109 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-23-16

  1. Good Morning…been up since 4…husband took off to hike some mountains with his friend…I couldn’t get back to sleep…gonna be a long day. Left my phone at work yesterday, now have to drive into town get retrieve said phone…ugh. It’s been hotter than a match around here..but thankfully we have been blessed with a couple nice rainstorms….I think I’m ready for autumn now…. 🙂


  2. Good morning everyone. Coffee and puppy Dawgs this morning. Can’t beat that. The back door is open and the birds are singing. I have a good book to read today.
    Someone really needs to clean this house today. Ugh.


  3. Indiana too is in unseasonably hot weather. We have a window a.c. unit in the library and some fans, but it isn’t fully adequate. Today is the family reunion for my husband’s late wife’s side of the family . . . the reunion I first bravely attended with him five years ago, within a few days of getting engaged. (In my first week in Indiana, I stayed with my future in-laws for ten days, met my future stepdaughters, met most of his side of the family–I’d already met his sister and her husband since they had a business trip to Nashville–got officially engaged, met his–now also my–church family, and interacted with a few dozen people from his late wife’s clan at this annual reunion.) Last year my husband overdid it playing with younger, healthier people, and he vowed not to do so again this year. (Since he has taken several days to recover from activities at at least three family reunions–including one from my side of the family–I was hoping he could stick to it this year, but the heat will guarantee that he will.)


  4. Good morning. It’s around 76° this morning so I opened the bedroom windows for fresh air and also to give Miss Bosley a treat. I assume the temp will be in the 90s again so I will soon have to close the windows.

    I hear a good bit of noise from the neighbors who I don’t know. The man yelled, “Hey!” Not sure what that was about. I need to go over and meet them sometime. All the other neighbors have been here for years.

    I always wanted to see the Tetons. We got close to there when we went to Yellowstone, but never went that far south. Enjoy your time in that area, Annms. My friends lived in Bozeman, MT, which was a beautiful place we visited the first year Art and I were married.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ann–say hi to my niece the veterinarian if you are unfortunate enough to have to meet her. She lives in Driggs, ID, and frequently works in Jackson.

    Gorgeous countryside. We loved white water rafting the Snake River when visiting several years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Last night, Art and I watched Departures, an Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film. It’s a Japanese film and I have no words to say how good it is. Art said the others have been good, but this was a truly great film. It has a lot of humor and it made me cry. Art said he wants a copy of this movie.

    The main character plays the cello in a symphony orchestra but loses that job when the owner of the orchestra shuts it down. He and his wife move from Tokyo back to the home in which he grew up. He sees an ad for a job involving departures and thinks it is a travel agency. The ad was misleading because the job is really doing a ceremonial presentation of “casketing.” That is preparing the dead for burial. It is a beautiful and meaningful ceremony and the young man slowly recognizes the value of it and how it touches the hearts of those left behind. He hides his work from his wife. When she finds out what he does, she is embarrassed and wants him to quit. He won’t quit because he knows no one else would take on the needed work. She leaves for awhile, but returns upon finding out she is pregnant. She still wants him to quit, but when she goes to a ceremony for a family friend and sees the loving-kindness expressed by the act, she has a change of heart. There is a lot more to the story that I won’t reveal in case anyone gets to see it. It has beautiful music, and lovely scenery filmed in Japan.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It has been ridiculously hot and humid here. How it manages to be humid is beyond me, because we’ve had very little rain this summer. The winter wheat managed to fill out, but the soy beans look stunted and the corn looks like it is under stress. Our garden is merely doing OK, and I’ve noticed even the flowers are smaller than they were last year.

    We manage without air conditioning. First, we are out in the country, which automatically means there is more air flow and the worst of the heat doesn’t stick around once the sun has set because there isn’t all the pavement that there is in the city – pavement retains the heat for a long time. Secondly, we have tall trees at the south side of our house, so they keep the hottest side of the house from heating up too much – one of our neighbours used to say that it was at least 10 degrees cooler under those trees. Third, during the day, we close all the first floor windows, and pull the blinds/curtains. That prevents the hotter air from entering and the cooler air from leaving. The basement always stays cool, and the stairs allows air flow from the basement to the first floor to the upstairs. The upstairs windows we close when the sun is directly on them, but otherwise keep them open to let the hot air escape, because, according to the law of physics, hot air always rises. When it cools off at night, we open the windows wide on both floors, to allow the cool air in and get the hot air out.

    I will miss all that in the city. I will be living in the attic of a century townhouse.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s almost 6 a.m. here (78 degrees in the house) and I’m up early, too. The cat was persistent. All of us seem to be under a “heat dome” stretching across much of the country. One of my fans is making odd noises, it probably needs to be replaced. No wonder with the workouts it gets every summer.

    I can hear a cacophony of low-pitched fog horns going off in the harbor this morning, but I don’t see any fog where I am, just up the hill a ways.

