...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill


August 31, 20/20

Happy August Last!

Well, it had to happen, eventually. I signed into Facebook to do the Live session of Compline. at about five minutes prior to eight, I tested the Live production to make sure my sound was working correctly. Then at 8pm, we read Compline, assuming that nothing was wrong. When we got done, I played back the recording, and though I saw NO comments, the sound was brief blips of inaudible garbage! To be fair, I have to say that I never get comments while I'm recording. This time, though, I didn't even get them on playback.

Next time, I'm going to use Becky's computer to see if her Windows OS will fare any better than my Linux OS. I'm hoping that it will, but then I would have to try to "fix" my computer, and the computer shops around here don't know Linux from Shinola!

August 30, 20/20

The last Sunday of the month, our worship service, still on YouTube, went quite well. Our Rector started out with a story about her 21st birthday, orchestrated by her dad, whereon they were deposited somewhere in Northern Alaska, and were to have rafted down a river that was fed by melting snow run-off. After a night in their tent, they awoke to a snowstorm and a frozen river, so no rafting. To make a shorter story of it, after hiking for several days in the continuing showstorm, a bi-plane was able to spot them and land to pick them up. She said she was reluctant to get into the airplane, because while she wanted change, that wasn't the kind of change she wanted. She did relent, though, and get into the plane, and as they were flying, they saw a rainbow that formed a circle in the air. Their pilot flew the plane through the center of the rainbow, allowing them to see the brilliant explosion of color and light as they "Flew Through The Glory." It was a good lead-in to the Gospel, as well as being quite a captivating story, as she told it, anyway.

August 29, 20/20

A little after 4am, our power blipped, our CPAPs turned off, then back on when we breathed (as they are programmed to do), and since I was alert and in no way ready to go back to sleep, I got up reset the clocks on the microwave, stove and in the front bedroom; the coffee maker didn't lose time, and neither did the alarm clock in our bedroom. When I got back to bed, I still did not sleep well, but stayed there until daylight held me in its grasp and shook me awake. I got up, turned on yesterday's coffee to reheat, then came to the computer for my morning games rather than using the laptop, as I often do, now.

When Becky arose, not long after I started my crossword puzzle, she reheated two cups of coffee in the microwave, for it was nowhere near warm in the pot, and came to join me in the computer room. All went well until, at 10am, there was a "BOOM!" and the electricity was down for the count. I phoned in the power outage and received the prediction that power would be restored by 1:30pm. It was actually restored at 11am.

August 28, 20/20

After a second very restful night, I awoke at 8am. I really like my new CPAP. It seems to be working much better than the old one ever did. About 10am, I got a call from the CPAP provider, and she said, "We see you received your new CPAP and that it's working correctly." I told her that I have been getting uninterupted sleep with it. "I know," she said, "because we got the report, and it recorded only five episodes during the night. That's ideal!" I had forgotten that it reports to headquarters, tattles on my, and so forth. Neat enough!

I've been trying different placements for my webcam. Originally I had it clipped to the top of the monitor, which didn't work so well. Our voices were quite muffled. Then I placed it on the left-hand shelf that is about eye height, and to hold it in place, I stuck the frame beneath the speaker on that shelf. When I did my next Zoom meeting, I was asked to mute my microphone because it was making noise. Next I tried the center shelf, a little above head level, and I didn't like how I looked from that angle when I looked down to read. So over the past few days, I've been clearing off the desk in front of the monitor, but with the camera on the desk, it was looking up my nose, so I raised it to the top of a tissue box, and that wasn't much better. It's back on the shelf, now, and I've put the speakers on the center shelf so they won't interfere with the microphone (I hope).

August 27, 20/20

At 2am, I had finally finished packing up my old, quasi-defunct CPAP, put on my CPAP Nasal Pillows, climbed into bed and as I exhaled, the CPAP came to life. I feel as though I didn't have a chance to even think about anything, and when I turned over from my back to my left side, it was daylight already. I looked at the clock and saw it was nearly 10am. I got up, went into the bathroom, emptied the humidifier tank of my CPAP, then got Becky's CPAP tank and emptied it, and heard Becky remark about the time being 10am. I cleaned the nasal pillows for both machines and reinstalled them. Yeah, a mundane start, but having slept for a solid 8 hours had put me in a clear state of mind where I didn't even have to question how I would do the new routine. I just did it. (My former CPAP had a different kind of tank that had a recess in the top where I could carry the nasal pillows, and so I could empty both tanks at the same time).

