Household Council


This week is the start of an acceleration into the holidays and through the end of the year. No one is given space to breathe enough to relax and enjoy the celebrations of the season.

The hectic pace has been felt by our household, now made of four related adult members. We haven’t yet adapted to the néeds of four adults during regular times, and now the season of speed comes on apace.

So we initiated a new strategy. Monday morning was the first of initially daily household meetings to organize and assign household tasks.

An online spreadsheet, consisting of multiple tabs, is being created to capture the tasks and their frequency necessary for the maintenance of our lifestyle, along with the assignment of each task to the appropriate parties for efficient and consistent completion.

Tasks that will connect us all to employment and encourage appropriate external interactions for the maintenance are also being added and assigned. Some of those will lead to jobs and tasks of as-yet unknown schedules that will require further adapting.

One of the core yet often unplanned items of daily household function is meal preparation with corresponding grocery shopping. Meal times have too often been browsing pantry shelves overstocked in some items and understocked in others.

The son has been stepping forward with meal suggestions for a day or two ahead, with approriate thawing and meal times. The hope is to extend that into a family meal plan for the week coordinated with the grocery shopping list and adjusted for unexpected sale purchases.

The real test of the process is whether we get buy-in from all the adults as adults and an equitable contribution of suggestions, efforts and employment to fund the structure.

It will be interesting to see whether the internal or external efforts are the more difficult, per individual and group.


#305: Just One Step At A Time


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)


The future veiled before us lies,

The path is hidden from our eyes,

And Jesus leads, while faith He tries,

Just one step at a time.


Just one step at a time (one step at a time),

Just one step at a time (one step at a time);

That’s the way He leads to glory (glory),

Just one step at a time (one step at a time).


The road He takes we need not know,

But follow in the steps that glow,

And trust in Him as on we go —

Just one step at a time.



We need not fear what lies ahead,

Nor anxious be nor filled with dread;

The saints before were safely led,

Just one step at a time.


#304: Savior, More Than Life to Me


(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)

Please note I have a lot of musical events going on today, and am restarting this series with something I seldom do, a subquality soundtrack of my voice, which was overworn Saturday.


Savior, more than lief to me,

I am clinging, clinging close to Thee;

Let Thy precious blood, applied,

Keep me ever, ever near thy side.


Ev’ry day (Ev’ry day and hour), ev’ry hour (ev’ry day and hour),

Let me feel Thy cleansing pow’r;

May Thy tender love to me

Bind me closer, closer, Lord to Thee.


Thru this changing world below,

Lead me gently, gently as I gco;

Trusting Thee, I cannot stray —

I can never, never love my way.



Let me love Thee more and more,

Till this fleeting, fleeting life is o’er,

Till my soul is lost in love

In a brighter, brighter world above;


A Look Ahead –at a Busy October Weekend


In the effort to resurrect my blog’s posting schedule, today I am writing what was usually my Thursday “look ahead” events calendar. Though late in getting it up, there are many worthwhile things going on this weekend, and were I to wait until next Thursday to commence, many of of those items would be unavailable.

Noon, Today, Saturday, October 20 — Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Kearney, MO High School Musical

See this link to the school’s Facebook page for information on tickets for today’s final shows. I attended this production on Tuesday evening this week. It was a fabulous production. I didn’t see any performances that said “watch out, this person is going to Hollywood, or Broadway.” But what I did see was an excellent ensemble cast having fun and giving us an insightful take on a show we knew, but could yet experience new again through their eyes. The way they bridged the movie and Broadway stage versions to their own cast and resources, while keeping it alive, fresh, and new, is a testament to Community Theater and the ability of any group to be able to take a story and perform and tell it well.

Friday’s and Saturdays through October 27 — Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun

As darkness falls, fear rises when the Overlord calls his army to transform the park into Halloween Haunt. Experience the thrills of your favorite rides and the chills of Extreme Haunts as you navigate the fog-filled midways where over 400 monsters lurk to feed off your screams. All you fear is here select nights in the Fall.

Not recommended for children under 14.

October  21 — Church Anniversary Sunday Celebration, Avondale United Methodist Church

During  both services and a celebration brunch afterwards, the church will be celebrating its anniversary with special music from both the bell and cathedral choirs, among other special observances.

October 21 at 5 p.m. — Evensong Service by Songflower Chorale, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

The service will include a complete freshly-composed liturgical setting by SongFlower’s artistic director, Dr. Geoffrey Wilcken. The presentation is free and open to the public; donations are always welcome and accepted. Come join us as we contribute to this long-standing choral tradition, to which our art owes so much!

October  23 at  7 p.m. — Songflower Chorale Rehearsal, Jane Sullivan Choral Resource Library, Roeland Park, KS

This isn’t an open event, but any interested singers are encouraged to contact director Geoff Wilcken. Rehearsals are 7-9:30 p.m. I am one of the members of this group, and can attest to the musical challenge and insight brought to singing and the great works, new and old, by our director.  Currently we are rehearsing for a concert on “The English Tradition” on Nov. 18, and an Evensong Service on Oct. 21.

