This is a short blog to give you a rest from all the difficulties of life. Listening to and thinking about too much in the news with total negativity can make your mind, not only depressed, but filled with dread and doubt about our lives on planet earth. God has something better for you to think about…HIS LOVE ND HIS CREATION! The music is LOOK AT THE WORLD by the great Christian composer, John Rutter.
FOR YOUR TOTAL ENJOYMENT AND REASSURANCE FROM BOYER WRITES
GOD BLESS YOU!
If you are trying to make a family decision about the care of your elderly parents, THINK TWICE…MAYBE MORE than twice!!!
It is not easy when elderly people are at home with the rest of the family, who are also at home. Children are not in school; parents may be working from home and the stress goes on until life can go back to some normality.
What about the parent that you have loved so long and they have loved you? If they are dealing with the beginnings of physical or mental decline, it may be that you are thinking, “What do we do? I don’t know if I can give them proper care. I only want what is best.” for him/her/ or them. No one doubts the love between families, but this pandemic has changed family dynamics all together.
Not everyone has the built-in options of home health care professionals, but placing a family member in an assisted living care is also extremely expensive. For those who could afford such arrangements, is this truly the best answer. Think about it. Because these facilities have a “no visitors” policy, it may be the last you would be able to see your Mom or Dad face to face..or they see you, for some time to come. It may not only be a permanent separation, but a death sentence to those unable to cope with such loneliness. It is not unusual for the elderly to stop eating when depression sets in.
As we know, years ago and in many other countries, the elderly lived within the same house as the rest of the family. They had interaction, care and to die was not a lonely experience. This blog does not intend to give you an answer to this difficult decision that perhaps you or a friend may be going through concerning your elderly loved ones, but it does give some food for thought.
Think what you would want for yourself as you continue to climb the AGING ladder.
This is an informative article written by Sara Harrison in Wired.
“IT TOOK SIX weeks, several long, frustrating phone calls, and a consultation with Apple Care before Laurie Jacobs got her 89-year-old father up and running on FaceTime. Jacobs, who is a geriatrician by training and is now the chair of the Department of Medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, was worried about how her parents were coping during the pandemic. They live in a long-term care community, but they felt isolated and lonely. Over the phone, Jacobs couldn’t tell how her mother, who has some cognitive decline, was feeling or if she was walking comfortably. “The communication at a distance is very difficult,” she says. “You don’t always get the whole picture with an older adult on the telephone.”
And, like so many other Americans in quarantine, her parents were running out of things to do. “They seemed bored and somewhat depressed by the lack of stimulation, so further ways for them to interact was very important,” says Jacobs.
The Covid-19 pandemic presents a doubly complicated situation for older people: Not only are they at higher risk of contracting the disease, and more likely to develop severe infections and die from it, but they are also the most likely to struggle with—and suffer from— the consequences of prevention strategies like social distancing. For people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or severely reduced mobility, social-distancing guidelines can be impractical and nearly impossible to follow, making prevention and treatment even more complicated.
Seniors, especially those above age 80, have been hard hit by the virus. That’s in part because they often have comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, which make them more likely to be hospitalized. Doctors aren’t sure why those conditions make the effects of the virus worse, but both conditions are associated with greater expression of the ACE2 receptor, a protein on human cells that the coronavirus latches onto to start replicating.
Many older adults also have chronic, low-grade inflammation, a state called “inflammaging,” in which the body is unable to control the release of cytokines, small proteins that are supposed to help modulate the body’s immune response. This dysregulation could put seniors at great risk of “cytokine storms,” a condition reported in severe Covid-19 cases during which a patient’s immune system spins out of control and starts damaging healthy organs.
Seniors are also more vulnerable because of immunosenescence, a slow deterioration of the immune system that is a normal part of aging. When people are young, the immune system has a big reservoir of T-cells and B-cells ready to fight infections. These are called “naive cells,” meaning they haven’t encountered any bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens yet. When those naive cells encounter an infection, some of them learn to recognize that pathogen and become ready to fight it off if the body gets exposed to it again. “As we age, we lose that reservoir of T-cells and B-cells,” says Wayne McCormick, head of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Washington. “It’s hard for us to make new ones, although some people seem to retain that capacity better than others.” That means the person’s body may mount a less robust immune system response than it would have done when they were younger.
Immunosenescence also means that diseases present differently in seniors, which may make it difficult for their doctors or caretakers to recognize a Covid-19 infection. While many Covid-19 cases include fever, for example, in seniors the symptoms might also be due in part to dense living conditions, under staffing, and a lack of personal protective equipment. And recently, health authorities have realized that the virus is spreading rapidly in work communities where employees are housed in crowded conditions, share long commutes on shuttles, or cannot easily socially distance, like meat packing or farm work.
Whether they live in a long-term care facility, nursing home, or in a family home, many seniors have unique needs that make it impossible for them to socially distance. Some need help eating, washing, going to the bathroom, or moving around. “You can’t do that using Facetime,” says Eric Widera, a professor at the University of California San Francisco who specializes in geriatric and palliative medicine.
Yet for older adults living in their homes, social distancing can cause isolation and loneliness. Most of the places people would go to socialize—senior centers, libraries, churches, temples, or synagogues—are closed. Families are discouraged from visiting. “We’re worried it’s going to cause a wave of true loneliness,” says Widera, which can lead to serious health problems including worse cognitive function, higher blood pressure and heart disease.
While older adults are the most likely to catch Covid-19, they also may be less likely to benefit from a vaccine. Because seniors don’t raise the same immune response that younger adults and children do, they generally don’t respond as well to vaccines. They also aren’t always included in clinical trials. “If you look at the last many decades of research, the vast majority of randomized control trials do not include older adults. And if they do, they don’t include frail older adults, who are at risk for this,” says Widera. “That’s one of our worries: That we’ll be looking at potential treatments, vaccines, but not actually testing it on the people who are at the most risk of developing this disease.”
