Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween! Yep --- October 31st has arrived and tonight the little candy beggars will come clamoring to the door singing "trick or treat - smell my feet, give me something good to eat." We have enough candy and snack bags around here to feed an army of rug rats.

Julie and Jim are here with the two dogs. They came over yesterday afternoon after the Patriots game.  I told them Ms. Kate was making chicken and dumplings and she had also made two apple pies; so --- it didn't take anymore than that. It has been seemingly forever since they have been over here. Julie and Jim's work schedules are so hectic that they hardly see each other. He works a night shift at Lowes and she works the days running the bookstore at the university. Then with the "haunting" that she does during Halloween season at the old morgue in Louisville they basically just cross paths. But her haunting will end tonight.

I need to go to the local costume place today and see what they have left. I just can't find my costume that I have been using and I must dress to pass out my treats tonight. This place has a world of costumes and they are not a bad price; and today they are all on sale. What I'm looking for is a "half mask" that won't make me have to breathe through it. We'll see what they have.

We don't have a lot of birds here today. I think that is because the dogs are constantly in and out the door. About the time the cardinals do come in, --- a dog wants out. I see that I need to fill the bird baths again. They have leaves in them and they are also about empty. Yesterday I went to my favorite bird food store and bought some more stuff; mostly I bought suet and seed cakes in preparation for the colder weather. They had a sale on those products and I go through quite a few of them.

This entry has been sporadic through the day as I tried to write between dogs wanting on my lap, holding conversations and other stuff. But, I thin I'm about done today anyway. Julie and Jim and the pups just left and Ms. Kate and I are ready to head out the door. Have a great Halloween evening. I'll talk to you un November..


Saturday, October 29, 2016

There is nothing shy about the sun this morning. No clouds are in the way to dampen it as it now spotlights the backyard. So as the cardinals fly out of the shadows and into the sunlight they are brilliant and beautiful.

It is supposed to be a beautiful day; 83 degrees for a high which is about twenty degrees above normal of the 29th of October. It would be a beautiful day to go fishing if I had a place to go; --- and if I had a fishing license etc, etc. We haven't been fishing since friend Bob's pond went bad. Those were fun days though. His pond was stocked with catfish and he fed them all the time. So catching seven and eight pounders was pretty routine. There wasn't very often that we got skunked out there. But the fun was just going and relaxing and fishing. I hated it for him that the pond went bad. It "turned over" as they say. I think that is when the body of water no longer has any oxygen in it. He lost every fish in the pond, hundreds of them floating on the surface, dead.  I admit that I've never really known very much about fishing. I don't know what lure is best for catching any specific fish. I don't understand even the concept of fly fishing. I have good fishing rods and gear but that is about it. When we fished in Bob's pond we put raw calf spleen on the hook and that seemed to attract them pretty well. When I was a kid the only fishing my folks ever took me to do was cane pole and worms to catch blue gill.

I wrote yesterday from the garage where they were checking out what was wrong with my driver's side window motor on my truck. Well, as luck usually has it --- it worked fine yesterday and they could not duplicate the problem. I don't think it was a waste of time but it certainly didn't answer the problem. But, they said they took it all apart and made sure all of the wiring and connections were tight and put it back together. So, perhaps that process might have tightened up that one little connection that might have been loose. What do I know??

Monday is Halloween and I need to find my mask that I use. I have a monkey mask that half covers my face and I have some silly clothes that I wear with it. I drive my John Deere lawnmower to the bottom of the driveway and set on it to pass out the candy and treats. I've used this costume in various ways and settings for twenty years now and it never gets old; although the mask is really getting worn out. Twenty years sounds like a long time  to use it but in actuality, that is only twenty times to wear it. The biggest problem is that I never remember where I put it and end up searching for it every year.

Time for me to refill the coffee cup and have some apple pie for breakfast. I hope your day is as good as that! Peace.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Annnnnnd -- we are back to sunshine again today and the temperature is supposed to be about ten degrees warmer today. Unfortunately, I'm sitting at Raben Tires waiting on them to find out what is wrong with the motor that raises and lowers my driver's window. I was in here back on July 23rd and they replaced the motors in both doors because they had quit working. I don't drive the truck much but the drivers window still works only sporadically, so I've brought it back in and if they need to put in another new motor, so be it. I just need it to work. The biggest inconvenience comes at drive up windows.

I had a good day of work outside yesterday. I cleaned out the flowerbed that is next to the house out back. I got all of the phlox cut down and the bed raked of all the leaves and then mulched all of the leaves up again. It sure did raise the dust though. We are about three weeks into a dry spell and for what ever reason, so much of the grass in my back yard up by the house had died off and there is nothing there except dirt. I think part of the problem is the lack of sun back here. My poplar trees really block out a lot of sun. I may end up having a landscaper come in and taking a look at it and help me determine what to do. I know those trees really sap the moisture out of the soil and they're may be starving the grass of water. This dry spell hasn't helped it at all.

I hope it doesn't take too long here at Raben's. Ms, Kate wants to go to Sam's yet today and I want to get back out to another flowerbed. There is one in the middle of the backyard that we call the "Dog Bone" bed because of it's shape. Half of it is full of roses and I have that all raked, but still need to trim the roses back. The other half is full of lilies and other plants and it is getting over run with Redbud sapplings that I need to cut and dig out of the there. I'll also rake all of the lily deadfall out and trim them back. That will take care of two of the flowerbeds. However --- there is a third one that runs the entire 140 foot length of the back fence that is way out of control with weeds and sapplings etc. It had several large Azalea bushes in it and a lot of unwanted stuff is growing in and around them and makes it hard to get to. There is a day's worth of work just in there. I'm thinking I'm getting a little old for all of this; --- but the more I do, maybe the younger I'll feel. Although, --- I didn't feel very young this morning when I crawled out of bed.

