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Archive for March, 2011

 

Last night I had a dream which nearly woke me up crying.  I dreamed that our entire nation was spanned in all directions by high speed railways with overpasses—and that all the old fashioned tracks with freight trains, crossing barricades, flashing lights, and shrieking whistles had been done away with:  forever banished from the American scene. 

I never have been a nightmare person (praise God for that!) but last night’s dream was scary!  Trains have always been a great joy to me.  I love to see trains, and will purposely sit by a trackside window at a favorite restaurant so that I can count the freight cars as they rumble by.  As a child, I was as much at home on a train as anywhere else on earth.  I loved the shake, rattle, and roll.  I loved walking from car to car in that airy interim space where you lurched and lunged in transit. 

Now we live about 280 yards from the busiest railroad in our part of Wisconsin.  On most days the whistles (normally in sets of four at the crossing 2 miles away) come right through our walls, into our rooms.  When I’m outdoors I’m all there, and the train sounds shake my soul. 

The Amtrak speeds by several times per week, carrying my imagination to points west.  Freight trains lumber through many times day and night, evoking an image of America for me.  Trains are a part of our nation’s heritage, and a part of me.  Trains are thrilling!

When I woke up from my “nightmare”, I asked my knowledgeable Joe if that dream could ever really happen.  He assured me that the high speed trains would be on different tracks, and there would always be freight trains chugging along to make my day.

In keeping with the topic of this ramble, and National Poetry Month which begins tomorrow, here is my rambling/rumbling/racketing/rolling ode to trains:

Comfort

Day and night they rumble through . . .

often hourly, sometimes less.

When a morning passes bereft of rumbling,

I worry that progress may have removed them;

but then they resume their racketing, lurching,

rumbling through–roaring four times

at the east crossing or when westbound

roaring first, then rumbling through. 

Day and night they rumble through . . .

and when they do I close my eyes–comforted

to know some things are still unchanged.

Day and night they rumble through.

Margaret Longenecker Been ©2011

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I have loved this author ever since I can remember.  As a child, I loved (and still do!) Robert Louis Stevenson’s A CHILD’S GARDEN OF VERSES.  Who wasn’t raised on TREASURE ISLAND, KIDNAPPED, AND THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE?  I certainly hope most of us were!

According to Wikipedia, Stevenson ranks in the 30 most extensively translated authors in the entire world—just below Charles Dickens.  Stevenson’s adventure stories and robust poetry are full of life.  One would never guess from reading this author that he was extremely “sickly” as a child and adult.  He was frequently bedridden with severe respiratory ailments (common in the industrial areas of England and Stevenson’s native Scotland). 

Stevenson’s last years were spent on a Samoan island, where he was loved by the natives for his sociable personality and gift of storytelling.  He died there, in 1894.  The inscription on his tomb bears Stevenson’s lines: 

“Home is the sailor, home from the sea,

And the hunter home from the hill.”

Of all of Stevenson’s works, I love his poem The Vagabond best.  The exuberance of this poem expresses the author’s outgoing, life-affirming spirit.  Paired with a Schubert melody by Vaughan Williams in the early 1900s, The Vagabond is a popular art solo selection at vocal recitals.  Many a time over the years, I attended regional and state music competitions where I enjoyed hearing The Vagabond sung by young high school men.  It’s a classic!  

 The Vagabond
 
Give to me the life I love,
Let the lave go by me,
Give the jolly heaven above
And the road below me.  
Bed in the bush with stars to see,
Bread I dip in the river —
There’s the life for a man like me,
There’s the life for ever.  
Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around
And the road before me.  
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love,
Nor a friend to know me;
All I seek, the heaven above
And the road below me.  
Or let autumn fall on me
Where afield I linger,
Silencing the bird on tree,
Biting the blue finger;  
White as meal the frosty field —
Warm the fireside haven —
Not to autumn will I yield,
Not to winter even!  
Let the blow fall soon or late,
Let what will be o’er me;
Give the face of earth around,
And the road before me.  
Wealth I ask not, hope, nor love,
Nor a friend to know me.
All I ask, the heaven above
And the road below me.  
 
