Wednesday, February 28, 2007

As promised to Chrysalis:

And yes, it is rather scrumptiously delicious!


1/2 cup vanilla wafers crushed
1/2 cup saltines crushed
2 Butterfinger candybars crushed

Mix and spread in 11x13 pan and bake 10 minutes in a
350 degree oven and cool.

1 large box French vanilla pudding
2 cups milk

Beat and let thicken in refrigerator.

1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream

Soften and mix with pudding. Spread this on top of
the cooled crust.

1 medium Cool Whip.

Soften and spread on top of the ice cream mix.

1 Butterfinger candy bar crushed.

Sprinkle on top of the Cool Whip. Freeze. Thaw
30 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

James Russel Rowe asks, "What Is So Rare
As A Day In June?"

I ask, "What Is So Common As A Rainy Day
In February?"

And more importantly this question pops up,
"What Does One Do On A Rainy February Day?"

What does one do? Now you know.

Monday, February 26, 2007

February has been birthday month. First we partied
with Billy. He chose the traditional Butterfinger
Ice Cream Cake for his dessert.

Then we had a combined party in between the dates of
my sister's birthday and that of Uncle Jim. Tandy asked
for chocolate cake with chocolate icing and nuts. She
loves yarn and she got a lot of it!

But, of course, the big news of the night was that
G'ma Opal and Mom got smushed in High Five by Kent
and Hattie.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lamentations 3:22,23
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faihfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him."
Yesterday we were doing the Mayberry Thing. We had
several errands to attend to and grocery shopping to
accomplish so we decided to divide and conquer. Kent
dropped me off at the grocery store and He and Hattie
went to charge through the errands.

I finished quite some time before they did and so stood
and watched through the window for perhaps 20 minutes
until they arrived to pick me up. An acquaintance
came through the grocery store doors and we were talking
about change. She brought the subject up and as usual
it had to do with our children. She was just chatting
about how quickly they change and how hard it can be
to go with the changes.

How apt to the moment. I had just been standing there
deep in thought over the idea of change. The small
changes that come into our lives seem to upset our
equilibrium more than the large changes. I was just
reeling from one of those changes.

A few minutes earlier, when I was putting my groceries
on the conveyor belt, I looked up to notice that the
checker was bagging them into plastic bags. No big
deal, I like paper, but once in a while they forget
to ask which I prefer and I am not going to make a
big deal about it. But then I noticed a sign that
said, "If you need help carrying your groceries to
your car, please let us know."(Not an exact quote.)
And then I noticed that there were turn tables at the
end of the checkout line, just like at Wal-Mart, and-
horror of horrors, NO PAPER BAGS. None. Zilch. Nada.

I have shopped at this store now for 15 and 1/2 years.
There have always been automatic carryout and paper bags.
I don't like this change.

Last night at the family birthday party we held for my
sister and my Uncle Jim, we discussed methods of letting
the store know that we don't like these changes. Maybe
a sit-in? Maybe a call to the management? Should we
leave notes in the suggestion box.

Why should I (we) be so disturbed by this really relatively
small change in our lives. Maybe it is because when the
big, sometimes, horrifying changes come, there is nothing
we can do. We must just wrap our minds around them and
carry on. And it is the small, everyday routines that
allow us to carry on. They give life the rhythm and
comfortability we depend on. So, when the small is changed,
we throw back our heads and howl. Here, though, we can do
something. Here we have power. Here we can fight for

Somethings though, never change.

Hebrew 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And so here we must do the opposite of our natures. We must
take that to the bank and deposit it. We have to let the
large take precedence over the small and mundane. But, I
bet the grocery stores in the New Heaven and New Earth have
paper bags!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fun on the Farm

Life has been hopping here on the Farm lately. Monday
we loaded up a couple of cows, and Kent and Hattie
took them to the sale barn. They came home with one
replacement heifer. Next week we're going to try and
sell another two and buy a few more.

That will leave only the Big Bull to be sold. We have
to strategize very carefully to figure out how to get
big boy himself into the trailer and keep all of us
alive at the same time. We are just not set up with
all the pens and chutes that the larger farmers have.

You would think that living on these pastoral acres, as
we do, life would go along, well you know, pastorally.
It just doesn't. From the time the alarm goes off at
5:30am until 11:00 or 12:00 midnight it is rush and
work and fluster and frustration and, well I think you
get the picture. We just don't do a lot of sitting
on the porch in rocking chairs watching the cars drive
by. I wish we would. But there are moments when the
beauty of our surroundings and the wonder of the farm
hit hard. They make memories that last forever.

