Monday, October 23, 2017

Welcome to a brand new week. Just think of all of the opportunities, known and unknown, that lie ahead of you this week. Have you checked your calendar yet? Are there little windows of time that maybe you could call an old friend you haven’t seen for awhile and just say “hi”? Do you have a day that maybe you could just spend in reflection or reading a book or maybe even baking some cookies or an apple pie? Life goes on and on and so often we forget to step off of the treadmill and just sit down and rest. That’s part of the reason I love to sit out here in the sunporch every morning and just enjoy the peace and quiet that I find out here. All my critters fly in and I love sitting and watching them and their antics. (Okay, do you now have a mental image of Snow White with a bluebird sitting on her finger?)

It is a cloudy day and we have already reached our temperature high for the day of 55 degrees. There is a breeze too and that will bring the comfort level down. We expect to have showers on and off fo the rest of the day. A cold front has settled in and we are looking at only one day this week where the temperature might go to the upper sixties or maybe even seventy. But, it is late fall after all. Before you know it we’ll be in November.

I’ve only had one or two birds here today; I guess they are out in the fields or eating seed from other plants. Either way, the buffet stands empty this morning. I do have a couple of chickadees out there and I had a woodpecker here for a few minutes.

I did finish up putting the broadcast spreader together and used it Saturday afternoon on the front yard. I plan to use it today on the back yard and finish up spending the fertilizer/winterizer on the lawn. It really works well and I’m glad I bought it, despite how much time I had to take to assemble it.

We had another good church service yesterday. Pastor Art gives a great sermon and he does it with such ease. But then, he has been doing it for several decades. He always stands out between the pulpit and the lectern (Baptist Seminary training) and it looks like he is giving his sermon off the cuff. I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve been one of those guys that stands behind the pulpit and reads from my written sermon. Both methods work, but his style just looks so much more at ease. I wish I could learn to do that.

Tomorrow I have to spend the day in my “Boundary Training”. You know, I could teach that class in about ten minutes max. But we pastors will spend seven hours learning AGAIN how to keep appropriate relationships and keep our hands and other body parts off of members of the congregation  and the staff. We’ll be told again about proper use of social media etc., etc., etc. It is a “CYB” class required by the denomination so that if a pastor does get in trouble, they can’t say they weren’t trained better. So, if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, you know where I’ll be.

I pray your day will go well and I pray your week will be filled with God’s glory and blessings. If you are facing challenges this week, remember where to turn. Challenges go so much better when you have peace of mind. Shalomn

Saturday, October 21, 2017

And a very happy Saturday to you! It is a calm, cloudy 57 degree morning out side. I’m starting to get some guests in for the backyard buffet. One of the local cats was sitting here in the yard for awhile so none of my customers dared come around. But it has now moved on and a few small birds have begun to appear. I haven’t had an abundance of birds this week and my feeders aren’t being depleted very quickly either. I think most of the birds are eating from the fields because harvest is in full swing and in many cases around here, the farmers have already brought the harvest in. I was talking to my buddy Bob yesterday and he said he thought that they had gotten a record harvest. That wold be wonderful if they did. On the other hand a record harvest usually mean the price drops out of the bucket. It is a plain fact; the farmer never wins.

We had another long and busy day yesterday. We began with Ms. Kate’s physical and we both got or flu shots while we were there. By the time her appointment was over, we were both hungry so we went out and had lunch. From there we went to Staples and had my crashed computer checked out and it was as bad as I suspected it would be. So I had them throw it in the recycle bin and bought a new one. The really bad thing is that I have lost every computer file I ever had. I have no backup of anything. So, I now have a brand new 1TB computer that is totally empty of any of my data. I’ll have to build everything from scratch. Oh well, there are worse crisis in life. Luckily, the one document I had on a flash drive is a book that I have started writing and have about forty pages written.

Anyway — I digress, Next I brought Ms. Kate home and I went to Ft. Branch to see Bob. He had called and asked if we could use some rest turnips and of course I said yes. So, I drove the 25 miles up there, visited for a bit and then came back home. I had just set down in my recliner and Staples call and said that my new computer was all set up and ready for pick up. So, I drove out there and got it and on the way home I caled Ms. Kate and told her I was on the way and she met me out in front of the house so we cold go to a birthday dinner at the Log Inn. We got home close to 2100 hours and I got my computer all set up again in my office, and watched a couple of my television shows. We turned out the light about 0130 this morning.

