113 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 12-26-20

  1. Only 364 days ’till Christmas.
    I hope everyone had a happy Christmas.
    Some of our kin gave Elvera a slip over nighty that she will never use (If it requires me slipping it over her. That is a task.)

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  2. Morning! That is one determined deer!…and quite agile!! 😊
    It was a laid back kind of a day yesterday and much enjoyed. Eating leftovers from the day before so no cooking and just enjoying the day…
    And Chas that is exactly why we always gifted my Mom a zip up the front robe every Christmas. She had never liked the slip over styles and the zip up the entire front was so convenient. The Vermont Store and LL Bean always had nice ones.

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  3. NancyJ.
    Most people don’t understated that every position for a person in her situation, except lying down or sitting is precarious.
    i.e. There is danger of falling every time you move.
    When a person like that falls, it is a major event. Likely calling for professional help.
    That is on my mind every time I move her.

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  4. So important to tell people when you can, Chas. Remember how little you understood any of that not all that long ago? We are learning from you.

    I think all the apples from the three crab apple trees we have are gone now. There may be a few isolated ones on the very tops that I cannot see easily. The apples on this tree are a bit bigger than on the other two and usually last until February. This is the first year my husband has not had food out in feeders for the birds, however, so that may be why the apples went sooner rather than later. The bears are the reason he took the feeder down. He was going to replace it, but didn’t. The birds love the apples, too, especially the grouse. They are all fun to watch.

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  5. Good morning! It is the coldest day we’ve had since last January. At least the wind is negligible.

    Art is back at work today. My work is to think up food to make for get together with brother tomorrow. I am still trying to avoid the stores right now.


  6. Good morning. Third son’s birthday today. That was a long time ago. But my life has not changed much, still have three babies to care for. Little boy and I are up. rocking. as we wait for his pain meds to kick in.

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  7. Along the line of food prep: Enquiring minds want to know what Nightingale made in the crockpot for Christmas morning. I made monkey bread for our Christmas morning for a treat. I have never made it just for the two of us, but decided we needed something a bit more special and yet, relatively, easy to make. I could also add pecans since no children would be around to complain.

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  8. That is one big thing we are worried about with my dad. Once he falls, there is no way that mom will be able to help him up.

    The new family of four left the hospital yesterday and settled in at home. They even managed a FaceTime with great grandpa and great grandma! (with a little help from my sister) 🙂

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  9. There is a method for people to get off the floor after a fall (if they are otherwise not seriously injured) that either an older person can learn, or a loved one could walk them through it slowly. It may not work for some, especially those who are mentally confused or too weak, but for others, it is helpful.

    “How to get up from a fall (no injuries)

    1. Stay calm and still. Don’t move for a few minutes because moving too quickly can cause more harm.

    2. Figure out if you’re injured. Slowly move hands and feet, arms and legs to check for pain.

    3. If there are no injuries, slowly roll onto your side, starting the movement with your head and moving down your body toward your feet. Take a moment to rest.

    4. Slowly push up into a crawling position and crawl slowly on hands and knees toward a sturdy chair or piece of furniture. Don’t rush and rest as needed. Place your hands on the seat of the chair, one at a time.

    5. Supporting yourself with the chair, bring your strongest leg up to a 90 degree angle by putting that foot flat on the ground. The other leg stays in kneeling position. Slowly push up to standing using both arms and legs.

    6. Slowly turn around and lower yourself onto the chair. Sit and catch your breath for a few minutes before doing anything else.”


    I don’t know if this would help anyone mentioned here earlier, but it might be good to have this method in mind (or printed off) for others of us. My mom wasn’t very strong when she was older and dealing with cancer, but I think she said that she had used this method at least once.

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  10. Kathaleena – From Nightingale:

    “1 tube sausage (brown before adding to crockpot)
    1 each diced red & green bell pepper
    Approx. half bag shredded hash brown potatoes (from frozen section)
    1 dozen eggs
    2 handfuls shredded sharp cheddar.”

    I think it was on low overnight. I’ll double-check that with her later.

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  11. Kizzie, thank you for sharing that. I had actually sent that to my sister a few months ago, as it makes it clear just what needs to be done. But no-one else is allowed into my parents’ building now, so it would be up to mom. Not sure if she could get dad to do things in the proper order.

