Sunday, April 30, 2017

And We Think We Have Problems!

Coming back from Chinamart today, I’d noticed that the old con-man panhandler with the “homeless veteran” sign, the grungy clothes, the weeks’ beard, the backpack and the fancy car with out-of-state plates, parked out-of-sight around the corner, had left his post. When I saw a panhandler ¾ of a mile down the road, I assumed he’d changed locations until we drew closer.

When we stopped for the light, I gave the panhandler a good looking over as my wife said “Oh my.” He was probably in his twenties, tall, very thin, cleanly washed and dressed and cleanly shaven. He was wearing a T-shirt and his arms were free of needle tracks, and his eyes looked clear, though a bit bashful and embarrassed. His sign said, “not homeless, just need some extra money.” Hm, honesty, that’s unusual.

The sad thing was that he appeared to have no legs. In fact, his torso seemed to end at his navel, though I don’t know if that could be. I saw no bulges indicating a secretion bag on his side, whatever they call them. Partly for that reason, I gave him a closer look to see if there was any way he could have hidden his legs in the thicker than average pad on the wheel-chair seat. There was no way.

My wife gave him $10 that we really couldn’t afford, but we really couldn’t afford NOT to give to him, either. He thanked her very sincerely, I felt, still looking embarrassed. We had to move on. And we think we have problems. © 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Stroll On The Lawn (w/pics)

No panoramas here today—just photos of three things in my yard. The first is the “garden” I’ve mentioned. You’ll notice it’s confined to three old tire casings and contains three dock plants, which seem quite healthy, I might add. A couple poke roots have sprouted in the center casing; it remains to be seen if any more will follow. I have at least three more old casings that I hope to put to use before the summer’s end for something, maybe dandelions and chicory.

Click images to enlarge.

The second photo is of some bluets, though they probably would have shown themselves better from a side shot. They’re bluer than they appear, but still a LIGHT blue. I usually just mow them off, but I left a couple clumps of them this time, since my wife enjoys them. She remembers picking them as a child.

The third photo is of some Easter flowers (daffodils) that come up every year, but never bloom. Since the early ones bloomed a month ago, I suspect these will be white ones like the ones in the upper left of the photo if they ever bloom. I’ll probably dose them with night water if they bloom this year and move them next year.

It stormed here all last night and the big creek in the main valley to town is running ¾ bank. It’s miserable hot here today, and humid. The missus wants to go for a ride, but the AC in the truck won’t be fixed until at least Tuesday, so we may wait a while. Frankly, I wouldn’t go until a cooler day, but some folks have to learn the hard way. I hope everything is okay where you are. © 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sunset, Sunrise, Mowing, A Bee Swarm And Senility (w/pic of #4)

Click image to enlarge.

I’ve always enjoyed sunsets, even as a kid, so it felt like old times as The Mighty Dachshund and I put the sun to bed last night. Actually, I was watching the sun and our surroundings from the porch swing while she mostly watched the country road in the opposite direction. We continued to sit there as darkness fell. In the distant east (the way the pooch was looking) a tom let out one last gobble about 30 minutes after sunset. A few minutes later, (also to the east) a whippoorwill let out its first call of the evening just after a tom gobbled on the roost. As the darkness slowly grew, the dusk to dawn light out by the road came on, overpowering any remaining light coming down from the sky. It was the wife’s third request before the pooch finally consented to go inside.

I stayed up until midnight watching FOX last night before taking out the dog, so I didn’t have to take her out again until nearly dawn. Once again, we parked on the porch, this time to watch the day aborning. (I like sunrises, but I’d much prefer them later in the day.) A mourning dove began its sad-sounding song a few minutes into our vigil. The east slowly brightened and other birds soon awoke to add more cheerful airs to the scene. When the first sunbeam hit the wall just above our heads, I decided that I was going back to bed, so we went back inside.

