Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
A few weeks ago as I walked across the church parking lot, I looked down and saw a woolybear. He was black from front tip to back end.
If you, too, are a hillbilly, you know why.
That wooly little worm (yes, I know, it is actually a caterpillar) predicts the
winter weather. The larger the band of brown, the milder the winter. If there’s no band of brown, well, then (gulp, deep breath, muttered cursings perhaps), there’s no mild winter in the woolybear’s weather forecast.
I kept my eyes open for woolybears every Sunday for confirmation of that prediction. I usually see quite a few every fall, but for some reason I saw only one more. It was on the church sidewalk, and I took a picture of it. It had a fairly wide band of brown around its middle.
Friday, though, I opened up a bunch of persimmon seeds, and the news was not a
Now, the Ozarks hillbilly folklore is that when you cut open a persimmon seed, you’ll see a knife, fork or spoon. The fork tells you the winter will be so cold it will cut through you like a knife. A spoon tells you the winter will keep you busy shoveling snow. A fork tells you that you’ll have a moderate winter with not a lot of shoveling.
Weather predicting with persimmon seeds is not easy. Cleaning all the pap off the seeds is a chore in itself. Slicing open the seeds is dangerous and can be damaging if you aren’t careful. I’m partial to a Kobalt folding knife, available at Lowe’s, and I slip a new blade into it every couple of days so it is always sharp. Cutting the seed so you go through the center of the germ and obtain a recognizable shape is difficult. I cut through a handful of seeds without damaging myself and got shapes that bore no resemblance to anything.
Another predictor, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, says we’re going to have a drier than normal winter in Missouri, but also a colder than normal winter.
Between the woolybears, the persimmon seeds and The Old Farmer’s Almanac, I don’t know what to think. If anyone can offer some insight, I’d be happy to hear it.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
If you feel the Lord calling you, and you've been thinking about going to church, yet you can't bring yourself to go into one, let me recommend an alternative: The Phelps County Cowboy Church.
This congregation meets in a horse sale barn, the Rolla Horse Auction located north of St. James on Highway 68. No need to dress up if you don't feel like; lots of folks come straight from work, and I don't mean office work.
The music is provided by a country vocalist with a country combo and back-up singers. The preacher is the sale barn owner, and he preaches a solid, biblical, sincere sermon about Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.
Lots of people go to the Phelps County Cowboy Church on Thursday nights and to their home church on Sundays. Lots of people consider Phelps County Cowboy Church their home church.
If you have a home church, as I do, why not pray for the Phelps County Cowboy Church and attend from time to time?
If you don't have a home church, why not worship with the Cowboy Church regularly?
It's a good place to go to start building a relationship with Jesus.
Friday, November 26, 2010
A few weeks ago at the morning meeting of the associates, the boss threw out a trivia question and said anyone who knew the answer would get Black Friday off. The question: What two U.S. presidents died on the Fourth of July, 50 years after the signing of the document. The answer: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson died first at Monticello in Virginia. Adams died later in the day at his farm outside Quincy, Mass. He thought Jefferson was still alive, so his dying words were something like, "Thank God, Jefferson still lives."
Now, it isn't a paid day off; I had to use a vacation day, but that's all right.
I'll have to go in this afternoon and evening for my other job, because I have a lot to do.
I sat down merely to write a weather update and got off-track. That happens to me a lot nowadays.
The weather in Rolla: 20 degrees, bright and clear.
The station, and I don't what it is or where it comes from because there was never any station identification, played non-stop Christmas music while Delaine cooked. When we got back home yesterday evening, it was still playing Christmas music. I turned it on this morning, more Christmas music.
I like Christmas music, but I like traditional Christmas music done by traditional Christmas singers and musicians, people like Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Ferrante and Teicher, the Harry Simeone Chorale and the Boston Pops Orchestra.
Modern singers and musicians have figured out multiple ways to mess up a good Christmas song. The only time I like to hear a messed-up Christmas song is when it's meant to be a novelty. For instance, there's a swining version of Away in the Manger that cracked me up the first and only time I ever heard it. I thought it was Frank Sinatra singing about "that little cat Jesus asleep on the hay." I did a little more research and I think it is a guy named Bob Francis and the version is called "That Swingin' Christmas." I am looking for a copy of it at a reasonable price; Delaine found it on Amazon for $40, but that's way too much for me.