    Nice turtles 🙂

    Well *someone* needs to clean my house today, too. So many things I’d hoped to get done around here, but the heat may make some of it unlikely.

    Meanwhile, I’m trying to enjoy what will likely be the only respite of barely, semi-cool air we’ll get all day.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Re the turtles: they may be Florida redbelly cooters, but I’m not a turtle expert and I was only comparing photos to photos, not of the same angle. (The photos I can find online show more of a top-side view than I have, and not as good a look from the front/underneath.)

    I can say more about where I saw them.

    If you are ever in the Florida gulf area (a bit below the panhandle) and you like wildlife (especially birds), the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
    ( https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Homosassa-Springs ) is a MUST-see. My husband had looked them up online and told me some things about the park, and it sounded fascinating, but it was even better than either of us imagined. It’s a highly unusual state park. I think it was $13/person, which was more than reasonable considering all that was offered.

    If you take your pet, it can be left in a free kennel for the day. (Misten doesn’t travel with us, but I saw that option on their site.) You park in a parking lot, and you wonder where on earth the gate is where you pay to get into the park. You go inside to ask, and you find out that the “boat tour included in your admission, weather permitting” begins there, and you don’t pay to travel on it (so, technically speaking, you could ride the 20-minute narrated tour every half hour, back and forth all day, for free). It was on the boat we saw the turtles. The view as we approached wasn’t very good (they were mostly hidden) so I had to look back and take this photo and another as we passed, but a boat moves slowly enough that is possible. I also got many photos of trees reflected in water, an osprey nest from which the young had already flown (the guide pointed it out), and several wood ducks. (I finally got photos of a species I have seen several times, but always at too great a distance for photos.) The guide told us that sometimes they see small alligators, occasionally a bobcat, and one time years ago a cougar. We didn’t see any of those, but it was a truly lovely ride, and it alone would have been worth the admission, but again it was free. On the return trip, we saw a great blue heron and a log that had at least ten turtles on it.

    The park itself is home to multiple animals that cannot be released into the wild (injured animals, or animals someone kept as an illegal pet). Most are in natural habitats–the alligators (at least four of them) are in a habitat that’s natural enough that while we were there, at the same time the exhibit had a green heron, a great blue heron, and a great egret all choosing to be in there too (wild birds). They have three captive manatees, which they feed at posted times of the day; during winter months they also open the “gate” and wild manatees also come in. There’s an underwater viewing area to see them and fish. They have a hippo and a story behind his presence, but all the other animals are native to Florida. As I said, wild creatures come and go. Wild birds that we saw included anhingas, wood ducks (plentiful in there, and they breed in nesting boxes within the park) and mallards, great egrets, green heron, and great blue heron. Other birds might or might not have been wild ones, since the setting is natural enough for some of the places where birds congregate that wild birds come and go, and in that area we saw white pelicans (I’m guessing they were injured birds and permanent residents since summer doesn’t have many white pelicans in Florida–but I’m not sure), white ibis, black vultures, flamingos (they were almost certainly permanent residents, since they aren’t native to that part of Florida and they wore legbands), and I’m probably missing something. Egrets came and went freely, and so did wood ducks, but which of the others were healthy wild birds, I don’t know.

    More in a separate entry . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Part 2 about Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

    Oh yes, I forgot they also had wood storks.

    Within exhibits (but “caged” in such a way that they are easily photographed) were the alligators, river otters (who weren’t out while we visited), and multiple other species, including two bald eagles (closest views I’ve ever gotten of the species–since they can’t fly, they weren’t behind a fence but behind a wall, and thus great for photographs). The red foxes were sleeping, and so was the great horned owl. They also had a pair of whopping cranes who had a nest with an egg. They told us that they had a pair for a breeding program, but another male came in and managed to win in a contest over the male they had, so they had to ship the original male out! So the male obviously was able to freely come and go, though likely all three adults were hand-reared or otherwise acclimated to humans, and not fully wild birds. But it isn’t often you can see an endangered species sitting on a nest a few yards away.

    Finally, perhaps my favorite spot in the park was the enclosure with Florida waterbirds. There was netting overhead and you went through two gates to get in, so it was a bit like a zoo exhibit of birds . . . except that there were places it wasn’t fully enclosed on the side, so I suspect it is set up so that birds who are healthy enough to seek a way out can find it. I might be wrong about that. At any rate, the birds in there weren’t wild and so it would be cheating to count them for a life list or sell photos as though they were wild birds, but species I otherwise didn’t see on our trip were in there (such as the little blue heron and the yellow-crowned night heron) and so were species I saw other places (such as the roseate spoonbill), but here they were closer and easier to photograph. The exhibit also had green herons and great blue herons, both of which I’ve seen in the wild enough that I pretty much ignored them in there (I did get a few of the green, since it is a species I’ve only seen a few times). They also had snowy egrets, which I saw other places in Florida but not at close range, and multiple species of fancy ducks. I chose to ignore the ducks and focus on night herons, little blue herons, and spoonbills. An osprey was in there as well. While we were in there, it was mostly just my husband and me and one man who had really extensive photo equipment, complete with recordings of bird calls.

