Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday from Lisa's house! It is a cold Carolina morning, currently 45 degrees which will be our high for today. I was just out walking around Lisa's yard with Patches the cat as my morning companion. Lisa and Gary have had eight of their huge pine trees removed and one can hardly tell any are gone. They still have thirty two more out there and probably seventy five azalea bushes left out there and some Camilla bushes. It was a super beautiful yard until Amanda got two dogs that are unruly, untrained, and have dug and torn the heck out of her yard. Not my problem, not my yard; but those dogs would have been history if it were me.

Our trip down here was uneventful and an easy drive. No snow or rain made it a good trip. For most of the trip we had relatively light traffic until we got to the major cities like Nashville, Knoxville and Raleigh. Then we looked for go arounds and they proved useful.

We came down to be with Lisa while Gary and Matt went to New Mexico to see his dad. We thought they were flying out today but they actually fly out tomorrow. So, that gives us a chance to visit with them. Sunday we are going to the rehab facility to see Amanda. She seems to be doing alright with this rehab so far, although we could tell by the sound of her voice and what she had to say she is not as enthused about it as she was the first few days. But --- addicts are like that she is following the path that is quite normal. She will now be trying to "bargain"her way out and it will be crucial that her parents don't give in. When we go Sunday, the first thing we will have to do is to sit through a class of how to deal with her which I think will be extremely valuable. Then we will have up to three hours to visit. We are really looking forward to that.

There is a noticeable lack of birds here in Lisa's yard and that is puzzleing to me. I would have thought there would be a lot of them around here simply because she lives farther south than us. I asked Lisa about it and she said that is because her cat will snatch them right out of the air. I reckon that makes sense then that they would avoid her place.

I guess I'll make this short and we are about to head out and do some running around. One more day left in 2016 and then we start a whole new year of God given opportunities to improve our lives and the lives of people around. This morning I am lifting up a young family who desperately would like to have a baby but just had their third mis-carriage. Please offer your prayers for them. God has a plan for them, I pray they will be able to see that through their sorrow.

Have a most wonderful day and make the best use of the few remaining hours of this year. Peace.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tuesday the 27th of December, one day less of 2016. I think it is time for this year to be over. It is currently 2130 hrs and we are winding up the last of the things we need to do before we head out on vacation tomorrow. To be honest we have really kind of drug our feet this afternoon so that we didn't jump out and get on the road today. It is only about 750 miles down to Lisa's house and we generally break that into two days. With as much as Lisa and Gary have on their plates at the moment with getting Amanda into rehab, they don't need us to crash in on them early  and add to their stress.

I started to write my blog this morning. I wish you could have seen the beautiful red feathers that was on one of the woodpeckers that was at my feeder this morning. It was brilliant I don't have a favorite color and maybe that is because my color definition is skewed. I 'm not "color blind" per se' but I have what they call a "green deficiency", meaning that I don't see certain colors and shades of green. Since green is a primary color that makes up other colors, I probably don't see what colors really look like. Any way, I do seem to be drawn to the color of red. I like my beautiful cardinals and I love the red I see on some finches and the woodpeckers. This morning's fellow was sitting so that the sun hit those red feather just right. Red is the color that represents the Holy Spirit and I tell myself that seeing one of my fine feathered friends with their beautiful red plumage is a whisper of "Good Morning" from God.

I want to catch you up on our family drama with our oldest granddaughter Amanda. Lisa and Gary got her to her rehab facility yesterday afternoon and thankfully, ---- she was anxious to go and get started on her detoxing process and rehabilitation. Of course, with addicts of any kind --- life become one day at a time. However, Lisa talked to her for a few minutes this afternoon and she was still upbeat. She has already been allowed to move up to "community living" from detox, thanks mostly to the time she spent in the hospital.  So, we are all praying daily that she will successfully complete this program and then can get into a good followup program after she "graduates" from her current program.

Tomorrow morning  Ms. Kate and I will jump i the car and head to North Carolina. We want to be there to support Lisa. Gary and grandson Matthew are heading to New Mexico to see Gary's dad who is also in bad health. The old adage; "when it rain's it pours" seems to have some merit. We just didn't want Lisa to be alone right now.

This will be my last post for a couple of days. I'll be back on Friday morning as I set in Lisa's sun porch and watch her birds. Until then I wish you peace in your soul and I ask for your continued prayers. And, --- while you have God's undivided attention, I'd ask you to say a prayer for neighbor Dan whose is having his own set of family health and drama issues. You don't need to know what they are --- God already knows. But, please lift them up too. Blessings.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday the 26th of December --- aka-- the day of the great return. Today people will flock to the stores to return gifts that don't fit or were unwanted. And of course there are the after Christmas sales. You won't find me within a mile of a store today. First of all, I didn't get any gifts that I didn't like, and secondly, I wouldn't get in that traffic. Julie and Jim plan to go to Fresh Market this morning as they head back to New Albany and that is in the heart of the mall district. Yuk for them.

It is 66 degrees this morning and that is entirely too warm for this region of the country at this time of the year. Thunderstorms are predicted today as one would expect there to be. Julie and Jim are no doubt going to be driving home in it. We are supposed to get maybe an inch of rain which, is better than getting several inches of snow.

