Wednesday, August 23, 2017

 "Bless the Lord, oh my soul; let all that is within me bless His holy name" What else is there to do on an absolutely beautiful "pretend it is fall" day except give God praise. It is 68 degrees, sunny, not a cloud to be seen, and humidity is low. To top it all off, there is a song sparrow outside my window also lifting up its voice to sweeten the sounds of the universe. There is peace in my micro piece of the world.

We are up earlier than normal today. I reckon it is because we went to bed earlier than usual last night. We generally don't go to bed until around 0100 hrs. But, last night at 2300 hrs Ms. Kate said she was ready to turn in and so was I. She had worked all day on making Christmas cards and was mentally bushed. Unfortunately she also woke up this morning with a bit of a sinus infection. So, we'll see how that progresses today. Hopefully now that she is up her system will drain and she'll be fine. As for me, my jaw is a tad sore yet today from all of the manipulation and shots yesterday for my dental work but other than a minor twinge, I'm fine. I need to get cleaned up an dressed and go out and do stuff outside today. I think my flowerbeds are calling me. There is fall raking to do to pull the stuff away from the lilies and the iris need to be trimmed back. Once the dew dries off of the grass, I'll mow the front yard and neighbor Dan's too.

The 0900 crew has arrived at the buffet. Cardinal, Goldfinches, wrens, house finches, sparrows, downy woodpeckers and song sparrows and hummingbirds are all here and it makes for a really enjoyable time. I need to fill feeders again. It is nice to sit and watch them and not have a bunch of starlings and blackbirds come in ad bully them all away.

"My people" are all supposed to be coming home today. Karen will be flying in from Vegas after a week of fun and Dan & Minh are finally home after being gone eight months to California. Dan has traveled back and forth a couple of times during that period for a couple of weeks at a time but Minh has stayed out there taking care of her terminally ill mother. Her mom passed away seven weeks ago but the Vietnamese culture requires forty two days of mourning and honoring. That period ended on Sunday so they are on the road to home. I think it is going to be an adjustment for her to be back in non-Vietnamese surroundings again. She has been totally immersed in that culture and language since before Christmas last year. I think despite being here where their two children and their families are, she is going to be lonely for awhile until she readjusts. Our prayers will certainly be with her.

Well, I have a bit of devotional to read and a talk to have "upstairs", so I'm signing off for today. I hope your week is going well and now it is "half over" and you can start thinking weekend. If you are out and about in society today, be kind to all you meet and start someone else's day with a smile. Never forget God loves you and Jesus has offered you salvation. All you have to do is reach out and accept it. Peace.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Happy Tuesday! I assume you all made it through "The Great Eclipse" without incident yesterday. I did go out and try the "selfie over the shoulder" trick with my cell phone but wasn't impressed with what I could see. But, assuming I'm still alive in seven years, we can do it all over again and this time the "zone of totality" will be directly over our house. So mark your calendar for April 8th, 2014 and we'll all run outside and check on it again. I'm not trying to minimize one of God's special celestial events in the least; but I'm glad I wasn't one of those folks who drove hundreds of miles to see the sky get dark for a minute and twenty seconds.

I'm sitting here in the sunporch and my face is half numb. I spent two plus hours in the dentist chair this morning getting fitted for a new crown. It took extra time because Dr. Wolf had to repair the tooth behind the one that was broken off too. I go back to see him again on the 5th of September to have the permanent crown put in. Until then --- no gummie bear types of candy. Typical me, I was laying there in the dentist chair half dozing and in my mind I was hearing the gospel song; "I Shall Wear a Crown". But now, I'm trying to drink my coffee on one side of my mouth and not drool it or spill it all over my shirt. At least the dentist made and put in a temporary tooth so I don't have a gap there for the first time since the end of June. By the end of the day I'll be able to eat most anything I want.

It is cloudy today and we have already had one round of heavy downpour. The forecast calls for the possibility of severe storms this afternoon. I'm hoping the fact that we had this rain already will mitigate the severity of anything coming in later. Allegedly after this weather front passes through we are supposed to have excellent weather the rest of the week. So --- bring it on.

I have mostly sparrows and a couple of cardinals here at the buffet, and a couple of squirrels. When I came out here early this morning, the electric bird bath had been dumped over onto the ground. I suspecta raccoon most like did that. Last nigth I opened the door to take some stuff out to the compost pile and surprised a skunk. Of course it surprised me too but it took off and didn't spray, thank goodness.

That is about it for this Tuesday. I hope your day is going well and I hope my mouth and jaw get feeling back in them soon. LOL Peace.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday morning and it is going to be a hot and sultry day. The heat index is supposed to reach 105 degrees today, yuk! I'm writing to you from the Deaconess Surgery Center waiting room. Ms. Kate is scheduled for a cardio-vascular Doppler test this morning. It shouldn't take a long time to do and is totally non-invasive. They are just checking her blood flow. This appointment is a follow-up to one she had some months ago. That one came back good but we don't take chances.

Today is the day of the "Great American Eclipse". We are going to have a total eclipse of the sun today around 1330 hours. Evansville is in the 90% zone and the area for totality for our region is about eighty miles south of us. The news is showing that the interstate south of us is bumper tpo bumper traffic with people trying to get to the "zone of totality". The actual time span for totality is only about a minute and a half also the duration from beginning to end is about two hours. It --- the nation is going silly over it. I understand part of the excitement because celestial events are something thata I love to watch too. But -- I'll be satisfied to stay home. The sky will get darker for a bit, and then it will get bright again. I heard last night on the news that if a person uses their phone and turns on the camera so that they are taking a picture of themself, it is said that they can watch the eclipse over their shoulder.


Ms. Kate finished up rather quickly and we went to Denny's for some breakfast. I love their strawberry and crime pancake breakfast.  Now we are back home and Ms. Kate is folding laundry. I had started a couple of loads this morning before we left. She and I routinely share doing the laundry. I've been doing laundry since I was a young kid. I remember when I was real young we had a wringer washer with a dual washtub set up in the basement of the house. There was a clothesline down there that we hung the clothes on to dry during the winter and we had a triple clothesline setup in the back yard that my father made out of pipe. That's where my mother hung clothes until it got so cold that they would freeze on the line. I remember thaat you had to be careful when feeding the clothes through the wringer or you could get you hands and fingers caught in the wringer.

We attended a very good church service yesterday. We went to Crossroads Christian Church. I'm not crazy about the praise and worship music that they do. There is no recognizable tune to follow and they repeat the same phrases over and over. But the sermon was dynamic. I told Ms. Kate that I admire people that can stand there and preach like that; seemingly without notes and so at ease and enthusiastic. It's not an ability that I have; but --- I thank God for allowing me to share The Word with my style for over a decade.

Time to move on to other things. I pray your day will be filled with joy. I pray for those who aare having a rough day today and I also pray for all of the travelers on the road today who have ventured out to areas to witness the eclipse. Until next time --- Shalomn.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday afternoon and Ms. Kate is sitting her in the sunporch with me. She is busy making Christmas Cards. I think she plans on making all of our cards again this year. She does such a great job making her cards and I love it when she even makes my birthday or anniversary card. Me. ---- I hand write a note to her that says "I love you", and that is about as talented as I get.

We spent the morning at Raben Tire and Service having new tires put on the Cadillac. What with new tires on both the car and truck this week and buying a new IPhone, I have spent some money this week. But --- my spending comes in spurts like that and then I don't buy anything else for a long time. Oh --- and let's not forget the cost of a root canal and crown in the past two weeks. Yikes. I may have to go back to work so I can afford Dairy Queen or Cold Stone Creamery stops.

Yesterday we met with our good friends, Bob and his daughter Brenda for lunch at St. Joe Tavern and Inn. The waitress knews that when the four of us show up, she automatically starts two orders of deep fried mushrooms. They make the best around. We sure miss Ms. Georgia Ann at the table but are thrilled that Brenda encourages and brings her dad. It seems to be helping him return to some semblance of a new-normal now tat Georgia Ann has passed away.

After we had our lunch, we went to sister-in-law Karen's house and watered her plants and garden for her. She is in Vegas for a few days and she always looks after our place when we are gone so it is the least that we Cana do for her. She had asked me to picked the produce in her garden and I did. --- Anybody need eggplant????? She only has four plants but they are overflowing with eggplant. I don't know what we are going to do with it. One can eat only so much eggplant Parmesan.

The blackbirds and starling have certainly gotten the word that the buffet was refilled yesterday. I filled fifteen of my twenty-one feeders and today I have birds everywhere. Some one must have "tweeted" the news. (OK, even I know that was lame.)

That's it for today. I pray you will have a wonderful Holy Spirit filled weekend and arrive at Monday ready to take on life. Until then; ---- Peace.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Friday morning! The sun is shining and Ms. Margaret's lawn crew next door is busy after it already this morning. Actually I can't call it a crew today, it looks like the dad is out there by himself today since his boys are obviously back in school. But he is knocking it out pretty darned fast. It iss a pretty easy mow. There isn't a lot of flowerbeds or things to mow around. A couple of weeks ago they trimmed up that flowering crabapple tree so now they walk under it with hitting their head on a bunch of branches.

I told you that I might not get a chance to write yesterday and I didn't. I did get to Sam's to have my truck headlights lens buffed out and treated. It only cost $40.00 and they look like new. I'm anxious to see how much brighter it will be at night. They advertise that it will improve vision by 50%. That would be good because my night vision isn't as good as it used to be.

Ms. Kate and I cleaned up the electric bird bath yesterday. It had really gotten gnarly and it took a lot of scrubbing to get all of the stains out of it. But -- it is beautiful this morning as it glistens in the morning sun and it has had several visitors too. Of course we don't plug it in during the summer but it is really a lifesaver to the birds during freezing weather. I absolutely must fill all of the feeders today. I've let everything get empty of sunflower seed and of bark butter too.  And the starlings and blackbirds have moved to someone else's yard I reckon. Of course if I fill everything up today, by tomorrow afternoon they will all be back. It's a game we play I think.

