Monday, June 20, 2016

Up In The Air (Fiction, David Russell, about 3,730 words)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

I am pasting a recently drafted story of mine. Its title, "Up In The Air."

I welcome comments and observations you may have about the story itself. It ends happily ever after for the couple, but with plenty of work to do within the family.
**
Up In The Air
David Russell

3735 Words

I drove Scott to the airport to go see his parents. I met them last Thanksgiving when going home with him. There were some tense moments during that Thanksgiving weekend. I have fallen in love with him, and would consider marriage if he pops the question. It's early March and winter is finally releasing its grip.
Meantime, Scott's desire is to thaw the freeze that they exhibit toward ReyAnn and himself. Though now known, only two weeks previous, the marriage conversation with ReyAnn's Mom included her blessing and welcome to the family.

Scott called me Saturday evening. He sounded sad as he recalled the conversation with his parents.
"Mom, Dad, I love ReyAnn and have plans to marry her."
"You could do better then her. Find a sports world star instead of some country girl from Minnesota," Mom said.
"She is not just a country girl. She is my fiance and has her vocational ducks in a row."
"Just how does this country bumpkin affect your life?" Dad asked.
"I have a renewed interest in life and work. Love isn't blind," Scott said.
"It's your decision Scott, and it's your life," Mom said. The tension in the house was as chilling as this cold March day. Mom may have been releasing her ground out of frustration.
****
Previous Summer
The morning sunshine started to remove the fog and dampness as I went to work at the Body and Bath store in the Duluth mall. The morning mall walkers were completing their trek as day shift would soon start. In a couple hours the corridors would be buzzing with conversations and many stores catering to shoppers.

Shortly after the start of day shift, I noticed my casually-dressed supervisor, Gayle, approach me.
“Did you get those linens on the display,”
“What linens?”
“The overnight delivery; I posted a bright-colored sticky note on it before you arrived this morning.”
Staring at Gayle, I replied, “I didn't see it.”
She returned my stare stating,
“ReyAnn, tend to it please!”

Overall, life was pretty good. I like college life at Lake Superior. Like many 20-somethings, I'd like romance, and a job with good pay and minimal nagging.

Later that morning a co-worker named Andrea engaged in small talk with me.
“Rey,hi! Doris, Rita and I are going to the Storyhill concert in the park after work, want to join us?"
“Sounds good! I'm having the morning from hell with Gayle."
“Most people really don't get along with Gayle.”
“What time is the concert,”
“At 7, band shell, Canal Park,” Andrea said.

About noontime Gayle again approached ReyAnn.
“Those linens are still on the table. When the hell are you going to replace them?”
“I'll do it now, excuse me!" Right away - I retrieved the box and shelved the linens on the display. A burst of energy was felt from the encounter. Letting Gayle have it might feel darn good.

I got to the park around 6:30 and looked for my three friends. Storyhill were doing sound checks, and the crowd were getting anxious for the concert to begin.
Finding my group of friends who had blankets and snacks spread out by a tall oak tree.
“Doesn't that sky look cloudy?" Rita questioned.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our summer park concert series. We have for your listening pleasure, StoryHill and ask you give them a very dynamic Duluth welcome,” stated the show’s Master of Ceremonies.
The band performed crowd favorites for a good hour, took a short break. Their second set featured new material, and was about a half hour long.

“Notice those three guys over there that keep looking in our direction. They look like body builders you'd see on ESPN,” I said.
“I've seen one of them on SSI<" Doris said.
"Social Security Income?" Rita inquired.
“No goofball, but Sport Service Information," Andrea answered.
“He looks younger,” Rita added.
“Ah rita, come off it.

“Get their attention and we'll get a cold beer after at Peanut Barrel,” Doris suggested.
After some back-and-forth eye contact, the three men slowly made their way to where the girls were seated. Scott approached the group as the other two stood nearby.
“Hi ladies. I'm Scott, and this is Bob and Ted. Rita invited them to sit down, and light conversation ensued.
During the waning moments of the concert, the skies darkened and sprinkles began falling.
"we’re going to the Peanut Barrel afterward. Want to join us there?" I asked.
“Sure, - we’ll meet you there,” Bob said. Andrea excused herself to go home. She was a single parent and had her 8-year-old son to look after.
I noticed several of the concert goers pressed on to the Peanut Barrel. Six or eight people crowded into the restroom I used to attempt a towel off after the short soaker.
The Peanut Barrel was two city blocks away from the park. Atmosphere comfortable accommodating young professional socialites. Bar-food and various cold beer and wine were available menu items.

I recall sitting across from Scott, Rita from Ted, and Doris from Bob. Conversation was light and the room bustled with chatter, bartending, and contemporary roc as background music served up made for pleasant ambiance. Pictures of sport players adorned the walls; a big screen TV featured a Twins baseball game.
“Gosh Darn!!!! did you see that damn ball just about go over the fence, Doris blurted. “That outfielder saved the lead for the Twins.”
Ted asked, “Doris, you like baseball?”
"If it’s on then I’ll watch it."

I decided then and there to start to know Scott. I found his demeanor pleasant and his physique quite attractive.
“Scott, what's with the SSI T-shirt?"
“I cover the University sports."
“My brother has a hockey scholarship to play here starting next year,” Doris said. I wanted Doris to butt out.
“Oh," Scott said.
“May be looking after little brother.”
Again, I got his attention and asked,
“Have you lived around here long?”
“Long enough. About four years. Originally, from Muskegon, Michigan," Looking at ReyAnn to invite more talk he asked,
“How are you managing summer?”
“Working a shit job at the mall.”
“Can't be all that bad can it?” Both exchanged glances and smiles as they talked.
“I have a supervisor who is a classic witch. Never satisfied.”
“Sounds like it’s time for a clean break.”
“Got any recommendations?” Reaching across my fingers brushed his forearm.
“You don't want to act in haste, repent in leisure. Do a variation on that ReyAnn,” Scott said. He liked the instant touch and meant his comment to be supportive.
"I'm tired of doing the some variation. I'd like to punch out her lights," I said making a punch gesture when speaking.
A half hour later, we settled our tab and prepared to leave. Scott asked me to have lunch the next day. I said,
"How about if we meet up outside Subway in the mall?"
"Sounds good, around noon okay?"
"yes, see you then." I felt elated.

During staff meeting the next morning, I tried Scott's idea to do a variation on my angst and frustration with Gayle.
“I don’t like being singled out. Someone put the towels back on the table, in the box, after I had shelved them. Gayle chewed my butt out for it. Since none of us like being humiliated, I’ll be watching for the person who crosses me."
I can throw my weight around some even though I'm an attractive, 5 feet 8 tall, athletic-appearing 22-year-old red head. All morning I thought of Scott, especially his baby blue eyes, thick curly hair, casual dress and body build. Noontime arrived, we have 45 minutes for lunch.

Scott had a short walk from the SSI Network, spotting ReyAnn as they both approached the Subway from opposite directions, giving her a sideways hug as they greeted.
“Haven’t we met somewhere?”
“I think that’s someone else’s line,” and both laughed at the exchange. Taking her hand they headed inside and placed their order.
“Scott, How does a Muskegon guy end up in Duluth?”
“Well, after graduating from Michigan State in Communications, I got out in the real world, got a job, started to pay loans, and find a girl, settle down and start a family. They exchanged smiles. "Guess the family started is with other peers or professionals.”
“ReyAnn, what's your claim to fame?”
“From St. Cloud. Have two parents, and a dog named Zoey.”
“We're onlys!”
“”Only thing I don’t share is my sleep-in time on the weekend,” ReyAnn said. Scott flashed her a smile.
The small talk continued while enjoying our soup and sandwich.
“This is sure a pleasantry worth repeating,” Scott said. I nodded in agreement, and added,
“Tonight I’m planning to chill. Have had a few late nights."
“Know what you mean. I am going over to the IM Building for a swim. Need to work out some stuff.”
“Heard some good things about that new movie opening this weekend, about the inner city basketball team. Would you be interested?”
“I think a late Saturday or Sunday show would be best for me. Where's it playing?”
“The Duluth Cinema on Harbor Drive,”
“Call me at work Saturday, there all day,” ReyAnn said reaching for and handing him her business card.

Scott was finding his reserved side to be letting go. He imagined sharing the same lane at the IM pool, or playfully splashing each other, doing laps or sharing a kiss on the shallow end. Scott wanted her to touch him again. He felt much of the time like a 26-year-old man going through the motions of life. ReyAnn was standing on the periphery, and something in him wanted her to move in closer.
“Thanks for the lunch – Scott. Let's talk Saturday,” I said reaching around and rubbing his back briefly with my right hand and then we had a brief electrifying kiss and embrace.

****
Nearly two months passed and we were spending most weekends together at Scott's place. The fall term was underway. We attended the season opener of the UMD home game for the hockey team.
During the second period, still scoreless, I got a puzzled look on my face.
“Rey, what’s up?”
“Mom just sent me a text." Reaching over I grasped Scott's forearm.
“She says dad was rushed to the hospital due to a heart attack,” Tears began to fall.
“Are they home in Saint Cloud?”
“Oh Shit! I have to go there ASAP." Putting his arm around me Scott said,
“Let’s finish the game. Then we can make plans that will get you there ASAP.”
They were sharing a scoreless game and vulnerability.
"I gotta text from the boss telling me to host tomorrow morning's sport show."
"You can't go with me?"
"Sorry babe. Message says George Gronk fired. Reasons known only to administration."
Once the game concluded, the plan decided would put ReyAnn on the next train going to Saint Cloud, and they would meet up in a couple days thereafter. Fortunately the train schedule was convenient as it left Duluth one hour after the game concluded. The distance to St. Cloud was about 140 miles, so ReyAnn would arrive home in about two hours.

A half hour after arrival, ReyAnn and her mother went to the hospital. Her dad was in the ICU, stable but serious condition.

“Honey, I’ll make it through this. You and your Mom are my biggest supportive fans and of course family,”
“Dad, I love you, tears streaming down my face. "Dad, I don’t want to lose you.”
“If I have anything to say about it, you won’t. By the way, how is Scott?”
“He’s fine. Wanted to come but had work.”
“Are you sure you want to continue a relationship with him? Don't TV and radio types move around a lot or burn out.”
“Dad, don’t go there. He is a nice caring man, just give him a chance!”
“I only want what makes you happy and is best for you, Rey.” He reached over the side-rail taking her hand in his for a moment. ReyAnn's phone rang.
"Hello."
"ReyAnn, this is Scott's mom. Scott asked us to call. How are you?" ReyAnn took a momentary pause.
"Hi Mrs. Hardin. Dad is stable, and hope he stays that way," she said.
"We're thinking of you and your family."
"Scott will inform you of changes. Thanks for calling."
It felt strange to speak with the woman who had little to no interest in me. I think she's ill-tempered.

