Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 30th, 2017; just one more day left to this year and 2017 will only be a memory. I hope your 2017 was filled with good memories. Mine certainly was. We had lots of travel and visiting with our girls, We have a wealth of good friends from our church and faith families. Our girls all continue to be successful in their jobs and the grandkids are growing up way too fast. Our health continues to be maintained at a fairly good level and I’m not broke! God has continued to bless me as an individual and us as a family. And, —- while not tops on Ms. Kate’s happy list, I have a prospect of going back to some part time work preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. When I say it isn’t the top of Ms. Kate’s list it is only because I keep promising retirement but I also keep renigging on it and working. I know it isn’t fair to her, —- but I also know that it is a calling that I must follow. She understands that and supports me in it, but —- that doesn’t mean she has to like it; and I understand that too. So, it is good that we did have this year off and were able to do our traveling.

It is a twenty-three degree windy and cloudy morning. Weather forecasts predict dangerously cold weather for most of the next week. We here in southern Indiana are extremely lucky that we don’t have the blizzards and snow that the upper part of the country has. Many parts of the country are getting snow measured in feet not inches. This is the coldest winter since 2008 and the cold streak is not going to let up any time soon. Brrrrr!

Today Ms. Kate and I are going to sister Karen’ss House to celebrate their family Christmas. It will be a fun afternoon. Karen is a good cook so the food will be good. Then they have their Christmas tradition of unwrapping gifts through a “dirty bingo” type of game. It is so funny to watch them scheme and plan what gifts they are going to steal from one another. They literally plan several moves ahead n how to get what gift they want. Karen comes up with these gift from different places and the game is a hoot. While she was in Las Vegas last week she won a Blu-tooth speaker and I suspect that iss going to be the gift they will be fighting over. I just sit back and watch the antics.

Tomorrow I am preaching the sermon at church and I’m ready for that. Then Ms. Kate and I will come home and just enjoy being home on New Year’s Eve. I hope you can make it to church and I hope you take time to give thanks for the year of blessings God has given you. Peace.

Friday, December 29, 2017

It’s another coooooooold morning, altough not as bad as yesterday. We’re supposed to be having a one day reprieve with temperature almost up to thirty today. But tomorrow the bottom drops out again. Oh well, it is what it is and it is December 29th.

My morning started off with taking the Caddy to the dealership for routine maintenance; oil change etc.  Unfortunately, I’m 2000 miles over my free maintenance plan so I had to pay today. No copmplaints; it’s been nice though that I haven’t had to pay for an oil change or anything for the last 50,000 miles. I walked around the Cadillac dealership showroom looking at the new cars while they were servicing mine and decided that $77.00 every 7500 miles is a good deal compared to what they want for the 2017’s they have in the showroom. I was looking at a 2017 Escalade and it had two major things going against it. First, —- it was $97,000 and second, it was so big that Ms, Kate nor I could get in it comfortably. Nah, that won’t be my next car.

The starlings are taking baths this morning. Twenty-seven degrees and they are in the bird bath taking baths and walking around in it like it is summer and they are in a wading pool. How the water doesn’t freeze on their feathers is a mystery to me. The cardinals have been at the bird bath several times since I got home, getting drinks. I filled that bird bath first thing this morning when I got up and I’m going to have to fill it again because of all the water the starlings have splashed out of it. The squirrels this morning are playing “challenge and chase”. They challenge one another at a feeder and then the case one another all around the yard and up and down the trees. It’s fun to watch and noisy when they go tromping across the roof.

Yesterday I published my 1000th Notes From the Sunporch blog. I just want to say that I have enjoyed starting my day out like this each morning and I appreciate that some of you have been steady readers for the last 1000 issues. Sometimes some of you write comments back and they are always welcome. In the meantime, stay warm, talk to God often, and be kind to one another. Peace.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Wow, it is colder than a polar bear’s butt out there. All I did was go down to the mailbox to put something in it and I was chilled to the bone by the time I got back in the house. My weather channel app says it is seventeen degrees outside and I believe it. I suspect the windchill may have knocked the “feels like” temperature down another ten degrees.

The cold has stopped the flow of crises to the buffet though. I filled everything up yesterday afternoon and this morniing all of the feeders have guests including of course, a couple of squirrels. Again the electric bird bath is the place to be. I have several cardinals this morning and a blue jay at the watering hole. The ground is alive with junkos and finches and cardinals too.

Yesterday, despite the cold we ventured out to do a little grocery shopping. Ms. Kate had it in mind that she wanted to make a pot of stew for supper so we went out to Sam’s Club and picked up some chuck roast and she put it in the cooker. It turned out delicious. It as just was we needed on a cold winter night. We also went to Penn Station forlunch. We love their sandwiches and especially their french fries. I had what they called an Italian sausage sandwich and didn’t really enjoy it. I think that is the first thing that I have had at a Penn Station that I didn’t enjoy. I think it may have been made with Genoa salami rather than what I expected it to be made with. But, I learned to not order it again. Besides, the fries were delicious. I wold be hard pressed to chose between Penn Satation and Five Guys in a french fry battle.

When Julie came over last week she brought me a “23 & Me” dna kit. Since we know nothing about my actual ancestry she wanted me to send it off. I have already done the Ancestry.Com test and it shows that my ancestry comes frrom upper Europe. Being the kid from a sealed adoption makes it difficult to find out anything. There are a lot of mysteries around my adoption; lots of secrets and fabrications. I don’t know that spitting in these little tubes will clear an of that up but what the heck. It will be interesting to see if the rules come back the same as the first test.

Tomorrow I take Ms. Kate’s car in for oil change etc. It is certainly due. My warranty and service plan includes free oil changes etc for the first few years. So it isn’t a painful process at all. And, they will get the car all cleaned up too. My truck is also due to be taken in.

I have set here long enough for the birds to come back for another round of food so I have probably set here too long. I think I need to move on to other things. Have a blessed day and stay warm. Thank God for all of your blessings. Peace.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

There is a cardinal sitting on the edge of the electric bird bath getting a drink and there is steam or maybe “heat waves” coming off of the water in the bird bath because the water is probably 45 degrees and the temperature out there is eight degrees and wind chill makes it minus nine. So the cardinal just sits there enjoying the rising warmth of the water vapors. It is a neat sight.

On the other side of the story. The starlings are walking around on the ground trying o eat dropped seeds etc. They walk a couple of step and they sit down on their feet to keep warm. I have read about the process that occurs in their bodies that keeps them from freezing, and while I can’t quote it to you, it is `another one of those billions of wonderfully intricate miracles that God put together to create this world and everything in it. I’ll take Divine Design over “accident” every time.

Stacey May, one of our local weather reporters told us last night that we would wake up to beautiful sunshine and a beautiful day but once we open the door, — reality would hit us in the face. She was exactly right. It is a beautiful day. I have the door from the sun porch to the house open or I’d be unable to sit out here. It is 56 degrees out here. Yesterday we kept it closed most of the day and it was  forty degrees in here last night when we opened the door.

I never got out and filled the feeders yesterday so I absolutely must do that today. There are still suet cakes and seed cakes out there and some bark butter is still there but by and large, things are empty. I’ll just have to dress warm and go do my duty. I see that the goldfinches and other small birds are finally eating from the thistle feeders that I filled several weeks ago. They had been eating from it and it was totally empty so I made a special trip to get more thistle seed to fill it back up, and they haven’t touched it since. But now they are eating from it. So, like I said, there is certainly plenty of available food for each critter out there, but I do need to refill stuff.

There are only four days left of 2017. I haven’t been very productive this year I think. But, Ms. Kate and I have had a good year with our traveling and visiting our kids. 2018 looks to have some changes coming once again. I may be going back to work —- yes, again. It is in the works for me to serve part time as an interim co-pastor at our church. Our current interim pastor asked me if I would consider doing that. He serves on a part time basis and if I could too it would give the church something fairly close to a full time pastoral care. The church is actively seeking a full time pastor but there have not been a lot of candidates coming our way. But, God could send the right person at any time. Pastor Art is two years older than me so we are both trying to enjoy our retirement years; but —- if God needs a servant, who are we to say no. The last hurdle is the winter congregational meeting where the congregation must vote whether to spend the money for a second part time pastor or maybe they will vote that Pastor Art is doing everything they need to be done. He is a wonderful pastor for them and I can see how they would vote to just use him. God’s will be done.

That’s it for today my friends. Stay warm and pray for those may be out in this weather and homeless.  Share your love with someone today if you get the chance. Peace.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry one day after Christmas!!! I hope your Christmas is still bringing you joy and smiles. I suspect most people are back to work today unless they took vacation. Others are on the road trying to make it back home. The winter weather has paralyzed parts of the country yet this morning according to the news reports. Here at the backyard buffet we have a dusting of snow. I’ve seen heavier frost. But it is a cold morning (24) and only going up to twenty-six today. It is a good day to stay inside if you can. In fact the rest of the week is not going to be any better.

There is a flock of starlings that keeps flying in and out this morning. hey land and they either eat of of the ground or at the suet feeders. They will be here for maybe three minutes, running around and fighting over each morsel they can get then they fly out en masse. A couple of minutes later, they start coming back in. My other guests this morning include the cardinals, junkos, a wren or two, and some finches. I also have a squirrel.

As you know, I have a couple of bird baths that I keep filled. One of them is electric and is a ready and available source of water at all times. The other one is not electric and is full but also totally frozen over these days. My squirrel guest this morning was obviously thirsty, but — instead of jumping up and drinking from the electric bird bath, it was laying on the ice of the other bird bath and try to either eat the snow or chew through the ice for its hydration. My critters do entertain me for sure. Unfortunately, twenty-four degrees or not, I have birdfeeders to be filled.