Today we are meeting buddy Bob and his daughter Brenda for lunch. I'm going to cut the okra when I finish this and will take the okra to Brenda. I don't have a lot but it will make a nice mess of fried okra for her and her husband. Ms. Kate sometimes fries up okra for us but mainly she uses it in vegetable soup.

Buzzwing, the hummingbird is busy out here this morning and at the moment I have several bright yellow goldfinches at the birdbath. It is amazing how God just drops those little blessings in on ya' unexpectedly. That is just one of the myriad things that makes me enjoy life so very much. And, --- I'm so grateful that I have finally reached a point in my life where I take the time to recognize the blessings that God send constantly. Maybe it takes getting old to make you slow down and look around. I'm not so busy working and worrying about making a living and putting everything else first before God these days. I think I have always been "aware" of God's blessings but I haven't always just stopped and given proper honor to God for them.

Time to get ready and start my day. Have a most wonderful day. I'm including you in my prayers today. I hope that knowing someone has included you in their prayers will make your day a bit better. Peace.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Good morning on this hot and sultry Wednesday morning. It's eighty degrees already and the humidity is in the "very humid" range. But the cicadas seem to love it as I can hear them out there in the trees doing their summer thing. They have been here for a couple of days now and I suspect I'll be hearing them for about another week or maybe even two. The forecast calls for scattered storms today to bring down the humidity and heat just a little. Generally by Wednesday the weather folks are looking at what the weekend will be like but this week all the talk is what is it going to to be like on the 21st of August. On that day there will be a total solar eclipse and people all over the country are getting prepared to watch it. I think here in Evansville we are supposed to be able to see about a 90% eclipse. Ninety miles south of us it is supposed to be 100%. I guess if it is a cloudy or rainy day, it will just get dark for a while, I don't know. I hope to observe some part of it because there will not be another one in my life time.

 Did you miss me? It is now Wednesday afternoon. I had gotten an offer for a free entree' at PF Chang's with the purchase of one and that is pone of Ms. Kate's favorite places to eat. However, it is east of Louisville, KY, 125 miles from here. But -- we are retired and wild and crazy so up and drove over there for lunch. We added to the pleasure of the trip by also picking up a "to go" order for Julie who lives and works in New Albany, IN just across the river om Louisville. After we ate we took her her order so she can have it for her dinner since she has to keep her store open late because the college kids all move back to campus tomorrow, and she runs the college bookstore. It was a very pleasant drive over and back and always good to see one of our girls when ever we get the chance.

It never did really rain yet today and it is really hot and sultry by this afternoon. But, we won't be going back outside except for me to get the trash cans to the curb.

My afternoon crew of buffet visitors are here now; a few cardinals and finches and a squirrel or two. That is about all. The birdbath is a popular spot as I would expect it t be. I'll be late writing tomorrow, if I do write. I have to take the Dakota in for the cleaning of the headlight lens. So, until next time, have a Holy Spirit evening and take the time to give thanks for your blessings. Peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon and I'm just getting around to writing my first blog of the week. Part of the reason for that is that we have been busy doing some things around here that needed doing. Yesterday we did some shopping and took Ms. Kate to the doctor to get her poison ivy infection treated. They gave her a prescription for some strong creme and it seems to begin having some good effect. It certainly got nasty and whether it was poison ivy or poison oak --- she is certainly allergic to it.

Today we took my truck to Sam's Club for new tires. The tires on it were the original tires put on by the manufacturer ten years ago. I still only have less than 44.000 miles on the truck but the tread was below the "Lincoln Head" test on a penny and frankly they might have started to dry rot by now. So, I put new shoes on Big Red. On Thursday I'm taking the truck back to Sam's and having then refinish the headlight lens. I told Ms. Kate it will be like having Big Red's cataracts removed.

Sunday we went to church at our home church and the pastor gave a great sermon. The service was held in our outdoor chapel and during the service, Pastor Art was holding his Bible and giving his sermon and a butterfly landed on his Bible. I thought it was an awesome event.

I've been having a hard time putting my thoughts together about an incident that happened in Charlottesville, VA on Sunday. A large group of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists  were holding a demonstration in the streets. They were carrying Nazi flags and shouting their particular brand of hate speech. They were allegedly protesting the removal of statues of Confederate War Generals. Then another large group of demonstrators charged them with clubs and iron pipes etc and a huge violent demonstration broke out. At some point, one of the white supremacists got in a car and drove into the crowd and killed one person and injured 23 others.

The President of the United States has since been under fire for not "immediately condemning" the white supremacist. Instead he came out and said there is no room for hate and violence of any kind in our society and that there is blame for this incident to be shared on all sides.

My take: ---- First of all, I hate the thought of anybody marching and chanting hate and crap under any flag, let alone a Nazi flag. We had a world war  to stop that. I don't believe in White Supremacy and actions that support it. On the other hand, I don't believe in counter-groups like "Black Lives Matter" because I don't believe that black lives matter any more than any other color of people. I believe that President Trump is correct; there is blame for every side and this country will destroy itself if we don't learn that fairly quickly. I found it also repulsive that reporters wouldn't even let the President finish his statements without shouting interruptions because they didn't like the words he was using. What happened to common decency and respect for the office?  No wonder he calls the reporters "fake news" because they twist every word he says.

As I said, I have no room for violence  and hate and repugnant behavior such as destroying personal and public property. There is a proper way to handle all of these issues facing our country. Unfortunately,  we have a generation and a half of people that refuse to be held accountable for anything and believe that they can hide behind mob violence.  If they were willing to be held accountable for their opinions they wouldn't be out there with their face covered so no one recognized them. This happened from both the Left and the Right sides of the political stream. Just because your side loses an election doesn't mean you now have the right to reject the election by violence.

Let me step off of my soapbox with this. Prayer, kindness, peace, love, caring about our neighbor, respect for life and other people's opinions and property, and open dialogue have to become the watchwords of this nation. I bid you peace my friends. If you disagree with what I have said today, I'm okay with that. I will still love you and I will still pray that God gives you a boatload of blessings each and every day.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sunny Saturday, yay!!!! It is beautiful out there this morning. I can already hear lawn mowers running in yards around the neighborhoods. Folks are maybe wanting to get their yard work done early so they will have the rest of the day to do other things. We need to do some running around today too. We did go out yesterday for lunch and then to a grocery to pick up milk. Today though I need to take the truck to Sam's and maybe buy new tires for it. Sam's is running a bit of a sale on them, so we'll see what the damage is going to be. I need to get tires for both vehicles. My truck is a 2007 and this will be the first set of tires that I buy for it. No more than I drive it, I don't need to go real expensive. So, I'll most likely get Goodyear tires for it. The Caddy on the other hand will get Michelin.

We also are going to buddy Bob's place this afternoon. He called and said he had tomatoes for us. We have a few here that we have raised but his are so nice and so good and he is willing to share with us. In return, we area going to take him a couple of quarts of Ms. Kate's vegetable soup. I'm told that he has lost a good deal of weight since Ms. Georgia Ann passed away and we want to keep him healthy. I know his daughter brings him food but left on his own, I'll bet he just eats sandwiches. I only say that because that is probably what I'd do.

We went out to that new (old) tavern for lunch yesterday. I told you about it. Well, the food was "Okay" but not worth the drive all the way out there just to eat. If we happened to be geocaching in that area and got hungry --- yeh, it would be alright.

It rained most of yesterday so we limited our stops. So today we also need to pick up the sunflower seed for the birds, and I may go ahead and get a new IPhone today. I did stop at the AT&T store and check them out and I liked what I saw. The new IPhone 7plus fits in my hand nicely and has bigger number for me to use when I need to type on it.

But, I'll not get any of this done as long as I sit here drinking my coffee and watching cardinals on my feeders. So, I hope your day is blessed. I hope you have the time and opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with someone today. Until next time --- Peace.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Welcome to Friday and all that a weekend has in store for you. It is seventy four degrees this morning and cloudy. I just checked my radar app and there is a large mass of green just west of the Illinois border and it is heading this way. So, we'll be getting some rain fairly shortly I reckon.

First of all, let me thank you for your prayers for my granddaughter, lauren. Her mom sent a picture of her last night and she at least is able to smile, even if her face is a bit distorted from the swelling. It looks like maybe she won't have a black eye. Lauren was still woozy and incredibly sore, (all to be expected according to the doctors) but she's up and walking around which is great. I give praise to God who obviously protected her. The number of falls and scrapes and breaks she has had over the few short years of her life are bound to take a toll on her at some point. Her body is going to feel old at twenty four at this rate. But --- she's tough and determined and I just pray God will always hold her in God's hand as she flies through the air jumping from one hill to the next at high speeds.

Speaking of feeling old --- I'm having a hard time getting moving this morning. Ms. Kate was up way early today because she was restless and I'm just the opposite. I got out of bed and went to find her, saw that she was fine and went back to bed for another half an hour. Then I came out here tot he sunporch and promptly dozed off for another ten minutes or so. I think my eyelids are rejecting the day for lack of sunshine. And --- there isn't a lot going on in the back yard this morning either. One squirrel is out there and a couple of finches. That is about it. Maybe we all have the snoozes today.

We need to do a little running around today and pick up some stuff. I need to get a couple of forty pound bags of sunflower seed; my can is about empty. We need to go to Target and pick up a few groceries and maybe to the Farm Bureau Co-op and buy a little turnip seed. And then I think maybe we need to find a new (old) tavern and have lunch. I love country tavern food. I read about a place last night and the reviews say it has really good food. We have been by that place several times over the years but never really thought about stopping there. For you locals who might read this, it is St. Phillip's Tavern. If Ms. Kate is up to the challenge, we'll try it. I'm much more bold about trying new places than she is. I'd stop at a truck stop for a meal in heartbeat; but Ms. Kate, --- not so much. I always figure the worst that can happen is we don't like it and don't go back. The best that happen is that it becomes a new favorite place. Life is all about the journey.

