Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Thirty-Seven Years as but a Day (published 5-16-2023; article #413)

Photograph by Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, on 5/16/2023.


Howdy, to all local, regional, national, and international readers – especially to you, dear reader. Before I get around to the purpose of this article, do local readers think that it will rain today? The forecasters, as usual, have marked today as a “weather aware” day. Ever marketing themselves, during the televised weather segments, they encourage us to download their “app” (software application) and “stay tuned.” As 3:30 PM approaches, I finally hear some thunder. Our “mower guy” has already mowed the yard. I'm ready for this “dangerous” rain – if it gets here. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman just called. She is driving home now. That's enough rant about weather forecasters!

Today marks the 37th wedding anniversary for Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me! Happy anniversary, dear! Let me preach on.

What Else Can I Say?

Previous articles about our anniversary have spoken through the written word. It seems as if I've started a trend for the titles.

The trend started, with the article of 5/16/2006, “20 Years as but a Day.” I read it again today. I had replied to the kind comment by another writer. Where's Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's comment?

Once I started publishing more articles, the article of 5/17/2020 switched gears on the title trend. I had to write about, as part of title states, the “Stealth Mission Accomplished.” Yes, I surprised her. Website analytics shows me the number of views, in three digits, with no comments. Where's my wife's comment?

Two years ago, I switched back to the title theme. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's endearing comment, to that 5/16/2021 article, arrived almost a month later.

Last year, the title theme continued, in the article of 5/16/2022. Within the context of “life, such as it was, back then,“ I had retired three days previously, on a lucky Friday, May the 13th. My Irish dander was still up, when I published the article. The need to sign a document, when I turned in that office key -- as I was told had to be done -- turned out to be a mistake by my former employer. I could have mailed in the key. Looking back, I regret the tone of that segment. I was quite indignant at the time. Writing kept my Irish dander from boiling over!

What else can I say? Well, enjoy the next segment!

What I Say Today!

Since 5/26/2022, Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts has been on YouTube. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, my dear, episode 11 is the first time that I've done an anniversary podcast!

The title and location are “Thirty-Seven Years as but a Day (published 5-16-2023; episode 11).” Yes, I started to get a little choked up, near the end.

Dear, I hope that you enjoy your anniversary podcast! It's better than buying a high dollar, made in China anniversary card.


Yesterday, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman brought home some tomato plants, which her good cousin had given her. As the co-author of this website, she has one published article -- 'MATER FUN with 'MATER LADY (published 8-29-2022; article #351; Mrs. Appalachian Irishman article #1). Is another “Mater Lady” article forthcoming?

As this article concludes, the rain and hail came, for a few minutes only. Now, the sun is coming out. My wife has been driving in all this.

Dear Lord, thank you for your grace, through Christ Jesus. Please keep my wife safe, as she drives in the rain. Thank you for your providence that granted our meeting, courtship, engagement, and marriage. Thank you for blessing me with a fine Christian wife for these 37 years. We've been through a lot together. I love her. I love you too, Lord. In Christ's name, amen.

Friday, May 05, 2023

In Memory of My Adoptive Mother (published 5-5-2023; article #410)


This is the second of the “two very serious articles on family and heritage” that the humorous article of Saturday, 4/29/2023 mentioned. The first article today honored my mother-in-law.

I took the above photograph, on Tuesday, when I started writing this article. The painting hangs, proudly, in our dining room. I look at it several times every day. This article's initial conclusion will explain the story behind that painting.

Please pause a moment, before reading further, to read “My Mother's Birthday, 1/21/2021, at Age 91 (published 1-24-2021).” Please also read the December 2022 comments to that article. That article sets the background for this article.

This article is in memory of my second, or adoptive, mother, Ozella McTigue Scott. My adoptive sister and I both call her mother. The 1/24/2021 article, cited above, includes:

My Mother, Ozella Scott, is also the finest Christian example that I have ever known. (I can have two, my Mom and my Mother. They are equally the finest!)

Ozella McTigue Scott (1/21/1930 - 4/26/2023)

My wife and I had hoped that the Good Lord would wait, to call my Mother Home, until after we could visit this summer. Regrettably, “life, such as it has been,” hindrances, especially since 3/29/2016, had forestalled a much desired visit to our Missouri family.

The summer trip to Missouri is still planned. The next visit with my Mother will be everlasting.

Homeward Bound!

On Wednesday, April the 26th, my Mother was able to walk and jump like she did in her younger days. Her memory regained its brilliant clarity. She was perfect. Her hair didn't need to change from gray to black, since she never had gray hair. Of course, her Irish eyes didn't need to change. They continue to smile, as they always did, reflecting the sweet and everlasting soul behind them.

