Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Last day of May and it is a beautiful one. It is sunny and 77 degrees. I've been out a couple of time this morning to take the mail to the box and to talk to the neighbor behind us who was out walking a dog. We are hearing that the city will be tearing up part of the neighborhood to repair/replace part of the sewer that runs behind my fenceline. We are concerned that they will be wanting to tear up our fence to do the work. But, talking to him I find that they have gotten letters from the city about it and they will be compensated for tearing up their yard. But --- we've heard nothing and I think the work is all going to be over there. So, it sounds as though we are safe.

The robins are using my patio for a splash park this morning as they take their baths in the bird baths. There is water going everywhere. I needed to clean them out because of the leaves and flower blossoms that are in them but the robins don't seem to mind at all. The fly in and sit for a moment and then get busy splashing. Then they sit some more and start again. Then they fly up into the pussy willow tree and sit and prune and shake the water off; then they start all over again. I expect that when the robins are done the blackbirds and starlings will be taking their turn. They all seem to be lined up out there to do so. When they all finish I guess I'll go out and refill and clean out the bird baths out. I also have a few feeders to fill and a couple of other to top off.

Stubby and BT were both here this morning and brought friends but they have since moved on. I have one young squirrel coming down the tulip poplar tree part way the it goes back up. It has done this about six times so far. I don't now what it sees that makes it hesitant about going on over to the feeder but it can stay on the tree as far as I'm concerned.

I think I'll mow at least the back yard today. It looks a little shaggy and we are supposed to have showers on and off for the last half of the week. I also need to get in the black raspberry patch and attack the mulberry bush that has grown up in it. I've been fighting that bush for several years now. I don't know how to get rid of it. I've chopped, dug, cut back and used a gallon of round up on it but it defies all odds and comes back every year. Ahab had his white whale, I've got my mulberry bush. LOL

As is usual, I have my Gaither Gospel playing this morning as I sit here and write. It makes a great part of my morning thoughts and meditation and prayer. It's like worshipping with old friends. I just bought their two latest albums here on my IPad and have a great Bose Bluetooth speaker next to my chair. It fills the room with joy and song.

But ----- it is time to quit sitting and is time to get busy. We need to go up and see Bob today. I haven't seen him since Georgia Ann was buried. This would be a good day to do so. He should be ready for some company by now. It won't be an easy first visit but these are things that should not be put off. That is what friends do for each other; share the hard times.

I hope you have a great day and then start the month of June off with a heart full of God's glory. I give you my prayer that you have a blessed day.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30th, 2017; one more day and another month will be gone. Before long 2017 will be half over. Time does continue to march on doesn't it. It brings to mind Stephen King's novel "The Langoliers".

We had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Julie and Jim came down with the dogs. They (the dogs) are always a constant source of entertainment. They are either wanting on your lap or barking to go out, or barking to come in, or begging for treats. Fenway, their bigger but much younger dog is just constant movement. I get tickled at it in the morning when I come out of the bedroom. That dog can't get close enough to you. It just climbs and leans and sniffs and tries to lick. It is just so happy to see you up and moving around. It is just a big hunk of love puppy. Their other dog, Auggie, used to be that way but Auggie is getting old and mild unless you ask him if he wants to go for a ride. Then he talk loud to you. He is so funny. But Fenway seems to think she can't go or do anything without Auggie. She gets separation anxiety if she can't visibly see Auggie.

I only have scavenger guests at the buffet this morning so far. BT is here hogging up one feeder and the blackbirds are here . So far not much else has come around. I think I will take the Red Ryder to BT and run him off for awhile. He's been out there long enough. Stubby came through but didn't stop.  I cleaned out the hummingbird feeder yesterday and it wasn't five minutes and here come one for a snack. My daughter Heather, out in CA has had several hummingbirds build nests in their bushes. While we were put there a couple of weeks ago, there was a hummingbird trying to hallow out a place on a palm tree to create a nest. I wonder how that turned out for it. I need to look for my hummingbird bar feeder and put it back out. I'm not sure where I put it at the end of the season last fall.

We broke out the ice cream freezer this weekend and Ms. Kate mixed up some delicious chocolate mocha ice cream. I think it may be the best we have made in years. Of course, I guess that isn't saying much since we maybe only one gallon every two years. I certainly haven't gotten my money's worth out of what I paid for that White Mountain electric ice cream freezer. I need to remedy that. We intend to take it to TN when we have the family reunion at the end of June.

Today Ms. Kate and I have optometry appointments. It is an annual thing. I think my glasses are still okay. Those darn things are so expensive. I think though I'm having a problem with dry eyes and will most likely need a prescription for that. I'm not sure why they call it dry eyes because the symptom is constant weeping and I have to dry my eyes constantly. But, we'll see what the doctor says.

