Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The sun is literally glistening off of that Cardinal as it sits on the birdbath. There have been two robins enjoying a bath in there this morning too. At one point there was water splashing everywhere because they were both taking a bath at the same time. That will have to be filled up today because luckily, we aren't supposed to be having any rain. There is also a little goldfinch out there that the brightest one I have seen this season. So, the backyard is fully blessed with color from the Lord today. What a great start to a day. As I look around, it would appear that I'll need t fill a couple of feeders again today. The backyard diner is open 24/7 and they do take advantage of it. I also need to get another 100 pounds of black oil sunflower seed because the can is really getting low.

Our Memorial Day came and went with little or no excitement. Ms. Kate spent most of the day creating cards for birthdays, graduations, and thinking of you occasions. I went out and sprayed around the yard for the different poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak. If in the process I killed off a bunch of the Swedish ivy --- that would be a plus. That stuff grows and spreads like crazy.  I also spent some time finishing up my service and sermon for this week and also for next week. We'll run those bulletins tomorrow when it is supposed to be raining.

I've been watching the weather off of the east coast of the country. Heather and John are on a cruise up the coast line and it looks like they are having to skirt some really rainy weather. I pray it isn't as bad as the radar makes it look. Honeymoons and sea sickness don't mesh well. John loves light houses and they are on a lighthouse cruise. Today they should be in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I pray for smooth sailing and calm seas for them and hope they'll eat a big ol' lobster for me. Nova Scotia is on my "bucket list" of places to go simply because I've read the lobster there is the best in the world except for maybe South Africa and I'm not going there. But we could drive to Nova Scotia in maybe four days.

Speaking of trips, we are heading to North Carolina for Matthew's graduation next week. We'll only stay a couple of days because the graduation is on a Tuessday evening and all of them need to get back to work. So, we're planning on spending a couple of days in Pigeon Forge, TN on the way home. Just taking our time enjoying the beautiful country we live in. Ya' get to do that when you get old --- and have someone to cover for your job.

Time for me to carry the laundry out so we can get a couple of loads done today. It would be a beautiful day to actually hang laundry out for a change; but I'm glad we don't have to do that.

I hope your day is pleasant and full of God's blessing. Peace.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day! ---- Is that even appropriate to say? I'm not sure. After all, the day is designed to honor those who have died to protect this nation and preserve its people. On the other hand we can be happy and joyful because we are living in a nation that continues to be free. So, I guess he appropriate thing to say is "May God bless you on this day in which we give thanks for the sacrifice of others who have preserved our freedom."

It is a beautiful day out there and I will be out side soon after I finish up my blog. We still have some flowers to put in planters and I need to get out there and spray some weed killer on poison ivy and poison oak. The wind is light so far today so I don't have to be too concerned about overspray killing flowers.

Our first hummingbird has arrived. I haven't seen it but once but we have the hummingbird feeder out so it will be back. It does have a few random flowers from which to gather what ever nectar it can. We generally don't have more than a couple of hummingbirds. Up at my St.Paul's church the people that rent the parsonage have maybe eight feeders out and they always have dozens of hummingbirds. The air is a blurr with them darting in and out. It is wonderful to watch.

Ms. Kate and I got a lot of work done on Saturday. We took out a half dozen old cheap roses and pulled a bunch of weeds in the garden area and planted our garden. We put in nine tomatoes, some cucumbers, squash, and okra, --- plus we put in some new flowers where we took out the roses. We don't need a big garden but fresh tomatoes & cucumber salads and BLT's are hard to beat in the summer. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Church attendance was very sparse yesterday and we owe it to the sunshine. Our farmers have had such a hard time getting out in the fields and they took good advantage of the sunshine while we had it. But, yet again yesterday evening we had another squall come through and dump a bunch of rain on us. I talked to my cousin Allen Saturday and he said that he has had to replant our corn because of the rain over in Illinois. That is not a good thing.

My hummingbird is back and so are some cardinals so I'm just going to sit here and enjoy what God gives me for a bit. Have a blessed day.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Cloudy but no rain so far this morning. That's a good thing. Maybe I'll get my outside work finished up this morning before it does rain. Yesterday I got my front yard mowed and Dan's yard mowed, and this morning I need to get my back yard done. And --- I need to get my plants in the ground. I didn't get around to that yesterday.

I have a young, skinny squirrel that has discovered the bark butter sticks. He was munching away on them this morning but I think maybe they didn't really suit his fancy. He didn't stay long at them which works for me. I don't need something else licking them clean.

