“On the road again; can’t wait to be on the road again…”

On the road again….making memories..

I took a break from blogging and social media. We left town for a few days. It rained at least 50% of the time, but we were gone! The rain was loud on the camper, but wonderful at the same time! We drove another long, long drive to Valdez, Alaska. It is about 6.5 hours. With no radio reception. All my hubby and I did was chat. It was a slice of heaven. No interruptions. No sounds other than the ones that come with driving a long ways. Some funny things? My FitBit thought I was walking. Honestly. I kept getting notices that I had met my hourly goal of 250 steps. By the time we got to Valdez, my daily 10,000 steps were done. I cracked up. The only thing I can figure is that the roads are just so bumpy my Fitbit thinks I’m walking. So I arrived in Valdez exhausted from all those steps and the immensity of the conversation I had with my hubby.

Kolbe and Maggie on our bed in the camper.

When I pack for vacation, I make our bed. Clean sheets. Blankets. Whole thing. Well, the dogs got into the camper and immediately made themselves comfy. And the bed was messy the rest of the trip!!

Rainy Saturday

Valdez is a port city. It gets lots of rain. So this weekend was no exception. We got a lot of rain. But I truly did not mind. I love it there. For some reason, I relax. The mountains are all around us. My granddaughter and I counted 21 glaciers around us. We could see countless waterfalls. The colors of fall were just making their way over the mountains. It was a beautiful site to camp and explore.

The first fish of the trip…

This trip ended up being more about fishing with grandpa than sightseeing. And even though they were fishing in the rain, it was still a lot of fun. Ever heard of the term, “combat fishing”??? I had but I had never seen it. This trip, we lived it. It was pretty incredible. There was a late-season, heavy, silver run of salmon. And everyone that loved to fish was there. LOL. I kid you not…fishing was side-by-side and if you left your “spot” another fisherman would quickly take it. Even if that someone was a kid. People were catching their limits in 4-5 hours. And the fish were big.

Valdez Labor Day 2022

I’m not sure if you can fully grasp how many people there are, but look at the photo above. Please note there are RVs and trucks, cars and campers parked all along the roadway until after the curve. There are people all on the rocks as far as there are cars. It was crazy. Raining off and on, and sort of chilly. But the fish were running, so the fishermen were there!

I learned about all the different sorts of salmon. I still couldn’t tell them apart. I suppose if I studied them, I could. But fishing is not my thing, so I just didn’t put forth the collegiate effort to learn! LOL! My granddaughter learned about fish, and zombie fish. The “fish” are swimming as if their lives depended on it (because it does) to reach their spawning grounds. It’s what salmon do. They are born in these rivers, migrate to the ocean, and after 2-3 years (depending on which type of salmon they are) then they return in early fall to spawn and die. Once they spawn, their life cycle is complete. The zombie fish are the ones who have been swimming for a long time but have not been able to reach their spawning ground. They keep swimming even after they have begun to actually decay. It is sad, really, to see all the dead fish that are floating around. There are literally 1000s that die before making it back. The wildlife take care of most of it, and nature takes care of the rest.

My granddaughter was appalled to watch fishermen reel in a zombie and throw it onto the rocks and it slowly flop around until they died. These fish have no chance of survival and they are not good to eat (decay has already begun). So most fishermen just let them die on the rocks, rather than throw them back to the sea. My granddaughter told her grandpa that “No fish should be just left to die out of the water. That is mean. We need to put them back in.” So whenever grandpa, or her dad, brother, or even she herself caught a zombie, she made sure they were “set free” back to the ocean. We all rolled our eyes but also smiled at how sweet that was. We all knew these zombies were doomed, but we loved her heart.

First Catch – Zombie fish…

She delighted in everyone’s first catch. When she got hers, she was so excited. Then realized it was a zombie. But dad and grandpa had to crawl over the rocks to be sure that zombie got to swim away. What a precious memory!!!

Me and Kathleen

My daughter-in-law and I supervised from the shoreline. We didn’t last as long as the men! We took off to look at the fish weir and watch the sea lions and harbor seals catching their own fish…

Sea Lions Labor Day. Valdez 2022

This trip we counted more than 27 sea lions at one time, catching fish. Oh my goodness are they loud. Not as loud as all the gulls, mind you, but between the sound of the fish weir (waterfall), the gulls, and the barking sea lions, it is not a quiet spot! And it is never dull. So much wildlife to see. And they could care less that they have an audience!

Valdez Waterfall

This is just one of the hundreds of waterfalls in and around Valdez. We drove – well, bounced – up this crazy road – trail – rock pile – to find this waterfall so the family could pan for gold. The story of me driving over a rickety old wooden bridge is a story in and of itself. And my eldest son was a total brat and teased me so badly about my fear of old, rickety, wooden bridges. Anyway, I digress. We found this amazing space through some trees to this waterfall. The water was brisk and bracingly cold, but nonetheless, shoes were discarded and silt was placed into pans and gold was hunted.

Is it????
Could it be????
I think there is a spec in there, Grandma!!!

It was so much fun to be out in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and to run across another family biking or hiking. We would nod our heads at them like we shared a secret. We finally were doing what people think you do if you camp in Alaska! LOL! We had a great afternoon. We then chose to get all our moose chili fixings and return for high tide to try and catch more fish. Along the trek back to the trucks, I took some photos of the little things we passed by…

Spores in Valdez
Moss??
Fish 2 was caught!

And we had another happy fishing session. It was interesting to watch our grandkids disengage from electronics and enjoy the company of family, learning a new sport, and spending time outdoors in this amazing place we all call home.

The afternoon passed quickly in hunt of the perfect fish. The people were congenial and helpful. Fishermen love to share lore and tricks and special ways of snagging the fish. They all helped the kids with nets at the ready, and encouraging words. It was great. And people were from all over. But we noticed a majority were from Fairbanks, with Valdez being their only ocean access. And that boggled the mind for me. We have so few roads and have to make our way around mountains and rivers – there are no direct routes anywhere.

Our route is through Glennallen to Valdez

We looked at maps and I guess it’s about the same mileage as from Anchorage. It just seemed further from Fairbanks. There is a sign along the highway where it says something like “Anchorage 312 miles/Fairbanks 320 miles” so I guess it’s a similar drive. These people come every year for the silver run, and usually around Labor Day. I’m thinking we may return next year, too!!

We then drove out to the Valdez Glacier Lake and the glacier field. It was incredibly beautiful.

Floating Glacier Ice
Valdez Glacier Lake

We spent quite a lot of time there, gathering silt water in plastic bottles. They are fun to have because if you mix the water and the silt in the clear plastic, over time the heavy stuff goes to the bottom and you get to see all the layers of goodies contained in a glacier field. It gathers bits of the earth as it moves along the mountains. Most of the contents are quite literally thousands of years old. What a beautiful place!