The lawn has needed mowing for a couple weeks but, unknown to my wife, I was giving the wild greens a little more time to grow. I made my picking yesterday, though—mostly chicory, but with some dandelion and a tiny bit of narrow-leaf plantain. So, around 11 today, I started mowing. I knew my gas was limited, so I mowed next to the house first, then the main part of the lawn between the house and the white pines by the road, then another small level section on the opposite side of the driveway. That left the 200 foot long strip between the pines and the road, and a fair-size sloping area next to my “garden.” I’d planned on going to town then and getting more gas, so I could finish up, but the missus didn’t want to, so I guess I’ll finish Friday, since it’s supposed to rain Thursday.

Not long before I finished up, I drove through what I knew was a bee swarm that seemed in the process of settling into a small (35 feet) maple on the south edge of the main lawn. Swarms are usually pretty tame, as they don’t have a home to protect yet, but these seemed a bit defensive and followed me several yards and tried to land on me. Maybe they were just confused, but I made the next two passes at a much higher rate of speed. By that time, they had settled onto a limb about 20 feet from the ground. It was a good-size swarm—16-18 inches long and 6-8 inches in width. I called the county extension agent and told the secretary there was a swarm here if anyone wanted to work that hard for them, but I never heard from anyone. I hate to see them go unused, as they’ll probably die of mites if they go untreated. Incidentally, there’s an old adage: “A swarm in May is worth a load of hay; a swarm in June is worth a silver spoon, but a swarm in July isn’t worth a fly.”

Late this evening, we went to town so I could get some mower gas and some for the truck as well. Unfortunately, I had it all in the truck before I remembered the gas can. SO, tomorrow, I’ll have to go back to town with the check book and get the mower gas. I hate being senile! © 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

My Day’s Work – Complete With Photo (Brace Yourself)

Click image to enlarge.

See the outhouse door handle/outbuilding door handle/toolbox handle mounted next to the door? That’s it—my day’s work! Well, okay, about five minute’s worth of work, maybe 10 if you count getting my tools and consulting the missus on the proper height for her usage in making the step up into the house more safely. It’s only the first in what I believe will be a long list of things to make our dotage more favorable to its healthy extension.

I DID go to the doctor this morning for my “six-month check-in so he can collect more money from the state” appointment. I managed to snag an application form for a new handicap tag for my rear-view mirror, and one for my wife, while I was there. Mine runs out in June and she’s never had one. Despite all of her efforts to stay healthy and active, she sometimes has a harder time getting around that I do these days. Of course she’s got a few years on me, so that shouldn’t be a surprise.

I also took her and the pooch on an early evening truck ride in the rain. We splurged and used a coupon at Arby’s for three roast beef sandwiches for $5, one for each of us. Having bought drinks at Burger King and eaten our sandwiches, my wife hand fed the Mighty Dachshund her sandwich while I was visiting the "little room' there.

The little pooch is now sleeping soundly in front of the TV now, since her belly is full. I dutifully watched MASH with the missus for an hour, before typing this up. It’s now time for my nightly call to Mom and then I’ll either see if the missus has found something interesting on the idiot box, do some research online or go upstairs and check for something on TV myself. All in all, it’s been another exciting day on Tick Ridge! © 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday, Sunday

The excitement was underwhelming today; we went to the Chinamart on the FAR side of town to pick up what we missed at OURS yesterday. Actually, I DID go next door and wander around at Lowe’s a few minutes after my wife went in Chinamart. There, I got a piece of plastic gutter and a large metal handle like you put on outbuilding doors or tool chests. They wanted $24 for a simple steel strap painted black to use on a house some way, but only $5 for the out-fashioned formed metal handle. SOMEONE should be ashamed of themselves for asking $24 for 14’ of flat steel bar with four little bends in it!

When I got home, I put the dog out and let her drain and dump and then expelled her anal glands. The latter is certainly no fun. I’m sure it was even “funner” in the days before examination gloves, or maybe owners just let their pets suffer, unaware of what the problem was. We then sat on the porch a few minutes until the missus got lonely and wanted us to come in. The pooch was willing, but I chose to stay outside a little longer.

