Friday, August 4, 2017

#Faith - The Word on Words


"They are men of violence and injustice. O my soul stay away from them. May I never be a party to their wicked plans. For in their anger they murdered a man and maimed oxen just for fun. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce and cruel."
Genesis 49:5-7, TLB




This is Jacob (Israel) speaking of two of his own sons! He was on his deathbed, giving them blessings for their future. These two were so angry and bad that he had not one good word for them. 

Just to be angry is not sin. You know, Jesus was angry when he cleansed the temple. But we all too often get angry for totally unrighteous reasons. Selfish reasons, that stem from pride.  While Christ's actions driving the animals from the temple and overturning the money changers tables drew criticism from the authorities, in the eyes of God he did nothing wrong.  All too often our anger leads to wrong actions and sin.

Anger left to simmer can lead to violence. Don't keep company with angry people!   At the worst anger can be infectious.  In the least, you can be swept up or harmed by their actions.

My mother's mother, Mama Ruth always said you could judge a lot about a man's character by the way he treated animals. Violence and cruelty are never God's way! We are in the world, but be not of the world.

May God bless each soul that happens this way today!

Barbara


Monday, July 24, 2017

#ISawItOnFacebook - Well, actually I posted it on Facebook this time.




Our local small town is going all in for the Rock Hunt fad.   If somehow you've missed it, people paint rocks with a simple message or cheerful picture and leave them in public areas for others to find.  Those who find the rocks which are tagged on the back with local group of origin are then encouraged to post a picture on the corresponding Facebook page.  Then they may re-hide the rock or keep it if it brings them joy to do so.  Personally, I think there is more joy to be found in hiding them again.

I took Hannah to get a copy of her Social Security card today at the Beaumont Administration Office and found this one in front of where I parked.  It is a precious Keebler Elf one with the message Living Small on it.  My photo does not do it justice!  I was tickled to learn it was part of the Silsbee group and posted it's picture on their Facebook page.

While there, I found that a rock garden has been set up at the Silsbee Public Library by some civic minded individuals.  When preparing to write up this post, I found that the movement is being praised as a way to get young people into art, exploring outdoors and sharing a little love and joy.  I also found a website for The Kindness Rocks Project which appears to be the origin of this craze that is fast going worldwide.

All around, a lot of positivity surrounding this simplistic trend, with all ages getting swept up in it.

Have you found a rock?  Did you post a picture?  Did you re-hide it?  Have you painted any?

Barbara



Sunday, July 16, 2017

#Life: I Was Undercover for the FBI


Surprised to see me?  Wondering where I've been?  Well, it all started on a Saturday night when I was down town working for the FBI.  I was drinking whiskey with some bad men, the bottles were piling high, when all of a sudden,....wait!  That's not it.  That was The Hollies.

Let's see.  Three weeks ago I posted, and then I was coasting along enjoying visiting you and you visiting me.  Then Hannah's work schedule got busy with an extra day and an extra shift.  I take her to & fro right now.  Then Bubba got back in town early for the holiday & I spent some time with him & his family.  Pete decided it was time to get out some meat and make some more sausage, right as our tiny garden decided to start coming in.  Then on the 5th I had some teeth pulled, was a wussy and lay up an slept & rested for a few days.  Last week the garden continued, and I had errands and appointments.  And it was finally time I could get the girl actually enrolled at Lamar Institute of Technology.  To top it all off, Photobucket decided to make a money grubbing sneak attack on 3rd party image hosting and had my blog looking like the old TV test alert image!!! πŸ˜ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜  I fixed the overall blog, but am sorry to say many images in posts are still not available.  I don't have the time or energy to fix them all.  I will be going back as I can and fixing all the #ISawItOnFacebook posts, on special posts and others as I come across them.  I already have holes and red X's left over from the early days on AOL's JLand and the transfer to Blogger.  πŸ˜’

Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I will be making the rounds again, posting again, etc.  I've missed every one of you!

So, where have I been?  How have I been?


No, seriously, how have you been?  

Barbara


Monday, June 26, 2017

#Caneyhead Sunset

In the large scope of life, I am, overall, a positive person.

When things are bad, I tend to think they will get better.

When things are good, I drink it in and savor the flavor.

In general, I think people are going to do the right thing, and when they don't, I go looking for "why". Thinking of myself and what could of possibly made me do that if I were them.

I am not a grudge holder.  I eventually make peace with things, get over it, even if no one ever apologizes.

When I am lazy, I am very, very lazy and when I am busy I stay at it, sometimes doggedly.

I have been in the throws of depression before, but my basic make-up is one of resilience;  knock me down and I get back up... may lay there a while, but I get back up.

My heart wants to be exquisitely generous, but my wallet has seldom allowed me to be.

Some days are diamonds and some days are coal, yet they are all a gift.

When I feel worn and threadbare, these are the things that warm my heart and mend my soul:

Music that shares what I feel.  The smile of a child.  A warm hug.  A good movie to get lost in.  Time with an animal.  A good cry.  One simple act of kindness towards me.  I think God for these gifts, these simple blessings.  And I thank Him so much for where I live!  For the beauty and quiet I can always find here.  It is something that never fails to peel away the stress, let me escape the world and recharge, revive.  Be it the greens of the trees, the wildflowers, the shade, the birds, the song of frogs and crickets, the call of an owl, the stars at night or simply the stillness.  Or a sunset like this:



What is you most basic make-up?  How do you escape?  What soothes your soul or lifts your spirits?

