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Collecting My Thoughts





Updated: 2017-09-20T09:54:09.066-04:00

 



The Impact of Islam on Christianity

2017-09-20T09:54:09.378-04:00

Since the 7th century, the enslavement, rape, forced conversions and mass murder of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Greeks, Africans, Europeans, Persians, Jews, Turks, Egyptians--all in the Golden Age we hear so much about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxLa-5gy9pY

1400 years of Islamic history. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uj8J62BqRMo by J. K Sheindlin.

“There are 1.2 billion Muslims in the world today. Of course not all of them are radicals. The majority of them are peaceful people. The radicals are estimated to be between 15-25%, according to all intelligence services around the world. That leaves 75% of them - peaceful people. But when you look at 15-25% of the world Muslim population, you're looking at 180 million to 300 million people dedicated to the destruction of Western civilization."



Courageous Trump at the UN

2017-09-19T16:06:25.680-04:00

"I think it's safe to say, in the entire history of the United Nations, there has never been a more straightforward criticism of the behavior, the unacceptable behavior of other member states," [John] Bolton said.

In addition, he said Trump's critiques of the nuclear deal revealed the White House would not tolerate "half-measures and compromises" that allowed Iran and North Korea to progress to the verge of having deliverable nuclear weapons.

He also praised Trump's line, which was met with near silence at first, that the collapsing regime in Venezuela was an example of socialism being successfully implemented.

"There are a lot of people in the UN. who have never heard anything like that from an American president," Bolton said. "I think this was an outstanding speech, and I think it will serve the president very well."

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/bolton-trumps-u-n-speech-the-best-of-his-presidency/

"In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech," [Benjamin] Netanyahu tweeted. "President Trump spoke the truth about the great dangers facing our world and issued a powerful call to confront them in order to ensure the future of humanity."

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/netanyahu-praises-trumps-u-n-address/



Georgia Tech student shot by police

2017-09-19T05:34:48.732-04:00

I was wrong when I said there are no riots when whites are shot by police. The media do not identify Scout's race as they always do when a black man is shot, nor are they identifying (with pronouns) his gender, since he was an LGBTQ leader confused and unhappy in his body which is probably why he was asking to be shot while approaching police with a knife. And the rioters are not students--they are equal opportunity mobsters. Students were having a peaceful memorial, at least to an interview I watched.

I've read four accounts from NYT to ABC to Fox--all are extremely careful how they identify him-- "Scout," "student" and "LGBTQ activist." I've chosen the male pronoun because he was either a man trying to be a woman, so his DNA tells the story, or he was a woman trying to be a man and was using testosterone, which has been shown to be at the root of most violent and risk taking behaviors regardless of whether it is natural or injected.



Monday Memories--my ablation and hospitalization

2017-09-19T05:43:28.291-04:00


From a letter. "I had my ablation (AV node reentry slow pathway) on January 18th [2002].  Then while I was wearing a Holter monitor on the 29-30th, it picked up some serious a-fib again (this was my fault for doing too much while we were moving to our condo and having the house closing).  Apparently the pulmonary veins don’t know the ship has left the dock and they continue to do what they’ve always done.  So it was back to the hospital for 3 days to be put on Rythmol. It sure is good to be out of the hospital!  The doctor didn't make rounds until about noon, so I didn't get out until about 1:30 Friday. I had lunch there--it was pretty good, a vegetable lasagna.

I only got 2 hours sleep each night.  The woman in my room was on some sort of machine suctioning fluids and gurgling--sounded like a creek running through the room.  A long time smoker, she had emphysema and an aneurysm. Plus, because her surgery was so serious, there were always medical staff trooping in and out, and when they weren't testing her, they seemed to be taking my blood pressure or temperature or giving me medication, but not all at once, just spacing it out so I couldn't sleep. Anyone who can survive in a hospital must be pretty darn healthy. I felt sorry for this woman's daughters though. They had flown in from different states, and would sleep in the lounge and then come in and try to watch her. They were exhausted, and of course, it is pretty boring just sitting. And they frequently had to alert the nursing staff to problems, so I think it is very important that family be around when there is surgery recovery.

My first morning there, about 5 a.m., I was watching two male staff, one teaching and one learning, drop off our medication.  They unlocked the two boxes for 4007 for bed A (Bruce) and bed B (her name), and I heard the one tell the other “this is for Bruce,” and he pulled out box B, looked at the name, and put mine in it, thus mixing up our medication.  The learner was definitely old enough to need glasses and he had a white pony tail hanging from his almost bald head. So when the RN came in I told her.  She went over and unlocked the boxes, looked at the names, and switched them.  The next morning, I noticed he was wearing glasses.

