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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Health Care And Other Related Stuff. The events described within this missive actually happened at the end of last week, but I’ve just have been too busy to write about them. The day after all my surgery adventures began the health care drama of the Spice. This was the day that she had ‘prepared’ for all of the day before – it was the day of the colonoscopy. If you have ever had one of these you are well aware of what said ‘preparation’ consists. The Spice was one clean lady – inside and out.

Our hour of arrival was 6:15am, an almost ungodly hour, but good inasmuch as she wouldn’t have to go without eating late in the day. We checked in, signed forms and waited – I think the waiting is built in just to make the patient nervous. She was finally called back for prep and they would call me when she was ready. More waiting. Got to see her all of two minutes before they whisked her away into the ‘bowels’ of the building and I was directed back to the aptly named waiting room.

Two TVs occupied wall space in the room and they were on different channels. This should have been a good thing but neither caught or held my attention. Neither did my mind care to get involved in the old magazines that were available, so I set about answering the snail mail from a friend of mine.

Under stress my attention span shortens considerably – it’s not very long at best – and I only had about a half page of the letter written when I lost interest in the endeavor. The stress was partly self-induced and that was because my lady was ‘behind closed doors’ and I wasn’t. Then I started the shortened version of people watching – people glancing.

There was a fairly large fish tank situated on one side of the room, placed there to calm the waiters, I assume – no one seemed to be interested. Later there was a man seated by the tank and was very calmly reading the morning paper – so maybe the tank did work after all.

Just across from me were two older couples that began a very animated conversation the moment the second pair was seated. As far as I could tell they had never met until that waiting room moment – this is just a thing that happens in the south – maybe other places as well, but particularly down here. They continued their spirited stories even after one wife went ‘behind closed doors’.

The lady behind ‘the desk’ seemed to be fairly efficient but this evidently didn’t extend to the TVs in the waiting room. She made an effort at changing the channel on one of them, even to the point of standing up in one of the chairs to reach the appliance, but all to no avail. As best as I can recall, she called the TV something to the effect of ‘ornery’ – it didn’t seem that way to me but evidently she had some previous bad experiences with it.

To my relief, they finally came for me to go back to the ‘wake up’ room to see the Spice. She was still very sleepy, but at least I was with her. The doctor came by a little later and gave us a good report – praise God for good reports. We were back home by about 10:30am - praise God for a home. ec

Friday, October 27, 2006


The Surgery Saga Continues. By the evening of the scalp surgery all had settled into somewhat of a routine and the pain of the cutting had subsided to a manageable level. MIL is still recovering from being in the hospital so I stayed with her while BIL went to a doc visit of his own. The Spice is preparing for a colonoscopy on the morrow and was understandably indisposed.

On BIL’s return, I came back home to dine with the crowd on take-out Tex-Mex. “The crowd” in this case was YD and her 4 young ones that had been staying with us since SSIL was out of town for training. We were all eating in a somewhat disorganized manner and all talking at one time. GM1 and her cheerleading friend were suddenly startled by a trick email and then started laughing.

Joining in the laughter in a very hearty manner, I suddenly felt something wet run down the side of my face. The exercise of these scalp muscles was too much for the fresh surgery and I had to grab something to staunch the flow of the red stuff. Direct pressure on the wound site finally brought the leakage to a halt.

The time was after 5pm and I knew my doc had gone home but I called the office anyway. I was directed by the recorded voice to call another number for emergencies, it even spelled out what was an emergency and what was not. Finally got in touch with a real live person and after hearing the story they agreed that this was an acceptable reason to bother the doc.

15 or 20 minutes later my Doctor called me back and told me to come back to the office, that she was still there doing some late work. It was after six by the time I got back to her office and all but one or two of the staff had left for the day, and these left shortly after. She numbed up the site, fried several places with the electric knife and it felt like she added a stitch or two.

She then placed a major stack of gauze and tape to cover about half of the top of my head – it came out looking about like I was growing an antler for a Christmas play. Finally got home after 7pm with my large bandage of courage as well as a fair-sized headache from all the activity. One never knows what a day will bring forth.

