Sunday, December 28, 2008

Against the Grain

I'm sorry. As much as the events of 9-11 crushed our collective hearts and even as brave as those folks on Flight 93 showed themselves to be I cannot even begin to condone seizing land to honor or remember them. How does that honor our heritage as a nation? How does that display the notion of personal property, personal freedoms?

As someone who married into a family that had the majority of their land "seized" for the good of the nation this notion scares me, and I think it should scare you. There seldom turns out to be anything fair about fair market value. We must be very careful to make sure the good of the many far outweighs the loss of the individual and families. Or even the loss to a private business or enterprise.

To seize land under eminent domain we should be sure it is for some long reaching purpose that will serve or better peoples lives for some time to come. Highways to connect us and move goods. Dams to provide energy and water. Or even perhaps as in our case to save a chunk of natural surroundings in their pristine state for future generations in a park or preserve.

I cannot comprehend the acreage they want for this thing!! Two hundred and seventy-five acres! What are they planning on building out there?! To me a humble stone marker in the middle of the field would be much more somber and fitting. Do they expect it to be a tourist attraction? And should it be? Like some freakish side show?

Maybe I've lived in Texas too long. (All my 48 years.) Here, for years, it took the federal government for back taxes or failure to pay your mortgage on your land to lose your land. Simple creditors couldn't touch it. Still can't in most every case.

As to the person and or entities to whom the land belongs, I believe that in the unusual circumstances of the situation, caring folk would offer up a section of their land of their own free will either free of charge or for only meager reimbursement. But it should be their CHOICE. As to what to offer, how much to offer and for what purpose and for what compensation.

The heroes of that day can be honored any where, any time. And to best honor them is perhaps to maintain all the freedoms and rights we can.

Family: Playing Along with Patrick

I found Patrick doing a rather interesting Saturday Six and decided to play along. Seems Christmas and family got him inquiring about us and our relationships with our family.

1. How many members of your family not living with you did you see on Christmas Day?

Let's see. I believe three came by the house. And then we saw eleven others over at my sister's house that night.

2. When spending time with family, how long after you arrive do you begin to feel “antsy” about being there too long?

I don't think I ever do. Does that make me rude? Sometimes I get to feeling ready to leave just to be home and relax in my own home my way. But I can't recall feeling I have to leave or should leave.

3. Is your family more likely to have pleasant discussions or heated arguments during a big meal? Do you join in or quietly listen in?

Do you mean extended family or just my little home? With extended family, meals are always pleasant affairs with light conversation. I join in. At home, sometimes Hannah and her brother get into nitpicky, irritating conversations or arguments. I try to snuff them out.

4. Take the quiz:
How Do You Really Feel About Your Family?

You Feel Humbled By Your Family

You are very quick to forgive your family for wrongdoings. You don't expect them to be perfect, and you try to help them out whenever it's possible.

You feel like your family is prone to too many arguments and instability. You never feel like things can be completely peaceful.

You've improved your family relationships through introspection. You always look at your own behavior first, and you've made changes to how you act.

You tend to be the rock in your family. You support everyone in their times of need, and they take your advice seriously.

Some truth there I suppose. We have a large and varied family. Counting my side and Pete's.

5. Consider the family member whose views are most opposite of your own: If your friends or co-workers met the person, what single topic would probably be the source of the most embarrassment for you if your friends heard that person talking?

Things might come out of their mouth that sounded prejudicial. I don't think they feel that way at their core, but they are way too insensitive with their remarks and jokes.

6. Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? What one thing that you didn't get would you like to have received?

I had a wonderful Christmas. Got some nice presents. Had the joy of seeing my family happy. I guess if I had to pick something I'd say a gift card or a little cash. But I'm sure not complaining!

If you would like to play along, follow the link at the top to Patrick's to leave a link there.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Presents are under the tree. Ham is in the oven. We are through with work for the week. Tonight, things will be quiet. Just the family here at the house. Hannah might talk us into letting her open a present. Simple supper of ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, fruit salad, mac & cheese, and rolls.

Tomorrow I'll be up fairly early. Making chicken and dumplings. Baking the dressing. Sipping my coffee. When everyone is stirring we'll open up our gifts. Then some time to relax. Maybe catch a movie on the all day John Wayne on the Western Channel.

Tomorrow evening, we'll join my nieces over at my sisters house for chicken gumbo, a good visit and check out whats in our stockings on her fireplace.

However you are celebrating, I hope yours is wonderful and that all is well with you and yours.

Love, Barbara

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Remember the Reason

(To friends and passersby, I did not write this, but it was forwarded to me in an email. I merely want to pass it's truths on to you.)

Jesus is Better than Santa

Santa lives at the North Pole.
JESUS is everywhere.
Santa rides in a sleigh
JESUS rides on the wind and walks on the water.
Santa comes but once a year
JESUS is an ever present help.
Santa fills your stockings with goodies
JESUS supplies all your needs.
Santa comes down your chimney uninvited
JESUS stands at your door and knocks.. and then enters your heart.
You have to stand in line to see Santa
JESUS is as close as the mention of His name.
Santa lets you sit on his lap
JESUS lets you rest in His arms.
Santa doesn't know your name,
JESUS knew our name before we did.
Not only does He know our name, He knows our history and future
Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly
JESUS has a heart full of love.
All Santa can offer is HO HO HO
JESUS offers health, help and hope.
Santa says "You better not cry"
JESUS says "Cast all your cares on me for I care for you".
Santa's little helpers make toys
JESUS makes new life, mends wounded hearts and repairs broken homes.
Santa may make you chuckle but
JESUS gives you joy that is your strength.
While Santa puts gifts under your tree
JESUS became our gift and died on the tree.
It's obvious there is really no comparison.
We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about.
We need to put Christ back in Christmas.

Jesus is still the reason for the season.

May the Lord bless and watch over you and your loved ones this Christmas 2008 and in the New Year.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let It Snow!

