Friday, September 30, 2016

Well what is the weather really going to do on this Friday morning? It has rained. I don't know how much but the sidewalks are wet. The sky vacillates between being really dark to grey, to a blast of sunshine and then back to dark again. Oh well, what ever will be, --- will be, -- and I can't control it; so I might as well enjoy it.

It must be Friday because another person passed away and I got a call first thing this morning from a dear friend asking me to do her mother's funeral. Of course I said "yes". It seems to be the thing though that I get a call on a Friday morning to do a funeral or I have a funeral to do on a Friday morning. The lady that passed away this morning was 98 years old and I've known her and her family for over 65 years.

You didn't see me do it but I have switched locations since the last paragraph. Ms. Kate and I are sitting in a waiting room while my sister-in-law is getting an infusion for iron. It is going to take a couple of hours for it to happen then we'll take her home and tuck her in on her couch. They have given her Tylenol PM and Benedryl and she is snoozing soundly in her infusion chair. Karen has Crohns and so she has to take some reaally good care of herself.

Moved again! I'm back home and by now it's time to be thinking about a nap. But we got Karen home safely, then went to Sam's, then came home and had lunch. I had gotten some bratburgers out of the freezer to grill forlunch. Well, they were terrible because they had gotten dried out and freezer burnt. Si, I had an "Everything Bagel" with some Philly cheese on it and Ms. Kateate a bowl of cereal. I also got a couple of steaks out of the freezer and I hope they are much better.

The sun has continued to shine throughout the day and it is quite comfortable out side (at least for me) I would open up the sunporch door and just use the screens but Ms. Kate is out here and she would freeze to death in the 69 degree temperature. With her blood thinner medicines she is always cold.

I think that is about it for today. I have no thoughtful tidbits to give you today. My brain is taking a day off along with my body. So, I'll just pray you have a glorious weekend. Peace.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Life is back to where it should be this morning cause Ms. Kate is back home where I need her to be. She and Karen got home about 2230 last night, safe and sound. They had a good trip. They spent a little money, they won a little money, and they spent a little money again. The thing with Las Vegas is that if you don't gamble more than you can comfortably afford to lose, then you are just paying for fun and amusement. The fact that Ms. Kate can go and play, win enough to visit the Coach Factory Outlet and buy a couple of new purses and merchandise and still come home with plenty of money tells me their trip was a fun one. Heck, I even got a couple of new Coach belts out of the deal. And --- I suspect they ran enough money through the machines, input and output, to earn a few more "free" rooms at some nice five star hotels. Ms. Kate and I are going back to Vegas the week after I retire and will spend another week there. We are currently waiting on the October mail outs to see which hotels are gong to offer her free rooms again. 'Tis the life.

It is a cold and rainy morning. I actually broke out a sweatshirt to wear today. I think it feels colder because of the rain, but the high today is only going to be 66 degrees. It is currently 57 degrees.

I went to choir practice last night. It sure makes a difference in our practice since the choir isn't working on a Christmas Cantata. We are only singing two more times before I retire and they haven't started on anything for December yet, although, --- last night several of the ladies were indicating that they wanted to start on something. So the director needs to get on that.  I think they feel like they are in limbo because I am leaving and they really don't know what to plan because they don't know who their pastor is going to be or what he or she may want as far as music for the worship services. Bless their hearts. I do feel sad for them but I'm not cancelling my retirement; so --- this situation will just have to be worked through with God's help. And it will be; they have changed pastors before; it has just been a while. And --- I need to remember to take it all off of my "worry list".

I have a few cardinals here this morning. The cloudy, rainy sky does nothing to make them shine today. The hummingbird is busy constantly at the feeder. The one thing about this "chill snap" is that the bees aren't buzzing around the hummingbird feeders. The rest of my visitors today are finches and small woodpeckers but they are all few in numbers. One squirrel just showed up but it by passed the feeders too and went on across the yard. So, the back yard is relatively quiet this morning.

I guess I'll head to my office downstairs and try to get some writing done today. It is a good day for it.  I'll sit here and finish this cup of coffee and then make a fresh pot before I go. In the mean time I need to stop and take stock of this life full of blessings and give thanks where the thanks are due. Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Happy Wednesday. We have a 60 degree, cloudy morning with a few sprinkles on and off with showers promised during the day. Actually the longer I have set here, the darker the sky has become.

I apologize for not seeing you yesterday here in cyber land. It was such a beautiful day that I just couldn't make myself sit around and do nothing. But the result of my activities is that the lawns are mowed, a couple of flower beds are trimmed, leaves are raked and mulched, two loads of laundry done and bed sheets changed, and I fixed myself a breakfast of eggs, bacon, biscuits, and milk gravy. Not bad for for a senior moment energy burst. Today --- not so much. Today I'll spend writing, then to the churches, and this evening I have choir practice. However --- the best part of the day/evening is that Ms. Kate and Karen get home from Las Vegas tonight. They should be here around 2230 or so. I'll be glad to have her back home and my life will get back on an even keel.

Did you watch the Presidential debate on Monday night? I wasn't going to but with these two that are running, it was like you know it is going to be horrible and you don't want to see it, --- but you want to watch to see how bad it is going to get. It met all of my bad expectations. But what is worse is the aftermath of the debate on social media. The comments and viciousness and accusations have been terrible. I made one neutral comment that I was underwhelmed with the debates and wished there had been something better on TV and the added post comments  to my comment went on and on. One person wrote ten different comments in a rant for her candidates and against the rest of us who disagreed or were perceived to disagree with her. It is amazing how this election has polarized the nation. People we doing nasty things to one another, they are rising candidate support signs out of one another's yards and tearing up their property. A lady yesterday was actually filming herself as she was sitting waiting on a cop to talk to her. She was going on and on that all she did was slow down on front of this guys house and "exercise her first amendment rights" by yelling the "F" word at him and "give him the finger" because he had signs for that blankety blankety candidate, and then she was shocked that he actually got into his car and started following her and filming her. Her rant went on and on as she continued on about her first amendment rights and woud even listen to a single word the policeman was trying to say to her. It was so idiotic.

