2021 January 07

Thursday, January 07, 2021

For Ella, Betty White.
For Tom. Kurt Russel.
Who would play YOU in the story of your life?
I fear I would be a minor character in my life story.

Today we went to a different Wal-Mart and bought a second 3 drawer storage. While there, Ella also bought some shoes. I’m not comfortable with this in-the-store shopping. However, that way we were sure to get exactly what we wanted and Ella could try on the shoes before purchasing.

Our round trips are never quite “round”. And they certainly are not square. There are no roads within a hundred miles that run straight. I’m quite sure that there are places where it would have been possible to make the way straight, but they just chose not to.

Here are the two new sets of drawers sitting side by side. And there they will sit until such time as we find an apartment. Ella’s plan is to use these as bedside tables. So now, not only do we need to find an apartment, but there will need to be 3′ on either side of the bed.

https://armchairsermons.com/

My blood clotting factor is in the Goldilocks zone for the first time since mid November. The whole time I sat in the big Santa chair my eating was off and so was my INR. Sometimes too thick and sometimes to thin. Today it is just right.

2021 January 06

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Foggy overcast beginning of the day.

Then came the dark and the rain

Though the active party of the storm past us to the north. The rain didn’t last long. The clouds came and webby throughout the day with the net result being mostly overcast.

I checked the calendar to see what activities we had for the day. None, nadda, zip! In the time BC (Before Covid), we would have spent morning and early afternoon with our friends at Grandies.

Grandies is a group of”seasoned citizens” who gather and perform are appropriate ministries such as mailing cards (birthday, get well, missing you, sympathy, and more). We spearhead the Kids Summer Sack Program that helps provide food, during the summer, for children who rely on the school free lunch program. And other ministries that require minimal physical labor – such as stuffing candies into hundreds upon hundreds of Easter eggs. Often we would go as a group for lunch, after our meetings.

Early Wednesday evening was spent at choir practice and once a month we would have a catered meal together and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries for the month. We miss these activities.

We did find a way to occupy our time. Ella sorted her pills for the next couple of weeks and found she was in need of a refill. She sent the request to the pharmacy, but expected it would be tomorrow before it would be filled. Surprise, surprise! She received notification that it was ready for pickup.

Since we were out, we stopped at the doctors to register our new insurance cards and set up appointment for our yearly Wellness Checkup.

While at Wal-Mart to purchase prescriptions, we also bought a gallon of milk and this 3 drawer storage cabinet. (Sorry for the poor picture quality.) Ella has been wanting a pair of these for several months now. This was the last one on the shelf, so we will purchase another later.

Sorry, I fell into YouTube and when I looked up, it was dark. I don’t know if there was a visible sunset or not.

http://Armchairsermons.com

2021 January 05

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Grits, bacon, toast and egg, now that’s a mighty fine way to start the day. However, Ella told me later that she had seen an ad for IHOP that had her mouth watering before she was out of bed. I know what my bride normally orders at IHOP: stuffed French Toast. We may have to do a drive up there one of these next days.

We had time for a several games of Fast Track before going to Operation Liberty Hill. Ella won them all.

We unloaded the food to one side of the OLH building and then drove to the other side to unload the non-food items.

Arriving at eleven o’clock, we discovered that the HCCM produce distribution wouldn’t begin until twelve. But, hey! We were first in line. This isn’t exactly a food pantry. They distribute bread and/or produce (which is usually at its “sell by date”) donated by local groceres such as H.E.B., and Whole Foods. Today we received some croissants, Kaiser rolls, celery, arugula, 4 baking potatoes, red seedless grapes, bok choy, 2 oranges, a bag of apples, 2 lps dry roasted almonds, and a couple onions. The onions were given to a neighbor.

I made a beef and vegetable soup for lunch, after returning home. I tore pieces from our leftover brisket, added a can of mixed veggies, chopped celery, V8 juice, and some beef soup starter. Rather tasty if I do say so myself. I also sliced and toasted some of the cheese and jalapenos croissants that we received today.

http://Armchairsermons.com

I want to loose weight.
However. I have a food allergy.
I eat food and I swell up.
😀

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 January 04

Monday, January 04, 2021

Morning sunshine in it’s divine glory.

Before breakfast I started sorting the items to take to Operation Liberty Hill.

The non food items were moved to the back seat.

Then we sat in the warm sunshine and removed tabs from cans. Later, we will take them to a collection location in Austin. And, Yes, the Ronald McDonald House really does collect the aluminum pop tabs from cans, which generate thousands of dollars every year. All those little bits of aluminum add up and they are a lot more hygienic than the whole can.

