To be insightful means to intuitively grasp things - an "aha!" moment!

About Me

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I am a member of the church of Christ. I have been writing things since I was little. Some have been printed, some posted. I write to teach or encourage; to blow off steam; and for fun! I had my own motorcycle in my 40s; I was a bluegrass music DJ for about 13 years; I've performed some. I am a member of the NRA. In 2003 (age 59), I became high partial legally blind; in 2005, I had to get hearing aids! Franklin Field said: "Poor eyes limit your sight; poor vision limits your deeds". And no kidding, the picture was made April, 2012!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Flowers in my yard

In August and earlier this month, you can see the new vine growing up the shepherd's crook where I have the bird feeders. The vine is now not only a profusion of leaves, but is loaded with flowers! I guess that the vine, as well as the milo, came from the bird seed. The flowers look like morning glories, but they are such tiny flowers! They are pretty, and are open only in the morning. Each flower is less than about an inch in diameter. The hummingbirds seem to like the nectar in those flowers as much as they like the sugar water, as they have still been feeding here a lot, as well as seeming to almost hide in the vines!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nature Girl, part 2

An update from August 22 ... Steve (who preaches where I worship) told me this is not corn but is milo. I finally found someone on line, who knows about this stuff. Ms. Bohling works at the Kansas Grain Assoc- iation. I sent some pictures, and she said that milo is in 4 forms: sweet sorghum, grain sorghum, grass sorghum, and broomcorn, and that grass and grain milo is used for silage. It didn't look like what people make brooms out of, and I was pretty sure it isn't sor- ghum cane. But now that the fuzzy yellow pollen-heads have changed into tiny berries, I can see how this kind could be used for cattle-feed. She told me that a lot of grass- and grain-sorghum is used in bird feed. She said that the seeds will turn dark red. I figure this will do that in another week or two. Some of the stalks are about 5 feet tall, and yes, they are definitely cane!

Monday, September 20, 2010

LOVE is How You Stay Alive

Love is how you stay alive.
Love is how you grow and thrive when you can't dance and jive -
When you no longer drive - even when you're 85.
Love is how you stay alive!

You're at a friend's, alone, and then
You wander through the room.
With some, you chat - just "this" and "that"
And almost leave too soon.
You meet by chance. You catch a glance.
He looks so debonair.
He turns toward you, but looks right through
As if you were not there.

But then his eyes catch your surprise,
And someone comes your way.
A friend so sweet says, "You really must meet ... "
And brightens up your day.
Our life - our verse, for better or worse -
Oh yes, there's ups and downs.
Marriage and kids - so much that we did! -
Always more smiles than frowns.

Through thick and thin, we're always friends
At 30 or 55 -
Most good, some bad, most happy, some sad -
Our Love keeps us alive.
Sure, there were spats - can't ignore that,
But we promised, and found a way.
Now we stay snug - a kiss and a hug,
And Love closes out each day.

Love's music we hear in our older years.
Love's how we grew and thrived.
Remembered songs - we danced along -
Love's how we stay alive!
Now hearing aids - our walk is staid -
We fit like hand in glove.
So we can't dance, but still we glance -
We're still so much in Love!

Love is how you stay alive.
Love is how you grow and thrive when you can't dance and jive -
When you no longer drive - even when you're 85.
Love is how you stay alive!

- by Netagene, in a couple of hours today, another idea from "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. Professor Schwartz told Mitch that "Love is how you stay alive", and Mitch said that sounded like a song lyric. The professor and his wife Charlotte were married about 45 years (if I remember correctly what I read) before his passing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jacob's Ladder

No, this isn't the Bible story. Here are a couple of pictures of an afghan I just finished. The tedious part was all the loose ends! (I've crocheted since I was little; I should have thought of that.) A couple from where I worship is my main ride there. They won't accept money because I'm only a short half block off their way. So far, I've made them one afghan (solid beige alternated with beige with black flecks), and a "set" of ceramics I did at Painted by U, with a grapes design (a 6" tile and a dip chiller - I posted a picture of the tile on January 19). The lady is having such hot flashes that even I, with poor eyesight, can sometimes see the sweat on her neck - and she keeps their house so cold, that I think her hus- band almost has icicles! So this time, she suggested that I make something for him. I'll give it to him this evening. It's about 45 - 50". The pattern is called "Jacob's Ladder" and I found it at I used worsted weight yarn called "I Love This Yarn", the Hobby Lobby brand.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


"A redbird in an apple tree!" -
That's what I told a friend.
I'm thankful I can hear and see -
My senses joyously blend.

