Thursday, June 30, 2011

White Rock Town Hall meeting 6-30-11

Here are my notes for those who couldn't pick up the stream of the townhall meeting in White Rock.  It was very hard to hear some of the speakers, unfortunately, but here are the main points I picked up on:
From Fire Chief Tucker:
  • Will not end the evacuation until some time after Saturday.
  • Los Alamos Canyon is still a problem, and they are doing a back burn there.
  • Santa Clara Canyon is a big problem.
  • There is a good perimeter around the lab, so no one needs to wer their radiation suits :-)
  • The closest points to White Rock is in Frijoles Canyon. and though there is little fuel between the two, this is an active, unpredictable fire.  They will back burn there to provide as much protection as they can.
From the Type 1 Commander of the North part of the fire:
  • They burned from 501 through the ski area to provide a fire break.
  • They continue to work to flank the fire on east and west sides, using the Cerro Grande burn area on the east.
  • They will also be tying Pipeline Road into the perimeter around town.
  • The fire ran four miles north yesterday right through Santa Clara and beyond.  They might be able to utilize the South Fork burn area as a break going north.
Sharon Stover announced that TNT Firewroks corp has pulled all firewroks from 500 distributors in the state.

From Police Chief   Torpey:
  • They are planning for return specifics.
  • Essential support staff (like utilities and hospital staff) will be brought back first, before everyone else, so they will be in place when others return.
  • Wait patiently for instructions. They will try to give 24-hour warning before letting general public back.
  • Make sure you follow instructions when they come.
The director of Los Alamos Medical Center said:
  • They have minimal staff to treat fire-related injuries, but are not open to the public.
  • Most doctors are taking calls.  If you have a question, start by calling your primary care doc.
  • Remember that there is severe smoke, esp. 10pm to 6am, so take that into consideration when returning.
Russ Gordon announced that the concert for tomorrow (Friday) will be held at 7:00 pm at the Espanola Plaza (across from the old car dealership).  It is a band from Austin, TX.

The lab rep said:
  • Any employees who experience personal loss due to the fire should contact the folks at the Emergency Operations Center.
  • They are working on making sure the environmental aspects and facilities aspects are safe before people come back.
  • Paychecks went out today, except for subcontractors. If you are a subcontractor, contact your employer.  If that doesn't work, contact the EOC.
  • They are doing surveillance flights, not real-time, but will at some point post information.
  • BC/BS should be called if you are not getting your mail prescriptions.  Mail is delivered to Pojoaque high school, 10-3, daily.
The Chamber of Commerce rep said:
  • There are business loans available from LANB at 4% for those needing help during this period.
  • They have business interruption insurance and discussions online to discuss things of this sort.
  • There are some facilities available to set up temporary work space, one in WR and one in SF, for Chamber members.
  • Contact them with questions.
The County Council has info on the county web page:
Since this is a "normal" disaster, our ability to get recovery funding will be different than under the special circumstances of Cerro Grande. Your best source of recovery is your own insurance company.

That's what I got.

Aerial view this morning

Appreciating KRQE and Bob Martin!

Morning meditation

This morning in White Rock my eyes and throat and nose are burning a bit from the acrid smoke that descended on us some time in the night.  Note to self: just when it starts to cool down outside, close all the windows... But it was good to sleep in my own bed, and to be hear to pay bills and do laundry, and water my parched plants a bit. And all the news about the fire last night seemed positive: back burns west of the Lab seem to have been very successful.  God has been good in so many ways!

My dear friend Brenda reminded me of one specific way God has been good to us when I spoke with her yesterday.  She asked me to imagine what would have happened if the Las Conchas fire had hit us without the Cerro Grande fire providing a burn scar around the town.  Well, this came so fast and furious, I am sure if it had not hit up against the Cerro Grande burn area, and had all that fuel the CG fire consumed, it would have been much worse. So, once again, we see God's providential care for us where we least expected it. 