About 7:30 AM, on Wednesday, April the 26th, the Good Lord called Mother home. My adoptive sister called to let me know. The phone beeped once, instead of ringing, as usual. I thought that a smoke detector had beeped. I figured out that it was the home phone. When I called my sister back, to talk about our Mother's journey Home, I mentioned the beep. My sister said, “That was our Mother!” You know, our home phone always rings, as usual. That was the first time that it beeped. That beep, as my heart knows, must have been our Mother, signaling that she had flown upward, into her bright and everlasting Home.

The Arrangements

I remember the good folks at McMikle Funeral Home very well. Our Mother's obituary is on their website: Ozella McTigue Scott, of Charleston, Missouri, Obituary: January 21, 1930 - April 26, 2023 (on McMikle Funeral Home).

The memorial service was on Monday, May the 1st. The obituary mentions that I would be one of two ministers, officiating at the service.

My adoptive sister would like to have seen my wife and me, but she knew, graciously, that my “bionics” might not endure the approximate seven-hour drive. (She has her “bionics” also.) Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I wanted to make the drive. My “bionics” have endured only a few two-hour, one-way drives. Sitting too long returns muscles to their traumatized memories. Walking, hiking, and moving around keeps them more limber. Wisdom dictated another solution.

McMikle Funeral Home and the Appalachian Irishman - Podcasts home studio had the technology. The honor and privilege, for my part of our Mother's service, was delivered virtually, on Monday, May the 1st.

My Message

The day after our Mother went to her everlasting reward, I composed my message. I was alone, but I felt as if I were speaking live, during the actual service. I tried to speak the words that I had prepared, but emotion frequently overcame my script. Emotion poured from my heart and soul more than I'd expected.

My funeral message, honor, and tribute to our Mother is: Ozella McTigue Scott (1-21-1930 to 4-26-2023) Funeral Message, by Marion W. Ferrell (on 4-27-2023).

I listened to that message once only. Early in the recording, I'd misstated that our Mother was age 63. I'm glad that I corrected that, later, to age 93. I did not want to rerecord, to correct that error. Composing the message was difficult enough, the first time. I may listen to my message again, but some time needs to pass first. If I hear myself again too soon, then the emotion will come back too quickly.

Initial Conclusion

In initial closing, I'll explain the story behind the painting. I'd taken the photograph, below, on the same day as the above photograph. The image shows the upper left corner of the back of the painting.

Back in the late 1980's, I'd asked my adoptive Mother, Ozella Scott, and my adoptive Mama, Ollie McTigue (who went to Glory, on Sunday, July 14th, 1991) to sign the back. They did, graciously.

The painting hung in the kitchen and dining room, of the McTigue home. During the many occasions, when I enjoyed dining with the family at the noon meal, I admired the painting. I commented on the relaxing scene. A boy, girl, and their dog were going fishing, near a covered bridge.

The loving and kind spirits of my Mama and Mother gave me that painting! I had tried to decline, but their caring insistence would not accept “no” as an answer. The painting hung, in honor, in the dining room, of our homes, first in Charleston and then in Dexter, Missouri. It was stored safely, during our five years in Russia (1994 - 1999). Lord willing, the painting will be our gift, one day, to a loving and caring niece. After this article is published, I plan to print and attach a copy to the back of the painting – to explain the history.

Final Conclusion

Hey, Sis! You and I had another good conversation by phone earlier today. Happy birthday today! No, I won't write how old you are, but you are my older sister! I'm your baby brother! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I look forward, Lord willing, to visiting our Missouri family next month. Just keep the light on for us!

Your life continues to honor our Mother and our Mama. Their loving spirits live on in you. I know that you are passing along that same spirit to your children and grandchildren.

Dear Lord, as my written prayer, thank you for blessing me with my Mom and my Mother -- the finest Christian examples that I have ever known. We, the family who are still here, await the time, when we join the unbroken and everlasting Circle. In the name of Christ, our Savior, amen.

Memories of My Mother-in-Law (published 5-5-2023; article #409)


The article of Saturday, 4/29/2023, mentioned the forthcoming “two very serious articles on family and heritage.” This is the first article.

Yes, by the way, I know that yesterday was “may the fourth be with you” day. I've also made the lame Star Wars jokes. On May the fourth, 2016, I came home, after 36 days in two hospitals. (My 5/8/2022 article has more details.) As an important “by the way,” I wonder, seriously, how many folks spent extra time in prayer yesterday, on National Day of Prayer.

I only published three articles in 2008. Life, such as it was, fifteen years ago, preempted and relegated my writings to the background.

In June of 2008, family vacationed near Grandfather Mountain State Park, in North Carolina. The above photograph is one of thirty-seven that I'd taken, during that get away. Pictured above are Paw Gordon (my father-in-law), Maw Gordon (my mother-in-law), Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, her two sisters, and our niece. All seven of us stayed in one cabin. I'd taken the above photograph, on our final vacation day.