For people with dementia or other kinds of cognitive decline, things get even more complicated. Widera points out that people with dementia may not remember they need to wash their hands more often or refrain from touching their face. And dementia patients often wander. In communal living or care facilities, they might walk in and out of other patients’ rooms, down the hall, or into common living areas, all of which increase the likelihood of catching and transmitting the disease. Diagnosing Covid-19 in those patients could be even harder, too. “People with cognitive impairment may not be able to report their symptoms very well,” says McCormick. “Even if they had a cough an hour ago, they may not remember that they did.”
Patients with dementia also have unique challenges if they end up in the hospital. Covid-19 symptoms can worsen their confusion and delirium, as can being in an unfamiliar setting like a hospital room. These patients may be terrified when they’re separated from their family or their usual caregivers and are being tended to by staff covered head-to-toe in protective gowns and masks. With nurses trying to limit patient interactions to reduce the need for this protective gear, patients are often isolated for much of the day.
Martine Sanon, a professor of geriatric and palliative medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says that usually they encourage family members to be part of the care team and to help orient and comfort their loved ones, but with limited protective equipment, and with fears about spreading the virus, those options aren’t available. “The families have been tremendously wonderful,” she says, often using FaceTime to play favorite music in the background or to call patients by a familiar nickname. “That does help.”
At Hackensack University Medical Center, Jacobs says usually they try to use non-pharmacological methods to help soothe distressed and confused patients. “The way we manage that usually in the hospital is basically staff sitting with a patient, reorienting them, using music, using touch,” she says. But with Covid-19, it’s too dangerous to have someone sit with a contagious patient all day. Instead, the hospital now relies on medication to calm patients down.
While mortality rates are higher for older adults with Covid-19, many do survive. What recovery looks like for them is more complicated. “That’s the other shoe to drop,” says William Greenough of Johns Hopkins. Older adults are likely to be weaker and to recover more slowly after a hospitalization, he says. With so many hospital gyms, rehab, and physical therapy facilities closed, that’s going to make their progress even more difficult.
None of these issues—loneliness, immunosenescence, difficulty recovering from hospital stays—are new problems, and none are unique to the virus. But the novel coronavirus exacerbates the many challenges older patients already face. “Covid-19 intensifies and complicates everything,” says Greenough.
My last blog was in honor of a dear friend who passed away five years after brain surgery. It led me to think about those who were more fortunate to live a very long, productive life…even to 100 years or more.
One of those centenarians was 107 years old Raffaella Monne from a village in Sardinia. She had a great statement, which is part of a very interesting book called The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner. This is what she said that she would like to tell people today:
“Life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it!”
National Geographic was part of the research on why some people live longer in different parts of the world. All these so-called “Blue Zones” had several things that were important to them:
- Diet: Mainly of home-grown vegetables, nuts, fish and sometimes meat. They were not strict vegetarians.
- Strong family and friend support system…taking time to chat and relax.
- Worked hard and walked a great deal, but slowed down to take a daily nap…less stress was important
- Strong faith in God and belief system
- Let the past be the past and live happily…with something interesting to wake up to each day.
Throughout the book, the American or Western lifestyle is challenged because of not only our unhealthy lifestyle, but the stress that brings on pre-mature disease and death. It is not hard to look around us at even the young who are carrying loads of fat on their bodies.
In the parts of the world that had a history of longevity, as soon as the Western-style businesses with fast foods became part of their lives, the death rate began to go up. I highly recommend that for a more thorough understanding of the things listed above, that you give this book a read. I am grateful that a friend recommended it to me. The Blue Zones
Dr. Amit Sood, MD of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. had this to say about missing life. “A Mind in Hurry hurries past the present. I am in a hurry when I am getting late. I am in a hurry when I am on time. I find myself hurrying even when I am before time. Hurry for me has become a habit.”
Determine to slow down…for it could be the best thing you ever did. Take a moment to look at the beautiful clouds, a rainbow, a bird on a branch, a small colored leaf or a child’s sweet smile. Say a prayer to God and thank Him for all these things. Breathe a fresh breath of life.
Raffaella, of Sardinia, had wisdom beyond her 107 years…for not missing life. We could call her short statement a God-sent, for we all would like not to miss the good things that life has to offer… simply by rushing around too fast to even notice.
“Life is short. Don’t run so fast you miss it!”
Music for a stress-free living from Boyer Writes
God’s Holy Word tells us many things about the Beauty of the Earth and God’s creation:
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And he is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering Yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations so that it should never be moved. … Psalm 104:1-35
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis1:31
God’s love for us through His Son should make in us a freedom that is not known through anything else.
This music is for your week’s pleasure.
Video: Peaceful music from Born Free by John Barry and the earth’s beautiful creatures. Turn up sound.
We look around us at pollution of our waters and land. There is much political debate about how the gases in our air will change the world. When our animals are suffering from lack of polar ice or fires in the Amazon, that provides not only habitat, but the air we breathe. Some of the world’s cities are blanketed with smog. It will take a worldwide effort to change much of what we have brought upon ourselves.
The question remains: How long does the world have to make changes that should have been made long ago?
Strangely, I found a video of one indigenous person here in the U.S.A. who has his own view of the situation. This Native American believes his ideas and those of the Hopi Indians in North America are the right ones. He even sees them as “prophetic.” He believes that when the first Europeans came to America to settle the land, they didn’t give honor to the pure water and sacred places of the earth made by the Creator and now we are paying for it.
Katherine Locke is quoted in the Navajo Hopi Publication as saying the following about the court fight and water rights that the Hopi Nation must have to sustain their life around the Little Colorado River Basin:
“The adjudication is designed to quantify each claimant’s water rights, both federal and state law rights and to determine claimants’ priority to the limited water in the Little Colorado River basin. This case does not involve claims to Colorado River water, which is outside the basin.
