It’s always sad and yet predictable when small towns and nonprofits are victims of fraud. And it’s almost always the same story: an understaffed entity with no internal controls. In this case, a small town in the area had $71k stolen through fraud by the clerk-treasurer. (Actually, just read the State Board of Accounts report linked at the bottom of the article. The article itself is not particularly well written.)

My point in posting this is to say that if you are involved with a small nonprofit (which are particularly vulnerable entities), please make sure there are good controls in place. If the same person is recording deposits in the software, making the deposits to the bank, and performing the bank reconciliations, the entity is exposing itself to serious risk. Even with a small staff, there can be separation of duties.

And, of course, fraud can still happen to an entity with good internal controls. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. But some basic, sound procedures would prevent most of what I’ve seen over the years.

Tom Johnson’s repair of this table leg is a joy to watch.

Rhyd Wildermuth:

A garden is a gathering of spirits, of old friends and new, of allies and companions. They are great, thronging crowds of voices whispering, cajoling, and summoning you to the life you summon for them. And when you leave a garden, they come with you, long trains of spirits singing and laughing as you lead them across the earth to their new home.

Old Farmers Almanac:

The exact dates of the Dog Days can vary from source to source, and because they are traditionally tied to the dawn rising of Sirius, they have changed over time. However, most sources agree that the Dog Days occur in mid-to-late summer.

Here at the Old Farmer’s Almanac, we consider the Dog Days to be the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending August 11. These days occur soon after the summer solstice in late June, which also tends to be the beginning of the worst of summer’s heat.

Darcy brought me two prayer cards from the Pisa Cathedral. One is for “Madonna di sotto gli organi” (Madonna under the organs–referring to the location of the painting), which mentions the painting’s escape from the cathedral fire in 1595. The other is for St. Ranieri, patron saint of Pisa.

Translation of the prayer on the back of the Madonna card, via Google Translate:

Virgin Mary,

Mother of God and of every man, who watches over Pisa and protects her, look at us who confidently turn to your maternal intercession.

In your image, which escaped the devastation of fire and is venerated with love by the people of Pisa, you show us Christ your Son as the path that leads to the Father, as the light that shines in the darkness, as the brother and savior of those who seek truth and life. You who trusted God teach us to rely on his will and his providence: in our difficulties, give us strength; in our anguish, increase hope in us; in our sorrows, communicate your joy to us.

May your help and your affection as a Mother support us on the path of the Gospel, because enlightened by Christ, light of the world, we bear witness to it to those we meet on our path and together we give glory to God who lives and reigns forever and ever.


Auto-generated description: The image shows two religious artworks: one depicts the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, both crowned, and the other features a saint-like figure with a dove near their head. Auto-generated description: The image shows two texts side by side, one in Italian and one in English, containing prayers and religious invocations to the Madonna of Pisa and Saint Ranieri.

Darcy is home and we’re all very thankful. The Abels are not a traveling people. Rachel and I already knew this about ourselves but Darcy is discovering it also. She had some good moments but it was mostly a stressful experience for her, for various reasons.

Now having contributed–perhaps unwisely–to election talk, I return to ignoring politics and focusing my attention on what is mine to do: long-distance parenting for the next three days, accounting at the end of the fiscal year, furniture restoration, and enjoying our Limestone Festival.

This, from over a year ago, still pretty much summarizes my outlook on the election. We’re living out the ending of a world; the characters are merely playing their part.

Sad coal mining song from Kathy Mattea. Of course it’s sad. There aren’t any happy coal mining songs.

Good morning.