Grand daughter Lauren is racing this week up in Utah on a WORCs course. She really likes those races much more than the standard WMX races on a MX track. In June she is flying to Maryland to race. She planning on staying at a friend's house and the girl is going to let Lauren use her practice bike for the race. This will be quite an adventure for her because she has never flown alone nor has she raced without her dad being there. But, it is her chosen course of life for now. She is supposed to race here in Indiana in August and all of the family here is anxiously looking forward to it.

We are still waiting to see if Matthew is going to graduate high school. The knucklehead. I love him dearly but every year he gets the spring lazies and we all wait to see if he is going to pass or not. He really needs to get this done. I know he's 18 and has already determined what he thinks he needs in life, but for heaven's sake.

It's time to drop off and get some work don. It looks like God is holding the rain off for me. Have a blessed weekend. Take time to remember our valiant men and women who died to keep this nation free. Peace.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy end of another work week! Did you have a good week? Did you take time to stop and smell some flowers or look at a sunset, or sit and watch some birds in your back yard? Did you take time to take stock of the blessings in your life and give thanks to the Good Lord for them? I certainly hope you did some or all of these things, If you didn't ---- I surmise you haven't had a very good week. You might have had a productive week; you might have even made a lot of money this week; ---- but that isn't the same thing is it?

It is another cloudy morning around here. It is 73 degrees and more rain is on the way. My Weather Channel radar shows rain from Mt. Vernon, IL all the way over past St. Louis, MO. It should be here then in about an hour to an hour and a half. I need to mow the grass today but it is too wet and soggy out there at the moment and this rain isn't helping. We still haven't gotten our plants in the ground that we bought. But they still look good. I just don't want to "mud them in". That never seems to work well. Unfortunately, some of our farmers still haven't gotten their corn planted. So, as I lift up my prayers this morning, I lift up prayers that the weather will break for a couple of weeks and they can get their work done.

Today Ms. Kate and I have to go for our optometry appointments. It's an annual thing and shouldn't amount to much beyond having our eyes dilated.  He will tell us that our cataracts are slowly progressing but I don't think they will have gotten to the point of worrying about them. And, I think my glasses are still good enough. Ms. Kate went in about three months and had them prescribe some glasses for her computer work. I may consider that. I notice that I have to sit differently at my computer these days to line up the bifocals. She was getting headaches and a sore neck from having to do that. I haven't gotten to that point yet.

Great news! Ms. Kate found her missing documents; her Military ID and Medicare card. And yes, they were still in one of the purses that she had changed out of. I'm glad she found them. It wasn't the hassle of replacing them that concerned me; it was the fact that in an emergency, I might need proof of insurance coverage for her and wouldn't  have it.

I have some satisfied woodpeckers and other critters this morning because I filled up some suet feeders and the bark butter sticks. I do need to get out and fill the sunflower seed feeders again. I laugh at the squirrels; they will climb up on a feeder, find it empty and turn and look to the house. Ten minutes later they will do the same thing and look at me again as if to say; "You do realize these are empty, right??" Ahh well; some days it sucks to be a squirrel.

Time for me to drop off and reade my devotions for the morning. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. It is Meemorial Day weekend. Take a moment and give thought of gratitude to those who have died in order to keep this a free nation. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday morning????? Who took my Wednesday? Actually, I admit that I know where my Wednesday went. I sat out here in the sunporch yesterday morning and played "Criminal Case" on my IPad for an hour because I had "free energy" to use for an hour. Yes, Bingo Bash and Criminal case are the height of my being a "gamer".

Then it was time to take Ms. Kate for her doctor's appointment, then brunch, then grocery shopping, and then and then, and then. Before you know it, the day is gone. We didn't even get to the churches yesterday to run our bulletins. That is on the list today along with some other stuff that we have to do. Including going to the local National Guard and getting a new ID card for Ms. Kate and going by the Social Security Office and getting Ms. Kate a new Medicare Card. She has misplaced those two items somewhere and is driving herself nuts looking for them. I think that is one of the disadvantages of "switching purses" all the time. For us guys, you put stuff in your billfold and when that billfold rots and falls apart, then you get a new one. Although, when we are going on a trip, I do take things out that are strictly local and I won't need on the trip. But there is a spot that I put that stuff in and then put it all back in my billfold when I get home. Ms. Kate says she knows she had those two things with her during our trip and she hasn't needed to show them since we got home --- so they must be in this house some place.

