Sunday, December 30, 2012

Have You Ever Been To Caneyhead IRL?

Only one more day to vote in the poll on my sidebar.  Very simple question:  Have you ever been to Caneyhead in real life?  Get your vote in! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What I Need for Christmas

What I Need for Christmas

What I need for Christmas is a warm smile to greet me,

that tells me someone is glad I'm near.

Strong arms to embrace me and let me know I'm welcome and wanted here.

What I need for Christmas are kind words expressing thanks for something I have done,

or cheering me on in a battle I have won.

What I need for Christmas is someone who wants to listen to my hopes and fears.

Be glad with me in my triumphs and without critisizing,

in loss, wipe away my tears.

What I want for Christmas is someone who will appreciate the sacrifices and efforts I make on their behalf,

Who instead of griping and complaining if something is overlooked, will just shake their head and laugh.

The world is so cold, unkind and very unforgiving

that I need a hand to hold, a place to rest, to make it worth the living.

What I need for Christmas, I need throughout the year.

What I need day in and out is my own cheerleader to cheer!
Original poem by Barbara In Caneyhead

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cutting out the middle man.....growing ethanol at the pump!? :o)
Barbara In Caneyhead

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I started to blog, but then...

I have started to blog about something in the past month and each time I became distracted by life and then I didn't.  For instance, on the 7th after the presidential election, I had joked at work that Texas and the big, tall, wide swath of red states connected to us, should succeed from the Union.  Low and behold, a few days later, I learn of the many states, including Texas, that had petitions circulating to do just that! 

And I started to blog about it.  Granted, I too, felt terribly disenfranchised, when I saw all that red and knew a narrow strip of blue on either coast was pulling me along on a path I didn't want to follow.  But let's be real....neither man clearly defines himself as a Christian.  Obama seems as vague on his faith as he is on his citizenship and other issues.  Romney is a Mormon.  And while he calls upon the name of God, he denies the authority and sacrifice of his son, Christ Jesus.  My plan all along was to pray for either man who was elected to come to know Christ as his personal savior just as Saul did on the road to Damascus.  My sister asked me before the election which candidate would help me and Pete more.  We are so poor financially, that Obama's plans might actually benefit us.  What I care about is not that, but what kind of country are we creating for Bubba & Candi Girl to raise Baby Ruth in.  And are we going to put into law even more things that are a nose flip in God's direction.

And then the scandal about the General and his affair broke.  And I started to blog about the hypocrites in D.C.  This pack is no different than the Sanhedrin when Christ walked the earth!  Yes, adultery is wrong.  But so is homosexualism, abortion, euthanism, etc. in God's sight and in his Word.  I am sick and tired of people applauding one sick defilement of God's Law and then condemning another.  Get the board out of your eye D.C.  Then maybe you can lead us, maybe you can solve our problems and get the specks out of the eyes of our countrymen.

Oh, but I'd so rather blog about and think about and enjoy the good things in life.  The new, wonderful man my Pete is becoming with the Spirit's help.  How beautiful and smart my Bug is.  My son and his little family, and of course the precious Baby Ruth, who is 7 1/2 months old now.  She sits, crawls and pulls up on her own.  She smiles and she loves.  She finds joy in the simple things.  No Democrat nor Republican, no sinner nor saint has spoiled that perfect little gift from God yet.

It is cool, crisp and beautiful here in Southeast Texas today.  So, MawMaw is getting off her soap box, leaving the news cut off, and going to enjoy it.  This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

For the East Coast

I remember one of the last things to get through to me before the power went out as Rita approached, was a Hurricane Prayer, sent to me by my friend and sister in Christ, Trish.  It helped me stay calm and rest my mind in spite of the chilling forecast I had read moments before receiving it.

I hope it will give comfort to some soul facing Hurricane Sandy as she is approaching the eastern seaboard.

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control. The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant, can awake from its seeming lethargy, over step its conventional boundaries, invade our land and spread chaos and disaster. During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. Father, all the elements of nature obey your command. Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Father God I am so very grateful that You are all knowing and all things have to submit to You. I pray Lord God for mercy for these in the hurricane areas. Father I pray that we as a nation of people will once again turn to You and say You are God! Father I pray for good to come out of all this devastation. I pray for souls to be saved, I pray for spiritual health of this nation and the world. I pray we will lift Your name on high and put Jesus back on the throne instead of all our other gods we have tried to put on His throne. May our people and our nation be healed and back under Your protection Father God. In Jesus name. I pray we completely surrender to You and spare ourselves from more destruction. Amen!

This prayer and a record of our experiences through the storm and initial aftermath are recorded in my blog:  Storm Stories:  In the Path of Rita.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A High-falutin' Affair

You'd never in a million years guess where this little lady spent her Thursday evening. So I suppose I'll have to tell you: at the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce's biggest event of the year, the Spindletop Awards.  
So you are wondering how a person gets from Caneyhead to an event like that? Take 92 south, then 96...oh, no. Sorry. You didn't mean directions. You meant social status wise.

The family owned company I work for won the Spindletop Award. Munro's started as a dry-cleaning company in 1928. There is a wonderful old photo in our community room that has businessmen in their boxer shorts practicing their golf swing outside the original building with a sign posted that says something about free golf while you wait for your pants to be pressed! I love it.

Now there are three divisions ran by the 3rd generation of Munros with the 4th wading in to get their feet wet to one day take over.

The original Dry Cleaning is now accompanied by Safety Apparel and Uniform Services...which I work for. You'd think rental of uniforms to companies for their employees would be a simple affair. It is nothing but. I have worked in the lumber industry, traffic and oil & gas, yet none had the level of detail involved as eleven sets of clothes per man.

