Thursday, August 31, 2023

Christmas List For the Man Who Has Everything, 2023

I started putting Christmas lists on here in 2017 because Kathleen (She is the woman to whom I am married!) said I am difficult to buy for. I didn't do one last year, so I figure, since a lot has changed since then, I should do one this year. Therefore, the list (in no particular order):

1. Does your man teach his students about politics, economics and history while he and they sit around an enourmous oaken table? Yes? Then he needs an inspiring bust of Cicero to put in the middle of that table.

2. Long ago when your man's Dad was old and dying he metioned that when he was a boy he had a little candle-powered boat made of tin. So, your man found a company that sold them, and he bought one for his Dad. His dad cried when he opened it but never felt well enough to walk the 30 yards to pond. His Dad died a few weeks later. His Mom gave the boat back to him and he played with it in the pool with his sons. But it was lost in a move and he hasn't seen it since about 2006.

3. He watches It's a Wonderful Life every year. Do you know why? Because of the Midland jump spark cigar lighter George Baily wishes on in Mr. Gowers' drugstore. They don't make new ones anymore but they are available on the secondary market. Just think of all the wishing you and he will be able to do together with one of these in the house.

4. He's needed new hubcaps for, at least, a year.

5. You know, he wears pretty nice shoes but there is no place to get them shined since Nordstorm went out of business in San Francisco and and the shoeshine stand on Market Street in the Financial District has been gone for years. So don't you think one of these shoe shine boxes would be nice.

6. Years ago a very rich woman (She owned a bank.) saw your man looking at a catalog of expensive bathroom stuff. She asked him, "do you know the difference between rich people and poor people?" He said he didn't so she told him. "Rich people won't spend more than twenty-five cents on a shower curtain." So, when he says he would love a new spatula he does not mean one of those $15-$30 spatulas at Williams-Sonoma or Sur la Table. He means this spatula for less than $2.

7. Five words: Steer horns for the Subaru.

8. You know his razor isn't like other razors. It can cut fingers off if you don't keep an eye on it. It can cut though those flimsy vinyl toiletry bags just as easily. Your man needs a sturdy leather or waxed canvass toilety bag with lots of pockets for all the essentials.

9. He doesn't smoke often but, sometimes, when your man travels he would like to take his pipes with him. Unfortuntely, the zipper on the pipe case his son gave him broke several years ago. He needs a new one.

10. He has some scottish ancestors, you know. So don't you think he should learn to play the bagpipes?

11. It has been over a decade since my mother died. I have her last two Bibles. One she had from the early 1970s or maybe earlier, I am not sure. One she had the last three years of her life, it was large print for she was losing her ability to see. The last one is in good shape nd has a few passages underlined or highlighted, but the older one is the one that has all her notes in it. The prayers and notes and sayings in the margins are precious to me. There are verses she has underlined that cause me to staop and say, "Why did she underline this?" and I will look at it for a 1/2 an hour or more trying to think what did this mean to her, what should it mean to me? I came across this a few months ago: "When the Devil reminds you of your past remind him of his future." Well, if there is a gift worth giving, it is the rebinding of my Mother's Bible.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

A Vision

I want to write this down before I forget it completely. Already the words are getting confused in my memory.

Holy Tikhon of Zdonsk

Last night was standing in the nave of St Nicholas Orthodox Church in Saratoga. My mind was wondering and I was praying for my children instead of praying the communal prayers being sung by the choir. Suddenly it was like I was having a dream and St. Tikhon of Zdonsk was standing in front of me. And he said something like "Remind the Holy Synod of Metroplitan Leonty" or "Tell the Holy Synod to remember Metropolitan Leonty". Then the vision was gone but I was shaking a little and crying.

Metropolitan Leonty at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, 1955.

As soon as the service was over I found Fr. Basil in the church hall and told him what had happened and asked him what I should do. I didn't know anything about St. Tikhon of Zdonsk excpt that I saw his icon and have heard is name mentioned during Saturday night vigils. And, other than having seen a photograph of Metropolitan Leonty and having read his name somewhere I knew nothing about him. I didn't even know he had been the primate of the OCA. I told this to Mitered Archpriest Basil, and as I was a telling him I started crying and shaking again. He told me then that the Holy Synod is trying to decide whether or not Metropolitan Leonty should be recognized as a saint in the Orthodox Church. And he crossed himself and said "I believe this" and said he would relay the message to the Holy Synod.

