Thursday, December 31, 2015

homage to our beloved uncle

jpr: the man could have been buried anywhere and at any expense but chose to rest among his comrades   btb he enlisted at age 16 yrs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Real Meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

When it was a crime to be Catholic and to practice one's faith in Ireland and England "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was written as a "catechism song" to help the young learn their faith. It was a memory aid-when being caught with anything in writing about the faith could get you imprisoned, even hung.  The gifts hide the teachings of the faith. The "true love" mentioned in the song refers to God himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person.

A Partridge in a pear tree = Jesus Christ, the son of God.
Two turtle doves = The Old and New Testaments

Three french hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the theological virtues.
Four calling birds = The four Gospels and/or the four Evangelists.
Five golden rings = The first five books of the Old Testament
Six geese a-laying = Six days of creation.
Seven swans a swimming = The seven Sacraments.

Eight maids a-milking = The eight Beatitudes.
Nine ladies dancing = The nine classifications of angels).
Ten lords a-leaping = The Ten Commandments.

Eleven pipers piping = The eleven faithful apostles.
Twelve drummers drumming = The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas in Scotland

The Aurora Borealis over an abandoned croft in Scotland on Christmas eve. 

oh boy!

I want to live there!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Global Warming Physics Question - Please enlighten me

When I hear that melting ice is causing a rise in sea level, I wonder: why does the sea level rise at all?  I put an ice cube in a glass of water and when it melts the level of the water shows No Change.  If that's the case then wouldn't Artic ice (which is floating on the  Ocean) melting have no effect on sea level?  Yes, melting of glaciers would add new water and have some effect, and some glaciers seem to be melting.  However Antarctica ice has increased significantly and I would think offsets some of the glacier runoff.
Where in my thinking is the flaw?  Seriously, I'm not savvy enough to know and I want someone with knowledge to show me where I go off the road.

Try this!
Put ice in a glass of water. Mark the level of the water with the ice in it.  Let it melt and see if the water level has changed. It won't change at all.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Name the dog

follansbee, backyard, circa 1980
"chien, jardin , buisson" acrylic, 11 x 15 "

appalachian christmass

jpr: Hill folk keep it simple but cheery!

statue in snow

"I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees."    Gilbert K. Chesterton 

Christmas In America.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Babes in toyland

Laurel and Hardy musical film released on March 10, 1934 (my mother was 13 yrs old). The pair of toy makers build 100 wooden soldiers at six feet tall, instead of 600 soldiers at one foot tall.

jpr: available on netflix

stained glass holly

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

silent night

        I believe it's real and do not care if it is not!!!!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Bing Crosby

  jpr: the Irishman (ancestors from Cork) is resurrected every Christmass...pretty nice legacy! His mother Catherine Harrigan  was a devout catholic.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

What the f-----.

Stefonknee (pronounced ‘Stephanie’) Wolschtt, 46, had been married for 23 years when she realized she was transgender.  A Canadian transgender father of 7 left a wife and seven children to begin a new life as a six-year-old girl in the UK.  Is it just me or has the world gone to the absolute absurd?  

Too Fat To Work

Stephen Beer, 45, and wife Michelle, 43, like their food fast - and were spotted coming out of a KFC with a bargain bucket to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
The couple, of Plymouth, Eng,  became national hate figures when they appeared on the documentary ‘Too Fat to Work’ and admitted they receive $3,000 a month in welfare because they are 'disabled by their weight.'  Their combined weight is 770 pounds.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

most expensive Christmas ornament & tree

some ideas

Mark Hussey of Hallmark jewelers — a shop and studio in Titchfield Village, Hampshire, UK — decided to make the world's most expensive Christmas ornament. The result: An 18-carat white gold bauble encrusted in 500 diamonds. Two rings made from 188 rubies orbit the gaudy globe. The piece took 130 hours to produce, costs just over $130K 

Séraphine Louis

Known as "Séraphine de Senlis (1864–1942), was a French painter inspired by her religious faith and by stained-glass church windows and other religious art. She was employed as a housekeeper for middle-class families in the town of Senlis.

