Saturday, May 30, 2015

A cup of coffee and a bright sunny Saturday morning is a great way to start the day. But it is a noisy morning for a Saturday. The neighbors were out using their riding lawnmower at 0700 for the second day in a row. There were kids playing and yelling in the yard on the other side of the house, and at 0800 my generator kicked on for the weekly test. So what the heck?

The hydrangeas are really putting on a lot of blooms this year. I had cut them way back last fall and winter so I wasn't for sure how they would do. We had heard two versions of how to care for them. One said to leave them alone and just let the new blooms push the old blooms off. The other said its fine to cut them way back. I needed to get some fence around them to hold them up so I went ahead and cut them back to about eight inches and they are doing great.

We went to my sister in law's house yesterday and her flower beds are beautiful as always. She works in them constantly and adds mulch and good additives to the soil. A weed doesn't stand a chance in her flowerbeds. I guess that is why they moved to my beds. But, I think I'll go see if I can actually work in mine this morning. There is a good breeze blowing this morning so it shouldn't be too hot, as long as it isn't too muddy. I'll also put on some mosquito spray just in case they want a fresh meal.

It is a good spiritual morning out here in the sun porch. I have a Gaither album playing on my IPad, I've read my Max Lucado morning devotional, and I'm surrounded by God's natural beautiful world all around me. The Cardinals are literally glistening in the sunshine and my baby bunnies are hoping around the sidewalk without a care in the world. How can I feel anything but blessed? How can do anything but offer prayers of gratitude? So, as part of my prayers today I'll pray that your day is as blessed as mine is. God is good, all the time!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Here it is --- payday; for those of you who get a gift from the eagle on a Friday. Those of us on the "retired roles" are once a month people. We are the fixed income group that you hear seniors talk about. I've always figured most people were pretty much on a fixed income. If you work for a salary then you are on a fixed income.

Its a mostly cloudy morning and I'm sitting here waiting for our contractor that installed our generator to show up for the final inspection. I doubt he will be late because he will also want his check. I'm happy with the installation and the product, but then we've not had a power outage to use it either. Now that I have spent seven grand we'll probably never lose power again. And --- that's okay too.

I broke down and bought this new IPAD Air 2 yesterday and this is my first time to blog with it. I'm learning my way around it and it's functions and capabilities. So far, so good. I'll figure out my likes and likes and my needs and don't need. Ms. Kate has a keyboard for hers that Julie bought her but she's not using it because it makes it too heavy for her. Assuming I can find it, I will try it on this one.

I have several downy woodpeckers on the feeders this morning, mainly on the suet blocks. By now the bark butter feeders a totally stripped. I need to fill those today again. I'm just not certain what else is on the schedule for today. It looks and feels like it could rain any minute so we will just have to play the day as it happens. I need to check with Ms. Kate and see what might be on her agenda.

My baby bunny was back looking in on me again. I'm hoping it will stay at the door long enough for me to snap a picture of it now that I have this tablet. My Nook doesn't have a camera in it and I could never get a picture of my little buddy.

My contractor has come and gone, and my coffee cup is empty so I need to get busy. As I look out the doors of the sun porch the sun is shining brightly on that beautiful red knockout rose and once again reminding me of God's never ending glory. If I had nothing else in the world for which to be thankful for today, I would be thankful for that. But I have so very many blessings that I am simply overwhelmed. Take a minute or two today and give God praise for your blessings too.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Thursday! We almost have another work week done and we almost have the fifth month of the year done. June is just three days away.

My morning officially started with a blessing. As I came out to the sunporch there were two baby bunnies out here on the patio playing chase and hide and seek in and out of the phlox. They would chase one another around and hop over and at one another. It was a sweet thing to watch. And, it was just another example of the micr-gifts we are given from God to remind us what an amazing world God has created.

We got part of our things done yesterday but not all. But the closets and underwear drawers are refilled as are the pantries. The yards are mowed except for the back one. But the front yard looks good and Dan's yard is done. I'll knock out my back yard this morning. It only takes me about twenty minutes. We have an investment guy coming today just to go over the investment thing that I've had for years. I haven't talked to any of them in years and have now reached the age of mandatory withdraw. I hope he doesn't plan one trying to start me in anything new because there is no new news on my financial front There won't be anything new coming. I'm glad we decided to do our little bit of investment back when I was a young Air Force Captain. It hasn't done anything great but it is better than nothing.

This afternoon we will head up to the churches and get things ready for Sunday.
Then I need to go by the nursing homes. I also have a load of stuff for Goodwill donations that I need to drop off. So, we have enough to do today.

I was reading a Facebook entry/update from a lady that is on our prayer list at the churches. I don't know her personally, a friend of hers asked that we put her on or prayer list.  She has cancer and her fight for life is amazing as she chronicles her progress and lack there of. Her mantra is "Just keep swimming" from the Finding Nemo movie. Her blogs or updates are truly inspiring because while she admits to the pain and sickness she feels, she is upbeat and grateful to God for each and every day. Her writing reminds me of our Julie's blogs and the book she wrote called "An Attitude of Gratitude". Positive people are just flat out inspirational people. They may not recognize it as such, but it is their ministry to the world. I think that happens because regardless of their situation, God uses them to bring hope to the rest of us. You know, it is easy to be positive when life is good and you have your health and wealth. But the person who can identify their abundance of blessings as they deal with daily pain or disability or even the reality of a terminal illness: --- those people are God's messengers of hope. I'm a fairly positive person and try to pass that positivity on; but I'm also living a comfortable life. I pray that if my situation changes, that I will never stop looking for and being grateful for the blessings in my life. I pray that I will never forget that God is good; all the time.

I pray your day will be filled with peace.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Good morning on this beautiful Wednesday morning. It is 70° and mostly sunny outside. The birds are singing, the squirrels are chittering, and my baby bunny is once again peerng in the bottom of the glass door. A few days just like it is now would be ideal. I've Been watching the news about all of the weather destruction in the Texas and Oklahoma area. It is so sad to hear of all the deaths and damage. I can't even imagine the fear of the families involved as that river rose 26' in an hour and swept homes with families in them away. I personally believe that much of this major change in weather patterns is a result of global warming and that unfortunately, we humans are to blame for that. But, like I said,  that is just my opinion. We have been very blessed in this area to have been spared that kind of destruction.