I then glued the end caps on the piece of gutter I’d picked up so I could use it as a long, narrow “dip tank” for treating lath and bean-poles in bleach water or a borax solution. The sealant said that it took 7-14 DAYS to fully set! It sort of makes me wonder if I should put some stainless screws in the end caps to help hold them on. I decided to wait until another time to install the metal handle next to the front door, where we have to take a step up into the house.

Instead of doing anything productive, I sat in the swing again for a while. I can still smell the creosote from my painting on the sawmill frame the other day. It gives me a strange pleasure to see the little frame down in the back yard, only about 50 feet from the back corner of the house. I’ve been forced to pay prices that I consider highway robbery to buy even the littlest board since I quit sawing 20+ years ago. I won’t be putting out any 1000-2000 feet a day with a chainsaw, like I did with my old circle mill, but at least I can cut a few boards for my own use when I want to do so.

There was one of the larger races of woodpeckers drumming on a snag down in the hollow, as I sat in the swing. They’ve been doing that a lot lately. I don’t know if it’s to proclaim territory or attract a mate, but it definitely gets your attention. It has to be one cause or the other, though, for there wouldn’t be any bugs in a snag hard enough to resonate like that. The bugs are in the soft, rotten snags. Years ago, a red-headed woodpecker took to drumming on the downspouts on the farm house where I was raised, so you KNOW he wasn’t drilling for bugs! It’s nice to hear them in the DISTANCE, though. © 2017

Friday, April 21, 2017

Not Much Going On

All I got done yesterday, other than entertain the wife and dog, was to creosote part of my sawmill frame. I did get a little porch sitting done lately with the pooch, both by day and by night. I’ve been hearing whippoorwills at night, but no crazy “night-owl” mockingbird – until last night. I don’t know what it is about mockingbirds, but sometimes, they sing day and night.

I picked up some of my meds today at Kroger’s. They used to be completely free; now four are $1 each, one is $1.50 and one is $3. I certainly can’t complain, some folks have to pay thousands of dollars a month. I also went next door to the hardware store to pick up three items. They had one, were out of another, and can’t even get the third one in anymore! When I got back home, I recovered the sawmill frame with a tarp, plus covered the lawn mower. I would have sat on the porch with the pooch for a while, but the neighbor was moving a travel trailer around and I didn’t want him to think I was snooping.

Tomorrow is our main Chinamart day, plus, I have to pick up groceries for Mom. Some weeks, she makes it out herself, this week, she didn’t. Even though I know that Christians aren’t bound by Jewish law, I feel it’s still disrespectful of the Sabbath to be doing business on the day. However, I don’t wish to spend my life arguing, so I go. I hope everyone out there has a nice Sabbath. © 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Doolittle and Dunn

I didn’t get anything done today, except cash my check, divvy it out into envelopes for the budget, buy a couple small things I needed to mount a hand-hold on the porch post for my fall-prone missus and take a snooze while she wandered around Chinamart. I noticed a small clump of Philadelphia Fleabane blooming in the hard ground at the edge of the driveway when I got home. Maybe I should move it to better soil.

The other day, I told my wife to save the tops of the beets she bought and I’d eat them for greens (I don’t care for beets themselves). Today, she cooked them for me (stems and all) and I ate them with salted butter. They were mild and not the least bit bitter like wild greens, but had a different flavor than I was used to tasting in greens. I would eat them again, though I have to wonder about chemicals applied by the farmer. Wild greens still have the advantage THERE!

Today’s title is in honor of a distant neighbor who used to be a self-employed building contractor who sometimes joked about that being the name of his little company. © 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Age Of Adjustments

That’s the age my wife and I are now, since we have to make adjustments because we can’t do things the way we used to. I use a cane, not because I constantly need it, but because I never know when I will. I may encounter steps to climb, or uneven ground, or my ankle, heel or hip may start giving way (which they do on occasion). My wife NEEDS to use a cane, but is both too stubborn and too proud. Her day may be coming, though.

