Pi, Pi, Everywhere a Pi

Life’s been busy. In fact so busy, I haven’t done an anniversary post in three years. I’ll get y’all caught up in a different post, but for now, cheers to the little blog and all the friends made along the way.

* * * *

A little more than seventeen years ago, I ventured out to the internetz and discovered an entire world of voices just as disgruntled as mine.  I thought if they can do it, so can I.  And one day I just started.

I didn’t pick Pi Day / Albert Einstein’s birthday on purpose.  It was just the day I loosed my inner pyromaniac.  Some days are bright, happy blazes, and others were full-blown five alarmers.  Regardless, it’s been a slow burn for a long time.

The years have expanded the web’s depth and reach, despite govenment’s meddling in what we can and cannot see. 

In the last several year’s anniversary posts, I’ve hinted at my mother’s decline in health. She is now in a memory care facility. I understand why dementia is called “The Long Goodbye.”  Every time I see her, she is changed.  She is greatly diminished, slowly evaporating before my eyes.

These are difficult days. The blog has suffered, along with other areas of my life.  But I’m still active on the web in discussions I care about and contributing to other sites.  I know the time will come when I sadly have too much time because my responsibilities to others have ended.  Hopefully, we will still have enough free speech left that I can speak my mind here.

If you’re new to this dark little asteroid, you can check out the one post that started it all, plus the rest of the previous anniversary posts – The First, Year One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, and Fourteen.

Many, many friends have been made and lost along the way. So many prayers said. So much support offered. Special thanks go out to Fausta for her continued friendship, and as always to The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia, my blog-mother. It’s all her fault. She continues to amaze and inspire me.

This never-ending media tantrum, which brought out the worst in all of us has gotten even more rotten.  Let us pray as one for America’s future, protection from disease, domestic safety and sovereignty.

Thorin Oakenshield, the magical Boston Terrier, is now five years old. He rules our roost and charms everyone who crosses his path. Except certain men he doesn’t like the looks of. They must be Orcs in disguise.

Goodbyes You Hoped Wouldn’t Come So Soon

It’s been a while since I stopped by. Life, and responsibilities, have shifted to such an extent that writing slid to a spot on the never-ending back burner. I still had time to read and stay somewhat caught up on The Long Decline and other unhappiness, here and abroad, but the bandwidth needed to keep all the plates spinning just wasn’t there. And not just sometimes.

A quick recap:

  • My mother’s dementia journey continued it’s relentless advancement to the point she needed to be moved to an Assisted Living/Memory Care facility. While the staff there is caring and competent, I still felt like the General Manager. Dementia is a horrible disease. Especially for the family who has to watch it all happen.
  • My husband’s health adventure continues it’s twists and turns. Again, more watching.
  • Too many funerals of friends, parents of friends, and beloved teachers.
  • The financial pressures of retirement.
  • Figuring out Medicare enrollment. I told one friend it was like playing a video game filled with alligators.
  • Low energy/lack of motivation. A result of recovering from an accident that should have basically killed me, while all this other mess was spinning round and round.

And then, last Friday, Gerard Van der Leun passed away. It didn’t hit like my father’s death, but boy, it was close. I was an avid reader and sometimes commenter. Like so many others, his writing struck me to the very core, and stayed embedded, like memories of a favorite uncle. And over the last week, his site has been flooded with tributes, that in themselves, bring even more tears than Gerard’s many thoughtful pieces. He was loved by many.

Over the next few weeks/months/years, I’ll link some of my favorite Gerard stories and my thoughts. But today, I’ll include this one about John Lennon. Go read it, I’ll wait.

I had to read it several times. Especially the part of how he’d been working with John and That Woman just a few days before his (John’s) death. I’d heard that story before. Somewhere. But it was spoken, not written. It took a bit before it came back to me. But my husband verified my memory of the day.

