Goodies from Germany





A friend who lives in Germany was in the states recently and so we received some delicious, wonderful, fabulous goodies.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Ephemera: : things that are important or useful for only a short time : items that were not meant to have lasting value.
: something of no lasting significance —usually used in plural
ephemera plural : paper items (as posters, broadsides, and tickets) that were originally meant to be discarded after use but have since become collectibles

First used in 1650

While sorting through my old books, I found the following inside a 1927 book on secondary education:

A envelope post-dated 1927 from the East Chicago Department of community recreation to my grandmother (then living in the Alpha Omicron Pi house at DePauw University), accepting her application for ‘Summer playground work.’ .02 postage

A blank card for a DePauw University Class- with places to fill in the name of Professor and student, the student’s classification, department, course number, hours of credit, grade, number of absences, and a place for the Prof’s signature.

A thick, sturdy, cardboard protractor, ruler, and square apparently used by both my grandmother and her younger sister. There were four children in the family. They all went to college, and they all also apparently used each other’s schoolbooks and materials as often as possible. I inherited many schoolbooks with the names of at least three of the children inscribed inside the cover, with different dates.

Sometimes in my grandparents old books I find newspaper clippings about the author of that particular book, or about a topic covered in that book.  I probably find old school trappings more than any other single category of ephemera.  Sometimes I find notes on the family tree and photographs of tombstones where some ancestor or other was buried.

My grandmother majored in Botany and was active in sporting in the 1920s, when not many women majored in scientific fields. My grandfather was a teacher and a school administrator.   The scraps they left behind in their books tell me they valued education, books, nature,  the news of the day, history.

I know that her relationship with God was important to my grandmother because she talked to me about it the last year of her life, the last time I saw her.   I also remember conversations about the plants in the woods around the family property, and about my mother when Mother was a little girl.

We are seeding our own ephemera in the scraps of paper, pictures and notes we leave as bookmarks in the books we are reading that we will never get back to, in the recipes paperclipped inside a cookbook, in the church bulletin left in our Bibles.  If we scrapbook, we tell those who come after us what we want them to know about us, to believe about us, in the choices we make about the tickets, cards, notes, and photographs we choose to preserve.

We are leaving behind ephemera of our own in the little conversations that we have, the light comments we toss over our shoulders as we take a walk with the children, or make lunch together.

What does that ephemera communicate about you? What will the children remember about you? What impressions will you leave behind?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Missionary Work Begins At Home

“I can tell you someone to begin on right away,” said her mother, nodding at her. “As wild a little savage as I’d wish to see. Take her in hand, and make a pretty-mannered lady of her. Begin at home, my lass, and you’ll find missionary work enough for a while.”

“Now, Mammy, you mean me! Well, I will begin; and I’ll be so good, folks won’t know me. Being sick makes naughty children behave in story-books, I’ll see if live ones can’t;” and Jill put on such a sanctified face that the girls laughed and asked for their missions also, thinking they would be the same.

“You, Merry, might do a deal at home helping mother, and setting the big brothers a good example. One little girl in a house can do pretty much as she will, especially if she has a mind to make plain things nice and comfortable, and not long for castles before she knows how to do her own tasks well,” was the first unexpected reply.

Merry colored, but took the reproof sweetly, resolving to do what she could, and surprised to find how many ways seemed open to her after a few minutes’ thought.

From Louisa May Alcott’s Jack and Jill, which we are listening to while the FYG recuperates from her own snow-sport induced injury.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Hypocrite, much?

The real reason leftists are so strongly in favor of government charity?  They are too tightfisted to share with others themselves, and they assume the rest of us are as selfish as they are.

Those who strongly agreed that “the government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality” gave away $140 on average to charity. Among those who strongly disagreed, the average gift was $1,637.

This really isn’t new.

