Thursday, October 30, 2008


I am always amazed when God has to keep after me and keep after me with a very clear message for me and I seem to be oblivious to Him. God has brought "The Shack" to my attention over and over in the past few weeks, and I still did not "get it" until about a week ago. One of my "Godly" friends had read this book and shared her opinion with me. She was totally put off by the entire scenario of the book, so I thought-don't waste your time. When I had a couple in the running group share their love of the book, our college adopted daughter tell me her small group was studying this book, and finally even an anonymous comment about it, I had to see for myself. I spent a great deal of time reading the book, only taking a chapter at a time-digesting that and moving on. I have carefully underlined the "meat" of the book and now I am prepared to share what I think.

Wm. Paul Young is a masterful story teller. Some of the reviews on the books, compare him to John Bunyan, while this might be a stretch, he certainly has a wonderful gift for sharing the gospel story while weaving it through a heartbreaking story of redemption. The story is woven around "The Great Sadness" that Mack has suffered. I dare to say-many of us have suffered some form and some degree of "Great Sadness" in our lives. Most of us also have held onto righteous anger for a wrong-perceived or real-that we have suffered. This is the basis of the story-that and our "relationship" with the Trinity.

Young does a good job of describing the Trinity in a manner that helps us to put it all on our level. I have a real problem with EVER trying to put God on a level that we human beings could understand, but the author explains in the very beginning that he has put a visual that is totally unexpected-in an effort to make it clear that God is NOT who we think He is. Our minds could never conceive the wonder and majesty of God, The Trinity, or the Holy mystery of the Holy Spirit. Young gives you visual as well as word story clues to just how unbelievably HUGE and AWESOME our God and His Person is.

The predominant theme of the book is God's desire to have a personal relationship with us and what keeps that from happening. The road blocks range from our striving for independence to the huge block of "Religion". Young explains the impediments in an effective manner that we all can understand. His explanation of our "Independence" follows right along the path of my opinion of our greatest sin-SELF. I also have always been concerned with "Church" and how church limits the growth of our relationship with Our Lord.

The book eventually leads to the story of "Redemption". I am deeply blessed by God's redemption of each and every circumstance in my life. The realization that God will redeem all the pain suffered keeps me putting one foot in front of the other each and every day. I was reminded that my forgiveness does not excuse anything, but begins the restoration of joy and peace in my own soul. My job is forgiving and God's job is justice-a timely reminder. The author reminds us that while the scar and memory will be forever with us- the sadness can be removed from us through His redemption and restoration.

I would highly recommend this book to all. I plan to shelve my book for future reference. I normally pass books on to share with others. This book is a keeper as it will be a good resource during those difficult times in life. Thank you, Lord, for your relentless pursuit until I read the book-You have blessed me through the author. READ THE BOOK!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Halloween is just a couple of days away. Have you bought your costume yet? Many wear masks everyday of their lives. The person they allow the world to see and the "real" person are two very different people. Everyday the "Mask" for the world is put on before leaving the sanctuary of their home and the "real" you is left hiding behind the enclosure of the mask.
What would the world think if the REAL face showed up everyday? Would the opinion of those around change if the real person were known? How many are hiding behind masks?
Deep questions in the middle of the week.
Cold 5 mile run this AM with the temp at 34. It is quite a challenge to get acclimated to the cooler temps. You have to figure out just how many layers to wear at what temp & know that in most cases you will be sweating by the end of the run. Shivering for the first mile & sweating by the end-hands numb when you get back in your car. We don't have many of these days-but I still like the cooler temps-MUCH easier to run in.
Reason # 4 to run-A LARGE hot chocolate with whipped cream on the way home!

Monday, October 27, 2008


One of my favorite days of the year is
the day of my first Fall fire. The temps were cool for our run this AM and have gotten cooler today with a brisk breeze blowing all day. It was time to get the andirons and fire tools out for the season. The first fire is always tough to get going-but I am a fireplace purist. I do not want an insert, gas logs, or any other modern marvel-just a good old wood fire.

I sit and remember childhood memories of sitting in front of the fire and how much Momma & Daddy both loved it. It is truly a "Warm Feeling". Unfortunately, I am here alone with my memories sitting in front of the first fire of the season. AHHH! There is just nothing quite like the first fire and the promise of many more to come. Truly Toasty!


We have our fair share of turtles that roam across our thatch covered woods surrounding our home. I love to watch the turtles as they slowly make their way and always wonder where they are going and why. I often laugh and say I am a turtle when I run. Slowly-methodically making my way to the finish line. I had much rather find a "comfort zone" while running and stay right in the middle of it. This gives me time to let my mind wander and enjoy the surroundings.

While thinking about the turtle today, I came to the conclusion that a lot of us humans are not unlike turtles in other ways. We develop shells that surround us and protect us from pain and harm while plodding along our way. With time and painful experiences, our shells tend to thicken and become heavier. We are able to withdraw into these thick and hard shells in an effort to shield ourselves. While hiding in our shells, the world continues to "happen" around us while we are oblivious. We have been so traumatized by pain in our lives that we stay hidden away to prevent further pain. The memory of the pain and the need to protect ourselves overrides the desire for living life to its fullest. How sad!

