Saturday, December 29, 2007


It has taken a long time for me to get around to writing about my sister Sarah here.  Perhaps I was afraid I couldn't do her justice.  Maybe a fear I couldn't make her real enough to those who read it.  But through this holiday season she has been on my mind more than little bit.  So now I think it is time to try.  Allow me to tell you about my sissy. 

Mother had been married before Daddy.  She had two beautiful little girls in the 40's.  The oldest was Edna.  The younger was Sarah.  Most of their growing up years it was just them.  Then in 1959 mother wed Daddy.  And in 1960 they were blessed with me.  Well, they at least thought I was a blessing. 

Edna and Sarah were mortified that mother might breast feed me, so I was a bottle baby.  And the two of them played a roll in picking my name; Barbara Lynn.  It was quickly shortened to Barbie.  My earliest memories of Sarah involve a head full of curls and many giggles.  She loved to have fun.  She danced on the edge of being bad, but never crossed over. 

There are memories of rides in automobiles with her and her friends.  The scent of cigarettes, hairspray and open beer bottles mingling.  Sarah taught me to scream much to mother's chagrin.  She'd lock me in the bathroom closet to hear me scream.  But never let it go too long. 

Somewhere before I reached Hannah's age, she had married her high school sweetheart, Eddie and begun a family of her own.  I remember being so jealous over that new baby's attention.  (Sorry Holly)  But Sarah found ways to make it okay, showing me how to fold the clothe diapers and finding other ways to involve me with my young niece's care. 

Sarah is the one I remember baking cookies with.  Rolling out dough.  Cutting shapes.  Decorating.  Eating plenty of raw dough.  Giggling.  She's the one that taught me to put peanuts in my coke.

Sarah taught me to fly a kite in the jenny's pasture beside our house on Cook's road.  She drew a horse on my chalk board so lifelike and real, it's weeks before I erase it. She's the one who showed me to hunt for four leaf clovers and make a daisy chain at her and Eddie's little rent house by the train tracks.  Heaven Scent perfume lingering in the air.

Everything was beautiful to Sarah.  Joy abounded in creation and creatures.  She thought if she could touch a cloud it would feel like cotton candy.  She had a way with animals.  Having them trust her.  Mending them when they were hurt.   I think Hannah has it, too. 

I remember trips to sand bars with Sarah.  Swimming.  Picnicking. Swinging high, so very high on an old rope swing.  Sarah also always knew where the best hamburgers and french fries could be found.  And great songs on the juke box.  "Me and you and a dog named Boo"  "Big Blue Diamond" 

As an adolescent that was sometimes feeling chunky and oh, not so cool Sarah found ways to make me feel special.   Outfits she whipped out by hand.  Perfume.  I think perhaps she was the first person in the family who began to try to treat me as an adult.  Let me stay with her and "see" my boyfriend who lived not far from them. 

High school came for me.  I seem to be more and more busy.  Sarah's life is too.  There is a handsome young son now, Clay.  Sarah works and still finds time to do a thousand mama and wife things.  Her van has a bumper sticker about a women's place is at home and she should go there right after work.  I baby sit some for her in the summer's.  I can't believe she allowed me to care for her children.  All I ever knew of children before mine, was the time I spent with hers. 

The women folk gathering over at Sarah's house to watch an Elvis movie while the men gathered elsewhere to watch Monday night football.

She was left handed, but was known at work for being able to run the calculator with her right hand and copy down the results with her left.  She rode horses with Eddie.  She sewed with or without a pattern.  She was known for sleep walking on occasion and claimed to have sleep driven at least once. 

I graduate high school and go on to college in Nacogdoches.  Sarah and I exchange some letters.  But Edna is the letter writer.  Sarah prefers to catch me on the phone.  Daddy is gone.  Mother has met Polk, Jr. and plans are made for their wedding.

Sarah puts together an idea to take Mother to the Palace in Beaumont to see Conway Twitty for a "bachelorette" party.  Sarah's van packed to capacity with women of all ages.  All linked together one way or another.  On the way down there, I had such an over whelming sense of foreboding.  And it centered around Sarah.  I closed my eyes and silently prayed (and I wasn't all that spiritual then folks) "no Lord.  Not here, not now.  Too many mother's.  Too many lives changed." 

We proceeded to have a wonderful time at the concert.  Mama acted like a teenager when Conway walked by our table in the steak house headed to his private room.  I swear I think she almost swooned.  We all arrived home safely.  The wedding is fast approaching.  Not another thought did I give to my strange feelings that night.

Then one night I am awakened by Mama.  It seems Sarah and Eddie had been out to eat.  They had come home and Sarah thought she needed to tend to a load of clothes out in her laundry room near the house.  She had stepped out the door and down the steps and been bitten by a copper head.  Eddie killed the snake and had her at the hospital.  Polk was taking Mama there.  No need to worry. 

And one moment Sarah was laughing and joking with those in the ER.  And the next she was gone.  Differing opinions of just what happened.  The snake venom?  Perhaps she didn't need the anti-venom?  Perhaps she was allergic?  Perhaps something from the scarlet fever she had as a child caused it?

