Tuesday, September 30, 2008


The poll results show a tight vote-probably anticipatory of Nov. Since the poll was so close-I will keep the music-BUT I have moved the site up on the blog page. You merely have to click on the button to turn it off if you don't like it. It should be close enough to the top of the page to allow easy access. Thanks for letting me know your preferences. To those that did not vote-if you are not happy-you need to vote (applies to political races as well.)


As I watched my beloved birds, I saw a heart-breaking sight. Flying in the beautiful Fall sky the female Cardinal seemed to be peaceful and at ease with the world around her. Quite unsuspecting, she flew in lazy circles searching for her daily nourishment enjoying the warmth of the Fall mid-day sun. She rode along on the air currents without a hint of the moment that was to come.

Suddenly-in the blink of an eye, she was attacked from the rear. She had let her guard down and believed herself to be in a safe place-and then as her brain registered the danger-it was too late. Struck down from the sky-down from the warm currents of the noon day sun, she plunged to the ground and landed in a heap. I feared she was dead. How could she have survived?

Slowly she picked herself up from the thick carpet of pine needles. Stunned and shaken, she appeared at a loss as what she should do. In the moments to come, she and I both realized-she had a broken wing. A broken wing on a bird of flight-a horrible and sad fate for the beautiful bird.

She slowly hopped over and hid among the low lying shrubs surrounding the house. Trying to protect herself while determining what to do next. She remains hidden in the thick growth. Hopping out to catch the seeds discarded by all the other birds that still fly, she covers herself with protection while trying to heal. Will the wing heal and will she live to fly another day? Will she once again soar in the peace of the noon day sun? Only time will tell-only time will tell.

Monday, September 29, 2008


"Ladies do not show their emotions in public," a famous Momma quote. I am not sure where this philosophy came from-probably "The Aunts", but that was Momma's mantra. I never remember seeing Momma cry-through all the pain that life threw at her-until her final illness. I have written before about the day she had huge tears running down her face at the Nursing Home. It totally broke my heart to see those tears and I wanted nothing but to soothe her and for them to disappear. It was SO out of character for Momma to display a raw emotion - even in front of her family. I have a clear picture as I write of her pain-knowing life was indeed drawing to a close and I assume mourning what could have been.

It is very difficult to move past my childhood years and openly display the emotions that well up deep inside my soul. I am sure that is the reason that I am not a pretty crier. Some women have the ability to cry at the drop of a hat and have these lovely tears pouring from their eyes. No red face-no tightly drawn eyes-no knitted brow-just beautiful tears flowing. Tears are painful for me. I do not like to cry-but God has chosen to break through that protective shell quite a few times during my lifetime. Oh, but the heart twisting pain of letting those tears flow!

There have been times that not only did I cry, but I felt a primal moan coming from deep within me. A moan that rose without warning from the very depth of my soul to fill the world around me. Some tears have come with intense sobbing that left me without breath and gasping for life sustaining air. Painful-painful- I may never stop tears.

God has taught me that the tears are good. They provide the outlet for all that I have tried to hold within. They burst forth and offered open release for intense pain. They are a gift for God which helps our hearts to heal and provides balm for the holes left in our soul. It is very difficult to step over the line and let the emotions rule-but He understood our pain before we even knew it was coming. There are times during life that I have cried a bucket of tears-but if not for the tears-would my soul and heart have ever gone on to another day?

God chose to reveal to me at the end of last week that He also has given me the gift of tears of happiness. What a sweet-sweet gift. To feel the overflow of joy running down my face is an indication and reminder of His love and care for me. A outward sign of His awareness of where I am and a promise of joy and peace regained.

What Momma spent years instilling within my psyche, God has taken a lifetime to unlearn those emotional lessons. I am blessed that He loves me enough to not allow me to live in the turmoil of hidden emotions. He loves me enough to break through the protective shell and expose the very nerve endings of my heart. He loves me enough to give me the gift of tears.


Last day to vote anonymously on the poll on the right side of your page. Music or not?

After an almost two week break from running, I went back to the group this AM. My friends are wonderful and greeted me with a hug and encouraged my painful reentry into the world of running. I was "Sucking Eggs", but I finished the 5 miles and then walked another.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Living in the deep-dark forest, we often stumble upon monsters that live in the woods. Huge and terrifying creatures lurk in the dark shadows! In the black of night, these creatures can be terrifying and threaten our very existence. Horror and gut wrenching fear run through you when you stumble upon these creatures-especially when you are unaware that they are lurking. Will the giant cause your death or will you escape and flee to the sanctuary within those safe walls that you call home?

The monsters of the woods are not always as they first appear. In the picture above, you cringe with fear of the giant monster you behold. Our minds believe the terror that we perceive. Without a thought as to what the real monsters are, we chose to believe that the monster is dangerous and threatening to our very life. The monster is not threatening to us. We are more likely to incur injury from our frantic fleeing of the danger we foresee than from the monster we behold. In the picture below, you come to realize "the truth" of the monster-not at all what we chose to believe when first we beheld it.
The "Walking Stick Bug" or "Stick Bug" is able to cleverly disguise herself (males are rare) among the thick and huge pine trees deep in the woods. The first defense the bug has is "Blending in" with the surroundings around her-even swaying with the wind when a breeze is blowing to mimic a small branch. Her next line of defense is expelling offensive odor and body fluids to repel any threat. The last line of defense is a poison sprayed at that which would attack her. The "Stick Bug" is no threat and only desires to live in peace in the deep of the woods. Never an attacker, but only a defender-the "Stick Bug" teaches an important lesson in life about perception versus reality. Thinking we understand-we truly have no glimmer of the truth behind the reality. All is not as it seems to our mind's eye.