We have ended up dragging our shell around with us-loaded down with the weight and limited in our agility by the stiffness of the shell we spend our lives "gun shy". To live life in freedom and to the fullest, we would have to discard our shell and lay open to pain that could occur. Just as the toddler has a natural reaction to seek revenge by hitting back, we have a learned response to pain of protecting ourselves within our shell.

The shell is wonderful and effective protection, but the shell also limits our movement, weighs us down, and slows our motion. How do we learn to shed our shells and expose our undersides? I do not have an answer, but would be interested in yours.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


BC is headed to St. Louis for a company meeting VERY early tomorrow. He actually will beat me out of the bed and I will get up before 5 for our run. It is never a good time to be away from the office, but this is a particularly poor time. This means I will be tuned in to CNBC & Yahoo Stock Quotes while he is away and hoping to sell some of my short term stocks that have slowly drifted into long term investments. I am confident that I will recover-the timing is the only question.

Two weeks in a row I missed the high point of one of my stocks while in my aerobics class. BC informed me I have never had a more expensive workout. I do believe I could hire a personal trainer with the money I have left on the table-due to missing that quick and fleeting high. I laughed with a fellow investor in this particular stock, Friday night and told him, "We had ridden that pony to the top and now back to the bottom." Thank goodness we can laugh.

Back to the subject at hand, I had a very disturbing dream last night. Not normally a fearful person, I was pretty alarmed when I awoke with a start while dreaming. BC told me that I could just sleep with his gun while he was gone. When I am out of pocket, he sleeps with his gun by his hand. Now why he feels more confident when I am here, I do not know. Perhaps it has something to do with being a very light sleeper that hears each and every sound all night long. To make a LONG story short, I will be sleeping with NOT ONLY Mr. Smith, but also Mr. Wesson while BC is up North. For a one man woman, this will be a different and unique experience.

WARNING!!!! It would not be wise to drive down our driveway in the woods for the next couple of days. I tend to be pretty jumpy and have knee jerk reflexes. It could be very bad for your health to surprise me-especially after I have gone to bed!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We drove and drove and wandered through the deep woods of Bienville Parish. In search of the elusive and seemingly hidden-

When finally we come upon this sign-a sign of great meaning-we had arrived at our destination and the final quest-
There were lots of hugs-between old and young-

And Cousins Dear
Plenty of grub and plenty of gab

And Always a Sweet Prayer of Blessings

Talented cousins

And Hymn Singing Cousins

From The Oldest to The Youngest

A Reunion of Sweet Family

And First Cousins-Only Missing Ricky & Johnny Conville-unable to come
And Bob & George Conville-gone on to Eternity

A sweet time of reunion, shared memories & renewal of ties that only come with family.
A wonderful time of reunion and remembrance!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mr. Dillo

There is distinct evidence in the woods surrounding the house that Mr. Armadillo has been doing a little nocturnal visiting. He can be such a nuisance! Mr. Dillo eats grubs, bugs, etc which are under the deep Thatch in the woods surrounding our home. To find his nightly meal, Mr. Dillo digs and digs and digs-MAKING A TERRIFIC MESS! Covered with a plate of armor or bone, Mr. Dillo is quite unperturbed when I walk out in the early morning hours and catch him in the act. He knows he has a suit of armor on and is relatively safe from harm. Oh BUT-he doesn't know me very well. He JUST THINKS he cannot be harmed. I've seen the evidence of what cars do to Mr. Dillo and this lets me know something can penetrate that body of armor. He should think twice before he just saunters off the next time I happen upon him. You never know I might-just might have a BIG surprise in store for him!

If I call and invite you for supper, you probably should inquire as to what I am serving. Not everyone likes Armadillo Stew.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I MAY BE CRAZY-BUT----------------

I have been participating in a little day trading while the stock market is so volatile. Volatility makes for the perfect time to day trade. Day trading is not for the faint of heart and it helps to have time to stare at the stock scroll on CNBC & your laptop on the Yahoo Stock Quote Sight.

How do I pick my stocks? I review the grafts, read the articles, and try to stay within the parameters of stocks that I know something about. Looking at the day's range and then the past 5 day's range is a good indicator of the ups and downs of the stock. If you don't have much range of motion-it will not be a good pick. The trick is picking when they are low and selling when they are high-DUH! Sounds easy enough, until you realize just how crazy the past month has been in the world of stocks.

A couple of stocks that I have owned, I have sold options to sell to lower my basis in them, while still maintaining the ownership of the stock. This is a gamble. The owner of the option has the option to take my stock at a certain price by a certain date.. I must pick a price to sell the option that if I loose the stock, between the option sale and the stock sale-I will make my profit. Another rung of complications-but it has proven a very effective tools with 3 well known stocks that I have owned. One of the three, they took the stock at the agreed upon price, one they did not take the stock,but I kept the money from selling the 30 day option, I have now sold another option to sell the same stock for 30 more days-so still own the stock-but have sold 2 options, and the third was a 90 day option that I sold at a very nice profit-if they take the stock-I make money-with what the stock is currently doing- if I keep the stock-I will make even more money. All three of these have been win-wins.

