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Thursday, December 18, 2014

The day is finally here!

I was so excited to see on the news yesterday that Cuba is once more open to us.  My God!  I can remember way back in the dim recesses of my mind when the embargo was placed on Cuba.  I go to the store and find "Made in China", "made in Mexico",  "Made in Taiwan".  I watch the shows on child labor in these countries and hear the atrocities that go on inside these borders and then look at a country 90 miles off our coast that has been ostracized for 50 years and I do not even remember what they did.
I do know that when Sherman was alive he wanted a real Cuban cigar.  Just one before he died.  I do not remember how much that cost on the black market.  Oh, wait.  That is not illegal any more, is it?  And these buses loaded with medical and educationnal materials aren't either, are they?
I do not even remember when this picture was taken.
I see we are releasing 3 prisoners.  There were 5.  The Cuban 5.  I assume that a couple of them could have died.  I will need to look into that.  
But for now, it is enough that we are finally after 53 years doing something.  I am glad Allan Gross is home.  I am glad that the Cuban cigar is now resting in it's place of honor in St. Louis.  I am also very happy that my friends, Amy and Bernardo can now go "home" for a visit.


Friday, December 5, 2014

A man named David

You all know that I follow myself into the world and into whatever situation presents itself, right?  I have found myself in some rather odd places and met some really strange people, but it has always been for a reason.  The reason is not always readily known, but sooner or later it all clicks into place and I know why I am where I am or sometimes where I was and am not there anymore.  Am I making any sense?  Probably not.
So today I took myself to Sam's club.  I needed to pick up a few things.  I had no intentions at all of buying coffee and I sure do not buy the beans.  See a long time ago I used my coffee grinder to pulverize some dried Habeneros thus rendering it useless on coffee beans because of the flavor that would now be imparted to the coffee.  Habanero never loses its fire and the oil is imparted into the stainless steel blades in the grinder.  Columbian Habanero is nothing that will ever catch on at Starbucks.
So no one was more surprised then I was when I found myself clutching a 2 pound sack of Solar Roast Beans.  Hell, had I known I wanted solar roasted coffee beans I would have gone to the Solar Roast Store on Main Street.  It is a nice little coffee shop and I used to have lunch there with my friend Tere before she forsook me and moved back to Tennessee.  But there I stood and knew I had to have those beans.  The stock girl explained that if I needed them ground the man from the company was set up in the frozen food aisle to grind them.  It was beginning to look like the beans and I were meant to be a pair, so I began the meandering path back that direction.  Threw in a few things I could not live without, namely olive oil, green beans, artichokes, glucosamine, clementines, 25 pounds of flour and 10 pounds of sugar.  Oh, and 4 pounds of butter.
When I finally remembered I was looking for the coffee grinder I was almost out of time (meeting my son at 3 for a late lunch).  I handed him my bag and he dumped it into his machine and hit the button.  I hurried off to pick up eggs and when I got back he was alone and the grinder was doing it's thing.  For some odd reason I started talking about my church and invited him to our service on Sunday.  I love my church.  I explained that it is a UCC church and he told me he was partial to the UCC and usually found one when he was on the road.  He went on to explain that he is a practicing Buddhist and how Buddha searches for the perfect world and Nirvana.  I am very comfortable in my faith and enjoy discussing it with whomever I chance to meet.
Our whole conversation consisted of  a 9 minute discussion on religion.  His name is David and he is from California and he does the chants.  He will google loumercer3 and I may at some point know what I did for him or what he did for me.  Or maybe not.  Maybe that was the extent of the meeting.  I do know I am once more thinking about Buddhism.  I do know several people who practice the meditation thing and I think maybe I do to.  The difference is I call it "thinking about things" or "setting and thinking about nothing".  Or there is this; maybe I just needed to try freshly ground beans to see what real coffee tastes like.  Who knows.  I do know it was a pleasure meeting you, David, and maybe next time you are in this area you will pop into my church.  In the meantime, have a good one!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Please bring back the Pony Express!!!