If the weather holds this Sunday we are supposed to be having church in the outdoor sanctuary at Zoar. I hope it will be a nice day; I love to worship out there.

That's it for today my friends. Stay in touch with God today and know that God is ever present in your life. Take advantage of the blessings that you are being provided and share them with others. Never forget that you just might be the helping hand that God is sending to someone in trouble. Reach out and share your love. Peace.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday morning already; boy, these weeks seem to fly by sometimes. But it is another beautiful morning out there in the world beyond my sunporch. The sun is shining brightly, it is 74 degrees and I have bunch of buffet guests this morning. The cardinals are early today and I have a lot of finches here again this morning. Some are eating and some are drinking and bathing. A couple of downy woodpeckers have been here on and off too. I think we need to refill the hummingbird feeder this morning. There a couple of them here these days and they hit that little feeder pretty hard --- when they aren't fighting and driving one another off that is.

I am asking for a prayer or two this morning for our granddaughter Lauren. Yesterday she crashed her dirtbike and ended up at the hospital with a mild concusssion. She was treated, evaluated and allowed to go home. She is a professional Moto Cross rider and these things go with the job unfortunately. She wears the best of safety gear but stuff still happens, That girl scares me to death. I had a text conversation with her last night and asked her how it happened. She said she don't remember anything except being loaded in the ambulance. So I ask you to send prayers of gratitude that she wasn't hurt any worse. God is good.

Ms. Kate and I went out and worked for about an hour and a half yesterday in the flowerbeds. Have I told you just how much I dislike morning glory vines?? I have a flowerbed down by the street that the morning glory vines just take over and I have to fight them continuously. The hardest part of fighting them in that the roots of the things are often as long as the vines above ground. So I go to pull them off of the peonies and lilies and end up breaking off the roots because I am standing on the roots even though I may be five feet from where I'm pulling. It is a never ending battle. I think the first seeds for the plants were probably either in some mulch that I put on at one time or another or in some horse poop that I have spread over my flowerbed at one time or another. Where ever they come from --- they drive me nuts. I need to go back out again today and do somee more work out there. I need to take advantage of these kind of days. It is usually super hot and muggy during August and so far God has blessed us with ten August days where the temperature has yet to reach 90 degrees.

Before I head outside though I think I will fix something for breakfast. Maybe a little bacon and biscuits and eggs. I hope your day is pleasant and filled with the warmth of God's love. Peace.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The sparrows and the finches are a flitty, chirping bunch this morning. I probably have a dozen and a half out there either at the bird bath or the feeders of zipping back and forth to one or the other. I'm glad they are there though because they are my only guests at the buffet at the moment. . The cardinals will be along momentarily, it isn't quite time for their morning arrival.

It is a beautiful midweek morning with lots of sunshine and slightly cool temperatures. I love mornings like this. It is 74 degrees with a gentle breeze. It will be perfect to go out and do some yardwork this morning or even afternoon. I did go out yesterday and I finished getting the weeds out of the garden and cleaned that up. It looks so much better. I think though today I'm going to take apart a couple of the "raised beds". I made them with treated four by fours a decade ago and by now most of the wood has rotted on some of them. I need to rearrange some of that today or at least this fall. If I get the ground worked up, it might not be too late to plant somee turnip seeds out there. Ms. Kate and I love raw turnips especially when they are about the size of a baseball. My mother used to cook turnips and I wouldn't give you a dime for a boatload of cooked turnips. But pull a fresh turnip out of the ground and wash it off, peel it, and put a little salt on it --- yummy stuff to me.

Ms. Kate started out in the front flowerbed yesterday deadheading the lilies and clapping some of the trees out of there. I have a large azealia bush out there that is dying and I'm not sure why. I think it might be that the four o'clocks are actually crowding it out or robbing it of nutrients. It has died back to the point that I don't think it is salvageable. So, when the four o'clocks are done blooming, I'll clear them out and assess the situation with the azealia. It could be that the bush has simply reached its potential. I have no idea how long it has been there because it was there when we bought the place sixteen years ago, as were so many of the other azelias that are around here. Some of them have died off too. We had about 30 of them around here when we bought the place. When I look at this place I can see that we have certainly changed their house and this yard and landscape dramatically since we moved in. There are large flowerbeds and garden where there were none before, We taken out some trees and planted others. We've changed every room inside the house too. Neighbor Dan said he thinks the only thing we havn't changed is the brick on this house, and I believe he is right. BUt --- I can tell that we have slowed down a lot with what we can do these days. I'm much more quick to "hire" the hard stuff done these days. Ms. Kate and I neither one can do much kneeling out there in the yard, and my asthma runs me in the house more frequently than I like. We've gone from active to quasi-sedentary..

But --- God continues to bless us every day with tolerable good health and for that (and the medicine makers) we are grateful. I hope your Wednednesday is filled with joy and love. Peace.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

God has done it again; He has provided another beautiful morning to sit and watch my Backyard Buffet guests and admire my flowers, what few there are these days. I filled all of the feeders again yesterday but so far this morning the guest list has been sparse with the exception the hummingbirds and the butterflies. I also had some nocturnal visitors again last night; I'm not sure which ones because they came around after I went to bed. We had six or seven peaches that had gone bad and I took them out and put them on the ground under the Poplar tree because I figured something would come along and make use of them. Well, only half of them are still here this morning. So, I'll say, "You're welcome for the midnight snack" to which ever critter had them. I'm betting raccoon or skunk. It might have been the oppossum but I haven't seen it in quite awhile.

I'm seeing a lot more leaves starting to fall already. With these few cool mornings that we have had, it almost feels like fall. I've been watching the temperatures out in the Yellowstone National Park area because we are headed out there in a few weeks. It is already starting to have temperatures in the upper forties at night. I reckon I better be sure to pack a jacket along for the trip. During the first week of October, we could easily have a snowfall out there. Certainly the upper Teton elevations will be having some snow by then and the Teton Valley and Yellowstone should be awash with fall color. I think it is going to be a wonderful trip. I'm trying to decide which vehicle to take. They both have the same amount of mileage on them although the truck is a 2007 and the Caddy is a 2015. The problem is that they both need new tires too so I need to decide which vehicle I want to spend $1000.00 on first. The truck has four wheel drive if I need it, but the Caddy has XM radio and On-Star navigation if I need that.  Both are a comfortable ride but the Caddy does have more room for carrying stuff since I don't have a cover for the bed of the truck. We'll need to think about it, but not too long.

I'm going to get outside and do some flowerbed work today. It is time to pull the stems out of the lilies and I can also go ahead and cut the iris back, and then rake the dried leaves and stuff from the lilies out of the beds. If I have time, I might mow the yard too but I suspect I'll be ready to come in the house before that.

My feathered friends are starting to come in now for a snack. So far it is mainly cardinals, finches, and woodpeckers. The titmouse duo came through but they have moved on. What a joy it is to sit here and watch them. It is a blessing from God indeed. I hope your day is this peaceful and full of God's love and grace. I also hope you will take the time to acknowledge it with prayer and praise for the creator of all there is. God is so good.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Comfortably cool and cloudy is the watch word for the moment. We are still expecting some more showers although we have had about two and a half inches in the past forty eight hours. I suspect it may dry out by this evening.

How was your weekend? Ms. Kate and I had a good weekend. Friday afternoon we started looking for a day trip to take and decided that we would go to the premium outlets up in Edinburg, IN about 150 miles away. I was wanting to look at the CROC's outlet store for another pair of really casual wear shoes. So, Saturday morning we took off for Edinburg. It was a pleasant drive up through the country. I don't think we have been through that part of the state before. The road takes you through Brown County which in this area is famous for their fall foliage, the Brown County State Park, and covered bridges. We got to the outlets, did some looking around at the Coach Store but Ms. Kate didn't see anything she wanted. Then we went to the CROCs store and we each bought two pair of shoes. We weren't sure which way we wanted to head home. We could go back the way we came or we could head south on I-65 and stop at New Albany and see Julie. But, we called her and found out that she was not home and wouldn't be for the rest of the day. So, we headed back home on th same roads we went up on. It was a good day trip for us.

On Sunday we were lazy people and instead of getting ready and going to church we stayed home and attended "Our Lady of the Armchair" services. I did read my morning devotions and listened to some gospel music and did say my prayers, but that is sure the lazy way out. It is exactly the way people get in the habit of not attending church. But --- we did remember the Sabbath, and we kept it holy; I know that counts for something.

This has been a good morning for the birds to take thier baths. The robins have been in and out of the bird bath a couple of times and earlier I had seven sparrows sitting around the ring of the bird bath. They were taking turns getting in and out of the bird bath. They reminded me of when my granddaughter Amanda would go to the Beach. She would run tippy-toed in to the water and then quickly run tipped -toed back out; all the while screaming with delight. (Gosh she had a high pitched scream.) The sparrows looked just the same way as they darted in and out of the water this morning.

Our only "have to do" today was to take Ms. Kate for her blood work and we have accomplished that. It is an every six week thing for her to make sure all of her medicines are working like they are supposed to. It isn't a "fasting" thing so it isn't a big deal.  It is sometimes hard to remember when she went last though and she doesn't always go when she is supposed to.

Now, it is time to heat up some of that wonderful vegetable soup that Ms. Kate made yesterday and chow down. I've said it a thousand time, Ms. Kate kaes the best soups I've ever eaten whether it is a broth soup or a cream soup; no one does it better. So, excuse me while I go have lunch with my lady.

I pray God will grant you a love filled day and a day of peace for your soul. Shalom.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sunshine, low humidity, and seventy degrees. Can a fellow ask for anything better. I thought about that and then I added a little George Strait to the mix. (I don't always listen to gospel, just most of the time.) This is his latest album called "Cold Beer Conversations". It's a good album.