Friday, September 26, 2008


BC & I have spent hours talking over the economy and what is going on in the world. Both coming from financial and business backgrounds, we enjoy batting around the past causes, the present turmoil, and the future outlook of the economy we all live in. It is stimulating and mind stretching conversation that only two "Accounting/Financial Geeks" would enjoy. It is the world we have lived in for over 40 years now. A world we have come to know well and a world that we have "lived" in the midst of. A shared love that began long long ago while working together-with BC as my boss. (Yes, Helen, He was fishing off the company pier.) You might say that this is one of our topics of "Pillow Talk". Those personal and private converstaions between two that work to grow a bond of a lifetime. While walking through these conversations over the years, we have come to be so familiar with each other that we think the same thoughts at the same time, can finish each other's sentences, and often begin the same sentences aloud at the same time. Quite remarkable!

While reflecting upon this "Pillow Talk" this morning while making up the bed, I realized what an intimate thing our pillows are. When you know the pillow preference of someone, it is a very intimate detail that only someone extremely close would know. I have a flat -flat -flat pillow that I have used for years. It bends just like I want to give me a small amount of support. I drag that pillow everywhere. BC sleeps with multiple pillows, including a body pillow. He could be passed out and I could arrange all those pillows around him just like he wants them. An intimate detail that only comes with a lifetime of sharing.

God has blessed me with some very dear friends that I have traveled around with while "Chasing Marathons". I know which ones will have a pillow stuffed in their suitcase and what that special pillow is- including a very old feather pillow which weighes a ton from all of those feathers. I know which ones are not "High Maintenance" and flow with whatever pillow they have. A detail that has only come after mile upon mile of running beside each other-sharing our lives and growing to love each other. If you know someone's pillow preference, you must know them pretty well.

I have heard this term "Pillow Talk" most of my life, but have just come to realize how truly intimate those "Pillows" in our lives are. Lying on those pillows-the special pillow that we prefer-and sharing the ups and downs of a lifetime is indeed "The Most Intimate of the Intimate". HMMMMMMM-Pillow Talk

Thursday, September 25, 2008


We ran the Houston Marathon in January of this year. Running 26.2 miles through many of the suburbs and districts of Houston, we finished the event at the same place we started in beautiful downtown Houston. Here I am running those last few feet to the glorious finish line. What a sight as we ran through a proverbial tunnel of buildings reaching to the sky. The streets lined with beautiful ornamental trees and every street pristine in the cool of the winter day. It was a wonderful day and a great finish in a beautiful hosting town.

Almost nine months later, all has changed. A wind has blown through the town-not just your normal day to day breeze as enjoyed on Marathon Day, but a hurricane-Mr. Ike paid a visit. He left behind ruin, devastation and flooding. The winds which blew through the beautiful city have left a mark that will take years to repair-very possibly Houston will never be the same.
What a difference a day can make!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


There is a beautiful Elm tree in our forest. An Elm that has grown and matured over 3 decades in the deep shadows of our forest. Standing mighty among all the Oaks and Pines, the lone Elm has weathered the heat, the wind, the rain, and the ice of many seasons gone by. Planted precariously on the sloop and near the natural flow of the water, the tree had withstood many-many a storm over its life. A storm of massive proportions finally worked to pull the mighty Elm to the floor of the forest. In a huge gust of wind, while I sat and listened to the storm, the mighty Elm came crashing down among the giants of the forest. A sound like no other, the seemingly slow, but all too swift fall of the beautiful tree rang through the night with a WHOOSH. My heart fell, for I knew what had come. A thing of great beauty would lie on the forest floor and after the dark had passed, I would see it lying dead on the ground from which it had grown.
The very roots of life clung to the soil from which it life came. The tree seemed doomed to dry and wither as the sap of it's lifeblood slowly stopped its path into the body of the tree.
Lying propped among the other trees, the only solution seemed to be to wait for the Forrester to come and cut it up and take it away. A beautiful tree would return to the earth.

There are no words to describe the sick feeling of discovery of a rare beauty-one different from the others-lying waiting for the death that would surely come.

Three weeks later and there is no brown. There seems some small faint hope that the tree could live. With ropes and pulleys, the tree is winched and pulled from the forest floor-a slow difficult task.

Seemingly lost, the tree struggled to stay on the ground and wait for death to come. The Forrester was determined the tree would live and pulled with a mighty tug. Up Up came the tree.

The Forrester looks on and determines the support the tree will need. He rights what the wind had toppled and works to save that which is sacred and true. The mighty tree will stand with support all around to hold it up until the life giving roots once again anchor the beautiful tree in the deep dark forest.

Resurrected from the dead and standing again, the Elm lives for yet another season. Will the Elm survive the next storm? Will the ravages of time and the world surrounding it once again push it to the ground? Only time will tell-but for now The Tree still stands.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My sweet niece chastised me Sunday at church for not updating my blog a few days last week. She asked that I write some more memories of Momma and Daddy (as she reminded me that it was all about her) I explained to her that it was not always easy to write about those memories and she again reminded me that it was "about her needs not mine". So here is one short memory that I carry with me always.

Daddy, in my early memory, treated Momma like a priceless Porcelain Doll. Strangely enough, Daddy had a very similar personality to BC. They never meet a stranger and everyone loves them. They are people lovers and have a deep need to be out among the throngs, quite the contrast to Momma. Placed on a throne since the day of her birth and certainly following losing her Mother at two, Momma had been taught that ladies were quiet, graceful, sweet and charming. She was accustomed to being the center of attention by just whisking into the room. A tiny and petite black haired beauty, she was used to the heads turning and the desire of all to please her. She was a force unto herself.

