The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Favorite Freckle

I have a favorite freckle dear;
It's left cheek, under eye.
It's hard to kiss it by itself,
But certainly I'll try!

I have a favorite spoon, don't you?
It looks like all the rest.
I just can't tell which one it is,
But know that it's the best!

My house's coolest hinge you ask?
Closet door of course!
When I begin to praise its pin,
My voice will end up hoarse.

I like this spot on Lucas' back

It has a certain shape,
So look real close and you will see
It's like a squish-ed grape.

Each button on the stereo

Does something, I am sure.
Though one stands out above the rest
(You'll notice on the tour)!

Say hi to Fibros! (He's the one waving.)

Now fibers in the carpet,
are often just the same.
But I have found a favorite,
And I've given him a name.

My favorite leaf, I'd show you,
But now it's hard to see.
Each year it comes out higher up--
That silly growing tree.

I go through lots of handkerchiefs.

(Allergic now to Poles!)
My favorite one is still complete
With hardly any holes.

My quandary comes with my three kids.
Each one is so unique.
I can not tell the difference,
To me they all are Greek!

Victoria is the precious one.

(My one and only girl).
Married now with babies
She's more and more a pearl.

Since Noah grew up fast and lean,
Maturing every day,
An equal man to my own years,
He is in every way.

Josh the first base umpire

So Josh believes he's twenty one
(The youngest, growing up)!
Though funny, brave and smart and good,
He'll always be my pup!

If you would like a brood like mine,
(Do not start to heckle),
But go and find a pretty girl,

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Minutes to Midnight?

If you have not ever heard of it, perhaps it would be wrong of me to 'enlighten' you. If you live your life with ease and comfort and pure optimistic delight (and blinded naivete), who am I to spoil, not just your day, but the rest of your life? But then again, who am I to second-guess the sober directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from the University of Chicago? These serious men have been predicting the end of the world since 1947. Should we not harken to their doomsday warnings, and reduce our daily joys to fear and trembling?

It was during the ever present threat of nuclear devastation, pervasive throughout the 'cold war', that the original 'doomsday clock' was designed and published in the Bulletin. With 1440 minutes given us in each day, the forecasters in Chicago decided that in 1947, we were merely 7 minutes in metaphorical time from the end of life as we know it. Considering the pace of the arms race, combined with the psychological unknowns of world leaders who had push-button destruction at their fingertips, a world wide disaster appeared to be imminent.

The big hand was moved to 3 minutes to midnight already by 1949 when the Soviets tested their first atomic bomb, and to 2 minutes in 1953 when the two major powers tested new weapons within 9 months of each other. The poor minute hand might have been broken by now for all of the 19 back and forth adjustments it has gone through over the years. In 1991 it reached its most hopeful place ever at 17 minutes to midnight, and currently, after its latest move in 2010 is at 6. Perhaps an official measure of cultural optimism should be instituted; the minuto. As in: “Yes it looks like rain, but I'm at 18 minutos, so I'm not even going to take my umbrella!”

So a bunch of scientists evaluate the current political scene and try to judge how unstable the world's leaders may or may not be feeling, and then publish a big clock where the 'club' hand threatens to end it all at the assumed cursed hour of midnight! And the rest of us are supposed to accept their politically driven opinion as some sort of divine prophecy? Rest assured oh mighty professors, we little people are fully aware that our bills are due, and must be paid. Our individual deaths are coming. The birth rate may rise and fall according to whim and whimsy, and your toy clock hands will move forward and back in your 'scientific' play, but the death rate will always be 100%.

Photo by JM Enterprises
(Josh Miller)
Sometimes I wonder how the 'I' will die. Like my Mother, after a four month onslaught of cancer? Or my Father, who died suddenly a few days after bypass surgery. Perhaps I will be horribly murdered by some kind of random maniac, or slip on a tiny patch of ice and hit my head on the one hard object in the snow. Maybe I will contract some weird disease that catches one in 3 million, or sink into the oblivion of Alzheimer’s. I might hope for a quick heart attack, in my sleep, especially, or better yet, to drown miserably after rescuing some toddlers from a raging river. I've already had my 'inevitable' fall off a roof, but it could happen again with more than a few broken ribs this time resulting.

I wonder sometimes, but I don't really care how I die. Knowing that I will is enough. And knowing that I have repented from my natural rebellious state, that my sins (and my sinfulness) are forgiven, and that my Savior, Jesus Christ, is waiting to welcome me home in heaven, is much more than enough.

If the midnight hour must be maligned by our scientists as the symbol of doom, then let me assure them that whatever form their personal end takes at that nocturnal point, time will continue after that double-handed vertical alignment. Where we spend that continuing time, whether with God by the turning of our hearts toward Him and simply abiding by His 'dress code', or away from God like someone pridefully refusing the open invitation to come, is up to us. The Midnight hour can be either enchantingly beautiful, or grotesquely dreadful. It all depends on where we stand with Christ.

... people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment
Hebrews 9:27

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Nature of Building OR A Bun in the Oven

Having been a carpenter for many years now, I think I know how to build a few things.

A 'turn-key' house.