It is critical to this nation to get back to God and some serious knee bending prayer. We are a better nation than this. And frankly ---- I believe that 99% of the citizen of this nation are praying for peace and calm. But what the media, mainstream and social media, shows is only the erratic and sensational stuff because it sells. But --- today again I will offer a prayer for national spiritual healing.

I hope I didn't stir you up with my comments. I also pray that you will have a sunny day, physically and mentally, and that you will be flooded with the blessing and peace that come from God. Peace.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Cloudy with a few showers this morning but we've had a wonderful, beneficial, dust settling rain over night. I haven't checked the rain gauge but the bird bath certainly is fuller than it was. It is supposed to shower on and off most of the morning which is fine because this is all ushered in by a cold front. The weather folks say that our temperatures will be in the mid to upper 70's this week and the lows will be from 48 -55 degrees at night. That sound like perfect weather to me.

We have a lot of bird activity this morning with birds of all kinds here. And -- the squirrel is raising a fuss which tells me that cat must be back in the yard. The squirrel was on a feeder and suddenly it ran up a tree and is now sitting there fussing on a limb watching something. I have a lot of cardinals at the moment, maybe fifteen or so.

It has been a good weekend. We had good attendance at both churches. After church was over and I had my lunch, I went back to the church and ran my bulletins for next week.  Some of the farmers are still out in the field bringing in crops but the corn harvest is starting to wind down. Next it will be the soy beans that need to be brought in. One can always tell when they are harvesting soy beans because of the large trail of dust that is behind the combine. I had a text and picture the other day from Brenda, our organist at St. Lucas, of the discing and harrowing equipment she was pulling behind her tractor. She may be one of the hardest working women I know. She works full time as a nurse; she farms with her husband, she plays the church organ beautifully, she spends way too much time baby sitting for her nine grandkids, and she spends a lot of time helping her mom and dad. She has earned her angel wings a thousand time over.

Back to her farming --- I would love to do that once again but farming equipment is so complicated I wouldn't know where to begin. It has sure changed since I was a kid and doing the discing and plowing for my dad back in the late 50's and early 60's. And, I can't imagine what my grandpa would think about today's farming equipment. I had an uncle that actually used a horse team to work the fields and garden up.

By this afternoon, the rain should be gone and maybe the leaves on the sidewalk will be dry enough to clean the walks and rake the leaves out into the yard so I can mulch them up again. If I don't do it today, I'll do it tomorrow. I'm kind of stalling about going back down to my office and writing. I have an idea rumbling around in my head for a sermon but it hasn't fully formed yet with a logical progression. So, I'm letting it just work its way out to where I can put it on paper. I'm not in a hurry because I'm good for the next couple of weeks with sermons already written.

So, time for me to drop off of here. Neighbor Dan and I are going to lunch today at a Mongolian BBQ place.. I don't know why they call it BBQ because there is nothing BBQ about it. But, I like the place so who cares why they call it BBQ. I hope your day is bright with the Holy Spirit and you remember to stay in touch with the Lord. Peace!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Welcome to another beautiful morning! All is quiet outside my sunporch this morning, --- finally. Somebody had a car alarm going off for like twenty minutes while ago. It couldn't have been more than two houses down the street and it was a piercing "warbler" sound. I'm glad I was awake or it would have really been irritating. It was obnoxious enough as it is. Back many years ago when they started putting those things in cars they were unusual enough to get your attention and make people maybe check out hat was happening. But now, --- they go off and no one pays attention to them except to be annoyed. Maybe there is a benefit of having them if they scare a thief when they go off but --- who knows.

It is another hot air quality alert day. The weather people say that tomorrow it could get better and by Monday we should getting actual fall weather with cooler temperatures. It is that transition time of the year when people switch from sweaters to swimsuits and back to sweaters and we never know what to expect.

I've been watching the national news and of course that news is divided into two categories. You either have stories about a police officer shooting and killing a black man and the rioting because of that or you have stories concerning the upcoming presidential debates and election. We are in a period of society where everybody seems to have a cell phone going all the time filming anything that could possibly make the police look bad and the news media jumps on it and does everything they can to sensationalize the incident in order to keep rating up. There is no such thing as just reporting the news any longer in an unbiased manner. Yes, some of our police officers are making some stupid and lethal mistakes. Some of our police are not paying attention and relying on their training. And in some cases yes, people have been killed when maybe another course of action could have prevailed and that makes people angry. That anger turns into destructive riots and targeting and ambushing of police officers --- which in turn put the police on edge causing them to do stupid lethal mistakes. It is a cycle that has to be stopped some how. And worse yet --- it is all being used by at least one presidential candidate as fodder to gather votes. How pathetic is that?

As for our presidential race --- we have no good choice. One candidate is just an evil vicious person who will do anything and say anything to get elected. Her only real goal is to be the first woman president of the United States. The other candidate is a loud mouth "bar-bully" who is treating the prospect of running this country like it was a TV reality show. When I say "God, help us;" I truly mean God --- please help us.

I didn't mean to get all ranting on you this morning. Just had to get it off of my chest. I care so very much for this country and I'm seeing this nation being led away from the principles of Christiaity and it scares me. So, I'll turn to God once again this morning and pray for guidance for our leaders and for our nation. And --- while I'm at it --- I'll say a prayer for you and pray you have a most wonderful day. God Bless you.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Finally Friday and it is a hot one too.  We are under another day of ozone alert so I'm resigned to staying in again today. I'm not sure just what I'll do today. I could go back down to the office but I'm supposed to be on my day off. I have some movies here that are still in the wrapper that I could watch. Or, I have books to read but I'm saving them for December.

