Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"If advertisers spent the same amount of money on improving their products as they do on advertising then they wouldn't have to advertise them." ~ Will Rogers

Mom's granddaughter Angela, our niece. Taken yesterday.
Update on mom: The roller coaster ride continues. We are so thankful that she was so much better yesterday. We believe the urinary tract infection cleared and that gave way to a return of her mental faculties. If all goes according to plan, she will be transferred to a facility for 2 to 3 more weeks of physical therapy. We continue to hope that will help her to be able to recover some ability to function for when she returns home. For someone who is 92.5 years young, she's been through a lot but she continues to soldier on. Thanks so much for all the prayers.
Good Tuesday to one and all, here on the last day of the month on January 31, 2017.  I listened to an advertising guru interviewed the other day where he was talking about product placement ads. Essentially, nearly every facet of life is now available for some type of advertising. We all more or less looked the other way when schools started allowing advertising within the school itself. McDonald's was one of the first to provide much-needed revenues to cash-strapped schools if they would allow them to use video ads in the halls and other areas of the campus. Now we see athletic uniforms carrying advertising and according to this expert, we've only just begun. While limited thus far, there have even been payments made to mega Church pastors to plug a movie to his or her congregation. He said don't look now but in the not too distant future, that big screen in Church may have a commercial scrolling across the bottom. He also said that product placement might show up in actual sermons. He mentioned this in the context of nothing being sacred anymore. All of this is coming at a time when people are doing their best to find ways to avoid advertising. Imagine this one. Today we have a message from God Almighty sponsored by that wonderful maker of cleaning products. I, for one, am not looking forward to that kind of advertising.

I somehow got my Keurig here at work set on the smallest cup size. Maybe it happened when the power went off. It actually puts about 1/4 cup of fluid in a standard coffee mug. I used to drink about 1/2 of the mug. So, I get to thinking. I really enjoy the smallest cup size but I do use up a lot of those little single serve containers. I readily admit how the smallest cup size is strong enough to get my attention each morning. Not wanting to squander money needlessly I decided to try and go back to the 1/2 cup size. I selected and brewed the next size up and I thought, "What in tarnation is going on?" It was like some Yankees had invaded and made me a cup of that see through stuff they call coffee. Now that just beats all. I used to drink that setting and was very happy with it. Now, it's like someone spilled food coloring into a cup of hot water. I know my coffee stories have to be tiresome, but, it is such a large part of my life. No. I'm not tearing up. That's not to say I'm not emotional about my Community, but, I just hope I don't continue this trend where I might end up taking a spoonful, chewing it up, and washing it down with a swallow of hot water. That's a scary thought. I suppose the moral of the story is how there's no going back. Like a fellow I worked with one time who liked to use this one, "Once they visit Paris, there's no getting them to go back to the farm." 

I know those are confusing metaphors but coffee does that to me sometimes. I'm trying to make sure I keep my membership in that club for eccentrics. I don't think there's a risk of losing my position. The main qualification is to be a person with behaviors that are unconventional or slightly strange. I think I might qualify for life time certification. You do know I'm kidding. If I do need those who will testify on my behalf, I'm sure I can draw a crowd to agree with my status. While I have heard that description used with my name before, I am very much kidding about it. You what? You would want to hear the testimony of those who know me best before agreeing? I am working with a tough audience today. Hey, we all have to be known for something. My college girl granddaughter Amanda Faith bought me a new coffee mug for Christmas. It has this inscription: "Poppy loves his coffee almost as much as he loves his grandchildren." Talk about nailing it on the first try! Like I say, you have to be known for something. Maybe I could settle for people saying I was unconventional and slightly strange, but, in a good way. Yeah. I could live with that. What about you? I think I've put enough keystroke characters out of their misery for one day. Therefore, I bid you a good rest of the day and pray that God will watch over us all. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, January 30, 2017

"A man has been shot with a starting pistol. The police are pretty sure it is race related." ~ copied

Mom loves to hear the Bible read.
Update on my mom. I hate to say I told you so, but, mom had to be readmitted to the hospital last Friday. I spent the day with her on Saturday. I was able to sing Amazing Grace for her and I read the 139th Psalm while I was there. She has developed a urinary tract infection and she still has residual issues from her pneumonia. In addition to that, she is understandably stressed about her prospects. We hope to find out more today about options for her care at this time. Please continue to pray for her and dad as they make these decisions. May God bless our mom. Amen
Here we go again. Welcome. It's back to work Monday, January 30, 2017. The 30th? You are kidding, aren't you? The entire month of January just made a swooshing sound. Bam! It's almost over and I'm still wondering how to get the new year started. After seeing mom and dad, all I can say is in keeping with the old adage, one day at a time, because it certainly applies. These one day, 400 mile, trips are beginning to make me interested in these self-driving vehicles. I read the other day that every major car maker has a research lab working on these automated vehicles. I'm not sure they would be ready for the trip over to my old stomping grounds. Some would have it stamping but that's not how we phrased it growing up. These automated vehicles would be challenged on that road I take. It's odd. There's a divided stretch, four lanes, where the speed limit is 70 miles per hour. Right after you leave that divided road, it becomes a narrow two lane highway but the speed limit is increased to 75 miles per hour. On that road, one had better be up on the wheel at all times. The folks who live off of that 75 mph highway, they don't seem to pay any attention to the traffic when they decide to turn on to it. They live there. They own it. When they join the roadway they are totally oblivious to the cars flying left and right, swerving here and there, some almost in the ditch. They are focused entirely on a very slow acceleration to get themselves up to maybe 45 or 50 mph. It happens nearly every trip. I'm not sure one of those computer-driven cars would have a clue as to what to do when Grandpa decides to run down to the store for a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

Most of you know by now that I am a card-carrying member of the fee-based International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, (IBRBS). There's about 1200 of us who make up this group. The leadership of this organization are all elected but they serve voluntarily. They work hard to provide all types of services for those of us who portray Santa or Mrs. Claus. I noticed in the most recent newsletter that one of the initiatives being pursued is a healthy eating promotion for children. It was developed by a particular Santa out in California and it's intended to help fight the huge problem in our nation of childhood obesity. I am all for things like this. I do, however, make an observation, in passing. Based on the photos of our current members, it seems that some type of healthy diet promotion might be in order for those of us who don the red. I'm talking bellies that are very large indeed. I know. The poem said that when he laughed his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly. Many who portray Santa believe a huge belly is required to be genuine. I might point them to the newsletter section where Santa's are remembered who have made their final sleigh ride to meet their Maker. There might be a correlation. Food for thought. No pun intended.

