Saturday, August 20, 2011

Nice Saturday

So far, Saturday has been really nice. I met Bob A. for breakfast this morning and then came home to clean up my car. I vacuumed and shampooed the carpet and upholstery and it came out really nice. Then I Armoralled the dash and all the hard surfaces and it looks better than it has in ages.

I went out to see Phyllis at 9:50 and she was sleeping in her chair. I took her hand and thought she might awaken but she didn't. She woke up briefly for just long enough to answer me when I asked her if she was tired. She said, "Yes, I am" then she went back to sleep. I sat with her for 30 minutes or so and then went down the hall to see Gerry. Gerry was playing Bingo so I didn't stop her to visit.

I will leave in a little while to go to the 50th anniversary celebration of Bill and Lana over at Caney. It begins at 2:00.

The temperature today is not bad so far. It's only 86 out there at 1:00. That's nicer then it has been a awhile. Slinky can handle outdoors when it's like this. There was a nice breeze this morning at 7:30.

More later...

I went on to the anniversary celebration at Caney and saw many people I knew from my time living there. I got home about 3:30. Among others, I enjoyed seeing Tim R. as I had not seen him in years. He asked about Scott and I told him the news about my family. He has sold his business and is moving to Salina. There are jobs there.

Anyhow, I got home and did some more laundry. I even washed Slinky's rugs. They were quite dirty. I pressed some slacks and a blouse to wear tomorrow to church. I have taken my bath now and have been watching TV. It is almost 8:00 and the temperature is only 85.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday At Last

I'm glad Friday finally came. There wasn't quite as much for me to do at work today. I finished everything up by 10:15 and had some time to waste. Still it's nothing like the other workplace. If Bonnie had worked the last two days, I would still have been swamped. I finished filing everything for Sally and Lynnette today.

When I got home Bob A. picked me up and we went to Bartlesville to eat at a Mexican restaurant, Monterrey House. His Wisconsin daughter sent guest cards to him for his birthday. The trouble is...she sent $85.00 worth of gift cards. So he has asked me to help him use them. I am happy to do that. He is planning to take his Coffeyville daughter and her family out for dinner for her birthday on September 10th. That will be nice. She does so much to help him and her mother.

When I got home around 3:30 - 4:00 o'clock, Slinky was really hot and ready to come into the kitchen. He has been in ever since. It's a little after 6:00 now.

Tomorrow Bob A. and I will go to breakfast at Eggberts. Then later that day I will go to Bill and Lana's 50th wedding anniversary celebration over at Caney. It being held between 2:00 and 4:00 on Saturday afternoon.

Richard is supposed to come look at my fence this weekend. I asked him for an estimate on what it would take to fix it. I probably can't afford it. But the fence is leaning. When Bob built it, he thought the steel posts from the chain link fence he was replacing were set in concrete and did not want to try to get them out so he attached the new privacy fence to those posts. It wasn't too long until it became apparent that those posts were not set in concrete and the fence began to lean a little. He wanted to get it fixed himself but he got sick before he could do that. So I've asked Richard to come look at it and give me a ball park figure on what it would take to set some four by fours in concrete and attach the fence to them.

I want to paint that fence this fall after it cools down but I want to be sure it won't come down with the first hard wind before I spend all that money and time having it repaired and painting it. I have several nice projects lined up for fall. I hope my energy holds up. I want to wash the patio off and paint it with cement paint again. Then I want to paint that fence and the trim on the house. I want to clean out the shed and garage. I want to trim back my spirea bush and mulch the flowerbeds for winter. I did get the Rose of Sharon trimmed back so I can mow under it.

Fact Checking Perry

Rick Perry has made false or exaggerated claims on U.S. oil imports, the federal debt, Social Security and the federal health care law.

The Texas governor gave a speech Aug. 13 in South Carolina to announce he will run for the Republican presidential nomination. As we have for other declared candidates, we offer here a summary of his past statements that we have found to be false or misleading. We also reviewed his weekend speech and found other questionable claims.

