The Coronavirus,the Bible, and I

Quick story…

I was about 18 years old the first time it happened. I was not a religious/ spiritual person @ this point in my life.  I was living my version of La Vita Loca. work crew 1977

Anyway, one evening, I was just  randomly thumbing through the good book, and a sentence  jumped off the page:

     “ Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”  Proverbs 17:28

Bam/ right along side the head.

My mouth had been getting me into trouble fairly regularly at that point. and I was tired of it.  I resolved right then and there, to take this pithy proverb to heart.  I would keep quiet the next time I was temped to spout off.

Ever so slowly my interactions with people began to improve.

Side note… On this blog, I assume most of you  do not necessarily share my understanding of the Bible, spirituality, etc.  although a few of you do.  I rarely go there on this space.  I have another blog specifically devoted to spiritual stuff, just like I have a “farm blog” more geared to farmish stuff….but I woke up this morning thinking,  I would really like to write something that touches on  the   the coronavirus, the Bible  and our current situation, so I am going to go there….

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The bible has quite a bit to say about the  coronavirus actually , but not in the way you might expect.  For example, right now these words have taken on a whole new meaning to me the past month:

For the righteous  (righteous = a person of faith)  will never be moved: ….
He is not afraid of evil tidings;
    his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady, he will not be afraid.”  Psalm 112

I have those words on a 3 by 5 index card on the dashboard of my pickup.  I’ve been chewing on them the past few weeks.  Evil tidings is a great way to characterize most of what passes for “news” these days.

Not going to let it suck me in if I can help.

(side note:  In case you didn’t know, the Psalms are actually a  compilation of various styles of writings… part song book, part personal journal,  personal prayers, etc.  (think blogger from 3500 years ago).

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One last verse on the media..

 “…. whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 

I (DM) learned my lesson after 9/11.  I continue to watch my media intake.  No binge watching.  I have no interest in keeping up to speed on the day to day updates.

PS.  I appreciate each and every one of you that has written and continues to write  about what has been happening in your neck of the woods  in terms of the coronavirus.

Would much rather read your stories.

Take care. DM

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Did not see that coming

Life is good.

We are busy.

On Friday I stopped by a home to drop off shingle samples.

We’re scheduled to build a new garage for her, but we still need to firm up a shingle color. She lost her garage last Fall in the Durecho, and just heard from her insurance company they will now also pay her to completely re-shingle and reside her house. I had mixed feelings about bidding on this additional work, because I’ve already picked up a few red flags. But, she’s a widow, seems to have quite a bit of stress on her plate, so I figured if I could alleviate some of that stress, that would be the right thing to do.

The roof on her house has a steep pitch and it sounded like the existing shingles would need to be taken off. (stripped) It’s just my son and I, we just finished two other roofing projects, with everything else going on , I knew I didn’t want to do her roof if that needed to happen.

Side note- when a house roof only has one layer of shingles , and there are no pre-existing leaks, you can install a 2nd layer over the first, and save yourself a lot of money at the same time. I mentioned that to her, and sensed she didn’t know whether or not to trust me on that. (There have been several other times as she and I have talked about certain details, that I have also picked up that same vibe )

She’s not 100% sure about me.

I get that. She doesn’t know me from the man on the moon. My son had done work for her son in the past, which is how we got the lead on this project in the first place.

When I was at the roofing store on Thursday, I got into a short conversation with another contractor also in line. Found out he was not overly busy, so I asked him if he would be willing to work with me on this roof project.

Yes!

I would still be the contractor in charge, but hire him and his crew to help us bang out the steep roof.

Win/ win.

Or not…

When the homeowner and I talked about this, she got real testy with me. I told her the buck still stopped with me, but her project was simply too much for just my son and I. (That conversation happened Thursday afternoon.)

I woke up Friday morning thinking to myself. I changed my mind. I am not going to mess with that roof. In fact, I was not really interested in doing anything more than build her garage. I have had it with this undercurrent of suspicion.

So on Friday, when I dropped the shingle samples off and she started in on me with more questions, more suspicions, I looked at her and said, “I changed my mind. Decided I am not doing your house roof.”

