Here are the welcome messages from
July 2004

7/8/04 July 8, 2004
7/15/04 July 15, 2004
7/22/04 July 22, 2004
7/29/04 July 29, 2004
July 8, 2004

I've had a very interesting week.  I guess last week was also interesting since I started the process of saving the previous week's welcome message and Bible study in the archives and never finished it.  Where was my head?

If I filled you in on everything that has been happening you would get tired of reading and have to go rest your eyes so you will get the short version.

I took advantage of my husband's day off on Monday and we finished painting the trim on the back and end of the barn.  I have a huge bruise across my middle because I was hanging upside down off the top edge of the barn to paint under the eaves.  It was easier than climbing up the back.  The ground slopes away from the barn, there are lots of trees and bushes back there, and the eaves are 16' off the ground!

Then, I painted the General Store part of the front of the barn to look like old wood.  I'm trying to make the different sections look like they are separate from each other.  I'll take more pictures when it is done, which should be in the next month or two.

Then, almost all day Tuesday I worked on the scrip fund raiser stuff that I used to do for the high school band.  The current scrip lady is handing it all over to the new people.  I am still the "scrip guru" according to her since I know the most about the program and I made a manual on how to do scrip.

The manual and program got a little outdated so I had to work on them.  I simplified things to the point that perhaps I will no longer be needed when the torch is passed from one administrator to another!!  The rest of the day Tuesday I cleaned house because I hadn't had time to do any cleaning in a week.

Then Wednesday our power was out for about 10 hours starting at 1:30AM.  The back-up battery on the computer woke me up.  It beeps when the power goes out.  It took me a long time to go back to sleep after I got up and turned it off.  I had to set my watch to go off at the time my son needed to get up so he wouldn't be late for work in case the power was still out at 5:00AM, which it was.

After I got him up I couldn't go back to sleep.  So, I got up and put fresh batteries in all our flashlights and diddled around doing stuff in the house by flashlight.  Then I read until the sun rose.  My husband and I went to clean up his classroom and lock up his stuff so the custodians could clean the room during the summer.

The power was still out when we got home.  On the way we saw the problem.  Someone had crashed into one of the power poles and knocked it clear to the ground.  When I got home I called Edison and they said it would be at least another 13 hours till we had power.  So, we hooked our refrigerator and freezer up to the camper and turned on the generator in the camper.  Fifteen minutes later the power came on!

After putting everything back the way it was I came in here to work on this.  On my way down the hall I smelled smoke.  The iguana cage was full of smoke!!  Poor Elmo!  I heard a buzzing sound in there, so I pulled all the plugs and opened the doors.  I put a fan in there to blow the smoke out.  The fixture holding the ceramic heat lamp had moved and was resting up against the insulation (the kind you can put next to a car engine) that I put in there to keep the upper floor of the cage from getting too hot.  The insulation was smoking.

There was also a fluorescent light fixture that had a badly burned out bulb that had a lot of black on it.  So, it could have been both things.  Maybe when the power came back on there was a surge and it caused havoc in the electrical system of the cage.  I put Elmo's harness on him in case I had to remove him quickly.  He was very grouchy.  It was cold in there because the power had been out, he was breathing in smoke, and it was dark because I turned out the lights.  He sat still for half of the harness placement, but freaked out on the end part.  He started doing barrel rolls and trying to get away from me.  He has very sharp claws and he gouged me a few times.

So, I spent the next four hours working in Elmo's cage.  We had to move it away from the wall to get to the plugs.  So, I figured out a way to re-route the wiring because that cage is very very heavy.  So, I was drilling and making all sorts of noise in there.  As long as I was taking apart all the light fixtures and heating elements  I figured I would give the cage a good scrubbing, too.  Plus, I had bought some rubber mat that I wanted to try on the floor of the cage so I cut and inserted that.

Poor Elmo.  There was a crazy lady (me!) in his cage making noise.  He kept moving from one end to the other and watching me.  I wanted to take his harness back off but he was mad at me and blew his body up big and pretended like he was going to bite me.  So, I left it on for a while.  His harness is a cat harness and is not easy to undo.

I ended up cutting it off of him.  I'm going to make another that doesn't require us to poke his head through a loop and pick up one of his legs.  I want one where I can unhook it and let him walk out of it.

Lots more happened but that is all you get.