The back yard buffet has been fairly empty this morning. Of course that might be because Julie's dogs keep going in and out. They love to run out and chase the squirrels. Of course they will never catch one and frankly, Fenway, the youngest of the two has no idea why she's even running out the door except that Auggie is going out and Fenway's nose is attached to Auggie's butt at that moment. Fenway runs out the door looking like "where? -- what? -- OK, let's run."  They sure are silly.

I've been writing this using little snatches of time in between conversations with the kids. The kids have just left for home and the instant quiet is deafening. I am so glad that Julie and Jim decided nine years ago to move here to Indiana and only 100 miles away. That's close enough and far enough; close enough to help one another when needed and far enough to live separate lives.

Amanda will be heading to rehab about and detox facility today. I think she's ready to get started on it. Ms. Kate and I will be heading out for NC in a couple of days and take the opportunity to share some hugging with Lisa. It will be good for all of us.

I think that is it for today. We have things that we need to get done to prepare for the trip. I hope your last few days of 2016 will be the best days of 2016 for you. It is time to re-evaluate your resolution from last year and see if they are still valid. If not, change them up. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas! It finally got here; the gifts are unwrapped, the stockings are empty, and Ms. Kate made a great breakfast. Now we are trading nap times around here as we doze off in our chairs and one un-named person (Julie) secretly films you as you enjoy a good snore. That was rude.

Our Christmas Eve was nice as we celebrated Ms. Kate's birthday. Ms. Kate and I had picked up a really nice Prime Rib and fixed it along with mashed potatoes and green beans. I had baked an Angel Food cake for her earlier yesteday morning and we had that with some ice cream. . After supper we visited for a while and watched a movie. Then I went to the 110:00 PM worship service at a church here in the neighborhood. It was a candlelight and communion service and I really enjoyed going. With all that has happened in the past week, I needed some church time. Yes, I have taken the opportunity many times in the past week to offer up prayers but sometimes, (and I said this often as a pastor) a person needs to sit in the pews and draw strength from others in a faith community atmosphere. We each had our own prayers last night at that service, I'm sure; however, the joint uplifting is healthy for the soul.

Our granddaughter Amanada will most likely be discharged tomorrow straight to a rehabilitation facility. That is the hope of all concerned, at least as far as the family is concened. We don't know at the moment how Amanda feels because she is going to say what she thinks we want to hear. I know she is scared, but if she is going to sate any chance at all of helping herself, this is a must do. The alternative is most certainly a continual downward spiral and possibly death. Unacceptable.

This coming week, Ms. Kate and I will head to North Carolina  to be with Lisa for awhile. Her hubby and son, Matt are flying to New Mexico on Friday to spend a few days with Gary's dad. Hopefully, we will be able to drive down to the rehab facility and see Amanda for an hour at some point. I don't know if they will allow that or not. Ms. Kate and I think it would do Amanda good to know that we are standing behind her regardless of her life choices and we are there to support her. I'm not sure how long we will stay in NC.

It is time to go sit with the family for awhile. Ms. Kate is going to make shrimp and grits for our Christmas meal. I'm looking forward to that.

Enjoy your Christmas and reach out in love to someone today. Sending the peace of a new born Christ child your way.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ms. Kate and I have long held to an axiom that you never know what goes on in a home once the front door closes. Some homes are indeed like the "Nelson Family" from the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Other homes, while the world believes have to be the most wonderful place in the world to live are actually homes full of tragedy, abuse, and fear. Have you ever looked at a friends home and thought; "Boy, I wish had their parents!" Did you ever think that just maybe those friends were looking at you and thinking the same thing?  ---- Where am I going with this, you may be asking yourself. 

Some days can start out perfectly normal and all of a sudden, one phone call can turn the whole world upside down. That was our combined Heumann family yesterday morning. We have been aware and dealt with the fact that our oldest granddaughter, Amanda, has over the last year become a drug addict. She is a beautiful twenty year old with all of the opportunities for a successful life in front of her. She was raised right, strong in her church, loved by all and yet plagued by bad choices in her personal life. Early this year she was involved in a terrible single car accident with her boyfriend. Her pain treatments and pain medications were strong but they came to an end.  Like so many people, she sought relief elsewhere along with her extremely bad choice boyfriend with whom she had moved in. A couple of months ago her parents found out that she had moved up to heroin. She went into detox and left that because "she knew she could handle it on her own". Of course she failed, and got to the point of being homeless, sleeping at friends and then in their truck. Wednesday night she showed up at her mom's house and her mom let her in to sleep in her old room. 

Yesterday morning, we got a call that she had over dosed there in her room. Her brother had been talking to her and she quit responding to him. He kicked in her door and found her unresponsive and no pulse. Matt had a neighbor call 911 and he performed CPR on her and literally saved her life. She is currently in the hospital and will be for a couple of more days. I pray she will be going to a detox facility and then rehab after that. However --- addicts are addicts for life. And a big part of her addiction is that she is also addicted a toxic relationship with her boyfriend. 

So, my friends, I tell you all of this because from the street in front of each of our family's house --- no one would know that these things are happening. Secondly, I'm not ashamed to tell people about it because this situation is not the fault of any member of this family including Lisa's parents. We are a family that is totally about loving one another and supporting one another. We are a family that fully believes in the power of prayer and therefore --- I'm asking those of you who read my blog to join our family in prayer that Amanda will accept the help that we are all trying to give. 