My yard was full of cardinals this morning. I think there was at least twenty out there. And, unfortunately --- the blackbirds and starlings have returned too. Right now there are only a couple that are coming in but the numbers will grow as they migrate. Then they will be here all winter because I run the best buffet in the neighborhood. I can see at least five feeders that need refilling including one of the hummimgbird feeders. I still have some of the food that Ms. Kate mixed up. I also need t add water to the bird bath because the cardinals and the blackbird splash it all out.

I was up at 0330 this morning for some unknown reason so I came out to the sunporch for a while. There just outside the porch door was out little skunk again. It was cleaning up some of the residual stuff on the ground from one of the bird feeders. I watched it for a few moments and then knocked on the glass. It waddled on off through the yard. I just hope that when one of the girls come and bring their dogs that they don't run into it at night when they are let out to pee. We do not need that in the house.

Any way --- I sat up for awhile and then went back to bed around 0430. So it has been a lazy day. Neighbor Dan called me this morning and invited me over for breakfast which I thought was a nice thing to do. His wife fixed an egg/ham/onion dish that was pretty good and we had toast and bacon to go with it. I had already had my banana and coffee so this was an extra treat that means I don't need to eat until supper time.

I wrote another sermon yesterday. That's two in three days. I just need to keep on it and get them done. One never knows what the day is going to bring so I try to stay ahead of the game.

That's about it for today. I talked to Ms. Kate and she is moving to the Treasure Island (TI) hotel today and will be there for two nights. They were on their way to the Bellagio Resort when she was texting me. It's hard to keep up with those two.

Have a great weekend, Do something fun and enjoy life. Give the Creator thanksgiving for the days you are allowed to continue to live on this planet surrounded by people who love you. Peace.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It is the first day of fall and is going to feel like the summer we never had. Today is another ozone alert day which for us non-breathers mean keep your butt in the house. I do need to go get a haircut and I need to go pick up a couple of things at the grocery store but I'll have to think about that. Perhaps tomorow will be a better breathing day. Actually, I use my inhalers and it isn't that bad for me as long as I'm not mowing grass and breathing in the dust and stuff. I should wear a mask when I mow but everytime I do, my glasses fog up and I can't see. (Don't I live such a hard life???) Besides, riding my John Deere and wearing a dust mask just wouldn't look cool. And, I do have an image to maintain. LOL

I talked to Ms, Kate last night and she and Karen are having fun and they aren't broke. Actually, she went to the Coach Outlet yesterday and even picked up a couple of belts for me. I can usually tell if she is doing good out there because she goes to Coach and buys another purse or two. They had been for their lobster dinner and then they were shopping. Karen was in Saks Fifth Avenue while Ms. Kate just kind of kept a check on the parking meter. Ms. Kate isn't really a shopper except for her specific stores. But walking around a mall, going into every store just isn't our thing. We have a good mall here in town and I don't think we have been in it in at least three years and maybe longer. Heck we waited seemingly forever for the new Meijer Store to come to Evansville and it finally has. But --- we haven't been beyond the grocery section yet. I think the older a person gets --- the more "fuddy-duddy" they get. We focus more on needs verses wants.

The hummingbird and a honey bee are having a real battle this morning at one of the feeders. They keep trying to chase one another away. From the looks of it, I may have to refill that feeder again by tomorrow. It seems to be getting a little low. Perhaps it seems that way because I didn't put as much in this last time. I have lots of small birds here this morning and a couple of cardinals. I haven't seen any doves in the past couple of days --- and as I wrote that sentence; one walked up to the door and looked in as if to say, "we're still here". I almost always have doves here year around. I haven't seen a mocking bird for a couple of weeks and I haven't had my Pilated Woodpecker back for a couple of months. But, the aviary crew will start to change over as it actually starts to get cooler and or colder.

I think it is time for me to fix myself some breakfast and then maybe go get my haircut. Or, maybe I'll just go downstairs to my office and get busy after I eat. Hey --- I'm just a wild man  rambling loose!

But first, I'm taking time to give thanks for the wealth of blessings that God heaps on me every day. God is so very good and I am so very blessed. See ya' tomorrow. Peace!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It is a sunny and warm Wednesday morning and is heading to 90 degrees today. My feeders are all freshly filled and there are lots of finches out there this morning having at them. A couple of larger woodpeckers are here and the cardinals have come and gone for a couple of hours. They will be back again in another hour.

I went out and got the hummingbird feeders yesterday and took them apart and cleaned them. The one feeder was completely dry and the other had turned sour. I guess the sunshine was making hummingbird wine out of the sugar water. Any way, the hummingbirds are all over the feeders this morning.

I don't have any squirrels this morning at least, not yet. I have told you that we have a couple of cats that wander through our back yard. For the most part they leave my birds alone. I lose more small birds to the hawk than I do to cats. But --- there is one dark colored cat that seems bound and determined to catch a squirrel and yesterday it actually "tagged" a squirrel. It did get a paw on the squirrel's tail before the squirrel was across the yard, up the pussy willow tree, and across my roof. If that cat actually catches one out here, there will be a heck of a battle out there in the yard and I suspect the cat will lose. Squirrels are nothing but fuzzy tailed nasty rats and when they are cornered they are mean as hell.

Ms. Kate made it Las Vegas just fine along with Karen. Tonight is "lobster night" for them. We have a favorite place out there that does a lobster special on Wednesday evenings that we try to not miss when we are in town. We have several places that have become favorites that we hit for eating and for playing the slot machines and to stay when we are there. Vegas has so many four and five star places to stay. She and I are going back again in December for a week and will be staying at the Wynn for the first three days. We jump around from hotel to hotel depending on where we get the best offers. Ms. Kate and Karen are staying at the Rio All Suites Resort now, and will move to Green Valley Ranch, and then to the TI for a couple of days each and I don't think they are paying for a single night's lodging the entire trip.

