54 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-24-18

  1. Oh good Chas.

    I’ll take 2 eggs, over medium, no slime… sausage, maybe some home fries….. and coffee. Gotta have coffee……. πŸ™‚

    Thanks. πŸ™‚

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  2. The header is a muskrat feeding among pond weeds.

    And to take the photo, I stood at the end of our “driveway.” (Technically I was on the sidewalk below it, and I wouldn’t have been able to see this fellow from our doorway. But it is a few yards from our condo.)

    Every move has gains and losses, and though this one has mostly gains for us, it does have some losses. One of those is that, being in town now, we have lost our easy view of nature. We used to be able to sit in our library, look out the back picture window, and see wild turkeys or deer, and we saw the sunset daily. I could walk down our country road and come to a creek/drainage ditch at which I once saw two turtles and where I often saw frogs, occasionally saw muskrats, and even more occasionally caught a really quick glimpse of a mink.

    Well, what I learned yesterday is “I need to get out more.” Realistically I haven’t had many chances. The first month we were in this condo, we were working hard inside, and I couldn’t just go wandering for a couple of hours. I wanted to–we have a walking trail just blocks from our condo that I wanted to explore a bit. Even the parking lots of local businesses often have lovely “wild” areas on their edges. But I was needed at home. At the end of that month, we took a day off to go to a state park, and I figured I could do more walking in the days ahead, since things were in better shape at home–but I hurt my knee on that walk and couldn’t risk re-injury.

    Yesterday I was feeling stir-crazy, my knee is healing OK now (after a visit to the doctor last week to stave off a blood infection and get it healing), and it’s only supposed to be in the 70s this week. So I decided to walk to the store that’s a ten-minute walk from us and go “the long way” by way of a foot bridge just the other side of the store. I left without my camera but came back for it five minutes later.

    Two hours later I came back home. I had indeed been to the store (though I hadn’t bought anything) . . . but I had been out in creation and finding how close we live to beauty I hadn’t seen yet. (Road construction has kept a road near us closed, and so we hadn’t even driven along it till the last week or two when part of it opened.)

    Continued . . .

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  3. ok, what is that critter up there. Cheryl, you need to come tell us.
    My eyes are so tired. Interesting in kinder today with two new students and trying to let them know all I have taught the others. Tomorrow at 4pm is Open House.

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  4. Before I got as far as that footbridge that I meant to walk “to,” I walked past a family of Mallard ducks I have been watching grow up. The ducklings are nearly grown now, and six have survived. I walked past a small field or wildflowers and saw butterflies, dragonflies, and bees. And then to my shock I was overlooking an exquisite pond (I’ve sent AJ photos of much of this). I saw a green heron fly over to a tree. (AJ has posted better photos of green herons than anything I got of them yesterday . . . but it’s worth noting that I have seen great blue herons hundreds of times–they are exceedingly common in Indiana and I have at times seen three or four in flight on the same half hour drive, and I have seen dozens of them at one time at an Alabama dam. But this is only my fifth, or possibly sixth, time to see a green heron. They are small and well camouflaged.) Beyond the green heron was another log, and on it a great blue heron, with a turtle on its log. I took a couple of photos that show both herons, and to my amazement when I looked at those at home, there was actually a second green heron in the same tree, one on each of two branches. While I was standing there, a duck swam briefly into view, and I snapped a quick photo, mostly to ID the species–and it was a female or juvenile wood duck. All of this was on a pond that might be as close as a quarter mile from home, and certainly less than half a mile.

    I decided that I was so close to the walking trail I might as well at least go to the beginning of it. I ended up telling myself “just to that curve,” go “to that bench anyway,” and finally “oh, a pond–you have to go at least that far.” I’m not sure how much of it I walked, maybe a mile, maybe less. But I saw multiple species of wildflowers, seven or eight species of butterflies, a dozen or so cardinals (they really thrive here), and more. I saw my first-ever male eastern towhee (I’ve seen a female once), saw the green heron flying to leave the pond, watched a monarch on swamp milkweed (my favorite milkweed, a lovely pink), and even saw a deer come cautiously out of hiding.