“Why?”

I looked at her and thought, Do I tell her the truth or do I keep my mouth shut and just say we are too busy. I changed my mind

I decided to tell her the truth…

“I was just doing this to try and help you out. I don’t need the work. And when you started grilling me about that extra help, well, that ticked me off.

Then I got choked up.

Random bit of trivia about me and getting choked up.

It rarely happens.

But when it does, I don’t get all blubbery. I can be very articulate. It’s like an out of body experience. With my mind I can observe..oh, look, I’m starting to choke up. Isn’t that interesting. And at the same time, I keep talking and say what I have to say.

“I am not going to do your roof.”

“What about the siding?”

“Don’t think I want to do that either.”

We shall see

My take

I’ve been wanting to write something simple  on the topics of woke, revisionist history, tearing down statues,  how our country is being overrun  by a bunch of ______________, (fill in the blank.)

Came across this picture yesterday:

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I did not take physics in high school.  Doesn’t mean I don’t have a working knowledge of gravity.  😉

I sensed for a while now,  another  law of physics (metaphorically) at work in my life, and only this morning was I able to identify it.

Newton’s 3rd law : For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Ever since I first read about the Laura Ingals Wilder debacle  by the library association, I’ve felt it.  An energy  bouncing around in my head trying to find expression.

And as my country continues head long on a  mindless rush to throw itself over the cliff,  I find myself moving in the opposite direction.

I saw a clip of a newsman  go on a rant, supposedly while on the air, about the Laura Ingals Wilder award.  He said what I was thinking, laced with a lot profanities.   As I tried to re- track that clip down, it turned out he’s a comedian from the UK, so it was a spoof.  I was tempted to include it here. Most of you are savoy enough with the computer, if you’re curious, you could find it.

Is there a place for profanity?  I think on rare occasion there is.  I can give you at least 3 examples from the Bible, two where God himself uses a type of profanity to emphasize his anger.  First time I came across it, I thought, what the heck?! Didn’t know that was in there!  so yea, there is a place for anger, and I think several of the things that are making me angry, should.

 

DM

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Profanity as Wikipedia defines it:  Socially offensive language, crude…. It can show a debasement of someone or something, or be considered as an expression of strong feeling towards something

A Sensible and Compassionate Anti-COVED Strategy

Got the following newsletter in the mail this week.  Want to warn you, it’s a long read, but worth it, if you’re still not sure what to think about COVED-19. DM

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Jay Bhattacharya
Stanford University


Jay BhattacharyaJay Bhattacharya is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, where he received both an M.D. and a Ph.D. in economics. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and director of the Stanford Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging. A co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, his research has been published in economics, statistics, legal, medical, public health, and health policy journals.

The following is adapted from a panel presentation on October 9, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska:

My goal today is, first, to present the facts about how deadly COVID-19 actually is; second, to present the facts about who is at risk from COVID; third, to present some facts about how deadly the widespread lockdowns have been; and fourth, to recommend a shift in public policy.

1. The COVID-19 Fatality Rate

In discussing the deadliness of COVID, we need to distinguish COVID cases from COVID infections. A lot of fear and confusion has resulted from failing to understand the difference.

We have heard much this year about the “case fatality rate” of COVID. In early March, the case fatality rate in the U.S. was roughly three percent—nearly three out of every hundred people who were identified as “cases” of COVID in early March died from it. Compare that to today, when the fatality rate of COVID is known to be less than one half of one percent.

In other words, when the World Health Organization said back in early March that three percent of people who get COVID die from it, they were wrong by at least one order of magnitude. The COVID fatality rate is much closer to 0.2 or 0.3 percent. The reason for the highly inaccurate early estimates is simple: in early March, we were not identifying most of the people who had been infected by COVID.

“Case fatality rate” is computed by dividing the number of deaths by the total number of confirmed cases. But to obtain an accurate COVID fatality rate, the number in the denominator should be the number of people who have been infected—the number of people who have actually had the disease—rather than the number of confirmed cases.

