Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. And now, here we are, looking at the last day of August 2015; and it is going to be a hot one. The weather folks said we would have scattered showers yesterday and they were right. They were so scattered that we didn't see but a couple of drops here at our place. That means I better water the plants again today. I don't want them drooping and telling sad stories when Ms. Kate gets home on Wednesday.

The new baffels on the feeder poles appear to be working. I came out to the sunporch last night around 2330 and the raccoon was climbing around in the pussy willow tree. The feeders are spaced in that tree so that it is hard for him to reach a feeder and maintain any kind of balance. He hasn't been back on the caged feeder nor have the squirrels. Saturday I bought a squirrel baffle for another pole and put it on. So far, --- no squirrels have beaten it. I have a third pole feeder that I could use one on but I can't seem to get it apart to put a baffle on it. From the looks of things this morning, I better fill some feeders again today though. The blue jay is out there right now eating the last of the peanuts from the mesh feeder and the ladderback woodpecker is flitting around looking for bark butter.

Yesterday was the last Sunday of our combined parish summer worship services. I have really enjoyed them again this year. I actually had a parishioner tell me yesterday that he wishes we could extend it because he really enjoys it when we all worship together. I can't explain how much that made my day. But, that idea will have to grow from the grass roots, not from the top down and I know there are many that would resist it because it comes too close to "combining the churches" and the churches would lose their individual identity. That would tread on a lot of history and memories are long, if not completely accurate.

I haven't heard from my sister for a couple of weeks so I have no idea how Byron is doing. Maybe no news is "OK" news. I hope so. They were planning to move him to their daughter Lori's house so she could take care of him but I don't know if that has happened or not. I reckon I need to shoot an email up north for a status report.

So, my prayers this morning  once again include my sister and her family for strength and patience and understanding. I also lift up a parishioner's daughter who is having hip replacement tomorow, and a parishioner who was admitted to the local hospital on Friday. I went to see him and he was feeling better but they are still going to do some testing on him yet today or tomorrow. There is great comfort in knowing that God watches over all of us at all times and that whatever happens in our lives, we are never alone. Have a blessed day and a wonderful week.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The weekend has arrived and it is a cloudy Saturday morning at 73* and heading to 90*. A slight breeze is stirring and everything is peaceful so far. My only guests at the moment are a couple of wrens as they hop around on the patio and in and out of the potted plants. Far out in the yard a cardinal is picking up dropped sunflower seeds from under a feeder. I expect the gang will be flying in soon enough because I filled up the bark butter feeders again last evening.

I went to Wild Birds yesterday and bought a baffle to put on the pole outside my back door that the raccoon was on the night before last. Last night I sat out here in the sunporch and waited to see if it did any good. I didn't have to wait very long. I had just finished talking to Ms. Kate on the phone when I saw the raccoon cross in front of my door as it was looking around. It climbed up the pussy willow tree, walked around on the sunporch roof, climbed back down and walked over to the pole with the baffle and then waddled off. So, I don't know if it was the baffle or the fact that I also moved a plant stand that it could climb on to then stretch out and pull itself up on the feeder. I may go ahead and get a squirrel baffle for the other pole that sits farther out in the yard. They only cost about $25.00 and I can buy 50# of sunflower seed for that.

My duties today include going to St. Mary's Hospital to see a parishioner and then this afternoon I'm going to an ice-cream festival at the Presbyterian church a few towns up the road. It's a bit of a ways to go but it is a charity event and I know some of the people that it will benefit. Besides --- its ice cream and one can't drive too far for ice cream. One of my most favorite things to do when Ms. Kate and I go to Las Vegas is go to the Southpoint Casino and visit a place called "Kate's Ice Cream Shop" which is just inside the door of the casino. I know they use Breyer's Ice Cream, which I can get here, but I always get a banana split and they are huge and it costs about $7.00. So, while Ms. Kate and Karen are out in the casino wasting their nickles and quarters and dollars, I just sit there and enjoy my banana split.

I've sat here long enough for the sun to come through and brighten the day; and the gang is starting to arrive. I now have several cardinals and finches and woodpeckers. A squirrel came over to climb the pole with the baffle on it and decided not to even try. He moved on over to the other pole and feeders that don't have a baffle and is munching away; danged fuzzy tailed rat! Yep, I'm going to get a squirrel baffle today since I'll be on that side of town for my hospital visit.

It has been a great week and I have so much to be thankful for and I must now stop and give proper honor and glory to our God that provides everything I have. I pray you will have a good day and will be surrounded with God's love and grace. Well, actually I already know you will be; --- I just hope you will be aware of it and feel it.

God's peace to you.

Friday, August 28, 2015

And now --- Hello Friday!!! God has created yet another masterpiece this morning. The sun is shining and it is a balmy 64 degrees with only a hint of a breeze. The hummingbird is busy trying to get any last vestiges of nectar out of the phlox. At the moment, that hummingbird is the only thing visiting the backyard with the exception of one lonely bumble bee also flitting from phlox to phlox. So, it is quiet around here this morning. Only the motor running in the small refrigerator I have out here is making any noise. Ms. Margaret's yard crew came yesterday so I don't even have them making noise.

I did have yard visitors last night around 0330. I got up for a "nature call" and then I came out here to look around for a moment or two and there was a big raccoon hanging on the caged cylinder feeder. I ran him off with a few BB gun shots. I also think we may have had a skunk out there because I could faintly smell that oder in the yard and I also saw the white butt of some critter as it ran under a bush in the northwest end of the yard. That however, could also have been our 'possum. They waddle about the same when they run and I only caught a glimpse of it.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do today. It is supposed to go up to about 90 today and the humidity is back on the rise. We've had no rain so I don't need to mow. I do need to water the plants out here in the back porch. It wouldn't do to let Ms. Kate's plants die while she is gone. I also need to change out the water in the bird baths and top off all of the bird feeders. And I need to go out and check on Karen's place. I'm sure it is fine but she always comes by here two or three times when we are gone and checks on our place. And since I'll be on that side of town, I guess I will go by the Wild Birds feed store. I want to price a couple of baffles to put on these feeders to maybe keep the animals off of them. So, I guess I have a day of stuff to do after all.

The annual "Frog Follies" are in town this weekend. That is a gathering of hotrodders and streetrodders that come to town every year at this time. There will probably be around 4000 street rods out at the fairgrounds. They are a big boost to the economy and their coming here is a charity event. Over the years they have raised several million dollars for local charities. I know they have been coming for at least twenty years. They fill all of the hotels and the resturants and everybody makes a little money off oof their visit. It does crowd the roads a bit but no one is complaining.

