Saturday, January 30, 2021

Jesus loves me, this I know....

 

 A church in Atlanta was honoring one of its seniors pastors who had been retired many years. He wa 92 at that time and I wondered why the church even bothered to ask the old gentleman to preach at that age.

After a warm welcome, introduction of this speaker, and as the applause quieted down, he rose from his high back chair and walked slowly, with great effort and a sliding gait to the podium.

Without a note or written paper of any kind he placed both hands on the pulpit to steady himself and then quietly and slowly he began to speak....

"When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you what was the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50-odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials. The one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me...

The only thing that would comfort was this verse....

"Jesus loves me this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to Him belong,

We are weak but He is strong.....

Yes, Jesus loves me....

The Bible tells me so."

The old pastor stated, "I always noticed that it was the adults who chose the children's hymn 'Jesus Loves Me' (for the children of course) during a hymn sing, and it was the adults who sang the loudest because I could see they knew it the best."

"Here for you now is a Senior version of Jesus Loves Me":

JESUS LOVES ME

Jesus loves me, this I know,

Though my hair is white as snow

Though my sight is growing dim,

Still He bids me trust in Him.

(CHORUS)

YES, JESUS LOVES ME.. YES, JESUS LOVES ME..

YES, JESUS LOVES ME, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.

Though my steps are oh, so slow,

With my hand in His I'll go

On through life, let come what may,

He'll be there to lead the way.

(verse 2)

When the nights are dark and long,

In my heart He puts a song..

Telling me in words so clear,

"Have no fear, for I am near."

(Verse 3)

When my work on earth is done,

And life's victories have been won.

He will take me home above,

Then I'll understand His love.

(CHORUS)

I love Jesus, does He know?

Have I ever told Him so?

Jesus loves to hear me say,

That I love Him every day.

The service ended, Pastor closed his Bible, pronouncing "Thus the service is ended. Praise be to God." 




Thursday, January 28, 2021

Healthy Life Suggestions

Perhaps one the most essential care givers in the world is the farmer.  No, those in charge may not take that into consideration in considering health as an issue.

                                                                                    Retro   
My farmer father with my brothers worked incredible hours to "put food on the table". Mom raised an immense garden to can and freeze. We ate well and were richly provided with food.  

So looking at the LARD and its happy people made me giggle. When a hog was taken to slaughter and butcher, we had tidily wrapped frozen good stuff in the freezer, and, as an added present, we had a new fresh 5 gallon tin of white lard.

The female ancestors of my family knew how to bake pies, oh boy, using lard for the crust. BEST CRUST ever. Fried chicken could not be more crispy and delicious except when fried in LARD. 

Below you will see how necessary to have lard, sugar, salt, and whatever for our health.  

                                                            My mother would be horrified.

                                                               Gotta have it

                                                                     
                                                                        
How confusing can our caloric intake get??

"Having trouble figuring out what to eat? Don't know if you should be "eating clean," dairy free, gluten free, GMO free, carb free, high protein, organic, low fat, high fat or paleo? (No wonder people are always confused about what to eat or how to lose weight!) Let's get back to the basics." caloric intake

Research into nutrition and its demands show that we should cut out or cut down sugar intake. We should also eat only vegetable oils/fats, fresh foods, reduced salt.  Meat? It seems that this item is up for debate.

Lard is available for purchase in many stores in the meat department. Also, suet is available in specialty stores.  Here is my site on how to obtain them.
 

                                               What is the best use for pig fat (lard)?







Monday, January 25, 2021

One's Kitchen is his Kingdom.

 


Source + recipes

In the backwaters of Louisiana, the place to eat was at  Kalper's 
Kitchen, where unique and delicious fare could be found. Good food was prepared by the man, Kalper himself.  He was always the force blowing full bore around his kitchen, letting no one and nothing get in his way.


Not an easy person to approach, his manic brilliance gave new definitions to Southern fried catfish and smoked ribs.  AND all who knew Kalper also understood to stay out of Kalper's kitchen during these hours of inspired creation.

Sadly, a short new sous chef, Whittier, was ignorant, and stumbled into the kitchen whereupon Kalper promptly skewered Whittier with his newest blade, a nine-inch Miyabi Birchwood.

squelched scream gurgled. Hearing the thud,  Kalper's three brothers,rushed in to grab Whittier by his Nike sneakers, and drag him to the freezer. 

