103 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-15-17

  1. Good morning, Chas.

    Hubby’s high school class reunion was very nice. I’ll tell more about it another time — no time to right now, as we’ve got two more days of traveling/visiting to get ready for. Let’s see how this goes — I am tired, as we didn’t get home until 1:15 a.m. Much too late for us 50-somethings to be out. πŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend, all!

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  2. It may be Saturday, but it is another first shift babysitting day for me. I could have been first earlier, but I wasn’t here yet.

    Today, Nightingale is working a 12-hour shift, 7am – 7pm, which translates into 6:30am – 7:30pm (if she gets out on time) for me.

    Won’t be too bad, though. Little Guy came downstairs & promptly fell back to sleep next to me on the couch. At one point, he woke up, & took my left arm to hug close to him. His Grandma is coming at 10:00 to pick him up for his visit with his dad, so he’ll be gone for at least a couple hours, probably more. (Saturday is Mr X’s only time with his son. Sometimes he only has him for a couple hours, but usually for four or five hours. He should have him for most of the day, but can only handle a few hours.)

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  3. Speaking of Mr X. . .Nightingale told me that Little Guy has already learned that his father’s love is conditional. But I think he knows that our love for him is unconditional, & he finds security in that. Sometimes he lashes out at Hubby, but when he calms down, he (Little Guy) is affectionate with him (Hubby). It’s like he’s testing to see if he will still be loved.

    Hubby sometimes doesn’t pick up on certain things. Last Saturday night was one of those “bad times” with Little Guy. On Sunday morning, as Hubby was sitting on the couch with Heidi beside him, Little Guy came over & made Heidi move. Hubby moved to the love seat, where Heidi had moved, & LG once again made Heidi move.

    Hubby read this as LG being mean to Heidi, & reprimanded him, & LG, upset at that, went back upstairs. When Hubby told me about this (I had been still asleep), I pointed out that it wasn’t a case of LG being mean to Heidi, but that he wanted to sit next to Hubby. Hubby realized that was true, & called up the stairs for LG, who came happily back downstairs to be with his Papa. πŸ™‚

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  4. I put a request on the prayer thread, for a spirit of repentance to come over our people. I pray that quite often, but what reminded me to pray it again today was something YF wrote. (And I know this isn’t only her own, far-left opinion, but that others believe this crap, too.)

    She had shared a piece that claimed that anyone who still believed in only male & female sexes had obviously not studied biology beyond elementary school. She then commented that sex & gender are not at all binary, & one of her statements was that one’s biological sex tells us “exactly nothing” about their gender. She also wrote a bunch about sex chromosomes, & that there are so many more combinations or permutations than merely XX or XY. 😦

    The generations coming up are going to be taught that this sexual mess we have now is completely normal, & backed up by science. I pray God saves these children, makes them a generation of biblically astute & believing Christ followers.

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  5. Good morning.

    Kizzie, it’s strange to consider, but the third world people who don’t have time for all the sexual confusion are probably now more advanced on that front than those in “enlightened” nations whose people have taken a long wilderness detour what a waste of time and energy has been manufactured by Obama, Inc.

    This is from Janice on her tablet in case Anon shows up. I have name rather than gender confusion!

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  6. Muskrat from Cheryl? We saw one back when we were down by the river in Chattanooga a few years back. That tail could easily be mistaken for a snake if that was all a person could see.

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  7. Morning all. I stayed up too late looking at Google maps planning a vacation. Now that it has 3D images, it takes longer, since I like to see the lay of the land, so to speak. But the Grand Canyon from a 3D satellite image is scary.

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  8. That wildlife shot at the top was taken on my own street; it’s a muskrat.

    I don’t know if the muskrat knew I was there and figured it was so close to water that I wasn’t a threat, or if it didn’t even notice me. I was standing on the road photographing a frog when I heard a rustle in the reeds below and ahead of me, and I looked down and saw this creature’s back. I could only see a lump of brown fur, partially obstructed by grass, nothing to photograph, but I waited, thinking it might move into the water or change positions. I took a couple more photos of the frog, thinking it would be useful if the sound could be “background noise” the muskrat would ignore if it got to where it could see me.

    After a couple of minutes, I decided to slip around to the side of the creature and see if it would let me. The driveway crosses the ditch in a bit of a bridge, and standing on the bridge would give me a good view. I figured it wouldn’t stay where it was if I did that. but muskrats aren’t the shyest of creatures and it was worth a try. So I did, and you can see the results. After a few shots, it turned its face toward me, and then it slipped into the water. (I don’t know whether or not it saw me; none of its responses were panic, at any rate.)

    But I love the shot: it shows quiet action (drinking), context of the creature, and the whole animal (front claws, eye, ear, body, and tail–everything but the rear feet), and in a limited color palette that has several simple colors that work nicely together. I’m glad I took the chance that it would stay if I moved around the corner, though most other creatures would not. I’d seen them enough to know they often seem to ignore people, so it was worth a try.

    When you see this fellow in real life, up close, you can see why it would be trapped for its fur. You know just by looking that it is strokable and soft.

    The muskrat is a vegetarian, much smaller than a beaver, and when it swims above water you see all of it, often including most of its tail (with a beaver you see just the head). But it can submerge instantly and stay under for some time. With this one, when it entered the water I got just one shot and then it was gone.

