Monday, November 30, 2015

It is Cyber-Monday! I'm so excited I may have to take an extra nap today to celebrate. I suppose there are fingers flying all over keyboards today as people order their Christmas presents via cyber-space and credit cards melt in the process. I think I make it fairly easy for my family although none of them will agree; --- Lowe's gift cards. Just give me a Lowe's gift card and I can shop at my leisure for free all year long. The girls think I'm boring and they don't know how I can be satisfied with the same gift year after year, but it works. Ms. Kate and I have been trying to think of a something to get each other for a couple of months now and the basic fact is that we both come up blank. We have reached that comfortable senior citizen stage where our needs are minimal and if we want something, we can generally afford it, within reason.  And, I generally talk myself out of stuff that I might "want", but not "need". For example, I will pick an item up in the store and may carry it around the entire time we are shopping, and 98% of the time, I will put it back on the shelf before we leave the store. I had it in mind that I needed to get a new John Deere Lawn tractor a few weeks ago. I got the literature, I researched and read all of the reviews on the mower I wanted; I even talked to the salesman a couple of times discussing trade-in (which they won't give you much at all) and I probably read everything there was to be read for about a month. I thought I had to have one with  more horsepower and a little bigger to help with my snow removal because mine tends to sit and spin if the snow get too deep. However, -- in the end, I threw away the brochures and went to the dealership and ordered a set of chains for the back tires. So, I spent $90.00 instead of $3500.00. And who knows; --- it might not snow at all this year; and if I still want a new one come spring, I can always go buy one when they go one sale with the new models.  Yeh, I know, --- I drive Ms. Kate nuts!!

We are back home from vacation and there is a lot of stuff to put away and a list of things to do. First thing this morning I went out and filled fifteen feeders. The birds were flipping me the wing and the squirrels were giving me the tail. Now I have a wealth of cardinals, titmouse, woodpeckers, finches, a pair of Fuss-a-lot bluejays and a squirrel out there enjoying the filled feeders. It is 45 degrees out there this morning and is a damp grey day. It felt good to wrap my hands around my coffee cup when I got back inside.

We thoroughly enjoyed our week away even though it was only a 90 mile drive. Julie and Jim enjoyed it too and it was nice to be with them. Julie said it was so relaxing to have no expectations or anyplace we had to go. She and Ms. Kate spent hours and hours playing Klondike on the computer. I reckon my data charges are going to be high this month because there was no internet in the cabins, and we used Ms. Kate's  IPhone "hotspot"  for hours on end to maintain internet connectivity. Julie is also an avid reader and read four books this week. I read about a third of my book.

Time to put up the IPad and vacate my chair and get busy. I hope you have a blessed day. As I look around my back yard and enjoy the birds, and yes even the squirrels, I again realize just how blessed I truly am. God is good --- all the time. Have a great day.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

It is Saturday morning and the last day of our vacation. We'll pack everything up in the morning and head on back down the road to "real-world". It has been a blessing to be here though and enjoy a week with Julie and Jim. I would love to have had the rest of the family here but that wasn't possible so we just enjoy the blessings as they come.

There was no beautiful sunrise this morning, just clouds and a bit of a drizzle. In fact, I'm not sure that what I see isn't just residual rain drops coming off of the roof. But it is a dreary looking morning if that is how you want to think. I'd prefer to call it a cloudy, slightly foggy morning where the world seems at peace. One barge has just passed and is now rounding the second bend to the right while another is just off to my left as it comes down the river. The intriguing thing though is --- "the box". There was a brown box, about the size of a cooler or a chest, slowly floating down the river. I would loved to have had a good fishing pole to try and cast out and see if I could snag it and bring it in. Although Ms. Kate says "you may not want to know what is in there", my curiosity is peaked and my imagination is running wild. I want to know what is in "the box".

It has been fairly quiet out here this morning. The people in the cabin to the right packed up and left about 30 minutes ago. The people in the cabin to the left have been out and moving around. but have gone back inside now. Beyond that, the only sound is and has been the birds which have been flying in and out of here. One titmouse flew close enough to literally brush my hair with the wind from its wings. The single bird feeder is empty and they keep coming back to try to get something from it. Ms. Kate suggested that I crumble up a bun and put that out for them and that is what I have done. But, they haven't discovered it yet. I scattered it along the railing about five feet in front of me.

We didn't do much yesterday, or at least Ms. Kate and I didn't. Jim had ordered a new filter for his large fish tank at home yesterday on the "Black Friday" special. Unfortunately, it had to be picked up in the store yesterday and the store was an hour away. That meant they had to get out in that horrible Black Friday traffic to go get it. And --- when they got there they found out that the store was out of it and had been since early morning. They were supposed to have gotten an "out of stock" email. Well, they did get the email; --- it came through as they were standing there in the store. They were not happy campers.

I think the plan is for me to make pancakes this morning so I better go get to mixing up some batter. Lord knows we wouldn't want to take a chance on starving around here. LOL   We have enough leftovers that we should eat good all week.

I hope you have the time to sit and enjoy your weekend. Take time to give thanks to God who made it all possible. Blessings!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Some may call this Black Friday, and I guess if I was one of those people who think it totally appropriate and "fun" to push and shove people out of the way to save a few dollars on something that I didn't need yesterday but can't live without today --- then I would love the shopping phenomena called Black Friday too. However, while they are doing that --- I'm sitting on the porch of our cabiin, listening to the sound of the Corinthian Chimes gently ringing in a slight breeze, watching for any barges that might come up or down the river, watching the crows and vultures sail overhead across the river, and enjoying the total peace that surrounds me. I am so very glad that we decided to do this for our last week of vacation. It was the perfect way for us to spend Thanksgiving week. It is relatively easy to imagine yourself in the early days of this country as an early settler or native Amercan sitting in this same spot, watching this same river flow by, listening to the peace of God's world.

Yesterday was a relaxing day too. Since we brought most everything prepped or partially prepared it made it a lot less stressful. Ms. Kate's sister, Karen came over to spend the day with us which added to the family atmosphere. Karen's family all had other places to be and things to do so she would have been alone. We are so glad she accepted our invitation. Of course we had way too much food; that goes without saying. We had the usual requirements; turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, hot rolls, cranberry sauce, apple pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate pie and coffee. The only things missing that would have been on our table if we were home were, Oyster dressing, regular dresssing, and sweet potatoe casserole. We didn't need them obviously because we waddled away from the table totally satisfied and happy.