The neighborhood is waking up now. I'm hearing lawn mowers and weed whackers running. Even the birds are now awake and the Bluejays and cardinals and nuthatches are all here eating. What a great morning. But -- it is time for me to get busy. As I do, I pray you will have a good weekend. I'll remind you again to take time this weekend to attend your local house of worship. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Happy Thursday morning! I'm having a hard time getting moving this morning for some reason. I sit here and watch my birds and the next thing I know, my head is drooping down and my eyes are closing. Not that there is a rule against it or anything. But, -- I won't get much done at that rate.

It is another beautiful morning. It's cool outside and the sun is shining brightly. One squirrel sits on a feeder munching away. The blackbirds, bluejays, cardinals and mockingbird are all vying for position on the peanut feeder. They get pretty nasty with one another sometimes and peck one another on the head etc. But the feeders are all pretty full this morning yet so theere is plenty of food out there.

I had a great time having lunch with my friend Ron yesterday. I've known Ron since I was five years old. We went to the same church and schools together. He and his twin brother, Randy, were about the only two kids that I really knew as I was growing up. Randy was killed in Vietnam. When I was just a kid in grade school, I organized this little German Band and Ron and Randy played the clarinet in it. We played at Farm Bureau events and the fair, and for chuch events. There was me on the cornet, Ron and Randy on clarinet, Lonnie Lindsey on the tuba, and Mike Derrington on the slide trombone. That has been several decades ago;   wow!  But, it was great talking with him yesterday. It is the first time we have had a chance to sit and talk since his wife, Sandy, passed away eleven months ago.

I didn't get any sermon writing done yesterday. I got a call yesterday from a parishioner who needed to talk for awhile. So, after my lunch with Ron I agreed to go to the church for that. That took two hours away from my afternoon. But, it was a good counselling session and I pray I helped the person deal with their situation. I'm certainly not a trained counselor and I always explain that to folks, but I can listen, suggest, ask questions, and pray with folks. And, sometimes just allowing folks to get things said to someone outside their immediate circle can help them. In this case, I have some follow-up to do to find some better resources to provide professional guidance.

Ms. Kate and Kaaren are doing well in Las Vegas. Lat night they went for their Lobster dinner. There is a certain resturant that we like to go to that has a lobster dinner special every Wednesday. We try to make sure we get that anytime we're in Vegas. As for me, --- my great neighbors, Dan and Minh, called me yesterday afternoon and saaid they were grilling for the whole famiy yesterday eveing and would have a steak and potato for me too. That is two nights in a row they have fed me. Ya' see why I don't mind mowing their yard??

Speaking of yard; --- I can now see my black raspberry patch again. I took four lawn and leaf bags full of mulberry tree branches and limbs and other weeds out of that little six by twelve patch. I had to get it done yesterday because the trash man came this morning early and I wanted them to carry it all away. Maybe that is why I'm a bit lazy this morning.

It is time to refill the coffee cup and head downstairs to the computer and get busy writing. I hope you have a blessed day and that you take time to see the joy that is in your life. Love one another and treat each other kindly.

Blessings and shalom.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Happy mid-week. The days, -- they do just roll on don't they? When a person stays active and busy, it seems as if time just flies by. It's certainly busy in my yard this morning. I filled all of the feeders and the word has obviously gone out; (carrier pigeons you think?). The bluejays and the black birds are here fighting over peanuts. I had to slightly rearrange feeder positioning because at least one squirrel had figured out where he could sit and stretch far enough to reach the feeder full of peanuts. I never cease to be amazed at th gyrations and contortionism that squirrels put themselves through to eat. They are true survivalists. But why wouldn't they be? They are nothing more than a rat with a fuzzy tail. But isn't it amazing how we can loathe rats and think that the squirrels are just so cute.

Ms. Kate made it fine to Las Vegas with Karen. She said the flight out was nice because they were on a bigger plane and it wasn't crowded for a change. Generally that flight is jammed full. With a little luck, maybe it will be the same for them when they return. So, I'm sitting here in the quiet of the house, --- which in reality is no different than I do every morning. On a normal day, I'm here in the sunporch in the morning and Ms. Kate is in her office at her computer. There's no TV or radio going and we only talk when we carry coffee to one another. So why is it that the house seems so very quiet? I wonder if there is such a thing as "the silence of absence"? If there wasn't --- there is now because I just invented a new term. I'm meeting my long time friend, Ron for lunch today. Ron recently lost his wife of forty or so years. He called me the other day to tell me that he is selling his house and land and moving to Ohio to be closer to his son. I suspect that Ron is experiencing that "silence of absence" too, although on a much deeper basis because Sandy won't be coming home in a few days like Ms. Kate will be. One of the reasons I encourage Ms. Kate to do these trips with Karen is because Karen lost her husband several years ago too and lives in a big place all by herself.

I did get some work done in my office last evening but haven't started yet on next weeks sermon except for collecting a few thoughts in my head. When I return from lunch today, I'll work out in the raspberry bed for a bit and then get started on writing. The weather is going to be just out of the 70's today and it is cloudy. So yard work will be a pleasure.

It is time to finish up my second cup of coffee here and stop and give thanks to a Magnificent God that showers my life with blessings and love. Today I lift up once again prayers for strength for my brother-in-law Byron and my sister as they deal with his cancer. I lift up prayers for successful operations for two of my parishioners that are having hip replacement surgery in the next couple if weeks. I lift of prayers for God's daily care, grace, mercy, and protection for all my loved ones as they go about their daily lives. I also lift up prayers of gratitude for this wonderful parish I am so blessed to serve and pray that I am doing it properly and in accorrdance with what God wants me to be doing.  I also pray that your day will be filled with God's love and blessings and that you will take time to acknowlege those blessings, and then share them with someone.  Shalom

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm doing things just a bit backwards today. We had to be up early today to get Ms. Kate up to her sister's house so they could get on the road by at least 0830. They are driving to Nashville to catch a plane to Las Vegas and will be gone for a week. So, once I dropped them off I stopped by the Donut Bank and picked up a couple of "tiger tails" to go with my coffee and headed up to the churches to run my bulletins for the week. That chore went swimmingly well and now I'm back home, having a cup of coffee in the sunporch while I wait on a fellow to return a call. I still haven't filled my birdfeeders so I don't have a lot of happy campers out there right now. It isn't as if there is nothing for them to eat; it's just that the "favorites" are all empty. Poor babies. I'll fill everything yet today so we can all have breakfast together in the morning.

I spent abouut five to six hours out in the yard yesterday unloading and spreading my pickup load of mulch. The weather was great for it. I don't know how other people do it but Ms. Kate has me put down several layers of newspaper first then cover than with mulch. She says it keeps the weeds down. I hope so. I spent enough hours bent over out there this week pulling God's "other flowers". One of the things I need to do tomorrow is tackle the black raspberry patch. We were gone when they came in season so we didn't get a one. But the weeds and the muberry bushes, which I fight constantly around this place have taken over the patch and I can hardly even see any raspberry plants.  My red raspberry patch is already a lost cause I think. Small trees and the snowball bush has taken over that space too. It is a dang jungle around here in one place or another all the time. Back in the the 1978-80 time frame we were stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. I had a yard-boy that came once a week. Every week he would mow my yard with a push reel mower; clean and clear and trim all of my bushes; wash my car, sweep my sidewalks, and polish my shoes and boots.  I think I may have paid him $125.00 a month. Man, I could sure use him now.

