70 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 7-26-18

  1. Good morning again.
    Hi NancyJill, it’s early for you.
    I think I have seen this bird before. I noticed the “30” on the mailbox because I used to live at “30 Tall Pines Rd.”

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  2. Good morning! That bird reminds me of the one that comes every spring to the birdhouse outside my kitchen window. They lay their eggs, hatch them, and fledge the young. I enjoy watching their comings and goings. Bringing insects to feed the young, sitting for a bit on top of their house to sing a song.

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  3. I have never mentioned this before. But it has been going on for years. Someone, who sends me e-mails, thinks my name is Beryl. I often get e-mails that say. “Beryl………….”
    I have never responded.
    Does anyone else have a similar situation?
    I know all the guys, like me, get e-mails from hot young chicks who want to meet you. Mostly, but not always, on the Spam filter.

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  4. Probably best not to answer to Beryl. 😀

    I miss the good times with my dad. I don’t miss the arguments he always insisted on having. I miss his wonderful stories and the laughter. I miss some of his advice.

    The longer I live, the more people I miss. I am sure Chas can tell us much about that. Perhaps it makes it easier to want to also go, as do all the aches and pains. All in God’s good time, though.

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  5. Growing old can either make one desire to be with the Lord or make one bitter. My grandfather lived to be 102, but had a lot of bitterness. My dad is 92 and feels great and content. The problem is he’s trusting in his Roman Catholic faith, not in the Lord. I pray the Lord saves him before he goes.

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  6. When I got older, I started to reminisce about my past life. Not just after I retired, but as I entered my eighties.
    I realize that I have been immensely blessed.
    In every way. My misfortunes have turned out for the better.

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  7. Cool. A wren couple seemed to have chosen our birdhouse before we left town, but I wouldn’t be able to watch the family grow up. The only other time I knew they used it, we returned from a week away (it might have been two weeks away) to see them feeding young, and I think when we left I hadn’t been certain whether they’d actually chosen that site. House wrens can be a nuisance to other cavity-nesting birds, since the male finds any cavity he can and fills them with sticks, sometimes ruining another bird’s nest in the process (by piercing the eggs). If a female comes he shows her all his nests, and if she chooses to mate with him, she chooses one of his nests. So the presence of a singing house wren building a nest does not mean you have a pair, nor does it mean you will have an actual nest. But we had actual young one year, and this year I saw that a female accepted the site.

    But house wrens have a lovely song, and he’s an amazingly scrappy little bird with a lot of will to keep singing and keep guarding his territory. I’ve seen him chase much larger birds and then keep singing. He will go from branch to branch within a tree, singing on every branch.

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  8. Every evening, we sit out on the deck and enjoy the cooling of the day and the coming of the hummingbirds for dessert. We have several feeders around which they enjoy, but husband noticed one of them (the one off the deck) had not been filled so he filled it. He believes more is better so he added more sugar. They use all the feeders and keep busy with the flowers but every evening they all gather at the dessert feeder. There are usually about nine of them on it at once so I have been trying to get pictures of them but camera keeps going into live shot so it catches a glimpse of motion at the beginning of each shot. Kind of cool actually.

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  9. Our daughter turns 26 today and was complaining about her life.

    “All I do is go to work and it’s so odd to come home and not have to study. I still wake up early. Today all I had to take a walk and pick up books at the library. Then it was like, now what? Cook dinner?”

    I suggested finding a hobby, a Bible study or a boyfriend.

    She’s thinking about the Bible study . . . .

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  10. It’s because all she’s been doing since kindergarten is going to school . . . With a lull in the action, she’s seeing life like a normal person!

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  11. So cool to see God’s providence in retrospect, how even the sadness and hard times were used all to work for our good and his glory.

    It reminded me of an article I read just last night, “God Wrote This Part of Your Story, Too”

    https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/god-wrote-this-part-of-your-story-too

    “God orchestrated millions of situations and circumstances and relationships to bring us where we are today.”

    ________________________________

    Fear is part of living in this finite, fragile flesh in this fallen and fearful world. We are haunted people. We are fearing people, and our fears don’t end in childhood. It may begin with monsters under our beds, but more disturbing monsters lurk in the shadows as we grow older.

    “God orchestrated millions of situations and circumstances and relationships to bring us where we are today.”

