Saturday, October 21, 2017


The donkey will bray.  It is his nature.


I Thistleonians 3:3


Monday, October 16, 2017

Blah

Just read an article about blockchain.  It was full of cryptography, time stamp, hash pointer, distributed ledger, Byzantine fault tolerance, and the like.

Other than a buzzing head, I know precisely what I knew before I read the article.

Have a wonderful 21st century day!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Grasshoppers in the Bible

As I was walking across the backyard, I espied a grasshopper hopping in the grass.  Though the rascals have been in near-plague proportions at times in my life, I seldom see one these days.  My inner Little Boy insisted he have it.  I stooped and grabbed for it, but my outer Little Boy no longer exists, and Hop!  She eluded me.  However, I am much the larger creature, and slow and clumsy as I may be, a couple of steps and a reach enabled me to capture her.

I opened my hand.  There she perched, yellow and brown, perhaps two inches in length.  The insect gazed at me, crawled out onto the second joint of my index finger, pondered her next move for a few moments, then launched herself into the freedom of the air.  She landed a dozen feet away.

Reading the Bible the next morning, I came across a reference to the grasshopper in Amos 7:1 where the creature is characterized as destructive. wreaking havoc on the young crop.  My mind drifted to the much earlier incident  in which the Israelite spies reported back that  "we are as grasshoppers" in our own sight, and in theirs  Here the grasshopper represents insignificance.  (Numbers 13:33)

What other references do we find to the grasshopper?  In Leviticus 11:22 we find that the grasshopper is fit for human consumption, nutrition.  In the Book of Judges, we find the insects represent great multitudes.  (6:5, 7:12)

In Job 39:20, the grasshopper represents timidity.  Isaiah uses the creature, again to represent insignificance. (40:20)  Jeremiah uses the imagery of vast numbers. (46:23)
So scripture gives us that the grasshopper is variously nutrition, timid, insignificant, multitudinous,  and destructive.  And this doesn't even consider the references to locusts.

What is the difference between locusts and grasshoppers?  A lot has been written on the topic, and I am not an entomologist, but I have distilled my reading to this, which satisfies me.  Locusts are simply grasshoppers that have gone into a color-changing and swarming stage in their existence.  You can read about the role of serotonin*click* and all that stuff, if you are so inclined.

Consider this. God used the insignificant grasshopper as a scourge against resistors (think Egyptian ruler), as sustenance for his people and his prophet (John*click* comes to mind), and in numerous instances throughout His Word as simile or metaphor to convey His message.

The Lord who can use such a minor creature can also use you.  The difference is the grasshopper had no choice; you have.

The green grasshopper visited our yard a few years ago.  It was much smaller than the one this story started with.

This is another instance of String Too Short to Tie paying it forward.  Post originally published in 2014.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Poles. Big Poles

Project going on down at the corner-- the erection of humongous tall poles for power lines.  These rascals are probably 30 inches in diameter at the base and the crew buries them eight feet deep in the earth.  You should see the augur that digs the holes!

I came out of the house Wednesday morning to go to the pharmacy.  I was a prisoner on my own property.  The street was blocked 50 feet to the north of my driveway and it was blocked 50 yards to the south!   With all sorts of equipment in the intersection to the south it was clear that my only hope was to run the barricade to the north an use the alternate bridge a quarter-mile to the north.  Removing a couple of traffic cones gave me a pathway wide enough for the car and there we go!


The top picture shows a crane lifting a pole into a vertical position.  The second shot shows a lineman working at the top of a seated pole.  The pulleys that carry the lines are yay big around, quite impressive.  The crews have seated about ten of these and I've no idea how many yet to go.

Snapshots taken from street in front of house.  The project was interrupted  about ten days while the crews were in Florida assisting in the restoration of power following Irma's devastation.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

BBBH Celebrates

A lovely evening drive to Bloomers in Anderson.  A nice New York strip for the birthday girl.  The drive home in the dark-- and drizzle-- was without untoward event.  A nice start for her eighty-first year!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Birthday Eve

On the eve of her 80th birthday her kids gathered 'round and BBBH was treated to a Mexican dinner.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Wiener is 15!

Happy birthday, Dog.
 Engaged in his favorite "activity" these days.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Our Walk with God

Let's go back this Sunday morning to a lesson from a few years back-- slightly amended.
 
He hath known thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? --Micah 6:8

This is a rhetorical question, for the answer is contained within it.  The first clause asserts that God knows us, and thus knows what is good for us.  The second clause contains the question, "What does the Lord require?" and finally, the apparently very simple, three-fold set of actions incumbent upon us.


