01/16/18

51st State – New California Secession Possible

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

Folks who understand that self governance requires self discipline, those who’ve found themselves living on the ‘left coast’ while not being able to have a voice in that government have figured out a way to separate themselves from the fruits and nuts currently destroying the state of California. Secession; not from the United States, but the same way West Virginia distanced itself from Virginia, become a state unto itself.

(Image of proposed state boundaries courtesy of MSN’s linked article)

According to an article that showed up on msn.com, “The state of  New California  would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.”

Interestingly, the folks who wish to secede and start out on their own have identified perhaps the single most important distinction that divides them from the progressives who currently are destroying that state.

“‘Yes. We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” said founder Tom Reed.”

You see, progressives, socialists or communists; call them what you will, live on the premise that somebody else is always responsible to pay for the errors made while at the same time taking credit for any apparent advances created with other people’s money.

They refuse to consider that forcing others to go along with Social Justice schemes, redistribution of wealth or flat out corruption and tyranny have anything to do with the failures of the Utopian dream turned nightmare there in California.

I’m still waiting for Governor Brown to figure out a way to get the rest of the United States to bail California out of imminent bankruptcy.  It’s the rest of the country’s responsibility to make recompense for those who act irresponsibly; isn’t that how spoiled children view the world?

I read on one of the internet social forums where the United States might solve the on going craziness going on with the self proclaimed Sanctuary State that can’t pay for all the social programs intended to make everyone equally poor.  We could sell California to Mexico for a large sum of money, the figure was around twenty trillion dollars; but that number would be negotiable if the size of that sale were for a smaller piece of property.

Mother Nature might eventually have the deciding vote on any secession issue; but that wasn’t brought up in the discussions, at least not that anyone reported.  The San Andreas Fault runs pretty much along the lines drawn up and could deepen the divide, pun intended, between progressives and right wing conservatives struggling to achieve their goals.

The next highlighted article on the Explorer news page was about the tragic collapse of a bridge under construction down in Columbia that killed at least 10 workers.  Being a warped individual I put the two article together and considered how much easier it would be for a major earthquake to solve the problem, create a huge rift that clearly defined the borders of California and New California…it could happen.

01/15/18

Tagging/Tracking Phone App?

By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

Some of the new cell phone Apps have me blown away; my being from an older generation where we put coins into a payphone to let our parents know we were on the way home and might be a few minutes late.  Take for instance the camera functions that let you take a snapshot of someone.  When you look at the image in your gallery the GPS program has automatically identified and marked the image as per the location where that photograph was taken via a GPS satellite synchronized with Google Maps.

No, I’m not making this up; it’s already a part of our everyday lives.  Now take that another step forward, maybe three or four days from now…

You take a picture and your fancy cell phone not only captures the image but latches onto the digital signature of the other person’s cell phone and combines this information so that the next time you view the photograph it gives you an update on where the holder of that cell phone is located in real time.  Sounds a little far fetched, doesn’t it?

I love the creativity presented by J.K. Rowling and the talented folks who’ve transformed her books into Harry Potter movies; the earlier ones being my favorites compared to the dark and ominous later movies.  Take for instance The Prisoner of Azkaban with the Marauder’s Footstep Map showing the real time location of anyone at Hogwarts Castle; Roaming the halls at night with only his magic wand and this magical map exposed lots of secrets, some of which are quite interesting if you’re a true Potterfan.

How interesting would it be if your cell phone camera could mimic the Marauder’s Map, showing the location of anyone you’d taken a picture of?

“Hey, ya’ll, Fred’s at the Texas Burger down in Madisonville.  Let’s drive on over and surprise him”.   Or perhaps, “I didn’t see John at church today.  Never mind”, pointing to a thumbnail image of him on Goggle Maps up in Dallas, “…he’s visiting his sister this weekend”.  The opportunities would be endless.

Could such an App be used as a tool for police to catch criminals, “Suspect is westbound on Main, just went behind the drug store and appears to be hiding in the alley”.  Then again… would it be another violation of privacy the NSA uses to compile information on citizens in their supposed quest to keep track of terrorist activity?  All they’d need is a snapshot taken with this new fangled technology…

My trip to the near future was a bit unsettling; maybe we should go back to using old fashioned film cameras…lucky for me I still have my old Kodak Brownie, somewhere.