    Summer is off-season for tourists in Florida, so the place wasn’t at all crowded and it was an amazing place to spend a few hours. I also photographed a butterfly on flowers, some giant grasshoppers, and a few lizards. And a few spiders, but don’t tell AJ about that. (It was one species that I saw two different places in the park.)

    I made a photo book of Florida, including quite a few photos from within the park, and anyone who wants a link to it, e-mail me and I’ll send it. I’ve sent a few of the photos to AJ, but not nearly all of them.


  11. Anon @ 8:31
    During the summer (and winter) of 1941-42, we lived on the fifth floor of a four story building. Yes. in the attic. We had no air conditioning. We opened windows, but that was it.
    We sweltered, even at night.
    It can be done.
    In Arabia, we lived in Quonset huts. But we had air conditioning. Some guys slept outside, though.

    Housing was hard to get in Charleston in those days because Roosevelt was ramping up the military. And Charleston was a major naval base at that time. Dad says that nobody wanted to rent to a man who had children. Nobody but Mr. C. C. Ackerman who managed a four story apartment building. He ran a chair coining business on the first floor.
    Some of you don’t know what a caned chair is.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Hot here. It’s supposed to be 97° air temp and 105° “feels like” temp. And this is the day I am scheduled to do the other cave at the Mark Twain Cave complex. This will involve a 1/4 mile walk each way just to get to the entrance. The walking isn’t so bad, but going from the extreme heat into a 56° cave, being there for an hour, then out into the heat again is taxing. Better get plenty of fluids ready.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I have a caned chair that was my grandmother’s. The chair and an 8-day windup, chiming mantle clock were the 2 things I got from her moving auction in Iowa (I was in college at the time). I still have (and love) both of them, though I haven’t wound up the clock in a while.

    Now talk about heat and humidity, Iowa could win a prize. I read recently that the humidity across what’s known as the “corn belt” might actually have something to do with all those corn fields and the soil.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Peter, our forecast for yesterday (don’t know if we made it) was 97, heat index 110. For this region, that is hot. Unusually, everyone in this house came and went at least twice yesterday, our daughter who’s about to marry three times (and the third of those times, she was going to two or three separate events). We’re in the process of moving some wedding gifts and some of her possessions into his apartment, which will soon be “their” apartment, and I met up with a friend. So we didn’t just sit home in air conditioning all day.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Cheryl, that park sounds like a wonderful spot, especially for a wildlife photographer.

    While we were on assignment touring one of our local parks & lakes yesterday, our photographer captured an amazingly crisp shot of an egret in flight.

    Speaking of wildlife, Annie was tearing through the house a few minutes ago (happy after being fed). Racing back and forth, her paws thundering across the living room floor. At one point she shot into the air and landed right behind me, on the back of the sofa, and then, in one smooth motion, sprang up to the top level of her cat tree.

    Spring, sprang, sprung?

    Liked by 3 people

  16. It’s impossible to get the feel of a cave without being there.
    We visited Carlsbad once. I don’t care much for caves.

    The other extreme from the attic in Charleston. When I entered my room at Purdue, I set the temperature. I never touched it again.


  17. It’s currently a lovely crisp 53 but it’s supposed to get up to 97. We’ve got the windows all open and will start shutting as soon as the sun comes up over the west facing trees. I’m trying to get work done and then will see if there’s a decent enough movie to view when it gets really hot around 4.

    (Popcorn for dinner!)

    What about the new Star Trek? Everything else looks like dreck.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2016/07/21/its-not-heat-iowa-its-corn-sweat/87362226/


    It’s not the heat, Iowa, it’s the corn sweat.

    Yes, one of Iowa’s most well-known crops is getting blamed for adding to the oppressive humidity that’s making Iowa and big parts of the nation so miserable this week.

    How miserable? Well, the heat index through Saturday is supposed to be well over 100 degrees throughout Iowa and big chunks of the Midwest.

    No, the nation’s 94 million acres of corn don’t really sweat, said Mark Licht, an Iowa State University Extension agronomist. But they do transpire moisture — or water vapor — as they drink in massive quantities of water through their roots deep in the ground, Licht said.

    At the same time, corn plants breathe in air, absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it into sugar that enables them to grow. …


  19. Ah, looks like our harbor fog horns are going off not because of fog — but because of the smoke from a huge, fast-moving brush fire to the north of us that’s required evacuations. Lovely.

    The morning light here this morning is glowing yellow-orange.