Now I like that tune because it's over the top and it is meant to be over the top. I'm not a big Harry Connick Jr. Christmas music fan, because when he "swings" a Christmas song, he's doing it sincerely, not as a novelty.
But that's just my old stick-in-the-mud personality at work.
Here's where I listen to Christmas music:
Live365.com's Christmas stations
There are scores of stations to pick on Live365, so if one of them starts playing crap you don't like, you can switch to another staton.
On Pandora, you "seed" the station with songs and artists you like, and then the computer starts picking music it thinks you'll like. If you don't like a song, you give it a thumbs-down; it stops playing that song and will never play it again. You can eventually fine-tune a station so it will play only music you like.
Here's a good ol' Christmas song for you:
The Heritage Boys sang out at Macedonia Baptist Church north of Rolla Sunday night. We had a Thanksgiving Dinner at 5 and then they sang at 6:30. Afterwards, refreshments were served, so there was plenty of eating, as well as good music.
Here's a snippet of a song. They have great harmony, good song selection and some funny stage banter. It was a mighty fine evening.
We had a bluegrass summer series of concerts. Maybe the pastor and deacons will approve having a gospel quartet series for the fall and winter.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
My Texas wife is not happy. "Sleet on the ground and snow falling," she said. "Yippee, skippee."
The weather has kept us home. We planned on going to see my parents; my sister and her family drove up last night to be with them, so at least they're not by themselves.
Our daughter and son-in-law stayed in Rolla, too, instead of going up to Grandma and Grandpa's. Delaine has been cooking up a Thanksgiving so we're going over to eat with them and our grandson.
This is what happens in a state with oddball weather. Young people and transplants to Missouri, neither of which have any weather memories, think Missouri has mild weather. Well, it can be mild. It can also be harsh. Sometimes we have balmy Thanksgivings, sometimes we have rain, sleet and snow--with a glaze of ice on the roads, which is what I'm sure is going to happen towards dark.
The Old Farmers Almanac has predicted this winter in Missouri will be drier than normal and colder than normal. I agree with the cold prediction; I'm not so sure about the dryness. The first woolybear I found was completely black; no brown band at all. That ought to tell you something.
I think I'll open up some persimmon seeds this afternoon and see what I find.
On November 24, 2010, at approximately 10:23pm Pulaski County deputies
located and arrested a suspect wanted on several active warrants. The suspect
was located at 22975 Strate Lane , Laquey , Missouri .
was Jessie Allan Mitchell, age 20, of 27730 Spokane , Laquey , Missouri .
Mitchell was wanted on an active felony warrant for probation violation and had
one warrant from another county.
Mitchell is currently being held
in the Pulaski County Jail pending a probation hearing and the posting of bond
on the out of county warrant.
On November 25, 2010, a female victim came to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s
Office and reported that she had gone to a residence to visit with a male
friend. She was admitted to the residence but a second female who was with her
had the door slammed in her face. The male suspect immediately asked her if she
wanted a drink and she said no and began to walk to the door. The male suspect
then grabbed her from behind, pulled her hair to restrain her and then smeared a
brown substance on her face. The male suspect had then unlocked the door and
shoved her out of the residence.
The male suspect was located at 3:39am on 11-25-2010, and taken into custody. He was transported to the Pulaski County Jail. A statement of probable cause was sent to the Pulaski County Prosecutor requesting charges for this incident.
At this time the male suspect remains in the Pulaski County Jail on a 24-hour hold.
Pulaski County Sheriff J. B. King would like to announce that the official
website of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is now back on line after an
extensive revision of the website contents. The new site features a home page
with six additional links to other websites. The home page also contains the
active buttons for the other sections of the new webpage.
sections of the new site are the jail section which features photographs of the
jail and a listing of the daily inmate roster complete with case numbers for all
inmates. The next section is the sex offenders section which lists all of the
registered Pulaski County sex offenders by their specific town within Pulaski
County . The site also has a civil process section which gives the requirements
for civil and criminal process service along with instructions and the contact
numbers for the civil process division.
