Tag Archives: a personal note

Today So Far

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I should’ve stationed a prairie dog on my calendar to squeak out an alarm when a day like this is coming up.

It’s cold and wet outside, but not actually raining (I think), so I’ll have to go out and try to get some work done on my book. We were going to go to the bank today to wrestle with more of Aunt Joan’s financial affairs a year and a half after her death–it just never ends–but Patty was too tired for it this morning. So let’s see if I can do any writing out there.

But first my Facebook share button mysteriously disappeared. Unable to re-connect, I had to contact the WordPress Happiness Engineer. Before he could address the problem, it went away. Just a temporary glitch.

By then I had received a comment from a lib who suggested I just stop blogging altogether because I have “nothing to say”–as opposed to, say, Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi–and oh, yeah, my Byron the Quokka posts stink, too. After a few minutes I decided to delete her comment. After all, we have a comment contest running and I don’t want a jerk like that to affect the results.

And now to go see if I can dry off my chair.


Writing Under Bombardment

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Well, it’s black walnut season again, and these heavy, baseball-sized projectiles are falling from the tree in our yard. When you hear one hit the roof of a parked car, you know it’s gonna hurt if one hits you.

Most writers probably don’t have to worry about getting pelted by walnuts. But I’m outside, trying to finish off the last chapter set of The Wind From Heaven, and there are walnuts falling all around me.

Why don’t I just write indoors? Nuisance phone calls are only one of many distractions. Besides, over the years, I’ve come to need the outdoors as my studio. Believe it or not, it’s kind of hard to imagine imaginary people in imaginary places and write them up in such a way that readers can believe they’re real. I need the birds, the bees, the butterflies, the sky, the grass, and the trees. When I write my fiction, I’ve just got to be outdoors.

Risk of falling walnuts notwithstanding.

Anyway, I’ve got to finish the book before the cold weather sets in, and I’m plugging away at it every day I can. May the Lord make my work fruitful in His service–and protect me from getting beaned while I do it.


Answered Prayers, and Thank You

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It has now been a couple of months since my wife started going to different doctors and using a prescribed inhaler each day. What a difference!

I want to thank all of you who prayed for us. God has heard our prayers and shed His grace on us. Yes, He used doctors and medicine to get it done. But all healing ultimately comes from the Lord. All of it.

Now that she can breathe normally, much of Patty’s life has returned to normal. She still has a couple of years’ worth of bad sleep to catch up on, but the difference between then and now is eye-opening.

Again, thanks, everybody. We ought to pray for one another every day. Because God hears our prayers. Amen.

(P.S.–The pelican was a very early Christian symbol. I remember that, whenever I see one.)


We’ve Got Honeybees

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Enough of nooze, enough of politics: let’s look at some of God’s stuff instead. In this case, I only have to look out my living room window.

Because my wife has been so sick–she’s getting better now, praise God: and thank you all for your prayers, the Lord has heard them–we didn’t have a garden this year. We let our little garden plot grow wild, and by the end of the summer, had a lush growth of wonderful little white flowers. Queen Anne’s lace, they’re called.

And the bees just love ’em! Early in the morning, the bumblebees are already at work. Then come the little native bees. And a little later, hallelujah–honeybees!

We hear that honeybees are in trouble everywhere–disease and habitat destruction being the chief culprits. For a while there we weren’t seeing any honeybees at all. But wherever their hive is (we don’t know), the tiny white flowers of the Queen Anne’s Lace are bringing them here. Once the day warms up a little, we’ve always got honeybees. And it pleases us to think we’ve got something that they like–flowers that we never planted, but that God has provided.

Thank you for that, O Father!


Whew! 1,900 Days in a Row

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Crikey! WordPress has just informed me that I’ve blogged 1,901 days in a row. No wonder I’m tired.

But–gotta work while I can. We’re shooting for 100,000 views this year, we’re on track to achieve that goal–and besides, this blog is the only advertising I’ve got for my books. (If that’s news to you, just go to the home page and click “Books.” You’ll find out all about it there.)

I think I’ll take a break this afternoon, and veg out with a movie.


By Request, ‘The Old Rugged Cross’

I can’t thank Phoebe enough for requesting this hymn today–The Old Rugged Cross, sung by Alan Jackson. Providential: my accumulated stresses this morning all blew up at once, and one of my neighbors bore the brunt of it. After I’d calmed down a bit, we apologized to each other, shook hands, and made up.

Speaking for myself, I need God’s grace today, I needed that old rugged cross.

But don’t we all?


Huff-puff-puff, I Did It!

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Well, I’ve just cranked out and submitted my Newswithviews column for the week. Thanks to all of you who were pulling for me! But my head feels like it’s been used for a basketball.

The hardest part was shifting my focus from writing another chapter of The Wind From Heaven to writing about the inane goings-on in this shameful era of our history. Hint: the novel is a lot more fun.

So I contemplated the past few days’ blog posts and found two that seemed to go together very well: “Beyond Putrid” and the one about the Youth Climate Strike. Tune in Thursday to see how I did it.

And now I think I’ve earned the right to sit outside on this beautiful September day and do a crossword puzzle. Don’t worry–I’ve already done my bike ride.


Sick Again!

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I thought I was going to get through a weekend, for once, without an allergy attack. What ever gave me that idea? It found me in the middle of the afternoon and hasn’t stopped torturing me since.

I had a hellish night. Had no use of my nostrils until 5:30 in the morning.

This is at least the fourth weekend this summer that I’ve been afflicted. It’s gotten so I expect it. Can it be that I’ll be forced to sit and vegetate in yet another doctor’s office? I didn’t have any of this at all until mid-June.

And the tenant from Mordor has decided to build a “shed” for his motorized tricycle right outside my front door. The landlord lets him do anything he wants. I’m too sick to stop him.


Memory Lane: Your Own Toy Organ

A line from an ancient commercial floated through my mind: Whee, whee, whee, whee, whee! It’s Emenee! Holy cow, what made me remember that? Emenee toy organs, vintage 1960s.

Suddenly everybody had one. We had one in our house, my aunts had one in theirs, and Uncle Bernie in his. Emenee made all kinds of musical instruments for kids, but was best known for the organs. The one in the video, the guy bought from Goodwill for a mere $12. Old as the hills, and still works.

When Patty and I were first married, we used to go to Walden Books in the Menlo Park Mall in search of scary novels. Right outside the bookstore was a display of organs suitable for the home. Whenever you went, you could count on somebody sitting at the biggest organ, playing “Blue Spanish Eyes.”

Were more people making more music, back then? I think they were. And nothing was digital yet, the personal computer was decades away. But you could have your own organ.


Do You Talk to Your Cat?

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Japanese sword schools have secret techniques that are not available to the general public. I don’t have a sword school, but I do have a secret technique for making a cat happy. It won’t be a secret anymore, after I write this.

The other night Robbie the cat was relaxing on the floor. I sat down by her, gave her a few pets, and then, moved by some new impulse, began to tell her a story. I won’t repeat that story here; only a cat would appreciate it. But I hadn’t gone a full minute into it when she started to purr to beat the band. And kept purring right to the end (“…but I am happy to say it grew back”).

Did Robbie understand the story, word for word? No way to tell. Or did she just like the idea of daddy talking to her? Search me. Cats (and dogs, too) are awful smart. Animals that are around people all the time get kind of peoply. My iguana sincerely believed he was one of us.

We always talk to our pets. Like they were other people, family members. You’d be surprised how much they seem to understand.

You might want to watch what you say on the phone, if your cat is listening.


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