  20. Fifty six here, but should get up to about seventy six later in the day. Windows are open.

    Tomorrow is the start of my week long family reunion, held every third year for the past nearly sixty years. We won’t be attending this time. It was moved to Tahoe, a bit too much for us. It used to be held where people could rent cabins or camp and it was within reach of everybody. But the originals are down to two and they passed the baton to my generation.


  21. I just wrote a blog post about living in God’s frame (coming this FRiday), and added this little clip because it’s my favorite scene from the 1989 BBC version of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:


  22. Dreck?

    We do the same as Roscuro to keep the heat out and cool in. Unless we have many days in a row with hot nights, we will be ok. I cannot take heat, but have been ok with doing all the right things. The fan in the living room helps in the warmest hours, before we can open the windows in the evening. Next week we will have company from TN, where they are used to central air. Three are coming from two months in Alaska, however. They may find our lack of air conditioning more challenging.

    We actually have an air conditioning unit, but haven’t used it since we replaced our old windows. It doesn’t work as well and is very heavy. We do not have a furnace and ductwork, since we have electric heat. Otherwise, I would just add AC to it.


  23. For some reason keeping my house closed up in the daytime doesn’t work for me — it only makes it that much more miserable.

    I do have ductwork & central heat already, the idea of adding A/C is moving up on my wish list (assuming, which I probably shouldn’t, that it would be a fairly straight-forward thing to do and wouldn’t require a lot of expensive alterations to the existing ductwork or other equipment).


  24. Yeah, same question, hasn’t the new roof helped? Of course, it’s been miserably hot, but our house is more comfortable downstairs now. I just need to get my work arranged to do it down there rather than up here in the office.

    TV is down there, however. 😦 It needs to be mindless work then.


  25. Maybe it’s helped, hard to say … But, yes, they replaced the old, wet insulation up there and put new in, at least that was the plan


  26. There is a certain satisfaction in having a yard that is freshly mowed, edged, and blown. I am terrified of a weedeater, so that isn’t done. What I do have to say after doing all of this myself is:


  27. The pink bird was a captive bird, a juvenile roseate spoonbill. The most interesting view of the spoonbill is where you can see its bill from the front, not the side, because it goes down straight and then near the end it suddenly rounds out into this large round “paddle” that it uses to probe under the water for food.

    I also got some spoonbill shots in the wild, but none as close up. Interestingly, by human standards the juvenile is prettier than the sexually mature bird. The adult spoonbill loses the feathers on its head and so it has a greenish warty looking head, though the adult also adds some darker feathers in a couple of different colors to the back half of its body. It’s an interesting bird and one I had hoped to see. We saw it from the boat in flight, at a great distance. Then my hubby was watching for pink along the sides of the road where birds hung out in marshy areas (quite some distance from the road, but you could see them from the road) and when he saw one he pulled over. (He didn’t even tell me he was watching for them, but when he saw one he pulled over. I have a good husband.) It turned out there were two, one adult and one juvenile, as well as one each of three other species. Then when we went to the state park the next day, we saw a few. Finally, on our second island boat tour, on the “breeding” island we saw several (though we were a good ways out, too far to focus on individual birds). I also saw several in a photo I took from the road as we were driving past a spot with a lot of birds. So I ended up with a good number of sightings, though they were nowhere near as numerous as a few other species.

    I also sent AJ a photo of the adult (also in captivity) showing its bald head, its paddle-shaped “spoon” bill, and the colorful feathers on its tail and wing, but I don’t know when/ if that one will be posted.


  28. Wow. We just had an amazing sermon. Ten year old has watched and waited as fourteen year old continues to act out in bizarre ways. Today, he was there when she said she wanted to get back on track. Ten year old spoke up and told her she needed to change her attitude. She asked how she was supposed to do that. And that opened the floodgates of emotional spiritual appeal from the loving heart of her little brother. He told her God must do it and she needed to seek Him. God was good and God loved her. Satan was evil and wanted to use her, he does not care about her at all, only what he can use her for. Then off to Genesis where we heard about original sin with Adam and Eve and how God had made them to walk with Him but they chose to eat of the fruit after being told not to. That separated them from God. They died, but not in the way where (he leaned over his head and feigned sleep/death) but in separating us from God. Then on to Noah and how God regretted making people but He found Noah and had him build the ark for the animals and some family, then Abraham and Sarah and how God is Truth and cannot lie. He told them they would have a son, they laughed, but the son was born the next year. And on and on and on, portraying God’s intervention in humanity and on to the death on the cross that we might live. And he did not stop there but told her today was the day, she needed to decide who she would serve, God or Satan. And to remember that God is good and God is Truth and loves her and satan just wants to use her for evil. He went on without interruption for thirty five minutes tearing up as he tried to bring his sister to the God he loves. Both fourteen year olds were there (and neither is known for keeping the mouth shut) and did not say a word, but watched him attentively. These are all ADHD children and ten year old has a significant speech communication challenge. God was using him, speaking through him. I did not hear any theological error and I don’t know when he learned half the stuff. We do not have a dynamic church, he goes to VBS once a year, and he and I pray and read the Word together and we talk about it. Pray that God will now move in the hearts that heard to bring people to a True knowledge of Him. I am amazed.