I started laundry this morning, yawned through the morning news and Melinda's phone call, ate lunch, and then I remembered that I had agreed to place a package in the mail for Suzanne. So I did that, did some grocery shopping, and that's the major highlights of the day. It all sounds like a non-adventure, but it all seemed a little more special to me because of the clarity I felt throughout the day.

August 26, 20/20

I saw that there was a dense fog when I awoke at almost 8am, and I was concerned that the grass would be wet. I had intended to mow the lawn today. But when I checked at 8:45, not only was the fog gone, but there wasn't much moisture on the grass. With that in mind, I suited up, moved the cars out of the way, gassed up the mower and attacked the front lawn. I did it in the reverse order from how I usually do it. Normally I start from the flat north side, then go across the sloping middle, then finish with the south edge where I still need enough energy to drag the mower uphill repeatedly as I mow under the side hedge. Today, I did the south side first, then did the slopes, finishing with the flat north side. It was easier to do the saw-tooth mowing under the hedge, but I struggled a bit with the slopes. After a 15-minute break and rehydration, the flat part was icing on the cake.

After a shower and an attempt at drying off, I was told that my new CPAP machine had arrived. So, still dripping with sweat, I unboxed it, set it up on the headboard, and then, after wiping myself as dry as I could, I laid on the bed and snoozed for half an hour or so, arising dry.

We then kept our appointment with The Ear Guy for a hearing test to see if, maybe, hearing aids might be in order. I've been beset with tinitis for at least 30 years, now, and I thought it might be due to some hearing loss. That was not the case. My right ear has no attenuation, while my left ear has lost just a very small amount of hearing in the highest frequencies - the same as the last time I had my hearing tested. The verdict is that, while the tinitis is interfering with my understanding of speech, since I have no hearing loss to speak of, hearing aids are not only unnecessary, but would cause me problems and cure nothing.

Becky had her hearing tested at the same appointment, and had even better results than I did. Dr. Steele said that we are enigmas, being over 70 and still with essentially perfect hearing.

August 25, 20/20

One up, one down:

I fixed my computer! Since I bought my huge monitor last Winter, I couldn't get my computer to boot up with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 to match the monitor. I made a script that would manually set the resolution, and that way I was able to use it (as God intended). However, I found out that my computer has a HDMI port, as does the monitor. I found a HDMI cable, disconnected the VGA connection and made the HDMI connection, and guess what!!!!! It now boots up correctly.

Tonight, I decided that Becky and I should "Attend" Compline at her (Windows) computer, because my (Linux) computer does not let me see the comments that others are leaving on the Facebook Live feed. Her computer seems to be running on Molasses Time, so I rebooted it, and then, before we got facebook up, there was a notification that the live feed would start in 3 minutes - at 7:45pm. It isn't supposed to start before 8pm! This happened once before, and the same thing happened this time as did last time - there was NO COMPLINE! It was the same couple officiating both times. Somehow, I doubt their computer savvy. 

August 24, 20/20

Bible Study, this morning, was a little less challenging than I usually find it, even though one of our members did "ride off on a tandem" (as one of my dad's co-workers would say for "going off on a tangent"). Our Rector, though,  was very good at steering the discussion back onto the tracks. She didn't even blink, but grabbed the handlebars and gently got us on the right course again.

This evening, at Compline, I had a "Senior Moment" as I was finishing up the live broadcast. I had to stop, laugh, remember what I was going to say, then say it. I'm convinced that nobody much noticed.

August 23, 20/20

Happy LunaVersary!

Today's church service was a little different from past YouTube services, and maybe it was in celebration of the centenary of Woman's Sufferage. Instead of the usual Priest, Verger, Organist, Cantor, and two Readers and an Intercessor, there was one Priest, one Organist and a combination Cantor/Reader/Intercessor - all women. The service went well, though there were some technical glitches along the line, like two lines of the second stanza of the Opening (Processional) Hymn, several pauses for buffering during the service, none of which could have been avoided since they were indicative of an overloaded YouTube system.