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  9. Good Morning ya’ll….we awakened to a lovely overcast rainy morning…good for sitting on the porch with a hot cup of coffee…it is 57 degrees out there πŸ™‚
    Going to have lunch with a very special lady…what an incredible blessing!
    Peter I sent an email day before yesterday…did you receive it? I’m hoping I sent it to you and that there is not some confused person out there wondering who in the world is sending me her cell phone number?! πŸ˜›

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  10. Kizzie, it is true that there are other variants of the sex chromosomes. Sometimes when the sperm and ovum cells are dividing, an extra chromosome is kept or a chromosome is lost. That is, after all, how Trisomy 21, Down’s syndrome, develops. Most absent or extra chromosomes are incompatible with life, since the lack of genetic copies or extra genetic copies do not allow the fertilized ovum to develop properly. However, that is not the case with the sex chromosomes, X and Y. The most frequently occurring non-normal combinations of the sex chromosomes are XXY (Klinefelter’s), XYY, X (Turner’s), and XXX (Trisomy X). Men with XYY may never know they have the condition. Men with Kinefelter’s (XXY) tend to have lower levels of testosterone and infertility, but once again, many do not know they have the condition. Women with Turner’s (X) have more significant problems, since there is a large amount of genetic information on the X chromosome (a single Y chromosome with no X is not compatible with life, because of the important genes the X encodes). Trisomy X (XXX) is very rare. Even rarer is a mosaic condition in which some body cells contain XX chromosomes and some contain XY chromosomes – but, depending the distribution of those cells, such a condition may go completely unnoticed, as this case study demonstrates: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6575956 [Note: hermaphroditism, now called intersex, is a condition often caused by hormonal imbalances during fetal development where the genitals are ambiguous or don’t match the chromosomes]:

    Some twenty cases of dispermic chimeras with the karyotype 46,XX/46,XY, discovered because of gonadal dysplasias or a true hermaphroditism, have been reported. This is a report of a phenotypically normal man with 46,XX/46,XY chimerism in whom a prepubertal finding of positive X-chromatin was interpreted as Klinefelter syndrome. The diagnosis was revised 11 years later when the family doctor, who doubted the earlier diagnosis because of the patient’s normal-sized testes, sent him to an outpatient clinic. The young man was 23 years old, athletic (74kg, 180cm), with normal body proportions, normal sexual hair distribution, normal libido and potency, normal endocrine parameters, and a normal spermiogram. The karyotype revealed an XX/XY mosaic in a proportion of 1:2.

    I’ll tell you what our anatomy and physiology lecturer said when she was going through the chromosomes last year and speaking about chromosomal abnormalities, and this is the established scientific principle. The Y chromosome is the sex determinant chromosome. If you have a Y chromosome, you are male. If you don’t, you are female. Being a progressive secular school, the transgender movement is acknowledged, but they explain it by the statement that sex is determined by the chromosomes you are born with, but gender is a social construct. That statement at least preserves the biological fact.

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  11. I was awake at 6. I looked at Chas’ post and didn’t respond. I didn’t feel well when I awoke, only to feel worse as the morning wore on. When I get nauseated like that, I just feel awful and my head spins until it goes away. Many has been the time I have lain on the bathroom floor praying to throw up and my body just won’t do it.

    In response to Kizzie’s post above and then the response that Third World people aren’t concerned with sexuality….As my friend M says, “We need a few more saber toothed tigers chasing us and then we wouldn’t have time for this nonsense”.

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  12. I know Kare. Aren’t we lucky to have her. She may have explained my infertility issues that no one could ever explain. I am going to have to check and send a message to ex husband.

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  13. Roscuro is indeed very knowledgeable on a number of fronts. And we are blessed by her company because she is both wisely intelligent and a Christian.

    I went to the mailbox to mail out six prayer letters to inmates who are prayer warriors for Christian Library International. While there I was reminded once again of vines I needed to pull, ground , that has overstepped its boundary. I got my gloves and pulled and trashed for maybe ten minutes. I was drenched in sweat. That is Atlanta in the muggy summertime. I washed my face and neck and applied witch hazel as a cooling astringent. I feel alive again.

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  14. I still have the Bible lessons to review for the other two inmates. I want to do that on Sunday afternoons but may go ahead with it for today. If anyone would be interested in sending out copies of the weekly prayer letter from CLI to five or more inmates, please see their website to sign up. They have more prisoners wishing to pray for ministry needs than they have volunteers. It only involves addressing envelopes and putting on a CLI sticker return address, folding the letter, and placing a postal stamp on the envelope. I furnish envelopes and stamps as a donation. It is an easy way to minister to prison inmates. I try to buy stamps that they will enjoy. Right now I am using National Parks stamps which are beautiful.

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  15. Roscuro – Sorry, I wasn’t clear in what I wrote. I do understand what you wrote about. What I should have said is that YF refers to those all as different sexes. She once shared an article that claimed that there are actually six sexes, & Klinefelter’s was listed as one of them. Instead of seeing them as anomalies, some see them as different sexes.

    She also made the claim that intersex is as common as red hair or being left-handed. Do you know if that is true?

