Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Tribute To Paul Newman

I received the following storey via email one day. I can't possibly know if it's true, but even if it isn't, those of us who have adored those blue eyes for so long can relate to the lady's delimma in the following story.
A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where Paul Newman and his family often visited.
one Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.
She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.
There was only one other patron in the store: Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.
The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes. The actor nodded graciously and the star struck woman smiled demurely.
Pull yourself together! she chides herself. You're a happily married woman with three children, you're forty-five years old, not a teenager!
The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul's direction.
When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty.
Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store? Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something! However, no ice cream cone was in sight.
With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman.
His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman, "You put it in your purse."
He was a great actor, but a better Philanthropist. He went about his life helping others with his good fortune. He said one time it was sad that his salad dressing made more money than his movies. But he even gave that away.
We could all do more for those less fortunate than we. I'm going to try to be better about that. How about you?
Hope you are having a great Tuesday. Love one another.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Images of Cotton

The best I remember, these were the first pictures of the cotton growing in front of my house. It had started to bloom in this picture.

This picture was taken a short time later when the bolls had begun to form.

The next picture was taken a few days after it was sprayed. Since the days of mechanical pickers, cotton has been defoliated to get the leaves off so as not to end up in the bales of cotton.

I thought that now days, they also mixed a chemical with the defoliant that caused the bolls to open so the cotton could all be picked at one time. My friend Sherry and I were discussing this the other day. Her husband is also a cotton farmer. She said it was put on in two different applications. I don't know if the second application has been done in this picture, but the cotton has opened a lot in about a week.

This picture was taken the same day as the last one. You can see there are still some bolls to open. I think Ms Sherry knows a heap about farming operations. I'm just a city dweller these days and often assume I know more than I do. It won't be long until this cotton will be history. They will pick it(maybe they'll do it on a Saturday so I can get some pictures) put it into modules and the retriever truck will come and haul it away.

There is a passage in the Bible talking about going out and converting people, and it mentions that the harvest is white. Do you think it referred to cotton as we know it? We do know there is Egyptian cotton. I have a set of sheets that are Egyptian. Do you think they raised it in Jesus' day?
I know that reaching out to people is very hard for most of us. Reaching out to grab those cotton bolls is hard too, which you know if you've ever picked any cotton. Maybe there's a comparison there, or maybe I'm reaching a bit.
We all need to reach out. If not to help someone become a Christian, then maybe just to be a friend or to give someone a helping hand.
Have you reached out to anyone lately? Share it with me.
Hope you are having a great Monday. Mine has been busy. Love one another.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What's on Your Agenda Today?

Many of us have places to go, things to do, and are very busy. What about you? What are you doing today?

For me, it's Friday, and I'm working today. We've already gotten the important decision of the day made and that's to go to Shorty Small's for lunch. I talked with one of my co-workers who is off today, and she is taking her cat to the vet, and then she and her mom are cleaning house.

But I don't know what the rest of you will do, so leave me a short(or long) comment and tell me what your day will include. Doesn't have to be anything exciting or earth shattering(like those trying to decide on the bail out plan in DC). And if you have any thoughts on the bail out plan, you can voice them here. I watched Fox news last night for about 4 hours, and the whole thing scares me a lot.

Hope it's a great Friday where you are. Love one another.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Great Exercise Machine

Let me tell you about this little rock and roll machine. And if you watch this video, that's me on the stepper--yes you know I'm lying through my teeth.

It is sitting in my living room, and I have used it about 5 times. I can't stay on it more than about 2 minutes, but maybe I can work up to 5. I got on it this morning and watched the time so I would be sure to stay at least 2 minutes. By the time I got off of it, my legs were rubbery. I'm still holding on most of the time for balance. When I get brave enough to turn loose and do other things, I may be rubbery all over.

I'm certainly not promoting this product, at least not yet. If it works, I may make my own video and put it on Utube. Maybe I should start that now. Video me now and then in a few weeks and then when I'm slim, trim and buff. Well, so maybe never buff, but at least not so out of breath all the time.

I think next week, I'm going to bring it to work one day and let everyone here try it. I've been telling them about my new toy. They'd have to sign something saying I'm not liable if they hurt themselves on it, but I think it would be fun for them to try it.

