Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rain, Rain ----- well you know the rest! Wow, what torrential down pours we have had for the last twelve hours. Facebook friends tell of rain gauges being full at the nine inch mark and one even claimed a fifteen inch filling. I guess, by looking at the radar to the west of us, we are literally in the calm between the storms right now. It hasn't rained for about forty five minutes but radar shows this storm going all the way back across Oklahoma. Last night was one constant rumble of thunder and lightning. Ms. Kate and I made use of the extra bed we have in the basement because we were under a tornado watch for most of the night. Prediction is that we'll do it all over again tonight. I'm hoping that it remains at least cloudy today and the sun doesn't start shining through. That will destabilize the atmosphere and make it worse.

Yesterday was a pretty much do nothing day. I asked neighbor Dan over for coffee and he and I sat out here in the sunporch until almost noon just visiting. I think we covered most of the world's problems and came up with the correct solution to solve them. Then yesterday afternoon he brought over several packages of Vietnamese spring rolls that Minh had made and put in their freezer. She is still in California taking care of her mother but she told Dan to be sure and bring those to us. Her spring rolls are the best I think we have eaten. we told Dan that the next time they make up a bunch we want to come over and help and learn how to do it. They generally make up a batch of about 300 at a time.

The birds and the squirrels are all here now. They are filling up at the backyard buffet while it isn't raining. We are excited that the Red Breasted Grossbeak are at our feeders. They travel through here twice a year on the migration. hey will be around here in small numbers for about two weeks. They have their own distinctive sound that reminds me of a kitten mewing. They are a black and white bird with a red breast and about the size of a robin. Their bill is shaped much like that of a Cardinal. I'm glad that my buffet is on their route.

I guess Ms. Kate and I need to decide what house of worship we will attend tomorrow. Frankly, I think it will depend on whether it is pouring down rain or not. But If it isn't maybe we'll go to Cross Roads Christian again. It is a non-denominational mega-church on the east side of town. We went there once already and enjoyed the service and the message of the pastor. Why not try it again? We have hopped through several church now since I retired and have narrowed down a short list of those we would attend again.

I hope your weekend is good and that you have and take the opportunity to attend a worship service that fills you with the Holy Spirit. Until Monday ---- have a blessed day.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

It is a cool, 52 degrees, partly cloudy Thursday morning with the threat of on and off showers for the day. It just might be a good day to watch life pass me by as I sit here with my IPad and watch my backyard critters at the buffet.

We did get rain last night and that will help with the garden. I was going to water it today if it hadn't not rained. Gotta get those beans to start sprouting. I know I have to go cut the asparagus today. It needed it yesterday and we didn't get around to it. We have enough in the refrigerator that we need to use some of it or freeze it, one or the other. Maybe Ms. Kate will make a pot of asparagus soup today.  That would be good on a cool day. Doesn't asparagus soup and a grilled cheese sandwich sound good?

We cut a bunch of iris yesterday and took a big bouquet to Ms. Georgia Ann. She didn't appear to be doing well at all and I would ask your continued prayers for her comfort. Ms. Kate and I think her decline is speeding up. She was hard to hear yesterday and seemed much weaker. It may have been because they have increased her pain medicine but most likely a combination of everything. I fear she won't see her next birthday in July. But, I think she enjoyed the flowers. We sat and visited with her for awhile but she was getting sleepy so we said a prayer with her and left.

I just got a call from the John Deere dealer that my LT150 is ready to come home. That's going to be almost $600.00 so it better be running perfect. There was a short in the wiring that had to be fixed, it needed a new serpentine drive belt, and I had it serviced for the first time in three years. John Deere is a good product but they are sure expensive when they need to be worked on. But then, anything is I reckon. But between HVAC and John Deere, --- I'm almost $1,200.00 poorer than I was a week ago and I didn't get any fun out of any of it.

I would ask for prayers too for my former son-in-law, Andrew, Heather's ex-husband and the father of Lauren and Jon. In the last two weeks he has had both a mild heart attack and a mild stroke. I may not like Andy's life style or what happened between him and Heather, but he is the father of two wonderful children who are dealing with this and are getting stressed out from worry and taking care of him. So, I just ask that you send prayers for comfort for all of them.

It would appear that I need to refill the bark butter feeders. The downy woodpecker is on one of them and is searching for bits and crumbs. There is of course, another one just fifteen feet away that is full so I don't feel too badly for them. But, it does give me reason to get up out of my recliner.

Stay safe if you are in the path of any of these storms that are sweeping across the nation. Peace.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hello Wednesday! Seems like it has been a week since we saw you last. So far it has started out as a great day. It is 70 degrees outside, the sun is shining and I don't see any clouds in the sky. There is a gentle breeze blowing. However, all of this subject to change by the evening. We have a front moving in and it will stall out in the area bringing lots of rain and possible severe storm. But --- that in the future and I think I'll just enjoy what God has on the plate at the moment.

I got a lot of the stuff cleared from out behind my yard barn and on the fence. That area is covered with Swedish ivy and a vine that think is called euronimus. It is a nice vine but it will take over the world if not brought under control. Beside, I need to get it all out of there so the painter can get to the fence. I had. Forgotten how much yard stuff I had put back there too. There are a lot of
"Plant rings" to put around the peonies, metal stakes for the tomatoes, and a couple of pieces of yard equipment as well as some border fencing. By now it has gotten grown over and entwined with ivy etc. What a mess. But, I'll get it all cleaned out.

I got the garden planted yesterday, what little we do plant. I put out a half dozen tomatoe plants and some summer squash and some green beans. It will be good eating when things start producing in a couple of months. We want to put out a couple of cucumber plants yet but haven't seen any at the co-op. The asparagus continues to put on. I asked Ms. Kate to fix some Top Ramen for lunch. Yesterday and she cut up some asparagus and put that in the soup along with some green onions and a couple of eggs. I've always loved Top Ramen and a couple of additions like that can make it really good. It's a good quick ten cent lunch.