It has been great having the week with Julie and Jim. Jim got here late Wednesday evening. He'll get to stay through Saturday until we all head out on Sunday. Julie's assistant at work just took a new job and Ruwsh is coming up soon at the University, so she is going to really get slammed at work with all of that. She really needed this break to rest up. Ms. Kate and I of course will have extra things to do with the churches from now through Christmas, so this was a perfect relaxation period for us too. I would recommend this place to others and would even consider coming back here again myself. Although, I have my eye set on a certain little cabin by a stream down in Gattlingburg TN for our next just "get away" vacation.

I think I'll grab my Stephen King book I'm reading and read a few chapters. I wish the sun would come out so I could go sit down by the river. It is a bit cool to sit out here for very long because the sky is overcast. Rain is to move in tonight and all day tomorrow. In fact, we'll be having rain through next Tuesday.

So, I again offer up my gratitude to God Almighty for the bounty of blessings in my life. God has truly blessed me and my family. I hope you take time today to count the blessings in your life too. Peace!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! This is Wednesday evening and not yet Thanksgiving day but I won't be blogging tomorrow.  We are having a truly relaxing time here at the cabin altough we did have to make a run to the house today. I called it a re-supply mission. We took home some of the things that we no longer needed and picked up some things that we were short of here in the cabin. As nice as it is, it could be better supplied. It is okay for a weekend or or a couple of nights but not really well equipped for doing a Thanksgiving meal or for a week stay. So, we picked up a couple of pans, and some ingrediants we needed and headed on back. The trip is 90 miles one way but what the heck.

Ms. Kate did Calzones for supper and they were delicious. This afternoon though she made three pies; an apple, a pumpkin, and a chocolate. She brought the turkey with us so that is already cooked. So, tomorrow I hope will not be a day of stressful cooking and stuff. It will just be Ms. Kate, Julie, Jim, me and maybe Karen will drive over from Newburgh. Relaxing needs to be the order of the day as has been most of the time since we have ben here. I have spent hours sitting either on the porch or down by the river just watching the eagles and the barges go by, and listening to my IPod. This was exactly the kind of vacation I had hoped for.

As I look back over the past year I know that I have so very much to be thankful for. It has been a year of losses in the family; Kathy's Aunt had a stroke a year ago and had to lay in a hospital bed for six months before God mercifully took her home. My mother had a stroke also and was fortunate enough to pass within two weeks and even more blessed that she never woke up after the stroke. And God took Byron home and away from his terrible battle with cancer. God does work in mysterious ways.  But, on the good side of things, Lauren graduated from High school, joined the ranks of the professional Women's Moto Cross racers, and has a job. Heather is engaged to a wonderful guy and we will go to California in April and I will marry them. Lisa and Gary started their own business and it is going well, and Julie and Jim bought their first house ever. Things have gone very well at the churches, and Ms. Kate and I still have pretty good health. We have so much to be thankful for.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with good eats, relaxation, and a chancee to give credit to the God in heaven who made it all possible.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fog and Barges

The fog is dense this morning as we set around here. I was out earlier and took a couple of pictures of the river and the fog. As I was out there, I could hear a barge passing in front of me. I heard the water lapping against the shore and the sound of the engine but could see absolutely nothing. Julie had been out earlier as the fog was rolling in and got a couple of really good pictures of another barge coming though the fog. I could also hear the sound of the crows cawing somewhere fairly close and it immediately brought to mind Stephen King's "The Mist". I've often said though that I love a great foggy morning; --- as long as I don't have to drive through it.

Yesterday was a relaxing day and today will be no different, I suppose. Ms. Kate and Julie had to make a run to town to do some shopping and Auggie Dog and I sstayed home. Auggie slept and I addresses our Christmas cards. Ms. Kate handmade all of them, so the least I could do was to address and sign them. I haven't sealed them up because she likes to add a little personal note to them. Last year we didn't send out any cards at all. Ms. Kate planned to make all of the cards last year but we were so wrapped up with her aunt's stroke that we just didn't get around to it. I reckon folks figured that we had either died or just turned into social slugs.

Julie took a serious fall yesterday while she was filling the gas tank on the car. I think she tried to step over the hose and it was higher than she stepped and she did a face plannt on the concrete. She was limping pretty badly last night. With her RA, --- she certainly doesn't need another reason for pain. Bless her little heart. We put ice on it for awhile last night but we also took advantage of the hot tub here on the deck.

All of the cabins here have wrap around porches and they have bird feeders hanging on them. Mostly we get nut hatches, finshes, cardinals, and chick-a-dees. But there are still the eagles and crows, and ravens that pass overhead and fly up and down the river. There is a a lot of deer scat in the yard and the squirrels are everywhere, including up on the bird feeders on the porches. The fog has burned off now and there is hardly even a ripple on the river. Last night though, I was sitting ut here enjoying the full moon shining on the river as a barge came by. The barge was traveling with veruy little lights on and the moon dancing on the ripples and wave caused by the ebarge was  simply magic. It looked like    subsurface electric light traveling acrross the river. I've not seen anything like that before and I stood out there for a long time just enjoying it.

I tthink that is it for now. This is my second writing of my blog today. Cyberspace ate the first edition. But, now it is time to simply sit back and obey God's word to "Be still and know that I am God.".  Have a blessed day.

Monday, November 23, 2015

First day of vacation in Magnet Indiana. Magnet is a little town that sits right on the Ohio River. It is about the same size as an eyelash! Its claim to fame is that some boat exploaded on the river many years ago. We are staying at the Moon Dance cabin which is part of the Colluci River Cabins Inc. Ours is a two bedroom place and the view is really great. We got here around 1500 yesterday and got the car unnloaded. About an hour later, Julie and Auggie Dog arrived.

It's a very chilly morning. I tried to sit out on the covered porch to write my blog but the breeze is a bit too cool at 36 degrees. We are supposed to reach 50* by this afternoon. I sat out yesterday afternoon for a bit and watched the eagles crisscross as they flew around about 100 yards out. We have bald eagles, golden eagles, lots of crows which fight with the eagles. There is a woodchuck that lives under a woodpile (very appropriate) at the side of the driveway.  The cabin is a nice typical log cabin and is furnished alright. There is a couch and a couple of not too uncomfortable rockers in here as well as a kitchen table that seats six. Our only complaint is that there is a ceiling fan that goes on high all the time and we don't know how or where to turn it either off or at least down. I'll need to go to the office and check on that. My other complaint is that the bed is terrible. First of all Ms. Kate and I are terribly spoiled with our queen sizeed bed at home and this is a full-size and I'm sure it must have cost them $100.00 when they bought them. And the pillows are flat as a pancake. I'm glad that I brought one of mine from home.