The Hopi Tribe’s water rights will be tried in several phases, the first to determine the Hopi Tribe’s past and present uses of the Little Colorado River basin. The second phase will begin in December 2019 and the court will hear testimony about the amount of water necessary for the Hopi Reservation to serve as a livable and permanent homeland for future generations. A third phase, which will be set for 2020 or later, will focus on the ranch lands south of the Hopi Reservation.
“Water sustains Hopi life,” a press release from the Hopi Tribe said. “There are many competing demands for water. The judicial proceeding will determine water rights for our children and grandchildren.”
The Hopi Tribe said during the trial, the long history and unique culture of the Hopi Tribe in Arizona will be presented by both witnesses and documents.
“Over a millennium, the Hopi Tribe has endured enormous hardships to sustain its way of life and developed a unique agriculture to sustain itself in a harsh and dry environment,” the Hopi Tribe said. “There is still a long road and many trials ahead before resolution of all claims. At each step of the way, the Hopi Tribe will continue to seek a just resolution of claims with its neighbors in the Little Colorado River basin.”
My thoughts are that environmental problems should be looked at with great concern for all of us. History tells a real story of what we have done to our lakes, rivers, streams and even our oceans. Our air didn’t become unpure overnight. All have been in the making for decades. What we have considered being an advancement to society, the industrial revolution may have become the world’s downfall. Factories belch black smoke and people around the world wear masks. It can’t come soon enough to clean up after ourselves of man-made pollution. We must find and initiate the answers before it is too late.
The Hopi Native American in the video below also believes that we have lost our understanding of the spirit within us and the spirit of all living things made by the great Creator of us all. He may well have a point.
Video on thoughts from a Native American (Turn up your sound)
If you are working, sleeping, reading a book, or doing something special, I highly suggest you turn off your phones, TVs with all the bad news, and relax with the video below. Less stress may even lengthen your life.
This morning, I went out and looked at my sunflowers with tiny bees (or insects..hard to say) enjoying their breakfast. God’s world of nature is totally relaxing. I thought you might like to see a picture…enlarged for viewing details.
Many of the pictures shown in the video below, with the beautiful music, are of Fall leaves. For all of us here in Florida and elsewhere in the country…and the world that have sweltered through the summer, a breath of Fall air would be a wonderful relief.
God’s blessings to all of you. from Boyer Writes
Video of relaxing music:
The troubles we encounter sometimes bring us to wonder if there is any way out. Life, in many cases, is not fair. Standing our ground; never giving up hope, and sometimes just plain fighting back is the only way.
I recently saw the video below and it reminded me of this fact. In this case, a baby elephant had been separated from its mother and was attacked by a large number of lions. It is breath-taking to watch. He is a tough little guy and the odds certainly are against him. Nature is harsh and relentless. Survival is not always possible in nature, but within the animal and in man there is the God-given spirit to fight off the offender and not only survive, but to live…truly live another day.
Isn’t that the case with difficult situations? We just have to “tough” them out. Solutions are not always easy. To find a solution may be through our own searching or through the help of others…but there usually is an answer to the heart-ache or trial that besets us. Whatever yours may be, don’t give up. Remember, there is usually someone wanting to help you by lending a hand.
In our video, the 14 lions attack an elephant from behind…climbing on the elephants back…trying to bring him down. You may notice that the elephant had a strategy. He led the lions into the water…chasing them back…dropping back into a safer area…and continuing this fight time and time again. Toward the end of the film, the elephant’s strategy has worked, but he returns to the same place of danger. We are left fearful that he will be attacked again. Perhaps one thing we know is that if we are moving away from the dangerous things in our lives and then return again to the same place, it may not be the smartest move. I’ll have to tell you that it was reported that in the end he was reunited with his elephant family.
The lions attack from behind and hang on, hoping to wear the elephant down. Isn’t it the case when life’s troubles attack? They often come from behind when we are not expecting them. As they hang on, we are made weary or even in some cases become sick from the anxiety. Troubles may be something of our own makings, such as a wrong decision or even drug or alcohol abuse. Then again, it may be family or work difficulties.
The “fight back” is not revenge or plans to get even, but one that will get the “monkey off the back”…(or the lion in the elephant’s case) and to find peace and rest. Some things you can’t change for they are out of your hands. If this is your situation, stop beating yourself up about the matter. God knows far better than you how to change something that you can’t. Therefore, seek Him out in your thoughts and prayers. Put your life in His hands.
My recent blog was on depression and the search for help in a society gone totally beyond the limits of real sanity was formidable. I was amazed at the clicks on this particular blog worldwide. This must say something about those who find this topic a need in their lives. Today, I want to post the opposite of stress…and that is stress release. How does music play a part in healthy bodies, mind and even our souls?
Recently, I saw a video on those suffering with early dementia and Alzheimers. The therapy was in music. Singing brought the memory of words flowing out of the mind. Even the faces of the people dealing with this very difficult condition were filled with a happiness and joy as they sang.
A good article is by Cassandra Shepherd on the neuroscience of singing.
“The neuroscience of singing shows that when we sing our neurotransmitters connect in new and different ways. It fires up the right temporal lobe of our brain, releasing endorphins that make us smarter, healthier, happier and more creative. When we sing with other people this effect is amplified.”
I am convinced that music is either grating or a soothing medication. How often do we try to enjoy a meal at a restaurant and the music is too loud with little melody and sometimes ridiculous words. So much for the peaceful, relaxing meal. Forget a healthy, mentally stimulating conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask kindly a server to lower the music. After all, you are the customer who will either return or not.
Words, sounds and life, in general, can bring on stress, which we must fight each day. Determine to make your life different as well as those who are around you. Tell a waitress or friend that they are doing a good job or that they have a great smile. They won’t forget it and you may have just given them the thoughts to live a happier day. This has nothing to do with music, but the power of kind words also is a stress releaser.