The new day arrived, sun shining through the picture window in Dad's room. Hours dragged. Nurses, doctors and lab techs made occasional appearances to check monitors and vitals. Mom and I kept vigil at dad’s bedside, with intermittent trips to the cafeteria or outdoors for some momentary solitude. Scott called a couple times, and Dad would converse on occasion. He slept much of that night.

Around 5:30 the next morning, Dad took a sudden turn for the worse. Blood pressure and other vitals showed deterioration. Another attack occurred, but this one would be fatal. ReyAnn missed Scott being with her; from Scott's side, he felt trapped by professional demands and the inadequacy of sending texts or calls when he could. Also, he had only met ReyAnn’s parents in passing when they came to visit her just before Fall term. The feelings and situation were truly awkward for him. He loved ReyAnn, her youthful side, approach to life and her career and personal goals.

At 5:47 a.m., the machines beeped announcing ReyAnn’s father did not make it. Grief was immediate for both women. The attending doctor, a middle-aged African-American, expressed his condolences to both Mom and ReyAnn.
“Honey, I am glad the three of us were able to be together on your Dad’s last day.”
“I am too, mom.” Both hugged and cried freely for several minutes feeling intense loss. Dad would be cremated as planned after organ donation was addressed.

The memorial service was two days later. Scott arrived the evening before. He apologized profusely to both ReyAnn and her mother.
"I wanted to be here all along but couldn't get away from work. I'll help in any way possible," he said as he gave ReyAnn and her Mom separate hugs.
"Thanks, glad you're here," said Reyann's Mom.
****
At Thanksgiving, ReyAnn went home with me to meet my parents. One particular conversation occurred Saturday removing any doubt of what the other thought. I felt stuck in the middle like peanut butter between two pieces of bread.
Scott's dad began,
"ReyAnn, Scott tells us you plan to be an accountant. Moving back to St. Cloud?"
"No. I'd like to stay in or live somewhere like Duluth."
"I think Scott could be on ESPN in a few years, New York, lights, camera action. You and Scott are great friends, but he has career and much more ahead of him."

Face turning red ReyAnn replied,
"Your son and I are becoming more than friends; we l o v e one another!" ReyAnn excused herself and retired to the guestroom where she cried. We ate a mostly silent dinner. ReyAnn and I went to see my old stomping grounds and returned to Duluth the next morning.
****
Over Presidents' Day Weekend in mid February, we went to visit her mother in St. Cloud. I helped her process her Dad's belongings to give away. During time alone with ReyAnn's Mom, I asked for ReyAnn's hand in marriage.
"I love your daughter. Would you give us your blessing to be married here?"
"Yes Scott. We embraced... "Do you have a date in mind?"
"I was thinking the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend."
"Have you asked her?"
"I plan to the first weekend in April. I have to cover the opening game between the Twins and Athletics in Oakland."
"By phone or how?" My plan was to propose while airbound."
"Oh, how romantic, how sweet!" Taking both my hands in her she added,
"Yes, you are a fine young man. You have my daughter's interest uppermost?"
"Yes, I do. She is a splendid woman!"

A day later, Scott called his parents to tell them of the wedding plan. Their response was unified and neutral, not discouraging, not encouraging.
"Of course, Scott, we will attend," his mom said.

In early April, baseball season began, and the Twins had a weekend series against Oakland. Scott would be covering the games for a subsidiary of Sports Services Information.
“Rey, I want you to come along. Opening day is a pretty exciting occasion in baseball!"
“When do we need to go?”
“Thursday morning. I need Friday to get stats and information on the teams,” he said.

On Thursday morning shortly after 4 o’clock, they were aboard the plane in Minneapolis, settled in and enjoyed the comfort of the cabin and the scenery outside the window. The sky was clear and appeared starry through take-off.

“Rey, Rey, Rey, are you awake?”
Silence continued for a few minutes. The flight had gone on for slightly over an hour. They were perhaps flying over Kansas.
“Rey, I want to ask you,” and then the plane took a big turn to the left and a slight lunge. It felt as if the plane were going into a dive.
The flight captain advised,
“Passengers, we are in turbulence. Please remain seated. Put up any treys and fasten your seatbelts. Just before the sentence ended, the plane lunged forward falling several feet. Scott felt his life in the balance. ReyAnn wakened by the commotion held Scott’s hand quite tightly.
“Oh my! What is this?”
“I don't really know, plane troubles."
“You are sooo special to me!"
"This is too weird," I said.
Several passengers screamed; some children were heard crying. Just then the plane took another lunge. This time to the right with the nose nearly vertical. The momentary bouncing felt like it had gone on for several minutes.
“Oh Scott, know I'm glad we had the past several months together. You saved me from duking it out with Gayle.”
“Rey, I don’t have to keep up an image when we’re together. You are getting to know the genuine Scott.”
The plane stabilized a few minutes then made a sharp turn to the right, but this time reversed, with the descent feeling as if the plane were on its side at a 60 degree angle. A shaking sensation was felt for several moments, and passengers collectively showed their panic. Scott and ReyAnn held hands but were making out as this might be the last time they would express love to one another. Some cried loudly, others kept saying, Oh God. Others could be observed trying to send text messages to those significant to them. The passengers lives were in the balance.

Eventually, the plane began to stabilize. It was gradual.
“We will not be proceeding to Oakland, but are preparing to land in Oklahoma City,” the flight captain said.

As the plane began it's descent, Scott turned to me with a wide smile across his face.
"ReyAnn, will you marry me?"
"Marry you?" I was surprised.
"Yes Scott, any idea when or where?"
"Well, Saturday of Memorial Day, your home, St. Cloud."
"You sure have your nerve! You get me up in the air, nearly killed and ... "Yes, let's do it!"
Feeling up in the air though in a terminal, we unfastened our seatbelts after landing.

Once on the ground in Oklahoma City, Scott took care of professional matters, and after checking into the Holiday Inn, we called my Mom first, then Scott's parents on Skype to share the happy news not only of our engagement, but of lives being spared byProvidence. We took a later flight to Oakland, and Scott covered the Saturday and Sunday games for the Network; We spent some leisure time touring San Francisco.

****
I awoke Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend to sunshine beaming through my bedroom window. At 10 o'clock family and friends gathered at my childhood home for the ceremony. The reception was held at the local VFW Hall. We had a catered dinner, and hired a group to perform light classics for background entertainment. The couple would leave for their honeymoon in North Carolina on Monday.

One of my favorite moments is the toast my Mom publicly presented at our reception.
"I welcome Scott to our family. He is a fine young man, and has the ability to keep ReyAnn in check and in good care. Her Dad wants ReyAnn to be happy and have the best. I'm nearly certain, his wishes are being met in this marriage. We toast Scott and ReyAnn, to their beginning and continuation."

After lunch on Sunday with Scott's parents, I got things off my chest with Scott's Mom. It was nearly a physical dual. Some might call it conflict resolution. I remember her saying,
“ReyAnn, does an accountant have a future with a communications media type? I hardly think so,”
“Well, it’s hardly your decision. Scott and I met, we fell in love, your husband and my mom seem okay with our marriage, what is your problem?”
“My problem is disrespectful, ascerbic boisterous types like you. You're a rural country girl and dress to sloppy for my Scott."
“One more accusation out of you and I will change that smile permanently,” I said..
“Ladies, calm down. There is little need to ramp up the antimosity,” Scott’s Dad stated as he came inside hearing the show-down. Within moments, both women retreated but exchanged few words until that evening when ReyAnn and Scott departed.
“Mom, ReyAnn is a fine woman. Give her a chance at least for me,” Scott said.
“We'll see. You needed an athletic woman not a number cruncher.”
“Mom, I think that’s my decision,” he said sternly. Only time would tell if a thaw might occur.
The couple left the next morning to fly out of Minneapolis to Raleigh, North Carolina, where they would rent a car and drive to the seaside resort near Wilmington, for a week of fun, love, and bonding. After landing in Raleigh, they spoke with Scott's father over the phone. He said,
"I think we all have to adjust. Let’s work toward becoming family."
"It's going to take time Dad. Mom has some major thawing to do," Scott replied.
"Enjoy yourselves, and send us some pictures from Wilmington," Dad stated


End

David Russell

A Cup Of Coffee, A Sandwich and You (song, Gertrude Lawrence)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is June 20, 2016 in my corner of blog-land and Tuesday, may be the longest day of the year but temperatures slightly cooler than hitting the 30 degree Celsius mark here. Our friends in the UK will be experiencing the begin of winter and the short day for them! Enjoy what sunshine you can derive!
Season change is on the way!

On Mondays, I receive an email news letter from
www.dr.mercola.com.
An article in this week's issue talked about a report from Great Britain pertaining to obesity. It's not saying what we are familiar with hearing.

The British National Obesity Forum along with the Public Health Collaboration, are claiming in this newly released report:
-Ditch the low-fat diet. Also reduce meal frequency to two per day and cut out between meal snacking.
-Eating healthy fat does not make one fat.
-To increase exercise level to conquer obesity is a myth. A metabolic dysfunction is the root cause for obesity.
-High-fat low-net-carb diets are superior for weight loss and heart health.

One can imagine, not everyone is singing the praises of this report. Time will tell as to its overall effectiveness. Dr. Mercola adds his own recommendations which include
-Eat two meals a day within 6 hours of each other; either eat breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner.
-No eating for three hours prior to bedtime. Visit his website, shown above, for more interesting health summations.

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, The LORD love and protect you.

Mellow Roc

Thursday, June 16, 2016

My Soul Trusts In Thee by Roeh Israel Worship Team

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Thursday June 15 in my corner of blog-land. Earlier, I was listening to some Hebraic Messianic music from an online station called Chavah Messianic Radio. When they play songs sung by Paul Wilbur, Zemer Levav, Sons of Korah, and now - the Roeh Israel Worship Team, my being benefits and so may yours!

The song I heard by the worship team reflects on the time when God gave the ten words at Mt. Sinai to the Exodus, (children of Israel), and, time in life when G-d makes himself known to us, and we say yes to the relationship, taking on His name. When you and I assume someone's name either through marriage or a working relationship, i.e., let's say employee, you agree that your behavior will demonstrate something good and positive and noteworthy about that name. We are not alone, an island, left to our own devices though sometimes life may feel fragmented.

