113 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-24-17

  1. The problem with getting up at 5 am 3 days a week is that on Saturday sleeping until 6 is sleeping in!
    I have so much information to process that I don’t know which direction to turn. I also got notice this morning that Live Love has opened up the database to me and I have 7 leads. That is always the hardest, scariest part. I am good on the phone, but picking it up and dialing the first few times after you haven’t been “in the game” is hard. That little cell phone can weigh a ton. I just have to get my rhythym back. I also need to wait until 9am to call anyone on a Saturday. Sometime, I have to review Florida Law and schedule my test.
    Here is a Southernism for you…I feel like a one armed paper hanger. There are a few others that are just as bad. “A one legged man in a (behind) kicking contest”

    And just so you will know how hot it is in the Sunny South…I just saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking!

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  2. When I was working, I always got up at 5:20 during the week.
    On Saturdays, I might sleep until 9:00. I could get caught up on sleep.
    Chuck naps on Saturday afternoons. I never nap because it messes up my night.

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  3. Yeah, when I was working in Chicago I got up at 7:00 a.m. It was tough. 🙂 Actually, if I set my alarm for a time that has a six in it, I have a hard time sleeping, so working at 8:00 a half hour from where I lived allowed me (just) to get up at 7:00, as long as I did most of my prep the night before and I ate breakfast an hour or so after I got to work.

    In those days, what was special wasn’t so much that I could sleep in on Saturdays (although I could), it’s that I could stay up late Friday nights. I learned to treasure those late nights, up till midnight or one or two a.m., engrossed in hours of reading till I couldn’t keep my eyes open or finished the book, whichever came first.

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  4. Oh, the bird up there is a female oriole. The male was coming too, and leaving with fruit, so apparently they have a nest in some other yard, but the female gave me the best shots. It’s surprisingly hard to find, and focus in on, even an oriole in a large tree before it’s back behind leaves or flying away.

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  5. Good Saturday morning….and Kim…I had to turn the furnace on last night! My Mom use to say the “one armed paper hanger” southernism all the time when she could’ve get something accomplished to her liking!
    That oriole appears to be making a sour face…not too ripe berry he picked off that tree?!
    My dearest friend’s daughter is getting married today at the ranch down the road…it’ll take me two minutes to get there…hurray for me! 🙂 Hannah is in the wedding and we are all excited to get this thing done..it’s been two years in the works and it’s time!!

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  6. 5:15 here, but I pulled some of the BLANKETS away from my husband and snoozed a while longer. I bought black out curtains two weeks ago hoping that would help–assuming, like today, the birds were singing elsewhere, of course.

    Maybe we’ll put them up today between a gazillion other activities?

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  7. I try to be up at least by five thirty, every day. It gives me an hour and a half minimum to do my morning routine of shower, Bible reading and prayer, and some of my outdoor chores before facing the masses. It is important. I am a very private person and having the continual watch of four children is wearing. God is faithful to give me what I need and it is good for me to get out of my comfort zone most of every day. I also try to be in bed by eight thirty, nine at the latest, though a few days ago it was ten thirty but that is extremely rare, like twice a year.

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  8. I slept until 8 today. We almost had frost last night!!! It is supposed to be a bit warmer today and then hot again.

    We’re having our new king-size bed delivered this morning some time, so I want to get the old bed out of the room and wash the floor before the new one arrives (so much easier) but husband is still sleeping and I have know idea what time he came in last night so I’m not going to wake him.

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  9. Michelle – Early last year, at the suggestion of someone in a Facebook Moebius group, I started wearing a sleep mask at night, to help deal with dry eyes. The other benefit is that it keeps out the morning light.

    These are not the flat kind that really don’t do much, but are contoured for the rim to stay close to the face, but not touch the eyes, & has velcro on the strap to adjust to fit comfortable. I do have to fiddle with it to get it comfortable when the side of my face is smooshed into the pillow, but it works out. Took me a while to get used to it, but I am now.

    This is the one, from Walgreen’s, that was suggested, that I’ve been using. . .

    https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-sleep-mask/ID=prod6191590-product

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  10. I have just had to wash a load of towels. I reached in the drawer for a new tea towel to dry something and pulled out the last one. Dishwasher and washing machine are going.
    I am going down to the beach late this afternoon with my “sister” (Mama Ruth’s daughter) to meet up with some other friends from when we were in Rainbow Girls. Lo told her mother we were coming. She got very excited to see “her girls”. Lo told us she is experiencing dementia (as did Mama Ruth), “sister” told her to tell her mother again today so she could get excited again. 😉 I can’t wait to see her. She was one of those “special” women in my teenage life.

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  11. Are you sure that’s a southernism? I’ve heard “Busy as a one-armed paperhanger” outside the south, too.

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  12. Mumsee, I asked Flyboy about flying under the hood. He knew what I was talking about but hasn’t done it yet. He said his instructor would probably have him do some work under the hood while up in the air to get used to the instruments a little more, but probably not a lot of it until he’s working on his instrument rating.

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  13. Oh, I take it a paper hanger is a person who hangs wallpaper. I was trying to picture some kind of implement that you would hang paper on for some reason.

    My aforementioned grandma (who sang with me in her patio rocking chair) was also an accomplished paper hanger. She loved wallpaper and her whole house was covered in it. Me, not so much.

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  14. At first I thought of a wire coat hanger covered in paper, like half of one, that would not hold the armhole and sleeve on one side so it was useless. What do I know? I am from the South and not familiar with the supposedly common saying.

