Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trees Are Freaking Awesome

Jonathan had this posted on Facebook.  He constantly teaches me things.  This is something I had never known..almost 71 years old and I still don't know everything.

Morning Moon

As I let Molly out this morning I spotted the full moon. Here are the photos. First the original with the electrical wire in it.
 Then a couple with cropping.  I like the last one best.
It reminds me of a Haiku I used to read to my kids.

Since my house burned down
I now own a better view of
the rising moon.

Halloween Funnies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Sentinels of Time! - Photos by Bob Kelly

The Iowa countryside has thousands of previously used barns that are sitting idle, in disrepair, and gradually degrading.  I call them "Sentinels of Time" for most have stood in their spot for several decades as time passed, and as the method and purpose of agriculture changed.  

They may be less attractive, they may lean a little this way or that, they may have parts missing, or even holes in the roof or siding, but there they sit, a reminder to us of times past.  I brake for a barn of this type, and the next time you see one, gaze safely as you drive by, or maybe stop and take a good long look.  

In a way they remind me of humans, who get older, and change in appearance and stability, but yet continue to provide a vital contribution to the understanding of what has gone before.  Enjoy these barns, all of whom are Sentinels of Time, aging in place, across the plains of Iowa.

What's next?


 I have been scanning some old pictures again. This first one is in the yard next to the bird bath that my grandfather made of red cement.  The basin and the bottom base are all that is left.  The pillar was broken in one of our moves.  It is one heavy piece.  Molly likes to drink rainwater out of it.

This is my mom and me in 1943 in front of the house on East Sixth. I would have been 1 1/2 years old.
Fifth grade (probably)
I got the glasses in sixth grade so this was probably taken in Atlantic, Iowa

Ginny riding my cousin John's pony in Adel

Not sure when this was taken but I am sure we had a struggle to get her in a dress.

Jay and Ginny and Boots in Jackson, Nebraska.
Boots was a beagle puppy who was run over on the dirt road that ran in front of the house we rented.

Ginny's Christmas Doll house. 

Mom worked for Doane Agricultural Service and they ran an article in their company magazine about her.  We had to have this picture taken for the magazine.
The three of us got along pretty well together.  Probably because we were all water signs. I am Scorpio (Nov 13), Mother was Pieces (February 22) and Ginny a Cancer (July 1).  There is also a pattern for the years.  Last year I turned 70, Mother would have been 100 and Ginny turned 60. The nephew was just 30 but his sign is not a water sign. Not that I really believe in any of that.  But then we all did love the water and were all happiest at the Lake.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Message from The Greatest Generation (NSFW)

Molly on Monday

Molly here.  Friday night BG was gone for a while.  When he came back there were two guys with him.  I didn't know them and I could smell other dogs on them.  I barked at them and stayed away.

BG laughed at me when I got on his chair to check them out.
BG knew how to get me to warm up to them.  He showed them where the treats were.
 I kind of remember this one. He is the guy who drove BG over to Hearts United for Animals (where I used to live) to pick me up and bring me home.  I warmed up to him pretty fast.  BG told me that he has 10 dogs and a cat.  Wow, what a guy.

 The other guy paid attention to Miss Cassie (the attention hog) because I ignored him.  I could smell Rottweiler on him.

I wasn't sure about him at all, Nosiree, not at all.
 But he was persistent.
 And eventually we became friends, sort of, (I still didn't put my tail up for a wag.)

 So he went back to the cat, who loves men and would not give up on him and I made out with my old friend. Still not sure so the tail stayed down.
 I decided to crawl back up on BG's chair to say good-bye.  It was a nice visit.

However, after they left. BG started to work on his computer.  There would be none of that. I climbed up on his lap and snuggled and he held me and petted me and we both fell asleep.