I want to close this post with an excerpt from a daily reflection I read titled "Today's Word Study" by Skip Moen. It's advisement is simple, but truly necessary when you and I take on a name, especially the name of Yaweh!

We put on the “clothing” of deeds, thoughts, words and attitudes in order that what was hidden can be seen.
Today you can be clothed in God’s image. Just do what He does and be radiant!

Kevod Yeheveh,

Mellow Roc

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Ugly Bug Ball (Disney Song)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Info for this post comes from the health site, medscape.com. Topic is insect repellents. Now you got the reason behind the post title!
Personal notes about life follow post:
**
With summer upon us now and the Zika virus spreading via mosquitos, which insect repellents work best and which are appropriate for pregnant women and children?

Response from Philip J. Gregory, PharmD
Associate Professor, Pharmacy Practice, Center for Drug Information & Evidence-Based Practice, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska
The Zika virus was detected in Brazil in May 2015, and by February 2016, Zika infection was declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization.
The Zika virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. For most people, symptoms of infection are mild and include rash, fever, joint pain, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms typically last for up to a week. Zika virus infection during pregnancy is much more serious. It can cause life-threatening fetal birth defects, including microcephaly and other serious brain and eye defects.[1]
The best approach to preventing Zika virus infection is to minimize mosquito bites. Common-sense measures to reduce bites include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and keeping windows closed or screened to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home.
EPA-registered mosquito repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered mosquito repellent (Table). These repellents have been shown to be safe and effective and also are considered safe in pregnant and breastfeeding women. In addition, most of them are considered safe for children 2 months of age or older. Lemon eucalyptus oil products are typically not recommended for use in children younger than 3 years.[2-4] For children under 2 months of age, an infant carrier can be covered with netting to shield against mosquitoes.[3] In Canada, the use of picaridin products in children under 6 months of age is not recommended.[5]
Table. EPA-Registered Mosquito Repellents
Ingredient
Product(s)*
Duration of Effect
Special Considerations/Comments
DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide)
OFF! Deep Woods® Insect Repellent;
Repel® 100 Insect Repellent

30% concentration should provide protection for 6 hours

20%-23.8% concentration provides 4-5 hours of protection

6.65%-10% concentration provides about 1-3 hours of protection

Concentrations over 50% offer no additional benefit

Controlled-release products might offer a longer duration of protection even with lower concentrations
Safe for children 2 months of age and older. Children should use products containing 10%-30% DEET concentrations. Do not apply to children's hands or around eyes.
Picaridin
Avon Skin-So-Soft™
Bug Guard Plus Picaridin

20% concentration provides protection for up to 7 hours

10% products provide protection for up to 5 hours
Known as icaridin in Canada. Canada recommends against use in children under 6 months.
IR3535 (Ethyl butylacetylaminopropionate)
Avon Skin-So-Soft™
Bug Guard Plus IR3535®

7.5% concentration provides about 10-60 minutes of protection
Safe for children 2 months of age and older.
Lemon eucalyptus oil (para-menthane-diol)
Cutter® Lemon
Eucalyptus Insect Repellent; Repel®
Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Protection for up to 2 hours
Lemon eucalyptus oil is not recommended for children younger than 3 years.
*Products are representative examples; this is not a complete list.
----
I did not know there is a separate category for Environmental Protection Agency recommended repellents. I learned too!

Current Book: Part of me is traveling back to my teenage years as I read, "Guitar Notes" by Mary Mato. The main characters are three high school students who are all interested in music. Changes come about as two of the three exchange notes about their craft and life experience via a shared practice room schedule. The third character is a girl who reminds me of a typical adolescent of that gender.

*******Big News
I was informed by the editor of The Flash Fiction Press, that my short story, "Not This Place" will be featured in their online edition on August 9, 2016.
I will remind you again when time gets closer.
www.theflashfictionpress.org

-Yes, in terms of current events, the horrific situation of over 100 persons killed/injured this past weekend in Orlando, Florida, by a "deranged person" "terrorist" is the media buzz of the moment. Looking at the Facebook Newsfeed earlier today, nonverbally encouraged shut off the damn news and live your life!

Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is enabling.

Mellow Roc

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Look At The Harvest Festival

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday, June 13, in my corner of blog-land. From Sunset June 11, to sunset, June 12, the festival of Pentecost, also called Shavuot was observed in Israel and throughout the world by those who observe the festival calendar established in Leviticus chapter 23. Shavuot celebrates the harvest in Israel, and also celebrates the giving of G-d's instruction to the Exodus at Mount Sinai. Then, the collective committed in Word and intent to hear and do God's Word..

In about 33 to 36 CE, God in his kindness, began to "pour out of His Spirit on all flesh" giving the comforter to humanity known as the Ruach HaKodesh, Holy Spirit. Many came to, and still come to faith that day as well.

In the world today, masses of humanity reject the God of the Bible and choose to make themselves and humanity at large the end-point. The buck starts and stops with us. The problem becomes, Who will be in charge?

How do we just come together and live in a warm goo of love and acceptance and imagine a world with no fighting, no religion, no hassel, whatever!

I prefer to believe God is our higher power, transcends us. He said Remember Shabbat and keep it holy, don't steal, don't kill, don't commit adaultry." That's the practical part of love your neighbor as yourself.

Rabbi Russ Resnik of the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations has a blog post titled:
Shavuot, Kindness, and the Kingdom To Come.

I close this post with a concluding thought from his post which discusses kindness expressed by humanity, expressed by Ruth in the Hebrew Scriptures, expressed by G-d toward each and all of us.
Note: In Hebrew, gemilut hasadim" is translated to mean kindness.
***

Rabbi Shimon says that the world is founded on gemilut hasadim. How striking that the line of David, which becomes the line of Messiah, is founded on gemilut hasadim as well! The Messianic kingdom depends ultimately, not on the sort of power and resources that the world depends on, but on the deliberate practice of kindness. “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Messiah died for the ungodly. . . .  God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Messiah died for us” (Rom 5:6, 8).


Kevod Yeheveh, His lovingkindness is forever!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Guest Post by Ester T, (Rice Bran Oil Use and Benefits

Hello Grafted In Readers,

I am very pleased to let you know Ester T has provided us another informative guest post. We will learn about rice bran oil and its benefits to overall health. Thank you for viewing her previous post, June 2nd. I hope we will be seeing her often at our blog in blog-land.

Note: For those interested in my previous post concerning a church denomination providing transgender clergy benefits for sex-change operation, see previous post dated June 7th.

Now, some welcomed words from Ester.
*****
The health benefits of rice bran oil include its ability to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, help prevent cancer, improve skin health, help in weight loss, relieve menopausal symptoms, protect your heart, increase cognitive strength, and lower allergic reactions.
Rice bran oil is extracted from the germ and the husk of rice kernels. It has a very high smoke point, which is why it is commonly used in high-temperature cooking methods, such as stir frying and deep frying.
It is most widely praised for its content of vitamin E to speed up wound healing, increase cellular regeneration, smooth skin, reduce wrinkles, and provide protection from sunburn, its ideal fatty acid balance, antioxidant capacity, and cholesterol-lowering abilities, has the best possible composition of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats that help reduce Cholesterol level, protects your heart. 
Rich source of antioxidants, that free radicals causing healthy cells to mutate into various types of cancerous cells in the body are neutralized. Free radicals can attack the skin cells and increase the signs of premature aging
Weight Loss Efforts:Although rice bran oil  is technically high in calories, but the viscosity of rice bran oil actually means that the food only absorbs about 20% of the oil. When less oil is absorbed, the food still retains the flavor and gets the health benefits of the rice bran oil,  so rice bran oil is probably your best choice if you’re worried about your weight.
Rice bran oil is high in fiber, which can improve digestion, unless you have an existing gastrointestinal tract condition. . Only use rice bran oil for cooking when you need it, and in moderation!
Blessings,
Ester
---

Thank you Ester.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be with us in our health choices.
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

We Are In The Final Era (Opinion)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

It is nearly Wednesday, June 8, 2016 in my corner of blog-land.

When I started this blog in 2009, the primary goal was to encourage believers in Messiah Yeshua to learn about the Jewish heritage of their faith. An excerpted blog post below from a website titled Exposing the ELCA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, demonstrates what eventually happens when belief in a Jewish Messiah is twisted, ignored or minimized. Unfortunately, subtlety is a damning wolf in sheep's clothing.
(The following article was written by Rev. Tom Brock of pastorsstudy.org.  You can follow Pastor Brock on Facebook - here and twitter - here.)

The managing editor of Living Lutheran, the national magazine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, is a partnered lesbian. The ELCA's magazine (formerly "The Lutheran") has been promoting homosexuality for a long time now, but below is a recent article highlighting the work of a transgender Lutheran pastor (a woman who identifies as a man). The ELCA has ordained practicing homosexuals since a church-wide vote on the issue in 2009. More recently, with no church-wide vote, the ELCA began ordaining transgender pastors. A few months ago Portico, the ELCA's healthcare plan, announced it will begin paying for sex change operations (with offering dollars) in its healthcare plan for pastors and their families. Portico stated this decision was made after consulting with ELCA leaders.

I rest my case.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with us even in the midst of theological incorrectness.

Mellow Roc

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Grass Still Grows (acoustic folk song, Van Wagner)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday, June 6, 2016. In addition to it being like summer in my world corner, according to "The Writer's Almonac" today is the seventy-third anniversary of the movie drive-in theater. It had its birth and creation in Camden, New Jersey. Entry was said to be 25-cents per car, and each person attending was charged 25-cents. Today, the drive-in theater is alive but not as popular as it once was.

I want to thank those of you who looked at the post by our guest blogger, Aster T, which appeared on June 2nd. I want to briefly visit a health topic that is of concern to many adults, that being excess intra-abdominal fat or belly fat. One respected voice from Integrated Medicine in the USA is that of Dr. Andrew Weil. Here is his bottom line on belly fat treatment.
I recommend a program for everyone that includes both aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, biking or swimming) for 30 minutes a day, five times a week - as well as strength training with weights (or with weight training machines if you work out in a gym) two to three times a week. If you haven't done strength training before, I recommend a session or two with a trainer to learn proper form so as not to injure yourself.
Andrew Weil, M.D.
Sources:
L. Schwingshackl and G. Hoffman et al, “Impact of different training modalities on ahthropometric and metabolic characteristics in overweight/obese subjects: a systemic review and meta-analysis.” PLoS One, December 17, 2013 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082853
Karine Sahakyan et al, “Normal-weight central obesity and cardiovascular mortality risk in the US population,” presentation at European Cardiology Society meeting, August 27, 2012, http://spo.escardio.org/SessionDetails.aspx?

