Whirlwind Missions

Monday, September 25, 2023

Walk! Español! Rob! Azalea! OYB! 9.25.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 8:08 pm  

Came in #2 this week.

Ordered some white paint to make my tennis shoes look better.



Walked 1.63 miles. Short because I went to help K get her truck jumped off and because I met up with Rob Martin at 11:00 AM.

Nine hills.

Beauty weather.

Rob and I have worked together for nearly twenty years. We enjoyed Mexican food and good conversation.

Went to the Post Office to get stamps for the newsletters. Renee did the copies for me before Rob got to the church. Amen.

Deposited checks. Thank you, Jesus.

Went to the mission to stuff the envelopes and put stamps on.

Watered and put more fungicide on my little pink magnolia. She’s had a tough beginning. Hope she hangs in there.

The apartments across the street are called “Lumen at Chamblee.” They just put the name up recently. I think most, if not all, of the exterior work is complete.

I picked the girls up at the bus. They helped me “feed” the mail boxes.

One more job marked complete before my trip.

Took them to the Buford Highway Farmers Market to eat.

I told Everly I was leaving for Guatemala on Friday. She just cried and cried. It’s not a surprise to her, she just doesn’t want me to leave.

Helped the kids at the mission. Pretty light crowd with easy homework. Let me help one of the girls more intently with her math. Lots of Spanish practice.

Listened to Don Cheto. Working with this podcast can be incredibly humbling. Some days I feel I’m really making progress. Others I’m just like, huh?

I take pictures of my One Year Bible when I’m on trips where weight is an issue. No use taking that heavy book when I can just refer to the images.

Usually by the end of the second day I can tell how everything is going to turn out. People normally do about the same amount of work every week. I’ll probably come in #2, but depends how much work I do during my trip.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Walk! Everly’s Party! Plant Prep! Hummingbirds! 9.24.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 8:09 pm  

I thought her comments on writing were interesting.

I’ve been curious about this.

Never good to hear.

I have a lunch appointment tomorrow. I don’t like meeting so early.


Español! I focus on the Conversation exercises, particularly Speak.

Beautiful weather.

Walked 3.46 miles.

Twenty hills.

Everly had her party at Sky Zone. She had a lot of fun! Penelope had her best friend Paula there too.

Everyone enjoyed the food and fun.

She had a great time opening her presents!

Watered my plants.

Watered my banana plants.

And roses.

And my other tropicals.

Cleaned and refilled my hummingbird feeders.

Serviced my birdbaths.

Refilled my water bottles. I got more distilled water. Jessi will be taking care of my plants while I’m in Guatemala. She’ll just use distilled water on all the plants. That’ll be easier.

It usually takes me about twenty to thirty minutes to do the job.

I showed J how to feed the raccoons and opossums if she wants to. Not totally necessary to do that.

I left pictures and notes on how to take care of my plants.

As you can tell, I’m very detail oriented.

Got a jury summons in the mail. Filled that out this evening. Not till October 30th. I’ve had to show up to court, but I’ve never been chosen for a jury.

I’ll come in 2nd place this week. Vincent clobbered everybody. Normally, 20,000 plus is WAY out of reach. Just depends on who I’m playing against.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Español! Walk! Bike! Prep! Newsletter! 9.23.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 10:04 pm  

I wrote a friend of mine about my pink magnolia trees. Wish they looked like this!

Sadly, a neighbor cut that tree down. It filled me with great sadness. This song by Tom Waits reminded me of what I went through.

Worked hard this week. Completed another milestone. 1,400 days without missing a day of study.

OYB! I’m in Isaiah now. I’ve memorized all of chapter 40. That’s all of this page and about half of the next page.


Walked 2.32 miles. Thirteen hills. Not as much as normal because I planned on biking later.


Took my bike into Aztec Cycles to get my new tires on and redo my front brakes.

Preston has been working on my bike for over a decade.

I got a lot of stuff done. The tires were badly needed and should last me years. They are hybrid tires for my hybrid bike. That means that both are designed for street use as well as off road.