To contact Songflower Chorale your may use our website or our mailing address\

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

October 24  at 6 p.m. — Rehearsal, Jubilee Ringers Handbell Choir, Avondale United Methodist Church

Under the direction of Mark Keeney, the handbell choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services one Sunday a month.

October 24 at 7 p.m. — Rehearsal, Avondale United Methodist Church Cathedral Choir

Under the direction of John Livingston the choir rehearses Wednesday night’s in the church’s choir room, and performs during services each Sunday.

Through Dec. 2 — Always … Patsy Cline at New Theatre Restaurant

(I went to a matinee performance of this show, and highly recommmend it.  When I get the chance I hope to add some additional personal notes of review about this show.) 

Always…Patsy Cline is more than a tribute to the legendary country singer who died tragically at age 30 in a plane crash in 1963. The show is based on a true story about Patsy’s friendship with a fan from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk in 1961, and continued a correspondence with Patsy until her death. The musical play, complete with down home country humor, true emotion and even some audience participation, includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as CRAZY, I FALL TO PIECES, SWEET DREAMS, WALKING AFTER MIDNIGHT. The show’s title was inspired by Patsy’s letters to Louise, which were consistently signed “Love always… Patsy Cline.”

November 18 — The English Tradition, Songflower Chorale Concert, Historic St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Kansas City

This fall, Songflower Chorale will present a concert titled The English Tradition, celebrating the landmarks of British composers through history, from Renaissance
masters to the Romantics, which have radiated their influence back to
the rest of the world, along with some modern outgrowths of the Anglican choral tradition, alive and well in our community.  Admission is free, donations are accepted.

Those wishing to support the choral are welcome to contribute financially; this allows it to meet rehearsal expenses and hire guest artists at need, and is greatly appreciated!
Donations can be mailed to

Songflower Chorale

PO Box 140366 Kansas City, MO 64114 USA

Or you can contribute through our website,

The Songflower Chorale is a 501c3 non-profit, and contributions are
tax deductible where allowed by law.

 December 5-February 17 — Shear Madness at New Theatre Restaurant

SHEAR MADNESS is America’s most popular and longest running comedy (now in its 31st year at Washington D.C.’s prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts). More than 12 million people worldwide have seen the hilarious whodunit and there is no end in sight; its success just keeps going and going.

In this hilarious whodunit, a renowned classical pianist is murdered in her apartment above the SHEAR MADNESS beauty salon and you, the audience, along with Inspector Nick O’Brien, interrogate the suspects, evaluate the clues and solve the mystery. The wacky, spontaneous comedy never has the same ending twice, so you can see it again and again.

February  20-April 2019– Biloxi Blues at New Theatre Restaurant

The laughter rarely stops in this Tony Award-winning “Best Play” that tells the story of Eugene Jerome and his experiences as a 19-year-old draftee who, with a handful of other recruits must endure ten weeks of boot camp and a tough as nails, hard-drinking platoon leader in the steaming swamps of Biloxi, Mississippi in 1943.

April 25-July 7 — The Buddy Holly Story at New Theatre Restaurant

It’s Back! One of our most popular productions of all time! BUDDY-THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY. This joyous musical tells the story of Buddy Holly’s short yet explosive career and features his classical hits: PEGGY SUE, THAT’LL BE THE DAY, NOT FADE AWAY, OH BOY, MAYBE BABY, RAVEON and many more. This show Rocks!

July -Sept. 15 — Joseph and the Amazing TechniColor Dreamcoat at New Theatre Restaurant

Based on the “Coat of Many Colors” story from The Bible’s Book of Genesis, this upbeat musical is filled with a cornucopia of musical styles. From country-western to calypso to bubblegum pop & rock ‘n’ roll, this Old Testament tale emerges both timely and timeless. With its family-friendly storyline, universal themes and catchy music, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT is a musical theatre event not to be missed. From the composer of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVITA, CATS AND SCHOOL OF ROCK.@

Winds of Change … a virtual storm


A year ago, take a few days, I started blogging about the winds of change, literal winds, that had pulled down a tree in Kansas City’s Cooley Park and sent it through our back wall. Some $30K of damage, excellent insurance coverage and superb help from our general contractor Derick Defreece, we completed a year where we basically remodelled and repurposed our 2,000 square foot home so we know utilize most of the 2,000 square feet instead of the maybe 1,200 we were using before.

But now, about three weeks ago, we hit another wind of change, a virtual one.  This actually makes it probably the third wind of change — the second one being my sabbatical year and let go from State Street Bank which occurred in March. I had been blogging about that, but have pretty much decided now to put that on a back burner, and see if i can get back to regular blogging again. The blogging got interrupted somewhat during the upturn of the sabbatical, but in the past three weeks has been overwhelmed by the third wind of change, the virtual one.  So I am going to interrupt my regular schedule with reports on the winds of change — particularly the third.

