Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Life (Acoustic Song, Sarah Jarosz)

Post Holiday Greeting Grafted In Readers,

Do you feel like you are in the middle of two holidays?

You are.

Currently, Hanukkah is ongoing.

Christmas occurred on December 24 and 25 in the west.

New Years Eve and New Years Day occur over the weekend in the west.

The eighth day of Hanukkah is very early next week also.

We probably find ourselves reflecting, thinking, wanting to nap, wondering can we return to normal, wanting to live on the wild side, be done with words, be done with events, just read a book, view a movie or television program, have this moment and what it contains pass.

Whatever the annoyance and our perceived quick fix I found a quote by writer Monica Johnson, on brainyquote.com that I like. It fits her and all of us:


Regret is not a proactive feeling. It is situated in disappointment, sorrow, even remorse. It merely wishes things were different without an act to cause a difference. However, repentance is different. Repentance is an admission of, hatred of, and turning away from sin before God.
Monica Johnson
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Thanks Monica. As you and I get ready for 2017, let's just ask Adonai to come alongside us and enter 2017 with us. Help us reshape those areas where we stumble and trip numerous times, improve our choices, correct our blind-spots, and help us use our strengths to aid someone else where they are coming up short. Perhaps this can be the year to begin a rebuilding of the human condition rather than a microscopic examination and ongoing critique of it. Perhaps we can try rebuilding each other and say, Go, your faith will make you whole!

In the coming months, a Forgiveness Anthology will help people with the art of forgiving.

Waiting For Messiah will be another anthology to aid us in relying on someone bigger than ourselves, Yeshua the Jewish Messiah not a Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic, Church of Christ, but a Jewish Messiah who comes to seek and save that which is lost, you and me!

I hope you might be involved in praying for these projects and perhaps in sharing them with friends and acquaintances when they become available.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Peace Restore the wasted moments of our lives.

Mellow Rock
David Russell

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Come What May (Acoustic song, Covin and Earle)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Are you about ready to settle down for a long winter's nap if you live on the side of the equator where December 21st issues in the season of Winter, today? You're not alone! No, not depressed but glad we are having temperatures that will be slightly above freezing for the next few days.

To our friends in the UK, Happy Summer, enjoy those "barbees and outdoor activities." You deserve to have this season of fun!

I titled this post with the generality, Come What May, and one of those things is the end of the year top stories, top songs, top memories, and of course top words. In the US, The Merriam Webster Dictionary publishers chose surreal as their word of the year, but the Oxford English Dictionary went with post-truth. I will cite a portion of their definition here:
"Relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion..." Being an election "era" where debates went on for months, entertainment value believed to be essential, the candidates put on quite a show for the US public and the world at large. The political conventions too had their share of spectacle. Other words of interest on the short list include:
-Coulrophobia: An extreme irrational fear of clowns.
-Latinx: A person of Latin American origin or descent. This replaces Latina/Latino.
-Schadenfreud: A german term, defined to mean malicious enjoyment of the misfortunes of others.

Tune in again next year or go to your favorite online dictionary to keep informed of new words you can use to impress the others in your sphere of influence.

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, his Peace surround you through the Holidays and remember Yeshua is the light of our world as we celebrate Hanukkah! It begins Sunday evening, Dec. 24.

Mellow Roc
David Russell

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside (Song Standard)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016 in my corner of blog land. Yes, we had our first major snowfall on December 11, and schools across the region were canceled on Monday making many children a bit happy. I am going to do something a bit different this post and share one of my hobbies with you. I am a word collector, which comes in handy as a writer. For a few years, I have noted various sources that put out online something called The Word of The Day and have three recent ones to share with you. Try these in general conversation some time.

-Elucidate: It is a verb. It is defined to make something clear, explain. You might say, Elucidate that to me.

-this one is a couple centuries old from the French, hors de com. It can be both an adverb and adjective. It is defined as out of combat or disabled. The concussion made him hors de com.

-The final word for us is irascible: said to be an adjective. It is defined to mean easily made angry. The sentence sample says, "He was always irascible and quick to get into a fight." These are from the wordthink.com website and the Miriam Webster Dictionary website, respectively.

In Brief:
I am happy to tell you work is in progress on the anthology, Waiting for Messiah. Thus far two stories are submitted, and a third is in the works. We have a group going on Facebook, Writers Waiting for Messiah, and one on goodreads.com. Same name under, Writers 750. Stories again are imagined accounts of first-century citizens of Israel awaiting messiah. The fun is in imagining the process and finding resources to help make that realistic in description! If interested let me know at your earliest convenience.

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, the peace of YHVH be with you always!

Mellow Roc

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Letter To The Editor (faith Perspective)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Monday, December 5, 2016, in my corner of blog land. Temperatures remain mild and somewhat wet where I live, but we could get a couple meters of snow later this week! It is nearing winter and of course, snow time here.

