2020 April 04 Saturday in Liberty Hill Texas

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ore lead gray skies and more rain. Forty one degrees this morning was a little surprising. I knew it was going to be cool over night. So, I had started the space heater before going to bed.

showed y’all, on Thursday, that I have extended the awning. If you are unfamiliar with RV awnings, you may not know that they are famous for capturing and holding rain water. This is not a good thing. Water is heavy (about 8.35 pounds per gallon). When the awning bows toward the middle the weight is enough to tear the fabric loose or even cause the metal struts to bend and collapse. No bueno! Here are a couple examples found on the web.

here are ways to prevent this. The easiest by far is to roll the awning closed. This method is as fool proof as you can get. However, I WANT the awning out as protection from the rain – and to collect the rain.

have done two things to avoid water accumulating on the awning. First simply leave one side of the awning lower, which allows water to run off. The second thing I’ve done is to install rafters / supports which keep the awning from bowing and collecting water.

peaking of collecting water, I have placed a plastic tub at the lower end of the awning to capture the rain water. My hope is to hold enough to use for doing more laundry. (See the post on April first for more about how we are doing laundry without machines) I did not capture the first day of rain. My thought was that the first rain would clear dust and debris off of the awning.

his it’s the amount of rain water collected in about a hour. That is a thirty five gallon tub. (35×8.35=292.25 pounds) Now imagine if this was sitting on an awning. It pretty well demonstrates how a little rain can destroy a poorly cared for canopy. And look how clear and clean the water is.

ain water is soft water, meaning it contains none of the minerals found in ground water (wells, rivers, and lakes) that it’s pumped through your pipes.. When I was young we always had a rain barrel. That water was used for laundry in the old fashion wringer washer similar to the one shown below.

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For communion tomorrow, here at home, I made some unleavened bread, a little oil, salt, honey, water, and flour. No measuring, just eyeballed it. Or as my mother would say, “By guess and by golly.”

e received a care package from John and Dawn, back in Iowa. Ella had mentioned to him that we were doing well. That the only thing I hadn’t found was flour. He mailed ten pounds of flour, a package of girl Scout cookies, two containers of dehydrated hash-browns and four rolls of toilet paper. Thank you.

nd, of course, we had to schedule a game or two of Fast Track into our busy schedule. We also managed to take our walk up to the mailbox and back.

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.”

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  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 186 in Texas

Day 23 of us being self isolated.

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.”

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http://armchairsermons.com

  • ©2020 Thomas E. Williams

Day 179 in Texas

2020 March 27 Friday

2020 March 27 Friday in Liberty Hill TexasWelcome to our daily journal!

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

Acc wet 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)

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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

2020 March 25 Wednesday

2020 March 25 Wednesday in Liberty Hill Texas Welcome to our daily journal! Send Mail to: TomAndEllaJournal@gmail.com

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

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he sun began by burning holes through the live oaks. The crystal clear sky gave aid to Sol as he continued to burn white hot. Yesterday’s record breaking eighty seven degrees had not sated his spicy appetite, for today he had us simmering at eighty eight.Thinking of Grandies

Wednesdays, pre COVID-19, were always days to which we looked forward, while in Texas. Wednesdays began with Grandies.

Grandies is not an easy organization to describe. Membership is open to those who are 50+, hence the name, though you need not be a grandparent. But, if you ARE a grandparent, we expect weekly updates.

I believe that there currently are 20 members on the rolls, with women outnumbering men 5 to 1.

We have a mission which can best be broadly expressed as, “Support the community.” That mission is revealed in several ways.

Grandies sign and send greeting cards with inspirational messages to those serving in the military, the sick or homebound and church members celebrating happy milestones like birthdays and graduation. Since this ministry started, more than 3,300 cards have been sent!

In the summer, Grandies also work to make available snack packs through Operation Liberty Hill for children who may not otherwise have enough food without a school in session.

Additionally, they provide meals at Vacation Bible School. and host bake sales twice a year to raise funds for their important works, which extend beyond these few mentioned.

In previous years we meet in the fellowship hall of Cross Tracks Church. However, just over a year ago, that building building was stuck by lightening and destroyed by fire.

At the end of each meeting, a roll call is taken. It it’s during this time that each member is given an opportunity to share what is going on, good and bad, in their lives and the lives of those they love.