I continue to find myself grieving a bit over our losses-- loss of beautiful, precious scenery and spots we loved that will never look the same again. Driving into the smoke yesterday, and knowing behind it these precious places were burning was difficult. And it is disconcerting to have your community displaced. Having friends and church family scattered all over is disorienting, somehow.  But in this all, God is good.  We see the amazing community He has made us part of, and recognize the preciousness of the life He has given us.

The smoke is an irritant, and we'll see how we manage or if we need to head out again.  But it's still good to be home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Las Conchas news conference update

This is really intended for my friends from this dear, quirky community of Los Alamos. We are back in WR, and I just listened to a streamed conference with fire management/city folks and residents of White Rock and Evacuees.  Several folks weren't able to hear it, so I thought I'd list several items that I heard that seem important. So below, listed in no particular order, are some items of interest:
  • These men facing the stress of the situation (Police Chief, Fire Chief, County Administrator) were facing citizens for the first time.  They were visibly moved to see the people they are protecting.  The fire chief and police chief hugged. You have to love our community!
  • The evacuation of the hill took just about 3 hours.
  • They are beefing up the police/national guard presence on the hill: you cannot be out after dark in either LA or WR without being stopped and questioned.  We may have to go out tonight just to check it out!
  • Some known burglars who did not evacuate, were watched and encouraged to leave town as soon as they came out of their homes..  :-) Gotta love our police!
  • All the folks from Aspen Ridge are at St. Catherines' in ABQ, and the folks from Sombrillo are at either Espanola Valley Nursing Home or Santa Fe Care in SF.
  • The Gordon's concert will be held in Espanola.
  • There will be no fireworks here on July 4, but if weather conditions change, we might do some on labor Day
  • If you are needing to refill prescriptions you can get help by calling 661-8900 (I missed who this was, unfortunately)
  • If you have a fire/evacuation specific question, you can get info in WR at the 311 center.  out of town you can call 662-8333.
  • 17,000 acres of Bandelier have burned-- roughly half of the park.  One back country cabin was lost, but no other structures, and the ruins and buildings in the lower Frijoloes are fine, though they are still fighting in Frijoles Canyon.
  • The 3% containment is from a backburn along lab property.
  • They are watching for (and finding) spot fires anywhere from 1/2 mile to 2 miles from the fronts of the fire.
  • They are building breaks east and west of the fire, which is burning due north towards Santa Clara Canyon.  They hope to squish it, and wait for opportunity and good terrain to get out in front of it.
  • Things are still touchy north of Cochiti, and more homes in danger there.
  • It is burning about 8 miles from jemez Springs, but they have done alot to spare Sierra Los Pinos subdivision and are hopeful there.
  • Any evacuees that need rides either to medical/pharmacy things or to get back to town once people are allowed back can get rides from Atomic City Transit by calling them.
  • WR is not considered under any danger at this time, however, they do have an evacuation plan, and people should be ready to go if something unexpected happens.
  • They will do these every day at 2:00 until things are "normalized".  If I can go or view, I'll try to post notes if people want me to.
Most horrifying:  during the conference, the fire cheif interrupted to say the fire on the ski hill had jumped the break at Camp May road, trapping a group of firemen.  He left, but called in to say everyone got out safely.  But they are really fighting on the ski hill right now, so pray!

And funniest, most "LAPD" moment: The library manager had two points.  First, they have arranged recipricol privileges with Santa Fe Public library for people to get books while they are evacuated.  And she said, "Where but Los ALamos would people be worried about their library privileges during a wildfire evacuation?"  Adn secondly, she thanks the hundreds of folks who returned books on their way out of town during the evacuation.  Where else, indeed?!

That's it for now.  Just the things I jotted down during the meeting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Los Conchas Fire update

Gentle Readers,

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes as we are watching our community undergo yet another wildfire.  The Cerro Grande fire of 2000 was heart-breaking.  The problem, and the good thing, too,  this time around, is that we know more and everyone was better prepared.  However, we are still in a wait-and-see pattern, and watching what will burn.  Dave, Marilyn and I are at my parents' home in Rio Rancho, just north of Albuquerque.  We are safe, and right now our home is not being threatened.