Finally, I just finished reading "Girl About War" by Sara Novac. It is the story of a young lady who survives the Yugoslavian war in the early 1990s and raises some interesting observations about war and post-war recovery. The book is in four parts, and my only minor complaint is each part tends to end abruptly and its succeeding part doesn't really come together until near the story's conclusion. Otherwise, a great read in my opinion.

Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, the presence of YHVH encourage and sustain you hourly!

Mellow Roc

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Keep It Simple, (Guest Post by Aster T)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Thursday, June 2, 2016, in my corner of blog-land.

Most of us are more willing to make life changes if they are simple, don't radically change our day to day routines, and can become routine over time. Our guest poster, Aster T, offers some suggestions for improving personal health by improving nutrition through the following means. I am excited to have her share her expertise with us! Please leave a comment and help her feel welcomed! Here's Aster T all the way from the UK.
*****
Shalom all, happy to be here; a short intro of myself- 
I have been interested in Health issues as far back as I can remember for the reason that I love good food and enjoy cooking since young.
To start, we need to build on a sound foundation. spiritual as well as natural.
To cook a tasty meal, we must have the right seasonings....
Never use refined table salt. Go for Himalayan Pink Salt, available at Health shops, and online trustworthy sites.
Himalayan Pink salt contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals and trace elements including Iodine, often found lacking in our diets. Iodine is the No.1 most preventable cause of Mental Retardation.
Himalayan Pink Salt is understood to work throughout the body at cellular level. It is also believed to enhance the effectiveness of other antioxidants. In addition to sodium, Himalayan salt is relatively high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and chloride.
Many healthy fats, in fact, actually promote healthy weight maintenance and a well-functioning cardiovascular and nervous system, among many other benefits.
Never use Vegetable, peanut, canola oils, which are all damaging to health. 
Virgin Cold pressed Olive oils are meant for salads, not for cooking at high temperatures. I recommend -
Coconut oil. Perhaps the most misunderstood -- and also one of the healthiest -- oils you can consume, coconut oil is an amazingly-versatile, nutrient-dense superfood that is the richest known source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which aid in the proper digestion and assimilation of fats, as well as boost energy levels. Coconut oil is also rich in healthy saturated fats and antioxidants, and has been found to promote brain health, boost immunity, and strengthen thyroid function.
Since it has a high smoke point and is incredibly shelf stable, coconut oil is great for both cooking and eating raw. Many people regularly eat unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil by the spoonful, as it is a powerful antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral food that is rich in disease-fighting lauric acid. Coconut is also a powerful energy booster, as it quickly penetrates cells and provides rapid nourishment. 
Sesame oil-  has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Sesame oil is also rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium, the latter of which is known for its incredible calming effect.
Also rich in polyunsaturated fats, sesame oil helps contribute to proper fat absorption; cognitive acuity; healthy skin; a lowered risk of heart disease; and strong teeth and bones. Sesame oil also helps fight diabetes, reduce high blood pressure, prevent gingivitis and dental plaque, protect against kidney damage, and fight depression. 
Use filtered water, for cooking.
Go for Organics! Enjoy living!

Aster T

****
Thanks Aster T, and thanks to you for stopping by to read and be informed.

Mellow Roc

Friday, May 27, 2016

Dear Companion (acoustinc song, ChildsPlay)

Hello Grafted In Reader, Today is Friday May 27 in my corner of blog-land.

I would like to begin by wishing US readers a Happy Memorial Day Weekend. We recall our soldiers past and present, who serve/served our country in time of war and peace. Thank you for your service!

This week I have started reading an interesting novel titled, After I Do. The author is one Taylor Jenkins. The story is of a couple named Lauren and Ryan who meet during college, are married for about 7 years, and are doing a trial separation. They no longer are happy and claim to have lost their love for one another. The narrative weaves the popular thinking of today within the story and is truly something to think about. Unfortunately, God and His word are not seen as an option.

I had some posting issues of late with the blog, but think they are almost resolved now, hurray!

For any interested, I would like to recommend you check out a blog by another writer, Lynn Viehl, titled Paperback Writer. It too is on blogspot. Lynn is a freelancer, writer for the past 18 years, and quite ambitious!

Today's post is more less just a visit between us. I am glad you stop by, and hope you might comment some time or just say hello!

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with you today and always.

Mellow Roc

Monday, May 9, 2016

Not In This Place (short story, 750 words, David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday May 9, 2016, and this post is going to be an original short story of mine. The names are changed, and the plot is further developed here. However, this actually was a news story that occurred in my locale recently. The solution, leave your arguments at home or agree to settle the matter at an agreed on time. Thoughts welcomed in the comment section of this blog.

Not This Place

David Russell
750 words

"Want me to bring anything on Saturday?" asked Laurell.

"Just yourselves and a pasta salad for the four of us," replied Roxanne.

Laurell and Roxanne knew one another from their era as co-workers at the seat cover factory in Marine City. Roxanne's husband Bryan, and Laurell's husband, Gordon, went fishing together a couple times during summer over the past three years on the St Clair River just north of Algonac. Roxanne and Bryan lived in New Baltimore, MI and Laurell and Gordon in Port Huron about a 30 mile drive from one another.

It was Saturday morning, and Roxanne and Bryan had just finished breakfast. Roxanne had awakened feeling groggy and grouchy.
As she loaded the dishwasher she turned toward him and said,
"Bryan, you keep forgetting to drop the payment in the mail to the Utility. They are going to shut us off. What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Nag, nag, nag. Just shut up."

Bryan was reading the sport page from the Detroit News.
"I won't shut up. Answer me." Roxanne's face displayed the anger that oozed out her pores like hand sanitizer.

"Look, we'll discuss this later," Bryan said.

"Just hope we can have a peaceful day with Gordon and Laurell," Roxanne replied.
"I'm going to go around the yard once with the lawn mower. Then let's get ready to go to Port Huron," Bryan stated exiting the house.
About an hour later, they were headed north to Port Huron. They stopped at a supermarket in St Clair and picked up the salad and some cold brews for their occasion. About another 30 minutes they would arrive at their friends' home on the north end of Port Huron.

"Hey Gord, how the hell are you?" asked Roxanne.

"Got these hotdogs just about grilled. Wanna eat first?"

"They sure smell good. Am ready anytime," Roxanne said. She conveyed a hint of flirtation in her expression. Bryan standing nearby, reached over and gave Roxanne's shoulder a firm squeeze.

"Have you been out on the boat lately?" Bryan asked Gordon.

"The other night, I was just south of Marysville. I caught a 10-pound bass."

"I guess someone got a 17-pounder on the Canadian side."

"I saw that in the paper. He won that Sarnia tournament."

A few minutes later, the foursome were at the kitchen table dishing up their plates.

"What do you think of this campeign stuff?" asked Roxanne.

"I never thought it would be Trump and Clinton. Surprised the hell out of me," replied Laurell.

"Just tell your woman who to vote for in November," Bryan said as he shot Roxanne the look. Momentary laughter ensued.

"Is that how it works?" Laurell inquired.

"He thinks so, but then he has always been delusional," Roxanne remarked.

A little while later, dishes were cleared and the couples were playing hands of Uno. Roxanne was having a bad day of it with the cards. Gordon or Laurell kept having her draw cards each round or so it seemed.

"Roxanne baby, draw 4," Bryan stated.

She had enough. The anger felt at home now came back with the intensity of a rushing torrent.

"Bryan, this is it. I have had it with all your crap!" From her pocket, Roxanne displayed a Derringer pistol and released the catch.

"Rox, you may not want to do this," Laurell said reaching for her friend.

"I do and I will - Laurell. This is between him and me."

Standing to her feet, Roxanne aimed the pistol at Bryan's tempo and pulled the trigger twice. Suddenly, Bryan fell to the floor with blood pouring out the fresh wound.

Laurell and Gordon sat stunned and in shock.

"I'll call 9-1-1, maybe they can revive him," Laurell said.

"Doubt it. She hit him right on."

"Yes EMS, would you send someone to 12345 Sixth Road right away. Someone has been fatally shot."

"A man, might be in his 40s," Laurell stated. Gordon removed the cards and drinks from the table setting them on the kitchen counter. Within minutes EMS and the local Sheriff arrived.

"Who shot this man?" inquired the sheriff.

"She did, her name's Roxanne," replied Gordon.

"Is that the truth?"

Roxanne shook her head yes, color drained from her face. She pointed to the Derringer pistol lying on the table.

The sheriff put Roxanne under arrest while EMS pronounced Bryan to be deceased.

"Next time, leave the arguments at home," the sheriff said as he prepared to exit with the assailant.
End

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We Can't Leave Home" (acoustic, Melissa Javors

Hello Grafted In Reader,

I first want to express a warm, big heart-felt thanks to one Acia S for her recent comment on my story, Dying At The Library. Your words are warm and encouraging. I would be interested to speak with you further when time allows us to have that pleasure.

Second, as a writer, I just finished days ago writing my memoir titled "HomeComing". Hence, the title of this post is appropriate, as is the song by Melissa Javors. I heard the song a few weeks ago on the folk radio program, The Midnight Special, and thought of my experience and that known to me of our two young adult children. My memoir concludes we take things from home with us along life's journey from a trinket to a DVD, a value, brand loyalty etc. My wife will help me get it ready to submit to a periodical for "possible" selection and publication this summer. Believe me, you will hear about this if it is selected!

In my corner of blog-land, a major snow is on tap for us over the next 36 hours. I hope it stops and wondrously melts on my birthday which is Thursday, small chance though of that occurring! I will be "age thirty-nine" for about the 25th time.. Fortunately, my health is better as stroke recovery continues. I do have to make concerted effort to eat right, exercise, and take the prescribed medications though.

That's it for now; glad you stopped by our hopefully warm, inviting, sometimes informative and decidedly straightforward blog! Please make yourself known or share a nugget we all might benefit from.