As for the South Beach Diet, I did have the book, and I looked at it. I just don't know if I can live without carbs. I do love them so, especially rice and sphagetti, and just about any other type of pasta and the veggies that I love most are on the Do Not Eat These list.

Oh, and by the way, I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday. How disappointing!

Have you been disappointed lately? If so, tell me about it. Maybe I should start an advice blog. I have a lot to give, just not too much anyone wants to take.

Hope you are having a great Friday--oops I mean Thursday. Love one another.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


As many of you know, I'm an exercise junkie. I know--you are in the floor rolling holding your sides while you die laughing. Actually, if you know me, you know that I have avoided exercise like the plague.

Last year, I signed up to work with a personal trainer here on campus. The exercise science students needed live bodies, so I thought, knowing there is someone depending on my showing up might be the motivation I needed to exercise. And I did. I missed one meeting with her, and I let her know I wasn't coming.

I had gotten to where I could do several crunches, I could walk for 15 minutes without stopping, and I had gotten to feeling better. Not winded all the time, and had more energy. But when the session was over, did I continue to walk and exercise? The resounding answer to that question is a big FAT NO I did not. And now I'm right back where I started from.

I keep saying I'm going to get started back, but I don't. A week or so ago, I was watching QVC. We all know how dangerous that is, but I watched it anyway. Tony Little was hawking an exercise machine that is small enough to hide in the closet. Just the thing for me, I thought. If I don't like it, I can hide it since it's much smaller than say a treadmill, or a bicycle, or a stepper. All this thing involves is a thing that is a half circle with foot treads. You stand on it and rock from side to side. You are supposed to walk on it no longer than 5 minutes, 2 or 3 days a week.

It came day before yesterday. I opened it when I got home yesterday, put on my walking shoes, brought a chair in so I would have some support(I fully expected to kill myself on it) and began rocking from side to side. Remember 5 minutes is the max when you first start. I don't think I even made it 2. The top of my upper thighs began burning, really burning. And by the time the 2 minutes were up, sweat was pouring off my head.

I left it in the middle of the living room floor. I can do that since I live along, and besides I thought that if a burglar came in, he'd trip over it(It's obviously multi-functional) This morning before I started getting ready for work, I got on it again. I was a little steadier, but held onto the chair for balance anyway. And I probably made it 2 minutes. I took it slow and easy, but realized I had jus a bit of soreness where my legs had burned the day before.

As God as my witness, I'm going to continue to use this thing. I'll watch the videos too and work out a plan.

I also read yesterday that the South Beach Diet is good for you if you have GERD. And since I have a complete library of diet books, I have plucked it from the shelf and am hoping to get started on that.

I'm not very good at keeping commitments I make to myself, especially when there's work involved. Maybe by sharing with my very best friends, I'll stick to it.

Have you made any personal commitments lately? If you have and need someone to crack the whip and make you stick to them, just tell all your friends about it here. And we'll do our very best to keep you on track.

Have a wonderful Wednesday. Attend Bible Study tonight. Love one another.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Do You Crave Food?

I guess the people who crave certain foods are usually pregnant women. Although I can't remember ever craving any specific foods. Never wanted pickles and ice cream, or anything like that. And never in the middle of the night. In our small town nothing was open after 6:00pm anyway, so you were pretty much out of luck for strange concotions.

Well yesterday I got up wanting Captain D's fish, and until around 10:30 I fully intended to go there for lunch. Then I got to wanting a baked potato from McAlisters and that was what I ended up eating. The other thing was Spanish Rice. I haven't made that in years, but it sounded really good and since I had everything at home to make it, I was going to do that as soon as I got home. Then as I was reading a few of my favorite blogs, chicken and dumplings were discussed. So, that's what I had when I got home last night, and I brought some for lunch today. They weren't the greatest dumplings I've ever had. They had no chicken in them, just canned chicken broth, but they were ok. They weren't like those my children't great-grandmother used to make. Hers were light, fluffy and tasted like a slice of Heaven. Let me tell you that lady could cook.

I'm not quite sure what is going on with me. I don't usually think about specific foods, I just usually think about all foods. But this is really strange. Now I know for a fact that I'm not pregnant--that is unless Jesus is planning to make his way back to earth again, and we know that's not going to happen. I just can't explain it. And I certainly don't need to start something new. Heaven knows I don't need any more reasons to eat. In fact, I need to be cutting food out of my diet. I need to lose weight rather than gain it, which is what I do most of the time.