  1. Do justly.  To accomplish this goal, one must first have a sense of justice, then he must have the inclination and will to practice it.  Many people, in my opinion, have a "sense of injustice," by which I mean they recognize the hurts or perceived slights performed by others against them, yet they seem to have a truncated notion of what justice is in their dealings with others.  A "get even" attitude grows readily in this soil.
  2. Love mercy.  Another action required.  It does not tell us to recognize mercy, but to love it.  If we love mercy, we are going to behave in a merciful way; we will practice kindness toward others.
  3. Walk humbly with God.  First, this is a requirement to walk, not to sit, or lie about.  Then we are told with whom to walk; and we are told how to walk-- with humility.  We are clearly not to carry a prideful attitude with respect to our walk with the Lord.
Now this doesn't seem to be so simple, after all.  But it is required.  The additional good news is that there is apparently not a laundry list of further requirements.  Look at the word "but."  The implication is that in doing the three required things we are relieved of the burden of making and following nit-picking rules by which to define a godly walk.

It seems Micah has summed up the law in three requirements: Do, Love, Walk.  Jesus did ii in two, encompassing all the law and Micah's summary:  
  
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  --Matthew 22:37-39

Happy October the first!         


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Outraged

Everyone these days seems to be "outraged" about something or other.  I have been searching for something to be outraged about, that I might be a part of our societal fabric appearing to be "normal" in some respect.

I have found it.  Nordstom offered Barracuda predirtied jeans at $425.  But they are sold out.  Do you see the outrage building?

Not to worry, though, they have other filthy-appearing models as low as $148.49, though they do lack some of the panache of the sold-out item.

I labored for a good many years in the construction trades prior to my late-starting career in education.  I am proud to have been a working man.  One goes home at night, dog-tired, jeans encaked in cement dust already beginning to turn into concrete from the activation of the day's sweat, shirt and pants perhaps riddled with metal burns if welding was part of the days work, the whole thing reeking of gasoline fumes from the forklift operating in tight spaces.

Upon entering the mudroom the clothes are shed and one staggers from exhaustion to the shower and relief from the dirt and pressure and tiredness of body, then to stagger to bed and sleep the sleep of the righteous in preparation for another shift on the job.

So someone who spends his days in a boardroom or corner office buys the above named product to emulate a real working man and why?  Because he has more money than he knows what to do with.  It is insulting to every person who builds the sewer tile and the sewers down which his crap flows; to every person who strikes an arc or lights a cutting torch; to every person who climbs a utility pole so he won't have to sweat on the job; to every person who swings a paint sprayer that his much-too-costly Beamer or Benz will look really good parked in front of his 6000 square foot McMansion.

Are you sensing the outrage yet?

Yes, it makes me mad even though I have not gone home caked in cement in several decades.  Show some respect for the people who make your lifestyle possible, Bozo.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Snowball


Stop rolling downhill like a snowball headed for hell
Stand up for the flag and let's all ring the liberty bell  --Merle Haggard, 1981

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Historical Insignificance

What I considered entertaining four years ago, and 44 years ago: http://vanilla-ststt.blogspot.com/2013/09/10-s-n-e-1.html

Friday, September 15, 2017

Salamonie September




The shores of Salamonie with trails and trees and tents
Beckoned warmly to us so off we went
We took our RV, though, we don't do tent anymore
'Cause we'd never get our butts up off the floor.
(without a derrick)
Four wonderful days in God's great outdoors
Then we had to come on home, more's
The pity.  Doctor app't, that's kinda funny
We're not sick, Doc needs the money.
(true that)
That car is pretty as cars used to be
And most the people in our group, you see
Are older than this vehicle
And this thought has to tickle--
(better preserved, too!)
Kent and Ricky joined us, too 
As they often are wont to do.
They hiked, I sat
Walking? not much of that.
(good times!)
This photo by Kent Harrison.
Image may contain: plant and food

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Disaster of the Heart

Received an email from son Carl a few minutes ago.  He labeled the picture "And the band played on-- or, What? Me worry?"

I see this photo as a perfect metaphor for the American view of life, 21st century.

My heart hurts.  There seems to be little concern for anything outside-- even steps outside-- the realm of personal gratification.  Even the news coverage of the multitude of disasters that are upon the country seems little more than entertainment-- reality shows designed by an anonymous producer for our amusement.  We have been entertained to the point of numbness, stupor, uncaring.