Becky was suffering heartburn during Communion, and passed her unfinished glass of wine to me to finish during the Virtual Coffee Hour. I floated through lunch preparations, and napped a bit before and after dinner.

August 22, 20/20

In this evening's news, we heard of a man who was illegally hunting allegators when a 12-ft gator climed into the guy's boat and bit his forearm off. Immediately I remembered the song about Amos Moses. In the song, the boy's daddy used him for allegator bait when he was just a boy, and folk blamed his daddy for making him mean as a snake. They said he could wrestle the biggest, meanest allegator and only use one hand. That's all he had left, 'cause an allegator bit his left arm off clean up to the elbow! In reality, it wasn't legal to hunt allegators when that song came out in 1970, and it still isn't legal. I'd say it served this recent guy right.

August 21, 20/20

It has been a long battle. In May, my CPAP told me, "Motor Life has Exceeded Hours," or something like that, and that I should contact my supplier to get it replaced. What it was saying is that its motor was not designed to have run for nine years. It should have been replaced after 5 years. Who knew? Well, the supplier (Apria) knew it should have been replaced after five years, but they didn't tell me, and certainly didn't offer to replace it in 2016! So anyway, I called Apria to see about getting it replaced. They said they could not do it, because they didn't have a prescription on file for me. They had no prescription on file? And yet they continued to send me supplies every three months? Yeah, right! They asked me who my Primary Care Physician was, and I told them. They said they would try to get him to send the prescription to them.

I called again in June. They said my PCP didn't have the prescription, and they asked me where I had the sleep study done, so I told them.

I called again in July. They said that Lincare might have the prescription, so I called Lincare. They said they could not release the information to Apria. I called Apria again and was told that Lincare could release the information to me, and that I could then deliver it to Apria. I accused them of being lazy, insisting that I do their job for them by running around to fetch and deliver!

I called Apria's corporate headquarters and told them what had been going on, and suddenly I was getting almost daily calls from Apria in Asheville. Today, three months later, I got a call from Apria. The problem has resolved itself, and they will be sending me a new CPAP.


August 20, 20/20

I did yesterday's laundry today, which took up the morning and through lunchtime. I got it done without incident, of course.

This afternoon, Becky and I did our Starbucks/Parkway venture, again, and the only thing we noticed that might be considered newsworthy was a car parked on the Parkway about seven feet from a NO Parking Anytime! sign.

August 19, 20/20

Today, we drove up to Suzanne's for lunch and Mah Jongg. She had a yen for some of her award-winning Guacamole, but had no avocados from which to make it. Becky had a pot of Maple Bourbon Beans and we needed someone to help us eat them so that we wouldn't overload our systems with Toot-Fruit. We stopped at the store and bought a Guacamole Kit and some other necessities, like a crustless cheesecake, then spent the afternoon at the table, stuffing our bellies and playing a two hands of Mah Jongg. I won the first hand, and Becky won the second. Then we had to stop when the pain set in. Suzanne, though mostly healed from her latest "alien berthing", still cannot sit at the table for very long.

Tonight, Mother Milly officiated Compline, and it was as prescribed in our Book of Common Prayer, and was slow and restful.

I was shocked to find that I had not written Monday's or Tuesday's Blog entries, so I had to play catch-up, tonight. It's always a challenge for me to remember what I actually did on any particular day (even if I'm writing about today). I had to relive each day, place myself in that day and write it as though it's actually that day. If I get really good at that, perhaps I will be able to time-travel (?).

August 18, 20/20

This morning started with a visit to our Chiropractor for our monthly tune-up. I find, after three visits where my spine needed no adjustment (no snaps at all), that it is holding adjustment very well. This week, though, there was one small snap right below the diaphragm. Me neck, on the other hand, is still being stubborn, and while giving any snaps, refused to move at all.

Becky's back, as mine did, didn't make any snaps, and while her neck did the same silent thing, didn't need any adjustment. I don't know how she does it, other than she doesn't change position much at night, whereas I toss and turn without really awakening.

Following our chiro-visit, we went to Ingles to pick up some non-frozen food. then drove to Allergy Partners for her shots. We were quite early, so we sat in the car and read until 10 minutes prior to her appointment time, then she went in and got shot, and upon her return, we sat and read for another 30 minutes. That's why we didn't buy frozen food. We had, though, bought our Starbucks coffees which gave us something to sip on as we read. 