We had a nice Christmas weekend. Julie and Jim and the pups did come over on Saturday. Sunday morning I went to church at Zoar by myself. It was Ms. Kate’s 70th birthday and she stayed home with Jim and Jules. She said that one church service would be enough for her and we were planning to go to the evening service at St. Paul’s, which we did along with Julie. It was wonderful to get to see a lot of old friends that we had not seen in the year since I retired. Unfortunately, Ms. Kate slipped on the ice at St. Paul’s and fell, bruising up her knee, her hand, and mostly her ego. She fell right in front of the windows of the church and everyone inside could see her. A couple of the fellows came right out and helped her up but she was totally embarrassed. She’s  still sore and bruised —- and still embarrassed. BUt other than that, she is fine.

Yesterday morning we opened gifts and Ms. Kate made a wonderful baked ham dinner with mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, broccoli, and corn. Karen came over and had lunch with us so it was a nice gathering. Karen left soon after lunch, the kids packed up and headed home soon after that and Ms, kate and I took a glorious nap! For supper, we re-did lunch leftovers and finished all of them up.

Today I reckon will be laundry day as we get back into the routine. I don’t know if we’ll leave the tree up or not. We generally do through New Years. Other than doing laundry, which in reality does not take a lot of effort, I think we’ll not do much else. I have some writing ideas that I want to at least put notes for on the computer. I hope your day and week go well. Stay safe out there if you are on the highways. Today is probably not a day that I would want to go to the stores for anything. I suspect there will be after-Christmas sales going on and people will be out returning and exchanging items they got for Christmas. IO suggest you stay out of the rat-race aand settle in with a cup of coffee and a book. Peace.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

If we need a word to describe the weather this morning —- Nasty!  It has rained all night and now there are huge flakes of snow coming down. I have to admit, it’s like looking at my neighborhood through a snow globe which actually isn’t a bad thing. The squirrels don’t seem bothered by it nor do any of my morning aviary guests at the buffet. There will be no accumulation of it as it is melting on contact. I’m glad I’m not having to drive in it and I worry about Jim and Jules as they head this way from Louisville area. All of this weather is headed to her house.

Ms. Kate and I just finished wrapping the last of the presents for the kids (Jim & Jules). I don’t know how we are so far behind. Ms. Kate always has everything done for Christmas by the 15th of December, but not this year. I know we took eight days of vacation a couple of weeks ago but that doesn’t account for it. I think for some reason, we just haven’t gotten motivated or in a Christmas Spirit mindset. I don’t want to become one of those people that says; “It’s just not worth the hassle anymore”, but I feel myself leaning that way. Ten years ago we were still putting up and decorating ten Christmas trees of one size or another in this house. Now —- I got one up and it barely fits the bill. You know, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we don’t entertain anymore. We never have company except when Julie and Jim come over. If the other girls do make it here, it might be once every eighteen months. We don’t throw parties like we used to. We have become Mr. and Mrs. Fuddy Duddy. What a shame.

I think she still has another kind of cookie to bake yet today. They are mixed up but she has to roll them out and bake them yet. I’m not sure what kind they will be. Although, they kind of look like sugar cookies to me. And, since she just asked me to find a box of powdered sugar, I’d say that icing in soon in the making.

We had a nice lunch yesterrday with Bob and his daughter, Brenda. They both seem to be handling this “first Christmas” pretty well. My heart still goes out to them.

The major rain has stopped and we had a few minutes of snow and now it is sprinkling again. BUt, the sky is much brighter and with luck, we’ll be seeing a little sunshine before the day is over. That’s southern Indiana weather for you. Juanita wait, what ever you want will cycle around soon enough.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Ms. Kate’s birthday. We have no big plans. Church in the morning and then I think we are going to go to the Christmas Eve service at St. Paul’s and worship with our friends there. I pray your weekend is full of wonder and joy. Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Good morning on a dull cloudy morning. As bright and beautiful as it was yesterday —- it is 180 degrees off of that today. The temperature is warmish at 55 degrees although that is the predicted high for today. It appears that we have had some amount of light rain because the sidewalks are damp. We are reported to be getting as much as an inch and a half  by tomorrow afternoon and then it is supposed to turn sharply colder just in time for Christmas Eve. The chances for a white Christmas though are extremely low.

Ms. Kate and I finished baking the springerlie cookies yesterday morning and ofcourse they are delicious. She still has one more kind of cookie that she wants to make; I’m not sure what that might be. She wanted to make some phefferneuse cookies but forgot to pick up eggs while we were at the grocery store yesterday. Now she’s decided that it is time to only do one more other kind of cookie. I reminded her that cookies, while are Christmas tradition, —- can be made any time of the year.

Last night we had a late night date and went to the 10:00 pm movie to see the latest Star Wars movie. It was really good and worthy of seeing again. I’m sure when it comes out on DVD we will buy it. I thought that perhaps there might not be anyone else in the theater at that time of noight but thre were maybe a couple of dozen other folks that were in attendance. I had to laugh though when the movie was over and we were leaving. There was a group of young people standing around discussing characters and things that happened in the movie like it was all real. It was “Nerd Heaven”.

Today Ms. Kate and I are meeting friends Bob and Brenda and Andy for our monthly “schrooms & beer” out at St. Joe. Inn for lunch. It has been almost a year since Bob’s wife, Ms. Georgia Ann, passed away and this will be their first Christmas without her. He sure misses her, as do we all, but I think he has done a good job of adjusting to his grief.

Tomorrow Julie, Jim and the pups come over for the weekend. We will be celebrating Christmas and Ms. Kate’s birthday. I am so blesssed that fifty six of her seventy years, she has been part of my life. God is good.

That’s it for today. I hope you have a great weekend and a glorious Holy Spirit filled Christmas. Stop and listen —- you just might hear the angels sing. Peace

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bright sunshine and a clear blue sky greet me this morning. It is thirty nine degrees but little tono breeze so it shouldn’t feel too bad out side. Neither the birds nor the squirrels have puffed themselves up for warmth. As usual, the sun shining on the feather of the male cardinals makes them the bright spot in he back yard. I went out and filled sunflower seed feeders yesterday so there is ample food to give everybody a good feed today at the buffet. This morning’s guests include titmouse, nuthatch, finches, sparrows, cardinals, wrens, and of course the fuzzy tailed rats. It is amazing how many squirrels there are in this neighborhood. With the trees completely barren, I can see squirrels and squirrel nests in lots of the trees around the neighboring houses. I watch them come from house to house to my feeders.

My youngest daughter, Lisa, turned forty six today. It is hard to believe. It seems like it really wasn’t that long ago that I was forty-six. But, time does march on. Sunday at church the choir used a prop for the cantata that is made to look like an animal feeding trough to lay the baby Jesus in. Ms. Kate reminded me that forty-seven years ago they laid our middle daughter, Heather, in that same trough to be “the baby Jesus.” Heather was only three weeks old at the time. That trough has gotten pretty rickety over the past forty-seven years and I wouldn’t trust putting a baby in it today.

This morning Ms. Kate is baking cookies again. Yesterday she mixed up, and cut up the springerlie cookies. Then thy had to set out and dry out over night before she bakes them today. If you aren’t familiar with springerlies, they are an anise flavored German cookie and when they are sitting and drying or baking they fill the entire house with the wonderful smell of anise. I’ve always said that it wasn’t Christmas around our house until the springerlies were baked. There was a day when Ms. Kate would send tins of cookies to all the of girls and their families. But it is just us these days and she doesn’t do as many cookies and or as many kinds of cookies. I told her she didn’t have to make the springerlies this year if she didn’t want to but she insisted because it is tradition. Bless her heart. She sure takes good care of me. There isn’t a lot of things I’d rather have for a snack than a glass of milk and some cookies. Well, add a bowl of ice cream to that and it’s over the top and to the moon.

It is four days until Christmas. Four days until we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It has been roughly 2018 years since the birth of that child. Were it just a story, it would have faded a millennia so. But truth never dies. The good news of the birth of a Savior is as fresh today as it was as the child lay there in the manger. God came to earth because God loved us that much. Peace.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

“When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.”  Well, it wasn’t eight tiny reindeer but it was six fat squirrels that have gone bats this morning with their chasing and running and jumping on and off of the roof of the house and the sunporch. Tails are swishing everywhere; in the trees, on the roof, on the feeders. They have raced across my roof at least ten times while I have been sitting here. Silly critters. I have no idea what is going on with them whether it is play or a territorial dispute this morning. And they aren’t the only ones. The cardinals have been chasing one another too and even the finches are flitting about like crazy. I suspect there may be a weather change coming or something that is making them all anxious. The weather dude did use that “s” word in his forecast for the weekend.

Ms. Kate got a cortisone shot in her hand and in her wrist yesterday. The “good part” of it hasn’t set in yet, she still sore from the injection. Hopefully by tomorrow it will be much better. It is affecting the thing she wants to do like lifting baking trays in and out of the oven. We went out for supper last evening and she even modified what she ate because she couldn’t use her knife to cut anything like a steak. Bless her heart.

I took the Christmas cards to the post office yesterday and they are officially on their way at last. I hope they all make it before Christmas. There was a line all the way out of the building waiting to send packages and stuff and only two clerks working. Luckily all I needed to know was what the rules were concerning extra postage on the cards and I happened to see a postal worker going into the office. So I asked him and then stood at the table out in the lobby away from the line and put my stamps on the cards and slid them through the slot. Whew!  I dodged that bullet.