Valdez Glacier Tributary

We chose to stop along the way to dig in some silt and look for “Squatch trees” along the river banks, only to realize they are across on sandbars and that water is far too cold and moving too quickly to even attempt to grab a tree. And if you do not know what a “Squatch tree” is, you can read my previous posts or research it. All I can say is, “Who knew?” LOL.

Valdez Harbor

After meandering through town, we drove out to the Harbor. It was just so darn pretty outside. We could walk along the harbor, among the boats, and see the fishermen bringing in their catch to process. We looked at the boats and spoke fantastical dreams about owning one of them (It will never happen) and joked about the amazing number of salmon and halibut we would catch. Then we found these amazing food trucks. The scent wafted over the seashore and had us practically drooling. We went back to our trailers and sat in the sun munching on the most delicious street tacos! They were simply the best any of us have had in – well – maybe the best ever!! So so good!

Grandkids being kids…loved it.

We were coming to the end of our trip to Valdez. Once more the fishermen headed out to see what they could catch. The kids have been bitten by the fishing bug. Grandpa is very happy about that. They were successful and we then made a great dinner and started to wind down our journey. We all retreated to our trailers to start the packing process. We had some of our usual evening, warm, Golden Milk and settled in for our final night of camping, ready to drive home the next day.

Valdez Harbor

As we were getting ready to leave, heavy clouds rolled into the bay, and and the weather was getting rough. We had winds the night before and we knew more rain was coming, so the timing for us was good. We did not leave as early as we would have liked, but we also didn’t mind being there longer. Valdez has mesmerized us and we can all imagine many more happy days camping and fishing and exploring. This was probably our last camping trip of 2022. It seems weird to close the door on that part of our lives, for now. We have plans to map out next summer’s schedule and deciding where we want to go. We will be making camping reservations early in January for the entire summer, to ensure we get good camping sites, in all the places we have come to love, but also plan to explore areas north of us. It is exciting to even think about. But today the winds are whistling, we have heavy rains, and yellow leaves dot our lawns. Summer is pretty much over, and so is traveling the roads of Alaska with our dogs and our camper until next season. What a grand summer it has been.

Valdez in the rearview…till next time!
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Objective truth is the same for everyone…well, it once was.

AIn’t that the truth??

I have become sort of cynical in recent times. Mostly because I see things, and see them as life-long objective truths, that are now being poo-poo’d as myth and legend. And then there are things that were once historical legend, that are being put forth as lost truths. Lost history. Things held back from “common knowledge.” If you are any sort of fact-digger, you know what I mean when I say that there are so many “rabbit holes” we can go down. There are times when I find hours missing and just a handful of new facts to digest. Sometimes it is so well hidden you have to dig, redirect, and start a new dig, all after the same thing.

There are many subjects to check out:

  • Tartaria and the Mud Floods
  • Flat Earth
  • Nessara/Gessara – why did the Pope just ask all church monies be sent immediately to Rome?
  • 9/11
  • Pentagon
  • Election fraud
  • C19 and Big Pharma fraud
  • Rockefeller and institutional medicine and pharma
  • NASA and the entire concept of outer space and moon landings
  • Organized religion and the history of its patriarchal structure
  • Common folklore around the world (floods, saviors, angels, giants, etc)
  • North and South Poles
  • South Pole treaty and why it’s off limits to common people
  • Food shortages – why they are trying to starve us
  • C19 injection injuries and all these deaths – sudden adult death syndrome – young athletes and children dying
  • Supply train issues – truckers, train operators, dock workers. What is happening worldwide?
  • Monkey Pox and polio – seriously? Another lockdown??
  • Trump Derangement Syndrome – why the sudden hatred of all things conservative? Trump, the Republican party, candidates, election outcomes, primaries, etc. Why did Biden just enlist Tik-Tok to help with the upcoming elections in November????
  • Ageism. Why the push to get rid of the elderly? Why push vaccines on them? Why house them in all these homes/institutes?
  • Simple one – Fluoride. Why is it in our toothpaste and water? It’s not about cavities at all. Look into this…it’s the beginning of healthier living. While you’re at it, look into aluminum, too. Quit using aluminum deodorant and foils. Seriously.
  • The push to outlaw natural medicines and herbs. Why is that? See Rockefeller and medicine. It will explain a lot.
One of my favorite authors – Sahara, etc. Great books!

There is so much that has been buried and lost to us. SO much. I wish each of you reading this would take some time and choose one of the issues I listed above and just dive into it. The list is far from complete, and I have learned far more than just these things. However, this list has changed me – inherently changed me. I no longer accept common knowledge as fact. I certainly disavow TV pundits and “news” programs. I believe this quote is perfect:

And yet, here we are!

It’s paramount to your health, and your livelihood, and longevity to search out alternate answers to common questions. For example, the CDC backed off people who chose not to vaccinate. They now tell us unvaccinated, with their natural immunity, are equal to the vaccinated. That we no longer require quarantine or social distancing. Masking accomplishes nothing. Children, when exposed to C19, no longer have to stay home from school. Oh my goodness, a huge study I listened to yesterday cited the study of the PCR tests. 1000s of them. Not a single one was positive for C19. At several universities. Not a single positive result. We have been manipulated and lied to. For years. One of the pharmaceutical companies is suing the other for stealing their covid shot formula, that they had worked on for YEARS before covid was even a thing. And it was patented, too. Beyond evil, what was done to the world because of a phony virus. And now they are telling us it is Monkey Pox? Dig into that one. Yuck. And trust me, you more than likely have nothing to worry about. And the resurgence of polio? Try looking into the fallout from repeated boosters for Covid. Yeah.

There is so much more to say. But in the long run, you will make choices that will affect your life until the end of your life, and beyond. Choose carefully. God will not be mocked. In the end, God wins. Period. There is still objective truth, because it is God’s truth. Search for it. Cling to it. Demand it of your circle, or tighten the circle. Learn and grow in the wisdom of God, not of man.

Trust God.
Be prepared.
Have faith. Always.

“…eternal joy to the soul.”

My heart is full.

We just returned from a glorious five-day journey down to Valdez, Alaska. My heart is so full. There were so many firsts on this trip. First of all, it was a 6.5 hour drive. We split the initial drive into two parts and spent the night halfway, in an area called Tolsono. It was simply gorgeous. It rained most of the time, but between the raindrops the mosquitos were out in full force and we were all so grateful we were staying just one night!! The showers were amazing, but the mosquitos sort of killed the joy. LOL.