Barbara

Friday, June 23, 2017

#Faith: #TheWordOnWords


"Then Judah stepped forward and said, “O sir, let me say just this one word to you. Be patient with me for a moment, for I know you can doom me in an instant, as though you were Pharaoh himself."

Genesis 44:18, TLB


Last time we looked at the folly of persisting in an argument just to have the last word and the damage it can do not to allow a little time and distance cool the fires of anger.   Today, let's look at how quickly anger and words can damage people and relationships.

In Genesis 44:18, we read the words of Judah when Joseph's brothers were caught leaving Egypt with the money and silver cup Joseph had planted on them. "...I know you can doom me in an instant...."

Unlike Joseph, we don't have the authority of Pharaoh behind our words.  Yet, our words still carry a lot of weight, especially for those they are directed at.  And even to ourselves, as how we are perceived by others comes in large part by what we say and how we say it.

It takes only an instant to become angry, but in that instant we can do irreparable damage to those around us.  Even if what we say in anger does not seem that bad to us, each of us has different sensibilities.  

Pray to be slow to anger. Try withholding comment once you start to feel anger.  Once again, remove yourself from the situation until you are calmer.  It may be that in retrospect it was not that big a deal. Yet, even if it still seems to be a matter you need to address, better to do so with a clear head and a calm demeanor. 

Has angry words or actions ever destroyed a relationship you were in?  Has cruel words ever harmed your sense of self worth or purpose?  Have you uttered things in anger you immediately wished you could take back?

Barbara

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Makes Me Weird Meme - #Flashback

Long, long ago in a land far away, people didn't "blog", they "journaled".   It was a close knit community, called J-Land by those who dwelled there, it's official name on the internet map was:

.

For a season, in late 2005 and early 2006, a meme circulated there. It was fun, simple, and helped everyone see we really are not all that different.  The meme was "What Makes Me Weird".  The person tagged lists five things about themselves that others might consider weird, and then tags five others, asking them to do the same.  I want to see this circulate around Blogger and Wordpress! Please be a sport and play along.


Five Weird Things About Me  πŸ‘€

1.  I prefer to eat my mashed potatoes with a little salt sprinkled on them, no gravy please.  Has to be fresh salt on top, makes no difference how salty they were or weren't on their own.

2.  I can pick up things with my toes and pinch the fire out of you, too!

3.  I have dreamed the answer to problems at work before.

4.  I always sneeze in a sequence of three, one right after the other.

5.  I must have a sheet over my body and  at least some light blanket up to my hips to sleep.

Okay, I admit the list could have been pages long, but I don't want to scare you off.  

Now, for whom I am asking to join me in this: 


Perhaps soon we'll find out how weird they are!πŸ˜‰
Do you share any weird traits with me?  Do you enjoy doing memes from time to time?

Barbara




Sunday, June 11, 2017

#ISawItOnFacebook

   

At first glance, this sounds like something that might make an impact. Upon deeper reflection, most likely not.  It fails on the basis that these males do not yet have a daughter.  Asking them to imagine what is it like: the hopes, dreams, level of protectiveness one feels, still seeing one's little girl where there stands a grown woman, is near impossible.

There may be a few sensitive, imaginative souls out there that could visualize it well enough to be affected by it.   But how many of them would probably already be treating those they dated with respect? Most, I would say.

And what of the girls?  How many toy and tease with a fellow's heart? Or think more about what he can do for them, than him himself?  

Dating should be such a simple, carefree thing!  Guys and gals going out with people they find interesting to get to know them better without pressure or preconceived expectations.  Without game playing or role playing.

Alas, it is often anything but that, at every age and stage.  What of you?  Were/are most of your dates enjoyable and relaxed?  If you could, would you go back and change how and why you dated?  What was your funniest experience?  Worst?  Most memorable?  Oddest?  

I'll get things started by telling you that once I was all dressed up to go honkytonking, complete with my good boots and Petie Pete took me through a briar patch in the drizzling rain to rabbit hunt instead!

Okay, your turn.  Now share!πŸ˜‰

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#Life: Yes, leave a message, but please don't leave a voicemail.

Please enjoy this short clip!



It's no secret we live out in the boonies.  We have a house phone. Our phone allows for people to leave a message.  While not on a separate machine with a tape, it works just the same as Jim's did on the Rockford Files.  In order to hear the message, there is no need to phone anywhere, just press one button and listen.  Pete checks our phone periodically throughout the day for missed calls and messages. I love when messages are like the one Jim had here.  Concise information and enough detail you don't have to call back unless you happen to want to.

Then there is voicemail, which is on every cell phone and many home phone services.  All of these devices that have voicemail, also tell you when you've missed a call.  I hate voicemail!  If I miss a call on my cell and I know you, I am definitely going to call you back.  Unlike the messages, if I want to hear a voicemail, I have to place a call and go through prompts.  Then nine times out of ten I'm going to need/want to call the party back as well.  To top it off, if I am at home, the only way I can place these calls on my cell at the house is to go outside.  Once the voicemail icon pops up on my phone there is no way to know if you have one or ten unless I phone in.  It all just seems like much ado about almost nothing to me and way more trouble than it is worth.

For business purposes, I can see voicemail's benefit.  But I have little use for it in my life.  Most of the younger set I know never even bother to set theirs up and simply just return the missed calls they want to.  I think they have the right idea. πŸ˜‰

What about you, is your voicemail set up on your personal cell phone? If so, do you listen to voicemails or just return the call?  Do you live in an area where all cell functions do not work inside your home?

