88 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-26-17

  1. Today is/was my last day of first shift childsitting for the summer. (We still childsit tomorrow, but Hubby gets up with Little Guy, since he tends to get up early anyway.)

    A little after 7, Nightingale texted me that the schedule had been changed, & she is now on second shift for today. She checks the online schedule (the most up-to-date one) frequently, but this schedule change must have happened very recently. She is annoyed, & so am I.

    When I told Chickadee, she told me she has plans for this evening.

    Nightingale is going to call & talk to the supervisor about this. It has happened before.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good Morning! We have 5 hummingbird feeders out and continually fill and refill them. The birds are so much fun to watch and it was especially entertaining to watch the baby birds learning this year. We have some very noisy hummingbirds and others are like stealth birds…not certain why there is a difference…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! AJ’s camera really is good! I don’t think it is very easy to get a shot of a hummingbird that clear.

    Those with feeders- do your hummingbirds “hog” the feeder? Our friend has several out and sometimes there will be a bird which chases the others away so it can get all the nectar.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What kind of nectar do you use for your hummingbird feeders? I’ve got a packaged mix I’ve used once, but given there’s a bottlebrush tree right near the (gift from Adorables) hummingbird feeder, I’ve only filled it once.

    Trying to remember to feed birds is too much for me–I prefer to let God do it! Besides the bottlebrush tree is closer to the kitchen window which is a great viewing spot.

    Struggling to find equilibrium with the challenges my kids are facing (the two jobless ones). Today’s Utmost was about finding peace only through Jesus.

    Which I thought I was doing . . .

    Sigh. A busy weekend out here.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh, the internet is creepy. I went to Powerline and what did I see advertised there? The very outdoor light fixtures DJ send to me that she wants for her front porch.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Hummingbirds: we only fed the hummingbirds in the spring this year in an attempt to cut back on yellow jackets. We boiled four cups water with one cup sugar, cooled it and set it out. They quickly found the feeders. Then the flowers started and we left the birds to that. We still had lots of birds, especially around the petunias hanging on the porch.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Just as a matter of curiosity, why don’t the homeless people live in the national forests? We run into homeless folk living in our forests. They have to move every couple of weeks, but there is plenty of room, plenty of water, toilets….It seems like a great place to live to me. I imagine California does not have as much in national forests as Idaho but they still have them.


  8. Yes, as the blurb said, I’m “down and out in LA” 🙂

    Mumsee, I can’t help but keep going back to the very strange connections I see between the homeless encampment & urban coyote issues I write about.

    Actually, I don’t mind the Internet pop-up ads when I’m seriously looking for something, they’ve sometimes displayed something I hadn’t seen before. But, yes, it is kind of creepy, I agree.

    I have a couple bushes that hummingbirds like so I don’t bother with a feeder. They’re fun to watch and that’s a great shot, AJ.

    The electrical people called, they’re sending someone over in about 90 minutes for the service call just to take a look at everything that needs doing (or that I think may need doing). I’m going with what’s needed, not all I might want in a perfect house.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Are all of them panhandlers? Or are some actually just living there due to circumstances? I would think, if one was homeless due to rent hikes or unemployment or divorce or some such thing, living out in the country where the children could be free to explore and relatively safe, would far outweigh the inconvenience of having to get to town once a month to restock on groceries. I realize I am not normal like Californians are normal, but there have to be a few who would see the benefit. Get away from the drugs and alcohol and theft and badgering and enjoy a lifestyle of much more freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There’s a (large?) segment of our homeless on the streets who are involved in criminal activities — and methamphetamine has made a comeback around the encampments as well. It’s that group that frustrates and angers residents (who call them “urban campers” rather than “homeless). They’re mostly young and have adapted to street life and the freedom it allows for them to live life on their terms. There was a bust recently at one of the local encampments that yielded everything from stolen goods to drugs to a couple of guns.

    But the encampments (which are legal in LA overnight on our sidewalks) also have brought public health and safety issues to the fore. People are very frustrated as the city’s main response has been to try to build more housing (but that will take perhaps several to many years).

