Friday, November 26, 2010


Our Creative Accountant daughter has recently introduced me to zentangles – and created this one on a card for my birthday.

Zentangle birthday card

If you like this intriguing art, perhaps you'll enjoy viewing others on flickr:


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Things That Drive Me Bonkers Crazy

It's not often that I get on my soapbox, but today is one of those days. Here are a few thoughts I'm having today. Over the last few weeks, I have been adjusting to a new laptop computer with a new operating system. Where shall I start?

It would be hard to even tell you the kinds of things related to computers that drive me crazy.

I'm fully aware that all businesses related to computer technology are in it to make money. This may be the root of the problem – and probably is.

We've all heard you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I'm just tired of being forced to learn new tricks, and to spend more money to do it. I was doing just fine before the purchase of a new computer. Now I'd just love to have my old computer without it threatening to crash at any moment.

I had no idea I would be in such turmoil just trying to continue to use my computer for things I enjoy.

Have any of you been there? Perhaps you only use your computer for activities that are not affected when you go to a new operating system.

Everywhere I turn now, I realize I've got to figure out a new way to do what I had enjoyed before such as manipulating photos or using a good word processing program, and on and on it goes.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My New Favorite Word

Obama quote: "I'm not recommending for every future President that they take a shellacking like I did last night... I'm sure there are easier ways to learn this lesson." That brief statement has a good ring to it, don't you think?

Surely you have already heard the interview in which President Obama used the word to describe what happened in the elections yesterday.

See CNN's video of the President's press conference:

Obama: Dems Took A 'Shellacking'

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Rockin' With The Rhythm

Around 5 A.M. this morning, it began to rain for the first time since September. It continued for about an hour and a half. Certainly cause for celebration!

Hope it keeps on coming down later today because we're way behind. Just ask the farmers.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Fall Is In The Air

One never knows what each year will bring in the weather.

This is the week of the Shrimp Fest, and we have definite memories of one not too long ago when we couldn't stand to stay there very long because it was so hot. This year, though, weather predictions sound very pleasant. We plan to attend Friday.

Today we turned on our heat for this first time this fall, and the smoke alarm gave its quick response. Not that surprising — we turned it off for a few minutes and then turned it on again. We've been enjoying the cooler weather, but brought in the tropical plants that don't care for temps in the 40s.

I have begun a flickr set and expect to add more photos as the season progresses:

Autumn 2010

Friday, October 01, 2010


As it was beginning to get light today, there was little Napoleon, the hummingbird feeder's self-assigned guard. He's taking his job very seriously.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Biography

I was born in the back of a gas station where my parents lived at the time in Sweetwater, Texas, in 1936, and was reared in Sweetwater, White Settlement, Joshua, and Cleburne, Texas.

I did not learn about the actual place of my birth until I was grown, but you'll note it was a year which was still considered part of the Great Depression, and my daddy, Bill Ellington, was lucky to have a job and a place to live.

My mother, Leno Lockhart, possibly did not reveal this to me because she was ashamed of it, but I am just glad this information finally surfaced. So I'm presenting this as evidence that biographies are unique just like snowflakes. Also, I will tell you that there is nothing in that spot where I was born — at least the post office tells me the address does not receive delivery of mail there. If anyone reads this and knows someone who was born in a gas station, I'd like to hear about.

I do have one high school classmate who was born in Sweetwater also. I did not know this until several years ago. He's younger than I am and eventually moved to Cleburne because his dad worked for the Santa Fe Railroad.

After graduation from Cleburne High School in 1955, I worked for a year to save some money to pay for attending Baylor University in 1956-57. The summer afterward, I was hired at the National Supply Company as a clerk-typist, with headquarters located in Fort Worth, and moved with the company when their headquarters were relocated in Dallas.

After commuting from Cleburne to Dallas for a short while, I moved to Dallas, where I met my husband, Wendell Smith. We were married in 1958, in Cleburne and lived in Dallas for a number of years and later moved to Irving. Our daughters, Angela and Carla, were born in Dallas in 1960 and 1963 respectively.

Wendell’s employer, General Electric Company, transferred him to Bloomington, Illinois, where our family lived for about four years, during which time we experience what a blizzard is like. While my husband still worked at G.E., we lived in Irving again and Memphis, Tennessee. Our family also lived in Meridian and Jackson, Mississippi.

We have three grandchildren and one great grandchild.

After retirement, we became fulltime RVers in 2007. That year of RVing was all we expected it to be as we did volunteer work at Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming and Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery in Jamestown, Kentucky.