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  16. Yeah, I just re-read that comment, & it does look like I am doubting what she wrote about chromosomes. My 😦 was supposed to be for the conclusions she draws.

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  17. I’ve only been up for an hour (about to make a 2nd cup of coffee). Lots I hope to accomplish today, but I’m getting a late start. Still, so nice to get a little extra sleep on Saturdays. πŸ™‚

    We had an employee “appreciation” lunch yesterday — barbecue and talk by the publisher whom we don’t see too often these days. He encouraged us by saying the company no longer is in a “financial free fall,” said he’s hopeful (later said “confident”) about ‘possible’ raises this year, said no new newsroom hires will be forthcoming to fill our gazillion reporter vacancies, and was frank about our employee health care options not getting any cheaper or better in the future (thanks to Obamacare, he basically said). He didn’t need to, but said our 401K company match was officially gone forever after 15 years now, no surprise there.

    His remarks about the possible raises were encouraging, I thought, though few took them seriously, which is understandable also. In the past decade we’ve had a very painful pay cut followed several years later by a one-time-only tiny raise that only partially made up for cut — so we’re essentially all still earning less than we did 10 years ago. The discouragement is real.

    But, thanks be to God, we’re employed. It could be so much worse. Our entire industry is struggling to stay afloat and figure out how to make more digital money to replace what we’ve lost in print.

    The barbecue lunch was very good. πŸ™‚

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  18. It’s interesting how perfectly accepted it is among my younger colleagues that there are not *really* two genders at all, but multiple options that can be determined via social constructs and by each individual as a personal choice.

    The different viewpoints emerge sometimes on seemingly innocuous issues — when our community put up programmable entry-way LED lights, my first thought was, “Oooo, Christmas colors.” My younger colleague who also lives in the same town said “Oooo, Pride colors.”

    πŸ™‚

    And so it goes.

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  19. I didn’t think you doubted there were abnormalities Kizzie, I just thought the information would be useful for people to have. What YF fails to see is that however many sex chromosomes there are, there are only ever two combinations – either all the chromosomes are X or they are a combination of X and Y. The mosaic XX/XY phenotype is the only exception to this and sometimes it manifests itself in someone with a combination of male and female characteristics and sometimes it doesn’t. We only discovered the chromosomes and their link to sex in the early 1900s. Before then sex was determined by what role a person could take in intercourse and childbearing. There were children born with the same intersex conditions then, and people dealt with the issue as best as they could with the knowledge they had. They were treated in law – since men and women had different rights of inheritance, etc. – according to which sexual characteristics were most predominant, as usually one trait or the other is more distinct. What Sir Edward Coke’s definitive work on English law says about hermaphrodites and inheiritance: https://books.google.ca/books?redir_esc=y&id=NOgyAAAAIAAJ&q=hermaphrodite#v=snippet&q=hermaphrodite&f=false
    I should note that this is in English and European customs. When it comes to congenital atypical physical features, those born with such feature can be persecuted or lionized – think of how royal courts would have dwarfs and giants as entertainers, while albinos in certain areas of the world are in danger of being killed for their supposed magical powers. Intersex people are among that group, for example, in Hindu culture, they are part of the hijra community, which greatly resembles the developing LGBT community in the West – hijra often entertain and their blessings are craved at weddings and the celebrations of the birth of a child (I’ve noticed their presence at both function when I watch Hindi films). The Hindu civilization is one of the longest running civilizations with one of the oldest written languages that is still used – I think they are what the West is becoming, an intelligent society with a pluralistic religion, that has many alternative categories and roles for people, but then locks people into those roles and doesn’t allow them to change.

    As for the question about the prevalence of intersex, this abstract gives an estimate: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12476264

    Anne Fausto-Sterling s suggestion that the prevalence of intersex might be as high as 1.7% has attracted wide attention in both the scholarly press and the popular media. Many reviewers are not aware that this figure includes conditions which most clinicians do not recognize as intersex, such as Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, and late-onset adrenal hyperplasia. If the term intersex is to retain any meaning, the term should be restricted to those conditions in which chromosomal sex is inconsistent with phenotypic sex, or in which the phenotype is not classifiable as either male or female. Applying this more precise definition, the true prevalence of intersex is seen to be about 0.018%, almost 100 times lower than Fausto-Sterling s estimate of 1.7%.

    Even 1.7 percent is lower than left handedness, which is about 10 percent of the population. Red hair is limited by region (not all ethnic groups have the genetic mutation for red-hair) so that the overall percentage of people with red hair in comparison to the world population is under 2 percent, but the percentages in those ethnic groups which do have red hair is much higher, around 10 percent. But intersex can occur in any ethnic group.

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  20. From a Christian viewpoint, I think what Christ said about eunuchs being born or made is our starting point. Obviously, salvation is offered to any human, no matter how physically or mentally broken they may be from birth or later trauma. Those who are so born will have to be make their own choice of how they live their lives – I do not think it is wise for the parents to decide in those cases that the child should have an operation on their ambiguous genitalia. For those with no such congenital condition who are persuaded that they are of the wrong gender, we should grieve that people have their bodies unnecessarily mutilated, but they are still made in the image of God and worthy of being treated with dignity. It must also be remembered that the church, namely the Catholic church in this case, has been hypocritical in this area – the castrato (who were castrated before puberty lowered their voices) signers that were popular during the Baroque era were used in the Sistine Chapel choir, and the last surviving castrato, who died in the early 1900s was a Sistine Chapel singer. As for examples from Scripture, Nehemiah and Daniel, among others, show that those who are rendered infertile can still be used of God.
    I remain concerned for the wider society that they are forgetting the lessons of the castrato and the eunuch. That is what sinful humanity does though, repeats the mistakes of the past. That is why it is only Christ’s kingdom which will last, and we would do well as Christians to concentrate more on him and less on the failings of society.