    Housing costs in California also contribute to the problem, obviously.


  11. Here in Crescent City, CA we have more than our share of Homeless. It rarely gets below freezing, doesn’t hit 90 degrees very often and we have lots of forests. It IS a wet area though; even in our drought years we got 40 inches of rain.


  12. There used to be a radio personality who called them “Urban Outdoorsmen”.
    DJ–Curiosity. What link do you see between the homeless and the coyotes besides the fact that people tend to care more about animals and less about humans?
    I am embarrassed to say that I passed a woman yesterday morning in Pensacola holding a sign that read “Hungry”. There was a Waffle House behind her and I started to offer to buy her a meal if she wanted it, but the light turned green and I moved on because I know she probably just wanted the cash.


  13. Mumsee (11:02), I would like to think that most everyone is sympathetic to those who are homeless due to circumstances — those people are the most likely to accept assistance when offered (and there are social workers and others who regularly offer some kind of aid). But many turn those offers down and those are the aggressive panhandlers who have learned to adapt to life on the streets where they feel like they have freedom from the constraints of society.

    How many of the homeless fall into those categories is sometimes hard to know.

    For those who want help, there are housing vouchers handed out — but the city needs more landlords to participate in that program as there are more vouchers than there are apartments. Earlier this year I covered a workshop held to try to recruit area landlords into the program — the residents who get the vouchers all have social workers who are assigned to them to help them look for work if they don’t have it, get into programs if they need it (mental health, addiction recovery, etc.).

    Liked by 3 people

  14. One of the reasons husband handles all of the finances here is that I was continually giving it away. That does not work if you have bills to pay. Husband is quite generous as well but we get the bills paid. I always feel bad for not donating to the street people, but husband donates to the Salvation Army and such so at least we know it is out there. We have known of some pretty extensive schemes for making money on the street by some fairly wealthy people and that is what makes it difficult to me. Give to them that ask….

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Kim, I’ve also given to panhandlers but more often don’t as they are on virtually most freeway on and off-ramps around here now. Sometimes they are in the streets amid traffic with their signs. You do wonder about their stories, how it all came to this. But the numbers in LA have become so overwhelming — Skid Row in downtown LA stretches for dozens of blocks now (thanks to the city agreeing, under a lawsuit, to allow people to sleep on the city streets a number of years ago). The population of street people has exploded and everyone feels quite overwhelmed and at a loss.

    Our local social worker — a former LA County sheriff’s deputy — has a great rapport with our local encampment dwellers but she will tell you that too many of them turn down offers of assistance. They have to go back over and over again, then some of them will finally relent. Sometimes they can make a go of it, many times they can’t and they wind up back on the streets.

    The cop who walks the Skid Row beat in downtown (a Christian) said churches are making a big mistake by coming down there with food. He said they mean well but the area is filled with feeding stations, missions & more food than people can eat (which often ends up being discarded).

    Tough problem — like with the coyote issue, there simply is just no good/easy/single answer to solving it.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I would think the national forest would be a great resource. People are living in tents anyway, why not let them live far from the urban outdoorsmen where the children are pulled into bad stuff or the women mistreated? The social workers could run a shuttle to the forest, bringing out groceries etc. That would be an opportunity for those wanting to get away from the drugs to do so. Of course, if you are using the national forests to grow the drugs, maybe not such a good idea.


  17. I guess I can see it sort of like, this is the life the people are familiar with, it would be too scary to try something different. But, it seems like taking a few months out to rest and then step back in for the vouchers and help offered might make it work better.

    I had read about the need to stop feeding as that just gave people more money to spend on their addictions.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Here’s the link to DJ’s article (off Powerline!) http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20170823/las-response-to-homeless-encampments-isnt-working-councilman-says

    I wonder the same thing, Mumsee. We, too, have absolutely ridiculous housing costs in northern California and lots of people wandering around. But, they have a lot of homeless people in Hawai’i, too–and it costs several hundred dollars to get there.

