Thursday, March 31, 2011

This, Too, Shall Pass


Yeah, pretty much like that.

Yet it is only the end of March. I have seen serious snowfall around here on April 17. Admittedly, that was many years ago, but with Indiana weather, anything is possible.


I love Indiana. Really, I do. The weather perhaps not so much; but then, it is doubtless the climate that gives us the beauty that is Hoosierland, and I guess the weather is a function of the climate. Or the climate is the cumulative total of the weather. Or something like one of those.

Truly, I complain much less about the weather as I age. Two reasons for this, I think. The first is that I am so grateful to the good Lord for granting me another day in which to live that I think it would be ungracious of me to whine about it. The second is that we have been blessed with the health and wherewithal to enable us to escape the winters by absquatulating to the South; and winter weather is the part I dislike most!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

American Poet

YET DO I MARVEL

I doubt not God is good, well-meaning, kind,

And did He stoop to quibble could tell why

The little buried mole continues blind,

Why flesh that mirrors Him must someday die,

Make plain the reason tortured Tantalus

Is baited by the fickle fruit, declare

If merely brute caprice dooms Sisyphus

To struggle up a never-ending stair.

Inscrutable His ways are, and immune

To catechism by a mind too strewn

With petty cares to slightly understand

What awful brain compels His awful hand.

Yet do I marvel at this curious thing:

To make a poet black, and bid him sing!



The above poem was written in1925 when Cullen was 22 years of age. He was one of America's most recognized and honored poets of his time; and though his writings fell out of publication following his death, there has been a renewed interest in his work in recent years, especially in the realm of academia. I first became acquainted with this poet's work in the 1950s about a decade after his death.


I have read several analyses of this poem by different critics. It is evident to me that criticism consists of the application of one's own biases and belief-system to the work being analyzed, coating it with the lacquer of self that is the critic. The intent of the author is thus obfuscated to the point that it is difficult for one to determine what that meaning was at penning. It is the case that the poem can speak to you. Do not let the prejudices of others determine for you what is being said.


Countee Cullen, March 30, 1903 –January 9, 1946 RIP

References:


Modern American Poetry, see esp. Fetrow


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On The Cumberland Road


Construction of the Great National Pike was authorized on March 29,1806, thus to become the first federal highway. Actual construction began in 1811. This route from Cumberland, Maryland through Wheeling and Indianapolis ended at Vandalia, Illinois and was variously known as the Cumberland Road and the National Road.
The original intent to extend the road through St. Louis and on to Jefferson City, Missouri was stymied by lack of funds and construction ended in 1838. It was the first highway in the United States to use macadam surface. US 40 basically follows the alignment of the National Road; and much traffic once borne by US 40 now uses I-70.
Jim at Down the Road is a true aficiando of roads and the places they will take you. For interesting tours and studies of road alignments, one needs to follow Jim on his journeys.


Map: Wikipedia

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pop Culture

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, born March 28, 1986, is better known by her stage name Lady Gaga . I have heard of her. I suppose everyone has. But it is gratifying to me to be able to say truthfully that I have never heard her. I hope to keep it that way.

Lest you conclude that I am just an old stick-in-the-mud, let me clarify for you and save you the exercise of jumping to conclusions. Indeed I am.


I am not picking on the "artist" in question. I feel exactly the same way about a huge number of people who are currently enjoying their fame.


("All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players...Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion" -Shakespeare)

Of course, "second childishness" is reserved only to those who grew out of the first one.


And in the interest of full disclosure, I will say that it is quite likely that I enjoy and appreciate a number of performers whom others, perhaps even you, would regard just as I regard these persons I choose to ignore.


Variety. Isn't it wonderful? There may even be something for everyone.


Happy 25th Birthday anyway, young lady.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Psalm 103

A Psalm of David, verses 1 through 5.

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's
. kjv

Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
niv2011

Alaba, *alma mía, al Señor;
alabe todo mi ser su santo *nombre.
Alaba, alma mía, al Señor,
y no olvides ninguno de sus beneficios.
Él perdona todos tus pecados
y sana todas tus dolencias;
él rescata tu vida del *sepulcro
y te cubre de amor y compasión;
él colma de bienes tu vida[a]
y te rejuvenece como a las águilas.
nvi

Saturday, March 26, 2011

High School, Phase One

Butler 74 Florida 71 !!