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894 

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It’s one of those Greek-owned restaurants with large platters of good food at a reasonable price.  We had not been back there since October 23, 2010 when Joe stepped in front of our empty van which he thought he’d left in “Park”—and the van moved forward pinning Joe to the ground, advancing over his left leg and shoulder, and changing our lives. 

When the subject of going back to the restaurant came up a few weeks ago, Joe shook his head.  Never again.  But yesterday Joe and I shared a desire to return to the SUNSET FAMILY RESTAURANT, for the breakfast we’d never had 5 months and 3 days ago. 

This time we parked in the handicap zone, as Joe has a temporary sticker.  He walks slowly, with a cane.  We crossed the area where he’d left the car to open the restaurant door for me—as in October I was recovering from spinal fusion surgery and I was weak as a baby rabbit.  I noted the exact spot where the ambulance driver had held me in his large, comforting arms. 

Inside, the owner’s wife—who tends the cash register—gasped and broke out in tears when she saw Joe.  She gave him a huge hug and said, “I never heard anything after that day and thought it must have been bad news.”  (Someone had intended to go back to the restaurant after the accident, and report Joe’s progress.  But with all the challenges of these past months, that never happened.)

After we were seated, the owner came to our table and expressed his relief and joy to see us again.  The waitress cried when she came to take our order.  “I couldn’t focus on my job that day,” she said.  “I just kept praying and praying.”

It wasn’t long before Joe and I were crying tears of gratitude and appreciation.  I was overwhelmed, just as I was that day last October, over the amazing kindness of people!  There are plenty of tender hearts out there.

The rest of the day was special for both of us.  We’d experienced the sweetness of closure!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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April is National Poetry Month.  I’m kicking off an early celebration here at Northern Reflections.  I may feature some of my own poetry as April progresses—but most of all, I want to share lines from some of my most beloved great poets.  Let’s begin!

He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with gold and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet;

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

William Butler Yeats—1865-1939

(William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, and grew up in County Sligo.  His family was Protestant Ascendency, but Yeats’ sympathies and energies were focused on freedom for Ireland.  While his contemporaries fought the bloody battles of those early 20th century years, Yeats was a major player in the Irish literary revival.  He did much to unearth and preserve Irish legendry and lore–most of which had been buried in centuries of British oppression. 

A few summers ago I had the unforgettable experience of hearing an Irish actor, Batt Burns, recite the above poem at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest.  I believe there is no accent on earth more arresting than the Celtic voice—be it Irish, Scottish, or Welsh.) 

Margaret L. Been

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Words can’t say enough.  Only a photo will do.  These treasures (yes, those are real infants, not dolls) are 10 of our 15 great-grandchildren.  They are the grandchildren of our daughter, Debbie. 

They are, from left to right:  James holding Deacon, Lyla, Olivia holding Carter, Brynn, Ethan holding Ella, Cole, and Lucas.  The cousins live within minutes of each other—and from Joe and me, and their grandparents.  The young ones keep life shiny and bright for all of us!

One friend, when viewing a group photo of our family, said, “That’s not a family.  That’s a tribe!”  I thank God for our “tribe”—45 family members at last count. 

Margaret L. Been

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 “To be as ‘mad as a March hare’ is an English idiomatic phrase derived from the observed antics, said to occur (some say incorrectly) only in the March breeding season of the hare.  The phrase is an allusion that can be used to refer to any other animal or human who behaves in the excitable and unpredictable manner of a March hare.

“A long-held view is that the hare will behave strangely and excitedly throughout its breeding season, which in Europe is the month of March (but which in fact extends over several months beyond March).  This odd behaviour includes:  boxing at other hares, jumping vertically for seemingly no reason, and generally displaying abnormal behaviour.

“Although the phrase in general has been in continuous use since the 16th century, it was popularised in more recent times by Lewis Carroll in his book ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND which has the March Hare as one of its main characters.”  Wikipedia

Old sayings hang on forever because they are so appropriate!  Never before have I felt more like a March hare than today!  I’m not boxing at other hares and jumping vertically for seemingly no reason.  But if I could safely jump vertically, I would.

