38 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-2-21

  1. Morning all. I managed to call my insurance company, but they say they need an actual receipt. So perhaps I will call the health clinic. Is it really worth it??

    Two days of school left, but both of those are half days, oh, but then I am tutoring in the afternoon. The other teacher was in the classroom with her dog this afternoon for an hour. I certainly hope I don’t react again to the dog.

    Not sure how to get a 3 hour drive away to get my tooth taken care of. And I am pretty sure it will take more than one trip.
    Life can get complex.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite an impressive header photo.
    It is the little things that bug me. Like the large roach in the shower and the ant next on top of the refrigerator. and then the fumes from what I used to kill them both.

    Morning Chas, I trust your day will be uneventful. These ants are so small you probably wouldn’t have noticed them.

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  3. Good morning! I just refilled the salt shaker. Random thought, I know. But as I was doing it, I thought about how much I enjoy doing things like that. And I thought I should be able to remember the last time I refilled it, but I couldn’t. Then I thought about when I refilled the hand soap containers in the bathrooms at the office, which I enjoyed doing, too, but I wondered since I was not there to do that this past season, did anyone have time to do that? It is the little things, Jo, that fill up our lives and thoughts. Good thing that God gave us His instructions as to what He wants us to keep our thoughts on!
    Onward to my church ladies ‘Bible study. It will be a smaller than normal group today since there will be another event for the ladies at church at the same time.

    It’s June and son does not know where he will be in August. Oh, the waiting!

    Good thing we all know where we will be for eternity.

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  4. Good morning. It’s very early for me to be up (been up since 5, already had my shower and was grateful, after reading Jo’s post, there was not a roach waiting for me there).

    I need to meet R, my gracious and strong neighbor, in about 45 minutes in the driveway with Cowboy so he can hoist him into the Baby Jeep for another ride to the vet’s office to get his pain treatment. They’re helping, but the results seem uneven to me, week to week. It’s been too long since our last appointment (last Thursday) so that may explain part of it. He seems to feel good otherwise; it’s just the stiffness. Don’t we know that feeling? Although I had a good day yesterday with the knee (the day before was not so good, I must have tweaked it somehow). The orthopedic MD is going to try a different kind of knee shot on me next time, probably in July or so after this latest cortisone shot wears off. It should last about 6 months, he says, rather than the current 3-month period the cortisone shots last.

    I have 3 stories lined up to work on for the rest of the week plus a harbor commission meeting Thursday morning. And tomorrow already is Thursday? It’s feeling like a very short week after having Monday off.

    Hope you can get to the dentist, Jo. That sounds uncomfortable — and a 3-hour drive is a long trip, especially if it needs to be repeated (and you’re right, it probably will); maybe he’ll let your sleep overnight on the waiting room couch in between appointments? πŸ™‚

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  5. Janice, you made me think — I believe the salt, pepper and soap containers are all currently fairly full. Of course, the cat always likes trying to knock them off onto the floor from time to time, but I usually catch her in time to thwart her flat-earth mission.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Morning! That is indeed an amazing photo up there! It reminds of me of the chaos happening out back yesterday when a hawk decided to make an appearance around the magpie nest. The magpies went on the attack and the squirrels, doves, bluebirds, nuthatches and finches went scurrying like we have never before seen…quite the flurry of activity!

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  7. Janice, your post reminds me of my reading in Ecclesiastes this morning. Enjoying your labor; it doesn’t get better than that.

    It will be the first day my husband’s jam group is back to the ‘home’ place. There will be many seniors we have not seen for many months. I know they have been looking forward to this day, too. They hadn’t even been allowed to visit in small groups since Covid began. It is a shorter jam and a different time and day, so we shall see how it all works out. This was supposed to just be a practice session time and evolved into full entertainment (in a relaxed fashion) for the residents. There are some very faithful fans and that is always nice for any performing group.

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  8. That menacing hawk should keep the riff-raff out of here today. Not that we have any.

    Little things matter, as they make up big things. Such as, there is no such thing as one roach.