In his announcement speech, Perry said the U.S. cannot afford four more years of "rising energy dependence on nations that intend us harm." But U.S. reliance on foreign oil has dropped under President Barack Obama, and it is expected to decline again this year. The Energy Information Administration's Aug. 9 “Short-term Energy Outlook” said U.S. net imports of liquid fuels — as the EIA calls oil and other petroleum products — dropped from 57 percent of total consumption in the United States in 2008 to 49 percent in 2010, “because of rising domestic production and the decline in consumption during the economic downturn.” EIA projects net imports "will decline further to 47 percent in 2011 before rising slightly to 48 percent in 2012." Perry did not identify the "nations that intend us harm," but in March we looked at a similar claim by Sarah Palin and found that from 2008 to 2010 net imports from the Middle East were down 24 percent. Those from Africa dropped 8 percent.

Perry also incorrectly claimed in his speech that Obama's economic policies "have given us record debt." U.S. public debt as a percentage of the nation's economy is at its highest level since World War II, but not at a record high. The national debt is best measured as “the amount of government debt held by the public relative to annual economic output,” according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The public debt as a share of the gross domestic product stood at 62 percent last year, and CBO projects it will be even higher, at 69 percent, at the end of this fiscal year. That's high, but it was even higher for seven straight years, from 1943 to 1950, peaking at 109 percent of GDP in 1946, according to the Office of Management and Budget's historical tables.

Last November, Perry exaggerated the financial problems of the Social Security system, when he claimed that "our kids are never going to see any benefit from it." At the time, the Social Security Board of Trustees had projected that there would be enough money coming in from payroll taxes to finance 78 percent of promised benefits, even when the Social Security Trust Fund is exhausted in 2037. The board's most recent report says the fund will be exhausted by 2036, but "tax income would be sufficient to pay only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through 2085." Perry would have been correct to say that today’s young workers are not going to see the benefits now promised unless payroll taxes are increased. In an Aug. 5 analysis, the CBO said the payroll tax paid by employers and employees would have to be raised immediately from a combined 12.4 percent to about 14 percent to keep the trust fund in balance for the next 75 years.

Also in November, Perry exaggerated how much Texas' share of Medicaid costs would increase as a result of the new federal health care law. Perry said the new law would cost Texas "$27 billion more, over and above what we’re already paying over the next 10 years, $2.7 billion every year." That's not true, according to a May 2010 study by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. The new law expands Medicaid eligibility to cover more Americans. But the federal government will pay most of the extra cost: 100 percent in the first three years, phasing out to 90 percent by 2020.

Kaiser estimated that Medicaid enrollment in Texas will increase 63.5 percent by 2019. The total Medicaid cost for the state would be $4.5 billion — but that's only 5.1 percent more, or $219 million, than it would have been without the new law.

This man is someone to watch and worry about 95% of Americans will not check his facts and just take his word for everything he says.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another Hot Thursday

We're to have a heat advisory this afternoon of 105. I will be in Independence getting my hair done at 1:45 for an hour and a half. Slinky will have to tough it out. I am also picking up Juanita for lunch at 12:30. That means I will have to go straight to Independence when I get off work today. It will probably be 3:00 or later when I get out of the beauty shop since she is working me in around two others.

I will be filing traffic tickets this morning. I got them sorted alphabetically yesterday before I left. Yesterday I filed all kinds of divorce papers. It took 3 1/2 hours just to get them filed. I am amazed at the bulk of paperwork in just this office in Montgomery County ..not even counting the Independence court.

They held court yesterday so this will be a big day.

Keith Skyped me last night at 10:30 and we talked for about ten minutes. I had gone to bed at 9:00 because I was so tired. I awoke to use the bathroom and heard him paging me. It was good to visit with him again.

I went by to visit with my brother-in-law last evening since he had been to see his oncologist. He only got to visit with his NP but still learned quite a lot about his condition. He had also been to see his wife at Windsor Place. She continues to deteriorate mentally. Monday when I went to see her, she was very catatonic. That is a terrible tragedy....a terrible disease.

I heard from Susie this morning, the director of MC3, our clinic for the uninsured. The application to make MC3 a FQHC was approved and SEK will take us over the first of the year. They will be moving it to Coffeyville's hospital site, CRMC...fourth floor. They will lease that entire floor there and the hospital will donate the utilities. It will include physical health care as well as dental and mental health. That will be a huge boon for the county. We are the poorest and least healthy county in the state of Kansas.

It will be interesting to see what today brings.

Again, I was swamped with filing at work today...which is fine. The time flies.

