I have chosen not to "monetize" my blog with unattractive and distracting advertisements. Instead, I ask that you please donate to help defray the cost of medically necessary equipment and supplies. I am very grateful for your kind generosity.



Monday, October 16, 2017


Saint Margaret Mary Allacoque
Receiving Jesus, when he gave her the
devotion to His Sacred Heart

"What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only 
when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately
 once He afflicts us This is not true love. Those 
who love thus, love themselves too much to love
 God with all their heart." 
~ Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

Today is the "optional memorial" day for one of the most popular saints on the Catholic calendar.

I find this saint's words very inspiring, in the midst of my problems and afflictions.When I read these sort of quotes from the mystics who have experienced an intimate relationship with Our Lord, I am reminded of my own feelings, whatever is best among all the thoughts that go careening around in my brain, whatever is most beautiful in my inclinations. It is almost as if I breathe a breath of fresh air in the spiritual realm.

Today, in particular, I am reminded that, even though my earthly travails are many, my soul belongs to God, and, if I will only remember to look upon him throughout the day, I will experience great love.

When I was in the Hindu convent, I learned many techniques of directing the mind to what I wished it to think about or concentrate upon. While some people imagine that meditation involves "clearing the mind" and making it EMPTY, I rather found it to be an exercise of attention. One must gently take hold of the mind and, in one manner or another, restrain it from hopping from one topic to another, concentrating, instead, upon The Lord.

Now, when I say I was in a "Hindu convent," that is not strictly correct, as I belonged to a neo-Vedanta group that arose OUT of Hinduism, but which is not accepted as being Hindu at all, since it accepts that "all paths lead to God." (This is the Vedanta Society.) As with most religions, they are good people who mean well, and I respect anyone who is pursuing God.

While I no longer believe that "all paths lead to God" in a literal sense, I AM in tune with those aspects of that philosophical system that are true and useful. While the Vedantists certainly do not have what WE would term "the fullness of the faith," or "the fullness of Truth," one has to agree, as an obvious fact, that God cannot be restrained from entering the whole of His creation. We cannot limit him, no matter how much the fervor of our beliefs would have it otherwise!

There were several other nuns of my acquaintance who took as their "Ishta" or manifestation of God, Jesus Christ. This is not the same as being Christian, but it demonstrates the all- pervasive nature of Our Lord.

Noticing the presence of God in a non-Catholic establishment, many people become confused and come to believe that mixing up all the religions would be a good idea, plucking ideas out of a collection of religions, like plucking flowers for a bouquet. This never works, as the inconvenient practices or ideas are often dropped, to the detriment of the spiritual aspirant. Even Ramakrishna, the saint whose philosophy and life initiated the Vedanta Societies throughout the world, told his people to "dig deep" and not to run around digging shallow holes for their faith.

Saint Margaret Mary was instructed by Jesus to spread the devotion to Jesus' Sacred Heart, an image oft repeated in artistic renderings. Being reminded of it while reading about this saint, I have been given an idea to paint my own versions of Our Lord's most beautiful Sacred Heart, and thus have more of a direction to follow as I embark upon this series of 50 small paintings I have been talking about for some time. The canvases are ready. I must just start.

When the paintings are completed, and I have made the frames, I will post photographs of them, if possible.

This brings up a topic. In addition to the many items that are needed here at Silver Cottage, I am in desperate need of a digital camera, with an excellent zoom capacity. It doesn't need to be fancy, as I would not be able to figure it out, no doubt, but the resolution has to be good, and I will also need a tripod. This equipment will be used to photograph paintings for my portfolio, as well as for the craft items I produce, so that I may place them online to sell them and thus have the wherewithal to purchase medical equipment and other necessaries.

Please use the Paypal link, above right. If you have any questions, just make a comment. It won't be published, as I have to release comments prior to publication. This is a good way to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, God bless!

