Here are the welcome messages from
July 2003

7/1/03 July 1, 2003
7/9/03 July 9, 2003
7/16/03 July 16, 2003
7/22/03 July 22, 2003
7/30/03 July 30, 2003
July 1, 2003

JULY? JULY? Wasn't I just complaining that it was June already??Why is it that when I was little each year lasted about ten years worth of time? Christmas, my birthday, and summer vacation just took FOREVER from one year to the next! Strange, isn't it?

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to reformat my computer again. It has been doing some strange things. Actually, it has been doing lots of strange things. I don't have a virus, I've checked. Most of my programs tend to revert back to their default settings, but not all of the time. I have to manually set my virus program to check my email and downloads where it did it automatically before. My cd burner program doesn't work right. The list goes on and on.

I actually told my husband it was time for a new computer since we've had this one for a while. Plus, it is Windows 98 and I think that might be part of the problem. Then it occurred to me, I have another computer... my laptop! My husband bought it for me so I could take it with me when we go on vacations in our camper. So, that was pretty much when it got used. Each time, though, I had to update it with all the things I'd done on my desktop computer since the last time.Sooooo.... what I did was save us some money. LOL!

 I love it when I can go buy something (spending money, of course) and be able to say I've saved us money! You ought to see my husband roll his eyes!!I bought a flat screen monitor that is only 7" deep and another keyboard. I replaced our old monitor (which was much older than our computer anyway) on the desktop computer with the flat screen. That freed up a good 12" or more of my computer desk. Now I can set my laptop on the desk in front of the monitor. The keyboard will go on my laptop so I can be ergonomically correct as I type. I am having some trouble with my right wrist from using the computer so much, so don't want to stress it more by having to reach up at a weird angle to the keyboard.

 Then, I will back up the desktop and reformat it. I won't have to load all the programs back into it because I will be using my laptop all the time and I'm the one that uses most of the programs for my web pages. My family can use the desktop. I even have a separate printer I can use that is a very good and much faster one than the one for the desktop computer. It won't work with the desktop because it is Windows 98 (boo!)The money I saved was because we don't have to buy a new computer! All we needed was a different, smaller monitor, and a cheapie keyboard.

Oh, I saved even more money updating my virus program. After rebates, it was only $5! My year subscription was just about up and I would have to pay more than $5 to extend it.I had rebates on the virus program and the monitor and I had to assemble five packets of information and mail five separate envelopes. Those companies sure aren't very nice, are they? They are hoping I will think it is too much trouble and not bother. They don't know me... I need to get those rebates so I can use that money to go shopping and save us some more money!!! LOL!

My husband is such a sweetie... well, most of the time, anyway. ;-)He took my bicycle to the shop and is having taller handlebars installed and a new gear shifting system. The old handlebars were not adjustable and my palms would get numb after a while. The thumb shifters I had were getting harder and harder to push. I'd like to say that it was the thumb shifters that was getting worn out, but I'm afraid it was my thumbs that had the problem.

The new system is not only easier to shift, but shows you what gear you are in.I need to get out and ride my bike a lot. I think we are going to Colorado to visit my husband's brother again this August and I need to be in much better shape in order to ride my bike at higher altitudes.You should have seen me the last time. We were going up a road toward a lake and I could only ride a short distance before my legs felt like they were going to explode. I'd get off and walk a bit and it made my lungs feel like they were collapsing. I'd get back on and the legs would scream... then I'd walk... ride a little... walk a little... ride a little... walk a little... ending with apologizing to my husband for making him go on alone and turning around and coasting downhill to our campsite. That was the end of my little jaunt.

 It was worth it, though... on one of my "walk a little's" two deer bounded across the road RIGHT in front of us! It made me feel less guilty because, had we been riding at a faster pace, we would have missed them altogether.

Tonight I have to type at least two more answer keys for my husband to use at school tomorrow so I had better hurry up and get this done and uploaded.

Oh, one last thing, I've been working on a study about praise. I'm about half done I think. Praise is a very important thing in our relationship with God. I'm finding out some interesting things about the word praise as it is used in the Bible. There are quite a few different words in the Hebrew and Greek that ended up as the word praise. One of the things I've collected is used in this week's Bible study. There, I'm throwing you some tantalizing tidbits. Now you have to wait a little while for the rest of the study.

Link to the 7/1/03 Bible study.
July 9, 2003

OOPS! There's a good reason why this is late getting updated. There is! Really! Actually, there are a number of reasons. Want to hear them?