1 big hole in the ground
1 truck load of forms for basement footings and foundation
1 or 2 truck loads of cement (preferably cement trucks)
4-8 truck loads of rough lumber and sheeting for framing walls and floors (depending on house size)
1 truck load of trusses
320 Mountain Dews (no need for Diet MD, it's so darn hot/cold out there you'll burn off the calories either by sweating or shivering) or Hot Chocolates
1 truck load each of windows and doors, insulation, and drywall
15 miles of 14 gauge wire and piles of fixtures, outlets and switches
8 miles of plumbing pipes and 1 small truck load of fittings
1 bunch of change orders, cost overruns, mistakes, and miscellaneous debates
1 truck load of kitchen cabinets and finish trim
1 boat loads of nails, screws, glue and duct tape (could be tricky if lot is not located near a navigable stream)
1 or 2 truck loads of paint, appliances, flooring and hardware
41 pounds of ham sandwiches and granola bars
1 big mass of accrued knowledge and skill
1 front door key


Work like a dog in all kinds of weather, unloading all those trucks.
Attach each item to another item using the connectors (nails, screws, glue and duct tape), for several months.
Eat sandwiches and drink beverages
Stop suddenly when front door key unlocks front door**
Go home and complain that you're getting too old for this and you wish you were a brain surgeon because then at least you're fingers would be warm

**I would be more specific, but I don't want to give too many more secrets away

Other things are easier to build. For example:

A Baby


1 little embryo (the bun)
1 super cozy place to dwell (the oven)


Wait for 9 months with Motherly patience and discretionary ingesting
Trust God to do His thing
In a matter of hours, do more hard work than 5 carpenters building a giant house do in a year.
Be delivered!

So much for 'building'. If the Mom takes care of herself as well as she should anyway, an amazing little living creature will be produced in less than a year! In fact, even if she must work tirelessly at other responsibilities, even if she is somehow malnourished and hurting, chances are her baby will grow and develop despite the loss. This is because someone else is doing the actual building, inside of her!

This part of psalm 139 is David's description of what goes on. God 'knitting me together' is one of the most vivid pictures in scripture.

One Grand Bun (Son)
In One Grand Oven 
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

And then some things are virtually impossible to build (but I think I know a way)!

Pumpernickel Bread

Serves One  (unless you are prone to share)


1 pumpernickel (whatever that is)
1 bread (preferably something yummy like doughnut bread)


Beat pumpernickel until it is essentially small enough to blow away.
Play 'air bake' which is like 'air guitar' so you are kind of like pretending you're baking.
Apply invisible and imaginary pumpernickel fumes to doughnut.
Call it pumpernickel bread.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Bakery (Precursor)

I always have too many ideas to simply write ONE post per theme!  But this one will be short and simple.

Now with our Grandson!
Oh so many years ago (Yipes, has it been over 30 years now?), when I was first dating my wife in Madison Wisconsin, I had to turn onto Drake St. off of Park.  I was not from the area but whenever I was driving Kiki back to her place we turned there between two corner businesses.  She was on the right side, so she looked out and saw her favorite place; Lane's Bakery, and said "Yumm!"  (We still make it a point to go there if ever in Madison, for a few of their fancy schmancy cookies and maybe a chocolate cake, coated of course, with butter cream frosting.)  I was on the left side (seeing as how Madison is in the USA) and I looked out and said, "Oh, that must be where you were born!" to my beautiful coed bride to be, as we passed the "Ideal Body Shop".

That's my 'bakery' story (so far) and I'm sticking to it!

Monday, July 4, 2011


While waiting to die,
I live my life,
(I don't know why),
In wasted strife.

I'm called to serve,
But self I render,
too oft swerve;
Avoid surrender.

The day will come
And I'll be home,
Excuses dumb,
Before that tome.

Yes I'll be there
(Salvation's sure!),
For though not fair,
The cross; my cure.

Before His throne,
My life reviewed,
I'd be undone,
With so much spewed.

One thing I know:
But for His grace,
The tears that flow
Would stain my face..

No salted stripes
Will last or stay:
My Jesus wipes
Each tear away!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rahab's Betrayal

Rahab was in deep. For years she had been well known in Jericho. The city fathers, the chief of police, even most of the traffic cops, security officers and, yes, the garbage men were familiar with her work. More importantly, Rahab knew all about them; their narcissistic proclivities, rebellious depravity and thorough corruption.

When the chance came to escape the coming doom, to repent and do one thing right for a change; she took it! Rahab turned in her red light and accepted the scarlet cord of redemption.

What cultural baggage might you 'betray', for deliverance?                                  Joshua 2

A Hand Me Down Tale

Tommy preferred to stand up tall.

“Better to be a pick-me-up than a daisy-downer any day!” he always said.

Indy pointed when others did fall.

 “Nothing is my fault!” he cried out loud.

The middleman seemed to make trouble for all.

“When 'up yours' is not enough!” he quipped with his mischievous grin.

Ringo drummed the table for John George and Paul.

“Somebody's got to keep the beat moving!” said he with a shout.

The Little guy waited, and waited for a call.

                                                       “If I'm needed, I'll be with Ringo....still”