I think this morning we are going to cut a fresh bouquet of flowers and take them up to Ms. Georgia Ann in the hospital. We haven't seen her in about ten days so it is time we went up to see her and Bob. They are such dear people and we are going to hate to lose her. Bob is going to be a mess when she passes. On the other hand, we certainly don't want her to linger and suffer. I would pray that God would be more merciful than that.

Having said all of that, It is time for me to get busy. I hope your day is a pleasant one and full of the hope and love that comes from a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Do something nice for someone today. You will be so better off for doing so. Peace.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It is another beautiful morning, Thank you very much, Lord God.  The sun is shining and it is already seventy one degrees this morning. The good thing is that I'm not sitting here watching somebody work on an air conditioner.  Yesterday's adventure into that arena cost me $551.00 and that was just labor and refrigerant. He had to replace the evaporator coil and if I hadn't had a parts warranty, that would have doubled the cost.

I got my front  yard and back yard mowed yestrday as well as neighbor Dan's and Darrel's next door. I also got the garden tilled up and today we will plant the tomatoes and the squash. Then I have to get busy working along my fence lines and clearing some of the plants from it so the folks that are going to paint my fence can get in there to do it. That is a lot of clearing to do; and it won't get done with me sitting here looking at it. Neighbor Dan said he would help but he's sick so I can't expect any help from him. But you know, as I said, it is a beautiful day, and doing yard work is like playing PacMan. Just take one bite at a time.

My backyard buffet visitors this morning have mainly been the titmouse, a few finches and a cardinal or two. It hasn't been real busy. I filled up everything yesterday evening and the squirrels are certainly helping themselves. I'm not sure, but I think it is time for me to put out the hummingbird feeders again. I haven't seen any yet but I think around the 20th of April is generally when they start arriving in this area. My local Wildbirds and Things store has a migration chart they follow every year but I haven't been in there for a week so I haven't had a chance to ask them or check the chart.

We've had a lot of people come by the house either walking or other wise and commenting on how beautiful our yard is now. Last night the Pizza delivery lady mentioned it to Ms. Kate. And, in all modesty, I must say it is stunning tis time of year. Give it another month and most everything will be through the flowering stage but for now, I give God glory every day for the beauty we are blessed with.

I guess I better slurp down the last of my coffee and get busy doing something productive. Have a most blessed day and take time to admire the beauty of the world around you. God does magnificent work and guess what ---- you are one of God's best efforts. Peace.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Just look at that sunshine out there! Blue sky, no clouds and just a hint of a breeze; but it is still a bit cool. What a wonderful way to start off the week. God has certainly laid it all out there this morning.

On the human side --- my morning has been spent with the HVAC guy being here to repair my air conditioner. The evaporator coil had a leak in it and had to be replaced. The labor cost is going to suck but at least I have a parts warranty. The reason I had water coming out of my furnace unit Friday night was that the coil had frozen up and that was ice melting and running down. So, there goes my Cold Stone Ice Cream allowance for awhile. LOL Unfortunately, I still haven't heard from the John Deere dealer yet for a cost on the repair of the little JD. Things do seem to go in cycles don't they? Everything can be going smooth for awhile and then wham! But,--- the blessing is that this problem with the AC didn't happen while I was somewhere on vacation. --- Always look for the bright side.

Yesterday evening Ms. Kate and I went to R'z restaurant ant for supper. Gibson Southern High School Student Council was doing a fund raiser for Riley's Children's Hospital and R'z restaurant  was letting them do it at their place. The student council was trying to raise $10,000 for Riley's. What a great thing that is. Candace and her husband are such great supporters of the Ft. Branch community. After the dinner, we went to Cold Stone Creamery for our dessert.

Our worship search yesterday took us "home". We went to Zoar UCC, the church I grew up in, was baptized and conformed in, and had our children baptized in. Over the years, when we weren't off on our 32 year Air Force career, Ms, Kate and I have taught Sunday school there, served as advisors to the Yoiuth Fellowship, I served on the church council there and was the Director of Christian Education. When I decided to become a Licenced Minister, they totally supported my efforts. So, you might ask; "why haven't we returned full time there now that we are retired?" The answer is simple enough, we are enjoying hopping around and engaging in several different worship experiences. But, it was wonderful to receive the warm handshakes and hugs, hear a good message from the pastor and listen to the choir.

The HVAC guy is about done and I guess I need to get busy and mow my yard. I hope your skies are full of sunshine and your life is full of the warmth of the Holy Spirit. Peace.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Saturday afternoon: the clouds are a little thinner now and at the moment it isn't raining. We have had rain on and off ever since I wrote yesterday. Our high temperature today is or current temperature of fifty two degrees.

Our week of waiting just seems to continue. Last evening I was in the basement in my office and I heard a couple of loud noises come from the furnace room. I went to check on it and saw nothing unusual. I went up and asked Ms. Kate if she had heard it an she had heard nothing. So, I went back downstairs and continued to watch TV. But the thought oof that noise still bothered me so I went back in the furnace room and by now, I had a puddle of water coming from under the furnace. I opened the little panel that goes in front of the filter and it was wet. I pulled out the furnace filter and it was dry but the tray under it was wet and I could see water dripping from somewhere inside the furnace blower area. So, I told Ms. Kate to turn off the Air Conditioner. It was going to be a cool night anyway. I keep an eye on it and it stopped dripping. I called our AC folks late and left a message about what was happening and I thought the girl on the other end said they would call us this morning. Well, they haven't called. But then, she may have said they will call Monday. At any rate, I turned on the furnace this morning and got no more drippage.