01/13/18

Respecting the rank without regard for the individual

By: T. F. Stern | Self-Educated American

In the movie, No Time For Sergeants, Private Stockdale, played by Andy Griffith, gives every indication he’d fallen off the proverbial turnip truck as a female officer approached. He’d never seen a female officer as his jaw dropped to indicate the stupor of thought.   The lecture by the Captain for not saluting an officer, regardless of gender, is taken to heart as Stockdale gathers himself, still holding the salute long after the Captain has walked off.

A very short while later he’s at the mess hall prior to having an eye exam, part of the processing tests to determine the next level of training and assignment.  When a rather nice looking female Captain walks in, one that has most everyone turning to admire her form, his sergeant asks him if he sees the attractive female Captain.

Squinting his eyes as he studies the situation over, “I don’t see no woman, I only sees a Captain”.  His sergeant rolls his eyes up in his head considering the necessity of having each and every new enlistee being processed out; his own job is threatened.  There’s no way this idiot’s going to pass any eye exam, there’s no way he’s going to process out.

Now apply this comical example of obligatory respect to the office of President of the United States.  At one time we had people who were referred to as the Loyal Opposition, folks who didn’t’ want Donald Trump, folks who thought Hillary Clinton should have won or folks who believe any and all the negative propaganda being shared on public forums or the large news media outlets; apply the same basic obligatory respect, not because you now have to respect Donald Trump; but because he is in fact the President.  It really is that simple.

Repeat in your mind, even if you don’t quite understand the principle just explained, “I don’t see Donald Trump, a man I can’t stand and who has no business being President.  I only see a President.”

Now act in a civil manner and wait for the next election; but stop the never ending whining and belittling of our President.  The rest of the world is watching and this childish behavior is embarrassing.

12/21/17

Come Follow Me

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

In the movie, Always, there’s a scene where a mechanic is working on a service vehicle used at a small private air strip.  Somehow while the motor is running it jumps into gear and takes off without a driver.  On the back of the service vehicle is a sign, Follow Me, intended to guide pilots of small aircraft to the proper location.

(Image, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo – Adoration of the Magi – Google Art Project courtesy of Wikipedia)

As often happens in movies intended to entertain, a borderline qualified pilot happens to be landing at this precise moment as he observes and follows the unmanned service vehicle down the taxi way, across a private road, all the while everyone around is yelling for him to stop.  Eventually the truck crashes into a house at the edge of the landing strip.

I suppose it really is important to identify and validate prior to following just anyone, or in this case, anything.

Such was and is the case with the Great War in Heaven.  Satan put forth his plan whereby every soul would be guaranteed to return to Father; but man would not have his Agency, the ability to choose.  That plan was not accepted by Father and a third of the host of Heaven who wanted to follow that plan were cast out with Satan.

In the other plan… the plan we all agreed to follow, mortality would be our proving ground, a probationary period to test our resolve in obeying God’s laws.  Knowing our shortcomings Father would provide a Savior, even His Only Begotten Son.  And so the War in Heaven began…and continues to this very day.

For our safe return to Father we must decide on a daily basis if we really do want to return to Father or is it worth the effort.  Nobody is going to force you back to Heaven; but there are plenty of opportunities to stray from the path.

We’ve been given lots of help; parents who love and guide us, the scriptures and living prophets all with the purpose of showing us the way home to Father.  Still, we must decide.

Being a convert to the Church I missed out on attending Primary in my youth; however, the Lord didn’t want me to miss out entirely so along the way I’ve been privileged to serve as an instructor while getting to learn all about Sharing Time, Children’s Hymns and how to deal with a wide variety of challenges.

I remember being impressed as Sharing Time began with a roomful of high energy children bouncing off the walls.  The Chorister didn’t seem phased at all as she stood in front of them, having nodded at the sister playing the piano; asked if one of the more energetic children would assist in singing, Do As I’m Doing.

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

If I do it high or low,

If I do it fast or slow,

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me…

Apparently the children love this tune as they also have a chance to get the ‘wiggle worms’ out of their system.  After a couple of imaginative operations are offered, a different child helping to carry out the exercise, the children are asked to fold their arms for an opening prayer and the children have achieved a much more teachable attitude.  Someone from the Primary Presidency would then present the spiritual lesson with far fewer interruptions.

Isn’t it much the same with adults?  Take for instance the setting for the birth of our Savior.  Wise Men followed the star, traveling far until it rested over the stable where He’d been sleeping in a crib of hay.  Shepherds watching their flocks by night were greeted by angels advising them of the fulfillment of ancient scripture.