The new website also
features a small news section and a list of the most wanted Pulaski County
fugitives along with a tip line. In addition there is an extensive section on
the concealed carry of weapons. The site lists requirements, costs, and has an
additional computer link to the Missouri Attorney General’s website for the
latest information on the states that do or do not honor a Missouri CCW
The new website also has a small section that details the
history of the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office shoulder patch. Every section has
the complete contact information for the employee’s who work in that
The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office website was first
established and paid for by Pulaski County Sheriff J. B. King several years ago.
The new revision was completed primarily through the work of Deputy Pamela
Sherrell from the criminal division.
Quote by Sheriff King; “Our
revised website is up and running. It is bright, colorful and full of
information. You may travel throughout the site by the click of a button. I
would like to thank Deputy Pam Sherrell for her hard work on this project. I
believe that she has produced a quality product that the citizens of Pulaski
County will enjoy and find very useful.”
But sometime today, perhaps several times today, remember to give thanks to the Lord, for He came in the flesh to die for us and rose again that we might have eternal life with Him.
He gives us many blessings, and we thank Him for every one of them, but most of all we thank Him for the gift of eternal life with Him.
Psalm 69 (New International Version):
29 But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect
30 I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with
31 This will please the LORD more than an ox,
than a bull with its horns and hooves.
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;Psalm 100:4:
let us shout aloud to the Rock of
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
him with music and song.
3 For the LORD is the great God,
King above all gods.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgivingI Corinthians 10:15-17:
and his courts with praise;
thanks to him and praise his name.
15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.Ephesians 5:3-5:
not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the
blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body
17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body,
for we all share the one loaf.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of anyPhilippians 4:5-7:
kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.
4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which
are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
5 For of this you can be
sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Colossians 3:16-17:
6 Do not be
anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in
16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish
one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit,
singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
17 And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks
to God the Father through him.
Here's one of the songs we sang at church Sunday:
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
It is 63 degrees on the front porch.
The weather forecast is calling for a drop in temperature starting at 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day with ice pellets dropping and glazing on the roads. By 9 p.m., it is supposed to be 13 degrees. That is going to mess up our plans to go to my Mama and Daddy's for turkey.
We'll wait and see what the morning looks like, but we might just wait until Saturday to go see them. It is supposed to be clear and warm this weekend.
This is quite different from his 2009 "Godless" proclamation, which I have attached to the bottom. You can see that last year the president made no personal reference to God; the only reference to the Almighty was in a quotation of George Washington.
Well, I don't blame him at all. I've had a pretty rough year myself, so I think my thoughts and attention are on the Lord God Almighty more this year than they were last year. Obama has had an even rougher year than I have, so I would expect to see and hear him pay more attention to God.
A beloved American tradition, Thanksgiving Day offers us the opportunity to focus our thoughts on the grace that has been extended to our people and our country. This spirit brought together the newly arrived Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe -- who had been living and thriving around Plymouth, Massachusetts for thousands of years -- in an autumn harvest feast centuries ago. This Thanksgiving Day, we reflect on the compassion and contributions of Native Americans, whose skill in agriculture helped the early colonists survive, and whose rich culture continues to add to our Nation's heritage. We also pause our normal pursuits on this day and join in a spirit of fellowship and gratitude for the year's bounties and blessings.
Thanksgiving Day is a time each year, dating back to our founding, when we lay aside the troubles and disagreements of the day and bow our heads in humble recognition of the providence bestowed upon our Nation. Amidst the uncertainty of a fledgling experiment in democracy, President George Washington declared the first Thanksgiving in America, recounting the blessings of tranquility, union, and plenty that shined upon our young country. In the dark days of the Civil War when the fate of our Union was in doubt, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day, calling for "the Almighty hand" to heal and restore our Nation.
In confronting the challenges of our day, we must draw strength from the resolve of previous generations who faced their own struggles and take comfort in knowing a brighter day has always dawned on our great land. As we stand at the close of one year and look to the promise of the next, we lift up our hearts in gratitude to God for our many blessings, for one another, and for our Nation. This Thanksgiving Day, we remember that the freedoms and security we enjoy as Americans are protected by the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces. These patriots are willing to lay down their lives in our defense, and they and their families deserve our profound gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
This harvest season, we are also reminded of those experiencing the pangs of hunger or the hardship of economic insecurity. Let us return the kindness and generosity we have seen throughout the year by helping our fellow citizens weather the storms of our day.