I had one of those moments yesterday. I was watering
the cows and decided to just stand there and watch the
water fill the troughs. Usually I run in and set the
timer and see how much I can accomplish in the few
minutes between switching the hose from one trough to
the next.

It had been a gorgeous day. One of those lovely 70
degree days that we always get once or twice in February.
The sky was mostly sunny, but clouds were moving in and
it began to lightning far away. Then it began to rain
and I just stepped under a pine tree to stay dry and
watched and listened to the falling rain. It was magical.

After I went in it started to rain in earnest and we had
a hail storm. It lasted for maybe 10 minutes and the
hail was the size of peas.

Then later after dinner there was a louder and longer hail
storm. This time the hail was almost as big as golf balls.
It was exciting!

And even later, after I took my sister home, I got out of
the car and glory-be I heard music. At least it sounded like
music to me. Peepers. At last. And even with the windows
shut I could hear them. It was like rain in the desert. It
was like chocolate cake after a wonderful meal. It was like
seeing someone you loved after being separated for months.
It was glorious!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I found this at Wittingshire today. It is an
amazing poem. Wittingshire is lovely blog.

The Pulley

When God at first made man,
Having a glass of blessings standing by,
Let us (said He) pour on him all we can:
Let the world's riches, which dispersed lie,
Contract into a span.

So strength first made a way;
Then beauty flowed, then wisdom, honour, pleasure:
When almost all was out, God made a stay,
Perceiving that alone of all His treasure
Rest in the bottom lay.

For if I should (said He)
Bestow this jewel also on my creature,
He would adore My gifts instead of Me,
And rest in Nature, not the God of Nature:
So both should losers be.

Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness:
Let him be rich and weary, that, at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to My breast.

--George Herbert (1593-1633.)
Oops and Aha

That really about sums up my days.

In this journey of life I find myself having to say,
"Oops," way too often. Some may call it a mistake,
others a tendency or some other fancy term. I know it
well and call it by name--sin. That is one reason I
memorized I John 1:9 so many years ago. Now there is a
Scripture that saves one's sanity.

But, leaving the muck behind, in this adventure of
living I get to say, "Aha," a glorious number of times.
That is, "Aha," as in, "Aha phenomenon." Oh, Lord,
the riches and wisdom of Your word, the depth of Your
personality, the intricacies of a relationship with
You that are for the discovering.

Like the green Eve in Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis, I will
dive with abandon into whatever wave God sends my way.
It is from His hand and can be trusted.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The best laid plans of mice and men...! I meant to
give an end of the month (every month) count of the
number of mice G'ma Opal has done away with. I
forgot all about it until last night.

My Aunt Jenny, who lives down the gravel from us, took
G'ma shopping all over Poplar Bluff yesterday. They
hit the fabric store, Big Lots, the sewing machine
store and Dominoes. Then on the way home they stopped
off in an antique store. G'ma found a cabinet she
just had to have. The store owner loaded it in Jenny's
car and when she got home she asked Kent and me to come
unload it and carry it into G'ma's house.

We carried it in and G'ma wanted it between her washer
and her hot water heater if it would fit. It wouldn't.
But, as we went to measure the space Hattie saw a dead
mouse on the washer. When she told me about it I thought,
"Oh, man, I forgot to keep tally." So I asked G'ma and
the January total was eight. So far this month she only
has caught one. Well, we all have our oddities and G'ma's
is bringing mice to their demise.

Could it be that there is a crack in the ice? A few days
ago we had a flock of hundreds (maybe a thousand even)
blackbirds descend on our farm. They stayed in the yard
and field for several hours and then moved on.

Later that day, after they were gone, I walked outside
and I could still hear them off in the woods or perhaps
in a neighbor's field.

Life is there, beneath the surface, ready to burst out
as soon as she is given the start signal. First, though,
she must have the warmth of the sun to awaken her to

Even so we were dead and it is only God Himself who
awakens us to life and leads us on into the summer of
His eternal presence.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

From In the Steps of Moses:

"We sat down by the edge of the (Dead) Sea, and wondered
at it a little. The smell of it was rank, there was a
dirty scud over the shallow water close in, and the
driftwood on the dun gravel we sat on was black and
oily. Yet, from far off, no water looks lovelier than
the water of the Dead Sea, kingfisher blue, turquoise
blue, lazuline blue, as the caprice of light is. All
sin is like that, murmured Father Dunn. Very gay
from a distance, but a sad thing close to.

