Thursday, August 31, 2017

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wednesday already again. It's 70 degrees and a slight breeze is blowing on another sunny day. There have been a few showers in the area but none that affected us.

I've been sitting here reading articles on Facebook and listening to the news channels trying to keep up with what is happening in Texas and Louisiana with the Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey. It looks like Houston is now getting a break from the rain after receiving fifty two inches of rain. Fifty-two inches!!!! There are a lot of countries and areas in the world that don't get that much rain in a year and they got it in five days. There are areas in this country that don't get that much rain in a year. I can't even begin to imagine the devastation and destruction --- fifty two inches of rain on top of the 125 mile an hour winds from the hurricane. I suspect that the damage will be up into the hundreds of billions of dollars.  This morning I read and saw a picture with a warning that said be very careful of where you are walking because there are snakes everywhere and it showed a picture of what looked like a dry hallway somewhere and there must have been a dozen or more snakes of different varieties curled up and slithering around in there. Another picture showed a couple of alligators in someone's back yard. And don't get me started on all of the sewage and toxic waste that is in that water they are walking through. And now, to a lesser degree, it is all headed to Lousiana and will eventually continue to work its way north and east. We are looking to get some rain from it on Friday but only a couple of inches.

Last night I was reading my Sunday school lesson for this coming Sunday and coincidently it focuses on Genesis 8 & 9 and the flood and covenant of God with the earth that God would never destroy all life again by water. I imagine that there were a lot of people that were beginning to wonder if God had reneged on His promise. But God never reneges on a covenant. And one of the last things I saw on the news this morning was picture of the blue sky with light clouds and the woman captioned the picture simple by saying "The sun is out in Houston!, I repeat --- the sun out out in Houston." Coastal Texas will rebuild and learn from this. Yes, it is going to take maybe as much as a decade to be done and we all know that they have yet to begin to know the challenges that lie ahead, but Texas will rebuild and God will walk with them as God has always walked with His children through natural disasters, whether it be floods, earthquakes, tornados, or fire. God is always there. God is the strength in every arm that drives a nail. God is the strength behind every person that volunteers to help or reaches in their pocket and makes a donation or for to the Red Cross and gives blood. God is the strength behind it all because I believe that regardless of what some people and many preachers will tell you --- man is not just a mass of walking sin. I believe that if we are in fact made in the image of God, then we must be made in the image off love and kindness and caring for one another. And --- we have watched that very thing unfold right before our eyes as people of all races and colors and beliefs have worked tirelessly in Texas to help their fellowman --- because they needed help. Jesu said, "What you have done for the least of my brothers, you have done for me."

I didn't start out to do a sermon today, but I suspect you won't mind. I hope the remainder of your week is fully blessed. Peace.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It was about 2200 hours last night that I remembered that I had not written my blog for the day. So, I'm sorry I missed you. But, in my defense, it ws a busy day. Saturday, Ms. Kate and I went to Lowes and I picked up 21 bags of mulch to put on flowerbeds. That equates to about one and a third cubic yards. Yesterday, I got that all spread on the tree flowerbeds in the back yard. We were projected to have rain yesterday and today and I hoped that I would beat the rain so the mulch wouldn't be wet when I tried to spread it. Well, my self-serving prayer was answered and and not only did it not rain yesterday, but it looks like it might not rain today which means I can get out to the front of the house and work on another flowerbed and prep it for mulch; --- assuming of course that I can get up and down on and offof the ground. I'm a bit sore and stiff today.

My heart and prayers continue to go out for the people of the Texas coast and what they are having to deal with from Hurricane turned tropical storm, Harvey. I just can't imagine what they must be going through and what they will be going through for months and maybe years to come. How far down the emotional pipeline would a person slide if they had to endure constant rain for a solid week? How emotionally draining would it be to have you house fill up with three feet of water from rain with no relief in sight. Neighborhoods are essential gone from wind volocity damage and all infrastructure suddenly under water. Roads in and out of a vast area are now lakes. Major interstates are washed out. All of that water has to go somewhere and that means it has to eventually get back to the Gulf of Mexico, but those rivers are going to be a long time getting back to normal, and when they do ---- people will have nothing to return to. ------------ The bright side, and it indeed a bright side is that America is stepping up. America is responding to that crisis and people from all of the country are volunteering and doing what they can to help. The racial tension and divide that is fracturing the morale of the nation has been set aside for at least the moment and people of every race and color are holding hands to help rescue people and donating to the Red Cross and volunteering to go help; bcause that is what the real American spirit is all about. I would never say that God caused this to happen but I would say that it has provided an opportunity for people to turn from themselves and turn to God. Frankly, I don't know how a person could go though this and not have their faith to rely on.

The unfortunate part of this thing is that once the rain has stopped and the water has receded, people will tend to forget and consider it over. Today is the "anniversary" of Hurricane Katrina which wiped out a major portion of New Orleans ten years ago. People in that city are still in recovery mode in some places but it is hard to get volunteers to go help. Joplin, MO was devastated by a tornado five years ago and people have forgotten that there are still lives being effected by that. Houston and the surrounding cities will be in a recovery mode for a decade or more. So, I offer prayers this morning for them and pray that God will walk with them and continue to give them strength. I pray for all of those who have lost family members through this and for all of those who have lost homes and livelihoods. May God have mercy on them and shower them with grace. I pray that the American people will not forget this tragedy and or "grow tired" of hearing about it. I pray God will make us united people once again.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Welcome to a beautiful Saturday morning. Again this morning it is sixty four degrees and there isn't a cloud to be seen. Unfortunately the same certainly cannot be said for much of the country to the south of us. The Gulf of Mexico side of Texas in in the middle of Hurricane Harvey which came ashore last evening at 125 miles per hour. It is expected to last  for days yet and the area could get as much as thee and a half feet, (yes, feet) of rain. If all of that holds true, the damage is going to be horrendous. I give thanks to God that so far no lives have been reported lost due to this monstrous storm andI pray none will be. I've been watching MSNBC news and listening to the local reporters as they stand out in the wind and rain reporting on the storm. ---- I've never understood why they do that. What is the purpose of standing out in wind and rain that literally knocks you over to show me it is raining? I guess people who run the media world in this country think we are so stupid that we can't create a mental picture of what it might look like, so they literally risk the lives of their reporters to show me the wind is blowing 70 mph and it is raining.  I did appreciate what the mayor of one of the most affected areas told the residents. He said "You really should evacuate because once this thing hits --- we can't and won't come for you. However, if you decide to stay, please write your name and social security number on your arm so we can easily identify your body -- if we find it." Once this storm is over he'll probably catch all kinds of flack becaue he talked mean to them and they were offended. OK, off of that subject.