The rest of this day will be spent downstairs in my office at my computer. I've done nothing so far on September services or sermons. I did get the September newsletter done and printed and it is part of the bulletin inserts for this coming Sunday. But I still have my end of month reports to do too. So, all of that should keep me occupied while Ms. Kate is gone.

Well, the fellow that is supposed to call me hasn't yet so I reckon I will head downstairs and get busy. There's certainly a phone on my desk. As I close I lift up prayers for Ms. Kate and Karen to have a safe and fun trip. They haven't had any "sister-time" for at least eight months even though we only live about twenty-five miles apart. I call them the "Wild Women on the loose". I also lift up you, my readers, and pray God's blessing will cover you up. No matter how your day may be going, know that you have been in my thoughts and have been prayed for. Have a blessed day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Another beautiful start to the week. Wow! Thank yoy Lord Creator. It is currently 66 degrees with just a slight breeze and the sun is shining brightly. It hasn't quite come across the roof yet but isn't far off. The great news is that the weather forecasters are calling for a full week of weather just like this. It looks and feels like an autum day. As I look up through the tulip poplar tree I see a lot of yellow leaves up there which means that raking and mulching of the leaves isn't that far off.

We had a good weekend. Saturday I went and picked up a scoop of double-ground mulch to put on the flower bed that I was working on. By Saturday afternoon I finally finished pulling the weeds out of that one and cut the iris back. Today Iwill get the mulch put on it. Then it should be done until spring with the exception of trimming off the peonies some time in September. Of course, that is only one of the flowerbeds that we need to work on.

While I was pulling weeds, Ms. Kate was busy in the kitchen peeling and slicing and freezing up the last half bushel of peaches. She put up another 27 half pints and made two delicious peach pies, one of which we took over to neighbor Dan and his wife. The last piece of that will be my breakfast this morning before I head outside and work it off. But, with 57 new containers of peaches in the freezer, we're all set for winter. I'd like to get out to the orchards one more time and pick up maybe a peck of peaches yet and maybe if I'm extra nice, Ms. Kate will make another peach pie before the season is over. The problem is that she and her sister leave for a week of vacation tomorrow and we know I don't know how to make that pie. I could follow her recipe but it wouldn't taste the same. Like all good cooks, there are little things that she does when making things that she "just does" with out thinking about it; and those things never get written down on the recipe card.

Ms. Kate needs to run to the doctor this morning and have her monthly bloodwork done. Then she needs to finish packing her suitcase. I need to get out and fill all of the bird feeders today. As per usual on a Monday, they are all mostly empty. So, we each have our jobs for the day and then this evening I reckon I will get started on writing. I have this weeks sermon done but nothing done ahead' and it is coming up on the end of the month so that means end of the month reports to do also.

Ms. Kate just joined me here in the sunporch and brought a coffee refill so I'm off of here for today. Have a most blessed day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

And it is another Saturday! For all I can tell, it is also a beautiful Saturday too. The sun is shining and it is a nice 70 degrees out side. Thhe squirrels are busy at the feeders they can get on and the grackle and the bluejay are swapping turns at the feeder full of peanuts. It is a good thing I bought another 20# bag of those the other day.

Ms. Kate and I are moving kind of slow this morning. We spent a lot of timee out in the yard yesterday and are sore from that today. I'd like to spend the day not doing much but that won't get the work done. I think I'll start by going to the local Co-op store and getting a scoop full of mulch. That way I'll have it on the truck, whether I get around to spreading it today or Monday. The place closes at noon. By the time I get back, my body should be ready to finish weeding that flowerbed and then we'll see if I feel like spreading the mulch.

The other thing on our radar for either today or NLT Monday is getting the other half bushel of peaches put up. I think they are ready by now. Ms. Kate does most of the work in that job because she does all of the peeling. We slice them in the food processor, then together we put them in the containers. and I take them downstairs to the freezer. We should get another thirty half pints out of this half bushel. I had the weirdest dream last night though about those peaches. I dreamed that Ms. Kate was teaching me how to make peach kuchen and she wasn't happy because I kept taking bites out of them "to taste test them". It is strange what thoughts pass through a person's mind while they sleep.

I got the yards mowed yesterday afternoon and I also went and got a haircut. I was starting to get a little shaggy around the collar and the ears and I can't stand that. Too many years of military haircuts to allow that to happen. Besides, at 71, wearing my haiir long would just look incredibly silly. I do wish I could grow a nice beard though. But everytime I go about three or four days without shaving, it starts to drive me nuts. Besides that, my facial hair never comes in right to facilitate a nice beard; it's too sketchy.

Time to drop off and have a talk with the giver of all blessings. I hope I never lose the appreciation for my life and the love that surounds me on a daily basis. I am so very fortunate and I will never understand why I have been this blessed. All I can do is give thanks to God for His grace and mercy and work my hardest to be a proper citizen of God's kingdom. Tomorrow is Sunday, a day of rest and worship according to God's commandments. I hope you will take time to visit your house of worship and give thanks for God's presence in your life. Have a blessed day.

Friday, August 21, 2015

I wonder if Bluejays fart! If I ate as many peanuts as that bluejay out there on my feeder eats --- I'd have that problem.
Good morning, happy Friday, and welcome to my world of weird thoughts this morning. It is a fantastic morning. The temperature is 61 degrees, the sun is shining, the high today is to be 81 degees and low humidity. I hear a flowerbed calling my name asking to be rescued from the choke hold of a bunch of weeds. I have cleaned out that same bed already twice this summer and one would never know it. I need to get the weeds out, then get some mulch down. I spent about twenty minutes out there yesterday evening. The weeds were pulling up fairly well because of the rain. So, I need to take advantage of that. Ms. Kate, the Round-up Queen, is going out with me. It is a bit wet from dew yet to be working out there. After the sun dries the grass, I'll also take a John Deere ride through the yards and get my mowing done.
All my feeders are full this morning but I don't have many birds here; just a couple of cardinals and the bluejay. I did have five or six squirrels out there playing tag and chasing one another all over the yard but for the moment they too have gone. Ms. Margarets yard crew has been here already this morning across the fence so maybe the grass is drier than I think it would be. I finally figured out just who her yard guy looks like. If you have ever watched any of the Harry Potter movies, you will remember the guy that had the cat and was the caretaker there in the school. That's who this guy looks like.
Speaking of cats; the yellow cat from down the way was back in my yard again yesterday morning, just sitting in the crook of the pussy willow tree outside my door. I tried to "shoo" it away but instead it came down and came over to me like it wanted me to pet it. I thought for a moment it was going to to do that wrap around your leg thing that cats do but it didn't. Finally, it just walked off since I wouldn't feed it or pet it. I guess I am going to have to give it a name like I do my other critters. So far, it ignores my birds which is why we can remain friends. It just chases the squirrels which is all good by me.
We spent most of the day running around yesterday which is whyI never got to the blog. We had an appointment yesterday morning on the other side of town that took awhile; then out for lunch. Nexxt was a drive to a neighboring town to pick up a couple of cantelope, (which I just remembered are still in the car). Then it was back to the other side of town again and go to the bird feed store, then home. It as all just stuff to do but it all takes time. And --- unless I do my blog in the morning, I seldom get back to it. This is kind of my morning starter. It gives me a chance to have my coffee, sit and appreciate my world and life and give praise to God for it, watch what is going on in my yard, and clear my mind for the day to come. I also read my email, and jump on Facebook and see what my "friends" are all up to, and play my three games of Bingo and Criminal Case. If I'm lucky, one or more of my girls are also on and I can have a quick message chat with them. Welcome to the first two hours of my day. And now, --- having accomplished most of that for today --- it is time to get out in the yard. Have a blessed day. Knoow that you have been in my thoughts today and lifted up in prayer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

