Monday, August 1, 2022

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

August 2022

"Leaving any bookstore is hard, especially on a day in August, when the street outside burns and glares, and the books inside are cool and crisp to the touch.”
– Jane Smiley

In the excessive heat of our summer thus far, staying indoors with a great book to read while the refrigerated Air Conditioner hums a tune in the background is the wisest course of action. Your editor has been adopting such a lifestyle in spite of ordinarily preferrring warm weather to cold wintry blasts of winter. While some escape via various vacationing sites, one is sometimes better off at home.

Preparing a pencilstubs issue is always a revelation. The serendipitous submissions are intriguing and this month has a few. Bud Lemire sent a poem titled "Tme Capsule," while Walt Perryman's "Time" is (Gotta say it) timely. You're certain to discover a few more as you read.

Both poets show two more of their poems: Lemire with "Ernie's Party Store" and "People;" Perryman with "Check-off List" and "A Few Mysteries and Secrets of My Exciting Life." John Blair also sent a triple set titled "Dawn Watcher," "Urban Coyote," and "Anole on The Driveway."

Bruce Clifford, who likes doing song lyrics, penned "The Meaning Of Us" and "Covid20." Dayvid Bruce Clarkson who does the column "Reflections of The Day," also does beautiful artistic presentations as according to him, "...when Spirit moves me." Therefore we're showing "The Journey" as he presented it along with our transcription of the verses.

"A Mother's Lessons" by Danielle Cote Serar shares personal thoughts on the "Intricasies of Infertility." "On Trek" by Judith Kroll offers a free "Healing" tutorial in her column and tells of her way of becoming friends with others. "Reflections of the Day" by Dayvid Bruce Clarkson, discusses how language teaches childen not only item identification but personal attitudes from the teacher that can last forever. Thomas O'Neill uses his column "Introspective" to tell us he will be teaching in a new locale in China, and why.

"Sifoddling Along," by Marilyn Carnell talks about Ozark Families, then and now. "Woo Woo," by Pauline Evanosky, inspires one to focus on nudges from spirit.

"Cooking with Rod”features "Ma New Orleans Tortellini this issue. Mattie Lennon, author of "Irish Eyes," features a rather unpopular action touted by Professor Charles Spense, and talks about the Sam MaGuire Cup finals at Kerry.

The "Armchair Genealogy" column, by Melinda Cohenour who planned to have some up to date genealogy status reports from her daughter who had just been given an assignment where her column titled "My Old Kentucky Home" is located. Then the flooding began and tragic news is all her daughter has access to currently. The historical origins of family are largely in Kentucky and surrounding states.

Michael John Fierro discloses the numerological aspects pending for the United States of America with the July 4, 2022 Birthday as it is a 17/8 Personal Year. Fierro formerly shared columns in our eZine explaining how numerology works and why it is a useful tool for each of us. The 30 columns are accessible by clicking his byline.

Bud Lemire's continued tale '2061' presents Part 6 (the Final Part) for our readers. Enjoy!

We continue to thank our co-founder and webmaster, Mike Craner, whose knowlege and expertise keeps Pencil Stubs Online actually online. He does it well as we are now in our 25th year. Thanks, Mike, for everything!

Look for us in September.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour

Intro: Our family's history began for most of our surname lines in the Appalachian region of America: Kentucky, Virginia, the Carolinas...

I was thrilled, therefore, to hear last week that my daughter would be dispatched to Kentucky to become acquainted with her new client, assess their needs, tour the factory, meet the Engineering staff, and begin building the vendor relationships that new client will require. A flight from DFW to Nashville, a short drive up to Franklin, Kentucky, for her Home-away-from-Home in the spacious Suite reserved for her use. The company client is located in Bowling Green north of Franklin and just a few minutes drive from Glasgow, Barren County, Kentucky - the site of what remains of Killian Kreek's Mill, listed among that State's sites honored on the National Register of Historic Places. "Wonderful," I thought, "she will be able to visit the ancient mill site, view the incredible handwork of her 6th Great-Grandfather, a gifted stonemason whose works include two noted sites!" Little did I know Mother Nature had a nightmarish surprise in store.

    'Torrential rains have unleashed devastating floods in Appalachia as fast-rising water killed at least eight people in Kentucky and sent people scurrying to rooftops to be rescued.
    'Water gushed from hillsides and flooded out of streambeds, inundating homes, businesses, and roads throughout eastern Kentucky. Parts of western Virginia and southern West Virginia also saw extensive flooding. Rescue crews used helicopters and boats to pick up people trapped by floodwaters."
    'Flash flooding and mudslides were reported across the mountainous region of eastern Kentucky, western Virginia, and southern West Virginia, where thunderstorms dumped several inches of rain over the past few days.
    'There are a lot of people in eastern Kentucky on top of roofs waiting to be rescued,” Mr. Beshear [Andy Beshear, Democrat, Governor of Kentucky] said earlier on Thursday. “There are a number of people that are unaccounted for and I’m nearly certain this is a situation where we are going to lose some of them.”
    'Rescue crews worked throughout the night helping people stranded by the rising waters in eastern Kentucky’s Perry County, where Emergency Management director Jerry Stacy called it a “catastrophic event”.
    “We’re just in the rescue mode right now,” Mr Stacy said, speaking with The Associated Press by phone as he struggled to reach his office in Hazard. “Extreme flash flooding and mudslides are just everywhere.”

* * * * *

The world would soon learn the flood would be called 'a 1000-year event' for its devastation. Up to 14" of rain poured down ceaselessly over a 24-hour timeframe in nearby Eastern Kentucky, in the mountainous region. More than two dozen people are now known dead, with that number, heartbreakingly, expected to rise. Gov. Beshear has indicated it may take weeks to recover all the victims. The damage to homes and families may never be restored. Worse yet, the forecast is for more stormy days, stretching over an even wider area.

Yesterday evening FEMA Search and Rescue crews began arriving at the Suites where Melissa is staying. The entourage included refrigerated morgues. Displaced families who have lost everything but the clothes on their backs are being housed in the Suite hotel as well.

Death toll for Kentucky floods climbs to 28, with more storms coming

By Maria Sacchetti
Updated July 31, 2022 at 9:15 p.m. EDT|Published July 31, 2022 at 2:00 p.m

    The death toll from severe flooding in eastern Kentucky has risen to 28 people, including several children, and the governor said more fatalities are expected as search-and-rescue teams go door-to-door in the Appalachian foothills to assess the damage.
    Because of hazardous conditions such as downed power lines, as well as spotty cellphone service, he said some affected areas are inaccessible and the state doesn’t have a “firm grasp” on the number of missing.
    “With the level of water, we’re going to be finding bodies for weeks, many of them swept hundreds of yards, maybe a quarter-mile-plus from where they were lost,” Beshear told NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”
    The Lexington Herald-Leader put the death toll at 33 on Sunday night, based on reports of additional deaths from two county coroners’ offices.
    In some families, everyone in their household perished, the governor said. The state was doubling the National Guard to search for victims, he said.

* * * * *

A review of published maps delineating the flood area shows it to be East of Glasgow by some distance, in the mountainous region of Eastern Kentucky. That being said, weather reports continue to warn of sequential days of heavy rain and thunderstorms over a wide area of the state including Bowling Green, Franklin, and Glasgow. That could create a roadblock for Melissa to visit Killian Kreek's Mill, as localized flash floods figure prominently in the forecasts.

* * * * *

Having mentioned my 6th Great-Grandfather Killian Kreek (Creek), it seems appropriate to provide some genealogical history for our esteemed ancestor.

Harry Lantrip provided an outstanding treatise for Rootsweb some years ago which I shared widely upon discovering his work. Many researchers have since then picked up the material and posted all or portions of his study. His is the most comprehensive timeline I've found for Killian. I shall share portions of Lantrip's material hereafter.

* * * * *

Killian CREEK, was born about 1750 to unknown parentage. The saga of Killian Creek is a fascinating tale, but it is fraught with the problem of establishing the facts, and eliminating the fiction. For that reason, I will first bring to light some of the misconceptions that have hindered my research. It is evident that Killian Creek of German descent, determined by the fact that he was known to speak German throughout his life. Killian Creek is the anglicized version of the name Gillian or Guillaum KREIG or GREIG which he uses on occasions when signing documents.