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  15. I didn’t know what a paper hanger was, either, and pictured something along the lines of Kevin’s and Janice’s descriptions.

    I once read a Tennessean (I hope I’m naming/spelling that right: IOW, a person from Tennessee) who said, “Busier than a one-armed man in a snake pit.”

    That is one place I would not like to be.

    Here I am talking about snakes again. (See also the prayer thread.) Enough of that.

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  16. Michelle (12:30) that’s funny. 🙂

    I was thinking about a wire clothes hanger — probably because I’m getting rid of any of those in my closet right now and replacing them with wood. Time for a total revamp, so I figured out with those horrible wire hangers (the plastic tube hangers are still OK, but wood is so nice).

    Wallpaper actually is coming back into style. And they have temporary wall paper now, too — probably fun for people who are renting an apartment, assuming it doesn’t ruin anything when it comes down. Still, I’m not a fan of wallpaper particularly, probably because it was so prevalent when I was growing up. I think my mom had a bicentennial wallpaper for a while in the dining room, but only on the upper part of the walls s there was a blocked (not traditional) wainscoting on the bottom (house was built in ’49 as I recall).

    So I watched Mr. Blandings last night, found the video to rent on Amazon. I’ve seen it before but it was a long time ago, probably when I was a teenager and those old movies were on TV so much. It is a lot funnier once you’re a homeowner who has gone through some of that angst. 🙂

    Had a late assignment yesterday with a tour of that new high-tech pet center — the tour went from 3:30 to 5 (only time they could fit us in) but by then the traffic wasn’t too bad getting back to the office to write. Still, I didn’t leave there until 7:30.

    I’m grateful my schedule doesn’t involve getting up early with an alarm clock (though I’m usually up by 7 or so). When the paper I worked for was an afternoon edition, our deadlines were early so that required a much earlier schedule. Morning papers have late deadlines, much more to my liking (although it was nice to get off by 5 p.m. in the old days). As it is now, my time after work & the evenings are very short.

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  17. Snakes — there are workshops here to teach dogs snake avoidance. We also have rattlers this time of year and many people like to walk their dogs off-leash in open coastal areas with lots of tall brush.

    I knew a woman years ago who thought (seriously) that there should be a spay-neuter program for snakes that the city should pay for and conduct (yes, this is California). When I laughed (I thought she was joking) she became really angry and insisted this should be part of the city’s job and they’d better get to it.

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  18. Wooden and those plastic tube hangers take up a lot of room. When I transferred my clothing to the other ones I had twice the space in my closet.
    I am trying to get Mr. P to transfer to them–as you know he still have clothes from 20+ years ago–he needs more room but his solution is to take up the two closets in the other bedrooms. THIS is what we argue about most.

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  19. I like the wooden hangers and my clothes take up half of my closet so it does not really matter. Husband on the other hand, has zillions of shoes and tons of clothes. He has storage boxes full of them, his double closet, the guest room closet, and….and…and. But they are not in my way and I am not concerned. Though I do go from one load per week to four when he is home….But he is my prince and I adore him so it is worth a little extra laundry.

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  20. The woman who wants to spay-neuter snakes should run for mayor of LA. A sure winner.
    They do have infertile chicken eggs, though.
    They must have male-female snakes. How do you tell them apart?
    This is turning into a problem only California can handle.
    I wouldn’t want to try to neuter a male rattlesnake.
    A real problem here.
    In the Carolina,s we still kill them.

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  21. So it’s not only my hubby! He, too, has his half of our bedroom closet stuffed, with more clothes in the living room walk-in closet, & his uniform shirts in Chickadee’s bedroom closet. And he has jackets/coats for every possible weather condition.

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  22. Hi, everyone. It’s been too long…..

    I’m the hoarder…Scott is very neat and orderly. I had my graduation gown (from high school) until about five years ago (I’m 46!).

    I’ve been crazy busy trying to help my cousin. Looks like we finally found him an apartment. (Hooray!)

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  23. Only 2 boxes left to pull down from above the spare room closet and those cabinets will be all clear. Yay. One box has books (I presume as that’s what it’s marked); the other is an old mail box like we had at work so I’m guessing its byline clips, desk things, etc. from when the newspaper closed (which happened just 1 year after I moved in here).

    Cleared out today was another box that contained antique books from my grandfather, all 1800s, a couple dictionaries, geography, history books … Big, heavy. I’m going to ask the museum director who says she’ll help me with my rifle about them, I just have so many of them and I don’t have ideas on what to do with them really.

    Also found old Kennedy newspapers that had been saved (from the assassinations), an electric typewriter & a box of financial papers from when I rented my mom’s house out that will go to the shredder.

    I only felt like crying from being overwhelmed once today. 🙂

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  24. Yep, we have the boxes and boxes and dresser drawers and dresser tops piled high with the clothing of one individual here who shall remain nameless. 😉 I spent an entire Saturday morning and afternoon one time a while back, when said person was gone for the day, organizing it all so they could be pleasantly surprised, and find what they were looking for (a frequently-voiced problem — “Where is that ____?”). I sorted things, threw out about half a dozen pair of white socks that had holes in them, washed the rest of the white socks (they filled our large-capacity washer nearly to the top — I kid you not — with nothing but that one individual’s socks), and put everything neatly into drawers and storage tubs in the laundry room, where that person’s clothes are kept.