In 2008, we came to Alabama in our motorhome and began looking at real estate, not really thinking we would settle in one place, but the price of fuel was a concern as it kept rising.

A snowbird told us about a mobile home that was for sale and was located in a small senior mobile home community, and we thought it looked just about right for us. We've have been living in paradise, Lower Alabama, ever since.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Got My Pears!

click for recipeQuite by coincidence (and there's no such thing as coincidences) I was offered some big Sand Pears with the advice that I should use them just like apples and make a pie with them. I may try to work that in also, but I must make some pear honey with some of them.

Someone I used to work with at a bank in Jackson, Mississippi told me about pear honey. I call it Liquid Gold because it is quite labor-intensive to make but oh so good. It's not generally for sale in grocery stores, but I have purchased some at a local church's annual autumn bazaar in Gluckstadt.

I now have several recipes, but the one I started with is still the basis of what I do to make pear honey. Gotta get to it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Luis Bruno ~ Celebrity Chef

New Years Eve 1983The picture to the right is from a 1983 New Year's Eve celebration at Bruno's Eclectic Cuisine in Jackson, Mississippi. We were celebrating our silver wedding anniversary. Our oldest daughter has entitled this photo The Queen Mother. The tiara was a party favor that was left behind at the restaurant, and I haven't seen one any prettier in all the years since then. I remember that Bruno's had stocked the ladies room with special New Year's Eve toilet paper. Don't we remember the oddest things?

This was the last time I ate food prepared by Chef Luis Bruno. Although we didn't see him that night, we spoke with his wife Kathleen. Several years earlier, we first met Kathleen and Luis when they were competing in a Red Beans and Rice Festival in downtown Jackson. At that time, Bruno was the executive chef appointed by Governor Kirk Fordice at the Governors Mansion, and he is currently the executive chef at Huntington's Grille at the North Jackson Hilton. It was nice to learn where he is and what he is doing now after all these years.

Bruno's love of food has taken him to the celebrity status in several circles now. The contest on ABC News Nightline Platelist brought Luis to my attention again very recently. Take a look at his interesting life in his contestant's biography:
LUIS BRUNO, Huntington's Grille, Jackson, Miss.

Luis Bruno is the chef at Huntington's Grille in Jackson, Miss. Healthy recipes are most important to Chef Luis, whose inspirational story includes maintaining a non-surgical weight loss of 200 pounds through exercise and healthy eating.

In 2003 he weighed 400 pounds when health issues and uncontrolled diabetes forced him to close his celebrated restaurant Bruno's, and his doctor gave him just five years to live. One year later and half his size, he had turned his life around — and his weight-loss efforts melded perfectly with Governor Haley Barbour's dedication to the health of Mississippi's citizens. Bruno returned as Executive Chef at the Governor's Mansion, where he remained until his appointment with The Hilton in Jackson as Chef at Huntington's Grille. Luis's recipes have a Caribbean flair and are some of the best. One of my favorites is Banana Leaf Wrapped Buttered Snapper with Clams and Saffron Broth. He is quite the showman and is a local celebrity.
I encourage you to vote for Bruno, who is a finalist in ABC News Nightline Peoples Platelist contest, the winner of which will be featured on national television. You can do that here:

Peoples Platelist Finalist: Luis Bruno

Voting ends on Sept. 26, 2010 and is limited to one vote per individual IP address. The finalist receiving the most votes online will be declared the winner of the contest. The winner will be announced live on the broadcast during the week of Sept. 27, 2010. The winning chef will be the topic of a full Platelist segment, taped and produced by Nightline that will run on the national broadcast on ABC.

Learn even more about Luis's weight loss plan:

Trimming the Fat
Runners World – March 2007

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Roger

Entertainers Roger Pedigo and Billy Pelletier

I learned rather late in the day that today is my friend Roger Pedigo's birthday.

Roger and I see lots of things in life the same way, such as it's okay to hang out with your friends in a bar and still go to church because there's really nothing in the Holy Scriptures that says this is a wrong behavior except for possibly what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 14.

Another thing Roger and I have in common is the love of music. He has shared music CDs with me and I have shared some with him. He's a talented entertainer who performs his music with a group at Magnolia Springs Wesleyan Church on Sunday mornings. He has many stories to tell about life on the road performing, and I love to hear those stories. My amateur video will help give you some insight as to how well he performs:

Georgia Karaoke at Foley's Scuttlebutt Pub

Roger lives with his faithful companion, a mutt named Angel. How their relationship began is an interesting tale that leaves listeners deciding for themselves who's the owner and who's the pet :)

If you're in the market for a storage building or carport, Roger Pedigo is the man to see at RJ's Curb Market Storage in Foley, Alabama.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gordon Mote

Don't Let Me Miss the Glory – Gordon MoteChristian artist Gordon Mote is an outstanding musician who plays piano for the Gaither Vocal Band. He's also a native of Alabama.

