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The End is Near

My wife has a cousin out in Louisville, KY  (land of great Bourbon)  who is always sending thought provoking material. Back in February of this year one such piece of Email held the below Old Man, Boy and Donkey story.

What a great time thought I, to share this on the eve of the new year. Who will we listen to, follow or be guided by in 2017?  Or, as Polonius said in Hamlet, ” be true to thy own self.”


Will we be true to our own self as we cross our bridges throughout the year?

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Holy Spirit Interactive Kids

AN OLD MAN, A BOY AND A DONKEY WERE GOING TO TOWN.  THE BOY RODE ON THE DONKEY, AND THE OLD MAN WALKED.  AS THEY WENT ALONG THEY PASSED SOME PEOPLE WHO REMARKED “WHAT A SHAME, THE OLD MAN IS WALKING, THE BOY IS RIDING.”

THE MAN AND BOY THOUGHT MAYBE THE CRITICS WERE RIGHT, SO THEY CHANGED POSITIONS.
LATER THEY PASSED SOME PEOPLE WHO REMARKED “WHAT A SHAME, HE MAKES THAT LITTLE BOY WALK”.  SO THEY DECIDED THEY’D BOTH WALK.

SOON THEY PASSED SOME MORE PEOPLE WHO REMARKED “THEY’RE REALLY STUPID TO WALK WHEN THEY HAVE A DECENT DONKEY TO RIDE.”  SO THEY BOTH DECIDED TO RIDE THE DONKEY.

THEY PASSED SOME PEOPLE WHO SHAMED THEM BY SAYING “HOW AWFUL TO PUT SUCH A LOAD ON A POOR DONKEY.” THE BOY AND THE MAN FIGURED THEY WERE PROBABLY RIGHT, SO THEY DECIDE TO CARRY THE DONKEY.

AS THEY CROSSED THE BRIDGE, THEY LOST THEIR GRIP ON THE DONKEY, THE DONKEY FELL INTO THE RIVER AND DROWNED.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY:  IF YOU TRY TO PLEASE EVERYONE, YOU MIGHT AS WELL KISS YOUR ASS GOODBYE.

HAVE A NICE DAY!

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Sent by a friend.

 

Isaiah 40:30-31

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

As you pour that first cup of Coffee on New Years day, know “The Rooster” is wishing all of you the very best in 2017.

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(It is with special note that on this day my beloved signal carrier, Verizon, is sending a signal strong enough to post this dispatch from home. I am truly Blessed on this final day of 2016.)    Ah- the joy of country living!

Let There Be Peace

 

 

 

My eldest child, a daughter, a former Air Force enlisted airmen, a retired Air Force Major, mother of two, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and presently a hospital administrator sent the following message to her team at work prior to the Christmas Holiday. I have her permission to share.

Team,

I have always enjoyed Christmas.  For me it is a holiday filled with food, family and often many beautiful miracles.  One of the best parts of Christmas, and this entire holiday season, regardless of religion is the sense of camaraderie and peace I often feel, something our busy lives don’t often have.  One of my greatest memories of the power of peace came over 20 years ago and I was scheduled to work the week of Christmas. I was a young Airman, living in Berlin, West Germany behind the Berlin wall.  My day to day job was to identify Russian or other communist aircraft and provide early warning to the field Generals so that we could deploy resources to prevent the Russians from entering Europe and invading.  It was often a tense job.  There were many times when we scrambled aircraft in light of a threat and worried that we may be entering into WWIII.   One year, I learned that even for our enemies, there was the hope of something different.   My first year in Berlin, Christmas Eve, I came into work for the 5PM – 5AM shift.  As was typically the case, the other shift briefed me on the current state of operations, which areas I should be focused on and the current state of threat.  It was not a Russian holiday, so there was no need to think the night would be quiet.  I sat back, with my sergeant beside me watching and prepared for a night of work.  As I sat there I noticed all the aircraft slowly returning to base.  By 10PM, Christmas Eve there were no aircraft in the skies, the area was quiet.  Out team sat there all night and watched a beautiful sight, an empty radar screen – for me – evidence of true peace, perhaps, world peace, as the two largest superpowers backed down and rested.  For me, a young 19 year old away from home, this evidence, that at our core the world is good and peace is possible, if only for a short time, gave me hope…. which is what Christmas and this holiday season is all about.
Our world is crazy – we have struggled through an election that has divided us in many ways.  Terrorists continue to try to impact our ability to feel safe.  Our own lives and families struggle each and every day with many challenges, but this should not be what guides our day or our purpose.  I encourage you to use this season, with your families and friends to share time, fellowship, and good food with each other, and reflect on what is truly important to you.  Each of you are changing lives every day, providing our community with the gift of peace of mind, peace in knowing they are getting better support and healthcare, peace in knowing that they are not alone in their life’s journey.  Thank you for all you do for each other, for our team, for our organization and our community.
May you each have a moment of peace in the coming days.
Kathryn
peace
Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis

Merry Christmas from the Rooster’s Coop

Horrible, that is the only word to describe the connectivity to the Internet several days prior to December 25th. I had my electronic card ready to post and this effort was to no avail. Several times I connected but the speed was such that getting it into cyber space would not occur. Finally I am here at an alternate site, thank you Jeffrey and Kathryn for allowing me to tap into the world of 2016.

So here goes my Christmas Card a day late.

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Merry Christmas from our coop to yours.

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The Rooster and Herself

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Our newest addition Benjamin Franklin Fiddler, (a real BFF) nine weeks old.

Simon

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Casper

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The Girls

Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Rooster LogoSemper-fidelis

A Flyers Game in Philly

On Friday, December 9, 2016 herself and the Rooster went to bed a bit earlier than usual. The next day would bring a pre-dawn wake-up to feed the backyard flock and ready ourselves for an overnight trip to the City of Brotherly Love. We would be traveling with our eldest daughter and her husband to attend a Philadelphia Flyers Hockey game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday afternoon.

The kids would be coming by at 0730 on Saturday after having spent the previous night at a holiday gala in Ocean City, MD., these two definitely get around. Jeff is not long back from a two week trip to Israel. Yes, he’s the Dept. of State employee.(Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume?) Kathryn has no moss growing on her posterior also.

So I hop in the drivers side and will act as the Uber driver for this jaunt. This happens a lot when I travel with these two. I guess having grown up in the greater Philadelphia area, they might feel I know my way. I was seeing Hockey games in Philadelphia in the early 60’s when they were the Ramblers. The old Arena at 46th and Market was the venue back in those days. Saw the old Jersey Devils at the Cherry Hill arena also. For this event it would take place in the Wells Fargo center in South Philadelphia. It is part of a Sports Metroplex that shares parking with the Eagles, Lincoln Financial Center and the Phillies, Citizen Bank Park.

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The Sports Complx

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Philadelphia City Hall

 
After a breakfast stop in Seaford, DE we would continue north to center city Philly and check in to the Marriott opposite Philadelphia City Hall. If you’ve got nothing better to do, take the virtual tour. The kids got an upgrade to one of their rooms and gave it to us. Taking care of the elderly you know. God bless them, we are quite fortunate. Must have been a reward for driving!

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The Ben Franklin bridge from our window. I walked over this bridge many times as a kid.

We did not tarry too long for the game would commence in ninety minutes and we still had a subway ride to South Philly.

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Youtube photo

SEPTA operates the subway system in Southeastern Pennsylvania. It is part of regional public transportation authority that operates various forms of public transit services—bus, subway and elevated rail, commuter rail, light rail and electric trolleybus—that serve 3.9 million people in five counties in and around Philadelphia.

septa_regional_rail_map
I can’t remember the last time I traveled the subway. If I could venture a guess I’d say 1968 was the last ride. It hasn’t changed much and our day’s steps, 10,000 of them, began as we searched for an entrance to the world of the underground. Once we found our way down under we went through the unaccustomed use of the ticket by credit card machine. After numerous failed attempts, a local interceded and moved us on our way. He was waiting to use the machine also. I’m sure his help was more motivated by wanting to move through the turnstile than “Brotherly Love.” Thank you anyway my friend should you be reading this.