    The result? No comment at all, except to say those socks with holes in them were still needed. I watched them get retrieved from the trash can, and, other than my continuing to do laundry, I learned not to do any more throwing away or organizing in there.

    Sometimes we think we’re blessing a person, and we’re really not. (Or they don’t see it that way.)

    Live and learn.

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  25. Fourth and Sixth Arrows saw a bald eagle fly over our house, carrying what looked like a snake. Something longer than the eagle itself. The neighbors said the rattler they shot today was two feet long, only about half the size of the one they got last week, and the one we had last year. Wonder if that eagle snatched up the dead snake from our neighbor’s yard today. It was flying from that direction.

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  26. Why is that? What do you suppose makes them hoard like that. Almost everything in my closet or drawers is less than 5 years old. Even my heavy winter coat! I got it 5 years ago this coming Christmas. Shoes? I have one pair that is over 3 years old.

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  27. Mrs. Blanding finally put Mr. Blanding’s socks in a basket on the top of the closet (where boxes kept falling down and hitting him in the head every time he reached up there to get something).

    But that’s a lot of socks, 6 arrows. I have some unmatched socks that I’m still hoping to find mates for, but maybe I should just chuck them now. Then when I find the mates they’ll be orphans and I will throw those away too.

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  28. I got an interesting phone call today from the mom of one of my piano students. She was on her way to go pick up her daughter from the out-of-state composition camp she was at this week, and called to tell me, “A little bird told me you play viola. Do you teach it, too?”

    Wow. I have not taught viola in many years — read, when I was a university student more than 30 years ago! — and I haven’t mentioned to many people that I once did play viola in a symphony orchestra during college, and taught the instrument during those years, too.

    This particular piano student is the one who wants to study composition in college, and now wants to get more familiar with string instruments in this year and a quarter before starting college, since she won’t just be composing for piano, but for orchestras, etc. They’ve called about viola rentals, and about lessons at a couple different places, but no one has any openings so far. Then she heard from a friend of mine with whom I used to work when I taught school (she taught art at the same two schools where I taught elementary general music) that I am a violist. (I had directed a kindergarten play one time and played my viola as part of that, and I guess she remembered that, even though those kindergarteners are now 30 years old!)

    I had to be honest with this student’s mom on the phone today, though, and tell her that I have not kept up with playing my viola, and really only take it out and play it very infrequently — like a few times a year at most — and that someone else would be a better candidate for teaching. I did say, though, that if they had trouble locating an instructor, I could help out to the best of my ability, with whatever assistance she might like in becoming familiar with the instrument.

    I would really need to get rid of my rusty playing, though, by probably using part or all of my piano time (six hours a week) to get back up to snuff.

    There’s only so much time for things, though. Prioritizing it all is always a balancing act.

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  29. OK, I don’t even think Mr. P has that many socks. I keep explaining to him that if he will get rid of what he doesn’t wear he will be able to see what he does wear and suddenly it will feel like he has more clothes. I can’t understand why anyone would need that many socks. Since he works outdoors he would need about 10 pairs of socks for that and may 4 pair of dress socks. You would have to wash them more frequently but think of all the room you would have.
    I am slowly replacing most of our bath towels with white ones. Sometimes an old one will have a hole in it and get ripped in half in the washing machine.
    I really did like having less. I am beginning to have too much again and it overwhelms me. I would love to have an “estate” sale and get rid of some of the furniture I have that I no longer like and start over with less. I can’t do that because everything is a priceless treasure and there may be a corner of this house that doesn’t have a table in it or some other piece of furniture.

    It isn’t that I don’t like all of his stuff. I don’t like mine either. I really wish someone wanted this Early American drop leaf side table my parents bought when I was about 3.

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  30. Kim, the only reason that about half my clothes are less than five years old is that in the last five years I’ve gained enough weight to be in new sizes (esp. in pants). The pants I am wearing right now are only a month or two old, but the T-shirt dates back to somewhere in the first half of the nineties–no holes, but the design is faded quite a bit.

    In my mind (and fortunately my husband is in agreement), it makes sense to buy clothes that won’t be out of style tomorrow and wear them as long as they are in good condition. It’s a better use of resources (better stewardship) in my opinion. And it also frees us to buy more books and more chocolate. 😉

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  31. My husband has a lot of socks. A lot. I don’t talk to him about them, but when mine wear out, I know where to get more. He sees them, comments that they look familiar, we laugh, and move along.

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  32. Re unmated socks: when I was moving from Nashville I finally knew that all my socks were clean and together in one place, and it seemed a great time to match them all up and throw away any that didn’t have a mate. Unfortunately my husband and the girls were in the house at the time, and he said that pile of socks would work well to wrap some breakables in. He isn’t the packrat in the house; I am. But the reason I kept unmated socks for two or three extra years is that my husband put them back into circulation when I had weeded them out. 🙂 I did recently go through all my clothes again, though, and threw away or gave away quite a lot.

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  33. And the gloves and mittens. I went through the glove drawers in the mud room yesterday and found thirty six singles. We use a lot of work gloves. Well, I use a lot of work gloves, could not convince most of them to follow suit but they had them for when they wanted. It appears somebody decided it would be fun to take one of each pair. Really? yep, really. May or may not have happened but there are two likely suspects. And it is not as if there are a lot of odd gloves lying around outside. Bizarre.