There is no internet here but we all have mobile hotspots on our phones so we can check email and do what we do on facebook and I can write my blog. On the other hand, with a view like this, who needs internet, ---- who am I kidding, --- we do.

I've brought two Stephen King books and we brought along all of the Cjrsitmas Cards that MMs. kate has made so far, and I promised her that I would address them for her.

So, I'm off for today. Sitting here, watching the eagles and the cardinals and the barges as they go buy is just cool. I need to get bback at it.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Well, --- there are no sunshine and lollipops this morning. Nothing out there but a cloudy sky and a promise of rain this morning. The wonderful news though is that all of the snow is way up north in the Chicago area. However, once the rain is over, sometime after noon today, the temps are supposed to drop like a rock through tomorrow and tomorrow's high will be thirty seven degrees. That too though is only temporary through the weekend. Then the weather roller coaster takes us back up again through next week. It's all good and it's southern Indiana weather for fall/winter.

I have lots of cardinals, a few starlings, four woodpeckers of different size and variety, junkos, chick-a-dees, and finches here right now. The landing zone pattern is full in the backyard airport and cafe. Since we are going to be on vacation next week I'll top off all of the feeders for them after the rain is over this afternoon. With the temperature dropping, they'll be eating a lot to keep up the energy.

We made it up to the furniture refurbishing place yesterday and picked up those two chairs I mentioned yesterday. They really turned out nice and the new padding etc. has made them very comfortable again. I think Ms, Kate's aunt would be pleased that we have restored them. They will be a next generaton pass down and should be in good shape for many years to come. The fabric that Ms. Kate chose is really stunning.

Today we need to get together all of the stuff we are taking to the cabin tomorrow and get the car packed, minus of course the stuff that needs to be in a cooler. Suitcase packing should be a breeze since we don't plan to do much more than relax at the cabin. That doesn't require a lot of clothing changes. But, I'm sure we will take more than we need. The bottom line though is if we forget something that we really need; --- it's only an hour from here. I checked my geocaching app last night and there are a few geocaches in the area that we can even walk to if a person is up to a mile hike or two. If it is a sunny day, that is an option. This place sits at the edge of the Hoosier National Forest, an area that we haven't explored at all. With the cooler/cold weather, we don't have to worry about stepping on a copperhead while out tromping through the woods.

The rain is moving in now and I hear it on the roof. The birds have all left and are I guess huddling in bushes and trees that still have leaves for shelter; so the back yard has gone quiet. I'm gping to just sit here, listen to some music, enjoy another cup of coffee, and talk to the provider of all my blessings. I hope you have a blessed day. Peace!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Good Friday Morning to you! It's November the 20th and our daughter Heather's 45th birthday. I've had a "text-chat" with her this morning already. There are a lot of things I may not like about Facebook but I do love the "messenger" feature. We can just pop in and out of one another's lives for a quick sentence or question or we can sit and hold a lengthy conversation as though we were in the same room. The girls and Ms. Kate and I have had a running conversation going now for two years. So despite living thousands of miles apart, we stay connected with one another, we plan vacations, and we shrink this country into our own little cyberspace bubble and visit all the time. And the fact that we can do it on our IPads, Iphones, or IPods makes it even more convenient.

It is 27 degrees this morning! What's up with that? There was a skim of ice on the bird baths this morning. I haven't plugged in the electric one yet and probably won't today. By next Monday this cold snap of artic air is supposed to be through and we'll be back into the 40's and 50's for Thanksgiving. It isn't like the birds are going to die of thirst and the starlings can wait a few hours until the ice is gone to take their baths. Speaking of starlings, I have a few of them out here this morning. They spend a lot of time driving one another away from a feeder and fussing with one another. Then along comes Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the blue jay and runs them all off. He is especially noisy this morning too. Then, there are the cardinals, and I do love my cardinals. The sun is shining on them just right this morning and their red seems especially bright.

We went to not one, but two stores yesterday for bird food. Our "Wildbirds and Things" store is having a sale and I went and bought a bunch of stuff that should last me a few weeks.  Then it was off to Pet Foods to buy a hundred pounds of sunflower seed. That will last me maybe a month depending on how cold it gets. Their price is a lot lower than Wildbirds. Of course Wildbirds will tell you that their's is a lot better quality. But hey --- we're feeding birds and fuzzy tailed rats out there and they don't care what the "quality" of the sunflower seed is.

Today we are going to Princeton and pick up a couple of chairs that we had recovered and repaired. They weren't in all that bad of shape but the seats were sagging and the upholstery on them was probably at least fifty or sixty years old. But they are good chairs and it would be wrong to get rid of them, alhough, I'll bet I paid more to have them refurbished than they cost originally. Such is life with sentimentality involved. They will be put out here on the sun porch.

My morning rituals are all done and I need to get ready to go pick up our chairs. Maybe we'll stop along the way somewhere and have some breakfast. I pray your day will be blessed and full of joy. Shalomn.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

This morning's sky is diametrically opposed to the skies we've had for the past couple of days. Chrystal clear blue and cloudless just isn't a bad way to start the day. It is 54 degrees right now and unfortunately that is our high for the day and a stiff breeze is blowing which will make it seem a lot cooler. The sun has absolutely lit up the red leaves of the fire bushes this morning and my solitary red rose blooming and waving in the breeze continues to claim victory over the weather saying "I will not die, I will not go down without a fught".

Ms. Kate got all kinds of cooking done yesterday in preparation for our vacation on the river next week. The Thanksgiving turkey has been cooked and sliced and waits in the fridge. The spaghetti sauce is made. The chicken and broth is finished and waiting to be used for the chicken and dumplings. All three refrigerators are bulging with stuff ready to go. As soon as church is over we'll come home, load up the car and head out. Our only downer at this point is that our high for Sunday is to be 38 degrees which will eliminate any porch sitting to watch the sunset. But the weather for the week is supposed to be pretty good, or so it looks from this far out. It will be nice enough that I intend to take my walking stick.

