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A while back I posted a commencement address by Admiral William H. McRaven.
Each month in a local paper, our daughter Kathryn posts an article on Population Health. When I read the article, I got all chest puffy and proud of my daughter’s material as well as learning that a family Sunday Night gathering was remembered. I feel Admiral McRaven and my daughters post kind of go hand in hand.
In case you didn’t see my McRaven post, here is that excerpt. Here is a part of the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014 by Admiral William H. McRaven.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
(Text of entire speech if interested: https://jamesclear.com/great-speeches/make-your-bed-by-admiral-william-h-mcraven
Daughter Kathryn remembers Sunday nights long ago.
So, I grew up in Connecticut, one of three children of a State Trooper and a nurse. One of my best memories was of Sunday nights. My dad would work on preparing for the week. My dad would get out his badge, his belt buckle, and his rank. He would then ask us all to get our shoes lined up. We only got one pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year, and they were usually leather.
My mom would get her white uniforms out. He would lay all his uniform parts out on the floor. He would get out the ironing board, take out his brass cleaning kit, his leather kit and proceed to wax, polish, and iron. He would shine his brass until it glistened, polish our leather shoes until we could see ourselves in the toes, and then iron his uniforms and my mom’s.
Sometimes he would teach us how to do it, other times we just sat and talked with him about our day. It was a labor of love, and also pride for himself and our family. When I joined the Air Force, I continued that ritual, polishing my boots, ironing my uniform…. Today, I still polish my shoes and iron my clothes, preparing for my week.
We are all so busy. We move throughout our weeks driven by kids, family, jobs, community commitments, friends, and so much more. We rarely get a minute to breathe. What I have found, is this simple act of taking time to prepare makes a difference and allows some of life’s chaos to turn into calm. Taking a break to plan can have a positive impact on our well-being. It gives us time to pause and look ahead.
What if all we were able to take a pause, one day a week and prepare? What could we accomplish? We could plan a few lunches or dinner meals at home, avoiding fast food drive-throughs for a day. We could plan time to talk a walk, exercise at the gym, ride a bike, maybe spend time with family or friends. We could even make time to plan for our health. We could schedule an annual physical, a mammogram, flu shot, or much-needed colonoscopy if we need one? What about a few minutes to check any prescriptions and make sure they aren’t about to run out?
Think of how much money we could save, the stress we could lower, health we could improve. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” What would it hurt, to stop wishing for life to slow down, and instead, plan for it? Maybe try it this week, stop for 15 minutes and write down one thing you plan to do for yourself, then DO IT. Let me know how it goes!
So, I’m chatting with my wife this morning, about sports and free agents. I mention the sadness in my heart learning Bryce Harper has jumped ship from Washington and is now a Philadelphia Phillies player. I suppose a 13-year offer for $330 million will entice someone to jump ship. I happen to be a transplanted Phillies fan who has been a Washington Nationals fan since they moved to our nation’s capital. They call it the City of Brotherly Love, they also Boo Santa Clause. You best produce young fellow.
Continuing with the sports news I check on the Eagles of Philadelphia, an American Football team, sorry Soccer fans. Should anyone give a Rat’s Butt, Manchester United is my Soccer Team. As for the Football Eagles, been my team since the 50’s.
My next read goes to this – “New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman said on Wednesday that the team wants Eli Manning back next season. But after Manning’s recent struggles, should the Giants go after Super Bowl champion Nick Foles?”.
NO! Yep, Nick is a Free Agent also and I’m sure will be going somewhere, but anywhere other than the N.Y. Giants. Once again a favorite sports figure is looking at big $$$$$.
The little woman looks me right in the eye, smiles and, says, “maybe I should declare Free Agency”.
Geeze, we have a house cleaner, a meal delivery service 3 days a week, a new Honda CRV in the driveway and 5 hens a laying in the coop. I also must mention her beloved Simon, our in and out 30 times a day, Canary yellow cat. What more does she desire? The guy singing with Lady GaGa I ask myself?
We’re in year 54 of this marriage, contract negotiations are under way, I just love this woman.
It’s Friday, get through this day and you’ve got all weekend to enjoy your self. Have fun, be safe and be kind. Peace my friends!
“Don’t Gain The World & Lose Your Soul, Wisdom Is Better Than Silver Or Gold.”
― Bob Marley
We are past the weekly hump and I find myself alone, well, except for Ben whose asleep on the couch. It’s 0525 and I’ve been up since 0332. Don’t you just love those digital clocks?, Why in the name of sleep would a Rooster be up crowing so early you ask, because the Mrs., the cackling hen, is prepping for her trip to the gym. God Bless her, the eldest among the fit she sweats with, and they are most kind to her to boot.