Have you had any cravings lately? I guess they could be most anything, not just food. I used to tell my grandson(Superhero) that I was hungry to see him. I wonder if he thought I was going to eat him?

Have a great Tuesday. Love one another.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Day of Fall

It's the first day of fall, and you can already tell a difference. We may still have some hot weather, but I think we are finished with the 99+ temps. The nights are getting cooler, and we had some rain this weekend.

I'm definitely ready for cooler weather. I don't like the intense heat of the South, and think I should have been born an eskimo.

Today I have a question. I don't express my political views on this blog or much of anywhere else. I really don't feel qualified to try to sway anyone to my way of thinking. I just pray for the best outcome for our country. But my question is this:

If you are old enough and registered to vote, are you going to exercise that right?

I've heard a few people make the statement that they either don't like or trust the candidates, or have genuine concerns about them, and since they can't seem to decide who would be best, they just aren't going to vote.

I hope you are having a happy Monday. Pray for our country. Love one another.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Child's Birthday

Forty Two years ago today my first child was born. She came into this world about 9:30a.m. She weighed 9lbs 3 ozs and was 21 inches long. After posting pictures of her younger sister, she warned me that if I posted pictures of her, I would be headed straight for Greene Acres(that's the nursing home she constantly threatens me with). She didn’t really want any acknowledgement of her birthday, so after you read this, it will self-destruct.

She was a good baby, easy to take care of, and always pleasant. I was blessed with three babies that soon slept through the night and the first two never had colic or any of the things that so many babies have.

I was very young when I had her, so I think we grew up together. She was two when her baby brother came along, and I grew up with both of them.

She had fun in school, was a cheerleader, played basketball and softball, and had three friends with whom she seemed to be joined at the hip. They even took a truck on a joy ride when they were about 14. She was the driver. I don’t know if she’d ever driven before, but she and her three friends went to the store one Sunday afternoon to get some candy, and on the way home met the local policeman. When they met him, she(the driver) ducked and he met a vehicle that seemed to have no driver.

I don’t even remember if he stopped them, followed them home or what, but they got into trouble. Fortunately, there was no jail time involved, and no damage done to their permanent records. Just a little trouble sitting for a while.

We lived in a small town during a time when the kids were free to roam around town and not have to worry about them getting hurt, kidnapped or shot. You know, kids just didn’t shoot kids back then. I think about To Kill A Mockingbird when I think about the times my children grew up in. It was a much simpler time back then. I grew up on a farm and roamed the entire width and length of it, and the woods beyond it. And even though my children grew up in town, they were pretty much free to roam the width and length of it.

They knew that if they did anything wrong, I’d hear about it. Someone would rat them out, and they’d get in trouble. They rode bikes, played in the park and probably did a lot of things I didn’t know about, and still don’t want to know about.

She now has two boys of her own. One is over 21, and the other is 11. She is and has always been a good mother. I love the child she was and the woman she has become(except that find a death thing she does on the internet) That’s a little weird.

What kind of freedom did you have as a child that is gone with the wind? Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to those days?

Enjoy your Friday. Love one another.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Work of Love

The pictures today are the ones I meant to post yesterday, but didn't get them transferred from my home pc to work, so I'm posting the better ones today.

I also crocheted the little bonnet you see with the daygown. The pattern was in an old Leisure Arts magazine I have.

Will from Teensy and the Boys and Spoon by Spoon asked yesterday if I had made the daygown. Yes, I did. From start to finish. I smocked for my youngest daughter and am now smocking for my three grandchildren and family members. I've been sewing since I was about 10. My mother started me sewing by allowing me to hem flour sack dishtowels.

I also have a smocking machine, called a pleater. Couldn't get by without it.
This is my nephew and wife who we got to spend some time with last night. They are a really sweet young couple and we have embraced Amanda into our family.