For the moment, it isn't raining this morning. But, it poured really hard several times early this morning. About 0530 it was getting light enugh to see through the yard and the rain was coming down like; ---- well, --- the proverbial cow and flat rock scenario. We picked up an inch and three quarters in the rain gauge. The good news is that we needed a rain and it will break the heat and humidity again. The bad news is that the rain was hard enough to knock almost all of the remaining blooms off of the phlox. So now, we basically have some black-eyed susans, some knock-out roses, and the potted geraniums blooming, and that's it.

Its Wednesday and of course that means a trip to the churches to run the bulletins, and prep the church for the Sunday service. We are also going to find ourselves a farm stand and pick up a cantelope or two. This region is known for being able to raise really good cantelopes. People call them all "Posey County" melons, although if truth be told, a lot of those Posey County melons come from Warrick County, Gibson County and even across the river in Illinois. But, there is a swath of land through there that is more sandy than other places and the soil is just right for melons. From there, I have no idea where we will end up or what else we will put on the agenda; although I think we will be coming back home and putting up some of the peaches we bought last weekend. Some of them are ripe enough to work with by now and I cleared some good space in the freezer downstairs.

I heard from Julie last night and she indicated the house inspection went well for the place they are buying. So, all of the paperwork is in place, the inspection is done and it is now time to let the bureaucracy of banks and mortgage systems do their slow roll. In the mean time, they are spending their free time packing, tossing, sorting, and stacking all of their stuff to move. Actually, her timing could not be worse because she is doing 12 hour shifts at the college bookstore she manages because it is "Rush", the period of time when all of the kids return to college. She manages the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at the Indiana University South East Campus there in New Albany, IN. So, besides receiving pallets and pallets and pallets of books, she has been going through the process of hiring new students to work in the store. Stick a Rhumatoid Arthritis flare-up in the mix with that and her stress level is pretty much maxed out. So, how does she relax, you may ask. Friday evening, when she gets off work she is heading to the Baxter Avenue Morgue there in Louisville KY, to become a character player in their annual Haunted House! Yep --- she's just weird enough to be my child, and like the rest of us in this wondeerful family of mine --- she's a work-a-holic.

Once again the coffeee cup is empty and it is time to wrap this up. My Devotional has been read and now it is time for some conversation with the giver of every blesssing I have received. I heard from my sister concerning my brother-in-law and there is no good news on that front so I'll contiue to ask for God's strenth for him and for the family. I'm also lifting up a lady on our prayer list that has been off of the Facebook radar for almost a week, At last report, things were really taking a turn for the worse with her cancer. So, again, I ask for God's strength and mercy. Cancer, especially in the last stages, is a ravager of strength and spirit. I don't know, and I hope I never have to know, how people get through it to the end of their life without a relationship with God. And, I also see it all the time that so many people and families who never seemed to have a hour for God on a Sunday during the rest of their lives, suddenly have all kinds of time for God. I don't know how God truly deals with that but I believe in God's mercy and forgiveness. But I also remember the word's of Jesus when he talked about that very issue and he said the answer will be "I never knew you." That is one truly scairy thought. Get in touch with God today.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes races were just held across my roof. Fuzzy Butt won by a tail. What a commotion these squirrels make when they get to chasing one another up there. They come up the Dogwood trees on the front of the house and go back down through the Pussy Willow tree beside the back door. They used to jump from the roof to a branch from the Poplar tree but I cut that back out of reach  which was quite a suprise to one of them the morning after I did it and it made the jump and barely caught itself on the edge of the branch.

The bluejays have been putting up their own commotion this morning too. It might have had to do with the fact that the yellow cat came through the yard again this morning. It stopped at the poplar tree, checked for squirrels to chase and went on its merry way. That cat needs to come back here and catch that darn vole' that runs across my patio. But, it leaves my birds alone and only chases the squirrels. We had a hawk fly in yesterday and snatch up a small bird of some kind and sit thre on a braancj and eat every morsel of it.

My chore for the day is to take the truck to have the servicing done. It has been a long time since I did that. I don't drive it a lot so it can go a year between servicing and still not reach recommended mileage. I probably don't really need a truck but you can't haul a lot of mulch  or furniture in the back of a Cadillac. Besides, I'm making my last truck payment this month and it only has about 35,000 miles on it and is in perfect condition. I doubt I will ever have to buy another one.

Ms. Kate fixed fried chicken yesterday for lunch. She makes the second best fried chicken that I've ever eaten. Her mama's was better somehow; or maybe it is the memory of her doing it for us that adds to the taste. The first meal Ms. Kate ever cooked for me when we were dating was fried chicken. Gosh, that has been probably 53 years ago. My mother made terrible fried chicken, but then there wasn't much that she cooked that I ever thought was very good. For whatever reason she never got the skin on the chicken crisp. Maybe it was because my father liked it that way; who knows. But, --- a good indication of how my mother cooked is demonstrated by the fact that when we had pot luck dinners at church, she was only ever asked to bring a salad or dessert. At one time she made good salads and also made a really good apple pie.

Speaking of apple pies and such. We went to the orchard last week and picked up a buschel of peaches to put up. They aren't quite ripe just yet but we will be putting them in the freezer by the week end. And --- the folks at the orchard told us that "U-pick" apples may be coming on in another three weeks or so. That means apple pie, and I love me some apple pie. Ms. Kate uses no less than six or eight apples in a pie depending on size. If they are small, she'll use ten. So, we'll go out and pick a couple of buschel at a time. It makes me hungry to just think about it. When I was a kid, our next door neighbor always thought that he had to put a slice of chedder cheese on his apple pie. He was famous for saying; "Apple pie without some cheese, is like a kiss without a squeeze."