There Is a lot on the plate for the next couple of days. There is laundry to do, yards to mow, bulletins at the church to run, visitation at the nursing homes to do, and Ms. Kate has a shopping list. Oh, and yes, I probably should finish one or two of the sermons I'm working on. Standing in front of the congregations on a Smnday morning and simply saying; "Y'all be good, and love one another and Jesus!" might be memorable, --- but probably not appreciated by everyone.

So, it happened once again. I had my blog done for the day and went to publish it, and I was no longer connected to the internet. It obviously had not been for awhile because it had not saved the last four paragraphs and I lost them. I don't understand how I can be sitting ten feet from a fully working modem and router and lose the internet. Grrrrr! It totally ticks me off. Ms. Kate blames Time Warner Cable because we too frequently have other problems with internet connection and cable. Me, I don't know. My Nook does enough freaky things like inserting phrases that I don't type and changing font on its own, and jumping off of the net that I'm convinced that it is either a playful poltergiest or time to buy an IPad. If I have a poltergiest, it was "87 years old" when the person died because that is the phrase that frequently inserts itself in my posts. And --- an 87 year old poltergiest is cheaper than a new tablet of any kind.

Well I sat here long enough for a rain shower to roll in with dark clouds and thunder, and then rollon out and the sky is blue again. It rained just enough to makes the grass wet. But, the rain didn't get the sidewalk wet under the trees. So, it won't take long to dry.

It is time for me to get out of my chair and get this day moving. I hope your day is full if the Holy Spirit and blessing totally surround you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It is a Tuesday afternoon and 78°, windy and sunny. The ground is too wet to get any yard work done. The electritians are here to finish the install of the generator and have been since 0800 this morning. They keep switching the eletricity on and off so I'm down from working on the computer. So, --- I'm back to the sunporch, watching my birds and decided to do a blog entry since I hadn't gotten to it earlier.

Ms. Kate and I took advantage of not having a computer and finally got to the very important business of writing and sending out the after funeral "thank you " card for donations to the memorial fund and for the various flowers and plants. It was one of those things that we just hadn't done yet. Unfortunately, Ms. Kate has been working frantically to make all of the cards to send out, having forgotten that I had picked up a bunch of provided ones from the funeral home. Bless her heart, she's been working for days to get them made. I had no idea that was what she was working on. So, we used all of the provided ones and only had to use a few of hers. She will have enough thank you cards to last a long time.

Our weather forecast predicted rain and thunderstorms for most of the day. So far though we have not had any. It wouldn't hurt my feelings any if we were missed by the storms. We need a good dry-out period. The grass in one of the flowerbeds has gotten so bad that the iris in that bed aren't going to do anything, or if they do, we will hardly be able to see them. But, pulling up clumps of mud doesn't help a thing.

Our knockout roses back here just couldn't get any prettier. They are covered with red rose blooms that absolutely glisten in the sun. The two new ones we got from the church for my mother's funeral are doing okay. One is certainly doing better than the other. But, I think they will be fine. I'm waiting on the lilies to really put on.

So, the birds and critters benefitted from the electritians being here. Since I can't work on the computer, I went on out and filled all of the feeders. We have happy birds and squirrels again. They can quit staring in at me. I did my job. There is a squirrel out there in the pussy willow tree that is driving itself nuts trying to figure iut how to eat out of the three feeders that hang there. It can reach one of the feeders fairly easily but it really has to hang on to the branch  with just its back feet while it stretches way out to the feeder to retrieve a single sunflower seed.j One thing for sure, you can't challenge their determination.

A day like this just can't be experienced without being grateful to God. Even though I read my morning devotional, sitting here and looking at my surroundings just gives me peace of mind and a sense of humilty. How great our God is and how marvelous His creation. I hope you have a chance to enjoy some of it today.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Somewhere out there close a squirrel is raising a fuss about something or someone. I'm not sure but it sounds like another squirrel war is about to break out in the trees around the yard. They are entertaining to watch as they chase one another through the tree tops and through the yards and over my roof. For a couple of days it has sounded like a herd of horses running back and forth across my roof and I have broken ends of branches laying around my yard from them jumping from branch to branch  breaking off tips of branches in the process. They may look cute but squirrels are highly territorial, vicious little boogers and are nothing more than a fuzzy tailed rat.

Today is Memorial Day; a day dedicated to honoring those who have died while fighting for our country and the freedom's they gave their lives to preserve and protect. There will be an Honor Guard ceremony at each of my churches cemetery. That routine will happen at cemeteries and memorials all around the nation. It is a proper tribute to our fallen heroes.

Memorial Day is also the "offical start" to summer. Were I still a military commander, I would have given my required summer safety briefing last Friday before the start of the three day weekend. Its funny, the things one remembers; I could give that briefing today in my sleep. It is raining today which will dampen many picnics and
Qalso make the roads more unsafe as people over estimate their abilities and under estimate their blood alcohol level. My prayer this morning is for safe passage for all.

Our Pentecost Sunday services went well. The choir at St. Lucas did a really nice job of singing their anthem. Now they will have the summer off and we won't have choir practice until probably the last week of August. We will begin our summer worship schedule on the 7th of June. That will be three months of combined worship services, alternating location each Sunday between the two churches. I am trying to line up some people to play musical solos or sing solos or duets as something special for music at our summer services. While I am getting resistance, --- no one has actually said "no" to me yet. God gives people so much talent and ability and yet they hold back the display of that ability because they are afraid they "aren't good enough" or they are embarassed. I have the same problem generating a list of people to be the liturgist on Sunday. At St. Paul's I have two ladies who alternate doing it and at St. Lucas, I have only three or four who will do it. It's just reading out loud: I don't come close to understanding the problem. But, I'm grateful for those who serve. I think it truly enhances the service when others join in and participate.

I lift up both Ms. Kate and oldest daughter Julie this morning in my prayers. Both are having health issues that I pray will pass quickly. I also lift up prayers of gratitude once again for my life that is overwhelmed with blessings. God has granted me peace and a loving wife, and three wonderful daughters whom we love dearly. I ask for patience and guidance in dealing with other issues and people in my life. I also pray that you will have a blessed day. Yesterday we celebrated the Holy Spirit. I urge you to allow that Spirit to guide your life. God is good, --- all the time.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I don't see it but I hear it. I can hear the drops of rain from an obviously light sprinkle hitting the roof of the sunporch. That was not on the agenda for today. Hopefully it won't amount to anything.