My friend Roger Pedigo recently introduced me to Mote's 2007 CD, Don't Let Me Miss The Glory. He particularly wanted me to hear the touching tale of Maplewood Methodist Church.

Follow along with the lyrics below as you listen to Maplewood Methodist Church.

Spends every night inside these walls
Dumps the trash and sweeps the halls
And he makes sure that stained glass shines
Picks up paper in the pews and stacks the chairs in the choir room
But his real work don't start til quittin' time
When he goes through every prayer request lying on the pastor's desk
He hits his knees and says ...
God bless Miss Somersby, Lord it's hard to live alone
And Marianna Thompson wants her daddy back at home
And Mr. Nelson needs forgiveness
Old Man Miller's crops need rain
While the whole town's fast asleep he's hard at work
Pullin' that midnight shift at the Maplewood Methodist Church

Every night's the same routine
And by the time he finally leaves
He's done so much more than clean the building
He's called down angels from on high
And helped someone through a sad goodbye
And lost souls finally find what they've been missing
The congregation will never see that simple man who still believes
He can change the world by saying please ...

Give Johnny Mays the strength to put that bottle down
Mrs. Bailey and her husband find a way to work things out
Mrs. Olsen hold on long enough to see her daughter's wedding day
While the whole town's fast asleep he's hard at work
Pullin' that midnight shift at the Maplewood Methodist Church

The sign out front says Sunday service starts at nine and ten-fifteen
But he holds his own revival, seven nights a week

While the whole town's fast asleep he's hard at work
Pullin' that midnight shift at the Maplewood Methodist Church

Spends every night inside these walls, dumps the trash and sweeps the halls
And he makes sure that stained glass shines

This song stirred up some very old memories. The first funeral I attended was my Uncle Lawrence's in Sweetwater, Texas. If you hear this song, you'll know how my mind connected to that when I tell you it's about a man who cleans the church. Sometimes the person is called the custodian, or perhaps the janitor. I think the funeral was held in the church Uncle Lawrence cleaned. I also recalled that another uncle, JC Lockhart, cleaned a church in Weatherford, Texas.

Let me back up here and tell you I was reared Southern Baptist and remained one until Smitty and I married and began to look for a church in our Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas. That's when we became Presbyterians and joined Trinity Presbyterian Church. Our two daughters were baptized and later confirmed in the Presbyterian Church. We later moved to Irving, Texas, then Bloomington, Illinois, and eventually to Memphis, Tennessee, and each time joined local Presbyterian churches. We've been members of the United Methodist church since we lived in Meridian, Mississippi in the late 1970s.

More Gordon Mote videos worth seeing:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Good Morning ~ Good Night

This is how I began my day today. It was so pleasant, I wanted to share it.

Hope your day is a good one.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Confession Time

Today I am trying to catch up on reading devotionals from The Upper Room. I began with the one for Friday, August 6, 2010 — so you know right off I'm over a week behind.

I've obviously been giving something other than reading daily devotionals priority. This is a continuing problem of mine. My priorities are just about upside down! But when I read the devotional, I did so want to share it.


Jeff Matthews of Indiana
Founder of
A ministry that encourages inmates to follow the Bible

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13 · Ephesians 5:1-2

I have been incarcerated since 1990, and over the years I have found myself in some difficult situations. Whenever trouble arises, applying biblical principles can bring about a peaceful resolution. One principle I have lived by throughout the duration of my incarceration is to always walk in love.

A few years ago, I had an opportunity to practice this principle when an inmate started to hassle me about my faith. His derogatory remarks about Christians continued for months. With each encounter, I responded in love, rejoiced in my persecutions (Matthew 5:11-12), and prayed for him (Matthew 5:44).

One day during another encounter with this inmate, I calmly interrupted him while he was speaking. I felt there was something he needed to know. "My friend," I said, "nothing you ever say to me or do to me will stop me from loving you." He stood speechless as I walked away.

A few days later he saw me in the hallway. "Jeff, I haven't slept since you told me you loved me the other day. That's exactly what Jesus would have told me. You're a real Christian. Please forgive me for the way I've treated you," he said remorsefully. I was speechless! Since then, he has never spoken another unkind word to me.

Prayer · Dear Father, help us to walk always in love. Amen.