I didn't do any yard work yesterday because I was sore from doing a lot on Thursday. But I did get a another flowerbed cleaned up on Thursday. This morning I think I will go to Lowes and pick up some bags of mulch to put on the two beds I have done. Then if I have time I'll work on another one. There is always something to do out there and this weather is perfect for doing it.

I have lots of little chirppers out here this morning at the birdbath. I think the water is a bit low for them though. The sparrows and finches really don't get in the bird bath if it is deep at all and they are having to lean way over the edge to drink. They keep sliding off the edge towards the water and they have to flitter back up to the edge. I'll take a half gallon of water out there in a minute and fill it back up to a comfortable level for them. Yeh, I guess I do spoil them a bit much.

It's "Frog Folly" weekend around here which means that the roads and restaurants, and hotels are all full of folks who fix up old cars and show them are in town for the big annual show. My cousin Debbie and her husband Ronnie have two or three of them that they bring over to this other shows. We are supposed to meet with them for dinner this evening. I'm looking forward to that.

Gotta get cleaned up and head to Lowes. Have a wonderful weekend. Keep the folks in Texas and surrounding areas in your prayers.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

I must begin by giving thanks once again to God who gives all things, for yet one more beautiful morning. It is sunny and sixty eight degrees and no wind with low humidity. My bird feeders are full and I have a few takers at the buffet this morning. Earlier I had maybe a dozen cardinals out there but they have had their fill and moved on. They will be back soon for another round at the buffet. All of the bark butter feeders are full and the wood peckers are enjoying them. Knock on wood; I haven't had that bevy of starlings around here in the last few days. I think they are moving out with the blackbirds to the fields. The corn is starting to dry on the stalks and they will be out there, although we are weeks from harvest yet. That's when they really hit the fields.

While I'm giving thanks, I also give thanks that the first of "my people" got home last night. Sister-in-law Karen got home from Vegas about 2130 last evening. I don't know about Dan and Minh yet although I hope they didn't try to drive from Albuquerque, NM to home in one day. That is too many miles and there is no reason for it. If it were Ms. Kate and I, we would have probably stopped in Oklahoma City last night and then driven on in home today.

I did get one flowerbed worked up pretty well yesterday. I need to get a load of mulch to put on it yet but I got the iris cut back and the deadfall all out of it from the lilies. I really looks nice this morning. With this weather, I'm going back out today and do more. I think I will work out front today. There is an awful lot to do out there. It is such a jungle that I'm not sure how to start on it. Part of the problem is that I think we have too many flowers in those flowerbeds. We have iris, lilies and peonies all in a close area  and they intertwine and it makes it hard to work in there. Add to that the voluntary vines and wild onions and grass that grows in and among all of that and it is a slow process of clearing it all out. I should have done more yesterday but we had some running around to do and we got back home from that after noon. Then it was time for lunch and after lunch I let the lazies guide my progress or lack of it and didn't get as much done as I would have like to do. But, none of it will get done if I don't get out there and start on it.

So, while I go out and work amongst God's blessings, I hope you are having a joyful day too! If it is as beautiful where you live as it is here today -- Ya' gotta get outside for awhile at least and breathe in   The wonders of the world God has created. Then look around you and try to appreciate each little bit of what God has created just for you.

Until next time ---- Shalomn.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

 "Bless the Lord, oh my soul; let all that is within me bless His holy name" What else is there to do on an absolutely beautiful "pretend it is fall" day except give God praise. It is 68 degrees, sunny, not a cloud to be seen, and humidity is low. To top it all off, there is a song sparrow outside my window also lifting up its voice to sweeten the sounds of the universe. There is peace in my micro piece of the world.

We are up earlier than normal today. I reckon it is because we went to bed earlier than usual last night. We generally don't go to bed until around 0100 hrs. But, last night at 2300 hrs Ms. Kate said she was ready to turn in and so was I. She had worked all day on making Christmas cards and was mentally bushed. Unfortunately she also woke up this morning with a bit of a sinus infection. So, we'll see how that progresses today. Hopefully now that she is up her system will drain and she'll be fine. As for me, my jaw is a tad sore yet today from all of the manipulation and shots yesterday for my dental work but other than a minor twinge, I'm fine. I need to get cleaned up an dressed and go out and do stuff outside today. I think my flowerbeds are calling me. There is fall raking to do to pull the stuff away from the lilies and the iris need to be trimmed back. Once the dew dries off of the grass, I'll mow the front yard and neighbor Dan's too.

The 0900 crew has arrived at the buffet. Cardinal, Goldfinches, wrens, house finches, sparrows, downy woodpeckers and song sparrows and hummingbirds are all here and it makes for a really enjoyable time. I need to fill feeders again. It is nice to sit and watch them and not have a bunch of starlings and blackbirds come in ad bully them all away.