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and this is the season of miracles. I pray for a miracles for Amanda. Bless you as you celebrate your Christmas. Peace. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Wednesday the 21st of December. welcome to the Winter Solstace; the shortest day of the year. This is also my youngest daughter Lisa's birthday. What a joy she is to all of our lives. But --- it is hard to believe that "our baby" is now 45 years old. It seems like only yesterday that she was born; and now she is grown, has two adult children, a Master's Degree, owns a home, has an important job with the set of North Carolina Health Care System, and owns a business with her husband. And --- she is a good person, a very caring person, a good citizen, and has a strong faith system. On all levels she is a successful person. What is really neat is that Ms. Kate and I have two more just like her. We are a blessed family and I give God all praise and credit for that. 

The temperature has risen from 23 to 33 since I have been sitting here. The sun is just now really coming through the clouds which will help to warm it up some more. I've been on Facebook messenger this morning talking to one daughter or another. It is just the perfect way to start my day; coffee in my cup and conversation at my finger tips. When I finish my blog today I need to go outside and fill bird feeders again this morning. I see several empty ones hanging out there. I have a few suet cakes that they are eating from but I need to put out some more sunflower seed and some seed cakes. I may have to make my way to Wild Birds and Things today and pick up some more stuff. I haven't taken stock of my inventory for a couple of days but I know I'm low on some of the stuff I usually put out. I hate to think of going out there to Wild Birds because it is on the east side of town and that is where all of the traffic is. Most of the businesses are on the east side of town and it gets to be a madhouse this time of year. At least the weather is nice and it isn't raining or snowing. 

Ms. Kate is beginning to work on the Christmas meal planning. Julie and Jim are coming in on Saturday after they get off of work etc. They will stay until Monday morning. Saturday evening we have dinner reservations at a fairly exclusive place to celebrate Ms. Kate's Christmas Eve birthday. So, that leaves only Sunday to really worry about. I know she will go to too much trouble and worry too much about it because that's what she does. But in reality, our needs are very simple and I for one certainly don't see a need for a "special meal". It is probably just as well that I'm not the meal planner. She has, however, come up with a couple of delicious ideas that I look forward to if they come to fruition. 

The cardinals are back again for round two at the feeders so I think I'll drop off and just enjoy their beauty foor awhile. I pray you will have a blessed day. It is the season of love and miracles so stay in touch with the Christ Child; your trust will never be misplaced. Peace. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

It is a sunny, 25 degree morning that greets me this morning. That is so much better than waking to single degree temperatures. Not that I plan to go out in it right away, mind you, but it "looks" a bit warmer at least. Just having the sunshine helps brighten the day and the spirit.

I finally came up with an idea for Ms. Kate to give me for a Christmas present. We saw a floor lamp at Mejiers last week that would look good behind my Baby Grand Keyboard. Many years ago, back in the mid-nineties, I was stationed at March Air Force Base and our Deputy Group Commander  had a really beautiful floor lamp behind her keyboard that I loved. I've been looking for one like it ever since. This one isn't identical but it is on the same idea. So, we went out last night and got it. It was the only one they had of that model so we had to take the floor display one. But --- it now sets securely and beautifully behind my keyboard. So, thank you Santa and Ms. Kate for my new lamp. I told you I'm a man of few needs and therefore hard to shop for. That's why my girls all buy me gift cards. It makes my Christmas and birthdays last all year long as I go in to Lowes or Cold Stone Creamery and get "free stuff". And now, Ms. Kate won't feel bad because I didn't give her an idea for a present.

The Electoral College of the United States all cast their ballots yesterday for President of the United States. President Elect Trump was solidified as the 45th President of the UNited States. There were of course protests and shouting and whining across America because his opponent, Hillary Clinton had received three million "popular votes" more than Trump. But --- that is our system. It is designed to give voice to the American voter who lives outside of the huge mega-cities. I don't know if Mr. Trump is going to be a good president or not, although I voted for him. I do think he will turn the country back around to more traditional values that I grew up with; things like honesty and integrity and working for a living and not expecting someone to hand you everything for free. The last eight years have been a disaster for free thinking people and people who are traditionalist. It is going to be a tough transition for the "easily offended". Our current president, (who I voted for twice) promised "hope and change" which sounded very good. It wwas a very "Christian" sounding message. However it translated to "you don't have to work for anything, the government will just give it to you." It translated to to you dan't have to have any respect for law and order because you have a right to do anything you want to do in this country regardless of how it might impact someone else. It translated to don't concern yourself with the laws of the country because you have the "right" to be happy no matter what. And so --- hatred and bigotry have become the norm and peace and caring about one another went out the window years ago and the focus on "Me and my feelings" have become all that matters. We're in for a cultural revolution once again. I pray daily that what ever is done is done through peace.

No more "rant". It is Christmas week. We'll have a warmer and wet Christmas here in southern Indiana. It's a good thing I have my Christmas present because there will be no snow for Sannta's sleigh!

Peace, love , and Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, December the 19th. Merry Christmas week! It is a cold --- really cold --- start to the week with a temperature of 10 degrees this morning and a windchill "feels like" temperature of 3 degrees. Of course, I don't think that if I were out side that I could tell the difference between 10 and 3. It's like when we lived in Las Vegas and the temperature would sore over 100 degrees; it didn't make any difference whether it was 100 or 105; --- it was hot -- period.