This morning, I composed a Letter To The Editor of one of our local newspapers that I would like to share with you. There is a considerable amount of writing that many in the western church still ignore that puts a positive light on the Jewishness of Yeshua.

My letter, less than 200 words is in question format, and challenges pastors, priests and all of us as persons of faith to consider thanking our ancestors for the heritage we have as believers and Christians.
This is my post today. If you wish to copy and share it, be my guest!
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Dear Editor/Reader:
Where is the little town of Bethlehem?
For religious observance of Christmas, can clergy stand in front of their congregations and publicly thank the Jewish faith for: the Tehillim, Hebrew language with emphasis on action, the Daily Amidah, encouraging obedience, justice, care of the poor?
Also admit God too is King in our seasonal hymns?
State the reason(s) for ignoring the Biblical feasts and only portraying the nice sides of church history?
Finally, are we too smug and arrogant as 21st century western Christians?
David Russell
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Kevod Yeheveh, His peace be among us today and tonight and tomorrow.

Mellow Rock

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sharing Appetizers Together!

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Friday, December 2nd in my corner of Blog-land. We are experiencing a rainy start to the month of December here, with a very minimal amount of snow, which is mostly in flurry form occurring overnight for a brief period of time and then melting. No complaint here!

Continuing our health theme, our bodies are temples, and people of faith adhere to this belief as we feel God makes His dwelling within each of us. He writes His instruction on our minds and we are given charge to take care of what we have been given. With that in mind, I want to share a recipe with you from the Mayo Clinic Newsletter, HouseCall.
In fact, the most recent issue that came out on December 1, 2016, had a link to Appetizer Recipes. Categories include:
fruit recipes; fish and shellfish recipes; bean and legume recipes; poultry and meat recipes; rice and grain recipes; vegetable recipes and dairy recipes.

Here is one for a favorite of mine, Crispy Potato Skins. Two medium half potato skins per serving. Note that..

Benefits: No Cholesterol, no saturated or monosaturated fat, 2 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 27 g carbohydrates.

Seasonings: Use either fresh basil, fresh chives, dill or thyme.

Ingredients and Preparation
-One medium russett potato per person;
-butter-flavored cooking spray applied to potatos;
-one tablespoon minced rosemary applied to each potato;
-one teaspoon ground pepper applied to each potato;
-Add the above seasoning to each potato;

-Preheat the oven to 375 F.
-Pierce potatos with prongs of a fork so there are little airholes.
-Once oven has preheated, place potatos on flat baking pan or sheet in oven.
-Bake until crispy, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
-Remove, allow to set and cool for 10 or so minutes.

-Then, scoop out the pulp.

-Leave about one-eighth inch of the potato flesh attached to the skin.

Note: From experience, best served the same day prepared, and at least warm on sturdy paper-plates or plastic plates. Can be eaten as finger food. My opinion..

For those of you who are observing Advent, I would like to recommend a very intriguing entertaining read. I am currently reading, The Christmas Mystery, by Jostein Gaarder, Norwegian author, and thoroughly enjoying this novella. It was published in the '90s and there are good reviews about it on goodreads.com.

Your hello and comments are always welcomed, and sorry if I do not respond immediately as occurred recently. I do check the reader stats often, and am very happy you do notice my words!

Kevod Yeheveh, His Peace is with you.

Mellow Rock

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Can You Feel The Love Tonight (song, Lion King, Movie)

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is November 30, 2016. In about 32 days we will be saying, Happy New Year! This year, several of our posts have focused on health issues. We also continue to focus on faith issues as we look at the contribution Judaism makes to our faith heritage as believers in Messiah Yeshua, and will continue to do so Adonai willing.

I found an article that is titled, Thirty Simple Diet and Fitness Tips, by Leslie Barrie, online, and will simply list several below. These are lifetime practices not one-month events. Here you go.
-Curb your sweet tooth;
-Find the best fitness friend;
Stock up on these;
-Relieve those achy muscles;
-Buy comfy sneaks;
-Pick your perfect tunes;
-Police your portions;
-Combat cocktail hours;
-Up your exercise;
-Have a fruity ice cream sundae;
-Say good-bye to peer pressure;
-Ditch your working lunch;
-Slim up your snack;
-Find healthy fast food;
-Be a mighty maintainer.

Writers Waiting For Messiah
I am starting to work on an eBook (possibly anthology) titled Waiting For Messiah, and have invited some other writers to join me on a closed group at Facebook. This is set in first century Israel. Characters in short stories are awaiting the arrival of Messiah and describe life as it is, and as they wait. Tentative plans are to release this in eBook form, late summer, 2017. If interested in assisting with this project, please comment here, on GooglePlus, or request to join the group, Writers Wait for Messiah on FaceBook. David Russell, admin.