Daddy was a long legged wiry man with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eyes almost all of the time in my early memory. During those early years, he quite literally was "My Sweet Daddy". I begged to go with him whenever he left for his daily coffee runs. I wanted nothing more than to be with him and enjoy the glow of his presence. Those trips to The Coffee Shop were my time to bask in his love. When Momma was in the room or in our presence, all of the attention turned to her and I was a slight shadow in the periphery. My one chance to have his eyes upon me came with those innocent trips "To Town".

I am sure I desired what Momma seemed to have. A man that seemed to adore her. I can see in my deep sub-conscious them dancing. Him tenderly holding this wisp of a woman as they glided on the dance floor. I remember seeing him kissing her with a tenderness that would take your breathe away. I remember his sweet care for her as he put her on that pedestal that she so desired. It was so beautiful and tender and a memory that can cause me to feel as if my heart is in a vise's grip.

During the last year's of Daddy's life, the magic disappeared. Momma's Knight was ill with alcoholism. It was a difficult-heart wrenching time in all of our lives. I remember sitting in the chair-perfectly still-without a sound for what seemed hours as Momma tried to take care of Daddy. Her desire in life was to be taken care of and her life had turned inside out and she was now the caretaker. Those memories are hard-painful-heart wrenching.

I do not know if Momma ever forgave Daddy for "Leaving Her." During the last year of his life, he was once again a recovering alcoholic-but the damage had been done. I do not ever remember seeing him hold her or dance with her or cover her with his tender love like that again. The magic, that had been, died long before Daddy's earthly body died. It was discovered right after Christmas that Daddy had lung cancer. Within two months, he left for good. The only thing that was left was the memories. The bad memories covered the good memories in Momma's mind and it was a long-slow-lonely climb from the depth of the hole left. Camelot was gone and all that is left is my memory of those days and what could have always been-a sad sad ending to a true life story.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today marks the first day of the beginning of Autumn. As I was reflecting on the changing of the seasons, I thought of how Autumn begins the process of all that is beautiful slowly changing and eventually dying. We watch as all that Nature has so carefully nurtured and grown slowly turns a beautiful array of colors for us all to behold. The dying process is somehow made easier by the glory of this final display of life. While we sit and enjoy the glory and beauty, slowly but surely death is coming to the glory. In such a brief span and often with a quick gust of wind, the glory is blown away to lie underfoot until eventually returning to the earth that gave it life.

Winter is coming. The bleak and gray short days of winter. When all appears gone and hope is crushed with the cold and frigid wrapping us in despair, winter surrounds us. No sign of life and only stark reminders around us of what had been.

Spring-OH BLESSED Spring. New Life and a return of hope as the plants and leaves slowly unfold and lift to greet the warmth of the sun. Life once again bursts forth in the full glory of the Creator. Hope has come to live once again.

Summer rushes forth with little fanfare as the cool of the Spring quickly turns to the heat of the Summer. Lush and fully matured the wonder of nature fills every inch of the Earth. Life feels like it will last forever and this will always be-

But Autumn-Autumn is coming.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


God has seen fit to put "Golden Treasure" into our lives in many various forms. Some of this treasure comes to us as if God himself dropped it into our lives while we sat by totally unsuspecting of just how he was blessing us. Not until we begin to lose the treasure, do we see how truly precious a gift was placed in our midst. As that treasure slowly slips from our fingers, we grasp with a clinched grip-only to find God slowly and steadily taking his treasure back into His Treasure Trove. I cling to the Hope that He has placed in my life of wiping all my tears and soothing my hole filled soul.

One of the most wonderful treasures God ever dropped into my life was Dale & Helen Boersma. I did not understand at the time what they would come to mean to me and how their God seeking lives would forever impact me. God slipped them into my life, almost without my awareness, and certainly with no thought on my part of their eternal consequences on my relationship with my Father. I have never seen two people better loved by an entire community. They are totally accepting of each and everyone of us with no hesitancy to love us all. A remarkable family with the reflection of God's presence in their lives shining to all that stop to observe. They show us all what we could be-if we allow Him to sit at the Head of our Household.

During the past few years, I have watched these friends and observed a living reflection of God's Saints upon this Earth. I have learned through them that while we are not perfect, yet does He love us. He pulls us to Him when we seek to follow Him. They have shown me the reflection of a life time of seeking The Master's favor and the Godly results in their lives of that quest.

Dale is in the final stages of a long and agonizing illness, ALS. There are no words to tell you the pain of watching our dear friend slowly, but surely loose the use of each and every voluntary muscle in his body. This insidious disease is claiming Dale's earthly body as surely as the sun rises each and every morning. We all are totally incapable of stopping the daily march of the disease and feel caught in a tug of war that is slowly, but surely pulling us over the line.

While grieving for my dear friends, I am thankful for each and every lesson they have taught me over the past few years. The most important lesson that I have learned from them is probably being taught-right now-as I watch them through this struggle. I have seen a man's wife, his son and daughter-in-law totally immerse themselves into his care. Twenty four hours a day-seven days a week care-unending-requiring each and every moment of the day-it has been unbelievable to see their dedication to their ministrations to Dale. Helen holds to Dale with the tenaciousness of a Mother Tiger to her cub-refusing to allow it to be pulled from her grip.

A golden treasure was given me by God. A treasure filled with wisdom, love, laughter, fellowship, and now tears. I Thank God for sending me this treasure and ask Him to continue to bless me with the lessons they are teaching me. God is ever good and though he does promise us peace and joy-it does not come with a promise of no tears or sorrow. My prayer is that He will hold us all close as we walk this path and continue to fill our void with our only source of comfort-Him.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Turn off the music on the right side of your screen down in the block "Music that Stirs Me" before playing the video.