Yesterday afternoon we went to the churches. We ran the bulletins for Sunday and for the next Sunday. Then we stayed for choir pracrice. The choir will sing this Sunday and our song is a good one. Our Christmas Cantata is coming along nicely. It is more of a collection of songs than it is an actual cantata. I wrote a narrative for it and added a part for the children to do in it. I hope it will go well. We only have three or maybe four more practices and the day (December 20th) will be here.

I know we have some running around to do today. I need to pick up another 100# of sunflower seed from the pet food store and I need to go by the Bible book store and pick up some Christmas Eve bulletins before they get totally picked over; assuming of course they even have them out yet. One never knows. I'm fairly sure Ms. Kate has a couple of places she needs to go too. Then, at some point, I need to get down to my computer and get a sermon written. I got a start on it but not nearly far enough.

Tomorrow is Heather's 45th birthday. I wish we could be in California to celebrate it with her. Having coast to coast kids sure does rob us of some good times. But, that's how it is. I suspect that many parents who have their children living around them may not get to see their kids any more than we do.

With a list of things to do today, I better get busy. However, the top thing on my list is to get another cup of coffee and spend some time offering up my gratitude for my world full of blessings. I hope your day is as blessed as mine is. Peace.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Showers continue this morning and from the looks of the western sky, we might yet have a gulley washer coming. It's getting darker this morning instead of lighter. All of this rain is supposed to be out of here sometime around noon, or so it has been forecasted. I was out in for a minute or two taking a card to the mailbox and was it doing a nice shower. Were it a bit warmer, and I was a lot younger, it would be the kind of shower that is pleasant to walk or hike through a woods in. It is interesting the number of pleasurable things we give up as we grow old. I sit here and remember that when we were in the Philippines and we would get warm rains, (not thunderstorm or lightning) but just rain, and my girls, especially Lisa would go out to the street of our cul-de-sac in her bathing suit and her umbrella and sit down in the stream of water that ran down the side of the street. The laughter and giggling could be heard for ever. What cuties they all were and still continue to be. It is almost unbelieveable that they are all in their upper and middle forties now with grown adult children of their own.

The house smells wonderful this morning. Thanksgiving is only a week away and Ms. Kate is in full preparation mode for all of the stuff we are taking to the cabin with us. This morning first thing, the turkey went into the oven. Yesterday she cooked up a bunch of chicken thighs for chicken and dumplings. She makes wonderful dumplings. We like the flat kind. My grandma made the doughball kind and I never did like those. I don't recall what kind my mother made or if she made. She wasn't much of a cook. I don't know what else we might do while we are relaxing at the cabin next week --- but we are going to eat good. Ms. Kate is a marvelous cook which might account for the 75 pounds I've gained since we've been married. But hey; --- that's only a pound and a half a year.

Today is Wednesday and of course that means an afternoon and evening at church doing all of our administration stuff and then choir practice. I have two weeks of bulletins to run and stuff along with the monthly newsletter. It takes a little extra time. I hope choir practice goes well this evening. We won't have choir practice next week because it will be the evening before Thanksgiving and I know people will be busy.

The rain has stopped for a bit now and the sky is getting brighter. The birds are out from wherever that have been taking shelter and the squirrels are driving each other silly. I've had one squirrel in the Pussy Willow tree immediately outside my door who has worked himself crazy trying to get into feeders that are pretty well squirrel proof. I have most of them hanging just almost out of reach and it has been stretching for all it is worth to hang onto the feeder and a wet, slippery limb and still get something to eat. It can see the food, it can smell the food, but it can't get it's teeth in to get the food, and just when it looks like it might get something, it slips off of the branch.  It is wonderful entertainment.

The coffee cup is empty and I must get started on my day. I must first take a few moments in the peace and quiet to take stock of my blessings and offer up prayers of gratitude to God for all I have and then ask God how God wants me to share them. I hope you'll take the time to do the same thing today. Have a most blessed day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wow!! It's "cows and flat rocks" out there this morning. The temperature is 54* but has a real feel of 46*. So, I give thanks first thing this morning for a warm dry home and I pray for any one who may not have that luxury. May God protect them somehow. Our rain is going to continue on and off through about noon tomorrow. As I look out there, I am so glad that I have all of the fall leaves gone from my yard.

I never got out to fill the feeders yesterday because of rain. There are still still a couple feeders with a little bit of food in them and that will have to do. The radar shows that we should have a couple of hours break from the rain around 0900 so I'll throw on my boots and fill some of them. We were sittting here in the sunporch yesterday afternoon around 1600 (nap time) and it was raining and the yard and bushes were full of cardinals. I once read that if a cardinal visits your yard it is a greeting from a loved one in heaven. Isn't that a lovely thought?  I think everybody I've ever known must have been in the yard yesterday if that is true.

With the rain and weather like it is, today is going to be a writing day. I'm doing pretty well at getting all of my upcoming sevices planned and extra liturgy written; but I need to start working on sermons and sermon ideas. One would think that with it being the Advent season and the approach of Christmas that it would be easy to put together a sermons for this season. Maybe for some people that is true; but not for me. If you think about it --- we base this entire season on a single story told three different ways in three of the Gospels and not mentioned at all in the fourth Gospel. So, making it new and relevant and exciting requires thought and a lot of prayer.

Next week is Thanksgiving week and that will be a bit different this year. We've lost loved ones this year and that fact alone will change the family dynamics. My mothers passed as did my brother-in-law. That means that we won't need to try to figure out what we are gong to do get my mother out here for Thanksgiving Day, nor will my sister come down for a visit. It will be her first holiday with out Byron and I suspect she and her family will be making their way through the emotions of that. I offer up prayers of support and love as they go through their week. We have decided to get away for the week and have rented a cabin on the Ohio River about an hout away for the entire week. Julie and  her pup will join us and Jim will come over Wednesday after work and stay through Thanksgiving.  We are all going to just use the week to chill out, read, visit, drink pots of coffee, and if the weather is nice, sit out on the porch and stare at the river traffic and sunsets.

The rain is a bit lighter now so I guess I'll throw on my boots and rain coat and go fill the feeders. The squirrels are going nuts out there repeatedly going to empty feeders. and trying to eat what food there is from feeders that are made to keep them out. Have a blessed day.

