46 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 10-30-20

  1. What a “friend”ly place.

    I get today off because we had Parent-teacher conferences the last two days. 7Β½ hours for parents to talk to teachers. I had 1 conference. Oh, well, I got all my planning done for next week, all 4 days of it. The State of Illinois decided to give all government workers a day off for election day. So, we get today off, making a 3 day weekend, go to school Monday, have a day off Tuesday, then a 3 day week. Doesn’t make sense. Many students (and I) asked why we didn’t just have PT conferences Thursday and Friday, and get a 4 day weekend?

    Oh, well. I guess read the funnies. They often make sense out of government senselessness.

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  2. Continuing the thought of names carrying on: Mrs L’s family name is going to disappear. Oh, there are distant cousins, but the line of her side ends when my brother-in-law dies. He never married, and there has only been one male descendant for 3 or 4 generations. My FIL was an only son, as was his father, and I think his grandfather.

    As for my family, both my brothers have sons and one of them has a son.

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  3. The friend AJ is holding the #1 place for is Cheryl since she posted on yesterday’s thread this morning before this new thread showed up. She claimed first so AJ is being fair β™‘

    Art has gone to the office not knowing if he has power there. The outage map shows no power, but by calling in his account it shows power. My brother’s neighborhood is out and may be for awhile.

    The weather is much cooler today. It feels right again. Still windy.

    My mother’s maiden name did not get passed on by her family. She had two older brothers, and only one married and had an only child. That only child, a son, was in an accident and died when he was in college. He was the one who could have carried forward the family name.

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  4. We had only one boy cousin on Dad’s side of the family. He had one son therefore the name will be carried on as he had a son as well. Mom’s side of the family had boys and they had boys…that name will go on and on. In our family we had a son and there are many sons carrying forth the name…but our last name will go on forever…it is a very familiar last name 😊 (I have had two cups of coffee and even after I read my post I thought…huh?) πŸ˜‚

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  5. My father’s name will not be carried on by his descendants, but there are more distant family branches to continue it, including the son and grandsons of his younger brother. They are all part First Nations, so another old Scots-Irish surname is incorporated into the Metis, although, there are probably already Metis with the same surname. It is a relatively common surname – there are even West Africans with the same surname, descendants of those who returned to Africa when freed from slavery in North America – but we can trace our version of it back over 250 years.

    On the other hand, in a bit of an ironic twist, Eldest sibling, has, by having four sons, preserved a rare Irish surname in North America, as her spouse and his younger brother (who shows no signs of marrying or becoming a father) were the last of their line, their father and his father having no brothers. The Celtic-Irish surname is so rare, that it gets hilariously mistaken for an Arabic name with the same spelling, leading to Eldest in-law getting mailings from various Muslim organizations. It is even funnier because, his first name, which also appears on the mailings addressed to him, is after one of the Apostles, as, being of Irish descent, he was baptized Catholic.

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  6. I am on holiday now, for a little over a week. I decided, since this year there was no options of taking road trips and/or crossing borders to see friends and family, that I would take the week of my birthday off. Several of the nurses have done the same thing this year.

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  7. I have so many cousins on both sides of my family that there was no need for worrying about family names being carried on.

    Peter, sometimes when someone gives up looking is when they find the right one. I had an uncle who married at forty and then had four daughters. One never knows.

    I was thinking AJ was waiting for Chas. I hope he and Elvera get the power back soon. I see Cheryl claimed her rightful place, however. I hope Art has the power he needs.

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  8. On surnames again, it is a bit odd to reflect that I am now the last with my father’s surname, since all my siblings now bear their spouse’s surnames. In some ways, I have been closest to a son (my mother made that comparison just the other week as my father and I worked together on my shelf), partly because my mind operates the most like my father’s, and thus I can match him, both in rembering and recalling information on any topic that interests us and with the ability to learn almost any new skill we need to accomplish a task, but also because of my name, as my initials of my first, second, and surname match my father’s. Second in-law actually nicknamed and calls me by my initials. If I ever do get married, I will probably keep my surname, not because I have any objections to taking the surname of a spouse on feminist grounds, but because, having been exposed to more than one culture (Hispanic and West African) where a woman keeps her maiden name, I see it as an important preservation of not merely my initials, but also of family history. In West African culture, where everything was, and still is to a large extent, preserved orally, it was immensely important that women’s surnames be preserved for the purposes of tracing descent, something very important for arranging marriages in a polygamous society. It seemed to me a very logical custom, as the problem of finding lost maiden names can make tracing ancestry tricky, even with written records.