With as many surprises as life throws at us, it is good to have the peace of God in our hearts and minds in abundance. ec

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Thoughts While Awaiting The Knife. The day of this writing was the day I went under the knife for the removal of a basal cell carcinoma from my scalp. The day started in the usual manner with the sun coming up and all – it was already up by the time I got up, which is usually the case.

Somewhere during or after the preparing and partaking of my usual physical and spiritual sustenance, I looked out the window to gaze upon the garden area. It was a sad sight since we have received a frost for the last two mornings – our first ones of the season. The leaves of the remaining live okra plants were freshly dead and were hanging from their stems like thin, wet, dark green cloths.

A glance out the rear kitchen window tells another sad story. The pond has continued its slow recession until two small soggy islands are now in view. We have received several rains of late but only light ones and never long enough to build the level of the pond. Since the only water source for this pond is the run-off of the neighbor’s pond or the rain and these have been very small amounts, the pond level continues to drop.

My hour of destiny was 10am and I was finally on my way to this time of non-enjoyment. On my way, did the sun seem extra bright, the color of the fall foliage more beautiful and the birds much more twitterpated – or was it just me? Do the senses of the condemned prisoner get more acute as they walk the last mile?

The traffic was light in spite of construction along the way and even limited to one lane across the Savannah River Bridge. Entering the parking garage, I took the first available space, even though the walk was further. This is because in the past I have had to go all the way to the top floor and even start back down before finding a place in which to rest my vehicle. The temp was nippy but just right for walking as I made my way over to the professional building’s elevator.

During the signing in I made sure that my insurance information was correct – since I am now very old and on Medicare. Soon I was called back to one of the ‘cutting’ rooms and though I wasn’t looking forward to this procedure, when they checked my blood pressure, it was normal. Then I was situated on a ‘cutting’ table, made semi-comfortable and the spot was numbed for the knife. Then was the worst part – I had to wait.

Even though I am writing this a little ‘keyboard in cheek’, I still do not like to wait, especially for non-pleasant things – like getting things cut off my skin. Finally the procedure got underway and even though it may have felt like four days, I walked out of her office about an hour after I went in. Even though there was a tiny bit less of me now, my steps back to the truck did not feel much lighter. God is still good, all the time. ec

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


After looking up the word busy in the book of definitions, it seems to me that this word would describe what I have been up to for the last few days. The first meaning of busy was – actively and attentively engaged, especially in work. This would also depend on the meaning one would have of the word ‘work’ – but it felt like work to me, especially the several hours of pro bono telephone maintenance at a local church on Monday evening.

The second meaning is – not at leisure or otherwise engaged. When a person is too busy to write an email or post a blog, they are just too busy. The third meaning also describes my life of late – full of activity. These are not all strenuous tasks, just needful things – babysitting would have to be considered under the umbrella of these needful things.

The fourth meaning describes a telephone line in use. On the telephone line Monday my very dire financial situation was brought to the attention of our health insurance company and on Tuesday a call from them delivered us from a mistaken billing for this year and all of next – could have gone either way, with the consequences going deep into our family finances – praise God for deliverance.

The fifth definition would describe someone that is meddlesome or prying. This is the only one that doesn’t describe me because: a-my life is so full of awesome and eventful things that I don’t care to hear about the mistakes or misdeeds of others and: b-if I hear things, I usually don’t remember them long enough to tell anyone else anyway. I’d much rather be the bearer of good news, or even tell of comical or silly things and events.

The sixth says that if something is busy, it is cluttered with small, fussy details, describing how an article of clothing looks or possibly an article of decoration or the décor of a house or room in general. It did occur to me that my grandsons somewhat fit this definition inasmuch as they are the personification of small, fussy details – and they do tend to clutter the house quite a bit.

The seventh and last definition of the word busy is to keep occupied or to make or keep busy. This reminds of some of the work we did when I was in the army – busy work – it wasn’t necessarily necessary but the higher ups wanted to keep us busy to hopefully keep us out of trouble – it usually didn’t have the desired effect.

Being busy is a good thing, especially on the positive side of morality. Anybody that has trouble knowing which side is the positive, I have a Friend that always helps me for the asking and will help them too. ec

Friday, October 20, 2006

GM day

Today would have to be considered a grunt monkey day – this because half of the ‘grands’ have resided with me today. GruntMonkey1 (the 13-yr-old) was out of school on the day of this writing and had a doc appointment. YD took her to that with a couple more shopping type errands tacked on to the end of that space in time. The three boys stayed with me since there was a large chance of havoc being created had they gone with their Mom and Sis – maybe several instances thereof.

