2020 April 01 Wednesday

2020 April 01 Wednesday in Liberty Hill Texas

Good morning and welcome to our daily journal!

This is day 19 of being self isolated, not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

ne of the first things I do every morning is turn the night lights off and the water heater on. We don’t need hot water when we’re sleeping or gone for hours at a time. Not that we are gone for hours at a time now. However, if/when those times occur, I will turn of the water heater.

ggs, bacon, toast, and America fries. It was a nice breakfast this morning. And it’s half gone. Too good to wait for photographs.

How wonderful are your works oh Lord. Your hands which formed the universe, are the same hands which lift me when I’m down. I praise you, Lord.

es, it was forty nine degrees this morning. I was still tempted to open the door early to the morning air. And most of the day it was open. It wasn’t until the got around to the west side of the RV, that we closed the door and started the air conditioner. I know. I know. It only reached seventy five degrees. But that sun through the windows was brutal.

Well I got up on the roof of the topper and started smearing this tar-based substance around on the roof. Hopefully, that means that it won’t leak anymore.

nfortunately I couldn’t seem to get that done without ending up with this tar stuff clear up and over my elbows. And wouldn’t you know that I didn’t change into the pants that it already has stains on it. No I had one of my best pair of blue jeans. And I knew I could be careful and not crawl where I had already put tar down.

was right I didn’t however I did back up and put my knee right smack-dab on the lid to the can which of course had tar on it.

his is what my hand look like after I scrubbed with gasoline over and over and over again.

couple of trips to Winkleys for paint thinner, and Ella and I working together, got most of it off of me. Then I had to get it off of things I’d touched. Wait. Back up a minute. Did I just say, “A couple of trips?” Yep. I drove the eight or so miles and then discovered I didn’t have my billfold or my phone. If I’d had my phone, I would have been okay, ’cause I usually have a couple of bills I the phone case. But, no, I had go back and forth like a yoyo.

While I was on the roof, and then running around town, etc., Ella was doing laundry. She posted this:

Today has been a busy day for us. Tom tared the roof of the topper. Hopefully that well stop the leaks.

While he worked on the topper, I washed clothes. We bought two clothes racks, and a plunger with which to wash, a few days ago. The clothes are now hanging on the porch.

This is last day with no rain in the forecast for the next week. We’re down to about three more loads of clothes. We’ll try to wash that in the next few days, but we’ll have to dry that inside. Some of the laundry may just have to wait until it’s safe to go to the laundromat.

Now it’s time to rest. I think we may be getting old.

Tough times help us adjust our ways to fill our needs. I will appreciated the washers at the laundry more after doing it all by hand for a few weeks.

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t about six thirty, when we took our walk, the sun was very bright in the western sky. We stopped in the shade of this little to take a photograph.

nd the clouds will be rolled away as a scroll. ,(Revelation 6:14 & Isaiah 34:4)

We talked to some of our kids today. John called and talked to his mom. Jenny called Ann’s spoke to both of us.

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 183 in Texas

2020 March 31 Tuesday

2020 March 31 Tuesday in Liberty Hill TexasGood morning and welcome to our daily journal!

This is day eighteen of being self isolated, not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