On the way home, we stopped off at Zip's Car Wash to get the slight film off the car. I have subscribed to their monthly plan, where they place a sticker on the windshield, charge me a monthly fee, and I can wash the car as often as I wish during the month. Each month, of course, they take the subscription fee from my credit card.

This evening's Compline was read by a woman who hadn't officiated before, and she did a good-enough job, which should show her that her nervousness wasn't needed at all.

August 17, 20/20

This morning, we attended Bible Study via Zoom. Mother Milly was not there, but had turned over the study to one of her Vergers, Lori, who displayed admirable leadership by keeping us all in line without even ruffling a feather. 

Then after a rather restful day, Becky and I led the Order cor Compline (Night Prayer, the last of the Canonical hours), and other than a rough start, where I had to (jokingly) reprimand Becky for interrupting me when I was speaking, when I had just opened the service, we got through it with just a little ad libitum in places (as usual).

August 16, 20/20

I got onto the church's website so I could print out the bulletin for this morning's service, and right there, in a big, blue panel it says that this morning's service has been cancelled. We were encouraged to watch the service at Washington National Cathedral (link provided). Then I started checking email and found one from our Rector, stating that a member of our worship team, with whom she had been in contact during the week, had just tested positive for Covid-19, though he is not symptomatic. 

Naturally, I wrote him an email to express my hopes that the virus will pass through him without giving him any symptoms and without infecting anyone else. Also naturally, I had to add a paragraph about Becky's learning about Corvids (Crows, Magpies, Ravens, etc.), and I ended up by wishing him good luck with the Covid and Corvids.

We wrote back and said that so far he has no symptoms, and that his wife will be tested tomorrow. We have our fingers, eyes and hearts crossed.

Then, when the time came, we "attended" the mass at WashNatCath, as suggested, and then logged into the Zoom Church Meeting that Mother Milly had set up. The problem is that my computer did not let our voices transmit naturally, so after two restarts and no resolution, we just muted our mics and made hand gestures to indicate agreement or whatever else we needed to "say". It was a good meeting even without my voice (and wit) interrupting things.

August 15, 20/20

Last Wednesday, when I had moved the cars to get the mower out of the garage, I had noticed that our Saturn (HILDOR) was reluctant to start. Oh, the battery was still strong, but it required considerable chanking to get it to fire and run. This afternoon, then, I moved the Toyota (YODA) to a space beneath our dogwood tree, then backed HILDOR out of the garage and drove her to the store via our church so I could drop off our August givings. I didn't use the store right next to the church, though, because I wanted to give HILDOR a good run so as to get all of the insects and arachnids out of the air intakes (and incinerated in the cylindars and exausted out the tailpipe - heartless, I know). I noticed a considerable whine as I was driving her. It reminded me of the sound of barely meshing gears. I wonder if the transmission is low on fluid. One of these days I might have to investigate. Fortunately, we don't drive her very often.

August 14, 20/20

I awoke at 2am, this morning for undisclosed reasons. I tried to rectify those reasons until 4am, dreaming all the while (between reasons, of course) that I was Ben Napier of Home Town, and I was starting to film the first-ever three-house makeover. I got through the intro, "Keep watching, because when this episode is over, one of these new homeowners is getting married." Apparently the primary cameraman had fallen to sleep, and I couldn't awaken him. I eventually shook my head and said, "I'm sorry, guys. We cannot shoot this without all the cameras, so we'll have to reschedule the shoot."

Giving up trying to sleep, at 4am, I got up and went out to the recliner to sleep, but once there I couldn't sleep, not even to dream, because i was angry. I stayed there until 6am, decided to forgive the "reasons" and my own angry reaction to them, and i went back to bed, finally arising at 9:45, having slept almost 4 hours since my return to the bed.

This evening, after watching Compline on Facebook Live, I heard the officient referencing comments that didn't show on my screen (I could see only two of them, one of which was mine), and I started wondering why I was being excluded from those comments. It turned out it was my choice of browser. I had been using the Brave browser, which has an internal ad filter. Apparently it was filtering out more than just ads. I switched to the Chromium browser and the other comments appeared, like magic! That was, of coure, after Compline had concluded. Now I will have to install an ad blocker into Chromium, which experience has shown will not filter out all the ads. On the plus side, I'll likely get all the comments on facebook, though.