A suggestion for your peaceful day is to intentionally fill your space with lovely music. If you can only listen, then do so. If you can see beautiful pictures to go with the music, absorb that also. Here is one of my favorites.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Phillipians 4:6
Video (Turn up sound)
Tomorrow is the beginning of “Early Voting” in my state, USA. Many people think it is important who is in government control (local or national) and others could care less. We better care if we have learned anything from history.
I write about this not to promote one candidate or another, but reflect on what history may teach us on government and control… if we pay attention. The problem is that we rarely connect past history with the potential present or future history and what it may look like. Therefore, we will take a look at past history and hope that our skin does not crawl…but it will.
Did you know that one of the most famous names in our USA Supreme Court was responsible for the cutting off many individual rights during the early 20th century? Here’s his picture…Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Why was this esteemed man important? He had a great deal to do with the philosophy of Eugenics. Here is what he said on the matter of a court case from Virginia entitled Buck v Bell in which he voted Yes to enforce the following:
Buck v. Bell
(from Wikipedia) “In 1927, Holmes wrote the 8–1 majority opinion in Buck v. Bell case that upheld the Virginia Sterilization Act of 1924 and the forced sterilization of Carrie Buck who was claimed to be mentally defective. Although later scholarship has shown the suit was collusive and Carrie Buck was probably of normal intelligence. The record before the Supreme Court showed only that she had received a proper hearing in which she was represented by a competent guardian, and was able to press her suit in the federal courts. She apparently had received the procedures required by due process of law in ample measure. The argument made on her behalf was principally that the statute requiring sterilization of institutionalized persons was unconstitutional, itself a violation of what today is called “substantive due process”. Holmes repeated familiar arguments that statutes would not be struck down if they appeared on their face to have a reasonable basis. In support of his argument that the interest of “public welfare” outweighs the interest of individuals in their bodily integrity, he argued:
(Quote by Judge Holmes) “We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes … Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”
Although the opinion and eugenics remain controversial, the decision in the case still stands. Sterilization rates under eugenics laws in the United States climbed from 1927 until Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). While Skinner v. Oklahoma did not specifically overturn Buck v. Bell, it created enough of a legal quandary to discourage many sterilizations…”
“A historical marker was erected on May 2, 2002 in Charlottesville, Virginia where Carrie Buck was born. Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner offered the “Commonwealth’s sincere apology for Virginia’s participation in eugenics,” noting that “the eugenics movement was a shameful effort in which state government never should have been involved.” (Paul A Lombardo U of V School of Medicine)
We are hearing words that will make the hair stand on the back of the neck: FORCED STERILIZATION… THE INCOMPETENT or the first use of the word “Moron” (feeble-minded or perhaps mentally ill)
This was what Eugenics was all about…getting rid of the undesirables. It came in the form of our first emigration policies and restrictions, the mental institutions where many ended up whether they were actually insane or not. It also had to do with racism. Even the histories of citizens were stored in locked vaults by the government. These could explain inherited traits and pinpoint those who would be considered “unacceptable”.
Perhaps we should think twice before we give over to any organization our DNA to do with as they like. Any authority may decide to act upon this greatest of our identity. Take for instance the controversy of 23andMe, a DNA test group.
” …23andMe’s Personal Genome Service is much more than a medical device; it is a one-way portal into a world where corporations have access to the innermost contents of your cells and where insurers and pharmaceutical firms and marketers might know more about your body than you know yourself. And as 23andMe warns on its website, “Genetic Information that you share with others could be used against your interests. You should be careful about sharing your Genetic Information with others.” (Charles Siefe in Scientific America)
One may ask, what about the good parts of having DNA used by the police investigators to find killers or rapists who may have been Cold Cases for years? Of course, this technology today can be celebrated for bringing the guilty to justice as we heard about recently on 60 Minutes. However, we must not forget that there are few standards set in the use of DNA and someone who is calling themselves DNA professionals could also make mistakes or prove to be using the knowledge for less than good to an individual…criminal or not. Could these same people be brought in to court as a witness with authority? Caution may be the best word. How important is your lineage to you?
Under President Wilson, the belief in Eugenics for the nation flourished. Some of the terms used are everyday words to us today because of the government efforts in years past to make lawful things that we might question today. The public can be coerced and made from advertisements to think that the government knows best. That is precisely why we should look at the people we put into office very, very carefully. Is individual liberty a priority to a candidate…or does he or she thinks that government knows best and can be the solver of all problems? When would they think, you, the citizen is the problem…for whatever reason.
Shown here is President Wilson, a eugenics sign, and a family that was found to have good lineage…having won a contest as “the best”.
We could go on with many eugenics topics in history: immigration restrictions, unfit individuals, compulsory sterilization, euthanasia programs, fit baby contests and family fitness under eugenics, planned parenthood promotions and how we as a nation promoted racial superiority as did Germany during WWII.
What a nation can do in plain sight can be terrifying if we are looking away or turn a blind eye. (More information on Eugenics)
Yes, it matters who is in power in your local, state, or national setting. Do your homework. Your human rights are at stake…as in past years and in the future. See how they have voted in the past that effects your life and more importantly your freedoms.
“The Eugenics Crusade” The American Experience PBS
Eternity is a word without a real meaning. If we look it up, the closest definition would be something like this: “…a state to which time has no application; timelessness.” The simple words would be “forever and forever” which is definitely difficult to understand.
Almost all religions have a belief in an eternity. Some think that they have to work for it. Others believe that it is a gift of God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Another faith thinks that life just begins again and they hope that they will return as a more elevated human and not one of the lowly animals or insects. The whole concept is so broad and “endless” that the mind cannot comprehend. The question then is whether we should even be concerned about something in which we do not have a real answer? I think so. We plan ahead for many things: Our wedding day, our place of residence, our finances, our grave-site…but why not think about the eternal? Somehow I think it should be thoughts of joy instead of foreboding…especially when we have had loved ones who have gone before us.
