60 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-15-16

  1. My husband e-mailed that picture to me from one morning with the message, “I was almost late for work because I had to wait for some turkey to get out of the driveway.”

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  2. Make It Man posted his lovely memorial for his Dad on FB. I’ve copied it here for those of you not able to see it:
    While visiting Mom and Dad in 2013, I spent some time with Dad in the blacksmith shop. At that point, his missing leg and strokes had already greatly diminished his mobility and stamina. After a morning session of blacksmithing, he retired to the recliner for a nap.
    As I poked around in the shop, it occurred to me that this could very well be the last time I would be able to spend time there with him. Taking pictures of the empty shop, prescient grief struck me like a hammer, and I wrote these lines.
    The smithy is silent and empty. The forge is cold and dark, its blower not breathing bright fire to life. The slack tub is dry, staves shrunk away from their iron bands. Tongs, abandoned in their racks, no longer grasp glowing iron. The massive anvil no longer rings from the steady beat of a hammer’s blows.
    No work is done here now. No raw creation springs to life, borne of noise, fire, and iron. The Presence that made the smithy alive is absent.
    But the memories are alive. In them my father is loud and full of life, hale, hearty, eyes bright and clear, strong hands busy and dark with the dust of honest work.
    Dad’s hardworking attitude carried over into his unique style of parenting.
    Instead of giving his children premade toys like the latest action figures and accessories, Dad favored the principle of giving us the raw materials for creation. In that vein we received paint sets, with the un-used ends of newsprint rolls for paper. We received McCall’s Giant Golden Make-It Book and crafted not a few projects from it. We had tools and wood, paper and glue. The one concession to premade toys was Lego brick sets. And this was only because you could build just about anything with a little imagination.
    He also favored a hands-on method of teaching us real-life skills. Consequently, we always had work to do, as well as the tools and materials to do it. To this day, it is a well-established Underwood tradition to put family and friends to work when they come visiting.
    Once, while the rest of the family was off visiting relatives in Oklahoma, Dad and I spent Christmas vacation salvaging refrigeration crates from the new Safeway store installation. We drove the old VW truck with fold-down sides twenty odd miles into town, snow and sub-zero temperatures notwithstanding. Then we broke down the crates by hand, stacked the heavy pieces into the truck, and tied them down snugly. After driving home and unloading everything we promptly went back for more. We spent several days salvaging all the crates, and the process didn’t even end there.
    I spent the next few summers cleaning up that lumber so that we could build an addition to the house with the ¾” exterior grade ply and 2×4 studs. I learned every way to pull a nail: with wrecking bar, claw hammer (both directions), and channel-lock pliers. I learned to drive even a clinched nail out from the wrong end. I learned to straighten nails and re-use them.
    My motivation was that I could plant a lawn and do some landscaping when that pile of crates was finally gone, put something nice-looking where that blot used to stand. In addition to enjoying the creative act, I also have the eye of an artist. This can be both a blessing and a curse… While dad imparted his love of creation to me, he was not bothered by lack of aesthetics. And so when “useful junk” piled up, it didn’t bother him. Not so for me. His blacksmith shop was a testament to this, as, at times it got so cluttered you could barely squeeze through it. So much so that my 12-year-old son, Michael, remarked after a visit that it was a good thing he got a guided tour, because he wasn’t sure he could have safely navigated the shop by himself.
    Unfortunately, my aesthetic eye remains offended, because I have continued Dad’s tradition of gathering “useful junk”, to the dismay of my well organized wife. They say that from chaos comes more creativity. If this is true, I must be well endowed with creativity.
    What Creator does not love his Creation? As a woodturner I am as appreciative of my own work as anyone, and sometimes go to great lengths to redeem it when something goes wrong.
    There is a Master Smith from whose forge massive sparks are flung to the far corners of the universe. On His anvil the hammer blows form great galaxies. His attention to complex detail and beauty are matchless. No other can boast exhaustive knowledge of every material, or countless techniques unknown to any other artisan. He has forged the world from raw materials, and brought all things to life. His are the hands that paint the sunset, that construct the atom, and form a child in the womb.
    His are the words that declare his unbounded Love for his creation. He is the One who has gone to great lengths to redeem his creation. He is the one who called to my father at an early age, who instructed him in the way of life, who made him to trust in the work of another craftsman; Jesus the carpenter. Jesus, that precious savior of the Father’s Creation. Jesus, that master carpenter who built, with his life and blood, what no human hand can build up or tear down. Jesus whose creative act produces new creatures- of whom Dad was one. His refining work in Dad is now complete. Dad has now gone to be with God. Dad is not just a memory in the minds of those who knew him, he is, to paraphrase the words of D.L. Moody, now “more alive than he ever was”.
    I imagine Dad, whole in body and spirit, whole in goodness and life, sitting at the feet of that Master Smith learning more than he ever dreamed possible.