I'm about done with my rambling on today. Before I go, I wish you a very happy weekend. I hope you have the time to get out of the house and enjoy the world that God has created for you. I also hope you take time to be grateful for all of those blessings that are coming your way. Never forget that God is good -- all the time and God loves you and walks with you every minute of every day. Peace.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

What a gloomy Thursday morning. It is completely overcast and I don't see a prognosis  of it getting any brighter. It is sixty degrees so that isn't too bad except that that will also be the high today. Back to long sleeves again today from yeaterday's short sleeves. It is no wonder that Ms. Kate and I both have colds and stuffy sinuses.

I started to write my blog yesterday but got derailed. I had an appointment to have our car serviced and I counted on using that time to do my writing. However for whatever reason the wifi at the dealership would not connect to Safari which is what I use to write my blog. Then by the time I left there and we did a few other things I just never got back to it and by evening it was too late. Besides, I didn't have any revolutionary brilliant things to say any way.

Ms. Kate got the outside planter/pots trimmed yesterday afternoon. And I have the sunporch area ready to bring them in. I'll do that today. They all need watering which is good because that means they will be lighter to carry in. These suckers are heavy. Once we get them in we can water them and that task will be taken care of until springtime when we take them all back out again.

My birdfeeders are all full this morning and my aviary friends are being happy at the buffet. Lots of cardinals again today as well as the titmouse couple, a couple of wrens, some finches, a couple of downy woodpeckers, and one squirrel that so far has by-passed the feeders but has been to the bird bath for a a drink.

I need to do some more raking and mulching again. And it is time to trim back the phlox and make that flowerbed bare. The weather is perfect to to these things right now. It is going to be November in a couple of days and while the weather is great now --- the cold and snowy stuff will be here soon enough. But, there are a lot of leaves up there in the trees yet that have to come down and I don't want to get behind. Besides, being outside is great communion time with the wonderful creator of all of this.

So --- one more cup of coffee and I'm heading out the door. I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy some great weather too today. And  if you do, close your eyes for a second and give thanks to God for the air you breathe and the life that is in you. Peace.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happy Tuesday morning. It is a bright crisp morning. My weather channel app says it is mostly cloudy and fifty-five degrees. I guess it is mostly cloudy although the sun isn't being totally filtered out. So that makes it especially nice when a cardinal "lands in the spotlight" on the birdbath. I do love my cardinals. The pair of titmouse have returned, most likely for the winter. I suspect they must mate for life as I always see a pair when I see one. It is the same for the nut hatch who are also beginning to be regular visitors again.

The robins are back, well a couple of them anyway. There is one on the larger bird bath at the moment taking a bath and keeping a cardinal at bay. I also have a bright red-headed woodpecker fussing because the feeder it wants to eat from is empty. I guess the other three feeders that I fill just for them aren't good enough. I noticed yesterday afternoon that several of the feeders are empty but haven't taken the time to fill them yet. I'll do that within the hour. We wouldn't want disappointed guests at the buffet.

Ms. Kate and I have a busy afternoon planned. We are meeting a couple for lunch and then we'll go to the church and run the bulletins and the newsletter for the coming Sunday. We don't have choir practice tomorrow night so we won't have to go back up to Ft. Branch tomorrow. It is just as well because tomorrrow I have to take the Caddy in for servicing and that always takes awhile whether one has an appointment or not.

I cleaned up the tomato garden yesterday. I pulled up the plants and took out the cages and raked the area to clean up all of the tomatoes that had dropped. I'd prefer not to have a bunch of volunteer tomatoes coming up next year. I also have to get to these flowerbeds and cut them all back and rake them them. Then I need to go get a bucket load of horse poop compost and spread on all of the flower beds and the garden before winter. I also need to go by Rural King and see if they have any of the old wooden tomato stakes that I can use to tie up my Black Raspberry plants. I really don't like the way I have them now. My mother-in-law always kept hers trimmed so nice and tied up and they produced such wonderful fruit. Mine are just all tangled up and growing wild and hard to get to because of the way I have them. As a result, They produce small berries and we seldom do anything with them. So the choice is to either try and correct the situation or --- pull the darned things up. My Red Raspberry plants are in about as bad of shape.

So, it is time to work, work, work ---- but for the moment I think I will just finish this cup of coffee and admire that beautiful cardinal sitting there and give God thanks for yet another wonderful day of being alive to enjoy His creation. Have a blessed day.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Hello Monday; what are you doing back here already? We would prefer that it was the weekend still but here you are, most likely dragging a weeks worth of things for me to do behind you.

I guess if it has to be a Monday, at least it is a beautiful Monday. It is 59 degrees and going up to 69 and the sky is empty of clouds. That will make it feel a bit warmer. Our only agenda item for today is the furnace folks are supposed to come do their fall service. I could just tell them it works, because we have already had to use it a couple of times was this fall. Indications are that the cost of gas and electric are going up again this fall; and I heard on the news last night that the water and sewer rates are going up over the next five years by 30%. That totally sucks.