    We fear athletic and academic failure. We fear star-crossed love or, worse, no love at all. We fear being alone. We fear not getting a good job, or losing our job. We fear losing the health of our children, or losing their affection. We fear that our bills will outgrow our income. We fear job loss, economic collapse, financial strain, and even poverty. As we age, we fear losing our retirement fund, our homes, our minds. Some of our darkest fears can be hedged with insurance, but no insurance can erase all the fears we entertain. We are more anxious and insecure than we’re willing to admit.

    In the context of God’s salvation, Scripture delivers a whopping promise:

    What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? (Romans 8:31–33)

    Because God gave his only Son for you, he has given you his guarantee that he will weave the details of your life together in such a way as to lead to an eternity with him to enjoy his full pleasures forevermore. To be chosen in Christ is to have the script for your life written, and the end of the story is eternal flourishing.

    .. Of course, the script includes conflict and hardships. We don’t find joy by escaping this life, but by living through it. I don’t know how much pain and disappointment you will face, but you will face it. You may face a long season of darkness in depression. You may live with serious regrets, and those regrets come in many shapes and sizes. Maybe you never intended to be forty and single. Maybe you regret being forty and married. Maybe you regret having kids. Or maybe you regret remaining childless. Or maybe you regret that your child abandoned the faith.

    Whatever the pains or regrets of life, the happy Calvinist, whose theology has sunk deep into the nerve center of his life, can say, “Though I cannot see why my life has unfolded in the way it has, God is in control and I am upheld by grace.” This confidence liberates our hearts to enjoy life. We don’t live in self-hate over all our failures. Instead, we look back over our lives, knowing that God orchestrated millions of situations and circumstances and relationships to bring us where we are today. …
    ____________________________________

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  12. And, yes, I still also remember the transition from “school” to real life & full-time work, which can feel odd.

    What, no summer vacation? Sigh. 🙂

    Sea lions yesterday, back to the homeless stories today.

    Seems our heat wave is breaking, we never did get the super high temps that those inland from us experienced. And this morning I woke up to … fog, the return of the marine layer, cool morning air coming in the windows.

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  13. It is fun to watch children work through that as they grow up.

    Yes, God has it covered and we can be content in what He brings. But we still ask for prayer.

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  14. Kim, not all hummingbirds are mean. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are, and that’s the only species we have in the eastern half or so of the U.S. (I’m not good at geography, and I’m not sure exactly where the dividing line is. And I think Florida occasionally gets another species or two.) But the West has a bunch more species.

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  15. I took high school by correspondence, and Mom set it up as four hours a day in the school year (we got school holidays off) and two hours a day during the summer. Plus we did housework and yardwork. I worked part time for a couple of years after high school and then full time for two years. In college I worked at least 20 hours a week during the school work, 40 hours during all the breaks. One spring break I was unable to land a job, so I worked on a correspondence course. So summers in college were a bit easier than the school year, but not easier than the full-time employment before and after college. Summers were never “time off” except in childhood, and I’d rather be an adult than a child, no contest.

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  16. I miss the hummingbirds I used to get on the honeysuckle vine that hugged the south side of my house. But the vine, as pretty as it is, caused issues with my wood windows over time and had to be chopped down and mostly out. But it still lives, I see those little orange blossoms here and there popping up as the vine returns, climbing through some nearby trees (no doubt in search of my house!).

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  17. I worked all through college, too, but summers still provided a lot more leeway with those jobs back then when you were part of the student fill-in staff. Our hours could go up during breaks, but it wasn’t to the 40-hour-a-week level.

    Full-full-time work? Yeah, that presented a summer lifestyle change. 🙂 The ‘sameness’ struck me the most, I suppose, the year marched on, summer, fall, winter, spring, summer … It took a good year (maybe 2) for me to adapt and get into the new rhythm.

    But I still look back with fondness on summer vacations — as a kid, riding our bikes everywhere, as a teen going to the beach what seems like all the time. Sweet years of youth and I loved them. 🙂

    Though I suppose I’m romanticizing them now …

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  18. I do remember working full time for maybe 6-8 weeks one summer in high school. My mom worked for the telephone company and she managed to get full-time, temporary gigs for my girlfriend and me. We’d ride in the carpool with my mom and her co-workers (the office was on Wilshire near downtown LA), spend the day proof reading telephone directories (oy, talk about a boring job) and the ride home with them at the end of the day.