    I turned toward home and walked slowly by the pond. The great blue was still on its log; the turtle and green heron(s) gone. (I didn’t know yet there had been two.) A big splash near me made me think “big turtle,” but I saw movement among the grasses and looked, and saw my first local muskrat. (I saw my second, at the end of our driveway, half an hour later–the second is the one pictured.) I did my shopping (didn’t buy anything) and returned home. When I left, the female mallard was out buy her ducklings were napping in the grass and I could only see two or three of them. But she and all six of them were out swimming, and they came out of the grass on my side; she stayed in the water, but she didn’t warn them about me. I’m guessing the species recognizes individual humans and she knows by now I’m not a threat, and they are 90% as big as she is by now, anyway. A little farther on I saw the muskrat. Muskrats are not particularly shy as long as they are in the water, but as you can see, he really wasn’t. I thought that I am likely to see this particular rodent again, and being extra careful in my movements so as not to spook it would probably be wise. I think it did see me after a couple of minutes, and it got back into the water and swam fairly quickly (it went by me rather than away from me, though)–not panicky flight, but the water isn’t very deep there, and I think it felt it was in its best interest to move along. If those leafed plants weren’t there, you would see the water, since they are growing in it on the bottom half of the photo, but they are also choking it in a way that doesn’t allow a muskrat to swim right there.

    On this walk I decided I made a good trade even in giving up that picture window and the drainage ditch down the street where I used to live. I cannot sit IN my house and see wildlife as I could up there–I don’t even have a very good view into our own tree or our bushes. But if I can see ducks and muskrats in our own creek/drainage ditch, and multiple birds and butterflies within half a mile, I’m good.

    I just need to get out more. πŸ™‚

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  5. Cute critter. I love exploring a new neighborhood after a move.

    Well, Chas was a little slow with breakfast so I made some regular toast.

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  6. I enjoyed that virtual stroll with you, Cheryl. Thankful you are in such a lovely environment to enjoy your favorite things.

    We voted this morning in the runoff. I had previously voted for my top choice for Governor of Georgia, but he did not make it to the runoff. So after all the mud-slinging was done for the runoff, I did vote for the one who Trump and Pence endorsed. The governor in office now has not been supportive of Georgia having the same level of religious freedom as many states have that equals the Federal standard. I could not vote for the one endorsed by the current governor because religious freedom is so important to me. (I hope it is not too political to mention that here.) I also will say that there was no one except the workers at the poll this a.m. i think it goes to show how out of sync we are with our vicinity. Most everyone around us probably voted, if they chose to, on the democrat ticket so they could not vote in this runoff. Karen told me she felt very sorty for me having to make a choice between who she saw as horrible candidates. All I can do is smile like Mona Lisa when she says such things.

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  7. Scrambled eggs, grits, and bacon please. A waffle on the side or buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup would be great, too. Dark roast black coffee is my preferred drink. Thanks, Chas. Or, we could just all pile in the car and go over to IHOP.

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  8. Breakfasts: I tend to have the same thing for breakfast every morning. Plain yogurt, followed by raw oatmeal topped with some kind of dried fruit. My mother is who started us eating raw oatmeal. We used to have porridge when we were young, but she read somewhere that uncooked oatmeal was more easily digested and the habit stuck. Breakfast cereal was a rare luxury, as it was more expensive than oatmeal. Yogurt was introduced when my mother started to try to make yogurt from our goats’ milk (N.B. Yogurt made from goat’s milk tastes terrible); but we eventually switched to store bought cow’s milk yogurt (in West Africa, I made my own yogurt as I needed it to counteract the effects of the doxycyline I took for malaria prophylaxis). Eggs and bacon were only served on festive days, such as birthdays and holidays, and my mother made pancakes every Saturday. Her pancakes were very filling, and there was a famous bet my father once made with a nephew of my mother’s. This nephew boasted that he could eat twenty of my mother’s pancakes. My father replied that if the nephew ate twenty, my father would give him 100 dollars. The nephew never got close. Once, Youngest and I tried to see if we could make it to twenty, but I think we only made it to ten or eleven, and we were uncomfortably full. Now, my mother and father and I stick to the old breakfast habits, but the Seconds vary their breakfasts more widely, with crepes, eggs and bacon, and other things as they feel like having them.

