Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Hope every one had a great Christmas. And everyone got what they wanted from old Saint Nick. Hope that your traveling to see family and friends was not too stressful and that you were all able to get your homes decorated. Now, we can get ready to pack it all up, put everything away and get ready for the new year.

Things went really well for us this Christmas. We had certain people, former family members, that we did not hear a peep from. A few family members sent a few pictures. There were plenty of munchies to go around and my belly is more round than before. Santa sent me a leather punch. So, now I can just punch extra holes in my belts, instead of buying new ones.

I also got a new pair of expand-o pants. The elastic has worn out of the other pair from last year. And the wife found me some underwear that fits pretty good. I can get these up high enough to cover my belly button, and a large portion of the old Isle of Belly. (I'm still looking for one of those little plastic palm trees from those little turtle pools we had as kids.) So, with the new undies, I can quit going commando.

Oh, and the wife got some good stuff also. One of the things she got was some of those Yankee do-dah smelly air freshener candles, some frilly do-dads, and some other foo-fa-rahs. A few gift cards for Bed Bath and Beyawn. (I yawn everytime we go there.) I mean, how much stuff do you need for a bathroom? Well, it was nice anyway. It's been cold, and we have snow on the ground.

In fact, we forgot to empty the wading pool in the back yard and it is frozen solid. I watched a squirrel loose its balance the other day. He slid across that pool so fast that he lost his nuts, (get your mind out of the gutter!) that he was carrying to bury next to the pool.  

Yeah, I really like Christmas. The food, eggnog, Christmas trees, all the lights. People standing in line six days before that new I-phone comes out. Family, friends, and -- did I mention -- the food? Plus! All them Christmas specials on TV.

AND. The real reason for Christmas? 
All those many years ago a baby was born: Jesus.

Kathi and I hope that all of you had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Quote of the Week: 12/29/2014

"New Year's Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach, Author

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Carolers and Candy Canes

We were "caroled" last night. A group of young people came by, rang the doorbell, then sang 3 carols for us. They gave us homemade cookies, and a candy cane with this legend attached. (We think they were from Colorado Christian University, which is just down the street about 1/2 mile from us.) It was a really nice surprise.
Long ago there were two villages in a far-off land. One was in a valley, and one was on a mountain top. The people in the mountain village wanted to give each person in the valley a Christmas gift.

So the mountain townspeople formed a committee to think of something special. Money was limited, and each gift had to be of equal value to each person. After much time and discussion a decision was finally reached. The town's candy maker, an elderly gentleman who had loved Jesus for many years, came up with the idea -- the candy cane.

Now, you may be thinking, what is so special about a candy cane -- and how can it ever be tied in with the real meaning of Christmas? Well, here is how and why. . .

1. The candy cane is in the shape of a shepherd's staff. Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are His flock. A sheep follows his own shepherd, knows his voice, trusts him and knows that he is totally safe with him. The sheep will follow no other shepherd than their own. In the same way, if we belong to Jesus, we are to follow only Him. (John 10:11; Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:11)

2. Turned over, the candy cane is a "J," the first letter of Jesus' name. (Luke 1:31) It is made of hard candy to remind us that Christ is the rock of our salvation.

3. The wide red stripes on the candy cane represent the blood Jesus shed on the cross for each one of us so that we can have eternal life through Him. He restores us and cleans us with His shed blood -- the only thing that can wash away our sin. (Luke 22:20)

4. The white stripes on the candy cane represent Jesus' virgin birth and His pure, sinless life. He is the only human being ever who never committed a single sin, even though He was tempted just as we are. (1 Peter 2:22)

5. The narrow red stripes on a candy cane represent Jesus' stripes, or scars, which He got when He was arrested and whipped. The Bible says we are healed (of sin) because He took those wounds. (Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24)

6. The flavoring in the candy cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is of the mint family and was used in Old Testament times for purification and sacrifice. (John 19:29; Psalm 51:7)

7. When we break our candy cane, it reminds us that Jesus' body was broken for us. When we have communion, it is a reminder of what He did for us. (1 Corinthians 11:24)

8. AND, if we share our candy cane and give some to someone else because we love that person, we are sharing the love of Jesus. (1 John 4:7,8)

God gave Himself to us when He sent Jesus to earth to save us. He loves us so much that He wants us to spend eternity with Him. We are assured of that when we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior. (John 1:12; John 3: 3,16)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quote of the Week: 12/22/14

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
--Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Coffee for Troops in December (A Kathi Post)

 Have you heard of Wreaths Across America? It is an event carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday each December at veteran's cemeteries in all 50 states. In 2014 it was last Saturday. 