I hope I am wrong.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Five Metaphors

The Book of Jude, short but powerful, admonishes the Church to beware of false teachers, using these metaphors found in verses thirteen and fourteen to characterize these charlatans and pretenders.

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

1.  "These are spots in your feasts."  False teachers are blemishes, partaking to themselves but contributing nothing.

2. They are "clouds without water, carried about of winds."  False teachers drift like clouds above a semiarid land, holding out the promise of rain, but containing no water.  They are blown about by capricious winds, providing nothing.

3. They are "trees whose fruit withers."  A tree that bears no fruit is useless, dead; and these are twice-dead, for they have been uprooted from truth.

4.  They are "raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame."  Picture the wind-blown waves dashing against the walls of stone along the shore, the spray flying every which way, accomplishing only the erosion of the rocks.  Such is the effect of false teachers on the body of believers.

5, False teachers are "wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."  Travelers in the desert or on the seas may use a fixed star, e.g., the Pole Star for guidance.  But to rely on a heavenly body whose position varies with the motions of the celestial realm is to be misled, lost.  To rely on such teachers is to be lost. Note, too, the fate of such "stars."
 It is imperative that we check any teaching within the Church against  the navigational chart given us by God, that is The Holy Bible.  All teachings must be supported by scripture, else we will be led astray.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rockport's Unwelcome Visitor


 

 Rockport seems like our second home, so many years we wintered there.  Ground zero when Harvey made landfall, Rockport is in shambles.  Hurts our hearts and we pray for the good people there, those we know and those we don't know.

It will take months to clean up and who knows how long to rebuild.

Now Houston is being pummeled with rain and some models predict the possibility of 40 inches of rainfall by the time Harvey is through with Texas.  Some places have already received more than two feet of rainfall.  Heartbreaking.

 Port Aransas where we have stayed on several occasions is also victim of terrible destruction from the storm.
The Big Tree on Goose Island near Rockport is said to be over 1000 years old.  A spokesman for Texas Parks says it survived the storm.  "Didn't get old by being weak," or words to that effect.



On this date I usually note that it is the anniversary of my mother's birth.  Sometime in the middle of the night August 27-28, 1908 Vera Morrell was born near Hartman, Colorado.  In the excitement of the moment no one checked the exact time.  She always celebrated the 28th as her birth date.

Mama with Dad, their children and the first four of their grandchildren.  The youngest person in this picture is now 58 years of age.  Mom would have been 52 here.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Adventure at the Drug Store

Beautiful day for an outing, sunny, 77o so I rode the wheel the mile to the drugstore.  Picking up a 'script-- again.

I entered the store, walked to the fourth aisle intending to use it as the freeway to the pharmacy.  Did you ever notice that in a drugstore these days the part which sells drugs occupies, oh, perhaps eight percent of the space?   So I turned left into the aisle and what filled my eyes but this display:


Today is August 24, says so right here on my computer.  Unless they have moved Halloween up from October 31 there is something very wrong going on here.  That's my opinion and I am sticking to it.

It was finally my turn at the prescription check-out counter-- have you noticed that this spot is the busiest place in your town?  Perhaps you live in a livelier venue.  I state my name and expectation, oh, yeah and my birth date.  Recently, though, they have cut some slack on this one.  Try stating the month and day omitting the year.  Works here.  Not everyone in line necessarily needs to know I'm 83.  (Like they couldn't tell by looking!)

You know the drill.  Sign on the thingy for the medicine, then pay according to the method of your choice.  I went to the screen to sign and saw this:


 As of now I know that a "real" signature is unimportant because when I scribbled my John Hancock with my finger it looked like this: {/

You can be B. Bunny or whoever you want to be!

Nice ride home.

Be blessed, I know I am.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"They"

The ubiquitous "They" have done it again.  This time they have hijacked my church.  Please understand that no one, but no one including Satan himself can hijack The Church, the Body of Christ.  Jesus said, "On this Rock (the confession that Jesus is the Christ) I will build my Church and nothing can prevail against it."

I am writing here of the congregation of people who refer to the earthly building and its organization as "their church."  Many of these people belong to The Church, some do not.  That judgment is reserved solely to the One whose blood was shed for the remission of our sins.  I have attended this church for more than three decades.  I was baptized in the baptistry in that building, dunked by the pastor who was in the water with me.  That practice has been exchanged for a dunking in a horse tank placed on stage, presumably to save the pastor from the inconvenience of having to change his/her clothes.  That's okay; it is not solely what I am "on" about.