"My people" are all supposed to be coming home today. Karen will be flying in from Vegas after a week of fun and Dan & Minh are finally home after being gone eight months to California. Dan has traveled back and forth a couple of times during that period for a couple of weeks at a time but Minh has stayed out there taking care of her terminally ill mother. Her mom passed away seven weeks ago but the Vietnamese culture requires forty two days of mourning and honoring. That period ended on Sunday so they are on the road to home. I think it is going to be an adjustment for her to be back in non-Vietnamese surroundings again. She has been totally immersed in that culture and language since before Christmas last year. I think despite being here where their two children and their families are, she is going to be lonely for awhile until she readjusts. Our prayers will certainly be with her.

Well, I have a bit of devotional to read and a talk to have "upstairs", so I'm signing off for today. I hope your week is going well and now it is "half over" and you can start thinking weekend. If you are out and about in society today, be kind to all you meet and start someone else's day with a smile. Never forget God loves you and Jesus has offered you salvation. All you have to do is reach out and accept it. Peace.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Happy Tuesday! I assume you all made it through "The Great Eclipse" without incident yesterday. I did go out and try the "selfie over the shoulder" trick with my cell phone but wasn't impressed with what I could see. But, assuming I'm still alive in seven years, we can do it all over again and this time the "zone of totality" will be directly over our house. So mark your calendar for April 8th, 2014 and we'll all run outside and check on it again. I'm not trying to minimize one of God's special celestial events in the least; but I'm glad I wasn't one of those folks who drove hundreds of miles to see the sky get dark for a minute and twenty seconds.

I'm sitting here in the sunporch and my face is half numb. I spent two plus hours in the dentist chair this morning getting fitted for a new crown. It took extra time because Dr. Wolf had to repair the tooth behind the one that was broken off too. I go back to see him again on the 5th of September to have the permanent crown put in. Until then --- no gummie bear types of candy. Typical me, I was laying there in the dentist chair half dozing and in my mind I was hearing the gospel song; "I Shall Wear a Crown". But now, I'm trying to drink my coffee on one side of my mouth and not drool it or spill it all over my shirt. At least the dentist made and put in a temporary tooth so I don't have a gap there for the first time since the end of June. By the end of the day I'll be able to eat most anything I want.

It is cloudy today and we have already had one round of heavy downpour. The forecast calls for the possibility of severe storms this afternoon. I'm hoping the fact that we had this rain already will mitigate the severity of anything coming in later. Allegedly after this weather front passes through we are supposed to have excellent weather the rest of the week. So --- bring it on.

I have mostly sparrows and a couple of cardinals here at the buffet, and a couple of squirrels. When I came out here early this morning, the electric bird bath had been dumped over onto the ground. I suspecta raccoon most like did that. Last nigth I opened the door to take some stuff out to the compost pile and surprised a skunk. Of course it surprised me too but it took off and didn't spray, thank goodness.

That is about it for this Tuesday. I hope your day is going well and I hope my mouth and jaw get feeling back in them soon. LOL Peace.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday morning and it is going to be a hot and sultry day. The heat index is supposed to reach 105 degrees today, yuk! I'm writing to you from the Deaconess Surgery Center waiting room. Ms. Kate is scheduled for a cardio-vascular Doppler test this morning. It shouldn't take a long time to do and is totally non-invasive. They are just checking her blood flow. This appointment is a follow-up to one she had some months ago. That one came back good but we don't take chances.

Today is the day of the "Great American Eclipse". We are going to have a total eclipse of the sun today around 1330 hours. Evansville is in the 90% zone and the area for totality for our region is about eighty miles south of us. The news is showing that the interstate south of us is bumper tpo bumper traffic with people trying to get to the "zone of totality". The actual time span for totality is only about a minute and a half also the duration from beginning to end is about two hours. It --- the nation is going silly over it. I understand part of the excitement because celestial events are something thata I love to watch too. But -- I'll be satisfied to stay home. The sky will get darker for a bit, and then it will get bright again. I heard last night on the news that if a person uses their phone and turns on the camera so that they are taking a picture of themself, it is said that they can watch the eclipse over their shoulder.


Ms. Kate finished up rather quickly and we went to Denny's for some breakfast. I love their strawberry and crime pancake breakfast.  Now we are back home and Ms. Kate is folding laundry. I had started a couple of loads this morning before we left. She and I routinely share doing the laundry. I've been doing laundry since I was a young kid. I remember when I was real young we had a wringer washer with a dual washtub set up in the basement of the house. There was a clothesline down there that we hung the clothes on to dry during the winter and we had a triple clothesline setup in the back yard that my father made out of pipe. That's where my mother hung clothes until it got so cold that they would freeze on the line. I remember thaat you had to be careful when feeding the clothes through the wringer or you could get you hands and fingers caught in the wringer.

We attended a very good church service yesterday. We went to Crossroads Christian Church. I'm not crazy about the praise and worship music that they do. There is no recognizable tune to follow and they repeat the same phrases over and over. But the sermon was dynamic. I told Ms. Kate that I admire people that can stand there and preach like that; seemingly without notes and so at ease and enthusiastic. It's not an ability that I have; but --- I thank God for allowing me to share The Word with my style for over a decade.

Time to move on to other things. I pray your day will be filled with joy. I pray for those who aare having a rough day today and I also pray for all of the travelers on the road today who have ventured out to areas to witness the eclipse. Until next time --- Shalomn.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Saturday afternoon and Ms. Kate is sitting her in the sunporch with me. She is busy making Christmas Cards. I think she plans on making all of our cards again this year. She does such a great job making her cards and I love it when she even makes my birthday or anniversary card. Me. ---- I hand write a note to her that says "I love you", and that is about as talented as I get.

We spent the morning at Raben Tire and Service having new tires put on the Cadillac. What with new tires on both the car and truck this week and buying a new IPhone, I have spent some money this week. But --- my spending comes in spurts like that and then I don't buy anything else for a long time. Oh --- and let's not forget the cost of a root canal and crown in the past two weeks. Yikes. I may have to go back to work so I can afford Dairy Queen or Cold Stone Creamery stops.

