Monday, July 31, 2017

A beautiful morning greeted me today once again. It is currently 77 degrees with a slight breeze and not a cloud in the sky. The humidity is in the "tolerable" range and temp is only going up to 88 today. All in all, a great way to start the week off.

I filled fifteen of the feeders last night and my guests so far this morning have been cardinals, hummingbirds, gold finches and woodpeckers. Neither the blackbirds nor the squirrels have discovered that the buffet is fully stocked once again. The pleasant addition today has been the amount of butterflies I have out there on the phlox. I see seven at the moment. So it is a relaxing view as I sit here with my cup of coffee admiring God's handi-work and count it as blessing.

Julie, Jim and the pups did come over on Friday afternoon and spent the weekend with us. It is always wonderful to have the kids come by. We went out to uroni's for pizza on Friday evening. That's always a good place to go. Saturday we went out to breakfast then to my sister-in-law's house and picked up some fresh veggies she wanted to share, then to Mr. Bob's house to get squash and sweet corn, and finally to the grocery. We came home and dropped off our produce and croceries and Ms. Kate, the Jim, Julie, and I went bowling. That didn't go well. The very first ball I threw, my foot "stuck" instead of sliding and I "face-planted" in the alley and gutter. I banged the heck out of my knee and it hurt like the dickens. Then a family came to bowl in the alley next to us and I don't think they had ever been in a bowling alley. They were all up in their alley and ours, taking "selfies" and dancing around. One of us would start to deliver our ball and one of them would jump up and bowl in front of us. So --- we only bowled the one game and we left. The alley manager did give us three passes for a free game the next time we go there. The good news is that my knee is a lot better by now. It is still very sore to touch but I have no problem walking.

So, today's activities will include changing the sheets on the guest bed and washing them up, mowing the lawn, and taking Ms. Kate to the Apple Store to have her IPad reset. She has no volume or sound on it unless she uses her ear phones. Julie spent a good deal of time yesterday backing it up and getting her ready to take it to the dealer for the reset. I also need to get a new alarm clock. I've been wanting a "Baby Ben" but haven't found one yet. I had an alarm clock but the ringer on it quit. Then I got another one but it ticks so pound that it keeps you awake. It sounds like the crocodile in the Peter Pan story. LOL And, while we are out I guess I'll go rob a bank  or somethiing so I can go to the bird feed store. I'm out of about everything again. It's a $100.00 bill minimum everytime I have to restock like this.  Uh oh ---- the first starling just showed up. There goes the neighborhood.

I hope your week is filled with good things and I hope you spend the week in touch with God. Doing so will just make the week go so much easier and stress free. Be kind to your neighbors and smile at people whether you know them or not. You just might be the only bright spot in some one's day. Peace.

Friday, July 28, 2017

I don't know what is going on out there in the trees and the fire bushes; but the squirrels have something going on. They are bouncing and jumping through the branches and the limbs look like springboards as they leap from one to another. It is very interesting to watch and even more amazing that the branches don't break. It is amazing that they land on the thinnest branches with force and they don't fall. Obviously there is a community game of tag going on, or, --- civil war has been declared between the clans.

It rained last night quite a bit, although I don't know how much. It was another "good rain", fairly slow and steady.  The good thing is that we didn't have any of the storms that were predicted although I know other parts of the country did get them. But today it is mostly cloudy and "cool" (relatively speaking) and the humidity has dropped considerably. All in all we are supposed to have a good weekend.

Julie, Jim and the pups are coming over this evening and spending the weekend. We have a few things planned like going to the farm stand and the butcher shop and I think we may be going bowling. We haven't done that in a decade. Jim is a really good bowler and usually scores well up in the 200's. I like to bowl and I used to bowl on Squadron teams while I was in the military. I was never a good bowler but the guys felt obligated to let the Commander play too; and I was always good for handicap. But, if I rolled a 140, that was about as good as it got. My biggest problem was always that I would get aggravated at myself and then I'd "over-correct" what I thought I was doing wrong and that made it worse. That's also why I never play golf. I don't have the patience.

The buffet is empty on all fronts. I didn't fill the feeders yesterday and they really cleaned out every single feeder. Today and been a ground feeding day and the ground has been teeming with birds of all kinds and sizes. Robins, sparrows, house finches, cardinals, starlings, grackels, wrens and doves are all out there cleaning up residual that has come to the surface of the grass after the rain. I'm glad to let them have at it and I'll wait until this evening to fill my feeders. So in fact, the buffet is still there, it is just on the ground. Even the squirrels are eating sunflower seeds from the ground. Good on them.

Time to start my day and quit sitting around. We need to go to the bank and to the grocery, and I need to check my can and see what I may need from the bird food store. I hope your day is blessed and I hope you have a wonderful end to your week. Don't forget to attend your house of worship. Peace.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's sprinkling, -- or is it drizzling? I think maybe sprinkling is the word I want for this morning's rain. I can barely hear it on the roof of the sunporch and as I look at the bird baths, the drops splashing in the water aren't with any regularity. I'd think if the rain were just a bit heavier then we would call it drizzle. --- Wow! A symantec argument with myself first thing this morning. It's gonna' be a strange day, I think. (or is it "thought' since I had it past tense?)

And a happy Thursday to you! Yes, it is raining and my Accu-Weather app says it will continue for at least another two hours. We have a possibility of strong storms this afternoon, but right now it is a "perfect slow rain". It makes the flowers stand up --- and the eyelids droop. LOL

The buffet this morning doesn't have a lot of visitors at the moment. Mostly I have just sparrows, a goldfinch or two, a hummingbird, and a starling and a grackle. The starling and the grackle are taking turns trying to get the last vestiges of food out of a feeder that they can barely get their head into. It is designed to let the small birds in and keep the large birds out. Much better in concept than practicality. I told you yesterday that they decimated the cylinder of suet and it was totally gone. Now they are trying to get at what was a larger caged block of a seedcake that is advertised "for woodpeckers". However, not many woodpeckers get to eat from it because of the black birds of all types. But, they too are God's creatures and at the moment, nothing else is trying to eat that food, so what the heck?

I think this morning's breakfast will be a couple of chocolate chip, chocolate cupcakes. Ms. Kate made up a dozen of them yesterday morning and they are delicious. They are from a box mix from "Simple Mornings", and they remind me of the larger version of cupcakes that we used to get from Sam's. Heather introduced us to these Simple Mornings mixes down in TN while we were on vacation.  So, if you happen to be in the baking aisle of your grocery, see if they have them and try a box or two.