    We support our local Redwood Gospel Mission and they have programs, housing, and alternatives, along with a desire to help people get off drugs, alcohol, etc. The shelter is often full and during the winter, churches in our county take in up to 40 people a night to sleep and feed dinner along with breakfast.

    The issues are complex and boggle my mind at times. I ate dinner with several women and one talked about how hard it is to handle the monthly issue when you have to be out of the shelter by 6 in the morning but no bathrooms are open.

    I’d never considered that before.

    Complicated yes. My husband and I sometimes go round and round on the issue–can someone (other than logical him) explain in simple language why it is better for mentally unbalanced people to be cluttering the streets, getting hurt, dirty and not taking their meds, rather than being supervised in a state-run mental hospital?

    It’s heartbreaking for anyone who loves a mentally unstable person. That was brought home to me when I discovered one of my first Navy wife pals went through post-partum depression that morphed into paranoid schizophrenia. A disciplined teacher, she ended up being divorced by her husband–so he could protect their two children from her insanity–and she lived on the streets of Honolulu for seven years.

    During that time, she twice walked into the ER, squatted and delivered children of an unknown father–who were immediately handed over to CPS and put up for adoption.

    When the ex-husband, with grief in his eyes, told me this story several years later, I put my head down on the dining room table and cried.

    Last he had heard (and this was 21 years ago), her family from NY state finally had come to Hawai’i to retrieve her and take her home for care. I don’t know what became of her after that.

    But she used to hang out near Calvary Chapel in Honolulu. A year later, we moved to the islands and attended that church for awhile. After hearing this story, I’ve often wondered how I would have reacted had I run into her on the street after leaving church.


    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kim, we have a lot of those programs though I suspect our numbers are more overwhelming here. And again, those who are on the streets due to hard “luck” circumstances (loss of job, disability) are usually eager to offer help when it’s offered.

    Many of the others turn the offers down. So then, what’s to do? the social worker I know said sometimes it just takes repeated contacts with them before they begin to open up, but others just plain aren’t interesting, thank you very much.

    She takes no guff — and she can see through the bs with the best of them. But she’s also genuinely compassionate and isn’t the type to give up easily.

    There’s also been criticism of the traditional mission (temporary shelter) model for being too tied to rules and religion. The latest models being pushed would require very little by way of “rules,” but then you need some pretty heavy-duty security to man the facilities.

    In LA, the mantra has become “permanent supportive housing” and that’s what we’re pursuing with as much much money as can be found from extra fees and taxes. (And yes, we voters often pass these measures, I don’t think people “don’t care” so much as they see the problem only getting worse in spite of all the money being allocated to it.)


  20. The other problem with homeless is many do not want to follow rules–that’s why they refuse to go to shelters. Here in my animal-loving community, they often have a pet dog and hold up signs asking for dog food. Amazing how many of my neighbors will contribute to that.

    No one, however, asks how they can afford to own a dog–usually a puppy.

    But then you think, with a soft heart, if the dog is their only friend and protection, who am I to take it away? (Actually, I’m surprised the do-gooders in my community don’t–since they often pick and choose who will get a pet and decline to adopt them out to those scum citizens who have children in the household . . . )

    No answers.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. In other news, I was reading World Magazine last night and when I got to my favorite section–Letters to the Editor–I began skimming.

    To my surprise, there was a letter referencing both Pico Iyer’s 20 year-old book “Video Nights in Kathmandu,” AND UCLA. I read it all the way to the end and laughed when I saw my own name!

    I’d commented on the World article on Facebook more than a month ago.

    Second time that’s happened to me–I really should try to remember what I wrote in the past! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  22. My comment was once published in World Magazine. The question was if you could always have a happy like with no troubles (or something like that) would you? My response was that if you had never been in a valley how would you know you were on the mountain top.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. The mental illness component also is troublesome to solve. The shift to out-patient care back in the 1970s was all well-intentioned as better medications were coming online that made it possible for many who had been “hospitalized” indefinitely to function in the “real” world and even hold down jobs.

    It also pleased the civil libertarians who had (rightly) raised concerns about the ethics of locking people away, as it were.