It was an interesting thing to be out on the road this morning. I got on the road at about 5:30.There were some place of patchy fog along the way.I saw a few other drivers and I wondered why they’re out during this time of isolation.You may wonder why I was out in this time of isolation, it because Walmart has set aside hours for people 50 and above, to come and do their shopping first thing in the morning. Ostensibly because that’s the time that they’ll be the most germ-free I guess or maybe it’s because they know the lonely old people will be up at this time of day to go shopping.With the so many businesses closed and so many others are working from home, they can shop when they feel like it.It was an interesting experience driving all alone on these twisting roads, going from Liberty Hill into Cedar Park on the back way.Baghdad, I can never remember the actual designation I think it’s 729 or 279 or I’m sure that those are the three numbers involved. Moby dyslexia gets in the way sometimes with numbers.The further I got to Leander, the more vehicles I saw heading back toward Liberty Hill. Which really makes me wonder, what are these people going to Liberty Hill this morning?Ha was a dollar and fifty cents at Wal-Mart. But I have a full tank.wake at five o’clock this morning, so that I could be on the road by quarter before six. Wal-Mart was open from six to seven for us old folks. That is when everything is still freshly cleaned. It’s Also when things had been freshly restocked. Even though I picked up over a hundred dollars worth on Sunday, there were things we did not get. I added another hundred dollars today. That will have to last us.here will be no more money into the account for another three weeks. We will conserve like we’ve seldom done before. Contributions welcome. Grin.n years past, I’ve counted on part time seasonal work during the summer. That may not be an option this year. With experts predicting that we have not reached the peak of this current situation. That peak may be six weeks away. If it diminishes at, or near, the same rate as it spread, it’ll be fall before I feel safe. And that is if cold weather doesn’t bring on round two.n the way home from Wal-Mart, I was treated to this beautiful sky, heralding the rising of the Sun. A sloppy paintbrush of darkness is all the protects the pale blue ocean above from the fire beneath.nd returned home in time to catch the sun just clearing these trees. I had hurried home, obeying all speed limitations, so that I would be here to face-time with our (both Ella and my) heart doctor. I made it back in time to be here for Ella’s telemed call from her urologist. Some short time later we were contacted by the heart doctor’s nurse. She was working from home. She checked our lists of meditations. We then gave her our weight, blood pressure and pulse rate. We are able to check those from home.nce she was done, we waited for the doctor. It as necessary for us to download an app for this contact. Eventually the doctor’s face appeared. I saw his lips moving but heard nothing. He then just called on the phone. Basically, he just asked hope we were and if there was anything we needed.ess than two tenths of a mile completes the circle of or walk to pick up mail today. However, along with my shopping and other very short walks, I’ve covered over two miles.he sun appears elongated as it passes behind a decaying condensation trail of a long vanished jet. I wonder who, in this time of social separation, is willing to pack themselves into that tin can in the sky?.It has been a busy day, so I’ll call it done for now.

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 182 in Texas

2020 March 30 March

2020 March 30 March in Liberty Hill Texas

Good morning and welcome to our daily journal!

This is day seventeen of being self isolated, not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

nother wonderful night of sleep. No alarm to wake us. No need to get out of bed, or at least no reason to stay out of bed, once we were up. No place We had to go. No place We should go.

o, much later than normal, I got out of bed, started coffee, used the bathroom, weighed myself, and then came back to the bed, not to lay down, but to sit with my phone, and update information for the blogs.

he sky became lighter after raining for a few hours. It never, however, became less overcast.

e have found eggs at our local market here in Liberty Hill. However, I’m stretching them a little. What? You didn’t know you can s-t-r-e-c-h an egg? One way to stretch an egg is to squeeze the chicken while she’s laying it. But, since that isn’t easy, requires incredible timing, and makes the hen distrust you ever after. No the method I’m using is to mix up some powdered egg, then add a real egg before scrambling. It improves the flavor of the powdered egg greatly.

had purchased some fresh fruit yesterday. I only wish I had gotten more nectarines.

f course we played many rounds of Fast Track. I believe that a day without Fast Track is a day without sunshine. Oh, wait ~ this was a day without sunshine.

oing laundry this way is a bit more labor intensive than going to the laundromat. But it is still better than beating them on a rock. However, as long as Ella keeps putting quarters in my pocket, I’ll keep at it.

ow listen, I know my family and friends. Y’all have been thinking some inappropriate response to the joke about the quarters ~ don’t send ’em to me. Ya hear?

t was too wet to put the clothes outside to dry, what with all the rain and all. So we put a large trash bag on the floor to catch the drips. Then opened one of the new dryer racks above it. After rinsing and ringing the clothes by hand, they were loaded onto the rack. Then a fan was positioned to blow on them. DIY y’all!