GM3 is now almost 4½, GM4 is a month short of 3 and GM6 is 19 months old. If you have ever had or kept young ones, you know that these ages are all very ‘interesting’ times in their lives – as well as in the life of their caregiver(s). The Spice was caring for her Mom today, so I was on my own.

The adventure started shortly after 9am and for the first couple of hours there was just general playing with a minimum of interference from me. Some days a video is required for their entertainment but today was nothing but their imagination and a little encouragement from me. Then it was naptime for the little one, so we had a round of yogurt for all and GM6 was down for the count.

A large cardboard box, some couch cushions and other miscellaneous items were then made into a fort for GM3 and GM4. This was to keep the ‘bad people’ out and soon all their special play items were stored within the fort’s confines. A long narrow box was put on top – it was their gun with which to shoot the ‘bad people’ – could they possibly have gotten that from Disney movies?

Somewhere during this time we had a short recording session. My small voice recorder is usually kept close for me to make verbal notes of material about which to write. As I was searching through this audio, it caught their immediate attention and soon I was recording their voices. The younger was a bit shy but did say hi to his Mom on the tape – the older took right to it and recited a couple of rhymes – he’s quite the performer. They both had a very quizzical look when they heard their voices played back.

Shortly after noon it became their dreaded, yet very much needed, time of the day – naptime. Their Pop-pop prepared them a sandwich first, which they sloooowly consumed – somehow knowing what was coming next. Finally, after flying the sandwich around the room several times and ending in GM4’s mouth – one bite at a time – first as a plane and then transforming into a large bird, the younger one finished his repast and was deposited in his resting place.

GM3 was a bit more of a challenge, yet with firmness, he was marched off to his bed like a condemned man going to his doom. I was hardly settled into the chair at my computer when the small one let me know (on the monitor) that he was ready to get up and start his adventures all over again. This babysitting is not very relaxing but it is good to know that you can have a part in letting these small ones know that they are much loved. God lets me know His love for me when I discuss these things with Him – He loves you too. ec

Thursday, October 19, 2006


It was a rare moment in that the Spice and I were partaking of our evening meal together. Rare because MIL is in the hospital and has been for more than a week. We had been talking about most anything and everything, and enjoying the words together very much. Then I looked into her eyes and asked her – “Why isn’t yellow my favorite color?”

She got an odd look on her face and I knew that she would have raised one eyebrow if she could. She didn’t know an answer, so she turned the question back to me. It felt a little weird but I didn’t know the answer either. Being a bit flummoxed, I turned to the mighty WEB and simply typed in ‘favorite color’ and got bunches and bunches of information.

What I settled for was a site that gave a color expert’s opinion about what our favorite color reveals about our personalities and who we really are. In an effort to answer my own question, I looked up the color yellow to see what it said about the qualities of a person that would choose that color. As I read through the ‘yellow qualities’, I realized that most of these seemed to describe me to very well.

Then came the snags, character qualities that I didn’t have and didn’t even want. All these years (or minutes) of wondering why my favorite color wasn’t something else seemed to be answered in one article. If I had only known these things earlier, how different my life would have been.

Then the horrible thought came to me – what if my favorite color is non-descriptive of who I really am? Then I would have to go through the agony of choosing another favorite after all these years of living under an assumed color preference. Could that be construed as living a lie – or even a partial truth – or would those be the same thing?

With trepidation I read what kind of person would choose my actual favorite color. How could this person writing the article have known all these details? Great relief flooded my entire being – except my toenails – as I now realized that what it said was close enough to keep me from the trauma of choosing another color to guide my life.

While writing this a bit keyboard in cheek, I find it sad that many in our world guide their lives by colors, astrological signs or what the tea leaves say. Our lives, happiness and future do not depend on reading the signs or tea leaves, or even our color choice, but our choice of a Savior. ec

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


If you think this is one of those weird missives about words that I think are odd or seldom used - - you are right. ‘Foible’ is an interesting word and one of its meanings is - a quirk or eccentricity of character. Some individual foibles in certain folks are hard to detect but with others this is not so difficult. In fact, some folks are thought to be absolutely, cotton-pickin’ nutso, when all they have are some very easily detected foibles. None of these weird things will be named or described just in case someone out there might think that I am talking about them – or me.