But I've drifted away from your original inquiry; how'd I end up at such an affair? Well, our boss, Chad (best boss ever) invited and handed out tickets to all his ladies in the office, among many others. Pete was afraid he'd get too tired or sick feeling so he begged off going with me. So, I immediately thought of my sister, Edna, who is always up for anything. Besides, we have a blast together no matter what we do.

The evening started with a VIP Reception for the Chamber at the Beaumont Civic Center. We were served horse doves...just joking. I know they were hors d'oeuvres, after all I took 4 years of French in high school. And drinks. With a private gathering for the winners down the hall. Afterward,everyone headed across the street to the historic Julie Rogers Theater for the Awards ceremony. Nice little historical film piece about the family Munro and their business. And of course there was the actual presentation of the award.

By the way, my hat is off to those who renovated the Julie Rogers after Hurricane Rita! I was there about 15 years ago and it was nice, but rather plain. Now it is ornate & beautiful!

Then it was time for the entertainment of the evening: Michael Grimm, 2010 winner of American Idol. Now I have a question for that young'd you get my playlist? Seriously, every artist he covered is on one of my playlists. There was Muddy Waters, Otis Redding, CCR and Bob Seger to name a few. He did excellent vocals for all of them. Some you couldn't have told if it were Grimm live or the original artist on Memorex. Others he stylized his own unique way. But every one was awesome!

He did a couple of duets with each of his back up singers, both of which was very good. But the second girl tickled us all with her antics on stage and her vocal playing. He also did an awesome song he simply said was an original, called "I Am". Beautiful lyrics that touched your heart, it also show cased his talented voice.

The only problems I found with the show were that the first couple of sets, the music was set so that it was overpowering his voice. That got adjusted to a perfect blend. It may be because I am "old" and wear glasses, but I did not care for the lights they would shine out over the audience. They blinded me and I wanted to see it all. He played guitar for himself and did quite well with it. But having had the privilege of hearing local boy, Glen Gordon play his guitar on numerous occasions, God rest his soul, Grimm's guitar solos, while pleasant, didn't excite me.

I thought it spoke well of him that after the show, he walked to the edge of the stage and shook hands with the front row, which included the Munro family and their closest friends. Proved he has manners.

Overall, it was an excellent show that was well worth attending. If you care at all for those styles of music, or for gritty vocals, you have to catch him when you have the opportunity.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wiley Mae Community Baptist Church: Interview With Author Jeff Hildebrandt

I did this interview for our church's online bulletin, but I figured there'd be fellow bloggers interested in reading it as well.  Many of you may have read his wonderful Christian Cowboy Poetry.  Go on over and take a look. ;o)

Wiley Mae Community Baptist Church: Interview With Author Jeff Hildebrandt: Jeff Hildebrandt I stumbled across a fellow blogger, a couple of years ago, who writes some wonderful Christian Cowboy Poetry and posts...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

No, I haven't stopped blogging

I've simply been busy as a bee the past month or so.  It started with my birthday weekend (Labor Day weekend).  My sister, Edna, had the family over for a delicious supper and chocolate pie.  She really can make a crust just as flaky as the one Loretta Lynn used to make in the old Crisco commercials!  Then Bubba and Candy Girl had us down for some fried catfish.  Yum.

Another weekend Saturday was took up by the old fashioned Singing Convention at our church.  Beautiful music, wonderful fellowship and good food.

Then we spent another Saturday off at Artesian Springs near Newton, TX.  And in between everything else I've been working to put our church's bulletin online.  So, I've been otherwise preoccupied.

Do want to ask you all to be in prayer for the situation in Kountze, TX.  If you have missed hearing about it, you can read about it here.  I have posted links to Liberty Institute on both my L & F Facebook page and my @Caneyhead Twitter account.  Links in sidebar.  So far student led demonstrations of their faith have held up in the courts.  Let us keep it this way!

So, now that I've dispelled the rumors that I had moved to a remote tropical island and cut off all communications with the outside world, let me simply assure you I will be around and posting.

Barbara In Caneyhead

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

While texting the other day, the thought occurred ...

While texting the other day, the thought occurred to me: e e cummings was ahead of his time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

but it was not The Tale of Two Cities.  It was my weekend.  But in order to understand the weekend, I must first take you back to the weekend before it.

Pete has not been doing very well health wise for a while now.  But he and Bug had managed to do a couple of little projects around the house and he was in one of his "up" mood cycles.  Last Sunday, he noticed that my tires on the front of the truck were wearing bad on the inside.  I heard him tell Bug that she and he would change out the tires the next weekend.  Heard him mention it again on Monday.  By Tuesday he was starting to feel worse again physically and was slipping into one of his "down" mood cycles.  By Wednesday and Thursday, he was self absorbed and I might as well have been a sack of flour.  (This is what happens to a man who has always done anything for himself and then finds himself being able to do less and less, less often.  Who can't find answers for why or help to feel better.)

By Thursday night we were only co-existing.  He told me that I'd better put some more tires on that truck this weekend or I'd end up having a blow out, wreck and die.  Like I could do anything about that?  He also muttered something about my son not caring or having the time.

Friday, I came home with groceries and expected to find him starting to cycle out of his down.  But instead I found him curled up in the lazy boy.  Too quiet and sullen.  Hoping a list of options for a quick supper would bridge the gulf, I offered him his choice of baby-back ribs, hamburgers or hamburger helper.  He refused to choose...said he didn't care.  So, I turned to Bug and asked what she would like to have.  She jumped on hamburger helper.  So I started that and warmed some green beans to go with it.  Soon as he realized what the choice was, he retreated to the bedroom.  Besides, I was wanting to read and he hates the lamp on when he watches TV.  

He later came out, opened a can of ranch style beans because he didn't like my choice of green beans and made himself a plate.  I was feeling thrown away, wore out, ignored, unappreciated.  There wasn't much conversation between us from then until bedtime.