We were also supposed to have a contractor come this morning to talk about painting our fence. Well, the lady called around 0800 and said that their dog had gotten really sick and they had to take it to the vet this morning. She said they would call as soon as they finished. So we waited on that. They finally did call. We've used them before and they are great workers so we had no problem with that wait. But --- was just typical of our week.

Now it is the weekend and by now the rain has diminished greatly from this morning. Hopefully it is over with. I grilled some hotdogs for lunch and just now finished cleaning up my grill. It was needing it from grilling the chicken the other evening.

It is still 52 degrees outside and the clock is registering nap time. Have a great rest of your weekend.

Friday, April 21, 2017

It is a liquid sunshine morning and I have absolutely nothing on my schedule today; --- and that is exactly what I intend to do. Oh, sometime today I'll run the vacuum cleaner for Ms. Kate but that is about as adventurous as I plan on being.

Good morning! Happy Friday to you. It seems impossible to believe that just a week ago today was Good Friday and it has only been five days since Easter Sunday. This has been a very trying week on both our patience and our pocket books. It seems that when we weren't waiting on somebody or something to be done, we were opening up the wallet or checkbook paying for something. Yesterday put the candles on the cake. We had finally decided to have a fence contractor come by and give us an estimate on a new fence. We wanted him to tear out the existing fence and replace it where it stands. The problem is that the existing fence sets in the utilities easement on the west side of our yard. It has been that way since long before we bought this property back in 2001. The fence contractor said that he could not put a fence back in that location by code. It would have to be moved in a good ten feet, which would mean that we would have to tear out all of the azaleas and hundreds of flower bulbs that are planted along that fence and relocate them. We were not happy people. We've always known that the fence was in the easement and that if the untility company really needed to, they could tear out the fence. But, we didn't know that we would not be allowed to put it back where it is. So, we have decided to keep the existing fence because the wood is all good and just have it painted. I have someone coming tomorrow to talk to about repainting the fence. So --- that's how our Thursday started; then we went to a funeral to bury Aunt Mary.

The funeral was a simple affair. I conducted it. There were only fourteen of us present. After the funeral we all went to Denny's for lunch and conversation. One of the cousins had brought a small box of pictures and passed them around for people to share and take as they desired. It was good closure because sitting around a meal and talking and laughing was a "very Mary" thing for us to do. All of my personal memories of her include just exactly that.

The weekend is upon us and it is going to be a fifty/fifty weather weekend. Rain and very cool tomorrow and then starting to warm up again with sunshine on Sunday. That will be nice. We haven't yet talked about where we may want to go to church this Sunday but I'm in need of some church time after the week we have had. Sitting here in the sunporch always provides calm and serenity but I need the extra boost that comes with congregational worship and the fellowship of believers. I hope you will take the time to go and share in that kind of experience this weekend too.

I close today by sharing with you the blessings that God has given me. Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It is a beautiful morning outside my sunporch today. By now the trees are fully leafed out and now the sun filters through the branches instead of lighting up the entire yard. So, it creates mini spotlights all over the yard as the sun shines on the different areas, maybe lighting up an azealia plant for a bit and then the bird baths or a rose bush. God does some magnificent show production work out there. 

Mr. Pilated Woodpecker just announced his arrival as he flew in. Unfortunately I don't have anything in the bark butter paste feeders but there are bark butter bits out there and he is helping himself to that. It just makes my day everytime he comes around. It is getting much harder to see the other birds when they aren't right here on the feeders since the leaves are providing them cover. 

The waiting game continues here. The plumber finally did get here yesterday evening around five o'clock. This morning the HVAC folks showed up for the spring servicing of the AC. Unfortunately they told me my refrigerant was down to 40% which means that somewhere there is a slow leak and they will have to come back and check that out. So now, I wait for them to call me with an appointment date and time again. Fortunately I still have a parts warranty on it but not labor. ---- I'm also still waiting on the John Deere guy come to pick up the little John Deere and haul it away for fixing. Haven't heard a word from them so far; so --- we wait. I hope they can find the problem without too many hours labor. Labor costs are going to be the death of my wallet yet. 

The cardinals are coming in now as are some of the other birds. There have been a couple of birds somewhere close that have been singing their little hearts out. It isn't a mocking bird; I know their song pretty well. I suspect it is either the wren or a song sparrow. Which ever ---- it is quite pretty. I haven't seen any squirrels yet today which is a bit unusual. It is sillly to say that I miss them when I really don't want them here. But --- that's how it is. They make me laugh with their antics. A couple of "something's" went across our roof early this morning. It was heavy and I suspect it was a raccoon or maybe two. It really make a heavy thump as it/they went. 

Tomorrow we have a fence contractor coming to give its an estimate on replacing our fence. Then, in the afternooon we have Aunt Mary's funeral. I'll officiate at that. We figure that there may be only about five or six of us there. That is sad. Mary was a strange person. She was what I would call a "social recluse". She liked to go places but had to rely on someone to take her. She had had a couple of strokes and couldn't drive. If you went to her house, you were never invited in. But she always had a ready smile, loved her coffee and her donuts. Tomorrow's service will be a simple graveside service and I'm taking along a dozen donuts to share because Mary always brought the donuts to the funeral home family area, partly because she knew I love donuts too. Here's to you Aunt Mary!! Rest In Peace. 

For the rest of you --- Have a most blesssed day. God loves you and so do I. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Waiting, and more waiting; it seems to be the theme of the week so far. I think I told you yesterday that our telephone land line was out and we were having to rely on our cell phones. I had tried for about five hours to get through to Spectrum but kept getting a buusy signal. Finally I drove to their office; it's only maybe five miles from our house. I asked the lady if there was maybe and area outage and she said there wasn't. She asked me if my TV and Internet were working and I said they were. So, she put me on the schedule and said that they would have someone out here today. She suggested that in the mean time I try unplugging the cable modem and replugging it to see if that helped. I hadn't tried that simply because the TV and Internet were still working fine. But --- I went home, and did that twice, to no avail. Last evening, I was down in my office watching TV and playing on the computer and I noticed that what I thought was a router was blinking "differently" than normal. Well, come to find out it wasn't a router but was a second modem. I unplugged it -- plugged it back in, and viola' instant land lines working. Who knew???? So we cancelled the service call for today.