We both are uneasy on the stairs anymore. Sometimes, we go up them on all fours, like an old bear or a little kid. We currently have no stair railing; I can see that needs to change. Even with a cane, I often lean against the porch post when stepping up, so I can swing my left leg to the side to get it up, rather than depending solely on strength to step up. Both my wife and I have fallen a time or two while stepping up on the porch by having trouble raising our legs high enough, while carrying bags and such.

She fell again today, luckily, not as hard as the last time. I need to mount an old handle from a concrete finisher’s float that I found onto the porch post, so we’ll have something to grab hold of as we step up. Sometime in the next couple weeks, I may try to put a short ramp and a handrail there. Both she and the pooch would benefit. There’s a step from the porch into the house, too, but no room for a ramp. My wife has fallen a couple times there, also. I have another old float if I can find it, but I could also use a big metal handle like you can buy from the hardware store to put on outbuilding doors.

It’s no fun getting old and less mobile. My wife’s problem is probably just age, as she’s several years my senior. My troubles began with bursitis in both hips and worsened after my heart episode about 1-1/2 years ago. For whatever the reasons, we ARE having to learn to adjust, BUT, we can do that; it sure beats giving up.

P.S. – If you know my wife, don’t mention her falling, as she would give me the devil for telling you. That would p_ss me off and I’d then have to beat you about the head and shoulders with my cane. Old people get CRANKY too, you know! © 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Ugly, The Frustrating And The Good

The wife and I ate at home yesterday. My sister’s childishness ruined us getting together with my mom a few years ago, and my wife’s family has all turned into flaming liberals that are rude and thoughtless, even when politics isn’t involved. We DID spend about an hour, later in the day, with her son and daughter-in-law. It was nice to see them, but they’re Trump haters, so when politics comes up, things get aggravating. I do believe that Trump could find the cure for cancer, bring peace in our time and give his billions to charity and they’d still find fault with his actions. We like to think that folks get wiser as they age, but here they are, Grandparents, with no more political sense than their teenager.

On an unrelated note, I recently convinced my stepson to download a religious app for our youngest granddaughter’s iPad, or whatever it is. Unfortunately, she can’t USE the device until school is out, due to problems at school. That sounds a bit like overkill to me for a 10-year-old, but maybe not, since I don’t know the situation. She was at her mom’s yesterday, so we didn’t get to see her. I regret her not being able to use that particular app, since she has absolutely no other link to the Lord. My stepson seemed almost deliberately to let his now 21-year-old daughter skip along the merry road to hell, while he professed to be a Christian. I hope he doesn’t do the same with this one. On the way home, my wife remarked that her holidays are now so lonely, that she just seems to die a little more at each holiday. I understand what she means.

Today we mailed our taxes, filled out a form at the DHHR and got the studded tires removed from my pickup. When we got home, I took a nap, watched the 700 Club and then went outside and pulled the last treetop from the backyard (in various sized pieces) to my front lawn “log-yard.” The lawn tractor did the work, yet I was still tired afterward. Maybe I can run the chainsaw a while tomorrow and get the pieces all cut to length. Before dark, I took the missus and the pooch on a little drive to help break the boredom. We picked up a roast beef sandwich for our spoiled pooch and a small coke for the two of us.

Our little pink dogwood in the front yard is beautiful this year. Maybe I’ll try to get a picture of it tomorrow. © 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

It’s Your Choice

Father God gives us our spirit, yet when we are born, we’re automatically on the road to hell because of the sins of Adam, Eve, and everyone down to us. For a precious few years, I don’t believe God holds our sins against us, but as soon as we truly understand the why of right and wrong, we’re on our own. The only way then to avoid an eternity in hell is to turn around and head back to the Father. And the ONLY way to do that is to accept God’s son, Jesus, as our savior. His death on the cross paid the price for our sins in full. However, the gift is incomplete if we refuse to accept it. God doesn’t send ANYONE to hell, other than Satan and his minions. But we are CHOOSING to go there if we refuse His free gift of salvation.