Does it matter?  Sarah was gone.  Lives forever changed.  She was in her thirties.  I've already out lived her by more than 10 years!

I saw her once more, in a dream.  We were at her house.  She was trying to leave.  I was trying to stop her.  She was trying to reassure me that things here would be alright.  I was left with the impression she was with the baby she miscarried in between Holly and Clay.

But you're in my thoughts Sarah.  You're still sitting on one leg tucked beneath you, sunglasses perched atop your head.  Hand around a mason jar full of ice water.  You are ageless and timeless and will always be with me.    


Precious gifs by Emma.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What's Cooking at Nat's?

What's cookin' you ask?  Nat graciously invited me to do an entry over at Interface.  Go see. 

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Real Gift


There He is in the manger....resting in Mary's arms.  The Original.  The Real Christmas Present.  Sent by the loving and merciful Father God to all His children.  To all mankind.

Have you opened your heart and received your Christmas gift from God?  It's easy to open, just pray to receive the Christ in your heart and the fullness of His present of love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.


              A very Merry and Blessed Christmas to one and all!


Beautiful graphics by SugarShackKeepsakes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Was Surprised, So I Know You Will Be!

So the other day I was goofing around and checking out my own tags at technorati just to see who and when had used the tags I had used.  Then I saw some other little linky button thing that I didn't know what it was.  Of course I clicked it.  It took me to some list of people who had linked to my journal. 

Okay, most of them were people I knew and I remembered the entry they had done and why they had linked to me.  Some were merely because they had me listed in their sidebar.  But I noticed one that I didn't recognize, and the name intrigued me:  The Bayou

So, (Mrs. Lindsey, my 6th grade English teacher is rolling over in her grave as I am starting so many sentences with prepositions.  She once told me that I had a flare for writing, but would have to have a full time person to check my spelling and such.  She had no clue that spell check was coming. ) Where was I?  Oh!!

So, I clicked that link to see what was what.  There was an entry that was informative and humorous about where is mile marker zero.  At the end of the entry, the author had a list of Ten Texas Blogs You Should Read Today.  Here's the surprise part, Life & Faith in Caneyhead was one of them!!

So, now I am really, really curious.  Who is this Gator and what kind of blog is this?  Turns out that the Bayou is one of several blogs associated with the Beaumont Enterprise newspaper.   We're just 33.5 miles NE of Beaumont up here in the woods.  Heck, my job is in Beaumont!

Well, there you have it.  Aren't you just as surprised as I am?  How neat!  How awesome!   


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bear or Beara

Tom Bear Stutts, or so I was told in my youth.  According to the things I remember Daddy telling me his father was part Indian.  At one point he served as the sheriff in the rural county they lived and farmed cotton in.  He passed away of natural causes and then Daddy had to leave school in the 9th grade to begin to work and help support the 14 children in the family.  Daddy wasn't the oldest, but one of the older ones.  These are the things I was told across the years.  These are the things I grew up thinking were true little tidbits about my long gone grandfather. 
It should also be noted, that my father and his family lived next to the Alabama Coushatta Indian Reservation.  I remember several family reunions at the old cemetery when their choir would come in and sing stirring gospel songs under the roof of that old wood frame church.  Once Daddy took me to the Indian Reservation.  We toured like everyone else, except for one strange occurrence; several old Indians greeted Daddy warmly and called him Bill.  Well, Bill is nothing like Clayon so I couldn't understand it.  Daddy just said that was what they called him.
I also recall going back to where the old home place had been with my Daddy once.  He took me to visit a very old woman, half blind, named Cordie.  She was so excited when she figured out who we were!  She had been a neighbor and perhaps even some sort of relative.  He showed me the little old falling down house where a man who didn't have legs had lived.  Daddy said that man went everywhere anyone else would go on his hands.  Just swing his torso along. 
Now, Daddy never recounted much at all about the war with me.  I know he was infantry.  I know he served in Europe.  He was private first class.  I know he brought back moneyfrom all over.  Had been collecting for years.  He'd occasionally throw out a phrase in German, especially if we were watching an old war movie.  He would say it was really very easy to learn, worked a lot like English.  When the movie about the Battle of the Budge would play on TV, we'd watch.  He'd get rather excited saying how this part was exactly as it was and that part just wasn't real. 
I remember jokes over the years about the Stutz Bearcat.  An old make of car.  Daddy said that was the German spelling of Stutts.  Sounded the same as our name, but spelled differently. 
Now, many years later Bubba and I drove to attend the funeral of my dear aunt Meryl.  Daddy's sister, R. A., was still alive and there but definitely not herself any more.  Also assorted older cousins of mine.  Among them, Aunt Meryl's son Peanut.  (Another story down through the years was that Meryl's first husband, Peanut's daddy, had been a gangster.  Not a rap star, a real gangster.)  After the services we were walking around the cemetery looking at tombstones and I was sharing with Bubba what I could recall of each person.  My grandmother who always grew lots of roses, had a kitchen full of food, an apron on, and arms out to hug you.  Uncle Peara, who always had plenty of Borden's Dutch Chocolate milk on hand when I'd visit.  Who's wife, Elizabeth, took me downtown one fine day to the drugstore and bought me my Wa Hoo board and marbles.  (I still have it.  Play with the kids on it.)
Then we are in front of my grandfather's grave.  Tom Beara Stutts it says on the headstone.  I was starting to tell Bubba the tiny bit I had been told over the years, when Peanut come alongside of us.  I stop and ask him about the spelling.  Daddy had taught me, Bear.  He said, no it was Beara.  A German name.  I asked how much German and how much Indian was he.  Peanut, who has done much family tree work, said he was all German.
I was dumbfounded! Flabbergasted! Embarrassed!  My universe rocked.  How could this be?!  Peanuts facts were squewed!!  And we went on to discuss how Daddy loved to tell a tall tale.  But, no, this wasn't conversation from those silly times, this was "tell me something" Daddy talks.  I remember Daddy spelling out the names for Mama and her writing them on paper, storing them in her jewelry box. 
I don't know what is what anymore.  Don't know where to begin.  I pushed it back for some time, out of my thoughts.  But here lately it has surfaced again.  I want to know.  To know what to pass on.  But there is hardly anyone alive anymore I can trust to ask.  Peanut had said he'd send me copies of everything he had on the family.  But it never came. 
And as bad as I want to know who Tom really was, I want even more to understand why Daddy never once in 16 years mentioned any other alternative.  Did he see things in the war that made him want to distance himself from any link to the Germans?  I know he told me how the infantry walked in front of the tanks spaced so far apart, so if one man got on a land mine, hopefully only one man would be lost....not several in tank.  But he always seemed so well adjusted.  So over it all.    Was he somehow honestly mistaken about his own father?  Or did he just think him being anIndian was more romantic a tale for his daughter?  Did he die before he could straighten it out?  Was our family name ever spelled Stutz?  If so, when did it change and why?  Texas is known for many large German communities.  There should have been no persecution here.  So many questions.  So few answers.
Well, one mystery is finally solved from all this;  why I craved sauerkraut and wieners through both my pregnancies, though I almost never touch the stuff any other time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Little Sis