Holly brought in dinner Thursday night to the hospital, and all the stuff for a manicure (a huge bag of colors to choose from) and gave me a nice relaxing manicure. So that evening I had Bob, Lindsey, Holly, and Mark and Phoebe at my bedside, but only one chair. Phoebe brought me tapioca from the Chef-o-Nette which is located in our old neighborhood.  Either the manicure or the tapioca could be a special gift to anyone in the hospital.  Holly has artificial nails, but knows how to do it. Phil stopped in on Thursday and Friday morning and brought me Caribou coffee from my favorite coffee shop."



Little Golden Books

2017-09-18T14:47:58.678-04:00

Yesterday I received a “Little Golden Book,” EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED FROM A LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK. It’s adorable AND Printed in China. Little Golden Books were part of Western Publishing which bought Kable Printing in 1957, a firm in the town where I grew up, Mt. Morris, IL. The town provided a nice living for many and printed, published and supplied magazines and serials for the world, especially in agriculture. It's struggling now. Although eventually, changing technology would have downsized it, Kables was ruined by a union strike in Mt. Morris in 1974. Western was purchased by Mattel in 1979 and possibly another 4 times that I know of before the permanent closing of the plant we continued to call Kables a few years ago. Now the town has a retirement home as the largest employer, no elementary or high school, and a community arts program to bring in visitors. It should be Trump country. Its story is repeated all over mid-America.

http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/western-publishing-group-inc-history/

https://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com/2010/12/story-of-kables-and-mt-morris-timeline.html
A humorous "guide to life" for grown-ups! One day, Diane Muldrow, a longtime editor of the iconic Little Golden Books, realized that, despite their whimsical appearance, there was hardly a real-life situation that hadn't been covered in the more than 70-year-old line of children's books—from managing money, to the importance of exercise, to finding contentment in the simplest things. In this age of debt, depression, and diabetes, could we adults use a refresher course in the gentle lessons from these adorable books, she wondered—a "Little Golden guide to life"? Yes, we could! Muldrow's humorous yet practical tips for getting the most out of life ("Don't forget to enjoy your wedding!" "Be a hugger." "Sweatpants are bad for morale."), drawn from more than 60 stories, are paired with delightful images from these best-loved children's books of all time—among them The Poky Little Puppy, Pantaloon, Mister Dog, Nurse Nancy, We Help Mommy, Five Pennies to Spend, and The Little Red Hen. The Golden greats of children's illustration are represented here as well: Richard Scarry, Garth Williams, Eloise Wilkin, J. P. Miller, and Mary Blair, among many others. Sure to bring memories and a smile, this book is a perfect gift for baby boomers, recent grads, lovers of children's literature—or anyone who cherishes the sturdy little books with the shiny cardboard covers and gold foil spines! (Good Reads)








The kitchen sink protest

2017-09-17T19:42:54.718-04:00

“Angeles Maldonado, a professor at Arizona State University, gave her Global Politics of Human Rights class the option of completing a group project or taking a final exam.

Her students opted for the project, and the 20 students in Maldonado’s class decided that their final project would be a protest against President Trump’s policies.” Breitbart News

Just protesting the wall wasn’t enough—after both Clinton and Obama had voted for it as senators, so they also included  LGBT rights, women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, and the prison system.  And the kitchen sink.




What really happened—Wall St. Journal

2017-09-17T19:40:22.662-04:00

"The Democratic Party saddled itself with an ethically compromised and joyless candidate, because it had nobody else. Hillary spent eight years planning her first presidential bid, and the next eight warning Democrats not to get in the way of her second. The Clinton Foundation was erected to serve as bank and Rolodex, and to enable the Clintons to retain their grip over the party. And that party was committed to a Clinton coronation, right up to Mr. Sanders’s cheeky assault.

