Friday, July 1, 2016

I Saw it on Facebook

Who doesn't love Maxine!?!  She often says what the rest of the 50+ set is thinking.  I remember back in the 80's I belonged to a spa and one day the little lady that came around and checked your vitals took my heart rate.  It was something like 62bpm.  She said, "Oh, how many miles do you run a week?"  I said, "Run?!  I don't run unless something is chasing me."  Maxine has the idea of a kind of running I am rather fond of.  

At times, I have fantasized about going down south somewhere where the cost of living is really low, getting a hut, stocking up on drinks and living off a fresh sea catch and local fruit.  In my head, it is a true paradise.  Until I am sick and miserable.  Until a storm washes my hut into the ocean.  Until the locals turn against the strange lady on the beach.  

I admit, as I get older and am still working a full week, I tend to coast more and more on the weekends.  I need my time to relax when I first come home in the evening.  Then later, after supper and any chores, I have to have some quiet sit with my feet up time to get ready for bed.  On Saturdays I sleep until I want to get up.  That could be anywhere between 9:00am or even occasionally as late at 1:00pm.  

We don't dash off to places for holidays.  We are old-fashioned that way. We prefer to hang close to home and relax.  Plus, there is a revival starting at church this Sunday.  So, I know I will do a useful thing or two on my three-day weekend, but for the most part, I plan to rest, revive and enjoy.

What about you?   Do you ever fantasize about living a laid-back, carefree life? Do you ever have sleep-in days?  Will you travel and work to enjoy your holiday or relax into it? 


Monday, June 27, 2016

Some Lessons Bear Repeating

I was looking back in L & F and found a post from 2006 that is featured in the side bar.  In the post, I share two times the Spirit of God was clearly leading me to do a certain thing, but I made rational excuses and talked myself out of it and later, deeply regretted not being immediately and wholly obedient.

As I was reading this old entry and squirming under the conviction of these remembrances, it occurred to me that since that time, there has been another time I refused to step out of my comfort zone and do what every fiber of my soul was demanding.

I had accompanied Pete to a doctor's appointment and we were leaving.  We were on the elevator headed back down.  On the floor below us, the elevator stopped and a couple came on board.  As soon as the elevator doors closed a compulsion came over me to go to the couple, ask if I could pray for them, lay my hands upon their shoulders and pray.  Yet, there I stood, frozen in place.  Not moving, nor speaking.  My mind was whirling, arguing with my soul.  With God's Holy Spirit voice.  "If I am wrong, they will be offended!  Pete will think I am crazy."  (Pete was not yet saved at the time.)  As we lurched ever downward, I began to pray silently in my head.  For God's forgiveness.  That my weakness would not stop Him from bestowing upon them what He wanted to.  That he would bless them, comfort them, heal them and meet their needs.

You might say, "Well, certainly God understood.  You still prayed for them."  But I submit to you, is half obedience, obedience at all?  If you told your teenager absolutely no drinking and be home by midnight, would you consider them obedient if they staggered inside at 11:30pm?  Or if they rolled in cold sober at two in the morning?  I think not.  I know God forgave me.  But I also know He was disappointed that I didn't let Him bless me by being fully obedient to Him.  Everything in me, told me that couple would be grateful and really needed that expression of God's love right then.  I let doubt and "reason" sway me from the course.  I missed another experience I could have cherished.  Much more than that, I let down the One who gave All for me.

What about about you?   Are you always radically obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit?  Have you ever made excuses and missed an opportunity you regretted?

Even if you don't feel like sharing, take my lesson to heart and let it be yours. Don't miss an opportunity to serve the Living God!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

I Saw it on Facebook

It's been awhile.  Too long, really.  So tonight I want to share a graphic that, to me, sums up very well the reality of love, the reality of married life.

Somehow, as Father's Day draws to a close, this is perfect.  The perfect way to honor my man, the father of our children.  I'd add to it only, that there are many ways of saying "I love you." and a lot of them don't include words.  It is holding your hand the entire time you are having their child.  It's always coming to the rescue, even when they are mad at you.  It's never refusing to hold you if you need it.  It's coming through that door every day, choosing to make a life with you.

He might not be a poet or singer.  But maybe he expresses the romance in his heart by cooking for you.  By waking you to go on a midnight picnic.  By giving you an anniversary present in front of the whole church.  By bringing home silly little convenience store treats for you.  By asking you to come outside and see this sunset.

Perhaps he is like the Fonz, and has never uttered the words "I'm sorry." more than once or twice his entire life.  But maybe he stays quiet and removed to let you calm down.  Then he'll start to try to make you laugh or smile.  To tease and pick on you like you were kids.  Invite you to sit a spell with them or see something they have done in the yard.  That's him saying he regrets the riff.  He misses what the two of you have.  He wants it back, whole and vibrant.

The bottom line, is never think that the language of love is always spoken in words.

I invite you to share something that comes to mind when you read the words above.  Some way your man (or you as a man) spoke without speaking.


