Friday, November 24, 2017

They call today “Black Friday” in the commercial world. It is the day that stores allegedly begin their push to sell you stuff for Christmas. So today stores all over the country will have ridiculous sales on certain items like televisions and other electronics. People literally set up tents, sometime for three or four days in advance so they can be the first person in line and be sure to save $200.00 on that item that they didn’t need in the first place. I’m not sure why they call it “Black Friday” unless it refers to the black hearts and greedy nasty attitudes of the people pushing and shoving and fighting over items in a store. People have been assaulted, knocked down, trampled, and a few have even died. There was a picture in the paper during the last one of these days of a grandmother pulling a gun on another shopper who was fighting her for a certain toy. What??? Was she really going to kill a complete stranger over a toy??? And yet, —- I hear people say that “it puts them in the Christmas spirit”. In my personal opinion, if that kind of chaos is what it takes to put you in the Christmas spirit —- you have already missed the entire meaning of Christmas.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here at home with Julie and Jim. The food was typical Ms. Kate wonderful and we ate our fill. Ms. kate made slightly smaller amounts of each item so while it looks like we pigged out because there weren’t many left-overs, we each only had a plate full. Jules didn’t even finish her plate but set it aside and had the rest of it for supper. I went back for more oyster dressing and turkey gravy for supper. Ms. Kate had made a pumpkin chiffon cake for dessert and we each only had one slice of that. So, no over -indulgence here and we aren’t still suffering from over stuffed tummies today. The only downer for the day was when Ms. Kate grabbed hold of a pan that I had just taken out of the oven. She had even warned me to be sure and use a hot pad because that pan was going to be extremely hot. But —- in her haste and a momentary mental slip, she wrapped her hand around that handle and has several burned spots on her hand. She says it is still very tender today and I have no doubt it is.

Julie and Jim will be heading out before too long I reckon. They are starting to pack thing up slowly because if the dogs get wind of it they will start being a pain in the butt with their barking and jumping around. Ms. Kate has been gathering up some of her craft paper to send home with Julie. She  has shelves and shelves of it that she has bought over the last decade and since she has stopped scrapbooking and started making cards, she uses a different kind of paper. So, she’s sending a bunch of it home with Julie to give to Julie’s friend.

I’ll bet there will be a lot of Christmas trees put up today. There was a time that we would start putting up our Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. But that was when Ms. Kate had me putting up seven trees. These days we put one up simply because that is all we have room for. I don’t know when we will put that one up because we are going to be gone on vacation for awhile. It hardly seems worth the effort to drag that heaavt trees and all of the stuff that goes with it up from the basement, only to have it up for a couple of weeks and then haul it all back down again.

Time to drop off for today and get some other stuff taken care of. I hope your weekend is full of joy and peace. Shalomn.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. I hope your day is as full of blessings as mine will be. Ms. Kate has the turkey in the roaster, the sweet potatoes are chopped and are par-boiling, the regular potatoes are cut up and ready to cook at the right time. The brussel sprouts are cut and ready to cook, the carrots are chopped and ready to cook (have you ever seen purple carrots?), my oyster dressing is in the oven and so is the dressing for everybody else. And Ms. kate made a pumpkin chiffon cake yesterday. Yep, —- we be ready to play pilgrim and feast down. Of course there will be a lot of leftovers and I predict a pot of turkey noodle soup will be in the making in the next couple of days.

It sure isn’t hard to look around me and see things that I am thankful for. The hard part is to talk about them with humility and not sound “braggy”. But I just feel so very blessed. I’ve had the opportunity to be in contact with all of our girls this morning, and Jim and Julie are here spending their holiday with us. I’ve heard from cousins and friends with well wishes today through the Facebook media. I have a home, I’m warm on a day that started out at 32 degrees. Yes, I’d take a little of the 90 degrees that Heather has at her house in California, but with a high today predicted to be 48 degrees, that is a more typical Thanksgiving for us. I didn’t have to go over a river or through a woods to be with family. And although Ms. Kate and I weren’t in the same location —- this is our 55th Thanksgiving together. For every blessing I am experiencing today, I give God all the credit and glory.