I need to sign off. Ms. Kate has the laundry going and needs me to switch it over to the dryer. She can't reach the bottom of the tub so I do that part. Have a great day. God has once again provided us an opportunity to be of service to our fellowman so let's get busy doing it. Peace.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017. It is a beautiful day out there; 73 degrees, sunny, relatively low humidity (for here at least). So, BBQ grills will be firing up around the area, beer tabs will be pulled, sweet tea, unsweetened tea, and lemonade will all be made to go with the chicken, briskets, ribs, potato salad and other goodies at picnics and family gatherings. Older folks will visit cemeteries and the generation of today won't have an idea why.

This is Memorial Day, not to be confused with Veteraan's Day. This is the day that we honor those who have died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today in this country. I served for 32 years as a member of the United States Air Force. I know a lot of Veteran's who have served and some who continue to serve. However, I personally know of a very small number of my former friends who actually died fighting during the war; and they were killed during the Vietnam War. In the past three decades our nation has been fighting in the Middle East. We have twenty five year old people in this country that have never known us not to be fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan. As of October of 2016 we had lost 2400 military men and women in just Afghanistan and we had also lost another 1200 American contractors; ---- and yet --- who knows. Since this military issue is not "an American Effort" like the world wars were were in, it seems to be lost in the minutia that is daily life. Reports come in sporadically and a local soldier is honored as his or her body is layed to rest but there is no national recognition or mourning. My point, which out rambling even more is that Memorial Day is not just about "those old guys" from WWII or Korea or Vietnam. We have a whole generation of newly mourning parents and wives and children and other loved ones that will be at a cemetery today laying flowers on graves. So, today, I offer up prayers for those for comfort for those loved ones and I offer up thanks for your sacrifice to those who gave their lives. I also send up prayers for safe conduct for all of our military men and women and civilians who are in harm's way today and tomorrow and in the future. I ask that they be allowed to come home safely. And I offer my thanks to them for their service to an ungrateful nation.

 Walk in peace today. The ability to do so, was paid for a a very height price.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday morning, Memorial Day Weekend. Jim and Julie and the pups are here for the weekend. Our plans are to basically just chill for the weekend. Ms. Kate got up this morning first thing and made a banana sheet cake. It is Jim's favorite. The recipe came from my sister.  And it goes quickly. It's kind of a magnet; ya' can't walk through the kitchen without cutting off a little slice.

I have to fill feeders again today. It looks like the sunflower feeders are all empty and they are shaving down the suet cakes pretty quickly this morning, especially the blackbirds and starlings. The bark butter feeders are empty too. I found one on the ground which tells me the raccoons got to it. Stubby and BT are here but the dogs are keeping them off of the feeders. The squirrels get on the feeders and the dogs start whining to be let out. We open the doors and they go streaking out the door and just run in circles around the yard like they know they are supposed to be doing something but forgot what it is.   Yeah, it's funny to watch but a pain in the butt letting them in and out. I leave that to Jim and Julie mostly.

We are expecting a round over severe storms this evening with a lot of rain, possibly large hail, and even the possibility of a tornado or two. I've checked the radar and see no clouds coming this way but that really doesn't mean anything. The storms can pop up anytime, anywhere. Hopefully by the time they get here, they will have weakened greatly.

This is Memorial Day weekend. It is a time when we remember those that have served in our armed forces and have given their lives to maintain our freedom. Unfortunately, we are developing a young liberal society that wants to erase history rather than remember it or learn from it. They could care less about the sacrifices that people have made to keep this a free country. They could care even less about serving their country. If it sounds unpleasant or disagrees with their perspective on the world, they get up and walk out and refuse to listen to it. Their perception and view of the world is nine inches long which is the distance from the eyes to their cell phone. Unfortunately, I'm guilty of being quasi-addicted to my cell phone and social media too. But, this is a weekend to hold our heads up and recognize the beauty of seeing the American flag flying in the breeze and being humbled b the amount of people who have sacrificed and risked their lives to insure that flag will always fly. This morning I'm going out to the cemetery and put out a couple of American Flags on graves of veterans in honor of their service. They are my comrades in arms and deserves the recognition for that.

I won't wish you a happy Memorial Day --- there  isn't a lot of happiness involved with the loss of life. I will however pray that this country will always remain a free country in order that you and I can enjoy the freedom their sacrifice has paid for. Peace.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gloomy and cool --- that's the rule; well at least for this morning. It is cloudy and 56 degrees with a breeze to knock the real feel temp down to about 53. But, it isn't raining so far, however the sidewalks are wet yet from overnight rain. I took my garbage can down to the street last night around 2200 and there was a light mist in the air. Had it actually been colder, that would have been snow. But the only place that got snow yesterday was Colorado high country; which given that they have legalized marijuana in that state --- "high country" has taken on a whole new meaning. LOL

So, --- yesterday I laid out a whole list of things that I could involve myself in on a rainy Wednesday. In actuality, what I accomplished was baking a loaf of bread; (it was a Krusteze box mix), with Ms. Kate's direction, I made a pot of vegetable soup, I answered email and played my Bingo and Criminal Case computer games, and I watched Survivor last night with Ms. Kate. The bread turned out well, and the soup was delicious. It will be lunch again today. I've had that box of Krusteze bread mix for some time and had not used it because it takes basically four hours from start to finish and I just never set aside the time to do it. This was an artisan loaf. Maybe I'll check the grocery shelves for another kind and do it again.