We enjoyed good family time. The swinging bridge, at Grandfather Mountain, was enjoyable. My wife and I hiked Grandfather Mountain. My wife, her youngest sister, our niece, and I drove the approximate two-hours, one way, to Chimney Rock, for an enjoyable hike. The weather was sunny and mild on every day of our family vacation.

Searching my website finds several articles that mention my mother-in-law. No one article is dedicated to her. This article corrects that oversight.

Phyllis Ann House Gordon (4/10/1941 - 4/30/2017)

Maw Gordon, as I called her affectionately, is Phyllis Ann House Gordon. Her 76 years on this earth remain a blessing to countless individuals.

I met the future Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and her family, in the summer of 1984. Maw Gordon and I took a liking to each other immediately. (Of course, my other future in-laws and I did as well.) Maw Gordon didn't need much time to figure out my sense of humor! I'll share a few memories of my mother-in-law.


After I'd asked and obtained Paw Gordon's permission, the future Mrs. Appalachian Irishman said “yes,” when I dropped to one knee and proposed. We were at the old Amis Mill dam, near Rogersville, Tennessee. That was in late April, 1985. My mother-in-law's father (Hugh Lee House, 6/14/1916 - 4/6/1985) had passed recently. Maw Gordon cried, once she knew that I'd proposed to her oldest daughter. As I understand, Maw cried in sorrow and joy – sorrow in that her father had just passed and joy in that her oldest daughter was engaged.

When the future Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I were married, before the ceremony, Maw caught me out of the corner of her eye. My future wife was in a nearby room, getting gussied up. Maw thought that I was too close to that closed door, where her eldest daughter was! She gave me a stern look and said, “Don't come any closer. Belinda's in their getting ready!” I assured Maw that I hadn't planned to go into that room, and I backed away, very quickly!

Maw Gordon and I, along with other family, enjoyed talking about our memories of Hawkins County. She shared many a story of her life, back in her younger days. Stories often involved Burum Road, Guntown, Bear Hollow (or Holler), ebbing and flowing springs (or ebb 'n flowin' sprangs), the old school house near the springs, and such locations.

Maw developed a curvature of the spine that worsened with age. She was born with a club foot. Those “whatevers” didn't slow her down, until later in life. I recall how Maw walked -- maybe a mile or less, one way, up and down side roads -- to work at a nursing home, when my in-laws lived in Etowah, Tennessee.

Maw Gordon insisted on certain traditions. For example, her three daughters and I -- even though we were adults, with some age on us -- got Christmas stockings, with our names on them, each year. The stockings contain fruit, nuts, candy, and such. Every Christmas, I'd complain that I was way too old for a Christmas stocking! Maw just laughed. Hog jowl and black-eyed peas were essential on New Year's Day.

Well, Maw, that was your northeast Tennessee Appalachian raisin'. Your daughters keep the tradition alive. I got another Christmas stocking last December. Yes, Maw, I heard you laughing!

Maw Gordon never met a stranger. She was a talker. She was also a doer and a helper. She never said, to someone in need, “Call me if you need anything.” Nope. Maw just figured out the need and showed up to help. The doing and helping were usually done through her family, when Maw got to where she couldn't get around as well. Family was glad to help Maw help others. That's a lesson for folks, who say half-heartedly, “Call if you need anything.” Don't just say. Do!

My in-laws had moved from Etowah to east Knox County, before Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I returned from Russia (on 9/30/1999). We were and still are living in Knox County also. Maw was glad to have us close, instead of half a world away.

I remember a day, back in the early 2000's, when I took Maw, in my ol' 1995 Nissan pickup, to a routine medical appointment. (The location was the same that I'd visited on 1/27/2023, for my upcoming “roto-rooter.” See my 2/15/2023 article, for that “fun.”) After her appointment, Maw wanted to go to a garden center, to buy a big tree, to plant in their yard. That tree, in a big bucket, barely fit in the truck bed! Paw Gordon and I planted that tree. The tree is still standing, and it has grown quite a bit. Maw Gordon planted many spiritual trees that are still growing. She was a good wife to Paw, a wonderful mother to three girls, Nana to her granddaughter, and my mother-in-law. Maw was sister, aunt, cousin, sister in Christ, friend, and neighbor to many folks.

I'll close this segment on a funny story. My wife and I moved into our newly-constructed house, on 6/6/2003. We still have the few cedar trees, in the back yard, that came with the land. We did not want to plant trees -- anywhere! For years, Maw kept “suggesting” that we plant a few trees in the yard. She had exact types of trees and yard locations in mind. I kept replying that we didn't want to plant trees. During one particular visit, Maw “suggested” the tree plantings again. (Note: family often “jumped” when Maw “suggested” something that she wanted to see done.) I looked Maw squarely in the eyes and, with a slight grin, said, “No. We will not and never will plant any trees on our property.” Maw figured out that I was adamant enough! Maw knew that we could both be stubborn! I out stubborned Maw, finally!

