42 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-7-17

  1. Good Morning ya’ll…gotta run and get ready for work…have a blessed day…and Jo’s favorite flower is a happy good morning photo around here…just makes me smile!! Spring!! 🙂

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  2. I love daffodils. They are such happy flowers. They don’t grow well around here. Their knock-off cousin puts in a weak appearance, but they aren’t daffodils. 😉

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  3. We have daffodils all around because I like daffodils and apparently, the folks before us did too. They are thickest under the window of nine year old daughter. She helped me plant them, along with the mountain lilies.

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  4. We’ve only had daffodils and tulips for about a week. We had crocuses at least a month ago, but then we had a cold spell.

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  5. The first flower I’ve seen here are bluebells, growing under a hedge long the sidewalk. The leaves will not be out for a while, so the sun reaches the ground plants first. It is a little warmer in the city than in the country. My mother was saying that second sibling-in-law’s bees are already finding forage, but they can’t imagine from what plant, since most things are still dormant.

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  6. Yellow and green, very Easter-y colors. 🙂

    Trash pickup this morning which has become tricky now that all my trash cans are tied together by a rope at the bottom of the driveway (to keep people away from falling into the trench). My neighbors usually have extra room in their black/trashy/trash can (the one for the real garbage) which was all I really *had* to get out but it took me a while to figure out where they’d put their cans this week — they were a ways down the street so I walked my garbage bag down there.

    The recycles will have to wait another week. Or two. Depending on how long the driveway takes (no word yet on that front).

    Looks like we’re in for more sunny but cool weather through the next week — the flowers here are all gorgeous following all our rain. Spring is springing big time (downside is it’s making also for a very bad allergy season).

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  7. Glorious grits! And y’all thought I was going to say daffodils! Both photos look beautiful to me.

    I am so tired. I think two pots of coffee and a large unsweetened tea will be the daily norm for the next ten days.

    Art got gas for us while I stayed in the car this morning. As I was driving on the expressway people were honking at me. I told him maybe he had left the gas tank open. He said he did not think so. Sure enough, when we got to the office the plug was dangling from the open gas door. That’s what happens when you are afflicted with taxes on the brain.

    The phone will not stop ringing. I am looking forward to Brother being here to help soon. It has been a rough week with the weather and all.

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  8. I have left the gas tank unfastened. But my car now gives a red light on the dash when it isn’t on tight. The truck doesn’t

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  9. Janice, I could feel the weariness come through that post. It’s made me more aware of what my own tax guy probably goes through and how late filers like me probably don’t help!

    And I’ve done that with the gas tank, embarrassing.

    Hang in there, only about a week left, right? Think how glorious it will feel to have this behind you for another year.

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  10. Monsoon rain with strong, wild winds all night. Rain continues–we’ve now broken the all time record back to 1902. I’m staying put today and editing. It’s cozy at home and my husband is working from home as soon as he finishes clearing a few gutters in this momentary lull.

    I’m working in the past this week. My blog post about my mother’s European charm bracelet generated a fair amount of interest and my brother suggested I submit a similar story to Vanity Fair.

    Instead, I resurrected from Windows 2003, a memoir I wrote about that trip based on the travel diary my mother made me keep. I thought I would refashion it around the charms on her bracelet.

    But first I had to reformat and clean it up. It’s taking longer than I expected (surprise!), but I’m actually surprised by how well I wrote it all those years ago.

    It’s holding together pretty well, so far.

    But my mom comes alive again– which is what my aunt and uncle said when they read the first draft 14 years ago.

    Precious– when I’m not shaking my head at what an arrogant, clueless leggy 14 year old in braces and horn-rimmed glasses I was back in the Stone Age!

    Fortunately, I can be a little more objective now . . .

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  11. Interesting piece on how Amazon continues to impact the way we shop. Bookstores may only have been the first to take a big hit.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-07/stores-are-closing-at-a-record-pace-as-amazon-chews-up-retailers
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    America’s Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever

    The battered American retail industry took a few more lumps this week, with stores at both ends of the price spectrum preparing to close their doors.