We removed the food donations from the truck and loaded it with cans. The whole cans that we collect were taken to a salvage yard in Marble Falls.

We earned $.25,/pound ($7.75) that will help support the Grandies Card Ministry.

We stopped at KFC / LJS (Kentucky fried fish?) For lunch.

We drove through Liberty Hill and Leander. We stopped at WallyWorld in Cedar Parkto pick up my medications and for Ella to shop (not buy) for storage drawers, window curtains, and shower curtains for the apartment that may, someday, move to.

Then we drove down Ranch Road 1431, which is one of my favorite roads to drive in good weather and daylight. In bad weather and dark — I’d rather not.

We drove through small and not so small towns that are, more or less, along the lakes and reservoirs of the Colorado River. No not THAT Colorado River, the Texas Colorado River.

Finally, we arrived at Marble Falls. There is no Marble Falls in Marble Falls. Oh, at one time there was cascading over the pink granite bedrock. I’m told it was lovely to look upon. However, those falls are now somewhere below the surface of one of those manmade lakes.

Marble Falls is the home of Hill Country Recycling, which was our destination de jure. It was there that we sold all those bags of cans (many bags but only 31lbs.) for $7.75. That money will be used by the Grandies (color us old) For Christ group to support or ministries, notably the Card Ministry.

http://Armchairsermons.com

©2021 Thomas E Williams

2021 January 03

We attended church online today. That is the only way we are currently meeting. We took communion at home with pita bread and V8 fusion pomegranate blueberry juice. I don’t think Jesus was upset because it wasn’t grape.

Later, we went to church to assist with the collection of donations for Operation Liberty Hill, the local food pantry and thrift store. Also we took collections of empty ink cartridges, pop tops, and aluminum cans. These support various ministries within the church. Ella and I will transport everything to where it needs to go.

Does my truck look full to you? It looks full to me. Ella and I will have to removed everything and sort it. Most of this will go to Operation Liberty Hill. However, we needed to separate foods stuffs from everything else Because the food  goes to a separate building.
There are a few aluminum cans in there also that needed to be be detabbed and crushed. Those plus the ones in the photo below.

All of these trash bags are full of aluminum cans. Most still need to have the tabs removed and then the cans crushed. The cans do not need to be crushed for the salvage yard. The only reason we crush them is so they take up less room in the truck.

Adventures in Eating

Many folks begin New Years by eating Hoppin’ John. Hoppin’ John is a classic Southern dish to celebrate New Year’s. The black-eyed peas are for good fortune in the coming year. My family has a similar tradition of lentils and kielbasa on New Years. This year it slipped my mind and wasn’t prepared. So, today we are having lentils and kielbasa with a kick. I hadn’t realized that the kielbasa had jalapeno in it. It’s quite good – may have to become part of the tradition.

In trying to find information on New Years Lentils I found many cultures eat foods that symbolically sets their fortune for the year ahead.

The following is quoted from NPR.com. “Lentils are served on New Year’s Eve after midnight. The lentils, with their coinlike shape, represent luck and prosperity. The dish is often served with cotechino, a spicy pork sausage, and zampone, a deboned pig trotter stuffed with sausage meat. Pork signifies the fat or bounty of the land. And Italians, among others, eat this “other white meat” to evoke the future because pigs root forward, whereas other animals, such as chickens or cows, move backward or stand still.” Now my question is, “How did this Italian tradition end up in my mother’s family of Germans?”

I think I will begin a new tradition, eating Oreo vanilla sandwich cookies. Why? Well because they look like large gold coins! Gonna wish? Wish big!

2021 January 02

Saturday, January 02, 2021

A promise of sunshine in the early morning skyline.
The promise arose it to a cloudless sky
Image may be copywrited

Will You Be Vaccinated?

Ella has said that, if offered the Covid vaccination for free, she will take it. Beyond that, she would have been willing to be a test subject. She never even considered not taking it. She believes that the  side effects, if any, will be minor.

I am hesitant about being vaccinate against the Covid 19 virus. I am concerned about the efficacy and effects, both short term and long term. This is coupled with a general lack of trust in government and pharma companies to be mindful my best interest.

That got me to wondering how many others might have similar thoughts. I found this information by The KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor which is an ongoing research project tracking the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations

“About a quarter (27%) of the public remains vaccine hesitant, saying they probably or definitely would not get a COVID-19 vaccine even if it were available for free and deemed safe by scientists.