As Americans gather for the time-honored Thanksgiving Day meal, let us rejoice in the abundance that graces our tables, in the simple gifts that mark our days, in the loved ones who enrich our lives, and in the gifts of a gracious God. Let us recall that our forebears met their challenges with hope and an unfailing spirit, and let us resolve to do the same.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 25, 2010, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to come together -- whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors -- to give thanks for all we have received in the past year, to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and to share our bounty with others.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-third day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
What began as a harvest celebration between European settlers and indigenous communities nearly four centuries ago has become our cherished tradition of Thanksgiving. This day's roots are intertwined with those of our Nation, and its history traces the American narrative.
Today, we recall President George Washington, who proclaimed our first national day of public thanksgiving to be observed "by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God," and President Abraham Lincoln, who established our annual Thanksgiving Day to help mend a fractured Nation in the midst of civil war. We also recognize the contributions of Native Americans, who helped the early colonists survive their first harsh winter and continue to strengthen our Nation. From our earliest days of independence, and in times of tragedy and triumph, Americans have come together to celebrate Thanksgiving.
As Americans, we hail from every part of the world. While we observe traditions from every culture, Thanksgiving Day is a unique national tradition we all share. Its spirit binds us together as one people, each of us thankful for our common blessings.
As we gather once again among loved ones, let us also reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in need of a helping hand. This is a time for us to renew our bonds with one another, and we can fulfill that commitment by serving our communities and our Nation throughout the year. In doing so, we pay tribute to our country's men and women in uniform who set an example of service that inspires us all. Let us be guided by the legacy of those who have fought for the freedoms for which we give thanks, and be worthy heirs to the noble tradition of goodwill shown on this day.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 2009, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all the people of the United States to come together, whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place where family, friends and neighbors may gather, with gratitude for all we have received in the past year; to express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own; and to share our bounty with others.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Much of the evening honored veterans, but there were other musical memorials, too, by the Rolla Wind Ensemble and the Rolla Community Choir in their first-ever concert, which was sponsored by Arts Rolla.
One particularly strong performance was “I Am,” by Andrew Boysen Jr. The title comes from a poem by an Iowa high school band musician who was killed in car crash. Boysen was commissioned to write the music and he wrote it as an affirmation of life rather than an elegy. This was a rich piece of music done well by the Wind Ensemble.
Another piece of richness was “Inchon,” by Robert W. Smith. written about the Korean War battle. Particularly interesting was the stationing of young musicians with drum heads around the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church, the concert venue, to add the sounds of machine gun and artillery fire and helicopters in flight. This piece included an alto-flute and ocean drums.
Another rich orchestration was “American Elegy,” by Frank Ticheli, written as a commemoration of the Columbine High School massacre of 12 students and 1 teacher by two disturbed students. Ticheli said the music, at least much of it, came to him in a dream.
Those three selections were the highlights for this reviewer, but that shouldn’t be construed to mean the other selections were second-rate. On the contrary, the whole evening was strong in every way.
It started off with “Star! by Stephen Melillo, which was an arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
I was so thrilled that the Wind Ensemble included a John Philip Sousa march, “George Washington Bicentennial March.” Some folks shun Sousa and that’s a shame.
The Rolla Community Choir joined the Wind Ensemble for “Star!” and for “The Mansions of the Lord,” which was sung at President Reagan’s funeral, and “Song for the Unsung Hero.”
The Wind Ensemble included a crowd favorite, “Armed Forces Salute,” Bob Lowden’s medley arrangement of the songs of the military services. Veterans stood when their branch’s song was played.
The evening closed with the choir and ensemble together on “God of Our Fathers,” arranged by Claude T. Smith.
It was truly a pleasing evening. The printed program noted that John Francis of KMST recorded the concert. I don’t know if that means it will be aired; I hope so.