Ms. Kate is out for a hair appointment and permanent this morning and I have some writing to do today. Tomorrow I have a meeting with Pastor Art and I need to do a little prep for that meeting too. Friday we are meeting our friends Bob and Brenda for lunch so our one day of no appointments this week is Thursday. I suspect we’ll be cramming a lot of stuff in on Thursday what with Julie and Jim and the pups coming on Saturday morning. Sunday there will be a morning service and an evening service and it will also be Ms. Kate’s 70th birthday. Then, before we know it, Christmas will be over and life will return to whatever our definition of normalcy is. And then —- it will be 2018. Wow.

So —- before all of the chaos ensues I must stop and give thanks to God and remained myself that life is not about the rush. Life is about appreciating the blessings and sharing the blessings. If that causes us a little rush sometimes; it should be because we are sharing ourselves and our love with others. On that note, I bid you a good day and pray you find the peace that comes with the birth of a Savior called Jesus, the Christ. Shalomn

Monday, December 18, 2017

A good morning to you on this gloomy, misty Monday morning. I trust that your weekend was a good one. Our’s was busy but also a good one. The Christmas tree issue was never solved. I took it back apart and Ms. Kate and I both looked for any male or female plugs that were left unused but to no avail. So, I had two options. I could use it as is or I could throw it out and go downstairs and drag up another tree that is almost identical to it that we had used in another room. We decided to go ahead and use it as is and then after Christmaas it will hit the street. So, our Christmas tree has a swirl of dark area on it. I put enough Christmas balls on it so as to try and make it look better but I’m not sure I have improved the situation. On the other hand —- who’s going to see it? From the street it appears we have a Christmas tree and the only people that will actually see it are Jim and Julie and they will only be at the house for 72 hours. We’ll just be satisfied that we have met the intent.

Ms. Kate has some cookie dough mixed up and will most likely bake them today. With a little luck there will still be some for Christmas. I am the original Cookie Monster. I’m also very specific about my cookies. They must be crisp. I know that there are people that love their cookies to be warm and gooey right out of the oven. I on the other hand want my cookies crisp. If they are chocolate chip, I want them frozen. Soft cookies just don’t fit my description of a good cookie.

I have all of the Christmas cards addressed. Ms. Kate made over 100 Christmas cards and they are really nicely done. Today I need to take them to the post office and get them mailed. Some of them might need a little extra postage so I’ll run a sample through the post office scales and determine what I need.

Yesterday the Chancel Choir presented their cantata and it was beautiful. I’ve said it before but churches that have a choir are so very fortunate. I think a choir adds so much to the worship experience. It doesn’t even have to be a “good choir” as long as it is a group of people lifting their voices in praise to God. Fortunately, the last two choirs I have had the experience of hearing and or being a part of, are very good and very dedicated even if not large.

I’m writing this morning from the Orthopedic clinic. I brought Ms. Kate to get another shot in her hand for her arthritis. She hates having it done but it does help her for several months. I wish she could get a shot in her upper spine and neck, Her arthritis in those areas give her so much pain. BUt, she just takes Tylenol and we put Biofreeze on it.

I know this will be a busy week for everybody as Christmas Eve is just six days away. I pray you will take time to remember what this season is all about. Christ didn’t come to earth just for them fun of it. He came to save our very soul. Please take time to express your gratitude for thaat in all you do. Peace.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Happy Saturday morning!! What a beautiful day with which God has blessed us. Yes, it’s a bit cold outside and the stiff breeze doeesn’t help that any as far as making it feel any warmer. But — the sun is shining brightly and that makes it “look” warmer than it is. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to see these winter days. Even the knockout rose have finally given up blooming. (Remind me to trim those back again one of these days. I also need to cut back the hydrangea stems now too.) BUt, from the warmth of the sunporch, it all is still beautiful to me. The critters have all been through the buffet and flown off again. They will be back in about an hour for another round.

My Christmas tree is up — ish. I have it put together but the lights are not burning correctly. I’m not getting the electrical connections right somehow. I tried to do it last night but didn’t have sufficient light to work by. I’ll go I there this morning with the morning sunlight shining through the picture window and maybe I can see the plugs. But — I’m glad to say I didn’t waste any profane language on it. That hasn’t always been the case when I can’t solve a mechanical problem. My girls used to say, “Dad invents cuss words.” I always said that I don’t use any words not found in the Bible; —- they are just arranged differently.

Ms. Kate and I went to the grocery yesterday to pick up some stuff for cookie making. Of all the things that they didn’t have — Cream Of Tarter. They were out of cream of tarter in every brand. Obviously folks must be making a lot of snickerdoodle cookies this year for them to be out. But, I understand certainly how that happens because we witnessed two incidents of people buying products in mass quantities. The lady in front of at Meijer’s had ten of those small bottles of  vanilla extract. Unless she is giving them away, for presents, she could have bought one large bottle. At Schnucks the guy in front of me had 27 Philadelphia Cream Cheese bricks. I asked him if he was making a lot of cheese balls for Christmas and he said “unfortunately yes.” So, when you go to the store and they are out of “that” item —- now you know why.

I plan to attend a special Christmas service this evening at Trinity Anglican Church. My friend Father David Straw has invited me. We went to their St. Patricks Day service last year and loved it. This should be an evening of scripture and song. I’m looking forward to it.

There is a Christmas tree in the living room that is calling my name so I guess I better get to it. I also need to address Christmas cards today. Tomorrow our choir at church is doing a cantata for the worship service. I’m looking forward to that too. Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday has arrived . I was up earlier this morning so I could get to the post office ahead of the crowd and get our packages sent. I didn’t beat the crowd by much. By the time I got to the counter there was a line out the door. There was only one clerk working but she had the great customer service attitude. Bless her heart. She is going to have a long day. My grandson Josh works for the Post Office in his area and says it has been slammed for weeks. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Amazon all add to their workload. They are shoving packages out the door as fast as they can. So I send a shout out to the Postal workers this time of year. The customer in front of me thismorning was kind enough to Bros off a couple of donuts for the lady behind the counter. I hope she finds time to eat them. Anyway, that checks one thing on the list to be done.

I managed to get the Christmas tree brought up from the basement last night. I put it together today. Maybe that will be next on my list. Ms. Kate says we have to go to the grocery store today and she plans to start on making the cookies. We don’t need to make a bunch but it wouldn’t be Christmas without cookies now would it? I mean, what would you leave for Santa —— rum and coke??? I hardly think so, He has to drive. (Wow, where did that random thought come from? I haven’t had a rum and coke in twenty five years!!)

I have lots of cardinals here again this morning and somebody let it leak to the squirrels that the feeders had been filled. There have been four here most of the morning. They can’t decide whether they want to eat or chase each other  or what. So, between the four squirrels, a couple of starlings, a couple of titmouse & mockingbirds, and maybe as many as fifteen cardinals, I have a busy buffet this morning. It is a wonderful sight, and it is a wonderful blessing.

He sun is trying to peek though the clouds this morning but is not having a lot of luck. It doesn’t feel too cold out there. Sweatshirts and jeans are about all I need unless I stay out for awhile. But, it is is time to get busy and take Ms. Kate to the store.  I hope you are having a happy wonderful day fille with Christmas spirit. This is the season of God’s great gift. There is no room for sad faces and bad attitudes. Smile at people while you are out and about today. You just might be the one bright spot in someone’s otherwise terrible day. Peace.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

It is wonderful to be home and back in the sunporch. Welcome home me!!  We got home around 2100 ours last evening and I have to say, we do love our vacations and we stay at some really nice hotels and resorts but nothing quite beats my own bed and my own pillows and covers. It is just that be home and surrounded by one’s personal familiar stuff that makes life “huggable” again. We had a good time but Ms. Kate likes Las Vegas more than I do. For me, once we got to spend time with the kids, I was ready to come home. But Ms. Kate and her sister Karen like being out there together which is why I encourage them to go together and just leave me home.

The plants in the sunporch were desparate for water and the birdfeeders and bird bath were all empty. So, before I allowed myself my first cup of coffee I watered my plants and then I filled most of the birdfeeders and put fresh water in the electric birdbath. When I first came out to the sunporch this morning there were eleven cardinals out there looking for food. Since I filled the feeders I have had all kids of birds out there so I guess they are satisfied for now anyway. Of course the most popular spot is the birdbath.

It is an overcast day and while the temperature isn’t particularly miserable it is still a cold “looking” winter day. I threw on a flannel jacket over my sweats to work out there and didn’t get too cold. Weather dude last night said that we might have some sunshine today but it would be limited. Since our main job today is to do the vacation laundry I suppose I don’t need a lot of sunshine. It isn’t as if we are hanging the laundry out on a line.

I probably should get started on addressing the Christmas cards today too. Christmas is just ten days away. We also need to box up the gifts to send to North Carolina and get them on the way. I think it is going to seem like a weird Christmas this year. Christmas falls on Monday which I think will confuse church Christmas schedules and programs. Julie and Jim are coming over on Saturday the 23rd and leaving on Christmas Day because they have to be at work on Tuesday. It just seems that people are getting a bit short-changed on Christmas vacation this year. But, we’ll be glad for any time we get with the kids and enjoy every moment of it.

That is about it for this morning. It is great to be back home and back in a routine. Tomorrow is Friday and the start of the last weekend before Chriosstmas. I imagine the roads will be packed with frantic shoppers all weekend. Folks should slow down and remember it is about the love, not about the gift. Until next blog, I bid you peace and blessings.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday evening and our last night in Las Vegas. We have transferred over to Treasure Island for the last night. One of the first things we did when we got over here was to go for lunch in the cafe. It is one of my favorite places out here. The service is always good and the food is too.