Tolsono Campsite View

This campsite is almost stereotypical of what you would expect when camping in Alaska. And it is everything I had wanted to experience. What I did not take into account is that to the right of this photo is a stagnant area of water. Kinda greenish. Yeah. Mosquito hatchery in full swing. LOL. But even saying that, I would return. I would plan around mosquito season and also take lots and lots of netting and bug spray. The sound of the stream going by our camper was so cathartic. It was mesmerizing and I fell deeply asleep in no time at all. We chose to forgo breakfast and even coffee, because of the bugs. We took off towards Glenallen, which was a short hop, to gas up and get some breakfast. We ate on the road…

Bridal Veil Falls Outside Valdez, with my grandson.

Our first big stop was outside Valdez at Bridal Veil Falls. They were magnificent. My grandson and I walked around to try and get a good view of them. It was pouring rain but it just didn’t matter. The sound of the falls was overpowering and the beauty was just stunning. In person, what a magnificent stop!!

We drove through to Valdez and it was full of rain and curves and so much to see. The roads are typically Alaskan….bumps and potholes…but the views make up for it! Valdez is on the coast and is a fishing town, as well as where the Alaskan Pipeline ends. We saw so many fishing vessels, as well as lots of oil tankers. The tide is pretty stark – when it is in it is so flush with water, but when it is out, there are miles of mud. It was pretty incredible. We could see distant glaciers, and even drove past one that we took the time to drive to on a different day. Worthington Glacier. Amazing.

One of the many piers in Valdez

We happened upon a festival that we had no idea was occurring the same weekend. We traversed some booths and had some good food. It was still raining like mad, so we chose to visit the local museum. It was filled with dioramas of the big earthquake and tsunami that flattened Valdez and it was not the best thing my grandkids wanted to see, so we ventured out into the rain and chose to go to the Fish Hatchery across the bay. Oh my goodness. Literally the highlight of our trip!!

Valdez Hatchery

This is a view of the Hatchery, on the right, as we approached along the highway. The clouds settling into the mountains made this view just incredible. And yes, it was still raining!! LOL.

I was so imbued with nature. It was surreal. Being raised in Southern California, where nature is held at bay and contained behind fences and cement pools and glass enclosures, this day was monumental for me. For all of us, really. It was so cool that we all experienced this first together. And I’m going to just post a series of photos. And even though I think they are pretty good, the sights and sounds just cannot be fully conveyed in a photograph!

Sea Lions gorging themselves on salmon trying to spawn upstream. Valdez, Alaska
Brown bears gorging on spawning salmon. Valdez, Alaska
Sea Lions-Salmon-Gulls
Lone Gull taking a rest…
Herd of female sea lions barking out orders for the males hunting…
Hubby and I with sea lions behind us.

I cannot fully express how wonderful this experience was. It was so loud – the sea lions barking at each other and all the gulls squawking at each other…it was a cacophony of the sounds of nature. Right in front of us. Life and death. Right in our faces. Incredible. The brown bears were along the roadside as we left the hatchery and the salmon ladders. The salmon spawn all over the coastline in Valdez. And when the tides were in, it was a feeding frenzy for all the wildlife. It rained the entire time we were there, but it was so incredible, we simply ignored the weather.

Valdez Harbor, Alaska

I wish that everyone would have an opportunity to ignore media. To stop rushing here and there. To sleep in the middle of nature, rain and all. To take in the glory that is the creation of God. We are so blessed to live here. And this weekend, we experienced so much more than what I have shared here. I actually went into a shale-lined, water-filled dark cave that was created in a rush to create a faster access from McCarthy and the Kennicott Mine to the sea and the ships that could take the copper. It was blown into the side of the mountain. The back side of the cave was where they gave up creating a train tunnel. I do not do caves. LOL. But my kids encouraged me, held my hand, and my husband was by my side the entire time. I overcame my fear and made it out the other side!! We climbed up to a glacier. We went on a tour of the hydro-electric plant. The kids went gold-panning. We walked up to and touched the Alaskan Pipeline. We drove through hours and hours of God’s country, displaying all its glory. We saw fireweed blooming, eagles soaring, and incredible mountains. I just pray that other people can be blessed to experience this amazing place called Alaska.

The Cave

Rainy days and roadways…

A friend asked me to accompany her and another of our friends on a one-day, round-trip of about 4 hours each direction. We were going to a place I’ve always wanted to go, so I immediately said I would go. Three women, a little heeler, and a trailer! What could possibly go wrong?? LOL!

First photo of our trip…

I have to say, Alaska is so beautiful, it doesn’t matter where you go, you encounter more and more natural beauty. Those of us who live here, we still are in awe. And it never gets old. I have had friends actually tell me it is wilderness overload. I just do not get that. In my mind, you can never have too much wilderness! But I suppose if all you are ever used to is asphalt all around you and scripted living situations (master planned communities and highways connecting you to everything, with no break in city after city – aka SoCal) it would overwhelm you. So in that respect, I do get it. And one of the most ironic things for me about living in Alaska is that almost every driveway has some sort of recreational vehicle in it; even it if is a fishing boat or a stack of kayaks, 4-wheelers or snow machines, or even sheds filled with tents and gear – Alaskans sense that they want even more of the paradise we live in. Our neighborhoods are filled with trees and brush and so many homes have driveways that, if you don’t know the exact location, are completely hidden from the passersby on the roads. We reside in this wilderness and embrace it fully.

Isabel Pass

On our road trip, this was a mandatory stop. Above is Isabel Pass. It is named after a miner’s wife who was strong and independent and established a homestead in this vast wilderness. I cannot imagine the hardships she faced, trying to establish a home with absolutely no amenities – and weather that is sometimes overwhelmingly cold. There is also a glacier up in the center of the photograph.

There is a thing I recently learned called “Boondocking.” That is camping with no hook-ups. For those of us with tow-behind trailers or big RVs, it’s something you need to know in order to plan ahead. We can carry enough water and fuel to be fine boondocking, but it sure is nice if we don’t have to, as your gas mileage is much better when you travel empty! Isabel Pass is a boondocking location. But look at that vista!!! You can camp right next to the glacier. And there are streams all over the place. Camping near a glacier is its own adventure as the climate is particular to the glacier location. It can easily be 20-30 degrees, even more, colder near a glacier. Even in the summertime. This photo was taken a week ago. And it was drizzling and pretty chilly, but the beauty was incredible.

Isabel Pass Bald Eagle

As I turned back towards the truck, this guy was sitting on the treetop across the road from us, just watching. My girlfriend has a mini-heeler and so we kept an eye on him. Eagles aren’t above sweeping down and grabbing dogs! But to have a wild eagle so close just gave me such peace and a thrill as well. He’s not in a cage or a zoo – he’s freely flying around in the wilds of Alaska. We were blessed to see moose, as well, roaming freely and munching their way across the forests. Like I said, I cannot see why you get wilderness overload! I have eagles flying around my house and have a mamma moose and her twin calves in my yard. But I never tire of this. Never.