Attendance at church was weird yesterday. At St. Paul's we only had nine or maybe ten. That is about half of what we normally have. Twenty is usually a good Sunday attendance there. Then at St. Lucas we had a relatively full church; pretty close to 60 I'd say. I only have five Sundays left as the pastor of these two churches. My retirement is that close. Tomorrow Ms. Kate and I are meeting with the fella that is most likely going to replace me. We are meeting with he and his wife to kind of give them the low down on the churches as to who are the prominent families in each church, traditions and that kind of stuff. The face and make-up of each congregation has certainly changed over the past twelve and a half years with the death of so many of the older members.

There are a lot of birds flocking around just above and in the tops of the trees this morning. I'm not sure what they are, however I did have a robin land in the yard at he birdbath a while ago. It is possible that the holly trees are full of berries again and they are coming in to clean all of the berries off of the trees, That is an annual occurrence. When that happens, I get hundreds of robins in here because there are at least three giant holly trees in yards around mine. I enjoy watching it happen but they sure do poop a lot all over the sidewalks. I've also had a lot of cardinals here this morning and my finches and downy woodpeckers. I haven't had to fill the feeders yet though for two or three days. I guess the birds are getting their fill in the fields still. As I continue to watch those flocks, I've come to the conclusion that they are blackbirds in migration. The flocks are large, fast and they flock and fly in swirls which is indicative of what we see out in the fields and also what I will see around here if the snow starts flying and they return to my feeders.

Ms. Kate just brought my breakfast and filled my coffee cup up again so I think I'll just sit back and watch the goings on outside. Then a little later I'll go out and do some more yard work. It certainly feels strange knowing that I don't have to get downstairs and start working on a sermon or a worship service first thing this week. Those are all written through my retirement.

Have a most blessed week and a wonderful day today. Take time to tell someone you love them, share a smile with someone who looks like they need it. Peace.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Well, well, well! Didn't God just do a marvelous job this morning?? It is a brilliantly lit sunshiny, 46 degree morning with only a few clouds in the sky. There is a breeze, and occasional gust at 20mph which takes the temp down a bit so certainly it is sweatshirt weather. But, I'm enjoying my coffee in the the sunporch, joined by my friends , the cardinals, the finches, the woodpeckers, and Mr. Fuss-a-lot the bluejay. The only detractor is that I have a danged cold with all the good stuff; you know, runny and stuffy nose and a bit of a sore throat.

The rain is gone; although we didn't get very much. It was enough to knock down the dust though which is good since I need to jump on the JD and mow the yard and rake the leaves and mulch them up again. I think it is going up to about 60 today , so with the sunshine it will feel warmer. I can get out and do a little yard work.

Have I told you about my okra? Ms. Kate planted four okra plants in the spring and we have had a really good crop from it. So good, in fact, that my okra is now nine and a half feet tall and I have to use a ladder to to get up there and cut it. And --- it is still growing. There are still blooms at the top and that produces the okra. My neighbor, Dan, checked for the world record and that is eleven and a half feet, but if it got that height, I'd have to sit on my roof to cut it. Redonkulous!! I'm hoping the frost will hold off because I want to see just how tall this stuff is going to get.

Well, that is about it for this Friday morning. I don't have a lot on my mind to share with you. Life in my micro part of the world is pretty darned peaceful. Once again I lift up prayers for those I know who are having troubles of various kinds. God knows who they are and God knows their troubles and problems and God is already working on a solution for them. I pray that when the solution comes, they will have the strength to accept God's solution especially if it doesn't match the one they had in mind.  I offer prayers for our friend Georgia Ann who has cancer and pray God will continue to give her the strength to deal with it. At 87 years of age though, a person doesn't have a lot of physical reserve to rely on. But she certainly has faith in God, so I know her heart is exactly where it should be. Let us all put our hearts in a state of full trust in God. Peace.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

It's a wet weather morning. I came out here this morning and the sidewalk was just a little damp from maybe a slight shower at some point during the night. I considered throwing on my jeans and shoes and going out and raking a few leaves. I set down with my cup of coffee and the sky kept getting darker and darker and a really weird color that I don't have a name for. Well, in actuality, it was the color of rain because all of a sudden the sky opened up and dumped on us big time. It poured hard for maybe five minutes and now it has stopped again and is just cloudy. I guess it is supposed to do this on and off for most of the day. But --- the cardinals and the woodpeckers dn't seem t mind one little bit. I maybe have a dozen cardinals out here at the moments and a couple of small downy woodpeckers and one or two larger red headed woodpeckers. I have a few finches and a mockingbird rid also in the mix. It's a great morning for watching my birds. The feeders are still full from day before yesterday so all is well at the backyard buffet.

Yesterday Ms. Kate and I and her sister, Karen, went for our luncheon riverboat cruise. The weather was perfect; the food was very good, and of course my company of the ladies made it a great time. It was a gentle and slow ride so there was not a problem of motion sickness, although Ms. Kate did take her Dramamine just in case. There is a people ferry ride that we have talked about taking over in southern Illinois. It goes to maybe four different places along the Ohio River and you can get on and off at will, do a little shopping and catch the boat back to your starting point. I think that would be a fun day. I'm thinking though that it might just be a summer time activity. I'll need to Google it again sometime.

We had choir practice last night. We are singing this Sunday and we are singing one of my favorite gospel hymn. I just wish there were more of us. We don't do a bad job, but --- it would sure sound better if we had another half dozen voices mixed in. But, we are a dedicated few and love to sing, so --- here we go. Ms. Kate and I will only get to sing one more Sunday after this before we leave the parish. I'm going to miss that.