Silver Rose

Copyright (c) 2017, All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


"Cake" of yarn that I made from a loose skein of commercial yarn,
an Amish yarn swift, and a hand-cranked yarn winder

Brothers and sisters:
I know how to live in humble circumstances;
I know also how to live with abundance.
In every circumstance and in all things
I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry,
of living in abundance and of being in need.
I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

My God will fully supply whatever you need,
in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
To our God and Father, glory forever and ever. Amen.
Philipians 4:12-14, 19-20

While I had intended to abandon this blog in favor of Facebook, I had so many unpleasant experiences on Facebook that I realized that it is not the venue for me. While I had hoped to make friends and experience some sort of community on it, I found, instead, that others are not so inclined.

On Facebook, there is an alarmingly large group of people who, though claiming to be "Catholic" strongly express anti-Catholic views. Some are just downright crazy, imagining all sorts of conspiracy theories around the Popes. There are a lot of men who call themselves "Father" and wear a Roman collar, but are actually members of weird little cults that copy Catholic rituals. Another group of very hostile "Catholics" are actually just rabid Trump supporters whose minds are submerged in a soup of bigoted, elitist, "alt right" philosophy, a philosophy that is completely contrary to the teachings of Christ. Another group is composed of hostile and unrepentant Catholics who cling to visionaries and defrocked priests who've been unmasked as dangerous fakes. Many people make "friends" on Facebook so they can tell you what to do and preach at you with their own brand of religion. They try desperately to set themselves up as a spiritual leader on Facebook, since they are obviously unable to get their ego needs met in "real" life. The only reason any of these people added me to their friend list was to use me as an audience or as a tool to disseminate their wacky ideas, demanding that I spread their wacky messages to all my other Facebook friends. It was really too much.

Interacting with these people makes Facebook a hostile world - not the supportive community I had imagined, so I am back to the blog, to write an occasional entry. The majority of my attention has to be the writing of the book, of course, as well as my painting, but when I feel moved to write something here, I will.

In the four months or so that I have been away from this blog, I have learned from observation and experience, how to live with "abundance in every circumstance." Remaining connected with the Lord throughout all conditions of life, in being well fed and in going hungry, I've felt the continuity of spiritual experience that transcends the circumstances of earthly life.

In sickness and in health, in wealth and in poverty, my God will fully supply whatever I NEED.

Apparently, I need to have my car break down for the 3rd time in as many months. I don't pretend to know the lesson I need to learn from this. I feel I am already at one with the poor that Jesus loved so much.

Yesterday, I took my last 20 dollars, and another elderly neighbor, and got into the car to go to a local market to buy one or two simple things to stretch the food until the end of the month. When I tried to start the car, all I heard was clicking. The starter, once again, needs to be replaced. It is a very old car, at least 23 years old and, although a nice, dependable Toyota, it is on its last legs.

So, I am completely stranded. Let me explain why:

I am physically unable to ride buses, like MANY elderly people. I am not physically able to do stand and wait for them. The valves in the major vein of the left leg do not work, and my left leg goes completely numb and useless after 5 to 10 minutes of standing. My knees cannot get me up the steps. My scoliosis, when jostled by the buses typically bad shocks, causes my back to go into spasm after the first bump in the ride. By the time I get OFF the bus, I would have to call someone to come rescue me because I would be in extreme pain and completely bent over.

Also, buses, for vulnerable populations of elderly and/or disabled, are very dangerous. Any police officer will tell you that the bad guys target anyone who seems to be more vulnerable. Predators look for the sick member of the herd. Even apparently healthy men are sometimes the target of groups of predators here in Albuquerque. One of my neighbors, on his way to work, was beat up by several men who beat him for his wallet, which only contained $40. Imagined what they'd do to a disabled lady, traveling alone.

What will I do? Immediately speaking, a friend is bringing me the two items I'd gone out to get yesterday. Probably, I will borrow some money from one of the online loan sharks, add it to my food money for next month, and have the car towed to the local Pep Boys.  Blah Blah Blah. It is all so very annoying. While my mind wants to soar to the heavens, the disintegrating nature of this world keeps knocking at the door, insisting upon my attention.

While I had my momentary freakout yesterday, today I resumed my equilibrium, and was delighted to read the above Bible passage, which is the passage for today in the Catholic calendar. Something that we all have to learn is how to live in "abundance" while in need. My need is crushing, demanding, insistent, linked to basic survival issues that tickle the reptilian part of the brain. Directing the mind to the higher plane is made much more difficult in these circumstances. I think this may be the genius of poverty. While I would be just as glad to rejoice in abundance during times of good food and circumstances, I do appreciate the opportunity to practice abundance of mind in the midst of survival stress. Thanks be to God.