My prayer this morning go for those people who don’t have homes today and I pray that they find someplace to have a family meal. The storms and natural disasters this year have deprived so many of homes and of course there are the folks who tend to be homeless through other means and situations. I lift them today with the confidence that God will look after them and bring them comfort. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to be on the street and looking through garbage cans for something to eat or a place to get out of the weather.

I suspect that there may be something I can help Ms. Kate out with in the kitchen so I’m closing today with hopes for a day full of God’s peace around the world. Imagine a day where there would be zero violence anywhere in the world. I think that place was called Eden. Blessings!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Twenty nine degrees this morning! And — there is a stiff breeze blowing. I guess the good news is that it is blowing the dried leaves off of my gutters so I won’t have to get up there to do it. But, —- 29 degrees and a stiff breeze will keep you out of the yard in a bikini. I’ve had four squirrels out in the back yard and they kind of wrap their tails around them in an effort to keep warm. So far this morning I haven’t had but a couple of finches and small downy woodpeckers. I filled the sunflower seed feeders again yesterday. I’ll need to go to Pet Food Center and pick up another 80# of sunflower seed today. The can is almost three fourths empty. Hopefully they will have it on sale for “Black Friday” already. We got a flyer in the mail but I haven’t looked at it yet.

The sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining brightly. However, with absolutely no leaves on the trees and the grass being brown — it looks cold The hydrangea plants still have leaves hanging on them but they are frost bitten droopy. I’ll need to go ahead and cut them back one of these days. My firebush trees have now turned a nice red now that the cold weather has arrived and the sun can get to them without being blocked by the leaves from the poplar and maple trees. God’s world has an order and routine to it and not much changes in the routine. It reminds me that God is the same way; always present, never changing, consistent and reliable. I take a great deal of comfort in knowing that.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. I think that means I need to take the turkey out of the refrigerator today to let it complete the thawing process and begin to get to room temperature. I’ll have to ask Ms. Kate. I watched several of the TV Chefs tell me all of that but that was days ago. The memory is never that good when I’m only half listening in the first place. I did uncover and bring up the turkey roaster pan form the storage room. I had forgotten how big it really is. I think the best plan will to be to plug it in on my work bench out in the garage. Of course, that means I may have to actually clean my work bench off. I’ll never find my stuff again, LOL

Julie and the pups came down yesterday so “X” amount of chaos has ensued. The pups are a constant in and out, especially the young one. But, we feel so blessed that Julie and Jim have moved from the Boston area where they lived for over twenty years and now live just over an hour away. I would prefer that all of my kiddos lived that close but they are all happy with where they do live and have very successful lives in their current locations. And, —- with the technology of Facebook Messenger, we talk every day. It is possible that we talk more often than many familes that all live around each other.

I may or may not write tomorrow so I wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving. No matter what your daily situation is, you have much to be thankful for. The fact that you are able to read this means that you have an education and can read. You are living in a country where you are free from oppression. You have eyesight, you are probably in your own warm home, you have people who care about you including me, and you have God who is watching over you and is offering you peace and salvation and eternal life. All of those blessings working together just while you are reading my simple blog. You and I are so very blessed. Take time to be thankful for it. Peace.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cardinals, junkos, finches, a couple of starlings, and two squirrels round out my guest list this morning at the back yard buffet. Yesterday I went to Wild Birds and Things to get some thistle seed for the finches. They had been coming to the empty thistle feeder for a couple of days so I thought I better get some more and fill the feeder. So far today, —- they haven’t touched it. Howz that for gratitude?? While I was there I saw some really neat bird houses and I asked about them. The owner said they were for wrens and were made out of mango trees that no longer produced fruit. I have several wrens around here most of the year so I may have to invest the $50.00 and see what happens. I’ve had a wren hopping around on the patio most of the morning. It comes right to the door and looks in. It is cute as it can be.