Although most researchers seem to agree on 1750 as a date of birth, I was not able to document either the date or place of his birth. Further confusion results from the fact that there was yet another Killian Creek living during this same time frame. He came from Pennsylvania into Frederick County, Virginia; married a Margaret Weitzell, and had male children with the same given names as our Killian Creek.

The area of Virginia where we first find Killian in the late 1700s was the southwestern corner of the Isle of Wight, one of the original eight shires of the Colony of Virginia. In 1752 Halifax County was formed and included all that is now Pittsylvania, Henry, Franklin, and Patrick counties. Most of the settlers seeking to make homes on this western frontier were, for the most were Scotch-Irish and Germans, like Killian Creek. In the spring of 1757, the Cherokee War erupted when the Indians became disaffected toward the Virginians through the French influence. In Halifax County, they became bolder in their defiant attitude, robbed the inhabitants of their horses, and plundered their homes, and offered brutal insults to their persons. The settlers hesitated to offer too much resistance for fear of provoking them to all-out war. In 1767 Pittsylvania County was formed.

In the tax lists for the year 1774 John Donelson was listed at the Bloomery with Hugh Henry overseer, Thomas Bolton, John Holloway, Aaron Tredway, and seven slaves. It was about 1770 that Killian Creek married Margaret Holloway, the daughter of John and Eleanor Holloway of Pittsylvania County. When the Continental Congress made a call for volunteers at the start of the Revolution, the Minute Men of the up-counties came clad in buckskin hunting shirts, and were referred to as "the shirtmen", and feared for their deadly aim. When Lord Dunmore, the British governor of Virginia, heard the cry, "The shirtmen are coming!" he deserted his post at Gwyan's Island, and fled to a mon-of-war on the river.

The first record of Killian Creek is in the Pittsylvania County, Virginia Deed Book;

"This indenture made the twenty-fifth day of February in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seventy-nine Between Hugh Reynolds of Pittsylvania County and Colony of Virginia of the one part and Killian Creeke of the said County and Colony of the other part ... Witnesseth that the said Hugh Reynolds for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred pounds... him in hand paid said Hugh Reynolds, sold ... and confirm unto the said Killian Creeke his heirs ... forever a part of that piece parcel or tract of land which was granted to the said Hugh Reynolds by way of Patent and bearing date the third day of August one thousand seven hundred and seventy-one Situate Lying and being in the County and Colony aforesaid on the waters of Tomahawk Creek.

May Court 1790, p. 275:

"Ordered that Thomas Donald be recommended as above for Captain, Killian Creek lieutenant, and John Petty as an Insign."

Report of Killian Creek's Mill Seat, dated 1 May 1798:

"In Pursuance of writ of Adquodanum in behalf of Killian Kreek respecting his mill we the Jury being first Impanneled and Legally charged on the Premises by the Sheriff to condemn Lay off and value acre of Land where the above Dam abuts and have and do say the said Kreek shall Pay the Proprietor the sum of fifteen Shillings for the same. We likewise have taken into consideration the Damages that the Proprietor will sustain by the waters overflowing the Land and have and so say that the said Creek shall pay the sum of Six Shillings for the same and we do moreover say that the above is all the Damages that any Person or Persons will Sustain by the said Creeks Erecting a water Grist mill given under our hand and seals this 20th of March 1798. Read Examined Allowed of and Established and Ordered to be Recorded."

Thus, we have a date certain when Killian laid plans to erect his grist mill. Other tidbits from Lantrip's materials furnish a glimpse into the life of the Kreek family: settling near the Holloway family, wedding the Holloway daughter, joining the militia, active in the court (several entries pertaining to various lawsuits, naming Killian typically as plaintiff, have been omitted here). And now, the first steps toward earning his place in history as a gifted and knowledgeable stonemason.

The mill is believed to have been completed about 1799 or 1800. We know from a historic photograph that the mill was complete and still standing Circa 1910 when the photograph below was taken:

Buford's Mill is how the Mill was referred to after Killian and his wife sold it to the Buford family.

Bufords Mill built by Mason Killion Creek or Gullian Grieg

Killian Creek built a grist mill located on Beaver Valley Road on the Beaver Creek, Glasgow in Barren County, Kentucky. It was built in 1799-1800, it is still standing. When selling the property they signed their German names, Gullian and Margaret Greig. The mill was on the cover of the South Central Kentucky Historical and Genealogical Society, "Traces of South Central Kentucky" Glasgow, KY: Volume 10, Issue 3, Fall 1982. "On the Cover. Our cover of the old mill that stands on Beaver Creek...three miles west of Glasgow. The mill site was approved by the Warren County Court on May 1, 1798, and the mill was built shortly thereafter by stone mason Killian Kreek.

The county boundaries changed. On May 10, 1799, Barren County, Kentucky was formed from Green and Warren Counties. Glasgow became a part of Barren Co., and no longer Warren Co., so the mill with a 'Warren Co., building permit' was now in the new Barren Co. When Killian sold the mill to Simon Buford in October of 1799, Killian and Margaret signed the deed with their German names 'Gullian Grieg and Margarett Grieg.' The mill has been known as Kreek's Mill, Buford's Mill..."

The mill is historically significant because it is 1799 architecture and was of a high quality. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Unfortunately, the top of the mill was deteriorating by the late 1950s. Because of this, the top floors were removed and a new roof was installed, making the building much shorter. It is a shadow of its former self.

Two recent photographs (in color) show how the stonework has been protected after the wooden superstructure either rotted away or was removed for safety's sake. The interior photograph permits the viewer to appreciate the intricacy of this hand-built foundation. Killian Creek is believed by other family researchers to have done many other stonemasonry projects which led to his being asked to "lay the walls" as the contractor for the courthouse in Gibson County, Indiana:

In 1815 a Courthouse was built by Killian Creek. It was 1st Gibson County Courthouse in Princeton, Indiana.

Gibson County's 1st Court House
    "The board of county commissioners ordered the county agent, Robert M. Evans, to let the contract for making brick for the construction of the first court house, at a cost of not to exceed five dollars and fifty cents per thousand. These bricks were made on the public square, near where they were needed.
    The general plan of this first temple of justice for Gibson county was about as follows: The walls were of brick, thirty-three by forty feet in size; the foundation was laid eighteen inches below the surface of the ground; the height of the lower story was twelve feet; above the bottom of the sleepers, which were one foot above the round, the wall of the lower story was two and a half brick thick and the upper story two brick; there were two chimneys, with fire-places. The brick and all the material for the construction of the building were furnished by the county. Work was commenced September 1, 1814. The contractor was Killion Creek--that is, he laid the walls--and Samuel Hogue built the roof of this building and furnished timber for the window frames, etc., while John Decker had the contract for all inside finishing work. The painting was done by the brush of Samuel Boicourt. This structure stood and did good service for the new county for a quarter of a century, or until 1841, when it was thought wise to provide better quarters for the various county officials and the courts."
    [The first court house was occupied June of 1815.]
    Indianapolis, Indiana, 1914

* * * * *

With all this wonderful history about Melissa's 6th Great-grandfather Killian Kreek (Creek), whose German name was Guillaume Grieg, it is my sincere hope Mother Nature and corporate demands make it possible AND SAFE for her to visit the historic Mill site in Glasgow, Kentucky!

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Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

Like millions of people around the world, pasta is one of my favorite things in life. One of my favorite favorites is tortellini filled with cheese. This month's recipe combines that favorite with one of my most beloved Cajun-style recipes that my wife concocted a number of years ago. It combines her New Orleans Pasta elements with our wonderful Three Cheese Tortellini Al Fredo.

I believe you'll enjoy the dish.

Bon appetit~!!