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  12. Several weeks ago there was a question posed on FB and I reposted it. Some of you may have even responded.
    Mine was a gawd-awful 1970’s praire styled patchwork long dress from my uncle, aunt, and two cousins. The worst part about it is they had recently moved home from California, and I thought my two cousins hung the moon. They taught me to play Chinese Checkers. That Christmas when I unwrapped my present it was “Chinese Checkers”. I was SOOOO excited. I showed everyone the box…then I opened it and it was that dress. I was so embarrassed. I have always been overly sensitive to embarrassment whether it was my own or someone elses. (It hurts my chest to see someone else embarrassed).
    Fast forward to Christmas 2020. Son and DIL and Little Miss gave me a mug with a K on it because I have started drinking hot chocolate at night, and a lovely smelling bath set, and a family game box. On the front was the checkerboard to play Chess or Checkers. I was stunned for a minute, what prompted that? I made expressed my appreciation for the gift and later remembered that I had a slight hesitation and apprehension when I saw the box but it didn’t register. DIL told me to turn the box over and it was also Chinese Checkers. Quite likely one of the most thoughtful gifts, even though she told me it was my “funny gift”. She had seen the post on FB and remembered. 40 years later, I finally got Chinese Checkers for Christmas. This morning I was typing out a text to my friends The GBR and realized that it healed a wound, I really, truly, didn’t know I still had from childhood.

    One of those cousins told me two plus years ago at her father’s funeral that she always thought I was an obnoxious child. Who says that to someone???? Luckily, I was quick enough to respond,”Oh, and I always thought I was a wonderful child”. Another of my aunts jumped in and said she always thought the same. I think she was more miffed about it than I was.

    It’s true, Hurt people, hurt people.

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  13. Happy Day After to everyone. I am somewhat feeling the same but no worse so I do think what I have is most likely a common cold. Had a bit of a high temp yesterday for a while, but it came down. Yesterday was a day in for me, obviously, I watched Elf and A Christmas Story and the beginning of the Wizard of Oz, all movies I have loved but hadn’t seen in many years.

    Woohoo. Well, kind of capped off this “year,” such as it is. Christmas really did kind of get canceled in my world. Got some lights up outside, but that was about it.

    I let my cousin know I wouldn’t be joining them today, any kind of “symptoms,” we’re frequently advised, should cause us to self-quarantine. The situation in LA County is really quite crazy.

    Some of my fatigue seems to have abated, though I’m still tired, I slept until 10 this morning but was up for about an hour at 6 a.m. or so after feeding the cat.

    A former reporter of ours now works for the Tennessean, I was hoping she’d gone to see her dad in Maryland for the holiday and missed the bombing — instead, he came to see her this Christmas, so they were without power and Internet in her apartment. Sounded like she wasn’t working, but she may be working today unless her dad is staying longer. They drove by the area “accidentally” yesterday, she said. She’s in Nashville, she must not be too far away from the scene.

    On to New Year’s. Our community ocean New Year’s Day swim has been canceled, first time in 69 years, but I’m guessing a few folks will be out there taking the ‘polar bear’ plunge anyway. But the city wouldn’t give the sponsoring organization a permit, of course.

    I just keep thinking we’re on the down side of this, surely, with the vaccines rolling out now. It’ll take a while, but I’m hoping by next summer or fall we’ll be out from under this plague.

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  14. One of my memories of staying in my grandfather’s old, rambling no-indoor-plumbing house in Iowa was sitting up in an attic (or maybe it was just a small upstairs bedroom) playing Chinese checkers with my mom. All those marbles!

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  15. Chatted with my relative for an hour this morning.

    “Really, this is no more than a bad cold. Sort of wish I’d gotten it 9 months ago. It’s the fear that’s driving people crazy.”

    “Other than the people who are really sick. Then, it’s all the other problems that kill them.”

    (Note: when I tried to write comorbidities, spellcheck turned it into COvID ITUNES— thus, I gave up and misspelled it at the beginning of these parentheses)

    Just saying, DJ. A positive could keep you out of work for a longer rest . . .

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  16. When I first visited with Art’s parents, his mother had out a set of Chinese checkers. I had a friend who claimed to be a champion player. I was always too intimidated to play against her!


  17. I was just looking at Amazon for stand up desks since Wesley had mentioned wanting something like that to use for teaching online classes. I saw one that had a base similar to an ironing board. Then I thought how if one had a nice board to lay on top of an ironing board, it could be repurposed as a stand up desk. I was thinking of that more for myself. I have looked at Office Depot and most of theirs are much more costly than what I saw on Amazon (nicer, too).


  18. Good afternoon, wanderers, and a belated Merry Christmas.

    Nice to see Kare’s Christmas twins in my inbox this week. 🙂 What darlings in their little hats!

    We had our family Christmas here yesterday — eleven of us: Hubby and I, the six arrows, the son-in-law, the granddaughter, and the boyfriend of 3rd Arrow.