The vernal equinox, longer days, demise of mountains of snow, and recent full moon have joined forces in making this blogger feel as though she has been shot out of a cannon.  I must move cautiously or I just might display abnormal behaviour (I love the English spelling).  It would be too easy to do something I’d sorely regret, like cut my hair!

So I’ll walk circumspectly, stay away from the scissors, and stroll in the rain with Dylan.  He’s been acting a bit silly—gazing through the patio door and rumbling, when apparently there is nothing out there to rumble at.  Maybe we can find a March hare for him to box.  🙂 

Margaret L. Been ©2011

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Family members have been telling me that wonderful family photos are continuously posted on FACEBOOK.  Since many of our family members do FACEBOOK, I decided it might be fun to join and see the photos!  So I went through the steps, and joined.

My first glimpse of FACEBOOK provided a list of several people whom I know.  They were evidently asking to be my “friend”.  I thought, this is silly.  These people are my friends.  Don’t they know it?  Then I realized that the global campfire called FACEBOOK is a means to be “friends” online—not only to share photos, but to sit around and CHAT!  How odd, I thought.  All of these friends (except for Richard in Texas) live close enough to drop in for a real chat with a pot of tea thrown in. 

I pondered this cyber frenzy, and backed off.  With maintaining five blogs, gathering information, and SHOPPING, I spend enough time at my computer.  I even read emails sometimes.  One more online connection, one as massive as FACEBOOK, might just push me over the edge of balanced living into lunacy!

I was innocently dusting my computer corner, when I was seized with a tremendous urge which I likened to  the “Blood Wrath” reminiscent of the badger warriors in Brian Jacques’ REDWALL series.  We readers always connect things in life with things in books—or the other way around.  In the REDWALL books, “badger” denotes that fierce animal badger—not the people of Wisconsin.  Our nickname of “Badger” comes from our pioneer history when Cornish miners settled in Southwestern Wisconsin, and dug makeshift homes into the then lead-rich hills—just as the animal badgers do.

Wisconsin folks can be as fierce as animal badgers, and that’s why I compared my “urge to purge” with a Blood Wrath.  Without pausing, I dismantled my cyber system.  Computer, printer, scanner, and about a million cords and connections were stashed neatly into my personal closet—perhaps never again to be unearthed, or so I thought.  The fact that I was coming down with a nasty sinus/bronchial infection helped to fuel my sudden contempt for technology—my Blood Wrath!

Thoughts like, “What about the friends who email?” or “How will I shop?” were calmed by the realization that my Joe would, on occasion, let me use his (large and much fancier) computer system in his office/den.  I would be sparing of the privilege, saving my shopping sprees and email reading for once in awhile when Joe was otherwise occupied.

For several days, I wallowed in my newly acquired office/studio space.  I felt liberated, freed at last from those disgusting computer cords!  More room for art supplies, more room for books!  How wonderful!  Meanwhile, my sinus/bronchitis flare mushroomed to epic proportions where I felt like a Salvador Dali clock, listlessly draped over a tree branch.  Who needs cyberspace, anyway?

Then as a $7.00 per day bazooka antibiotic (avelox) began working, I seriously wondered!  How would I continually feed my hunger for information, without my computer?  How would I frequently access email from friends, not just the FACEBOOK friends but friends all over the country?  How would I satisfy my desire to share my thoughts for others to read? 

How would I SHOP—not just occasionally when Joe’s computer was clear, but whenever I realized that I needed a different size paintbrush or a new shipment of chai tea?

Again, this time in the evening, the Blood Wrath surfaced.  In a twinkling of an eye, I reclaimed my computer, printer, and cords.  Forget the scanner for now.  I cleared off my studio corner, and returned the computer and printer to their spots.  You can see the camouflaged computer in the above photo.

When it came to putting the right cords into the right ports, I thought oh my—what will I do now?  My mind doesn’t work along electrical lines, and I am somewhat mechanically dyslexic.  To my brilliant techi friends Patti and Kathleen:  if you are reading this, please don’t guffaw too much! 

I realized that to complete my hookup, I’d have to call upon Joe who was in his den watching March Madness on the basketball court—and he definitely might be tempted to guffaw.  Joe graciously, patiently put everything in its correct slot.  Did I glimpse a faint smirk on his lips, a trace of a smile that said, “I knew this would happen”?  Yes, I think I did!

