The Monastery Retreat

If I went in for long titles, I would probably add something about ‘the weekend I didn’t know I needed’ as I truly didn’t realize how much I needed, and on how many different levels, to do this. My only regret is that it wasn’t longer. Well, that and I wish I had gotten to play fetch with some new friends one more time.

The men’s group at the Church I’ve been attending did a retreat/visit to a Greek Orthodox monastery up in Michigan (no, we are not Greek Orthodox) I understand that it is a yearly tradition for the group, and that sometimes there are other visits for families and such. Thinking if I get the chance, I would like to go back again.

After a long drive (it’s several hours from Indy), we arrived in the afternoon and got settled in the bunk room available to five of us. Well, we got settled and I had my first meeting with two of the residents: a pair of border collies. Who were quite willing to play fetch until we or they dropped, and if it had been allowed to go on that long my money was on us dropping before them.

Not too long after we attended our first service, which was entirely in Greek. If you have never attended an Orthodox service, you are supposed to stand for the entire service. This not always being possible, especially for those of us not in prime physical shape, there were some standing seats available. These are rectangular wooden cubes where you can stand, half-sit onto a seat, or fold it down to have a regular seat. They are up against the walls, as the sanctuary is somewhat small.

I really liked them, and using the top part was able to remain standing for entire services. Anytime my balance got iffy, I could use my arms to steady myself. I did use the half-seat a couple of times, particularly during one three hour service (Vespers, Matins, and something else combined). We caught on quickly to some cues that helped us know when to do things, and I even recognized a couple of words. It doesn’t hurt that the Orthodox liturgy is essentially the same across all Orthodox churches, just in different languages.

After morning and evening services, we were fed and boy were we fed. For all that fasts were happening, the food was tasty and plentiful. I’m trying right now to start recreating a curried chick pea (garbanzo bean) dish we had the first night, that was served over rice. Any hopes I had to losing weight during the visit were dashed early. As it was, none of the meals were huge and the portions were reasonable. And delicious. We were also served lunch on Saturday, which I was not expecting.

We had some time to read, and I made use of it to read Psalms in the new study Bible and the book for the course I am taking at Church. Something to be said for doing such sitting and looking out the window seen above as you read. Nice also to have others doing the same, and to be able to discuss some of it.

The monastery is a working farm. They have chickens for the eggs (which they use and sell); sheep and goats for milk (used for yogurt, soap, and more); herd protection dogs as there are coyotes and more about; and the two border collies to herd the goats when they take them into the woods to forage a bit. Heard about the coyote who was seen sitting at the fence one day, looking in at the sheep and goats — and the livestock guardian dog sitting facing him and asking him to come on in so Wylie could be dealt with properly and permanently.

Several of the livestock guardian dogs are Great Pyrs, but they have at least two that are part of a new breed (Colorado something something) being bred with an eye towards smaller farms/areas. One of the Pyrs is still a puppy, for all that he is almost full grown and I’d estimate to already be at least 100 lbs soaking wet (which he was), and he was not shy about asking for skritches. Nor were the LaMancha goats (they have those and Nubians, moving towards all LaMancha) shy about asking for skritches and such. Turns out they love being scratched and skritched around their horn bumps and were delighted to have people who were willing to do so for extended periods of time. The goats were kidding, so there were several kids racing around and doing what goat kids do.

They also grow produce on-site, and in addition to the “garden” area are building what I would term a greenhouse complex to be able to grow produce year round. The small number of monks there stay busy! Their day starts at midnight and their first service is about 0300 I think. They rest a bit around dawn, then do morning service and go work the farm until time for evening services. They try to be in bed by 2000 hours. For them to also take in visitors like us is something else.

The Sunday service is very well attended, and is putting a bit of strain on the small sanctuary there. They now have Greek Orthodox attending not just from Michigan, but Canada and I think elsewhere. One person indicated they had driven an hour (two?) to be able to attend the service. Had to put out chairs to accommodate everyone.

Forgot to mention, they have a bakery (in the process of expansion) and a small coffee house they open on Sundays after the service. It’s become the social center for the Greek Orthodox community and when the weather is nice (it was a bit cold while we were there), the people spill outside to sit at tables or just enjoy the immediate area. They do really good Greek coffee (delightfully chewy) and the Abbot was kind enough to offer me a small bit of a more spirited libation (essentially Greek moonshine was how he described it) to go with it.