It has been a non-adventurous weekend. The cold and weather kept Ms. Kate and I in for the most part. I did get the mower deck off of the John Deere and the snow blade put on. Now it can do whatever and I think I'm prepared. We did go to Sam's Club on Saturday morning and pick up some stuff and then hurried home because the bad weather was supposed to be moving in. Yesterday we didn't bother to get out to go to church. I saw on Facebook that our churches that we have been going to were closed. However, we could have gone locally, we just didn't want to go out when it was single degree temperature. And yes --- I know that is no excuse. But, I did take time for a conversation with The Lord. However --- instead of doing two church services yesterday ---- I watched three football games. Welcome to retirement.

I've started going through some of the boxes of pictures that we brought home from my mother's apartment. After she passed away a year and a half ago. So far I have only emptied a box and a half. Most of the pictures we have are pictures they took of scenery and collections of postcards. All of that goes straight into the trash. However, if there are pictures of their friends, especially of ones we don't know, as well as pictures of people that we may know but don't want --- I'm running them through the shredder. Ms. Kate says she doesn't like to think of pictures of folks being thrown into a landfill for just anyone to find. I guess it makes sense to her, I'll just do what she asks. Anyway, it is just one of those tasks that I said I would tackle after I retire.

I think the squirrels have on two layers of fur coat this morning the way they are puffed up. They look fat; and they look cold. I've had mostly cardinal and starlings this morning. Those beautiful red feathers on the cardinal just brighten up an area when they land. With no leaves on the trees at all, it is easy to pick them out sitting up here in the poplar and maple trees. I always especially enjoy the little birds though. The junkos and the wrens hop around here in a frenzy. What I don't see is very many Chick-a-dees. That surprises me. I wonder what has happened to them.

As we begin tis all to the manager this week, I pray you will find nothing but peace and love for your soul. This gift from God to the world is simply the most amazing act of love possible --- with the exception of the death and resurrection of Jesus. I pray that the peace of Jesus somehow catch the world on fire with a sense of spiritual love. What a gift we the people of this world could give to one another if we just spent a week being in love with life and one another. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Hard to believe it is December 17th and it is 63 degrees outside here in southern Indiana. Allegedly we are in for some heavy rain yet today and them the temperature is to drop down into the 10 - 15 degree range. I guess we will see what actually happens.

I have mostly cardinals and a couple of varieties of woodpeckers this morning at the buffet. Only one squirrel has bothered to come around. Earlier I had a bunch of starlings here but they didn't stay long. The feeders are mostly all full so I don't have to worry about that today. It has rained somee anyway and I didn't wat to have to slip around out there.

I finally got the mowing deck switched out from the John Deere and got the new snow blade put on. I was amazed at how little effort it took to get that deck off; --- four cotter pins and a belt twist. Putting the snow blade on was a bit more of a challenge though. The biggest difficulty being that pieces are sturdy and heavy and I was trying to to do it by myself while laying on the ground etc. It would have been so very much easy had I had a second pair of hands. But --- I am an impatient cuss at times to my own detriment. Dan was ready to help me do that swap today but I was determined to try to do it myself first. So the fact that I am sore today is something I earned.

Ms. Kate and I went to the movie again last night for the 2130 showing of Rogue One. It was pretty good, I thought. We got home around midnight. The theater wasn't crowded at all and now that so many of the theaters have these nice recliners for seating, it is really comfortable.

I've spent a good deal of my morning talking to my girls on Facebook Messenger. I love that feature. We can all get on there at one time and it is as close to all of us being together as is posssible with them all being hundreds of miles away. So, we chit-chat on and off with us coming in and out of the conversation. We've had a running conversation about nothing but "stuff" going on in our daily lives for a couple of years now I think.

I guess that is it for today. The sun is trying to actually come out and there is a couple of Cardinals just sitting on the birdbath soaking it all up and looking beautiful. No matter how drab my back yard might look during winter --- the cardinals always seeem to be the bright spot. I consider it a "hello" form God. Have a great day.

Friday, December 16, 2016

I read a thing on Facebook this morning that said when a Red Cardinal shows up at your window you are having a visitor from heaven. I have read hat many times in the past and have even used it before myself. But --- I have a host of heavenly visitors this morning; at least fifteeen cardinals this morning. I also have wrens, nuthatch, song sparrows, a mocking bird, titmouse, woodpeckers, and four fat squirrels filling their bellies at the feeders. It is a perfect morning here in the sunporch.

Welcome to a 25 degreee cloudy Friday morning. It is supposed to go to 37 degrees today as rain moves in later today and all day tomorrow. The wind is certainly going to keep the rain moving up this way from the south. Tomorrow we are actually supposed to get to around 60 degrees and then have a 50 degree temperature drop down to 10 degrees. Add that flash drop to wet roads and there won't be a lot of traveling to churches on Sunday morning. What a roller coaster.