We finished planning our fall vacation trip. It will take us a couple of weeks and I am really excited about it. It looks like we'll be traveling about 3400 miles and only have one really long hard day of travel. Sometimes the towns and cities are just too far apart to find accomodations. So our second day out we'll be putting in about 600 miles. That's a long day for us. We generally like to top end it at no more than 450 miles.

Time to refill the coffee cup and grab a cupcake. The rain has stopped for the moment and the buffet guests are arriving. Have a pleasant day. Peace.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Happy Middle Week! Today is supposed to be the hottest day of the week with triple digit heat index and humidity ranging up in the "very-humid" category. Yuk. It's all leading up to thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and then supposedly a very nice weekend. That would be nice.

A couple of days ago I filled the bird feeders and one of the things I put out was a suet cylinder that was two inches in diameter and I guess about seven inches tall. It is made up od corn meal and peanut butter and whatever else. Well, I have watched the starlings just decimate that thing. They finished off the last crumbs of it this morning. They are such terrible birds. They fight and peck over the least little bit of food. If they want to eat off of a certain feeder and there is another bird there, they will literally land on that bird to run it off. Often they will do that and then not eat anything. They just don't want the other bird having it. They travel in little flocks of about a dozen and when they are here they just take over. Every once in a while something will stand up to them, but not often. The larger woodpeckers stand the best chance against them. In the animal world, they most remind me of a pack of hyenas.

I need to do some small limb and twig picking up in my back yard today and I also need to get some on the weeds out of my garden. I picked our couple of tomatoes yesterday but I need to pick the green beans today too, and check on the okra. I got my front yard mowed and neighbor Dan's yard mowed. That couple of inches of rain we had over the weekend really perked the grass back up and it needed mowing. The back yard --- not so much. There is so much shade back here that the grass really doesn't nee a lot of mowing during the summer. I did take the weed eater to the backyard yesterday and cleane up a couple of areas that needed it. The lilies need to have the dead stalks removed from them too. There is always something to do. I remind myself of that each time I think about buying that eight acres with the barns on it. The pictures and the drone footage show it all mowed and neat. But, that had to have been mowed with a tractor and bush-hog, neither of which do I have. I barely get my business taken care of here; I can't imagine what it would be to travel thirty minutes up the road and take care of that place. However, it doesn't mean that I don't talk to myself about it every day. LOL.

Julie and Jim are coming over this weekend. Haven't seen them since the family trip to Gatlinburg. Not only does her college bookstore keep her swamped, but now she has returned to attending college too. Just like my other girls, she's a work-a-holic. The difference between her and the other girls is that she is doing it with severe Rhumatoid Arthritis.

That's it for today. Time for a little meditation and convesation with the God who makes all things possible. I have a load of blessings to be thankful for again today and need to express that. I pray your day will be blessed and full of God's peace.

Until next time; Peace.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Good morning and a very happy Tuesday to you. It's another bright and warm summer morning, not quite eighty degrees yet but almost. There is very little wind stirring so hot will be hot. I didn't get my yard mowed yesterday so I reckon I'll do that today at some point.

We did get up to see friend Bob yesterday again. We had a nice visit with him and came away with a box full of summer squash. We also picked up some corn on the cob at a farm stand and last night Ms. Kate fixed corn on the cob, summer squash, fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from our Garden and I fixed pork steaks on the grill. It was a delicious summer time meal. In my mind, summer time is all about the fresh veggies and then winter is all about all of the wonderful soups that Ms. Kate makes. Bob sent enough squash home with us that I think Ms. Kate is going to freeze some of it for vgatable soup at a later date.

I filled bird feeders and bird baths again yesterday so all of my buffet guests are happy. My nocturnal guests are happy too. I saw a feeder swinging in the dark last night and opened up the door and found a small raccoon ou there happily eating from one of the feeders. I tried to shoo it away but it just sat there and looked at me and went right back to eating. So I got my BB gun and shot it point blank. Well, it jumped down and tried to hide behind a couple of branches so I shot it again. Then it dropped down to the ground and tried to peek around the tree at me so I shot it again. By then it took the hint and started across the yard. About half way to the yard barn it stopped and looked back at me so I shot it again. Finally it ran off. Needless to say, I'm not hurting it and I'm only an interruption to snack time.

Did you ever want something just because you wanted it? I'm that way about certain things and one of them is land. I'd love to own some small acreage with a barn on it and a pond. Well, last evening I found just such a place about thirty miles north of us up in Princeton IN. It is eight acres, has two barns on it and a stocked pond. It has electricity and water and they only want $110,000.00 for it which is really a great price. The land is flat and it is cleared and fish are in the pond just waiting for me to come pull them out. But you see, I have no idea what I would do with it if I had it and a certainly don't have $110K to spend like that. So, I have marked the website in my computer and I will pull it up and salivate over it once in a while until I get over it. I had really hoped to have just such a place when I retired from the Air Force but at the time there just wasn't any such thing available, so we settled for living in a subdivision which was the absolute last thing I wanted. But --- having said that, I do love the house we are living in. I just wish it was surrounded by a few acres instead of a 14,000 sq. Ft. lot. I told Ms. Kate last night that I could be out there every day on my John Deere if I had this new property. Somehow though, I think it would become a job rather than a hobby. Oh well.

It isn't getting any cooler today so I guess I better get out of my recliner and into my blue jeans and get to work. I hope you have a blessed day, mine already has been. Peace

Monday, July 24, 2017

A blessed good Monday morning to you. Are you ready to start a new week? I think Ms. Kate and I are, --- although the only thing on the agenda that I know of is to go to Mr. Bob's house and raid his refrigerator of squash. He has squash coming out the wazoo! We picked up a few last week from him and he showed me his squash plants. He only planted two plants but they are huge. I'd guess that they  would easily fill an 8X10 foot space. I've not seen squash that looked that healthy and had that many squash coming on. We saw him and Brenda (his daughter) at church yesterday and Brenda said she was about "squashed out"! But, Ms. Kate says that maybe we could pick up some and put it in the freezer to put in vegetable soup at some later date. While we are out, I'd like to find a place to get some corn on the cob too. And maybe even some larger tomatoes. I love BLT sandwiches but I want the tomato to be a big slab. What we raise are only about two inches in diameter and while they are good --- I want a slab to cover the whole sandwich. Yeh, I know --- picky, picky. 