We have a couple of days of weather like this in the forecast so Ms. Kate and I need to get out and do something. I should work in the flowerbeds but I was think more in the line of a overnight road trip. Or maybe we'll just get out and do a little geocaching. We haven't done that in a few months and I have an item that I picked up the last time we were caching that I need to move to another location.

One of the things we need to do today is go to my sister in law's house and pick up some zucchini and cucumbers; or was it egg plants?? I forget. She called last night and said she is running a sale on them, LOL. So, while we are doing our running around I guess we'll add Karen's house to the agenda.

The buffet is running smooth so far this morning. Lots of cardinals, robins, finches, wrens, and so far no black critters. I threw out a couple of boxes of stale crackers last night late and I see that most of them are gone this morning. I figured that the blackbird and starlings would be all over them this morning but so far not. I suspect my raccoon and or skunk might have gotten to them last night. Or it is possible that they were eaten by birds before I got up today.

I guess I'm done for today. God has given us such a beautiful day that I'm anxious to get out there in it. There are a couple of birdfeeders that need filling, okara to be cut, and bird baths to be filled and then make use of the day in some other manner. I hope your day is blessed and full of sunny thoughts. The weekend is upon us so take time to enjoy some relaxation and take time to enjoy God's creation. I never cease to be amazed at the world around me and the perfection with which it has been created. And you, my friend, are one of the examples of perfection God created right down to the lines of your fingerprints. Take time to be thankful for thaat today. Peace.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

And a good Thursday morning to you. Boy, these weeks seem to really fly by don't they? It's hard to believe that we are coming up on the end of another week already; and this day is almost half over because I'm late getting started on stuff today. For no particular reason --- I've just been "doing stuff".

I had my nocturnal visitors last night again. They are the "midnight crew" because that is about the time they show up. I was sitting in the sunporch reading and heard a noise on the roof and figured that I would be seeing the raccoon fairly soon. It uses my halo use roof as a cut through by climbing the dogwood trees out front and then running across the roof and then climbing down the pussy willow tree. Sure enough, pretty soon I could see the feeders swinging in the pussy willow tree. I walked over to the door and there he was, about five feet from me at eye level, munching away. I stood and watched him for awhile and then I knocked on the door. It just looked at me and went back to eating. Ms. Kate came out and brought a flashlight and we opened the door and tried to shoo it away. Then we saw that "Stinker" was also in the back yard over under a different feeder eating away.  I turned on the yard light and Stinker took off but  the coon, not impressed at all, finally climbed down the tree and took off. About ten minutes later I saw the feeders further out in the yard swinging and it had moved over to them. That's when I took the BB gun to it and ran it off.

This morning the starlings came in 'en force. I've begun too refer to them as the "Speckeled Gang". They stayed and ate for awhile but then moved on. Now it is just the cardinals and the finches and the woodpeckers.

Ms. Kate and I were bored with television last night so we did a back-to-back Star Wars movie binge. We watched "Rogue One" and the "Star Wars -- The Force Awkens". We had gone to see them when they were released in the theaters but wanted to watch them again. Summer television programming gives us all time to see movies and read books. One can only watch so much HGTV and people either buying homes or remodeling homes. And as funny as the program is, we've about memorized all of the "Big Bang Theory" shows because we have seen them so many times.

We need to go to Walmart today, or so Ms. Kate says.  This afternoon we are looking at the possibility of strong storms so I guess we better get ready and go do whatever shopping we need to do. It is already cloudier than it was this morning.

I hope you are having a really good day. If it hasn't been a good day so far, please stop and take stock in your day and look for all of the things that have gone right so far. It is there that will hopefully begin to see God's blessings emerge. Build on that; and may the rest of your day continue to be fully blessed. Peace.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It was about 2200 hours last night that I realized that I had not writtten a blog for the day. By then I wasn't going to sit and write because I had already turned off my brain for the day.   So today I'll start my day with the blog before I do my other normal routine stuff that doesn't amount to a hill of beans, although, yes, I did make coffee first and have a cup right beside me.

I have a good mixture of guests at the buffet this morning. There are three, maybe  four, cardinals, a handful of sparrows, and house finches and gold finches. Two wrens have been singing to me. A chickadee sits on the birdbath, and of course, the bully gang of starlings is here, but only three of them so far. The hummingbird is darting around the phlox and magic lilies, and the hummingbird feeder. So it is an entertaining morning full of God's creatures and God's blessings. The peace and quiet and tranquil scene is all I need to allow my mind to wander to the enormity and wonder of the world God has created and remind me what a blessing it is to be alive and healthy, (relatively so).

My little nocturnal "special kitty", Mr. Stinker was here again last evening. I was sitting out here around 2300 hours and saw him right outside the door eating the residual seeds and stuff that had been left from the day of birds spilling stuff from the feeders. Yesterday afternoon, I threw a bunch of egg shells out in the flowerbed and I figured that the birds and the skunk would come around and eat them. What doesn't get eaten will be good for the soil, although from the looks of it this morning, a good half of them are gone. This past weekend I threw a half dozen ears of sweet corn out in the yard because it was too far gone to be good eating for us. The next morning those ears were scattered all over the yard and the cobs were mostly stripped. I don't now if it was the skunk or the raccoons. Generally if something is carried away, it is the raccoons that do it. Every once in awhile I'll have to go looking for one of my suet feeders because the raccoons have knocked it outside of the tree and carried it away.

I managed to get all of the grass and weeds cleaned up around my mailbox yesterday. I should go out there and spray some round up on the. Area now and kill any residual roots. It was really looking bad.  I just don't get out there like I should and I have a thousand excuses for why. it, the bottom line is that I have gotten lazy and fat and I need to change my ways. Oh, I do a pretty good job of staying after it but I find it a lot easier to say "tomorrow" these days. I have a hard time breathing when I get busy out there in the heat and humidity and I give in to that far too easily.

It is the 2nd of August already. Kids will be going back to school soon and summer vacations will be over. However, I think I told you we are planning a vacation out to the Black Hills and the Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons at the end of September. I'm very excited about that. I sent off for some South Dakota vacation guides and stuff and have been getting stuff from them via email. I'm very excited that I will finally get to see the annual Buffalo round up; although I suspect it is going to be a zoo. They say as many as 15,000 people show up for that three day weekend and event. But I'll still get my "bucket list" item checked off.

OK, that is it for today. Time to just sit and enjoy my morning for awhile. The butterflies are here flitting from flower to flower. The wren continues to serenade me and the starlings are still having a knockdown rumble out there. Life goes on and God continues to shower me with blessings. Peace.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A beautiful morning greeted me today once again. It is currently 77 degrees with a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky. The humidity is in the "tolerable" range and temp is only going up to 88 today. All in all, a great way to start the week off.

I filled fifteen of the feeders last night and my guests so far this morning have been cardinals, hummingbirds, gold finches and woodpeckers. Neither the blackbirds nor the squirrels have discovered that the buffet is fully stocked once again. The pleasant addition today has been the amount of butterflies I have out there on the phlox. I see seven at the moment. So it is a relaxing view as I sit here with my cup of coffee admiring God's handi-work and count it as blessing.

Julie, Jim and the pups did come over on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend with us. It is always wonderful to have the kids come by. We went out to uroni's for pizza on Friday evening. That's always a good place to go. Saturday we went out to breakfast then to my sister-in-law's house and picked up some fresh veggies she wanted to share, then to Mr. Bob's house to get squash and sweet corn, and finally to the grocery. We came home and dropped off our produce and croceries and Ms. Kate, the Jim, Julie, and I went bowling. That didn't go well. The very first ball I threw, my foot "stuck" instead of sliding and I "face-planted" in the alley and gutter. I banged the heck out of my knee and it hurt like the dickens. Then a family came to bowl in the alley next to us and I don't think they had ever been in a bowling alley. They were all up in their alley and ours, taking "selfies" and dancing around. One of us would start to deliver our ball and one of them would jump up and bowl in front of us. So --- we only bowled the one game and we left. The alley manager did give us three passes for a free game the next time we go there. The good news is that my knee is a lot better by now. It is still very sore to touch but I have no problem walking.

So, today's activities will include changing the sheets on the guest bed and washing them up, mowing the lawn, and taking Ms. Kate to the Apple Store to have her IPad reset. She has no volume or sound on it unless she uses her ear phones. Julie spent a good deal of time yesterday backing it up and getting her ready to take it to the dealer for the reset. I also need to get a new alarm clock. I've been wanting a "Baby Ben" but haven't found one yet. I had an alarm clock but the ringer on it quit. Then I got another one but it ticks so pound that it keeps you awake. It sounds like the crocodile in the Peter Pan story. LOL And, while we are out I guess I'll go rob a bank  or somethiing so I can go to the bird feed store. I'm out of about everything again. It's a $100.00 bill minimum everytime I have to restock like this.  Uh oh ---- the first starling just showed up. There goes the neighborhood.

I hope your week is filled with good things and I hope you spend the week in touch with God. Doing so will just make the week go so much easier and stress free. Be kind to your neighbors and smile at people whether you know them or not. You just might be the only bright spot in some one's day. Peace.

Friday, July 28, 2017

I don't know what is going on out there in the trees and the fire bushes; but the squirrels have something going on. They are bouncing and jumping through the branches and the limbs look like springboards as they leap from one to another. It is very interesting to watch and even more amazing that the branches don't break. It is amazing that they land on the thinnest branches with force and they don't fall. Obviously there is a community game of tag going on, or, --- civil war has been declared between the clans.

It rained last night quite a bit, although I don't know how much. It was another "good rain", fairly slow and steady.  The good thing is that we didn't have any of the storms that were predicted although I know other parts of the country did get them. But today it is mostly cloudy and "cool" (relatively speaking) and the humidity has dropped considerably. All in all we are supposed to have a good weekend.