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  3. Can’t help but wonder what will be said of me.
    I’m beginning to feel old. It’s about time. But not yet. Elvera needs me. She really does.
    I am happy, and admittedly proud, of the way Chuck turned out. Mostly due to his mother’s work. But even moreso with the grandkids.
    I prayed for each of them today. I fear for their future. The time is coming when we won’t recognize the America we had.
    America was not a perfect nation. But the best the world had seen so far.

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  4. Oh, Chas, I know what you mean. I pray for Little Guy (& also Nightingale & Chickadee) to have a strong godly discernment, & faith strong enough for them to stand boldly for Jesus no matter what happens in their lives.

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  5. There was this strange light in the sky yesterday. I am not sure what it was…it had been a long time…anyway Mr. P and I used it to our advantage and got the yard done. 🙂

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  6. Saturday night we had a “meet and greet” Q&A for a former classmate who is challenging the current mayor in the upcoming election. I am supporting her. I don’t believe she will win this election, but I can still hope and I can vote for her so that in 4 years someone else will see that it is possible to challenge him. The get together was held at a friend’s cottage on the Bay, You know that I arrived early to set up and left late after I help clean. After everyone left we sat around the table with the candidate and her twin sister. The candidate owns the local independent book store. I mentioned to her that I have a friend I am teasing about doing a book event in her store. She started asking questions. When she heard what the book was supposed to be about she got a sparkle in her eyes and said Yes! I so want to do it. Oswald Chambers changed my life. Sorry, Michelle, you are going to have to put a quaint little Southern town on your book tour map. 😉 (And if her oldest daughter is away at college you will have your own little apartment to stay, right downtown)
    What changed her life? My Utmost for His Highest July 4th

    Fretting means getting ourselves “out of joint” mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say, “Do not fret,” but something very different to have such a nature that you find yourself unable to fret. It’s easy to say, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7) until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then? If this “Do not” doesn’t work there, then it will not work anywhere. This “Do not” must work during our days of difficulty and uncertainty, as well as our peaceful days, or it will never work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work for anyone else. Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.

    Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God.

    Have you been propping up that foolish soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God to handle? Set all your opinions and speculations aside and “abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (Psalm 91:1). Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Love it.

    I, of course, see Biddy’s life all over that post.

    My husband and I were just talking last night about the one state I haven’t visited (can anyone guess) and I mentioned I’d only driven across Mississippi’s panhandle, so I only visited on a technicality. I had debated driving up the Natchez Trace (ancestor trail), but wanted to see Kim and that seemed like too much backtracking.

    I’m so happy to have seen Kim, of course, but I’m also pleased to have visited the charming, really beautiful, town of Fairhope.

    I’d love to come back if it works out. In fact, I’ll start a list right now: places to talk about Biddy in 2017! Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Two places now on the list. 🙂

    I thought to put this on the prayer requests, but it’s so trivial compared to the ones there, I’ll mention it here. I’m about to write a long and very tricky manuscript evaluation to someone important who assured me s/he has thick skin.

    They’re going to need it and this is very delicate . . . It’s going to take a while to be tactful, encouraging, and yet honest. I’m not sure when I’ll be back here . . .

    Liked by 4 people

  9. “All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God.”

    Indeed. That has come clear to me specifically in my fretting over Chickadee’s situation. One of my concerns is that she has no health insurance, & what would happen if she were in an accident or otherwise afflicted. In general, I just don’t know what is going to become of her. We cannot imagine her being able to go to a job interview, let alone ever having a real job.

    I would find myself trying to figure out how to help her, wondering if I should swallow my pride & contact YF to ask if they are doing anything to help her (which I highly doubt) or ask her to do something to help her.

    Anyway, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I have determined to stop trying to figure things out, surrender her to God, & continue to ask Him to do a miracle in Chickadee’s life.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Michelle – North Dakota. 🙂

    Remember I had mentioned that idea for a novel or story about the “fracking rush” that was going on in North Dakota? You told me that was the one state you had never been to.

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  11. Two stories await me today (they should be easy — I can’t even remember what one of them is, but I wrote it down Friday on tomorrow’s lineup so I guess I’ll have to go back see what it is).

    Hoping to connect with the plumber today and I suppose I’ll call the foundation people to get those estimates going as well (though the leak needs to be fixed first).

    I really have no idea what to expect in terms of what this foundation issue will cost. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Or not.

