Thursday, November 21, 2013

How do you say, "I'm Hot!" in Russian?

What a time I have had the past 10 days!  My computer has been having a breakdown.  My system is Vista.  I think it has been going to sleep and not being able to wake up.  (Sounds like me on Saturday morning.)  Then, on top of that, a few folks at work abused the use of the computers, so now all of us are choked back and cut off.  So don't be offended if I don't respond to something you post on Facebook.  For my dial up is too meager to allow me to get there most of the time....and now I can't go there even at lunch at work.  

Just did a system restore tonight.  May turn the tide, may not.  We have a back up computer we could turn to...but I sure love my ACER with the Vista OS.

So, I finally get back to Blogger this evening and I find that most of my traffic this past week has been from Russia!  What's up with that?!  I mean, I certainly don't mind if they visit me, but I don't know what the fascination is with me.  Is it the ideals of true Freedom  
I espouse here?  Or is it the Christianity I profess?  If you are from Russia and know English, then leave me a comment and give me a clue!  

Just made a sweet potato pie for Thanksgiving dinner  for work tomorrow.  Got Thanksgiving dinner at church after services this Sunday.  Then I am to make a dressing for Bubba to take to his Thanksgiving at his job on Tuesday.  Finally we will have the actual Thanksgiving meal with the kids at Candi Girls family on Thursday.  I'll be so full of turkey I'll gobble!

Think I'll cook us a ham next weekend to cleanse our pallet.

I wish everyone a beautiful Thanksgiving Holiday!  Whatever you do, and however you celebrate, don't forget to pause and truly give Him thanks for the blessings in your life.  Think you don't have any?  Well, if you are here and reading this, then you definitely have these:  life, sight, and computer access.

Here's a short list of mine:

A praying husband.
My children.
My daughter in law.
My Baby Ruth.
My health.
My sister. 
My job.
His forgiveness.

Yes, I'm abundantly blessed!  Could go on and on.  But it eventually turns too private and personal to share.

God bless!  And see ya soon.

Barbara


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Remember

Beautiful day here in Caneyhead!  Sunshine.  Mild temps.  Chicken and sausage gumbo on the stove.  Lemon Chess pie in the oven.   Large attendance in church this morning.  Baptism after services.  Kisses from my Baby Ruth.

All of this...the freedom, the peace, the prosperity, and the simple daily pleasures I enjoy stem from and are preserved by God and by those who gave or give of themselves in service to this country in the military.

That is why I wear red on Fridays.  Red on Fridays symbolizes my support of US Troops wherever they are deployed.  The prayers I offer up for their protection.  The hope I have that one day they can all come home.  I encourage you to join me and others in wearing red on Friday.  I know many wear school colors on Friday, for their favorite team.  While I understand the desire to boaster your team, we couldn't enjoy a Friday night football game without the protection our men and women in the military afford us.

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day.  This holiday started out as Armistice Day, years ago in the aftermath of the Great War...WWI.  I ask you all to join me in remembering and reflecting with this post from 2007, That None Should Forget.  






Sunday, October 27, 2013

So I wrote a commercial for Chevy Cruze in my head


No, I'm not normal.  And I never said I was.  But music and driving has always been linked in me.  Say your out cruising the drag...there's gotta be a Beach Boys tune or two in the mix and a good power ballad.  There just has to be lyrics that speak to cruising and cars!

My 1979 Mustang and I handled the curves on East Texas roads in perfect sync with Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra.  The fast pace of the music could keep up the the 302 engine and the beauty of the orchestra matched the landscape around me.

And who on earth can listen to "East Bound and Down" by Jerry Reid and not find their foot slipping down deeper into the gas peddle?!

If you get in an old Willys Jeep and go off into the woods, down dirt roads and through mud, you just aren't doing it right if you don't have some Gary Stewart on hand.

That I associate music with driving, is probably not that unusual.  That I am absolutely sold on my Cruze is even normal for a new car owner.  That I would go so far as to imagine a whole commercial around that experience, that's odd.

How did it come about?  One night I was on my way home from dropping Baby Ruth off her house and the Spinners came on doing "I'll Be Around".  And it just clicked!  The feeling of the song, the night, the car on the road.  It all came together in an experience.

So, the next time the Spinners came around on my stick, I was headed to work...with time on my hands.  And my imagination kicked into high gear. 

And I give you my Chevy Cruze commercial:

Cue the start of the song as the camera catches a Cruze driving on a slightly winding road at night, with a full moon.  First a brief closeup of the Chevy bow tie in front.  Then,  from above and to the right of the car and slightly behind.  There are light snow flakes falling.  As the Spinners say "this is our fork in the road", the Cruze goes left on a fork in the road and the camera enters the car from the passenger side window.  As the camera enters, it zooms in on the top of the entertainment center and you can see the temperature outside is 38 degrees and the time is 11:58pm.

Camera pans up and over to see profile of the driver from the passenger side.  He's an attractive 30 something man.  He's driving confidently, but looks quiet and lost in thought. 

As the Spinners get to "whenever you need me" the hands free phone rings.  Camera zooms to his hand pressing the steering wheel to answer. Music still playing.  Voice over you hear the man say "hello".  You hear a woman say "I need you".  Then he says "I'll be there.", just before the Spinners get to that part of the chorus.  

Camera back outside the car, from driver point of view.  Sees sign warning of ice on road.  Camera pans back in to show the traction button and then catches the man's hand pushing the seat warming button on the passenger side.

Back outside the car, as he nears his destination, the Cruze's headlights show a competitors car on the side of the road, broke down and a woman standing in the cold, with the snowflakes falling, in only a thin sweater.

Cruze comes to a stop by the woman.  Camera catches man's hand opening the passenger door and throwing it open.  Woman sits down in the passenger seat and camera catches her face and the relief she feels, as she feels the warmth from the leather seat.  

Their hands fold together over the emergency brake, as the Spinners say "sparks can turn into flames".  Camera withdraws and catches the back of the car as it continues on, zooming in on the Cruze on the back of the trunk lid.