The final presidential debate was held last night. I watched maybe twenty mintes of it before turning it off. I will be so glad when this election is over. I don't have a favorite candidate that I think is going to make a great president for this nation. Unfortunately, my choices are to vote for the one I think will do the least harm. One has never held a political office in his life and is a multi- millionaire braggadocio, and the other is corrupt to the very fiber of her bones and is only interested in being the first woman president. She has never held a job that wasn't a political government job and yet  somehow has amassed a personal wealth of a half billion dollars. I worked for the same government she did for 32 years, I guarantee you I never saw those kind of opportunities. It is going to be a sad state of an affairs for this nation for the next four years regardless of who wins. --- Enough about politics; it gives me heartburn. I'd much rather concentrate on this cardinal that is sitting on the birdbath at the moment. God sent me beauty in the midst of my dark thoughts. How great is that??? Have a wonderful day. Peace.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Here's my morning phenomena. I told you that the hummingbirds have flown on to wherever hummingbirds go for the winter. The feeder had been half full but it was rapidly being depleted by the bees and the wasps. So, this morning I went out and cleaned up my bird baths and refilled them and then I sprayed down the hummingbird feeder to get all of the wasps and bees away from it so I could take it down. I brought it in the house and cleaned it up and will now store it Until next April. I came back to the sunporch and saw that there were at least a dozen and a half bees and wasps frantically swarming around where that feeder had been. They must have done that steadily for a half an hour. There are still a couple that keep coming back, fly around the location and then leave.

I stayed up later than usual last night, -- until 0200. But I finished writing my last two sermons before I retire. It was a bittersweet evening. I've been thinking about them for a couple of week but had not figured out what I wanted to say. Last night it all rolled out on to the computer screen aand I think it will be a good one. I tried to keep it up beat because after all the churches are starting a new chapter in their congregational faith life and I'm starting a new chapter in mine and Ms. Kate's life. So, this will be a time to be in celebration. It isn't a funeral. We will see these folks again and at some point we may decide that we want to actually join one of the churches as a member and transfer our current church membership to there. We'll just have to see where the Lord leads us. Open minds and open hearts will lead a person to all sorts of grand adventures.

Today, I'm just sitting around doing a lot of nothing. Oh, we have the laundry going but that isn't a big thing; two loads and we are done. I should get off my duff and go outside on the 87 degree day and do a little yard work. It is mostly cloudy today and iss supposed to just maybe bring a few shower soon. I need to go out front and cut back the Four -O-Clocks and clean up all of the seeds that have fallen. They are all over the front porch and sidewalk and frankly are a little dangerous to walk on for fear of slipping. And I have to go cut the okra again. Ican't believe that I now have to take a six foot step ladder out ther to cut okra. That is redonkulous.

Having said all of that, I'm jumping out of here and going to be a little productive. A guy should have to earn his nap, and I'll be back for that later. ----- I love being me!   Peace.

Monday, October 17, 2016

And --- we start a new week all over again. The morning is a bright one with a lot of wind today. Therefore, the leaves are flying today.. It is going to be very warm today with maybe a temperature of 88 or 90. That certainly is more summer-like than fall. However, the weather roller coaster is in gear. We're predicted for 60's for a high by the end of the week with a couple of rain days between now and then.

The cardinals have been here once again most of the morning. They would like to maybe jump in the bird bath but there are too many leaves in them at the moment. After while I will go clean them out again and put some fresh water in them. So far, only a couple of the feeders need to be refilled.

Yesterday we celebrated the 140th anniversary of my St. Paul's church. The church was full and the singing bounced off of the rafters. It was a Holy Spirit moment. Several of the congregation participated in presenting the service and I didn't have to give a sermon. On November the 6th, St. Lucas will celebrate their 95th anniversary and we'll do a very similar service.

I told you that we were going to do a Heumann Family Reunion this past Saturday. We had over twenty cousins and family members show up. It was really nice getting to meet and greet in a happy setting instead of a funeral home. There were only three of the first generation cousins not there including my sister. They missed a great time. My Uncle Howard and his wife, Aunt Louise, were there and they really seemed to enjoy it too. A lot of the cousins talked to them and made over them, and I'm sure it warmed their hearts. They were surprised at how many folks showed up.

This week promises to be a good one. On Wednesday Ms. Kate and I are going on another day-date. This time we are going on a riverboat luncheon cruise. Then on Friday, we think Lisa and Amanda are going to be here from North Carolina. We haven't seen Lisa since February and haven't seen granddaughter Amanda for at least a year. It will be wonderful to hug their neck. I do miss my girls. Even though I talk to all three of them every day via Facebook Messsenger, I miss seeing them. Heck, Julie only lives a couple of hours away and we haven't seen her for I think a month now. She is so busy with running the boookstore at the college and doing her "haunting" at the morgue "Haunted House" through all of the last half of September and October that she has little time for herself, let alone us.

I was just noticing that the hummingbird feeder is almost empty and we don't have any hummingbirds anymore. It is the evaporation that has taken some of it but mostly it is the honey bees that have drained that feeder. I think it may be time to clean it up and put it away fro the season.