It has been a nice vacation, the best part of course being the visit from Heather and the family. Ms. Kate's sister is staying two extra days. But --- I'm ready to be home. I got stuff to do not the least of which is to get started on a sermon for the last Sunday of the month. Pastor Art is taking his final Sunday of vacation and I'm filling in. I am always so happy to be able to do that but I know that I need to get started.

We are going to miss the 65 degree weather that Las Vegas is having. I think the high temperature back home is about 45 degrees on the good days. But, at least it is supposed to be dry when we get home with no snow or ice to drive through. We have come home in the winter and had to do a white knuckle drive on ice the entire way from Nashville. Those are never fun.

When we get home, we'll need to get the Christmas cards addressed and sent out and the Christmas tree put up. I'm not sure if Julie and Jim are planning on coming over this weekend or not. Speaking of Julie, if I may brag a minute, She just finished her first semester of college in many years and brought home an "A" in every course. I am really proud of her. The kid is smart --- always has been. All of our girls are smart and all of them are in Management/Executive positions. God has blessed each and every one of us.

That's it from Las Vegas. I won't be writing tomorrow so the next blog will once again be from the sun-porch. Until then I hope you experience nothing but God's blessings. Peace.

Monday, December 11, 2017

A good Monday to you. I don't know where you may be reading this but I hope your weather is as good as ours is here in Las Vegas where we will be having a 64 degree day. Ms. Kate and I are still at the Palazzo Resort and will be until tomorrow when we move across the street to Treasure Island Hotel for one night, and then we head home on Wednesday.

Lauren, Heather, Karen, Ms. Kate

Yesterday we did some really fun stuff with Heather and hr family. We went to the Bellagio Resort and walked through the conservatory. They change the decorations in there with each season. One of they first times we saw it, Martha Stewart had done the decorations and of course "they were a good thing". LOL Yesterday was just as beautiful. 

After looking around the conservatory and taking a bunch of pictures, we headed out to Green Valley Ranch Resort to go ice skating. Heather, Lauren & Jon all skated while the rest of us sat and cheered them on. It was Jon's first time on ice skates but he did a pretty good job of catching on. Heather and Lauren had skated several years ago in Rockefeller Center in New York.

The  kids have gone on back to California today but it was a blessing to have the opportunity to spend this part of Christmas with them. I have said it before but having kids on both coasts of this country and us in the middle robs us of a lot of the joys that "regular" people (those that have their families living in the same community) enjoy. The fact that Jim and Julie moved within two hours of us a decade ago has been a super blessing. 

It is time for us to vacate our room so they can clean it. Maybe we can go get something to eat. Until my next blog I hope you have a day full of blessings and joy. Peace.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Happy Friday afternoon. Ms. Kate and I have changed our hotel location. We had a wonderful stay at Green Valley but now we have moved to the Venetian/Palazzo Resort complex for the next four days. And on Tuesday we will move right cross the street to Treasure Island Hotel. Ms. Kate gets all of these free rooms and suites at these places so why not jump around and use them. She and her sister Karen are downstairs right now "earning another free room" for our next trip out here. LOL, --- I'm up in the room and while I'm not earning any free rooms, --- I'm still saving money.

We didn't do a lot yesterday except eat, laze around, gamble a little, read some, and watch television. We went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner last night. Nope ---- we didn't see "Penny" or "Bernadine" working there either. But the food was excellent and the portions were too huge. I hate leaving spaghetti on a plate but I had to surrender or blow up.

Today, we took our time getting ready and and packing to change hotels. We we having a lot of trouble with the WiFi in our room last evening and today. It kept shutting off. I think we figured out the problem. When we tried to log back on, one of the "options" was "FBI Surveillance Van". Of course it was password protected but we thought it was funny as heck that it showed up as an option. I don't know who they were checking on but they were interfering with our signal.

After we checked out of Green Valley we drove up to the "M" Resort and picked up Karen and we drove to Red Rock Resort to have lunch and to spend some pennies. From there we came on down to our hotel, checked in, got the luggage in and here I am. After while we'll take Karen back to her hotel and go to the seafood buffet that they have there on Fridays. Then we'll come back here and cash for the night. Tomorrow morning Heather and her family will be coming over here from southern CA. We'll celebrate an early Christmas with them at some point this weekend. They will head back on Monday to CA.

That catches you up with us. Back home I understand they will have some snow flakes this weekend. Heather's part of the country could use snow or rain or something to help put out the wildfires that are currently raging in the Santa Ana winds.

I may take time to write tomorrow but if I don't, well as the saying goes; "I'll be back!" Until then I pray you have nothing but peace and love in your life. Blessings.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

A very good morning to you from sunny but cool Las Vegas, NV. I'm sitting on a sun-porch (balcony) of my room overlooking the Spring Mountains. I have often been out looking at the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon as the sun came up. I was the commander of the 99th Security Forces Group at Nellis Air Force Base from 1997 to 1999 and it was my habit to be up and walking the track about 0530. I'd walk my seven miles and then head home, and get ready to go to work. It wasn't so much that I enjoyed being out there and doing all that walking but it was more of a situation that if I can do it, I expect all 770 of my airmen to do it too. Leadership by example. But today --- it is great to just sit here on my rear end, have my cup of Starbucks coffee and enjoy life.

I apologize for skipping yesterday's blog but we were a bit busy. We caught the 0800 shuttle from the hotel to the airport in Nashville in plenty of time to get through security and then hurry up and wait. (I have a lot of practice in that particular skill set.) The flight out was full and it was occasionally  bumpy. Our aircraft was one of the newer models that has just a tad bit more room between the seats and it made all the difference in the world for comfort. We got in to Las Vegas around 1400 and as soon as we got our car we headed out here to Green Valley, a suburb of Henderson, NV. Frankly, you can't tell where one city ends and another begins out here any more. When we first started coming to Vegas, there was a distance and divide between Las Vegas and Henderson and none of the surrounding "mini-towns" and suburbs existed. My how all of that has changed. We stopped at P.F. Chang's for lunch and then came on over to the Green Valley Resort. We have stayed here often. Our room was free for the three nights we will be here but they offered us an upgrade to a mini-suite with a nice balcony for $30.00 a night. We took it, and sitting out here this morning to do my blog, --- it was worth every penny. We'll stay here for three nights and then move to the Venetian/Palazzo Resort complex where we will spend four night (again comped) and wait for Heather & John and the kids to join us. I know there is a race for Lauren this weekend in Vegas but I still don't know for sure if she is racing or not. Twenty year old women sometimes change their minds!!!!!  Heck, I can't keep Ms. Kate and her sister on a single track, so who knows.

I have no idea what we are going to do today. What are not going to do  is sit around the casino and play slot machines all day. It would be a beautiful day to drive out to Red Rock Canyon, or Valley of Fire State Park, or maybe drive around Lake Mead. We aren't big into shopping although I have no doubt that at some point on this trip, we will find ourselves at a Coach outlet. She will go in, --- I'll just "hold my spot".

Sitting here looking at the mountains and the palm trees swaying in the breeze, it is a natural thing to turn to God and focus on the life full of blessings I have been given. God's grace extends from the heaven's to the heart. It fills you up with wonder and joy, This being the Christmas season makes it even more obvious. I hope your day is full of blessing too. Take time to enjoy them and to give thanks to God for them. Peace.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Good Monday morning to you. There are strange goings on with our technology. Last night Ms. Kate was on her IPad and complained that it kept shutting of on her. Well, we have three IPads around this house so I had her switch to her other one. I pulled out my IPad and it was doing the same thing. This morning they are still doing the same. I have reset my router and my modem  to no avail. So, I’m having to save each and every sentence I write as I write them. I’m beginning to suspect that Apple Corp may have been hacked or something. I haven’t tried working off of my IPhone but I may try that. But, our televisions work fine and our PC’s work fine.

OK, so after a lot of fiddling around I re-installed IOS 11,2 and that seems to have settled the problem. Now, Ms. Kate and I are in Nashville, TN waiting to fly out tomorrow to Vegas. So, I'll drop off. Have a good evening.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Happy sunny Saturday! The cardinals are busy this morning already. They are the early bird but not looking for a worm. They are looking for a good perch at the feeder. So far their only competition has been a couple of finches. The woodpeckers have either been at a suet feeder or the bark butter feeders so the sunflower seed feeders are wide open to first come -first served.

I’m not sure what is on the agenda for today. I don’t think we have to leave the house although Ms. Kate did say we needed to pick up a couple of gifts for the family yet. Other than that, we should be maybe doing last minute laundry to pack for our vacation. I need to check the weather at our destination location so I’ll know what to pack, although I think we might be doing some geocaching with the grandkids out in the desert and it get rather chilly out in the desert this time of the year. The wind will cut right through you. I had never considered that until I spent time out in the desert around Las Vegas in the winter time. Part of my responsibility when I was stationed at Nellis AFB, in Las Vegas area was to run the Desert Warfare Center for Security Forces. We trained Security Forces personnel on how to conduct warfare in that environment. One of the florist things we always told. The troops to pack was their long underwear and winter gear. When they didn’t listen, they quickly learned and had to make an expensive trip to Military Clothing Sales. Of course in the summer it was really confusing because it might get to 110 during the day and then the night desert air would really chill you to the bone.

I’ve just about finished my latest book, “Glory Days” by Max Lucado. Yesterday we went to the Vinyard, a Bible book store and I picked up two more Lucado books. I had a gift card from there and decided to use it. My unread stack is piling up. I’m three behind on Stephen King and I know that Julie has already bought me his latest for Christmas; and now I have these two new Lucado books. But talk about opposite ends of the spectrum for reading —- one writes sci-Ft/horror and the other writes faith and inspiration. What can I say; I’m a complicated guy. I think I’ll throw in Stephen King to read on the plane. It is vacation after-all.