Nine more days to Christmas. Somehow I'm not excited about all of that this year. Maybe it is the lack of having to prepare services, worry about whether the weather will be good enough for people to get back and forth to the services. I don't know. Ms. Kate still has some cards to make and we need to get them sent out. But, the Christmas decorations, as minimal as they are, are up. The cookies have been made and mostly eaten by now. The presents for the kids are long sent away, and Ms. Kate and I have no clue about what we might get each other as a gift. I bought her a birthday present before we took off on our vacation. It ws a pair or "Beats", which is a new set of wireless earphone for her music to use with her IPad so she can listen to her music etc. Yesterday I picked up another little something and while we were out in Vegas I took her to the Coach Factory outlet and bought her a little something. But that is it. She has had me wracking my brain for a gift something she can get me but I honestly can't think of a thing. I have everything I need and I have everything I truly want. Ms. Kate is alive and well. My children are healthy and happy and are truly good people and we are all fully engaged in a family of love. I have a home, I have food, I have great neighbors and a wonderful faith family. And I have the true peace of God in my heart and the peace of knowing Jesus Christ died for me and therefore I have salvation in the next life. My only regret is an estranged relationship with my sister that should never have happened but may never be fully repaired. But, we have I guess come to "terms".

So, --- if I'm not excited about Christmas, it is because I already have Christmas in my heart and I hope you do too. Have a most wonderful day and stay warm. I've said a prayer for you today and that means I have shared God's love with you. Peace.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday Morning and we are back home again in Indiana. We landed in Louisville, KY last night at 2245 hrs which was a half an hour early. Julie was there to meet us and have our car warm and toasty. We had planned to stay at her house last night but decided to drive home any way. Got to Evansville about 0030 hrs and stopped at Denny's for a midnight supper before heading home. We crawled into our own bed around. 0200. I was awake by 0700 this morning because the birds were singing outside my window. So, I got up, turned on the coffee pot, then bundled up and went out and filled the first 13 feeders that they had emptied while we were gone. I also plugged in the electric bird bath so it could begin to thaw enough for me to dump the ice out of it and refill it. Now, I'm sitting here having my second cup of coffee and watching my birds. Life is back to normal.

It certainly didn't take long for my backyard buffet customers to come around either. I've had a slew of cardinals. Wrens, finches, --- ladderback, downy, & red-headed woodpeckers, and one fat squirrel. I still have more feeders to fill and I need to go get another couple of bags of sunflower seed today because I almost emptied the can today. It didn't take too long for the ice to melt away from the bottom of the birdbath and I got it refilled. It too is now a popular spot. That thing has really been a good purchase. I've toyed with the idea of a second one butI reckon one is really enough.

We'll have jobs to do today for sure. We brought home a weeks worth of dirty clothes and that has to be taken care of. Ms. Kate plans to get busy making some more Christmas cards. I'm hoping Dan and I can get the mower deck off of the JD today and the snow blade put on. And I have to go get a haircut and get de-shagged. It is also only ten days until Christmas so we do have to get the house ready for minimal company anyway. It will be a strange one this years as this is the first time in twelve years that I haven't had to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

As much as we enjoyed our vacation, there was one thing that disappointed us and that was the lack of Christmas decoration in and around the hotels I guess they are afraid they might offend some of the people. What a shame. Oh, there were some places that went all out but it wasn't near the spectacle that we have seen in past years. I just find it amazing that 1000 people cand love something and one person gets offended and complains or threatens to sue and businesses and governments cave in to the one and change everything. I just read a story about a Cross being removed frrom a Christmas tree in an Indianapolis city park because the city said they couldn't win a law suit from the ACLU because the cross was on city property. That cross has been up there for years. Let me hear you say Christmas with out the use of "Christ".

Well, I need to get on doing something or another so I'm jumping off before I get into a rant about Christmas and lawyers. Just know I wish you a very merry CHRISTMAS --- with all of the blessing that come with the birth of the Son of God. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

And a happy Wednesday morning to you. Our vacation ends today with a flight back to the midwest and reality this evening. We catch a 4:45 p.m. Flight out of Vegas and get into Louisville at about midnight. It is 34 degrees there this morning and thee forecast call for it to be in the teens when we land. We're leaving this 60 degree stuff behind. Julie's is supposed to be there to bring our car and we are planning to spend the night at her place. However ---- she has had a terrible stomach flu for the past two days and I'm now not sure we need to intermingle our germs. So --- depending on the weather and how everybody is feeling we may just drop her at her house and head back to Evansville. It is only a couple of hour drive. And we'll be wired and tired from the trip anyway.

A shout out to my sister this morning for a Happy Birhday. She turned 71 today. Here's hoping she has a healthy and happier year.

We went to another show last evening here at the Palazzo. It was called BAZ. It was what I would call a "modern-day" opera. Lots of singing and dancing ---- most songs written specifically for the show although there were tunes one could recognize. It was hard to follow and we had been told it might be. The concept was that it was a complication of three "Love/Drama/Tragedy" stories; Moulon Rouge, The Great Gatsby, and Romeo and Juliet. The singers and dancers and musicians all did a really great job --- but that doesn't mean I liked it.  The Clint Holmes show we saw the night before was I think much better because I knew some of the songs. Although, I guess I thought with a name like "Clint Holmes" it was going to be some country music. Not a note! But the two shows filled the evening with something beside throwing money down the one armed bandits.