As for me, I’m a sane and still moving elder who goes to the MAC center, I do stressful stuff like stretch and tone, in a chair. I did do a mile on the treadmill yesterday. It wasn’t quite like the Mother Hen’s walk across the Bay Bridge, but it was good for my bones and cardio system.
Lately, some quilting’s been started, it will next go to the Annex, be put on the quilting frame and the actual quilting process will begin. This time some Big Stitch quilting will be tried. Me dear lady has done Machine, Lap and small stitch in the past. Here are some examples of Big Stitch.
Two of the most recent Baby Quilts are pictured below.
As for me, I’ve been checking on the chickens, gathering eggs, taking the dog for runs and mentally working on a future Blog. Here are a few pictures of recent views.
As I commence writing this post, I should have done something like “Travels with Charlie,” Steinbeck’s book, or some kind of version of it. After all, there are four Standard Poodles in the Rooster’s family.
The Rooster’s family just does not sit still. Be it a town within a state, a state within a country or multiple countries throughout the world, they are on the move folks. Some spouses are crisscrossing and waving to each other out the car, bus train or plane window.
For today, Jeff is at home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As some of you are aware, he just returned from Stockholm, Sweden 48 hours ago.
Oh and daughter Kathryn, Jeff’s other half, she and the Rooster’s wife just left PHL yesterday afternoon for Düsseldorf, Germany after an, Oh so brief stop in Dublin. I’m sorry Rita no time for a visit to Kilkenny.
Before that Sweden visit, Jeff happened to slip into Thailand, the Philippines, and New Zealand, then coming home via San Francisco. On the way out it was west to east, so he got a circumnavigation in. There must be some kind of a reward out there for that, right? Ah, there is, but it’s for boaters. https://www.cruisingclub.org/award/Circumnavigation
Bangkok, Cheap shopping and fish stories.
The Air Force family of Sam, Zed, Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe as many of you know, have transitioned from Tinker AFB in OKC, shipped most of what they own to Geilenkirchen, Germany and have been attending Squadron Officers school. I reported on that a while ago. We had them here over the fourth if you remember and off they went to Michigan for a few days before arriving at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL. Sara’s daughter. Our Grand and Sam’s cousin went with them to be a Nannie.
Hey Sam, how about a graduation photo!
Things got a wee bit busy in the cramped quarters at the base, and after a week or so, Kathryn and Abby drove to Charlotte, met the family and transferred the kids and Rachael and returned to the Eastern Shore for a couple of weeks. Jeff and Kathryn reversed the trip two weeks ago, and they made the transition in Salisbury, NC this time. It was right after that switch that Jeff headed off to Sweden.
I must give a round of praise for Abby and Rachael. Those two girls were just amazing in caring for their three nieces and nephew. Rachael by day ran a well-organized house with four children five and other. When Abby returned from a hot day’s work at the nursery, she would help her mother and Granny with baths and what all. Granny made most of the weekday meals. Kathy would work the hospital by day and grandchildren by night. Folks, these are four women who can start on my team any day of the week. Semper Fi my ladies, Ooh-Rah!!
For the past few days, the Oregon G-Parents have been with the kids and Rachael in the Atlanta area. Great Wolf Lodge and the Aquarium were on that schedule. Stacy and Elaine took a few days off from the Cattle Ranch in Frenchglen, OR to spend some of the last days for a while with the kids. ( I’ll do a blog on the Oregon grandparents and their ranch soon)
Sam and Zed graduate today, head to Atlanta tomorrow and fly out Saturday with the kids, 4, 5 & under!!!! They will be met on arrival by Granny and Kathryn, (G) & (Great Granny), on landing, and help with the Jet Lag and transition for the next week. Grannies, the gift that keeps on giving.
What about Rachael you ask. Well, she just happens to be taking a phone job interview as I write and left today for Austin, TX as a possible new home location. Rumor has it there may be some Mid-West Irons in the fire also. https://www.statesman.com/news/local/for-second-year-austin-named-best-place-live-america-news-and-world-report/1R3DZ3wmujbm8r7GakwaMO/
And Abby, the recent college graduate has been hired by the local hospital working in an off-site Neurology office. She has been in a training program for the past few weeks learning the ins and outs of an office tech. Put that Psyc degree to work young lady.