This commercial has it all.  A story.  A plot.  Two heros:  the man and the car.  Not to mention one of the best songs ever.

Without saying a word, Chevy can show off how the Cruze handles the road, how it looks from front, side and the rear, the beauty of the interior, the entertainment center, the bluetooth, the dependability, the traction assist, the heated leather seats.

I rest my case.  Now if you see this commercial on your TV, be sure to let me know...and let Chevy know you saw it here first.  

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Where have I been?

Always either extremely busy or extremely lazy.  Since my last post, I've spent numerous evenings in our pool just chillin' and relaxin'.  Been to numerous church events, including a trip to Artesian Springs & our Annual Singing Convention.  Spent time with my Baby Ruth.  Gone through our closet.  Went into work one Saturday.  Had Pete in the hospital again...this time it turned out to be a TIA or "mini stroke".  Which isn't actually a stroke, but a warning that one might be around the bend. Celebrated another birthday.  Have spent more time with my sister, whom I adore.  And I read the Twilight series at the behest of my daughter, Bug.

That brings me to this weekend.  I had promised her that once I finished the series, we'd rent all the movies and have a marathon weekend.  Watch them all together so we could comment together and compare the movies to the books together. 

So, Friday started an eventful time.  I had found out that some of my old high school girlfriends were getting together Friday evening.  I wanted to be in on that.  My sister, Edna, and her friends from her class have been doing that sort of thing for years now.  Always sounds like so much fun.  Made me wonder why my class didn't do that.  Made me wish, hope we would.  But I never took the bull by the horns and tried to make it happen.  I also had errand to run and me & Bug planned to watch the first movie Friday night, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. 

I decided to split the difference, best I could.  I met the girls at Novrozsky's.  Let's see, there was Cheryl, Cindy, Melinda, Carol Beth, Denise and Lisa, when I arrived.  It was SO GOOD to see them all!  I swear they haven't changed one bit since high school. So hard to figure how we all live in or near our small town, yet almost never run into each other. I was able to visit for about thirty minutes.  Everyone was saying we should do it again, and I sure hope we do.  And that I have nothing else already planned.

I picked up a quick bite for us to eat at home.  Stopped and rented movies.  The first one ended right around time to go towards bed.  Had a little hubby time.  Yesterday we watched one movie and then took the afternoon off.  I went and picked hubby up a tablet that was on sale at Office Depot.  He loves taking pictures of the wildlife around us.  And movies and pictures of our Baby Ruth.  But it can be so difficult to share them with folks on a regular camera.  And he manages to capture some really good stuff!  Thought he'd get a kick out of being able to instantly show them off on screen large enough you didn't need a magnifing glass to see.

Then we ended the evening with a quick taco salade and another movie.  Today, on the agenda, is church then a movie and the last one tonight when we are home. 

It has been a fun time with my Bug.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

True Freedom

 
 
This past week I was struck anew with Romans 7:6 "We have been delivered from the law,...so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit." Read the Daily Bread Devotional.
 
 
As I pondered this verse, I stopped to think and dwell upon what was the law to the Jews in the 1st century and just how did being delivered from it impact their relationship with God.
 
Many people may simply think of the Ten Commandments when their thoughts go to the law.   And rightly so, as these were the first of the Law.  No man or woman has truly kept all ten all their life except for Christ Jesus.  So the Ten Commandments condemn us all to death and separation from God.  Jesus' death on the cross frees us from this.  Praise God!!
 
But it goes so far beyond just this!  The 1st century Jew was laden with many more laws from Deuteronomy & Leviticus.  And the many shadings, explanations and such that those in authority had added to the original texts.  To be a "good" Jew was a very involved and sometimes burdensome set of rules and regulations.
 
Worship:  Under the Law, the only place they could come into the presence of the Lord was in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem.  Only certain priests could even enter this area and only at appointed times.  Under the Blood, all who believe and accept Christ's free gift of salvation can come into the very presence of God any time, any where.  Christ sits on the right hand of The Father, as our High Priest.  The Holy Spirit indwells us.  God is actually with us - within us!!! - all the time.  We don't have to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem!  We can worship anywhere.  We don't have to bring or buy offerings!!  Christ was The Offering!  At home, in the woods, gathered together in church, relaxing by the seashore...we can worship our God!!
 
Prayer:  The 1st century Jew had certain postures, he had a prayer shawl, there were memorized prayers for different situations and times.  He had always to worry if his prayers would be acceptable and received.  But thanks to the Holy Spirit and Jesus at The Father's right hand, we can pray any time, anywhere, with a shawl or without, by our own words or let the Spirit make intercession for us!!!  We can go to the alter at church, or pray kneeling by our bed, or pray on our commute to work.  We can pray any time! 
 
Confession & Forgiveness:  The first century Jew had to travel to Jerusalem and give a sacrifice over to the priest to have his sins forgiven.  This involved time, money, possible hardship, etc.  But Our Lord and Savior is there to receive our heartfelt admission of guilt and there before the Father, He says, "I have this one covered." as he shows the nail scars to all in the Throne Room and the angels rejoice!!!  Forgiveness is as easy as recognizing we have sinned and earnestly repenting of it!!!  And we even have help in that from the Holy Spirit who will needle us, convicting us of what we've done wrong or what we've left undone!!!  Ask Him to search your heart today and show you.
 
This is just a drop in the bucket of all the freedom we have in Christ Jesus!!!  Thank you Lord!  If you have yet to enjoy this freedom, won't you begin today?
 
 
 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

License Plate Anecdote

As I have said before I recently got a new car.  What you may not know is that my initials are BLH. 

When the license plate came for my new car, hubby slipped them out of the enveloped and after viewing them, held them up for me and said, "You almost got a personalized license plate for free."  The plate he was holding started with BYH.

I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Barbara Why H(our last name)."

To this hubby, without missing a beat, responded, "To hell if I know!!" 

LOL  - I adore my plates. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Into the Word Wednesday: Psalms 19:14


Actually, I didn't get to do a post last Wednesday, as that was the first day hubby was home from the hospital and too much was going on.  So, I first want to talk about what was on my mind and in my heart last week.  The simple Goodness of my God.  From even before the Friday I had to take hubby to the ER, God was taking care of me.  One step ahead of me.  Working things out to our good. 