    Oh, and 2nd’s, SIL’s, and DG’s dog, which added to the fun and chaos, lol. 🙂

    Present-opening was a big event and lengthy affair. The gifts were not only under the Christmas tree, but also spread underneath the grand piano from pedals to tail, some rows of gifts stacked almost up to the underbelly of the piano! DG loved the toys and other things she got. Gift-opening would be put on hold regularly to allow her time to play with her fun stuff a while before ripping the wrappings off a new item of hers. 🙂

    I got her a little rhythm instrument set because she loves to play ours when she’s at our house, and I thought she’d enjoy having a set at home, too. The gift set included a harmonica, and within an hour or so, Grandpa had taught her how to make it sing!

    Speaking of singing, 6th Arrow sang in our church’s Christmas choir for three of the five Christmas Eve services we had. She was originally going to sing in the children’s choir, but because she would come with me to orchestra / main choir rehearsals, she was also invited to sing in the main choir (made up of high schoolers and adults). She enjoyed the main choir’s soprano parts so much, she decided to stay with them on the songs where they and the children’s choir collaborated.

    6th has always identified strongly with people older than she — maybe because of all those older siblings she’s got? 😉 So it was natural for her, at age 13, to want to sing with the older singers, and she could handle the parts well, due to her music-reading skills developed through piano, her singing as part of our homeschool (and in weekly corporate worship), and her choral-reading skills developed by being my page turner when I accompanied university choir pre-Covid.

    Our church is blessed to have a large sanctuary and lots of microphones and such, that we could socially distance in the orchestra (a much smaller group than last year) and the choirs — teens/adults on the top and bottom steps, not middle steps, of spaced risers in the front of church, and the children’s choir in the back of the church, similarly spaced apart within a special section of pews separate from the main congregational area.

    Having a total of seven services on the 24th and 25th helped ensure we could still have lots of people attend Christmas worship and still keep the sanctuary at 1/4 capacity.

    I found it to be such a blessing to play in the orchestra for the first three services and hear the choir(s) and/or congregation singing as we played. Our ever-energetic worship leader, who had contracted covid in early December (a mild case) and continued arranging for all the rehearsals that would happen during her isolation period, jumped back in as soon as she was given the county health department’s all-clear. It was amazing to see her jog from the front to the back to the front again of the church as she worked with the various mini-ensembles — oh, there was a small group of handbell players, too! — in the three rehearsals and the three services in which we played/sang! The Lord blessed us all by granting her a mild case and a timing of it that allowed her to be well — and lead us so well and always joyfully! — during a time that has upended so many lives.

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  19. I used to play Chinese checkers.
    When I was a kid. That was before 1950.
    Most of you don’t remember that far back.
    It is clear and 37 degrees in Greensboro. Makes you want to stay inside.

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  20. My dad loved to play Chinese Checkers with us and with his grandchildren. It is a game I associate with him, although, I did buy one (long gone) for my own children.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Haven’t heard of that one, Janice.

    We’re getting our “first” winter storm coming in tomorrow through Monday — I think it mostly hits Central Cal, but we should get some of it too. Just running behind a bit this year, though most of our rain typically comes in Jan.-Feb anyway

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I heard a bunch of people were going
    To MeWe and Parlor after the election but I still see them on FB
    I downloaded Parlor to my phone when everyone was announcing they were going over there for free speech. What I found was a lot of nastiness and have since deleted it.

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  23. Yep, anyone remember that M & M’s did at least one commercial claiming that they were sponsoring the year 2000 (MM in Roman numerals)? I expected optometrists to sponsor 2020, the year of the eye. But in 20/20 hindsight, they would not want to have been linked to this year!

    Well, less than a week of it left. Not that 2021 will necessarily be any better, but we can hope it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am home from working all the live long day at my friend’s antique shoppe…oh those after Christmas shoppers!! Exhausting it was!
    I intended to leave Facebook and downloaded MeWe and Parler. I deleted MeWe after a weeks or so……no oversight it seems and objectionable content could be posted on Christian bookclub, decorating, antique and Christian Mom sites. I still have the Parler app but never ever open it…
    We played Chinese Checkers a lot when we were kids and I taught my kids how to play…not certain whatever happened to our board…and who knows where the marbles got to…yep…I’ve lost my marbles! 😂

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  25. Sounds like fun celebrations! Miguel and Trey ended up staying home due to being exposed on an ambulance run. Did not want to give it to his mom, and his sister is terrified of getting it. It was a nice, low key time. He had the food all prepped when I got home and all I had to do was mash the potatoes and make the asparagus.

    We played Chinese checkers at the farm as a child. Can’t even remember the rules. So glad you had healing from that gift, Kim.

    6Arrows, what a blessing to have the whole clan. It is so inspiring to hear your reports of the fruit of years of hard work. I can just imagine the expression on her face while singing.

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  26. Kizzie, 7:55: The producers of the TV show 20/20 may want to change its name now.

