Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

This will be a different New Years Eve. We were forecast rain turning to snow for today but the wet weather has once again passed us by. No rain in the forecast now and no snow either. We are suffering from the worst drought since the 20's. We have had very little rain since spring. All our leaves fell very early because of it.

I slept well last night but woke up aching all over. I must have slept in one position too long. Anyhow once I got up and began moving around most of my aches disappeared. I am still having a sore right forearm. It feels like someone punched my arm. And it's sore most of the time. It's been this way for a couple of months and seldom goes away.

Bob and I had planned to go to Owasso tomorrow and eat at the Olive Garden. Neither of us are much for staying up until midnight. Whether we go or not will depend on the weather.

I need to go back to the dollar store and get bubble bath and Kleenex today. I can't seem to remember to get everything I need on one trip.

I may clean my bathrooms today. I cleaned everything else day before yesterday. The bathrooms are not really dirty but they still could use a good scrubbing just on general principles.

I had a good crowd at Living the Questions last night. The only ones who did not come were Jack and Marilyn and they were out of town. Gary wasn't here either but he had no transportation. And Barbara was missing too. But everyone else made it. My dessert went over well.

More later...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Different Sunday

This will be a little different Sunday. Bob and I are invited to a birthday party for Imogene in Chanute. She is 95 today. She still gets around well at that advanced age and lives by herself in senior housing.

Her daughters, Gay and Adele, are giving her the party.

We will go to church first and then on to Cherryvale to "Just Us" to have dinner and then on to Chanute to the party. It's an hour's drive so we will eat closer to home. The party is from 2:00 till 4:00. I bought a couple of cute cards for Imogene. We will take those to her party.

Tonight I have Living the Questions group here so I will fix my dessert this morning and be all ready.

I guess I's better got to it then. It's 6:30 AM.

More later....

Saturday, December 29, 2012

House Cleaning Saturday

I should do some house cleaning today. I have been doing it piecemeal for some time now since the weekend and Fridays are my most free days. Before fixing lunch and going to work almost every day I do something. But today I might have the opportunity to really do some serious cleaning.

I will meet Bob for breakfast in about ten minutes and then come back home and dig in.

I like housework and when this job (training) runs out in three years, if I'm still able bodied, I may clean some houses for extra money. I will need about $400 a month to supplement my social security. That's about what I earn with this 16 hour a week job training job. I am still able to save a couple of hundred dollars for my taxes and insurances now.

Both my house and car insurances come due in January. If the state of Kansas decides to let the refinery convert their real estate taxes to personal taxes and all home owners get a 40% tax increase, I will need to try to sell my house. There's no way I could save enough money to handle such an increase.

More later...time to leave..

We had the rest of the chili for lunch. Bob stayed awhile and then he left to go do some of his own housework. I read awhile until my kindle needed charging. He will be back between 5:30 and 6:00 to watch our nightly movie.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Big Friday

I got up very early this morning and began getting my self around to go to Independence to get my hair done at 7:00. Then I went to their Wal Mart store and bought my ink cartridges and envelopes for the class newsletter. When I got home I addressed the envelopes and then called Bob to ask what he wanted to do today. We decided to go to Bartlesville and check out the housing available there. I needed makeup and mascara anyway so that's where I have to go to get it. I also bought gasoline. It's $2.86 a gallon there instead of $3.19 like it is here.

We went to the chamber office and they gave us a lovely book all about Bartlesville and even information about the available rentals for seniors.

We drove around a bit and then went to have a look see at some of them. Most of them were apartment buildings with no garages or carports. We both want a carport at least to protect our vehicles. We would like to find some duplexes with either carports or garages. I can see it will take some time.

We ate fish and chips at the mall and then came on back home. I rested awhile after that, picked up my prescriptions and went to the bank for cash. Later he came over and we watched an old video called "The Horse Whisperer". It was quite good. It finished about 10:00 and he went home. I took my bath and am getting ready to go to bed.

We will meet in the morning for breakfast.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

All Day Thursday

I'm working all day again today. I first have to take my car in to the repair shop and find out why my red light is coming on and staying on. It's either my seat belts or my air bag and I won't know until Gary hooks it up to the computer and discovers which it is. Bob will meet me at ten till 8:00 and take me to work so I can leave the car at Gary's. Then he will have to come get my at noon so we can have lunch. I have fixed chili and have it in the slow cooker on warm setting. The table is set for lunch and I am ready for him at noon. We ate Christmas dinner leftovers yesterday noon.

I stayed busy all day yesterday at work and that was good. I can't just sit. That drives me nuts.

Bob came over last evening and we watched PBS again instead of a video. Nature was on and so was Nova. We watched those. Tonight we will watch another video. There is nothing interesting on PBS either tonight and the rest of TV is absolutely my opinion. I should just cancel it or at least go back to "basic" basic.

The top third of my Christmas tree is dark. The lights must have burned out. Next year I will probably have to buy a new one if I want lights all over it. This one is ten years old. I guess I got my money's worth. Sometime between now and New Years I will take the tree down and put it in it's box and put away all the Christmas decorations and get the house back in order.

More later about the car.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After Christmas

We had quite a Christmas yesterday. The food all turned out well and I had plenty of leftovers. I sent some of it home with John and Leslie along with the pumpkin pie. Bob and I kept the mince meat pie and had some last evening while we watched an old movie. The rest of the leftovers Bob and I will eat for lunch today.

I will work all day today to make up for some of the time I missed in not working over the holiday. I will be able to make up all my time missed over the New Year by working all day tomorrow too. I turn in my time sheet Thursday....tomorrow. Thursday goes on the next two weeks time and also the Wednesday after New Years Day. That should make up the eight hours I have missed each pay period. I really need the money. My home insurance and car insurance both come due in January. I will take that money out of my money market savings and then try to get it saved back in there before the second half of my taxes comes due in May. It's a juggling act. But if I'm lucky and stay healthy, I think I can work it out.

New Years Day I will take down my Christmas decorations and put them away for another year. This week on Friday, I want to get the class newsletter to the printer and get it sent out right after New Year's Day. I will have to print off the envelopes for 96 of them and then stuff the newsletters in the envelopes and stamp them. I will get the envelopes on Friday. Maybe I can get them addressed before New Years Day.

On a different note, Scott, my youngest, did call yesterday and we had a good visit. He leaves Thursday for California to visit his son and new daughter-in-law. He missed their wedding and regrets that. So all of my children called and visited with me and also my youngest granddaughter. I felt very good about that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

It's Christmas morning and I slept very well last night. I woke up at my usual time of 4:30 and was going to let Missy, my cat out. After she got her nose out that back door, she backed back into the kitchen.

I have my Christmas dinner mostly finished. Yesterday I made my Waldorf salad, potato salad (yes, I said potato salad) and two pies. One is traditional pumpkin and the other is mince meat.

Today I will simply put the ham in and at the very last, the rolls. I will also set the table. I use my china when I have a holiday dinner. There may be only four of us today but I will still use the china. My nephews have been invited but they will probably not come. They are no longer close to the family. This will be the first Christmas without my sister. I asked her widower, Bob, to come over early. He is to bring the green bean casserole. John and Leslie are the other two. Since Leslie is on call, I did not ask her to bring anything.

My friend, Bill, sent me two books for Christmas. He sent them to my kindle and I sent him two to his kindle. I got a beautiful candle from my daughter and money from my older son. Scott, my younger son, is in California visiting his son and new daughter-in-law so I haven't heard from him yet.

My granddaughter, Ashley called last night. She talked to me for over thirty minutes. She is alone on Christmas today. Her roommates are both home with their families. I will call her later this morning while my daughter and John are here and we can all talk to her. I advised her to find an open restaurant and eat a Christmas meal anyhow even if she's alone. My philosophy is...we make our own happiness. We can choose to be miserable or we can choose to be happy. Ashley graduates in May from college and then will face three more years of med school to become a physician's assistant. I am very proud of her for staying with it all these years. She stayed with me between her junior and senior year to make up failed courses in high school ... failed during her parent's divorce, and stayed with John and Leslie for her senior year.

Jerod, her brother, is in the coast guard and at this time is in California. He will be sent to Michigan next month.

Jeromy, John and Leslie's son, will be in Topeka for Christmas at Marlene's parent's home. Keith's younger daughter, Sara and her husband, Kevin and children will probably be with his parents for Christmas. Kyle and Christina, her sister and Keith's older daughter, with their daughter, Mia, will probably be with his folks since Christina and Sara's mother is in Michigan and their father lives in Phoenix. People don't live close together anymore. They scatter.

My son, Scott, just called to wish me a Merry Christmas. That was sweet. Keith, my older son, called me last night to wish me a Merry Christmas just before granddaughter, Ashley called.

So Merry Christmas to everyone and their families who read my blog!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Monday Before Christmas

I will get most of my meal together today. I will heat up some of the ham and put the rolls in tomorrow but I hope to do my Waldorf Salad and potato salad today and probably will bake my two pies today too. That will leave some light cleaning and setting the table for tomorrow. We will eat at noon. Bob is bringing the green bean casserole. I didn't ask Leslie to bring anything because she is on call all weekend. The managers are doing that so their workers can have the holiday off.