The weekend before was the most restful I had had in quite some time.  I felt at my best.  Then Friday, since we had to work the day after the 4th, our boss told us we could cut out about 2:00pm that day.  Around 1:30 hubby called me asking me to call the pharmacy and ask them some questions.  When he told me his symptoms and how he felt, I said "No!  That won't do.  I'll come home and get you and take you somewhere.  You be ready and decide where you want to go."  I was on my way home by 2:00.  Hubby had picked Baptist.  I had him there by 4:00pm.  They took him & his symptoms very seriously.  No holds barred treatment despite our financial/insurance situation.  In little ways too numerous to count, God was there.  Smoothing the way.  If I thanked and praised Him and hubby for my new car once, I did a hundred times.  I got a parking spot on one of the first two rows right in front of the main door every time I arrived at the hospital.  There were medicine issues when hubby came home that the Lord worked out seamlessly.  Including when I needed to speak to the admitting doctors office, finding out it was in the same building, same floor, same suite, even the same counter as Bug's cardiologist who I had to take her for a 6 month check that very day! 

Scoffers can roll their eyes and say "coincidences".  But when the Lord is involved they happen extremely often and in ways for our good.   So I know He is with me. 

As for this week, I was reflecting on Psalms 19:14 today as part of my Daily Bread devotion.  The verse reads, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord."

I closed my eyes and thought about this.  How important it is.  After all, almost everyone lets their words and their mouth get the best of them at some time or another.    Gives a harsh response more from being tired than from being offended.  Goes too far saying something about someone else, and enters the realm of gossip.  Stumps a toe or gets cut off in traffic by a discourteous or reckless driver and lets an offensive word or phrase fly.  Let's their thoughts turn to every wrong someone has done them instead of focusing on on the ways they have been there for you.  Gets a "why me" mentality.  I could go on for pages.  You get the picture.

Then I began to contemplate how the Lord can help us to do as David asked.  And it occurred to me that David asked out of order.  Or maybe a blurry eyed scribe wrote it out of order.  But I doubt that, as I trust God capable of preserving His Word as He wants it.

When we stay close to God through prayer and His Word, He will help us the meditation of our heart to be in line with His Will and His Way.  The Holy Spirit is there to help us with gentle nudges or a sound thump on the head when needed--if we listen to Him.  If we heed the warning He is giving, He will help us turn our thoughts and our minds toward the good. 

In the New Testament the Lord tells us to think on whatever is "good, pure, lovely", etc.  As our heart is...so is our thoughts.  As our thoughts are...so are our words and actions. 

So, if we truly want our words to be acceptable to Him, we first must turn our meditation toward Him.  Just like a computer, if you program trash in, trash will come out.  If you program good solid code you will get good solid information.  Whatever we dwell on becomes an overshadowing extension of ourselves.  So then, let us "renew" our minds that they become more Christlike and therefore our actions, attitudes and our words.

God bless & keep you!

Barbara

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Anecdote from the Hospital

Hubby was recently hospitalized for several days for the nasty C diff bacteria.  This meant he had IV fluids from the get go, till check out with constant bags of antibiotics added to it.  Nurses and aides were usually very punctual in coming by to check his poll and adding replacements.

But one night in the wee hours, the box on the pole went to beeping because the saline solution had run dry. Hubby silenced the irritating sound with a push of the button for several brief 10 minute reprieves.  When no one had come yet, he called the nurses station and told them of his need.  This time he left the beeping going.  Minutes turned into more minutes and then an hour.  In total frustration at the lack of attention and the irritant to his sleep, his redneck side slipped out.

He took the IV out of the stint, unplugged the unit from the wall, walked the pole over to the door of his room, sailed it out into the hall, and shut the door behind it.  Soon his room was full of apologetic and busy people.  The pole was restrung with fluids, the IV reinserted and the beeping was silent.

(Note:  As a whole the staff was very nice and very attentive.  And hubby was mild mannered & polite.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Cross


Once again I am participating in the Blog Hop "Into the Word Wednesday". 

This week what stood out to me as I read my daily devotion in "Our Daily Bread" was a new take on what my "cross" is.  I've heard preachers put this in a myriad of ways and none has ever struck a chord with my soul that satisfied it.

As I read the devotional on Luke 9:23, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." written by David C. McCasland, a new realization occurred to me.  What did Jesus sacrifice on the cross?  His life of course.  But beyond that He sacrificed His own will for the Father's.  In the garden He had prayed if there be any other way let this cup pass from me, but nether the less Thine will be done. 

Therefore, to take up my cross daily is to daily deny my own self will and look to God's will for me.  Deny my own desires for the sake of living for Him and to further His Kingdom. 

A huge cross to bear if left on our own.  But thank God for the Holy Spirit!  With Him we can have some measure of success in shouldering that cross.

McCasland said, 'Rather than merely trying to suppress our natural desires, MacDonald said that true self-denial means “we must see things as [Christ] saw them, regard them as He regarded them; we must take the will of God as the very life of our being . . . . We are no more to think, ‘What should I like to do?’ but ‘What would the Living One have me do?’”'

Thank you Lord for being faithful and submitting your will to the Father's.  Help me to better bear my cross for you today.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Into the Word Wednesday

 
I stopped by Upward Not Inward, today and found a new Blog Hop going on.  On Wednesday, you post about what God has been saying to you through your Bible studies that past week.  Or a highlight from it. Or what God has been teaching you through some other means.  Well, this caught my attention right away, as I have been convicted of late that I don't do enough Christ centered posts any more and that the Lord wants me to use L & F more in that vein once again.  This afforded me the perfect vehicle to meet that particular leading and to help me meet my own personal goal of blogging at least once a week.
 
If you have a Christ centered blog or are a Christian and want to participate, just follow the links above.  If you enjoy reading these types of posts follow the links above to read what others in the Blog Hop are saying.
 