Listened to Don Cheto. Normally, there are about five people talking in the control room. They have a super fast conversation. Today, Don told a story about the change of attitude of a mother in the family. I understood pretty much all of it.

Kathy picked me up something to eat while I got the bike worked on. Thanks!

Worked on packing my bag. The backpack will go up Acatanengo volcano with me. It’s loaded with my cold weather clothes.

I think of packing in a modular way. I pack each thing in its own Walmart bag. I fold them up really tightly and then compress all the air out before I tie them up.

I sort everything by usage and put them in different gallon zip log bags. I’m fanatic about organization. Vision and cables.

Water prep and meds.

Tools and sewing.

Camera gear. I’ll shoot with my Canon Elph 360 HS and video with the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Gift bag and my laundry line. The laundry line is a new edition to my gear. I think it will be super handy. I read a ton of articles about stuff to bring on trips. Most things I already knew, but I still gleaned some new ideas.

I’m also taking a smaller back pack with me as my carry on. This has an inflatable pillow, extension cord/outlets, paper copies of all my reservations in case of phone troubles and of course my passport and inoculation records. I’ll also carry several external batteries and a light jacket.

This side of my suitcase will contain my clothes and bathroom stuff.

I’ll do final washing and decide what clothes and how many changes on Wednesday. Do a final weigh in and decide what things should be left. I could rent a back pack and winter clothes when I get there for pretty cheap if I decide I don’t have enough room or I weigh in heavy.

My phone holder for my car wore out. Usually get a new one about every year or so. The gears are made of plastic and fail eventually.

K, J and I went to Walgreens to get Covid boosters an the flu shot for the year. We had to fill out forms that included address of our doctor.

I walked around outside studying Spanish while I waited for my appointment. Cool little bird nest.

Got pretty warm today here and in Guatemala.

Prepped my bike for my first ride with the new tires.

Listened to Hot Chip and other artists.

Rode 15.18 miles. Pretty hard ride today. Haven’t been biking as much, more focused on walking.

Got an email from my host in Panajachel. Groovy.

Ordered a new case for my iPhone. My old one is worn out.

Wrote and produced my newsletter. I hope to drop it off and get it copied on Monday. Another thing to mark off my to do list before I leave on Friday.

Took a bit of a break this evening. Worked hard on other projects. I’m way ahead of the next guy.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Español! Walk! Podcast! Groceries! 9.22.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 8:43 pm  

This looks interesting—from the blog of Tim Ferris.

Good times with my best friends. Blast from the past.


Ordered groceries.


A few branches from a couple of my azaleas had died. Broke them off. They look better now.

My gardenia bush continues to delight.

I hope one day my frangipani will flower. It’s my favorite flower of all. It smells similar to gardenia.

Worked out hard today. Walked 4.57 miles. Twenty five hills.

Love my little rose bush.

Always learning and reviewing words.

My new bike tires came in. I called the shop to take my bike over to install them, but he asked me to come tomorrow when he has more help. Seemed reasonable.

I’m doing research on how much battery and cellular data my apps use. Almost all studying Spanish.

Beautiful weather here and where I’m going next week.

Gassed up my car. I used my discount price today. It’s why I get gas at Walmart. Every about fourth tank I get a .10 off per gallon.

Checked fluids.

Ordered a new iPhone holder for my car. They eventually wear out.

Got my groceries.

Jessi will water my plants while I’m out of the country. To make it less complicated she’ll just use distilled water for everything.

Went to Stone Mountain to record an episode of Verbal Surgery called “Counter Offensive.” Excellent.

I reckon I’ll come in #2 this week. Wow. Vincent is off the charts!

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Español! Walk! Gloves! PE! Azalea! 9.21.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 9:42 pm  

K,J and I will get our Covid booster and flu shots this Saturday. Hopefully, we won’t have much reaction to them. I haven’t in the past. Shingles kicked my butt, however. Glad we’re getting new tests.

I think it’s a good idea to help people with student loan debt.

This is wild.

Didn’t expect this.



Walked 3.78 miles up and down my hill twenty-one times.

Always learning new words and phrases.

Had a good talk with Selma and Joey Blackman. Went over to their house to pick up some winter gloves for the kids. They are such a blessing!

