92 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-20-18

  1. Good morning. My QoD is how does God do that? That’s an amazing picture. What time of day did you take that picture, Roscuro?

    I was tired last night and went to bed a lot earlier than usual — at 9:30 instead of my usual 11:00. That usually results in me being awake for at least two hours when I wake up for the first time. Sure enough, I’ve been up since about 1:00 a.m., and it’s now past 4:00. Oh, well, got bills paid, for one thing.

    My bills folder was full of a bunch of old statement portions that are left after you tear off the stub that gets mailed with the bill, so I cleaned all that out … and discovered I’d forgotten to renew my driver’s license last month when it was my birthday. Too much on my mind, I guess, with the wedding fast approaching at that point.

    I wonder how many times I’ve been driving around with an expired license in the last six weeks. Sheesh.

    Speaking of driving, I had a dream sometime during those 3 1/2 hours I was sleeping last night/this morning that I was waiting for 1st Arrow to get here (by car), and he was supposed to be bringing Cowboy, Tess, and Annie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was standing outside, somewhere unfamiliar, it was getting dark out, and I see Cowboy and Annie walking on the road toward me. No 1st Arrow in sight, and no Tess.

    Maybe she was at the polls, being the head-of-household vote, DJ? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Funny how the conversations here show up in my dreams in various and sundry ways.

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  2. 6, I took the picture almost exactly at 2:00 in the afternoon. The sun was just peeping over the edge of the mountain that overlooks the hamlet. We (my fellow student and I) had gone to get some packages that had come for us (I finally got the parka made in territory that I had ordered in the summer) when we noticed the sun halo. So, I had to get my camera and go out to take a few pictures of it. The buildings in the foreground are of a historical site right by the edge of the fjord, where the Hudson’s Bay Company collected blubber for whale oil, that is now a bit of a local museum. A sun halo is from the sunlight reflecting off ice crystals in the air. A full moon may also produce a halo – a couple of years ago, one February, I got a picture of a moon halo I saw at my parents’ place, and I saw one last year in the winter while I was walking home from an evening class (I didn’t have my camera with me then). It was quite brisk out there yesterday, but not any colder than a January day in southern Ontario.

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  3. Morning! Oh that looks to be very cold up there….frosty icy cold…brrrrr! We are at 38 this morning and shall get up to 60 this afternoon. Lots of pumpkin patch activities happening in the region today…what a perfect day for kiddos to have outdoors fun! ๐ŸŽƒ
    I plan to clean and dust for a while, read, take a walk through the neighborhood then off to dinner with some friends….have a blessed day yaโ€™ll and donโ€™t be spoilinโ€™ that baby girl too much Mimi…drink in the moments…I do miss those days…. โค๏ธ

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  4. We’re farther south than we were last year AND fall is late in Indiana this year. Most of the trees are still green, though some have been starting to turn here and there, and yesterday I saw several maples in color. So that image above is a major leap from the look out our window! It’s lovely in a very different way.

    Glad you got your coat, Roscuro.

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  5. Good morning! We have some yellow trees down here already so that seems strange given other comments here.

    It’s wonderful to see the photos and hear descriptions about them fro literally all over the world. Beautiful shot, Roscuro.

    We are in the office today. My brother has not made it in yet. I am a bit concerned. The weather is really bad and that means horrid traffic.

    Art and I went to the dealership this a.m. and got the older Honda. They had installed the replacement battery and told me to come back after 1,000 miles to test oil consumption. Infortunately, they did not turn off the maintenance wrench indicator or the tire monitoring system indicator. I could not hold Art up from getting to the office so I took it as it was. I could not bear to mention those indicator lights to Art. He was driving the new car which I had gotten the indicator light turned off on yesterday.

    Art got notice and told me last night that his CAT scan shows large stones in both kidneys which will need two separate surgeries. They will not blast them as before.

    I hope that can happen after we go see Wesley.

    Time for me to get busy here.
    Y’all have a blessed day. When it’s raining in Georgia, it feels like it is raining all over the world, but the photos prove it’s not.

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  6. No rain or ice halos here where it’s already 71 degrees at 9 a.m., going up to 84 today.

    This is why all those Iowans and other Midwesterners moved here in the last century.

    Annie somehow got locked outside again last night, that’s the second time in the past couple weeks. I suspect she’s escaping through open windows (which have to remain open as long as possible after they’ve been painted). Now I see she was planning to go see 6 but apparently couldn’t get Cowboy or Tess to squeeze out the window.