A ‘fallacy’ is a deceptive, misleading, or false notion or belief – or a misconception. This would include any of various types of erroneous reasoning that render arguments logically unsound. An example of a fallacious argument would be – since I tripped over a child’s toy, fell down the stairs and broke my arm in two places (the other place was in the kitchen) on Tuesday, then it stands to reason that we will have weather every Tuesday.

To ‘fidget’ is to move about restlessly, nervously, or impatiently. This brought a couple of questions to my mind. First, is fidgeting only on the physical plane or can it be mental or even in the emotional arena? But then maybe fidgeting is strictly limited to the internal and the physical signs are only the external symptoms? Secondly, what is the opposite of fidget – or do we always fidget inside with thoughts running helter-skelter – with the physical evidence of it being more controlled at times?

Interesting also is the word ‘friable’ and even though the sound of it is such, this is not descriptive of one of the ways chicken could be cooked. The word is an adjective meaning that something is easily crumbled or reduced to powder, usually referring to some physical material. To me this word could also apply to the hopes or dreams of humankind, which are so easily and often crumbled into dust.

When I thought of the word ‘forest’, all kinds of weird thoughts and questions cascaded across my mind. For example – if the forest suddenly turned into nothing but trees, would they all leave? Or if all the leaves left, what would be left for composting? Or if a leaf fell in the middle of the forest would it ever leave? Then a semi-related word ‘fragrant’ – would anything really be fragrant if there was no one there to smell it?

Then there is ‘fate’. When our lives are lived out in the belief that nothing we do – good or bad – can alter the end results of our lives, this leads to hopelessness and folks not caring how they live their lives. My preference of belief is that our choices are the determiners of what happens to us, most especially those made in the spiritual.

This brings us to probably the most powerful word in any language – forgiveness. The only true forgiveness is available from God for the asking, this because He truly loves us, whether we are lovable or not. The only true love in this world is not only from God but He is the personification of love. ec

Monday, October 16, 2006


There was an ice cream carton in the freezer with just a few spoons of that delectable vanilla bean frozen confection therein contained. It is a terrible thing to leave a near empty carton in the freezer, just taking up space. One of my jobs as the man of the house is to clean up around the place, and that carton fell into my sphere of duty.

There were several bananas hanging on the little banana hanger thing that were getting on towards too ripe. Another one of my duties is to see that food is not wasted. Just the spark of an idea began to form in my mind – why not mix duty with enjoyment? Not being able to come up with a good negative answer, I set about the act of mixing the two together.

Carefully extracting a banana from its holder, I peeled it, broke it in half and placed the two broken parts in the bottom of a bowl. Now the die was cast and the scene was set, the peeled banana could not be wasted – especially since it had been broken in half. Then the peeling was put down the disposal so I would not be tempted to try to put it back on the broken banana.

The bowl was a Corelle one by Corning and it was about half the size of the one-quart containers that I usually use for extreme desserts. The banana was then squashed and mashed on the bottom of this dish with a large stainless steel fork. The near-empty container was taken from the freezer and its meager contents were emptied into the bowl on top of the banana pulp.

The amount of ice cream was so small that it looked very lonesome – the only solution I could think of was to get some from another carton to keep it company. This was done but it still didn’t look right, something was missing. Then I got some walnuts and broke them in small pieces on top of all this – see how one thing leads to another?

A near-empty bottle of chocolate syrup was in residence in the frig – I did my duty and helped empty this on top of the ice cream. I reasoned that most everything contained in the bowl so far was healthy, even the chocolate syrup contained certain elements that are reputed to be good for the body. This spur of the moment healthy thing was still missing one final crowning glory.

Carousing through the frig again, I espied the strawberry spread and decided that since this had fruit contained therein, it should top off my dish. I knew that strawberries were healthy, but I wasn’t sure at all about the spread part – maybe this was what my body did after I consumed all this.