I guess I should head on up to the church and run the week's bulletins and the monthly newsletter. It will take me longer since I don't have my bulletin folding buddy with me. So, I'll just wish you a pleasant day full of warm thoughts and God's love. Until tomorrow --- peace!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy Tuesday to you. It is a bright and beautiful morning that started off with a gorgeous sunrise.  Not that I was up to see it; --- but my cousin Debbie is up and walking every morning at sunrise and posts the sunrise pictures on Facebook. I'm so glad she saves me the early morning rise.

Well, the house is empty alreaady. I dropped Ms. Kate off at her sister Karen's house at 0900 and they are on their way to Nashville, TN to catch a plane to Las Vegas for a week. You know, if she were home, she would be back in her office on her computer and I would be out here in the sunporch. There would be no more "house sounds" going on than there is right now. But --- when she's gone the silence has a whole different characteristic to it. Did you ever notice that at your place?

At last I got the trellis/arbor put up. I called neighbor Dan early yesterday and he and I got it all leveled and plumbed and concreted in. Then we pulled the mailbox up and reset that so that it all looks great as a package now. And --- we only had to make one extra trip to Ace Hardware. I needed an extra bag of Quickcrete to set in the mailbox. All told, it only took us about three hours including the trip to the hardware store, full discussion of world politics and issues time, and finishing up with an adult beverage. Then after lunch, I got the weed eating and mowing all done which is really good since today is an ozone alert day and not a day I need to be out there working. I might venture out later and blow the leaves off of the back walk and out into the yard and then this evening mulch them up with the mower. And I also need to change the food out in the hummingbird feeders. Ms. Kate made up a fresh batch yesterday evening for me.

I think my next thing to do today though is fix some lunch or brunch. I thought about either stopping at Denny's on the way back from Karen's house or stopping at the Donut Bank and getting some sweet goodies but decided that I have plenty of food around here. Ms. Kate fixed up stuff for me to have this week and I can always fix something on my own. I'm not qualified to even think I can cook but I can get by. I'm thinking a couple of eggs, bacon, and toast with Ms. Kate's peach jelly sounds pretty good right about now. I'll most likely scramble the eggs since I always end up breaking the yokes anyway.

This afternoon I'll head downstairs to my office and get busy doing some sermon writing. I have nine more to write before I retire and they don't appear to be writing themselves. So, since my other work is done, and I have no place I need to go, it is time to get busy.

I hope your day is as sunny as it can be and your life is filled with blessing. Never forget that you never walk this life alone; God is always with you. If you stumble or lose your way -- ask for help. Help is what God does best and God never tires of it. Have a blessed day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

There is certainly nothing cloudy or dowdy about this morning. The sun is shining brightly and the Lord has said "Good Morning" through the sound of birds singing this morning. The yard is full of cardinals this morning already as well as finches and sparrows. I see that a lot more leaves fell over the day yesterday but it is only the beginning of what will be coming down. It is 64 degrees this morning and only gong to 83 today. Actually the first day of fall is this week. However, I suspect we will have many more days that will seem more like summer than fall. It doesn't take much more than a light breeze though and the leaves look like large snowflakes coming down.

The hummingbirds are jousting with the honeybees for nectar from the hummingbird feeders. The little birds chase the bees just like they chase one another away from the feeders. So there is constant commotion around those feeders. The migratory birds are starting to come through. Nuthatches, and titmouse are showing up once again. They were last here in the spring. And haven't been around since.

Ms. Kate is up and doing a load of laundry this morning already. That is because she is packing her suitcase for a sister's week away in Vegas once again. She and Karen head out tomorrow for a week in Las Vegas filled with shopping and slot machines, and sister talk. They used to do this about once a quarter but I think age is starting to catch up with them. Karen is just a month younger than me and I know I don't get around like I used to. But --- I think she can outwork me. She spends so much time working in her flowerbeds and yard. We hardly ever go there that she isn't out in her yard doing something. Not only that but ---- her John Deere is bigger than mine too.

Speaking of yard work, I need to get my string trimmer out and clean up around the front flowerbeds and then jump on the mower and mow the yards. And, --- if Dan is available, I'd like to get that trellis / arbor set in today. The weather is perfect for it. If he isn't available, maybe Ms. Kate can help me carry it down to the street and we'll stand it up so I can mark the location for the post holes and get my digging done. There is a bunch of prep work I need to do before I actually set the thing in place. I need to dig down and level the area because my whole front yard is on a hill, and I have a couple of lilies and some Iris to move too. Nothing is ever simple.

Attendance at church was a bit slim yesterday as the farming  and harvest is in full swing. The guys say the harvest isn't too bad this year, Of course, last year was a bumper crop so while this year isn't as good, -- not every year can be a bumper crop. We just give God thanks for whatever comes out of the fields. My concern is always that they have a safe harvest.

My second cup off coffee is almost gone and I need to disembark my recliner and get some work done. I pray your day will be full of sunshine and God's love and grace. Peace.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Buckets-o-rain! That's what we got last night and early this morning. But -- I looked at the radar just now and the sky is clear from here to Kansas. I haven't gone out to check the rain gauge yet this morning but I suspect I'll find it rained at least an inch.

And a good Saturday morning to you. Yes, I know I missed blogging yesterday  but I have a great excuse! --- I was lazy and just didn't feel like doing it. You know how those robo-callers and salesmen and survey takers call and you don't feel like listening to them so you just hang up? Well that was my attitude yesterday. I just kind of said; "Meh, ---- I'll write tomorrow."

I have lots of post-rain aviary activity going on this morning. All four hummingbirds are here zooming in and out. The cardinals are here in force. Some are on the feeders and several are on the ground. I have two or three downy woodpeckers flying in and out; several sparrows and house finches and a couple of gold finches. So the backyard buffet is a busy place this morning. From what I can see, I also need to fill the feeders this morning. I'd have to check back on my blogs, but I think this is the first time since maybe Monday that I have had to fill them. With fall harvest going on, they eat a lot of their food out in the fields. I did go out yesterday and dump out one of the bird baths because it was full of leaves and the water was really scuzzy. I need to do the same thing to the other two bird baths today. But, the leaves are starting to fall in earnest now so that is going to be an every other day event as a a minimum.