Silver Rose Margaret Parnell
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Bedroom suite for sale

I bought a bed a few years ago. It took me a couple years to pay it off, but I barely used it because, while I believed that I was not sleeping well previously because I was sleeping in a twin bed that was too small for me, the problem was actually much more serious.

My scoliosis of the spine, combined with severe arthritis and other physical disabilities, combined to create a situation in which I am unable to sleep laying down without causing horrendous pain and stiffness in the morning that lasts most of the day. Some days, the pain never ceases, despite strong pain medication. It is impossible to function!

I have been sleeping, for more than a year, in a reclining chair, the stuff of which is breaking down, especially on the footrest, where it is now no more than a plank with a thin layer of fabric over it. I've tied a pillow to it. Said pillow is struggling mightily to escape and needs to be regularly wrangled back into place.

An electric bed with a special mattress and the ability to place me into a position that will let me sleep and wake without severe pain will cost about $5,000. A sturdy recliner, where I spend most of my day, is another $1,000.

In addition, while I have an electric scooter that gives me more independent mobility, my car is not able to carry it. The car is too small, for one thing, and it is more than 20 years old and regularly falling apart anyway. I need to buy a small SUV on which I can have a carrier installed for the electric scooter.

Contrary to the rumours that some people INSIST upon spreading, "the government" does not pay for any of these necessities. Medicare doesn't cover it. There is NO ASSISTANCE for these things. I have researched.

While I am no longer able to work at an actual job, I do have some skills that I hope to turn into enough cash to purchase these items that will assist in making me more independent.

First of all, I am writing a novel. Like most writers, I have more than one in the hopper, but I'm concentrating on finishing one, with the hope that some income may be obtained thereby.

Secondly, I am a professional genealogist with more than 30 years' experience. My specialty is the research for and construction of family trees of Americans whose family roots began in this country at the previous turn of the century.

I am also an artist and will be producing some paintings.

Currently, I have a supply of earrings made from high quality gemstones, sterling silver and pewter elements, which I made. These can be seen on my Facebook page in a publicly visible album located HERE.

I also crochet lace chapel veils and baby blankets. (See pictures of lace, below.)

Finally, I am SELLING the cherrywood colored bedroom suite. (The mattress is a pillow top that has been hermetically sealed against all critters and dust since I bought it about 3 years ago.) Two BEAUTIFUL, carved bedside tables are included, as well as a 5-tiered, cherry colored, Victorian style corner plant stand (or knick knack stand, or books). (See the pictures, below.)

If you are interested in engaging me as a genealogist, purchasing some earrings or crocheted lace, or buying the bedroom set, I would very much like to EARN donations, rather than just be given money. I do not refuse donations, of course, but in the current political environment in which the poor are often accused of faking illness or "working the system", it seems more straightforward to sell hard goods and services, rather than ask for donations for a disabled grandma.

Please contact me by submitting a comment. I will receive notice by email, and your comment will not be published.

You may use the DONATION button for a straight donation or for genealogy services or the purchase of earrings or crocheted items, according to what you request vis a vis your comment.

I look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime:

God bless us all!

Silver Rose

BEDROOM SUITE: 5 pieces, wood and mattress. Used no more than 1 year. Mattress sealed in dust mite proof cover for the entire time it has been in the house. $1,000 - complete.

Lace baptismal blanket, one of a kind, $125 each
(new - not used.)

EARRINGS: $18 to $36 - 
See Facebook album by clicking HERE

Saturday, June 17, 2017


With the writing of this blog, I had hoped to share the beauty of the contemplative life with those similarly inclined, as well as to devote a few posts to my humble little ministry of advocating on behalf of other grandmas and grandpas who, in their golden years, find themselves sick, poor and alone. I had wanted to counter the mean-spirited urban myths about the poor that are currently circulating in social media and other arenas (like The White House!), and I aimed to bring to light some lesser-known saints against whose lives we can compare our own.