Saturday, I focused on making myself catch up the laundry and worked in the kitchen.  I read when I paused to rest.  He stayed to himself and I let him fend for himself.  Wondering to myself if the tires were really that bad, wondering what to do and repeatedly coming to the conclusion there was nothing I could do myself. I prayed Pete's mood would lift.  Told God I was leaving it in His hands.

Bubba and Candi came so he could get something he needed and I got to play with Baby Ruth some.  That was a bright spot.  Dark, heavy clouds loomed overhead and as it was getting very late in the day I didn't even bother to mention my dilemma to Bubba.  He had worries enough to attend to.  Soon they were leaving and the bottom fell out of the sky right as they were driving off.

Pete and I still weren't really speaking.  He went into the kitchen and starting frying deer meat he had defrosted earlier in the week.  I thought of offering to do something to go with his meat, rice and gravy as a gesture toward reconciliation...but knew I didn't have the heart to handle it if my offer was thrown back in my face.  So I determined to just go ahead and cook the supper I had planned.  As he was finishing his, I went and started my ribs, potatoes sauteed down with onion and beans.  We each ate our own meal. Bug happily enjoyed some of both.  Another estranged bedtime.

Sunday morning I was up in time I could of hurried to be ready for Sunday School, but didn't feel like rushing.  I told Bug I'd run her around the corner to the church and meet her there for worship.  When she was ready, we left.  Pete was still feeling lousy and his mood did not appear to have improved.  I pulled into the church parking lot, pushed my break peddle down and THUNK!!  The truck leaned to the drivers side front.  I told Bug to look when she got out and tell me if the tire was still on.  Yes, but the truck is sitting on it.  Dejectedly "Great!"  Then inwardly, "Praise God!  I happened in a safe place, off the road, not going 70mph on my sixty-seven mile round trip to work and back each weekday!"  I asked Bug to fetch one of the ladies to run me home to the house.  Two of the gentlemen walked over and confirmed that the lower ball joint had fell out.  Pete's cousin's wife came to run me home.

When I walked in the house, Pete was in his lazy boy.  I told him what had happened.  And without asking, I text Bubba to tell him we'd need his help that afternoon and why.  Without saying much, Pete got in the shower and I could tell he was making preparation to join me for worship.  We took the jeep over.  In worship, I still didn't know how it was all going to work out or how Pete would be about it all, but I couldn't help making a praise report about God's watch care.

After worship others offered Pete a hand with it.  One even offered me the use of a vehicle to go to work in if it couldn't be repaired in time.  By old testament standards, we considered the truck to be and ox in a ditch and perfectly acceptable to our Lord to fix it on a Sunday afternoon if possible to do.  Bubba called in answer to my earlier text and he and his daddy made plans to meet at the church after Pete had some lunch. I warmed him a plate of the supper I had cooked the night before.  Being at church always lifts his spirits, but he still wasn't all the way out of the dark.  But his gritty determination was kicking in.  

He changed clothes, loaded the jack and tools he thought he might need and went to the church.  He was back shortly, looking for transmission fluid as his jack was low and wouldn't lift the truck.  He said there was no sign of Bubba.  I started toward the phone to call, and he sternly said not to call him.  Leave him alone.  Not because he knew he'd show, but because he was writing him off.  Surly and mad he said Bug would have to come back with him to help.  At that moment the phone rang!!  It was Bubba!!  He and his friend Parker were at the church wondering where Pete was.  They had already changed out the ball joint!!  But the truck had bent a tie-rod when it fell, so he had called and had Candi on the way to the parts store to get that and a ball joint for the other side, which he deemed also needing changing!!  Thank you dear Jesus!! Thank you for vindicating and redeeming my son in his father's eyes!  When they got here with the truck and Candi with the parts, I offered to cook hamburger steak and cream gravy for supper for everyone.  The offer accepted, I went to work in the kitchen, playing with my delightful Baby Ruth on each break.  

When the guys were finished with the truck, including changing out the tires, Pete had me test drive it.  I brought back a good report and praised Bubba and Parker and asked God to return their good to them three-fold.  Pete, smiling, added his amen.  We went in and enjoyed our meal together around the kitchen table.  Pete's mood, though tired, was once again up.  This road we are on is hard, so I don't doubt that circumstance will once again turn his mood to the dark.  And although we missed Sunday night worship service, my heart was as full of worship and praise as it has ever been inside the walls of the sanctuary.

God knew our many needs, including those that went beyond the problem with the truck.  And He met all those needs in this afternoon.

Barbara in Caneyhead

Monday, August 13, 2012

There is no Hank Kimball in Caneyhead!!!

Even Green Acres had a County Extension Agent, but Hardin County Texas has none.

After three days of Pete in the hospital, we came home Wednesday evening (Aug 1st) to find that Precious, our four year old horse was sick.  Would not eat Wed night.  Had drank almost no water Tuesday on one of the hottest days of the year, and was extremely wobbly.

Her eyes however still looked focused.  So after consulting with other horse people we were hoping it was heat exhaustion.  She had been in a covered stall, with plenty of fresh water.  Bug moved her to an open pen.  Tried to entice her to eat feed or hay.  Offered her water.  No luck.

By morning, she was down.  Laying flat out on her side and then sitting up.  Often trying valiantly to stand.  Then laying flat again.  We held her head up and offered her clean, cool water.  Rubbed it all over her muzzle.  No dice.  Grinding her teeth.

Immediately we began trying to find help for her.  First the local vet at Silsbee Animal Clinic.  We were told he was out until Monday.  The woman who answered knew nothing.  He has/had a woman who knew almost as much as him, but this wasn't her.