Kevod Yeheveh, The Lord be present with you on the journey!
Mellow Roc
David Russell

Monday, January 4, 2016

Total Eclipse Of The Heart (1980s song USA)

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Wow! Today is January 4, 2016 in my corner of blog-land. We even had a small amount of snowfall this morning. The month past saw a major event occur in my 63-year-old life. On December 11, I had a mini-stroke, affecting the brain stem and was in inpatient rehab until December 29. Home therapy is beginning very soon and though some numbness and balance are concerning issues, overall I thank God, family and the healthcare providers that things are bettering!

Needless to say, health and diet will be getting my attention this year. I re-subscribed to "HouseCall" newsletter by Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, and jotted down some notes from their recent article about weight-loss goals.

-More weight is lost early on compared to later. Making an outcome goal to lose up to 10 percent of one's current body weight is realistic and wise. Walking 15 minutes daily and upping to 30 minutes is practical, as is eating five helpings of fruit or vegetables daily according to the authors.
Sample long-term or outcome goal: Lose 15 pounds in three months. Steps to get there: (1) Lose seven pounds month one; (2) Lose four pounds during months two and three.
-Expect setbacks to occur with behavior change. Plan how to keep at it when that feast, block party, or office party are planned and you want to eat all those goodies!
-Have your goals be trackable, measurable, specific, realistic and attainable.

-If interested in reading more, Google Weight Loss Goals Mayo Clinic
or refer to this post again.
Thanks for visiting www.graftedinandonthejourney.blogspot.com

and myself, David, Mellow Roc, and tell a friend about this inspirational, encouraging, informative effort!

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence accompany us through life.

Mellow Roc

Monday, December 7, 2015

Repost: What Are We Singing

Reposting
What Are We Singing, What are You Proclaiming

by David Russell

Within days many North Americans will sing:

-Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel."
-Oh Little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie."
-"While Shepherds watch their flocks by night."
"Silent night, holy night, all is calm all is bright."
"Do you hear what I hear?"
"Good Christian Men (friends) Rejoice."
"Away in the manger, no crib for a bed."

Meantime, at present, an article dated November 02, 2015, reports some 1.77 million people live in poverty in Israel, of them more than 850,000 children according to an "Alternative Poverty Report" published by the non-profit organization Latet. (See www.haaretz.com)
Then, oppression under Roman rule described life and times in Israel.
All things considered: The music and lyric of Handel's Messiah may best reflect the picture of who Yeshua of Nazaret is and was.

Over a plate of holiday goodies, - if you profess Catholicism or Christianity, how will you answer the following proposal?
Note: Following cited from www.bereansonline.org; Rumination 11.

-They changed Messiah's religion
-They changed Messiah's looks
-They changed Messiah's language
-They forgot that Messiah's brothers should be able to recognize Him far better than any pagan...

"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."
(Luke chapter 6).

In the minds and written commentaries, prophets, priests and pastors identify Israel as Palestine; not Holy Scripture. Today public prayer disguise the edict in Psalms to pray for the peace of Jerusalem but roll it all into The Middle East. Moreover, prophets, priests and pastors would rather appear to adhere to the Roman Emperor Hadrian, than the writ of Scripture calling Israel proper, Palestine.

The big historic clincher, it has been contended without Hanukkah, there would likely be no Christmas.
In conclusion:
Seasons' greetings!
-Happy Hanukkah, Feast of Lights, Dedication to Adonai.

David Russell (Mellow Roc)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Fictional Story: Once Was Enough, David Russell

Hello Grafted In Readers,

First, I would like to wish Holiday Season regards to each of you and thank you for reading our blog as often as you might. Comments are always welcomed, and tell a friend about this little enclave if you think they would be interested.

-Below, is another one of my fictional creative efforts. The story is titled, "Once Was Enough", yours truly, David Russell, the author.

The story is set in Boise, Idaho, and about that town dealing with an incident that nearly got out of hand at the fictional football game between BSU and BYU. Feedback welcomed as comment here, Facebook, or where you can find me.

Once Was Enough
by David Russell

Mary and Gene were embarking on enjoying the carefree golden years of life that they had most assuredly earned. Mary had taught in the Boise school system for 28 years, and Gene had worked at the Idaho Power as a lineman for Ada County for 30 years. They had known each other since high school and married after Mary graduated from BSU in 1983.

On a warm afternoon in August, Gene and Mary were busy at cleaning the garage.

"This is sure one of those thankless tasks in life," Gene observed. He continued,
"It has been two years since this city observed its 150th birthday and I'm still recovering from the
hubbub."

"To think we had to spend last year redoing our lawn from all the assholes who used it as public parking," Mary commented.
"I think it's because the city fathers failed to put boundaries on the celebration. All they could think of were the city coffers."

"Yeah, and the church. They about ruined the grounds treating it like a free-for-all. Glad we raised Abigail to be a respectable citizen," Mary said.

"Well at least we got our home back to normal, painted the exterior, replaced the furnace, and put in new carpet since then," Gene added replacing a box of nails on a higher shelf.

"I'm glad the Feds saw fit to give a sizable grant to help home owners refurb their properties after this shindig," Mary recalled. Mary took a moment to give the garage floor a once-over with the broom.

"Abigail and Dennis are going to meet us for dinner at that eatery by the foothills. Dennis just got promoted in his job at Hewlett Packard," Mary said.

"When are we meeting them?"

"About 5:30."

"We have plenty of time then. Frankly, I could use a little nap after being out here since 10 o'clock," Gene said with a partial yawn.

"Sounds good to me. Let's shower first though."

Abigail and Dennis lived in Meridian which was a nice short drive from Boise. Abigail worked for the public radio station hosting "Morning Edition" five days a week. She also was on staff at the art museum as an event planner. Dennis was in the accounting department at HP, and were a happy double income couple with no children as of yet.

Arriving at the Hamlet Bar and Grill, the two couples chose a corner booth. The grill served good rib-eye steaks and had a varied burger menu. Potato skins were a favorite appetizer on the menu. The crowd was modest for an early Saturday evening.

"It has been quite the week in the news business. It never ceases to amaze me how a major terrorist event like that in Paris can grab front, center and the seeming perimeter of a given news day; I wish I still hosted Morning Classics. At least listeners got a break from all the shit that happens in the world."

"Well they got reminded hourly of all the shit," Dennis quipped.
"Hey you two," Mary quipped.

"Speaking of having life rough, earlier today Gene was complaining about the Boise Birthday bash and how it nearly wrecked him," Mary stated.

"I agreed with you though about the payback we got out of it though. Tell the whole story, honey," Gene said waving his straw at Mary.
"By the way my dear wife, you were the one griping about the church property," Gene stated in defense. Dennis chuckled to feign interest.

Just then a server came over and took their dinner order. Moments later he brought back a basket of potato skins to the foursome. Enjoying the atmosphere and appetizing away,
Dennis said,
"On Monday the Square Knights are having a planning meeting. You want to join us this year,"

"One of these times. Not sure it'll be this time, but we will see."

The Square Knights were numbered a small group of guys whose activities were ultra-conservative in scope. Some felt they made Fox News or the National Review look like leftist media representatives.

"We are planning a big protest deal at the BYU/BSU football game in October. It's all about this hydraulic fracking stuff," Dennis stated.
"Hydraulic fracking? Seems like I read where a town in Pennsylvania had water problems over that," Abigail stated.

"Not just there, other places too. The oil companies want to keep drilling at the well-being of others," Dennis continued.

"Just when did you say this Knights meeting occurs<" Gene inquired?

"The meeting is at 7 on the third floor of the BSU Student Union," Dennis informed.

Moments later the burgers arrived and also an acoustic singer by the name of Claudia Schmidt took to the platform as the evening entertainment. She was still a major folk singer, but had been around since the late 1980s. She appeared well for being truly on the backside of 30.

****

The Square Knights were assembled. Their presiding officer, Rick Horn, called the meeting to order. Close to 25 men were in attendance. Moments later, Gene ambled in choosing a seat in the back row. Dennis noting his appearance gave him a slight wave of recognition.

"First Saturday in October, we are going to make our presence known at the BSU versus BYU football game. We have a number of volunteers from the think tank, BSU, that will sporadically wave banners announcing our position on hydraulic fracking. Then during the fourth quarter it'll all come down. Even ESPN will become a news channel then," Rick stated to the group.

"Are the wildlife and mother earth types going to participate," asked an attendee.

"Yes, word has it about 500 persons will emerge from the stand and enter the field between the third and fourth quarter. It will be a peaceable demonstration, 10 minutes maximum," Rick stated.

"Are we going to sit together or at random," Dennis inquired.

"Nearby one another in the main section of the stadium."

"The Northwest has not seen anythying like this since the KKK days or SDS days, and it's high time to awake from apathy," stated a balding 40-something member from the back, seated near Gene..

Gene scratched his head becoming uncomfortable as the talk continued about the first Saturday in October.

"Joe Blocker head of Campus Security is in our corner. This is opposite terrorism but some will probably be ticked that we interfered with the football game. Better that than hospital bills for ingestion of unhealthy drinking water from the chemical B2," Rick said.

Gene squirmed in his seat noting a banner in front of the room. The statement read,
Roctober, time to be sober.

"Hey Gene, are you going to join us," Dennis inquired turning to face Gene from his seat.

"Um, Mary and I have plans to be out of town that weekend. Maybe next time."

Gene felt pretty good about coming up with a plausible excuse on such quick notice. They generally spent football Saturdays with their friends, Jeff and Patti.

"Will you have explosives and guns there or what," Gene questioned.
A moment of laughter ensued from those attending.
"No, something more subtle but just as efficient. We are not that stupid," Rick answered.

Plans were finalized for the consortium to meet in front of the stadium ninety minutes before game time. Joe Blocker, Security Manager with the University was in approval of the group's awakening and would not block their measures to make their point heard and known. He prided himself on being informed by media types like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. In his mind conservative talk radio listeners had turned the proverbial twenty-one years of age, and listeners could now do as they pleased to express their frustration with business as usual in the good old USA!

The school year was underway without incident and Boise turned its attention to the Broncos and hopefully another winning season. They won their first three games in September and lost a close fourth game on a field goal to the MSU Spartins. The next game would be with Brigham Young University which too enjoyed a noteworthy college football history. The game would be sold out and nationally carried on ESPN.

The day before the game, Gene and Mary were having breakfast at home. Gene had slept marginally for three days straight as Saturday was on his mind.

"Dennis and that Knight group have something planned during the football game. Not sure what, but it has me worried."

"Have you talked with anyone about this?"

"Only you. I don't think anyone would believe me."