I'm certainly not pointing at myself up as a role model for healthy anything. But, by comparison, I would be considered as a very small bellied Santa. I did try to go without padding a few times but several mentioned how that Santa must have lost a lot of weight. Playing the character doesn't mean I have to bulk up my belly. They make numerous padding alternatives that work well. Just so you know, the fellow who initiated the children's healthy eating promotion is a good looking Santa without a huge belly. Maybe he practices what he preaches. I could do more of that. What say you? No. It's not a slow news day and I am well aware that Santa bellies are not a huge topic of interest to a broad-minded audience like the one I have. Yet, my thought had to do with the obvious and glaring disconnects we often see in life. Like this one: "The grossly overweight preacher gasping for breath as he proclaims the spiritual values associated with living a life of self-control and moderation." That was my thought when I read about the healthy eating initiative. Yes, friend, you are right. If you have to explain your explanation, well, it's probably best to follow George's advice, "Just say goodnight Gracie." (George Burns and Gracie Allen) Enjoy your day and may God add His blessings to it. Amen. ...More later.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The day goes at full speed with all of its stuff flying around but then a random photo appears. Suddenly my day is now better for it!

Happy Friday everyone! This particular one happens to be on January 27, 2017. I thought I would start off with something that always brightens my day. That photo is of our seven-year-old great-granddaughter, Madi. (Madelyn Joy) Her mom had lunch with her this past Wednesday at school and she posted that photo on Facebook. Well, I saw it, and it melted my heart. What? You think I might have the beginnings of becoming a sentimental old codger. I don't need a jury trial because I plead guilty in the first degree. The really amazing thing about that photo is that I've seen it before, over twenty years ago. Her mom. Our Tiffany. As that famous philosopher, Yogi would have said it, "It's déjà vu all over again." There's one big difference. When her mom was that age they lived down the street from us and we saw her all the time. Typically, we get to see Madi mostly on special occasions but we do love that little lass. I know she is the apple of her grandpa's eye, our eldest son, but, surely the great grands carry some type of influence, if for nothing else, seniority. Okay. I can't help it. One more time. That photo just makes my day. It does. It really does.

Lord willing, I will be traveling over to Louisiana tomorrow to visit mom. It will be a one-day turnaround. I consider myself to be a high mileage vehicle, and I do drive a high mileage vehicle, so, the old pickup truck and I are compadres of sorts. We both rattle some as we make our way forward. Both of us are dealing with wear and tear. You do know I'm joking, even if there's a ring of truth in there somewhere. That reminds me of an old joke. The older fellow was driving down the interstate when his wife called him on the cellphone. She excitedly told him about a news report of a dangerous situation on the highway he was on. Some madman was driving the wrong way on the interstate. He said he was very well aware of the danger because he was trying to dodge hundreds who were driving the wrong way. Hopefully, I'll not get a call like that tomorrow. I will share a tiny little secret. I don't do that too often because I know someone in particular who reads my blog each day. However, I do tend to have more near misses these days. Close calls. Almost a problem. Thankfully, thus far they are near misses. I rarely talk about them. So, you might want to keep that bit of information to yourself.

This has been some week. But most of them are. Or, they seem to be that way. Right? We seem to have a lot going on right now. I know. Join the club. Our nation has a lot going on as well. It's funny to observe the response of the mainstream media when an individual gets elected and then he immediately begins attempting to do exactly what he said he was going to do. They are stunned. How dare him? Who does he think he is, anyway? That's not how things are done. This is absurd. He doesn't seem to worry too much about what they are saying. It's interesting. I'm not talking about the validity or effectiveness of the actions he is taking. I'm only enjoying watching a meltdown of the mainstream media. One pundit opined that certain individuals within the new administration should be shunned, meaning they should not be allowed to be on any news program. Their crime, according to him, is misrepresenting facts. The fellow interviewing him asked if he had called for the shunning of any folks within the previous administration. He became uncomfortable. The interviewer then named about eight major lies that were actually said by the former president himself. The shunner guy became very quiet. See what I mean? Sooner or later policies will matter. Right now I'm just enjoying the show. And, that brings to an end my time for today. Have yourself a great Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. I will do my best to catch back up with you next Monday morning. May God bless each one is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

“There are more than 9,000 billing codes for individual procedures and units of care. But there is not a single billing code for patient adherence or improvement, or for helping patients stay well.” ― Clayton M. Christensen, The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care

Good day to each and every individual who happens to come in contact with my blog. There are all kinds of ways that can happen, including accidentally finding it while looking for something else. I welcome all to this one-way conversation where I will be talking about the things that are on my mind today. It is Thursday, January 26, 2017, and I acknowledge my need of the Lord God of heaven to help me make it each and every day. My mom, 92.5 years young, has been released from the rehabilitation hospital and she is now at home. Our home in Louisiana was built in the mid-1950's, and it, along with a number of renovations over the years, is not well suited to a person with as much limited mobility as she currently has. Dad is doing what he can to make it as accommodating as possible. We are trusting God to help them work through this transition. I want to say something about the health care provided to mom over the past month. It has been, for the most part, excellent. Thankfully, she and dad have several plans that help cover these services. I do have a 'but' to add to this comment. But, the coverage, the costs, her age, the medical input, and all of the above, do become considerations regarding the disposition of her future. Was she really ready to be released from 24-hour care? Probably not. However, the pressures on the various entities mentioned above all coalesced to conclude it was time to release her, therefore, like it or not, she is now at home and they are coping as best they can with all that this means. I'm no expert here, just a very interested observer, but, this is how I see it. On behalf of our huge blended family, so large, I doubt we could actually count them all, I offer up thanks to so many for your prayers on their behalf. Amen.

Isn't the person's well-being the number one consideration in this process? Oh, how I wish that were true, and, I can say that I believe it is a leading factor, but, it is not always the main focal point. We saw that back when my wife's brother was being treated after suffering a major heart attack and stroke. They made it seem like the decision for him to transfer from one type of treatment to another was exactly what the doctor ordered. When it comes across that way, the family typically grabs hold of this being the best for their loved one. We later learned that his number of days had been used up and a move had to be made. I'm not saying his condition was compromised, but, we have to know the facts of how care is provided in the environment we are living in today. For me, I wish they would just lay it all out including the part about it being an administrative and billing situation as opposed to a strictly medical decision. They can't do that. Liability issues. Therefore, people get discharged. The graphic I used in my opening paragraph is somewhat indicative of what I am talking about. Even in my mom's case, they have said that if the home care situation doesn't work out, there is another type of nursing and rehabilitation facility that might be available. One of the things us older folks talk about when we are exposed to things like this has to do with our own potential needs in the future. Mostly, we hate to even think about it working like this when we might need these same types of services. Reality check: It probably will, and if I had to guess, probably more so. Again, just me and just my reading of the situation.