Mr. Obama aided Mrs. Clinton’s ambitions by decimating his party. By the time Barack Obama finished his eight years in office, his party held 65 fewer House seats, 14 fewer governorships and controlled 30 fewer state legislatures. It had turned a once-filibuster-proof Senate majority into minority status. The big-tent Democratic coalition shriveled to a coastal, progressive minority, wiping out a generation of Democratic politicians and most of the party’s political diversity." Kimberley A. Strassel, Sept. 15



Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

2017-09-17T08:38:44.185-04:00

Another beautiful story by Carol Shaw Johnson whose granddaughter Lily is being treated for cancer after 5 years in remission."Today is September 17th – the 17th day of Childhood Cancer Awareness month. Today I want to honor Matthew LaRocca. Matt’s journey with childhood cancer began in November of 2009 when he was 11 years old and in the fifth grade. His family was living in Florida, and his parents took him in for an MRI to confirm a sinus infection. Instead, the doctor looked at Matt and said, “Buddy, you have a pretty big brain tumor in there.” The LaRoccas’ lives changed forever in that moment. The tumor was over 5 cm, and the doctors thought it had been there from birth. That would’ve explained some minor issues Matt had dealt with for years for which they never had answers. Matt had brain surgery on November 16, 2009, but the surgeon was only able to remove a small piece of the tumor for a biopsy. The tumor was a Ganglioglioma and it was benign. However, it was growing and it was located on Matt’s brain stem, and that made it very dangerous. The brain stem controls major bodily functions such as breathing and heart rate. Amazingly, Matt returned to school within a week of surgery. Matt’s parents, Dean and Kim, left no stone unturned as they sought out the best treatment for Matt. They sent Matt’s records and scans to doctors throughout the country to get opinions to help them determine what to do. Matt was started on a chemo regimen to hopefully shrink the tumor. Meantime, the family realized that they couldn’t make the journey alone. In addition to Matt, they had an older son, Jordan (15 at the time), a daughter, Alyssa (14 at the time), and then Ryan, age 5, who was the youngest of the 4 siblings. Since so much of their extended family lived in Nashville, they decided to move back home to Tennessee. There, they would not only have a large support system of friends and family, but they’d have Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital as well. Once they were back in Nashville, Matt continued his chemo while Dean and Kim continued their search for Matt’s best treatment options. Matt had varied interests. One thing that Matt enjoyed was cooking. He had the idea that he would start making and selling snickerdoodles, 7-layer bars and “crazy croutons.” He named his made-from-scratch goodies “Miracle Matt’s Munchies.” He often took treats for the nurses and other patients when he went to clinic, and they looked forward to his homemade yummies. Matt even had a cookbook printed that was sold to help raise money for his treatment. I was happy that I was able to buy one. Kim wrote: “ He loved to bake for the very people that would stick him with needles, administer chemo, and make him do such odd facial gestures for neuro checks. He took his cooking seriously and did it all with such joy, passion, and love. I sometimes would wonder how such a young man could be so giving in spite of such a frustrating plight. But He pushed himself in everything he did. He kept up with school as best he could, read with his little brother, and offered to help bring the groceries in from the car when it was all he could do just to walk on his own.”Matt had a great sense of humor, and he applied that humor to his brain tumor! His family started a website: http://www.braintumorhumor.com. Matt loved seeing the looks on people’s faces when he wore one of his t-shirts with a funny quote or saying about brain tumors. He felt it was a way to break the ice when people didn’t know what to say to someone going through such a difficult experience. Leave it to Matt to find humor in even the direst circumstances. Matt also loved Legos. They were a signature interest for him. He enjoyed putting together Lego kits and creating designs with them. It was good therapy, both emotionally and physically. One day Matt said, “Hey mom,[...]



Boycotting Grey's Anatomy and NFL games which I never watched anyway!

2017-09-17T06:07:18.231-04:00


Ellen Pompeo says she doesn't want Trump voters to watch her show, the popular and over rated Grey's Anatomy. She hasn't aged out of any influence on that show (14 seasons and she's almost 50--worth over $30 million), so gen-xers are sticking by her. She also used a lot of profanity in kicking her supporters and fans off the train.  I didn't know the show was still chugging along, since I've only seen it occasionally in reruns. She always looks like an angry frump--plays to type. With her political views, and if she were a real doctor, I'd be terrified to have her near me. So self important. And then there's the NFL millionaire jokers who disrespect the flag and national anthem, a publicity stunt begun by the ungrateful Colin Kaepernick (3 white parents, white Muslim hot girlfriend, bad stats). So darn it, can't even watch football!   Filthy rich people who've never read the Constitution.  What would we do without their telling us what to think and where to go?