We had a good weekend. I did the sermon at church yesterday and it went well and was received. People said all the usual nice things that are said to the plaster as they leave. But, the comments sounded sincere and several said I am welcome to fill in any time. I loved being able to do that; although, as hard as I worked on that sermon, it reminded me why I retired from the pulpit. 

I mentioned to you Saturday, I think, that maybe Ms. Kate and I should look at a September vacation. Well, I found an advertisement about the annual fall round-up of the buffalo in Custer National park. It is going to be held on September 29th starting at 0600 hours. They will be rounding up approximately 1300 - 1600 buffalo. It will be a sight to see, smell, and experience. I told Ms. Kate that I would really like to finally get to do that; so we spent most of Saturday planning a vacation around that event. All told, I think we will be gone about two weeks in and around Custer, Yellowstone, and the Grand Tetons. We will have all the time in the world to just ramble around out there and see everything we want to see. I'm excited about the trip and my chance to "Cowboy-up"! This has been a "bucket list" item for many years. We still need to look at our travel on the front end and the back end of the trip but that won't take a lot of planning, That is just a matter of route and finding hotels. One of the places we intend to stop on the way home is Laramie, WY so we can go to our favorite restaurant, "The Cavalryman" We discovered this place by accident many years ago and now we arrange our travel so that we don't miss it when we travel in that direction. It's expensive but it is such a treat. 

I need to go out and fill bird feeders and maybe even pull some weeds in the garden before it gets altogether too hot again today. I hope your start to a new week of challenges and blessings goes extremely well. Never forget for one second that no matter where you are or what you are doing, God is there beside you and the love of Jesus Christ will wrap itself around you. What more could you ask for? Shalom. 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Happy Saturday once again! This week sure rolled through quickly didn't it? I think the only thing I have talked about this week is the heat. This morning is no different. It is just past 0900 and the heat index is already at 92 degrees. That doesn't bode well for the rest of the day does it? I think it is going to be another stay inside day. Although, it does look like I need to fill a feeder or two and of course the bird baths.

I'm giving the sermon tomorrow at my home church, I probably told you that. So today I also have to go over that again and read through it a couple of times so I'm totally familiar with what I wrote. (That sounds like a silly thing to say doesn't it?) I just want to be able to "give it" as opposed to "read it". It comes out much more natural that way. If you are a public speaker, you'll know exactly what I mean. I find it extremely interesting that my daughter Julie, who has chosen to go back to college at fifty years of age, is most terrified at taking her class on public speaking. That girl can talk to anybody about almost anything. She is a natural born conversationalist.  But, put her where she has to make a presentation and she gets totally nervous. I on the other hand have been in front of people almost all of my life either playing music, or speaking and it doesn't bother me at all. I started playing the accordion in front of people at about six years of age. (If you can proudly stand there like a geek at that age, you have the world by its collar.)  By the sixth grade I had put together a little German Band and played my cornet for crowds like the Farm Bureau and church etc and was winning music contests left and right. In high school, I formed a little five piece combo and we played for all sorts of  things.  However, I'm not, and never have been  a good "one on one" conversationalist. I envy people who can just join in a working conversation and feel right at home. I reckon we all have our limitations and we don't like to stray out of our wheel house.

I'm seeing the very first of the leaves drop from the trees already. Of course I know that it is because of the heat, but, it just kind of reminds me that August is slipping up on us in another week and kids will be going back to school in maybe three weeks. Time does march on. Ms. Kate and I don't have any more vacations planned until December but maybe we need to re-think that for somethiing to do in September too when the leaves start to turn and maybe the weather gets a little cooler. It isn't like we are constrained by having to get our kids back in school or anything like that. And by then, all of the summer vacationers will have come back home. Yep, --- we need to think about that.

Saturday is here and I hope you are getting a chance to relax with your family and preparing to go to a house of worship at some point this weekend. God spentthe week providing for you. Take time now to return to Him with praise and thanksgiving. Have a blessed day.

Friday, July 21, 2017

It's going to be another dangerously hot day today with heat index at 105-110. As one of our local car dealers says "It's hot Don!!!"

I went out and filled the bird baths again this morning. They had splashed all of the water out of the one and half of the water out of the other. I expect they will do the same again today. It is funny to watch them kind of line up. I've seen four or five starlings at a time in there and then cardinals and robins. The robins really get down and splash it all around. Sometimes the finches and the sparrows will sit on the side and enjoy the benefit of the splashing from the other birds. Above the hummingbird feeder I have a little cup device that holds water. It is designed to keep the ants from getting to the hummingbird feeder and clogging up the holes. The finches and the wrens use that little cup as their personal watering hole. It is so cute to watch them come and sit on the edge of that cup and get their drink.

I had a great birthday; very relaxing. I did call my buddy Bob and we went to see him yesterday afternoon for awhile. It was a good visit and was a bit of self healing for all three of us. He and his daughter Brenda plan to come to my home church this Sunday because I am preaching. It will be wonderful to share worship with them again. Ms. Kate and I went to dinner at a favorite tavern and then to Cold Stone Creamery for dessert. Then we came home in time to watch Mountain Men. We are exciting people.

I guess despite the heat, we need to go to the grocery store. It isn't a bad thing but I don't like the going in and out of the air conditioning. We are running low on some of the necessities or we certainly would stay in the house. I was watching Ms. Margaret's mowing crew again this morning. They came early to beat the heat. They trimmed up her crabapple tree finally. It really needed it. The young boys of the crew were fully engaged in a crabapple war again this week. Teenaged boys --- what are ya' gonna do??