    But the new medications only worked when people took them. Because of their illness (and the illusion that they were all better after they’d been on the meds for a while), many quit taking them.

    I’ll try to find the video, but an assistant to the mayor told a poignant story about her brother and how the family tried for decades to help him (he ultimately died on the streets). You can’t force people into shelter or treatment.

    (I suppose the other aspect of the homeless/coyote parallel I see in LA is the specter of lawsuits always looming large over the city — they seriously have to walk such a delicate line in order to avoid being sued by various advocacy groups that possible solutions shrink even more and their hands are often tied.)


  24. And I felt bad about the story we wrote in that the other reporter started it and I added to it — her byline really should have run ahead of mine in that case but didn’t due to a glitch in our computer system. I tried to get it fixed but it wasn’t fixable — she was gracious about it, said due to the drudge link I would get most of the random emails that way 🙂

    Among the more memorable communications from a reader somewhere (edited):

    “I hope the homeless destroy that filthy city of yours. May you drown in their _____ & ______.

    Freakifornia is a cancer on mankind. Get out on my country!”

    Liked by 1 person

  25. The mental illness touches us as well. I could see at least three of my children being homeless and mentally ill. Possibly five. We are trying to give them the tools and offer them a permanent home but the individual does not necessarily take up the family offer. We are trying to sound out the olders in the unfortunate possibility of our untimely demise, who will step up and see to the provision of the less capable. Still working that out. Trying to make sure they are financially set with a supervisor, so one could live in an apartment with somebody seeing to the bills.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Friends of mine minister to the homeless in Portland. They narrow their focus and only minister to the elderly and to vets. Families tend to be taken care of quickly, but the ones they find are falling through the cracks. Father Dan says it takes five years to build enough trust to get them off the streets. Blanket Coverage..

    Liked by 2 people

  27. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40635756

    Los Angeles’ homeless crisis goes from bad to worse

    By Peter Bowes
    BBC News, Los Angeles
    19 July 2017


    Homelessness in Los Angeles County soared by 23% in the past year and it shows. The problem has become tangible and inescapable, with makeshift tent encampments cropping up across the sprawling metropolis.

    Tourists are shocked to find themselves stepping over people draped in filthy blankets and begging on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Shop owners routinely swill the pavements to wash away urine and the accompanying stench. …

    … “Something is shifting right now, we’re all noticing it,” she says. “We could viscerally feel that something was changing maybe about two years ago.”

    Morrison believes the problem has worsened because of combination of factors, with rising housing costs in the city at the top of that list.

    “The cost of housing is far outpacing the increase in incomes.”

    Another potential factor is California’s drive to reduce the prison population. The state has committed to new rules that mean nearly 9,500 people will be released early. Morrison believes that in some cases, they also end up on the streets.

    There’s also what she describes as the “attraction” of the Golden State to Americans who find themselves in dire economic circumstances. …

    The Hollywood freeway snakes through town, connecting hidden communities and tourist destinations, under the gaze of the famous Hollywood sign.

    Living in squalid conditions, at the edge of an off-ramp of the motorway, Christin, 26, is well aware of the dichotomy facing Los Angeles. …


  28. We have a homeless woman in town. She is a little scary, but it is her choice. She supposedly has the means to support herself. She never asks for anything, but she cannot stand confined spaces for some reason. One of the businesses leaves a storage room door open so she can get out of the weather if she needs to.
    We try to keep this a secret so we don’t become a mecca.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Well, I am back. I decided to be wise and clean the chimney before winter. I wanted a cooler day, when I was upstairs with shoes on. It worked. I did not want to run into yellow jackets but they found me. One sat on my thumb as I was climbing in the window. It did not sting me for which I am very grateful. It occurred to me that I should wear shoes with more tread. Very slippery. If the yellow jacket had stung me, I suspect I would have gotten down more quickly. Anyway, it is done and before my sixtieth birthday. And the smoke detectors are done. Guess I am ready for winter.