To behold the wonders God has made,
Watching through the glass,
Or sitting, rocking in the shade,
Contemplating things that pass.

Some apple trees are in my view -
Redbirds come to nest -
A peaceful scene when day is through
Helps me unwind and rest.

The apples feed both birds and me,
And both are a delight.
I thank the Lord that I am free
As day turns into night.

- by Netagene - Mother saw her doctor a couple of days ago, and told me that she mentioned all the real tall trees outside his office. He told her that he wished it was a redbird in an apple tree, rather than the tall deciduous trees. Mother told me that about an hour ago, and said she wishes I could paint a picture for the doctor of a redbird in an apple tree, or at least write a poem about it for him, for her to give to him. Because it took me only a few minutes to write the poem, I will probably change some words. (A note Monday evening - Mother said the poem is not quite what she had in mind, but she was unable to explain farther.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I got the idea for this after reading only a little of the true story, "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. The verse with a couple of asterisks can be personalized. I will finish reading the book this weekend. Is one which I will read again and again. I've underlined a lot of it.

The time has come that I am old. I limit my self-pity cry.
I won't reminisce about the "good ol' days". My 'rememberer' just might lie!
'Philosophysing' is not for me. But let me get one thing straight -
Humor me, now that I am old: Enjoy what's on your plate.

I'm not talking about eating vegetables. I'm talking about deeper than that.
Make the most of the life you are given. It's too late when your lifeline goes flat.
Maybe you were born with money. Maybe you just got by.
Make the most of whatever you're given, Because the days do surely fly.

One day you can't **take out the garbage**, So what will that matter to you?
It will let you know you are sliding. You may miss that before you are through!
The things that seem unimportant Are the most important of all.
You might miss a cool drink from the kitchen, Or a hug when a friend comes to call.

You can't take your money with you. It's only to ease this life's wheels.
Love all the ones who're around you. Life is not about lock-step drills!
So what if you don't clean the windows? So what if your lawn's a bit high?
Is that all that to you is important? What will be said when you die?

At your eulogy, will one say your windows Were always shiny and clean?
Wouldn't you rather be known for loving - That you made smiles, rather than windows, gleam?
March to your own personal drummer. One day you'll miss simple things.
You won't miss the corporate rat race. Do things that make your heart sing!

Take a friend and go on vacation. See mountains, rivers, a beach.
Take time to stroll through a garden. Good things are not out of reach!
Read to your child, some story. Listen as he says his prayers.
Everyone needs some loving. We all want to know somebody cares.

It's better to love friends and family - Better than a spotless home.
So what that you're now wrinkled and shaky! With friends, you won't sit all alone!
We've faith in God and good things. We wish; we dream; we hope, but
Love is the only thing that lasts. It's our real and true anchoring rope.

"Love is the only rational act" Is what some wise man once said.
So be glad you can still do that. It's too late when your body is dead.
So while there's time - Are you listening? My life here I know will soon end.
So listen, and learn what's important - And love, as I love you, my friend.

- by Netagene, September 15, 2010 -

Couplet 5, between the asterisks, can be personalized with such as: paint a picture, wash the dishes, throw a baseball, write a letter, work a puzzle ... and so on.

"Tuesdays with Morrie"

Have you ever read any books by Mitch Albom? A couple of years ago, I read "Five People You Meet in Heaven" (which I checked out from the library). I had heard about "Tuesdays with Morrie". I think maybe they both were made into TV movies. Albom also writes a syndicated column, and I've read some of his things in the Sunday "Parade" magazine. So I decided to look on line, and try to find those and any others by that same man. I learned that he also had written one called "For One More Day". Of the ones I'm mentioned, only "Tuesday with Morrie" is non-fiction. None of the ones I've read are long, not quite "short stories" so I guess they'd be called "novelettes". In reading "Tuesdays with Morrie", some thoughts came to me - another poem of course. Groan - whine. Why do these things pop into my mind??? Mitch and Morrie's story is a gem, and is well worth re-reading!