Doing my duty in this case was much fun and delicious. Some of my duties are a bit tougher; one in particular is to love my fellow humans in word and deed – especially since some of them are not very loveable. But this is the very least I can do since Jesus Christ loved me enough to die for the wrong things I had done. This is my duty to God but also an honor to obey His Words. ec

Friday, October 13, 2006


It would appear that I have been tagged, so here goes.

First name? George

Were you named after anyone? Yes, my maternal grandmother and grandfather.

Your favorite lunchmeat? Turkey.

Do you have a journal? Have tried several times in the past – now my journal is online – my blog.

Your favorite cereal? Several, I usually mix three cereals together – Rice Krispies on the bottom, some sort of wheat cereal in the middle and Cherrios on the top. Of course blueberries are underneath all that.

Your favorite ice cream flavor? Vanilla bean – a person can take that and go to any flavor by additions thereunto.

Shoe size? 11½ E.

Red or pink? Neither, I’m into blue.

Your least favorite thing about yourself? I pretty much enjoy how I’m made – could use a little more hair.

What color pants and shoes are you wearing? Jean shorts and green flip flops.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue

Favorite smell? Fresh baked cinnamon rolls.

Favorite drink? Hot tea – many flavors.

Hat size? XL

Favorite food? I’m pretty much omnivorous – might lean a little toward Chinese.

Winter or summer? Given those two it would be summer – my real favorite is spring.

Favorite sounds? The sighing of pines in the wind, the rush and gurgle of a small stream, bird songs (except crows), rain on a tin roof, the laughter of children at play and the sound of my wife saying that she loves me – not necessarily in that order.

The furtherest you’ve been from home? When I was in the army and stationed near Paris, France, a couple of other guys and myself went on a European tour and the furtherest point was Rome, Italy.

What’s your special talent? If I do say so myself, I smile very well.

When and where were you born? On April 1, 1941 – In a small house in rural Itawamba county, Mississippi. ec

Thursday, October 12, 2006

silly geese

This moment in time finds me once again seated in the short chair under the semi-shade of the fig tree. The shade is made semi because more leaves are falling all the time. Resting from my labors, I was gazing at the trees and pond at the rear of our property. What my eyes beheld brought several questions and/or small mysteries to my mind.

A month or so ago the ten geese that had been on the pond for most of a year just flew away – why? Just a few days ago they flew back – why? The number of the geese is now down to 5 – what happened to the others? The duck that hung out with them just stayed here on the pond – why? Who can figure their fowl little minds?

The dry weather islands mentioned in a previous missive are once again close to appearing and can even be seen a few inches under the surface of the water. The rains have been a little slack in the last couple of months and the level of the pond has been slowly dropping. For some unknown reason the geese were just standing in a couple of these shallow areas that would have to be considered either ex-islands or pre-islands, probably the latter.

The two-fold question came before my cognitive facilities – why were they just standing there in the shallows and why were they all facing south? Three were on one pre-island and two on another but they were all facing south. They would move around a bit but then they would come back and just stand there, facing south. Their genetic code may be a little weak and instead of flying, they just face the south as winter approaches and face the north in the summer.

The duck swam by for a brief howdy-do, but didn’t stay long at all – I think he might be miffed at them for leaving him alone so long. These geese are of the type that I’ve always heard called Canadian geese but I don’t think they have ever been out of the state of South Carolina. They just seem to fly back and forth between the different ponds and lakes in the area – local geese, or could that be lo-cal. They might need to go on a lo-cal diet to be able to fly further.

There are several things that I wonder about geese. If they get a whack on the head, do they get a goose egg? If they get cold, do they get goose bumps? I wonder if they are goosey – it’s hard to get close enough to find out. I feel sorry for the ones on this pond because they can’t even play ‘duck, duck, goose’ because there is only one duck.

I continue to be amazed by God’s creations, be they plants or animals. ec

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


When I awoke, I found that it was a brand new day, it had never been used before – the only used days are the yesterdays of the past. Nobody had messed up this day, defamed it or done any wrong in it – except possibly in the hours since about midnight when it first began until the time I arose to check on it – I’m not responsible for stuff happening when I’m asleep.