When I Googled "Ellen Pompeo wants a boycott" I see she's done this before for other shows she doesn't like usually for presenting ideas that conflict with her personal far left views (why do TV and movie celeb-millionaires who read other people's words for a living have such missionary zeal for Communism?) But by telling Trump voters to not watch her show seems counter productive if she wants a platform.

https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/celebs-stop-polite-start-getting-real-fans-twitter-195857527.html




Friday family photo--the laundry

2017-09-15T12:27:16.081-04:00

(image)
This is the laundry at Lakeside after I decided the dryer was unsafe. Pink, blue and cream are our colors
I've had a lot of jobs in my life time from newspaper carrier to agricultural worker to author to librarian, however for 57 years I've been a housewife. Let me tell you my most exciting laundry story. I've been buying bargain laundry detergent my whole career, but recently bought a small jug of Tide. Hey. It works. My husband does all the hard stuff and gets really dirty. His work jeans look fabulous.



Manning is a pardoned traitor

2017-09-15T12:20:34.591-04:00


Lipstick, hormones and blonde hair does not make a man a woman and a pardon by Obama doesn't make him less a traitor. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2017/09/14/former-cia-directors-shun-harvard-after-the-school-invites-chelsea-manning-to-campus/?

  • "After serving in Iraq since October 2009, Manning was arrested in May 2010 after Adrian Lamo, a computer hacker in the United States, indirectly informed the Army's Criminal Investigation Command that Manning had acknowledged passing classified material to the whistleblower website, WikiLeaks. Manning was ultimately charged with 22 specified offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source, and the most serious of the charges, aiding the enemy. Other charges included violations of the Espionage Act, stealing U.S. government property, charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and charges related to the failure to obey lawful general orders under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Manning entered guilty pleas to 10 of 22 specified offenses in February 2013." (Wikipedia) 
  •  "Among the records Manning has admitted to passing on to WikiLeaks were a video showing a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed 11 men and 750,000 classified documents that contained military and diplomatic dispatches." (NPR) 
  • "Manning placed the lives of at least 900 Afghans aiding U.S. troops at risk by orchestrating the biggest leak in American military history." (Breitbart) And he has the gall to claim discrimination because he's a transwoman. (Twitter)



Margaret Sanger's legacy

2017-09-15T11:40:14.036-04:00

In 2014, a total of 303,844 blacks died in the U.S., but 343,440 black babies were aborted. That's more than all the Africans imported to the colonies as slaves in several centuries--but just one year! But Mrs. Clinton called Sanger her hero, she's honored by numerous organizations as a "first" among womanhood, and we tax payers provide half a billion a year to the organization she founded. The Smithsonian has her statue--which I don't think should be removed, but it needs a plaque dedicated to the millions of children she's help kill. (73abort.com)

(image)



Robert E. Lee statue in Texas

2017-09-15T09:45:48.295-04:00

Robert E. Lee complied with all the requirements for amnesty and restoration of his citizenship in 1865, but his request was never acted upon. Finally, in 1975 President Ford corrected the error of the Andrew Johnson administration.

"In 1975, Lee's full rights of citizenship were posthumously restored by a joint congressional resolution effective June 13, 1865.

At the August 5, 1975, signing ceremony, President Gerald R. Ford acknowledged the discovery of Lee's Oath of Allegiance in the National Archives and remarked:
"General Lee's character has been an example to succeeding generations, making the restoration of his citizenship an event in which every American can take pride." https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2005/spring/piece-lee.html
Now ugly racist elements in our society that wish to destroy the hard fought unity won in the bloodiest war of our history, are demanding not just the removal of Civil War statues, but also founders, poets, musicians, college presidents, etc.

 But these same elements revere statues and the memory of the biggest murderer of all, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood founder. Hillary Clinton claimed her as her hero. Her centennial was celebrated last year.  Our government sends the abattoir she founded half a billion dollars each year. Thirty percent of her victims are blacks. And here's what she thought of immigrants. (A Plan for Peace, Margaret Sanger) was published in Birth Control Review (April 1932, pp. 107-108) https://www.issues4life.org/pdfs/1932_peaceplan_margaretsanger.pdf

Of a population of one hundred million, Sanger considered only about 15% were fit to reproduce.  The others should be sterilized and sent to special concentration camps. Would you be here if your immigrant ancestors would have met the fate she recommended?

 



So, Hillary, why’d you lose the white women?