For those of you who don't know, the fire began about 12 miles from town on Sunday afternoon, and within 12 hours had grown to more than 30,000 acres.  Now it stands at over 60,000 acres.  Its eastern boundary is at Route 4 along National Laboratory property.  Its southern boundary is now pushing through Camp May and the Pajarito Mountain Ski area.  I have to admit that I can't type that without tears. This was the only ridge spared in the Cerro Grande fire, and became a symbol of hope for our community.  To have it burn now, with its old-growth forests and almost 30 years of memories is heart-breaking.

Below are the best links I've found to stay informed.  You will find pictures, video, and updates at these spots, and this is where I keep informed:

Los Alamos Monitor (local paper)
NM Fire Info (an inter-agency information site with official updates)
KRSN (local am radio on the web)
Los Alamos National Laboratory (where Dave works and a jewel of the US research facilities)

It's hard for me to express the emotions of this time.  Suffice it to say that there is a sense of heartbreak that is intense, but also, a knowing of hope.  Today I went to the local branch of gym I belong to, without the requisite "pass", and they welcomed me with open arms. A woman approached me with tears, offering room for others who have evacuated.  People seem to rise to their best at such times, and it gives me hope!

And God is the Father of all hope.  We are not despairing, though we grieve.  We know that God's fingers are running through our precious places, and working His will there.  His fingers are sifting our worldly things, and removing the dross and the things that tie us too tightly to this world and its things, and redirecting our gaze to the things that are important. (Thank you, Amy LAwrence, for using that illustration when you lost your home 11 years ago in Cerro Grande!  You are still a hero of mine!)

For those who would like specific prayer requests, here are some from my heart:

  • Pray for the hundreds of firefighters- some volunteers- putting their lives on the line to turn something of tremendous ferocity.  Pray for their safety, and their success.
  • Pray for those who are losing their homes and possessions, that God would bless them, and cause them to turn to Him in their time of need.
  • Pray for those who can minister to others in this time--  which is all of us!  May we see the needs around us and step up top fill them.
  • Pray for God's mercy in stopping this fire.  He is mighty and able.
  • Pray for all of us undergoing loss to turn to God and seek His face with fresh vigor. 
Thank you, Gentle Readers!  I will update as I am able.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fire close to home

There is a new fire in the Jemez Mountains, about 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos. The photos above were taken by a friend from church this afternoon on Baranca Road (thanks for sharing this, Craig!) The first was taken earlier, and the second around 4:00 this afternoon.) Apparently it has grown in our 30 mph winds to about 500 acres, and is 0% contained. It is moving easterly towards the Valle Caldera area. Route 4 through the Jemez has been closed at Jemez Falls.  Here in White Rock, it is a dark afternoon.  There are no clouds in the sky, but there is a growing and darkening plume of smoke blotting out the sun.  The two photos below are from my back yard, and are not clouds, but the smoke.

 The best way to describe the smell is imagine standing in the middle of a camp fire.  That's what it is like here at the moment.  We have closed all the windows (despite the 90 degree plus temperatures) and turned off the evaporative cooler (which pulls in air from outside), and that has helped my eyes to stop burning so much.  Below, you can see the ash and burned pine needles that are falling on my back porch.  It's kind of like snow when you walk outside.
About 10 years ago, Los Alamos survived a raging forest fire that destroyed 400 homes and changed the face of these mountains for our lifetime.  I have a real sadness thinking about Las Conchas- our favorite hiking spot in the mountains- burning.  Not to mention that people are being evacuated from their homes as we speak, and fire fighters on the ground and in the air are putting their lives on the line to fight this blaze.  Please be in prayer, Gentle Readers, for safety and for rain!

Sabbath Songs

Searcher of Hearts by George P. Morris, 1838

Searcher of hearts, from mine erase
All thoughts that should not be,
And in its deep recesses trace
My gratitude to Thee.

Hearer of prayer, O guide aright
Each word and deed of mine;
Life’s battle teach me how to fight,
And be the vict’ry Thine.