About six months ago, I posted an account of my junior high school years, bringing us to my graduation from eighth grade. I revealed then that this was the beginning of a five-year stint in parochial schools.

In the fall of 1949 I enrolled as a freshman at Colorado Springs Bible School. The good news was Admin/Classroom Building

that I lived at home and did not have to board on campus, though many youngsters did just that. The bad news was that it was still school.

Up until the year before my matriculation there, my father had been president of the school. The school encompassed high school grades nine through twelve and a four-year college level program encompassing Christian ministry and/or theological studies. I was acquainted with the school.

You may believe the assertion that I received no special consideration because of my father's previous connection to the institution. You might believe, along with me, that in fact I came under heightened and biased scrutiny because of the connection. But if you do, you are in danger of falling into the same error to which I was subject. Truth, I was just another student subject to the same rules and standards as all the rest of them. I have verified this with empirical evidence shared by my contemporaries over the years, finding that I wasn't so special in any sense of the word.

More later.

Friday, March 25, 2011

And Then What?

Butler 61 Wisconsin 54 (!)

Couple of weeks ago while BBBH was undergoing heart cath, I was at loose ends wandering around the hospital. I apparently snapped this picture, although I don't remember doing so. It showed up when I went to process my pixels.
I don't remember posing for these pictures, but I can testify to the verity of the message. This is pretty much exactly what has happened to my sorry old body, and I have remained somewhat active. (Well, I use the word processor.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Through the Looking Glass




Chapter 10

She took her off the table as she spoke, and shook her backwards and forwards with all her might.

Chapter 11

The Red Queen made no resistance whatever; only her face grew very small, and her eyes got large and green: and still, as Alice went on shaking her, she kept on growing shorter--and fatter--and softer--and rounder--and--

--and it really WAS a kitten, after all.
--Through the Looking Glass-- Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Gotta Cell "Phone"?


T-Mobile hired a cute actress and has produced a bunch of cute commercials, most of which are making fun of AT&T. Enter deal-making in the telecommunications industry. T-Mobile's parent company has agreed to sell T-Mobile to AT&T for the modest sum of 39 billion dollars($39,000,000,000). This would make America's telecommunications industry basically a two-player complex, namely AT&T and Verizon. And there is the fly in the ointment, for the deal has to be approved by the Justice Department. (Is anyone out there old enough to remember the old AT&T, aka "Ma Bell"?) Will it fly? It will be fun to watch. If the deal falls through, AT&T must still pay three billion dollars to the holder of T-Mobile.

Now I observe that the commercials are still running.

Will there be an expanded AT&T with T-Mobile's infrastructure and spectra?
Will AT&T get the T-Mobile girl in the deal?
Will there be, alternatively, a T-Mobile ipo?
Who, ultimately will get the plum in this pudding? (If you are betting the consumer, I suspect you have a very limited view of the way the world works.)
Tra la.

Monday, March 21, 2011

First Color

in the yard, other than green, that is. It rained last night and the temperature rose to 78 (!) today. These popped out.

Yea, rah! Spring!

The Queen and the Archbishop

During her two and one-half year reign, Mary I had nearly three hundred people burned at the stake, the most famous of which may have been Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, who died on this date in 1556. Mary also arranged the beheading of her predecessor, Jane. The sobriquet "Bloody Mary" certainly seems apt. It may be argued that she was not, in fact, a cruel person, but rather reigned within the law to the good of the people, and within her conscience to the good of her eternal soul.

And actually, there is an apologist for most any person or any act. The human condition itself is depraved.

Thomas Cranmer 2 July 1489 – 21 March 1556

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Happy Christian

I once heard a preacher discussing the issue of biblical joy vs. happiness. I believe his contention was that we should seek the "joy of the Lord" for the Bible does not teach us to be "happy." Perhaps I misunderstood the thrust of the message, for, although it is true that "joy" is referenced much more frequently than is the concept of "happiness," the word "happy" does occur several times in the Bible,*much more often in the Old Testament than in the New Testament.

In the Old Testament, we find
Happy is
he who hears wisdom
he who God corrects
he who eats the labour of his own hands
he whose God is the Lord
he who lays hold upon wisdom and keeps her
he who has mercy on the poor
he who trusts in the Lord
he who keeps the law.