I have just started reading, The Christmas Mystery, by Norwegian author, Yostein Gaarder. It is a novella, short chapters, fascinating, perhaps a children's book for children of any age. For more details, I suggest you check out reviews of this at goodreads.com.

Until our next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence fill your being.

Mellow Roc

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Exercise Blues (acoustic, Pat Donnohue)

Hello
Grafted In Reader,

Today is Wednesday, November 23, 2016 in my corner of blog-land.

In the USA, Thanksgiving is celebrated tomorrow, Thursday. On the comedy show, Saturday Night Live, it was referred to as the "most magical Thursday of the year," a take-off from the lyric referring to Christmas as the "most wonderful time of the year." I will be playing for the dinner crowd at a local restaurant called the River Crab for my second year in a row. Depending on available seating, my wife and I will dine once my gig is over at 5:00 p.m.

-In the writing sphere, I just finished a 6-week online fiction writing seminar through the University of Iowa writing program. I am now embarking on an eBook that imagines life as a first century citizen of Israel awaiting the arrival of the Messiah. Much will be left to imagination, but there are some online articles from history, Scripture journalism and archaeology to fuel my imagination. I may have some other authors join me on this adventure. It's working title will be, Waiting for Messiah.

-In terms of reading, I am enjoying a novel by Kathryn Craft titled, The Far Side of Happy. It is a sad but true story about a marriage ending in divorce and suicide, and how the spouse has to make decisions that affect not only her but her two surviving sons.

-I did read "The Trouble with Christmas" just before this novel, so feel like I have gotten my holiday reading fix for 2016. Once the Michael Buble Special airs, well, that'll be it aside from Handel's Messiah! I did hear a webcast of this work last year performed in excellent fashion by the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Until we visit again, I wish you Kevod Yeheveh, the Presence of G-d to be with you always. Your hello or comment is always appreciated!

Mellow Roc (David)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Old Fashioned Love (Acoustic, Western Flyers)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Monday, November 7, 2016 in my corner of blog land. Today is the final day that TV ads and radio ads will run by candidates promising just about anything as general elections occur in the US on Tuesday November 8, 2016. I for one will be glad to have the bravado come to a conclusion!

This post though is going to talk about a health remedy for stuffy nose, and a word I learned recently that is relevant to good tasting wine.

Stuffy Runny Nose
A recent edition of the Mayo Clinic Newsletter, Housecall, reports in its Expert Answer section on a home device called a neti pot. It is described to have a long spout on one end, and is a shallow container. The experts claim it is used for irrigating or rinsing the nasal cavity. One must use water labeled distilled or sterile for best use in the neti pot.

For those of us who had moms or grandmothers that were "budget-conscious" there is always the pot that you may boil eggs in, boil soup, or vegetables, but simply fill with water, bring to boil on medium-low, and if tall enough and old enough, stand over the stove and slowly breathe in the steam (mouth closed) and then breathe out with mouth opened. Repeat this several times as you stand over the simmering pot. Have your face at least some inches or centimeters above the boiling water so as not to burn your face, nose, or nasal cavity. Also adjust the stove temperature to lower heat. Maybe simmer. We used to do this as children about age seven through teen-age years for five minutes at a time. Then we would rub some Vicks Vapal rub on our chest cavity, just a little on the lips, lie down, cover up, watch television or go to bed if nighttime.
Note: It may not be a good idea to do this with younger children, infants or babies..

What is your experience with treating nasal congestion? Leave comment.

Wine Making Word
Amaze and or amuse your friends by using the word "terroir." Sounds like tare-wa.
Definition from the Oxford English Dictionary:
"The complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography and climate."

I recently had a short article to write for a client about the process of making wine, and industry experts seem to think too a large extent, the vineyard has much to do with the product as opposed to the winery where it may be processed. Nonetheless, this is a fascinating wine cooler topic!

Until next visit, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be active in our lives!
Mellow Rock

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

My Way Back to My Heart, (Acoustic, Alison Krauss)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Tuesday, October 25 in my corner of blog land. I am going to start with the writing news, and then close with the Mayo Clinic health-tip.
*****
-Additional Christmas Moments, by Yvonne Lehman and publisher, Grace-Publishing is now available. This is an anthology containing reflections or stories for and about the Christmas season. My contribution is a family story titled, No Room In The Sky.
Available through www.grace-publishing.com or may be on Amazon or the major book carriers. Search by title and author.

*****
-Health Tip
You may consider this a gentle reminder, but nuts are good for heart health. That fits the post title, right?