Tres Amigas

Most gals travel to the local mall. Not us. LOL. We drove roughly 350 miles to retrieve 100 bales of hay. And back again. In one day. The conversation was stellar. The friendships more cemented. And the journey was unforgettable. We kept laughing that we were like the cast of Gilligan’s Island – a 3 hour tour that ended up being more than 22 hours. LOL. So much for a quick trip! Why? Roads, weather, dinner at a brewery, friends, Alaska! LOL.

Delta Junction Hay Farm

Our destination was reached. The farmer loaded the hay for us and we tied it down and set off. Long story short, we made some stops along the way. We altered our return route to avoid road closures, only to discover roads were out there, too. Denali was pouring rain. The road home was fraught with 1 lost bale of hay and extreme tiredness. We stopped and napped for an hour from 2am to 3am. We finally got into my friends’ place about 6am. Exhausted. It took this grandma two days of fuzzy brain to recover. I no longer do all-nighters! LOL! I literally have an alarm on my phone to remind me to take my diabetes meds and to drink my “Golden Milk.” The alarm is set for 8:30pm. So hilarious – we were just finishing dinner in Delta at 8:30pm! It messed my system up big time. I didn’t get my meds or Golden Milk. Blood sugar was all over the map. Whew. I am back to normal, but it was a project! LOL.

Even with all of that chaos and rain and crazy company, I’d seriously consider doing it again. For my friend, yes, but selfishly, for myself. I just can’t seem to soak up enough of God’s bounty and beauty in this place called home. Alaska. I am beyond blessed.

Isabel Pass

“And it’s into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

John Muir

“…and it was very good.”

Our summer.

This past weekend, well, the past 4 days, we ventured into God’s country. It was actually so beautiful and overwhelmingly so, at one point I literally wept! I think we take for granted this amazing place we all call home. The earth was created by God for His children to enjoy. All the plants and all the creatures are here for us. Well, I do question some of the bugs and reptiles, but overall, it’s an amazing place.

Kachemak Bay, Alaska

We headed down to the Homer Spit south of us for 4 days with our son and his family. I hesitate to say this, but it was one of the singular, most enjoyable 4-day weekends of memory. It was truly a wonderful time. So much love and laughter, grandkids, dogs, and nature. It was so fun. As we headed down there, it started to pour. The rain was insane. And then we’d hit patches of glorious sunshine. The drive is a little over 5 hours in total. And we were towing our trailer, with our dogs. What could go wrong?

On our back window…

We reached camp, and we got settled in and set up, all in the pouring rain. We ate dinner – pizza – in our kids’ camper and then we scurried off to bed, dodging raindrops. The dogs were afraid of the wind and pouring rain. There were so many strange sounds, but for me, it was like white noise and I crashed. Except when the two large poodles decided they were afraid enough they wanted to sleep between us. Sigh. After a rough night of barely any covering, we woke about 6am to people walking by gabbing their heads off, laughter included, and waking our dogs, who barked. And then wanted outside. I rolled over to discover the mattress was soaking wet under my husband’s pillow – the window leaked all night! So that’s what that dripping noise was?!?!? Ha-Ha-Ha. Window was calked later that day.

We greeted our day with glorious sunshine, our coffee maker on auto, and the dogs happily enjoying their breakfast after a romp on the beach. Our weekend “combat camping” was off to a good start. If you do not know what combat camping is, have you heard of “combat fishing”?? That is where fishermen line up in the pristine wilderness after the elusive salmon, making their way upstream. Fishing season in Alaska is no joke. Most of the campers parked alongside us were there for fishing. So for them, lining up their campers in row upon row, in black silt and rocks, was no big deal – they were there for the fish. I am a little more of the “let’s get back to nature” sort of camper. This was definitely not that. This was on a spit out into the bay – not a bush or tree in sight. Just black silt, and rocks, and driftwood. Did I mention rocks? I grew up in Southern California, which had miles upon miles of sandy beaches. Squishing your toes in the warm sand is a particular pleasure. That does not happen along the Spit in Homer. Flip-flops at a minimum! Hubby wore his water-proof boots all the time. The campground was at capacity…even tents dotted the rows of camping spots. Fish on!

Combat Fishing – Russian River, Alaska

The good thing was that most of the people camping were there to fish. So the Spit itself was relatively empty. We could walk our dogs and the grandkids could play in the water and hunt for those elusive shells. Beach combing has become an art form with my grandkids! LOL! They walk, head down, looking for shells, for literally miles. We hiked over 5 miles of shoreline in one day. This grandma was beat. I retreated to the camper, took some Tylenol, and had an afternoon snooze. Five miles on the beach in flip flops, at my age. LOL. Whatever was I thinking? Oh, I brought my hiking boots and poles, but somehow forgot I had them and left them propped up in our trailer’s shower. I plan so well…it’s remembering the plan that gets me.

The Homer Spit. We camped way out at the end. Surrounded by ocean.

The camping was all about the experience with our family. Being right on the ocean with the waves and the boats, even large ferries and tour boats, was amazing. The sounds of the gulls flying overhead. The sounds of the dogs running on the beach. Our grandkids laughing or yelling, “Grandpa, come here and see this!” These were the times we live for. We played cards with the kids and taught them the art of shuffling, gin rummy, and various forms of solitaire. No electronics in sight! We walked miles and miles of coastline, soaking it all in. And like I stated before, I think this was one of the best weekends we have ever had. We relaxed, we just experienced. No agenda. No timelines. We planned meals but also allowed ourselves to eat out and enjoy a meal on picnic benches overlooking the docks, with the sun rising and the day warming up. Experiencing some amazing biscuits and gravy, with outstanding lattes, that I did not have to make for myself – epic! The grandkids wondering why their pancakes tasted weird, so we all sampled them. Who would have thought to flavor flapjacks with orange?! LOL. Then we chose to head out to Anchor Point. Oh my. Just oh my.

Eagles on Anchor Point Beach, Alaska

I don’t want to ever take this place for granted. (Nor the photographer who took this – it was not me). I was literally a couple of feet away from wild bald eagles. I was in awe. At one point my son says, “Mom, are you crying? You are crying! What is going on?” My reply? “Son, I was raised in Southern California where everything is in a box or a cage. These are wild animals, an arm’s length away, in nature, doing natural things. Right in front of me. I am in awe and so very grateful I get to see this. God is amazing and I am humbled.” There were literally 4 bald eagles around us. They were sitting in the trees behind us and on the beach in front of us. Along with dozens of seagulls. They were all vying for the fishermen’s cast-offs. And seeing an eagle fly overhead, carrying a halibut carcass, was so incredible. The eagles defending their food from the gulls. And allowing photographers up close so they could capture these moments. It was a core-memory-making event for me. I will never forget the sound, the smell, the sight of all that nature. I am blessed.