So, what to do with this three day weekend and specifically, what to do with my Saturday? There are a whole lot of thngs that need doing for sure. I think though, I may make an attempt at cleaning out my garage. I'm at a point continually that I can never find anything when I need it. It gets really frustrating. The biggest problem is that I have stuff that I will never use and don't want to get rid of in case I need it. Does that have a familiar ring to it for you? And, I don't have any wall space at all. It's a mess. The closing up of my mother's apartment and Ms. Kate's aunt's apartment hasn't helped a thing either. I had a lot of extra space when I sold my convertable, and filled it up with "stuff".

There is an adult starling out there on a pussywillow branch chipping away at the suet block and feeding its two youngsters. See, that's how they learn that my yard is the place to be. It becomes a never ending cycle. In one day the squirrels have emptied two large sunflower seed feeders and the starlings ate all of the bark butter pellets and paste. So, no new picnics for those guys this weekend. I'm voting them off of the island. My mother-in-law used to have a sign hanging in her kitchen that read; "Kitchen closed! This chick has had it!" The same thing applies to my feeders for the weekend. There is a lot of food out there and they can just clean up what is there and on the ground. Humpf!

This morning I have a couple of Brown Thrush here running around in the yard. They come through every year for a day or two. They are strictly ground feeders and do a good job under my feeders. And the good thing is that they are not intimidated by the starlings and blackbirds. In fact they will follow the thrush around to see what it found to eat. They remind me of those kids in the school yard who follow the kid with the candy: "can I have some?"

I have sat here long enough and it is time to do something productive. The rain sprinles didn't last long and the sun is shining. Life is good and the baby bunny has been peering in at me through the door. God has filled my life with blessings once again, and for that, I give God praise. Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, May 22, 2015

It is a brilliantly beautiful morning as I bring my coffee cup out to the sunporch. I was outside for a few moments earlier as I took the mail out to the box and because I was on the east side of the house and fully in the sun, it really felt much warmer than the 55° it actually is. On days like this, the secret cowboy in me would love to be able to throw a saddle on a horse and go riding across open fields for a few hours. I was fortunate enough to get to go on a couple of cattle drives many, many years ago when I was stationed up in northern California near the Oregon border. I have cherished that experience and still think of the Clement family that invited me to join in and help them. What a great rememberance that is.

Today is Ms. Kate's aunt's 89th birthday. We will go out and wish her a happy birthday after a bit. Unfortunately it won't be a happy birthday for her. She had a stroke about six months ago and is confined to a wheelchair or her bed for the rest of her life. In her mind, her best birthday present would be death. We truly hate to see her in this condition and since our lives are continued at God's will and for God's purpose, she could easily sit there in that condition for another ten years. Our gift to her is our prayers for peace of mind and soul.

Most of my feeders are still full or reletively full. The red headed woodpecker has been out here most of the morning. There is all kinds of suet and bark butter there for him today and it flits from one to another like a kid in a candy shop. There are lots of cardinals here this morning and several robins. I've only seen my baby bunny once in the past couple of days. I hope a hawk hasn't gotten them. My squirrels have yet to show up today too. I don't even see them up in the surrounding trees. It would be nice to think they were gone for good; but we know that isn't going to be the case. --- whoops; I spoke too soon. The first one just got here.

This is the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It is a week early this because this coming Monday is the last Monday of May. This holiday is dedicated to honor all of our men and women who have given their lives to ensure our freedom for this country. I give God thanks for their service and sacrifice, and I am pround to have served with them for 32 years. I also give thanks to the families that sent husbands, wives, sons and daughters off to wars and conflicts, never to see them alive again. I give God thanks for my family that waited here at home while I was off on the other side of the world serving my country. I also give God thanks for God's protecting hand as I served. God has truly blessed this nation and God has truly blessed me and my family. Occasionally I have people come up to me and say "Thanks for your service". I appreciate their comments. I was honored to serve. Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Okay, I"ll say it --- "what the heck is it with this weather"? It is 48°, cloudy and windy. Last night coming home from choir practice in the wind and drizzle, it looked like an October evening. Today's high is only going to reach 63°. I even broke out a sweat shirt for today and turned the heat on to take the chill off of the house. I felt sorry for the students at four of our high schools that had outside commencements planned for last night.

I got the yards all mowed yesterday and we made it to the birdfeed store. I got out of there for under a hundred bucks but that really only covers a couple of rounds of feeding. The bark butter paste feeders that I hung out fresh yesterday are completely stripped this morning. So, I'll refill those this morning while I'm putting out all of the other stuff like suet and seed cakes and a new seed cylinder. I also bought a five pound bag of safflower seed. The Cardinals like that and most of the other birds nor the squirrels will eat it.

I heard the most wonderful comment from one of our choir members last evening. During a discussion concerning lack of people attending church, this dear person made the comment that attending our church fills her with the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful validation of our worship and faith family. What a beautiful, unplanned testimony.  Of course we pastors always hope that is the case, but seldom do we actually hear anybody say it; especially in a "traditional church" like ours. Ms. Kate and I both came away from choir last evening with rejuvenated spirits. And, it was just what she and I needed as we have been dealing with some tough issues for the past month. So, I give God praise for giving our church member the words we needed to hear, even though they were on a totally different subject. God indeed is still speaking, and He works in the most mysterious ways.

I'm happy to announce that we have more than one baby bunny although their population almost got cut by one yesterday while I was mowing with the John Deere. At the last possible moment the tiny thing went scrambling out of where he was hiding.

As I close this morning I must do so by once again thanking God for God's presence in my life and for being a force to bring peace to my mind and my soul. I must again give God thanks for my loving family and for Ms. Kate who is the one who cinches up my armor, gives me loving words and sends me off to battle, and is always there to truly listen to the war stories at the end of the day. God truly blessed me when God placed her in my path. I hope you have someone like that in your life. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It is a "brrrr" 50° with a brisk breeze this morning. That same breeze will be blowing in rain by this afternoon. The backyard is a busy place this morning because I filled the sunflower seed feeders and the bark butter paste feeders, as well as the thistle seed feeders. I probably have eight or ten cardinals this morning ad a bunch of the various kinds of finches, and several of the smaller woodpeckers. There is lots of fluttering and birdsong going on. But --- the best news this morning is that I had a little bunny, about four inches long, peering in at me this morning. So, the old rabbit's litter is now big enough to leave the nest. I wonder how many she had and how many have survived. I've only seen the one but there is a lot of cover out there for them.