Monday, November 16, 2015

We begin this week with a 46 degree cloudy morning. The air is relatively still out there and as I look around the yard I see that almost every feeder is empty. That tells me at least one job I need to do this morning. Rain is supposed to begin moving in by around noon so I need to get on it. I have a squirrel that has come to check out this one feeder several times and finds it empty. Then it looks around and over at the sunporch as if to remind me that I'm not keeping up with his desires.  Since we are looking at rain, heavy at times for the next two or thee days, I don't want to be walking around in a sogggy back yard to feed these guys later. The Channel 14 weather report on my laptop says that we are getting "much needed rain". I wasn't aware that we needed more rain.

I need to brag, one last time, on my folks at my two churches. We finished up our Operation Christmas Child drive yesterday with a shoebox filling party. We filled 76 shoeboxes and they are being delivered to the collection center today. The most we have ever done is77 and that was our first year when enthusiasm was high about a new program. I am so very proud of them. We also have another charity campaign going on now called "Making a Change". It is simply some small cardboard boxes that look like a church that we ask people to put their change in as they get it. This idea was really Ms. Kate's idea last year and we promoted it to the churches. Ms. Kate and I each have a box and we gave them out to all of the members of the parish that wanted to participate. We will collect them on Christmas Eve and the Sunday morning after Christmas as a symbol of bringing a gift to the Christ Child. Each church will then count up the money and the members of each church will decide what charity they wish to donate the money to. Last year we donated almost $1000.00 to support several different food pantries etc. I love it when God's work gets done.

My trumpet solo went well yesterday. I received a lot of compliments. I've thought about doing another during the Christmas season but Ms. Kate says I have enough on my plate during this season and I know she is right. I'll wait until the Christmas season is over. Between extra services, a Chistmas Cantata, and all of the other stuff that is intertwined with Christmas, yeh, I have enough to do. This coming Sunday will be the Hanging of the Greens at each church as we decorate the sanctuary for the celebration of the coming of the Christ Child.

My coffee cup is empty and I need a re-fill so I think I'll stop. As I do, I again lift up prayers for  the people of France and Kenya, both of which were targets of radical extremeists who killed hundreds of people in an all out slaughter in the name of their religion. I pray that somehow God will reach through the hate that is spewing out from these groups and let them understand that God is a God of love and peace, not a God of vengence directing them to kill every person on earth who doesn't follow their definition of religion.  May God have mercy on the souls of the victims of these tragedies.Take time to pray with me today. Then take the time to do somethng nice for someone. Have a blessed day.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Mr. Fuss-a-lot and friend are here again this morning although, in all fairness, they are being very quiet this morning. They are a couple of Cardinals are vying over the peanuts again this morning.

Happy Saturday morning! The world is back this morning to a state of nervous peace. Yesterday in Paris France, terrorists attacked several soft targets such as resturants and theaters, killing at least 155 totally innocent people. I spent over three decaade in the armed forces of this country. I've studied war and the philosophy behind war and nothing I have ever read says that this kind of violence against innocent people makes any sense. The people who commit these atrocities have only one thing in mind --- kill everybody who doesn't believe like them; all in them name of their version of their religion. They are cowards who won't face an enemy soldier, but rather use our humanity against us. They infiltrate countries as refugees relying on acountries sense of kindness, then they plot, plan ancarry out acts of terrorism designed to kill as many people as possible -- then rather than stand and declare their belief in their cause --- they kill themselves. It is a battle plan that is hard to comprehend, foresee, or defeat. May God help us all.

And since I'm already disgusted with yesterday's event -- I'll mention something that I think disgusts me even more than the attacks. In this country we also have a state of unrest being driven by young and not so young college people protesting basically because their feelings are hurt. In the middle of all the killing and terror in France yesterday, our young college protestors were whining because they weren't the focus of the news. One protestor was recorded saying "Those people getting killed over there in France has nothing to do with the injustice we feel right here. This needs to be what America focuses on."

So, --- this morning, God has again sent my Cardinal to sit on my birdbath as a reminder that not all of the world is crazy. Between that cardinal and a single red rose blooming in the sunlight on this crystal clear morning, God reminds me that the world is still full of beauty; one need only look up and see it. The world is still full of goodness, and love, and people who care about one another. Tomorrow, several of the people of my parish will be gathering together and filling Operation Christmaas Child shoeboxes to send to children around the world. We have a lot of stuff to box up and our boxes will be put with a million other boxes that people from around the country have also boxed  up. A million plus gifts of love sent to people we will never know or meet. That's how you wage a holy war; by using weapons of kindness, love, and respect for your fellowman. That's how you conduct a jihad of love and peace. Have a blessed day.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday the 13th! Good luck or a Bad luck day, --- I guess we will wait to see how it turns out. However, so far it has been just fine. It is a beautiful sun shiny day; the temperature is 45 dgrees and is supposed to climb another 10 degrees by afternoon. The breeze is light, just enough to occasionally move through the Corinthian chimes and make them peal. Yep, I'll call that a pleasant morning. I'm on my second cup of coffee and I've had my Toaster Strudels, ---- what else could a fella need? Perhaps a second pot of coffee??

This being Friday means that this is my day off; so I need to figure out what I'm going to do with myself today. I'll have to first check with Ms. Kate and see what's on her list for me. I do need to run to the churches and move that Operation Christmas Child stuff from one church to the other. I was going to do that yesterday but spent the day at the computer instead and got a lot of work done there. I also need to practice my horn for a bit in preparation for Sunday. Wednesday our keyboard player and I went over the number a couple of times and worked out the kinks. If it goes as well Sunday as it did the second "run through", we will hoth be very happy. We have several musicians in our St. Lucas church. Off hand I can think of a flute player, a clarinet player, a trombonist, a saxophone player, and at least four of us play the trumpet; and we have a wonderful keyboard player or two. So how come it is me, the asthmatic old fart of the whole group, that is the only one who will stand up and play a solo?? I think it would be so neat to put together an ensemble of us and play during the Christmas season. But, the reality is that it would be nye to impossible to get folks to commit to the time that would take. The sad part is that we are wasting a gift and talent that God gave us.

Mr Fuss-a-lot and a friend are here this morning as are several of the other "big-billed" birds such as the starling, the red-headed woodpecker, and the mockingbird. There have been some interesting challenges at the feeders full of peanuts. Yesterday I threw out the remaining dog food that was left in Auggie's bowl and the birds cleaned that up pretty quickly. Then I threw out some stale bread and that went fast too, and finally I emptied the remainder of a bag of Sugar Pops that had gone stale and they have just about cleaned that up too. As I look out there, I think I need to re-fill several of the feeders again too. The weather is colder, and the harvest is done in the fields, so the birds are moving back to the neighborhood feeders again.

