Monday, October 23, 2017

Welcome to a brand new week. Just think of all of the opportunities, known and unknown, that lie ahead of you this week. Have you checked your calendar yet? Are there little windows of time that maybe you could call an old friend you haven’t seen for awhile and just say “hi”? Do you have a day that maybe you could just spend in reflection or reading a book or maybe even baking some cookies or an apple pie? Life goes on and on and so often we forget to step off of the treadmill and just sit down and rest. That’s part of the reason I love to sit out here in the sunporch every morning and just enjoy the peace and quiet that I find out here. All my critters fly in and I love sitting and watching them and their antics. (Okay, do you now have a mental image of Snow White with a bluebird sitting on her finger?)

It is a cloudy day and we have already reached our temperature high for the day of 55 degrees. There is a breeze too and that will bring the comfort level down. We expect to have showers on and off fo the rest of the day. A cold front has settled in and we are looking at only one day this week where the temperature might go to the upper sixties or maybe even seventy. But, it is late fall after all. Before you know it we’ll be in November.

I’ve only had one or two birds here today; I guess they are out in the fields or eating seed from other plants. Either way, the buffet stands empty this morning. I do have a couple of chickadees out there and I had a woodpecker here for a few minutes.

I did finish up putting the broadcast spreader together and used it Saturday afternoon on the front yard. I plan to use it today on the back yard and finish up spending the fertilizer/winterizer on the lawn. It really works well and I’m glad I bought it, despite how much time I had to take to assemble it.

We had another good church service yesterday. Pastor Art gives a great sermon and he does it with such ease. But then, he has been doing it for several decades. He always stands out between the pulpit and the lectern (Baptist Seminary training) and it looks like he is giving his sermon off the cuff. I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve been one of those guys that stands behind the pulpit and reads from my written sermon. Both methods work, but his style just looks so much more at ease. I wish I could learn to do that.

Tomorrow I have to spend the day in my “Boundary Training”. You know, I could teach that class in about ten minutes max. But we pastors will spend seven hours learning AGAIN how to keep appropriate relationships and keep our hands and other body parts off of members of the congregation  and the staff. We’ll be told again about proper use of social media etc., etc., etc. It is a “CYB” class required by the denomination so that if a pastor does get in trouble, they can’t say they weren’t trained better. So, if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, you know where I’ll be.

I pray your day will go well and I pray your week will be filled with God’s glory and blessings. If you are facing challenges this week, remember where to turn. Challenges go so much better when you have peace of mind. Shalomn

Saturday, October 21, 2017

And a very happy Saturday to you! It is a calm, cloudy 57 degree morning out side. I’m starting to get some guests in for the backyard buffet. One of the local cats was sitting here in the yard for awhile so none of my customers dared come around. But it has now moved on and a few small birds have begun to appear. I haven’t had an abundance of birds this week and my feeders aren’t being depleted very quickly either. I think most of the birds are eating from the fields because harvest is in full swing and in many cases around here, the farmers have already brought the harvest in. I was talking to my buddy Bob yesterday and he said he thought that they had gotten a record harvest. That wold be wonderful if they did. On the other hand a record harvest usually mean the price drops out of the bucket. It is a plain fact; the farmer never wins.

We had another long and busy day yesterday. We began with Ms. Kate’s physical and we both got or flu shots while we were there. By the time her appointment was over, we were both hungry so we went out and had lunch. From there we went to Staples and had my crashed computer checked out and it was as bad as I suspected it would be. So I had them throw it in the recycle bin and bought a new one. The really bad thing is that I have lost every computer file I ever had. I have no backup of anything. So, I now have a brand new 1TB computer that is totally empty of any of my data. I’ll have to build everything from scratch. Oh well, there are worse crisis in life. Luckily, the one document I had on a flash drive is a book that I have started writing and have about forty pages written.

Anyway — I digress, Next I brought Ms. Kate home and I went to Ft. Branch to see Bob. He had called and asked if we could use some rest turnips and of course I said yes. So, I drove the 25 miles up there, visited for a bit and then came back home. I had just set down in my recliner and Staples call and said that my new computer was all set up and ready for pick up. So, I drove out there and got it and on the way home I caled Ms. Kate and told her I was on the way and she met me out in front of the house so we cold go to a birthday dinner at the Log Inn. We got home close to 2100 hours and I got my computer all set up again in my office, and watched a couple of my television shows. We turned out the light about 0130 this morning.

Today I need to finish putting my new broadcast spreader together and get the winterizer weed and seed fertilizer put down in the yard. Stuff to do, stuff to do. But, you know; — as hectic and worrisome as the last ten or eleven days have been, we still woke up every morning with a life full and overflowing with the blessing of Almighty God. We didn’t get up with a home destroyed by weather. We didn’t get up having lost a loved one. We didn’t get up facing some terminal illness except for getting older each day. We woke up looking at each other with the expectation that we will go to bed tonight doing the same thing. Our life is blessed and I give all praise and all glory to God for those blessings. I hope you will take time to look at your abundance of blessings today and then go to your house of worship and join others who want to share their blessings. God is so good!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Good morning to you! Yes , I missed another day on the road to Friday. Yesterday was another one of those crazy days that had lots of activity but seems that I got nothing done. I have been back from vacation now for eleven days and every day has been weird. Much of it has dealt with Ms. Kate. I think I told you that she was really hurting for several days and we thought it might be a pinched nerve in her neck. It turned out to be an arthritis flare up, which she has never experienced before. But we only found that ot after spending a morning in the emergency room. She was scheduled for a colonoscopy for yesterday so that has thrown off not only her diet, but her medications and what she could actually take for the pain. But I’m glad to report that her procedure went well and she got an all clear report from her procedure. However, today she has her physical exam from our family doctor so it is a fasting appointment with no coffee for Ms. Kate morning.

In the mean time, Wednesday afternoon I decided that I needed to get a pull behind broadcast spreader for my John Deere.  I have a Scott’s spreader that I push but it is so flimsy and sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. So I called neighbor Dan and asked him if he wanted to ride along to “man-land”. He said yes , but could we also take his humongous TV to Best Buy for disposal. Sp we loaded that monster in the truck and did that and then went to Lowes. I had researched the spreaders and knew I wanted the John Deere one (actually made by Agri-Fab) and they had it in stock at Lowes. All of the reviews on it said it was difficult to assemble, but that it works well. But, Dan said he would help assemble it hursday afternoon after I got home from taking Ms. Kate for her appointment. Wellllll — that didn’t happen. He busy doing something for his kids until maybe Sunday, so I started on it late yesterday afternoon. The reviewers were right; — it is a bitch to put together. I might get it finished today.

In the meantime, (yes my sad story goes on forever), Wednesday night I was doing some stuff on my desktop computer down in my office and it crashed with hard drive failure. Not, a virus. — just quit. I can’t open it up to retrieve files or anything. It is a 2011 with Windows 7 and I guess I just wore it out. That means of course, I need to go get a new one and spend the time required in setting that up. Fortunately, Heather, and John bought me a Microsoft Suurface Pro in July and I can do most things with that. I even downloaded my printer to it so I can use that. I had the PC partially backed up but had unplugged the external hard drive for some time so I don’t know what is on that. But, I’m going to take the PC to Office Depot and see what can be salvaged and see if they can rip any files from the PC to my external hard drive.

So, I’m glad to see Friday get here. Maybe next week will go better. The good news is that after Ms. Kate’s appointment today, she’ll be done with doctor’s and feeling bad etc. And this morning, I heard my first Pilated woodpecker up in the tree. It has been gone since spring. So, it was a wonderful sound. (See, — God sends little blessing all the time.).

I pray your day is going well. The sun is peaking over my roof now and will soon be lighting up the back yard and moving the temperature from 52 degrees on up to almost 80 today. It is a great day to be alive and a child of God. Enjoy it!  Peace.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It is Wednesday isn’t it? I sometimes lose track of days and just can’t remember. And we have had so many things going on around here since we got back a week ago yesterday, (I think), that I have really lost track. If the trash man picks up my cans in the morning them I’ll know it is Thursday.

Regardless of the day in the week, it is beautiful outside. The temperature has moved up from 49 degrees to 63 degrees by now. That will be the high for today. The sun is shining bright but there is a breeze that will make it feel a little cooler than that. When I eventually get outside, I may stick to wearing my sweatshirt until I see how it feels when I get busy out there.

Neighbor Dan and his wife are home from another trip, this one to Texas. They don’t mind making that trip in one day and it took them fourteen hours. Ms. Kate and I just don’t like to travel like that. I’ll pay for a hotel room and get a good nights sleep and a breakfast, thank you very much. But, the good news is that he brought me back two cases of Lone Star Beer from Texas. I will be very stingy with that beer. I don’t drink much beer when I’m at home. Ms. Kate doesn’t drink and can’t drink because of certain medicines that she takes and I’m not one to just sit and drink. If I have more than two beers a months, it’s unusual. So these two cases will go a long time. I was surprised that he said he had a hard time finding it. Lone Star is officially called “The National Beer of Texas”. But now it is brewed by the Pabst company in California. It’s a sad story when you can’t find Lone Star Beer in Texas. LOL

Ms. Kate’s neck pain is getting better and better. She is on Extra Strength Tylenol through today but has to not take any more until after her colonoscopy tomorrow. So she has that to contend with yet today and tonight. Bless her heart, — it has been a rough week for her.

I guess I beettter get out of this chair and into my work clothes and get out in the yard. I got side tracked with talking to Dan for almost an hour so I’m really running late. I hope where ever you are is as beautiful as it is here today. If so, I hope that you have time to get out and enjoy it and feel the warmth of the sunshine that God is putting on your face. Take time to give God praise today and to pray for your fellowman. Peace.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Let’s start off the day with the great news. Ms. Kate is feeling lots and lots better today. She had a good night’s sleep in the bed instead of in a recliner or a straight back chair like she has tried unsuccessfully to do the previous two nights. So, I must begin my day with giving God praise for providing His healing touch by providing doctor’s and nurses who knew how to treat her. I must also give a shout out to Deaconess Hospital emergency room personnel who were very caring in taking care of her.

We are in day two of a week of promised beautiful weather. The sun is shining brightly with no clouds to filter through. Although, we have reached a point in the year when bright sun will not always equal warm days. I think though today it is supposed to get to about seventy degrees which is perfect fall weather and the cool nights will bring on the color to the leaves before they come floating down to the ground for me to rake up. I stayed in the house yesterday after we got home from the ER just in case Ms. Kate needed something. Today I’m going to go out to the yard and get some work done. Lord knows, there is plenty to be done.

It would appear that my buffet guests have also added to my list of things to be done today. I see several feeders out there that have fairly depleted. I had to laugh though this morning at a blackbird that was trying to get some of the bark butter. This particular feeder is about eighteen inches long and hangs horizontally with four holes drilled out on the bottom to put the bark butter in. It is designed for the woodpeckers to eat from because they have no problem clinging to and eating from the bottom of branches etc. The feeder is hanging from a double hook iron pole with a baffle on it to keep the raccoons and squirrels from climbing it. The top of the baffles sits about two feet below the horizontal feeder. The blackbird saw that there was food up there but can’t cling to the feeder. So it would sit on the baffle and try to jump up and flutter long enough to grab a beak full of food. It was literally wearing itself out trying to snatch some of that food. Finally it just gave up and went over and ate some sunflower seed. It reminded me of times that I have tried to reach something that was just out of my range and no matter how hard I might try to jump up and get it, my only achievement is a little exercise.

California firefighters are slowly gaining on the horrible fires that have so far taken forty one lives and destroyed an untold number of homes leaving hundreds of people with nothing to return to. I pray they can finally get these fires put out and people can return and start rebuilding their lives. I wold ask you to join me in prayer today for all of the victims of the fires and hurricanes and floods who are still without homes or power or water or food. I’d also ask you to remember that while we so often ask God to take care of them, remember that God relies on us to be the instrument of His peace and to be the hands that do the work.

Take advantage of this beautiful day. Share some love with someone whether you know them or not. Peace.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Happy Monday! I hope your week has started off better than ours around here. This morning first thing I had to take Ms. Kate to the emergency room for the pain in her neck and spine. She has been in a lot of pain since Friday but has tried to tough it out. I tried to get her to go to the ER yesterday but she was having none of it. But after her second night of not being able to sleep, she gave in. (Dang stubborn German.) It turns out that what we both thought was a pinched nerve was actually a severe arthritis flare up in her neck. It is the first time that she has had anything like this. Well they gave her pain medication and nausea medicine. However, while the pain has subsided she has been throwing up ever since they gave her the meds. I have her home now and she is finally sleeping peacefully. But bless her little stubborn heart, she could have avoided a night of pain if she had let me take her to the ER yesterday like I asked to. Unfortunately the arthritis runs in her father’s side of the family and our daughter Julie really has it bad with Rhumatoid Arthritis and goes through these horrible flare ups frequently. The stubbornness however—- that is from her mom’s side of the family. LOL

So, I attended my 55th year high school reunion on Saturday night. It was everything I expected it to be; mundane  meaningless conversation, faces I no longer recognized, edible (I didn’t say good) food, and a too long and boring program. I don’t know why I give in to going to those things. I had several people ask me if I was going but I didn’t get to sit with any of them. Remind me in five years to say “no”.

Yesterday was Homecoming Sunday at our church and it was very well attended. There were people there that have since moved on to other churches and people that just haven’t attended for one reason or another. The church was about three quarters full. The new organist played beautifully, the choir sounded wonderful, and the guest pastor gave a geat sermon. He had been pastor of our church for eighteen years. The meal was typical “church carry-in” which you know mean “yummmm!” Ms.. Kate wasn’t up to going or fixing a vegetable for me to take for the meal so I fixed up a pot of green beans with ham pieces and a little opinion soup mixed in. There was one helping left when I brought it home and Ms. Kate had that for her only meal of the day.

That’s it for today my friends. Please say a prayer for Ms. Kate. We need her to get to feeling better. Until next time, stay in touch with God; I promise you that God is staying in touch with you. Peace.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Bright sunshine is flowing in through the windows of my sunporch this morning. It has already warmed the atmosphere and it is going to be a beautiful day. A little later I’ll be outside trimming back the peonies that I never got around to earlier. That is an end of September job but we were out playing with the buffalo and peonies were not on my radar of things to do. I also need to mow the front yard and drive around over the dang mole trails that are going through my front yard. I‘Ve had a mole once in a while in the past but this year this guys seems to really be aggressive and I have runs all over the yard. It is quite frustrating.

As I sit here having my coffee and listening to an Andre Reiu CD there are maybe six cardinals out there at the buffet with their bright feathers glistening in the sun. What a wonderful sight.  I’ve had the full range of my normal guests out here this morning. They come in and grab a bite or two and then they fly out into the fire bushes or trees for cover; then they come back in for another bite or two. It is just so enjoyable to watch.

Tonight is my 55th year high school reunion. It hardly seems possible that it has been that long but then, Ms. Kate and I have been together that long, conting our four years of dating. I wrote on my Facebook page that when I was a kid in high school, I had a five piece band and we would play for high school reunions etc and laugh at all of those “old farts” out there dancing. Now we have joined the Old Fart ranks. I know we have lost a lot of our class over the years and I suspect before we see a sixtieth, we will have lost a lot more. Life does go on and death is part of the rotation. I haven’t attended very many of the reunions. The first few are typically so obnoxiously boring with everybody trying to impress with their success. Then we were gone away from home and in the military for 32 of those years. But, by now most are retired and “what we were — is no longer what we are.” Now adays, I think we get together to compare medical plans and prescriptions. I’ve never been big on reunions because frankly I didn’t have that many friends in high school. I had a lot of acquaintances and people who knew me because of my music, but I never had any what they call today a BFF. And — while I can talk a lot, I’m not really very good at holding a conversation beyond the mundane. So, we’ll go tonight and we’ll hold some polite chatter, and leave early. Boy, that all makes me sound like a real “Dickie Downer” doesn’t it?  I reckon it’s why I love the solitude of my sunporch and the peace of life just basically being Ms. Kate and me. And frankly, there is nothing wrong with being all alone in a crowd and just enjoying watching and studying the people around you.

So, it is time to get off my chair and accomplish something today. I pray your weekend will be full of God’s peace. Shalomn.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Welcome to a blessed, bright new day, and a Friday the 13th at that! Does it being Friday the 13th bother you? Do you have superstitions about it being a bad luck day? I’ve never had any problems with this day on the calendar and I think we generally have maybe five of them a year. I’d say the worst part of Friday the 13th was the horror movie by the same name. I never quite understood how the main character of that movie allegedly drowned as a child and yet “came back” after years of being dead as an adult unkillable killing thing. But then I never understood its rival movie, “Halloween” either or the character from “Nightmare of Elm Street”. But, I went to see them at the time.

Yes, I missed another day of writing yesterday. I had an email/coupon from P.F. Chang restaurant yesterday that was good for one day only that was a buy one entree and get another free. Well, since that is one of Ms. Kate’s favorite places to eat we decided to go there for lunch. The only drawback is that it is on the other side of Louisville, KY —- about 125 miles from here. But — going to Louisville takes us by Julie’s house and work and we had a couple of things to take to her. So, we went to lunch, called her while we were there and asked her if she wanted us to pick her somethiing up for lunch, which of course she did, and then we took her lunch and the items that we had for her. We visited with Julie for a few minutes and then made the 125 mile trip back home. By then I was past being ready to write a blog. But, we had a great day and a great lunch of crispy honey shrimp and fried rice. And, — that is the kind of “day trips” Ms. Kate and I love to take.

The back yard buffet is full of customers this morning. I had a flock of starlings in here for awhile. They ate, they fussed at one another, they took baths and splashed water everywhere and they vigorously guarded their territory for awhile pecking at other birds that came on to eat. But they left and then came on the cardinals and finches, and chickadees, and woodpeckers, titmouse, wrens, doves, sparrows and a mockingbird. The only one missing today is the hummingbird. But as it warms up a little, they too could show up. So far the squirrels haven’t returned since I filled the feeders and that is fine by me. I feed will last a day or two longer. I need to go to Pet Foods and pick up another forty pounds of sunflower seed. I’m pretty sure I’m now over 800 pounds of sunflower seed for this year so far. The price has been holding steady at $18.00 for a forty pound bag so at least it doesn’t kill my billfold when I go in there. It’s all of the other fancy stuff that I buy at Wild Birds that makes my wallet try to seal itself closed.

This coming Sunday we have a “reunion” type of day at the church with a potluck meal. We hope to have a lot of members from the past and pastors from the past show up. My old friend Rev. Don Bernhardt will be giving the message. Don was pastor at Zoar for around fourteen years and he baptized my daughter Heather. I think he may have confirmed Julie too but I’m not sure. Too many years and too many places go through my mind when I try to remember.

I hope your weekend is filled with joy and blessings. I hope too thaqat you take time to give thanks to God for those blessings. While you are praying, please include all of the people affected by the horrible wild fires currently burning in California. The death toll to date has reached about 50 and there are currently 600 people unaccounted for. Between fires, floods, and hurricanes, and the terrible mass shooting in Las Vegas; we have thousands of people suffering devasting losses and pain, and they need our help and they need our prayers. They need to know that they are not alone in their grief and fear, and sorrow.  If you see an opportunity to help — please do. It is what Christ calls us to do.

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cool and cloudy, 53 degrees this morning. It is going to remain like this all day although the temperature may go up another ten degrees. It’s all good though because I really need to go do some work in the yard today. Yesterday was pretty muuch a washout and we had other things to get done. I know I told you about our problem with the washing machine. Well, I called a repairman and $143.00 and a new switch later, the washing machine was working fine. I was impressed that they could and did respond that quickly. Our washer and dryer set were new back in 2001 so I was concerned that we might need a new one. But our repairman said it was an easy fix because out set was built when they were made to last. I’ve some of the prices on new ones and I hope ours lasts a long time yet. I’ve also stood next to some of the new ones and there is no way we “vertically challenged” people could get the laundry out of some of those top loading ones.

I filled the five bark butter feeders yesterday so my woodpeckers are happy with me as are the darn starlings. Today I will get the sunflower seed feeders all filled and then the whole gang can be happy including the fuzzy tailed rats. I see a couple of squirrels over in Margaret’s trees but they haven’t come over here because they know I haven’t filled the feeders yet. But, they are watching and waiting, and they will be here as soon as I start filling feeders.

We thought maybe the hummingbirds had moved on by now but yesterday afternoon we had one or maybe two out there at different times. One came to the door and was hovering and looking in. I thought it was nice of it to welcome us back home. There isn’t much left of the flowers at all for them to go to so I need to make sure we have food for them until they leave and move on to Arizona or wherever they go for the winter. I get amazed everytime I think that these tiny guys fly hundreds of miles to stay for the winter and then fly back up here for the summer. The minute details of God’s handiwork just never cease to amaze me. I think if someone said to me that “there is no God”; — I would simply say to them, “Then explain to me the lifecycle and colors, and migration habits of a hummingbird. Explain to me how and why it flies; and explain to me how all of that is “just an accident” of nature.”

Speaking of God; (which I often do), let’s take time today to pray for those folks in Southern California being hit by the wildfires. Our daughter Heather and her family live the next county over and they are hoping for containment soon. And — while you have God’s attention, let’s remember to pray for all of the folks in Texas, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, and other places affected by this seasnon’s hurricanes. And let’s remember to pray for this nation and the leadership of this and other nations to pull us back from the brink of war. And let’s pray for the people of our country that we can come together with a sense of unity and love instead of division over seemingly insignificant stuff. We have a lot to pray for and we are asking a lot of God. But God created us and only God’s love, mercy, and grace will sustain us. I fall back to the words in John 3:16; — “For God so loved the world” and I trust that God will continue to love the world and allow us to not just survive, but thrive.

Peace my friends.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tuesday morning and I am sitting in the best recliner in the world, the one in my sunporch. We got home yesterday afternoon and as John Denver used to sing; “It’s good to be back home again.”. Our vacation took us right at 3950 miles and as I have previously said, we saw an awful lot of beautiful  country. It would be hard to pick out a favorite sight. Yes, the Grand Teton Mountain range is awe inspiring; — but so is the cardinal that sits on my bird bath every day. It was an awesome experience walking out of my quarters on FE Warren AFB and seeing five antelope laying out by my car.  But it is an awesome experience watching the hummingbird as it come to feed at my feeders and dart among my flowers. It is so peaceful to stand in the forests and listen to the wind in the pines and the rushing water in the streams; but it is also peaceful to simply sit and listen to a songbird out there on the limb of the Pussy Willow tree. The bottom line is that we can experience God’s handiwork at any place and at any time. One only need look and listen and open our eyes; and God’s beauty is always right there.

It is a warm kind of rainy morning and the bird feeders are empty and I have zero guests in the back yard as would be expected. After all I suspect they haven’t had food here for at least a week. However, I’ll go out there, fill those feeders, and I’d bet there will be birds on these feeders within the hour after I feed them. I’m glad I stocked up on feed though before we left.

Ms. Kate started the laundry this morning and the wash cycle went fine. However, — something has gone wrong because it wont’t go through any of the other cycles. So now it is sitting there full of water and dark clothes and we are now waiting on the repairman to come this afternoon and fix it. We can’t complain, — we bought that washer when we moved here 16 years ago. This is the first problem we have had with it. I’d hate to have to by a new one. I can’t believe the prices they get for new appliances these days.

I have a lot of leaves to rakes and blow off of the patio and sidewalks but it isn’t near as bad as I anticipated. It is supposed to be sunny tomorrow so maybe I’ll run the lawn mower over the back yard tomorrow. Yardwork gangs up on ya if you don’t stay on top of it.

I guess I better get busy with the things I need to do today. I hope your day brings you joy and happiness and if it does, — please share it with someone. Peace!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sunday evening and I know it has been a few days since I wrote my last blog. I make no apologies though because we have been having a wonderful time on our vacation. We have  seen such wonderful beauty in God's perfect nature. And we have learned things as we drive along and stop and look at things. I wish I knew how to incorporate some of my pictures into this blog but, I have put many of them on Facebook and maybe folks are tired of seeing them anyway.

Thursday we crossed the Teton Pass over to Jackson, WY and drove into the Grand Teton National Park. One of the things that "grabs " you first about gong from Driggs, Idaho is that to get to Jackson you go through the Teton Pass. The road is a 10% grade which is pretty darn steep. And, it is also a narrow road with few guardrails. I guess the good news is that it is only about twenty miles long and we only had to cross it three times. I'll admit thought that even though it was a bit of a "white-knuckle" drive, it was beautiful. And on one of the trips we saw a moose.

Grand Teton National Park is maybe one of the most photographed park in the country. We had to the opportunity to go to the Chapel of the Transfiguration. It is a log chapel built by the Episcopalians and there is an altar built in from of a picture window so what you see is the cross and the mountain range in the back ground. It is indeed inspiring. I had been there maybe 60 years ago and it is as inspiring today as it was then. From there we went on to see Lake Jenny which is also absolutely beautiful.

Friday we took off from Idaho and headed out for Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had made reservations for us to stay in the Distinguished Visitor guest quarters  on F.E. Warren AFB at Cheyenne. FE is the oldest continuous operating military installation in the U.S. It is a missile base but began as a cavalry post was active during the "winning the west". One of the amazing things that happened was that I went out to my car at around 2300 hours to get something and as I walked out there were five large antelope laying out there about 15 feet away from my car. They just basically ignored me as I rummaged through my car and went back to my quarters. It was a neat experience.

Yesterday we drove from Cheyenne to Saline, Kansas which was about 550 miles and a very long day. By the time we got in, we were bushed. Today we made a short day of it and drove only as far as Columbia, MO. True, we could have driven another 250 miles and been home tonight but it is storming at home and by tomorrow we should be driving home in sunshine.

As I have said, it has been a wonderful vacation. I know not everybody has the opportunity to take a trip like this but the truth is that in order to find the wonders of God's world we don't really have to travel 4000 miles like Ms. Kate and I are doing. I see God's wonder as I set and look out my sun porch which I look forward to doing come Tuesday morning.

In the mean time, I pray your days will be filled with God's blessings. Peace.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Wednesday afternoon and we are in Driggs, Idaho. Our drive today was a relatively short one and it was a nice drive. The weather today thought has just been one weird thing after another. We were woken up this morning with a thunderclap that literally sounded like it was in our room. I got out of bed and looked out the door and I see one dark cloud mostly passed over us and all else is sunshine. It was cold out side though. I closed the door and we got up and slowly begin to get ourselves ready to pack out for the day. The next time I opened the door, it had snowed. The parking lot and the cars were covered but it was melting rapidly. So, we checked out of West Yellowstone and then headed on down to Driggs. We went through a couple of “snow showers” but most of the time the sun was shining or at least it was partly sunny. We stopped and had our lunch and then came on over to the Teton Valley Cabins to check in. It was sunny when we checked in and it was sleeting/raining when I went to bring in the suitcases. Then just like that it was sunnny again. It has been like that the rest of the day.

Tomorrow we plan to go see the Grand Teton mountains from the Wyoming side and if we have time, we want to go see an Elk Refuge that is over around Jackson. We learned about that place from the lady who is in the adjoining cabin.  It sounds fascinating.

This vacation has been a real chance to be in touch with God. We’ve seen the natural wonders of the earth such as geysers and waterfalls, and forests. We’ve seen many of God’s creatures up close such as elk, massive buffalo, lots of wild turkeys and deer and chipmunks and birds. I wish that everyone could do this type of vacation. The Holy Spirit would fill their heart with awe and joy. Ms. Kate and I both feel so very blessed.

Having said all of that, it will, as always feel great to get back home and back to my sunporch so I can watch my critters at the backyard buffet.

Until I write next, I wish you peace and joy in your soul.

Monday, October 2, 2017

I hardly know what to write tonight. I opened up my computer this morning to the story that ws rocking the country about the mass shooting in Las Vegas, a city we love and have lived in. I think tonight the number of killed rests at 59 and the number of injured from either bullets or being trampled by the horrified masses of people stands at over 500. I can sympathize but not understand or comprehend the panic and fear and horror of the crowd at the moment. Nor can I begin to understand the sadness and despair of the families of all of those victims. I can’t even begin to imagine what must occupy man’s mind to make him purposely plan to assassinate as many people as he could; people who were simply enjoying a concert in the warm night air. What would make a man work for four days carrying weapons and ammunition up to a hotel room with no other thought than murder on his mind? And — for the victims and their families — there will never be closer because the coward killed himself rather than be taken by the police. So, there will most likely never be an answer. I can at this point, only pray for the souls of the deceased, the families of and all of those injured, and for our nation as a whole.

On the other hand, I say I don’t know what to write tonight because Ms. Kate and I continued on our vacation and saw some absolutely beautiful scenery and buffalo, and elk. We crossed though snow covered mountain passes and down into beautiful green meadows, rushing streams where fly fishermen fished for trout. It was a constant reminder of the glory of God Almighty.

If I might ramble here for a moment, here are some of my thoughts. I have no doubt that Satan grabbed the mind of a man in Mesquite, Nevada this past week and convinced that man of something that required him to commit mass murder and destruction. But God was there too. God was with the hands of the first responders who saved more lives than were lost. God was with the police who were able to find the gunman before he could do even more damage. God has been in the hands of the doctors and nurses all day today and the hundreds of other unknown heroes who helped people escape the carnage and gunfire. Satan controlled one man and caused a lot of damage; but God protected 22,000 others and walks tonight in hospital rooms and with grieving families. And God was on the mountains with us today providing living proof that while some people may do evil things — God’s world is not evil. As Linda Randall sings, “The God of the mountain, is still God in the valley.”  God was in both places today, and I give God praise and gratitude. Peace.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday, October eve!! Today is the last day of September which means that this year is rapidly passing. Only three months left of 2017 -- wow!

Today was another tourist day here in the Black Hills. We began the morning with the pancake breakfast that the motel offers. It was tasty and filled us up to start out sweeping some great places. We started out by going to the Crazy Horse Mountain memorial that is being built and literally carved out of the mountain much as was done years ago when they made Mt. Rushmore. A fellow started carving on that mountain I think back in 1941 or so and it is aa family operation. The whole thing is privately funded and through donations and tours and revenue gathered at the gate. But, the family has expanded their operation to the point that it now included a medical school for Native Americans. The memorial is of Chief Crazy Horse, a Lakota War Chief but it is dedicated top all tribes of the Native American people. I seriously doubt I'll live long enough to see it finished but generations from now will be able to see a wonderful tribute.

After Crazy Horse, we went to Mt. Rushmore. We have been there before but it is always great to see it. I just stand there in awe at the work that has been done to create that monument. And I stand in awe at what it represents: George Washington; the father of our country;  Thomas Jefferson; author of the our Declaration of Independence, Theodore Roosevelt; Father of our National Parks and Abraham Lincoln; the great emancipator from the civil war. The monument represents the vision and promise of this nation and each of these presidents stood tall when adversity came at them from every direction.

Tomorrow we head out for Cody Wyoming. As usual, I ask for your prayers for our safe travel. Tomorrow is Sunday and our church service will consist of travel and being grateful to God for the wonders of this world. In the mean time, I pray for peace in your soul.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday afternoon in Custer, South Dakota. The long awaited day has come and gone. Ms. Kate and I set the alarms for 0500 to get up, get dressed and head out to the buffalo roundup. Of course that means we slept light and got up around 0430, and were out of the door by 0515. We got to Custer State Park and joined the long, (miles long) line of folks waiting for them to open up the area gate at 0615. I had a breakfast of pancakes and sausage and coffee out on the prairie which amped up my cowboy spirit.

The event was fairly short lived once they actually started moving the buffalo our direction. We had watched them gather different herds into a central gathering spot off on a distant hillside. At about 1000 they started moving the entire herd our direction. It was an awesome sight and was well worth the trip, worth the getting up early, worth chilling our fannies off in the morning air and 50 degree breeze cooled air. I have no idea how many people were out there to witness the roundup, suffice it to say there were thousands of people along the fence lines. We could have waited around and caught a bus down to the corrals and watched them work with them down there but decided we had seen what we came to see. So, we headed out, and stopped by the Blue Bell Lodge for lunch. There is one less buffalo somewhere out there becaue I had buffalo stew for lunch. I used to go to the Blue Bell lodge when I was a kid and traveling with my parents. They would stay in one of the cabins.

We have tonight and tomorrow night yet here in the motel. It is a fairly nice place. The beds are comfortable and the staff is friendly. We've had a flock of wild turkeys and a deer here in the yard this afternoon.

Tomorrow we plan to go to Mt. Rushmore and the Crazy Horse mountain. Sunday we head out for Cody Wyoming. All of this just keeps me in touch with the Holy Spirit. Being out in nature is such a wondeerful thing to do. Feeling the sun on your face and smelling the fresh air out here in the mountains is a wonderful thing. That, however, doesn't take a single thing away from my mornings sitting in my sunporch watching all my critters in the backyard buffet. It is just a different kind or level of enjoyment.

So, as I travel, please keep me and Ms. Kate in your prayers for safe travel. We'll do the same for you and your activities in your daily life. God is always there no matter where you are, Traveling like this is simple proof in the pudding. Jonah might run, but Jonah can't hide. LOL Peace.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Thursday evening and we are in Custer, South Dakota at the Bavarian Inn. It is a pretty nice little place which is a good thing since we are going to be here three nights. Tomorrow morning at "zero dark thirty" we need to be up and on the road into Custer State Park. So, we plan to be up by 0500 and get ready quickly. We expect there will be a long, long line of traffic going into the park for the buffalo roundup. I asked the lady at the front desk what time we should be up and gone and she told us that if we want to be down by the corrals, we'll need to be leaving by 0400. However, to be up on the hills where we can see everything that is going on we need to be on the road by 0630 at the latest. So, we'll go to bed a little early tonight and hit it running in the morning. The actual roundup doesn't start until 0930. But they sell breakfast in they park at the roundup so I'll be glad to eat cowboy style in the morning. By the time you read this I'll be well immmersed in buffalo or maybe it will all be over . Wish you could be here with us.

We toured the Badlands National Park today. We've been there before but it never gets old. As we drove into the park there was a large herd of mountain goats eating right beside the road and even holding up traffic while they just rambled back and forth across the road. Ms. Kate and I have traveled all over the United States and I never cease to be amazed at the wonders of this country. It amazes me how different the landscape and topography is as we travel across from state to state. Yesterday we were seeing farmland and crops and flatland to rolling hills. Today we were seeing barren ragged terrain that is called The Badlands for a very good reason. God is quite the artist and His beautiful creations are unforgettable.

We are blessed to have beautiful weather too so far while we are here. I hope it holds up. Time to go to bed and get my beauty sleep. The buffalo won't wait for latecomers. Have a blessed day.. Peace.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Good evening from Wall, South Dakota. We put in 655 miles today and it was a lovely day to do so. My thermometer in the Caddy sat on 60 degreees out side for about the first four hours and then we got out of the cloud cover and into the sunshine and it went up to 70 and sat there the rest of the day. It is currently 53 degrees outside here in Wall and is going down to 44 tonight. I call that good fall weather.

We got to South Dakota and the speed limit went up to 80 mph That certainly made the trip go a little quicker. It also helped that there was little to no traffic on the interstate.  We saw a lot of crops in the fields as we made our way north and west today. However, of all the crops wwe saw, I'd easily say that less than one percent of them had been harvested even though it looked like they could have been. The coolest crops we saw were the fields and fields of sunflowers. By now they are hanging their heads over as they ciontinue to dry. I would really like to se how they harvest them.

If you have never been to Wall, SD you would probably enjoy it at least once. Wall became famous because of the local gas station in in the 1930's gave away free ice water to visitors and coffee at the diner was a nickle. It's funny how a thing like that can catch on and become tradition. Wall Drug Store has now become a megaplex facility with all kinds of stores and restaurants and a chapel for travelers. It is "the place to go". So, if you drive through South Dakota and need a good break, stop by Wall Drugs.

Tomorrow we head out to the Badlands for a drive and then on to Rapid City and the Black Hill and Custer State park. For the next three days we'll be in and around that area. I'll write when I get time. Until then, Peace.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Good morning! I'm coming to you this morning from Columbia, Mo. It is kind of a hazy and sunny morning and I have no idea yet how warm it may be out there. I reckon we'll find out soon when we head out.

We have an incredibly short travel day, only about 125 miles. We took off yesterday around noon from home so we could get through and around St. Louis before the rush hours and the start of any demonstrations that might be planned for the day. It is a dang shame that people have to plan their travels around places because some group might be protesting and or rioting somewhere. But, we made it safely to Columbia and had a good noight's sleep. And of course we started out our day with our Comfort Inn and Suites waffles, and biscuts and gravy. Tonight we are going to be in Independence, MO. I would love to be able to go farther but our room was arranged early in our planning and our room rate is non-refundable. Tomorrow we will have a long travel day so I reckon we'll be up early. We need to make Wall, SD by tomorrow night. I think that will be almost 600 miles. However, once we get into South Dakota I think the speed limit jumps up to 80 mph.

We've notice that there is a lot less fall harvesting being done over here in Missouri. It will be interesting to see what the harvest rate will be like as we travel on up through to South Dakota and across that state. I'm not sure what crops are planted in SD. I think they do a lot of wheat but don't know if they do corn and beans. I know Nebraska and Kansas does a lot of sunflowers. They're the folks that are responsible for keeping my birds happy.

I guess I might as well get ready to put the stuff in the car and then get us on the road. Maybe we'll find a few geocaches as we travel today. We always look for cemeteries to go to because there is usually a geocaches at the edge of the cemeteries.

Until tomorrow or whenever I get to you next, I pray you will have full and blessed days. Peace.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Happy Monday morning to you. I hope you have an excellent week planned full of joy and happiness. It is a warm morning already around here and I think the temperature is going up to ninety degrees again today Summer really is making alast gasp effort to hang on despite the fal that is is autum already.

We had a busy weekend filled with chores and guests dropping by the house. For a visit. How often does that happen any more to have someone just drop by to visit? I think that "living rooms" have practically become a thing of the past. We have a living room where one would normally ((at least in "olden" days) sit and visit with company, and we have a "family room" where we watch TV and visit with folks and we have the sunporch which is where we really sit to visit if folk come by. Saturday our pastor came by for a visit and he and I sat out in the sunporch for a couple of hours and visited.

Ms. Kate has already made an apple pie this morning. As soon as we get cleaned up and the last of the packing done and in the car, we are heading off on our vacation today. Yes, I know it is a day early, but that is the way we are. We'll head out and get through St. Louis today and spend the night in Columbia, MO. Tomorrow night we'll bee in Independence , MO and that will be the last of the "big cities" until we start heading back home and a week or so. Wednesday will be a 600 mile travel day which for us is a long day. After that it will be short days and lots of sight seeing.

So, --- my writing will be somewhat sporadic for the next couple of weeks but I will try to keep you informed of what we are seeing as we go along so you can vacation with us. Of course, this coming Friday is the Buffalo Roundup which prompted  this whole trip in the first place.

I ask that you keep us in your prayers for safe travel as we zip along the highways and by-ways. And I will keep each of you in my prayers that you have good days full of the joy of God Almighty. Pray also for our nation and other nations that peace may become the watchword of the day. As my favorite song lyrics say, "Let there be peace on earth, --- and let it begin with me."

See ya' on down the road. Peace.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Good Friday morning to you. I hope your day has started off as sunny and bright as mine has. Again today the sky is cloudless and it is already warm this morning. It is supposed to go up to 90- again today. That's fine by me as I did my yard work yesterday; well some of it anyway. I got the leaves raked up again and the yard mowed, front an back. I suspect that the grass will be going dormant soon and then the only reason to be running the Deere back here will be to mulch up the leaves. Then before you know it, it will be time to put the mowing deck aside and put the snow blade on and wait for winter weather to get here. As you may remember, last year my snow blade never saw a flake of snow. If I do any yardwork today, I may go ahead and cut back the peonies and the rest of the phlox. At the end on the season they get really full of mildew and the blooms are all gone. Even the hummingbird leaves them alone now. The end of September is the time to cut it all back.

Ms. Kate has to go get a perm this morning and then I guess we are going to go do a little shopping for things that we want to take along on our vacation. A week from today is the big roundup and I get more excited about oit every day. I watched the Smithsonian tape of it again last night. It will be fabulous to see in person. Of course, that is just one of the things that we are anxious to see and do while we are gone. I saw that South Dakota has a new monument called The Dignity Sculpture that is close to Rapid City. From the pictures, it look marvelous. I hope we have time to see that. And, I'm hoping the weather is clear enough and the roads are clear enough for us to go see some side roads in and around the Grand Tetons.

I refilled the backyard buffet again yesterday so I have a lot of company this morning. I had one red headed woodpecker just fussing and fussing at me yesterday as I was filling feeders. I guess it was anxious for me to refill the bark butter feeders because as soon as I finished, here it come. The birds are not shy about letting me know what they like and don't like by their actions. They will be waiting for me when I get back from vacation and will fuss because the feeders will all be empty by then. But, as I have said before, sometimes I wait until they completely empty a feeder any way just so the residue in the bottom of the feeders doesn't mold.

It is time for me to get out of my chair and get myself dressed and ready for the day. I need to start gathering up stuff to put in my suitcase. The long pole in the tent of course is to try to figure out what the weather will be like. We could end up packing all wrong.

I would urge to you to continue prayers for all of the folks that are dealing with the aftermath of the natural disasters that have occurred around the country and the world. I would also ask you to join me in prayer for our nation as we again go through a period of social unrest and demonstrations and riots.  Much of the nation's people are having a hard time adjusting to the actions and programs of the president. The last president was a man who instituted all kinds of welfare and feel-good programs and he was in offfice for eight years. This president is a man who says people need to works for a living and has ended many of those programs. It is causing a lot of national strife. Let's pray that we can come together like adults and bring peaceful resolutions to it all.

Have a wonderful weekend. Peace.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

By golly it's Thursday already. This week is going by quickly; seems like just yesterday it was Wednesday. LOL

It is another warm morning as summer makes this one last gasp before giving over to fall. But the evidence of autumn is everywhere and I get to rake it up and mulch it today. I should be out there right now doing it while it is only 80 degrees because it is going up to 90 today. Oh well, a little sweat equity never hurts. It will help sweat off some of this apple pie I have been eating.

I was doing a little channel surfing last night and I came across a show called The Last Buffalo on the Smithsonian Channel so I sat and watched that. It showed the annual Buffalo roundup in Custer State park that I will be attending a week from tomorrow. How exciting that is going to be. I was lucky enough to catch the program in time to DVR that portion so we can watch it again today. It looks like they get a very large crowd of people that come to watch it it. Folks were streaming into the park at daybreak and the cowboys and cowgirls were already there on horseback to guide the people to where they need to be. I just think it is going to be one of those "lifetime" experiences. So far the weather forecast shows that it will be very cool, a low of 38 and a high of 60 but that's why we'll take good jackets. It takes several hours for all of that to happen and that means a lot of time sitting in a open field with the wind blowing around us. My weather apps also tell me that the areas we are going to are under winter weather advisories today and this week. The mountain passes are supposed to get as much as eight to ten inches of snow at the higher elevations. So, we'll just have to play it all by ear and see what we see and do what ever we can. heck, by the time we get there this weather system will be long gone. It's going to be beautiful no matter what.

I'm still offering prayers for all of the folks who have been affected by hurricanes and earthquakes. People in Mexico are digging out survivors and bodies by hand. Japan got hit by a major earthquake too yesterday. The island of Puerto Rico is totally dark and without power. People in Texas are still trying to get into their homes and people in Florida are still returning to homes that are destroyed. Other islands in the Carribean are devastated too. So, we need to keep all of those millions of folks in our prayers and if a way is available for us to help. It is our duty as a human being to do so. Just make sure whatever money you donate is going to an organization that actually does help people and not just fill the pockets of their CEOs and corporate people.

I have finished my piece of pie and now I must start my day. I pray your day will be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Peace.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Welcome to an absolutely fabulous looking Wednesday morning. It is already 71 degrees outside and is going up to 91. The sun is shining brightly and no breeze equals a warm start to the day. A cardinal, a hummingbird, an a couple of finches round out my guest list at the moment. Somewhere out there I hear the ratcheting of the summer crickets or perhaps it is a cicada. All I know is that the morning has "lazy summer day" written all over it.

But, we shan't be too lazy today because we do have stuf to do and places to go. Yesterday was a busy day too. Ms. kate and I both had dental cleanings and exams. When that was done we went out and got the teeth dirty again with lunch at our favorite German restaurant, (well, I guess it is the only German restaurant in town). Then we had some banking to do, some stuff to drop off at the Goodwill store, and some grocery shopping to do. But the fun part of the day was coming home and making apple pies. I do love my pie and we made three. No, we aren''t going to eat them all. In fact I'm taking one to my buddy Bob today at lunch time. And, I called neighbor Dan and had him come over and pick up one of the pies too. From the comments and pictures he has posted on Facebook, I'd say they are enjoying their apple pie. LOL I intend tto have a piece of apple pie for breakfast, It sounds like a perfect beginning to start the day.

I'm certainly offering up prayers for the people of Puerto Rico this morning as a category four hurricane is bashing that island. I think that we often forget that we have islands out there that are American territory such as Guam and Puerto Rico and as such, they are American citizens. This is the worst hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1938. I can't imagine what itt would be like to live on a relatively small island like that and have a hurricane come across it. Where do you go? How do you seek shelter?

I also offer prayers this morning for the people of Mexico. Yesterday as I was writing about out local earthquake of a 3.8 magnitude, Mexico was getting hit with an earthquake of I think, 7.9. As of last night they had registered 100 people killed but they haven't really begun to clear rubble in order to find all of the dead and missing. I'll tell you, with all of the hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and earthquakes, if I were more of a "Revelationist" I could certainly jump on the "End of Days" prophesies and I'm sure there are many people that will. But, I don't think it is the "End of Days" at all. I think these things happen and have always happened. I do however, believe that we humans are polluting our environment to the point that we are causing changes in the weather and we need to take that seriously. But --- I'm not going to jump on a soap box today. Instead, I'll do what I do best and pray for all of those suffering with all of the natural disasters that are happening. I urge you to do the same.

There is a piece of pie calling my name and I must heed that call.  Have a most blessed day. Never forget that God loves you. Never forget that Jesus Christ died for you and His Holy Spirit walks with you every step of every day. Rely on him for strength. You day will get easier. Peace.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tuesday brings us yet another rainy day and while I have yet to go outside, I suspect it is muggy again today as the temperature is already seventy-two degrees. Nothing much is stirring in the backyard this morning. A couple of cardinals are gleaning from the ground and an occasional goldfinch comes through. Beyond that, it is quiet with the exception of the faint rolls of thunder off in the distance. According to postings on Facebook this mornng we apparently had a 3.8 magnitude earthquake around 0630. I certainly didn't feel it although I was awake and out of bed then. Ms. Kate and I have been through a 7.8 earthquake in California and many of the aftershocks were of the 3.8 variety. According to one newspaper report out of Gibson County, this is the second one this week. I didn't feel the other one either.

This morning we head out to the dentist's office for our exam and cleaning. We are very regular about that and go every six months. With all of the money I have spent in the dentist chair in the last three months, they ought to know how my teeth look. But it is time for my cleaning.

I spent two hours yesterday at the AT&T store trying to get my cell-phone bill straightened out. I bought a new IPhone last month and as I understood my "plan" my bill would be going down a little because of bundling things together. But, I got my preview of my bill, (which I pay automatically through my bank) and was shocked. I normally don't even look at them because they are a set amount basically. But, I opened this one and my bill had gone up almost $300.00. Needless to say there were no happy faces around here. So I went to the office and I think they got it figured out and corrected. But --- between cell phones, cable, and ON-STAR we sure pay a lot of money to be connected to thee world. It is amazing how we think we need all of this stuff. It isn't like we are important people but we have grown so very used to having all of this stuff that we just pay for it. And, we don't even take any of the premium channels on our cable network. But, the ability to talk anytime and anywhere with our family without worry is a luxury that we seem to have determined to be a necessity. I don't know the last time I actually wrote a letter to anyone. Ms. Kate makes cards and sends notes in them to people all the time, but I just wish people a happy "whatever" via the internet and Facebook. It is indeed a changed world and society that we live in.

I've been watching the weather in the locations we are going to on our vacation and they are having much cooler weather than we are. In fact, this week that entire region is having rain changing to snow and back to rain. So, I reckon we'll be packing warmer clothing along. I just hope the weather is really nice on the day we go to the buffalo round-up. After-all, that is what we built this entire vacation around.

It appears that God has turned off the rain and has started to brighten the skies just a little bit. It looks brighter in my back yard because enough leaves have fallen that we can see through the trees a lot more now. The regularity and continual flow of God's handiwork never fails to impress me. How anyone could possibly seriously believe that all of this creation and natural order of things "just accidentally happened; just blows my mind. We and all of this is a product of Divine intervention my friends. Yes indeed, evolution has played a role in all of us and this becoming what we are; But God set that evolutionary process into motion. There are too many minuscule and micro-perfections in this universe for it to be anything other than Divine creation. Nothing can be accidentally perfect to that magnitude.

That's my word of wisdom from the Sunporch today. Have a blessed day. I already have.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Good morning! What say we start a whole brand new week? We were having that discussion yesterday in Sunday school as to when the Sabbath really is and when does a new week begin. It was an interesting discussion.

It has been raining this morning and most likely will again today at some point although at the moment the sun has made its way through the clouds. The backyard buffet is busy this morning although I see they have emptied at least one of the sunflower feeders. There are a couple of starlings out there that spend as much time pecking at one another as they do at the food. They are just nasty and temperamental creatures. One of the hummingbirds was at the door this morning trying to get food from the silicone adhesives that Ms. Kate has on the inside of the glass. They look like flowers and she put them there so the birds might se them and not crash into the glass pane and knock themselves silly. They don't seem to help much because there is always some bird hitting the glass. So far none have died from it.

I was trying to figure out what took up my time on Saturday that caused me not to write my blog, and I finally emembered that we went to Mt. Vernon, IL on Saturday to a craft fair. It wasn't the usual home made stuff  but rather stuff made by artisans and mostly very expensive. There was a lot of nice  artsy stuff and Ms. Kate bought a couple of things. As for me, --- I bought a hot apple dumpling with ice cream on it so I was satisfied. That is about as artsy as I get.

We have several things around here to do this week, not the least of which is to finalize our plans and pack our bags for our vacation. Today is laundry day and Ms. Kate has to go have her bloodwork done. Tomorrow we have dental exams and cleaning and sometime this week I need to get a haircut. It is all just stuff that we need to do.

I went to the movie last night all by my lonesome. I wanted to see the new Stephen King movie called "It". It was actually a remake of the movie but it was done very well. I read the novel many years ago and of all of his books, I think it is the scariest of all of them.

The leaves are falling from the trees at a faster pace now. I try to keep up with them but I know that by the time we come home from our vacation, I'm going to have a lot of raking to do. But that is the way God put it all together so we'll just enjoy it. In the meantime, I'm sitting here with the last piece of apple pie in front of me and it is disappearing rapidly. We'll be making another one today though so all is good. Here's hoping you have a blessed day and a blessed week. Never stop believing that God loves you and is always there to help you no matter what your situation or circumstance. Peace.

Friday, September 15, 2017

 A Good Friday morning to you! It is my favorite kind of morning too because it is a bit foggy outside this morning. However, it is burning off quickly as thhe sun starts peeking over the roof. I love a good foggy morning, especially in the southern delta region of the country with the Spanish moss hanging from the trees. But then, I'm not driving in it which can be dangerous if the fog is too thick. But tthis morning it wasn't too thick and was just adding an ambience of peace to the day.

Yes, I missed writing yesterday once again. I think that is the second time this week. We had an early  appointment with our investment guy yesterday morning. The good news is that what little money we do have to invest is still making a dollar or two. Our main thing was to do the paperwork for our "529" education account for our grandson Jon. He is the only kid with an inclination towards going to college, so if we can help him out, it's the thing to do. I don't know what it is with our grandkids and not wanting a higher education. We've told them that we aren't insisting that they go to a college, we'd be thrilled if they went to a trade school of some kind. Our society is hurting for people with a trade school education. Parents push their kids to college and they end up with useless degrees, no job, and still living with their parents at thirty years of age and a mountain of college loans. The attitude of society has certainly changed in this country. You know, when I was in stationed over in Italy for a three month TDY, I met a man who was a waiter in this restaurant. He was extremely proud to be a waiter in that restaurant because he was a fourth generation waiter. To him it was a proud profession and  he was very good at it.

Yesterday afternoon we took the Cadillac to the dealership to get it ready for our vacation. It was due for an oil chang, tire rotation, air filter, and cabin air filter. The great news about all of that is that it is all still covered under my Cadillac service plan and cost me nothing. Yeh, I know, we paid for it in one fashion or another when we bought the car but it feels good to take it in and drive it out without opening my wallet. Aah, the little joys we convince ourselves we have. LOL

Speaking of joys, I'm full of joy this morning watching allof my critters at the backyard buffet. I filled everything aa couple of days ago and there is still plenty out there. Most of my regulars have all been here except for the squirrels and they can stay away. Something knocked over my birdbath yesterday morning and I had to go set back up and refill it, I suspect it was the raccoons because I've seen squirrels up on it plenty of times and they don't tip it. And --- the raccoons are a curious and feisty couple of critters.

Time to get busy around here. I think we are doing laundry today and I know we are making an apple pie. I don't want to be late for a pie. So, you have a most blessed day. Celebrate the joy of God Almighty being in your life. Reach out and do something nice for someone today. Peace.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Good morning and a happy Wednesday morning to you. I'm sorry I missed you yesterday but my day began with attending the monthly Clergy Circle meeting. The meeting was the usual dynamic fun filled event, (he said sarcastically). I can honestly say, without trying to be judgmental, that in the thirteen or so years that I have attended these meetings on and off, I have yet to attend one that was "meaningful" or of substance. Unfortunately it is the only way I know what is going on and keep people appraised that I can be available to preach if they want a vacation Sunday. Yesterday they announced that it is time for our Boundary Training again. It is an all-day class that we have to attend every three years on what we should and should not do and how we as clergy are supposed to conduct ourselves. I could teach that class in about three and a half minutes simply by saying; "Don't touch the help. Don't have inappropriate relationships with parishioners. Keep the teachings of Jesus first and foremost in your thinking and your actions."  I just don't know what else needs to be said.

But, --- the morning yesterday did not come without reward. I got home from my meeting and Ms. Kate had made an apple pie. Nobody makes a better apple pie than Ms. Kate. I just had a piece for my breakfast and my day has now begun perfectly.

This morning it is pretending to rain and the temperature is a cool sixty degrees. This is the last gasp of what was once a Category 5 hurricane and is now light showers as it continues on its way north and dies out totally. We are expecting maybe a third of an inch out of it. It will make my turnips grow. They were needing watered anyway. But, I also need to get out and fill all of the feeders again. I went to Wild Birds and Thaings on Monday and layed out over $100.00 on the different bird foods we use. Most of the feeders are empty and before long the birds will be flying around with little picket signs touting my unfair treatment and demanding full feeders at all times. Of course there is always plenty of food thrown out on the ground  but my birds are pretty much spoiled. This morning I have had a couple of wrens and a couple of cardinals actually hop up to the glass door and look in at at me. I think they were frowning at me.

I'm very happy to report that all of my friends have made it through all of the hurricanes and the Montana fires safely so far. My friend in Montana said they are still dodging the fires but they are predicted to get three inches of rain and snow by Friday. I can hardly believe he is talking about getting snow already. But, I still keep all of them in my prayers and ask that you do too.

Time to finish my coffee and this piece of pie and get my day in gear. Have a blessed day.

Monday, September 11, 2017

As I write this, it is almost exactly 16 years from the moment I was walking through my family room to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee and the television was on, and I saw a plane fly directly into one of the twin tower buildings in New York City. I stood there facinated with the horror of that "accident", only to realize moments later that our nation was under attack as a second plane did the same thing and another plane crashed into the Pentagon and then another plane is crashed into a field because the passengers determined they were not going to let the terrorists on their plane kill more people. I don't know that there is away to count the mount of human lives lost since that day in the war on terrorism and a war that began and continues to be fought because of one group of people's hate for the rest of the world in the name of religion. The atrocities that men have committed in the name of their perceived view of what God would want is staggering. And I suspect that God must certainly weep. I can only pray that mankind will quickly learn what the power of love can do instead of violence and war.

This morning we wake up to the news of Hurricane Irma weakening as it barrels its way through the entire state of Florida and now into the state of Georgia as a tropical storm. We'll have the remnants of that storm come through here Tuesday through Thursday. It is sad to see the pictures of the damage that has been caused and still continues to be caused by this storm and all the while, still watching the cleanup from Huricane Harvey over in Texas and Louisiana. But, I think the saddest thing I saw, and there were several different incidents of this; was the gangs of looters breaking into stores and stealing boxes and boxes of shoes and clothes in the middle of the storm! What level of humanity does that??? In each incident all of the looters were young black people and I couldn't  help but be angry for the black communities around the country. These incidents were nationally televised and I now wonder how many innocent, good black citizens are going to be racially profiled because of the actions of these small groups of low life individuals. My thoughts are that if activist groups like Black Lives Matter truly want to change the racial tension in this country, instead of blaming the police for enforcing the law, --- they should tackle incidents like this and work to change the image of the black person in America.

But ---- today isn't an all gloom and doom day. "This is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." My morning started off with hummingbirds and cardinals and woodpeckers and nut hatches all enjoying the backyard buffet. The sun is shining, it is 60 degrees and Ms. Kate and I are awake and alive and doing well. We had a nice weekend and are looking forward to a good week. I hope things are well wherever you are and I hope your week will be blessed. Until next time --- Peace.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Good morning and Happy Saturday. I trust your day is going well. Just the fact that you are alive and up and able to read this tells me that God has already blessed you today. (Well, --- not because you are reading this, but because you are eyes open and reading anything.) So welcome to a new day full of opportunities to do something for somebody today. And who knows --- maybe someone is waiting to do something for you today.

I don't know what has the squirrel's tail shaking this morning but something certainly does. It has been round and round the tulip poplar tree and on and off of the bird feeder next to that tree and it will stop and look around and lash its tail back and forth and then move some more and stop again. Maybe it sees a challenger out there somewhere or maybe there is a cat in the yard some place. It isn't chittering but it certainly is animated this morning.

It certainly is another beautiful morning. It is 71 degrees with a 5mph breeze and no clouds to be seen. Tomorrow we have church service in the outdoor sanctuary and it is supposed to be another day like today. I'm looking forward to that. I plan to take advantage of the weather today and do some stuff in my flowerbeds again. As I look around, I see that I have a bunch of Redbud trees sprouting up all over the place again. So, I need to go chop those out before they get too big. The leaves have stopped dropping for now so my yard still looks good from my work earlier this week. But I have to minimize the miniature forest that keeps popping up in my flowerbeds. I also need to spray some roundup or other weedkiller on the darned ivy that is threatening to take over the area behind my shed again. And --- the large flowerbed on the south side of the driveway needs a lot of work too. There is always something that needs doing around here.

I've been keeping tabs on what is happening through the state of Florida and islands south of that. Hurricane Irma should make landfall directly on Miami tomorrow morning at a Category five level. That will be devastating to the area and yet there people who simply refuse to move out. MKaybe they simply have no where to go or a way to move out. But, I certainly lift them up in prayer and ask for God's shooting hand to be upon this storm. But , --- the irony of that is that even If God did lay God's hand upon this storm and tone it down, those that's refused to evacuate would probably just say; "See, I told you it wasn't going to be anything." So, what can you do but pray for them and all of the people that are about to lose homes etc and hope no lives are lost. This storm has already cost close to a hundred people their live on some of the islands that it has devastated. Let's all pray no more are lost. And --- don't forget that the victims of Hurricanes Harvey are still suffering over on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico, and people in the state of Montana are losing farms and livelihood to forest fires, and Mexico got hit hard with an earthquake yesterday and has a hurricane bearing down on it. God certainlyhas God's hands full with nature that has run amuck. Please keeep your prayers flowing for al of th victims in the path of these things. Peace.

Friday, September 8, 2017

It is 56 degrees as I greet this Friday morning. But the sun is shining brightly and we're in store for another beautiful fall-like day. The only thing left to do is give thanks to God for once again providing a heap of blessings. As I read the news and talk to friends around the country though, many are not so lucky.  I have friends in Florida who are staring down the barrel of a category 5 hurricane. I have a friend in Montana who as of last night said they were still ok but that there are three major forest fires within ten miles of his house due to what is the largest forest fire in the nation up in Montana. Folks in Texas and Louisiana are still either not back in their homes or if they are, they may be trying to decide what is salvageable. So as the rest of us who are unaffected by these things start our day, let's collectively lift these folks up in prayer.

Ms. Kate and I had a good day yesterday and checked off several things on the "to-do" list. We went and got our pedicures done first thing. Mine hurt like heck because of an ingrown toenail; but I was expecting that. It is still sore this morning a little because of all of the digging around that the gal did. Next we went to lunch at an oriental buffet place a couple of doors down from the nail salon. We hadn't eaten there in maybe a decade and it didn't take long to remember why. The food is edible but certainly not what I would consider "good". So, we'll give them another ten years or so before we waste our money in there.  From there we went to the cemeteries and decorated family graves. Ms. Kate always does a great job of keeping fresh looking seasonal flowers on the graves. It is sad when I see a grave that has a raggedy faded out bunch of flowers on a grave. It is almost better for me if there were no flowers on the grave at all. I suspect that once Ms. Kate and I pass that there will be no flowers on our graves. Our girls all live so far away that they will have no reason to come to Evansville once we are gone. And that is alright I reckon. Besides cemeteries and toenails, Ms. Kate and I also did our laundry yesterday so we are good to go for the weekend.

Today we are taking neighbor Dan and his wife to lunch and then up to Karen's house so the can see her flowerbeds and house. She has done massive amounts of work on her flowerbeds and is a Master Gardener. So, she is always glad to have a chance to show it off. Things aren't blooming a lot right now of course but it shows well just the same.

That's it for today as we head into the weekend. I hope you have time or take the time to stop your busy life and not only relax, but take time to give God credit and thanks for the blessings you have received this week.  Have a great Friday!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

It is a sixty degree, sunny morning and the buffet is in full swing. The hummingbirds are here, the finches and sparrows are flitting around between the bird bath and the feeders. There are a couple of starlings fighting over one feeder while a couple of others sit and watch them. A dove waddles around on the porch and in the yard picking up what the other birds knock out of the feeders. Sprinkled in and amongst the birds are several small butterflies fluttering around to the pholx adding a splash of color to the mix. It is a very peaceful yet actively entertaining scene.

This "fall-like" weather is quite a change from the norm for southern Indiana. Usually September is a fairly hot dry month at least through the first half. But --- world weather is totally screwed up at the moment. We had Hurricane Harvey a couple of weeks ago that devastated the Gulf Coast regions of Texas and Louisiana and now we have Hurricane Irma, barreling across the Atlantic Ocean at a Category 5 level and it is about to hit Florida head-on in Miami. The weather forecasters had predicted that we would have the worst hurricane season in a decade this year and so far they have been on target with their predictions. I just continue to pray for safe conduct for people in their paths.

The harvest has begun. My friend Scott Wallis posted a picture of the corn going into the elevator yesterday. I always worry about my farmer friends and their families during planting and harvest seasons. They work long hours, often past a state of complete mental alertness. That can lead to some rally dangerous and horrible accidents. So, I'm firing up my prayer list for all of of those folks.

I had a highly productive day yesterday and got all of the things that I had put on my "to do" list completed. The result is that I can take it a bit easier today which is a good thing. We plan to go get pedicures today and then go to the cemeteries and put fall flowers on the graves. My yard is mowed and the leaves in the back yard are raked and mulched. I spent two and a half hours in one front flowerbed yesterday pulling out grass and weeds and cutting back the iris. The only thing left to do there is wait until the end of September and them cut back the peonies. Then I'll get a scoop of mulch on put a fresh layer on before winter. But, --- there are still more flowerbeds out front to be worked and I need to stay on top of them or they will get out of control again. But the yard looks great this morning. I wish I had help doing some of this stuff but I don't. Ms. Kate can't work it there much and I give in to myself too easily. So I got to keep at it. I think I told you last week that I had finally planted my turnip seed out in the garden. Well, I was out there yesterday and had to laugh because as I told Ms. Kate --- the garden looks like a "Chia-Pet" where the turnips are coming up. I sure didn't think I had planted that many seeds but there is a mat of turnips growing out there. We'll see how all of this turns out. All we wanted was a few turnips to munch on and we'll certainly have that. The rest will make for good ground cover and keep the weeds down. Then I can till them under and they will enhance the soil.

That is about it for today. It is time to do something useful. Have a wonderful day. Stay in touch with God today and be grateful for all of the blessings that are flowing your way. Peace.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

What a blessed looking morning out there in the buffet territory. The sun is shining brilliantly, there is no wind and the temperature is sixty-five degrees. It looks and feels like fall especially with all of the leaves that have fallen from the poplar trees in the past few days. I know we will have lots of warm days yet but these semi-cool days are wonderful. It appears I need to refill some of the feeders once again. This is getting to be a three times a week event as a minimum. That is not unexpected as the temperatures start to cool off. I was checking the weather out in West Yellowstone National Park this morning since we are headed out there at the end of the month and it is thirty seven degrees at the moment. We are certainly going to need some warm jackets to take along on the trip. I'm excited about this trip, especially for Ms. Kate who is always cold anyway. Her blood thinner medicines keep her in a sweater most of the time. The last time she and I were at Yellowstone we sat and watched for Old Faithful to erupt. It was a very cool windy morning and we got there just after it had gushed which meant we had to wait the 45 minutes or what ever for it to erupt again. I have a picture of her and Karen sitting huddled together in their jackets shivering, with very unhappy faces. Then it erupted and all I heard was ---- "We froze our butts off for that???" They were not impressed.  (I will admit that the pictures of Old Faithful erupting look better than the actual event.) I hope our timing will be better or that the temperature will be warmer this time.

Ms. Kate and I have started "walking". We are both terribly out of shape and our lives have become terribly sedentary. So, we decided that we would start doing a litle walking. Our distance isn't much yet and require a few stops along the way to let Ms. Kate's heart quit pounding and to catch some air, but we'll get there. Gosh it seems like just yesterday I was walking seven miles a day at a brisk pace every morning before I went to work. I had to do that to maintain my weight for the Air Force and as an example to my personnel who worked for me. But --- while it might seem like "just yesterday", --- in reality that was 40 pounds and almost twenty years ago. Dang  ---- where has the time gone? Obviously it passed me by while I was in my recliner, or maybe at my desk writing sermons and stuff.

I think today I will head back out to the flowerbeds and maybe to the backyard and rake some leaves. That works for me for good exercise and it needs doing. I also need to cut the okra today, I should have done it yesterday. So there is outside work waiting on me and I must get to it. God has provided the opportunity and great weather to do it, I just need to provide the effort. Isn't that pretty typical of what God does??? So, Have a mst wonderful day. Tell someone you love them and pray for them. I've included you in my prayers today, so pass it along. Peace.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Starting one's day out in the dental chair isn't the happiest experience a person can have but today it was alright. Back at the end of June I lost the majority of a molar the night before we wwere to take off on vacation, about ten minutes after the local dentists offices had closed. Fortunately, as big of a gap as it was, it didn't hurt because no nerve had ben exposed. So, we went on our weeks vacation. The remainder of the tooth was extremely sharp and hurt my tongue so my daughter Julie pit some Dentemp on it. That didn't work well and while I was on vacation I called my dental office and they scheduled an appointment for me after we returned from vacation. Well, it has been a full two months plus, but this morning I finally got the new crown put in. It only took a root canal, two months, and a crown to get me back to "normal". Oh, and in two weeks, I get to take Ms. Kate and we both go in for our "six month checkups" and cleaning.

Labor Day didn't amount to very much around our house hold. Although we did have a nice thing happen. I got a text Sunday evening from a young man who worked for me 27 years ago when I was the commander of th Security Police Squadron at Pope Air Force Base. He ws a youg airman at the time. He and his significant other were doing some travel over Laot Day and were going to be in Evansville. He wanted to know if could get together for lunch. So we met them yesterday at the Golden Corral for lunch. It was a very nice visit as we caught up on old war stories and our lives covering the past 27 years. His girl friend is a nice woman and they seem very happy as a couple. I felt honored that one of my troops from so long ago would want to get together with me after all of this time. I look forward to doing it again sometime. They live close to a restuarant that Ms. Kate and I really like over in Kimmswick, MO. I have a nephew that lives over that way too so one of these weekends, we'll just have to go over and have breakfast with the lot of them.

I think to day we may need to go to AAA and seee what they have on the area we are heading to for our vacation at the end of this month. We pay to belong to AAA so we might as well use their services, although, their products and services aren't near what they used to be. They used to be a great travel agency and would provide the famous "Trip Tik" maps etc for a trip. Now, they basically hand you a map. They are far more insurance company than travel agency anymore in my opinion. Between "On Star" and Google Maps on my IPhone, travel agencies will soon be a thing of the past I think.

It has been sufficient time for the new tooth cement to have completed drying so I think it is time for breakfast or brunch. I hope your day is filled with blessings and you feel the love of God surround you at every turn. Blessings and peace my friends.

Monday, September 4, 2017

And --- it's Labor Day! This year does just keep on passing doesn't it? I assume we are supposed to be celebrating the accomplishments of the American Worker today. And we are supposed to be recognizing the improvements in treatment of workers brought on by Labor Unions. I admit that the Labor Unions have had their important roles in the the improvement in pay and creating better and safer working conditions in the past. I'm not sure that they are effective in today's society. I've been a union member in the past when I worked for Whirlpool. I was going to college and trying to raise a family at the time. I thought the wages were pretty good but the union was always pushing for more. I worked at Whirlpool for six years and I think we went out on strike three times. Once we were out for three months while the union and the company haggled over a ten cent raise. So, while we were arguing over a $4.00 raise per week, we were losing $250.00 a week. (And back then, $250.00 a week was really good money.) Anyway, I could never see the benefit; but then, I was just trying to have money to take care of my family  while I got my degree and could move on to something better. It all worked out though and I got my degree and became a 2nd Lieutentant in the Air Force. And as they say; "the rest is history." I stayed in the Air Force until 2001 and retired as a Colonel.

Speaking of the Air Force, Ms. Kate and I are having lunch today with a fellow that worked for me years ago, and his wife. The man worked for me almost 30 years ago when I was the Security Police commander at Pope AFB in Fayetteville, NC. I have had maybe three dozen of my former personnel look me up on Facebook and make contact with me because they thought I was a really good commander. I feel very honored by that. We often never know what kind of lasting impression we make on people with who we cross paths during the journey through our lives. I've certainly never set out to be anyone's lasting memory but rather simply treat people the way I would want to be treated and do the best I could for them and their families. I took the responsibility being a unit commander very seriously. I guess I always figured that if they knew I was working to support them and their families, they could spend their time concentrating on the mission at hand instead of worrying about their family. Ms. Kate was a critical part of that equation too. She was always the the rock that stood beside me and was concerned about the people in our units. Many a troop has seen Ms. Kate at midnight out with me checking on my personnel while they were on security posts and duty. She was there when I was congratulating people on promotion, She was there when I visited troops or their wives in the hospital. When we sent troops off on deployments in the middle of the night or when we welcomed them back home, she was there. She's made more cookies and sweet rolls to take out to the folks on post than a bakery. While the husbands were deployed overseas, Ms. Kate was always available to tthe "left-behind" wives. My success as a unit commander came in large part beecause of Ms. Kate, and I think that is why we are fondly remembered. We represented what it meant to be an Air Force family.

So, I better get myself ready to meet and greet this day. I hope your day is full of blessings and love. Continue to pray for all of the folks that are struggling in the Texas/Louisiana areas from the flooding. And also pray for the folks up in Montana  that are being driven out of their homes because of forest fire.

Have a blessed day. Peace

Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy rainy Friday. It is fifty-nine dgrees this morning and isn't going to warm up much more than that. For September 1st, that is just crazy-sauce. It is all thanks to the remnants of what is now tropical depression Harvey. This weather is supposed to clear out of here by tomorrow though and we are expecting a nice Labor Day weekend. The good thing about the rain though is that I just planted turnip seed yesterday and this will water it in good. I think this is the first time I have ever planted turnips so we'll see what happens. By the time we get back from our fall vacation they should be ready to pull. Ms. Kate and I like to pull them, peel them and eat them. I can't stand cooked turnips although I've heard that if they are fixed right one can't tell the difference between them and mashed potatoes.

I had an industrious day yesterday. Besides planting my turnip seed, I got the front yard mowed and neighbor Dan's yard mowed. I also went to the back yard and took the blower and cleaned off the sidewalks and blew the leaves out of my newly mulched flowerbeds. I didn't mow the back yard because the grass is much thinner back here and it would have been really dusty and I didn't want tobe breathing that in. I'll wait until the rain is all over and mow it tomorrow afternoon. I also went to the Pet Food Center and picked up another 40# of sunflower seed and a dozen packages of suet and what they call a "birdola" which is a rectangular seed cake. My can was half empty and I needed to fill feeders yesterday so I bought some more sunflower seed. From what I see out there this morning, my backyard buffet guest are quite satisfied. And --- besides all of that, Ms. Kate and I got the laundry done. So, it was a highly productive day for both of us.

Today --- not so much. We are meeting Bob and Brenda for lunch at St. Joe Inn and that is about the extent of our activities and social life today. Tomorrow Julie and Jim are coming over and will spend the night, Jim has to work on Labor Day so that puts a damper of the holiday weekend. In that it is supposed to rain like this most oof the day, I think the sound of the rain litter-pattering on the sunporch roof is going to make a nice lullaby for our naps later in the day. I love being retired.

That is about it for today. My heart still breaks for all of the folks suffering from the Hurricane. The death toll is up to 47 now and they expect it will rise as the water recedes and they find more bodies. I continue to pray for them and Ms. Kate and I have also made our donation to the Red Cross to help out in some small way. After all, we can't just pray it away, we have to get involved too. Until next post --- have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

It is Thursday morning and I am watching the clouds come and go as what is now tropical depression Harvey slowly moves into our area. We are supposed to start getting some of the rain from it later in the day with some 15-25 mph winds. Our area locally looks to not get more than an inch of rain, which we could use. Thank goodness that the coastal reagons are now able to start recovery and the rain has stopped. I was watching Good Morning America earlier today and they have a telethon going to collect money for those affected by all of this disaster. One of the things that they reported was that at least 60% of those whose houses are sitting in six or more feet of water did not have flood insurance. I heard last night that there may be as many as 100,000 cars sitting under water. There are some areas where the water is receding but other areas are still having water rise because it is draining from other areas. But, God's blessed sunshine is shining on them today and God's mercy and grace will carry these folks through. Of that, I have no doubt.

One of the sad by-products of disasters though is that it also brings out people who are criminals and have no sense of humanity or morals. There are people looting homes and stores, people robbing other people and people that will pose as contractors offering to repair storm damage and then demanding payment up front and then not finishing up the job. It is only a micro amount of the people that do this kind of stuff but it always happens and people that are already suffering are caused even more pain and suffering. And the people they often target are the most vulnerable such as the elderly. What a shame. I suspect God has a special place for despicable people like that. They might not believe in God but God knows who they are and who their soul belongs to.

I had to fill up my bird baths first thing this morning. Both were empty to the point of being dry. There has been a steady stream of finches at the one bird bath. Yesterday afternoon there was a steady stream of starlings at the other bird bath and they splashed and splashed. Sometimes there would be as many as five birds in there at one time. Water was going everywhere. It is no wonder that I had to refill them first thing this morning. I also need to fill a couple of feeders again today. And --- I should go get another 40 pounds of sunflower seed if we go anywhere today. My can is more than half empty. Unfortunately I also need to go to Wildbirds and Things soon because I am almost out of all of my special feeds. That is a $100.00 minimum trip --- scheesh!! I threw about a full loaf of stale bread out on the ground late yesterday evening for the birds and there isn't a crumb left this morning.

Time for me to get busy. Please join me in prayers for those we love and for those who are suffering not only from this hurricane for who are suffering anywhere in the world. We are all God's children and that makes us all brothers and sisters in the eyes of God our Father. Let's all be good to one another. Peace.