Did I mention it was Freezing Butt Cold, well it was as we started our walk from the subway stop with hundreds of Orange & Black clad supporters of Philadelphia Flyers Hockey fans. The venue was large, the crowd easy to follow, no getting lost on this segment of the adventure. Jeff would hand out the tickets, a necessary should we get separated.

orange-and-black

On entry the usual security check, I’d walk through the Magnetometer, get called back, “Duh,” oh yes, I have a Pacemaker and set it off again. I’d explain this and I usually get the Magic Wand treatment, not this time though. The young lad says, “that’s OK sir, go on through.” I must really be looking old lately, take care of the elderly, I appreciate it and all the perks that come along. They did look through my man-purse, good thing the .380 was back home.

Let the game begin. Great seats in a mid level box. Our own bar and waitress to bring whatever, first class kids, thank you. Line of sight was fabulous, a near full house, even with all the Christmas shoppers out and about.

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It’s feeling like a date night.

The Flyers would start slow and go down a goal. Eventually things would tie at 2 – 2. Then it happened, Brayden Schenn scored  two more goals and garnered a power-play hat trick . Flyers win 4 – 2. It is now an eight game win streak, the longest since 2002 and increased to nine last night with an overtime win at Detroit over the Red Wings.

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2016/12/10/schenn-hat-trick-leads-flyers-to-8th-straight-win.html

What is a Hat Trick you ask? http://mentalfloss.com/article/56326/where-does-phrase-hat-trick-come

Just a great end to a wonderful afternoon. When I return once again I’ll take you on a fine dining experience to “Bank and Bourbon” in downtown Philly. Come back often for “The Rooster Crows.”

Cast Your Vote

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The Immortal Jukebox, A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

A fellow blogger and a person I consider a friend would love for you all to check out his blog and cast a vote on his behalf, especially if you like music.

Two of his favorite Blog Posts were:

http://wp.me/p4pE0N-AL Bob Dylan, The Nobel Prize, The Albert Hall & Me!

http://wp.me/p4pE0N-xL Duane Eddy – An imaginary road movie in 5 songs

Thom Hickey
Twitter Handle:
@thomhickey55
Blog URL:      http://theimmortaljukebox.com

From Thom’s Blog:

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote! for The Immortal Jukebox (& groove to The Shadows!)

I was very grateful and somewhat amazed at how many of my readers took the time to nominate The Immortal Jukebox for The UK Blog Awards.

Now I would like to ask you to move to the next stage and vote for The Jukebox (and encourage all your family, friends, and social media contacts to do the same!).

Please follow the link and select Art & Culture from the drop down menu:

http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2017/entries/immortal-jukebox

As a reward here’s ‘Wonderful Land’ an early 60s guitar instrumental from the one and only Shadows featuring the lyrical playing of Hank B Marvin.

 

Cast your vote here >    http://blogawardsuk.co.uk/ukba2017/entries/immortal-jukebox#votenow

It’s a Boy

A Black Standard Poodle Named:  Ben or BFF,
Benjamin Franklin Fiddler

Born  October 17, 2016 to

Lee & Mary Agnes Fiddler

Arriving home on Dec. 20, 2016

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Yes, we have taken a big step towards confinement at our ripe old age. At least for the next six months we shall be kind of restricted as Ben becomes potty trained and the doggie terrible two’s. That’s the gnawing on chair legs, rug ends, socks, shoes and the like. We are just thankful it’s a Poodle and not a Lab. Labs have a tendency of turning chair legs into toothpicks and rugs into spun fiber.

Labs have coexisted within our walls in the past, four of them to be exact. This will be my third poodle. My first was CoCo, back in my high school days, a CoCo brown standard, she was also a great hunting dog. A born bird hunter, she wouldn’t retrieve, but she could run a track and jump any living thing 10-20 yards out front.

She did have two ominous down sides. That coco brown kinky fur of her’s could attract a plethora of burrs. She refused to get wet crossing a stream, I’d cross, drop the shotgun, no, not literally drop it, I’d place it gently on the ground. I would then return to this 50 pound girl, cradle her in my arms and get carry her to the other side. This was not much of an effort early in the morning but after three or four hours in the brush of Burlington County, NJ and heading home, she was a load. There is a good read on hunting Poodles @ https://www.nrablog.com/articles/2015/9/the-poodle-underrated-hunting-dog/

 
Our most recent Poodle resided with us for seven years, she was a rescue dog of one year of age when we adopted her. She was smarter than both of us, a great watch dog, a lover of children and a constant companion. We lost her suddenly in June of this year and are thankful to have a new Poodle to once again be a part of our family. It was a decision made with lots of thought behind it.