So as you all know, I sell on ebay and thus use the postal service for delivery.  On orders in the United States I have tracking free.  Buy through ebay and track it righ to the door. Not so on International orders.  Oh, I get a tracking number, but it ends at the edge of the ocean or the Canadian border, so I am used to things diappearing into a customs office and never coming back.  Or if a package arrives at a post office and is not picked up I see it wend it's way back to my door.  But from here to Oregon is pretty much a straight shot, or so I thought!

A lady in Eugene, Oregon bought a book on November 13.  I immediately posted it at my Wedgewood office.  It left there sometime that day and arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah 8 days later.  That must have been one helluva trip  It remained in  Salt Lake City for several days until they got tired of talking to me.  It  then came back to Denver.  After due time it caught a wind and headed out west.

It then spent 2 days flying to Washington.  After spending the night in Federal Way, Washington it spent 2 days flying to Eugene, Oregon.  So 15 days later it arrived on her door step. Below is my tracking record.  

This is a post-only message. Please do not respond.

Lou Mercer has requested that you receive a USPS Tracking™ update, as shown below.

USPS Tracking™ e-mail update information provided by the U.S. Postal Service.

Label Number: 9449009699938911873408

Service Type: USPS Tracking

Shipment Activity Location Date & Time
Delivered, Left with Individual EUGENE, OR 97405 November 28, 2014 11:58 am
Arrived at Post Office EUGENE, OR 97405 November 28, 2014 8:56 am
Departed USPS Facility FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003 November 26, 2014 2:40 am
Arrived at USPS Facility FEDERAL WAY, WA 98003 November 25, 2014 6:59 pm
Departed USPS Facility DENVER, CO 80217 November 23, 2014 3:00 am
Arrived at USPS Origin Facility DENVER, CO 80217 November 23, 2014 2:21 am
Departed USPS Facility SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84199 November 21, 2014 6:55 pm
Arrived at USPS Facility SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84199 November 21, 2014 3:10 pm
Picked Up PUEBLO, CO 81005 November 13, 2014 1:36 pm
Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS November 13, 2014

Reminder: USPS Tracking™ by email

Seems like the real vacuum hole seeems to be beween Pueblo, Colorado and Salt  Lake City, but that is not the case.  Only God knows where that thing was.  So after many weeks I was most happy to find this email in my box:

Holy Moley, it's on the correct edge of the country!  lol
Happy Thanksgiving, Lou
:-)  Jeanne

And finally, this one:
EUREKA!!!!  Silly Sally has arrived!

Now I just went and checked out the Pony Express and copied what was there for you to read:  The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders Annual Pony Express Re-Ride covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

So am I off base in suggesting that they might bring back the Pony Express?  I figure I could shave a good 3-4 days off my delivery time.  Let me know.

In the meantime, I do hope Jeanne is enjoying Silly Sally.  I want to thank her for being so patient.  Most people would have given up early in the game.  Sure hope to do business with her again.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I finally made good my escape.

Ah yes!  Is there anything more beautiful in the world then a Colorado Rocky Mountain shot on my Nikkon camera?   Reason being is because I am on the back  side of the camera and I know pretty soon I will be in that scenery.  I, myself and for the most part,  am a heat seeking missile, but there are exceptions to most all of my rules and this is one of those instances.  There is something exhilarating about pulling on several layers of clothes, gloves, coat, boots, flannel cap and a hood over the whole mess, jumping out of the pickup into a snow filled wonderland and tramping uphill through the forest.

Coaldale did not have a lot of snow but there was enough to lower my temperature several degrees.  And this time of year there are not a lot of tourists up there so I have the forest to myself.  Well, not exactly to myself since I did go with a friend.  Even I am not silly enough to wander off into a frozen wonderland alone.  But it is very nice and quiet there.  Time stands still and birds flit about while little creatures dart in and out of holes faster than I can see them.

Not  surprised at all to find out I could not fish in this area.  The mere fact that there was no water led me to leave my pole at home.