I will work all day on Wednesday and Thursday to try to make up for lost hours over the Christmas holiday and do the same thing at New Years.

Bob asked me last evening if I was going to cook lunch and I told him I would play it by ear. I will call him in an hour or so and tell him I will and we will have hamburgers.

Before I get really busy today and tomorrow, I want to wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

More later....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Church

Today will be our Christmas Program at church. I am not a member of the worship commission so I don't know what they have in mind. It should be different through.

Bob and I went out to John and Leslie's last night for snacks and opening of gifts. We all enjoyed watching the children open their gifts. We also had a lot of nice snacks. We got back home about 8:00, I guess. I took my bath and went to bed about 9:00 or so. Bob gave me some neat stuff. It was Moose Munch, chocolate coffee and gourmet cocoa and all that is eatable or drinkable. I got a beautiful candle from Leslie. Funny, Leslie had bought my Christmas gift when they went to the train show and then when she was wrapping her gifts, she could not find my gift. She made an emergency run to Independence to get me this beautiful candle. She will probably run onto the gift when she begins to put away her Christmas decorations. I bought Bob candy and nuts so he can eat that up too. His daughter Diana and her husband, Tony gave me a selection of chocolate covered cranberries and cherries. I will have lots of goodies to eat up in the next month.

After the gift opening event, John took us down to the Outpost and we looked at his new trains and train track. He is a model train enthusiast. It was a neat layout.I told him if he would take a photo of it, I would post it on this blog.

More later...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Usual Saturday

This will be my usual Saturday. I will meet Bob at 7:00 for breakfast at Eggberts. After that, I'm not sure what the day will bring. I need to look over my recipes and be sure I have all the ingredients I need for Tuesday's dinner. I did write to my nephew (Bob's older son) yesterday and invite him to Christmas dinner here. I haven't heard a word back from him.

We will go out to John and Leslie's tonight for our gift opening and snacks. I told Bob yesterday that he would not need to worry about gifts. He was invited for the snacks. He said he wondered about that.

Inky, my black outdoor cat, has disappeared again. I didn't see him at all yesterday. I had intended to let him sleep in my garage but he never came home. Someone else in the neighborhood may have given him shelter from the cold nights. The days are lovely...about 50 degrees.

Bob and I watched a video I rented yesterday from V & S variety. It was called "Iron Lady" and was about Margaret Thatcher. Meryl Streep starred in it and it was quite good. I have to return that video this morning before 1:00. I also need to get one of my prescriptions refilled.

I called Scott yesterday about 11:00 (7:00 AM his time) and we had a nice visit. He had finally got his car on Thursday. It was dirty so he cleaned it all up. His furniture still has not come. He is so happy to have his car. Now he can stop driving a rental car.

By the way, I recently bought two new books and I recommend both of them. The first is "Living the Questions" and is based on that "Living the Questions" DVD series my church school class studies before th "Saving Jesus" DVD we're studying now. . It is really a good book and easy to read and brings a lot of wonderful thinking for everyone to discuss and question.

The second is "The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why". This second one was recommended by our Mission Center to my daughter who was in study group there.

Bob and I went out to John and Leslie's this evening for snacks and to open gifts. We had a good time and ate way too many sweets. :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Friday

I worked all day yesterday to try to make up for the extra days my office is taking off over the holidays. I am off today and will not be back to work until next Wednesday when I'll work all day again. I'll get my hair done this morning and then come back home and dust and vacuum the house. Bob and I will go up to Great China in Independence for lunch.

He came over about 6:00 last night and we had eggnog from Brahms and ginger cookies while we watched the "Lincoln Lawyer" on DVD. It was pretty good. I never could figure it all out. That makes it a good story.

We will take treats over to John and Leslie's tomorrow evening for the gift exchange. I will take some of my peanut clusters and he will take his holiday bread...I don't know which kind. He bakes several.

Keith called yesterday morning and we had a nice visit. Leslie has been staying in closer touch over the holiday. But I haven't heard much from Scott lately. He must be pretty busy. I wanted to tell him that Bob and I saw "Lincoln" at the movies last weekend. He wanted to be sure we did. It was a very good movie and will probably take many of the Oscars.

More later...

I called and talked to Scott about 11:00. He is getting ready to go to California on leave and spend some of the time with Jerod, his son, and his son's new wife. That will be good for him.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

All Day Thursday

I will be working all day today and the next three Wednesdays. I am trying to make up the time I will lose as the office shuts down an extra day for each holiday. I can't make up the holiday itself but I can make up the time lost in the two Mondays I will miss.

Bob is going to pick me up and take me to work today, pick me up for lunch (we will eat at Sirloin Stockade) and then bring me home this evening after work. That's his idea and I am agreeable.

Tomorrow we will also eat out. That's my day off and Bob wants to go to either "Just Us" or "Great China". We will make that decision tomorrow. Then Saturday we always eat breakfast out. There will be a little less home cooking until I get this work time made up. I just paid my car insurance in November, half my taxes this month and will pay my house insurance next month. I will watch my money carefully during this very expensive time for my budget.

We are going to Leslie's on Saturday night for gift opening and refreshments. She will have her famous egg nog, complete with "nog". It is my one break with being a teetotaler. I love her egg nog. If she wants me to, I will take my peanut clusters. I made them this week and have managed to stay out of them. I took some to my hairdresser on Tuesday and some to the office too. Those were gone almost immediately. I will take them some more today.

I will cook on Monday. I have the ham and will fix my Waldorf salad and potato salad on Monday. It is always better when it sits overnight in the frig. I will bake two, a mince, for Bob and a pumpkin for John and Leslie. I hope my crust turns out better this time. I was disappointed in the Thanksgiving pies.

We watched "The Help" last night. I had read the book and it seemed to follow the book very well. We enjoyed it.

We are forecast for snow today. It remains to be seen if we get it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Busy Wednesday

I've changed my bed and done a load of laundry this morning and just finished baking cookies. It's just short of 8:00 now.

Friday I will need to go to the market and get the things I will need for Christmas dinner. I haven't had it here for four years.

Last night Bob and I watched another video. We watched the old "Home Alone" video Phyllis had recorded. It was just as funny this time around. We had watched "The Notebook" the night before and that was a little painful for Bob.

I don't know what we will watch this evening. Maybe it will be the old "Somewhere in Time". I am still waiting for the "The Help" to arrive. I had hoped to have it by now.

Inky, my outdoor cat, is in the garage now. He rushed in when I opened the garage door this morning. I think several neighbors may be feeding him besides myself. He likes to sleep next to my hot water tank on a swing cushion I have put there for him and an old rag rug on top of that. Missy hates him and hisses and spits every time she sees him in my garage. What a hostile cat.

I need to get some bird seed for my birds. We have a forecast of snow tonight. It isn't a big chance but it is a chance.

Bob called me just when I got off work last night and suggested we eat a small hamburger and a small shake at Brahms for supper so I met him there and that's what we did. Today we will have pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, veggies and cottage cheese with pineapple. Then we will eat the other dishes of pudding and some of the new cookies for dessert.

More later...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yesterday's Tragedy

Over the weekend the family of one of our members lost their home and everything they own to a home fire begun as an electrical problem. The children lost their Christmas gifts as well. I spent yesterday morning before work trying to round up assistance for them. Today my daughter will get a gift card from our church for them to replace the clothing and toys the children lost. They have a three year old boy, an eleven year old girl and a 16 year old girl. The parent's clothing has just smoke damage. They had no insurance. They were renovating a mobile home, adding on two bedrooms and a bath and couldn't get insurance at that point.

I talked to the children's grandmother yesterday morning. She told me that on top of all that on Friday her son was driving up the road near our church and hit a puddle during the rain and went into the ditch where his car turned over several times. It took the jaws of life to cut him out of the car. The car was completely demolished. He was sent to the Joplin hospital where they had a plastic surgeon available. His nose was broken and he had facial cuts as well. She went to Joplin on Saturday and brought him home from the hospital. Of course, he aches all over. The only reason he wasn't killed is the car was an '89 Oldsmobile...a huge car. Now he is looking for an older cheap car or pickup to replace it.

I told the grandmother, who is our church member, if her family didn't have bad luck they wouldn't have any luck at all. We will do what we can to help.

That's why I didn't blog yesterday.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gun Control

How many children have to die before the government acts to limit the right to bear arms in America? Have the citizens who are the pawns of the NRA ever bothered to actually read the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution? Probably not. It was written in the day of no actual army in America…and no actual police force. There were Native Americans hostile to settlers in the west.

As passed by the Congress this is what the amendment actually says. :

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Please note that the amendment speaks of a “militia”. This was meant as protection against hostilities.

We now have police forces in America. And we also have an army and a National Guard. We do not have or need militias anymore. No one needs an assault weapon in America. Hunters do not use them and they are meant for the military. Again, how many children have to die? Since 1997, there have been 13 mass school shootings. And that is just the school shooting.

