51 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-26-21

  1. Hello little tree rat. Many years ago my dad was “babying” his pecan tree. The squirrels loved it. That tree was their own personal buffet. Daddy had a BB gun and sat on the deck shooting squirrels. For Christmas one year my mother/father-in-law gave his a can of hairspray with a label that said it was Squirrel Repellant. The whole situation was known as Jimmy versus The Squirrels. I have the BB gun and taught BG how to shoot it.

    Yesterday I took another photo of the planter I have for R and sent it to her. I told her it was from the boys and me and asked what she wanted me to do with it. I am taking it to the church this morning and based on our texts I will go dressed to attend the funeral and will go from there. I have decided going or not going is more about me than it is about her. She did drive from Virginia to my father’s funeral. It. is repayment for that kindness.

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  2. Good morning. Old Coots’ Club. My husband used to be a regular there. A group of three to twelve men getting together down at the store. Sat around for an hour or so, drinking coffee, reading the paper, solving the world’s problems. Some were married, some were widowed. All were looking to share some time together and know that somebody cared. My husband was about the youngest attendee, and when the older ones (including our World War 2 vet) died, it dissolved though I suspect more groups have cropped up.

    When he goes to Kamiah for the highway district meetings, he joins a group down there. Same thing. A bunch of old guys, enjoying each other’s company, solving the world’s problems. Saying hi to the passersby, spreading good cheer, and receiving the same.

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  3. My dad did the same thing after they moved to the more rural area an hour from here. There was a neighborhood store/gas station where the older men gathered to drink coffee and talk. It was how my dad found friends in his new community. I think many of the men had served in the armed forces so they were accustomed to gathering in groups of men like that. My mother found her way into the ladies’ community quilting club. I was happy that they each found their path to social connections both in the church and outside of the church. I don’t think where we live now has anything like that going on, but the area around Art’s office had a restaurant a hop, skip, and jump from the office where the local good seeming folks gathered for breakfast and chat. We ate there a good bit and it was the perfect place for eavesdropping. It has gone out and others have not brought that ambiance back.

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  4. Yes, there are always old coots clubs in our restaurants as well. My dad and mom got into bowling when he retired. They joined a senior club and lunch was included. My mom knew my dad needed something to do for just plain fun. He never stopped working except for cat naps which he was an expert on. I always envied him that ability to just really nap hard for a few minutes and then get up and go again.

    When my dad died in the middle of the night and the law enforcement came out to the house, one noticed my dad’s rifle propped up against a dresser near a window. He also noticed the screen was out of the window and rightly surmised my dad shot at squirrels from the window. He suggested the rifle be put back in the cabinet where it belonged. He fed the birds all year round, so the squirrels were plentiful.

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  5. Chances are there are other older men who would love to go out to breakfast or lunch with someone, Chas. I would sure be in prayer about it.

    We have wolf trapping on and off depending on the political climate. Certain people seem to worship the wolf and it is always a battle between them and the farmers whose cattle is lost to the wolves. The government is supposed to compensate, but never really do. Mostly, the wolves like bears, will avoid humans. There is no guarantee with wild animals, however. We mostly just go about our business. Who can worry about every cougar, lynx etc. out and about?

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  6. That is good news.

    Son did not write the paper he was told to write, on a book he was told to read. So, he is out moving the compost pile to around the trees. But somebody put newspaper in the pile to decompose. Some of it has, some has not. He is reading the newspaper. He is reading!

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  7. My daughter was five-years-old the first time she noticed, or perhaps even saw, a squirrel. (They don’t have squirrels in Hawai’i where she spent years 1-5).

    “Who does it belong to?” she cried in delight. “Who feeds it? Look at it jump!”

    Well, the same God who feeds the birds. 🙂

    (Or, those who have bird feeders in their yards!)

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  8. ah, a glorious “day off.” Work feels so much like a grind lately that taking even a 1-day break for a long weekend feels wonderful. I’ll plan to take a full week maybe in June, before the heat arrives, and get up to visit K in the Valley. She just had her first (in 15 mos) “full hug” visit with the grandchildren over the weekend, she’s on Cloud 9.

    The gardener comes today, I’ve left his monthly check in a “Thank you!” envelope on the patio as is our custom. Picked up the overnight dog messes so he won’t have those to avoid in the backyard.