They didn't know we planned the small family shower, so it was a surprise. We ordered our food, and while we waited, they opened their gifts. They say timing is everything, and just as they opened the last gift our food came.
We had great fried catfish(no place but in the south can you find such good catfish). And this place is noted for their hush puppies. They are the best I've ever tasted.
They also have pickled green tomatoes on the menu and they are really good too. We were all full and happy when we left. We probably won't get to see them again before the baby is born, but we'll see them in the spring for sure.
PS. I heard Ryan, Eric's younger brother and about to be grad from college, got his hair cut. We had teased him about it when we saw him in May. He said he would have to get it cut before he started looking for a job, so he was going to let it grow while he could.
Have you had a good time with family recently? If so, share with me.
Have a good Thursday. Love one another.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Visiting with Relatives

I don't know about you, but I get really excited about seeing most of my relatives. You noticed that 'most' in the first sentence. And there are some more special to me than others.

Today, we will have dinner with my nephew and his sweet wife who are visiting from Kentucky. They are expecting their first child in January. In fact on my birthday which is on the 3rd, in case I haven't ever, ever told you. They of course for tax purposes would like the blessed event to happen prior to midnight December 31, but who knows, maybe, just maybe she'll come on the 3rd of January-did I say that was my birthday? In that event, we will have a special bond, just pray she doesn't look like me.

I have been working on a special daygown for her, and this is the picture of the back. It's not very clear, I actually had better, but was trying to get them uploaded from home this morning and accidentally hit the same two pictures twice.

The next one is a picture of the bottom. I put a lot of work into this little gown because I know she will appreciate it, and because the baby may be born on my birthday. I also have a crocheted baby cap/bonnet for her too. It is made from bedspread cotton, and probably shouldn't be worn with the daygown, because the whites are different. I'll post a picture of that tomorrow.

As you can see, I put quite a bit of embroidery around the bottom also. The work that looks like rick-rack isn't. It's a technique that uses some of your embroidery thread. You hem the bottom on the machine using a longer stitch than usual, and you work the embroidery thread in and out of the stitches. My children's great grandmother did this to all the dresses she made my children. I wish I had kept some of them even though they were worn out. She didn't smock though. She didn't have time. She put tucks in the yokes for fullness, which I have seen on some heirloom patterns. It gave fullness to the bottom without having to gather anything either.

The kids all called her Cotton. Her last name was Carpenter, and some of the first grandchildren attempted to call her grandma Carpenter, and it came out grandma Cotton. Then over the years it got shortened to mama Cotton. Then my kids shortened it to just Cotton. Whatever they called her, she was one of the most wonderful women I have ever known. When asked what woman/women made a profound difference in my life, she is always right there on top.

I've digressed from my original post about the kids coming tonight. We are all looking forward to seeing them. Kentucky is quite a ways from Arkansas, so we don't get to spend much time with them. But we'll have fun tonight--I'll try to take some pictures.

I hope you are seeing someone special tonight. If so, tell me about it.

Hope you are having a great Wednesday. Attend Bible study. Love one another.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall Is In The Air

Yesterday morning I turned on the heater in my vehicle for a few minutes. I needed to this morning, but didn't. I woke up to 50 degree weather outside, and at some point last night turned off the fan over my bed.

Fall is definitely in the air. I love the fall with all the bright colors. I love going up in the mountains where the foilage is so colorful. I've planted some mums and pansies in my pots, aren't you proud of me? I dumped all the soil out of the pots since it had so much fertilizer in it and started over. So far they are doing well. My son, took my fertilizer away from me. He treats me like I'm four, but then I guess I act that way some time.

I need to clear up something for daughter #2 about the rock in the picture with the zucchini bread. I have a collection of rocks-sorta. First let me clarify, it is my understanding that it is a rock when it's in its natural habitat. Once it is removed, it becomes a stone. I have a rock(stone) that my friend and I picked up in Savannah. Actually, we nudged it out of the street there and carried it around for a couple of hours before putting it into my suitcase and bringing it home.

Then I have the stone that was in the picture that I picked up on a business trip(sightseeing on top of a mountain). I have another friend who brought me a Petoskey stone from the Lake Michigan area. I have a stone I picked up on Skyline Drive in Virginia, and a couple of stones from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tennessee.

My co-worker brought me a stone from Seattle, WA while visiting her neice, and my daughter-in-law brought me one from Yellowstone National Park on their trip to Wyoming. Some of these stones are relatively small. You can hold them in the palm of your hand, while others are a bit larger and even though you can hold them with one hand, they are bigger than the palm. The largest of my stones are those I got in Virginia and Tennessee.