Thought for the Day: No matter how difficult our situation, with God's help we can see ways to show God's love.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lady Gaga's Quesadilla

Lady Gaga's Quesadilla · by Paul McRae on flickr
Any Lady Gaga fans out there?
Me neither.

I do recommend, though, that you click on Paul's photo to the right and read his story describing how this photo came about.

Monday, August 02, 2010


Where did I learn about KISS? I wonder...

I did prove to myself that I wasn't dreaming – it was related to duplicate bridge conventions when I found Tommy Solberg's bridge blog and his post: The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Conventions. As he reports, *KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid.

So far you still do not even know what this post is about, but I will reveal now that our youngest daughter is the blog expert who has passed on to me more than once that each blog post should be about one subject. In this context, *KISS means Keep It Separate Stupid.

What I wanted to share today concerns the really weird weather day we experienced in Lower Alabama. For over two hours, there was audible thunder, which I believe I have determined was a weather system that was just along the area of the Florida-Alabama line on the Gulf Coast that was moving south out into the Gulf. The outside temps dropped from 97 to 82 degrees during this time, which resulted in our screened porch going from a sauna to a very nice place to relax around 7 PM. During this time we could hear thunder while at the same time it was quite dark outside and only sprinkles of moisture were dripping off our roof. I had to comment on this because it is so totally different from any weather I have ever experienced before.

On seeing the Pensacola News weather on television, it looked like their weather was more dramatic as far as the sudden drop in temperature with them reporting a temperature of 79 at that same time period. The difference had to do with considerable rainfall in a short period of time.

Yes, the Gulf Coast in this area has been experiencing unusually high temperature readings to the point that it has been really too hot to enjoy going to the beach, even if you have a little hand-held fan you can use to spray cooling water on yourself. Generally speaking though, when one is right on the beach on the Gulf, at least a gentle sea breeze helps cool you.

Cracked Pots

Keith Tonkel's sermon yesterday at Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi was entitled Cracked Pots, and it was based on this old story:

Scripture for yesterday's sermon:

Isaiah 40:29
God gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, he increases strength.

I Corinthians 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world, to put to shame the wise, and has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the mighty...

2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, and my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Hebrews 5:2
He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.

Today’s Psalms 6:1-4 (Revised)
Lord, do not rebuke us in your anger,
Or chasten us with your displeasure.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are weak;
heal us, for our body and soul is deeply troubled.
Return, O Lord, deliver us.
Oh save us for your mercies’ sake!

The Sunday bulletin for this service had Keith's usual brief prose as follows concerning the scriptures:
Cracked Pots

Went to school with a guy who often referred to ‘crack-pots’. In those days, it was about folks with strange and crazy ideas or practices. Today such talk may mean a lot more!

An important teacher used to say: “We are leaky vessels for God’s truth and work to ride in, but we are God’s vessels.”

When speaking of real Christians, we can create the idea that such persons have got it made. They have ‘arrived’ and are capable of doing all things well. In fact, there are almost no such believers. Think of the stories of God’s calls: Moses who said he couldn’t speak well, Abraham who got a big laugh when told that he and Sarah were having a baby at their age; all who Jesus asked to come with him, who made (make up!) up one excuse after the other.

God chooses the weak to do strong work. He gives power to those who have none, and increases might equivaliant for the work needed. Who would have thought that twelve disciples could have done so much and changed so many. They became the fore runners of a new history.

No one is weak to be weak. In our weakness, we learn compassion for the ignorance and sins of others. To know our weakness is to call on God’s strength to build our own. It’s clear: The proud and strong rely on themselves and need no others. The weak see their strengths and limitations at the same time, and learn that the grace of God is the only sufficient resource for positive and Christlike living.

Some crackpots might surprise you. Crackpots like you and me. We could become a means of doing something good, lasting, and beautiful for God and for others.

Imagine leaky vessels being so effective and at the same time leaving a legacy to bless generations to come.

Note: These short devotional-type writings are gathered together in a book to be published in the future by Keith ~ GodStuff

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Not through yet

Not through yet could apply with lots of things. This canna decided it was going to show one more bloom today.

It also just might apply to a certain person whose birthday is today —


Freckle-faced canna bloom

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Error Messages

There are certain things in this world of hi-tech and computers I'm clueless about. If any of you out there have explanations for these failures, I'm all ears.

My second upload attempt was successful. The results appear below. When you consider that this video was being taken through the screen of the screened porch as it was nearing dark, it's pretty miraculous that it's as good as it is.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Calling All Parrot Heads!

Free Jimmy Buffett concert tickets

Click Kaiser Realty Packages including concert tickets to find out how to get tickets for Jimmy Buffett's upcoming free concert on July 11.