How I long to teach my children to avoid those places
in their lives where sin can easily overtake them. I
know that sin is ever crouching at the door; I realize
it springs up out of the passion of the moment. Those
angry words I rattled off, those unkind bullets I shot
off, that bitterness that will take root and rule my
thoughts and feelings, they all catch me unaware. They
spring from my nature.

But there are places and times that are prime for sin to
occur, places where you know you are too weak to go. That
is what Scripture speaks to when it says to flee temptation.
Those places look inviting from a distance, but they are
pools of deadness close to.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Yesterday it hit hard. It was almost as if someone
physically punched me in the stomach. I was making
a dinner of ham and beans, fried bread, fried potatoes,
spinach, beets and pears and I got an unbearable longing
for all things spring and summer.

I need peepers. The last two nights we've slept with
our window open because our wood-furnace has the house
up to 80 degrees. I listened to the rain fall steadily
through the night...but I need peepers. Just to hear
them for one night would be refreshing and would give me
heart enough to face the rest of winter.

I want cucumbers, onion and green pepper, fresh from
the garden and floating in a bath of vinegar, water,
sugar, salt and pepper.

I long for fresh, juicy tomatoes to slice and eat
three times a day.

I know it is somewhat of an illusion. Life is no better
when the sun is shining and the humidity is high. But,
right now, I am longing for it to come and to come quickly.

Sometimes my longing for Heaven hits me the same way. There
is a physical reaction. The heart beats faster, the head
gets light...oh, Lord Jesus, do come and do come quickly.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Finally, the long promised picture of the quilt that
G'ma Opal gave me for Christmas.

We went down the gravel to visit her yesterday. She was
feeling a tad puny. She hadn't slept well the night
before and looked wan and fragile sitting on her
couch chatting with us. It wasn't long, however, before
she asked if we wanted to play cards. What? Play cards?
I thought you'd never ask!

She and Joel won the first game. She was perking up right
quickly. Then Mom and Dad showed up and we shuffled card-
players and G'ma and I took on Mom and Hattie. G'ma and I
won. Amazing...because my concentration level is known to
be flighty at best. G'ma was beginning to glow. I think
she probably had a fair chance of sleeping good last night.

Mom went to buy her wig last week. She and Becky were at
the wig store trying on various styles and the saleslady
told Mom that she had a small or petite head. Mom giggled
and said, "Little head, little wit; big head, not a bit."
It is a G'ma Opal saying that we've all heard dozens of
times. The shoplady was rather tickled.

When G'ma was saying goodbye to Mom yesterday before my
parents headed to the Big City for a week of chemo and
radiation, she spouted forth another of her famous sayings
in order to encourage Mom. I just can't bring myself to
type it down here though, it is just on the other side
of crude and I do not want to offend. Certainly this woman
brings color and fun into our lives daily.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Mayberry Morsels: An update on the Life and Times
of all things Mayberrian.

1. My mother had her first radiation treatment
yesterday. She goes every weekday from now on
for 7 or 8 weeks. Her second chemo treatment
will be next Thursday. She bought her wig on
Wednesday. I wasn't with her, but Philippine
Sister was. She says it looks terrific on Mom.

Chemo-brain hasn't affected Mom too seriously yet.
If you are on the opposing team in High-Five, you
can't get away with diddly-squat because her
eagle-eye is upon you. So be fair-warned.

2. If you are wondering about G'ma Opal, I will
be seeing her tonight. At least I hope I will.
Life has become rather too full for my comfort
lately, and though Billy and Hattie have been able
to visit her regularly, I've been a prodigal.

G'ma did have her picture in the Mayberry Times
this week. I love the Mayberry Times, and as
I was perusing it the other day, I turned the
page and there was a picture of G'ma, my Uncle
Bill, my cousin Sandy, Sandy's son Jason, and
Jason's daughter Kaona. So, if you count, it
was one of those 5 generation pictures. That
was fun to come upon.

3. That puts me in mind of two neighbors. They
don't live on the gravel with me, but on the county
road my gravel empties onto. One of them, I will
call them Case Study A, are a couple that are in
their 70's. They have one son who is married, and
he and his wife just recently had their first child.
So on Sunday Dinner days there are five of them
around the table. The other neighbors (CSB) are also
in their 70's. They have five children, all married,
32 grandchildren (several of whom are married) and
13 great-grandchldren so far. What fun Sunday Dinners
at Grandma's house must be for them. There would be
over 60 people around the table. Maybe they should
consider ordering a Round Table like King Arthur had.
Oh, and wouldn't it be nice if they had a big lazy
Susan in the middle of the table? It would save a
lot of confusion in passing food around.