One muttered, “Damn! That’s the fourth one this month."

They tossed Whittier onto the heap of Alvin, Sanders, and Simon. “Damn shame.”


The italicized underline letters are from Wednesday Words. This collection is from River, Drifting through Life, posted back in 2015. We had some excellent BBQ two days ago, and this came up in my brain.  

           

Friday, January 22, 2021

Confessions of an Alektorophobian

 

Robert and me sitting on the back porch. He was 2.5 yrs. old and I was 1.5 

It is a humbling thing to admit to one’s fears, especially when they seem silly.  I suffer from “alektorophobia”, which is a fear of chickens.  Yes, chickens.  Fortunately, I can trace the source of my fear to a childhood event that spurred and shaped the rest of my life.

When I was born, we lived on a remote farm where my parents raised Angus cattle and chickens, lots and lots of chickens.  Mom collected the eggs; once a week ‘the egg man’ would come by and pay her for the eggs.  She also made butter, so perhaps she sold that as well. 

Every day, my brother Robert and I would toddle along with her to the barn where the free-range chickens laid their eggs.  Robert held onto Mom’s skirt, and I held Robert’s hand.  It was a train, but it had flaws. 

Barn interior
Robert was 3+  years old, and I was 10 ½ months younger.  So that put me at 2 ½ years old at the time of this event.  Most will question the validity of being able to recall events from such a young age, but the trauma of this event has made the memory indelible.  Add to that, my mother confirmed certain facts, ending with, “You remember that?  Why, Susie, that was just a silly chicken.”


As we entered the barn on that fateful day, I let go of Robert’s hand, the flaw in the train mentioned earlier.  I was wearing a brand-new red-and-white gingham dress, of which I was very proud.  I remembered the sun shining through the clouds, and my dress looked so bright.   


Our train had moved on, but I could still see Mom’s back.  There was an old corn bin next to me, so I crawled up into it because I noticed a pile of shelled corn.  I plopped down beside it and began filtering my little fingers through the pile.  The corn showered down to the pile, over and over, and I laughed at the golden kernels.

Corn on cob, not yet shelled

A shadow filled the doorway through which I had climbed, the only way in or out of the corn bin.  I glanced up, and then looked up with real fear.  It was a rooster that stood taller than a little girl who was happily sitting in a pile of shelled corn.  The shelled corn was the chicken’s food, I was to find out later, and I was sitting square on top of it all.

Malevolent, evil rooster


The rooster came closer, cocking its head this way and that, the way chickens do.  It had evil eyes, malevolent eyes that were angry at me, a little girl in a new red-and-white gingham dress.  

By the time it was only a few feet from me, I could see its angry red cockscomb and razor sharp beak.  It was about ten feet tall now, and I burst out in screams.  I probably wet my pants as well.  The rooster responded by flaring out its feathers, and came even closer.

Mom arrived, my dear brave mother who scooped up the rooster and tossed it out of the corn bin.  In her own mother-hen way, she soothed me and hoisted me up on her hip.  Robert stood waiting outside the bin with the rooster, both looking at me with confusion. 

We made our little train, only this time Robert was the caboose.  We toddled back to the house.

My fear has manifested itself only a few times, but with enough vehemence that I pull up that memory and I shudder.  I do not wet my pants.

Sidenote: In my farming youth, processing chickens was on my list of things never to do again.  I was a feisty teenager with a long list.

I wrote and posted this right after Mom died in 2011.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Clare in the Mist, waiting waiting

 

Clare in the mist, courtesy of http://1stwrites.blogspot.com

‘Today, I will watch for him today,’ Clare thought, staring out across the bay.

The mist roiled about her, soaking her to the skin.  Clare shivered and then her skin relaxed in the warmth that followed.  Listening for a sound, she found herself in a cocoon of mist and silence. 

How many days had Jackson been gone?  ‘Today is three-hundred eighty-four’, she rolled the number around in her head.  Flash images of his back as he slung his rucksack  over his shoulder, growing smaller in the distance as he rowed his curragh away from her—that’s all she could see now.  His face was a blur, lost in a mist itself.

Still no sound, Clare strained to hear, to see just a hint that Jackson was coming back to her.  That he would stay this time.

Then a sound, ker-plunk, broke the stillness of the air, the glassiness of the water.