I did make it out into the woods/larger grounds for a short time on Saturday, exploring out onto the peninsula that juts out into the lake. The area has lots of bogs, and I heard that the entire area (not just their lands) are considered wetlands. The ground was almost too wet for good tracks, but was not surprised to learn there were deer and more in the area. Know that next time I go back I will be taking a pair of Wellys with me.

Their bookstore was a temptation, but I was good (mostly) and only came back with some of their kosher dill pickles and a jar of the maple syrup they tap and make on-site. Oh yeah, forgot to mention they do that, make beeswax candles, and have a small bee operation as well. For the candles, they buy the wax elsewhere as what they produce there would not be enough to really even get the machine going I think. I wasn’t joking when I said they stay busy. One monk said they don’t fish the lake because they don’t have time to fish. I heard that if you come during the week, you may have the chance to help work the farm. Think I would like that if I can do it.

It was a far cry from my first visit to an Orthodox church many years ago. That one was just outside the Kremlin, and a young woman insisted we go to Church on Sunday. So, we did and I didn’t have a clue of what was going on or why there were no chairs, pews, etc. She lit a few candles, told me the service was over, and that we needed to depart. I was pretty sure things were still underway, but got told no, time to go. Found out recently that her behavior may have been a holdover from Soviet days, where if you just went in for a few minutes and not the entire service, you were not harassed by the authorities. Since the Soviet Union had just fallen a few years before, it makes sense.

While pretty much everyone stayed put during the service at the monastery, if you attend an Orthodox service and haven’t been before, it may be a touch confusing. In most Western churches, you arrive, sit down, and stay in place (allowing for standing, kneeling, etc.) for the entire service. In most Orthodox churches, there can be a lot of movement as people go to light candles, offer prayers and such even during the service. About the only time it stops is when Scripture is being read and during the homily. I will also share the words of an Orthodox writer I read a while back, who noted ‘there is often a simple and concise way to say something: that is NOT the Orthodox way.’ That one still makes me laugh.

In short, the visit was good for my soul on several levels. It also let me see how I could do on a trip and in handling a pack (I used an assault ruck for the visit). I came back refreshed in more than one way, even though I admit to being a little tired today (mostly the travel I think). It was different, and good. Thought I would share just a bit of it. And leave you with a thought inspired by the startled look a sculpture in our bunk room.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Your Input Please

I noted before that Preparedness Pays was intended as an introduction to preparedness, and to make the process less intimidating as so many people (and agencies) get waaaay too caught up in the huge number of possible disasters. As noted in previous posts and the book, there really are only about four things that can happen, while the number of possible disasters is an infinity-minus-one situation.

The idea behind the book (which, yes, I do need to get back to work upon) was to focus more on short- to medium-term situations, again so as not to overwhelm people. There are far too many out there, including in positions of authority or pseudo-authority (and I include people in entertainment venues like radio, social media, TV, etc. in this) that will automatically dismiss anything that goes beyond short (very short) term as survivalism/angry militia/crazy talk/etc.

So, would there be an interest in having me talk more about medium- to long-term issues? Things from food storage to keeping the lights and more on? I’ve touched on that in some of the previous posts, but it is an area where many (including myself) are not really as prepared as we should be.

What say you? Also, if we do this, I hope you will join in with your experience, hints, tips, etc. I know a small bit; but, am willing to bet that collectively there is a heck of a lot of knowledge experience that can join in.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

The Church Lunch

For all that I am still dragging, I wanted to talk about the Church lunch I did yesterday. After our Sunday service, we have what is called a coffee to break fast, but most would consider it a lunch. People volunteer to provide the entree, and others bring in salads, desserts, and other delights. Given my background cooking, particularly for wounded and troops, I decided to volunteer.

Admittedly, I’ve not done anything like this in a while and definitely not since the lightning strike. So, in some ways it was a test to see if I could do something on this scale from both a mental and physical standpoint. Yes, I was pushing it a bit on more than one level, but felt like it was something I needed to do. Never mind that I wanted to do it.