Well, that's my story, morning glory! Time to give thanks to my creator and get on with my day. I pray you will have a wonderful week. Go hug someone today. Go give someone a smile. Be a blessing to someone and brighten their day. You just might be the one person they need in their life today whether they realize it or not. Shalomn

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Happy, happy Saturday. It is a partly cloudy, 61 degree morning. The sun is slowly breaking through the clouds and the day is supposed to warm up significantly. I'm glad the weather is nice since we are doing a road trip today.

Today is officially "Cuzin" day. We are having the first ever Heumann family reunion. There aren't that many of us anymore. I have one Uncle and Aunt tha are still alive. Uncle Howard is 92 and his wife, Louise is 88. I think there might be ten of us cousins that are still alive. There was a cousin Donna, and might still be, but I haven't seen or heard anything about or from her since I was about 16 or 17. She was a couple of years older than me. Most of my cousins I haven't seen since the last funeral I attended over in Illinois. I decided that with only one Uncle and Aunt left, we needed to get together somewhere besides a funeral home. So, my cousin Debbie arranged for us to meet this afternoon for an evening meal over in Giant City State Park Lodge. I'm really looking forward to it.

Ms. Kate and I had a day-date yesterday and went to the matinee and lunch at a local theater. The movie was good, and the food wasn't bad. . The best part of course was that we were having a day-date and doing something special together. I'm a firm believer in couples still dating regardless of how long they have or have not been married. It is something that I stress to the couples that I counsel during pre-marriage counselling. In today's American society, so many young people move in together and live together, buy homes together and then think about getting married. I find that too often even they forget to "date" one another anymore. That's sad.

I did some yard work yesterday in the flowerbeds and then I mulched the leaves again with the lawn mower. I'm trying to stay a little ahead of the game and keep the leaves cleaned up. I know that shortly the leaves are going to fall in earnest and the trees will be bare. I had to go buy a new 18v battery for my leaf blower yesterday. One of mine had quit taking aa re-charge at all. This morning a lot of the birds are ground feeding where I raked up the leaves from yesterday. There must be some seeds they like laying there.

I guess I better get ready to head to Illinois. Ms. Kate is busy making greeting cards again this morning and I need to pull her away from her desk too. Here's wishing you the very best weekend possible. Pray for our friends down south wh are stil;l dealing with floodwaters from the hurricane last weekend. The devastation has gone away just because the news media has moved on. Peace.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Where are all of my birds this morning? I know it is 50 degrees outside and it is a cloudy morning, but there sure isn't much activity going on out there. So far I only have two cardinals, a nut hatch, a small downy woodpecker and a finch. I reckon business at the backyard buffet will pick up shortly. I filled all of the feeders last evening and the word will get around. ---- and yes, as I wrote that, here comes a squirrel. Although, --- from the way it is dancing up and down the side of that tree and swishing its tail, I suspect that one of the neighborhood cats is in the yard somewhere.

We had a fairly busy day yesterday. We had errands to run and did a drive "around the block". Well, it was a big block; probably fifty or sixty miles all told. We had banking to do, then drove up to Haubstadt to the Dewig's butcher shop, then on up to Ft. Branch to see a parishioner. While we were in Ft. Branch we went to lunch at R'z Resturant. Next it was over to Newburgh to Karen's house and dig up a rose to bring back to the house and plant. Then to the CVS pharmacy to pick up a prescription and finally back home: --- just a trip around the block. Ms. Kate will tell you that I'm a habitual guy who has "his path that he takes", so I like to know where we are going in advance and look for the best and most continuous route. I don't like to run back and forth. I'm so habitual about it that I sometimes will head out "on my path" and realize that I've gone the wrong way and don't need to be going the direction that I'm going. It's an "old dog -- new trick" kind of thing. LOL

As I suspected, there is a cat in the yard, The yellow cat just came though and looked in the doors. It has its winter coat on already. Yesterday we saw it up on a neighbor's roof sitting right up on top of the chimney. So far, it ignores my birds and as long as it does, it won't get peppered with BB's. It can chase the squirrels all it wants to.

Ms. Kate and I are doing a "day-date" for lunch today. The movie, "The Accountant" is showing at the Royal Suites theater so I think we'll do lunch and a movie at noon. We old people get to do things like that. And -- it gets us in and out of the theater before it starts filling up with kids, although this isn't necessarily a movie for kids. Besides, it is my "day off" and I need to take advantage of "days off" before I retire and don't get any more.

Time to pour another cup of coffee, play my computer games and then do something productive until we head out to the movie. I pray you will have a blessed day and an excellent weeks end. Stay in touch with your creator. God would love to hear from you today. Peace.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Sunshine, cardinals, and coffee: not a bad way to start the day. --- And a happy Thursday morning to you. It is 52 degrees this morning and there is a bit of a stiff breeze blowing this morning which will make it feel a little cooler. I'd say there are about a dozen cardinals out there flitting about and they are beautiful as they sit down on a branch or the birdbath and the sunshine hits them just right. They are about the only thing of color left around here. The gold finches have already begun to lose their color and the other "winter-birds" like titmouse and nuthatch have returned. But they are shades of grey mostly. About the only thing left blooming back here are a couple of phlox and the geraniums that will soon have to be brought in for the winter. In the front of the house my colias is blooming nicely but we don't have any of that back here. There are a couple of random blooms on the knockout roses back here. I need to get after those roses and trim them back for the winter too.

The breeze this morning is helping me by blowing the dry leaves off of the gutters and it is also starting to make a noticeable difference in the amount of sunlight that is shining though the poplar trees back here. I'd guess that maybe 30% of the leaves are now off of my two big trees. Which of course means that I need to get out there and do some more raking and mulching.