In March, only the small fraction of infected people who got sick and went to the hospital were identified as cases. But the majority of people who are infected by COVID have very mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. These people weren’t identified in the early days, which resulted in a highly misleading fatality rate. And that is what drove public policy. Even worse, it continues to sow fear and panic, because the perception of too many people about COVID is frozen in the misleading data from March.

So how do we get an accurate fatality rate? To use a technical term, we test for seroprevalence—in other words, we test to find out how many people have evidence in their bloodstream of having had COVID.

This is easy with some viruses. Anyone who has had chickenpox, for instance, still has that virus living in them—it stays in the body forever. COVID, on the other hand, like other coronaviruses, doesn’t stay in the body. Someone who is infected with COVID and then clears it will be immune from it, but it won’t still be living in them.

What we need to test for, then, are antibodies or other evidence that someone has had COVID. And even antibodies fade over time, so testing for them still results in an underestimate of total infections.

Seroprevalence is what I worked on in the early days of the epidemic. In April, I ran a series of studies, using antibody tests, to see how many people in California’s Santa Clara County, where I live, had been infected. At the time, there were about 1,000 COVID cases that had been identified in the county, but our antibody tests found that 50,000 people had been infected—i.e., there were 50 times more infections than identified cases. This was enormously important, because it meant that the fatality rate was not three percent, but closer to 0.2 percent; not three in 100, but two in 1,000.

When it came out, this Santa Clara study was controversial. But science is like that, and the way science tests controversial studies is to see if they can be replicated. And indeed, there are now 82 similar seroprevalence studies from around the world, and the median result of these 82 studies is a fatality rate of about 0.2 percent—exactly what we found in Santa Clara County.

In some places, of course, the fatality rate was higher: in New York City it was more like 0.5 percent. In other places it was lower: the rate in Idaho was 0.13 percent. What this variation shows is that the fatality rate is not simply a function of how deadly a virus is. It is also a function of who gets infected and of the quality of the health care system. In the early days of the virus, our health care systems managed COVID poorly. Part of this was due to ignorance: we pursued very aggressive treatments, for instance, such as the use of ventilators, that in retrospect might have been counterproductive. And part of it was due to negligence: in some places, we needlessly allowed a lot of people in nursing homes to get infected.

But the bottom line is that the COVID fatality rate is in the neighborhood of 0.2 percent.

2. Who Is at Risk?

The single most important fact about the COVID pandemic—in terms of deciding how to respond to it on both an individual and a governmental basis—is that it is not equally dangerous for everybody. This became clear very early on, but for some reason our public health messaging failed to get this fact out to the public.

It still seems to be a common perception that COVID is equally dangerous to everybody, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a thousand-fold difference between the mortality rate in older people, 70 and up, and the mortality rate in children. In some sense, this is a great blessing. If it was a disease that killed children preferentially, I for one would react very differently. But the fact is that for young children, this disease is less dangerous than the seasonal flu. This year, in the United States, more children have died from the seasonal flu than from COVID by a factor of two or three.

Whereas COVID is not deadly for children, for older people it is much more deadly than the seasonal flu. If you look at studies worldwide, the COVID fatality rate for people 70 and up is about four percent—four in 100 among those 70 and older, as opposed to two in 1,000 in the overall population.

Again, this huge difference between the danger of COVID to the young and the danger of COVID to the old is the most important fact about the virus. Yet it has not been sufficiently emphasized in public health messaging or taken into account by most policymakers.

3. Deadliness of the Lockdowns

The widespread lockdowns that have been adopted in response to COVID are unprecedented—lockdowns have never before been tried as a method of disease control. Nor were these lockdowns part of the original plan. The initial rationale for lockdowns was that slowing the spread of the disease would prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. It became clear before long that this was not a worry: in the U.S. and in most of the world, hospitals were never at risk of being overwhelmed. Yet the lockdowns were kept in place, and this is turning out to have deadly effects.

Those who dare to talk about the tremendous economic harms that have followed from the lockdowns are accused of heartlessness. Economic considerations are nothing compared to saving lives, they are told. So I’m not going to talk about the economic effects—I’m going to talk about the deadly effects on health, beginning with the fact that the U.N. has estimated that 130 million additional people will starve this year as a result of the economic damage resulting from the lockdowns.