I have sold several stocks-several times and made a profit each time. Keep in mind-they are not all winners! I sold my first stock at a small loss yesterday, but I am also holding onto 3 stinkers. The stinkers are good companies and the decision will be to eventually take a small loss or wait for recovery. I have one more stock that I have a sale order in for a small loss. My philosophy is better to take the small loss-take that money and invest in another hopeful winner.

This works when the stock market is acting crazy like it is now. My personal preference-and what would be best for BC and the nation-is a steady growing economy and stock market. Since I have no control over either of those, I will just go with the flow and make the most of what we have.


Monday, October 20, 2008


A basic response of a young child is revenge. When a toddler is hit, they hit back. You hurt me-I am going to hurt you. This is one of the reasons given in today's environment for not spanking children. The modern axiom is that you are teaching the child to hit. Interesting theory-but I am not sure if I agree with it. I am glad I have my children raised and am not faced with these questions. I always thought you had to determine what punishment worked for the individual child and then use it. Different children-different methods.

I digress-the subject is Revenge! The scripture tells us that "Revenge is mine saith the Lord." Obviously this teaches us that we are not to seek revenge, but to rely upon God to take care of that for us. However, what are we to do when we have not only turned the other cheek, but become a doormat under the feet of the one that has hurt us? How do you channel your pain into a positive place? What is right and what are you due when pain has been inflicted upon the innocent?

Our primal response is to hurt those that have hurt us. We begin to feel that we are the only party suffering the pain. There is no "Fairness Principle" when you have been hurt. Our tunnel vision tells us that of all the parties involved, we are the only one enduring the terrible pain. Perhaps-but then again perhaps not.

The high road is to suffer in silence and deal with that suffering on a personal basis. A very difficult road to walk down. Will we feel any better if we lash out in an effort to alleviate our pain? Will inflicting pain on our tormentors lessen our pain? Questions that hopefully will be asked before rash actions. Questions that determine our very character. Do we stoop to the level of those harming us and seek our righteous revenge? Do we rise to the higher level and endure the pain? Will we be the better for our silent suffering or will we be the only one to ever realize the suffering we are enduring?

Deep questions and thoughts on a Monday morning. What say ye? Righteous Revenge or Silent Suffering?

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Here we are at the Houston Marathon in January. The runners often laugh about the questions we get asked-OVER AND OVER. In an effort to ONCE & FOR ALL-answer all those same questions-here goes-

"Did you run today?"- I now run 3 times a week and cross-train on the other days. Unless we are training for a specific event, the repetitive running is very hard. I work best when I have a day in between runs for my joints to recover. I take one day a week completely off and rest.

"How far did you run today?"- 5 miles during the week and on the weekend a long run with a base of 10 miles and no more than 12 or so. Babs, Mona & I are back at 8 miles after backing off for a while. In a couple of weeks we will be back to the 10 base. We plan to then run 10, 11, 12, and a shorter long run in 4 consecutive weeks. If we are not training for a marathon, that is plenty.

"Did I see you walking today?"-we all laugh and say the only time someone drives by you is when you are walking. We listen to our bodies and take a SHORT walk break if the day is difficult. We also walk on cross-training days and often walk 1-5 AFTER running our 5. So keep in mind-if you see us walking, we well may have already run 5 miles.

"Have you always run?"- the only sport ? I participated in during high school was cheer leading. Did LOTS of intramural sports-but no teams. I have run on and off since after #2 was born almost 32 years ago. I well remember BC & I running together in our first home-more than 25 years ago- and then after moving to Vienna. BC stopped running with knee and hip problems a long time ago. I have run continuously for more than 10 years now.

"How far was the marathon?"-ALL marathons are 26.2 miles. By the time you have run 26 miles you want credit for that .2.

"Do you run all year round?"-Yes-just like the Post office-I have run in rain, sleet, & snow. The STUPIDEST time I have run is being caught out when the lightning started. I have tried to be smarter about that lately.

and last but not all-

"Why do you run?"- # 1 Reason-Good endorphins
#2 Reason-Good health
#3 Reason-a hubby that tells me I am really slim. I weigh the same as I did before having 3 babies and wear the same size clothes that I have for years. It is more difficult to maintain these days-but I still work at it.

If you think of another question, I will be glad to answer. As I have told #3 daughter before, I will answer anything you ask me-but I may not give personal details-Just ask away.

Friday, October 17, 2008






While celebrating Bab's birthday yesterday at lunch with "The Runners", we happened upon the topic of the consequences of broken trust. While sitting at the table and looking around, I realized there were quite a few that were dealing with this very topic. All different stories, but the same outcome-a violated trust.

This led me to the memory of our neighbor for the first third of our marriage, Dr. Ropp. Dr. Ropp was the retired president of our local university and he and his lovely wife, Mrs. Ropp were wonderful neighbors. Mrs. Ropp was the consummate Southern lady-entertaining, meeting with her clubs, and taking care of Dr. Ropp. Dr. Ropp in his retirement years enjoyed gardening and feeding the local wildlife including the birds and squirrels.