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  9. Interesting discussion on yesterday’s prayer thread regarding how to bear witness to the Gospel to a grandchild of an unbelieving child. I have two points to add, one, staying silent is not necessarily disobedience, as the story of Esther and the passage on wives in I Peter demonstrates. As Presbyterian minister Liam Goligher noted in his sermon series on Esther, one cannot be forever nagging at one’s unbelieving family members to get them to believe. The other is incorporating Scripture into one’s daily conversation. I think of Paul’s command, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6). Not all require the same answer – recall that Christ at times wouldn’t answer at all. But his speech was always heavily seasoned with Scripture – the more I read the Old Testament, the more I see how heavily it was quoted in the New Testament, as I am constantly finding new quotes. The early church writers carried on the custom, with their writings, and in the case of Justin Martyr Dialogue, speech, was so saturated with Scripture that you could take a paragraph of theirs and find 20 different parts of the Bible they had drawn their ideas from. It wasn’t that they sat down and searched out verses to use, it is that Scripture clearly was what they thought of, read, and talked about constantly until their entire method of thinking and reasoning was shaped by the Bible.

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  10. I need to get to a grocery store. I was down to canned things for dinner last night and that just didn’t set well all night long.

    We’re still having very cold nights and mornings, but by afternoon it is exceptionally warm, probably in the 80s. I was foggy when I walked the dogs last night.

    Halloween is tomorrow night which also is when we turn our clocks back an hour. I’m always in favor of more sleep and this time change is somewhat easier for me to adjust to.

    My arm hurts after getting so many shots this past week (2 shots in left arm, 1 in the right).

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  11. The Seconds must have been planning for Halloween, as Tiny was so impatient to wear her costume that this morning she asked her mother, “Can we have an early Halloween tomorrow?” Second and I looked at her and said, “Tomorrow is Halloween.” She was delighted of course. I believe they are planning to do what we used to as children, put on their costumes, go out the back door and around to the front to ring the doorbell and ask for candy. It wasn’t safe for us to go out trick or treating either then, not because of a virus, but because our nearest neighbours were drug dealers

    That was before another homeschooler who was into conspiracy theories convinced, not so much my mother as my older siblings, that Halloween was evil. My mother never quite swallowed all the rumours people told her, as she herself growing up in a Christian family in the 1950s had celebrated holidays like Halloween with no such evil associations, but older siblings have a lot of influence on forming younger ones minds, and although I loved dressing in costumes, I began to feel it was probably wrong to do so on October 31. Ah, childhood logic…

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  12. I watched a couple interesting and short news ‘documentaries’ from the 1960s last night, one was following Humphrey and JFK as they campaigned in Wisconsin in the 1960 primaries and the other was of the two black students who were trying to enroll at Alabama State U, which turned into a battle of the wills between RFK, then attorney general, and Gov. George Wallace.

    Fascinating to watch some of the behind-the-scenes inner discussions as someone left the cameras rolling.

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  13. Art did get power at the office so my outage map was misleading in indicating power would be out until late on Nov. 1.

    When I went the short route through the neighborhood to Publix this morning, a large tree was down very near the store so I had to find a new route to the store.

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  14. Praying for Chas and Elvera to be okay without power. I hope they are staying warm. Our house feels chilly today since the weather has cooled down. Yesterday it got up to 76Β° indoors on the thermostat which usually means it’s at least 5 degrees warmer upstairs.

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  15. A funny little thing about my room has caused general household delight and interest. My fourth wall is composed of four sliding doors, built out if pine. There are many knots in the wood, making for striking effects on both the inside and outside. But the other day, I noticed something unique. I have mentioned that I have a south facing window in my room. During the late autumn and early winter, the sun is fairly low on the horizon, so the angle at which the sun shines into my room now hits the bottom part of the pine doors opposite. On the lower part of one of the doors, there is a knot that goes through the full thickness of the door. I discovered that on a clear sunny day the sunlight is bright enough to shine through the wood of the knot, rendering it a deep, glowing red. So if you are standing outside my room on a sunny day and look down, it looks like there is a little stained glass window glowing in my door. I pointed it out to my parents, who then got Second and the little ones to come and see. We agreed if one could find the right wood, a stained glass window made from wood knots would make a beautiful piece of art.