This is the way most people will get the so-called free tickets to the Buffett concert that has been rescheduled on July 11th.

This isn't really an ad for Kaiser Realty. There are other people who can offer you something similar. The point of all this is to help Gulf Coast tourism that has suffered from the BP oil spill.

Some other places with tickets include but are not limited to:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

On the road to Texas

Attended a surprise retirement party for a friend, who was finally retiring as a flight attendant from American Airlines.

We had a busy Sunday – attended church, visited with relatives in Saginaw, then attended a patriotic concert featuring the combined choirs of four area churches accompanied by Arlington's community band.
Passing Side vs. Suicide
Warning: Passing Side vs. Suicide

The rest of our time was spent visiting with my sister and brother-in-law in various activities such as dining out, shopping, taking care of some business, and going through some of Mother's things. I'm not sure I'll live long enough to finish the last job mentioned, even if I live to be 100.

See our road trip photos on flickr:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Site of Buffett Concert on July 11th of 2010

The beach was as clean as we'd ever seen it. All it lacked were the people. Lots of them should be there on July 1st for the Jimmy Buffett concert.

New information on the rescheduled concert appeared in the June 29th issue of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, as follows:

Free Jimmy Buffett concert reset for July 11
The Associated Press · June 28, 2010


The free concert featuring Jimmy Buffett on the beach at Gulf Shores has been rescheduled due to increased surf that threatens to undermine the stage.
Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said Monday the concert that had been set for July 1 is now scheduled for July 11, a Sunday.

Buffett and a lineup of stars including Kenny Chesney, Zack Brown and others planned the free concert to help support residents and businesses struggling due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Craft said Tropical Storm Alex is not viewed as a threat to the Alabama coast but is creating surf conditions that could make the stage unstable.

Oil and tar balls have washed ashore at Gulf Shores and other Alabama beach resorts, putting a dent in the summer tourist season.

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Saturday, June 12, 2010


SnapDragon Turtle

I have entered the snapdragon part of my life.

Hubby purchased some flowers last fall that we understood would thrive during the colder months somewhat like pansies do. That is why we fully understand "Snapdragons still blooming". These were like late bloomers, in that they really didn't begin to show off until late spring, and they are still going strong. The ones we have are yellow.

Yellow Snapdragons Snapdragon Closeup

May you always have...

Love to share,
Health to spare, and
Friends to care.

— Author Unknown

Postscript: Perhaps my brother-in-law Jerry entered the Snapdragon time of life also. Today is his birthday. Not tellin' his age, but here's a hint — he graduated from Cleburne High School one year after I did.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Puns for those with a higher IQ

People who know me well know I love puns. Maybe you do too.

Cartoon Credit — treebeard31 blog on Wordpress

  1. Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.
  2. A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
  3. Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
  4. Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
  5. Shotgun wedding - A case of wife or death.
  6. A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
  7. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
  8. Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
  9. Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
  10. Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
  11. Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
  12. When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
  13. A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
  14. What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead give away.)
  15. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
  16. In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
  17. She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.
  18. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
  19. If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
  20. With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
  21. The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
  22. You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
  23. Local Area Network in Australia - the LAN down under.
  24. Every calendar's days are numbered.
  25. A lot of money is tainted - Taint yours and taint mine.
  26. A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
  27. He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
  28. A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.
  29. Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.
  30. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
  31. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
  32. Acupuncture is a jab well done.

My favorite of all of these is the 27th one and hope it applies to me. Instead I take pictures like crazy.

My thanks go to Mary. Believe me, I was flattered!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Someone's got the giggles

It's good to see a little girl giggling. Maggie was enjoying this so much

Friday, June 04, 2010

Staff Night Out

Staff Night OutAlthough it's been three years, we do still miss these people and hope they also think of us from time to time. The summer of 2007 was a very special one. This photo demonstrates what simple pleasures were part of that that life as volunteers at Devils Tower National Monument. Probably most of these people you see here have scattered all over after that summer.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Senior Citizen Night Life

This may one of my few really Senior Citizen Night Life reports. Since I had managed to stay alert past 9 PM, I thought I should give you a report on how it is in Lower Alabama for a senior citizen who has made it past this bewitching time. We enjoyed some time on our screened porch before we decided to "retire" for the day to our ZZZZZZ's. Let me tell you what it was like.

Instead of the usual falling asleep in front of the TV tonight, we played music on the screened porch. We feel comfortable doing this because we do not disturb our neighbors when we do this at night. You must understand that even though our hearing may be somewhat impaired at our age, we are sensitive to the fact that our closest neighbors may be trying to get a good night's sleep at such a late hour. But, after all, the traffic noises from the closest two main roads do not promptly stop at even 9 PM.

