50 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 3-1-18

  1. Good morning! The photo shows the Birthday Tree (not waiting for March 11th) along with our neighbor’s flowering pear tree, and her pine tree in the background trying to photo bomb.

    That was our only sunny day in February. God blessed me by arranging for me to be off from work to catch this awesome beauty to share and glorify Him. I got a lot of photos to use for my haiku which points to Him as Creator and Giver of good gifts.

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  2. Our first appointment is at eleven so I am home for a bit longer this morning. I opened the window for Miss Bosley to enjoy morning bird sounds. She is very content. That is winning out over lap time.

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  3. We have two semi-feral kitties living outside that we feed and care for. With the help of a TNR organization they’ve been neutered and had shots. My Siamese, Bruce, is able to open the sliding glass door (quite a feat for the little guy) and he frequently lets them in for a visit. I can hear them meowing out in the kitchen right now.

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  4. I knew immediately it was the Birthday Tree. I want one in my own yard. Currently Mr. P is a man on a mission against a certain type of weed that has taken over. We even put down new sod last year in an effort to combat them but they are stronger than the grass.
    I got to sleep in a little later this morning. Mr. P got up to let Master Amos out. My Little Old Man has had his wet food with his reflux medicine and a good hearty breakfast but he thinks he should also have a bit of my peanut butter toast. I came home the other night to Mr. P cleaning out the last of the Peter Pan Peanut Butter and letting each dog have a lick off of his fingers. I would never have done that. I keep explaining to the dogs that we do not licky lick.
    Today is March 1 and we are in the home stretch of meeting Miss MDH the end of the month. I, being the Perfect Southern Grandmother, have had several things monogrammed. She has a pacifier clip, a lightweight cotton dress, a burp cloth, and diaper cover panties all in white with a pink monogram. What I haven’t accomplished yet is getting the new club chair/rocker that I wanted.
    I also have a dog trainer coming to the house to work with Miss Lulabelle. Lou is a good dog, she is just the most ill-mannered dog I have ever been around. It isn’t her fault. Her human thinks everything she does is adorable and she “just wants to love everyone”. I keep asking him how he is going to feel the first time she knocks over or steps on a crawling or toddling baby girl. Or what it will look like the first time she paws the baby and leaves a mark. The trainer has assured me that she has some ways to work with her. The key is to get the Human on board. This woman is one of my agents and works with Pit Bull rescues to retrain them and make them adoptable. She and I are somewhat on the same page. She says there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. I think that is partially true. I had the kindest, most gentle Golden Retriever who was my first baby. I thought he could do no wrong either, but I never left him and BG in the same room alone when she was small. It would have broken my heart if he had ever hurt her, so I never gave him the chance. He growled at her once and I took that as a warning that she had irritated an Old Man long enough. I put her in the stroller and we all went for a walk.

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  5. Apparently, I am not warm and fuzzy enough. I have heard twice now that the agents as a whole don’t think I am “friendly”. What can I do to change that perception?

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  6. Kim, find out each person’s favorite color and give them something useful in their color. I have been thinking of making a crocheted coffee mug warmer, maybe that would be a warm and fuzzy reminder of the real you. Maybe a pen with a feather attached in their favorite color for signing those all important documents. I think you can write off the cost of the gifts as a business expense. Maybe serve cotton candy at a business meeting…warm and fuzzy and how you want to approach clients with sweetness and something memorable to set y’all above other clients. You are creative, too, so maybe my brainstorming will spur something else for you.

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  7. What?! You’re very friendly. And I should know now that I’ve met you and driven you around and let Tess slink onto your lap. (Sorry about that, she’s a lover and is desperate for affection.)

    You’re right about owner/dog ratio — there are genetics that come into play and the fact that dogs are, after all, animals.