It has actually snowed a real snow in S.E. Texas!!! WOW Hannah got her wish! School to start two hours late. Hannah has been outside. She built a small snow man. Made a snow angel. And some snow ice cream. We have nothing but sand to deal with snow here. Warming temperature will make a short thing of it. If you are interested, check out pictures from around the area here: KFDM Snow Gallery.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Some People Call Me a Space Cowboy...

I left you promising stories to come out of the six things I shared. This is the 1st one.

When I was just a little girl, about 3 years old, I was out on an inner tube with my very pregnant sister, Edna. Her young husband, Howard, was there. And I think Mama was on the shore. Not sure if they were in the Neches River or on Village Creek. Suppose I could call and ask Edna, but it really doesn't matter. Not for my story.

Somehow, we managed to flip over. We were both in the water. Edna so pregnant she could barely swim herself, and I totally ignorant of anything about the water. Most of this has been related to me by my Mama and by Edna at some point, but this I remember clearly: dark murky water all around. My eyes wide open drinking in the sights as I float quietly downward. I remember watching the tiny little air bubbles rising to the top. Fascinated by it. All seemed so calm and serene. I had no idea I was in jeopardy. That I was going to the bottom and fast running out of air. I suppose the fact that I didn't know to panic actually made my breath last longer. Then I remember being jerked by an arm. And that is that. All of my actual memory. It had been a young muscular, James Dean looking Howard who had pulled me from the water.

I was not left with any fear of water...probably again because I had not known I was fast approaching death and had suffered nothing traumatic. One summer when I was around seven or eight, Mama had a friend of my sisters who had a pool in their backyard give me swimming lessons. She did an excellent job. Again, absolutely no fear, only joy in the water. She taught me to float, to swim above the water and below it. To do a simple dive. And to retrieve things from the bottom of the pool.

Soon, I was going to the pool in town every chance I could to swim, slide and dive. The older I got the more summer afternoons I spent there. It was a wonderful place. Fenced in pool area, San Augustine grass all around the pool and the covered pavilion. Hard plastic deck chairs lining the cement around the pool for sunbathing and lounging. Basket lockers and a shower/changing room for each of the sexes. A small snack bar for refreshments.

The pavilion had chairs and picnic tables and pool tables beneath it. Teenage boys in cut off jeans would keep the pool balls clicking and clacking throughout the day. And there was the jukebox. Don't know how many songs it had on it....or how often they were changed out, but overwhelmingly in my memory I hear the echoes of the Steve Miller Band and "The Joker". So much so, that whenever or wherever I hear the familiar strains of that song I immediately smell chlorine, feel the suns warmth and hear the "Thwang" of the diving board.

There was a small slide in the shallows for little ones. There was a huge slide at about 6 foot for everyone else. There were two diving boards on the cavernous 12" deep end. One regular and the other a towering high dive.

When I went to college at Stephen F. Austin and had to select a phys ed course, I happily signed up for swimming. What could be better than being able to swim every single day if one wanted regardless of the whether!

There they picked my form apart and put it back together. If there was a stroke I never learned, I don't know what it could be. I received high marks on them all. For one of the higher swimming classes we had to complete the Red Cross Basic Rescue training. Hear we learned to scissor kick for breaths and hang like jelly fish. For the grand finale we had to enter the pool on the deep end in our jeans and all our clothes. Take our jeans off while treading water, tie the legs together and while holding the waste line in either hand whop them down hard on the water to trap air inside and use them as life preservers.

The actual fact is I'd probably never need in assistance except in the roughest of water. I am a natural floater. I can literally lie on my back in the water, floating on it and reading, sipping a drink through a straw, whatever. I look as though I am laying on an imaginary float! My instructors plainly told me that although I managed to complete the exercises satisfactorily, I would indeed be better off on my back in many situations.

Went on to learn how to drag folks out of the water. Not on a level to qualify for a life guard, just for a real immediate emergency. I'm very happy I have never had to attempt to use any of that training. The only way it has been put to use really, is that I trained Hannah Bug myself to float and to swim.

Coming next in this series is the story of how I earned my canoeing badge.

Hope this finds you all happy and satisfied from a great Thanksgiving Day.



Hey, Barbara, what'd you have for Thanksgiving? Well, since we celebrated at the deer camp, I kept it quite simple. There was a spiral cut ham, corn casserole, green beans chocked full of bacon and pineapple cherry salad. I'm sure the ham bone will find a pot of beans. ;o)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Let them eat cake. (or as long as I don't have to lose my head.)

Whether you liked her or not, hard to say Marie Antoinette wasn't herself. I feel rather humbled and yet very pleased to say that two of my fellow bloggers have chosen me as a recipient of the Marie Antoinette Award. Sweet Jill, over at Fryin' up the Bacon and dear Lynne at Time and Thoughts. Two women whose own blogs I enjoy and who I've had the pleasure of corresponding with and getting to know a little better.