Last evening we were invited over to neighbor  Dan's house for supper. His lovely wife , Minh, cooked up a delicious meal and even sent home leftovers for our lunch today. Tonight we are invited to another neighbors house across the street for a late Halloween party. What is going on with all of this friendly neighbor stuff?? I almost feel "social" again.

On that note; I'll simply wish you a very blessed day and weekend. Carve time out of your weekend to visit you house of worship and give thanks and praise where it is due. Until next time.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Sunny skies and a 22 mph wind this morning. If my shoe laces weren't tied, I'd lose my socks! It is supposed to be windy all day. The good news is that the severe storm threat that we had did not materialize, at least not here. The other good news is that I mulched all the leaves in my back yard yesterday and since my trees are now bare, I didn't get much in the way of new ones to have to mulch today.

The wind is making it a bit difficult for the smaller birds to hold on today. They come in for their landing and it blows them back a little and they have to regroup and press on. It doesn't seem to bother the cardinals nor the bluejays. Old Fuss-a-lot was here earlier and was raising a racket. It sounded like there might have been a second one out of might sight line and maybe that was what it was fussing about. I only have one squirrel so far this morning and it 's tail is really blowing in the wind. Maybe the rest of them are sleeping in and hunkering down from the cold wind. One of the things I like about the wind or breeze blowing though is listening to sound of my Corinthian Chimes hanging out there in the pussy willow tree. It's very melodic.

Ms. Kate planted some more iris yesterday. One of our parishioners gave us some iris at church on Sunday and she wanted to get them in the ground. The fellow said they were hybrid iris, what ever that means, but said they had way too any and had to thin theirs and offered us some. I reckon we will see come spring what they may look like. We also got the asparagas cut back yesterday which we had  been meaning to get done. We had intended to slip some roses this fall too and haven't done that yet. It may be too late, I doon't know. Ms. Kate is the expert on that. We're thinking that maybe if they do well, we'll be able to give Julie some in the spring to plant in her yard. That's how we have added to our rose beds around here.

Today's activities have to including writing my sermon for next week. Then I need to go up to the church and get a little work done up there. This coming Sunday is the day we wrap up our Operation Christmas Child drive. We have a lot of stuff collected and sitting down at St. Lucas but we are going to meet at St. Paul's to assemble and fill the boxes, so I need to get that stuff all moved. I know I could ask for help in doing that, --- but that just isn't my way. I make a lot of work for myself by not asking for help. I'm really hoping though we have a good turnout to help put the boxes together etc. For that, I definiitely asked for help.

I've poured my second cup of coffee and now I think I'll read a little Max Lucado and listen to a bit of southern gospek for my morning contemplation with the Lord. Did you know God reaally likes southern gospel??  I hope your day is as sunny as our sky is today and is filled with blessings.  Peace.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Beautiful blue sky and crisp air greet us again this morning. I was up early this morning again, just past sunrise actually, and came out to the sun porch to see who else was up early today. Mr. calico cat was up and aware because it took off in an instant when it saw me. It didn't take long after that for the cardinals to begin coming in. Then came in a couple of red headed woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers. As I sit here now I have at least eight cardinals sitting around and a few junkos are zipping around on the ground grabbing something to eat. God sure does provide good entertainment for me every morning to start my day.

It is veteran's day and Facebook is full of posts of "thank you for your service" from all around the country. As a veteran I am happy to see those comments and I' suspect most veterans today will feel a sense of pride and appreciation for the recognition. But if I may be allowed to go on a bit of a tangent; let me begin by saying that very few of us who have served, whether it was one tour or made it a career, very few of us went and served for the accolades.

I just read this morning that only 7% of the people of this nation have worn a military service uniform. That's 7% who have stepped up to protect 100% of us. We each joined the military for various reasons individually, but for the vast majority, we did it as a sense of national pride and a self expectation and sense of duty to a nation that was the greatest nation on earth. I can't think of a day in my thirty two year career in the Air Force that I wasn't proud of who I was; or wasn't proud of my branch of the service; or wasn't proud to be a member of the armed forces of the United States of America. I have been retired from the Air Force for fourteen years now and I am still so proud of the young men and women who are stepping up too serve. But --- we are and have raised a new generation of people in this country that no longer feel the need to serve their country. They feel they are entitled to freedom without working for it. They have been protected by overshadowing and "helicopter-parents" and been shielded so that they don't get their feeling hurt. Well, I have to admit that getting your legs and arms blown off by an IED will hurt your feelings! But I give thanks that we still do have young people that do recognize a sense of duty to serve their country instead of constantly demanding to be served. President John Kennedy said it right; "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." Far too many people have forgotten that.

I lift up prayers of gratitude this morning to God that I live in a country founded on Christian beliefs and an expectation to live free from tyranny. I also lift up prayers for safe passage for all of our young men and women in the military and their families who sacrifice so very much in order that this country can remain free. But, I also pray that the people of this nation will wake up from their sense of self indulgence and entitlement and look around them and see the work that needs to be done to make this nation great once again. Quit standing around shouting and protesting about life and pick up a hammer and help build a house for someone who lost theirs. Protest by working in a shelter. Protest by serving others and helping others. There is so very much work to do because as trite as it is to say --- Freedom is not free. Have a blessed day; thank you for reading my blog. Peace!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The starlings are here this morning and they are being a bunch of nasty guests. They fight and they fuss and they pick and peck at one another. But -- Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the bluejay usually comes in and breaks them up because he is noiser and bigger and has a longer beak that they do. It's a universal concept --- if the big dog wants the bowl, you let him have it.

Happy Tuesday. It is 45* out there but the sun is shining brightly. I should be getting ready to go to a meeting over in Owensboro, KY but I have too much stuff to do here at home. It is a monthly Pastor's Circle meeting, but I just am not ready to drive an hour each way to go to a meeting when I can use those two hours to get work done here. I imagine attendance will be small.

Ms. Kate and I went to a friend's house last night for dinner and conversation. He is a year older than me and is selling his house, downsizing by 3000 sq. ft. and six acres,  moving to Ohio to live close to his son and family. Since his wife died, he has been rambling around his big home on seven acres all by himself, so I don't blame him a bit for moving on. He is emotionally ready to do that now. I pray he will find happiness up there. He certainly deserves it.