Needless to say, when I got home from church last night I read everyting about these men I could find online.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Honeymoon and Covid

We went on a cruise to Alaska. We flew from San Jose to Seattle, where we got on the ship, the M.S. Westerdam. Our first stop was in Juneau where we visted St Nicholas Orthodox Church (They currenty do not have a rector and are surviving on reader services and occasional clergy visits), and then Glacier Bay, then Sitka where we visted St Michal Orthodox Church and were blessed to venerate a relic of St Herman. The ships next stop was Ketchican, where we went fishing.

We caught amazing number of fish, and Kathleen caught the largest one, a 34" Silver Coho.
We had 180 pounds of various species of salmon flash frozen and shipped to us, even one chum salmon which we will feed to the dog.

The next stop was Victoria, BC but we did not get off the ship. That was the night Kathleen started coughing. The next morning we got off the ship in Seattle and Kathleen had a fever. Our hotel, the Mayflower Park Hotel was very comfortable and the staff was very helpful. As soon as I told them my wife was sick they had a room ready for us, letting us check in 7 hours early.

Kathleen spent a miserable night. I walked to a nearby drug sstore to get her medicine but it did not do much. The next morning I was coughing too. By the time Basil Wenceslas picked us up at the airport in San Jose on the 31st of June we both had fevers. When we got home we went strait to bed. The next morning we both tested positive for covid. Then the next day Basil tested positive. All three of us got perscriptions for paxlovid that day. As of Sunday (today is Tuesday the 8th of August.) we are both testing negative and Kathleen says she is 80% recovered. She began teaching her fall semester yesterday. Today was the first day I was able to get out of bed. I can't taste anything except for salt and citrus, or smell anything except for what I think is a hallucination (burning wood), and my sense of balance is off, and I am partially deaf. Hopefully, that all corrects soon. I go back to work tomorrow so today I spent writing my course syllabi. Basil is doing worse than Kathleen and I. This is his third time to have covid.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

A Man Under Authority

A centurian asked Jesus for a miracle. Jesus said he would be right there to heal the centurian's servant. The centurian said, "No, Lord. I am a man with autority. I know how these things work. Just say the word and my servant will be healed." Jesus spoke and the servant was healed.

Long ago, in the 1980s, I was a soldier in the 502nd Air Assault Infantry Regiment, which is part of the 101st Airborne Division. A few of our sergeants were combat veterans from the Vietnam War. But none of our officers had seen combat except for one captain. He was 15 years older than any of the other captains in the regiment and medals covered him: The Silver Star, the Legion of Merit, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, as well as decorations from the Chancellor of Germany, the President of the French republic, the King of Thailand, and the President of the Republic of Vietnam. Unlike the other 22 captains in the regiment he had been an enlisted man, a sergeant, during the Vietnam War.

I was only a Private First Class but I worked for the adjutant on the colonel's staff so I knew all the officers in the regiment. There was one lieutenant who was a Christian. There was a major who loved the Lord and with whom I sang Handel's Messiah one year. He and I would have been friends but he was an officer and I was enlisted. There was one captain who very ostentatiosly proclaimed his Christianity, as though he thought it would make people think he was a better man than he was. There was the colonel, he was a Christian of some sort, and attended the protestant chapel service every Sunday (it was on his official schedule). But there was my captain, who you think I would have known better than all the others because he was actually my commander. But he was quiet. When he came into the headquarters he didn't talk to anyone but would quickly walk to the colonel's office and make his report or recieve his orders. Always, on his way out of the headquarters he would stop by my desk and ask, "Soldier, do you have everything you need to do your job?" then go back to doing what ever he spent his days doing. I never saw him smile. The only time I saw him angry was when the lieutenant in charge of the mortar platoon said his men were too tired to complete a task. (That lieutenant was forced to resign his commission.) Though he worked us hard, that captain was absolutely loved by all his men.