On this day, nearly 2000 years ago, Jesus rose from the dead to prove who He was, to show that He had power over death and to show us that we would live again, too, if we would only accept the gift He offers us. The choice is yours. Will you choose to stay on the path to hell and spend eternity with Satan? Or, will you choose to accept Jesus as your savior and spend eternity with Him, the Christian friends and family who’ve gone on before you, and with the hosts of heaven? It’s such a simple choice; please don’t complicate it.

Lonely Tradition

My wife grew up in a family of seven kids and on a farm with a big flock of chickens. Coloring eggs, both banty and the larger sizes were a big part of Easter for her and her siblings. Being an artsy-craftsy type to begin with, she continued the tradition when she had her son, and with me when he was no longer interested.

When the first granddaughter came along, she envisioned herself coloring eggs with another generation. Sadly, despite the girl living only a few minutes away, that never happened. She had hopes once again, when the second granddaughter came along, but had the same experience. I’ve continued to color eggs with her most years, though I could sense the melancholy from old memories and denied opportunities.

Last night, I went in the kitchen and found six dye cups in the sink, and a dozen colored eggs in the fridge. Old ways die hard, and knowing that standing in one place makes my back hurt, I guess she decided not to mention it to me. I’m sort of glad that she won’t let disappointment stop her, but I hated that she had to color the eggs alone. © 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Little Bit More Work Done

I raked up the bark and leaves in my little “log-yard” the other day, and today I managed to load them on the wheelbarrow and dump them over a bank about 40 yards away. I also raked around the big oak in the front yard and got another load, two more loads, for a total of four. I also got a tarp placed over the partial stack of wood there. As slow as I move, and as often as I must take a breather, the little job took me about 1-1/2 hours. It wasn’t hard work, but it still left me tired. Or maybe the latter was from not taking my “beauty nap” this afternoon. I was hoping to get the last of the chunks and poles drug up from the back yard, but I guess that will wait until next week now, since tomorrow is the Sabbath and Sunday it’s supposed to rain all day. © 2017

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Dying Breed

I’d just driven nearly onto the sidewalk to help my wife avoid the rain at the Big Lots the other day. Parking in the nearest handicapped space, I put the tag on my mirror. Then, I noticed an elderly gentleman pull his shopping cart through the door of a nearby store and hold the door for someone behind him. Slowly, an elderly lady with a badly stooped back shuffled through the door with her walker. The couple then took a few steps down the walk, where the man seemed to decide was a safe place for the woman to stay.

I was just reaching for the keys, to start my truck and take my umbrella to the man, when he began slowly walking, through the pouring rain, toward his car with his shopping buggy. He proceeded to put the groceries and such in the trunk and then began his walk back to his wife. Under the circumstances, I would have left the buggy and drove over to the walk beside my wife. HE, however, was a man of honor and took his buggy back and even put it in the row of nested buggies to one side of the store entrance. He then took out his cane and began helping his wife toward the car through the rain.

It was a slow walk even for him, but he was patient. Once at the car, he opened the door, took her walker out of the way and helped her get seated. Then, he took the walker to the rear of the car, folded it, opened the trunk again and stashed it inside. Then, cane in hand, he hobbled around to his side and climbed in, a thoroughly soaked but supremely honorable man. In a moment, he drove slowly and carefully away.

The rain had almost stopped five minutes later, when my wife unexpectedly climbed into the truck. She doesn’t move as fast as she once did either, nor do I. I don’t know why she didn’t call me to come get her, because I was so close already, I guess. She told me that her balance was off and she nearly fell twice in the store. I asked her if she was using a buggy, but she didn’t remember. I fear we may not be far from the condition of the elderly couple that I had been watching. My wife sometimes uses a walker at home, but not even a cane in public. I already use a cane, though more as a “just in case” thing than a need. I just hope I can be as attentive as that gentleman when the time comes, but then it could be ME that gets frail first. © 2017

A Little Bit More

Work done, that is. I split a big gnarly round of wood into usable sized pieces and stacked it today. Afterwards, I raked all the bark and leaves out of my miniature front yard "log-yard," so I could walk around more safely when I bring the last old oak treetop up to buck and split.

