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.
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