The Real Conservatism

June is the month of graduations.  And right on schedule I attended two graduations this weekend.  The first one was a very minor but poignant event.  Our littlest grandchild, Princess Sack of Potatoes was finishing up her year of gym class.  Camera Girl and I dutifully showed up at this august occasion and watched through the glass as our little athlete tumbled and climbed and performed the baby steps version of gymnastics on balance beams and parallel bars and rings.  We applauded and made all the right noises while she and her variously gifted team mates impressed their parents and relatives.  Afterwards she got a heavy iron star shaped medal spray painted with gold to wear around her neck and then we all went to our favorite local steakhouse and enjoyed some red meat.  I got the ribeye.

Then today was a more important milestone my oldest grandson graduated from high school with high honors and full scholarship to the local college of his choice.  As was fitting for this more serious occasion, the ceremony took a few hours, if you include the process of showing up early enough to get good seats and parking spots at the outdoor ceremony.  The girl who gave the valedictory address was appropriately eloquent and choked with emotion.  Although some gusts of wind threatened to blow away the pages of her speech and her graduation cap.  But Camera Girl and I agreed that the speeches were well spoken and heartfelt, as the moment required.  We took the requisite photos as the diploma was handed to our young scholar and I even captured the capstone shot of the class tossing their caps into the air.  And afterwards we once again headed to that same steakhouse and partook of red meat.  This time I just had a burger since my son-in-law was paying and I am not unaware of the costs in raising four children in today’s brutal economic situation.

And when we got home Camera Girl and I agreed that it was the perfect weekend.  Of course, tomorrow is Father’s Day, that least understood holiday on the calendar.  When we’re young we would make a card for our father and later on we would buy him a tie and maybe at some point later in life we would get him some artifact that might be associated with one of his pastimes or for home improvement.  Now that I’ve reached grandfather status Father’s Day is sort of a stretch.  My sons-in-law are the objects of this ritual and they will be forced to express gratitude for the well-meaning but mostly useless gifts.

But all fathers know that the true gift every father is looking for is represented by the ceremony I attended today.  When a father has a son who makes the transition from boy to man that is the reward for years and decades of working to make him a functional member of society and hopefully puts him on the road to being able to have a family of his own.  And in a similar way, when a daughter grows up and starts a family of her won it is the realization of this same process.  It is the continuation of the human race.  We provide them a good home and try to teach children what a family is about and hope they’ll try to copy this pattern and produce their own home in the future.

By any definition of conservatism, that is the most essential component of conservative life; to replicate the circle of life.  To conserve the family.  In fact, regardless of what we do in the political realm as far as constitutional freedoms and rights, if we don’t manage to reproduce our families into the next generation then we have failed utterly and our story ends there.  We’ll have to step aside and let someone more adept at human relations take a whack at it.

Tomorrow I’ll get calls from my kids and maybe my grandkids (although that’s a usurpation of their fathers’ prerogatives of the day) and I’ll be pleased as can be that they remember me on the day.  But the great victory is counting those grandchildren and being allowed to share a little in their lives and their accomplishments and knowing that the circle continues and some part of me lives on both genetically and in the traditions and memories that we have built.

Whenever I talk to them, I stress (probably excessively) that they have family that cares about them and will be there if they need help.  I want them to know they are part of a group that they can depend on and that can depend on them too.

So Happy Father’s Day.  Make some memories with those kids.  It’s probably the most important work you’ll ever do as a conservative but more importantly as a man.

08MAY2022 – Mother’s Day and Other Stuff

Last night we went over to one of my daughters’ houses for a Mother’s Day dinner cooked on the grill by one of my sons-in-law in honor of all the mothers in the family.  Steak, salmon, chicken, baked potatoes, string beans, the whole enchilada.  He’s military so survival skills are his forte and cooking ranks high among them.  After dinner was the ice cream cake and coffee.  Superb.  And for once Camera Girl didn’t have to cook a thing.  Probably her favorite party of the year so far.

My granddaughter is three and a half now and so she’s finally old enough to start joining in with the younger boy cousins in running amok in the back yard and the basement.  I’ve never seen a little girl so happy to be shooting and being shot with nerf rockets.  It proves that she’s one of the big kids now.