Each of us is prepared according to the Lord’s time, His knowing when our hearts have been properly prepared to receive the message of the Gospel.  For some they are born into families where the Gospel is already a daily part of their lives.  Others, myself included, wait a little longer as experiences and testing work to soften our hearts and open our minds.

The tune in my head has been bouncing around all week, Do as I’m doing, Follow, Follow Me…Do as I’m doing, Follow, Follow Me.  Funny how things like that work to our advantage if we but listen to the Spirit as it guides us to the path leading to what’s best for us.

Lucy and I had been married about 7 years when we decided it was time to toss our world upside down and have children.  I knew at that moment that I needed to know more about spiritual life, much more than I’d gathered over the years.

I hadn’t been much on attending the Presbyterian church, at least not after I’d asked some important questions to the Youth Minister and was told, “You really don’t need to know that”.   Well, I did need to know which was why I’d asked so I came to the conclusion that the reason my request was turned away was simple…this Youth Minister didn’t know the answers and it was his way of telling me to get lost.

I was about 14 at the time and had no use for formal religion until we decided to start our family.

It was time to read the Bible, only this time with the intent of actually finding out what was in it.  The New Testament was my starting point.  I had a partner who attended the Lutheran Church at the time.  He thought it was great that I’d decided to read the Bible, offering me a copy, can’t remember exactly; but it sure wasn’t the King James Version.

I got to the part where God made a Deal with Abraham…yea, it came off like a popular television show… Monty Hall pointing to Curtain Number 3… “…and for you God has a Brand New Pontiac Grand Prix with Air Conditioning, Electric Windows and Italian Leather Bucket Seats.”

I thanked him for his genuine concern and shelved that version of the Bible in favor of the King James Version.  It took a little more effort to read the archaic use of language; but somehow the intent of those words made it into my soul as I continued searching for the pathway back to our Father in Heaven.

I actually took inventory, so to speak, an inventory of those I worked with on a daily basis.  Who seemed to be happier; not because they had more money or a better car as we all were police officers making about the same pay.  No, what I was looking for I’ve learned to call, Countenance, the subtle glow which presents itself when an individual is living his/her life in accordance with Gospel principles.

It’s as if that person had a sign on them saying, Follow Me, I know the way home.

Interestingly, those individuals I’d identified as ‘persons of interest’, they all happened to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

If I were prone to assigning things as coincidence, random alignment of details to fit a theory then perhaps it wouldn’t have made such an impression on me; but I don’t believe there is such a thing as coincidence…no, everything happens for a reason including the folks we meet in passing.  It’s up to us to take notice and act on what we have been given.

In short, I knew my insurance agent was a member of the Church so I asked him to send ‘those boys on bicycles’ over so they could tell me more.  The rest is history and we joined the Church.

The Lord sent his servants to assist us in finding the path, the Plan of Salvation.  Another Hymn has been rattling around in my thoughts, one you are familiar with, Come Follow Me.

“Come, follow me,” the Savior said.

Then let us in his footsteps tread,

For thus alone can we be one

With God’s own loved, begotten Son…

I’m grateful for the many opportunities the Lord has seen fit to bless me with all these years; an angel for a wife who puts up with my short comings and loves me in spite of them, the Gospel in my life which has permitted me to follow the Iron Rod which leads us back to our Father in Heaven.  The Temple Blessings which provide the necessary ordinances for eternal marriage and families, ordinances which include all those who have gone before us and tie them together with those who have yet to arrive.

Glad I followed the right path, could just have easily tore through that house on the edge of the run way had I not been paying attention.  In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

11/29/17

NBC Core Values

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

Moments after the dismissal of Matt Lauer for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace” NBC issued the following statement:

“Dear colleagues, on Monday night we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Lack wrote. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

Lauer, 59, had been with the “Today” show since 1994. He became the co-anchor in 1998.

“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” Lack continued, “we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences. No matter who the offender, we are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”

I find it interesting NBC would bring up the issue of Core Values; quite frankly it might appear to be the first time NBC was aware that Core Values exist.  I took my puppy to the veterinarian yesterday and one of the first things they did was conduct a core sample to see if she had worms.  Maybe that’s the kind of core values NBC claims to have.  How’s that for imagery?

For a company that is supposed to report the news, NBC would seem to be in the business of hiding the news in order to keep their own from being exposed.  Their coverage, or lack thereof, during the past presidential campaign and election would be one of many as can be summed up in an article by Wayne Allyne Root written back on August 10, 2016.

“It’s so bad that NBC News now stands for NO BAD CLINTON NEWS.