So, an opportunity came up a couple of weeks ago to step in and help out. I grabbed it, and began planning. Rather rapidly, I decided to do spaghetti with two types of sauce since I had been told a while back that each meal needed a vegetarian/vegan option for the monastics who attend (though I found out later that they don’t participate in the coffee). So, given that and some of the Lenten restrictions, I decided to do a puttanesca variant along with a simple red sauce and two types of pasta.

I checked with several sources to be sure I could use anchovies in the puttanesca variant, and found out it was the last day I could do so. Works (worked). I keep checking the sign-up site and got a bit nervous in regards not seeing other things listed/people signing up, so thought I might should provide a bit more. After going through several options, I decided to do a play on it being cheesefare Sunday and do a cheese plate. Rather, two cheese plates as the idea is to have lines down both sides of the table(s) where the food is laid out to speed the flow. I also decided to do two little dessert trays just to be sure there was something sweet on the table. Later, decided to add some salad as well.

So, I did go over my initial budget, but it was well worth it. Interestingly enough, as shopping progressed early in the week, I kept running into bargains on the things I was after. Found some good cheeses and dessert items at very good prices (if not on sale) at Trader Joe’s. At the restaurant supply store, found a wheel of ethnic cheese and a huge container of mozzarella pearls at an almost ridiculously low price. I was disappointed that Fresh Market was out of my usual olive spread (which was on sale) but they had something similar. Yes, I prefer to get good assorted olives and chop them up, but those prices have gotten ridiculously high, so I use the olive spread. They also did have the smoked kalamata olives I’ve come to love adding, so got them. GFS had salad, a cheese assortment, and mini chocolate eclairs at a very good price. I also picked up various disposable serving plates and bowls to cut down on clean-up and such.

I also got permission from the landlord to really use the kitchen, particularly on Saturday. While there were some minor issues on that (housemate mostly), things got done. The landlord’s reaction when he walked in Saturday morning and saw the oven and most burners in use was actually amusing. I began marinating the pearls in olive oil and my homemade Italian seasoning blend on Thursday. Note: I did replace the red pepper with a mix of chipotle and smoked paprika(s?). Friday, I began the process to bake two loaves of sourdough bread. Interestingly enough, after I had volunteered, Audrey and her clone (who needs her own name) really took off so that I had plenty of starter for baking.

Saturday afternoon just before Vespers, I took almost everything down to the Church kitchen so that I would be ready to go early Sunday morning. I was also starting to get worried that I had not prepared enough food, didn’t have enough pasta, etc. I decided to not try to do anything last minute, but to have faith. Such was a good reminder.

Sunday morning very early, I was down in the kitchen starting the prep for service. Had verified the grocery nearby would be open in time if I did need more pasta and such. Oh ye of little faith…

My serving plans went out the window rather quickly. It wasn’t two small cheese plates, but three very full and large cheese plates by the time I finished prep. Two of the plates were centered by small brie wheels, surrounded by English coastal cheddar, three different Spanish cheeses, some of the ethnic cheese, and more. The center of the third was the ethnic cheese, surrounded by yet more cheeses. It wasn’t two small dessert trays, but three full and large dessert plates. Two big bowls of salad with more left over at need. Instead of two medium plastic bowls of pasta, it turned into two large stainless steel bowls of pasta (in part because the hot pasta turned the plastic bowls into modern art, much less not holding half the pasta). It was a large pot of puttanesca-style sauce and one of my enameled dutch ovens full of red sauce. Two baskets of sourdough after slicing. A nice bowl of marinated mozzarella pearls. Two wonderful ladies brought in salads, and one of them brought in some savory “pancakes” (crepes really) with smoked salmon and cheese and a huge plate of sweet “pancakes”/crepes/blini with raspberry jam. Another lady brought in an assortment of Japanese cookies. Another lady brought in a big tray of a Ukrainian dessert made with filo dough and a sweet cheese. I wish I had gotten a photo as we laid it out, but did get the one above about half way through.

The red sauce was okay, but the puttanesca-style sauce was a huge hit. The bread was also a hit, with people asking about sourdough, starting your own starter, and more. I think the only reason I came home with three small pieces was that they got lost in the folds of the serving baskets… I had bought some take-home compartmented trays, and they came in handy as people took meals home for others or for later (which I strongly encouraged).