Ms New Orleans Tortellini


  • 2 Tbsp. Essence of Emeril dry Cajun seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp. Basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp. Red Pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper, ground
  • 2 lbs Polska Kielbasa, sliced 1/4" thick
  • 2 lbs. chicken tenders
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 stick butter or 2 Tbsp. tub butter (or margarine)
  • 2 pkgs. Three Cheese Tortellini pasta (22 oz. each)
  • Water as required per pasta preparation directions
  • 2 jars Al Fredo sauce (19 oz. each)
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. Tabasco (or hot sauce of choice)
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Red (Pimiento) peppers, diced
  • 1 tsp. ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. Parsley (dried)
  • 2 bunches green onions, bulbs and leaves, slice in rather small pieces
  • Grated fresh or processed dry parmesan cheese


    1. Mix together Essence of Emeril dry Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, basil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper in small bowl.
    2. Rinse and pat dry chicken tenders. Sprinkle each side with spice and herb mixture.
    3. In skillet, heat olive oil and butter (or margarine). When butter is melted and pan is hot add seasoned chicken pieces. Cook to golden brown on first side, turn and finish to golden brown and fully cooked. Remove from skillet to rest. Keep warm.
    4. Using same skillet, add Polska Kielbasa slices. Brown and permit juices from sausage to create rich brown pan liquor. Remove Polska to bowl with chicken. Keep warm. (If required, you may add a tablespoon or two of water to aid cooking )
    5. Prepare Al Fredo sauce while Tortellini cooks.

NOTE: Pasta takes very little time to cook. Do not overcook.

    Add jars of prepared Al Fredo to skillet. Add Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and roasted red peppers (diced). Heat through but do not boil. Stir in pan liquor while heating. Add nutmeg.
    6. In large bowl toss together chicken, Polska Kielbasa and Al Fredo sauce mixture. Add most of the green onions, reserving a portion for garnish.
    7. Add prepared Tortellini. GENTLY toss, taking care not to tear the pasta. Stir in parsley, reserving some for garnish.
    8. Garnish with reserved green onions, parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

Delicious served with crusty Italian bread, a crisp green salad, and iced tea or lemonade.

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Woo Woo

By Pauline Evanosky

Pay Attention to Nudges and Enjoy the Ride Called Life

The nudges you get are important and if you allow them more power in your life, I think the quality of your life might change somewhat.

I know everybody gets a nudge here and there. I know I used to. Actually, I still do, but I never acted quickly on many of them. In fact, acting upon one of them led me to write this article right now.

At the time of this writing, it is currently the 4th of July weekend. So, the month has just started. I’ve been busy all day, in fact so busy that I never even got dressed. Such is the life of a writer. Of course, I didn’t go outside; much anyway. I was on our porch just for some fresh air, but mainly I’ve been studying all day and writing up my notes. After having put in 6 hours I was tired, laid down on my bed to read, and promptly fell asleep. My dream was disjointed and hurried which didn’t surprise me but sort of reflects my state of mind right now. Hurried, but not panicky.

I awakened in a bit of a fog, got up, and began to settle down. My intention was to settle at my desk and do some more studying (a publishing course) and it sort of came out of the blue and hit me. This urge to write next month’s article.

Now, on the face of it, I would say there is nothing extraordinary about this urge I got. Generally, I’m writing an article for this column for the following month about halfway through the month, but this was something else. It came from Spirit. How do I know? It was just odd that way. It was strong. It was sudden. For some reason, and I’m really not sure what that was, it was necessary that I act on it pretty tooting fast.

I think usually when I’ve got something to do, I will think it to death first. The rent check needs to be written. I’ll think of it, and it will be done in the next couple of days. Unless, of course, I’m late. Stuff to buy at the store. That’s why we’ve got a chalkboard now in the kitchen. Just write whatever you need on that and the next time my husband volunteers to go to the store we look on the chalkboard to make the list. I got tired of the notepad we normally used falling off of the counter and hitting the cats’ water bowl. About the only thing I act on with suddenness anymore is if I’ve got to go to the bathroom. No putting that off anymore.

But this was different. The first thing that I thought of as I decided to write was to wonder what I could write about for August that is psychic. I cast about for half a minute, and it occurred to me it was the actual urge to write my article that needed some discussion.

What I mean to say is there are so many ordinary things in your life that can also be considered psychic it is startling. It isn’t until you realize that you are psychic and absolutely accept that as a state of being for yourself you realize how many things you had done in your life before that were actually psychic. It’s very startling and in some ways almost scary.

We are all of us psychic beings whether we acknowledge that or not. You don’t have to go to school to do this. Some people are so aware of it that psychic instances have been happening all their life, especially if members of their families or their friends are psychic. It is something you are accustomed to. In my house, this is illustrated by how many times my husband and I call each other on the telephone to say, “I was just picking up the phone to call you.” He says to me, “You must be psycho…oh, I mean psychic.” It’s sort of funny.

But, if you have a desire to do this, to be this way all you really need to do is to listen to somebody like me. Wayne Dwyer said one time that the best way to become psychic was to hang around other people who are psychic. It was either Wayne or it was Ram Dass. Both men were American spiritualists and both, I believe were plenty psychic. Anyway, one or the other of them said that. Whoever said it, it is true. Someday I’ll run across the piece I heard or read and be able to definitely say it was one or the other.

It is because we are innately psychic beings that you can so easily become aware of these psychic influences in your life and just allow them to blossom. Giving more attention to a trait you want to encourage is the best way to get there.

I used to think that you had to be born a psychic in order to be one. I know that now to not be true because we are all inherently psychic beings.

What I did as a teenager was read about “things psychic”. I read books by Carlos Castenada, “The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge". That one is the first of 3 Castenada wrote about being a shaman. How is that psychic? Believe me, he was psychic. Any shaman is. If you get technical about it, I think I could call myself a shaman. I’d need to concentrate more on what the mindset is for shamanic activities, but I know in my bones I am a shaman. There is a journey that the shaman will take to seek out knowledge. You listen to drums that set the stage, cast about with your psychic vision, and find a hole in the earth, go to that hole psychically and imagine yourself diving into the hole.

When you imagine psychically you are just imagining. Anybody can do that. The more you do it the more you will realize what is psychic and what is ordinary. I get this sort of swooshing that happens when I have a psychic vision. It’s like the Road Runner as he lurches his way quickly towards something.

What you get next is an incredibly fast whooshing journey downward, on a slant into the earth. When I’ve taken those journeys the walls of the tunnel are rough, I can feel dirt clods, and stones on my way down. It is controlled and yet not controlled. It is natural and yet one of the most exciting things you will ever do. It’s shamanic.

I know I have read that many shamans partake of hypnogogic plants to help get themselves in the state necessary to make this journey. But I don’t. The reason I don’t is you really don’t need them. Also, I have a problem with substance abuse being that I am an alcoholic, so I had to figure out a different way.

Believe me, you don’t need drugs, though purists might insist upon it.

These journeys are similar to spirit quests where native American young men, traditionally, go by themselves into the wilderness to fast and meditate until they have a vision and either see their totem animal (I have two of them; a large sea turtle and a bear) or meet with a spiritual leader or ancestor and ask them for guidance.

It would be necessary prior to undertaking a shamanic journey to have a goal in mind, a question you want to be answered. I just like to go to visit other shamans, other people, the animals, and other spirits who acted as shamans so very long ago. I like to visit the ancestors. It is startling. But if I can do it, I know you can too. There is a book, if you are interested that will help called, “The Shaman’s Way” by Michael Harner. An interesting one is called, “The Reluctant Shaman” by Kay Cordell Whitaker. In fact, there are several books out there written about shamans. In looking for the correct spelling of Kay’s name I realized a very famous science fiction writer called L. Sprague de Camp wrote one too with the same title that I want to read.

Here's another nudge all of us get sometimes. When you meet somebody for the first time, sometimes you are either immediately attracted to them or conversely, immediately repelled. Trust your gut instinct. These gut feelings are important when you are hiring people. I know they are all gussied up for a job interview, they’ve prepared a top-notch resume and are putting their best foot forward, but if you get a strong gut instinct about them, please pay attention to it.

I knew a lady once who was interested in interior design. If she walked into somebody’s house and it was not in accordance with her idea of what the house could look like she would get physically ill. I told her she was just being psychic and to embrace that. If she figured out a way that the house didn’t make her sick, she could be one pretty phenomenal interior decorator.

I hope I have convinced you that you are already psychic. It is nothing to be afraid of. Let me know if you win the lottery. I’m always thinking of practical applications.

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

When my students are accepted to foreign Universities, they feel they have achieved something of extraordinary value. In reality, they have because a great education cannot be measured monetarily it can only be freely shared through one’s character of achievement.

I tell my students that the true worth of a person is not measured through one's salary or what they spent on earning their degrees. What students learn in the classroom will not ultimately define who they are as human beings, but how well they live in communion with others will define their true character. In other words, a person’s true worth can be measured by how well they spend their lives in the service of others.