August 13, 20/20

Friday the Thirteenth came on a Thursday this month!

Today, Suzanne told us about their cat, Wyatt, and his morning antics. He was inconsolable; crying throughout the house from 4am until some time later when Suzanne told him, "Bill will be here later to give you 'Skritches'." With that, he gave a funny "iii" sound (Suzanne said he was trying to say my name), and he stopped complaining.

When we arrived at Suzanne's for lunch, the first thing I did was greet the cat. I bent over and petted him on the head and stroked along his back, then he jumped onto his feeding cabinet and placed his forepaws on my shoulders and started trying to burrow into my beard while I scrathed his neck and shoulders. After what I thought was a considerably long time of 'Skritches', he grabbed onto my neck with his teeth (did no damage at all), but that was a signal that we were done cuddling, at least for a while. I explained to him (and I'm sure he understood) that we could do it again before we left.

Lunch was a pasta salad with peas and carrots, turkey, bacon and cheese. Lots of ingredients, lots of flavor. For dessert we had homemade Banana-Cheesecake Ice Cream with roasted coconut, along with watermellon and Orange-Dew mellon. Orange-Dew was orange-ish in color, and tasted like a blend of honeydew and cantelope. The whole dessert was sweet and satisfying.

August 12, 20/20

The sky was clear and the grass was dry at 10:30am, and I mentioned that I didn't have any excuse not to mow the back yard - other than that my right great toe hurts. "So are you going to watch television with me?" Becky asked. No, it was a made-up excuse, because that toe always hurts because of the calous that continues to grow there. I suited up in my lawn mowing garb, armed myself with keys to both cars, repositioned them so I could get the mower out of the garage, and did as I couldn't do last Wednesday. When the back yard was mown, I felt really good. Not only had I done a good job, but I wasn't tired, sore or out of breath. Of course, the back yard is mostly flat ground. I felt so good that I decided that one week between mowings might be enough for the front yard, too, so I continued in that direction. I managed to cut 4/5 of the yard before my body told me to stop. So I stopped.

I was exhausted, but after a shower and a nap, i felt good again. My energy had returned, and this still being Wednesday, I did the laundry. Now, of course, my back is sore, my hips hurt and the suspected hernia above my navel is angry with me for doing so much physical activity, today.

By the way, I have lost 15 pounds since starting on Metformin. I was told that, since I'm not diabetic, I would likely not lose much weight, if any. It has, though, caused my weight to fall off without a change in dietary habit. I'm currently at 200 pounds!

August 11, 20/20

Late, today (about 10:30pm), Becky and I ventured out to the porch to again do some Meteor Gazing. While tonight is supposed to be the peak of this particular shower, we saw fewer than he had seen last night at midnight. Still, even with the city lights lightening our sky and a lightning storm happening to our Northeast (which our local weather-guessers insist as calling "North and East") the southwest sky showed some very faint meteors for us to enjoy. After five minutes or so, we both had cricks in our necks and opted to go back into the house. Maybe next time, for sure.

August 10, 20/20

I awoke at 7am, my usual wakeup time on Monday mornings, and after putting the coffee on to brew a new pot, I came into the "office" and started working the day's crossword puzzle, which proved to be easy, but the jigsaw puzzle was not easy. Toward the end of the jigsaw, I heard a neighbor rolling her trash can to the curb. Immediate I realized, "There's a reason I get up at seven on Mondays!" So I left the computer, put on some shoes and rolled my own trash can to the curb. Didn't miss the pickup, either.

Becky and I read Compline on Facebook Live again tonight, and everything seemed to go well. There is no feedback that I've seen, either from Facebook or from "attendees" to indicate that things are working correctly. I know that the other Officiants have seen comments appear on their screen while they are reading, because sometimes they comment on them. I don't see them, although if I post a comment, as I did tonight, I saw that with no trouble. Maybe I'll ask how they're doing it. There's got to be something I'm missing. Anyway, after we were done with the readings, I played the video back and it was excellent quality, so I shouldn't worry.

August 09, 20/20


Again, Welcome Home Mother Milly!