Our replacement is not a white standard female this time but a Black Standard male. He does have white socks on his feet, a splotch of white on his face and chest, I’ll refer to it a touch of Maggie. His daddy is 84 pounds and if Ben grows up to be like him, ominous he will be. Ben will have a cousin in CT named Cody that is equally as big and black and with the shaggy clip he gets looks like a Gorilla.

If we can remember how we did it with Maggie, Troop, Marsh, Duke, Saucy and Ping, we just might have something unique as part of our household. We look forward to the challenge and I shall share our progress from time to time. Wish us luck, please wish us luck. Just wait until he meets Casper and the hens.

Ben will come to us from Bireley Poodles, you can check out all his relatives on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/BireleyStandardPoodles/?fref=ts
Have a great Thanksgiving weekend, enjoy those leftovers and be kind to your K9 friends.

 

Poodles have been on parade here in Wicomico County for quite a few years. Take a gander @ http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/2016/04/27/poodles-parade-dog-show-takes-salisbury/83600510/

When does winter come?

I’m walking about one day and a stranger approaches and asks, “How do you know when winter is coming?” Short of looking at the calendar,  in 2016, winter begins on December 21, 5:44 A.M. EST. Learn more about the winter solstice, facts, and folklore! Check out The Old Farmers Almanac.  http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice

However, around our house the way we tell when winter is getting close is by the Paulonia, or more commonly known name, The Princess Tree. When the first frost approaches the tree loses most of it’s leaves.

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Yep you guessed it, I’m saying winter began on November 20th this year.

An old friend who is a lover of trees gave me a Princess Tree some years back. In year one it grew six or eight inches, during one of my late grass mowings I thought it had died. Yep, you guessed it, mowed that sucker down I did. The next year it came back with a growth spurt that was amazing. We got an early frost and I remember all the leaves just fell off. Every year since, first frost, down come the leaves.

So if you were to ask me when winter begins I’d say, when the leaves fall from the Princess Tree.

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I just had to share our giant Maple Tree in all it’s golden glory.

The following on the tree is from Wiki.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulownia_tomentosa

Paulownia tomentosa is cultivated as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[7]

The characteristic large size of the young growth is exploited by gardeners: by pollarding the tree and ensuring there is vigorous new growth every year, massive leaves are produced (up to 23in/60 cm across). These are popular in the modern style of gardening which uses large-foliaged and “architectural” plants.

In China, the tree is planted at the birth of a girl[citation needed]. The fast-growing tree matures when she does. When she is eligible for marriage the tree is cut down and carved into wooden articles for her dowry. Carving the wood of Paulownia is an art form in Japan and China. In legend, it is said that the phoenix will only land on the Empress Tree and only when a good ruler is in power. Several Asian string instruments are made from P. tomentosa, including the Japanese koto and Korean gayageum zithers.

The soft, lightweight seeds were commonly used as a packing material by Chinese porcelain exporters in the 19th century, before the development of polystyrene packaging. Packing cases would often leak or burst open in transit and scatter the seeds along rail tracks. The magnitude of the numbers of seeds used for packaging, together with seeds deliberately planted for ornament, has allowed the species to be viewed as an invasive species in areas where the climate is suitable for its growth, notably Japan and the eastern United States.[8]

The Paulownia tree

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual

Common Name: Princess Tree

Scientific Name: Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Sieb. & Zucc. ex Steud.

http://www.se-eppc.org/manual/princess.html

Only 48 hours until Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Where are your priorities?

Last Sunday’s sermon at church addressed our priorities in life, specifically Christ and family. If we put Christ first and follow with family, everything else should fall into place. I just absolutely loved my granddaughter’s blog which I shared in my last posting. God and family are right there at the top of her priorities, and yes she is the “storm.” If you haven’t taken a look at her blog or my share, take a minute and do so. So young, so busy, so focused on priorities.

Back to the Sunday sermon. What is important in your life? I can’t do that right now, I have to mow the lawn. I’m sorry, maybe later, the ball game is coming on. Let’s do that some other time. And then of course there’s the computer, and all of it’s distractions.