It's strange how collections begin. This collection has evolved slowly and probably only became a collection of sorts in the last year or so. I also have a collection of crystal/glass bells. It has taken me years to collect them. I also consider my assortment of crystal/glass to be a collection. None of these are worth a great deal of money, but I like to look at them, and use them whenever I can. Most pieces have some sort of story that goes with them. Some just stuff I've picked up. But it's something I enjoy.

I think the thing I have collected the most of is friends. Sometimes I think I don't have but maybe one or two, but just mentioning how I acquired the stones showed that I have several friends. During an illness several years ago, I realized I had a lot of friends. This is my most treasured collection. You can hug a stone or a piece of glass, but both are cold and can't hug you back, but a friend--not only can you get a warm loving hug, but you can give one as well.

What do you collect? I would really like to know.

Have a wonderful Tuesday. Love one another.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back To The Grind

It's back to work today and about a ca-zillion emails that had to be addressed. A lot were junk. Some were funny, and a few of them actually pertained to work. Sometimes it takes at least a half a day just to wade through.

I had checked my email up through Wednesday, so the ca-zillion was a bit of a stretch, but from Wednesday to this morning, there were 96. That is almost a ca-zillion, right? Anyway, I have worked through them and am on to better things.

I got a lot of housework done last week, had fun with friends and acted like a zombie Friday. We went out for Daughter#2's birthday and ate Chinese. I brought Princess#2 home with me, and we pretty much crashed.

Saturday morning after I cooked her favorite 'eggies' as she calls them, we started watching cartoons. Around 9ish Superhero came to play with P#2. You know, it's actually easier to keep two than one? When I just had one, I was necessary. After Superhero came, they entertained each other and I returned to being a zombie. They only needed me when they were hungry, which was twice. The rest of the time they played and were very well behaved.

I had cleaned up the room where the toys are kept, and before they left, they were required to pick up everything they had gotten out and put it up--and they did.

After they left, I returned to my altered state until time to get ready for the Senior Appreciation Banquet at church. I don't consider myself to be a senior since I'm only 59--even though AARP does, but I had invited the lady I've been taking to church so we left about 5:00 for that. We had a wonderful meal prepared by the ladies, and served entirely by the jr high school kids. We wanted for nothing. They were sweet, polite and johnny on the spot.

The entertainment was a group of young adults who calls themselves Soul's Anchor'. They sang old songs and a couple of new ones. They were very good. Then the kids who had served, sang a couple of songs. We each had a favor to take home with us. My little lady really enjoyed herself and got to see some people she hadn't seen in a while.

As Ike made his way through our area during the night, several places were without electricity, and even though ours was on, we didn't know if there would be power at church. We got there right about 9, and the power came on as we approached the building. The early service went on without power. We have some windows that are long and narrow and are made of glass blocks that allow in light but not anything else. They moved everyone to one side and continued. We only have about 150 to 175 for first service, so they fit nicely along the wall.

We were very fortunate to have so few problems from Ike. He certainly made a mess of the Texas coast. My heart goes out to all those who lost loved ones, homes and property.

So what is your opinion of all these hurricanes? Do you think God is trying to give us a wake up call? I hear people say that. What is your opinion.

Hope you are having a great Monday. Love one another.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Vacation Is Almost Over--Boo Hoo!

I've been on vacation all week, and I hated to see Friday come. When I'm at work, it can't come fast enough, but not this week.

I spent the week doing my favorite thing--cleaning, deep cleaning. And yes, that was a joke, not the cleaning part, but it being my favorite thing. But it's done, and I can enjoy having a clean house for a while. The sad part is, my body is paying for it. When I got up this morning, I was stiff as a board, and my hands and feet were swollen something awful.

We played cards here last night-now you know the reason for the cleaning- and even though I did most of my cooking ahead, I still had a lot of last minute things to do. One of those was to make zucchini bread. Recipe at the bottom.

A friend from work brought me a very large zucchini. I was a bit worried that it was too big and wouldn't make good bread. So I decided to peel it and remove the seeds to see what I had.