Sorry to dwell on these matters but they are occupying a lot of my thoughts and the thoughts of many of our family members. The good news is how mom, at her age, has come through the type of surgical procedure she had to have, her recovery thus far, and her mental clarity at this time. She does know what is going on. We would never want to be anything other than thankful for these blessings. My eldest was commenting the other day about mom's resilience and he said it really hit him when President George H. W. Bush was admitted to the hospital. He and mom are the same age. He too had developed pneumonia. He had to be intubated to help him breathe. We can be thankful that mom is where she is in her progress. We don't know how this home care situation will work out. However, we have a lot of folks who care deeply about her and all of us together will seek to find a way forward, regardless of the difficulties we encounter along the way. That's one thing I do love about our family. Mom and dad have been together nearly 40 years. He has children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mom has children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a number of great-great-grandchildren. What a huge blended crew we have! Dad's family. Mom's family. Our family. We are together, bound by our common love one for another. That's a biggie, as they say, in terms of blessings. A biggie, indeed! I know. I finished some time ago but I had trouble keeping the fingers from continuing to tip-toe on the keyboard. May God add His blessings to us all. Amen. .....More later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will." ~ Ronald Reagan

Good morning and welcome to today's edition on this Wednesday, January 25, 2017. You can be sure of a few things as you begin reading my posting for today. God is still in control. Community Coffee is still the best. And, I do have some thoughts to share with you. Most of you know we have a new President. I did vote for him. I was not a supporter of his candidacy. I have something to share with those who identify themselves as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Be careful in how much faith you put in this newly elected leader. I've read postings from people I love and appreciate that almost make this individual something akin to God's man riding on a white horse coming to make all things right. I pray that any changes the new administration makes will benefit the American people. I learned, perhaps the hard way, about putting too much trust in thought to be powerful people. Thankfully, some time ago, I came in contact with the 146th Division of the Psalms. This is a sample of the theme of this song, verses 3 through 6:

Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.

His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.

Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,

Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,

Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners

I speak from experience. In business, in the work and ministry of the local fellowship of believers, and in personal relationships, people, maybe through no fault of their own, will let you down. As we look forward to what God has for us in the future, I continue to do what I did when the previous leader of our nation was in office. I pray for them and their families. "First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity." (1st Timothy Chapter 2, Verses 1-2) I would recommend consideration of the understanding from most trusted Bible theologians who agree that the 'first of all' denotes a priority. Something for us to meditate on. I could not have disagreed more with many of the policies embraced by the previous administration, however, at the same time, I detested the evil and often racist depictions of President Obama and his family. Sadly, many of these were posted or re-posted by those who claim a deep love for our Lord and Savior. Yes, we do live in a country where we have freedom of expression. However, as believers, I would posit that we have a higher calling. But, that's just me. I recently changed my nickname on the blogging utility to where it now reads Three Score and Ten Plus. Maybe that moniker is why I felt like sharing my gained wisdom over these many years. Remember, Rome was the government when the Apostle Paul wrote to his protege Timothy. Therefore, this admonition applies also to those who have aligned themselves as a hater of our newly elected leader. Okay. I can tell some of you are beginning to yawn, so, take it for what it is worth.

Here's one for you. What about when gray-haired says to white-haired, Sir? That one catches me off guard. I usually do a double take and look behind me to make sure they are talking to me. I think it must come from the Plus added to the Three Score and Ten. It does crack me up. It's like I'm stuck in a Twilight Zone version of Old McDonalds, here a sir, there a sir, everywhere a sir, sir. I think my reluctance to embrace this recognition has to do with how I see myself. I have trouble with people getting the door for me. Really? I often think to myself, while I appreciate their showing of respect, believe me, I can handle the door. I really can. But, it comes with the territory. Lord willing, I will soon attain the age of my grandfather when he went home to Glory. I certainly thought much of what he had to say was wisdom personified. I also did what I could to honor him. Again, I know he deserved every bit of that. Me? Well, I do have some trouble seeing myself in that way. It's somewhat humorous for me to even notice these changes and to wrestle with how to handle them. Yeah. I know. I'm the only one laughing about it. That happens way too often. Take care, now, you hear? And, may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

“Have patience—remember how you will want someone to treat you when you reach the time when you need a caregiver!” — Linda D., Posted on a senior living blog

Let's see if we can get this day started with something other than the stuff from the 24-hour news cycle. Here's one for you: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6 from the New American Standard Bible) I thought of that one because my mom has often reminded me of it over the years. It's Tuesday, January 24, 2017, and I'm still doing a debrief from our visit to Louisiana this past weekend. I'm thankful our youngest, Rodney, made the trip over to check on his Granny. She was very excited to see him. She held onto him for a very long time. The folks that work at that rehabilitation hospital have challenging jobs. You can tell that to some of them it's just that, a job. However, a few that we have come to know there respond to their work as if it is a calling. There's a young African American lady, maybe in her early twenties, who works as an aid. Her name is Ebony. She treats our mom like she is her very own dear relative. Most of you know the work these folks do can be very unpleasant. However, mom lights up every time this young lady comes into the room. Mom told us how that when Ebony comes in to put her to bed she always gives her a goodnight kiss. Mom feels like God Himself has provided people like this young woman and she sees it has a huge blessing. There's also another young man named Brett who is in nursing school. He works part time there at the rehab facility. He is one busy fellow. Tall and lanky, it's hard to imagine someone his age would have such a genuinely sweet bedside manner. We all noticed that. My take? These young folks stand out because they see what they are doing as making a difference in people's lives. And, they are 100% correct. I thank God for them and so many others that give of themselves in this way. Amen.