He was loved because he was humble. He knew his power over us. He knew his responsibility to us. He never abused us but made us perform to the highist standards, much higher than the army-wide standards. I would sometimes hear the captains bragging to each other about how good their companies were. My captain never braggged. He didn't have to. The records were clear. His company had highest PT scores, the highes SQT Scores, the most days in the field, the highst marsmanship scores.... He just stood there and listened to the other captains brag on their men. I never felt like the the standards he set for us were so he would look good to the colonel or the other officers in the regiment. I think all we soldiers knew he demanded so much from us so we would survive on the battlefield, because he had survived on the battlefield.

He was Baptist. He attended a little Baptist church in Clarksville, Tennessee. He never talked about it. He didn't keep a Bible on his desk like the ostentatious captain did. He didn't talk about Jesus to his men. But he went to church every every Sunday morning, as I learned when I heard some of the other officers talking about why my captain wouldn't go out drinking with them on Saturday nights. Did I mention he was humble? There were 4 lieutenant colonels, and 7 majors in the regiment who outranked him, but as a Distingushed Member of the Regiment the captain should have always been seated beside the colonel at any dinner. But one time the adjutant (he was new in the position and didn't listen to me or the sergeant in charge of protocol) seated him below the majors. The colonel, of course, corrected the adjutant, and the adjunt apologized all over himself. What did the captain say? "Don't worry about it. We all put our pants on one leg at a time."

I sometimes think that the captain was a man like Holy Czar Nicholas was. Instead of letting his men bow to him, the Saint would hold an icon of the Savior before his men so they would bow to the Lord instead. That is what people who have authority and understand authority do; direct attention to the One who really has authority, who is the source of authority. And Jesus gave his life for us. And in a desperate attempt to to save his people, the Czar humilated himslf by abdicating. And my captain made no big deal of his rank or reputation but reminded one who gave offense that we are all just men.

Monday, July 17, 2023

A Marriage and an Engagement

Kathleen and I were married yesterday at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Saratoga, California.

And today, my son Anselm Samuel asked Tiffany Patterson to be his wife. She said yes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Wedding Rehearsal

The rehersal was tonight at St Nicholas Orthodox Church in Saratoga. The chanter, the reader, the priest, the sponsors, and us. After the rehearsal Kathleen and I said our confessions, then we joined the others in the church hall for Togo's sandwiches.

Thursday, July 06, 2023

A wedding and other things

Kathleen and I got the wedding license last week. The service has been scheduled for July 16. My boss asked me to stay on for another year and teach the same subjects. Anselm recieved his dolphins and got promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class. Basil is still going to Evergreen Valley Community College and is gtting his documents ready to apply next month to Hillsdale College and Cal Maritime for Fall 2024.

Kathleen and Basil and I wanted to go to a San Jose Giants baseball game on July 4 but this is their year to play in Fresno. o, after looking around at all the parades and concerts and fire works shows we decided to see the San Francisco Symphony and fireworks at Shoreline Amphitheater. It was utterly beautiful.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Radio, Shotguns, and Marriage

I read yesterday that car makers are going to stop putting A.M. radios in cars because the electric motors interfere with reception. I think I dislike electric cars even more now than I already did.

Speaking of radio, I really miss the days when I was a teenager in Florida. I used to lie on the floor doing my school work and listen to WCIE (Where Christ is Everything) out of Lakeland. I'd hear preachers such as Chuck Swindoll, J. Vernon McGee, Karl Strader, and late in the night I'd listen to the music program, The Haven of Rest with Ray Ortland. One of my favorite shows on WCIE was James Dobson's Focus on the Famly and others.

I haven't been listening to radio much for the last few years. I tried to listen to KQED, the local NPR affiliate but it has become nothing but filth. I did an expiriment to see if I could drive from home to work or from work to home without hearing a story promoting drag queens, homosexuality, abortion, or or the mutilation of childrens sex organs (they call it gender affirming care). The drive between work and home is about 15 minutes one way. Every morning and every afternoon I heard of of the vile promotions. On some drives I'd hear two or three. Gone are the days of listening to KQED and hearing Linda Worthheimer, Cokie Roberts, Nina Totenberg, Garison Keilor, Bob Edwards, Click and Clack, and To The Best of Our Knowledge with Steve Paulson and Anne Strainchamps. At least, KQED still has TechNation with Moira Gunn.

I've tried listening to KSFO an conservative talk station but they are so angry and I don't see Conservativeism that way. We are happy becuse we know the truth and see a path to a bright future. I just don't dig the negativity.