  I stayed there for about an hour and then decided to go back to my bedroom and sleep on the Queen sized doggie bed.  I'll bet I am the only dog princess in the world with such a neat bedroom.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday Salute XXXII

L. to R.  Forrest "Pappy Heuer, Harold Leighton, Kenneth L. Smith, John Harris Watts, Tom Corothers, ? , Jerry Marsengill

The Masons

OK,  I am being just a little bit different with this post.  Rather than an individual I am saluting a group. A group that has been around for a long time but which represents the very best of our society.  The Masonic Fraternity's origins are shrouded in mystery.  (In actual fact they aren't, it is just that the mythology surrounding it contributes to the mystery.)  But there really is nothing mysterious about the fraternity.  

Its stated purpose is to make good men better.  Get it. They start with good men. Bad people need not apply. The candidate for Masonry is investigated to see if he will be a good "fit", if his motives are pure and if they can work with others to improve themselves and the world.

To become a Mason there are two requirements; First you must believe in a Supreme Being, and second you must ASK to join this Society of Obligated Men.  It does not matter what you call the Supreme Being. (Men of all religions meet together and the discussion of religion and politics are prohibited in the Lodge.) And while restrictions have been relaxed in recent years and people may suggest that you might want to petition the Lodge, there is still a petition which must be filled out to request the privilege of joining the Fraternity.

There is always a philanthropic facet to these salutes.  From Wikipedia.  

The fraternity is widely involved in charity and community service activities. In contemporary times, money is collected only from the membership, and is to be devoted to charitable purposes. Freemasonry worldwide disburses substantial charitable amounts to non-Masonic charities, locally, nationally and internationally. In earlier centuries, however, charitable funds were collected more on the basis of a Provident or Friendly Society, and there were elaborate regulations to determine a petitioner's eligibility for consideration for charity, according to strictly Masonic criteria.
Some examples of Masonic charities include:
  • Homes that provide sheltered housing or nursing care.
  • Education with both educational grants[ or schools such as the Royal Masonic School which are open to all and not limited to the families of Freemasons.
  • Medical assistance.
  • Masonic Child Identification Programs (CHIP).
In addition to these, there are thousands of philanthropic organisations around the world created by Freemasons. The Masonic Service Association, the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children  are especially notable charitable endeavours that Masons have founded and continue to support both intellectually and monetarily.
If you Google How much money do the Masons give to charity you get this answer:
In the USA, the Freemasons give approximately $2 million US dollars per day to charitable causes. 

 I also found this on a site which tells a lot about what Masons do for Charity.
Ok, for all of you Masonic Conspiracy nuts. I must say, you were right!! I'm a Mason, and I heard something in a Lodge last night that blew my mind, so this morning I looked it up, and apparently it is correct!  

So, here is the big Conspiracy.....

Masons, and there(sic) appendent bodies contribute close to $5 million per day to Charity work nationwide! This includes things like the MMRL cutting edge heart chemistry research and the Shriner's Hospitals for kids. 

But, it doesn't stop with just a couple of big ones. It also includes Many Others such as the increasing children cancer survival rates from 10% to 70% at a research center in Minnesota. It includes schools for young women. It includes sponsoring organ donation. It includes hearing devices for kids. 

But, it doesn't stop there either. Not even close. Each little sub-group and sub-sub-group of Masonry has their own pet charities. Things like the Royal Arch Research Philanthropy that is currently donating funds to Univ. or Connecticut and organizations like Autism Speaks. Then there is Cryptic Masonic Medical Research.... scary name, but not when you realize they are funding the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine (ICVBM), which is located at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana. WOW! 

So, is it all Medical Research and Hospitals? NO!! 

Lodge community and family relationship renewals. Some areas are seeking out ways to better connect with families and communities and help in ways specific to each community. Here's a Lodge funding Special Olympics and Community Learning Centers. 

Here in my town alone, Mason's help to organize and fund Springtime Tallahassee as a community event and parade, plus the Scottish Highland Games, plus the Mother's Day 5k

So, $5M per day from Masonic interests and endeavors, is it all about the money? NO!! 

What else do Mason's do? 