About the Marie Antoinette award - Real Blogs - Real People, that's going around. This is an award for those that write about real things, not necessarily on every entry, but those who share information about themselves or where they live, what is happening in their area or in the world. What a wonderful way to give some recognition and appreciation to those who write and share a bit of their lives with us.This award is for sharing so be sure to pass it on to other people. Here are the rules, (as I received them):1. Please put the logo on your journal - Real Blogs/Real People.2. Place a link from the person, from whom you received the award.3. Nominate as many as you want (2-10, with 7 being ideal).4. Put the links of those on your journal.5. Leave a comment on their journal to let them know.6. Put the award on your sidebar, if you want.
I suppose I do that. I try to do that. Or than again maybe I really don't try to do anything but to be me sharing some of my life and some of my thoughts and beliefs.
Certainly, if I didn't wish to be real I'd never portray myself to be such a hick! LOL
Now comes the hard part. Choosing my own recipients of this award. I don't think I read any make believe blogs or can readily think of anyone who doesn't at least try to be honest and themselves. And I really don't know who all has or hasn't yet been so recognized. But I'll try.
For one, there is Pennie (or Sandra) who's blog is A Pennies Worth. She's not the most frequent poster, but she always shares straight from what's happening in her world. She faces this world with the most buoyant resiliency. She inspires without hiding the hardships.
And second, I think of Helen at My Everyday Life. She's not limited by words, she shares her world and surroundings through some of the most beautiful photography you'll find.
My third nominee is Ora. Her blog Someone who enjoys people, children and pets is an open account of her days. Some simple pleasures in the here and now, mixed with wonderful stories from her and her husbands long marriage.
Fourth, for her Sorting the Pieces, my friend Cynthia. Just as the title conveys, you never know if you'll find her sharing from her experiences, opening her heart or delving into hot topics or matters for reflection.
There you have my list. Congratulations to each of you! I hope you'll receive this award in the spirit it is offered in. I'm sure there are others who deserve it, but I'll leave them to others to name.
God bless my friends,
Barbara, what was for supper? I played it all creative and made up my own hash brown casserole. Though I enjoyed it, we've yet to see what the family thinks. If it is a hit, I'll share the recipe....but I'll be mum if they say it stinks. ;o)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Of Morons and Blasphemy

Last night I found myself sitting down on the couch just to relax and chill a little before getting into bed. You ladies know what I'm talking about! That wonderful time of day when you can go "whew!" and put your feet up knowing what you had to do is done and everyone that might holler "Mama!" is in the bed.

Pete mostly watches the satellite. Movies, western channel, discovery. But he does like to catch Jay Leno. Last night he was tuned into him. His guest was Bill Maher. That political comedian. Well, I was there and listening. I found most of his jokes and commentary to be about grade school level.

And then he proved he was a moron. He mentioned the gay marriage thing. And then went too far. He said Jesus never spoke against homosexuality. He even went on to espouse the heresy that Christ was a homosexual! He eluded that the "law" of the Old Testament was archaic.

This man doesn't know or understand the Bible. This man doesn't care that he doesn't. He's just out looking for applause. Attacking anything and anyone in an absurd manner to cause a stir, get a laugh.

What disturbed me as much as the slander against Christ, was the fact that the audience bought into it. Enough to gawph and slap their legs and elbow each other. The Bible tells us truth shall be known as lies and lies as the truth.

What disappointed me no end was that Jay Leno didn't look shocked or try to play it down or make any other motion to corral this scoundrel. Once upon a time, a host would have ejected a guest over such an insult.

God lay down His law in the Old Testament. He made very clear how He felt on homosexuality. He destroyed a city over the fact they had let it and other sexual sin run rampant. Jesus didn't have sex with a man or with a woman. He was not married. He would have been breaking the Law of God. Had he of done that, he would not have been the spotless Lamb to atone for our sins. If you say Jesus was homo or had a woman on the side you are denying who HE said HE was. You are calling him a liar and a fake. Make no mistake!

As to the Law, Jesus himself said he came not to change the law or do away with the law but to fulfill the law. If you find the words from His mouth that cancels out any, please email me the Chapter and Verse. What Jesus DID do was to make clear that following the law is an act of love and that you can't follow the law if you love not. Love is not what the world tells us today; where you quietly go along with anything a person does and nod and say that's okay. Love sometimes says, "Whoa! You are going too far. You are running wild. You are headed for disaster and ruin." Love doesn't accept low living from says, "Look here, let me lift your eyes up and help you to live fuller, richer, to your best potential." If you want to love me as the world says you should love, do me a favor and don't! I'd rather have an enemy. An enemy would come nearer bringing out the best in me than one who loved me with that sick, crippling, kind of love. I want someone to kick my butt when I need it. To expect something worthwhile from me.

Jesus also condemned in harshest terms those who twisted the Law and the Word of God for their own advancement. He reckoned them to snakes. And he condemned the practice of thinking yourself better than others. Being smug and pious. Like you Bill.

Go ahead America, laugh yourself to death, straight on your way to Hell. May God have mercy on your souls.

On the lighter side, Barbara, what's for supper? Well folks it's been a nice night, as Bubba brought home KFC for all of us....all right!!! He's a nice boy.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What You Don't Know About Me

Many moons ago, two people tagged me to list six things about me that you don't know. They were Kathy and Jill.

I'm finally getting my Around-To-It. So without further ado, I offer you six things you don't know, but you will when you finish reading.

1. Certifications - I hold several certifications from the American Red Cross. Advanced Swimming, Intermediate Water Rescue, Basic Canoeing and CPR. There's a couple of stories buried in this that I will be posting in the near future.

2. Anger and Fits - As a teenager, I'd get radically angry when I saw someone taking advantage of the underdog. As I got older I began to demonstrate my anger more often over much less lofty circumstances. Before I turned back to Christ I was at the point of taking someone's head off for any and every thing. Screaming, cursing, slamming things, stomping. Pete used to threaten to "sic Barbara on them." The change between then and now is extraordinary! But that doesn't mean that it's not still sometimes a struggle. To holler or use curse words when I'm really angry is still the weakest point in my Christian walk. And unfortunately, my home is the place it is most likely to happen.

3. Car Crazy Cutie - The Beach Boys had a song about a car crazy cutie. That fit me in my younger years. I changed my own oil and spark plugs. Had a subscription to Hot Rod magazine. More about this in an upcoming entry.

4. Breast Fed Both Children - With Bubba, well, he was what they call a sleepy nurser. I was a first time mom. It was a battle! With Hannah Bug everything went smooth as silk. Put it all together and I have much experience. So if anyone out there is trying it and needs some advice, I'm here for you.

5. I Shoot to Kill - Sounds tougher than it is. Actually the only three living things I ever shot at I killed in one shot. They were in this order, a doe one deer season, an armadillo that was digging up our yard, and a water moccasin Bubba saw in the shed by the horse stall.