I really need to thank my friend John, who left the service early to give me a hand, and it was needed. I had filled the large pots for pasta with water (big enough they covered from my belt up to my shoulders) and gotten them onto the stove, but it was a bit of a challenge. They were, I think, the largest and heaviest objects I’ve lifted since both the lightning strike and getting both shoulders replaced last year. He helped with the cooking of the pasta, and — even more importantly — got them off the stove and into the strainer for me.

Oh, I should mention that while I did not get to take part in the service directly, they do have a speaker in the kitchen so I could listen and take part in the singing and responses. Good part of that is no one else was subjected to what passes for my singing…

Two or three of the ladies of the Church took over the clean-up and shooed me out of the kitchen after lunch. I may have mentioned I’m taking a class at that time, and am very much enjoying it. For all that parts of it are all Greek to me (pun pun), we are getting into some of the joys of translating scripture and more from Greek and how word usage has changed. It is a bit jarring to hit condescension not in the modern usage (being an arrogant jerk, etc.) but in the original usage of willfully lowering from an high level to a far lower level (as in God becoming man). Great class, important, and the ladies were determined I not miss it. I can’t thank them enough.

John was also kind enough to drive me back to the evening service, for which I am grateful. I was fried since I had gotten up at 0300 to be ready to start prep work at just after 0700. Yes, I often start slow after getting hit by lightning. I’m also glad I was smart enough to take my walking stick as I needed it. Most of the time I don’t (IMO, other opinions may vary), but I knew I did then. Since it was forgiveness Sunday, it turns out prostrations were done in the service.

It was not just about asking forgiveness from God, but also our fellow man in the form of the men and women of the Church. You know, that whole ‘debt/debtor, trespass/trespasses’ thing. Now, rumor has it that I might be a very slight bit stubborn (and prideful even) on occasion. Despite the word being given that one should only take part in the prostrations if you were able, I decided to at least try to do them. Early, I got down on my knees and stayed there until the prostrations were over. Then, I worked my way back up to sitting on the pew, and then stood back up.

However, we were not yet done. The next part had us go up, prostrate to God, and then we started asking and giving forgiveness to each other. This starts with you going to each member of the clergy, and prostrating to each other while asking and granting forgiveness to each other. I made it through the Clergy doing the prostrations. Mostly. I had some issues part way through, nearly bashed one of them in the foot when I dropped my walking stick that I was using to get up and down, and just did the bow from then on. It was a good service and actually a very gratifying process as we bowed, forgave, did a three-part hug, and worked our way around to take our place in the line.

Admittedly, at one point I did look reproachfully at a friend and say “Ya’ll never said anything about calisthenics!” To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as my first Episcopal service where I kept waiting for someone to call out “Jumping Jacks” as part of all the kneeling, standing, and such — very different from the far more staid services I grew up with in the Methodist Church.

Oh, and remind me later to discuss the book I just got that is a new translation of St. Patrick’s surviving writings. Turns out, most/all translations are based of of more modern Latin, whereas he worked in early medieval Latin. The person who did this translation actually studied and has worked with early medieval Latin extensively, and apparently actually translating on the language he used makes a considerable difference. Who knew? Sort of like Caesar apparently saying in Greek “Kai su, teknon” which Shakespeare translated into Latin as “Et Tu, Brute?” Problem is, in the vernacular of the day, kai su can be translated as more ‘See you in hell punk’ than the noble line created by the Bard. See here and here for a bit more on that, though both cite the same work. The book is from a publishing company that as Sister I know helped found/founded. More on this later.

I was reminded by more than one person about loaves and fishes, and how what comes in each week, even when meager, is always more than enough. It was good to know that while it is a challenge, I can still work out the timelines and do something like this. Even better, I can provide a bit of tastiness and more to those in my Church. That means a lot to me, especially now.

I Live, I Think

Short version: the lunch for the Church went well. I am still exhausted, though recovering. Yesterday evening saw a special service focused on forgiveness, and included everyone in the Church asking forgiveness of each other. In person. Involving prostrations for those able to do so to God and each other.

Yes, I did it (as best I could), for as long as I could. At some point during the night, had leg cramps from Hades such that I couldn’t even get to the mustard (which works btw). More to come soon, including a bit more on the lunch and the parable of loaves and fishes.

Lite Week?