Two years ago I met a young woman online.  Lisa was in her early twenties, living at home.  She was relatively new to Christ, but she managed on her own to go to church regularly. 
Lisa was timid, yet kind and friendly.  We started IM'ing back and forth fairly often.  Little by little I learned more of the hard road she had traveled in her young life.  And little by little I realized how strong she was to stand for Christ more or less alone in her world.  I admired her resolve.  I loved her heart.  I have never lay eyes upon her or heard her voice, but Christ gave me a little sister in little sis in Christ. 
She has recently joined us here in J-land.  And in a big sister fashion, I emailed a few of you to go by and make her feel welcomed.  What I didn't realize is that those I were sending to minister to her, were being the ones ministered to!  I knew she has some talent for writing.  I did not know the depth of the gift God had given her for sharing her journey in such a fresh, new way and with so much of her within it.
I had snagged this beautiful graphic by Donna, many moons ago.  The dove spoke to me of the Holy Spirit.  The first definition of peace spoke to me of the peace that passes understanding;  God's imparted peace.  Somehow, it just fits to finally use it here, on this entry. 
Treat yourself to a blessing.  Go visit my Lil' Sis:   My Innermost Being

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Need to Share this with you, friends.

It's a cold grey day here, my friends.


I feel stuck in side. 


Can't get motivated to do something useful.


I'm bored.


Need to feel young.



Need to have fun!


Need a smile and a laugh.





I'm starting a J-Land snowball fight!!!!


If you want to play; snag, post and link.  ;o)