    Today I get the minivan ready for a trip out west next week. Oil change and tire rotation time. No offense, NJ or RK, but there won’t be opportunity for a meet up, even though we’ll be in your “neighborhoods”.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. What! No offer to meet this year with my full schedule? I will have to decide whether to be offended or not. πŸ˜‰. I hope you and your lovely wife enjoy your trip.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Re the header: yes, I was that close to the hawk, or so it seemed. πŸ™‚ It’s a red-shouldered hawk, and you can even see its red shoulders. I would probably list it and the kestrel as the prettiest raptors to be found locally, except we hardly ever see a kestrel locally and never close enough for a photo. (We used to see them all the time up north, but too far away for whatever zoom I had at the time to get a good shot.)

    The red-shouldered hawk is our most common hawk here, or at least the one I see the most in the areas I walk. I’ve even stood in the doorway of our back door and taken photos of one in the tree a few yards outside, though I was even closer when I took this shot.

    Reading up about the species when I first got a good look at one down here, I read that they are quite a shy species . . . but they sometimes nest near people, and in that case they can get used to the presence of people and tolerate them. Well, I have seen one of them building a nest (she discontinued it), and I have seen pairs together several times, but I have yet to see an actual nest, but I know they nest around here, and the local ones are commonly on the trees next to a popular trail, so they have no choice but to get used to people, at least if they want to stick around. Initially I had a few times that I’d be photographing the bird from a good distance away, too far for a good shot, and it would fly (maybe just coincidentally, but hawks have very good eyesight, and it felt like a response to finding the hawk in the zoom lens). But then they settled down and got used to seeing me.

    I try not to spook my subjects, even insects if I can help it, but I especially don’t want to have a big bird like a hawk or a heron fly because of me–that takes a lot of energy, and it also takes the bird away from where it had chosen to rest or try to hunt. Still, when a hawk lands close to me or I walk by a tree and see a hawk in it, taking its photo does risk making it fly, so I try to take just a few shots and then move on so that it can see I’m not coming any closer and I’m not hurting it. In this instance, the hawk was very, very close to the trail. The trail actually has two parallel paths at this point (the trail used to be a railroad track, so the two paths are parallel like that, fairly close together, which is great if a lot of bicycles want to use one path); the hawk chose to land on an old railroad beam of some sort (a tall pole) that is in between those two paths and is covered with some sort of plant that grew over it. (In this shot you can see the plant but not the pole.) I took two or three shots, but there was a stick located in a bad place between me and the bird, so I walked past the hawk and turned around to take a photo from the other side, and two other people were coming along behind me, and that was just too much for the hawk, so it flew and I didn’t get a shot from the other side.

    I moved on and set up near the woodpecker I’ve been watching. This camera is actually my very newest one, and it has a super-long zoom lens, so I had it on a tripod to watch the nest high in a tree that is in a bad spot for the camera that just wore out or my other new camera; it needs the really long zoom of this one, and a tripod. Well, while I was there, the hawk flew by me, and back down the trail, and I suspected it landed on the same pole, or possibly one of the trees beside it. So I quietly walked back to where I could see it, and there it was on the pole, right out in the open and quite close. This time it didn’t fly, but I only took a few shots since I really didn’t want to spook it. I left with it still sitting there. I actually would have rather used the other camera, but I had the “big” one out, and it wasn’t a time to pack it away and get the other one out, so I used the one I had (without a tripod, since it was way too close to need it).

    Cameras: For those who care about such things, my first camera when we got married had a 14x zoom (which I ended up not liking much, since it just didn’t get sharp photos and it was too slow, but it teased me in being just close enough to being able to take photos of birds to make me want to get a camera that could photograph them), then I went to a 50x zoom that was a really good birding camera, then a 65x zoom (that’s the one I got not long before our move) that was even better. I had a four-year warranty on the 65x zoom, but it turns out it was with a scam company, and they don’t make the 65x zoom camera anymore, so when I wore it out I had to get something else. I ended up getting two new cameras, one with a 25x zoom but a bigger sensor, still in the Canon PowerShot line like all these others were. But a 25x zoom is officially way shorter than the zooms I’d gotten used to and I didn’t want to go “backward” in zoom length–it actually gets a decent zoom beyond that range, though. Anyway, I talked to my husband and he agreed it was OK to buy two cameras, since that would still be cheaper than getting a DSLR camera and lenses to put on it, and it would be lighter weight and meet my needs better. So we got the 25x zoom and we also got a camera in the Nikon Coolpix line, one with an 83x zoom. But the Coolpix 950 is a bit heavier than the Canon, and that zoom is too long to use without a tripod at full zoom. So the “big” one is one I’ll take with me when we go to lakes and other places where the birds might be quite far away. And I’ve carried it to the woodpecker nest, and two or three times I have set it up near my little local pond. But for everyday use, I usually only carry the smaller camera.

