2021 May 07

.We were waiting my turn at the neurology department in the Temple Texas VA.
Just checking in with all of you. I have been concerned about my shakes and tremors. I had a CT of my brain several months ago and today a visit with a Neurologist.
It is not Parkinson’s. Yay! That was a fear of mine. On the other side, there’s not much that can be done. Several medications that i already take are ones that they could have prescribed. Since I’m already taking them, I requested that the dosage NOT be increased.

We ate at the Andice General Store – “home of the World’s Best Burgers”. That’s how the sign on the hiway reads. And I will attest to the fact that they are very good, among the top 2-3 burgers I’ve ever eaten. However, today that brisket called out to me, so of course, I ate it and it was wonderful.

Our trip straight to Temple and mostly all the way back, before I decided to get off of the interstate and see the countryside. The recent rains have greened everything. The Bluebonnet have faded but other wildflowers are painting the roadsides and meadows with color.

Our outside door to the patio had no screen door. We’ve been enjoying having that door open and letting breezes in. However, we were less thrilled with the flies, wasps, and other assorted wee beasties that came acallin’.
I remember seeing magnetic screens advertised several years ago on TV. An Amazon search brought up multiple choices.
What are they? They are a nylon or polyester net slightly larger than the door opening. The screen is attached top and sides with Velcro (thumb tacks may also be used). The screen is split down the middle to allow easy entrance and egress. Magnets are sewn into the fabric along the center seam. This causes the two halves to adhere to each other in the closed position.
With the addition of the screen, we are hoping to be able to have the door open as much as the weather allows.
On a related note, the outside temperature reached 83° while the inside temperature reached a comfortable 76°.

It’s easier to see the screen with the door closed.

Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Think: Think on these things. As you fill your body with good food it grows stronger healthier. Fill it with poor, non nutritious food and your health will decline. The same is true with your emotional and spiritual health. 

Pray: Forgive me, Lord, for filling myself with those things out no eternal value. Fill me on your goodness that I might feed others. Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 May 06

OVER THE HILL GANG* met this morning. Lunch was meatloaf, beans, and cornbread. However, since both the beans and the meatloaf contained onions, to which I’m extremely allergic, I went to Sonic for a sandwich. Deborah, Karen, Bill, Ella and I stayed and played two games of Fast Track. I won them both.

Lots of prescriptions and minimum groceries purchased today.

Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:2-4

Keep praying. Pay attention when you offer prayers of thanksgiving.  At the same time also pray for us. Pray that God will give us an opportunity to speak the word so that we may tell the mystery about Christ. It is because of this mystery that I am a prisoner. Pray that I may make this mystery as clear as possible. This is what I have to do.

Think: Keep praying! That’s simple – isn’t it? Just talk to God – and listen. Remember to pray for others – not just family and friends. Pray, also, for people who dislike you – and those you dislike. Pray for all of those who have power over you – and those whom you have power over. Keep a prayer list, and refer to it often. Pray without ceasing.

Pray: from Luke 11:2-4 the lords prayer from Translation For Translators Version

“He (Jesus) said to them, “When you pray, say things like this: ‘Father, we want you to be honored and revered. We want people to let you rule over their lives. Give us each day the food that we need. Forgive us for the wrong things that we have done, because we forgive people for the wrong things that they do to us. Do not let us do wrong things when we are tempted, someone or something tempts us.’” Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 May 05

As usual, our day starts with a devotional. Today was Paul’s sermon in Athens. I’ve always been impressed with the way Paul took something that they were familiar with, the idols, and used it to his new teaching about the One God and the risen Jesus.

Then it was time for a round of Fast Track. The board was set up for 6 players, but there were only the 2 of us.

Why does my romaine lettuce look so strange?

A box to go to the UPS store. Plus there was one more bag of aluminum cans to add to those already loaded into the truck. That is our 2 destinations for today, UPS and aluminum recycling.

I thought it was appropriate to wear my Grandies shirt today, because Wednesday would have been a normal day to gather with Grandies.

Plus the aluminum cans that we’re taking to recycling is part of a Grandie’s project to raise money for our card Ministry.

At forty cents per pound. We earned $21.20. It’s a shame that we didn’t have more can donations.

Home again, home again. This is our little patio area as seen from the parking lot.

