Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Cromwell, the Righteous

Depending whether you are of English, Irish, or Scottish heritage, the name “Oliver Cromwell” evokes entirely disparate emotions.***

Cromwell lived between 1599 – 1658, and was an intensely religious man.  Every event in his life, Cromwell believed was ordained and dictated by God. 

After Elizabeth I died, succession was a royal mess.  James? No, how about…down to Charles I (who was captured and beheaded).  Much of it was related to two religions, two churches.  Catholic king?  Protestant king?

*** If you wish to avoid all this reading, skip on down to Monty Python's telling about Oliver Cromwell.

Parliament became a total mess as well.  

Dissolved, then “Rump Parliament” (honest to goodness, this was its title) was established, consisting of those who supported beheading Charles. It was a very nervous collection of men. 

Oliver Cromwell tired of the back and forth of politics, proceeded to walk in with sizable military force under his command. He dissolved the Parliament session for a time.

To keep this Commonwealth from crumbling, Cromwell (with his loyal military) assumed charge of ensuing chaos, suppressing any and all uprising.  

England was fairly easy to deal with, so Cromwell moved onto Ireland, where populations were heavily Catholic and were loyal to Charles 1. 

Massacre in Drogheda, Ireland, 1649

To say Cromwell dealt harshly is ridiculous.  His slaughter and subjugation of Ireland 1649-1653 resulted in near-genocide of all Catholics. Cromwell moved onto Scotland to do the same.

In Ireland, if one says “Cromwell”, responses will vary, but all vehement in some way.  It was fairly common for a big huff, a strong mucous spittle on the ground, a swear word of some sort, and perhaps other actions. This is true at this current history.

Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland. His ironfisted military control kept England together by absolute oppression. 

House in Ely where he lived a life of gentry

When Cromwell's uncle died, he inherited this house, Ely, near Cambridge, England.  Cromwell and family had lived in this delightful house in Ely for a time. A tour through the house included a 
This home has been completely restored.  Each room displayed very realistic figures, props and furniture narrative of his life in Ely.

 history, life in that room.  Each room displayed very realistic figures and perfect props.

What was unusual was that it was just after Easter, and the house still had plastic eggs throughout the house. A few on his Bible and rocking chair, even some on his deathbed (not accurate). The special effect in that room was lights dimming, Cromwell shook side to side. What was awesome was that there were some Easter eggs about the room, including one on his crotch. 

It was very clear that Cromwell is revered in Ely and all over England where many bronze statues have been erected to pay homage to his accomplishments.

He died in 1658, buried with honor in Westminster Hall, until 1660, when Royalists returned to power.  Cromwell was dug up. He had been interred in Westminster Hall with great honor. A year later he was dug up, without pomp and ceremony. This was supervised General George Monck, a former supporter of Cromwell, who jumped ships.

Taking a trip to Tyburn meant one was going to watch a hanging.

After Cromwell was disinterred, he was tried posthumously for treason, beheaded, while his body was hung in chains at Tyburn, (where criminals and others guilty of treason were executed).  

Without any ceremony, he was tossed into a common grave, minus his head.  
Cromwell's head on a spike

BUT a storm knocked it down, causing the head to roll away.  

A soldier found it and decided to hide it in his home chimney. For decades his head passed from hand to hand, often being displayed in carnival shows. (This cannot be made up. Well documented and everything!)

plaque marking burial place of Cromwell's head WKPD
Speaks for itself.

A Dr. Wilkinson bought it and offered it to Sydney Sussex College in 1960.  Cromwell’s head was finally re-buried in a secret place on college grounds.

Cromwell lived a life of religious fervor, where he was certain that he was doing God’s work. He will never be forgotten, in one way or the other.

Religious fervor cannot be tolerated before it erupts in absolute anarchy. He did just that, as have other regimes.

Why would anyone care to learn about Cromwell?  It is an incredible story, almost unbelievable in its horror and violence.  If it were happening today in our own countries, what would we do?  If it were occurring in some other country, what would be done? 

This post has been heavily loaded in history and such.  While living in Ireland, we learned much about Cromwell.  Our son in first grade came home one afternoon furious, absolutely furious about what Cromwell and English had done to Ireland, as if it were just yesterday or maybe last week.  