I did get out in the years yesterday and I raked the back yard, cleaning up the Cyprus needles and twigs and leaves and those sharp little seed from the tulip poplar trees. My large compost bin is about to overflow now. The winter of rain and snow and decay will whittle that down to next to nothing by spring. I haven’t used out of it for several years so there should be some really good dirt under there by now. I also have a heavy duty black plastic composting bin that I use. I’ve gotten several wheelbarrow loads of good rich dirt out of there and put on my garden over the years.

Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the blue jay has announced hi presence and has come in for a meal at the buffet. The good news is that the starlings take off when he comes in. They have had some “sharp-beak” battles out here and the starlings lose.

God has indeed turned up the thermostat and it is now fifty degrees outside and gong up to 58. I have promised myself that I will finally get those darned four-o’clocks dug up and maybe even that azalea cut back that I have been saying I need to do for two months. The wind is a bit brisk but I will be on the east side of the house and should be blocked from a good deal of it. I just need to get it done. My neighbor on the north side of the house has this huge Bradford Pear tree that is blessing my front yard with it leaves so I will run the mower over that too.  I’m a little sore from yesterday’s raking but today will help with that.

I hope you have time to stop and look at the world around you today. While you are in a pause mode, give God thanks and praise for the bucket load of blessing that you have been showered with today. If you are having a tough day, hold out your hand and let God guide you though the rough spot. God knows what path you are supposed to be on, because God laid it out for you. Peace.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My guests at the buffet are all looking “puffed up” this morning as they try to stay warm on this thirty two degree morning. Thankfully the sun is bright today without any cloud cover and the winds that we have been having over the weekend have subsided. There is a glaze of ice on the unseated bird bath so the heated one is having plenty of visitation. I’ll need to put some fresh water in both of them  today. They have had a lot of leaves and seeds in them making the water look yucky although the birds and the squirrels don’t seem to mind. After all —- they do drink out of mud puddles alongside the road.

The storms this weekend ceertainly stripped the last of the leaves from the neighbor’s maple trees. I need to take my leaf blower out and blow off my sidewalk and patio again. The wind also filled my yard with little cypress twigs and needles from Ms. Margaret’s tree. I hate that tree. It is huge and it is never a pretty tree. Every year I end up cleaning up all of the stuff that blows off of it. If I don’t clean it up then it clings to Julie’s dog’s fur when they come and run in the yard. Then they carry it in the house. So, I guess I’ll get the JD back out of the shed, or maybe I’ll throw on my coat and go rake the stuff up. It will take a little longer but it will be good exercise. But I need to do it today because they are coming over tomorrow.

The worship service and sermon went well yesterday and appears to have been well received. Pastor Art and his wife got home from Alabama last evening, but I was glad to have a chance to preach again.

This is Thanksgiving week. I took the bird out of the freezer yesterday and put it in the refrigerator to start the thawing process for a Thursday cooking. Ms. Kate bought a turkey roaster about fourteen years ago and we have never used it. It was one of those deals when it was “the thing” to buy at the time. We’re going to get it out of the basement and use it this year and see how well it works. The thing takes up a lot of counter space though and counter space is a premium item in our kitchen.

I have a yard full of cardinals again today. What a great way to start off a Thanksgiving week. Most of them have dulled their colors but there are a couple of them that still have really bright red feathers. As I have said before, when the sun hits them, it just brightens up the entire yard. So, I give thanks to God this morning for that beautiful vision. I hope your week is full of good things. If you are traveling, travel safely And —- take time to be truly grateful for the blessings that God is sending you every day. Peace.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Happy end of the work-week to you! This is the day that people are anxious to have come to a close so they can get on to the weekend. I was once told, and it bears some amount of merit, that when a person is making a major purchase such as a n appliance or a car that they should ask what day the item came off of the assembly line. If it came off the line on a Monday or a Friday, don’t buy it because workers are more distracted on those two days and pay less attention to their job. There is also more absenteeism on those two days so people unfamiliar with the task end up filling in. Having worked on assembly lines in my past, I’d say there is some validity to the argument. —- Wow! That was a real “Seinfeld moment” about nothing wasn’t it??