Nuts are good for you in limited intake, inexpensive, serve as a healthier snack and easy to store somewhere convenient. The only disadvantage is they tend to have high calorie amounts. They are a supplement not a main food source.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be near us today and always.

Mellow Roc

Thursday, October 13, 2016

This Will Be Our Year (acoustic, Kelly Willis)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Thursday, October 13, 2016 in my corner of blog land. I am going to visit with you about a few topics of recent interest.

-On Tuesday evening, I enjoyed, and dozed off some, during the post-season Major League Baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. For eight innings, things were looking pretty bleak for the Cubs. In the final inning though, it was a come-from-behind story and they won to advance in the playoffs! Even the TV commentators implied a Cub's loss until they came back.

-I am in a Bible study with some others and we are discussing the book of Hosea in the Tanakh. It's about a nation turning its back and values on God, but eventually also come back or will come back.

-This year, the Day of Atonement was on October 12. As a Hebraic believer in Messiah Yeshua, I observe this day quietly. The following thought post Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, is offered by Rabbi Eckstein in the devotional, Holy Land Moments.
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The message of Yom Kippur is an empowering one. It teaches us that it’s ok to fall, so long as we get back up again. We don’t need to be perfect, just perfectly dedicated to trying again.
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In the above examples, trying again, is paramount. We each have those areas of life that vex us, or as the Apostle Paul/Shaul refers to it, besetting sins. I am well aware of mine, and know when I am likely to welcome them in my life!

They come from a sense of feeling alone, unique with my misery, set apart to suffer in a great proportion.

My prayer daily is for Adonai to love me through those times when personal abilities are questioned by me. I am encouraged that though we fall, and though we repeat repenting, each occasion is marked with God making us a bit stronger to endure the test. HalleluYah!

I welcome your prayers, comments, shared encouragement, and pray with you that we will be perfectly dedicated to the King of the Universe, though imperfect subjects in His Kingdom. Sending a cyber hug!

Mellow Rock

Monday, October 10, 2016

Speak (Acoustic song by Nickel Creek)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is October 10 in my corner of blog land. To those from Canada, Happy Thanksgiving to you!

To those in the US, we remember Christopher Columbus, 15th century explorer who is credited for discovering America.

Today, I want to highlight an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola on the condition, Irritable Bowel Disease also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or Irritable Bowel Disease. Dr. Mercola is a proponent of Natural Medicine but backs his position with credible research.

This disease is caused when too much unhealthy bacteria invades the gut and plays havoc with one's intestinal function and health. This can lead to greater risk for bone disease, bone fractures, ulcerative colitis, severe pain, constipation or diarrhea, headache and nausea.

Symptoms may include excess gas or bloating, craving sugar or refined carbs, headache, constipation or diarrhea.

Healing and prevention of IBD may be aided by the following foods:
broccoli, brussels, foods rich in fiber such as blueberries and other probiotics. Also recommended are syllium seeds and coconut oil.

Of course, one is wise to seek the counsel of their healthcare provider if any of the above are occurring with some regularity. However, you and I including some of these foods in our overall nutrition may help in the long run before it's too late.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with you in all you do.

Mellow Rock

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Notice: 31 Days Of October!

**********
Announcement:

Hello Grafted In Readers,

I am told as a writer, one has to make others aware of what you have written.

If you enjoy "ghostly tales" perhaps reflecting the style of the late Alfred Hitchcock or Edgar A. Poe, you might enjoy a newly released title that features one of my stories, "Living Sacrifice" David Russell.

31 Days of October
 
A Haunting Collection of Hallowe'en Tales
Authored by Shae Hamrick
Authored with David Russell, Gene Hilgreen, J Rene Young, Joe Stanley, Lena M Pate, Lisa M Collins, Lynette White, Marry Ross, Mirta Oliva, Rebecca Lacey, Glenda Reynolds, Elizabeth Ann Boyles, Linda L Taylor, Stephanie Baskerville, Terry Turner, Andy McKell, C Baely, Cora Bhatia, d b Martin, Elain Faber

A haunting collection of Hallowe'en, Suspense, and Ghost stories for young and old.


Publication Date:
Sep 30 2016
ISBN/EAN13:
1539087697 / 9781539087694
Page Count:
286
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.5"
Language:
English
Color:
Black and White
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One can get a copy for $12.95 paperback, or the Kindle edition, from Amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes and Noble and goodreads.com.

My story reflects a faith-based perspective on Halloween and perhaps bringing it back to a way it may have been observed at one time. I am acquainted with most of the contributors for we belong to an online writing group, Writers 750.

Thanks for reading some of what I have been up to.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be of comfort and certainty to you.

Mellow Rock

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stuck In The Middle With You (contemporary pop song)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today, our visit may be a bit lengthy as I would like to share a current reflection with you by Skip Moen, and my comment to it posted on his website.