I think that is it for today. God is great. Beer is good, and people are crazy. I hope you have a most pleasant and Spirit filled weekend. See ya’ in church!!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Clack, clack, bang and whack! The Friday morning trash trucks are ging through the neighborhood. Between them and “Lily”, the neighbors dog barking at them, it is a noisy morning out side. But, it was time to get up and get the day started anyway.

It is a lot cooler this morning than it was yesterday morning. It is thirty two degrees but there isn’t no wind to speak of. Although it is a lot harder to tell about the wind now that the leaves are all off of the trees. The sun is shining brightly with no clouds and the cardinals are glistening in the sunlight. This morning’s buffet guest list includes a half dozen cardinals, several junkos, finches, sparrows, a couple of doves, a couple of starlings, and three woodpeckers. It’s a good mix and. They are a lively group, except for the doves. They just walk around pecking at the ground.

Neighbor Dan and I took the mower deck off yesterday and put the snow blade on the John Deere. The winter forecasts for snow are all over the place from two inches for the winter to fifteen inches for the winter. But regardless, I’m ready; the blade is on and I have plenty of snow melt chemicals for the drive way too. The forecasters all say that it is going to be a really cold winter though which will be a big departure from last year.

Happy December 1st! Thirty days until the year 2018. As a child, 2018 was so very far in the future and the world was supposed to be so advanced. In reality though, that time journey has been nothing more than a lot of days all stacked on top of one another with one seemingly no different than the last, and life just happened without us thinking a lot about it. I suppose that is the way God intended it to be. We have gadgets today that were just “sci-fi” thoughts when I was a kid. Remember Dick Tracey’s wrist radio??  Remember Dick Tracey???  But unfortunately as human beings we’ve not progressed much. racism, homophobia, fear, world hunger, threats of war all still plague the world just like they did back in the 1950’s. We have more churches —- but less people attending them.. That alone should tell us where the problem lies.

But, I’m not going to put you in a downer mood to start your December, after all — Christmas is coming and we will again celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So ‘buck up” folks; the wonderful ride we call life is still alive and well and can be as exciting as you want to make it. Start with a prayer each day and end with a prayer each night. God will handle everything in between. Peace.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fifty two degrees with a little bit of light rain on and off this morning. But, the gang is all here. At the moment it is just the small birds like finches and sparrows and a couple of starlings. But the cardinals will be along shortly as well as the woodpeckers and other critters. One quarrel has claimed a feeder and I expect there will be at least one more that will come in for a snack. Speaking of which —- here they come now; four of them playing chase all over the yard and up and down the trees. They do amuse me with their speed, agility, and animated actions.

I hung the wreaths on the windows yesterday morning. That is always an exciting adventure. With the azelias out there up close to the house, it is almost impossible to set my ladder up with any hint of stability. So I Jerry-rig in in place and just kind of hope I don’t fall off of it. Then I have to stretch to reach where I want to hang them. It’s a real circus act. And, —- I must apologize to any neighbors that might have accidentally heard me everytime the ladder began to slip. I could have asked Ms. Kate to help me by holding the ladder but there isn’t room for her to get to where she could be of help. These things might have seen their last year.

Ms. Kate and I are busy  prepping for our vacation. We are taking along Christmas presents for Heather and family and at least one thing is fragile. We think we have a “carry” solution for it but will have to see. If we were driving it would be no problem, but we are flying and I’m not in. Hurry to have baggage handlers get ahold of it. I have set looking out the windows of planes and have seen how they handle the bags. The Olympic distance throw is nor what you want for fragile items. .

Neighbor Dan and I are going to swap the mower deck out for the snow plow this afternoon. I read the winter weather prediction for the Tri-State area last night and they say a La NiƱa is in full effect this winter which means for us — much colder weather and for the three winter months maybe around fifteen inches of snow. By the time we get back from vacation, we could be looking at some snow. I need to be ready. last year that brand new blade never saw a flake of snow. This year I think it might just get a work out.

I need to drop off and get ready to make this day happen. One of the first things we need to do is go to a store and get some ink for my computer and for Ms. Kate’s computer. I hope you have a blessed day. Peace.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What a difference the sun makes. It is the same temperature out there as it was yesterday. Howeve, yesterday was sunny and bright and warm and inviting. Today it is cloudy and dreary and cold looking. Yesterday I was anxious to get outside and enjoy the day. Today, I’m in no hurry because it just doesn’t look inviting. And you know, I could change the word “sun” to “Son” and it would mean the same. Without God’s Son, the world and life tends to be dreary and dull an scary and uninviting. With God’s Son in your life, life is bright and promising, and inviting and full of joy. The difference between sun and Son??? — The sun shines or it doesn’t; you have no control over it. With the Son; —- you have total control because you either accept Christ into your life or you don’t. It is your choice. But given the difference; death or eternal life;  — I recommend you let the Son shine in.

We got a few more chores checked off of the list yesterday. I finished up the front yard, or at least I think I’m done for the year. we went to the cemeetaries and put winter flowers on the family headstones. We only do Ms. kate’s Parents, grandparents and brother, and my parents so it doesn’t take a lot of time. But Ms. Kate is very good at doing it and takes great pride in keeping the graves looking good. Here mom was always fussy about that too. The Hahn family plot sits fairly close to the entrance so that when anybody drives into the cemetery, they will pass the family plot. So, if there was going to be be a funeral of anybody she knew in that cemetery, she had to get out there and make sure the family grave plot looked good. Ms. Kate isn’t quite that bad but she does change flowers with the seasons so they always look fresh. Sadly, when we pass, there will be no family left around here to maintain our graves. But then, most of us are just one generation away from obscurity anyway. So, if we want to be remembered we better do our best to make a positive impression on the lives of people around us and the generations coming after us. —— Wow! I sound in a somber mood this morning don’t I? I told you the sun wasn’t shining. LOL

My backyard buffet guests are satisfied this morning because I filled everything up  yesterday and cleaned and refilled the bird baths. The usual gang is here; cardinals, junkos, finches, downy woodpeckers, and sparrows. I’ve had a couple of squirrels here off and on. The neighbor’s big ol’ Black cat was here earlier and ran the squirrels up the trees. Sometimes it will even go after them up the trees. I like the fact that the cat will chase the squirrels but never bothers my birds. It is also good for grabbing voles that tunnel under the mulch. So, it is welcome to come eat the buffet any time it wants. The first time I see it get a bird though I will revioke its buffet priveleges.

That is about it for today my friends. The sun is slowly breaking through the clouds and it is looking like a different day out there. Don’t forget to let the Son shine through your life and you too will have a different day. Peace.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Another bright, blue, sunny and semi-warm morning. We’re having small gusts of wind coming through and it is doing a great job of removing the leaves from the fire bushes. I hope it is also helping remove the leaves from the Bradford Pear tree in the neighbor’s yard. That tree sits on the very edge of his yard and is huge. In fact I’ve never seen a Bradford that big. But it seems to take all winter for the leaves to come off of it.

We did get a few of the things on our “to-do” list accomplished. I got the flowerbed along thefront walk cleaned up and the dead azealia gut back. I didn’t dig it out because I want to see if in the spring it might come back. Stranger things have happened. The one next to it has also mostly died off and I’ll need to cut it back too but I ran out of garbage can space for this week. I can’t imagine why they have died.

Today Ms. Kate and I need to go through the things that she has bought for the different family members and make sure we are on track. Next week we are heading off to the west coast and will be celebrating our Christmas and gift exchange with Heather and her family. I know some of the things Ms. Kate bought but most of it I don’t. And we also need to make sure the rest of the family is covered. By the time we get back we’ll be within ten days or so of Christmas.

The second thing we need to do is go put winter flower decorations on the family graves. We bought the stuff yesterday and again, —- we’re pressed for time. I still haven’t filled my bird feeders although they are having no problem finding something to eat out there. It is just that their “favorite” feeders are empty. There is enough spilled seed on the ground that I could let the feeders stand empty for a month and there would still be plenty to eat. But that is on the list of things to do today too.
I also need to try again to find some suction cups to put on my windows out front to hang my wreaths from. I went to Walmart and to Dollar General yesterday and could not find any. So, we’ll try another couple of places while we are out decorating the graves.

We had the neatest surprise last night. Our grandson Jon called just to talk. He’s 16, almost 17 and a really good kid. His question and reason for calling was to know what kind of facial hair I grew because he thinks he wants to grow some facial hair and he had heard that it was determined by genetics. I told him he’s in bad shape from my line. The best he can hope for is sketchy. But, what a neat thing  it was for him to call. It warmed our hearts.

I think it is time for me to get on out into God’s most beautiful day and go ahead and feed my birds. The hanging wire on one of their favorites broke last night so I need to do a repair job. I hope you take some time out from your day to give thanks again for your blessings. I have a whole new set of things to be thankful for today that I will discuss at a later day. So, —- be joyful in your heart and kind to all of those around you. Peace.

Monday, November 27, 2017

November 27th, 2017; a year ago today I officially retired as pastor of the two United Church of Christ churches in Ft. Branch, IN. At that time I wrote in a Facebook post that I hoped that my retirement would “stick”. It was, after all, my second time to retire. Well, in all honesty, I guess I wasn’t as retirement ready as I thought I was. I simply needed a good break. I was tired, I felt my messages were becoming tired and ineffective and I wasn’t serving God or my two congregations as well as they deserved. So, I sit here in the sunporch refreshed and ready to serve God in what ever capacity God might have in store for me. My daughter Heather probably said it best when she said “I guess God wasn’t done with you yet.” I certainly hope not. I have had a couple of opportunities to give the message at my home church and have fully enjoyed the opportunity. I’m not ready to take on a full time ministry of a church but —- well, we’ll see what happens.