    They (‘they’ meaning all the weather forecast wizards) are expecting an El Nino condition out of the Pacific this year which means milder winters for some, maybe more snow on the east coast and wetter winters for Kim & Co. in the south. For us, more rain as well. If they’re right, which they may not be.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-winter-outlook-el-nino-20181019-story.html

    ___________________________________

    Halpert said this El Nino is likely to be a weak one. The last time there was an El Nino event, in the winter of 2015-2016, the Mid-Atlantic was hit by a blockbuster snowstorm. That El Nino event ranked among the strongest on record.

    “We’re expecting this El Nino to be much weaker than that one,” Halpert said.

    The prospect of stormy conditions in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic means it has the greatest chance of having colder-than-normal conditions of anywhere in the country, Halpert said. Even so, the NOAA forecast indicates “equal chances” of above-, normal or below-normal temperatures in this zone.

    Everywhere else across the nation is favored to be warmer than normal. The Pacific Northwest, in particular, has high odds of a mild winter.

    “No part of the U.S. is favored to have below-average temperatures,” Halpert said. …
    _____________________________________

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  7. No leaves left on the trees up here ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Although it is a sunny day and I expect we’ll get some more yard work done.

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  8. Lots of yellow and orange and red and green here. Trees that normally turn and lose their leaves in August are still green. Poppies are still blooming. Tomatoes are done.

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  9. Painter and sidekick are heading over this morning, they’re about to tackle the sliding back door and garage door. Real Estate Guy gave me a hard time yesterday for attempting to paint those at all. He said I’d have to touch them up every year. I said, “That’s fine” (unspoken: now leave me alone). He just texted me again saying it’ll be a major hassle to strip all the paint off (for touch ups). “I’ll deal with it” I said.

    If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But it’s supposed to be paintable so we will see.

    I hate these new faux windows, though, the industry really needs to come up with something better than plastic window trims that must stay bright white forever, regardless of what you want to paint your house.

    And I’m guessing the great debate about when the Sabbath is and how I (and the entire rest of the church universal, for the most part) have gotten it all wrong will be brought up by the sidekick-ex-salesman again today. …

    Covers over my head.

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  10. In hindsight — don’t you love 20-20 hindsight? — I should have chosen a bronze frame for that sliding door and big back window. That I could have lived with and it would have blended “ok” (certainly better than bright white) with the colors I wound up choosing to paint the house.

    I’ve learned a lot.

    If I had to do it all over again (considering that door/window went in a year and a half ago now), I would have/should have worked with a paint consultant right up front to at least get house painting colors chosen. But back then, I was still all over the map on possible colors, not sure I would have been ready to go there at that point. But now I wish I’d figured that out.

    I was tempted to pick bronze or even black for that door/window, but since the company insisted it was all paintable (and I’m still counting on that being true), I figured white was probably fine for the time being.

    But considering the faux material it’s made of, not painting at all would probably be best. Oh well.

    Help me, Kim.

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  11. Here a QOD–why don’t people, including Christians, know what to say to people in mourning?

    We visited a friend today who has had years of Job-like things happen to him. He talked about his anger at the many people, often from our church, who have said “whatever you need,” but when he asked for something discovered they were too busy.

    I described my mother’s funeral when a former employee of my father told me she was closer to being a daughter to my parents than I was.

    I looked at her and said nothing, while I thought, “my mother would never have raised a daughter who turned out like you–alcoholic, frivolous with money, man-chaser.”

    Maybe she was drunk at the funeral?

    Who knows, but I’ve observed that people simply don’t know what to say, they sputter something and make it all worse.

    So, what should we say to people who are grieving?

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  12. Meanwhile, the same friend told us the cost of rebuilding his house, thanks to our local planning department and the changes in code, has risen 25%.

    Which, basically means no one can afford to buy a house in my community.

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  13. Oh this weather is so delightful today! I ran to the post office in town and on my way home I drove past a couple pumpkin patches….packed…and it appeared everyone was having the time of their lives riding in the hay wagons which were being pulled by old John Deere tractors…oh to be a kid again….
    Michelle when my Dad died I could scarcely think. When friends, family and strangers approached me, the most comforting words they spoke were โ€œI am so sorryโ€, followed up with a hug. Some would tell me of how much my Father meant to them…that was a sweet balm to my hurting heart….for he was a dear man….and he was missed not only by me but so many others….

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  14. Oh Michelle, ouch.