Sweet Friend, Barbara sent me these words from another Getty song today. Unfortunately this is not on Youtube. Salve for a heavy heart:

Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I stood on my back deck and watched the sunset tonight. Here is the beautiful sight that I was blessed to witness.
BC called me into the kitchen as he scooped up his last forkfuls of supper to see the sight. You see this same sight can be witnessed from my kitchen sink window. It makes washing dishes almost pleasurable to look out at these woods surrounding our home.
The last few minutes of the sun sinking below the horizon always go by fast. After a full day of glorious sun with Louisiana Fall like temperatures, this was the fitting ending to a beautiful day. I was fortunate enough to witness a beautiful sunrise this morning while we were ending our 5 mile run and now I have seen the same sun disappear below the horizon.
While the Nation is shouting and screaming at each other over the presidential election, while the economy is shaking up the world around us, and while our good neighbors are reeling from the devastation brought by nature, the sun is still rising and setting as it has done for many - many years. The election will finally be over, the economy will once again settle down, and homes will be re-built. Life marches on and no matter where you are in the world or what your circumstances are-we all witness the same sun rising and setting on us all.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


BC & I were out at 7 AM beginning the clean up from Mr. Ike. (THANKS A LOT) While raking the front yard, I looked over and saw the above. I very calmly said, "There's a snake-you know a bad snake (could not remember his name). BC promptly gets off the roof and brings the shovel. (I have him around to do the dirty work-whenever possible) We live in the woods and share our woods with all of the good snakes-but the Bad Fellows are in for a surprise if we spot them. The coral snake is the most deadly snake in our state, but he would have to chew on you to get the venom in as he has no fangs like other poisonous snakes. If he does get you though, you are in Trouble. We used to see quite a few coral snakes out here, but have not spotted one in a while. I am supposing all of the rain in the last two weeks has filled his hole with water and he was fleeing. Bad news for him!
I tried all last night to get the following video that Babs sent me downloaded to my blog with no success:
go here
I PROMISE you will be in tears! I have heard of Team Hoyt for a long time, but never seen this video of the highlights from The Ironman. What a MAGNIFICENT reminder of what Our Father does for us each and every day. We are incapable and weak, but he provides a way for us to experience the JOY of life with him. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE watch this!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Many of the runners went to Monroe early this AM for "The Race for the Cure". If you have been a regular reader, you know that one of our running group was diagnosed with breast cancer last Spring. SC remarked today as we registered and Lisa slipped on her "Survivor Pink Shirt", "Who would have guessed last year that Lisa would be donning that pink shirt today?" So true-YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT LIFE WILL BRING.

Lisa has finished her treatment and will not require radiation, so now she is playing the "Waiting Game". It had to be encouraging to see that group of survivors standing there with some with 20+ years of survival under their belt. Treatment has come a long way and while still an ominous diagnosis, "We have come a long way, Baby." The funds raised in today's race will stay 75% in the local community.

Larry made hats for us to wear today that said: "Lisa's Groupies". I think she loved it! We love our friend and continue to pray for her complete recovery. As a little side-note, the members of our group were Big Winners, with names being called as 5K Winners. While we are delighted to be recognized for our running, the real winner in the group-LISA!

Friday, September 12, 2008


One thing is for sure, if we get something for free-then we don't think much of it. The reverse of that is that the MORE we pay for something, the more valuable it is to us. OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT!

I saw a blog for a "Life Coach" and it started the wheels turning once again about just WHAT makes someone qualified to tell someone else what to do with their life. I decided that advice is cheap-UNLESS-you state that you are a "Life Coach" and then it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. I MAY have stumbled upon my next career choice! I love to tell people What to do and I have a high personal opinion of my advice-SO IT JUST SEEMS LIKE A NATURAL FIT.

My advice about money-spend it or not. Whatever makes you happy. Just don't spend more than what you have. If you are not a spender-be an investor. Invest in your future, invest in others, invest in a home-pick a place to put that money where you will see it grow. Growth is not always monetary-growth can be shown through the self sufficiency of someone who has been dependent . Money will not make us happy, but can keep us comfortable. The number one rule-YOU CANNOT TAKE IT WITH YOU!

My advice about love-look at how he treats his Mother. My own Mother told me a LONG time ago-to look at the life of the man's mother and that would be an indicator of your own life. I have taken her advice and altered it to look at how he treats his Mother. My life is quite a bit different from my MIL's life, but I am treated with the same love and respect that her only son always treated her. PERHAPS not the only indicator of a successful relationship-BUT a definite good indicator. Love your mate and they will love you.

My advice about friends-treat your friends the way you want to be treated. Get your mind off of yourself and onto them. Listen to them with an open heart and treat them with the kindness and generosity that we all desire in our own lives. Love your friends and they will love you.

My advice on raising children-Love them-Bless them-Do the best you can. You will make mistakes-but the love and blessings will make for short memories of our mistakes. Love your children and they will love you.

My advice on beauty-as the Scriptures tell us "The flower fadeth". Do not depend upon your good looks to stay with you-no matter how much money you throw at the effort. Your real beauty comes from the inside. I have never been to a funeral where they talked about how physically beautiful a person was, but I have heard what a beautiful life they lived. Concentrate on living a healthy lifestyle and living that beautiful life and you will be know as beautiful. Love yourself as you are and others will love you for who you are.

OH GOODNESS-I seem to be on a roll. I have given you all this advice FOR FREE! What am I thinking? You will never take this advice given to you for no charge and use it-SO Today's charge is One Kind Word or Deed for a Loved One. A high charge-I think not-but a huge return!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


There are days of such intense tragedy that they are forever etched in our memory. Time may dull the intense pain these days washed over us, but the memory will ever be vivid and real to us. I do not have many of these days in my life, only a handful. Today, this 7th anniversary of one of our country's greatest tragedies, I have been thinking about a few of those profoundly life altering days and the permanent effects on my life.