It is a forty two degree morning and is going up to the mid-sixties today. Ms. Kate and I have some running around to do today before I get outside and do some work. Today is what they are calling “cyber-Monday” so hopefully people will be shopping from their computers instead of being out in the stores. What I need I could probably pick up at a Dollar General store, but Ms. Kate said something about going to Hellmart, I meanWalmart. I’ll need a second cup of coffee before I can tackle that.

Today we want to get the wreaths put up at the windows and a couple of other Christmas decorations for the outside too. I also want to run the John Deere over the leaves one more time in the fron yard and then neighbor Dan and I plan to take the mower deck off and put on the snow blade. December will be here in less than a week and winter weather is going to hit us one of these days.

I also have all of the bird feeders to fill today. Except for a few suet cakes, they have eaten most everything. The sunflower seed feeders are all empty and the bark butter feeders are empty and I need to fill the bird baths again. I have had a yard full of cardinals, junkos, and finches all cleaning up the last of the sunflower seeds and other residuals. There has been four downy woodpeckers here cleaning out the bark butter feeders too.

With all of that to do, I best get my bagel toasted and another cup of coffee downed before I begin my day, —- but not before I take time to give thanks to God for another marvelous day and express my gratitude for blessings received. The saying may be trite but is always true; God is Good, All the Time! Peace.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Yesterday may have been “Black Friday” but today is certainly “Sunny Saturday”. Gosh, it is beautiful outside. There is a clear brilliant blue sky and the temperature is fifty one degrees with a ten mile an hour breeze. Ms. Deb from next door has already been out on her John Deere and mowed her lawn and I hear at least one more lawn mower going somewhere in the neighborhood. If I were going to put up outdoor Christmas decorations, this would be the day to do it. I’ve seen some people already have their lights up and their Christmas trees are decorated. I actually do have some lights to put up but they aren’t in very good shape and I have yet to figure out how to put them up. Before we had gutter guards I could buy clips to fit over the lip of the gutter and hang them from those, But with gutter guards the clips won’t work. I had tried using those plastic hook with the adhesive on the back but the cold make them useless. Ms. Kate likes for me to put the lights up so I need to concentrate on how to get that done. I also have wreaths to hang in front of the windows but I get a bit more shaky each year on the ladder trying to put them up. I may work on that this afternoon though.

Our Thanksgiving festivities continue today as we go to Karen’s house and have lunch with her and her family. It is going to be a beautiful day to be at her house. She has a beautiful home that sits across the street on a hill overlooking the Ohio River. Her living room has a panoramic view of the river and I could sit there for hours just watching the barges go up and down the river especially on a beautiful day like today. I’ve been known to take more than a few naps sitting in front of those windows with the sun streaming in on me.

I talked about Black Friday and the chos that goes with it so often yesterday in my blog. True to what I said, there was a news story about a mall in Alabama that had to be shut down by the police because of the fights that broke out on Thanksgiving night and It wasn’t even Black Friday yet. These were people lined up to barge through the doors as soon as the sales started around midnight. I swear, some people have no more civility that street rats fighting over a crumb of bread.

Tomorrow is Sunday once again and we have begun the Christmas season. What better time to stop what you are doing and goto your local house of worship and join others as they celebrate the coming birth of Jesus Christ. If you are a professed Christian, don’t think of this as being just another Christmas. Stop and re-read the scriptures and pray about the impact that this birth has on your life. If you are not a Christian, I urge you to get a Bible, turn to the gospels, (the first four books of the New Testament) and read them. I personally believe that the love that pours out of those four Gospels will bring you a special warmth that come from being in close proximity with God. Have a great Day.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

They call today “Black Friday” in the commercial world. It is the day that stores allegedly begin their push to sell you stuff for Christmas. So today stores all over the country will have ridiculous sales on certain items like televisions and other electronics. People literally set up tents, sometime for three or four days in advance so they can be the first person in line and be sure to save $200.00 on that item that they didn’t need in the first place. I’m not sure why they call it “Black Friday” unless it refers to the black hearts and greedy nasty attitudes of the people pushing and shoving and fighting over items in a store. People have been assaulted, knocked down, trampled, and a few have even died. There was a picture in the paper during the last one of these days of a grandmother pulling a gun on another shopper who was fighting her for a certain toy. What??? Was she really going to kill a complete stranger over a toy??? And yet, —- I hear people say that “it puts them in the Christmas spirit”. In my personal opinion, if that kind of chaos is what it takes to put you in the Christmas spirit —- you have already missed the entire meaning of Christmas.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving here at home with Julie and Jim. The food was typical Ms. Kate wonderful and we ate our fill. Ms. kate made slightly smaller amounts of each item so while it looks like we pigged out because there weren’t many left-overs, we each only had a plate full. Jules didn’t even finish her plate but set it aside and had the rest of it for supper. I went back for more oyster dressing and turkey gravy for supper. Ms. Kate had made a pumpkin chiffon cake for dessert and we each only had one slice of that. So, no over -indulgence here and we aren’t still suffering from over stuffed tummies today. The only downer for the day was when Ms. Kate grabbed hold of a pan that I had just taken out of the oven. She had even warned me to be sure and use a hot pad because that pan was going to be extremely hot. But —- in her haste and a momentary mental slip, she wrapped her hand around that handle and has several burned spots on her hand. She says it is still very tender today and I have no doubt it is.

Julie and Jim will be heading out before too long I reckon. They are starting to pack thing up slowly because if the dogs get wind of it they will start being a pain in the butt with their barking and jumping around. Ms. Kate has been gathering up some of her craft paper to send home with Julie. She  has shelves and shelves of it that she has bought over the last decade and since she has stopped scrapbooking and started making cards, she uses a different kind of paper. So, she’s sending a bunch of it home with Julie to give to Julie’s friend.

I’ll bet there will be a lot of Christmas trees put up today. There was a time that we would start putting up our Christmas trees the day after Thanksgiving. But that was when Ms. Kate had me putting up seven trees. These days we put one up simply because that is all we have room for. I don’t know when we will put that one up because we are going to be gone on vacation for awhile. It hardly seems worth the effort to drag that heaavt trees and all of the stuff that goes with it up from the basement, only to have it up for a couple of weeks and then haul it all back down again.

Time to drop off for today and get some other stuff taken care of. I hope your weekend is full of joy and peace. Shalomn.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving y’all. I hope your day is as full of blessings as mine will be. Ms. Kate has the turkey in the roaster, the sweet potatoes are chopped and are par-boiling, the regular potatoes are cut up and ready to cook at the right time. The brussel sprouts are cut and ready to cook, the carrots are chopped and ready to cook (have you ever seen purple carrots?), my oyster dressing is in the oven and so is the dressing for everybody else. And Ms. kate made a pumpkin chiffon cake yesterday. Yep, —- we be ready to play pilgrim and feast down. Of course there will be a lot of leftovers and I predict a pot of turkey noodle soup will be in the making in the next couple of days.

It sure isn’t hard to look around me and see things that I am thankful for. The hard part is to talk about them with humility and not sound “braggy”. But I just feel so very blessed. I’ve had the opportunity to be in contact with all of our girls this morning, and Jim and Julie are here spending their holiday with us. I’ve heard from cousins and friends with well wishes today through the Facebook media. I have a home, I’m warm on a day that started out at 32 degrees. Yes, I’d take a little of the 90 degrees that Heather has at her house in California, but with a high today predicted to be 48 degrees, that is a more typical Thanksgiving for us. I didn’t have to go over a river or through a woods to be with family. And although Ms. Kate and I weren’t in the same location —- this is our 55th Thanksgiving together. For every blessing I am experiencing today, I give God all the credit and glory.

My prayer this morning go for those people who don’t have homes today and I pray that they find someplace to have a family meal. The storms and natural disasters this year have deprived so many of homes and of course there are the folks who tend to be homeless through other means and situations. I lift them today with the confidence that God will look after them and bring them comfort. I can’t even fathom what it would be like to be on the street and looking through garbage cans for something to eat or a place to get out of the weather.

I suspect that there may be something I can help Ms. Kate out with in the kitchen so I’m closing today with hopes for a day full of God’s peace around the world. Imagine a day where there would be zero violence anywhere in the world. I think that place was called Eden. Blessings!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Twenty nine degrees this morning! And — there is a stiff breeze blowing. I guess the good news is that it is blowing the dried leaves off of my gutters so I won’t have to get up there to do it. But, —- 29 degrees and a stiff breeze will keep you out of the yard in a bikini. I’ve had four squirrels out in the back yard and they kind of wrap their tails around them in an effort to keep warm. So far this morning I haven’t had but a couple of finches and small downy woodpeckers. I filled the sunflower seed feeders again yesterday. I’ll need to go to Pet Food Center and pick up another 80# of sunflower seed today. The can is almost three fourths empty. Hopefully they will have it on sale for “Black Friday” already. We got a flyer in the mail but I haven’t looked at it yet.

The sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining brightly. However, with absolutely no leaves on the trees and the grass being brown — it looks cold The hydrangea plants still have leaves hanging on them but they are frost bitten droopy. I’ll need to go ahead and cut them back one of these days. My firebush trees have now turned a nice red now that the cold weather has arrived and the sun can get to them without being blocked by the leaves from the poplar and maple trees. God’s world has an order and routine to it and not much changes in the routine. It reminds me that God is the same way; always present, never changing, consistent and reliable. I take a great deal of comfort in knowing that.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day. I think that means I need to take the turkey out of the refrigerator today to let it complete the thawing process and begin to get to room temperature. I’ll have to ask Ms. Kate. I watched several of the TV Chefs tell me all of that but that was days ago. The memory is never that good when I’m only half listening in the first place. I did uncover and bring up the turkey roaster pan form the storage room. I had forgotten how big it really is. I think the best plan will to be to plug it in on my work bench out in the garage. Of course, that means I may have to actually clean my work bench off. I’ll never find my stuff again, LOL

Julie and the pups came down yesterday so “X” amount of chaos has ensued. The pups are a constant in and out, especially the young one. But, we feel so blessed that Julie and Jim have moved from the Boston area where they lived for over twenty years and now live just over an hour away. I would prefer that all of my kiddos lived that close but they are all happy with where they do live and have very successful lives in their current locations. And, —- with the technology of Facebook Messenger, we talk every day. It is possible that we talk more often than many familes that all live around each other.