We know we were born. We also know that we will all die eventually. Our love for each other draws a great well of desire to want to see each other again in eternity. Do we have the perfect answer to eternity…no…not in ourselves, but yes, in the Holy Scriptures we have promises. We are told, “...to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Corinthians 5:8) That verse alone should give us great hope. We are promised a resurrection of the body, just as Christ was resurrected. When I decided on cremation after death, my thought was to wonder how all of those dust pieces were going to be put back together. How juvenile a thought was that! If He can sling the stars into orbit and match up molecules, He will have no trouble with the resurrection!
As a Christian, I believe in eternity. It may be hard for an atheist who thinks when one dies it is the end of everything, but I have always felt that if there could possibly be any truth in this belief, I would have lived a happier life because of my own joy in believing in God and the comfort it has given me. How sad and morbid to believe that there is no one who will enjoy eternity with the Maker of our most glorious universe. Those who have had a near-death experience recall a wonderful feeling of love. They speak of seeing someone that appears to be God waiting for them in a bright light. According to some records, surprisingly, 75% of those thinking they were dying as atheists have told of this same experience.
Recently, I saw a special on the amazing new parts of the universe that have only been identified by the most powerful telescope sent into space. The most familiar and powerful so far has been the Hubble Space Telescope. Nevertheless, there is “a new kid” in the making.
The newest and most powerful telescope is the James Webb Space Telescope. It is to be the successor to the Hubble telescope and will be launched in 2021. Here are a few facts concerning the future launching:
The James Webb Space Telescope will be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission. The Ariane 5 is one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles capable of delivering Webb to its destination in space. The European Space Agency (ESA) has agreed to provide an Ariane 5 launcher and associated launch services to NASA for Webb. (Nasa)
Why do I digress from writing about eternity to telescopes? It is with delight that I think those who are experiencing their eternity are having a perfect understanding of the formation of the universe and all there is on other planets. If there is life on other worlds, our loved ones would have the joy of knowing this. (Forget about the Hollywood version of the “little green man with a pointed head.”)
Thinking of the possibilities makes “eternity” seen a little shorter than “forever”…mainly because it would take forever to know all there is to know, which is impossible without the mind of God. Could it be that He will provide His mind for us to know and understand all these glories, that we have only slightly seen through the telescope, and be able to experience the glories for eternity?
(A side-thought: I can’t imagine that we will be going from planet to planet as on some fast-moving whirlwind because the Scriptures also says that there will be a place of peace. He promises that the lion will lay down with the lamb. Could that mean that at the Savior’s return to earth that He will also bring those with Him who have died and bring absolute peace onto a new earth? )
And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (NASB)
Jesus also prayed a prayer to his Father in Heaven, who made the universe that He wanted us to know the glories of the universe: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24)
Regardless of what eternity may mean, we will draw our last breath and then we will know it all. TO GOD BE THE GLORY
VIDEO (Turn on sound)
My growing up home place was in the Brushy Mountains outside Wilkesboro and N. Wilkesboro, N.C. Keep this city name in mind for there is a treat at the end of this blog.
After high school, I left with my parents to live in Florida. I never expected that I would one day go back to the mountains. Since Fall is my favorite season and unfortunately, in Florida, we only get a few brown leaves in mid-winter, we have to be in the mountains to enjoy that season. Don’t misunderstand for I’m not complaining about the beautiful green, citrus fruit, or warm weather in Florida. It’s still a great place even with the frequent hurricanes.
Riding just a little further up the mountain to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, my husband and I felt it was a wonderful place to enjoy at least for a few months of the year. Winter is a little too cold for us “flat-landers”, as we are sometimes called. The time we stayed on after the Fall to see the first snow, we bundled up like we were in Alaska to take our dog, Gracie, out for her final evening bathroom break. She would stand and stare into the woods, sensing the deer were close by. Their eyes would sometimes shine in the dark…and the wind biting at our noses sent us racing back inside the house.
Nevertheless, I think that the “country girl” was still in me. Coming back to Virginia and North Carolina, it was evident that I had a great affinity for the way of life and the people of these mountains.
Why do I say this? I only know that the people have a warm disposition and a sense of humor that I have not found to such a degree anywhere else around the world. I have been fortunate enough to visit or teach in places like Mongolia, Guatemala, Ukraine, Switzerland, France, and Japan. Still, these hills and the valleys, where a person can look deep into a ravine, keep calling me back. Fourteen cousins and my Uncle John still call the VA-N.C. mountains and foothills their home…so it’s probably a genetic “family thing” as well.
The Blue Ridge has it all…steep mountain cliffs and valleys, rolling hills filled with vegetable crops and orchards of delicious fruit.
The bear, deer, rabbits, and other “critters” also make it their place of residence. The humming- birds fly to the sweet-smelling sugar water put out in the gardens and the rabbits help themselves to whatever… wherever. Speaking of bear, one came up to our front porch to push over and have her fill at our feeder. No longer do we provide such a delicacy.
From my window, I can hear the cows, donkeys and lambs in the fields. At night the stars are clear and brilliant. When the moon is full, the coyotes roam about making their distinctive sound while looking for something to bring back to their little ones in the den.
The Spring along the Blue Ridge Parkway is filled with wild-flowers and the white and pink rhododendron bushes line the road. Small barns, churches, and family graves stand as a testament to those who have lived here in generations past. Some mountain people with roots back to the Civil War, still proudly fly their Confederate flags and dare anyone to tell them that they can’t. They also just as strongly hold to their “guns and their religion.” They are a proud people, that I have found, will come to one’s help at anytime or any hour.