"Stubby" is here this morning. Stubby is a young squirrel that visits the buffet and his tail is only about an inch and a half long. I've seen gophers with longer tails. It is funny to watch him because you know how squirrels are always shaking their tail for what ever reason --- well Stubby shakes his tail and he looks like he's shaking a finger at you. On the other hand, I also have "BT". BT is an old squirrel that has an overly long tail and it appears to be broken in half because half of it droops down at about a 75 degree angle. So, I call it BT for Broken Tail. BT also seems to be the boss among the squirrel clan. Not many will challenge him or her (whatever it is) for a feeder.

I have several visitors at the buffet this morning, many of which are downy woodpeckers. I also have a pair of cardinals and he is feeding her. I don't know if they are a new mating pair or what. I also have a pair of Bluejays. So, the animals and birds are coming two by two. That's an ominous sign for a weekend predicted to have some sever weather. I see my one sunflower feeder is on the ground again this morning. I suppose I had a raccoon last night.

The sun is coming out from behind the clouds so hopefully the grass will dry out and I can mow today. With crappy weather predicted for the weekend and it being Memorial Day weekend, I want the place to look nice so I better get on it today. I also need to go to the cemetery's and put out a couple of flags. I need to see how wet the garden is because I need to replant my beans. Only about half of them came up.

That's about it for this morning. Know you were in my thoughts this morning and I have said a prayer for you, wherever and whoever you are. I pray your day will will be filled with sunshine and that you will feel the warmth of the love of God. Surround yourself with that love and then share it because it was given to you in abundance. Peace

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Welcome to Wednesday once again. The rain that was promised has indeed arrived and I know my garden is soaking it up, We were in need of some rain. My tomatoes are growing well but they could sure use the moisture. My squash have blossoms on them too so this is all welcome as long as it doesn't keep raining for days. Beyond that, I didn't plant anything except a few green beans. They are up but I should plant some more I think. These only produced about half of what I planted.

So what should I do with this rainy day that makes me want to just doze back off as I sit here listening to it on the roof? I could do some reading. I have three Stephen King novels sitting on the end table right here beside me that I keep putting off. I could go down and do some work on the book that I have started writing; at least that would be productive. I could pull the car out of the garage and pull out my little table saw and do a little woodworking. (I've promised my self I would rebuild the garden bench and even bought the lumber.) All of my woodworking tools are so buried under other stuff that it become a real effort just to get it out. Or, I could go into my living room and sit down at my keyboard and play for awhile. So many possibilities for productiveness---- but the thing blocking all of these great options is a cup of coffee and my Bose speaker here beside me putting out some great Gaither Gospel music as I sit and watch all of my critters at the feeders.

Ms. Kate has a pinched nerve in her lower back and is hurting. I don't know for sure how she did it but I suspect she did it a couple of days ago out in the flower garden while we were deadheading some of the flowers. It doesn't take but a wrong move to do that; I've had that so many times and know exactly what pain she's going through. I went out yesterday and finished up the flower beds. She's taking pain reliever like Tylenol or something, plus we have been putting Activon on the area. But, frankly, the best thing she can do is just take it easy. We are in danger of me actually fixing a meal or two around here. Luckily we have enough leftover around here that we shouldn't get to anything that I actually "cook" for awhile.

So, --- speaking of Ms. Kate, I guess I better sign this off and go check on her. She is bound to be ready for another cup of coffee by now. She's in her office at her computer playing Klondike or Bingo  or Criminal case I reckon. But, she's my gal and I need to take care of her. I hope your day goes well and I hope you remember to give thanks for the world of blessing that God lays at your feet every day. How joyful it is that the Creator of the Universe, God of everything that exists should know each and everyone of us by name and care for us individually. Shalomn.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It is another beautiful morning albeit not quite as nice as yesterday. But, ---- as they say, I got up on the right side of the dirt again this morning so it ain't all bad. It is currently 65 degrees so it will be comfortable when I go out to the yard to work. Yesterday Ms. kate and I went out and did some deadheading of the peonies and the iris. The daffodils are also starting to die off so I'm clearing those out too where they have turned brown. If you trim them back too soon, they won't bloom next year. We have several more beds to do that to and it is supposed to start raining some time today or this evening so I'd like to get it done. Ms. kate will be busy getting a permanent this morning so I'll get it done by myself. It's an easy job, just a little time consuming. And if there is one thing I have plenty of --- it's time.

