mind is the first in-depth examination of the major political madness of our time: the radical left’s efforts to regulate the people from cradle to grave. To rescue us from our troubled lives, the liberal agenda recommends denial of personal responsibility, encourages self-pity and other-pity, fosters government dependency, promotes sexual indulgence, rationalizes violence, excuses financial obligation, justifies theft, ignores rudeness, prescribes complaining and blaming, denigrates marriage and the family, legalizes all abortion, defies religious and social tradition, declares inequality unjust, and rebels against the duties of citizenship. Through multiple entitlements to unearned goods, services and social status, the liberal politician promises to ensure everyone’s material welfare, provide for everyone’s healthcare, protect everyone’s self-esteem, correct everyone’s social and political disadvantage, educate every citizen, and eliminate all class distinctions. Radical liberalism thus assaults the foundations of civilized freedom. Given its irrational goals, coercive methods and historical failures, and given its perverse effects on character development, there can be no question of the radical agenda's madness. Only an irrational agenda would advocate a systematic destruction of the foundations on which ordered liberty depends. Only an irrational man would want the state to run his life for him rather than create secure conditions in which he can run his own life. Only an irrational agenda would deliberately undermine the citizen’s growth to competence by having the state adopt him. Only irrational thinking would trade individual liberty for government coercion, sacrificing the pride of self-reliance for welfare dependency. Only a madman would look at a community of free people cooperating by choice and see a society of victims exploited by villains."  ~~From The Liberal Mind; The Psychological Causes of Political Madness by Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., MD

Friday, March 29, 2013

Gay and Opposed to Gay Marriage

Just read a really great article by Doug Mainwaring entitled, I'm Gay and I Oppose Gay Marriage. The author does a proper, succinct job of explaining how gay marriage hurts children, which is the reason I keep writing and talking about the dangers inherent in the idea. I am a mother. I adore children and see that life is hard enough these days without stacking the deck against them. It's time we adults put our selfishness aside. For the children's sake.

"Same-sex marriage will undefine marriage and unravel it, and in so doing, it will undefine children. It will ultimately lead to undefining humanity. This is neither “progressive” nor “conservative” legislation. It is “regressive” legislation." ~~quote from above named article

Without further ado, I leave you to clicking on the above link so as to allow your mind to ponder the many useful points made by Mr.

Be brave. Feed your mind.

And I hope you have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Un Père, Une Mère, C’est Élémentaire!” (“One father, One Mother: It’s Basic!”)

"Wish as you might, a mom and a dad are not interchangeable."  ~~ Anonymous

There is a mighty debate about whether gays should be allowed to marry and raise families. Passionate opinions on both sides.

For me, I cannot get past the idea that men and women are not interchangeable. Not at all. My sister, brother, and I were raised with my married-to-each-other mom and dad who were - besides personality differences - very different from one another because of their sexes. Different physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. They had different perspectives about life and I needed them both to understand the world - and its differences -  so that I could participate when adulthood found me. The synergy between a woman and a man cannot be duplicated in a same-sex union. It just can't. They are not interchangeable.

Children need a mom and a dad. They deserve the best shot at as good and healthy a life possible. 

As far as I can tell from my limited research, never in the history of the world has their been sanctioned gay marriage until now. Ever. It has always been believed to be a bad idea. Sure, homosexuality has existed. Ancient Greek and Roman soldiers participated in homosexuality. But then they went home to their wives and children. They valued their heterosexual family units because that is where legacy lives, where the family name is passed down, where culture and tradition are bestowed upon the next generation via a mother and a father. It was a no-brainer.

“Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage is based on the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and on the social reality that children need a mother and a father.” ~~ Ryan Anderson

So, if marriage today is predominantly for family building, and if same-sex parents building families is not ideal for children, then why is it so hard for people to come to consensus about whether gay marriage is necessary or not?  

Because we are a different sort of people these days. We are selfish and morally adrift. In ignorance we have abdicated our responsibility and thus our power. We now sit down and expect the government to define the moral order for us, for we have lost our way. And we remain so at our peril.