Click on the link.  This is from a photo prompt, way back in 2011. I was looking for something else, and found this instead.  I do enjoy writing a short story.

What do you think Clare is thinking? Such devotion, is it one sided? Where did Jackson go? Why? What would you do?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Irish Children have the gift of gab.

 

                                                                        quality of life

Ireland. Ireland, oh you are magnificent.  The country, the green, music, literature, and, most of all, its people are magnificent. 






Our time in Ireland was only a few scant years where our memories are still are vivid. Our planned visit this year was shelved until the world heals and recovers.

No matter what might be passing in all countries, Irish children have a grasp of language that is peculiar to their country. These ginger haired children have a way of refocusing what is important comparatively.

So, that given, let's all go to the pub, sing some songs, take off pj's and put on clothes, argue with parents, and above all, be amazed at what a child can do at such a young age.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Lord, Have Mercy

   

                                                                    YouTube, about 5 minutes long

                                                                       

Such powerful words and voices point in the direction all need to follow.



Song by Charles Billingsley. Singers (From left) Jack Wilkins, me, Alley Faulk singing with the Twin Lakes church choir and orchestra on Good Friday 2012. Beautiful service, and a powerful song. Epic french horns too.


Thursday, January 14, 2021

The Brain Does Its Business.

 


Brains are independent, if somewhat unpredictable and frustrating. This three-pound organ controls the entire body. But does it really?

Yes, of course it does. The brain somehow managed to give Beethoven his music, and Georgia O'Keefe her art. So what in the world was Toby Turner's brain doing??


YouTube, 3 minutes long. Watch it a 2nd time. Why not?



My own brain has been rebelling. These are "dark room days" for me, as the Santa Ana Winds hit our area. It is 84 degrees in Murrieta, California, with the hot winds blowing.  So, I will listen to this song a few times with shades over my eyes. My brain then might start smiling.

There is one delightful part of the verses, where Toby says "Cold Play", but I am certain he says "Cornflakes". Oh well.

Here are the lyrics, since I can almost guarantee you'll want to read along. 
Lyrics: Dramatic Song
Toby Turner

This song sounds dramatic
But I'm bad at writing words
If you don't speak English
This probably sounds pretty good

You'd probably think I'm singing
'Bout some pretty serious stuff
But in reality I'm singing 'bout
The lack of stuff

I'm singing 'bout
This part's intense
And emotional
As long as you don't understand it
Your foreign grandma
Would love this song

Please send it to her
And she'll probably tell her
Foreign friends about the song her
Grandson or daughter sent her today

This song might hit the charts in her country
If parts sounded like Coldplay
If the chorus sounds like Coldplay
Then I put some La-La-La's in there
La la la la la
La la la la la la la la (Coldplay)

Hopefully your foreign grandma
Listens to this song everyday
And if she asked you to translate…





You are worth more than that.

 

I took this in our community.

Living in a retirement community means seeing the constant movement of old residents being replaced by new residents.  For the old, most of them are in their 80s to over 100. Seeing smiling happy bingo players on a Friday becomes hearing about their deaths on Saturday.

It is time, time to realize your bucket list or any list should not be delayed.  That said, here is some of my list:
Life is too short to...

Order the cheapest entree on the menu. Don't bother.
Buy and eat store-bought sushi. You must be
really desperate.

Sleep on an old mattress. You
deserve a better new one.
Use duct tape to fix 
the same thing over and over.

Be ignorant of history. Knowing the past 
changes how you understand the present.


Be mean. You will regret this
all your life.

Stay silent when speaking out will help people
or situations.

Avoid puddles when walking. Splash in them, dang it.
Stay inside at sunset. God created them, they are amazing.

Put off sorting through the boxes of photos in your closet.
They are not going away. Having your heirs do this is
embarrassing.


Watch TV all the time, regardless
what is on.
Make judgments about people. You
are not the one in charge.


Eat stale bread. Bread is God's gift. He also made butter.

Gossip. Truth will out eventually.

Purchase absolutely the least expensive, most awful toilet paper.

Rage at and curse the TV.
Give up on someone.
Drink cheap wine.

this is from Calliers Chocolate factor in Switzerland. You have no idea.

Consume poor quality chocolate (go for the good stuff, like from Switzerland).

Avoid saying "I'm sorry".
Behave angrily and irrationally. Unless
you are 2 yrs old.