Our nephew Michael.
The wife spent the night with her sister. Rodney got himself a room at Best Western close to the rehab facility for Saturday night, so I stayed with him. We went out to eat at a local steak restaurant. We had just come in and we were waiting for our table when a young lady came up and grabbed Rodney and gave him a big hug. It was our nephew Michael and his wife Deanne. Rodney said, "What are the odds?" I thought to myself, well, they live in this area and we are over in the area where they live, so it seems reasonable that we might bump into someone we know. They were actually there to meet some folks who are talking to Michael about his potential to become their pastor. Michael has been doing fill-in preaching for some time now. He is a senior officer with the federal fire department at Fort Polk, therefore, this consideration is one they have been praying about. We visited for a few minutes. They met their guests. Rod and I enjoyed a good meal. He, being Rodney, wondered if we should stop by and ask them if they would like a round of margaritas. We laughed and he decided that might not be a great idea. I agreed. We did tell them goodnight on our way out. We continue to pray as those folks and Michael seek God's will. Amen.

You've heard me talk about the love-hate relationship I have with my grammar correction application. One of my favorite things for it to alert me of is when it puts confused before whatever problem it is languishing over. Like a confused preposition and stuff like that. In fact, it told me that I might have 'of' and 'off' confused in the second sentence of this paragraph. You would think it would have learned by now that while I am often inaccurate in my grammatical usage, I am rarely confused. I talk some to it as these flags come up, but, it doesn't talk back, and, just so you know, I do take many of the recommendations put forth. Not all. But, I would never want anyone to think I am beyond taking corrective action. I tend to think the application itself is perhaps confused about me being confused. The one I use is the free version of Grammarly. I'm just glad that it doesn't have a flag with wringing hands on it. I would likely get that one a lot. Oh well, no politics today. I hear that great sucking sound. It's not as Ross Perot famously said, "The sound of all our jobs going to Mexico because of NAFTA," It, rather, is a collective sigh of relief because I didn't cover any political shenanigans. I think I may have grunted in agreement as well. I do hope you have a great rest of the day Tuesday, and may God add His blessings to this day. Amen. ...More later.

Monday, January 23, 2017

President Barack Obama’s close friend and longtime adviser Valerie Jarrett said, “The president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal.” January 2, 2017

These two ladies are so important to me!
New Update: She finally got to do what she has wanted to do for weeks. The wife bravely made the trip over to Louisiana to visit mom this weekend. I typically go and return on Saturday in a one-day turnaround. But with the back injury, she couldn't tolerate that much riding. Therefore, we spent the night. That gave us more time to visit mom, she was able to see her sister, and we were able to make the trip without too much pain for her. Some. But not too much. Mom is doing well, especially her mental state. She's like she was before this all happened. However, her physical situation still has a ways to go. Her doctors want her to stay longer but they have to get approval from insurance. Thankfully, dad, who is a model of devoted support, currently has sisters JoAnn and Frances there to help. Mom is thankful for that and for all the prayers and support.

Welcome one and all to today's edition, on this Monday, January 23, 2017. Former President Obama had trouble leaving the stage. One pundit said it's pretty hard to say goodbye if the recipient doesn't actually leave. I read the soundbites from Obama's last press conference. By now we are pretty much used to his focus on himself. Many news media folks count the number of times he refers to himself and that number can be staggering. In last Wednesday's final conference he said something that caused me to laugh out loud. Not LOL, really, laughing. As it were, out loud. He challenged the White House press corp to hold the new President's feet to the fire in the same way they did his. Are you kidding me? Even one of their own described that final press conference as a last chance for the reporters to kiss the ring of the President. I didn't say that. One thing is clear. If they do cover President Trump in the same way they covered President Obama, he can expect a fawning reception wherever he goes, full participation of the press in blaming others for any problems that arise, and, in general, looking the other way anytime a hint of controversy appears. The mainstream has accepted as fact the statement that Obama's time in office has been scandal free. While there may not have been a Clintonesque intern problem, in many ways some of these things that happened on his watch have even more far-reaching consequences. Operation Fast and Furious; Obamacare; Government spying on journalists; IRS targeting of conservatives; Benghazi; Hillary's private server; Iran Nuclear Deal; Veterans Administration fake wait times list; Solyndra; and the Secret Service Gone Wild. Those are just a few. Whatever the tally, it does not equal Scandal Free. I report. You can decide for yourself, but, I can tell you right now, scandal-free will not fly. And, as always, I am unanimous in my opinion.

I think most people know that I am not a former Texas Governor Rick Perry fan. Sorry. I never have liked that guy. I may have voted for him more than once, but, just like Trump, that doesn't mean I am a supporter. Here's a news flash for you. Mr. Perry in testimony as the nominee to head the Energy Department had this to say, "I now regret my promise to eliminate the Energy Department if elected president." Really? Politicians. They are really something folks. Something, indeed! Let's see if we can decipher the meaning of his new found respect for the Energy Department. Oh yeah. He needs a job and he has been nominated to receive a salary of $205,700.00 per year, plus expenses. He will head up a department with nearly 14,000 employees with a payout of nearly $1.5 billion for salaries alone. Is the light now beginning to shine a wee bit brighter on why Mr. Perry now regrets his previous promise? But, don't you know he is a Republican and also a conservative and a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? Good for him. He, to me anyway, reeks of cronyism and feeding at the public trough. I think, over time, I have proven my ability to be an equal opportunity slammer, without regard to party affiliation, race, creed, or color. You are free to like him as much as you want to. Maybe even a little extra to make up for my decision not to.

Sorry about the political emphasis of late but it comes over me and a man has to write about what compels him at the time. If I planned my episodes out I could avoid writing about things that some people would rather not read. But, as the saying goes, "I calls em as I sees em." Supposedly, although there's not hard evidence, that saying has to do with the job of umpiring, and especially the home plate umpire who has to make a decision about balls and strikes. While I've not set myself up as the umpire over the things I express opinions about, it does reflect me giving my interpretation of my understanding. Umpires sometimes get it wrong. I do too. But, since we are all entitled to our opinion, I suppose we are also entitled to be wrong. I see folks all the time who post their views and their interpretation of the facts and the results are not even in the same ballpark with mine. Yes. I am still trying to stick with the umpire analogy. I do thank my readers for putting up with my disjointed gray cell activities from time to time. Now it is time to pay attention to the rest of the day that God has given to us. Let's all agree to make it the best that we can. May God help us to do just that. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, January 20, 2017

"O Lord, who lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness." ~ William Shakespeare, (1564-1616), English playwright & poet. From: Henry VI, Part II, Act I, Scene 1

Mom, taken Wednesday.
Well, well, well. I looked up and what did I see? Another Friday has landed and this one happens to be listed as January 20, 2017. We are planning another trip to Louisiana for tomorrow to visit mom. She is making slow but steady progress. The doctor wants her to stay for at least another week for the antibiotic IV treatment for her pneumonia. When I talk to her on the phone I can hear the improvement. Our entire family continues to be so thankful for the outpouring of love, prayers, and support. We thank God for His provision. Amen.