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  9. Janice, good luck getting your breakfast.

    Chas must be distracted over on the political thread. Hope that toast and bacon doesn’t burn.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I guess I need to go cook our fried eggs in our tiny fry pan here at the office. I may make toast to have fried egg sandwiches. I just made Starbucks French roast coffee and Art will have his usual cola. The other breakfast was so much virtually nicer!

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  11. Roscuro, that sounds good (and healthy).

    Maybe Chas has some yogurt and oatmeal (she says, ringing the counter bell for service).

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  12. I’ve been attacked by the no-see-ums again, I think they’re in my yard and I neglected to put on repellant Sunday night when I was out there reading on the patio. Within a short time after coming in my hands were driving me crazy with itching. One finger has swollen up and the welt is spreading to the rest of the hand. I still have the RX lotion my doctor gave me last time so I’m using that but the itch these things cause is really something awful. I wake up in the middle of the night rubbing my hands on the sheets to stop the itching (which only makes it worse, of course).

    Today I leave the Jeep for overdue service, I’m really hoping there’s nothing huge that’ll have to be fixed. We’re up to 120,000+ miles now so stuff starts to happen.

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  13. DJ- you’re up too early. Go back to bed!

    If I had known Chas was fixing us breakfast, I would not have had my usual cereal and banana. I’d have ordered scrambled eggs and sausage!

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  14. Roscuro, the pancake eating contests sound fun as long as no one ended up throwing up!

    I use to make yogurt, too. I had one of the yogurt makers with five or six cups for small batches, but later I started using my ice chest to store a large container (kept at a controlled temp for processing). I did this when Wesley was a baby, and I could not find whole milk yogurt.

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  15. Daughter has not yet brought in the eggs, maybe I won’t even get any breakfast. Until I break my fast at dinner. Chas? You still fixing? But I sincerely doubt I will wait until dinner, something will be found.

    I used to eat oatmeal every day, sometimes raw, sometimes cooked, sometimes twice a day. I love oatmeal. But then I figured out that oatmeal and coffee were causing my digestive difficulties. Coffee was not a big deal, but oatmeal was hard to stop. Well, easy, once I realized it was a major culprit but I miss it. I had no idea oatmeal could do that. It was supposed to be so good for me.

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  16. We really enjoyed our goat yogurt, I suspect it has to do with what the goat has been eating. Somebody asked us to milk their goats in their absence and go ahead and keep the milk. It was horrid. But we have not had that problem here. Not that many challenging weeds, I suppose.

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  17. Mumsee, I too cannot eat oatmeal (or other cereals made with oats, such as Life or Cheerios). I would get horrid tummy aches that would last for hours. It took me a while to connect them with oats, but once I did it was an easy call to drop those cereals, though it did leave me with few breakfast options, since I don’t like eggs for breakfast and generally don’t eat pancakes. I figured it out with oatmeal, but wasn’t thinking that Life is also made with oats, and so I ate that one last time and then knew better.

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  18. Cheerios was my long time emergency replacement for oats. They had to go. All this talk of gluten and people don’t realize it just might be the oats.

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  19. Yesterday, the two youngest rode bikes to town for library and ice cream. They set a speed record, for them, on returning. Only thirty minutes for the return trip because they stayed too long at the library. They certainly like that place. Anyway, after I let them go, I wondered because it seemed much warmer than the forecast eighty two. I suspect it was in the nineties. But they were fine. They are outside a lot and drink lots of water. I had told them to rest if it got too warm and they said it had not felt hot at all coming home.

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  20. Warning to everyone!
    You don’t want to eat my cooking.
    Elvera’s bro-in-law likes to cook. He has a grille he uses often.
    I have never cooked before this and you don’t want to eat what I fix. Problem is: real problem here, not kidding:
    I can’t see well enough, even with my magnifying glass, to read cooking instructions for most things. I do not cook well. We have Cheerios and Raisin Bran fro breakfast. That’s it.
    Elvera has a yogurt at evening. She has been doing that for years. Says it’s for digestion. That’s all I know. I just give her the yogurt.
    One of the ladies who comes to help can cook and she is making our dinner for tonight now. I will microwave to heat it.
    Harris Teeter (local grocery) has cooked chicken that I buy and add canned vegetables.
    We get along.