Sunday, November 18, 2007


The old expression is the Third time is a charm.  Let's hope so.  This is the third time I have started today's entry.  Too many of the folks that made the holiday's what they were are gone on to the Master's Table.  All Pete has dwelt on for years is being at deer camp this week.  So, while I'll say it is nothing I look forward to expectantly or get excited about anymore, in my heart I am still thankful. 
Thankful that I know my Lord and Savior and for his Mercy, Grace and Love.
Thankful for my grumpy old man.  ;o)  Who wouldn't be grumpy after the year he has had with his health? 
Thankful for a smart, handsome son who is kicking and struggling to become his own man.  In many ways he is doing this well.  In others not so well.  But I am proud of him!  So many today don't even seem to try to become their own man, but just coast through these all important years on the coattails of others. 
Thankful for a smart, beautiful little girl.  Who is warm and caring.  Artistic and creative.  She takes pride in doing well. 
Thankful for our home.  It's not fancy.  It's plain.  It's simple.  It's cluttered and a little dirty.  But it's comfortable.  And it's warm.  It's removed enough from the world to be quiet and peaceful where we are.  Perhaps that is why I have all but lost all interest in the deer camp.  Here I don't need to get away from passing cars and systems blaring.
Thankful for my job.  I know some may think I am crazy staying with my part-time job with Pete not working any to speak of this past year.  But I know my job.  I do it fairly well.  The part-time part gives me the flexibility I often need.  And I am able to make enough hours to almost meet our needs money wise.   And for the most part, the people around me there are friendly and kind.  
Thankful for caring, kind people along the way.   Because frankly, if it weren't for them sometimes we just wouldn't make it.  Wouldn't have what we had to when we had to.  May God bless them for their kindness! 
Thankful for wonderful programs that help, even when people are trying to help themselves.  Chip and Medicaid that have covered my children and kept them healthy.  The Christian Care center in town, who helps so many in so many ways; food, clothes, utilities, getting prescriptions filled.  Thankful for the meals programs in the schools that make sure the kids always have a breakfast or lunch without any thought or worry.  Thankful for AT&T's lifeline program, that provides basic phone service at drastically reduced rates, that no one be without what has become a necessity.  Thankful for a clinic that takes patients on a sliding scale based on income.  Yes, it has it's snags and problems, but getting the cash together to go other places would be a bigger problem.   Thankful for Wal*Mart's $4.00 drug program.  
Thankful for extended family and friends.  Sometimes they bring drama into our lives, but life would be rather uneventful without them.
Thankful that somehow God always gives me the strength I need for the day.  I never get everything done, but by his grace I get what has to be done and sometimes a little more.  
Thankful for Christian friends, sisters in the Lord.  In my church, here online.  You fill me of a sense of a place to fall, so to speak.  A knowledge that there is always someone to turn to, someone to talk to, someone to pray with me.  
Many other small things to be thankful for!  A good rain last night.  The touch of a kitten.  Fresh eggs in the yard.  A good sleep.  A warm shower.  Too many to mention.  
I work Monday - Wednesday.  Will have a meal at work.  Will go to the camp on Thursday to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Weather forecast shows it might be a mess, but it'll be our mess and we'll be together.  And there is always home to come back to and get out of the mess. 
I pray for each of you my friends in J-land, a warm and happy Thanksgiving.  I pray God will open your eyes to the many blessings that surround you.  No matter your circumstance, they are there!  Don't dwell on what you don't have.  What if the pilgrims had done that?  I'm sure there was a long list of things they missed.  Things they had wished were different.  But they gathered together and gave thanks for what they did have!  And as they did so, I'm sure it fueled their hearts with hope for the future.  May yours be fueled as well! 
And thanks to Sugar at SugarShackKeepsakes for the beautiful graphics!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

That None Should Forget

The skeptics and the cynics were questioning the sacrifice made in the war.  They asked the veteran and hero, "What did it get you?"  and "What was there in it for you?".  To which he replied of that kind, "The thing they forget is that liberty and freedom and democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and stop. Liberty and freedom and democracy are prizes awarded only to those peoples who fight to win them and then keep fighting eternally to hold them.
This could be today.  Could've been after the Gulf War.  Could've been after Vietnam or Korea.  But this was after the Great War; WWI.  This was veteran was Sergeant York, the most highly decorated veteran of WWI.  If you don't know his story, there is a wonderful old movie you can rent or catch on satellite that tells his tale. 
In his address on Armistice Day, 1941 President Franklin D. Roosevelt recounts this story and adds his own response, "If our armies of 1917 and 1918 had lost there would not have been a man or woman in America who would have wondered why the war was fought. The reasons would have faced us everywhere. We would have known why liberty is worth defending as those alone whose liberty is lost can know it. We would have known why tyranny is worth defeating as only those whom tyrants rule can know.
Daddy Jess (mother's father) fought in the Great War.  Him and Mama Ruth always called it Armistice Day.  Mother too, half the time, rather than Veteran's DayJesse Oah Allbritton went on to be father to four girls, through the great depression and beyond.  He was about the first auto mechanic around the little towns of S.E. Texas.  Had to drive himself to San Antonio, then the closest V. A. hospital, when his appendix was on the verge of bursting.  He loved dominoes and played them well.  When he shaved, he'd try to swipe any passing grandkids with his foamy shaving brush.  Was known to get a thrill out of holding onto a car battery and shock those who passed close by. 
I grew up hearing Mama sing to me.  Often she'd sing one was reminiscent of those by gone days, "He was just a long tall country gent, from a way out west where the hop toads wink.  Stood six feet two in his stocking feet and he kept a getting thinner the more he ate.  But he was brave as he was thin when the war broke out he joined right in, unhitched his plow, put the mule away and the old folks heard him say  'Goodbye maw!  Goodbye paw!' Goodbye mule with the old hee-haw, may not know what the war's about, but I bet by gosh I'll soon find out.  And oh, my sweetheart, don't you fear!  I'll bring you a king for a souvenir.   I'll get you a Turk and a kaiser too, and that's about all one fellow can do.'"  It's one I sing to my kids.
Right after Halloween, seems everyone jumped straight to Thanksgiving or Christmas in their thoughts.  Their talk is of thanksgiving plans and menus.  Their screen savers and such are of that same theme.  Of course, the local schools will have a program to honor veterans.  And many churches will offer something patriotic tomorrow. I mean, where is the personal reflection and gratitude for what we have, how we live?  Well, this is my salute to the many who have and do defend me and my home.  Protects my liberties. 
  • My own father, Clayon Stutts, who served in WWII as an infantry man. He served in the nitty gritty of the European theatre. 
  • His brother, Hightower Stutts who I believe was a Navy cook. 
  • Uncle Lenox Hawthorne, married to mother's sister, who served, obviously in the pacific as he saw the crater where the bomb was dropped. 
  • Uncle Rene Lemons, married to another of my mama's sisters, who also served and came back home with a love and appreciation of India and her peoples.
  • My brother-in-law, Edward Puntes, who served in the army and fortunately did not have to see combat.
  • My cousin, Buzzy Lemons, who did see combat in Vietnam. 
  • My second cousin, Jason Hawthorne, who served as a Navy Seal.
  • My stepfather, Polk Hawthorne, who returned from WWII vowing to never eat spam again.
  • The many men I have been privilege to work with, worship with, have as neighbors and know as friends who served.
  • All those currently serving or recently serving that I have the pleasure to know of through J-land, or personally.
  •       Veterans deserve our respect not just for the wars they fought and the price they paid defending us.  They deserve our respect for the way they come back and live!  For the excellent citizens they make.  One quarter of them have bachelor's degrees, and 90% have completed high school.   Only 5.9% of them live in poverty, as apposed to non veterans which is 12.3%.  There are over 11 million of them in the labor force.  In the last presidential election 3/4's of veterans voted!    ............... If you do nothing else to reflect and remember, please read President Roosevelt's Address at Arlington in 1941. My thanks to Dover Publishing and Emma for the graphics.  To the Census Bureau for the statistics.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