Note that I referred to a "stage."  That is the area once known as a platform on which stood a pulpit from which the minister delivered the Word.  And where is the altar, or mourner's bench?  There once was an organ and a piano on the platform as well.  They have been replaced by a drum set and wires and amplifiers and electronic instruments of one sort or another.  And the lighting.  One cannot have a weekly rock concert without adequate lights and background.  Huge screens on which is projected the seven-word choruses which are sung over and over serve as backdrop.

The pews are gone. In their place there are beautifully padded sturdy, comfortable chairs.  The hymnals are gone.  Charles Wesley, Fanny Crosby, Isaac Watts.  All gone.

How came these changes to be?  It is my opinion that no person or group of persons set out deliberately to hijack the church.  Like most change, short a violent explosion, the theft took place incrementally, the planning resulting in unintended consequences.  Then one Sunday morning we arrived to worship and discovered that our church was gone.  We mourn for it, but praise God! Jesus is still on the throne and He is still in love with His bride.  He will shepherd her, guide her to safety with Him for eternity

Now the issue is, being in the habit of corporate worship on Sunday mornings, where to?
 
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.  --Jesus Christ

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Black and White, and Black


 A few days ago I was on about short pants and how I so looked forward to starting school because that was the marker for my becoming a "man" and wearing long pants.

I found this picture of Little David before he started school.

So that your trip over here won't be a total washout, I include this snapshot of our black hollyhock.  This flower is truly as near black as any I have ever seen.  Here, as you can see, it is strongly back-lighted and the camera picked up the red undertones.

Be blessed!  I know I am.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ouabache State Park '17



That's us, down there on the left.

We managed to get in a truncated camp out at Ouabache State Park last Tuesday and Wednesday, drove home on Thursday.  The weather was absotively perfect for camping.  That doesn't always happen.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Mid-America Show 43

Time again for the visit to the Mid-America Threshing and Antique Show.  This is the 43rd annual edition.  This year's featured machinery is by Allis-Chalmers.

Allis-Chalmers Company was formed in 1901 by the merging of the Edward P. Allis Company, manufacturer of steam engines and mining equipment, with Fraser and Chalmers, makers of mining equipment, along with Dickson Manufacturing Co. and Gates Iron Works.  They currently manufacture farm equipment, heavy construction equipment, generators and engines, stuff marketed worldwide.




Really old.
 
Not quite so old, but restored.
Besides A-C, there were many other marques represented.
These labels were on the tractor below.


And what's this?  My guess: Someone loves his wife or his daughter, or someone loves herself more than they love the tractor.  Nicely restored machine, though.

I have attended many editions of the MTA show here in Tipton.  But then it is close by.

2010

 2013 

2013


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Donkey and Lion


Now when the prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God, who disobeyed the command of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.” Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it.  He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey.

Continuing to read in I Kings 13 we see the lying prophet on his way to the site of the demise of the man of God at the tooth and claw of the lion. Picture the scene.  The man of God dead in the road, the lion and the donkey standing beside him.  Though the donkey would normally be prey for the lion the lion did not bother the donkey.  They stood calmly after the kill.




Here's a thought.  The lion was a symbol of Judah, a symbol of strength and power.  The donkey has long been representative of self-will and stubbornness.  To this day we call a foolish and stubborn person an ass.  So here we see the man of God choosing to ride (self-will) rather than to walk in the way (God's will), sadly to a horrible end.

Anyway, that was free of charge.

So the prophet put the corpse on the donkey and took him back to Bethel, had him interred in his own tomb, and directed his sons to bury him beside the bones of the man of God when he died.  The prophet of Bethel mourned the death of the man of God.  Did he experience remorse for what he had done to him?

The rest of the account of Jeroboam's reign, his losses in battle to Judah, and his end can be found in II Chronicles 13. 

The prophecy of the man of God concerning Josiah was fulfilled three hundred years later.

Prequel

Friday, August 11, 2017

New School Year, New Clothes



In our town, the little guys and gals are off to school this morning.  Fellas and girls alike are affecting the latest sartorial "styles."  I remember when my children were tots the challenge of getting them togged for the beginning of a new school year.  Naturally we wanted our children to be appropriately clad for the occasion, but the challenge came in the attempt to garner sufficient resources.  We managed.