2017-09-14T16:19:53.896-04:00

1.  Basket of deplorables.

2.  Ferguson and Baltimore.

3.  Women have sons-–fake campus rape charges.

4.  Benghazi.

5.  E-mails.

6.  First amendment.

7.  Second amendment.

8.  Same old , same old.

9.  Entitled.

10. Bathrooms.




0 Comments

2017-09-14T08:28:53.084-04:00

Love me like a Princess had a fund raiser last night, and I saw a photo of my cousin (2x removed, Joy's daughter) on FB at the event.  Not sure, but she may have been modeling for the fund raiser.


 "Love Me Like A Princess© is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We advocate for domestic violence survivors, based in Central, Ohio. Our Program is designed to help survivors take the final steps to reestablish themselves as productive and self-sufficient members of our communities. Our goal is to help those survivors who are willing to help themselves, speed up and complete their healing process. Love Me Like A Princess© workshops, continuing education programs, resources and services are effective, flexible and convenient for all survivors, including those with unique working schedules and special circumstances."






Decline in global poverty is breath taking

2017-09-14T07:49:47.101-04:00


"The global middle class expanded, as real income went up between 70 percent and 80 percent for those around the world who were already earning at or near the global median, including some 200 million Chinese, 90 million Indians and 30 million people each in Indonesia, Egypt and Brazil.

Those in the bottom third of the global income distribution registered real income gains between 40 percent and 70 percent, Milanovic reports. The share of the world’s population living on $1.25 or less per day — what the World Bank defines as “absolute poverty” — fell from 44 percent to 23 percent."


https://www.cato.org/blog/capitalism-global-trade-reduction-poverty-inequality 


The country with the most success in overcoming poverty did not receive foreign aid. Nor did churches and NGOs set up camp there.



Tax reform

2017-09-13T10:25:10.878-04:00


So no wonder Democrats claim ANY reform will benefit the rich. They pay the bulk of the taxes, money that could be invested in businesses, charities, or their children's education which employ millions of people, or on spending and purchasing from other businesses which support workers who do pay taxes.The top 1 percent paid a greater share of individual income taxes (39.5 percent) than the bottom 90 percent combined (29.1 percent).



What if Democrats had supported the 2007 bi-partisan effort?

2017-09-13T09:16:20.580-04:00


But Senator Obama voted against it with other Democrats beholden to big labor interests.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/why-immigration-reform-didnt-happen-in-2007/article/2513987

Here's how Obama excelled in politics. As a senator, he either didn't show up to vote so there would be no record, or he'd vote no if it was something that would benefit the country but not him. As a president, he vetoed everything the Republicans supported on immigration and health care because he couldn't be king if they passed.

In the Illinois legislature, the U.S. Congress and in the WH he supported abortion on demand for any reason, 40% of which are for blacks. I'm not going to guess about his motives on that holocaust. "In the United States, black children are aborted at three times the rate of white children; Hispanic children are aborted at one and a half times the rate. Whatever the intentions of the abortion industry, by functional standards, abortion is a racist institution." (73abort.com)



Miss America contest uses Anti-Trump questions

2017-09-12T19:16:21.043-04:00

The Leftist culture  hated the Miss American contest--ridiculed it--until they found out they could use and manipulate these women as a weapon against President Trump.
 http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/09/11/when-did-miss-america-pageant-turn-into-nasty-woman-protest.html
https://pjmedia.com/video/miss-america-contestants-competed-for-anti-trump-quips/
  • "By presenting an unattainable image of the ideal woman, Miss America not only reinforces noxious gender roles and stereotypes, but also implies that a majority of women have failed at womanhood itself." (2015)
  • "Yet, there's this ridiculous message the pageant peddles: We enjoy judging women on their looks and bodies, and we will set as a body ideal a standard impossible for the vast majority of women on this planet.' (2013)
  • "Can you believe it? They still have Miss America pageants. I thought they went out with Capris and beehives, or at least bangles and roller disco." (2008).
  • "Watching the pageant "is almost the experience one gets when one opens a time capsule," says Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University in New York. "Miss America is in many ways a perfect reflection of a slice of American values as they stood a quarter-century ago."" (1999)



An anniversary celebration--sort of

2017-09-15T05:54:32.775-04:00

Our condo association had its fall picnic Sunday evening on the grounds and I announced that we and our neighbors were celebrating our anniversaries on Monday and Tuesday for a total of 115 years.  We’d gone out on Friday at the Rusty Bucket for dinner together.  When I told the waitress she looked at me strangely, and said, "Anniversary of what?"