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  21. The new photo shows another visitor to the mulberry tree. I think the coon is a young one; the next day I returned and I saw two coons, definitely young ones that time.

    I sent this photo and the muskrat to my brother in Texas, telling him they were photos of two of my neighbors, and wondering if he thought the one in the mask looked a bit untrustworthy. He e-mailed back that he thought the sunglasses were fine, but that the water could stand to be filtered. πŸ™‚

    I know that raccoons can be real pests, but ever since reading the book Rascal as a girl of nine or ten, I’ve loved them, and I’m thrilled when I occasionally catch sight of one in the wild. I’ve collected stuffed raccoons since college, too, though I narrowed it down to about half my collection when we married. They’ll probably get out of the closet and into guest-bedroom decorations once our home gets set up for guests and not for child bedrooms.

    When I was in seventh grade, my science teacher told us he was going to have us choose an animal and write a report on it. I knew right away I wanted to research more about Procyon lotor, and I was looking forward to the assignment. But he was a first-year teacher still worrying about being liked, and enough children protested that he cancelled the assignment.

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  22. Roscuro – I completely agree about treating “trans” folk with dignity & respect. They are emotionally troubled people looking in the wrong place for relief. I’ve mentioned a few times that my niece is married to a “trans man”. My heart goes out to her (the “husband”), & I wonder how long it will be before she emotionally crashes. (Nightingale has commended me for the respect & consideration I have shown to M.)

    One of the tragedies of the castrati was that only about one in one-hundred actually ended up with the kind of voice they were looking for.

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  23. Here’s a question I thought of recently – What do you all think of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc)? Do you think she was truly led by God? Mentally disturbed? Influenced by demons? Something else?

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  24. A bandit in the tree! We have quite a few raccoons in our neighborhoods, and they are awfully cute (but pests, nonetheless). I remember when my friend Norma was feeding a baby raccoon in her backyard for about a month. She found him ripped apart one morning and I told her it was probably a coyote as they were prevalent where she lived (and her backyard backed up to an open oil field) — but she couldn’t believe there would actually be wild “coyotes” in her neighborhood.

    I have a friend from childhood whom I still see a couple times a year and chat with online almost daily — she was raised Methodist, her brother became a Methodist minister, she attended church weekly growing up but as an older teen walked away from it, saying the people there were just hypocrites.

    Anyway, I know she counts herself as a believer in God (and maybe a sorta-Christian still) but her knowledge of the faith is really next to zero, curiously, and she’s quite focused on everyone else’s shortcomings and is extremely critical of others, never seeing (or at least talking/writing about) any of her own (which I do with her — about me — on occasion).

    I’ve invited her to church but finally quit, she never responds and talks only about looking forward to being in “kitty” heaven as that’s the only place she’ll be happy, with a bunch of cats.

    Those are the folks I worry about, they seem to feel somehow secure in their “salvation,” if you will, but they completely shut out any or all talk of religious faith. From all I can tell, her belief is that each person basically has their own belief about God, which is private, and that’s good enough. She feels she’s a “good” person, she has a big savings account and will be quite comfortable, thank you, in her older age (thanks to an humongous family inheritance but she also is frugal, I will give her that — except when it comes to her cats which now number in the double digits and are always going to the vet for expensive procedures).

    Anyway, she’s impenetrable, or so it appears to me. It’s almost like she’s immune to the gospel — but she doesn’t know that and/or she believes it’s of no real importance. 😦

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  25. But that’s a dry heat. Much better, right?

    Actually, the dog park IS still cool these days even with our higher heat and 70% humidity. Real Estate Guy said he was actually cold last weekend when a wonderfully cool breeze kicked up.

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  26. I wonder about that with one of my adult children. He says he is a believer but does not want to talk about it, does not attend or here anything Christian. Does not read the Word. I still pray for him. God knows his heart.

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  27. Interesting day going through some old family paperwork — came across the time period when my dad and a partner had started their own business (around 1949-52, I think) and it ended badly with the partner leaving my dad out to dry. I can’t remember if he’d stolen money (that seems to be what I recall) or what but I felt so sad going through all the documents from the tax board going after my parents for the money, all their money orders sent to them — and finally the document saying the lien had been lifted and recorded, end of story (not until the late 1950s, early 1960s).

    I never knew a lot of the details and I was very young at the time (born in ’51) but I do remember my mom being really stressed and tearful, that we went without a car for a while & that my parents seemed to be on the brink of considering a divorce. My mom told me later that the whole experience took the life out of my dad, his dream always was to have his own business and when that failed he was devastated and never quite bounced back. 😦

    I was able to put together all our addresses through the years, in order with approximate years. One of these days when I’m up in the Hollywood area again (which is where we lived) I’ll try to go by at least a couple of them.