The first memory of such day is the day that my Daddy died. Daddy was in the hospital in Shreveport, at the time a long drive from Farmerville, and all of the adults knew he was dying. My Mother, in a desperate moment of anger at something I had said, had told me on his last visit home that he was dying. I was so angry-at her. Understandable, now, why I was angry with her when he died, but at the time totally irrational. My Aunt had finally gone over to help with sitting with Daddy, when he needed someone with him 24 hours a day. He passed away very early on a Friday morning. My Aunt called one of my local Aunts who then CALLED our house to tell us. Not a very good way to give the news to 3 young children. I picked up the phone as did my Grandmother (Daddy's Mother) in another part of the house. I remember most of all my Mawmaw's response and the shock of what I was being told. My Aunt said she called because she did not want us to get on the bus and then someone have to go get us from school. I will remember the sick feeling of shock, anger, and eventually loss until the day I leave this earth. The next few days surrounding Daddy's death have forever been burned into my memory. Perhaps someday, I will be able to write about those painful days. Definitely my first experience with intense personal tragedy.

A year later (I believe) the President of the USA, John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas. I remember being in the high school gym during noon break when the news spread like wildfire. I was quite enthralled with the young president and his beautiful wife and the life of Camelot. Perhaps one of the first instances of the entire tragedy being covered over the television, those next days of national mourning were reported in minute detail. I shall never forget those images and the feeling of profound national as well as personal loss that washed over our entire nation. This day will be forever burned into my memories.

September 11th, 2001-Momma had died in May, Camille had graduated from high school days later and our baby had left home to attend college-five hours away. A difficult year by anyone's standards. Then as I watched the morning news, while flitting around doing early morning chores, they begin reporting a plane crashing into the World Trade Center in New York. I sit down and watch in amazement. Then another plane hits the other Tower-before my very eyes-in real time. It dawns on me what has really happened. This is no accident-this is a planned attack on our great nation.
I sit glued to the television as the day unfolds into one horror after another. Every single detail forever preserved with the television cameras rolling. Unfortunately they did not turn the cameras off of the people jumping from the Towers until we had all witnessed this horror multiple times. The eventual collapse of the Towers and the frantic search for any survivors were surreal. HOW COULD THIS BE HAPPENING? I will never forget the images of that day and the days that followed.
We all have days in our life of intense tragedy that are forever etched in the deep recesses of our minds. What were your tragedies? Where were you that day?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Babs just returned from a trip to Missouri for her Mother's family's reunion. Her mother was one of 11 live births and is the oldest of the four living siblings at 87. There were over 90 people at the reunion including first cousins of Babs that are great grandparents. WOW!

While driving through Arkansas and Missouri, they stopped and bought some FRESHLY picked Jonathan apples from one of the local orchards. There is nothing better than FRESH picked fruit as evidenced by the blueberry picking frenzy around here this summer. Go back and look at the June 25th post if you have forgotten about that adventure. I am looking forward to enjoying these lovelies and will even share one with you if you stop by.

I tried a couple of new recipes last night for supper. One of my favorite sites on the WWW is All Recipes. If you have not viewed this site, you need to take a gander. Not only are there MANY MANY recipes of every conceivable dish, but there are also comments made on the recipes to help you fine tune them to your taste and ratings.
This is a pork loin roast cooked in the slow cooker and fresh carrots. It was delicious and a good change from our normal fare around here. I served the pork over brown rice that I drizzled with the juice from the roast. I am not usually a "Slow Cooker" kind of person, but this was to good to not try.
Go here
for the pork roast recipe. I followed the comments made by the second commenter for the variation that I liked. I think you could probably drain about 1/2 of the juice from the pineapples and still have plenty of drippings.
Go here
for the carrot recipe. I used organic baby carrots that were ready to go since they are a little sweeter and tender. I also bought the fresh dill that is in the refrigerator section in the tube. This lasts a little longer and hopefully I will use all of the dill before it is out of date and have no waste.
Proof positive that this was good-BC went back for seconds!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I have an on-going war of my own here in Vienna-The Squirrel War! I love my birds and love to watch them, so I feed them. Mr & Mrs. Squirrel love bird seed. I have spent years fighting skirmishes with those little imps. They eat all of the feed out of the feeders, they will chew up the feeder, they have chewed through a heavy duty large garbage can to get to the food-THEY ARE RELENTLESS-and so am I! The above feeder is the first "Squirrel Proof" feeder I put up. I asked for this for some occasion and BC obliged with a bow on top. The lever at the front of the food causes a door to close over the food when anything heavier than a bird lights on it. Genius-OR SO I THOUGHT. You will note the scratch marks on the top of the feeder. They were caused by the squirrels hanging on the top and leaning over the feeder to eat without sitting on the lever. THOSE LITTLE VARMINTS!
I have just purchased a new feeder off of E Bay-ANOTHER GUARANTEED SQUIRREL PROOF feeder. Here is the view from my favorite chair in the den. You will note the hummingbird feeder and both regular feeders are in my direct view.

The tree to the left of the feeder makes for a perfect launching pad for the seed quest. If that should fail, they actually can climb up the metal pole.

This is a Carolina Chickadee at the feeder. He was quite the little pig-sitting and chowing down for a long time.

This is Mr. Titmouse sitting eating a sunflower seed that he had just snagged from the feeder. The titmouse sweeps in and gets one seed, he then flies off and eats that one seed and then back for another. Really amusing to watch and amazing since some of the birds just sit there and eat until they are satisfied.