Afterward I picked up Juanita and we ate at Pizza Hut which is near her home. I made it to my 1:45 appointment. I promised her I would take to Joplin to Olive garden in September after it cools off Then we will go to the mall and walk around Penney's. That's about all she is up to anymore. She is looking forward to our trip.

I got my hair done today and look like a human being again. Too bad it doesn't stay longer then a day or two. In this heat and humidity, it will be ultra curly by tomorrow or Saturday at the latest. Drat! If it would stay I would get it done weekly but it doesn't.

I got home at 3:30 and let Slinky into the kitchen. He was so hot. The heat index is 105 today, although it's ONLY 98.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upcoming Sunday Sermon

“Who Do You Say That I Am?”
August 21, 2011

Scripture: Matthew 16:13–20/16:14–21 IV
Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Matthew’s text provides a challenging moment in the exchange between Jesus, Peter, and the other disciples. This setting in Matthew’s witness is not the first opportunity for the disciples to define who and what they perceived Jesus to be. But it does seem to be a refining moment for what the disciples had been learning about Jesus and his message of the kingdom as they made their way to Jerusalem.

The setting is Caesarea Philippi, which is in the northern extreme of Israel about twenty miles from the Sea of Galilee. Jesus and his disciples had entered the city, and Jesus took this opportunity to engage them in a contrasting discussion on how they understood him and his mission. He was curious about how the disciples saw him compared to how the world saw him. First of all, Jesus asked his friends, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The disciples offered examples of what they had heard people saying: John the Baptist, the prophet Elijah, or Jeremiah. What stands out in this list of possibilities is that people saw Jesus through the lens of their own experiences and understandings. When the Jewish people talked about Jesus, they did so from their Jewish heritage. It was their belief that Elijah would come again at the end of the age. Many also believed that Elijah would have to come before the Messiah. For those that defined Jesus as Jeremiah, it was because they saw Jesus dealing with similar issues as Jeremiah who struggled with the authorities and pronounced a new action of God in the world. As for Herod, he believed that Jesus was John the Baptist resurrected. Again, how they saw Jesus was influenced by their experiences in the world and their culture.

When Jesus made the question more personal by saying to his friends, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter responded with his powerful statement of faith: “You are the Messiah”, ( the words Son of the living God.” Were added later by the early Christian community of the writer. We do not find them in the account by Mark and Luke). How is it that Peter could respond with such conviction? In the time he had spent with him, he had come to know Jesus at a personal and intimate level and there saw the presence of the living God in his friend. Peter may have been a bright and intelligent person, but what took place that day when faced with this critical question was a gift from God. This gift came because Peter allowed himself to be open to what God had to share. In that experience he discerned, from a deeper understanding, who he felt Jesus was.

To engage in this text we need to go beyond just hearing Matthew’s witness as a historical voice. This is a time for us to decide to place ourselves in the community of disciples and to be faced with hearing this same penetrating question. Though the focus of this Gospel witness is on Peter, the question is actually being posed to the community of disciples who gathered with Jesus that day. Each of us who hear this same question must decide what our faithful response will be. But not only how will our congregation as a community of faith respond, but also how we respond shapes if there is place for God to build community among our people.

Let us ask ourselves some hard questions:
1. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ one needs to give claim to who Jesus really was and the importance of the message that cost him his life. Can we do that? Jesus constantly talked to small communities in his world about God’s Kingdom and had not been a threat to the Roman government because it was a peaceful discussion with first one person and then another. Many men prior to Jesus had been put to death for insurrection against Rome but this time there had been no visible insurrection. It wasn’t unto later in our story that Jesus entered Jerusalem by the opposite gate from the gate that Herod and his entourage entered Jerusalem and gathered a larger crowd and drew attention to himself and then later went to the Temple and made a scene that called attention to his message about God’s Kingdom. Speaking of any Kingdom but Caesar’s Kingdom in a city crowded at Passover was considered to be treason…a crucifiable offense.

2. As disciples of Jesus, we will have those defining moments when we are confronted with difficult questions and situations that require us to decide how we will respond. Will we be courageous? Can we confess, with faith, that Jesus brought the message of God’s Kingdom and was God’s messenger of the Good News? Can we truly be Jesus’ disciples and welcome any and all who come to our congregation as he would if he were in our midst?