  Suppose I had a pleasant Halloween.  At work today, our GM, Chad, had a large bowl of assorted candies for everyone to come and trick or treat through.  Our college part-timer came dressed as a sky blue Crayola crayon. 

It wasn't very hard for me to get dressed for Halloween.  I wear my "costume" every day.  You see I am one of the most feared creatures in the world today............






......How can that be??



......What is she talking about?



Simply put, I was what I am.  A white, middle-aged, American, politically incorrect, college educated, born again, redneck.


Got 'cha!


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Trick or Treat Time!


Donna has reminded me it is Trick or Treat time in J-land.  That means visiting old friends and making new ones as you go!  What could be better than that?!  They say one is silver and the other is gold.  So join in and make the rounds.  If you're not sure how, here's some instructions: 

Snag the tag, make a trick-or-treat post in your journal that links back here.  Don't forget to leave a comment here including a link to your trick-or-treat post.  Then visit all your friends.  Hopefully they will have their treats ready!  Make sure you check back here often to see who else is leaving comments.  Go visit them and wait for them to come and visit you.

Hint:  Don't forget to trick or treat Donna and thank her for the cool graphic!

Have a safe and fun Halloween!


Saturday, October 20, 2007


So much in the world today telling us what will make us happy and content.  Even in the church.  Some of it is true, some of it isn't.  Just as you shouldn't just swallow whatever the world tells you as the real deal, beware doing that in church.
Don't go to church?  Well, there's many proclaiming many things in the name of God.  Evangelists, Aunt Sally, Fred at work.  And if you are a Christian you should be proclaiming!  Proclaiming the Good News of salvation in Christ through repentance and faith.  It's the best message to ever hit the world. 
But what I have to say today is for the hearers.  The hearers of the Word.  Does the word tickle your ears.  Has it always made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?  Has it only made you happy and excited?  Has it had you yawning?  OR has it ever cut like a knife in your soul?  Made you squirm?  Caused you to shed hot tears for things you had done?  Put thoughts of regret and remorse in your head?
If you have never felt any of the latter, you may not have heard the REAL Word.  Because the real Word not only tells the story of God's great love for us, wonderful miracles and inconceivable comfort; it tells of the depravity that lies within all of us, how humans return to what hurts them like a dog to it's own vomit and the way that always ends in tragedy and torment. 
How do you know if you have heard the real Word?  Test it.  Test it by reading the Bible, knowing the Bible, understanding the Bible.  God doesn't go around adding to or subtracting from the Bible.  He doesn't contradict Himself.  If it doesn't line up with the Bible, don't believe it.  Don't listen to it.  Don't sit under that teacher.
Last Sunday in church, one thought kept recurring over and over in my brain.  It had nothing to do with the sermon topic, which was priorities.  That thought, that sentence was this:  I may not heal you, but I will make you whole.  Well,  I've muddled and puddled around and contemplated and prayed wondering what does this mean and what do I do with it.  I found several applications that hit close to home, and along the way I felt compelled to share a broader application with you.
The Jesus in the Bible has compassion, heals the sick, raised the dead.  He was bruised, beaten, whipped, wounded and crucified in our stead.   Then He resurrected beating death, the grave and hell FOR US!!!!  He now reigns with all power and authority. 
Many are sick and ill.   Many are seeking and getting all the medical care that they can.  Many are praying for healing and have many others praying with them.  We should do what we know to do medically to get better.  Warm oil was applied to the sick in the Bible because it was comforting and soothing.  They didn't have much more medically to rely upon.  And we are told to go boldly into the throne room (Hebrews) with our prayers and petitions, sure that He hears, cares and answers.  Trusting the Holy Spirit to intercede for us in accordance to His will.  And He does still often respond with compassion, healing and miracles! 
But not always.  Sometimes compassion can't come yet because the work of the problem is not complete.  Sometimes we have to get miserable enough to realize we have other issues and needs.  (Like the prodigal son in the hog pen.)Sometimes we have to be driven to the point of turning those over to Him as well.
Sometimes healing does not come.  NOT because He can't .  NOT because He doesn't care.  NOT because of a lack of faith.  But because it is not His will.  He has a broader view, a different perspective.  Where has there been more faith than that which rested in The Apostle Paul?!  He was not healed.  He had an affliction and prayed faithfully about it and God chose not to heal him.  Did Paul turn away from God or stop trusting him?  NO!  Did he understand what God's reasons were?  In part, but not fully. 
Miracles still abound if you have eyes to see them.  But the biggest miracle of them all is a Holy, righteous God bringing sinful, depraved, wretched people to himself!!  The reworking of the heart and minds of those who recognize their sin and their need, repent of and confess their sins and ask Jesus to extend His grace unto them.  This was Christ's main mission upon the earth!!  The compassion, the healing, the miracles were to demonstrate the love of God THAT YOU MIGHT BELIEVE.
To restore our fellowship with God.  To save our eternal souls.  To begin transforming us that we might always have fellowship with God.  To make us WHOLE.  To God the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual are all important.  But the Spiritual has to be mended first!  And NONE will be complete, will be WHOLE until we are in Heaven.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Introducing Bug