This afternoon I'm doing a worship service at the Good Samaritan Nursing home. I do that once a year and I always enjoy doing them. I'll use the same worship service and sermon that I used this past Sunday so it is really no extra work. There will be about 30 + residents in attendance and some staff. Many of the residents will sleep through it and I don't mind. Pastor's from many of the local churches take part in providing a worship service once a week there. I have done this at a couple of other nursing homes but they have changed their programs and I don't now who provides services for them now.

Time Warner Cable came yesterday afternoon and I think they may have actually fixed our television reception problems. They took out all of our old DVR boxes and put in new ones and gave us new remote control devices. I really hope this took care of it.

I need to get a cup of coffee and head down to my office and get busy. As I do, I pray your day will be as bright as that beautiful blue sky out there. Have a blessed day.

Monday, November 9, 2015

A new week; a whole new set of opportunities. That's the neat thing about Monday; we just don't know what the week will hold for us. I can look at my calendar and see several things listed for the week. I can listen to the weather and hear predictions for the week. But one never knows the actuality of it all until the week has become history. How's that for feet fresh on a morning floor thinking?

It is a brisk 34 degree morning and mostly cloudy. The back yard has filled up with birds now that I am out here. When I came out to the sun porch, yellow cat and calico cat were both out here. But they took off as soon as they saw me. No free breakfast from my yard this morning for those two guys. Now the cardinals are in for the buffet. Some are eating from the feeders and some are cleaning up the spilled seed under the feeders. Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the bluejay is here making a racket,  as is the larger red-headed woodpecker. The two of them have no problem with pecking at one another for food and dominance on a feeder.

It has been a busy and productive weekend for me. I finished writing the narrative for the Christmas Cantata. It wasn't or isn't a big deal but it was on my plate of things to do and it does take some time to collect my thoughts and put them down so that they make sense. Last evening I put together a couple of up-coming worship services and began working on putting together Advent Wreath Candle lighting litanys for the families to read as they light the candles each of the four Sundays of Advent and Christmas Eve. I'm not creating these litanys but I am having to type them up from one of my resource books. It just all takes time to find a good source and get it down on paper.

Today I have to be at the hospital for a parishioner that is having a hip replacement, then be home in time for the Time Warner Cable people to come and maybe finally figure out why we get such messed up television reception. Then this evening we go to our friend's house for dinner. Some time in between there I need to practice my trumpet solo for Sunday and maybe get some more writing done. I have this Sunday's sermon written, but not next weeks and tomorrow is just as busy as today. Oh, and I really need to take thirty minutes or so and blow off my back walk and flowerbeds one more time and mulch up the leaves yet again. As I said in the beginning --- a whole new set of opportunities!

But --- before I begin all of that  I must stop and give thanks to God that I have all of these opportunities to face. I'm alive, I'm well, and I'm covered and overwhelmed with the blessings that God has provided. Once again I look at my life and just am amazed at what God has favored me with; a loving family, not one but two successful careers, and the trust in me to use me to spread the Gospel. God is good --- all the time. Have a blessed day.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

It is amazing how much more light I get in the back yard now that the leaves are off of the trees. Thre are still plenty of leaves falling but I think I may only have to mulch them up a couple of more times before winter settles in for sure. Each day less and less fall. Mostly what I have out there now have come from the neighbor's Maple tree. Thank you so much for sharing.

Happy Saturday! Another week has come to a close and it has been a busy one although I'd have to really think what all we have accomplished. Some days and weeks are like that. You work all week getting stuff done and turn around and wonder just what it was that you did. I know we got some plants in the ground because I'm still taking my Advil from that little bit of exercise. I'm almost fully healed and feeling much better by now. I'm not sure if I want to tempt fate and go pull on the lawn mower rope today or not though. It starts on first pull about 98% of the time, but today would be the day that it didn't.

We went to DuQuoin, Illinois yesterday to meet with a lawyer in order to sign some paperwork and meet with the Uncle and Aunt and cousins over there. I got my portion all signed and now the lawyer can send it up to my sister and maybe we can finally get my mother's estate settled and the land partnership transferred in to my and my sister's name. Ms. Kate and I had a good visit with the relatives and got to meet some extended cousins that I hadn't met before. It was nice to be able to set and talk and re-aquaint somewhere besides at a funeral! My uncle is 91 and my aunt is 88 but they are still getting along fairly well with the exception of dialysis three days a week for him and diabetes for her. I found out that my cousin and his wife are building a beautiful log home there on the farm. I can hardly wait to see the finished product. They hope to be in by Christmas. He's using, I think, 18" Douglas Fir logs, so it will certainly be solid. He said they used 85 gallon of varnish and sealant on it. He'll have to perfect porch to sit on in the evenings to look out over the farm. (Okay, yes, I'm a tad jealous because I've always wanted a home like that.)

I have at least a dozen cardinals out there this morning at the buffet line and a few woodpeckers and a squirrel. They are al enjoying the sunshine or so it seems. It is 66 degrees out there this morning and that will be the high for the day. The sun will make it feel warmer.

That's it for today. I've been sitting here conversing with my girls from around the country through Facebook Messenger. I love doing that. It isn't the same as face-to-face, but it is close. It is time to re-fill the coffee cup. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

And Thursday follows Wednesday again this week. Amazing how that keeps happening. It's actually quite warm this morning (66 degrees) for a Novemebr 5th. All of that is to change by tomorrow though as the rain and storms move in tonight due to a cold front. Storms and tornados are already forming in the Texas and Oklahoma plains and I pray no one gets hurt. We are under a marginal risk for some severe weather here in the Ohio Valley corridor.

I'm up terribly early today; well for me it is terribly early. I got up at 0630 for a nature call and my hip and back are giving me fits too badly to try to lay back down. I pulled a muscle in my lower back and hip yesterday while working in the yard. It's a recurring thing that I do so I know that in a couple of days I'll be through with it. I took some Advil first thing this morning and Ms. Kate put some Voltarin on the area. I won't be dancing any Irish Jigs any time soon but then I don't know how to anyway.