The process of writing, and everything pertaining thereto, has been remarkably time consuming. Meanwhile, my congenital illnesses have intensified to the point that the time it takes to accomplish the mundane tasks of life have grown to an extent that my prayer life, the primary focus of my religious vocation, has begun to be infringed upon. I cannot afford to hire an attendant to assist me, therefore the blog had to be put aside.

I have come to the precipice of this decision several times before, but because hope springs eternal, and because I am a natural writer, I kept falling back into writing the blog. I really have to stop myself now.

I have retired most of what I wrote, with the exception of those topics for which I did a lot of research and others of possible interest.

Because many items are needed to address my growing physical problems, however, I have to keep the DONATION button active on this page, so that gifts may be given by friends. Recently, my rolling walker was stolen, and it had to be replaced. I also needed some special eyeglasses for my extremely compromised vision. [It is expected that one day I will be blind from macular degeneration and other problems.] A few friends and their friends got together and helped provide some of these important medical aids. The next project is an electric bed, so that I may stop sleeping in my recliner.

In the not so distant past, religious persons like hermits and anchoresses were supported spiritually by the church hierarchy, and physically by the townspeople, who would come to the window of the anchoress, or the entrance to the cave of the hermit, and bring food and other necessaries. It was understood at that time that the prayers of the person who had been set aside for God had great value to society at large as well as to the individuals who relied upon the advice of those who had been called by the Lord to live with Him alone. I have a regular retirement income, but it is too small to fund the medical equipment and supplies that I need which are not paid for by Medicare. A little help is required, When friends and well-wishers have difficulty getting to me in person, the DONATE button is convenient.

The many scandals that have come to light in recent years have shattered the trust that society once had for the Catholic Church, and Catholics, in general. First, we had the pedophilia scandals, and recently we have learned of "drug fueled homosexual orgies" inside the Vatican. A monsignor was arrested, but it was clear that his activities would not have been able to occur if higher-ups were not condoning it, ignoring it, or assisting it! So many vows have been violated in this most recent story, I hardly know where to start.

Vows of "poverty, chastity and obedience" are very basic. Keeping the vow of chastity, in particular, is the bedrock of religious life. There are other, much more challenging, and deeper aspects of spiritual life once chastity has been conquered. Chastity is just the beginning. Every Catholic is expected to practice chastity, to get a grip on the basest of the animal instinct, but this is the religious principle that is most ignored by most the people, both vowed and laity.

If the higher-ups in the Catholic world are having "drug fueled homosexual orgies," how could anyone trust me to be who I say I am, other than those who know me well? I am nothing and no one. I do not have any status or title. How could I expect to be assisted by good Christian people when the entire Catholic Church has such a bad reputation at present, and there are so many scammers active in our society?

Because of the growing secularization of our culture, it has become common for monastic institutions to rely upon the work of their hands in order to support themselves financially. Physical work, in particular, allows one to work and pray at the same time, whereas more intellectual pursuits, like writing a blog, takes up more brain matter than is wise, particularly if time for prayer has grown short, due to the necessity of attending to medical issues.

Instead of writing the blog, I will be making arts and crafts items for sale. I do not know yet where I will sell these things, since I am mostly housebound due to disabilities, but I will wait until I have accumulated a good stock, and deal with the marketing issues later. Being of an artistic nature, I am not very good at sales. Anyone with experience who would like to assist me, I would be most grateful. (By "assisting," I mean actual assistance, rather than telling me what to do. I have far too much unsolicited advice, at present.)

I am painting small religious paintings and will make the frames myself. Additionally, I will produce fine rosaries and chaplets. My crocheted chapel veils and lace baptismal blankets are very beautiful. "Stocking stuffers," such as hair ties made by knitting over elastics, lace book markers, and religious jewelry such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces will be made.

While I am painting, crocheting, or bending silver wire, I pray. Sometimes I interiorly recite the Jesus prayer ("Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a poor sinner") and sometimes the Ave Maria. Sometimes I remain in the company of the Lord, in the manner of Brother Lawrence, who said that he was as close to God amongst his pots and pans as within the cloister, where the monks were chanting the Divine Office.

A notice will be published on this page when my art works are available online.