I told you Tuesday that we had a problem with one of the freezers. Well, while it was expensive, it wasn't a disaster. We were able to save 75% of the stuff in the freezer including the corn and the peaches that we had put up. We went to our local appliance store and they were really great. We found a freezer that would do  and they pulled a guy off of the floor and another guy from their other store and made sure they got it out to us Tuesday afternoon, and they hauled away the old one. We barely had time to get home and empty the old one before they were there with the new one. If you are local to me and in need of some appliance, "Wayne's Appliances" gets our recommendation and a guy named Kent is the guy to work with.

My birdfeeders are empty or mostly empty. All of the suet cakes, the bark butter, and the bark butter bits are gone. Most of the sunflower seed feeders are empty too. Just one more job to add to the list. I have several robins and cardinals here this morning. It's always a pleasure sitting here watching them. The sun glistening off of the brilliant red feathers is a gentle reminder that it is time to stop and give thanks once again for a life full of blessings. Have a most wonderful day. Peace.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A happy Tuesday to you. It is another beautiful morning although I can see that the high clouds are starting to move in. They are supposed to carry rain with them later in the day and evening and that will allegedly be the start of rain and storms and showers etc for the remainder of the week.

The day is starting off in a crappy way. Our freezer downstairs is having problems and it is full of food. I don't know if it is out of freon or if the seal has completely broken down. Most everything in it is either melted or on the way to melted. Yes, --- the stuff is replaceable but there are a lot of frozen peaches and corn in there that we absolutely do not want to lose. We put in a lot of work putting that stuff up. The seal on the freezer has never been good but seeing a large and growing puddle in front of the freezer is never a sign that things are going to end up well. I've already thrown out several melted and leaking bags of bluberries and mixed berries. Regardless of whether the freezer is salvageable or not --- I have a mess to clean up.

I got my new mailbox installed yesterday afternoon and evening. It only took two hours and nine tools to do a twenty minute -- two tool job. Home workmanship at its finest!! But it looks nice and really needed to be replaced. The door was falling off of the old one.

I'm currently sitting at Orthopedic Associates while Ms. Kate has an appointment to have her hand worked on. Her one hand won't close anymore so she's hoping they will give her another shot in it. She that done a year ago and it helped tremendously. I'm praying it will give her the relief that she needs.

If we get done fooling around with the freezer today, maybe we will have time to get some plants in the ground. Although, I'm not sure that we shouldn't wait until after the storms are done with so they don't get a chance to get beat up. We'll see what the day brings. I know the day is going to bring me to Denny's for breakfast on the way home. Sometimes I just don't plan much beyond my next meal. LOL

I only had a few moments in the sunporch this morning. But it was long enough to see that I also need to fill up bird feeders again. And I got to sit and watch the folks out there working on the sewer line in Ms. Margaret's yard. They were cleaning out root balls.

Ms. Kate is done and I reckon I am too. C' Ya' tomorrow. Have a great day.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Welcome to a late in the day  post on this Monday afternoon. We've been out taking advantage of the beautiful day. It looks like it might be the only one we get this week. We've been to the Farm Bureau Coop and picked up a few tomatoe plants and cucumbers. We went o Bob Evan's for lunch/brunch an were really disappointed. There were only fourteen customers in the place and it took forever. I ordered country fried steak and eggs; Ms. Kate ordered a salad and a bowl of chicken noodle soup. It took thirty minutes for the order to arrive and my order was wrong. I made them take it back. So, we were there for almost an hour for a very simple meal. I had heard rumors that this particular Bob Evans wasn't run very well; now I know it to be true. We won't hurry back any time soon. We've also  been to Lowe's and bought more plants and three large bags of Miracle Gro potting soil mix and a new mailbox and post. Now we are sunporch sitting before heading out to put some plants in the ground.

We had a great weekend. Julie and Auggie Dog came over Friday afternoon. Saturday I had to take the Caddy to the dealership for routine servicing. Then we went out to the local greenhouse we like and Ms. Kate bought a bunch of plants. Part of them were for Julie to plant at her new house. The rest of them will become potted plants around here for our patio. We do like our plants around here or maybe we just like making more work for ourselves as if we need more to do. On Sunday Julie took off for home as we headed out to church. Then after church and lunch, we took off for Julie's house. Our little planting session at Julie and Jim's house went very well and then the kids made an excellent meal for us as we sat around the patio and visited.

