66 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 8-11-18

  1. Now is Peter going to wax poetic about the saguaro* cactus, or do I have to do it?

    * pronounced suh-war-o; don’t ask me which syllable is emphasized as I can never ever do that with any word.

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  2. Not too early, too late.
    I knew that was Peter before I scrolled down to the name.
    Good morning anyhow.
    Sweet dreams Jo.

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  3. It’s Saturday so I can stay up a bit later. Our English service doesn’t begin until 10:45, though I go a bit early to put out the offering baskets. They forgot to pass them last week, so I quietly left my place while everyone was standing and singing the last hymn. I went to the end of every row and picked up the baskets and handed them to someone to begin the offering. Luckily it was a nice, long hymn. I mentioned it to the one in charge of the service afterwards and she said that she hadn’t even remembered to put the offering on her list.

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  4. We . got the anticipated change in weather as a front rolled through this morning. I saw some lightning and then the wind picked up and then son went off on his bike to do whatever he is doing today. I think there was football practice at five so he left about four thirty. I have not actually seen him in several days. Maybe since Sunday. But it works

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  5. Morning! That certainly is a pretty little flower coming out of that prickly plant!! The mornings and evenings are feeling very autumnal around here and the days are warm. Many are suffering from allergies…those pesky black eyed Susan’s cause many to sneeze! 🤧
    Yesterday I washed (or as we say in Ohio “worshed”) all of the house windows and this morning everything looks so much clearer as I sit her looking out on the forest! 🌲 Today will be for relaxing…book reading, meeting with friend at an antique shoppe, lunch, then walking with the dog…have a good day ya’ll….

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  6. I’m off to cover the Iowa picnic in a few hours so I’ll be working from about 10 a.m. to probably 2 or 3 p.m. today. We are seeing a very slow, gradual drop in temperatures at long last, this has been a long, stubborn heat spell for us.

    The painter actually painted a little bit yesterday — he did part of the garage wall. I like it, but it does look dark. I’ll be able to tell more when I see it in the daylight today, it was about 7:30 pm. when I got home last night so the light was kind of off to get a real feel for it. It’s going to be a big change, though. I still think I’m really going to like it, at least I hope I will. Gulp.

    And it looks like we’re going to have to have the window glazing discussion, dog park painter “J” is telling me he really can’t paint the mid pair casement windows without first doing some reglazing — and that’ll add $ and time to the job that’s already way behind schedule and moving at a snail’s pace as it is. “J” has a tendency of finding extra jobs whenever he’s working here, needed or not sometimes I think, so then I’m left trying to determine what’s really a necessary ‘extra’ vs just an add-on, in-a-perfect-world-you-should-really-do-this ‘extra.’

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  7. Good morning. Our lives have been disrupted by a flat and the discovery that we need to replace two tires instead of one. It has turned into a time consuming situation with trying to match tires. We have had too many obstacles lately. I am so tired.

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  8. We had a contractor who was able to help with that sort of thing, He would say, in a perfect world you would like this but that can happen in a few years. Or I would say, how about this and he would say, great idea we will do it, or great idea and in a few years we can do that if you still want it done but I think you will be happy with this instead. Actually, I have had several like that, including my brother. It helps a lot if your worker understands and agrees with your goal.

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  9. I might just get some information from J today about the ‘need’ and costs and then put a call in on Monday to the window restoration guys who fine-tuned my windows back in November. Not that they’d remember my particular windows, but in general I might be able to get a better feel about the whole glazing issue, how to know if it’s really urgent or something that can wait, what normal costs might be. If it were a dire need, it seems they would have mentioned something about that to me back then — as in, you will need to reglaze these windows before painting ?

    These windows are on the south side of the house so they’ve been really beat up by the sun and heat over the years, of course; they were in the worst shape of any of the windows and one pair actually had to be replaced with replicas. So those won’t need glazing, obviously, only the one middle pair and the smaller double-hung windows next to them, presumably.

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  10. I don’t need a window worsher. 🙂 They’re still brand-new.