    Liked by 12 people

  29. It is amazing Mumsee.
    It could have been the Spirit speaking.
    Ten year olds, even those raised in SS and VBS, don’t have that kind of Spiritual authority.
    There has to be ramifications of some sort.
    We’ll pray for the outcome.

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Wow, mumsee. Just wow! What a blessing for you to have witnessed that. Praying it takes hold of hearts and leads to new hearts and renewed minds.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Um, Michelle- That scene is from the recent version of Dawn Treader. But do you mean you like the 1989 version but couldn’t find it? I think the one you want is ion this video, starting at about the 6:40 point.

    Definitely not to the quality of the newer version, but then, they probably didn’t have that much of a budget and no computer then could do what they do now.


  32. I didn’t realize it would load the entire program. Skip to the 6th segment (6/18), then go to 6 minutes, 40 seconds.


  33. The bird on the top now is, of course, the adult roseate spoonbill. I think it’s a good look both at the odd bill, the bald head, and the orangey tail feathers and reddish wing feathers–only the “spoon” bill is a trait the juvenile has.

    Last year two or three plants of common milkweed sprouted in a flower bed in our backyard. They don’t blossom till the second year, but older daughter (who usually tends the garden) has had more important things to do the last two summer, so the “unfruitful” plant flourished, and monarch butterfly females came along and laid their eggs. I watched everything from egg laying to egg to mature caterpillar, but I don’t know where they put their chrysalises, or whether they lived to full butterfly maturity.

    This year we have two flowering plants and several smaller ones. I now have two large monarch caterpillars munching away. (Since the flowerbed is quite overgrown–I’m waiting till said daughter moves away to officially take over as gardener–I didn’t see either caterpillar until a couple of days ago, though I looked to see if we had any, and I didn’t see the second one until today. One of them will probably be making a chrysalis within a couple of days (for now it seems to be still eating, but I’m sure it’s in its final instar) and the other one is a little smaller so it probably has a few more days to go, though I understand they can vary in size a bit at full maturity. At any rate, I hope this year I get to see the rest of the cycle that I didn’t see last year! And it was nice to see the milkweed actually blossom in our yard, even though we didn’t plant it ourselves.


  34. Mumsee – That was truly amazing, & definitely sounded Spirit-led. I cried reading it, then stopped to praise God, & pray for those involved. How truly awesome God is!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Earlier today, a couple of you ladies who work outside the home mentioned having to do housecleaning. As you know, I don’t work outside the home, but for a while now I have done my housework little by little each day, rather than doing it all at once.

    If you could do just one little thing each evening (maybe right after dinner), you would have less to do when you finally have time for housecleaning. My habit of doing this has really been helpful with these many hours & days of babysitting Forrest this summer.


  36. I just finished reading Crisis of Character by Gary J. Byrne. I rated it 5-star. A must read. It’s about the Clintons, of course. Some of it you already know. It tells all. Not only about Monica’s stained dress but Eleanor Mondale and the stained towels. And how Monaca used tricks to get into the oval office, where she was NOT allowed. He names the people involved. Some, like Leon Panetta get good remarks. You come away knowing what you already know anyhow.
    Hillary is an evil person. She has distain for ordinary people and a dislike for the people protecting her. He didn’t say it, I heard from another source that she once told one of her protectors who refused to carry a bag for her, “What the f… good are you”.

    But it’s not all about the Clintons. He left the agency before they left office. About half the book is about his service after that. He gives an interesting account of an airlift flight from Cyprus to Philadelphia. He is hard on the bureaucracy.

    I worked for the government. I don’t have any trouble believing him. But we didn’t have to put up with the stuff he did because we had a product. Having to produce something changes the protocol.
    He has a short item about security measures for Top Secret material. He is entirely correct.

    It only reinforced my conviction that Hillary is an evil person. Not bad, evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Nope, it was the daughter. Can’t believe a teacher of all people would take advantage of a situation like that.


  38. Well, daughter continued to carry on for another hour or so, but then quieted and began speaking in her normal calm voice. She was able to talk coherently with give and take for the next couple of hours. Maybe God has brought her back on track, maybe just giving me a brief respite. I hope the first. Prayers appreciated.

    Liked by 4 people

  39. The newest bird, in the same exhibit, was the black-crowned night heron. Technically I had seen one before–but only technically. I had some photos from Alabama in which the bird appeared at a distance but I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t look at those photos, or identify the bird, until I got home, so I had seen this bird before I knew I had seen the species already. This one was much closer, and he gave he some very good shots. I love that bright red eye, and I like his intent gaze. Although it is called a night heron, I believe this is the species that often hunts during the day.