    Kizzie, 7:56: In case it’s not clear, that was a joke, not something I actually read about.

    Kizzie, yes and thank you, your comment about 20/20 was a little blurry to me. 😉

    RKessler, I’m glad you find the reports inspiring. My kids and students inspire me, but I’m afraid I go on and on in any post that has “piano” or “music” or something similar in the first sentence. 🙂 I guess people can (and probably do) scroll on past those tomes if they want.

    I am just glad my daughter is making a joyful noise to the Lord! She has certainly “come out of her shell” that she was in for most of her life before the last year or two. I enjoy seeing how God’s gift of music to all of us, in whichever capacity we appreciate/participate in it, opens up new vistas of joy.

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  27. Good morning, all. I am not lamenting 2020. For me, it has been a good year. I have enjoyed good family time. I have found a good online church body, helping me reconnect with thirty four year old. Things have gone askew but that happens every year. I am concerned for the next years and how life could change for so many.

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  28. The ones that sit on your desk allow you to keep all your paperwork nearby — I always have stacks of that I need to refer to in writing. We had stand up desk additions in our latest office but I have used the stacked book version at home — mostly I just try to get up a lot and take walking breaks, especially with this knee still bothering me if I sit and don’t move for too long

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  29. Here’s a fun read.

    How Judy Garland is to thank for a Christmas classic. 🙂 It would have been quite depressing without her input. 🙂


    “Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, the Christmas song we know now originally had very different lyrics. At this point in the movie, the Smith family is celebrating their last Christmas in their beloved St. Louis, as Mr. Smith has accepted a new position in New York City. Esther Smith (Judy Garland) sings to her youngest sibling, “Tootie” (Margaret O’Brien), to try to comfort her during this transition.”

    The original lyrics were as follows:

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas,

    It may be your last.

    Next year we may all be living in the past.

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas,

    Pop that champagne cork.

    Next year we may all be living in New York.

    No good times like the olden days,

    Happy golden days of yore.

    Faithful friends who were dear to us,

    Will be near to us no more.

    But at least we all will be together,

    If the Lord allows.

    From now on, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.

    So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

    Judy Garland objected to these lyrics, stating, “Margaret will cry, and they’ll think I’m a monster.” Martin went back to the studio and rewrote the lyrics.”

    Liked by 4 people

  30. Morning! So interesting about those lyrics AJ! I do like that song and when it comes to the line “if the fates allow”…I interject “if the Lord allows”…he should have kept that part!
    Chas I sense the same about where we will be as a nation in the coming years…our Lord has allowed this for a reason and I pray we prove to be faithful and steady as He leads us through the difficulties of it all….as my Mom always told us as we were little…… “keep marchin’”! 😊

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  31. I have been cooking this am for our meal with my brother. We may do my church service during drive time, if available. I am not sure how long it takes after it is over on Facebook Live for it to be available for replay.
    I made a sweet potato dish, cauliflower, a salmon souffle dish, and a fruity spiced gingerbread for dessert. Not totally vegan, but not a meat lover’s dream either. I sweetened the gingerbread with maple syrup and it is the only thing with sweetener in the meal. My brother made dressing, field peas, and maybe turnip of mustard greens. He might have gotten some Chik-fil-A chicken strips for his meat. I had not told him about the salmon dish.

    My neighbors just got home from wherever they went for Christmas. Funny to hear them, after a week, right when we are about to head out to do our Christmas.


  32. I woke up this morning with my ear clogged. I obviously needed to keep taking Mucinex every 12 hours instead of once a day. My hearing is diminished in that ear for the moment. I looked to see if that could be associated with Covid and it said it can be an after effect that is not too common. But is can be the after effect of a cold, too, that turns into an ear infection.


  33. Chas, I agree. And I believe God did will for the criminals to make the election go their way. I do know people who despise Trump and some who actually support Harris/Biden. But far and away, people supported Trump. What comes next will also be the will of God and we all need to keep oil in supply and lamps lit, living out the plans He has for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Something in my personality or temperament that I have become aware of over the past couple or so years is that I can become annoyed by. . . I can’t think of the word I am looking for, but it is close to pretense, being fake.

    The latest example: There is a young couple who have ministered at my church a few times. They sing and play instruments, and the husband preaches. In their promotional photos, one of them will be looking at the camera and smiling, and the other will be looking off to the side. Sometimes the wife is looking off, and sometimes the husband is doing the looking off.

    When I would see those photos on Facebook, before a visit from them a year or so ago, I felt so annoyed by those photos. Obviously they each knew that the photo was being taken, but one always looks like they just happen to be gazing off to the side (at about a 45 degree angle, maybe a little further off). It strikes me as so fake.