I didn't get to the birdfeed store yesterday. Maybe today I'll have a chance to get there before we head up to the churches to get our work done. Instead of going to get birdfood, we went and got pedicures. It is a small luxury we afford ourselves about every six weeks or so. I never thought I would enjoy that but it beats bending over my fat belly trying to trim my toenails myself. The only bad part is that I'm ticklish on the balls of my feet and it makes my legs jerk everytime she gets there. Fortunately, I haven't kicked her yet.

It appears there was no dew last night so I need to get out side early and get the yards mowed. Two of my neighbors mowed yesterday but I wanted to wait at least one more day. This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend and I suppose they may be getting ready to go out of town or something like that. But, I'll get ours mowed this morning so it will look nice. Dan is still out of town so I'll do his too, of course.

Tonight is our final choir practice for the seaso and Sunday we will sing for the final time before the summer worship schedule begins. Our choir isn't a large choir by any stretch; but they do love to sing and have chosen the choir as their ministry. There are only about a dozen of us on a steady basis and we are an older choir. We could use another couple of men singing; but then we could use some more men attending church too. I wish I knew how to bring in some younger people into the churches. I love our members but would love to add more people to the flocks of both churches. I reckon that is the lament of most denominational churches today. The non-denoms with their bands and big screens and coffee bars don't seem to have that problem. But, Jesus said, "Where two or more are gathered, there too am I." So once again I give God thanks for our faithful and loving congregations.

It is time for me to vacate the recliner and get my work done. Ms. Kate just refilled my coffee cup and came out to join me here in the sunporch. So, maybe I'll wait a bit. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The sun shines bright this morning. The leftover drops of rain are glistening like little jewels on the leaves. I must fill the feeders this morning assuming it isn't too muddy or soft to walk around out there. I know it is too wet to mow the yard or be in the flowerbeds pulling any weeds. I would just be pulling up clumps of mud. So, --- I guess today will be a writing day.

Ms. Kate is going out to get a perm today. She thinks she really needs it, me --- what do I know? Her hair looks fine to me. But, maybe after she gets back we will go to the birdfeed store where unfortunately I need to spend a bunch of money because of all the different kinds of food I am out of. But having the food out there is how I keep my birds out there so I consider it an investment.

I'm hoping to hear from our contractor today about having the electritian get here to finish connecting the new generator.

I'm out of thoughts today for my blog so I'm going to quit. I pray you experience God's peace today.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Monday morning gentle rain is falling as my cup of coffee sits here steaming away and I admire the knockout roses blooming in the yard. Unfortunately for my birds and critters, the feeders are about all empty and they won't get refilled until the rain is all stopped. It isn't as if it is snow and there isn't anything to eat.

The iris are really blooming nicely. We have some white ones out here in the back yard that really smell beautiful. Most of the iris we have aren't particularly scented ones, but these put out an oder that you can smell across the yard. It makes for a pleasant smell when I walk past them as I mow the yard. The peonies back here are doing well too. We have one red one that Ms. Kate's mom gave us several years ago that has always bloomed so well. This year the blooms are less red for what ever reason. Perhaps we need to put some kind of supplement or soil additive to it.

We had an "adequate" weekend. Saturday I had to attend a morning long meeting and then Ms. Kate and I went shopping. Sunday of course was the usual Sunday routine; church service followed by a second church service, followed by a church council meeting, and then to our favorite resturant for lunch. After that we came home and napped and relaxed. Nothing too exciting about all of that. The services were a bit thin on attendance. It was obvious that it wasn't a special event day like Mother's Day. Last week we had a lot more people in the pews as people came in to be with their mothers on Mother's Day. I find it interesting that the same thing doesn't happen for Father's Day. But then the reality is that there are a lot more mothers in church than there are fathers. This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend so it could get real thin as people scramble off for a three day weekend. But --- it will also be Pentecost Sunday and the choir will be doing its final performance until fall. We'll see what happens. June the 7th we begin our summer combined service schedule. That means I only have to do one service a week and we start the service a half an hour later than normal. We alternate churches every week so the organists also get a few free Sundays. It makes for a nice break for all involved.

My granddaughter, Lauren raced in her first national pro-motocross race this past weekend. She did alright and didn't get hurt which is most important. She has raced pro races before but this time she also had to race against the guys. We will be going out to CA for her highschool graduation in a few weeks. Beyond riding her dirtbike she hasn't decided on a career or college so I don't know what she plans to do. But, she hasn't yet turned 18 so there is time to make decisions. I think too often we push kids into decisions that they aren't ready to make. We don't want to hear "I'd like to just relax and do nothing for awhile." Some how we think that when you take hold of that diploma from highschool, you are also taking hold of full responsibility for your life. But, I have never seen a kid walk off of that stage with "Adult" stamped across their forehead. So, I'll do what I do best: love her, pray for her, and give her advice and guidance if she asks for it.

Time to wrap this up. The morning is passing and I must make use of the day that God has provided. It is time to give God praise and gratitude for another day filled with love, peace, and blessings. Have a wonderful day!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The clankity clank, whine, and bumpity bump of the garbage truck is about the only sound in the neighborhood this morning. The occasional chirping of the sparrows is the only birdsong out there even though there are a lot of birds hitting the feed troughs this morning like a bunch of flying pigs. The red-headed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, and starlings are fighting over the last morsels left on the bark butter feeder. And somewhere up in the poplar tree a squirrel is fussing about something. I'm sitting here with my cup of coffee, waiting on the plumber to get here and hook up the new generator to the gas line and do a couple of other plumbing things including dropping in a new hydromatic sump pump and hopefully put in a new outside spickett here in back. There is one out here but it is so low that it is almost impossible to even hook a hose up to it. Obviously it was put in long before the patio was poured.

I was just out checking the garden and the asparagus needs cutting again. I only have a very small patch, five foot by three foot, but it really does produce a lot of asparagus; certainly as much as we want to eat. My tomatoes are really growing too. The cucumbers are doing well but the okra, not so much. We only put out four okra plants and one has been eaten and one just doesn't look that healthy. But, --- if just two of them do well, we will have all the okra we will want.

We went to the churches yesterday and took care of our work there. When the two of us go it really makes the job a lot quicker, especially if the copier is working just right. Sometimes one or the other copiers gives us trouble and that gets frustrating. Generally if I do the copying and Ms. Kate does the folding and stuffing it works well. She's probably twice as fast as I am when it comes to the folding and stuffing. I think most churches have a secretary that would do all of that but that would be a total waste of money for our two churches. I would never make good use of a secretary because I'm too independent. All of the years I spent as a military commander I always had a secretary and her job mainly was to keep me on time and guard the door to keep people from just coming in.