    They also had a yellow-crowned night heron, but I only got one shot of it, and there were grasses between me and the bird.

    Never having really observed them in the wild (I only saw the black-crowned among those large masses of egrets and great blue herons at the Alabama dam, from a distance) and not having studied them, I can’t really say more about the bird. But I was glad to see it and get some good pictures of it, and I hope I get a better chance to watch it in the wild someday.


  40. “It’s getting chilly, almost too cold” — said by someone late yesterday at the dog park when a cool breeze blew through.

    Have fun in Wyoming, Ann

    Liked by 3 people

  41. I fell in love with Wyoming when I read “My Friend Flicka” as a child. When we had the opportunity of driving through the state I was actually teary as we crossed the state line from Colorado (and I am NOT a crier). I just found the state so beautiful and loved that there were vast spaces empty of people.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I also love the wide open spaces of Wyoming. But isn’t Wyoming, along with Montana and maybe North Dakota, the top per capita suicide state in the nation? Seems loneliness and alcohol and suicide are by products of wide open spaces…maybe we need people?


  43. No church for us today. I had to transfer all of the food from the inside fridge to the one in the garage. Which is also full. I am married to a fine provider. Which is why I say he has the most spoiled woman in all the nation.

    Liked by 3 people

  44. What joy, Chas! Congratulations to all.

    We get to have our out of state daughter and her family here for a few days. 🙂


  45. The fire seems to be doing quite well, unfortunately. 😦 One death which they’re still investigating.



    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) — Mandatory evacuations were expanded Sunday to include Acton as the Sand Fire continues to burn out of control.

    The Acton evacuation includes homes along Agua Dulce Canyon Road north to the 14 Freeway; Crown Valley north to the 14 Freeway; and all of Soledad Canyon.

    The massive Sand Fire burned 18 homes in its path and is threatening 2,000 others as the destructive blaze continues to rage.

    According to latest figures released by authorities, the fire has charred 22,000 acres, which amounts to nearly 35 square miles.

    Fire officials said Saturday night that the blaze was at 20 percent containment, but the U.S. Forest Service corrected that figure and said the fire remains at 10 percent containment. …

    … Los Angeles County fire officials said 2,000 residential buildings and 100 commercial buildings are threatened.

    More than 1,673 firefighters, 122 engines, 39 hand crews, 15 helicopters and 8 dozes are being utilized to battle the fire, officials said.


  46. The bird up top is a little blue heron, the one species I was really hoping to see but didn’t see in the wild. With all the species that I did see, plus the unexpected magnificent frigatebird and the excellent sightings of osprey, not seeing this one bird except in captivity was fine. (I had others I would have liked to see, too, but of the “really hope I see this one,” this species was the only one I missed, but I did see it here.)


  47. Another fire casualty:



    Santa Clarita’s Sable Ranch, a popular Southern California location for film and TV shoots, burned to the ground Saturday in a wildfire that has consumed more than 20,000 acres. The ranch, near the Angeles National Forest and an ideal location for Westerns with its old Spanish-style hacienda, stables and various out buildings, has been used for countless films and series, from TV’s Maverick to The A-Team and 24, and such films as Chevy Chase’s Invisible Man and the cult horror pic Motel Hell, to name a very few.


  48. I have a cousin who lives on Aqua Dulce Canyon Road. Some of my children have been there but I never have. Sounds like a nice area. Of course, I say that about everywhere. I hope it is controlled soon, that is scary.


  49. Ah, my wood duck.

    Some of you might have thought AJ accidentally posted one of his own photos, since he is the wood-duck photographer. I finally got one myself! Actually, I got quite a few of them myself, and this is a wild bird. As we went on the boat into Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, the guide mentioned they have wood ducks nesting in nest boxes; nesting season was over, but plenty of wood ducks remained.

    What was cool about seeing the wood ducks is that briefly in every year they change into what is called “eclipse” plumage, where they aren’t very brightly colored. Some species of birds molt just once a year, and some molt twice a year (into breeding plumage and then out of it); many molt some of their feathers twice a year but some of them just once. Why the wood duck (and several other ducks) molts into colorful plumage in the fall, months before breeding season, and then into dull plumage for just a few months after breeding is over, I do not know. But I read that the eclipse season is “June to September” and that they are in colorful plumage “September to June.” So clearly the change into eclipse plumage generally happens at some point in June . . . but we saw many wood ducks June 28 (very late June) and some of them were changing out of their bright feathers, but most of them were still beautiful like this dude. So if they were slow in changing their clothes this year, I’m happy about that. It would have been a bummer to finally be close enough to wood ducks–many wood ducks–to get photos, and then have them not be in their colorful costume!