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e needed to leave home and go to the doctors office. Don’t get excited and worried. We were just dropping a urine sample for testing. Tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning Ella has a Telemed conference with her urologist. So current lab work is needed on a sample. Ella went in armed with face mask and sanitizing wipe.

lso tomorrow morning, from six to seven, Wal-Mart will be open for old people only. There were a passel of things that were out of stock yesterday. I’m going to go in and see if they were restocked overnight.

nd then, around ten we both have a teleconference with our heart doctor. We will take our own weight, use our own, blood pressure cuff, and temperature if needed…

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 181 in Texas

2020 March 29 Sunday

2020 March 29 Sunday in Liberty Hill Texas

Good morning and welcome to our daily journal!

This is day sixteen of being self isolated, not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

ur home was … well, it was right down chilly at fifty seven degrees in the living room, and a might cooler in the bedroom on account of the window being open all night. We both enjoy sleeping when there is a chill in the air. Oh not frost on nose and toes kinda chill, somewhere just North of seeing your breath is fine for sleeping. It is the getting out from under those covers that takes a real force of will ~ or full bladder.

his morning’s sky was a right pretty sky. It is the kind of sky poets would pen poems about. Lyricist could write ballads about a sky such as this. Artists would weep and drop their brushes just to see it. Birds stop their singing and sit transfixed at the sight. The cat sees it and thinks, “I’ve seen better.”

nd then came the actual rising of the sun. I couldn’t quite imagine the pounding of drums from “Also sprach Zarathustra*” playing as Sol appeared over the horizon. Nor was I tempted to throw bones in the air and grunt, as in 2001: A Space Odyssey. None the less, it was nice to see the sun rise. Heck, at my age, it’s nice to see any sunrise. Thank you, Lord, for another day of living.

Our worship service today was self-led from a bulletin that came via email. We had some rousing prelude piano music by Jim Turner. And then tuned into Pastor John Saint’s sermon. Unfortunately our cell service is … ah … how to say this … iffy … yeah, that’s it … Iffy. This caused the live feed to freeze. This week’s technology was better than last Sunday’s. As our worship committee continues to do this I’m sure it will continue to improve.You may also wish to read my sermon for today.

ithout the normal items for our worship table, at home, this morning, we had the candle (symbolizing Christ’s presence), a rock (the Lord is the rock of my salvation), keys (he who holds the keys to the kingdom).

hortly after lunch of roast beef, with roasted potatoes, carrots, and celery, all topped with a nice beef gravy; I received an email that my groceries were ready for pick up at Wal-Mart.

hen we arrived, we pulled into one of nine or ten spots in the staging area. Soon more people arrived. All spots became full and still more people waiting for a spot. I thought they appeared to be moving along at a good pace. The person next to me was complaining about how long it was taking.

There were a coupled of items that had gone out of stock sources I ordered them on Thursday. I was glad that the folding clothes dryer racks were still available. We have no washer/dryer on our fifth-wheel RV. Laundry day has always meant packing dirty clothes into the truck and shuffling off to the laundromat. That really isn’t an option in the currency environment.

Along with the drying racks, I had also ordered a washing wand. In years past, when we we’re still tent campers, I had done our dirty laundry in a bucket using a new stool plunger as an agitator. This wand is an upgrade from the plunger

oon we were done at Wal-Mart, and were moving on down the road toward Dollar General.