Friday, June 10, 2016


Change:  make or become different

Seems there have been a LOT of changes lately.  Not necessarily big changes, but a steady stream of the smaller variety.  Oodles of changes at work and quite a few in our family life.

I won't go into detail about the ones at work, as I believe going into detail about work online is a recipe for disaster.  Suffice it to say, there are changes in our technology and procedures, changes in personnel, changes in our workspace as we are remodeling.  Changes, seemingly all at once.

I won't go into too much detail about the family life changes, but they are rather numerous as well. Pete has gotten back into raising hogs this year. More feed, more chores, good fresh meat.   Hannah is about to be a senior in high school and that entails lots of upcoming changes:  driver's ed, more AP and 5.0 courses, gathering college financial aid and scholarship information, etc. Daughter-in-law has started a job, so PawPaw is watching Hazil until her daddy gets off work. Bubba is working back in this area instead of pipelining for now.   Some days she is still here when I come in, some days not.  That's another change,  More family time, need a little more planning, less down time.

It's not that anything is a bad change, just that there are so many at one time it almost seems 
overwhelming.  So, you have to just sit back and ride each little ripple and wave of change and see where it takes you, what becomes of it.

The owner of our company's wife gave us all a monarch butterfly chrysalis this spring.  Mine set on our dining room table for the first week, then I moved it to the kitchen window the second week, as it was so cloudy, rainy and overcast.  One Sunday morning the chrysalis had turned very dark instead of it's jade green.  When we were back from church and I went to the sink later to wash some dishes, I noticed movement.  My butterfly had hatched from it's chrysalis!  He was hanging on his perch, drying his wings.  After a while, I took him out to the picnic table in the yard, as I didn't want him to try to fly in the house.  I also didn't want a nosy kitty to get him or a bird to swoop down and eat him, so I baby set him while he stretched and dried.  Pete, Hannah and a nephew of ours all observed him for a time.  Hannah babysat him while I had to do a thing or two in the house.  But most of the several hours it took for him to finish drying I was out there alone with him and my thoughts.  The wonder of change, the metamorphosis that took him from caterpillar to  butterfly, takes us from babies to adults, the spiritual metamorphosis that Christ leads us on.  At the end, he flew up and then right down on my hand. Then he took off for the back porch rail.  He sat there in the sun a minute or two, then straight up into a pecan tree.  I never saw him again, but the time I spent with him that afternoon, coming to a total standstill, not "doing" anything. stays with me.  I may yet get through the changes ahead.                               

What types of changes are going on in your life right now?  Do you usually handle change well, or do you find it upsetting?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Go Figure

I'm happy, but tired.  We had some friends from church and family over this afternoon and fried fish. It was very good, good company, pleasant.  But I spent too much time on my feet.  I just can't do that no more.  It makea my back hurt.  At least now I'm on my comfy couch in my gown, feet up. :)

The title for this little entry stems from a phenomenon I find curious.  There is a seven year old post on my blog that has been out performing any thing recent this week!  Almost three times the page views!  Granted, it is a good one.  A funny one.  Every so often someone will find it and apparently share the link and it'll get a cluster of visits. But never anything like this!  It's on my personal favorite entries list in the sidebar:  Yes, That's My Purse :P.  If you've never read it, I encourage you to check it out!

My all time most visited post is one I did about becoming a VFW advocate.  And that's all right with me, as our vets are a subject near and dear to my heart.  It has more than double the pageviews of any other post I've made since I came to Blogger.

Ah, well, enough of that.  Did you know the AToZ Road Trip is starting up?  If you haven't yet, go on over and sign up.  You can visit as much or as little as fits your schedule.  I made a few this morning and found one full of poems based on historical characters that I'd like to go back and read more of. Short, easy, funny and clever.

Thankfully only one brief shower today.  I told someone the other day that if it keeps this up our pine forest is going to turn into a rain forest!  My poor car is filthier than it has been since I bought it. The yard is starting to look like a prime grassland for cows, and the pool doesn't stand a chance to stay clean.  Ugh!

Okay, I've said all that is really on my mind.  Think I"ll spend the rest of my computer time visiting some of ya'll.

Friday, June 3, 2016

An Invitation to My Readers

I am reviving an old friend:  a private blog I have called Barefoot & Bra-less.  The description reads:

"Me just relaxed, being myself and hanging out with friends.......As if we were alone in the room together and I could tell you anything.....fears, thoughts, hopes, aggravations, dreams, stories. Trusting, knowing you would keep it all between the two of us."

I have only posted there twice since 2009.  But I feel the need arising in my life to have a space where I can unburden myself,  honestly explore my feelings, get a little advice or understanding.

So, if you are a follower of Caneyhead and a woman, I invite you to join me there every once in a while.  Since it is a private blog, your email address will have to be added for you to visit. You can either leave you email address in the comments or send it to me at

Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Perspectives on this past Monday

Hello!  I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day.  We did!  I cooked a brisket in the oven and all the sides.  Cut up our first watermelon of the year.  Thankfully, none of us have lost a family member in service of our country.  So, this year, we simply paused, reflected and prayed at 3:00 in honor of those who did make the ultimate sacrifice.  My kids came over later in the evening.  We tried out the pool.  Bubba walked over and invited our neighbor, a WWII veteran, to join us for supper.  One of our nephews stopped by and everyone played some horseshoes.  When we came in to eat, I was honored to have Bubba lead us in prayer!  So, for me, it was a good day.