My eight year old daughter, Bug, has posted an entry at her journal, Bug's Pages.  Her journal is private, because, well, she's eight years old.  I don't want trolls visiting her. 

But, if you are one of my regulars and would love to thrill a young writer with a visit or comment, I'd gladly add you to her list of readers.  Just email me or comment below. 

Thanks, gang!


Monday, September 24, 2007

The South's Gonna Rise Again?

I found this rather amusing today on AOL.  Hey Ya'll, is Southern Drawl Spreading?  And what exactly is spreading?  I mean anyone from the south will tell you, we all speak differently.  It may all sound Southern, but it's different.  Ranges from Scarlet to twang.  And even the same accent sounds different depending on the octave of the voice uttering it.  On my Daddy, the accent was smooth and mellow.  Would melt butter on a winter's day.  On me, could get to be nerve wrecking.  And we can all pour it on when we want to...or ease it up.  And is it the accent spreading, or the vernacular, the actual words and phrases we Southerners are known for?  Or a combination?

I remember being in San Francisco when I was about 15 for a summer vacation.  People would gather around just to listen to me talk!!  Strangers!  Mostly men.  I've never had a desire to loose my accent.  To change my cadence.  To adopt another culture's vernacular.  Even when years later in phone conversations, uppity Yankees (now you aren't all that way....but they seem to recruit them for the telephone) tried to start talking down to me as soon as they heard my voice.  I'm proud of my accent.  Proud of the vernaculars I have mastered.  Why just in my marriage I had to learn the whole oilfield lingo thing of pumpers, horsesheads, pushers, fishers, etc.  And I have absorbed the brand that is part and parcel for Caneyhead; battrey instead of battery, I hope you do it for I'll help you, and the ever popular among young men:  yes'er dl'babe.  Strictly translated: Yes, sir, doll babe and signifying that he certainly intends to do it or agrees wholeheartedly.

I don't care.  Copy, mimic, adopt all you want.  Have fun and enjoy yourself.  Just remember, it's the walk that makes the man (woman) not the talk.  So be very careful what parts and portions you use until you are sure you have the gonads to back it up.  If not, it could land you in a whole heap of trouble.  (And if you are clueless as to what gonads are don't even bother trying.)
Remember the cowboy craze that swept the nation right after Urban Cowboy (where they mispronounced Spurger...Travolta said "spur-jer".  Anyone north of IH-10 can tell you it should be "spur-grrr".)?  There are still "real ones" and "pretend ones".  Or like Barbara Mandrel's song about being country when country wasn't cool.  "We took a lot of kidding, cause we never did fit in, now look at every body trying to be what we were then." 

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why Not to Stand When the Bus is Moving

If you stand up when the bus is moving the bus driver mite push the braks and you mite go flying out the window or you could go flying and hert somebody else.  The bus driver mite reck and you could hit the window and brake it.  If you brake it, you could fall down and land on the glass.  If you land on the glass, you could get cut up.  You mite not get hert, but you could get in truble.  If you get in truble you mite get a spankan or more.  "I gess that would be getting hert."  You mite get kicked off the bus.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Can I Get an Amen?!?!

Sharing with you all the email I have sent to my daughter's principals and to the supervisor over the buses at our school district.