I started my day off with a doctor's appointment yesterday and then planned to get that new trellis/arbor set in the ground. But --- I had no more than contacted Dan for help and it started raining again. So, that project will now wait until Monday as a minimum. I need to give the soil a chance to dry out some before I start digging around in flowerbeds and next week so far is predicted to be a week of sunshine. And I absolutely need help to get it set in. However --- catching Dan when he's not taking Minh shopping, or picking up his grandkids, or playing golf, or somehow otherwise busy is a hard thing to do. It seems like he is never home.

I did some raking in the back yard and cleaned off the sidewalks yesterday and jumped on the JD and mulched all of that up and mowed my back yard. I need to mow the front too today but it will have to dry out a lot before I can do that. And, I need to run down to the gas station and fill up the gas can first. Speaking of running around --- I just took Ms. Kate in a cup of coffee and yes --- there is a list of places we need to go today. So, I need to finish my coffee, get cleaned up and ready for my Saturday adventures. So, until Monday --- I pray you will have a glorious weekend filled with good things and lot's of God's blessings. Don't forget to take time to be grateful to HIm for those blessings. Blessings and Peace.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'm a tired pup this morning. Got up way too early because I had my brain still running. I hate nights like that when you just never quite get shut down. The problem is that yesterday we bought Ms. Kate a new IPad Pro and we were still trying to set it up last night or this morning at 1230 am. She got it started with downloading all of her apps that she had on her old IPad and then it quit loading and there were 70 plus apps just sitting there "waiting" to load but it was doing nothing. Neither she nor I are gifted when it comes to technology. That would be my daughter Julie and Son-in-law John's area of expertise. But, I figured it had to be a setting somewhere that I needed to switch. So, I fiddled around with it and got it to start loading at 0645 this morning. But --- it wouldn't load a couple of her most favorites of course. But --- I just now had another thought and went in and tried something else and at least I got the app she really wanted to load. I'll tell you, --- some times with us two, it would be easier to stack BB's. I watch people and even children with these devises and their fingers fly over them and they seemingly can do anything with them. Me, --- I get it turned on and hope it doesn't crash. Forrest Gump would call it a box of chocolates cause I never know what I'm going to get.

But, I do love my IPad and my computer, and my laptop. I've been through all three versions of the Nook, and they currently just are sitting there on a shelf collecting dust. They were great for reading but not for much else. We generally take my laptop along with us when we travel. Ms. Kate plays this simulation game called Klondike and it doesn't play on tablets. You have to play it on laptops or a PC.  I sit here with my IPad on my lap and just type away at these blogs and have conversations with my kids and grandkids. It is a wonderful thing. Even as I write this I have a conversation running with my grandson Matthew down in North Carolina. How cool is that?? So, yes, we are quasi-geeky nerds with a lot of technology --- and we even know how to use some of it.

We had a spurt of sunshine for maybe a half an hour this morning and now it is clouding up and the sky is getting dark. My Weather Channel App and my Accuweather App both show rain moving in sometime in the next 30 minutes. That was not in my plan for today. I wanted to set that new arbor/trellis in today. I even went out last night on the way home from the church and the hospital visitation and picked up some Quickcrete to anchor it in. But the thunder and drizzle has now started so I guess new plans are in order.

The cardinals were here en masse foro awhile but now the back yard is deserted. I guess they are all taking shelter in the trees. Well, except for the hummingbird who just never quits buzzing and eating.

I'm off of here now. I hope your day is filled with good things. Call a friend today and say hi! It will brighten up the day for both of you. Blessings & Peace!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Happy mid-week! It is a interesting morning around the back yard. I don't have an awful lot of birds this morning because there is a cat in the yard again. We went a full decade around here without stray animals running through our yard. Oh, there was the occasional cat that wandered through but nothing regular. Now it seems that everyday there is one in the yard. The strange thing is that they seem much more interested in trying to catch one of the squirrels than they do the birds. You can bet that if one of those cats ever actually catches one of those squirrels, --- that is going to be one heck of a battle and the cat will most likely come out on the losing end. But, not my problem, --- just my entertainment.

I'm sending prayers up this morning for a part-time parishioner. She and her husband attend our church sometimes and they sometimes sing in the choir, but they have their own church that they are very active in. Our church is closer to where they live. --- So, in this case, being a part-time parishioner is a very good thing, and we are glad to have them. Anyway, she is having a double mastectomy this morning. The thing hat absolutely amazes me is that they plan to only keep her over one night in the hospital. I talked to her daughter this morning through texting, and she said the doctors feel that the sooner she is up and moving, the better. Isn't this major surgery??? I was in the hospital for several days just for an asthma attack and pneumonia. This lady is having parts of her body removed and they are going to send her home  tomorrow. I don't understand that at all but I will assume they know what the are doing and pray for the best.

I kept my promise to myself yesterday and stayed off of the office computer except to play my two games. I did some work out in the flower beds but I also spent a great deal of time in my garage. I actually cleaned off my work bench for the first time in several months. I put together a new arbor trellis to go over my mail box. Now, I have to get it put up and that won't be done today because first of all it is supposed to rain this afternoon and also today is work at the church day. Maybe tomorrow I can get out there and do it if I can get some help from neighbor Dan. I also need to pick up some Quickcrete to put it in. It is a lot bigger than the one I built last time and took down a few weeks ago. That one lasted us about 10 or 12 years.

Ms. Kate just brought me a plate of cookies and refilled my coffee cup so I'm getting off of here and am going to enjoy that with her here in the sunporch while we watch the critters that are now moving into their own buffet. I hope you have a great day. Peace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

It's bright. It's crisp. And -- it's beautiful outside. What a glorious morning already. I say "Thank you, Lord for this beautiful day."