    The day we went in and were told we were being ‘set free,’ that the job had concluded at last, was a real highlight. 🙂

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  19. I still remember that old building, too — it had the old-style elevator with an African American man in uniform who operated it, managing to line it up precisely with the floor as people got on and off. Most of our co-workers were also African American.

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  20. Our hummingbirds fight like crazy. However, I have seen four at the feeder at the same time. I am unsure if they are female, immature or siblings or something else. They are quite entertaining, at any rate.

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  21. I am currently reading Scalia Speaks and ran across this quote. It fits with some of the posts.

    “It is the greatest curse of advancing years that our world contracts, as friends who cannot be replaced, with insights into life that are not elsewhere available to us, leave us behind.”

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  22. Kathaleena, hummingbirds only lay two eggs and the father takes no part in caring for the chicks, so four wouldn’t be a family group. I have seen two make ruby-throated feeding at the same feeder, however, on rare occasions–in the morning when food is life or death, they are too hungry to spend energy fighting. (Hummingbirds only survive overnight by going into torpor, basically a mini hibernation. When they wake in the morning, finding food is serious business.)

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  23. Hello, wanderers. Thank you to Kizzie for checking in with me, and requesting prayer on my behalf. I appreciate all your prayers.

    DJ, 11:53, your link was timely and relevant. Thanks for posting it. I’m glad to have seen it.

    Thoughts and prayers with you, NancyJill, on the remembrance of your dad’s birthday.

    Michelle, 2nd Arrow felt the same way after graduating. She’d worked full time all the way through school, so just having a full-time job afterwards, with no more studies, felt like she had a lot of time on her hands.

    Cheryl, 12:33, I read somewhere — I think in one of our bird field guides, that the East/West dividing line is the Rocky Mountains. Not sure if that’s the general consensus, or if it was only for specific types of birds, like songbirds?

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  24. Second Arrow’s wedding is in two months and two days. I mentioned I have my dress, and now I have the champagne-colored wrap ordered, which was the color my daughter wanted for me, to go with my dress.

    Last Friday I got my ears re-pierced. Make that ear — singular — re-pierced. I’m still able to get earrings in my left ear. Well, after I pushed a little scar tissue through. I’ve not worn earrings for many years, but the left lobe was mostly open, and the right mostly closed, so only the right needed redoing. Funny how one can be so different on one side of the body than the other, but I guess we’re all asymmetrical in some sense.

    Fourth Arrow has been looking for a job all summer, but has had no luck yet. She did get one interview — this past Monday at Olive Garden — but they notified her last night that they weren’t able to hire her.

    There’s a locally-owned pizza place in town that has a Help Wanted sign in the window, my neighbor just reported today, so daughter is going to check that out next.

    Prayers are appreciated for her in her job search.

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  25. Speaking of the interview daughter had the other day, I’m reminded of a precious call I got later that evening. It was my son (1st Arrow), calling to see how the interview went, and asking whether 4th Arrow was home from it yet.

    He knew when and where she was interviewing (her interview time was 3:30 on Monday), and, since he still follows local news online for our area (he lives three hours away), he heard a report of a serious collision in the Olive Garden vicinity that had happened around 4:00.

    I just think it’s so sweet, his concern for his sister and her welfare, knowing that she very well could have been driving in that area around that time.

    As it happened, she had finished her interview 10-15 minutes before the accident, and had come straight home. The accident happened about one intersection away (in the opposite direction of where she would have been heading), but if I had asked her to stop at the grocery store that is near there, she may very well have been right at the scene of the collision at the moment it happened.

    How many times the Lord protects us from so much!

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  26. DJ, see, I never had that sort of freedom. We lived down the street from a park, and my older brothers went there all the time as teens, and freely rode everywhere. But we left Phoenix right about my 15th birthday, just after my dad retired and my sister graduated eighth grade. Looking back I imagine that had we stayed in town another year, my sister and I would probably have been permitted to ride our bikes to the mall or walk there (we only lived a mile and a half away at the most), as long as we were together, and probably at 16 or 17 we’d have been getting jobs down at one of the stores at the mall or on that corner. But we were girls and our parents were a bit more protective and I was a bit too shy to explore much on my own.