    Anyway, this is a male wood duck. Besides their really beautiful feathers, wood ducks are most known for being the duck that can be seen in trees. I have other photos from the park in which I saw as many as three wood ducks up in a tree. They nest in tree holes up to a mile from water, and within a day after the babies hatch, they jump to the ground and follow Mama Duck to the water. They’re willing to nest in boxes, but they have to be somewhat near water.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. This summer has been filled with lots of babysitting, as 1st Daughter has worked several days a week, even a few six-day work weeks (or six days in a row, spilling from one week into the other, which we are in right now). With travel time, an eight-hour workday, then coming home & having to shower, each day has been about ten hours of babysitting. It has been wearing on us, as this sweet Little Guy loves near-constant interaction, even when he’s doing something “by himself”. (L thinks he must be an extrovert.)

    Starting tomorrow, her hours switch to second shift, as she trains on those particular duties. (She has had several days of doing all the first shift work on her own, as she’s a quick learner.) Those hours will be somewhat easier to deal with, as they include the excitement of Papa coming home from work, the routine of having dinner, then some play time until dessert time, which leads into getting ready for bed, then half an hour of quiet play, then bedtime. And he will be asleep for some of the time before she gets home. I was feeling so relieved that we would be switching to this easier schedule.

    Unfortunately, 1st Daughter told me today that she does not want us to continue doing what we had been doing when she worked evenings at Claire’s. We would let him fall asleep on my couch or living room floor, while I sat on the couch reading & on my laptop, then she would carry him upstairs when she got home. But he is a big boy now – 65 lbs. last he was weighed – too heavy for her to continue to carry him up the stairs. So now we need to get him to go to bed in his own bed.

    There are some problems that will come along with that, which I won’t get into (not all about him). Suffice it to say I was feeling very disappointed about that after she told me, feeling like I just can’t catch a break.

    Well, this will not last forever. When she is finished with her training, she will work second shift on alternating weekends, & hopefully a day or two (or more?) during the week with the per diem job that hasn’t started up yet (except for some training days she had earlier in the summer). And school will start up again on September 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. I’ve had a good weekend:

    Got some things done in the patio yesterday + gathered up some old beat-up shoes, etc., to toss out of the hall closet;

    Picked up a wonderful piece of furniture after church this afternoon from a friend — it was the dictionary stand/cart from our old newspaper office that she’d taken when the paper closed but when I unexpectedly ran into her at the dog park yesterday she said it originally was supposed to go to me as I’d said I wanted it (which I really don’t remember, but she’s been trying to get it to me for a few years apparently). Anyway, looks like it’s from the early 1900s, it’s on little wheels wheels and has a slanted top with a shelf below. Michelle probably used it when she was interning there. 🙂

    I took naps on both days. 🙂

    Would have done more around the house & yard if it weren’t for the heat, but all-in-all a pretty restful/productive weekend. (And because of the fire & all the environmental smoke, i’m glad I wasn’t in Hollywood loading and unloading library books, etc.; the sky in Hollywood was “black tinged with red,” according to another friend who was up there this weekend.)

    Liked by 4 people

  52. Oh Donna that sounds like a wonderful piece of furniture! Oh the possibilities!!!
    Karen, does F not transfer from one spot to another well, meaning can he not be awakened for just a moment to go upstairs to his bed when mom comes home? You sacrifice so much already…and I know you adore his precious self…but if he can make it upstairs and fall back to sleep, I think I would much prefer that over having to rearrange my routine with him…just a thought….
    Cheryl that is one of the most beautiful ducks I have ever seen..I would love to see one “in person”!! So thankful for your sharing your gift and talent with us!
    Allergies are killing me… “non drowsy” antihistamines are making me drowsy…thankful for air conditioning….


  53. That’s definitely a Florida duck!

    Chaos at the dog park tonight, just a few too may dogs + a young man who appointed himself dog trainer for everyone else’s dogs, complete with rudely yelling at people about how they need to educate themselves & get a little “F’g” knowledge … Pretty annoying. He left, thankfully.

    And now Carol’s left a voice mail, in tears, I couldn’t understand half of it. I’ll give it a little while before calling her back, maybe she’ll be easier to talk to — she tends to go in and out of these crying jags from time to time.


  54. Thanks, Nancy Jill. I just love wood ducks. I’ve seen them several times, and photographed them several times, but always at too great a distance for whatever camera I happen to have at the time. And then we saw a pair in the water on our boat ride, but the male was going into eclipse plumage and not in the best color. But over the course of the day, I saw several birds as individuals, as pairs, as family groups with nearly grown young, and also as groups of three or four adults. They were mostly in the shade and moving, which is hard to photograph (the shade keeps the lens open longer and the photo blurs), but I hadn’t gotten a good chance at the species before, so I took photo after photo. (In contrast, I love great blue herons but I only took one or two photos of them because I see them every couple of weeks in Indiana.) A lot of the photos of the wood ducks didn’t turn out, more than I expected actually, but since I got so many, I had a lot of good ones. I’ve learned it’s wise to do that–if it’s a species you haven’t seen before, or haven’t seen often, then take more photos than you actually want to take, because inevitably some won’t turn out, and you don’t know when (if ever) you’ll get another chance. And in this case, too, I couldn’t always tell when I was taking the photo what good shape the bird’s plumage was in, so only as I looked at the pictures a week or so later did I really know whether I had good shots, or how many.