    (Woman who did the cursory check for me said estimates vary wildly, she saw one job that had a span of $5,000 to $50,000 !!!! — that latter would be laughable — or rather cry-able). At least I can run estimates by her once I get them.

    Wish I could take a month off just to get this and all the other stuff done. I know it’ll be worth it in the end and I’ll enjoy a ‘renewed’ house. By Christmas is my goal.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. So much for a question of the day . . . 🙂

    Hey, Kizzie, why not invite mom over for coffee and ask her what she has observed about your child. Don’t be challenging or difficult, just tell her you’ve been thinking of C and wondering if she has any thoughts about your child’s future–her strengths, her weaknesses, her positive qualities. It could a mom to mom talk, not mentioning her children at all.

    I’ve found people like to give advice, particularly if they’re in close contact with my kids. Sometimes it’s valuable and sometimes people who are not looking through the eyes of love can see things we might not recognize.

    A thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michelle – I have shared my concerns with Mrs McK via email a few times, without mentioning her daughters, even almost begging her input, but she has not been helpful. Remember, I think she has an emotional investment in keeping these girls children as long as possible.

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  14. Speaking of the McKs, we had another thing happen that had us shaking our heads & wondering.

    You all may remember I’ve said they are chronically late. Chickadee is often dropped off very late, even when we have to babysit early in the morning. (One time she was dropped off at 2am when we needed to be up by 7am, because YF had to bake a cake for someone’s birthday, & didn’t even start it until 9 at night.)

    One recent night, when we would have to be up by 6:30am, Chickadee was finally dropped off at 3:30 in the morning – only three hours before our babysitting would begin. The next day, she explained that she & they had been visiting Mrs McK’s sister, who lives over an hour away, & were out looking for the sister’s missing dog.

    Well, I could sympathize with that. But then she mentioned that the dog had gone missing a couple weeks earlier. What the what?! After a couple weeks, it was suddenly urgent for them to search for a dog – in the dark – until the wee hours of the morning, when one of them had to be up very early the next day? I’m pretty sure Mr McK had to be up for work in the morning, too.

    I just don’t get it.

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  15. DJ something you said over the weekend made me think perhaps realtor friend from the dog park is trying to scare you into selling. It may be that he has a buyer in mind and also assumes he could sell you something else. Just a thought
    Blog realtor friend sees your house as an investments. You are a single woman with no heirs. Take a page from Chas. Be smart. Know when it is time to cash out and move to a retirement t community or assisted living. You may want to invest a little money in an attorney or financial (fee only not commissioned) who can advise you better in your state

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  16. Yeah, those guys are vulture like — he lived next door to me and I (generally) trust him, but there is always that. So I take his advice with a grain of salt.

    For now, I want to get the house in shape. I will likely be here for a while longer. 🙂

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  17. Yeah, yeah. 🙂

    But, yes, real estate guys can be wheelers and dealers and this one is no exception, to that’s always in the back of my mind. But he has been a good resource in finding more affordable workers and options, so that has been a help. If he makes a suggestion (like getting new, vinyl windows that I hate or smoothing out driveway cracks that aren’t urgent to smooth out), I just smile and ignore him and do (or not do) what I want. 🙂

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  18. Does anybody know what “peanut butter skates” are? If you heard a second-grader say he refused to wear them, would you know what he was talking about? I can’t find what it means by googling it, and my real reason for googling it is to see if it’s a term that will be familiar to readers (specifically to children).

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  19. That is a beautiful tribute to his dad from MIM. I had to read the last paragraph out loud to my hubby. Of course, I could not even do that without tears. Then I read Chas’ and could hardly make it through. It reminded me of how my dad tried so hard to stay alive for my mother. I had to remind her of that when she was angry at him for going first. Of course, when she is in her right mind, she knows we are not in control of that!

    On a lighter note—we were contacted by the insurance company handling the accident in which we were involved. Long story short, we will now get a rental and things are moving forward, slowly, but surely.

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  20. Cheryl – I asked Chickadee & Little Guy if they had heard of peanut butter skates. They both said no, & Chickadee added that kids that age don’t make sense, “Just listen to him [Little Guy].” 🙂

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  21. I love peanut butter. Just had some in a sandwich with strawberry preserves. Yum.

    MiM’s post is great. I can imagine the location and the clutter, since my FIL’s machine shed is the same. We helped build it right after we married and now it’s full of old parts and tools covered in dust. I guess my BIL knows what’s what and where it all is.

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  22. Hey Michelle- After your trip on the Natchez Trace you could stop by Missouri on your way to North Dakota. Then go to Mumsee’s on the way back to California. It would only add around 500 miles to your trip doing that.