Questions for the congregation:

1. Or will we allow our culture to influence how we see people? Will we give the time to develop a personal and intimate connection with God that defines who God is in our life and what response we will make in difficult situations in dealing with our fellow man?

2. Can we think of a defining moment in our journey where we were able to respond with faith and testify about even the existence of God?

Several weeks ago, I was at Jack and Marilyn’s home for our Living the Questions group and was just about to leave when Marilyn received a phone call from the hospital concerning someone who needed to see a chaplain. Marilyn was wearing her shorts and would have had to go change, so she asked me if I would go. It was 9:00 and I was tired and ready to go home and to bed, but wanting to save Marilyn having to change and go, I told her I would.

When I got to the hospital and to the room, I found a woman in real despair. In January, she and her husband had gone out for a hamburger and later that evening she had gotten very sick. She got sick enough that she had to go to the emergency room. After a battery of tests it was determined that she had developed e-coli. Since January, she had had terrible bouts of diarrhea. Several times the doctors had thought they had it under control and would release her from the hospital but it would soon break out once again. Her husband was exhausted from dealing with it and she was too.

A part of the problem was her personal theology. She was a person who believed that God was in complete control of her life and believing that, she was attempting to make sense of her situation. And that’s a problem when we believe that God causes everything and everything that happens to us is a pert of God’s plan for our lives.

I sat by her bedside while she told me her story. I held her hand while she cried in despair. Finally she asked me to try to explain why God was doing this to her.

It was the age old question: “Who Do You Say That I Am?” Our response to that question can make all the difference in how we respond to the situations we face in life. I shared with her my personal theology, knowing that it had sustained me through some of life’s worst experiences. I said, “Kathy, I don’t believe God brings these things on us as lessons or to test us. I believe God loves us and suffers right along with us when we suffer. I don’t believe God is in control of our lives. We are in control of our lives and God tries to direct us through these things through God’s Spirit and still small voice of persuasion. When catastrophe occurs in our lives, God is there for us and right beside us…with us through the entire ordeal. God strengthens us when we need God’s strength to get through life’s trials…but God does not bring these trials upon us. Stuff happens in life. Sometimes stuff happens because we make bad decisions and sometimes through the bad decisions of others. Sometimes stuff just happens. But God is Love, Comforter and Strength."

I didn’t know if what I shared would help her through her ordeal, but though I didn’t tell her so, I felt her personal theology was destroying her faith in God. When I finished, she smiled and hugged me. She thanked me for coming and we prayed together before I left.

Here are some questions each of us must ask ourselves.

First, How can our personal discernment help our congregation to be a people who share a mission and message of the importance of God’s loving and peaceable Kingdom?

Second, Are we prepared to declare that Jesus’ message makes an impact in our lives and how do we respond to that message?

Third, How do we personally (and our congregation corporately) demonstrate the practice of discerning God’s call to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, make welcome the stranger and visit the sick?

If God were to ask us, “Who Do You Say That I am” would we be able to affirm who God is in a positive way? These are some very important questions. Our answers may help us through life’s many trials. Personally....“Who Do We Say God Is?”

Busy Wednesday

It was another busy day at work today. I had all the divorce and civil cases to file. It's amazing the number of divorces. It took me all but thirty minutes of my morning.

The last thirty minutes I alphabetized the traffic tickets. Tomorrow I will file those too.

I awoke early this morning at 3:30 and worked on Sunday's sermon. It's finished now. I went back to bed after 4:30 and went back to sleep until 5:30. Then I got up and began my regular routine.

When I got home Slinky let me know he really wanted in the kitchen. So I brought the laptop in here and let him in. Poor old dog. The heat really gets to him.

He ate all his dog food this morning and I didn't even have to argue with him over it. Then I fixed his oatmeal. He really loves his morning oatmeal.

I should job search while it's not raining. But if I do that, I will have to let Slinky back out. Let's face it. I really do not like to job search. It's futile and besides, I like what I'm doing.

More later....

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Better Tuesday

I slept pretty well last night even with the sore knee. I took an Aleve before I went to bed and that allowed me to sleep well. This morning the knee seems better. I took my temperature this morning and I have no fever. That's good! I feel better this morning too.

When it gets light I will take Slinky for his walk and afterward close to 9:00 I want to get my trimming done before I leave for my meeting of the MC3 board in Independence. I will stop following the meeting at Big Cheese and get a mini pizza for lunch. I'll see if Leslie wants to meet me there. She didn't think the house needed cleaning this morning so I'll do it next Tuesday. By then, it should need it.