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  21. Cheryl @ 10:08
    I used to get serious stomach aches. I thought it was the cereal. But I discovered that I am lactose intolerant. Now I get lactose free milk and have not had any other problems.

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  22. Chas, I’m not lactose intolerant, but for a decade I was allergic to milk–an allergy that I fortunately moved past. But as a result of a decade milk free, I now eat mostly cereals that are good without milk. Life was one I ate without milk, so Life itself was clearly the culprit. (Cheerios I either ate without milk or with milk and fruit.)

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  23. I take my cereal without milk, as fresh milk does not agree with my digestive system. I use water instead, which freaks Second In-law out when he sees me eating the rare bowl of Cheerios with water. Many adults lose the ability to break down lactose over time. I get my dairy from cheese and yogurt, in which the lactose has been broken down by the mold or bacteria.

    Mumsee, the goats ate our grass (and trees if they could get at them), as well as a bought feed mix (cannot remember the name of it, but I think it was a bran mix) and hay during the winter. The milk wasn’t that bad, but we never really cared for it, except Dad, who loved it. We observed over the years we had the goats and offered the milk to our friends and relatives to try, that men seemed to enjoy the milk and women did not. Yogurt has a stronger taste than milk does, and the yogurt my mother made seemed to strengthen the taste of the goat’s milk by about ten times.

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  24. Morning! The workers showed up before 7 this morning and have been hammering in those nails and beams creating my neighbor’s new home with enthusiasm! At least this crew is not blasting their stereo for the entire forest to hear 😊 🎢
    I eat Cheerios most mornings and sometimes yogurt. No cooked oatmeal for me any longer, I love it but it does not love me! 🌾

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  25. In my cardiac rehab program I’m learning to eat differently, eliminating a lot of fat, sugar, and sodium. Life cereal was a staple for me, but I’ve replaced it with cooked oatmeal most days, with cinnamon and plain yogurt, with a banana on the side.

    The sodium standard for me is probably the biggest challenge, but Mrs. B. has been very supportive in what she buys and cooks.

    Most “Reduced Sodium” canned goods only reduce the amount of sodium from way too much to too much. Fortunately we’re finding good brands of a lot of things that truly are low in sodium.

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  26. Just checking here for my acknowledgements–have any of you beside Jo and Kim read A Poppy in Remembrance? I don’t want to miss anybody–otherwise you’re going into the category of Wandering Views friends!

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  27. I m about to go cook my scrambled eggs with cheese and a glass of milk on the side. It is breakfast time here. Cold again this morning. I have a vest on, a jacket, a blanket, socks, and wrist warmers.

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  28. We got 9 eggs today. I am quite happy that the pulleys have begun to lay. It is so much fun to gather the different colors and sizes of eggs.

    Our goats are on pasture, quality alfalfa hay, and a dairy goat grain mix. My milk customers tell me it’s the best tasting goat milk they’ve ever had. You would not k ow it was goat milk unless told.

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  29. Nightingale and The Boy have been enjoying the Cub Scout day camp they are going to this week. Yesterday, there was fishing, swimming, bb gun shooting, a hands-on geology lesson, and I forget what else. Haven’t seen them yet to know what they did today.

    (Actually a little worried, since they should have been home three hours ago, but I know Nightingale can be spontaneous about doing something with The Boy while they are out.)

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  30. The new photo is the nearly grown Mallard ducklings. I have seen them several times over the past two or three weeks, and their mama hasn’t lost any since I’ve been watching them. She’s off just slightly to the left, but in this picture I just got her young ones. This too is virtually in front of our condo (it’s off a couple buildings over), the same drainage ditch / creek that the muskrat dropped into when leaving its feeding spot.

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  31. They were late because they were shopping for waterproof boots for The Boy, and had to go to several stores to find what they needed.