In the last 20 years we’ve lifted one billion people worldwide out of poverty. This year we are reversing that progress to the extent—it bears repeating—that an estimated 130 million more people will starve.

Another result of the lockdowns is that people stopped bringing their children in for immunizations against diseases like diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), and polio, because they had been led to fear COVID more than they feared these more deadly diseases. This wasn’t only true in the U.S. Eighty million children worldwide are now at risk of these diseases. We had made substantial progress in slowing them down, but now they are going to come back.

Large numbers of Americans, even though they had cancer and needed chemotherapy, didn’t come in for treatment because they were more afraid of COVID than cancer. Others have skipped recommended cancer screenings. We’re going to see a rise in cancer and cancer death rates as a consequence. Indeed, this is already starting to show up in the data. We’re also going to see a higher number of deaths from diabetes due to people missing their diabetic monitoring.

Mental health problems are in a way the most shocking thing. In June of this year, a CDC survey found that one in four young adults between 18 and 24 had seriously considered suicide. Human beings are not, after all, designed to live alone. We’re meant to be in company with one another. It is unsurprising that the lockdowns have had the psychological effects that they’ve had, especially among young adults and children, who have been denied much-needed socialization.

In effect, what we’ve been doing is requiring young people to bear the burden of controlling a disease from which they face little to no risk. This is entirely backward from the right approach.

4. Where to Go from Here

Last week I met with two other epidemiologists—Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University and Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University—in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The three of us come from very different disciplinary backgrounds and from very different parts of the political spectrum. Yet we had arrived at the same view—the view that the widespread lockdown policy has been a devastating public health mistake. In response, we wrote and issued the Great Barrington Declaration, which can be viewed—along with explanatory videos, answers to frequently asked questions, a list of co-signers, etc.—online at www.gbdeclaration.org.

The Declaration reads:

As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health—leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all—including the vulnerable—falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity—i.e., the point at which the rate of new infections is stable—and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sports, and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

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I should say something in conclusion about the idea of herd immunity, which some people mischaracterize as a strategy of letting people die. First, herd immunity is not a strategy—it is a biological fact that applies to most infectious diseases. Even when we come up with a vaccine, we will be relying on herd immunity as an end-point for this epidemic. The vaccine will help, but herd immunity is what will bring it to an end. And second, our strategy is not to let people die, but to protect the vulnerable. We know the people who are vulnerable, and we know the people who are not vulnerable. To continue to act as if we do not know these things makes no sense.

My final point is about science. When scientists have spoken up against the lockdown policy, there has been enormous pushback: “You’re endangering lives.” Science cannot operate in an environment like that. I don’t know all the answers to COVID; no one does. Science ought to be able to clarify the answers. But science can’t do its job in an environment where anyone who challenges the status quo gets shut down or cancelled.

To date, the Great Barrington Declaration has been signed by over 43,000 medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners. The Declaration thus does not represent a fringe view within the scientific community. This is a central part of the scientific debate, and it belongs in the debate. Members of the general public can also sign the Declaration.

Together, I think we can get on the other side of this pandemic. But we have to fight back. We’re at a place where our civilization is at risk, where the bonds that unite us are at risk of being torn. We shouldn’t be afraid. We should respond to the COVID virus rationally: protect the vulnerable, treat the people who get infected compassionately, develop a vaccine. And while doing these things we should bring back the civilization that we had so that the cure does not end up being worse than the disease. 

Reprinted by permission from IMPRIMIS, a publication of Hillsdale College  October 2020

 

Of Grit And Bone. 11/8/2020

Last Sunday evening, as we were settling in, my wife’s phone rang multiple times.  Third time, I thought I better answer.

Caller was bugging out.  It took me a couple of minutes before I was able to grasp the situation.

I’m not at liberty to get into too much detail here, for obvious reasons, but the call had to do with someone we know having a psychotic break.

This is the 2nd time this (psychotic break)  has happened in the last 10 years. 

Ever been around something like that?

As I was driving to town to see what I could do,  a Vince Lombardi quote kept coming to mind.   (While he was talking about the game of football, the quote could be applied to any situation.)