Last evening at worship was Les and Linda Maydell. She is from St. Louis, and he is a native South African. He preaches, and they live in, South Africa. They also work with Christians in Zimbabwe and I guess other countries on that continent. Les had a Power Point presentation about the spiritual work there, as well as some about the physical conditions. He said that one person in Zimbabwe can eat for $5 a month. He also had a picture of an old lady being baptized (Acts 2:38; 8:35-39). He said that the lady was 94 years old, had heard and learned about the Christ, and had to be carried in a wheel-barrow to the place for her to be baptized, then of course taken home in the wheelbarrow. I don't remember hearing Les say how far they traveled. What a beautiful story!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Here is the most close-up picture I've been able to get of the hummingbirds at my feeder. I made this and a few others last Saturday. Today, in addition to a lot of hummingbirds and a few ubiquitous sparrows, there was also one Eastern bluebird at the other feeder! That was a nice surprise!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where I was when ...

November 22, 1963: I was in my 3rd semester at Florida Christian College when President Kennedy was assassinated. I was not in the drama club, but I remember that the fall play was "The Mouse that Roared". The student who played the president looked strikingly like JFK. The play went on as planned.

May 9, 1980: I was driving for United Cab, Tampa, when the Sunshine Skyway Bridge went down. Several people were killed. I usually worked Tampa International Airport - had just returned from an early trip, taking a businessman home not far from TIA. It was raining hard. When I got back to TIA, someone said, "Did you hear? The Bridge went down!" There are a LOT of bridges in the bay area, but in taxi-talk, "The Bridge" meant the Skyway. Any of us could have been on it because we frequently got fares from TIA going to the Sarasota area. It was a long time before I could go over what was left of the bridge (the northbound span was opened to 2-way traffic). After the new bridge was built, I eventually rode over it late one night, alone on my Honda 400 motorcycle.

January 28, 1986: I was senior switchboard operator at the Holiday Inn, downtown Tampa, Florida, when the "Challenger" blew up. I could have seen it if the switchboard had been facing East rather than North. We could still see the smoke for awhile afterward..

November 16, 1989: I was corporate switchboard operator for Raybro Electric (Tampa, Florida) when someone I knew burned down my house. A young man near my son's age, who attended worship when I did, had gotten upset with me. He showed up during my lunch hour that day, and I told him to leave. About 1 p.m., I got a call from my neighbor, telling me to come home, that my house was on fire. The young man, severely mentally ill, had gotten off his medicine, and supposedly was trying to kill himself. When the fire started, he went to my neighbor's, told her to call me, the fire department, and the sheriff. I stood and watched it burn. I can still picture it in my mind's eye. I spent Thanksgiving Day sitting in the ashes, writing inventory for the insurance company.

December 15, 1998: I was on I-20/59 by the Civic Center in downtown Birmingham, going to work at Bruno's corporate office, about 7 a.m., when, without warning, my left retina imploded. I worked the rest of the week, not thinking that if one eye did that, the other could, too.

Odd that I cannot think of where I was when some special GOOD things happened ...

A Guide Dog and the World Trade Centers

I am a member of the American Council of the Blind, one of 2 major advocacy groups for the blind in the USA. I've attended only one national convention, in Jacksonville, Florida a few years ago. One of the speakers was Michael Hingson. He and Roselle were on the 78th floor of the first tower that was hit on 9/11/01. Roselle, from Guide Dogs of America in San Rafael, California, helped Michael and several others to the street. Amazing! You can read their story on several on-line sites. Several years ago, a friend and I rode Amtrak to Emeryville (near Oakland), California, to visit kin who lived near there. While there, I got to visit the guide dog school in San Rafael. While I hope to never need a guide dog (and even with a good bit of usable sight, I qualify for one), it's good to know that I can get one - and know that their training is such as what Roselle did. God bless the USA.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thinking about September 11, 2001

This will be long but that infamous 9/11 in 2001 was also a very long day!

I had heard that on the evening of September 8, 2002, Jeff May, the preacher for the Gardendale church of Christ, was going to preach a sermon about 9/11. Rather than attending worship where I was a member, I was there to hear him. These are my notes from that sermon. Jeff started with a short story, which I am also including here.


One day a man was strolling in a park near a lake,
when he saw another man fall in. Being a good swimmer, his immediate response was to jump in. He was able to save the near-drowning man. Some months later, this same man who almost drowned was brought, chained, into court for killing another person. The jurist was none other than the man who had pulled him out of the lake.

After the evidence had been given and the jury had spoken, the man behind the bench announced, "As the authority in this court, I now sentence you to death in the electric chair. Do you have any questions?"

The condemned man said, "Why is it that only a few months ago, you saved me, yet today you condemn me to death?"

Said the judge, "That day, I was your savior. Today I am your judge."