***To lighten this post, please listen to this Monty Python performance about...

This was posted back in 2017. Monty Python is brilliant. 

We will be taking a train to see our babies in Chicago.  I don't know if I will answer.  BUT please make your comment here!  I won't answer, but I will read!!

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Time Calls for All


For the better part of my life, we had a landline phone: 2 longs and 2 shorts were our number on a party line. 

Then, technology brought a dial desktop phone.

Our phone number was (217) 734-2076. I dialed that number for my entire adulthood.  Hi, mom!  Could you tell me the recipe for……

Now, Mom is gone. The phone number has been deactivated, although I have tried it many times. It made me feel good even though it would never answer.

If I have a question or need directions, I must access Google.  I must also remember and connect with my passwords, all the while wrestling with Windows. It never ends.

Mom’s phone number? I will never forget it. Oh, how I miss her.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Battle for Humanity


The old church was a lovely peaceful place to worship with its great acoustics: wood plank floor, white plastered walls, oak pews, and vaulted wood ceiling.

Many worshipers found peace here....

Sounds bounced around that sanctuary.  Music, whispers from the back row, giggles from teenagers, and even the crinkle of a candy wrapper were  heard by the congregants.

A young family found a spot in the third row from the altar.  Coming late made the front pews the only ones open.  The three children settled in for the sermon. The oldest girl went to sit with a friend, while the mother took the fussy baby girl to the adjoining nursery where she could hear the sermon through the intercom.

The father smiled benignly through most of the sermon before dropping off to sleep. This was not uncommon, but usually the wife gave him the elbow jab.  Not today.

That left the three-year old boy who found enjoyment with his double-jointed fingers and his imagination.  Fingers could become galloping horses or speeding race cars.  Today his fingers were alien spaceships.  They were engaged in a fierce battle.

My husband is legendary is his ability to drop off to sleep in church.

As the struggle for space domination heated up, the boy stood up to use the back ledge of the second row pew to help better stage the drama. 

Sweet Grandma House always sat there in the second row pew.  People who visited the church often commented on this saintly woman with her fluffy white hair and lovely pink hat. Bless her heart; Grandma House was blind, and nearly deaf.  She could just hear the sermon if she sat in that spot, with her hearing aid cranked up high.
The little boy situated himself directly behind her precious white head, and resumed the space battle. 

Zooommm.  Ch-ch-ch-ch!  Aaaaaa…kabooooom!  Crashhhhhh.  The fingers/spaceships faced off on either side of the white hair, pink hat planet.

The fingers/spaceships met at the pinnacle of the hat, and collided in a glorious explosion.  Kerrrr-aasshhhh!  Nooooo…ker-ploom!  P-shhhhhhh! 

The congregation held its breath, watching the battle, and waiting for the space debris to shower down on Grandma House's head.  The pastor had paused to allow the dying alien fighters some dignity.

The final notes of music filled the church just about then.  Church ended.

Dear Grandma House stood and turned around.  “What a precious family you have,” she smiled to the young couple.  “So quiet!” Then she handed the boy a car she had caught during a battle.

Smirk sounds trailed after the family.

Many glorious sounds reach to the heavens....

If you have ever been in a church where a little boy is having a space battle, let me know. I have witnessed such. 

This is a repost from September 2012. We will be visiting our son and family in Chicago.  One son is 3+ and 2nd son is 20 months.  We have never seen or held the baby, but we will enjoy space battles of their own. Their daddy was a conqueror.

Monday, June 7, 2021

He will wait.

Full-sized Newfoundland dog
Eddie and Josie Dimick Obituary 1878

Please enlarge these articles to read them. 

Eddie and Josie Dimick Graves Dog
Rock Island, IL

“With eye upraised his master’s look to scan,
The joy, the solace, and the aid of man:
The rich man’s guardian and the poor man’s friend,
The only creature faithful to the end.”

Greyfriars Bobby

All photos and information are from Travels with Tricia . 

