34 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 6-3-21

  1. It is a lovely start to our day in the forest. Cool temps, no rain and sunshine! Plantings are finally starting to emerge but no flowers yet…such a late Spring around here….and it’s almost summer!
    I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder but that bird up there is not beautiful!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good morning! Yesterday I got to see the header on the Reader app but today the header does not show. I wonder why the difference?

    It’s really muggy here. I sweated from just sweeping in the carport and it is not hot out.

    I want to check out that nest later. There is never morning activity which I don’t understand. Do the baby birds sleep in the mornings? I heard doves cooing when I was out sweeping. Sweet.


  3. Sunny here. We have a robin’s nest in a transom window. Four little ones in a tiny nest. I got some pictures yesterday of the dad feeding them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I had one of those dreams again about the big extra (almost gothic looking) room with a huge stone fireplace discovered attached to my house (sometimes it’s at the top of a newly discovered staircase and is a mysterious new second-story I find on my house; other times it’s just a newly spotted ‘wing’ somewhere on the back of the house). My reaction is always the same, “Oh, look!”

    There’s a well written story in the LA Times today about a local man who went the distance with Covid, survived, but endured some hard losses:


    Political journalism may have its problems right now, but the craft practiced as it should be still lives on.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. And of course we need rain. But GA can keep that heat and humidity.

    We’re June Gloomy again this morning, enfolded in our marine layer that will burn off and produce sunshine but still just high-60s temps later today.


  6. We’ve needed rain badly, too. The pond where the heron is standing in the header photo was reduced to one big puddle; the frogs would try to hide, but not very successfully, and baby turtles would gather around its edges. And the green heron would come to the front of the pond, within 10 feet or so of me (yes, I sent AJ some photos) and collect all he could eat in a few minutes. (I saw it make three catches within six or seven minutes once, and there is also a possibility it got a small item or two I never even saw, because if it’s small enough it simply swallows it outright.)

    Anyway, it rained most of the day yesterday–the pond was full again by evening, I checked–and it’s raining quite hard right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love great blue herons. Sometimes they’re beautiful, and sometimes they’re not. They’re very skilled hunters; I’ve watched them stalk and catch prey, and I’ve watched them simply wait in the shallows and then make a strike, and I’ve seen video of one stalking through the grass and then catching a squirrel. Someone on Flickr posted a lovely photo of one, but she called it a “wicked” bird, because she saw it raid a nest and lunch on all the fledglings. They also can push smaller siblings out of their nest; since the parents won’t feed any heron that isn’t inside its own nest, that little one is left to starve. Predation this side of the fall is an ugly thing–but it also genuinely is part of the balance of nature. Rabbits are cute, but their purpose in life seems to be taking vegetation and transforming it into protein in their bodies so that other creatures can eat them and get protein. And butterflies are beautiful and also helpful pollinators–but their caterpillars would destroy everything green if birds weren’t flying around seeking out caterpillars to feed their young.

    Great blue herons are the most patient bird. I’ve watched one stand in the same spot, seeming not to move at all, for an hour. When they stalk through shallow water, they look like they have been filmed in slow motion; they move each foot forward very slowly, insert it into the water very gingerly so as not to splash, and likewise move their body and neck almost imperceptibly forward. But when they strike, it’s snake quick. Still, like all hunters, they miss a lot.

    They are almost as tall as an adult human (up to four and a half feet) but only weigh five to six pounds. They are fairly plentiful in Indiana as we have a lot of water. When we lived up north particularly, it was very common to see one in flight as we drove somewhere or to see it in a pond or even a drainage ditch. If I were able to vote for Indiana state bird, I’d vote for this one.

    (We have thunder, so goodbye for now.)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. We’re ginning up enthusiasm for fire season–three months early!

    Lots of discussions on the Sonoma County Firestorm page about what to do to prepare, etc. I posted this blog post and 60 people have read it since last night. Sigh for us, I suppose it’s good for me. https://www.michelleule.com/2015/09/21/preparing-your-life-for-a-fire/

    A fire map yesterday showed most of northern CA red, as in firefighters expect bad fires. You heard it here–for the 900th time.

    I prayed about fear the other day and realized as long as my family and friends are okay, everything else is just possessions. I’ve got scanning to do and I’d miss a few family heirlooms, but everything else, well, possessions, houses, cars, are just tools for God to use through us.

    I’ve always felt that way about cars. I want one that runs and is reliable. That fits all the family members. I can’t really tell that much of a difference between the drive of a reliable car and a Tesla.

    Okay, the Tesla is quieter–which is another problem for absent-minded pedestrians and simple-minded people who can’t tell if the car is turned on or not. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yesterday, Janice asked about what we are reading, but I didn’t get around to commenting yesterday. So here is my answer:

    Last evening I finished reading Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie. Before that one, I had read Massie’s Peter the Great (for the third time over 25 or so years) and Catherine the Great. In between each one, I brushed up on the tsars who reigned between those reigns on Wikipedia.

    Nicholas sounded like a decent, kind, and gracious man whose reign came at a tumultuous time. Knowing that he and his family would be massacred, I cried when I would read about them ignoring the growing revolutionary furor or delaying plans to leave.

    This morning, I started reading Shackleton’s Forgotten Men: The Untold Tragedy of the Endurance Epic by Lennard Bickel.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Although from 2018, this piece came up in my daily Smithsonian email yesterday:

    A Century Ago, the Romanovs Met a Gruesome End
    Helen Rappaport’s new book investigates if the family could have been saved


    Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve seen this post? https://www.michelleule.com/2014/08/18/romanov-family/

    I read Peter the Great when my first child was born. I’d sit nursing him, turning the pages of that enormous book. As long as he nursed, I read.