It seemed an OK day, so I participated with it and its events to help make it what it should be. My usual breaking the fast participatory stuff was completed in a participative manner. It occurred to me that this day is the first time I have said (or written) the word participatory, at least in a very long time. Participatory is a word that not only tickles the tongue and lips when spoken, it delights the ears also as the letters and syllables tumble through the auditory canals and nerves.

The day was mostly an inside day since I was being held in a reserve status for babysitting. This because YD is ailing and waiting to see if they will summons her to the doc’s office to check on this – she has a call in to them. Didn’t want to go outside and get grubby in case I had to sit with the GMs.

Finally I just went outside for an hour or so – this to ruin the day for some weeds and grass in the garden. As a matter of fact, I ruined the rest of their nutrient stealing, trespassing little lives. And wouldn’t you know, just about the time I got good and grubby, my sitting call came. Due to worsening of symptoms, she did go see the doc and the Spice, being the cleaner of the two of us, went to sit.

Until this happened, we were both going to GM1’s last volleyball game of the year. After working a while longer, I came in, got cleaned up and headed to the game alone – we felt like someone in the family should go. The game was played in a somewhat close town – in the Jackson Middle school gym. The school was situated on the main highway and I located it without much trouble.

Volleyball is scored a bit different than when I was in school – today it is the first team to 25 points that is the winner of a game. Then the team that wins the best 3 out of 5 games is the overall winner. GM1’s team was the visitor in this case and they won 3 straight games, much to the chagrin of the home team. GM1 got to play a little in the second game and a good bit in the third.

The rules dictate that the team must ride the bus to and from the games that are away, I drove back to her school and picked her up when they returned. GM1 is the 13yr old and she pretty much talked non-stop from the time I picked her up until I got her home. She filled me in on all the happenings at school, at the game and on the way home from the game. We went by one of her most favorite places on earth to get her something to eat – Chick-Fil-A.

All the excited chatter reminded me so much of OD and YD when they were that age. Wow, time flies whether you have fun or not, of course in my case I usually do. Fun things are more fun than things that are not. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” ec

Monday, October 09, 2006


The word farrago didn’t exist for me until just a few days ago when I accidentally stumbled on it in a search for another word. One of the meanings is ‘a confused mixture’ and it seemed to very much fit my writings for this day and therefore became the title.

If today is truly the first day of the rest of my life, I wonder why I didn’t notice this fact yesterday? Or maybe yesterday was the first day and I didn’t even realize it, and by not paying attention, it caused me to miss an entire day of the rest of my life – I’ve just got to start being more alert.

While pondering various things the other day, I realized that all of my ancestors were dead. More thought brought me to the fact that exactly half of my ancestors were women! One of these days I guess I will be an ancestor as well. In fact, considering that the definition of an ancestor is a person from whom one is descended, I may be one right now. Or does one have to be dead to be an ancestor?

There is so much hoopla about redefining marriage and such that one day they may even outlaw marriage. But when marriage is outlawed, only outlaws will have in-laws (I read this last sentence somewhere). Then that brings us to an unusual phenomenon about having children – if your parents didn’t have any kids, chances are that you won’t have any either.

Ran across an old saying the other day that reminded me about something my father used to do that was a common practice back then. When the coffee was too hot, he would pour some into his saucer, blow on it until it was ready to drink and then sip it from the saucer. The old saying was that when something had been “saucered and blowed”, it meant it was now ready for use.

Found this in one of the Sunday newspaper sections of a while back. “Studies have found that hugging, handholding and other forms of TLC ease anxiety by calming areas of the brain that register alarm – and can even lower blood pressure, too.”

Virginia Satir said: “For human beings, you need two hugs a day to survive, four hugs for maintenance, six hugs to grow.”

Upon typing ‘hugging’ into a search engine, I found tons of sites declaring the benefits of hugging. Hugs are declared to be healing to the mind, emotions and body. I’ve been a hugger as far back as I can remember – starting with a hugging family, then we have a hugging church (the people therein, not the building itself) and in the last few years it has become OK for guy friends outside the church to hug. I didn’t know how much health and well being I had been spreading over the years, I just knew that it felt good to hug.