And there is no country music anymore.

Kathleen, Fr. Basil and I have set the wedding date for July 16. I'll be a married man again soon. And Anslem Samuel told me he is going to ask his girlfried to marry him.

My school's shotgun team had the last shoot of the season today. We finished 39 out of 51. I am very proud of them.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Getting Ready

Kathleen and I made Paskha tonight. We have seven terra cotta pots in the fridge. Looking at the work and church schedule, I can't see where I am going to have time to make the kulich. I'm sure it will work out somehow. I found out that Basil Wenceslas is bringing a girl to the Paschal Divine Liturgy. I'm making a pascha basket for her, too.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pascha Eggs

Every year up till now I put a couple of Reese's egg-shaped peanut butter cups in the Pascha basket but this year, because of Hershy's anti-human stance I refuse to buy anything made of their chocolate. So Basil came over today and we made our own. I bought molds, chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. I figured, since all the videos I watched on Youtube that show how to make them were 20 to 30 minutes long we could start at 4pm, be done by 5pm, and be at church at 6pm. I was wrong. It took four hours to make six of the things. The nice thing is that Cyndi and Kathleen spent a lot of time talking while Basil and I worked in the kitchen. It was also nice to use the copper and ceramic double boiler I bought for Cyndi a decade ago.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

The Clay Target Team

I don't think I've mentioned this before: I'm the coach of my school's clay target team. Late last month Basil went with me to Nevada to buy ammo and we got stuck in a giant record-breaking snowstorm. It took us 19 hours to get from Reno to San Jose, a drive that normally takes 5 or 6 hours.

Yesterday was the team's first practice. They did better than I expected and they had a lot of fun.

In other news: Anselm Samuel's submarine put into port in Guam a couple of days ago. They were not there long. Only about 30 hours; just long enough to load up on food and head back out to sea. I spoke to him briefly. He sounded very tired.

Monday, February 20, 2023

A Day in Napa

Kathleen and I went to see Ottmar Liebert and Luna Nega at the Blue Note in Napa yesterday. It was much fun to see in person a band I first heard of back in 1994 when Columbia House sent me a CD. It is very rare that I go to a live music performance but I really like very much Ottmar Liebert's music. It was surpising to see him as an old man. The only picture I had ever seen of him was on the CD cover from 30 years ago. But I just saw my old drives license from back then and I'm old now, too.

The Blue Note was a nice place. I would not be opposed to seeing other performers there, but it is a long drive from San Jose. If I go to Napa again I'll stay overnight in a hotel.

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Feeling Better

Kathleen, Basil, and I were sick for the whole month of January. Basil had covid. Kathleen the flu that turned into bronchitis. I just had fevers aches and pains. It has been tough going to work every day but neither of us can get subs to cover for us; Kathleen because she is on special assignment from her school district and me because I teach at a private school. Two days ago, on the(Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee) was the first time since Christmas we've been to confession and communion.

In other news: Work is going well. Three of my students were inducted into the National Honor Society and I have three students signed up for the clay target shooting team (Yes, there is a state-wide high school league) of which I am the coach. .

Saturday, January 07, 2023

The Past

Fifty three years ago, August 1969 to be more exact, my biological mother was murdered. Until tonight I never knew her name. Her name was Cletha.

Friday, December 30, 2022

The Sixth Day of Christmas

The festivities have been beautiful. We missed Royal hours on Friday but Vigil on Saturday and Divine Liturgy on Sunday were greatly joyful. A fun thing is that our friend Rowan from church joined us for Christmas dinner. It was just Kathleen, Basil, Rowan, and I for Christmas dinner. And the dinner itself was simple compared to past Christmas dinners: Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, peanut butter pie, cranberry walnut pie, fruitcake, au gratin potatoes, and Brussels sprouts, a port wine cheese ball, and pheasant pâté made from pheasants we shot.

On the second day of Christmas Kathleen and I went to Lake Pillsbury in the Mendocino National Forest to shoot wood ducks. But we saw no wood ducks but we saw tule elk. One bull had a harem of more than sixty cows and a huge set of antlers. No, we didn't shoot any of the elk. They are protected and rare. We stayed at lake Pillsbury three nights. There was lots and lots of rain.