Now the ugly computer cords are mostly hidden behind a decorative metal tray, and I am clicking away again:  blogging, gathering information, reading emails, and shopping.  These activities involve reasonable limits of time.  But I’m avoiding FACEBOOK—that great, global campfire.  I love friends, but . . . !

Meanwhile, I’m hearing that FACEBOOK is not only about sitting around, holding cyber hands and singing Kum Ba Ya.  “Wars and rumors of wars”, are waging between “friends” around the campfire!  Blood wrath is mounting over an issue far greater than my frustration over computer cords–the issue of our Badger governer, Scott Walket’s budget.  Were I to take my place around the FACEBOOK campfire, I know I’d get pretty lively in staunch favor of our governor and his totally necessary budget. 

But no cyber campfire for me!   I enjoy my blogs and at this time they are all I have the energy for, along with that most urgent business—PRAYER!  (And how we need that!)  The blogs are my mini campfire where I contend with the world, as well as celebrate life.  My Blood Wrath will continue to flair in print, over the many concerns of the day.*  

And I’ll continue to do battle in prayer!  It’s too late in history for just sitting around and singing Kum Ba Ya.

*Issues are most apt to be aired on my other blogs, especially:  http://hiswordistrue.wordpress.com/ and sometimes on http://gracewithsalt.wordpress.com/  or http://richesinglory.wordpress.com/  .  But sometimes a current concern will find its way to this page!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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If I were Julie Andrews alias Maria, I might be running around trilling “The skies are alive with the sound of music . . . ”  The skies and also the trees, bushes, telephone wires, and roof tops!

The excitement of these days just before and weeks after the vernal equinox will never fade in my heart and mind!  Every time I go outdoors with Baby Dylan, I’m thrilled anew.  When the days warm up, the window in our bedroom will be open to the early morning chorus.  We’ll never turn on our air conditioning for that and other reasons!  When wonderful things happen, we want to experience them!

The snow has melted off the path around our park, and Dylan and I have resumed our walks there.  Overhead we hear the Canadas announcing their travel agenda—and the mellow, reedy “Halloooo, hallooo, hallooo” of sandhill cranes high in the sky. 

Robins are chortling in the treetops.  For weeks now, we’ve heard the “Chick-a-dee-dee-dee” of the you know what—that sweet, fat, and friendly little bird.

The mourning dove is “Whooo-whooo-ing”.  The cardinal has cheered us all winter with his color; now he is “Cheer-cheer-cheer-ing” us with his territorial song.  Juncoes are leaving to go way north, and a variety of sparrows are returning to warble and chip on rooftops. Ducks are gabbling overhead.  The skies are alive!

However, on New Year’s Eve of this year and shortly after, the skies over Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas broadcasted not life but death!  I’ve been trying to find answers for that avian tragedy which struck early this year—a tragedy concerning one of my most beloved birds!  Here is a clip from New York Magazine

5,000 Dead Blackbirds Hit Something Very Hard

How and why did 5,000 redwing blackbirds fall from the sky at once on January 1?  It’s the question keeping America up at night.  A preliminary report released Monday evening said the birds showed evidence of trauma in the breast tissue, with blood clots in the body cavity and a lot of internal bleeding, and likely all died from “massive trauma.”  Biologist Karen Rowe told CNN that bird trauma is often caused by a lightning strike, heavy storm, or high-altitude hail, although the signs of trauma may have also been caused by the force of hitting the ground.  Or they may have gotten startled by something and flown into a house, tree, or each other. But then there’s this detail:  Blackbirds do not normally fly at night, and it was not immediately clear what caused the odd behavior. 

The report continues:  Loud noises were reported shortly before the birds began falling, according to the game and fish commission.  “The birds obviously hit something very hard and had hemorrhages,”  Rowe said. 