Barbara In Caneyhead

Friday, June 2, 2017

#Faith: #TheWordonWords


This is what to do,” she said. “Flee to your Uncle Laban in Haran. Stay there with him awhile until your brother’s fury is spent, and he forgets what you have done. Then I will send for you. For why should I be bereaved of both of you in one day?”

Genesis 27:43-45, TLB


Here we go, our first stop in Genesis. This is Rebekah speaking to Jacob after he had tricked Isaac into giving him Esau's blessing and Esau into selling his birthright for a bowl of porridge. Doesn't matter that Esau had some right to be angry....furious with his trickster brother. If they had been in close proximity at this time, there would have probably been a killing, much like Cain and Able. So when confronted with fierce anger directed your way, whether deserved or undeserved, the best thing to do is to make a retreat and give time a chance to cool the fires of passion. Likewise, if you are the one who's anger is heating up, better to distance yourself from the object of your anger until it has subsided.

Yeah, it's hard not to put in that one last comment.....to take that little jab at the one who is ranting at you or angered you, but it is for the best. You'll be guarding yourself from becoming too angry and intense and allow the other person to begin to think more rationally and calmly. Then you can approach them for forgiveness if you did wrong them. Or to find out what was behind their actions and words. It worked for Jacob! Esau was truly happy to have his brother return when he finally did. He had gotten over his anger, gone on with his life and became a successful man in his own right. 

We will probably not have to leave the country or stay away for years. It may take as little or an hour, or sometimes a month or more. Just be in prayer in the meantime as to your actions & intentions, for the other person and what they may be harboring toward you and for the Spirit of Forgiveness to proceed you into your next meeting. 

Do you have a hard time closing your mouth or walking away when angry?  Have you had occasions when you regretted not doing so?   Were you ever taught to "count to ten"?

Barbara

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

#Caneyhead: High School Graduation

I've been overcome with activity lately from our Hannah Bug graduating from high school.  It didn't seem overly busy when I graduated.  When Bubba did ten years ago, things didn't seem to be in a flurry.  But WOW, this one was a continuous stream of activity!  So, without any further ado, here is my gorgeous, bright, funny, caring daughter:


She graduated last Friday evening as a 2017  Texas Foundation Distinguished High Honor Graduate and a member of the National Honor Society.  She loves to read, likes to succeed, respects history, adores little old men, gets along with children, and has a quick wit. She loves the Lord, has a way with animals, likes to deer hunt and can clean what she kills.  She is the epitome of a millennial Texas woman.

After her graduation, her Bubba took her out to eat with his little family.   Then he brought her back to school to be locked in for the night for operation graduation.  My nephew was a chaperone for the event, and said he'd bring her home when it was over at 5:00am. Pete's back was killing him from the bleachers, so we came straight home.

Once home, Pete was in a foul mood.  I have recently been unemployed, and Pete is on a fixed income.  I think his pain and the fact he had no grand gift for his baby girl was eating at him.  Around midnight, his mood suddenly changed and he told me, "I'm going out to see if I can find something, and if I can, you are going to help me with something."  Cryptic.  And I'm exhausted.  Yet, there was a gleam in his eyes that reminded me of Pete twenty years ago.  So, I simply said, okay. He soon came back with a roll of industrial grade reflective tape.  He then told me of his plan.  We were going to make letters out of the tape and stick them to the glass panes on the front of our porch so that when Hannah came home, and the headlights hit it down our long drive, she'd see the message as if in lights.  I loved it!  And loved him for it.  And knew she would, too.

So we commenced to cutting, and would take one or two words worth out at a time.  I'd start peeling the back off, then hand to Pete to place on the glass pane.  We finished right at five in the morning. Too excited to be exhausted, we got in the car and went down the road so we could come back around the curve and see what it was going to look like.  As we started to enter the curve, Pete said there were headlights behind us and to gas it...so I did and pulled into the yard to one side and turned off our lights.  Soon, Clay pulled in and this is what Hannah saw:


It reads "Daddy is proud!  Hannah Hazee, AKA "JR." In the middle is a cross and 2017 and "Thank you Clay." 

It literally looked like part of the Vegas Strip!  Hannah was overjoyed!  She knows how her daddy feels about the old glass pane doors he turned sideways in the front of the porch.  We may never get the tape off.  But then, who cares?  An unforgettable memory was made and that is all that matters.

Did you have any special graduates this year?  What is your favorite graduation memory?

Barbara



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#ISawItOnFacebook



My first thoughts upon reading the little cartoon above, were how true the first sentence is!  Stresses and lack of appreciation have had me daydreaming of running away more than I ever did as a child. In fact I only remember ever thinking of it as a child but once.

As to the rest of it, who hasn't put something in a place and had trouble locating it later?  Keys, glasses, remote controls, phones...are all relatively small, all are often in our hands when we go to change locations or find we need both hands.  So it is easy to place them somewhere unusual  making them hard to locate later.

As to forgetting where one is going; who hasn't been lost in thought while driving and passed up their exit?  Back when our Hannah Bug was in the younger grades, she rode the bus most every day to school. Once in awhile, for one reason or another I'd drop her at school in the morning on my way to work instead.  She'd settle into the car, stick her nose in a book and be totally quiet.  Me being accustomed to being in the car by myself, I found us a mile or two out of town on several occasions before realizing I still had Hannah in the car!  It became a standing joke with us.

Yet, this reminds me of a serious, ugly problem I see happening all around:  older persons being painted with the broad stroke of ageism.

Ageism is unacceptable behavior that occurs as a result of the belief that older people are of less value than younger people."