    For the record, I just woke up. And we went to bed about 11:00! Of course, you can see by my posting first on this thread that I didn’t go to sleep then. I got back up till 1:45 or thereabouts but then still tossed and turned until 4:00 or after. So I was surprised and pleased to find it after 11:00 when I awoke and see I still managed to get a good night’s morning’s sleep after all! It’s a good thing that wasn’t Saturday night . . .

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  11. That header really is lovely, and it makes me a bit homesick. I love the tall, stately saguaro and especially its blossom. In the USA it’s found only in Arizona and a tiny sliver of Texas, and thus its blossom is the Arizona state flower. It also grows in Mexico. It blooms overnight around June and is pollinated by bats.

    The summer I knew I was leaving Chicago for college, I had only a poor quality camera (it was a decent 35 mm point and shoot, but nothing compared to today’s cameras), but I badly wanted a photo of the saguaro blossom. I didn’t know then that they bloom overnight and didn’t realize I would thus have a better chance of getting a shot in the morning before the night’s blossoms had closed up. I had a desert park I sometimes visited for a walk after work–my workplace was halfway to it–but that is now an unsafe place to go. (There have been several murders there.) Anyway, I went to it one evening but found few open blossoms, and none of them near enough to the ground to get a shot with the camera I had. I ended up climbing a palo verde tree to get closer to a blossom. I got my shot–a poor one, but I got it–but climbing down proved to be quite tricky. (Palo verde trees have thorns.) Good thing I was 22!

    You can see the pleats in the side of the saguaro. That allows it to expand and store water during a rare heavy rain. The saguaro can live a long time and grow to 50 or 60 feet–it grows very slowly, taking several years to get just a couple inches tall and then decades before it grows its first arm (some tall ones have no arms, but some have many). It has a taproot, but most of its roots grow very near the surface to gather as much moisture as they can, and can grow as far out as the plant is tall. One cactus near a chilldhood campground grew unusually tall and had just two or three arms; I don’t remember it, but my mom was sad when it fell. We have a picture of it with my older brothers standing next to it, the cactus many times as tall as they were.

    Gila woodpeckers and elf owls (a bird I’ve never seen) nest in holes in the cactus as though it were a tree. Some other birds build nests in its branches. It bears a red fruit after it flowers.

    My mother and I once took a drive through an area with a lot of saguaro in bloom. We were pointing out various cactus and telling what personality each one had. One saguaro had two arms pointing downward and growing toward each other. Mom labeled that one, and I said, “No, he’s at his girlfriend’s house and he is holding a bouquet behind his back.” She laughed and told me I was right.

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  12. I guess I don’t need to wax eloquent about the sah-WAH-ro since Cheryl did a good job. Thought the plants blossom in June, this one was still blooming in early July when we were in Tucson. In fact, there were several in bloom at that time.

    This particular cactus is along a trail in Sabino Canyon outside Tucson. It was about twenty feet off the trail, but there wasn’t a lot of ground cover so I was able to get close enough to zoom in on the upper portion. I think this was its only arm, so it is a “middle-aged” saguaro about 80-90 years old. I make that estimate since the arms don’t grow until the plant is 70 or so years old. They live to be up to 200 years old.

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  13. I learn new things here all the time. Now I will need to stop saying “suh-GWAH-ro” in my head when I read the word saguaro.

    I suppose pronouncing the /g/ like /w/ is the same as pronouncing guiro “WEE-ro.” I had a guiro in my music classroom when I taught school, and pronounced it the correct way, with the opening /w/ sound. (Maybe that should be more /wh/ or /hw/ than /w/, though.)

    There’d be the occasional kid who would call the instrument a “weirdo.” 😀

    Most kids would just call it “the fish,” as it looked like this:

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  14. Third Arrow is out with a friend, her best friend, in fact. Third Arrow’s best friend is my best friend’s fifth arrow. 😉

    Not sure what they’re going to do — just “hang out,” whatever that will entail. It’s the first time this summer they’ve had a chance to do that, and it’s almost time for her friend to head back to college.

    They’re both quite busy with their jobs.

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  15. Two blessings today in the form of packages that came in the mail —

    I’d ordered a couple of items that I thought would be good for Fifth Arrow, to address some of the special needs he has. One item I thought would be ideal, and the other item I ordered sounded pretty good, too, but I really thought the first would be the best.