Giver of all—for ev’ry good
In the Redeemer came—
For raiment, shelter, and for food,
I thank Thee in His Name.

Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost,
Thou glorious Three in One,
Thou knowest best what I need most,
And let Thy will be done.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Radiant faces...

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
~Psalm 34:4-7

It is amazing to ponder the idea of the faces of those who look to the Lord being radiant.  I think those faces must be radiant because they reflect the light of their Redeemer, Jesus Christ, like the daisies reflect the sun.  God is good to allow us to reflect such beauty, despite our sin and failings. I am asking God to make my face shine, and yours, too, Gentle Reader!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Come magnify the Lord with me

 I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad.  Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.
~Psalm 34:1-3

In addition to these verses being current memory work for me, the final verse here was the theme of my wedding almost 31 years ago.  In those 31 years, God has never been anything but gracious to me.   And I have learned much through his providential dealing with me, though I have usually not liked it at the time. 

Just this morning I was talking with a friend about how, in our youth and naivete, we prayed for things that we know better than to pray later: we pray for patience, without understanding the kind of waiting required to learn patience, for example.  I remember as a newly wed looking at the married couples at our church who had been married for 30 or more years, and seeing Jesus shine from their faces, and praying that, one day, he might shine through my face like that.  Well, I don't know how much shining is happening, but I certainly did not know what I was asking for.  Because what is it that makes us reflect Christ?  The refiner's fire, that's what.  The place that is hot and miserable and painful.  That's where the dross is consumed and the gold is refined so that the reflection is pure.

I sometimes think that as I age, I become more and more a coward, because I am more and more afraid to pray for the hard things.  Even with my experience of this life past 50 years, and knowing how good and gracious God always is, I am afraid to ask him to kill my sin and make me hate it, to cause me to love others in costly ways, or to refine me so that reflection of Jesus grows more and more clear. Then we're back to the whole slavery thing i talked about yesterday...

The good news is, Gentle Readers, God knows what is good for us, sees through our fear and out excuses, and brings it our way for our good and his glory.  So come, magnify the Lord with me, friends, and let us exalt his name together!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Subject to lifelong slavery...

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
~Hebrews 2:14-15 
I have been memorizing and meditating upon these verses recently.  It seems there are so many places we are subject to lifelong slavery by our fear of death.  Sometimes that fear of death is the fear below the obvious fear, but it is real slavery. Sometimes, on the surface, it looks like fear of what others will think, or fear of being alone, or fear of our own unworthiness, or fear of pain.  But it all boils down on some level to fear of death (the ultimate rejection) and slavery.

If I really believe that Christ has delivered me, and that I cannot face death until God calls me to it, and when he does call me to die, I am entering a place where he has already been and where he will walk with me, that should make a difference in how I live right now and always.  It should affect the decisions I make, and the boldness with which I am willing to live. I wish it did. But conscience doth make cowards of us all...

With Paul, I have to say, "Wretch that I am, who will save me from this body of death?" The answer, of course, is the One who destroyed the power of death and broke my chains.

I believe.  Oh Lord, help my unbelief!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A sweet grace

It is a sweet grace when we are surrounded by people who love us enough to confront us--who are unwilling to let us stay lost, blind, confused, rebellious, and wandering away.  it is a sign of God's covenant faithfulness when he sends people to help us see and repent.  He heals our spiritual blindness most often in everyday moments of growing awareness and progressive conviction.  He uses husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, elders and deacons, neighbors and friends to do his kingdom work. He calls us, wherever we are, to help each other see and pursue a life of faith.
~Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change (Resources for Changing Lives) pp.236-237