Someone may ask why I am writing about the Fall when it’s Spring and Summer is just around the corner? Perhaps I’m giving an invitation to make your plans now to see this glorious place. Not so long from now, the leaves will flutter about and turn to a deep orange and red. The pumpkins will lay over acres and acres of the hillsides turning the farms into a special hue of gold. The tractors will slowly make their way from the fields to the barns. Sometimes those same tractors take family or friends on flatbeds to enjoy the countryside. Visitors from far and wide stop and take in the breath-taking views of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It’s also the Fall that brings the people to these mountains.
Maybe my next book will be for all these visitors who come this way … to give them heads up and a little advice to what it’s like to visit or live in the mountains. I’m thinking it will be titled, “What Everyone Needs to Know Before Visiting or Planning to Live in the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
This might be a part of this new book.
“Don’t come thinking that you’ll be treated like in New York City…or Paris…or somewhere. You’ll have to slow down, enjoy English laced with a warm, Southern drawl, and be greeted just like you are family. When you go to a small, family-run restaurant, walk right in, greet the people sitting there with “Hey there. How’s everybody? Got anything good to eat in here?” (Not “Hi There”…for it’s N.Y City sounding to their ears..and remember this is “Rebel” territory.)
They’ll know you aren’t from the Blue Ridge, but they’ll be friendly- like and greet you with some jolly response. Don’t worry if someone comes over to your table and asks your name or finds out what brought you to these parts. When you finish eating, look around, wave and tell everyone, “Goodbye…see you next time!” They’ll appreciate it.
When you drive back to where you are staying and a truck rounds the corner giving you a “one finger wave,” (NOT the middle)… just wave back. They aren’t flagging you down…but saying “Hello.”
Want to know more? Be looking for my book title sometime in the near future on the internet. As I close this blog, I think I will let the Kruger Brothers sing what it’s like to be in “Carolina in the Fall”….and I would also add… Virginia. Hope to see “Y’all” up this way someday.
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History tells us of women who were saviors of many things and leaders when men were expected to carry the torch. As my husband and I plan to travel to our country’s Capital, Washington, D.C., I felt it was important to also find out something about Mt. Vernon, which was the home of our first President, General George Washington.
Probably the home, which had fallen into disrepair would not be here today if it had not been for the efforts of a woman from South Carolina. As she sailed down the Potomac River, she saw the mansion and could not believe that the people of our nation would allow this historic place to disintegrate in front of the world. This woman was Louisa Dalton Bird Cunningham who told her daughter, Ann, of the disgraceful situation. In fact, there had been plans to demolish Mt. Vernon.
Never heard of Louisa or Ann Cunningham? Most likely you have not. You probably have not heard of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association either, but they are women who should be honored for restoration efforts. This is the story, according to Wikipedia:
Ann Pamela Cunningham (August 15, 1816, Rosemont Plantation, South Carolina – May 1, 1875) is credited with saving George Washington’s beloved home Mount Vernon from ruin and neglect. In a letter to Ann Pamela, Cunningham’s mother described the crumbling condition of the estate as she saw it in 1853 while on a steamship heading down the Potomac River. Cunningham was in her 30s and, having been crippled in a riding accident as a teenager, decided she would initiate a campaign to save the estate. She raised funds to purchase Mount Vernon by launching an unprecedented appeal for donations through newspaper articles directed toward “the Ladies of the South” and founded The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, the group that still owns and manages Washington’s estate, and served as its first regent. The group purchased Mount Vernon for $200,000. The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association is the oldest private preservation organization in the United States. It is directed by a Board of Regents, comprised solely of women, who represent nearly 30 states.
We congratulate these women for their efforts to restore rather than destroy our history.
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While much of the nation has been piled with snow, the eagles have weathered it all until their little ones could be hatched. Here is the great event from the live cam above Washington, D.C.
God’s world is so amazing. We give thanks for all its glory. Welcome to our world, little eagles…for you make it a better place!
Video Credit: Turn up sound Cheryl Loheit. © 2018 American Eagle Foundation
Neighbor friends of mine have said, “I’m not watching it!” Other elected officials from various states have decided to “boycott” the State of the Union address also…even if they have not asked those who elected them whether it was a good idea and did they approve? Some Congress members have already decided that they will not stand or applaud even when what is being said is for the good of all Americans…simply because they are determined to be oppositional. That may be why many Americans see the Congress as a “do nothing” organization.
We ask at Boyer Writes the question: Is the State of the Union Message of any importance to Americans…the rich, the poor, the small business person and economists, the elderly, those who receive government aid, environmentalists, our military, the immigrants…legal and illegal, who may be hoping to be citizens of the USA and all others who would put themselves in any category?
We will address first the meaning of the State of the Union and its history…in case some should not know:
It is a Constitutional Duty.
“Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
- The Address is to be informative to the Congress and to every citizen of the United States…whether listening or not. (Any elected official who does not show up to hear probably should be close to a T.V….just to be “informed”.)
- It is a part of our established history. The President of the US has been giving this message in person to the Congress and the American people for 105 years since 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President. With the advent of TV and the internet, it has been easier to reach the average person. (Some may even ask why the average person should not be able to hear or know the direction of our country…just as the elected officials are informed?)
The Early history: George Washington delivered the first annual address to Congress in 1790. Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice because he felt it was too monarchical, as similar to the “Speech from the Throne”. He wrote it out and sent it to be read by a clerk.
There was controversy in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson planned to reestablish the speech. (Oh my, “controversy” also has a long history!) There have been only a few exceptions by the U.S. Presidents of delivering the address in person to the Congress and to the American people, with the last being President Jimmy Carter in 1981.
- Important enough to designate a SURVIVOR: Whenever Congress meets together to hear the President speak, there is a designated survivor appointed. What does this mean?
“Since the ’80s, a designated survivor has been selected for the State of the Union. This is a member of the president’s cabinet who does not attend the event, in case a disaster or attack kills the president and everyone in the line of succession. The first designated survivor was Reagan’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Samuel Pierce. The two cabinet positions most often selected to serve as designated survivor are the secretary of the Agriculture Department and the secretary of the Interior Department; both positions have been selected six times each. The only person to serve in the role more than once was George W. Bush’s Commerce secretary, Donald Evans.” (taken from PBS News)
Does history or tradition mean anything to the American people today? Is it too old-fashioned to spend an hour before our TV sets or online to hear what the President has to say?