What? What? Sorry, I can't hear you, so I will tell you.It started on Sunday. I was going to work on the computer on Sunday. My husband and I have been working on our barn and other, related, projects lately and my weekends have usually been very very busy as I worked with him. This Sunday he had one of my sons helping him. My son got sick and had to quit (I checked, he was sick!). Sooooooo, I quit what I was doing and spent the rest of the day getting tired and dirty.

Then there was Monday. I finished typing the rest of the worksheets for my husband's class. I had to finish them because he had to have them this week. Plus, I composed and typed a letter to the lawyer representing my son and myself for the accident my son was in a year ago. (An uninsured, unlicensed man ran a stop sign in front of my son. The man died. The widow is suing us.)

 On Thursday we got a letter from our lawyer asking for us to respond immediately to something that needed response an hour before we opened the letter!Plus, we got a packet of information from him that raised a number of questions and concerns on our part. It was rather unsettling. Oh, yes, he also casually informed us that the passenger in the vehicle had now jumped on the bandwagon and is also suing us. He wanted us to call him right away and make an appointment with him. Well, there was no hurry due to the missed deadline, so I composed a lengthy letter listing all our questions and concerns.

By Monday afternoon I couldn't type two words in a row that weren't misspelled because my hands were worn out from typing all morning!Then, yesterday, I had a number of appointments I needed to keep. Plus, I am getting ready to bug bomb my house. We are having a serious ant and spider problem. When I bug bomb I also treat the outside of the house, the yard, and the animals.

Yesterday I spent some time shampooing my two big dogs. I had to brush them a long time as well because of the fur that comes loose when they get bathed. I had a bunch of large laundry to do as well. My older cat had gotten sick all over my bedding two nights in a row and I had comforters, sheets, and my bedspread to wash. The big stuff I had to do one at a time by hand.So, this morning I am spending my devotional time doing this. I have an optometrist appointment early this morning and will set off the bug bombs when I leave. My cats will spend the morning in my camper with the air conditioner on. The iguana will be in the shower with towels under the bathroom door to keep the fumes out. My sons will be in the back yard working on a project my husband gave them. So, after I run my errands the bugs will be dead!

 There, that's why.

I've been trying to get ready to reformat this computer. I just haven't had a solid block of time to do it. I have to do it soon before it drives me crazy. Well, before it drives me crazier! I've been told that I am already crazy.I have waited until I have all my husband's stuff done just in case it takes longer than I anticipate. Today is shot and tomorrow morning I have some appointments, so perhaps starting Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.... we'll see.

Well, I have new handlebars on my bike and a new gear system. It is so much nicer now! It will be even better tonight. I bought something that will arrive today... a sheepskin seat pad! LOL! My new, softer, seat I just put on will be even softer tonight!

I saw it while I was looking for something else I needed. I seem to have tender ears. When the air is damp, a breeze is blowing, and the air temperature is below around 60 degrees my ears begin to ache. I wanted to put something, besides a scarf, in my camper to cover my ears when they began to be cold and achy. I already have a wonderful set of sheepskin earmuffs. They are a strip of sheepskin with a tie that goes under my chin. I wear them to football games. I didn't want to put them in the camper because I would forget to return them to the camper at the end of football season. (My husband is a high school football coach so I attend weekly games from Sept on to as far as the middle of December.)

So, I searched for another set of earmuffs. Most of the ones I found were just ear cups with a headband. I finally found another one like the one I have already AND the same place had the bicycle seat. The prices were very very good! The moral to this story? Hmmmm... how about: when our ears and rears are happy then all is right with the world? LOL!

OK, maybe I'm being silly. It is very early in the morning. I don't usually work on this so early. It must be the morning air... it is heavier or something. Anyway, on to the Bible study!!!

Link to the 7/9/03 Bible study.
July 16, 2003

Well, do I look different? I've finally gotten all my stuff transferred over to my laptop. I got myself a keyboard for it so I can use it exclusively. Our desktop is mad at me, though.

I tried to reformat it because of all the problems I'd been having and something went wrong. I couldn't get my new monitor's program to load so I tried to reformat it again. It went wacky on me. It would start up and shut down.So, I had to take it in to a computer fix it place. They are working on it now. Sheesh.

 Nothing seems to be simple any more!I have a lot of things I've been having to do to this one because I wasn't using it to do my web pages and web browsing before. I still have to spend more time than I'd like because I don't have everything set the way I like it. My preferences need to be customized.

I think I told you before that I want to ride my bike a lot before we go on vacation so I can keep up with my husband when we ride around areas we are camping. One thing after the other came up to keep me from riding it. So, since my husband rides his to work every morning, Monday I told him I'd ride out to the main street with him. I figured I'd do some easy riding for a while and work my way up to bigger hills. We live in a somewhat hilly area.