A fellow at our Wednesday evening Bible study told me what he had been doing during the rain that kept him indoors all day. Book work. To support the filing of his tax return. While I am thankful to live in our wonderful country, I must confess that when he said that, I shuddered. It was one of those feelings I've mentioned before. That sensation on the back of your neck where they used to say it felt like a cat had run over your grave. I'll have to work on our return eventually but I'm certainly not looking forward to it. I don't want you to have that thing on the back of your neck, therefore, I'm sharing some thoughts to help you get ready. ~ Ambition in America is still rewarded . . . with high taxes. ~ The rich and the poor are alike. They both complain about taxes. ~ An income-tax form is like a laundry list - either way you lose your shirt. ~ Income tax is Uncle Sam's version of "Truth or Consequences." ~ George Washington may have never told a lie, but then he never had to file a Form 1040. ~ Trying to cure runaway government spending by raising taxes is like giving a drunk another drink to sober him up. ~ A harmonica is a piano, after taxes. ~ Another American invention: The permanent temporary additional tax. ~ Updated idiom: A penny saved is a penny taxed. ~ Okay. I adapted these from a website, Jokes4us.com. They were unattributed and I did restate some of them to add my touch. Just trying to lighten things up a little.

Another work week will soon be in the books. You know how that water looks as it goes down the drain. That spiraling vortex look. That's how I feel at times as stuff seems to be flying here, there, and everywhere. I feel like one of those drones that malfunctions, making it spin around in circles. Yeah. That would explain the dizzy spells. You do know that I am kidding. Mostly. I am easily confused. Here's an example from early Thursday morning: Like I really can't figure out why my blood sugar number is glowing after eating everything I shouldn't have eaten at the Wednesday evening Church potluck including the store bought Italian Cream cake sent by the wife. I looked at that number and thought to myself, I wonder what might be going on. Here's a good one. An insulin dependent diabetic brother at the Church was commenting how well he liked that cake. I told him that I really liked it too. He immediately said, "Hey, you are not supposed to be eating stuff like that!" Ironic and funny. And, enjoyable. All at the same time. I started to say I have no complaints but when that cat did that number on my neck, well, it might just have messed up one of the nerves. How does that saying go? I either have a pain in my neck or I am one. I'll let you chew on that one for a while. Enjoy your Saturday and do your best to show up for worship on Lord's Day Sunday. Take care and may God bless us, one and all. Amen. .....More later.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

"The Christian has a great advantage over other men, not by being less fallen than they, nor less doomed to live in a fallen world, but by knowing that he is a fallen man in a fallen world." ~ C. S. Lewis

Good morning and welcome to another day in the neighborhood. My comments about the rain event may have been somewhat understated since people are now talking about the F-word, as in flooding. Maybe I will end up revising my remarks. You know. Those laced with wisdom. How in the world are you doing on this Thursday, January 19, 2017? We live in an upside down world. We know that because it's how a sin-cursed, fallen world operates. Upside down. While I didn't read the story, I saw a banner with some pretty golfing ladies. The banner from a major news network asked the question, "Does ranking female golfers by their beauty constitute sexism?" I think that's a reasonable question, but, I wonder if them being able to show the photos of those ranked had anything to do with the article. See what I mean? We can show the photos but act like we are taking the high ground. Some of those who are going through the confirmation process for high-level positions within the new administration have seen similar kinds of double standards imposed on them. Their colleagues who had previously thought highly of them, who had written great things about them, had photos taken with them showing solidarity, are now opposed to their good friend's confirmation because their party, the media, and other political forces have applied pressure. You know what? That kind of hypocrisy and partisanship makes common folks sick to their stomach. And the big government crowd wonders why people are so cynical and discouraged about how things are done in Washington. They could give me a call.

On my way in each morning this week, I've been listening some to the BBC live reports coming out of Davos, Switzerland where they are having the World Economic Forum. This is where the so-called experts meet every year to plan for the new world order, so to speak. The United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union along with the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency has these globalists panicked. For the most part, this is a one world government conference and these types of developments are not conducive to this goal. Today, I heard a recognized expert talking about the younger generation, called the Millenials, and how, like it or not, they are the future leaders of the world. According to this fellow, this generation doesn't see the world like any before it. They don't have the same values and rule sets that were previously held by those who are older. He believes these developments in the UK and in the US are the results of a backlash of the older generations as they see their world evaporating before their very eyes. He went on to say this new way of seeing the world is universal in this younger age group. Even in impoverished areas of Africa and other distressed nations, the Millenials have similar views. He also believes their view of the world is inevitable, since, after all is said and done, these will be the ones left standing after the others have passed off the scene. I will not go into the views or lack thereof of that younger generation, but, I think we all know it will be like nothing this world has ever seen.

A lot of the discussion at this world forum is directed towards combatting the potential harm to their agenda posed by the incoming new American administration. Under President Obama, the United States has been a friend to, if not an outright partner, on many of the global initiatives coming out of this conference. Things like climate control, gender issues, and things of that sort. I did hear the representative Mr. Trump sent to the conference. His message is one that says if America becomes great again the whole world will benefit. The inauguration is scheduled for tomorrow. Some 65 sitting elected congressional members are boycotting the event. I heard one of Mr. Trump's people say he just hopes they give back their tickets so they can provide them to someone else. This transition of power in our nation is a big deal. Most elected officials support a smooth transition for the protection and well-being of our country. My personal opinion is using this process as an opportunity for an empty protest is not in the interest of a smooth transfer of power which is essential to all our citizens, including those that these elected officials represent. But, at the end of the day, they can do what they well please. Practically speaking, given how Washington works, I have to wonder if doing this type of stunt is in the long term interests of the folks back home. But, that's just my take. And, now, since I wrote about it, you know how I see it. Enjoy the rest of your day and may God bless each one is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

"He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on." ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790), American statesman, author, scientist & inventor

I'm glad to report that mom made the trip there and back of a little over an hour for a surgical follow-up. It turned out to be a long, hard afternoon, but, the check-up went well with no infection found. She continues to be treated for pneumonia and this does have an impact on her rehab schedule. Dad will try to get a better reading today on her prognosis, treatment plan, etc. Thanks so much for the continuing prayers and support.