    Also found the receipt for my dad’s funeral in 1970 — looks like my mom paid in the neighborhood of $700 in two payments to the mortuary. 😦

    Later, in the garage, I came upon a couple old letters form the late 1800s, early 1900s — My grandfather apparently also back-owed the Iowa county tax people ($38.95) and one letter to him from a friend said he had a “feller” who wanted to get a good deal on some hay (my grandfather was a nurseryman).

    Seeing life in these big sweeps of time always take me aback — it’s kind of sobering, just gives you such a bigger perspective of the world and our relatively short lives here on earth.

    Off to the dog park shortly, I’m sweaty but no one there will probably mind, especially not the dogs.

    Didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped, but worked steady for several hours (though going through the files stopped my progress cold for over an hour or so, I didn’t expect to come across all of that).

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  28. Back to my friend (from 4:24), I mostly wonder if she’s every really heard or understood the gospel. One of her favorite phrases in the rare times she mentions God is “Let go and let God.” It’s a very fuzzy, feel-good, loosely-held concept she has of God, it seems to me.

    I once described to her the concept of the church as a hospital and she found that a very new idea that I could tell didn’t gel with her notions. And maybe the Methodist church she attended as a youth wasn’t a very faithful one, who knows. But they were so much more regular in their church going than our family was, we always felt a little chagrined next to them because of that I think.

    Her brother, the Methodist minister, is now retired and attends a Presbyterian Church (probably USA, the mainline), they live about 50 miles away from us, inland. For a while he pastored the Methodist Church in Big Bear and I think they still have their home up there that they use occasionally and also maybe rent out.

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  29. I did get all the Salvation Army bags dragged out to the garage — that way, when I’m ready to call them for the pickup, I can just drag it all out onto the driveway. Still looking to add at least another bag or item or two, though.

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  30. We got some stuff to Salvation Army, too. And our girls have been cleaning out their (former) bedrooms over the last several weeks, and are now most of the way there.

    It was also a cooler day than some recent ones, and I took advantage of the chance to make a beef roast for my hubby.

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  31. Joan of Arc was not really Joan of Arc. She may have been Jeanne d’Arc

    I thought the d’ meant “of” in French. At least it did when I studied French. Roscuro, qu’est-ce que vous pensez?

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  32. The third photo, and third mammal, is probably familiar to most. The state park where I visit with my husband has a ridiculous number of chipmunks, perhaps because food at the visitors center allows them to multiply at higher numbers than they would if they had to scrounge all of their own, and perhaps dense trees and the presence of people keep their predators limited, as well. At any rate, they are everywhere on some days, but generally shy. You have to photograph them either before they see you or when they are holding still, hoping that you have not yet seen them. (In this latter category, the moment you look away they take advantage of the chance to move and scamper out of sight.)

    The most recent time I went, the day after my birthday, I went alone, without my husband, which I usually don’t do. And on that day I got the sense that someone had told the chipmunks that people were complaining they were being unfriendly and standoffish. Because on that day, every chipmunk I saw (six, I think) stood still long enough to be photographed, in some instances standing in one cute pose for quite a long time. Well, near the visitors center, one chose not to stand that still, but it ran about two feet from me as it passed me, so it was fearless in its own way! This particular guy was looking ahead, and I got a couple of photos, and then it turned and looked at me, and I got a couple more. It was a few yards from me, but easily within their usual “flee!” distance.

    And it almost looks like it’s sticking out its tongue at me, daring me to come chase it. That’s why this particular fellow got its photo shared, not all the others that posed for me that day.

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  33. Just took a shower (skipped it this morning as I knew I’d be working all day in the house), I feel so much better. It’s also cooled off a little bit. I hauled a couple more things to the garage — including a very heavy, big braided rug I had in this house for the first couple years before deciding is was too cumbersome and I wanted to just go with all wood floors (and smaller throw rugs that could easily be washed).

    I’d had the big one cleaned and it has been rolled up in the spare bedroom closet for ages so I bought a rug storage bag from the container store and took it out to the garage. I’m still not sure if I’ll keep it or not, but I have some time to mull it over. At least it’s out of the house — and that closet floor in the spare bedroom is now pretty much clear.

    We went to the dog park late in the day and Real Estate Guy was there and mum about foundation workers so I assume there’s no news on that front. My neighbor Shirley said she’ll ask our new gardener, Alberto (who comes again on Monday and whose cousin did my back fence with a rag-tag crew) if he happens to know someone who does that kind of thing *on the side.” I have 2 reports laying out what the problems are — and Real Estate Guy can supervise if needed.

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  34. As for who Joan of Arc was, it helps to think of a more modern visionary figure who was an improbable but wildly successful leader, and think how that person might look to posterity given enough space and time. Gandhi, for example, was in many ways as unusual as Jeanne d’Arc, but we know he existed and was a mere human. Given enough time and legend, he might begin to look as improbable as Joan of Arc. It didn’t help that the English used the witchcraft charge against her, which helped develop the legend. That era of European history was filled with speculation about supernatural happenings, and what we might view as the product a mixture of overzealous religious fervour and imagination they might take for visions. Whether her presence merely helped to inspire a thoroughly demoralized French army or whether she had some natural strategic ability is an interesting question. I incline to the former view, though latter probably also played a role. I don’t know why we assume illiterate people without a formal education are stupid. I met people in that West African village who had little to no schooling but made the most of every bit of knowledge offered them. One man had never went to any school ever, but he had not only picked up how to speak English from working and talking with the team, he also had picked up how to read English and would try to read any bit of English writing he came across, which was often addresses, since he often carried parcels. Joan was probably a very quick witted girl and something of a tomboy to boot. The idea of a woman fighting wasn’t totally unknown – the Empress Maude led armies in the 1100s against her perfidious cousin King Stephen of England, and successive stories of English history abound with cases of women holding fortresses against invaders.