Passing on Home

Maw's stubborn determination kept her going, when others, of weaker disposition, would have given up. In time, her curvature of the spine required a back brace, which she wore only when she had to. Eventually, Maw had to use a wheelchair, as in the above photograph. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman bathed her mother once a week. That expression of love to her mother continued several years.

On 3/29/2016, I almost died, as the 8/26/2016 article mentions. Back then, I wondered and asked God why didn't I just die. (The early recovery was like various degrees of torture.) A year, a month, and one day later, however, I realized why I didn't die.

On 4/30/2017 (397 days after 3/29/2016), Maw could walk or run just like she always could. She could stand upright. Her club foot became a normal foot. She had no recurring congestion. If fact, Maw was completely well, finally, after having endured decades of physical suffering, with great strength and determination.

On that Sunday, 4/30/2017, about 1:15 AM, Maw went Home to be with the Lord. Last Sunday, 4/30/2023, marked the sixth year of Maw's everlasting joy and comfort. (Of course, everlasting life doesn't have the passing of time, as temporal life here does.) Last Sunday, family gathered at the Gordon home. We talked. We laughed. We celebrated the birthday of my youngest sister-in-law, who'd attained age <deleted somehow my that sister-in-law>, on the 24th. We remembered Maw, who was present in spirit.


The kind, caring, and godly spirit of my mother-in-law, Phyllis Ann House Gordon (4/10/1941 – 4/30/2017), continues in her three daughters, her granddaughter, many family and friends, and me. She was and is a fine Christian, saved everlastingly by God's amazing grace. The Son, who shined through her life, is reflected and continues to shine in many.

Maw demonstrated her faith in action, by her many acts of kindness and caring. Maw planted many godly trees that are still standing and growing.

Dear Lord, thank you for blessing me with such a fine mother-in-law. I couldn't have had a better one. This, my written prayer, is in Christ's name. Amen.

Wait! What did I just hear?

Okay, Maw, I heard you! I may plant a tree, for your birthday, next year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Mom Went to See Jesus, 12-27-2000 & Snow Photographs, 12-27-2022 (published 12-27-2022; article #382)


At 3:06 PM, as I begin to write, the sun is shining brightly. The temperature is 41 Fahrenheit (5 Celsius). The snow (about an inch or 2.54 centimeters), which had fallen late yesterday afternoon and through the night, has melted, except in the shady areas. Molly (our ol' puppy) is now outside mostly or in her basement condominium. She's no longer an indoor doggy, staying on the couch, in hibernation mode. The four days of winter (12/23-26/2022), with highs not above freezing, are over. Spring in winter is resuming.

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman is visiting her folks. (Her youngest sister returns to “Nashvegas” later today.) I had not planned to write this article, but I decided to do so.

Mom Went to See Jesus, 12/27/2000

I re-read several articles that I've published, around this time of the year, about Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000). My brief article, of 12/27/2010, is one of my favorites. The article, in its entirety, is:

Ten Years Ago Today (published 12-27-2010)

Ten years ago today, at 5:15 PM, Mom went to be with Jesus. She was the best mother that I could have ever had. Taken at only 68 years old, Mom could still be alive today, touching the lives of family and friends in her unique way. Mom’s absence has been felt strongly these past ten years.

Mom, I miss you, but I know that you are in a far better place. Tell everyone, Granny, Papaw, Uncle Bobby, Dad, and so many others, that I will see them someday. Life goes on here, until we are all reunited there.

I love you, Mom, bunches and bunches!

See Happy Birthday, Mom (published 11-24-2009).

My 11/24/2009 article – “Happy Birthday, Mom,” to which my 12/27/2010 article links – is probably my favorite article that I've written about Mom. Every time that I re-read the article, tears swell up in my eyes, but I do not cry.

At 5:15 PM today – as I have done on every December 27th, since 2001, I will pause, be silent a while, and remember.

I still miss Mom's made from scratch, homemade biscuits and her rice crispy Christmas wreath – symbols of her love. I have known many genuine Christians. I try to be one. Mom was and is the most genuine Christian that I have ever known.

Twenty-two years have passed, since Mom went to see Jesus. The memory of Mom's loss is with me daily, especially on December 27th every year. The loss has become easier to place into the everlasting mindset.

The family circle will be unbroken. I'm just trying to do my best to serve God, such as I can and as He allows me, until it's my turn to join the family circle.