Julie, Jim and the pups are coming over this evening and spending the weekend. We have a few things planned like going to the farm stand and the butcher shop and I think we may be going bowling. We haven't done that in a decade. Jim is a really good bowler and usually scores well up in the 200's. I like to bowl and I used to bowl on Squadron teams while I was in the military. I was never a good bowler but the guys felt obligated to let the Commander play too; and I was always good for handicap. But, if I rolled a 140, that was about as good as it got. My biggest problem was always that I would get aggravated at myself and then I'd "over-correct" what I thought I was doing wrong and that made it worse. That's also why I never play golf. I don't have the patience.

The buffet is empty on all fronts. I didn't fill the feeders yesterday and they really cleaned out every single feeder. Today and been a ground feeding day and the ground has been teeming with birds of all kinds and sizes. Robins, sparrows, house finches, cardinals, starlings, grackels, wrens and doves are all out there cleaning up residual that has come to the surface of the grass after the rain. I'm glad to let them have at it and I'll wait until this evening to fill my feeders. So in fact, the buffet is still there, it is just on the ground. Even the squirrels are eating sunflower seeds from the ground. Good on them.

Time to start my day and quit sitting around. We need to go to the bank and to the grocery, and I need to check my can and see what I may need from the bird food store. I hope your day is blessed and I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Don't forget to attend your house of worship. Peace.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's sprinkling, -- or is it drizzling? I think maybe sprinkling is the word I want for this morning's rain. I can barely hear it on the roof of the sunporch and as I look at the bird baths, the drops splashing in the water aren't with any regularity. I'd think if the rain were just a bit heavier then we would call it drizzle. --- Wow! A symantec argument with myself first thing this morning. It's gonna' be a strange day, I think. (or is it "thought' since I had it past tense?)

And a happy Thursday to you! Yes, it is raining and my Accu-Weather app says it will continue for at least another two hours. We have a possibility of strong storms this afternoon, but right now it is a "perfect slow rain". It makes the flowers stand up --- and the eyelids droop. LOL

The buffet this morning doesn't have a lot of visitors at the moment. Mostly I have just sparrows, a goldfinch or two, a hummingbird, and a starling and a grackle. The starling and the grackle are taking turns trying to get the last vestiges of food out of a feeder that they can barely get their head into. It is designed to let the small birds in and keep the large birds out. Much better in concept than practicality. I told you yesterday that they decimated the cylinder of suet and it was totally gone. Now they are trying to get at what was a larger caged block of a seedcake that is advertised "for woodpeckers". However, not many woodpeckers get to eat from it because of the black birds of all types. But, they too are God's creatures and at the moment, nothing else is trying to eat that food, so what the heck?

I think this morning's breakfast will be a couple of chocolate chip, chocolate cupcakes. Ms. Kate made up a dozen of them yesterday morning and they are delicious. They are from a box mix from "Simple Mornings", and they remind me of the larger version of cupcakes that we used to get from Sam's. Heather introduced us to these Simple Mornings mixes down in TN while we were on vacation.  So, if you happen to be in the baking aisle of your grocery, see if they have them and try a box or two.

We finished planning our fall vacation trip. It will take us a couple of weeks and I am really excited about it. It looks like we'll be traveling about 3400 miles and only have one really long hard day of travel. Sometimes the towns and cities are just too far apart to find accomodations. So our second day out we'll be putting in about 600 miles. That's a long day for us. We generally like to top end it at no more than 450 miles.

Time to refill the coffee cup and grab a cupcake. The rain has stopped for the moment and the buffet guests are arriving. Have a pleasant day. Peace.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happy Middle Week! Today is supposed to be the hottest day of the week with triple digit heat index and humidity ranging up in the "very-humid" category. Yuk. It's all leading up to thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and then supposedly a very nice weekend. That would be nice.

A couple of days ago I filled the bird feeders and one of the things I put out was a suet cylinder that was two inches in diameter and I guess about seven inches tall. It is made up od corn meal and peanut butter and whatever else. Well, I have watched the starlings just decimate that thing. They finished off the last crumbs of it this morning. They are such terrible birds. They fight and peck over the least little bit of food. If they want to eat off of a certain feeder and there is another bird there, they will literally land on that bird to run it off. Often they will do that and then not eat anything. They just don't want the other bird having it. They travel in little flocks of about a dozen and when they are here they just take over. Every once in a while something will stand up to them, but not often. The larger woodpeckers stand the best chance against them. In the animal world, they most remind me of a pack of hyenas.

I need to do some small limb and twig picking up in my back yard today and I also need to get some on the weeds out of my garden. I picked our couple of tomatoes yesterday but I need to pick the green beans today too, and check on the okra. I got my front yard mowed and neighbor Dan's yard mowed. That couple of inches of rain we had over the weekend really perked the grass back up and it needed mowing. The back yard --- not so much. There is so much shade back here that the grass really doesn't nee a lot of mowing during the summer. I did take the weed eater to the backyard yesterday and cleane up a couple of areas that needed it. The lilies need to have the dead stalks removed from them too. There is always something to do. I remind myself of that each time I think about buying that eight acres with the barns on it. The pictures and the drone footage show it all mowed and neat. But, that had to have been mowed with a tractor and bush-hog, neither of which do I have. I barely get my business taken care of here; I can't imagine what it would be to travel thirty minutes up the road and take care of that place. However, it doesn't mean that I don't talk to myself about it every day. LOL.

Julie and Jim are coming over this weekend. Haven't seen them since the family trip to Gatlinburg. Not only does her college bookstore keep her swamped, but now she has returned to attending college too. Just like my other girls, she's a work-a-holic. The difference between her and the other girls is that she is doing it with severe Rhumatoid Arthritis.

That's it for today. Time for a little meditation and convesation with the God who makes all things possible. I have a load of blessings to be thankful for again today and need to express that. I pray your day will be blessed and full of God's peace.

Until next time; Peace.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Good morning and a very happy Tuesday to you. It's another bright and warm summer morning, not quite eighty degrees yet but almost. There is very little wind stirring so hot will be hot. I didn't get my yard mowed yesterday so I reckon I'll do that today at some point.

We did get up to see friend Bob yesterday again. We had a nice visit with him and came away with a box full of summer squash. We also picked up some corn on the cob at a farm stand and last night Ms. Kate fixed corn on the cob, summer squash, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from our Garden and I fixed pork steaks on the grill. It was a delicious summer time meal. In my mind, summer time is all about the fresh veggies and then winter is all about all of the wonderful soups that Ms. Kate makes. Bob sent enough squash home with us that I think Ms. Kate is going to freeze some of it for vgatable soup at a later date.

I filled bird feeders and bird baths again yesterday so all of my buffet guests are happy. My nocturnal guests are happy too. I saw a feeder swinging in the dark last night and opened up the door and found a small raccoon ou there happily eating from one of the feeders. I tried to shoo it away but it just sat there and looked at me and went right back to eating. So I got my BB gun and shot it point blank. Well, it jumped down and tried to hide behind a couple of branches so I shot it again. Then it dropped down to the ground and tried to peek around the tree at me so I shot it again. By then it took the hint and started across the yard. About half way to the yard barn it stopped and looked back at me so I shot it again. Finally it ran off. Needless to say, I'm not hurting it and I'm only an interruption to snack time.

Did you ever want something just because you wanted it? I'm that way about certain things and one of them is land. I'd love to own some small acreage with a barn on it and a pond. Well, last evening I found just such a place about thirty miles north of us up in Princeton IN. It is eight acres, has two barns on it and a stocked pond. It has electricity and water and they only want $110,000.00 for it which is really a great price. The land is flat and it is cleared and fish are in the pond just waiting for me to come pull them out. But you see, I have no idea what I would do with it if I had it and a certainly don't have $110K to spend like that. So, I have marked the website in my computer and I will pull it up and salivate over it once in a while until I get over it. I had really hoped to have just such a place when I retired from the Air Force but at the time there just wasn't any such thing available, so we settled for living in a subdivision which was the absolute last thing I wanted. But --- having said that, I do love the house we are living in. I just wish it was surrounded by a few acres instead of a 14,000 sq. Ft. lot. I told Ms. Kate last night that I could be out there every day on my John Deere if I had this new property. Somehow though, I think it would become a job rather than a hobby. Oh well.

It isn't getting any cooler today so I guess I better get out of my recliner and into my blue jeans and get to work. I hope you have a blessed day, mine already has been. Peace

Monday, July 24, 2017

A blessed good Monday morning to you. Are you ready to start a new week? I think Ms. Kate and I are, --- although the only thing on the agenda that I know of is to go to Mr. Bob's house and raid his refrigerator of squash. He has squash coming out the wazoo! We picked up a few last week from him and he showed me his squash plants. He only planted two plants but they are huge. I'd guess that they  would easily fill an 8X10 foot space. I've not seen squash that looked that healthy and had that many squash coming on. We saw him and Brenda (his daughter) at church yesterday and Brenda said she was about "squashed out"! But, Ms. Kate says that maybe we could pick up some and put it in the freezer to put in vegetable soup at some later date. While we are out, I'd like to find a place to get some corn on the cob too. And maybe even some larger tomatoes. I love BLT sandwiches but I want the tomato to be a big slab. What we raise are only about two inches in diameter and while they are good --- I want a slab to cover the whole sandwich. Yeh, I know --- picky, picky. 

We had a good weekend. I did the sermon at church yesterday and it went well and was received. People said all the usual nice things that are said to the plaster as they leave. But, the comments sounded sincere and several said I am welcome to fill in any time. I loved being able to do that; although, as hard as I worked on that sermon, it reminded me why I retired from the pulpit. 

I mentioned to you Saturday, I think, that maybe Ms. Kate and I should look at a September vacation. Well, I found an advertisement about the annual fall round-up of the buffalo in Custer National park. It is going to be held on September 29th starting at 0600 hours. They will be rounding up approximately 1300 - 1600 buffalo. It will be a sight to see, smell, and experience. I told Ms. Kate that I would really like to finally get to do that; so we spent most of Saturday planning a vacation around that event. All told, I think we will be gone about two weeks in and around Custer, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons. We will have all the time in the world to just ramble around out there and see everything we want to see. I'm excited about the trip and my chance to "Cowboy-up"! This has been a "bucket list" item for many years. We still need to look at our travel on the front end and the back end of the trip but that won't take a lot of planning, That is just a matter of route and finding hotels. One of the places we intend to stop on the way home is Laramie, WY so we can go to our favorite restaurant, "The Cavalryman" We discovered this place by accident many years ago and now we arrange our travel so that we don't miss it when we travel in that direction. It's expensive but it is such a treat. 