I had awakened at 6:45, this morning, and after doing my morning ablution, I got dressed and went into the living room to read a bit before the YouTube'd church service from our church. At 8:08am, it felt as though someone was behind my chair and forceably shoving it forward toward the television. It took me a second to realize that it was an earthquake, the third we've experienced since moving to Asheville. The jolting continued only two or three seconds, though others felt it for over half a minute. When it was over, I got up, switched on my computer and while I was waiting for it to boot up, I asked Becky, who had been taking a shower when it struck, if she had felt the earthquake, and she said, "No. When was it?" Apparently our shower was installed on shock-mounts so as not to be shaken by such things. I got onto Facebook, and my "Friends" were all chatting about the earthquake, who had felt it, who had not, and so forth. Our friend, Suzanne, who lives closer to the epicenter (Sparta NC, near the VA border) thought her ceiling was going to fall in. Becky's brother in Columbia SC said that he had felt the quake. Excitement!

At ten thirty, then, our church service started. There were four priests present, three of them were past Rectors, and then, of course, our new Rector, Mother Milly. The service went quite well. Milly pulled out all the stops, showing her strengths in Children's Time, fully engaging them (limited to two, the usual ones, Nate and William) in dialog, and telling them the Gospel story in a way they could understand it. She continued to show her strengths in the sermon, which again told the Gospel story in terms that us older kids could understand it. Fr. Gary, our Interim Rector, now retired, and one of the three priests present, served as Deacon during the Eucharist. During the Passing of the Peace, where usually, during this Great Isolation, the celebrant (priest) would pronounce the Peace and those in attendance would respond, this time, there were several people who responded in the YouTube stream to add their blessings of peace to her.

I don't usualy get emotional during church services, unless its a funeral of a friend of mine (happening more frequently, now that I'm 73 - or so), but today I found myself wiping my eyes more frequently as the service progressed. I am very pleased with the Search Committee and Vestry having called Mother Milly, as well as her acceptance of that call.

August 08, 20/20

We had an interesting experience for Compline this evening. The sound in my computer was not turned off, but I couldn't hear anything the Officiant was saying. Nevertheless, we read along with him, ending just about the time he started the Prayers of the People. It was probably my computer "gang aft aglay," as they say. My laptop is in need of a punishment of some sort, I'm sure of it.

August 07, 20/20

I decided against mowing the back yard today to let my back muscles recover from mowing the front slopes. There aren't as many slopes in the back, but there are enough that I wanted to face them with rested muscles.

So instead of mowing the lawn, I decided, at Becky's request, to transcribe a hymn, Salamu Maria (Hail Mary) onto the computer so we could listen to it frequently and drive the rhythm into our heads. It's an African Tune, and the words are in Swahili. Oddly enough, when we tried to look it up on the internet, 99% of the videos we cound were a different tune. The one we did find with the right tune had no rhythmic accompaniment, leaving the articulation to the vocalists while an organ droned on in the background. No Help there. Also, I could not understand the words. So now we have it on the computer so we can play it back and learn the rhythm, and we have the words so we can learn them.

What prompted our relearning of Salamu Maria was that the Officiant of Compline, today, played an African hymn as a meditation. Becky suggested that we could sing one, since we had sung it once before. It may take a while for us to get the words back into our mouths, since it was 20 years ago when we had taught it to the choir and sung it in church, much to the delight of the Priest. It was a black congregation, and the choir had said they wanted to learn some black anthems. I don't think they were expecting us to teach them Swahili, but that's what we did. The choir loved it, and the priest liked it so much he had us sing it again. "What was that? Sing it again!"

August 06, 20/20

I had my head examined this morning. I went to the dentist for a cleaning. I didn't learn anything new. My partial (one-tooth-bridge) is loose and uncomfortable to use, and there's a problem with the crown above it. Oh, and I have a geographic tongue, which I have known about for about 50 years, now. I think they're upset about the continent down under.

I went shopping, today, and for a change I found everything on the list, and I remembered a few essentials that were not on the list. I am (easily) impressed!

August 05, 20/20

When I awoke at 8am, there was fog obscuring the sky and moisture on the grass, therefore I could not plan to mow the grass today. The same conditions prevailed at 9am and 10am. At 11:30, though, the sky was visible again, and there was even some sunshine visible on the grass - at least on the slopes. The temperature was still below 80 degrees, at least by the television weather-guesser, so I dressed for the task and spent the next hour mowing the front lawn When finished, I took a shower, sat on the recliner and continued to sweat. 