However ----- the plumber that was hopefully going to make it yesterday didn't. So, now I'm waiting some more. And --- we are waiting to hear the plans for Ms. Kate's aunt's funeral. The bad news is that I am not an overly patient person and Ms. Kate is even less so. There is a shared grumpy cloud floating in the house.

The rain is holding off so far for today. I went out front awhile ago and the azealis out there are just beauutifaul. The iris are starting to bloom and the peonies are starting to bloom. The two dogwood trees out there are in full bloom and it is just stunning to look at. God sure does good work. I took some pictures and posted them on my Facebook timeline. Beauty like that should be shared. I hope folks don't think I'm being "braggy", I just want to share my blessings.

The buffet currently has a lot of customers. Surprisingly, I tossed out the last of my popcorn that I fixed last evening and figured thaat it would disappear fairly quickly this morning. But the birds are pretty much ignoring it so far. That tells me that I'm feeding them too well and they are spoiled. When starlings and blackbirds ignore popcorn on the ground, you know they are eating too good. The only birds that have paid it any attention at all are a couple of sparrows and house finches.

Time to wrap this up and get on with doing something useful besides wait.  Havea great day. Pray for your loved ones and friends and pray for anyone with whom you are having discourse. Love makes the world go around because love comes straight from God. Peace.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy day after Easter. I hope your Easter was filled with good thoughts and love and a worshipful experience. We went to the Sunrise service at St. Lucas and sang in the cantata and it went perfect. I think this may have been one of the best cantatas we have done so far. After the sunrise service Ms. Kate and I headed out to New Albany to have Easter lunch with Julie and Jim. we are so happy those two decided to move to Indiana and we get to see them as often as we do.

It is an overcast day today with an occasional bit of sprinkles of rain. I went out and mowed my back yard with the walk-behind mower. It was really getting shaggy since I couldn't start the little John Deere. I got the walk-behind out , put some gas in it and it started on the third try. I haven't run that mower in two years. It is about 15 years old; part of the cover is broken off so it rattles like crazy but it always starts and it does a good job. It doesn't pull as well as it used to so I really need to take it to have it worked on by someone who knows what they are doing.

This week we are busy with something every day. Tomorrow Ms. Kate has to have an injection in her had for arthritis. Wednesday the John Deere people are supposed to come pick up the little tractors and the HVAC folks are coming to do their spring servicing on my air conditioner. We buy a yearly contract for them to come in the spring for the AC and in the fall for the furnace. Thursday we have a fence contractor coming out to give us an estimate on replacing our fence and gates in the back yard. And today we are waiting on a plumber to come check out our hallway bathroom for some toilet issues. Oh, the joys of home ownership. And --- to top it all off, we don't have land line service for our phones and I have tried now for four hours to call Spectrum with my cell phone and all I get is a busy signal.

Ms. Kate had an aunt pass away this weekend. She was the last of that generation and that now makes Kate's sister, Karen the matriarch of that side of the family, and Karen is just a month younger than me. I only have one aunt left on my side of the family. It is amazing how we can go along doing our "day-to-day" stuff and suddenly we have become the senior generation of the family. If nothing else, it makes one aware of their own mortality. Were I not a man of faith --- that might worry me; but death doesn't scare me. The great resurection event we celebrated yesterday assures us that it is only after your heart stops beating that you truly begin to live.

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Saturday afternoon; -- how is your Holy Week going? Ms. Kate and I have had an interesting day so far on this Saturday before Easter. Being the wild and adventurous people we are, we decided to take in a movie first thing this morning and went to see Beauty and the Beast. We knew that it was possible that the theater would be full of kids; in that it is a Saturday morning and all. But it wasn't that bad. The movie was well done although the sound was a bit loud even for me but that goes with the great sound systems they have in the theaters these days. I think though this is the first "musical" genre of a production since probably The Sound of Music or maybe Mary Poppins. But they sang all of the songs that we are all familiar with from the animated version and I highly recommend the movie to everyone.

After the movie we decided to run out to one of our favorite restaurant/taverns and pick up a couple of order of deep-fried mushrooms and take them up to Princeton General Hospital where Georgia Ann is under hospice care. We knew that Bob would be there and tomorrow is his birthday. For the past decade we and they have gone to that tavern and ordered our mushrooms, lunch,  and a pitcher  of Amber Bock in celebration. We didn't dare take beer to the hospital but I think they were thrilled that we brought the mushrooms. With the declining health of Georgia Ann, this may be the last time we can celebrate together.

We had a great visit with Bob and Georgia Ann and she did a great job of eating the mushrooms. It was great to see her taking nourishment. After our visit with them, we headed on back home stopping though to grab a Dairy Queen.

Once we got home we took care of some chores around here like scrubbing the kitchen floor and other "stuff". By then we were ready for a nap. Now, supper is over and Ms. Kate is watching a movie about the Boston bombing. I'm on the way down to the basement and my lair.

Tomorrow morning we will be up early for a 0700 church service and then we will head to New Albany and have Easter lunch with Jim and Julie.  I pray you Easter will be filled with the Holy Spirit  of the resurrection, Peace.

