How’s Your Monday?

Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Monday, August 1, 2022

Take Out the Recyclables & the Trash

Yes, the writing life is glamorous – ha! I awoke at 6 AM and got out of bed. I put on my house slippers, made a pit-stop at the “necessary room,” put my iPhone on the charger, and headed downstairs.

Once downstairs, I first placed my iWatch on the charger. Next, I collected a bag of trash from the kitchen along with a bag of recyclables. I exit the house via the kitchen door, I walked passed the swimming pool, opened the back gate and places the bags in the alley. 

I returned to the back side of the house. Five more bags of recyclables and two more bags of trash awaited me. Carrying two bags at a time, I made four trips to deposit them in the alley. The trash collectors come about 8 AM and the recycle people between 10 and 2 PM. Mission accomplished. I come back into the house and lock the kitchen door.

Next, I put a new trash bag in the trash can and a new recycle bag in the recycle bin. 

Then I headed back upstairs, got dressed, pick up my now fully charged iPhone, and made my way back downstairs.

Take My Morning Medications

I refilled the water bottle before going to the restroom to get my seventeen morning pills to take. Once retrieved, I spent the ten minutes taking the pills and glancing at the online version of the Dallas Morning News. My iWatch is now fully charged so I retrieve and put it on. 

I tossed my MacBook in its black leather Coach bag along with the charger, noise suppressing headphones, and wireless mouse. I have an extra USB mouse in my computer bag in case I forget the wireless one.

A note I left on the table tells where I am going and what I’m doing. A stop at the mini-refrigerator gets me a Diet-Coke. I grab a new KN-95 face mask, exit via the front door, lock the front door, and put my computer bag in the back seat, get into my Mercedes, open my Diet Coke, turn on SiriusXM to channel 90 – NASCAR. 

Drive to Starbucks

I drink half the Diet-Coke during the ten-minute drive to Starbucks. The NASCAR news of the morning updates me on the latest happening. I’m a NASCAR fan following the Joe Gibbs Racing team’s four drivers.

When arriving at Starbucks, the handicap parking space was full so I have to park where I have to cross traffic to get into the building. I get my computer bag, my navy-blue Cardigan, and cane from the back seat and wait until there’s a break in the stream of traffic to cross the parking lot.

Once inside, I claim my table. All twelve tables are empty. I go to the counter where several baristas greet me by name. The manager says, Good morning, Jimmie. After returning their greeting, I pull out my iPhone and open the Starbucks app. 

The addion of funds to the app is my first order of business. I push a button and another $25 is on my Starbucks account. I order the Starbucks Eggs & Cheddar Protein Box and a large cup of blonde roast coffee. 

Daily Writing

While eating breakfast, I’m writing this post. When I finish, it’ll be time to get back to the daily writing as I head for achieving today’s word count on my pen name novel. 

So goes the exciting life of the writer. 

Air Conditioners, Sweaters, & Hot Weather

Today in North Texas

It’s Tuesday, July 26, 2022. Today is day 31 with temperarues100 degrees or warmer in 2022. We have not measured rain at DFW Airport for 51 days. We need rain and cooler weather in North Texas.

Hot Weather

Outside, it was over 90 degrees F when I left the house before 9 AM.

Hot weather is blanketing North America. The high today in Vancouver, British Columbia, is 91 degrees F. I’ll arrive there in 22 days.

I’ll be in Vancouver for three days before going on an Alaska Cruise-tour where I’ll end up at Mt Denali and the Denali National Park. It’s 38 degrees F with light rain at Denali.

Starbucks

I’m sitting in Starbucks this morning wearing my cardigan sweater (see today’s selfie) as the AC is frigid.

It’s morning writing, a walk in AC comfort, a visit to the allergy doctor, Bible reading, more reading for pleasure, and an evening swim are part of the day’s agenda.

Friends

I have a dear friend whose mother passed away peacefully in the in-patient hospice care unit this morning. I’ve known this friend since 1970. Losing your mother at any age is tough.

Today’s Selfie

The selfie is from today. FYI – My trifocals are for reading and computer. The regular or distance lease has no correction as my distance vision after cataract surgery is 20/20. I have to wear glasses for driving to read the dashboard.

My Mustache and Hair Are Turning Grey

Dr. Jimmie Aaron Kepler, July 2022

I’m a Believer

My day begins with daily Bible reading. This morning I read read chapter four, five, and six the Book of Exodus from the English Standard version the Holy Bible.

Yes, I’m a regular Bible reader. Yes, I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I’m a Believer, a Christian.

Starbucks Regular

I’m at Starbucks at Coit and Campbell in Richardson, Texas. My classic oatmeal with brown sugar is yummy. The cup of Blonde Roast coffee amazing.

Most mornings I write at a Starbucks in the north Dallas Texas suburban area. I’ve written at dozens of locations over the years.