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None of us is perfect, but we can always check in with ourselves to ask: Is my relationship with my God as good as it can be? Do we communicate?  Is my relationship with my child as good as it can be given any major differences we may have, and if not, what can I do to make it better?

Well, the deliverer of that sermon used Harry Chapen’s “Cats in the Cradle” lyrics to highlight what too busy is. I want to share it. I want to make time.

Time passes quickly, don’t let it slip by you. Encourage the young, check on the elderly.

Cats in the Cradle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etundhQa724

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talking ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say, “I’m gonna be like you, dad
You know I’m gonna be like you.”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, dad; come on, let’s play
Can you teach me to throw?”

I said, “Not today, I got a lot to do.”
He said, “That’s okay.”
And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him.”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, dad?” “I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man, I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you. Can you sit for a while?”
He shook his head, and he said with a smile
“What I’d really like, dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later; can I have them please?”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then, dad
You know we’ll have a good time then.”

I’ve long since retired, and my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind.”
He said, “I’d love to, dad, if I could find the time
You see, my new job’s a hassle, and the kid’s got the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you.”

And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me
And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
“When you coming home, son?” “I don’t know when
But we’ll get together then, dad
We’re gonna have a good time then.”

Songwriters
CHAPIN, HARRY F./CHAPIN, SANDY
Published by
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Growing up and attending Sunday School I will always remember the following song which I’d like to share.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CBtA1A-cR8

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow

Black and white

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus loves the little children

Of the world.

Jesus died for all the children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow

Black and white

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus died for all the children

Of the world.

Jesus rose for all the children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow

Black and white

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus rose for all the children

Of the world.

My thought on this, if Jesus can do it, can’t we all do it?

From the Rooster’s Hutch to your house, Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Finally a Post

I look at the calendar and see November 17, 2016. I check back to my WordPress account and see my last post was written on October 14. So much has happened in the short expanse of time and nothing has gone to print.

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I reside in the middle of nowhere. Like, nowhere is there high speed internet. The best I can do is a Verizon Mi-Fi with the closest tower five miles away as the crow flies. I’ve mentioned this frustration numerous times in the past. Thank the good Lord my daughters are within 3.5 and 11 miles and afford me the opportunity to use their internet to download mail and to post blogs. Still, I hate having to leave my home writing venue to do this.

11/11/2016

Earlier today while my wife was at the Lions Hall making the cream for the Mac & Cheese to be a part of the Lions Beef dinner this weekend I started to do some online things. Just checking my email was a lost cause. It was Soooo slow that I packed up everything and headed to the 3.5 mile internet connection. Thank you Kathryn, Jeff and  Abby.  Libby (100 lbs. of Yellow Lab) has been well taken care of this afternoon.

Eighty seven emails were taken care, Blog follows were read and comments made where
pertinent. Now it’s time to review my journal and bring family and friends up to date on what’s been happening in the world of the Rooster.

Working backward today is Veterans Day. Congratulations to all who serve and did serve.

What Americans Don’t Understand About Their Own Military

11/10/2016

Yesterday was the 141st Birthday of the Marine Corps

 

A Family is separated

Last week my granddaughters husband was deployed to the sand. He and she are both Air Force Captains and graduates of the USAFA.

I’m including a couple of blogs my granddaughter posted, should give you some insight into their lives. Thanks for your service kids.

I Am the Storm

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Today, for about the 100th time, I was asked by a senior leader “How do you do it all ?” What he was referencing was me being active duty, Z being active duty and currently deployed, having 3 young kids, and being pregnant with our 4th. I laughed it off and he pushed, he wanted an answer, as did the 3 other senior leaders I was standing with. I told them we just do it (thank you Nike). It’s what we’ve always known and we don’t have a choice. We have to be great at our jobs both as parents, a couple, and officers in the military. That didn’t seem to pacify them. Here were three men, each having a minimum of 15 years in the military, wanting to know the secret recipe to having a successful family and career.

So here’s the secret recipe that I gave and it can be applied to everything in life.

1. We know that God has a plan and as long as we do our best it will come to pass. He also doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.

2. We love deeply. We love ourselves, each other, our kids, our lives. Important note: Love and like are not the same thing 😁

3. We accept everything we are given graciously even if it’s not what we had in mind. This is not always easy and at times, well most times, it takes a while to get the graciously part.