Snow Photographs, 12/27/2022

The weather was cloudy and very cold, on Wednesday, December 27, 2000. We had about the same weather, maybe a little warmer, this morning (Tuesday, 12/27/2022). I took the two photographs (below) about 10 AM.

The view is looking southwest. The back yards of several neighbors, in the photograph, are to the west. Can you see Molly's footprints in the snow? Earlier, she had gone outside to “Molly doggy around.” She didn't stay out long. She liked the warm couch better.

This is Molly, in “doggy partial hibernation mode,” taking it easy on the couch! The old sheet mostly covers the leather couch. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was taking a shower. Molly had been sleeping, and she still looks sleepy, in the photograph.

Don't worry! Once the temperature warmed up more, and the sun came out, Molly went back to being a mostly outside, during the day, doggy! Her doggy door is set, so she can come into her basement condominium as she desires.


I trust that the TVA rolling blackouts, about which I wrote on Christmas Eve, did not harm anyone that has to use oxygen tanks that don't have battery backups. Mom had oxygen tanks, during her final days at home. I'm glad that the homeplace didn't have any rolling blackouts then.

By the way, I learned that the Christmas Eve football game, on the Tennessee Titans ( or “Tin Cans”) home field, was delayed by an hour, due to the rolling blackouts. The Texans beat the “Tin Cans” 19 to 14. TVA had advised us to conserve energy, turn off unnecessary lights, not do laundry, etc., but the lights at Titan stadium shined brightly. What hypocrites!

The time, at this typing, is 4:06 PM. I hear Molly barking in the back yard. I think that I'll go outside and have some fun with Molly.

Don't worry. I'll be back inside. At 5:15 PM, I will pause, be silent a while, and remember. Mom, I still love you bunches and bunches! I will see you again, once I join you.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

TVA Rolling Blackouts - 12/23-24/2022 - Christmas Eve Commentary (published 12-24-2022; article #381)

 Unplugged black cord” (1/7/2021), by Kelly Sikkema, on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.


Northeast Tennessee can have a little bit of winter. Sometimes, it falls on a weekend.” I have said that, during a cool snap, ever since Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I returned from Russia (10/1/1994 - 9/30/1999).

Welcome to a northeast Tennessee winter weekend! It started yesterday (Friday, 12/23/2022). December had been mild, with lows in the 20s to 40s Fahrenheit (F) and highs in the 40s and 50sF. Yesterday, in our neck of the woods, the low was 5F (-15 Celsius) and the high was 10F (-12 Celsius). This morning, the low was 3F (-16 Celsius). It looks like the high will be in the low 20sF (-5 or -6 Celsius).

Tomorrow, Christmas day, the weather prognosticators predict the low to be in the mid-teens (about -9 Celsius) and the high to be about 30F (-1 Celsius). They claim that the warming trend will continue, until lows reach the 30s to 50sF and the highs reach the 40s to 60sF. Our winter weekend may stretch into five days – but not a full week.

Our “Brave” Excursions into the “Frigid” Weather

Yesterday, about 1 PM, I walked to the mailbox, to flag up our annual homeowners insurance payment. The temperature was 6F (-14 Celsius). The sun was shining brightly. A cold breeze was blowing. I had on blue jeans, a T-shirt, and a sweatshirt, with socks and shoes. I stayed out in the front yard a while, enjoying the crisp air and sunshine. If I'd been out longer, I would have needed a coat. About 5 PM, I walked to the mailbox, to get Mrs. Appalachian Irishman's Kohl's bill (for a Christmas gift). The temperature was still 6F (-14 Celsius), but the sun had gone behind the ridge to our north, and the wind was stronger. Molly, bravely, ventured out with me. We didn't waste any time, getting back indoors! The lack of sun and the stronger wind were the differences. In the afternoon, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had driven, bravely, to visit her folks. She also had gone last minute Christmas shopping, bravely, with her youngest sister, who had come in on Thursday.

Today, about noon, I walked to the mailbox, to get the junk mail. The temperature was about 10F (-12 Celsius). The sun shined brightly. There was no wind. I had on the same type of clothes as yesterday. It felt great! Molly, however, chose not to enjoy the balmy temperature with me. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was backing out the garage to go visit her folks. Please, dear, don't come back to tell me that you also shopped for that final, last second Christmas present that you didn't buy yesterday!

How does this involve TVA rolling blackouts? I'll explain and comment. I will conclude by transitioning to the 12/23/2022 family gathering and to final thoughts on Christmas Eve.

Rolling Blackouts, 12/23-24/2022

Yesterday morning, while cleaning up, I heard the WQUT-FM (Tri-Cities classic rock) disc jockey mention that the rolling blackouts had taken the station off air for 15 minutes. Later, at 12:01 PM, we had a rolling blackout that lasted 15 minutes. No notice was given. We had to take our “collectively equal share” of the “collective suffering.” Thankfully, we had no more blackouts.