That about catches you up tpo tthe minute on the ever exciting life and times of the sunporch people. Now, maybe I'll snag a quick nap and then get busy outside, . Here's hoping you have a most excellent evening. Peace.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The clanging and banging of the garbage collection truck tells me it is Friday morning already. You can't miss the sound as the truck reaches out the mechanical arm and hauls up the can, turns it over and gives it  several shakes and then sets it back on the ground. It sure makes it easier for those guys than having to pick up each can physically and dump them into the truck. Of course that is why they provide the large trash cans too.

It is raining again today. A week or even three days of sunshine strung together might just be a bit too much to ask for. There aren't any storms associated with the rain today so that is a good thing. And, it is supposed to be over by this evening. Besides, I had heard it was going to rain today so I did my outside work yesterday. I got all of my trimming done and the lawns mowed. Ms. Kate got the asparagus cut, and we got the flowers containers moved outside that have been in the sunporch for the winter. Now they can get from fresh air and real water on them thanks to God's watering schedule. It will do them good. Plus, as I said yesterday, my gutters are all cleaned out so let it rain!

I also filled all of the feeders again yesterday. I have a couple of thistle seed feeders that are basically for the finches and they just aren't eating it. I have been told that the seed loses whatever it is that the finches like about it and then they just won't touch it. I think I'm going to empty them out on the ground and put them away for awhile. Nyger thistle seed is one of the more expensive things I buy, and if they aren't going to eat it, I'll just put those feeders up until winter. The finches eat enough of the other stuff around here that I can not worry about thistle seed.

I noticed yesterday that something got two birds and ate them out in the yard sometime in the past couple of days.  I suspect it was a cat although it could have just as easily been a hawk. The neighbor's yellow cat tends to walk through here once in a while. This morning that big old dark colored cat was here and almost got him a squirrel. It chased a squirrel straight up the pussy willow tree. I never seen it catch a squirrel but it sure tries.

Since I gave up my day to chores yesterday, I need to do some writing today. I did manage to get a page done last night but I need another three pages before I quit on this sermon. And --- we have a little running around to do and shopping for a few groceries. Julie and her dog are coiming over this afternoon to spend the weekend. I love it that they live close enough that we can zip back and forth to one another's house. Next weekend we are going to a strawberry festival over close to their house. It isn't a big deal . It is sponsored by the local Catholic Church in a little town called Floyd's Knob and is a fund raiser. The food they put out is good and there is a bit of a craft fair associated with it. It is just a fun Midwest kind of day. It falls right in with my mantra of "Live life simply -- love life deeply."

The weekend is upon us. Take a break from the rat race and stop and smell some roses. You've earned it. Take time to give praise to God who created you and blesses you every day. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Happy Thursday! Just a week ago, Ms. Kate and I were waking up in our Comfort Inn in Independence, MO and we're heading out for the final leg of our vacation. It has been a busy "catch up" week.

It is a beautiful and breezy 62 degree morning. The sun is shining brightly for the first time this week. I think we are supposed to reach a temperature in the low 70's today. I'm hoping the ground dries out enough to mow the lawns. I also hope the breeze dies down just a bit because I need to spray for poison ivy in several places around here and I don't want the spray to be going on the other plants. One of the places we have it is in the black raspberry plants. They are putting on very well and I don't want to get poison ivy while I'm picking them.

I can't believe the danged starlings have almost stripped the bark butter feeders again. I see that there are several feeders that need filling again out there so I reckon I'll do that while I'm outside today too. I also want to move these flowerpots out of the sunroom to outside for the summer. It's time to do that  and it will give us a little more sitting room here in the sunporch. I am so glad we decided to add this sunporch on to the house back in 2005. I can't help but always think how much my Ms. Kate's mom would have have loved sitting out here watching the birds with me. She was an avid bird watcher too and I used to try to keep her feeders filled for her. We owe our thanks to her that we have this because we used the money we inherited from her to build it. So, I just figure mom sits with me everyday as I'm out here. It is a good feeling. She was a wonderful lady.

I have six or eight downy woodpeckers here this morning. They are having to eat from the suet cakes since the bark butter is gone. I just don't normally have that many downys around here at one time. The robins are here again too for their morning bath. I'll have to fill the birdbaths again later too. They have splashed out a lot of the water.