It was late March, 1986. We were on our honeymoon to California. The first few days were in San Francisco, then we rented a car and headed to Napa Valley. Just over the bridge, in Sausalito, was a small inn with a restaurant that’d been recommended by a well-traveled friend. We pulled into the Alta Mira, and were quickly seated on the terrace with the killer view of the SF skyline. Just like my friend said. For a bit, we were alone. Just as our food arrived, another table was seated, with a middle-aged man and a young couple, probably early twenties. It wasn’t long before we stopped talking and began listening to the story this man was telling. It was fascinating – how he was working with John and Yoko just days before he was killed in NYC. And all that happened afterward. When we finished up, and headed out, he was still talking.

Looking back, I don’t remember their faces in detail. But I remember his distinctly. Nice looking, good hair, Wayfarers, and a red dress shirt. Eerily, years later, it’s very similar to the first picture he’d ever put on the masthead of AD, but years younger. And I didn’t put them together until years later when I was looking for the pieces to this little puzzle. So even though I’d never met him, I’ve been in the same space with him. He made a lasting impression even then.

America has lost a treasure, indeed.

Namárië, Gerard.

Twenty Years. Some Pain Never Goes Away.

I’ve been absent a while. More about that in a later post.

On September 12, 2001, we all vowed to NEVER FORGET. Seems many Americans have, especially those who supposedly represent us, or those we supposedly elected. But I’ve not forgotten. And I never will, as long as I can draw breath.

The AJC had an excellent article on the first NYC baseball game after 9/11/2001. Braves vs. Mets.

Georgia lost four sons that day. My 2018 anniversary post is here. 2019. 2020. There are more. Just follow the links.

This milestone year will be extra painful, considering the events of the last few weeks. I agree with Val (like always), Mumbly Joe needs to stay away.

That’s Not How Any of This Works

I retired on December 31, 2020 with the hopes that 2021 would not suck nearly as much as 2020.

Bam. Mom was diagnosed with Covid. She is recovering slowly and, so far, doesn’t seem to have the nasty strain of the virus. Because of the Covid outbreak in her residence, we’ve not seen her in person since the Tuesday before Christmas. We covet your prayers for her recovery.

Bam. Saturday I woke up to find out four people I knew died on the same day. Three were from Covid. Please pray peace and comfort for their families.

Bam. The internet in general, and certain companies in particular, lost their ever-lovin’ minds. Pray for discernment in all corners.

Bam. The Ministry of Truth is in full voice, and there hasn’t even been a regime change yet. Pray for the safety of all, regardless of their political leanings.

Going forward, I’ll be leaning on prayer and Adminal Ackbar’s prophetic warning: “It’s a trap!”


Yesterday, Today, and Days to Come

So yesterday, I did a thing. I’m not going to say what, just yet, because it’s not official. Let’s just say it’s a thing most people do at a certain point in their life. If they are lucky enough to get that certain point in their life.

As long-time readers know, since my father passed, I’ve been my mother’s caregiver. As the years passed, it became more and more difficult to manage her care and well-being with a demanding full-time job. In December, following a few frightening incidents, we moved her to Assisted Living. After a rocky adjustment period, she begrudgingly settled in. Then Covid happened. Today I saw her for the third time since March 12. She’s much frailer and in dreadful need of a haircut. She asked who was the man I brought with me and were we living together. (LOL – “The man” was my husband, and yes, we’re living together.)

This enforced isolation of seniors in facilities is doing more harm to those with dementia than anyone realizes. A friend jokingly called it, “Pandemic Prison.” It’s not a joke. Dementia patients need interaction. They need mental stimulation. They need touch. They need their families, who are agonizing in insolation themselves over what is happening to their loved ones.

You’ll be hearing more about this, and other things, in the days ahead. I’m dusting off the soapbox. I’m mad. And somebody’s gonna hear about it.

On a Dark Day, Waiting on a Hurricane

Those dark clouds churning to the South are the remnants of Hurricane Irma, bringing the promise of high winds, heavy rains, and flooding. Having been flooded before, the prospect of another few days like that will bring a sleepless night and lots of indigestion.

Looming weather catastrophe aside, do not forget what today is. The sixteenth anniversary of 9-11, when thousands died at the hands of Islamic extremists. The media will bluster about the weather to the point it will embarrassingly resemble p0rn. Last year’s post contains the links to Georgia’s fallen. Remember them always.