Things are moving along according to plan with my retirement. The search committee has zeroed in on a candidate for my replacement. They will have hime come to the church next Wednesday evening and do a trial sermon for the two church councils and the search committee. Then if they like what they hear, they have asked me if they can have him do a trial sermon for the congregation on the 13th of November, which of course I said "yes". Then, immediately after the service, the congregations will then vote to accept him as their new pastor. The next step then is for me to get my few things out of the offices and he will start the 4th of December. I have only two sermons left to write. Everything else is taken care of unless we suddenly have a funeral to do and I hope that doesn't happen. It is going to be a bittersweet departure. Job wise, I'm ready to go. But it will be an emotional thing to leave the folks we have truly grown to love. But, life goes on and I can only give thanks to God that I have been allowed to fulfill my dream of being a pastor and preaching the Word for these past twelve and a half years. I thought being in the Air Force and having a beyond successful career there was wonderful and it was; however I realize that it was only a stepping stone that enabled me to do this career that has brought me more satisfaction than I thought possible. God is so very good.

There are things I need to do today and I'm not getting any closer to doing them by sitting here. I pray your Thursday is going to be the best one you ever had and that it will be the front door for a very happy Friday and weekend. Peace.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I think I got lost somewhere. Here it is, Tuesday afternoon and I'm just now getting around to writing a blog entry. I happened to think about it this morning as I sat down with my cup of coffee and couldn't remember if I wrote yesterday or not. So I checked and sure enough, I had not. But then I had to get ready and head out to an all morning meeting with the clergy circle. I might have blown it off but it will be the last one that  attend so I didn't want to miss out on it. And, I'm glad I went since there were so many that didn't come today for various reasons like funeral etc to do.

Ms. Kate and I had several things on our list of errands yesterday, not the least of which was a major shopping trip to Walmart, having lunch out, and doing the laundry. I never cease to be amazed at how we can go in to Walmart for a "few" things and have to hand the clerk over $200.00 before we can leave. Part of that because we had to pick up a bunch of meat which always raises the bill, but will keep us eating at home; the other thing we did wrong was to go grocery shopping when we were hungry. We should never do that because stuff that looks good just keeps jumping in the shopping cart. The next thing you know, you have a cart full.

The weather continues to be wonderful and I should be out there doing yard work and I haven't been. I still have peonies to trim off, lilies to deadhead and the garden to clean up. It is time to pull up the tomatoes and put away the tomato cages. Since it is dry, I also need to go get a scoop of horse poop and put on the flower beds. And I should go ahead an till the garden for winter. Just too much to do. I keep telling myself that next year I won't have to work so I can get to all of this stuff but the reality next year I won't have an excuse to put it off.

I've talked to my daughter Lisa concerning the leftovers of  Hurricane Matthew. The water is still high and the rivers are still rising. She says she thinks they are to crest this afternoon. It is effecting their business because they are having trouble getting parts for the cars that Gary has to work on in the shop. And it is having the same kind of effect on her other job. But, they are safe and that is all that counts. Granddaughter Amanda ended up with the motor of her car under water and will need a new motor. Again --- at least they are safe.

That's it for today. I hope your evening is a peaceful one. God's blessing to you.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

One just never knows about us two. Some days we are just dull and don't do much of anything and other days we are totally random. Yesterday we ere random. I finished my blog and went in an checked on Ms. Kate who was working at her desk. I mentioned to her that next week is our Heumann Family Reunion over in Giant City State Park, at Carbondale Illinois. I suggested that perhaps we could go the day before and spend the night at the Harrah's Casino in Metropolis Illinois which is some what close to Carbondale. She countered with --- let's just go today. So, she made the call and got us a room for free, I packed an overnight bag for us and away we went. The drive over was perfect and weather was wonderful and it was a good trip. We got back home around 1300 today.

We've been anxiously watching Hurricane Matthew. It has by now passed most of our Florida friends and some of our South Carolina friends. But daughter Lisa and family are in the brunt of it today. She has had 10 inches of rain today and it is still pouring. I just looked at her weather radar and they are in for an all-nighter yet. So far they have lost one pine tree and another is leaning severely. The one that fell though "fell-perfectly" and the other is leaning in the right direction too. They just had I think nine of those tall pines removed from their yard and a brand new roof put on. Any one of those nine could have taken out the house. This thing is still headed north and tomorrow will affect my granddaughter Lauren and her dad. She is in Maryland for a Motocross race that is supposed to happen tomorrow. We will see if it actually does. So many people have lost their life in this thing and many more have lost everything they own, especially in the country of Haiti.

My daughter Heather just told us that three police officers were ambushed today in Palm Springs, CA by a mentally disturbed guy. Two officers have died and one is critically wounded. The shooter was mentally disturbed and said he wanted to go out and kill police. His father was the 911 caller. So much sadness in the world, and in this country. So far they haven't captured the shooter in this incident.

On much happier thoughts and news --- tomorrow morning i get to do an infant baptism. I am really looking forward to it. I guess it is kind of a cycle completion event for me. I confirmed the dad, I married the couple, and now their child will be my last baptism of my pastoral career. I find that very neat.