I have discovered over the years that what we give to our community, we, in turn, give to ourselves. When we enhance the lives of those in need, we, in turn, enhance our own lives - because what we give to others comes back to us in greater fold.

Fools will continue to strive for the material possessions they do not have but wish to gain. The wise, on the other hand, will develop what they already possess within themselves.

Higher learning is the means of developing the skills, knowledge, and understanding needed to develop one’s true potential and gain a fulfilling career.

It is unfortunate, though, that my career as a High School teacher in Wuxi, China, is coming to an end. In the Jiangsu Province, where I have been living and teaching, there is a mandatory retirement age of 60. I will turn 60 in October 2022, and I will miss the students and staff here very much.

An HR person at the school asked me, “what is the mandatory retirement age in America?”

I told him, “a mandatory retirement is no different than age discrimination, and it is illegal to discriminate against a person due to their age in America.”

A staff member looked at me, shocked, and said, “you don’t look old.”

My reply was, “I don’t feel old.”

A student overhearing our conversation said, “you look young because you have a young heart.”

On a brighter note, I will be moving to the city of Shaoxing in the Zhejiang Province, and I will be able to continue teaching there. I look forward to continuing as a High School teacher -- even though I will be in a different school, I know my students will enjoy my classes. There is a shortage of teachers in the Zhejiang Province, so I will be able to teach there to 65, and then I will most likely return to America, hopefully, as a teacher.

Discrimination against age, gender, disabilities, and religious beliefs still occurs in the US and China. In China, it seems more explicit than in the US, but laws in America try to protect workers from injustice.

The way workers are protected in America through labor laws makes me proud to be an American.

    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Mobile 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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Sifoddling Along

By Marilyn Carnell

Ozark Families

While I wasn’t paying attention, my family slipped away. Family. I have lost the single most important value I was taught as a child. Blood kin. If we stick together, we will be fine, was our mantra. The realization of loss almost overwhelmed me. I suppose I was so distracted by events in my own life the obvious changes escaped my notice.

I come from a matriarchal way of life. Oh, the men were supposedly in charge – they always got to eat first at family gatherings, but the real power base was in the women, and everyone knew it even if it wasn’t openly acknowledged.

The Ozarks are an odd blend of cultures, but the primary flavor is that of the mid-south mountains and a smattering of the deep south for spice. Even more specific is the culture of McDonald County, Missouri. It is unique – geologically, hydrologically, culturally and has a strong belief in who belonged and who didn’t. Furriners were viewed with extreme suspicion. Possibly because during the Civil War, the few people who clung to their land learned early on not to inquire about which side was passing through. It was a lose-lose situation. Too much risk that if newcomers saw you as an “enemy”, they had the right to kill, rape and pillage. Located in the extreme SW corner of Missouri, it was the end of “civilization” for a very long time. Its western border was based on the termination of the extension of the Mason-Dixon Line. Beyond that lay Indian Territory, I.T. or “The Territory” as it was locally known. The location next to the end of the Mason-Dixon line, made it physically a part of the North, but the culture was inclined toward the South. This led to an especially horrific situation that sometimes split families apart. In 1860, the Presidential election showed an almost equal divide in sympathy. It is interesting to note that of the 541 votes cast for four candidates, Abraham Lincoln got only 3. The remaining votes were almost half and half for the North and South. It was a perfect setup for the trouble coming in 1861.

The center of our universe was my maternal grandmother, Mary Willie Watkins Bunch. We called her Granny in the English tradition. More specifically, she was Granny Bunch to differentiate her from my other grandmothers - the long-dead and somewhat saintly, Grandma Babe and her replacement, Grandma Annie who was tolerated, but no one really liked. To me, she was evil personified for the way she treated my Daddy when he was a child. I was always polite and well-behaved when Mom and I visited her (After all, she lived next door. We could hardly ignore her presence) but I was always leery. She was enormously fat, more than 300 pounds, I’m sure, moved very little, and wore her ebony black hair in braids pinned on the top of her head. Her dresses were shapeless calico that she made herself as nothing store-bought would have encompassed her vast size. She was also a bit pretentious and prone to make statements that stuck like “you must dress according to your station” or that dress is too Balmoral (pronounced BAL-more-Al) meaning it was too fussy and overdone. Where that expression came from, I will never know. She was an American Indian not English Royalty.

To say that my family was close-knit would be an understatement. One year when my brother-in-law Earl Spears was running for Sheriff, his opponent campaigned in Pineville. He started at the south end of town and met my mom visiting Aunt Etta. Six blocks north, he stopped at Mom and Daddy’s home. My Mom was there to greet him. He worked his way up the street and started back south. By this time, Mom was at Aunt Fannie’s house. I think he must have blanched a bit. While he stopped at the next house, my mom walked past and when he got to the next house, where my Daddy’s sister, Florence lived, Mom was there. I think he gave up the election at that point. Clearly, he was haunted. Earl won the election handily.

Granny Bunch was a constant part of my young life. As the youngest child of Granny’s youngest child, I was glued to my mother’s hip most of my early years. Mom and her sisters, Etta and Fanny gathered with Granny several times a week. Granny was a soft, doughy woman in my memory. The toughness that had held her together as a farm wife, mother of seven, and many tragedies had mellowed her into a plump cheery lady who was always game. If someone was going someplace, she was ready to go along. She occasionally chewed tobacco and once was a pipe smoker. I was shocked to see her smoke a cigarette when one of my older, more worldly cousins offered her one.

The women might meet at our house in the summer when they could sit on the porch and visit, but in the winter, they met at Granny’s, Aunt Etta’s, or Aunt Fanny’s. It was understood that my Daddy didn’t like a lot of chatter, so they stayed out of his way. He preferred to read or listen to the radio. They would spend the evening talking, sewing, or making candy. Activities that they shared with good humor. It wasn’t a duty; it was just understood that they wanted to be together. I was a fly on the wall. Sometimes they would forget I was there, and I would learn a juicy bit of information that I held tight. I knew not to tell. Some things just seep into your skin. I rarely made a mistake by failing to obey the unspoken family rules. The women, like their men, were good storytellers and especially relished “dirty” jokes. When I read Vance Randolph’s Pissin’ in the Snow years later, I had heard about half of the stories from my aunts years before.

Family history and current events were shared with equal fervor. I learned about the trials and strengths and how they survived by working together and sharing what they had. No one was going to starve in this family.

1) the family was a unit (we referred to ourselves as “the clan”) 2) you don’t share your dirty laundry to outsiders. 3) if something went amiss – a divorce, a baby born on the wrong side of the blanket, an early marriage, we hunkered down and made the best of it. Never discussed, but always in the undercurrent that ruled our behavior. Now that the generation before me and most of my peers are gone, it is a lonely and difficult time. In other eras, I would have become a matriarch, but today everyone spins in his own orbit with little connection. It makes me sad.

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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Somethng to Chew on
and Sam Maguire in Kerry


"Just because you can thrill a toddler by chewing with your mouth open doesn't mean you should.”--Michael Nesmith

A minority of people chew with their mouths open. I’m pleading the fifth here. The Late Norman Wisdom used to do it playfully to “annoy” his family.

But now an expert from the University of Oxford has claimed that eating with your mouth open is the best way to consume food, even if letting your fellow diners see your food as you chew is widely considered bad manners. Prof Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist, found that it maximizes flavour and allows you to derive as much pleasure out of each mouthful as possible.

Professor Spence and his team of researchers found that eating with your mouth open can make food taste better. Chewing food with your mouth open can help “volatile organic compounds” reach the back of the nose which can make food taste better, the new study said. Volatile organic compounds are molecules that can create aromas and contribute to the flavour of food. So the benefit of them reaching the back of our nose means it can stimulate cells responsible for our smell, which can “enhance” the dining experience. Charles Spence, says that we have, “. . . been doing it all wrong. When it comes to sound, we like noisy foods – think crunchy and crispy. Both crisps and apples are rated as more pleasurable when the sound of the crunch is amplified,” he explained. “To best hear the crunch of an apple, a potato crisp, a carrot stick, a cracker, crispbread or a handful of popcorn, we should always ditch our manners and chew with our mouths open.”