Seeing how great all these kids are turning out is a remarkable source of pride for me.  Of course, all the credit goes to Camera Girl.  For all of her myriad annoying qualities she is the quintessential mom and grandma.  Her instincts and her conscious efforts are all aligned around nurturing children.  Of course, she’s much more laisse faire about nurturing husbands.  Well, I guess no one’s perfect.

But it struck me reading all the nonsense about the Left rallying around abortion that these people are out of their minds.  They’ve bought into a death cult that emphasizes short term convenience over sharing in the most rewarding institution in human relations, a large multigenerational family.  And based on what I’ve been reading the present generation doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about abortion as the baby boomers were.

The various leftist opinion writers discussing the abortion panic are none too optimistic about either preventing Roe v. Wade being struck down or using the event as a successful rallying cry for the November mid-terms.  They’ve gone through several stages of opinion on the whole issue and currently they’ve ended up at frustration.  It’s frustration that they can’t move the needle on the Republican advantage in polls for the mid-terms and frustration that the voters, other than a noisy but narrow segment are unexcited by the SCOTUS opinion.  It has escaped their notice that Antifa rioters don’t raise families or even engage in heterosexual relationships.  To paraphrase a feminist expression, Antifa women need abortion like a fish needs a bicycle.

And speaking to some folks on our side, those who were most worried about a mid-term backlash against the SCOTUS decision now see the wisdom of direct action.  One fellow admitted that plowing forward with the actions that we’ve said we’ve always wanted to see accomplished is the only way anything will ever get done.  Hearing that was especially satisfying for me.  I’ve been saying for years that pussyfooting around these actions is tantamount to surrendering to the Left.  All it has done is acclimate the succeeding generations to permanent Leftist hegemony.  Fighting these policies even if the battle goes back and forth is progress.  Whining about not being ready until we have overwhelming odds in our favor is a fantasy that guarantees perpetual inaction.

So today I sent out invitations for the Memorial Day Weekend family barbecue.  There I will see most of the closest relatives I have assembled together at the Compound for food and drink and hordes of children and grandchildren running around in circles and jumping in a swimming pool.  We’re slowly putting all of the COVID nonsense in the rearview mirror and moving our lives back where they belong, together.

Happy Mother’s Day.

How Do We Last Until 2025?

A single day doesn’t seem to go by without some new Biden caused or related disaster occurring.  War, famine, pestilence, financial collapse, you name it.  The only thing missing from the list is an asteroid strike and I’m sure that the Biden team has their stupidest man working on it right now.

But seriously, these are going to be trying times.  Like everyone else I’m counting the pennies and figuring out how to reduce costs and pay for growing bills with shrinking assets.  It’s going to be extremely difficult in the weeks and months ahead.  And let’s face it, regardless of what kind of blowout the Democrats suffer in November there will be a Democrat in the White House torturing us until early in 2025.  That’s a very long time.  We won’t get through it by trying to hold our breath all the way through.

We’re going to have to be protect ourselves from all the nonsense they’ll do to break us down.  Each of us will have to do the best we can to roll with the punches and avoid being ground down by the myriad of problems these people create; money problems, crime waves, propaganda aimed at our children, more COVID fascism possibly.  We’ll have to be smart and strong.

But just as important as all these things is maintaining morale.  Your spiritual health is just as important as your physical health.  You’ve got to make time to be happy.  And that’s especially true if you are working harder to keep from falling behind.  Take some time out every day and do something that nourishes the mind and soul.  Call up an old friend and find out how he’s doing.  Visit an aged relative and bring a little joy into her day.  Buy a good book and take twenty minutes out of your day to read it.  Take a course in something you’ve always wanted to learn.  It doesn’t have to be at a college.  It could be an on-line course.  If you’re isolated by circumstances then join some activity at a local club.