We needed to take a short detour around an accident. I prayer everyone is alright.

e arrived st Dollar General, dressed in my Sunday best. It is a charcoal impregnated dust mask. It’s not the best defense, but it is what I had on hand. St DG I found honey and an off brand of the cereal we couldn’t get at Wal-Mart. I also purchased some paint brushes. I’ll tell you about those brushes some other time. We weren’t done shopping for the day. We stopped at Parker’s Corner Grocery in Liberty Hill for eggs that neither Dollar General nor Wal-Mart had on hand. I also found a small bag of corn meal that I haven’t been able to find for a couple of weeks. Now, if I could just find bread flour or even all purpose flour.

s a treat for our retreat, I got a small pack of ice cream. Once home, we wiped all of our grocery items off with some disinfectant wipes, before putting them away. I left my face mask on the dashboard of the truck. That seemed like a good place in the sun, which should kill any viruses.

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 180 in Texas

* You may know it better as the theme music for 2001: A Space Odyssey.

2020 March 28 Saturday

2020 March 28 Saturday in Liberty Hill TexasGood morning and welcome to our daily journal!

This is day fifteen of being self isolated, not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

t a few minutes past seven thirty this morning, I heard some intermittent patter on the roof. Rain, soft as a cloud of butterfly feet dancing above me. Then it moved on.I have been trying since Thursday, to schedule a pickup time with Wal-Mart for my grocery order. Given my ‘druthers I’d’a druther they’d fetch ’em out to us. However, delivery is not a option in this area of the hills.Each day I’ve checked the schedule, however that day and the day after already had all time slots full. And the application does not allow scheduling past “tomorrow.” Each day that I’ve checked my order, items, that had been in stock when I ordered on Thursday, now show as “OUT OUT STOCK.” So last night … or more correctly … this morning at eight minutes after midnight I was able to schedule a Sunday afternoon time-slot.All of this was said to say this, the drive-up pick-up service is being used by more people than ever before. This is a good thing, in this time of social distancing.

Birth order personality traits.

“There are several popular anecdotes and stereotypes about the vastly different characteristics of siblings based on which order they were born

In any statistical model of behavior, any aberration is simply removed from the equation so as to not skew the results. I am a “skewer”. In my family I am the youngest. However, by the time I was five, I was the only child in the household. But also I had a niece, only three years younger, who lived very close. We grew up together.

So am I:

  1. Youngest,

  2. Only child, or

  3. Oldest?

Maybe This accounts for my multiple personalities. 😀

We have a pair of bushes in our yard that had not shown any sign of life, while other bushes like these, have been greening out for weeks now. Two weeks ago Ella declared them dead. I respond that maybe it just wasn’t their time yet. However, earlier this week as I looked at the dead winter-dried fruit that had failed to fall, I too decided that winter had killed them. This morning, that’s right, they have leaves.And the moral of the story is … Oh you figure it out for yourself.You might also enjoy our podcast for today.

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 179 in Texas

2020 March 27 Friday

2020 March 27 Friday in Liberty Hill Texas

Welcome to our daily journal!

Day fourteen of being self isolated, not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

t appears this will be our last day of eighty degree weather for awhile. All though the prediction was for eighty two, Ol’ Sol pulled out another chart topping eighty six.

here were hopes that the small spot of color would grow into a full on sunrise, with pinks, oranges, purples, and reds.

nd ’round about eight o’clock it did … sort of. No pinks, purples, oranges, and reds. Just a bright spot afloat in a sky the color of piss and ash.

Life during the time of COVID-19:

Twice a month on Fridays, we would go to the the Leander UMC for the 50+ Group. One Friday a month there is a meal and a guest speaker. This was the last pre-isolation outing (other than worship on Sunday) that we attended. We only attended then because the speaker was giving information about the new Senior Center that is supposed to be built by sometime in 2021.

And once a month there was a Game Day. People would gather to play their favorite card games, dominoes, and board games. Today would have been Game Day.

Map of Williamson County, Texas

Williamson County, Texas issued Stay-at-home orders

The orders dictate that all residents must remain in their homes unless performing essential activities, such as buying groceries, pet supplies and other items needed to work from home. People may go outside to exercise and walk their pets as long as they comply with social distancing rules, the order states. Travel also is permitted when needed to take care of a person or pet at another home.