The team is trying to better understand how senses can impact the way we eat. As well as chewing with your mouth open, the Professor advises that people should use their hands to eat their food where possible. “Our sense of touch is also vital in our perception of food on the palate,” he says. The research shows that what you feel in the hand can change or bring out certain aspects of the tasting experience. “Feeling the smooth, organic texture of the skin of an apple in our hand before biting into it whole is likely to contribute to a heightened appreciation of the juicy, sweet, crunch of that first bite.” He added: “This can be extended to the feeling of grains of salt sticking to the fingers when eating French fries with our hands or the sugary residue of buttercream on a hand after picking up and biting into a slice of birthday cake.”

“Some say the first taste is with the fingers/hand. Texture provides useful information about the freshness and hence freshness of produce such as apples.

Wine experts and professional coffee tasters know to let the air in while tasting, so why not try the same by eating an apple with your mouth open? It may help to make the most of the 75-95% of taste that comes from the retro nasal olfaction – that’s the smell that emerges from the back of back of your mouth into the back of your nose when eating and drinking.”

I contacted Professor Spence and asked him what sort of feedback he got from writers of food etiquette and allied politically correct institutions.

Here is his reply::

    “Well, seems to have hit a nerve.
    I have received some of my first hate email !!?
    The wine/coffee experts appear to be in agreement and have been in touch.
    The food scientists are convinced you get more flavour with mouth closed.
    And Debrett's already allowed fine diners to eat some things with their hands.”

Now, with Oxford approval, isn’t it time that open-mouthed chewers formed some sort of association? How about CAVE, Chew and View with Enthusiasm?

* * * * *

Kerry has won the All-Ireland football final for the thirty-eighth time. The Sam Maguire Cup is once again in the Kingdom. Dan Doyle who grew up in Kerry’s Black Valley, which was the last place in Ireland to get electricity. He now lives thousands of miles away in the U.S. Looks forward to All Ireland Sunday. Here are his thoughts written on the eve of this year’s final;

“So tomorrow is the All Ireland final football match in Croke Park in Dublin. Two counties made it through after playing all year. This year it is Galway and Kerry. Tonight these players will sit and think about tomorrow. It is a time to reflect on a life with the ball. They start as young lads and some make it this far.

It takes a lot of help to step on that ground at Croke Park, a lot of luck, a lot of hours alone training, a lot of meditation, and a family who leaves them alone to get the bodies in tip-top form. To play tomorrow is an honour. This game is an amateur sport played by the fittest 30 men in the world.

I have had the privilege of knowing a few who made it this far. I have had the privilege of knowing a few who won All Ireland medals and to their dying day they remembered that game for the rest of their lives. One friend won two and he had them made into a bracelet for his mom. When she died she made sure he got them back. Most of us who win medals really think little about them but an All-Ireland medal is something special.

Tonight will be hard to go to sleep and tomorrow they will lace on the boots and march behind the Artane Boys band and when the referee blows the whistle all the nerves will go away. It will be tense in the beginning. Bodies will be tense and then it will start to flow.

If it is a good game the referee will be mostly out of it. It is a place where names are made. It will be all over and they will shake hands and swap jerseys. They will go home to Kerry and Galway and they will play it over in their minds for years. People will shake their hands and congratulate them if they win, but for those 30 tomorrow it is a world away from everyone except those men between the white lines.

It is actually a beautiful game to watch when it is played the way it is supposed to be played. Some will retire. Some will see they are too old as it is a young man’s game and as winter winds blow off the mountains players will hang the boots up, some forever. Anyway lads I am glad it is Galway and Kerry, two great sporting counties, and tomorrow night we will have a winner.

I used to love the third Sunday in September when Kerry played in Croke Park. I have seen a lot of good times and a lot of heartbreak too when we lose, I will listen on the radio to Ambrose O’Donovan in America. I could be anywhere looking at it on these big screens but I will do what my father did in the Black Valley when we listened to Kerry V Armagh long ago in 1953. I just won’t hit the Pye Radio with a stone hammer just because the battery died as Mc Corrig was taking the Penalty.

"Good Luck, lads, tomorrow and it is our honour to watch Gaelic games all over the world.”

The morning after the All-Ireland final in Kerry

See you in September.

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On Trek

By Judith Kroll

How to Heal

To heal or not to Heal? If you knew anyone can heal, good intent is what one needs, besides the compassion to help others and Self. When I heal, if flows thru me to you. I benefit as well. Healing is beneficial for all.

The real reason we heal is to help the person heal themselves by their own frame of mind believing and accepting divine love.

The Healing we get from God, Universe, Source, Father, Mother, whatever you are comfortable with saying, to me the healing is like a giant waterfall in my mind. It is working day and night it never stops it is always available, no appointments needed. No waiting for vacation time or sickness, it is pure and runs forever.

This waterfall of healing is free. For anyone, of any color, belief, religious or non-religious, Democrat, Republican, etc. Likes dogs or cats or none. In other words, our healing waterfall is unconditional love. Ready for Thanking.

Here is how we can heal ourselves and others for FREE, It works!!

    1. I usually lie down, but one can sit comfy as well.
    2. Mentally when I am relaxed, and I know who I am going to send healing to, I put my relaxed hands in front of me, palms facing me. I look into my hands and feel the warmth gather. I might add here when I first start the warmth was slower in coming. Now I just say healing, and my hands are HOT.
    3. When you can feel the warmth (remember this is from God to you, an intimate moment of pure energy, love) I then say Thank you father for the healing energy….for….Joe Smith, or Myself if you need it.
    4. The energy comes in because our hands tingle a bit, feel warm, and we turn our hands to face outward, and let it flow to whomever. If it is for us, keep them relaxed and facing you.
    5. When you feel the warmth cooling in your hand, that is usually enough. However, if you're like me and feel so relaxed and fall asleep, that is ok too. When you wake up just say. Thank you father, for the healing energy.. and that will shut it off. It doesn’t matter if u sleep all night.

Hints. Sometimes when first starting you can rub your hands together a few times to feel the warmth.. and then proceed.

Anyone can do this, any age can learn this.

When I pray, I pray for the whole planet, every person, on it, every animal, the planet itself. Etc. Sending healing can be sent to the whole planet too. ??
Lots of love to all.
Judith 7/1/22

* * * * *

I walked in their footsteps

When I meet a special friend, find joy of heart, my world spins, I do not want to part.

They are a keeper, our souls content, I unlock a chamber in my heart, Loving tender care I place a portion of their light within.

Each ray of light from another helps build me to be. Uniqueness is the key that perfects us all, binding us as one forever.

I am filled with the light of nature, animal souls too, will my heart explode from all the light?

My soul is invisible, limitless, I am the universe, just like you, I see me in your heart chamber too.

My smile is big from knowing this truth, I will keep sharing and collecting light, watching love explode in shiny drops, touching all: day and night.
Judith 7/25/22

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Reflections of The Day

By Dayvid Clarkson

Language has always intrigued me. For me, it is the English language. However, I am confident that my observations are applicable to other languages. Language is taught to children in order that they may communicate with us.

To me, there is much more to it. As we teach language we are also defining that child’s world. In order for the child to understand the word, we put it into context for them. This flower is pretty, this weed is not. We feed them baby food at first. We give them strained carrots and repeat to them ‘mmmm’, ‘this is good’, ‘yummy’, and ‘You will love this’. Guess what? They love carrots.

If you feed them strained spinach and they immediately spit it out and make a funny face you laugh and laugh. Now maybe next time they might like strained spinach, yet due to the positive feedback, you gave them they will continue to spit it out and make funny faces. Guess what they don’t love spinach.

You teach them the word ‘Beautiful’. They overhear you seeing some perfect 10 and you say, “She/He is beautiful. Now a 10 to us is one thing. A 10 in other cultures/ethnicities might be very different. In Polynesian areas, I understand that a four hundred pound man is really a 10.

The point I am trying to make is that not only are we teaching our children to communicate but we are also defining their world. We are teaching them beauty, love, pleasantness, other esoteric concepts, and biases according to your culture and your viewpoint on life. Different people will have differing levels of influence on the child.

It seems that we carry these teachings throughout our lives. Yes, some like spinach when they grow older but they had to unlearn what they were taught. An inconsequential thing yet what other teachings lie deeper within us? For the most part, our worldview has been taught from an external source.

