A Welcome Visitor

It's not heavy (oof), it's my cabbage

It’s not heavy (oof), it’s my cabbage

Wednesday, our friend, Shark of My Quality Day, stopped here on her trip east.  The pic above is not from yesterday.  It was taken on a warm autumn morning on one of Shark’s earlier visits to our Secondary Rds home.  (Sylvia had just given her a cabbage from our garden.  Shark was delighted.)

The three of us spent Wednesday evening in catching up on personal news.  (One of the reasons I like our blogger bud so much is that she never engages in gossip or negative talk.)  We also enjoyed some music making and conversation.

I wish you could have been here when we were talking about books and authors.  It started with a question from Shark, “Which book (not Bible) has made the greatest impact on you and your life?”  That conversation lasted past bed time, and, I hope, is to be continued.

A while back, I won a contest on My Quality Day.  While Shark was willing to send that to me, I suggested that she wait until her next visit and bring it along with her on that trip.  Okay, I knew that it would help assure another visit.  I picked her book, Would You Dare? (3rd edition).  The 137 pp book is, “Twelve compact biographies of Christians who have dared.  Their lives challenge us . . . ‘Would You Dare?'”  After the preface, there are four stanzas from Longfellow’s poem, “A Psalm of Life.”  One of those stanzas is also printed on the rear cover,

“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime . . .
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”

You can learn more about Shark (Joan H Young) at Books Leaving Footprints.

Sylvia and I feel we are rich and richly blessed to have such friends as we have.  You are probably one of those.

What Do You See?

Not me--just my shadow

Not me–just my shadow

The other day, I noticed my shadow on the venetian blinds that cover my office window.  Fascinated, I captured this image.  That shadow resembles me, but only vaguely.  (My head is not really that pointy, I don’t have offset Yoda-like ears and my neck is as long on one side as it is on the other.)

As I thought about this, I realized two factors were at play.  The light source is diffuse (not focused).  The individual blinds are set at an angle to that light.

Seems to me that this is a parable.  I’ll let you draw you own conclusions, but you might consider illumination source, projection target and blinds (or blinders).

For my part, I think.  I think I would like a wee nap.

Proverbs 25:25

A lot went into this day.

A lot went into this day.

As it is written, “Like cold water to a weary soul
    is good news from a distant land.

We are happy and excited for her.  In comment on this picture, her paternal grandfather wrote, “ I’d say, ‘Knock ‘em dead, but that probably wouldn’t be appropriate.’ Right?”  He is such an old goof ball. :rolleyes:

At this house, we’re just trying to stay warm.

Slugging it Out

In, what appears to be thoughts of warmer days, our friend, Shark, posted a photo of a grasshopper and acknowledged the inspiration for it came from the Vanilla man.  I’d like to think of warmer times as we are caught in the cold grasp of winter’s icy wrath.


Autumn grasshopper on my driveway.

Like my memories of warmer weather, this poor fellow is flawed.  He’s not a very good hopper.  Reminds me a bit of the blue jay of which Shark recently posted photos.

I think I’d rather see this:

042eYes, I’m ready for this–but not in February.  Not even in March.  Let spring arrive in its proper season.  Then we can see scenes like this one.


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
(Eccl 3:1 – KJV)

Even as this cruel winter persists, life goes on.  I see this in the myriad bunny tracks that surround me.  Last week, I’m quite sure that I saw the golden eagle soaring through this neighborhood.  What a beautiful sight to see as that mighty bird navigated through chill and heavy winds.

Good News

Computer guru and good friend, Robert, brought my computer back home on Sunday.  He had found a number of serious problems and fixed each one.  I’m grateful to have my new (Win 7) computer back online.  The ancient (Win XP) laptop worked–just not as well.

Last Friday (the 13th), Briana took the RN licensing exam.  Within six hours of finishing, she received a congratulatory e-mail from licensing authorities in Wisconsin.

She spent the weekend with the East Kentwood High women’s water polo team.  Briana assumed assistant coach duties as the gals competed in their first (pre-season) tournament of the year.  She has been assisting with this team and the swim team when she could.  But now, it is over.

Bags are packed and ready to go.

Bags are packed and ready to go.

Yesterday, Briana said goodbye to her parents and drove to her new home in Madison.  Sylvia and I received a call in the evening to let us know that she was there and doing well.

Seems like last year she looked like this:

Briana and Grammy

Briana and Grammy

I am truly blessed.

Pain & Pleasure

Computers have been a  pain.  If the ground wasn’t frozen solid, I’d be sore tempted to dig a hole, throw in my computers, cover them up and pour a reinforced concrete slab over the whole shebang.  I’ll spare you the details of my frustrations.