    After examining the items that came today, I do like the first item, and know it will be useful, but I’m especially pleased with the other resource, the one I almost didn’t get. From paging through it, it looks fantastic for addressing things with son. So I’m so glad I ordered both items!

    There was also a free book that they called their “August special,” which I didn’t know would be in the package, so that was a nice surprise. 🙂

    The other package that came today was an order of new piano books that my favorite company for beginning piano methods just released August 1. Their original series was designed for children up to around age ten. Their new series uses the same pedagogical philosophy, which is the best I’ve ever seen, and applied it to some new repertoire, some of their original repertoire, but with titles more appropriate for older students, and juvenile pictures aren’t included.

    I was so excited to hear last month that they were coming out with this older-student series, and thought I’d order a couple of each of the two books in the series: Sight Reading & Theory; and Repertoire & Technique. One pair of books for me as a reference copy, and one pair of books to have on hand for if an older student were to start with me.

    Well, turns out these books have a lot of things that will help my new student who started this week, the 13-year-old boy that I didn’t even know about yet at the time I ordered.

    The timing was near-perfect, having such a series come out right when it did, and having that family contact me when they did. Now I have a lot of music that will be good for building up his reading skill that wouldn’t make him feel like he’s a baby.

    Praising God for His timing and delivery of blessings! 🙂

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  16. Very nice to hear, Six Arrows. I had thought about saying that you could probably write an excellent curriculum for that age group since you have good understanding of their needs.

    Well, today has been half good as far as my purchases. The dryer arrived and is in use now. I am very thankful to be able to tackle the piles and Miss Bosley is again happy to put her stamp of approval on clean laundry.

    But nothing has worked out on getting new tires for the car. The shop where I bought the front tires a couple of months ago is closed on Sat. and Sunday. They put Toyo Versada Noir on the front so I wanted the same on the back. They are not so easy to find. The biggest hindrance, however, has been that this car has a locking lug nut on each tire and we have no key. I never knew about that until my brother could not get the tire off to put the spare on. Neither could Tires Plus where my brother took it. They ended up pumping it up and letting my brother follow Art home last night. So now I have a car sitting in the carport with a flat so I will probably get the car towed on Monday. Just another thing to deal with. The other tire has a dangerous split in it near the rim. I had thought of trying to get the tires at the Honda dealership, but they do not carry Toyo tires. Neither does Toyota. You would think…

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  17. I really like the detail on the cactus photo. I tried to post that this a.m. but somehow I couldn’t. Maybe my power was gone.

    I have asked a friend from church to give me a ride tomorrow. Somehow it seems backwards for a 60+ years old woman to ask a near 90 year old woman for a ride.

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  18. 6 Arrows- Actually, there are those Spanish speakers mostly form Spain, who would pronounce a very soft /g/ sound in saguaro, but since most speakers from Latin America pronounce it as a /w/ when it’s between vowels, [sah-WAH-ro] is the acceptable pronunciation.

    And the musical instrument actually has the umlaut diacritical mark when spelled: güiro. Otherwise, it would be pronounced [gear-oh]. But I knew what you meant since it is hard to get the diacritical marks on letters in a blog.

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  19. Janice, I was close to writing a curriculum of my own for older beginners, but was hedging somewhat because it seemed a daunting project due to inexperience composing for beginners. (I have more experience composing at higher levels.) I was quite pleased and rather relieved when I heard the Piano Safari authors were putting out a curriculum for the older beginner — now I don’t have to do that. 😉

    I may compose a little here and there for my newest student after he finishes these new books I just got, if the authors haven’t come out with the next level by the time he finishes this level. Some of what’s in these books will be review of things he’s already doing well. He has a good sense of rhythm, so the basic rhythms in these books will be easy for him.

    Hmmm…I just thought of something. Maybe I could compose some supplementary music for him that has a limited range of notes and intervals, but with some fairly complex rhythms…

    Thanks, Janice — you just got my creative juices flowing again! 🙂

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  20. Peter, 8:05, thank you for filling me in on the Spanish. I’ve always heard there were differences between Latin Spanish and the Spanish spoken in Spain (that seems too wordy, but I don’t know how else to say it — Spain Spanish?). 🙂

    I’ve never learned how to do diacritical marks above letters. Does that involve using Ctrl or Alt?