And I think He was standing in Anchor Bay…

I wanted to save all these words in my head because it truly was a remarkable weekend. We got to see the Spit in the summer, during fishing season. What a difference from our first visit during a snow storm in the wintertime! There were so many people. But you know what? Everyone was there to enjoy Homer in the summertime – we were, too. So you have to deal with humanity. LOL. Our next camping trip with our children is already on the books…next stop? Valdez, Alaska.The home of a fishing fleet, waterfalls, glaciers, and hiking. I’ll let you know…

Valdez, Alaska

“…He will wipe away every tear…”

One day…

For those of us who live with some sort of chronic, or recurring pain, some days it is hard to smile. Especially when we try to push through without relying on medication. Stretches, or a warm and jetted tub, salves and massages, and essential oils are where many of us turn for relief. There are so many ways to deal with chronic and recurring pain. And laying the pain at the foot of the cross is a huge way to gain perspective on pain.

Not many people spend time contemplating the foot of the cross. I had a dream once, and a friend actually drew me a picture of what I had seen (which I found in a box and promised myself I will frame) as I gazed up at the feet of Christ, impaled on the Cross. In my dream, I heard swooshing and loud winds. There were large drops of rain falling and splashing all around me. I could only look up, and I could not move side-to-side, nor could I turn my head. I could only see the feet of Christ. And then I felt a warm dribbling liquid surrounding me, and I immediately felt comforted, loved, embraced, and free. I could look around me and realized I was a pebble; really just a small stone; and I was holding the Cross upright, along with a myriad of other small stones. We were a part of the dirt the Cross was embedded into. And the thought came to me: “Even the dirt surrounding the Cross was sanctified by His sacrifice.” The earth was renewed by the sacrificial Blood of Christ.

This dream has been with me since my children were small. And at the time, we only had two children. Not even teens, yet. And this dream is every bit as vivid today as it was more than 20 years ago when it happened to me. The feelings return and the sounds are especially poignant. I do believe Christ was speaking to me, helping me realize that I was part of His story. I may only be an insignificant pebble, but I am part of it. And each of us plays our part in the Story of Redemption.

Redemption through the Cross of Christ

Many years ago, I was introduced to the concept of “offer it up.” And it was applied to pretty much anything. My father-in-law used to tell his kids when they were slightly hurt, “Rub some dirt on it.” We, in turn, told our kids the same thing. Ha-Ha. And the idea of offering something up is to apply it to all we do. What are we offering it up to? The redemptive act of Christ on the Cross. There is no way I can ever repay Him for what He has done for me. But I can offer my toils and my pains to Him in a small way of reparation, and of joining to His suffering.

It is not something most protestants and other religious ideologies embrace. It is a Catholic thing; an eastern thing. We follow the steps of Christ every Lenten observance. We entwine our lives within the context of sacrifice and service. And we participate in the redemptive action of the Cross when we unite ourselves to Christ. Our actions towards our daily lives and the issues that cause our bumpy ride, as well as how we interact with others, can all be offered to Christ in reparation for His act for us. Fasting – from foods, from language, from TV, from things that do not bring us closer to Him are all acts having redemptive value. We join our meager sufferings to His. And it is a powerful process – each Lent and each Apostles’ Fast, we can join in the redemptive action of the Cross.

Chronic, aching, back…

I am so much like my paternal grandmother. And I strive to be like her in how I treat others and how I lovingly care for others. But physically, it’s more like I am her daughter. I have her hands and feet. I am a larger woman, which she struggled with her entire life, and which plagues me daily. I am even beginning to have her white hair – which I always loved and am rather pleased about. Grandma injured her back in a vehicle accident as a young woman and had back issues the rest of her life. A little more than a year ago, I lifted a 9-foot leather couch in order to vacuum under it, thinking I was 40 years old instead of 60+ years of age. I tore my right shoulder (which I had stem cell replacement for) and ruptured 5 discs in my spine, starting at C-3 and working its way down to my lumbar area. I have had injections in all the sites. The doctor told me I would get a year or more relief from the injections and we are coming up to 2 years. I think my relief is over. Or at the very least, severely waning.

I was doing so well I began water aerobics. Ouch. And then I rested and it was better. This past weekend I was climbing into my husband’s truck on the start of a camping journey and I wrenched my back. It’s been non-stop pain since. I spent most of the weekend propped under a tarp (it was raining) with pillows, a blanket, and Tylenol. Ugh.

And I am desperately working on my mindset. How I can align this constant nagging pain with the redemptive act of Christ. Every time He was whipped or beaten, that was because of my sins. Each cut or wound on His body, every bruise, every nail – all from my actions. How can I ameliorate His pain and use mine for something besides complaining?

There is a wonderful prayer I recite when I need solace:

Anima Christi Prayer

I learned a slightly different wording, but this is the prayer. My favorite part is, “Within thy wounds hide me. Never let me be separated from thee. From the wicked enemy defend me, and at the hour of death call me, that I might come to thee and with thy saints I might praise thee for ever and ever. Amen”. Okay. So that is most of the prayer. Ha-Ha. But I always imagined myself hiding within His wounds, peeking out from where the soldier stabbed Him in the side, all safe and warm. Nothing morbid or gross or bloody and fleshy. Just safely hidden in the side of Christ, protected from the wickedness and snares of the devil. (A sentence from another prayer I love). And when I imagine myself safe within Him, the pain eases somehow. I feel warm, and protected, and loved. And when you have all those things, back aches are not as onerous and life-impacting. I can accomplish all the duties of my station in life, aching as I go, but smiling from within the Wounds of Christ. Does that sound weird? Yeah, it does a little bit. But being a visual person who conjures scenes using words, it works for me. And as I sit here, the pain is less, just talking about it. Yes, my knees are propped up on my recliner and I am sitting in a position to ease the cramping pain, but my heart is at rest as well.