    I looked at the photo and thought “that’s gotta be Georgia”

    Well I feel miserable. I’ve been up for 2 hours, I finally took a hot steamy shower to clear my sinuses (right after having to haul a dog bed out to the patio because Tess threw up), but now my right eye won’t stop watering and I’m stuffed up again — and I noticed green phlegm (yuck, I know) which means some kind of infection is still very much active. My plan is to be at urgent care when they open at 8 a.m. (my editor will NOT be amused that I’m going to be out again today as I’ll miss a morning assignment and there’s literally no one else left anymore to cover for us).

    Writing yesterday on FB about the loss of 2 reporters he had this to say: “I’m not sure when the bleeding will ever stop at newspapers, but days like today in our newsroom are hard to take. We’ve watched so many talented, dedicated colleagues leave the Southern California News Group in the past months, weeks and days that it’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion. …”

    Kind of glad I missed it.

    It is nice to have all my windows DONE, at last, weather-stripped and all — and no taped up cardboard to keep out the wind in the formerly broken one.

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  8. The sky was that incredible blue which almost hurt my eyes with its beauty. I guess it was shocking after all the dull gray days and seeing so much black ink on white paper tax documents. Karen and I both felt uplifted going out in such beautiful weather. She never gets out except for a doctor appointment.

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  9. Taxes. Ugh. I worked on mine for 4 hours yesterday. It’s done. Dropping it off at the accountant. I usually have it done before now, but haven’t had the time nor energy to face it.
    The weather is nice here so far today.

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  10. Oh my how that looks like a Colorado sky…the trees are not however, Colorado trees!!! I showed the photo to husband and his thought was “that really makes me miss the south!”!! I always enjoy seeing the first photos of the Birthday tree!! Thanks for sharing the beauty of your part of the world Janice! And FYI, our sky is bluer than blue this morning! 😊

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  11. Beautiful photo!

    Mom, who grew up in Connecticut, frequently remarked on the beauty of Arizona’s blue skies (and our sunsets). When I moved to Chicago and found out how frequently skies there were gray in winter, even on non-overcast days–and how gloomy that is–I understood what she meant.

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  12. Kim: lie. You are very warm and friendly. But you do not fit the correct model if you do not lie. But then again, don’t. Remain the blessing you are.

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  13. I have been pondering Kim’s “not friendly” comment all morning. I even posted something, but backed off.
    Problem is, in all my career, I have never encountered “unfriendly”. I don’t know what they mean by that. Yjou don’t laugh at their jokes? You don’t have a beer with them? Whatever. I would suggest that you be extra careful and not “overcorrect” for the impression. It might create another problem.

    Men and women work together all the time. Nothing between them. I even traveled with women. We got along well. When we came to a door, I opened it, she walked through. Simple male/female courtesies. But that’s as far as it goes. Just be your regular self. They may think “all business” but that’s what you are there for. You don’t want to establish relationships with colleagues. It almost always hurts a career.

    Incidental case in point. Cosider what is happening at the White House.

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  14. I passed one of those touring buses that showed JAY Z 4:44. I had to look it up to see what it meant. Obviously I do not follow Hip Hop unless once in awhile I might sing the Peter Rabbit song where he hip hops down the bunny trail. That Jay Z is very popular and wealthy. I don’t travel in those circles.

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  15. In the discussion about colleges, does anyone think it is a misnomer to label business schools as colleges? Accountants on the CAP level are counted in with professionals such as lawyers. A lot of high level decision making goes into the recording of transactions, basically putting together a history of a business, and study of regulations and requirements for reporting. But I can see the studies are not in the vein of a classical focus on education. I know that at Tech schools which focus on science and math that the industrial management/business majors are sometimes seen as less important, or at least that was how it was years ago. Is it proper for elite status to be given to certain majors in state colleges?

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  16. Lovely trees! We had one lone crocus bloom yesterday. It looked lonely, but what does it expect, blooming in February in the Midwest?!