So, we finished our slot tournament yesterday. Ms. Kate finished in the top one hundred and got a $100.00 worth of slot credits. I have no idea where I finished because they only post the top one hundred. BUt, I knew gong in that I was only guaranteed to spend my $100.00 entry fee. Since she was an invited gust --- I guess she won back my fee. It all works out and the tournaments are fun to play. There is nothing to them except to sit there and hit the "Play" button for three minutes as fast as you can and hope something winning pops up. It all depends on the machine you get each particular round. BUt --- the top prize for this one was $7,500 in slot credits so it was worth a total of nine mintes of our time for each of us.

I'm going to wrap this up and my next blog entry will be from back home again in Indiana. I know the birds will be glad to have me back home to finally fill the feeders and I will be glad to be back home to fill them and enjoy them. I enjoy a vacation once in awhile but I'm reall becoming a home body and am comfortable in my home surroundings.

Have a blesssed day. Take time to talk to your Lord and God. Peace.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday is basically over, even out here in Las Vegas. This has been just another weird day for this trip. This vacation has just been one "corn fuzzle"  after another. Between me being sick and other stuff, I'm not unhappy we came --- but I'm not sure it was worth it. Yesterday we moved to the Palazzo for our final three days here and to register and play in a slot tournament. Ms. Kate was an "invited guest" and she was allowed to bring "a guest" to play also but I had to pay $100.00 entry fee. Of course, we ended up with different playing times which was "ok" but not our desired outcome.

Well, this morning we awoke in time to get ready to go ---- however  ---- our hotel had no water this morning; ergo -- no showers or toilet water, or brush your teeth water. Luckily we had filled the ice bucket last night to have with our soda. We could use that to at least take our first morning pills. Well about thirty minutes before Ms. Kate's tournament our water came back so we could at have a shower and get decent before we went down even if we did do it in Code Red response time.

Well, --- we need not have hurried. All of the computers were down that they were to use for the tournament and we were on hold. The tournament started an hour and a half late which pushed all of the sessions back too. In the mean time the casino had given everybody a card that said that the casino was going to do a major system upgrade today between 1330 and 1630 hours. We could still play and would still get payouts but could not accumulate any "points" which is what gets us these free rooms etc. But --- what the heck. So, after I played my first round, we went to the Grand Deluxe Cafe for lunch only to be told that the hotel system was down and they couldn't apply any charges to the hotel rooms. Yeh ---- it has been Monday all day long.

The best part of the day was attending the Clint Holmes show this evening . Ms. Kate and Karen have seen his show before and we had free ticket to see it as part of Ms. Kate's hotel package. Tomorrow night we are going to see another show here in the hotel called RAZ. It too is a musical, and I hope it will be good since we paid pretty good money for this one.

The weather is great here for the next couple of days with temperatures above normal and in the 60's. I suspect it will be a lot different when we get off of the plane at midnight on Wednesday night in Louisville. We'll spend Wednesday night at Julie and Jim's house and drive home on Thursday morning.

That's it my friends. It is time to tuck this Monday into the trash can and call it done. I pray your Tuesday, (and ours) will be a lot better. I must first give thanks to God for the improvement in y cold and systems. It is wonderful to be able to breathe freely again. Have a good night.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Well, this wasn't the most exciting vacation day I have ever spent. I had a horrible night healthwise and when we woke up this morning I asked Ms. Kate what she thought about us changing our plane reservations and going home either today or tomorrow. I checked the cost of changing flights and it would cost us another $1,600.00 to change flights; so, we looked for other answers. Finally I called the front desk and asked if there was a hospital emergency room anywhere close and they told me there was ST. Rose Dominican Hospital about ten minutes down the road. So, I showered and got ready and we went to the emergency room. I must say I was very surprised. First of all, there was no line at all and lots of people there to help. After a super dose of breathing treatment with Albuterol, some predizone, a CT Scan, a chest X-ray, and EKG, we finally were released around 1300 hours with a couple of prescriptions. The doctors and nurses were super attentive and the caring was obvious. I pray I will never need their services again but I highly recommend them.

On to better things. We left the hospital and went to PF Chang's Oriental Restuarant for lunch and it was delicious. We had enough to bring back to the room and I admit that I was concerned that it might lose some the deliciousness being cold; (we don't have a microwave) but it is still tasty. From there we went to the resort. Kate stayed in the casino and I went up to the room, I took some of my meds and layed down for a needed nap. Later I went down to the casino and found Ms. Kate and Karen.

Tomorrrow we change hotels again and move to The Palazzo Resort for Sunday, Monday, & Tuesday.  We are entered in a slot tournament for Monday and Tuesday. In the mean time there are restaurants that we like to eat in not the least of which is the Grand Lux. The Palazzo and the Venetian resorts are connected and an extension of one another. And there are other places that we like to go around there too. I'm just hoping that my meds totally kick this cold in the rear and we feel up to doing all of the things we want to do. It hasn't been more than we could handle, but it has certainly put a damper on our fun.

I'm checking the weather back home and see that rain and snow flurries and cold weather are certainly the operative words for the day. If this is part of what your are experiencing I pray safe travel out in it. Today was the funeral for my Uncle Howard. I hope the weather was sunny for them.. In the mean time I'll stay a little warmer here in the 55 five degree days.