Here is another report, from www.msnbc.msn.com/ : 

BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor:  We mentioned this earlier and we’re back now with the puzzling story of a massive kill of wildlife in the state of Arkansas—birds falling out of the sky, the result of some sort of trauma, and fish found dead in the water, thousands of them in separate incidents in the same state.  We get our report tonight from NBC ‘s Janet Shamlian in Beebe, Arkansas 

JANET SHAMLIAN reporting:  They rain down on a small Arkansas town like a scene from a horror movie.  Thousands of dead black birds on front lawns, and so many in the street, drivers could barely avoid them.  As many as 5,000 bird carcasses littered across a one-mile radius after dropping from the sky on New Year’s Eve.  What could have caused it?  As the state veterinarian examined the birds today, theories have run the gambit from their being hit by lightning or high altitude hail to being spooked to death by New Year’s Eve fireworks. 

Beyond the birds and adding to the mystery, there was a massive fish kill also here in Arkansas just one day earlier.  As many as 100,000 drum fish are dead along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.  The experts call it coincidence.  Wildlife officials say the fish likely died of disease, not a pollutant.  Janet Shamlian, NBC News, Beebe, Arkansas.

BEEBE, Ark:  Preliminary autopsies on 17 of the up to 5,000 blackbirds that fell on this town indicate they died of blunt trauma to their organs, the state’s top veterinarian told NBC News on Monday.  Their stomachs were empty, which rules out poison, Dr. George Badley said, and they died in midair, not on impact with the ground.  That evidence, and the fact that the red-winged blackbirds fly in close flocks, suggests they suffered some massive midair collision, he added.  That lends weight to theories that they were startled by something.  Violent weather rumbled over much of the state Friday.  Lightning could have killed the birds directly or startled them to the point that they became confused.  Hail also has been known to knock birds from the sky.

One website stated that some of the redwings were sent to Madison, Wisconsin, for further testing, but I cannot find any more info on that.  Meanwhile, not all the redwings are gone!  On March 6th, Joe and I upheld a tradition:  we went to Whitewater, Wisconsin where we first see the redwings  in Southern Wisconsin, in a swamp behind RANDY’S SUPPER CLUB (where we then get excellent prime ribs).
 
What a joyous sight, and sound!  When the redwings arrive in Jefferson County, we can expect to hear them in our county a few days later.  And guess what?  A few days ago, we did.  Yes, the redwings are here—staking out territories high in the trees* and thrilling us out of our shoes with their gorgeous sky music, “Oka-leeeeeeee”!
 

*Note:  I have read that the redwing males arrive first and stake out their nesting territory.  Then the females arrive, and choose the homesite they prefer—taking whatever mate goes along with the site.  That strikes me as hilarious!  I wonder who wears the pants in the redwing culture!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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I am weeping over tragic events of recent hours.  Although I’m not normally in favor of our current president’s politics or policies, I felt a deep kinship with him yesterday when he met the press with the words, “I’m heartbroken!”

I believe that President Obama is truly heartbroken over Japan’s disaster, as people should be everywhere—no matter whom they are or where they live.

Perhaps those of us who clearly recall events of World War II are most heartbroken of all.  It seems like “only yesterday” that we viewed those horrendous news photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  A necessary military action on the part of the U. S?  Yes, I believe it was.  An unprecendented human tragedy beyond comprehension?  Yes!  From man’s technology to nature’s devastation, the tiny country of Japan has “had it all”

I’m weeping, and I am praying!  “Lord, may this tragedy awaken many Japanese people to Your truth!  May Your Holy Spirit sweep that land, and bring multitudes into Your kingdom before it is too late!  May individuals everywhere wake up and believe in You—accepting your gracious will that none shall perish but rather be saved for eternal life!”

On the Mount of Olives, before our Lord was crucified He issued a warning and prophecy:  “Watch out that no one deceives you.  Many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am he’, and will deceive many.  When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed.  Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines.  These are the beginning of birth pains.’ ”  Mark 13:5-8 (NIV)

God’s Word is true, to be taken literally.  The end times are unfolding dramatically, right before our eyes.  Time and again, Scripture assures us that—after the great deception, after the reign of the anti-Christ and 7 years of worldwide tribulation—the Lord Jesus Christ will return to earth as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one and only Prince of Peace!

Now more than ever before, those of us who know our Savior sense an urgency to share His love, His life, and His Word!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

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He (the infamous “weather man”) was wrong again.  According to yesterday’s TV map, a rainy belt ran through our Southern Wisconsin counties, with snow piling up in the north. 