Musical director Craig D. French, choir director Jeff Sandquist and all the singers and musicians gave us an emotionally enriching evening, and I thank them.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The worship service began with the baptism of a lad who accepted Jesus as his Savior a couple of weeks ago.
Our call to worship was "The Family of God."
In the announcements, we learned that on Sunday, Nov. 28, we'll have the Hanging of the Green during the morning service. (I called it Hanging of the Greens for years and then someone asked me if we were hanging turnip, mustard and collard out at the church.)
Mark your calendar for these events, too:
Dec. 12--Children's Christmas Program during the morning service.
Dec. 19--Adult Choir Christmas Cantata during the morning service.
Dec. 22--Candlelight and Praise Service, 6:30.
The three hymns we sang were "Count Your Blessings," "We Gather Together," and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."
Special music sung by nine boys in the Fales family was "Amazing Grace."
Pastor Dave Scudder's sermon today was "The Life That Causes Unbelievers to Glorify God in a Hostile World."His text was I Peter 2:11-17. In these verses, Peter urges born-again believers to:
1. Live honorably among the lost in the world.
2. Submit to human authority.
3. Don't use your freedom in Christ to conceal evil.
The hymn of invitation was "Only Trust Him."
Here is a version of "Great Is Thy Faithfulness":
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Here in Rolla and in small towns across the Ozarks, people with a little bit of money like to go to St. Louis or Kansas City or Springfield or Columbia/Jefferson City to shop, especially around Christmas. That leaves our hometown businesses out in the cold.
But who do you think people turn to first when they want a donation of money or merchandise for their raffle, door prizes, big giveaways, etc.?
If you're a small-town Missourian, support your hometown small businesses. One way to start is to participate in Small Business Saturday.
I'm always bitterly amused at transplants to Southern Missouri who come here looking for Mayberry. They leave California, New York, etc., looking for Small Town America where land and houses are cheap, people are friendly and towns are safe. Then they complain that the town doesn't have "serious shopping" opportunities, and they take their money off to one of the cities.
Then these stupid transplants can't figure out why some small businesses must close and there are empty buildings downtown.
Missouri natives can be just as stupid, so I ought not single out the transplants.
If you want your community to be successful, you have to support it. That includes spending your money locally.
One thing I'm sure she will approve of my doing is putting up a couple more bird feeders, filling them and the feeders that are already up, finding the bird bath heater and getting everything ready for cold weather.
We try to feed birds year-round. I'm not saying I'm diligent in keeping the feeders filled during the summer, but I try. I try harder during the winter.
We enjoy looking at birds, reading about them, studying them.
Here's a little exercise you might be interested in if you are like us:
New guide helps birders play The Match Game
Even if you think you aren't interested in birds, take a look at that link.
Now, back to work.
Friday, November 12, 2010
She suspected the shot was fired by a novice hunter, for she found the dying horse on the first day of youth firearms season. Some young hunter, accompanied by a parent, apparently thought the horse was a deer and shot it.
Was it someone from the city? Was it someone from around here who was not careful?
These foolish mistakes happen. It especially hurts when the animal is a youngster's pet.
I talked to some of my buddies at work about it. They all figured it was somebody from St. Louis who came down here to hunt. They all had horror stories.
One ol' boy said he and his uncle were working outside the uncle's barn one day when a guy in camo came up and asked for help in getting deer out of a creek. The hunter said he had shot the deer; it ran into the creek and died.
The two Ozarkians went along with him to the creek where my friend said, "I didn't see a deer, but I saw my uncle's dead bull."
The hunter didn't believe them. He said, "Well, it's got antlers. It must be a deer."
My friend said he took the guy's rifle away from him, told him those were horns, not antlers, and called the law.
Another friend said he heard--and he swears the story is true--that a city slicker showed up at a deer check-in station, back before everything went computerized. He told the Conservation agent he had a deer in the back of his pickup.
The agent went, looked and said, "That isn't a deer. That's a mule!"
"Yeah," the hunter from the city said. "I know. It's a mule deer."
My friend is serious as a heart attack when he claims that story is true. It probably is.
City slickers shouldn't get out in the woods of Southern Missouri, or anywhere else, with rifles or shotguns.