I will continue to pray for all of you. I will be available for correspondence, if you leave a comment on this post. This blog is set up to intercept comments before they are published, so I will receive your message and respond to you, without publishing your communication.

The blog has been a joy to write, at times. I would like to thank the few people who responded to it, and I apologize to regular readers, who may miss it. While it did not produce the response that I would have liked, I have no worry. This is how the Lord leads me. He shows me what He wants me to do by blocking all avenues to anything else! It is a great blessing.

May you all have peace. May the Lord cause his light to shine down upon you.

Silver Rose
(c) Copyright 2017
All rights reserved.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HIRE A HERMIT (update)

"Hermitage" garden feature on 
an English Country Estate

I recently learned that, in the 18th century, wealthy European landowners would frequently build a model "hermitage" as a garden feature on their extensive land holdings.  They would then hire a man to play the part of a hermit, but they had to give him his pay at the end of the year, and it was often a goodly sum, because it was so hard to keep a good hermit on one's land!

According to Wikipedia, Saint Francis of Paola may have been the first such "ornamental hermit" when he chose to live in a secluded cave on his father's property in the 15th century.  His parents were extremely pious people, however, and Saint Francis of Paola (named after St. Francis of Assisi) had shown sincere religious inclinations prior to the time he spent as a hermit in that cave.  Perhaps his sojourn there sparked the imagination of some nobleman who was charmed at the idea of a hermit on one's land and who didn't happen to have a religious son, so he hired someone to act the part!

I wonder how the actor playing the hermit would feel about this "job" and if any of them were suddenly struck with a real desire to adopt the hermit life?  Whose idea was it to create this fantasy on their land for the amusement of visitors?

Aristocrats spent quite a lot of money to accomplish this charade, and I can't help feeling a bit wistful that, instead of supporting a real hermit or two, these people were spending a huge amount of money on a Disneyland sort of re-creation.  If THAT doesn't say something profound about human nature, and how we value an entertaining fantasy over a substantial reality, I don't know what would.

For more information about this phenomena, check out Charlotte Brentwood's Blog, from whence I obtained the awesome picture, above.

There are varying degrees and types of hermits, from the fake hermits of the 1700's in England, who looked and behaved genuinely the part but were, from all accounts, spiritually bankrupt, to the modern day hermit living in a city apartment who appears to be quite normal and ordinary to the casual eye, but whose daily life centers around a profound prayer life in the company of the Lord.

As they say, "looks can be deceiving," and one never knows what someone is about until you dig a bit and see.

Many of us modern women wish to follow in the footsteps of the hermits of old insofar as our lives are meant to center around God, we live a retired solitary life to the best degree possible, and we eschew most entertainments. This is another reason why the fake "hermit" of the 1700's is so ironic, because his life is completely about entertainment, though not for himself.  His sole function is to charm and entertain the guests of the lord of the manor and to act the part of a religious.

Carmelite nun in her hermitage cell

I am fascinated with other independent hermits and how they manage to maintain their tranquility in a life that is not supported by any structure or organization.  How do they remain other-worldly while staying very much in the world?  Any hermits out there who would like to respond, please do.  I would love to hear from you.

Carmelite nuns of the Byzantine Catholic Rite

While I would have loved to have become part of a contemplative order like the Carthusians, I came to the faith much too late to adjust my life path in that direction. Clearly, God intends that I travel alone with Him, otherwise He would have seen to it that I was introduced to Christianity much earlier, and my health would have been good enough to withstand the rigors of The Rule of Life that each order maintains.

Carthusian nun

The form that my monastic "schedule" takes is still under construction, so to speak.  I imagined a robust schedule of formal prayers, but I am unable to do them, since my disabilities continue to worsen over time. I pray to be cured of my illnesses to the extent necessary to enable me to sit through mass, but my prayers have left me wanting. Still, I remind myself that nothing happens in this world without God directly willing it or at least ALLOWING it. I remind myself constantly that I need to adjust my desires to those of the Lord, which is why the Vedantists say that it is best not to HAVE any desires to begin with, so that one will not be yearning or disappointed.