Ms.Kate and I need to discuss what's for dinner so I'm getting off of here. Please keep our country and its people in your prayers. We need the calming grace of God in our lives. Go to church tomorrow and sit with a friend or make a new friend. Share God's love and peace.  Shalom.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday at last??? Yeh, I know I missed out on Thursday. But, I was a bit occupied yesterday. But today looks a lot better. It is going to be another beautiful day full of the Lord's wonderful sunshine. I think the temperature is going to the mid eighties today.

Yesterday started off with my annual physical with Dr. Jackson. As I told Ms. kate, sign me up for the Kentucky Deby cause I'm healthy as a horse. When you can go for a physical at seventy two and yur only complaint is a skin rash, --- life is perfectly blessed. Oh sure, I could stand to lose some weight but other than that --- my asthma is under control, my high blood pressure is under control and my cholesterol is under control; and my PSA was only a 1.2 which is super.

Yesterday afternoon Ms. Kate and I had to go to the church to finish up running the bulletins for Sunday. We also wanted to go to Princeton, IN and attend the Women's Guild meeting. I had asked the ladies if I could come to the meeting and share communion with them. Several of them had not been able to attend church last Sunday when we served it and this gave them a chance to have communion. So, we did that and had communion with a dozen people. I really enjoyed being able to do that.  

I've been watching the coverage of Hurricane Matthew. What a devastating and powerful storm. The country of Haiti, which was already still a long way off from recovery from the earthquakes that hit them several months ago got pounded again by this hurricane. I think at last count there were 348 fatalities in Haiti. Now it is running up the coast of Florida to Georgia and South Carolina. I've heard of one death so far in Florida. I certainly lift them all up in prayer and would ask you to do the same. We have several friends in Florida and South Carolina that are in the path of this thing. So far as I know, they are still safe. I don't know if they evacuated or not as I have only seen sporadic posts from them on Facebook. Again, prayers are in order.

That is my post for today. I need to decide what I am going to do today and get on with it. As lovely as it is, I can't just sit here. As I look out the porch I can see that I need to clean bird baths again and fill a couple of feeders. So, I guess I maight as well get on it. Have a blessed Friday. Peace.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It is Wednesday afternoon after a busy morning. In about an hour we need to be at the churches and get our admin work done for the week; running the bulletins, setting the churches up for Sunday services, and the sticking around for choir practice. Such is life for a couple more months anyway.

As I told you, I had a funeral to do this morning. It was fairly well attended; maybe fifty people or so. That isn't a bad attendance for a ninety seven year old person, especially one who has been in a nursing home for several years. But, this lady was still fairly active and the family was well liked. There were several people there from her church, (well, actually it's also my "home church" too)  that I knew. The family was very satisfied with the service which is my goal everytime I do a funeral.  But --- today was a first for me. I had done almost all of the service and was down to the Benediction. The entire time I was standing there doing the service, there had been a couple of gnats flying around my podium because I was standing next to aa n arrangement of lilies. Just as I opened my mouth to give the benediction --- a danged gnat flew straight into my mouth and throat, causing me to choke and gag!  I overcame it but my voice through the benediction sounded like I was choking, which I partly was. I have never had anything like that happen before and I hope not have it happen again.

We went to the funeral home yesterday afternoon for the visitation. We had thought about going to the Fall Festival and grabbing something to eat but there we're literally thousands of people already there and we didn't want to have to go find a parking spot for five dollars somewhere and then get in the middle of all of those people. One of the things I wanted was a kuchen from one of the booths. Well, the church that was selling those is less than two miles from my house and on the way to and from anywhere we go. I texted one of the folks I know front that church and asked if they were selling the kuchen at the church too and he said yes. So on the way to the funeral this morning I stopped and picked up a cherry kuchen and a couple of cinnamon mini-kuchens from the church. I tried one of the mini-kuchens when I got home and I thought it was just what I wanted it to be.

Ms. Kate and I did make it to the movie last night and watched The Magnificent Seven with Denzel Washington. As I told people on Facebook today, it was a great remake film and I think much better than the older version. I'll buy the CD when it comes out and watch it again a time or two.

I just finished my nap and Ms. Kate is now awake from hers so I guess we better think about putting myself back in gear and getting busy again. It's not too late to wish you a good day though and that is what I do. Have a peaceful evening. Shalomn.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Good morning on this bright and brilliant Tuessday morning. It's 67 degrees so some of you will want to put your light sweater on, but you won't need it for long. We are going to move up to the mid 70's today and that is a perfect fall day.

I have a couple of things on the agenda for today. One of the first things though is to fill some bird feeders again. The hummingbird has been to the door and is looking in at me. That tells me its feeder is empty and I better be getting some more made up. My sister-in-law's hummers will actually peck on the window when her feeder gets empty. How did we get to be their servant?? But looking around I can see that at least four of the other feeders need filling. I don't have a lot of birds here this morning; mostly cardinals. Their main feeder has safflower seed in it and they really seem to like that. The good thing is that so many other birds don't like it.

I have to be at the funeral home at 1400 hours today to meet with the family before the official viewing begins. I finished up the funeral service writing last night and I think it will bring the family comfort. After we finish at the funeral home we'll walk around the block and get us some fall festival food. It should be past lunch time and before kids get out of school. Maybe we can slip in there between crowds. There was local television coverage about the Fall Festival last night and the place was packed. It always is on opening night because people are just so anxious to get there after a year's wait.

