The Salt Shaker ~ February 2023

Praises – All we have accomplished with help from new friends, warmer weather (Connie without socks), music opportunities 

Prayers – Completion of trailer repairs and the right renter, dry weather for the driveway/RV site contractor to get started and finished, John’s family as they grieve

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.  I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.  You are the God who works wonders; you have made known Your might among the peoples.  Psalm 77:11-12, 14 English Standard Version

Hello to our followers, friends, and family:

We are adapting to the ever-changing weather in northeast Mississippi.  February has been from freezing to balmy upper 60’s, cloudy, windy, rainy, and many flood advisories and tornado watches.  We drained the water lines, added a bit more insulation to the main line coming into the trailer, and had no trouble with a couple of below freezing nights.  High winds rocked the RV a bit, but we are backed with a large hill that has helped.  One evening there were tornado sirens with monsoon rain so we prayed and stayed in the trailer; we had no damage at the RV park.

We traveled to Bushnell, IL and back to be with John’s brother as he passed away.  It was a great comfort to be able to talk with him a bit and help our niece care for him in his final days.  There were lots of church provided meals and family visits, dishes to be cleaned, and long nights, but we know that he is no longer in pain and with his heavenly family.

Connie kept busy this month cleaning and shortening the wide-slat plastic window blinds, boiling water on the stove to use for hot soapy water.  She removed a broken light bulb from the microwave, replaced it, and we now have light over the stove.  The sanding and spackling of the walls is finished as well.  Other cleaning included lots of vacuuming; washing the ceiling, walls, baseboard and cornice molding; outlet covers; microwave, stove, and refrigerator; and inside windows.

We had around 130 hours in three weeks this month making forward progress.  John had lots of crawling in and out with rebuilding – window sill and wall under window, floor bracing under bath tub, patch and trim around new furnace, kitchen sink cabinet frame, and patch around the old dryer vent and stove fan.  He also cut some new baseboard trim and fixed the bathroom heat duct.  He really likes his new saw! 

Together we moved the chain link dog cage a few times, got the old water heater to the porch, and helped the electrician (who is also a new friend and pastor of the Crosspoint Church in Iuka) get a light pole ready for new electric service for our RV sites.

February is a month of celebrations for us.  Valentine’s Day we labeled as DQ day this year, finding ourselves enjoying blizzards after some shopping stops.  Shortly after is John’s birthday and Connie took him out for breakfast at a local Christian restaurant, Cream and Sugar, downtown Iuka.  There were other meals out with church friends as well as take out Chinese lunch that lasts for 2-3 meals.  We still collapse in front of the TV after those long-days and have watched many YouTube wood turning projects, cat/dog videos, and a documentary style online video about Galilee wedding traditions relating to the rapture and second coming.  Also, we have our regular ‘hour’ shows – In the Heat of the Night, Perry Mason, Rizzoli and Isles, Hawaii Five-0, and Law and Order.

An elder of the Journey Church (south of our property) started a new seniors ministry this month and we are providing the music (entertainment?) portion.  SALT (Senior Adults Living Triumphantly) had their first meeting on the 15th and we were there.  We joined the worship group at Cross Point Church in Iuka near our RV site and enjoy the practice times and adding the sounds of autoharp and bouzouki to their guitars, mandolin, keyboard, and violin to make a joyful noise to the Lord.

Throughout the month of February our critter family at the property have changed.  The black stray cat had 5 kittens (black as well, perhaps with a few tiger stripes).  The mean dog broke his lead and is gone, and they did find a home for the always barking back deck dog while we were gone.  They finally took their outside cat.  Although our county has a no-kill animal shelter, it services 5 counties and they are full; so, we now buy dog and cat food for the dog still left and the mama cat, and worry about the days we are not there to feed them. 

We enjoy having our booster and phone/wifi coverage at the trailer as we work.  It is so handy to ‘google’ our wants and needs – mobile home window glaze, water heaters, and paint (very expensive) were the top three this month, with some decisions and purchases still pending.  It was also a blessing to be able to ‘publish’ our newsletter update from the trailer.  That takes a few hours to get the formatting and photos to the right spots in the technology world and it was much faster than our spotty wifi and phone service at the RV park.  Of course, as you research you also buy, leading to many shopping trips.  We splurged and purchased a small ham which made excellent stock for split pea soup and a cabbage, carrot, potato concoction plus extra ham in the freezer.  Our 40-mile round trip commute to ‘work’ also means diesel purchases and our local fuel pumps have been very slow (1 gallon/minute, no kidding!) so many partial fills.

Other encouragement and progress:  there are orange and blue lines by the road (still waiting for the RV driveway contractor to start) and the owners started moving out.  In our minds we have made several plans for the house renovations and repairs.  We are consulting with a church member/former construction company manager who thinks several of our changes are possible, but now comes reality.  What we have envisioned in our minds is not compatible with the wall construction – the electric panel is in the middle of our planned ‘community laundry area’ stairs and opening.  Oops!  On our first visit inside after the moving truck left, the washer lines had been leaking for a week; they were plugged the next day, leaving a soggy floor and wall studs.  More planning and thinking, but based on measurements and reality this time, and of course lots of prayer.

But this is precisely what is written: “God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven’t crossed the mind of any human being.”  1 Corinthians 2:9 Common English Bible

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

John and Connie Nicholas
Salty Strings Music Ministry

Contact Information:
Mail:  John & Connie Nicholas
Salty Strings Music Ministry
3916 N. Potsdam Ave. #3962
Sioux Falls, SD  57104

Phone – John 909-336-8910 or Connie 909-336-8912
Email –
Facebook – Salty Strings Music Ministry
Web site –

ONLINE DONATIONS via PayPal through our web site


  • March/April/Mid-May – Work at our property Hwy 367 east of Jacinto, MS
  • May 19 – Bushnell IL Memorial/Celebration of Life Service
  • June – north central Illinois (Carlinville, Clinton) family and volunteer work
  • July – Illinois/Wisconsin (Clinton, IL – Portage, WI) family, volunteer, music

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