Today I need to finish putting my new broadcast spreader together and get the winterizer weed and seed fertilizer put down in the yard. Stuff to do, stuff to do. But, you know; — as hectic and worrisome as the last ten or eleven days have been, we still woke up every morning with a life full and overflowing with the blessing of Almighty God. We didn’t get up with a home destroyed by weather. We didn’t get up having lost a loved one. We didn’t get up facing some terminal illness except for getting older each day. We woke up looking at each other with the expectation that we will go to bed tonight doing the same thing. Our life is blessed and I give all praise and all glory to God for those blessings. I hope you will take time to look at your abundance of blessings today and then go to your house of worship and join others who want to share their blessings. God is so good!

Peace.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Good morning to you! Yes , I missed another day on the road to Friday. Yesterday was another one of those crazy days that had lots of activity but seems that I got nothing done. I have been back from vacation now for eleven days and every day has been weird. Much of it has dealt with Ms. Kate. I think I told you that she was really hurting for several days and we thought it might be a pinched nerve in her neck. It turned out to be an arthritis flare up, which she has never experienced before. But we only found that ot after spending a morning in the emergency room. She was scheduled for a colonoscopy for yesterday so that has thrown off not only her diet, but her medications and what she could actually take for the pain. But I’m glad to report that her procedure went well and she got an all clear report from her procedure. However, today she has her physical exam from our family doctor so it is a fasting appointment with no coffee for Ms. Kate morning.

In the mean time, Wednesday afternoon I decided that I needed to get a pull behind broadcast spreader for my John Deere.  I have a Scott’s spreader that I push but it is so flimsy and sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. So I called neighbor Dan and asked him if he wanted to ride along to “man-land”. He said yes , but could we also take his humongous TV to Best Buy for disposal. Sp we loaded that monster in the truck and did that and then went to Lowes. I had researched the spreaders and knew I wanted the John Deere one (actually made by Agri-Fab) and they had it in stock at Lowes. All of the reviews on it said it was difficult to assemble, but that it works well. But, Dan said he would help assemble it hursday afternoon after I got home from taking Ms. Kate for her appointment. Wellllll — that didn’t happen. He busy doing something for his kids until maybe Sunday, so I started on it late yesterday afternoon. The reviewers were right; — it is a bitch to put together. I might get it finished today.

In the meantime, (yes my sad story goes on forever), Wednesday night I was doing some stuff on my desktop computer down in my office and it crashed with hard drive failure. Not, a virus. — just quit. I can’t open it up to retrieve files or anything. It is a 2011 with Windows 7 and I guess I just wore it out. That means of course, I need to go get a new one and spend the time required in setting that up. Fortunately, Heather, and John bought me a Microsoft Suurface Pro in July and I can do most things with that. I even downloaded my printer to it so I can use that. I had the PC partially backed up but had unplugged the external hard drive for some time so I don’t know what is on that. But, I’m going to take the PC to Office Depot and see what can be salvaged and see if they can rip any files from the PC to my external hard drive.

So, I’m glad to see Friday get here. Maybe next week will go better. The good news is that after Ms. Kate’s appointment today, she’ll be done with doctor’s and feeling bad etc. And this morning, I heard my first Pilated woodpecker up in the tree. It has been gone since spring. So, it was a wonderful sound. (See, — God sends little blessing all the time.).

I pray your day is going well. The sun is peaking over my roof now and will soon be lighting up the back yard and moving the temperature from 52 degrees on up to almost 80 today. It is a great day to be alive and a child of God. Enjoy it!  Peace.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It is Wednesday isn’t it? I sometimes lose track of days and just can’t remember. And we have had so many things going on around here since we got back a week ago yesterday, (I think), that I have really lost track. If the trash man picks up my cans in the morning them I’ll know it is Thursday.