    Then we moved away from Phoenix and to a place that I’d love to explore now, with a camera, but where I couldn’t really wander much on my own as a teen, and it was a shudderingly awful place for a teenager to live. We had dirt roads (sand, not a place to ride bikes) and NOWHERE to go except desert. Our church had no teenagers at all (we had a boy or two who were one or two years younger than I, and literally no one else except me and my sister), and I didn’t attend school and thus didn’t know kids from there. My sister and brother were close, so they explored together, but it was a horrifically lonely time for me–my siblings had each other, and our parents had each other, but I didn’t have anyone. Our little community had one tiny grocery store and a mobile home court and a church, and the water company, and nothing else at all except homes. It was desert, and ugly desert (sand and shrubs and an occasional small cactus), and nowhere to go. After Dad died we moved back down to Phoenix (the suburbs at that point) and eventually I got a job at McDonald’s, which I hated, but I still had no friends and nowhere really to go. I did occasionally ride my bike around town and explore a little, but I had no connection of any sort to our community. We’d just moved there, I didn’t go to school there, my dad had died a year or two before and my mom was virtually housebound and my siblings busy with their own lives and their own jobs.

    My teens were basically survival mode, counting down till I could be 20 and not be a teenager anymore. And I promised myself that at 20 I could be an adult and not a teenager, and basically life would start then. At 20 I had saved enough for a car, so I learned to drive, bought a car, got a better (full-time) job, and moved out. I have isolated bits and pieces of nostalgia from before age 20, but virtually none from 13 to 19. They were years to survive.

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  27. Cheryl, I think I also grew up in an era where kids were given a lot more freedom. We didn’t have all the organized activities (especially as girls) and as long as it was daylight and we were home by dinner, all was well as far as our parents were concerned (though we’d pop back home throughout the day for a sprinkler run or to get food). 🙂 But, yes, summer was a delight.

    I’m curious, how do people go to college full time and work full time simultaneously? I can’t even imagine that. We all worked part-time (nights, weekend) jobs but seldom more than 20+ hours a week, usually more like 16-20.

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  28. And one more…

    Thinking of that grocery store, and the care and concern shown by others (like that with my son)…

    Two days ago, we got a knock at the door. I opened it up, and the neighbor girl was standing there with an envelope in her hand. We greeted each other, and she said, handing me the envelope to me, “This is from my grandmother.”

    Her grandmother used to live in the house where this girl and her siblings and parents now live. The grandmother lives in a different city in our area now, and has for several years now.

    This was the lady who, some years back, had sent us a card around Thanksgiving, writing a lovely note about her thankfulness for our helpfulness as neighbors. (Her son, the father of the girl who came to the door, travels often to do storm clean-up in various places after natural disasters, like Hurricane Katrina, i know, was one of them, and my husband has helped with cutting wood to supply fuel for our neighbor’s wife when her husband is gone. My daughter also helped the family when their youngest child was born 14 1/2 weeks prematurely, and the parents lived out-of-state to be near their hospitalized baby, and the other grandmother, from Arkansas, who didn’t want to drive around up here in the winter, was staying with the older siblings of the preemie. 2nd Arrow would drive the children to their after-school events, the grandmother to the grocery store, etc.)

    Anyway, when the local grandmother sent us that card around Thanksgiving however long ago it was, she included two gift cards, for $100 each, to that grocery store near Olive Garden, a store she knows we frequent often. An unexpected and heart-warming gift for which we were most grateful.

    This week, after the neighbor girl stopped by and said, “This is from my grandmother,” the memories came back of her past generosity.

    After the girl left, I sat down, opened the card, and read this note:

    [Our last name] family,

    I continue to think about what a wonderful neighbor you were and what a beautiful family you have.

    Enclosed is a small gift for you. Enjoy.

    [Signature]

    More $100 giftcards to the same grocery store. Five of them this time.

    What an overwhelming gift of love, thoughtfulness, and generosity.

    God is so good, in how He moves hearts. He gets all the glory for the many blessings He provides. Praise Him!

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  29. “I’m curious, how do people go to college full time and work full time simultaneously?”

    Lots of weekend work, and lots of stimulants to keep awake for studying after daytime classes and weekday work hours are completed for the day.

