Jeesh! I know I was griping about cold weather last week, but this is ridiculous! Did you know that it got to negative 26 in Seneca last week? That is outrageous. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that we are blessed enough to not be getting the cold weather like the Midwest is getting.

On Feb. 4, our greeters were Everett and Dave, whom we would like to thank for always wanting to help us out! There were 36 regular and 36 frozen meals delivered to John Day and Mt. Vernon by our wonderful volunteers. Thank you!

We would also like to extend our thanks to the Blue Mountain Hospital ladies, Chris Yriarte and Carol Jean Schwonacher, who served the meal. They were so very wonderful and delightful during our time together. Our yummy dinner was hot turkey sandwiches, mashed potatoes with gravy, peas, Jello with fruit and maple bars for dessert. Our amazing cooks give us the best comfort food for these cold, dreary days! The winner of this week’s Len’s Drug gift card was Ron Dowse, and Adea Porter won the free dinners.

I love these light evenings! It’s nice to look outside at 5 p.m. and see a setting sun rather than have it be pitch black. I don’t think anyone is ready for the time change, though. Mark your calendars: Daylight saving time is a mere month away! Not sure if I’m ready to “spring forward,” but I am very thankful for the lighter evenings.

On Feb. 7, our greeters were Gregg Starr and Jeanette, who welcomed each and every one of our lovely diners with open arms. 48 meals were delivered to Mt. Vernon and John Day, thanks to our lovely volunteers, Joe and Joan Taylor and David Gill, who are gracious and selfless enough to deliver meals to those who wish to remain in their cozy homes.

We had folks come down from the Church of the Nazarene to serve the meal, which was delicious. Dinner was smoked salmon fettuccine with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach, fresh vegetables, Caesar salad and homemade bread with birthday cake for dessert! The meal was donated by Doug’s Motor Vehicle Repair, and the cake was donated by Driskill Memorial Chapel. The food was great, and we want to thank you for your contribution and interest in the senior center lunch program. Dale Stennett won the free meal ticket from us, and Jan won the free meal from Valley View Assisted Living. Thanks again for all that you do!

Be careful on these slick roads this week, and drive carefully. We thought winter was over, but behold, it is back again. God knows we need the moisture.

Isaiah 55:10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

How have you all been faring in this crazy weather we’ve been having? I just want to lift up my hands in praise to the Lord! We had some great rain, and the rain seeped into the ground, and then we got the snow. Oh, yes, we got some moisture in the ground now. Yippee and praise be to God! I believe we have about a foot of snow on the ground at our place and more to come.

Well, we had a few more people for lunch than the previous week. We had 42 guests on our books and seven takeouts. Some of our visitors included Katee Hoffman from John Day and Dick and Pam Wanous from Spray.

Our greeters were Linda Blakeslee, Kristi Guimont and Judy Harris. Linda and Kristi checked in the guests and collected and counted the money, Judy led us in the flag salute and made the announcements and yours truly prayed the blessing over our meal.

Our cooks, Terry Cade and Carrie Jewell, made us some delicious spaghetti, garlic bread, fresh green salad, canned peaches and chocolate cookies. We welcome Carrie back from being away for many months to help care for her sick husband.

The winners of the free meal tickets were Dick Wanous and Bob Cockrell. Linda Blakeslee won the gift card to Chester’s Thriftway.

There will be a sewing class on Feb. 23. It will be at the Monument Senior Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. We share a potluck lunch around noon. Come out and join us in the fun.

I don’t know if taking care of your animals is harder in the summertime or in the wintertime? Summer can be so miserably hot; you just don’t want to do a whole lot for fear of getting heatstroke, that’s for me anyway. It can be a struggle to take care of your animals in the cold winter. Animals are extra thirsty in the cold so trying to keep their water source from freezing up is sometimes a battle.

The other day, while at the barn, the dogs went crazy looking for something. I assumed it was that elusive pack rat. Well, our male dog kept scratching at the barn door. He kept walking around, scratching, biting and getting agitated. So, I was like, “What are you looking for?” I was looking at the little space between the barn wall and the door, and I found a piece of wire and poked around. There were old bits of hay in between about 2 feet high. Then there it was, a pack rat at my eye level!

I was not going to let it get away this time, so I shot it. It then slowly slid down. Unfortunately, it slid behind the old bits of hay. I got it, but it is still behind the heavy barn door, and I can’t get it out. I can’t move the barn door. I gotta figure out a way to get that nasty thing out before the weather warms up and it starts to stink!

Psalm 12:6 “The Words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.”

Boy, o’ howdy, you’d never believe what happened to my pinochle partners and me today! There is a special meld in this game that requires two jacks of diamonds and two queens of spades and it’s worth 300 points. If you only get one of each, it is worth 40 points. I cannot tell you the percentage increase, but it is substantial! Back to the story, we managed to get that big meld not once, which is nice, not twice, which is super, but three times in one game! Didn’t take long to finish that game, which we did win. Ahem.

In other news, Carlos and Jay did the home deliveries, Drew led the flag salute and Jack asked the blessing. It was good to see Jack back after his long bout with the Grant County crud. The winner of the $5 gift card donated by Len’s Drug was Marilyn Randall.

Tom’s Food for Thought: “Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.” — Victor Hugo. So, we had to look through all the paper hearts scattered on the tables in honor of St. Valentine for a purple heart to discover which table got to go first today. The calendar in my office/studio has a quote from Albert Einstein; “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.” I bet he could have told me what the percentage increase from 40 to 300 is.

So we ate tuna noodle casserole, carrots, rolls and a blueberry turnover for dessert. There were 55 names on the registration book. We welcomed new diners, Karin Corwin, Nancy Schlagel and Thomas Harris, whom we haven’t seen for awhile. Lorna and Krystin brought Marilyn Randall, Gordon Sindt and Mary Crawford from the Blue Mountain Care Center.

While we were playing pinochle, Fran Bunch brought in a lot of items for our little Senior Sales corner. Thank you so much for your donation, Fran. It is much appreciated.

Joel finally got started on my kitchen floor replacement. It is more than just installing the new floor covering. First problem was to determine why the floor was so uneven. So, he cut a hole about two-foot square where the worst dip was and found — as the guy says on “This Old House” — a surprise. Whenever the old furnace was put in (I’m guessing at least 50 years ago), they did not make sure that the joist under it was properly supported. There were a lot of mortised and tenoned, rough 2-by-6 pieces around the area, but they were not supported by anything. So, he had to fit himself into that area, put a jack under the joist and raise the whole kit-n-kaboodle as far as he could — only made two cracks in the wallboard. Then, he put four cement blocks in the area, covered up the hole, and proceeded to screwing down the old wooden flooring to the sub-floor. That took care of the squeaks, but not the cupping of the old floorboards. Hmmm. The water heater had leaked for quite some time and apparently enough had gotten under the four, five, six layers of linoleum and vinyl to damage the wood. That repair will be continued next week.

Psalm 22:14 “… poured out like water …” Micah 1:4 “… rushing down a slope.” Ezekiel 32:14 “Then I will let her waters settle …”

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