That's it for this morning. Another weekend is here and I hope you can use it to relax. Take time to get in tough with God. He's waiting to hear from you. Peace.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Today is my 73rd birthday! (Cue the music and sing the song) It takes a lot of living to get to be seventy three.  As I told Ms. Kate last night; "the best thing about turning seventy three is that I didn't die at seventy two." But beyond that I'm just blessed to be awake for another day and feeling good about a life filled with an abundance of blessings. I'm blessed to have a family that loves me and I've heard from all of them this morning already. My Facebook page is full of well wishes so apparently I'm still well remembered by friends of my past. I'm confident in my relationship with Christ and so --- I reckon if for some reason I don't reach 74 --- no harm, no foul. As the song says --- God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy. I continue to love my life. I hear sirens coming down the road; I hope Ms. Kate didn't light all of the candle on my cake!! LOL

The sad note of my birthday is that I lost one of my birthday sharing friends this year. Ms. Georgia Ann passed away this spring. She would have been eighty eight. Ms. Kate and I miss her. I will call her husband, Bob, here in a few minutes because I know this is going to be a hard day for him. Bob celebrated at least sixty five of her birthdays with her because they were married that long. For the past several years they and we have gone out to a local tavern for lunch on our birthdays and had deep fried mushrooms, a cold beer, a plate lunch and great conversation. The good times do pass away as our friends pass away. But good memories still remain.

I filled the feeders yesterday and the bird baths. I'll need to fill the bird baths again today. They have splashed out most of the water again. I only put out sunflower seed with the exception of two of the bark butter feeders. I also set out a half of a watermelon in the flowerbed. I cut it yesterday and we ate part of it but it really lacked much flavor. I think it just wasn't quite ripe yet. So I set half of it out there. I think that maybe the birds can peck away on that and get hydration for it. I'll give it a couple of days and if I don't see that they are making use of it, I'll throw it in the compost pile.

I read a novella by Stephen King yesterday called "Gwendy's Button Box". He co-wrote it with another writer and it was really a good little book. It had a bit of "fantasy" stuff in it but wasn't strange or dark like so many of King's books are. Julie gave it to me along with another book called "Stephen King and Philosophy". I've started that one but, --- I need to be in the mood for deep thinking to read that and it's too hot for deep thinking. LOL. But, I recommend you pick up a copy of "Gwendy's Button Box". You can maybe even get it as an E-book, I'm not sure of that though.

I've been chatty enough and I need to refill my coffee cup. Also, it might be may birthday but Ms. Kate wants me to carry the laundry out so we can do that today. I hope your day is blessed. Mine certainly has been already. Keep a close eye on your elderly neighbors. (Dang, I'm getting to be one of those!) This heat is miserable and there are always stories of older people who won't turn on an air conditioner because it costs too much for electricity. Be a good steward and friend.

I gotta call Bob.   Peace!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Good morning to ya'. I hope your morning has started well. Mine has as I set here with my cup of coffee and look around at the beautiful purple phlox blooming in the various flowerbeds out here in the back yard. The phlox is about the only thing blooming though with the exception of a couple of my potted plants. I do see one orange lily and a few blooms on the knockout roses. The yard hasn't turned totally brown yet in this heat but I certainly don't need to mow it, at least not out back. The front yard could use it but I'm going to wait until the weekend.

Today is officially listed as a dangerous heat wave day and an ozone alert day so I won't be going outside much today. I went out last evening and put the sprinklers on the garden trying to save that. My cucumbers just never did do anything but lay there and my squash is all but dead. I'm hoping that watering it last night good will help it spring back to life. There are still blooms on it. The same goes for the tomatoes and the green beans. They are all putting on and still have blooms on them. We had a good mess of green beans for supper last night along with Ms. Kate's meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Can ya' spell "yummmmmm"? That's country food. Then last night she peeled a few peaches and sliced them up and put ice cream with them. I was a fellow with a happy tummy last night.

I filled the bird baths again last night. Between the birds splashing the water out and the heat evaporating it, i need to fill it at least every other day. And, --- I have to fill the feeders again today. I should do that this morning while it is still cloudy and not quite as hot as it is going to get this afternoon. I threw out a loaf of bread last night that was stale and it is totally gone this morning. I don't know if some furry critter came through and ate it or if the birds ate it up before I got out here this morning. I suspect though that a raccoon or the skunk might have gotten it and carried it all off.

I did get a bit of writing done yesterday and I might do some more today. That's is a good use for days like today. I can be a little productive and still stay out of the heat. In the mean time I guess I will throw on my jeans and go out and fill the feeders. I don't dare wear my shorts out there. I did that last evening while I was watering the gardens and the mosquitos were drawn to my lily white legs like a beacon. LOL I seldom get bit but these are literally some blood thirsty little suckers.

I hope you have a wonderful day and I hope you get the chance to stop and take stock of your blessings and give thanks for them. God is great and life is so good why gen we remember that. If you have an elederly neighbor and are affected by this heat wave, give them a call and check on them. I close with prayers for peace in your mind and soul.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It is amazing that I don't have a single blackbird out here this morning. There isn't a single bit of soft food hanging out there and as I predicted the blackbirds have gone somewhere else. So, I think I will just keep it this way for awhile and only put out sunflower seed, thistle seed and bark butter on the horizontal feeder because the blackbirds can't cling upside down. I have no doubt that if I went out there and refilled all of those other kids of feeders that I'd have a yard full of starlings and blackbirds in less than five minutes. I've noticed that every little bit, a scout comes flying through and checks things out.

We are beginning what they are calling an oppressive heat wave this week and it looks like it may go for at least a week. We're having heat indexes over 102 -105 with very high humidity. I think Ms. Kate and I will stay in unless we absolutely have to go out. I'm having enough trouble breathing as it is and I don't need to play outside, not even to ride my John Deere. Ms. Kate and I went to the movie last night and got out around 2200 hours and it was still 85 degrees. I need to be sure and keep the bird baths filled.

We went to see "War for the Planet of the Apes" last night. Some of you may remember the first of the Planet of the Apes movies decades ago with Charelton Heston. I think it may have been one of the first of the apocalyptic types of movies. Hollywood has been finding new ways to blow the world apart ever since. But this movie was very well done and I recommend that if you need or want a date night, buy a couple of tickets and some popcorn and settle in for this one. There is enough mixture of sweet stuff and action that it will satisfy both husbands and wives.

I don't know what I'll do today since I don't want to get out. Maybe I'll go down to my desk and do some work on my book that I'm writing. Or, I also have an idea for a sermon rumbling around in the back of my mind that I could start putting in print. That way I'd have a fresh sermon ready if I get a call to preach someplace again. Or maybe I'll read for awhile. Who knows???

I guess that is about it for today. The butterflies are out there on the phlox and the hummingbird are at the feeder so I think I'll just sit here and finish my coffee and enjoy the blessings that God sends my way. Stay cool folks. Peace.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Another week opens up for us providing the promise of opportunities to do good things and just maybe help someone in need. It is a hot one to start off the week though and the weather folks tell us it will only get worse by weeks end because the humidity is going to just keep rising. But rather than thinking grumpy thoughts, let's remember that this same heat and humidity is making all of those ears out there on the corn stalks mature and is making those tomatoes get bigger. God always provides a rainbow or silver lining with the clouds.