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  34. OK, last of the cabinet boxes are out and cleared. Found an old mosaic of a covered wagon I made in 4th grade that hung on our walls for a few years. 🙂 Threw away a lot of old blank cards I used to keep on hand, old pens, home office supplies. Found pics of my former dogs (which I kept) and of trips to NY.

    And I was right, the big bin at the top was filled with byline clip files — we all took ours when the paper closed, figuring the stories were all cross-filed anyway under the topics. Put them in a weather tight sealed container in the garage.

    Haha, I also found the warranty on my old Roper washer and dryer from 1990 🙂 .

    Anyway, I now have a lot more storage space for more useful things.

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  35. I finally forced myself to throw away my favorite oversized sweatshirt during all of this — a zip-up hoodie style, gray-blue, I bought it from Eddie Bauer probably 20 years ago or close to it. The zipper had broken a couple times, I fixed it with new pulls. It had tiny pinholes in the fabric after a while, but I didn’t care. I loved that thing, I wore it only to the dog park and around home or on Saturday errands.

    But the zipper finally broke again and wasn’t easily fixable — nor was it worth fixing at that point. The sweatshirt was in shambles. But I really did have to force myself to roll it up and toss it in the trash. 😦 😦

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  36. We have rattle snake aversion training around here as well. None of my dogs have attended. They also have the shot for in case they do later get bit. I don’t know how effective it is. My dogs did not go for that either. But they seem to know that rattle snakes are not toys. We try to dispatch the snakes when we find them living in the dogs quarters. They generally ignore snakes. Except Barney. Don’t ask Kim.

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  37. Though I don’t believe I have ever seen anyone pull her feet up onto a lawn chair quite that quickly before. She was perfectly safe. And only one animal was hurt during the incident.

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  38. Keva loves to play with snakes – I’m glad he didn’t try that when we lived where there were rattlers.

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  39. It is cathartic to throw away the mismatched sock pile. 🙂

    re: schedules.
    I am usually up before sunrise. If I work day shift, I have to be up by 4 to get chores done , and get to work. When I work fast track, I am up by 6, but don’t get home sometimes till 2 am, so it makes for a quick night. Night shift usually has me out of the house by 5 pm. I can usually get chores and other things done by around noon. They say you can sleep when you’re dead.

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  40. Fourth Arrow has her first behind-the-wheel session with the instructor tomorrow. The driving school recommends that parents not take their children out driving until after the students have done their first behind-the-wheel session with the instructor.

    We ignored that this time. (She did have a permit before we took her out, though.)

    Hubby was always the one to take the children out driving in between their instructor-led driving classes, so this was a first for me, taking 4th Arrow out, which we’ve done nearly every day this week. (Missed one day because of bad weather/flash-flooding risk.) Daughter is doing very well, and tonight drove home from town. We’re about three miles out, with a 55-mph highway leading to our road, and I’ve always driven her into town when we practice, then she drives in parking lots and on side streets, then I drive us home. Tonight she said she felt comfortable continuing on home via the highway, so I let her. She got up to about 50 mph, and handled the car pretty well overall.

    She does occasionally do the rolling stop thing, though, and some turns that don’t require a stop are a tad too fast, but overall I’d say she’s doing quite well. Not bad for a week and a half into the driving experience, the first time ending up with her in tears. (She’s a perfectionist, and cries when things are harder for her. Most things come very easily to her, and I think she was surprised at the complexities of handling a vehicle, though, really, she did pretty well already that first time we went out, and I told her of the many good things she did.)

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  41. “Busier than a one-armed paper hanger”, is one of the many sayings my father has handed down to us.

    6 Arrows, how long have you played the viola? I have left my violin for months and come back to it without any trouble. If you played it for many years before stopping, I can almost guarantee that it is still there and will return when you need it.

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  42. Fifteen year old daughter wants to know when we will be letting her drive. Never. Ever. At all. Most of them did not start until seventeen but I suspect she won’t. The people with whom her older sister is living have tried a couple of times to teach her with no success and it was so scary they stopped. And he is a police officer. She is twenty one and we don’t foresee her ever driving but you never know. I just would not want to be anywhere near it. And fifteen year old has less competence than twenty one. But she can pogo stick.

    Other fifteen year old won’t be driving with us, though he will probably be able to when he turns eighteen and is out of the house. We don’t trust him and don’t want to be in the car with him driving. Ever. But he is competent enough, just makes incredibly poor decisions. He did enjoy riding with eighteen year old flying the plane. Only got really scared a couple of times, when the instructor made eighteen close his eyes while instructor did strange things to the craft and then abruptly told eighteen to take over. I get air sick just thinking about it.

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  43. 6arrows, I remember those days of teaching my girls to drive. They just laugh at me now, when I cringe at their driving. They say it’s all my fault.

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  44. Scan the clip sheets and throw them away, Donna.

    Um, well that won’t be happening this week. Or next. For now, they’re in a very large container in the garage. There are hundreds or even thousands of them.

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  45. LOL, RKessler. 🙂 Ah, memories. And kids. 🙂

    Roscuro, I studied viola for about seven or eight years — three years in high school, and four or five years in college — don’t remember when I stopped, but I know I stopped studying it sometime before my final (sixth) year of college. I found it a very difficult instrument to play, and though it was one of the instruments on which I majored (as well as piano, in which I had far more credits, and voice, with fewer credits than viola), along with cello as a minor, I never became what I would consider very proficient on the instrument. I was the weak link in our (university) student string quartet, even though the cellist only minored on her instrument. She was better on cello than I was on viola, IMO, and the two violinists (who were majoring on their instruments) were way better on theirs than I was on mine.