    I’m struggling with what to say to a Christian friend who’s terminally ill. I mostly don’t say much but have really been convicted, too, that I’ve not been in as regular touch with her as I should.

    Listening is always best, I’ve concluded. Just ‘sitting in the ashes’ with people without offering any “advice” or much of anything else other than your presence. But It is awkward and daunting, whether that’s normal or not I don’t know. Saying too much is a lot worse than saying too little.

    Nancy jill, our pumpkin patches must be melting today. Pumpkin pie …

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  15. In the days following my mom’s unexpected death from a heart attack her 2nd cousin from Salinas told me on the phone that my mom had been really worried about me (I’d had a recent surgery) in the weeks leading up to her death, making me feel horribly guilty and like I’d probably caused the stress that brought on her heart attack. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ People mean well but say things that just aren’t helpful. I’m sure she was trying to let me know how important I was to my mom but it really did cause me some major guilt.

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  16. I am getting a new student on Monday. They came to Ukarumpa for the first time on Friday. They are living near me. So yesterday I walked over to their house and asked them if they would like to come see the classroom, after introducing myself. She was so excited. Folks were picking them up for a tour of centre, so I said have them bring you to school. They all came by and I showed them around our corner of the school. I know how hard it is to walk into a new place.

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  17. I haven’t a clue as to why people say the wrong things to the mourning. Maybe it has to do with the awkwardness of feeling like they must do or say something like it is expected. They blurt out whatever is in their mind to get something out and to get it over with. Once I was horrified to hear my mother tell someone whose mother had died, “Count your blessings.” I will never understand why she said that, and I laugh about how awkward it felt to me. I think she felt pressured to say something even if it was the wrong thing. That is all I can imagine. My mother was never a mean-spirited or sarcastic person.

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  18. Thanks, Roscuro. The kids enjoyed seeing one of the wonders of God’s creation viewed through your camera lens. What remarkable beauty God builds into this world, wherever we look.

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  19. My sister is a widow, and her mother-in-law told her at the funeral, I believe, or sometime very close to that time, “There are other fish in the sea.”

    ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I can’t even…

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  20. If there’s time for a conversation, I think it’s nice to ask the mourners to tell you about the person they lost. I thought of that a couple years ago while with Mrs B at the funeral of her father’s cousin. I had only met him and his wife once, 25 years earlier when we got married, and I had never met most of the people at the service.

    I asked a couple of adult grandchildren to tell me memories of their grandfather. He had substituted as a father to them their father had been absent since they were small. They really seemed to appreciate the chance to talk about him, and it helped me to know a little more about him.

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  21. The starkest example to me of someone not knowing what to say when someone has died was shortly after my dad died. He died the month I turned 17, three weeks before my birthday. I was talking to a friend at church (early 20s, married, two sons–not a fellow teen) just weeks or possibly even days afterward, and I said “Mom and Dad” when I meant to say “Mom and [my brother].” I corrected myself and she laughed and laughed, the slapping-my-knee sort of laugh that would be overkill to most jokes but was way out of line to a teenager’s word mis-slip mentioning a dead father. She didn’t apologize. I knew that she was simply nervous and didn’t know how to respond, but it was weird and awkward.

    Within months I knew I wasn’t socially allowed to talk about Dad, since it made the other person uncomfortable. (“Fatherless teenager!! Eek!”) I also knew that if I said something about him and didn’t change the subject myself, there would just be an awkward silence, so I learned how to make a passing mention of Dad and change the subject. As a socially awkward teenager, it seemed odd to me that I was the one who had to make such course corrections. The few people who brought Dad up on their own (like mentioning that a photo of him in our living room was a good picture of him) were a great blessing.

    You know, I really think we Americans are just so used to keeping everything “private”
    and death is a very public sorrow. In addition, we have such a strong sense of “No one can understand or sympathize unless they have experienced exactly what I have” that people are left feeling awkward about saying much of anything at all, lest they (1) bring tears to the other person or (2) sound insensitive.

    After my brother lost his wife to cancer, he mentioned to me several different times how angry it made him that people occasionally said something like “I know how hard it is to lose someone to cancer. My mom died of breast cancer, too.” I don’t know what his response was to those people, but it made him angry that someone could dare compare loss of a mother to loss of a wife. To me, depending how it was worded, it was a perfectly reasonable thing to say. Depending on the circumstances, loss of a mother can be a huge loss. My loss of my mom was not as “big” as a loss of a spouse . . . but I suspect that my loss of Mom was a whole lot bigger than this brother’s loss of Mom. He was married with three children, busy with life. I had just moved, by myself, to a new city where I was just starting to get to know people, living alone and working from my house. And I was single and childless and had just lost my last ancestor. In addition, my brother was pushing 50 and I was just 36, so I was the first of my peers to have lost both parents.