I woke up this morning under the weather health wise, so I went back to bed for awhile. I think now though that my GI tract and I have agreed to co-exist without conflict and I am feeling much better. I hate waking up like that. But, I'm grateful that it seems to have pretty much passed now. (No that wasn't a pun.)

I think I am going to have to change strategies out there with the buffet. The darned blackbirds have gone through almost $30.00 worth of food since Saturday. I now have a flock of about a dozen or maybe even more that stay here constantly and they eat all of the "soft food" like the bark butter bits and the bark butter paste as well as the seed cylinders. I know they will eventually migrate on as soon as the crops are starting to be harvested in the fields. So, I think I'm going to just put out sunflower seed for while and see what happens. The cardinals and all the other birds like sunflower seeds and will eat that just fine. Even the woodpeckers like sunflower seeds and they still will have the bark butter feeder that has the holes on the bottom that I can use, and the finches still have the thistle seed to eat from the thistle feeders. We'll see what happens but I can't afford to keep feeding birds that run all of the other birds off.

We had a good weekend around here. Ms. Kate made a meatloaf and I love her meatloaf. I like to make meatloaf sandwiches and that's what I did last evening for supper. I threw a slab of a tomato on it and was a happy camper. Yesterday morning we went to church aand then went to Max & Erma's for lunch. We don't go there often but the food is usually pretty good when we do. Saturday afternoon we sat and watched the a movie  that we had bought some time ago. It was part of the Mad Max re-make series. It was very confusing and frankly Mel Gibson and Tina Turner did a much better job in the originals twenty-five years ago.

Well, I'm done for today. I hope you have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. Take the time to be grateful for what God has provided. Shalomn.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Welcome to a wonderful beautiful Saturday morning. "This is a day that the Lord has made --- Let us rejoice and be glad in it." It is a sunny, breezy 76 degree morning and best od all the humidity has dropped for a few hours at least. The sun is shining on all of my backyard buffet guests --- but unfortunately they are all black in color. The starling and grackle gang are here in force fussing and pecking away at one another. But in the sunshine even the Grackels are pretty. Their color is so very black that is look almost blue when the sin hits them a certain way. Just another one of those ways that God shows me another miracle of His beauty.

I don't think Ms. Kate and I have any plans today but then, we haven't taken any time to talk yet today. She's in her office with her computer games and coffee and Facebook and I'm doing the same thing on my IPad with my coffee. It is a daily routine for both of us. We'll fetch each other a second cup of coffee once in a while but leave each other alone with our own "wake-up" time. Perhaps a little later we'll head out to the farm stands and also to Rural King or Target and look for a new gazing ball. The one I had out back here got smashed by a limb that fell. We had owned it for several years so we got our $25.00 worth of pleasure out of it.

I did finish the sermon that I was working on. I finished it up last night. I need to read it again now, and then I also want to pass it over to Ms. Kate to make sure it all makes sense. I'm glad to have it written because it was a sermon idea I've had for awhile but had not done anything with because I had no reason to put it down on paper. What I should do I guess, is when something like that pops into my tiny brain, I should go put it down; and then as it develops in my mind add notes and thoughts to it. That way when the need arises, I can unscramble it and come up with something worth presenting. That's what I should do --- but that sounds terribly organized for a retired guy.

I have a couple of squirrels out here this morning but I haven't seen Stumpy or Broken tail  for over a week. I don't know what has happened to them. Possibly they have moved on or maybe the hawk got them. I was really waiting for Stumpy to come around and try to eat off of that feeder that he always stretches out to. I filled it with cayenne laced bark butter bits. The birds couldn't care less but I wanted to see Stumpy grab a mouthful of those pellets. Perhaps one of them did because none of the squirrels are trying to eat off of it now.

It is time for a fresh cup of coffee and I see that the black birds are moving out and the wrens and cardinals and other more "invited guests" are starting to arrive. So, I'm jumping off. Have a wonderful weekend. My daughter Heather and her family are flying back to the CONUS today from Hawaii so keep them in your prayers for safe travel. Peace.

Friday, July 14, 2017

It's the last work day for another week if you are a Mon thru Fri type of person. I hope you have plans  then to relax and refresh yourself before you start all over again on Monday.

We had rain last night although I don't know how much or for how long. It was lightly raining as I went to bed last night and the sidewalks and street are still slightly wet this morning. It is a cloudy day and we expect more rain yet today and possibly even some strong storms. We needed the rain or at least my garden certainly needed the rain. I need to check on my garden again this morning. I think I have green beans ready to pick again. My little crop of beans do seem to put on fairly well. I have just enough out there to make a couple of servings each time I pick them. We may need to go to a farm stand somewhere today or tomorrow and pick up some produce again. Last night we finished off the corn on the cob we had bought earlier in the week. This morning Ms. Kate sectioned out the last of the cantaloupe and we are having it for breakfast this morning. I'd like to find a seedless watermelon but so far the only place I've found seedless ones are in the grocery store.

I guess I have made my backyard buffet guests wait long enough. They have emptied the feeders almost completely. I was hoping (but knew better) that the black birds and starlings would finally decide I wasn't going to refill them and would go away. But they are worse than a bad check. They just keep bouncing back. The caged feeders are made to allow the smaller birds to be able to get in and keep the bigger birds out. But these dang blackbirds just stretch their neck in as far as they can to peck  at the seed cylinders. So, I guess I'll accept defeat and give in and fill everything up again today. I also have to fill up the bird baths again. Yesterday afternoon there were three blackbirds out there in one of them and there was hardly any water left at all because of all the splashing. I know it didn't rain enough to fill them back up so I guess I'll do it.

I think I'll be spending a good part of my time today working on the sermon I'm preparing. It is on the disciple Peter and the very human journey he took to accomplish Godly things. I have a good start but as usual, my brain runs ahead of my fingers and I don't get it down like I want to the first couple of times around. The joy is in the search for sure.

The Talleys are providing my morning devotional through song. I love to listen to them sing because they put such heart and soul in their presentation. There is a special three day workshop being presented by them down in Gatlinburg in September that I would love to attend but I guess I will just be satisfied to listen to them here in my sunporch.