Yesterday we met with our good friends, Bob and his daughter Brenda for lunch at St. Joe Tavern and Inn. The waitress knews that when the four of us show up, she automatically starts two orders of deep fried mushrooms. They make the best around. We sure miss Ms. Georgia Ann at the table but are thrilled that Brenda encourages and brings her dad. It seems to be helping him return to some semblance of a new-normal now tat Georgia Ann has passed away.

After we had our lunch, we went to sister-in-law Karen's house and watered her plants and garden for her. She is in Vegas for a few days and she always looks after our place when we are gone so it is the least that we Cana do for her. She had asked me to picked the produce in her garden and I did. --- Anybody need eggplant????? She only has four plants but they are overflowing with eggplant. I don't know what we are going to do with it. One can eat only so much eggplant Parmesan.

The blackbirds and starling have certainly gotten the word that the buffet was refilled yesterday. I filled fifteen of my twenty-one feeders and today I have birds everywhere. Some one must have "tweeted" the news. (OK, even I know that was lame.)

That's it for today. I pray you will have a wonderful Holy Spirit filled weekend and arrive at Monday ready to take on life. Until then; ---- Peace.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Happy Friday morning! The sun is shining and Ms. Margaret's lawn crew next door is busy after it already this morning. Actually I can't call it a crew today, it looks like the dad is out there by himself today since his boys are obviously back in school. But he is knocking it out pretty darned fast. It iss a pretty easy mow. There isn't a lot of flowerbeds or things to mow around. A couple of weeks ago they trimmed up that flowering crabapple tree so now they walk under it with hitting their head on a bunch of branches.

I told you that I might not get a chance to write yesterday and I didn't. I did get to Sam's to have my truck headlights lens buffed out and treated. It only cost $40.00 and they look like new. I'm anxious to see how much brighter it will be at night. They advertise that it will improve vision by 50%. That would be good because my night vision isn't as good as it used to be.

Ms. Kate and I cleaned up the electric bird bath yesterday. It had really gotten gnarly and it took a lot of scrubbing to get all of the stains out of it. But -- it is beautiful this morning as it glistens in the morning sun and it has had several visitors too. Of course we don't plug it in during the summer but it is really a lifesaver to the birds during freezing weather. I absolutely must fill all of the feeders today. I've let everything get empty of sunflower seed and of bark butter too.  And the starlings and blackbirds have moved to someone else's yard I reckon. Of course if I fill everything up today, by tomorrow afternoon they will all be back. It's a game we play I think.

Today we are meeting buddy Bob and his daughter Brenda for lunch. I'm going to cut the okra when I finish this and will take the okra to Brenda. I don't have a lot but it will make a nice mess of fried okra for her and her husband. Ms. Kate sometimes fries up okra for us but mainly she uses it in vegetable soup.

Buzzwing, the hummingbird is busy out here this morning and at the moment I have several bright yellow goldfinches at the birdbath. It is amazing how God just drops those little blessings in on ya' unexpectedly. That is just one of the myriad things that makes me enjoy life so very much. And, --- I'm so grateful that I have finally reached a point in my life where I take the time to recognize the blessings that God send constantly. Maybe it takes getting old to make you slow down and look around. I'm not so busy working and worrying about making a living and putting everything else first before God these days. I think I have always been "aware" of God's blessings but I haven't always just stopped and given proper honor to God for them.

Time to get ready and start my day. Have a most wonderful day. I'm including you in my prayers today. I hope that knowing someone has included you in their prayers will make your day a bit better. Peace.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Good morning on this hot and sultry Wednesday morning. It's eighty degrees already and the humidity is in the "very humid" range. But the cicadas seem to love it as I can hear them out there in the trees doing their summer thing. They have been here for a couple of days now and I suspect I'll be hearing them for about another week or maybe even two. The forecast calls for scattered storms today to bring down the humidity and heat just a little. Generally by Wednesday the weather folks are looking at what the weekend will be like but this week all the talk is what is it going to to be like on the 21st of August. On that day there will be a total solar eclipse and people all over the country are getting prepared to watch it. I think here in Evansville we are supposed to be able to see about a 90% eclipse. Ninety miles south of us it is supposed to be 100%. I guess if it is a cloudy or rainy day, it will just get dark for a while, I don't know. I hope to observe some part of it because there will not be another one in my life time.

 Did you miss me? It is now Wednesday afternoon. I had gotten an offer for a free entree' at PF Chang's with the purchase of one and that is pone of Ms. Kate's favorite places to eat. However, it is east of Louisville, KY, 125 miles from here. But -- we are retired and wild and crazy so up and drove over there for lunch. We added to the pleasure of the trip by also picking up a "to go" order for Julie who lives and works in New Albany, IN just across the river om Louisville. After we ate we took her her order so she can have it for her dinner since she has to keep her store open late because the college kids all move back to campus tomorrow, and she runs the college bookstore. It was a very pleasant drive over and back and always good to see one of our girls when ever we get the chance.

It never did really rain yet today and it is really hot and sultry by this afternoon. But, we won't be going back outside except for me to get the trash cans to the curb.

My afternoon crew of buffet visitors are here now; a few cardinals and finches and a squirrel or two. That is about all. The birdbath is a popular spot as I would expect it t be. I'll be late writing tomorrow, if I do write. I have to take the Dakota in for the cleaning of the headlight lens. So, until next time, have a Holy Spirit evening and take the time to give thanks for your blessings. Peace.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tuesday Afternoon and I'm just getting around to writing my first blog of the week. Part of the reason for that is that we have been busy doing some things around here that needed doing. Yesterday we did some shopping and took Ms. Kate to the doctor to get her poison ivy infection treated. They gave her a prescription for some strong creme and it seems to begin having some good effect. It certainly got nasty and whether it was poison ivy or poison oak --- she is certainly allergic to it.