Violence is deeply embedded in the american soul. The U.S. has a long history of higher-than-normal violence compared with other developed nations and a thirst for violent entertainment (notice how the premier of the new movie Jack Reacher was postponed ... due to this. It shows that people do lose their interest in that kind of entertainment, at least briefly).

America is also in serious denial about mental health in general. Couple that with the fact that health insurance companies have traditionally done a very poor job of covering mental health ... even for those lucky enough to have health insurance in this country. Also, these 20-year-olds are just starting to develop their symptoms and often not diagnosed yet or even recognized to be sick.

My brother-in-law and I went to see "Lincoln" last night but before the movie even began, we had to sit through thirty minutes of violent previews and commercials for violent TV shows and "games"...if you can call them that. It made me sick to see how video games, TV and movies glorify killing and horror.

I will wait until the next movie I am interested in seeing comes out on DVD. I can fast forward past all that violence.

The NRA has the American people in their thrall. No doubt about it.

Busy Sunday

This will be a busy Sunday. I preside today and I feel really unprepared. I will look over my notes in a little while.

My e-mail is still down. I can send out but cannot receive e-mail. This has gone on since Friday afternoon and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I have talked to Cox Communications four times and they give me no more hope of a resolution to their problem, They say their mail server crashed.

I have spent the morning wrapping my Christmas gifts. I am not sending off any and have bought for just those who are to be at John and Leslie's for dinner Christmas Day. I started my buying in September because I knew I would not have much money to spend. I also sent out a few more Christmas cards. They won't go out until Monday morning. Above is a photo of my tree with the gifts around it.

I wish all my readers a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

More later.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Rainy Night

It rained last last. I don't know how much rain we got but it couldn't have been much. It looks like half an inch. As I said, not much.

My e-mail is down. It was down last night before I went to bed. It's still down this morning. I imagine Cox is working on it. In the meanwhile, I have no e-mail.

Bob and I did go to Joplin yesterday. He bought a gift card from Kohl's for his daughter for Christmas. And, of course, we ate at the Olive Garden. We walked all over the mall there. We got home about 4:00 and later he came over for leftover stew for supper and then we watched one of his old movies. As usual, there was absolutely nothing on TV.

He went home about 9:30. It was a big day.

I got my Christmas cards started yesterday morning and wrote my Christmas newsletter. I will send out just a few Christmas cards this year. Postage has become way too expensive. I am buying gifts only for those who will be at John and Leslie's for Christmas dinner and gift opening and Jeromy's family..who are here.

I will wrap my few gifts this afternoon and get them under my tree.

Surprise of all surprises, I got a $17 raise in my social security. That isn't much but it is something. We got nothing last year and yet everything from gas to groceries has gone up.

More later...

Bob and I did go to the movies this evening. We saw "Lincoln". We liked the movie but hated the dozen or so violent previews prior to the movie. We won't be going again. We paid $7.00 each to watch all kinds of violence which we would never have seen if it weren't a part of the offering at the movie. At least when I rent a video or get one on loan at the library, we can fast forward past previews.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Again...At Last

This morning I have been working on my Christmas newsletters and Christmas cards for those nearest to me. I have printed off personalized newsletters to some of my friends and relation. I have a dozen more to go but at least I got a start on it.

Today, Bob and I are going to Joplin to eat out at Olive Garden and shop for some Christmas gifts for his daughters. We have spent the last two weekends attending funerals. I did stop at the church this morning on my way back home from Independence after getting my hair done. I did some more re-arranging and will finish moving things back where they belong either tomorrow or Sunday morning before Church School.

The tree will need to put back in place but I can't do that without it coming apart. My daughter and son-in-law will help me with that job on Sunday morning. Maybe Bob will go out to church with me and help me getting the offering table back where it belongs. Some other things also need to be put back where they belong. I moved the plants back into the foyer and watered them this morning.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Big Thursday

This will be a big day. I will go in to work this morning and work until noon. Then I will rush out to church for the 1:00 funeral.

Afterward I must go downtown to the insurance office and see what sort of quote Terri has for me. I am trying to find some cheaper insurance. My company, which I have been with for 15 years, wants to raise my deductible on wind and hail to $2500 and also raise my premium $119. I must find something cheaper. Between my taxes and my insurance my savings are about depleted.

If the taxes also go up 40%, I will not be able to afford my house and will need to sell and and move. If I do that, I will move to Bartlesville. Oklahoma taxes are much cheaper and I would not have taxes on a house at all. I would just need renter insurance.

It was a huge day...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday Again

Today I get my time sheet signed. It gets faxed in tomorrow. I will be there tomorrow morning instead of tomorrow afternoon. I will attend the funeral of the young man who died last weekend. He is the son-in-law of one of our members and the grand son-in- law of another. The services are at 1:00 tomorrow.

I got some sympathy cards before noon and got them sent off today. I also bought a roll of stamps.

We had a very tasty stew with biscuits for lunch and then I went to work. When I got off, I attended the PINCH meeting and then came on back home. Bob came over after that and we watched a real good movie..."An Unfinished Life".

Bob will go in to the florist tomorrow morning and pick up the plant from the church. Then he will go on out to church to let the undertaker in with the casket. He and John set up chairs this afternoon after 3:00. They can now seat about a hundred. If more come, they can put them in the foyer with the doors open.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Busier Week

The week has just become more complicated.

Last night one of our members called to say they wanted to use the church for the funeral of her son-in-law at 1:00 on Thursday afternoon. I certainly don't have a problem with that except for a couple of things.

First the young man's father is the retired minister of one of the community's largest Baptist churches. There may be a large crowd. Our church holds about 50. We are a small church whose world church encourages small congregations for community among the members. We have another 50 folding chairs we can set up in the aisles and the foyer with the foyer doors open. But any more than that, we cannot accommodate.

Second, the minister who will handle the service is from Pittsburg, Kansas, and is an Evangelist in our church. The person who will assist him is a woman Seventy in our church and is also from Pittsburg, Kansas. Pittsburg is about 60 miles east of Coffeyville. Because of the time of the services and the size of our congregation, the family does not want a dinner served.

I will need to take Thursday afternoon off to attend the service. That means I will need to work Thursday morning instead of Thursday afternoon.

I will be leaving about 9:00 this morning to take the six cakes I have here to the First Christian Church in Independence, Kansas. After I deliver the cakes, Bob and I will go to the beauty shop where I will have my hair done and he will get a haircut. Afterward, we will eat at Big Cheese.

This morning, before I leave, I will need to go to the market and get some stew meat and biscuits for tomorrow's lunch. I also want to get some sympathy cards.

Tonight I have library board meeting right after work.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Busy Monday Again

I did not sleep well at all last night. I had received my home insurance on Saturday and the company did two things. First they raised my wind and hail deductible from $500 to $2500. Second they raised the premium by $119. Between the house insurance and the taxes,I am fast going through my meager savings. I will go downtown this morning and see if I can find cheaper insurance.

After that, I need to take my car by Gary's and see why my SRS light is staying on. My manual says it's either the air bag or the seat belt that has a problem. It may just be needing to be reset. I'll find out this morning. It's always something. But life is like that. When you're alone, you have to learn to roll with the punches.

I will bake my two cakes this evening after work. Bob and I will take the five we collect to Independence tomorrow morning.

Also tomorrow I have a hair appointment for my color and cut in Independence and Bob will get a haircut too and then we will have lunch at their Big Cheese. Then after work I have the library board meeting. Wednesday I have the PINCH meeting after work. Then I'm free until Sunday again and church and that Sunday evening the Living the Questions group will meet at Maritt's home.

More later....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sunday Elections and Holiday Dinner

Today will be our elections at church. We will also have a service although I'm not sure what sort. The woman who was to speak lost her son-in-law yesterday morning and she wants my daughter, who has the power point projector, to come up with a video to show. I called and her husband told me she had downloaded a sermon from the president of our church from our church's website. I might have known she would have it covered.

We also have planned to have our church's holiday dinner this noon. I have my salad and sweet potatoes finished and ready to go when Bob comes by to pick me up.

We are told we may have the funeral at our church and I don't yet know when or who is to do the services. It may be me. If it is, I have the service roughed out already. I will need to talk to the widow and his parents for details. The short obit was in today's paper. We may need to have a funeral dinner for the family too. I will know more later this morning.

I spent the afternoon working on the congregational newsletters. Then I read the rest of my kindle book. It is "Killing Kennedy" and my friend Bill sent it to my kindle for my birthday.

Now I finished the book and am watching the news on TV.

Three younger woman were elected pastor for the new year. I will serve until January 1st. At 77, it is time for me to step down. I will still do home visiting and hospital visiting for the congregation.

In a little while Bob will come over to spend the evening. He comes some time before six. He gets lonely now that Phyllis is gone. Evenings are worse for him.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Another Saturday

Bob came over last night to watch "War" on PBS. After about an hour, we decided it was a re-run and we had both seen it before. So he went home and I went in to my bath and to bed. We will meet this morning at 7:00 for breakfast.

After that, I will go to Bobby and Karan's and see if I can get their wireless printer to print from Karan's laptop. Their desktop is down. They have a IT coming to try to get it running again.