A noise that we experienced tonight was quite different. There are no large airports nearby, so we are guessing it was possibly some kind of flight training maneuvers from the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, because this was not the usual light plane noise we are used to hearing here. This was definitely a big airplane. The only other idea we had was it was looking for oil on the Gulf.

Back to our music — we have discovered that our playing music on the screened porch brings out some competition. It's probably mockingbirds that are trying to outdo us. It's a good feeling knowing that we are part of their life just as they are a part of our daily life. Indeed, all the little creatures that live around us can be as interesting to watch as the TV – perhaps even moreso. Surely this kind of activity keeps your blood pressure down and your happiness level elevated. Give it a try to see what we mean.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

If this frame could talk...

… it could tell you about the many earlier years of our grandchildren’s growth and the lives of the three as they moved into young adulthood.

Tri-fold frame with Sarah · Lori and Kevin · Neal

Today we received photos of our youngest granddaughter on the day of her graduation from high school. The only babies in our family now are the great-granddaughter.

Time does fly, and they do grow up so fast!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Daily May 2010

Results of the procedure brought us good news from Dr. Coleman!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What Is A Magnolia?

Magnolia Bloom

Although I haven't seen the movie, I wanted to know where the title came from. I read enough about it to become totally confused. Apparently the writer and director Paul Thomas Anderson started to get ideas for Magnolia during the long editing period of Boogie Nights (1997), and he had the title of Magnolia in his head before he wrote the script. Anderson also did research on the magnolia tree and discovered a concept that eating the tree's bark helped cure cancer.
And best of all ...
It is a sweet little almost two-year-old great granddaughter whose parents are from Louisiana and Mississippi and chose her name to honor their native states — and we all call her Maggie.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Malbis Greek Orthodox church

Here's the kind of photo I hope to capture someday when I'm at this location at the right time of day.Malbis Greek Orthodox Church
Photo Credit: rxguy08 on flickr

My latest effort can be seen on flickr at:
Malbis Greek Orthodox Church

Another beautiful version of this church can be seen at:
Thoughts of a Fancy Horse
Art and Architecture: Special landmarks around town

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We woke up and realized this was a prime example of lack of planning for every eventuallity, because lack of such planning can have it's effects on a multitude of others.Gulf of Mexico oil rig

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Listen Gently to the Wind

The Largest Wind Farm In The World: Horse Hollow is located in the county where I was born in Texas over 73 years ago.

Horse Hollow Wind Farm in Nolan County, Texas

Here's a video about this:

NBC Sunday Morning
Wind energy in West Texas, Wind Turbines

The wind* blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Gospel of John 3:8 (New International Version)

*The same Greek word means wind and spirit

The poem below reminded me of a book I recommended last year — What is the wind trying to tell us?

Listen gently to the wind,
To the song of some small bird.
Listen gently to your heart,
There’s a song that can’t be heard.
There’s a gift I give from me to you
For no one else to share
It’s the happiness I feel inside
Just knowing you are there.

— Bob Arness

One of the questions I asked Bob was if he had a certain person in mind when he wrote it. He said he didn’t. I think this poem is a love poem, and it’s a gift to God. What do you think?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wisteria in top of Live Oak

This is a repeat of yesterday's post with a vertical panorama merge of three photos of the Live Oak tree to the back of our place.

You may be able to better view the photo on the left by clicking on it to enlarge it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring is here for sure!
Click on the photo to the right to see the lavender-color wisteria growing in the top portion of the big Live Oak to the back of our place:Wisteria above

Slideshow presented by Webshots: Spring Flowers 2010

Monday, April 05, 2010

The season for wysteria is so short lived that I wanted to preserve at least one photo on the blog. Spring is such a beautiful season!

Just in case you didn't know it, you can click on most photos on my blog to see a larger view. I recommend it on this one.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy Easter

... and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 11:6d (King James Version)

Click this video link to hear
Amazing Grace - 7yr old Rhema Marvanne

Friday, March 26, 2010

Holy Week

Easter LiliesHoly Week is the last week of Lent each year that begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday.

This time of year I always like to read a little brochure-type publication written by Felix R. McKnight that Daddy sent me many years ago.

If you'd like to follow along with me as I read, here's all the posts I did last year during Holy Week.

Readings about the author and the publication The Immortal Story by blog posts:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Mysterious Discovery

Buzz Aldrin - Eric Metaxas - Dick CavettDo you think God speaks through emails you receive? Well, I have to say, God can do whatever He wants to, so I think it is possible.

