Thursday, July 30, 2015

Skywatch Friday

Unfortunately Raf and I are not in Colorado, but our cousin, Rebecca Jean, is, with her husband, Joel, and she took this photo which I fell in love with.  Skies are not like this here in Texas.  They are spending part of the summer in a cooler clime.  Good for them!!

Our Third Oldest Grandson - Queens NY

Our third oldest grandson is Kathi's son, Tim.  He is nineteen and a sophomore at St. John's University in Queens, New York.  He is there on a full scholarship - so he's smart!  Just saying'.  And he's about to go back up there from Texas for his next year of schooling.  He loves it.

Yesterday he texted his mother, and it confirmed right away what I have known.  He's a good kid, and his mom is a good mother!

When Kathi goes to Queens she like to eat different ethnic foods, and I noticed that Andrew Zimmer's show, Bizarre Foods America, aired an episode on some of the food of Queens, so I watched it and was duly impressed.  I'd like to eat in every food place he showed!

On his show he mentioned a food blogger named Joe DiSefano whose blog is called Chopsticks and Marrow.  I've checked it out, and it really makes me want to eat my way through Queens.

I hope Tim will have the time and cash to try out some of these incredible eateries and that Kathi will enjoy a few as she travels back and forth.

Good luck on your sophomore year, Tim.  We are proud of you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

A Lick and a Promise

Today I messaged the gal who cleans my house and asked her if she could come later in the week to give the house a "lick and a promise".  Even though she's much younger than I she "loled" me back and said sure.

You see the kids and some friends are coming on Sunday, and although she had cleaned only recently, Raf and I aren't the cleanest people in the playground, so it needs a swipe and the bathrooms and kitchen and a hovering all around.  Although, she is good, so it won't be careless!

The expression “a lick and a promise” is at least 200 years old. Why “lick”? The Oxford English Dictionary says one meaning of the word is “a slight and hasty wash.”
In this sense, according to the OED, “lick” usually appears in the phrase “a lick and a promise.” (The “promise” signifies an intention to do a better job sometime later.)
The dictionary’s earliest recorded use of “a lick and a promise” is from Walter White’s travel book All Round the Wrekin (1860): “We only gives the cheap ones a lick and a promise.” (The Wrekin is a hill in Shropshire, England.)
However, the word sleuth Barry Popik has found almost half a dozen earlier examples of “a lick and a promise.” Here’s the earliest, from the December 1811 issue of The Critical Review, a journal founded by Tobias Smollett:
“The Prince Regent comes in for a blessing, too, but as one of the Serio-Comico-Clerico’s nurses, who are so fond of over-feeding little babies, would say, it is but a lick and a promise.”
The “lick” in the expression was originally used by itself, to mean “a dab of paint” or the like, “a hasty tidying up,” or “a casual amount of work,” the OED says.
The earliest example in writing of this sense of “lick,” Oxfordsays, comes from James Maidment’s A Packet of Pestilent Pasquils (circa 1648), a collection of Scottish literary oddities: “We’ll mark them with a lick of tarre.”
Why is a cursory slap of paint or a casual attempt at a job called a “lick”? There could be a connection with another meaning of the word, which the OED defines as “a small quantity, so much as may be had by licking.” 
This usage dates back to the 17th century and is often used in negative constructions: “he hain’t worked a lick” … “couldn’t cook a lick” … “didn’t have a lick of sense” … “couldn’t read a lick,” and so on.
While we’re on the subject, there’s another kind of “lick” altogether, the one that means “a smart blow,” in the words of the OED. This use of “lick” dates back to the late 17th century.
Oxford’s earliest example comes from Jean-Baptiste Tavernier’s A Collection of Several Relations & Treatises Singular and Curious (1680): “[He] gave the Fellow half a dozen good Licks with his Cane.” 
And finally (since we seem to be on a roll here) comes the “lick” that means a short solo, usually improvised, in jazz or dance music. This one is of a much younger vintage. 
The OED’s first example is from a weekly music newspaper once published in London, the Melody Maker (1932): “They manage to steal a ‘lick’ from an American record.”
This more recent example is from the Toronto Globe and Mail (1970): “The blues riff is even better, full of Charlie Parker-like bebop licks.”
Copied in part from Grammarphobia Blog

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Story of Our Lives

Are you the person in your family who tells the tales of your ancestors?  Are you the one who is a member of and does all the research, both online and in libraries and cemeteries?  Are you the one who does the DNA test, and finds all the distant cousins, and keeps in touch with family members?  Are you the one who writes stories about your family and keeps all the old, almost forgotten tales alive and well?

If so, congratulations, because you are the storyteller of your tribe, the keeper of all the keys to your family history.  How will your grandchildren, their grandchildren, and all the others who come after know what your family is like if you don't do this?

Congratulations all of us tale tellers, for Chasing Our Tales is the way for all our descendants to know who we really are!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Jesus Walks on Water

Today was the Gospel reading about Jesus walking on water.  The problem with the Gospel reading was that it should have included the rest of the story.  I realize some of the previous Gospel readings were covered earlier, but it would have been good to be refreshed on the whole thing.