6. I Never Liked Kids - I was born when both my sisters were about out of school. I grew up in many ways as an only child. So I just couldn't get what everyone goo' d and gaa' d over. Then at 29 I had Bubba. I remember in the hospital thinking he was beautiful and that this precious child needed a mother, not me! LOL Then when he was three, I was cornered to help in VBS by my best friend and prayer partner. I found God calling me to help in Children's Church. I worked in CC for over ten years. I loved it! Always treated my kids as midget adults. But they seemed to respond to that. I still get hugs from ex students every where I go. And I find myself gooing and gaaing over the new little ones that I see coming along. The things God can do in us, and through us!

7. Rum and Capt. Jack - Oh, this is seven. Call it a bonus! lol A part of me would love to be on an island somewhere with Captain Jack and a case of rum. Call it my inner wild child.

That's it. I hope there was something that surprised everyone. It's been so long since this meme started, I haven't a clue who to if you want to and haven't, consider this your invitation to play along.

Barbara, what's for supper? Pork loin, seasoned up fine, cooked in the rotisserie until it's golden on the outside. Baked potato with all the fixins, garden salad chopped real fine and a nice warm roll to round it out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Old Paths

So, this post is not my words...but lines up well with my thoughts. Hope you enjoy.

THE OLD PATHS I liked the old paths, when Moms were at home. Dads were at work. Brothers went into the army. And sisters got married BEFORE having children! Crime did not pay; Hard work did; And people knew the difference. Moms could cook; Dads would work; Children would behave. Husbands were loving; Wives were supportive; And children were polite. Women wore the jewelry; And Men wore the pants. Women looked like ladies; Men looked like gentlemen; And children looked decent. People loved the truth, And hated a lie; They came to church to get IN, Not to get OUT! Hymns sounded Godly; Sermons sounded helpful; Rejoicing sounded normal; And crying sounded sincere. Cursing was wicked; Drugs were for illness; And divorce was unthinkable. The flag was honored; America was beautiful; And God was welcome! We read the Bible in public; Prayed in school; And preached from house to house To be called an American was worth dying for; To be called a Christian was worth living for; To be called a traitor was a shame! Preachers preached because they had a message; And Christians rejoiced because they had the VICTORY! Preachers preached from the Bible; Singers sang from the heart; And sinners turned to the Lord to be SAVED! A new birth meant a new life; Salvation meant a changed life; Following Christ led to eternal life. Being a preacher meant you proclaimed the word of God; Being a deacon meant you would serve the Lord; Being a Christian meant you would live for Jesus; And being a sinner meant someone was praying for you! Laws were based on the Bible; Homes read the Bible; And churches taught the Bible. God was worshiped; Christ was exalted; And the Holy Spirit was respected.. Church was where you found Christians on the Lord's day, rather than in the garden, on the creek bank, on the golf course, Or being entertained somewhere else. I still like the old paths the best!

"The Old Paths" was written by a retired minister who lives in Tennessee.

Barbara, what's for supper? Well, today Mama's been lazy and done a few chores so we'll take out the eggplant dressing, butter beans and potatoes that are left over.

Friday, November 7, 2008

What are the Odds?!?!

Photobucket Good evening all! I suppose I'm in a story mood tonight. Today at work our salesman was teasing his wife about old boyfriends. And that prompted me to share with her a story from the first few months of our marriage.

Prior to meeting and marrying Pete, I had dated a fellow from Beaumont named Rocky for close to a year. He was my last boyfriend before Pete. Then I had met Pete and three months later, we were married. I had a Mustang Cobra unlike any other around these parts and he drove a little red AMX. Two similar sporty cars. I have an old photo of them parked hood to hood and a caption above them that says, "The other couple in love."

But I digress. I don't remember the reason, but one day Pete had to go to Beaumont. Now, being a good country boy, he tries hard not to go to the big city. And to him that is the big city. But for some reason he did need to go and for whatever reason (may have just been to drive something different) he took my Mustang.

Down in Beaumont, Pete was having trouble locating the place he was looking for. Well, he has more common sense than pride, so he pulled in to a tire shop to ask directions. A man was standing outside in the parking lot. Pete parked near him and got out to ask directions. The man was looking the Mustang up and down. Then he was looking Pete up and down. Finally, before answering Pete's question, he asked his own, "I guess you are the guy that married Barbara?" Pete looked at him for a moment and then said, "Yes, I am. And I suppose you are Rocky."

When all was said and done, Rocky told him how to get where he was going. And Pete got a kick out of telling me about this chance meeting. All I can say is "what are the odds?" We aren't talking a tiny one horse town here. And we are talking about a public place....a tire shop. Any way, I knew then and there I'd never get away with anything should I have tried.

I hope you were amused. I love that tale. And our 25th wedding anniversary is getting closer and closer.

Have a great weekend!


Another "borrow" from Hee Haw. Remember how I was saluting cities that visited my blog over at AOL? I don't have any sitemeter set up here as of yet. So I thought I'd do another gimmick from that old show. "Grandpa, what's for supper?" Do you remember that one?

Here we go: Barbara, what was for supper? Well, let me tell you I made an eggplant dressing baked up hot in the oven, with some speckled butter beans cooked down with bacon, fresh, hot biscuits and ice cold milk to round it out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yeah, I'm Still Around

Just a quick note to let the masses know that I am still around. I've just been swamped by life lately. I hope to be back around writing, reading and putting my two cents in soon.

Until then, God bless and keep you.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Back when we were first married...

Mik had an amusing post which he ended with this question: "have you ever went into a situation expecting one thing and something comes out of left field and your jaw drops?? "

And that brings me to this entry. Back when we were first married, Pete and I went to a party one night that is typical of the kind folks throw around here. Band or DJ set up in a swept out shop. Everyone brings their own refreshments. Lots of mingling from tail gates to the concrete shop floor.