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Hell of Middle Age

YouTube, about 6 minutes long

The real Queen's performance of Bohemian Rhapsody is legend. Having watched it months before his death, I was astounded by his voice, piano skills, and range of voice.  So when I found the ladies adapting it by adding words that changed its entire lyrics to fit their needs, I said "I hear you, sisters."

Most men will say, "wut r they sayin'"  But any man who is married or is the son of a woman of any middle years will nod their heads and say "Oh yeah, it is hell. God help me."

I would hope every man reading who knows this to be true, raise your hands.

Rami Said Malek won an Oscar for his performance. He was superb.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

God Bless America


I wish John Wayne had lived longer. 

John Wayne was a fervent patriot. He wanted to join up for WW2, but was rejected as being too old. But, the military wanted him to act in patriotic films. He was active in helping veterans and  supporting the military.

A list of some of his military movies:  

The Flying Leathernecks (1951) ...
Operation Pacific (1951) ...
The Fighting Seabees. ...
The Green Berets (1968) ...
In Harm's Way (1965) ...
The Longest Day (1962) ...
The Flying Tigers (1942) ...
Back to Bataan (1945)

I have seen all of these once and then twice. Now that I am older and have a better understanding of that horrible war, I appreciate what he portrayed. War is hell.

John Wayne, May 26 1907-1979

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Oh, the 1960s. Gotta luv 'em.

Lately, many of the rock and roll veterans have been inducted into the
Rock Hall of Fame. So many of the names that have me nodding, "Oh, yeah. They were something else."

Who are these leaders in what was the beginning of classics we find ourselves humming and/or mouthing the words? They may not have been Inductees, but that was the era of gems that shaped future performers. That was the 60s.


These are some Fame-rs, some who should have become Fame-rs, and some that are just plain memorable.

Peter Frampton

Los Lobos, Tom Jones,   The Four Seasons – “Sherry”

Johnny Rivers,    Three Dog Night,    Stevie Wonder – “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)”, 
 Johnny Winter

Steve Winwood,    Donovan – “Catch The Wind",    Harry Nilsson,   John Mayall

Steppenwolf,  The Rolling Stones – “Sympathy for the Devil”

The list not chosen includes artists that I enjoyed, but the list could go on a long stretch of road.

Why did I not put The Beatles up in the list? Now this is something that may cause gasps or disapproval:  

I really do not like the Beatles.

In 1964, the Ed Sullivan brought them to national fame.  I was 7th gr. and all the farm girls were giggly. They all "claimed" Paul (he wasn't married). I preferred George. He seemed more intelligent.

But after all the hullabaloo, I started listening to them and the lyrics.  A few songs I liked, but there were only a few.  (They didn't have the depth of soul, like Simon and Garfunkel or Lou Rawls.)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Oh, Bologna!


So, then. We are watching YouTube and finding entertainment, some chuckling. It's a switch from vacuuming and laundry.

Here is one you might enjoy.  

YouTube, about 3 minutes long

We will sometime have Bologna for supper. It is a break from our usual fare. Did you know that Fridays are "Fried Bologna Fridays". Give it a shot. Mark your calendar, Friday is tomorrow.

Live well, eat well, walk around the block. Read good books, change out of pajamas.  

God loves us. He is the One in Charge. Don't forget that. Live large.

This is from April 2020.  Try some fried bologna on your own. It is darn good.

YouTube, 3 minutes long: we got eggs now.

Monday, May 24, 2021

And I won't back down....


Tom Petty was a talented, successful recording artist who died too young. This is one of my favorite songs. 

Well, I won't back down

No, I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down
No, I'll stand my ground

Won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground
And I won't back down
(I won't back down)

Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
Hey, I will stand my ground
And I won't back down

Well I know what's right
I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground

And I won't back down
(I won't back down)
Hey, baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
Hey, I will stand…

Facing down the enemy (whoever that may be), standing up to face them, this is a timely song. I enjoy his talent, sadly gone.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Losing the battle

YouTube, 2017, 3 minutes

Too many returning military soldiers find that the world is not the one they left. After fighting and risking their lives, too many come home and some "lose the fight with demons".  