    So, this couple was going to be ministering at my church again last week. And what do I come across but a photo of the wife smiling sweetly at the camera, with her husband looking off to the side. I almost felt angry at it, but then felt guilty for feeling that way.

    That gazing off to the side, or pretending to be pensive, or gazing off into the distance, or whatnot is frequently used in photography for promotional materials or articles, and I always think, “Oh, come on! You know that your photo is being taken!”

    I am one who believes in giving people the benefit of the doubt and such, but those kinds of fake, pretentious (that’s the word I was looking for!) things annoy me. It can sound kind of funny, but I also pray to not have a critical spirit.


  35. I think those types of photos are “artistically” taken by a photographer aren’t they? I don’t believe they are supposed to be the type we take on our own which are more realistic…”look at the camera and say cheese”!! 😊
    Chas I agree that there seem to be more in our nation who despise Trump so much they would rather live in a socialist America. My neighbor is such a person. I don’t believe she fully understands how that will affect her life as well as our nation. She will soon see. I do trust our Lord has full control over what happens however. If He would not allow Biden to be President then it certainly would not happen…not that it would be His perfect will for us. Seems to me a people cried for a King and He allowed that to happen….

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I don’t think the majority of people who voted for Biden did so because they hate Trump so much they don’t care what happens to our nation. Many of them were distressed by Trump–they believed that Trump was very, very bad for our nation, and that someone else would be better.

    And honestly, Trump brought a lot of that on himself. He is so rude and so undisciplined that most of us couldn’t imagine hiring him for any managerial role at all–let alone the CEO position. I also think that he gets the blame for an awful lot of things that aren’t his fault, such as COVID and the riots and racial unrest this summer. But I think it’s a tiny minority who hate Trump so much that they vote for someone else even though they honestly believe the “someone else” is likely to be worse for our country.

    In fact, I have seen quite a few people writing that this election was super important if we wanted to keep democracy–because they saw Trump’s bombastic arrogance as being dangerous to the rule of law. I actually think they have a point.

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  37. Kizzie, there are a couple contrasting thoughts — one a dissent (or different perspective), one an affirmation — I have in regards to your 1:14. I’ll put them in separate comments so it doesn’t get massively lengthy.

    First my dissenting/differing perspective opinion:

    I don’t know of whom you’re speaking, but my first thought is that having promotional photos taken could be considered something of a performance art. And sometimes a performance artist’s appearance as he/she/they do part of their work can be difficult to relate to.

    As a classical musician, one thing I’ve learned is the importance of loosening up physically — to be able to move my body in natural ways as I sing or play an instrument. But for some who watch a classical performance with a relaxed performer who freely moves, they interpret the movement as snobby and perhaps designed to call attention to oneself. (Why not just sing or play without all that moving around?)

    I bring that up because what sometimes appears to be unnatural or off-putting to a viewer may in fact be quite natural to the art participants.

    Tying that back in to the promo pics you talked about, to me, seeing (in my mind’s eye) one performer looking at the camera while the other is looking away conveys a sense of movement in the image. It looks less stiff than everyone looking at the camera. By contrast, when one performer is looking away from the camera, I would find myself wondering what thoughts are going through his/her mind. That’s an exercise I find fascinating though I’d never learn the answer. Is that performer in “the zone” like one can be when lost in one’s art, not thinking, “Help! There’s an audience watching! Gulp!

    If I could digress a moment: I think back to a picture that used to hang in the house where my grandparents (and now my parents) lived when I was growing up. Down in the basement, on the wall to the right of the piano where I practiced every day, was a large picture, in a heavy mahogany frame, of my grandmother and her parents and siblings. Grandma was eight years old in that picture, IIRC, so it would have been shortly after the turn of the century — around 1902.

    Everyone was looking at the camera, and no one was smiling. That, of course, was the case with family photography in those days.

    Times have changed. How those photographic changes developed — sorry for the bad pun — over the years is something Michelle or another historian might answer for me. 😉

    And I would guess that photography as a performance art itself — capturing something other than the status quo — has had its own unique history.

    Anyway… this is long enough, and I’ll forgo a summary because I want to get on to my next comment… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  38. I wouldn’t like portrait photos that were always taken the same way, one person looking at the camera and one person looking away. But it would seem more likely that it is their photographer’s style than their own choice. Personally, I think there is a place for posed portraits. A large family reunion, for instance, will only get everyone in the same frame if they’re posed. And a bride on her wedding day might want to be posed to show off her makeup, hair, dress, ring, and/or flowers in just the right way.