Dr. Ropp established a relationship with a particular squirrel from a very early age. He patiently worked with the squirrel-providing needed food while slowly gaining the trust of the squirrel. His patience paid off and eventually the squirrel began to take food from his hand and even eat from his hand. Dr. Ropp loved that little squirrel and relished showing his neighbors and friends the trust bond that had formed. It was really quite the sight!

One day the little squirrel came for his handout. Dr. Ropp willingly supplied the treat, but then things turned ugly. The little squirrel had become greedy and wanted more. What Dr. Ropp had supplied was not satisfying enough and in a fit of greed-he attacked Dr. Ropp. Actually climbing up on Dr. Ropp, he bit and scratched him in a tantrum of wanting more.

Dr. Ropp was shocked and dismayed at his little friend's betrayal of trust. What had taken a LONG time to establish was broken in an instant. The relationship would never be the same. Dr. Ropp became wiser and protected himself from further injury. The squirrel lost his faithful companion and supplier of his needs. It was a lose-lose situation.

We humans are often caught in the same circumstances. The trust we take years and years to build is destroyed in an instant. We are then caught in the dilemma of how to reestablish that trust. The one that has been betrayed must allow exposure to the possibility of future pain if the relationship continues. The betrayer must live with the fact that the faith once bestowed upon them is destroyed-for who knows how long. It is a sad-sad scenario-all caused by a fleeting moment. Whatever happened to trust? Are you worthy of the trust placed in you? Do you believe me when I tell you, "You can trust me?"

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I am a member of a family that all think we should be physicians. Actually I am not sick very often and tend to have the same things over and over, so it doesn't take a genius. FOR SOME STRANGE REASON-they will not let me write my own scripts. WHATEVER! The sure way to impress your doctor is to begin the interview with my famous line, "I've been researching on the Internet." That gets you right off on the right foot. They seem to think that since they have gotten a BS with perfect grades, a four year medical degree, and then another few years in a residency program, that they know more than I do. WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT! HEY- I listen to my body and I can read with the best of them!

Have you ever noticed that when you need a doctor-YOU ARE SICK- and call for an appointment-they will see you in about 4 weeks. HELLO-I will either die or get well on my own before then! I have made a WONDERFUL discovery-the Quick Care Clinic. In and out in 45 minutes with just what I came for-I LOVE IT! If we could just cut out the middle person (Nurse), I think I could be out of there in under 30 minutes. She did take notes, my temp, & blood pressure (112/60 after taking BP raising decongestant-THANK YOU), so I will cut them some slack.

The PA or whatever they are called then came in. I explained I had a sinus infection-gave her the symptoms-how long I had been fighting it and what I thought we should do. (I did leave out any mention of the Internet). She looked at my ears, listened to these fine lungs of mine, looked at my throat & felt my sore sinuses. She then concurred with my diagnosis. I AM SO GOOD! She then proceeded to prescribe JUST what I had come in there for:shots & anti-biotic.

I have a long term FEAR of needles. I am sure it came from the untold numbers of penicillin shots I endured while a sickly young child. I have learned to conquer that fear-mind over pain-you know. I do have to be ready though and need a little anticipation time to prepare myself. So you probably can guess where these 2 shots need to be administered. I comply and take the weight off the appropriate side and take a deep breath-NO PROBLEM-THAT WAS GREAT. BUT WAIT-before I could turn the other cheek, I have been stabbed in the other side-WITHOUT preparation. Muscles flexed-no deep breath-PAIN!

I have learned a very valuable lesson-when they walk in that room with those syringes-ALERT THEM-"Please tell me to turn the other cheek-before proceeding!"

I love miracle drugs! I am feeling better already and seem to be clear of fever. On the down side-as a side effect of the steroid shot-I slept about 13 minutes last night. OH WELL!

If you need any help diagnosing your health problems and advice about what to do-JUST CALL ME! I am a wealth of knowledge-JUST DON'T TELL THEM I TOLD YOU OR THAT YOU SAW IT ON THE INTERNET!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I read on a friend's blog that this is national "Blog Action Day" and this year's theme is "Poverty". While reading his blog and his thoughts about poverty, my mind started whirling. The definition of poverty includes-"scarcity,dearth". Dearth's definition is "scarcity that makes dear".

This sets the wheels into motion. We all immediately go to the lack of life's essentials when we think of poverty. Certainly a hungry stomach, a cold bed, living in filth, and on and on are grave and world wide concerns. I may be living in a "Bubble", but I think our country does a reasonable job of providing food to the hungry. There is a constant motion made in an attempt to feed those that cannot feed themselves. Beyond our borders and in many Third World Countries, hunger is often a fact of life. At the same time, we participate in countless organizations that work to alleviate this scourge of our world. Many times our countries and our non-profits are met with opposition by those in power in the countries we are endeavoring to aide. It is a complex problem that has been around as long as there has been written word.