Today we took my truck to Sam's Club for new tires. The tires on it were the original tires put on by the manufacturer ten years ago. I still only have less than 44.000 miles on the truck but the tread was below the "Lincoln Head" test on a penny and frankly they might have started to dry rot by now. So, I put new shoes on Big Red. On Thursday I'm taking the truck back to Sam's and having then refinish the headlight lens. I told Ms. Kate it will be like having Big Red's cataracts removed.

Sunday we went to church at our home church and the pastor gave a great sermon. The service was held in our outdoor chapel and during the service, Pastor Art was holding his Bible and giving his sermon and a butterfly landed on his Bible. I thought it was an awesome event.

I've been having a hard time putting my thoughts together about an incident that happened in Charlottesville, VA on Sunday. A large group of Neo-Nazis and white supremacists  were holding a demonstration in the streets. They were carrying Nazi flags and shouting their particular brand of hate speech. They were allegedly protesting the removal of statues of Confederate War Generals. Then another large group of demonstrators charged them with clubs and iron pipes etc and a huge violent demonstration broke out. At some point, one of the white supremacists got in a car and drove into the crowd and killed one person and injured 23 others.

The President of the United States has since been under fire for not "immediately condemning" the white supremacist. Instead he came out and said there is no room for hate and violence of any kind in our society and that there is blame for this incident to be shared on all sides.

My take: ---- First of all, I hate the thought of anybody marching and chanting hate and crap under any flag, let alone a Nazi flag. We had a world war  to stop that. I don't believe in White Supremacy and actions that support it. On the other hand, I don't believe in counter-groups like "Black Lives Matter" because I don't believe that black lives matter any more than any other color of people. I believe that President Trump is correct; there is blame for every side and this country will destroy itself if we don't learn that fairly quickly. I found it also repulsive that reporters wouldn't even let the President finish his statements without shouting interruptions because they didn't like the words he was using. What happened to common decency and respect for the office?  No wonder he calls the reporters "fake news" because they twist every word he says.

As I said, I have no room for violence  and hate and repugnant behavior such as destroying personal and public property. There is a proper way to handle all of these issues facing our country. Unfortunately,  we have a generation and a half of people that refuse to be held accountable for anything and believe that they can hide behind mob violence.  If they were willing to be held accountable for their opinions they wouldn't be out there with their face covered so no one recognized them. This happened from both the Left and the Right sides of the political stream. Just because your side loses an election doesn't mean you now have the right to reject the election by violence.

Let me step off of my soapbox with this. Prayer, kindness, peace, love, caring about our neighbor, respect for life and other people's opinions and property, and open dialogue have to become the watchwords of this nation. I bid you peace my friends. If you disagree with what I have said today, I'm okay with that. I will still love you and I will still pray that God gives you a boatload of blessings each and every day.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sunny Saturday, yay!!!! It is beautiful out there this morning. I can already hear lawn mowers running in yards around the neighborhoods. Folks are maybe wanting to get their yard work done early so they will have the rest of the day to do other things. We need to do some running around today too. We did go out yesterday for lunch and then to a grocery to pick up milk. Today though I need to take the truck to Sam's and maybe buy new tires for it. Sam's is running a bit of a sale on them, so we'll see what the damage is going to be. I need to get tires for both vehicles. My truck is a 2007 and this will be the first set of tires that I buy for it. No more than I drive it, I don't need to go real expensive. So, I'll most likely get Goodyear tires for it. The Caddy on the other hand will get Michelin.

We also are going to buddy Bob's place this afternoon. He called and said he had tomatoes for us. We have a few here that we have raised but his are so nice and so good and he is willing to share with us. In return, we area going to take him a couple of quarts of Ms. Kate's vegetable soup. I'm told that he has lost a good deal of weight since Ms. Georgia Ann passed away and we want to keep him healthy. I know his daughter brings him food but left on his own, I'll bet he just eats sandwiches. I only say that because that is probably what I'd do.

We went out to that new (old) tavern for lunch yesterday. I told you about it. Well, the food was "Okay" but not worth the drive all the way out there just to eat. If we happened to be geocaching in that area and got hungry --- yeh, it would be alright.

It rained most of yesterday so we limited our stops. So today we also need to pick up the sunflower seed for the birds, and I may go ahead and get a new IPhone today. I did stop at the AT&T store and check them out and I liked what I saw. The new IPhone 7plus fits in my hand nicely and has bigger number for me to use when I need to type on it.

But, I'll not get any of this done as long as I sit here drinking my coffee and watching cardinals on my feeders. So, I hope your day is blessed. I hope you have the time and opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with someone today. Until next time --- Peace.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Welcome to Friday and all that a weekend has in store for you. It is seventy four degrees this morning and cloudy. I just checked my radar app and there is a large mass of green just west of the Illinois border and it is heading this way. So, we'll be getting some rain fairly shortly I reckon.

First of all, let me thank you for your prayers for my granddaughter, lauren. Her mom sent a picture of her last night and she at least is able to smile, even if her face is a bit distorted from the swelling. It looks like maybe she won't have a black eye. Lauren was still woozy and incredibly sore, (all to be expected according to the doctors) but she's up and walking around which is great. I give praise to God who obviously protected her. The number of falls and scrapes and breaks she has had over the few short years of her life are bound to take a toll on her at some point. Her body is going to feel old at twenty four at this rate. But --- she's tough and determined and I just pray God will always hold her in God's hand as she flies through the air jumping from one hill to the next at high speeds.

Speaking of feeling old --- I'm having a hard time getting moving this morning. Ms. Kate was up way early today because she was restless and I'm just the opposite. I got out of bed and went to find her, saw that she was fine and went back to bed for another half an hour. Then I came out here tot he sunporch and promptly dozed off for another ten minutes or so. I think my eyelids are rejecting the day for lack of sunshine. And --- there isn't a lot going on in the back yard this morning either. One squirrel is out there and a couple of finches. That is about it. Maybe we all have the snoozes today.