Say what?

Picked the girls up at the bus and took them to Waffle House. We hadn’t been there in a long time.

Everly playing teacher. I was sometimes the naughty student. She’d call me “Timothy.”

Helped the kids with their homework. Noah came to help.

Listened to Don Cheto on the way home.


Added Dr. Erick Smith from Briggs Vision Group to our newsletter list. Father, help them be generous givers.

Just keep going.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Español! Walk! K! Azalea! Nana’s Trip! 9.20.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 9:41 pm  

This doesn’t surprise me at all.

Tried to book my COVID and flu shots on line. Wasn’t able to. This afternoon on the way to the mission, Kathy got it set up at Walgreens through a phone call. J,K and I will all get them done this coming Saturday. Amen.

This is a close up view of the map of San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala. I’ll be staying at Hotel Berena. I have my own room which will cost me $10/night. I’ll be there a week. Berena will be my base camp to explore Lake Atitlan and the villages around the area.

Chat GPT is very powerful. On a blog I read today, it mentioned that you could use these specific commands to get me even better responses.



Walked my hill twenty times. This is the second time this week that I forgot to turn on Runkeeper to track my mileage. Hard to believe it! Compared to other similar walks that’s about 3.76 miles.

The little flag on my mailbox to show when I have outgoing mail cracked off. Got the super glue and quick fixer spray to repair it.

My wisteria plants continue to grow. I tied black yarn around the trees to train the vines where to go. I’m kind of conflicted about the project since I know that wisteria is an invasive plant and not great for trees, but I still love the flowers and don’t think it’s really any worse than English or Poison Ivy which is rife around here.

I found out today that the fall break for DeKalb County is during my Safari to Guatemala. That’s good in the sense that that’s two more days that the kids won’t need me, but bad because that’s two full days I could have been with Penelope and Everly. C’est la vie.

Everly’s party is on Sunday at Sky Zone which is a trampoline place. I spent about thirty minutes wrapping all the presents for her. I got a bunch of art supply stuff so she has plenty of presents to open. I also got a couple of things for Penelope.

Ready to go, jelly roll.

After eating Mexican food, K and I went to Azalea to pick up the girls.

Kathy got her a bunch of balloons. Only one of them slipped off the thread and went to Jesus. It was really windy.

K had a good art project for them to do.

Helped the kids with their homework. There have really been a lot of children needing help this year.

I had an emergency meeting with the parents of one of my kids today. Apparently, he and his brother were going to be thrown out of school because his parents hadn’t done the school registration correctly. They needed to provide proof of ID, a utility bill showing where they live and a copy of the apartment lease. I went to their house (the parents were eating dinner), explained the situation (all in Spanish, of course), got the documents, went to another family’s house who had a printer that copied documents, and got two sets of documents for the kid and his brother to take to the office tomorrow. Catastrophe averted. Amen. Yet another time that I’m so glad I’ve focused on being able to speak Spanish.

Ashley put some new lenses in my frames. Thanks, Ash!

Beautiful sunset.

Nana and I worked on getting her tickets for her trip to the ATL this December. Great price! Can’t wait to have her here!

Fun talk with her after the work got done.

Pushed hard today. Eventually, they give up trying to make so many points and you know you’re going to take the higher place. Not sure he’s at that point yet. Usually it takes getting ahead by about 4,000 points. It’s hard for someone to beat me even when they’re 3,000 points behind.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Español! Walk! Azalea! Podcast! 9.19.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 8:57 pm  

This should be good.



Walked 2.84 miles.

Sixteen hills.

Good talk with my buddy Anthony while I was at Stone Mountain.

Listened to Don Cheto. I was super tuned into it today. Understood big chunks of the program. Really makes me feel good when I can do that.

Watered my little Pink Magnolia tree. She’s had a rough start in life, but I think she’s improving. Hope she survives the winter ok.

Helped the kids at the mission. Big crowd. Lots of middle schoolers just hanging out.

Went to my offices to check the mail.

Walmart for bananas. All the honey crisp apples were sold out. Bahd luck.