    Piano was always my first love, and once I graduated and started teaching school (vocal/general music, rather than strings), my viola got put away for the most part. It’s been 31 years since I graduated from college, and I went a lot of those years since without playing it at all. I got nostalgic for it, though, after one of my friends from our student string quartet died five years ago, so I pulled out my viola for old-times’ sake and played it semi-regularly for a very brief period of time (maybe a few weeks), but found I had lost a lot of skill, more than I would have thought possible, given I hadn’t amassed all that much skill in the first place!

    I took my instrument out today and played it with my house windows open. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that if our neighbors could hear me playing (it’s possible), they would probably think one of my kids was taking up a string instrument for the first time, it sounded almost that bad, LOL.

    Maybe I’m selling myself short? I don’t know. I did get to first chair in both high school and college, but maybe because it’s a hard instrument, and all other violists struggle, too? Perhaps I shouldn’t compare myself to violinists and cellists, who play instruments that are easier for me to play than a viola? (But maybe violin and cello were easier for me than viola because I’d already had previous string-playing experience when I took them up in my college strings methods course?)

    Anyway, the thought crossed my mind, after my student’s mom’s phone inquiry today, that perhaps having struggled through a lot of different aspects of playing the viola would be more of a help than a hindrance to teaching. (It’s not always easy to offer solutions to problems a student may be having if the teacher never had any trouble with a particular area.)

    On the other hand, I believe it’s important to be able to give a good example of how to execute a problem area. I would want to demonstrate sometimes, like I do when teaching piano, but my technical skills on viola are (and have been, even while studying regularly) rather weak. I don’t know that I have the qualifications anymore to charge a fee that is worth my time. And, more importantly, I’m afraid I’d feel like I’m ripping people off if I didn’t at least get back to the level I’d achieved by the time I’d started teaching viola to a junior high school boy while I was in college. A music student’s first teacher on the instrument is very important for laying a good foundation.

    How long have you played violin, Roscuro?

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  46. Speaking of old memories:
    Every time I put on my hearing aid, or hear my GPS, I remember that in the mid fifty’s, they told us in psychology class that the human voice couldn’t be duplicated.

    I may have told you that already.

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  47. Oh, Chas. You are probably old enough to remember when they said a man would not survive the speed of sound, and yet several have. But you are not old enough to remember when they thought a car would never go 60 mph because it would disintegrate, or something like that.

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  48. 6, I’ve been playing violin, with interruptions, about twenty years. I formally studied violin from the time I was twelve for about nine years and reached Grade 10 in the Royal Conservatory of Music exams before deciding not to go on to university with music. I sensed that not only would I never become the rapid playing, technically brilliant musician that is wanted among classical musicians, but I also saw how my dear friend (who was a highly skilled pianist) slowly lose her enthusiasm and love for music as she entered the cutthroat competition of music school. That I will never be technically proficient was confirmed this past year when I took orchestra as an elective. I loved it, but I really struggled with the rapid passages in the music. No matter how much I practiced, I could not make my fingers cooperate. It isn’t as though I had lost some skill either, as I struggled in exactly the same way with such passages when I played for exams. I got a B in orchestra, which isn’t a bad mark, but it is the lowest mark I’ve gotten yet.

    It is as if physically my brain and fingers can only manage so much speed, as I have the same problem with rapid technical work on the piano, and I’ve been playing the piano since I was five. All of my siblings and I took piano lessons from such a young age, but Second Sibling really struggled with technical work in music, as she had an even harder time coordinating her fingers. When financial trouble made my parents seriously consider how to pay for music lessons one year, Second Sibling voluntarily gave up her music lessons, as she recognized she would always struggle (she was only about ten at the time). She still loves to listen to music (she came with her family to both my orchestra concerts) and she ended up taking crocheting and knitting instead, from two elderly friends who were delighted to teach her the skill – what her fingers can make using a metal hook and thread is amazing. So, while good teaching and hard work to help, I think that musical and other creative skills require some inborn abilities, and not everyone is able to become a technically gifted musician or a skilled craftsperson. I have a good ear and I am a good musician in other areas, but I recognize that I’m not professional material when it comes to music. When I’ve been studying nursing, I sometimes have not had time to pick up my violin for a few months (I haven’t played it for over a month now), but when I do pick it up, everything comes back, though my finger muscles may be a bit weak from lack of exercise, and the same with the piano. Now, the organ on the other hand, has taken a bit more work to get it back to the level I had it, but then I only was able to play it for a couple of years before the one at my family church broke.

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  49. Chas, now with a lot of nuisance calls it’s impossible to tell whether it’s a person robotically reading a script or a computer imitating the human voice and programmed to do some scary things. Here is a call I got the other day, and I’m nearly certain it’s a computer, since I’ve had almost exactly the same call before, I just didn’t interact with it all the same way.

    Me: Hello.
    Female Voice: Hello, may I speak to — [My husband, but it isn’t his phone but mine, and I don’t know how this company got his name linked to my phone]
    Me: May I ask who is calling?
    Her: We can talk to either of you. We’re calling about your donation to breast cancer research [a donation I have never made. With the last couple of calls, I have said no thank you, we’re not interested]
    Me: Please take me off your list.
    Her: We can honor that request.