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  35. Roscuro, I tried and tried to be good, but couldn’t . . .

    “One man had never went to any school ever . . .” πŸ™‚

    OK, I’ll go back into polite-editor mode, overlooking small grammatical errors of my friends . . .

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  36. Advice, please, for anyone who would like to answer . . .

    Tonight I received what is almost certainly a scam email, inquiring about lessons. I’m not going to respond to it.

    But it brings to mind questions of how to be safe in advertising my business.

    I got a (legitimate) email from the president of our local independent music teacher’s organization a couple of days ago, announcing that a local magazine is compiling an arts directory for their upcoming Back-to-School issue and is inviting local teachers to submit information about their studios, areas of teaching focus, and the like for a free listing in the directory.

    I was strongly considering doing that before the deadline, which is Friday of next week, but now I am wondering how good an idea that is, getting some of my personal information out there where lots of people I don’t know will see it? They don’t ask for street addresses of those who teach from home, which is good, but now with this weird email tonight, I’m rethinking if I want to go beyond hoping that word-of-mouth advertising (and distributing business cards to those who ask me or local public school teachers about private piano lessons) will be sufficient to bring more students in.

    What, in your opinion, are safe ways to go about getting the word out about what I do?

    Thanks.

    Like

  37. I looked more closely at the form to submit to the local publication, and for the free listing only contains one’s first and last name, city and state, arts category and a description box for 35-50 words. If one wants to upgrade to a paid annual listing, then phone, email and website can also be submitted.

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  38. 6 Arrows, I would go with what you feel comfortable with. You have received a bit of a timely warning, and we do live in the days of outrageous scamming. Add to that, you still have children at home as well as your students to protect. Trust in God to provide rather than going the more risky route (the wide road), IMHO.

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  39. Janice, you are making it sound like advertising is innately dangerous, or that advertising and trusting God are mutually exclusive. In anything, one needs to use wisdom, but wisdom may mean using additional means to let people know of one’s services.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 6 Arrows, if you’re completely uncomfortable with sharing even contact info, get a special email address you only use for business, they’re free, say, from gmail. Just list that. You could give it an innocuous address like pianolearningforjoy. whatever.

    Make it easy to remember, simple, but divorced from 6 arrows . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  41. OTOH, you might give your name, town, email address and a quote from a student so I know what I’m getting into. I’d be hesitant to do business with someone who doesn’t have at least some sort of web presence–it adds legitimacy.

    So, for example, if that business email was “pianoteachinghiddeninthe woods,” I wouldn’t go near you. That’s why having a testimony in those words would help. Use them wisely.

    “Taught 47 students over 25 years; 3 now professional.”

    “Local pianist, see __________ give link to your most recent performance.

    That type of thing. Or again, make a short video, post it on Youtube and link that in your 50 words.

    Did you get a recording or video from that performance? If it’s on someone else’s website, link to that.

    Just some suggestions.

    Like

  42. I haven’t caught up with comments since yesterday, but want to pop in with this.

    For a while now, on Facebook, I have refrained from posting anything regarding homosexuality. It is the kind of hot button issue that can cause people to not hear what is really being said, no matter how gently or respectfully it might be said. I admit I had YF in mind, too, wanting to keep the channels of communication open. (She already knows where I stand, as a few years ago we had an email discussion of the matter. I had written a very carefully worded, compassionate email, but she was still disappointed in it, still insisting that any disagreement with homosexuality is based on hate.)

    Anyway, I came across an article about the sin of condoning sin, that questioned if Christians who condone homosexuality are truly saved. (Was it shared by somebody on here? I often save an article to share, & then forget how I came across it.) I knew that YF would find it offensive, but I felt that I should share it nonetheless, for her sake if for no one else. (I only shared it to my “Christian Friends” list, which YF is on, as it wasn’t something most non-Christians would understand.) She may dislike it, she may consider me even more ignorant & bigoted than she already did, but at least she would have been warned.

    Here’s the link: http://www.moorematt.org/the-perilous-sin-of-affirming-sin1/

    As I type this, she hasn’t commented on it, but in a comment on another post, she referred to it as “junk”. May God open her eyes to His truth, about Himself & His Word, & about these other matters as well.

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  43. It was late, Cheryl πŸ˜‰ I normally try to prune superfluous words out of my posts, and out of my assignments. I have managed to write my assignment. Now I need to ensure that everything is cited correctly.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. Roscuro, I know you are good with English. That’s why I decided it was OK to tease you when you had two “goofs” in part of one sentence.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. I got two notices in my spam filter. They were from Amazon saying that I had a big surprise waiting.
    A couple of days ago, I got something maybe from Amazon, I don’t remember, but it was familiar. It said something on the order of “Surprise” , “Congratulations” or some such. I usually ignore those, but I clicked on this one.
    What I got was a notice from my ADT security monitor advising me not to open it.
    I immediately deleted it.
    I reactivated my good sense not to open any such surprises or offers, even from familiar sources, unless I have good reason for the offer.