We need to do a little running around today and pick up some stuff. I need to get a couple of forty pound bags of sunflower seed; my can is about empty. We need to go to Target and pick up a few groceries and maybe to the Farm Bureau Co-op and buy a little turnip seed. And then I think maybe we need to find a new (old) tavern and have lunch. I love country tavern food. I read about a place last night and the reviews say it has really good food. We have been by that place several times over the years but never really thought about stopping there. For you locals who might read this, it is St. Phillip's Tavern. If Ms. Kate is up to the challenge, we'll try it. I'm much more bold about trying new places than she is. I'd stop at a truck stop for a meal in heartbeat; but Ms. Kate, --- not so much. I always figure the worst that can happen is we don't like it and don't go back. The best that happen is that it becomes a new favorite place. Life is all about the journey.

If the weather holds this Sunday we are supposed to be having church in the outdoor sanctuary at Zoar. I hope it will be a nice day; I love to worship out there.

That's it for today my friends. Stay in touch with God today and know that God is ever present in your life. Take advantage of the blessings that you are being provided and share them with others. Never forget that you just might be the helping hand that God is sending to someone in trouble. Reach out and share your love. Peace.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday morning already; boy, these weeks seem to fly by sometimes. But it is another beautiful morning out there in the world beyond my sunporch. The sun is shining brightly, it is 74 degrees and I have bunch of buffet guests this morning. The cardinals are early today and I have a lot of finches here again this morning. Some are eating and some are drinking and bathing. A couple of downy woodpeckers have been here on and off too. I think we need to refill the hummingbird feeder this morning. There a couple of them here these days and they hit that little feeder pretty hard --- when they aren't fighting and driving one another off that is.

I am asking for a prayer or two this morning for our granddaughter Lauren. Yesterday she crashed her dirtbike and ended up at the hospital with a mild concusssion. She was treated, evaluated and allowed to go home. She is a professional Moto Cross rider and these things go with the job unfortunately. She wears the best of safety gear but stuff still happens, That girl scares me to death. I had a text conversation with her last night and asked her how it happened. She said she don't remember anything except being loaded in the ambulance. So I ask you to send prayers of gratitude that she wasn't hurt any worse. God is good.

Ms. Kate and I went out and worked for about an hour and a half yesterday in the flowerbeds. Have I told you just how much I dislike morning glory vines?? I have a flowerbed down by the street that the morning glory vines just take over and I have to fight them continuously. The hardest part of fighting them in that the roots of the things are often as long as the vines above ground. So I go to pull them off of the peonies and lilies and end up breaking off the roots because I am standing on the roots even though I may be five feet from where I'm pulling. It is a never ending battle. I think the first seeds for the plants were probably either in some mulch that I put on at one time or another or in some horse poop that I have spread over my flowerbed at one time or another. Where ever they come from --- they drive me nuts. I need to go back out again today and do somee more work out there. I need to take advantage of these kind of days. It is usually super hot and muggy during August and so far God has blessed us with ten August days where the temperature has yet to reach 90 degrees.

Before I head outside though I think I will fix something for breakfast. Maybe a little bacon and biscuits and eggs. I hope your day is pleasant and filled with the warmth of God's love. Peace.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The sparrows and the finches are a flitty, chirping bunch this morning. I probably have a dozen and a half out there either at the bird bath or the feeders of zipping back and forth to one or the other. I'm glad they are there though because they are my only guests at the buffet at the moment. . The cardinals will be along momentarily, it isn't quite time for their morning arrival.

It is a beautiful midweek morning with lots of sunshine and slightly cool temperatures. I love mornings like this. It is 74 degrees with a gentle breeze. It will be perfect to go out and do some yardwork this morning or even afternoon. I did go out yesterday and I finished getting the weeds out of the garden and cleaned that up. It looks so much better. I think though today I'm going to take apart a couple of the "raised beds". I made them with treated four by fours a decade ago and by now most of the wood has rotted on some of them. I need to rearrange some of that today or at least this fall. If I get the ground worked up, it might not be too late to plant somee turnip seeds out there. Ms. Kate and I love raw turnips especially when they are about the size of a baseball. My mother used to cook turnips and I wouldn't give you a dime for a boatload of cooked turnips. But pull a fresh turnip out of the ground and wash it off, peel it, and put a little salt on it --- yummy stuff to me.

Ms. Kate started out in the front flowerbed yesterday deadheading the lilies and clapping some of the trees out of there. I have a large azealia bush out there that is dying and I'm not sure why. I think it might be that the four o'clocks are actually crowding it out or robbing it of nutrients. It has died back to the point that I don't think it is salvageable. So, when the four o'clocks are done blooming, I'll clear them out and assess the situation with the azealia. It could be that the bush has simply reached its potential. I have no idea how long it has been there because it was there when we bought the place sixteen years ago, as were so many of the other azelias that are around here. Some of them have died off too. We had about 30 of them around here when we bought the place. When I look at this place I can see that we have certainly changed their house and this yard and landscape dramatically since we moved in. There are large flowerbeds and garden where there were none before, We taken out some trees and planted others. We've changed every room inside the house too. Neighbor Dan said he thinks the only thing we havn't changed is the brick on this house, and I believe he is right. BUt --- I can tell that we have slowed down a lot with what we can do these days. I'm much more quick to "hire" the hard stuff done these days. Ms. Kate and I neither one can do much kneeling out there in the yard, and my asthma runs me in the house more frequently than I like. We've gone from active to quasi-sedentary..