I caught the titmouse in the act of pulling out a seed. When I first looked at this feeder-I had my doubts about the birds being able to get to the seed. There did not seem to be a problem.

This is a closer look at the makeup of the new feeder. The birds find the food within an hour of putting it out. Mr. Squirrel has not made the discovery yet. There is ample supply of pine cones right now and I have found the evidence of clean pickings from the squirrels lately. Perhaps he had rather eat those cones for now. We shall see!

Look behind the geranium and you will see Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal on the ground. They also seemed to appreciate the lunch.
There was a time that I decided to put out a live trap and take the little varmints off. After a couple of days of ignoring the nuts I had placed in the trap, it occurred to me that they LOVE sunflower bird seed. That became the new bait and they could not resist it. After I had trapped and taken off (I'll never tell where) more than 20 squirrels, I GAVE UP. It was like a vacuum-the more I emptied out-the faster it filled up.
I will keep you posted on how the LATEST AND GREATEST GUARANTEED SQUIRREL PROOF FEEDER works. I actually enjoy the challenge and look forward to winning the war -SOMEDAY!

Monday, September 8, 2008


My sweet DIL sent me the picture below. She & #1 now live in Austin, but they moved from Baton Rouge about 2 years ago. This is the street that they lived on in BatonRouge after Gustav. The name of the street is Seven Oaks-aptly named for all of the huge beautiful Oak trees that lined it. The entire street was covered with shade on the hottest of summer days. The picture below tells the tale of 100 MPH winds and what they can do. The trees had actually been cut out of the street by the time this picture was taken, but as the old saying goes "A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words."

Louisiana is slowly trying to recover. The power should all be back on in about a week or two. The homes with trees through them-that will take time-LOTS OF TIME. Blue Tarp roofs are the standard-not the exception. Recovery from a hurricane can take years as evidenced by New Orleans-3 years later.

I did think of a friend of mine that actually lived through a horrible hurricane during her childhood. She lived in a wood house that was constructed out of boards-back in the good old days of strong and sturdy construction. They had no advance warning of the severity of the storm. Their house was over the hill from the Gulf, but as the night progressed and the storm pushed in-so did the storm surge. Her entire family ended up in the attic. They eventually had to take an ax and cut their way out of there. At some point in the dark early morning hours, they abandoned the underwater roof and began floating on doors and debris floating by. The last she ever saw of her Father was when the tidal wave washed over them. She then floated for many hours being pulled back into the swamps and marsh-floating by snakes and alligators-all concerned for their own lives and ignoring the humans floating by them. Needless to say-it was a life altering event for her. I am thankful that we now have a better warning system and pray that those in harm's way will take heed-even 2 weeks later.
With all that said, I came across this picture that DIL sent my way. It shows the wonder of the simple things in life and what is most important-not possessions-but family and friends. The cute little girls are my precious great-nieces. The boys are the grands. During the family reunion-they had all played in the heat and decided a good dunking would cool everyone off. They all ended up soaked-but had a wonderful time. I look forward to next year's reunion and cherish the memories of this year's, after all the greatest blessings comes from the simpliest of times and the love of family and friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


We have been fortunate the past few day with our weather. September normally dove tails behind August with one as hot as the other. Gustav brought us MUCH rain and overcast-cloudy skies for most of the week. The layers of clouds kept out the piercing hot sun. We then had a "Cold Front?" to pass through. This has produced a moderation of temperatures which are very unusual for these parts during September. We ran Saturday with temps in the low 60's-WOW! After many long weeks of running with the temps in the upper 70's, this feels like Fall. THANK YOU THANK YOU!

The normal daytime highs of the 90's have been replaced with high 80's and maybe a 90. After long hot Southern days, this is like an Arctic Front coming through. We are all loving it.

We all know that Mother Nature is a fickle lady and just toying with our emotions. I am eternally grateful for cooler temps while cleaning up Mr. Gustav's mess. I am smart enough to know this probably will not last. The Weatherman is saying more of the same next week. We all know about the Weatherman-not to be trusted and wrong some of the time at a minimum.

Since we are talking about the Weatherman, do you ever watch "The Weather Channel"? You do know "TWC" is MTV for senior citizens, don't you? They have these guys on there that go to where the storm is and stand out in the middle of it. The wind will be roaring so loud you can not understand them-the rain will be blowing parallel to the ground hitting them square in the face-large objects will be flying by-and there they stand reporting the weather. "The hurricane has hit and we are experiencing heavy rains and gale forced winds," DUH!!!! It is a hurricane!

I am happy to report that the legions of utility workers from all over the US that are in South LA have managed to get our friends, The Thompsons, back up and running. Unfortunately, Sylvia, DIL's mother, may not have power for another week. When speaking with Barbara today, she said while they had been inconvenienced, they were fortunate and blessed that no one was injured or killed. We are grateful for that. She told me of the church sponsored orphanage in Hati that had no food for the past 5 days for the children. The director had called Mark and told him of their dilemma and that there was no way, because of flooding, to get food without a helicopter drop. This cost $10,000-an impossible amount for a church run orphanage on a tight budget. Mark told him to order the food and the church would raise the money. We all just think we have problems here. We have no one starving and most have shelter of some kind and medical care is available. We are indeed blessed!

Saturday, September 6, 2008


I TOLD YOU we had LOTS of sticks down-just look at this pile. Well to be truthful this is the pile at the local dump. You know-TO THE DUMP, TO THE DUMP, TO THE DUMP, DUMP, DUMP. After 4 days of picking up sticks, we have our acres pretty much back in order.