When pondering poverty-I began to think about emotional and spiritual poverty that many live with. Without the emotional support we all so desperately need, we enter a state of emotional poverty. A state without hope that no aide agency can fill. The fact is that we all crave the love and support of our family and friends. When there is an absence of this, we live either in utter despair and loneliness or with a hardened shell of protection. We can be in a room full of people and a member of a huge family, but still live in emotional poverty. Our outer persona may reflect independence and detachment, but our inner heart may lie in waste. While personal poverty is physically debilitating, emotional poverty leads to a fate worse than starvation.

The most extreme poverty and the most hopeless is spiritual poverty. We are all created with a God shaped vacuum in our souls. No amount of help, family, friends or anything else of this world can fill that hole. We may spend our lives vainly searching for that filler, but all for naught. There is no greater poverty than a life without hope-the hope that only comes from God. We live with the comfort that even when life appears hopeless, God is still there. In abject physical poverty, we can live in spiritual contentment with the God of our moments fulfilling our most important need-Spiritual Wealth.

Poverty-a scarcity that makes dear. What is dear to you?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


#1 Daughter told me that my posts had an air of encryption lately. I had another friend call me late one night last week and ask if my post was about her. I MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT! I told you last week that I use metaphors a great deal when writing-but not always. There is hidden meaning behind a lot of what I write-secret hidden meaning. The entire point is to make you think-perhaps think I am writing just about you-or just puzzle over the deep dark recesses of my warped mind. I look for inspiration in my own life and the lives of those around me. To just write the facts and details of those stories would defeat the purpose and expose a story that might be better unrevealed. I hope you are thinking and if you have questions as to the meaning-post them in the comments or email me. Not sure how much I will reveal-but I can at least set your mind to ease-that I am not talking about you.

On a lighter note-today is friend, James'es birthday. James is in our small group and full of life and fun. We have a great time giving him and he giving us a hard time. He is a retired accountant-chicken/gator farmer. Lots of fun things to bat around. James'es Kitty left us two years ago after a LONG battle with breast cancer. Another victim in our peer group of the epidemic proportioned disease. We are cooking James a good steak tonight to celebrate his birthday. Like most of us-he doesn't celebrate-well alright we are having supper with James and if the mention of his birthday comes up-that will be fine too.

I FINALLY got back into the weight room today. It has been since the Houston Marathon in January. TOO LONG-but I'm back and will regret the long absence BIG TIME in 2 days. That and aerobics were plenty for the day!

Monday, October 13, 2008


"The New Yorker" magazine had the above cartoon in 06 concerning an elephant in the room. I had a conversation with a friend today and we addressed "An Elephant in the Room". While not particularly orally verbose, I do love the written word and the pictures formed in "My Mind's Eye" when writing.

The elephant is smack dab in the middle of the room. An elephant is a VERY LARGE creature-NO ONE CAN POSSIBLY MISS IT. We are all seated around the elephant and yet we ignore his presence in our midst. Why are we ignoring "The Elephant"? Perhaps there seems to be no solution to "The Elephant", perhaps it is a socially taboo subject, or perhaps the solution will not come easy.

We all go about our day to day busy lives-discussing EVERYTHING and taking care of EVERYTHING-BUT THE ELEPHANT! Everyone is aware of "The Elephant" and we all know it needs to be addressed and a solution found-BUT for whatever the reason- no one steps up to the plate and tackles the problem. It is not our business?-Yes-if it is affecting us-it is our business. Someone else with more authority or closer to the situation needs to broach it?-No one seems to take that initial step.

Meanwhile-the elephant is growing. Soon he will fill the room and there will not even be room enough to get a breath. Who is going to end the stand off and approach the elephant? One thing is for sure, until someone does-we will all be frozen-squeezed into a corner by "The Elephant In The Room."

Sunday, October 12, 2008


BC's Daddy is QUITE the character. Over the past 37 years, I have grown to know him really well. There are LEGIONS of Pappaw stories and the grandchildren and children love to get together and laugh over them. At 87, he still works 1/2 a day five days a week. We sometimes think he measures his worth by how much he has made that week. While he is slowing down-certainly-he still functions at a high level day to day. What Pappaw wants-Pappaw gets MOST of the time.

Nannie & Pappaw live in the independent living apartments attached to a nursing home in Arcadia. Nannie has not enjoyed the good health that Pappaw has and is not able to cook or tend to their house. She was in the nursing home for a period of time, but since Pappaw's open heart surgery a few years ago they have lived in the apartment. It has been a good fit as they walk next door and have their meals in the nursing home dining room. All seemed to be going well, with a few ups and downs, until Friday. In the middle of another roller coaster Stock market day, BC, receives a call about his Daddy. It seems that Pappaw has been expelled from the dining room in the nursing home. NOW THINK ABOUT THIS! Pappaw, 87 year old Pappaw, has misbehaved and they have punished him by expelling him from the dining hall. When we took them their usual lunch yesterday (another good story), he related the story to us. It seems, according to his version, that he has been totally misunderstood and the administrator has overreacted and punished him harshly. When you hear the entire story, it is hilarious. I laughed and told BC that when our kids misbehaved we had SOME leverage over them, but YOUR PARENTS-WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO!