My morning entertainment special today is the crew of boys that are supposed to be mowing Ms. Margaret's yard. perhaps they are done but at the moment they are engaged in a flowering crabapple fight. They keep coming back and pulling crabapples off of the tree and are having a battle royale throwing them at one another. If Ms. Margaret sees them, there will be heck to pay.

Time to finish up my coffee and get on with the day. I pray your day will be filled with the love of God and the joy of the Holy Spirit. If you are making plans for the weekend --- don't forget what the Sabbath is all about. Peace.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I've written my blog from some strange places but this morning I'm sitting in the beauty shop. Ms. kate needs a trim this morning. What should have been a walk-in, walk-out is going to take a little longer. Her stylist has another customer in the chair so Ms. Katie is waiting. I was going to just sit in the car and listen to the radio but it is warm enough to run me inside.

Yesterday was root canal day for me. What a great way to start off the morning. I don't mind having that procedure done. After the first shot, which is little more than a slight pinch, everything is numb and it is a matter of just laying there in the chair while they do what they have to do. They even put a "block" in there to hold your mouth open so you don't have to do that, and they put on a rubber dam around the tooth so none of the crud gets in your mouth. The only residual is some pain in the jaw today from the shots. In a couple of days I will call my regular dentist and set up an appointment to have the crown made and installed. I'll be glad to have it all done though. I'm tired of have a space there and not being able to chew on that side, and I'm tired of getting shots in my jaw.

Conversations are interesting sitting in a beauty shop; so much different than the barbershop. I'm learning about the joys of shopping at Goodwill stores, and different places to get good clothes cheap. "After all people go casual these days and what you wear isn't nearly as important as it was years ago." I've learned that's Dottie is heading to Tennessee tonight yet even though she just got home from another trip. She's picking up her grandson and then they are heading to Mt. Vernon and Monticello and Williamsburg and other great places in that area. Her 'granddaughter isn't going because she has baseball camp and heck them two fight like cats and dogs anyway." --- If I was at the barbershop the conversations would be a bunch of chiding one another and talking about local sports and weather and some politics interspersed with some colorful language.

From here we are going to the nail salon and Ms. Kate and I are going to get pedicures. I don't know what they talk about there because they are all oriental and speak what ever their native language is. From there we need to go to the Cadillac dealership. I want to ask them about the extended warranties for my car that they are offering me now that my original warranty is about up.  ---- So today is another busy day and this afternoon we are supposed to get thunderstorms. By they time we get all of our running around don, it will be time to come home and hit the recliner for an eyelid check.

I hope your day is happy. I hope your day is full of the joy that comes from a relationship with God. Peace.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hello Tuesday! Thanks for showing up. It's another swarm start to a summer day, basically a carbon copy of yesterday. (Y'all do remember what a "carbon copy" is I reckon.)

The buffet has been been slow so far this morning but business has picked up in the last fifteen minutes or so. For most of the earlier hours I only had one grackle and one downy woodpecker. Now, the cardinals have arrived along with finches, titmouse, hummingbirds, bluejay, robin and of course life would not be complete without a squirrel or two. My bird baths are really cruddy looking although they birds still drink from it and take their bath in it. But, I need to scrub them out for sure and put fresh water in them.

I need to jump on the John Deere today and mow the yards. My back yard is looking a bit shaggy and the front yard is needing it too. Ms. Kate took the Round-Up to a bunch of grass and weeds the other day and it has really done the job. I know I won't feel like doing much tomorrow afternoon because I have a dentist appointment in the morning to have a root canal done. By the time I get that done and get back home and my mouth un-numbed, it will be time to sit in my recliner for a bit.

Ms. Kate and I talked about going to Louisville today for lunch. I get these offers from her favorite restaurant, PF Chang, and I mentioned maybe going over and taking advantage of it since it is only good for three days. Tomorrow is the last day and with the tooth thing that wouldn't work. But --- I think we will not go. Some how -- doing a 250 mile round trip for a free bowl of noodles that we don't even know we would like suddenly seemed not the smartest thing we could do. And, as I said, we have things to do here today.

I got a call from the pastor of my home church last night asking if I could fill in for him on the 23rd of July. Of course I said "yes". It will be wonderful to be able to to a sermon again. I could easily "go to the well" and pull out a sermon that I've done at some point in the last decade but I've had an idea for a sermon that I have wanted to write for some time now so I need to spend some time on that.

My Weather Channel app says it is still 82 degrees outside and will be going to 93. So, it is time to throw on the jeans and ball cap and get outside and enjoy God's world from the other side of the sunporch windows. Once again I give God praise for a beautiful day and I give thanks for the blessings that surround me. I have a loving family, a home, and good friends. I've been given more grace than I deserve; (I've never deserved any)  and my salvation is secure through Jesus Christ. There is nothing more that I need. I pray you will have a most blessed day. Shalomn

Monday, July 10, 2017

Good morning on this already hot July morning. Well, it isn't terrible yet; it is only 82 degrees, and there is a substantial breeze blowing. But, as we learned in Las Vegas when we lived there, hot temperatures and a breeeze or wind just makes it a giant convection oven. We are supposed to go to the lower nineties today so anything I need to do outside needs to be done this morning before the temp goes up too much.

Blackbirds, Grackels, Starlings, and sparrows are my guests this morning. Except for the sparrows, they are all a rude and nasty bunch of birds. They fuss, they fight, they peck one another in the head, they run other birds off, and they waste food by throwing it on the ground. Luckily they don't stay too long. They come in like a gang doing a smash and grab in a jewelry store, make their mess and leave. In another ten minute or so, the cardinals will be showing up along with the rest of my regulars. Even the squirrels tend to hold off a bit when the blackbirds are here.

July 10th --- the year is moving on isn't it? Ms. Kate and I took a drive around the block Saturday; (well, it was a country block may seventy five miles or so). We wanted some fresh produce so we went to find some. Right now is it great picking for up corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, green beans, cantaloupe, and watermelon, and squash. This area really produces wonderful produce. It was great to drive through the country back roads and see how the fields of corn and soy beans are growing. Much of field corn is tasseled out and many have ears hanging down already. I recall as a kid that one could walk through the corn rows but these days the rows are so close that it is hard to do that. By the time you got fifty feet in you could easily be lost. It seems as though with the new genetics  enhanced crops, the soybeans grow much taller and the wheat grows much shorter. Maybe it is just my perception but I remember the wheat fields waving in the breeze; (Amber waves of grain) but today it hardly gets tall enough to do that. I also remember my dad planting rye in his fields and I haven't heard any of my farmer friends mention planting rye in the last decade or more. I think dad planted it in the late fall and then plowed it under in the spring as a soil enhancement. Today that is all done with chemicals. In fact, I can't remember the last time I saw an actual plowed field where the soil was turned over. It is all done differently now. But it obviously works because we saw some really beautiful fields on Saturday.