The study by Arthur Brooks really ought to have gotten a lot more attention than it did, but I am not surprised it didn’t:

Brooks shows that those who say they strongly oppose redistribution by government to remedy income inequality give over 10 times more to charity than those who strongly support government intervention, with a difference of $1,627 annually versus $140 to all causes. The average donation to educational causes among redistributionists was eight dollars per year, compared with $140 from their ideological opposites, and $96 annually to health care causes from free marketeers versus $11 from egalitarians.

A 2002 poll found that those who thought government “was spending too much money on welfare” were significantly more likely than those who wanted increased spending on welfare to give directions to someone on the street, return extra change to a cashier, or give food and/or money to a homeless person.

Brooks finds that households with a conservative at the helm gave an average of 30 percent more money to charity in 2000 than liberal households (a difference of $1,600 to $1,227). The difference isn’t explained by income differential—in fact, liberal households make about 6 percent more per year. Poor, rich, and middle class conservatives all gave more than their liberal counterparts. And while religion is a major factor, the figures don’t just show tithing to churches. Religious donors give significantly more to non-religious causes than do their secular counterparts.

I’m not sure what word would be appropriate when describing a free hand with other people’s money, but I know it’s not compassion.

More here.

And here.

And here.

Posted in charity | 7 Comments

Brain Death: A Legal Fiction

do-no-harmJahi McMath was declared brain dead by the hospital where the 13 year old child’s routine tonsil surgery resulted in complications such as severe bleeding and cardiac arrest- the same hospital which also wanted to harvest her organs while her heart was still beating (the only way most organs can be harvested). The child’s family disagreed. They had to go to court to get their child the most basic of care- food, hydration, air. They finally were allowed to remove their child from the care of those who wanted her organs and take her somewhere she would actually be cared for. The medical community persists in referring to the living breathing child who has a beating heart as ‘the body.’

More here.

Note the final paragraph where the dr explains his view of brain death. Parts of it fit Stephen Hawkings and anybody on dialysis. Parts of it are used by many to describe profoundly retarded kids.

Brain Death Equals Death, Says Who?

“In regard to that last issue, we used to think that patients in persistent vegetative state (PVS) (another diagnosis along the spectrum between consciousness and coma) had no perception of the outside world – until we put them in an fMRI machine and told them jokes. I was always taught that brain dead people all invariably die of complications within a few days or a week. Jahi has lived three weeks after the diagnosis of brain death already. I do not discount several possibilities that may explain her prolonged survival:

brain death leading to real death becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if you never support brain dead patients for a prolonged time – thus our understanding of the prognosis of brain death is limited and potentially flawed
even if, in the past, brain death always lead to real death within a week or so, temporal changes in care could lead to changes in how long you can survive with “brain death”
the limited sample size of patients supported with brain death leads to confidence intervals around the survival estimates that are larger than we think, and outliers may surprise us…”

“My devil’s advocacy regarding this case has been misunderstood to signify that I have lost my own mind and am no longer a proponent of limitation of care in cases where care is of low, minuscule, or negligible value. Not so, by any means. But I am sympathetic to the notion that legal death based on a definition that was invented to enhance the supply of organs for transplantation may not comport with everyone’s intuition about life and death; that individual value systems are sometimes markedly divergent and irreconcilable; and, most importantly, that if we are going to have any discussion that has a hope of understanding values that are divergent from ours, we need to open our minds. Here, there has been no open mind on the part of the medical establishment. It has been shouting “SHE’S DEAD, [profanity deleted]! ACCEPT IT!””

the above is written by an M.D. who accepts the historical reality of the fact that the legalities of brain death was at least partially invented to enhance the supply of organs for transplant. Note, too, that he’s not even himself entirely opposed to the notion of brain death being used that way, he just thinks the medical profession should be less closeminded to family members who feel differently about their loved ones, regardless of the loved one’s disabled status.

The problem with doing the ‘brain death’ testing too soon: “The widespread use of hypothermia after cardiac arrest… has led to recognition that the brain death examination is not reliable for upwards of a week after rewarming, because of delayed clearance of sedative, hypnotic, anticonvulsant, anesthetic, and analgesic medications in this patient population.”