    Overall, though, I prefer candid photos, and I try to take shots of people when they aren’t looking at the camera, and ideally when they don’t even know I’m taking a photo. I actually don’t like it at all that usually when I’m trying to take photos of people (especially children), they stop what they are doing and look at the camera and smile. And they do that because so many people have told them to do that through the years. But I’d so much rather get a photo of someone doing something, a natural pose. One of my favorite photos from last Christmas was of my younger daughter and my granddaughter (her niece) kneeling on the couch and looking out the window. Their backs are to the camera, but two of my favorite girls, one of them 16 months and one of them 25 years, are engaging in an action together, the simple act of looking out the window. You see a short toddler and a tall, lean young woman side by side, neither of them aware of the photographer. Their sizes are different, their attire is different, their poses are different, and their hair color is different–but they’re doing the same thing and doing it together. (It was the top right photo on the back of this year’s Christmas letter, for those of you who got that.)

    Liked by 2 people

  39. What Cheryl said in 10:45 and 3:11.

    If God does not ordain whatsoever comes to pass, he is weak, left wringing his hands that he couldn’t have done better in getting humans to act “better.”

    I don’t see that in the Bible.


    Interesting points made by Cal Thomas as well, but I suppose I should put that on the political thread, but since the issue was brought up earlier, here’s the link and an outtake:


    ~ … Last August, Trump was questioned at a White House press briefing about polls showing his popularity was declining. Asked to explain, he responded: “Nobody likes me. It can only be my personality. That’s all.” It was a rare moment of transparency for him.

    There is still a remnant of old-fashioned values my grandparents’ generation embraced and tried to instill in their descendants. One was not to belittle, demean, talk down to, or call other people names. Trump has consistently ignored that advice. While a large number of Americans still support him and the number who voted for him far outpaced any other Republican presidential candidate, or incumbent president, it wasn’t enough.

    The reason can only be his personality.

    Most Americans expect a certain amount of dignity emanating from one who temporarily holds our highest office. Could Trump have achieved all he has without the name-calling? I think so. At a minimum, he might have resurrected a quote from a man who knew plenty about enemies, all of them domestic.

    I have referenced Abraham Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address before, but it is worth remembering, even memorizing. At the dawn of the Civil War, Lincoln said: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

    Could such an attitude have delivered a second term for President Trump? It might have swung enough votes to him from people who place a high value on deportment.

    Republicans can continue to embrace Trump’s policies while getting behind someone without his baggage. Who might that be? My view of the perfect candidate is Vice President Mike Pence, who has been loyal to the president without the name-calling, while preserving his own personality, dignity, Christian faith and kindness.

    Republicans could do a lot worse than Pence, but not much better. ~

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Ah, I see some other comments came in while I was typing the above. NancyJill’s “Say cheese!” was something I almost wrote. 🙂 In any case, she spoke of artistry much more succinctly than I did. 😀

    After reading Chas’ 2:48, I have decided not to type what was going to be my second comment inspired by Kizzie’s 1:14. There are several things about someone in my church, the combination of which I find very annoying (and on one level, disturbing). But I’m not going to write about it now.

    Suffice to say that I struggle whenever I see this individual. So I know something of what you’re speaking of, Kizzie, when you say you pray to not have a critical spirit. Sometimes bad fruit is clearly evident in an acquaintance’s life, and we should be discerning about that. But in the big picture, we’re all missing some degree of context, too, and that should be considered as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Many people had “Trump fatigue,” weary of personal attack-politics, name calling and rudeness.


    Let’s debate the issues, understanding we won’t all agree all the time — but we need to respect the personhood of those who disagree with us as they, too, are made in the image of God. The personal attacks, fostered so much by the president, have helped to take us down what is a chaotic and mean-spirited road. Coming back from that won’t be easy, it may not even be possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Sigh. I do really wish politics would stay on the politics thread…

    Yes, I know, sometimes the political thoughts get intertwined with religious themes, and religion gets discussed on this thread. (Which is fine.) But very few of the comments about Trump on this weekend thread also mention religion.

    In the future, could a random political comment here please get copied and pasted over on the dedicated political thread so the ensuing discussion could be had over there? I for one would appreciate it, although I’m not here as much anymore, so maybe my opinion on that is less relevant than others’.


  43. Twenty four was bored so she and daughter went for a drive. Out passing around whatever they have.

    Anyway, back to God. God may have plans for ending this nation. And He may be using this chaos to bring it about. Or He may have plans for healing our nation and He may be using this chaos to bring it about. His plans are not what we would think up. I am trusting Him to do what He wills and know He will not be thwarted.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Mumsee, that is true — God has a purpose in all that comes to pass, we don’t always know what it is. We may not like what we’re seeing (we don’t), and it’s hard to keep and maintain that perspective. But we need to always bring that to mind when we look around and feel everything’s in desolation.

    Now, it could be that God is bringing about judgement in these events. That’s happened before, clearly.