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  30. I don’t think I knew anyone who did that, but maybe we were all slackers in my day 🙂 School work + 20 hours or so of (paid) work a week was plenty for us.

    Good to see you back 6Arrows.

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  31. DJ, my dad married my mom when they were nineteen. He had been raised in a family with six boys and a girl. The parents had not gone to college but expected the children to all do so, and they were not paying for it. It was simply what they would do. My dad and mom moved to Idaho where he enrolled at the Uof I. He had a job as a dishwasher and a couple of others. She worked until she was let go due to pregnancy. He managed to graduate in Forestry while being the sole earner in the family and raising four children. He did not take the job offered in Forestry as it would mean being away from wife and children. Instead, he worked as a logger, including the time he logged with horses. There were no scholarships or financial aid available and if there had been, he would not have accepted them. We have wonderful memories of our dad and mom so they were both in our lives. I don’t know how they did it but they did.

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  32. Oh, and they arrived in town with about a quarter in cash but he went out and got started immediately. And they lived in an old farmhouse without indoor facilities or electricity.

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  33. I am reading “A Prophet With Honor”. The life of Billy Graham. An interesting book. The author says that Graham was a good friend of both Eisenhower and Nixon. I gather, but the author was not specific, that Eisenhower was converted under Graham’s ministry. Nixon was converted by evangelist Paul Rader. Nixon’s parents were Quakers, but active in evangelical circles in Cal.

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  34. I see I missed a recent discussion about oats/oatmeal. Those of you who mentioned getting stomach aches and such after consuming oats, do you have any wheat or gluten sensitivities that you know of, or have you experienced similar effects after eating wheat like you do after eating oats?

    I ask because oats that aren’t certified gluten-free will almost certainly have gluten contamination, even though oats themselves don’t contain gluten. The contamination is due to ordinary growing, shipping, and processing practices.

    It probably isn’t a lot of gluten a person would ingest by eating regular oats, but there’s still the concept of total load to consider. Sometimes certain foods can be problematic when a person is ingesting a lot of foods to which s/he’s unknowingly sensitive, and when some of the problem foods are eliminated, the body can tolerate better a few of the others that remain in the diet.

    As an example, two of my most problematic dietary issues were with gluten and milk products.

    When I cut gluten out of my diet nearly a decade ago now, I was surprised to discover about a year later that I could tolerate milk products a lot better. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that because my body was fighting so hard against the gluten for so many years, getting rid of it helped stop that struggle and extra resources (I don’t know if that’s the right word) were freed up to process other foods in a way that allowed me to eat them without as much problem.

    I don’t know if I explained that very well — you could probably google “total load” and get a better description of what I’m talking about — but if you like the taste of oatmeal and miss it, maybe try certified gluten-free oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Old-Fashioned GF oats) and see if that helps you enjoy oats again, but without pain/sickness.

    Just a thought.

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  35. Friday morning here. Just got back from market. How do you socialize between 6:30 and 7am?? The tables are falling down so soon they will be building new concrete tables. In the meantime they will move market to a field right behind where it is now. Should be interesting trying to pick out things from the ground. I have been spoiled by the tables.

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  36. Barefoot probably

    Busy working-at-home day for me, lots of phone interviews, trying to get two stories done for the weekend and a 4:30 p.m. homelessness meeting I’m planning to go to (assuming I’m still invited, it’s a private group of business owners who are adjacent to the site of a proposed temporary shelter).

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  37. Nixon was from Whittier, just a ways northeast of me, it’s really a cute town, still with Quaker churches and Quaker street names (though now largely Latino). While he was born in Yorba Linda, also not far away but in Orange County — it’s where his museum is today along with the original house; the family moved to Whittier in the 1920s.

    He probably also walked through snow to school.

    Oh, wait. Maybe not.

    My mom recalls Quakers there still wearing plain dress & bonnets when she moved to California from Iowa — she and her roommate knew an older couple who were caretakers for the grounds at Whittier College so they had them over for dinner often when they first moved out here (my mom and her roommate lived in a tiny apartment in Long Beach, but Whittier was easy to get to by to via the Red Cars that still criss-crossed all over LA in the 1940s).