But --- God continues to bless us every day with tolerable good health and for that (and the medicine makers) we are grateful. I hope your Wednednesday is filled with joy and love. Peace.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

God has done it again; He has provided another beautiful morning to sit and watch my Backyard Buffet guests and admire my flowers, what few there are these days. I filled all of the feeders again yesterday but so far this morning the guest list has been sparse with the exception the hummingbirds and the butterflies. I also had some nocturnal visitors again last night; I'm not sure which ones because they came around after I went to bed. We had six or seven peaches that had gone bad and I took them out and put them on the ground under the Poplar tree because I figured something would come along and make use of them. Well, only half of them are still here this morning. So, I'll say, "You're welcome for the midnight snack" to which ever critter had them. I'm betting raccoon or skunk. It might have been the oppossum but I haven't seen it in quite awhile.

I'm seeing a lot more leaves starting to fall already. With these few cool mornings that we have had, it almost feels like fall. I've been watching the temperatures out in the Yellowstone National Park area because we are headed out there in a few weeks. It is already starting to have temperatures in the upper forties at night. I reckon I better be sure to pack a jacket along for the trip. During the first week of October, we could easily have a snowfall out there. Certainly the upper Teton elevations will be having some snow by then and the Teton Valley and Yellowstone should be awash with fall color. I think it is going to be a wonderful trip. I'm trying to decide which vehicle to take. They both have the same amount of mileage on them although the truck is a 2007 and the Caddy is a 2015. The problem is that they both need new tires too so I need to decide which vehicle I want to spend $1000.00 on first. The truck has four wheel drive if I need it, but the Caddy has XM radio and On-Star navigation if I need that.  Both are a comfortable ride but the Caddy does have more room for carrying stuff since I don't have a cover for the bed of the truck. We'll need to think about it, but not too long.

I'm going to get outside and do some flowerbed work today. It is time to pull the stems out of the lilies and I can also go ahead and cut the iris back, and then rake the dried leaves and stuff from the lilies out of the beds. If I have time, I might mow the yard too but I suspect I'll be ready to come in the house before that.

My feathered friends are starting to come in now for a snack. So far it is mainly cardinals, finches, and woodpeckers. The titmouse duo came through but they have moved on. What a joy it is to sit here and watch them. It is a blessing from God indeed. I hope your day is this peaceful and full of God's love and grace. I also hope you will take the time to acknowledge it with prayer and praise for the creator of all there is. God is so good.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Comfortably cool and cloudy is the watch word for the moment. We are still expecting some more showers although we have had about two and a half inches in the past forty eight hours. I suspect it may dry out by this evening.

How was your weekend? Ms. Kate and I had a good weekend. Friday afternoon we started looking for a day trip to take and decided that we would go to the premium outlets up in Edinburg, IN about 150 miles away. I was wanting to look at the CROC's outlet store for another pair of really casual wear shoes. So, Saturday morning we took off for Edinburg. It was a pleasant drive up through the country. I don't think we have been through that part of the state before. The road takes you through Brown County which in this area is famous for their fall foliage, the Brown County State Park, and covered bridges. We got to the outlets, did some looking around at the Coach Store but Ms. Kate didn't see anything she wanted. Then we went to the CROCs store and we each bought two pair of shoes. We weren't sure which way we wanted to head home. We could go back the way we came or we could head south on I-65 and stop at New Albany and see Julie. But, we called her and found out that she was not home and wouldn't be for the rest of the day. So, we headed back home on th same roads we went up on. It was a good day trip for us.

On Sunday we were lazy people and instead of getting ready and going to church we stayed home and attended "Our Lady of the Armchair" services. I did read my morning devotions and listened to some gospel music and did say my prayers, but that is sure the lazy way out. It is exactly the way people get in the habit of not attending church. But --- we did remember the Sabbath, and we kept it holy; I know that counts for something.

This has been a good morning for the birds to take thier baths. The robins have been in and out of the bird bath a couple of times and earlier I had seven sparrows sitting around the ring of the bird bath. They were taking turns getting in and out of the bird bath. They reminded me of when my granddaughter Amanda would go to the Beach. She would run tippy-toed in to the water and then quickly run tipped -toed back out; all the while screaming with delight. (Gosh she had a high pitched scream.) The sparrows looked just the same way as they darted in and out of the water this morning.

Our only "have to do" today was to take Ms. Kate for her blood work and we have accomplished that. It is an every six week thing for her to make sure all of her medicines are working like they are supposed to. It isn't a "fasting" thing so it isn't a big deal.  It is sometimes hard to remember when she went last though and she doesn't always go when she is supposed to.

Now, it is time to heat up some of that wonderful vegetable soup that Ms. Kate made yesterday and chow down. I've said it a thousand time, Ms. Kate kaes the best soups I've ever eaten whether it is a broth soup or a cream soup; no one does it better. So, excuse me while I go have lunch with my lady.

I pray God will grant you a love filled day and a day of peace for your soul. Shalom.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Sunshine, low humidity, and seventy degrees. Can a fellow ask for anything better. I thought about that and then I added a little George Strait to the mix. (I don't always listen to gospel, just most of the time.) This is his latest album called "Cold Beer Conversations". It's a good album.

We have a couple of days of weather like this in the forecast so Ms. Kate and I need to get out and do something. I should work in the flowerbeds but I was think more in the line of a overnight road trip. Or maybe we'll just get out and do a little geocaching. We haven't done that in a few months and I have an item that I picked up the last time we were caching that I need to move to another location.

One of the things we need to do today is go to my sister in law's house and pick up some zucchini and cucumbers; or was it egg plants?? I forget. She called last night and said she is running a sale on them, LOL. So, while we are doing our running around I guess we'll add Karen's house to the agenda.

The buffet is running smooth so far this morning. Lots of cardinals, robins, finches, wrens, and so far no black critters. I threw out a couple of boxes of stale crackers last night late and I see that most of them are gone this morning. I figured that the blackbird and starlings would be all over them this morning but so far not. I suspect my raccoon and or skunk might have gotten to them last night. Or it is possible that they were eaten by birds before I got up today.

