Thursday, September 29, 2022

Looking at clouds that way

On this Michaelma, or Feast of the Archangels.  

I wrote a bit on Michaelmas in the early years of the  blog.  I noted that in the old countries, Michaelmas was as much a seasonal signpost as Labor Day or Memorial Day is for us today. 

Therefore it is now the official start of fall for the Griffeys.  And nothing says Fall to me more than those deep, low hanging clouds that remain fixtures on the horizon until, well, Spring.  One of my earliest posts reflected on how those dark autumnal clouds capture the right aesthetic for me, and the reason that might be the case. 

The above pictures were over the last few days, when Global Warming caused the temperatures to plunge and really bring out that autumn chill.  At that point you just can't avoid conjuring up images of bonfires, apple cider, cornstalks and things that go bump in the night.  So happy Fall - now it's official!

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

On this National Sons Day

A shameless shout out to my boys.  I'm not given to random holidays just dropped on the calendar.  But times being what they are, I thought I'd take advantage of this little annual news blurb to give a couple thumbs up to the four.

From top left: Our second, Our third, our youngest and our oldest - and the four

I've posted several times recently on my second oldest and his entrepreneurial endeavors.  So far things are skating smartly along.  I have to admit the first month was better than we expected.  He and his delightful young fiancée have done a wonderful job.  The fact that they have done this now, when it seems every day I see more small businesses I've known my whole life close their doors, is impressive.  But that's him.  A restless spirit, he is the one who always has a new hobby, interest, passion, or goal.  For instance, he got a part in our community theater's October production of "Clue" because of course.  After all, working full time, opening a business, and planning a wedding just wasn't enough to have on his plate.  But that's him in a nutshell.  Yet he's not the only one we're proud of. 

Our oldest continues to move steadily along.  The quiet and reserved one, I've written on his roller coaster ride in life.  Originally he was interested in politics, but decided for a career in the culinary world since he has a gift for, and love for, cooking phenomenal meals.  Sadly, or perhaps providentially, he was hit with a catastrophic food allergy to fish.  It is so bad he can't even be in a Walmart super center when the seafood counters are being cleaned without triggering an allergic reaction.  Needless to say, he was advised that almost no culinary school in the world would accept him with such heavy and life threatening restrictions.  So he's moved back toward his original interests.  He's pondered law (in the Constitutional sense), but fortune and opportunities have channeled him toward several semesters of African and Middle Eastern studies. He's now involved in a think tank dedicated to gathering information about Muslim immigrants from Africa in the US - the data from which will be published and used for future analysis.  In October he will be taking part in a forum with Afghan refuges who fled the Taliban after our withdrawal.  Whatever vocation he chooses, I told him there's a reason he's been funneled in this direction. That he's near perfect in his grades and could write his own ticket in terms of any graduate school means he's keeping all these developments and options in mind.

Our third oldest is, alas, in a holding pattern.  That's not easy for someone who is a Triple-A personality plus.  He's the one who was training for law enforcement when he injured his leg and was down for over four months.  It was during this time that the BLM 'Cops as Nazis' narrative took off.  As he said, he wasn't going risk his life for a country that would only care if a Republican killed him.  It was then that we bought furniture from a regional manager from Chick fil A.  He was moving to Texas and was downsizing from a house with three living rooms and a family room to just two living rooms and a family room.  Needless to say, it was impressive.  I asked him what he did for a living, and when he said where he was and how he started, my son's wheels started turning.  That's his goal now.  Climb the corporate ladders as long as possible without going to college (which he sees as a waste of money in most cases), and then only take needed classes with money in hand.  That way he avoids any debt (which the older two were able to do as well).  He simply has to amass the hours and training certifications to get to the next step, which should wrap up next year (a little more on that in a bit). Though whatever he does, we're sure someday he'll incorporate his unbounding love for animals in the mix. 

Honorable son number four is now a teenager first class - and everything that comes with those glorious teen years.  I've written that the three oldest did yeoman's work making him feel part of the family.  Despite being adults, that included sitting on Santa's lap, tricks or treating, playing his games and playing with his toys.  They really did what they could to make him feel part of the four.  To a degree it has worked.  Nonetheless, through the fortunes of life and time, the world and family our youngest grew up in has little resemblance to the world the older three knew.  While my mom and dad often visited and helped take care of the older boys when they were young, our youngest had to help take care of my mom after my dad passed away when he was young.  That, along with the whirlwind changes in our world from the one my older sons experienced, has given him a somewhat altered view of things compared to that of his brothers.  He has a love and aptitude for all things electronic. Recently he's become fascinated with sound recording and engineering.  He's already dabbled with computer programing.  And he adores retro-tech (having bought me a vintage Atari game for Christmas).  He's our fix it guy and the one the family let's figure out how to hook up the latest tech gadgets.  All and all, a young kid who is far older than his years suggest.