Well, the bluejays are here, the wooodpeckers are here, and the finches have arrived and the first of the cardinals are sitting on the feeders having a snack. My coffee cup is empty and I must go refill it. I pray God will grant you a pleasant day filled with joys and good thoughts. Peace.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

It is a beautiful Saturday morning. I have my cup of coffee beside me, my Bose is playing a little gospel music by the Talley Trio, the sky is cloudless, and it is 74 degrees with a drop in the humidity. Just outside my window five blackbirds are in full battle mode squeaking and pecking at one another over the feeders. They are so busy fighting that they hardly actually eat anything. Silly birds -- there are only nineteen feeders for them to choose from but they would rather maintain territorial dominance. I know some people like that.

I missed writing yesterday but I had an eclectic busy day. I started with an early morning dental appointment to hopefully repair that tooth that I had lost the filling from. I had hope it was going to be a fairly simple  procedure because despite the large filling that had fallen out, I was having no pain. I thought that maybe I had already had a root canal done on that tooth. Well -- it turns out that I was just lucky in regards to the pain. Now, I go next Wednesday morning and have a root canal done. Then back to my dentist for a crown. That will shrink my checkbook by about $1800.00. But, I will not complain, My daughter Julie went in to her dentist this week because of some real sensitivity to cold drinks etc and ended up having three extractions because her RA had caused tooth deterioration and exposed the root and nerves. Bless her heart.

After the dentist we went out to lunch with good friend Bob and his daughter Brenda. It was our first out together since his wife Georgia Ann passed. It was good to get him out of the house and back into a familiar and happy memory situation again. His daughter is just an angel and is doing everything she can to help him with his grieving.

Yesterday afternoon then I had an appointment at Best Buy to meet with the technician in order to set up my new laptop that Heather and John bought me. I had already set a lot of it up but I wanted to make sure I had done it correctly andwanted to ask a few questions. What a waste of time that was. When you ask a "technician" a question and his every answer begins with "Well, -- I think" or "I believe", odds are that technician isn't well trained.

To finish up my yesterday, decided that what we really wanted for supper was some good french fries from somewhere, so we went to Penn Station and got an order of fries and an 8" BLT and split it. Thenwe rove across the street to Cold Stone Creamery and finished off the day in good stead.

So today I need to go fill the sunflower seed feeders and then I think we'll head to a farm stand and pick up some corn on the cob, peaches, and a watermelon. That sounds like a good summer thing to do. They have a farm stand set up at our favorite butcher shop so maybe we'll go there and pick up something to put on the grill too.

I hope that your weekend is full of God's grace and love. I hope you take the time to stop and give praise and worship to the God who created you and to the Son of God for insuring your salvation through His sacrifice. Hug your loved ones and speak kindly to strangers.  Peace

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Good morning to July 6th! Join me as we sit in the sunporch and listen to the patter of rain drops hitting the roof.

I was up too early this morning; it happens that way sometimes. But it gave me a chance to greet my early arrivals at the buffet. Unfortunately, I as there but theyweren't. I turned on the coffee pot and sat down to read my email just as the rain started.  It hasn't amounted to much; just some simple showers so far. We are supposed to have this most of the day and maybe even in to tomorrow. I certainly don't mind, we need some rain.  And --- the robin is happy and hopping all over the yard as the rain soaks in and drives the earthworms to the surface. Stubby is here and is doing is acrobatic manuevers to eat.  He isn't being helped by the fact that the branches are wet, nor are the other squirrels helped by the fact that the metal poles they need to climb are wet. There has been a lot of of jump up and slide back down for a while now.

We stayed home all day yesteday waiting on UPS to deliver my new Microsoft Pro tablet that Heather and John bought me for my birthday. It was supposed to be delivered yesterday but that didn't happen So, we'll wait around here again today and see what happens. They ordered it hrough Best Buy while we were all on vacation. I've received the keyboard but not the tablet. Heather really likes Best Buy and has a good one close to her. On the other hand, I don't buy from them here because I've never heard one good thing said about our local store and I've heard story after story  about their poor service and the way they treat their customers. Ms. Kate and I have gone shopping in  our local store and our experience generally is that we end up with a salesperson that has been on the job for less than a week and know very little about their store or their products.

My "still need to read" Stephen King books are stacking up beside my chair. Julie bought me two new ones for Father's Day. One of them is a book called Stephen King and Philosophy. I think I will really enjoy that one since I was a Philosophy Minor for my Under Graduate degree. As much as I have enjoyed King's novels over the past thirty years, it will be interesting to maybe get an insight into the worlds he creates in his books. The other book is a book he co-authored with another writer I have not heard of.

So, I guess my rainy day plan is to just do some reading. Ms. Kate is working on creating cards out here in the sunporch. She has so much stuff and so many supplies that she has literally crowded herself out of her office. So, she has expanded for awhile. Bless her little heart.

Tomorrow morning I finally get to go to the dentist off and have something done about my broken tooth. Thank the Lord there has been no pain associated with it other than the sharp edges rubbing against my tongue. I suspect it is going to take a crown which isn't cheap. What broke out was an old silver filling the size if a pea. I'll just be glad to have it taken care of.

Have a wonderful day. Take time to share a hug or two with your friends and share a smile with people you don't know. Life is too short to go through life being a grump. Peace.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

It's the 5th of July and my thoughts go back fifty years today. It was fifty years ago today that our oldest daughter, Julie, was born and was also one of the tests for a young married military couple. I had brought Ms. Kate back to Indiana and she was living with her parents until she could find a place of her own. We had hoped that Ms. Kate would deliver while I was still home in Evansville but that was not to be, She delivered four days after I returned to Yreka California to await shipment overseas to the Philippines for an unaccompanied 18 month tour. Thankfully my unit commander authorized me emergency leave to fly back to Evansville for 15 days so I could see our new baby Julie and be there for her baptism. I had to borrow $125.00 from my parents just to get back to my unit in California. Because of delays in shipment, it would be almost 22 months before I saw Ms. Kate and Julie again and during that time, we had the luxury of only one short phone call. This was 1967-69, decades before social media and unlimited phone service. That one phone call cost us most of a paycheck. Now, deploying troops have instant contact with any and all of their loved ones back home. They can visit as if they were simply across town. I don't mean to diminish the service of our folks today at all. God bless them and I'm thankful for them. But that one phone call that was such a luxury to us, was a blessing that today's young people can't even fathom.