"A people who allow government to redefine the moral order according to changing social standards or political expediency will not be able to resist tyranny because they no longer believe that right and wrong are universally based but rather man made and thus subject to decree. When the government can define right and wrong it will inevitably define its own actions as right by definition. It is not an accident that the decline in morals of the last generation also corresponds to the near death of the Bill of Rights. People who do not believe in Right, cannot stand up for rights. We have rights because justice is rooted in the Universal order. It is Right. Without a belief in a transcendent, absolute moral order, there is no Justice, no rights, only the whim of the state, our new god. Emperors and dictators have always sensed that moral decadence enhanced their own powers, and so it is today." ~~ Bill, from a comment forum

We find ourselves there, at the whim of the state, bickering, divided, the needle of our moral compass spinning.

In March of 2013, Chief Rabbi of France Gilles Bernheim wrote an interesting article entitled Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption, the adapted version of which can be found here.

Another very relevant article, written by Doug Mainwaring (a gay man), pertaining to the importance of children having both a mother and a father plus the harm same-sex marriage does to humanity can be found here. It's entitled, "I'm Gay and Oppose Same-Sex Marriage." This article does a great job of answering some of the arguments my readers have left me in the comment forum of this post.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fashioning a Life of Beauty

In youth one thinks in terms of discovery.

In the middle years one thinks in terms of accomplishing tasks, fulfilling roles inherent in creating a home, working a career, raising children, growing a marriage, and/or feeding the soul.

In later years one looks back - now and then, not constantly - to observe, to learn, and in so doing realizes beauty in both victory and defeat for they weave together to benefit the one who pays attention. Wisdom serves the willing. Wisdom gleaned gives life inspiration which - hopefully - flowers into a 'garland of beautiful deeds.'

Cultivating beauty is a choice eagerly planted in youth, tenderly nurtured in middle years, quietly matured when clarity, contemplation, and contentment replace necessary busyness.

'Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds.' ~ Buddha
The blessing of age is the realization that within each of us remains the child, the efficient middle-ager, and the sage. To be blessed to reach what some refer to as 'The Third Act' is to step into a space of the synergistic fashioning of life. With all the tools in the toolbelt one takes hold of exploration and creativity, the peaceful and exciting moments where new depths of understanding are savored.

Those in their third act may embrace a life of beauty, give freely from their wisdom, move forward in harvesting all that life has to offer.

As for the rest of us, we might consider revering the wise elderly, for in them is all of us.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. ~~ Marcel Proust

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'Sweet Land of Liberty'

"Subjection in minor affairs breaks out every day and is felt by the whole community indiscriminately. It does not drive men to resistance, but it crosses them at every turn, till they are led to surrender the exercise of their own will. Thus their spirit is gradually broken and their character enervated; whereas that obedience which is exacted on a few important but rare occasions only exhibits servitude at certain intervals and throws the burden of it upon a small number of men. It is in vain to summon a people who have been rendered so dependent on the central power to choose from time to time the representatives of that power; this rare and brief exercise of their free choice, however important it may be, will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity." ~~ Alexis de Tocqueville, French thinker and philosopher who lived from 1805-1859, author of Democracy in America, from which this excerpt is taken

This line - "...will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves, and thus gradually falling below the level of humanity" - always gets me. My stomach turns, my brain recognizes the described condition in my fellow man and myself, my heart fills with fear for I must acknowledge Tocqueville's warning has indeed unfolded in my beloved homeland.

"...will not prevent them from gradually losing the faculties of thinking, feeling, and acting for themselves,..." FDR's juggernaut legacy.

"...gradually falling below the level of humanity." Below.

Tragedy. All the way around.

Freedom in this last best hope on earth requires our grip to tighten and pull it back from the hands of those who hypnotize us into loosening our fingers as the rope of liberty slides effortlessly through them, while the enemies of freedom smirk and sneer.

'We are tired. We are weary. But we aren't worn out.'

Fight, countrymen, with whatever you have left inside of you, fight. Before the end of the rope bounces, dangles, and drops out of reach and this great experiment - the United States of America - sinks into slimy, altered textbooks as a failure.

'Unleashed Energy and Individual Genius'

Finding inspiration at Hearst Castle
"If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on earth, it is because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on earth. The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing." ~~ Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981, in his first inaugural address.