I've set here long enough and I must get busy. Besides that, I've made myself hungry. I hope you have a blessed day.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The clouds come and go, --- holding off any brilliant sunshine this morning. It is only 74 degrees but the humidity is climbing already as storms approach between now and Wednesday. It is a typical August morning and I'm blessed to be alive and part of it. So, I wish you a happy Monday morning and hope you have a great start to your week.

We had a quiet weekend with not much going on other than the routine routines. We had a fairly full church yesterday which is always a blessing. We only have two more Sundays of our combined parish worship services and then we will go back to two services again. I do love the combined services and the folks from both congregations seem to like them too. It helps to keep the illusion of a full church as people take summer vacations etc. But on the other hand, I suspect that each congregation will be glad to get back to doing their own thing. come September. One of the things we lose during the summer schedule is the Sunday school class. We don't normally have that at St. Paul's anyway but instead have what they call Scriptures and Donuts after the service. During that time they discuss the message of the day and the scriptures we used that day. Or --- maybe they simple use the time to socialize. We don't get to stay for it so I'm not truly sure what they talk about. Bu it is time dedicated to faith family fellowship so it is all good. St. Lucas has adult Sunday school prior to the worship service. that uses a regular Christian education format. Unfortunately, Ms. Kate and I don't get to attend either because of timing.

There isn't much blooming in the backyard these days. The phlox has lost probably seventy five percent of the blooms it had on it. The hummingbirds still love it though. And, it is starting to get that fall mildew on it. Ms. Kate says we have some sprayy to put on that to prevent spreading, so I guess I'll have to look for that. We have a few black-eyed susans blooming out by the west fence that the finches like to eat the seeds from. And, the "naked - lady" lilies are just about done with their bloom. Some people call them Magic Liles, and some peoople call the "Surprise Lilies"; but I've always heard them called "Naked - Ladies". That is because they have very little foliage that shows and have a tall stem that sticks up there by itself with a pink bloom.

As I offer up my convesation wit the Lord this morning, I'm keeping in my and asking for comfort for loved ones and friends who are dealing with cancer and other health issues. I haven't heard from my sister again for a couple of weeks so I don't know what is going on with Byron. We have a lady at chuch that is facing yet another joint replacement. Bless her heart, she has a degenerative bone condition that has caused her so very much suffering. I'm also lifing up my daughter Julie as she starts Rush period at the university and all of the students come in and get their books. She and the crew that works for heer are going to be stressed to the max for the next ten days or so. It always causes her to have flare-ups with her rheumatoid arthritis, andshe is in the process of also trying to prepare for a move as she is buying a new house. So, I pray for strength, mentally and physically for her.

The coffee cup is now empty and I must get a refill and check on Ms. Kate's coffee status. I hope you have a most wonderful week. When things get overwhelming --- stop, take a deep breath, and praise God that you are able to be doing what ever it is you are involved in. Then, ask God if God will let your life be an example for someone else. See you tomorrow. Have a blessed day.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tis  a wee bit cloudy this morning as I sit here enjoying my morning coffee. And, -- it is strangely quiet. There are no birds around except a couple of sparrows, and no squirrels have shown up so far. Ms. Margret's yard crew across the back fence has already come and gone, school is in session so the kids next door aren't making any noise, and even the other neighbor's dog has quit barking. So the only sound I hear is the clicking of my keyboard. I love the sound of peace and silence.

And, a good Friday morning to you! I don't know what your schedule holds for today but mine will include mowing my yard and filling the bird feeders and the bird baths. Ms. Kate and I need to get to the orchard and get some peaches before they are all gone. We missed out one year and I go through what we put up in the freezer rather quickly. They make a super evening snack. I like to take them out of the freezer, microwave them about 45 seconds or just enough to break up the solid block, and eat them with the ice still on them.

I may even spend some time today pulling some more weeds. I was sore all day yesterday from the working in the flowerbeds on Wednesday. A few ibuprophen got me through the day and today I can work it all over again. This aging stuff, (note that I didn't say getting old) tends to take a toll on you especially when a person lives a relatively sedentary life. I get amazed at guys like my friend Bob who is eleven years older than I am and he and his buddy go out and cut firewood for sale. He's also the one who raises the corn that we get and his tomatoes are seven foot tall. So, when I'm around Bob, I try not to mention that I might have a sore back or muscles.

I did my visitation yesterday and went to the church and got things ready for Sunday. Ms. Kate didn't go with me this time, she was busy getting a perm and a haircut. Yesterday evening we went out to a local tavern called the Darmstadt Inn, for dinner. They make the best open-faced roast beef sandwiches. The servings are big and the roast beef is super tender, and it was cheap. Two meals, our iced tea, and tip came to $20.00. I think some of the best food in our area comes from these little country taverns. We and Bob and his wife are going to a different one for lunch tomorrow to finally celebrate a shared birthday. That one specializes in their deep fried mushrooms and going there on our birthday for mushrooms has become an annual event.

The sun has broken through the clouds as I sat here and God produced yet another beautiful day. So, it is time to give thanks for that and also to lift each of you up in prayer. Take time to attend you local house of worship this weekend. Give God thanks for what God has done for you this week. Regardless of your physical or mental status, God has shared blessings with you and walked beside you all week. Take some time to bow before the majesty of the Lord. It's good for your soul!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Aah Thursday, --- one of my seven favorite days of the week! And God has ceertainly made this a beautiful Thursday. its 75 degrees this morning and the sun is shining brightly. No rain is predicted for the next few days although the humidity will start climbing again today. It will be a great day to be out and about.

Yellow cat has been here already this morning and chased all of the squirrels away, It came galloping across my roof and sunporch and down the pussy willow tree after a young squirrel. Unfortunately, it didn't catch one. My night raider came again last night and got the bark butter stick feeder down and licked it clean again. I have got to find a different place for that thing or a beter method for hanging it. I think it is that danged raccoon but I'm not sure. As I've said before, we have a possum out there too. It also managed to cock one of the other feeders to the side and clean it off too. They need to understand that this is not an all night buffet.

Wednesday plans did not go as I thought. We didn't get out to the churches or to do visitation. I did however, get a lot of weeds pulled from two of the flowerbeds and the lilies stalks pulled off. I filled four of those large Sam's lawn gas full. This wet summer has really kept the weeds growing. All of the flowerbed work I did a few weeks ago needs to be re-done. So today, I must get ready and out the door and do my visitation today.