That's it.  That's the four.  I would never pretend they're perfect angels.  Like everyone, they have their moments.  And woe betide the bystander when they wade into an argument over something.  The middle two are especially passionate and their disagreements over the years have been epic, with the rest of us usually opting to keep our distance.  

Next year is going to be a year of big events, Lord willing.  Our son's wedding is in May, and our oldest will graduate on the same weekend.  Around that same time is when our third oldest will have passed his requisite trial period in order to move up with a promotion.  Not bad at a meager 23. years old.  Our youngest is going through Confirmation for next year as well, plus he will be moving into high school next fall.  High school already.  Whew.  Time does fly. 

As I do a quick scan over the four of them, I don't mind what I see. They're hard working and stubbornly reliable.  Unless they are extremely successful as sneaks, they walk a good walk, especially in our heathen culture, where sin is mandated and virtue condemned.  They also pursue attitudes and exercises in good behavior that are roundly condemned today, so that's a plus.  Though they are busy up to their earlobes, they still find time for the family.  Not as much now of course.  But when they can, they do.  They also go out of their way to keep Sundays open so they can go to church, with the family if possible.  Sometimes this means stacking their schedules and working backbreaking hours to make sure Sunday mornings at least are open.  Again, in this day and age, I'll take it. 

The boys and my longsuffering significant other

Monday, September 26, 2022

It's like Birth of a Nation for black Americans


Yep.  This isn't just getting it wrong, as movies often do.  This isn't having to combine characters or chisel away a few facts for dramatic coherence.  

This is pure racist propaganda.  It turns a brutal elite group of warriors charged with doing their empire's dirty work where imperialism and slavery were concerned into brave and heroic superstars.  It completely flips the truth and facts of the period to maintain the 'all White Westerners are Nazis, all others exceed Jesus in superior virtue' narrative of the modern Left.  In so doing, it appears to rewrite the actual history of the subject in a way that would make D.W. Griffith blush. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

It's Fall!  Hurray.  And yesterday was Hobbit Day (being the birthdays of both Bilbo and Frodo).  This year I read through The Hobbit over summer to fulfill my yearly Tolkien obligation.  There are some books I haven't gotten around to, plus I've received some new ones because of a new local book store.  So I wanted to make room on my plate.

Things are changing in our home for sure.  With all the boys adults or teenage, the old time fall activities will be waning.  We'll still come together to do a few of the staples, but times being what they are, and time constraints being what they are, we imagine there will be fewer of the little things than in years past.  Which is fine.

After all, the world is changing fast, as is our society:

With an all out war on any tradition from west of the Urals, our society seems a strange mix of traditions most people do and those in the extreme fringes seeking to throw down those traditions.  In 2020 I actually saw articles from 'pagans' wanting to reclaim Halloween from the Church.  We all know what Thanksgiving has been hit with.  Christmas is still allowed as a more or less secular pagan consumerist feeding frenzy, but not much else. These are driven by the extreme fringes, but those fringes have been weaponzid by the media and the powers that be.  How long the old traditions last will be anyone's guess.

For our part, we'll still be those radicals and rebels.  We'll embrace the old time harvest feel.  No puss zombies or adult entertainment costumes for us.  It's caramel apples and apple cider, pumpkins and cornstalks, ghosts and goblins, haunted houses and spook movies. 

With that said, I'll step back and let old James Whitcomb Riley take it from here.  You can't do better than this for setting that autumnal mood:

When the Frost is on the Pumpkin

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then's the times a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bare-headed, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pitcur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries --kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below -- the clover overhead!
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

Then your apples all is getherd, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yeller heaps;
And your cider-makin' 's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage, too!
I don't know how to tell it -- but ef sich a thing could be
As the Angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me
I'd want to 'commondate 'em -- all the whole-indurin' flock --
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Look at them!

Here's a snapshot of what greeted me on a newsfeed this morning as I was checking out the world around me:

How about that!  That's in the local paper, you can read it here.   In addition to that, they're scheduled for a segment this coming week with the central Ohio ABC affiliate, Channel 6 Columbus.  

I'll admit their first month far exceeded our expectations. Not that we didn't support them, but I've seen a lot of businesses come and go over the years.  I was involved in a business start ages ago before we imagined a President Bill Clinton.  I'd say I didn't learn how to open a business as much as how not to open a business.

Nonetheless, they've scratched, kicked, clawed and bit their way into opening their doors, often getting as much for as little as possible.  Much of their inventory has been donated.  Their décor and furnishings come from garage sales and discount venues.  In some cases, the furnishings have been from donations as well.  This includes whatever promotional and marketing materials they can muster for a few pennies here and there.  