But the fun part was we have new residents who had moved in during July, so we’d never met.  He’s the new director of the school of music at OSU. They are from Texas, but natives of Iowa and met in high school (one of the questions on the quiz).  When we’d finished eating and playing our games, a group of men singing OSU stuff like Carmen Ohio and Hand on Sloopy walked up to our group—it was about 1/3 of the men’s glee club.  Wonderful voices. Their director was a friend of our new neighbors and did lots of inside jokes and stories.   It wasn’t for us, and it was all planned, but it sure was fun.

 



A surprise for our anniversary

2017-09-11T09:34:14.064-04:00

I knew my husband attended a one day art class at Lakeside this summer, but hadn't seen the results.  It's a pendant he painted of the Marblehead Lighthouse, with lake, trees, sky and sailboat, and it's an anniversary present.





Monday Memories--Aunt Muriel September 2002

2017-09-11T08:14:57.961-04:00

From a letter.  "Aunt Muriel called twice this month to wish us a Happy Anniversary and also on my birthday.  I said something about my last letter, but she didn’t receive it for two weeks.  I looked back in the computer, and I’d written it Sept. 4.  Even allowing that maybe it sat a day or two, it seems even by pony express it should’ve made it to Illinois by the 11th.  I said to Bob that sometimes I don’t know how she stays so perky.  She no longer has parents, husband or siblings, and most of her contemporaries have passed away. I think she and Mom lived next door to each other for 40 years, and as a teenager she lived with my parents.  I was the one to tell her of the death of her last surviving cousin, making her the only surviving cousin out of 28.  Fortunately Diane and Frank live close by--I think they visit almost every week-end.  She is really wonderful to her mother.  Just a rock."



Ready for Irma

2017-09-11T08:19:04.228-04:00

We have a lot of family in Florida--my sister Carol's children Cindy and Greg and grandchildren, my brother's children, my husband's niece Susie and her children, my cousin Janet, and my husband's cousin Norma Lou and husband. And then there's my friend Jerry and her husband Jim, who use to live in Michigan and vacation in Florida, and now it's the other way around. A few days ago they were driving south as Floridians fled north.  Now they are ready.

 
Carol's granddaughter and great granddaughter waiting out the storm
 



The English Reformation was like Mao’s Cultural Revolution of the 20th century

2017-09-09T14:53:40.467-04:00

Did you ever wonder why the Crawley family of the fictional Downton Abbey TV series lived in an abbey?  “There are many old country houses in the UK called "xxxxx Abbey", due to the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, after which the land and the buildings themselves were sold to the wealthy.”  (Quora) “In Apr 1536, there were over 800 monasteries, abbeys, nunneries and friaries that were home to over 10,000 monks, nuns, friars and canons. By April 1540 there were none left. Much of the property was bought by or granted to landowners; monastery churches were sometimes converted to parish churches, while some buildings, such as Tintern Abbey, were left to ruin.” “One of Eamon Duffy’s key resources [The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580] are the extant last wills and testaments. By collecting the data from wills he was able to trace the changes in English religion that Henry VIII and his officers enforced. Put simply, the wills made by Catholics before Henry VIII’s break with Rome expressed simple belief and enthusiasm for the Catholic faith. In their wills the English provided for Masses to be said for the repose of their souls. They left funds for the maintenance of the church and her services. They left money to build extensions to churches and monasteries, provide for bells, vestments, altar cloths and candles. They provided funding for the poor, left money in their wills for schools and hospitals, and left endowments for colleges and orphanages. In short, the wills are evidence of the health and vigor of the Church in England just before Henry VIII enforced the destruction of English Catholicism. Similarly, the wills after the break with Rome reflect the new understanding of the faith. The old clauses granting funds to the Church and all her good works began to disappear. Being taught that Masses for the repose of their souls were pointless, they stopped providing for them in their wills. Being taught that religious art, vestments, stained-glass windows and statues were vain or idolatrous, they stopped leaving money for such things. They no longer left money for the poor, but left it for their relatives. England in the Middle Ages was referred to as “Mary’s Dowry.” The churches, cathedrals, monasteries, convents, colleges and shrines were wealthy. There was corruption, certainly. Wherever there is a concentration of money and power there is bound to be corruption. But Duffy shows that the state of the monasteries and of religious life in England was robust, dynamic and strong. Henry VIII’s depredations were about more than wanting to marry his mistress and have a male heir. He and his commissioners had also spotted that the monasteries and churches provided rich pickings. The king himself grabbed vast amounts of land for the crown and he awarded his faithful subjects with rich prizes of religious houses and their lands and goods.” Catholic England[...]