Today, we have had two rolling blackouts so far – 8:10-30 AM (five minutes longer than the dictated 15 minutes) and 11:00-15 AM. My youngest brother called, after our second blackout, to say that they had endured three already today. We had no notice, before the blackouts. My computer has had three KUB reboots so far (one yesterday and two today).

Yesterday and today, around the blackouts, I did some internet searching. I'll cite a couple of sources.

“TVA resumes rolling blackouts across East Tennessee,” on WATE-TV, by Hope McAlee, posted 12/23/2022, 11:55 AM EST; updated 12/24/2022, 9:53 AM EST and 12:21 PM EST. Notice that I included the two updates today. What I'd seen, just after our 11:00-15 AM blackout, when I started this draft article, was:


9:50 a.m. Update – The Knoxville Utility Board tweeted that it was informed by TVA that their system is stabilizing and they expect the mandatory electric outages to no longer be necessary after 10 a.m. Saturday.

I'd thought, “Liars! We had a blackout at 11 AM, which is after 10 AM!” In the early afternoon, while writing this article, I saw the 12:21 PM update:


12:15 p.m. Update – TVA said rolling blackouts have ended and thanked everyone for doing their part to help conserve energy and maintain the power grid for 10 million people in the seven states that TVA services.

Noon Update – The Knoxville Utility Board announced that TVA has ended the mandatory outages for KUB’s service area. The City of Oak Ridge also said that rolling blackouts for their area had been terminated.

11:30 a.m. Update – The Knoxville Utility Board issued a statement that TVA has extended the requirement for them to reduce their power load, meaning that rolling blackouts will continue.

So far, so good, at the time of this typing! I hope that the folks at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) do not change their minds – again!

“TVA, Local Power Companies Manage Record-Setting Power Demand,” on, 12/24/2022 states, in part:

On Saturday morning, December 24, TVA directed local power companies to implement planned, short duration, intermittent power interruptions to maintain system reliably. This action is similar to steps that TVA and local power companies took on Friday, December 23, to help ensure power system reliability. This measure is expected to be temporary until the highest peak power demands have been met.

During the 24-hours of December 23, TVA supplied more energy than at any other time in its history – 740 gigawatt-hours, or 740 million kilowatt-hours. The cold also produced a winter record for peak power demand of 33,425 megawatts at 7 p.m. CT when the regionwide average temperature was 9 degrees.

We have had stretches of either very cold or very hot weather before, when the electricity demand was high. Storms, snow, and ice have damaged power lines, which caused power outages. Yesterday and today, however, are the first times that TVA has mandated rolling blackouts. My commentary on this follows.

Commentary on Rolling Blackouts

I had wondered: “what is the reason for these new, never before done, rolling blackouts, with no notice, by TVA dictate?”

“Our Power System,” on states, in part (with my emboldening added for emphasis):

TVA’s power portfolio is dynamic and adaptable in the face of changing demands and regulations. Our emphasis has moved away from traditional coal-based production and toward cleaner forms of power generation, and today the power we deliver is nearly 60 percent carbon-free.

Meanwhile, we’re decommissioning some of our oldest coal-fired units to make way for these new, more efficient forms of power production. It’s a natural evolution—one that fits with our historic mission of providing reliable, low-cost energy that makes life better for the people we serve.

Who is the “our” in the title? TVA is a government entity. We the people manage the government – or we are supposed to do so. The government works for us – or it's supposed to do so. I hope that “our” means “we the people,” not “TVA.”

I tried various searches, but I could not find annual TVA electric output totals by year. If anyone reading this article can find valid sources, please comment!

I speculate, however, that TVA's electric output has declined, since they have mothballed coal-fired steam plants, such as the John Sevier steam plant, in Hawkins County, Tennessee. (The plant was demolished, from April 2015 to May 2017.)

TVA, of course, has been under various federal, socialistic government dictates to produce more “clean energy” and to reduce its “carbon footprint.” These dictates advanced under President Obama. President Biden continues to advance the dictates. I'm sure that many Democrats and several Republicans have been and are in favor of these dictates.

Don't read into my remarks what I'm not saying! I am a conservationist, not an environmentalist. The difference is in the worldviews. I will define my terms and explain. (This section is included as my seventh entry, in “Worldviews in Conflict” topic.)

A conservationist has the biblical worldview, which values environmental stewardship. As good stewards, conservationists take care of what God has entrusted to us in nature. The ethical use of natural resources, to better mankind, cares for and manages the environment, for future generations. Humans use, manage, and improve the ecosystem. We are not intruders. I paint with a broad brush, but my definition aligns with other reputable website sources that I have viewed.