    At the bottom, the seemingly ubiquitous Payless Inc. shoe chain filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to shutter hundreds of locations. Ralph Lauren Corp., meanwhile, said it will close its flagship Fifth Avenue Polo store — a symbol of old-fashioned luxury that no longer resonates with today’s shoppers.

    And the teen-apparel retailer Rue21 Inc. could be the next casualty. The chain, which has about 1,000 stores, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as this month, according to people familiar with the situation. Just a few years ago, it was sold to private equity firm Apax Partners for about a billion dollars.

    “It’s an industry that’s still in search for answers,” said Noel Hebert, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “I don’t know how many malls can reinvent themselves.” …

    The rapid descent of so many retailers has left shopping malls with hundreds of slots to fill, and the pain could be just beginning. More than 10 percent of U.S. retail space, or nearly 1 billion square feet, may need to be closed, converted to other uses or renegotiated for lower rent in coming years, according to data provided to Bloomberg by CoStar Group. …

    … “Today, convenience is sitting at home in your underwear on your phone or iPad,” Buss said. “The types of trips you’ll take to the mall and the number of trips you’ll take are going to be different.”

    But even brands moving aggressively online have struggled to match the growth of market leader Amazon.com Inc.

    The Seattle-based company accounted for 53 percent of e-commerce sales growth last year, with the rest of the industry sharing the remaining 47 percent, according to EMarketer Inc.
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  12. I posted a reply to the ongoing discussion regarding a certain holiday on yesterday’s thread. I dislike having so much discussion over a word, as we are to avoid that generally, with Paul’s warning in I Timothy 6:3-5. However, I am concerned for the overarching principle, and that is how Christians have become beguiled by the theories of secular skeptics of the 19th century. As I’ve been researching the history of Easter that whenever I come across an article asserting that the word had no pagan origin, I find two kinds of people protesting that the author is wrong and there is a pagan origin, the first are Christians who are convinced that it is wrong to observe the holiday, the second are neo-pagans who boast that theirs is the original religion and Christianity is the imitation. Most Christians do not understand that paganism was completely reinvented in the late 1880s and early 1900s – the Wiccans and Druids of the modern day have really made their beliefs out of the whole cloth of speculation. A more historically unfounded belief system would be hard to find. We know precious little of the Druids, beyond the fact of their existence, because they left no written records and are only mentioned in Roman writings. The same holds true for the Saxon pagans, we only know of their existence through later Christian writings. In the 1800s, skeptics developed a system for reading between the lines as it were, and inventing whole theories of origins based on a speculative analysis of old words. The Christian writer G. K. Chesterton, who was contemporary to this popular movement, wrote about the craze for inventing pagan symbolism for every old religious tradition:
    I was once sitting on a summer day in a meadow in Kent under the shadow of a little village church, with a rather curious companion with whom I had just been walking through the woods. He was one of a group of eccentrics I had come across in my wanderings who had a new religion called Higher Thought; in which I had been so far initiated as to realise a general atmosphere of loftiness or height, and was hoping at some later and more esoteric stage to discover the beginnings of thought. My companion was the most amusing of them, for however he may have stood towards thought, he was at least very much their superior in experience, having travelled beyond the tropics while they were meditating in the suburbs; though he had been charged with excess in telling travellers’ tales. In spite of anything said against him, I
    preferred him to his companions and willingly went with him through the wood; where I could not but feel that his sunburnt face and fierce tufted eyebrows and pointed beard gave him something of the look of Pan. Then we sat down in the meadow and gazed idly at the tree-tops and the spire of the village church; while the warm afternoon began to mellow into early evening and the song of a speck of a bird was faint far up in the sky and no more than a whisper of breeze soothed rather than stirred the ancient orchards of the garden of England. Then my companion said to me: ‘Do you know why the spire of that church goes up like that, I expressed a respectable agnosticism, and he answered in an off-hand way, ‘Oh, the same as the obelisks; the Phallic Worship of antiquity.’ Then I looked across at him suddenly as he lay there leering above his goatlike beard; and for the moment I thought he was not Pan but the Devil. No mortal words can express the immense, the insane incongruity and unnatural perversion of thought involved in saying such a thing at such a moment and in such a place. For one moment I was in the mood in which men burned witches; and then a sense of absurdity equally enormous seemed to open about me like a dawn. ‘Why, of course,’ I said after a moment’s reflection, ‘if it hadn’t been for phallic worship, they would have built the spire pointing downwards and standing on its own apex.’ I could have sat in that field and laughed for an hour. My friend did not seem offended, for indeed he was never thin-skinned about his scientific discoveries. I had only met him by chance and I never met him again, and I believe he is now dead; but though it has nothing to do with the argument, it may be worth while to mention the name of this adherent of Higher Thought and interpreter of primitive religious origins; or at any rate the name by which he was known. It was Louis de Rougemont.