Then we tried Buna Animal Hospital.  Their doctor was out, but the woman there tried to give us information.  Sounded like West Nile or Equine Encephalitis to her.  Not much could be done if they had it.  Due to the distance, it would cost $140 to confirm that was what it was.  Forty-seven dollars a piece to vaccinate the other two.

Single income household, a man who just got out of the way that was happening.

So we called the Hardin County Extension Agent's office....only to find there is currently no agent?!?!  And no offer as to where to turn for help.

Then we tried the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station.  Not their thing either.  No idea who's thing it was.  But since Hardin Co. doesn't have an agent, maybe Jefferson County will assist.

People we need to know what this is!  We need to offer her the best help we can!  We need to know what to do about the other two!  And, Lord help us, we need someone to help us if she needs to be destroyed!!!

So, Jefferson County's Extension Agent's office is called.  They can't do anything.  Not their area.  But they did give us a number to the Texas Animal Control office for our region in Hempstead.  There a very nice man answered.  Seemed truly concerned for our plight.  But said he had only one vet who happened to be in Austin today!  He'd try to contact him for us.

So I call up 211.  All the information for your area you need they say....but nothing like this is listed in any option.

Finally the vet with Animal Control calls us back.  Bless him!  He concurred that's what it sounded like, but being out of the area, couldn't offer us any concrete help.  But did say he'd call back and check on the situation.

I had to leave for an appointment, and Pete and Bug were left on their own to deal with this.  By now Pete is so mad he could spit nails.  All you hear and see on the news makes it sound like the authorities are so worried about West Nile and Encephalitis!!  There was recently a human case of West Nile in Vidor, not far from here.  But it is looking like they don't give a shit about the sick animal, the ones who may be at risk, or the human population.  Over the years, there were hogs in this area dying...someone came and drew blood from ours, they did call back and say ours showed to be okay.  Pete told them periodically we have chickens die out for no explainable reason, they said they would come back and test them...but they didn't.

So, sick and miserable as Pete was, just out of the hospital, he kept trying!  He called the Humane Society of Southeast Texas.  They didn't handle stuff like that.  But they did give him a number to the Southeast Texas Emergency Clinic.  They were closed.  A woman did answer, but said they couldn't help either. 

Where to turn!  Precious was even worse.  The sun was high in the sky.  No shade.  Lord help her.  Help us to help.  Pete and Bug manage to rig a make shift shade with a tarp over her.  Pete is starting to think she'll have to be destroyed.  He calls Sheriff Ed Cain's office.  They will have a deputy call.  Suggests you call you closest local city.

Pete calls the Silsbee Police Dept.  NO!  You need the city animal control.  Here's the number.  There you only get a message that voice mail if full.

Hardin Co. Deputy calls.  Sorry, we can't do that.  Hardin Co. Pct. 2 might be of help to you.

Pete tries Channel Six news.  They often feature stories of folks facing a plight, a problem.  They often feature the SPCA helping and intervening.  Help us!  Give me a number to call.  The man asks him "who's horse is it?"  Pete tells him, "Mine!!"  He asks, "who's land is it on?"  "My, damn land!!", Pete exclaims.  "We can't do anything...all we do is follow the authorities out if they are called out.  We don't give out numbers."  Well!! 

Someone suggests Sherwood Animal Clinic.  There a wonderful woman would give Pete a number to call and then would soon call back with another suggestion.  But no where was there a helping hand. 

But by now...Precious was down...and not getting up.  She was making kicking motions with her legs...and digging a hole where they were.  She's having tremors and her mouth is blooded from the times she has tried valiantly to stand or sit up, up fell down hard.  It was a horror!  He didn't feel he had it in him to shoot her.  Wasn't sure what we'd do once he had.  He could borrow a backhoe, but was much too sick to operate one in this heat.

He gets through to Precinct 2.  They tell him to call Dalton Morrow.  He does.  Dalton says he won't destroy her, but he'll have equipment there within 30 minutes to bury her if Pete has her ready.

Bug tells him she'll do it if it has to be.  But he can't put her through that.  He makes the decision to do it and do it himself.  The woman from Sherwood gets back to him with a number to the SPCA...but as valiant as her efforts were, what use was it now?!?

He tries to make it quick and painless.  I arrive back home in time to find her there dead under the tarp.  A six inch deep hole dug out where her legs had kept working, trying to fight, striving to live.  Pete tells me Dalton is on his way.  I had barely got comfortable when he and his man were here.  They got to it.  He told Pete they had been called out to bury a lot of animals of late.  More than either man wanted to really consider.

The vet with the Regional Animal Control was true to his word.  He called back to check on the situation.  We truly believe that if he hadn't been in Austin he would have tried to help us.  Bless him and them Lord!

So, tell us people, when every where you turn on television it as all about helping animals....when over and over you hear stories of them putting animals ahead of people....when our society is so righteously politically correct....where was the help when you needed it?!?!?!?!  Why do they keep tinkering with phone books and making them harder and harder to use?!?!  Why can't you easily turn to the SPCA's number in our local phone books?!  In hindsight, if we could have found a number, we should have had a friend to "call in on us".  Even though our animals have food, clean fresh well water, grass, hay, brushing, love and talking to......if we were portrayed as cruel and uncaring, perhaps ?!?!?!!!!!!!

Epilogue:  In the days since Precious untimely death, we found vaccines for Prissy & Stanley for $35 a piece at Silsbee Animal Clinic.  Hannah & Pete scraped up the money for one, his sister Mary gave him the money for the other and they have both been vaccinated and are so far healthy, frisky and spoilt rotten as ever.

Now we wonder what danger lurks in our beloved pine forest for us.  Mosquitoes are rampant here.  No one sprays here.  We are rural.  Not a city.  Not of consequence.  Wonder if the US Government might care to know that West Nile is alive and well in their game preserve?