Blustery and thirty nine degrees this morning; good November weather. It is supposed to go up to fifty four or so today but unless the sun comes out, it will still feel pretty chilly out there. Yesterday I went out and dug out the okra plants and go rid of those. I would have worked longer but I got chilled out there. Normally I don’t get cold to speak of but my hands do. The gloves I have aren’t built really for cold. They are just good leather work gloves. I may have to do a little bit of shopping for something warmer. The problem I find is that when I get warmer gloves, they are thicker and harder to do things with. But, if the temperature does go up today I want to go out and finally get the four o’clocks pulled up. I still haven’t done that and they really look ugly out there in front of the house. And, if it doesn’t warm up —- I may just have to quit being a wuss! We are due for some storms tomorrow so today needs to be the day to get some stuff done.

But —- before I do anything outside today, Ms. Kate and I are meeting Bob & Brenda & Karen at St. Joe Inn for Mushrooms and beer and lunch. It has been Three weeks or so and it is time for our monthly gathering with good food and good conversation.

I look around at the feeders and see that I have a job to do out there too. It appears that most of the feeders are empty. Last night Ms. Kate and I each had a bowl of popcorn for an evening snack. She didn’t finish hers so I threw it out the back door figuring that the birds would clean it up pretty quick today. Well, — the birds never got to see it. I was sitting in the sunporch around midnight listening to music and there at the back door was a fat possum just eating popcorn like it had paid for it. I just watched it and didn’t dother it. I don’t mind having a possum around here. They eat all kinds of things that we don’t want around here including mosquitos and voles and other bugs. And, they are so dang ugly that they are almost cute.

Time to get the jacket on and head out for “Schrooms & Beer.” I pray you will have a most wonderful Friday. Peace.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What is up with this gloomy and cloudy day?? The weather dud said sunny and a litle warmer today but that doesn’t look very promising. It is currently 35 degrees out there. Not that my buffet friends seem to mind very much. My guests this morning include  a lot of finches and sparrows, three or four cardinals at the moment, a couple of wood peckers and of course, a couple of squirrels. At least the fuzzy tailed rats aren’t over running the place like they did yesterday. I don’t know what was up with the squirrel convention in my yard yesterday.

I think today, if the ground dries out just a bit more, I may run my lawn mower over my back yard one last time and then put it in the shed, and pull the battery for the winter. Actually I have a cover for it so I may just pull them battery and leave it covered. I can barely get the thing in my shed. I could rearrange my garage and drive it around and put both John Deere’s in the garage but —— then there would be a death in the family and it would be mine because Ms. Kate would shoot me. You know how people say “You got another think coming”? Well, I better use my other “think” about this situation.

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week from today. Ms. Kate has the turkey bought and it is in the freezer. I’ll probably take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator on Tuesday so it can start thawing. I guess it will just be Ms. Kate and me and Julie and Jim for the Thanksgiving meal. I just sent an invitation out to Karen but she may be having all of her family over. We’ll see what happens. I have no idea what else Ms. Kate will want to fix. I always count on her to make at least a small bowl of oyster dressing, which means I need to make sure I can get some fresh oysters. I do love that. I’m not much on cranberry sauce of any kind. But, I have no doubt there will be mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, rolls, corn, maybe some green bean casserole, and maybe an apple pie. Ms. Kate is the best cook I know which accounts for the sixty pounds I have gained in the last fifty one years.

I think that is about it for today my friends. Have a wonderful Thursday. Try to make it your best day of the week so far. Then come on back for Friday and the beginning of your weekend. Peace.