The Dust Bowl

Did you watch The Dust Bowl by movie producer Ken Burns??  It was on PBS earlier this evening.  I was sitting on the edge of my chair–horrified by what I was seeing!!  Yes, I knew about the event but never knew the depth of the tragedy.  I experienced the strangest sensation: I smelled the dust, I had trouble breathing.

My maternal grandparents left “the panhandle” of Oklahoma prior to the events pictured in The Dust Bowl.  But I realize I have extended family that lived through those devastating circumstances.  In my pursuit of family history, I visited that area.

Kudos to Ken Burns, and collaborators, for this fine presentation.


Postscript, Monday, November 19, 2012, 10:00 PM:  I just watched the second part of the PBS film regarding The Dust Bowl.  I’ve followed Ken Burns’ presentations on The National Parks, The Civil War, etc.   I admire the dedication of this man and his co-laborers.  I praise PBS for superior programming when (IMHO) the major networks present trashy television.

The Unseen Hand

This tired, sick old lady was so encouraged (this evening) while listening to The Unseen Hand performed on Bill Gaither’s Country Bluegrass (on PBS-TV).  I don’t recall hearing that song before.  It came at an hour when I needed “a hug” from my Heavenly Father.

I searched the Internet for the words and was blessed as I listened to several artists’ sing the words. One link was especially heart warming and I urge you to click the link to read and listen.

Serendipity (and sadness) !!

On Friday evening an out-of-state friend called to let me know they are in this area on business.  “Can we get together for lunch” followed the greeting and chit-chat.  “Indubitably!!”  ~~  We had a delicious lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Waxhaw.  Such a delight!!  ~~  But I suffer an extra measure of depression afterwards because I long for fellowship with my children and grandchildren.  The upcoming holiday season is the worse time of the year for me.

Mid-morning, I was at the local Operation Christmas Child Collection Center.  I “met my match” (so to speak) because they (a Baptist Church) had tables full, with boxes full, of everything necessary to pack over 200 boxes.  (My annual purchases were tiny compared to their gigantic display!!)  I packed four… and visited with several ladies, and the pastor.  ~~  Buying for children, and packing O.C.C. shoe boxes, helps  fill a void in my life.  I wish I could buy for my children and grandchildren (but they deliberately exclude me from their lives).  I’m embarrassed to confess that “depression” is my constant companion.

The birds….

Remember Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds”??  Well, to a lesser degree, today (this morning) I had flocks of birds in my backyard (and they were not violent).  We suddenly have cold weather (and rain last night) so there were several birds–at the same time–on each of the numerous feeders.  (I have a dozen  feeders dedicated for the birds and six feeders dedicated for the squirrels.)  Furthermore, it has been months since I had five or six squirrels in the yard at the same time.  Two squirrels on one bird feeder at the same time (which is strange because usually one squirrel will “bully” another squirrel away from a bird feeder or squirrel feeder).  Several squirrels seemed ravenous as they worked frantically at their feeders.  (IMHO: Better than television, or an old movie!!)

Little things make me happy !!

My illusive Bluebirds are back!!  That makes me happy!!  When there was excessive activity in my back yard, and the neighbor’s back yard, the Bluebirds disappeared.  I’ve continued to put mealworms in the feeder every day.  Yesterday, and this morning, lots of visits from “Papa Blue” and “Mama Blue” (my affectionate names for them).

Suddenly I have more birds and more squirrels than previously.  Perhaps a lot of their food natural sources have been depleted so they are delighted to feed at my many feeders?!

Yesterday, I bought a flat of Pansies and a large bag of planter soil.  They are in the planter just outside my patio doors.  The Begonias provided an attractive image for many months but, being annuals, they had lost their beauty.  I bid them farewell a couple of days ago and could not tolerate the starkness of that planter without flowers.

What a joy to sit down to my new laptop computer and prepare a message–without frustration!!  Pictures later (see postscript below); I haven’t retrieved my pictures yet from the backup.  Too many projects!?!?!?  (I’m getting two more “memory boxes” ready to send to two sons.  ~~  Yesterday, I delivered the fifteen shoeboxes to a nearby Operation Christmas Child collection center.  I’m preparing several more shoeboxes, and plan to work at the nearby collection center this next Saturday.  ~~  Furthermore: I’m working at downsizing!!!!  [How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.]  I’m downsizing “one bite at a time.” )

Postscript: I still haven’t gotten the Picasa pictures collection on this computer.  The attached pictures were still in my camera.

Panera feeding America

feeding america + panera bread
 Tell us what you think

Hello Lorraine  (Hello Lorraine’s blog readers),

Starting this November, Panera Bread® and the Panera Bread Foundation will be helping to provide Panera Soup to those in need across America.  Through Feeding America, participating member food banks will distribute over half a million servings of Panera Soup*, as well as receive locally-donated funds.

You can help! Your contributions to Panera Cares Community Breadboxes, found in participating bakery-cafes, could become a bowl of hot soup — and a helping hand to those in need.

— your friends at MyPanera®

* Panera Bread and our foundation will donate approximately 480,000 pounds of soup to provide approximately 717,000 cups of soup in Nov 2012. ** Coleman-Jensen, Alisha, Mark Nord, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson. Household Food Security in the United States in 2011. ERR-141, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, September 2012.


Those of you who have followed my blogs know I have a fondness for Panera.  During my Tab teardrop trailer travels in 2010, I searched for Panera so I could use their free WiFi (and enjoy their delicious, reasonably priced food).


Postscript: Preparing this blog was extremely routine.  I’m so glad I stopped battling Windows-8 and purchased a new laptop with Windows-7.


Today I returned the Windows-8 laptop to Sam’s Club.  I purchased the identical computer–with Windows-7–at BJ’s for $170. less than Sam’s!!  (BJ’s is a “big box” membership chain of stores in my part of the United States.)  It is 5:50 PM and this computer has been out of the box less than one hour.  I feel like I am in absolute control!!  I haven’t had a single second of problems moving around on this computer.  Praise the Lord!!  Expect more blog messages.