Thursday, February 28, 2013

Reflections on Jinx

“Jinx, you owe me a coke!”

Have you ever said that or something similar when you have said something at the same time as someone else?  That was what we kids in Stephenville used to say, and I remember both having to buy someone a coke and someone having to buy me a coke. 

Raf tells me he doesn’t remember saying that in New Jersey, but the other day I was watching a episode of Castle, and both actors said something at the same time.  One then said, “Jinx” and then told the other that he could not speak until she allowed him to or he would owe her a soda!

I had never heard the expression outside Stephenville, and especially on national television, so I was quite startled and decided to do some research.

On the Internet I learned that Jinx, or “personal jinx”, is a children’s game with myriad and varied rules and penalties when two people unintentionally speak the same word or phrase simultaneously.  If one of them hollers “jinx” before any further conversation has begun, the other person is in a state of being jinxed and may not speak further until he is released from the jinx. 

One source says the jinx is ended when anyone speaks the jinxed person’s name backwards three times, but other “rules” say the jinxee can only be released from their silence by the jinxer allowing it.

Also, a source said that a more common penalty is that the looser owes the winner a coke, and victory is often announced then the jinxed person speaks out of turn and the winner yells, “You owe me a coke.”

I then decided to try to find out where the phrase came from.  Now, you must remember that I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, but the first answer to my question said that it began in the 1990s in elementary school.  Well, we know that is so much rubbish...makes me think kids think nothing happened in the world before they were born!

Some similar phrases for simultaneous speech include “pinch, poke, you owe me a coke”, “jinx machine is out of order so shut up and pay me a quarter”, “Jinx! Buy me a Coke! Inky-dinky-pinky-winky! Flush it down the kitchen sinky! Alley Ooop! Alley Ooop! Doh hinky. The king of France wet his pants right in the middle of a ballroom dance. Yodleayheehoo! Yodleayheehoo! Nee nee nee ne nee nee neee ne nee nee nee nee. Huh!", or “Jink, you owe me a coke...Blue, you owe me two!”.

Anyway, those are happy memory times, and I can almost see me and my best friend, Dianne, outside the Dairy Queen buying each other a coke!  Or more likely a Dr. Pepper!

Any other thoughts from anyone?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kiss Me, I'm German!

Yesterday we got an early start, and with Raf's sister Mary we headed north on US 281 (you know, the road from Canada to Mexico).  We didn't get very far on our first leg, as we stopped at the cafe on Hill Top to eat a very delicious breakfast.  If you're every going in that direction, Hill Top is a fine cafe.

After our meal, on we went, through Perrin and to one of the most historic of Texas towns, Jacksboro, in Jack County.

I did see a Barn Owl in broad daylight swoop down into a field to retrieve breakfast!


As we approached Jacksboro, we came upon Fort Richardson State Park.  If you are interested in the history of the Indian Wars in Texas, this is a must-see! We didn't stop as we had much farther to go.


We drove past the Jack County Courthouse, which, as you can see, if fairly new.  The old one burned, along with hundreds of documents, including birth, death, and marriage.  Because of that fire I have never been able to prove the birth of my great-grandmother, Rosa Cane Routh.

We drove around the courthouse and took Highway 59 in a northeasterly direction toward the town of Bowie, named, of course, for James Bowie who died at the Alamo.  Here we are crossing Lost Creek Lake north of Jacksboro.

Bowie is, I believe, the largest town on Montague County.  Montague is pronounced Mon-tage, not Montague after the Shakespeare characters.  This is local pronunciation, so it is us, anyway!

The we came to the town of Montague, county seat of Montague County, with a large courthouse and a very small population.

Next we came to the town of St. Jo.  No it's not named for Saint Joseph, but rather for Joe Howell who founded it.  It was first named Head of Elm, as it is on the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

We saw a herd of antelopes on the north side of the highway between St. Jo and our destination, Muenster.

Next we came to our destination, the German town of Muenster, Texas, founded by southern German Catholics who settled there in the 1880s.  They wanted to name it Westphalia, but that name in Texas had already been taken, so they named it Muenster for the capital of Westphalia in Germany.   Muenster is in Cooke County west of Gainesville (where my daddy died in 1961 in a car crash).

If you love German food, as we do, and were brought up by German-American parents, you might want to attend Muenster's annual German Fest.

In Muenster we ate German food, bakery goods, sausage, kraut, red cabbage...need I go on?

We drove by Sacred Heart Catholic Church and school.

We purchased many goodies at Fischers.  They make their own sausage, cheese, kraut, etc.  YUM!

Driving home we were able to show Mary what the beginning of a Texas Blue Norther looks like, and thankfully it did not reach Mineral Wells but went north of us after dumping much snow in the Panhandle and West Texas.  However, our winds were up to 60 mph gusts!