As for me, most of my Bible study centers around the devotional booklet by RBC, Our Daily Bread.  The Lord used the devotion from the 23rd of June to step on my toes a good bit.  It centered around "There is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God." from Romans 13:1
 
It was a needed reminder for me that although I don't agree with much of anything this current U.S. Adminstration does or says, and I did not vote for this President, even have my doubts about his qualifications to be President, Obama is still my President.  And he could not be my president if my God had not allowed, or willed it to be.  That doesn't mean he is Godly or not.  It doesn't mean he is good or not.  It just means he fulfills a purpose that God has for our nation at this time and He has allowed him to be President.
 
Therefore, while it may be my duty as a U. S. Citizen to point out failings in the admistration or to fight to oppose things they want to implement or to try to vote him out of office, it is my duty as a Christian to submit to it's authority while it is in power and to pray for it and him as a man, a leader, my President, as a soul, a husband, a father, etc.
 
This I well know, but fall short in practicing.  Everyday life and the needs of people I know personally crowd into my prayer time and I find myself not lifting up Obama and the leaders of my country as I should as often as I should.
 
So, what God is teaching me this week is that I should commit to being more faithful to do that, and encourage each of you - whether pro Obama or not - to do the same.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mad and Proud

There has been so much in the news lately about our rights as Americans being stripped from us.  Or causing us to become suspect by our own government or held to a higher scrutiny because of our beliefs.  Beliefs that aren't from far left field.  Beliefs that aren't imported into America on the backs of illegal aliens or piped in from dissidents in some distant regime.  I'm talking about beliefs that were core to America even 30 years ago when I was in college and Reagan was President.  Beliefs that made us the greatest nation on earth.  That made the masses want to come here.  Beliefs that protected the world from tyranny, brought the Berlin wall down, put men on the moon.  Beliefs that allowed our bread basket to feed the world.  Beliefs that told school children they were loved and unique and beautiful and could grow up to be anything they desired to be. 

Now the vocal America is a bunch of whinny, snotty nosed youngsters wanting a handout and beating up the decent kid down the block to get his candy if they aren't given any by Big Brother. Now our government has took political correctness to the ultimate extremes.  They allow a small percentage of very vocal, very litigious citizens to take the reins and steer our country straight into the ditch!

On the local level, I have recently been horrified to hear a Lumberton ISD person was reprimanded for praying at a kindergarten graduation exercise!!!  And even more nauseating to learn that Kountze ISD has decided to continue litigation against the cheerleaders that won court approval that upheld their rights recently.  Who are these people??!!!???!!!??  No one I have ever actually met or conversed with. 

But on the bright side, our wonderful Texas Legislature and Governor Rick Perry have struck a blow to the fear mongers and heathens!!!  They have signed legislation protecting school children and school personal from litigation for saying "Merry Christmas!!"   Bravo!!!  I am so proud!!  If I weren't already a Texan, I'd move here!  We are the candle shining in a dark - very dark- America!  Praise God!  And to borrow our littering campaign slogan:  Don't Mess With Texas.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Come Cruze with Me

Thanks to the man of the house, I am finally in a new car!  Well, new to me.  Like new.  It was a one owner lease with low mileage.  A 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.   I've been in it a little over three weeks now, and I'm loving it! 

The first thing that struck me about it when I got in it to test drive it, was the ample leg, head and shoulder room in the vehicle.  I've never seen so much in a car this size before.  The leather interior was an upgrade I've never had before.  The instrumentation, radio and environment controls are smartly laid out for user friendliness and appearance.  That with the leather seats, gives you the impression you are in an automobile twice it's value.

I was also immediately impressed with the smoothness of the ride and the low level of road noise in the car, again mimicking a much pricier ride.

So how has it been driving it on my 67 mile round trip each day?  Amazing!  I was the owner of a 1979 Mustang with the 302 and a 4-speed that was only offered in a relative few of them.  (Jay Leno has one in his collection, but my was way sharper looking.) That Mustang won rave reviews for how responsive it was and in fact it's responsiveness probably saved my life on a couple of occasions.  This Cruze compares well with it in that area.  Another feature of the '79 Mustang that won raves and that I had loved so well, was that you could run it in 3rd gear at highway speeds and the torque would have you feeling glued to the road in conditions like rain where you were likely to loose the "feel" of the road.  This Cruze has a feature that compares well to that, the driver can turn off or on at the push of the button.

The the heated front seats and the fact that the passenger seat can fully recline will mean a lot if and when I have to take hubby on long trips to see a doctor or have a test.  And may make it easier for him to be able to join us all in family outings.  The overall comfort of the car is more than I've had since the Olds Ninety-eight I drove 15 years ago.

The Premium Pioneer sound system in the car sounds as good to my ears as anything aftermarket that my son has put in any of his numerous vehicles or ours.  And it comes ready to take a USB device, so I have all my favs at my fingertips. 

The little 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine delivers more than enough  umph for passing and merging into traffic.  And I'm impressed and happy with it's gas mileage.  I'm getting 32.5 to 33mpg on average.  Which I feel is exceptional since I have to go through three to six school zones, two small towns and then often encounter heavy traffic moving at a snails pace when I get in close to work.   In the truck I drove for a long time it took almost 4 gallons to get me there and back.  In my DIL's little car it took almost 3 gallons.  In this car it take me just a tad over 2.  You don't know how good it feels to be able to fill up and not worry about gas for over a week!  Yippee!!

You have the option to shift the automatic transmission like a 4-speed if you so desire, for hilly terrain or just for fun.  It has other little touches for comfort, like remote start, light sensitive rear view mirror, the sun visor slides along the rod for optimum sun blockage, and it is blue tooth ready for hands free phone usage.

To surmise, I am loving my "new" car.



Saturday, May 11, 2013

Exploring Caneyhead...