4. We will never sacrifice our family. “BUT Z is missing the birth of your child” they said. True, but Z has to deploy at sometime, he’s going to miss stuff. He also has to deploy to upgrade and to move bases. If he turned down this deployment that timeline would have been delayed and there is a high chance we would be stationed apart in the future because he couldn’t move with us. A small sacrifice to avoid a larger one. We also have done a lot to still incorporate Z intot he family even though he’s not physically with us.

5. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and we don’t dwell on the hard. Are we in a constant state of survival mode? Some days yes. But what you see as survival mode is our normal.

So when I saw this quote I thought, I am the storm. I dictate how my family will live. I can control what I can and everything else doesn’t matter. So be a storm in life. That doesn’t mean be destructive without regard for others. Take control of your life and live.

-S

Veteran’s Day

This is the first Veteran’s Day that isn’t about getting as many free deals as possible. This one is about being thankful for the sacrifice of my husband and those like my husband. They give up precious family time to defend our country and all those who reside within its boundaries.

So…how’s it been as a 31wk pregnant mom of 3 kids 3 and under and a husband who is going for some months?

It’s been ok. Z’s mom was awesome and flew out to help with the kids so we could have some last minute couple time. It also allowed me to drive Z to the airport and not take church friends away from their families. M was adorable, she’s super smart (not just saying that because I’m her mom). She knew Z was leaving and gave him a huge hug and kiss. She is a great oldest child and big sis.

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A and D have no idea what’s going on. A will notice in about a week that Daddy is gone (pray for me once that happens).

So what’s changed? I now keep my phone volume turned up at night or really any time I’m not at work. My home is also not as picked up as usual.

Here’s to a successful week 2.

-S

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So now I feel better having gotten something on paper, so to speak. I close this post out and hopefully will get to something else I wish to share in the next 24 hours. As for right now, I’m off to Jersey Mikes for subs and then Walmart for batteries to light the Christmas candles herself is going to be putting in the window. And yes, I said Christmas Candles. We happen to put Christ in Christmas and if it offends you go read someone else’s blog.

 

A Friend Has a Reunion

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While herself and I were up in Canada, a good friend was traveling in Italy with a group of old friends from Kansas. Yes Dorothy, that Kansas. While I was busy posting our Canadian adventure she was posting her Italian adventure. I asked if it was OK to share her postings and she said yes. Thank you Nancy.

On 4 September, 2016 she posted:

Good morning.

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Our flight over went well, although no sleep for the gals.  We arrived in Rome, took a cab to our hotel, dropped off bags and hit the streets running.
Our hotel is very nice, rooms big, we took over one section of the building.  Changed our clothes and headed to the open market.  What fun. Found a curb side restaurant-free percheco while awaiting our table.    Delicious pizza.  And sat next to couple where hubby works for state department.  Got lots of inside scoop re mother Teresa canonization.  Then walked to Vatican to meet our guide Valerie.  What an experienced docent.  Got us by the long lines and our education began.  What a wealth of info and art work.

Came back to the hotel and 4 went out to dinner.  Some of us stayed in the hotel for dinner of choc chip cookies.

Had a good nights sleep and will meet Valerie again.  Hitting the coliseum, forum, Trevi fountain, Bernini fountain of the 4 rivers.

We have filled our days full and will be ready to rest when we take our train tomorrow to Florence.

Cia

View from hotel, St. Peter’s,  A special group coming into service.  I vote nurse nuns

Hi, another great day in this beautiful city.  A 7 hour walking tour including the forum, the coliseum, the Spanish steps, trevi fountain, the Jewish city and may other locations.
Gilato for an afternoon snack.   Happy hour in our room.  Then out for a fabulous pasta dinner.   Our carafes of house wine were delicious.
We train to Florence tomorrow where we meet up with Ann, the 7th of our group.


We left from Monterosso and walked to Vernazza.  My 60 year old friends and I are in good shape and it was a bear for sure.
We are at cinque terra on the Mediterranean. Quite the entrepreneur we encountered on the trail, gloves and all.

We took an in villa cooking class that resulted in 3 course meal-delicious.   We are all going to take naps now

Needless to say, Nance and the girls had a great trip and reunion. Once again thank you for sharing. Your’s is my 101st post on Word Presss Nancy.