I guess with all I need to do, or at least keep putting on my list for today, I better get out of my chair. My CD is done playing although that is easy to start again or change albums since I'm just playing it through Bluetooth from my IPod. I do like to start my morning out with some southern gospel  and or some Andre' Reiu. It sit the mood for my morning devotion. But, it is time now to get busy . I pray you will have a great day full of sunshine and God's love. Until next time --- Shalomn.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wow, can you believe it? It is an almost sunny day. There is a layer of clouds but the sun is occasionally breaking through them. It is really nice to see. Now, if it would just warm up a bit more. We're only looking for mid-sixties today but that is still far better than the 50's we have been having.

Today is my oldest grandchild, Joshua's, twenty-ninth birthday. That is so hard to absorb. It seems like only yesterday he was just a little tyke sitting in our kitchen sink and Ms. Kate was letting him play with the spray nozzle. I can still hear her saying, "It's only water Papa, it will wipe up." LOL Yeh, we did dote on that child a bit. Our other grandchildren never really got the chance to spend time with us like Josh did. Julie and Jim would let us have him for a month every year and then spend the next eleven months trying to get him back under control. Amanda and Matt came to spend a week with us a couple of times but that was all and Lauren and Jon have never come to visit us like that. In fact, to Lauren and Jon we were simply known as "Far-away Grandma and Papa". I still find that sad. Now, the grandkids are 29, 20, 18, 18, and 15. Those opportunities are now passed by.

Today we are getting caught upon our laundry and a few other household things before we head up to the churches for the afternoon. It is Wednesday and of course that means it is bulletin running day. I also have a pre-marriage counseling this afternoon and then we have our final choir practice for the season. We are singing this coming Sunday. So, it is going to be a busy afternoon. In the meantime, I also need to get back to the sermon that I started last night. I only got a fourth of it done and haven't gotten to the point yet that I think that I'm trying to make. But, I'm close to getting there.

I have a yard full of birds and squirrels this morning.I think they are all celebrating the sunshine. The first thing I did this morning was to go out and refill the barkbutter feeders. It didn't take two minutes before a couple of starlings were hot on those feeders and were gobbling up the food. It's a good thing I remind myself that starlings are God's creatures too or I would shoot the lot of them. The cardinals have been in and out several times this morning. I have about a dozen that come in consistently. That is why I fill the one feeder with safflower seed. The cardinals and the finches are about all that like that.

With that, I'll jump off of the IPad and go get something useful done. I pray your day will be a pleasant one. Hug the ones you love and maybe take the opportunity to make a new friend if you should get the chance. Peace.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Good morning on this rainy Tuesday morning. The sky is a mass of cloud and will be most of the day.  But, I actually ddon't mind that so much. I was just sitting here thinking how lush and green everything looks out there. Now that the trees have fully leafed out for the summer, and the plants have grown up in the flowerbeds, I feel like I'm in a micro-rainforest and the clouds just add to the ambience. The downside is that it would be so easy to just drift off to sleep out here. I think the past three weeks have caught up with me because yesterday and today I just feel drained of energy. Ms. Kate came out earlier and told me that I should take the day off and do nothing and I just might do that, or at least keep it minimal.

I did get up on the roof yesterday and get the gutters cleaned as well as all of the twigs and limbs that have blown from the trees. I wanted to beat the rain that was predicted. At least the rain held off until I actually got up on the roof!!!.  It wasn't a big deal because it was only sprinkles and they didn't last long. I was able to use my leaf blower to get the stuff off of the gutters and on to the ground. I couldn't believe how many of those seeds were actually sprouting. The gutter looked fuzzy green. There is still some more to do on the north side of the house because my blower ran out of juice. Then it was time to clean up all of the crap I had blown to the ground. I didn't want a million maple trees taking root in my flower beds. I have enough trouble with that as it is. But --- I did get it all cleaned up before any serious rain came.

I put out eight suet and seed cakes yesterday and the birds are having at them today. I also refilled the bark butter sticks, (and will have to do it again today, I think) and I put out a five pound bag of safflower seed. The cardinals are hitting that up pretty hard this morning. I notice that we have several robins out here agin this morning. They are young ones. I know that because they still have some speckle on their feathers. The squirrels have come and gone already. They didn't stay around this morning like they sometimes do.