I need to call my Thursday prayer partner and warn her not to come.  My son and my husband have earaches.  My prayer partner gets sick easily and I don't want her picking up any germs that might be floating around here.  She's the one I gave the printout of June 23rd's Bible study.  If she still has it I'll be able to put them in the archives.  I still can't believe I did that.  Well, as I recall, it was a busy week last week, too.

I got some vertical blinds for the front two bedroom windows in our house.  One of those rooms is where I have the computer.  It is also a sewing/craft room.  I used to have the horizontal style blinds in here.  I decided on verticals for a lot of reasons.  Now I can have them open for air circulation and light, but turned in such a way that people can't see me sitting at my computer.  Well, except for times like right now when my cat is sleeping on the window sill and has pushed open a section with his body.

My cats are another reason.  Now, when I'm not home and have all the shades shut, they can still find a way to see out.  They will be happier.  Then, too, when stray cats come in our yard and harass my cats then my cats won't bend my blinds trying to get closer to the window.

When my son lets the iguana out in his room he won't get hung up in the blinds (the iguana, not my son).  At night my son can turn the blinds so people can't see him sleeping in but he still gets fresh air through them.

Oh, yes, one of the other things I did last week was hang the blinds.  The instructions were very strange and hard to understand.  They gave me a bunch of extra things that confused me, too.  One part of the instructions said to remove the clip from the bracket and throw away the bracket.  How wasteful!  Anyway, I finally figured it out.  I only had to take them down once because I put the wrong one in the wrong window! 

Today I need to work in my garden.  I haven't been out there in a while and it is getting wild.  Somehow I got a bunch of weird grassy stuff growing in there.  I killed it with weed killer, but it is still growing close to my veggies.  Plus I have to remove all the dead stuff.  I've got some giant squash that have to come out of there.  I planted a curly yellow one that has some squash that are tangled up with the leaves.  They need to be cut out because I can't pull them out.

My husband bought me a new gadget for the faucet where I have splitters attached to hoses for the garden and for the trees.  It's real fancy and easy to use.  I kept telling him the little tiny knobs on those things are hard to turn.  So, he got me one with easy to work handles and knobs.  Isn't he a sweety?

Oh, I have a mountain of clothes to wash, too.  While I was cleaning the iguana's cage I noticed that my son's closet was stuffed full of dirty clothes.  Sigh.  Sometimes I feel like a maid, but don't get the satisfaction of a paycheck.  OK, change of attitude:  I'm doing it out of love and I'm doing it unto the Lord.  There, forget I mentioned the maid.

Link to the 7/8/04 Bible study.
July 15, 2004

Whooooo boy!  Summer has arrived!  All of a sudden we are having sweltering heat.  Actually, we usually get it about a month sooner.  We've been very blessed with cooler than usual weather.  I was able to get a lot more things done outside than normal.  Now I just need to get out there early early in the morning.

I will have to spray myself with mosquito spray.  The West Nile virus is here.  Some crows have dropped dead in the wash behind our house.  I called the West Nile hotline.  Horses around here are catching it, too.  My poor Bubba, who died a couple of weeks ago had the symptoms of West Nile.  What's so awful is that the people that knew it was around here locally didn't tell us.  People with animals could have been vaccinating them.

I'm giving my other dog K9 Advantix.  It not only keeps fleas and ticks off of him, but repels mosquitoes as well.  I got some good information about the virus off of WebMD.com.  I also read where spray-on repellents with DEET in them are the best.  However, the mosquitoes will bite any skin that wasn't sprayed, so you have to be thorough.  There is more information at mosquitoes.com.

I just heard my husband come home.  He's going to help me with some shelves and things in our camper.  I'll be back later!

Oops!  I never came back.  We had some problems in the camper and stayed out there longer than I thought we would.  The rest of the day flew by.  Then, when he left for football practice (he's a coach) I forgot all about finishing this.

We have to take the camper in to get it fixed.  Our batteries are not charging up again.  We've had that same problem off and on since we bought it.  Last year we had to have the converter replaced.  Maybe it went bad again.  Sigh.  Then we couldn't slide the dinette out to put in a shelf overhead.  It's always something, isn't it?

I washed my kitchen window last week.  It got really dirty.  It is right behind the sink and gets splattered all the time.  I've been washing the inside fairly regularly, but the outside was awful!  When I spray the yard with bug spray I hand-spray around all the doors and windows.  That particular window gets bug spray all over it.

