What a Difference a Week Makes

This is the scene a week ago looking east out of my office window.


Bright sunshine (that means very cold) and friend, Al, has cleared our driveway.

Seven days later.  The weather has warmed and rain has changed the view.


It’s mid-afternoon and there is still fog over the field behind our barn.  Rain forecast for the rest of today and all of tomorrow.

Personal Notes

On the follow-up visit to the podiatrist after surgery.  He removed the original dressings around the foot.  Then he wrapped it up in a soft cast, which was topped off with a colorful (and tight) wrap.


The tight cast and wrap did their job of reducing swelling in the foot and lower leg.  Last week, the doctor removed the cast and its colorful adornment.  He smiled when he saw my foot and said, “You’re healing like a teenager.”  Sure made me feel good–and I agreed things are going better than I had hoped.

Another month, and he’ll remove the two wires that skewer my big toe and keep it connected to the foot.

Recent Events

Sylvia said, “I see a couple of deer.”  I looked out the window and saw one.  Then two, which were followed four, seven and more coming.  When I counted nine, I went for the camera.  Then there were ten.

I used a spring operated clothes pin to lift one of the slats on the blinds.  I raised the camera only to find it was off.  I turned it off and back on.  Dead.  Battery flat.

I put the battery in its charger and hoped for the best.  Then there were twelve–some reclined on the ground others grazing on the lawn.

Maybe I had enough charge in the battery for one shot.  I did not.

Then they left.  First one, then three followed quickly by the rest.

Surgery Successful

Not really my surgeon.

Not really my surgeon.

Friday afternoon, I went in for a bunionectomy on my left foot.  Fortunately, that went well, and I’m at home recovering and watching too much TV.  I’m also trying to listen to an audio book.  I say “trying,” because I keep falling asleep.  That’s okay.  If the body needs sleep, then let it sleep.

There are two wires coming out of the big toe.  These will be removed in about a month, and there will be no hardware left behind.  Color me delighted!

First follow-up appointment this afternoon.

Life Continues in the Winter

Our first January thaw, followed by a day of rain, revealed this beauty in granny’s garden.


This flowering kale had been buried in snow.  It grows in a protected spot near the basement wall, where it sheltered from most winds.

It is so good to see these brilliant colors among the white and brown that seem to characterize our winters.  It was snowing when I took this shot, and yes, that is snow on those lovely leaves.


I particularly like the textures of snow and kale in this closeup shot.  It also makes me glad to be sitting back in this warm office.

Sylvia and I Are Cable Cutters

The cable came from the satellite dish into our house.  (We don’t have cable TV here in the country.)  We’ve returned their equipment to DirecTV.  After adding a new a new online service, we’re saving over $100 per month.


This is not a complaint against our satellite TV service provider.  They were very good and their equipment worked fine.  Life under that system was actually easier.  However, we can handle a bit of inconvenience for $100/mo.

We use a Roku streaming device to access Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.  That same device also connects us to Sling TV, where we get the cable channels that we want for $25/mo.  For another $5/mo we have an online DVR with a 500-hour capacity.

For over-the-air (OTA) TV, we use a Magnavox DVR.  That allows us to time shift even the sub channels.  (I particularly like the Johnny Carson reruns on Ch 17.2, which I couldn’t get on DirecTV.)

Thus far, the new setup has worked very well.  Sylvia and I are happy campers.

Celebrating Nine Years of Blogging


Today is my ninth blogaversary.  For some time, I posted at least once a day.  I’d spend hours at my computer.  I don’t do that anymore.  Many of my friends from back then have vanished.  In those days, the typical blog lasted no more than three or four years (if that long).

Fortunately a few of those friends are still around and active.  I am particularly grateful to those hardy folks who are still making their presence known in the blogosphere.

Lots of cold weather here lately, and tonight I hear the wind blowing.  I’m grateful to have a warm home and a loving wife.

Frosty mornings have greeted us with scenes like this one.


Unfortunately, the camera utterly fails to capture the scene as the human eye does.  Yet, there is beauty in those silver-frosted trees.

Sylvia joins me in wishing you all the very best in 2018.

‘Tis the Season, Recapped

This month, this blog has featured a nine-part series retelling the Christmas story through ceramic figures.  Here they are combined in an animated gif.


Part 9 had two photos and an embedded Youtube video.  If you follow this blog by e-mail, you did not see the Bethlehem star video.  Follow the link to the Secondary Rds blog and check it out.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas.  Sylvia joins me in wishing you a happy and healthy 2018.

‘Tis the Season, Pt 9


The shepherds returned to their flocks.  Following his natal star, magi from the east sought the Christ child.  Their journey would take some time.

We usually portray them as arriving at the manger, but the Scripture reports that the family was living in a house.  Being limited by the figures, I’ll show them at the manger.


While we celebrate the arrival of the magi on January 6 (Epiphany or three kings day), they may have actually arrived on December 25.  (How great is that?)  That story is told in the video clip that follows.  A longer version can be found on Youtube.

Sylvia joins me in wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.

Outside our windows the world is white and the snow continues to fall.  It feels very “Christmasy” to us.

‘Tis the Season, Pt 8


As the shepherds were at the stable, another group was preparing to make their journey to visit the young child.  These were magi from the east.  They came from the land where, nearly 600 years earlier, Daniel had been the chief of wise men.  Would they have learned prophecies and wisdom handed down from him?

‘Tis the Season, Pt 6


In the stable’s silence, a child is born.  Prophets had foretold this, but little did they realize how humble his arrival would be.

An angel appeared (look on wreath) to shepherds, who were tending their flocks.  Thus the news was first announced to the lowliest of people.