Yet remembering much farther back in time I recall my own venture forth into the new thing called "school."  I faced it with much trepidation, fears soon warranted, but the one thing I was excited about was that when school started I would get to wear long pants!  No more stupid short pants that screamed "little kid."

Today, seven plus decades later, I am observing the styles.  The boys are looking thus:

Ranger shorts










And I still would not be caught dead in such attire.  (But they are emulating their daddies.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Trumpy Bear and Melissa

Just saw (again) the ad hawking "Trumpy Bear."  At the lines, "God bless America, and God bless Trumpy Bear," I found myself on my feet, hand over my heart as I heard the strains of the National  Anthem playing in my head.  Couldn't help myself.  Laughed maniacally.  Couldn't help myself.  Then I sobered up and realized how totally unfunny the whole thing is.

But it got me to thinking about a post I made here last November in which I explained that in good conscience I could vote for neither of the leading candidates.  Now were you to ask me after the fact who I voted for I would tell you the ballot is sacrosanct and I am not obliged to tell you.  However, of my own free will I am going to tell you anyway.  I, along with 43 of my fellow-Hoosiers voted for Melissa L. Kelly.

I think I made the wiser choice.

 With his very own certificate of authenticity; i.e., it is a real stuffed ripoff.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Fascinating Reading

The passage to which the title refers is the thirteenth chapter of I Kings, a historical book of the Old Testament.  In this chapter, much too much to address in its entirety in one blog post, we read the story of "a man of God" who goes up to Bethel and prophesies against the altar on which the current King Jeroboam was sacrificing to heathen gods.

In verse two we read  “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord, 'Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name; and on you he shall sacrifice the priests of the high places who burn incense on you, and human bones shall be burned on you."  (NASB)

As we continue reading we see the anger this stirs within King Jeroboam for he clearly understands that the prophecy is not against the inanimate altar to which the man of God speaks, but against him.  And the man's words predicting a reigning king of the house of David is a clear message to Jeroboam that he is through.

The next several verses tell of the king's anger and his response, the withering of his accusatory arm and the healing of the same by the prayer of the man of God, the king's misplaced gratitude and his offer of victuals to the man who asserts that God told him to neither eat nor drink while on this mission.  Read it.  It is fascinating.

Fast forward.  An old prophet, doubtless a has-been, is told by his sons about the events at the altar, which is to say that the sons were at the site to worship the golden calf in violation of God's laws in the first place and the old father received their news and rode after the man of God.  The prophet, probably out of envy inasmuch as it was clear that God spoke to the man and the prophet had probably not heard from Him in a long time, invited the man to come dine with him, blatantly lying in saying that an angel had given him a word from the Lord which superseded the direction the man of God had received from God.  (Envy leads to strife within the Church today.  How supportive are we when others are successful in their ministries?  Just asking.)

And the man of God believed him and went to eat with him.

At first glance it seems that the man's sin was disobedience, and so it was. But I think more importantly the basic sin was doubting God's word, for his instructions were clear.  When doubt entered, he was doomed.

Doubt God and disaster will follow.

And we didn't even get to the part about the lion and the donkey.  Please read the story in its entirety.  It contains much that is interesting and instructive.

 Image result for why did the man of god lie to the prophet

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lies, damn lies, and statistics,

 to borrow from Mark Twain.

Ignorance is bliss, and useful, too.  Much that is written on social media deliberately relies on the ignorance of the audience.  A case in point.

I was reading an "article" in which the writer pointed out that if a certain benchmark represented the "average," then half the people were below average.  A simple example would suffice to show how irresponsible that assertion is, yet many probably blithely swallowed it whole, just as the false prophet intended.

Here's an example.  If four people present scores of 100 and one person scores zero, the average score is 80, and yet clearly only twenty percent of the people in this example are "below average" while eighty percent of them are above average, and none are "average."

How carefully do you read the stuff you read?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Four

The church custodian is going about his business when someone enters the sanctuary. She thinks she is alone as she goes about her mission.  Then the man reveals his presence.
 
"Startled?  I thought she would surely break for the door but she was so startled that she was frozen in place.  As she looked at me her eyes and her mouth were as though they were three gaping caverns.  Her face was so thin that the rest of it seemed to disappear,"

Here is the full account of that morning in "Mt. Carmel Community Church."