...with a new gadget.  I've been blogging for over eight years now.  That means a lot of entries on this little blog of mine.  I've tried to make it easy for anyone to follow and keep up with Caneyhead.  In the sidebar, you can follow through:

                               Twitter
                               Facebook
                               Google
                               Email subscription
            

I myself, knowing well that I've done a certain entry in the past, have had a hard time finding it.  I've certainly done everything I know to do to try to make exploring Caneyhead easier. On my sidebar I  have:

    Personal Favorite Posts
    Remembering Family Posts
    A Google Search box for Caneyhead
    My Blog Archive List

In my posts I've often added labels and links.  All of this is useful in it's own way, but inadequate in others. 

During the A-Z Challenge, I noticed a number of blogs that had thumbnails of other posts similar to the one you just read at the bottom of the post.  I thought it was a neat idea, but did not follow up on it.

Then, Holly with Business 2 Blogger sent out an email in which she shared a post by Jessica, about related post plugins. Here I learned about the wonderful, free plugin that allowed these little thumbnails to appear on your blog!

I went to LinkWithin, read their FAQs sheet and gave it a whirl installing it here at Life & Faith in Caneyhead.  It was super easy, and suddenly I was finding posts I had written long ago and totally forgotten about! 

I share this with you so that you can enjoy exploring more of Caneyhead with ease, and so that if you are like I was, lost in your own blog, seeing these thumbnails and wondering about them, you can add this amazing little feature to your own blog.

  
                     

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

No Stopping Us Now....Prayer

In this day of haters, those who would wipe out all things "pertaining" to God just because they themselves are anti-God and those who would strip even the military men and women who serve to protect our Constitutional rights from sharing their faith (freedom of speech people!  freedom of religion!  - Notice the Constitution says freedom OF religion....not freedom FROM religion!!!  It never intended to protect you from ever hearing the name of the Almighty or seeing a manger scene or having someone say "God bless you" when you sneeze.  It meant to protect you from the government saying "This is the only way to worship God.")

These haters want to shut us up and put us down.  Well, I can't shut up.  I have been commission to "go therefore" and share what Christ means to me and what He has done for me.  So, you attack and you get unconstitutional laws passed and you think you have shut me up.  Because I can't speak out loud anymore. 

Ah!  But I can pray.  I can pray for your depraved soul.  I can ask Christ to reveal himself to you in an way you cannot deny.  (And He so wants to do that!  It is His deepest desire.)  You can make laws saying I can't talk to you....but I can still pray for you.  You can make laws saying I can't pray out loud.  You can make laws saying I can't look like I am praying...but I can still pray for you in my head and my God hears! 

Someday down the road you may be able to monitor my thoughts and you might think you can then stop me from praying.  But you can't!  You never will!  Because the Holy Spirit knows my heart and He prays for me when my mouth is silenced, when my thoughts are censored.  And He will pray for you when the day comes you'd jam my thought processes.  Or when the day comes I am senile.  He'll still be praying!!!  He'll pray for me until I'm out of this world and with Christ and He'll pray for you as long as you draw breath!

You can't stop us.  Now or ever.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Reflections on the 2013 A-Z Challenge

Once again I survived the A-Z Challenge.  It sounds simple enough in theory, but when real life events smack right up against deadlines to post day after day, simple flies right out the window.

A large part of that is my own life and lifestyle.  Being away from home for about 10 hours each day constricts me and narrows my window of opportunity.  Refusing to pre-write posts weeks ahead of time further restricts me.  And part of it is being stuck on dial-up here in the sticks.  All in all...I say it was worth it.  But my family might not agree with me.  They had late suppers, limited talk time, etc. all because I was committed to something that required my attention every evening for at least an hour, maybe more.

Why was it worth it to me?  Because I love to write first and foremost.  I have always enjoyed sitting down and putting my thoughts and feelings into words.   It used to mean cramped fingers and lots of paper.  But, now thanks to computers, just sit down and let your fingers fly, hoping they can keep up with the thoughts that are flowing.

It was also worth it to me, because I was specifically putting down things for my children to read and remember.  Hopefully in distant years when I am gone from this earth.  Each entry was printed out and given to my sister, Edna, who read them and placed them in a book she is saving for Bug.  Bubba already received his book when he married. 

But it goes beyond these Challenge entries.  I hope my children will eventually find their way to this blog to read.  To know more of their mother's beliefs, sense of humor.  To have a place to remind them of who she was when memories grow dim and their time with her seems distant.

I was a child, and then a very selfish, self absorbed teen when my own parents were still on this earth.  A lot I do know.  I know Mama took violin lessons.  I know Daddy was union through and through.  But so many times I wished I could have known more about their viewpoints:  religiously, politically, socially.  That I could of had them around long enough to have actual grown up conversation with them.

To the A-Z hosts I have nothing but respect and koodoos for how you run the Challenge and it operates.  Thank you for spurring us all on to make more of our writing and connect more with other bloggers.

This years top five posts by page views are:

 
 
 
 
 
If you didn't follow along on the Challenge, I hope you'll at least read these five.  And I hope you'll also check out other "reflection" posts.
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ZZZZZZZ.....Sleep, glorious elusive sleep!


Make no mistake, I wanted very much to participate in the challenge again this year.  Especially, more so, since I chose to write from the point of view that I was talking to my children.  Sharing, saving and preserving memories, thoughts and feelings with them.  But I'm darn lucky if I get 61/2 hours sleep a night.  My job, the drive and errands keep me away from home a good ten hours a day.  That leaves very little time for blogging, relaxing, cooking, chilling with hubby or Bug and everything else in my world.  So, I am incredibly glad it is done.  I look so forward to have a little time to sit in a comfy chair instead of a computer desk chair. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yummy, Yummy Kitchen Time

This is a stretch.  Let's face it, the last of the alphabet is a bummer.  But I've a a blast in kitchens with loved ones over the years. 


Everything from me helping Sarah make sugar cookies and tea cakes and decorate them for Christmas, to me and my niece Paige stirring up chocolate chip cookies so we could eat half the dough while they baked and even when me, hubby and his cousin Bill simmered venison hash all evening while we shot pool.  Each of us going into the kitchen to check it, and each adding our on little twist to it each time.  Awesome results!