    I’ll have to check out my neighbor’s project today, he was busy with it all weekend. He’s building a ramp at their side gate (which borders my driveway) in preparation for getting his wife (who’s still recuperating from the stroke) home in another week or so. She’ll have to be in a wheel chair but she also is coming home with a couple walkers so she can hopefully begin to transition. I hope she can hire someone to clean house, that’s her daily passion (she has the cleanest house I’ve ever seen). It’ll make her crazy if it doesn’t look spic and span. I imagine there will be a fair share of frustration for them both going forward for a while.

    The ramp will help get her wheeled around what is a rather tight corner — their house is a big challenge as it has front steps like mine and the side gate area is fairly narrow. I will make arrangements to give them free use of my driveway whenever needed so they can drive up to the side gate more easily. But I doubt she’ll be going out much at first.

    Building a driveway entrance on the other side of their house can’t really be done as their property sits in the edge of a canyon where there’s a big drop off.

    Depending on the Covid situation in NC, I’m all in favor of Chas enjoying a breakfast out with the guys from church once or twice a week (at least!). There’s got to be a group already doing that. Are there any home study groups in the church that might provide info on something like that, or maybe just keep your ears open in SS, “chat up” one of the other guys one Sunday? Our church sponsors an all-men’s breakfast once a month, but that’s more of a church event. There must be a few of the older men who are retired getting together at the local diner?

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  9. The squirrels in my yard enjoy playing in the mornings — after the dogs have gone back to bed.

    That’s a very cute critter up there in the photo. I like squirrels, they’re quite funny to watch, real acrobats.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My father used a rifle to shoot the squirrels in his pecan tree. I think he was the only one around who did that in the vicinity (country boy in the city). I switched bedrooms with my brother so I ended up with the shotgun inside my bedroom over the door. I knew from a young age how that thing kicked so I had no desire to use it, but I thought it was pretty funny to have it in my bedroom.

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  11. I’ll confess that hunting is something I never personally could do unless driven by absolutely need. I can’t even watch hunting scenes in movies; I’m not opposed to it in situations of necessity, but I personally could never pull a trigger on something that wasn’t actually physically threatening me or my animals — or I didn’t need it for food. (And I’d have no clue how to turn anything like that into dinner anyway! I’d have to call mumsee.)

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  12. From today’s Streams in the Desert:

    More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things – indeed, I regard them as dung! – that I may gain Christ (Phil 3:8)

    Shining is always costly. Light comes only at the cost of that which produces it. An unlit candle does no shining. Burning must come before shining. We cannot be of great use to others without cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering. We shrink from pain.

    We are apt to feel that we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong, and able for active duty, and when the heart and hands are full of kindly service.

    When we are called aside and can only suffer; when we are sick; when we are consumed with pain; when all our activities have been dropped, we feel that we are no longer of use, that we are not doing anything.

    But, if we are patient and submissive, it is almost certain that we are a greater blessing to the world in our time of suffering and pain than we were in the days when we thought we were doing the most of our work. We are burning now, and shining because we are burning.
    —Evening Thoughts

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  13. The only time my mother fired a gun she got a bloody nose… No one had warned her apparently.
    My father, in his youth, would take the family shotgun when he went into the surrounding forest on the chance of encountering some game. I don’t think he ever shot anything. In later years, his mother decried how dangerous it had been for him to do that, but she wasn’t referring to him carrying a gun. The forest he frequented was pocketed by what they called plaster pits. The geology of the area had huge gypsum deposits, and underground water streams hollowed out areas of the gypsum until sinkholes formed to create the pits. My father had occasionally seen deer trapped in the pits, which is why he carried the gun. But, at any moment during his wanderings, another sinkhole could have opened up underneath him. That is what horrified his mother in retrospect.

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  14. We practiced target shooting in the gravel pits at my mother’s old home farm property. That is the only place that I shot a shotgun. We had a great place to set up tin cans and bottles with a large clay and rock background to catch bullets. This was in an area where the county had dug out gravel for use in road paving. Our target practice was fully supervised by my father. It was fun. I was not a real tomboy but at times like those I felt I could understand being one.
    There was also kaolin in that area which my brother and I would dig out and make little mini pots and vases from. I loved doing that. That was the kind of thing we did when we explored without my father’s supervision.

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  15. Chas, do you have an e-reader or a “tablet” — an iPad, a kindle device?

    Those are very easy to operate and I use mine almost exclusively for book reading (and you can enlarge the type as needed on the screen).