Root went on to destroy the credibility of NBC as they failed to report anything on Hillary Clinton other than pure fluff rather than inform the public of the criminal nature of their pre-ordained President.

When a real news item happened like, the bombing in Barcelona by radical Islam terrorists that killed and maimed innocent folks, “NBC gave the Barcelona terrorist attack four minutes and 32 seconds of total airtime while they gave Trump related stories seven minutes and 34 seconds. Time totals don’t include teasers or commercials.”

This list could go on for quite a bit.  Some of you might not be old enough to remember back in 1993 when NBC rigged a GM pickup truck’s gas tanks with incendiary explosives so it would ‘prove’ how dangerous those trucks were.

“In an extraordinary public apology, NBC said Tuesday night that it erred in staging a fiery test crash of a General Motors pickup truck for its “Dateline NBC” news program and agreed to settle a defamation suit filed by the auto maker.”

About the only Core Values NBC have come with a fake applause sign as a means of improving viewer ratings…and even those ratings are in question.

I’ll close with my original thought; does NBC have any Core Values, something other than a lust for money and power?

11/23/17

Are we celebrating Thanksgiving or Black Friday?

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

What are we celebrating this Thursday?  Are we taking a day off to be with family and friends to express gratitude to our Father in Heaven for the many blessings and tender mercies provided us; our ‘cornucopia’ of clothing to wear, a roof over our heads, food enough to survive and even share or have we altered our focus toward something else?

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia/ By Peter Paul Rubens – 6QEwQbRo8rzs5A at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21897457)

You got it; Black Friday and huge sales events that are begging people to forget being thankful for what they have and move onward to what they might obtain if they time it just right; taking folks away from the dinner table to their computers or out to the shopping malls.

Watching television commercials, supposedly geared to Thanksgiving Day, timed messages that instead have little if anything to do with our intent to honor God for having shed His many blessings down upon us throughout the year.  No, the trend is to eat a quick meal, making sure to be done by two o’clock in the afternoon so you can race down to the local department store where millions of others will be taking advantage of spectacular pricing on items you can’t live without.  You don’t even have to leave the house as most Internet sales promise to price match and includes free shipping.

How much money was spent on Black Friday in 2016?

“Shoppers spent $1.9 billion online on Thanksgiving Day and another $3.3 billion on Friday, according to Adobe.”

An article by Kimberly Amadeo explains part of the challenge to retail businesses.  It boils down to survival in today’s market place.

“Black Friday is November 24, 2017, the day after Thanksgiving. It’s traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year because it kicks off the holiday season. This season is crucial for the economy because around 30 percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday andChristmas. For some retailers, such as jewelers, it’s even higher — nearly 40 percent.”

It’s been this way for many years; but can you imagine the pressure put on retailers as they recognize that this one month, calculated from the day before Thanksgiving, determines whether or not they will be in business the next year?

Far too many have become members of the ‘Church of Black Friday’, having bowed down to their god of prosperity and once in a life time deals, their golden calf if you will.

Wouldn’t it be better to give thanks to God and take the day off with family as a way to open the door for other blessings; blessings which often include prosperity and timely help from above as each day’s challenges are somehow met successfully?

“… Choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

09/27/17

Some folks must have missed those lessons

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

I’ve been scratching my brain trying to figure out what happened; I mean, (in my best Arlo Guthrie voice), I mean… how come so many Americans seem to hate just about everything that makes America great.  The latest attention grabbing news for those who may have just finished the crop circle after traveling millions of miles in their alien space craft…taking a knee in protest to our National Anthem prior to participating in a sporting event.  (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

The news media has been playing on this since it makes them lots of money; viewers can’t get enough.  You do understand that most of the major news media outlets are nothing more than propaganda centers for the far left (communists); tell me you knew this already, you did know this, right?

Here’s a link to one of the many articles which list the 45 ways to destroy America as pointed out in Cleon Skousen’s book “The Naked Communist.  Consider this one of the lessons you might have missed; it’s important.

There are so many lessons about life in America as to make it difficult to fathom which ones were the ones missed by those who hate it so much.  Maybe these will help…

Several years ago my father in law had a medical condition and had been staying with us until his health returned.  When the phone rang it meant someone needed a locksmith and I’d write down the particulars as I prepared to go.  My father in law blurted out, “You have to go to work now.”, his face implying the drudgery of making a living.  I turned to him, smiled and corrected him, “No; now I get to go to work.”  It’s all about appreciating opportunities.