To all concerned,
Today, I came home from work to find that my daughter had been put off the bus for three days.  The paper she had said that she had been standing while the bus is moving.  I spoke with her about it, she said yes, she had stood by the window for the air.  I told her how she has to be seated all the time, whether she is hot or not, whether others are up or not.
I fully support the bus drivers and think it is a crying shame we have stripped them of almost all authority.  It is a job you could not pay me enough to do. 
But I have plenty of issue with Namewithheld I.S.D. and the ridiculous way rules, rule above all common sense.  What am I talking about?  A child being put off a bus before the parent even knows there is a problem or has a chance to correct the problem.  That is wrong.  You have ample ability to contact me.  You have my work number, you have my home number, you have my email address and I am almost always at the bus stop with my daughter. 
My other issue in this type of "punishment" is that it does absolutely nothing to the child.  It punishes parents and families.  My family is struggling to survive.  My husband has been unable to work since January of this year.  My son just started a new job that has him leaving the house at 5:50 am each day.  I am trying desperately to get all the hours I can at my job.  That means I have to leave before your campus is open to receive students in the morning and I'd haveto leave work early to pick her up from campus.
I see no reason to punish my family like that.  If you want to give Hannah corporal punishment and put her back on the bus, fine.  If you do not agree to that, then Hannah will be home those three days and you can loose money instead of me!!!!!!!!
I regret that this school district leaves me no other choice.  I can remember when common sense ruled and staff worked with parents and they came down together on miss behaving children.  I know Mr. Nash remembers that era.  I was at Namewithheld High School under him.  And I know that Mr. Barclay remembers that era as well, for I have known him since I was a teenager working at Namewithheld Auto Company.
One more time, just in case looking it up is too hard for you: 
My home phone:  xxx-xxxx
My work phone:  xxx-xxxx
My email address:
Barbara Lastname
Now, can I get an AMEN?!?!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Something New

Outside today, hubby and the kids found something none of us had ever seen before.  Pete's sister came over, and a friend of his came over.  Neither of them had ever seen it either.  Now we are all well into our 40's.  Lived here all our lives.  This is strange!  Even later on, Papa Shot comes by.  He's at least 20 years older than any of us and he's never seen one either!

I come to look it up on the Internet.   Had the good fortune of finding Bea online.  She gave me the bead on where to go, where to look.  Thanks, Bea!

Here's a picture from Bubba's cell phone:                                               Those long horns on his head are actually red in color.  He looks very intimidating! 

But from the excellent link Bea gave me, we find it is simply a caterpillar for a large plain looking moth!  He is as big as my middle finger and we believe him to be about ready to cocoon.  So we have him held captive.

At the sight above, there is a chart like this:

As you can see, they are readily found lots of places, but not in East Texas!  The men outside theorize that this things relatives came in on the winds of hurricane Rita in 2005.  Lots of things are different here since then. 

Will be back to update the success or failure of our little experiment. 



Another Round

So, I'm playing another round of the interview game.  This time my interviewer is Lisa from Adventures From Florida to Kentuckiana.  Now fair warning.  Her journal is private.  So if you want to visit, you'll need to send her an email and ask first, at  

And for any who may not have seen this yet, here's the rules:

She came up with five questions to interview me, and I'm going to answer them here.

If you would like to be interviewed by me, here are the directions.

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me"

2. I will respond by e-mailing you 5 questions.  I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your journal with a post containing your answers to the questions.

4.  You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions.

Okay... ready, set, interview!!!

1.  What is your favorite recipe?
How can I just pick one?!  Here's one of my all time favorites that requires nothing extra and is cheap.
Mock chicken fried steak
Take 1 1/2 pounds hamburger and divide into 6 patties.
Mix one egg and about 1/3 cup milk in flat bottomed bowl or pie pan.
Put flour in another.
Salt and pepper patties.  Flour, milk/egg mixture, flour.  Fry in about 1/2 inch grease at medium until golden brown.
Serve with cream gravy.  Cheaper than steak, more tender and more flavor!
Cream Gravy  (white sauce)
Melt 4 1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine in cast iron skillet or club aluminum pot.  Over medium low heat.
In coffee cup combine 5 tablespoons flour, one teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper with a fork or whisk. 
Quickly mix into melted butter with fork or whisk. 
Add 2 cups milk.  (sweet milk, canned milk, water in any combination will work.)
Slowly bring to a low boil, stirring often. 
This is good with meat, biscuits. 
(Shit on a shingle.) or add browned ground sausage (cut back on the salt to 1/2 teaspoon) to serve over toast or biscuits.   (Eggs a la golden rod)  Add hard boiled, chopped up egg whites and serve over toast, with crumbled yellows sprinkled over the top.
2.  Do you have any hobbies or an activity you love to do in your spare time and please share with us more about it?
Oh how boring I have become!  No real hobbies or interest I pursue these days.  Seems between work, home, hubby, children, journaling and my prayer group all my time is used up.
3.  If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you most want to go?
Very similar to another question I had.  But assuming I had to travel....I'd love to see the parts of Texas I have never seen.  The panhandle and the hill country.  I'd like to visit the Holy Land if I thought it was entirely safe.  And I've always been fascinated by Ireland, though I don't know if I actually have any Irish to me or not. 
4.  What is your proudest accomplishment in life?
Oh, wow.  Tough one.  By the world's standards I have not accomplished much.  Twenty-three years of marriage and to have raised a handsome son to adulthood without him addicted or in trouble with the law come to mind.  But, yet, they really aren't my accomplishments.  They belong to Christ.  But I'm everso thankful I got to participate in these things with Him!
5.  Name five things you'd like to do before the next ten years are over.
Let's get this in perspective.  In ten years I'll be 57.  Bubba will be 28, and Bug will be 18!  Lord help me. 
I want to be debt free.
I want to have a steady, growing retirement at hand.
I want to be able to do some different things with my family than I have done before.
I'd like to cultivate some good friendships with other women in real life/time.  People to go and do with.
I want to go on a honeymoon with my hubby.  We have never had one.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm Alright

So many of you know approximately where I live, and so many of you keep your eye trained on tropical storms and hurricanes.  I wanted to come and reassure you all that we are fine and all is well in the wake of Humberto

An estimated 100,000 customers without electricity, down toward Beaumont, Pt. Arthur and Winnie, TX.  The sneaky storm turned into a hurricane around midnight and came in through High Island and Bolivar in the wee morning.  Could take up to three days to restore electricity to some.