Now my Pete has never been one for dancing, but I love to and had always danced often in my younger years. So, he turns me over to his brother and a trusted friend to dance me around and Pete goes off to talk and mingle. When I and my partners stop for a break, I go off to find a port-a-pottie. On my walk back up to the shop I see my Pete in the light by the shop door standing facing me. He's smiling and laughing. Standing directly in front of him is a short little thing with long dark hair. Hand on the hip. The other hand occasionally touching Pete on the shoulder. As I proceed towards them, I begin to think it looks like Pete is enjoying himself entirely too much with this person! And this person is acting entirely too casual with my Petie-Pete! Why doesn't she know he's married and off the market now!!! And if not, why hasn't he told her?!?!

By the time I am within a few feet of them, my jealousy and my anger are at full tilt. I access that the way they are standing my best bet is to pull her by the shoulder on the side that keeps reaching out to touch Pete, sliding past her at the same time, where I will step beside Pete, put my arm through his, give him a kiss on the cheek and then say "Sweetie, introduce me to your friend." with a sparkling smile on my face.

I approach carefully timing my steps and stride so that my fool-proof plan to stake my claim and protect my property can be carried off without a hitch. I reach up with my right hand and "gently" push this person back to one side about a step and half, at the same time stepping forward, turning and slipping my left arm through Pete's. I plant the kiss on his cheek, and turn to my gaze to face my foe.

Imagine my astonishment when I see a male face with a beard! I feel heat begin to rise to my face as I hear Pete saying "Here she is now! Barbara this is So & So..." I have no idea what name Pete stated. My ears were ringing by now. I muttered a hello and watched as he said goodnight and turned to climb into a short bed truck with huge monster tires on it.

This is how I learned what a tricky beast jealousy can be.


Friday, October 17, 2008

A Referral

I haven't done this in quite some time. But Linda did such a hilarious entry on warnings that I just have to point her out to you. She was stepjammer at AOL. Her new blog is called Bad Hair Days. Stop by and hook up with her and read through her beginning entries at her new home, and leave a little encouragement behind.

Just click my should point you over her way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sound Advice for Hard Times

Got an email the other day from my friend and ex-neighbor, Lloyd. A joke I found absolutely hilarious. And I'll tell you why just as soon as I share it with you:

If you had purchased $1,000 of AIG stock one year ago, you would have $42 left. With Lehman, you would have $6.60 left. With Fannie or Freddie, you would have less than $5 left. But if you had purchased$1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling REFUND, you would have had $214. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. It's called the 401-Keg!

Now, I come from a stiff Baptist heritage and in no way condone or advocate the drinking of beer or other alcohol. To borrow a line from Larry the Cable guy, "I don't care who you are, that's funny!"

It appeals to me because I have known so many po' boys who would collect, scrape and save every can they could to haul in when the price was up. I have also know the pressed suit types that would sneer at the thought of such a thing. Now, comes full circle around in the joke that the best and wisest investment they could of made was collecting and hauling! I don't know that it actually all works out financially or not, but it is poetic.

Are we headed for a real depression along the lines of the Great Depression? I can't say. But I can pass on some tips I picked up from living with a mama who had survived it and the rationing of WWII.

Here's few to get you started as the finances begin to choke-hold:

  • Mold isn't necessarily the end of it. If bread has the white mold, pinch it off and toast the bread. If cheese has some of that whitish or bluish stuff, simply cut it off and proceed.

  • Substitute hamburger everywhere you possibly can for other cuts of beef and use tuna instead of salmon.

  • Always save leftovers! If they won't eat them, stop cooking. When they get hungry enough they will.

  • Stale cereal? Place on cookie sheet and toast in oven just a little to give it back it's crunch.

  • Save every bread sack, twisty tie and rubber band that ever comes your way. Cuts down on the number of baggies you have to buy.

  • Soap never gets too small. Save pieces and then get them all wet and mushy when you have a handful and press together. Voila! A new bar.

  • Out of buttermilk? Use sweet milk with a tablespoon of vinegar added to curdle it to substitute in recipes.

  • Stock up on staples like baking soda, flour, meal and such and make things from scratch.

  • Strain and save all grease.

  • Don't forget about evaporated milk! Richer flavor to recipes and can dilute with half water.

Well, that should get you started and thinking in the right vein. Until next time, God bless and keep you.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Looks Like We Are Moving On

  I chose this graphic because there has been an explosion in my email, folks frantic, sad, angry, etc. over AOL's decision to do away with hosting journals.  I understand where you are all coming from.  It's been great here.  We've been blessed.  But I want to encourage you all to reflect on the fact that all too often we neglect or ignore new opportunities and directions because we are comfy where we are.  Often God will move us out of our comfort zone so that we can experience new blessings or that He may lead us on to new ministries.  The old word for alive is quick.  To be quick actually means to be able to change.  When we loose the ability to change, a part of us dies.  I pray comfort, peace and God's direction to you all at this time.

To answer many of the questions I am getting:

1.  Will I still have the group Sisters in Christ?  Yes.  It is in no way dependent upon AOL Journals.

2.  Will I move Life & Faith in Caneyhead?  Yes, I plan to migrate it over according to the instructions AOL is providing through Magic Smoke.  (See link at the top of the page.)

3.  I don't want to loose contact, can we stay in touch?  Yes!  I will be at the same email address:  I am on Myspace, Facebook and use Plaxo.  (Tip:  You can find me on Myspace and Facebook by my screen name:  bhbner2him.)  Also, I plan to bookmark new journal addresses and join any groups or lists of migrated J-landers that is available.

Chin up, friends.  We'll migrate and explore new territories together. 


United States


San Francisco, California


1,688 miles from Caneyhead,


Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Chilly! Or is it Chili?

  Hello, all!  It's already fall!  And it even feels like it here.  We are having very low humidity and cool, refreshing overnight temps hovering around 60 degrees. Feels downright chilly!