My peace I give to you…

“The sky is falling…the sky is falling…”

Chicken Little

Well, I agree, to a point. It all depends on what is above you when you look up. Perhaps you are in an area where things are falling out of the sky, so to speak. I feel like it most days. I cringe when I think of the money flying out of our account for various things. It’s mind-blowing. Our senators meeting overnight to enact/approve Red Flag Laws for weapons. The insanity of that is bad guys don’t jump through government hoops to get licensed firearms. They get them off the streets. Illegally. Us regular people go through rigorous background checks already. And it’s not the combat vets you need to worry about – it’s these young men hopped up on psychotropic meds who are marginalized and seeing a shrink, who are mostly responsible for these shootings. So many rabbit holes about that entire subject! And the news media pumping out more fear mongering for everyone to chew on. It’s become comical when you watch those montages of programmed news spew the exact same words on stations across the country. Verbatim. It’s an eye-opener…

Verbatim News

I’ve become increasingly tense about everything. Will we have this life, this country, in the next 20 years? Where will the USA be? What will the USA become? Do we have the luxury of the next 20 years, or is it much shorter? 5-10 years? That long? Around and around I go. At night, it is the worst. Going to bed stresses me out because I KNOW I will toss and turn and take forever to get to sleep. I have tried it all – meditating, praying, no Kindle or TV an hour before bed (right?!?), taking melatonin. I’ve tried Benadryl and Tylenol. I now drink Golden Milk every night and it does seem to help. (I know it is helping my blood sugar, for sure). And I feel like this big thing is pressing down on me, and worrying me, all day long, intensifying at night. The dark makes everything worse. Up here, darkness takes so long to happen and it doesn’t stay long.

Today’s Light Hours

I try to just let it all go by the wayside. I focus on getting my sheets clean that my lovely puppy peed on this weekend while we camped. I try to come up with nice meal plans for my husband. I focus on my grandson’s baseball tournament coming up, or my middle son’s recent job interview and our youngest son getting enough work hours. There are things up close and personal I can focus my time on. I can let the rest of the country sort of fade from constant thought. I can opt to trust in God’s plan for everything and all of us and trust in my faith to carry me through. I can’t worry about the details. I can’t worry that the sky might be falling on my country, and that this world could be on the cusp of massive change. I can listen for my washer to ping to let me know the bedding is completed; figure out why the dogs are barking; try to keep the house below 80 inside without A/C (Alaskan homes don’t have air conditioning). On and on I could go. But why do I continually come back to the falling skies???

Anxiety – give it to God

Over and over, I have to remind myself I do not walk alone. God and His promises walk beside me. My husband walks next to me and I know beyond any doubt, he was God’s plan for my life. I absolutely love the life we have together and each moment of these empty nest days warms my heart. I cannot imagine my life without him in it. And I am blessed with amazing children, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren, and some amazing friends. I know I am blessed. My heart soars when I think of everyone in my life, and when I look outside and see the land where I live. Totally blessed. The big “but” is next…lol. But I worry. Daily. Obsessively I think. And I am desperately trying to rein it in – again.

Do Not Fear

Once again I choose to cast my worries onto God. He spent 3 agonizing hours suffering on the cross for me – for my sins – for my doubts – for my worries. He paid the price – for me. I can do nothing to repay Him except to believe in Him and to love Him above all else. God makes no demands on us. He requires nothing from us. Just full acceptance. And in this age and in this chaos, the peace He offers is undeniable.

My peace I leave with you..

The sky may fall. Our culture may collapse. The world as we know may cease to be structured as we know it. We may loose our land, our homes, our families. We may lose our own lives. But we will never lose God, because He loved us first.

Believe

“..harmonious combination of words”

I am reeling from the chaos around me. I am stressed out. My heart rate is 99 – my resting is usually 63. I have this lovely residual from Covid – I get this tingling all over and it starts making me feel so agitated and restless and then my heart rate goes wonky. And to top that off, I am disturbed by comments around me, that I heartily disagree with. And the sound was loud and it was obviously meant to rankle me and it did what it intended.

Cacophony – a harsh discordant of sounds.

Euphony – the quality of being pleasing to the ears, especially through a harmonious combination of words.

Lexico – Powered by Oxford

I am finding that more and more, there are people around me who I believed thought like I do. I am learning, however, they do not. Oftentimes they do not offer a solution, just a comment meant disdainfully to bother me. And it becomes like noise. Absolute noise. Cacophony.

As this world spins (well, that’s a discussion for another day) out of control – as the euphamistic saying goes – I am continually looking for something to hang on to. LOL. My beliefs are challenged almost daily. Things I took for granted are being discovered to be all lies and made up to convince the unsuspecting populace to survive as just fat, dumb, and happy. They are waking to alarms and going off to jobs, working their brains to numbness, and going back home again, only to do it all the next day.

I listened to a posted tik-tok video the other day. The gentleman put forth the idea that we are all being farmed. Just like in the matrix, but it is for our time, treasure, and talents. We are raised with indoctrinated education, which steers us to a pre-set series of career choices, and then we are led to a specific job, meet the prerequisite spouse, and we procreate. Then we dump our kids into the system. It’s a never-ending cycle. We constantly supply fresh meat to our overlords.

Our time is stolen from us. We live where we live to make it easier to get to WORK. Not because we particularly like the area or housing choices – it’s that commute we mostly choose our living situation upon. We rent the apartment that is closest to the office so we are not on the road as much. We buy the house as close to town as we can get so those freeways are not too large a portion of our days. Lucky is the man who can work from home and have his home wherever he chooses – that is the exception and not the rule. Our time is stolen from us – do you think we are more efficient now we have computers for everything? I could disagree ad nauseam about that. We then are taxed on our wages – so many ways. Income tax, sales tax, inheritance tax, use tax…on and on it goes. Why do you think tax codes are so complicated it takes tax specialists to maneuver through it?? Look at how large the IRS has become. And it was supposed to be temporary!!! And then we get evenings and weekends. We cram hours of TV time in the evenings, enjoying program-ing! We listen and soak in all the media feeds us. On weekends we spend our days prepping for the coming week with laundry and groceries. We might try to clean the house. We may attend a little league game or dance recital for the kids. We crash on Sundays, perhaps squeezing in some time with God, and psych-up to start the treadmill of life again on Monday mornings. What is all this for?

Today was interesting because I just stopped. I mean, in my tracks. I chose to leave it alone, grabbed some Skinny Pop popcorn, and took a seat. Because I realized the cacophony of sound around me was not bringing me peace. None. And I longed for a euphony of sound…something melodic and pretty. Something to soothe the soul. I chose to (a) unload on my blog, and (b) open windows and revel in the sunshine and breezes. I watched my brother-in-law stack firewood he graciously split for us. I watched as my hubby reconnoitered a new drip system for our veggies; choosing how it dripped, calculating gallons per minute, as well as placement. And I began to gather that peace. It is that simple. You walk away from the chaos. You choose not to get involved by engaging. You let the others yell on social media, and you disengage.