Bob wants to go to either Joplin or Owasso today to get Diana's Christmas gift at Kohl's. We will do that after I finish at Bobby and Karan's.

We attended his sister-in-law's funeral dinner and funeral yesterday afternoon. It's not exactly what I wanted to do with my day off but he needed someone to go with him. Funerals are still very painful for him. He mentioned that he really preferred graveside services. That's what we did for Phyllis.

I awoke at 3:30 this morning and never did get back to sleep. Finally at 4:00 I got up.

We have our Holiday dinner after church tomorrow. I have my Waldorf salad ready already. I will also do sweet potatoes (we are having ham) and I had planned to do dessert too but too many of our people do bring desserts and I did not want to have dessert left over to eat at home.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday At Last

First, please note that the new Christmas Cactus my daughter gave me for my birthday is really beginning to bloom now.

Today is Friday. Yesterday I finally caught up my work. All week I have had more to do then I could get done in my four hours.

This noon I will go with Bob to the funeral dinner for his family. His sister-in-law died Tuesday evening and the funeral is at 2:00 today.

I woke up early this morning feeling kind of achy. I don't know why since I really didn't do anything to ache about. Maybe it;s the mileage catching up at last. :)

I have been cleaning out some drawers in my roll top desk. I really need to do more of that kind of thing. In order to ever move from here, there's an awful lot of "stuff" that will need to be discarded. We've moved so much over the years that you would think I would have continually cleaned out everything. I have. But we continued to accumulate "stuff". I should get a banker's box and just put "stuff" in there and that way the drawers and shelves would be kept just for essential "stuff".

Leslie called to chat last night. I was surprised. She seldom does that. She's like me in that. I don't care to "chat" either. When I call someone I say what I called about and then get off the phone. She is so busy I seldom hear much out of her away from church. I spend a lot more time on this laptop computer.

Leslie is "on call" tomorrow. Someone else is covering for her on Sunday so she can be at church. We have election of our officers Sunday and I intend to nominate three younger people for the pastor's position as a team. They all work demanding jobs so it may take the three of them to do the work involved. In our church, we elect the pastor from the Elders. Leslie is the only Elder among them. One is a Priest and one is a Teacher. It's a self-sustaining position. We have no local paid staff. I have had the position for years and I feel it is time to step down and let the younger generation do it.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thank Goodness it's Thursday

I am so happy it's Thursday. My hair is a mess and I have an 8:30 appointment this morning to have it done in Independence. I also need to pay half my property taxes.

I also have beans on cooking and will make cornbread when I get home. We will have cornbread and beans today and I will use up the rest of the ham from Monday.

I finally finished my filing and scanning at work yesterday. I still have to make labels for several folders. By 1:00, when I go in to work, they may have a lot more in my boxes. Keeping busy makes the time fly though.

I have been concerned about my real estate taxes ever since an article about them came out in the paper this week. Of even greater concern then the fiscal cliff we hear so much about in the news nationally is the more local problem here of the major tax shift due Montgomery County residents if the Kansas legislature decides to accommodate Coffeyville Resources and allow their property to be assessed as personal property instead of real estate. Why is this?

The shift of the real estate tax burden to individual citizens will be tremendous. Our taxes in all of Montgomery County alone will increase by almost 40% and those of us living in Coffeyville will get almost a 50% increase in our property taxes. This will overwhelm many of us. Montgomery County is one of the poorest counties in the state with a phenomenal amount of poverty. Those of us already struggling to pay our ever increasing property taxes will be forced to sell our homes at a loss and leave the state.

So what can we do? Not a lot. Legislators usually pay very little attention to individual tax payers. They listen instead to those with the big bucks like the multi billionaire owner of Coffeyville Resources. But we do have the power of the vote. I recommend we just clean house in the Kansas legislature if that worst case scenario should happen. In the meanwhile we should write letters to these Kansas legislators. Perhaps they will see which side of the bread their real butter is on if they are inundated with mail on the subject.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Another Cooler Wednesday

It's somewhat cooler today. It's going to be in the 50s instead of the 70s. Day before yesterday and yesterday at work I nearly froze. Those folks in the office are evidently all warm natured. I am wearing my warm vest again today.

I will be cooking again today. Bob and I ate out yesterday noon. He came over last evening and we watched an old movie "Oh God" with John Denver and George Burns. It is a classic. I am to pick up another video at the library this morning. I have never seen "Fargo" and Bob says I am really missing something. So I ordered it in. We also have a concert with John Denver to watch. I love his music and have several of his CDs. I once got to see him in person in Tulsa. It was a great concert.

One evening this week we watched "The Insider". If you readers haven't seen it, you should. That insider was the one who exposed the tobacco company's cover up of the addictive properties of nicotine in cigarettes.

"Lincoln" is on at the movies in Bartlesville. I would love to go see it. Maybe if Bob's sister-in-law's funeral is over in time we could go see it. It begins at 3:30 PM.

More later...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Another Tuesday

It's Tuesday again. I will work this afternoon. This noon Bob and I plan to eat at Eggberts and have one of their chicken fried steaks. I couldn't come up with a likely lunch/dinner for today. Tomorrow we will have chicken tetrazzini, salad and veggies with pudding and cookies for dessert. Thursday I plan to have ham and beans with cornbread with fruit and cookies for dessert.

Last evening we watched a DVD my friend Bill gave me for my birthday. It starred Morgan Freeman, my favorite actor. The name of the video is "The Magic of Belle Isle". I recommend it as a "feel good" movie.

We got a little rain last evening...very little...but any rain at all is a blessing in this drought.

By the way, Chuck Fu, your neat birthday card arrived yesterday too. Thank you for that. It is very cute! You will see it in the photo below.

Bob and I had planned to go to Branson on Friday and Saturday. But his sister-in-law died last evening so we cancelled our plans. The funeral is Friday afternoon at 2:00. This was to have been our last trip this year. They will soon shut down Silver Dollar City for this season.

Miss Kitty is alive and well as you can see in the photo above. She will be ten years old in March. We're both getting up there.

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Monday to Repent

Yesterday I complained that my family had about forgotten my birthday and then I was prompted to remember that my eldest son had called day before yesterday to say my card was in the mail. He had enough on his mind with tests to see if he had a heart problem. My birthday was the least of his troubles. I apologize for my weakness.

My daughter had sent me a lovely Christmas Cactus. It sets in my window now all covered with buds.

When I got to church, one of my dearest friends left a lovely card in Bob's car for me. He had already sent me a kindle book but the gift bag also had a DVD included in it. Then after church a group of us went to Independence to the Railroad Inn for dinner. Bob treated me to the dinner. He too had brought me a lovely card.

Then my grandson called and talked to me for the better part of an hour. I had not heard from him since Bob died two and a half years ago except when he got married and I was invited to the wedding. Of course, I was unable to attend since it was in California but I sent a gift and card. Then late that afternoon my granddaughter in Georgia texted me a Happy Birthday. She was at work but took the time to do that anyhow.

Last evening Bob and I went to Living the Questions group at Jack and Marilyn's home. There Marilyn had baked me a cake with a candle symbolizing my 77 years and two of the group gave me cards. Now my server is covered with cards.

I am an ungrateful wretch! I had a great birthday!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

This is my 77th birthday and for the first time, I received no birthday cards from my children. You know you are truly old when your children forget you. To be honest though, I did get a nice plant, a Christmas cactus, from my daughter....but no card. This is also the first time none of my children are here to celebrate it with me. My sons are in Hawaii and Arizona and my daughter went to a train show with her husband. Of course, I am feeling sorry for myself. Oh well... life is short. Bob is going to take me out to eat at one of my favorite restaurants today after church so it's not like we are not going to celebrate. I wasn't entirely forgotten. :)

Let's face it. It's just another day.

More later...

More happened then I thought. My brother-in-law brought me a beautiful card and my good friend, Bill, also brought me a card with a lovely sentiment, a kindle book and a DVD with my favority actor Morgan Freeman. I spoke way too soon.

Tonight I will go to the Living the Questions group at Jack and Marilyn's home. That will be neat.

I spent the afternoon doing my regular letters and getting them out on the mailbox.

We had a lovely lunch at noon and seven of our church friends joined us. We had a good time.

Then later in the afternoon my grandson, Jerod called and wished me a Happy Birthday. My son,Scott, told him about my birthday, I know. Anyhow, that was good of him.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ah Saturday!

I'm always happy to see Saturday come. I don't know what I will do today. I should rake my leaves but I just had my hair done yesterday and it's windy out there. So I won't. In a little while I will meet Bob for breakfast. He came over last evening and we watched The Insider, a very good movie video. It had won seven Academy Awards. Every smoker should see that movie. It is based on a true story.

We had discussed going to Olive Garden for lunch but we ate out in Bartlesville yesterday after his doctor's appointment and will eat out tomorrow for my birthday. So we probably will not do that.

Yesterday afternoon, Leslie sent me a flowering plant for my birthday. It is a Christmas Cactus. It is covered in buds and so when they open, it should be beautiful. She is so thoughtful!