I spent the afternoon watching reruns of Forged in Fire, occasionally awakening myself by snoring.

At five minutes before 8pm, Mother Milly, new Rector of Grace Episcopal Church, started the Facebook Live presentation of Compline. She was decked out in her clerical finery and seated on the steps of the sanctuary, and started leading those of us early tuners-in through some relaxing meditations, starting the Order of Compline at the prescribed time of 8pm. She put a very different feeling into it, quite unlike any of the Lay Leaders has thus far dared to do, and of course, being a priest, she put an emphasis that lent itself more to a regular church service. I appreciated the difference, and I wonder if any of the Lay Leaders would follow her lead. I'm fairly sure I will not, sticking closer to the Order of Compline as outlined in the Book of Common Prayer.

August 04, 20/20

Becky and I went to Allergy Partners for her shots, this morning, and on the way home we stopped at Starbucks for a consolation cup of coffee. I learned that the coffee I had bought yesterday had not been charged against my account. Well, I couldn't prove it, so what's to be done but ignore it. Today's coffee was charged, I'm pretty sure.

I didn't mow the lawn, today, because there was a 60% possibility of precipitation predicted. It didn't rain, today.

Not only that, but the Compline reading didn't happen. The Officiant logged in at 8 minutes before the hour, stayed online for four minutes and eight seconds, then signed off - and never came back. So at five minutes after the hour, Becky and I read Compline, ourselves. Somehow, it wasn't the same.

August 03, 20/20

Today was the first day that the Rev. Milly Morrow can officially be known as the new Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville. To mark the occasion, not only did she attend the morning Bible Study (on Zoom), but so did we. I react the same way to Bible Studies as I do to Book Club meetings. 1) I seldom have anything to add to the discussion, and 2) when I do have something to say, I cannot get a word in edgewise, and the only other things is that someone else has the same thought and gets the chance to express it to the group. Alternatively, if someone dares to ask me what I think, I never have anything to say. I become an observer, only.

This evening, though, since Becky and I were going to Officiate Compline again, I decided to read through the Order and see what I was going to read, there being many readings from which to choose. I thought I would read Psalm 4, but I had some questions about it, so I got my New Jerusalem Bible out and looked at it there. I was amazed at the differencce between the two translations. It made much more sense to me in the NJB, so I opted to read that translation during the Order. I received one comment about my choice of reading, and thankfully it was favorable.

August 02, 20/20

Welcome Mother Milly!

After church, this morning, we tuned into the Virtual Coffee Hour, and I heard someone announce our arrival, which usually doesn't happen. The reason for the announcement was because our new Rector, Mother Milly Morrow, was logged into it, and she was being told who was coming into the Zoom-Room. We had a delightful hour's conversation with her and the others, and I was delighted, as I am sure Becky is, also.

Welcome Home Dragon!

This afternoon we witnessed the splash-down and retrieval of the Space-X capsule, Crew Dragon. After the splash-down, they wasted no time approaching on boats to monitor for fuel presence on the exterior of the capsule, and after attaching the lift rig, it was lifted very quickly onto the recovery boat. Then everything proceeded at a snail's pace. Naturally, things move so painfully slowly with these experimental evolutions. When the hatch was finally opened, the Flight Surgeon went in to check the astronaut's health and well-being, then they were extracted one at a time, placed on a gurney and wheeled into the on-board medical facility. That's the most excitement I've experienced since watching the Lunar Landing in 1969.

August 01, 20/20

Happy August Fools Day!

First thing, this morning, I un-alarmed the house, opened the door and saw a little brown bunny munching on our weeds. I slipped outside and the bunny didn't move, so I said a quiet hello to it. Then I saw, at the corner of the house, a mottled-brown cat, standing stock-still, eyes fixed on the rabbit. As I watched, a small calico cat crept in from the other corner of the house, also staring at the rabbit. That's when the rabbit decided he'd better run. As he started to hop away, I said, "Run for your life, Bunny!" The brown cat then turned his reproachful eyes toward me as if to accuse me of ruining his hunt. I told him that the bunny was already leaving when I spoke to it, so it wasn't really my fault. The cat slunk back into the bushes. The calico, then, decided that the excitement was over for the moment, and walked away down the driveway.