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  16. I also use mine for evening devotions via apps I have saved. Some are audio delivered so I can just lie there before turning out the light and listen with my eyes closed; others are brief passages (Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening for example) you can read on the screen.

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  17. The only time I fired a gun was at the local LAPD police shooting range for a story I was doing. I missed the target and the kickback nearly sent me flying to the ground. I remember wondering where the bullet went, hoping it didn’t somehow fly over the fence and hit someone as the range is on a fairly busy street.

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  18. Heard from the care facility, they’re going to drop Carol’s things off on my porch, woman I talked to said she needed to come to our area to see someone else so she’d just hand deliver it.

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  19. DJ, I was offered the opportunity to shoot at the Boy Scout shooting range once when we had to pick Wesley up early from a campout weekend. I declined. I think they were shooting skeets. I knew I would look like a fool. I can’t imagine shooting at a police range, lol.

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  20. Chas, I agree with what DJ said about the Kindle. The Paperwhite Kindle works well, but your phone will work, too, with the Kindle App. You can make the print giant if needed.

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  21. I haven’t heard about the Kindle before. I may try it when LindaS gets back.

    Strange thing: I stopped going to SS & church about a year because of Elvera;. when she died, I went back. Everything had changed. There was no men’s class anymore. In fact, there were about twenty men and women in a new class. None of whom I knew. I still know only a few who sit close to me.
    And we (church) doesn’t meet in the church. We meet in a multi-purpose room with chairs spread out.
    Nothing is the same as it was
    But the Gospel hasn’t changed.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I say the Gospel hasn’t changed. but an unsaved person who walks into our church would be confused by the arrangement.
    First problem. He doesn’t have a reservation. but he would be seated. but the mention of “reservation” might be confusing.

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  23. That squirrel is in our condo development, so it’s about “a block” away. We are on the younger side of residents in here (though our next-door neighbor is still working age, probably a bit younger than we are), and several of the residents feed birds, so we have a fair number of fox squirrels that may have spent their entire lives in these few square blocks and had a good life at that, and that aren’t very afraid of people.

    This one was on a tree when we went by. I took its photo on the side of a tree, and because I was looking at the photo I failed to see it jump (my husband saw it jump), but I did see it land inside the hole it had jumped into. Initially we saw tail, then it turned around and its head was framed by its tail, and it even looks like it has a beard on its chinny chin chin.

    This photo is my second most popular on Flickr. I looked up fox squirrels after seeing it in its hole, and found that they nest in holes in the winter, in dreys (nests that look rather like birds’ nests) in the summer, that females generally have two litters per year (averaging three pups if I remember correctly) and that typically one litter is born in the nest hole and one in the drey. I’ve looked at this hole each time we’ve passed it since, but haven’t seen any babies. I don’t know if this is a male or female squirrel, but I have seen a squirrel in that hole four additional times. Once I could only see fur, but three additional times I’ve seen (and photographed) a face at the entrance.

    I keep checking holes in other trees hoping someday to see a coon or an owl looking back at me, but so far I’ve had to content myself with multiple sightings of this cute squirrel. The most recent sighting was the day after our overnight snow, and that day it had its tail wrapped around it again.

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  24. I think everyone’s used to reservations as a result of covid protocols – and, as you say, if a visitor shows up they’ll find a place for them. We’ve dropped reservations at our church, but our covid numbers also are extremely low now & the vaccine is now available. That’s changing things in some significant ways, and that will continue, but we’re not out from under it quite yet.

    Outdoor settings are still the safest place to be, by far. Sounds like mask requirements might even be eased up for outdoor environments in the near future.

    All my books are on my kindle (really the iPad, but same idea, but I do also have a Kindle paper white also as it’s smaller, lighter and easily portable).

    You order the devices & the “books” via Amazon/Kindle. Just like magic, the books appear on your device in your personal ‘library’ within a minute.

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  25. So I stayed for the funeral. I found R’s cousin Wm and her daughter found me. We spoke for quite a while, then R’s brother came over to me. I asked him, “Do you know who I am?” He said he knew exactly who I was and hugged me. I had not seen him since I was about 14 years old.
    There were many wonderful things said about R’s dad. One who spoke was his stepson. He said when he was a young man he was angry at his stepfather and was a real brat about it. He was going to dinner at their house and his stepfather met him at the gate angry at him and at something his father had done to his mother. Stepson said you are talking about my dad. Stepfather, clinched his jaws together and asked for forgiveness. Stepson said he never knew a man could control his anger and apologize until that moment. He stood there and cried and told the whole church how much he loved his stepfather.
    The funeral ended with The Far Side Banks of Jordan…you know that got me.
    One of the ministers read this story that I had to find and share with you

    https://www.sermoncentral.com/sermon-illustrations/5500/charles-e-fuller-once-announced-that-he-would-be-by-gene-barron

    WordPress.com / Gravatar.com credentials can be used.