    I know someone who is an only child of an only child (fertility issues in the family). She is my age, has never married, and has lived in a suite of her parents’ home most of her life. Her dad died a few years ago, and when her mother dies she will (as far as family is concerned) be absolutely and utterly alone. (She may have uncles and aunts and cousins on her dad’s side, I’m not sure, but as the only child of an only child, none on her mom’s.) It’s not for me to say whether her mom’s death, when it comes, will be easier (or harder) than loss of a spouse or a child–but to trivialize it as not even worth mentioning because your loss was so much greater is unjust, and reactions like that make it hard for people to dare speak up. If you risk tears, risk anger, risk saying the wrong thing–it’s a pretty big risk. In my experience people are more likely to avoid saying anything than they are to “say the wrong thing,” though they do also sometimes say really stupid things.

    BTW, I don’t mean to “pick on” my brother. My sister (even before she herself was widowed) agreed with him that it was a horrible thing to compare loss of any other relative (even one’s child) to loss of a spouse. My point is more that we really can’t know which loss looms huge in another person’s life, and we should try to accept even an awkward attempt at comfort and try to be comforting ourselves.

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  22. I’ve told this story on here before, I think, but it fits into this discussion. When I was 20, I started attending the church my sister attended (having recently gotten an apartment with her, too far from my previous church to drive each week with a gas-guzzler). Our younger brother ended up coming to the church, too, for a few months.

    Our college youth pastor and his wife decided to get to know us, and they took all three of us out to eat. In the course of conversation, the youth pastor looked at us and asked, “So, what does your father do?”

    It had been three years since his death, the grief was largely over, and I knew that if I said, “He’s dead,” the two of them would say, “Oh, we’re so sorry,” and they’d look sad and awkward, and maybe they’d ask how he died, and eventually we’d need to change the subject. I was past the need for sympathy, and on a whim I gave a completely different answer.

    What does my father do? “He worships God.” The two of them looked quizzical, and my sister and brother were visibly hiding their grins. So I expanded on my answer and said, “He lives in heaven now, so he worships God full-time.” At that, all three of us siblings started to laugh . . . and “I’m so sorry” was obviously the utterly wrong response, so they joined us and laughed too.

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  23. The cross is on the steeple of the old Anglican church – there is a new church building across the street. There are a number of buildings, right in the centre of the ‘downtown’ that are boarded up, all formerly owned and operated by the Anglican mission, including an old hospital and nursing residence. The ravens like to hang out there, like troubled youth, choosing the abandoned buildings to do their vandalism and waylay hapless rival gang members, in this case, the small dogs.

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  24. I cannot begin to imagine your loss. I am however a good listener so tell me something about the deceased that makes you smile, laugh, happy, whatever emotion

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  25. Kare, a few weeks ago, my fellow student called me to our front window, as she saw an unkindness of ravens that were harassing a little dog carrying a piece of seal meat in its mouth.

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  26. Frame it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Well, it looks like the Dodgers just may pull it off after all — they’re leading 5-1 and need just one more out to retire the Brewers in the 9th.

    They did it. Wow. World Series coming up.

    Oooh, just heard a bunch of fireworks go off in the neighborhood. Or I think they were fireworks.

    As for the mourning question, it also depends a lot on what the time frame is. Our response will be different a few weeks or months from the loss as it would be in the immediate days right afterward when people are still just pretty much in shock.

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  27. Michelle- I think the best thing to say at a funeral or wake is nothing at all. Just be there. If Mrs L goes before I do, I think I want a sign put up that says, “Say nothing. Just give me a hug and a shoulder to cry on.”

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  28. Apparently that was initially gunfire I heard, painter said same reaction in his neighborhood. The fireworks came later. Weโ€™re all very excited here.

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  29. After Hubby’s death, I didn’t have anyone say anything that seriously offended or hurt me, but there were a few things said that weren’t the best. But I chose to overlook them, knowing the people meant well and were trying to encourage me.

    Kind of surprising to me is that the oft-mentioned fact that I will see him again in Heaven isn’t as much of a comfort as you might think. From the point of view that my husband is in Heaven, that is wonderful, yes.