Joe and I have an entire day at home, with no clinic appointments.  This is a treat.  I’d planned to grab an umbrella, and walk in the rain.  Then I got up and looked out the window.  Well, I’ll just change the plan a bit and walk in the snow and ice yet one more time!  

Later today I’ll pull my little “rebellion and denial” act which consists of brewing super strong Earl Grey tea, cooling the tea, and pouring it over—you’ve got it—a tall glass full of ICE!  Iced tea is my very favorite beverage on the face of this earth.  Drinking iced tea on a cold, snowy day is a means for my rebel soul to say “Okay, life goes on—and I’m going to enjoy it!”

I’m recalling a Saturday back in 1999.  I ‘d arrived at Mitchell Field, supposedly to board a 7:00 a.m. flight to Denver for a week’s visit with our Colorado son and his family.  The weather was much like today, and conditions were odd.  Planes were taking off from Mitchell, but they were not able to land.  My plane to Denver was stalled just a few air minutes away, in Madison, Wisconsin—waiting for the “all clear” to land in Milwaukee.

It was a congenial bunch of people who sat in that concourse for—I kid you not—8 hours!  What else can you do, but make the most of a delay!  We read, snoozed, ate, and visited the day away.  It was like one of those novels where a bunch of diverse people are thrown together and become “friends” for a short, once-in-a-life period of time.  Stories are shared along with destinations and reasons for travel.  One is definitely “part of the human race” on a day like that!

But one woman could not relax and make the most the occasion.  She was dressed for the slopes, and had planned to meet friends in Breckenridge around noon.  The woman kept fidgeting, frowning, grousing, and running up to the check-in clerk—spilling out the reason why she had to get on a plane to Denver that very moment.  The clerk’s patience was legendary.  He kept apologizing (as if the weather conditions were his fault!) and trying to smooth the feathers of this woman who wouldn’t stop quacking.

Finally, I strolled up to the counter where the unhappy traveler was pestering the clerk and said to the woman, “You know, you are talking to the wrong person about the weather.”  I pointed heavenward and added, “You should talk to SOMEONE UP THERE!”

I don’t know whether or not my two cents worth made any difference in the unreasonable woman’s thinking, but I’m sure it helped the beleagered clerk know that he was not alone!  🙂

The weather is a microcosm of life!  Tomorrow Joe goes for his (we hope!) final surgery—a rotator cuff repair on the shoulder which literally stopped the front left wheel of our large, rolling HONDA® van last October.  Although the 4th degree burn on his leg has been the most life-threatening of Joe’s injuries, the 2 torn shoulder tendons have caused the most pain—excruciating pain! 

Facing surgery is like waiting at the airport for a plane to land or take off.  We select our surgeon, just as we select our airline—with research and that necessary degree of trust in human invention, as well as intervention!  But we relay all of our concerns, and our thoughts on the matter, to the ONE who is in control:  SOMEONE UP THERE!

Margaret L. Been, ©2011

Note:  Due to ubiquitous unwanted input on my 5 blogs, I am dis-allowing comments at present.  I can’t go back over 2 and 1/2 years of entries and dis-allow comments on each one, but I can start with the most current. 

It amazes me that so many people have nothing better to do than: 1) advertize where advertizing is banned; 2) promulgate trash; 3) indulge in arrogant pontification out of pure cussedness and a contentious spirit! 

So it’s “spam aloft”!  However, I am not sending the edible variety aloft.  I give my readers credit for being cerebral enough to eat all things circumspectly, delicately, sparingly, politely, graciously, fastidiously, thoughtfully, intelligently, and in moderation. 

If you enjoy your occasional canned product (or deli sandwich which often is equally packed with sodium) you will receive no supercillious judgments from me or anyone else on this page!

Regarding Hormel’s world famous product recently reviewed on this site, there’s an Israeli rendition of SPAM®—beef rather than pork shoulder, which inspires me to mention another once-in-awhile comfort food treat:  HEBREW NATIONAL HOT DOGS, blessed by a rabbi.  Mmmmmmm, good!  🙂   

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