Not that there isn’t a lot going on, but things worked out where I volunteered to step in and help out at Church by essentially cooking lunch next Sunday. Given the time of year, there are some dietary restrictions to consider.

So, right now looking at doing a no-meat (other than the anchovies, which are allowed right now) puttanesca sauce and a basic vegetarian/vegan red sauce along with two types of pasta as main course. To add to that, I am going to try to make two loaves of homemade sourdough bread; a cheese board; giardiniera (both hot and mild); some sweets; and, some salad.

Yesterday, I did a bit of looking around and did pick up some of the sweets (good price) and some fresh ingredients for making my Italian Seasoning blend. That got done, and smells wonderful. Been needing to make some more of that. Also, you can do something like this on a surprisingly small budget if you do as much as possible at home and shop smart.

On a less fun note, I’m having to deal with the post awful (our dear loved USPS) deciding to no longer deliver my mail. This actually first happened to the housemate, who started having his mail returned to sender despite there being no forward or other order submitted. Multiple trips to the local post office by him and the landlord, where no one knew nothing and could figure nothing out.

So, a couple of weeks ago it started happening to me. Letters from Social Security, etc. got returned to sender, and it was capped off this weekend by a package of OTC (that actually makes a measurable difference in my blood work) getting forwarded/returned. Visited the local post office, and they acted as though the landlord and housemate had not already been down there five or more times for something similar.

I, nicely (no, really, I tried to be very nice and polite) pointed out that this was impacting both issues with SSA and lawyers, and that the package constituted a medical impact. The manager claimed to not have a clue about what was going on or any prior problems at our address.

So, began yesterday informing people I shop with online that if they use USPS in any way for delivery that I could no longer be a customer. Pinged the Rep and Senator on social media as well. Plan formal requests to their offices as well. I really didn’t need this right now, especially as I had to scramble Saturday to find and get a replacement for the OTC that could be delivered ASAP. I’m sure the lawyers are going to be just thrilled with not being able to mail me things.

So, it may be a lite week. Hoping to get to some things, as there is a LOT going on. Meantime, be alert and be prepared. Keep your family and friends close, and your things where you can find them in the dark.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

More Soon

Sorry, got distracted trying to catch up on cleaning and organizing/re-arranging. The latter has been difficult with the surgeries, to be polite. My sudden trying to catch up on all of it has nothing to do with the fact that the priest is coming by this afternoon to bless my room/the house.

Did lead to a funny moment yesterday. I had to run some quick errands, and decided to hit the bookstore down near the Church to pick up some items. One of the things I decided to grab was a censer, along with some incense to go in it. The scented candle I like to use is expensive (by my standards) so for about the cost of one of them, got the supplies.

I only used a piece of broken charcoal from the roll, and one small cube (1/8″ square?) of incense, thank goodness. It smelled good, but room was full of smoke, the rest of the basement got some too as I carried the censer to the garage and out, and I’m just glad the smoke alarm did not go off. Especially since the housemate would never let me hear the end of it, given how often I twit him about his cooking setting off the one upstairs. I think both the landlord and I have referred to it as ‘Madhi’s bread timer.’ My room was still a little foggy almost an hour later.

More soon.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Random Thoughts On A Wednesday

There are some longer works I hope to get done and posted this week, will see how it goes. Meantime, just some random bits that have caught my attention that you may find interesting or amusing.

I noticed earlier that some people are finally noticing that Soros has bought heavily into American radio. Yes, it is quite concerning. I’m wondering if it might also be tied into the push to do away with AM being included on the radios in new cars. Yes, that is a thing, it’s a serious discussion, and it would be a disaster for AM stations. Which is where you find most conservative talk radio. Which is likely the real reason behind the effort to do away with AM in car radios. Me, once I get some new wheels, I not only want a radio that can get AM, but short wave as well even though our local talk/news station is FM. Be subversive in all things, and in all ways great and small.

Going back to the Tucker/Putin interview, I think I touched on the fact that Vladimir’s take on history was about as realistic as the “Improbable History” segments on “Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Where is Prof. Peabody when you need him??? BTW, at conventions, be sure to ask Sarah A. Hoyt to say “moose and squirrel.” Anywho, here’s a decent take on Prof. Vladimir’s Fractured Fairy Tales, er history. As noted, it’s just a start, but it’s a good start.