"In 2018, Veterans accounted for a lower proportion of suicide deaths among U.S. adults than in prior years. Veterans accounted for 13.8% of all deaths by suicide in 2018, compared to 19.2% in 2005 and 14.1% in 2017....Male veterans are 18 times more likely to kill themselves than their civilian counterparts, and female veterans are, sadly, 250 times more likely to commit suicide than their civilian counterparts. Another grave statistic is that it is estimated that an average of 20 veterans per day commit suicide — which translates to one veteran every 65 minutes...

Young enlisted troops are the primary concern. They account for 43% of the military population but 61% of deaths by suicide. Personally owned firearms, not military weapons, were the primary cause of death.

"None of us has solved this issue," said Karin Orvis, director of the Defense Suicide Prevention Office. "There is no quick fix." Military suicides

Fellow troops reach out to their comrades, especially comment section after videos like this were released:

I'm so sorry, Brother. I also served in Iraq, Fallujah as an Infantry Marine and I felt through every fiber of my body the words you wrote. Everyday is a struggle. Rest Easy Brother. I love You.

Amen. Thank you for posting. And he has 100% correct. My condolences to his friends and family. I'm sorry for your loss. And they give you the most deadliest mix of prescription meds. Chantix, antidepressants, a statin or

My father has struggled with this since the Vietnam War. He has good days & bad days, but can never sleep no matter what they try to give him. As soon as he closes his eyes, the nightmares begin & he is jumping up out of bed to make it stop. He naps an hour here or there & that is it all day every day it's a struggle for him to close his eyes & attempt sleep. This has been going on for decades & no one wants to open their eyes to see what the govt. has done. He had no choice either (drafted).

PTSD awareness month — an average of 20 veterans per day commit s……

My WW2 veteran father suffered with PTSD for nearly 70 years. His struggles affected our entire family. But, that was a time of "suck it up, keep going" where people never talked about the sources or struggles.

One source of providing support is Supporting mental health , and I've purchased tee shirts, a car sticker, and other items. They honor those who are suffering. Check them out. They have goals, one of which is to rescue and recognize the humanity of tortured veterans.

Daniel Somers, about 2 min.

Everyone has to know someone who has wrestled with PTSD. Reach out to them and/or organizations that provide help for these Veterans.

My address site for information was seriously messed up. So Sorry.  Please come back!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Dangers of Reading

 Can you imagine a world without reading, if you were a woman?  At the time listed, women were little more than a breeder, servant, a stay-at-home mother and wife.  

Why were women discouraged from reading? “In Madame Bovary, I think Flaubert is channeling a century of worries about young women as particularly susceptible to the fantasies they find in novels and the seductions of reading,” Margaret Cohen, a professor of French language, literature and civilization, told Op-Talk.

From the late 18th century through the middle of the 19th, she added, women “were considered to be in danger of not being able to differentiate between fiction and life.”

Try that again, and bad things will happen to men who try to dictate who and what a woman was. Bring it, and see how women react to that.  

Monday, May 17, 2021

Discovering new Hobbies


In the 1950s in rural areas, my hobbies were limited to whatever was on hand. Mom and my two grandmothers quilted and sewed. I discovered writing and how much I loved it.  And, with a pencil and paper, I found out that I was pretty good at sketching.

Now, after being married for 3/4 of our time together, we have developed new, different hobbies.  Stay with me, here!

We have taken up cursing. Nothing vulgar, mind you. Just some pretty common swear words.

First biggie, is damn or dammit. Standard swearing, I know, but there you have it.

Second is one that my saintly mom yelled out when something goes wrong.  That would is, of course, shit or crap. While this is offensive, the farm wreaked of it and it was called "shit".  

   YouTube: George Carlin and his list of 7 awful words that
should or cannot be said on TV. I would not
ever say the obvious bad one, but he did
hit some of our words. This is about 5 min. long. Beginning
is funny.

Third is ass.  Now, it is seen as a common word in most ways. But in the George Carlin world, he uses his voice and mimics how the word could be used, unwisely.

Fourth is bitch, with the understanding is this in not referring to a female dog.  It is pretty common in the teen insults.

Fifth is its relative, bastard.  I have long called my brothers "bastards" for good reason. They were cruel to me in many ways. So I will use that word proudly.

Sixth is whore. When I was in 5th grade, a boy told me to look it up. I looked up "hoar" which is not particularly bad.