Even though it’s program-ing, I am obsessed with this TV show. I know it is not a good choice for many reasons, but nonetheless I am still obsessed. It is Yellowstone and it is on the Peacock Network – free streaming. Kevin Costner stars as the patriarch of this ranching family, whose land sits just outside the gates of Yellowstone in Montana. The vistas are incredible. The characters suck you in. There is violence – lots of that. There is intrigue. Some sexual content, yes. Like I said, regardless of the reasons why I should NOT watch this show, I watch 1-2 episodes every night. There are 4 seasons and season 5 is now filming. I am on season 2. In season 2, there is a character named Monica. She is a Native American who is married to Costner’s son (in the story). She is a college professor, although most in the community think less of her because she is native. She is teaching a course to college students and asks them to meet her outside for their class. She arrives and they are all sitting around, no one talking to the other one, out in the beautiful landscape of Montana, on their phones. She chastises them about not even talking to each other. And she goes on to say something to the effect of: I can’t believe you think it is more important for you to like a photo of someone who you do not even know; and that it’s important they like your posts. You have no idea what is going on in the real world, and more than that, you don’t even realize it, and you don’t even care. I don’t know why I waste my time with you.” Sadly, she walks away and the kids return to their phones, like she never said a thing.

That scene keeps replaying in my mind. Why has our social media presence become so very important to us? What is with phones??? On Peacock, it is free, so you have commercials. I don’t normally watch Peacock (brother-in-law downloaded it for us) and am not used to commercials any more. Loe and behold! Commercial after commercial from different providers, all offering amazing deals if you just get the newest phone version. Why is that?? Why do they want us continually updating our phones? Why the built in obsolescence? I’m nursing my 8+ and my husband is nursing his 8 so we don’t get the new ones. We also blocked all the updates. There are so many monitoring systems on our phones, that I just don’t wanna play. I met a man last week, who was a guest speaker at our food sustainability group, who actually got rid of his cell phone. And he is a cervical chiropractor by trade. It’s only been 3 weeks but he was happy he had done it. My next step may be a flip phone – True Talk has some that look pretty cool. It would force my hand. My brother-in-law doesn’t have any apps on his phone. He can talk, text, and share photos. That is it. He does everything else on his laptop and he says it helps monitor his time on social media. I desperately want to do that, but I don’t know if I could. How sad is that?

Walking away

Many of our friends thought that when we relocated up to Alaska, that we were walking away. In some profound ways, we were. We left all our friends in the lower 48. We joined our son and his family, and brought our youngest son with us. So we were not alone. Some friends we have had for decades had moved here before us and were always encouraging us to come up here. For the most part, we are very happy we did relocate to such a remote place. Once you are here, you do not feel remote. We have grocery stores and Target, McDonald’s and Costco, even restaurants like Olive Garden and the Outback Steak House. LOL. We live in a housing tract. We drive regular cars. The list is endless in how we are like everyone else. We did not walk away, we simply relocated. And we are still the same people who used to live in CA and Washington State. But there are particulars that are unique to living here. Isolated in the sense that it is hard to get here, but we are united with emails, phone calls, and social media. The point is that you can never flee anywhere where you won’t find yourself, because you take you, and all your history with you. You cannot escape yourself. And we all seem to stay connected, if that is what we truly want.

I can choose to isolate myself in a myriad of ways. I am at home alone a lot. I can disconnect from social media and work in my garden. I can choose to disengage in the public discourse. I can refuse to feed their anger, their nasty comments. I can choose the better portion. I can allow the euphony of sound that can truly only be found in God, to envelope me and comfort me and be my portion. I can choose faith over cacophony. I can choose wisely. As can you.

The better portion – God

And in despair, I bowed my head; “There is no peace on earth,” I said; “For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth and good-will to men!” Then peeled the bells so loud and deep: “God is not dead nor doth He sleep; the Wrong shall fail, the Right prevail, with peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, on the civil war

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Send me…

This verse, and the song written based upon it, have been a favorite since I chose to become Catholic, back in 1983. It has been a long and very winding road. It certainly is not a popular faith to espouse in public. Neither is it popular to say which denomination of the 1000s out there you are. Why is that? There are so many, and varied, reasons!

In the milieu that is social media, there is a growing sound coming from corners we’ve sort of made fun of – there are those discussing the flat earth theory; the lost books of the bible theory; the lost histories; the erroneous histories; the outright false histories; lost cures and health solutions that have nothing to do with big pharma and so on and so on!! Many areas that are popping up more and more. Some of the loud voices lump all these together under “conspiracy theories,” but these are but a few of the things popping up out there. And these are the ones that have been assaulting my brain!

Flat Earth Map

And the more I delve into all these rabbit holes, sometimes the more depressed I get. Because if all this stuff is true – and I have only barely touched the surface of it all here – our entire lives we have been lied to, and told stories to keep us compliant and in line with no one even thinking of stepping out of bounds. Plus!! And this is a big one – all those hours of studying were just spent memorizing things the powers that be wanted us to know – they are not the truth. On so much of it – I want a refund! And today, I still did not use Algebra. LOL.

Christ Pantocrator

I had a lengthy, and deep discussion with a good friend the other day, and that conversation is what enticed me to write this post. I was lamenting all these things that were coming at me, from all these different sources, about sp many, many, things. And she asked pointed questions: (1) Does knowing this stuff make your life less stressed? (2) Do these facts help your walk with God? (3) Does is change your faith? And she made me think. She believes the Bible is the “inspired word of God,” and she accepts that the Council of Nicea was inspired by the Holy Spirit to include the books God wanted in the Bible (and she is so not Catholic). She told me that she believes that God gave us the blueprint for living in His inspired Word. Anything else is just extra, dross, superfluous. And mostly unnecessary. She also told me that she refuses to let all this stuff in this crazy world make her miserable. She works in her yard, helps with community things, spends time with friends, and lives her life. She asked me what I was going to do. And this is what I came up with:

I am a woman of faith. I love attending Divine Liturgy and soaking up the Word of God. I love praying. I love being a Christian woman who attends Church. And I love incense, and beeswax candles, and icons, and hearing a chanted liturgy. Why deny myself the style of worship I love? Why pretend I am just a believer in Christ and not a church-affiliated person? Yes, there are things I think should change about the Church. Yes, I do believe the smoke of Satan has entered the Church and evil is everywhere. Everywhere. In every Church. In every belief system. In all aspects of government and public life. Because we have been suppressing ourselves, under the tutelage of public opinion. We need to take it back.

Madonna of the Streets

One of my favorite depictions of the Blessed Mother is the one above – the Madonna of the Streets. I have a 3-d bust of this hanging in the master bathroom. She just reminds me of being a mother, caring adoringly for her Child. And She leads by example. The consummate Mother. I have religious art over my entire house, in literally every room. And it comforts me. So why fight it? Why not continue living it, living my faith?

