Posts

Service Required!

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I have been exercising five days a week since January, 2011. Before this time, a regular plan of fitness training was not on my personal radar! Now, these years later, I am in my second generation of equipment. My latest treadmill was purchased in 2015. Although I purchased a service agreement at the time, I neglected to use it while it was still in force. 😞 A Service Tech's Dream! The other day, I noticed that my walking belt was frayed and catching one of the guides every time it passed. I trimmed it back so it would not get further damaged beyond use. Then, I called for service. Some days later, the service technician came to replace the part. During his time looking over the machine, he detected a potentially more serious part failure. The drive belt that powers the entire treadmill was badly frayed and in need of replacement as well. As they say, “When it rains, it pours!” Isn’t it interesting how household maintenance comes in multiples? After two years waiting to find a con

"A Hallelujah Hootenanny!"

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I was not exposed to a strong liturgical type of worship experience during my teenage years. However, at the larger than average First Baptist Church in our county seat town, we did have elements in the service that included: robed choir anthems, well thought out pastoral prayers followed by beautiful choral amens, response readings involving the congregation, organ preludes and postludes and a strictly followed and printed order of service. We followed the admonition of the Apostle Paul who taught, “Be sure that everything is done properly and in order!” (1 Corinthians 14:40, NLT ). A Happy Face! Last Sunday, we returned to my hometown on Father’s Day and attended another fine church where my dad is a member. Over the past years, their worship service has morphed into a more blended service of traditional and contemporary elements. Like many churches today, the words to the songs and Scripture readings were on video screens. The service included a couple of the old favorite hymns mi

Skydiving at Sunset!

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Monique’s sixty-something first cousin, Sylvain, is an avid and experienced skydiver. He loves the sport and sometimes sends us a photograph of one of his more spectacular dives. These pics make us shudder with fear and amazement! He is handsome, still single, and ever the beloved son of his French mother. We have asked many times, why do you do this? And he usually just laughs with delight! I think he would answer if he chose to, “I just love the daring and freedom of it all!” 10,000 feet and descending! Occasionally, I like to watch Indy Grand Prix car races where the drivers skillfully maneuver around tight turns and down straightaways of street or road courses at speeds exceeding 200 mph! I admit that there is something intriguing about speed. I am often tempted during vacation time  to “put the pedal to the metal” in the wide-open spaces of Texas or New Mexico where the official speed limits are quite generous! Just so you know, while growing up in my dad's auto repair shop, I

Strawberries in the News!

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Strawberries have been in the news recently and not in a good way! Some organic varieties are being recalled because they may be linked to a dangerous disease impacting liver health. This is a damper upon this time of the year in Illinois when strawberries are being harvested. This is the optimum season when there is a flurry of activity going on in the Keppler kitchen to prepare fresh strawberries for freezer jam to stow away for later in the year. We also like to save back some of those more ripened berries that are juicy bursts of "sweet deliciousness!" These will be served over pound cake, in a bowl of cereal or as an ice cream topping. Yum! Yes, strawberries are a big deal in this family! Strawberry Freezer Jam! 8 Pounds and 15 Containers! I eat strawberries all year long, but there is something about their tastiness at the end of May and into early June that is special to my palate. I used to pick strawberries with my brother when I was a kid. We competed to see how qui

"That's Our Substitute!"

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As the public schools put the wraps on the 2021-22 school year, administrators, teachers and students prepare for summer break. My wife, Monique, has been substituting the last nine years since her retirement in 2013. She signaled her intent to keep on reporting to duty as she registered to substitute at her beloved Sherman Elementary School (SES) that first fall semester after retirement. When she was asked by family and friends how she liked retirement, she immediately replied, “I like it just fine now that I am back teaching!” She has continued to repeat this mantra every year since! Reporting for P.E. Duty!! Recently, after school on her last day to teach, the Principal greeted her with an encouraging, “Mrs. Keppler, you are finished for this year!” Monique responded, “Great! If I’m still alive and in my right mind, you’ll see me next year!” (She had just turned in her substitute application that day!) He responded, “Of course you will! You are one of our best subs! We couldn’t do

A Jillion Silver Maples!

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We are blessed to have a few mature trees on our .55-acres of property. There is a beautiful, tall, and stately pin oak tree and an equally sized and healthy silver maple that define the backyard. During spring, the oak produces catkins or tassels that collect on the driveway like manna during the time of Moses! These are messy, quite fragile, and crumbly pollen structures that fertilize the female flowers. While these “mossy gatherings” require about a week of daily sweeping, they are relatively easy to rake or sweep into piles that can be gathered into the yard waste container before they get tracked into the house. From Seed to Maple Sapling! The silver maple produces the entertaining “helicopters” or “whirlybirds” These seeds, with fin-like wings, take flight in the wind and scatter into the yard becoming a food source for squirrels that are waiting for more substantial seeds and nuts later in the fall. Their scattering destinations include flower beds, box garden areas, guttering

Seek God First!

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During springtime, mid-April to early May, in the wooded areas of Illinois, you will find a search underway for the much-treasured morel mushrooms. The timing for this quest is dependent upon the warming temperatures and amount of rainfall.   Individuals of all ages can be seen carefully combing undisturbed acres of shady timber and moist leafy places for the emerging signs of these delectable varieties of edible fungus. Morels as large as your palm and as small as an inch or two can be found in colors that often blend into the terrain – golden yellows, reddish rusts, and shiny blacks. My Sis, Bren's Find This ritual hunt has become a rite of passage for many a young person. The only equipment recommended, aside from a light step and keen eye, is a walking stick and of course, a bag to contain the harvest! My grandchildren and their daddy didn’t have to walk far from their house in our suburban village to find enough morels to share with the grandparents. This batch of morels was s