I have a hummingbird out here this morning at is a different color that I have seen before. We generally have the ruby throated variety but this one was a very light colored bird. I don't know exactly what color it was because I have a green deficiency in my color vision and it skews the whole color chart for me. I've always said I was color blind but that is not the true case. I can se some colors just fine. But a lot of my color world is grey or brown or as I say, light or dark. Maybe that is why I have so many cardinals and Goldfinches; God knows those are colors that I can see just fine.

Today is my youngest daughter Lisa and her hubby Gary's twenty fifth wedding anniversary. Where has the time gone. I remember our 25th and it doesn't seem that long ago. I was a Major in the Air Force and we were stationed at Pope, AFB I was the commander of the Security Forces Unit, and we were about ready to transfer to March AFB in CA. But --- that has been twenty six years ago for us. Wow! When he kids got married, we were living in CA, she was stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in NC, and her fiance was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC. Julie was living in MA and Heather was living in IL, her Maid of honor was living in Texas, and she wanted to get married here in Evansville at the church where Ms. Kate and I got married. Thank God for Ms. Kate's mom who did a Herculean job of running and arranging stuff since she was living here. I still don't know how we pulled it all off. But, in the twenty -five years, they have both served their country honorably and gotten out of the military. They have raised to great kids, They own their home and they own a business and she has a Master's Degree and a great job with the state of North Carolina. God has blessed them and they have done well. So I wish them many more years of God's grace and love.

Time for me to drink the last sip of my coffee and get ready to meet the day. I hope your day is filled with love and joy. Don't forget to stop and have a conversation or two with God.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oh, what a beautiful morning. Oh, what a beautiful day. Everything's coming up roses, everything's going my way! Yep, it's an old song, --- I think maybe even from a 1950's Walt Disney movie. But the classic applies today. It's a sun shiney, 65 degree morning and the birds are chirping and singing.

We had a nice weekend here even though it was supposed to be stormy and rainy all weekend. We got little to no rain; in fact I may still have to water the garden. Julie and Jim, a hundred miles east had torrential rains and cousins in Illinois had torrential rains and flash flooding. It is amazing how all of that works isn't it?

The backyard buffet is relatively quiet at the moment. The first round is over but they are slowly comiing back in for dessert. So far the squirrels haven't been here but when they arrive, they will stay for 45 minutes to an hour at the feeders. I just had a bluejay come in and land on one of the bark butter stick feeders and knock a big chunk of bark butter out of it and on to the ground. He better get down ther and eat it or I'm sending him a bill. Just because it is in a stick made from a tree limb --- doesn't mean it grows on trees.

Yesterday Ms. Kate and I attended worship at our home church, Zoar UCC. It was a good service and Pastor Art had a good message. He is a bit hard to hear and understand because of his own hearing and speech impediments. But, maybe that isn't all bad either because you have to focus on what he is saying rather than let your mind wander. I think I told you that he is doing a one year interim while the church searches for a new minister. I have no idea how their search is going. They aren't a big congregation, maybe 50 people in attendance yesterday. That means they aren't a "monied church" where they can afford an expensive pastor's salary. The fact that they have Pastor Art, who has a Doctorate Degree, as their interim is great. The church is also in search for a new organist and director of music. Having been gone from the church for long I have to wonder how critical positions like this can become empty. No one seems to want to talk about it, but most generally these thing happens when one faction of the church pushes their way in and on to the rest of the congregation. It certainly isn't a new phenomenon. The Apostle Paul wrote of it to the churches often.  I pray they can work it all out.

Memorial Day is coming at the end of this week. Were I still commanding a military unit, this would be the week we would have Commander's Call and I would give my required annual "100 Days of Summer" safety briefing. It is always a good reminder briefing but it is also a CYA briefing. So, if someone does get hurt doing something stupid, there is a record that they were briefed not to be stupid in public. !!

OK, I have other stuff to do. I hope your week is a great one full of blessings and joys, and love and graatitude. And --- just so you can't say you weren't told --- Be Safe out there!!!  Peace.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A rainy Saturday morning with a few thunder rumbles greets us this morning. To the west of us over in Illinois they are getting torrential rains. I have several cousins over there and we converse on Facebook. They were showing pictures of the high water in their yards. We've had just enough rain to water the garden, so far. I don't want to speak too loudly. I might push all of that this way and we don't need that much.

I went to the Wild Birds and Things store yesterday and restocked some stuff. They had a good sale going on and I was able to get a bunch of the stuff that I use most at a reasonable price although I still spent about $70.00. This morning though mostly what I have is a couple of squirrels. There is one hanging by his back toe nails reaching a feeder just outside the door. I don't see how they can do do that over and over. I guess it doesn't hurt or maybe they don't register pain. But it always amazes me to see them do the gyrations they go through to eat a little sunflower seed. They must have muscles like iron.