We are approximately 33 miles N.E. of Beaumont.  We had no particularly high winds.  Rain, but nothing to be any real problem.  Our school buses ran and it's business as usual.

There is street flooding in the city.  And some downed trees.  Some reporting lost shingles on roofs. 

Basically Humberto was small and compact, and moved relatively fast through the area.  This made things better widespread, but for a few directly in the path it packed a waulup.

I am happy this is my regular day off from work.  I didn't have to drive in and deal with flooded off ramps.  It just crossed the Sabine River, into La. now.   


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Playing the Interview Me Game

Okay, so the game is called Interview Me and I found it at Deployment Journal.  
She came up with five questions to interview me, and I'm going to answer them here.

If you would like to be interviewed by me, here are the directions.

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me"

2. I will respond by e-mailing you 5 questions.  I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your journal with a post containing your answers to the questions.

4.  You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them 5 questions.

Okay... ready, set, interview!!!

From my new friend over at Deployment Journal
1. What are the makings of a true Southerner?
A true Southerner respects the Lord and Mama.  A true Southerner knows how to work hard.  They always have time to visit with a friend or meet someone new.  If you need it and they have it, it's yours.  A true Southerner loves children, animals and the land.  They want to get along with those who aren't, but if you don't understand them or like them it's no sweat off their back.
2. What do you like most about Texas? 
I like our diversity and our heritage.  I'm proud of the spirit that still lives in Texas.  Very hard to define or explain.  But when you live in Texas all your life, it's more than where you live.  It's part of you.
3. How do you feel about people who don't believe in the same faith as you do?
The answer to this depends on whether you mean a faith other than Christianity or just a different denomination of Christianity from mine. 
Those that believe in Christ Jesus and the Bible, but belong to a different denomination are simply my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Jesus established one church; man divided into denominations.  We'll all be neighbors in Heaven.
Those who believe in some God other than Jehovah of the Bible or some other way to Heaven than Jesus, I believe to be lost and in need of salvation.  I have no animosity toward them and in fact sincerely hope the Holy Spirit is able to persuade them the error of their belief that they, too, might be my brothers and sisters in Christ.
4. If you had a day truly to yourself, without any obligations or worries and unlimited funds - what would you do?
Most of the time simple pleasures appeal to me.  So I think a day to just relax and read a book or to watch good old movies on satellite.  Would love to get all three of my nieces and my sister over for a slumber party.  No men, no children.  Just us, good food, games, movies and fudge. 
5. What is the one simple thing that you know will always make you smile?
A hug and kiss from one of my children.
From Christy over at Christy's Thoughts
1. What's one thing that if you could go back and make different you would? 
Hard to choose.  Certainly over the years there have been chances I never took, people I hurt intentionally or unintentionally.  Opportunities passed up.  But the one thing I can think of that might of shaped my life and those around me the most for the better would of been if I'd truly lived my life for Christ from the time I accepted Him at age eleven as my savior.  So, I'd say I'd go back and seriously seek to make Him Lord of my life right after my salvation.
 2. What's your happiest childhood memory?
I had a very happy childhood in many ways.  So it is hard to pick just one.  The earliest clear recollection I have is when I was about 3 years old.  We are outside our home in Carthage, TX.  I'm eating homemade french fries, going around the crispy outside edges first.  I can still taste the salt.  Then Daddy and I are in the shade and San Augustine grass near the house and he is attempting to play leap frog with me; all 6 foot of him!  The shady grass is cool and I can hear laughter from Mama. 
3. If you could go anywhere, where would it be (money and time not being an issue)?
For many years Hawaii would have been my immediate answer.  But I've grown to become quite a home body.  So at this stage in life, I'd say I'd like to spend a couple of weeks in a well appointed cabin on a lake that is great for swimming and fishing with my family.  Somewhere with bike trails.  Hopefully with friends and relatives coming by to visit and keeping us up late at night playing 42. Somewhere with bike trails.
4. If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?
Well I could say someone sexy and handsome.  Or one of the great minds or a dear saint.  But I think I'd love to just kick back and relax with David Letterman.  I love his sense of humor.  And he seems to share some of my mental pauses. 
5. What's your favorite song of all time?
That's a real toss up.  I don't think I can give you just here's two who's 45's I almost wore out over the years:  Brandy (You're a fine girl) by Looking Glass and Last Song by Edward Bear. 
Do you want to play?  Leave a comment saying interview me and I'll email you 5 questions.  Or send me 5 questions you'd like to see me answer. 

Texas graphic by .

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