    That insane image of the Kentish church standing on the point of its spire, as in some old rustic, topsy-turvy tale, always comes back into my imagination when I hear these things said about pagan origins; and calls to my aid the laughter of the giants. Then I feel as genially and charitably to all other scientific investigators, higher critics, and authorities on ancient and modern religion, as I do to poor Louis de Rougemont.{From ‘The End of the World’ in The Everlasting Man, by G.K. Chesterton
    Despite Chesterton’s very wise skepticism of the skeptics has actually been criticized by modern Christians who are obsessed with the supposed pagan origins of any Christian tradition – I have actually read an assertion by a ‘Christian’ that the Louis de Rougemont was right and church spires do have such a symbolism. This obsession is not a healthy thing. Just yesterday, the relative I mentioned at the beginning of this discussion, the one who goes on about the pagan origins of Easter, posted a video clip about the origins of the Saxons, the Celts, and the Europeans. Before watching the clip, I typed in the name of the man speaking in the video in Google, and multiple references to a movement called ‘British Israelism’ came up. Basically, the movement – and the video clip – claims that the European tribes are descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel. It is associated with anti-Semitism (my relative, if he knew that might distance himself, as he is rabidly pro-Israel) and with heretical doctrine. I know quite a few Christians who have dabbled in theories of pagan origins of Christian traditions, and been pulled deeper into weird theories, such as the Babylonian conspiracy I wrote about recently. Chesterton rightly recognized in his day, surrounded by skeptic who wove these theories, that they led to a mad view of the world.

    P.S. It is easy to edit a Wikipedia article – if you go to any article on Wikipedia, and click on the Talk tab, you can see the history of how the article was edited and reedited, and you will see that some of those editors had an agenda. That is why I don’t link to Wikipedia articles and the Wikisource pages I link to are scans of real published books that are now copyright free and put on the internet by projects like Gutenberg.org.

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  13. Roscuro, it’s why I don’t allow my authors to use wikipedia in endnotes, either. If nothing else, the material they are citing might have been changed by the time the reader gets the book! I either have them get a new and better source or I do it for them. Wikipedia is good enough for casual research–I’m wondering how many people lived in my town as of the last census, just out of curiosity, or I want to know the name of a butterfly in my yard. But for something you want to put in print or more scholarly research, no, it is not adequate.

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  14. Cheryl, I might go to Wikipedia is to look at references – if sources are cited, there may be hyperlinks to more reputable websites. Citing Wikipedia is not allowed in school; in fact, we cannot use just any other website either, which is why we have to go in through the school databases and access scholarly journals. Even then, they are training us to read scientific studies critically to see if they are flawed in their methodology or analysis.

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  15. Some positive signs that we may have reached the end of the sewer line clogs .(we’re right almost to the sidewalk, they’ve replaced some 40 feet of line so far). … we will know more in a few hours after the plumber comes to see if it’s all clear out to the street.