So, the world in my little backyard kingdom is good. God I here in the lush green of the plants and the blooms os the plants and the songs now coming from the birds. There is something very natural about God's peace. It permeates your very soul. One only has to stop and breathe out all of the mind clutter and then breathe in the essense of God's blessings and peace. When we don't take time to do that once in a while, our bodies get all knotted up from our toes to our brains and stress and tension will ruin your life. Too many people let that happen to them; --- and the worst part is that it is a choice they make. Jesus said, "I will give you rest". Take full advantage of that peace and rest. It is now the end of the "work week". I hope you will have some time to rest and enjoy God's peace.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It is Thursday already. It seems the week has flown by. Maybe it is because Ms. Kate and I stole 25 hours out of the middle of the week to go play. I got home around noon on Tuesday from my Pastor's Circle meeting and we were having lunch and talking about what beautiful weather we were having and how great it would be to run over to Metropolis, IL to the casino, if we just had time. So, we made time. She got on the phone and reserved us a room and we packed for overnight and left about an hour later. We got back home around 3:00 yesterday afternoon. We like to do spontanious little trips like that. Our luck at the casino was all bad but we always allot ourselves a certain amount to lose and then quit. To us it is just the price of entertainment; not gambling. Gambling would imply you thought you would win and we know they don't build billion dollar casinos by letting people win.

We came home and got busy. Ms. Kate got the laundry all done and I got the yards mowed and filled up my bird feeders. This morning I have happy critters everywhere. I had a squirrel actually mis-judge its jump from the tree limb to the roof and fall off of the roof. It wasn't hurt; --- but it was funny. That's the second one I have seen do that in the last week. I also have a new rabbit out here. It is a young one but not newly born. The old rabbit is still here too. I suspect that one of them is what ate one of my okra plants off.

Today is dental cleaning day and then we go to the churches and run our bulletins. I know we have at least one other thing on the schedule but can't recall what it is at the moment. Tomorrow the plumbing people come and do their portion of the new generator installation. They are the ones who will hook it up to the gas line. After they are done the electrician comes in and finishes up the installation. Saturday morning I have to attend the local association meeting for my denomination. That should be slightly less exciting than cleaning the lint filter on my dryer. It kills a day off which is one reason we took a day off in the middle of the week.

God has provided a 58° cloudy and rather breezy morning to start my day. At least it isn't raining. Ms. Margaret's lawn people are out there mowing her yard. My back yard has transitioned once again. My azaleas are pretty much done and other than plants in pots, I have nothing much blooming back here at the moment other than a few iris. The lilies have good buds on them and should start soon. Some of my peonies are ready to open soon too. The front yard is totally beautiful with blooms of iris, poppies, peonies, and azelias. All of that gets much more sun than the back yard which is almost totally shade.

I finally got to hear from my brother-in-law. They made it safely back from the Black Hills and had a great trip. I give God praise for that. Now they are doing what we all do after vacation; --- play catch up. I also lift up in prayer the families who lost loved ones in this recent earthquakes in Nepal, and the violent storms that ran through this country. We often tend to forget about the victims after a few weeks as we move on with our luves. But such disasters are long suffering events and we should not forget them nor drop them from our prayers. I also am lifting you up in prayer as you read this. Now, don't you feel better already, knowing somebody prayed for you today!

Monday, May 11, 2015

The sound of thunder and pouring rain woke me this morning. Or maybe --- it was the whisper of the Holy Spirit saying; " get out of bed you lazy loot; you got work to do." Which ever it was, --- I'm up and it isn't raining now. In fact, the sun is trying to break through. We are supposed to be having storms on and off today as this cold front moves through the area. We are so blessed to not have any of the terrible storms that have been plagueing the center of the country.

And a happy Monday morning to you. It is a brand new week and from the looks of my weekly schedule, it is going to be a rather busy week. Today the contractor is supposed to bring a concrete pad and the new generator and set those in place. I don't know if it will be affected by the rain or not. Beyond that, I"ll spend the day writing. We have a vacation coming up next month and I need to try working ahead some. Tomorrow I'll have the monthly Pastor's Circle meeting. Saturday we have the annual Tri-State Association Spring Meeting, so, that means I lose another day off. Thursday is dental cleaning day --- yuk!  Actually I don't mind the cleaning process that much. What I hate, and am due for on this visit, is the routine they do to check your gum lines. I'm not sure what kind of probe thing they do but it isn't pleasant. This is 2015; where is the Star Trek little round thingy that they just run along the outside of your body and it tells you everything that is wrong with you? Come to think of it; --- in all of the Star Trek shows or movies, --- did anyone ever have dental work done? Things that make you go; --- Hmmmmm!

Yesterday was Mother's Day. Julie and Jim came over on Friday evening and spent the weekend with us. After church yesterday we went to our favorite resturant for lunch. The church services weren't packed yesterday but they were well attended. Lots of visitors were in to celebrate with their mothers. The celebration will continue at St. Lucas with the annual Mother/Daughter banquet this Wednesday evening. Two of our ladies sang a duet at St. Lucas during the service yesterday and they did a wonderful job of it. We have a lot of talent in the parish that goes untapped because people don't want to display it. I've never really understood that because I guess I've always found it easy to stand in front of people and play music or sing or speak. I'm hoping that this summer I can get some special performances lined up for the combined worship services.

I had to stop my blog for a few moments because I just had to go fill my bark butter feeders. I had heard a red-headed woodpecker calling out there for some time and I noticed when I came out here this morning that those feeders were empty once again. But, --- I looked up from my tablet and saw a woodpecker straining to the point of shaking to reach the cylinder of feed that is caged in. He was simply too big to fit through the grid and his neck and beak wouldn't quite reach the food. It was pathetic. So, I've filled the bark butter feeders and of course the first ones to land on them was the starlings. Oh well, God made the starlings too, --- but I don't know why.

I offer my thanks and praises up again for the blessings in my life and the loving family I am surrounded by. In the spirit of Mother's Day, I give God thanks for the wonderful mother God provided four our kids. Ms. Kate is the pattern for moms and I and the girls love her with all our heart.