    But we don’t really know that either. The church needs to stay faithful, keep our eyes on the 1st Commandment.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Excellent sermon today as I’ve been feeling the weight of this pandemic year and the loss of friends. I miss ‘in-person’ church but continue to be grateful for the virtual technology.


    “Something” is being done in all this. And how gracious God has been to his children through it all, really.


  46. A little better, thanks Nancyjill. Still a little sniffly and some coughing, not much — mostly tired, but that could really be just the work schedule that’s caught up with me at this point.

    6 arrows, Chas has always been a troublemaker. lol


  47. Heard physician from John Hopkins on Fox news today say that it’s likely 1 in 15 people will have had covid by the time we get through this surge — as he pointed out earlier also, that means those with natural immunity will combine with those who receive the vaccinations to (perhaps) provide that ‘herd immunity’ factor sooner than some are saying, perhaps in about 3 months.

    We’ll have to wait and see.

    LA is still struggling, number hit new highs every day, we haven’t peaked yet.


  48. Chas – No, I would not mention this to anyone at church.

    NancyJill and 6 Arrows – My comment was probably not clear that it was as much about my own reaction as to their poses. I do understand about being artistic in photography, but some rub me the wrong way, seeming – to me, at least – to be pretentious. And I do feel a little guilty for jumping to that conclusion and thinking that way.

    Cheryl – A candid photo, or one that approximated a candid photo, would have been good. But they are often photographed sitting or standing in such a way that it is obvious that they are posing for the camera. (And see my reply to 6 above this one. 🙂 )

    Really, my comment was more about “telling” on myself for getting so annoyed at something that really is quite common in promotional photography. It just rubs me the wrong way.


  49. Chas, our fearless leader. 🙂

    Kizzie, you were clear in your writing: I “heard” your this-is-as-much-about-my-reaction-as-about-their-poses meaning. I just thought writing from my perspective as a sometimes-unconventional performer — I once played in a trio where one player had to knock another player off the piano bench [That was my composer friend’s fault for writing the music and introducing it to me!] — might help you feel more comfortable with the sometimes quirkiness of musical ensembles. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Ads and promotional materials strive to be memorable even if in a negative way. They obviously have gotten their money’s worth with these irritating photos because they have done their job in being memorable. They are not just the typical photos. From what you said, Kizzie, I think they may invoke an out of balance feeling, a visual dissonance, and a type of disorder that does not go along with a Christian message involving our God of order. That would be the most disturbing part to me. They put artistic freedom above the message of God’s perfection and sense of order, especially in portraying a married couple in the ministry.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Elsewhere, I charged Gene Autry with inventing Rudolph.
    Gene didn’t invent Rudolph.
    Gene didn’t like Rudolph.
    Gene’s wife thought it was cute.
    So? Gene did it. I don’t think Gene was ever sorry.

    Liked by 2 people

  52. Waiting.On.God.
    My take on the politics. Waiting to see what He will do since He is not limited to that which we can imagine given what we see.

    On the photography, one thought I had was the possibility that the photographer might be suggesting that the one looking away is focusing on the unseen God.


  53. Getting up close to 100!

    We had a good get together with my brother. He said the peas he cooked were from a line of seeds dating back to the Civil War times. Interesting that people keep track of such things in farming communities. He had cooked some corn on the cob that he had grown and frozen. I was the only one who ate the salmon souffle. We enjoyed the variety of food, and all the head of cauliflower I cooked was eaten up.

    We had lots of small presents to open after the meal. Sure missed Wesley since he has always been there for that family tradition. My brother really liked the lined crocheted facemask I made for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Janice, it’s true that our God is a God of order, but He also builds creativity and variety into the world. The photo Kizzie describes could be seen as an example of the photographer’s and/or subjects’ God-given creative flair, or variation from what one might expect in a ministry’s promo material.

    We really can’t know that anyone involved in that photo shoot put artistic freedom above the message of God’s perfection and sense of order. God knows their hearts, though, and whether their motives honored Him.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Who’s on first? What’s on second? I Don’t Know is on third.

    I didn’t know there was a hundredth base, too. 🙂

    Janice, I enjoyed that photography article you linked at 7:08. I’m not a photographer, but that was an interesting read!

    Liked by 2 people

  56. I have always liked what Cal Thomas has to say. I agree that it was Trump’s personality that turned me off form the very beginning when he attacked every other GOP candidate in the 2016 primaries. Pence would definitely be a good choice.

    And Chas @7:18- of course you’re surrounded by females. A guy who looks like that handsome hunk Burt Reynolds is bound to have a coterie of females flocking around him.