So, as I rode along he kept taking me further and further until I had gone over two miles up and down some hills that made my legs feel like they were going to pop! The worst part was I needed to adjust the tilt on my seat and my handlebars. I was very uncomfortable.Then, after I got home I realized that I needed to push myself to ride those hills or I wouldn't be in shape when we went on vacation. I only have three weeks. So, it was a good thing that only felt like a bad thing!

The new gears my husband had put on my bike are great! I can change them by twisting rather than pushing with my thumbs. Plus, I know what gear I'm in when I begin riding because they are numbered. You ought to see all the padding I have on my seat now. I got a squishy seat and bought a padded sheepskin cover to put on top of that one. I'm as comfortable as I can get now. The only other thing I need is a motor when my legs get tired!! ;-)

Boy oh boy it has been hot lately! It was so nice and cool all spring and BOOM! Summer hit hard! It has been 100 degrees in the shade. It is hard to get things done outside and it kind of drains the energy out of me. To keep our electric bill low (well, as low as possible) I keep the air conditioner set at 84 degrees. We have ceiling fans in almost all the rooms and have a few portable fans. If I start feeling too warm I just go outside for a while and then the inside of the house feels a lot cooler!

 My husband might not teach summer school any more because more than half the kids that signed up for that class didn't show up. If that is the case then he will be doing things around the house here. I might be out helping him. The things he needs to do go much smoother if he has another set of hands.

I really need to get some work done here on the computer. I have a bunch of mail to answer and more to read. I have more great things to put together for the Jewish Insights area as well as some Bible studies I've been doing. I also have a lot more information to gather to plan our vacation itinerary. I've been collecting bookmarks but have to pull out my map and actually plan a route.We will see what happens.

Hopefully next week this will be updated on Monday and everything will be back to normal. Oh no, there's that word again. What is it??? What is NORMAL?


Link to the 7/16/03 Bible study.
July 22, 2003

Just in case this doesn't get put online today, I want you to know.... it IS Monday and I AM working on this! I don't know how long it has been since it has been updated on a Monday, but it has been a while. Something seems to pop up and take my time on Mondays.

My husband and our friend are out working on decorating our barn. In case you don't know, we built a big barn thing in our back yard. The long side of it will look like a western town complete with livery stable, jail, general store, and hotel. Our patio at the bottom of the hill in our back yard is already the saloon. I think our shed behind the garage will be a bank or perhaps just a house.

I bought some really pretty old wooden shutters at a yard sale. I need to put them somewhere.Anyway, I think the western front will get put up in the next two weeks. Then I will have to paint and make signs for it. Plus, the general store will have a window box that I can put things in. I've been collecting old looking things that will do just fine.When it is all done I will have to take some pictures and show you what I've been talking about.

Anyway, they are out there working on it and might need my help. So, hopefully I will get this done before that happens.(Yup, it happened. At least I got most of it done yesterday. It was 9:30 last night when I realized I hadn't even gone online to get my email!)

Well, one week later and I am doing better riding my bike. My legs are already getting stronger. I've been staying in the higher gears to give myself a workout. I need to be able to take some rides in the higher elevations and possible steep terrain we will visit during our vacation. We will be going to Colorado.

My husband mumbles and grumbles because my "hard" rides are cake for him. He likes to ride ten or more miles at a time. I'm kind of tired at five hilly miles. So, he needs to go ride a long hard ride before he and I go together. That way I can be the one waiting for him to catch up!!!

We are leaving on August 1st and are planning on being gone for two weeks. That gives me two weeks to work my way up to at least a ten mile ride. Actually I want to continue riding my bike. I enjoy it and it is good exercise. I used to ride it all the time when my youngest was little. I have a bike trailer that he would ride in. We would go all over. That was at least 14 years ago, though.

Since then I've done less and less keeping in shape.When we go on vacation in our camper it will be good to be able to ride my bike a good distance. That way we won't always have to drive to the store (I have folding baskets on the back of my bike) or to see the sites.(Tuesday's note: my husband took me on a different route this morning. It involved two tough hills. I never had to stop and rest... that is good!! Huff puff, huff puff......)

I have a project I've outlined for myself. I'm giving myself at least six months to put it together. I want to put all my outdoor potted plants, my garden, and any other plants that need hand watering on a timed watering system. I used to have timers in my garden that I could set to come on each day. They fit between the soaker hoses and the faucets. However, they cost around $25 each and didn't last very long. I need to build some kind of little shelter for them to protect them from the rain and sun.I have to figure out a way that won't involve buying too many timers. My husband will shoot me if I buy too many.Every time we go on vacation something dies because whoever I have watering for me forgets something. This way the plants can take care of themselves. Then all I have to be concerned about is my dogs and cats.