Regardless of the day in the week, it is beautiful outside. The temperature has moved up from 49 degrees to 63 degrees by now. That will be the high for today. The sun is shining bright but there is a breeze that will make it feel a little cooler than that. When I eventually get outside, I may stick to wearing my sweatshirt until I see how it feels when I get busy out there.

Neighbor Dan and his wife are home from another trip, this one to Texas. They don’t mind making that trip in one day and it took them fourteen hours. Ms. Kate and I just don’t like to travel like that. I’ll pay for a hotel room and get a good nights sleep and a breakfast, thank you very much. But, the good news is that he brought me back two cases of Lone Star Beer from Texas. I will be very stingy with that beer. I don’t drink much beer when I’m at home. Ms. Kate doesn’t drink and can’t drink because of certain medicines that she takes and I’m not one to just sit and drink. If I have more than two beers a months, it’s unusual. So these two cases will go a long time. I was surprised that he said he had a hard time finding it. Lone Star is officially called “The National Beer of Texas”. But now it is brewed by the Pabst company in California. It’s a sad story when you can’t find Lone Star Beer in Texas. LOL

Ms. Kate’s neck pain is getting better and better. She is on Extra Strength Tylenol through today but has to not take any more until after her colonoscopy tomorrow. So she has that to contend with yet today and tonight. Bless her heart, — it has been a rough week for her.

I guess I beettter get out of this chair and into my work clothes and get out in the yard. I got side tracked with talking to Dan for almost an hour so I’m really running late. I hope where ever you are is as beautiful as it is here today. If so, I hope that you have time to get out and enjoy it and feel the warmth of the sunshine that God is putting on your face. Take time to give God praise today and to pray for your fellowman. Peace.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Let’s start off the day with the great news. Ms. Kate is feeling lots and lots better today. She had a good night’s sleep in the bed instead of in a recliner or a straight back chair like she has tried unsuccessfully to do the previous two nights. So, I must begin my day with giving God praise for providing His healing touch by providing doctor’s and nurses who knew how to treat her. I must also give a shout out to Deaconess Hospital emergency room personnel who were very caring in taking care of her.

We are in day two of a week of promised beautiful weather. The sun is shining brightly with no clouds to filter through. Although, we have reached a point in the year when bright sun will not always equal warm days. I think though today it is supposed to get to about seventy degrees which is perfect fall weather and the cool nights will bring on the color to the leaves before they come floating down to the ground for me to rake up. I stayed in the house yesterday after we got home from the ER just in case Ms. Kate needed something. Today I’m going to go out to the yard and get some work done. Lord knows, there is plenty to be done.

It would appear that my buffet guests have also added to my list of things to be done today. I see several feeders out there that have fairly depleted. I had to laugh though this morning at a blackbird that was trying to get some of the bark butter. This particular feeder is about eighteen inches long and hangs horizontally with four holes drilled out on the bottom to put the bark butter in. It is designed for the woodpeckers to eat from because they have no problem clinging to and eating from the bottom of branches etc. The feeder is hanging from a double hook iron pole with a baffle on it to keep the raccoons and squirrels from climbing it. The top of the baffles sits about two feet below the horizontal feeder. The blackbird saw that there was food up there but can’t cling to the feeder. So it would sit on the baffle and try to jump up and flutter long enough to grab a beak full of food. It was literally wearing itself out trying to snatch some of that food. Finally it just gave up and went over and ate some sunflower seed. It reminded me of times that I have tried to reach something that was just out of my range and no matter how hard I might try to jump up and get it, my only achievement is a little exercise.

California firefighters are slowly gaining on the horrible fires that have so far taken forty one lives and destroyed an untold number of homes leaving hundreds of people with nothing to return to. I pray they can finally get these fires put out and people can return and start rebuilding their lives. I wold ask you to join me in prayer today for all of the victims of the fires and hurricanes and floods who are still without homes or power or water or food. I’d also ask you to remember that while we so often ask God to take care of them, remember that God relies on us to be the instrument of His peace and to be the hands that do the work.

