Skimming Off The Top

Since I didn’t have an opportunity to work outdoors yesterday, I was on double-duty getting some much needed mowing and gardening done. Fortunately the grass was dry enough to mow, but it was slower going because it had grown so tall in just over a week. I was expecting it to be a chore considering how much rain we received.

My first duty of the morning was to get my contemplative prayer session over with much earlier than normal, and only because I wanted to get started outdoors before it turned hot. While in my darkened corner, I recalled a conversation I recently had with a long-time acquaintance mine. What really interested her, was my going into more detail regarding the method I use and its purpose. At first she thought it was some sort of new-age fad until I assured her such forms of prayer have been around since before the Middle Ages. St. Francis whom just about every Christian is familiar with, was more than likely a contemplative because he spent more time alone out in natural settings. The Prayer of St. Francis is sung not only in the Catholic Church, but many other Christian denominations as well.

When finishing up on my explanation, I mentioned how in many churches, the Holy Spirit has been sent to the back seat which I believe is wrong, along with the moving away from in-ward spiritual growth, and replaced by outward signs of faith such as the use of big screens, lots of loud new-age Christian music, along with all the other posturings which I turn away from because I consider it nothing less than a “Look at me.” which is almost laughable. For the strangest reason, I’ve always felt overly-pious people to be real turn-offs. I know one particular couple who seat themselves very close to a front pew and seem to enjoy making others think they’re so pious when in fact, out in the real world, they’ve intentionally done some real sinning. Don’t get me wrong, because I’ve sinned great sins right along with everyone else, but at least I’ve acknowledged and learned from them.

After all the mowing was done, I took a short break and then headed to the garden where I worked on and off for about three hours. Everything is now weeded which needed it, and while out there, I took the above photo of my baby Magnolia trees. There are fifteen of them, and if they make it thru the growing season, I’ll be permanently re-planting them in various locations. For sure I’ll be placing strong mesh wire around each one to keep those vile deer from eating them during the winter.

Thank goodness I had a big bottle of water with me because I was sweating like a butcher this afternoon. Another reason I was glad to have all of it done today, is because our weather forecast is calling for a very hot week ahead. Physically working in such high temperatures isn’t at all good, which is why it’s always best to work in the garden either early in the morning, or before sundown.

While visiting with a friend yesterday, he mentioned how crazy it is we still hold onto our old system of measurements instead of going with the times where nearly every country uses the metric system. He actually didn’t know that our old system of measurement was adopted from the British, which of course makes sense because our country was part of the British Empire before the American Revolution. I couldn’t remember them all, but I did share a number of measurements that he’d never heard of, so I’m posting them here, and if your curiosity gets the best of you, you’ll be busy on the net looking for them. Here they are.

1. 3 barleycorns
2. 1 link
3. 1 yard
4. 1 rod
5. 1 perch
6. 1 pole
7. 1 furlong
8. 1 mile
9. 1 hand

I’m sure I likely missed several more, but I think after you’ve looked them up, you’ll be scratching your head wondering how they managed to keep all those measurements straight. My favorite is the “1 hand” measurement. The next time someone asks how tall you are, you can tell them how many hands high you are. Wouldn’t that be a hoot? The last time I checked, I’m a hair over 18 hands high.

I couldn’t help watching that BBC News video of one of their reporters at today’s opening of the re-branded McDonald’s which I had to internally laugh at because most don’t realize that all of McDonald’s ingredients come from farms that have to meet their high standards which even carries on into their condiments like pickles and onions. For sure they use the absolute best potatoes to be had. We’ll see how that new owner who’s likely an oligarch is going to be watering everything down. Whenever doing business with kleptocrats, rest assured you’ll be getting the short end of the stick.

When you have the leader of Russia who’s been skimming off the top for over 20+ years, all his other cronies have followed suit because I’m sure they have the mindset of, “If he can do it, then we can too.”, which is why I’m so much against a leader of any country with such a mentality because they were elected to serve the people, instead of serving themselves, along with their family members and like-minded friends.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Most people would succeed in small things if only they weren’t troubled with great ambitions.

Joe Chodur

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