Vaccine hesitancy is highest among Republicans (42%), those ages 30-49 (36%), and rural residents (35%). Importantly, 35% of Black adults (a group that has borne adisproportionate burdenof the pandemic) say they definitely or probably would not get vaccinated, as do one third of those who say they have been deemed essential workers (33%) and three in ten (29%) of those who work in a health care delivery setting.”

The pharmaceutical companies that have been green-lighted claim that no shortcuts have been taken in the development and testing of their vaccines. The only short cuts were in the production of the medications. Because of the preorders by the government, production began before the clinical trials had been completed. Do you believe that, after manufacture, a pharmaceutical company will just dump millions, maybe billions of dollars down the drain?

This afternoon I asked two of my nieces, both with medical training and both in their sixties, if they would take the shot. One will. One won’t. They both argued their cases and stand firm on their decisions.

With or without the shot, we will still be wearing masks, not gathering in groups, not hugging, and still maintaining social distancing. Maybe I will take a wait-and-see approach before allowing myself to be injected with a vaccine that, in my opinion, hasn’t be thoroughly tested. But don’t let me dissuade you. The more people who “follow the herd”, the bigger the test sample becomes. Thank you.

Again this morning, my bride and I played Fast Track (I came in second while Ella camr in next to last 😀) while answering questions from the “Our Moments” box of questions. Questions like, “What are you most thankful for?” We each gave or answers and why. I’m curious, what are YOU most thankful for?

We went to Dollar General, a.k.a. the Liberty Hill Mall, for items like shampoo, body wash, and dish soap. These items are to be donated to Operation Liberty Hill. Tomorrow some puff it’s volunteers will gather (safely distanced) at the church to accept donations of food and personal items. We will also accept pop tops for Ronald McDonald House Foundation. Also printer ink cartridges and aluminum beans for recycling. If you are in the vicinity of Liberty Hill Texas. Come on by between 2 and 4. The address is 100 Church Street

After shopping at Dollar General, we took a meandering drive. Outs good for the truck and us to get it and away for a while. I was very surprised to find that I’d driven only 58 miles. I thought it was closer to twice that far.

I got to talking to my nieces and let the afternoon skip away. I missed the sunset but got the afterglow in the sky.
  • All content (except quotations) ©2021 Thomas E. Williams

2021 January 01

Friday, January 01, 2021

Last night: it dropped to 33° as the rain/snow mix ended and the sky began to clear. At some point the wind quit howling also.

Twenty Twenty-One began the new year with the warm glow of the morning sun. A herald of things to come? We hope so.

We had some close games and a few very one sided games of Fast Track. While playing that we also went through a few of the conversation starter questions in the box of cards we got for or anniversary. The one that stumped us both was, “What was the worst advice you were ever given?”

We were completely out of bread. There were a few other we were low on. We placed an order for pick up at Wal-Mart. There is a $35 minimum for this service. So I added enough to make it $36.

We purchased a burger and some tacos at Dairy Queen pin the way home.

That was our big outing for the day, all from the safety of the truck.

  • .
  • All content (except quotations) ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Today: High 47° | Not as cool. Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph.

Actual high for the day was 48°.´

Tonight: Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph

2020 December 30 New Years Eve Eve

Wednesday, December 30, 2020.Hello and goodbye, Sunshine, nice of you to make an appearance.

  • Today: 66° Showers and thunderstorms likely in the morning then showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs around 70. Temperature falling into the lower 50s in the afternoon. South winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts to around 25 mph shifting to the west with gusts to around 35 mph in the afternoon. Chance of rain 90 percent.
  • Tonight 40° Breezy. Much colder. Showers and thunderstorms before midnight then showers and slight chance of thunderstorms after midnight. Lows around 40. North winds 15 to 25 mph with gusts to around 35 mph. Chance of rain 100 percent.
  • Thu 44° 35° Thunderstorms
  • Fri 50° 31° Mostly Sunny
  • Sat 55° | 36° Sunny
At 2:00 p.m. it was 46° rain and windy with 25mph gusts. Closest lightening 14 miles away. Incongruously there was also a high pollen alert. Must be because of the wind. But I would have thought the rain would clear the air of pollen.
At 6:00 it was 44° with a wind chill of 37°
  • ==========================

GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS

  • Congress won and Americans lost. The President signed the Covid Relief Bill for up to $600 per person even though it fell far short of the $2,000 per person he had wanted. That’s the bad news.
  • The good news is, Starting tonight, those who qualify and who have direct deposit set up with the IRS can start looking for their second stimulus payments as soon as tonight. However, the IRS cautioned that some “may see the direct deposit payments as pending or as provisional payments in their accounts before the official payment date of January 4, 2021.”
  • Not so good news. Paper checks may begin mailing with in a week, though some may wait months to see those checks because of IRS rules.
  • ===================

  • We had a nice big breakfast of fried potatoes, bacon, eggs, oranges, and toast.