An environmentalist, however, has a pantheistic worldview. The creation is worshiped above the Creator. The needs of humans are lower than the needs of the environment (climate, air, land, water, animals, and plants). Humans are separate from the creation and act “immorally,” by disrupting it. Again, I paint with a broad brush, but ask any “tree hugger” if my concept is not correct.

Christmas Eve Commentary

That's about enough on that mundane topic! I'm done. Let's move on, shall we? After all, this is Christmas Eve!

Can Christmas Eve fall on the 22nd, not the 24th? Yes, it can, and it did for the Fearghail clan! On Thursday, December 22, 2022, my youngest brother and his family came down to visit, have Christmas dinner (or lunch, as the Yankees call it) with us, and open gifts! The decision to visit early this year was motivated by the current bit of winter that started yesterday and by Christmas falling on Sunday this year.

We enjoyed about four hours of great family time! Our nieces regaled us with stories about their current basketball season. My brother and I talked about mischievous things that we had done in our teenage years. We shared some family memories. Molly was also happy to see everyone. Thanks, Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, for preparing a fine meal, on the unexpected date!


My paternal grandparents didn't connect to electricity (for lights only) until Dad was already several years old. They used coal oil lamps and candles for light. In winter, firewood heated the home well enough, if family wore enough layers of clothes and had enough blankets on the beds. A rolling blackout may have occurred – if the fire went out, before more wood could be brought in to stoke the coals.

If mankind must serve the creation, instead of the Creator, then those environmentalists should give up all modern electrical conveniences. That would be consistent. They should all return to living like Dad was raised – until Granny and Papaw connected to electric lights.

If mankind serves the Creator, then those conservationists should use the environment to improve mankind, replenish the environment, and leave it better, for the next generation.

Hey! What do you know? KUB has not done a third rolling blackout – yet.

Merry Christmas, to all my readers – especially to you, dear reader. The eternal Word was born of a virgin, lived as a man, ministered and showed us God in the flesh, was crucified for our sins (yours and mine), was resurrected, and ascended back to heaven. Christmas is the traditional commemoration of Jesus' birth.

I don't care at all for the commercialization of Christmas. I do not need any Christmas presents. I have the gift of God. That is enough.

Monday, December 19, 2022

12-17-2022, Saturday: Big H BBQ Christmas Bash (at Cherokee): Cherokee Lady Chiefs Defeated Phelps (KY) Lady Hornets, 58 - 34 (published 12-19-2022; article #380)


Greetings to my Tennessee, national, and international readers! Thanks for visiting. Locally, we have a little bit of winter. The low this morning was 20F. The high may reach to the low 40's. Yes, I know that we could have a cold day – if the high were in the low 20's. We can have real winter in northeast Tennessee. Sometimes it falls on a weekend. To my local readers, it ain't cold yet! I'll let you know when and if it gets cold around here.

This article, a sports update, was inspired by the text that I saw, from my youngest brother, this morning. I turn off my cell phone every day about 5 PM. (Mrs. Appalachian Irishman tries to remember to do the same.) Yesterday, however, I turned off my cell phone a little before 5 PM. That will teach me!

Text from Youngest Brother

Early this morning, once I'd turned on my cell phone, I saw the text that my youngest brother had sent yesterday (12/18/2022) at 4:57 PM. He related that their oldest daughter was on TV! He sent the website link. (See below.)

At 6:53 AM today, I replied to my brother by text. We exchanged brief pleasantries. His final text, in the exchange, expressed that their youngest daughter (on the Bulls Gap Middle School Lady Bulldogs basketball team) “can't buy a spot in the newspaper” but that their oldest daughter (on the Cherokee High School Lady Chiefs basketball team) “gets in there every time.”

I still wish that the hometown newspaper would include articles and photographs on the Bulls Gap Middle School Lady Bulldogs basketball games. I'd mentioned both of our nieces, in my article of 12/6/2022. (That article mentioned the website that includes the Cherokee Chiefs, 2022-23 Girls' Basketball Schedule). The Bulls Gap Middle School 2022-23 Basketball Schedule is not updated to show scores.

The 12/17/2022, Saturday, Round One Bash

Cherokee High School is currently hosting the Big H BBQ Christmas Bash, 12/17-20/2022 (Saturday - Tuesday). First round games were on Saturday, 12/17/2022.


The text from my youngest brother included the WJHL-TV article and video. Our niece is mentioned prominently in the televised video: “Hosts win at Day 1 of Big H BBQ Christmas Tournament,” on WJHL-TV News Channel 11 & ABC Tri-Cities, by Nick Dugan, posted 12/18/2022, 12:37 AM EST, updated 12/18/2022, 12:37 AM EST.

The commentator states that our niece hit “the runner off the backboard!” Nice basket, number 30!