  55. Have a nice trip Ann. I am sitting around waiting to go to the drivers license division of the DMV. I am going through, again, the routine I did in Hendersonville. But I didn’t complete in in H’ville because I also have a change of address. Something wrong with that, but I don’t know what.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Good morning! I’ve tried to catch up on reading weekend posts. I am trying to be on the internet less on the weekends.

    Yesterday was our first Sunday to have a uniform police officer acting as security for our church.


  57. So, here it is an hour and a half after the usual daily thread goes up, and it’s not there. AJ must be getting needed rest.

    I couldn’t sleep after 5AM so I got up and did a couple of quiet things on the new house while Mrs. L sleeps in in. Where we have the computer is a dark corner, so I hung (hanged?) up a swag lamp we’ve had since we got married. I also found and put together an end table so I’d have a place to set my coffee while reading the Bible. And now the Bible doesn’t have to sit on the floor all day.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Where is AJ? I hope he’s OK. (Not that he is required to see to us first thing or anything, but it’s a change of routine for him.)

    Liked by 2 people

  59. By the way, I said yesterday that I don’t know why some ducks go into “eclipse” plumage for just a few months of the year, when other birds have breeding plumage and non-breeding plumage, but most ducks go into their gaudy breeding plumage early in the fall, the colors are several months old by the time they actually mate and have ducklings, and then they briefly get dull colors.

    Not having spent much time studying ducks, I couldn’t remember the answer, but I think it is this: ducks and geese have a period of time that they are molting in such a way that they cannot fly; most birds molt a wing feather here (same feather on both wings) and another there, and go through a cycle of losing just a few feathers at a time so that they can keep the ability to fly. But at least some ducks and geese do not. For a period of each year they can swim but they cannot fly, and it makes sense that in that period they are more camouflaged and less vulnerable to predators. So they molt their flight feathers just once a year, while they are raising their young or just afterward (often, as in the case of Canada geese, while the young cannot yet fly either and thus they are staying together as a family group), but they molt their head and body feathers twice–while molting the other feathers they molt into camouflage (eclipse) colors, and once they can safely fly again, they molt back into their usual bright colors. But many species (including Mallards) begin courtship in the fall, and so they are in fresh bright colors when they pair up, though they do not nest for many more months.


  60. Maybe AJ is waiting for us to get 100. This makes three in a row for me and that’s my limit, but 100 is close and I’m willing to race if I am sitting here while others get close.


  61. One hundred? 100? C? 10 x 10? 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10?

    One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven . . .


  62. Kim, I am not much in the loop at church. I was told, without any details, that a member hired him so it sounds like it is not from our church budget (which gets slimmer all the time). We have several church plants in our church building so it could be related to that. Also, VBS is this week. We are probably in a high target area for terrorism, too.


  63. A man with a gun in a church makes sense these days.
    I’m beginning to worry about Aj.

    I was going to post on the Prayer Thread, but it wasn’t up. So I did my own praying.

    I told you before about my trials and tribulations WRT my driver’s license in H’ville.
    So. I went over today to have my license renewed and address changed.

    I have a driver’s license

    They renewed my driver’s license for five years. I have a restriction to wear corrective lenses and daylight hours. That’s OK. Elvera can drive at night if necessary.
    She won’t be driving anywhere without me anyhow.

    Liked by 3 people

  64. Glad you got the DL all squared away, Chas.

    This summer is going fast, although I keep thinking it’s August already. I am so ready for fall.

    Liked by 2 people

  65. Wow. My dryer stopped on its own. It hasn’t done that in a year, I have to remember to check it every so often as the automatic timer doesn’t work anymore (after almost 30 years, it’s allowed). But now it’s working again. Hmmm. Interesting.

    Meanwhile, our fire out here continues to surge:

    Thousands of residents remained out of their homes Monday morning as the 51-square-mile Sand Fire continued to burn in Southern California’s Santa Clarita Valley.

    “This fire, what we’ve seen in 72 hours, is almost unprecedented,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion Chief Dennis Cross. “We’d have to go back a long way to compare a fire to this. And, we’re not through with this thing yet.”



  66. Praying for AJ and family….even if it is a computer glitch…it’s always good to pray 🙂
    That is a nasty fire ya’ll have going out there Donna…have been praying for the firefighters and families out of their homes…scary stuff….
    Congratulations on your license renewal Chas! You know I have the same restrictions on my license….I tell everyone I have to get home by dark or else I’ll turn into a pumpkin!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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