Rather than "desires," I rather think I have a greater number of inspirations. The Lord has gifted me with numerous creative talents, and I use these as instruments of prayer, to the best of my ability. Painting of religious subjects, writing, making crocheted works of art, and other artistic ventures give me a concentrated space of time in which to keep the hands busy while I pray. I used to give away a lot of these things, but I have become so poor that I now find I must try to sell them, if I can, in order to buy medical supplies and other things required for my health.

I hate having to labor for myself. I had wanted to be saintly and, like Saint Rose of Lima, make beautiful works of art for the sake of other people. The disabilities and the cost of addressing them, have put a monkey wrench into that desire. I am going blind and need three separate types of eyeglasses to accommodate my visual disabilities. I need walkers to deal with mobility problems and special food to prevent allergic and asthma attacks that could kill me. The list goes on and on. Frankly, it is infuriating. It is also the method by which the Lord is humbling me, so I must thank Him.

Living Room prayer corner

Bedroom prayer corner

Although I am unable to live according to my aspirations, my life is somewhat more austere than most American's lives. I don't smoke, drink or take drugs. My entertainments are few. I haven't gone to a movie theater in more than 20 years. I do not travel. I do not eat in restaurants, except for the rare occasion when a friend will treat me. I don't attend parties. I don't play video games. Obviously, I do not date and have not done so for more than 20 years, having given up romance when I gave myself to the Lord.

I HAVE spent a lot of time writing this blog, which I am phasing out. It was originally started at the urging of a friend who imagined that I could supplement my income with it, but I have since learned that the only way one makes money is to "monetize" it with ugly advertisements for worldly goods. In addition to marring the beauty of the layout, the advertisements slow down the ability of the user to read the page. The many hours I have spent writing my posts are not recompensed, and if I am going to work at something, it needs to generate an income of some sort.

Sunflower I grew in a large pot outside my apartment

Some aspects of my life are hermit-like. I am nowhere near any of the stores that carry the supplies I need, so I have to order almost everything online and, while I do live in the heart of the city, I am fortunate that I can spy a bit of greenery and wildlife on the other side of the fence from the apartment complex.

Recently, I found some rose bushes on sale at a local hardware store and placed them in pots outside my living room window, very near a statue of the blessed virgin that I got for free (long story.) The arrangement gives the impression of a meditation garden, but the apartment is far too noisy and too open to foot traffic to operate as such. During the day, there is the constant flow of people going to and from the pool. At night, the sizable homeless community prowls about, looking for items to steal. Recently, my rolling walker was stolen from right in front of my apartment door. I heard them taking it but was not fast enough to catch them in the act. Apparently, they were prepared and had brought some kind of vehicle into which they tossed it.

Nonetheless, I am grateful to have a glimpse of garden outside my window, and I can pretend that I am living in a real hermit's cottage.

In the ditch, we have hawks, beavers, skunks, racoons, ground squirrels, herons, egrets, sandhill cranes, Canadian geese, wood ducks, mallards, owls, diamond back water snakes, bats, hummingbirds and a wretched infestation of June bugs that, for some reason, come to my front door to die every year.  Sweeping them from the door is a daily chore that makes me sad for them.  If they are still alive, they cling to my broom and make a type of hissing sound, poor things.  Still, I enjoy the many critters. Their presence contributes to the atmosphere.

Hawk on my back fence

While I am unsuited to the rigors of any established convent, I do my best to create my own convent atmosphere and habits, to the degree I am able.  At times, I am sad that my disabilities make me unacceptable for convent life and too poor to create a spiritual retreat on my own. I had hoped to be of some use in the world, but my entire life has been one long, stressful effort to simply survive, an effort which has become harder and harder, as the chronic illnesses worsen.

Compounding the difficulty is the lack of compassion in our government and among our Christian people. I am poor and unable to get basic needs met because I am too sick to work, but society would have us believe that I am poor because I have some character defect. It is a perverted point of view, and certainly not in step with our Lord Jesus, but the love of money has ALWAYS been a source of great evil. Those who love money usually hate people.