This is what Ella and I have already been doing for two full weeks. So no change for us.
.

fter our lunch of spaghetti with meat sauce had a chance to settle, we went for our daily walk. We did not violate the stay-at-home edict because this was our exercise for the day. We also picked up the mail, but don’t tell anyone. Mail is not on the list of legal exclusions.

On the way past a neighbors truck, I saw this bumper sticker. Since I had just recently regaled you with the fascinating story of how Oatmeal may have come by its name and how this tiny spot-in-the-road made it on the Texas map, I thought it necessary to share the sticker.

new groundskeeper came around with the mower today. It was nice to have the weeds leveled off again, even if the job was a little hit-or-miss

TREE TO TREE

In previous postings I had shared that grandpa’s home sat on a hill over looking railroad tracks. I also shared that I loved to climb. This is a remembrance which encompasses those two things.

If you are familiar with the fertile soils of the upper Midwest, then you’ll understand how fence rows, left to their own devices, will become overgrown with small trees the size of a wooden fence post and smaller. This particular story is about a fence line that stretched from near the house to near the tracks, a distance of a city block or so.

Our protagonist is a boy of about eight or nine years of age. And as boys of that age, when left to their own devices will, he was scanning the area for something worth conquering.

At first glance, the trees in question were chicken leg spindly, and, like chickens in a rainstorm. all crowded together. However on this fine spring day, the sap was running strong in both the trees and our hero.

In his adolescent mind an idea sprang forth, full grown, . Had this fanciful thought been born small and slowly grown, his seldom heard, and seldom heeded inner voice (which sound exactly like his mother’s) might have convinced him of the foolishness and danger in his plan.

However, from thought to action we instantaneous. Indeed, so quick was his action, that even his guardian angel had no time to react before the deed was done. Climbing the fence he sprang to a sapling, which swayed under his weight.

This rocking was exactly what he was hopping for. As this slender tree tipped to the downhill side, he grasped another young tree. He hung on as the pendulum effect moved him once more uphill. At the far point of the swing, he released the original tree and let the spring of the second move him to the third. This process repeated until he reached the final tree, just above the tracks.

It would be many years before he heard words like pendulum, amplitude, oscillation, and kinetic energy. However, his young mind had already mastered the practical application of the physics.

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 178 in Texas

2020 March 26 Thursday

2020 March 26 Thursday in Liberty Hill TexasWelcome to our daily journal! You can also follow us on our new podcast.

Day thirteen of being self isolated, because not wanting to be around folks with the corona-virus.

nice morning for having The door open. The leaves on the trees are rejoicing in the same breezes that make the bushes dance. By three thirty the shrubbery chorus line was still dancing, when we shut the door against the heat.

azy clouds have blotted out the sun once again. I suspect he may have the last laugh later today. And laugh loud and long the sun did, while turning his people-cooker to a simmering eighty five.

Kramer the cat loved to sit in the sunlight. Eight years ago her larger than life shadow stood guard over the kitchen cabinets in our RoadRanger fifth-wheel trailer.

Today I miss Kramer and the RoadRanger. Both gone to wherever expired cats and RVs go.

spent a few hours in the pickup topper this afternoon. Removing Ella and my duffle bags, inventorying and sorting our clothing. I also lightened the duffle’s loads by removing non-clothing items. That reduced the bulk by half and the weight by a fourth. The extracted items are now stored on a shelf. I found only one item, a towel, that became damp when its storage bag had popped a seam.n the heat of the day, we took or daily walk to check the mail and enjoy the natural world, which cares not for our worries. Because nature worries not, we can also release ours and just soak in the beauty.

God bless and g’nite.

  • If you enjoy our journal: comment, like, and follow. Also see our Facebook page and our new Instagram page. Just search for “Tom and Ella Journal.”

  • Visit my devotions blog. New devotions every day (nearly)

http:www.musingsdevotions.WordPress.com

My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time.

http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 177 in TexasINR 2.5