From the comments by the same doctor in the brain death equals death says who article: “If the argument is that we need protections against futile care that technology enables, we should ask “what proportion of futile care is constituted by brain death?” Brain death is a tiny minority of all futile care. Moreover, because it is so futile, patients hearts don’t keep beating very long after the diagnosis, and the costs and burdens of supporting the brain dead are relatively low. Thus, the impact of brain death on the whole problem of futile care is VERY minor. So, it would seem that making such a fuss about religious exceptions to it is not warranted.

Moreover, the fact is that in the past 40 years the medical establishment has done nothing further beyond brain death to limit or curb futile care, and indeed as proliferation of LTACH demonstrates, we have seen drastic increases in futile care in the past decades (with physicians and hospitals enriched in the process) (See:…/ventilating… ). This again begs the question – if our goal is limitation of care, why are we so concerned about brain death, rather than the other cases that constitute the majority of futile care? Why do we not promulgate a policy of “no prolonged CPR for out of hospital asystolic cardiac arrest”, “no prolonged mechanical ventilation in metastatic cancer”, etc?

Thus, I am unswayed that we desperately need this thing “brain death” and that without it there would be runaway futility and spending.

The issue of “what makes us human” is too involved for this comment thread, but I will ask again: why is the function of the brain stem a sine qua non for “humanness”? Isn’t the cortex what really counts?

Finally, as evidenced by the shoddy, inconsistent, and confusing reporting of the facts of this case in the lay press, by educated journalists interviewing experts in the field, I am unconvinced that the public has been properly or adequately educated about brain death. I would also wager that the public debate we would have today in the internet age would be far more fraught with dissent and challenges than whatever “debate” happened while the country was preoccupied with Viet Nam.

There’s still an elephant in the room, but I’m going to keep ignoring it.”

Is the determination of brain death really just about medical futility?

“Although it is easy enough to say that Jahi’s family’s refusal to accept reality stems from ignorance or grief, it is not fair, as some have done, to call them crazy for mistrust of a diagnoses that is based in theory, not reality. Jahi may be irrevocably brain injured, but there are increasing signs that she may indeed have some brain function.”

Another article about Jahi’s case- so sad. So hypocritical of us to think we’re better than the nazies when we treat patients with brain disabilities like farms for harvesting organs- especially when the same hospital where Jahi’s injuries occurred during what should have been routine tonsil surgery is trying to pressure her family into letting them profit from her organs. Talk about conflict of interest.

This most recent article from the New England Journal of Medicine makes it clear, IMO, that ‘brain death’ is a concept created for social and economic reasons more than for medical reasons:

“Over the past several decades, brain death has become well entrenched as a legal and medical definition of death. It is clearly defined by the neurologic community (see box
Determination of Brain Death.), standards for diagnosis are in place, and it is established in law.**** It has become the primary basis of organ-procurement policy for transplantation****. Ironically, the other standard for defining death, irreversible cessation of circulation, lacks consensus about diagnosis.

“…Although one could conceivably draw the line somewhere else, such as loss of cognitive functioning, the reliability and social consensus that has emerged around brain death as death is reflected in the broad legal agreement under which brain death is recognized in every state.
Medical and legal acceptance that the irreversible loss of brain functioning is death enables families to grieve the loss of their loved ones knowing that they were absolutely beyond recovery, as distinct from patients in a coma or a vegetative state. It errs on the side of certainty when organ procurement is requested. The determination of death is a highly significant social boundary. It determines who is recognized as a person with constitutional rights, who deserves legal entitlements and benefits, and when last wills and testaments become effective. Sound public policy requires bright lines backed up by agreed-on criteria, protocols, and tests when the issue is the determination of death. The law and ethics have long recognized that deferring to medical expertise regarding the diagnosis of brain death is the most reasonable way to manage the process of dying. ”