I remember reading an account of the British blasting Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor while brave men within made sure the Star Spangled Banner remained upright and visible for all to see.  How many men gave their all for the cause of Liberty; that’s right, so that you and I can enjoy that Liberty even today?

Yes, I stand when the National Anthem is played; you couldn’t hold me down if you tried.  It’s a simple way of showing gratitude for those who fought and died for those intangible God given inalienable rights mentioned in our Declaration of Independence.

Some of you might find it hard to believe; but this land we call America was set apart long ago as a choice land held in reserve for a worthy people, a people who would follow God’s laws and be a shining light upon a hill for the rest of the world to see.

“Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.”

God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ gave his life for all of us; the ultimate sacrifice.  Here in America we can follow the dictates of our heart and worship Him; at least that hasn’t changed, at least not yet.

Yes, I stand when the National Anthem is played.  That special tune reminds me to show gratitude for this land of Liberty we call America.  No, I don’t have to stand when they play that tune…That’s right…  I get to stand!

09/19/17

Would you say that again?

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

In recent news the State of Oregon is leading the way down yet another slippery slope, this time with free abortions on demand for anyone, including illegal aliens.  It’s been presented as a ‘women’s health issue’; but therein lies the deception, and that deception has been successful as it alters the discussion and removes any consideration for constitutional rights of the individual being aborted.

An article written by Christina Cauterucci praised the ambitious legislative package.

“On Wednesday, the Oregon state legislature joined the ranks of states preparing for the worst by passing the Reproductive Health Equity Act. If signed by the very pro-woman Gov. Kate Brown, the bill will enshrine the right to abortion care in state law, a first for Oregon. It also requires insurers in the state to cover contraception, vasectomies, prenatal and postpartum care, abortion care, screenings for reproductive cancers and STIs, and counseling for survivors of domestic violence. All would be completely covered at no cost to patients, even if the ACA were repealed, with some federally mandated exceptions for churches and religious groups.”

Let’s dissect that statement and attempt to understand the mindset of those who have jumped on board the Reproductive Health Equity Act; one passed while ‘preparing for the worst’.

What is the worst?  Is it the idea that individuals might be held accountable for their actions both morally and financially?  Morality shouldn’t be an issue; we got rid of that years ago…

Some argue that rape victims who get pregnant should have access to abortions as do women who believe they’re carrying a deformed fetus or are in a pregnancy which is life threatening (abortion is always life threatening to the individual being aborted) as justification for the entire premise of abortion on demand.

Here’s an interesting statistic regarding women seeking abortions:

“95% of abortions are done as birth control, 1% are done because of rape/incest, 1% because of fetal abnormalities, and 3% due to the mother’s health problems.”

The moral structure of our society has been altered in favor of murdering millions of defenseless individuals, depriving them of their inalienable right to life and all the other protections afforded under our constitutional republican form of government…and it’s all based on a lie; that’s right, the lie that abortion is a Women’s Health Issue when in fact 95% of lives aborted are little more than ‘after the fact contraception choices’ made to erase poor life style choices.

The socialist movement has now mandated a wide range of defined (altered the definition of words) Women’s Health Issue expenses be paid by insurance companies, which will include any government facilities paid for with taxpayer dollars.

Free, in their mind, means the recipient of goods and services no longer has to be concerned with earning enough money to pay for their incurred debts; instead, those inconsequential burdens are passed along to the State.

All these goods and services are now ‘Free’ because the State has and endless supply.  Has anyone ever explained the word ‘Free’ to those pushing socialism?  Those having to perform or provide these goods and services no longer are free to decide how to spend their efforts or money; that decision has been made by the State.

Well where does the State get all that money?  That’s right; the Evil Rich must pay for stealing from the undeserving poor.

Oregon has taken a large step towards abandoning reason in favor of satisfying those who demand the pipe dream of ‘free services for all’; neglecting to recognize there never was and never will be a free ride.  Somebody has to pay and these folks are willing to slap it on the Evil Rich who, for the most part must have obtained their ill gotten gain because of White Privilege.  This doesn’t even address moral issues; dang, I forgot we’ve already done away with morality.

We have arrived at a point in our nation’s evolution where Social Justice  is considered an equal to Due Process.

“Due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law.”

Socialists, progressives, communists, call them what you will; but they don’t respect individual rights or the implication that such rights come from God.  It is their intention to do away with such antique philosophies and give the State free reign to run everyone’s lives.