 Blue sky before the storm.

If you want a place to go that really reflects the German influence in Texas, Muenster is a good place to start.  You know, German was almost the official language of the country of Texas!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This Week's Adventures

We haven't been too adventuresome this week.  We decided to visit friends in the country rather than go on a day trip this week, so yesterday we drove north on Union Hill Cemetery Road, although we didn't go all the way to the cemetery.
We crossed Turkey Creek, seeing no turkeys, but we did recall that when our daughters were young the boys used to take them out there to a very dilapidated bridge and tell them all sorts of ghost stories!
 The ranch gate is made of native stove, and the ranch is an absolutely lovely spread with fields, pastures, and tanks fill with fish (tanks are what our northern brethren call farm ponds).  And we had a lovely visit with some of the nicest people you could ever meet!
We did meet some new friends on our way back to town.  They seemed as interested in us as we were in them.
Almost home we came upon one of our favorite vistas - looking down into the Millsap Valley where our town of Mineral Wells is located.  On the right at the break in the Pinto Hills you can see our famed Baker Hotel - where ghost tours are taken each Saturday

Also, I wanted share with our my cleaned up studio/office.  Thanks to Michael Nobbs' encouragement I took it a little at a time and got it the way I want it.  I hope to keep it this way, now.  By the way, you can see our Turtle cat in several of the photos.  She loves to stroll around at the top!

 With my Glitter Sisters, a group started by Violette Clark quite a few years ago, I exchanged faeries.  The top was made by Kate; the other made by Gemma!

And here you can see two books I am thoroughly enjoying, Danny Gregory's An Illustrated Journey and Beckah Krahula's One Zentangle a Day.  Here's Art and Soul Radio's interview with Beckah.  Here is Danny's interview with Liz Steel.
And today I opened a Valentine from a childhood friend and her husband to Raf and me.  What a lovely surprise!

All-in-all, this has been a good week.  Tonight we have Stations of the Cross at church, and Raf has photography club and choir practice.  A good week, all told!

See ya!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Patience RIGHT NOW!

I had a person whom I don’t know well at all tell me what an impatient person I am.  My goodness, I didn’t realize it showed so much to those who do not know me very well, but, of course, she is right.  I am.  They say patience is a virtue.  It is, but, sadly, it isn’t one of mine.

Not long ago Raf and I attended the funeral of one of his music friends.  He was a young man who had suffered much and who left a lovely family.  It was a sad occasion, but it was joyful to us, too, as many friends whom we don’t see often were there to pay respects and to make music, as Raf did, during the wake and at the funeral.

I was speaking to a friend from Austin who had double knee surgery about the time I had mine - way over three years ago.  He is suffering, as am I, but his suffering is double as neither of his knees feel as well as they did before.  And as most people I have spoken to have told me that knee replacement is a piece of cake, I was glad to find someone who knew a bit about how I was feeling.

You see, we are all different, of course, and while many people do wonderfully well after knee surgery, as I did after hip replacement, many, like me, don’t do so well at all.  And frankly, if it wasn’t for my massage therapist, Debbie Donaldson, I don’t know that I could get through it nearly as well as I do!

I asked my Austin friend if there was any medication that helped him alleviate the pain, and he said no.  He said he had heard that certain “smokable” remedies were sometimes helpful, but I told him I really didn’t think I wanted my grandson John, who is now a police officer, to have to tell everyone, “Well, I had to arrest Grandma today.”

So, mostly with Debbie’s help, with prayer, and, of course, with Raf’s love I get through the pain.

However, now I am faced with something else.  No pain involved, mind you, but with a ton of frustration.

I had cataract surgery the 3rd of January.  As I didn’t have any recent glasses that were not frameless, I had to punch out the left lens from an old pair and endeavor to use the other side which was a four-year-old prescription.  So, for five weeks, the only thing I could do was watch television.  As far as my columns went, I touch typed them, and Raf corrected the typos.

Then the doctor gave me a glasses prescription.  I took it right in to be filled, for $600 I might add, and when it was time to pick them up, I was told the lab had scratched a lens!  So I had to wait several extra days.

The the day of the new glasses came, and low and behold, I still can’t see well.  I can read and type, and the lowest lens is pretty good, but I have to use the middle lens for distance, and the uppers don’t work at all.  So it does not feel safe to drive.

I went back to the doctor who gave me some meds and said that he would see me in two weeks.  It appears that I am not doing as well as the, 95% I suppose, who seem to come through this with no bad results.

Now you can see where the patience comes in.  I am trying...I really am!  Praying a lot, and Raf is helping, as is my cousin who has been through this, too.