. Now  I want to go on record as saying that I do love being in the woods when snow is up to my knees and communing with nature and being as close to God as one can get on this earth while still breathing, but I do not like the getting to the forest nor the returning home through the slush.  I also like the fact that a pickup with a good heater and a tank full of gas is waiting to transport me to another place and time.  

So I bid the little creek farewell and climbed in the cab and awaited the magic that would take me to another place.  This was only the first morning of my two day get away. I still had the prospect of Methodist mountain and a sky full of stars ahead of me.  I will fill you in on the rest of the journey when I am not quite so tired, but for now it is off to my little bed and dreams of a wonderful two days.
Remember to stop and smell the flowers!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Ah, the innocence of youth, or Santa Claus is coming to town.

Do you remember the innocence of youth?  I mean your youth?  Remember when the world was fresh and new and every discovery was a miracle like a flower opening before you.?  Growing up was fun and each day taught us something new.  I think I was probably in the third or Fourth grade when I discovered there was a world outside of Nickerson, Kansas.  Back then life was dirt roads, playing in the creek and waiting for Momma to get home and feed us.  There was no television to watch at our house.  The radio was for listening to the stock market report so dad would know how much the wheat would bring.  At some point in time I recall the President of the United States talking to us in what was known as "a fireside chat."  That was fun and we always set around the pot bellied stove and listened.  Made it seem like we were right there with him.  And we always slept better after he reassured us that the nation was in good shape and better days were coming.  Seems he promised us a chicken in every pot, or something like that.
It seems in my mind that I can remember Roosevelt talking.  I also clearly remember hearing the words "The war is over!"  I can clearly see us setting around the radio in the last home we owned in Nickerson.  I know looking back, that this is not the case.  Roosevelt gave his last fireside chat in 1944.  I would have been 3 years old.  World War II ended in 1945 when I would have been 4 years old.  We did not leave the Ailmore place until I was in 2nd or 3rd grade.  So I think we no doubt listened to Roosevelt while on the Ailmore place and I transferred that in my little brain to the house we owned.  When I heard the war ended we had to be the same place.  The memories are there, just not quite like they really happened.  Or maybe I heard a re-enactment and took it as a memory.
And what does all this have to do with Santa Claus, you may ask!  Well, I have a little friend and her name is Madison.  We call her Madi.  She is 9 years old and she is beautiful.  Remember the Breck girl?  Madi has huge blue eyes, a Madonna face and a smile that is like a glimpse into heaven.  The best part of it is she has a pure innocence that almost brings me to tears.  She always hugs me and asks how I am.  Just an honest to goodness little angel that cares about all the people in her world.  And today she explained to me about Santa Claus.  Did you know he lives at the North Pole?  He spends all year making toys.  The conversation was two sided.
"Well, yeah Madi, but there is a recession going on so things aren't looking so good for you this year.  How is he going to get toys?"
"Well, he will make them."
"Well, he can't make them if he does not have money for the raw materials!"
"Well, he has money!  He has more money than anyone in the world."
"Ok, but he is old and fat, so how can he make toys for everyone in the whole world?"
"Well, Lou, he has helpers.  Do you know he can hear everything you are saying and he probably will not give you any toys.  Nothing!  Because he knows everything!  And he sees everything!"
Well, when I found out that he could hear and see everything, I acquiesced and recanted so I could get back on the good side of Santa Clause.  This made Madi happy and she thinks I may get something this year.  I sure hope she is right.  And I do so hope she maintains her beliefs as long as possible because all too soon she will be walking across the stage to get her diploma and heading out to take her place in the world.  A world that will no doubt get bigger every day for her.
Love you, Madi!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My thoughts on the election.