“Football….beyond any game invented by man is closest to war….it teaches a most important lesson of life….the ability to walk through a storm and keep your head high..”

  In the next hour, I got a  tongue lashing, talked  with a policeman,  and finished the night with the person having a psychotic break sleeping in our guest room….and I still had my wits about me. 

 

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I hate heights. 

I am a carpenter, have no problem working on roofs, as long as they are not too high.

Somehow,

(The need for $?)

I allowed myself to get talked into bidding the repairs on two end walls on house damaged from the Derecho that hit  in August.

Tuesday morning, I was 35 feet in the air on a JLG:

 

While that machine has the ability to go 40 feet in the air, what you may not realize until you operate one, is the more extended the boom, the bouncer it becomes. Every movement is amplified, not to mention those machines are designed to sit on a flat concrete surface, so most of the time this week,  one of the red warning lights was telling me to be careful.

I had 4 days of that low grade stress and I am still recovering.

I suggested to my wife on Thursday, we should celebrate the completion of the highest gable with a steak dinner after work.

I believe in  weaving small acts of celebration into my everyday life.

She was all for it!

(I think I mentioned this before. In September,we’d purchased a 1/2 of beef from a local farmer. By the time we paid the farmer and the locker, it averaged just $2.85 a pound.  As I was eating the 30 oz, 1 inch thick T bone steak sitting on my plate I was thinking about a proverb  “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.”

There I was, enjoying  the best of both worlds…a feast, and a quiet house. 

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When I got to the top of one end wall, I found a surprise. 🙂  Last guy up there had left his mark.  Reminded me of  Jules Vern’s, Journey to the Center of the Earth, where they would stumble across the initials A. S. (Arne Saknussemm).

Have you ever done that sort of thing?

(I added my DM to the mural. It seemed only fair. 🙂

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Got time for one more?

Yesterday morning, when I tried to print off an estimate before going to work,  the printer kept throwing off the  “paper jam” message. Only thing was, there was no paper in the printer. As I looked at it, I discovered a mouse had  stashed shelled corn in the bowels of the printer.   When you’re living in a 110 year old farmhouse with a limestone foundation,  there is bound to be a few trade offs.

Even after I was able to finally get all of the corn out, it wouldn’t work.

Brand new Epson Ecotank 2720.

Toast.

Trying to put the best construction on that $220 financial blow, I thought about the mouse. 

He was only doing what came naturally.

Prepping is hard wired into creation. 

It is not necessarily a lack of trust.

BTW, I did utter a few choice words as i processed that.  It took awhile…

Anyway, take care, and thanks for stopping by! DM

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You can, but you don’t have to

Thirty years ago I attended a weekend workshop offered through our local community college on assertive communication.

I’ve mentioned this before.

Cost of the weekend was $40.

Best $40 I have ever spent…..

Ever.

I was reminded of that course again this afternoon.

Yesterday, I stopped at 5 different locations assessing storm damage after last Monday’s Derecho.

I had mixed feelings about bidding on one of the projects.  Some of this stuff is intuition.

I’d originally gotten a call from a woman last week, who sounded nice enough.  After a couple of questions, she asked if I would mind speaking with her husband.   Not a problem.  When hubby got on the phone, there was a completely different vibe.  (I think she’d called me without  talking to him about it first.)  Anyway, he was a little dismissive and non committal about whether or not he wanted me to stop and look at their job.   ( I am already into November with scheduling, so  I felt like I was more doing him a favor than me needing work).

Last Sunday night he called back,  different tone.  Little more humble.   Set up a time for me to stop on Tuesday.  Monday, we had that storm  so I didn’t get to their place until yesterday (Saturday).

After looked at the project, I decided I really didn’t want to  pursue it any further.

I sent him a text this afternoon, letting him know I stopped, but after looking at the project have decided to pass on the work.  That is all I’m going to tell him.   And that’s where some of the material we covered from the assertiveness class came back.

Assertiveness Bill of Rights

I have the right to change my mind.

I do not have to explain why I chose to do what I do.