From what I've seen in reviews and scuttlebutt, their store has been well received.  People like the atmosphere and the general feel of the place.  It doesn't hurt that theirs is about the only functioning brick and mortar book store between the north of Columbus and Lake Erie.  

Patrons also seem to like the two of them. Based on the general reception, people appear to smile and enjoy their spunk.  Things aren't great in our old world, including here in the US of A.  Try as they might, the national press can't make things wonderful when people's lives say different.  

Because of this, people appreciate their optimism and attempt to chase that dream, even as so many dreams are dashed in our crazy age.  At a time when businesses struggle, when the economy lags, when inflation soars, when society itself appears to be teetering, here you have two engaged kids leaping out and saying 'We can do it!'.  Something about that boundless enthusiasm in this day and age has injected a little positive into a time of so many negatives. 

In any event, like any football coach will tell you, the minute you win today's game you begin planning for next week's game.  This is this month, soon to be ancient history.  They have a thousand months to go.  This month was good, better than expected.  Now we have next month, and the one after that.  May they turn out as well or better for them than their first month's foray into the world of entrepreneurship.  

Friday, September 16, 2022

So where have I been?

Obviously blogging has dropped significantly over the last few weeks, as I said it would.  And for the reasons I said.  There are simply more things on the plate than there used to be.  That's because of changing demands of the day, growing and aging family members, and the general shifts in life.  

My wife's promotion is great, but also demands much from her.  And funny thing, but homeschooling one student, even in middle school, is tougher than homeschooling several.  I suppose because when the three were together, they could sometimes turn to each other for help or questions before appealing to mom or dad.  Now, it's him.  It's us.  Usually it's me. 

In addition to that, we're now and only now starting to work to push back the mess that came from the big 2020 floods.  Hard to believe over two years later, but with everything we were hit with over 2021 and into 2022, only now are we beginning to sort things out.  Which is odd, given everything else going on right now.  But then, that is part of what is adding to the list!  It's crazy.

Anyhoo, it will be a few before I can make too much time for the blog.  Even the fun and family posts are sitting on deck waiting to get written.  Hopefully things slow down, but even then, I'm sure they'll be filled with other projects that are also on deck.  So we'll see how things go in the near future.  Again, it's a matter of time.  It's finite.   Therefore it's a case of getting some spare time back when there is little time to spare, and then I can muse and noodle things.  

In the meantime, think The Benedict Option. I don't think Dreher's solutions are altogether spot on, but he sees the problems coming our way, more clearly than most I think.  It may not be new Benedictine communities that are the upcoming model for the remnant.  Instead, it might be the faithful as English separatists for those who aren't willing to throw the heritage of our Faith under the bus to keep up with the latest. We'll see.  Till then, God bless and TTFN. 

Gratuitous Autumn picture, just to set the mood

Sunday, September 11, 2022

One last September morning

 It looked like this:

And then it didn't.  We didn't know it then, but we were watching the beginning of the end of America and the West that day. 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Busy week!

Whew, that was a week.  Much of it was spent catching up.  First week of school was the big priority:

A walking stick instead of a sword - just right for learning

Yes, our youngest is now in 8th Grade.  One more year and he's a high schooler. Of course he's homeschooled.  He's also going through Confirmation classes. In addition to hammering out the Faith, we hope that will get him back with kids his own age - something that has hit the skids since Covid.  With his older brothers all moving on, and fulfilling their own obligations, he's been doing quite the solo act. 

Things will still be slow here on the blog.  First, because of the pile in my outbox.  Also, partly because I'm noodling blogging and the whole social media shtick that has dominated the world over the last decade or two.  I'm not 100% convinced it's been a net boon for humanity.  It certainly hasn't been a boon for democracy, freedom, the Gospel, the sanctity of life, or the future. 

I saw a reflection on the spiritual pitfalls of commenting on the Internet.  I must admit, if I answer the questions honestly, I would seldom comment on anything.  Sometimes I think that might be the better way.  

Though I'm also mindful of the fact that much of what we're seeing today - the completely terrifying batnuts cockadoody crazy being not only endorsed, but mandated - is the result of the news media weaponizing the crazy that does exist on this platform.  A platform that has become a digital lynch mob inquisition run by psychopaths, usable when convenient by our news outlets, universities, hospitals,  schools, and even churches. 

So just abandon the Internet?  I dunno.  That might not be the best strategy.  But simply rambling on about the same old, same old isn't working either.  For instance, I saw this.  I find that the most significant story I've seen in months.  I wonder if my readers can guess why.  