I'm making this short today. But I hope your day is filled with the joy and peace that comes from Jesus Christ. I read a thing posted by one of my parishioners the other day that said; "When I turned my life over to God, I took it out of the hands of a total idiot!"  I like that sentiment because it is so true. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Once again it is mid-week, or hump day, what ever else you might want to call it. Around here, it is generally caled "bulletin day" or visitation day because today we will do both. Years ago we settled on the idea of doing our bulletins on Wednesday because for nine months of the year we also have choir practice on Wednesday night. And, --- we've used to have a Wednesday morning Bible study. Unfortunately, many of the people that attended that have passed on or have gotten too old to want to do that any more. But, we've always made good use of the Wednesdays in our life since we've been at the churches.

I had to replace one of my bark butter feeders this morning. One of our night critters got it down again on the ground and licked it clean. But, it has hung out there for about three years and has gotten rotted to the point that it didn't take much pressure to pull the screw out of the end of it. It was nothing more than a fourteen inch piece of a branch with one inch holes augered out of it to hold the bark butter. But the birds all seem to love it so I put up a new one.

The yellow cat is back again this morning and is in the neighbors tree. It is really pretty high up there too. I'm sure it chased a squirrel up there. But it seems a bit perplexed right now about how to get down.  ------ nope, it made it down just fine. That cat is going to drive the squirrels bonkers because they can no longer be safe just running up the tree six feet like they do when the pups are here. Yesterday it was sitting outside my sunporch door wanting to come in. --- I think not!

It is a nice cool and sun shiny morning. I think will go work in the flowerbeds for about an hour this morning. I need to deadhead the lilies among a thousand other things. But that would make the place look less overgrown and more cared for. I just never seem to get caught up. Why I'm even considering expanding a couple of flowerbeds is just beyond me, but I will.

I told you that Julie and Jim found a house they want to buy. Well, they are officially in escrow for the first time in their lives. The whole family is sharing in their excitement. In fact, we have a message stream on Facebook that has been running about a year. She named the stream "The Committee" last night because we have all been so involved in her process by asking a milllion questions. Most likely we are driving her nuts; --- but it's a trip full of love. I think Ms. Kate and I have moved about twenty times in our almost fifty years of marriage which included thirty two years of military service and moves. I'd hate to think about moving from this place. We have lived here since 2001 which is a lot longer than we have lived anywhere.

It is time for me to stop and get out into the yard and pull the stems off of the lilies. I hope you have a day that is crammed with blessings. Even more, I hope you give thanks for those blessings and then share them. C' ya'!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

     OK, my question of the day is: "How many preachers does it take to change a lightbulb?" Sometimes doing the simplest task can cause the most aggravation. Ms. Kate had ask me to replace the lightbulb under the microwave that is placed over the stove, maybe 15 inches. I looked under there and saw that it should only take the removal of a single phillips head screw and a panel would drop down to veal he light. So, I got my little screwdriver, dropped the panel and took hold of the bulb and it came on! Yay for me! Viola', thought I; it's just a lose bulb. So I turned it to tighen it only to have the bulb, and only the bulb, come out. ----- A very unholy thought ensued along with an audible expression that questioned nobody in particular's parental status, and I went to get a pair of needle nose pliers. --- I couldn't find a single pair of my six pair that I know I have. (another audible).  I decided to take a flathead screwdriver and maybe I could bend the base of that lightbulb in enough that I could grab it with a small pair of regular pliers. The trick here of course is to bbend the copper base in but not break the plastic socket it is screwed into. And of course not shock myself bcause I can't tell if the thing is on or off.

    Pliers and screwdriver in hand I went back to the kitchen. I'm having to bend over the stove and work in a 15" space to try to get the base of a lightbulb out of a 1/4 inch socket. This is not fun and while I could get the base bent a little, no way were my pliers going to fit into that little hole to grab it. So, after another audible, I went back to the garage to continue my search for a pair of my needle nose pliers. This time I found a pair and headed back to the kitchen. After a solid fifteen minutes of me bending over aand twisting my body in order to twist and turn the base of the bulb, I finally got the last piece out. Yes, it came out in about ten twisted and broken pieces. ---- and "no", I didn't have a replacement bulb. So, yesterday afternoon, after a visit to the funeral home for a friend, we went to Lowes so I could get a new bulb. They didn't have one that looked exactly like the one I had in my hand but they did have one that said "mirowave" on the package. That one now is installed in my microwave and seems to work just fine. So, the answer to the question of how manay preachers does it take to change a lightbulb is; --- "just one, but it an all day event." But, Ms. Kate is happy that she now has a light over her stove again and I'm happy because the bulb is supposd to last 2000 hours, which given the infrequency of use, should last the rest of my life.

    So that's my tale today. It has nothing to do with this magnificent day God has provided or the sun shining off of the pholx while the hummingbird nuzzles from one bloom to another. It was just a chance to laugh at myself and invite you to join me as I do. It was just a reminder to not take ourselves too serious and to look for the joy in life even if it is as simple as changing a lightbulb. I hope that you find some simple joys in your life today, and when you do, stop and send thanks to the source of all joy and good things; our Father, God.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Let another week begin! Happy Monday. Last week was a mixed bag of a week. It started off with Amanda's accident and her miracuous escape from that truck and being able to get her boyfriend out of the truck too; and neither of them having much more than scrapes and bruises. Then Julie and Jim searching for their first home to buy; and yes, they found one and their offer was accepted; and then I played a solo on my trumpet for the worship service yesterday and made it through with zero missed notes and a lot of compliments. All in all, that was an exciting week.

This morning has been an adventurous morning in the back yard too. Many of my feeders are empty this morning which is frustrating the squirrels as they go from one to another looking for an easy meal. The ones that do have food in them, are ones that they haven't figured out how to get into yet. But --- they have a bigger problem this morning and it comes in the form of the neighbors big yellow cat. Norally when Julie brngs the pups over they chase the squirrels and the squirrels run up the tree  about six feet and the pups are left wanting. The squirrels found out this morning that the big yellow cat will go sraight on up the tree after them. so it has been interesting watching that little circus play out this morning. I don't like the cat being in my yard because I spend lots of money to keep the birds here. But, if it is leaving my birds alone and trying to get the squirrel --- have at it.

We've had several bluejays here this weekend too. I had four again this morning. They really like the shelled peanuts that I've been putting out. Between the bluejays and the grackels, there is almost always a bird on that particular feeder. And, it is a hard mesh wire feeder and the squirrels can only see and smell the peanuts, but so far they haven't figured out how to get anything out of it. But they are like Joshua at Jericho; they keep circling the feeder trying to figure a way in.

Its a rainy day as another front passes through. I think it is supposed to be pretty well over by this evening. We don't have a lot on our agenda for this week. I will go do my visitations and of course I'll need to go up to the church and take care of the admin stuff there. But that is about it other than normal stuff like planning services and writing. We only have three weeks of our combined parish services left and then everything reverts back to the regular schedule times and services. I'm really glad that the churches have agreed to do this. It just makes sense. Yesterday, we had several families out for vacation and for the beginning of the state fair. Had we been doing two services attendance would have really looked thin. But now, school starts today and folks will be back home. I expect we will have aa full sanctuary for the next few weeks.