Now we are back in San Jose and are preparing for the next semester. It will by my first time teaching economics. I'm excited.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Two nights till Christmas

Wednesay was they last day of the semester. The only Christmasy things I did with my students were that in the last few days of the semester I read Tony's Bread to them one day and cut up pannetone for them. None of them had ever tasted it so that was fun. And I read The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomy (I don't like the second edition as much as the first. The first had bigger pages.)to them on another day. That had 1/2 the class crying. And then, on Finals Week (only three days, actually.) I gave them all a copy of In Hoc Anno Domini from the Wall Street Journal.

Basil came over a few different times during Advent and helped me bake fruit cakes. I gave one to each of the eleven other teachers at my school, and just this morning, mailed off a bunch of them to friends and family all over the country. And he came over and helped my grind and stuff the Christmas sausage. He is such a good boy.

I was going to go to Royal Hours at the cathedral in San Francisco tonight but I have too much to do. I have two pies in the oven, presents to wrap, and a pheasant pâté to make tonight.

About a week before my son Anselm's boat left for the deep blue sea, I sent three fruitcakes with instructions not to open until Christmas, to the skipper of the boat. One for the skipper, one for the COB, and one for Anselm Samuel. I hope they got to him before they left port. Oh, well. I have been told that if they didn't get to the boat before it left San Diego they will be waiting for them at their next port of call.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Finals Week

It is late Monday night in Finals Week. I gave the Final Exam to my civics (mostly political philosophy and economics in the Fall semester) and A.P. Government students today. They did pretty well. I am happy for them. They all turned in the term papers last Friday. One girl did an amazing job. I think her paper is publishable, and I'm going to send it off to a journal and see if I can't help her get sonme serious attention. Her research and synthesis abilities are amazing. She would be such an amazing politics scholar or historian but she wants to major in math or chemistry. Maybe, if I can get her published I can convince her to pursue philoshopy. Probably not though. She is Singaporean and her parents want her to get a B.S. in Chemistry and then go to Med school or get into a bio-chem Ph.D. program.

I've been pheasant hunting twice since Thanksgiving. I have a freezer full of dead birds but one was so beautiful I am having it taxidermied. Sadly, I had no idea that dry ice is considered a hazardous material and that I would have to pay mucho dinero to ship the bird to the taxidermist in Idaho because of the dry ice. I think I would have spent less mony if I had hired someone local. Oh well. Live and learn.

Saturday night (this is Monday night) Kathleen's niece spent the night with us. She is a single mother, has a drug problem, and some mental health problems on top of that. It is difficult to know how to help her. We would adopt her baby but as long as she has him the State of Claifornia pays her money so she won't give him up. I am vey worried about that little boy. Tonight Basil and Kathleen helped me make the Christmas sausage. It is something we have been doing since Basil was a little boy of only 3 or 4 years. He is 17 now. Wow, where have the years gone?

Well, in the morning I have to give final exams to my U.S. History classes. I'd better get to bed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Day Before Thanksgiving

This week I gave all my students an extra credit assignment: Read three Thanksgiving Proclamations: George Washington (1789), Abraham Lincoln (1864), and Ronald Reagan (1988) then write a 6-10 page Chicago Style essay comparing and contrasting the proclamations. I gave them until next Monday to turn it in. Some of them have submitted their essays early, and they are beautiful.

Today I expalined to my stuents how NPR broadcasts Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish recipe every year, let them hear some recordings of the broadcast from years past, then let them taste it. I've heard the recipe many times over the last thirty years but this was the first time I ever made it. It tasted good and most of my students liked it.

Now I am baking two cranberry walnut pies. I just put them in the oven. Once I finish writing this post I'll get to work on two peanut butter chocolate pies (recipe below), and then I'll make pheasant pate (we have lots of pheasants in the fridge!) for tomorrow. We are going to be at the cathedral in San Francisco.

Peanutbutter Pie Recipe
Use two Keebler chocolate pie crusts or two Graham cracker pie crusts. The filling is one cup of creamy peanut butter, 8 oz cream cheese, 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar beaten together, then fold in 8 oz of cool whip (refrigerated but not frozen). The filling is enough for two pies. Top with whipped cream. I like to whip 8 oz of heavy cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. That way it doesn't separate as quickly as it would otherwise.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Pheasant Shooting

It was a busy week. Basil had school (student), I had school (teacher), and Kathleen had school (teacher). Yesterday, Veterans Day we did not do our usual activities. Instead, I slept all day, Kathleen did stuff with her kids, and Basil did homework.