Monday, July 24, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Three

In the true story "Climbing Fool's Hill; and Coming Back Down" I recounted an incident in the life of a fourteen-year old.  That would have been me. The scene has been set, the end (so to speak) is not yet.  I wrote

"As I stepped out onto the unstable pile of small rocks, my weight and the forward motion combined to create a skiing action.  Wow!  That was fun.  Climb back up the hill, repeat.  Climb back up,  Wait.  If I make a short run (there was space for no more than a short run) I can fly!  The landing will be safe, for the itty bitty rocks will cushion me, and I may skid a  l o n g way down the hill!"

Here you may read the story in its entirety.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

I can take the heat,

after all, I grew up on the High Plains. And, I am not saying it is muggy, but when you jump into the pool and nothing feels any different, something's just not right. 

--Bob Warr


 



Saturday, July 22, 2017

New Toy

Vanilla is attempting a new approach to writing his blog posts. It works like this. Two weeks ago I purchased a piece of equipment that purports to be a cell phone for less than 20 bucks. I did not purchase any of the minutes for telephone usage but simply adapted the piece of equipment to serving as a handheld computer. I soon discovered that this machine has many amazing features including voice writing. Thus I sit here at my ease and dictate my story to my machine. I am so excited by this that I am hoping to carry this away from home and transmit my messages back to my base computer. Wow this thing is amazing!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --Two

The series about the Burrell twins ended in a twist that surprised the author, for I was not aiming in that  direction when the story began. This is the penultimate paragraph in the series.

"A choking in his throat and a feeling that his heart would stop, Cooter held his aim.  A tear ran down Scooter's cheek, and the report of the rifles was as one.  Two minie balls sped toward their targets."

Read "Burrell's War" here.

 Little Margot entertained me over a series of brief stories.  This paragraph found its way into the tale "Margot and the Pink Elephant."

 But as the elephants approached, Margot suddenly got very quiet and very still.  Very un-Margot-like behavior indeed.  The first behemoth was pink.  All over pink.  Mother could see that the attendant for whatever reason had dusted the animal all over with pink powder of some sort.  But little Margot's comprehension was addled, or as we would say in this day and age, her mind was blown.

Read about the Pink Elephant here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dad's Strawberry Roan

I shared this story on STSTT several years ago.  I can picture Dad clacking away on his old manual typewriter, twenty-six years ago today. 

The following is  from my father's writings.  I go through his material from time to time and share some of his wit and wisdom on the weblog as I feel impelled to do.

The time of this incident, circa 1924, the setting, a  farm in Southeastern Colorado.  These memories were recorded  when Dad was eighty years of age.  I know this because the document is dated July 19, 1991.

When I was in my early teens, I came into possession of an outlaw horse, a very bad deal for the horse, as I remember, but game he was.  He was always looking for a way to ditch rider and destroy life as well.  Oh, that "strawberry roan," under fourteen hands high but mighty in determination and revenge.  Falling with rider on back was his delight.

Number one:  With eyes bulging, running full force, teeth set in the bit, he ran headlong into a heap of discarded woven wire.  At that time I wasn't even classified to be called a Holy Roller, just an angry sinner, until I saw old Dewy doing the roll himself, trying to get untangled from his own mess, while I, bruised and angry went to his rescue, not for pity's sake, but to capture him so that I wouldn't have to walk home.  With disappointment in his eyes, I saw, more than heard, him apologize for his wrong-headedness.  A lesson learned that day from a horse.  A good apology vents the soul from all venom.  Indeed:  Oh, yes!

Number two:  When Dewy ran for vengeance he was trying to find a way to do the thing he had in mind, or did he have a mind?  We always traveled full-tilt out on the farm, but why would he pull to one side and step in a hole?  On purpose, I sincerely believe.  He had a gambler's heart, innocent eyes, and seeming readiness for the run, just waiting his day.  What a trip to the ground!  A somersault on the horse's part, and a belly buster without any water for a landing place for me.  Again an apology-- accepted with the understanding that he must carry me home, for I was bruised awfully.

Number three:  This time a badger hole.  I think my shoulder was broken, but I had to milk my share of the cows anyway, one handed, I must say.  Dad didn't believe in Drs. nor did he have the money for such niceties.  Nature would, in time, take care of that.  About this time I thought of praying for relief from pain that lasted for days, but how was I to pray?  I didn't know how, but I sure did develop a strong left hand for milking.  Bad wind that blows no good, so I had learned the hard way.

Number four:  An indentation in the road was sufficient excuse for another roll.  By this time, I had heard others pray, but when I tried, it didn't seem to do much good.  Does God hear prayers offered in profanity?  Well . . .