This post comes about because I received an email about Communion on the Moon: July 20th, 1969 without any indication of who wrote the story. I went searching for the author on the internet and found the same story and the photo above of Buzz Aldrin, Eric Metaxas, and Dick Cavett. Eric Metaxes was/is the author.

It also caused me to find some very interesting videos. I'll recommend the one with Anne Rice below.

I sure would like to hear some comments on these two authors. I knew about Anne Rice but have not read one of her books. I certainly plan to now. I had never heard of Eric Metaxas, but I also plan to read his books.

That's all I have to tell you today. If I have more thoughts to share after some more research reading, I'll let you know what they are. Please stay tuned.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Like Beer

Like Tom T. Hall says in his song, I like beer. I learned to like it when we lived in a non-air-conditioned garage apartment in Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 1959. We were trying to save money when we moved there. Little did we know that the way the apartment was situated attached by a breezeway to a two-bedroom house owned by our landlords, the Pezdirtz's, that the place would be very close to an oven in the hottest months. One could look out into the tree tops and see there was a breeze moving the tree leaves while not receiving any of it inside the large one-room apartment. That's when I finally learned to like beer.

Saint Patrick's Day seemed like an appropriate day to share this with my readers.

Downtown Jackson will be having its St. Paddy's Parade and Festival next Saturday, with the Sweet Potato Queens leading the way. This parade is similar to the Mardi Gras parades in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi and more about welcoming spring and raising funds for local charities than it is about St. Patrick. Many's the time we had our spot across from the Governor's Mansion, viewing this special annual event. You can see some of our photos from past parades at:
· Mal's St. Paddy's Parade 2003
· Mal's St. Paddy's Parade 2006
Tom T. Hall must be one of the best story tellers via his songs, and this shows him at his very best. This was recorded at the Church Street Station in Orlando, Florida back in 1990.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dancing Hot Dog

Never a dull moment at Magnolia River Bar & Grill. As the weather warms up, hot dogs may be sold outside or even in Foley. Time will tell.

Kilroy Was Here

Haven’t you wondered about this expression? If your age takes you back to the World War II era, probably so. Yes, Kilroy wound up here on my blog, thanks to my friend Mary.

The story sent to me by email was very fascinating with many ends and outs, and I wondered if all of it was true. Much of it seems to be, and whether all of it is true is not important. What Snopes dredged up makes it even a more interesting story.

I’ll not repeat it all here. You can read it for yourself at:

Kilroy Was Here

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lenten Reflection

This idea keeps popping up in my mind from time to time: I really think things might go better in this world if all of us had tails like dogs.

Here's the Lenten Reflection I found for today on the website for Wells Memorial United Methodist Church.

For March 4

For the Lord is good, and his love endures forever,
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalms 100:5

Several months ago I got an email from a church friend. The subject line was I see God in dog.

This friend knows that I absolutely, deeply and madly love dogs. I am a person who doesn’t think that my dog Duncan is a little person. I know that Duncan is a little dog who is there every time I come home at the back door. He makes this little snorting and snuffling sound when he hears the key in the back door lock.

Every single time I come home he is happy to see me. There is no recrimination as to why I was gone so long. Or where did I go. It is just joy at my return.

That is how God is. He is always there waiting for me when I return home. He is always happy and joyful that I have returned to him and he embraces me when I open and walk through the door.

Thank you, church friend, for sending me that email, as I truly see God in dog.


Thank you, Lord, for the love you give to us
through creatures great and small.

Thought for the Day: God’s faithfulness continues. Does ours?

— Ann Herlihy

I came across this dog video last September:

God and Dog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Celebrate 100 years

Celebrating 100 yearsThis afternoon we attended one of several celebrations of Dolly's 100th Birthday. What a happy event!

Dolly was born at home on February 11, 1910. She was very small and probably born prematurely. The doctor who delivered her said she would probably only live a short while because she was so small. They put her in a shoebox and did not even name her. They just called her Little Doll; She showed them all!

You can view photos on Flickr from this event at
Dolly’s 100th Birthday Celebration

Happy 100th Birthday!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mardi Gras Flotilla

Two decorated pantoon boats with Magnolia River Bar & Grill customers participated in this flotilla on the Bon Secour River on Valentines Day. When they returned to MRBG, they were in a very celebrative mood, to say the least. At times the dance floor was just about full of revellers dancing to the karaoke music.

Mardi Gras & Valentines Collide

Mardi Gras and Valentines collide at Magnolia River Bar & Grill. Some of the MRBG folks are participating in a Mardi Gras boat parade on Valentines, but at the same time, while still decorated for Mardi Gras, they have lots of pretty Valentine balloons in their bar & grill.