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  23. I’ve already figured out how to tour the United States visiting friends–and am SO itching to drive across the country again, truly–but we’ll have to see what the future holds. My husband, obviously, can’t take a month off from work to join me on the jaunt, even if HE, too, got to visit North Dakota! 🙂

    Because, of course, we would take the northern route to Mumsee’s house–I have friends in Wisconsin!

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  24. Kim, skateboard was all I found too. Thanks. I’ll tell the author that I asked several people (I asked my hubby too) and nobody knew the term, so she’ll need to define it. Sometimes it’s just that I don’t know the term yet (the first time I saw “Uber” was in a manuscript), but in this case apparently it’s regional or something . . .

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  25. I am thinking peanut butter is sticky so those skates would not roll smoothly. Or they could be the color of peanut butter which might not be appealing.

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  26. Art and I went earlier to get his results from his sleep study test. He is good as is if he sleeps on his side. If needed we can get an inflatable backpack that will insure he does not sleep on his back. That costs around fifty bucks. It should not be necessary. Just nice to know how they correct that problem. Who would have ever known?

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  27. Once again I am thankful for where I am today. We received the bill from Mr. P’s surgery for his portion. Because of the amount, if we were able to pay it in full we received a substantial discount. We were able to do it and so saved about $3,000. Dare I say that poor people end up paying more? There would not have been interest on this bill to pay it over time,but we “saved” money by paying in full. We all know the interest rate you are charged is based on your credit score, bad credit gets a higher interest rate, but who typically has bad credit?

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  28. interesting thoughts on anxiety. In the LA airport I actually didn’t get worried, just wondering what God’s plan was and figured He had it under control. I had fleeting thoughts of ‘perhaps I should be worried’

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  29. And mumsee & Fam will save you if a mountain lion gets too close. They’re tough, out there in Idaho.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-idaho-mountain-lion-idUSKCN10Q21H

    ____________________________________

    Idaho wildlife managers on Monday praised family members who charged a mountain lion and rescued a young girl from the jaws of the animal which was attempting to drag her off for the kill.
    __________________________________

    See, we’d all just be shaking a can of pennies here in LA.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. I did find a couple references to peanut butter and ice hockey skates. Hockey players can get an injury in the tendons on top of their feet that make it very painful for them to lace up. Peanut butter in zipper bags on top of their feet can help.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/news/what-is-lace-bite-peter-holland-should-try-the-peanut-butter/1eejyqnwbbpji10grwyqfhqv78

    I don’t guess Cheryl’s second grade source was talking about this, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Kim, poor people don’t end up paying more if they understand they can ask for a discount. When I had surgery a few years ago, the hospital portion of the bill included the last $1,800 of my deductible. I’d already gotten doctors’ offices to reduce bills a little bit (10 to 20% each), but the hospital asked for a copy of my tax return and ended up not charging me a penny of that. It was a blessing, because I really didn’t have extra money at that point in time. I was told that if they wouldn’t reduce the bill, to make payments, that they can’t legally refuse to accept payments, even tiny ones. The advice I heard was that if they refused to reduce the bill, or only reduced it by a minuscule amount, to make payments of $10 to $25 a month for a year, keep up on those payments, but at the end of the year go ahead to renegotiate payment of the rest of it, and at that point they’d probably happily settle by writing off most of the rest of it if I agreed to write a check right then and there for $200 or whatever. But I didn’t end up paying any of my share, and I was happy about that.

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  32. Indiana has some pretty seasons. I wouldn’t recommend coming in winter (too changeable), but late April to early November we can probably show you some lovely scenery. And we have access to genealogy libraries, too.

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  33. We have been on the Natchez Trace several times. It is not a good place to drive if you are in a hurry. We have been almost to Mississippi, but not all the way. It is a beautiful drive.

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  34. You can also sew small balls into your husband’s pajama shirt (if he wears one; I don’t have that option, but maybe I should check into it as an anti-snoring device), so that if he rolls onto his back in sleep, he’ll keep going to the other side.

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  35. That current picture of the road through corn fields looks like it could be around here. We drive one just like that to go to church. Except it is narrower.

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  36. When I came home with malaria, I had a large hospital bill. I was only in the emergency room for one evening, but it was like 1800. They told me I had to go to the county and apply for welfare. I knew I didn’t qualify, and didn’t want to, but they needed a letter of denial from the county. When I finally got that, and it took months. They wanted all my tax returns, etc. Anyway I took the letter of denial into the hospital and they reduced my bill by, I think, 80%. I paid it right then. Long process, but it worked.

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