    But when we see each other again, we will not be husband and wife. It’s not as if we will pick up where we left off. That relationship is for here, and it is over. The simple-but-sweet things we did together, we will not do again. In Heaven, all of this will be behind both of us, but for now, I must go on without him, without his “protective love” (as I have come to describe it), and without that one-flesh relationship we had. (I often thought of that as kind of a “secret society” of just us.)

    Oh, there was one thing that got my dander up a bit, and that was what an old friend wrote in an email. She said that God removed Hubby so that He could do a deeper work in me. Yes, God has done a deeper work in me, but that I don’t believe He cut short my husband’s life for that specific purpose.

    And here we are on another Sunday. Sundays are still hard, as they were “our day”, whether we were childsitting or not. It was the one day of the week when we could count on Hubby having time to sit and relax with me (after church, of course). He might take some time to take care of something, but he wouldn’t let that take over the whole afternoon.

    There is a song that comes up occasionally on the oldies channel I often have on – “Sunday Will Never Be the Same” – and it often makes me cry as I sing out the refrain.

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  30. Btw, I am home from church today, not feeling up to it. Feeling too tired and have a headache.

    The one-year mark of Hubby’s passing seems to have set us all back in our grieving. I didn’t know how hard it was affecting Chickadee until she mentioned in a recent email that she’s been having a rough time, missing her dad.

    As you already know, I am frustrated with Chickadee’s situation. When she quit childsitting with me, her plan was to come over once a week for a family dinner. But it depends on Nightingale being able to pick her up and then drop her off later, which all together takes an hour out of her busy day. Even if she is willing to do that, and she has done it several times, the visits often have to be squeezed in between other things she’s doing, which can make them not very relaxing. So we often go two weeks or more between visits.

    The McKs have four drivers and two vehicles. It would seem that someone in the family could either drop Chickadee off or pick her up. She mentioned missing us in her email, and I certainly miss her.

    I just sent a Facebook message to the older daughter YA, asking if her mom has an active email account so I can contact her. Mrs. McK is not much of a computer person, so she may not want to communicate that way. In that case, I will ask YA, through a FB message, if someone can give Chickadee a ride one day a week, one way.

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  31. On a Christian Facebook page, the matter of a Christian being in a nightclub was brought up, with this statement: “If a Christian is found in a club, it means his heart is idle and a[n] idle heart will be the workshop of evil.”

    What do you all think of that? I pointed out that although the Bible condemns drunkenness, drinking alcohol in itself is not a sin.

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  32. That reminds me. Nightingale recently unfriended a young woman, Asia, on Facebook who used to be her friend in their teenage years. Nightingale has watched as Asia has not matured, and still acts like a rebellious teenager, not going anywhere in her life. But what finally convinced Nightingale to unfriend her was when Asia bragged about driving drunk and not getting caught.

    And that reminds me that I hate when I see people post on Facebook warning others of DUI checkpoints, or where an officer may be sitting with radar to catch speeders.

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  33. Prayers, Kizzie. I hope you’re feeling better this morning as you get some rest and down time. You’ve had a rough year, it all kind of chips away at us in a cumulative way, I think, making us newly aware of our loss at different times over the course of it all. “Sundays Will Never Be the Same,” yes, I remember that song. There are some songs I’ll hear still to this day that can make me tear up over the long-ago breakup of my college (+ afterwards) boyfriend — or even the loss of my father when I was only 18 so long ago. Odd how music has the power to resonate so strongly with our emotions and memories.

    And I had a sad dream this morning just before waking up about losing a dog — not actually a dog I have or ever had, just “a dog” who was old and died in my dream (which also had my mom making a few appearances). Odd, but it made me wake up feeling sad and I suspect it has to do with the realization that Cowboy and Tess are “getting up there” in years now.

    So there are no painters coming today, they’ll return Monday for what (hopefully) will be their final week. I received a text last night from the lead guy saying he wanted to use the paint sprayer on my garage door and did I think the neighbors would mind if they had to cover their house in plastic again. Uh, yeah, I said in an understatement, probably, so I told him I wouldn’t go there if there’s any other way you can handle that.

    My neighbor is at the end of her rope, literally, with these guys.

    She and her husband are off in the desert this weekend checking on their ‘get-away’ house they bought some years ago, a fixer-upper that’s taken them a long time to fix up (and they’ve had their own frustrations with a worker on that end). She’s probably hoping to get home tomorrow to find my painting job finished at long last. Ha. Nope.