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  16. Roscuro, that sounds so lovely!

    As I have done more photography, I’ve come to really appreciate translucent things, especially where translucence is unexpected. It’s gorgeous to see the light through a red or orange autumn leaf still on the tree, but lovely in a different way to see it shining through a grasshopper. One of my groups on Flickr had “transluscence” as a theme a few weeks ago, and I knew a lot of people would post autumn leaves. I also knew what I wanted to photograph, and it was the small yellow butterfly known as a sulphur. I got a lovely shot of it . . . but was torn and tempted to post the grasshopper instead when I got a lovely shot of it too. Since no one else posted a shot of a butterfly and mine was a good one, I was happy to have stuck with my original choice. But had the theme been used in mid-summer when other people might have posted butterfly shots too, I’d have wanted to use the more unique grasshopper.

    This week the theme is Halloween, and I have a nice shot of a real spider . . .

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  17. I was sad to find a dead butterfly at the base of my backyard pine tree the other day — I need to find out what kind it is, large black wings with a beige or yellow border trim along the edges, it almost looks bat-like.

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  18. DJ, that reminds me of when my friend and I prayer walked on Saturday that we found a beautiful bird dead on the road, maybe a flicker, one of the smaller type woodpecker birds with the beautiful black and white tweedy feathers. It was sad to see. We also saw beside a bus stop what looked to be the partial contents of a purse so that concerned us, too.

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  19. On the other hand, I’ve noticed some of the leaves on my plants having been chewed and this kind of butterfly is known to do that. 😦 But it sure is/was pretty.

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  20. We have so many birds die flying into our windows. Today it was grouse. Fortunately the window was not broken. The birds neck was broken, I believe. My husband through it off into the woods before the neighbor’s cat could come and make a mess of it.

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  21. DJ, we had giant swallowtails in our yard up north sometimes. So lovely, and such a large butterfly (the largest wingspan of any butterfly in the USA, as I recall, though some female tiger swallowtails can grow to be as large). Caterpillars can be destructive, though in the case of the pretty butterflies, it’s worth it. (The destruction of the cabbage white is not “worth it.”)

    After I went back to bed this morning, and back to sleep, I ended up having a dream that included Misten. Not sure I’ve ever dreamed about her before. In my dream I was lying in bed and I heard what seemed to be a thrown rock and shattering glass, and I thought someone had broken one of our windows. I didn’t know if my husband heard, but I got up to check on the window I thought it might be. Where I thought the window would be (a direction, incidentally, in which we don’t have windows but instead have a bathroom), instead of a glass window there was a bit of an alcove and an open (non-glass) window. When I saw it, I thought, “That’s funny. This isn’t my house. I bet I’m dreaming.” And then Misten came along, only whoever was on costumes for my dream didn’t do a very good job, since it was a collie only it didn’t look like Misten. The face was more a dingy gray-yellow and it didn’t have a stripe on its face. But I knew it was Misten, and I petted her and was happy to see her. After a couple of minutes she walked away, and I thought, “When I wake up, she won’t be there, so I’d better take advantage of my chance to pet her now,” and I called a few times and eventually she came back to me and I petted her some more, and I think I even cuddled with her some. (She never liked being cuddled, especially when she was young, but she tolerated it.)

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  22. My former shaggy dog Ellie shows up sometimes in my dreams

    Yes, this butterfly was so gorgeous, I was just sorry it wasn’t “OK.” I put it on my patio table just to admire it some more and to try to find out what kind it was.

    So delicate —

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  23. Busier day than I planned, but easy stuff — we were short on weekend copy so I’m doing a short story on flags being hung in the downtown area for the election & a candy trick-or-treat giveaway this weekend for a safe halloween, also in the downtown — where there also will be some Day of the Dead altars constructed; the Day of the Day is a huge festival here every year, draws about 10,000 people, but it’s cancelled for 2020 of course. But they’re still having some artists set up some displays

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  24. I did not buy any candy. I could have given some to the Trunk or Treat the church is offering tonight but I passed on that. I will give to other activities. As I was leaving Publix I overheard an assumed mom telling her young child something about candy, probably that what they bought was to give away and not to consume themselves. Children have to be a certain age to understand that.