    From https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/nixon_birthplace.html

    “Nixon’s parents were members of the Quaker community in Yorba Linda and active in civic life. They taught their four sons patience, courage, and determination, qualities that Nixon drew strength from during trying times. He later recalled that he gained his first taste for politics during debates around the family dinner table and described friendly pillow fights with his three brothers in the small upstairs bedroom they shared. The family lived here until 1922, when they moved to the nearby community of Whittier.”

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  38. This is something of a long-term prayer request, with extra commentary that would probably get a bit long for the prayer thread, so I’ll put it here.

    Just this week, I got what may be my last “paycheck” for a while. My other piano student besides 6th Arrow has only two lessons left with me before she moves away for her freshman year of college. I have no new prospects on the horizon.

    I started a website almost a year ago now for recruitment purposes. It has yielded only one inquiry, and that didn’t pan out. (That’s the one where they wanted me to come to their home, which, for various reasons, I declined. So I suppose one might say my not getting them as a client was my fault, but I was convicted that I needed to keep my teaching limited to in-home [in my home] only.)

    I seriously considered deleting my website recently because it has cost me money and brought nothing in return. But, ultimately, I decided to give it one more year by renewing, to see if it can become more profitable in the next year.

    (I’ve also tried other free and inexpensive marketing options, but those have produced little response, as well. I don’t know what’s going wrong.)

    Would you pray for wisdom for me as I make decisions about my role in the music community, and accepting God’s will for what He plans?

    I love teaching, but will soon have no studio except for my daughter, who, let’s face it, is taking lessons because I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted her to start.

    I love performing, but don’t get paid for it.

    I enjoy being a member of Music Teachers National Association and our state and local affiliates, but my roles in those organizations are voluntary, and I pay dues to be a member. I thought membership would open up my visibility as a teacher in the community (I thought performing would help that, too), but neither has done much to gain me students.

    I like composing, but I have no degree in composition, so doubt that I could get anything published and earn an income that way. I wish I could go to school to study it, but that is prohibitive with my current family obligations.

    Would you pray about these matters over the next year, when/if they come to mind?

    And, this may be small and silly, but could you pray I don’t totally lose it when I say goodbye to N in a couple of weeks, after her last lesson? It brings me to tears more and more often lately, feeling like this is the end of my music-teaching business for the public. I didn’t want it to be this way.

    Thanks.

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  39. On a more upbeat note, even though my website has extremely low traffic (I’ve yet to hit the 500 mark in site visits in this almost a year since going live), it’s been fun to see where some of my traffic is coming from.

    My site stats show which countries visitors are from, though not any geographical information more specific than that.

    Here are the countries represented so far (most of them with only one visit), in order of first appearance:

    U.S. (453 visits) — no surprise there
    Canada
    Switzerland
    Thailand
    Maldives
    Brazil
    France (3 visits)
    Philippines
    Slovakia
    Netherlands
    China (5 visits, including 4 this week after one of my posts was shared on Pinterest)
    Ireland
    Papua New Guinea (this week — was that you, Jo?)

    I see I have one site visit so far today, but it doesn’t register until the day after where the previous day’s traffic was from, so we’ll see.

    Maybe I’ll have to figure out Skype and offer lessons online via that route.

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  40. Actually, they did live like that though they did not walk barefoot through the snow. That was back in the days when a house sold for ten thousand dollars and university costs were significantly lower. And the school sent home a note telling how the student was doing, in this case, it went to my mom rather than to his parents. We still have it.

    But they did not move into the house until I was seven and we moved to town. Before that, we lived in a home that had been the Grange Hall and a school building.

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  41. 6 Arrows, I’ve had no problems with wheat that I know of, just definite problems with oats and some with corn. My little sister has recently been found to have gluten issues, though.

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  42. Well, I had cut out gluten and milk first but they were not the problem. Now I don’t eat oats or coffee and do eat wheat and dairy and have no problems in that area. And, I believe, Cheerios folk put forth the effort to make certain they had gluten free oats and production.

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  43. DJ, my freshman year of college I worked only 20 hours a week. One on-campus job refused to hire me for 20 hours, telling me they had learned from experience not to give freshmen that many. I told them I was 22 years old, had been a full-time, self-supporting employee for two years already, that I was putting myself through and needed the hours, that the college allowed students to work that many hours, and that I was a good student and expected to be able to balance the workload fine.