I can  tell you why I’ve decided to do something a certain, way if I want to,  BUT I DO NOT HAVE TO.

The husband wrote back, asking why I was going to pass?

That’s is far as that conversation is going to go.

I am not going to unpack my decision with him.

Nothing to be gained.

Would love to hear your thoughts.   🙂

I can’t lay my hands on the original list we covered but  here are a few variations of it I grabbed off Google image…

 

 

Rescue

We have a friend (Kristi)  who lives an area of  Cedar Rapids that was heavily damaged by Monday’s  Derecho.   I was finally able to connect with her last night.  Made plans to help do clean up this morning.

Just got home.

It went well.

By noon, we did all we could do. I had to leave  one large limb  leaning on the neighbors roof, I told Kristi I didn’t feel comfortable with  that one.

I know my limitations.

A couple of neighbors stopped @ one point.  I told them I was going to pass on one of the tree branches.  Just too many variables.  The younger fella, dismissed my concerns and thought it wouldn’t be too hard, just  needed to do this, this and this.

I listened. 😉

It didn’t change my mind.  As much as I would have loved to completely finish the job, there was a real chance when that branch came down  it could take out a window.

No thank you . 🙂

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As I was having my morning cup of coffee (Starbucks/ french roast) this morning before heading to Kristi’s, I spotted movement on a windowsill.

We live in a 110 year old 2 story farm house…you just never know.  It looked like it was either a leaf, the tail of  a sparrow, or a ground squirrel?

None of those possibilities made much sense for different reasons.

5 minutes later I saw it again.  At this point I said something to my wife:“I think  there is something outside on our window sill…. either a ground squirrel or a sparrow…”

Then  suddenly more of the creature came into view….

It was a tree frog!

What the heck.

And it wasn’t on the outside of the glass.

And it was stuck between the window and the screen.

The poor little fella, had crawled through a small tear in the screen and gotten trapped, and he looked pretty dehydrated.

One more day and and I’m thinking he would have been cooked.

I picked him up, to take him outside. The birdbath caught my eye.  Set him in the water, and within a minute he was revived.

 

Also spotted one of our honeybees thrashing around upside down in the bird bath.  I nudged her out of the water and got her up on the ledge.

Within seconds, she was revived.

The word for today is Rescue.

Riding out my first Derecho

I am thankful.

About noon today a severe storm system that nobody saw coming  (at least not initially) ripped a wide swath of destruction across Eastern Iowa.

Son and I were just starting to pour a footing for a retaining wall when the homeowner came over and asked if our phones had alerted us to a major storm that was heading our way.  It hadn’t.    She pulled up the weather channel , it said we had about 30 minutes before it would be on top of us.

It was packing wind speeds of 100 mph (160 kilos).  Not to mention, the neighborhood we were working in was surrounded by large trees.

We were able to finish the pour, and get on the road about 10 minutes before it hit.

I have never in my life experienced anything quite like it.

Found out tonight this kind of a storm is called a Derecho (which means straight in Spanish/ as in straight line winds.

We pulled next to a gas station and watched power line poles snap,  shingles get ripped off the apartment building across the street.  The winds lasted at least 45 minutes, and when it came time to try to get home,  most of the streets in the area, were blocked by downed trees, and power lines.

Saw two of these large metal high power lines in a twisted heap,  with wires across the highway.

Photo compliments of google

Once we finally got out of the city, we saw (3) overturned semis, metal grain bins, twisted and blown onto the highway, and lots, and lots of mature trees down.

The cornfields in the path of those winds were a total loss

(grabbed this off FB tonight):

Neighbor said she’d heard 40 some cell towers were down in our area.  I can believe it.

Pulled this off the news channel this morning:

We were working about 45 minutes away from home, and our town was in the path of the storm. I told my son, that if our place was hit, there was no doubt in my mind, the 3 bee hives were going to be blown over.  I have one of them cinched together with a strap, and the other two smaller ones, just have a large rock on the top to keep the lid from blowing of.  No way in the world they would have been able to withstand  a 100 mph sustained winds.

As we got closer to home, I could see, some of the corn fields had been spared, and by the time we were within 10 minutes of home, I was pretty sure  (somehow) the storm had went around us.