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  16. And now for something completely different. I recently watched a little known film by the great comedian and silent film maker, Charlie Chaplin. It is called ‘Limelight’, made with sound, and is a bittersweet tale of an aging clown who helps a young ballerina. Toward the end of the film, Chaplin does a comedy routine with the other great comedian and silent film maker, Buster Keaton. The film was made in 1951, so both men are getting up in years in the film, but they are still the best – Keaton’s ‘stone face’ alone is cause for laughter:

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  17. We’re in from a walk during the lull. Several blocks over from us, we saw a palm tree toppled. Our winds came from the southeast, an unusual direction, and this tree missed the corner of the house and a Mercedes coupe, but land full across the hood of a Cadillac!

    Yikes. We could see the dents from the road. No lights on in the house, no one appeared around–we weren’t sure if we should ring the doorbell and let them know, but it was 9:30 in the morning. When we returned, I could see their big screen TV was on, but we kept walking.

    I can hear all sorts of scrabbling in the roof above my head–hmmmm, not sure what that means.

    Our lawn furniture, which we set out on last Saturday’s golden afternoon, is now scattered all over the yard. It’s not lightweight.

    But, the metal peacock statue, which seems to fall over at the slightest touch, remains upright. Odd, how things go when the wind blows from a different direction!

    Back to Germany. I’m still on the train but we should arrive in Hamburg soon. 🙂

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  18. Coyotes in NC:

    http://abc11.com/news/officials-coyotes-see-no-difference-between-pets-food/1843354/

    NC WILDLIFE OFFICIALS ENCOURAGE ‘PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE’ AFTER DURHAM COYOTE ATTACK

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    … Birckhead said coyotes have been living in all of North Carolina’s 100 counties since 2005, coming either through natural migration from the west or being introduced, mostly by hunters bringing them in illegally.

    “It’s not uncommon to see coyotes in urban and suburban areas,” said Birckhead. “Coyotes are incredibly adaptable animals. So they’ll find little, small patches of natural areas behind people’s houses, in subdivisions and they’ll live there and they’ll use that as a home base and go out from there and look for food resources.” …
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  19. Got the ‘all clear’ on the sewer line, plumber was able to snake all the way to the main trunk line. Whew!! Now they’ll connect new pipe to remaining (still good) old pipe, do the backfill in the trench and start getting ready for the pavers which should be ready to go in Tuesday or Wednesday.

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  20. You’re not replacing the entire line? Won’t that encourage the roots again?

    I asked when planting crepe myrtles in our median and the water company told me to sheath them in metal to keep them out.

    Your guys hopefully know what they’re doing. OTOH, you’ve lived in the house a long time without problems, so maybe no worries. Just glad you’re threw to the sewer line! Relief! 🙂

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  21. I agree with Peter. It may be more expensive, but if you plan to live there ten years, you may as well do it now. It will me much more expensive to go back in again.

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  22. It’s HUGELY expensive to go under the street, so NO, as long as that section of line is clear, I’m good with that, unless someone wants to give me some of their backyard treasure.

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  23. It would run as much as $10,000 more — as it is, I’m out maybe $7,000 so far, maybe less, for replacing all the line on my property. The line under the sidewalk and street goes maybe 20 feet deep under ground and must be done with a full-fledged, high-paid city contractor, heavy machinery, etc.

    Woman down the street said her son had to pay $14,000 for that. Photo editor’s mom paid $20,000.

    I rest my case. 🙂

    If the last part of the line couldn’t be cleared, I’d be stuck. But since it cleared, that’ll do it for me.

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  24. And remember, I still have some projects ahead of me, including fixing the foundation and wood windows, neither of which is cheap.

    Yeah, new would be better but …

    I think this is a reasonable roll of the dice, if you will, esp if I can keep up with serious maintenance. You can only do what you can do.

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  25. Oooo Donna is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel finally…err…light at the end of the sewer pipe?! 😛 …by the way…we have some precious friends who have had a similar issue with their home in the Springs….they were advised to have the pipe cleared/cleaned once a year and they should be good…that was over 30 years ago and all has gone well….they pay 100 dollars a year to have a guy come out to the house and clean it out. My parents had issues with their terra cotta pipes as well, with roots boring their way into the pipe…they had it cleaned out time to time…it was a bother…but worth it…considering the expense of replacing the 1950 infrastructure….

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