The whole world seems to be crying out for someone to care about them and the least we can do is to give someone a hug. I do believe that God approves of hugs. ec

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Once again I find myself seated in the very short beach chair, situated in the shade of the fig tree, resting myself and enjoying some observation and contemplation time. Even though it was mid-morning, the temp was still comfortable – I had trouble getting myself cranked up this morning. I had picked a handful of rose hips and munched on these since I have yet to figure out anything else to do with them. They are fairly tasty, reminding a bit of a strawberry but with a lot of inedible seeds.

If there be a problem of just sitting here, it would forsooth be in the fact that I have yet to do any work except for getting out my tools and equipment. When I brought out the chair, the power of suggestion was too strong for my body, it demanded to sit down and I complied with its request. In fact, it took some mighty tall talking a bit later to get the body out of its place of repose and into the day’s labor.

The body finally arose at the insistence of the will and began a half-hearted effort. It was not convinced this was the thing to do and it whined and complained the rest of the morning. It kept saying that it was tired, felt bad, was thirsty and even hungry – of course that last part could be true about me most of the day. Then the body wanted to go rest, it was a struggle just to keep it moving. The will was running the show but was pretty much alone since the mind was siding with the body.

Then it was back to the chair for a bit more OC time. The fig tree shade is starting to get a bit thin around the edges with more leaves dropping all the time. A mockingbird flew in and lit about 6 feet above my head and I don’t know if it didn’t see me, wasn’t afraid of me, or just very confident in its ability to get away if I turned out to be a dangerous critter.

Off to the left of my chair, the main patch of blueberries are starting to show just a hint of color change in their leaves – some of the varieties more than others. Just beyond that stands a rather large dogwood showing color changes as well, with small clumps of the leaves already a bright red to match the color of the proliferation of berries thereon contained.

The changes in the vegetation that herald the advancing of the seasons are mostly easy to see, as are the signs of the changing seasons of life. The winter of life seems to be creeping up on me but I’m greatly comforted by the fact that the eternal parts of me will never grow old and I will be in the presence of Jesus Christ forever. ec

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


As I have mentioned before, I do almost all of the grocery shopping for our household and pretty much enjoy it. I have found out though that I must not shop when I am hungry because I come home with too much food and sometimes some very odd choices. I do not wish to give examples of these oddities at this time.

My usual routine at the grocery is to go down almost every aisle to check for bargains and/or get ideas for future meals. The only passageways that I seldom ever visit are the ones for drugs, detergents, and pet food/supply aisles. The reasons for the non-visitation of those places are that we get our drug needs elsewhere, I don’t like the detergent perfumes and we don’t have pets.

I usually go in for a few items and come out with a cart full – it is almost like a vice, or as close to one as I get. Just the other day I went in Bi-Lo for two items and came out with a dozen or more, but the bill was under thirty bucks – rare for me. One of the items that I picked up during my slow meander through the store was a plastic bag of split peas – I had a hankering for some split pea soup.

Several days later the desire came again to my mind, and since I had some time between babysitting obligations, I decided to crank up some soup. A recipe was there on the package so I just followed that one. The peas were inspected and placed in the correct amount of water, boiled and were let set for an hour. I had no bay leaf or thyme but did have celery and onion, so I just used what I had. The ingredients on hand were cut up, added to the pot, brought back to a boil and then simmered a while.

When I had to leave for my babysitting assignment, I turned the pot off while I was gone – always a good idea. After the sitting, I went by to pick up some take-out for the Spice and I to share and came home. The Spice had returned home and turned the soup back on for me and upon checking the consistency; I found it to be a bit too soupy. Then a small scooper of grits was added to thicken the gruel a bit.

We ate the take-out and went for our evening walk while the soup thickened. The Spice doesn’t care at all for split pea soup so I was on my own with the eating thereof. Having already eaten, but still having a bit of spare stomach space after the walk, I decided to have a bowl of the soup. It was found to be sufficiently thick and I had to really fight to hold myself to one bowl – and even though it was not seasoned according to the recipe, it greatly suited my taste.

On different occasions and seasons I am and have been thankful for many different things – one of todays praises to God was for split pea soup. ec

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


My lawn mower had been on the fritz since the first part of the summer and I had finally taken it to a friend of mine for repairs. My back-up mower was not self-propelled and that required real effort to mow my sloping yard. The yard had been mowed, but because of the effort and sweat involved, it wasn’t cut nearly as much as the Spice would have desired.