Never, ever forget.

Never, ever forget.

Who Are These People?

I miss writing here.  I miss a lot of things these days. This little blog has been on hiatus because my mother’s dementia is advancing.  Only those who have witnessed this abomination will understand.

A bright, vibrant, strong Southern woman is now a shell of her former self.  The vacant stares, constant questions, lost bills, sleep problems, lost friends and decline in health are just the tip of the iceberg.

But Wednesday, I realized my prayers for More Time weren’t being answered.  I was sitting at her kitchen table, working on the computer when she wandered in waving a photograph.  She’s been going through old pictures.  Between the two of us, we identify the people and/or places and she writes the information on the back of the picture.

She shows me the latest picture, asking, “Who are these people?” My heart sank.  The people in the picture were her grandchildren.  It was taken sometime during the summer four years ago before my eldest went north, to start her graduate school in New York.  Gently, ever so gently, so as not to agitate her, I help her remember each one, their name, and what they are doing now.  Five minutes later, she’s off to some other distracted task.  I sit there, numb and sad.  So deeply sad.  The windows are closing.

Pray for us.  Pray for strength.  Pray for His Peace to cover us on the road ahead.

Everything happens according to God’s plan and in His time.


There are things you don’t understand until you’re older.

Happiness so beyond measure you think your heart will burst. Pride in the (seemingly Herculian) feat that the obnoxious teenagers skulking about your house just a few years ago have actually turned into fine adults. Grief that never ends. It may fade like a low tide, but it will surge. Again and again.

Every fall, on what always seems to be a perfectly clear day, the wound reopens.

From a previous post:

This day always exposes the dark hole in all of us that believe in America.

Despite the sadness, and the blustery misdirection of politicos and media hounds, remember those who died this day at the hands of terrorist Islamists that our government now secretly embraces.

Georgia lost four sons that day:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.

Last summer, I was privileged to visit the 9/11 Memorial in NYC. Read that post here.

Even in the bustle of the busy, busy city, it is a reverent place.

Never, ever forget.

Never, ever forget.

Things, They Are A’Changin’

Well, obviously I’ve been away for a bit. I’ve thought a lot about y’all; hopefully you haven’t forgotten about me.

Shortly after my father passed away in 2013, my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Since then, I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotion, education and exhaustion.  Finally I feel like we’ve reached a place where we can breathe, even if it may only be for a short time.

As a church friend says, “Enjoy the journey.”  No matter how much it hurts.  There will be joy at the end.

Stay tuned folks, changes are in the air.



Freedom TowerToday is the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on American soil.

Rather than focus on all the noise and negativity, allow me a few moments of personal privilege.

My oldest goes to school in NY.  One of my “bucket items” was to visit the 9/11 Memorial before she finished her studies and moved on to greener pastures.  She made it happen this summer when I traveled back with her in the weeks before her semester began.

We got to the Memorial around 11am and it was already crowded and very hot/humid.  I purposely found the four* Georgians killed in the attack and their names.  By the time I got to Mike, the tears were streaming down my face.  My daughter was just a high school freshman that fateful day.  She, and those younger, may never understand the violation we felt.  Not just that day, but the next, and the years to come.

Never forget.

September 11, 2001 dawned as a beautiful autumn morning.  Lightly crisp, brilliant blue sky. What many call a “Chamber of Commerce Day.”

At 7:59 am, American Airlines flight 11 departs Boston Logan bound for Los Angeles. It never made the destination. Instead, it crashed at 8:46 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.  At 10:28, the North Tower collapses, killing Michael Gann of Roswell.  He was attending a conference and was due to return home that afternoon. Read more here.


Never forget.

At 8:14 am, United flight 175 departs Boston Logan bound for Los Angeles. It never made the destination. Instead, it crashed at 9:03 into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.  At 9:59, the South Tower collapses, killing Harshad Thatte of Norcross and Maynard Spence, Jr of Douglasville.


Harshad and Maynard worked for the same company.  Harshad’s Condolences page here (the Obit page is under maintenance.)