So perhaps the flat earthers have some legit points. Maybe NASA is all smoke and mirrors and that massive budget they have has nothing to do with outer space but are a way to influence the public… some sort of undercover alphabet agency. *Sigh* I suppose I can let all that slide. I can, instead, stop going to those sites. I can, instead, binge on Magnolia TV (Not gonna lie – mildly obsessed). I can wake up and pray, instead of checking social media. I can work to lose hours of phone time every week instead of spending so much time monitoring the moment-by-moment goings on of the DC swamp/establishment. Basically, I can take a breath. Settle my mind. Ease the stress.

Prayer

“Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” The Jesus prayer, recited every moment you think of it can help center your day. It leads me into deeper prayer with Christ. It can offset the chaos around me. It can help me enter into a deeper walk with Christ. And I can regain my foothold in this world, working on my garden, my family, my life. God is good. And after all is said and done, God wins.

Send me!

“Listen and hear My voice; pay attention to what I say.” Isaiah 28:23

Being profound or saying something of importance, is a hard thing to pull off. Especially for those of us who write and/or blog. Lots of us think we are arm-chair pundits or philosophers. Most of us fail miserably at it. But the overriding theme is that we just want to be heard. Everyone has an opinion, based on their learned experiences, personality, and outlook. Many of us base our responses and verbiage on our faith, and our interpretation of our faith. And there are many among us who spout off and say horrible things to one another, because of those experiences we have had, or perhaps a mental condition. There are many who are ill from a variety of reasons.

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me.

John 10:27

Trying to be Christ-like to others all the time is exhausting. I know we have all met people who seem to have an aura of peace around them. They are a pleasure to be around. Their presence lightens the room and our spirits feel filled. We also know those who drain the life out of us every moment spent in their presence. Quite often, just being in public where I am called upon to interact with others, can drain the life out of me. I love people and those who know me know I love to gab. As I have gotten older, and am alone more often than not, I have come to relish the solitude and quiet. And it takes a lot out of me to socialize.

And the crux of this post is experiencing the voices of others, and discerning import, and dross. And also, I do long for my couple of close girlfriends and our long chats at my table. I miss those days so much. Hubby works from home most of the time, so I try to leave him alone and not bother him. It makes for quiet days. And I understand why my dad, with his delusions, is so lonely for the voice of others, especially those he loves. I am not as angry or short-tempered with him as I once was. It was a steep learning curve! Being Christ-like can rip the energy out of me, but it also gives me profound peace. I love to imagine Christ smiling when I get along better with my dad, and others I have a hard time with. It is making me stretch as a person. So funny it’s taken 65 years! (No laughing).

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

James 1:19

Conversations these days are so guarded. We have to tip-toe around those who believe differently than we do because tempers seem to flare so easily. I have never understood why those who lean towards the left seem to be so angry. And there are so many self-righteous people who lean more conservatively, as well. It is a dance. Some days I just want to sit it out. Getting your voice into the miasma that is social media is not easy. I am happy to have made some internet friends who think more like I do than my own children, and who are “popular” or known in the conservative arena. They take the time to chat and reinforce my beliefs. It is like a safe kiddie pool to get into, rather than the raging seas of media exchanges. And even the times I miss with friends would not be repeatable these days because I am far more into all these odd theories than they are! I am sure they think I am a little nuts. And that is okay. We meander around the issues and stick to what we know – our kids, grandkids, recipes, gardening, husbands. LOL. The problem, as I see it (again, wanting to share my opinion and get my voice out there) is that the world is not getting better. We are going to have to pinch a lot of pennies to enjoy our upcoming camping trip – the gas alone is gonna kill us! It may turn out to be our only foray in our camper this year. The grocery bills are becoming daunting. Our savings are shrinking. And most of the pundits, even those on the left and even bankers, are warning us this is the lull before the big storm. What is a small voice like mine to do?

But whosoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.

Proverbs 1:33

I must put my cares upon the Lord. Only He knows what is best for me. And God wins. The war is won, although we are facing many battles ahead of us. With prayers on my lips, I can drown out the cacophony of noise that surrounds us these days. I can turn off media. I can listen only to Christian music, that will uplift me and give me courage. I can read only written works that speak to my spirit. I can rely on the many promises of God to protect his flock. In all of that, I can also put my hands to the plow and not look back, only forward, towards my Lord. (“Jesus replied, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.'” Luke 9:62). We can each come out of this on the other side, better people than when these trials began.

And do not be fooled – the times we are in are just the beginning. We should all be prepared. We all should stock up on water and food, enough for months. We should start growing things to sustain us. We need to know where our food comes from – meet your local farmers. Get involved in food security groups. Plan ahead in case our freedoms are severely hampered or even compromised. Just like you plan with natural disasters – have safe places to meet up. Learn to communicate using radios and other methods. Be secure in your home. Know your neighbors. Be discreet in your preparations. But also prepare to help those who never thought bad things would happen.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age…

Titus 2:11-12

Living upright and godly lives in this present age…oh my word, this present age! I never thought we would have pride month where even mayonnaise gets a rebranding and spelling! Or children are encouraged to attend parades and be exposed to kink? Are you serious? We need to take this country back in so many, many arenas. We need God back in every aspect of our lives. We need strong men and women to take their families back and to just say no to the programming and interference in the raising of future generations. Not everyone deserves a trophy. Not everyone should go to college. Every child deserves to be safe, and loved, surrounded by family. The time to act is now. Grab those kids, get them into church, get them digging in the dirt and planting food, get them off the electronic gadgetry that plagues them, surround them with extended family and friends who feel the same way. Support other families like yours. Plan where your dollars go, especially as they are valued less and less. And teach your children to listen for that still, small voice of God in the every day of life.

The Lord said, ‘Go stand out on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake. but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’

1 Kings 19:11-13

We all expect big things from God. Enormous acts of fire and brimstone, ushering an age wherein the Glory of God will be shown. If you read Revelations with the end times in mind, you want to curl in a ball and hide. Those will be terrible times, to be sure. But we are living in pretty awful times as it is. I am not waiting for some Project Moonbeam holographic image in the sky from the deep state telling me it is the second coming of Christ. I will await that gentle whisper. Because God’s voice is unique – you will know when He speaks. His voice is what counts.

All the wicked of the earth You discard like dross; therefore I love your statutes.

Psalm 119:119

The rest of the noise is dross…the extra that comes from smelting or purifying metal. There is no dross, no imperfection in the Word of God. So discernment is key. Planning is important. Treating others the way God would treat you. These are the important things. And our voices will be added together to form choirs, praising God, even among the chaos.

I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:2-3