09/16/17

Seeing Is Believing

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

This morning while catching up on the latest news items via the internet my vision began playing tricks with me.  I found it difficult to focus on the printed words and recognized the onset of a migraine headache, more specifically, an ocular migraine manifestation.  The first time this happened several years ago it scared the bejebbers out of me, thinking it was some kind of stroke and that I’d wreck my truck before I could get off the freeway.

There are many variations in the way ocular migraines present themselves.  Each individual seems to have a different yet similar way of expressing what happens; but it only lasts a few minutes before normal vision returns, at least that’s been my experience.  It did give me a tremendous headache that took most of the morning to get rid of.

Then this afternoon while enjoying the Oldies internet radio station via the magic of a Smart TV and DVD player…I’m rambling, aren’t I?   Where was I…  sitting on the sofa with Leslie Gore singing in the background, I happened to look at the cabinet door which is part of the entertainment center.

Was it part of the original ocular migraine or were my eyes playing tricks and my imagination had kicked into another gear?   I thought I saw the image of Lord Voldemort, or as any true Harry Potter fan would remind me, “He who must not be named”.

The nice part of living in the digital age is that there’s always a camera within arm’s reach, it being part of the magic included in your cell phone.  I snapped a picture of what was embedded within the natural pattern of wood; no doubt about it, that’s Voldemort.

You can laugh all you want; but it looks as much like Harry Potter’s arch enemy as any image of Christ ever spotted on a piece of toast that’s made tabloid history.  This isn’t the first time I’ve captured an incredible or unbelievable image either; there’s the Tomato Fairy that got caught tending to my garden several years ago, that’s proof of sorts.

Having a headache and a great imagination made for an interesting day.  Now if only I could get rid of that tapping, as of some one gently rapping…   Gonna’ have to lay off reading Edgar Allan Poe until this headache goes away completely.

“…While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—

“ ’Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more.”

09/14/17

Finding Treasure

By: T F Stern | Self-Educated American

It’s been a year since we packed up my parent’s house and sold it after my mom died.  We’ve had boxes of photographs and framed pictures stored in a climate controlled U-haul unit until such time as we could figure out where to put them in our house in Buffalo, Texas.  That time has arrived.

I had no idea what framed pictures were in each box as they’d been professionally packed and boxed; took several hours to get past the Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap and plastic adhesive that had been applied to the glass on certain pictures.  It took four large black plastic trash bags to haul off the packing material and that didn’t include cutting the boxes down flat so they didn’t take up the entire dining room.

We now have the guest bedroom lined wall to wall with an odd assortment of pictures and paintings; some of which are probably quite valuable as they are museum quality; but that’s not the kind of treasure I’m excited about.

Other items that were packed away from my folk’s house were thrown into large cardboard boxes and we used anything available for packing material; kitchen towels, bath towels, ornamental pillows, stuffed animals…anything to keep fragile items from breaking.  I found a real treasure among the packing material to protect a table lamp; a hand made quilt that had been sewn by my grandmother, signed on the back.   Priceless!

Other treasures among the packing material would include cross stitched linen table clothes; also my grandmother’s handiwork.  These were placed on a shelf out of the way until this morning when I decided they should be put into service; but you can’t simply toss an old wrinkled up table cloth on the table and expect it to have the same effect as when it’s been carefully ironed and displayed properly.

There’s something to the process of ‘living in elegance’ that requires a little more effort.  It took me an hour to iron two table cloths; there are at least three more cross stitched table cloths that require the same loving care to restore them to usable status.

While filling my glass yesterday I noticed that I’d almost thrown away a ‘limited edition’ Dr Pepper soda can.  So glad I caught that in time or it would have gone to the recycle bin and lost forever.  Exactly what constitutes a ‘limited edition’ can of Dr Pepper?

We have a biscotti jar on the hutch.  It had been a Christmas present many years ago, filled with a variety of chocolate covered biscotti; but the jar was too beautiful to simply throw away after the biscotti had been eaten.  We’d given a similar jar to my sister in law; something of an inside joke.

Her husband, John, died a few years back.  He’d been cremated and his ashes placed in an old shoe box that was kept in the closet; not exactly how John would expect to be treated for time and all eternity.  We quietly hinted that John could use an upgrade; perhaps the biscotti jar would be a better ‘final resting place’ or at least better than the shoe box.

…And it would have been, had she not dropped the biscotti jar.  Maybe we’ll give her our biscotti jar; or better yet, buy her a new one at Sam’s Wholesale, one that’s filled with a nice variety of chocolate covered biscotti.  Treasure is in the eye of the beholder.