In my younger years, though ill with inherited things since my early 20's, I never imagined I would have difficulty supporting myself in my old age. I was supposed to have inherited a goodly amount from my father, who always promised it, but after he was stricken with Alzheimer's, a disreputable person had me written out of my father's will through an attorney who did not know him and had no clue that he had lost his mind. Alzheimer's patients can appear to be quite normal to other people, especially in the earlier stages. I tried to challenge it, but was surprised at the extent to which people will go for the sake of filthy lucre - how many lies they will tell, and just how long "the long con" can stretch, over time.

Well, if the Lord wanted my struggle to end, he would not have allowed all of this. I bow my head to his will and offer it all up as my penance. I do not wear a hair shirt, but I suffer enough without it. It has been valuable in many ways, especially in the formation of my consciousness and resolve to remain in the monastic state, regardless of its difficulties. I still pray for a religious patron to help support my spiritual life and the prayers that support the world, though! I have not given up hope for that. If God wills it, he or she will come, but I have the feeling that the patron will not appear until and unless I become more perfect in my vocation.

Artists and religious people have always needed the help and support of patrons. Even the fake "ornamental" hermits have had their patrons. That is another sort of vocation, that of patron or philanthropist.

Me - sitting with the swami (in the back ground)
 when I was in the Hindu convent

One of the issues that needs to be resolved is the issue of POSSESSIONS. Ideally, a monastic life is very spare, but a disabled person requires all sorts of physical aides in order to function in a minimal sense. It can really clutter the environment (especially in combination with art projects!) The disabilities make housecleaning extremely difficult, which also disturbs the atmosphere. In addition, it takes so much longer to actually DO the housework than it ever did before! It has become my full-time job, even though it is never really done.

When I was in the Hindu convent, prior to my conversion, I had far fewer possessions that belonged to me personally, but much more comfort and security than I have now.  Buying the furniture and other accoutrements that contribute to a restful atmosphere used to be someone else's job, and now it falls to me, along with everything else.

Gone are the days when I could live and sleep on the floor like a real acetic or hermit.  My aging body has rebelled against my former austerities.  These days, when I get down on the floor, I cannot get up by myself.  An electric bed and a recliner have become mandatory.  I cannot afford the electric bed, however, so have slept in my recliner for the last couple years or so.

My apartment is probably less believable as a hermit's cottage from outside appearances, but somewhat more authentic than the perfect looking hermit in the garden cottage on that big estate in England.

In any case, I am doing the best I can, between God's grace, my own efforts, and the occasional assistance of a Catholic friends.  I wouldn't mind if someone were to pay me to be a hermit, though, like that 18th century garden hermit - or at least to provide me a proper place to live!  Unlike the decorative garden hermit, I would actually be praying and devoting all my actions to God.  So far, there are no takers on that idea!

Until a religious patron appears, I will attempt to be more like Brother Lawrence. He was considered unfit to be either a priest or a choir monk. The choir monks were the high class monks who sang the beautiful Gregorian chants. Brother Lawrence was relegated to the kitchen where, among his pots and pans, he thought about the Lord all day, thus transforming his menial work into a glorious prayer.

I will take the example of Brother Lawrence and, no matter what form my monastic life takes, I gratefully offer it to the Lord, in reparation for my sins and the sins of the whole world.

God bless us all

Silver Rose Parnell
(c) 2015
All rights reserved


Ornamental Hermits of Eccentric Modern England

Before the Garden Gnome, the Ornamental Hermit: a Real Person Paid to Dress Like a Druid

The Hermit in the Garden: From Imperial Rome to the Garden Gnome - by Gordon Campbell - AMAZON Link for purchase

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Consumer Price Index upon which Social Security cost of living adjustments are based, actually deals with the spending patterns of younger WORKING individuals who buy high ticket items like cars, fancy telephones, electronics, etc.

Low income, older seniors, however, spend most of their money on rent, food, and utilities, therefore, our cost of living increases do not come anywhere near to addressing our ACTUAL cost of living.

Consequently, every year, we get poorer and poorer. Therefore, the longer one remains on Social Security, i.e., the longer you live, the further down the socio-economic ladder you descend.

This is not just a little bit true, this is true by a large amount. Let me give you an example:

This year, my cost of living increase is $5.10 a month. Yep. Five dollars and ten cents a month. That's $61.20 a year.