Today’s Writing

Morning writing is on my agenda for the next few hours. I’m working on the first draft on book two in my pen name historical fiction series. I’m about 22,000 words into a 80,000 word book.

Grey Hair

I’ve been reading about grey hair recently. 

Why? 

Well, my whiskers have started looking like they have frosting on them. They facial hair is now about 60% grey and white and 40% brown. The hair on my head is changing as well. 

The root (newest part of my hair) has areas that are turning grey. My research shows (besides me turning 69 in November) that typically the hair’s root turns grey when they have mostly died off having no more or very little melanin (the brown or black pigment in hair).

The middle of the hair will have a bit of melanin because it was produced when there were still some functional melanocytes, and the tip (the oldest part of the hair) will still be full of melanin from when it was produced. 

From what I read stress and health – as well as aging – can cause the hair to turn grey. My guess is it’s my time unless the Covid and related stress has caused it. 

From my research, if I cut my hair short, it would be very grey because of the newer grey roots. With it the length I have (about 18 to 20 inches) it could take as long as two to three years to all go grey. 

On the other hand, I read that if turning grey is stress or illness related, remove the stress and recover from the illness and a majority of the hair will again start producing melanin and regain its pigment. Interesting. 

Google grey hair and join me in information overload.

If you’re grey, how old were you when your hair started going grey? The average age for white men and women is mid 30s.

I’ll take what God gives me. The photo shows the greying/silvering of my mustache.

Routines of Life

Routines of Life

My day began with me carrying out trash. Taking my morning prescriptions followed. After a short drive, I’m enjoying a venti blonde roast coffee from Starbucks. For your information, a venti is 20 fluid ounces.

My To Do List

Today I’ll be working on Bible verse memes for the next few months. I’ll create them and schedule them. I use Canva software for this job. I post them daily on two private Facebook groups I manage. One of the groups is for my family and is used to keep track of me.

The other is for the retirees and friends of the day job from which I’m retired. I’ve been doing both foe around four years. The day job retiree/friend group helps friends and former coworkers stay connected and to share prayer requests/needs. I have 168 people in that group.

Staying Busy

I’ll also do my daily writing, some editing, and strive to get my 10,000 steps in for the day. Additionally, I’ll do some longer range planning for the my writing goals including my nonfiction, my pen name work, my blogs , some video work (working on doing a video blog), and reading/ listening goals/schedules. I also have my Spanish lesson.

My working about 30 to 40 hours a week on the writing work is why I’ve had writing income for 50 consecutive months. Some months the income is small but it all ads up and it’s what gives me purpose and fills my retirement hours.

I confess that my writing keeps me from being bored. I’m never lonely.

Today’s Selfie

The selfie is from today.

My Daily Devotional Time

You might enjoy reading the morning devotion I used. It is at https://www1.cbn.com/devotions/names-of-christ-savior.

Saturday Morning Musings

It’s Saturday morning, October 23, 2021 as I type.

Florida Christian Writer’s Conference

Several of my dear friends in Christ are attending the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference at Lake Yale, Florida. They arrived early in the week and will be there through tomorrow. How I wish I was there! They’re all being obedient to God’s call on their life to write.

Why not join me in praying for them as they seek instruction, direction, an agent or a writing contract, and for safety for them and their families as they are at the conference and travel home.

Can you guess where I’m at this morning?

Can you guess where I’m at this morning? Wrong, if you said Lake Yale. You’re right if you said with confidence, “Starbucks!” That’s right, I’m at Starbucks. I’m such a person of habit and routine. Some of you know me so well. If I asked what am I drinking, most – you’d shout COFFEE, which is the correct answer.

But if we add to the question “what type,” some of you will give a smarty-pants answer of Starbucks, which is correct. However, I’m asking what type or flavor of Starbucks coffee am I drinking. Then the answer is harder. Yes, I know I need to ask better questions.

You have a fifty-fifty chance to get the correct flavor of Starbucks coffee I’m drinking. The answer is “Pike Place Roast” or “Blonde Roast.” Today I’m enjoying the Pike Place Roast coffee.

Prescriptions and More Prescription Medicines

Getting ready to drive to the coffee shop sometimes is a small adventure. This morning I choked down my morning prescriptions. I current take twenty-four per day with forty percent in the mornings and sixty percent in the afternoon. For the math geeks, I took fourteen this morning and will take ten tonight. I know that’s not inexact 60/40 split, but it’s close enough. 

Friday, I started another six-day round of steroids yesterday. I took six steroid pills on Friday. Today I took five. I’m also taking Amoxicillin. It’s another sinus and ear-infection. No, these RXs aren’t in my daily count as they are short term, not maintenance prescriptions.

How Does a Guy Make a Ponytail (on Himself)?