There is a current commercial for a service to help children help their parents manage their money. The ad literally makes my blood boil! They make the blanket statement that "as we age, we lose the ability to handle money."  Hogwash!  I have personally never known an older individual who couldn't handle their money.  In fact, most budget, plan and decide when to splurge as well or better then they did in their younger years.

I overhear and see many times, things that allude older people don't want to try anything new, be it technology, social media, foods they never ate before, or music of a new type or genre.  Older persons might be a little more selective in what new things they try, but every older person I know is open to some new things, with many mastering them with excitement.

I could give many more examples, but the bottom line is that all people do not age in the same way and at the same rate.   Decline in one area does not mean all of one's faculties are gone.  They have experiences and insights younger people can't have yet.  Just as this new and changing world is giving the younger people a different set of experiences and insights.  Instead of warring and disrespecting, perhaps the generations should try respecting one another and combining a century's worth of living into answers for ourselves and our world.

What's the latest "new" thing you have tried?  Have you experienced ageism directed at you?  Do you you have a problem valuing persons of a generation not of your own?

Barbara

 Please  ! 😍


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Faith: #TheWordonWords




Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

- Phillipians 4:8, KJV



As I had drifted away from Christ in my twenties, I had allowed others to talk however they wanted around me.  I had picked up all the cuss words.  After all, what was really in a word?  Wasn't it more the way in which it was said, the intent?  Along the way, I was using them in comical ways or to calmly make a point.  And when I was angry, oh how well they flowed.  When Christ called me back to Himself in my early thirties, I was in such an angry, unhappy place at the time.  (You can find my Testimony under my Favorites in my sidebar.)


Since the time of my rededication, I have been closer and not as close in my Walk at different times.  But no matter how close, my stumbling block, my problem area, my biggest fight is always controlling my anger and my words.  What words we chose to use do matter!  Matter more than we can imagine or comprehend.  After all, God "spoke" the universe and our world and all that is in it into existence.  And we have John 1:1:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". 


Back when I first started blogging, I went through the Bible reading, studying, reflecting and praying about each and every verse I found that dealt with speech, dealt with being angry, in order to allow the Holy Spirit to work within me to learn to not get angry, to cleanse my speech.  Along the way, I shared my reflections in sort of short devotion.  For various reasons, I am going to be visiting these verses again.  For my sake and the sake of someone I care very much about.  I invite you to join along as I make these available in a new series of posts here.


Barbara


Do you find yourself uttering certain words when you really had no intention to?  Does anger sometimes get the best of you?  Will you join me in aiming for the mark set in Phillipians in the verse above?




  

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Caneyhead: My Handsome Man

Today, I want to talk about Stanley, my handsome man.  Stan the man.  Although Stanley is not a man.  Stanley is an eight year old stud horse and he is my baby.  A big, spoiled, overgrown roan baby.  He was born on Mother's Day of 2009, so Pete "gave" him to me for my present. 


Right before the challenge began this year, one morning when headed out to school, Hannah noticed he was lying down, and did not pop up in response to the coming and goings.  Although it  is true that horse can sleep just fine standing up, Stanley sometimes likes to lay down and have a good full out snooze on his side, looking for all the world like he is dead.  Other times, he'll lay on his stomach with his legs curled up like a foal, just dozing.  But Hannah correctly recognized that this was different. 


Pete & I immediately went out to check on him.  And he did get up, but it was clear he did not want to.  Immediately, we thought colic.  We made sure he had plenty of water and we started making sure he stayed up and moving around.  It became apparent that he was going to start to lay down continually, so Pete and my son took to walking him and keeping him moving for several hours. And yet, still nothing happened, no bowel movement, and still he wanted to lay down. 


At one point a couple of friends came over and helped Pete give him an enema.  That seemed to give him some relief, but still you could tell he was not himself.  We stayed up all night.  We would go and walk him for twenty or thirty minutes and then leave him be for an hour, then back to walking. 


Thankful that he made it to see another day, yet still no good bowel movement and not feeling right.  We finally tracked down a vet that treats horses and makes house calls.  He confirmed that he was in deed in a state of colic, gave him medication to help him with pain and left us a supply for "just in case" because as he said, once they colic, it is more likely they will colic again.  We asked why now after all these years.  He has always been on the same feed, always fed the same way, but recently we had run low on hay and had cut back on it.  Vet said that would do it, especially when a horse eats a "sweet" feed for his grain.  Luckily, I was able to get a bale of the hay we use from my brother-in-law.  Vet said feed him only hay for a week, then slowly get him back up to his feed ration, but suggested we switch him to another, less sweet feed.  He compared it to a person having irritable bowel syndrome and needing more fiber and less of other foods.  Fortunate again, the man we buy Stanley's hay from cut his field for the first time this year that very week!


I am happy to report that Stanley is now a month and a half past his colic episode and back to his ornery, sweet ways. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: #Reflections on the 2017 AtoZ Event

This year was a mixture of the very familiar and the totally new.  Familiar as once again we selected themes, posted each day in accordance to the alphabet, visited blogs that were new to us, commented, linked, shared.  That same sense of fellowship.  The same chance to learn new things, see places we'd never otherwise see, get glimpses into lives all around the world to see for all our differences we have so much in common.  In reality, each and every blog is a unique perspective on the world.  A view, typically from one person and drawn from their knowledge and experiences. 


The new of this year revolved around doing away with one central linky list and replacing it with a separate list for each day's alphabet.  This had it's ups and it's downs.  The largest down simply being that each participant had to go and link up each day.  The only other down I can think of is that it makes it much harder to gauge how many of the blogs you have visited at least once and how many are left to go.  So, for someone determined to visit them all, this would be a drawback.  Since I never make it to all of them, it did not matter for me. 