Of course, if you have a young family, then make time each day to help your kids with all the things they are doing.  Make sure you know what they are thinking about.  Find out what problems they are dealing with.  With the COVID masking still going on at schools make sure they’re dealing with the stress reasonably well and let them know things will be getting better very soon.  Talk at the dinner table and try to keep their morale high too.  Find other families that you can plan outings and events with that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

And plan for the future.  Look forward to better times.  Make a list of improvements you want for your future and then start to figure out a plan to accomplish one of them first.  Don’t start with the one where you become a billionaire.  Figure out the one where you lose twenty pounds or replace the kitchen floor or get a promotion at work.

All of this is a plan to keep a positive attitude and get yourself and your loved ones through some tough times that are coming up.  And most importantly get out of the house and feel the sun on your face once in a while.  Cabin fever is a real thing especially in the cold latitudes but everywhere else too to some extent.  And of course, I’m part of the problem, but get away from the computer once in a while.

One day Joe Biden will be in the rear-view mirror.  But until then maintain your sanity and nourish your soul by balancing the stress with some fun.  Doctor’s orders.

28FEB2022 – OCF Update – February 28th, That Unusual Day

 

February 28th must have a complex.  It’s the only day that doesn’t know from year to year whether it will be followed by February or March.  But you say to yourself, “Why doesn’t it just consult the calendar?”  Don’t be ridiculous.  Days of the year don’t have calendars or even hands to turn pages.  Ridiculous.

I’ve always resented the fact that they add an extra day to February.  No one wants more days in February.  If you want to add a day add it to August.  Every school child in the world would bow down and worship you for postponing September an extra day.

But here we are, a Non-Leap Year, March waiting in the wings and even the COVID maniacs in New England facing up to the obvious that everyone hates them and they’ll have to give up the mask madness.  I found a classic car event in mid-March and I’m already looking forward to getting some good shots for the site.  Ah spring is in the air.

So, I looked at the news today; Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ, Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ, Ukraine, SOTU, KBJ as far as the eye could see.  Well, I need a break from this stuff.

So today I introduced Princess Sack of Potatoes to the mysteries of the visible electromagnetic spectrum.  I intended to get her a nice high quality glass prism for the class but Camera Girl explained to me that pre-school children and glass aren’t a good mix.  So, I bought some plastic prisms and we had to make do with some pretty sorry looking spectrums.  But it did the trick.  She was very interested in trying to make the colors herself.

I began a lecture on the wave/particle duality of the photon and was preparing to discuss the quantum aspects when she dropped the prism on the floor and walked away to play hide and seek with Camera Girl.  Well, I’m sure Isaac Newton didn’t really hit his scientific stride until at least four so there may still be time.

Today was another bright, sunny but cold day.  I decided to take a walk around the property in my tee shirt just to assert my dominance over the decrepit winter season.  After the first seven minutes it seemed less and less of a good idea so I beat a slow, dignified retreat back to the comfort of central heating.  But a defiant pose was struck.  A tone was established in my relationship to 2022.  I definitely have the upper hand.  From here on in I reestablish my direct control over the whole of my domain.

What this actually means is pretty soon I won’t have any meaningful excuse for not doing the outdoor repairs and other chores that I neglected back in November.  But that’s acceptable.  This will be a normal year.  No COVID crap delaying implementation of normal activities.  Even that supply chain nonsense is fading in the rear-view mirror.  Sure, everything will be twice as expensive; lumber, hardware, paint.  But do-it-yourself is an inherently frugal strategy.  Even in my mechanical ineptitude I foresee great progress on the Master Punchlist that every homeowner maintains (if only in his heart).

So welcome March, that changeable and blustery month with its St. Patrick’s Day (Camera Girl’s birthday) tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage and, despite the inevitable New England Nor’easter snow storms, the beginning of garden work.   This year I hope to add a vegetable garden closer to the house.  All this carrying around of hoses seems very inefficient and possibly if the garden is closer to the house the rabbits and the other varmints might leave us some of the produce.

The calendar doesn’t reflect it.  Nor does the six inches of snow on the grass but in my heart, spring has sprung!

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 7 – The Next Generation

Well as Milo intimated a month ago, our rescued Mantis has laid an egg case.