To say that I am disappointed in the way the vote went would be an understatement.  Oh, I am not talking about the candidates and the Republicans triumphing over the Democrats.  That goes on all the time and will continue long after I am gone.  What bothers me is the refusal of people to make the food companies lable our food. We are herded together like so many cattle and told it does not matter.  GMO's are the way to go.  Less water.  Better yield.
I am not going to spew facts at you on this.  What I AM going to ask you to do is to use your search engine and type in words like:
Highest cancer rates world wide.
countries that do not allow GMO
agent orange monsanto

Read this stuff for yourself.  Make up your own mind.  Remember Jim Jones back in the 70's?  He made a big vat of grape Koolaid laced with poison and made his followers drink it.  If he had labled it poison, no one would have drunk it.  Now our government refuses to lable our food.  What does that tell you?  If it was safe they would paste big signs all over it, but by thier refusal to require that GMO lable they are, in essence pulling a Jim Jones on us and we are letting them.  Seeds that were once saved from crops are no longer allowed to be sold.  Seed that was sold by the pound is now sold at a per seed price.  No more heritage crops are being planted.  You have an Iternet, PLEASE use it!

I did  like this little read.  Underground Health

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I hate the time change, but guess what I found!

I woke up this morning at 4:15 AM.  That is because I usually wake up around 5:00 AM or so.  I laid there for a while and had a little talk with God.  Then I planned my day.  I tried to sleep and may have dozed off for a bit after cussing the government for the stupid time change anyway.  I am sorry, I just do not get it.  I know they are trying to save daylight hours, but come on people, are you really buying that?  My days are 16 hours long and I am going to be in the dark on both ends of it.  I have been closing up the geese at 7:00 PM when it starts to get dusk and letting them out about 7:00 AM.  Now it will be 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM.  It will be the same degree of darkness and they do not know the time has changed.  Only I know now that the time schedule has been altered thus screwing up my whole schedule.  Like I did not have my mind in enough different places.  Hell, it was yesterday that I finally put my shorts away because I thought August was now over and I know we don't wear shorts after Labor Day.  I completely missed Columbus Day,  The State Fair, Beulah Art Sale, the turning of the Aspens,  3 of the kids birthdays and God only knows what else!
And now I set here with my muddled little mind wondering where in the hell Summer went!  Seems like only last week I was bent over tending the tender little plants and digging out the lawnmower to chop the weeds into submission.  I tried to do my "year in review" and thought it was 1997!  Ever hear that old saying, "When you are over the hill, you pick up speed?"  That is sure going on around here.  Point is I have a hard enough time with out Uncle Sam messing with my bedside clock when my internal clock has already thrown most of it's springs!
So, now I bet you are wondering what I found this morning, aren't you?  I found my shadow!  I have spent a lot of the past week flat on my back on a heating pad feeling very sorry for myself.  Must interject here that the little talk with God this morning clarified the fact that he had me down so I could think about some things that were a tad bit awry in my mind.  So after I told him I was pretty sure he was right about that, I got up and as one is wont to do first thing every morning, I headed for the bathroom.  The first switch I hit every morning is the one for the office lights.  That leaves the bathroom dark.  I opened the door and there was my shadow, waiting for me!  Funny how we forget the little things in life, isn't it?
I had probably seen that little fellow a million times over the years, but I had forgotten about it!  The poem we used to say years and years ago sprang into my mind.  It goes something like this:

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.
Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947),

Well, it goes exactly like that because I went to the Internet and stole it!  The thoughts that spring to my mind with this poem are always of Nickerson, Kansas.  I remember walking the dusty roads around the old home place in my bare feet.  My shadow was always with me and as my shadow grew longer it was closer to time to "go in".  Funny, we never called it going home, but always going in.  Always liked Friday and Saturday night because we could stay up late and play "Kick the can!".   Does anyone remember that?  We always had a can from some where and that was home base.  It was basically hide and go seek and when whoever was "it" found one of the hidden kids, they drug them back to jail.  Then when the "it" person went off searching for more kids someone could run to home base and kick the can, thus freeing the prisoners.  Ah, the good old days.  And for the record, I am sure mother always made us wash our feet when we came in from playing all day barefooted.  I know to this day, my feet are the one part of my body that is always clean.  Always without fail.
So here I set at the computer and I can not see my shadow.  I see my hands are making a shadow, but I must be setting on that little guy, cause he is now where to be seen.  And if I am a female, why is my shadow a "he"?