  • We played more Fast Track. I actually won a few times. I have to admit that Ella is a better player. Her strategy baffles me. She passes up moves that I would take. Yet She wind. It can’t be all luck.

  • It was cold with wind that made it feel and sound colder. It was cool inside so we put some throw covers over us as we reclined in our chairs. We had nowhere we HAD to go and, with the weather being nasty, no desire to go anywhere. So on this cold December day, near the end of a horrible year, we sit and wait for time to go to bed. What is taking eight o’clock so long?
  • This was also the day to take out the trash and empty our holding tanks. So I did take care of the chores. The day wasn’t a complete waste.
  • NO SUNSET PHOTO. That little glow on the morning horizon was as close as it came to sunshine all day.
  • Also follow this other blog: http://armchairsermons.com My NEW sermons blog Armchair Sermons. Sermons posted most Sundays 10 AM central time
  • All content (except quotations) ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

2020 December 29

Tuesday December 29, 2020.

  • Today: Cloudy with a 20% chance of showers. Highs around 70. Southeast winds 10 to 20 mph. [It reached 70° by 4:00 and we had intermittent showers]

  • Tonight: Cloudy. 50% Chance of showers before midnight then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after midnight. Lows in the lower 60s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph before midnight.
  • Wednesday: High 65° low 40° thunderstorms
  • Thursday: High 43° low 34° rain
  • Last night before going to bed I checked the forecast and there was an 80% chance of snow on Thursday. This morning it had changed to rain. I have to admit, I was kind of looking forward to a little snow. A very little snow.
  • _________
  • I just got the results from my covid test. “Negative: SARS-CoV-2 not detected Testing did not identify the presence of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) in the patient’s sample.
  • ________
  • The news headline read, TRUMP REFUSED TO SIGN RELIEF BILL

  • That’s the news that’s reported. How different it would be if the headline read, TRUMP REFUSED TO SETTLE ON $1,400 LESS RELIEF THAN HE HAS DEMANDED FOR OVER 6 MONTHS. This statement is as true as the other headline. Do you still believe that the press is unbiased?
  • The general public relies on news outlets to report the news. We have to because we aren’t at the events as they unfold. However, news reporters are not like Court reporters who capture the words spoken by everyone during a court or deposition proceeding. Court reporters then prepare verbatim transcripts of proceedings.
  • News reporters do not record verbatim. They filter what .they see and hear through their own set of biases. They then write or tell the story with their own objective in mind and add adjectives that color our response. As an example of how descriptive words change our reaction, read the following. “I did it,” he said remorsefully. “I did it,” he said proudly.
  • This is not new and possibly unavoidable. Read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each author is telling the story of Jesus’s life and ministry. However, though as many as ten events are common to each, the author’s view point and purpose determined what they recorded and in what sequence.
The following summation was found on WhatChristiansWantToKnow.com/
  • Matthew portrays Jesus as the King and Messiah — he focuses on what Jesus said.
  • Mark shows Jesus as the Servant of God and he simply speaks of what Jesus did.
  • Luke shares Jesus as the Son of Man and therefore has much to say about what Jesus felt.
  • And finally, John presents Jesus as the Son of God giving emphasis to who Jesus was.
  • While I am ready to believe each of the gospel writers to be honorable men with no attempt to deceive, I am less ready to believe modern news reporters are as honorable or that they have no intent to deceive.
  • Here is a quote attributed to Ben Franklin which states “believe half of what you see and none of what you hear“. Seems like sounds advice.

  • We were playing Fast Track, while the remnants of our brisket sandwich and tomato soup lunch remained on the table. After Ella had beaten me four out of four games, I needed a break to clear the table and salve my wounds. But I came back for a single win out of the next three games.
  • (Past. I don’t think she really shuffled – just kept those winning cards in order. I could be wrong. She could just be that good and that lucky.)
  • Thanks to Ella, the Christmas tree is down and boxed away until next Christmas.
  • We still have two laser projection lights to box as well as a nativity that crane without a box.
  • All content (except quotations) ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

    Good news. My INR was back on the accepted range again.

2020 December 28

December 28, 2020.
Three more days of Twenty- Twenty left. Three year that changed EVERYTHING. We can hope that this is the bottom and things will begin to improve. I pray there are no subfloors.