One thing is for sure, they don't miss an opportunity to celebrate.
Happy Valentines Day
A favorite song I think of on Valentines is My Funny Valentine. I first heard it in a very old movie. It did not sound like Linda Ronstadt's, but at least you know somewhat what the song was about if you view and listen to it on YouTube above. Linda's version even has a beginning verse I do not recall ever hearing. Apparently the standard has been recorded by so many people no one knows who they were and how many.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ask The Geese

VeeMy cousin sent me a powerpoint slideshow entitled Ask The Geese. Seems like I have seen this or something like it before. You can have the same information in this inspiring slide show at:


We have all had our "honkers" who have encouraged us through our lives. Where would we be without them?

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Bear

Well, I found the trailer for the full length feature film, The Bear, on YouTube. I saw this movie in the theater about 10 years ago. Even if I see a movie, much of the plot does not stick with me. Here's the info with the trailer.
The Bear 1989
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Novel by: James Oliver Curwood
An orphan bear cub
A large bear alone
Two hunters in the forest
The views of animals
These are the four lines sent by Jean-Jacques Annaud its producer Claude Berry to explain the draft of his film. "After the War of the fire," explains the director, "I wanted to go further, try to convey the emotions common to all species of higher animal world. Avoiding that animals have behaviour modelled on those of men, affubl├ęs reasoning of midinette, with a voiceover to explain what happens."

Below is the trailer:

Since I had seen the feature film in the theater, when I watched the scene shown on YouTube that someone sent me via email, I knew some of the outcome, but it was still such an exciting segment, I wanted to share it also.

Each time I watch it, I still find it spellbinding.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Humility > Servanthood > Destination

Fairly recently I posted something that described how men's and women's brains work. I think that's why I find it so hard to put up a post that is just about one thing, because one thing makes me think of something else and so on. So, I think this is where all this started, but I'm not sure.

I received an annual letter from a family I have been following for several years now. At the moment, they live in North Carolina. For some reason I was reminded of a story about Billy Graham, who was from North Carolina. It has appeared on the internet many times — possibly the first time back in 2005. I love this story very much because it makes several points:
In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor.

Mr. Graham initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the city leaders said, “We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.” So he agreed.

After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, “I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time Magazine as the Man of the Century.

Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him, and it wasn’t there either.
The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.”

Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.

The conductor rushed back and said, “Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don’t worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one.”

Einstein looked at him and said, “Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I’m going.”

Having said that, Billy Graham continued, “See the suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand new suit. My wife, my children and my grandchildren are telling me I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon, and for one more occasion.

You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear I’m dead, I don’t want you to immediately remember the suit I’m wearing. I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am — I also know where I am going.”
This story brings to mind an important man I worked a short while for in the early 1960's. I recall someone telling how Dr. Robert Stubblefield attended a formal meeting in Washington DC at which cards were in place for those invited. Despite looking for his place when he entered the dining room, Dr. Stubblefield couldn't locate his assigned seat. He was eventually told – as though he should have known already – that his seat was at the head table. This kind of humility speaks volumes to me when someone thinks less highly of themselves than most people of their position would. Dr. Stubblefield's obituary included many of his honors and accomplishments, yet he was a humble man.

In conclusion ...

I Know Where I'm Going · by The Judds

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lutheran Airlines

Lutheran Airlines stewardessI apologize if this offends you, but I literally was just about falling out in the floor laughing at this audio when I received it attached to an email.

This reminds me of Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He used to have such fun with the Lutherans.

In searching for more information, I found an absolutely funny blog that runs in the same vein named The Adventures of Ole and Lena.

Let's do a "let's pretend" here and imagine we have just boarded Luthern Airlines when over the speaker we hear this.

I really don't think I would have found this nearly as funny without Garrison Keillor's many insights into what the Minnesota Lutherans were/are like – at least the humorous side of them.

People who read my blog — anyone out there? — know I certainly hop around from subject to subject, but I feel compelled to say, it's not my intention to single out any particular denomination with this post except for the fact I don't know how to do it without saying what it is.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Frozen Bird Bath

Around 6 AM this morning, I noticed that the water in the bird bath outside was frozen. Naturally, I had to take a photo of it just as soon as it became light enough to capture. More frozen temps in the 20s are predicted for the week ahead.

Magnolia Springs · The Weather Channel

Friday, January 01, 2010

Born Again American

This might be a good way to start 2010. It is similar but different from last year's New Year's Day post – Stand By Me