I'm sitting here listening to a Katherine Jenken's CD. She is a classical artist but this album is mostly show tunes from Rogers and Hammerstein and other artists. She is a beautiful lady and is also a great dancer. She was on Dancing with the Stars a couple of years ago. She didn't win but she certainly should have in my opinion. I've read that she and her husband do an awful lot of charity works and concerts for charity. It appears that God has greatly blessed her life and she is using those blessings to do a lot of good things for others.

My cardinals and other birds are finally here. On a cloudy day they are the sunshine for me. There have been several Goldfinches around too and they make little bright spots in the other wise grey atmosphere.

The yard is in transition again. The azelias are done blooming. The peonies are about done, and the iris have pretty well finished up. The Knockout Roses are in full bloom and will be for the rest of the summer and most of the fall. The hydrangeas have put their blooms on but they are still small and green. They will expand and turn white and a few weeks when it gets hotter. We are still four weeks from the start of summer. I can tell summer hasn't arrived yet because I have yet to see a firefly at night.

I guess that is about it from the sunporch today. I hope your weekend is going well and you are getting a chance to relax. Take some time out today and give thanks to God for your blessings here on earth and for sacrificing His Son in order that you may have a blessed eternity. Shalomn.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Happy Friday morning. It is a hot and muggy day already as a cold front slowly approaches the area. We are under a slight risk for thunderstorms this afternoon and some of them may be packing some strong wind. But, I send my prayers up this morning for all of those folks who are experiencing tornadoes etc farther to the west and north. I haven't heard of any deaths related to the storms so far and I give thanks for that.

I layed out a list of chores I had for yesterday to you and I actually got them accomplished. The yard looks so very much better now that it is trimmed and mowed. But, guess what my new back yard visitor is; I had a snake in my yard yesterday. It was about two and a half feet long and a shiny black with white on it. I'm not a snake expert but I'm fairly certain it was non venomous and it was in a hurry to not be around me out my John Deere. I left it alone even though I had to dodge it and wait momentarily for it to get out of the way. I last saw it heading into the lily bed. I figure it will eat the voles etc in those beds. And at some point if it is still around --- the Red Tail Hawk will snatch it up. That is only the second snake I have seen in this yard in sixteen years so I reckon it isn't an infestation.

I scrubbed out both bird baths again yesterday and the Robins and the Blackbirds are enjoying it this morning. One bird bath was knocked over. I imagine a squirrel did that;  And the other was dry and gross. The critters sure do make a mess in the bird baths, plus they get full of flower petals from the trees and feathers and bird poop too. Yet, they continue to bathe in it and drink from it. Yuk!!!!

I saw and talked to Neighbor Dan yesterday for a little bit. He came home from California on Wednesday and left again early this morning for Florida with his daughter and her family for an annual trip. His wife  is still in California tending her ailing mother and has been now since Christmas. It's a good thing he has a neighbor that has and likes to ride his John Deere and doesn't mind doing an extra yard; his yard would be two feet tall by now. But, today Ms. Kate and I are having another batch of those delicious spring rolls for lunch that Minh had Dan bring over for us. They are so good that I'd mow twice a week if I needed to. LOL

The weekend is here and I guess Ms. Kate and I better start thinking about where to attend church this Sunday. Maybe we'll just go to the home church again. If not there, then we'll go to the mega-church. That seems to be the choices we have boiled it all down to. There is a third choice that we enjoyed down on the south east side of town. So, we'll see. In the meantime, I hope you have a place to go and celebrate worship with friends and share the Holy Spirit with someone. I don't know about you, but, the faith seems so much more alive and vibrant when shared with friends. Ms. Kate and I are about half way through our expected "stay-away" from the churches in Ft. Branch. We do miss those folks dearly.

Have a great Friday and an even better Saturday.  Peace.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Good Thursday morning to you. It is good to be back to the sunporch again after a week of vacation. Of course we enjoyed our vacation tremendously because we took our 21 year old granddaughter with us. It was her first trip to Las Vegas and her first trip to California. She not only enjoyed "being "an adult", i.e  sitting and playing the slots, ordering a cocktail and being asked time and again for her  ID, but she truly enjoyed the sights and sounds of Las Vegas, of the desert, and of seeing the Pacific Ocean and being around her Aunt Heather's family in CA.

While we were gone we had folks come to powerwash our fence and we also had a fellow come to wash our windows inside and out. Both look marvelous. However, the yard is in bad need of mowing and trimming and the birdbath has been knocked over as well as the feeders are all empty and several knocked down. I guess my backyard guests revolted while we were gone. So, today will be spent putting things back in order and getting the laundry done. Once we get those things done it will be a like our world has been returned to normal.