Talk about mercy…

As we passed our third overturned semi we saw a deputy directing traffic.

I looked at my son and said,  

And to think there are people who want to dismantle  law enforcement….

“They are a  bunch of dumb a@#’s!  

Gratitude 7/18/2020

I am thankful.

Thankful so many moons ago, my dad (with whom I never ever remember having any deep conversations growing up) put a book in my hands when I was about 16.  It was called The Power of Positive Thinking.  He’d just finished reading it.  I can remember him saying something to the effect like..”Junior, this would be a good book to read.”

Flash forward to today.  That conversation is still bearing fruit in my life.  I am even more convinced now that I am 60 plus years and counting in the power and importance in the attitudes I chose as I approach  today.   A large part of right thinking involves being thankful.  Finding things to be thankful for, even in the midst of chaos.  Even in the midst of heartache and not so pleasant circumstances.  Even in the midst of medical stuff.

What can I identify I can be thankful for?

++++++++++++++++++

Got a call this week from someone in crisis.  Asked if I could take them to the hospital, they were in the midst of a major panic attack. Ever been around one of those?  Lot of people never have.   If you’ve not, contrary to what you might think, it’s not usually weak people that are most vulnerable, rather, it’s often times someone who is a go/ getter/ type a, never take a break, full throttle 7 days a week personality type.  Yep.

I was thankful I was able to get in touch with 2 people on the phone as I was headed to their house…a counselor I know, and a nurse I know.   Both picked up the phone. Both gave me great input as to how to proceed. I was thankful for their input. Thankful I didn’t have to fly completely blind as I took off with my friend to the hospital.

++++++++++

Thankful to for a book I read 25 years ago on the coaching tips from former Green Bay Packer coach, Vince Lombardi.  I am not into food ball as funny as that might sound. I read the book because I was intrigued by his ability to motivate people.   A quote  from that  book came to mind  this week…

He said, “Football…beyond any game invented by man is closest to war…

it teaches a most important lesson of life…. 

the ability to walk through a storm and keep your head high.”

Yep,  It was a full week for me (emotionally exhausting).

+++++++++++++++++++

I am thankful I learned the art of weaving “margin” into my life in my late 20’s.   As a first born,  get-er-done.  Work 7 days a week/ dairy farmers son I didn’t know any different.

Life is a marathon.

It is not a sprint.

We are not meant to be “on” 7 days a week.

You will pay the piper.

Feel free to do otherwise. 🙂

Time  to play in  the shop.  Need to get ready to install another air conditioneer/ coolbot setup in the walk in cooler.

Tell me about your week.   DM

PSA.   I never know who may be reading this in the future.  If by chance you’ve stumbled across this post after googing “panic attack” etc,  Get yourself a copy of The Anxiety Cure by Archibald Hart.   

Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. 🙂

 

Rumblings

I have to be honest.

There have been several times I’ve  wanted to give voice to something , but squelched it because, I knew I would rustle  feathers.

Life is too short to get into pissing matches, on line or in person…but especially on the Internet.

So I keep my thoughts to myself.

I used to get together a couple of times a month with a self professed anarchist.  He was a few years older than myself.  Did a tour in Vietnam  and came back angry.  Long story short, he and I were on opposite ends of the spectrum politically, spiritually, etc.  yet we shared a common interest in history.  He was articulate, and I honestly wanted to understand his thinking when it came to current events…

It worked.

Over coffee, he and I would get into the most robust conversations and I think we both came away richer for it.

I love conversations like that, if they happen in the context of mutual respect.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Currently I am sleeping like a baby.

Even in the midst of the current craziness.

Some of it has to do with my job.

There is an old saying  “The laborers sleep is sweet.”   

Most days, I come home physically spent.  So that’s part of it.

Another big part for me is what I’ve been taking into my mind.

I have become even more ruthless (and selective) if that’s possible, when it comes to staying informed.

I refuse to spend my life going from one “crisis” that consumes me to the next.

+++++++++++++++++++++

There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience.

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Thanks for stopping by, on this 4th of July 2020!

Take care. DM