Take advantage of this beautiful day. Share some love with someone whether you know them or not. Peace.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Monday! I hope your week has started off better than ours around here. This morning first thing I had to take Ms. Kate to the emergency room for the pain in her neck and spine. She has been in a lot of pain since Friday but has tried to tough it out. I tried to get her to go to the ER yesterday but she was having none of it. But after her second night of not being able to sleep, she gave in. (Dang stubborn German.) It turns out that what we both thought was a pinched nerve was actually a severe arthritis flare up in her neck. It is the first time that she has had anything like this. Well they gave her pain medication and nausea medicine. However, while the pain has subsided she has been throwing up ever since they gave her the meds. I have her home now and she is finally sleeping peacefully. But bless her little stubborn heart, she could have avoided a night of pain if she had let me take her to the ER yesterday like I asked to. Unfortunately the arthritis runs in her father’s side of the family and our daughter Julie really has it bad with Rhumatoid Arthritis and goes through these horrible flare ups frequently. The stubbornness however—- that is from her mom’s side of the family. LOL

So, I attended my 55th year high school reunion on Saturday night. It was everything I expected it to be; mundane  meaningless conversation, faces I no longer recognized, edible (I didn’t say good) food, and a too long and boring program. I don’t know why I give in to going to those things. I had several people ask me if I was going but I didn’t get to sit with any of them. Remind me in five years to say “no”.

Yesterday was Homecoming Sunday at our church and it was very well attended. There were people there that have since moved on to other churches and people that just haven’t attended for one reason or another. The church was about three quarters full. The new organist played beautifully, the choir sounded wonderful, and the guest pastor gave a geat sermon. He had been pastor of our church for eighteen years. The meal was typical “church carry-in” which you know mean “yummmm!” Ms.. Kate wasn’t up to going or fixing a vegetable for me to take for the meal so I fixed up a pot of green beans with ham pieces and a little opinion soup mixed in. There was one helping left when I brought it home and Ms. Kate had that for her only meal of the day.

That’s it for today my friends. Please say a prayer for Ms. Kate. We need her to get to feeling better. Until next time, stay in touch with God; I promise you that God is staying in touch with you. Peace.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bright sunshine is flowing in through the windows of my sunporch this morning. It has already warmed the atmosphere and it is going to be a beautiful day. A little later I’ll be outside trimming back the peonies that I never got around to earlier. That is an end of September job but we were out playing with the buffalo and peonies were not on my radar of things to do. I also need to mow the front yard and drive around over the dang mole trails that are going through my front yard. I‘Ve had a mole once in a while in the past but this year this guys seems to really be aggressive and I have runs all over the yard. It is quite frustrating.

As I sit here having my coffee and listening to an Andre Reiu CD there are maybe six cardinals out there at the buffet with their bright feathers glistening in the sun. What a wonderful sight.  I’ve had the full range of my normal guests out here this morning. They come in and grab a bite or two and then they fly out into the fire bushes or trees for cover; then they come back in for another bite or two. It is just so enjoyable to watch.

Tonight is my 55th year high school reunion. It hardly seems possible that it has been that long but then, Ms. Kate and I have been together that long, conting our four years of dating. I wrote on my Facebook page that when I was a kid in high school, I had a five piece band and we would play for high school reunions etc and laugh at all of those “old farts” out there dancing. Now we have joined the Old Fart ranks. I know we have lost a lot of our class over the years and I suspect before we see a sixtieth, we will have lost a lot more. Life does go on and death is part of the rotation. I haven’t attended very many of the reunions. The first few are typically so obnoxiously boring with everybody trying to impress with their success. Then we were gone away from home and in the military for 32 of those years. But, by now most are retired and “what we were — is no longer what we are.” Now adays, I think we get together to compare medical plans and prescriptions. I’ve never been big on reunions because frankly I didn’t have that many friends in high school. I had a lot of acquaintances and people who knew me because of my music, but I never had any what they call today a BFF. And — while I can talk a lot, I’m not really very good at holding a conversation beyond the mundane. So, we’ll go tonight and we’ll hold some polite chatter, and leave early. Boy, that all makes me sound like a real “Dickie Downer” doesn’t it?  I reckon it’s why I love the solitude of my sunporch and the peace of life just basically being Ms. Kate and me. And frankly, there is nothing wrong with being all alone in a crowd and just enjoying watching and studying the people around you.

So, it is time to get off my chair and accomplish something today. I pray your weekend will be full of God’s peace. Shalomn.