FORECAST

So Far Today 65 | 60Yesterday 75° | 52°Average 59° | 41°Mon 68° | 57° CloudyTue 68° | 62° 40% Chance Rain ShowersWed 64° | 36° ThunderstormsThu. 38° 30° 50% Chance Snow Showers

  • The revised forecast went from 30% to 50% chance of snow on Thursday. So now it is a coin toss, heads it snows – tails it rains. We’ve had about 27″ of rain this year. That’s the same as Des Moines Iowa. Compare that to Miami Florida’s 77″.
  • How common is the name of our little town of Liberty Hill?

Information from https://geotargit.com/called.php?qcity=Liberty%20Hill

“LIBERTY HILL, TX (WILLIAMSON COUNTY).Liberty Hill is on State Highway 29 in the Hill Country fifteen miles west of Georgetown and thirty-three miles northwest of Austin in Williamson County. It lies between the north and south forks of the San Gabriel River.

Among the early settlers there in the 1840s were Taylor Smith, Greenleaf Fisk, and U. H. Anderson. Families named Bryson, Poole, and Spencer arrived in the early 1850s from Tennessee, Arkansas, and the Carolinas. In 1853 a post office was opened three miles west of the present townsite. William Oliver Spencer was appointed postmaster and suggested the name Liberty Hill.The town moved eastward twice before 1882 in response to relocations of the post office and a local stage stop. When the Austin and Northwestern Railroad bypassed Liberty Hill in 1882, the settlement shifted again.Its population began to grow, and the 1884 chartering of Liberty Normal and Business College there soon added a student population as well. Nevertheless, the town remained small, never (through 1990) reporting a population of more than 500.The area’s economy during the 1980s was primarily agricultural, though local growth was increasing as workers moved to the community and commuted to jobs elsewhere. During the mid-1980s the town’s population was estimated at 300, though at that time the school enrollment there exceeded 850.In the early 1990s the community continued to report a population of 300, with fifty-five rated businesses. The population grew to 1,409 in 2000 with 134 businesses.”Liberty Hill is on State Highway 29 in the Hill Country fifteen miles west of Georgetown and thirty-three miles northwest of Austin in Williamson County. It lies between the north and south forks of the San Gabriel River.Among the early settlers there in the 1840s were Taylor Smith, Greenleaf Fisk, and U. H. Anderson. Families named Bryson, Poole, and Spencer arrived in the early 1850s from Tennessee, Arkansas, and the Carolinas. In 1853 a post office was opened three miles west of the present townsite. William Oliver Spencer was appointed postmaster and suggested the name Liberty Hill.The town moved eastward twice before 1882 in response to relocations of the post office and a local stage stop. When the Austin and Northwestern Railroad bypassed Liberty Hill in 1882, the settlement shifted again.Its population began to grow, and the 1884 chartering of Liberty Normal and Business College there soon added a student population as well. Nevertheless, the town remained small, never (through 1990) reporting a population of more than 500.The area’s economy during the 1980s was primarily agricultural, though local growth was increasing as workers moved to the community and commuted to jobs elsewhere. During the mid-1980s the town’s population was estimated at 300, though at that time the school enrollment there exceeded 850.In the early 1990s the community continued to report a population of 300, with fifty-five rated businesses. The population grew to 1,409 in 2000 with 134 businesses.”

https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/liberty-hill-tx-williamson-county#:~:text=Families%20named%20Bryson%2C%20Poole%2C%20and,suggested%20the%20name%20Liberty%20Hill.
  • The Information above tells HOW Liberty Hill became named Liberty Hill. However, I want to know WHY it was named Liberty Hill. I’ve heard two vastly different stories.
  • 1. That either the founding families or the post master came from Liberty Hill South Carolina.
  • 2. There is some story about freed slaves, but the person who told me this was unsure as to the details or truth of the story.
  • Unfortunately, the local city council had no information and the local library is closed until further notice due to the pandemic.
  • I have been unable to locate information from either the 2010 or 2020 Federal Censuses

You remember that i purchased an eleven plus pound brisket? Well, I spent all afternoon cooking it. I seasoned it, pressure cooked it, air fried it and pressure cooked it some more. I sliced off three good size chunks that Ella took to neighbors. Ella and I ate some for a late lunch/ early supper. I put everything back in the Instapot on slow cook overnight. I’m going to get it tender somehow. I just hope it doesn’t them to soup first.So that’s where the sun has been hiding all day. That’s the first I’ve seen of it. Gotta admit, it made for a beautiful sunset.

  • All content (except quotations) ©2020 Thomas E. Williams