I overheard on the local news, Sunday night, that a local veteran had his American flag he was displaying at his house, torn down and ripped up.  My heart broke for him!  I was so disgusted to think anyone could and would do such a heinous thing.  One of those things that make you wonder just what this country is coming to.

Then on Tuesday evening, I saw a report on a local man who had gone to the mall on Monday and played taps there.  Someone took a video of it, and it went viral.  The news station had him in interviewing him.  He's in the Texas guard.  Wanted to make it clear he, himself, is not a veteran.  Stressed what it meant to him to be able to do something to help others remember what the day is about, find the time to pause and reflect.  I was so proud to think that someone would take the time to do such a thing.  One of those things that makes you think there might be hope for us yet.

What's the most touching thing that happened in your day?  The worst local  news you heard?  What did you hear about or see that lifted your spirits?

See the Army Veteran who had his flag destroyed, and the man who played taps in the mall.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

It's Not all Cookouts

Born out of the practice of gathering to honor the fallen dead of the Civil war in communities across the nation and above and below the Mason Dixon Line, the predecessor of Memorial Day, Decoration Day, was first officially proclaimed by General John Logan,  “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died...”

By the turn of the century it was becoming referred to as Memorial Day by many.  In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

“We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.”

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.

After WWI the day was expanded to include Americans who had fallen in all conflicts.  1967, it was made an official federal holiday. Memorial Day remained on May 30 until 1971, when it was moved to the last Monday in May as part of the Federal Uniform Holidays Act.

Beginning in 1987 Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, introduced a measure to return Memorial Day to its traditional date. Inouye continued introducing the resolution every Congress until his death in 2012. In his introductory remarks to the bill he introduced in 1999 he stated:

“Mr. President, in our effort to accommodate many Americans by making the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we have lost sight of the significance of this day to our nation. Instead of using Memorial Day as a time to honor and reflect on the sacrifices made by Americans in combat, many Americans use the day as a celebration of the beginning of summer. My bill would restore Memorial Day to May 30 and authorize our flag to fly at half mast on that day. In addition, this legislation would authorize the President to issue a proclamation designating Memorial Day and Veterans Day as days for prayer and ceremonies honoring American veterans. This legislation would help restore the recognition our veterans deserve for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of our nation.” 

The “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps.”

Let us remember to honor those who fell while serving their nation and protecting our freedoms.  Place flags or flowers on graves,  wear a poppy pin or pause, reflect and pray at 3:00pm tomorrow. 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”- John 15:13, KJV

Monday, May 23, 2016

We Don't Need No Stinking New Bathroom Laws

For crying out loud!!  Has this whole collective country lost all of it's common sense?!?!  Seriously!

All of this transgender bathroom crap is ridiculous!  All we need is all we have ever needed, which is a little common sense, as anyone who has ever been the mother of a boy can tell you.  If you have a toddler to preschool age boy and your husband is not with you and the boy needs to use the restroom, you escort him into the ladies room with you.  Why?  Because he is too young to be in a place with grown men, one of whom could be a molester, nor in an environment that is usually filthy without supervision.  Once he gets up school age or so, you teach him some self protection things and let him go in the men's room, but you are right outside that door and you'll bust up right in there if he takes an exceeding long time or you hear any sign of a commotion.  Technically, the ladies bathroom was never his place and the men's room was never yours.  But for the sake of his age and protection and common sense, there are times to bend the rules and only an idiot would complain.

Likewise, the whole trans debacle.  Get real would you people!  Anyone who is dressed and carrying themselves as a woman has always been able to go into the ladies room.  Anyone who can stand and piss has been able to go into the men's room.  That's all we need!  Just keep doing that!  If Larry still walks like a man and isn't dressed in drag, go to the men's room!!!  If he's rocking a dress and heels and can simply walk in quietly, get in a stall and do his business, go in a ladies room!  If you don't make a big deal out of it, the most anyone might think is what a gawd awful ugly woman.  Or darn, I wish I had her hair.

No one needs an all inclusive restroom!!  We'd never find a clean public restroom anywhere any more, let alone having to pee in the same room as the guy who just leered at you on isle 5.

Thank you for listening!  I feel better now.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Posting to Save My Soul

I was online, looking around.  Checking out my reading list.  Looking to see if a few new blogs I had followed had made any posts I had missed.  Then, I scrolled back up to the top of my Blogger Dashboard screen and I saw the number of posts I have made here at Life and Faith:  666!!!

Well, I don't want my blog associated with the number of the beast!  So, I had to, of course, make a quick entry so that the number would roll and I'd be at a nice, safe, decent and Holy 667.