While we were gone, we lost our good friend Georgia Ann. Our daughter Julie came over from New Albany and attended the funeral in our absence. Bob and Georgia Ann have been family and best friends to us since the first day we met them. All of my kids and their family accept them the same way so it is indeed a loss. However, I would not have wished one single moment more of suffering for her and I know that she is at peace and in the arms of our Lord and God. I just wish I could have been here for Bob when she passed. Those two were married for 65 years and he relied on her heavily for all of the "inside stuff". They were people that had their division of labor. She did all of the "inside of the house duties and he did all of the outside stuff. They were just enough older than Ms. Kate and I to have been part of that generation. He was needing a haircut a couple of weeks before she passed and he told us that he had never been in a barber's chair because Georgia Ann had always cut his hair ever since they were married. Their daughter Brenda cut it this time. I'm betting she just inherited the job for the rest of his life.

Well, I'm anxious to get to the chores of the day so I reckon I'll drop off for now. It is good to be back with you; I've missed sitting and writing and enjoying the peaceful moments I spend here in the sunporch. Until tomorrow I wish you a pleasant and Holy Spirit filled day. Peace.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Saturday afternoon, May 13th. Yes, I have been absent from the scene for most of the week. We are on vacation and have spent the last three days in Las Vegas, and then moved to Menifee, CA to Heather and John's house yesterday afternoon. Last night John fixed a bunch of his excellent Mexican /Southwest food and we stuffed ourselves. Today we got up early and had breakfast fixed by John and Ms. Kate and then we headed out to San Diego for the day. We drove to Seaport Village and had a good time looking around there and doing some shopping, and then had lunch at a restaurant right on the water. From there we went to La Jolla and hoped to be able to go see the sells that are always on the rock there in La Jolla Cove. Well I guess a b-zillion other people thought that would be a good idea too and the place was packed and there wasn't a parking space to be found. The good news though is that there was so much traffic that we had to creep along in traffic which actually gave us an opportunity to get a great view to the cost line and the seals and the crashing waves. It was beautiful to see. Now --- we are back to Heather's and yet another meal is getting prepared. Tomorrow we will have a Mother's Day lunch at Ancho's and then head back to Las Vegas and the Palazzo Resort.

The sad news is that our wonderful friend, Georgia Ann, passed away last night. I got three calls this morning telling me. It hurts to lose a good friend but she was so ready to go. I'll need to stay in close contact with Bob when we get home becaue I think he is going to be lost for some time. So, I'll ask for prayers for the family that their grief will be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Beyond that, we are just enjoying ourselves and relaxing. I pray your weekend is going well and I hope you take the time to give thanks and praise to God who has made all things possible.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hello from the Nashville Airport. Ms. Kate and I still have about an hour and a half to wait until we fly out. We almost always drive to Nashville to catch our Southwest Flight to Las Vegas. It is only a three hour drive and we enjoy the trip unless we are in a heavy rainstorm or maybe snow. But today was a beautiful sunny 80 degree day so the trip was enjoyable.

We'll get in to Las Vegas about 5:30 pm Pacific time which add two hours to our 24 hour day. The weather there too is expected to be sunny and 80 degrees which is great. When it gets up in to the 100's like it was last week out there, the air convection rising up make it a bumpy ride for the landing.

It is always interesting watching people at an airport. I tend to look at people and try to figure out where they are coming from and where they are going. Some of them get offof the plane with scowls on their faces, others look worn out, and some are looking for their next gate or the direction to the baggage claim. Everybody is in a hurry and probably eighty percent are in a hurry as they walk with their cell phone either up to their ear or are texting like crazy.

So, that is it for today. The miracles of aviation and technology are going to transport us 1700 miles in three hours at 650 miles an hour. As I told someone this morning, our grandparents and great grandparents would be amazed at what we can do these days. God has indeed blessed man with the ability to dream and invent. But unfortunately we don't always use it to God's glory. Let's you and I make a commitment to do it better.


Monday, May 8, 2017

A bright sunny Monday morning give hope of an excellent week. It is 56 degrees with a slight breeze this morning.  I have squirrels running all over every place, I don't know what's up with them. They seem a little kiddish this morning but they keep coming back. The feeders all have Grossbeaks and blackbirds and Cardinals  vying for food and they have emptied most everything. I'll need to fill them one last time before we head off on vacation tomorrow morning. I suspect that the Grossbeaks will have continued on with their migration by the time we get back. They generally stay only a couple of weeks and their time period is almost over. But, we have certainly enjoyed them while theey are here.

We have a lot of running around to do today and things to accomplish before we leave. We need to go to the bank and withdraw some money; and we need to go get pedicures before we take off. Ms. Kate says she wants to get her toes pretty before we get out to sandal weather. And, I'll get a pedicure too. They can trim my nails better than I can.