Final fall:  Across the ridges in a field.  There must be a magic number some where, but I am not sure where.  I sold the brute and got all my money back, with a bit of increase.  Beginning of my business life, after recovering from my last ride on Old Dewy.*

Business life  (to be continued)




Other snippets of Dad's writing may be enjoyed here and here.

*I heard Dad speak of Old Dewy many times.  I pictured the name as "Dewey" ala Admiral Dewey.  I first thought to change the spelling, then thought, Perhaps Dad did not name the horse after the admiral, but rather called him "Dewy" because he was always in a lather.  You reckon?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

County Fair Time, 2017

The annual 4-H Fair has come and gone.  Typically the weather was only semi-cooperative.  A significant portion of the time was too hot and/or too wet.  But it is now history.  Someone suggested the dates might be shifted in hopes of somewhat cooler weather.  But it is Indiana, so . .  .

 This little piggy wears her heart on her shoulder.

 The merchants displayed their wares.

The kids submitted their projects for judging.

And a good time was had by many.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Lifted Paragraph Project --One

While entertaining myself by reading some of my old posts, a few paragraphs here and there jumped out and spoke to me.  Bragging.  I like some of these and thought to mention the ones I particularly enjoy.

This is the opening paragraph of "A Test of Patience."  It is in the voice of Uncle Jep.  It tickles me.  The paragraph is rather long by my standards, yet shorter than most of Washington's paragraphs, compare, for instance, with his First Inaugural address where some of his sentences ran to more than 100 words.

"Did I tell you about the time your granny's mother come over to visit her daughter?  Stayed two years, she did.  Sam plum wore his wits clear to they ends tryin' to figure a way to get her to go home.  Now, Sam liked Margaret, that was your great grandma's name.  Nobody ever called her "Maggie" or "Peggy" neither.  She was Margaret Sarah Alexena Florabelle Chloe Ann Wilson, you know, of the East Branch Wilsons.  "You may call me Margaret," she says.  Anyhow, Sam did truly like his mother-in-law, but as he put it, "in shorter bits and pieces, no disrespect intended."  Now I for one don't rightly see how you could take her any shorter, 'cause she stood maybe four-foot five in those black high-top  shoes she allus wore.  But I'm strayin' all over the pasture.  Say, did you see that new bull Red Hurd got over in his south pasture?  Bee-yoo-tiful black thing he is.  Simmental.  Red got him offa Ayers over on the Huerfano.  That bull ain't no orphan, though, got a pedigree longer'n my left arm.  Red is proud as a Longhorn rooster just done the whole Plymouth Rock hen house.  But he ain't talkin' how much it cost him.  Feard Maybelle will find out, I reckon.  Well, Bob Ayers did take his wife, Lou Ann to Galveston for a week, for what that's worth.  Both 'n'm  come home redder'n a Maine lobster been in the boilin' water.  Anyway, Doc Barrett says they'll live.  I know it is a sin to covet, but I really wish I had that bull.  Forgive me, Lord."

Full story here.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Four-letter Words: Y and Zed

Approaching the end of the project the four-letter "y" word I choose is:

yaks.

I have been influenced by my current environment in the selection of this word.  I am thinking of it in the sense that "She yaks incessantly about a lot of nothing or a little of everything."  My BBBH and her eldest daughter are on the other side of the room.  They have been yakking for over an hour and their mills show no sign of flagging.  Sometimes one talks, then the other, but frequently they are both talking at the same time.  Ninety miles an hour.

Please, take a breath.

yak (v.) to talk uninterruptedly and idly; gab; chatter.  You yak, she yaks, and so on.

Yaks is also a plural noun indicating large, shaggy-haired Asian buffalo.

*****

For the ultimate four-letter word I have chosen

zest.

This is a wonderful word.  Just makes one feel all perky, does it not?

zest (n.) relish, gusto, piquancy.

"I admire one who undertakes a task with zest."  

Zest is also a culinary term referring to the use of the outer rind of an orange or a lemon for flavoring in certain concoctions.

"I used a grater to scrape the zest from the orange."

Finis 

 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Second Time Around


 It rained a bit yesterday-- a ridiculous amount, actually.  Couple inches.  I snapped this picture of a neighboring house. As the rain fell on the roof the wind carried the water up and over the peak then a plume of water arced down on the other side.  A different kind of rainbow!

 This pair of socks shows up more or less every other Wednesday.  Each serves its original function, each lost a previous mate.  They still do their jobs, but something is different.  This may or may not be a metaphor for something.