The upside, of this new approach, from my perspective, vastly outweighed the drawbacks.  For one thing, you never had to worry about arriving at a blog before they had posted for the new day/letter combination.  For another thing, it seemed traffic stayed interspersed more evenly throughout the day instead of all bunched up.  Also, I loved often knowing the topic of the day right in the list!  There was also more opportunity to share on social media without simply repeating same posts.   It was very nice that not once did I go to a blog and find it to not be participating!  Overall, this new approach is a total winner in my book. 


I found so many themes and posts I enjoyed this year!  It seemed more varied, and richer content abounded.  Not, to slight anyone who I visited and enjoyed, I still want to take the time to spotlight those that caught my fancy in a particular manner: 

A. J. Sefton Dark Ages Historical Fiction - A.J. led me on a journey through the places of the dark ages and the events surrounding them. He revealed the history that is known as well as the legend and myth and included breathtaking pictures for our journey.  If King Arthur appeals to you, the Legend of Robin Hood resides in your heart or tales of Vikings stir your blood you will enjoy!

Coach Daddy - I stumbled upon Eli and was mesmerized.  His theme was simply to clean out his idea box of assorted posts.  Each day was a new surprise, yet every entry was delivered with warmth, humor and humility. Visit once and fall in love.

Jingle Jangle Jungle - Mary blogs about music.  For the Challenge she took us back through the 70's with a list of Billboard Magazine's chart toppers.  Since I was 10-19 years old through the decade, I enjoyed hearing songs that still remain on my playlists and those forgotten gems. Even if you didn't live the 70's, they offered some of the best rock ever made.  So roll on over and have a listen.

Josie Two Shoes - Josie weaved magic in six sentences each day about one character in a story entitled "Full Circle".  The theme revolves around a ladies' group and life in a small Midwest town.  Written with warmth, we see women we know reflected in these posts as genuine, warts and all. If you came from, live in or ever wanted to be in a small town you must visit Cottonwood Creek!

Living in the In Between - Christian author, Ronda Werre, explores the the deeds and life of King David's Mighty Men of the Old Testament.  She gleans from the scriptures every morsel of information about these brave, loyal warriors of old.  If you enjoy delving deeper into scripture,  as I do, and exploring in detail the eras of the Bible to make it come alive, you'll like this series!  Even if you simply love action and stories of bravery you'll be at home here.

my morning cup of coffee...  -  Much like Dr. Sam Beckett finds himself leaping into different situations within his own lifetime in Quantum Leap, Debby leaps us around to different events of the Baby Boom years, essentially from the mid forties to the mid sixties.  Relive memories on this ride or gain a new perspective on your parents or grandparents through these articles.

If Only I Had a Time Machine -  Maryann revealed her creative side when she chose the lyrics to Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" for her theme. With each letter, she explores the historical references named in the song!  A truly unique way to explore history and a great way to get the whole idea of the song.

Science Ladybug -  Being a science teacher herself, Ann is qualified to lead us through exploring the difference between opinion and scientific fact.  She clarifies things for us, reminds us of things we forgot and does it without boring us!  After all, her blog subtitle is "keeping science fun", which she does.

The Old Shelter - Sarah takes us by the hand and leads us through the dark, intriguing and dangerous world of film noir where the femme fatale and damaged heroes live.  Step in and explore the mark world war and the changing roles of men and women made on Hollywood film and America.

Ya Gotta Laugh About It - Calling her blog an electronic journal, Rhondi simply writes about her life and her experiences.  She does it with an honesty and sense of optimism you grow to love.  If you never have, you must go meet this glass half full Canadian girl.

Some of these I have already read every post and others I am going back to to finish.  All are on my follow list.

What did you think of the new way of doing things?  Are any of my picks also on your list?  Is there anything you want to recommend to me?

Barbara



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

I Saw it on Facebook

 

I can't say that I have ever spent much time worrying about people who didn't seem to like me.  Yes, when I was a child, I was more sensitive to that.  There have also been a few times along the way that I've been surprised by realizing someone did not like me.  I liked someone fine and thought they liked me, as well, only to discover in some abrupt or unexpected way that I was wrong.  I'm not saying it doesn't sting.  Sure it stings!  I think all rejection stings at least a little.
I'm just saying that I don't spend loads of time resenting them not liking me, or feeling sorry for me that they don't like me or even wondering why they don't like me. 

Still, if I do have a hunch or know for sure the "why", I'm not an idiot.  I think about it a little, if only to determine if it means I have been insufficient in some way as a friend.  Occasionally, you can see something in yourself you'd like to change, if for no other reason so as to be a better person, maybe a better friend the next time. Certainly, if no one seems to like a person at all, then it is quite likely that person needs to make some major changes in their attitudes and actions.
Many times, more often I think, it is about nothing one can really change.  Or more specifically, about something I wouldn't even want to change.  What I mean is, we all have distinct personalities, likes and dislikes.  Sometimes you meet someone and things just "click" with them.  You find you share so much of the same interests and viewpoints.  You find their humor delightful, they find you to be a good listener.  Things like that.  Sometimes, that chemistry just doesn't exist between two people, even try as they might.  Then there are those who are snobbish or have some preconceived idea of who and what all their friends should be.  These people aren't worth the time it takes to forget them.  And there are the ones who dream up ideas and reasons to be jealous or resentful of you.  They are trapped in a cycle of never really knowing or appreciating anyone. 
The people we love, many times can be some of the folks we like the most.  Some may not be.  But an investment into any relationship where love abounds is a good, solid investment.  Love forgives a multitude of sins.  Love joins us  in our sorrows, and rejoices with us in our wins. 
Do you find yourself worrying yourself sick when someone doesn't like you?  Have you ever seen someone had a good reason for not liking you? 
Barbara 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Zamzar


Okay, so the letter Z is hard.  I have no real views on zebras or zithers.  So, I'm going to simply tell you my favorite free, quick easy file conversion online app.  That would be Zamzar.  I've used it many times, always safely, always with quick results sent right to my email.  I have never found a file I wanted to convert I could not upload, nor a file type I wanted to convert it to, that Zamzar could not provide.  So, if you find yourself in need of file conversion, I recommend them.