Fine tuning my plans for my trip. This afternoon I thought about the airport and the Marta train to get me there. Even though it’s an international flight, I leave from gate E14 which I can easily access from the Domestic Terminal. I’ll probably shoot for getting to the Doraville Marta station around 6:30 AM.

I recorded a new episode of Verbal Surgery called “Winners and Whiners.” Released it the same day. That’s pretty unusual for me.

Looks like tight competition. I like that.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Español! Anthony! Walk! Azalea! Prep! 9.18.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 8:57 pm  

Came in #2 last week.

I’ve enjoyed playing Horizon Forbidden West. Such a beautiful game.


Had a fun chat with my buddy Anthony. Always makes me laugh and laugh.

Kathy dropped her phone and cracked the protective screen cover. Fortunately, the iPhone screen was undamaged. Amen.


Walked 3.64 miles.

Twenty hills.

Watered my banana plants. When they get dry, the leaves actually go limp.

Ordered some new touch screen pens for Penelope.

Helped the kids at the mission. Big crowd. Hard to keep focused with that many kids all saying, “Mr. Tim! Mr. Tim!” at the same time. Yow.

Listened to Don Cheto on the way home.

Checked the mail.

Didn’t get home till after 8:00 PM. I had one kid whose teacher told her, “If you don’t get all your week’s homework done by tomorrow I’ll give you an F for it.” Ridiculous! We didn’t get it all done, but I certainly gave it my best shot.

Did more prep work for my trip. Today I got out all my winter clothes and washed them. Doubt I’ll need most of that gear except at the top of the volcano. The weather is nearly exactly the same as the ATL.

The finals of the tournament each month always has a lot of competition. I think #1 is tied up, but the #2 and #3 spots will be a fight between three of us. Should be close.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Español! Walk! Oil! Prep! 9.17.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 7:23 pm  

Glad to see Baylor win yesterday after a 0-2 start! I never watch the games live. I just watch the highlights. Kind of like I did with the World Cup.



I’m still trying to figure out all the quirks of the past subjunctive tense.

I leave for Guatemala in less than two weeks. I’ve been checking the weather in the two locations I’ll be staying at regularly. Actually, quite similar temperatures to the ATL. The altitude is over 4,000 ft higher, however!

A piece of pithy wisdom from one of my heroes, Kevin Kelly of Wired magazine.

Walked my hill nineteen times this morning.

3.44 miles in all. I walked for a 1.52 hours.

Where the pace suddenly skyrockets is when I went inside.

I trimmed K’s toenails for her. It’s a hard job that she can’t do.

Also checked and added some oil to her truck. I use my headlight to see inside the depths of the engine.

Swept the deck. seemed like about 1,000 acorns.

I’ve still got a bit of a cold. Had a headache today. Rested rather than biking. Just seemed like the wise thing to do.

Made a set of copies of all my valuable documents for my money belt. I’m still getting all my gear together. Worked on finding all my cold weather stuff today. I’m washing a lot of it before I put it in my backpack in my suitcase. I doubt I’ll need it much until I climb the volcano. Some of the evenings might get nippy, but doubt I’ll need my full winter stuff then.

Enjoyed playing Horizon Zero Dawn.

I’ll be coming in a strong second this week.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Español! Rain! Walk! 9.16.23

Tim A. Cummins @ 9:11 pm  


Drizzly wet morning. We got about 1/2″ of rain.


Kathy and I went to eat lunch at MJ’s. It was good.

Since it was wet it made sense to have a rest day. I’ve had a bit of a cold, which I think is what caused my eye problem, which is pretty much fine now. I’m still using some lubricating eye drops.

Spent the day playing Horizon Forbidden West and watching The Rookie.

It cleared off around dusk.

I got a 2.37 mile walk in before it got dark.

Did my hill twelve times.

Good effort.

Got a notice in the mail from the Health Marketplace guys. I sent this picture to my health insurance guy. Sure am glad I have Tim Deter to help me out with this stuff!

I needed a rest day. I’ve really been pushing myself hard physically the last few months to prepare for the Guatemala trip. Especially since I’ve been a bit sick. Not bad. What I call “Sickish.”

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