Have a most blessed day.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

72° with rain showers this morning. Julie is sitting in the other recliner snoozing and the pupperonis are out here too and they are also snoozing. The three of them gently snoring is almost hypnotic especially when combined with the gentle pitter patter of the rain drops on the roof. Ms. Kate is at the computer playing bingo and I'm watching the robins taking their bath despite the rain. So it is a peaceful morning.

We had a big disappointment this morning. Just a mile down the road there is a gas station called The Windmill. It has a bakery as part of the place and has made the best donuts and pastries for at least fifty years. I remember it being there when I was a kid. Jim went down to get donuts this morning and they have now stopped making their own pastries and have contracted with Krispy Kreme. How sad!!! First of all, I know that millions of Americans swear by Krispy Kreme donuts. However, --- neither Ms. Kate nor I like Kristy Kreme donuts. They are just too sweet. But secondly, it is another "mom and pop" business selling out to corporate America. Maybe they couldn't keep a baker or something like that, maybe it just became cheaper to contract it out; but I will miss smelling those donuts being made late at night when I had to stop in late for gas. I'll miss seeing the baker standing outside of the back door of the place, covered in flour smoking his cigarette; a routine that is now history.

I've been two hours getting this far on my blog today. All the while we have had showers on and off. Some times it is just a drizzle and once in a while it comes a downpour. And, --- those silly robins are still coming in for baths. There must be a big robin dance this evening and everyone is getting spruced up. But, all this rain will certainly help all of the plants I have put in the ground this week. Yesterday I noticed that most all of the flowers I had planted out front were really laying over flat becase they were dry. So I watered everything and within an hour, they were standing back up looking refreshed. I'm sure that at some point between showers I'll need to go cut the asparagus because it could have been cut yesterday evening and I just blew it off because by then I was bushed. I spent yesterday putting down more mulch and cleaning out my gutters and then cleaning up after that mess. Boy, --- I have been a regular "Homer Homemaker" this week. I wish I could say I'm done but there is still so much to do.

I'm sure that I tomorrow some of my farmers will be telling me that either they didn't need this rain yet; --- or they will tell me how much it is going to help make that newly planted corn grow. They are so funny. Their satisfaction rating depends totally upon how far they are with what they need to do. But, they should have zero complaint because God has given them a good ten days of perfect planting weather. For that I offer my prayers of gratitude this morning.  The rain has now momentarily stopped and the sun is shining. I pray your day will be a glorious as that sunshine.

Friday, May 8, 2015

I have sleepy eyes this morning. It is so peaceful and comfortable out here that my eyes seem to have a mind of their own and want to stay closed. I rolled out of bed a bit earlier this morning for no known reason so while my body is up, I think my mind and eyes are in collusion to sabatage the effort. But, sunshine and Folgers will sort that all out.

Can yoou believe the barkbutter feeders are empty again? This is an every other day thing with these guys. It is the darn starlings that continually keep them empty. There are a half dozen of them out here this morning looking for barkbutter. Now when the woodpeckers come in there will be nothing for them. Sorry guys, blame your buddies. Mr. Fuss a lot, the buejay is back today. I haven't seen him for awhile. And the robins are here for their Friday morning bath.

We got no yard work done yesterday. Instead, we went to Sam's and bought a bunch of stuff. And we went to the churches and took care of business there. That generally takes four hours out of the day including the drive up and back. But, it is always good quality time with just me and Ms. Kate. One would think that we are always together since I work from home most of the time but that isn't so. We are seldom in the same room. She has her office/craft room where she does her card making and scrapbooking and her computer. I have my office downstairs in the basement and the basement is set up nicely with a family room type setting and bed room setting too. It is a great place when all of the family comes in to give them privacy. I wish there were a bathroom down there, although Ms. Kate says she would never see me then. She and I seldom watch television together because we have totally different interests when it comes to television. I watch all things HGTV, Food Channel, History Channel, and Sci-Fi. She watches major networks and all things Law and Order, NCIS, Criminal Minds. We come together at Swamp People time and a few other shows. Basically, she likes to get involved with shows with a plot and I like shows with just fluff and don't need a plot because odds are I'll channel flip through it anyway.

Julie and Jim and the pupperonis are coming over this weekend. We aren't sure if it will be this evening yet or tomorrow morning. They are coming over to celebrate Mother's Day with Ms. Kate. It is always so great to have them here. I wish all of our girls lived this close. I do envy people who get to see their kids and grandkids on a regular basis. I hope they truly appreciate what a blessing that is. On the other hand, through the computer messaging and texting, I probably talk to all of ours more than many who have kids just around the block.

The iris are really coming on beautifully now, not just in our yard, but everywhere we drive we see flowerbeds full of beautiful flowers. It is just a constant reminder of the glory that is God.  So, I offer my prayers this morning with thanks for this beautiful world God has created. I also offer my prayers this morning for comfort and safety for the people who are in the paths of the numerous storms that are sweeping across the country. I lift up the people of Nepal again today as they continue to dig through the rubble that was their home prior to the devasting earthquakes last week in that region. So many lives lost and destroyed.  I pray God's peace and protection for them. And I pray for you, my readers this morning. I hope your day id verflowing with love, peace, and joy. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Good morning! This morning's blog is brought to you "The Bold and the Brave"; a local drama being played out in my backyard at the bark butter feeder. I had a huge pilated woodpecker come in this morning and attached itself to the bark butter feeder. For some unknown reason a chickadee just didn't like that. Now, the chickadee never eats at that feeder and the woodpecker was probably twenty times bigger than the chickadee. But, -- I sat here for five full minutes as that chickadee continually buzzed that woodpecker. It didn't seem to bother the woodpecker much as it would just duck it's head and keep on eating. Eventually, it ate it's fill and flew off. But, now that it is gone, the chickadee has come back and forth to that feeder, pecked off a bite or two and then flies away. Strange things --- they be happening in my yard this morning.

We did some more yard work yesterday. Thing are starting to look fairly squared away. We put in a couple of petunia beds yesterday and planted the tree peony. I have to move a couple of plants yet this week from one of the beds. We are have a 16 kw generator being installed for the house and they will be putting a concrete pad where a couple of our plants currently are. We seldom lose power in this house but I'm paranoid that we will lose power during a storm some time and our sump pumps won't work. Having been through one flood disaster with this house, I don't ever want that to happen again. We travel enough that when we do, --- I don't want to worry about the house when we are gone. Several years ago we lost power and I was bailing the sump wells and filling five gallon buckets and having to carry them up stairs to dump them as fast as I could. So, pay the money and eliminate the worry. I'm getting too old for that stuff. The new generator will run off of our gas line so I don't have to even worry about butane tanks.