Just one Shrine Temple 
What about Driving kids and their families to the hospitals? Fundraising for crime victims? Replacing Christmas Presents for robbery victims? Participating in Church events? Escorting Fallen Police Officers? Volunteering in Retirement Homes? Helping with Hospice Care? Visiting folks in the Hospitals and just sitting and talking? Conducting Clown Schools, and providing Clown Services free of charge? 

What about the personal things each and every Mason does on their own time, as a person, but also as a good and upright Mason? Things like visiting their homebound brethren? Things like pitching in to remodel someone's home? Things like taking an acquaintance into one's own home when they fall on hard times? 

I have personally seen every one of these things done right here in my own town. The $5M per day number was shocking to me last night. Shocking in a GREAT WAY, but still shocking, but now that I think about it, the $5M per day is probably small in comparison to what 2 million US Masons do on a daily basis, voluntarily, by their own will and accord, as part of their daily duties, and they never consider it as charity. They just consider it part of their lives without giving it a second thought. 

This Masonic Conspiracy thing is larger, and more rampant than even I imagined, and Thank God that it is!! 
Quotations about Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is an institution calculated to benefit mankind

Andrew Jackson

To me, Freemasonry is one form of dedication to God and service to humanity

Rev. Norman V. Peale

There are great Truths at the foundation of Freemasonry — truths which it is its mission to teach — and which as constituting the very essence of that sublime system which gives to the venerable institution its peculiar identity as a science of morality, and it behooves every disciple diligently to ponder and inwardly digest
Albert Pike

Masonry is an art, useful and extensive, which comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indelible mark of preeminence on its genuine professors, which neither
chance, power, nor fortune can bestow

William Preston

We represent a fraternity which believes in justice and truth and honourable action in your community... men who are endeavouring to be better citizens... to make a great country greater. This is the only institution in the world where we can meet on the level all sorts of people who want to live rightly

Although I hold the highest civil honour in the world,
I have always regarded my rank and title as a Past Grand Master of Masons the greatest honour that had ever come to me

Harry S. Truman

The grand object of Masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race

George Washington

Perhaps the most important lesson of Freemasonry is that a man learns to work with himself and his brothers to solve problems.  He needs to learn to subdue his passions, and thus improve himself. 

John Klaus
Previous Salutes

Barbra Striesand
Ellen DeGeneres  Edward "Ted" Kennedy  Paul Newman
Michelle Obama  Audrey Hepburn     Princess Diana    Harry S Truman   
John Shelby Spong  Nelson Mandella     Rachael Maddow   Matt Damon  
Jehan Sadat   Jane Goodall    Mohandas Gandhi  
 Eleanor Roosevelt    Lyndon B. Johnson      Michelle Obama
Helen Hayes   Marion Wright Edelman     Bishop Gene Robinson
Bishop Desmond Tutu       Rachel Carson          Helen Keller
Martin Luther King, Jr          Dalai Lama         Dag Hammarskjold

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Specialis Procer meets at the Embassy Club

Situated in the Ruan Building on the 34th floor is the Embassy Club.  The views are spectacular.  We held our Festive Board there last evening.  (Friday)  Every other month instead of having a business meeting we go out to eat and hear a paper of Masonic significance.  First the pictures of the view from the Club.

 This is a partial view of the restaurant.  We were in the private room reached through the double doors on the right.  It was a beautiful venue.
 More pictures, this time looking south from our private room.

I took the obligatory picture of my meal and posted it to Facebook to make everyone jealous.  In addition there was a lovely salad, delicious bread and puff pastry, and a tiny sliver of pecan pie for dessert.  It was wonderful and easily the best meal I have had in several months.

 BJ was our speaker.  His talk may be found here.  Our group was a little smaller than usual due to many conflicts but it was nice to be with the group and we all had a great time.

I took these for a couple of reasons.  The picture above is needed for a web site in a week or so until I get a different one and the one on the right is of Robert who is in Law School and has not joined us for a long time.  We were wondering about him in our conversation earlier and low and behold he showed up. To late for dinner but just in time to hear the paper.  It was good to see him again.