I could do some housework. I did my laundry yesterday and stripped my bed and washed my sheets. So today I could decorate my house for Christmas and wrap my gifts. That would give me something productive to do. I will wait until after breakfast to make that decision.

After breakfast I decorated my house for the holiday. It isn't much but at least I have some decorating done. I will try to post at least one or two photos. After I finished my decorating, Bob and I drove up to Independence and ate chili at their new Brahms store. It had just opened yesterday.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday At Last

I will go to Independence this morning to have my hair done. Afterward I will go to the bank and get some cash for the week. Then I will stop at the church on the way home and see if I can get my laptop to work with Leslie's projector for our Church School class on Sunday. John and Leslie will be gone this weekend to a train show of some kind. John is a model train enthusiast. If I can't get that projector to recognize my laptop, I will have to come up with an alternate study for Sunday morning.

Later Bob will pick me up for his doctor's appointment in Bartlesville. We will eat at Dink's there either before or after his appointment. Then we will go on to Independence to pick up his granddaughter at school. Her folks are in Topeka for her dad's doctor's appointment.

I'm not sure what I will do the rest of the day. Tomorrow Bob would like to go to Joplin to Olive Garden and have soup and salad. If he's still interested, we will do that. On Sunday, which is my birthday, he wants to take me out to eat. That's nice of him. Always before John and Leslie have taken me to dinner for my birthday. This year they will be gone.

Today my eldest son is having a procedure done to see if he has a heart problem. His wife is supposed to call me when it's finished and they know anything. If it turns out he does have a heart problem, they will do a stint. He's only 57 and has always been in excellent health. I hope it's a false alarm. I'll know later today.


Esther, Keith's wife, just called to say Keith was in recovery now. It was a false positive. He is fine and his veins and arteries look just fine. There is no need for a stint after all. It's 3:30 PM now.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy Peanut Clusters

One of my dear readers asked me to post the recipe for my easy peanut clusters so here it is:

Easy Peanut Clusters

Melt 2 lbs white almond bark in crock pot or slow cooker on medium.

Add 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips.

Add 4 oz Bakers semi sweet chocolate and one jar of dry roasted peanuts.

Spoon out on waxed paper with teaspoon...let dry completely and stack between waxed paper.

Refrigerate if needed.

These are wonderful and I make them every so often for the husband of a friend of mine that loves them. Since Bob died, he has done many nice things for me. He has repaired my mower, my garage door opener, and installed my water filter in my frig water line ....twice.While Bob was sick, he installed our new hot water tank. He regularly saws my two pound packs of meat into two. He has just been a really great friend. I cannot think of anything I can to to repay him. But he loves these peanut clusters.

Payday Thursday

Today I received almost a couple of hundred dollars from my 28 hours of work this pay period. It will come in handy since I don't receive my social security until the 12th of December. Many of my bills come due before then.

Bob came over last night and we watched another video "The Runaway Jury". It was pretty good. It was another John Grisham book done into a movie.

There is nothing interesting on PBS right now either. TV generally is very poor entertainment. I think the most entertaining is reading but it is also the most isolating.

On the news, we are still running toward the fiscal cliff. The Republicans are determined to protect the wealth of the super rich and the president seems intent on protecting the interests of the rest of us. I will be interested in seeing if anything comes of this meeting the president is having with Romney today over lunch. I wonder if he will ask Romney to serve in his second administration in some way. He has a way of using his former enemies. i.e. Hillary.

I'm always glad to see Thursday come because Friday is tomorrow and I do not work on Fridays. I do have a 7:00 hair appointment if it doesn't get cancelled. Carol's brother-in-law is dying and if he dies today or tomorrow, she will cancel all her appointments. In that case, I will have to deal with my hair myself.

But in any case, I am going with Bob to Bartlesville to his doctor's appointment tomorrow. We will have a quick lunch afterward and then go pick up Dee at school in Independence. Denise and Terry will be in Topeka at the VA.

Today is my youngest son's 52nd birthday. I don't think he reads my blog but Happy Birthday anyhow, son!

More later...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pay Sheet Wednesday Again

Today I get my pay sheet signed. I will be paid my little pittance tomorrow. It will assure that I have enough money to pay my Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Every month, because I don't get my social security until the second Wednesday, I have to be sure to leave enough in my account to make that payment. It comes out whether the money is there or not. Bob used to get his on the third of the month and that worked out so much better.

We had a discussion yesterday at work about the earned income tax credit that is paid to extremely low income folks who have children and who are working but just unable to get by on their low salary. One of the lawyers in the office claimed it was instituted by president Obama and that it was a free ride for those who didn't deserve it and it was paid for by rich lawyers like him.

I knew better. Taresa, my daughter in law received it in 1994 when she lived with us and had the two small children. My son at that time was a corporal in the army and there was no way they could get by on his salary. She used the money to go to school and eventually got her degree. Now she is an RN. It saved their marriage at that time. (Later, when he was deployed four times to the war, she left him for someone around more permanently)

Anyhow, I knew he did not know what he was talking about. He is one of those who blows and goes a lot anyhow. He lost me when he disparaged a good friend of mine who is a judge. Jack, my friend, is one of the best, most fair judges around. This lawyer is envious of him and would like to be a judge himself. His motives are obvious and his language is deplorable.

The EITC is a tax credit for those at the lowest end of the income scale, going to families with children that make less than $36,000 per year (though the income level can vary depending on year and number of dependents). Individuals making less than $18,000 annually can also qualify for a small credit.

President Reagan called the EITC “the best antipoverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “research indicates that families mostly use the EITC to pay for necessities, repair homes, maintain vehicles that are needed to commute to work, and in some cases, obtain additional education or training to boost their employability and earning power.” And in recent years, the EITC has been essential in lifting families out of poverty:

The EITC reduces poverty by supplementing the earnings of workers with low wages and low earnings. There has been broad bipartisan agreement that a two-parent family with two children with a full-time, minimum-wage worker should not have to raise its children in poverty. At the federal minimum wage’s current level, such a family can move above the poverty line for an average family of four only if it receives the EITC as well as SNAP (food stamp) benefits.

In each of the last two years, the EITC kept 3 million children out of poverty.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cold Tuesday

It's really cold today. Last I looked it was 24 degrees. I got really busy yesterday and didn't get time to post here. I fixed lunch/dinner before I went to work and I worked a couple of hours yesterday morning to make up for the two hours I lost when we closed the office early Wednesday afternoon. I filed everything and then scanned some documents and put together some folders.

Bob came over at noon and we ate the goulash and garlic bread with his salad. It was pretty good. I sent some of it home with Bob for his supper. I still have mine. I didn't eat supper last night. I will eat a little oatmeal this morning because my right arm is hurting and I want to take some Aleve.

After work I called Bob and asked him over to watch TV with me. We watched a PBS special about Johnny Carson. It was pretty interesting. My Bob used to stay up and watch his program every night after work.

This morning about 8:30 I will leave for Independence for my hair appointment at 9:00. Bob is not going with me since it is that early. When it's at 10:00, he goes and we eat at Big Cheese across the street from the beauty parlor. When I get home today I will fry some chicken tenders. We will have mashed potatoes and gravy and veggies and the rest of his salad from yesterday. We are drinking hot tea since the weather has turned cold.

I will go to work at 12:55. If I go any earlier, the door is locked and I have to wait on a bench outside.

There's really nothing on TV the rest of the week. If Bob comes over we will watch some of his daughter's videos. We watched The Firm the other night. TV has really sunk to new lows. I have a time even justifying watching it. If it weren't for PBS I would even own one. I read a lot. Reading is a lot more entertaining. Unfortunately it shuts others out. I used to read aloud to my Bob much of the time. He enjoyed being read aloud to because he wasn't shut out that way and he always seemed to enjoy the books I read.

I always read aloud to my children...especially when traveling. They sat quietly and listened to the books. I had bought a big set of "children's classics" but no one read them so I read them aloud to the kids (and Bob) on our trips. They all really enjoyed that and it was hard for me to even take a break because they were so interested in the books. My children (and Bob) heard all the children's classics that way.

Those were the days. Oh well...all things pass.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Preaching on Sunday

I will be speaking at church today. It's our annual Hanging of the Greens service but it will be a little different this year. We changed all the decorations and set the tree in the center of the stage area. Melissa has planned the service so I'm not sure what it will be like.

Bob will be by at 9:00 to pick me up. We attended the funeral of the husband of my classmate in Bartlesville yesterday afternoon. For some reason it wore me out. I watched TV until 7:30 last evening and then took my bath and went to bed. I awoke a couple of times but went right back to sleep. I fixed myself a pot of coffee and ate a small bowl of oatmeal this morning.

My sermon is entitled "What Is Truth?"

What is truth? That’s a question John’s gospel says Pilate asked of Jesus: And what is truth?

As we explore this question, I hope we’ll benefit in two ways: First , that we’ll resolve to be more truth-seeking – digging deeper and getting to the bottom line – not accepting as fact everything we hear on the news or out on the street;

Two, that we’ll see truth as something more than an objective reality. In the eyes of faith, truth is a living Word that informs us and inspires us to live better and more productive lives as children of God who are trying to establish God's peaceable kingdom.