I need to go out and fill bird feeders and maybe even pull some weeds in the garden before it gets altogether too hot again today. I hope your start to a new week of challenges and blessings goes extremely well. Never forget for one second that no matter where you are or what you are doing, God is there beside you and the love of Jesus Christ will wrap itself around you. What more could you ask for? Shalom. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy Saturday once again! This week sure rolled through quickly didn't it? I think the only thing I have talked about this week is the heat. This morning is no different. It is just past 0900 and the heat index is already at 92 degrees. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the day does it? I think it is going to be another stay inside day. Although, it does look like I need to fill a feeder or two and of course the bird baths.

I'm giving the sermon tomorrow at my home church, I probably told you that. So today I also have to go over that again and read through it a couple of times so I'm totally familiar with what I wrote. (That sounds like a silly thing to say doesn't it?) I just want to be able to "give it" as opposed to "read it". It comes out much more natural that way. If you are a public speaker, you'll know exactly what I mean. I find it extremely interesting that my daughter Julie, who has chosen to go back to college at fifty years of age, is most terrified at taking her class on public speaking. That girl can talk to anybody about almost anything. She is a natural born conversationalist.  But, put her where she has to make a presentation and she gets totally nervous. I on the other hand have been in front of people almost all of my life either playing music, or speaking and it doesn't bother me at all. I started playing the accordion in front of people at about six years of age. (If you can proudly stand there like a geek at that age, you have the world by its collar.)  By the sixth grade I had put together a little German Band and played my cornet for crowds like the Farm Bureau and church etc and was winning music contests left and right. In high school, I formed a little five piece combo and we played for all sorts of  things.  However, I'm not, and never have been  a good "one on one" conversationalist. I envy people who can just join in a working conversation and feel right at home. I reckon we all have our limitations and we don't like to stray out of our wheel house.

I'm seeing the very first of the leaves drop from the trees already. Of course I know that it is because of the heat, but, it just kind of reminds me that August is slipping up on us in another week and kids will be going back to school in maybe three weeks. Time does march on. Ms. Kate and I don't have any more vacations planned until December but maybe we need to re-think that for somethiing to do in September too when the leaves start to turn and maybe the weather gets a little cooler. It isn't like we are constrained by having to get our kids back in school or anything like that. And by then, all of the summer vacationers will have come back home. Yep, --- we need to think about that.

Saturday is here and I hope you are getting a chance to relax with your family and preparing to go to a house of worship at some point this weekend. God spentthe week providing for you. Take time now to return to Him with praise and thanksgiving. Have a blessed day.

Friday, July 21, 2017

It's going to be another dangerously hot day today with heat index at 105-110. As one of our local car dealers says "It's hot Don!!!"

I went out and filled the bird baths again this morning. They had splashed all of the water out of the one and half of the water out of the other. I expect they will do the same again today. It is funny to watch them kind of line up. I've seen four or five starlings at a time in there and then cardinals and robins. The robins really get down and splash it all around. Sometimes the finches and the sparrows will sit on the side and enjoy the benefit of the splashing from the other birds. Above the hummingbird feeder I have a little cup device that holds water. It is designed to keep the ants from getting to the hummingbird feeder and clogging up the holes. The finches and the wrens use that little cup as their personal watering hole. It is so cute to watch them come and sit on the edge of that cup and get their drink.

I had a great birthday; very relaxing. I did call my buddy Bob and we went to see him yesterday afternoon for awhile. It was a good visit and was a bit of self healing for all three of us. He and his daughter Brenda plan to come to my home church this Sunday because I am preaching. It will be wonderful to share worship with them again. Ms. Kate and I went to dinner at a favorite tavern and then to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. Then we came home in time to watch Mountain Men. We are exciting people.

I guess despite the heat, we need to go to the grocery store. It isn't a bad thing but I don't like the going in and out of the air conditioning. We are running low on some of the necessities or we certainly would stay in the house. I was watching Ms. Margaret's mowing crew again this morning. They came early to beat the heat. They trimmed up her crabapple tree finally. It really needed it. The young boys of the crew were fully engaged in a crabapple war again this week. Teenaged boys --- what are ya' gonna do??

That's it for this morning. Another weekend is here and I hope you can use it to relax. Take time to get in tough with God. He's waiting to hear from you. Peace.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today is my 73rd birthday! (Cue the music and sing the song) It takes a lot of living to get to be seventy three.  As I told Ms. Kate last night; "the best thing about turning seventy three is that I didn't die at seventy two." But beyond that I'm just blessed to be awake for another day and feeling good about a life filled with an abundance of blessings. I'm blessed to have a family that loves me and I've heard from all of them this morning already. My Facebook page is full of well wishes so apparently I'm still well remembered by friends of my past. I'm confident in my relationship with Christ and so --- I reckon if for some reason I don't reach 74 --- no harm, no foul. As the song says --- God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy. I continue to love my life. I hear sirens coming down the road; I hope Ms. Kate didn't light all of the candle on my cake!! LOL

The sad note of my birthday is that I lost one of my birthday sharing friends this year. Ms. Georgia Ann passed away this spring. She would have been eighty eight. Ms. Kate and I miss her. I will call her husband, Bob, here in a few minutes because I know this is going to be a hard day for him. Bob celebrated at least sixty five of her birthdays with her because they were married that long. For the past several years they and we have gone out to a local tavern for lunch on our birthdays and had deep fried mushrooms, a cold beer, a plate lunch and great conversation. The good times do pass away as our friends pass away. But good memories still remain.

I filled the feeders yesterday and the bird baths. I'll need to fill the bird baths again today. They have splashed out most of the water again. I only put out sunflower seed with the exception of two of the bark butter feeders. I also set out a half of a watermelon in the flowerbed. I cut it yesterday and we ate part of it but it really lacked much flavor. I think it just wasn't quite ripe yet. So I set half of it out there. I think that maybe the birds can peck away on that and get hydration for it. I'll give it a couple of days and if I don't see that they are making use of it, I'll throw it in the compost pile.

I read a novella by Stephen King yesterday called "Gwendy's Button Box". He co-wrote it with another writer and it was really a good little book. It had a bit of "fantasy" stuff in it but wasn't strange or dark like so many of King's books are. Julie gave it to me along with another book called "Stephen King and Philosophy". I've started that one but, --- I need to be in the mood for deep thinking to read that and it's too hot for deep thinking. LOL. But, I recommend you pick up a copy of "Gwendy's Button Box". You can maybe even get it as an E-book, I'm not sure of that though.

I've been chatty enough and I need to refill my coffee cup. Also, it might be may birthday but Ms. Kate wants me to carry the laundry out so we can do that today. I hope your day is blessed. Mine certainly has been already. Keep a close eye on your elderly neighbors. (Dang, I'm getting to be one of those!) This heat is miserable and there are always stories of older people who won't turn on an air conditioner because it costs too much for electricity. Be a good steward and friend.

I gotta call Bob.   Peace!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good morning to ya'. I hope your morning has started well. Mine has as I set here with my cup of coffee and look around at the beautiful purple phlox blooming in the various flowerbeds out here in the back yard. The phlox is about the only thing blooming though with the exception of a couple of my potted plants. I do see one orange lily and a few blooms on the knockout roses. The yard hasn't turned totally brown yet in this heat but I certainly don't need to mow it, at least not out back. The front yard could use it but I'm going to wait until the weekend.

Today is officially listed as a dangerous heat wave day and an ozone alert day so I won't be going outside much today. I went out last evening and put the sprinklers on the garden trying to save that. My cucumbers just never did do anything but lay there and my squash is all but dead. I'm hoping that watering it last night good will help it spring back to life. There are still blooms on it. The same goes for the tomatoes and the green beans. They are all putting on and still have blooms on them. We had a good mess of green beans for supper last night along with Ms. Kate's meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Can ya' spell "yummmmmm"? That's country food. Then last night she peeled a few peaches and sliced them up and put ice cream with them. I was a fellow with a happy tummy last night.

I filled the bird baths again last night. Between the birds splashing the water out and the heat evaporating it, i need to fill it at least every other day. And, --- I have to fill the feeders again today. I should do that this morning while it is still cloudy and not quite as hot as it is going to get this afternoon. I threw out a loaf of bread last night that was stale and it is totally gone this morning. I don't know if some furry critter came through and ate it or if the birds ate it up before I got out here this morning. I suspect though that a raccoon or the skunk might have gotten it and carried it all off.

I did get a bit of writing done yesterday and I might do some more today. That's is a good use for days like today. I can be a little productive and still stay out of the heat. In the mean time I guess I will throw on my jeans and go out and fill the feeders. I don't dare wear my shorts out there. I did that last evening while I was watering the gardens and the mosquitos were drawn to my lily white legs like a beacon. LOL I seldom get bit but these are literally some blood thirsty little suckers.

I hope you have a wonderful day and I hope you get the chance to stop and take stock of your blessings and give thanks for them. God is great and life is so good why gen we remember that. If you have an elederly neighbor and are affected by this heat wave, give them a call and check on them. I close with prayers for peace in your mind and soul.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It is amazing that I don't have a single blackbird out here this morning. There isn't a single bit of soft food hanging out there and as I predicted the blackbirds have gone somewhere else. So, I think I will just keep it this way for awhile and only put out sunflower seed, thistle seed and bark butter on the horizontal feeder because the blackbirds can't cling upside down. I have no doubt that if I went out there and refilled all of those other kids of feeders that I'd have a yard full of starlings and blackbirds in less than five minutes. I've noticed that every little bit, a scout comes flying through and checks things out.

