Fasting Finished

The World according to Dina

Happily, we finished our fasting more than a week ago. Many of you asked to write about our experiences. Most perplexing was how easy it was to fast for ten days. Most annoying was the endless drinking of herb teas and water and especially to drink this diluted apple cider vinegar. But our clever Dina made it just bearable by making us bite into a slice of lemon before and after drinking. As we expected, we felt increasingly lighter and happier. We became aware of our greed and understood Jean Baudrillard’s statement “we live in a world where there is more information and less meaning”.  But by far the best was how the pressure dropped by not using social media. It produced a great feeling of freedom not to have to check blogs, Instagram accounts and similar inessentials and to have lots of time to use in a meaningful and pleasant…

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#AtoZChallenge Stories From A Time of War – Winds of War and War and Remembrance




This month in the April A to Z Challenge, I am posting about books, fiction, and nonfiction that are about or set in the Second World War.  The war and the people who experienced it have stories to tell and these stories are so overwhelming they lend themselves to greatness.  I encourage you to sample some of these stories.  I promise you will not regret taking the time.  To help me develop an alphabetical list for this challenge, I used  Did you know that there are more than 883 fiction and 480 nonfiction books in this genre on the website’s Listopia as voted on by members?  That is a lot of stories and facts just waiting for us to explore.


Well known for the two blockbuster television mini-series, these novels by Herman Wouk, the…

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Bienvenue en prison



After first sticking his back leg in my tea and then kicking it all over me, Louis Catorze settled down with me to watch one of those maximum security prison documentaries. (We’re more low-brow than one would imagine – it’s not all Balzac and Baudelaire here at Le Château.) And it seems that, in Indiana State maximum security prison, they have a cat adoption scheme. 

I initially had mixed feelings about the idea. My first thought was the safety of the animals: if you’ve killed a human in cold blood and are quite casual and blasé about it, you’re unlikely to have much compassion or empathy for an animal, right? But the cats look happy, glossy and well-fed, pitter-pattering freely between cells but mainly sticking to their one Cat Daddy, whom they clearly love. Even if he happens to be a serial torturer or murderer. 

My second thought:…

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Annotated List Of Immigrant Ancestors

Louise Maria Austin, age 20  Is she on the list??

I have listed approximately 350 ancestors (every ancestor I can find) who immigrated to North America.  The vast majority came in the Great Migration 1620-1640.  Most came to New England – Boston and surrounding area, and New Haven Connecticut. A few came to New York.  And a few came to Virginia.

They range from being 6th to 10th Great Grandparents.  The vast majority came from England.


My Ancestors (9) – John Marshall the Scotisman – 1617 – 1697

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

(1)John Marshall the Scotisman, (2) Joseph Marshall, (3) Major Elihu Marshall, (4) Elizabeth (Marshall) Guion, (5) Elijah Guion, (6) Elijah Guion II, (7) Alfred Beck Guion, (8) Alfred Duryee Guion, (9) Alfred Peabody Guion, (10) Judith Anne Guion

The fact is very little is known about John Marshall. Unlike our other immigrant ancestors, he lived in Boston all his life after coming to America, and never had any trouble with the Puritans — he and his wife attended the First Church of Boston for many years and apparently were well content to do so. That church was the head and front of established Puritanism; one historian calls it the “Vatican of Massachusetts Bay Colony”. The Marshals attended it under the pastorate of the mighty Rev. John Cotton, most scholarly and eloquent of Puritan preachers, who was a leader in the banishment of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson; after Cotton’s death…

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