Today is Wednesday, January 18, 2017. We are in the midst of and enjoying, depending on your perspective, what is called a rain event this week. As the younger fellows complain, I have the opportunity to offer my three score and ten plus years of wisdomly commentary. (Yes, I am fully aware that wisdomly is not a word, but, the more I looked at it, it was the more I liked it, therefore, I decided to leave it in.) As they grumpily lament the wet and rainy day I remind them of our need to have rain to nourish our land. I typically remind them of how that later in the year we will be glad to have received the rain. They look at me, then at each other, and they do what might be called a collective synchronized eye roll. That got me to thinking. While I do know unequivocally that we do need the rain, however, my theory about how much it will help us later on might have some holes in it. On the other hand, my comments do tend to disperse the naysayers, therefore, what it lacks in scientific accuracy it makes up for in effectiveness. I'm joking about their response. I am very blessed to be shown respect among these that I am privileged to work with. Maybe if I started out by saying, 'back in my day'. Maybe I could say it with a Gabby Hayes voice. (Some of you older folks can hear him talking, others might want to look him up. You can hear his distinctive way of talking on YouTube.)

Rehab Hospital where my mom is staying.
Last Saturday when I was with mom at the rehabilitation hospital we went to the makeshift lunchroom they have there. I've been in many different types of nursing facilities where folks are bedridden, however, to see them at the tables trying to eat, well, it is a heartbreaking experience. Some have to be fed because they can't coordinate their hands to eat. Others can manage but they do so with great effort and many of them do so with much shaking. The helpers keep an eye on everyone but it is obvious that what I was seeing is very routine to them. I fed mom because she had an IV and was still very weak. I suppose that wisdomly understanding I talked about earlier also reminded me that what I was seeing could easily become a future event for any of us, including, yours truly. I am thankful they have facilities like the one mom is in and I'm thankful for those working there who show her respect and care. I will tell you it's still not easy to witness the plight of those dealing with such great health challenges. It's something that will stay with you and it causes me to be even more thankful for every single day that I can get up and go about my business. Amen.

I thought I might share some funny things with you but when I look at what people post as being hilarious, well, the years it took for me to invent the word wisdomly tells me that it also makes me completely out of touch. One thread on the internet I looked at was entitled 'the funniest thing I ever saw or heard'. A variety of folks were chiming in with their recollections of something that was really funny. Really? To them, maybe. Not to me. One person lays out an incident and gives all the particulars that constitute to them the funniest thing they ever saw. While I didn't get the joke, the next person says they are not sure they can top that one but they will share their funniest thing anyway. I didn't get that one either. It's not that I didn't understand what they were getting at. I just didn't see anything funny about it. It worries me. I suppose I need to stick to my own stuff. The wife and I were talking the other day about us attending a Bible conference when we were teenagers. Let me be clear here, I was there because she was there. She was there because her dad the preacher was there. A fellow from my hometown was also there. He wasn't young but he had recently surrendered his life to the preaching ministry. They called on him to share a short sermon. One problem. He had a brand new set of false teeth and he was petrified. That combination did not work out very well as he attempted to speak. Those store bought teeth were not broken in yet and they began to whistle, squeak, and clatter. He was so nervous, he was shaking. They sent for some water. He drank it but his new teeth floated on him and he began to make gurgling sounds. It was sad, but it was also funny. The great men of God on the platform could not laugh out loud but the quivering of their well-fed bodies caused the whole raised floor to shake. I can't be sure, but this fellow may have prompted the well known Southern saying, "Bless his heart!" With all due respect, that was funny. Not some idiotic thing said to someone playing an online game. We were there. Just thinking about it the other day caused us both to laugh. Oh well, different strokes for different folks, I suppose. But, think about it, shouldn't their stories have some kind of punch line? Take care and may God be with us all. Amen. ...More later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

"I wanted to have a career in sports when I was young, but I had to give it up. I'm only six feet tall, so I couldn't play basketball. I'm only 190 pounds, so I couldn't play football. And I have 20-20 vision, so I couldn't be a referee." ~ Jay Leno

I received word last evening that mom is now being treated for pneumonia. She is still scheduled for a follow-up today with the surgeon regarding the infection she has developed. Our prayer is that God will give her peace and work according to His perfect will. Amen.

You have to admire true believers. I was talking to a true Houston Texans diehard the other evening and he said he had this gut feeling that told him Houston would beat New England to advance to the next round. He also said that same gut told him Dallas would win their game against Green Bay. He goes to many of the Houston games. He does have all the shirts and other gear. However, my thought is that it might just be time for him to consider a gut-check up, a reset, or maybe even a complete download of some new parameters. But, I do admire his positive vibe and his, somewhat blind, support for his team. It's Tuesday, January 17, 2017, and nothing creates a buzz like professional football. I've either listened to or watched some of all of the games in the playoffs this year. There's no doubt that the Dallas versus Green Bay, Kansas City versus Pittsburg games were, not only some of the best for this year, but, they also rank up there favorably with those considered to be classic contests from the past. What distinguished them from others? They were hard fought, close battles. The games could have gone either way. Everyone enjoys that type of game better than a blowout. There have not been very many of those types of nailbiter games this playoff season and that should be of some concern to the NFL brain trust. That's what my gut tells me. For what it is worth.

No. They haven't called me up and asked me what I think about these matters. I'm just exercising the rights I have that were bought and paid for by the millions of commercials I've watched during the games. Speaking of that, what's with this new approach of playing the same commercial back to back? The first one finishes and before you can take the next breath, it starts again, the very same commercial. It happens so fast and it takes you by surprise making it hard to reach both the remote and the boiling point before its over and done. Since I knew that inquiring minds would want to know what's behind this, I did my best to find out. Sometimes it happens when a network switches to an affiliate and the affiliate happens to run the same commercial that just ended. However, the practice of running the same back to back is not new. It's been around a long time. It's done for impact. In fact, it's called impact scheduling. According to an expert who tracks advertising, this practice was once used sporadically but since it is often viewed negatively, it mostly went away. Looking at recent complaints he has received, it appears the practice has made a comeback. My response: It might just make me say no twice to whatever product is being hawked.