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  21. Today I was involved in a Facebook discussion on one of my cousin’s posts. Without going into detail about what the whole thing was about, I will say this: I was defending someone, saying that their intention was to be respectful, although many people think otherwise.

    After kind of snarkily arguing with me, the man I was discussing this with said that we must have each been taught a different kind of respect, implying that I don’t understand true respect but he does. Then I went and looked at his page, where he posts things on the Public setting, meaning I could see his posts even though we are not Facebook friends.

    Within the first handful of posts I read, he referred to various people he disagreed with as b__ches, idiots, and morons. And he’s lecturing me about respect?

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  22. Castilian Spanish. I enjoy the Spanish programs on Netflix. There are a couple about Spain and Morocco. The Spanish is quite different from the Mexican Spanish we get around here.

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  23. 6- Spanish from Spain is often called Peninsular Spanish, or Castillian. And yes, to get the diacritical marks you use the ALT key and number pad on a PC. (Not sure how on a MAC.)

    Accented letter Alt code
    á Alt + 0225
    é Alt + 0233
    í Alt + 0237
    ó Alt + 0243
    ú Alt + 0250
    ñ Alt + 0241
    ü Alt + 0252
    ¡ Alt + 0161
    ¿ Alt + 0191

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  24. I am told it feels like forty nine out this morning. All I know is that it feels good. We are supposed to be mid eighties to low nineties for the next week or so. Yesterday was supposed to be that but I think it mentioned one hundred again. I guess the planet did not get the memo.

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  25. We’re finally cooling off a bit, although the humidity remains high for us. We must be getting some residual monsoon-y hurricane moisture from somewhere else. Or maybe it descended just for yesterday’s Iowa By the Sea Picnic, now in its 118th year.

    But last night was actually comfortable, it was even below 80 (77!) in the house when I went to bed. Time to haul out the heavy blankets.

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  26. Oh, I’m going to Kare’s house.

    It’s 83 here, not bad, but our humidity is stuck in the 60%+ range which just makes it still feel really uncomfortable.

    Good sermon today finishing off the 9th Commandment — one poignant illustration the pastor gave about how we can only be saved by God (taken after going through Isa. 6, where Isaiah, the pastor pointed out, didn’t resolve or pray to “be a better person” — he was undone, the wheels had come off, he had no ability of his own):

    When their kids were little and had bad dreams, sometimes they were so scared they couldn’t leave their beds so they’d lie there crying, hoping their parents would hear them — the parents then came to them, of course; we are those children, all of us.

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  27. Oh, my first wildflower finally appeared — bright yellow, on a tall green stalk. Hope the gardener doesn’t whack it off. I need to put orange cones or police tape around it.

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  28. Charlie Brown’s tree is doing quite well, new growth sprouts appearing again just recently.

    And my “Winter Savory” — a bush that grows along the front steps leading up to my house, dark green leaves with pale blue/lavendar blossoms — is just exploding this year, it’s so beautiful. Must be because we cut it back when the light post was being worked on. Now it’s come back 10 fold and has all kinds of bees visiting. 🙂

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  29. You have to be careful not to be too careful with a cactus.
    When we moved our trailer from Ft. Worth to Spartanburg, SC, Elvera had a potted cactus plant. No room for one inside. She put it outside. Too much moisture for a cactus. We hadn’t thought of that.

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  30. My cacti are doing well. They even sent out babies this year. Fortunately for them, I rarely remember to water house plants so the house plants I have need to be durable. Cactus, hoya, creeping Charlie, angel wings.

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  31. I remember interviewing a guy in town who had an extensive cacti-filled yard, including one that sent needles flying out at you. I was picking them out of my legs (wore a skirt that day) when I got back to the newsroom. Great defense system.

    What’s blooming now along my front steps:

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  32. I remember reading about Hugh Downs, who had a cactus plant in New York. When asked how he kept it so long, he said he watched the weather report. When it rained in Phoenix he watered the cactus.