Mark 6:45-52
45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.
47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out,50 because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.
So here is the "first of the story", and it is a good story, for it is a part of the Good News.
A Prophet Without Honor
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.
“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon?Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Jesus Sends Out the Twelve
Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying,[b] “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
15 Others said, “He is Elijah.”
And still others claimed, “He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago.”
16 But when Herod heard this, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”
17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” 19 So Herodias nursed a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she was not able to, 20 because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled[c]; yet he liked to listen to him.
21 Finally the opportune time came. On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. 22 When the daughter of[d] Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, “Ask me for anything you want, and I’ll give it to you.” 23 And he promised her with an oath, “Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.”
24 She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?”
“The head of John the Baptist,” she answered.
25 At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: “I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
26 The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. 27 So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, 28 and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. 29 On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
35 By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. 36 Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
37 But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages[e]! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
38 “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.”
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all.42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.

So when we heard that "they had not understood about the loaves", we need to see why.  For Jesus was the Son of God and Satan had hardened their hearts so that they would not believe!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Beautiful, Hot Day in Texas

Our grandson, John, bought a boat that is comfortable for us as seniors!  It's a pontoon boat.  It is very stable, but it's fast as well.  Today he took us to Lake Mineral Wells State Park.  Here are a few photos of the beautiful Texas scenery here in Texas.

Lake Mineral Wells is a great place to boat, fish, rock climb, hike, bird, or ride your horse.  If you haven't visited it, I highly recommend it!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Skywatch Friday

See the hot Texas sky through the woody Texas morning glory?  The bush goes up about 10 feet so far.  And the temperature goes up over 100˚F most days.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What Can We, Who are Sinners, Do?

God gave us an outline for life - first in the Old Testament and then in the New Testament of the Bible.  If we keep to that outline, knowing that we will fail at times, because we are human, and if we repent and try to do better, God will bless this nation of the United States of America.  The following is what we must do, and what I see that we are doing wrong.  
I am not pointing fingers, because I, too, have sinned many, many times.
1.  You shall have no other gods before me.
This means, I believe, that we must not worship either the people that we love or the "things" that we enjoy doing.  I might mean to ask ourselves on each occasion: "What would Jesus do?"
2.  You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
This, I believe goes back to the first commandment.  We cannot put things and people above God.  We must worship Him, pray to Him, and thank Him for His great mercy.
3  You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Of course, this is quite simple.  We must not swear using God's name or any form of God's name.  It is so common now that we must really bridle our tongues!
4  Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
This one is quite easy to understand.  Go to Church every Sunday - not just when we feel like it but EVERY SUNDAY!
5  Honor your father and your mother.
This one has so many meanings.  It means do what your parents say.  It means don't talk back.  It means visit them when they are old.  It means be good parents - establish rules for your children and follow through.  Don't let them run wild, so that they, too, can honor you!
6  You shall not murder.
This does not mean we should not kill to protect ourselves, our families, our country.  It means we are to not knowingly kill someone.  This means abortion is a no-no.  It means euthanasia is wrong.  This means don't drive drunk and hit someone.  This means behave yourself and do NOT murder!
7  You shall not commit adultery.
This means what it says, but I believe it goes farther.  It means abdominal sex is wrong.  If you don't know what that means, look it up!
You shall not steal.
This means don't take things that don't belong to you, whether it's $1,000,000 or a penny!
9  You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
This means don't lie.  It's really very simply, always tell the truth or don't say anything at all.  This includes what our government does!  No one is to lie!
10 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
This means don't wish for things that someone else owns.  If you want something "like" what you neighbor has, get out and work for it.  Don't expect the government to give it to you because you're too lazy to get it for yourself!
And Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.
If we, all of us, follow the Ten Commandments above AND if we love everyone, and when we fail we ask forgiveness and start again, then God will forgive us and bless us and His light will shine upon us and upon our country once again!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Raf and I are blessed with seven grandchildren.  Our oldest granddaughter, Danielle, is pictured here with her boyfriend, Joe.  She will graduate from Texas A&M in December.  Joe has already graduated and is working in ranch management in south Texas.  They make a precious couple.

I am an only child.  I had a wonderful childhood, but I wish for that "what if" if I could have had siblings.

Raf had a brother and a sister, but his brother died several years ago.  Fortunately, his sister moved down here from Ohio to Mineral Wells so that we could all be together.

Our family is extremely important to us.  As I said, God blessed us - we have three daughters, as well, and of course we have many cousins on both sides.

Gratefully, we are able to keep up with most of our cousins, and, on occasion, to even see them from time-to-time.

Here is a photo of me and my closest cousin.  We were young teens when this was taken.  We talk weekly - sometimes more than that - and it's great to have someone who has some of the same memories and shares some of the same genes!

Dear God, we thank you for the love of family, for, even with the ups and downs that come with family we know - WE KNOW - that if we need something...someone to talk to...these people will take time to listen and to care.
We ask your blessings on all of our family, and on all families throughout the work.  
Please bring us closer - to love, to share, to worship, and to care.
In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Lovely, Tiring Day

Today we went over to White Settlement, Texas, and had lunch with our grandson, John.  We ate at Mancuso's Italian Restorante, which was a new place for all of us.