And to match that fall feel, I came home and put on a pot of chili.  I never make it from scratch.  Why should I?  With Wick Fowler's I get the same perfect, tasty chili every single time.  I used to always use his original recipe with ALL the red pepper.  But with Pete's stomach problems and children I started using the mild version.  Every bit as full and flavorful as the original but without all the heat. 

Occasionally I throw a can of Ranch Style beans into it.  Every now and then I cook a pot of rice to go with it and bake a pone of cornbread as a side dish.  But mostly, we like to keep it all meat and eat it with saltines.  Or do what we are tonight, which is to make frito pie's with it.  Sometimes I use the leftover and box of macaroni and cheese and make chili mac.   I love that stuff!

Well, I'm off to enjoy some it now.  And feed the rest of the herd. 

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

We Don't Like Spiders and Snakes!

Last Friday evening, Sept. 12th, Pete and Hannah entered the little bunker in the hill at about 10:30 pm.  Bug was very excited and anxious to stay in the bunker.  So she rushed her daddy down there. 
I hung around in the comfort of the house a while longer with Bubba.  Drowsiness began to overtake me, and I decided that I too would join them.
Bubba wanted to watch a movie and said he'd cut everything off and come to safety then.  The winds were really whipping but not to the potential for any real damage. 
Sometime after midnight, Bubba come to join us in our small little bunker.  The door is on the left hand side, standing and looking at it.  There is about a 4' wide strip of space when you first enter.  Just enough to set up a couple of lawn chairs.  Behind the lawn chairs and against the back wall are two bunk beds.  Sitting in front of the beds and facing the door, there is shelving in the left hand corner.  There Pete had placed an older TV.  On the floor was a cooler with drinks, water, and sandwich material.  Above the cooler in the middle of the front wall Pete had cut a window in the metal, on steel hinges with a bolt action fastener on the inside.  Metal down....solid.  Metal raise up on the inside of the room and you had a window.  Just large enough we could squeeze through if need be.  Chain saw on the floor under the shelving, should any trees block the actual door which opened out. 
So there we are.  Relaxing.  Watching the continuous coverage on KFDM.  By now I am laying on the top bunk by a sleeping Bug.  Bubba dives under us to the bottom bunk.  He lays there a couple of minutes and then he says "Hey, there's a spider web under here!"  Well, Bubba HATES spiders.  Will act plumb silly over them.  So his Daddy hands him his lighter and tells him to burn it.  Then we hear Bubba say, "there's one in there!  I burnt it's legs.  Oh, no, it's a bad one!  Black with a red dot!"  Daddy hands him a screw driver and Bubba smashes the black widow spider.  Then he uses the light to check every nook and cranny for signs of any more.  Satisfied he goes off to sleep.
We hear the wind pick up.  We occasionally hear a tree break and fall down the hill in front of us.  But in our bunker, I felt snug as a bug in a rug!  Judging from how well the kids slept, they did also. 
We lost power about 3:30 am. With no TV on I drifted on off to sleep as well.  Sometime around dawn Pete crept out and turned on the radio coverage in my car at the top of the hill.  He and Bubba had wired a speaker to it earlier on Friday. 
I awaken to daylight and the sound of four-wheelers coming up.  It was two of Pete's nephews who had rode down to check on us from his brother's house.  The time was 8:30 am and still rather gusty, but not threatening. 
Once awake, none of us could stay in there.  We all came out and went about checking things out.  Later that afternoon I told Bug to come with me and let us get out the covers we had left in the shed.  Her and her little Blackie Dog ran on ahead of me.  We get down the hill and turn to go in the bunker and suddenly Bug jumps back and hollers, "Mama, isn't that a snake?!"  Yes, it was.  Dark and solid in color from where we stood.  Right in front of the door, facing it.  Like he was just about to knock and go in.  I didn't stick around to decide if it was a moccasin or a chicken snake. 
The guys went right down with their guns and searched all around outside and all through inside the bunker.  No sign of the snake.  They retrieved my covers.
Needless to say, I decided that we will have to do routine sweeps and exterminations in that thing if we are going to continue to use it when threatening weather approaches.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Ike Didn't Wash Us Away!

Yes!  I am back and we are fine!  Thanks to those who tried to get my message out to everyone.  Absolutely no damage here this time around.  We were high and dry.  The only trees that fell were in the woods...belonged to the park, not us. 

We were out of power and lost our phone late Saturday afternoon until today.  We've been eating well off an old butane stove and the bar-b-que pit.

I worked yesterday and today.  The company is running on a giant generator.  And they are feeding us some excellent lunches! 

God was with us.  This storm barely touched us up here, unlike Rita.  But Ike has reeked havoc in nearby communities. 

My hat's off to Guido, who I see posted some of the REAL story on his journal.  The national news makes me so mad!!!  Yes, dear Houston had some damage.  Yes, because it is a large city the damage may be expensive.  But the real loss was on Galveston Island and especially the peninsula that runs between Galveston and High Island.  Bolivar, Crystal Beach, Gilcrest and points behind the pennisula in the bay.

Also, further East behind Sabine Pass (who took the direct hit from Rita)Bridge City who had no levee suffered much flooding.  Port Arthur, though fearful the storm surge would top or break the levee, faired better. Tip your hats to Jack Brooks for that.

You can see it all in this map.

I am north of Silsbee. (Click image to view larger.) And you can get more detailed information on what really occurred at  And up to the minute news as we progress along with our recovery.  For any local folks who are stranded away from home, KLVI and dear old Al is still your best bet for info.

All in all, Ike was not necessarily any worse than Rita.  But they were very different storms.  With Rita it was the wind speeds that did the damage.  With Ike, the immense size of it and the storm surge was what lay things to waste. I'll be posting some little stories about our experiences in the coming days.  And doing some catching up with you and yours in J-Land. 


Friday, September 12, 2008

Now Let's Get Serious

Okay, now to get serious.  I know many of you will be alarmed and some even worried.  Ike is definitely nothing to play with.  I have shut off my alerts, because I feel fairly certain we will be without electricity for a week or longer. 