Friday, April 14, 2017

As I write this it is 9:00 am here in southern Indiana, and it is 5:00 pm in Jerusalem. As we travel back to the first "Good Friday", the day of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, to this moment in history, Jesus has been dead for about two hours or so. Joseph of Arimathea has by now received permission from Pilate to take the body of Jesus down off of the cross and bury him. This duty has to be done quickly because the hour of the Sabbath is coming quickly and it is almost time for the Passover meal. So Joseph and others including the women who followed Jesus to Jerusalem quickly wrap the body in fine linen and place Jesus inside the tomb and the Roman guards have rolled the stone over the entrance and sealed it. They remain at the tomb and are in place to insure none of the followers of Jesus try to steal his body and proclaim he actually did rise from the dead.

In my own mind ---- the inside of that tomb just became the most holy place in the entire universe or any other universe. Inside that tomb Sin and Death have just waged war on God, the creator all that exists in any dimension. Armed only with hate and deceit, Sin and Satan have no chance in a battle against God and pure love. Inside that tomb Holy magic is happening and in just a few hours the universe will witness the power of that love as Jesus rises from the hold of death and walks out of the tomb with the declaration that death is no longer to be feared; --- it is now only a transition to eternal life. And that --- my friends --- is why this is a Good Friday!!

I don't have a lot of Backyard Buffet visitors this morning. It is overcast this morning and the air is still. The azaleas are looking beautiful this morning and the dogwood trees are blooming nicely. I find it truly appropriate that the dogwoods bloom at Easter. It is a good reminder of the season. It isn't quite time for the cardinals etc. to be here for their second round at the buffet; give them another fifteen to twenty minutes and they will all be here.

I went to the Maundy Thursday service at my home church last evening. It was a good service and I love taking communion. It was also good to receive a nice warm welcome from many old friends. As I suspected, the congregation was small. We'll have to go back some Sunday and see how it is. This Sunday however, Ms. Kate and I will go to St. Lucas and sing in the Cantata and then jump in the car and head to Julie and Jim's house for Easter dinner. I hear ham is on the menu and Jim is fixing it on the grill.

That's it for today. I pray your weekend will be filled with the Holy Spirit and peace and love will flow through you to all with whom you may come into contact. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Welcome to Maundy Thursday. This is a day that I personally feel we don't clarify very well in our churches. Many denominations don't celebrate it at all. Within my denomination the day includes an evening worship service with Holy Communion because it is the celebration of the "Lord's Supper" or as also called, "The Last Supper" because it is the last meal that Jesus, the Son of God would eat in human form. You'll recall he did eat with his disciples again after his resurrection.

But, beyond the sharing of the meal with his disciples, Jesus taught his disciples, (including us) the true meaning of servant hood. He took a wash basin and a towel and he washed the feet of each of his disciples. This was a job reserved for the lowest of the low ranking servants in a household and yet The Son of God demonstrated that he would go to that level to serve mankind and that none of us are above that duty. We know of course, that the evening ends with one of those same disciples betraying Jesus to the authorities and for the next several hours he would be dragged from place to place and tried, and convicted, and whipped and beaten to a bloody pulp and then nailed to a cross as a troublemaker for Rome and an enemy to the established religion. And so, --- when you take communion this evening you are symbolically participating in the Body and the Blood of Jesus; the ultimate sacrifice being paid to assure your salvation. This is a Holy day.

I started my morning off by getting outside and filling up all of my feeders. I had just finished filling the bark butter feeder when the Pilated Woodpecker flew in and grabbed some breakfast. That was pretty cool. Since I have finished and come in, the rest of the usual gusts are enjoying the buffet and spa too. The Cardinals were the first ones in the pool (bird bath) this morning after I got them both scrubbed and re-filled. Then came the Robins, and next were a couple of starlings. I'll have to go out and refill them again because of all of the splashing and thrashing around that partly emptied the bird baths.

I think I can safely take a few of the planters out of the sunporch now and set them kind of back in a corner on the patio where they won't get too much wind and won't be in danger should we get a last frost. I also think that today I will try an till the garden area and dig out the okra stalks from last year. Those thing have big roots and I have to use a grubbing hoe to get them out.

That's my plans --- we'll see what ends up being my reality. In the meantime --- you go have yourself a great day. Peace.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Well, I wished you a happy Monday and left you hanging on Tuesday. That wasn't very neighborly of me. In my defense we were gone for a good portion of the day yesterday. We took Ms. Kate's Cadillac to the dealership for a bunch of scheduled maintenance work and that took a few hours. Then we had several places we needed to go, then out to lunch, so the day was pretty well shot before we got home.  And frankly, I have a hard time getting in the mood to write my blog in the afternoon or evening. It seems like if I don't do it first thing in the morning along with my coffee, it just doesn't work for me. That's my story aand I'm sticking to it.

It is Wednesday of Holy Week or for the church it is better known as "Silent Wednesday" because we have no record of Jesus doing any activity on this day. Perhaps he spent the day in prayer; perhaps he spent the day just talking with his disciples or teaching or healing; we just don't know. But, for us --- it is a good day to reflect on the impact Jesus has had on our life and to give thanks that God loved us enough to provide an avenue to our soul's salvation. Is it the only way????? That's the big question isn't it. Afterall, Jesus himeeself said that God most important commandment to us was to "Love the Lord God with all our heart, mind and soul; ---- and to "Love our neighbor as ourselves." But, Jesus also said; "I am the way the truth and the life. No one come to the Father, except by me." The question becomes did he mean by himself (the man Jesus) personally or by his teachings. Jesus taught love and love transcends all things because God is Love. And by the end of this week, Jesus will have provided the purest example of God's love through His own sacrifice. Faith is heavy stuff folks. Please never take your faith lightly or confuse your faith with "your religion".

Back on a lighter and more "backyard" note; I have to fill the feeders today. I still haven't taken the time to get that done and they are really getting low by now. I'm also going to take down a section of fence so I can push my little John Deere through it. I have a 42" deck on it and my gate opening is only forty one inches. So, I have to do a work around. I have another gate at the back of the yard but that would require pushing he mower a lot farther and up hill to get it to the garage. So, Neighbor Dan and I and maybe even Ms. Kate will take care of that today.