It is time to unlearn everything we have been taught. Every thought, action, or reaction I question ‘Who taught me that?’ Search within to replace that knowledge which is someone else’s interpretation of this journey and replace it with your own authenticity.
Dayvid ·

Some days are like eating a huge meal and attempting to digest it all. As the eve tide approaches, I look to the skies and let it all just drift away. The nourishment of the soul is there and I rely on spirit to take the lessons learned and teach me how to apply them. When we trust ourselves we obtain the right to practice compassion towards others. Remember to be kind to yourself and not be angry with what you didn’t know then. Sleep well, Dream deep my Friends.
Dayvid ·

The day draws to a close. Father Sky paints with the colours of the wind in soft pastels. It signals the time of release and a time to gentle down. The worries of the day fade away as I remember the kindness given and received. This energy I release to my Family and Friends. Go softly into the night my fellow Seekers know you are welcome. Sleep well, Dream deep my Friends.

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A Mother's Lessons

By Danielle Cote Serar

Intricasies of Infertility

This last month holds an interesting mix of some of my greatest elations and equally some of my most difficult emotions. Earlier in July, I celebrated what would have been my momma’s 77th birthday. That day is also the same day two years ago we had our IVF egg retrieval capturing only a disheartening 8 mature eggs - though admittedly better than none. And at the end of that week, I found out I had three little growing embryos. Three chances at life to grow within me. I was overjoyed given the odds we had. Three baby boys as it turns out.

For a variety of reasons, we sent them to be genetically tested prior to transfer. One came back healthy for transfer. This amazing little embryo that could become my sweet beautiful baby boy, the one I’d dreamed about since I was a child. He is one of the greatest miracles in my life. The other most amazing miracle would be my daughter, who despite being told we would most likely never conceive on our own, was a spontaneous pregnancy.

Being a mother has always been my dream. When my husband and I started our journey to family, it never occurred to either of us we would encounter infertility…he had 2 kids already. But we started our infertility journey. At one point after many failed attempts to even attempt to have a baby, we were told our chances of spontaneously conceiving were slim to none without God’s intervention. So with a huge sadness in my heart, we started the IVF process.

During that time, I also served as my mother’s caregiver, helping her move through her metastatic breast cancer diagnosis and ultimate passing. Due to our family history, I was given the chance to test for the BRCA genes. I refused. I didn’t want to know because I’m my mind, it would be a death sentence.

By God’s hand, our San Diego Male Infertility doctor referred us to his former intern who’d shifted to Female Infertility (IVF) in San Jose. She had gone through a similar walk with her mom and asked “what if we can stop it with you?” Until she asked, I’d not been willing to vocalize how heavy that possibility had been laying on me, terrifying me. So we started the testing process.

Nine months later when everything was done, all results coming back positively, and I received the call that we were now ready to start our 1st round of IVF, I had to tell them we would not be proceeding. That same day I tested positive for being pregnant. See I needed all of that waiting and in-between “stuff” to happen. I needed to be there for my mother. I needed to have Dr. Bastuba refer us to Dr. Waks. I needed my IVF doctor to give me a possibility that gave me the strength to get genetically tested so I could have the confidence and security and comfort to know I would not be condemning my baby with these genes. I needed to walk God’s path in God’s time with God’s confirmation of his power in the spontaneous conception of our daughter that we had been told would not happen without God’s intervention. God’s timing. God’s path. Not mine.

But nobody prepared me for my Infertility Irony No. 6 - you will mourn the babies that never were. I knew if I miscarried or if my transfer failed, I would definitely mourn those losses. But I was completely unprepared and blindsided by how much I was affected by the loss of our two embryos - my other two baby boys.

They both had deleterious genes so if they had been implanted, they would have resulted in a miscarriage. I know logically I would have never held them, never known them beyond maybe carrying them for a short period in my womb. But someone forgot to tell my heart. It’s the most confusing conundrum and battle that my brain and heart have, especially this time each year. I mourn them. I wonder who they would have been, even though logically I know they never would have been. And I think about both of them far more than I ever thought I would.

What I keep finding out about infertility, even now as we are done having babies, is that it never stops messing with you. It’s constantly messing with you.

Our two youngsters

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United States of America July 4, 2022 17/8 Personal Year

By Michael John Fierro

      “America where are you now? Don't you care about your sons and daughters? Don't you know we need you now We can't fight alone against the monster” 'America' – John Kay (Steppenwolf)

      July 4, 2022 marks the entry of the United States into its 17/8 Personal Year. What that means is that as a country we are entering into the 8th year of our current 9-Year Cycle. A Cycle that began on July 4, 2015. Personal Years are part of a continuum of an endless loop of nine-year cycles that make up the lifetime of an individual or, in this instance, a country. These nine-year cycles are a constant opportunity to grow in one's life, and the vibration of each succeeding year creates the energy to improve and correct as you proceed.

      My favorite analogy for a nine-year cycle is to think of it as a garden. The first year is the time in which you decide to “plan and plant a garden”. You pick the spot to cultivate, decide what it is you wish to grow, purchase or obtain the appropriate tools to implement your plan, and then you plant. If this garden is tended appropriately in each succeeding week, you will reap what you have sown when harvest time arrives. And so it is with these numerological cycles. In your first year, you should “plan and plant your garden” by making a plan with a definite set of goals and, if you follow the appropriate steps and adhere to your plan, you should reap what you have sown in your eighth and ninth years. A personal year extends from birthday to birthday of each year and does not track the calendar year as we know it. Each year operates under the vibration of a number from 1 to 9 (there may be an occasional 11 or 22 personal year or a much rarer 33 or 44).

      So, here we are, reaping what was sown in 2015. Sadly, what was sown wasn't exactly something that enhanced the dynamic of the nation we call home. And, as is being shown, seemingly every day, there are fundamental changes taking place that are a direct result of the choices that were made and, the groundwork that was put down in that fateful year. Much began with the announcement that Donald Trump was running for president, a decision that culminated with him being elected in 2016. The embrace of him by a large number of voting Americans signaled something that has played out ever since. A move away from the norms of decency, respect, honor, dignity, and honesty, to name a few. A move away from trust in our government and our media. A move away from a free and representative democratic republic towards something more authoritarian in nature and sadly, it appears we are also moving towards something that more resembles 'Gilead' from 'The Handmaid's Tale' than it does the country that has existed for the past 246 years.

      So, how did we get here? In 2015, the United States entered its 19/1 Personal Year. The beginning of a new, 9-Year Cycle and an opportunity to begin a new phase in the life of the country. It was during this year that we had an opportunity to adjust the path we were on and move forward with new purpose and a sense of the 'oneness' of the world in which we live. In Numerology, when reading double numbers, the number should be read as the second digit (9) working through the first digit (1). The 19/1 is a Karmic Number that holds the promise of liberation and prosperity yet, the actions must include not only those of the individual (1) but must also, by its nature, include the all (9). It cautions against impulsive actions while preparing all future plans carefully. Actions taken that did not encompass the greater good for everyone were bound to create problems.

      In 2016, which was a 9 Universal Year, the United States entered into its 20/2 Personal Year. This number indicates a period of time when one will be faced with many decisions as it is a time of turning points, increased awareness, adaptability, and reconstruction. It was certainly a year during which we should have paid attention to all the alternatives and, the pros and cons in all that we did. It called for us to accurately assess, weigh and measure any and all situations presented during the course of the year. Properly and intelligently doing so would have presented us with the opportunities to formulate and implement plans that should have been put into place the previous year. Referencing the way to read a double-digit number in the previous paragraph, this was a year during which the 0 (in my work, 0 represents the Universe, God-force, or whatever other term one uses to describe the over-arching energy/vibration that exists in and around us all. It shows that the period of time in question is a transitional period related to the first digit). Thus, 2016 was a transitional year in the realm of relationships, opposites, duality, and the understanding and acceptance of opposing points of view when coming to and making decisions that would and should benefit the greater good. It should have been a period of growth during which the realizations of the future had begun to germinate and take hold. From this author's perspective, it appears as though the opposite happened. The 9 energy of the Universal Year should have been used to rid ourselves of those ideas, concepts, dogmas, and more that no longer served us for our greater good and higher purpose. Instead, we took a major step backward. Something that must always be considered during any 9 Year is that it is a period of time during which one should look to get rid of the negatives in one's life. Failure to do so means bringing those very things with us into the next Cycle and doing so guarantees that those things and conditions will only exacerbate and worsen moving forward.