You’ll find my below the shoulders length hair in a ponytail this morning. Over three decades ago, I had trouble putting my young daughter’s hair in a ponytail. I never mastered the process. So, how did I ever learn to this skill set? YouTube! If you’re ever bored, Google how to make a pony tail for men. What a challenge. What an ordeal. If you’re female, this is where you laugh.

Well, it’s time for morning writing. I’m working on the transcript and show notes for doing a video blog (vlog, video, whatever the correct term is). It will be on my YouTube channel and on jimmiekepler.com in the next few days. 

Houston Astros American League Champions

Congratulations to the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team for winning the American League Championship series. They will play in the MLB World Series vs the winner of the Atlanta Braves vs Ls Angels Dodgers who are playing in the National League Championship Series.

Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles

The photo is of the Starbucks at The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles. I used to work across the street from it. I at my evening meal there almost every day. It was across the street from my day job and a five-minute walk from where I lived when working in Los Angeles. Living a five-minute walk from work was good in LA.

the-promenade-at-howard-hughes-center


Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a novelist, poet, book reviewer, and award-winning short story writer. His work has appeared in over twenty venues, including Bewildering Stories and Beyond Imagination. When not writing each morning at his favorite coffeehouse, he supports his writing, reading, and book reviewing habit working as an IT application support analyst. He is a former Captain in the US Army. His blog Kepler’s Book Reviews was named a 100 best blogs for history buffs. Kepler has a Bachelor of Arts in history with English and military science minors. He also earned Master of Religious Education, Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees. You can also visit him at Kepler’s Book Reviews.

The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners’ Helmets With Lights and Other Stories

The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners' Helmets With Lights and Other Stories
The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners’ Helmets With Lights and Other Stories

Today is Saturday, February 8, 2014. It is a Saturday. After a week of cold miserable weather, we had a reprieve this afternoon. The sun came out after spending the morning behind clouds. Temperatures that started at freezing made their way to 52 degrees at 4:47 PM. After days with temperatures staying below freezing it felt like a heat wave.

My Saturday was similar to many others. I awoke later than usual today. I slept until 7:15 AM. Instead of heading for coffee at Starbucks, I had breakfast at home as well as my morning caffeine. I watched some of the Olympics opening ceremonies on DVR while I ate a bowl of Cheerios with dried cherries. I remained at home until my wife departed for work.

After she left I loaded my laptop and myself into my Ford Taurus. I headed to my favorite Starbucks for a morning of editing and formatting. I had a tall blonde roast coffee. I spoke with my friend Joanne and her husband. She is a local bank branch manager I see most mornings when I stop in for coffee.

I put the last touches on the formatting of my book “The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners’ Helmets With Lights and Other Stories”. It is available on Kindle February 9, 2014 in the United States, India, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Australia.

Maybe the hardest part of the book was the dedication. I dedicated it to:

  • My wife Benita B. Kepler, who permits me to pursue my passion of writing.
  • My poet friend and beta reader Karen Vandiver Garrison for her encouragement.
  • My writing coach Linda Lee Tritton and the Wholehearted Writing Group: Marcie Aber, Sabrina “Sam” Chapman, Amy Koetter, Talya Tate Boerner and Storm Ricamore. I told them thank you for their beta reading and suggestions. I have grown to love them like family.

At 1:30 PM, I left Starbucks. I went to the gasoline station and filled my car up with gas.

Next, I returned home. My wife was still at work. My kitty greeted me. She was looking for tuna. I ate leftover meat loaf to her disappointment.

I retired to my home office and did more editing while watching/listening to The Seekers 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert from the early 1990s.

About 5:45 PM I moved from my office to the kitchen. I prepared pork chops, corn, green beans and pineapple for the evening meal. I had it ready when my wife came home from work about 6:45 PM.

Following dinner, I watched the conclusion of the Olympics opening ceremonies on DVR. I then retired to the kitchen. I put up the clean dishes in the dishwasher. I next rinsed the dinner dishes and placed them in the dishwasher. I washed the pots and pans in the sink. I made a pitcher of iced tea as well as taking up four trays of ice. I do not own an ice maker other than four ice trays.

I read the short story “Dehydration” by Grayson Queen. It was very interesting. It deals with the premise of what happens if the earth’s water supply becomes non-potable.

I also finalized arrangements for going to see the Dallas Symphony and Bernadette Peters tomorrow. The show is after church. It is at 2:30 PM.

Well, it’s about time for bed. In the name of shameless self-promotion, buy my book “The Prairie Dogs Have Coal Miners’ Helmets with Lights and Other Stories”. It’s available on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/Prairie-Miners-Helmets-Lights-Stories-ebook/dp/B00IBRLH74/.

Photo Credit: The cover image use is with permission under Creative Commons Share-Alike License CC-BY-SA 3.0. Joe Ravi is the photographer.