    Remember

    Aint nobody going to give you something for nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Kizzie, I have a FB friend (known her since elementary school but we are not close) who is a professing Christian and posts just about every pro-gay sentiment she can link to or find online, especially those dealing with churches that come to accept and celebrate gay marriage (and no, I don’t think she’s gay, but she is a lifelong Methodist πŸ™‚ ). What comes through in much of what she posts on the subject is pride and she frequently posts links from a blogger that goes beyond pridefulness and is downright angry, or so it strikes me, at any hint of orthodox faith (he’s a “red letter” Christian).

    This blogger (I’ve apparently blocked his name from my memory as I can’t think of it, John something I believe) is snarky and snide and I countered the links with comments early on (one asking why he seemed so angry, for heaven’s sake). She’s not that bad, but she is rigidly stubborn on this matter so I don’t bother to counter or comment anymore. She’s dug in and has really strong feelings about it.

    We can’t know the status of another’s heart, whether they are saved or not. I suspect my friend is a believer, but …. ?

    On this issue many younger Christians especially (but some older ones, too, like my friend) clearly are straying from the truth, persuaded by the popular culture — or perhaps they are of such a socially/politically liberal mindset that this is what guides their thinking, not Scripture.

    Those who approve of others’ sin (as not being sin) may or may not be believers themselves. They may be believers who are badly misguided and poorly instructed and not open to looking at their pet issues through the lens of Scripture. It’s a dangerous place to be, spiritually speaking.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. I love advertising and marketing. I almost majored in marketing, but changed over to accounting.

    6 Arrows has the business in her home. People will gain access to it when they set up lessons. If she worked from a studio in the back of a music shop where other people were constantly around I would say advertising in that situation would be great. In her situation, I would rather err on the side of caution. It is not like your editing situation which probably involves a lot of transferring info by email. Do you have clients who come to your home? We use to have tax clients who came to our home. It was enough to get good clients by word of mouth and personal recommendations.

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  48. I gave myself yesterday off, since we had a 3 year old’s birthday party to attend yesterday (not our’s thank goodness but a friend). Today I went to church, visited M (my recently widowed friend), came home and got down to bid’ness. I am almost ready to teach my all day class on Tuesday. I used lots of sticky notes in the teacher’s edition. Maybe tonight I will read through it one more time. I am also teaching tomorrow for half a day. By NO means am I complaining but Monday and Tuesday will be long days. Wednesday I will teach half a day, come back to F’hope, get my hair “did” and drive to New Orleans for a day and half of classes on Thursday and Friday.
    Have I mentioned how much fun I am having?

    Liked by 5 people

  49. DJ – I agree with you that sincere believers can believe wrongly about those matters, but are in a dangerous place spiritually.

    Only God knows if YF is truly saved or not. At one time I believed she was, but now I have grave doubts about that. But I still treat her like a fellow believer, reminding her at times what the Bible says about certain matters. I don’t mean about these sexual matters, which she & I have discussed in the past, for I know she rejects what the Bible actually teaches, in favor of the supposed “real” interpretations that Hebrew & Greek scholars, not to mention Hebrew & Greek speakers, somehow missed for the past 2000 years. (In case it’s not clear, that last part was sarcasm.)

    There have been a couple times when I shuddered at what she wrote. One time was when she had characterized a Christian lady (the florist who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding) in a hateful way. I reminded her what the Bible says about treating fellow believers, & her reply was that, when she sees Him, she would have a talk with Jesus about why she felt that way about those horrible people. She said a very similar thing, in a different context, recently.

    The idea that she thinks she’ll just saunter up to Jesus & say, “Yeah, Jesus, You told us to treat each other kindly & graciously, & to forgive each other, & to be humble, but here’s why I was justified in not obeying. . .” really did make me shudder, & had me praying for her.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Janice, I understand that discretion is called for when doing a private business, especially a home-based one. For me personally, my business e-mail address doesn’t include my name, and in Nashville I had a PO Box (though that got used so rarely it was pretty useless). But each couple needs to make these decisions on their own, and choosing to advertise does not mean choosing not to trust God.

    And, oh . . . yes, my business is nearly all done by e-mail, which checks usually being the only thing coming to my home (though customers do have my address for that) . . . but in Nashville on multiple occasions I advertised for a housemate. I would interview a person briefly over the phone (the ad included my phone number), and then after a short conversation if it seemed a possibility worth pursuing, I would give her my address and she would come for an in-person interview. Most of the women who ended up coming were not people I wanted to live with. Of the three who ended up living with me over the next few years, one was quite a bad match (her rent checks bounced, she didn’t clean her bathroom, etc.). It wasn’t showing lack of faith to advertise for a housemate–though it is not my favorite way to get one, let me tell you–it was simply the way to put the need out there.