Here are the results. I needed 2 cups loosely packed, and I ended up with 7 and 1/2 cups. I put the rest into ziplock bags, marked them and froze them.

This is my list of ingredients. I've learned to gather everything together rather than to get them as I need them. It sure makes it handier(is that a word?) than having to constantly go fetch what I need. It also helps me make sure I have everything before I start. Notice the clock in the upper left. It says 6:30, and it was 6:30 AM. You may also notice the rock on the left side. A friend and I were in Palm Desert, CA a few years ago and I picked it up on a mountain we rode a tram to reach the top. I collect rocks, some a bit larger than that one, and some much smaller.

The recipe makes two loaves, and here's how they looked just before going into the oven.

And here they are out of the pans. Don't they look yummy? Believe me they are, and I have an almost empty plate to prove it. I froze one for later.

My fear of the zucchini being too big to use was groundless. They turned out just fine, and the texture and taste were wonderful.

Here's the recipe I used. I found it on the internet, and as I gathered up my ingredients, I noticed there are no spices in this recipe. I think the next time I make it, I may pour half the batter in one pan, then add some cinnamon, or something else in the remaining batter to see if I like one better than the other.

Zucchini Bread.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded zucchini - loosely packed
1 cup chopped walnuts(black walnuts are my preference), I think you could use pecans too.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition(I cheat here, I put them in all at once and where the recipe says 'stir', I use the lowest setting on my mixer), stir in vanilla. Blend this misture into the flour mixture, adding in the sour cream; stir just to combine. Fold in the zucchini and nuts. Mix all together(I did use a spoon to do this)

Pour evenly into pans, bake in a preheated oven for 80 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Mine baked up just fine in about 60 minutes.

I let them set for a few minutes in the pan, then turned them out onto a wire rack. I put them into gallon zip lock bags.

Even though I've worked hard on my house this week, I've enjoyed being home. But it will be back to the grind on Monday.

Have you tried a new recipe this lately? I also made two sausage, egg recipes to go along with my other food for my get-together last night. I'll post those soon, and Oh Christina, they were both very good. I've had a couple of calls from the girls who were here last night telling me how good the food was. I think every one had a good time, and they all went home with a jar of my peach preserves. And thanks to Mary for making the chocolate gravy. It was quite a hit as well.

Hope you are having a great Friday. Love one another.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lest We Forget

Today is a day none of us want to remember, unless it's your birthday, or wedding anniversary, but we who are living can all remember where we were and what we were doing on this day. It is as the FDR said when Pearl Harbor was bombed, 'A day that will live in infamy'.

I was at work, the fellow in the cube across from me came over and sat down in a chair in my cube and with a voice that was breaking told me what had happened. His wife had called and told him. I stared at him in disbelief for what seemed like minutes, but was only seconds and tears began to run down my face. I was terrified that life as we knew it was probably over. As the days and weeks wore on, it was our only topic of conversation.

Troublesome times are here, filling men's hearts with fear, freedoms we all hold dear, now are at stake....it ends with....Christians Awake. This is part of a song we sing and even though it pertains to our souls and salvation, it seems very fitting. I woke up with this in my head this morning.

Then I watched the Today show(remember, I'm on vacation this week--hooray for me!), and one of the segments was 'What's wrong with our public schools'. Well, let me tell you, I know the answer that question. So if you want to hear my opinion, read on, else, go see if Suzanne got any milk from Clover this morning, or if maybe her chickens laid any eggs, and I'm not belittling her blog, cause I never miss it, it's just that her daily stuff is so cute and fun.

I digress. What's wrong with our public schools? Let me go back a generation or two. If you are a baby boomer(and I am), and if you grew up in a middle class or lower family(and I did), at least one of your parents and maybe both didn't have an opportunity to finish or maybe even to go school. My mother finished 8th grade, which is as far as her school went, and my dad made it part way through the 5th. He and the teacher had a falling out(which means he probably got in trouble) and didn't go back.

That's not to say my parents weren't intelligent, they just didn't have the opportunities most of the rest of us had. Schoolin' and book larnin' just wasn't terribly necessary to farm 40 acres and as long as my mother could read a recipe, a dress pattern, milk a cow and gather eggs, that was all she needed.