I need to mow the lawns today and we need to be home at the right time to print our boarding passes for the trip. We need to finish packing too much stuff in our suitcases and if we have time, we might go up to Princeton Hospital to see Georgia Ann one last time. She is at the point where she won't recognize us. We've said our "good-bye's" but perhaps we can say a last Prayer with Bob.

We went to the mega-church again yesterday for our worship service. It was another service and I enjoyed the message the pastor gave. It was thought provoking and I think a good sermon should make you think and evaluate how you feel about things. I suspect we will attend that church again once in a while.

My writing is going to be sporadic for the next week and a half. It always is when we are traveling so just bear with me. Keep us in your prayers for safe travels. Until next time, May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand. Peace.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Saturday, May 6th; and it is a partly sunny morning but still a cool 52 degrees. I don't think it is supposed to warm up very much today which I guess is fine since it is too wet in the yard to do anything at all. I went out yesterday afternoon and slopped through the soaked yard to the yard barn in order to fill my feeders. I hope the birds and squirrels appreciated my efforts, although I certainly didn't get any "Thank You" cards.

The yard has hit another "in-between" stage. The azealias are all but done with their blooming. The daffodils have reached that stage where they have layed over and will start to dry out soon. In another week or two they will be ready for me to pull the tops off of them. The peonies are about mid-way through their blooming season and the iris have a lot of buds and some of them are blooming very nicely. The poppies are in full bloom out in the front yard and the lilies are really bushing out. I don't know where we are going to put them but I will have to divide some of these flowers again this year. That means expanding some flower beds some where. When and where does it all end??? My dear departed mother-in-law told me several years ago that I might as well not have a lawnmower because one of these days this place will be just one big flowerbed. It is probably a good thing that we don't live on five acres like I'd like to.

What a wonderful bunch of guests I have this morning. I have a pair of bluebirds, at least a half dozen Grossbeaks, several cardinals, a bluejay, a couple of robins, some goldfinches and of course the starlings and a couple of squirrels. I'll have to fill the feeders again today or tomorrow at the latest. BUt the the are on their own for a week and a half because we are going ing on vacation. No doubt everything will be stripped clean by the time I get back. Maybe by then the hummingbirds will have started coming in. The lady at Wild Birds said that only acouple of people have reported seeing any so far. This screwy weather probably is affecting their migration.

Yesterday morning Ms. Kate and I each went for haircuts first thing and then we ent up to the hospital for visitation with Georgia Ann. She is still alive but barely. She said some words to us but they didn't make a lot of sense. I will be totally shocked if she she doesn't pass while we are on vacation. So, once again I'd ask you to offer prayers for her peace of body and mind. And offer prayers for comfort for her husband Bob too.

The rain has stopped for what they say will be a day or three which means the rivers can start going down. I pray for all of those folks that are waiting anxiously to get back and see if they have a house left or not. The pictures they show of the flooding inland around St. Louis are terrible. My heart and prayers go out for them.

Tomorrow is church day and Ms. kate and I need to decide where we will worship this week. I hope you will take the time to offer up prayer and praise to God who has so thoroughly blessed your life ance again this week.

See ya' on Monday. Peace

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Good morning on this bleary rainy morning. It is May 4th and the feels like temperature is 42 degrees. We are just the first few hours of another three day rain event. The rivers are already swollen as well as the creeks and streams. There are a lot of roads still closed from the weekend storms and flooding. I was watching the news last night and hearing that St. Louis is virtually cut off due to flooding. Interstates 55 and 44 are flooded for long stretches. I have a nephew that lives in that area. I tried to email him last night but my address I have for him is no longer valid. So, I sent an email to his mother but she says she hasn't heard from them. I pray they are safe. It reminds me of the flooding situation that we saw in South Carolina a couple of years ago when I-95 was closed and under water for 50 miles or so. Needless to say, we certainly don't need more rain. There have already been several deaths due to the weather etc this week.

I missed writing to you yesterday but I was tied up pretty well. I got a call from Gibson General Hospital at 0730 yesterday saying that Bob wanted me to come up for Georgia Ann. When I got there  at 0815, (my military strike force training does still come in handy) he told me that the only thing she had asked for was for him to call Pastor John. Of course Bob knows that I'm not their pastor anymore and I certainly don't want to step out of line with the church but I'm not going to refuse a friend in her dying wishes. So Ms. Kate and I went. We stayed there with them for several hours. Georgia is certainly at end of life but her body just hasn't quit. Her pain is constant and they have now put a medicine Patch thing that gives constant pain medication. She's no longer taking food and thin as she is I don't see how she can last more than a couple of more days. But, --- God is in control of it all. But even in her state of mind, she still talks to God and I have no doubt she is mentally well prepared for the crossing and just wants it to happen.