In the New Testament, we find
Happy is
he who does these things Jesus has taught
he who endures
he who suffers for righteousness sake
he who is reproached for the name of Christ
I would not presume to develop a sermon from this, as I am not now nor have I ever been a preacher. It does seem to me that in the Old Testament we find specific prescriptions for behaviors that lead to happiness. In the New Testament it appears that we are taught that to follow Christ and keep His commandments will make us happy, even though we will suffer reproach for His name's sake; and we may be scorned for righteousness. How then, to be happy? Endure.
An enigma? Perhaps, but how about this for a puzzle?
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. -1John:3:16
And yet it is so.
Personal conviction: Happiness is a state mind; joy is in the heart.
"The joy of the LORD is my strength!"
*Reading from the King James Version.
7:21 P.M. EDT = Vernal equinox. May you have a beautiful Spring! (Or Autumn if you are south of the equator.)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

NCAA

Update: Butler 71, Pitt 70. !!

Once upon a time I was a sports fanatic. Basketball at the high school and college levels were time sinks in my life. I've pretty much given that up. Well, except for the Butler Bulldogs during the NCAA tournament.

Last year was something special. The Bulldogs went all the way to the final game which Duke won, but really right up to the last moment it could have been anyone's game.

So this year, I resolved to watch the tourney only so long as Butler was in the mix. (How, you might ask, can I ignore Purdue? I really don't know. I used to be a nut about the Boilers.)

So, Butler wins on a last 0.3 second put-back! And I get to watch them again tonight.

Yes, I am a Butler alum.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cookson the Third

(Beloved Beautiful Better Half is today's guest blogger.)

I met my little guy sixteen years ago when he was two and it was love at first lick. He looked like an Oreo and we call him Cookie for short.

I read in the paper that a farmer had some Rat Terrier pups for sale. My son’s children wanted a puppy so they all went along to see them too. It was a chilly, wet, sloppy day and all of the dogs were out running around the yard getting muddy. I noticed a little twelve pound, black and white bundle of energy frisking around. No one had ever told him he couldn’t compete with the collies. The first thing he did was run up and put his dirty paws all over my slacks. He was so cute that I didn’t even get mad at him. I found out later that he was the macho pedigreed stud dog daddy of the puppies. They had two when I called, but only one left to sell by the time we got there. I could understand why when I saw them. They were carbon copies, in miniature, of Cookie. They both had the perfect marking of the classic Rat Terrier. Both dogs had great big eyes and pointy ears, with a white stripe down the forehead. Both had orange eyebrows, inner ears and cheeks. Among others, Cookie has a large heart shaped black spot on his back and dozens of smaller black spots on a little white body. The only difference is that Cookie has no tail, and the puppy's tail was about three inches long. Also, the pup hadn’t learned how to control his ears yet. He would stand them up but they kept falling down all crooked. It was hilarious.

In the meantime, while I was playing with Mr. Stud, my son said they wanted the puppy, not knowing it was the last one for sale, or so he said! Needless to say, I was a bit miffed at the time. The old farmer was watching me play with Cookie and he was amazed that the dog made right up to me. He said that was not like Cookie at all. He had kept coming home after being sold to his first owner. Finally, he got to stay home and become a daddy. In the end, the farmer let me take him home with me, as he wasn’t going to breed any more puppies. Much to Cookie's chagrin, we had him neutered and that was that. From that day forth he has been my constant companion.

He loves to burrow under covers or laundry to sleep. He lies on the back of the sofa and looks out the window, and lets me dress him up in jackets. Once I almost lost him when he tried to protect me from a German shepherd. He didn’t think he could possibly lose, as he’s the "man." I understand most of his doggy “talk” and he knows lots of human talk. When I tell him he can’t go and I’ll be right back, he sits down looking totally crestfallen. If I say, "Are you hungry?" he runs to his bowl. He thinks he’s people and would eat at the table if I would let him. He even likes fruit if we’re eating it. If I say,” Let’s go out,” he runs, or I should say jumps, to the door. He loves going in the camper and for car and bike rides. He loves taking walks with David and me, and chasing rabbits. If it weren’t a law to put him on a leash, he wouldn’t need it. He understands "Stay," " Come here," " Here comes a car," "Get down from there," and "Leave that kitty-cat alone.” He is the cutest, smartest little dog and we love him.

He sleeps more now; but he’s still pretty perky. He’s definitely a lap dog as often as possible. He’s a great little companion and I hope to have him for a long time to come.