    Liked by 3 people

  30. I have 2 large pots of tender garden cabbage simmering on the stove with 3 ½ more heads on the counter waiting to be processed or eaten. There are also about 10 more heads in the garden to still be harvested. I love cabbage; in soup, cabbage rolls, coleslaw etc. Last year we lost all our cabbage seedlings to root maggots, this year we did a better job of protecting them and will have a nice lot to put away for winter.

    I think we might have fake cabbage rolls for supper (it’s the lazy cabbage roll recipe, but I don’t like to think all the work I’m doing makes me lazy so I call them ‘fake’)

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Sauerkraut reminds me of the elementary school cafeteria food.

    Well, electrical company was here, their estimate pretty much left me in shock. 🙂 Ugh. Will consult with Real Estate Guy later …


  32. I am told we have homeless people living in tents even during the winter. We can get to -40 (rarely -60) and -20 is not uncommon. Some live under the bridges in the largest city from us. There are shelters and our state is very generous with welfare monies. I suspect a lot is those who do not want to keep the rules.

    My husband once preached in Skid Row when he lived in California when in the military. That was long before my time. He found it to be quite the experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. We have something of a ‘mini’ skid row in our town, first time in anyone’s present-day recollection. It’s centered around our 1920s historic old Post office building overlooking the Main Channel of the port and in the park across the street which the city spent something like $5 million to upgrade with landscaping, new water fountains, trees, benches only a few years ago.

    Other areas of LA have it worse, Venice to the north of us has really been hit hard (I believe residents have filed a lawsuit against the city over the situation there). And one day when I was coming back from seeing Carol I was on the Hollywood fwy when I glanced to the right and, I kid you not, the entire hillside going up beyond the freeway was absolutely covered with tents and massive amounts of “stuff,” belongings.

    I do worry mostly about the women (and their homeless numbers are going up). Not an easy existence out there for them. 😦 There are special programs for veterans and those are finally bearing fruit in getting some of the vets off the streets.


  34. Well, Real Estate Guy was equally shocked by the electrical estimate when I told him. “What!!??”

    So on to figure out a Plan B.


  35. Recipe, Kare?

    My grandfather chose to live in LA’s skid row the last thirty years of his life. My father would occasionally drive through that part of downtown looking for him–and then take him to lunch.

    My grandparents had been divorced for 25 years, but my grandmother (who always welcomed him to live in her very liveable garage and see the family), had a life insurance policy on him. As she hadn’t heard from him lately, my dad made inquiries.

    He died in Bakersfield and was buried in a pauper’s grave in easy LA in 1986. Once they learned that, the family had a small ceremony and placed a headstone on his grave: “Our father, the Grasshopper.”

    I should hunt it up next time I’m down south. Great with child at the time, I didn’t attend the gathering..

    Liked by 1 person

  36. For fake cabbage rolls? I don’t have one, but I make (or use leftover rice). Brown hamburger and make a nice tomato sauce (my mom used tomato soup) with tomato paste, water, a bit of garlic (mom would use onions, but uck). Mix most of the tomato sauce into the hamburger and layer rice, hamburger mix and then chopped cooked cabbage. Top with remaining sauce and bake until heated through. Serve with sour cream (husband thinks that is uck). I usually have extra cooked chopped cabbage to add to my serving.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Michelle, that’s so sad.

    I’m making Mexican lasagna — big pan for the mission our church helps out but a smaller dish (I used extra ingredients) for a ‘Jr’ version for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hi all. Just wanted to let y’all know we are fine, thus far. It’s Ann. We’ve only had about six inches since last night and our subdivision rarely floods. Thank you for your concern and prayers.

    Liked by 10 people

  39. As it happens, I just finished the Hobbit and started the Fellowship but sadly, cannot play the video. I hope it was not telling me I am not a Christian if I read them.


  40. It seems like most homeless people have a dog, often a pit bull. Did you know that many apartment insurance policies won’t allow people with pit bulls to rent?

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Interesting comments about the homeless. Several months ago, I mentioned to the women’s group that my husband’s church women’s group makes up large plastic bags of supplies to give to members of the congregation to keep in their cars to give out when needed. The lady’s in my group don’t go far from the I’d homes due to their ages, mostly in their eighties, so they basically said they don’t encounter the homeless and where would they go to give out such bags of supplies.