Be too proud to ask forgiveness.
Buy store-bought pie. I am a pie snob.
Be serious all the time.
Do not discount the power of prayer.

Make plans to do something or go somewhere, but then don't do it.
Wear cheap shoes. Spend the extra.

Eat an ice cream whose flavor you hate 
for some strange reason. 

Neglect friends or family.
Be serious all the time.
Forget what it was like to be a child.

Suppress a giggle. 



This list could go on and on. Do you have a list of your own? What is itWhat should you do about it?


This is written in memory of Ed Repik, age 83, who died on a day after Bingo from a fall.  To say he was a good man is not adequate. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Monday, January 11, 2021

The Parchment in his hand

 


Still clutching the parchment, Gunter held up his battle scarred hands and gazed at them against the leafy oak and rowan trees.  How many battles had he fought?  How many had these hands slain?

Battles against worthy opponents differed from the slaughter of peasants fighting to protect their families.  Gunter had done both, willingly following the clan’s orders.  Vikings were trained from birth to be warriors who conquered, slayed, and returned home triumphant.

The parchment in his hands gleamed as sunlight glowed through it.  The colors of ink, the drawings done by a now-dead hand, and a silent message in the strange letters—all intrigued Gunter.  Why does this parchment seem more precious than any silver goblets from the church we destroyed?

Abruptly Gunter arose as he stripped off the bloodied armor and reverently tucked the parchment safely inside his linen tunic.  Leaving the sound and stench of the settlement behind him, Gunter strode off into the forest.  There had once been a monastery some distance inland, one the Vikings had sacked years ago.

The sword lay forgotten by the stream.

Maybe the answer will be there…

Gunter, the apostolic barbarian, now searched for answers.

Friday, January 8, 2021

The Apostolic Barbarian

 



Is this really all there is?  Gunter had asked that question many times these past raids.  The roar of the assault still echoing around him, Gunter stretched tired muscles down upon the lush green.

Rape?  Gunter found the screams of frightened women and children appalling.  What is rewarding about destroying a woman’s hopes and dreams?  With her children cowering in a corner and watching their mother die?

Pillage?  At first the thrill of wealth exulted satisfaction within him.  Now, when that wealth is covered with the blood of its dying owners, pillage was repugnant.  Gunter reached inside his tunic, retrieving a torn parchment. 

An elderly monk had thrust this page into Gunter’s hands just days ago.  With his last gasping breath, the monk whispered, “Take this…”

But, why?  Why did he give this to me?

The Apostolic Barbarian , The Parchment in his hand. next


This is an A-to-Z 2013 challenge. "Apostolic Barbarian" is a dual post, A & B



Thursday, January 7, 2021

Serve with a Flourish

 


Tonight!  For your dining pleasure, dear insert family member’s name here , I will be serving a one-of-a-kind cassoulet .  Its contents? 

Heck if I know.

No, I do know.  The contents are from the pantry of “What do we have here?” and the larder of “What is its expiration date?”

I returned from a visit to my sister last Thursday.  It usually takes my body and brain about a week to connect.  Consequently, options were few when it came to tonight’s supper.

I found some cooked brown rice in the refrigerator.  It smelled fairly normal.  There was also a jar of spaghetti sauce, almost a half jar.  I had trouble opening it, but there was no green or black in the sauce. 

Then the carton of cottage cheese sneaked out from the back.  Its expiration date was November 3rd , but it didn't have that sour nasty odor, and it was still white.

Scrounging a bit more in the dry pantry, I discovered a can of albacore tuna and some sliced green beans, along with diced tomatoes. This had a date on it, but it was smeared but the expiration numbers looked okay

Tah-dah!  Drain the tomatoes, tuna, and green beans.  Mix it all together.  Add some Parmesan cheese, lots of it.  Bake until bubbling.  Stir it up really well.  Top with non-moldy cheese.  Let brown a bit. 

Serve with a flourish and great style.  They will never know.   
 
Voila! =(Vwah-lah)

This is a post from November 2011. It is true.

If you could head over to my site In Preacher's Creek, that would be great. One of my real life kid memories can be read there! Thanks! In Preacher's Creek



Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Sacred Sacrifice

 

Site of the Battle of Petersburg, Civil War, now just another field

There is sanctity of places and events that we tend to ignore.  There is no sign, or sound effects.  No actual fireworks announce the conception of a baby.  No arrow pointing to a place that says, “I almost got hit by a car, right here!”  No, unless there is a brass plaque that has been dedicated by a ceremony, we seldom know that anything momentous ever happened right there.