I may or may not write tomorrow so I wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving. No matter what your daily situation is, you have much to be thankful for. The fact that you are able to read this means that you have an education and can read. You are living in a country where you are free from oppression. You have eyesight, you are probably in your own warm home, you have people who care about you including me, and you have God who is watching over you and is offering you peace and salvation and eternal life. All of those blessings working together just while you are reading my simple blog. You and I are so very blessed. Take time to be thankful for it. Peace.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Cardinals, junkos, finches, a couple of starlings, and two squirrels round out my guest list this morning at the back yard buffet. Yesterday I went to Wild Birds and Things to get some thistle seed for the finches. They had been coming to the empty thistle feeder for a couple of days so I thought I better get some more and fill the feeder. So far today, —- they haven’t touched it. Howz that for gratitude?? While I was there I saw some really neat bird houses and I asked about them. The owner said they were for wrens and were made out of mango trees that no longer produced fruit. I have several wrens around here most of the year so I may have to invest the $50.00 and see what happens. I’ve had a wren hopping around on the patio most of the morning. It comes right to the door and looks in. It is cute as it can be.

I did get out in the years yesterday and I raked the back yard, cleaning up the Cyprus needles and twigs and leaves and those sharp little seed from the tulip poplar trees. My large compost bin is about to overflow now. The winter of rain and snow and decay will whittle that down to next to nothing by spring. I haven’t used out of it for several years so there should be some really good dirt under there by now. I also have a heavy duty black plastic composting bin that I use. I’ve gotten several wheelbarrow loads of good rich dirt out of there and put on my garden over the years.

Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the blue jay has announced hi presence and has come in for a meal at the buffet. The good news is that the starlings take off when he comes in. They have had some “sharp-beak” battles out here and the starlings lose.

God has indeed turned up the thermostat and it is now fifty degrees outside and gong up to 58. I have promised myself that I will finally get those darned four-o’clocks dug up and maybe even that azalea cut back that I have been saying I need to do for two months. The wind is a bit brisk but I will be on the east side of the house and should be blocked from a good deal of it. I just need to get it done. My neighbor on the north side of the house has this huge Bradford Pear tree that is blessing my front yard with it leaves so I will run the mower over that too.  I’m a little sore from yesterday’s raking but today will help with that.

I hope you have time to stop and look at the world around you today. While you are in a pause mode, give God thanks and praise for the bucket load of blessing that you have been showered with today. If you are having a tough day, hold out your hand and let God guide you though the rough spot. God knows what path you are supposed to be on, because God laid it out for you. Peace.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My guests at the buffet are all looking “puffed up” this morning as they try to stay warm on this thirty two degree morning. Thankfully the sun is bright today without any cloud cover and the winds that we have been having over the weekend have subsided. There is a glaze of ice on the unseated bird bath so the heated one is having plenty of visitation. I’ll need to put some fresh water in both of them  today. They have had a lot of leaves and seeds in them making the water look yucky although the birds and the squirrels don’t seem to mind. After all —- they do drink out of mud puddles alongside the road.

The storms this weekend ceertainly stripped the last of the leaves from the neighbor’s maple trees. I need to take my leaf blower out and blow off my sidewalk and patio again. The wind also filled my yard with little cypress twigs and needles from Ms. Margaret’s tree. I hate that tree. It is huge and it is never a pretty tree. Every year I end up cleaning up all of the stuff that blows off of it. If I don’t clean it up then it clings to Julie’s dog’s fur when they come and run in the yard. Then they carry it in the house. So, I guess I’ll get the JD back out of the shed, or maybe I’ll throw on my coat and go rake the stuff up. It will take a little longer but it will be good exercise. But I need to do it today because they are coming over tomorrow.

The worship service and sermon went well yesterday and appears to have been well received. Pastor Art and his wife got home from Alabama last evening, but I was glad to have a chance to preach again.

This is Thanksgiving week. I took the bird out of the freezer yesterday and put it in the refrigerator to start the thawing process for a Thursday cooking. Ms. Kate bought a turkey roaster about fourteen years ago and we have never used it. It was one of those deals when it was “the thing” to buy at the time. We’re going to get it out of the basement and use it this year and see how well it works. The thing takes up a lot of counter space though and counter space is a premium item in our kitchen.

I have a yard full of cardinals again today. What a great way to start off a Thanksgiving week. Most of them have dulled their colors but there are a couple of them that still have really bright red feathers. As I have said before, when the sun hits them, it just brightens up the entire yard. So, I give thanks to God this morning for that beautiful vision. I hope your week is full of good things. If you are traveling, travel safely And —- take time to be truly grateful for the blessings that God is sending you every day. Peace.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Happy end of the work-week to you! This is the day that people are anxious to have come to a close so they can get on to the weekend. I was once told, and it bears some amount of merit, that when a person is making a major purchase such as a n appliance or a car that they should ask what day the item came off of the assembly line. If it came off the line on a Monday or a Friday, don’t buy it because workers are more distracted on those two days and pay less attention to their job. There is also more absenteeism on those two days so people unfamiliar with the task end up filling in. Having worked on assembly lines in my past, I’d say there is some validity to the argument. —- Wow! That was a real “Seinfeld moment” about nothing wasn’t it??

Blustery and thirty nine degrees this morning; good November weather. It is supposed to go up to fifty four or so today but unless the sun comes out, it will still feel pretty chilly out there. Yesterday I went out and dug out the okra plants and go rid of those. I would have worked longer but I got chilled out there. Normally I don’t get cold to speak of but my hands do. The gloves I have aren’t built really for cold. They are just good leather work gloves. I may have to do a little bit of shopping for something warmer. The problem I find is that when I get warmer gloves, they are thicker and harder to do things with. But, if the temperature does go up today I want to go out and finally get the four o’clocks pulled up. I still haven’t done that and they really look ugly out there in front of the house. And, if it doesn’t warm up —- I may just have to quit being a wuss! We are due for some storms tomorrow so today needs to be the day to get some stuff done.

But —- before I do anything outside today, Ms. Kate and I are meeting Bob & Brenda & Karen at St. Joe Inn for Mushrooms and beer and lunch. It has been Three weeks or so and it is time for our monthly gathering with good food and good conversation.

I look around at the feeders and see that I have a job to do out there too. It appears that most of the feeders are empty. Last night Ms. Kate and I each had a bowl of popcorn for an evening snack. She didn’t finish hers so I threw it out the back door figuring that the birds would clean it up pretty quick today. Well, — the birds never got to see it. I was sitting in the sunporch around midnight listening to music and there at the back door was a fat possum just eating popcorn like it had paid for it. I just watched it and didn’t dother it. I don’t mind having a possum around here. They eat all kinds of things that we don’t want around here including mosquitos and voles and other bugs. And, they are so dang ugly that they are almost cute.

Time to get the jacket on and head out for “Schrooms & Beer.” I pray you will have a most wonderful Friday. Peace.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What is up with this gloomy and cloudy day?? The weather dud said sunny and a litle warmer today but that doesn’t look very promising. It is currently 35 degrees out there. Not that my buffet friends seem to mind very much. My guests this morning include  a lot of finches and sparrows, three or four cardinals at the moment, a couple of wood peckers and of course, a couple of squirrels. At least the fuzzy tailed rats aren’t over running the place like they did yesterday. I don’t know what was up with the squirrel convention in my yard yesterday.

I think today, if the ground dries out just a bit more, I may run my lawn mower over my back yard one last time and then put it in the shed, and pull the battery for the winter. Actually I have a cover for it so I may just pull them battery and leave it covered. I can barely get the thing in my shed. I could rearrange my garage and drive it around and put both John Deere’s in the garage but —— then there would be a death in the family and it would be mine because Ms. Kate would shoot me. You know how people say “You got another think coming”? Well, I better use my other “think” about this situation.

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is one week from today. Ms. Kate has the turkey bought and it is in the freezer. I’ll probably take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator on Tuesday so it can start thawing. I guess it will just be Ms. Kate and me and Julie and Jim for the Thanksgiving meal. I just sent an invitation out to Karen but she may be having all of her family over. We’ll see what happens. I have no idea what else Ms. Kate will want to fix. I always count on her to make at least a small bowl of oyster dressing, which means I need to make sure I can get some fresh oysters. I do love that. I’m not much on cranberry sauce of any kind. But, I have no doubt there will be mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, rolls, corn, maybe some green bean casserole, and maybe an apple pie. Ms. Kate is the best cook I know which accounts for the sixty pounds I have gained in the last fifty one years.