I also have some "exciting news" to share with you on the writing front!

-October will be a "banner month" for me in terms of publication opportunities. I have two separate stories appearing in two separate anthologies!

The first is titled, Living Sacrifice, from an anthology titled "Thirty-one Days of October" by Shae Hamrick and Glenda Reynolds that will be available through Amazon on or about October 1st.

The second is a Christmas Anthology titled, More Christmas Moments, #3, by Yvonne Lehman, due to be released in late October and also on Amazon. My story there is a family account titled, No Room In The Sky.

I will keep you posted about both of these works as they would make good gifts for yourself or others you know, who enjoy fiction and or reflective pieces.

Last week, I posted a concerning item here from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and its noted stance on cultural issues of the day. Related to that in the broad sense, is the following by writer Skip Moen and my comment to it.

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Debatable
By Skip Moen | September 27, 2016 | 1
And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying, “We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” Acts 23:9 NASB
Nothing wrong – Most Christians read this story of Paul’s defense without understanding anything about its implications. That is the result of ignoring what the scribes actually say. Instead, Christians tend to read this as a justification of Paul’s faithfulness. But a closer examination reveals something rather startling. The scribes of the Pharisees actually state that in their opinion Paul remains a full-fledged Pharisee! They do not object to his declaration that Yeshua is the Messiah. They do not object to his claim that God has poured His favor out on the Gentiles. They do not denounce Paul for rejecting Torah. In fact, they state that Paul is free to believe Yeshua is the Messiah, God has called the Gentiles and Torah is still completely relevant. They agree with Paul, or at least they do not oppose Paul’s views. As far as they are concerned, Paul can go right on proclaiming the good news of the kingdom under Yeshua and remain a Pharisee. As far as they are concerned, Paul might really have had an encounter with an angel or some divine spirit and it’s OK with them.
A careful reading of this event yields two crucial conclusions. The first is that being a Pharisee does not mean rejecting Yeshua as the Messiah. In other words, the strict observance of the Mosaic revelation is not incompatible with the Messianic claims of Yeshua. That statement alone should forever settle the spurious “law vs. grace” argument. Pharisees knew that men did not earn their way to God. They had just as strong a view of the necessity of grace as any contemporary “grace only” preacher. But they also knew what God demanded—Torah.
The second conclusion is just as powerful. It is this: we do not have to agree in order to belong to the Kingdom. Certainly there were many among the Pharisees who did not accept Paul’s claim that Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah. But it didn’t matter. The important point is that it didn’t matter to them. This is not about Paul’s acceptance of those who rejected Yeshua as Messiah. This is about their acceptance of Paul’s disagreement. It’s OK for Paul to have a different view.
“Judaism is a culture of conflict. There’s an old saying in Hebrew: ‘Without debate (argument), there is no learning.’”[1] This implies tolerance for difference. In fact, it relishes disagreement as the only true way to learn. If we all agree, there is nothing more to discover. Better to have a community of differing views than enforce a uniformity of presumption. This event demonstrates the tolerance of the Pharisees toward Paul and this should cause us to ask, “How tolerant are we of those who have a different view of God’s work among me?”

1 Comment
David Russell on September 27, 2016 at 7:28 am
Hello Skip and others,
The question of tolerance comes with another question: Where do we draw the line theologically on what we will tolerate, live with?
I see the following as the “elephant in the figurative living room.”
Is it one thing to differ on our interpretation of the angelic prayer for peace on earth and good will among humankind, and another to understand LGBT issues within the confines of Judeo-Christian parlance, or God having maternal traits contrasted with being referred to as mother God or what I’ll call degendered?
Is Christianity today guilty, as some allege, of racism and sexism?
I can permit, tolerate, co-exist with you without having to buy or agree with your theological understanding and vice versa. Is there room to present my theological view in the congregation if it differs from the denominational ethic? Generally speaking, no!
I may do so privately with others but not publicly.
A culture of conflict would be a welcomed addition to Christianity today rather than a culture of conflict leading to splits and formations of groups where uniformity and peace at any price is the order of the day. Truly worth thinking about!
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Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with us always.

Mellow Roc

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review of Blog and Did You Hear The Latest?

Hello Grafted In Readers,

For those of you who may be new to my blog, there are three areas of interest that have come to be featured.
-Health Issues: As a result of having been a professional medical transcriptionist from 1998 to 2013, a mini-stroke survivor last winter, and personal interest in general health, I try to bring items of interest to our attention be it diet, weight loss, general maintenance, or a particular condition experienced by the population at large. That will be our focus this post.
-Faith Issues: These go under the umbrella of what is termed Hebraic Roots or Jewish roots. Abraham is the father of the Jew, Christian and Muslim faith(s.) The church at large ignores culture and customs that would enrich one's faith commitment.
-Occasional Story: As a writer of flash fiction mostly, I occasionally post something recently written that may be entertaining to those who enjoy reading in that genre. I have been in three anthologies over the past three years, published one novella in 2012 and will be in three more anthologies beginning with "Thirty-One Days of October" being released on or around Oct. 1, 2016 on Amazon.