Barbara In Caneyhead

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Wonder of My Children & My God: My Joy

Six years passed.  Me & Bubba faithful to God and to our church.  During this time God grew me spiritually both in my private time with Him and in service and worship through my church.

When Pete & I had faced our trial, I had told the Lord I would honor Him for what he had done for us.  I had also found a need to pray for all the members of our family, that came from my rainbow experience on Dam B.  He blessed my feeble efforts in a mighty way!!  I was honored to get to share what he had done with my MIL and FIL and they rejoiced with me in that.  I saw all three of Pete's sisters and a sister-in-law come to Christ and join a church.  Another sister-in-law started coming to church with me every chance she had.

I started back to work during those years and He allowed his light and love to shine through me there, as well.  I saw promise and hope everywhere, even as the burden in my heart for the unsaved grew.  As Bubba grew older, he learned so much of scripture and spiritual things!  We could converse and rejoice together...what a special time and blessing!  But my heart was heavy for him for all the times he was so torn between whether to help his daddy or spend time with him or to go to church.  He balanced it all as well as any child could.

In 1998, feeling victorious and full of hope and faith in all God was doing, it seemed only right to celebrate His faithfulness and our bliss with one more child before we grew too old.  It seemed everyone in the family was so excited!  Pete being the baby boy in his family, us being in our late thirties, all lent itself to a sense of joy and celebration.

We were blessed with the most beautiful, perfect baby girl.  She slept in my arms and I began to call her my Snuggle Bug.  I would often sit on the front porch to nurse her and rock her.  Many times I used these quiet moments to pray.  One day, when my soul was very burdened over the fact that Pete still didn't know Christ as Savior, I was filled with the assurance that my whole family one day would be a Christian family, a Christian home, and that this happy baby was proof of it.  Hence, Bug was my joy.

One day after coming home from Church, Bubba come and told me that he had prayed and accepted Christ in the woods near our home.  God is true to His Word!  Thank you precious Savior!  We all saw Bubba baptised.  But Bubba was the only one standing with me the day Bug was dedicated to the Lord.  Me and the kids were faithful to church...but Pete still wouldn't come with us.  He began to fall back into old habits that had always caused discord and pain in our home.

More and more, after we had moved to Caneyhead with the passing of Pete's father, I began to feel led to move my letter to a church home in our community.  Bubba and I began to visit Wiley Mae Community Baptist  and soon felt that's where God wanted us both.  After coming there, God began to deal with me and lay on my heart to start a children's church program there.  I did and it flourished for the size of our little assembly.  Well, it flourished in children...not in workers.  Save one or two.

Pete's health issues began to raise their ugly head.  We lost Pete's mother and my closest confidant.  That led to an ugly bought of depression for me.  Still, God granted me the strength to continue.  Then, finally, a couple come forward to help with Children's Church.  What a blessing I thought.  But he wouldn't listen to anything I tried to tell them, wouldn't take a Sunday off to gather with the members in Morning Worship....torn between setting things right and causing discord or harming a new Christian's walk I simply withdrew from service in that area.

Yet, still Bug was the joy filled, happy baby.  The effervescent child with a heart of gold, that tried to give her money away because she didn't need it.  The soul that loved young and old just the same.  That was blessed with a special way with creatures great and small.

Pete's health problems became steadily more apparent.  I decided to go back to work on a part time basis to help our suffering income and to force me to get back out around others and out of myself.  Over the next four years things just got darker and darker.  I pulled away from the fellowship of the church, seldom going.  Between work and increasing demands at home and a growing feeling of helplessness, my private time with God next began to suffer. 

Where was God's promise in all of this?!?!!!!!  Lord, I believe you...still.........but I'm just too damn tired to continue on my own.  I'm tired of being the strong one, the faithful one, the dependable one.  You can bet that Satan knew exactly how I was feeling.  And he was more than willing to dangle in front of my eyes a false offer of escape.  A pretend way to start over.  And it wrecked havoc in all our lives.

But for once in 25 years of marriage it did cause Pete to sit up and take notice.  To declare his love for me and to show me sides of himself he had always kept hidden.  It was while we were still in the midst of this storm that Pete and Bug both decided to start attending church.  I was surprised and happy...but not about to get my hopes up. 

Yet, somehow, some way that I still do not know or understand, Christ reached Pete and saved him and claimed him for His own!  Little precious Bug also made a decision for the Lord!  Bubba, who had been through the angst of the turbulent teen years found a sweet young girl to take as his wife and had the privilege of leading her to the Lord and I had the privilege to be in the House that day!!

Now, my walk is still not fully recovered from where it had been.  My steps are still not as steady as they should be.  The fellowship I share with my Lord is still not yet where it has been but I'm still "pressing on the upward way, new heights I'm gaining every day;  Still praying as I'm onward bound, Lord plant my feet on higher ground."

So, I leave you my friends and those who drop by with this one resounding truth:

God is ALWAYS FAITHFUL, even when we aren't!!!

Barbara In Caneyhead

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Wonder of My Children and My God: My Rock

Reading thru the series mentioned in the previous entry, The A. D. Chronicles, numerous times a miraculous birth marked a new covenant between God and a man or God and His people.  Abraham and Isaac for one example.  All of this swirling in my mind and heart, bringing to remembrance the turning point in my own life or heralding moment at the birth of my own two children.

Now don't go get me wrong.  I'm NOT saying God gave me any miraculous births.  Not in any way beyond the miracle any birth is.  And their birth's did NOT mark any eternal covenant with the whole of mankind or even one nation.  But thier births DID mark spiritual flagstones in my own life and my own relationship with God. 