It is a warm and muggy morning. The temperature is 78 degrees and the humidity is already at 86%. We are expecting rain this afternoon. It's great weather for the corn in the fields but not so great to be working outside, especially with asthma. Thankfully I got my mowing done yesterday. I do need to go out and pick tomatoes this morning.

The backyard buffet is a busy place this morning. The cardinals, blackbirds, woodpeckers, wrens, goldfinches, titmouse, and squirrels have all been here at one time or another. The bluebird was here a couple of times too which brightened up my day. I would love it if they would occupy my bluebird house but that hasn't happened. I don't know where they nest. But I'm always glad to see them.

The evening air was full of booms and bangs up until about midnight last night as people fired off their fireworks in celebration of the 4th of July. It is amazing how much money people spend on doing that, especially considering that every town has one or more public fireworks displays. But, it's their business, not mine. I'm just glad I don't have PTSD or a pet to worry about with all of the booms and bangs and the smell of gun powder in the air.

The stargazer lilies are in bloom out in the back yard and I think I will stop here and walk out and smell them. The smell is almost breath taking and they are so very beautiful. They are just another one of God's blessings sitting out there in my yard waiting to be recognized and enjoyed. Until next time, I pray you will have a wonderful week and will feel the wonderful peace that comes from God who loves you so very much. Shalomn.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!! What a wonderful thing it is to live in a country that is a free nation. What a wonderful thing it is to live in a country that values life,  and individual freedoms to the point of defining them as human right. Unfortunately we seem to have lost the desire to search for the common good and expect personal "wants" to be fined as the "right to have". I'm not sure that was what the creators of our Declaration of Independence and The Bill of Rights had in mind. I suspect our founding fathers would be horrified at what we have done with what they created.

Having said that though --- there is no place in the world that I would rather live than in the United States of America. I can walk out my door and greet my neighbor without fear that they are spying on me. I can go to the church of my choice and worship God and declare my Christianity without fear of being shot down or beheaded. I have the right to vote and choose those I would like to see govern this city or state or country. If they don't do a good job, or at least the job I expected them to do --- I have the right to try to vote them out of office at the next election.

I love the fact that when we go to a grocery store the shelves are full I love the fact that we are a productive nation with good technology and jobs and decent wages. Yes, we have a 4.7 unemployment rate with approximately 63 million people out of work. But --- people still come to this country legally and illegally and they seem to find work. For too many citizens, generationally it has become far easier and more profitable to not work and collect welfare than it is to work. But again, I would not want to live anywhere else.

The buffet has been busy this morning. I went to the two birdfeed stores yestrday and restocked. I picked up another 80# of sunflower seed from Pet Foods and then then a variety of other things from Wild Birds and Things. Wild Birds had a new feeder and pole set up that I'm interested in and I may go buy that today as my birthday present from Ms. Kate.

I hope your day is wonderful and I hope you take the time today to give thanks to Almighty God for the Privilege of being born and raised in this wonderful country. Take time today to also be grateful for the men and women who are not home today because they are standing the line in harm's way somewhere in the world in order to defend our freedom and our nation. God bless you and may God bless America. Shalomn.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday morning, July 3rd! We are home from our wonderful vacation and all of our kids made it home safely. Now we are all back to reality and looking forward to the next time we caan all get together again. We plan these thing for two years apart and right now 2019 seems so very far away, and I also know the family dynamics with children maturing and finding jobs etc. And --- the family is ready to go somewhere besides Tennessee next time. So, the search starts now. Maybe somethng coastal next time. As long as there is something to do and see besides the ocean rolling in. I will say though, everyone loved the cabin and it's location. There is a lot of stuff to do in the Gatlinburg area. But I suspect that in a couple of years, the like and dislikes of those kind of things will change too. It is amazing how much things that I loved to do five years ago, are either no longer of interest or I've gotten more out of shape and am no longer able to do them. In the year 2019 I'll be 75 years old and my sense of excitement will have changed too.

Of course when I got home all of the bird feeders and bird baths were empty. So, being a good host, I filled all of the feeders and the bird baths before I poured my first cup of coffee. So far this morning, my only steady guests have been the squirrels. I've had one or two Downy Woodpeckers, a robin, a hummingbird and a couple of Goldfinches too but that is all. The word will get out that the buffet is back open and stocked before long.

The phlox, butterfly bush, and geraniums are about all that is blooming these days. All of those are great for drawing in the bees and the butterflies. Our handi-couple, Chris and Cheryl have finished with everything we had on the list. The fence now has two coats of paint on it and looks beautiful. They got all of the bush and tree trimming done and painted the chimney. My back yard now looks like a small park. They really do great work and they are nice people to deal with.

So today, Ms. Kate and I will catch up the laundry and finish putting away stuff from the trip. I'm waiting for the mail to come today because Heather and John bought me a new laptop that is to be delivered today. My afternoon will be spent setting that up.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Ms. Kate and I will stay home and fuss about all of the fireworks that will be going off around the neighborhood. It was bad enough last night. We have no desire to get out in the traffic and crowds to go and watch the fireworks shows downtown on the Ohio River.  Been there, done that many times. We'll just sit home and enjoy our freedom and give thanks to God that we live in a country that isn't run by an oppressive government. We'll spend the day being grateful for the men and women that have served their country and the many who have died to preserve the freedoms we enjoy. I was honored to be able to spend 32 years dedicating my family's lives to the sacrifices and rigor required for me to be a professional military office. The honest truth is that they sacrificed much more than I did and I love them for it and am grateful to them. I also give thanks to God that unlike so very many of my comrades in arms, I was able to complete my duty without and physical harm. My prayers go out to all of those men and women who come home missing arms and legs and other physical and mental scars and injuries. May God grant them peace.

Have a blessed day./