What brought this entire theme up for today's blog was the fact that BC has to get his Dad's car repaired. You see the heater is not working on his car and since it gets down to at least 65 at night(he does not drive at night), we need it fixed NOW. While very independent, he does ask for-well more like demand-help-RIGHT NOW occasionally. He needs BC to get his car repaired in Ruston, but it can only be on a Monday-since that is his day off from work. We have spent a great deal of the afternoon trying to figure out how to get the car from Arcadia to Ruston, worked on, and back to Pappaw. OH AND BY THE WAY, he needs to get the car back ASAP since he might want to go to the Post Office or run an errand or two. BC does not have a moment to take a breathe during these days at his office, much less, run back and forth to Arcadia in the MIDDLE of a Monday.

We finally determined we will go get the car tonight and leave my car in Arcadia. We will take the car to the shop and leave it for an early morning fix. I will ride my bike to the shop and get the car and take it to Arcadia and bring my car home. It has to be easier to "Fix The Economy" than to try to figure out all the logistics of this operation -WITHOUT inconveniencing Pappaw.


Saturday, October 11, 2008


While running along side Forrest Gump (one of my cinematic heroes), a truth seeker had to jump a huge pile of manure. Forrest said, "It happens". Thus one of the 60's slogans was born-____Happens! This is a forerunner of my post today concerning the manure/fertilizer that I have endured in my life.

One of my earliest experiences with manure was during the years that we were involved with 4H animals. Daddy thought it would be a good "Growing Experience" for Robbie and I to be involved in growing sheep and then later steers. The one good lesson that I came away from that with is that I HOPE to never have to shovel another shovel full of manure again. For some strange reason, I was assigned the morning feeding schedule. This meant REALLY early hours and feeding and watering the livestock before school. After school Robbie fed the animals, but the stalls had to be cleaned out. This meant a shovel, a wheelbarrow & a compost pile. I was not sad when the day finally came that we gave up the back yard farm.

After Daddy died, we had a couple of pugs. These pugs were not easy to house train. Momma was a fastidious house keeper -via her personal housekeeper, ME. When the dogs had accidents, guess WHO got to clean that mess up. My next experience with manure.

Probably the next step along this sewerage strewn road was baby diapers. Anyone who has EVER raised a baby will tell you the delight of FINALLY getting that sweet little bundle of joy potty trained. Those diapers get harder to change as that little cherub gets older and the day that chore is finally over is not a bad day.

The last "Manure" episode I vividly remember was with Camille's rabbit. The "Rabbit" is a whole other post, but suffice it to say that they are PROLIFIC poopers. The rabbit's wire cage was in the tree house. This means the fertilizer fell on the ground below the cage. Since "My Baby" was playing out there, I had to get a shovel (I have a love/hate relationship with the shovel) scoop it up and throw it into the flower beds. On a positive note, my flowers NEVER looked better. For such a small animal, WELL you get the point!

Manure in our lives takes many forms-physical as well as figurative. The figurative manure is MUCH more difficult to deal with than the physical. While spending part of my life dealing with the physical-the figurative has by far the greatest challenge.

Most interesting is my latest adventure in the fertilizer/manure field. I have been doing a little day trading during these volatile market conditions. I have come across a company call IPI-Intrepid Potash Inc.. I discovered them while researching Potash Inc. Potash is an expensive stock, but IPI seems to follow the same graft lines, but is a much less expensive stock. I have bought and sold IPI 5 times this week and made a profit each time.

All this to say that perhaps -after all these years-the fertilizer/manure in my life is actually paying off. It does indeed happen and if you can make a little profit on it while it is happening-all the better.

Friday, October 10, 2008


I have been pondering scripture this AM. King David is named as "A man after God's own heart." Quite a lofty description for a mere mortal. King David enjoyed it ALL-wealth, the favor of the people, beautiful wife, children, strength, good health-the list goes on and on. Yet David was not satisfied and sought more. What made David dis-satisfied and searching for more?

While David had it all, his loyal servant, Uriah had one wife. Uriah put his King first-even before his family or his personal needs. He was faithful and devoted to David-even to the point of his death. Was Uriah aware of David's order to put him in harm's way? Did he even question the King's orders-even when they seemed doomed for disaster? David was so bent upon covering up his sin before the eyes of men that he did not stop to consider that his sin was very visible before God. We hide nothing from God. David's lust and desire that he allowed to rule a day and his subsequent efforts to make a wrong right by another wrong led to sure disaster.

Reading the scripture, we come to the conclusion that David repented and sought God's forgiveness. God, our gracious God, forgave David. We tend to walk away thinking all was well for David once again.

I leave you with this-David lived with the consequences of his sin for the remainder of his life. The son that Bathsheba bore David died-forever gone but always a memory. What became of the relationship that David and Bathsheba had. Did their love cool with the enormity of the guilt of what David had done? Did Bathsheba live with the doubt that David would turn from her to another-more beautiful and fetching- just as he did with her?