Travel back with me to the late 80's, early 90's.  I'm a child of God who never learned how to let Him be Lord of my life.  The result is I married without consulting Him and then asked Him to bless that marriage.  I was out of church, out of His will, out of the Word.  Pete was ready to start our family after four years alone together and I agreed.  Surely if we had survived the blending years we were ready.  Early in the summer of 1989, Bubba was born.  He was beautiful and perfect.  I felt totally humbled and unworthy.  Totally unequiped to be his mother....but I was.  As I saw Chinese face tanks in Tiananmen Square on the evening news...heard the Burlin wall was falling...went through the 1st Gulf War and even joined hands across America to pray for God's protection and power...I knew the times and seasons were changing.  I knew Something was on the Horizon.

We had been hurt and betrayed by someone in the family we totally trusted.  I had a temper and a tonque I used to cut down opponents.  Pete would actually say "sick 'em Barbara" like he was talking to a pit bull.  As Bubba entered toddlerhood, I was an angry, isolated young woman.  Isolated by unforgiveness.  I wore anger on my sleeve...ready to attack any who attacked me or mine and tear them down in torrent of angry, harsh words.

As I reflected on the changes in the world around me, and the beauty and hope and purity in my young child, I began to hunger and thirst.  Eventually, that longing led me to open the copy of the Living Bible my mother had given me as a teen.  Once I opened it, I could hardly set it down!  I hungered and thirsted for the Truth, the whole truth.  And for the One behind the Words.  As I'd read, I'd frequently be reduced to tears and heart wrenching confessions of how far I had strayed from what He intended.  Once I had finished the Bible, I began to long to go back to church and enjoy the fellowship I had felt there as a youth.  To be fed beyond what I could find on my own. 

Pride put up a wall.  That's MY church.  I was there long before most of those who now are there came.  But I will look stupid coming in not even knowing what Sunday School class I belong to!   God had Susan send me a card in the mail.  First invite to Sunday School I had, had in many a year.  Now I knew what class I wanted and the teacher's name!!  The very next Sunday, I got Bubba dressed and me ready and left for Sunday School and Church, with a heavy heart for the one I left behind at home....Pete.

The birth of Bubba turned my mind and my heart toward God.  Who can gaze upon an infant with any sincerity and deny Him? 

To summize, I soon went forward and publically declared I had rededicated my life to the Lord.  I got involved in every class offered.  When the pastor's wife, Cookie, invited me to help in Vacation Bible School I did so in blind faith that God would equip me to do what was not in me to do by my own nature. Before much time had passed I was teaching children's church and subbing for other's in classes when they were out.  The Lord showed me I had a gift for exhortation and for faith.  I joined with others to be a prayer warrior for the needs of our congregation.  I went through the Experiencing God bible study.  At home I had regular Bible study and prayer times.  I was growing in the Lord and beginning to see things through His eyes.  Especially my sin...and Pete's sin.  I felt as if I were on a path that was leaving Pete in the dust of my sandles.

So many lonely evenings and for the presence and delight of our son.  He centered me.  Through the thought of him and for his sake God kept me where He wanted me.

Flash foward five years.  I was happy and blessed in the Lord, but felt a thousand miles away from Pete.  I had a prayer warrior friend in Cookie and a blessed, newly converted mother-in-law.  And Satan desended.  He knew where Pete was weakest in our relationship and struck him there.  I knew he was coming because of a dream the Lord had given me.  I knew what He'd look like.  Thank God in Heaven I was closer to Him than I have ever been in my life!!!  My little man, Bubba, was my strength during all of this.  A rock.  He kept me centered.  He saw and heard too much really...but he knew, he understood his mother was in a fight for her family.   He saw me cry, pray, rail, and weep.
I fasted, I prayed, and ironically in nine months Pete and I were victorious over the onslaught.  Though he still didn't know Christ and did not understand all that had happened, we enjoyed a blessful rest and season of two years of bliss as a couple.

This closeness, this joy spoke to my heart and told me it was time to finally have the other child Pete had long wanted to have.

It's a very condensed version, but I am pouring out my heart to you here my friends.  The birth of my Devotions on Marriage journal came through these trials.  Please join me in the next entry as I relate how my precious little Bug is also a marker in my spiritual life.

Barbara in Caneyhead

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Caught Up in a Good Read

I've been caught up in a good read.  That's why I've only popped into a few of your posts.  And a large part of why I haven't made any myself as of late. 

I had gone to the library to pick up a book from the Left Behind series for Bug as this was what she picked for her summer reading.  While in the Christian section of our public library, a row of titles caught my eye.  Names like First Light, Second Touch, Third Watch, made me reach and pull one out.  The cover was rich in color and beautifully illustrated.  As I scanned over the description in the front jacket cover and the About the Authors on the back one, I realized I had stumbled upon a series that chronicled happenings from the first century AD.  With much drawn from the Jewish Bible and from other authoritative works the authors had brought the familiar story of Jesus, Herod, the Romans and all the rest into a fleshed out 3-D rendering to sink ones teeth into. 

Details of daily life in the times come to life.  The historical and political stage is fleshed out.  The fictional characters are realistic and the historical ones ring true to their nature and the record.  Suddenly you are there!  And thanks to much reference to Torah and the practice of the Jews in that day, you get a deeper appreciation for the subtleties in our own Holy Bible.

I am currently in book six of the A D Chronicles Series, the Sixth Covenant.  I heartily recommend this series to my Christian friends and followers, any readers who are interested in historical fiction, and to anyone curious to understand the story of Jesus in a new light.  Hats off to the authors, Bodie & Brock Thoene!

Barbara In Caneyhead

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mustard Seed Eureka!

I am thrilled to report that I did indeed find mustard seed!  Since I work in the Big City, I dialed up the local HEB Superstore there and inquired about their supply.  I was assured they had it.  Whether because they planned ahead, or because city folk just don't make many pickles, I do not know.  But I hurried over there when I got off work and picked up two jars for hubby.