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  11. Which is why the quality of Cheryl’s photos is so much better than mine with a telephone . . .

    And, of course, you can’t get very far with the cord attaching it to the wall. πŸ˜‰

    No, my mini-12 is shocking us with how good the photos are.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Well, Michelle, there is some prejudice against photos taken with bridge cameras (like mine) by those with “real” cameras (DSLRs, cameras with interchangeable lenses). Last summer the theme on one of my groups on Flickr was macro photography. In that group, one of its elements is a monthly contest, wherein you can submit up to three photos taken on a given theme within that month. Well I was taking quite a few photos of insects by then, and had gotten quite good at it, and I happened to get three of the best macro shots I’ve ever taken in that month, including one that had a perfect yellow flower with two identical red insects (false milkweed bug) posed on the edges, and also a shot of a third-of-an-inch robber fly that showed the detail of its compound eyes, and I forget what the third one was. I’ve never won contests in that group, or even gotten second or third place, but I thought I would win that month for sure. No, I got one single point–one person gave me one third-place vote for the shot of the bright yellow flower with two pretty red insects.

    In my mind, cameras of any kind can take better shots than nearly anyone even dreamed of as recently as twenty years ago. With my bridge camera and a little snap-on magnifying lens, I have gotten shots of insects three or four millimeters long in which one can see all the little lenses of its compound eyes–the kind of stuff you could see only under a microscope when I was a child. Experts insisted that the only good field guides were ones with drawing, not photos, since photos couldn’t get good enough details of plumage and such. And now I can get really sharp detail of minuscule insects. Now, an insect that tiny, I’ll also get several shots that aren’t perfectly in focus (insects and leaves move, and it’s also really hard to hold a camera quite that still; also, the depth of field at that level is really, really tiny, so I might get its wing in focus in one shot, its eyes in another).

    I do understand, if one is trying to make a living through photography, with really expensive equipment, you don’t even want to acknowledge that an amateur with a cell phone or a bridge camera can get a shot just as good as you could get twenty or thirty years ago. But it’s true. Camera technology has come a long, long way.

    It’s also true that the most important thing isn’t your equipment, it’s how you use it. I have enough knowledge of insects that I can get within two to four inches of a dragonfly and get its close-up. I certainly cannot do that to every dragonfly I encounter, but I did it with two of them just this week. Knowing a creature’s habits well enough to get close (without scaring it), taking the shot, understanding lighting and composition, all matter at least as much as the equipment does. Yes, $15,000 in equipment would be able to get a better photo of that hawk, but not significantly better. Where the $15,000 in equipment shines is being able to freeze the action if the hawk flies off or catches a mouse. But you still have to know the animal enough to get the chance in the first place.

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  13. I was reading in Numbers about the original roadies. I have not thought about it before but they assigned people every detail as to what they were to carry when moving through the wilderness. Down to the tent pegs and such. But it makes sense.

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  14. Just after getting home from the vet trip I had to listen to a port meeting about a years-in-the-making development of an on-dock rail facility (which didn’t yield a story like I thought it would, at least not just yet). Now I’m trying to connect with an LA high school band leader who’s retiring after 34 years.