"I believe you," Mary said as she placed her hand on Gene's forearm.

"Patti and Jeff are coming over to watch the game with us. That still okay?"

"Yeah, I enjoy their company. We can play Uno after the game, that is unless," Gene did not complete his thought.

Abigail had been called at the news desk by someone anonymous on the preceding Thursday. She informed campus security of the call and played a recording to its head admin, Joe Blocker.

"We will be watching Abby. Boise has a nice rep across the country and we don't want it spoiled. Last thing we need is to get bad press like that University in Missouri just did over what," Joe said slapping his desk with the palm of his hand.

"Actually over quite a bit, all related to respect and integrity. By the way Joe, I did tell Idaho Public Radio about this, so it will be watched at the state level," Abby confided.

****

"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Saturday game, our first of three on ESPN. Today the BSU Broncos are hosting BYU. Both have great starts to the season, and this promises to be another close scoring cliffhanger," stated the ESPN TV announcer. In the background the BSU band performed and pumped the crowd with frequent repetition of the school fight song.

"I have all of us scheduled to sit in the main section. At the end of quarter #3 we rise and collectively take to the field with our banners," Dennis informed the collective. One fan overheard and did not show an expression of approval or disapproval. The teams appeard and after formalities, the game began. BYU scored first when a completed pass resulted in a 60 yard run by its QB. The extra point was good. BSU tied the game just before the half.

At the beginning of the third quarter, gray clouds dissipated giving way to a very cool and sunny afternoon in the treasure valley. Both teams scored again, and BYU succeeded with a two-point conversion. Thus, the score was fifteen to fourteen after three quarters.

Suddenly, the theme from "Star Wars" played over the PA system and hundreds of spectators left their seats to enter the field. Signs and banners waved calling for the end to fracking. One mistakenly read, end to flipping, waved by a young teenage-looking boy.

ESPN assumed a live news reporting mode and stayed neutral so as not to alarm viewers or encourage others to exercise their personal angst.

"Hey, do you see Dennis, red sweater, waving a banner and smiling widely," Patti said.

"I knew this was going to happen. He is in some group that planned this little demo," Gene said.

"Think anything will come of it," Jeff asked.

Before anyone answered, Joe Blocker took to the podium and gave an unexpected announcement:

"Ladies and gentlemen, it has come to our attention that the progressive group, Post-Moderns For Justice, attempted to ingest harmful chemicals into the University water supply during this game. A reporter from Idaho Public Radio spotted a small collective gathered near the filtration plant and alerted us right away to the planned terrorist effort. We honor the Square Knights for indirectly protecting life, liberty and the continued pursuit of academic excellence!"

A big robust cheer and ovation lasting several minutes was offered by the spectators on both sides of the field. The Square Knights were truly the victors that football Saturday. The Broncos too, shared in the momentum by scoring twice in the final quarter. They won the game over BYU, twenty-seven to fifteen, as the sense of victory was shared by many.

End

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Honoring Three Million Persons: May Be You!

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is November 12 in my corner of blog-land. Windy conditions and isolated flood warnings are to be the mix, with snow flurries possible early weekend in my region. Warming up again though next week!

-Today as author of Grafted In And On The Journey Blogspot.com,
please join me in giving honor to National Epilepsy Awareness Month.
*****
Here are some interesting starter facts:
(1) About three million US residents are said to have the brain disorder, epilepsy.
(2). According to www.scccmh.org, (Saint Clair County Community Mental Health), there are several types of epilepsy.
(3) Each type has its own cause, symptoms, and treatment protocol.
(4) Given the numbers, epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in the US.

-Salute the Epilepsy Foundation and its web site,
www.epilepsy.com

-Frequently updated newsletters and news items. The latter in audio form.
-Host the National Walk for Epilepsy and November's National Epilepsy Awareness month.
-For the aquatic minded, go the distance and find out how to sign up to swim 26 miles over a few months, to raise epilepsy awareness to a deeper level. Link is above.

Sites such as webMD.com, and medicinenet.com offer more detailed info about this disorder.

I am sure we have or have had acquaintances known to be challenged by this disorder. The good news is that it is manageable and in many cases treatable. One approach is offered by Scripture in the Apostolic writings, Colossians 4:6.
"Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salt so that you will know how you should respond to each person."

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence guard your mind today and always!
Mellow Roc

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Jack O'Lantern Tells a Humanitarian Tale for the Season

Hello Grafted In Readers,
In keeping with the Fall observance of Thanksgiving in North America, the following story pays tribute to the pumpkin and other garden vegetables many enjoy. Account, places, and characterizations are fictitious, that is, they could occur in reality but may not. Enjoy as you read this tale.

Destined For The Palate
David Russell


My name is Jack O'Lantern. I was born in a laboratory at the Henry Fields Seed Company in Iowa. My conditions were rather sterile. I was dried out and packaged with other seeds.

A little while later, I was at the supermarket near Pharmington, Missouri. John Doyle, whom I understand to be a gardening eficinato purchased me and my companions. We were all O'Lanterns.

"This is the second year I have planted pumpkins, and donate them to the local Woman's Shelter in October. This year they are destined for national TV and the Food Network Hunger Project."

"That's very nice Mr. Doyle," said the clerk, as she bagged his purchase.

"Come back soon, it is always good to see you, sir."

A little while later on a sunny afternoon, Mr. Doyle had the baseball game playing on the radio near the garden. He put in the other plants first: onions, radishes, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, potatos, and us O'Lanterns.

"I will be back out to water you in a couple days," he said.

"Enjoy your new plots and grow faster than weeds please."

He then turned off the radio and whistled a happy tune as implements were returned to the garage.

Six weeks later it was mid July. The days had been sunny for the most part, nights varied from hot to comfortable. My fellow plants and we O'Lanterns shared quiet contemplation while crows cawed, what complainers they are. Robins sang, finches and cardinals played chase around the Doyle property.

Then unexpectedly thunder claps were heard. Rain started to fall that morning and increase with intensity as the hours passed.

Soon, something called hell or hail started to fall. Intermittent at first and then it too, intensified. I took a couple on the stem.

"Ouch, what's this all about?"

"I am glad to be underground," said the potatos.

"Yeah, your shell should protect you Jack," said the corn, knee-high like the fourth of July.

"Radishes are ruined. Carrots are not far behind," observed the potatos.

Looking at the house, hail was pelting and cracking the shingles on the rooftop. Where was Mr. Doyle?

Eventually the hail and storm gradually subsided. We O'Lanterns, and potatos were still alive!

Six weeks later we O'Lanterns were gently picked, packed and sent off to New York to be a part of the Food Network Thanksgiving Festivities. Arriving there, chef Elton Brown tapped me on the stem and bade me welcome.

"Sorry, you've been chopped," Tim Allen stated to a stack of onions he was slicing.

We were on the Thanksgiving TV show, then anesthetized, re-formed and put in pie crusts for hungry palates to enjoy.

End


Kevod Yeheveh, His presence create and fill your being with lasting joy!

Mellow Roc

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wherever Is Your Heart, (acoustic, Brandi Carlile)

Hello Grafted in Readers, and 24 followers!

Today is the beginning of a new month, October. Historically, it has been a good month for me in terms of life milestones.
-My wife and I had our first phone conversation on October 31, 1995 and made plans to go out for dinner a couple days later. Still having dinner 19 years later, thanks honey!
-My first job post college was a part-time gig playing piano at the former St. Clair Inn. October 1980.
-Just before October 1, 2015, the editor of Thumbprint News informed me my article about the local high school robotic club will be in their November edition! The article titled, "After School Special: Serving Robotics"
features information based on an interview with its overseer, teacher extraordinare, Jon Smith.
-Every year October brings more NFL football, the beginning of hockey season and the post-season playoffs and World Series for Major League Baseball! Love it!
-This week many of faith are observing what is known as the Fall Feast: other names include Feast of Tabernacles, Feast of Booths, Harvest feast. It celebrates God protecting the Children of Israel during the wilderness wandering years that totaled 40, and God protecting us by allowing His Son, Yeshua, to offer His life for our sin; our imperfection treated by Messiah's death, burial, resurrection and now intercession for humanity! Circumstances in life change, but His presence and persona remain the same indefinitely!

It is regretful (my opinion) the main-line Christian church prefers to remain trenched in Roman Catholic dogma and tradition and honor the Pope nearly to the extent observed by Roman Catholic devotees. The liberal inclusivists ignore their Jewish Savior, Jewish heritage, Jewish flavor to the faith journey except to sing O Little Town of Bethlehem on their Christmas Eves. The neo-Catholics paint a picture of first century belief as one that improved once the gentiles were brought on board. At is core this is an anti-Jewish anti-Messianic theology!

Lutherans especially are now into schmoozing with the Catholic administration.... Ironic, they also celebrate the reformation and put their founder, Martin Luther on a pedastole while ignoring other important contemporaries of Martin. So their pastors can have it both ways; weekly communion, Catholic liturgy format, Catholic hymnedy. They will stop short of unifying with the RC or they would have to go through massive divorce. Enjoy your reformation traditions which are now eroded!
I submit to you, the Jesus of the main-line church is considerably different from the Yeshua of Holy Scripture!

Well, that's it for this visit, but glad you stopped by.
Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence accompany and redeem us evermore.
Email this to a friend if you think they may be interested.

Mellow Roc

Monday, September 14, 2015

From The Reeds (adapted from the book of Exodus, David Russell)

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is September 14 in my corner of blog land. Last week, my wife and I celebrated 19 years of marriage and enjoyed time away from town and routine.

Today, I wish to share one of my stories with you which is based on the life of Moshe, Moses, Biblical character.
This is a very broad overview of his life. The phrase, Fear not, be not dismayed, surely applies to all persons of faith, and is quite pronounced in this historic leader's life.
Please enjoy, comment if you wish and share with friends.

From The Reeds
by David Russell

"Moshe, hush little one don't you cry;
someone will come along by and by
give you the life that I cannot
Hush little Moshe you won't be forgot," His mother with tear-stained eyes and perspiring said those words as she settled her 4-year-old son in a basket in a thicket of weeds near the Nile River. Her life had been hard, and her husband had left her shortly after Moshe was born. She turned away slowly and walked back toward the hut where she lived with two other slave girls. The accommodations were very basic, but the hurt in her heart would decorate much of her life until the end of her days, and she would go home to her fathers in peace.

A little while later, two women were escorting the King's daughter to the river. They were going to pick some flowers for a ball being held in the honor of the King that evening in the palace prominade.