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  26. Oh, my Word Press credentials, yes, I seemingly have many of those.

    Glad you were able to be there, Kim, I’m sure the family appreciated that.

    I’ve rearranged and cleared off 1/2 of my kitchen counter space, repositioned some canisters I’m not really using anymore; and I cleaned out the medicine cabinet. Lots of old makeup and expired tubes of various topical medications = gone. All those manual toothbrushes I keep bringing home from my dental appointments? In a ziplock bag now in the hall closet. You never know … But now they’re not stacking up and cluttering up the top shelf of my already-very small (but cute!) medicine cabinet.

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  27. What else can I do today?

    A) Buy flowers for the porch?

    B) Plant some of those nasturtium seeds I bought from Amazon a couple weeks ago?

    ?

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  28. Now that I can do heavy loads of laundry, and it had gotten so backed up, I will be sore from toting baskets full of wet laundry to the dryer. It’s always something. I need the exercise so I am grateful for the practical weight bearing use of my muscles.

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  29. Strange:
    You can’t say “colored woman” anymore.
    The correct way is to say
    “Woman of color”
    I don’t know what the difference is, but it seems to be significant.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. And up here in Canada, I’ve shot many, many guns – from revolvers to shotguns. The big guns aren’t really fun – too much kick, but a .22 or a small handgun are fun 🙂

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  31. Of all my siblings, Youngest was the only one to get her gun license and own a gun. She never went hunting with it, just range shooting. I don’t think she has it anymore. She also had throwing knives which she practiced at using a homemade target – I practiced with it a few times myself. She and Second once went on a paintball outing with a bunch of peers from the church program they met their future husband’s at. Youngest won, having some innate strategical talent – she played a pretty good game of chess too. She had considered the military as a career choice at one point. Now she is the mother of five under the age of eight, with one on the way.

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  32. I use the Kindle app on my Ipad all the time. Most of the time, I review the Internet from Ipad–including this website which is why my spelling seems so atrocious. (It’s hard to type on these keyboards and Apple gets a chuckle out of miscorrecting words, apparently.)

    I like my Ipad even better than my phone and highly recommend reading on it for all the reasons DJ mentioned.

    My husband reads on his Kindle–it’s the size of a paperback book–and works beautifully. You can get a lot of classics free for it, too.

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  33. My friend Florence has a new Chromebook since her iPad died. I was able to talk her through getting on Bible Gateway so she can compare wording on Bible memory verses to see which version would be easiest to memorize. We were both proud of ourselves for getting it worked out over the phone. I’ve felt out of sync somehow with some other people lately, but as always she made me think I can be helpful to someone. It seems that with people getting busier in life lately at least in this area that people get easily frustrated with each other (and that is not the right way to put it). Maybe there is an undercurrent of unexpressed frustration because it is nothing said but rather a feeling.

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  34. My older friend Norma had “flunked” out of computer night school, she’d completely given up on ever being able to use the Internet.

    Then a family in church who had gotten close to her also bought her an iPad. Voila! She took to it with just a few one-on-one lessons by their college-age son and she was off and running, playing Solitaire, doing puzzles — and sending me emails.

    I later heard that iPads were highly recommended for computer beginners, especially old folks, as the easiest way to get access.

    Yes, the online keyboard is awkward — even harder than the phone sometimes as it’s larger and my thumbs are short! But I, too, use the iPad to peruse the Internet at the end of the day, it basically stays on my bedside table.

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  35. I wish I’d gotten more accomplished today, but I did get a few things done. Doing some laundry tonight. It’s back to work tomorrow, I wish that weren’t so, I am just feeling burned out by it all right now. But it’ll be a “short” week for me, tomorrow’s Tuesday already and the weeks already just go really fast.

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  36. I think there is lots of stress on everyone these days.
    Even me, and I aint doing nothing.

    Good evening Jo. Good morning everyone else.
    Off to breakfast. Today’s thread may be up when I return.

    Liked by 1 person

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