    My driveway lies between our houses so the two homes sit very close and her main windows (kitchen, living room) look out onto what’s been something of an ongoing construction zone, off and on, over the past 2 1/2 years.

    I managed to avoid the sidekick yesterday, he’ll literally start talking to me through an open window about the lunar Sabbath and how I need to get on board with that or risk … well, risk being spiritually lost is the suggestion — so I made sure I moved to different rooms when he appeared on the side of the house where windows were open. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Cheryl, yes, the Brewers were tenacious and a very tough team to beat, a force to be reckoned with. They had some very good pitchers. After they won Friday night I didn’t really think the Dodgers would pull it off in the 7th game, especially because they were playing in Milwaukee where the fans were, of course, all roaring for the home team and booing our guys with gusto. It was a study in contrasts to see the Dodger team members jumping and celebrating out on the field at the end of the game while everyone in the stands appeared to be silent and motionless. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I always do feel for the side that ‘loses’ these make-or-break games, we’ve all been there with our own respective teams and it’s such a letdown after coming oh-so-close.

    Now on to the World Series where the Red Sox are strongly favored to win. Sigh.

    And now I’ve gotta go feed these dogs and get off to church. The cat gets fed first because she’s such a loud nag about the abuse she endures around here, with her having to experience an empty tummy at any given moment.

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  34. My cats try that but I just remind them they will get fed about seven this evening. If they are hungry before then, there are plenty of mice and moles and gophers and shrews for the nabbing. Leave the birds alone. And they don’t mind eating the turkey food so there is that. They are not starving but are not as fat as they were prior to me taking over their feeding and locking up their food so children would not be feeding them on the sly.

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  35. I think we Americans associate night clubs with vice, with drunkenness and sexual sin. In Britain, pubs aren’t seen the same way. So I guess it depends on what kind of place you are visiting, and why.

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  36. Kizzie, regarding your 11:15 —

    Hubby and I met in a nightclub. Neither of us has ever drunk to drunkenness. We’ve been lifelong Christians, and for some stranger to decide that our having gone to a nightclub means the heart was idle, well, just how does that person presume to know what’s in another’s heart?

    One can’t choose to hear live music one enjoys and consume some alcohol in moderation?

    It’s judgmental and legalistic nonsense to suggest otherwise and to make if…then statements about another Christian’s heart, i.e., “If a Christian does this, then it means that…”

    Your response was a good one.

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  37. You’re right, Chas. And sorry to anyone who did want that number. ๐Ÿ™‚

    55 was on the counter when I’d started typing my 12:59, but Cheryl snuck in. Or sneaked. (Spellcheck is happier with me when I choose the latter.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  38. When I was in college, we once had a fifties-coffee-shop-themed weekend event. I remember borrowing a friend’s dress and attending. I don’t remember much else about it (no, they did not serve alcohol) except that elderly friends from church were alumni and for some reason they were on campus, so perhaps it wasn’t just for students.

    Here’s what stuck out to me: this friend in her eighties laughed and told me that in the fifties, Christians didn’t go to coffee shops.

    Why not? I never asked her, just noted her comment. But if we’re going to say “Christians don’t . . .” then we’d better be prepared with a scriptural prohibition and not just a custom. My husband now regrets that for many years the men of his workplace would occasionally go out for a beer, and he didn’t go with them because he was a Christian. That limited his connection with them and perhaps a chance even to witness to them, because of some rule he now sees to be extrabiblical. Even if he didn’t like the taste of beer (and he didn’t know whether he did, since he had never tried it) or preferred not to drink it, there was no good reason not to go. (Had they been going out for hours rather than going home to their wives, or had he struggled with alcohol in the past, things might have been different. There was no such issue involved, just friendliness outside of work.)

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  39. Funny Michelle asked that question. In his sermon this morning, our Pastor mentioned that a seminary professor (St. Louis, for any Lutherans playing along at home), once said, “You don’t need to say anything. They don’t need to hear your words, they need to hear Jesus’ Words.”

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  40. DJ – You wrote, “Youโ€™ve had a rough year, it all kind of chips away at us in a cumulative way, I think, making us newly aware of our loss at different times over the course of it all.”

    That’s a good way of putting it.

    It seems that I will enter a time of feeling like things are calming down inside, and I will get to thinking that maybe I am moving along (which in mind my isn’t quite the same as “moving on,” but moving in that direction). But then the grief comes roaring back and wallops me.