It’s going to be interesting to watch what happens in New York over the next few years. Already intent on driving out major contributors to it’s tax base in the name of woke politics (Remington Arms being but one example), you have the triumph of Soviet jurisprudence that is the work of Judge Engoron. New York abandoned the rule of law a while back, and these days loves to viciously prosecute those who dare defend themselves and others while rewarding those who harm others, so no surprise that the AG, Judge, and others put on the show trial of the century (so far at least) after announcing the verdict ahead of time. Now, they and the other politicians are shocked that after announcing that such would only be done to the evil (cough) Trump that big money (and small) is voting with their feet. L’Ombre de l’Olivier (allow me to add it to my recommended regular reads) has a good post on this, and I think the tide is going to rise a lot faster than New York realizes.

The same applies for Delaware, which decided to join the war against Elon. The number of companies switching their incorporation to other states may fast be approaching a flood. It’s much quieter than the head-shot body of New York real estate dropping to the floor with a splat, but it’s there and is somewhat amusing to watch. The bet isn’t if, but when Delaware and New York start screaming for a Federal bailout because of their actions.

While I’m thinking about it, a couple of quick thoughts about Elon, his companies, and the war on him. Make no mistake, it is a war and it is being waged by the Biden Regency. Rather, they are being allowed to head up that war on the U.S. side. Understand, X is only free speech in comparison to the competition. It still bans a lot of speech under the banner of being nice and encouraging nice-speak. I frankly don’t care if the boot on the throat is the black jackboot of fascism or the white boot of the pretend angel of niceness — it’s still a fucking boot on the throat. However, by allowing any speech not endorsed by our would-be masters (looking not just at DC but also towards Europe and that smug little bitch TM) earned Elon the ire if not outright hatred of said wanna-be masters.

Which is deliciously ironic given that Tesla is for all intents and purposes the EV producer in the U.S./world, and that without Space X we have almost zero access to orbit. Blue Origins talks a lot, but still hasn’t made orbit — which might make me take some of the talk seriously. Everyone else is still playing catch up. I agree with Elon: we need to become a spacefaring race, and fast. Earth is the cradle of humanity, and we need to leave the cradle ASAP as crib death is still a thing. Elon is the best option for that happening at this time. For all that I agree with Glenn Reynolds on this, I worry about the future and what happens if Elon is taken out of the equation.

I was working on a short bit of fiction, but Iran just may have ended it. Their recent missile test used a standard CONEX to launch a missile. My story also did the same. Well, it was an exploration of a first-strike scenario using six to ten container ships to launch a rather devastating first strike against the U.S. Almost all of our sensors are focused out of CONUS, but not so much on close-in. Just think about one large container ship and the dozens of CONEX just on the top layer. Forget ballistic, go with hypersonic cruise missiles, say from a container ship headed into the Port of Baltimore. If very lucky, you would have up to five minutes warning in DC. Most likely less than that. With the six to ten ships, it could be possible to take out about ninety percent of the first and second strike targets. Don’t worry, I still maintain that Vladimir will not nuke DC as he wants to hurt us, not help us.

Speaking of space, I’ve been considerably amused at the frantic activity in DC around the “leak” of the so-called major security concern/threat. Boy howdy did that blow up in some very embarrassed faces. I still need to do a post on the subject and the Outer Space Treaty, it’s one of those longer pieces that I hope to get done later this week.

Meantime, I am working to re-arrange and clean my room. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the priest is coming to bless the house and the room I rent. I will say that organizing and major cleaning have not been on the table since the first shoulder replacement last June, and it shows. My OCD has been having conniption fits for a while now, and of course one bit of (re) organizing always leads into other things… BTW, the priest is young and never been around the military, so I think my telling him that he was not allowed to try to bounce a quarter on the bed went right over his head… I use fitted sheets anyway.

UPDATE: Just remembered what it was I was going to post. Sarah posted this about some good people in need. Sadly, Synova’s husband has passed, but help is still needed. I also just read that Steve Miller, Sharon Lee’s husband and co-author has passed. Prayers are urgently needed for all.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Back, Sorta

Didn’t mean to be gone this long, but the body and I have been arguing a bit the last two-plus weeks. Been glad just to make it to Church. Sunday saw me get a bit of a boost courtesy of a young man who has now hit 17 pounds, who joined me in going up to venerate the cross and receive some blessed bread. Bit of juggling, but we both were blessed by the priest (who seemed highly amused), though afterwards I did get my mustache tugged for the first time ever.