The yard is filled with birdsong this morning. It is so pleasant to sit out here and listen to that. I need to cut my time short this morning though. Ms. Kate and I need to run to Sam's this morning. We want to pick up some fruit and veggies. Then I have to go to the churches today yet and run the bulletins. Plus, we have another appointment yet today to go to. So, today's schedule will be full.

As always I start my day off with prayers of gratitudevfor another God-given day to do something for someone else. There is always some one who can use your help and that help may be as little as a smile. Treasure this day, God gave it to you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

There are no empty feeders this morning as I sit down with my coffee cup. One of the last things I did last evening before I came inside was to make sure everything was topped off. The downy woodpeckers were at it right away last evening after I filled the bark butter feeders. This morning of course, it is the starlings that are coming back and forth to those feeders. And --- the squirrels are happy too that there is a grand choice of feeder from which to partake.

We put roses in the ground yesterday as well as several of the plants that Ms. Kate had bought. I dug up a whole lot of daffodils from where we needed to put the new rose bushes. Now --- I need to create a new flower bed for daffodils. We have a spot in mind and I think it will look great next spring. We have an area along the north fence line of the yard that seems to only grow violets. I need to get in there and clean that up and then we'll put a daffodil bed in there. I have a lot more daffodils that need to be thinned out. If I don't, they will just continue to choke one another out and will quit blooming. It is the same thing we need to do with the lilies once in awhile. My mother -in-law once told Ms. Kate that if she keeps planting flowers, pretty soon we won't have to mow at all. I'll say this; mowing is a lot less trouble.

So, yesterday we went to the bird feed place and I kept the purchases to a minimum. Right now I don't particularly need to be feeding high energy suet and that kind of stuff. And, although I did use my last cylinder block of food yesterday, I've moved the feeder so that it will be a lot more difficult for the squirrels to eat from and the raccoons and opossums shouldn't be able to hang on to something and eat from that feeder either. Of course --- I've been wrong about all of that before.

Today I need to get back out there and finish planting these new plants we bought. Then I need to go get the new lens put in my glasses. Maybe I'll finally be able to quit squinting and holding my head at weird angles to see this computer screen. Bifocals will make you do silly things when trying to get things lined up just right. One would think I would have it all down pat by now. I've worn bifocals now for thirty years. I use the "no-line" kind and have forever. I'd probably trip over sidewalk cracks if I had to use bifocal with lines in them.

God has provided yet another beautiful morning for us. It was already 68 degrees when I went out to the sunporch and the sun was shining brightly. I also mowed last evening so the backyard was ready for inspection and visitors. This is such a beautiful time of the year. I don't understand how anyone could look at God's wonderful creation without a sense if humbleness. As the song goes, "Our God is an awesome God. He reigns from Heaven above." That little line runs through my head most every morning that I have the privilege to sit out here and take it all in. I just feel so very blessed. My daughter Julie posted a line this morning about choosing how your day will go and said she chooses to be happy today. That's my kiddo! I choose the same thing and I truly hope you will too. God has just draped you with a bundle of blessings. Give thanks for them today and stay in contact with the Lord Almighty.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The bark butter feeders are empty once again and I'm not sure I have anything with which to fill them. I know I emptied the container when I filled them last but I haven't checked to see if I have a replacement. Between the variety of wooodpeckers I have and the starlings, they rip through it pretty fast. Then there are the nuthatches too that love it. I may need to be makinng a trip to the Wildbirds and Things store for re-supply of several of my different foods. Kiss another $100.00 bill good bye. I wonder if I just peanut butter on those feeders how they would like that. It might be worth a try. The consistentcy is almost the same and bark butter is made from peanuts. Its an idea, although I think the cost is roughly the same.

The tree tops are shaking with squirrels this morning. There is chasing and fussing and chittering going on in every tree. I have no idea what the issue is but there is either a battle going on or one wild game of tag. I never cease to be amazed at how fast and nimble those creatures are. They are amusing to watch but they are also destructive and have torn up any number of my feeders over the years. I have shot them so many times with my BB gun and they just consider me another nuisance in their day. I obviously sting them because they watch out for me but I certainly don't deter them any. As I have sai many times, they survive here only because I have neighbors in close proximity.

I did get my Mother's Day sermon finished yesterday finally. It took a couple of re-writes. Now I need to get started on the service for next week. It never seems to end and I never seem to get truly ahead. But, we did get the visitation done this week so I feel good about that. We are fortunate that we only have a couple of folks in nursing homes. We have in the past had as many as a half dozen in nursing homes and they would be in a half dozen different towns. Many churches have visitation ministry teams that do that. My home church has a ministry that takes a recording of the service to the sick and shut-in every week. It is a wonderful program if you have the people to run it and a need for it. We have neither the equipment to do it nor the need at the moment. And even if we had the need we wouldn't have the people.

We need to do some more outside work today while the weather is good. The other day when I was putting in the garden, I made sure I put on my sunscreen.  However, I forgot to put on my hat and my thin hair allowed me to get the top of my head sunburnt. It is still tender. The silly thing is that I seldom go anywhere without my ballcap on which in itself, contributes to the thin spots. Sometimes there are a lot brighter lightbulbs on the tree than me.

I have time for another cup of coffee before I get dressed to go out and do some work. God has again provided a perfect day and I'm going to just sit here and enjoy it for awhile and have a conversation of meditation. I hope your day is a peaceful one full of love.

Monday, May 4, 2015

A very happy Monday to you! It is the start of another week of opportunties yet undefined. Some will be great and some will be maybe not so great. It is totally up to us to make this week what ever it will be. We can mold it and shape it or we can fold under the stress and pressure. Last week was a week of challenges for me and Ms. Kate and we overcame every one of them because we did them together. I think this one will be better.

I finished writing my message for Mother's Day last night; and after reading it, I didn't particularly like it. Put yourself in this situation: "you are in your car and you are on your way with your family to a great destination. You know that when you get there the family will enjoy it and they will be really glad they came along for the ride. But, --- the problem is that you aren't sure of the name of the place you are going to --- and you aren't really sure in which direction you need to go." Some times my sermon writing is just like that and it is kind of where I'm at this morning. I gave it to Ms. Kate to read and she agrees that I'm "getting there",  but it isn't time to get out of the car just yet. So, it will be back to the computer today. At least she gave me some good suggestions and new road signs to follow.