First, let’s take a closer look at the text. Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane and taken to Caiaphas’ house. The Jewish Council was already assembled and waiting. They questioned him at length and condemned him for blasphemy. The next day they sent him to Pontius Pilate on the charge of treason, that he claimed to be King of the Jews.

John’s gospel has Pilate ask Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (John 18:33) Jesus asked Pilate, "Do you say this by yourself, or did others tell you about me?" (John 18:34) Pilate confessed that this is what he’d been told. And Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world …” (John 18:36) Pilate seized on this and said, “So you are a king?” (John 18:37) And John has Jesus reply:

"You say that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." (John 18:37)

And then John has Pilate ask, “What is truth?” (John 18:38)

Jesus didn’t immediately respond. His silence implies the answer: “If you have to ask, you wouldn’t understand.”

The Gospel of John was written after the fact to first century Christians who were being encouraged to live Jesus’ message of community....taking care of one another… as God’s plan for the world. Pilate saw Jesus’ message as a repudiation of the authority of the Roman Empire. He saw it as a threat to his own authority. That’s why the question he asked was “What is Truth?”

And what is truth? It’s actually a very good question. Truth, after all, is essential to healthy relationships and strong communities.

Truth lies at the heart of every healthy relationship. Whether it’s our husband or wife, our business partner or best friend, we have to believe the other person is telling us the truth. If they ever lie to us or betray ur trust, your relationship will never be the same. We'll always wonder in the back of our minds, “Is he/she telling me the truth?”

Truth is the cornerstone of living in community with one another. We have to trust individuals and companies to do what they promise. When truth is compromised, community breaks down.

We see this in the political arena: Politicians have talked out of both sides of their mouths for so long we no longer have confidence in what they say or do. When he took the oath of office following the Richard Nixon scandal, Gerald Ford said, “Truth is the glue that holds government together.” There's no doubt about that. And we could go on to say … “the absence of truth is the solvent that quickly dissolves it.”

Truth is essential to healthy relationships and strong communities. That’s the first point, and the second is this: Truth is rare.

The first half of every TV courtroom show is about some crime that’s been committed; the second half is about how it was tried in court, where the lawyers expose the culprit and get a guilty verdict or a public confession. As each witness takes the stand, he is asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” The witnesses solemnly answer, “I do.” Anything less was inadmissible.

There ought to be some way to apply that oath to everyday life. While most of us are not guilty of telling out-right lies, we’re not altogether honest, either.

I love the story told about Lillian Carter, President Carter’s mother. When he was running for President, there was a female reporter who was determined to dig up some dirt on the candidate. So, she dogged Miss Lillian relentlessly for weeks. Finally, Miss Lillian consented to an interview in her home. She met the reporter at the door and invited her in. No sooner than they’d sat down, the reporter asked, “Has your son ever told a lie?” Miss Lillian bristled and said, “No, never.” “Never?” the reporter asked. “Never!” Miss Lillian answered. “Never??” the reporter persisted. Miss Lillian said, “Well, maybe a little white lie, now and then.” It was the chink in the armor the reporter was looking for. “I see,” she said, “and what, pray tell, is a white lie?” Miss Lillian smiled and said, “Well, do you remember when I greeted you at the door and said how nice it was to see you?”

We do it all the time. We tell little white lies: “I’d love to come, but I have a prior commitment … Send me more information in the mail, and I’ll get back to you … the check’s in the mail.”

At best, it’s a way of being courteous; at worse, it’s a way of being dishonest. Truth, pure and simple, is rare.

We manipulate the truth to serve our purposes, not only by what we say, but by what we don’t say. We are reminded, “The most dangerous untruths are truths that are slightly distorted.”

We're always better off to speak the truth in love, and let the chips fall where they may. For one thing, we never have to try to remember exactly what we have said.

Truth is rare. That’s the second point, and the third is this: No matter how truthful you want to be, your ability to tell the truth is limited by your perspective. I will remind you of this: there’ll always be more to the truth than we’ll ever know. Paul said it best when he said, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

Our ability to tell the truth is limited by what we know. That’s why it’s so important to be circumspect – to be aware that, as obvious as something may be to us – and as firmly as we may believe it – there are other perspectives that are just as valid as ours to be considered. Next time we have a difference of opinion with someone, instead of arguing about who’s right, listen carefully to what the other person has to say. It’ll help us see the bigger picture more clearly.

Our ability to be truthful is limited by our perspective. Finally, truth, as we know it, is subject to change.

We once thought the world was flat and the earth was the center of the universe. There was a time when we believed these things were true. Turns out, we were wrong. What we accepted as true changed. Which makes us wonder: What are we accepting today as truth that, in years to come, will turn out to be false?

Who are we going to believe? What is truth?

The Good News is that Jesus lived and taught truth among humanity.

By listening to the teachings of Jesus and implementing them in our own lives, we’re given the ability to know the truth in the midst of a less-than-truthful world. He is purported to have made this promise:

"If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:32)

At the end of the day, the only way to do that is to know the source of truth, and that’s a constant search. Honor the words of Jesus, seek to do good, be just and love God and your neighbor

I also said that I hoped we'd see truth as something more than an objective reality. In the eyes of faith, truth is dynamic – not something we pin down and defend, but something we live each day, as we seek to live not as a citizen of this world, but as a child of God.

Jesus’ teachings and life example are the ultimate example. We should look to the testimonies about him, learn from his teachings, follow his example and, by God’s grace, we, too, will come to embody the truth and become a living witness to God’s grace and love.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Again

It's Saturday again. In a little while I will meet my brother-in-law for breakfast at Eggberts. Later we will go on to Bartlesville for Ernie's funeral at 2:00. Phyllis will be there and hopefully we will see her at the reception afterward.

We have breakfast every Saturday. Phyllis is a friend of both of us. When we were meeting with the Alzheimer's support group, she often came. She had Ernie in a nursing home in Nowata at that time. He did not have Alzheimer's Disease but did have a different type of dementia. First he lost his ability to speak and had to write his messages to Phyllis. Later he even lost that ability. It was a tragedy as all dementia is. She is free now and so is he. Phyllis is comforted by the belief in an afterlife that restores all to a perfect state.I do not share that belief but if it comforts her, I'm not about to try to destroy that belief for her.

I went over to Bob's about 2:30 and ate a bite of their Thanksgiving dinner. The girls had worked hard to put a nice dinner on the table. They were really good to invite me too. Diana gave me a Christmas gift and that was very nice of her. I put it with the rest of the gifts I have bought and will put it under my tree when I get my tree up.

We decorated the church for Christmas yesterday morning. Melissa, Leslie, Bobby and Karan and I showed up and got the church looking wonderful. I will try to get out there and take a photo of it and post it here later. We plan to hold a holiday dinner on December 9th after church. It will look lovely for that. On my birthday on December 2nd, I will put up my tree and decorate my house for Christmas and put away the fall decorations.

I love Christmas. I start buying my few gifts in September so I can have my gifts all bought before December. I only buy gifts for those who can attend out family dinner. I couldn't afford to do more and the postage to send them off. But I refuse to give up gift shopping altogether. It's a valuable part of the Christmas experience for me.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday and Politics

Black Friday won't be anything different for me. I am not doing any shopping. I am going out to church this morning to help decorate the church for Christmas. Then around noon I am going over to Bob's for dinner with his children.

Bob came over last night and we watched A Time To Kill. I had seen it before but he hadn't. It was a good movie with a great lesson for us all about prejudice.

We went to Leslie's home for our Thanksgiving dinner. My pies were good but the crusts stuck to the pie plates...both of them. I don't know why. I didn't do anything different. I did have foil on the second shelf and I wonder if that reflected too much heat back up to the bottom of those pies. Next time I bake a pie I will take that foil out and see if that makes any difference. I left the half pumpkin pie with my daughter and sent the half pecan pie and the leftover Waldorf Salad home with Bob.

Anyhow, I had been reading Bob's book, an autobiography of Andy Williams, and I finished it yesterday. It was a relaxing day for me that way.

Bob called awhile ago and asked me if I wanted to come to Eggberts and have the small biscuits and gravy with him. I agreed and we met there.

Tomorrow I will go back to Bartlesville for the funeral of my friend's husband at 2:00.

Now back to politics:

Republicans and Democrats mean very different things when they use the word "Small Business," and there is already too much of this word being used as we face the (imaginary) "fiscal cliff."

Republicans use a Small Business Administration business that has expanded over the years for bestowing greater political favors. For instance, Donald Trump has split his business empire into a number of separate entities, many of which (intentionally) qualify as "small business" under SBA guidelines.

On the other extreme, Some qualify as a "small business" due to the way they bill their services, but no one is employed. Democrats like to include these in their count.

So there is no single governmental action that favors small business or hurts it. Health care is one example. A small pizza chain owner, who provides health care to his 70 employees, was complaining about how Papa John's, who does not, can undercut him on price by using more part-time and no-benefit employees.