    No dice. They told me they could stretch and give me 15 hours, but that was it. I didn’t take the job. I went to another open position with five-hour shifts, which allowed students to choose to work two, three, or four shifts. Most students worked two or three; I worked four. That meant my only open weeknight was Wednesday, which wasn’t “open,” because I had school-based commitments to ministry on Wednesday night. I worked 5:30-10:30 those four nights.

    It meant I had to be extremely disciplined, and it also meant I had hardly any social life. My freshman year that wasn’t much of a problem–I also didn’t have friends yet. But my dorm floor did a lot of social things with one of the guys’ floors, and I was only able to attend the one during orientation (before I had a job). Once every couple of months the girls’ floors would have open house, and it was the only time the men were allowed on our floor (with our doors open). On the alternate month, the men would host. I nearly always went to the library to study during those hours. It was hard, but school was my priority, and work was second. (I did make it to church each week.) I simply had to stay focused on the goal.

    At the beginning of each semester, I made a chart of all my required reading for the semester, looking like this:

    8/27 English Patterns of Reflection 67-85, questions on p. 85 X
    8/27 OT Genesis 26-50 X
    8/28 English Patterns 88-100 X

    Saturday I would get out my books and my chart and start reading. (In four years of college, I missed just two chapters of my assigned reading.) I would mark it off on the chart when I finished one assignment and move to the next. My goal was to get through all of the week on Saturday if I could, leaving moments between classes and before work for homework, last-minute reading assignments, and studying for tests.

    My sophomore year I started working for yearbook, plus some babysitting. The fall semester was the only one of my college career in which I worked fewer than 20 hours, bringing in about 15 hours a week. But I was the sole yearbook employee who was not on academic probation; most of my colleagues struggled to juggle work and school (and a social life; most were dating). I was working to bring my GPA up, but not to bring it up off academic probation–I was just shy of honors and I wanted to get there. (I managed–barely–before I graduated.) My junior and senior years I was the head editor of the yearbook, and yearbook was my #1 priority; classwork had to fit in around yearbook because I was accountable to the whole school for that book, I wanted the office to go smoothly enough that those who worked under me wouldn’t be on academic probation, and I also knew yearbook was genuine preparation for my career. I probably averaged 30 hours a week in the fall semester, and I know for sure I worked 40 hours a week (or more) the first month of the spring semester, and then was able to cut back to 20 or so the rest of the semester. I had occasional professors who didn’t understand about yearbook being my priority (it was rarely relevant, but I know I asked for an extension once and that I went to class tired sometimes), but that was my reality. Since I kept up with my classes, including my reading, and even managed ever so slightly to increase my GPA, it did somehow work.

    And yearbook brought me a social life, so I was able to have a community and stay on top of a crazy workload. If I had had to work 30 hours a week in isolation (without people around) and keep up with school, too, I’m not sure I could have done it. (And I only traveled to Phoenix twice, one week each time, in those four years, but my mom came to visit once and my sister came to school there for one year, my junior year. Then she met her husband, and even though they weren’t dating yet, she dropped out to stay in the same town where he lived.)

    I have very fond memories of my college years. But almost none of those are “typical” college memories of hanging out somewhere on or off campus with other students. I barely had time for that.

    One year I had a graduate student for my roommate. A friend of hers, a fellow grad student, once saw me in the lounge reading a novel. She asked what class it was for, and I told her I was reading it “for fun.” She expressed shock that I had time to read for fun, and then in a rather haughty way she said oh yes, she remembered, when she was an undergraduate she had time to read for fun. I think I had steam coming out of my ears. She had time to go to the gym several times a week for her own downtime, so it wasn’t that she never ever had any–just that she used it differently. But as editor of the yearbook that year, I had precious little downtime, and that was probably my first leisure reading in months!

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  44. PS If I had college to do over again, knowing what I know now, I would have either worked another year or two first to have more money saved, or I would have accepted taking on a little bit of debt as I went through (knowing that I would earn more when I graduated and would be able to repay a small amount of debt). I still think, though, that it was better to sacrifice my social life for four years than to take on a large amount of debt. Graduating with tens of thousands in debt has never seemed worthwhile to me, and the older I get the less it seems worth it–it puts people in bondage for years or even decades for limited returns.

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  45. OK, just thought I’d mention it, anyway (the gluten/oats business), though I know it can certainly be any number of other reasons behind food issues.