    Of course, there are only 4 of us males who come to this thread,and many more females, so we’re always going to be outnumbered.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Speaking of photography and eye contact. . .Nightingale, Chickadee, and I took a selfie together on Christmas day. Nightingale and Chickadee each had their heads turned a bit at an angle, with their eyes turned towards the camera. After taking a couple photos, Nightingale tried to tell me that I shouldn’t be positioned straight at the camera as I was.

    I had to remind her that I cannot turn my eyes like they can, so I can’t angle my head (although I did tilt it a bit). I would love to be able to have my head turned at an angle, with my eyes turned towards the camera. That often looks very cute or pretty (depending on the rest of the facial expression). But nope, can’t do that.


  58. Kizzie, yes, I got that it was a posed photo. I was stating my own (usual) preference for more candid photos. The most current trend (or, last I saw anyway) in portraits is for them to be far less “formal” than in times past. For instance, you’re less likely to have everyone wear matching clothes and more likely to have an “on-location” shoot, and more likely to have everyone doing something. For instance, you might take a family of five and their dog to the beach at sunrise. One person is throwing a stick for the dog, and the dog is jumping for it. Another person is kneeling in the sand and making a sand castle, and one person is watching. Two others are running through the waves. Or whatever. Such a photo is impossible to take as one image and have it all turn out, so you’d take dozens or hundreds of photos and combine them to look like it’s all happening at once.

    One photo from Flickr last year that got lots and lots of attention was of a little girl running with autumn leaves falling around her. It looked realistic, but I knew it had to be faked simply because leaves don’t fall so poetically. Well, it turns out that the photo was taken in spring, but the artist wanted a “fall” palette, so she changed the colors to autumn colors and added the “falling autumn leaves” motif. That isn’t at all a “traditional” portrait, but it also isn’t capturing an actual moment in time. The results were beautiful, but they were more like what you would have done with a painting in the past, rather than faking it with a photo. I don’t like making a photo show what wasn’t there, personally. I don’t mind removing a branch that’s sticking into the photo in a distracting way or changing the brightness a little bit. And when my brother-in-law died, one of my brothers knew they didn’t have a family portrait with all five children (they might not have had one with more than one child, actually), so he took images of all seven of them from a wedding they had recently attended for his son, and through Photoshop he took just their family (not the extended family who was also in the group photo) and created a portrait that looked like they were all sitting together, just them, to have their portrait done. It was a thoughtful gift. But portraits of everyone sitting and looking at the camera are a bit of a rarity these days, in my experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. I met Cal Thomas at a pro-life conference one time. I’d forgotten I was wearing a name tag, so it took me by surprise for a second when, before I said anything to him, he said, “Hi, [my first name]!”

    Very personable fellow. He was pleased to hear that I was homeschooling, and spoke to me of how important it is to have journalists with a Christian worldview. He encouraged me to consider encouraging my kids in that direction.

    Well, none of my adult children has gone the journalism route, and neither will 5th Arrow, but 6th Arrow loves to write — albeit fiction stories at this point. We’ll see what comes of her interests and skills in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Last week/this week had/have no piano lessons. I start back on January 4th. Last week didn’t really seem like a vacation week, though. It was from piano, but at home we were finishing up the school term on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

    There were also orchestra rehearsals for the Christmas Eve service. And I did ALL my Christmas shopping on Sunday — except for my students, whose gifts I’d bought in November. Fortunately, I didn’t have to go to a bazillion stores to find family gifts; I found them all in one place, so that was a YES!!

    This week I’ve got my year-end business work to do, and I really want to read the library book I have checked out. Those things, plus some extra cleaning around the house, to satisfy that itch I always have at the end of the year to start out the new year in semi-pleasant surroundings — it’s never anywhere near perfect, but I like to try to aim for pretty at least somewhere in the house! — will occupy most of my time this week.

    I have two new students pending a January start, so things will get busier yet come 2021. My teaching schedule (availability outside my homeschooling hours) is almost filled now.

    Blessings to all of you as this year wraps up. What a year it’s been, huh?

    And may your 2021 be blessed, too. I won’t have time to be around here much unless the number of students I have decreases. (A number of my colleagues and I anticipate that might happen, once schools open back up. Several of our newest students have lessons at times they normally would be in school, as their virtual school day now only goes until noon. We might be able to keep those students at their current times, though, if the parents decide to homeschool after in-person schooling resumes in their districts, or if we private music teachers or our students’ parents advocate for early release of the children on their piano lesson days — something some of us are discussing, and which one of my students has already been approved by her school district.)

    Take care, everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Interesting, six, I remember when you had almost no students and we were praying for a new student or two.

    In other news, I have been wandering the world. I booked 12 hours at a transit hotel in Kuala Lumpur and an overnight at the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby. Interesting to figure out the Malaysian currency to see how much I was paying.

    Liked by 2 people

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