Guido has an entry on Ike.  This area will probably see something with Ike they didn't see with Rita:  significant storm surge.  Rita was supposed to have one.  But they way she came in at the last minute weaker, the surge was not what was predicted.  If I lived South of IH-10 I'd quite likely leave.  But I am North of it.  35 miles.  We are at 115 feet above sea level.  We are on the side of a hill.  Even rain water never stands here.  In our county, there is no better place to be water wise. 

We will be in our bunker tonight when Ike comes in.  In the ground is the safest place to be in a tornado.  We have an escape hatch other than the door.  We have supplies and are ready to live like at deer camp for as long as the electricity is out.  We have a better generator than before Rita. 

Remember, no news from me for a while only means I don't have electricity or phone service.  It took a month to get both back after Rita.  The blessing of living in the pines. :op  I will post just as soon as possible from home or work. 

Please pray or send out good vibes for all of Texas.  But don't WORRY.  God says to worry about nothing.  I'll miss you all very much. 

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Here We Go Again!!!!

Well, here we go all over again.  Another hurricane.  Just like that old "rabbit ain't got no tail at all".  Same song, second verse, could get better, but it's gonna get worse. 

Looking like Freeport will get the eye.  Of course things may change.  And we will definitely get plenty of storm weather.  But we are staying.  Still got supplies.  Still have the metal building in the hill. 

But hey, it's our humor that sustains us many times through stressful events.  So, I want to share a little something a friend of mine named Lloyd shared with me:

Houston Hurricane Evacuation Plans

City officials just announced the Houston hurricane evacuation plan
Today for Hurricane Ike:

Cajuns use I-10 East to Lafayette.

Hispanics use I-10West to San Antonio.

Rednecks use 59 North to East Texas.

Republicans fly Continental first class to Washington DC.

Yankees and Democrats use 45 South to Galveston. (very important)

Longhorns use 290 West to Austin.

Aggies use the 610Loop.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Whole Lot of Nothing


Well, I got up this morning, accessed the situation and called my boss to say I'd be in to work.  Not a drop of rain in Beaumont today.  But Pete & Bug had showers off and on here at home all day.  It was breezy, but nothing as bad as a serious Norther

Things in the office were remarkably calm.  We had worked ahead so much in preparation.  I'd say about 3/4's of our customers were open for business even though the evacuation order was only lifted this morning at 6:00am.  Tomorrow may get a little woolly, what with trying to go back and catch up those that were closed today. 

A skeleton crew on board.  Many had evacuated and hadn't returned home yet.  The company fed us a lovely lunch of sandwiches, some wicked good deviled eggs and chips.  So I can keep my leftover dumplings for tomorrow.  ;o) 

About an hour and half after I got home today we get the hardest rain we have gotten in days!!  Don't that just figure for Texas weather.....let the hurricane move out and THEN it'll get bad.  Even lost the satellite reception right at the end of Maverick.  Now I'll never know who got the real pearls.

You see reruns of Maverick on the Western channel and coffee is how I unwind every day when I get in from work. 

I'm going to predispose this with a disclaimer; I do not want any wishes or cards out of this.  Just noting that birthdays when you get older just suck.  They suck a big toe that has been in open sandals all day.  No cakes.  Very few surprises.  No flashy gifts. 

Aw, but I've got Bug to hug and kiss.  And a lovely note tied here to my computer screen.  Won't open it until she gets inside.  And hubby announced he'd cook us some breakfast for supper tonight. 

And perhaps I'm forgetting that my 48th year could have been spent looking at the remnants of our home strewn from the pond to the woods.  If Gustav had stayed strong and tracked just a little to the west, he'd of plowed right through here.  At the start of the weekend I was thinking, "Gee, thanks Lord.....a hurricane for my birthday."  Now I think, "Thank you Lord for placing your hand upon the storm and telling it to calm down now....for my birthday." 

I'm cool, I'm comfy and I'm content.  Maybe an old 1960 model woman doesn't need flash or fanfare for her birthday?! 


Elizabeth, New Jersey 1,325 miles from Caneyhead.......SALUTE!!!!!!!!!

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Things Looking Up all Around

Well, things are looking up all around weather wise.  For us here in SE Texas but also for those in LA.  Not near as fierce a storm as it could have been.  Coming in at an angle that will soften the blow. 

It's currently 1:35pm here.  Not  a single drop of rain yet.  A little breezy outside, but nothing worrisome.  The local weather keeps improving our forecast.  Less rain and lower wind speeds.  The officials are meeting this afternoon to consider lifting the evacuation order for this area either this evening or tomorrow.  So, I may be expected to work tomorrow.  We'll just have to see.  I won't venture out in driving rain or cross all the bridges and overpasses I have to in winds with strong gusts. 

I thank God for holding back Gustav's furry.  Of course there will still be many adversely effected that will need help and prayers.  But it could have been so many more.  Now we should begin to turn our prayers to the East Coast and whatever Hanna has in store for them.  Hanna the storm, that is.  Not my little, sweet Hannah.   :o)

Been so absorbed by the storm I had forgotten to include a salute in the past couple of

Morocco, Indiana 825 
                                               miles from Caneyhead.................SALUTE!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just waiting

The good news is coming!  First, Pete and Bubba got the little metal building all buried and ready to go.  If it isn't needed this go around, it'll be there for any tornado or other severe weather that should come our way.  That is if we aren't all bedded up and sleeping through it.  Lord knows this bunch does their best sleeping in bad weather. 

So far NOAA and our most trusted local meteorologist agree that we aren't going to get any of the really rough stuff here.  Winds topping out at 40-45.  A good deal of rain.  But we are high and dry as far as flooding goes. 

Pete and Bug are spraying a coat of white paint inside the shelter.  So we can see easier in there.  I have chicken & dumplings, peas and fried cornbread ready in here to eat.  Bubba, being 19, just had to run see someone for a little while. 