Anyway, still much to do.  Can't say when and how much I can blog.  This upcoming week is already pretty busy, with the calendar already filled.   I'll stop by when I can.  Appreciate all the prayers and support, especially for the young'uns' bookstore.  Keep up the prayers, and more news to follow.  If nothing else, it will be family and fun blog posts, which isn't a bad way to spend blogging.  Till then!  God bless, and TTFN. 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

You have to hand it to Queen Elizabeth

A woman so amazing that she gets American Catholics to come together and celerbate the death of a Protestant English monarch.  That's not bad in the least. 

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Deacon, Dawn and I disagree on the color of an orange.  I have expressed my disappointment with where these two have gone, as I used to have high regard for them both. 

But those are nice tributes, and I heartedly agree.  I especially liked Dawn's rainbow reference.  In the olden days, that would be more than coincidence in the minds of the general population.  I hope that was the intention of bringing it up.

It looks like the accolades are rolling in and it is one giant chorus of praise and adoration for Queen Elizabeth.  Let me join in with the chorus as well.  In an age that would have us divided in as many ways possible, it's nice that her one last act in this world is to be a point of coming together and agreeing. 


Speaking of:

Nice.  Again, a global chorus of praise.  

RIP Queen Elizabeth

The only British monarch of my lifetime, she was a giant among giants.  She, and her era, will be missed.  I'm sure there will be no shortage of commentary and coverage in the coming days.  For now, prayers for her, and thanks for the lifetime of service.  

Monday, September 5, 2022

It's a wrap!

One day of business in the books

A year ago, when they first mentioned, in the fledgling days of their relationship, that they would begin a business together ... well, you know how parents can be.  We smiled and encouraged them, and assumed once they were engaged and about the business of entering into the world they would begin to drift slowly toward that wider path in life taken by most of us. 

Well, no.  Against a Himalayan sized pile of odds, my second oldest and his fiancée demonstrated a bulldog tenacity matched with a herculean effort to do what was hard to imagine a year ago.  Yes, they have had plenty of help, prayers and support.  Both families have done yeoman's work stepping in and building, painting, carrying, hauling, and anything they could.

But it was never in place of their efforts, merely in addition to their efforts.  As I've said, I'm proud of all my sons.  Each one is carving his own path in life, none of which seem terribly similar to the other.  They are hard workers, dependable, reliable, and strive to do the best job they can, in the most honest and upright way possible.  

But the courage and sheer dedication they brought to this is admirable.  Before they are married, they have already learned more about working with each other than many couples will heading into their fifth wedding anniversary.  Yet, as of now, it has worked well and they have been blessed. 

The newest entrepreneurs in the American marketplace

It's official!

I told my son that as soon as those doors open, they will have done what 90% of Americans only dream of doing.  At the young age that they are, that's not bad.  Goodness knows I never had the courage to go all into my own business.  So I tip my hat to them. 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

The deadline approaches

 Tomorrow is the big day!

It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Friday, September 2, 2022

And a happy birthday to our number second son

So our second oldest just passed his 24th Birthday a bit ago.  To celebrate, he's decided to open his own business with his fiancéeThat's where we'll be over the next several days.  That, and getting ready for the new school year for our youngest, will keep me more than busy.

In addition to his birthday, he finally received his college diploma.  He graduated last year but, times being what they are, didn't receive it until the weekend of his birthday.  So it's official!

We are, of course, extremely proud of him.  We're proud of all of our sons.  Each one has forged his special little path in life (or is in the process of), all of which are radically different from one another.  So far, each has managed to move ahead according to plan, even when the plans have hit the rough spots (see our former gourmet chef's sudden food allergy). 

But to open your own business, to take that leap out and grasp at the ultimate American dream - that's something.  We won't even discuss them doing so at such a young age.  I've told him that come Labor Day, when the doors open, he and his fiancée will have done what 90% of Americans only dream about doing.  Yes, I know.  The odds are long and stats are stacked against them.  They know this, too.  But as I've told my boys their entire lives, if you don't try, then at least you know for sure you will fail.  The only real benefit of not trying: an assurance you don't want. 

Nonetheless, because of it all, and a few other little obligations tossed on the fire, I'll be scarce over the next several days.  Likely well into next week.  So have a safe and blessed Labor Day weekend.  Enjoy this last gasp of summer as we turn to Fall, that wonderful season of seasons.  Till then, TTFN.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

I know it's not even Labor Day

But you have to admit, as evening skies go, this strikes that autumnal feel:

I wouldn't have been surprised if Gozer the Gozerian stepped out from behind a tree.  It looked like quite a floodgate was about to open over us, but the system skated along just north of our town.  I'll take it. 

Official Gozer reference photo, from the 1984 hit Ghostbusters: