Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's. Well, that is what we spent the day doing yesterday. Yep. We got the taxes all filed and according to Turbo tax they have been accepted for Federal and for Indiana. We had to snail mail the Illinois taxes, but they too are on their way. I hate doing the taxes I guess mainly because I'm never sure I'm doing them right even though Turbo Tax walks us through the process. But, we wanted to get the done and off of our minds.

My writing is going to be a bit sporadic once again. Ms. Kate and I are going to go wild and just up and take a trip to Florida. We may start out yet today; it just depends on when we get our stuff around here done and it also depends on the weather. There is a lot of rain coming up from the southwest but I think we'd like to get started and maybe get below Nashville yet today. Our plans take us to St. Augustine, then to Melbourne for four days, then Vero Beach for three days and the I reckon we'll be ready to head back home. This is our anniversary present to ourselves. We think a week with our toes in the sand sound like a great thing to do. Ms. Kate has never been to that part of Florida and I haven't been since I was maybe nine years old. This is what retirement is all about. I think working and retiring from two careers probably has given me enough "life points" that we can now relax and concentrate on just being us. Fifty one years of being where we had to be, doing what we had to do, raising a family have paved the way to a life where Ms. Kate and I can kick back and enjoy ourselves.

So, we need to finish putting stuff in a suitcase, run to the bank, check the weather apps one more time or two and I think we'll go get pedicures before we go. It gets harder to trim my toenails as I get older, (and yes, fatter). And, it is important to keep your feet in good order. So, every four to six weeks we go have our pedicures.

The grass I planted a few weeks ago is coming through the straw quite nicely. All it took was to start getting some rain on it. I have a lot of visitors out here this morning regardless of the rain. My main visitors today are the wrens and the cardinals which just makes me happy.

So, until I have a chance to sit and write again, I hope your days are blessed. Peace.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

From a record high of 79 yesterday to a wind chill of 27 this morning; quite a change. But --- fortunately we lucked out and missed the rather severe storm that were predicted; so life is just fine on this windy Saturday morning. The bluebird is back again this morning so despite the clouds, the day has been made brighter. I've had the trifecta this morning; Bluebird, Goldfinch, and Cardinal. It is hard to ask for anything better than that. God has already showered me with blessings. I guess if I want to be greedy and press on God's glorious nature, I'd ask that the Pilated Woodpecker come fly in and have breakfast at the backyard buffet.

The house really smells good this morniing. Ms. Kate put a bunch of chicken in the crockpot last night and let it cook all night. She is making broth and cooking chicken to cut up for the upcoming Chicken Pie bake at St. Lucas that we are doing on the 18th of March. The ladies all cook up their chicken etc ahead of time and and all of the ingredients. Then they take orders for the pies and everybody comes and helps make them. It is how the Women's Guild makes their money to do stuff for the church. They make about $2500.00 everytime they do this. I'm not crazy about the chicken pies because they don't put any vegetables in them and I think they are dry. But, one can always cook up veggies to go with them.

I cut my first asparagus yesterday afternoon.It was only one piece but that means more will be coming soon. I'm glad that I put that sawdust on it though. With this sudden cold snap it will keep it from freezing. I also went around the yard and cut Ms. Kate a bouquet of daffodils since it was supposed to go below freezing last night. Better to cut them and bring them in than to let them get frost bit and be ugly. I need to get out in the yard and pick up some downed branches today though.

Ithink I'll go fix a couple of Toaster Struedals for my breakfast. Then it is time to get dressed and get my day going. I hope you are having a wonderful day and are feeling the full force of God's grace. Peace.

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Bluebird is back this morning first thing. What a great way to start off my morning. It didn't stay long and i showed no inclination towards my bluebird house but it was still a blessing and a joy too watch it. So, thank you Lord for the extra helping of blessing this morning.

It is already sixty nine degrees this morning aand heading to around seventy three. I have the sunporch opened up and am letting some breeze air the place out. I've closed the sliding glass door to the family room so Ms. Kate doesn't get cold. There are some stiff gusts of wind coming through and a steady 10 mph wind keeps the Corinthian chimes singing. As nice as it is, the winds are slowly carrying in a severe storm for this evening. That will usher in some actual February like weather again instead of this May like stuff we are getting now. Make no mistake -- I think we all like this warm weather but it just is too early for this kind of weather. So, let's have a bit more of winter and then press on to things like gardening. But --- in the meanwhile I'm just enjoying my coffee, a little Andre' Reiu music, and watching my guests at the buffet. Peace in your soul is so easy to attain if you just open yourself up to it.

I have been disappointed so far in that I still don't see birds using my two new feeders. It will really be disappointing if they don't use them at all. I spent close to $100.00 for these two. I know that sounds extravagant and I guess it is, but they have life time warranties n them. But --- that doesn't guarantee the birds will use them.

Ms. Kate and I need to go do a little shopping and running around this morning befoore the storm rolls in. Fresh Market has steaks on sale and I think we'd like to do a couple on the grill. I also want to pick up some pork steaks to grill this weekend. And while we are out we need to go pick up the last of the paperwork we need to get started on doing our taxes. Yuk!!! It is the annual ritual we all must go through but I hate it. I always feel like we don't have a clue as to what we are doing. The good thing is that this is the last year that we will have to worry with me being self-employed and the tax headaches connected with that. We've almost always done our taxes ourselves. A couple of years we had Lisa help us and that was great. We've only once gone to a tax preparer like H&R Block and that was when we were first married and I was a young Airman, making next to nothing. Not only did we end up having to pay extra taxes, but it was $125.00 to have them done.  In 1967, as a young Airman --- $125.00 was a months take home salary for me. That's been fifty years and we've never done that again.

I think I will just sit here for a few more minutes, finish my coffee and listen t the rest of this CD. Then it will be time to get off my tail end and get busy. Have a most blessed weekend and enjoy the world that God has prvided for us. Peace and prayers are sent your way.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The song says; "Blue skies are gonna' wake us, put on a happy face." Well we have blue skies this morning but that isn't what we us. It was a dang "robo-call" on my cell phone. So I don't have a happy face. Robo-calls infuriate me. I generally don't even answer them because I know I don't know any body in the location that my caller ID says the call is from. But they area especially annoying when I'm in the middle of something -- like a good night's sleep -- and wake me up. Grrrrr!

Speaking of skies; I don't know how the sunset looked last night wherever you were but our sunset was maybe the most spectacular I've ever seen. Unfortunately I was in heavy traffic on the way to choir practice and couldn't pull off or even take a really good look at it. Ms. Kate tried to get pictures but I don't think they turned it very well. I tried to get a shot when we got to the church but the red just didn't show up in the camera like it did to the naked eye. But take my word for it; it was beautiful. God does some marvelous work and God does provide blessings just when we need them.

I went to Wild Birds Unlimited yesterday and spent a lot of money on a couple of replacement feeders and so far I have only seen one finch approach either of the new feeders. I figured the cardinal would be all over the one. Sometimes it takes a day or two before they get used to them. It is amazing what a person can spend on something as simple as a bird feeder. But --- I guess what is more amazing is what people are willing to spend on them. I also stopped at Pet Foods and picked up another 40# of sunflower seed. But --- the reward is that I get to set out here in the mornings and watch them all come in and eat. I probably have thirty birds of several varieties out there right now. Matthew 6:26 says "Consider the birds of the air. They neither toil nor sow nor reap and yet your Heavenly Father takes care of them". And yes --- that is true --- and I guess He sent me to do it. LOL

Ms. Kate and I are having lunch with our good friends, Bob and Georgia Ann today. We were supposed to do that last week but Georgia Ann didn't feel up to it. But it is going to be 75 degrees today and sunny and that will make her feel better all by itself. Heck, it makes us all feel better just being out in it. We hate to think that her cancer is beginning to take more of a toll on her but she is slowing down more all the time. The day will come when she won't want to go anymore and we'll miss that. Those two are such special people to us.

Time to quit. I need to help Ms. Kate with the laundry. Our washing machine is a top loading machine and her short self can't reach the bottom of it to get the wet clothes out without using a pair of tongs. So, I doo the swapping from washer to dryer.

I hope you have a pleasant day with lots of the warmth of the Lord God constantly surrounding you. Peace.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday, February 22nd is starting off as a sunny, slightly warm morning with a bevy of guests out there at the buffet, emptying feeders little by little. I'll need to fill them before the day is over. In fact, I may go to Wild Birds and get a couple of replacement feeders. Some of my bigger feeders are really getting raggedy thanks very much to my squirrel guests. I swear they could tear up a steel box.

Today is the 31st wedding anniversary for Julie and Jim. That is hard to believe. Of course it is just as hard to believe that Sunday Ms. Kate and I will celebrate our 51st. I can't recall if I was the commander of the Security Police Squadron at Hanscom Air Force Base yet or was still working on the staff of Electronic Systems Command. The dates run together at this point. Either way, 31 years is a long time. If I were to go back to that squadron to visit as a former commander, the people of the squadron that I knew would all be long gone and the current people would be polite but probably a little frustrated that some old fart Colonel was keeping them from doing their job. I sometimes think about the units I have commanded, and the positions I held that were important at the time but no longer have value. Commanding the 99th Security Forces Group as a Colonel was my "dream job".  And yet, that has been 18 years (and nine new unit commanders) ago. Time does march on doesn't it. But, the great thing is how many of my former people stay in contact with me. Social media has made that possible.

I finished up the front flowerbed yesterday and got the dead winter stuff off of it. The lillies are already doing a good job of pushing through the stuff but it looked bad. I hope wwe don't have a hard freeze come along and kill everything off. I doubt it will happen but I also know we are going to have some low thirties and upper twenties yet this week. The spring roller coaster is well in gear. My daffodils are really budding out now although I don't have any open. The water spirea has a few blooms on it already and there are buds on the forcithia too. Jim asked me Sunday if I wanted to go ahead and take the snow blade off of the John Deere and I told him I didn't think so. We've often had snows in the month of March and I'm not going to rush it. Besides, the only thing really browning in the yard is the wild onions and one dandelion.

My toaster strudel is gone and my coffee cup is empty. It is time to get busy. I hope yur day is as full of blessings as it is sunshine. God is good, all the time. Take a moment or two of your day and stop and give Him glory. Blessings!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

58 degrees and cloudy this morning. The first thing I did this morning was to refill the bark butter feeders. Between the black birds, starlings, mockingbirds, and the wood peckers, all three of the feeders had been pretty well cleaned out. And --- rue to form, the first thing to get to them this morning was the starlings, followed by the black birds. I actually wanted to fill them first thing just in case the Pilated Woodpecker came by today. I heard it in the area but haven't seen it yet.

It is supposed to rain today and tomorrow; -- nothing earth shattering but showers at least. I spent some time yesterday afternoon raking off the dead stuff from the lilies and other collected winter stuff in the iris in three of the front flowerbeds. I filled most of my garbage can with it. I have a little more to do and I might try to get out there their morning yet and finish that up. The work never ends if you want flowers. It will be time to put fresh mulch on soon. Then I'll need to put on the grub killer, get the garden tilled, rake up another area out by the south fence. And, --- I still need to trim back the black raspberries and cut out all of the dead stuff out of them. I guess it is a good thing I retired so I have time to get all of this done.

There are six squirrels out here this morning running, chasing, fussing and fighting one another. I can usually count on there being two of them but today must be a special occasion or maybe it is a turf war. Who knows what goes on in the mini-minds of those critters. So far they are only fussing over one feeder and that feeder is one I designate to them, so it's all good.

I told you the other day about my plants here in the sunporch that have the vine tendrils on them and how they seem to seek out things to wrap themselves on. The one, (my star jasmine) has a tendril on it that I said was heading to the handle on a door about three or four feet from the plant and I wondered if it would make it. Well, it actually changed directions a little and has now latched on to the handle of a lamp. I find that absolutely facinating. The how and why of God's creation will send you into a a brain tizzy if you concentrate on it. How and why did that tendril change direction and go to something a litle closer? It isn't like it "knew" to do it.

The robin has had its bath this morning and just splashed a bunch of the water out of the bird bath. I'll need to go put more water in there. Hopefully it didn't poop in the birdbath so I won't have to clean it out. The blackbirds are bad about that. And the blackbird like to bring stuff to deposit in the birdbath as though the water was too clean or something. They will drop pebbles, or little twigs, or dirt in there. Why? -- Who knows? Again --- God's universe amazes me.

Well, I got the Tuesday started so I might as well do something with it. I hope you have a great day. Know that once again you have been thought about and prayed for. I trust you'll pray for me too. Peace.

Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20th, President's Day. I remember celebrating President's Day as a school-kid. In the earliest grades we made stove top hats to look like Abe Lincoln or we would hear the myth about George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and being "unable to tell a lie" he admitted it right away to his father. In later grades were were supposed to learn and recite the Gettysburg Address. I never did learn it. Politicians and presidents have slid a long way away from that set of morals. I know I'm terribly cynical and judgmental about politicians but I figure if their lips are moving they are lying to us about something. But then --- the same could be said about a lot of professions. 

The bluebird is back for the third day in a row! I wish it would go explore my bluebird house that is hanging on the tree out there. It's a rent free facility, all cleaned and ready. Perhaps it is only migrating through but I would love to have a pair here. But I'll be happy with what I get and consider it a blessing. I also have a hawk that has been hanging around. It went swooping through the yard again yesterday. I'd really like it if it would put starling on it diet. 

We had a good weekend. We didn't do much beyond visit with Jim when he came over to show us his new truck. It is a nice one. It has very high mileage on it but it was a fleet vehicle and he has all of the maintenance records that show it was regularly maintained and taken care of. I hope it gives him good service. 

Our church search took us to the south side of Evansville to Christ, United Church of Christ. The pastor there is a friend of mine and held a good service. This coming weekend, if we are in town, we'll probably go to church at St. Paul's United Church of Christ on the west side of town. It will be our 51st wedding anniversary and we were married in that church. I think it would be neat to go worship there. Actually, we've been trying to think of somewhere "special" to go to celebrate but haven't come up with anything imaginative or exciting. As I said in a post on Facebook, when we have to combine "been there done that" with unknown end of February weather, --- it get a little limiting. Ms. Kate and I go and do thing at the drop of a hat so day trip are getting harder to not be repetitive. 

The squirrels are up in the trees raising sand about something I think it is because several blackbirds and redwing blackbirds have flown into the backyard and taken over the feeders. Some days it is a regular three ring circus out there and I love every minute of it. 

My cup is empty so I might as well sign off, go fill it, and get busy doing something. I pray you will have a joyous week. I pray God will lift you up and shower you with blessings and love. Shalomn.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Welcome to Saturday! I hope your day is a bright and full of blessings. As predicted, I didn't get around to writing yesterday. It was a busy day of having fun. We started the day off with a goood visit to the doctor for Ms. Kate even though our appointment was an hour late. Then we came home and threw together some stuff for the "Caching-mobile" and headed out. We found another nineteen caches and didn't find two that we were looking for. Well --- actually three. There is one not too far from us that we have looked for a couple of times and have not found. The problem is that the coordinates for it put me out in the middle of the street. Also it is at a busy intersection and trying to look "stealthy" just makes one look suspicious. I need to put it on my "watch list" which will let me know if someone finds it or not and anything they have to say about it.

We are having a cloudy day here and the weatherman was very specific ---- we may or may not get rain! How's that for an honest forecast? But it is cooler by a little bit today than it was yesterday. We were actually driving with our windows down; it was that warm. I'm expecting my son-in-law Jim to be here any minute. He bought a newer truck and wants to show it to me. He had his last vehicle for several years and it was always a work and expense in progress. Hopefully this new one will do well by him.

I've had a steady stream of visitors at the backyard buffet this morning. Yesterday morning the Pilated Woodpecker showed up for the first time in a while. I'm always thrilled to see them. My visitors have half way depleted all of their favorite feeders so tomorow I'll have to fill them up again. Such is the life from the sunporch.

Tomorrow is Sunday and Ms. Kate and I have to decide where we want to go worship this week. We still have several churches on our list we havn't been to yet. The real decision ---- how early do we want to get up. Do we want to attend a 0900 service or a 1000 or later service? Beyond that --- it doesn't make a lot of difference.

That's it for today. I hope your weekend is fully blessed. Take time to go worship The Lord. You've received more blessings than you know this week and and so have I. We need to express our gratitude through praise and worship.   Peace.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'm sitting here looking at the flower planters that we bring in during the winter and place in the sunny portion of the sunporch. They do extremely well in here; almost better than they do outside in the summer. I don't know what kind of plants most of these are except I know we have a couple of pots of geraniums that we have had for years and they bloom year around. At least wo of them though grow tendrils and the fascinating thing about that is that the tendrils seem to have a destination in mind as hey grow. Now, I know that in any rational thought process, that isn't possible. However, I'm looking at a plant that has a tendril that has grown about three feet through the air to reach a door handle to latch on to and intertwine. My star jasmine plant is doing the same thing. It has a tendril that is heading toward another door handle. So far it has grown about two feet long and has about two feet to go. It will be interesting to see if it keeps growing until it actually reaches that door handle without falling over. Do you understand why I get so amazed at what God enables nature to do? It is facinating.

I didn't get my job done yesterday and the feeders are really getting emptied today. I absolutely have to get out there today and fill them or there will be pounding on the door. Heaven forbid they would have to eat like normal birds and look for food elsewhere. Obviously from the number of birds I have out there this morning, they aren't havig too hard of a time; but I do need to take care of them. II haven't had my blue bird back since that one day. That is disappointing. Nor, have I had the pilated woodpecker back for some time. But the gold finches are slowly returning and their color has begun to turn slightly. This morning I have an abundance of starlings and they are making a racket and fussing and fighting with one another.

I need to get my hair cut today. I had my last trim down in North Carolina about five or six weeks ago. That waas done at the military barber so it was pretty short. But it is time to go back. I'm getting a little shaggy around the collar. I also need to trim up my beard. I think it is getting too long and I don't really know how to take care of it. I've never had one before. Ms. Kate seems OK with it so far as long as I keep it within reason. And --- I don't want to sacrifice kisses for a beard. LOL

Tomorrow I may be late in blogging. Ms. Kate has a doctor's appointment in the morning and then I think we plan to go geocaching for several hours. In case I don't get to you, I hope you have a great rest of today and an even better tomorrow. Peace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Good morning on this cold windy morning, the day after Valentine's Day. Is your Valentine of yesterday still your Valentine today?? And --- have you acknowledged that fact yet today?

So, as I told you, Ms. Kate and I went geocaching yesterday. After I logged in all of our "finds" and our two "did not finds", I pulled up another area that we had worked in last week, and I printed out I think maybe another thirty caches for us to go looking for. Our plan is to try to go after those yet this week; but --- if it doesn't happen this week --- that's alright too. Time is our ally these days.

I have a lot of guests this owning at the buffet and the feeders are dreadfully empty. More correctly, I should say the "favorite" feeders are empty. There is more than enough suet and seed cakes and sunflower seed out there, But the feeders right up here next to the house that hold bark butter and sunflower seeds are depleted. I'll throw on my jacket and go fill them after I finish my coffee and writing my blog. Looks like I need to clean the bird baths again too. These guys sure make a mess in them. The cardinal has been sitting in the water out there, bathing and drinking. Yuk. I assume it doesn't bother them; afterall, they drink out of mud puddles and all manner of other places.

My daffodils are all up but have no buds on them yet. I saw on Facebook yesterday that a local friend of mine has crocuses blooming already and my sister in law has daffodils blooming. I keep waiting for the "winter shoe to drop" and dump some extremely cold weather and snow on us but it hasn't happened and isn't in the forecast for the next seven days either. Our high today is mid forties and that is about normal. But -- the temps are going up the rest of the week as high as low seventies. It feels wonderful --- but it isn't normal.

The wrens are raising a fuss out there and I see a strange cat is coming through the yard. The neighbor at the "two-o'clock" position from my house has three cats and I suspect it belongs one there. It also has it's belly hanging a little low so I think it may be pregnant. I has looked around at the feeders and has obviously decided there will be no birds for breakfast here because it is slowly walking off. When that wren started fussing, everything, including the squirrels took to the high ground.

The wind isn't letting up and my coffee is gone so I guess I'll get my gloves and coat and go take care of the critters. God puts them here for my enjoyment and the least I can do is take care of them. We never know what role God has for us each moment of the day. Sometimes it is preaching the gospel --- and sometimes it is cleaning the poop out of the bird bath. Have a most wonderful Wednesday. Peace.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day. I assume that by now many couple have swapped their cards declaring their love for one another. Florists delivery trucks will be driving all of the towns delivering flowers to giddy recipients. The more public the display --- the better. This evening it will be next to impossible to get into a restaurant for dinner unless you have a reservation, and chocolates will be flying off the shelves to give to loved ones. How many of you remember Valentines Day as young elementary school students. In my school, each student had a box and you dropped in your valentines to the class mates. I remember the teacher sent home a list of children in the classroom so you didn't miss anybody. Whether we actually gave one to everybody or not, ---- I don't recall. I know I didn't want to have to give Valentines cards to BOYS!  That was a different day and a different society. I don't know if that is still practiced or not. In this day and age where society wants to make sure no one feels less than anyone else, I suspect the practice may have been given up because some student may not have received as many valentines as another and "felt bad".


I'm back and you didn't even know I was gone. Ms. Kate and I took advantage of a mostly sunny day with "almost warm" temperatures and went geocaching most of the day. I had printed out a list and the documents that go with them last night and the I plugged all of the coordinates into the GPS. We toook off about 1000 hrs this morning and headed north and east. It was a great day of just relaxing, riding around through the countryside; getting a little expertise getting in and out of the ruck and searching for the little hidden treasure that is called a geocache. I love that this is a world-wide "sport" or activity. No matter where we go, in or out of the United States --- we can go geocaching. We've been doing this for a few years now on and off. Now that we are retired, we have determined that we will make this an activity that we will use to get out and about. Since we started with this hobby, we have found our 2400 "caches". With a little effort, we should be able to hit 2700 by the end of the year. The problem is that as you collect the ones in your local area, you have to travel farther and farther to find them until someone puts more out. So, there could be a few overnight road trips this year. So far we have cached in 34 states and Canada.

That's it for tonight. I'll talk to you tomorrow. Have a good night and rest well knowing that God has you safely in God's arms. Peace.

Monday, February 13, 2017

The sun is bright, the sky is blue, the temperature is 42 degrees and life is good all around me. It is an ideal way to start off a brand new week. The question is --- what to do with this beautiful day. For sure, one thing I need to do is fill up a few of the feeders. I've had a bevy of starlings here this morning. Last night I threw out a couple of half loafs of bread that had gone stale and figured that if the blackbirds and starlings did show today, they would quickly clean all of that up. But no --- they are here eating the bark butter instead. So I need to fill the bark butter feeders today as well as a couple of the smaller sunflower seed feeders.

Yesterday we attended Bethel United Church of Christ for our morning worship. It was basically the same service that is held in most UCC churches and a service that we are accustomed to. Bethel has a reputation of being a "monied-church". Maybe that is because they are on the east side of town which is also reputed to be the "monied" side of town. I admit that it has a different "flavor" to it. It has been a long time since we have attended a church where almost all of the men and women were "dressed-up", so to speak. The men wore sport coats or suits and ties, and the women were wearing dresses for the most part. It had a very "1950's" feel to it; i.e much more formal and traditional. But, we fit in just fine and we enjoy an opportunity to worship The Lord. Next week, we'll try another church somewhere. This is really kind of a neat experience going around checking out churches.

Saturday Ms. Kate and I trimmed back the two knockout rose bushes that we have out front. We spent almost three hours on that job. When I trim up bushes etc I like to cut the residue in to small pieces so I can bag it up and the trash man will haul it away. That keeps me from having to find a landfill or a place to take it by truck and dump it somewhere. We totally filled three of those large Sam's Club yard and leaf bags with the trimming that we cut off and cut up. Our hands are still sore from  squeezing on those pruners. But those roses should really do well this year because this is the first year in a couple that we have cut out all of the deadwood an stuff. They look so much better. Also Saturday, I went to the local lumber store and picked up two wash-tubs full of sawdust and put on my asparagus. So, it was a day of good work. This week I have some raking to do but we are also going to take a day and go geocaching. The weather is getting better and we need to get out and about.

My coffee cup has gone empty for the second time and that is a signal to get out of my chair and do something. Say a prayer or two for the folks up in New England wh are having a blizzard ttoday and also keep in your prayers the folks that are still looking for answers and hope from the tornadoes od last week. Stay in touch with God --- that's where all the answers to any question you have will be. Peace.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Happy Saturday! I got up early today and have already been out to fill my bird feeders. They were quite empty. Of course part of that was due to a certain bandit mask wearing critter that was gobbling  up food last night. I was sitting here last night and I noticed that a couple of feeders were swinging irratically, so I turned the flashlight on and caught the raccoon just having a midnight snack. It had already knocked down one of the feeders so it could drag it off into the yard someplace. I went out and it waddled off across the yard and out of sight. It certainly wasn't responsible for all of my empty feeders this morning. I had a yard full of birds yesterday al day.

I got up early today because I wanted to make sure I heard my generator do it's weekly test. It is supposed to start every Saturday at 0700 and run for five minutes. I'm generally not up yet and don't hear it. So, I just wanted to make sure it was still doing what it is supposed to be doing. I'm glad to say that all is well.

It was already 54 degrees when I got up today. I think though that we are supposed to have rain and then maybe the temperature wil be dropping back down a more seasonal level. I'm not sure what if anything we will put on our agenda today. The rain or no rain will be a determining factor. We didn't go out to have our lunch with Bob and Georgia Ann yesterday. She was afraid that it might be too cool for her. I'd rather be safe than sorry so we will just reschedule. I think today though I will go out and do a litle yard work. It is too nice of a day to waste. I need to go up to the lumber yard and pick up a tub full of sawdust to put on the asparagus. And --- there is raking to do and the knockout roses in the front to trim way back.

So --- with all of that going through my brain and nudgi8ng me out of my recliner, I think I will drop off for today. I pray you will have a wonderful day. I pray you will feel the power of the Holy Spirit as it flows through you and I pray you will take time to share that same spirit with someone else. Peace.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Blue skies, sunshine, and 36 degrees greet me this morning. What a wonderful sight. Add to that a dozen cardinals, at least four downy woodpeckers, another dozen junkos, finches, a couple of goldfinches, and a squirrel or two and I have a backyard full of guests to enjoy. So I just say, "Thank you Lord" for a morning full of blessings.

It appears at least most of my daffodils are coming up . I need to walk out to the north side of the yard and see if those I replanted a couple of years ago are coming up. They didn't do much last year but I attributed that to "first year"  planting. Whether or not that is true, I have no idea. But we'll see how they do this year. Of course I'm anxious to see if my grass seed is going to germinate too. There are several things that I want to do out back here in the yard but I'm not sure what. One of our biggest problems out here is roots. These two poplar trees undermine much of the soil and most everywhere I dig, I run into roots. My other problem is I'm not sure where my cable runs from the box over to my house. I know I need to take out a huge azealia bush that died a couple of years ago. I think it just got crowded out for lack of sunshine or maybe it was just old, I don't know. It was here when we bought the place sixteen years ago. At that time my firebushes were only about four feet tall. Now they are 15 - 20 feet tall and serve as a windbreak and privacy fence when their foliage is fully on. Before I start any of that though, I still need to go out front to those two huge knockout roses and trim them way back. So much to do.

But today is "mushroom day". We're meeting Bod and Georgia Ann out at St. Joe Inn & Tavern for lunch and fried mushrooms. And, since Brenda is joining us today. We may have to invest in a whole pitcher of Amber Bach. LOL

Y'all know I love to listen to my southern gospel music; with the Gaithers in particular. I picked up on another one of the groups that make up the Gaither Homecoming Friends. They are a trio called The Talley Trio. Their trio sings some really rocking southern gospel music and their daughter, Lauren, has put out several songs and albums that I like. I bought one of them yesterday along with Reba's new Christian album and have been listening to them this morning. It is good accompaniment to my morning reflection time. Gospel music and Max Lucado devotions are a perfect way to start my day. But, the album is done and I need to "remove butt from recliner" and get on with my day. As I do, I lift up my prayers this morning for loved ones and for people around this country trying to dig themselves out from under the rubble of tornadoes and snow blizzards from this weeks weather. I think sometimes we forget that the suffering form those things lasts a lot longer than the news report.

Have a blessed day. Peace.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

It is a bit nippy here in the sunporch this morningThe sliding glass doors have been open all night and are currently but that only helps to a point. After all, the sunporch is made up of two walls that are completely glass, and the other two walls are brick from the exterior of the house. No insulation there to hold down the hot or cold. But, a simple lap robe keeps it nice along with the open sliding glass doors that go into the family room.

Speaking of nippy --- outside it goes way beyond nippy all the way to downright cold. It is 22 degrees at the moment with a stiff wind. The fact that the sun is shining brightly makes it look warmer but isn't doing a lot to warm things up. But --- I don't have anything I need to do outside today so I reckon indoors is a great choice.

We had a great Cantata practice last night although we were missing a few people. We concentrated on one song and got it down to acceptable. It was the last song of the cantata and I thought it was good that we did that. This is a long presentation with a lot of songs. Sometime we end up leaving off the last song because we didn't have time to work on it properly. Ms. Kate and I practiced our parts on some of the songs yesterday here at home. We'll do that some more as it really helps when we get to choir rehearsal.

The sun has crested the roof of the house now and is lighting up the yard beautifully which means that it has brightened up the area around the bird bath. I look forward to that time of day because that is when the cardinals come and sit on the edge of the bird bath and the sun makes their red feathers almost glow. It is a beautiful sight. I've had a steady stream of guests at the buffet this morning. Mockingbirds, cardinals, starlings, titmouse, sparrows, finches, doves, wrens  and woodpeckers have all been here so far this morning. I reckon their natural instincts guide them to eat extra on a day like this so their metabolism keeps going and they don't freeze to death. There is a pair of doves over on the frozen over bird bath pecking away at the ice to get a drink. Meanwhile, the heated one sits there full and fresh with no birds around it. What is the saying; --- "You can lead a bird to a heated birdbath but that doesn't mean it will use it??"

Tomorrow it is supposed to be warmer and we plan to meet Bob and Georgia Ann for lunch at our favorite country tavern. They are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary today, I think. What a wonderful thing that is. They are such a sweet couple and we love being around them. Georgia Ann's cancer seems to be somewhat at a standstill. She's gaining a pound or two once in awhile and says her appetite has returned a little. We pray for her often, but God will do what is best for her. I pray she will have quality of life life up till the moment she passes. And heck --- that could be long beyond the passing of any of the rest of us. The older I get, the more aware I am of my own mortality.

On a happier subject --- I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. I hope you wil look around you and recognize God's presence everywhere you look. I certainly see it everywhere; from the beauty that surrounds me outside these windows to the beauty of having a loving wife sitting just another room over at her own computer. God has filled my life with more than I can even know. I can only hope that I haven't wasted too much of the blessings God has provided.

Have a great rest of your week. Peace.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mid-week and it is a cooler day than yesterday was. But, we were missed by the storms that could have hit us. My prayers go out to the folks in the southeastern part of the country. There were four massive tornadoes in the New Orleans area with lots of destroyed homes and I think at least one life was lost. That storm has moved on out of the country but this morning the folks up in the Boston area, (and my grandson, Josh,) have snow and ice to deal with. There has been at least one fifty car pile up so far. So I offer up prayers for their safety too. God's hands are busy this morning. His hosts of angels must be extremely busy shielding and protecting their charges around the world.

I filled the bird feeders yesterday afternoon. We stopped at Pet Foods yesterday and I picked up a twelve-pack of suet and put out half of them. I also picked up another 40# of sunflower seed since it was on sale and my can was half empty. It was really comfortable being out there filling the feeders because it was 67 degrees and sunny. We only have about five more weeks of winter and the weather seems to be rolling more to the warm side each week. I don't know that it is a good thing because we haven't had any snow so far this year. But then --- as weird as the weather has been, we could get snow as late as April. It has happened before. I saw a "planting chart" on Facebook tis morning which tells me that people are already getting anxious. I admit that I check on my daffodils every day to see what they are doing. Karen's are already budding out and will be blooming soon unless they get frost bit. I don't have any buds yet and I think that may be for the better. But it does excite me to see things pushing up out of the ground. Again --- God's hands are busy. I never tire of looking at this wonderful creation of God. If one stops and starts considering the unmeasureable intricacies that God designed into nature to make this world work --- well, it is simply overwhelming. You know, I appreciate the work of scientists and all of their digging around and their study to find out how things work. Thanks to their efforts, we can get a better understanding of how to take better care of the earth and our selves. But for anyone to try to tell me that there is no divine plan to all of this, and to say well, it was just all a cosmic accident that turned out perfect ---- nah, -- go huy yourself another Twinkie cause you're living in LaLa Land.   This is all God, and God is all of this.

The cardinals are arriving for their morning snack so I'm going to just sit here and enjoy them. I pray the second half of your week will be full of blessings. Peace.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Welcome to a rainy Tuesday morning. It is 60 degrees outside which it certainly should not be during the first week of February; and is also why we are under a slight risk for severe thunderstorms etc. I'm thankful for the rain because it is a relatively gentle rain so far and this area needed it. I heard the news folks say that we were in a fire danger situation because we have not had rain for several weeks now.

I have to take Ms. Kate in to the radiology lab for a Doppler test on her carotid artery this morning to make sure the blood is flowing correctly. She had an "incident" a coule of weeks ago that mimicked some stroke symptoms; and since she has already had one stroke --- Dr. Jackson said we aren't taking any chances.  We totally agree with him. This test is non-invasive and takes about five minutes and is done at Deaconess Hospital.

This afternoon, Ms. Kate and I need to sit and go over the cantata and practice that some. She doesn't read music so she has to make notes to herself of what to do when. I'll play it on the keyboard, at least the melody or just our parts so we can get familiar with it. Tomorrow night is cantata practice at the church and we'd like to be better prepared.

Despite the rain this morning, I still have a few visitors and guests at the backyard buffet. It took the squirrel several tries to get up that metal pole to the feeder. He kept sliding back down ---- always fun to watch. I have a couple of downy woodpeckers eating up the last of the barkbutter. I think, if it isn't raining too hard, we'll stop by either Rural King or the Pet Smart and pick up some suet. I thought about doing that yesterday but we never got there. I have six empty suet feeders at the moment. I have four cardinals out there braving the elements to eat breakfast or their morning snack. I guess it isn't a big deal because they woud be out in the elements whether they were here eating or not. It isn't like they left the house and came outside. But, I still feel sorry for them. I wonder if it bothers them or not.

Ms. Kate says it is time to go so I will sign off and wish you a very pleasant day. God Bless.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Happy Monday!! As we begin this first full week in February it is 42 degrees and foggy this morning.  But as you know, I'm one of those weird people thata happens to love foggy mornings. I just figure Gos still has the blankets pulled up and is keeping the world all snuggled in.

Our morning though had to start early. Ms. Kate had a doctor's appointment first thing this morning. So we got up early and got ready to go take care of that. It was a routine appointment but was also a "fasting" appointment for her bloodwork so that meant no coffee because she ruins her coffee with cream. Sucks to be her!

After her appointment, we called Karen and asked if she wanted to meet us at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, which she did. Now we are back home and it is noon already and I'm wondering how it got so late so quick.

We tried out another church yesterday. We had talked about going back to Crossroads Christian but decided to just try yet another one. We ended up going to St. Mark's United Church of Christ out on the far west side of town. Last week the church we attended had 1000 people there for the service. This week, Ms. Kate and I rounded the attendance off at fourteen. I've known the pastor for many years and I also know a couple of the parishioners. That church is a small church and never had a lot of people but now it is an aging church with no children and the parishioners are all about my age. It reminds me of my St. Paul's congregation that I had. But, folks were friendly, the service was familiar and the sermon was good. All in all, it was a good worship experience.

Like most of America, Ms. kate and I spent the evening watching the Super Bowl. That may have been the best football game I have ever seen. It helped that my team won, but it was a great game anyway.

That is about it for today. It is late enough in the day that the backyard gang won't be back now for another four hours or so with the exception of maybe a starling here and there. It looks like I need to go buy another case of suet. The suet feeders are almost totally empty. We are expecting strong storms this evening and tomorrow with crazy high unseasonal temperatures. Then by Wednesday it starts to get cold again. It is a strange winter. But --- God will do as God will do. Have a blessed day.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

24 degrees this morning; coldest night of the year so far, so the weather guy said. But then, the year is only thirty five days old. The sun is shining brightly and I have a lot of guests here at the buffet this morning, although I need to fill several feeders today. I think that can wait until it gets a tad warmer. There is food for every kind of bird (and squirrel) out there so I'm not rushing out there. I do need to fill the electric bird bath because it is getting low. The other birdbath is frozen over, and of course that is the one they keep going to. That is also the one they really like to bathe in. I normally turn it over and empty it during the winter but it has beeen a warm winter so I left it. By Sunday  or Monday we have another warm up o the way --- then the temperature is supposed to plunge again. I have no doubt that global warming is a real thing. I don't know that we can do anything about it, but I think it is real.

I'm hoping that bluebird comes back today and brings a friend. It would be really neat if they moved into my bluebird house and nested. They are beautiful birds, although I have also read somewhere that they are also fairly aggressive birds to the other kinds. I doubt they are any worse than the starlings that peck and fuss at everything. After all --- the bluebirds sing to Snow White and Cinderella.

I think we are going to go back to Crossroads Christian Church tomorrow for worship. They are doing a sermon series that sounds interesting. I need to read the text for tomorrow and get a heads up on what they will be talking about. I know the scripture will be 1st Corinthians, chapter four, and I've used it in my own sermons, I just need to re familiarize myself with it. As I said last week, I'm not crazy about their style of worship at that church and wouldn't "join it", but it is a place to go. It was amazing though how good it felt to be back at St. Lucas this week for their Cantata practice. I think it was the sense of belonging that I felt that made it so good. When we are visiting other churches and denominations, we just don't have that.

We keep getting told that we are going to have rain in our forecasts. I put down grass seed a couple of weeks ago and covered it with straw and it hasn't rained since. This coming Tuesday we are allegedly going to get a lot of rain so we'll see what happens. I just want the stuff to take root. My spring flowers are up in every flower bed now.

Time to refill the coffee cup and check on Ms. Kate. I hope you have an excellent weekend. Get some relaxation and take time to give God praise and glory. Thank God for the gift of Jesus Christ and the resurrection. It was all done just for you. Peace.

Friday, February 3, 2017

My day is almost gone and instead of writing this blog at 0800 it is now 2230. I started to write two or three time this morning but got interrupted. I had one started and had about a half page done when I hit a wrong key or something and my blog went off into cyberspace never to be found again.

The fellow came to fix Ms. Kate's fireplace this morning and it was the typical what I call "mechanic's luck". You know, the car won't run until the mechanic tries it and then it starts right up. Well that is exactly what happened this morning with the fireplace. The repairman opened up the fireplace screen and held a lighter up to the pilot light and it lit right away. In all fairness to me , who stood there and felt like an idiot, he did say it needed cleaning and did work on it and increase the flow of gas to the unit. Although he may well have done that just to make me feel less stupid. But --- he also brought out the new fireplace logs and set all of that in place too. Ms. Kate has had it going ever since and it does look nice and warms the room nicely for her. We also have a new fireplace screen coming in about six weeks.

I had a bluebird here this morning at the feeder. There was only one and I hope that another one comes. I made sure I put the bluebird house back up and cleaned it out.

Ms. Kate made a pot of chili today and she also made a huge pot of veggie soup. They are both delicious of course. No body makes better soup than she does. Her mom made good veggie soup too but Kate's is better.

That is enough for tonight. I'll write again in a few hours. Peace.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday snuck right in here on us didn't it! February 2nd has arrived. Today we are going to go over to Julie's school in New Albany and attend her Harry Potter Book celebration/event. I think it is going to be fun. I'm sure there will be "Potterheads" in all manner of costume. Ms. Kate is going to be taking pictures for it.

I missed writing yesterday but we were kind of busy most of the day. I had a lunch time meeting with our associate conference minister because I had some questions that I needed answers to. It was a good meeting. Then Ms. Kate and I went to Sam's Club for some stuff, then to Target. Then last evening we went to cantata practice at St. Lucas. It was so great to be back at St. Lucas and to fellowship with our friends once again. We won't be singing during the Sunday services because by denomination "rules" we aren't supposed to attend the churches that I just left. Allegedly, it "undermines" the ministry of the new pastor because parishioners would still turn to me for spiritual guidance instead of the new pastor. But, Dave, the new pastor has said he has no problem with us being there. The choir has no tenor voice so I'm it. But, beyond singing in the cantata at Easter, we are staying away from the services just to follow the rules --- for a while. But --- I felt as though I had been given a "friend fix" after choir was over.

It is a beautiful, albiet cold morning. The sun is bright in the sky and it is 30 degrees this morning and won't warm too much beyond that. I have lots of birds this morning, most the little ones like finches and wrens, and junkos. I only see a couple of cardinals out here but their feeding time hasn't quite arrived yet. They will flock in around 0930 for their second feeding. I have my usual bullies here --- the starling gang. But they come in and peck at everything for about ten minutes and then they fly off.

Ms. kate and i took Tuesday afternoon and went geocaching out in the next county. We picked up 18 more caches. We are up to 2398 found so far. There are a whole bunch more over there in Posey County so we will be heading back that way to clean up some of them. We intend to do a lot more caching now that we are retired. Caching leads to day trips and we do love our day trip adventures together.

Time to refill the coffee cup and check to see if Ms. Kate is ready for another cup. I pray you will have a blessed day full of the Lord's grace and love and I also pray you will recognize it as such. Remember that we never walk alone in this life. God is always with us and the Holy Spirit will always be our guide. Be at peace as Christ wraps his arms around you. Shalomn.