The Rogersville Review

We subscribe to The Rogersville Review, my hometown newspaper. Today, I logged into our account and saw the article, with photographs. The article should be in a future edition of the newspaper. The article is: “Lady Chiefs Roll Past Lady Hornets to earn round one win in Big H tourney,” The Rogersville Review, by Randy Ball, 12/18/2022.

I selected the photograph, below, as one of two that includes our niece. The photograph and caption are by Randy Ball.

Ariel Ferrell passing.

The photograph looks as if our niece is passing the basketball directly toward me! Did I catch it?


The second round game, in the Big H BBQ Christmas Bash, is today, at 8 PM. The Cherokee Lady Chiefs host the Happy Valley Lady Warriors. The Lady Chiefs are overall 7-5, district 1-1. The Lady Warriors are overall 3-5, district 0-1.

We hope that the Lady Chiefs defeat the Lady Warriors! Go Chiefs!

I know that both our nieces practice good sportsmanship. That's how their parents are raising them.

Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Fearghail Clan Nieces - Homecoming Princess & Basketball Updates (published 12-6-2022; article #376)


Greetings, dear reader! Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is tomorrow. It marks the 81st remembrance of the infamous date – December 7th, 1941. I hope, a midst the frenzied commercialization of Christmas, that folks in this once great nation will pause to remember. I know that I will.

This article is about family and honors the two daughters of my youngest brother and his wife. Their school-aged accomplishments are placed in the context of everlasting accomplishment, at the conclusion. So, sit back, warm up that cup of coffee, and enjoy spending some time with me, by reading. Your visits here are always welcome.


About a month or two ago, my youngest brother had told me that his youngest daughter had been selected as the Seventh Grade Princess, at Bulls Gap Middle School. The Rogersville Review, the hometown newspaper, however, had not published an article about it – yet.

Lo and behold! The newspaper finally got around to printing an article! A subscription is required to read the article. I have a subscription. The article is: “Bulls Gap School 2022 Homecoming,” The Rogersville Review, Weekend, 11/26-27/2022, by Jim Beller, Sports Editor. The article names the Homecoming Queen and her Court. Our niece was the Seventh Grade Princess! The photograph, below, shows our niece as the Candidate, who became the Princess. (The caption, below her photograph, is from the article. Jim Beller took the photograph.)

7th Grade Candidate Lilliana Ferrell, daughter of Doug & Stacy Ferrell

Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are proud of our princess niece! We are also keeping up with your basketball games, on the Bulls Gap Middle School Lady Bulldogs basketball team. Your Dad tells me about them. I wish that the hometown newspaper would include articles and photographs of some of the games.


The oldest daughter of my youngest brother and his wife, in her junior year, is still a member of the Cherokee High School Lady Chiefs basketball team. My brother and The Rogersville Review keep us informed on the games.

I will highlight three articles from The Rogersville Review, as follows. The basketball team was introduced in the article: “2022-23 Lady Chiefs are veteran, versatile bunch,” The Rogersville Review, Weekend Edition, 11/12-13/2022, by Jim Beller, Sports Editor. (I excluded the caption in the photograph, below, since each person is named. The photograph is by Bobby Vaughn. Our niece is standing, second player from the right.)

The next article reports the loss, in the first game of the season, on 11/15/2022. Our niece is mentioned in the article: “Lady Trailblazers spoil Cherokee opener with strong 2nd half,” The Rogersville Review, Weekend Edition, 11/19-20/2022, by Randy Ball, Review Contributor. The photograph, below, is one of four in the article.

Ariel Ferrell grabs a rebound. Photo by Randy Ball.

The third article reports the win, in the fourth game of the season, on 11/28/2022. Our niece isn't mentioned in the article, but she is included in one of the eight photographs. The article is: “Gilliam, Howe guide Cherokee to victory over C-Gap,” The Rogersville Review, Weekend Edition, 12/3-4/2022, by Randy Ball, Review Contributor. The photograph is below.

Ariel Ferrell battles a Lady Panther. Photo by Randy Ball.

The newspaper does not list team schedules, scores, and rankings – as it did years ago. Those listings would be beneficial to readers.

I have found, however, the website that lists the Cherokee Chiefs, 2022-23 Girls' Basketball Schedule, which shows that the Cherokee Lady Chiefs are 4 - 3 so far this season. They play Cocke County today, at 6:30 PM. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I are proud of our niece! We'll be there in spirit at tip-off!


The school-aged accomplishments of our nieces are points of temporal pride and honor to the Fearghail clan. They are growing up well. They both are saved by God's grace, through their faith.

Their everlasting accomplishment, as they continue to grow in their faith, will bear much fruit in the kingdom of God, to the glory of His Son, our Savior. Their final score will be an everlasting victory!