Do the personal opinions about the particular person elected to the office of President cloud a more important aspect of being American? We must all remember that we are in it together for at least the 4 years the President will serve. Decisions made by Congress will effect us all…and might be why they should be listening rather than protesting at this point.
Free speech (and opinion) is part of our right guaranteed in the Constitution. The President is following the requirements of the Constitution to make this address. That is why it is my opinion that we lay aside, for one hour, to check out what we may be up against for years to come…for good or bad. Those who say, “I hate him and everything he stands for”… should remember that the State of the Union message is important for this reason. It is not a State of the Union on a Personality, but on our country and the future of our country. If we don’t like the things said or the things proposed to follow in the next year or the next three years, try our other right…your VOTING RIGHT! At least you will be able to say you’re informed.
Yes, We still have elections and the leadership choices are still made at the ballot box and not at the end of a gun as they are in some nations. Thank God! Therefore, in Honor of the office of the Presidency...whether you approve of the sitting President or not…here is HAIL TO THE CHIEF performed by the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own”.
Some information is taken from Wikipedia. For more information on the State of the Union
In a world filled with strife, wars and all kinds of bickering and discontent, we must not lose perspective. God is watching and in control…even if we are unable to do so. Look up and around you…see what He has done. Don’t lose hope. Place your daily walk in HIs hands.
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This year has been an exciting one for me. I have had the opportunity to interview many people for my books and actually seeing the books go to print. Today I would like to share with you my 2017 books that followed my books for children in previous years.
(The links are in blue.)
One of my most recent books, SPENCER’S MILL, is fiction set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is a cast of characters with an exciting plot that incorporates the history of the decline and failure of mill industries in North Carolina and Virginia when those businesses went to other countries around the world, leaving people without jobs. It is the story of their strength to carry on and find enriched lives for themselves.
Old Timers of the Blue Ridge is a series of interviews with people who have relatives that go back to the Civil War. The stories they shared are interesting reading and gives insight into the cultures of the mountain people. They tell of what it was like to grow up in the Blue Ridge…their joys and sorrows.
CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTMENTS This book, North and South at the Blue Ridge Mountains, gives a short overview of the Civil War and the leaders from both sides. It explains the Reenactment that takes place yearly in October in the mountains of Virginia, near Ararat, VA. I included a large selection of photographs of the reenactment which gives a beautiful description of this event. Men and women dress the part of the period. The main goal of the Civil War Reenactors is to not forget the history of our country.
THE SEEDS This novel originated from a post on my blog that I wrote in 2010 on Boyer Writes. It was on SS General Hans Kammler and asked the question: “Whatever happened to Gen.Kammler?” After World War II, a number of high-ranking officers fled to places like Argentina. This question seemed to be of great interest to my readers. Some readers wrote emails that they knew where General Kammler had lived. One even said the General was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution. General Kammler, as portrayed in this book is entirely fiction. The accounts of him, however, are based on historical facts. General Kammler, was in fact from 1944, head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project. The enormous interest in General Kammler led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and thus, this novel evolved. All characters are fictional, but many of the places described in the novel, as the World Seed Vault in Norway, sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault” are actual places.
I look forward to 2018 when I plan to complete a Memoirs Book called MY STORY. I will begin with as early as I can remember in my childhood.
My remembrances of my days in boarding school and the courage that I found in my faith in Christ during years of adult hardship will be an honest and open account. My family history and doors that opened for me to travel the world as a Christian teacher and missionary will also be part of the story. The joy that I found when God brought into my life the husband I have loved for over 35 years is a part of “waiting for God” to do wondrous things that we know not of. Looking back I know that the things that happened to me and around me were often most extraordinary.
It is obvious to me that everyone has a story to tell about their life. As I have had the opportunity in the books mentioned above to share many stories told to me by others, it is time to write about my own life.
Merry Christmas to all my readers and to all a wonderful NEW YEAR!
Often we hear a philosophy or belief in a specific culture that makes a great deal of sense. For instance, the Japanese believe that when a person turns 60 years old, they are able to start a new cycle of life. They call this special age, kanreki.
It is a time for people to arrange things in a proper place. Some Americans may call it “getting things in order…or even downsizing.” The Japanese think it is a time of celebration and the beginning of a new life cycle, so they celebrate the 60th birthday by giving gifts that are red and having a party. The gift could be a red shirt, scarf, or even red underwear.
Now the color red is a vivid color that has energy and stands out from other colors. Perhaps this infers that this new phase of life should be taken on with a new enthusiasm and with new prospects for the future.
According to Japanese Society, “achievements are celebrated and a lifetime’s troubles are forgotten as the celebrated individual enters a new stage of life with all the joy and possibilities of a newborn.”
Perhaps we Americans should think more along this line and have more fun. We often hear people say things like “Getting old..or older…is not for the faint-hearted.” This seems pretty pessimistic to me. Life is not over…it is just a new chance at a new beginning.
The Japanese also refer to this year as a Year of Reflection.
60-year olds are expected to use this year as a year of reflection. They are to look at their lives and achievements and use this time as a good opportunity to plan the direction in which they would like to move as they begin their second sixty-year cycle of life. Beyond the Kanreki, they celebrate the Koki (70 years old), Kiju (77 years old), Beiju.(88 years old), Sotsuju (90 years old), Kajimaya.(97 years old), Hakuju (99 years old), and Hyakusai No Ga (100 years old). (from online Japanese culture)
As a Christian, we would say to be “Thankful” for a long life and give God honor for all He has blessed us with in life. The Japanese think it is a time to forget the past and move on…leaving it behind. This seems like a very good philosophy of life. If you are passed the age of 60, you can still celebrate…for you have lived longer. If you are not age 60 years old, dedicate your life to the beauty of living…for the years that you may have before you.