In case you've had your head buried in sand somewhere all of your days, the beast I refer to is in John the Revelator's book in the Bible and the number 666 is an important clue to his identity:

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. - Revelation 13:18, JKV

Now I can push post, finish Perry Mason, go to bed and sleep soundly.

Friday, May 13, 2016

I Saw it on Facebook

Okay, yes, I do talk to myself.  Not all the time all day.  But at different times throughout the day.  I talk to myself when:

I'm trying to figure something out.
I'm doing something and it doesn't go right.
I'm trying to make up my mind about something.
When I see something incredibly moving, stupid or mean and I am by myself...there's no one to comment to.

I don't always answer myself, but sometimes I do.  I'm not ashamed of it.  Sometimes a girl just needs to talk to someone who will listen intently, understand completely, get her warped humor and come up with an answer that truly suits her.  ;)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Reflections on the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, 2016 Edition

I'm going to try to keep this post short and sweet, as I myself am exhausted from a beautiful, wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  

I like to end on a positive note, so I'll begin on the negative.  I had less interaction this year, than last year.  But I expected that going in.  My Tender Years theme about childhood memories was simple and plain.  Also, I was a minion last year and was everywhere.  This year I was not a minion and was lucky to visit my 6 list blogs a day, answer my comments and drop in on a few of the many blogs I wanted to follow through the Challenge.  All together, I had about 1200 less visits than last year.

On the plus side, in many ways, this year rocked!!!  I had a core of people who really got into my Tender Years theme and visited almost every post!  I found many new blogs to follow, who seem to be the type that I love the most:  just real people blogging about life.  To me, that is what blogging is. As the year progresses, and I see just what unfolds on these "new" to me blogs, I'll be spotlighting and sharing.  Statistics wise, even though this year did not out do last year. it did surpass any of the other three years I was in the Challenge.

So, I'm chalking this year up as a win, win.  I gained some new, looks to be faithful, followers and found some new blogs I think I can really love.  Some of you will be seeing me coming back on slow Saturdays reading A to Z posts I missed.  Some of you won't; not because I don't care, but because there just aren't enough hours in a day.  

For those not familiar yet with Caneyhead as usual, I do my own thing called "I Saw it on Facebook", where I take an image I saw on Facebook and expound upon it.  Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes humorous or tongue in cheek.  You'll also see faith posts, as I am a professing, Bible believing, born again Christian.  There are also personal posts about life in Caneyhead, post about things that matter to me, posts regarding issues I care about.  Occasionally my warped sense of humor and random train of thought take a bow here as well.  I do not have certain days for certain things.  Life doesn't work that way.  You'll likely see one to three posts a week from me.   

Thanks to our Challenge hosts, minions and helpers!  And I certainly hope I"ll see every one of you back here next year for 2017!  If you want to see some more reflections, just click the image above. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

A Joke and a Lesson

I was going around, visiting the blogs I follow when I happened upon Shawn's blog, Laughing at Life 2 and his Dam Joke.  Okay, I had a good laugh, and then I started to think about it.  Then I began to want to share what I thought.  So, I asked Shawn, and good sport that he is, he said I could share his joke here with my post.  So thanks to Shawn, and here's the joke:

"A boy is selling fish on a corner. To get his customers' attention, he is yelling, "Dam fish for sale! Get your dam fish here!" A pastor hears this and asks, "Why are you calling them 'dam fish.'" The boy responds, "Because I caught these fish at the local dam." The pastor buys a couple fish, takes them home to his wife, and asks her to cook the dam fish. The wife responds surprised, "I didn't know it was acceptable for a preacher to speak that way." He explains to her why they are dam fish. Later at the dinner table, he asks his son to pass the dam fish. He responds, "That's the spirit, Dad! Now pass the f*cking potatoes!""

It should be easy to see why I laughed.  The preacher was having fun with the play on words.  Then his son heard him and instead of being shocked and then laughing with relief when he realized Dad didn't mean what he thought, the son believed his Dad was actually condoning foul language and curse words.  It's a funny premise.

Until you begin to think about it.  How many times in our day to day life, in our Christian walk, do we "flirt" with the edges of sin?  Go right up to the point of sinning and then stop short?  Or perhaps we even stick our toe in and test the water!  Don't you know, even if we are sure in our  hearts WE have not sinned, if we cause someone to believe we have fallen short of the mark, we have failed?!  It is true!  We are not responsible for only our own actions and whether they are right or not in God's sight, we are responsible for how those around us perceive those actions.  If, like the son in the joke, they perceive that we are somehow condoning their improper, impure actions and motives, then we stand guilty.