We are beginning what they are calling an oppressive heat wave this week and it looks like it may go for at least a week. We're having heat indexes over 102 -105 with very high humidity. I think Ms. Kate and I will stay in unless we absolutely have to go out. I'm having enough trouble breathing as it is and I don't need to play outside, not even to ride my John Deere. Ms. Kate and I went to the movie last night and got out around 2200 hours and it was still 85 degrees. I need to be sure and keep the bird baths filled.

We went to see "War for the Planet of the Apes" last night. Some of you may remember the first of the Planet of the Apes movies decades ago with Charelton Heston. I think it may have been one of the first of the apocalyptic types of movies. Hollywood has been finding new ways to blow the world apart ever since. But this movie was very well done and I recommend that if you need or want a date night, buy a couple of tickets and some popcorn and settle in for this one. There is enough mixture of sweet stuff and action that it will satisfy both husbands and wives.

I don't know what I'll do today since I don't want to get out. Maybe I'll go down to my desk and do some work on my book that I'm writing. Or, I also have an idea for a sermon rumbling around in the back of my mind that I could start putting in print. That way I'd have a fresh sermon ready if I get a call to preach someplace again. Or maybe I'll read for awhile. Who knows???

I guess that is about it for today. The butterflies are out there on the phlox and the hummingbird are at the feeder so I think I'll just sit here and finish my coffee and enjoy the blessings that God sends my way. Stay cool folks. Peace.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another week opens up for us providing the promise of opportunities to do good things and just maybe help someone in need. It is a hot one to start off the week though and the weather folks tell us it will only get worse by weeks end because the humidity is going to just keep rising. But rather than thinking grumpy thoughts, let's remember that this same heat and humidity is making all of those ears out there on the corn stalks mature and is making those tomatoes get bigger. God always provides a rainbow or silver lining with the clouds.

I woke up this morning under the weather health wise, so I went back to bed for awhile. I think now though that my GI tract and I have agreed to co-exist without conflict and I am feeling much better. I hate waking up like that. But, I'm grateful that it seems to have pretty much passed now. (No that wasn't a pun.)

I think I am going to have to change strategies out there with the buffet. The darned blackbirds have gone through almost $30.00 worth of food since Saturday. I now have a flock of about a dozen or maybe even more that stay here constantly and they eat all of the "soft food" like the bark butter bits and the bark butter paste as well as the seed cylinders. I know they will eventually migrate on as soon as the crops are starting to be harvested in the fields. So, I think I'm going to just put out sunflower seed for while and see what happens. The cardinals and all the other birds like sunflower seeds and will eat that just fine. Even the woodpeckers like sunflower seeds and they still will have the bark butter feeder that has the holes on the bottom that I can use, and the finches still have the thistle seed to eat from the thistle feeders. We'll see what happens but I can't afford to keep feeding birds that run all of the other birds off.

We had a good weekend around here. Ms. Kate made a meatloaf and I love her meatloaf. I like to make meatloaf sandwiches and that's what I did last evening for supper. I threw a slab of a tomato on it and was a happy camper. Yesterday morning we went to church aand then went to Max & Erma's for lunch. We don't go there often but the food is usually pretty good when we do. Saturday afternoon we sat and watched the a movie  that we had bought some time ago. It was part of the Mad Max re-make series. It was very confusing and frankly Mel Gibson and Tina Turner did a much better job in the originals twenty-five years ago.

Well, I'm done for today. I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. Take the time to be grateful for what God has provided. Shalomn.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Welcome to a wonderful beautiful Saturday morning. "This is a day that the Lord has made --- Let us rejoice and be glad in it." It is a sunny, breezy 76 degree morning and best od all the humidity has dropped for a few hours at least. The sun is shining on all of my backyard buffet guests --- but unfortunately they are all black in color. The starling and grackle gang are here in force fussing and pecking away at one another. But in the sunshine even the Grackels are pretty. Their color is so very black that is look almost blue when the sin hits them a certain way. Just another one of those ways that God shows me another miracle of His beauty.

I don't think Ms. Kate and I have any plans today but then, we haven't taken any time to talk yet today. She's in her office with her computer games and coffee and Facebook and I'm doing the same thing on my IPad with my coffee. It is a daily routine for both of us. We'll fetch each other a second cup of coffee once in a while but leave each other alone with our own "wake-up" time. Perhaps a little later we'll head out to the farm stands and also to Rural King or Target and look for a new gazing ball. The one I had out back here got smashed by a limb that fell. We had owned it for several years so we got our $25.00 worth of pleasure out of it.

I did finish the sermon that I was working on. I finished it up last night. I need to read it again now, and then I also want to pass it over to Ms. Kate to make sure it all makes sense. I'm glad to have it written because it was a sermon idea I've had for awhile but had not done anything with because I had no reason to put it down on paper. What I should do I guess, is when something like that pops into my tiny brain, I should go put it down; and then as it develops in my mind add notes and thoughts to it. That way when the need arises, I can unscramble it and come up with something worth presenting. That's what I should do --- but that sounds terribly organized for a retired guy.

I have a couple of squirrels out here this morning but I haven't seen Stumpy or Broken tail  for over a week. I don't know what has happened to them. Possibly they have moved on or maybe the hawk got them. I was really waiting for Stumpy to come around and try to eat off of that feeder that he always stretches out to. I filled it with cayenne laced bark butter bits. The birds couldn't care less but I wanted to see Stumpy grab a mouthful of those pellets. Perhaps one of them did because none of the squirrels are trying to eat off of it now.

It is time for a fresh cup of coffee and I see that the black birds are moving out and the wrens and cardinals and other more "invited guests" are starting to arrive. So, I'm jumping off. Have a wonderful weekend. My daughter Heather and her family are flying back to the CONUS today from Hawaii so keep them in your prayers for safe travel. Peace.

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's the last work day for another week if you are a Mon thru Fri type of person. I hope you have plans  then to relax and refresh yourself before you start all over again on Monday.

We had rain last night although I don't know how much or for how long. It was lightly raining as I went to bed last night and the sidewalks and street are still slightly wet this morning. It is a cloudy day and we expect more rain yet today and possibly even some strong storms. We needed the rain or at least my garden certainly needed the rain. I need to check on my garden again this morning. I think I have green beans ready to pick again. My little crop of beans do seem to put on fairly well. I have just enough out there to make a couple of servings each time I pick them. We may need to go to a farm stand somewhere today or tomorrow and pick up some produce again. Last night we finished off the corn on the cob we had bought earlier in the week. This morning Ms. Kate sectioned out the last of the cantaloupe and we are having it for breakfast this morning. I'd like to find a seedless watermelon but so far the only place I've found seedless ones are in the grocery store.

I guess I have made my backyard buffet guests wait long enough. They have emptied the feeders almost completely. I was hoping (but knew better) that the black birds and starlings would finally decide I wasn't going to refill them and would go away. But they are worse than a bad check. They just keep bouncing back. The caged feeders are made to allow the smaller birds to be able to get in and keep the bigger birds out. But these dang blackbirds just stretch their neck in as far as they can to peck  at the seed cylinders. So, I guess I'll accept defeat and give in and fill everything up again today. I also have to fill up the bird baths again. Yesterday afternoon there were three blackbirds out there in one of them and there was hardly any water left at all because of all the splashing. I know it didn't rain enough to fill them back up so I guess I'll do it.

I think I'll be spending a good part of my time today working on the sermon I'm preparing. It is on the disciple Peter and the very human journey he took to accomplish Godly things. I have a good start but as usual, my brain runs ahead of my fingers and I don't get it down like I want to the first couple of times around. The joy is in the search for sure.

The Talleys are providing my morning devotional through song. I love to listen to them sing because they put such heart and soul in their presentation. There is a special three day workshop being presented by them down in Gatlinburg in September that I would love to attend but I guess I will just be satisfied to listen to them here in my sunporch.

My morning entertainment special today is the crew of boys that are supposed to be mowing Ms. Margaret's yard. perhaps they are done but at the moment they are engaged in a flowering crabapple fight. They keep coming back and pulling crabapples off of the tree and are having a battle royale throwing them at one another. If Ms. Margaret sees them, there will be heck to pay.

Time to finish up my coffee and get on with the day. I pray your day will be filled with the love of God and the joy of the Holy Spirit. If you are making plans for the weekend --- don't forget what the Sabbath is all about. Peace.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I've written my blog from some strange places but this morning I'm sitting in the beauty shop. Ms. kate needs a trim this morning. What should have been a walk-in, walk-out is going to take a little longer. Her stylist has another customer in the chair so Ms. Katie is waiting. I was going to just sit in the car and listen to the radio but it is warm enough to run me inside.

Yesterday was root canal day for me. What a great way to start off the morning. I don't mind having that procedure done. After the first shot, which is little more than a slight pinch, everything is numb and it is a matter of just laying there in the chair while they do what they have to do. They even put a "block" in there to hold your mouth open so you don't have to do that, and they put on a rubber dam around the tooth so none of the crud gets in your mouth. The only residual is some pain in the jaw today from the shots. In a couple of days I will call my regular dentist and set up an appointment to have the crown made and installed. I'll be glad to have it all done though. I'm tired of have a space there and not being able to chew on that side, and I'm tired of getting shots in my jaw.

Conversations are interesting sitting in a beauty shop; so much different than the barbershop. I'm learning about the joys of shopping at Goodwill stores, and different places to get good clothes cheap. "After all people go casual these days and what you wear isn't nearly as important as it was years ago." I've learned that's Dottie is heading to Tennessee tonight yet even though she just got home from another trip. She's picking up her grandson and then they are heading to Mt. Vernon and Monticello and Williamsburg and other great places in that area. Her 'granddaughter isn't going because she has baseball camp and heck them two fight like cats and dogs anyway." --- If I was at the barbershop the conversations would be a bunch of chiding one another and talking about local sports and weather and some politics interspersed with some colorful language.