Tonight is the final cantata practice and it hope it goes well. Tomorrow night is Maundy Thursday service and I'd like to find a church to attend and take communion. Perhaps I'll go to our home church for their service.

I hope this day is a blessed one for you. Take time to give thanks for all you have and I don't mean for the material things in your life. God doesn't give a hoot about your new car. Be grateful for the people in your life and share your love. Peace.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Welcome to Monday! This is day two of Holy Week or Passion Week as some people call it. We are told that yesterday Jesus entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey to the acclamation of the the crowds and his diciples who waved palm branches and threw their robes on the ground  for him to ride on. It is the only time that we have an instance where Jesus went somewhere that he didn't walk.

I find this whole story rather strange. I have heard and I have preached this story and the symbolism of Jesus entering the great city of Jerusalem, the Holy City of the Jews, on a lowly donkey as opposed to riding in on a great stallion. It represents that Jesus was a humble servant of God and not a great conqueror. But Jesus specifically sent a couple of disciples on ahead to get that particular donkey and it's foal for him to ride on. Why? How is riding in on a donkey more humble than simply walking in? Some where and somehow I'm missing some point in this story. See? This is why I love to read and try to figure out the scriptures.

So today is the day that Jesus is said to have gone to the outer courts of the temple and witnessed the money exchangers selling "sacrifices" to be presented to the priests as atonement for the people's sins. He became enraged at the fraud and deception that was going on he the temple and he overturned the tables and took a whip of cords and drove the money changers out of God's holy place and cleanse the temple. That must have been quite a spectacle to see with coins flying all over the floor and animals being turned lose and people trying to get out of the way of the "madman" disrupting the business day? And beyond the obvious points of the story --- isn't it amazing that no one tried to stop him; not the crowd, not the business owners, not the temple guards nor any of the "holy men" standing around. He cleansed the temple and he left. God works in mysterious ways. Go back to your Bible and read and re-read the stories again. Discover the truths that lie beneath the words. It's facinating.

Well, you didn't open this page to hear a sermon this morning but I was just sharing with you my thoughts for today. Meanwhile here at the buffet, that gang is all here munching away and emptying all of my feeders with haste. It's a beautiful morning with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures.

We have some things that Ms. Kate and I have to do today such as running by the John Deere dealers and talking to them about servicing my little JD. I need to fill all of the feeders and call the heating and air folks to come and do the spring servicing of our air conditioner. It's all just routine stuff from our exciting lives. Tomorrow we will spend=d most of the day at the Cadillac dealers while we have routine maintenance done such as transmission flush, brake service and stuff like that. It won't be cheap!

I pray you will have a wonderful day filled with sunshine and love. Peace.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

It would be hard to find a better way to start a Saturday than with a warm cup of coffee, a beautiful sunny morning and a pair of bluebirds on my feeder. It does make for an awesome start to the day. All I can say is "thank you" to God for a blessed start to my day.

The robins are hopping around the yard, the starlings are here trying to intimidate the red headed Woodpecker in to giving up the feeder and it isn't going well for them. The brilliant yellow of the Goldfinch shining in the sun makes it clearly visible all the way across the yard. The downy Woodpecker and the Wren are taking turns on one of the seedcake cylinders, and Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the bluejay is trying to hang on to a micro- sized twig to eat off of the bark butter stick. The only ones missing are the cardinals right now but several of them were here a little earlier and they will be back shortly. It does bring me joy to sit here and watch them all.

Julie and the pups are coming over this morning and will spend the night. Jim is staying home to take care of his yard today. She wants for her and Ms. Kate to go to do some shopping at a craft store or two today. I think I'll pass on that and stay home with her dogs.

I want to maybe mow today too. I was really aggravated yesterday afternoon when I got on the little JD to do the back yard and the brand new battery was dead. I can't imagine why that would be. It was only used once. I put the new trickle charger on it last night so we will see how it goes this morning. Hopefully it willl start right up and stay charged because I know nothing about mechanics, and our local JD dealer is slow as molasses on getting anything worked on. The fact that they are the only JD dealer close seems to give them the attitude that don't need to care about customer service. Maybe they treat the farmers and guys with the actual tractors and rigs differently. I would hope so. If a guy is buying a piece of equipment that costs well over a half million dollars, they should be given respect.

We haven't decided yet what we are going to do about church tomorrow and it is Palm Sunday. At most UCC churches in the area that means Confirmation Sunday. So, we may head to the Crossroads Christian. Or, maybe we will pass.

Time for me to get busy. Ms. Kate wants to run to the post office and mail the grandkids Easter Cards. So, I pray your day will be a sunny one and full of God's blessings. Peace.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Good Friday morning to you! What a beautiful Friday morning this is although it is a breezy forty six degrees out there. My guests at the buffet are having to hold on to eat. At the moment the starlings are here. But they just kind of eat and go and then come back for another round. They remind me of our middle daughter years ago. It was hard to get her to sit down for a meal. She would walk around and snack on her meal or Kate would give her bites as she passed through. That way she ate a full meal. The birds do the same thing.

Ms. Kate fixed a fine breakfast this morning. Our asparagus is doing so well and this morning she made me an asparagus omelette and some sausage patties and she cut up some of the oranges that we brought back from Florida. We don't have many of those left and they are so very good. we are spacing them out so they will last but we don't want to lose them to spoilage either.

I'm not sure what we are going to do today. I know I have to go fill up my gas cans for the lawn mowers and maybe I'll run the mowers. Julie is coming over with the dogs tomorrow. I also need to top off the feeders and pick up some sticks in the yard and then I also need to cut off and dig out the okra from last year. And maybe, I get around to starting on the yard bench that I want to rebuild. See what I mean --- there is always something to do. It is just a matter of  prying the rear end out of the recliner and getting vertical.