This evening I think we will go to the Royal Suites for the 1830 showing of The Magnificent Seven. It is a remake of a remake actually. The movie was originally from Japan and was called The Seven Samurai. That was I think in the early 1950's. Then in the early 1970's it ws made as a western starring Yule Brenner. It will be fun to watch the new version I reckon. Besides, The Royal Suites theater has recliners for seating and they serve dinner along with meal.

Tomorrow morning I have the funeral to do, then in the afternoon we'll go to the church and run bulletins and then stay for choir. Ms. Kate has a doctor's appointment while I'm at the cemetery so she will miss the funeral. I was wondering what we were going to be doing on Thursday but that question got answered last evening through a text. I have my annual physical on Thursday morning. I still plan to go to the nursing home on Thursday afternoon and serve communion to the ladies of the Women's Guild. The Guild has gotten down to about four or five members and they are all in their late 70's and 80's. The one member is a resident of the nursing home so they meet there. It is wonderful that they do that for her.

The cup is empty and I need to be moving around and getting a couple of things done including getting dressed and feeding those silly birds. I hope your day is full of God's blessings and warm thoughts. God loves yu and I pray for you. Peace!

Monday, October 3, 2016

What say we start a whole new week and just make it the best we can? Sounds like a plan to me. I know it is going to be a busy one for Ms. Kate and me. Today doesn't have much on the agenda out side the house but I have a funeral to put together today and I think Ms. Kate is going to be working on greeting cards. Tomorrow will be funeral visitation. Wednesday will be the funeral and a doctor's appointment for Ms. Kate. Thursday I guess we will run the bulletins and I need to do communion with some parishioners. That will get us to the weekend again. Time just kind of zips by one event at a time.

Maybe tomorrow afternoon we will have time to walk over from the funeral home to the Fall Festival and pick us up a llittle festival food. This festival is the second largest street festival in the USA, second only to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The big difference being that our festival is totally a family affair. The street is lined for about six blocks on both sides with food booths. It is the major money maker for all of the non-profit organizations from the area. Some run food booths, others simply rope off their parking lots and charge for parking. At the far end of the festival is the carnival rides where tweenagers and teenagers have been going for years with their girl friends and boyfriends trying to win prizes and having fun. The entire affair is run by an organization called the West Side Nut Club and the money they rake in goes directly back into the west side community. There will be talent contests, entertainment from local bands, and the finale' is a parade. It is Americana at its absolute best. We've known people who take a week of vacation and eat every meal at the fall festival.

It is a beautiful morning. It's sunny and 67 degrees and not going to get much warmer than that. Too bad I need to spend the day down in my office. But --- that's the job. The funeral is for another lady from my home church. She was 97 when she passed and I have known her almost all of my life. How can I say "no"?

Church services went well yesterday  and we had a fair attendance. There must have been a couple of reunions or something going on though because we were missing a couple of entire families.

Well, I have enough work to do that I need to make this  short today. I pray your day is as bright with the Holy Spirit as the sky is out side my windows. Take time and look around you. God created a wonderful world and you are one of the special creatures God created. Take the hand of the Master and walk in peace this week. C' ya' !

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday, October 1st! Wow, this year just keeps rolling on doesn't it? It looks like an October morning out there. I took the mail out to tthe box and the air is damp this morning. It is 62 degrees and just a tad foggy. Everything is wet this morning out side because apparently it rained again through the night at some point.

The backyard guests are here; plenty of cardinals and finches and a couple of downy woodpeckers.  The hummingbird is busy. I think we may be down to only one again. I haven't seen any aerial battles the last couple of days between hummingbirds. It is possible that the others have already migrated to warmer climates. I can't say that I would blame them for getting started. Most of our hummingbirds allegedly migrate from northern Mexico and Arizona. I find that fascinating that they do that twice a year. I think that would be the equivalent of me walking to Russia twice a year. God's creations are amazing. I watch a lot of National Geographic and Animal Planet shows and I'm amazed at the migration of the animals in Africa. For a thousand years or more, these animals have walked the same paths, crossed the same rivers following the rain and the grass. They cross the same streams where the crocodiles have been waiting for centuries. God certainly created a wonderful world. I just hope man doesn't destroy it completely. Where there were thousands of elephants there are now only hundreds due the destructive and greedy nature of mankind. But --- everybody and everything is safe here in the backyard unless a hawk or a cat comes through. Heck, I don't even mind the possum that comes here at night at all because they will kill the voles that like to come out at night as well as other things. I'd prefer the skunks went elsewhere but they don't bother much' and I certainly don't bother them. As I have said before, my only concern is that when the girls bring their dogs here that they will run into one of them when they are let out at night to pee.

I don't think we have much on or "to do" list today. I know we are going to Target and do a little shopping. We have a list of things that we have been putting off going to the store for simply because we didn't want to go shopping. But, I think today is the day to get it done. Maybe this afternoon we'll catch up on some of the shows we have recorded. We also have several movies that we have bought and never watched. Kind of silly of us, isn't it. And there is a movie on at the Royal Suites Theater that we want to see, so that is a possibility too. One just never knows what we are going to do. I should maybe go down to my office and start putting together the funeral that I have to do next week, but I can do that tomorrow afternoon and Monday. I need to take advantage of having a day off before I retire and don't get anymore days off!

That's it for today. Time to refill the coffee cup and check on Ms. Kate's coffee cup status to see if she need a refill. I hope your day is fully blessed. Take time tomorrow or today and attend your church. Gathering as a congregation to give praise to the Lord just adds volumes to the experience. And --- if you don't get there; know that I have prayed for you. Peace.