Following roll call a short devotion and prayer it’s given.

And then, and t-h-e-n games are played. Card games, dominoes, and board games keep us occupied until around noon. Some go home, shopping, or appointments. But usually there are come that would go to one local fast-food or another to share a meal.

Unfortunately, those wonderful times are suspended during this time of uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

ear family and friends, how are you marketing these days, when little of what was normal one month ago cad can still be called normal?

n addition to the mailbox on site, we still maintain a postal box at the post office in town. That was one reason for us to journey into Liberty Hill. A servings reason was to be able to get cell service and take care of some things online.

The third reason was perhaps the most important, a stop at at Dairy Queen.

t seems apropos that the last shot of the sun is of it shining through the Live Oak, because that was also the first shot of the day. Those live oaks can really hold the heat.

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

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

Day 176 in Texas$$1117$$1130 Parker’s 6.38

2020 March 24 Tuesday

2020 March 24 Tuesday in Liberty Hill Texas Welcome to our daily journal! Send Mail to: TomAndEllaJournal@gmail.com

Day eleven of being self isolated because of the corona-virus.

id you notice something different? No fog! That’s right,”there’s magic in my eyes I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.” Oh yeah.” (song by The Who – 1967)

e opened the windows overnight and the door, once we were up. We will keep them open as long as it doesn’t become too warm. And, if is truly going to reach eighty three degrees, it might be before noon. Then we’ll close up and start the air conditioner.

ccasionally, the clouds would thin enough that the sun would appear as a bright disc, looking for all the world, like the moon. And soon, too soon, was hidden once again. But wait! The forecast, as yet unproven as I write this morning. Is for a sunny afternoon. Now I pray that the next forecast issued for COVID-19, will be equally cheering.

ust before noon the sun shook off the coat of clouds and began to pour out a week’s worth of sunshine. Though the return of that long lost friend was welcomed back, and though he warms our souls, we shut the door and drew the shades to half mast. His rays through the windows soon had the indoor thermometer creeping up on eighty. Outdoors it reached a record breaking (for this date) eighty six degrees.

Today’s Instapot lunch was lentils, kielbasa, carrots, celery, chicken stock, and (just for the heck of it) a little bit of barley. For dessert was a banapple no bake pie. Instant banana pudding and a can of apple pie filling in a shortbread pie crust.

Remembering My Youth

Once there was a boy-child who played and stayed in the brilliant summer sun ’till his hair was near white and skin near chestnut.

Trees, hills, and fences too, were made for climbing. And climb he did. From top branches smaller than a man’s thumb he hug by his hands, knees, and toes.

As he was swayed by that ever restless breeze of summer, his mind’s eye looked down to the pirate ship’s deck far below, where Captain Hook shook his one good fist at the fair-haired boy, dressed in green, far up in the crow’s nest.

Next, as he squatted in his loin-cloth, high in the vine covered tree, a gentle African wind carried with it, a strange aroma among the normal scents of the jungle, the aroma of a dangerous rogue elephant. as it came crashing through the underbrush.

Now the international man of danger lay flat against the skyscraper roof, binoculars to his eyes and studied the movement of the band of spies that were just coming ashore from the foreign submarine.

All too soon, mother called him down from his perch. Time for lunch and a nap. He had no need of a nap. He had been dreaming all morning.

Water for awhile.

Survival food for awhile.

Trash bags, TP, disinfectant wipes, and towels for awhile. Oh yes, buddy burners and a few yards of rope.

Tools for simple repair and construction.

His and hers duffle-bags with everything that NEMA, National Emergency Management Association recommends, was well as FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency. And other supplies recommended by various survivalist and preppers. I don’t think of Ella and myself as “peppers”, as a good scout I do believe in, “Be Prepared.” Oh yes, the truck and topper for temporary shelter.

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

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

Day 175 in TexasProgressive 43.17Progressive 47.09

2020 March 23 Monday

2020 March 23 Monday in Liberty Hill TexasWelcome to our daily journal! Send Mail to: TomAndEllaJournal@gmail.comDay ten of being self isolated because of the corona-virus..Thoughts on Fog

Fog there was and fog there is. I pray it is fog, else the world beyond is disappearing. Hunkered down, miles from town, how am I to know that underneath the sodden, dripping, grey mass that the water tower, the churches, the gas stations, and stores are still there?