Maynard is remembered as caring man with an infectious laugh. Read more here.


Never forget.

At 8:20 am, American Airlines flight 77 departs Washington Dulles bound for Los Angeles. It never made the destination. Instead, it crashed at 9:37 into the Pentagon, killing Georgians Maj. Stephen Long and Maj. Wallace Cole Hogan at their posts. Read more about Stephen here. Cole had startling blue eyes. Read his story here.


Never forget.

At 8:41 am, American Airlines flight 93 departs Newark bound for San Francisco. It never made the destination. Instead, the heroic passengers and crew mounted an attack against the lunatics who hijacked  the aircraft.  It crashed near Shanksville, PA, taking 40 heroic souls and 4 terrorists with it. While none were Georgians, the 40 heroes who gave their lives are dear to our hearts. Read more here.

Never forget.

Nearly 3000 people died that day during the attacks. But remember the many who died in the days and years later of injuries, complications, long term illnesses caused by exposure and devastating grief. Remember the shattered families. Children without parents. Parents without children.

Never forget.

Never, ever forget.

[UPDATE: *I have just learned that there was another Georgian, Maj. Cole Hogan, who was killed at the Pentagon. I’ve added his name above and someday will make it back to the Memorial to get his picture.]

Evil That’s Been Around Since the Beginning of Time

Thirteen years ago we were attacked by Evil Incarnate. We are even less safe now than we were last year. As we remember those that fell that day and in the years since, pray for our protection against this Evil in the days to come.

Republishing last year’s post in full:

This day always exposes the dark hole in all of us that believe in America.

Gerard always says what I’m thinking so well…

What the nation has become, through death by fire, bravado, war, forgetfulness, treason, and blunt stupidity could not have been foretold on September 10, but here we are — a lurching ship of state captained by a malicious hater of the American soil. That same captain, maddened by his own stunted heritage, will today disgrace the soil of Ground Zero. It is a difficult reality that has been dealt by the hands of fate; one that is still being played out.

Despite the sadness, and the blustery misdirection of politicos and media hounds, remember those who died this day at the hands of terrorist Islamists that our government now secretly embraces.

Georgia lost four sons that day:

  • Claude Michael Gann of Roswell, whose tribute you can find here. Mike was recently remarried and attending a conference at Windows on the World.
  • Major Stephen V. Long of Georgia, whose tributes you can find here and here. Already a war hero, he was at his post at the Pentagon when it was attacked.
  • Maynard S. Spence Jr of Douglasville, whose tribute you can find here. He was on the 99th floor of the second tower.
  • Harshad Sham Thatte of Norcross, whose Legacy page is here. He worked for the same company as Mr. Spence, Marsh & McLennan.

Never, ever forget.

Never, ever forget.

Enough Is Enough

Someone left the cake out in the rain
And I don’t think that I can take it
’cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!! — MacArthur Park

Once you get to be in the general neighborhood of 50, it’s natural to look back at your life and take stock. Sometimes people feel smug and accomplished. Others frantically scribble bucket lists, believing they’ll keel over any minute. Remember when you were a kid, and someone over 30 was just an ancient dinosaur? So square, man.

With age comes wisdom. For some, their compassion deepens. Others hone a tempered kind of discernment. Ever a patient man, I can remember when my Dad’s last button was finally pushed. He’d say, “Enough is enough.” These last few weeks I’ve reached that point that I want to shout it to the Heavens!

Our dithering President.

An ancient evil rears its ugly head.

This mess in Missouri. (There are just too many links.)

This mess in … (name your favorite crisis).

I look at my children, both returned to school this past week. The eldest, back on Long Island, starting her Doctorate. The least’un, preparing to graduate this December with his Bachelors. What does the future hold for them? Opportunity? Prosperity? Freedom to worship? Or burqas, death and destruction?


I hope for the best. And I know that God is in control. There is nothing wrong with personal idealism, especially when striving for a better America. This country was founded on the prayers of great men. Prayer is the best way to fight this evil.

It’s something we’ve talked about a lot on this blog, but it bears repeating: prayer is a subversive means of freedom, at once consoling, engaging and efficacious throughout time and space. It has power, and that power holds, when everything else falls apart.