I think that is about it for today my friends. Have a wonderful Thursday. Try to make it your best day of the week so far. Then come on back for Friday and the beginning of your weekend. Peace.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Yesterday was fairly bright and sunny and I had to spend the entire morning in a meeting. And while the meeting was somewhat interesting and somewhat productive, it doesn’t equate to a morning of watching my back yard buffet guests. Today, on the other hand, is rainy and cloudy and gloomy. However, I’m still having an eventful morning in the back yard. For some reason, I seem to be having a squirrel convention at the buffet. There’s a minimum of ten squirrels in my back yard right now. They are on feeders, on branches, on the ground chasing one another. I don’t think I have ever had this many squirrel in my yard and at my feeders at one time. I just opened the sliding door and fired off six or seven shots with my BB gun and I think I only missed hitting one of them one time. But, they have gone high in the trees or over to a neigbor’s tree for the time being. And —- as soon as they left, the birds began swooping in to eat. Unfortunately, give the squirrels five minutes and they will be back. If I ever wanted squirrel for lunch, this would be the day to have it. (Yuk). I’ve had squirrel; it doesn’t taste like chicken, I don’t care what anybody says. 

I think it is amazing that the birds and mystupid squirrels all just seem to be impervious to the fact that is it raining like crazy. They fly though it with ease and sit and eat like it is a sunny day. I guesss their drive for food over rides every other drive. I assume they have no concept of it raining or being cold  or whatever. I think God designed them so that their bodies simply adjust to the conditions. If they are cold, they fluff up their fur or their feathers automatically and there is no thought process to it. And, when I stop to think about that I just never cease to be amazed at the complexity of God’s world and the creatures God has created. How anyone could try to remove the concept of Devine intervention and design from our existence and claim this is all accidental evolution is beyond me. As I and so many other s have repeatedly said, —- “Yes, their may have been a Big Bang —- but God lit the match with purpose and power., 

It has stopped raining for a few minutes and Ms. Kate wants me to put something in the mailbox so I’m dropping off for today. I think I will spend the day either reading or writing or maybe a bit of both. It’s gloomy outside so light up the world with your love!  Peace. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Forty two seems to be the going rate for morning temperatures these days with the exception of last week’s cold snap. It is forty two again this morning and the sun is breaking through a quasi-cloudy day. The leaves are still, what is left of them and my chimes aren’t moving or ringing so I’d say it is calm. Looking around outside I see I need to go to the shed and start filling bird feeders again this morning and I also need to get the leaf blower out and blow off the sidewalks again and take the leaves out of the bird baths. But for the moment, I’m having my coffee and a bagel and enjoying this beautiful day God has given me. 

Welcome to Monday! Welcome to the start of another week. I wonder what the week will hold for us. Obligation wise I have a Pastor’s Circle meeting tomorrow and then Ms. Kate and I are meeting Bob and Brenda for mushrooms and beer at lunch time on Friday. Beyond that, my calendar looks clear, unless some kind of issue comes up at the church. I’m filling in for the pastor this week. I went to the funeral home yesterday to pay respects to a member of the church whose father passed away. I didn’t know the man and barely have met the member, but Pastor Art would have gone so I went. 

I started reading a new book last evening and made it through about the first two thirds before I had to put it down and go to bed. It is called; “Love, Skip, Jump; Start Living the Adventure of “Yes”. It is by a lady named Shalene Bryan and it is one of those books you would find on the bargain book table. I borrowed it from the lady who teaches our Sunday school class; I don’t know where she bought it. But has been marked down from its original price $4.00. My friends, if you can find a copy somewhere, buy it. It will be the bargain of a lifetime. Simple synopsis; it relates her adventures of saying “yes” to God and you can just feel the joy in her heart. I’m going to finish it today.

I think that is about for this morning. It is time to get my day rolling and be a bit productive before I sit back down in my recliner and finish reading my book. I hope your week has started off right. If it hasn’t, stop, take a deep breath, have a word with God, feel God strength as it lifts you up, and press on. The challenges will still be there but they go so much easier when you don’t try to face them alone. Shalomn.  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

If birds can be happy, I think mine are this morning. While two of the bird baths were frozen over, the electric one provided a nice spa experience for them this morning. By now the temperature is up to forty so the other two have their ice melted, but the birds were literally in a ring around the lip of the electric one this morning.

We lost our cable connection yesterday afternoon. The neighbor two doors down has a major sewer line problem and had an escalator company out there working. They cut the main feed for cable for a whole bunch of us. That meant we had no land line telephone, no internet, and no television cable! We were in the dark ages. Don’t they realize that a crisis like that could force families to actually have to converse face to face?? Well — Ms. Kate and I weren’t going to to be forced into a situation like that! We whipped out our IPhones and turned on the “hotspot” and used our IPads. Then we figured out that we didn’t need cable to play a DVD on the television. So we watched a movie.  No cable company is going to trick us into personal conversation.  I went to bed around 2330 and Ms. Kate said that the cable maintenance unit showed up around 0030 hours. So, we are back out of the dark ages.

I have had at least a dozen cardinals out here most of the morning. It has been a wonderful sight. The sunflower feeders that I filled a couple of days ago are half empty by now. I may need to top them off before the day is out. It is supposed to get cold again tonight and I want my critters to have plenty of food and water.

Ms. Kate wants to go to a Christmas Bazaar today that one of the churches is having. And we have to go to Mejier’s and get some groceries. We need to take a salad of some kind to the church potluck lunch tomorrow and need the fixings for that. And there are a couple of other things on the list to pick up. Starting tomorrow afternoon I’m covering for the pastor as he and his wife go on vacation to see the baptism of their granddaughter. I’ll be preaching the sermon next Sunday too. We have a couple of people in the hospital that I may need to visit this week too. It wil be like “old times” again.

Tomorrow is Sunday and I hope you will take the time to go to a house of worship. I personally find that starting the week out with worship and prayer just gets the new week prepared. So, I urge you to stop your life long enough to give God some time. Have a blessed week.

Friday, November 10, 2017

A couple of things became really obvious to me first thing this morning. First, I need to get the electric bird bath plugged in. There was a layer of ice on each if them when I looked out there and a couple of birds were trying to peck through it. With even colder temperatures predicted tonight, it is time to plug it in.  Secondly, — I’m not rushing outside to do anything today. It is still thirty nine degrees with a stiff wind. That spells cold, I don’t care what you say.

I did get my (okay, Ms. Kate’s) tulip bulbs planted yesterday. Assuming they come up, they will make a really nice display come spring time. I put fifty bulbs out. According to the directions, I planted them in exactly the right time of the year. Hopefully they will do well. We had planted that area with a lot of tulips several years ago but I think those build are all gone because I didn’t find any while I was digging.

If I have time today, I may go out and cut back and dig out the four-o’clock and the okra. They are both done for the season. And after we get the hard freeze tonight, they will just sit there and look ugly. Since the four-o’clock are by the front door and Christmas is coming we don’t want any ugliness by the front door. Dead flowers don’t make a very festive appearance.

Tomorrow we celebrate Veteran’s Day. I was just thinking about that and realized it was fifty two years yesterday that I started basic training at Lackland AFB. Wow! That made me feel old very quickly. But, looking back, I had a wonderful career that provided well for my family and created lives for our daughters that they would never have had if we had stayed around Evansville. I can’t even begin to imagine what my and our life would have been like. Andso, when I think of celebrating Veteran’s Day, I give thanks to God for looking after me and my family and for opening doors all along the way. And — I thank God for my family that followed along with me; albeit not always happily, as we moved from base to base making them rip apart friendships as we pulled up stakes here and moved to there and then did it all over again every two years or so. If you ask me — it is the families of service men and women who are the real veterans.

Ms. Kate has a “plan of action” for us today so I best get out of my recliner and get busy. Peace.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

 There are satisfied squirrels and birds everywhere at the back yard buffet this morning. I filled the sunflower feeders and the bark butter feeders yesterday afternoon and they are all being well used. I have customers everywhere. The ground also looks to be moving once again with the junkos hopping around all over the place. And I have two squirrels that are either having a heck of a battle this morning or they are playing a vicious game of tag. I don’t know which. However, they have been up and down every tree in the yard several times and have circled this entire yard chasing one another back and forth. I suspect it is a territorial thing. I have another squirrel that is stretched out from the branch to the feeder. He is holding on to the branch with his back feet and the feeders with his front feet. And — he is trying to eat his way through the aluminum lid on the feeder to get to the sunflower seeds. It did the same thing yesterday fro almost 20 minutes and finally gave up. Of course, it didn’t even make a scratch on that lid. But, I must admire its determination.

It is a beautiful fifty two degree morning with a fairly stiff breeze. I cleaned up the leaves on the sidewalk and in the yard yesterday but the local maple trees are sharing their beauty with me once again not only by being beautiful but then landing in my yard so I can get a closer look. How nice of them. At least the leaves are much smaller than the leaves from my tulip poplar trees so they ate far less noticeable. Neighbor Dan, across the street has a soft maple in his front yard that is beautiful with all of its orange and yellow leaves. But his trees have lost a lot of their leaves now too so I went over while I had my lawn tractor out and used the mulcher blade on his yard too. Ms. Kate used to do a great job of mulching leaves out my my parent’s house. Dad had a Cub Cadet and there were six trees on the back hill. She would go out there and run that Cub over those leaves until they were practically powder. Dad liked to watch her out there and mentioned what a great job she was doing. Little did he know that she was doing the same thing that I do when I get on my John Deere; — enjoying the peace and quiet, and in her case, — avoiding having to have conversation with the in-laws. LOL

I didn’t plant the tulips yesterday because the ground was still a bit muddy. I’ll try again this afternoon and see if it is any better. It wasn’t terrible yesterday and I think it should be a bit better today. I need to get them in the ground though. And while I’m out there I can get some of the winter weeds dug out of the flowerbed. I suddenly have a rash of what I’ve always called wild cabbage. And I have a real mole problem out front in my yard. We’ve never had moles until the last couple of years and I really don’t know what to do about them. I need to get on Google and do some research.

that is about it for today folks. I need to get on with my day. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Peace.