I don't have anything else on the agenda today.

Scott called this morning and he and I visited for awhile. It was good to hear from him again. He calls at least two or three times a week. Keith has tried to call several times to Skype but he calls after I go to bed and I am not at the computer. I notice in the morning that he has tried to page me. My kids are wonderful about staying in touch.

Scott called me again when I got to Independence for my meeting. He has figured out a way to get that car he wants without having to finance it. I hope that works out for him. He needs a break.

I attended my meeting, took my notes and went to Big Cheese to eat a mini pizza. Then I came home and wrote up my minutes and sent them on the Susie. It always takes me a long while to do those minutes because they have to include so much detail.

Anyhow, I heard Slinky barking a little bit ago and went out to check on him. I don't really think it's that hot but he was miserable so I let him into the kitchen. He is cooling off now. I gave him a Beggin' Strip. He loves those and always sits down promptly for any treat. I seldom give him a treat because then he expects them. But every once in awhile I break down and give him one.

I have a hard time convincing him that he must eat his dog food in the mornings if he wants oatmeal. He just loves oatmeal. If he had his druthers, he would just skip the dog food altogether. But I buy him Iams, which is pretty expensive and it's supposed to be a real good dog food. Oatmeal shouldn't hurt him but he really needs his dog food.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Busy Day

I need to get my animals fed this morning and have a little breakfast before daylight.

Yesterday evening I watched a Barbra Streisand special on PBS. I always loved her voice when I was young. She seems to have lost a little of her volume with age but I still love to hear her sing. I stayed up until 10:00 to hear it all.

I am going out to see Phyllis at 10:00 this morning and then out to church to pick up the school supplies the congregation has bought. I need to get them over to Caney before school starts on Wednesday.

I would like to contact my friend, Nancy, over there and see if she could have lunch with me. Last time I invited her she had a doctor's appointment and couldn't go with me. That was the day I went to Bartlesville last Monday.

Just got back from my walk with Slinky. He loves his walk. This morning he chose to go six blocks...a lot further then he usually wants to go. We got to the bottom of the hill and he looked up there and considered and then turned to go a different way. He does not like climbing that hill anymore. And usually only walks four blocks. I can tell he's getting really old at 13.

I went out to church about 9:30 and got the school supplies. Then I went to visit Phyllis and Gerry. After that, I took the school supplies to Caney to the elementary school. They were very glad to get them.

I saw Bob A. at Windsor and he had heard from the doctor's office this morning and they changed his Wednesday appointment to early morning. So I will not be going down with him to see the oncologist after all. I will be working early morning. Tuesday afternoon, I have my clinic board meeting at 11:45. Now I have nothing going on Wednesday. Thursday I have my hair appointment for my cut and color. So Friday we will go down to Bartlesville for lunch after I get off work at noon. His daughter gave him a lot of free dinners at the Monterrey House down there and he is going to share them with me. How about that!

This afternoon I mowed. There's a chance of rain tonight and tomorrow night and I needed to mow again. I checked the tires on the mower and they were all very low. I drug out Bob's compressor and got it plugged in and put air in the tires. The front tires say 30 psi and they are small and the back tires, which are larger say 14 psi. So I got all of them aired up at the correct psi and mowed. I could sure tell they had needed air.

My left knee has swelled up and I have not felt well all day. I think I might have hurt the burse working on it from time to time. I will take it easy with it and baby it a bit. I think it is running a temp. It's 9:00 and I think I will just go on to bed.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Busy Sunday Again

This was another busy Sunday. Scott called this morning and I visited with him briefly. I went to church at 9:00 with Bob A. Then afterward a group of us went to Napoli's for lunch. We always have a good time together. Next Sunday we are planning to go to Cherryvale to Just Us for Sunday lunch.

Then I came home and wrote on my letters for awhile until it became time to go to the Alzheimer's Support group meeting.

Keith had called while I was gone this afternoon. I have missed his call a couple of times. The meeting was at 2:30 this afternoon. When I got home, I finished the newsletters and it is now 5:15. I will put the letters out on the mailbox and watch Sixty Minutes at 6:00.

I hope I have enough stamps to get them in the mail.