"Do you hear that? It sounds like an abandoned child. Who on God's green earth would have the nerve?" Said King Pharaoh's daughter.

"Do you want us to do something with him," asked one of the escorts.

Silence pervaded for a moment as the three considered the scene. Then Pharaoh's daughter urged,

"Let's pick the flowers and if no one comes by time we leave, I will take him as my son," She informed.

One of the escorts stayed with the small child while the other two women picked an array of flowers for the palacial event. The sun was bright, and it was a rather warm day in the middle East. Moshe was covered with leaves, and wore a light shirt and shorts obviously homemade.

Speaking soft words, Pharaoh's daughter bent down and spent a few minutes with the child. She told him he would have a new home, and his life would be next to that of a king.

"Let us put the child in the cart and we will all go back the three km to the palace. He will enjoy the ride, and we will enjoy the walk and him as well.

Arriving back to the palace, and making a quick bedroom for him, Pharaoh's daughter then took Moshe to meet her father.

"Dad, I was at the Nile with the servant girls. We found this small child in a basket, adequately cared for, and decided to adopt him as my son.

'Do you have any idea of his age," her father asked.

"I would estimate at least 3-years-old," she said.

"His features look Hebrew, but semitic enough to meld into Egyptian life," He observed.

"It will be your responsibility to see that he is raised properly. I will participate on occasion as well."

"Thank you O Dad and King, may you live long," She expressed with tears and a wide smile.

As the child grew in years and stature, Geberu, Iku, and Harah, were educated servants who spent time schooling the lad in a variety of subjects pertinent to Egyptian culture and society. The king would occasionally engage him in hunting or playing games to further exercise mental capabilities. In time he had a significant role at the palace.

"Moshe, I want you to lead my people out of slavery," Said the Divine voice.
"I am slow of speech and lack leadership abilities. Find someone else," Moshe replied.

"Pick up that bush and watch me turn it into a snake,"

"Now pick up that bush again and watch me change its form again."

"I had you do this to show you my presence will be with you. Your leadership will be known through all generations to come," Informed the Divine voice.

It took several visits to the king to get permission granted to release the thousands of people so they could go find freedom. Eventually the day arrived, and they spent forty years as nomads in the wild.

Nearing the end of his life, Moshe spoke to the second generation of nomads who would enter the promised land.

"I have come from the reeds. I was raised in the Egyptian palace. God has protected me and us all these many years. See to it that you recognize choices made in life for good and obedience will grant peace to your being. My life is nearly over. Yours has just begun."

###

Mellow Roc
David Russell

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Article from the Zola Levitt Newsletter (recommended reading if serious Bible Student)

Hello Grafted in Reader,

I am taking the liberties to post an article from Zola Levitt Ministry which I hope you may pass on to serious students of the Bible. The topic deals with correct names for places in the Holy Land, and how history has distorted this action. Given the political climate today, it is even more pertinent that the following be shared.
Thank you.
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http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/hub.56100c81297724e06acf94c7d4b00921.html
Zola Levitt Ministries
Christianity Through Jewish Eyes
LEVITT LETTER
Essays
Palestine vs. Israel as the Name of the Holy Land

Dr. Thomas McCall
by Thomas S. McCall, Th.D.
Dr. Thomas McCall, the Senior Theologian of our ministry, has written many articles for the Levitt Letter. He holds a Th.M. in Old Testament studies and a Th.D. in Semitic languages and Old Testament. He has served as Zola’s co-author, mentor, pastor, and friend for nearly 30 years.
This article appeared originally in the December 1997 Levitt Letter.
Page Contents
◾ Propaganda Use
◾ Biblical Use
◾ History of the Term
◾ Christian Adoption
◾ Proper Designation
During the last few centuries, the world, Christians included, has fallen into a bad habit. We have bought into some early Roman propaganda. We have used the name Palestine, which Roman Emperor Hadrian placed on the country of Israel in 135 A.D., for so long that it has become common usage. This would be as incorrect as calling the Russia of today the “Soviet Union” or referring to Berlin as “East Germany.” The thoughts below by our ministry’s senior theologian, Dr. Thomas S. McCall, completely explore the subject. If you know somebody who’s fallen into this habit, please share this article with them.
— Zola
Current Propaganda’s Use of Palestine
There is a propaganda war going on now with regard to the term “Palestine.” At one time it might have been argued that Palestine was an innocuous designation of the Middle Eastern area, that is generally thought of as the Holy Land. During the last few decades, however, the term Palestine has been adopted by Arabs living in Israel in the area west of the Jordan River. It is specifically employed to avoid the use of the name Israel, and must be considered an anti-Israel term. In all Arab maps published in Jordan, Egypt, etc., the area west of the Jordan River is called Palestine, without any reference to Israel. Palestine is the term now used by those who want to deny the legitimate existence of Israel as a genuine nation among the family of nations.
The term now adopted by the political entity within Israel that is gradually obtaining more and more pockets of territory through the “peace process,” is “the PA (Palestinian Authority). Although it must deal daily with Israeli officials, the PA hates to use the term Israel in any of its communications.
Palestine, therefore, must now be considered a political propaganda term with massive anti-Israel implications. Biblical Use of Palestine
The term Palestine is rarely used in the Old Testament, and when it is, it refers specifically to the southwestern coastal area of Israel occupied by the Philistines. It is a translation of the Hebrew word “Pelesheth.” The term is never used to refer to the whole land occupied by Israel. Before Israel occupied the land, it would be generally accurate to say that the southwestern coastal area was called Philistia (the Way of the Philistines, or Palestine), while the central highlands were called Canaan. Both the Canaanites and the Philistines had disappeared as distinct peoples at least by the time of the Babylonian Captivity of Judea (586 B.C.), and they no longer exist.
In the New Testament, the term Palestine is never used. The term Israel is primarily used to refer to the people of Israel, rather than the Land. However, in at least two passages, Israel is used to refer to the Land:
Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead who sought the young child’s life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. (Matt. 2:20-21)
But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say to you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man shall have come. (Matt. 10:23)
The first passage is when Joseph, Mary and Jesus returned from Egypt to Israel, and the second has reference to the proclamation of the Gospel throughout the Land of Israel. Jesus, Matthew and the angel speaking to Joseph use the term Israel with reference to the Land, even though the term was not then recognized by the Roman authorities.

It was not until the Romans crushed the second Jewish revolt against Rome in 135 A.D. under Bar Kochba that Emperor Hadrian applied the term Palestine to the Land of Israel. Hadrian, like many dictators since his time realized the propaganda power of terms and symbols. He replaced the shrines of the Jewish Temple and the Sepulchre of Christ in Jerusalem with temples to pagan deities. He changed the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitalina, and changed the name of Israel and Judea to Palestine. Hadrian’s selection of Palestine was purposeful, not accidental. He took the name of the ancient enemies of Israel, the Philistines, Latinized it to Palestine, and applied it to the Land of Israel. He hoped to erase the name Israel from all memory. Thus, the term Palestine as applied to the Land of Israel was invented by the inveterate enemy of the Bible and the Jewish people, Emperor Hadrian.
One of the first Christian uses of the term Palestine is found in the works of the Church historian Eusebius, who lived in Caesarea. He wrote around 300 A.D., as the Roman persecution of Christians was ending and the Emperor Constantine began to accept Christianity as legal. Eusebius did not accept Hadrian’s designation of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitalina, but he did use Hadrian’s term Palestine. Eusebius considered himself to be one of the bishops of Palestine. Thus, the anti-Israel, anti-Christian name of Palestine was assimilated into the Church’s vocabulary as the Byzantine Empire was being established.
The Church has, since that time, broadly used the term Palestine in literature and in maps to refer to the Land of Israel. It should be noted, however, that the Crusaders called their land the Kingdom of Jerusalem. When the British received the mandate after World War I, though, they called the land on both sides of the Jordan River, Palestine. This became the accepted geo-political term for several decades, and those who lived in the land were called Palestinians, whether they were Jews, Arabs or Europeans.
Even evangelical Christians who believe in the future of Israel have used the term Palestine. The New Scofield Reference Edition of the Bible has maps in the back entitled “Palestine under the Herods.” There never was a Palestine under the Herods. This is a serious misidentification. It would be something like looking at a modern map of Texas and having it titled “Mexico in the Twentieth Century.”
Proper Designation of the Land
The use of the term Palestine was biblically inaccurate and wrong throughout the Church age. However, it is more than just wrong, it is devastating in our time, when the term Palestine is the cornerstone of the propaganda war against Israel and the Jewish people. Do we want to use terms invented by those who hate Christ, the Bible and Israel? Do we want to utilize terms used by the enemies of Israel who desire to accomplish nothing less than the destruction of the Jewish people? I think not.
Christians should use the terminology of the Bible wherever possible. Why not go back to the terms used in the New Testament? The Gospel writers used the term Israel to refer to the Land. Why should we use any other term when referring to the Land, especially now that the Jews are back in the Land and have re-established the nation of Israel among the family of nations?
As we draw closer to the Second Coming of Christ, we should understand that Satan’s fury against the Church and Israel will grow exponentially. Satan hates the Gospel of the crucified and risen Messiah, and he hates the reality of the restoration of Israel as the nation that will ultimately receive Jesus as the Messiah at His return, and the nation that will be Christ’s earthly headquarters. The only term we should use for the Land is Israel, or its subdivisions of Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. We should make every effort to remove the term Palestine from our Bible maps and textbooks, and use only biblical terms with reference to the Holy Land of Israel.
Copyright © 1997 Zola Levitt Ministries, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All rights reserved. Brief passages may be quoted in reviews or other article. For all other use, please get our written approval.
Thank you for reading this excerpted article.
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Re-post: The Laconic Nap by David Russell

Hello Grafted in Reader!
Today is July 28 and hope you are finding yourself to be noting your freedom, forgiveness, for the fandanglement you may have gotten yourself in or perhaps not; only you and Messiah know.. Bless the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world!

I am re-posting a story- "The Laconic Nap" (David Russell) that remains here from over a year ago. It is still relevant today. You and I may be the ones who give the story, the word, the smile, the song, the time, the prayer, the thought, the listening ear, the hand, the facial expression, and it leaves a lasting effect on a known or unknown someone. Hallelujah! Enjoy "The Laconic Nap" once again.