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  32. Okay, DJ, I read the story but not the analysis. It is a very good picture of a lot of Christians. They know Jesus and desire to serve Him in the ways He has called them. They are a bit too caught up in this country, as are many other Christians. We don’t know what God is doing but we do know He holds the rulers in His Hands and we are to pray for them.

    My personal view is that God is growing the President, in Him. He has surrounded him with believers and his countenance is changing. But we do not require our Presidents to be top of the chain theologically. We expect them to do what they can to lead our country in a good way, and we should be praying for him. He is a sinner, as are we all, and he appears to be in Good Hands.

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  33. I didn’t know A Poppy in Remembrance was available. But I probably might not have gotten it read if it was during the school year.

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  34. We had a lovely light rain shower this evening and I made the mistake of taking Lulah dog for a walk…what a pain that dog can be…very disobedient, selective hearing and a total basket case…but she is sweet in a neurotic sort of way.
    I did not know the book was written Michelle…so nope…I didn’t read it 😊 πŸ“š

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  35. I wish I could have ready Poppy πŸ™‚

    I watched our local mama bear and her three cubs for several minutes on my way to work this morning. Husband had run right by where they were earlier in the day!

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  36. We’re eating the first cherries from the cherry tree we planted several years ago. They are quite tart but so flavourful. Too bad I’m allergic and only had a small taste (and then took Benadryl).

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  37. I was going to ask you if they were Montmorency cherries Kare. We had the most lovely Montmorency Cherry tree in our front yard when we lived in town. Those are the best pie cherries and oh how I miss gathering the bounty of fruit from that tree!! (Hope that Benadryl takes care of any reaction!) πŸ’

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  38. These are Valentine cherries, developed by the University of Saskatchewan to be hardy enough for our winters. An excellent pie cherry (apparently) and tart, but not too sour to eat fresh.

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  39. Whoops, looking at the duckling photo, I just realized I was wrong about that being the six ducklings–because if you look at the near grass between ducklings two and three, you’ll see another little guy hidden. So there’s a total of seven ducks in the photo. In person it was fairly clear which one was the mama (she’s just a tad bigger and they’re also darker), and in my other photos it was clear, too. But here I think the duck farthest to the right (in the water) is the mama duck. All six ducklings came out of the water on my side, and she stayed in the water and ended up on the left side of them, but in this picture it looks like she is still “behind” them and to the right. That should show how well grown they are that I messed that identification up initially. (In person there really was no mistaking which was which, though I’m sure it won’t be that easy in another week.)

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  40. I’m plagued with guilt because I searched my email and found Michelle had sent a copy to me in April 2014 — but when I spotted the 400-page length I postposed reading it and … Well, now I feel awful, I’m so sorry!!

    Meanwhile, aided by the internet, I seem to have an overactive imagination about my recent bug bites. I read today that if you saw black dots in one of the bites, it probably meant that the email sand flea/fly had buried her babies under your skin. Creepy, I thought.

    Then, tonight as I was changing jeans after work, I noticed a HUGE red welt on my left knee … with black dots. Yikes.

    Off to Urgent Care I went, but they closed (at 7 p.m.) right as I pulled up. I called a nurse friend from the dog park who recommended an urgent care in a nearby beach city that was open until 9 p.m. so off I went.

    Turns out it was signs of bruising — from scratching, which nurse practitioner told me NOT to do anymore. Easier said than done.

    (The check-in nurse, though, told me she’d also been bitten alive, showing me her ‘wounds,’ so it is what we are dealing with this summer near the beach, apparently; I just really react so horribly to the bites.)

    Nurse Practitioner told me the stuff my doctor prescribed earlier was very good, to keep using that with cold compresses and maybe some Bendadryl (oral and topical gel).

    I think I also may need to move my screen purchases up a bit — I was hoping to put that off until after the painting, but the painting really isn’t getting done too soon so … I can’t bear having the windows closed, day or night, during this summer heat (which has 2-3 months left to go).

    I’m just grateful for now that I’m not harvesting sand flea/fly eggs in my left knee.

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  41. So tired after Open House. One mother left her daughter there after the first presentation because she wanted to color. Umm,… I’m going home. I only had to present one time as the second time only the vice principal came and he should already know what I am teaching.

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