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  25. When I went out to the store, it appeared a number of the political signs were down, maybe from the wind or perhaps people put them away because of th er storm. The one yard which had huge letters spelling out B I D E N now only has B I standing. For what it’s worth, it seems to answer the other signs that say BiDon. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw that B I left standing. I am glad no one was around to see me do that. But now everyone knows.

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  26. I have treat bags ready for 5 trick or treaters. We usually only get two. I have no idea if they’ll even come this year – I hope so because they are adorable.

    Husband brought in all the Christmas stuff today so that I can go through it all and plan my decorations for this year while he is gone. πŸ™‚

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  27. Michelle, we don’t get trick or treaters and wouldn’t be going to the door this year even if we did. However, I usually go to the store the day after Halloween to buy it at half price, and this year I’ll have to pass on doing that.

    Six Arrows, this is for you (a six-year-old piano prodigy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oybU09RQUTs

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  28. We figure we can wear our masks (Boo!) and use tongs to pick a piece or two out of the bowl and into a bag.

    We don’t get more than 20 or so in a given year anyway, but there are seven kids across the street.

    The Adorables will stop at their church and our church for treat bags, then go to the oldest son’s house where my daughter-in-law is hiding candy all over the house (like Easter eggs in the spring). She’s got a pair of infra-red goggles and they can wear them as they search through the darkened house.

    Afterward, they’ll have a movie sleepover. The girls can hardly wait.

    My niece is sending up a box of treat bags for them as well, which is very kind. She and her sister are unemployed college grads and I’m thankful she’s been able to pour some of her thwarted energy and cleverness into a box of fun.

    Meanwhile, over at our aforementioned church, we celebrate All Saint’s Day on Sunday and the pastor and elders are having a drive-through communion tomorrow. I’m not sure what that will entail; we may watch the online version before we go.

    The creativity to meet the needs of the congregation continues unabated. May the Lord be glorified.

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  29. Mrs L doesn’t get candy, she gets pencils and other things. I think she has Play-Doh this year. We don’t get many children, so what ever is left goes to the grandchildren.

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  30. Porch lights will stay off for me this year. We usually get a LOT of kids, roaring down the street in large mobs, open sacks outstretched. Last year was fun, but I really don’t think we’ll see many trick-or-treaters at all this year; there are a couple organized events in town, one in the down area and another at the Marine Mammal Care Center.

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  31. I have a couple solar-powered flickering, old-fashioned style lanterns on the front porch and a real estate company dropped a tiny pumpkin on the porch the other day — with a biz card sticking out of the top on a stick. I removed the car and put the little pumpkin on the porch rail, so that’s my decoration for this year.

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  32. We don’t get trick or treaters out here and this year I purchased no candy 😊
    We took a drive south today and had coffee at a favorite shoppe in Florence. A few antique shoppes have closed their doors sadly…a couple of my favorites…I am supposing it is due to the virus complications for businesses. But, it was a lovely day for a drive and a good cup of coffee in a favorite cozy spot. Then we stopped off for dinner at a favorite brewing company….good hamburger and fries!
    There are rumors of a impending shutdown here. Neighbor went to Walmart and she was shocked to see empty shelves and hundreds of hoarders shopping…and yeah… she said the toilet paper aisle was empty! 😳

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  33. I’m still typing away on the story of my son’s life,and now all my children’s lives. If I do this for one, I’ll have to do it for all and I might as well see it all the way through.

    Anyway, Google is helpful in providing photos and reminders of what was really going on during those years so long ago!

    I’m in 1983, now, and writing about a wild (is there any other kind?) of trip I took to meet the boat in the UK. I went with a 13 month-old and a 2.5 year old. Fortunately, their father awaited us at Heathrow, or I might still be wandering around trying to find him.

    He’d been on an exercise in the North Atlantic of which I knew little. (There is this story we’ve told often: https://www.michelleule.com/2015/07/31/the-hunt-for-red-october-and-my-family/)

    On this trip, I had a book called “Farmhouse Bed and Breakfasts in England,” and that’s how we found where we staying since we were out in the countryside for most of the trip.

    Anyway, we were staying way out on a sheep farm in Devonshire. Just before I went to bed, the farmer stopped me.

    The farmer sat in front of his large radio, pipe in hand under a pool of lamplight with a sheepdog at his feet. It looked exactly like a cozy photo of British farm life.