Tomorrow is a day of worship. I pray you will take time to aat least sit alone for awhile and give God praise for your abundance of blessings. Never forget that God loves you and so do I. Peace.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Friday ---- it is Friday right? Between my danged cold and all of the crap that is going on with that, and being on vacationI think I have lost track of the day. The way Ms. Kate and I travel in Vegas, the days are best noted by "changing hotels or not changing hotels. We did three nights at Green Valley Ranch and resort and then moved to The "M" today.

We haven't done much today. We went to the Bellagio Resort for about 30 minutes. It is indeed a beautiful place and they have a conservatory inside of it that they seasonally decorate. One year they even had Martha Stewart do the Christmas decorations and it always looks great.  We spent a few minutes looking around and then left. Normally we would have stayed and played a few of the machines and given homage to the "one armed bandit" while we were there but --- the Bellagio is part of the MGM properties and they have instituted a new policy where they charge for parking by the hour for non hotel guests. Now, to me it seems incredibly "ballsy" of a place to charge people to park so they can come in and lose money in their slot machines!!!!! Allegedly, this new charge is to cover the cost of up grading their parking garages. Heaven forbid they would dip into the millions they make in profit from the machines. Anyway --- the first hour was free so, we took our pictures and moved on to a less greedy place.

Next we went to Treasure Island Hotel. The TI is is one of the original hotels taht we used to visit when we started coming out here. I really like the TI although it has gone through some changes in the past twenty years that I'm not fond of. But, we still like to go there to eat in their cafe and play a few machines.

From there we went on to The M and checked in to our room. It is really comfortable. This evening we went to the buffet fro dinner. Friday night is seafood night on the buffet and Ms. Kate had a free meal offer from the resort as part of her birthday package for the two free nights here.

So, that's where we are tonight. I'm still taking my cold medicines and hoping for a good nights sleep.  Last night was terrible but today hasn't been awful. Here's hoping your Saturday is a good one.!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Good afternoon from Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, NV. It is a sunny 53 degree morning. I'm down in the food court area having a cup of coffee and watching people. Ms. Kate and I arrived last evening. We had a good flight out here and the plane was about two thirds full which meant we weren't crowded in.

We had bad news last evening though. My Uncle Howard Heumann passed away last evening from a Heart attack. He was 92 and he was a fun guy. I am so glad we just did our cousin's reunion last month and he and Aunt Louise were able to be there. But --- I had said all along that I didn't want our next meeting with the cousins to be at a funeral. That's why Ms. Kate and I push for our own family reunions at least every two years. One never knows when it will be the last time we see our loved ones.

I'm still suffering from my terrible cold. I'm living on Mucenex and Robitussin. I slept fairly well last night but when I got up this morning I thought I was going to cough my lungs out.  All of that stuff that built up over night wanted out as soon as my feet hit the floor. I need one of Dr. Jackson's magic shots that he has Fran give me when I get this way. It is an antibiotic. Most of the day I do alright but I can sure tell when my medicine wears off. I lose the ability to breath. I've had this for a week now and I'm hoping it has begun to run ut of steam.

This is National Finals Rodeeo week here in Vargas. Kate's sister Karen is going this evening. She got free tickets with her reservation. We could have had some too but really didn't want to go. Tonight is the Lobster Speecial at a favorite and we don't want to miss that. We'll be here at Green Valley yet tonight and tomorrow we move to The "M" resort at the extreme south end of the Las Vegas Blvd. Karen will be staying there at the same time. Then Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday we will be at The Palazzo Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. It too is a 5-Star resort. We are entered into a slot tournament there. They are fun to do but we've never come close to winning anything.

So, that is it for this Wednesday afternoon. I hope your day is going well. I know back home it is super cold and I'm glad we are missing it this first time around.  Call someone you love today just because you can. Peace.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

It is a rough morning around here this morning. My cold is kicking my butt today. I should have had my broker invest in Kleenex. It is a good thing Ms. Kate bought several more boxes yesterday. I woke up way too early; my chest hurt, my head hurt, I was coughing and all of the other pleasant things that go along with a cold. I find it only a tad bit amusing. This will be the first Sunday in 12 and a half years that I would be in danger of not being able to go to work and I'm retired and don't have to. I'm sure God has a message in there somewhere. Actually, I've heard from several friends this morning who are either suffering with it or or have family members with it. Welcome to winter. I think it is going to be a do nothing day. I'm going to sit here in the sunporch, pull my lap robe up, play some Andre' Reiu, have my coffee, watch the world and take naps. I have one of those Mr. Coffee cup heaters on the end table beside my recliner and it keeps my coffee just right to drink no matter how long I am out here.

The backyard buffet has been busy this morning. I have several downy woodpeckers aand some finches and a coupe of wrens here.I see a couple of squirrels high up in the neighbor's tree but they haven't made it over to my yard yet. There have been one or two cardinal here and aa couple of robins dropped by. I guess I need to finally plug in the bird bath. The robins and cardinal all tried o get a drink this morning and there was a thin layer of ice on the water. However, it is now 36 degrees and that layer will melt before long.

I went out yesterday afternoon and ran the lawnmower over the leaves one last time in my front yard and neigbor Dan's yard. Jeff's Bradford pear tree is losing leaves quickly now and he was out there raking them and bagging them. I went out and finished the job in about three minutes that he had been working on for 30 minutes. So, now I can swap out the mowing deck for the snow blade. But, --- I'm not ready to crawl around oncold concrete today.