Today, we plan to meet our son and granddaughter for lunch.  Now that’s pleasure!  Briana is scheduled to take the NCLEX (National Council of State Boards of Nursing) exam tomorrow.  The next day she’ll leave her parents’ home and drive to her new home and her first (she says “big girl”) job.  It is bittersweet to see her go.

Some days I’d like to have some grizzly bear genes–just so I could hibernate through winter.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Weekend Fun

Saturday was Sylvia’s annual sledding party for Sunday School kids, their friends and siblings.  As usual, it was a big hit.

What fun! How far can you go?

What fun! How far can you go?

It’s hard to catch them sliding.  It happens so fast.  Coming back up takes longer.

But what fun going down!

See how far I can go!

See how far I can go!

All to soon, four hours had passed.  The kids went home.  The old folks were left all alone in the now silent house.  We weren’t left without memories.  The kids left a monument as a remembrance of our fun day.

It's as snow person.

It’s a snow person.

Only 363 to the next party.  I’ll just have to be patient.

Blue Monday

I have shared the old Costa Rican saying with you before, “Blue Monday and not even the hens lay.”  That describes today.  Unless you are the owner of a tow truck or snow plow.  After the weekend’s big snow storm, those fellows are very busy today.  (We are waiting for Al to plow out our plugged driveway.)

I’ve pressed my ancient laptop computer into service on my desk.  It is very slow compared to my new unit, which is still in the hospital.

My sister Barbara’s grandson, Ben, passed away last night.  He was 22 y. o. and a recent MSU grad.  His battle with cancer (Ewing’s sarcoma) lasted three years.

As I write this, the sun is shining brightly on the pure-white, new fallen snow.  Deep drifts create interesting shadows on the landscape.  Fortunately, I have no other place where I need to be.

Enforced Vacation

It’s not really an “enforced” vacation, but since my computer has spent the last two weeks in the hospital, I’ve been giving my arthritic hands some rest.  To be able to accomplish those “must do” tasks, I’ve had to be inventive.

Sleep eluded me last night.  Around midnight, I could see the moon hanging just over the western horizon.  It was an enchanting scene.  First the tripod and then the camera came into my hands and I set them in at the front door.  I opened the door and beheld . . . a black sky.  Not a single star could be seen and who erased the moon?  It was a cloud bank.  No joy.

Then, to the rescue, my La-Z boy called and I answered.  Settled in, and with Nook in hand, I tweaked settings for night-time reading.  A few chapters of Llana of Gathol* got me in the mood for sleep.  (* – This is from the Tales of Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.)

Mr ‘Puter

Still no idea when I’ll get my computer back.  However, in the words of John Carter: “I yet live.”

FWIW, I recently learned that Sasquatch read the Tales of Barsoom, and based on that same John Carter quote, he had a brilliant idea for a talk show.  It worked!  It caught on in the northwest US.  Unfortunately, Sasquatch is dyslexic, but it worked to his benefit.  Today only a handful of stations carry his program “Yeti Live.”  Watch for national syndication in the near future.

(Thanks Scott.)

The good, the bad and the not so pretty

Friday, January 2, I looked out at the birch tree below the garden and there perched in the top was a beautiful fellow.  A fine example of a red-tailed hawk.  I walked swiftly to the office and returned to capture this image of him.



Life is like that.  Sometimes.

After missing Dad’s flight to Florida on Friday.  We were able to keep him with us for another three days.  I think we all enjoyed that.

This morning we loaded luggage and people into the Jeep (just in case) and started for the airport.  Everything was going fine until I went to enter the I-96 expressway.  As I approached the speed of surrounding traffic, the vehicle began to shake a lot.  I drove into town under 60 mph.

We did get to the airport on time and Dad was securely “stowed” aboard.  We watched until his plane pushed back from the terminal.  Sylvia called her sister to confirm that Dad was headed her way and on time.

After Sylvia made a few phone calls, it now looks like we’ll get a repair estimate sometime on Wednesday.  (We are not the only ones to have a bad day on Friday.)

Speaking of Friday, that was also the day that something went wrong with this computer.  It appears that MS Office is the only software that refuses to work.  I tried running the repair utility.  No joy.  I ran the more extensive repair procedure.  No change.  I uninstalled and reinstalled.  Still ugly.

I’m not a very happy camper just now.  And still I think of the words of John Carter,*  “I yet live.”

* John Carter is the protagonist in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tales of Barsoom.  John is from Earth and wakes to find himself on Mars (Barsoom).


I just received a callback from my friend and computer guru, Robert.  He’ll pick up my computer this afternoon and repair it for me.  That’s his business so it’s not just a favor for a friend, but I’ll not begrudge him a single cent.

Hey look.  I’m smiling.  A little bit.