The Laconic Nap
by David Russell
March Gold

"Nap, you sure did a good job on finishing the tables in the Oak Dining room. We will keep you around here for a long time," Encouraged Mrs. OShea who managed the Dylan Hotel in Dublin City.
"Thank you mam, my pleasure. I am going to relax now and catch some rugby games on TV," He informed her.
A few hours later, mid afternoon, Nap got on the bus to go to a local art gallery where he liked to gaze at the exhibits and watch the people. On arrival, he saw a 15-year-old girl crying with tears streaming down her face.
"The jerk broke up with me. What a bastard. I gave him plenty and he broke up with me,"
"Miss, I have something for you that might not cure your disappointment but it will help some time. My name is Nap, here, take this," as he handed her a sample of Gold Bond Lotion.
"It has been providing healing since 1908."
Smiling slightly she thanked Nap for his gift. They both parted company and went about their business.
Four days later, Nap was watching a group of youngsters play basketball at the local school yard. Suddenly, a tall lad turned away from the group as he landed on his foot the wrong way possibly twisting his ankle.
"Here Lad, my name is Nap. Take this warm cream home and apply it to your foot tonight." Somewhat baffled the lad took the cream thanking the laconic man.
-The next Sunday Nap went to a church service he liked to attend. He sat next to a family who were seemingly quite close and sang out when the congregation engaged in song. At the end of the service, they invited him to lunch at Ryans, a victorian pub on Parkgate Street. Talking over stew about their interests, they discovered all lived in the colonial town of Burma at one time. As they departed, he gave each a tube of Gold Bond Lotion to remember their time together.


"Listen here you old geezer. Hand over your wallet, or you're a dead man," the thug said to Nap as he held the knife to his back.
"I don't have a wallet. I have something that has ....
Suddenly the thug shoved the knife into Nap's back and he cried out in pain. Falling to the Dublin street, blood began to ooze from his mid back coarsing down and staining his clothes. A crowd gathered and the thug was soon apprehended by the police.
Dateline Dublin Monday
The Laconic Man known to many as Nap was struck down last evening on a Dublin street by thugs. He was stabbed multiple times in the back, and pronounced DOA when taken to the local city hospital. Nap had no immediate family, but the city were his family as he handed out samples of Gold Bond Lotion to any whom seemed to need it.
"Mr. Nap saved me from committing suicide, one teenager told the newspaper. She had gone through a break-up and outside the art gallery Nap had given her a tube of Gold Bond.
The family he dined with came to his funeral and paid the expenses for him to have a decent burial.
The Gold Bond company during March would consider putting his image on their tubes as a memorial to his humanitarianism.
Nap, otherwise known to a select few as Napoleon did not conquer his world but was active in it helping others conquer what may have been vexing them and or causing them to feel frenzied.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sons of Korah (Australian Acoustic Psalms)

Hello Grafted In Readers,
For those living in North America, I hope your celebrations of independence and freedom were each meaningful and enriching. I personally came away from them feeling renewed, and ready to let my life reflect that the Messiah is alive, strong, serious about us being His ambassage, children, servants, and yes even soldiers. A story group to which I belong has "patriotism" as its theme this month. I am hoping to craft a short story about being in the GASF, God's Allied Special Forces. (See Ephesians chapter 6, Apostolic Scriptures for background).

-For reading pleasure, I began "Grammar for Grownups" a 1993 publication but still pertinent and not too dry. Recommend, if you can find it.

-I titled this post after someone made me aware of an Australian acoustic group who has a set of musical material based on the Psalms. They are called "Sons of Korah" from Australia, and one can sample their music on YouTube. I listened to their rendering of Psalm 91, and think it is simply wonderful! Lengthy, yes. A gentle reminder, God is in no hurry with us....

Later this month, taking a few days to get away from the routine and visit family in another state. Geographically that is.. Also, applying for new freelance opportunities, and ask your thoughts and prayers toward that end.

Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence keep you walking ever forward with purpose!
Mellow Roc

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Alternative Online Radio Listening and Update

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is July 2, 2015 in my corner of blogland and rather warm and mild, just like summer should be in my opinion. A few weeks ago I was looking at the blog stats, and rather surprised to see I have had some international readers, quite a few from Germany since I began this effort 5-6 years ago. As some of you know, I am a musician by avocation, writer of content articles and short stories, and this morning wrote about an ancient form of holistic medicine called Ayurvedic medicine. This is similar to traditional Chinese medicine, but that led me on a quest to find alternative music. I chose new-age music and discovered
www.trancemission.fm
from Freiberg, Germany, and another station based in Brussells, Belgium. I listened to each for about 30 minutes and then decided it was time to come back to the day at hand and proceed with the "to-do list". I enjoyed the listening experience, thanks to both Germany and Belgium for treating us to listening pleasure on the web.

For those living in the USA and or North America: belated Happy Canada Day, and Happy Independence Day to USA folks. We thank God for our freedom and are no longer slaves to sin thanks to our Messiah!

Thank you for reading, and would welcome comments anytime.
Alternatively, I will be listening to:
www.wfmt.com for classical or folk music.
www.acousticity.com for folk or blue-grass music.
-chavah messianic radio for Spiritual uplift through Jewish-Christian artistry.
-Of course regular radio for Tiger Baseball and soon Lion Football.
His Presence surround us on the journey, Kevod Yeheveh.
Mellow Roc

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bonus - Short Story

BONUS
Hello Grafted In Reader,

I wanted to share one of my recently written short stories with you. Comments are very welcomed if so inclined!
**
Up In The Air
David Russell

At the outset, it could be said that one’s bad hair day may be someone else’s good hair day, or so it was for ReyAnn.

It was a blustery March Thursday in metro Minneapolis and the weekend was going to be extraordinary. ReyAnn had been dating Scott for 11 months and 29 days, and he was flying her to sunny Phoenix, Arizona for the weekend. He was a sports journalist and had tickets for them to see the Phoenix Suns play the Minnesota TimberWolves. Unbeknownst to her, at intermission he was going to propose marriage.

***
Thursday morning at the Sports Desk, Scott took a coffeebreak with his colleagues Ted Grey and Bob Hill. He had monitored the daily columnists who always had plenty of advice to give for professional teams. Somehow, the human factor always got minimized, and the perfection quotient over-stated.
“Hey Scotty, any chance of reconsidering,” Bob quipped.
“Reconsidering what?”
“We think you know,” Ted mused.
“I think reconsider popping the question,” Ted urged.
“Oh, that matter. Well guys, heck no. I met a wonderful woman from the Midwest and, well, never gonna let her go,” Scott confided.
“He has it bad – doesn’t he,” Bob observed.
“Can we get on with something else,” Scott inquired.
“We could if you say you’ll reconsider the big plunge,” Ted further added.
“OK, let’s talk about the Diamond Backs and their new manager,” Bob suggested.
“I hear their former manager is having some medical issues,” Scott continued.
“Yeah, Some say he might have Parkinson disease. He even has a TV contract now with another MLB team,” Ted commented.

The meeting continued, but Scott was divided between the now, and the weekend he had planned for himself and ReyAnn. Ladies like her were certainly beyond a dime a dozen.

***
“ReyAnn, to prevent frizz when there is such a contrast in weather, I would suggest blow-drying frequently,” instructed Brooke, her usual hair-stylist. “That’s pretty special of Scott to fly you to Arizona. Have a great time!”

“Oh, we will. He is such a perfect guy,” confided ReyAnn.
****
2
Up In The Air

“We welcome you aboard flight G33. We will be taking off shortly. You will find pillows in the bins overhead for your comfort. We will be coming through with a light snack midway through our flight,” Dan the flight attendant announced to the nearly full cabin.

As they flew over the great planes, ReyAnn asked the flight attendant if there might be a portable
hair-dryer on board. She wanted to follow Brooke’s instructions.

“Sure, I can get you one from the cockpit. Gary, the pilot is a bit ostentatious, and always has one with him on every flight,” confided Lisa who sported a big smile as a happy-go-lucky flight attendant.

“Oh Gary, you dropped your sandwich, let me get it for you,” Lisa observed that the Conair Dryer was tucked further under the seat than anticipated. Five minutes later, “Darn-it, I spilled this soda on my new trousers, get me some wipes quickly,” exclaimed Gary to Dan who also knew of ReyAnn’s request. Handing some wipes to Gary, Dan quickly grabbed the dryer.

Removing the hair-dryer from the case, ReyAnn noticed a brightly-colored paper. It was the winning PowerBall Lottery ticket from the previous drawing. She was immediately conflicted. One side of her brain clicked off several ways it could be used. The other side argued for honesty.

“Ladies and gentleman, we will be landing in 15 minutes. Please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. We will be experiencing some minor turbulence ahead,” pilot Gary informed the crew and passengers. In a quick maneuver, she pocketed the ticket, and returned the hair-dryer to flight attendant, Dan, who replaced it in the cockpit.

Minutes later as passengers were deplaning, ReyAnn, feeling a little guilty, noticed the pilot was observing her somewhat intently. In the terminal he approached her saying, “Excuse me please. . . Miss, I noticed you have the PowerBall ticket. You may keep it. I found it on the floor in the boarding area back in Minneapolis. I have no use for it. This was my last flight. As of now, I am retired. Have a great hair-day!”

“Oh Thank you. I am about to become engaged so am retiring from being single,” ReyAnn stated with a wide smile.
“This ticket should provide well for you and your husband-to-be. Did you notice the amount,” the pilot inquired.

Looking at the ticket her eyes grew large, and her facial expression dream-like.
“Oh my gosh! This is unbelievable! The amount is over $10 million,” ReyAnn stated.

Right then, Scott approached and both he and ReyAnn had a prolonged embrace. Whether he heard the dialogue was not certain.

The end of the second period was going to be a new beginning for ReyAnn and Scott.
The public address announcer entoned,
“Ladies and gentleman, we have something very special to announce. Scott Post, sports reporter is here with his fiancĂ© ReyAnn Gilbert. Silence please,” the announcer voiced.
Approaching the microphone, Scott was nervous inward but calm demeanor prevailed outward.
“ReyAnn, will you marry me and be my champion in life,” Scott asked publicly.
From her seat, ReyAnn merged, and moments later was at Scott’s side.
Taking the microphone she said,
“Yes Scott. I will be your champion and ask you, will you be my man of the year every year?”
“You bet sweetie. There is no game delay here.”

The crowd cheered and took a couple minutes to give the couple a “standing O.” In privacy later that evening, ReyAnn told Scott of the winning lottery ticket, and they agreed to designate half for a charitable cause they both supported in their respective lives.