      And now, here we are as a nation entering the 8th year of our current 9-Year Cycle. A time when we will truly begin to reap what was sown in 2015. If recent events in the political and judicial landscape are any indication, it would appear that we have gotten what we deserved by not taking a more inclusive and compassionate path. What we are experiencing is a degradation and diminution of our rights as well as a further fracturing of our society and our government. All brought about through an embrace of archaic and outmoded ideas and concepts that were not, and are not, aligned with the core values of this nation, as well as an embrace of hyperbolic conspiracies and lies. All conditions that are guaranteed to drive us further apart with a strong possibility of conflicts that are both verbal, ideological, and most frightening, violent. In Numerology, 8 strongly represents Karma and reaping what has been sown. Laid on its side, 8 also represents Infinity and the Law of Return. We cannot be surprised during this year when the groundwork that has been laid continues to produce more problems. More fracturing. More dissension. And, a further distancing from what this country was, and is, meant to be. 


With all of this being said, there still exist opportunities for great accomplishments and advancements throughout the year. The country should tap into the opportunities that come about that can manifest themselves as desires to better our overall financial condition and, by extension, the lives of each and every one of us. There will be present ongoing possibilities for growth and improvement and, perhaps, great progress. There will be tests during the year and we must remember that any strain they produce will be mitigated and alleviated through strength, organization, and efficiency. An 8 Year is a year of increased activity, expansion, planning, thinking, and acting upon the plans that we put forth. Big things can happen and if we do our due diligence and the work required, there is great promise for prosperity and success. Collectively the nation must remember that, while money is important (especially if there is equity in its distribution), it must not be the ruling force in all that is done. Any abuse of power by anyone will not bode well for those exercising that power or, for the people who will be directly affected by it. The 17/8 shows that this should be a period of good fortune, rewards, and assistance whenever and wherever it is needed and necessary. And, while the year still holds such promise, in this author's estimation, I am unsure whether or not such things will be feasible considering the current climate, division, and partisanship that is tearing us apart.

      During the entirety of this year, our nation must begin to give thought to what we have learned, what we must work to rid ourselves of, and begin to contemplate what it is we wish to accomplish and be when our next national 9-year cycle begins in 2024 (coincidentally, the next presidential election year).

      One more aspect of Numerology to consider during this year is the number on the Table of Events/Essence portion of a chart. This number represents the experiences that take place during the course of one's life. These are the highlights, turning points, and the “why” of things that happen. Just as it is with one's birth certificate name, these are the opportunities that were chosen when the country was formed and named. For the United States this year, that number is a 22/4. The 22/4 shows us that spiritual forces are present and that it is important, even imperative, that ideas and actions associated with motivation by such forces are incorporated into our way of thinking and doing. The double-2s show that we must always consider both sides of any situation as we look for solutions and compromises to any problem or issue that appears. We must guard against any one side becoming too dominant or forceful as we look to solve our problems. A domineering attitude from any side will most certainly lead to quarrels and disagreements and that will lead to increased sorrow and loss. This is a year when it would behoove us to create a better sense of our own self-realization. We must not run away from, or avoid discord or uncomfortable situations because by standing in these situations and finding points of commonality and compromise, we will grow. The vibration here points to a place of better understanding of not only our particular stance on something but also a better understanding of the opposing point of view. Harmony must be learned and embraced.

      Can we correct things? Yes, as long as we make a collective effort to resolve our problems and rise up against the negative forces that seem to be overtaking us. We must respect and honor the concepts put forth in the Declaration of Independence (in many ways, the 'birth certificate' of the United States) of 'Life. Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'. Promises that were meant to apply to everyone. No matter our gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religious beliefs, or any other condition that some would seek to restrict or eliminate. It is time that we work towards once again being the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Failure to do so, in my opinion, could lead to the break-up of our nation into a European-style continent made up of different countries in different geographic regions.

      Do what you can to be a part of the solution. The alternatives are too horrible to contemplate. Live with love, compassion, tolerance, respect, and humanitarianism. And then, pass it on. Always remember that we all “reap what we sow”. No matter who, or what we are.

      Blessings of Love & Light Michael John Fierro

Michael John Fierro has been working with Numerology since 1984. He has worked with thousands of clients and lectured extensively around the country and on hundreds of radio broadcasts. He is the author of You Know Your Name...Look Up Your Numbers (an introduction to Numerology). He is well-known for the accuracy and depth of his readings in the many thousands of clients with which he has worked. While originally from the Jersey Shore, he will be embarking on an extended, cross-country journey across America. If you wish for him to come to your town for a lecture, book- signing, class, or Numerology party, or, if you wish to book him as a guest on your radio show, contact him through his website:
Reproduction or reprints only with the express written consent of the author.

© 2022, Michael John Fierro.

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2061 (The Final Part)

By Bud Lemire

Cassie and I met today downtown, and we searched through the buildings to see if anyone was around. We still had that hope of finding someone who had survived the virus. But when we were done, we didn't find anyone. We knew it was a possibility, and yet we wished that we would find someone. When I was growing up, the downtown area was well populated. In later years, it had died down quite a bit. Now it was downright dead. All because of the virus. I didn't like seeing Escanaba like this. I love Escanaba! People made it a great place to be. Cassie must have noticed the look on my face because she grabbed my hand and held it in hers. I smiled at her and thanked her. I told her I was thinking of how Escanaba used to be. I'm just happy that the virus didn't kill the beauty. It will make the rest of our life much better by enjoying what we've always enjoyed here.

I kept thinking of all the people fighting among themselves over the right thing to do. If they had been vaccinated, wore their masks, and kept up with the protocol, they would have had a fighting chance of still being alive today.

I remember before I was frozen several family members and friends thought I was doing a stupid thing by being frozen in time. It was most likely the most daring thing, even crazier than when I went to Washington state. I wonder what they would say if they knew I survived Ice-Elation for forty years. What good was being right, when they were all gone? At least in Heaven, they were free from any virus. Without people here populating and spreading it, Cassie and I were free from it too. I gladly would have worn any mask or gown or shield, just to have all my family and friends back. But we can't go back in time, except in memory.

I felt a squeeze on my hand and became aware we were arriving at the Municipal Dock. It still looked as beautiful as ever. Cassie thought this would be the best medicine right now. She was right, and it was. We wouldn't see any boats out on the water, But we did see some butterflies that were flying around. One landed on Cassie's arm and stayed there for the longest time. That has never happened to me. She says it happens to her often and sometimes even dragonflies land. I was amazed. We sat down on a bench and realized all the things that wouldn't be happening. We didn't have the 4th of July Fireworks, and no U.P. State Fair. I would always take pictures at both events. It was fun! People made everything happen. The good and the bad. I just wished the good would have prevailed.

As we sat gazing, I noticed Cassie looking at me. It was a look I have seen before, but it had been so very long. Her face came closer and her lips touched mine in a gentle kiss. As her face moved back, I saw a smile on her face. “You may be much older than I, but I love your company,” she said as I looked into her eyes and saw a glow that I had never seen there before. “Thank you for being here for me Bud,” she said and then I saw her get this far away look in her eyes. Kind of like she was seeing something I didn't see. “They've come for me,” she said softly. Did I hear right? She said, “you won't have long to wait.”

Wait for what? Who's come for her? As I watched her, a bright light was in place as her body began to fade. And then she was no more.

What just happened? I know she was here, I saw her. I talked to her. She kissed me. Where did she go? Heaven?

I am alone now. Now I must face my worst nightmare. Being alone. But she said, “I won't have long to wait.” What did she mean by that?

I went on several days pondering that same question, how long is not long? I found out one day out at the end of Aronson Island. I was sitting watching some Cedar Waxwings in a tree, when all of a sudden, I saw people surrounding me. Not just any people, everyone I had ever known. And then I spotted her. No, not Cassie, the one I had been missing for over 40 years. My Twin Flame, the soul that made my soul whole. The girl I spent every night with for many years. I read books to her, and she made me smile and the happiest anyone could be. She came up to me and smiled. “I've been waiting for you.” I could see many familiar faces behind her, but she got to be first. I saw Cassie and she looked that way too. “I sent her to you, so you wouldn't be lonely. Now you are mine, all mine.”

I was in Heaven. And I had a chance to catch up with everyone, many I hadn't seen in many years. It was so great to be home and with the ones I love. Although I do wonder, what will become of Earth now that there are no people there. I guess it doesn't matter. I'm right where I belong.