I'm sitting here listening to "Signature Sound", a gospel vocal group that is part of the Gaither Homecoming system. As I sit here I can't help but reflect once again on just how blessed I am. My life path from birth to today can only be attributed to the oversight and protection by a loving God.  Have all my life experiences been wonderful --- no. But -- each experience and each person has been a useful tool or lesson in life that has made me stronger and turned me into what ever it is that I am today; fully loved, fully blessed, and fully saved by Jesus Christ. No wonder I sit here with my cup of coffee watching God's creation outside my windows in a sense of complete peace. My prayer for you today is that you can take a few minutes today and look at your life and realize how blessed you are, regardless of what may be going on in your life. God is there for and with you. Take a few minutes today and walk with the Lord. It will do you so much good! Shalomn!

Monday, May 16, 2016

It is Monday, the 16th of May and 54 degrees outside and a breeze that is fixing to blow in some rain. What the heck is up with that? Someone said at church yesterday; "we are actually having a real spring." I guess that is so, but I prefer my spring a little warmer and dryer, thank you very much. But, I'll be like everyone else in a couple of months, wondering when it is going to cool off a bit and bring us some rain. We humans are just never satisfied.

I cleaned out the bird baths last evening and put in fresh water. They had gotten really skanky because of all of the flower petals from the trees falling into them. The robins and the starlings will appreciate it now that they have clean water to bathe in and splash all over the place. I went to Wild Birds and Things on Saturday and bought a bunch of suet and seed cakes for the feeders and a five pound bag of safflower seed for the Cardinal feeder. This morning I need to put all of that out before the rain moves in and I need to refill the bark butter sticks again.

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday and we had a fairly good attendance for the services. Generally we ask people to wear red for the "flame of Pentecost" on Pentecost Sunday. However. Ms. Kate and I were about the only ones who remembered. That is most likely because I've been gone for the past two Sunday's and wasn't here to remind them. Yesterday was also an uncelebrated event with the churches. My 12th anniversary of being the pastor at the two churches passed by.  I never expected to be up there for a dozen years; at best I had secretly hoped to maybe be there for five or maybe ten if I was lucky. God has certainly blessed me.

Robins, robins, robins; I have lots of robins out in the yard this morning. I think that some of them are very young robins because the larger one keeps bringing food and giving it to a couple of the smaller ones. I also have squirrels out there this morning. The cooler weather keeps them on the feeders and they munch all day long. No wonder I have to go to the bird feed store so often. I had to laugh a few minutes ago because a woodpecker had to pull up and abort a landing because it almost landed on a squirrel that was on the feeder it was headed to.

I have several "tasks" to do today not the least of which is to get some writing done. But I also have to get an appointment for my car to be serviced and I should get up on my roof and walk along the edges and blow off the gutter. There are a lot of maple seeds sticking out of them, and there are also several twigs and stuff on the roof from all of the winds we have been having. I have a gutter cover system up there but the seeds get stuck in the holes in it and I end up having to walk along with my leaf blower to clean everything out.

So, I better drop off of here and get started on my chores. I pray you will have a pleasant day and I pray you will feel the presence of God in your life today. I lift up those on my prayer list today and ask for God's intervention in their healing process whether it be a need for physical healing, spiritual healing or simply comfort for your soul. May God bless you fully. Peace.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Home again! Home again! How great it is to be home again. Don't get me wrong; I love to travel. I absolutely loved the purpose of the trip; but it is so good to be home again; to sit in my recliner, to look out at my backyard and hear my birds, (even though they are not happy with me), and to be able to walk to my kitchen and pour my coffee wearing just my skivvies if I so desire.

The round trip took us 4444 miles across the country and back. We took a southern route going back and then took I-70 home which cuts right through the middle of the country. We were blessed with good weather all the way except for the last ninety miles where we caught up with some of the rain that has been soaking everything here at home. We ran into snow as we passed through Vail Colorado. It was fantastically beautiful. It was 32 degrees and the snow plows were out doing their job. I was a little concerned that we would run into black ice on the road but we were fortunate. The Lord certainly had us in the palm of His hand because we were either ahead of or behind all of the bad weather that has been plaguing the country these past three weeks. God is good; all the time.

While we were gone we had a contractor come in and work on our flowerbeds in the front of the house. They took out weeds, transplanted plants, and laid down mulch in all of our flowerbeds out there. It looks marvelous. Today I have to get my weed eater out and do some trimming and then mow the lawns as soon as it dries out a little. I also have a few limbs to break up that have come down durning the storms. And --- I better feed the birds. Everything is empty as I suspected it would be. So, that is about twenty feeders to fill today. That will certainly run through my stock of bird feed.