I guess I'm done for today. God has given us such a beautiful day that I'm anxious to get out there in it. There are a couple of birdfeeders that need filling, okara to be cut, and bird baths to be filled and then make use of the day in some other manner. I hope your day is blessed and full of sunny thoughts. The weekend is upon us so take time to enjoy some relaxation and take time to enjoy God's creation. I never cease to be amazed at the world around me and the perfection with which it has been created. And you, my friend, are one of the examples of perfection God created right down to the lines of your fingerprints. Take time to be thankful for thaat today. Peace.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

And a good Thursday morning to you. Boy, these weeks seem to really fly by don't they? It's hard to believe that we are coming up on the end of another week already; and this day is almost half over because I'm late getting started on stuff today. For no particular reason --- I've just been "doing stuff".

I had my nocturnal visitors last night again. They are the "midnight crew" because that is about the time they show up. I was sitting in the sunporch reading and heard a noise on the roof and figured that I would be seeing the raccoon fairly soon. It uses my halo use roof as a cut through by climbing the dogwood trees out front and then running across the roof and then climbing down the pussy willow tree. Sure enough, pretty soon I could see the feeders swinging in the pussy willow tree. I walked over to the door and there he was, about five feet from me at eye level, munching away. I stood and watched him for awhile and then I knocked on the door. It just looked at me and went back to eating. Ms. Kate came out and brought a flashlight and we opened the door and tried to shoo it away. Then we saw that "Stinker" was also in the back yard over under a different feeder eating away.  I turned on the yard light and Stinker took off but  the coon, not impressed at all, finally climbed down the tree and took off. About ten minutes later I saw the feeders further out in the yard swinging and it had moved over to them. That's when I took the BB gun to it and ran it off.

This morning the starlings came in 'en force. I've begun too refer to them as the "Speckeled Gang". They stayed and ate for awhile but then moved on. Now it is just the cardinals and the finches and the woodpeckers.

Ms. Kate and I were bored with television last night so we did a back-to-back Star Wars movie binge. We watched "Rogue One" and the "Star Wars -- The Force Awkens". We had gone to see them when they were released in the theaters but wanted to watch them again. Summer television programming gives us all time to see movies and read books. One can only watch so much HGTV and people either buying homes or remodeling homes. And as funny as the program is, we've about memorized all of the "Big Bang Theory" shows because we have seen them so many times.

We need to go to Walmart today, or so Ms. Kate says.  This afternoon we are looking at the possibility of strong storms so I guess we better get ready and go do whatever shopping we need to do. It is already cloudier than it was this morning.

I hope you are having a really good day. If it hasn't been a good day so far, please stop and take stock in your day and look for all of the things that have gone right so far. It is there that will hopefully begin to see God's blessings emerge. Build on that; and may the rest of your day continue to be fully blessed. Peace.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It was about 2200 hours last night that I realized that I had not writtten a blog for the day. By then I wasn't going to sit and write because I had already turned off my brain for the day.   So today I'll start my day with the blog before I do my other normal routine stuff that doesn't amount to a hill of beans, although, yes, I did make coffee first and have a cup right beside me.

I have a good mixture of guests at the buffet this morning. There are three, maybe  four, cardinals, a handful of sparrows, and house finches and gold finches. Two wrens have been singing to me. A chickadee sits on the birdbath, and of course, the bully gang of starlings is here, but only three of them so far. The hummingbird is darting around the phlox and magic lilies, and the hummingbird feeder. So it is an entertaining morning full of God's creatures and God's blessings. The peace and quiet and tranquil scene is all I need to allow my mind to wander to the enormity and wonder of the world God has created and remind me what a blessing it is to be alive and healthy, (relatively so).

My little nocturnal "special kitty", Mr. Stinker was here again last evening. I was sitting out here around 2300 hours and saw him right outside the door eating the residual seeds and stuff that had been left from the day of birds spilling stuff from the feeders. Yesterday afternoon, I threw a bunch of egg shells out in the flowerbed and I figured that the birds and the skunk would come around and eat them. What doesn't get eaten will be good for the soil, although from the looks of it this morning, a good half of them are gone. This past weekend I threw a half dozen ears of sweet corn out in the yard because it was too far gone to be good eating for us. The next morning those ears were scattered all over the yard and the cobs were mostly stripped. I don't now if it was the skunk or the raccoons. Generally if something is carried away, it is the raccoons that do it. Every once in awhile I'll have to go looking for one of my suet feeders because the raccoons have knocked it outside of the tree and carried it away.

I managed to get all of the grass and weeds cleaned up around my mailbox yesterday. I should go out there and spray some round up on the. Area now and kill any residual roots. It was really looking bad.  I just don't get out there like I should and I have a thousand excuses for why. it, the bottom line is that I have gotten lazy and fat and I need to change my ways. Oh, I do a pretty good job of staying after it but I find it a lot easier to say "tomorrow" these days. I have a hard time breathing when I get busy out there in the heat and humidity and I give in to that far too easily.

It is the 2nd of August already. Kids will be going back to school soon and summer vacations will be over. However, I think I told you we are planning a vacation out to the Black Hills and the Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons at the end of September. I'm very excited about that. I sent off for some South Dakota vacation guides and stuff and have been getting stuff from them via email. I'm very excited that I will finally get to see the annual Buffalo round up; although I suspect it is going to be a zoo. They say as many as 15,000 people show up for that three day weekend and event. But I'll still get my "bucket list" item checked off.

OK, that is it for today. Time to just sit and enjoy my morning for awhile. The butterflies are here flitting from flower to flower. The wren continues to serenade me and the starlings are still having a knockdown rumble out there. Life goes on and God continues to shower me with blessings. Peace.