    Hey, I’m an old fuddy-duddy when it comes to technology. I don’t own anything that counts as a “device,” as far as I know. I have a flip phone (and actually prefer a landline, by far), a desktop computer with a large screen (idea for editing or creating photo books), and somewhere a CD player. And, of course, a digital camera. But no i-pod, i-pad, laptop, or smart phone.

    I am finishing creating a book that I hope to sell locally, but based on the price, I assume people will buy the e-book if they buy it at all. (Self-publishing a full-color 300-page book means it’s close to $50 for the paperback, close to $60 for hardcover. Those who don’t “do” technology and really love the state park might choose to buy it, especially since there is no other book on the park available–just one printed in the 1960s–but that is a splurge purchase and I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t sell any print copies.)

    Anyway, I have to pay to publish an e-book, so I want to choose the right version. Because it is hundreds of photos, the file is huge. If you were ordering such a book (or ordering it for someone you know–my question is basically if you were ordering a photo-full book for a device), would you prefer the PDF or the e-book? Here is the description of the e-book:

    Preserve picture-perfect layouts
    Viewable on Amazon Kindle, Apple iBooks, and Android devices
    Kindle publishing ready

    I have an appointment with someone at the park Sunday afternoon to show her a copy of the book and donate one, with the idea that people can enjoy the book and there will also be a sticker in the front telling people how they can buy a copy. I haven’t yet created the e-book version, since I want to make sure they aren’t going to tell me of some identification error or something, since I do have to pay to upload the e-book. But since the publisher now has two options for e-books, including the PDF, I thought I would run it by people who might actually know something about the subject. (If you wish to see the book–it’s about 300 pages, laid out as January to December, all photos of the state park I have visited 45 times or so in the last six years–e-mail me and I will send you a link. In it I have lots and lots of creatures, wildflowers, trees, and so forth. You can’t skip around and just look at photos of June or whatever, but the “pages” flip quickly.) Basically when we started going, and I started taking photos at the park, I looked online to see if anyone had made a book of the park, and no one had. So I decided I would. When I was trying to figure out how to organize it, I looked to see if I had photos of every month of the year, and I did (barely–just one visit in January), so I set it up by month, added an introduction, a brief essay for every month, captions (it was a LOT of work to ID all the wildflowers; birds are much more straightforward), and an index. And now it’s ready to go.

    I get to set my own price for the e-book, though I would hope at least to sell enough to recoup the cost of setting it up. But I’m thinking in the range of $5-10 to make it affordable without giving it away.

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  17. Chas, I have known my favorite color at least back to when I was nine. In school that year we had to write a poem about a color so I wrote about blue.

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  18. I have to disagree with Chas – I think relationship is critical in business. I don’t mean an intimate relationship, like dating, but rather one in which you can chat about their dogs, their kids, their boat, or whatever seems important to them. I work on several accounts with a Project Manager who is a pro at this. She can tell you the children’s names, the pet’s names, and the hobbies of all of our client contacts. Every call we have starts out with a little personal chit-chat (and sometimes ends with more). She and I took over a DoD account about five years ago and by building relationships with those folks, she has salvaged a client we were at risk of losing and they will do anything for us now. For that matter, I would do anything for her! The key to her success is that it’s all about the other person, not herself.

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  19. I’m home from urgent care with some prescriptions and orders to “eat soup, drink OJ and lots of liquids — and sleep, sleep, sleep” for the next few days. I picked the prescriptions up at Walgreens (prescription strength Sudafed, ibuprofen & cough syrup) along with a few cans of soup.

    It’s a cold virus but he said my lungs sound ‘clear’ so that’s good, no indication of bronchitis or anything more serious, vitals were ‘excellent.’ No fever, no flu. There apparently is 1 reporter in the newsroom today, however, so editor unhappy. Looks like I’m down for the count possibly through much of the weekend.

    I was the first one there when they opened just before 8 a.m. so I got in and out quickly. Only other guy who wandered in after me was wearing a sweatshirt, flip flops and pajama bottoms. And here I went to the trouble of actually putting on jeans and sneakers.