I had looked it up on Yelp, and it had gotten good reviews.  The food was all delicious.  I had a soup with angel hair pasta covered in garlic, butter, and olive oil.  The bread was out of this world!  Raf has lasagne, and John had tortellini.  The only thing Raf didn't care for was the Italian sausage he got as a side.  He said it was not sweet Italian sausage, but it was very spicy, even though it was advertised as Italian sausage.

Mancuso's has both a lunch and dinner menu, but you can order from the dinner menu at lunch.  It's slightly more but comes with soup or salad and bread and is well worth it!

I made positive comments on Yelp, and we will surely go there again to eat.

So, if you are in the White Settlement area and want a great, inexpensive Italian dinner, go to Mancuso's!  Our bill for three adults, from the dinner menu, was $36.00!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Old Friends Meet

Raf with Mitch and Becky Malseed

After a sort of rocky start today when Raf got too hot during church where he was serving, this afternoon he and his former roommate from the US Air Force and he were able to sit down for a meal and a visit - the last time being about 47 years ago!  It was wonderful to meet Mitch after having heard about him all these years, and it was great to meet his wife.  They are delightful, interesting folks who only live about 2 hours away in Oklahoma!  We hope to see them again soon.

Many of you may remember that about 10+ years ago Raf was able to connect with another US Air Force buddy, Bob Berry who now lives in Brownsville.  We have visited back and forth with him and his lovely Danish wife, Guni.

Bob and Guni Berry with Raf

Raf knew both of these men in Panama at different times during the Vietnam era, but they never knew each other.

I am blessed to have many friends with whom I have stayed in touch since I was born, but Raf isn't that blessed.  He is, however, blessed to have these two long time friends, and we look forward to many more adventures with them.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thoughts on My Life

This is just one of my issues, but this cartoon says it very well.  This is one reason I am no longer posting on Facebook except links to my blogs.

However, for those of you who read my farewell column, I did not mean to say I was only blogging.  I am, in fact, writing a sequel to my first novel, Home to the Brazos.  If you would like to read it go to Amazon!  I am also writing an autobiography.  I hope to have them both out in time for Christmas!

And a Christian - and that is the main reason for dropping all the stuff on Facebook, and for that matter, for stopping writing for the paper.  I feel that I would be edited too much.  I am a Christian, white, straight, conservative, Southern, gun owner. I am a history lover who does not want to re-write history.

I believe that everything the Executive and Judicial branches of the US government have done recently are wrong, and I feel that many of the Republicans in the legislature have sold out!

I am thankful to live in Texas, but in Oklahoma they greeted Obama with Confederate flags.  Have we done that?  They have also cut off welfare to druggies.  Have we, here in Texas, done that?  I think NOT.  It's time to put up or shut up, and I do not intend to shut up!  Ever!

We were established as a Christian nation - a nation under God - but we cannot God to bless this nation unless it goes back to Him.

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable… We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from sin and Set us free. Amen!’

Friday, July 17, 2015

Skywatch Friday's Summer Texas Sky

Well, folks, it's summertime in Texas, and the rain appears to be gone for the foreseeable future.  The sky is clear and blue, but the rain has left us with the beauty of flowers and trees that are by this time, usually, anything but if full bloom.  We thank God for our hot summer sky, where the temperatures are predicted to soon be way of 100˚F, and we thank Him for the rain that has given us these glorious plants.

We thank God for all things!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Labor in the Lord is not in Vain

1 Corinthians 15:57-58King James Version (KJV)

57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I really don't care what the Supreme Court says.  I really don't care what the Executive Office of the USA says - or for that matter the legislative branch.  Our pledge says that our nation is under God, and although many in our nation are fighting God tooth and nail, I don't care.  
Our forebears fought for this Judeo-Christian nation as a nation Under God - the same God, the one God.  But now the White House and the highest court in the land have chosen to forsake our God and the biblical teachings of our God.  
They have chosen to say it's alright to kill unborn human beings.  They have chosen to say it is ok for people of the same sex to marry.
They have gone back to the time in the 70s when "if it feels good, do it".  And they must think is feels good to murder.  They must think it feels good to do an abomination!  
Obviously the majority of the Supreme Court and certain those in the Executive branch of our government are not Christians or Jews.  They do not understand that to do illicit things is wrong, even though the code for all our living, the Bible, explains in grave detain what is wrong and what is right.  They don't believe in right and wrong.
I believe that right now our nation is going to hell in a hand basket...literally, and we just don't care.
I left my job on the newspaper because I knew they would not allow me to say these things, but I must for "my labor in the Lord is not in vain" - if I labor in the Lord, I must stand for what He has taught me.  I cannot stand by and watch our nation, in fact our world, crumble - and say nothing.
We can turn back - we must turn back - and follow our God.  We must, or we will surely be as captive as anyone in Nazi Germany.
I can see what Hitler did, and I see what our government is doing.  Can you see, too?


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