I also caught this load of fish today. Didn’t even have to clean and fry ’em. I was a little concerned that they might not make the legal size. But apparently this is about as big as they come. Also no apparent limit on the size of the catch. I think if you could get them in hundred pound bags some people would be extremely happy.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 May 04

We arrived at 7 AM for my 7:30 fasting lab work at the VA clinic.  I haven’t gotten my head around the fact that we now live much closer than previously. Instead of 30 to 45 minutes to drive from our old home, it now takes 5 to 10 minutes.

I waited until nearly 7:30 before going in to the lab. I was greeted in the lobby outside of the reception area by a person who read my temperature from a no contract thermometer. I passed and was given a sticker stating that I’d passed.
Once inside, I pushed a button and received a slip of paper with the number 110. I took a seat and waited for my number to be called.
It was called and I went to the reception desk where I gave then my name, and last four digits of my social security number. A group of stickers with my pertinent information was handed to me. I was told to sit until my number was called again.
This time when it was called I was directed to proceed to station 4. Station 4 was beyond a locked door so I had to be “buzzed” in.
Station four was in the middle of a series of closet size areas with a chair, several shelves with bottles, boxes, and vials. There was a middle aged man who asked me to sit and which arm I wanted him to use. I asked if the arm had to belong to me. He laughed and said, “Yes.”  I chose my left. He deftly found a vein and filled 3 vials which he made a point of labeling while I watched. I was then free to go. I wished him a blessed day and received a “You too.”

Ella chose IHOP to have breakfast. I was not at all surprised. It is one of her favorite places. Mine too.

You can tell that she was glad to be there. She wanted to order Stuffed French Toast. That, however, is no longer on the menu. She ordered French toast with strawberries and whipped cream.

I chose the sampler platter with hash browns and three different ways of eating pork.

Once again I failed to get a picture of all the food stuffs that were collected last Sunday. There must have been 300 – 400 pounds of canned food plus lots of dry goods like cereals, rice, and beans. And, though Charlotte had most of the items for the thrift store, we also had 4 bags of clothing and soft goods to donate.

With all of those items out of the truck, we were able to reload it with things that I normally carry. The rear of the truck now also is home to crushed aluminum cans.

Ella spent some time removing pull tabs and crushing a couple bags of cans that were collected non-crushed. Normally, we had so many cans that we have to crush them to have enough room in the truck. Sadly, even though this constitutes three months of cans, there was no need to crush the final bag.

I spent several hours working on the Sunday school lesson for this coming Sunday.

A Williams reunion from a few years ago.

Scripture Reading: 1 John 1:8-10.    If we say, “We aren’t sinful” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. If we say, “We have never sinned,” we turn God into a liar and his Word is not in us.

Think: I can be a good person, as the world judges goodness, but without God I can never be a godly man. Without recognizing how I’ve failed to be obedient, I will not ask for forgiveness. Without asking how can I receive forgiveness?

Pray: Father, I know I have failed you. I have not sought and not traveled the life path you have laid before me. I have gone my own way. Forgive me. Set my feet once more on the path of righteousness. Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 May 03

I left the apartment today to get the mail. That’s it. That and cooking breakfast and lunch the sum total of my activities for today. 
Ella, on the other had did several loads of laundry.

When I received my first Covid shot 5-6 weeks ago, I opted in for follow-up surveys through the CDC. At first there were lists of possible symbiotic with check boxes. For the last couple couple of weeks, after the second shot, the questions are much shorter:
how do you feel? [] good, [] neutral, [] bad?
Any changes? 
I’m surprised that they are continuing the survey. I wonder view long that will continue to collect data.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 May 02

A bright and sunny morning
Waiting for church to start.
The 1st Sunday of the month is nearly always the day that our church members bring donations for the Operation Liberty Hill Food Pantry and Thrift Store. Several of us Grandies collect them at the church and then deliver them later in the week.
I forgot to take a follow-up photo of the back of the truck after we finished collecting for the day. The back was full nearly front to back and bottom to top.
We also received Several bags of aluminum cans that we will take to the recycling center.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 May 01

Mayday” derived from the French word “m’aider” that means “help me”

It rained all day. Most of the time it was fairly gentle. But there were times seven it was a real rip snortin’ storm.

I had an extension ladder that I no longer need. I sent a message to the kids, asking if anyone wanted it.. Heather and Arik didn’t but Adam did. They crane over today to get it. We invited Adam, Leigha, Tate, and Emery for a spaghetti lunch. They stayed from around noon until about three.  They had not been gone for more than a couple of minutes when there was a bright flash and explosive thunderclap. We were close enough that I could feel the concussive force.