From here we are going to the nail salon and Ms. Kate and I are going to get pedicures. I don't know what they talk about there because they are all oriental and speak what ever their native language is. From there we need to go to the Cadillac dealership. I want to ask them about the extended warranties for my car that they are offering me now that my original warranty is about up.  ---- So today is another busy day and this afternoon we are supposed to get thunderstorms. By they time we get all of our running around don, it will be time to come home and hit the recliner for an eyelid check.

I hope your day is happy. I hope your day is full of the joy that comes from a relationship with God. Peace.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hello Tuesday! Thanks for showing up. It's another swarm start to a summer day, basically a carbon copy of yesterday. (Y'all do remember what a "carbon copy" is I reckon.)

The buffet has been been slow so far this morning but business has picked up in the last fifteen minutes or so. For most of the earlier hours I only had one grackle and one downy woodpecker. Now, the cardinals have arrived along with finches, titmouse, hummingbirds, bluejay, robin and of course life would not be complete without a squirrel or two. My bird baths are really cruddy looking although they birds still drink from it and take their bath in it. But, I need to scrub them out for sure and put fresh water in them.

I need to jump on the John Deere today and mow the yards. My back yard is looking a bit shaggy and the front yard is needing it too. Ms. Kate took the Round-Up to a bunch of grass and weeds the other day and it has really done the job. I know I won't feel like doing much tomorrow afternoon because I have a dentist appointment in the morning to have a root canal done. By the time I get that done and get back home and my mouth un-numbed, it will be time to sit in my recliner for a bit.

Ms. Kate and I talked about going to Louisville today for lunch. I get these offers from her favorite restaurant, PF Chang, and I mentioned maybe going over and taking advantage of it since it is only good for three days. Tomorrow is the last day and with the tooth thing that wouldn't work. But --- I think we will not go. Some how -- doing a 250 mile round trip for a free bowl of noodles that we don't even know we would like suddenly seemed not the smartest thing we could do. And, as I said, we have things to do here today.

I got a call from the pastor of my home church last night asking if I could fill in for him on the 23rd of July. Of course I said "yes". It will be wonderful to be able to to a sermon again. I could easily "go to the well" and pull out a sermon that I've done at some point in the last decade but I've had an idea for a sermon that I have wanted to write for some time now so I need to spend some time on that.

My Weather Channel app says it is still 82 degrees outside and will be going to 93. So, it is time to throw on the jeans and ball cap and get outside and enjoy God's world from the other side of the sunporch windows. Once again I give God praise for a beautiful day and I give thanks for the blessings that surround me. I have a loving family, a home, and good friends. I've been given more grace than I deserve; (I've never deserved any)  and my salvation is secure through Jesus Christ. There is nothing more that I need. I pray you will have a most blessed day. Shalomn

Monday, July 10, 2017

Good morning on this already hot July morning. Well, it isn't terrible yet; it is only 82 degrees, and there is a substantial breeze blowing. But, as we learned in Las Vegas when we lived there, hot temperatures and a breeeze or wind just makes it a giant convection oven. We are supposed to go to the lower nineties today so anything I need to do outside needs to be done this morning before the temp goes up too much.

Blackbirds, Grackels, Starlings, and sparrows are my guests this morning. Except for the sparrows, they are all a rude and nasty bunch of birds. They fuss, they fight, they peck one another in the head, they run other birds off, and they waste food by throwing it on the ground. Luckily they don't stay too long. They come in like a gang doing a smash and grab in a jewelry store, make their mess and leave. In another ten minute or so, the cardinals will be showing up along with the rest of my regulars. Even the squirrels tend to hold off a bit when the blackbirds are here.

July 10th --- the year is moving on isn't it? Ms. Kate and I took a drive around the block Saturday; (well, it was a country block may seventy five miles or so). We wanted some fresh produce so we went to find some. Right now is it great picking for up corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, green beans, cantaloupe, and watermelon, and squash. This area really produces wonderful produce. It was great to drive through the country back roads and see how the fields of corn and soy beans are growing. Much of field corn is tasseled out and many have ears hanging down already. I recall as a kid that one could walk through the corn rows but these days the rows are so close that it is hard to do that. By the time you got fifty feet in you could easily be lost. It seems as though with the new genetics  enhanced crops, the soybeans grow much taller and the wheat grows much shorter. Maybe it is just my perception but I remember the wheat fields waving in the breeze; (Amber waves of grain) but today it hardly gets tall enough to do that. I also remember my dad planting rye in his fields and I haven't heard any of my farmer friends mention planting rye in the last decade or more. I think dad planted it in the late fall and then plowed it under in the spring as a soil enhancement. Today that is all done with chemicals. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw an actual plowed field where the soil was turned over. It is all done differently now. But it obviously works because we saw some really beautiful fields on Saturday.

Well, the bluejays are here, the wooodpeckers are here, and the finches have arrived and the first of the cardinals are sitting on the feeders having a snack. My coffee cup is empty and I must go refill it. I pray God will grant you a pleasant day filled with joys and good thoughts. Peace.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

It is a beautiful Saturday morning. I have my cup of coffee beside me, my Bose is playing a little gospel music by the Talley Trio, the sky is cloudless, and it is 74 degrees with a drop in the humidity. Just outside my window five blackbirds are in full battle mode squeaking and pecking at one another over the feeders. They are so busy fighting that they hardly actually eat anything. Silly birds -- there are only nineteen feeders for them to choose from but they would rather maintain territorial dominance. I know some people like that.

I missed writing yesterday but I had an eclectic busy day. I started with an early morning dental appointment to hopefully repair that tooth that I had lost the filling from. I had hope it was going to be a fairly simple  procedure because despite the large filling that had fallen out, I was having no pain. I thought that maybe I had already had a root canal done on that tooth. Well -- it turns out that I was just lucky in regards to the pain. Now, I go next Wednesday morning and have a root canal done. Then back to my dentist for a crown. That will shrink my checkbook by about $1800.00. But, I will not complain, My daughter Julie went in to her dentist this week because of some real sensitivity to cold drinks etc and ended up having three extractions because her RA had caused tooth deterioration and exposed the root and nerves. Bless her heart.

After the dentist we went out to lunch with good friend Bob and his daughter Brenda. It was our first out together since his wife Georgia Ann passed. It was good to get him out of the house and back into a familiar and happy memory situation again. His daughter is just an angel and is doing everything she can to help him with his grieving.

Yesterday afternoon then I had an appointment at Best Buy to meet with the technician in order to set up my new laptop that Heather and John bought me. I had already set a lot of it up but I wanted to make sure I had done it correctly andwanted to ask a few questions. What a waste of time that was. When you ask a "technician" a question and his every answer begins with "Well, -- I think" or "I believe", odds are that technician isn't well trained.

To finish up my yesterday, decided that what we really wanted for supper was some good french fries from somewhere, so we went to Penn Station and got an order of fries and an 8" BLT and split it. Thenwe rove across the street to Cold Stone Creamery and finished off the day in good stead.

So today I need to go fill the sunflower seed feeders and then I think we'll head to a farm stand and pick up some corn on the cob, peaches, and a watermelon. That sounds like a good summer thing to do. They have a farm stand set up at our favorite butcher shop so maybe we'll go there and pick up something to put on the grill too.

I hope that your weekend is full of God's grace and love. I hope you take the time to stop and give praise and worship to the God who created you and to the Son of God for insuring your salvation through His sacrifice. Hug your loved ones and speak kindly to strangers.  Peace

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Good morning to July 6th! Join me as we sit in the sunporch and listen to the patter of rain drops hitting the roof.

I was up too early this morning; it happens that way sometimes. But it gave me a chance to greet my early arrivals at the buffet. Unfortunately, I as there but theyweren't. I turned on the coffee pot and sat down to read my email just as the rain started.  It hasn't amounted to much; just some simple showers so far. We are supposed to have this most of the day and maybe even in to tomorrow. I certainly don't mind, we need some rain.  And --- the robin is happy and hopping all over the yard as the rain soaks in and drives the earthworms to the surface. Stubby is here and is doing is acrobatic manuevers to eat.  He isn't being helped by the fact that the branches are wet, nor are the other squirrels helped by the fact that the metal poles they need to climb are wet. There has been a lot of of jump up and slide back down for a while now.

We stayed home all day yesteday waiting on UPS to deliver my new Microsoft Pro tablet that Heather and John bought me for my birthday. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday but that didn't happen So, we'll wait around here again today and see what happens. They ordered it hrough Best Buy while we were all on vacation. I've received the keyboard but not the tablet. Heather really likes Best Buy and has a good one close to her. On the other hand, I don't buy from them here because I've never heard one good thing said about our local store and I've heard story after story  about their poor service and the way they treat their customers. Ms. Kate and I have gone shopping in  our local store and our experience generally is that we end up with a salesperson that has been on the job for less than a week and know very little about their store or their products.

My "still need to read" Stephen King books are stacking up beside my chair. Julie bought me two new ones for Father's Day. One of them is a book called Stephen King and Philosophy. I think I will really enjoy that one since I was a Philosophy Minor for my Under Graduate degree. As much as I have enjoyed King's novels over the past thirty years, it will be interesting to maybe get an insight into the worlds he creates in his books. The other book is a book he co-authored with another writer I have not heard of.

So, I guess my rainy day plan is to just do some reading. Ms. Kate is working on creating cards out here in the sunporch. She has so much stuff and so many supplies that she has literally crowded herself out of her office. So, she has expanded for awhile. Bless her little heart.

Tomorrow morning I finally get to go to the dentist off and have something done about my broken tooth. Thank the Lord there has been no pain associated with it other than the sharp edges rubbing against my tongue. I suspect it is going to take a crown which isn't cheap. What broke out was an old silver filling the size if a pea. I'll just be glad to have it taken care of.

Have a wonderful day. Take time to share a hug or two with your friends and share a smile with people you don't know. Life is too short to go through life being a grump. Peace.