Probably the single most intelligent person I have ever known was my first husband's grandfather. If these people had half the opportunities we have, there is not limit to what they could have done.

Many people were able to go on to finish educations, and we can look around and see their accomplishments.

With that bit of history, let me tell you that the one thing my dad pounded--no beat into our heads--my two brothers and myself, was that we not only needed all the education we could get, he was going to make sure we at least had a 12th grade diploma. And he was very proud that we all did that. Being the middle child, I think he probably wondered about my ability, but I hung in there and finished.

And that was the thing. Our parents wanted us to have what they didn't. They wanted us to know more, do more, be more and yes, have more.

But then along comes the seeds of complacency. We did get on that big yellow bus and go to school, we did participate in the programs the school offered, and our parents were involved as much as possible. Then what happened to us, we just didn't see quite the importance our parents did, then our children just didn't see quite the importance that we did, and so on and so forth down the line.

Before long we began to lose sight of why and how this country was founded. We began to lose sight of the blood that was and is still being shed that we can continue to go to school, to be free to make the choices about what college or university we want to attend. We don't look at it as a privilege, but just something that's out there and some one owes it to us.

I'm not a world traveler, and I don't know a lot about third world countrys first hand, but I have been to Mexico a few times and what I notice is that the children who are being educated are being done so privately. No money--no education. That's for those of privilege. What if it were that way here. How many of you reading this post today would have a high school diploma or a batchelor's degree or maybe even a masters or doctorate? I know I probably wouldn't.

We are allowing children under the age of 18 to rule our schools. We as parents don't allow them to be disciplined. Let me address that for a second. If we(mostly me) got into trouble at school, and if we should happen to get a paddling, then when my dad found out about it, we got another one. And believe me the first one may have been humiliating, but the second one was very painful. How many kids have that fear today. I don't believe in beating anyone, child or adult, but the Bible says,'spare the rod and spoil the child'. And that is what is happening.

If you are over the age of 50, how many spoiled children did you grow up with? I dare say not too many. If you have children or grandchildren under the age of 18, how many spoiled children do you know? I dare say you probably know a lot. We need to unspoil these children, teach them to accept some responsibilty and become viable human beings as they go out into the world. And hoping they will do better when they are grown just 'ain't gonna happen'. Instead, we are going to need about 50 more Dr Phil shows.

It's time for me to get off my soap box. You may not agree with me, but that's ok, I love you anyway. And it's time for me to go back to enjoying my vacation(gotta go see if Clover gave any milk today)--hooray for me.

Have you got an opinion about schools? If so, share it here. I'd love to hear it(I think).

PS. Thanks Will from Teensy and The Boys for those kind words about me on your blog.

Have a wonderful Thursday. Love one another.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She's How Old?

First things first. I promised cotton pictures today. As you can see, it is beginning to change colors and the bolls are beginning to open. They sprayed a chemical that defoliates and opens the bolls about a week ago. The gins will soon begin to run, and in just a few weeks, the harvest will be complete. I noticed yesterday and last night several big trucks going past my house. This, I decided, is corn being hauled. Either they are emptying the bins for this years harvest or they are hauling it out as they cut it. Either way, that won’t take long either.

As of 9:00PM last night, my youngest daughter was the big 3 0. She took offense to the fact that I failed to mention it on my blog yesterday, so I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about her this morning.

There are several years between she and her older siblings. She came home from school one day and asked if she was an accident. I told her she was the best accident I had ever had. I still feel that way today. She was a joy as a little girl and was almost never in trouble. In fact as I’ve been writing this, I really can’t remember her getting into trouble.

She did have a principal at school that also went to church with us, and he managed to call her to the office every day and measure the length of her shorts. It was only when she refused to go to the class he taught on Sunday morning that she finally told me. I had a chat with our minister, who decided it was time for him to teach the teenagers for a while.

Had I known about this when it began, I’d have measured him a time or two, but she wouldn’t let me make a fuss about it

She got herself up every day and got ready for school(and no, I wasn’t a lush who couldn’t do that). I bought her an alarm clock when she started to school. I worked 3rd shift and it was necessary for her to get up and around because I got home just in time to take her to school. By the time she started to school, her older sister was a senior in high school and her brother was in 10th grade. Being the responsible children they were and the fact that grandma lived next door, I put them to bed and went to work.