My stomach is growling!  My, but those dumplings smell good! So, for now all looks really good for us.  My thoughts and prayers are with those for whom it might not be so good. 

Will continue to keep you posted.  We could loose electricity over a hard sneeze around it is always possible that even a gentle storm will leave us in the dark and me disconnected from you.  So, please stick to the old adage that no news is good news.  ;o) 

If you are really curious, you can read our own local forecast here:  KFDM Weather.

Gustav and I

Yes, looks like we are in an area to be impacted by Gustav.  If it holds to the track and conditions that NHC is forecasting, we should just get rain and some wind.  Winds that aren't any higher than you get for anything else.  Of course these lovely storms are prone to have surprises.

Our county joined the crowd and called for evacuation today.  We aren't going.  Pete has buried a metal shed into the side of the hill.  If we were to get anything approaching Rita force here or tornadoes, we'll sit it out in there.  We have many and varied supplies.  And are actually way better off and prepared than we were before Rita.

We have water put up and bought to get us through until Pete can get a generator on the pump and running.  We have lots of good, easy to cook on the pit or in a pot on the burner food.  Plenty of fried cornbread makings. 

So I don't want anyone out there worrying.  But prayers are welcome...for the whole Gulf Coast region.  I'll be updating here as long as I have electricity.  If we should be without it for awhile, then I'll post at my first opportunity.  If you are curious or worried, check here.  I'm sorry but I won't have time to respond to individual emails.

I want to take the opportunity to brag about my place of employment.  It's a uniform service company.  Everyone pitching in and working extra hard to get all paper work for the week finished and clothes ready for the upcoming week.  Payroll done and in the bank so to speak so we don't miss a payday.  You may think a uniform service company is not a very vital service, why all the commotion.

Well, here's the deal.  We are in the heart of the petrochemical industry.  After a storm the first thing, by executive order is to get those refineries on line.  The manpower to do so is bound by rules that say they must be in fire retardant clothing.  And where do they get it?  Yep.  Us and places like us.  We are small but very important link in a chain. 




Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Itsy Bitsy Spider...

This entry started when I went to read my friend Jon's post in his blog titled:  The Writin' Spider.  For full effect I suggest you start there, too.  Now Jon post's lots of huntin' and fishin' stories.  Some funny antidotes, a little family history and such also dot his blog

Anyway, back to my story.  I read his entry and left the following comment behind:

My family calls any spider they find around our house my pets, because I asked them not to tear down every web they saw or try to kill every spider.  The web really helps stop bleeding.  I want some around in case of an awful emergency.
I have never heard of a writin' spider.  But then I am East Texas.  Best as I can see, it looks like what hubby calls a banana spider.  When I saw the title I thought maybe you had Charlotte at your house! 'o)

And Jon sent me this reply:

We have lots of spiders up here and we have a lot of Black Widows.  There
used to be a lot of Tarantulas too, but I guess that, like our Horned Toads,
DDT got 'em!

I have heard that spider web helps to stop bleeding, but have never tried

So I responded by sharing this short story with him:

My Daddy always said when he was a boy about nine that his brother, Hightower, ran into a barbed wire strand and sliced his neck open.  Way out in the country.....must of been around 1930.  An old woman put spider web on his wounds and quoted a verse from the Bible.  Daddy always claimed the bleeding stopped immediately. 
Well, a couple of years ago we had a little dog that was like family. She was older and took blood thinner and heart meds. One day she jumped out of an old truck and her toenail got ripped off in a old spring in the seat.  A weekend. All the vets closed.  Bleeding profusely.  Called the animal ER.  Much too expensive for us to take her.  Keeping it compressed was doing no good.  And I remembered Daddy's story.  And went and looked under the eaves of the house for spider web.  Found some without a dead bug in it.  Brought it in and applied it to her foot and within 20 minutes she was not bleeding.  We kept her still and quiet and she never had anymore problem.


That's when Jon answered me with this note:

Wow!  what a story!  You ought to make a post out of it.
I reflected upon his words and decided I should share it here.  So now you know the rest of the story.  ;o)  


Friday, August 22, 2008

Simple Reflections

So, here I am just chilling out.  The front yard and porch is full of folks.  But I just feel tired and want to relax and not think.  Playing Mahjong Titans. 
The past few weeks have took a lot of twists and turns.  Blessings and trials coming seemingly hand in hand.  I am so far behind on alerts that I don't even know where to start.  Haven't decided yet if I'm even going to try. 
School starts on Monday here.  Hannah is ready for it as far as clothes and supplies go.  I'm not sure about her, herself.  She really hasn't spoken of it much one way or the other.  She's not a baby anymore.  Hardly even a little girl.  I know I'm going to blink twice and then she'll be a young woman. 
I look at our financial situation.  And at Pete's unanswered health issues.  The things we always are putting off until things "get better."  And I don't really get depressed.  But I do get very thankful that I have a Father who is preparing a place where one day I shall dwell and be totally contented.  No aches.  No weariness. 
Then I look at friends, co-workers and acquaintances and the circumstances many find themselves in with their children, their health issues, aging parents, relationships torn, and even threat of homelessness and I know that I am truly blessed even right in the here and now!  I have two fine, healthy children who are decent, caring and loving and helpful people.  A little spoilt.....but who can blame me.
Where am I going with this?  I don't even know.  I just feel reflective tonight.  Quiet, but not sad.  Relaxed.  Content. 
I may start posting in my private journal again, Barefoot & Bra-less.  So, if you were ever a reader you may want to update your alerts, find your link.  If you are a regular reader or friend and don't have it, just email me and I'll get you set up. 
Enjoy the J-land 5 celebration!  There are many entries posted to the special journal:  J-land Anniversary Blog.  And we have the chats tomorrow!  Guido has posted the times.
Oops!  I almost forgot! 
United States Augusta, Georgia 742
miles from Caneyhead........SALUTE!!!!!!
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