In many ways, the best thing that could happen would be to go over the "fiscal cliff." First of all, it is not a cliff. Nothing dramatic happens on January 1. Your taxes will likely go up a small amount in each paycheck. If you are truly concerned about the deficit, this basically solves our deficit problem in one fell swoop.

The biggest benefit would be that the Grover Norquist "no tax increases" pledge goes out the window, and we can get that nonsense behind us.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

It's Thanksgiving Day. I got up about 4:45, got myself ready for the day and baked my two pies and made up my Waldorf Salad. I hope those pies turn out alright. I have never baked two different kinds at the same time. I made a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. My grandson ordered the pecan pie. It's 7:30 now and my day's work is mostly finished. I will help my daughter by cleaning up after the dinner but she is cooking the turkey and everything else.

We all have so much to be thankful for. Even with a limited income and having to work, I am so thankful for my wonderful health and great friends. One of my friends called last night. Her husband, of 56 years had dementia and he finally died Tuesday. It's tragic but under the circumstances, it's a blessing for them both. He is released from his affliction and she is finally free from care giving after several very difficult years. Now perhaps she can get on with her life. I went out after the paper came last night and I saw his obit and bought a card to send to her. I enclosed the obit for her family.

We are all getting old enough that we can all expect that fatal day to come even for ourselves. I intend to do whatever I am able to do until my time comes. I bought another season ticket to Silver Dollar City for 2013 and so did Bob. We will go down there as long as we're able. We love to go to Branson. It's not too far (3 hours) and there's lots to do and see there.

But enough of that!

Everyone reading here, do have a wonderful Thanksgiving...hopefully with family or friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Very Busy Wednesday

This will be a very busy day. I think I will wait until the morning to bake my pies. There is no room in my frig until after lunch/dinner today. I will have the Waldorf salad to do tomorrow too before I go to Leslie's. I can do that while the pies are baking.

Bob and I will eat our leftover roast today at noon. I will save making the tetrazzini until late next week since we will have turkey tomorrow.

We watched the video Bucket List last night. It was entertaining although it had a sad ending. I will return it to the library on my way to work today.

More later...

I took the video back to the library before I went to work this afternoon. It was not due but it's better to get it returned since we watched it.

I got off work at 3:00 today and lost two hours of work. I can make it up on Monday morning. I don't want to lose the money. I will have already lost Thursday.

Tonight Bob will come over and watch PBS with me. Nature and Nova are on tonight.

Hillary brokered a peace deal today between Israel and Hamas. She is the most popular woman in the world. I don't think she will run for president though. She looks exhausted.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Discussing Process Theology

Process theology makes sense. It rests on some ideas about the nature of reality that are fundamentally different than those of traditional theologies. Process Theology has good ethics and values. I find the ethics of the traditional God appallingly erratic and often demonic. In the Bible and in much Christian thought, God has been described as directly willing and causing great evils: war, slavery, plague, famine and even the hardness of human hearts. God is depicted a standing by and allowing needless suffering that God could have easily prevented.

On the other hand, the God of Process Theology does everything within divine power to work for the good. “Reality” is relational and is a social process. “Dominion” has proven to be a tragic theological model for understanding our ethical relationship to the world. Instead we must come to realize that as participants in a complex and fragile web of relationships each person has some value.

God is love. God’s power in the world is necessarily persuasive… not coercive. God is the source of our freedom and therefore cannot coerce the world. Because God loves perfectly, God suffers with the world, calling to us in each moment through divine revelation, sharing a vision of the good and the beautiful. God cannot overrule our freedom, but instead awaits our free response, constantly and with infinite patience seeking to create the best that can be gotten from each choice we make.

I became even more convinced of this when Bob was sick. I felt God very near to me giving me strength to face each day that I did not have myself. This is the only theology that makes any sense to me.

I also reject the traditional Christian teaching of salvation theology. That is the product of Paul and the thinking of the middle ages. It is selfish in motivation..thinking only of oneself and an afterlife. Jesus is portrayed as teaching about the Kingdom of God in the New Testament remembrances and testimonies of him as found in the synoptic gospels. John, on the other hand, was much later and has an entirely different portrayal of Jesus. Paul, the earliest writer, had very little to say about Jesus having never known him personally.

Jesus taught that we should take care of one another and in the very early Christian movement, that's exactly what they did.

Tuesday Hair Day

I will go to Independence today to deliver the cakes to the First Christian Church. Bob will go too. He needs a haircut and I do too. After that, we will go across the street and eat a mini pizza at Big Cheese. Then we will come back home, I will take him home and go on to work.

I will have a lot of filing today. I scanned a lot of documents yesterday. There will be even more today. Lynn's scanner is not recognized by her new computer so I am doing all her scanning until they get their new scanners installed.

I iced my cakes this morning and am listening to NPR for the news. I sit here at the counter in my kitchen with this lap top and turn on my Bose radio every morning.

Bob had an eye appointment yesterday and while over there, he brought my new contact for my right eye back to me. I just opened them and they were only $75.00 That seems awfully inexpensive but I'm not going to argue about it.

I think I will bake my pies tomorrow morning and put them in Tupperware containers. It will take me some time to make the Waldorf salad on Thursday morning. There is a lot of fruit and celery to cut up for that.

More later...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Monday

Today I will do some house cleaning and tonight I will bake my cakes for tomorrow. This morning I will fix chicken tetrazzini for lunch/dinner. Tomorrow we may eat at Big Cheese if Bob goes with me for a haircut with Carol. Wednesday we will probably eat our chicken tetrazzini leftovers. Wednesday evening I will bake my pies. Outside of preparations for Thanksgiving, I have nothing scheduled for this week.

Friday I will help with decorating the church for Christmas.

More later...

I had a huge day at work. I really didn't even get finished. When I got home from work I baked my two cakes for the dinner tomorrow at the First Christian Church in Independence, KS. I will ice them in the morning.

Bob and I will leave at 8:30 in the morning to take the cakes to Independence and both of us will get a haircut afterward. Then we will stop at Big Cheese and have their mini pizza.

He came over this evening and I iced his cake and then we watched part two of the Dust Bowl on PBS. That was quite a program. We each had a cup of tea and some of his banana nut bread. It was quite good. Now I have taken my bath and will go on to bed. I am very tired.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Very Busy Sunday

I got up early this morning and baked a coffee cake to take to church. Bob always makes coffee for church school and I thought it would be good to have coffee cake too. Bob made a loaf of banana nut bread too. I brought it home with me and we will have it this evening with a cup of tea. We are going to watch the Dust Bowl on PBS.

This afternoon I will drop by the library for their 100th Anniversary party. Since I am on the board I really need to support that.


I stopped by the library for their open house celebrating their 100th anniversary in Coffeyville. Then I came on home and read awhile. Bob came over at 5:00 and we watched the news before the Dust Bowl program came on.

The Dust Bowl was a horrendous event in history. It was the worst environmental disaster in American history to date.

A tearful Cyndi dropped by to tell us about her husband's terrible dilemma. He has a bad back and over the weekend he hurt it again. She took him to the hospital emergency room but they were swamped. It took a long time before they gave him something for his pain and in the meantime he convulsed from the pain. She left after telling us about it and went back to the hospital. They had managed to get him out of pain so she took him home for the night. She will take him back tomorrow for an MRI in their portable unit. I called her after 9:00 and she was doing somewhat better since he was not suffering so badly. The poor woman is really all alone to face this. Her mom is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's Disease. So she has no real support system except me and Leslie. Leslie is her best friend.

I will need to bake my two cakes Monday for the dinner in Independence at the First Christian Church and get them iced after they are cool. Wednesday I will need to bake my pies for Thanksgiving. I will probably do that Wednesday evening. Then Thursday morning I will need to put together my Waldorf salad. Leslie is having the Thanksgiving dinner at her home.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Busy Saturday

This has been a busy Saturday. I met Bob this morning for breakfast and then went to the church before I went to pick up Juanita. I duplicated my Camp notebook for Melissa and Leslie and left their books out at church. They can pick them up tomorrow at church.

Then I went on to Independence and picked up Juanita for our trip to Bartlesville. She is really getting fragile at 91. But we enjoyed our visit. We were going to eat ay Pies and Such but they were closed on Saturday so we went back to Dink's for Bar B Que. I didn't tell her I just eaten there yesterday. It was important to her.

I took her home and was back home by 2:00. Then I mowed my back yard. I started to trim it but my trimmer quit on me. I am trying to charge the battery and will try to finish trimming tomorrow afternoon.

I called Bob when I got home to tell him I was back. His daughter, Denise, had brought him over some DVD movies for us to watch so he came over about 6:00 and we watched one of them. We watched High Crimes with Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman. It was quite good. It was a real mystery. I like Morgan Freeman.

He left a while ago to go home and shower and go to bed. I will take my bath in a little while and go to bed myself.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Lunch Date

About 10:00 Bob and I will leave for Bartlesville to meet Myra for lunch. We will go to the mall although I'm not sure where we will eat lunch. The three of us will make that decision later this morning. The last time Myra and I met we ate at Pies and Such and had a really neat soup and half sandwich. Then we had a piece of pie.