Identity Theft and Fraud. I had all my stuff stolen on Sept. 22. I am not going to give anyone a straight layout of the details here on the blog, I am not going back and recording it chronologically, but I am going to feature various vignettes of things going on, with occasional references to previous facts and history.

In particular, I will start with today.  Betsy’s hope to the contrary, we still haven’t managed to close enough holes to make them give up yet. Today I received a notice from the United States Postal Service that a change of address request has been made to forward my mail from where I currently reside.  I assume this would allow them to have copies of my credit cards and other documentation sent to them, perhaps even purchase items.

Since the theft of my ID was in Overland Park, KS, and not where I live in Kansas City, MO, it has made any attempts to stop it difficult. The officer in OPKS has been helpful, but the jurisdicitonal issues of different cities and counties in Kansas, and then the jump between to states, makes our area one good for savvy fraudsters to use.

I just got off the phone with the USPS call center, and talked to a very compent Darcia who filed a case with the USPS.  I still don’t have any clue as to what address they were attempting to forward my mail to. Which could be really helpful in the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators.

From Darcia I learned that they put in a request for Oct. 12 to Nov. 28, so if I caught it correctly, it wasn’t a permanent forward. Which is even more curious. So now I am off to file reports with teh KCMO police department and visit my local post office for anything further I can do there.


Winds of Change Anniversary


I believe the wind whipped through Oct. 14, 2017 but I consider Oct. 15 the anniversary — that is when we could see it and assess, and begin the process of rebuilding.

And today we finished that year cycle.  While there are things to be done to the house, our move from old to new house, within the same house, is completed.  We cleared out all the moving detrius in the basement, and have everything shelved and reorged.

So here are some side by side pictures of then and now:


An unexpected defrost


Yesterday I got up in the morning and went to the kitchen set on the simple mission of picking up my breakfast and retreating. It was not to be. And I cannot blame it on the presence of anyone else, because each of the events that got added to the mission profile was something of my conscious doing.

When I opened the refrigerator door, I remembered a discussion the night before that we  would have sloppy joes that day. So we had planned to put the ground meat in the refrigerator to thaw.  But I didn’t see any. So I pulled the  pounds ground turkey out of the upstairs refrigerator freezer freezer and went downstairs to the chest freezer to add the pound of ground beef that makes up our three.

I had to dig down to find it, and then I found I couldn’t remove it from the freezer. There were 8 remaining ground beef packages, all on the bottom of the freezer, surrounding a bag of ice that had been put there during the second power outage that had caused softening and weeping of the freezer meats before refreezing started.

So I started a new project to free the ground beef. Not one, all. Hammer to tap it first, then a screw driver and hammer to try and pry them apart from each other, and the freezer floor. The dull thudding got the attention, slowly, of everyone in the house.

That is when I roused Nathan for his eye and expertise. Because I had decided that now was THE time to defrost the freezer, both freezers, and get them organized so we knew what we had. Bringing my consultant down, I detailed for him my idea, and asked for cautions and improvements.

On the all behind and between the two freezers (upright, chest) are two water faucets, hot and cold, used when the washing machine was in the basement. I intended to attach a hose to the hot water, and use as much hot water as needed to melt the ice holding the ice bag to the bottom of the freezer. Once removed I would pull the drain plugs and use hot water to melt the accumulated ice off the sides, dry it with a towel, and (last minute idea) clean and sanitize the surfaces with Clorox wipes.

Pulling the drain plug caused water to flow out, across the floor and toward the drain below the car. Some of it passed toward across the bottom of the stairs, while other progressed to under the stairs, where dirt, junk, and two bags of concrete mix sat.  Water would not be good for the concrete mix. I hailed Carly, had her fetch the shop broom, and sweep the water away from underneath the stairs and move it in front of them.

Once that freezer was deiced and the water stopped, I had he clear a section of the elevated shelf under the stairs and hoisted the bags of concrete mix onto its high and dry surface.

That left all the dirt and trash.  With the same broom I swept while Carly held the back that we dumped all the debris into.

I had emptied the chest freezer into the upright. Now i reorged and I moved the upright to the chest. Hot water sprayed on the shelves of coils deiced them and ran out the front, going under the stairs (now clean), until it was wiped down clean.

At this point I held an all house meeting. How do we want to divide our frozen foods.  We decided to put the meats in the chest freezer, and other items in the upright. Turned out to be quite a workable arrangement. I even had some of the meat in the upstairs freezer brought down, to free it up for more current items.

After the conference, Betsy drove off with the car on errands, and the garage was open — and I could see all the garbage accumulated under it, ready to plug the drain. So I had the final project, the only one not mostly done by me, of sweeping and bagging the trash in the open areas, assigned to the kids.

I went in for Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and left the kids sweeping the trash at 10 a.m. That was the best and most efficient freezer defrosting I can recall being a part of.