Indeed. Think of the power of a nation on its knees – in prayer, not in subjugation to some self-professed liberal thugocracy or caliphate du jour.

Dear Lord,
Once again men of Faith and of the West face the swords of the heretics. Once again, those who oppose Thy divine Order surround the remnant of Christian Civilization like wolves against prey. Once again, dear God, we turn our eyes to You and beg Thy gracious aid. If it be thy will, dear Lord, save us. If it be Thy will, raise up a great Leader to inspire Christian hearts in this country and in all the world. If it be Thy will, O Lord, send us a leader, a man to shore up our sagging spirits and rally us to the defense of our faith, our posterity, and our patrimony.

But enough is enough for now. I’m back and working up a head of steam. I may not have that recipe again, but I’m writing a new one, so watch out.

(Here’s the song: Forgive the disco version. It reminds me of high school days when we were all invincible.)

“What time is it in Texas?” and Other Words of Wisdom from a Great Man

The last post made here at this little blog was on December 5. It was the usual snarky snark, a quick cherry bomb lob about politics. Little did I know that almost four hours later, my father would be gone.

I’ve written this post at least a dozen times in my head the last week or so. If it rambles a bit, indulge me. There’s never enough to be said.

December started out as usual: the monumental lists of things to do/buy/wrap/bake/decorate/sing/eat/wear and the usual moaning of not enough time/money/elbow grease/cleaning supplies to get it all done.

All that came to a screeching halt that afternoon when my sister-in-law called. My dad had a heart attack at home and was being transported to the hospital. In just a few hours, despite the heroic efforts of the ER staff, he was gone.

The next weeks were a blur.

After the funeral, Christmas quietly came and went. Many say the first holiday is the hardest, and boy, this one was tough. The rawness of the empty chair at every gathering weighed bittersweet as we shared our favorite memories.

Over those days, many talked of Dad’s propensity for telling jokes. Not dirty or off-color stuff, just corny. He’d rework them to try to snag you again and again. One lady told of how he’d ask her almost every week at church, “What time is it in Texas?” She’d said she didn’t know and he’d always answer “10 to 9,” forever remembering the Bulldogs victory over Texas in the ’84 Cotton Bowl.

Image 1 In the mid-1950’s, a handsome young man finished his service in the USAF and returned home to Jonesboro. His parents had moved to Jonesboro from Grant Park. He was the youngest of twelve children. His older brothers served in WWII in Europe and the Pacific. One sister was a WAVE. The highlight of family reunions in the years to come was listening to the brothers share their war stories. And golf stories, lots of golf stories, but more about that later. He worked in communications and was stationed around the US, including Ft. Hood in Waco, TX. When it was time to re-up, his CO wanted to send him to flight school, but Daddy said, “No thanks, I’m done.”

Scan 80Not long after returning home, he met the whirlwind girl that would become his wife and my mother. They were married in August in the un-air-conditioned Methodist church in Jonesboro. Evidently it was the social event of the little town’s sweltering summer. The wedding pictures were lovely. Everyone glistened with happiness. Four years later I came along and after another four years, little brother (known around here as “Obi”) arrived. He was a quiet man. He parented by example more than words. He could be firm (in later years we called it stubborn). I thought he was the meanest man in the world when he wouldn’t take me to see The Beatles when they visited Atlanta in 1965. Never mind that I was only 7. Only when I became a parent myself did I understand that he was protecting me from being trampled by the riot of screaming teenage girls that descended on Atlanta that weekend.

As we grew up, he came to all our ball games, concerts and golf tournaments. He especially liked attending UGA games while me and little brother attended the university. There were bumps in the road, of course, anytime you raise rambunctious teenagers there are bumps, but he handled them more calmly than most.Scan 64 He even welcomed an impromptu rolling Redcoat Band party that descended on their little house, playing the perfect host to a hoard of rambunctious twenty-something’s.