I never had to make her go to bed, she usually went around 8:30, and she always did her homework without having to be nagged about it and she graduated with honors.

She is now married and has the two princesses of which I speak often.

I love you Tara, and hope we can celebrate your 40th birthday together. BTW, in case your hubby didn’t tell you, we’ve decided to go out for your birthday Friday night. You get to choose the restaurant.

There’s also a picture of my house. Notice anything blooming? That’s because there isn’t anything. My son took my fertilizer away yesterday and told me to pick up some potting soil and some pansies to put into my pots. Sounds like a good idea to me.

There’s a line that says, ’Bloom where you are planted’ . Sometimes, I can do that, but sometimes I feel like I’ve poured the fertilizer on so much so that I’m burned beyond recognition-even to myself.

Are you blooming where you are planted? If not, are you courageous enough to re-plant yourself somewhere else? Not many of us are. We are pretty much afraid of the unknown. I know I am.

Have a blooming Wednesday. Attend Bible Study tonight. Love one another.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'm Baaaaack!

For those of you who read my blog, you've noticed my absence. Thanks LisaJ for checking on me. Actually, I have no good reason for not posting. Unless being lazy is a good reason. Things have been a little crazy around here, but crazy happens to everyone.

I have a friend who is always using the excuse, 'I've been a little busy'. Well, haven't we all. You are no different, so I'm not going to use that excuse.

Please just forgive me and I promise to try to do better. I have been a little depressed when I see all the wonderful flower photography on so many blogs. I have a confession. I killed all mine. Please don't send the flower police to arrest me. All I had was a bunch of pots on my front porch with some lantana, petunias, and some other things. I fertilized them with Weed and Feed, and I got too much on them. They turned brown overnight and there was no saving them.

I don't have a garden either, and I feel that my family is fresh food deprived. But since the contractor has moved close to home, I'm hoping he'll come till up a spot next year and I can at least have some tomatoes and squash and peppers and okra. But we'll just have to wait and see. I don't have any baby goats to photograph and I don't live on a ranch. I'm just so deprived. See, why I'm depressed?

Ok, I went and got some cheese to go with my whine, and now I'm better.

Today, I'm going to go across the road and take some pictures of the cotton that is changing color and beginning to open. When this begins to happen, I realize that fall is in the air. I like fall, I like Halloween, and I like winter. We had 6 fogs in August, so I'm planning to count how many snows we have this winter to see it that old prognostication is correct. I'll keep you posted on that.

We will play Conasta here at the house on Thursday night. I've talked about our group on my blog before. So as you may remember, we've been playing about 25 years. The hostess gets to decide whether to serve finger foods or a full meal. I ususally serve a full meal and I used to always make lasagna, salad, rolls and desert. Last year I had roast and all the stuff that goes with that. This year, we're having breakfast.

I'm going to make two breakfast casseroles(thank you Christina for those great recipes) biscuits, bacon, eggs, milk gravy and chocolate gravy. I'm also doing a fruit tray since most of the breakfast foods I'm serving are slightly heavy. I also think I'm going to make a fruti punch to drink.

Hey, I know, when I'm cooking my casseroles, I'll atempt to make some pictures so it'll look like I'm a good blogger.

What's on your agenda today? As for me, I'm cleaning. Can't have my card playing friends think I'm not a good housekeeper. Actually, I think I'm a full blown packrat. Gotta go clean!!!

Hope you are having a great Tuesday. Love one another.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

How Do You Spell Hiatus?

I haven't really felt that I've had anything productive to say or write about the last few days, so I guess you could say I've been on Hiatus.

We had a lazy Labor day. I did sandwich stuff for Sunday lunch and we ate left overs for lunch on Monday. And then, of course, there was the coming back to work on Tuesday thing.

Now we are getting the remnants of Hurricane Gustav and it is raining. Supposed to rain all day and into the night, with possible strong storms.

I have two birthday girls this month. Both my daughters have birthday's. One on the 9th, the other on the 19th. One will be 30 while the other will be 42.

What to do for them for their birthday? This is a question that gets harder to answer as they get older. I may just ignore their birthdays and be done with it.

I may just go out and spend part of their inheritance, after I hock it that is.

Have a great Wednesday. Love one another.
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