After I received the call that the mower was fixed, I traversed the distance and retrieved said machine in my pickin’-up truck. The mower’s return home was joyous, certainly for me, but one could almost hear the cheerful greetings from the other machinery and tools – it would appear that they missed this cutter of grass as well. Don’t tell them, but I’m seriously considering getting a riding mower. That would be a first for me – the jolting ride is hard on the back, so I have always used a walk behind.

The weed termination was back in operation for a while and then I went back and sat in the fig tree shade again for some OC time – Observation and Contemplation. I noticed that the leaves on the fig tree were slowly turning brown and a few had even fallen off – enough leaves were still present though to shelter from the sun and enable me to sit there and enjoy the OC time. The temp was still near 90F but the humidity was low and with a light breeze it was very comfortable.

Just in front of my sitting place and directly in line of sight, stood some goldenrod in bloom with various insects visiting them while I watched. Two different species of wasps were on the largest flower gathering or eating whatever they gather or eat. One wasp was about twice the body mass of the other but when the two had a small disagreement as to which should be in one area, the smaller threatened and the larger wasp gave way and moved to another part of the flower – interesting.

Being a little hard on the knees and back, the termination job is interspersed with other outside tasks so these aching parts can rest – and since I have my good mower back, the alternate labor has been mowing. Some of this mowing on the back of the hill hadn’t been done since the mower conked out. The grass, weeds, etc. were so high that the mowing was slow going indeed. They were thick enough to choke a mule so they really did a number on the mower. About half of this area had been done one day with the rest saved for the next to make it easier on the old muscles.

On this second day only the center portion of the encircled growths remained. As I slowly circled and mowed this center part I noticed two field rats in the jumble of the mowed and unmowed grass and vines. One of the rodents found its demise in the mowing operations, a fact that I report with neither great jubilation nor abject sorrow – it just was what it was. The more I age, the more life grows precious – any life. I do look forward to spending life eternally with the Savior that I have known for many years now. ec


As I once again sat resting in the shade of the old fig tree, between bouts of deracination of the grass, weeds, brambles and briars, it occurred to me that these garden pest plants had different philosophies of life. Grass is not real smart and will hardly ever enter an intelligent conversation, it just grows as fast as it can, spreads as much as possible and then puts out the maximum amount of seed for the next generation of garden headaches.

The weeds are a little different and make themselves so annoying with their variety of species and aggravating habits that I don’t even take time to talk to them to find out their thoughts about anything. I just hack them out and leave them gasping for dirt because I know they would probably just lie about why they were there in the first place – my advice is don’t trust what weeds say on any subject.

Then we come to brambles, one of my least favorite plant growths, even though I almost have to admire their tenacity and stick-to-it-iveness. These wild blackberries can overgrow an area almost in one season because they grow runners in several directions for 3 to 6 feet, then where the tip of each one of these touch the ground, they root themselves to the soil and send several runners of their own out in several different directions.

They just have a very sneaky attitude in that they sort of wink at you and by that they say, turn your back on me just a while and I will show you what I can do. I pulled up one the other evening that started with one plant and the runners had not had a chance to root and I had in my gloved hands about 40 feet total of sections of thorny stems. All this and if you leave just a short piece of root in the ground, the plant will sprout from that and start all over again.

This leaves the briars, the champion root grower of them all. As I was deracinating today in the garden, I spotted a small group of four briar sprouts not over 3 inches tall. Being familiar with how they grow, I started digging around these to get out the root knots. It took almost 30 minutes to finally dig out these connected knots. The longest of the root knots was 36 inches deep in the ground and it felt like quite the trophy as I held it up by its sprout.

The thought process of the briar (if it had one) would be to grow a big root first, with a minimum amount of sprouts and leaves, then when the root is big enough, send vines up to the top of the tallest tree nearby – wise philosophy. On one border of my property, I have seen them at least 20 feet up any growth that would support them – down on the coast I saw them up 50 feet and more.

I tend to personify these plants for my own entertainment but I’m still amazed at the way God created them to survive in most any climate and condition. I say again, God does all things well, even though I do have to keep these bad entities pulled out of my garden. ec