Posts

"Murder Hornets"

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Most of us would concur that hornets and other insects with stingers are not our favorites, and we usually can avoid and ignore them. Except perhaps when there is a new "Super Stinger" that poses an imminent threat to us and our food supply. Last fall. a menacing variety of the Asian Hornet was discovered in the Pacific Northwest. Swift action was taken by the Washington State Department of Agriculture in October to address this problem.  A group of scientists was dispatched to Blaine, Washington, to deal with a nest inhabited by 500 live specimens of the world's largest hornet growing to 2 inches long and nicknamed, the "murder hornet!" Its toxic venom can cause organ failure and death. These highly trained specialists also found 200 queens in the nest who were capable of mating and multiplying this threat and quickly it spreading to additional areas. This threatening species was first detected in the United States in December of 2019 and since then, scientists

Mixed Messages

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While I was in active ministry, I received numerous "pink slips" each day. Thankfully, these were not the kind of slips you received when you were being fired from your job! This was a small sheet from a pad of notes used by my administrative assistant to record information from an office visitor or a telephone call. Back in the day, this was a standard way to convey messages! Today, we have digital means like texting and voice recording technology on our smart phones that make communication more accessible and immediate. I know that office supply companies continue to sell a number of these "While You Were Out" note pads! Adams Message Pad officedepot.com You hear a lot about "messaging" today! The dictionary defines a message as "a verbal, written or recorded communication sent to a recipient who cannot be contacted directly." As with a lot of words, we have conveniently turned them into verbs through our use and practice. (One of my favorite n

Flat Tire Fatigue!

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Recently, I set out on a "mail run" by way of bicycle! It was an overcast day with a slight breeze. I had tucked a plastic bag under my belt and was ready to retrieve the bulk of what is usually categorized as "junk mail." This was to be an easy mile up to the post office and another mile back to the house. Easy-peasy, I thought. After all, every morning I ride a recumbent bike as a part of my fitness workout! That workout ride has a resistance component to it to make it more challenging! I do enjoy an occasional traditional bike ride outdoors, however! This would be another occasion to let the wind part the little hair I have and push me on my way!  "Resistance and Negligence!" At first, I was breezing along without too much difficulty, but within a quarter of a mile, I felt my heart rate increasing and noticed a surprising onset of fatigue. My legs were tiring, my breathing was labored, and for a moment I thought of the obvious, even though I had none of

What is Reality?

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During my college days, I took a class in Philosophy that was required in a liberal arts education curriculum. I liked it so much that I decided to take two more! I think that part of my motivation was in the fact that my professor was a family friend. He and his wife would later host our outdoor wedding reception at their house in Charleston. I can distinctively remember the antics that Dr. Taylor would perform during his classroom instructions. On one occasion, he took a simple chalkboard eraser and spent the whole hour making his point! (And yes, I date myself in writing "chalk!" This was many years before dry erase marker boards would become popular!) Eraser and Chalk Image: Public Domain The eraser was held before us for a few seconds while the professor stood with an impish grin at his lectern. Then, with a dramatic movement, he held it behind him to simulate how it had disappeared from the students' view. Dr. Taylor followed up with these questions, "Is the er

Warning! Don't Be Misled!

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 I was watching a funny video about some "crying" Billy Goats on a social media site this week. "Maaah! Maaah!" Their unusually loud bleating was both humorous and eerily unsettling as well. This reminded me of an incident involving our youngest son about forty years ago. I estimate that Marc was about two years old at the time. He was in his stroller at the Fort Worth petting zoo when all at once we heard him crying out in panic while trying to get out of his constraints.  "Watch out for the Billy Goat!" Photo credit: Sergio Souza, unspash.com You know how you will hear something, but can't quite put it all together. Well, I had heard a surprising sound seconds early but was not focused on Marc sitting behind me. It was the sound of tearing and crunching. As I looked back at Marc, I saw the reason for his distress. A small kid goat at his eye level was chomping on the remains of a warning label he had quickly snatched from the seat back of the strolle

Step Up to Connect!

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 Keeping up with family and friends during the Pandemic is going way better than expected. We are still wearing our masks, social distancing and not meeting together in traditional ways these days, but we are connecting. We have learned different ways to check in on family and friends, celebrate special occasions, and participate throughout the week in worship and small group studies both near and far. The key has been through digital connections using our smart phone, laptop computer and other such devices. Thanks to technology, we are staying current with those who are near and dear to us! Eloise's Refrigerator Art Matt, Brady, Eloise, Mimi and Poppi We use these virtual connections for casual conversations, serious discussions and on occasions, for sharing recipes. Just this week, Klayton Michael, our fifth-grade grandson, "popped in" from New Mexico to talk to his Mimi by way of a video chat.  Klay called to review the recipe for a Jell-O cake that is one of his mom&#

The Value of Prudence!

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"Storing Up!" Image credit: clipartmax.com Fall officially arrived a few weeks ago. The temperatures are moderating, the trees are changing from their summer green to yellow, golden and deep red colors. Another sign of this transformation to autumn is how wildlife prepares for the harshness of winter.  Since my desk is next to our French doors, I have a ringside seat to observe the squirrels who may be God's best example of prudent industriousness. These speedy and ambitious tree mammals come in two main varieties: the nimble grey squirrels with white chests and the slightly slower-paced fox squirrels with their distinctive rust-colored coats. At this time of the year, they are doing what squirrels do. They are "squirreling away" nuts for the long winter months! (Hey! That almost rhymes!) I have a beautiful maturing oak tree in the back yard that has produced an abundance of acorns this season. They are falling all around the perimeter of the tree like one of na