But of course some of the most precious was when my children were there under foot or "helping" me.  When Bubba was still a baby, I'd put him in a bean bag in the corner of the kitchen while I cooked.  If he woke I'd sing to him or make animal noises the whole while to keep him happy.  We made our own version of a Beach Boy classic "dishy, dishy...oh, baby, now me got to go" that we'd sing while we washed dishes together.  Him standing in a kitchen chair pulled up in front of the sink.  Later, Bug toddling around begging for a FROZEN french fry or pie of breaded okra!


With both of my children there was lots of grating nuts and cheese with my old circa 1950's Mouli Shredder.  Sifting flour and baking powders, cream eggs, butter and sugar.  All towards the goal of a yummy desert or a plate of fudge for us all to enjoy.  And all the fighting over bowls and spoons and beaters to lick whether it be custard, or meringue or what!  And the begging for a small cup (usually the 1/4 cup measure) to be filled with some ingredient left plain for them:  pecans, coconut, chocolate chips, cheese, etc.


I suppose if love makes a family, the kitchen makes a home.




Saturday, April 27, 2013

X-ercise

Sure, I cheated a little to get that X for today.  Bug would have had me talk about all my ex's because she is almost 14 and very into all of that sort of thing right now.  But I'd prefer to save that for our "girl talk" sessions.

Back in March, I teamed up with Carolyn and posted an article of hers on fitness and it got me remembering all the things I've done with my children outside over the years.  The ways we had fun and got a little exercise together.

It started with puddle jumping with Bubba when he was a toddler, to make sure he wouldn't be a goodie-two-shoes who was afraid to get dirty.  (That lesson took too well.)  Then we often had swinging sessions at the house or at the park.  When I'd push him in the swing in our back yard, I'd sing "It's a Wonderful Day" by Elvis or our own special version of "Swingin'" by John Anderson.  Sometimes we'd throw a Frisbee around in the yard.  And then there was one summer where we got to go to the pool in Silsbee quite often and swim and dive together.  Swimming has always been my favorite sport, favorite activity.  Then we had to leave that behind because Bubba found they were practicing racist policies on who they admitted to the pool.

We also did a lot of yard work back then.  Mowing.  Raking leaves and stickerballs out from under the two huge Chinese Chestnut trees.  And even inside, we stayed busy because I was an avid housekeeper then.  (You'd never believe that now!)  If you do it right and do it often, that's a lot of work.   But doing it together, with the stereo playing or us singing it could be a lot of fun.

By the time Bug came along, we were in Caneyhead with more room and little country roads that opened up a few more possibilities.  The three of us would get a ball and play "monkey in the middle", where two would try to pass the ball back and forth and the third would be in the middle trying to grab it.  We've even gone out and just swung each other around and around until we fell down.  We still played Frisbee at times, all of us or just Bug and I.  And thanks to the basketball goal, we could now play horse or pig.  We rode bikes up and down our road together.  Made a few excursions down the hill.

Bubba being an older boy now, had us go out and hike in the woods.  The three of us even went into the Sanctuary off of 327 and hiked way out past the trail and set on a sandbar by the creek and had a picnic.  Bubba took us down to the gullies by the house once.  And then later he and Xena the Boston terrier ended up in the newspaper because they led some folks who had been exploring down in the baygall to the gullies.

Then for one year, maybe two, we had a large pool set up outside.  Bug and I spent a lot of time in that.  I taught her to swim there.  (I have been Red Cross certified in Intermediate Swimming, Basic Water Rescue, Canoeing and CPR.  A little factoid about your mama.)  We'd cool off and relax there most every evening, swim some laps and play some water games.  Moonlight swims to.  Watching the stars.  Good times.

Bug got a soccer ball.  Never has played it as a sport, but really enjoyed it at school and would have me get out and kick it back and forth with her with imaginary goals posted.

Then of course there have been the myriad of impromptu games of washers or horseshoes.  Sometimes just our little family, sometimes with loads of extended family and friends.  Bubba, I'm sure can remember all out basket ball games down at Granny's house at family gatherings and the times the whole gang played volleyball.

We've even had badminton set up from time to time in the yard to play together.  We've made a few excursions out to bowl or to play put-put golf together.  Done our share of swimming in the Neches River or Bush Lake in the earlier years.  A couple of summers ago, Bug had a blast swimming and fishing off of Uncle Jim's pier on Sam Rayburn.

And don't forget the horse riding that Bubba and even I participated in with Daddy.  Shame that he doesn't feel up to it anymore to share with Bug.  But she's done her fair share of walking, stalking and hunting deer, squirrel and rabbit with him in the woods, just as Bubba and I have done.

So, I suppose even though none of us have ever participated in organized team sports, we've always been a fairly active and outdoorsy family.   And I feel fairly certain it is a tradition that will continue. 





Friday, April 26, 2013

Willie

I'm just 3-5 years old.  We are living in Carthage, TX in a rent house next door to the woman who owns it, Willie Thompkins.  Daddy was running a pool hall there.  He had been hurt on the job and that's how he provided for us.  I'm guessing Willie was probably about ten years older than Mama, as she had a grown up daughter that I believe was older than Edna or Sarah.  I have some vivid memories of Willie, that place and her house.  So, in no particular order, I share some with you here.

Willie's yard.  She had a glider that set under an arch that had vines growing up it.  I thought that glider was one of the most magical and special places!  It was near the property line and I could sit in it even if I didn't actually visit Willie.

In the back yard she had a picnic table.  I remember us celebrating what was probably the 4th of July with her there.  I remember there were hamburgers and the best french fries ever!  Hand sliced and fried.  That's where the secret of soaking them in cold water before frying came from...and just getting the edges golden.  We had watermelon and Daddy played leap frog with me.  A truly golden day for a little girl like me.

Willie's house.  Her house holds several memorable things for me.  One is how in a little alcove area between her living room and her bedroom, there was a little stand/table just for her telephone.  I adored it.  Was fascinated by it.

Another fascination was her garage.  Willie didn't drive.  She took cabs.  Her garage was shelves and shelves and shelves all filled with issues of the Readers Digest.  In date order!  I thought it wonderful and wished I could explore them all.  But I couldn't read yet.