Our next trip is already in the works. Our grandson Matt is supposed to graduate high school on June 12th down in North Carolina. So, we plan to go down for that. That is assuming he actually graduates. The little turd had been wearing his lazy brain and is way behind in homework. But --- it has been a twelve year pattern for him and somehow he always pulls it out. Hopefully he will again this final time and we can all quit saying "Danmn it Matt!" That will leave us with only one grandchild left in high school. That means they are all growing up on us. That's sad.

Let me just take a moment more of your time and again remind you of what a beautiful world God has created and just how marvelous it is to live in this United States of America. If you don't travel, or haven't traveled, I highly recommend that you do, and I don't mean by plane. Get in your car or maybe even take a train, and explore America. Explore your own state or county. Get out and see what God has done. In our multiple travels back and forth across America we have seen unbelievably beautiful sights. We seen wild horses and antelope and buffalo. We traveled through gorges and up and across mountains. And we've met our fellow Americans and you know what? --- For the most part --- we the people of this country are just common, everyday folk, working to take care of our family, loving one another and loving God. Don't let the hate mongers and turn you off to this wonderful country of ours. Get out from in front of your television and go shake hands with your fellow Americans. Share in their blessings and share your blessings with them. Get out there --- have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It is Tuesday evening and we are in Goodland, Kansas which was our planned stop for the evening. We had debated going further but the sky was looking nasty and after yesterday's out break of tornadoes and storm through Oklahoma and Kansas --- we decided to not test the water. Now however, the sky has turned a beautiful blue. The wind, on the other hand, is kicking butt!

We had a great travel day over all though. Not quite the miles we did yesterday though. We crossed the Rocky Mountains and there was a lot of 55 mph zone, some construction, and then when we reached Vail, CO, the snow was deep on the mountains and beside the roads. It was 32 degrees and snowing and even the snow removal truck were in action. No way was I going to risk "black ice" so I kept right at the posted speed limits. Ms. Kate probably took a hundred pictures with her IPhone as we drove along.

Next we reached Denver and we drove straight through there like we actually knew what we were doing. Once out of Denver, if you've never driven I-70, we were in flat prairie country. The topography of this beautiful country is just astounding; rugged mountain to rolling prairie in no time at all. I don't know how many million years each one of God's "days" were but God does good work.

Our hotel last night was barely OK. It qualified as a hotel since it had a bed and we paid to sleep in it. But it was a Clarion Inn which is on the bottom half of the Choice Hotel chain. Of course we were leaving a five star hotel to drop down to this. Tonight, we are in a Comfort INN & Suites place and it is much better. We gone ahead and decided to do laundry that has accumulated for the past two weeks. It will minimize what we have to do when we get home.

Tomorrow we'll drive across Kansas and plan to stop in Independance MO. If the weather holds nicely, maybe we can make it even further. That would shorten our travel day on Thursday and get us home sooner. We are ready to be home in our own beds and rumbling around in our own house.

I must lift up those folks who were hit by the tornadoes last night. I understand that one person was killed and tonight they were showing damage at a small town in KY close to our home. I would ask that God lay a calming hand on the storms.

That's it to today. Have a peaceful evening. Share God's love.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday afternoon/evening in Vegas. The Vegas valley in under a series of flood warnings. It depends on what part of the valley one happens to live in. Earlier today we were south of the main strip area in what is called Green Valley. On the way back to the strip we ran into a downpour that was hard enough to blur the lines on the streets and slow traffic way down. We are currently back in our hotel and are watching the Clouds and the rain move in and around the city. Traffic on the Vegas strip is at a standstill but that could be simply the time of day on a Saturday. I think we'll plan on staying in for a while yet this evening and see what happens.

Vegas is a weird place, no matter what you say. Monday thru Wednesday one can expect to fine a lot of business men and women in the hotels, talking business, making contacts, and probably asking for back-channel information about job possibilities in other companies. Come Thursday the "wanna have fun" crowd comes in. A lot of families with small children but mostly the 21 - 30+ crowd. Obviously the LBD, little black dress, is very much in fashion, with accent on "little". I think I have used larger hand towels than some of the dresses that these young women are wearing. However, Ms. Kate and I have seen a lot worse around the Labor Day weekend when next to naked for the women seems to be the rule for young college girls. The guys are wearing either slacks and collared shirts or perfectly pressed blue jeans. The groups travel in loud packs, drinks and cell phones in hand and it appears the unspoken meeting place is the gaming tables where the mingling begins. I can't attest to what happens after that. Sunday is a transition day and things get quieter.. Maybe what happens in Vegas does actually stay in Vegas.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. My present to Ms. Kate was tickets to go see the Jersey Boys production. She has been wanting to see it forever. Every time we come to town she mentions it. So, I visited the concierge and got us some tickets for last night. You probably know the show is the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It was extremely well done and they sang every one of the hits the group ever made.