    Everything was so similar to the way they have said it before that I really think it was a computer, but one programmed with responses to whatever the person answering the phone might say. And I have now had several times when I try to say “No thank you,” thinking it’s a person, and the voice keeps talking, and I realize it’s a computer and hang up. I don’t want to simply hang up on a live person, but I’m to the point of simply hanging up on any of them. I don’t have a phone so that I can run across the house and pick up for a computer calling my house!

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  50. I let the answering machine pick it up, started that when we were getting twenty to thirty phone calls each day. It does not have caller id so I used to have a message telling people to talk if they wanted to get us to answer. The calls have trickled down to just about five a day. I still don’t answer it unless I happen to be in the house and recognize the voice.

    We used to get calls with, “Yeah, this is …” which were robot calls.

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  51. Peter @ 9:13 was likely teasing me about thinking men couldn’t survive exceeding the speed of sound. OTOH, he may have been referring to the fact that when planes exceeded the sound barrier in WW II, they broke up. It wasn’t until the swept wing design that they could exceed the speed of sound. Breaking the sound barrier is an event and I think it’s illegal over populated areas.

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  52. One call that my husband and I have both gotten several times, obviously a recording but it’s a tricky one the first time you heard it: “You say ‘Hello’ and there’s a pause of a couple of seconds, and then you hear a giggle and “Excuse me, I was having a little trouble with my headset.” So when she begins the spiel, you of course assume it’s a live person.

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  53. Oh, and I “skipped” church this morning. Actually I started to go, tried to go . . . My husband has been “under the weather” for several days (younger daughter and I used the tickets we had to a play Friday night) and he didn’t think he should attempt church today. So I drove myself.

    As I reached the spot to enter the expressway, I could see it was backed up–totally stopped–but I could also see it was less than a block of stopped cars. I debated turning around and going side streets, but figured the time it took to detour and the longer time to travel a slower route was likely to be more than however long it took to get through a short backup. So I entered the ramp, though with a second moment of hesitation when I saw it was backed up all the way to the end. In a few minutes, nearly all the cars ahead of me were choosing to back up or turn around, and I decided they could see better than I could and it was probably a good idea to turn around, too, and so I did.

    I don’t really know my way around “the big city,” since I don’t drive in it very often and my husband is usually driving when we head to church. But I do know two routes to church, and so I went to the other choice, knowing as I did so that I would now be fairly late. (I would probably have only been about five minutes early had there been no delays, so between the delay and the reroute I was probably looking at being ten minutes late.)

    So I went the second route, and after a couple of turns I came to a workman standing in the road and forcing cars to detour. At that point I was forced to head for a major street but not sure how to get from there to church (and when I told my husband later, he said yeah, from there I would have pretty much had to detour and start over). I pulled over into a parking lot and called my husband, but he didn’t answer, and so I left a message saying, “I have so far encountered two detours–yes, I’m serious–and I’m heading back home.” It was only about five minutes till church would start at that point, and having no idea how to get there from where I was, and knowing I’d probably have to park quite a way from church if I did manage to get there, it made more sense to go home.

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  54. On the topic of socks, in going through some things this past week, I found a banker’s box full of our socks. Our sock drawers are full, and I have another tote bag full of socks, mostly mismatched, so I am facing this third world issue, too. I hung onto socks for awhile when I was teaching Sunday school with the thought of making sock puppets. Just an idea for those with an abundance.

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  55. On the topic of cities and towns, I determined this past week one way to distinguish the difference is when you are at an intersection within a mile from your home and you hear a siren and look to see if if you need to pull over. Then you see EMS trucks coming from two different directions and they swerve so as to avoid each other in the middle of the intersection because they are continuing to go in opposite directions. It seemed crazy as I hoped the two would not collide. Then I thought that I definitely live in a city.

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  56. I did not attend church this morning. I am having a difficult time with this change. And I have not felt very well since mowing on Friday. Hopefully my extra rest will perk me up.

    Today I will start in on my new volunteer work of reviewing and making comments on two inmates Bible study lessons. It’s suppose to take about two hours a week. I think it will be a good Sunday afternoon activity. I will get two different lessons each week from different inmates. I think it will be a positive way of doing prison visitation without physically being there, and it is a way to help disciple someone. It is done in an anonymous way from the reviewers side.

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  57. Up now is one of my “butterfly garden” photos. I took a crazy number of photos (more than 400) and sent about 10 to AJ, though I have another 10 or 11 to send another day. Generally I try to get nature photos to avoid manmade objects–though animals in zoos and other forms of captivity aren’t in truly natural settings, anyway, and ethically I think you are supposed to say the photo is of a captive animal.At any rate, a few of my top photos had the butterfly on a hat or other manmade setting, not a plant. In this case, it was on the floor. I don’t remember having to watch where we walked with previous visits to butterfly gardens, but this time quite a few insects ended up going down for a while, for reasons I do not know.

    Anyway, this is a postman butterfly, a neotropical species.