Max Lucado had a great devotional on Facebook this morning. It gave me good stuff to think about and maybe even turn into a sermon. It was a selection out of his book called "The Applause of Heaven", on realizing that no matter what your situation is in life, in reality, you have everything you need when you have a relationship with God. I try to remember that most of the times but sometimes my list of "wanted stuff" gets in my way.

This morning I lift up prayers once again for friends and loved ones that are sick. Some are terminal and they know it. Almost all of the people on our prayer list at church are victims of cancer; most in stage four; including my brother-in-law. I --- we--- lift up prayers everyday for their comfort. We fully realize that God heard us the first time and will answer in what ever manner God choses to do so and in God's time. But we continue to pray because we use prayer for them as our "last stand" against pending grief and loss. It is the only thing we feel that we can do and the only thing that we need to do if in fact we have turned over our life to God. And so we pray, maybe as nothing more than a reminder to God that this person, --- these people, -- are people we love and care about and we are grateful that they have touched our life. Reach out today and touch someone who is important in your life. Give God thanks for that person or those people. And when you smile as you think of them --- you are remembering blessings sent from God.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A beautiful morning, coffee in my cup, sunshine and flowers in my back yard and all my aviary friends here for breakfast. What a great way to start the day.  Between the blue jays and the grackles, the peanuts are almost gone. I actually had three bluejays out here this morning which is unusual. Generally they don't come around in more than pairs. If we go out today we'll need to stop at Wildbirds and get some more peanuts. Or, I guess we could stop at Pet Food Center and see if they have them. It is closer and might even be cheaper. The stuff I get from Wildbirds and Things is a bit dicey with the price.

Well, here comes little long ears, my bunny. I haven't seen him in a couple of days. He is staying farther out in the yard these days and tends to eat under one particular feeder and that's alright. At least he is staying out of Ms. Kate's flowerpots. I'm not sure if he is eating spilled seed out there or eating the sprouts that shoot off of the sunflower seeds when they get wet. That would be more in keeping and would be good and tender for him too.

I'm seeing the first vestiges of a change in the yard and seasons again. I have few of the leaves that are starting to fall from the poplar trees; not many, --- but a few. Yesterday the rain and clouds brought in a record "cool high". I know we'll have plenty of hot and humid days yet but that was an anomaly. On the other hand, our entire weather pattern this year has beeen weird. Its been hot when it shouldn't have been, cold when it shouldn't have been and more rain than we need. We, the people of this planet have certainly screwed up our atmosphere and changed our weather patterns. We can't blame or credit God for all of this. God doesn't pollute the atmosphere; people do. I watched a timelapse video from a satellite showing how the air pollution coming out of Asia comes around the world and is dense enough to change our weather. For all of the efforts to clean up our atmosphere here, all we are doing is sending them clean air and they send us back filth. It just is proof to me of something I heard decades ago. I remember being told that in a Nuclear War, if we fired everything we had and Russia fired nothing, we'd lose the war. They would have the destruction for sure, but the nuclear fall out would all come back down on us via the jet streams. How's that for your happy thought for today?

Julie hasn't had much luck so far in her house hunt. They start again tomorrow at 10:00 am. They had one they really like but the owner wouldn't compromise on anything at all. They had another that looked really promising but the renters had totally trashed the place. I hate that for the owners. Hopefully they will find a nice place yet this weekend. Amanda is doing well since her accident and I contunue to thank God for that.

I haven't read my devotional yet this morning so I need to get on with that, then a conversation with the Lord and give thanks once again for such a beautiful day. Then I need to put this beautiful day to use and not waste it. I hope you will take time to give God praise today. No matter what is going on in your life, God is with you. If you are sick, I pray God brings you comfort of body and spirit. If you are well and having a geat day, I pray you will stop and give thanks for that. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

We've had to get up early every morning this week because of some early morning appointment. Today we have nothing on the schedule and we are up earlier than usual. I guess God decided I needed to come out and watch the rain drop fall, or not fall, or fall again. What ever the cause --- we are up early today. They say "The early bird gets the worm," and if that is so, then that fat robin will be making a haul this morning.

Speaking of Robins; I love the internet. I got to watching the robins the other day as they went about their business of finding worms. But, I wondered how in the world they find worms. Generally you see a robin and it will sit with its head cocked to one side and then suddenly it will run to a spot and grab up a worm. Most people might tell you that they are "listening" for worms, and I've heard that all my life. But I went to Google and asked the question and found out that actually their eyes are exponentially better than humans and they are watching the earth for movement just below the surface. I find it facinating that (a) they can do that; and (b) that I can just go to the internet and ask a question like that and up pops the answer. I mean, who puts all of this stuff out there? When I was a kid in elementary and middle school my parents bought a set of Compton's Encyclopedias. They paid like $300.00 for the set which in the 1950's was a huge amount of money. I don't know of another family that had a set, but I'm sure others did. But, when it came time for me and my sister to write research papers, that was our source of reference because no way were we going to be driven all the way into town to the library. Today I doubt that kids even know what an encyclopedia is. And if they had a set it would be out of date before it was even printed. That's how fast technology puts out information today.

My backyard is full of birds today. I have plenty of feed in most of the feeders. The only ones that are totally empty are the bark butter feeders. But, there are feeders full of sunflower seeds and others full of peanuts, The hummingbird feeder is still fine and llittle Buzz is making good use of it. Afterwhile, when it quits raining, I'll go out and top everything off again.

I don't know what is on the agenda today. I know I have to practice my trumpet for Sunday. I didn't yesterday or the day before so I need to work on my song again today. I know the song; that's not the problem. The problem is keeping the lip in shape to play it. This is just more work I have caused myself. But, --- I constantly tell people that if God gave you a talent, (and God has given everyone some kind of talent;) then you are obligated to use it or you are wasting a blessing. So, I'll get this one done because I do not want to be a hypocrite.

I'll close with prayers for loved ones far and near. God continues to bless us as a family and me individually. I am so very grateful. I pray you will have a good day and will take time to say a prayer today and lift up someone you know that just might need to know that you love them and are praying for them.

C' ya'

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Its an afternoon post today. This morning we were up early for a 0900 appointment with our lawyer to finalize our wills, health care representitive and living wills. Not fun stuff but critically necessary stuff. We just got home and the phone rang and it was our friends up by the church wanting to know if we wanted some more sweetcorn to put up. We said we did and took off again. We visited for awhile with them and then headed home again with six dozen ears of corn in tow. Now, every thing is done including filling my belly with with some of the best sweet corn on earth. We put up seven pints and seventeen half pints today. Last week we put up that much too but we gave it all away. We kept back a dozen ears for subsequent meals today.  We still need to go through our downstairs freezer and make room for peaches. The Freestone peaches should be read any time now. 