If on the other hand, we have carried ourselves uprightly in ever way we possibly can and they still mis-perceive and somehow feel justified in their wrong doing, then it is not our fault, but lies with them.  The Apostle Paul addressed this issue in regard to the practice of buying and eating meat that had been offered as a sacrifice to idols.  Idol worship is wrong.  Those who worshiped the idols believed that eating the meat that had been sacrificed to the idol actually brought part of that "god" into the eater.  Christians knew there was no power in the idols or the meat.  But new converts and those still practicing idol worship did not.  In Romans 14, Paul addressed this!  He summed it up well in this:  14 As for myself, I am perfectly sure on the authority of the Lord Jesus that there is nothing really wrong with eating meat that has been offered to idols. But if someone believes it is wrong, then he shouldn’t do it because for him it is wrong. 15 And if your brother is bothered by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you go ahead and eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Don’t do anything that will cause criticism against yourself even though you know that what you do is right.  Therefore, let us not think like the world, "I know I'm right and if you don't understand who cares."  but think like Christ and care about our weaker brothers and sisters.  Care about the unsaved around you everywhere!  In Luke 17:2&3 Christ Jesus himself says, "If he were thrown into the sea with a huge rock tied to his neck, he would be far better off than facing the punishment in store for those who harm these little children’s souls. I am warning you!"  

What about it?  Do you know you are flirting with sin?  Is there some weaker person you are causing to feel justified in their weakness?  Will you stand up for Christ and then extend a hand to them?

Monday, May 2, 2016

A to Z Champions!!

I've made my posts
Time after time.
I wrote every sentence
Though they didn't rhyme.
And bad days -
I've had a few.
I've had my share of broken links to chase
But I've come through.

(And I it just goes on and on, and on, and on)

We are the champions, my friends,
And we kept on writing 'til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for snoozers cause we are the champions of the Challenge.

I've made my visits
I've left my comments
You've brought me followers and shares and all that goes with it
I thank you all!
But my social life's a mess
No housework's been done
I consider it a challenge before the whole blogging world
That we got 'er done!

(And it just goes on and on, and on, and on)

We are the champions, my friends,
Cause we kept on blogging 'til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for snoozers
'Cause we are the champions of the Challenge!

We are the champions, my friends,
Cause we kept on blogging 'til the end.
We are the champions.
We are the champions.
No time for snoozers
'Cause we are the champions of the Challenge!

This is my gift to all who survived the A to Z Challenge.
Sing to the tune of "We Are the Champions".


Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tender Years: Zoo, never been to one.

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

So, I am cheating a little today.  I have never visited a real, full zoo in my life.  I did go to Astroworld in Houston quite a few times growing up.  And they did have a small petting zoo inside there.  We never loaded into the car and went on any rambling vacation staying in motels, either.  We went to visit relatives when we took to the road, and if we stayed over night, we stayed with them.

Ninety percent of our meals were cooked at home by Mama.  Both Daddy's lunch and mine were made each morning, by Mama.  Occasionally, Daddy would take us all out to eat.  Sometimes family or friends had us over for a meal.

We took real "Sunday" drives on many Sundays after church and lunch.  We'd take off and go down any road that caught Daddy's attention, stopping in at anyone's house we passed that we knew, to visit a minute, have a cup of coffee.

For fun, we'd sometimes go see a movie, do something at or with the church, have family or friends over, go swimming or have a picnic.

Mama and Daddy almost always tried to have me in the bed by 9pm, and they would stay up long enough to finish the news at 10 most nights.  Mama always got up first, made coffee, fixed breakfast, and put those lunches together.  She got Daddy off and out the door and then would get me up, if it were a school morning.

Life was simple and uncomplicated.  There were three TV channels and if nothing was on you wanted to see, you turned it off and did something else.  Read, talked, played a game.  There were enough conveniences to make life easier, but no devices to drive our lives and obsessed us.  People and conversation mattered the most of all.

I thank God I had the childhood I did, when I did, and I am very grateful that I was able to give my son and daughter a very similar childhood. even on the heels of innovation and technology.

Was yours a simple childhood?

Please share your thoughts with me!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Tender Years: in the Yard

"A grownup is a child with layers on." - Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

If the weather was the least bit tolerable, I'd be out in the yard for at least a big chunk of the day.  I did do other things besides trying to fly off the well tank and riding my bike.  I loved to get in the deep, shady San Augustine grass and find pill bugs.  I loved how they'd curl up into a complete ball!  I'd put them in a pocket, I'd throw them.  I'd see how many I could get balled up at one time. I also like to walk around in the sand in the driveway and look for ant lions.  Their little funnel in the sand made a fun place to push an ant into, or to toss a twig or spring of grass.  Sometimes I was mean and poked a stick in the center and twirled it round and round.

Occasionally, I'd go through the house and announce to Mama I was bored.  If she wasn't too busy, she'd come out and we'd made a hop scotch board in the dirt and play a game or two.  In the evening, when Daddy came home, if I were outside anywhere, he'd chase me one full circle around the house, then go inside, sit in his lazy boy and say "Poor tired, Daddy!  Needs someone to pull his big ol' boots off."  And I'd unlace his leather work boots, rare back and "pull" them off.  I think mostly it was Daddy pushing with the other foot that did the trick.

I also loved to swing.  I had a swingset, but if I swang very high or fast it tried to tip up.  In a huge old oak tree, behind the garage, Daddy threw a thick rope up and looped it over a huge limb.  He made me a swing!  A swing I could swing higher than high on!