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  58. It is a beautiful butterfly by the way Cheryl…and he kind of looks like a very colorful moth! We are in the midst of moth season…water a plant and twenty of them come swooshing out at you. We do have some very pretty butterflies around here right now though…Lulah was quite captivated by a huge yellow one yesterday…she put her nose right up to it and it did not fly away…I thought it might leap upon the poor doggie’s nose to scare her half to death…but it did not….
    We slept in this morning…two daughters and granddaughter…we got home very late last night from the wedding and granddaughter and her Auntie stayed up until 1:30 AM chatting. Daughter #1 and granddaughter just left to go home and I have a huge headache…I’m getting too old for these late nights! Need more coffee 🙂

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  59. We went to church today. Fifteen year old son went somewhere. Eighteen year old went with us, though he usually attends the Methodist. I am enjoying church again. The other felt like a hostile mission field, this one feels like home. People want to talk about the Lord. Imagine that. Going to church and finding people who want to talk about Him. Very refreshing.

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  60. Cheryl and I have had a little time alone the last few days because ‘Liz is doing community service. It’s been nice and is a rare occurrence. . 🙂

    Tomorrow she has more, and Cheryl’s at work, so I’m off to take pics and get an oil change. 🙂

    And so you all know, I will be operating on a revised schedule the week of July 2-9. I’ll post as usual, but won’t be able to respond that quickly if you need something. So don’t need something…. 🙂

    We will be in Va. visiting with my MiL.

    And I will be fishing.

    And picture taking……. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  61. We had a wonderful sermon today on the blind man Jesus healed on a Sabbath. It is the section where the disciples ask who sinned and caused the man to be blind. I am not sure why through all the years I have studied and read this passage, that I never noticed that the man was BORN blind and, therefore, could not have sinned. That is unless one believes in reincarnation, which seemed to be one of the beliefs of the day by some.

    The speaker was not our pastor, but has been a fill in many times for our church. He does have ties to our church and I have known him many years. One thing I also found very interesting was that he looked back on a sermon he had done 20 years ago on the same passage. In the margin of that sermon he had written that one of the big controversies of the day was that the state had passed a law forcing landlords to rent to unmarried couples. Our state was the first to do so and there was a lot of dismay over this lowering of community standards and forcing landlords to violate their consciences. Such a thing is so quaint by today’s standards. What a long way we have sunk!

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  62. One of our pastors is retiring, and today was his last sermon. (Though he may fill in here and there in the future, he said.) He served communion today, along with one of the other two pastors (the one who’s been here the longest), and it was neat to see that pastor shake the hand of the retiring pastor and clap his shoulder a little after the last communion table was served. My eyes misted, and my voice trembled a little on the hymn we sang right after communion ended. Our retiring pastor has been in the ministry for 40 years, the last 26 of them at our church. He and his wife still plan to stay around the area (but do more traveling), so we will continue to see them on a pretty regular basis, which will be nice.

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  63. So sadly true Kathaleena….my daughter took my granddaughter and another friend and her daughter to a lovely B&B in the mountains which is owned by dear Christian friends of ours. There are three guest rooms with one overflow small bedroom. A lovely couple celebrating their 45th anniversary was in one room and in the other, a lesbian couple stayed with their 15yr old son. In the overflow room was their “guy friend”, who happened to be a friend of the lesbian couple and bio father of the 15yr old son…the sperm donor to one of the two ladies….explaining all of this to 14yr old granddaughter saddened daughter tremendously….and the Christian owners of the B&B cannot refuse anyone….but, on the positive note…when the owners pray at breakfast and dinner…these four did not refuse nor object….may they know the love of the Father by being in this place ❤

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  64. When I look at postman butterfly I think “batman” butterfly.

    Nancyjill, sounds lie the Christian owners are making use of their opportunity in praying. We were discussing hospitality to nonbelievers in SS a few weeks back and this is what it looks like.

    And months — I get the same thing when I water my lavender these days, the moths all fly out.

    We had a guest in the pulpit today, an elder in the denomination Cheryl belongs to who also co-hosts a radio show one of our former elders helped launch, apologetics dot com. Good sermon on John 14:1-14, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” And we sang “Holy Holy Holy” a cappella which always sounds so beautiful (we frequently sing without accompaniment, sometimes a whole hymn, other times just the last stanza or so).

    Mumsee, are you going to a different church then?

    Janice, the merger sounds trying, is there generally strong agreement on doctrine & the order of worship and things like communion (and how often it’s served)? Or are there differences that are requiring some changes for at least half of the people?

    Cheryl, lots of road work around here, too, though not usually on weekends — but maybe there were accidents that were causing your backups. I guess summer months are the times road crews have to get everything done before wet weather arrives again.

    So AJ’s leaving his needy flock for a little break … That means we all have to behave.

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  65. Roscuro, achieving Level 10 is a great accomplishment. I’ve never been part of any competitions like that, but have heard of the RCM exams. They sound rigorous. I don’t think I could have gotten to that level in viola in that or other similar systems. Piano, maybe, but my left hand technique has never been what my right hand has been, so ensemble (between my hands) has been a challenge for me when playing allegro or faster pieces.

    I can understand how some of the joy can go out of playing when there is such heavy emphasis on the competitions. One can really burn out. A sad shame, as I don’t see any point in playing music if one doesn’t love doing it. The heart and soul go out of it, and I think an audience can pick up on that, too, so it’s not as satisfying for them, either. There’s nothing like an inspiring performance that brings tears of joy to performer and audience alike. It doesn’t need to be perfect.

    I’m glad your sibling who stopped taking lessons enjoys listening to music. That’s another wonderful way to partake of music. We don’t all need to be musicians or even casual players. Listening brings much enrichment and adds value to life, too.