I hope that wherever you are today, they sky is as clear and blue as it is here. There isn't a cloud in the sky and I think we can see all the way to heaven. I'm sitting here listening to The Talley Trio singing gospek music on my stereo. They are my new favorite group. They must write all of their own music and each song tells a story. Their harmony is perfect. The daughter of the group has her own following and I have a couple of her albums too. I learned about them through listening to the Gaither Homecoming CDs and on YouTube. I have tried to copy some of their music on the keyboard but haven't been able too so far. But, if you are into gospel music I highly recommend you download or buy some of their music; either The Talley Trio or Lauren Talley. It's good stuff and will fill you with the Holy Spirit. I'm a firm believer that God doesn't just speak to us through a whisper during a prayer. God uses whatever method will get your attention the quickest.

The morning is growing to an end and I haven't gotten much done other than my blog and breakfast and enjoying my backyard guests. So, I better get on with the day. I pray your day will be full of warmth and love and I pray that you will share all of that with someone. It comes from God and is made to be shared. Peace.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Well we just jumped back a month to early March weather. It's forty five degrees, cloudy, sporadic showers, and the wind is whipping out there today. Just downright nasty is what I would call it.

The weather doesn't seem to bother my backyard buffet guests though. As usual, I have plenty of cardinals, finches, woodpeckers, blackbirds, Mr. Fuss-a lot the blue Jay, and a couple of squirrels. As the bushes and trees are leafing out it is going to get harder to see these guys if they aren't on a feeder.

The severe storms that were headed our direction turned and went north so we were spared any severe weather yesterday afternoon. But we have had several rain events from it. There were a couple of tornado touchdown in the area north of us. As is always the case, some more folks lost their mobile home. But, Praise God, I haven't heard of any injuries or deaths.

Our cantata practice went very well last evening. We went straight through it and it will run about 45 minutes. The choir has really worked hard on it so I'm glad it came together for us. There are only about a dozen members to the choir and four of us are "guests". They need to do some heavy recruiting. Unfortunately there isn't a large pot to recruit from.

If I do nothing else today --- I have to get a haircut. I'm looking shaggy and I don't like to look like that. I would never have let my hair get this out of bonus when I was in the military. And if I had --- somebody would have spoken to me about it. But, the days of "high and tight" are long since gone and out here in the civilian world no one cares.

Well, my friends, that is about all I have for today. I keep getting distracted either by incoming conversations, or Ms. Kate bringing a delicious breakfast to me, or by watching the silly squirrels and the birds. So, I will wish you a blessed Thursday and pray you have a blessed remainder of your week. Until tomorrow ---- Peace!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It would appear that we are in for the Southern Indiana mixed bag of weather today; sunshine turning to severe storms, warm temperatures turning to cold with even a chance of snow just north of of here, a slight breeze with the possibility of tornadoes before the day is over. We do get it all. Just in the little while that I have been siting here it has gone from calm with zero breeze to probably 15mph wind, and the sky has gone from a brilliant blue to a grey-blue overcast. It probably isn't a day to plan a picnic.

I was out in the yard yesterday afternoon checking things out. The daffodils are about 98% done and the tulips are about 80% done. However, the early azaleas are starting to bloom so the continuation of color is secured. More and more of the trees and bushes are leafing out and as I said yesterday, the redbud trees are beautiful right now. I'm having to cut the asparagus about every other day which is wonderful because we love our asparagus. Also the lettuce and the radishes are showing above ground now too. The peoneys are up about a foot now and the lilies are really looking god. I love this time of year. Ms. Kate bought some mint and some basil to put in a container pony soon. We still have a danger of frost so we won't put it outside just yet. But, I could bring a pot inside and we could go ahead and plant it. I like basil and sometimes I'll just pinch off a couple of leaves and chew it like gum.

I filled up the birdfeeders again yestrday and even had to go out to Wild Birds and Things and pick up more bark but paste and bark butter bits. Today I might run down to Pet Foods and pick up a couple of 40# bags of sunflower seed. That can is getting pretty low. The cardinal bunch are in for breakfast at the buffet right now as is one fat squirrel that has been eating off of that same feeder for at least 30 minutes. I'm thinking it is time he caught a BB on his butt to move him on. The squirrels re a little confused this morning because I cut two large dead branches out of the tulip poplar tree. They usually sit on those two branches to see what is going on in the yard or to sun themselves when it is hot outside.

Tonight is choir practice for the cantata. I guess we will only have one more rehearsal and then it will be Easter Sunday morning. I hope the cantata goes as well as I think it will. It is a good one.

Time to refill the coffee cup and maybe fix a bowl of cereal for my breakfast. As much cereal as I eat, I seldom have it for breakfast. It is my midnight snack I instead.

I hope you have a blessed day. Remember, the week is half over and you're on the way to another weekend. Make the most out of every second and enjoy life. God loves you and I do too. Peace.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The bird feeders are mostly empty -- AGAIN! I guess I know what I need to do as soon as I finish my blog this morning. Bark butter, bark butter bits, sunflower seeds; all of it needs to be filled. Consequently, I don't have a lot of guests here this morning, although truth be told, there is plenty of food out there in the form of suet cakes and seed cake cylinders. So, no one is starving. It is just that the favorite and "easy" feeders are empty. They are like children; spinach is food too, but noooooo!

We had perhaps the most vivid and brilliant double rainbow I have ever seen last evening. Ms. Kate wanted to go to a scrapbooking sale thing last evening so I took her and sat in the car while she did her thing. While she was inside it came up a heck of a gully washer rain storm. But after it was over the sun was brilliant out of the west and in the east the rainbow was spectacular.