    I’m so tired, I would love to just curl up and take a nap. Getting up at 5 a.m. clearly doesn’t agree with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I just finished mowing, and was surprised by birds. Near where I sit on the porch are a few bushes. I had noticed a couple of days ago a bird’s nest in one. It has to be a cardinal nest because they were fussing at me for being near the nest. Then I saw a hummingbird at the oxalis really close by to the bush, and then one of the cardinals took off after the hummingbird. I have not seen a hummingbird here for some years so it was extra special. But it seemed to be more than a couple of cardinals so I was trying to figure out if they have guards in addition to mama and papa. Maybe Cheryl knows? It could have been the young learning to fly, but they seemed too big. Maybe mama and papa were performing magic tricks and making me think it was more than just them as they darted around.

    I have to post prayer requests from our Bible study now. There were only four of us this morning so it will be quicker than usual.

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  16. I allow you to take a nap, DJ! Get your pallet and find a good spot to snooze. Spring won’t be with us much longer so soon you can’t blame it on Spring Fever!

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  17. DJ, you made me think about that my high school band leader and his family lived in this house before I bought it. They had made a trade up for another home owned by a builder so the closing was with that builder’s wife whose name the house was in so if anyone sued the builder they could not take the property. I was always feeling a little strange at first when I bought the house that a family of five had lived in. I thought about how noisy the house would have been with them (3 teenagers) and a band instructor.

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  18. Donna. I wish I could help. I really do.
    I’m just sitting around looking for something.
    All I have is nothing
    I have lots of that.

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  19. I keep telling God that i’m tired of this place.
    He doesn’t take the hint.
    Mel (You don’t know him. friend I met in 1952. Married Elvera’s sister.)
    All my generationis gone but me.

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  20. I started reading this new book for review, When Your Voice Became Mine, about a girl who died from cancer at age 10. Her mother wrote the book. The first lines of the Preface read, “Time is such a fragile commodity. When someone we love passes away, we want the whole world to stop moving and acknowledge what truly matters at that moment ‐‐ but we also want time to fly so we don’t endure another day without our loved ones.”

    Thinking of the Fellowship of the Blog and what those words mean to some here.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Take a proxy nap for me, Chas

    I did have to get to the credit union to get some cash out to put into my checking account, so that quick drive really helped wake me up a little bit. I also stopped in at Office Depot, which is right next to my bank’s ATM, for a printer ink color I was out of and more copy paper; I also picked up a gigantic package of Bounty paper towels while I was there — didn’t plan on getting those but I’m almost out of paper towels here and they had them on sale at Office Depot.

    Office Depot is one of those retailers that’s probably raked in a lot of extra business with so many people now working from home and having to buy their own printer, computer and desk supplies.

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  22. Janice, most birds are the same size as their parents when they leave the nest or very close to it. Some are actually bigger than their parents–I think I have read that that is true of eagles. Basically they have been fattened up before leaving the nest so that they have some time to learn hunting. Young animals can also be fluffier than their parents and thus look bigger even if they aren’t.

    As for cardinals, look at the birds to see the color of their beak. If it’s orange, it’s an adult bird; if it’s black, it’s a juvenile. Male juveniles may be getting scattered red feathers in soon after leaving the nest, and they can have quite an interesting look.

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  23. A feature I have, and like, is the TV set will tell what the source of a phone call is. I don’t answer the phone if it is from a 202 area code.

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  24. I remember having that feature, Chas — I guess with the landline which was connected to the same cable service? Now I just have the cell and that’s always within reach so I can see the name or number of who’s calling, the TV is no longer involved.

    A mosquito just buzzed my left ear. Argh!

    I’ve now spread repellant cream over any skin that’s exposed (which isn’t much as I’m in sweats with a long-sleeved sweatshirt. I’ll have to make sure to put some on before I go to bed, too.

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  25. I do my chores and lawn work in the morning until eleven, then start again around three. The in between time I usually spend out under the trees, talking with children (they do school outside in the summer), husband or reading a book (The Two Towers). But I also have a hammock set up and it beckons me for a brief snooze every afternoon. Usually less than twenty minutes but at least ten and then I am fine.

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  26. Sounds heavenly, Mumsee! The cloud cover allowed me to mow when I usually am not out there. And that allowed me to view the bird show. Now I know when to find the birds super active.

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