    Your comment on there probably being some sort of inborn musical ability — I always find that fascinating to contemplate. I think we all have limits on how much we can accomplish, no matter how hard we work or what quality of instruction we’ve received. But how much is inborn, and how much is environmental? Not that we’ll ever really know the ratio of nature vs. nurture in how far we go, musically- or otherwise-speaking, but I love to ponder these things as a listener, musician and teacher.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

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  66. Speaking of alliteration, as we were the other day, Michelle will know what I’m talking about when I mention that I see a lot of alliteration in the The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers volume that I’ve been reading/meditating on lately.

    For example, many of his subheadings use the same pattern of starting letters. I’m reading his book Baffled to Fight Better: Job and the Problem of Suffering, and the section I just read, “The Primal Clash,” based on Job 21-25, has the following subheadings:

    1. The Realising Sense of Perverseness
    2. The Reasoning Severity of Pharisaism
    3. The Revolution Struggle of Prayer
    4. The Redundant Sonorousness of Position

    In other words, RSP, times four.

    That maybe is not true alliteration, but he does that sort of repetition a lot, I have noticed.

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  67. Soon it is time to pick up 4th Arrow from her behind-the-wheel session. But first, some other business…

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  68. 6 Arrows, that “RSP” pattern feels quite forced, to me, and in no way helpful. If I were the editor, I would try to talk the author out of trying it. I’ve seen authors succeed in difficult titling limits they give themselves (such as a mystery story that used Christmas carols for the titles of the chapters), but if it doesn’t “work,” there is no point in it.

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  69. Don’t some pastors use that kind of repetitive pattern in their sermon points? (Ours doesn’t, but I remember attending a friend’s church some years ago — and others, too — where all the points started with the same letter or something like that; maybe it’s not as common as it once was, I suppose it was seen as a way to make the points easier to remember.)

    Well, I suppose I’d better get back to work in this house. I was talking with friends (a married couple) today who said it must be hard to go through all of this without a sounding board — and it is. “You must just feel like crying” the wife said. “Yup. I do and I do.”

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  70. DJ,

    I’ve seen that sort of thing in sermons, too. Thing is, I doubt it does make the points easier to remember. Now, it’s possible that something like a series of “SP” would be easier to remember . . .

    The Savior Promises
    The Spirit Provokes
    The Son Provides

    although I’m inclined to think that really it only works if you’re trying to use one word as the “memory hook” (keep “Spirit,” but change the “p” word).

    But by the time you have uncommon words, or words that don’t readily match what you are using them for, it is no longer helpful, in my opinion. (Let’s say you are using “C” words, and so instead of saying Christ protects us, you say He camouflages us. Will that help us remember?)

    In general, I would rather have authors be straightforward than “cute.” Titles can be creative, but cute doesn’t help.

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  71. I know some find alliteration distracting, but I find it easier to remember the main points.

    We had a pastor prone to alliteration. Once, at the meal after the meeting, another pastor asked him what he would do with “Prophet, Priest, and King”. He thought a moment, then said, “Prophet, Priest and Potentate.”

    When this man went to Panama, a woman from Argentina told me to tell him to change some of his sermons for the sake of the interpreters. She interpreted one of his sermons for her mother and had a hard time with the multi-syllabic words he used.

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  72. The newest photo is a twofer. Not a “great” photo of either, it nevertheless includes two lovely species and an interesting view (I think). This is a catalpa tree in full bloom, with a black swallowtail entering to pollinate. One thing that is interesting about this is that I very seldom see butterflies on this tree; it is pollinated almost exclusively by bees. You can see that the butterfly is sort of muscling its way in; it’s not the view you usually see of a butterfly at a flower, because it isn’t really a butterfly flower. Apparently it is also pollinated by moths (at night), but I’ve mostly seen bees, with only one or two butterflies a year that I’ve seen.

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  73. Cheryl, the example I gave at 4:32 isn’t exactly like all the rest of the headings. Some are more like the example you gave of “The Savior Promises, The Spirit Provokes, The Son Provides.” IOW, where only one key word changes with each heading. For example, another section I’ve read had these four subheadings:

    The Cross of Christ for Doctrine
    The Cross of Christ for Direction
    The Cross of Christ for Disposition
    The Cross of Christ and Discipline

    Maybe these kinds of headings aren’t helpful to everyone, but to a person like me, who sometimes has difficulty with reading comprehension, they are a welcome assist, and would have especially been so if I’d heard the sermons and lectures (which is how most or all of his writings were originally delivered), as I tend to have even more trouble processing verbal language than I do written language.

    In any case, with all of Chambers’ references to the gravity of the war (WWI — he died in 1917), and the seriousness I “hear” in his tone with everything I’ve read of his so far, I certainly don’t believe he was trying to be “cute” with those subheadings.

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  74. Kim’s comment yesterday at 5:31 — “What do you suppose makes them hoard like that.”

    It might have something to do with growing up in scarcity. When one finally gets out of living in a dirt-poor situation, I think it’s hard to give up things. And when it feels like there’s much more money than ever before (because there is), maybe there’s comfort in being able to use it, and the buying habit can slowly take over throughout the years, and the purging habit never got established because everything one had in the extreme financial struggle years had to be hung onto.

    Just my guess.

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  75. No, I didn’t think he was trying to be cute, but writers sometimes do try too hard. The examples you gave in 10:52 could be helpful for remembering, but I don’t think the earlier one was. The more complex it is, the less likely it is to aid memory. (Unless you can simplify the complexity by setting it to a tune, making it a word, etc.)

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