Then there was Willie the person.  She must of been a very special soul.  She couldn't eat sugar, but she kept Oreo cookies for me.  Anytime I came over I had Oreos and milk at her kitchen table.

Also, the first time Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer came on TV, they must of been promoting it extensively.  I say that because Willie had Mama bring me over to her house to watch it.  I really don't remember if her TV was just bigger than ours, or if it was color instead of black and white.  I do remember how scary that abominable snowman was!  And how sad those misfit toys were.  That's where the tradition began for me and I've watched it every single year since. 

And then there is the dress.  The little silky red and white gingham dress with all the red petticoat made into it.  Lace and beads adorning it.  Velvet ribbon around the waist.  Still in the cedar chest. Willie made me that dress.  And I have a very vivid memory of wearing that dress to a football game and Daddy telling me to stop standing up in the stands and peering between the cracks at the people below.  He said that TV cameras would show my hinnie to the whole world.  I don't think there were any cameras.  I think he just said that to make me sit down.

Daddy got all well, work picked up and we moved back to Silsbee.  But Mama and Willie wrote to one another through the years.  And as soon as I could write anything, I began to write her, too.  At first just a note scribbled into Mama's letter.  Later letters of my own.  Me and Willie corresponded through the years and across the generations.  This continued on up until around my graduation from High School.  Finally I received a letter from her daughter, Sue I think, who told me her mom had passed on.

Suffice it to say, this is one person I hope I can look up and reconnect with in Heaven.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Visions & Dreams

Before I relate to you the things I plan to relate,  I want to clarify my basic beliefs regarding ghosts, spirits, and things from beyond.  Because of what the Bible says in many different places, I believe that once a person dies, their soul goes on to it's final destination, never to return to the earthly realm.  So, I absolutely do not believe in ghosts the way modern paranormals or the superstitious would have you believe.  I do however believe there are spirits.  There are spirits of light, which are the Holy Spirit and the angels...and there are spirits of darkness, which are the demons that serve Satan.  That forces one to acknowledge that when they encounter something that seems other worldly it has to either be a visitation from God to give reassurance or direction or comfort to us when no other way seems adequate.  Or it is a demon sent to lead one into false hope, wrong desires, create confusion,...anything that ultimately leads to death and destruction.  That is why God constantly tells us in His Word to stay away from phsychics, fortunetellers and such.  God does not reveal his will that way and we are to trust him for our future without knowing the whole picture.  Also He knows any that claim to do that sort of thing either is a charlatan or is in league with the Devil, whether it be by design or deception.


With that clearly stated, let me get on with what I came today to share with you.   Your mother has had experiences.  Numerous times.  They have occurred totally unwilled or uninitiated by me.  The first time happened when I was about ten.  We were planning a trip to Uncle Hightower's to pick up half a steer his son Geary had raised and butchered.  The closer to time to go it got I "felt" extremely that I should not go, that it would be bad for me.  That I would hurt very badly.  I begged Mama to let me stay with Edna or Sarah.  She made me go.  She thought I was remembering the last tummy ache I had from me and Kim's run to the store loaded with snack money.  I knew it was more.  I knew I had never felt what I felt before.  But I didn't know how to express it.  We went.  I had fun.  I was laying on the backseat of our Falcon 500, playing with a puzzle. (No seat belts or seat belt laws then.)  We headed home and was stopped at what was the only red light in Kountze then, when a man who had worked the graveyard shift at some plant fell asleep while driving and ran the red light from the opposite direction, crossed three lanes of traffic and hit us head on.  Daddy suffered broken ribs and a cut on his leg.  Mother hit the windshield and got a U-shaped cut on her forehead and a brow full of glass.  I was thrown up into the back of the front seat and apparently my mouth was split open by the ashtray embedded in it.  Two teeth were knocked loose.  Later, after the hospital and we were back home, Mama told me she was sorry she hadn't listened to me.

Years later.  I'm a young woman in college.  Mama is about to marry Polk, Jr.  Sarah is driving her van loaded full of women to go see Conway Twitty at the Palace.  We are calling it Mama's bachlorette party.  There are me, Sarah, Alice, Mama, Mary Lou and others in the van.  All of a sudden I get the strongest sense of foreboding about Sarah.  Centered on Sarah.  And it feels so urgent!!  All the small talk in the van goes silent in my ears.  I look at Sarah, smiling, laughing, smoking a cigarette, sunglasses perched on top of her head as always.  And something within me says with authority "pray!"  So I begin to pray, something like this.  "Lord, not my precious sissy.  Not now, not like this. There are too many women in this van. Too many mothers. Too many lives changed forever.  Some would loose every woman dear to them.  Please Lord."  The feeling subsides.  We go on to have an awesome, memorable night together.  Before the summer was over, Mama and Polk got the call in the night saying Sarah had been bit by a copperhead and was at the Silsbee Hospital.  Home from college, they told me they were going and why.  I was totally unconcerned.  Mama said it would all be fine, Sarah was sitting up talking and laughing at the hospital.  I went back to sleep to be wakened later by Mama when they had come home.  Awakened to learn that Sarah was dead.


Also, near this time, I was home from college.  Polk was reflooring the house.  He and Mama were living in his little rent house.  As much as I was happy for Mama to have found love again...even though I genuinely liked Polk, I was disturbed that right away they wanted to make changes to the house Daddy had fixed for us.  I grieved inside.  Afraid they were going to erase every memory of Daddy.  One night I was lying on my room in that house thinking those thoughts and crying.  Not knowing what if anything I could do about it without seeming a hateful, spiteful person.  (I need to preface this with the fact that the old Frigidaire stove with the cafe doors had always set in that house and was still there.  And every single time my daddy had ever walked through the doorway from the dining room into the kitchen the pans in the bottom of that stove would rattle.  His were the only footsteps that did it.  No one else.)  So I was laying there miserable and lonely when I heard footfalls coming from the back door.  They sounded so familiar!  And then, as they passed that old stove and entered the dining room, there is was!!  That rattle!  And on they proceeded, right out the front door.  I felt warm and safe and loved and most of all totally reassured that Daddy would never be forgotten by anyone who knew him.  That no one could erase the memories.  With all my heart, I believe God allowed an angel to walk through that house that night, just like Daddy did because He knew how much I needed that reassurance and He knew I thought I could tell no one how I was feeling.