All this chase for mustard seed got me to thinking.  In the Bible, our Lord Jesus tells us "if we have only the faith of a grain of mustard seed."  As you can see, that is not much.  Extremely small, but readily visable.  And just like my search for the actual seed, this kernel of faith can be elusive and hard to find, to obtain.  And just as these seeds make all the difference in Pete's Bread & Butter pickles, this spiritual faith seed makes all the difference in our walk with Christ.  Just as I had to turn to a bigger source for the actual seeds, we have to turn to The Source (aka Holy Spirit) to obtain this faith seed.  The real seed is boiled in the brine to season the pickles and release it's flavor.  As our faith seed is boiled in the trials of life, it can also release a "flavor" to season the world around us.  Just as the seeds still look whole and unharmed in the finished jar of pickles, He Who Is Able will bring us through the hot water whole and complete.


Monday, June 25, 2012

In a Pickle

Here we are once again.  It's June in S.E. Texas, as it is across the rest of the world.  Everyone either has a garden or has a friend or relative with a garden.  Or has access to some local farmer's market.  And cucumbers are starting to come in, in abundance.  Yet once again, all our area grocers are out of mustard seed before anyone can make more than one batch of pickles!

Every year it is the same old thing!!  Run from store to store only to find empty racks and shelves where once the little round golden orbs were stacked!!  Wear yourself out getting in and out of the sweltering Texas sun and 100+ "feels like" temps.  Run in a store straight to the appropriate spot only to find the cubbard is bare and then right back into a roasting oven of a vehicle to go down the road to the next possibility.  There's no time for the freon in the system to even cycle through once before your stopped and out again.

I cannot for the life of me understand why not even one of them has thought in past years, "Hum...I could have sold three times as much of that high priced spice if only I had, had it stocked when demand was high.  I think I'll order in triple what I normally sell while it is still winter and then next summer when everyone else has bare shelves and the warehouse can't ship any more, I'll open up my private stock and hang a banner out front proclaiming:


They will pour in!  They'll tell their friends!  I'll get all the dough for the seed and everyone will bless me and call me a saint for saving the day and the crop!  May even win a few more loyal customers for the forethought.  It's a total win, win, win situation."

Yeah, just one grocer with vision is all we need.  So, what are you waiting for!  Spread the word!  Tell YOUR grocer!  Save a pickle!!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celeste has given her answers!

Celeste has posted her answers for the Interview Me Game!  You can read her replies here:

My Day & Thoughts: 5 Questions from Barbara

And it's not too late for you to play along.  Simply comment on her blog asking her to interview you or comment here to ask me to interview you.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Last Call!!

Not for alcohol. But the last call to join in on the Five Questions game.  Been oodles of traffic by this blog...but only two takers so far.

BUT, I am thrilled with the two that have said they want to play along and can.  They are both good friends of mine from way back in the days of J-Land:  Carolyn and Celeste.
I'll be letting you know when and where they post their answers.

Enough for now.  Will see you later.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Would you play with me?

Been reconnecting with many of my old blogging buddies.  Some that I found here on blogger and some that I've known since our days on AOL Journals.  And then there are those that seem to have abandoned their blogs.  Some for other interests, like Facebooking and others due to what appears to be a lack of interest from their old audience and blogging buddies.

I can't throw any stones there.  I, too, got caught up in the drivel of Facebook for a season.  I also took a hiatus from posting and updating Life & Faith.  And I simply don't have the time on my dial-up to visit everyone the way I'd like to.  But now I am back to blog.  It's my primary concern and interest when I do have time to come online at home.  I love all my buddies and readers!  And still want to connect and feel that sense of community we had five, six years ago. 

Been mulling it all over.  One thing I have noticed is that we don't play the memes we used to back then.  So I have decided to try to start off one that was one of my favorites back in the day:  The Interview Me Game.  You can click the link to see my answers to the questions I was asked back then. 

For this new round, I will be the first "asker" of questions or interviewer.  If you want to participate (and please play along!  Don't be a party pooper.) simply follow these directions:

1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me" and leave your email address or a link to the blog you want to play the game on.

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

3. You will update your journal/blog 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!!!

Barbara in Caneyhead

Saturday, June 9, 2012

What a nice way to wake up!

This morning I was in the bedroom sound asleep when I heard the bedroom door creak open.  I muttered something half aloud to the dream I was having.  Gradually let my eyes flutter open to see Bubba walking up to me.  "Hi, sugar."  Then I realize Candy is creeping in behind him and she has Baby Ruth in her arms.  They lay her down on my pillow, speak a few words and they are out of there.  Someone brings me a cup of hot coffee.  I am having a wonderful time watching my Baby Ruth smile, wiggle, and speak those sweet, soft baby words to me.  What a joy!

A little disappointed in myself.  I blogged each an every day through April for the challenge and had such high hopes and firm plans to continue writing three or four entries each week. What a fool believes, huh?  Of course life has been busy.  At work.  Late days.  Tired.  A lot of nice weekend time with my favorite baby.  I let Caneyhead slip off to a backseat once more. 

One thing I do know, the Good Lord willing, I'm not going away for an extended stay again.  I know I told you all that you could get extra info and pictures if you followed Life & Faith in Caneyhead on Facebook.  And that is true....but this shot is so good I'm going to share it here as well.

This handsome fellow showed up at Pete & Bug's hog trap unexpectedly!!  Pete had seen hog signs in the woods and they had borrowed our nephew Skippy's trap because we sure like some good fresh hog meat.  So far, the hogs have not been back....but this bobcat is a beaut!  That's a tall trap for a rooter.  Judging by where his back comes on the trap, Pete said he'd be knee-hi on him.  I think he's gorgeous!  Makes me feel good to know something this awesome is out there in woods surviving and thriving. 