Meanwhile, here at the backyard buffet I have several Grossbeaks at the feeders this morning. It looks like they have cleaned out all of the barkbutter feeders of both pellets and paste. And they have depleted a lot of the sunflower seeds too. I went to the Wild Birds and Thins yesterday and bought more bark butter pellets and eight more suet cakes. If it stops raining long enough, maybe I can get out there and fill up some stuff. Or --- maybe I'll just have to let them be wild birds and nor spoiled birds.

It might be gloomy and rainy out side, but as I look out the windows of the sunporch and see allof my critters and my flowers tha are blooming, it reminds me that God has provided yet another day full of love and grace and mercy. Pray for those you know who are ill and please add Ms. Georgia Ann to your list. Pray for those that are suffering with their homes and property under water from the floods and pray for those who have lost loved ones due to these storms etc. And --- rest assured that I have prayed for you this morning. Blessings and peace.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Fifty four degrees or not --- I love seeing the sunshine this morning. It has been a few days since we had that pleasure. Yesterday was dry and cool and today is supposed to be dry and sunny and a little warmer. It was very breezy and I'm hoping that it dried out the yard enough for me to mow because the grass is getting tall.

I had planned to fill the bird feeders yesterday and never did get around to it but I'll take care of that first thing this morning. Most of the sunflower feeders are empty and the birds are having to clean up under the feeders all of the stuff they have knocked to the ground. Don't you feel sorry them.  And I have to dump the water out of the bird baths. The rain certainly filled them but there are a lot of petals from the blooms on the poplar trees in them and the water is turning green. Although, it would appear the buffet guests don't mind all that much. They continue to bathe in it and drink from it. I guess they don't have the same health codes that we humans have.

So far this morning, the Grossbeaks have been here and the Bluebird has been here along with several cardinals and woodpeckers. There is a woodpecker up on my gutter right now pecking to get something and it sounds like a jackhammer. That is a great way to start off my day. I need to go to one of the pet food places or to Rural King and get some more suet cakes. I put my last four in last week and they are almost gone.

My azealias are about done blooming out here. Their season isn't very long but they are beautiful when they bloom. Now that they are done blooming, I can trim them back. But, as the azealias finish up their season, the peonies are coming into full bloom and so are the iris, and Ms. Kate has a lot of both. By he time they are done, it will be time for the lilies to start, and the knockout roses are already blooming. God just continues to provide a yard fu of blessings.

Today, the fellow that is going to paint our fence is coming over to clear the fence line of plants and stuff. I've already done a bunch of it but I'll be glad to have him do it. He's younger and thinner than I am.

We went to see our friend Georgia Ann yesterday and it was sad. She is just a shell of herself anymore and has little strength or will to live. I pray God won't let her linger much longer because she is living from morphine shot to morphine shot.

Time to have a bite of breakfast and then get busy doing some stuff before the day gets away from me. Take advantage of the day God has given you today and do something good for somebody just because you can. It will do you both good. Peace.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May 1st; May Day --- Dance around the May Pole day. I wonder if school kids still do that? I don't really remember whay we did that in elementary school except that I guess it was a celebration of the coming of spring or something. In reality, I think it is most likely quite pagan. But what do singing, dancing, happy school kids care about the theology behind their fun??

It might be May 1st but tthe weather outside says October 1st. We've had about ten minutes of sunshine and it is cloudy again now. The temperature is 53 degrees and might reach 60 today and there is a strong wind blowing. But then, a friend of mine sent me a picture of the snow in his yard last night.

But -- it has still been a blesssed morning. The Red Breasted Grosbeaks have been here this morning and so has the Pilated Woodpecker. And while they were here the sun was actually shining on them making everything that much better. At one point we had five Grossbeaks sitting in the Pussy Willow tree just fifteen feet from my recliner. It was a wonderful sight. I need to get outside and fill some feeders so they stay around for a few days. While I'm out there, I need to pick up some rather large dead limbs that fell out of the tulip poplar trees during the storms this weekend.

Ms. Kate and I didn't go to church yesterday. Yes, we were fair weather church people and it was not fair weather by any means. But, that doesn't mean that I didn't have any conversations with The Lord.  I have too much to be  thankful for to miss a day of being grateful.

We need to get to the grocery store today and pick up some stuff. We don't need to get too much stuff though because we are leaving for a week af vacation next week. we also hope to be able to get up and see Georgia Ann. We really worry about her. She declines more and more every day and her pain seems to be getting worse. I pray God gives her a peaceful ending. She is really too weak to fight much longer and her desire to fight is basically gone. We pray for Bob too because he is going to be lost without her.

So, I guess I better get myself ready to go and do stuff today. Don't forget that God walks with you everywhere you go. Reach out and take God's hand and the path will be much easier to follow. Peace.