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  33. Wow, it’s not the heat. It’s the humidity.

    I’ve been rearranging kitchen cabinets today and am drenched — the painter & his buddy are here today sanding windows (unfortunately one was open and I got a ton of dust that’s probably real unhealthy inside the house on the floors so we’ll all probably be dead in a month though I think I got most of it all swept up …). Oh well.

    The work was also super noisy, too, (humidity made glazing job a problem, it wasn’t sticking or hardening right), so I decided I’d get back to those cabinets. They’re a lot better organized now and most of the colorful 1920s-1930s ceramic fiesta ware is now in the dining cabinets for display which is where they really belonged.

    But the kitchen cabinets also are still colorful — most of my (real, usable) dishes I bought in different colors (blues, turquoises and whites) so those now show up nicely in the regular cabinets that have glass doors.

    I had two really large serving bowls, one turquoise & the other white but from the same set, that I finally found a good clear space for on a top shelf where they show off (they were kind of hidden before at the back of the corner cabinet).

    Next I need to reorganize the kitchen counter space and thin out the utensils, I have way too many table settings somehow and stovetop gadgets.

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  34. After Nightingale got off work late this afternoon, we went down to the garage to put a deposit on the Honda CRV. They came down a little on the price for us.

    Nightingale was surprised to find one this “young” (2011) and with so few miles, relatively speaking (83,000). The other CRVs she found for sale were older by at least five years, with over 100,000 miles. She said, as some of you also mentioned, that the CRV is a good quality vehicle, and this one should last her/us for many years.

    She also asked, on one of the town’s Facebook pages, what kind of experience people have had with the Monson Road Garage, which is selling the car. Every reply was very positive, saying that the couple that owns it are good, honest people. Usually when someone asks a question like that, there are plenty of people willing to complain about something, but no one gave a negative review of this garage.

    She had also checked the Kelly Blue Book site and found that the price they are asking is reasonable.

    So. . .although nervous to make such a big decision just the two of us, we decided this is the one. We were able to meet the lady this afternoon to put down the deposit, and will go back on Tuesday, which Nightingale has off, to finalize the arrangements. Then the lady will go to the DMV to get it registered, and Nightingale will pick it up either that night or the next day.

    This one is a little over what was the high limit we had in mind for buying a car (paying it with funds from the life insurance), and that does “bite” a bit, but I also think it is well worth it, and I even feel that this is an answer to prayer. I had asked God to lead her to a good, reliable vehicle. Not only does this fit the bill in spades, as we hadn’t expected to get one this new or with such low mileage, but it was also available right here in town, at a place with a sterling reputation.

    I’ve been thanking God on and off all afternoon. 🙂

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  35. I keep thinking that Hubby would be so proud of us for doing this on our own (primarily Nightingale), and he would be happy that we are getting such a good vehicle. I so wish I could tell him about it and see him smile. (Crying now.)

    I realize that there are ladies on this blog who have bought their own vehicles, but this is the first time either of us have done this without the input of someone with more experience (in particular – a man).

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  36. That’s so exciting, kizzie. Sounds like an excellent buy to me and you’ve done all your homework (which is what I did on the Jeep, too). And with Carfax, you have the car’s history which is something we didn’t used to have available.

    Not sure if you’ve had an SUV but they’re also so handy with kids and animals, great hauling cargo space with the back seats put down. Is yours the older body style, more squared off and with the tire on the back?

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  37. Kizzie, I think the Jeep was probably my first time, too — my mom went with me for my first used VW bug and after that my boyfriend was always there, even after we’d broken up and were still just really good friends. I was kind of on my own for the Jeep 10 years ago but by then, too, we had the … INTERNET. Huge help for big consumer decisions like these.

    Congratulations, you did good!

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  38. I also went with Carmax, a take-it-or-leave-it used car company (no price bargaining) and I had done enough research for nearly a year to know that this one was a pretty good deal (although, yeah, it was a tad more than I’d planned to spend as well, but not that much more).

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  39. So if you are sitting in the back yard, discussing the nation of Israel and how the people turned from God and why and how that applies to us today, and a yellow jacket stings you, is that a sign from God that you should not be teaching your children?

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