I noticed a couple yarrow sprouts by the trunk of the big white oak that serves as the "roof" of my work area on sunny days in summer. I think I'll leave them and even give them a shot of "night water" to see if they'll grow better. Since yarrow is a perennial, I could always add a little to my greens or dry it for medicinal tea. Now if I could just locate some bone-set. It grew on the farm, but I have yet to see any up here.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Little Today, Maybe A Little Tomorrow

That’s the way my work is around here. Perhaps a couple weeks ago, I dug a narrow-leaf dock that I’d planned to set in a second tire beside the first one I’d set out earlier. I put it in a Chinamart bag to keep the root-ball from drying out, but left the top open so it could get whatever rain came before I got it set out. Scheduling and weather interfered and I just got it set out today. Unfortunately, one edge of the tarp covering a nearby stack of wood got blown over it and the rather lush plant was all wilted and the root-ball very dry.

I cut the top off before I set it out, so the dry ball and damaged roots wouldn’t be supporting more top than it was able. I’m sure it will resprout. I then arranged the five poke roots I dug the other day in a circle around it, covered then with dirt and watered everything with a gallon of “night water.” I then planted the curly dock I dug the other day in a third tire and watered it with the same product.

I was disappointed that the poke roots in the first tire haven’t sprouted by now. Maybe the mold on them destroyed the buds. The deer have already pruned the first dock plant, but that’s okay. It will bring the top and roots into better balance for now. I may have to replant the poke in the first tire, but I’ll wait until fall if I do. I seem to see a good crop of chicory coming on near my front porch that should be good for planting around the third dock plant. Eventually, I’ll plant a dandelion plant between each poke plant. I’m noticing a lot of variation in the width of the dandelion leaves, so I’ll try to pick the plants that have the widest leaves, so they’d produce more volume of greens.

Friday or sometime, I cut the a couple poles to firewood length that were lying by the firewood stack, and cut the last treetop in the backyard into draggable lengths for the lawn tractor. Today, I stacked the pieces by the wood stack to make more room for the pieces I need to drag from the backyard. Maybe tomorrow (and maybe not). © 2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

An Unproductive But Decent Day

I didn’t get to sleep until after 3AM today, so it was 6:30 before I woke up and took the dog out. It was just light enough to see shapes in the darkness and a narrow band of dark gold along the eastern horizon. After the pooch drained, we took our places on the porch for a few minutes and listened to a cacophony of birdsong from the surrounding woods. The noise was so obvious that you could almost have thought you were in a jungle, or Australia if a kookaburra had sounded off. The sounds were so blended that it was hard to sort out any single bird. The feathered singers weren’t on the clock yet; they were just awakening from their slumbers and greeting the new day.

Gradually, the narrow line of gold in the east grew wider and lighter, and shapes began to take a more solid appearance. Finally, I could barely make out the grey of the barn across the road. Crows, previously silent, began to caw and took flight. Other birds grew quieter and began to move about. One bird alit by a mud-puddle in the driveway, but it was only by recognizing its silhouette that I knew it to be a robin. Just then, from a distance I’d estimate to be 200 yards behind the neighbor’s house across the road, I heard my first gobble of the year. I guess it’s that time. As much as I hated to end the Mighty Dachshund’s pleasure, I needed more sleep, so I called 15 minutes enough and took her in and returned to bed.

The missus wanted to go to the Chinamart on the far side of town today and pick up a couple things we missed yesterday. While she wandered there, I looked around a bit in the Lowes next door. I bought a couple 8x32x1/2 thumbscrews to make a ghost-ring sight for my single shot 30/30. The regular rear sight is halfway up the barrel, which doesn’t give you much of a sight radius. The thumbscrew will replace the rear filler screw where a scope mount would fit. With the proper sized hole and cut to the right length, the screw will make a perfectly functional sight. I did the same for my muzzleloader a few years ago.

I dug another dock plant from the side of a drainage ditch while waiting for my wife today. This one is a curly dock, the first two were narrow leaf dock. The first two will have poke plants around them in their tire-casing beds. I don’t know yet what I’ll plant with the curly dock—chicory perhaps. As all the plants get established, I’ll probably stick dandelions between them.