    It became a pattern. My children nursed a long time . . . 🙂

    I wrote Robert Massie a letter and he graciously replied and sent greetings to another naval officer (who, of course, was not home at the time).

    Oh, look, another blog post: https://www.michelleule.com/2012/10/04/thank-you-the-massie-family-of-writers/

    I also loved their book Journey, about their son with hemophilia (which was the reason they became so interested in the Nicholas and Alexandra story). My mom read it too, and we were both taken aback when her brother was diagnosed with hemophilia.

    We, at least, already knew all about it.

    That son, Robert K. Massie Jr. has gone on to be the longest-lived HIV+ person.

    Except, he no longer has it. His liver was damaged by HIV+ and hepatitis and some 15 or so years ago, had a transplant. New liver, and to the shock of ALL, it cured his hemophilia.

    I’m not sure about HIV+. Fascinating story on PBS’ NOVA.

    And now I really ought to do some real work. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I know

    There are lots of suggestions. But nothing beats leaning back in your chair reading a book.
    Without help, except your eyegrasses.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Recently I read all the James Herriot books, in order (I had to buy a couple to do so, since generally I would have simply picked one up at the library, unless I happened to see it in a used-book store) and a biography of him written by his son. But right now most of my reading time is taken up by research for this enormous book project that has to be completed this month.

    Our church’s bicentennial is coming up this year, and I was hired to put together a book about it. What’s funny is that I gave price quotes for printing to the committee, and they were surprised I gave them quotes for 150 pages and for 200 pages–they somehow expected something shorter. But it’s taking massive amounts of research (thank God that so much is now digitally available–my husband has spent this week digging through 100 years of the denominational magazine and sending me screen shots), and I’ve even been out with my camera taking photos. But we have found such wonderful gems as the wedding announcement for a couple in our church who married more than 70 years ago and the photo of one of three people buried in our church cemetery who were born into slavery. We have a biography of our first pastor written by his son, which includes a few details on the Underground Railroad (which that pastor and several elders participated in). It’s the biggest project of my career so far (not necessarily the best paid; that one is a tie between two or three), and at this point it’s becoming fun, but also a crazy amount of work. I’m sure Michelle can relate!

    I sort of hate being tied to my desk in June, my favorite month of the year, but two days of rain in a row would have kept me in anyway. 🙂 I will get out here and there, but not as much as a normal June. (I also have a project for a publisher, but a smaller one and with a later deadline than this one.)

    So that’s my reading right now, and my writing, and even my photography. Insane, but I hope the results are good.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. My brother worked on my sink again, and had another wrong part so went to the store. He seems to have gotten it working again. He had some of my bean lomein for lunch and seemed to enjoy it.


  15. Cheryl – Funny you should mention James Herriot books. I have five of his books. I used to have six, but one seems to be missing. 😦

    What was the name of the biography by his son? I would like to read that.

    PBS’s Masterpiece produced new episodes of All Creatures Great and Small this past January, which I very much enjoyed. That had me thinking that I would like to re-read the Herriot books sometime soon. I should start that when I finish the book I am on now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m reading along, Cheryl, thinking,”Oh, this would be so much fun!”

    I’m supposed to be doing the same for my brother’s surprise party the end of the month. He’ll be 60, so not that many years. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Last day of school today. Listening hoping to hear my friends heading out to their village on a helicopter to deliver 35% more of the New Testament in book form. They go on furlough next week so this is their last chance to celebrate with the people. Last week’s journey got rained out.


  18. Yes, Chas, Kizzie is right. I use to use beef but now I use garbanzo beans, also known as chick peas, in place of the meat. Everyone seems to like it. The garbanzos and all soak in some light soy sauce so are nicely flavored.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I am still amazed at how we have adapted to meatless. I never would have imagined it! We still have eggs and I also have yogurt. Occasionally I make dressing and use chicken broth for that. Other than that we don’t use animals for food sources.


  20. Chas, haha. Yeah, Iowa menus were pretty predictable — meat, potatoes and a vegetable (which often was — or included — corn, usually corn on the cob).

    I actually don’t eat much meat anymore, though it’s not on purpose necessarily.

    Just checked and I still need to get trash cans out. I was thinking Memorial Day might be one of those days that pushed LA collections back a day, but it’s not.

    Busy day at work, 2 port stories.

    Cowboy had me worried last night, his back seemed to give out at one point and he looked awful, but it resolved itself by bed time and other than letting him out at around 1 a.m. he slept through until noon today. He seems back to his “new” (slower) normal today, thankfully, and is following Tess around, barking at random things they see through the windows.

    Their last vet receipt put them at 14 yrs old, I was thinking they were 15 (though I think their BDs are both in the fall or late in the year, at least on the vet records).

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I can’t remember the last time I had corn on the cob, although several years ago I was making some using a nifty microwave dish that cooked them perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I have a dove. I don’t know what to do with it. If it lives, it will probably become a pet. It seems healthy but it only has one wing. It appears to have very recently survived a hawk attack. It is outside in a rabbit cage talking to its family. If it was loose, it would be talking to the cats and the conversation would be short. It seems to be named Shalom.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Kizzie, it’s The Real James Herriot by Jim Wight. My husband hasn’t read the Herriot books, but we heard several high recommendations for the BBC series and watched it, and that got me to dig out the books and order the ones I didn’t own. I think I’d read them all, but not specifically in order before. (The order doesn’t matter much, though, and apparently he fictionalized when some things happened anyway.)

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Keep it caged Mumsee. No matter what it says. It can’t survive on the outside.
    Good morning everyone else;.
    I’ll probably say that again when today comes up.

    Liked by 1 person

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