As me and my brother met and married our spouses, we saw another side of Daddy. After a breaking-in period, he welcomed them to his family as his own son and daughter. As Father of the Bride and my brother’s Best Man, he outshone us both. Put a tuxedo on that man, and he looked like a movie star.

Scan 21Then the grandkids came along. He beamed with pride. He had a special way of making each feel special and loved. At the funeral, when my boy WeeHighlander TurnedCollegeFratBoy spoke, he started with, “I was the favorite grandchild.” Then Obi’s Eldest, RockStarInTraining, stood up and said, “No, I was the favorite.” Then Obi’s LeastUn, PrincessSoccerStar, piped up and said the same. Then my eldest, GradSchoolHornGirl, standing at the lectern for support of her brother, just shook her head with that look that said SHE was the favorite. Just like with us, he attended as many of their birthday parties, ballgames, concerts, tournaments as he could. He’d sit quietly in the midst of the bedlam and would tell corny jokes to whomever he could reel in.

Image 6He was the World’s Greatest Braves Fan; watching or listening to every game, every season, win or lose. Outside of Georgia, most of America doesn’t know about the long-running love-hate relationship with the Braves and their fans. But he was pulling for them, even when they were in the bottom of their division. And they were there alot, after the glory days of the early to mid-1990’s.

Scan 60Dad was an avid golfer. He attended many Masters Tournaments and other PGA tournaments in the Atlanta area. When he was a member of East Lake Country Club, he won his flight in a member’s tournament. The prize was a shiny all leather golf bag. After a day of play, he’d bring home his scorecard and recount shot by shot how he beat and/or took his buddy’s quarters on each hole. He was especially proud of shooting a ‘2’ on a hole and he’d brag on those. His devotion to golf, and the gentlemanly behavior that the sport strives to instill in its students brings to mind the scripture Obi read at the funeral. In Galatians, Paul speaks of running the good race. For Dad, it was always shooting for par. Then Paul goes on,

Galations 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

That was Dad. Quiet, loving, sometimes stern and firm, kind, generous. He loved America and expressed his concern repeated about the path the nation was on. His patriotism lives on in his family.

ImageLast August, I took Mom & Dad out for their 59th Anniversary. We talked about the grandkids, neighbors, the Braves, doctor’s appointments, Hub’s new church, schedules, and I tried to convince them to travel to NY with us in the spring for GradSchoolHornGirl’s Master Recital and possibly attending her commencement as well. Everybody has hindsight, and with me, knowing this was the last meal where I’d have them all to myself, I wish we’d talked of less mundane things.

Thinking over the fall months the last few weeks, I believe he knew something was up and his time was growing short. He was tidying up his life, saying small goodbyes here and there. Things we didn’t catch in the daily hoopla, but looking back, we see them. Longer hugs, quiet I Love You’s, stories you’d never heard before, the way you’d catch him looking at you from across the room. Small, unexpected gifts.

The Friday night after his death, I woke up from a startling dream. Some people don’t put much stock in dreams, but it comforted me and to this day it is as vivid as it was that night. Uncle Henry and Uncle Marvin were walking down a gentle hill in some beautiful place, lush green, trees, blue sky, the sun behind their backs. There was a noise in the background. At first I thought it was birds, but after thinking about it a good bit, I think it was the crunch of cleats on a golf course cart path. My uncles were younger, like when I was a young girl. There is a spring, an urgency, to their step. As they walk closer, you see them talking. They say, “We’ve got to find Jerry, Carol is here.” That’s when I woke, sitting straight up in my bed. Daddy was OK.

Goodbye, my sweet Daddy. While I will miss you the rest of my days, I know that I’ll see you again. Thank you for your life, your example, your quiet witness and your love.

Scan 10

Prayers for Hubby

As you read this, I’m taking Hubby to hospital for two days worth of heart monitoring, medication and another zap session.

Pray for him, and us.

Praying for Oklahoma

If you’ve been under a rock somewhere, or stuck in your bunker for days, Oklahoma continues to be ravaged by fierce storms. 

I will have more links later (posting this from my phone).  Our last week of a broken A/C unit seems trivial compared to the suffering of these families.

The people of Oklahoma deserve our most urgent prayers.

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