CLEAN WOODS! I love clean woods. We have all of these people come here and say how great it is to live in the middle of the woods and have all of this maintenance free yard. OK-PEOPLE- take a walk through the "Real Woods" and note all of the vines, underbrush, sticks down, and trees and large limbs on the ground. This "Natural" beauty comes at a huge physical labor cost. The cost this go round was my sore back. Bend down-pick up 20 sticks within arms reach, straighten up, walk to the pile, put them in the pile, after all are picked up, bend down pick up pile and put in the back of the truck, take to the dump and pull the tarp out of the truck. I AM POOPED-but the yard looks great-once again.

Do you remember the television show, "Green Acres"? Here I am wishing I looked like the star. Note the back end of the truck is full to the top of the cab. We took 6 of these loads to the dump today.

My hubby, "The Genius", after the first trip came up with the wonderful idea of putting the tarp in the bottom of the truck. This meant that instead of having to manually unload each and every stick, we could just pull the tarp out and dump the sticks. I LOVE THIS BRILLIANT MAN! This means less work for me!
I see on the weather that Hurricane Ike is predicted to come into the Gulf of Mexico. My yard is clean and we have had our share of destruction. IKE YOU JUST TAKE A HIKE! Our South Louisiana friends may be without power for up to three weeks. Son #2 is down there with a catering crew feeding the utility workers. He told me today that he had slept about 30 minutes a night since they started the catering. There are around 1400 workers just in the area that they are in. The company he is catering for is the smaller local company. Entergy is the large provider for the area. I saw this morning as I was running another group of trucks headed that way. We owe a huge THANK YOU to utility workers from all over the nation as they come to the aid of our stricken state. The local shelters are empty, but the state is a LONG WAY from recovery. I consider 3 weeks without power-and all of the businesses and services that depend upon this power a MAJOR BIG DEAL. True-No Levees broke in New Orleans, but as I have said before-THERE IS A LOT MORE TO THIS STATE THAN JUST NEW ORLEANS. We are in a mess and DO NOT NEED another hurricane!

Friday, September 5, 2008


You do remember the old country song, "Your Cheating Heart"? Well some BRILLIANT scientist has now decided that some MEN may have a cheating gene. GIVE ME A BREAK! Sounds like another cop out to me! I immediately wondered if the scientist was a MAN that made the discovery. So all the songs over the last few decades about cheating hearts have been incorrect-

Cheating, in my humble opinion, is either a learned behavior or a willful act committed by some egomaniac that lives for the thrill of deception. What in the world is going through a mind that wants to have more than one ball up in the air at a time. How do you keep it all straight. Why would you want to keep all of those balls in the air. It is beyond my comprehension. How do you rationalize that it is alright to mess around on your partner? Does it ever occur to these people how they would feel if their partner was cheating on them?

I heard no mention of women having this gene. STRANGE-VERY STRANGE!

"Oh what a tangled web we weave,
when first practice to deceive."


Thursday, September 4, 2008


Please note that I have these pics in the appropriate place!

I am married to Mr. Politico! I suspect that he is going to literally turn red he is so Republican.

He watches ALL of the political commentary of television and is VERY opinionated.

He left home this morning VERY upset with his wife. It seems I need to get mad and tell everyone MY opinion on this presidential race (and it BETTER be the same as his or ELSE). I showed him Louisiana Lagniappe's blog with Palin's picture on it. They set him off about WHY I did not post about the race. He seems to think that there is something wrong with me because I am not as over the top and telling everyone within earshot my opinion.

I am a middle child. In case the psychologist have not explained that to you yet-that means I am the peace maker. I do not like and almost run from controversy. If you state an opinion that I do not agree with, I do not feel the need to convince you of why you are wrong and respect your right to your opinion. I feel like the relationships I have with others are more important than our difference in politics. I realize there are two sides to every story and that our political leanings are based upon our up-bringing and circumstances in life. The wonderful thing about our country is the check and balances you get from a two party system (actually more than two, but two predominate).

There are things that I feel are important enough to share my passion for and will share with others-IN A NONE THREATENING WAY. My relationship with My Lord and Savior is the NUMBER ONE of these. I am very concerned with your eternal life and desire the same relationship that I have for all of you.

In a nutshell, I am sorry that my hubby is upset with me for my lack of passion about his beloved politics. In my own way, I am passionate about what I believe-BUT I do not feel the need to convince anyone else of how correct my opinions are. It makes me sad that I fall short of his expectations, BUT stand by my convictions. The family and friends I have are FAR more important than my politics. THEREFORE, I WILL NOT BE MAKING ANY ARGUMENT TO CONVINCE THEM OF THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS. Support your candidate, but be open to listening to others and respect the right for them to have an opinion that may differ from you.

The one basic thing we all should believe in is the privilege and blessing we all have to live in our great United States of America!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I began the slow process of clean up from TS Gustav today. I found myself putting on my yard shoes, going out and working up a sweat, and running back inside when the rain started. This afternoon I actually spent the entire afternoon out with only a short sprinkle to contend with. To say that we have a mess is an understatement! It will take WEEKS to get all of the sticks up. We love living in the middle of all of these trees, but storms are the down side. There is not a square inch that does not have branches and big limbs. We are lucky though for the central and south parts of our state are devastated. Our friends in Zachary do not think they will have power for two weeks. Our DIL's mother is still with us since not only does she not have power, but she also cannot get down the streets to her house. She was lucky in that she did not have major damage, but some minor roof damage. She has now been away from her home since Sunday. She is torn between the need to go home and check things out and knowing that it probably better to stay here until her power is back on.