Health: Blockage of ears from earwax. According to information from the US Mayo Clinic, signs or symptoms of blockage from earwax can include earache, feeling of fullness in the ear canal, cough, dizziness and ringing in the ears. These too may signal a condition other than ear blockage and in any case, should be addressed by one's healthcare provider. Typically, children receive a general ear check during a office exam. The healthcare provider can use a device such as a curett for removing earwax from patients be they young or older.

There is much to hear in our world, and may we be able to appreciate many of the sounds around us.

Kevod Yeheveh, His Presence be known by you and me today and always..

Comments or greetings are appreciated.

Mellow Roc

Monday, September 19, 2016

In The Palm Of His Hand (acoustic song, Alison Krauss and the Cox Family)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is September 19 in my corner of blog land. Historically, my wife and I left for our honeymoon twenty years ago today which we had in North Carolina. On the way home we spent the night in Nashville so as to attend The Grand Old Oprey. Now we are helping our granddaughter get off to a good start in kindergarten!

On the health side of things, recently the Mayo Clinic newsletter, Housecall, featured a short piece on eye dilation. This is a procedure that is done for the purpose of examination. Eyedrops are administered that cause the pupils to widen. This makes it easier for the qualified eye doctor to view the back of the eye in more detail. There are several factors that can be detected via this procedure. They include diabetes, glaucoma, high blood pressure and macular degeneration.

-On the reading front, I am halfway through a lengthy novel titled, On Beauty by Zadie Smith. It was published in 2005. The story is of a middle-aged married couple in New England who have one daughter and a son in college, and a younger teen living at home. The husband/father is an academic who is trying to repair his marriage of thirty years after having a brief affair. The story is well-written, but a bit lengthy in my opinion.

Meantime, Kevod Yeheveh, His presence sustain you and me today and always.
Mellow Roc

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Time After Time (Song, Cindy Lopper)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

I do appreciate your readership and time, and hope many of these posts are informative and or thought provoking for all of us. If you have been around my blog a while, you may recall last December I had a mini-stroke. Though much of my speech has returned, and endurance is improving, keeping active is something that requires commitment on my part.

A recent edition of "Housecall", the Mayo Clinic newsletter, offered some helpful tips toward staying active. Key exhortation, Do something.

-Exercise to give yourself the gift of energy and improve sleep.
-Focus on the future, maintaining health, is your reason for exercise commitment.
-Vary activities. Exercise alone and with others . Walks, biking or swimming for example.
-Take an exercise class at a fitness center.
-Drive less and walk a little more.
-Gradually work your way up to 30 minutes of exercise daily.

Final thought: "Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy." Mayo Clinic.

Next post will feature either a short story or poem by yours truly. Thanks again. If you want too, leave a comment, okay?

Mellow Roc
Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Sept. 13 in my corner of blog land. I found some fitness tips for us to consider in a recent "Housecall" newsletter from Mayo Clinic. These are good reminders for all of us to keep active.
-Exercise to give yourself the gift of energy and perhaps improved sleep.
-Focus on the future as your commitment to an exercise schedule.
-Vary activities to fight boredom. Join an exercise class, walk, swim or cycling.
-Choose enjoyable exercise activities. Some parks have stationery bikes in sheltered areas. You can take in the park scenery while putting your feet to the pedal.
-If time is an issue, take short walks throughout the day.

"Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy." Mayo Clinic Experts.

On the next post, I will be sharing a recent poem or short story with you.

Thanks for dropping by; your readership means much!

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be your portion today.
Mellow Roc

Monday, September 12, 2016

Mosquito Maladies? No Thanks!

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is Monday, Sept. 12 in my corner of blog land; still mild as we slowly transition from summer to Autumn. Our friends in the UK are transitioning from Spring to Summer.

One thing is of immediate concern for both sides of the equator: the Zika virus. Recently, "Housecall" produced by Mayo Clinic in the USA, ran a short piece or update concerning this condition. I highlight the facts below.

-The virus occurs in tropic and sub-tropic parts of the world.
-Symptoms: headache, rash, red eyes, mild fever, general discomfort.
-Zika virus is transmitted by the mosquito, worldwide.
-Neurologic conditions such as microcephaly and Guillain-Barr syndrome can result from Zika virus.
-Prevention: Vaccination pending, but take precautions so to reduce mosquito inhabitation and likelihood of mosquito bites.