This is not a paid endorsement nor a solicited review.  Simply it is my perspective.


Do you mind recommending products and programs you use and like to others without compensation?  Do you ever do honest reviews
for compensation?  Have you needed a file converted before? 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Yielding

I was going to write about phYchics today, but changed my mind.  For one thing, I've mentioned my thoughts and feelings on this before.  No need to go there again.  So, I'm going to talk about yielding. 

Everyone has to yield at some point, to someone or something.  We may yield to our spouse's idea about where to go on vacation, we may yield the lead in a conversation to someone, we may yield ourselves to God for His will and His way in our lives.  A parent may yield and let a child do something for the 1st time.  Yes, we all end up yielding somewhere along the line.


Yet, yielding can be scary.  Once you yield, you are not in total control.  So, even though you know you avoided chaos by yielding, you can feel deprived, scared, resentful.  Assuming we made a good choice initially in what we yielded and to whom, to yield can be freeing, can build trust between two persons, can expand your mind, your circumstances, your experience. 

To refuse to yield when the circumstance calls for it, can lead to problems, breakage, discord, unrealized possibilities.  Sometimes we just have to let our pride down a little.  We have to remember that we are not "in this" alone. 

What are your thoughts on yielding?  Do you find it hard sometimes?  Do you recall a time you are thankful you did yield?

Barbara

Friday, April 28, 2017

#WATWB - Good News


While I was visiting blogs for the #AtoZChallenge, I happened to drop by Michelle's Writer in Transit blog.  There I discovered the We Are The World Blogfest.  This blogfest is all about sharing good news: uplifting stories of compassion, resilience and positivity.  As I have already shared in my post regarding news, I feel there is too much circulating through all types of media that highlights the negatives of the world.  What an opportunity to share some light, joy, peace and understanding this bloghop is!  So, I climbed aboard.

For my first entry into this undertaking, I'm sharing three stories gleaned locally that made me feel good.  I hope it makes you feel better, too, to see people thinking of others.

First up, a local business helps an army vet make SE Texas his home!

 Next, I heard of this group of young ladies who went the extra mile to help girls in neighboring LA.

Last, but not least of these, we see women reaching out to encourage teen girls.

I hope these little stories of big kindness lighten your load today.

What about you, have you hears any good news lately?  Join us next month on the last Friday, May 26th!



#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: X-rated


Off and on throughout my life, I've been confronted with X-rated materials.  A boyfriend's family had it on once when I was there.  At a party for work, where people thought it would be fun to see Debbie Does Dallas.  Pornographic magazines in vehicles, etc. 

I honestly don't see the allure of it.  I know there are folks who do enjoy it and many who crave it, but I care nothing for it.  Even aside from my faith and the fact that it feels "wrong", I have no personal interest in it. 

To me, what I have seen and heard of it, it reduces the people involved down to the level of animals.  We have horses, dogs, cats, chickens, hogs.  The animals will mate any time, any where and don't care who watches.  That's because it is all instinct, hormones and scents for them.  Often times, if you are breeding, say two horses, it is best to watch, so that you know for sure the breeding has taken place and to be on hand in case something goes haywire.  I don't want any part of watching two people engage in sex.  To me, It's a private, intimate experience.

That's my thoughts on the subject, what are yours?

Barbara


Thursday, April 27, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Waste

"Waste not, want not." is a phrase I grew up with.  Not necessarily the hearing of it, but always the example of it.  Be it passing on clothing to someone in need or saving leftovers after a meal.  Switching off lights not in use, drawing only the amount of water required to bath in, having a full load of clothes before you wash, not to nickle and dime your money away on unnecessary items.

I could go on and on and on.  I allow myself more luxuries than my parents did.  I usually take quick showers, so when I do bathe, I fill the tub up and make it an event.  I leave a small flouresent  light on over the kitchen sink from dark to bedtime, so we can find our way in easily and a low wattage hall light on at the back of the living room for going to the bedroom.

But it sickens me the waste I see here, there and yonder.  People who throw clothes out as garbage even when they are not stained or torn.  Folks in social settings who help their plates to overflowing and then not finish half of it.  It truly irritates me.  I seldom if every say anything.  Usually it is not my place to.  But, I do find I esteem those individuals a little less after seeing it. 

How wasteful would you say you are?  Does seeing the wastefulness of others upset you?  If you have seen someone acting this way, does it change your view of them?  

Barbara

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#AtoZChallege Bonus: Fried Hotwater Cornbread Recipe

You asked for it, you got it!  Here's my hotwater cornbread recipe.  Keep in mind, I use all purpose flour and cornmeal, not the kind with leavening added. You can use white or yellow meal.  We usually use yellow, but occasionally we crave white.  They do have a slightly different flavor.