We planted some more coral bells yesterday in the new flower bed. I also finally got that volunteer Tulip Poplar out of one of the old flower beds and transplanted into my front yard. (yes, that's when the hip went out.) I have decided to name my new tree "Ms. Harley" in honor of Jim and Julie's little dog that they just lost. In a few years that tree will make a great shade tree for the front of the house, assuming it grows. Right now it is only about three and a half feeet tall. I planted one just like it up at one of my churches about four years ago and it had grown to about twenty feet tall. Unfortunately the neighbors had a large oak tree cut down that was dead and when the oak tree came down, it wiped out my tulip poplar too. But considering that Ms. Harley was a volunteer to begin with, it will do fine.

We went to the churches yesterday afternoon to do our weekly Wednesday stuff, including staying for choir practice. We are working on the Christmas Cantata and it is coming along extremely well, or at least I think so. I still need to write the narrative for it. I know I've said it before, but we are so lucky to have a choir. So many churches don't have a choir anymore. I think a choir adds so much to the worship program. I wish we would sing more often; I'd be happy if we sang every week. But I'm grateful for the once a month that we do. I'm also grateful that they have agreed to sing the Christmas Cantata each year. They never did that before I asked them to do that about three or four years ago.

Before choir though, we went by our friend's house and pulled some fresh turnips. Ms. Kate does like her turnips and Bob and Georgia Ann raise a slew of them every year. We are welcome to pull all we want from them. We eat them peeled and sliced and raw. Many folks cook them and eat them as a side dish or some people mash them in with mashed potatos. But we don't like them cooked or even like the smell of them cooking.  So, we pulled maybe a dozen and a half. We'll share some with Julie when she gets here this evening. They are coming over here tonight to return my pickup as they head to Tennessee first thing tomorrow morning. I'll be glad to have my truck back home.

It would appear that I need to fill feeders again. That will be a slow process today with my hip being like it is. I also need to blow the leaves off of the sidewalk and away from the door. That won't bother me much as the blower isn't heavy. So, as I leave my recliner I send prayers for safe passage through the storms for everyone in their path and I pray for safe travels for Jim and Julie as they head to Tennessee and we head to Illinois tomorrow too. Never forget to stop and be grateful for the blessings that God gives you. God is Good --- all the time!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Is it really Wednesday already again? Didn't we just have one of those? We get so busy and the days just roll on by. Things we meant to do and people we meant to call or see get missed because we are spending time looking where we are going and are literally missing where we are. This Friday I'm going to change that a little. Most of my relatives from my side of our family live in southern Illinois, roughly 125 miles from us. I only have one uncle uncle and aunt left, my father's brother Howard and his wife Louise. They were always fun people to be around when I was a kid and then when Ms. Kate and I were youg marrieds. But, except for funerals and an occasional birthday party for my mother which they attended, I haven't seen them but maybe six times in forty years. So, Friday, I have to go over to their town for a business meeting and we are going to visit them. Howard is now 90 years old and Louise is I think, 86. It is time to make time.

Another case in point; my oldest friend in life is moving to Ohio next week, Again, we don't see each other except for maybe once a year and exchange a Christmas card. He only lives on the other side of town and yet --- no time. I just got an email from him inviting us to his house for pizza before he moves. We will go!. The odds are, it will be the last time I see him alive.

Third case in point; I just hard this morning that a young man that worked for me many, many years ago passed away in his sleep last night; he was 50 years old. I had not thought of this youg man for years but had been contacted by another one of my former airmen letting me know that this man was having some real problem in his life  and he thought that maybe if I reached out to him it would help. I did so, and we renewed aquaintances. Suddenly, he is gone.

Life is too damn short to let stuff get in the way of personal relationships with friends and family. It may seem like we have forever but it takes a micro-second for a heart to quit beating and then all you are left with is an "I wish I had." It seems so hard to carve out time --- and so easy to stack up excuses. I don't mean to turn your Wednesday into a downer but I guess I'm preaching to myself this morning and saying to all of us --- "Reach out today." Contact people you love and people you care about. Live life --- don't just hurry through it.

Have a blessed day and fill the rest of your week by sharing the blessings God has bestowed on you. Peace!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A bright and sunny "Good Morning" to you. Yes, I know it is Tuesday and I missed a day. I could have written yesterday afternoon but for what ever reason, it just seems really strange to write in the afternoon. I don't seem to be able to collect my thoughts as well for this particular genre'. And yet, I have no problem doing my other writing throughout the day, although late evenings are best.

I spent yesterday morning at the hospital with a family. My parishioner was having shoulder surgery an I always try to be there when my folks have surgery. I pray with them before they go in and generally wait through the surgery with the family. I left before she got out yesterday morning because I had another appointment coming up. But, she got out about fifteen minutes after I left and all went well.  She starts the painful physical therapy process already this morning. I've been there, done that, --- hate that. She knows what to expect because she has already had to have the other shoulder done. Another one of my folks has to have a hip replacement next week. As often as I have gone through this stuff with my folks and with Ms. Kathy and even with my own problems, I never cease to be amazed at what God allows us to do.  I look at the arms and legs that are built for and replaced for people these days and how well the recipients adjust to them and I find it almost unbelievable.

We lost a good friend last week; and it might sound strange for me to say that, but Julie and Jim had to have their old dog Harley put down. Harley had gotten ill to the point of zero quality of life and it was time for the kids to decide to do what was best for her. But, -- Harly was a real sweetie. She was gentle and she just had her Harley ways. She wouldn't really come to you and would stay "just out of reach" if you wanted to pet her. So, if you wanted to pet her, you had to do the work and get down with her. But anytime we went to their house, she would greet you, bark to you and wag her little tail and then go get a toy and bring it to you. You knew she was glad to see you. So we are all, --- including their other little dog, Auggie, grieving the loss of Harley. Ms. Kate and I went through this several years ago with our Cocker Spaniel, Lexie, and we still miss her.  But, we won't get another pet until we are done traveling, and maybe never.

We had a good Halloween around here. I probably had 50 - 60 kids who came for trick or treat. I sat out by the street on my John Deere tractor passing out the candy. I had my my mask and some of the kids wouldn't come to me while others wanted to take "selfies" with me. Yeh, "selfies" is a new term invented by the young smart-phone generation that can't seem to exist without taking a hundred pictures a day of themselves with their smart phone camera.  I don't understand the need, but then, I don't understand a lot of things about kids and people today. I reckon I really am getting old.

Time for me to get busy. I hope your day is a great one. I pray God will heap bleassings on you and bring peace and love to your life. Shalom.