About a half hour after the lightening strike, I noticed a fire truck, with all lights flashing, leaving our parking lot. I don’t know if the two things were connected

2021 April 30

We has a late breakfast so I made it a little larger with American fries and extra eggs.

We were looking for done wall art that we had previously found at Dollar Tree. However, because Dollar General was closer, we checked there first. While we did not find that for which we were looking, we did find something else to purchase. We have been in need of more drinking glasses. These Mason Jar mugs go will with ones we already have.

Because we did not find the wall art at Dollar General, we proceeded to Dollar Tree. Though we hoped to find it at DT, we were not totally surprised when it was not there. That which we had previously purchased was quite a few years ago.

We decided to check Wal-Mart for the artwork we sought.

This wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. However, Ella saw potential in it.

Scripture Reading:   1 Corinthians 14:2-4. When a person speaks in another language, he doesn’t speak to people but to God. No one understands him. His spirit is speaking mysteries. But when a person speaks what God has revealed, he speaks to people to help them grow, to encourage them, and to comfort them. When a person speaks in another language, he helps himself grow. But when a person speaks what God has revealed, he helps the church grow.

Think: This section of Paul’s letter is very timely. Our congregation is beginning to intentionally raise up, train and support church leadership. If you are currently in leadership or are being led/called to leadership, be mindful of your words. Are you speaking the words of God? Are your words “growth” words. Do they lift and encourage? Do they correct and train?

Pray: Lord, tune my ears to hear your words. Tune my mind to understanding. Tune my heart with love. Tune my soul with empathy. Tune my spirit with patience and endurance. Tune my lips to boldly speak your words. Speak, Lord, your servant is waiting. Amen.

2021 April 29

The Over The Hill Gang* met again for the second time in about fourteen months. Last week we came together for a meal. There was, however, little to no game play. Games, such as card games, board games, dice games, domino games, and puzzles, have always been part of the attraction of this club. Today was a welcome return to that tradition. There were several groups who stayed and played today. Welcome back OTHG*.

We returned home, shortly after two o’clock, to find the EMTs and firemen once more in front of our apartment buildings. I’ve no idea why they were here. I’m becoming aware that this is going to become part of our senior apartments living experience.

Yep! I was right! Shortly after four o’clock, the fire alarms began screeching. As people began their slow pace down the hallways, we were told it was a false alarm. These two fire trucks had not arrived yet, so I don’t know who made the assessment that the alarm was false. I would think that it would be the fire departments purview to make that decision.

Scripture Reading:   Hebrews 4:14-16. 14. We need to hold on to our declaration of faith: We have a superior chief priest who has gone through the heavens. That person is Jesus, the Son of God. 15. We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn’t sin. 16. So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.

Think: As I read this section of Scripture, I noticed three things that we need to do. 1) As when we first declared our faith in the salvation freely given by God through Jesus, His son; we need to constantly and consistently reaffirm that faith. 2) Do not return to the sin which once held us. We will be tempted, even as Jesus was, but in the same way he avoided sin, we are not to sin. 3) Go to God, seek, and accept His compassion and forgiveness.

Pray:  Jesus, I believe that you are the instrument of God’s salvation and merciful grace freely given. Through your goodness I am forgiven of my sin and with the help of the Holy Spirit I can resist sinning. I believe that, if I slip from the path you’ve laid before me, I can be forgiven still by returning to your throne of mercy. All praise to your holy name. Amen.

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 April 28

We missed the morning showers – or more correctly, they missed us. It was uncomfortably warm and humid all day.

Though she may not look like it, this woman has brutal killer instincts when it comes to this game. (Rumor has it, she dips her playing pieces in blood before each game – that’s why she always plays the red.) Okay, that’s a rumor that I started.

Steamed cauliflower, baked potato, chicken breast with tomatoes butter sauce. Not bad for a hurry up Instapot lunch.

Every since we moved into the apartment, the refrigerator has been faulty. The defroster in the freezer ran way too often. Water dropped from the freezer into the refrigerator. Lately the refrigerator has basically quit working. The temperature in the refrigerate compartment was 60+degrees. Today, our poorly working refrigerator was replaced buy a new one.

The doors had to be turned to open the other direction. That way they opened to the workspace rather than blocking the area where we would be prepping the food.

I’ll bet you thought we only played Fast Track, didn’t you? Well we occasionally poly Rummikube or yahtzee also

It was a gray day all the way. And then around 10.30 PM this happened.

©2021 Thomas E Williams