God’s word pretty plainly defines death when it says that ‘the life is in the blood.’ In the 1960s modern humans chose to create a legal fiction of death being in the brain. It is a social and legal consensus, but I don’t believe it is a biblical standard.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Eternity in Pots and Pans

tired housewife sweeping floor vintage“John Wesley, a great English preacher (1703-1791), said that we stand on an ‘isthmus of life” between the two boundless oceans of eternity. To see this life within the larger, dominant realm of eternity; to willingly choose the eternal over the temporal and the immediate, this is what it means to have an eternal perspective.”

from the book A Bible Study on Living for What Really Matters: Long-term Values in a short-term world

According to the author, great men of faith have always lived with eternity in mind. For instance, she says, look at the hall of faith in Hebrews.

Let’s look. Keeping the eternal in mind, what did Abraham do?

He moved. He didn’t know where he was going, he just knew he was called to go, so he packed up and moved.
Is there anybody reading this who has never moved before? As part of his act of faith with the eternal in mind, he had to engage in some pretty mundane tasks, or at least oversee them. He had to decide which of his tents, pots, urns, ropes, boxes, bags, decorations, etc would go, which would stay. He had to be at least somewhat involved in the nitty gritty details of organizing and planning what to take, what to pack, where to put it, and all that without knowing where he was doing.

I’m an old military wife. I have an inkling of what that’s like. I’ve done it. I never thought of myself as participating in the eternal when I did it, but I was. So are you.

Then Abraham made a new home, living like a stranger in a foreign land- aren’t we also supposed to be strangers in a foreign land? Do we live like we believe that?

However that plays out in your house- it’s participating in the eternal. Because we are strangers in a foreign land with a precious, precious citizenship in another Kingdom, there are things we do that don’t look things the natives do. Our citizenship in that kingdom washes our thinking on a daily basis, and it influenced our decisions to have the children we have, including by adoption, to educate them the way we educate them, to read some of the books we read, to limit our debt. It influences our entertainment choices, our hospitality, our speech, even our meals (not all the time, but often). When we mop the floors, do the laundry, bake bread, make kimchi, get the Cherub up and dressed, get her ready for bed. When our son offers to carry his sister with the badly broken leg on his back, when I spend time setting up the bathroom for her so she can shower and I do not complain because I do not want her to feel badly, when her big sisters take turns sleeping with her after she came home from the hospital because they don’t want her to have to wait more than a couple minutes if she wakes up and needs help, when we choose to sing a hymn rather than voice a complaint- we are participating in the eternal.

Sometimes the things we do do look just like the things the natives do. Sometimes that’s because we are slacking off and ‘going native,’ and need to get back on track. Sometimes it’s because the trappings are the same, but our hearts should be different.

They endured, those great men and women of faith, waiting and watching with hope for something they would not see in this lifetime, while they lived the daily in an attitude of hope. I supposed they faltered from time to time, but they did what they were called to do.

We might be called to do dishes, change diapers, teach the multiplication tables, braid hair, encourage a friend via an email or facebook conversation. We might be called to some dreary tasks in this life. Just do them, and look to eternity.

This was written, so goes the story, by a 19 year old girl in domestic service in the late 19th century in England:

Lord of all pots and pans and things,
Since I’ve no time to be
A saint by doing lovely things or
Watching late with thee,
Or dreaming in the twilight or
Storming heaven’s gates.
Make me a saint by getting meals or
Washing up the plates.

Although I must have Martha’s hands,
I have Mary’s mind, and,
When I black the boots and shoes
Thy sandals, Lord, I find.
I think of how they trod the earth
What time I scrub the floor,
Accept this meditation, Lord,
I haven’t time for more.

Warm all the kitchen with thy love,
And light it with thy peace,
Forgive me all my worrying
And make all grumbling cease.
Thou who didst love to give men food
In room or by the sea
Accept this service that I do
I do it unto thee.

Do what you are doing.