During the winter we keep our dry selection of firewood under a table that is outside that window.  In the past I just climbed up on the table to wash the window.  Well, one of the main supports under the table broke and I didn't want to hurt myself.  So, the outside of the window was icky.  It was all drippy looking from the bug spray, had fly specks all over it, had some cobwebs clinging to it, and was coated with dust.

After I washed the window I couldn't stop admiring how good it looked.  Everything looked prettier and cleaner through that window!

We are to be like a clean window and let people see God, just God.  When we do and say things we shouldn't then we are dirtying up our window.  The more we do things in the flesh the dirtier the window gets.  Pretty soon people notice the dirt more than the window. 

All sorts of things are happening today to keep me away from this Bible study.  One big thing was I found out my virus program expired yesterday so I had to update it.  I thought it expired next week.  It took me by surprise.  Then it froze up in the middle of the installation and I had to re-do it.  Now everything is going really slow while it downloads updates and configures itself.

It has been so hot lately I've had to make sure all my plants and grass are getting enough water.  I had things just fine but am having to make adjustments in the amount of time to water and how often.

Ugh, as I was typing that last sentence my virus program said it needed to reboot my computer, so I had to go.  I'm back, though, and think I won't have any more interruptions.  Oops, there's one.  It found a virus on my computer that sneaked in before it was all loaded up.  Sheesh!

Link to the 7/15/04 Bible study.
July 22, 2004

I used to get this updated on Mondays or Tuesdays pretty consistently.  Ever since school let out it seems I've been getting it done Wednesdays or Thursdays.  So, I'm going to change where I say it is usually updated on Monday or Tuesday and just go with the new flow.

With my husband home more, because of not getting a regular summer school class, each day seems to be different than the day before.  Sometimes he fills in as a substitute only some classes start at 7:00, some at 9:30, and he has even gone in as late as 1:00.  Then, when he is not substituting I might be helping him do something around the house.

I try to get up early and have some time alone with the Lord, but that has been getting messed up as well.  So, this Bible study will get done, but perhaps on a different day each week.  If you want to receive notice by email when it is updated you can subscribe to my mailing list.

I need to go get dressed.  Our friend is coming over to help my husband frame out the end of our barn where the new door is going to be.  We are getting a large, metal, roll-up door to cover the large, ugly, open end of the barn.  Yay! 

That means the birds won't be flying in and out, the dust and dirt will be minimized, spiders will have smaller openings they will need to use to get in, and my husband will have to hurry and fix the small door so we can get in and out.  (Tee hee!  Don't tell him I said that!)  Anyway, I better get out of my robe!  Be right back!

Gosh, I'm back, but I wasn't "right back".  It seems I can never go from point "A" to point "B" without finding more things that have to get done.  I didn't just get dressed, I brushed my teeth and fixed my hair. 

 Then, since the sun is out, I went around the house turning off the fans I put in the windows and doors to pull cool air in and closing the windows and doors.  I went in the garage because I had to close those doors, too, and remembered that I had clean towels out there that had to come in. 

Of course, on my way around the house I had to stop and pet my cats.  At least this time I remembered what I was doing and did come back here.  There have been times when I totally forgot about the Bible study as I found more and more things around the house that needed to be done!

I've spent the last two days getting dirty.  My husband had been moving all his tools and stuff from the garage into the barn.  He's a collector and has lots and lots of stuff.  His dad was an electrician so he has a bunch of electrical supplies.  He has accumulated a lot of plumbing stuff from somewhere and has tons of sprinkler supplies.  Over the years he has tossed things together.  A couple of times I have tried to help him organize his stuff.  Lots of it had labeled places to be.

When he was moving everything he was having some difficulty figuring out where to put it all.  He kind of had it sorted and then quit working on it for a while.  So, the last two days I went out there while he was gone and organized and labeled.

I combined things that were similar in usage and sorted piles of things that had gotten mixed together.  It isn't completely done because I couldn't do anything with the stuff that I didn't know what it was. 

There are more things in the garage that haven't made it out to the barn yet.  He has to go out there and finish sorting and then I can go help again.  Of course, if he isn't here, some of the labels might say things like "copper L-shaped things" and "green plastic things with springs on top".

I need to leave you, again.  It is time to go meet with my Thursday prayer partner.  I'll be back later!