Speaking of plants, you ought to see my pitiful garden. I only planted tomatoes and green peppers this year. They have gotten badly neglected as far as watering goes. I've not used the soaker hose because I only planted a few plants and the soaker waters half my garden. So, I use the hose and water them over the fence when I am watering my plants that are on the lawn side of the fence.

(We separated our back yard into two parts across the middle. The dogs were always getting in my garden. Plus, this keeps the dogs away from the wash at the bottom of our yard which is full of ticks and fleas.)As hot as it gets here in the summer I really need to have things automatically getting watered. If I skip one day they show it! Besides, wouldn't you rather I spend that time here working on the Clarion Call? ;-)

 Oh, one more thing on the topic of plants... I need to go to my friend's house and water her house plants. She went on a long vacation. I have to take my small stepstool. She gave me a key to her front door and to her four foot chain link gate. The gate key won't work for some reason.It's a 13 mile drive to her house so the first time I went I went there after my optometrist appointment since the optometrist was halfway there. He had dilated my pupils to look to see how the blister on my retina was doing. I

 hadn't expected that. I was driving with my eyes squeezed almost all the way shut because the sun was shining nice and bright. I got to my friend's house and couldn't get the gate lock unlocked. I tried and tried and even tried her other gate to see if it would work on that one. The glare from her driveway was murder on my eyes. I finally gave up and drove all the way home.I figured out how to get over the fence. The first time I stepped on the gas pipe coming out of the gas meter. Since I didn't want to chance breaking it I will use my step stool from now on. I'm glad I don't have to saw her lock off. It would take a long time. It's a big lock!

Link to the 7/22/03 Bible study.
July 30, 2003

Oh my goodness goodness! You are not going to believe what my poor brain did! Well, if you've been coming back here long enough you'll believe it.I've been working hard to get ready for our vacation and am not getting very far very fast. All sorts of unexpected things have been popping up. I was so focused I forgot to update this Bible study. I actually had it in my mind that the Bible study was current. Oh dear, does that mean my brain is shrinking? Hopefully it isn't or it will soon fall out one of my ear holes!

I'm about as ready as I'm going to get as far as getting in shape to ride my bike. I had to take one day off last week because I had hit some kind of wall. One day I was doing fine and the next I came VERY close to hopping off my bike and walking the rest of the way up the hill. So, the next day after that I took a break and was fine after that.This morning I washed the outside of my truck and camper before it got hot outside. I still have to do the windows and chrome, but the outside is done. It sure is a lot of work to wash! I start on the roof. After all, if the roof is dirty then any rain or dew will cause the dirt to drip on the lower clean parts.

It was hard enough washing that big truck before we got the camper! I don't like traveling in a dirty "home" so it is worth the effort. So, tomorrow morning I will clean the inside of the truck and camper. The camper only needs a little work since I always clean it after I get home from a trip.We are planning on leaving around 5AM on Friday so we can get across the desert in the cooler morning, but the way things are going we may not get out of here then. We'll see. I hope we can make it. My brain might fall out if we have to wait much longer to leave!By the way, this Bible study may not get updated for a couple of weeks. However, I might be able to get it updated. I'm taking my laptop along with me and might find a hookup. If you are on the mailing list then I will notify you if it gets updated.

Our barn decoration is almost done being built. (The side of it is decorated like a western town.) It will be up to me to finish up with the details... like staining, painting, and the decorating part. I will be working on that probably during the months of September and October.We haven't had to buy any lumber yet for the town. My husband had collected some scrap and got more from some other people. We've saved probably at least $1,000 in lumber costs. The neat thing is the wood is already old and mismatched so it looks more realistic. After all, they didn't have a Home Depot with new lumber back in those days!

I will be working on a lot of things for the Clarion during my vacation. In a couple of weeks you will be able to benefit from more Bible studies, more Jewish studies, more funny stuff, and I'm sure there is more than that. Some things have been sitting in my "to do" folder for a long long time!

I've been planning our trip around golf courses so my husband can golf two or three times a week. I've found campgrounds that aren't too far away from golf courses. I've even mapped them out. My husband has a golf cart with big wheels and he can pull it behind his bike if he doesn't have to go very far.While he is golfing I'll be computer-ing. We'll both be having a good time!!

Oh, I can't begin to tell you how much I need a vacation. I'm mentally and physically worn out. My husband was saying he hoped he didn't think about the football team (that he coaches) while we were gone. I told him that for the next two weeks we don't have jobs, don't own a home, and don't even have children! The only thing we will have is our camper, our bikes, his golf clubs, my computer, and each other. We are going to go relax and enjoy the scenery that God lays out before us!

Link to the 7/30/03 Bible study.

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