We are currently still in the Palazzo hotel.  Ms. Kate was given an invitation to a three day slot tournament with four night free stay. So, at 0900 each morning she has to be downstairs and frantically press the play button on a slot machine for ten minutes to rack up the highest score she can. At the end of the three days they post the highest scores and award the prizes. We've both done these in the past and they are fun. Although I don't know that we have ever won anything other than the free nights stay.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Vegas and then we head for home. Wish us well and safe passage.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

OK, somebody tell me what day it really is? I think this is Thursday afternoon. Well, actually I know it is because we changed hotels today per the plan. We were at Planet Hollywood and now we have moved about a block north on the strip and are at the Palazzo. We are having a good restful vacation. We haven't done a lot since we got here from California. We've gone to eat at a couple of our special places. We've played a few slot machines with no earnings that will interest the IRS. We had a big lunch at one of our favorite places today and even though it was a few hours ago, --- I'm still stuffed. Of course I might owe that to the job I just did on the last of the Dunkin Donut Munchkins. Yeh, they're gone.

I noticed an interesting thing yesterday as we were walking over to lunch. Out on the side walk were a couple of guys, about a block apart, and they each had a Jesus Saves sign and a portable megaphone and were preaching the Gospel to anyone that would listen. It was solid hell fire and damnation rhetoric. --- In the evening there was a whole new set of guys out there only these are the "card guys". It is a bunch of Mexicans that stand along the strip sidewalks and try to hand you cards with numbers of "escorts" and "private strippers" etc. So --- I couldn't help but think that we had literally gone from the "Light side" to the Dark side". Las Vegas is indeed a strange place.

Our plans for the rest of the week are minimal too. Tomorrow night we are going to to see "Jersey Boys", a show at the Paris Hotel. Saturday morning --- real early ---we need to head north on I-15 to Mesquite, NV which about 70 miles north of here. Lauren has a Pro MX race up there on Saturday morning at 0800. That puts us on the road NLT 0600. Then we had back to Las Vegas for two more night.

Ms. Kate got to the Coach Outlet store today so she's a happy camper. That's where her "winnings" go and with the bargains she gets ---- I couldn't care less except, I haven't got a clue why any woman needs that many Coach purses.

I'm watching out my 18th story window at the LV Strip and traffic is back to back, bumper to bumper.   Having lived here for two years many years ago, we learned that are times to be out in traffic and there are times to keep your tush home.

That's it for today. I hope your weekend is wonderful and full of blessings from God. Peace.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A very happy Tuesday to you. This might be a bit late in the day for some of you depending on your particular time zone. I happen to be in Las Vegas and we are on Pacific time.

I had the perfect place to write my blog earlier when we were having breakfast. We were sitting at an out door table at PF Chang's restaurant, right beside the sidewalk on Las Vegas Blvd. It was relatively cool, a breeze was slightly blowing, and and it was very peaceful. I doubt though that the restaurant would have like me sitting there to do my writing.  But it would have been very pleasant.

We arrived in Las Vegas yesterday afternoon around 1400 hours. We are checked in at Planet Hollywood casino and resort. As Vegas hotels go, it gets an "OK" rating fro me.  But, the room is free for three nights and the view of the Vegas strip isn't bad from the 27th floor.

The drive over from California was uneventful. Traffic wasn't too bad. We were hoping for more color in the high desert but there wasn't much to be seen. I guess they haven't had the rain there that we have had. Las Vegas got two inches of rain last week and there were flooded streets everywhere. Ms. Kate's sister was over here before she went to California and she said it was pretty bad. The major hotels on Vegas blvd had people out trying to squeegee the water away from the doors to keep water from coming in.

OK, I'm going to stop here. My lap top keyboard is no longer working properly and I and having to go back every two or three words and re-do stuff, I'm not sure when I bought this thing but it may be time for an upgrade, Until then, I'll just do my blogs on my IPad.

Have a blessed week. Take time to enjoy the blessings that God has provided for you. Peace.