This morning is a beautiful morning. The birds are singing and the sky is a brilliant blue with a few white clouds here and there. I think it is supposed to be about seventy degrees today. I can't do much outside today because it is too wet from the rain, but it sure is beautiful. So, I think I will just sit here and give praise to the One who created all of this.

The blossoms are almost all gone from Ms. Margaret's flowering crab tree. However, the Redbud trees are all still in full bloom and they brighten up areas everywhere we go. I haven't seen any Dogwood trees blooming yet. I have a pink one and a white one out front. They really haven't bloomed very well the past couple of years and I think it is just that they are getting old.

I got the batttery put in the JD and finished the mowing that I wanted to do. It sure makes quick work out of my morning and it also makes it a lot more enjoyable.

Well, that's it for this morning folks. I pray your day is going to be a good one. Life is too short to not take advantage of the good thing that come our way. I got up this morning on the right side of the grass and that was a blessing to start the day. Take time to be grateful today and take the time to tell someone you love them. Share a blessing with a friend and pray for someone who needs it. We are all connected in this world. We are brothers and sisters of Christ and Children of God. It just doesn't get any better than that!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday, Monday, Monday; we have been Run-around Sue and Run-around Stu all day. I had a 0900 appointment to take my truck in to the dealer for an unknown intermittent problem. Ms. Kate had a 0930 Orthopedic appointment just down the road from that. So we were up early and got ready to start our day. I dropped off my Dakota fr them to do a diagnostic run on it and Ms. kate followed to pick me up. When I got to the car, she said the doctor's off had called and cancelled her appointment because the doctor wasn't available this morning. So, we went to Cracker Barrel and had breakfast. We came home, did some stuff around here and the Dodge dealer called and said they could find nothing wrong with my truck. However, my truck did have two recalls listed on it, (driver's side airbag and passenger side airbag) so they went ahead and fixed that.

This afternoon we went to the John Deere dealership and I picked up a new battery for the little Deere and a battery maintainer for it. I had mowed some Saturday with it and it had started fine. However, when I got off of it to do somethiing and tried to start it again --- the battery was totally dead. I got the charger out of the shed and let the battery change for twenty-four hours and the tried it again --- Nada! Hence today's running around included a trip to the John Deere store. And the better news, I think) is that they could find nothing wrong with my truck. So, I paid the $58.00 diagnostic fee and brought it on home. Hopefully what ever caused that noise was just an anomaly.

Yesterday Ms. Kate and I went back to Bethlehem UCC for worship service. It was a pretty good service and they made us feel welcome. Then yesterday afternoon we went to St. Lucas to attend the Eclesiastical Council for Dave Marshall, the fellow that is now the pastor of my former parish. This is the last step before he is ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ. He was approved unanimously, as I expected he would be. However ---- the day was ruined for Ms. Kate and I because I got scolded by one of the hierarchy of the Local Association because Ms. Kate and I are attending the cantata rehearsals; even though we have the permission of the current pastor. I addressed all of this the other day with you in my blog. However, I was told again that we shouldn't be anywhere around that parish or the members of that parish for at least one to two years. We were told that we were supposed to forget all of our friends of the past twelve years and move on. What a bunch of crap. But, Ms. Kate and I have decided that we only have two cantata rehearsals left and then the cantata performance in two weeks; so we will do those and the disappear from the lives of the people up there except for a few of our very closest friends. We are only doing it so the Association doesn't give Dave a bunch of crap. I just love being 72 years old, being treated with total disrespect and being told "how to conduct myself". So much for Christian Fellowship at the bureaucratic level.

Enough whining about my feelings getting hurt. Today is another day and God has given us a warm but mixed bag of weather. It has been pretty good all day but now id raining on and off. Raindrops are falling on the roof od the sunporch and that causes some droopy eyes. I just may have to take a nap.

C' Ya!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Mr. Fuss-a-lot, the blue jay has been making a racket this morning. I have no idea what that is all about. He's been in and out of here several times and each time he comes in doing his screeching and whining thing, Maybe he is looking or a girlfriend, or may he is a she (I can't tell the difference) and is looking for a boyfriend.

The robins are in this morning for the full spa experience; breakfast and aa bath. I have four of them hopping around in the yard this morning. And I have three or four black bird still gathering up straw and flying of with it to build a nest somewhere. The cardinals, junkos, goldfinches, and wrens are all here this morning too as well as two squirrels that are hogging up wo of the feeders. I'll need to fill the bird baths again this morning. The water is getting low in them. I've unplugged the electric one because I think any chance of the water freezing over has passed.

It is a cool day again today and cloudy. I may mow the lawns today. They aren't bad but the onions are getting tall again. I just don't want the yard to look shaggy. I used to say you weren't supposed to mow until after Easter, that way the Easter bunny had a place to leave the eggs. Gosh, I remember as a kid we used to collect grass and stuff and build Easter Egg nesting spots for the bunny. But, we don't have kids or grandkids for the bunny to come see anymore so I reckon it doesn't matter when I mow. I guess it is close enough to Easter. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday.

It is going to seem strange not having the Easter Season worship services to plan for this year. I've always bought Palms for the kids at church on Palm Sunday and in years that I had confirmands, tomorrow woud have been examination Sunday and next week woud be Confirmation Sunday. My only involvement this year will be singing with the choir for the Cantata at the Easter morning Sunrise Service.

I have a battle royale going on in the backyard at the moment. There was a squirrel on one of the feeders and another squirrel dared to climb the pole to try to get on the feeder too. That launched a mad chase around and around the yard and over the fence to the next yard and back to my yard up and down the trees. One of them is finally back but is sitting there in the firebush looking everywhere to make sure the territory is clear. It is funny as heck.

So, my day is off to a good tart. It is now time for another cup of coffee and a piece of coconut meringue pie for breakfast. I hope you have a blessed weekend. Peace.