Do what you are doing as unto the Lord

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Pretty Books



Dorothea Kirke (the blue one with red tape); A Little Dixie Captain (red with a little girl); In random order, Henry Esmond, Julius Caesar, and Cooper’s Deerslayer, I think, unless it’s Irving’s Sketchbook (I have a bunch of these in the little red hardbacks with titles in white in a box, they were school books in the 1900s here). The red one with gold text, but plain cover, is a Guizot’s History of European Civilization or something like that, and the pretty fancy red with the gold box is A Boy’s Froissart (1884) edited by Sidney Lanier.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snow Storm, My House. Today.






snow picture outside back door

The above picture is looking outside our backdoor toward ‘the hundred acre woods’ during the snow storm.  The picture below is after the snow ended.





Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vintage Scoutmaster Handbook

vintage books scoutmaster handbook2nd Edition—Handbook for Scoutmasters (1920-1936)

“Covers are all leather in varying colors, with gold lettering and a gold First Class badge. As before, the author credit simply states, “Published under the supervision of the Editorial Board Representing the National Council”. Editorial Board members are listed as William D. Murray, Frank Presbrey, & Dr Henry Van Dyke. Like before, the book contains many black-and-white photographs, and 4 pages of military drill (though no more “order of the staff”). The book is thorough. Only limited updating was done over the book’s 18 printings.”

2nd Edition Summary and Printing History

  • title from title page—Handbook for Scout Masters, later Handbook for Scoutmasters
  • under supervision of Editorial Board
  • cover art is gold First Class badge
  • 1920-1936 (16 years)
  • ?? copies printed
  • size 114x178x31 mm [later printings 19 mm] (4-1/2×7″)
  • 18 printings:—6th printing (1924, ?? copies)—632 numbered pages, yellow brown cover
  • vintage books scoutmaster badges page

Actual 2nd Edition Table of Contents

  • PART I, Troop Method and Technique
  • I. Scouting—A National Service
  • II. Bird’s-Eye View of Scouting
  • III. Early Objectives
  • IV. Hikes and Meetings
  • V. Scoutcraft, Alternative Methods
  • VI. Class Requirements—Standardization
  • VII. The Scout Troop and Patrol
  • VIII. Scouting and the Community
  • vintage books scoutmaster about books and readingPART II, Problems of Reaching Boys
  • IX. The Scoutmaster
  • X. Boys
  • XI. The Scout and His Life Work
  • XII. Physical Welfare
  • XIII. Scout Contests
  • XIV. Games
  • XV. Drill
  • XVI. The Scout Uniform
  • XVII. The Scout Camp
  • XVIII. Story Telling
  • XIX. Some Rural Problems
  • XX. Seascouting
  • PART III, Scouting—A National Movement
  • XXI. History of the Boy Scouts of America
  • XXII. System of Organization of the Boy Scouts of America
  • XXIII. Policies
  • XXIV. National Constitution and By-Laws with Index
  • Appendix
  • I. Troop Charter
  • II. Local Council Constitution
  • III. Uniform Specifications
  • IV. Letters from Sir Robert Baden-Powell
  • V. Scout Publications
  • VI. Cross Index
  • vintage books scoutmaster learning pace illustration

Information from this website.

Photographs from my copy.

Posted in Books | Leave a comment


vintage temptation

A little theft, a small deceit,
Too often leads to more;
‘Tis hard at first, but tempts the feet
As through an open door.

Just as the broadest rivers run
From small and distant springs,
The greatest crimes that men have done,
Have grown from little things.

The above poem is called temptation in the book where I found it. I looked it up online to try and identify an author, and saw it is called The Beginning of Vice elsehwere, and ‘Beware,’ in another book. My book has lost its title. It belonged to a great-great-grandfather and entertained, it seems generations of children until it fell apart and the remains were professionally rebound. But the only title is Children’s Story Book, and I am not sure if that was the original or just what the binder was left to title it, since no title page or cover remained.  The illustration is also from this book.


Posted in Books, vintage books | 3 Comments