I am aware that broadcast TV is available free of charge because of the advertising. I suppose that's why I pay around $100 a month to have these free channels piped into my home via satellite. No thank you, I'm not inclined to go back to a roof mounted antenna or rabbit ears. However, I can still complain if I want to, it is, after all, a free country. Right? Hopefully, for the fun of it, and in good taste. It's just those back to back hit a nerve. Maybe not my last nerve. Speaking of the last nerve figure of speech, here is what one literary major had to say about it, "The phrase “you’re getting on my last nerve” supposes that you have many nerves running through your body that can become agitated from the insensitivities that life has to offer. Most of us internalize the bumps and grinds of a bad day hoping things might get better till that unfortunate moment when we are at our limit and feel we don’t have a calm reserve left. That just might be the moment we have to interact with someone who is trying our patience, yet again. It takes a certain sense of self to warn someone they need to either leave our company or tone their presence down so as not to send us over to the bad side because we truly have reached our limit of calm." Yeah. That sounds about right to me. I think my mom used that 'last nerve' deal more than anyone else. It had something to do with her being widowed and trying her best to corral us six kids. I'm pretty sure she was entitled to own that one. Take care and do your best, with God's help, to have a great rest of the day. Amen.  .....More later.

Monday, January 16, 2017

“In the midst of a busy life don't forget to live.” ― Marty Rubin

I did travel to Louisiana on Saturday and spent the day with mom and dad. Mom has developed some infection in the incision from her hip surgery. They are treating it aggressively with antibiotics. She will be seeing the surgeon on Tuesday. They are also checking to make sure she hasn't developed pneumonia. It seems like she takes a few steps forward and then a few back, but, she is in good spirits. At 92, recovery is always difficult. We also received the sad news that our Aunt Elwanda, age 92, passed away in her sleep last Friday evening. Aunt Elwanda was the wife to mom's last remaining sibling, Uncle Waymon. She also was 92. This aunt and uncle had a huge impact on our lives and we pray for him, their daughter Cindy, and the grandchildren as they deal with this great loss.

Welcome one and all. Today is a national holiday, Martin Luther King Day. We do not take off here at my workplace but the government, banks, schools, many companies, and other institutions do observe this in remembrance of the life and times of the iconic civil rights leader. I do bid you a hearty hello on this Monday, January 16, 2016. I think I just might be a wee bit too busy these days. So much to get done, so little time. That got me to thinking about how you know when you are too busy. Here are some personal testimonies I found out on the world wide web. ~ When you find your cell phone in the refrigerator. ~ You take the cleaning to Pizza Hut and ask for a burger at the bank drive through. ~ You are halfway through eating your sandwich before you realize you haven't put the meat on it. ~ You end up with the kid still in your car at work because you forget to take them to school. ~ You spray your hair with Windex thinking it was conditioner. ~ Someone overhears you shouting 'hurry up' to the microwave. ~ Your family members living with you have to send you a text message just to hear from you. ~ And those could go on and on. I believe they say the next step is to go from being too busy to being overwhelmed. At least that gives me something to look forward to. I think. Hey, I'm just glad to be able to get up and go and to be busy with the life God has given to me. Amen.

When I was a kid I remember how much the receiving of a chain letter would make my folks angry. Sometimes they received them from people they knew, even relatives. I think the part that bothered them the most was the threatening of bad things happening if they failed to keep the chain going. How in the world could God fearing, Bible believing people participate in that type of shenanigan? It's been a long time since I've heard that much about chain letters coming through the regular postal service. However, it has many faces, many angles, and many approaches, but the underlying concept is alive and well on social media. I'm talking about dozens or more per day. It's not enough to read what is said or even to like what is said because if you don't copy what is said and send it to your entire friends list, well, you are not a true friend, a true believer, a true patriot, a true conservative, a true lover of all that is good, and, it goes on and on and on, and one more for good measure, and on. I know, in isolation, the folks who send them out are not intending to flood the entire platform with these kinds of communications, yet, that is exactly what is happening. If that's what they want to do, it is still a free country. It just ruffles my feathers a little and I thought maybe I would blow off a little steam. I'm not sure if I feel better about it but I at least let you know how I feel about it.

I am aware that many of the things posted that appear in this chain mail like format do support good causes. Some of them. Not all of them. There's just so many. Most of the ones I see are not original. It has been copied as requested from someone else who copied it from someone else, etc., etc. At any rate, I think many of you know what I am talking about. The other day when the wife and I were in the waiting room of the surgical center waiting for my name to be called, a rather loud lady said something that got most people's attention. Someone was making conversation with her and she responded by saying she had come with her mom. She went on. Her mom was somewhat worried about what they might find when they did her scan. The loud lady said she told her mom that she should be happy because she had enjoyed a good long life of 67 years. When she said that, every white haired person's head turned. Hello? I couldn't guess what the average age was of those of us in that waiting room, but, I got the idea that none of us there thought that her statement was one we wanted to hear at the moment. She noticed that and began talking about others in her family who had died much younger. Great subjects to be discussing with folks who are about to be put to sleep. Oh well, you do hear some things if you pay attention. Remind me next time to listen to something using a set of those earbuds. That's a better plan. What say you? Take care. Know that God is still in control, and, that with His grace, mercy, and provision, I will see you next time. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Thanks from our entire family to each one praying for mom.

Mom eating her lunch this past Wednesday. Thanks to niece Angela for the photo.
Okay. I'm reporting to you live and in person. I've never really quite grasped the exact meaning of that phrase. I suppose you could be live but not in person, but, I've never got hold of what that might look like. I am, however, glad to report that I am back here on this Friday, January 13, 2017. Here's a brief update on my mom. One day she seems to be in really good spirits. The next, not so much. I think this will be the profile as she works through this recovery and rehabilitation process. Our large blended family is united in our thankfulness for those working with mom, those praying for mom, and for those who are making the effort to visit her. When I mention to her about how many people from near and far who are joining in prayer on her behalf, she always says, "Remind them to pray that God's will would be done." Dad continues to travel forth and back. He is now bringing her some of her favorite food from various places. This is a big step forward since she has not been able to eat much from the meals they provide at the rehab hospital. She knows what she likes and he does too. When I told him the nurse said he could bring food in, he said, "Good. She will have her favorite fried chicken strips from Dairy Queen tonight." (She told me she had heard a lot about that photo and wanted me to know that she must look a whole lot better than she feels. She says it really hurts for her to try and walk.) Thanks again for remembering her in your prayers.   Amen.

I did get the best report I've ever received from my colon examination. For the first time ever there were no polyps to remove. The doctor said the results were textbook. That stuff they inject into your IV is pretty amazing. One second I am looking at my vitals on the little monitor and the next thing I know they are asking how I feel. At any rate, I am so very grateful for that report. I do plan, Lord willing, to head over to Louisiana to visit mom tomorrow. It's a pretty long turnaround but it is the least I can do to show my love and respect for her. The wife is heartsick because of her not being able to go with me. She is still in the throes of recovering from her back fracture. One day I think she is making progress and the next she is again dealing with a lot of pain and discomfort. They did say it would be a long haul for her full recovery. I try to remind her every day that she needs to take it easy. On most days the cry of the urgent keeps her from being able to do that very thing.