Currently the proud mother is still alive although I suspect that after laying her eggs her life span may be limited.  I’ll put the egg case in a cold area for the winter and then put it outside in spring.  Princess Sack of Potatoes will probably equate this phenomenon to the story of Charlotte’s Web that we recently watched.  Well, I’ll have to say the project has really paid dividends.

Here’s mom.

He Restoreth My Soul

Psalm 23 (King James Version)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

“He restoreth my soul.”  The perfect words.  Getting together with the family, especially the grandkids did just that.  Fooling around at the pool table with my younger grandsons and watching old movies and eating absurd amounts of fattening foods and joking and laughing was “A Medicine for Melancholy.”  Camera Girl clocked multiple days of preparation and cooked up a storm.  She fell asleep exhausted last night but woke up today smiling and looking forward to the Friday sequel when even more family will be over.

I sat down and talked about current business problems with one of my sons-in-law.  He runs a medium-sized manufacturing plant and they just can’t find good help at any reasonable price.  But just telling his situation to someone who knows what he’s talking about is therapeutic and I was glad he confided in me.  Maybe I’ll figure out something that could help.  But just talking is good.  We all get wrapped up in our own problems.  We lose track of how others, even close family, are getting along or aren’t getting along.  Knowing that someone else would benefit from some small help is valuable.  We break out of our silos as they say in management speak.

How about that!  The world isn’t quite ready to collapse yet.  We’ll get to breathe and eat and laugh and cry.  There are all kinds of useful things we can do right around us even as Dementia Joe and the rest of the looters figure out new ways to degrade this once great nation.

Talk to your friends and family.  Spend time with them.  Figure out how you can help them.  Make their lives better and it’ll make your life better too.  The world doesn’t really consist just of trans-gender lunatics and critical race theory propagandists.  It consists of your family and friends and the life they have to lead.  Sure, those other things impact them and you can help to offset some of that harm with information you can provide.  But the focus is on the positive things that you do and say.  Do them.  Say them.  Because it’s the neglect of doing the things that need to be done that leaves room for the madness to creep in.

I must sound like someone hopped up on amphetamines but it’s just amazing.  The COVID isolation must have beat my soul down pretty bad.  Because the lift I got from a regular Thanksgiving get together is phenomenal.    Hopefully by Monday I’ll be able to muster up some gloom and doom.  But right now, I’m looking forward to round two.  Enjoy your long holiday weekend.

 

Here’s a repeat of Camera Girl’s Thanksgiving Turkey.  But it deserves another photo.

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 6 – Extra Innings

Last night I read that this week we’re expecting a hard frost.  Well, it’s November after all and nothing unusual about that.  I mentioned to Camera Girl that I saw a dragonfly circling the yard the other day and now it’ll be the end of his time with the frost.

This morning Camera Girl was getting ready to go out on an errand and she said she’d stop at the top of the driveway and put a letter in the mailbox.  I said I need some air.  Give it to me.  As I was walking back toward the house she is walking toward me instead of driving out in her car and yelling something excitedly.  She is an enthusiastic woman.  What she was saying was that she saw a praying mantis sitting on top of a gallon water jug that I had left on the porch.  She asked me to catch it and save it indoors.

And sure enough, there it was.  I scooped it up and put it in a convenient cage (the former home of one of my grandsons’ hermit crabs).

 

 

And the new plan is to see how long he can live in an indoor environment.  I’ll try to offer him raw hamburger but if that fails we’ll get some crickets at the pet store.  Well, Princess Sack of Potatoes will get a chance to study a praying mantis more closely than I thought.

Praying Mantises, Children’s Books and Pa – Part 5 – The Final Chapter

Well, this is the finale of the great mantis experiment.  Yesterday Camera Girl used her hawk-eye super vision to find an adult praying mantis in the jungle-like weeds of her vegetable garden.  In fact, the mantis was on one of her Japanese eggplant plants.  Princess Sack-of-Potatoes will know that praying mantises really do exist although unfortunately they do not talk in an English-accented throaty whisper as they do in an Eric Carle picture book video.  But they are indeed monsters that inhabit the tiny world of our garden.  And that’s a fun thing for a little child to discover.