So remember, when you have a surgery, or whatever, it may take a while for a good result.  Maybe this is finally going to be the time I learn patience!  With God’s help!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Reflections on MY Bible

Recently a friend of mine and her husband drove to New Hampshire to purchase a summer home.  Sunday came, and, as they had seen an Anglican church close by, they decided to attend.  Instead, they ended up going to a Bible church down the street.  As the drove up to the church, she turned to her husband and said, “I surely hope they believe in the same Bible we do!”

My thought, exactly.  However, my next thought was, “the Bible is the Bible, so they should all be the same, right?”  But I have learned over the years that they don’t appear to be.

My belief is that the Bible, not any particular version, contains all things necessary for Salvation, and all the Bible is the inspired Word of God.  Right?

But in the last few months a troubling undercurrent seems to have come to light locally.  I have had several friends who have been accosted by people in the community who have told them that because they don’t attend the same church, they are going to hell.  Can you imagine?  I can’t!

If we all believe in the same Bible, then we can’t, A. pick and choose certainly passages and leave out others, and B. we can’t judge who is and who is not going to heaven or hell - that is entirely in God’s hands, not man’s!

How in the world can one Christian say to another Christian of a different denomination that if you don’t attend my church you are going to hell?  That is certainly not in the Bible or anyone else’s.  Nowhere in any Bible does it say that a particular Christian denomination is the only one to be saved.  In fact, nowhere in the Bible are denominations mentioned at all.

A different friend told me recently, and I agree with him, that God set down the rules we should live by, and they are really quite simple to understand.  If we abide by the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ teaching that we should "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, Love your neighbor as yourself."

Those rules are really easy to understand, my friend commented, but they are really hard to do.

But if we live by those rules to the best of our abilities and when we stumble if we ask God’s forgiveness and endeavor to not break the rule again, God will forgive us.  And those rules simply do not mention Christian denominations.

So, I ask you, what do you believe?  Do you believe the Bible?  Do you believe it contains all things necessary for Salvation?

If so, then your Bible and my Bible are the same, no matter what denomination or Christian sect we attend.  We are Christians, that’s all.  We are Christians.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Trip Down FM 4

Well, I'm back!  It's been at least a year and a half since I last posted a blog, but I am back thanks to Michael Nobbs and his Sustainably Creative.  I have followed Michael over the years, but this year, as I was having eye problems and also problems with my creativity, I decided to join the group, and I surely am glad I did.  Michael has assisted me in reflection and in taking "Tiny Steps" toward my goals for 2013.  Thanks, Michael!  And, by the way, his new book, Drawing Your Life, will be coming out soon.  You can watch a promo video on his website!

My "tiny steps" in February have taken the form of clearing out my studio/office, but Raf and I decided that we would also begin our photography/drawing expeditions once again, and we did that yesterday by taking Texas Farm Road 4 from Palo Pinto to Cleburne. 

This is one of the most beautiful roads in Texas, but our government has decided, in its infinite wisdom, to flood a portion of this most glorious area in order to have more water for our community.  They could have done this in another way by dredging our current water supply when it was so low two years ago, but they would rather take a spectacular, famous bicycle trail and cover it with water!  Oh, well.
 First we drove to Palo Pinto and ate breakfast at the County Seat Grill, also called Red's because Allie and Red Segars opened it in the 1960's.
 I had scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, and toast.  Raf had two fried eggs with sausage.
Of course, no meal in Texas is complete without the state drink, Dr. Pepper.
 We turned south on the west side of Palo Pinto School, and there was FM 4.
Along the way we stopped to take photos and for me to draw.  This fine herd of cattle greeted us just this side of a beautiful oak tree, bare for the winter.
 East of Lipan, Texas, named, of course, for the Lipan Apaches, we saw Comanche Peak.  Yes, I know a peak is supposed to be pointed, but this one isn't.  It's flat and can be seen, or seen from in the case of the Indians who rode this way, for about 25 miles.  From Comanche Peak, the Indians could see approaching Calvary from any direction.
 The Hood County Courthouse is in Grabury, Texas.
Granbury is a great place to shop in historic buildings.
This is the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne, Texas,
the next town we came to, after Acton where Davy Crockett's wife, Elizabeth Patton Crockett, along with her son, Robert, and Robert's wife Matilda, are buried at the Acton State Historical Site.
 While taking a photo of the courthouse we saw this sign.  Can anyone read it?  We can't.
 We encountered sprinkles and cloudy sky on our trip, and the temperature stayed in the 50˚F range.
Coming home on Texas State Highway 171, we drove for miles right next to a rail track.  I do love trains!

I will say that our "tiny step" left us both tired, but we are still glad of the journey, and we hope to take a similar trip next week.

See ya!


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