    I tend to give to ministries more than to people I see when out and about. I feel that is more effective. Also, I don’t often carry much cash. All summer I have seen a grocery cart full of a lady’s belongings parked outside the public library not far from our church. The lady appears to be homeless. The VA Hospital is a few blocks from there so I know there must be homeless around. I also know that my friend Karen said her husband had gone to homeless vets on the streets and tried to get them in his VA program. Maybe he was successful because we don’t see as many right in this area as we use to see.


  42. We had a wonderful sermon today. I am happy with this pastor and his wife. I just don’t know how long he will be with us. Since both senior pastors from our two merging (assumed since we vote on Sept. 10) churches have resigned, this pastor is no longer listed as interim pastor of the proposed new church. He is listed as The Pastor. So many people did not care for the name Journey Community Church that we will no longer include that name in what we vote for. We will select a new name later with input from members rather than just from a small committee.


  43. This is Ann. Update on Houston: due to widespread, massive flooding, most schools have been closed until after Labor Day (including the schools my girls attend). We still have power and our house is still dry, but we are stuck in our neighborhood . Thank you for your continued prayers.

    Liked by 7 people

  44. Stay safe, Ann — do you have a generator?

    We had a good sermon as well, followed by a lively Q&A session that veered mostly into eschatology. We’re having a 4-week Sunday evening class that starts next week on the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian.

    Meanwhile, we’re heading into a heat wave so it’s good-bye to what has been a comfortable, almost cool August. 😦

    I watched the 2016 movie “Jackie” last night, wasn’t as good as I thought it would be based on the high ratings it received when it was released. Has anyone seen it?

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Such great humming bird shots!

    In part of our sermon today — Our pastor said that when he does a wedding for Christians (he’ll do weddings for 2 Christians or 2 non-Christians, just not a mix), he drives home to the groom that he is to love his bride as Christ loved the church and that someday he’ll have to “give her back” — So “What will she look like?”


  46. I have a friend from JH Ranch. She and I were in the same cabin. She said that Houston is a concrete city and there is no where for water to go so it backs up in the bayous and floods the city. If you want to help and don’t trust some of the other “missions” I can vouch for going into any Keller Williams and writing a check to KW Cares- Texas and the money will go there.


  47. We have a man, who is mentally ill, living in the outdoors not far from us. My BIL has run into him. They know his mother (although BIL did not know that at the time) and she says he refuses to live with them or in an apartment. He believes the government is after him through various agencies. He was quite concerned when my BIL accidently came upon him in the woods. He questioned him for quite awhile and BIL was a little worried for a bit. We pass him sometimes on the road, but he always makes sure his face is averted when we go by him. He must have a gym membership, since I was told he goes there for a shower sometimes.


  48. This isn’t about a homeless person, but of an apparently mentally ill woman who used to live in our town. (We think she has passed on since she hasn’t been seen in quite some time.)

    This woman was an older woman, with a trim figure, who would dress up quite nicely, & go up & down sweeping the sidewalks. She sometimes traveled quite a way doing that. Her clothing would be something like a nice A-line skirt, form-fitting blazer (IOW, in at the waist, not bulky at all), & attractive hat. Her shoes would be appropriate for her outfit. She would do that day after day.


  49. A couple at the dog park work for the Red Cross and the guy helps out at the wife’s grandmother’s church with the promise program Kim had mentioned.

    So foundation hopes are up, the roofers are in the area, working for Real Estate Guy’s client & current landlord, so he promised to drag them over here and see when we can get started.

    Meanwhile, a new (but necessary) project is added to the list to be done — a hand rail for my front steps leading up to my porch. It’s long needed, figured now’s the time. Definitely a safety feature (along with an outdoor light we need to figure out for that area).

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Janice, having other pastors resign doesn’t automatically turn an interim pastor into a permanent pastor. How are pastors chosen in your denomination? (Sorry, I don’t remember what it is, and “Community church” doesn’t help much.)


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