I was strangely tired when we returned to the house, so rather than work outside as I’d planned, I took a nap. It was exactly 12 hours after the first porch-sit when I sat down again with the pooch, this time for half an hour. It was a pleasant end to a beautiful sunny day, but I went inside long before sunset, so I could go online and then call my mother before it got too late.

I need to get my last two docks planted and five poke roots, so maybe I can work it in tomorrow. My wife seems to have our day planned though, so I can only hope that I have the time and the energy. Oh well, “hope springs eternal,” they say. © 2017

Sabbath Thoughts

It was a beautiful Sabbath here today. The moon wasn’t full during the dark hours of the day, but it was still extremely bright. You could easily see to walk around outside without a flashlight. Several hours later, the sun made a very welcome appearance after several days of clouds and rain.

I’m one of those odd ducks that believes that God created and blessed the Sabbath and God never changed it. An early pope (Sylvester) changed it. That’s why nearly all of Christendom today celebrates “The Lord’s Day” (The term IS biblical.) like good little Catholics and ignores God’s teachings entirely. Since Christ has come, we no longer have to pay with our lives for not keeping the Sabbath, but I’m sure that we lose many blessings for choosing to make the Fourth Commandment the only one we’re allowed to break without consequence. In fact, we’re ENCOURAGED to disobey it! Go Figure!

That being said, I can’t even keep the Sabbath properly myself, unless I want to spend time fussing with the missus and a few other folks on occasion. That’s why I agree to eat out on the Sabbath, on occasion, and go to Chinamart so the missus can do her main weekly shopping. Occasionally, I do some little dab of work that I can’t seem to get done at any other time and hope the Lord will find it slightly akin to my ox being in the ditch. This day, digging up five poke roots was the task. They were growing in a little patch a short distance down the railroad tracks from Chinamart, and the only time we’re normally there is on Saturday, so what can I say? I won’t set then out until “The Lord’s Day,” however, since I’m sure He won’t mind that, since the first day of the week is SUPPOSED to be a work day.

One more thing, I think it’s amazing when people that should know better try transferring Sabbath rules to Sunday. We used to have a preacher who wouldn’t even consider eating out on Sunday, since that caused people to have to work on “the Sabbath” (to him) and cause them to miss church. Strangely, he thought it was just fine when my wife (or one of the other church women) skipped Sunday morning service to fix him a fine Sunday dinner.

For anyone still reading, TV was worthless tonight, so we put on one of our favorite Gaither tapes, which was filmed in David’s Citadel in Jerusalem. One song on the tape that I like is “Awesome God,” written (I think) by Michael Smith. The refrain starts out “Our God is an awesome God.” Just a thought, that seems to put US first in a way. It seems to me that it would make a positive change to the song to insert God’s name, YAHWEH, in place of the words “our God.” Just a thought. © 2017

Incidentally, those who forget the wording of the Fourth Commandment will find it in Exodus 20:


Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Other prohibitions may be found elsewhere in the Bible, but I don’t remember them all. In case you think God wasn’t serious though, remember the penalty, “Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.”


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day By Day

April 2: As my internet has gotten less and less usable, the cable company decided that I needed a new modem. The guru agreed that was probably true. Not wanting to pay rent to the cable company for one, I bought one at Chinamart. When I hooked it up, though, the “status” light wouldn’t quit blinking and it insisted that I had no internet connection, which I knew to be a lie, unless the disconnect was within the new modem itself. Following the instructions that came with the modem, I tried to uninstall Google Chrome and reinstall it, only to learn there WAS no way to reinstall it. Worse, any OTHER search engines have been deleted from my computer, either through my own bungling, or through the “cleaning” that has been done on it a time or two. I guess the missing search engines could also have been caused by my computer crashing a year or so ago. Regardless, I now have literally no way to get on the internet.