You will need:  mixing bowl, small pot, skillet that handles high heat well, your favorite oil for frying, cornmeal, flour, salt and water.

Start by putting two cups of water on to boil.  While your water is heating, mix together:
                 1 cup cornmeal
                1/3 cup flour
                 1 teaspoon salt

When the water is boiling, pour a small amount into your mixture.  Stir.  Pour a little more.  Stir.  Keep adding and stirring until the mixture is good and moist and appearing smooth, but not soupy.  You will not need all the water!

Let mixture set while you put about an inch of oil in your skillet.  Turn on high heat.  When the oil is good and hot (I put one or two drops of water in mine when it first starts getting hot and listen for a quick popping sound.), wet hands with cool water, put about a heaping spoonful (I use the tablespoon from my silverware) into your hand and pat into a 1/2 thick patty.  Slip into grease. Repeat.  Fry for about 7 minutes or until bottom is light golden brown, flip and cook about 3 more minutes.  Take up, drain, and lay on paper towels.  This makes eight patties and I cook in two batches.  Plenty for 3-5 people.  If you want more or less, just keep the ratio 3:1 and adjust salt accordingly.

Cornbread is best when eaten hot, so I always cook it last.  It goes excellently with country style veggies, cooked greens and beans.   Hubby likes leftover with fried eggs.  You can add crackling pieces at the same time as the hot water.  It is also good to stir in chow-chow or add some diced pickled peppers.  Some folks use only cornmeal, no flour.  And I have  SIL who uses the self-rising cornmeal with good result.

Tonight we had fresh pork ham steak cooked down in Pioneer brown gravy, purple hull peas with our fresh smoked bacon, rice, fried okra and fried cornbread.  I usually give us only one fried food a meal, but I splurge every now and then. Say what you want, but our good cholesterol is probably higher than yours, and our bad is just barely over the limit.

That's all for Country Redneck Cooking 101.

Tonight's Cornbread

Barbara


#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Vegetables

I don't want to give the wrong impression, I am not a vegetarian by a long shot and have no interest in being one.  I enjoy a wide variety of meats cooked a lot of ways.  I'm simply saying that I find that with the right vegetables, in the right combination and a few pieces of fresh fried hotwater cornbread, I can happily make a meal! 

Take for instance, some squash and onion simmered down with salt &
pepper or okra and tomatoes simmered down with a touch of cumin and chili powder.  Have a few peas on the side.  Wonderful!

What about you?  Are you like my hubby and insist there must be a meat with every meal?  Can you be happy with just vegetables?  Have you ever had hotwater cornbread?  What is one of your favorite vegetable dishes?

Barbara

P. S. - Due to the interest level, my recipe for fried hotwater cornbread will soon follow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Underwear

Okay, underwear is an odd topic.  Butt But, pardon me, while I explore the topic and lay my views on you. 

I am pro underwear.  After working for a uniform rental company for 12 years, I can attest that you can tell who does and doesn't use underwear.  Those who go commando have garments develop what is referred to as crotch rot.  The garments simply wear out in the crotch area. 

Don't get me wrong, I do understand the freedom of being under garmentless.  I loved to skinny dip in our pool.  I sleep naked.  But in every day life, one needs an undergarment to absorb moisture, to keep your clothes out of the cracks and crannies. 

I understand the desire for sexy, silky, alluring underwear.  That can be fun!  In the right place, at the right time, but for plain old every day adventure, nothing beats breathable, bleachable cotton.  And now days you can get it in all shades, prints, textures, styles.  It's a beautiful thing.

And while we are on the subject, who in the world actually enjoys wearing thongs?!  That's like having a continual wedgie!  I've got a pair or two that go with little gowns for romantic evenings, but you could not pay me enough money to wear one all day long.
 

So, am I a disjointed old fuddie-duddie, or do you share my underwear observations?  Have you gone commando?

Barbara

Monday, April 24, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Telephone Spam

There is very little more abhorrent than telephone spam!  Email spam is bad enough, but at least it doesn't interrupt your days at unexpected moments.  Most of it ends up quietly in your spam folder.  The few that get through are pretty obvious.  But telephone spam is an intrusion into your home.  It would be like someone just walking in your front door unannounced and starting a conversation with you, or a sales pitch or a swindle. 

I always keep all of our numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.  And for most years, this has worked amazingly well.  But as of late, with the advent of automatic dialers and recorded messages that are interactive, the phone, some days, seems to ring off the wall! 

I go to many websites and report the numbers.  We have got to where we don't even answer a call from outside our area code.  We do not interact with these intruders. 

The most frequent I have blocked with my carrier, but still, the number that can be blocked is so short and the quantity of numbers they can generate are so many! 

Our house phone was on the blink for a couple of days due to recent bad weather.  Wonderful!  Loved it! 

Have you registered your phones?  Do you think telephone spam should be aggressively sought out and stopped? 


Barbara



Saturday, April 22, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Skillets

There are so many newfangled types of kitchen ware out there.  TV is ripe with a new can't do without skillet, pan, or cooking system each and every week.  Some do well enough, some are just junk. 

For my money, I still prefer my wonderful cast iron skillets for most every skillet need.  They can take the high temps or simmer things on low for long periods.  Fewer fiascoes with sticking, scorching, etc.  And clean up is divine!  Simply empty skillet, put about an inch of water in it, set on high burner, when water comes to boil scour and voila!  Wipe dry, set on burner you just had on, for a minute.  Set off and if it looks like it needs it, rub a drop or two of oil all over the inside. 