In the late summer evenings, I'd sometimes lay out on the shady side of the house, watching the clouds, chewing on a piece of grass, smelling Mama's supper simmering and slipping out through the open windows.  I'd hear the clanking dishes in the sink.  Hear Daddy say something to Mama or to our little Susie dog.  And life just felt so rich!  So full!  So cozy and perfect!

What were some of your favorite outdoor activities?  Did you play with insects?  What is one of the warmest, life is right memories you have?

Thanks for sharing with me!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tender Years: X

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

Sarah had a baby blue Mustang, Eddie had bought for her.  She came by the house to pick me up. She was taking me and little Holly somewhere.  Kelly and Paige may have been with us.  I don't clearly remember.  Usually when Sarah picked us up, we were going somewhere to swim or to swing or to get a great burger.  

As we were driving, the edge of something slid out from under the drivers seat.  I picked it up.  It was a magazine.  I started thumbing through it.  It had a lot of ladies in their nightgowns.  Before long, Sarah noticed me in the rear view mirror.  She told me to give it to her.  Laughed and said something about Eddie's stuff.  

I believe that was my first look inside an X-rated magazine.

Ever stumble across something the grownups had hidden?  Did you look, read it, taste it, try it?  Did you say anything about it? 

Please share your thoughts!


This was my lunch kit in the 3rd & 4th grade.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Tender Years: Water Well

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  - Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

On Cooks Road, as elsewhere, we lived outside the city limits.  There was no "city" water.  You had to have a well and a pump to have water.  The old McWilliams place we rented, had a well in a small tin shed.  A few feet from the shed, was the concrete cistern that held the well water.  There was a wonderful galvanized pipe that ran from the shed to the cistern.
On many, many days when there was no one to play with me, I found all the fun I needed right there!  The small pipe hit me just above waist high.  It fit my hands perfectly.  It was the perfect place to flip over and over!  It was also great fun to climb up on the shed side of the pipe and try to walk it the few feet over to the cistern.  Of course, any time Mama caught me, I was in great trouble because I could cause the pipe to break off of the well, but back then I couldn't see the harm and ignored her continually.

As much fun as playing on the pipe was, the greatest fun was on a good windy day.  I'd take the small square lightweight baby blanket Aunt Norma had made me, use a safety pin to put it around my neck, climb up onto the top of the cistern (all four-five feet) spread out my blanket cape and fly off and into the deep, thick San Augustine grass.  I know I flew!  Really flew!  And I loved the wind, as it was my friend that let me fly!

In my dreams at night, I didn't need the blanket cape or the cistern to launch off of.  In my dreams, I could will myself up into the sky and float/fly over my school campus, or around our house.  It took a lot of concentration to come in for a landing on my feet, and quite often I cut a flip or two, but it never hurt.

Mattel Liddle Kiddles Doll in a ring.  I had one, did you?

What about you?  Did you have anything you loved to play on/with that you knew you shouldn't?  Did you ever fly in your yard or in your dreams?  Please share with me!


P.S.  I feel I must clarify, as some are getting the wrong idea.  The well had an electric pump on it.  The well itself was simply a pipe in the ground.  The water came up, went into the tank and stayed there, until we turned on a faucet in the house.  We did have running water and we did have indoor bathroom.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tender Years: VBS, Sunbeams & Sunday School

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers. 

My earliest memories of church are from First Baptist in Silsbee.  I recall going to Sunday School there, something called Sunbeams there and to VBS there.  To me, there was nothing like the Sunday morning feeling.  Shiny and clean.  Best clothes on.  Patent leather shoes,  my own little white KJV Bible, pennies to give to the missionaries in my tiny purse.  
I felt happy, clean and like I was a "good" girl. 

Collective memories from all of these:  marching in with the flags going before us, singing "Onward Christian Soldiers", memorizing Bible verses, singing songs, playing musical chairs in the rooms, playing red rover out on the back lawn, cookies and punch.  

One year, my Aunt Billie was my teacher.  She had the BEST crafts!  For one, we took a coke bottle, a light bulb, black spray paint, pipe cleaners and felt and made a cat!!  I thought this was so cool! Most precious to me, we did our own stained glass Jesus!  We traced a picture of Jesus onto a pane of glass, painted him with tempera paints, crumbled up foil and put it over the back, then masking tape around for a frame.  I was so proud of mine that I still have it, buried down and tucked away safe in Mama's old cedar chest. 

Was church a part of your childhood?  What's your warmest childhood church memory?  If it wasn't a part of your childhood, do you feel you missed something?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tender Years: Under the Bed

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

Remember how I mentioned in an earlier post, I was afraid at night, in the dark in my bedroom? Mama often told me how hard and long her and Daddy had to fight to get me to sleep in my own bed.  This is when I was five or younger.  We were up in Carthage.  I had good reason to be scared to sleep alone:  under the bed.

I remember lying in the dark room, eyes wide open.  They had to be wide open, so I could see if anything was coming to get me!  Eyes wide open, staring up and out into the room, into the dark.  Watching for movement.  Looking for any difference in shade or shadow.  When I stared long enough, the little bright colored circus animals would start floating down toward the bed.  I'd watch them come down one right after another.  They were bright and cheery, but I knew there was something under the bed that would run them off soon enough!