9/11 was LIKE the WORLD had STOPPED TURNING! All the world’s activities seemed to come to a stop because of one single event. People stopped whatever they were doing and became glued to a moment-by-moment unfolding of disaster. One day the affairs of this life will come to an end (II Peter 3:10). God waits to see who is going to love Him and live for Him and who is not. It is a probationary time. It is the whole purpose of our existence (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). God is loving and patient as He waits for those people to be produced. But one day, it will be over (II Peter 3:9)

9/11 happened When MANY THOUGHT It NEVER Would. We've got the greatest military in the world. It’s not going to happen. Who would have thought it could happen? And the ones involved did it quite easily. Do you realize that when Jesus comes again, it'll be just like that? Hoards of people today say, “It's not gonna happen.” They mock at those who preach His return. Peter said they would (II Peter 3:3-4). Look at His response (3:5-10). People didn’t expect the flood either (Genesis 6) - 9/11 happened when many were saying, "Naa"

9/11 showed how TRAGEDY can COME at the MOMENT when We LEAST EXPECT It! It was an ordinary day in New York City. And then ... boom!!! That's precisely how it will be when the Lord comes again (I Thessalonians 5:1-9) - Like a thief! He does not call and tell you to get ready. The events of September 11 unfolded from the sky. Jesus returns on the clouds (Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:16) - a shout, the voice of an archangel, and the trumpet. Graves will open. The living will be changed instantly (I Corinthians 15:51-53). All are given incorruptible bodies but that's not good news for everyone, depending on where you spend eternity.

9/11 Awakened a Few to WHAT MATTERED! One problem with the world we live in is that we seldom think about what really matters. A few things will jerk us there - death, disease. September 11 did!!! Was it a wake up call from God? I don't know. He does believe in them (Amos 4:6-11). It is not beyond Him to use a wicked and evil empire to get the attention of one considered less evil (Habakkuk 1:13). I'll take what happened last September 11 as a wake-up call. What should 9/11 do for right thinking people? See II Peter 3:11-13. This is the only thing that matters.

9/11 Left Two CLASSES of PEOPLE! DEAD and ALIVE - pictures held or posted near the World Trade Center, not knowing which of those two classes their loved ones were in. When Jesus comes again, there will only be two classes. Dead and alive. He separates them (Matthew 25). Both will have an eternal existence, but do you recall anywhere that both are called “life”? One of them is called the “second death”. Do we sometimes forget this? Many people have gotten it in their minds that Jesus' return is going to be like the first time - an announcement of good news to all the world. But not so (John 12:47-48). When Jesus comes again, which of those two groups of people will you be in?

9/11 Proved that ONE RELIGION is NOT as GOOD as ANOTHER! Many Islamic followers declare that the element of Islam that brought on the events of 9/11 is a radical element and does not represent the mindset of all Muslims. Maybe so. All I know is that the mindset and the religious beliefs of the men who brought September 11 to us is not from God.

Jesus taught 3 things the men who brought on 9/11 did not believe.
1. That the way of God is not advanced by physical war (Jihad) - (John 18:36; II Corinthians 10:4; Isaiah 2:4).
2. That He is the son of God. Islam places him as nothing more than a prophet.
3. That He is the only way to God (John 14:6). The early church spoke of "the way" and it was not the way of Islam.

We live in a world of world religions and denominationalism. What's right? Jesus is exclusive and says His way is the only way that's right. One religion is not as good as another.

A. What is His way? He spoke the truth before He left for Heaven.
B. Have you come to fully believe in Him as the Son of God? Have you confessed that faith? Would you turn from all your sins in repentance and be buried with Him to have them all washed away? (Mark 16:15-16)
C. It's going to stop turning!

Where will YOU be when the world stops turning?

(Thank you for reading this. Netagene ... and since posting that, I found another tribute. It's on - scroll to September 11 of this year.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bird Bushes

The chore to take these pictures was in getting out into my yard. Not only is the yard sloped a little (the trees are in order, so you can see the slope), but a few years ago I had to have some big maples taken down (like closing the barn door after the horses got out - after spending a lot to get the tree roots out of the water lines - groan!). So there's some old roots still a little above ground, as well as some depressions. I also had to watch for ants. I had to use one of my canes to be sure of my footing. But at least bushes and trees stand still! The only flowers in my yard are the crepe myrtles that were along the back fence row when I moved here, and a hydrangea and 4 o'clocks in one spot. There was a rose of Sharon, now long gone, out in the "middle of nowhere". One azalea that my dad planted, did grow. Otherwise, nothing to attract birds. BUT ... at least there's bushes and trees, from the azalea to taller scraggly ones at the front of the house (facing North), to some junipers, etc., on the East side fence, to the tall pines farther back. Sometimes I see 20+ sparrows fly into one bush at one time! It's the bush at the left in the first picture.