    One week I’ll feel like I have a handle on things, and the next week I feel like I’m on the verge of falling apart.

    It’s all part of my new normal. On one hand, I do want to get past this, but on the other hand, that means that Hubby will be further in my past, further out of my life.

    This reminds me of another difficulty I was going through a few years ago. I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster, and that God was telling me to sit back, hang on tight (to Him), and trust Him. That’s where I am now, too.

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  41. Kizzie, I take that as you being real and transparent, and not being afraid to show your vulnerability. All of those are good qualities, and I appreciate your honesty and candor, friend.

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  42. Went for a walk today. The part of the hamlet where we reside was in shadow, as the sun no longer had not rises at midday over the crest of the mountain, so we walked across the river bridge to the part of town that did have sunlight coming through a pass between the mountains. A ship was in harbour, delivering goods. It will probably be the last before the ice comes. There is only a narrow window of about three months each year that goods can be shipped in. Further west in the Arctic, along the Northwest Passage, they have had to bring in cargo planes to fly goods in to communities, as the ice had already come in, stopping the great container ship from delivering supplies. The container ship for this section of the Arctic cannot come up the fjord, so they have a smaller satellite ship that brings the supplies up the fjord. It sits in the middle of the fjord and uses its two cranes to unload containers onto a barge. The barge brings the containers up the narrow boat channel to the wharf for unloading. Things were very busy around the harbour today.

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  43. I was a Christian in the fifties. I don’t remember having coffee shops during those days. McDonalds was a drive in. i.e.. You didn’t go inside. Even in the early sixties. Elvera and Everett (Chuck’s name then) bought ice cream and ate it in the car. I only went to a drive-in once. A pretty girl came out to take our order. I went to a drive-in movie once. I have never patronized a drive through window. I go inside.

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  44. Tell me again how long your present placement is, Roscuro? And, BTW, I’m glad you got your coat, too, that you mentioned.

    Third Arrow just came back from a walk on our dead-end road and said she saw a dead duck in the road as she was walking toward the back of the road. Then on the way home, she saw five more dead ducks off the side of the road a little ways. All five of those were close together, and she could see bite marks on one of them that looked like it came from a fairly big animal. We’re wondering if it was a coyote or bobcat, or maybe the neighbor’s dog? We’ve also had weasels on the road, and have seen foxes and raccoons in the vicinity, but 3rd Arrow thinks the bites were from something bigger than those last three.

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  45. Phos, I remember when they were building the base at Thule. They tried to get as much done during the summer as possible. Sun shines 24 hours, something was happening every hour.

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  46. We used to go to drive-in movies when I was growing up.

    The McDonalds around here is notorious for getting the order wrong when placed at the drive-up. It’s been a long time since we’ve patronized the place, but when we did, we learned to either go inside to order, or go somewhere else.

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  47. I remember going to the drive in a couple of times. We had blankets in the back of the Rambler so we could sleep while the folks watched the movie. I don’t know if we slept or not.

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  48. 6, I am about halfway through now, six more weeks and leaving sometime during the seventh – weather can be uncertain (as demonstrated by our journey here), so we have been advised to be prepared to rescheduled our flight based on the weather.

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  49. Just got back from market. I got lots of extra things to show the students and possibly to cook today. Kau kau, beets, turnip, carrots, sweet potatoe, potatoes, etc. Can you tell we are studying roots? I also got celery as this week is on stems and we will do the experiment tomorrow showing colored water going up the stem. Should be interesting, but with kinder, you know they will want to taste things.

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  50. If the ducks weren’t, ahem, eaten or otherwise disemboweled, probably a dog. Coyotes are all about the food.

    Part of our sermon this morning touched on the dangers of overconfidence (in our own strength) in the face of a dangerous force. Someone once said of the Titanic “Even God couldn’t sink her.” An iceberg did sink it, however, after the crew didn’t take the warnings very seriously. Most of us grew up in this area and know well the caution to “respect the ocean.” Fun to play and swim in, but it’s ultimately a force we would lose to should we not be wise and careful.

    … The larger point being, as the sermon wound to its conclusion, about how we come into God’s presence (a light so bright it led Isaiah to proclaim Woe is me) as sinners but also as saints, knowing we are forgiven, and that as believers, God has shown us His favor and we should rejoice in that. But to always understand it is in His strength we live and we can be overconfident in our own strength to our detriment.