I'm the same way about my old club aluminum pots.  They are perfect for cooking rice, boiling fudge, cooking a custard.  I do like my stainless steel for some other tasks, steaming veggies, boiling eggs, etc.  But by and large, I'll reach for my club aluminum 8 out of 10 times.

And you, what is your favorite cookware?  Do you have any cast iron or club aluminum?

Barbara


Friday, April 21, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Religion vs Relationship

There is always much ado about religion.  And in Christianity alone, there are many, many denominations.  I call myself a Christian, because I believe in Christ and try to follow Christ.  I have a denomination that teaches doctrine most in line with what I believe, what my heart, head and soul hears when I study God's word.  I am a member of and attend one church in that denomination.  It is a place for me to worship my God, my Savior.  A place for God to speak to me through his servant.  A place to fellowship with other like minded Christians. 

But my religion didn't save me, and it has not changed me.  The denomination I agree with and the church I belong to can give me help, instruction, support....many things, but neither did it save, nor effect any true change in me. 

Only the personal, real relationship that I share with my Lord and Savior can and does that.  Nothing and no one can speak to my heart and soul like God my Creator through His Word and His Spirit. 

If you have looked at denominations or attended churches and felt empty or lost or disillusioned, I recommend getting with the Source, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  Start with the Book of John in the New Testament.  Once you give yourself to Christ, once you start that relationship, then He can guide you to the place where you can be nourished and where you can serve. 

Are your eyes on Christ or on man?  Do you let hypocrites keep you from God? Are you only going through the motions or do you really know Christ?  Is daily Bible study and prayer part of your life?


Barbara


Thursday, April 20, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Quiet

When I was a child, I'd often lay in the lush green grass in the shade and stare up at the clouds slipping by.  Playing with flowers and doodle bugs.  Petting my dog. 

As I became a teen, I wanted my music on in my room, even when I studied.  I wanted music playing in my car, every time I hit the road. 

When I became a married adult, we seemed to have music on outside, in our cars, TV or music in the house.  There were children's toys with sounds.  Always a cacophony of sound. 

Somewhere in my thirties, I began to treasure the time at deer camp when nothing was playing, there was just the crackle of the fire and sounds of scurrying animals, the wind in the pines. 

Fast forwarding to these past few years, I find I often ride down the road for long distances or even a whole trip without even turning on the radio.  At home, if I am the only one up, I often read, or fiddle on the computer, work around the house, etc. without ever turning on anything. 

I thank God I live somewhere I can still slip outside and often only hear nature sounds.  Don't get me wrong, I still love my music when I am in the mood for it.  I have TV shows I definitely don't want to miss.  But, I seem to have come full circle in my life, to a point where I can treasure and value quiet just as much.



What about you, do you use a background noise or prefer quiet?  Has your preferences changed at times? 


Barbara

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Pretenders & Posers

Our simple little country road has been plagued by pretenders of late.  People in trucks who apparently have never learned to drive in real mud, or whose truck is too wimpy to drive in real mud.  People who think it is something to hang one side of their truck over into the ditch after a rain and spin all they can.  Digging deep ruts on each side of the road.  Spraying their trucks with mud so they can drive them down the other roads and feel like a somebody.  Wanting to make people believe they have been on a big mudding adventure out in the woods somewhere.  To feel like a big man. 

They are pretenders, fakes.  Disrespectful law breakers and county property damagers.  See for yourself.





Most folks around these parts have been mudding.  Really mudding.  In a hunting club, down a pipeline or right of way.  Off the road entirely.  Where it matters, where it counts.  It can be a lot of fun.  This however, is overgrown, naughty children out of control.

Have you ever encountered similar problems?

Barbara.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: Office Politics


I am at a total loss when it comes to office politics.  I was taught to mean what you say and say what you mean, but say it respectfully if at all possible.   I was taught to do your job and do it well.  To assist others around you, but at the same time stand up for yourself if necessary. 

Fortunately, most of the positions I have held, those I worked for and with seemed to operate in this same way.  But there have been a couple of places I have worked where nothing was ever as it seemed.  Downright cloak and dagger at times; and at others childish, spiteful games and strategies.


I cannot comprehend what this offers a person or why a business would choose to allow this type of stuff to go on.  I can see no benefit to the business or it's operation by this.

But, then again, I am not a "game" player or a schemer or user in other areas of my life either. 

Have you worked for places where this happens?  Has it directly effected you?  Have you practiced these methods yourself, and what was the outcome?

Barbara

Monday, April 17, 2017

#AtoZChallenge - Perspectives: News

After 9/11, I became an avid news watcher.  World news, national news.  That continued for several years.  Then, suddenly, I just burnt out on it.  About the same time, I began to notice that when I saw local news that was about some tragic, untimely death of a young person, I'd feel it, mourn it for days afterward.  The same thing would happen if I saw where some working man who was a father died in a job related accident or such.   I can't even stand to hear other people talking about such as this that they saw on the news.

It did not take long for me to decide that I just couldn't handle it.  Didn't need these feelings in my life and disrupting my days.  I swore off all news, all together.  Pete has long had to watch the local news away from me.  Only recently, I have begun to sample some world news and such.

It's odd, and I don't entirely understand it.  I can hear about a large scale catastrophe and handle that in stride.  Stop to say a prayer for those affected and move on.  The burning hurt and relentless concern only comes into play with individual losses and untimely deaths.  I suppose that somehow I internalize it as if it happened to one of mine. 

What about you, how much news do you watch?  Do any stories you hear effect you on a deeply personal level? 

Barbara
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