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  20. From Real Estate Guy today, an email making the rounds:

    SQUIRRELS

    The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.

    At the Baptist church the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and, unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.

    The Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist Church. Two weeks later the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water-slide.

    But the Catholic church came up with a very creative strategy! They baptized all the squirrels and consecrated them as members of the church. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.

    Not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue; they took the first squirrel and circumcised him. They haven’t seen a squirrel since.

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  21. Michelle, I bought the little tree when it had only one or two blooms on it for his birthday one year. Since then it has been called the Birthday Tree, and we keep a watch to see if it will have blooms on birthday. In our neighborhood it is a late bloomer according to when others bloom. It is a bigger bouquet for his birthday each year. course, it blooms during tax time so we do not get to enjoy it as much as we would like.

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  22. DJ,
    That was funny. I am sorry you are not feeling well, but this should make you happy. Our new receptionist/Agent Services has a degree from SCAD in Historic Preservation. We have been talking about you. 🙂
    I found out that you can take a sample of the paint and look at it under a microscope to get the original color. She wants you to think about taking the trim back to wood and staining it or painting it all bright white. My idea of lighter and darker paint is more Victorian and not “your house”.

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  23. I like to read about people whose lives were changed.
    A good example of that is King Manasseh, one of the most evil kings of Judah.
    There is, in the Apocrypha, a “Prayer of Manasseh”.
    There is a guy in Virginia who was a druggie. He was about to kill himself, but for some reason, he contacted our pastor who dealt with hm. He was converted and became a leader in the church in Virginia.
    Raised a nice family.

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  24. Cheryl – Don’t judge Connecticut winter skies on Chicago winter skies. I don’t know about in the city areas, but here in my rural-suburban area, we have some lovely blue skies in the winter.

    I took some lovely photos after a snow recently, when the sun was shining, and the sky was bright blue. I’ll have to figure out how to email them to AJ, or maybe just put them on Facebook, and tag him.

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  25. Kim – I don’t know if you would want to do this, but I thought of asking why they find you unfriendly. It could be a misunderstanding. Just “knowing” you on here, I can’t imagine anyone thinking you are unfriendly.

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  26. We have blue skies a lot in the winter. Usually coincides with frigid temperatures 😦

    Kim, I have a resting “angry face”. I need to be very conscious to smile when I’m not actually conversing with people, especially on registration Sunday, so that I seem more approachable and friendly. I can’t see you having an angry or grumpy resting face, though, you’re too pretty.

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  27. I’ve had a restful day per doctor’s orders; slept for 3 hours and then puttered a bit, have had to take 2 hot showers today just to get the steam to clear out the congestion. It’s especially bad and annoying when I first get up.

    I did have to do some work today (it’s trash collection tomorrow morning) — had to get some extra trash hauled out, put the 3 additional Salvation Army bags on the mountainous pile in the garage and I spread some wildflower seeds in the backyard since rain is coming. But I’ve tried not to do too much.

    My neighbor has had it worse, she’s been battling a kidney stone in the past couple days. We were laughing about who would go to the store for whom. Fortunately, she’s bounced back today and said she’s feeling much better. And she said she’s enjoying my new “clear “window on that side of my house — which is in her direct line of view when she’s working at her kitchen sink. All those surfing stickers, gone.

    And just getting those two large casement windows in the living room replaced yesterday has made a huge difference in how quiet and how stable the temperature is now inside. Wonderful. And good time, lots of rain coming our way after midnight tonight and lasting through Friday & maybe Saturday. Amazing how better it all is without a broken window taped up with cardboard.

    Kim, how interesting about your house history contact. Yes, pick her brain. I’d thought of taking the wood back to the original but I think it would be a lot of work and expense and not sure I’d really even like the “look.” My cousin’s 1908 house has all the trim and wainscoting in the original wood stain and it just feels very dark in his house. It’s beautiful though.