4. We, in Mayberry, can't brag about any famous
landmarks, besides the Sparkling Jewel a/k/a The
Current River. We haven't any Taj Mahals, Statues
of Liberty, world-famous museums, or well-known
theaters. We do have one Fairy Castle though.
It is a really-truly fairy castle and I drove past
it yesterday just to get a picture for you!

5. Yesterday, when I looked out the door, early in
the morning, I found that these critters were out.
Oh, life is a lot of fun.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Monday morning Kent was looking out one of The
New Room windows (we added the room on 14 or so
years ago, yet it is still, and probably ever will
be, The New Room) when he said, in a startled voice,
"Cows are out."

Oops. Someone had told me that the day before
and I was busy and had completely forgotten. That
may seem strange, but our calves get out often
and they never wander about, so we don't fret over
it, we just go put them back in at our convenience.

Kent and I threw on our coats, it was brrrr cold
that morning, and I grabbed my camera. As I rounded
the back of the house this guy was staring at me.

Kent then sent me around the other way to open the
field gate and circle the house from the front. I
had to run fast towards the gravel to head off this

It took a couple of passes, but they all ran in the
barnyard gate and soon everyone was happily munching
on hay.

Later that day Hattie looked out and more cows were in
the yard. Guess who forgot to close the gate she had
been asked to open. Oh well. Hattie and I needed the
exercise anyway.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The question has come up at our house recently:
"What makes a person spiritual?" Or perhaps, more
to the point, "How can I tell if a person is
spiritual or not?"

We are surrounded by people who would have us think
they were more deeply spiritual than we are. We
see them on television, we hear them on the radio,
we buy their CD's and we meet them face to face
in our families, churches and communities.

Sometimes I am weary of telling my children the
same ole' same ole'. But once again we turn to
the only source for truth there is, the Scriptures.

We can hear flowery words, we can see displays of
emotionalism, but that is not the test God lays
before us.

And so, we departed from our normal family devotions
to speak to these things. We asked them this
question. "Who is spiritual that you know? Who,
of all those you see and hear, is a true Christian?"
The answers came back, "Dad", "Papa", "Billy," and
they could have gone on, but I stopped them there.

"What about their lives make you think they are

Their replies, "He prays a lot." "He reads the
Bible a lot." "He prays and reads his Bible often."

Then we turned to Galatians 5:22. If a person is
truly filled with the Spirit of God how will that
be evidenced in their lives? Well, let's see....

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering (patience), kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control....

Are these guys perfect? No, but are they on a track
for these fruit being developed in their lives?
Yes! And what are the disciplines in their lives
that bring forth this fruit? Prayer and Scripture


Is there a place for displays of emotion? Of course. Are
they a test of spirituality? Of course not.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Yesterday morning I went outside before dawn. The moon
was full and shining on a few inches of new snow. As I
was making my way to the furnace room, I looked down and
saw huge deer tracks in a line next to my own tracks.
They led right up to our back door and even to our bedroom
window. How funny! I didn't get any pictures of the tracks,
but I did manage to grab the sun as it was rising to look
down upon the beautiful gift of snow God had given us.

The sun brought out a thousand, million snow diamonds. It was

The funny thing about this snow was that by the time we got
home from morning church, it was almost completely gone.
Only the spots that were in the shade all day were still

Hattie's playhouse, made by her Papa, looks lonely doesn't
it? Last year in February we had several very warm days
and we got in there and did our Spring Cleaning early.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Psalm 104:19
He appointed the moon for seasons;
The sun knows its going down.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Eric has, perhaps, coined a new term. Go visit him
at this post to see if you are an Evangelical Mystic.
"A small man entered, indecently small considering
the volume of noise he had been expelling."
In the Steps of Moses, by Louis Golding, p.407.

Really does this exquisite sentence need any commentary.
Methinks this is, much too often, a picture of myself.

Psalm 39:1
I said, "I will guard my ways,
Lest I sin with my tongue;
I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle,..."

James 3:5
Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts
great thing. See how great a forest a little
fire kindles.!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Finally we Mayberrians have enjoyed a lovely snowfall.
Okay, now that that is over with you can bring on the

Oh, and yes the faucet for the hose did freeze up.
Hurry Spring, hurry!