So, it is time for Tylenol, a fresh cup of coffee and my lap robe --- and yes, a nap. I hope yu have a great day. God bless!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Happy Friday! It os a super cool ne out there this morning. Lots of "frost on the pumpkin" as they say. It is currently 42 degrees but it isn't going to go up much more than that. The sunshine has melted most of the frost off of the rooftops. So it is just a normal December day as it should be. We've had so much warm weather up until now that it takes an adjustment to get used to it. We are going to Las Vegas next week and the weather there is going to be about the same as we have here. But --- I guess that won't bother us much in the casinos and hotels. It will limit any rock scrambling and hiking though that I might want to do. It does get really cold in the desert.

For whatever reason, I have several squirrels here this morning and they are being --- well, squirrely. They are hanging from branches, they are hanging from feeders, they are chasing one another around the yard and through the trees. I guess this cool morning has them extra frisky. I haven't had more than one squirrel in the yard at a time for several weeks but this morning the whole family came for breakfast. I haven't had many birds in though this morning; just a couple of cardinals. I filled the feeders yesterday for everyone and it wasn't but about fifteen minutes and here come the woodpeckers to the bark butter and I had a pair of pilated woodpeckers come in. One would cling to the side of  the tulip poplar tree and chirp while the other on ate. Then they traded places a jobs; Very interesting.

I have a cold and it is driving me a little bonkers because it doesn't seem to clear up. I'm constantly hacking and coughing and blowing my nose. We need to go to Walmart today and I have to go up to St. Lucas and pick up my Medicare card from off of the desk. I have no idea why I left it there but the new pastor called me and said he found it laying on the desk. So, we'll run up and get that and while we are in that neighborhood, I'd hoped to do some geocaching. I printed out a dozen last night and loaded them in the GPS. But, it might just not be a good idea with my cold. I also need to get out in my garage and try to get the mower deck off of my John Deere and then see if I can put the snow blade on. Again, it will be a cold job and it really is a two person job. So, it might not get done. Neighbor Dan has a cold that is worse than mine so I can't rely on him. Ms. Kate can't get down on the floor to help so, I'm not sure what I will do. I'll figure something out --- I always do. Sunday we are projected to have a llittle winter weather with a skiff of snow and sleet and rain. The ground is too warm for anything to stick so maybe there is no hurry.

The fires are all out in the Great Smokey Mountains and the Gatlingburg area; praise God. They predict they will have tourism up and running by the end of next week. Rebuilding all of those homes will take a long time and of course the loss of life can never be replaced. But --- as horrible as it was --- it could have been so very much worse. So I offer prayer for their comfort and strength as they begin to dig out and rebuild their lives. And I give God praise and thanks that they were not hurt even worse. By the time we get there next June there will be fresh vegetation and the mountains, while scarred; will begin to look fresh again. Frankly, the fire was good for the forest to clean out all of the underbrush etc. It was just horrible for the impact it had on humans. But, people will rebuild and God will replenish.

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend. Take advantage of rest time and take stock of the blessings that are flowing through your life. Give God praise, --- and give peoplea hug.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome to December 2016. It has been a long time coming it seems. But, this is the first morning in a long time that I got up and there was nothing that I absolutely need to do. My IPad Google calendar told me "You have no events" today. What a nice thing to see. Ms. kate is off to the beauty parlor for a hair trim. She had hope to get a perm before we go to Vegas but her beautician couldn't fit her in. When she gets back from her appointment we need to go do some banking and a little running around.

I thought I'd not be going up to the churches yesterday, but --- the new pastor was having trouble printing the bulletins and needed me to show him again. I'm glad I did because I found an error in his bulletin that might have raised some eyebrows and he doesn't need that on his first day. So, he'll fix that today and then try again. At least he has me to show him; ---- I was totally on my own with no help and not even an old bulletin to start from when I started at the churches. But, I walked him through the process once again. He'll do fine once he gets into a routine.

It is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining through the fire bushes giving off a red glow to that side of the yard. I can tell that won't last much longer though because the leaves are starting to fall from them. The neighbor's Bradford Pear tree is starting to loose it's leaves too out in the front yard. Yep, winter is here as this is the first day of  meteorlogical winter; what ever that means. Last night the weatherman said we might have a "winter mix" on Sunday morning of rain, snow flakes,  and a little sleet. It sounds like I need to get out in the garage and figure out how to swap my mower deck for my snow blade. I'm not expecting any measureable snow any time soon but I want to be ready when it does happen. He has predicted around seventeen inches for the winter which should provide multiple opportunities for me to play out there in the driveway and streets with my new John Deere.

The last of the Christmas cards went in the mail box yesterday afternoon. That makes us done for Christmas preparation. Although, I still need to come up with a Christmas present for Ms. Kate and a birthday present too. Her birthday is December 24th. The problem is --- when you get to be our age and have been married over fifty years; you get to a point where not only have your "needs" decreased significantly, but your "wants" have mostly been satisfied. She has asked me what I would like for a Christmas present and I honestly can't think of a single thing other than sharing the day with her, and hopefully at least one of the girls. Last year I took her to a show in Vegas for her birthday and we counted it as her "birthday present".

Ms. Kate is back and it is time to get a move on. I pray you will have a wonderful day full of joy and peace. Shalomn.