Kevod Yeheveh, The Lord be with us indoors and outdoors on the journey.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe leaving a comment!
Mellow Roc

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Messianic Jewish Artists (Marty Goetz)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is Sept. 8, Thursday, in my corner of blog land.

For those who keep record or observe the Appointed Times, we are in the month of Elul. This period leads to the high holidays and end with the observance of Feast of Tabernacles and the conclusion of the current Torah cycle and beginning anew.

For those who are new to this and not so new, I would encourage you to feed your soul by listening to some music by Jewish believer, Marty Goetz. You can find his songs on YouTube.

In Particular, "Those Who Trust In The Lord" and "Lamb of God" are two of my favorite by him.

Trust, grace, faith, righteousness, justice, holiness, and sacrifice are not terms or concepts that are exclusive to Protestant and Catholic Christianity. They go all the way back to creation. So, over the next few days enjoy some Messianic music and even try an online service called Chavah Messianic Radio. You might enjoy some of what you hear!

God be with us in this time and season,

Mellow Roc

Lamb Of God (song by Marty Goetz on YouTube)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My Yiddishe Mom or Mamme (various Artists)

Hello Grafted in Readers,

Today is September 6, Tuesday, in my corner of blog land. Our granddaughter begins her first day of kindergarten today! On Wednesday, my wife and I celebrate 20 years of marriage! We had special occasions over the weekend to do this, and glad we have been married two decades!

I posted on Facebook the question, What do Will Howard, Belle Baker, Sophie Tucker, Tom Jones, Connie Francis, Itzhak Pearlman and Neil Sedaka share in common?

Tucker and Baker were among the first two Vaudeville singers to record "My Niddishe Mom or Mamme" in the 1920s. Neil Sedaka recorded a version in English and in Yiddishe during the mid 1960s, and Tom Jones has performed it on occasion throughout his performance career. There are said to be versions in Spanish and also a Jazz version. Itzhak Pearlman has a solo violin version backed by the Israel Philharmonic orchestra. The composer is said to be Jack Yellen. I heard the version recorded by Pearlman and it is nice, respectful, middle eastern in musical arrangement, and was surprised to find this song has had a long history by several artists.

During my last post, I mentioned reading, The Turner House, by Angela Flournoy. A simple summation of this novel is that it's about the workings within the Turner family, mother, dad, thirteen siblings. There are ups, downs, joys, and sorrows throughout this novel set in Detroit from post WWII to perhaps 2010. I recommend it highly! One quote which I'll paraphrase, A woman without options is a woman waiting for a man to ruin her.

I wish you Kevod Yeheveh this September day and always. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to say hello!
Mellow Roc
David Russell

Monday, August 29, 2016

Seven Things Humans Can Do (reflection from torah.org)

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is the last Monday in August, 2016. It is a mild warm summer day in my corner of blog land.

Today, my post is going to focus on Jewish roots. What does that mean?

For people who profess faith in the one true G-d, we inherit certain imperatives that are given to us by the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. One site I often like to read is www.torah.org.

I found a Torah Commentary called "Lifeline" and this particular Torah summary is about Noah, (Noach) Genesis chapters 6 through 9, generally speaking.)

Within this segment, are seven categories that are incumbent on all humanity, especially persons of faith. Most the churches ignore these things or take credit for having innovated them since their beginnings as an institution. You decide!

These categories are given to humanity by G-d.
-Not to eat meat or a limb severed from a live animal.
-Not to curse the name of G-d;
-Not to steal or rob:
Not to worship idols;
-Not to commit adultery or have forbidden sexual relations with another;
-Not to murder another human;
-To establish courts of justice and ensure observance of the previous laws or categories.

Lord God, enable us to hide your Word in our being so that we naturally choose to live it in our daily lives with one another.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be with us.

Mellow Roc
David Russell

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Speak (Acoustic, Nickel Creek)

Hello Grafted In Reader,

Today is Thursday, August 25 in my corner of blog land. Our last post featured a brief exposition by Ester T about the use of banana peels to remove or help remove metals from tainted water supplies. Ester asked that I mention that for best results, peels from organic grown bananas are seen to give best results. (See post dated August 22).

I titled this post, "Speak" for the following reasons or reminders to each of us:
-You have a voice be it verbal or written.
-You have something to say and communicate.
-It is one of our freedoms.
-You will either experience great humility or great pride from the experience of expression.
-You have something to teach others.

There are numerous other reasons that could be added here, but I am conveying the idea to use our gift of vocalizing.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence be seen in what you speak.

Mellow Roc
David Russell

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Starve The Idol

Hello Grafted In Readers,

We all have heard the addage, or something similar to itk, one gets out of something what they put into it. I like to read "Today's Word" by author and D-Phil, Skip Moen. A recent writing asserts that with the help of God, also known as YHVH, we can starve those gods that demand our time and attention: surgical enhancements, accounts, items, instant gratifications, etc. Those idols will eventually starve to death from not getting our input.