 These lilies, like the socks, got a second chance.  They were in the wild flower garden where such beauties were systematically being choked out by the ditch lilies and such.  I lifted these and placed them along the fence near the house where we enjoy them daily. 

I counted sixty buds on this one the day before the first bloom opened.  What a display now!


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

July 11

Did you know that July 11 is less likely to fall on a Tuesday or a Friday than on any of the other five days of the week?  Now does that not make today special?

No, it does not.  What makes this day special is that you woke up today to experience another day in your life.  Make the most of it.

A special day in the life of former President William Howard Taft was July 11, 1921, the day he was sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States making him the only person ever to serve both as POTUS and CJOTUS.




William Howard Taft, 27th President 1909-1913, 10th Chief Justice 1921-1930.
Taft also served as Civil Governor of the Philippines and he was Secretary of War in TR's administration.

 "Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever."  --WHT


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Interpretation of Scripture




I was writing a post for Sunday morning.  I was working from the premise that Paul in one of his epistles was overextending himself in interpretation of Old Testament scripture.  I had completed about  half the article when the Lord spoke to my heart, Shut up; you are wrong.

    I hit the delete button and proceeded to extend my study by reading further in the Word.  I found plenty of support for Paul's premise and clearly have to admit I was wrong.  So today's admonition is the directive Paul gave to Timothy:  "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  --2 Timothy 2:15

In the sixteenth chapter of The Acts of the Apostles we read that the Lord opened the heart of a woman named Lydia such that "she attended to the teachings of Paul."  Seems my heart has been likewise opened.

God is faithful







 Image:  Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Northport, Alabama

Friday, July 7, 2017

Four-letter Words: W and X

Holy cow!  We've come a long way and are rapidly approaching the end of our alphabet.  Today we select two more words, leaving only two to go.

The four-letter "w" word springs to mind almost without bidding, for we all

wish
one thing or another might occur, or that we could obtain something we don't have.

wish (v.) desire, to want, long for
"I wish people could disagree without being disagreeable."

wish (n.)  something desired
"He got his wish-- a new car!"

*****

Having had several children of my own and having worked with other people's kids in a school setting for many years I have encountered many "Alphabet Books."  You know, "A is for apple, B is for bear," and so on.  Almost invariably when the composer got to "X" she wrote, "X is for X-ray," or "X is for xylophone."  Xylophone hardly qualifies as a four-letter word. The x-ray equipment has served me well over the years, both identifying problems and ruling out problems, but no x-ray for us today.  Our four-letter "x" word is:

 xyst.
 xyst (n.) a covered portico; a garden walk planted with trees.
Pronounce [zist], rhymes with fist.
 Image result for xyst


Yes, I had to look this one up.  Enough said.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Conversation with Random People --20

I have been in the nursing home a bit more than an hour, visiting with patients and staff, singing with the group gathered in the commons.  A normal Tuesday morning for me, except this is the Fourth of July.

At the intersection of two halls where I will make a left and exit the building, I meet an old guy who is upright, walking without assistance and looking quite perky.

"Good morning," I say.  "How are ya today?"

"Better than I have any right to be," he replied.

"I think I could say the same."

"My wife was killed in a boating accident."

"I am sorry to hear that.  A tough thing for you to have to go through."

"Yes; they never  determined who caused the accident-- twenty-four car pileup.  Only found part of her body and never found my little boy."

[?]

He continued, "I was in hospital thirty-one months, in a coma for seven of them.  Doctor said had I been put in a high speed blender the result would have been about the same."

At this point the gentleman started a litany of injuries, some of which I list here: missing left arm from elbow down, repaired by "the first-ever bionic arm;" (looked fairly normal to me, but what do I know?)  Clavicle broken in four places, right ear missing, had to be rebuilt (did look a little different from the left ear); jaw completely shattered, had to be reconstructed; shoulder broken; leg shattered; and a few other particulars.  "I was deaf, couldn't talk, blind, had forgotten how to walk," and so on and so forth.

Finally he told me "My therapist worked with me two years teaching me how to walk again.  He was a saint.  Had no legs, (the therapist, he means) but he never gave up on me."

I finally attempted a "goodbye" and he held out his hand and said, "I'm Bert."

I said, "I'm David, and it has been nice talking with you.  Have a wonderful day."

[This is not nearly all the palaver, but you get the idea.]

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

83 and Fuzzy

    Image result for highway 83

  It seems a bit like I am "going South" and I don't mean that in a literal geographic sense.





Yet I think I don't look a day over ninety.