We visited places in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland some decades ago. Wandering around long lush woodlands, broad fields, I read one of the memorials which gave me an image of brutality and death.
 
In this field, 1200 men were brutally slaughtered, their blood drenched the ground. Over there, in a natural cave, Vikings savagely attacked the villagers who were hiding . 2,000 men, women, and children were brutally murdered.

I have been to many cemeteries, maybe too many.  Growing up in my community, the cemetery was frequently visited for a variety of reasons, not just to ‘plant a body’.  No, we went there to honor someone there, who was loved and cared for long after they died.


Died.  What a harsh word.  When my mother died in April, I came back to my home in California.  A man at church asked me how my mother was.  I had just returned the day before.  I looked him in the eye, and said, “Oh, she died the day we got there.”  He winced.  I saw it: a wince.

Do we all wince at the word?  It is much kinder to say, “passed away”, or “gone”, maybe “left us”.  But that is silly in my thinking.  She  died.

We were in Washington, DC, not too long ago.  We are history nuts, not buffs; “nuts” is the truth.  We stood in various places, and said “Over there, they built up a dirt berm to keep the British back” or “Here is where Jefferson said…”  We stood in the World War II Memorial, and walked around the circle. 

 

In honor of the Australian soldiers who died at Gallipolis

My father once told me about a conversation he had with a stranger, a veteran like himself.  They talked about the war, where they had been.   They talked about the proposed memorial.  Dad said, “Well, I don’t know… pause, he always had long pauses…look around us.  We got a whole country of memorials for what we done.”  He was referring to the economic boom and the building of modern America, that followed the big World War.


Red poppies in Flanders Fields, France

So many millions died during that War.  Are all those towns, fields, forests, and jungles marked by plaques?  No. 

Sanctity—we need to remember there are places and events that need to be remembered as sacred, or holy.  Why?  Because someone died there, something enormous happened.

This was written during WW1.

Keep these sacred, before some group decides to torch or tear down the headstones.


Monday, January 4, 2021

Only Ten More Days


Ten more days…only ten more days…Rosalie heard this phrase in her mind with each bus stop, with each passenger trundling off the bus and new passengers pulling themselves aboard. Her smile greeted them with each closing of the door.  Ten more days. 

After all these years, Rosalie had come to know their names, their lives with all the good and bad, and how they aged as she followed them wrinkle for wrinkle.  Now, retirement marched closely: Ten more days.


Then a new passenger, pretty young woman clutching her bag and books to her chest, leaped upon the steps.  Looking over her shoulder, pretty woman caught the glare of an angry man racing after the bus.  “You bitch!  Get yourself out here!”  He screamed her name, “Cassie!”

“You okay, baby?” Rosalie closed the door and pulled away from the bus stop, brakes and hydraulics singing. She saw in the mirror other passengers, faces creased and worried.  Young Woman looked up, face bruised and tears creasing.  “Cassie?”

No story needed.

“We all been there, Sweet Child…Bastard needs a good whuppin’…We keep you safe here, Baby…” Slowly a smile crept across Cassie’s face.

Day after day, Cassie raced faster and faster, the Bastard drawing closer and closer.  Day after day, the Bus Family held her, carried her to safety.

Then one day, on Day Ten, Bastard gripped Cassie’s arm, backhanding her soft face. 

The bus door opened, with Rosalie flying out, facing the Bastard nose to nose.  Following close behind, the Bus Family surrounded, encircling him tightly.   Rosalie lightly rested her hands on Cassie’s shoulders, whispering, “You tell him, girl.  You don’t need him anymore.  We’ll take you in.”

Words bottled up burst out and nailed the Bastard for every sin that was his.  The circle tightened when Cassie gave him a right cross.  “You get your crap outta my apartment before I get back…”

The Bus Family climbed back on, each one shoving or kicking him. We take care of our own…

Rosalie smiled inwardly. I’ll tell the company I’ll stay for a few more months….

This is a repost from 2015. Battered women need people to surround and protect them. Is there anyone you can think of one who needs your voice? October is the month named in honor of all abused women.