My feathered friends are here  this morning having breakfast at the buffet. It is a little early for the cardinals. Give them another half an hour before they show up en masse. Mostly at the moment I have the finches in here, They eat, they chirp and squabble, they go to the bird bath and drink and then they repeat the process. One would almost think they were traveling together except there are several different kinds of them; gold finches, house finches, and sparrows, all just doing what nature has them do. Mr. Fuss-a-lot was here for a few minutes. He keeps coming back to a certain feeder as though he has claimed it for his own. It is a suet feeder and it is suction cupped to the glass. He lands on that thing and starts pecking at the suet really aggressively. It sounds like someone is thumping on the window. The first few times I heard that, I didn't realize what it was and I kept wondering what was knocking on my house?

I see that my bunch of egg shells that I put in the flowerbed is disappearing. It could be either Lil' Stinker visited again last night or it could be that some of the birds are eating them. I know they like to do that. We have put egg shells out there before specifically for that purpose. But considering how many have disappeared since last evening, I'll put my money on that little skunk I call Lil' Stinker.

I spent the day writing yesterday. I finished the sermon I was working on, and I finished putting together my bulletin for the 25th of September which included the newsletter for October. So, I think today, other than to play my silly computer games; Criminal Case and Bingo Blast, I think maybe I'll stay off of the computer down in my office and get outside and enjoy this fall day in a flowerbed. Ms. Kate and I also have to run to Target sometime this morning and to the bank. I should get ready early this morning and go do that. Then I can not worry about getting dirty and having to clean up to go somewhere.

And --- the cardinals are right on schedule. I have six out there at the moment and the sun is hitting them just right to add some brilliant red to the back yard color pallet. They and the gold finches are the bright spots of the morning out there.

My coffee cup is empty. That isn't a good thing. I think I'll go refill it, and check on Ms. Kate to see what she is doing. Maybe she'll want to go out for breakfast and then to Target. But first, fill the coffee cup, and then come back out here to the porch and watch all of God's critters enjoy their breakfast and sit and give thanks for a wealth of blessings that flow to me every day. God is so very good, and my life is so very blessed. I'l lift you up in prayer again today, so if your day isn't going as well as you had hoped --- know that I have said a prayer for you. Peace.

Monday, September 12, 2016

It is finally Monday and my calendar says I have nothing on the schedule today. That is a first in several days. We've been a couple of busy folk for the past several days preparing for the Harvest breakfast. We had that on Saturday morning and it went very well. I think we had close to forty people, maybe a few more. Ms. Kate fixed eggs to order, hashbrowns, milk gravy, sausage links, biscuits, and "monkey bread", along with coffee, milk, and orange juice. Everyone enjoyed it and it got he harvest off to a great start.

Yesterday we had a special day at church as we brought in a new member to the roles at St. Lucas. The fellow has been going to our church for 12 years but he was raised Catholic and he married a girl from our church. In fact they were the second wedding I performed twelve years ago. Their children attended Catholic school for several years so he maintained his standing in his church. Now the kids have moved on to public school he has finally joined our church and we are glad to have him as a member. He already does a lot of our church.

It is an absolutely beautiful morning; 63 degrees, sunny without a cloud, and only going up to 83 today. It is a perfect fall day. I should get off my bum and do some outside work but I am in the middle of a sermon and need to finish that before I lose what thought process I had going late last night. It was one of those sermons that I had a hard time starting on and I need to finish it. Too often I get a an idea for a sermon when I'm driving or something and I don't write it down. Then when it comes time to actually put something on paper --- I can't begin to remember what that brilliant thought was. I'm quickly drawing to a close on sermon writing. I think I have only nine more to put on paper.

Our little black and white buddy was here again last night outside the door in the flowerbed. I had put the egg shells from the harvest breakfast in that flowerbed to add calcium to the soil. I guess Lil' Stinker decided that it needed to check all of that out. I know that skunks will get into chicken houses and eat the eggs so I guess it makes sense that it would be attracted to the oder coming off of those shells.

The hummingbirds, the goldfinches, and cardinals are all here this morning so they are adding beauty to my back yard. The backyard could use some fresh color now. The grass is brown, the trees are losing their color and or are in transition from green to a dull yellow and brown. There are a few purple blossoms left on the phlox but most of them have fallen off too. But the hummingbirds are making them for every bit of nectar they can get out of them.

Time to pour another cup of coffee and then get busy. I pray your day will be a blessed one. I lift up those friends and family who are are on my personal prayer list. I know God heard me the first time --- but it doesn't keep me from reminding God that I still care. Have a most wonderful day. Peace.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Happy Friday morning to you. It's the end of the week for some and a well armed couple of days off before you start the rat race all over again. However, for some of us --- it is the beginning of a couple of very busy days, --- so, I'm enjoying my quiet time here in the sun room with my cup of coffee and a little soft theme music by Andre Reiu.

It is a cloudy morning with light rain on and off. I woke to the rumble of thunder that sounded as though it was going to go on forever. This could easily be a nap in the recliner morning if we didn't have a bunch of work to do. Tomorrow morning Ms. Kate and I are going to host the Harvest breakfast up at the church. It starts at 0730 which means people will start coming in by 0700. That means we will have to be there no later that 0530 to get things going. Today we need to finish the shopping for it and go do a bunch of prep work. Bless Ms. Kate's heart, she worked so hard yesterday trying to cook the potatoes that we bought for this thing. We picked up several pounds of potatoes at Sam's and they just didn't turn out well at all. She boiled them in order to prep them for fried potatoes but  when she tried to peel them they turned out dark colored and just looked terrible. Last night for supper she fried some of them up as a trial for tomorrow and they just kind of crumbled when we stuck a fork in them, and they didn't taste all that good. I don't know what the problem was with those particular potatoes. We probably should have bought some smaller red ones instead. So, we tossed them all out and today we'll find a plan "B". I told her to not worry about it; we will just go pick up a couple of bags of Ore Ida frozen hash browns and fix those. After all, most people will simply cover them with milk gravy anyway. I just hated that she put in that work to no avail.