Here is Jim's nephew Grant's marker. Jim's son Bryan and Bryan's mom attended the ceremony and Bryan was allowed to place the wreath on his cousin's site. Bryan and his mom decorated by adding the soldier.

Grant was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. We are raising money to buy coffee for deployed troops as a way to honor them and let them know they are not forgotten by those of us at home. 

Our group fundraiser ends at the end of the month, but there is still time to contribute and buy some coffee for our deployed troops. We set a goal of $6,000 earlier in the year, and we are about $1,200 now. I do not see how we can meet the original goal by year's end, but we are pleased to have already provided coffees for around 600 deployed troops so far.

I have a friend who will match any donation made this month, so your money will go twice as far. You can use the link on the right side of the page to make your contribution. We send the funds as they come in so that there is no delay. That also means that you can get coffees to troops in time for Christmas.

We usually receive a note in return saying where the coffee was provided and a note from the recipient. Usually the notes just say "thank you" or "thanks", but sometimes they write a little more in which they say how much they appreciate being thought of by those of us at home.

After the fundraiser is over I'll give you a summary of where some of the coffees went.

Thank you for helping if you can.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


For those who prep, how about a Christmas list? I'm sure that there are some items that friends or family would get you. How about another one or two multi-tools? One for your bug out bag, one for your vehicle, and the one that you carry. How about some extra bow strings and maybe some extra bands for that sling shot? 

You can always use some extra pellets for that air gun and extra ammo for your shooters. Maybe some extra arrows are in order, also. How about an extra first aid kit or two? Even if they are just the basic kind. That's better than not having any at all. Maybe ask for a extra roll or two of duct tape. Ask for some more fishing line, hooks, and bobbers. Or, maybe a extra water filter or two.

Food stuffs are always welcome. A jar of honey, home canned food stuff that maybe you might be a bit short on. Know someone who makes jerky? Ask for some for Christmas. There are all kinds of things that you could possibly need or know someone who needs something for their preps. Maybe a pocket knife or belt knife. (I like knives. You can never have too many.) Get a Christmas stocking and fill it with some items that they can use. 

Sometimes we forget the simplest things that come in handy that could save a life. If you're good with your hands, maybe make someone a fire starting kit. How about a book or two on survival, plants, shelters, and whatever else you can think of? Me? I'm asking for a Batman-type of utility belt. I have so much in my pockets that I always look like I've pooped my pants. 

I've got about three pounds of stuff that I just have to have with me and carry every day. It's bad enough that about every fourth step I have to hike up my pants. So, think about some of the things that you need and ask. You never know what old Santa might bring you this Christmas.

Hmm, maybe some helium undershorts might help. HEY, SANTA! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


What do Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington all have in common, besides being presidents? As adults they all played and collected marbles.

Hmm, maybe we should have all the members of our government of today put their marbles away and quit the hon-yockin' around.

I wonder who would win the biggest share of the marbles?

So, anyway, NOW YOU KNOW!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quote of the Week: 12/8/2014

"The gardening season officially begins on January 1st, and ends on December 31."
--Marie Huston

We got our first seed catalog in the mail on Friday -- Baker Creek Heirloom Seed. We usually get our Burpee catalog the day after Christmas. It is not too soon to think about what you want to grow in the coming year.

It's a good way to spend a couple of hours in your warm house in December.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

About a Classmate (A Kathi Post)

I am going to school to finally finish my bachelor's degree. I go to American Public University. American Military University is the same school, but for military people. We share classes, so several of my classmates are veterans or are currently on active duty.

Today I started a new class and this story was written about one of my classmates. If you like dogs or if you like Marines -- or both! -- you'll want to read it.

After I read it, I donated a coffee in his honor.

You can, too. Our group fundraiser has less than a month to go. Please consider even a $2 donation? It is appreciated.

Monday, December 1, 2014


"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

--A. A. Milne, author of " Winnie-the-Pooh"