Monday, June 20, 2011

A wonderful weekend

 This weekend my sweet husband sensed my stress levels rising, and decided a get-away was in order.  Have I told you, Gentle Reader, that I love this man? On Friday we headed into the beautiful Jemez Mountains west of Los Alamos, and did some geocaching. Below is dh standing at the Soda Dam on the Jemez River.  In hunting for a couple of geocaches there, we climbed up and over the dam three times, and forded the river twice: pretty daring for old folks like us!
 Then we enjoyed a lovely lunch in Jemez Springs, and headed on to Albuquerque.  In the evening we enjoyed wonderful Indian food, and then a walk in a little neighborhood park were the trees were all in bloom.
 On Saturday, we headed up into the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque, to hike the Armijo trail.  Most of the trail was slightly rolling and shaded like this:
 But some of it was a scramble uphill, like this:
 After about three miles of climbing about 700 feet in all, we dropped into Cienega Canyon, and downhill the last mile. 
 Our efforts were rewarded with views to the East, and to the south, of the Manzano Mountains. We ended up in Sulphur Canyon picnic Area, where we enjoyed a lovely picnic in the shade of the pines and cottonwoods. Then, it was back to ABQ. My sweet husband insisted (insisted, mind you) that I enjoy a pedicure while he did a little shopping, then we went for a swim at the hotel pool, and out for hamburgers for dinner. What a relaxing, exhausting, treat of a day!
Sunday we enjoyed worship, and another picnic, then visited with my Dad for a couple of hours on Father's Day afternoon before heading for home.  There, we made pizza, popcorn, and shakes, and watched "Inkheart" while we ate.  

It was a delightful weekend, and I feel loved and spoiled and blessed!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day

 Happy Father's Day to the Dads in my life!  My own father (left) has been a constant source of laughter and encouragement.  And my husband, the father of my children and grandfather of sweet Emma, has been the best example to my sons of what it means to be a godly man that I know.  God has blessed me with these men, and I am grateful!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Latest quilting project

This is "Prairie Stars and Flowers", and is on its way to my dear niece, Rachel, for her graduation. It turned into a sweet quilt, but not nearly as sweet as its recipient! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday without words

(These are some of Emma's 9-month pictures, though tomorrow she is 10 months old.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Support a young musician....

 This is my friend, Mike Rood.  He is an amazing jazz guitarist, and has just released his first CD: The Desert and the City. (The desert is New Mexico; the city is New York. He has grown up splitting his time between those two places.)  Mike is an amazing musician, son of two amazing musicians.  If you like jazz fusion, or even if you don't but you like superb musicianship and thoughtful composition, get a copy of Mike's new CD. Or at least go check out some of the tracks.

 He is amazing!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A lovely birthday

 On Saturday, we hiked Las Conchas Canyon up in the Jemez Mountains, about 40 minutes from our house. Marilyn, Dave, and I followed the trail a little more than 2 miles, to where you had to either climb up or hike in the East Fork of the Jemez River.  We then climbed up just far enough to overlook the river while we had a snack, and then returned the way we had come.
 Because of our current dry conditions, there were fewer wildflowers out and about, but there is a trickle flowing in the river, and the butterflies were abundant.

 After the hike we were famished, and enjoyed gyros in town, then went home for a shower and a nap. I then enjoyed reading the 80+ greetings on my facebook page from family and friends, opened gifts from my family, enjoyed marinated flank steak for dinner, and watched my new copy of The Deathly Hallows Part 1.  It was a practically perfect day!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

An another Sabbath Song

All Glory Be to Thee, Most High by Nikolaus Decius, 1485-1550, Tr. by Catherine Winkworth, 1827- 1878

All glory be to Thee, Most High,
To Thee all adoration;
In grace and truth Thou drawest nigh
To offer us salvation;
Thou showest Thy good will to men,
And peace shall reign on earth again;
We praise Thy Name forever.

We praise, we worship Thee, we trust
And give Thee thanks forever,
O Father, for Thy rule is just
And wise, and changes never;
Thy hand almighty o’er us reigns,
Thou doest what Thy will ordains;
’Tis well for us Thou rulest.

O Jesus Christ, our God and Lord,
Son of the Heavn’ly Father,
O Thou Who hast our peace restored,
The straying sheep dost gather,
Thou Lamb of God, to Thee on high
Out of depths we sinners cry:
Have mercy on us, Jesus!