Last evening I attended a meeting of the search committee as they go about the process of finding a new pastor. Their search is really two pronged. They have to solve the issues surrounding having a interim pastor to be there and start preaching and being their pastor on December 4th and then they need to find a pastor for the long term. It isn't an easy task and time is the utmost importance. Right now they need to get their profile together so the Associate Conference Minister can advertise and find suitable candidates for them. After I got home last night I sent them a bunch of stuff that I thought they could use. I pray they will find just the right person for the job. They are wonderful people and they deserve a pastor that will love them and offer them spiritual guidance to the best of his or her ability.

The critters all seem to be enjoying these showers this morning except for the squirrel who seems to be having a problem climbing a wet slick pole. It jumps up, and slides back down. It's good entertainment. The temperature is lower this morning and that seems to be bringing everyone back to the buffet despite the rain drops. Last night I had my little skunk buddy just outside the back door again cleaning up birdfeeders residual that was on the ground. Needless to say, I just watched from in here and let him be.

So, that is it for Friday morning. I hope your weekend is blessed and full of God's joy. Peace.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday Morning and it is a partially overcast sky with rain coming in today later. That is fine because we now actually could use it.The yard is dusty for the first time all summer. We've been eleven days dry for the first time since early June. (LOL, that sentence made me sound like an alcoholic didn't it?)

Ms. Kate and I had to clean and refill the hummingbird feeders again today. Taking them down off of their hangers is a test of courage. The honey bees and the wasps swarm around me as I take them off of the hooks. So, I spray the feeders down first with the hose to maybe wash some of the sweet sugar water off of them. It didn't take more than a minute after we finished for the hammers to come back to a fresh feast.

I've had a few cardinals out there most of the morning along with a couple of downy woodpeckers, some finches, and one squirrel who thinks he's hiding but his tail is giving him away. I'll leave him alone; he's not hurting anything and is on a "permitable" feeder.

Our day was busy again yesterday, We got most of the shopping done for thee Harvest breakfast we are hosting at the church on Saturday morning. Ms. Kate is planning on eggs to order, sausage, milk gravy, biscuits, monkey bread as well as coffee, orange juice, and milk. We may need to cut up a cantaloupe or three too for a little fruit. This is our ninth and final year to do this. We generally feed 30-35 people but with this being our last one before we retire, there could be more this year.  Kate does serve a good breakfast and I just think it is important too start the harvest season off this way. But, it is a lot of work. We used to entertain a lot "back in the day", but age has slowed us down.

Speaking of breakfast, Ms. Kate has our ready and I have to take a couple of fresh biscuits and jar of her new peach jam across the street to Dan and Minh. So, I'm off of here. Have a blessed day, Give thanks to God for your blessings and share those blessings with someone. Peace.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

"Summertime and the livin' is easy." So says the song anyway. I can believe it on a morning like this. It is a warm, sunny 75 degrees already and heading to 93. The bees are buzzing, especially around the openings to my hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds are having to dodge them as they constantly fly in and out for some food. The birdbaths have also been busy this morning. There was literally a ring of birds sitting on the rim of one of them getting their drinks. Over on the other one, a Cardinal was in for a bath and splashing water everywhere.

Mr. Fuss-a-lot is here this morning and is trying to decide which feeder it wants to eat from I guess. It just kind of sits there looking around. I have a couple of seed cylinders that are made up of berries and nuts and seed that the blue jay particularly likes. It will come in and grab a big chunk of nut off of the cylinder and fly off. However, he chipped the last of that one away yesterday and the feeder is empty. So now, it is decisions - decisions.

Almost all of the blossoms on the phlox are gone now. The only blooms left around the yard are a few roses, a little phlox, and the white climatis, which is blooming profusely. By the end of September it will be time to be cutting back the peonies and cleaning up flowerbeds for winter. Then it will be time to start raking and mulching the falling leaves again. I told you that my pussy willow tree was losing leaves; well it is really thin now. If I get far enough ahead in my church work, I think I should go get a couple of loads of mulch and put around for winter. But it will have to get cooler before I can get out there. What would be an ideal situation for me --- would be if my middle grandson, Matthew, could come up for a week or so this fall and give me a hand preparing the place for winter. But, he has a job, and the likelihood of that happening is remote. But it would make for some good bonding time.

So, --- I was sitting here and I noticed a lot of movement in the hydrangea bush out there. I didn't know if it was a bird or what that was causing everything to be waving around. So, I checked it out and it was a cat that had hunkered down in there to wait for a bird to land in there. It quickly did a "Yikes!" And it took off when I opened the door.

Ms. Kate and I each got some good work done yesterday, although different than what was on the list to do. We literally didn't get out of our sweats and jammies all day until evening. I spent the day at my computer working and she spent the day making peach jam and other great things like that. So, today is Wednesday and that means an afternoon at the church, going and doing our banking, and doing some shopping, and taking her to get her bloodwork done etc. Yep, it's going to be busy today so I better get on with it. I pray your day will be as bright as the sun and blessing filled. Peace

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

OK, what day is it really?  I did a church service yesterday so it might be Monday. But no --- that service was a funeral and it was Labor Day, --- so it must be Tuesday!  It doesn't take a lot to confuse me really.