My COSTS, however, such as rent, medical insurance, medical co-pays, car insurance, utilities, are increasing by $515.10 this year, AT A MINIMUM, since I have no way of knowing how much food costs will increase. This means that I am "in the hole" a further $453.90 this year, at minimum.

This has been going on for twelve (12) years.

This is why I am frantically trying to figure out how to increase the income into my household. I'm always talking about it. How could I NOT? I am drowning in this dishonest, rigged system, despite having worked and paid taxes for more than 30 years.

Why should you care? Because some day, you could be in my position.

Of course, my situation is much worse than many women, who are better off, thanks to the incomes of their husbands and the help of their children and extended family. I don't have ANY of that.

Thanks be to God, I was gifted with many many talents, and I have faith that the Lord will help me to survive with those. It is almost as if He is FORCING me to use those gifts, so I am writing, painting, crocheting my little fingers off, hoping to keep myself afloat and not end up homeless. I also am a professional genealogy researcher, but no one wants to pay the fees. They want me to give them everything for free. I don't do that any more.

JUST IN CASE you have need of genealogy research, and you would like me to make you a nice little tree, you can order my services online at this link:


JUST IN CASE you would like to help me survive, I have several Amazon wish lists where I have included all sorts of items I need to maintain myself and my little creative outlets. Here are the links:






Really, I'm not expecting much, as far as anyone else ordering from my lists, but I like to have them in a handy spot for my own reference.

I remember when I became disabled, the Swami told me, "Poverty makes you lose your virtue." I think it may be partially true, as it certainly has dragged my attention away from the Lord.

Being disabled is really the problem. I had wanted to just gracefully float through my final years, offering it all up and praying to the Lord through whatever came my way, but, you know, it is just not that simple. It is a mighty struggle.

The best I can do, I think, is ASPIRE to the consciousness of Brother Lawrence who, amid the pots and pans, prayed to the Lord while he scrubbed the dirty dishes.

I am sure, on some level, that the humility that disability and poverty bring, are very good for me. I feel like I am just groveling in the dirt, trying to create a living out of it. It's all good. It MUST be good, because God brings ALL things to the good for those that believe in Him. Amen.

God bless us all.

Silver Rose

Tuesday, May 9, 2017



Some people in America justify cuts to social programs by claiming that individuals and churches will take up the slack. They claim that no one should be "forced" to help the poor through the payment of taxes, and that it should be done by free will.

These people ignore the historical reality of what really happened the last time we left it up to the churches.

Watch Victorian Slum House on PBS and take a look at the horrific conditions in which these people had to live and toil.

In this case, it is in England. The "cast" are not actors, but British people whose ancestors lived in the slums during the Victorian era. It is a reality show with a tremendous amount of educational opportunity for young and old alike.

It isn't the jolliest thing you could watch on television, but I find myself riveted by it.

It may just touch the stony hearts of Americans with a "sink or swim" or "dog eat dog" vision of the world.

Check it out.

Silver Rose

Monday, May 8, 2017


Living room prayer corner

I've written several times how important it is to have at least one prayer corner in one's house, where one can be quiet and spend time with the Lord, pray and bring all things to Him. I've taken some photos of my prayer corners, and I thought you might enjoy seeing them. I have a somewhat fussy style...a Victorian, shabby chic, East/West meld in the living room...and a more sober set-up in the bedroom. are some photos.

Our Lady of Fatima
Statue I got in honor of the 100 year
anniversary of the apparitions
(The rose is from my potted garden!)

The icon, to the above-right of Our Lady of Fatima, is Saint Olga Equal to the Apostles, a great grandmother ancestor of some degree of mine.

The rose from the potted garden

My ancestor, Saint Anna of Novgorod

Many prayer corners are MUCH more streamlined and sedate. One doesn't have to have a plethora of icons. I just happened to collect a lot of them when I was attending a Byzantine Church. The Ukrainian pastor did not approve of the commercially made icons. He did not think they were "real" icons, and he put all of them on sale at a steep price cut because of it, and also because we had a huge stock and nothing was selling.

I was the happy recipient of much of it, spending far less than I normally would have spent.

It makes me very happy to be surrounded by pictures of the holy ones.

Have a blessed day.

Silver Rose Parnell