For some reason, the blogging utility program I use to prepare these daily visits has decided to be ornery today. You would almost think it's a Friday the 13th kind of situation. I say do this and it decides to do what it well pleases. I decided to use that doctor cow cartoon but it decided that it wouldn't put it where I wanted it. I finally wrestled it down, but, it does make my life a little complicated if you know what I mean. We have our Church Class (Truth Seekers) Christmas party scheduled for this evening. We are the older people in our local fellowship and we began doing it like this several years ago. Yes, we do embrace the Christmas party theme. We always have a great time of fellowship, food, and fun. I am so thankful for these brothers and sisters who are just that, true brothers and sisters. I believe that is what God intended when He established His ordained called out assembly or local individual Church as we call it today. Our connectedness is well illustrated in the song lyrics written by Gloria Gaither, with music by her husband Bill, in this beautiful tune, 'The Family of God'. Here are some of the words I thought about, "You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here, It's because we're a family and these are so near; When one has a heartache, we all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear. I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God, I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I'm part of the family, The Family of God." Those thoughts are a great way to end this week's visits. Take care, and I will do my best, with God's help, to see you on this same station next week. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Think about it: It's always a good day when you dwell on the truth of how much God loves you. Amen.

Good morning. It's Thursday, January 12, 2017. I do hope that your day will go well. I hope mine does as well. I will be out of commission for several hours taking care of the colon exam procedure this morning. If all goes well I will be sent home to recover there. And to eat some food. That's right. Food. I've had no solid food since Tuesday evening. You what? You've seen me and you don't think I am in danger of starving? Thanks for that vote of confidence. I was happy to see clear coffee on the list of things I could ingest. Clear for them means no milk or creamer. Clear for me means Community, hot, black and strong. But, you knew that already. When I read the instructions to the wife, she opined, "Are you sure that's a good idea for a diabetic?" I then remembered my admonition to her regarding her back injury. Good clubbers always follow instructions. At any rate, I do hope to be back in my regular spot or time slot, if you will, tomorrow morning.

The wife has been hinting that maybe I should do a major cutback on my beard. I used to do that at the end of each season but over the last couple of years I've kind of grown attached to it being attached to me. I've done some trimming but nothing as dramatic as the fellow in the picture. I am thinking about it. I can't remember the subject but she told me the other evening, "You have to be the greatest procrastinator of all time." To think that I might have a shot at the hall of fame. Very humbling folks, very humbling indeed. Some people live their entire lives and never figure out what they are great at. Not me. I have been consistently recognized in that particular category. I did see one graphic that had this proclamation, "I put the pro in procrastination." I don't think they had a T-Shirt. Maybe I should look into that. I will think about it. Soon. Someday. Not today. I'm busy. I think most of you know exactly where I'm coming from. On second thought, don't try to identify with me. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Have a great day and may God bless us, one and all. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"Advice: Never agree to plastic surgery if the doctor's office is full of portraits by Picasso." ~ copied

It's been five years already? That's right. Today is preparation day. Not something I would wish on anyone. However, it is a part of the process. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for in the morning. For anyone who has had this done, enough said. I've researched this procedure to see what others do throughout the world. I mentioned to our gastroenterologist how they are using an ultrasound scan approach in the UK that does not require the preparation. She looked at me and explained how that I have a history of polyps, therefore, wouldn't it be best to take care of it all at the same time instead of scheduling multiple procedures. I guess that's why they go to school for so many years because they always seem to have an answer. At any rate, many hours of preparation tonight is what I have on my agenda for this day, Wednesday, January 11, 2017. We were watching some real-time emergency room shows on TV the other evening. These can be graphic enough that I occasionally have to turn my head. One of the ER nurses became a patient in one episode. She had hurt her neck in an accident. She typically is the one in charge. Suddenly, we see this scared young lady having to deal with her own frailty as a part of the human family. As a result of the injury she sustained, she was actually in a hard neck collar and off from work for three months. This reminded me of how we at times put certain folks in the superhero category when they, just like us, are people too. I will say that I was a wee bit surprised that she didn't handle her own injury as well as I would have thought a top notch nursing professional might. However, she is, after all is said and done, a human being, in need of God's grace, just like every single other person on the planet. Amen.

I don't have one yet. The professional Santas continue to post their single most memorable moment from this just concluded season. I've not come up with one yet, but, I think for me it's because there were so many. It's like when people ask what my favorite Bible verse is. I don't have a favorite. There are too many to choose from. I did adopt the 119th Psalm, Verse 105, as my life verse: "Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path." (New King James Version) I don't remember the circumstances, but, everyone was giving out their life verses and that one came to my mind. I did, however, order up some Christmas bells for Mrs. Claus to use in announcing our arrival. These dudes are heavy duty and they are loud. We have a few venues where this will be a novelty and I think it will be well received. Plus, they were on sale at 50% off. Come to think about it, that may have had more to do with it than anything else. At least they will know when we have arrived.

I've mentioned many times about this little winding road that leads to my workplace each day. The Friday before Christmas I had business to take care of here but someone had knocked a light pole down. The other day I had eight deer cross in front of me. On Monday of this week, one of the fellows here in our office hit a deer on his way in. It messed up his front bumper. Yesterday we had a big wreck right in front of our entrance. A teenaged boy decided to pass a lady in a curve at a high rate of speed. His pickup fishtailed on him, hit the other car, causing the lady to wreck into a pole. Another pole! He then swerved and hit the fence to our property. The lady's car was demolished. Only by the grace of God that no one was seriously injured. The light pole was damaged beyond repair. No power. Again. We ended up sending some 25 of our workers home. We lost a full day of production. This all happened at 7:15 a.m. and we got power back at 2 p.m. The police officer on the scene told one of our guys that people need to recognize there's a very good reason the speed limit on that road is 40 miles per hour. I saw the young man who had caused all the calamity. His girlfriend had showed up. His mom had showed up. The three of them stood there. His look was very appropriate for the road he was standing on. You probably guessed it. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Just another day in the neighborhood and a good reminder for us all to be careful, especially if you come down the road I'm talking about. Have a great rest of the day and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.