O Holy Spirit, precious gift,
Thou Comforter unfailing,
From Satan’s snares our souls uplift,
And let Thy power, availing,
Avert our woes and calm our dread.
For us the Savior’s blood was shed;
We trust in Thee to save us.

Sabbath Songs

I Hear the Words of Love by Horatius Bonar, 1861

I hear the words of love,
I gaze upon the blood,
I see the mighty sacrifice,
And I have peace with God.

’Tis everlasting peace,
Sure as Jehovah’s Name;
’Tis stable as His steadfast throne,
For evermore the same.
The clouds may go and come,
And storms may sweep my sky;
This blood-sealed friendship changes not,
The cross is ever nigh.

I change—He changes not;
The Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place;
His truth, not mine, the tie.

My love is oftimes low,
My joy still ebbs and flows;
But peace with Him remains the same,
No change Jehovah knows.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Last night I spent some time researching medical procedures.  I ought never to do that after dinner time. It left me feeling rather despondent and depressed, quite frankly.  So today, I am taking a lesson from a friend who has been counting her blessings on her blog every day.  I'm not going to list 952, like she has, but maybe just a few to help my outlook:
1. The redemption and love of Jesus Christ for me, a rebel of cosmic proportions.
2. The love and friendship of my best friend and dear husband.
3. Two sons and daughters-in-love who love the Lord and love me well.
4. Grandchildren, and the promise of more of them in the future.
5. Dear, old, long-term, loyal friends.
6. Siblings who are talented, interesting, and funny, that I love and who love me, despite my bossy, oldest-sister tendencies.
7. Parents who love us and encourage us.
8. The Body of Christ all over the world who share my burdens and joys.
9. The beauty of the created order around me, that causes me to delight in God, and reminds me that He is the author of all beauty and that His beauty exists everywhere, in every circumstance.
10. For growing old, which, as Dave says, is better than the alternative.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

There is a fountain....

There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood by William Cowper, 1792
  1. There is a fountain filled with blood,
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.
  2. The dying thief rejoiced to see
    That fountain in His day;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away.
  3. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
    Shall never lose its pow’r,
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more. 
  4.  E’er since by faith I saw the stream
    Thy flowing wounds supply,
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die. 
  5. When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
    Lies silent in the grave,
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Health update

It never seems quite quiet on the health front lately.  I have been experiencing some rather severe feminine issues which may have contributed to my iron deficiency problems.  Yesterday I saw a new gynecologist who suggested we begin with a uterine biopsy to make sure we know what we're dealing with, and she did it right then and there.  Not a pleasant experience, but good to have it over with quickly. I would appreciate your prayers, Gentle Readers, for good, clear results.

And after the results, we will make some decisions.  I am researching things, and would also appreciate prayers for good decisions to be made, and all the information we need to reach them to be clear to us. The next challenge is to find a new oncologist and get his or her input into all of this!

In all these irritating things, I keep marveling at God's good providence in and through them.  He provides for me every day, and provides encouragement when I need it. So pray that I may keep my eyes focused on Him.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For( this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
~2 Cor. 4:16-18

Monday, June 06, 2011

An unwelcome surprise..

 This morning we were met with a surprise: someone visited us during the night and toilet-papered our front yard.  Dave estimates they used approximately 100 rolls of toilet paper, and one roll of paper towels around the mailbox.  I guess it has a certain kind of artistic merit to it.
 What I have a much harder time understanding is that next door, where they are remodeling a house, these vandals knocked over a porta-potty.  That is a horrendous, unhealthy mess, and stinks to high heaven.  We managed to set it up, but oh- the stench! I may be able to overlook the toilet papering, but the porta-potty was just vicious.
 After more than an hour of work, using a 10-foot ladder and an apple picker, Dave and I had filled the three toilet paper cases and a huge leaf-bag full, and below is what we cannot reach.  It will have to be rained down a little at a time.  But I think we got all the rolls out.
What a way to start the day! And yesterday's sermon was on the problem of behaving practical atheists: saying we believe, but that belief making no difference in how we live our lives.  So this morning is giving me A chance to practice approaching this day with faith and security in God's providential care...