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Dawn Watcher


By John I. Blair

While dawn breaks
The finches, redbirds, blue jays,
Chickadees, doves, nuthatches

Flock to the feeders
Finding provender
Whose origin they never ask.

After all, as they hop
From opening to opening,
What possible link

Could they make
With the face in the window
That watches intently,

Blinks drowsily at their task,
And smiles?

©2022, John I. Blair, 7/19/2022

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A Few Mysteries and Secrets of My Exciting Life

By Walt Perryman

Whenever I shower I wear my glasses too,
So I can read which bottle is the shampoo.

How many ways can a fitted sheet not fit?
I lost count at four ways every time I do it.

When I wash socks I put them in by the pair.
When I finish there is an odd number in there.

I’ve tried to put my keys in the same place as before,
I lost two keys doing that, so I don’t do that anymore.

When I bend over to pick up something off the floor,
While I am down, I wonder if I can find anything more.

These are my own secrets so why am I telling you?
Because I’ll bet that you do this exciting stuff too!

©8/26/21 Walt Perryman

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Ernie's Party Store


By Bud Lemire

Long before it was a Pub, it was Party Store
I remember those days, and so much more
Ernie Bernard started the store in the late fifties, here
You could go in there for candy, cigarettes, comics, or a beer

Art Messier took over, for seventeen years he was there
I remember the buck stopped there, it was quite an affair
Among those who worked there, these I will name
There was Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Cass, and Jerry Mongrain

After Art owned it, a LaFave owned the place
Then came Hank, who took up the base
Time passed, and before long it became
An Irish Pub, but it carried Ernie's name

Ernie, the man who started it all, was my friend
I kept in touch with him, until the very end
I remember his wife Mina saying “If only Ernie could see”
“They made it an Irish Pub, there's no Irish in his family tree”

The memories I have, of going in that store
Every time I bought something, and came out the door
The comics, the candy, and the cream soda too
Now it's an Irish Pub, the time really flew

©July 28, 2022 Bud Lemire

                          Author Note:

I lived on North 14th Street back then. I use to go into
Ernie's Party Store many times as I grew up.
It'll be a big part of my childhood memories,
for the rest of my life. Great memories!
I honor all the workers and owners, who
kept the store going. I honor the man
who started it as well.


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The Journey

By Dayvid Clarkson

(The beautiful picture is one of Dayvid's artistic presentations,
and the poem itself is transcribed here for your enjoyment.)

God has given us a paradise.
Why do we constantly seek more?
This is not a random roll of dice.
This journey is meant to explore.

I have water to drink, food to eat.
I have clothes on my back.
I have an open door to greet.
I have no reason to lack.

At times it seems life is unfair.
We always make the next step.
Do you think Go doesn't care?
Lessons you cannot sidestep.

We kneel and fervently pray.
What are we trying to adjust?
As if this will change the day.
We claim an undying trust.

Questions still hang in the air.
Believe and trust in your journey.
The promise will always be fair.
The journey, as sweet as honey.

©circa 2010-2020 Dayvid Bruce Clarkson


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Urban Coyote


By John I. Blair

Peering out my kitchen window
Late at night
As I often do in hope of
Possums, raccoons, even armadillos
Or at the very least
A random feral feline
In search of kibble,

Suddenly I dimly see
Looming in dark shadows
A troubling torso
That’s unmistakable
(Though I hope I am mistaken).

On the corner of the patio,
Come perhaps to drink
At the water bowl I keep there,
A dog-like shape that may not be a dog.

After years of hiding in the countryside
Coyotes now have come into the city,
Drawn by food, by shelter,
By easy pickings for the taking,
Sometimes in the guise of garbage,
Sometimes cats, sometimes puppies,
Even children left unguarded.

They’re not called prairie wolves on whim.

©2022 John I. Blair, 7/16/2022

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Time Capsule

By Bud Lemire

In two hundred years or more, nobody will know me
I wonder if anyone will ask, “who was she?”
When they look at my grave
Will they rant or will they rave

Will they wonder, about the life I lead
Or ignore me, and walk by my cemetery bed
I wonder if I made a Time Capsule, and buried it somewhere
Would they be interested, or would they even care

I'm sure if a relative, was doing our family tree
And they stumbled upon me, in their genealogy
They might wonder who I could be
And want to know, a little more about me

I'd be living my life, in the spirit world at that time
They'd be living their life, and be in their prime
Do you ever walk through the Cemetery
And wonder who the people are that they bury

Some names are familiar, some are unknown
Dates of their births and deaths, are always shown
Someone put flowers, right by that stone
Even though by now, they are all bone

In Two Hundred years or more, will anyone wonder who I am
Will they look at my grave and think “who were you Ma'am?”

©July 28, 2022 Bud Lemire

                          Author Note:

I often wonder, if I am the only one who walks through
the cemetery, wondering about all the people who have
passed and are buried there. Who were they? I remember
not long ago someone posted something and it said
“Just think, in 200 years from now, nobody will
know who you are.” I love the feeling that people
do know me. Even if not personally.


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By Bruce Clifford

Coming back from twenty days in a fog.
Forbidden secrets, the lost and unresolved.
Putting the pieces together.
Watching them all fall apart.
Here I remain with a lost soul and a broken heart.

Picking up the pieces of a puzzle that never fits.
Turning the vision towards the one I could never resist.
I was seventeen years old, we almost kissed.
What did we miss?

Picking up the pieces from twenty cycles of broken links.
Freedom teaches us nothing when there’s nothing left to believe.
Putting this all back together.
Watching this all fall apart.
Here I am with Covid20 within the dimensions of a shattered heart.

Twenty different ways I would show you.
I could show you even more.
Twenty different ways for me to love you.
I have always loved you.
Now I love you even more.

Returning from the fabrication of twenty nights in a daze.
Creative juices flowing all while lost in a primordial maze.
Looking through the romantic window of discovery and repair.
Nothing has changed about the ways I have always cared.

Picking up the pieces of a puzzle that never fits
Turning the vision towards the one I could never resist.
You were 18 years old, we almost kissed.
What did we miss?
What did we miss?

©6/8/2022 Bruce Clifford

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Anole on The Driveway


By John I. Blair

Anole on the driveway
Only part of you remains
And that part
No longer even twitches
As the cat takes bites
Of the flesh that was so lovely
When you were still alive and moving.

I cannot fault the cat for this
. . . She was only doing
What her kind was born for
Many million years ago
And without which or its like
Your own kind, more than likely,
Would have overpopulated Earth.

But my kind
In its foolishness or wisdom
Laments your loss, your pain,
And the vacancy you’ve left
In our own lives
By losing yours.

And all I think to do
To make amends
Is write this poem.

©2022 John I. Blair, 7/5/2022

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By Walt Perryman

Time seems to be passing faster than before,
As I get older I seem to notice it a lot more.

An hour is still an hour and a day is still a day,
Yet, each year goes by faster in a strange way.

Maybe it just seems like it’s going faster than before,
Because, as I get older, I cherish my time even more.

“Dear Lord, thank you for this beautiful new day,
Please help me to not waste it before it goes away.”

Never waste a day is the moral of this rhyme,
We are here for just a small amount of time.

Make good use of your ‘today’,
Because it will soon slip away.

©2021 Walt Perryman

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By Bud Lemire

People can be nasty, they can be so mean
They can be so rude, and totally obscene
There are great people, who are very kind
Some are just like you, with a similar mind

Some share all the love, that they can
Others are confused, in their entire life span
There are those, that look good to the eye
Some are aggressive, some are too shy

So many people, in this world today
Some know, just the right words to say
All different shapes, and every size
Some are misunderstood, others so wise

Some see things, that no one else can see
Others know the secrets, of the universal key
They unlock and explore every road
These people, have been bestowed

People all over the world, everywhere
All unique, in what they have to share
It's amazing, at the many people here
Special in their own way, each so very dear

©July 22, 2022 Bud Lemire

                           Author Note:

Why some people have to be so rude, I'll never
understand. Some can be downright nasty. There's
no reason for it. There are those who are so giving.
They give with all their heart and soul. Some are
just plain amazing in their personality. I also value
those who have their own unique beauty and way of
doing things that are amazing. There are those who
know things that hardly anyone else does. Meeting all
these people is an amazing experience.


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