Thoughts on COVID-19

Facemasks, goggles, and gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and wipes; is this our new normal? Will ever we ride again buses, taxis, planes, and trains without fear of touching what others touched, of breathing in what others had breathed out?

Will people once again gather shoulder to shoulder, clasping hands, and giving hugs. Will worshippers pray, praise, and. sing, their voices muted by respirators?

Will those who cough or sneeze be set outside civilization, their faces covered, and made to yell, “Unclean!”?

airly early this mourning, I crawled into the topper and retrieved those two black storage boxes from the upper right corner. They are filled with freeze dried food.However, there was no rhyme nor reason to how they were laid inn the boxes. I brought them into the RV and sorted them. All of the same kind, e.g. Creamy Potato Soup, were stored together in grocery sacks. Using a Sharpe Pen, I labeled each sack with the contents. I also separated the entrees from the breakfast items, each to their own box.Both Ella and I had prescriptions read for pick up. So, I unsequestered myself and went to Cedar Park. Wal-Mart was beginning to restock, though paper products, flour, and eggs were nowhere to be found. Now we slide bank into isolation until possibly the thirty first. That is when Ella’s follow-up outs scheduled with her urologist… which may be cancelled.ust before five o’clock Ella and I went for our daily walk. We stopped at the.mail box. The letter Ella plac . ed in the box on Saturday was gone, but no new mail was present.8

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

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

Day 176 in Texas

2020 March 22 Sunday

2020 March 22 Sunday in Liberty Hill Texas Welcome to our daily journal! Send Mail to: TomAndEllaJournal@gmail.comDay nine of being self isolated because of the corona-virus.The fog comes. on little cat feet. It sits looking. over harbor and city. on silent haunches. and then moves on.” – Carl Sandburg

Dark was the night and gray the morning.

Fog clings, a coat so thick amidst the chill.

Smothered in silence, I await the day.

his Sunday morning we were listening to hymns on YouTube while waiting for church service to begin on Cross Tracks Church’s Facebook page. Pastor John Saint’s sermon on Facebook is here.Tom Williams’s message for today, “Praising God In Times of Trouble.”unch for today: chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes, with green beans. I made the noodles with powdered eggs. And I made them the way I like them, thick, wide,and chewy. Some might call them dumplings. But they would be wrong, dumplings are much lighter and airier.apioca pudding for a nice, warm, afternoon snack. It really was just going to be vanilla pudding. I mistakenly added an extra cup of milk. So I added the tapioca to thicken that extra cup. It was good warm. Does anyone else really like the “skin” that forms on the surface of real, cooked pudding? It’s my favorite part. Because I made too much, there was an extra bowl.ur favorite board game is Fast Track. We have introduced it to many other people and they’ve become as addicted as we are. I tell people that it is easy to learn. It’s just hard to win.lla and I went for what had become a daily walk. Truly, we don’t walk far enough to count as exercise, but we at least get out and “git ta stink blowed off.”nce again sunset is indistinguishable from sunrise, like a library filled with only one book, every shelf the same, every day bound in the same cover. I’ve read this day before, too many times.

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

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

Day 175 in Texas

2020 March 21 Saturday

2020 March 21 Saturday in Liberty Hill Texas Welcome to our daily journal! Send Mail to: TomAndEllaJournal@gmail.comDay eight of being self isolated because of the corona-virus.ll of the sky it’s so smooth that it appears to have been applied by a master plasterer. And like drying plaster, the sky lightened and whitener through the morning and early afternoon.ou will recall that, back on March 18, I was attempting to rain proof the truck topper. It didn’t work. The rains from yesterday and this morning successfully defeated my attempts to waterproof. Well played, Rain, well played. However, this was only battle. You have not won the war.Ella and I did go outside for a little bit. We walked to the mailbox and back. The neighbor boys are outside, with the basketball, shooting hoops. It sounds like they are having fun.

We received our census “invitation” yesterday. I was amused, ya let’s say I was amused, by the invitation followed by the implied threat, ” if you do not respond, we will need to send a Census Bureau investigator to your home.” We were responsible citizens and completed the information online, as we were invited to do.e were prepared far better than many. An extended stay at home is fine with us. We have food, shelter, and each of us has our best friend right here. W can ride this storm out.Another glorious gorgeous Texas sunset.

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

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

Day 174 in Texas