Seventh could be piss off. We don't use this one yet. Time will tell.

Oh, there are more, but we are staying away from them.  If you would like to be educated, go to this site: 35 words to avoid saying

We have not advanced or sunk down to Carlin's level, and will not.  But the words are available if we descend into a pit of depravity.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

It's time to leave something behind


first left soup tureen; Lady carrying basket from my mom when 17; and Blue Ridge from Southern Pollenia?

At one point, all those precious items from your great-grandmother? Your offspring will not take them.  And that is where things go awry.

My children have looked at my treasures and said "Oh, we don't want that.  Means nothing to us."

This song tells how I feel.

Some descendants may someday thumb through my stuff, and say how cool we were.  I hope they recognize how cool we are. 

And I hope that maybe they appreciate my writing. Not so, yet.  Their lives are too busy, etc.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Home! Come home!


Helicopters fly
Gray and Green
Against a gray sky

Whoom-puh, Whoompuh

Blades cut through air
Shake leaves
Rattle glass
People watch from below.

Fly at night
Fly in day
Going where?  When?
Today, tomorrow.

Young men, young women
Sons and daughters all
Fly across
Desert ground, look down.

Whoom-puh, Whoompuh

Beating of their hearts
Beating of blades:
Same sound.

This was originally published September 12, 2012

Camp Pendleton is just 20-30 miles from us.  When we lived even closer, we could hear war maneuvers. Helicopters, munitions, half-tracks on the beach---something was about to happen.  Here, huge batches of Cipro were being stored in warehouses, ready for possibility of poisonous weapons being fired.

So, why is this being posted now?

Our men and women are coming home! After 20 years, they are coming home.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Needs of the Day


At one time or another, very young children need to express themselves, using their words, while other children throw themselves on the floor. The dropping to the floor and high wailing is irritating , if not infuriating. But we are the adults. We are the ones in charge.

These future adults are honing their skills in action and in words.

This video is 6 minutes long, worth every second!  This man is very wise.

From America's Funniest Video, about 1:30.
I wonder what became of this boy?

Remember: you are an adult. You do not throw tantrums. You do not stomp off and slam doors. You do not throw yourself on the floor.  You control yourself.  How is this working out for you? Oh, go ahead, cut loose!  

Monday, May 3, 2021

Books, stacked high, up to the Ceiling


"Heritage" is a word that should never be taken lightly. What was dreamed of and then built now must be torn down.  Happens all the time in America, where "eminent domain" trumps treasure. 

                                        The little suitcases say "Public Library". 

And, then this...

AND, then this.....

                                         Parking garage and office building

"The cost of the lot and building was $383,594.53, about $7.7 million today. The Public Library contained 60,000 volumes, with an estimated capacity of 300,000. So why this building demolished? Talks for a new library building had already begun 30 years earlier when the book collection had started to outgrow the building. Books were stacked beyond reach. Ventilation was poor, the air stuffy. The paint was peeling.....

"Talks for a new library building had already begun 30 years earlier when the book collection had started to outgrow the building. Books were stacked out of reach, the 19th century ventilation system was already failing and the paint was peeling."

Past vs. Present?  Restore a building with unknown huge amounts of money? Or, build a new one?

Do you wonder what books were stacked there? They were packed and then stored until the new library was finished. Can you imagine what aged tomes might be in those boxes? 

Friday, April 30, 2021

From the mind of Chuck Jones


Singing Frog  is my favorite. I took the idea of time capsules, made one with my students. No frogs,

Chuck Jones created some amazing cartoon characters over his career; crazy characters emerged from his creative mind, ending up on TV. As a child, I watched those cartoons over and over, not knowing or caring who did the creative work. All I knew is that I was always caught when one came on. In fact, they inspired me.  

This is a compilation of some of Chuck Jones' most popular cartoon creations. It is about 5 to 8 minutes long. 

“A lion's work hours are only when he's hungry, once he's satisfied the predator and prey live peacefully together”

“Every artist has thousands of bad drawings in them and the only way to get rid of them is to draw them out.”

"The Coyote is limited, as Bugs is limited, by his anatomy."