Our sins are forgiven with the act of true repentance. We are made righteous by the blood sacrifice that was shed for our redemption. The fact remains that the consequences of our sin-even our forgiven sin-follow us the remainder of our days. We are healed by the blood-but the scar-the scar remains for a lifetime.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I have been thinking- I can hear that collective groan! Complicity is a complicated and complex word. Complicity is a tough concept-----period.

What is our responsibility when we are complicit? Do you understand what complicity means? In simple terms, if we participate in a crime or sin against another, without malice toward that person, but merely as a partner in the one intending the harm-we are complicit. What then is our responsibility to that person?

A simple example:

We become friends with someone who is going through a rough period with their life long best friend. The past years have been good, but as with all relationships, the friendship seems to be in a "Cool Period". Through a series of events, our new friend draws close to us and begins to replace the old friendship with our new one. The old friend is totally unaware of the new friendship, and though aware of the "Cooling"-still trusting of the old friend.

A door is opened and our new friend begins to not only pull away from the old, but also to verbally berate and debase them. We don't participate in the conversation, but willingly listen-without correction or defense of the old friend. The actions continue to accelerate, until the new friend is openly participating in harmful actions towards their old friend. We not only don't comment but even participate in these actions.

What is our responsibility toward the injured friend? What is our part in the offense? Where should we go from here?

Deep thoughts-all caused from our unwillingness or inability to run from aiding and abetting the actions. Our desire for the new relationship overrode our sense of right. We did not intentionally hurt the old friend and certainly had no thought of what the repercussions would be. The fact remains-we were complicit.

What are your thoughts? Deep thinking on a Thursday morning!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


This picture-SO captures Helen! Today is friend Helen's birthday. I am certain this will be a birthday very different from any other that she has ever celebrated. Helen's hubby, Dale, has ALS. He has been on a respirator since January. The respirator requires constant vigil and care. Dale only has limited movement of his mouth and movement of his eyebrows and eyes. Helen's life has turned into a constant motion of care for all of Dale's needs. I am watching and learning a great life lesson from my sweet friend. She is serving without complaint or protest. She insists-almost to a fault-in being in control of Dale's care. It has been a wonder to behold her tender ministrations to her life long mate.

Helen is the consummate "People Person". She has legions of friends and knows countless people. She likes us all and we all feel her acceptance. This leads to scores of friends who love her dearly. I have coordinated the meals for the Boersma family since Dale was put on the respirator. I have NEVER had any problem getting volunteers. People are eager to help in any way that they can. We all love Helen & Dale.

Helen, I wish you a blessed birthday. I hope the fact that we all love you and are praying for you all is a source of comfort and peace for you. My birthday prayer for you today is for Peace & Joy and maybe a good laugh at some point in the day. Know we love you, Friend-

Monday, October 6, 2008


If I could impart one piece of wisdom to all you young women out there, it would be this:


The above ultrasound is a picture of Camille's 12 week old fetus-BABY. You will note that it looks just like a newborn-only it is the size of a plum. It is so wonderful that they have ultrasounds now that show these details to you. There are some that would have you to believe that until the fetus is outside the womb and functioning on its own-it is not a baby. The picture above would prove otherwise.

Life sometimes throws the unexpected at you. There are times that it is not a good time to have a baby, or you have no support, or you're just not ready and just not prepared. While understandable that you might feel this way-There Is Always A Way! That way might not be easy and the road may be hard-but the rewards so make it worth it.

You have never experienced love like the love you have for your children. Totally self-less and all consuming, this love should have its own term. A little human being comes into this world totally dependent upon you for their every need. They stop, turn and listen when the sound of your voice reaches their ears. They want nothing more than to be held in your arms and feel your warmth.

They are babies and they deserve the same chance at life that we were all given. How sad-how heart breaking sad when one chooses to throw this life away and miss the most wonderful experience in the world.

The Bible explains it in such simple terms:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...Psalm 139:13

We are His from the first moment of creation. What a wonderful gift and blessing-cherish it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Here she is-our mature daughter with her mature hubby and silly dog- A Mother To Be. In honor of this special time I thought I would retell the story of the news of her impending arrival.

# 1 was 15-a new driver-a sophomore in HS & # 2 was 5 1/2-a beginning elementary school student. I had felt really bad for a while. Convinced I was really sick, I had made several trips to the doctor to try and figure out just what was wrong with me. Sick, sick, sick-I felt terrible-while working full time with my own CPA practice, running a house, and trying to be a good wife-I had my hands full and then feeling terrible on top of all of that. One day, it suddenly came to me-just what was wrong. How could this be? How did this happen? We finally had the two boys in school and life should be getting easier. STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN!

BC came home that day and I was standing out on our covered patio-staring at the backyard-perhaps even a little teary. He walked out the sliding glass door and looked at me and asked the inevitable question, "What is wrong?" I looked at him and said, " I pretty sure I am pregnant. Don't mention it to me or ask me about it, until I tell you I am ready to talk about it." I turned around and walked off. Almost a month later, I was ready to talk, but I will give him credit he did not push it until I was ready. I am VERY sure I left him that day with his heart in his throat.