April 3: I’d left a message on the guru’s phone on the 2nd, but he called when I was talking to my mother and I didn’t answer. In order to resist the “bigger hammer” method of “fixing” my computer, I simply stayed away from it. I did take my laptop when we went to town and got on Sear’s Wi-Fi long enough to inform my Facebook and Blogger friends of my situation. Either my laptop is losing its capabilities or their Wi-Fi leaves a WHOLE lot to be desired. This amount of aggravation makes me seriously consider giving up the internet altogether. I guess it WOULD save me $20 a month, but I would miss the convenience of research and my online friends.

A guy bought most of my stack of firewood today. He was going to pay full price for what he could haul in his short-bed pickup, but I knocked $5 off for him. I told him the aspen would pop and throw off sparks in his campfire, but it was “prettier” wood that the oak, which has punky sapwood, so he sorted out and took all the aspen. Go figure!

April 4: I had to restack what was left of the firewood, since the customer had practically tore up the stack sorting on the 3rd. I then split and stacked a few pieces of wood that had been lying near the stack. Afterward, I recovered the stack with a tarp and weighted it down with short poles and chunks of wood, so the heavy breeze today wouldn’t blow off the tarp.
I really should call the guru again and start figuring out whether to try getting my desktop back online or just use it really big paper weight.

April 5: Well, the cable company said that my modem wasn’t compatible, so I had to take it back and get another one. Then, I came home and installed it and called the cable company and gave them the numbers. They told me to wait until just past closing time and call them if I still didn’t have internet. Here it is, a beautiful day to work outside, and I have to fool with this. I did pour some naphtha into one of my gallon cans and put a sawchain in to soak and degrease while I was on the porch with the pooch. As it turned out, there wasn’t anything that the cable company could do from their end to restore my internet, so I emptied a USB drive, attached one of my dad’s dog-tags to it to help identify it and took it to the guru. He’ll probably be able to download a Google installer on it so I can put it on my computer on the 7th.

UPDATE: Something made me look in my Avast file this evening and, lo and behold, there was a Chrome installer icon. It worked, so that’s why I’m back online a day earlier than I expected. © 2017

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Memories of Oakland, The Old Stephenson Home (with pic and links)

Click image to enlarge.

Personally, I’ve never been in the place, but my wife has. Her maternal aunt used to clean the place when the last older member of the family lived there. He was an old bachelor, even though he loved a woman in his youth. She was a Protestant, though, and he was from a Catholic family, and the two just didn’t mix back then. He never found another woman that he cared for in that way. He used to sit and tell my wife’s aunt all about “the old days” on the place. I wish she would have written those stories down. He had lived there by himself for many years when two or more men broke in, beat him up, tied him to a chair and proceeded to steal anything they could carry off.

The old man was gone by the time my wife agreed to help her aging aunt with the job on occasion. I didn’t know her then, but she told me a few things after we met and married. The first thing that she mentioned was the mural on the wall of the front hall which showed a 360 degree view of the plantation in the old days. Naturally, it showed the slaves working in the fields. I thought she told me that there was a stained glass window on the landing of the grand staircase, but she doesn’t remember now. Maybe that was the house next door.

I seem to remember hearing that the bricks for the home were fired on the property, but I can’t remember now for sure. I do know that the old man told my wife’s aunt that all the wood for the house came from the property, and that the furniture was built from wood cut there also. My wife said the huge four-poster beds were beautiful, as was ALL the furniture. Instead of having separate bedrooms for each child, as is common today, there was a large room toward the rear of the house where a row of beds were arranged dormitory style. There may have been two such rooms, but I’m not sure. Those beds, too, were made from wood from the plantation.

My wife is a Christian, and technically doesn’t believe in ghosts, but she said that when she went upstairs to the belvedere, she got a creepy feeling and was glad to go back downstairs when her work was done.

I assume the old place got too expensive for the heirs to maintain, for they gave it to the local public college a couple years ago. I sincerely hope they preserve the old mural and don’t paint over it because it’s not politically correct, in this overly sensitive and unappreciative era. I think the old home should have been given to the state and preserved as a historical site that the public could have toured, but you know how that goes, no-one ever asks the opinion of the people who pay the taxes. © 2017