The Connecticut connection of son Matt, Beth, David in NYC, Kevin, Jill, and Rebecca have no Moss growing beneath their feet either. Mexico at an all-inclusive two weeks ago, a week at Cape Cod and a quick trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts has rounded out their travels. Matt, David, and Kevin also did the Circle of Hope Hackers Conference in July. https://hope.net/
Kevin did get two weeks in at Ft. Drum, NY with the guard and will start at UConn next week. He also spent some time in New Hampshire with the Love (Marissa) of his life and her family.
As for the Rooster, he got a shot of juice in his Right, Hip Bursa this week, and he’s halfway through a Pastoral Care in Hospitals course. Should he be found worthy at the completion of the course, he will be a Pastoral Care Volunteer. We can only hope they won’t be upset at having a Rooster roam their halls.
Thanks again for dropping by. Cooler weather comes in soon, the leaves will begin to change and soon the smell of Turkey will be wafting from the oven. I know this will happen as the Wolly’s are starting to appear on the roads.
They arrived on the 3’rd with all their stuff and were gone on the 8’th. Who you might ask, the “USAF Family Davies,” granddaughter and hubby, 4 great grandchildren and all the joy and happiness they bring on their visit.
They arrived in time to decorate a float and ride in the Allen, MD Fourth of July parade. They ate Grandmom (G) and Grandpop (Pappy) out of house and home. Lady Liberty of the Yellow Lab variety has been pulled, prodded, sent fetching, and loved for 5 continuous days. She has responded by eating all dropped food items well befor the 30 second rule could take hold. Weight Watchers has a new client.
They got to go on a boat ride, swim in Uncle Greg’s pool and G & Pappy’s blow up pool next to the fish pond and watch the frogs. They fished Miss Sue’s pond for the big one with Pappy and Abby.
They were loved by all who came by to wish them safe journey as they head to Germany by way of Michigan and Alabama.
Aunt Rachael got a warm up exercise for her upcoming stint of six weeks of being a Nanny while Mom and Dad attend Squadron Officer’s School at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL.
Once the school is completed it will be off on Big Bird to cross the pond to Germany. So, God Speed my children, Granny and G shall be there to greet you and spoil you and help get you settled. I’m sure you’ll have many visitations over the next few years, I plan to be one of those visiting.
L to R – Pappy, Abby, Zed & Dax, Mia & G, Sam, Rooster & Wife, Ana & the All American Girl ZOE.
For the past few years we have been minimizing. I’m guessing Mary Agnes much more so than me, there are just some things that I will not part with. At least once a month I’ll get the question “got anything for Halo.” Halo Ministries is a local organization that takes in any and all things one would part with and then sells them in their Thrift Store. They also run a shelter for men and women and have a soup kitchen. It’s a nice Ministry that does good things.
Just last week I got the notice a trip to Halo was planned. I found a few old ties and belts that I was willing to part with and off they went with the weeks donations. “That’s all, I was asked.” I’ve been told we are trying to make things easier for the kids once we’re gone. We are only going to Delaware tomorrow I said. I got that look that said you know what I mean. Ouch!
So a few days ago we made the 50 mile day trip to Delaware to visit Sarah the sister in-law who has been going through one of those hiccups in life for the past six months. We dropped Ben the dog off at the Pet Palace boarding kennel the night prior and would pick him up on the return.
We would pick up Sarah around 10:00 and head off to the outlets. No sales tax in Delaware, great outlets. We go to “That Store,” called Christmas Tree Shops in other states, and I drop the girls off. I stay in the car, catch up with my Journal writing, check email, etc. I’ll go inside at Harbor Freight, Cabela’s & Bass Pro, but that’s about it.
Forty minutes later Mary Agnes comes out the door pushing a cart just loaded with bags. She pops the back hatch and transfers the bags. “Where’s Sarah” I ask, “still shopping” she says as she closes the hatch and returns to the store. After a total of fifty-five minutes they reappear with cart #2 and off load once again. It’s only a Subaru I say, not a Penske Rental. I get that look from both of them.
Now where I ask, after the load transfer takes place. To the grocery store, we will buy the makings for lunch and visit sister in-law Barbara and husband Mike and make lunch for us all. A loaf of bread, Egg and Chicken Salad, Grandma Utz potato chips and some ice tea are bought and paid for and we are off to Barbara’s. I shall not even mention how I’m given directions by Sarah to get out of the parking lot maze. Suffice it to say a GPS she is not.
We have a nice lunch, learn about an upcoming trip to Alaska, one of those boat and train adventures and say our goodbyes and are off ninety minutes later. We will drop Sarah and her packages her house and head for our every six-week stop at the Big Box store. In this Case it’s BJ’s.