A few more years pass.  I meet and marry your daddy.  I tell him about these things of course.  And I ask him to promise me if I ever tell him "I KNOW it won't turn out well"  that he'll listen to me.  He does.  Just like someone who doesn't believe it will ever happen does. 

Now it's the night we are in the black jeep riding up near Junior's.  We had been all down in the baygall.  Pipelines, mud.  We were coming back up the hill and nothing would do him but to shine the clearing on the incline coming back up.  We made a circle and the headlights revealed nothing.  I start feeling very antsy.  Very nervous.  I beg him for us to just ease on home.  But no, he gets the bright idea to climb the hill back up to the compressor instead of traveling the road.  I'm trying to tell him "I know" it will end badly.  Every fiber of my being is screaming get out now.  When I can't stop him, I finally bale out on him and walk up the hill.  The engine roars.  He tries and slides back down and guns it and tries again.  I never know exactly what will happen.  So, now I watch in fear, wondering if the jeep will roll over backwards on him.  I silently pray.  Tears are streaming down my face.  Finally, through much effort and noise the jeep crests the hill and enters the small clearing by the compressor station.  He's like, "What was all of that about?"  And I'm like, don't you remember?  He keeps insisting I get back into the jeep.  I still don't feel it is safe.  He promises we'll just idle home.  I finally relent and climb back in, once again silently praying.  Praying that the feeling be wrong.  We go less than 20 yards down the road and the front end falls out from under the jeep.  On a small little road with no traffic.  No major harm.  No real foul.  Thank God!  Of course then we walk up to Junior's and you know what happened then.  LOL 

The next major time, it happened was when we had been married almost 13 years.  It was just before Christmas.   Only this time it came in a dream.  I was sound asleep.  A beautiful, young blonde woman came to me and started to talk to me like she was a friend.  Her words I don't remember, but she was talking about your daddy.  And she was saying how first she'd do this, and then I could do that, and then she began to laugh evilly and her voice started to sound more and more gradually like a hiss.  Suddenly I screamed, NO! and awoke.  I was so scared I literally shook.  I asked your daddy to hold me.  Just hold me.  I didn't understand what was coming, but I knew it was pure evil.  That Satan was about to sift me like wheat.  Three months rock on.  Our anniversary passes.  And one night on the side of the road a car I chased down stops.  I get out and there is the woman.  And then comes the hardest time of my life.  And also the grandest time of my life.  For I was totally grounded in God at that time with a vibrant prayer life.  I still am not sure if that dream was a warning from God so I'd recognize my adversary, or if it was a taunt by Satan because he was so cocky and sure he'd win. 

Years go by.  We are living in Caneyhead.  I am going to Wiley Mae church.  I have a habit of taking the church roll and praying for the members.  I have the roll divided into equal portions, one for each day of the week.  It wasn't the day to pray for her.  But her name kept jumping into my mind.   Okay, Lord, I'll pray for her.  And I did.   And tears began to fall as I prayed.  I get up and get started with my housework.  But over and over the persistent, urgent voice is saying "Call her."  I try to say not now.  I need to get some things done.  But over and over the voice fills my brain and I finally relent.  I whisper a prayer and dial the phone.  She answers.  I ask her how she is.  She says through great big sobs, "Today was so hard.  All I could think was how much easier to just end it all.  The illness.  The suffering.  Just end it now.  But I knew that was wrong.  So I prayed that God let someone from church call.  That I'd take that as a sign it was His will for me to go on.  And then you called."

Roll on down a few more years.  A very good friend of your daddy has come by the house hoping to visit with him.  He was recently gone through a divorce.  And it has been oh so very rough on him.  Daddy is inside sick and doped up with medicine.  So I go out and talk to him by his vehicle awhile.  I just feel as we converse that this person is thinking of going home and ending it all.  I beg him to come in and eat and stay on our couch.  I say all the usual platitudes about how time heals all wounds and such.  He finally shuts his door and leaves and I feel so certain to my core that I have not dissuaded him, and that he will attempt to end it all before the night is over.  So I came inside.  Got my Bible and entered the bedroom.  I prayed, with tears streaming, and asked God to help me open the Bible to the right place.  It opened in the Old Testament.  In a Psalm.  I don't remember which one.  But one where David is at his wits end and about to despair.  I began reading the verses and praying them out loud to God.  Not as my words.  Not as David's.  But changing them to be words offered on behalf of the man who left.  It took some time.  I felt so much.  It felt as if I was actually feeling what he felt.  When I was through I was spent, exhausted.  I turned off the light and said my own little prayer and went to sleep.  Nothing happened that night.  Nor anytime since.  Real threat and answered prayer?  No confirmation this side of Heaven, but I think so.

I have had many, many more urgings over the years, though none so demanding or intense.  I try hard to be faithful to them and respond.  But I am human and sometimes I am just tired or self absorbed.  I've also had what I consider lesser dreams, where I actually have a conversation with someone and months or years down the road I realize I am standing there having a conversation I have dreamed and it feels all so deja vu.

I share these things so that if you may have inherited any of them, or God gifts you with any of them you'll not feel odd or ashamed or scared.  As long as they do not deny the Written Word or Christ, my best advice would be to simply obey them.  And always respond with a covering of prayer.








Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Undo

Who doesn't have things they'd undo if they could?  For me with the two of you, I'd undo some of the things I said to you.  Some of the times I doubted you. Some of the times I took your word for something.  Some of the times I didn't stop what I was doing or had planned for your ideas.  I'd undo sometimes when I may should have stood up for you more.  But I can honestly say that overall I have no major regrets of how I raised either of you.  In the big scope of things I think my love and the values I tried to impart came through.  And for that I will ever be grateful to my Lord for getting my attention when Bubba was a just a toddler and turning me back to Him, rededicating my life and allowing Him to truly be Lord.

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