It was snakes.  There was a huge pile of snakes under my bed!  They only came out at night.  They slithered around and covered the floor of my room.  They wriggled and writhed and hissed.  They couldn't climb up on the bed if I kept my eyes open.  But I was trapped.  Cut off from everyone by these snakes!  Surely Mama didn't know about the snakes!

I'd finally break and call out for Mama and Daddy.  I know they used to love me.  Used to take me to the safety of their bedroom.  But they couldn't see the snakes.  They were too fast!  Disappeared under the bed as soon as they walked in.  In time, they started spanking me and making me stay in my room.

So, I had to learn new methods to cope, to deal with this dilemma.  The bright circus animals whispered to me and told me if I'd just cover all but my eyes and nose with the sheet, that the snakes couldn't get through the sheet.  I worried that if I fell asleep, my arm might dangle off the bed and the snakes could then raise up and strike me or slither up my arm.  Again, the bright animals had the solution:  Cross my arms over my chest and hold an edge of the sheet with each hand.  That'd keep me snug and tight and keep me safe through the night.

Eventually, the animals stopped coming.  I got a room without snakes under the bed.  A lot has changed, but I still always go to sleep with my arms crossed over my chest.

What was bedtime like for you as a small child?  Anything living and hiding under your bed?  Any odd ritual before you can fall asleep?

Thanks for sharing!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tender Years: Tonto & the Lone Ranger

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

For quite a bit of my childhood, certain family members lived in Arkansas.  My mother's parents, Mama Ruth & Daddy Jess, and Aunt Catherine & Uncle Wayne for the most part early on.  Here's a couple of photos from a trip we made up there in 1967, right after Daddy bought this Volkswagen Bug.  
Jesse Oah Allbritton & Clayon Stutts

Daddy and my little dog Susie

Aunt Catherine's youngest son was named Luke, after the Rifleman, and I called him Lukey.  He was a couple of years older than me.  The only boy I ever really played with.  At times we got along well, and at times he called me stupid and baby.  Despite our natural ups and downs, we made memories together.  One of my fondest memories of our times together, was up in Arkansas.  There were cool evenings, but not cold.  At dusk we'd go out and lay on the steps, look up at the stars and take turns making up stories and adventures with us as Tonto and the Lone Ranger.  Our imaginations were vivid and the duo did things far beyond their exploits on TV.

Did you often play games with the opposite sex?  How did the older children treat you?  Who did you pretend to be?

Thanks for sharing!


Friday, April 22, 2016

Tender Years: Sheets?

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

All through my life, Mama often hung our clothes out on the line.  I loved the billowing garments, especially the big things like sheets!  I liked to play among them, grab them, smell them.  Of course Mama would get on to me and tell me to leave them alone, as she didn't want dirty little kid stuff all over her nice clean laundry.  

I also loved it when Mama brought the clean, fresh linen in the house and put it on the beds.  When she'd stand on one side of the bed and pop that top sheet so that it floated down evenly across the mattress, it seemed like magic.  Occasionally, if I were fairly clean, I could convince her to let it billow down over me a time or too before she actually put it on the bed.  I indulged my own children in this same manner.

While we were attending church at First Baptist, I was finally old enough I started to actually listen and understand some of what was said and sung.  I remember Mama standing, hymnal open in her hands, singing with a smile on her face, what I thought was "We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheets."  I couldn't comprehend.  Why was Mama smiling and singing about something I know she viewed as only a chore that had to be done.  She was never that happy bringing in the laundry! Finally a little time and some more learning, and I understood the word they were singing was "sheaves" and not sheets.  A few more years and I understood the sheaves were symbolic, not actual. 

Were clotheslines a  part of your childhood?  Ever misunderstand something the grownups were doing?  Ever have a sheet billow down over you like a cloud?

Thanks for sharing!


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tender Years: Riding Jenny

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

Over the years, after Daddy got Jenny for his plowing, most every baby or toddler that was ever at the house sat upon Jenny's back or "rode" her.  Here is my youngest niece, Sarah's daughter, Holly, and I on Jenny at Cooks Road.  I remember Holly diving right over into Jenny's neck with her mouth wide open, like she wanted to kiss her or perhaps take a bite of her!

Jenny was always totally docile.  We no clue if she had been trained with love, or trained with beating.  I do know that Daddy only struck her once in the very beginning and then if she was tempted to eat niblett ears of corn as they went down the row, he simply lay his whip out where she could see it.

I was less than eleven here, no date is on the picture.  Guessing from Holly's size, I'd say this is in 1969.

Fast forward a few years, on 1122, in 1975, not long before Daddy would succomb to colon cancer, he had a photo shoot in the front yard with Holly and her little brother, Clay.  He was the first male in the family and was Daddy's namesake, as the Clay was short for Clayon.  Here's Clay on Jenny with Daddy.  I was fifteen and the one taking the pictures.