The rest of the day is free. I have already had my hair done this morning and mopped the kitchen and hall floors.

I need to go to the bank first and get some more money. When we get to Bartlesville, I also want to check into Christopher and Banks and see if they have anything I can't live without. I also need to check with Dr. Burch's office to see if they are open today and if so, for how long. I think they close at 1:00 on Fridays. I need to pick up my contacts for my right eye. I still have three for the left eye.

More later...

I forgot all about stopping for my contacts. What a day. We did meet Myra for lunch and went to Dink's Barbeque for lunch. It was, as usual, very good. Then Bob and I went to Independence again so I could drop off my comforter to be washed. Then we came on back home where I dropped him off at his home.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thursday Again

It's Thursday again and I am ready for it. This has been a short week for me but I am happy anyhow. I have too much going in my life anyhow. Last night was the PINCH meeting and then Bob came over and we watched PBS programming.

Missy, my cat, has been having a health problem. She evidently has a hair ball she is unable to cough up. I don't know what I can do for her. She chokes and hacks but nothing comes up. I don't suppose a vet could help her. I may go buy some of that cat food that is labeled for hair ball control. Otherwise, I am perplexed. Usually they can cough up those hairballs. She woke me up twice last night coughing and choking.

I have nothing going tonight. I may watch a DVD if I can find one we want to see. Bob has not seen The Bucket List. If the library has it, I may check it out.

I will fix hamburgers and french fries for lunch today. Then I will go to work. Tomorrow we will go to Bartlesville to meet Myra for lunch. Then Saturday, if she still wants to go, I will take Juanita back to Bartlesville for lunch.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Different Wednesday

This will be a little different Wednesday. I went in to the office today to work an hour and then came home to get a few things done before leaving for Just Us for lunch over at Cherryvale. Bob and I have a free lunch coming. We have saved ten of their tickets for a free lunch. We will redeem them today. Afterward I will go back to the office for the last three hours of my work day.

This evening I have the PINCH meeting at the Presbyterian church at 5:30. Afterward I will come home to watch Nova and Nature on PBS. I need to get some milk at Brahms this morning if I will have a smoothie for dinner this evening.

We received our 2013 Silver Dollar City tickets in yesterday's mail. I will give Bob his when I see him.

It's a brisk day with sunshine salvaging it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back to Work

It's back to work again today. First, though, I will go to Independence to get my hair done. Then I will come home and fix lunch/dinner. After that I will go to work.

Tonight I have the library board meeting and foundation meeting following that. Tomorrow evening after work, I have the PINCH meeting. I work on Thursday afternoon but am free that evening. That's good because Friday Bob and I are going to Bartlesville to meet Myra for lunch. Then Saturday I have promised to take Juanita to Bartlesville to eat at Dink's.

Then, of course, next week is Thanksgiving. I want to stop by the health food store today and buy pecans for my pecan pie on Thanksgiving. The other pie will be pumpkin.

Last night Bob came over and we watched "The King's Speech". It was very good. I had seen it once when it was On Demand on cable but that has been a very long time. I had baked some cookies yesterday afternoon and we had tea and cookies with the video.

I'm going to ask at the library if they have "The Bucket List". I saw it with Scott but Bob has not seen it.

I slept very well last night and so did Missy, my cat. We didn't wake up until 4:30. That's very unusual for us. Inky, my outdoor tom cat, spent the night in my garage. It's very cold this the 20s.

Monday, November 12, 2012

No Work Today

There is no work today. This is a national holiday. Actually the holiday (Veteran's Day) was yesterday but since it fell on Sunday, the office is celebrating it today.

I slept well last night. I slept until 5:30, which is unusual for me. I'm usually up at 5:00. I will stay around this morning until Bob gets his car to Dollar Tire to get his tire repaired. There's always the chance he won't be able to get there because the tire will go down again.

I don't exactly know what I will do today. I want to do something though. I may go to Bartlesville and take Bob if he wants to go. We could eat at Dink's. I will have to go to the bank today to use the ATM machine. I am nearly out of cash. My social security will be in on Wednesday. I also will get my salary on Thursday and my bills are scheduled to be paid then too.

Bob came over for lunch. He had filled his tire with air and gone to have it repaired. He brought back my compressor. We then went out to Wal Mart and bought some food for the food basket at church and took it out there. After he brought me home, I baked some cookies. He will come over this evening and we will watch The King's Speech. It's been awhile since I've seen it On Demand on the cable.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Again

Bob called yesterday morning to say he needed a favor. He went out to get in his car to come over for lunch and noticed that he had a flat. I took my compressor over there and we aired up his tire. It was leaking from the valve stem so it didn't stay aired up. Tomorrow the Dollar Tire store will be open and he will drive up there and have it repaired. I left the air compressor there at his garage so he could air the tire up to get it there.

He came home with me and spent the afternoon and evening. I had the old film on DVD of "The Flight of the Phoenix" and we watched it last night and then I took him home.

This morning I picked him up for church. He generally drives. After church we ate with John and Leslie and Phyllis at El Pueblito. We had a good visit.

We had rain today and so we had a small congregation again. It got quite cold while we were in church.

This afternoon I will do my traditional letters and then pick Bob up for the Living the Questions group at Howard and Judy's tonight. He decided to attend rather then to stay home and twiddle his thumbs.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Again

It's Saturday again. Bob and I got in about 6:30 last night from Branson. We had a very good time. We were sitting in Panera Bread eating a cinnamon roll and having coffee when the John Denver Memorial star came in. He talked to Bob and discovered I had not seen his show. Bob had seen to twice with Phylis. He gave us four free passes to the show (Bobby and Karan were going with us) and we all attended it. It was very good and we really appreciated the free passes. We also saw the Andy Variety Show but even though it was quite expensive, we enjoyed the music of the second show best.

After I unpacked I took a bath and put my PJs on. I watched PBS about musicals and then went to bed. I was very tired and since Bob drove all the way back, I imagine he was too. We had breakfast at Eggberts this morning and he went on out to the market. I went over to the dollar store and bought enough "girl goodies" to pack another shoebox for the Samaritan Child project for Sunday.

I also went over to the post office and mailed off a package to Scott containing his mail. He needs to make out a change of address when he finally gets settled so his mail will come to him. This is the second package of mail I have mailed on to him.

I am going to bake the second small meatloaf and make some more fried potatoes for lunch today. We will have veggies and applesauce too. Then we will have some fruit for dessert.

I should mow today since it is supposed to rain tomorrow. Unfortunately, it's too windy.

About the election results:

There were three primary anti-Romney themes among the incessant Iowa ads, neither, in my view, particularly inaccurate:

1. Bain-style capitalism was a "different" form of business, a charge that even Newt Gingrich used frequently in his bid. And this is correct. Private equity is primarily aimed, not at "creating jobs," but at doing "tax arbitrage," to extract quick cash, and to try to make the company "efficient," usually by downsizing and/or outsourcing. Again, accurate. About half of the companies survive in this environment, while another half either fail or are unrecognizable in terms of where the employees are within five years.

2. That Romney had flipped on every major position, at least once: immigration, abortion, taxes, blind trusts (he earlier said they were all fake), health care, moderate-vs- conservative self-portrayal. Again, all accurate.

3. That Romney and Ryan were proposing a voucher-based Medicare system. Factually accurate.

One only had to replay his opponent's primary ads.

The anti-Obama ads basically said he was "un-American." Factually incorrect, unless I am also "un-American," and that he was looting Medicare, factually inaccurate.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Different Thursday

This will be a different Thursday. Bob will take me to work this morning and I will work this morning and then Bob will pick me up at noon for our trip to Branson. We are supposed to meet friends there. We will come back home tomorrow afternoon. We will go to Silver Dollar City if the weather permits and tonight we will attend a variety show at the Andy Williams theater. They are to meet us there. We were going to go together but they want to leave this morning and stay an extra day until Saturday.

I packed last night and put the last minute stuff in this morning. I am ready. So I will not be posting again until tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What Went Wrong

I think Mitt Romney now knows his policies did not resound with Latinos, blacks, gays and women.

The modern world now realizes that gays are just one more orientation of sexuality that exists across all animal species lines.

And Mormons just in recent years have begun ordaining blacks after decades of explaining to their members that blacks made the wrong decisions in the forelife and were inferior.

His recorded fund raising event saying he was not concerned about the 47% of Americans that were going to vote for Obama because they were dependent upon government also went against him.

And the remark he made that the poor could always get free health care in the emergency room. Because I work at the district court house, even I know that hospitals and doctors sue the poor for payment of their emergency room fees and the only recourse the poor have after being turned over to a collection agency is to take medical bankruptcy.

His negative remarks about immigration and women's rights also helped defeat him. More women then men vote. He won the white men vote but lost the vote of many women, gays, blacks and Hispanics. And in another four years, the nation will be even less white.

The man was just too rich to even have a clue about the poor or the middle class. And let's admit it...most of us are either poor or middle class.

A president needs to represent all the people.