    “So, you’re husband’s a submarine officer, is that right?”

    Yes.

    “So, did he participate in the invasion of Norway war games last week?”

    I had no idea.

    I went upstairs and asked him. “Did you invade Norway last week?”

    “Yeah. Why?”

    “Why does a farmer in Devon know you invaded Norway and I have no idea?”

    He smiled. “Need to know.”

    Google just reminded me that in 1983, there were serious concerns the USSR would invade western Europe and NATO was flexing its muscle.

    I’d completely forgotten how tense those years were. And we, of course, lived at Ground Zero.

    “Oh, but Michelle, you don’t want to survive a nuclear attack. It’s way easier just to go to heaven. Take the boys with you.”

    Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I suspect Mumsee may have been living in Europe during this same time period. Do you get a sense of why military wives are a different breed?

    My husband, at least, was under the water.

    It’s hard, sometimes, to feel sympathetic for what “normal” people go through. My young adult and mothering years were so different.

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  35. Michelle, after my brother lost his wife to cancer, he’d tell me that people would come up to him and say something life, “Cancer is such a horrible disease! My mother died of cancer.” I don’t know what he said to such people offering comfort, but what he indicated to me in talking about it was that their saying such a thing was almost insulting, that losing a parent (or a sibling) shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same conversation as losing a spouse.

    What I never told him was that he was invalidating his own children’s loss. Their loss of their mother was “nothing” if loss of a mother was nothing. It didn’t seem to occur to him that any loss is a matter of perspective. To a five-year-old, loss of his mother might be his whole world. To a single person who has no siblings, loss of a parent might be loss of her whole family. I am positive it was harder for me to lose our mother than it was for him–he was married with a family, and I was losing my same-sex parent and being left without ancestors and without descendants. Though my loss was less than widowhood, it was real loss. If I had had no siblings, my loss would have been bigger still. (I have a friend my age who is single and has no siblings or cousins; when her mother dies, she will be left without any family at all.) Not to downgrade widowhood, but a widow can also remarry and be fully married again, with a new spouse who isn’t a step-spouse.

    My sister told me several different times how hard it was that she couldn’t have more than five children, somehow never thinking that a woman who yearned for any children at all might not agree that her “suffering” was extraordinary.

    What I learned through these experiences is that we really just can’t compare life experiences in terms of whose lot is easier or harder. I wouldn’t trade my life experience with that of anyone I know. But my sorrows and losses have been real ones, and some are ones few people know about. Other people face different ones, and sometimes they feel trivial to me (“Oh really, Harvard didn’t accept you when you’d set your heart on going there? How tragic!”), but we really never know the dynamics of another person’s life.

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  36. Cheryl, 6:50, thanks for posting that link. I had seen it a while back — I don’t recall how I found out about it — but I watched it with new eyes tonight. First, because now that I have a 3-year-old student, what the mom in the video said about not being able to find a piano teacher for her boy when he was 2, 3 years old, resonated with me.

    Second, because did you see how he used his fingertips to play when he was only a year old? There was one sort of whole-hand slap of the keys at one spot, but most of his playing in that part of the video showed him pressing keys with his fingertips. Which reminded me of my year-old granddaughter.

    We had the privilege of babysitting DG a few hours one day earlier this week, and she sat on my lap at the piano and played it with her fingers. Mostly index fingers and thumbs. She seems to understand better than some of my beginner students that your thumbs can also be used to play the piano keys! πŸ™‚

    Three-year-old piano student officially started this week after his trial run last week. I’ve had different ideas swirling in my head before, between, and after the two lessons he’s had so far about how best to work with him. Last night I had a bit of insomnia, and while lying in bed, waiting to go back to sleep, my plan for the boy’s 30-minute lessons, and even for the outline of his assignment sheet for his parents to follow up with at home, got fully formed, happily! Then I fell back to sleep, and upon waking this morning, I penciled it all out, while it was still quite vivid in my mind.

    I am looking forward to Monday, when I can try putting it into practice. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  37. I have been busy and lazy today. Little Miss Is busy and Papa had physical therapy. I did get her to lie down for nap time with me but she didn’t sleep until Papa got home.
    I had no energy to begin with and am quite testy. I go back to work Monday and am hoping being around people will snap me out of it.

    Liked by 4 people

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