The robins are taking their baths this morning. They have water splashing everywhere. I will need to fill the bird bath again today because not only the robins are using it but so are the starlings. I have a pair of brilliantly yellow goldfinches here this morning too. They seem to be traveling as a pair. Where one goes, the other follows. I filled the bark butter feeders first thing this morning while the coffee was brewing. I've already had several woodpeckers come in to snack from them. Only one squirrel has been here this morning; not that I am complaining. It has been to every feeder so far. It eats for a few minutes and then goes to the next one. That's what I do at a buffet too.

We got the garden tilled and planted on Saturday. We now have cucumbers, okra, swiss chard, and tomatoes in the ground. It isn't a lot but it meets our needs. We also planted several of the flower plants we bought. One of the biggies was the new butterfly bush. Or last one got froze out a couple of years ago and we really missed having one last year. We still have a couple of flats of petunias and other things to put in pots today. It is supposed to be a dry week so I'll need to make sure to keep things watered. Yes, I know, --- a couple of weeks ago I was grousing about the rain.

Ms. Kate's irises are coming into bloom all around the yard and so are the golden poppies. We love it that the poppies come back every year and are spreading. Ms. Kate's mom gave her the start of them and every year it is just a fresh kiss from heaven that says I love you and yes, I'm still watching over you.

I must start off my week with prayers of gratitude for a wealth of love and blessing from God Almighty. I also lift up a local family that lost their 13 year old son in an ATV roll over. I pray they can peer through their grief and focus on the joy their son brought them for the last thirteen years. That and God's infinite love will help them deal with their loss. I also lift up prayers of gratirude for you, my friends and loved ones. I pray your day will be full of God's peace. Enjoy your day.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

It is a bit cloudy this early morning as I bring my coffee out to the sunporch. The sun has yet to break through but no rain is anticipated and I've lined up a lot of work for today.

As if we haven't had eough bumps in the road this week, I was in the middle of tilling my little garden patch yesterday and my little Honda tiller just quit on me. I've had it for ten years and it has been an excellent one. Every year I get it out, put a little gas in it and it generally starts with one pull. But, it had been getting to the point in the last couple of years where the tines didn't want to rotate. Yesterday,  they just quit altogether. So, I went to Lowes and picked up a new one. This one is a Troy-bilt which is kind of a middle of the road brand. So, the first item after coffee and a shower is to assemble the new tiller. I just had not planned on spending a bunch of money for a new tiller yesterday. We also picked up twenty bags of mulch while we were at Lowes.

Lowes wasn't the only place we gave up chunks of change yesterday. We went to the DMV and paid for the new tags for the two vehicles and each got our new driver's license. What a great crew down there. We were in and out of there in about twenty minutes. It probably would have been quicker if I hadn't been gabbing with the lady. From there we went for our optometry appointments. Ms. Kate was fine but I had to have new lenses. I kept my old frames and ordered lenses to fit them for my everyday glasses and a pair of sunglasses, and it was still $600.00. So, between the new glasses, tags for the car and truck, and a new tiller, --- my Cold Stone money took a serious hit. I may be relegated to DQ small cone for awhile.

We stopped to eat lunch at a little resturant we go to frequently and ran straight into a crowd we were not expecting. We walked in the door and there were TV cameras, a local reporter that we like, and all kinds of folks lined up and standing around. We were fairly certain they weren't there to see us. What we didn't know was that the Govenor of Indiana was due to stop there in just a few minutes. They whisked us through to the back room and took our order. He arrived, did some grip and grin, gave a speech, and I guess ate some pie. The wait staff was all giggly and the govenor let them all take "selfies" with him. I tipped my waitress a little extra to let us sneak out a side door. At least he didn't slow down our food order. But, it was a good thing for him to come to the city and grip and grin at a local establishment and talk to the people who put him in office.

The sun has now woke up and my coffee cup is almost empty. A new tiller awaits assembly and a garden and flowerbeds are waiting for me too. God has provided all the ingredients for a productive day so I'll start with prayers of gratitude today and then make use of what God has provided. Have a blessed day.

Friday, May 1, 2015

It is a marvelous day outside; 50° and going up to 71°, and there is wall to wall sushine this morning. The really good news is that the forecast calls for a full week of this kind of weather.

My yards are mowed and my bird feeders are filled. We made it to the nursery yesterday and picked up some more plants including one tree peony. I have several chores on my list for today. Ms. Kate and I both have optometry appointments around noon so that kind of puts a kink in the hose because they will dialate our eyes, but that will only be a temporary setback. Unfortunately, I think we will both need new glasses. We've not had to get new ones for three or four years but we have both reached the age when eyes change. Also fortunately, although we both have the onset of cataracts, they haven't progressed, or so we think.

I also need to go get the license tags for the cars and while I'm there I hope to get my driver's license renewed. It comes due in July and Ms. Kate's comes due in December. The last time they let us go ahead and get them early. The local DMV that we go to has always been a pleasant place to deal with. We've been to DMVs in other places and states that were a nightmare to deal with.

I need to go to Lowes and pick up a bag of peat moss and several bags of potting soil. I hope to get the garden tilled today and I have roses and tomatos that I need to plant today. This is exactly the weather we have been waiting for so I got to make use of what God has provided.

Our daughter Lisa called this morning with the news that our granddaughter Amanda has shingles on her eyelid and a small streak on her face. Bless her heart; I feel so bad for her. She is only 19 which means she has a lot of years left to deal with reoccurances of that. Ms. Kate has had them as well as several people that we know, and everyone of them talks about how painful they can be. So, say a prayer for her if you will.

Today my sister and brother-in-law celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. God has truly given them a gift because we were not sure that Byron's cancer progression would allow that to happen. But it has and they are celebrating it with a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota. It was a trip he really wanted to make and they went with some friends of their's which will increase the joy of the trip. Congratulations to them and all praise to God for making this trip possible for them. I offer up prayers for them this morning too that they will be able to celebrate many more anniversaries too.

It is time for me to get busy. I don't want to waste a minute of this beautiful day God has provided. The birds are singing invitations to come outside and join them. I hope you have as beautiful a day as we are and if you do; thank God who made that happen and if you have time to do thing else, --- go outside and breathe in the Holy Spirit. It will brighten your very soul.