    Later, as one of the elders passed the communion plate to me he whispered he wanted to talk to me after church. He’s not ‘my’ elder but, hmmm. Have I been late too often (he’s the one who usually stands at the door? Bounced check (his wife is in charge of the financial books)? Or?? Gulp.

    “Let’s go over here as this is kind of personal,” he said to me later, pointing to a back row of seats and causing me a bit of concern. Anyway, turns out he’s been bitten up this summer and didn’t know by what until someone remembered I’d done a story on that new species of mosquitos that’s invaded our area and passed the article on to him this week. He’d wound up in urgent care with one of the bites, thought it was some random infection, when the doctor told him he’d been bitten up “a lot” by something. He couldn’t figure out what was going on, these bites were so awful-itchy and causing huge welts and inflammation. So we talked about relief and prevention remedies, he said he was going to set off a ‘fogger’ in his house and wondered if that would help.

    That mosquito story continues to stay in our top-10 clicked-on, read and shared articles still 2-3 months later. One of the analytics editors asked why my story story numbers were so high at a recent meeting and my editor said “mosquitos and the homeless.”

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  51. But dogs will sometimes eat disgusting things, like cat poop. And cats (mice, lizards).

    Then we go and order $premium, prescription$ pet food for them.

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  52. Michelle, yes, you may. I got several different shots – this one was the only one with a landscape orientation, so I thought it would fit well into the header.

    I see the third photo I sent is up now. This is one of the little dogs that are a cross between a husky and (it is rumoured) a corgi. Actually, I was reading about the spitz dog, and it turns out that both the husky and the corgi, as well as a number of other breeds with long fur and bushy tails (often curled), are all considered variations on the spitz: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spitz. So two specialized spitz breeds were just recombined. This one likes to come over every time she sees us outside to have her ears scratched and belly rubbed.

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  53. I do not know. They like nurses hired to work here to have at least one year’s prior experience, preferably in something high acuity such as the ER or ICU. While many cases that come to the clinic for care are very routine and mundane, the emergencies, when they do happen, need all the skill a nurse can provide to keep them alive until the plane comes. I know I could handle the routine clinic visits, but I have little experience with emergencies (other than obstetrical ones). I shall have to wait and see what happens next.

    It is also lonely here. I should be used to that feeling by now, having lived alone in the city, as well as in West Africa, but it seems harder to handle the older I get. It is not that the Inuit are unfriendly, as they seem quite willing to interact with me and my fellow student, but there is reserve between them and those who come from the south to work. It is very unfortunate, but nurses (as well as social workers and teachers) are employed on such a temporary basis – I have already seen two nurses both come and go in the space of time I have been here, as their contracts were only for a few weeks – that there is no time for forming better relationships with the community (the one nurse, with whom I had the privilege of working, was so well liked that I overheard one of the Inuit employees lament that she was leaving, saying they needed nurses like her). The nurses and other temporary workers do seem to live parallel lives to the Inuit, and it can lead to misunderstandings. It would be nice to think that I could work around that, as I learned to do in West Africa (there were misunderstandings there too); but I am a half decade older and have less raw courage than in my late twenties. If, however, the Lord leads me to come back to the North, I know I will have the strength to get through it all.

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  54. Ah, she looks like a sweet dog!

    Roscuro, may God guide your path and lead you to (or keep you in) the right place for you. I know you are a blessing to those around you wherever you are.

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  55. Well, you have a heart for the people, wherever you have been. And, perhaps, if you are willing to make a longer term commitment, they would appreciate your day to day ability and continue to fill with travel nurses or whatever they are for the emergency role until you are confident.

    I believe, and you know it too, that loneliness is everywhere It is just something to be dealt with. Either through the people there, the Lord, or the people He brings up temporarily. Or even us. But I know you miss the connection and that is another good thing about you.

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  56. Speaking of dogs – I saw a news item about some dogs rescued during the hurricane in Florida being brought up here to be adopted.That has happened before. Does anyone know if the owners are given a chance to identify and reclaim their dogs? (I realize many of them may not be in a position to take care of their dogs anymore, and may let them go to other families. That would be another heartache on top of everything else that has happened to them.)

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  57. Roscuro, I know what you mean. It is hard here and I have now been here almost 14 years. People form close friendships, but those who became my friends have all left. I am sort of an oddity as I have no family here and am not part of the young singles, or ‘the crowd’ as they like to call themselves. I am the only single in my fellowship group. I would like to join a Bible study as this is just for prayer and fellowship. That is why I joined four study groups when I was home.

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