©2011 Grace JoAnn Lacy

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Irish Celebrate, and So Do We All

(Please excuse the repost from a couple years ago. The creative juices have been sapped over the past several days. This is the best I can do.)
Today is St. Patrick's Day. In America, it seems to matter little whether or not one is of Irish descent. It is just assumed that this is a good holiday to be celebrated. And noisily, with gusto. There is so much information available about this holiday and its honoree that it would be redundant for me to post any of it here. Look it up. Have fun.




(Happy Birthday to granddaughter Tasha)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grammar

Want an ego booster, er, ah, ego buster? I selected one of my favorite pieces of writing and had it processed on-line by "Grammarly." Now please understand that I am fond of this story, that I thought I had done a superb job of conveying the tale in an interesting, nay, even exciting way. I will not tell you the results of this debacle, but 44 "problems" in six paragraphs?* That is unsettling. No. That is not it. What it is is it took me back to my fourteen-year-old self sitting in Miss Long's English class where she hands back the paper riddled with red ink, smeared beyond all recognition by her snide commentary.



Well, I'm not fourteen anymore, and perhaps I should have paid more attention in subsequent English classes, but that is, to be trite, water over the dam. And I'm not going to take it anymore. I shall continue to write for my own amusement. So long as I think I have adequately expressed my point (if I have one) I shall be pleased with myself.



And besides, why would I believe something (noun) which names itself an adverb? Pfffft, and nanner, nanner, nanner.


buckle under.



*I got 100% on spelling, though!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

At the Hospital

The patient is the one who is suffering. Really. But the attendee, spouse, loved one, caring friend, whoever it may be who takes the patient to the appointment has a certain amount of misery to endure as well.

The mind grows numb, the butt grows numb; the stomach can only ingest so much cold coffee from the courtesy thermos which has been sitting on that table for six hours. The third trip to the restroom should be a break from the tedium, but that has become tedium as well.

The people that pass by on their way to their own appointments with poking and prodding for diagnosis, or for twisting and turning for therapy present a picture of the human condition at its most tenacious. Each one seeking that which he does not have, working assiduously to gain that which he desires. Well-being.

The magazine collection on the table is the donation of the philanthropic minded, that is to say, it is detritus that Mrs. Meddoc has cleared from her own premises. Two of the many, many items here are possible candidates for perusal. It would be a favor to all if one would tote the rest of them to the dumpster behind the boiler room. So now, every page, every advertisement in each of these two rags have been read, the coupons torn from the books. (Our hero hates coupons in magazines. There oughta be a law.) This attendee to the patient now knows how to get out of the bunker and how to strike the ball so it arcs around the tree. But of course he doesn't golf. He knows how to select and plant hydrangea or coleus, but nor is he a gardener.

What he doesn't know is why in blue blazes is this "procedure" taking all afternoon. And yet eventually it is over, patient is released, and away we go! Tra la.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bonfire Night Revisited

On Guy Fawkes Day last November, I posted an article about "Bonfire Night." During the past two months, there has been a terrific spike in views of the blog, most of them hitting on this article. These visitors are from all around the world, and I have no idea why the sudden interest in Bonfire Night in February and March. Is it some sort of interwebby scavenger hunt?

One thus resorts to Google in an attempt to solve the puzzle. Please understand that I do not object to having these anonymous readers. The more the merrier. I found no clue to the mystery, but I did find this article which was published in the East London Advertiser this past Friday. I thought it an interesting followup to the previous story.

Victoria Park fireworks display gets axed
Nadia Sam-Daliri
Friday, March 11, 2011
12:04 PM

The long-running tradition of Bonfire Night fireworks in Victoria Park will not go ahead this year because it is too costly to run. The occasion will still be marked though, with festivities at four sites across Tower Hamlets - King Edward Memorial Park, Mile End Stadium, Millwall Park and Weaver’s Fields, Tower Hamlets Council said. Furthermore, the number of events at Victoria Park is being reduced, from 13 days’ worth last year to ten this year.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman said the decision to limit the use of the East End’s most famous park was made because of residents’ concerns - but some are saying it does not go far enough. Cllr Marc Francis, Bow East ward, said: “They’re milking Victoria Park and it’s at the detriment of the people who live there.

“Residents would prefer to keep the fireworks display, which they benefit from, and get rid of some of the ticketed events, which they don’t.”