I was the only one who ever truly rode Jenny.  I learned the hard way that a donkey doesn't walk through a ditch, they bunch up and jump it!  I remember lying back on her and looking up at the clouds as she grazed.  I remember laying over her neck, much as Holly did, just petting her on the sides and smelling her unique scent.

Jenny was my first only "chore" for the many years we had her.  It was me who was supposed to go out and feed her and check on her water every day.  Jenny was the only "person" in my household who was still alive when I met and started dating Pete.  She was more than a beast of burden, she was a connection, through the years and the generations.  A connection from Daddy's childhood memories of cotton farming and through my life, my nieces and nephews and cousins, on to the man I'd share my life with.

What memories come to your mind as you read this?  What is something that you feel has connected the generations of your family together in some way?

Thanks for sharing!


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tender Years: Quarters

"A grownup is a child with layers on."  -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

Since I never had a pet named Queenie, I'm going to be talking about quarters today.  During the war (WWII) and afterward, as he traveled all across the country as a heavy duty equipment operator, Daddy collected coins.  My earliest memories around this were in the years we lived on Cooks Road.  The collection was stored in a Mason Jar and in an old Pinocchio plastic bank.  Everything in the collection was solid silver.  Lots of Indian head nickles, quarters of various types from over the years, a couple even from the 1800's.  Standing liberty, sitting liberty, liberty heads, etc.There were a few pieces of money from the war.  But what captured my imagination the most, was the dollar bill he had, printed as currency for Hawaii before it was a state!

This is not Daddy's.  It's one I found on the internet.  You see, Hawaii was a territory of the U.S. and didn't achieve statehood until 1959.  There was something about a state being so new that appealed to me.  

There were many times we hauled out that old coinage and looked at it, and talked about it on the yellow dinner table.  We kept right on adding to it, too.  There was nothing in the collection worth exceeding money.  Just memories and a connection that spanned from Daddy's single days to me and my own children.  Both of which have been allowed to take the bill to school when study made it appropriate.  

What about you?  Any collections, hobbies or interests that spanned generations and connected you together?   

Thanks for sharing!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tender Years: Preaching

"A grownup is a child with layers on." - Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

Back up in Carthage, TX.  I can't possibly be more than 5 years old. We'd go to Sunday church.  I don't remember anything about that church.  But I do recall coming back to the house, going into my room, I had a small square table that stood about two feet tall by my bed.  I pulled it out into the center of the floor, opened my little white King James Bible on top of it, and proceeded to preach.

All so long ago, I don't recall what I preached, what I said to my imaginary congregation, but I recall vividly how it felt.  I felt white hot and on  fire for the Word.  It seemed that in that moment I understood things far beyond my years, comprehended the urgency of the message and used words and expressions I had never used.or really even knew.

I don't recall ever doing it again.  It was just something burning in my heart to do that one day. And then it was over.  Was it simply a child inspired to mimic the preacher she had heard that morning in some imaginary play time?  Was it  a young child sincerely led to try to worship and proclaim God?  Did I think those thoughts and say those things or was the Holy Spirit in the room with me?

Whatever it was exactly, it left a strong memory.  And I still have the little table beside my side of the bed.

Did you ever have bouts of  imagination that went beyond your years and understanding?  Ever seem to feel things and understand things beyond your years?

Thanks for sharing!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Tender Years: Old Shed Clubhouse

"A grownup is a child with layers on.''
   -  Woody Harrelson

Peeling back the layers.

When we lived on Cooks Road, I was fortunate enough to have a "play room" right off the kitchen.  Mama and Daddy had also allowed me to use the little room at the back of the garage to play in.  Once when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, the twins, Sherri and Terri came over to spend the day and play.  It was their first time at our house and after I had showed them around and we had played some everywhere I usually played, they inquired "What is that, back there?"  They were talking about a very old wooden shed.  Part of it was open and part of it closed in.  There were even a couple of windows in the closed in part.  It sat in part of Jenny's pasture and Daddy kept some of his stuff for plowing out under the open part.  

Nothing would do them, but we go back there and take a look around.  They got so excited when they realized the little room had windows, and asked if we could clean it up and make it a club house.  We started in doing what we could do.  Soon we had to make a trip to the house to ask Mama for some supplies to help us get it in tip top shape.  When she heard what we were up to, she was flabbergasted!  She said we had no business there as it was summer and there could be snakes out there.  All three of us set in to telling her how much we already had done and how wonderful it would be.  She finally came outside with us, to inspect just what we were in and how things were.  Probably because it was clear we had already been all over the room and had done so much already, Mama gave in and let us continue.  We worked hard that day!  My first time doing real housework!  We were hot, sweat and dusty from the dirt floor.  Yet, we were so proud of what we accomplished!  I think we had about 30 minutes to admire and enjoy all of our hard work before the twins had to leave.  No one ever went back to our amazing club house, either.  

What is the biggest endeavor you undertook as a young child?
Did you and your friends have a club house?

Thanks for sharing!

Mama bought a set of jacks and taught me how to
play.  Created a connected memory from her childhood to mine.
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