    Cheryl, did you see my 2:22, where, responding to your post about East/West geographical divisions with birds, I said, “I read somewhere — I think in one of our bird field guides, that the East/West dividing line is the Rocky Mountains. Not sure if that’s the general consensus, or if it was only for specific types of birds, like songbirds?”?

    I just now pulled off my bookshelf our copy of National Audubon Society Pocket Guide Songbirds and Familiar Backyard Birds East. From the “How to Use This Guide” section:

    This handy guide provides information on 80 of the most common and frequently encountered birds in backyards and suburban areas of eastern North America. The majority of species are songbirds, but here also are other backyard birds such as doves and woodpeckers. The region covered by the book extends roughly from the Atlantic Ocean west to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, north of Mexico. This traditional dividing line between eastern and western North America follows the 100th meridian, and marks a significant difference in habitats and species. The companion volume to western birds covers species west of this boundary.

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  46. Interesting homeless meeting, it was just local business owners and an aide from the council office so I had to be invited to sit in as it wasn’t really a public meeting. But it helped fill in information and opinions for story I need to write tomorrow.

    This latest controversy revolves around temporary shelters the city wants to set up in all 15 council districts. Our council office was trying to keep their prospective addresses under wraps and tried to talk me out of writing about it when I found out what they were.

    The public take on it all, though, was that it was a ‘news release’ given to the paper before the council office talked to the community about it. The aide at the meeting insisted, no, the councilman made it completely public on his FB page when he submitted the motion. Not true, he only put something on social media after our story published and they were pretty much forced.

    Oh well.

    I didn’t say anything at the meeting, but did make the point when I was talking to the 28-year-old aide later (who shrugged and said, ‘whatever’).

    On the earlier posts about college, work, etc., earlier generations have had it harder than ours for sure. I was actually the first person in my family to go to college and I took the cheap route — community college (back then it was free) followed by finishing up at state, then the least expensive 4-year option. And I did continue to live at home, thanks to my mom, of course, so that made things a LOT easier financially, obviously. I was blessed.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. 6 Arrows, I hadn’t seen your earlier note. I remembered the Rocky Mountain divide, but my comment about not being good with geography and not knowing if it was half the country had to do with not being sure what fraction is on each side of that divide. 🙂 In fourth grade I had to fill in the states in a map and name each state’s capital, but that is literally all the geography I have ever had, and I would get most of them wrong if I had to do that test today. I can only find Indiana by finding Illinois, and I live here.

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  48. I was surprised by that, too, DJ. The Mississippi River seems like a natural dividing line, but I guess for birds, the Rocky Mountains are what do it.

    Cheryl, I know U.S. geography pretty well — though I’m fuzzier on some of the state capitals now than I once was — but knowledge about my own current state of residence, like where certain cities are that I’ve heard of, is really bad. I didn’t grow up here, but have lived here longer now than my home state, so I should know better where things are at, but we haven’t traveled much in this state, so I really don’t know a lot about where I live.

    Bad, bad. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  49. For some reason, today I’ve been thinking it’s Friday. Must have been a long week, if it’s only Thursday. But a number of good things happened this week, after some rough weeks lately, so maybe a “slow” week in this case is a blessing in disguise. I can savor it more.

    Nice chatting with you guys again.

    Take care, and have a good weekend. (Start your weekend early.) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  50. I can see the Rockies as being a geographic divider of birds. Would some of the lowland birds be able to fly over the Rockies?

    But that makes Texas and Oklahoma Eastern states. Not gonna go over well there. And what we consider “The Wild West” included OK and Kansas. After all, Dodge City is in Kansas.

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  51. Husband worked lots of hours to keep up with his growing family while going to school and had the GI Bill to help. I did nothing. I have not changed much. But he worked at the bowling alley and as an apartment cleaner, (he says college girls are the messiest, dirtiest, most disgusting people), worked in the National Guard, and managed a convenience store. He rarely went to class but did well on all his tests. He says the Navy taught him how to study. I could not have done that.

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  52. I worked full time when I went back to school in 2008. I had 19 hrs the first semester and 22 the second. My work allowed me to come in early, set up the closure, go to class, come back at lunch and check everything out, go back to class, then come back in the afternoon and tear down the closure, set up for the next day. I would stay late and do payroll and other paperwork. I also had an online math class, and an evening class.

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