Yes it is a Tuesday and the temperature was already in the upper 70's at 0730 and heading to 93 today.  The cardinals were out early this morning and so were the squirrels. I guess everyone is trying to get to the buffet before it actually gets hot. The hummingbirds are jousting with the honeybees at the hummingbird feeder. The finches are drinking the water out of the ant guard that protects the hummingbird feeder so I better check that in a bit and make sure it doesn't get dry or I'll have red ants all over that feeder again. The ants actually crawl into the hummingbird feeder and of course end up drowning in there. There is a squirrel on one of the feeders that I don't want him on so he will get a BB on his butt in a minute or so if he doesn't get off of there. LOL, he's really watching the doors and windows of the sunporch to see if I get up out of my recliner or not. He's been hit a few times before.

Yep, I was right --- all it took was for me to get up to go refill my coffee cup and away he went. Silly squirrel. I think while we are out this afternoon, I need to pick up a couple more bags of sunflower seed. The can is less than 1/4 full now. It will hold two 40# bags of seed by now I think. I'm noticing that I am getting a lot fewer birds at the buffet these days. That is because the fields are full of opportunities for them. Sunflowers are drying up and the seeds are plentiful, Thistles are ready to be eaten out there. The corn is drying up so there is a lot of food out in the wild for them. And, while not as enjoyable for me to watch, it does give my wallet a bit of reprieve. Yesterday afternoon I had a hawk that came swooping though the yard twice. I think it was just patrolling territory because it could have gotten one of my birds fairly easily.

Exciting news is that our youngest daughter, Lisa and her daughter, Amanda are coming for a short visit the last part of October. I have two office or desk sized refrigerators in my two offices at the churches and she is coming up to get one of them. The other is going to Julie. I do so love it when our girls come to visit. I'm never ready for their visits to end. We are very blessed to have a family that loves and likes one another. So many families don't have that luxury or blessing. My cousin Debbie and I are planning a Heumann family reunion on the 15th of October. Sadly enough, we cousins only see one another at funerals and we decided that that was no longer acceptable. I have one uncle and aunt left and he is 91 and she is 88. We need to visit while they are alive. And quite frankly, we cousins are in our upper 60's and lower 70's too. There is no guarantee that we'll be alive in another ten years either.

I suspect I better get cleaned up and start my day. I have writing to do and then this afternoon, Ms. Kate and I are going for pedicures. Yeh, I know ---- it's a hard life, but someone has to live it. Until tomorrow, I ask God to grant you a blessed day. I offer up prayers for those on our church prayer list and especially ask for comfort for the parents of the young man I did the funeral for yesterday. God is so good. Peace

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday morning and a Happy Labor Day to you. I expect there will be a lot of backyard grills going today around the country and a lot of people returning home from an extended weekend. I pray for safe travels for each and every one of them.

My Labor Day gets to start by doing a funeral. We had a young man pass away Friday night and I got called Saturday about doing the funeral this morning. Of course I said yes but it is just another reason that retirement sounds good. It was another lost couple of days off and another holiday that we couldn't go anywhere. After forty four years of that schedule --- yeh, I'm tired. But, --- there are lots of people that never get a holiday off and never get to take vacations so in reality I guess I should quit grousing and just count blessings.

My prayers are certainly with the family that lost the son I'm burying today. He was a 34 year old "man/child". He has required 24/7 care all of his life by his parents because of cerebral palsy. He wasn't expected to live beyond seven years of age. There is going to be such a huge void in their lives now and I suspect it is going to be difficult adjusting to not having to take care of his every need. In my conversations with them yesterday, their love for him was overflowing and not a hint of regret about a single moment. They could only talk about the good times and the things that made him happy. God sent this child to the right parents.

We have finally reached those hot & dry days of summer where there is more dust than dew. I didn't mow my back yard last week and I most likely won't have to mow it again this week. I did mow my front yard and Dan's yard on Saturday afternoon. It really needed it. The leaves are about 50% gone now from the pussy willow tree and many of the leaves are turning yellow and will be starting to drop before too long. As we drive around we see the the corn in the fields is really turning dry now and harvest will begin soon. This coming Saturday morning Ms. Kate and I are hosting the farmers and their families of the parish for our ninth annual Harvest Breakfast. We do this every year as a way to get the harvest season off to a good start with prayer and thanksgiving for God's blessings and to pray for a safe harvest. It has always been well received and we generally have about thirty people there. Ms. Kate works her tail off but the folks seem to really appreciate it.

I need to get ready and go do my funeral. I pray your day will be more pleasant than that. Peace.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday is here and this may be short because Ms. Kate and I are doing a road trip again today. Today's adventures will take us to Louisville, KY for lunch at PF Chang's and then to Julie and Jim's house to meet their new puppy, Fenway.

It is an absolutely travel-fantastic day. It is 66 degrees and the sun is shining brightly. This is fall weather and I could stand this year around. The high today will be 82 and a breeze out there will force Ms. Kate into a sweater or light jacket.

The last couple of days have been busy and yet I can hardly tell you what we have accomplished; just a lot of stuff.  ----- OK, Ms. Kate says let's hit the road so I'm out the door. I'll get back to you later today.


Well, we are back from Louisville after a really great lunch and then a great visit for about an hour with Julie and Jim. The trip over and back was uneventful and I was surprised that the Labor Day traffic had not already picked up for the weekend.

I just finished filling the birdfeeders and scrubbing up the hummingbird feeders. I have an ant guard that the feeder hangs from. It is a little cup type of thing and you put water in it and it is supposed to keep the ants off of the feeder. That theory works well --- how ever the finches love to drink out of those little cups for whatever reason and they get dry. Then the ants are like Moses leading the Hebrews through the parted water. And then there are the honey bees. They love to drink that sweet nectar too. It is a tough job being a backyard bird farmer!!

The sun has just dropped below the horizon and it is a pleasant 73 degrees out here. The birds have quickly discovered the filled feeders and are in for their last feeding of the night. It is quite peaceful as Ms. Kate and I sit and enjoy one another's company here in the sunporch. I hope your evening is as pleasant and your evening is filled with only good thoughts. Go to bed tonight knowing that God loves you and watches over you and all else will take care of itself. Peace.