    And in those days I was not married. So I as a single woman, no man on my premises, living in the 25th largest city in Nashville, was advertising for someone to come live in my house and have my house key. No, my business clients don’t come to my home. But I’m pretty sure that what I was doing is at least as vulnerable as having editing clients come to one’s home. One must use great discretion when strangers are coming to one’s home. But there is a distinction between using discretion and operating in fear, and where exactly to draw the line will vary from one couple to another.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. The butterfly is a painted lady. It was on my street a week or two ago.

    Butterflies have such a limited weather range in which they will fly–not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too windy. If I see butterflies out, I go out with my camera, since it just might be a good butterfly time. Sometimes only one or two are out and about (maybe just tiny ones, for instance), but if I see a couple of large ones, I assume it’s a butterfly hour, and they are rare enough they are worth seeking. Summer is a short enough window to see these beauties, and knowing they may be only out an hour or two a day some days, not at all on other days, makes them worth seeking.

    Taking photos is even harder! I went out on my street earlier this evening and saw two butterflies, two different species, but one just flew right past me without stopping and the other was landing only on flowers way off the road and behind weeds. (This summer we have a really bad poison ivy problem on my street, so I’m pretty much sticking to the road or grass just off the road where I can clearly see where I’m stepping. Besides, most of the land is private property; though I’d feel OK walking into a farmer’s field, I’m not going to just walk across someone’s front yard to photograph a butterfly.)

    All in all, when a butterfly lands and poses nicely, it’s a treat. Especially when it’s a species I haven’t seen in a couple of years, like this one.

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  52. Question: the airline industry has changed a lot in the last few years, but I think a friend has a “nice young man” (her daughter’s boyfriend) taking advantage of her gullibility. So, I thought I’d run this by you: When you buy a ticket to fly, you are buying a seat on the plane, right? That has always been the case, I know, but she is accepting without question that she bought tickets for her daughter and the boyfriend to come home but didn’t buy “seats” and this man was so helpful in correcting the oversight and paying for the seats himself. Has the airline industry really changed that much, or is she being completely played? (The fact that she bought the tickets that they were supposed to buy already has her being “played,” but I think she is being played again.)

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  53. Cheryl, are you saying that after she had already bought the tickets, he claimed to have paid additional for “seats”? That does sound like nonsense.

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  54. Yep, Kevin, that is what I’m saying. But she’s praising him for being willing to use his own money, and for talking them down on the price for the “seats” when the airline wanted to gouge him, so he sounds like he is a pretty convincing scammer. This is the second time she has paid for their tickets (they didn’t end up using the tickets the other time, and the money was supposed to be good for these tickets but somehow ended up not being, and then paypal messed up their account, so she paid for the tickets herself but forgot to buy “seats”)–it all sounds to me like this young man thinks his girlfriend’s mother is too good to be true.

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  55. On the other hand, I googled, “What is included in an airline ticket?” and found this about Spirit Airlines:

    “I’ve known people who’ve showed up at the airport lacking a seat assignment, only to be charged additional fees,” he says. “The seat wasn’t included in the base price they paid.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/05/27/airline-ticket-fees/9622135/

    So there is a remote possibility it is the young couple who was being scammed after all. . . .

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  56. Well, that’s a pretty useless-sounding airline ticket if it doesn’t include a seat. Why would they sell a ticket without a seat? But the article you linked sure does bear that out.

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  57. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts on my question last night, Janice, Michelle and Cheryl. Good things to consider.

    One safety check I have in place is doing a phone interview with potential customers. If I have any suspicions at all that I might be dealing with someone unsavory, then they won’t get an invitation for an in-person parent consultation and student mini-lesson. (So far I’ve never had to resort to that.)

    And if they contact me by email, refer to me by name, and tell me how they heard about my being a teacher (only one has contacted me that way, and it wasn’t the email from last night, as I wasn’t in that case directly addressed, or told how my contact information was acquired), then I feel safe, knowing the inquirer has gone through legitimate channels.

    I suppose I was a little more wary than usual last night, given the nature of the email from yesterday that I described. (The writer stated several things he wanted to know about the teaching circumstances, including location/meeting point for lessons). I thought, nope, not giving out any information to someone I’ve never heard of (and is not in our local phone book) who doesn’t appear to know my name or what I teach, and gives no indication he knows anyone I know. I’m not even writing back to ask how he heard about me.

    But the reality is that I’ve never, in my over 30 years of teaching, had any strange encounter like that. I wasn’t really thinking of that when I saw that email and posted here soon after — that this has, overall, been a very safe endeavor over the years.

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  58. Michelle, a separate email account for business purposes is a good idea. I only have one email right now, and use it for everything.

    If I get a new one, I probably shouldn’t call it Rattlesnake Road Repertoire @ … or anything like that, huh? πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  59. The tips for what to include in the 35-50 words box were great. I am thinking of asking my former student who has gone to great heights in her music career to provide a little testimonial or something, if they’ll let me include information like that in the listing. How does this sound? Any other tips?:

    30+ years experience providing private, individualized piano and composition lessons. All ages and levels welcome. [Quote about 15-25 words.] ~ {First name Last name}, former student; professional musician and musicologist.

    That’s just a rough draft.

    Thanks for the ideas and encouragement, ladies!

    Liked by 1 person

  60. DJ- It’s not like she ran you over with a Jeep or anything. I mean, she posted more than hour before you.

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