Two weeks ago my wife’s birthday came up and my planned gift was to drive DaWife to various quilt shops where she could pick up and check out fabric for her quilting our 96 Corolla decided otherwise so we spend a lovely hour at a rest area waiting for AAA with a lovely view of discarded syringes and empty booze bottles but yesterday we tried again this time taking along her sister and her 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Our first belated stop due to bad directions) was Merri’s Stitches in Portsmouth NH

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I spoke to the owner, you will find at quilt shops that the owners are invariably there.

This would be the first place that I would see a Tuffet. It would not be the last.

From there we went down the road to Seacoast Sewing and quilting also in Portsmouth.

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Again we talked to the owner

She told us about their 2nd location in Maine but while we were heading in that direction it would be too far off our path to make it.

maine nh 006At this point we made the one detour for me. St. Joseph was not open that morning so I could not go through the holy doors to earn the daily indulgence available in the Year of Mercy but my wife checked online and discovered the Immaculate Conception Parish in Portsmouth was named as a place of pilgrimage so the Holy Doors were available there so off we went.

It was dark inside but I immediately noticed the altar

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Even with the altar table in front of it, the Holy of Holies with the blessed sacrament dominated as it should

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I filmed a bit but the lighting was bad

Our next stop planned stop was out of Business so we headed to Maine towards Knight’s quilt shop but on the way we stopped at
York Village Marketplace where my wife’s sister had heard they sold cribbage boards made by inmates that her husband had expressed an interest in getting.

It’s an interesting place, half wood items and half model train/slot racing store, the person there didn’t want to go on camera so I did it myself

The Next Stop was down Rte 1 a bit to Cape Neddick, to Knight’s Quilt Shop where there were more tuffets

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More interviews (the owner didn’t want to go on camera but Debbie did.

and a front porch for Husbands to sit where I took the liberty of recording part of my podcast.

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By then everyone was hungry, the folks at Knights suggested Mike’s Clam Shack in Wells.

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Nobody would be interviewed but the food spoke for itself.

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The next stop was Kathie’s Quilt Shoppe in Sanford Maine.

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We made it just before they closed but Kathie gave me an interview anyway

and of course more Tuffets which are apparently all the rage

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Our last stop was Marden’s Department store in Sanford Plaza which has a huge fabric department.

What we didn’t know is they actually close early on weekends so by 5 pm we were heading south, but not before I let DaWife and her sister walk the beach in Ogunquit Maine, Hampton New Hampshire and Salisbury Massachusetts so they could say they walked the beach in three states in one day before finishing with Supper at Happy Jacks back home

Now let this be a lesson in two respect. One might argue that it’s rather cunning to give DaWife a gift that involves no cash layout other than what she would spend anyways, but the real lesson is that the investment that your spouse appreciates the most is time.

That’s how you get to year 28 of a marriage

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Red Oak MosqueBy John Ruberry

Belgium–part French and part Dutch–has been a schizophrenic nation since its founding in 1830. But after last month’s deadly terror attacks in Brussels–which is one-quarter Muslim–the country may be coming together under “European values.”

The Belgian secretary of state for asylum and migration, Theo Francken, is proposing the what is being called “a newcomer’s statement,”  which covers non-European Union migrants who stay more than three months.

The plan is expected to become law later this year.  Migrants covered by the law will be forced to sign a pledge to not only to uphold European values, but to oppose terrorism and to report any possible terror attacks.

Those not integrating properly will be kicked out of Belgium.

Despite groups such as CAIR claiming that Islam and the West have shared values, the reality is much different.

Here is just a partial list of the cultural contrasts: Europeans usually marry whoever they want–and that includes members of the same gender–whereas Muslims often rely upon arranged marriages. Religion–if they have one–is a private affair for most Europeans, Muslims follow an absolutist faith that governs all segments of their lives; in fact many Muslims favor eschewing what they dismiss as “man-made law” for sharia, that is, Islamic law, which includes the amputation of hands for thieves and the stoning of people who have extra-marital affairs. Feminists may disagree but men and women enjoy equal rights in Europe. Muslim women are subservient to men as a rule.

Europeans for the most part like the continent the way it is–many Muslims want to culturally annihilate it and make it as Islamic as the Middle East.

If the Euro-Muslims win out it is their values that will be European ones.

Europe is in for a rough ride no matter what the outcome of this clash of civilizations.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Dr. Soran: We’re all going to die sometime. It’s just a question of how and when. You will too, Captain. Aren’t you beginning to feel time gaining on you? It’s like a predator; it’s stalking you. Oh, you can try and outrun it with doctors, medicines, new technologies. But in the end, time is going to hunt you down… and make the kill.

Star Trek Generations 1994

Professor Moriarty: A deadline has a wonderful way of concentrating the mind.

Star Trek TNG Ship in a Bottle 1993

Mother Angelica:  Look if I’m going to Hell it’s not going to be over a peanut.

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday and all over the world churches are having special events, extra masses, expositions of the blessed sacrament and above all extra chances for the Sacrament of Confession.

The feast which stems from the revelations to Saint Faustina a Polish Nun in the 30’s is all about a particular theme, the Mercy of Christ extended to sinners.

The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. (699)

These celebrations, such as the one at the national shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and all the events world wide from solemn prayers to celebrations are great and wonderful things, but they are all about pointing to a fact of life that a lot of us want to forget.

We’re all going to die.

We have created a culture that like to pretending aging and death doesn’t happen, we spend a fortune on anti-aging creams, treatments and plastic surgery, we pretend that aging really doesn’t slow us down or mean we can’t do what we used to. Our culture comes up with new snappy slogans. Fifty is the new thirty, Seventy is the new fifty.

In a sense it’s a fitting finish and expression for this baby boomer generation. It’s their last desperate cry against the values of the greatest generation that they revolted against in the 60’s.

But while one can live one’s life as if the truths of centuries have no meaning in the end no amount of denial will stop the reality of death.

That’s what this feast is about.

It’s about making it clear that Your life is going to end, it’s about Christ giving a loud shout out to his brothers and sisters on a particular day saying. “Hey I’ll forgive you, It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone off the farm just come to me, I really mean it and I’ll give you a clean start.”

Now one might argue: Well, God’s mercy is available every single day. Why should we bother with a feast of Divine Mercy?

Well why do we celebrate birthdays or mothers days? Aren’t we happy about our family and friends every day? Don’t we love our mothers every day?

This day put the issue in focus, and it’s something that needs focus, particularly in a culture that constantly spends its time in denial. It is literally a matter of eternal life or eternal death.

It’s also why Pope Francis has declared a Year of Mercy, it’s to highlight to the entire world, particularly to all those that he has made inroads to that have ignored the church for decades that God’s mercy is available to them. You might not be where you should be. You might not understand it, you might not deserve it (frankly none of us do) but it’s there. Take the first steps toward it and like the force of gravity acting on a small rock it will slowly draw you in and make you whole in a way

Can there be a better day to take advantage of the Mercy of Christ on the Feast of Divine Mercy in the Year of Mercy?

What are you waiting for?

I’ll give the last word to Mother Angelica

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