It has been a rainy day on and off; nothing heavy, just a system passing through the area. It has knocked down the heat and humidity though and I like that part. I stepped outside yestrday evening and it actually felt "cool".  Those days will be here soon enough so I'll make no complaints about hot weather. I'm glad it has rained eough to wet the soil enough to dig in. I still need to put in that last flowerbed addition. I tried to break the soil up a bit the other day and it was hard as a rock.

My daughter, Lisa, posted an updated picture of Amanda after the accident. Her eye has a shiner to be proud of. I still give thanks to God that they were not hurt more than they were. I look at the pictures of that truck and I just can hardly bellieve they were both killed or as a minimum had multiple serious injuries. God certainly held them in the palm of God's hands. There is no other rational explanation.

I got a notice from Lori, my sister's daughter saying that Byron isn't doing well at all. His PSA has risen and he is too weak to have Chemo. They are recommending that he continue to stay at the nursing home. My heart goes out to him and I can only pray for comfort and some resemblance to quality oof life. 

I reckon I'm done for today. We are waiting to hear from Julie and Jim. They are out house hunting and had five to see this afternoon. I really hopw they find one they like and get it. They had one they really liked but the owner wanted full asking price and wouldn't compromise in any way. So, obviously he wasn't too inerested in selling. Have a good evening. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My blog today is simply praise for God Almighty. My granddaughter, Amanda was the passenger in this Ford F-250 last night and her boyfriend, Ben, was the driver. They have walked away with scrapes, and bruises. He was pinned in, she managed to get out of the truck and somehow get him out before any help arrived. Ben says his friend Christian helped Amanda pull him out. ---- The twist --- Christian died within a quarter of a mile of  that location a year ago. God provides. Don't ever doubt it for a moment.

Monday, August 3, 2015

God has popped out another one of those beautiful days. The sun is shining brightly and it is already warm today. The temps and humidity are back and this is a "typical" August day. I have no less than a half dozen squirrels playing chase around the trees, over the house and back again, across the yard and back up the trees. One thing they do not lack is stamina. My feeders are getting empty once again so sometime today I need to take care of that. I have two blackbirds out there in the birdbath and water is going everywhere. I'll need to fill that again today too. I just filled it last night.

We've had a good weekend. Yesterday at church our young visually impaired girl served as our liturgist and she did a really great job. I'm sure that part of the reaason she volunteered to do that was because yesterday was her family's family reunion. But, what ever her motivation, she had to have worked her tail off to make it go that smoothly. We also had a quartet sing a special song, and it was the first time that I've gotten any of my St. Paul's folks to do that. Best of all, the church was totally full and the sound of the voices lifting their praise to God was wonderful. I must admit, when the days and services go like that --- it makes me want to do this forever; --- but Iwon't.  One of these days I need to get serious about retiring. But then what???

Today's activities are fairly simple. We need to go to the post office and a couple of other places, and then back home and down to my office. I'm still working on getting my lip in shape to play my trumpet for a solo this week at church. It hasn't been easy. You can't go years between practice sessions and expect to not suffer for it. But, it is coming along. I've narrowed the list of songs that I might do down to three; --- three that are easiest on my lip and lungs.

Tomorrow we have a couple of guys coming to he house to wash our windows. That might sound lazy but -- they will do it for $175.00 and  only take an hour to wash all 29 of our windows inside and out. It is well worth the money. We used them last year and they did a superior job.

Ms. Kate is back from going to have her blood work done, I have some Pillsbury Orange Danish rolls in the oven baking and am about ready for my second cup of coffee. I love those orange rolls and I also love Toaster Strudels. . Kate says they aren't very good for me but then most of the stuff I really love to eat isn't very good for me. I'm pretty much a carb and sugar junkie. And --- I could eat "breakfast" three times a day; or pasta, or pasta for breakfast.

Time to quit for the day and get on with what needs to be done. I hope you are having a great start to your work week and that you will be aware of all of the blessings that God is going to send your way this week. Think peaceful thoughts, be kind to strangers, and do something for somebody each day and your weekend will be here before you know it. God is good, all the time.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A happy Saturday morning to the world this morning. It is a beautiful morning as I look out the windows and doors of the sunporch. The sun is shining brightly, making the phlox blooms glisten in the brilliant sunlight. I have cardinals, blackbirds, finches, downy woodpeckers, ladderback woodpeckers, sparrows and of course squirrels all competing for the feeders this morning. I put the barkbutter paste feeders out fresh again this morning. They were empty last evening so I filled them but held them back so the night raiders wouldn't get them. I also filled all of my peanut feeders up last night and they are most popular this morning. As I was filling those feeder I had several peanuts fall on the ground and sidewalk, ---- they are all gone this morning. Little "Long ears" my bunny rabbit has been here too this morning peering in to check on me. At least he has quit getting in the flowerpots and eating off Ms. Kate's plants. That's probably because he ate all of the one he liked. I don't see any of it out there anymore. It reminds me of a calico cat we had that used to eat all of Ms. Kate's ferns. Buzz, the hummingbird has been back this morning too. We changed out the feed in its feeder last evening too. They also love the Four-Oclock" blooms outside my front door.

Well, as I wrote last evening, we were wondering what to do about our supper. Low and behold, Neighbor Dan called and asked if we were interested in some pork steaks that he was getting ready to take off of the grill. He brought over a plate full of delicious pork steaks. Ms. Kate fixed a plate of fresh cucumbers and tomatoes to go with it and supper was ready! So "Thank you, Dan." For dessert we went to Cold Stone Creamery where I had my usual sweet cream mixed with strawberries and Ms. Kate has her sweet cream mixed with black cherries.  It is wonderful to have a close neighbor like that. All of my other neighbors are "speaking neighbors" but not much beyond that. The fact that Dan and I are both retired military, both worked in law enforcement for a career job, (he in civilian life, and I in the military) makes us pretty close.

Today is the first day of August already. Summer has been passing quickly and strangely. The weather has been so freaky this year that it seems that we really haven't had the "summer experience". But, I guess we have. Of course it has been an eventful and emotional summer too with two family deaths and two vacations. I just never seem to be really caught up with all I need to get done. But school will be starting for the kids in the area soon. In fact, high school football teams and high school bands are already out there on the fields practicing for the beginning of the school year. And, --- Ms. Kate went in to Hobby Lobby the other day and came back out and told me that they already were filling up the store with Christmas merchandise.

I need to jump on the mower and mow the yards this morning. They don't look bad; --- but they don't look great either. They just need a haircut; and I'm just the guy to handle that. So, with that thought in mind, I'll finish my coffee, have a chat with the Lord, and press on with my day. I hope your day will be most blessed. Mine already has been. God is good; -- all the time.