East Enders who live near the park have complained in past years of the noise and anti-social behaviour festivals like the summer weeekender Lovebox bring. But the mayor said the cash brought in by the events is needed now more than ever. He explained: “The council has been forced to make £72 million worth of savings over the next three years.

“That is why we have to make the most of the opportunities that we have to generate income.”

Speaking of the decision to axe the Victoria Park fireworks, Mr Rahman added: “For too long the council has footed the entire bill for the event despite most of the people who go there living outside of the borough.”

Cllr Francis said his constituents would be presenting a petition against the decision to the council.

Victoria Park is still to host its own run of Olympics events next year. -30-

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Hope That Is Within You

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
1 Peter 3:15 niv2011

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1 Peter 3:15 kjv

Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.
1 Peter 3:15 cev

But sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear:

1 Peter 3:15 asv

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Integers

Leopold Kronecker (December 7, 1823 – December 29, 1891) was a German mathematician who famously said, "God made the integers; all else is the work of man."

There are, I suppose, many ways in which to interpret this statement. I do not presume to know what Kronecker's intent was, though I rather hope he intended to confine man's "creation" in this instance to the world of mathematics. In such case, he may have been right. If the intent was to state that except for the integers, all creation was accomplished by man, Image: Wikipedia then that is ludicrous.


It is a matter of record that on this statement hinged the alienation of Kronecker from his more famous student, Georg Cantor, who was not buying the statement in any of its possible permutations. Or at least, so say some math historians. It is certainly the case that the two gentlemen represented opposing philosophies of mathematics.

Arithmetic reminder: Take your clock and Spring Forward one hour before you fall asleep!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Erle Stanley Gardner

The gentleman was a lawyer and one of America's favorite authors. Apparently he found the practice of the law to be a bit tedious, and in order to spice up his life he took to writing stories for pulp magazines, a popular medium of the day. This work led to a career as an author. He is doubtless best known for his characters, Perry Mason and Della Street. He wrote more than eighty books featuring Mason. These stories were presented not only in print, but also via radio, cinema, and television. There is scarcely an American of a certain age who does not remember Perry Mason, whether or not he can name the author.

Yet this author seemed to be on occasion uncertain of what name he wished to use, for he has been published in both fiction and non-fiction works under seven or eight different names. When a crook masquerades under a false name, it is referred to as an alias. When an author does it, it is called a pseudonym. But you knew that from your fourth-grade reading class, if you were paying attention.


Erle Stanley Gardner (July 17, 1889 – March 11, 1970) RIP

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Hospital?

When I moved to Perfect in 1969 the town was pretty much a "full-service" town. If you couldn't find it in Perfect, you didn't need it. Things have changed radically, and long-gone is the hometown in which one's life could be lived and fulfilled if he so desired. Oh, the population is about the same, it's just that you have to go somewhere to get or do anything.

Subject of today's post (diatribe) is a case in point. We had a nice little hospital, the main building being at the time a dozen or so years old. One could have a child birthed there, one could have surgery if needed, or one could be "hospitalized" for a stay should health conditions warrant. We had a cadre of physicians, many of whom were our next-door neighbors, or who traveled a short distance from a neighboring town to provide specialty services, inasmuch as they had "privileges" at the local Memorial Hospital.

There have been some changes. The hospital is now, with gleaming, architecturally awesome new construction, approximately three or four times the size of the hospital of forty years ago. It is replete with stunning rotunda, massive rosewood pillars supporting the circular balcony above beautiful inlaid floor. Patient privacy is enhanced by private rooms for the intake process.

But what services can you expect? The "hospital" is largely a huge suite of offices for personnel whose function is not entirely clear, for one cannot get much more done than to see a physician who will refer to a remote facility. The closest one is 29 miles down the road. Moreover, since there are now only two hospitals in the state, as I put it, many of the specialists who used to provide services in Perfect no longer have privileges because they are affiliated with the "wrong" hospital. There are no maternity services, whereas there used to be a state-of-the-art maternity facility. Now one can drive the thirty miles to hospital. There are no longer any children born in Perfect County, unless by sheer accident, i.e., inability to get Mother out of the county before the little rascal pokes his little head out of the birth canal. One used to be able to get a prescription filled at the hospital pharmacy. Not allowed now, policy, one guesses, of the Mother Ship. Oh, you can still go there to die when they (there's that ubiquitous "they" again) have finished with all the procedures available at the other "campuses" to keep you alive.