We are not victims of or to sin, nor are we fully capable of rescuing ourselves without God. Augustine and Luther were two men who strongly influenced the idea of inability to say no to sin. Of course, this all assumes that there is such a thing as sin, that humanity chose to disobey God through the first couple's choice, and that Yeshua the Messiah provided our pardon or atonement through his life, death, and resurrection!

May the Lord be with us as we consider our idols, name them, and choose to put them on the starvation plan. May we be filled with desires that make ourselves and our world the type of place YHVH intends.

I hope to hear from you, comments are always welcome and now should be a functional feature!

If you want, send your email and I will be happy to carry on further conversation.

Mellow Roc
David Russell

Monday, August 1, 2016

My Worth Is Not In What I Own (Acoustic, The Gettys)

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Over the weekend, My wife and I were listening to, Great Hymns of Faith, from UCB Canada. An acoustic song for which this post is titled was played and the words are worth pondering. The artists, Keith and Kristyn Getty have a pure sound, an acoustic/folk music type of blend. I jotted down the lyrics, but hope you will take this a step further and listen for yourself as the song is on YouTube.

"My worth is not in what I own, not in the strength of flesh and bone.

But at the costly warmth of love, at the cross.

"My worth is not in skill or make, win or lose, pride or shape;

but in the blood of Christ that flows, at the cross."

Note, I did jot down the lyrics from the recording and that is what I'm sharing with you!

Kevod Yeheveh, may we value YHVH and find him to be truly beyond worth and beyond measure!

Mellow Roc

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Challenge to Christians

Hello Grafted In Readers,

This past weekend, I heard a sermon delivered based on the account recorded in Luke chapter 11, where the disciples ask Yeshua to teach them to pray. He did. The issue is that most clergy may fail to mention that Yeshua based this on Jewish prayer of the time. I found the following excerpt, short in length, from a 2010 article in the Jerusalem Post. Pasted here for convenience.

I would challenge you as Christians to ask your pastors, priests and teachers to share things that are a part of your faith practice that come from Judaism. Many are reluctant to do so even though they claim to have learned this in their education process.
LOS ANGELES -- The Lord’s Prayer, widely considered to undergird the foundation of Christianity, “is utterly, totally, fully Jewish -- there’s nothing in it that is particularly Christian,” a theological expert said.

John Dominic Crossan, a former Catholic priest and now professor at DePaul University, articulates this thesis in the latest of his 26 books, “The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer,” released last week by HarperOne. Crossan is one of the foremost theological interpreters of the historical Jesus.


Kevod Yeheveh, His presence is with us on earth as well as in heaven.
Mellow Roc

Monday, June 27, 2016

Aliyah Means Going Up

Hello Grafted In Readers,

Today is June 27 in my corner of blog land. Over the weekend, I was reminded of the Hebrew word, "aliyah."
Per recently adopted custom, in Google I type "hebrew definition aliyah, or whatever Hebrew word meaning is being sought. The results are quite telling and enriching.

Traditionally, it referred to Hebrews who would go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the annual feasts, appointed times. See Leviticus chapter 23 for those feasts. During their time of going, they would travel in groups and sing praises to YHVH, God. Several of these are in Psalms 122 through 134 called, The Psalms of Ascent.

Today, aliyah according to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, refers to the dispersed Jewish people returning to Israel. The site - chabad.org, also mentions a metaphysical definition for aliyah.

I was reminded by a Replacement theology Spokesperson that Yeshua went up to Jerusalem where he ultimately offered Himself for the sin of humanity, you, me, people before and after us. See Luke chapters 9 through 24 for this detailed account.

I would suggest that every day and at certain points in life, we each have a choice to come up to God, come before God in prayer, in quiet, in worship, in meditation, in times of good and plenty, in times of deep despair, anguish, angst and frustration....

Our recent guest poster, Ester T, sent me an essay by Rabbi Sacks from the United Kingdom titled "From Despair to Hope" in which he makes some telling observations. Consider:
It is when your self-esteem is ground to dust that you suddenly realise that life is not about you. It is about others, and ideals, and a sense of mission or vocation. What matters is the cause, not the person. That is what true humility is about. As C. S. Lewis wisely said: humility is not about thinking less of yourself. It is about thinking of yourself less.
When you have arrived at this point, even if you have done so through the most bruising experiences, you become stronger than you ever believed possible.
--
In the 1970s, there was a Christian chorus that asked to be brought to the rock that is higher than I. This exemplifies the sense of making aliyah.

Kevod Yeheveh, His presence continue to bring us up from where we are to where He intends.

Mellow Roc

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

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