Much of her work was lost during WWII but her surviving work is valued at several hundreds of thousands of USD.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Edna St. Vincent Millay and Christmas

As we approach Christmas, a difficult time for us, I am again drawn to read The Ballad of the Harp Weaver by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.   My parish priest read it ever Xmas as his sermon until his death a few years ago.  Nothing brings me closer to the memory of my mother and my childhood. Too long for presentation here, I encourage each of you to read it at least once.  The site below is the work read by Johnny Cash. as read by Johnny Cash

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Night Snow ~~ Bai Juyi

I was surprised my quilt and pillow were cold,
I see that now the window’s bright again.
Deep in the night, I know the snow is thick,
I sometimes hear the sound as bamboo snaps.

Dr. NakaMats

aka Yoshiro Nakamatsu born June 26, 1928 is a Japanese inventor who has become a celebrity for his inventions (over 4000 patents). He anticipates living until 2072.

Jpr: the good dr has revealed his diagnosis with terminal cancer and expects to die before the end of 2015. Let us hope he wins his battle.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

ice castles

Towering sculpture at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival

Poinsettia Facts

Poinsettias are native to Mexico.

The Aztecs called the poinsettia Cuetlaxochitl. They made a reddish purple dye from the bracts.

Chile and Peru called the poinsettia the "Crown of the Andes."

In nature, poinsettias are perennial flowering shrubs that can grow to ten feet tall.

The showy colored parts of poinsettias that most people think are the flowers are actually colored bracts (modified leaves).

The flowers or cyathia of the poinsettia are in the center of the colorful bracts.

Poinsettias are not poisonous.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

My favorite all-time documentary (so far) - Mule Deer and the Scientist

A poem to warm the soul

In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.


by Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830-1894), 1872;
appeared posthumously in
The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti, Poem #426, 1904.

Friday, December 11, 2015

winter rose

Winter Roses
Author: John Greenleaf Whittier 

My garden roses long ago
Have perished from the leaf-strewn walks;
Their pale, fair sisters smile no more
Upon the sweet-brier stalks.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

decorating with christmas cards

jpr: My mother received nearly a hundred cards each Christmass and decorated with them in every way imaginable.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Quote of the day.

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

Where is my Xmas?

An Ohio couple is defying orders to remove a zombie-themed nativity scene from their front garden. For a second year in a row, Jasen and Amanda Dixon constructed the scene, which features a spoof version of Silent Night including a demonic baby Jesus and undead wise men. The local council have said the display violates zoning laws, and local religious groups have denounced it.  Could we just get some carols, a little snow, Bing Crosby, and a decent Mass?

christmass decoration from italy

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Happy Birthday Mikey!

  Advertisement paid for by ASPE,the American Society  of Philosophical Experimentalists.

jpr: one more earth cycle about the sun for u!  Congrulations!


It's snowing, it's snowing
All over the place
When I look up
It falls in my face.

by ?????

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gingerbread Man Poem

Once there was a gingerbread man,
Baking in a gingerbread pan.
Raisin eyes and a cherry nose,
Trimmed right down to his fingers and toes.
A gingerbread man in a gingerbread pan!

jpr. Just for the adults to have some fun on the holidays.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Figgy pudding

Figgy pudding is a pudding resembling a paler coloured Christmas pudding containing figs. The pudding may be baked, steamed in the oven, boiled or fried. Figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England.

jor : Reminders of me ma's christmass plumb pudding.

Glory....Ben Navis

An object in front of the sun shrouded by clouds will show a halo effect called a Glory.  It is rainbow like circular  spectra of light. The phenomenon was first observed on the mount Ben Navis in the highlands of Scotland.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015


Celtic Druids used the stuff a lot. It got into Christian tradition but the kissing rite continued.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Some holiday with Rossetti

st pauls choir school cambridge, mass

The Shepherds had an Angel,
The Wise Men had a star,
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together
And singing angels are? –

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Alert for holidays

These days are not for children and toys only...bring back some cheer for adults!