Today the three of us went pheasant hunting. The dogs were not doing their job; acting more like pets than working dogs, but we each got one pheasant. Later we had lunch in the clubhouse and Kathleen picked out a new shotgun. All our shotguns are a little bit to big for her so she tried out this Syren and really like it. Now I just need to save up the money for it.

Well the timer on the oven just went off so I better take the pheasant out.

Saturday, November 05, 2022

Fruitcakes and civilization

Kathleen and I made 10 more fruitcakes today. We were going to go pheasant hunting but it was raining this morning so we decided to stay home and bake. The house smells beautiful; like cinnamon, butter, and whiskey.

Last week it dawned on me that in my world history class (we have been reading the about the pagan world; the Indians, the Japanese, the Aztecs, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Chinese, the Akkadians, the Incas, the Nubians, the Minoans etc.) that the whole pre-Christian world (except the Hebrews), all of them practiced human sacrifice and canibalism. Right now we are on ancient Greece and we have just finished reading Hesiod's Theogony, a gruesome tale of murder, incest, infanticide, cannibalism, rape, and war. I think we will be right up to Caesar Augustus in early December. And then I will assign my world history students the Gospel of Mark. I didn't plan it this way but isn't it amazing to be able to make the transition from the horrors of the demon-ruled pagan history to the Christ-filled history of the years of our Lord right at Christmas time.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

So much news.

Well, dear reader, there is much that goes on in life. I'll start with work, which is going wonderfully. I teach two sections of U.S. history, and one section each of civics, world history, and A.P. goverrnment. It is so much fun I can hardly stand it. Here is an example: In my civics class I have had my students read Aristotle, Cicero, John Locke, parts of Isaiah, all of Judges, and the first two chapters of Forest McDonalnd's Novus Ordo Seclorum. I was going to have them read the third chapter, which deals with the economic ideas underpinning the American Revolution and our ConstItution but I realized that most of my students don't have the background to understand that chapter. So, what are we doing? We are reading childrens books together! Yes! I read A Year at Maple Leaf Farm to them and had them identify every instance of production, consupmption, capital preservation, life preservation, and conservation of natural resources. Then we did the samething with The Ox Cart Man but this time I told them to keep in mind John Locke's discusions of property, waste, savings, and surplus. Then, on Friday I assigned each of them one of Laura Ingalls Widler's Little House books and assigned them a 10 page essay (in Chicago Style) on the economic ideas contained in the books. And in addition to the classes I teach I am the faculty advisor to the gardening club and the internatinal relations club. It is just so much fun!

My son Basil Wenceslas (I think I mentioed in a previous post that the graduated from high school two years early) just registered for twoclasses (U.S. history and U.S. government) at EVCC. He says he is prepearing for transfer to the Maritime Academy but he just turned 17 and his plans might change. Also, he is my hunting buddy. We go pheasant hunting on Saturdays.

I have cooked two pheasants and pheasant sausauge, and have smoked pheasants in the fridge. The only thing is that I don't enjoy running the dogs. I think from now on I'll leave that to Kathleen. I can't manage the dogs and shoot at the same time, and she likes running the dogs and is better at it than I am. Basil just likes shooting and then rewarding the dogs when they bring him the pheasants.

Anselm has a girlfriend. I haven't met her but Athanasia has has met her and says the girl, (Woman actually, she is a 23 year old speech therapist.) is good to our son. But Anselm is about to go on a 7 month mission and we will see if the relationship will last; 7 months is a long time to a 23 year old.

I am making 12 more fruitcakes today. This brings the total up to 30. It is much fun and is probably my favorite Christmas tradition. I think I have enough dried fruit to make another 16 but I'll Not make them today; maybe next week. It is hard to believe I've been doing this for 11 years. While I am baking thim I am listening to a recording of the Fireside Christmas Stories. It isn't even Advent yet but I am already enjoying Christmas.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Pheasants and Fruit Cakes

The last two Satudays I have been pheasant hunting. Kathleen and I went the first Saturday. We came home with four. Then the second Saturday, Basil went with me and we got three. I've roasted two, had three truned into sausage by the club butcher, and have two in the freezer.