(There is no bitterness here, because as I write this I am in the "remote" location where spouse is receiving services of cardiologist.)

It probably is not necessary for me to go on. It probably wasn't really "necessary" in the truest sense of the word for me to post this at all. But...

Things change. And sometimes a lot of good people take a lot of bad decisions. imho.

Still and all, I am grateful for medical professionals who work tirelessly to keep us alive and well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday

Jesus said, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." -Matthew 6:16-18 NIV

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Catch-all Drawers

Every kitchen, I have been told, has a "catch-all drawer." Though I doubt that everyone is as disorganized as all that, it certainly would have been true for our kitchen, except for the fact that we now have TWO catch-all drawers in our kitchen, given that the first one was full to overflowing long ago. The second one nears that point, and thus it will soon require that someone do something about that. The logical thing would be to dump the drawers, transfer most of the contents to the waste bin, and start over.

The main trouble with that is that every time we throw something out, two days later we want that very item. And this is true even if that item has not been used or even seen in several years. Why do we do this? There are three hardware stores within a mile of our house, and there are probably no items in the drawers that would cost more than seven dollars to replace, and most of them a buck or so.* Ooh, empty drawers! What a concept.

Yet the idea of empty drawers brings to mind this as well. BBBH frequently refers to the kitchen as a one-butt kitchen, which I have come to realize is her way of telling me to get out of it. She bemoans the fact that there is not enough storage space, there is not enough counter space, and so on. My suggestion that storage space could be better utilized if some of the items were, well, disposed of, is not well received. See previous paragraph in re what happens when something is discarded. Also, remind me to keep my mouth shut about the kitchen.

*Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

Happy Birthday, Anna!
Anna is youngest granddaughter. She is now a teenager!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Welcome Home, Vanilla

We left the South six weeks prior to our planned departure. Beautiful has health issues which need attention, and we did not want to do that a thousand miles from home. So we hastened back. She is seeking help.

It was sunny when we got home; but the forecast was for 21 degrees that night. So I hustled around to get the rig winterized, *growl* and attempted to plug in the extension cord so I'd have 110 power. There is a patch of ice covered snow about six feet long and three feet wide across which I had to tread to get to the outlet. One step, feet above my head, and I landed on my back on top of the base to the fountain. Right kidney area. Pain. *sees stars* And it broad daylight. I am crying and boohooing.




There's more. While we were gone, the rabbits ravaged our yard, eating the bushes and even the bark on the apple tree as high as they could reach. Which was pretty high, given that they no doubt had great piles of snow on which to climb. And poop. Rabbit poop, thousands of marbles in brown, grey and black. Everywhere. Especially along the walk and in front of the main entry.

So, not only did I hurt, my jeans were covered with rabbit poop.
Well, the jeans are laundered, a good night's rest and the pain is gone, so all in all no disaster.

"Welcome home, Vanilla," I says to myself!

Top: Apple bark gone up to here.
Next: Rabbit poo everywhere.
Third: This was a full, lush evergreen, once.
Bottom: The ice-packed snow, the fountain, and of course, more poop.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Health Takes Priority

Should you have arrived here today in hopes of finding humor, inspiration or another bit of interesting but useless trivia, you should stop reading at this point. I told you.

We left Florida about six weeks too soon. But health issues became the primary focus of our tour when Beautiful began to exhibit some serious symptoms which obviously require medical attention. It was our decision to make the trip home rather than to seek assistance a thousand miles from home. The Lord granted strength and comfort. Our travels were without incident. The wife is now under the care of the medical professionals in our home town. Prayers are appreciated.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Last Veteran of WW1

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Frank Buckles, the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110.
Buckles, who also survived being a civilian POW in the Philippines in World War II, died peacefully of natural causes early Sunday at his home in Charles Town, biographer and family spokesman David DeJonge said in a statement. Buckles turned 110 on Feb. 1 and had been advocating for a national memorial honoring veterans of World War I in Washington, D.C.
Buckles lied about his age to join the army at age 16.The Missouri native was among nearly 5 million Americans who served in World War I in 1917 and 1918.
"I knew there'd be only one (survivor) someday. I didn't think it would be me," he was quoted as saying in recent years. -msnbc news service

Frank Buckles, 1901 - 2011 RIP

Tuesday, March 1, 2011