There are still evacuees in the shelters here in town. They are slowly beginning to trickle back home, but we have special needs patients in one of the shelters. I could never explain to you what living in a shelter is like. You are in a huge room with 300+ people-babies are crying, people are ranting and raving, people are crying, you have ill older people, and everyone is glued to the television trying to figure out when they can go home. You share everything with all those in the shelter with you. There is no privacy-NO personal space. It is trying at a very minimum! Hopefully everyone will be able to go home soon.

This is what I raked up off the back decks. This is the initial rake up after picking up the limbs and before blowing off. It is a slow and manually hard job. I am up to the task-but will be sick of it before it is over.
That bright light that showed just a little today is the sun. We were glad to get even a glimpse of it. I had not cleaned off the front walk yet, but got that done and the front yard raked before the day was over. I have the porches, decks, and drive clean and have begun picking up the limbs. Check with me in a few weeks and see if I have this mess cleaned up. OH LORD-hopefully we will not have another hurricane come through, but they are out there heading this way!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


It was an exciting night! When you live in the middle of 5 acres of trees and the wind is gusting around 40 MPH, it is like living in a war zone. Limbs, pine cones, and branches are flying through the air-many hitting the roof of the house. Our lights went out around 6:30 as we heard a transformer blow. It turns out that one of the neighbors had the top of a large pine tree snap off and knock down a power line. Since this was at the beginning of the storm, we had lights in about two hours. THANK YOU Entergy! The wind makes a really neat sound when it blows through our trees, and I love to hear it and the rain falling through them also. It is a little unnerving if you think about the possibility of a tree toppling onto the house. I chose not to think about that!

With the coming of dawn, we surveyed the damage done in the yard. We will be weeks cleaning up all of the debris scattered throughout the place. Did discover one hardwood that had blown over. As you will see below it was uprooted and blown over. This is caused by the wet and soggy ground unable to support the tree when the wind begins gusting. We drove around town today and all of the trees that are down were toppled in similar circumstances. We had two days of really big rains about a week ago that left the ground saturated. The rain that came with Gustav had no place to go and the ground just begins to get soggy and soft. When the wind is gusting-and not steadily blowing-it creates stress on the roots-then over goes the tree.

When BC left for work at 7 AM, he found the lights out all over downtown. The city utility crew had them up and going again by 8. Thanks Goodness-since most the evacuees are on the downtown circuits.

The worst damage in the town seems to be in the Cypress Springs area. Our friends, The Boersmas had a large oak tree to fall across their drive and take the electric lines with it. Dale is on a vent and electricity is a must. They had the foresight to go buy a generator last week when the news of the storm appeared. They have him up and going-connected to the generator. The picture below shows you the mess that they are facing. Friends, The Andersons, live just down the street from here and they are also without electricity. I am so thankful for them being prepared.!
Our town is a mess, but we will clean it up. After the rain finally ends in a couple or three days, we will be out and recovering. We have it much better than our Central and Southern Louisiana friends. Sylvia is still with us, since Baton Rouge is a mess! She had minor damage to her houses, but there is no electricity down there. The town looks like a war zone, so who knows when it will be alright to return. Our sweet friends, The Thompson's, in Zachary called and they have a huge mess. The report is the damage is worse that when Betsy came through. Barbara thinks it could be up to 2 weeks before they have lights. They have a generator, but it only runs limited appliances. They are trying to sleep with a fan and IT IS HOT & HUMID! We have asked for them to come up here since before the storm. They are like many of the residents down there-fearful to leave their property.
When you watch the national news, they would have you believe we dodged a bullet. While it is true that there was no levee flooding, there is much more to this state than New Orleans. The damage is great and it is spread over the entire state. We will all pull together and start working to get everyone home, but that cannot happen until the storm is gone. For now, Mr. Gustav is sticking around and continuing to drench us all! They say there are 3 more storms in the Atlantic! I WILL DEFINITELY THINK ABOUT THAT TOMORROW!

Monday, September 1, 2008


We had a quiet-long trip home from Sheveport after dropping off "The Baby". After receiving a call around noon that her plane leaving from Jackson, MS had been cancelled, Mom went into overdrive. I knew she needed to get back to hubby, dog & work . Northwest would not promise her a flight out until Wednesday, since Jackson was on the bad side of the storm. After a search on-line and a call to Northwest, they let her fly out of Shreveport instead. Same 2nd leg of the flight, just different starting point. On behalf of Adam and Powers, thank you Northwest. BC & I would have loved The Queen being around another couple of days-BUT.

The day started with our 5 mile run through downtown Ruston today. It was very hot and humid-but still only stray clouds in the sky. The only sign of the impending storm was the shelters ALL over town-FULL to the brim and every hotel being covered up. As we ran by the old gym at the local university, they were unloading nursing home patients and special need evacuees. I stopped to see if they needed volunteers and was told they were just settling in and the shelter was full to the brim. All of the shelters in Ruston are full to the brim. Trinity Methodist, Emmanuel Baptist, and First Baptist church have opened their gyms up to shelter evacuees. It makes me very proud to see them open their doors and the MANY people who volunteer their time and talents to aid those fleeing from harm's way. As we traveled through Shreveport, we noticed the same circumstances-full shelters and full hotels. We are very grateful to our neighboring states for their help in these difficult circumstances. With the majority of the population centered on the Gulf Coast, the remainder of the state is hard pressed to supply all of the shelter needs of so many. We could not do it without the aid of our neighbors. Thank you-all our neighbor states.

The rain has set in and there are reports of high winds and lots of rain coming our way. Hopefully with a town full of guests, we will not also loose our power. The worst may be over in South Louisiana, but our storm test is coming tomorrow. If you loose touch with me, know my power is off and I will return.

I KNOW #3 is glad to be headed back to the North and out of all of this fun!