So, did you have a hard time recognizing me?  I got my hair cut the other day.  It is the shortest it has been in many many years.  I also got new glasses.  The lenses are bigger than my old ones.  So, I have a whole new look.  Don't worry, it's still me on the inside.  Wink wink

Link to the 7/22/04 Bible study.
July 29, 2004

Next Thursday I will be leaving on a ten day vacation.  I will make every attempt to get this updated before I leave, but I can't guarantee it.  It kind of depends on how many things happen that are beyond my control.  I have allowed enough time to get everything done, but usually something else always manages to insert itself in between me and my well-planned week!

One thing is certain, once we get to our vacation destination I plan on relaxing!  This will be the first time since we got our camper that we will be camping in one place.  We will be able to take the camper off the truck and not have to be driving from place to place.  The only places we will drive will be the grocery store and the ice house.  Oh, well, of course we need to go to a restaurant for dinner at least once, right?

We are going to be camping at the Colorado River.  It will be hot.  It's funny how the air can be very very very hot and yet, if you are sitting in or near a river, it doesn't feel hot.  Well, of course, that is us.  We live in a desert environment so we are already used to a certain amount of heat.  If you came from a cool climate then probably no amount of water could make you feel cool.

We used to go to the Colorado River every single August for many years in a row.  Then our finances caused us to not be able to get away for a vacation for a couple of years.  We went a few more times and, after we got the camper, we ended up taking a couple of sightseeing/visiting relatives vacations.  So, it has been four years since we were at the river.  Wow!  It doesn't seem that long ago.  Time flies when you don't pay attention.

I had to take our camper in to the shop.  A year ago we had our converter replaced.  Ever since we bought the camper we have had problems getting the batteries to charge and stay charged.

We had made the assumption that the batteries charged up while we drove.  The place that installed the wiring for our camper didn't do that for some dumb reason.  The only time it was charging was when we plugged in.  It took us a while of trial and error to figure out that we couldn't figure out the problem.

We took it in last year and discovered the converter wasn't working.  We have no idea how long it had been bad.  So, the last weekend trip we took we found out that our batteries weren't even charging up when we were plugged in.  My husband carries a little battery charger and we had to charge ourselves up with it.  Even though we were plugged in to electric there were things that draw power from the batteries.... like our refrigerator!  No power for frig means no food and no food means we are in trouble!

We made an appointment for the place that installed the converter to figure out what was wrong.  In the meantime, our little slideout for our dinette quit working.  You can see it slid out in these pictures.  Oh no!  That was not good!  I wanted to install a shelf above the dinette and couldn't if I couldn't get it to slide out.  Plus, there was no way we could spend 10 days on vacation without the few extra square feet of floor space that the slideout gave us!

It turns out that the slideout was suicidal.  It ran over one of its own wires and committed suicide.  The year-old converter is bad but the fix-it place is having a hard time getting hold of the manufacturer to OK the repairs.  So, in the meantime our dinette slides and we can keep the batteries charged with the little battery charger.  If they can't get hold of the converter manufacturer until after we come back from vacation then we will survive nicely.  Like I said, something always seems to happen to mess up my plans.

I finally have my camera back the way I want it!  A number of years ago I was walking in the wash behind our house with my camera and stepped in quicksand.  My left leg went in all the way to my thigh and I managed to catch myself on a tree to keep me from going in all the way.  I had my camera over my left shoulder and the zoom lens dipped in the water.

(By the way, quicksand isn't like they show it on the movies where people slowly sink in a gooey mess and die.  As I was walking it looked like firm, damp soil.  The step I took with my right foot was on firm, damp soil.  The next step I took with my left foot was onto what seemed to be exactly as firm as the previous step, but was just like stepping into deep water.  The ground just disappeared into water and down I went.)

So, I have been trying to figure out an easy way to get it fixed or replaced.  I contacted the manufacturer who referred me to a camera shop that wasn't very close to my house.  So, I procrastinated for a couple of years.  I finally got a brand new lens. 

My husband had bought the first one for me.  I had been switching from my short lens to my zoom lens based on what kind of picture I wanted to take.  The lens he bought me combined the features of both my lenses.  After I ruined it I had to go back to the double lens routine.  So, I will take lots of pictures of us at the river now that it will be easier.  Well, I will try to remember to take lots of pictures.  After all, I will be relaxing!  If my brain is too relaxed it won't remember to take pictures!!

I have a bunch of things I have to get done today, the first of which is take a shower and go to my Thursday prayer partner's house.  So, like I said, I will do my best to update this before I go on vacation!  If I don't then you won't see me again until after August 15th!

Link to the 7/29/04 Bible study.

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