To be honest, I saw him reach up and was making a mental bet if he was going to go for the glasses or the moustache. A couple of fairly gentle tugs and he got distracted by all that was going on. The new shoulders handled things well, so all was good.

One of the things I enjoy about the Church I’ve been attending is the children and the reaction to small children. The older teenage girls often all but kidnap the babies at the start of service, and the older ladies more or less demand their turn as well. When a newborn came for the first time a few weeks ago, the line-up by the women was almost scary, and none of the men dared get between them and the newborn. Not even the dad. 🙂 Everyone more or less rides herd on the toddlers and somewhat older, though the grandmothers seem to take pride of place in such.

May finally be on track to get with the cardiologist I want to see. If that happens and all goes well, strongly considering switching over. Not happy that it was more than two weeks before my primary care physician’s office got back to me. Getting rumors that there may be some issues there, and noticed that his reviews have taken a bit of a nosedive of late. Looking into other possibilities just to be safe. With the new cardiologist, hoping to get a second opinion on everything, and to deal with the “mystery” diagnosis from the last hospital stay. Still can’t get anyone to tell me where that came from…

More soon. Did manage a small experiment in regards preparedness, and have made a note that I need to discuss the three types of “emergency”: inconvenience, emergency, disaster. For all that I’ve got what can happen down to four basic things, not sure I’ve discussed that the proper level of preparedness hinges on what level of emergency you face.

With luck, will get up the experiment later today or tomorrow. Your patience is appreciated.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

No Worries

Sorry I haven’t been posting more, as there is a LOT to keep an eye on. From Texas to the Orient, things are stirring. That said, I’ve been having to deal with some things, health and other, that have been impacting my ability to post. Or at least in regards the time to post. Nothing earthshattering or urgent crisis (I hope) on my part, but a definite PITA.

If I’m offline for a bit, please be patient. For good content, allow me to recommend: Stephen Green at PJ and Instapundit; David Strom, Beege, and company at HotAir; Leslie Eastman and the fine folk at Legal Insurrection; and, my intel list at X. Those folks are doing a good job and come up with some good info and analysis.

Not planning to be offline too much, but what you plan for never happens so planning as if I were. 🙂 Hope to get a Sunday post up, but no guarantees as I’ve been cooking while I could (landlord and housemate both gone during the days) and hope to start a little preparedness project that I would like to share soon. Also trying to make my own sourdough starter with the help of some kind people. If it does culture and work out, will share.

Seriously, be prepared. There are multiple possible Sandstones and Firelights out there, and I’m not even having to try hard to see ways they and more could go sideways. FWIIW, the ability to purify (not filter) water should be high on the list, as food and more follow it. Food is negotiable to some extent, water is not. Just a thought.

Again, not planning to be offline too much, but trying to cover a base just to be safe. Be prepared, keep your things where you can find them in the dark, and keep your friends close. Let’s rock.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Transportation Update

For now, I still have the car able to limp to PT and back. It can take about a gallon of coolant a trip sometimes, but it gets me there and back. For pretty much everything else, I take the bus and even have a bus-friendly grocery cart now. Only problem is that using the bus literally takes about four times the amount of time, which impacts writing time.

A reader made a very kind and generous offer in regards getting a car from them. Unfortunately, getting the car from where they live to here proved to be a non-trivial challenge. By the time everything was added up, it just wasn’t doable though my sincere and profuse thanks go out to them for the offer. I really do wish it could have worked out.

For a while this weekend, it looked like we might have a solution. My landlord let me know that someone his niece knew was selling her “old” car since she had just bought a new one. He pulled up the ad on FB (since I don’t have an account) and we started checking it out. Sadly, it was indeed the hack and sell scam. Not sure how many if any fell for the ‘send a deposit to hold and I won’t talk to anyone else’ line, but the landlord quickly smelled a rat and let his niece know to contact her friend to advise the account had been hacked.

So, back to trying to raise $8k and going for a rebuild (unless a real deal shows up). Any and all help appreciated.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.