Quite a shock in the beginning, but we recognized it as one more gift from God. That little baby was a true blessing and one of His greatest gifts that he ever showered on us. We are thankful and she has blessed us each and everyday of her life. Thank you God that Baby is now having her own Baby to bless us all once again.

Saturday, October 4, 2008




DO I NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY I AM JOYFUL? Thank you, God, for the blessing of another Grand.

Friday, October 3, 2008


BC has had a long career with AG Edwards. Coming from a banking background, this was a natural fit for him. He loves his job and he loved working for AG Edwards. Unfortunately in today's world, things do not seem to stay the same. Long established companies seem to be being absorbed by the "Giants" in the world. Thus the story of AG Edwards.

BC found out a little over a year ago that AGE had been purchased by Wachovia. OK-so we went to a big meeting in Arizona and met all the "Big Wigs" from Wachovia. They assured the AGE people that life would go on as always. The transition would be smooth and the clients would never know anything had changed-except the name.

Then along came the "Credit Crisis" and Wachovia-which originally was a large bank-had it's fair share of these "sub-prime" mortgages. Something would have to be done and the "Powers that be" were searching for a solution. The next rumor we hear is that Banco de Santander was one of the "suitors" for purchasing Wachovia. We immediately got out the "Spanish for Dummies" and began to brush up on our Spanish speaking skills. We even considered "Rosetta Stone" system of learning, since we didn't know if the new bosses would speak English.
This all went to nothing and now we find out the "Bank" part of Wachovia would be sold to Citi-group, but the brokerage business and fund managing part would remain Wachovia. All was well with the world again. We know who these people are and "The Fear of the Unknown" would not have to come into play.

When returning home from my long run this AM, the phone is ringing with my favorite broker on the other end of the line. It seems that now Wells Fargo has made a deal to buy the "Whole Apple" and that now Wachovia would become Wells Fargo.

Do you blame me for being confused? I plan to just keep looking at the pay checks and seeing whose bank account they are drawn on. That may be the only way to determine just WHO the boss really is. Who knows what news Monday may hold, but one thing remains the same: my favorite broker will be sitting in his chair and taking my trades and taking care of my business just like he always has. It doesn't matter what the name is on the outside of the building as long as the same man is sitting in the chair when I walk through that door. I do business with the man-not the company.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


My life seems to be on an emotional roller coaster ride lately. I had this grand illusion that once I was middle aged (OK-SO MAYBE MORE THAN MIDDLE AGED) my life would be calm and serene. Peace would reign supreme. NOT!

As a much younger woman, I looked around at the older, more mature, more settled adults and thought they were living the life of ease. Perhaps I had my blinders on or perhaps what I saw was not a true reflection of their lives. Perception is not always 100% of reality for certain.

To say the least, I have been on an emotional roller coaster with emotional twists and turns not just daily, but several times each day lately. Perhaps you have noticed these ups and downs with my writing? My greatest release lately has been my writing and I am glad that God has given me the ability to put down on paper what I can not verbalize. A great deal of what I write are metaphors. It is up to you to determine which are and which are truth.

At the moment, I have had joyful and wonderful news sent via Fed Ex. More about that to come, but suffice it to know that in the moment-I am happy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


One of the most fascinating things about "Birding" is studying individual birds and their habits of life. While out mowing and blowing (never ending job) this morning, I began to think about the cardinal story I wrote yesterday and a sight that I saw about a year ago.
All the "Books" say that the cardinals mate for life-so when you see a pair there is a good chance they have been together their entire reproductive life. The male has certain duties as does the female. A clear division of duties is established and adhered to and it is rare to see the exception to these patterns.
The male cardinal is a proud and beautiful bird. If you observe them during bathing at your birdbath, you will see him preening and fluffing. He truly seems to be full of himself. In sharp contrast, the less beautiful female blends into her environment. They seem careful and almost shy, especially when the bold male is present.
One of the rituals you observe is the male feeding the female just before mating and before she lays her eggs. It is a sweet sight to behold. The male tending to the female seems almost a natural order in nature.
While watching this sight, I saw something that astonished me and gave me pause to think. The male I was watching had two females he was feeding at the same time. Totally out of the natural order and quite the sight to behold. He seemed torn between which to feed. At times one got most of the attention and then he would drift back to the other-almost like he could not bear to not have them both.
Where did this lead? Who ended up with the "Redbird"? It occurred to me this morning that it was very possible that all three ended up alone. The ambivalence of the male could have possibly led to his lifetime mate as well as the "new female" flying off. "Oh, the tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." Mother Nature or Male Greed-you decide.
It was in the low 50's this AM when running our 5 miles. It is SO NICE to start with a shiver and not be pushing through air so thick and hot that it could qualify for a sauna. It is much easier to get enough air, when the air is cool and seemingly thinner. I took almost 4 minutes off my Monday time-but that is no brag since Monday was "Snail Pace".