LAst Saturday afternoon, after pheasant shooting, Basil and I made 8 fruit cakes. I just got off work and we are going to make 14 more.

Thursday, October 06, 2022

A new high school graduate

Six days ago my youngest son, Basil Wenceslas completed all the requirements to graduate from high school. Two years early. He did it by being co-enrolled in college and transferring the college credits to his high school. He worked hard and I am very proud of him.

To celebrate we got together and made this pork loin recipe. It was amazing.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

A Fundraiser

I am raising money for my class. My students need so much stuff! Books, maps, a pencil sharper, etc. Most of the parents of the kids I teach are not wealthy and are stuggling just to pay the tuition. I've been using books from my own library but the students really need access to classroom sets of several important history, philosophy, and econoomics texts. For that reason I have started a GoFundMe page. If you think you can help, please click here.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

A Joyful Day!

Today Basil Wenceslas, who has been suffereing from Long Covid, was well enough to return to Church. It was his first time to be in Church since Holy Week. He was exhausted by the end of Communion and we left before the Prayers of Thanksgiving but he was there. I am much relieved and very happy.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Planning Classes

All day Friday, all Day Saturday, and all night to this very moment all I have been doing is planning my World History Class. From Sargon of Akkad to the Global Communist Conspiracy I think I have covered all the highlights. Oh, my poor students. They had better be good readers. Now I have to get in bed and get a sleep before I get up for church in three hours.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Update on my children

My son, Anselm Samuel has been on a couple of short training missions, each one only a few days, aboard the U.S.S. Hampton. They were just off the coast of California for the short missions and all they did was test equipment and run through some drills. Today he told me they are leaving for a real mission (I didn't ask what it is because I know he can't tell me.) in a couple of weeks and will be gone until after Christmas.

My son, Basil Wenceslas is doing better. Last night he went out of the house with some friends for the first time in months. When I called him about 11 p.m. to read Exodus together he was whiped out and feeling exhausted by the exertion of going to a movie but I am just so happy he was able to get out of bed and go outside!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Truth Is Truth No Matter Who Says It

I wish this were an Orthodox preacher but like a bee I'll take nectar where I can find it. From minute 9 through minute 20 is the best explanation of the reality of the bread and wine truly being the Body and Blood of Jesus. Following that he goes down list of some of the Church Fathers of the first 3 centuries, including Ss. Ignatius, Justin, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom.

On a personal note, I remember when I was about 11 or 12 years old hearing, as though for the first time, my Dad do a communion service in Ukiah, California. Like most of the pastors in that denomination at that time, he read St. Paul's words from I Corinthinans 11:23-26, and when I heard the words I was astounded. And I was confused when I tried to reconcile those words with that denomination's teaching that the bread and grape juice are not really the Body and Blood of Jesus. I mean, we were Protestants and our whole religion was supposed to be based on the Bible (I first learned the Five Solas when I was 10 years old at Sunnyvale Christian School.), and we weren't just Protestants, we were Pentecostals who believed miracles and in the literal interpretation of the Bible. Why would we not interpret "this is my body" and "this is my blood" literally? Why would we think God couldn't do this miracle? The disagreement between the words I heard from St. Paul and the teaching of my denomination made no sense to me. It is no wonder I became Orthodox when Orthodoxy found me.

Monday, August 08, 2022

David McCullough, Dead

I was just looking up something for work (I'm dealing with the close of the western frontier right now) and saw this very sad news. David McCullough was one of the most important historians of America who ever lived. I mentioned on this blog one time that there are different schools of history. In the late 20th and early 21st Centuries there was no more powerful proponent - all the more powerful because he was quiet about it - of the proviential school of historiography, that idea held by some historians that Providence guides history. We are richer for the work he did. We are poorer because of his death. Memory Eternal!

I do not often post sermons on my blog but when I do...

Friday, August 05, 2022

So Excited!

For the past few days I've been writing syllabi and planning my classes. Tonight I made it up to Thanksgiving week in my U.S. History courses. And guess what I am going to do. I am going to have my students read Thanksgiving proclamations from Presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, and then write a comparitive essay. I can not begin to tell you how excited I am about this assignment!