Flying Ants?

This is "Patience, Pictures, and Birds" again - part 2, commentary on critters. and so forth ... I was told that for a hummingbird feeder, to put sugar in water then boil it to dissolve the sugar. Yesterday, I put 1/4 cup of sugar in a 2-cup measuring cup, added 1 cup of water, then poured it all back and forth a few times using another cup, and in only a few times, the sugar was dissolved. The water in the feeder was low this morning, so I did it myself, making a sticky mess on the porch steps - for which I then got a half-gallon pitcher, filled it with water, and sloshed the steps. But there were a few ants on the hummingbird feeder! Do they crawl up the steel shepherd's crook, then down the chain to the feeder? Isn't there enough goo on the ground for the ants to eat? I guess God made ants for other critters to eat, but it reminds me of a 2-line poem by Ogden Nash: "God made the fly, then forgot to tell us why".

Here's a close-up of the 2 feeders and the corn. This birding can get expensive and time consuming! (October 3, looking back at some pictures - I just now noticed there's a hummingbird about to land on the right of the feeder!)

This morning, I patiently waited, stood in different places, got a few more pictures. I wish I could zoom closer, but I stood as close as I could, held my arms out as much as I could, and zoomed as close as I could. God's tiny jewels are out in force this morning! Also, yesterday I realized where a lot of the sparrows are. There's some kind of big shrub near one corner of my house, and if sparrows were bright colors, that bush would look like a Christmas tree, loaded with birds!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon

Minnie Pearl once said that as she walked down the side walk, she overheard some men behind her, whispering. "They said, 'Would you look at that lady! She looks like the breath of Spring!' Well ... actually what they said was, 'Boy! Don't that gal look like the end of a long hard winter' ..." So here's a head start for Halloween, or for your dart board! (I can make fun of myself, but YOU had better not!) My left eye is almost totally blind, and goes its own way. These are "self-pictures". I made them this afternoon, by holding the camera at arms length ... I guess you can say, "At the end of a long hot summer" ...

Patience, Pictures, and Birds

About a week ago, I gave the money to my sister to buy a hummingbird feeder. She came over and set it up for me a few days ago, and had boiled some sugar water which she put in it. Yesterday and today the temperature has been "just right" so I've been on my porch. If I take pictures from inside the porch, the screen shows up too much, so I've been sitting and standing on my carport some since then, with my camera to the closest "zoom", and I wait for birds - good practice to learn patience! Of about 150 pictures I took, most are "blurry birds" and "no birds". These tiny jewels that God made move much faster than my finger and the camera lens shutter! Here are the best pictures I got - and "best" is only in comparison to the others. A hummer has just left the feeder in one, and the other actually has TWO birds in it! A sparrow is on the right side of the regular feeder, and a hummer is on the right side of its feeder. And in the one with the porch in the background (made about 6:30 this evening), there are TWO hummingbirds, one on each side of the feeder! They are not too clear, but if you click on the picture, you can see them better.

Friday, September 3, 2010


The road of Life I'm traveling on
Meanders 'round and on, then gone
'til I don't know which way I've flown.
I wonder how I'll get back home.

Little children laugh and play,
And wish it was a longer day -
'cause children love a-maze-ing ways,
While parents guard and watch and pray.

Then comes a time - the child's a teen,
When some are nice and some are mean -
When hormones flash and whine and scream -
Need parents' love - a calming stream.

Then college, and we leave the nest.
We're on our own. We've passed the tests.
Our parents now can have some rest -
And all involved know we're so blest!

Then marriage, family, jobs and more -
The hours move slowly. Life's a bore.
We wonder what we're living for.
We've drifted far from peaceful shore.

Honeymoon's over. Laughter dies,
Yet Love and Life is worth a try.
Yes, it takes work. We'll sometimes cry.
Recapture Joy, and we'll get by.

The cycle starts all over again.
In Love and Life, we lose, we grin.
It all takes effort. We can't give in.
Keep our eyes on our goal. We know we'll win.

The road of Life I've long years on.
It skitters, rambles here - then gone.
Can't measure what my Life has sown,
But Heaven waits - that's my real home!

- By Netagene, written in less than 15 minutes today at work, with only a few changes after I got home. I have no idea where this one came from; it just did. -


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