Another thing I read about recently was the way the Japanese look at a snowflake. It is a perfect example of symmetry and each one is different. The pictures below were made by Wilson Bentley.
As you can see, each snowflake has a different shape. We could compare them to the fact that every human is made differently and wonderful. The snowflake is beautiful as it floats from the sky to the ground. The time of its forming until it melts on the ground is a short time. So is life. The days of men and women are numbered and short, but much of life is beautiful…especially if we try to see that beauty. Your life was specifically formed to be only you. Each one of us will live and each one will die…as the snowflake sheds beauty on the world until it is no more.
Even the Japanese cherry blossoms come only for a short time in all their glory. Sometimes they even look like snow drifting …drifting…gently drifting. Shortly they will reach the ground, sharing their beauty one more time.
Try to share your special beauty with someone around you today. Celebrate Life!
Enjoy Kyoto in the Snow video. Turn on sound.
(Taken by Althea Pan)
It seems that even our animals are not safe from the opioid crisis. Veterinarians are seeing more and more dog patients who are stricken because they are simply taking a walk with their unsuspecting owners over something that has been thrown to the ground.
Every dog owner knows that a dog will sniff anything and often ingest things left outside. This is a warning to all pet lovers that your animals may not be safe to walk around your neighborhood.
The careless acts of those with a terrible addiction, that has killed so many people in our country and the world, is not their first concern… for children, other adults or even animals. Neither is it for those who sell these opioids. No matter what kind of neighborhood you live in…BEWARE.
In the situation you are about to see on this video, it took the vet giving more than one dose of the chemical to reverse this almost fatal drug. BE VERY ALERT and watch everything that may be in the path…or off the path…while walking your dog. This would be the case whether on or off a leash. Often the leashes that allow a dog freedom to move out and away from their owner might not be the best choice. Something to think about.
WATCH THIS VIDEO AND ARTICLE (turn up sound) Wait for the 2nd video, after the first, to view the better video that shows the owner and the vet speaking.
Help is pouring into Florida from many states around the country. Not only are they the National Guard but also Power Companies that have staged hundreds of trucks ready to move. As of 9-16, there are still people in Florida without power, but they are continuing work diligently on it. This must be very hard for many after this many days since Irma went through the state.
Thank you! Thank you for all the help.
Here are a few pictures of the devastation and suffering of the people who have lost so much when Hurrican Irma hit Florida and moved further up the Eastern U.S. Some reports feel that the loss of life and property was not as severe as it could have been. Nevertheless, those who lived through it and have little left are getting help as quickly as possible thanks to the quick response around the nation. It is greatly appreciated
Examples of the National Guard’s readiness and movement toward Florida is shown on the video below. The Guard came from many areas.
Again, we thank all the FIRST RESPONDERS and VOLUNTEERS from the state of Florida and every state that has come to bring help. There is so much to be done to recover.
by Staff Sargeant Alex Blaum CLICK VIDEO
Take this day and look for beauty wherever you can see it. Determine yourself that you will not be distracted by those things that would shadow your life. It is our choice to decide on the things that enter into our minds.
As you walk from here to there, take a moment to see the tiniest thing that God has made…the flower that has perfect symmetry…the bee that buzzes around it…or the butterfly that hovers around it. Each, in its own way, is a perfect example of the beauty of creation. Enjoy today…this minute...for it is yours.
VIDEO “For the Beauty of the Earth”
The Blue Ridge Mountains, steeped in history and hard working people, is a special place. It is our privilege to live here part of the year and in doing so, we have seen the beauties of the land and its people. My recent book, Old Timers of the Blue Ridge and More, is a collection of stories behind generations of families who have worked the land and farmed the fields. The fog rolls in over the mountains from North Carolina into Virginia. It is a silent mist that cools the summers and brings the breeze that is felt daily.
Below is a video that I have produced with many of the photographs that I have taken of these wonderful mountains in the years that we have been here. I hope the sights and peaceful sounds will fill your day with God’s love and joy.
Even now, in early August, the fields are ready for a summer harvest and the corn is growing high. The peach juice drips down the chin with every bite. The aroma of peach pie baking in the oven is in the air.
The migrant workers, along with the farm owners, work late into the night to harvest and package the produce, moving it on to our groceries far down the mountain. The rumble of the tractors and the rhythm of the trucks pass our house as they move on to the Painter warehouse, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, to be processed.
Take the winding road down the mountain until you find acres and acres of apples, peaches and more at the Harold Orchards in Ararat, Virginia. They have been farming this orchard for generations. H.C. told me that without the workers who come in from Mexico, his business would go under. Many of these workers come year after year to bring in the harvest.
It is our privilege to honor these hard-working farmers who produce the crops of corn, cabbage, broccoli, apples, peaches and much more. Without them or the workers they hire, our grocery stores would be dependent on foreign providers.
Thank you, Gentlemen. You are the best!
VIDEO: BLUE RIDGE: Photographed and produced by N.W. Boyer (All rights reserved).
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credits: music “On Golden Pond”
Ever think to photograph some neat, formation of the simplest of things? Ask someone to guess what it is…and then share with them that it is only the foam in the bottom of your blueberry shake. To their surprise, an abstract is born…and it was fun creating it as I did with my morning drink. Our imagination can create many things, but only God and His wonderful nature can create the beauty shown below. It’s summer and the flowers are showing what they have waited all winter to display…their beauty and elegance.
Today I share with you my photographs taken of flowers from the deck of my home and one of God’s creatures that strolled through my yard. She looked very surprised to see me, but quickly went on her way.
As I looked out over the flowers, the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina and Virginia stay true their name… for they are a true -blue ridge.
Look around you today. See all the wonderful things God has made and rejoice.
VIDEO Turn on sound