    Hmm, bright white. I do see the wood trim all in a white shade with the color used on the plaster walls above and around all of that. And I keep seeing that green peeking through everywhere and it is much more muted in many areas. It actually looks very close to that green we’ve been talking about. Not sure if that’s the original paint — looks like top layer is the off-white, next is the green and then wood. So maybe it’s pretty old.

    Excited about the kitchen ideas, although first is tackling all that wallpaper …

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  28. Kare, me too. But the paper books cost about $45 (which is dirt cheap for a 280-page full-color book compared to, say, Shutterfly, but expensive compared to hardcover coffee-table books from a bookstore), so offering e-books seems like a good option, both for the modern market and for affordability.

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  29. Cheryl – If I were to get an e-book, I would find the Kindle version easier to deal with, but the PDF would be good for a PC. Pictures on a Kindle are crisp and clear, but I prefer the bigger screen of the PC for getting the details. So my answer would be undecided.

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  30. Cheryl, I have a Kindle and several devices. I have only experienced reading a few children’s books that have pictures as e-books. Mostly I have read pure text on devices and Kindle. I much prefer a hard cover book for viewing nature type pictures or any kind of art. I do not think I would buy an ebook like that. I would not be able to afford the hardback. I suppose if you broke the book down into themes and offered smaller books then I might subscribe to a series over time if the park interested me. Someone suggested I do booklets of my photos and haiku. That seems affordable on both the artist’s and the customer’s sides. It would also allow for test marketing before spending big bucks. If the booklets were a hit, then they could be consolidated into a large hardback. I hope my answer helps.

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  31. Janice, thank you. It’s helpful. I don’t think that doing smaller books would help that much simply because most of the cost is for the book itself, with additional pages adding little in cost. If I were to break it up into 12 books, for example, one for each month, it would cost twice as much for the same number of pages. Well, more than twice as much, because then you would be paying shipping for 12 books and not just one. I mostly published the book for myself (and also gave a copy to a friend), but the park might well want some copies too. I have a strong hunch that in spite of the price, the bigger book would be of more interest to them–for sure offering multiple, shorter books would make my offer to them complicated, though I could go back to my book and make some copies of books focusing on birds or wildflowers, and then a person checking out the site and finding the price too much, but with a main interest in one particular element, might be inclined to go for that other book instead. So that is worth further thought. But for the presentation I am doing to the park right now, it is already created as one book, and I just have to figure out which specific book formats to offer.

    But I might go back and order more “focused” books on the site itself.

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  32. You know, the bird one just might be doable. I just went back and counted pages of bird photos (or pages that had a bird photo and maybe also a photo of something else) and it’s just 62 pages. I could even go back and add some bird photos that I reluctantly left out because the book was in such danger of getting too long, make it 72 pages or so, and still have it be about $16 for a paperback (hardcover twice as much). I hesitate a little to do that simply because I know I am missing some “important” bird shots. I know, for instance, that bald eagles have nested in the park several years–yet in 45 visits over the last six years, I have never seen a bald eagle, let alone an eagle nest. And I have seen few warblers. And I don’t have a professional-quality camera, so if I put together a book as specialized as bird photos, some professional photographer could easily come along and trump me. (But then, they probably wouldn’t beat my price, and a reader could always choose which one to buy, or buy both.) I do have about 40 species, including some very good woodpecker shots. That one may be worth some thought.

    It might make more sense to wait on that one, and have it be something like “birds of Indiana state parks,” considering I already have several other species from other state parks (including bald eagles), and after we move I should have access to nesting swallows and nesting bald eagles in other state parks. (Several pairs of eagles nest in one state park we will be closer to, and I have seen the swallow nests there, but we have always gone in fall when they aren’t being used.) But if I have any actual interest in this book, a shorter book of birds might grab the person who wants the longer book, but is primarily interested in the birds and can’t afford the longer book.

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