Well, time for supper.  Tonight it is corn on the cob...fresh from the garden....some au gratin potatoes and a small beef roast I bar-b-que'd slow all day in the crock pot.  YUM

Barbara in Caneyhead

Monday, May 28, 2012

Tour of My Caneyhead

Beautiful weekend around Caneyhead.  Outside yesterday enjoying everything.  Made me want to share some with you.  So enjoy your mini tour of my Caneyhead. 
Fresh Yard Eggs from Our Hens

Pete's Picture of the Large New Moon Over the Jack Gore Baygall

Bug's puppy, Dezi, that she got from her Uncle Benny.

Pete's dog Lucy, that he got from his sister Mary.

The Lady of the Hill

Kate Jasmines

Large cedar that slapped the roof during Hurricane Rita

Stand of willows by our little pond.

Figs waiting to ripen in the sun.  Can you find fourteen?

Old tractor that we still use.
Hope you enjoyed your afternoon here with me.  God bless and come again soon!


P.S.  If you haven't taken my poll in the sidebar yet, please do before you leave!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beginnings & Endings: The Beginnings

The week preceeding Mother's Day was not just a week of endings, but a week filled with beginnings!

First, our precious little Baby Ruth turned a month old on that Thursday.  She's growing like a weed and truly beautiful. 

Then on Saturday, we were invited down to Bubba and Candy Girls house for a little belated birthday party/mother's day cookout.  That was a first!  It would tickle me pink if it became a Bubby birthday/Mother's Day tradition.  He cooked cabbage & sausage in the house and his best friend, Parker, cooked ribs outside on the pit.  His mom was there, too.  Along with some mutual friends of all of ours.  They played washers and horse shoes.  I mostly played with Baby Ruth.  Did mix up my potatoe salade to go with what the guys were doing.

This was Candy Girl's first Mother's Day.  I picked her a bouquet of our kate jasmines and put in an old bottle and took to her to make her living room smell good.  She's such a good little mama!  I'm so proud of her.  Bubba is no slouch as a daddy either, but he leaves diaper changes to her and since Baby Ruth is being breast fed, that duty goes to her as well.

When the big day got here, I couldn't wipe the silly grin off my face sitting in church Sunday morning with my whole "new" family on the row:  Me, Pete, Bug, Bubba, Candy Girl and Baby Ruth.  Amazing how our family almost doubled in just a year!  Counting my blessings and reflecting on how Our God keeps His Promises, even if we begin to despair.  Thinking of the hurdles He got us through to get to this point.  Seeing His hand in so many things.

Beautiful when Pete helped to pass out the roses to the mothers - white for those whose mothers were gone on to thier reward, and red for those who still had their mother on earth.  I of course had white, Candy Girl got a red one.

Yes, it was a time of wonderful, memorable firsts I'll always cherish.


P.S.  Like Life and Faith in Caneyhead on Facebook to get more of the inside scoop on what goes in Caneyhead....including pictures of Baby Ruth!  Check my sidebar.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beginnings & Endings: The Endings

The week preceding Mother's Day was a week of Beginnings and Endings. 

First I found that my last remaining uncle, Uncle Rene, had passed away on the sixth.  I went up to the viewing at Farmers Funeral Home after work on Tuesday evening.  Sad, but so good to see cousins I rarely get to see. Mostly Uncle Rene and Aunt Norma's children.

There was their oldest, Buzzy.  He could always draw Snoopy as good as Charles Schulz.  Made him seem real "cool" to me as a youngster.  He served in Vietnam and has had to deal with all that entailed.  After he was back, he served as a volunteer fireman.  That always made him seem real cool to me as a younger adult.

And there was Bruce.  Bruce seemed real cool to me, too when I was a teenager.  He had a motorcycle at one time and for some reason I'll never understand, mama and daddy let him take me for a ride.  It was the days of bell bottoms and he took some curves so tight that they brushed against the pavement.  Didn't even scare me, after all, I was with my older, cool cousin.  LOL  Later he was my idol because he got a beautiful white and blue Mustang Cobra.

And there was Linda.  Just a few years older than me.  Just enough for me to look up to some.  But not so much as she wouldn't play with me as a child.  Me and a boy from their home town that I had met at church camp double dated with her and her boyfriend to their senior prom.  And I was asked by her to be in her first wedding. 

And there was a cousin there from Arkansas as well.  Lawrence Wayne.  He's one of Aunt Catherine's boys.  He had been a Sheriff's Deputy up there at one time.  And he and his wife have drove the big rigs up and down the roads.

Of course Aunt Norma was there.  She said she just felt numb.  No wonder.  Mama Ruth and Daddy Jess had let her marry Rene when she was just fifteen, before he left to fight in WWII.  By the time he got back she was eighteen.  A friend of theirs told a story at the funeral home about the first big fight they had.  Said Norma stormed off to the bedroom and began packing her bags to go home to mama.  In a little while Rene walked in, got out a bag, threw in a pair of jeans and Norma stopped and asked, "Where are you going?"  He looked her in the eyes and said tenderly, "With you."    

The Uncle Rene I knew and remember always had something to say.  A story, a place to talk about.  And when he finished, you almost always walked away feeling like you learned something. He served in the Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater. Him and Norma both sung in their church choir.  They traveled a lot.  All their lives, but especially after retirement.  They shared a love of photography.  Pictures of any and every occasion, place and person in their lives. 

What I didn't realize until I watched the wonderful slide show at the funeral home was how truly handsome he had been.  How he and Norma loved the beach.  Pictures of him in trousers rolled up and a t-shirt, sun shades:  looked like a candid snap shot of movie star from by gone days.

My other ending came on Bubba's birthday that was the first time I was unable to hug, kiss, see, touch my boy on his birthday.  His company had sent him to Houston on a job and he was stuck out of town. 

See the next post for The Beginnings.


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