At this stop we only purchase what is needed. With some rearranging I find room for all we’ve needed to purchase as well as those items from that first cart full of bags. So I ask the question. “I thought we were minimizing.” Once again, THAT LOOK. It seems these are mostly items for others which makes it a bit easier.
We beat a good summer rain storm home and stay dry while off loading. I pick the dog up from the kennel, take him for a good run in a field as he rids himself of 22 hours of incarceration. Once back in the car he is a happy 20 month old 65 pound Standard Poodle. We feed the dog, open a cold bottle of nice wine, retreat to the porch and do what we do best – solve all the problems of the world.
It’s been a good day, and I didn’t have to get rid of a thing. Oh, and the stuff in the bags. It turns out they are patriotic decorations, paper plates, cups and the like for the Forth of July parade and picnic. The Oklahoma Grands and Greats will be in prior their stop in Alabama and ultimate flight in August to their new home in Geilenkirchen, Germany.
Last evening after a fine dinner of Chicken Piccata over Jasmine rice , I glanced out the window above the sink as I was loading the dishwasher. Herself, unless it’s an outdoor grill night prepares and I clean up after the meal. It’s been a good arrangement for fifty-two years. Come to think of it, I clean up after a grilling night also., must look into that . It was nearing sunset and the sky was just gorgeous.
Just as me wife was settling down on the couch with a nice glass of Chardonnay, I shouted “don’t sit, grab a jacket, we’re off to see the sunset.” The local Yacht Club is less than a half mile away and offers the most beautiful pictorial displays of a setting sun over water that you could imagine.
We hit the car running without spilling a drop of the nectar of the god’s and arrived at “C” pier in perfect unison with the sun as it was setting. My wife had set her glass on a piling and I captured what I thought was the perfect picture. This shot is titled “Sunset in a wine glass.”
I just wanted to share. It was one of those “Seize the moment” events, and I think I did. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
The Paulownia tree
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual
Common Name: Princess Tree
Scientific Name: Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Sieb. & Zucc. ex Steud.
Only 48 hours until Thanksgiving.
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.
So here we are, Monday, in the month of August, the eighth month, on the eighth day in 2016. Thus 8+8=16.
Post Yard Sale
We had our Yard Sale, made a few $$, not a lot mind you. All unsold items were donated to Halo Ministries
Over the past month we’ve made quite a few trips there as the Mrs. continues her personal purge of 51 years of accumulated stuff. She even has me admitting that there are a lot of things I no longer need. Forty Seven old tattered hats and hats never worn were either thrown out or donated to Halo. I must admit, I still have a few hats left. I shall be checking the heads of the homeless from now on to see if my fedora’s are on the men about town.
The ladies assisting in the Yard Sale were on station at 0500 the day of the sale. At 0605 a neighbor pulled in with his coffee on his way to work. The girls joined in, not with coffee mind you. It was Mimosa time. Mimosa time is usually a post church mass happening on an occasional Sunday when all the girls get together. No complaints here, NFL football is just around the corner and the boys will be doing their thing starting at 1300 on Sundays.
The Mrs. suggested doing something nice for the girls for all their effort of setting up for the sale. My take was, they should be thankful that all this stuff is gone. When we rise up at the end of this journey they will be thankful that they do not have to sort through all this stuff.
This past Saturday night 23 friends and relatives gathered in the Rooster’s Annex, which was a garage, will shortly become a guest house and on this night for some fine dining and socializing. Crabs were the center of the attraction accompanied by Fried Chicken, Hot Dogs, Watermelon-Salsa, Potato Salad, Sweet and Sour Cucumbers, Beans for 18 casserole, Sweet corn, Cookies, Arnold Palmer Iced Tea, Beer, Wine and good old H2O. Throw out the calories, disregard the Gerd and dive in. It’s the Eastern Shore for crying out loud. Thanks Ed and Lexi, the crabs were fantastic.
For the past few days our son and grandson have been in Las Vegas attending the Defcon annual conference. Our son is the owner of http://serepick.com/
His company manufactures and distributes items necessary for various groups and agencies around the world. He and co-operators also teach various courses to individuals who provide you with the reassurance that when you go to sleep at night, you will awaken in the morning. Sleep well my friends.
Once again, thanks for stopping by.
Yard Sale tomorrow, Saturday July 30th.
6:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Where – 25041 Collins Wharf Rd.
Between Redden Ferry and Yacht Club Rd.
Yep, she’s doing it again. Throwing my treasures away.
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:19-21 MSG (Thanks Marijo for the inspiration)
Thanks for taking a gander.
Semper Fi, Lee