Saturday, June 30, 2007
 company...heading to the Lake
for the 4th...preparing for a missions trip to Mexico in
less than 2 I need any more excuses?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

For some time now I have been collecting the google
phrases used by people who randomly come across this
blog. For the longest time I had lots of hits from
the words "Tizzy Perm". I guess I finally became lost
somewhere in the google lists on that one. But, here
is the more recent list of terms used by people who
find this most fascinating of reading spots.

Arkansas Gang Traily-I just regoogled it and I am still
at the top on this one. I still have no idea what an
Arkansas Gang Traily is, but it sounds fun and I'd
like to find it. Perhaps it means that Arkansas has
gone to the trails. Or perhaps it has something to do
with Arkansas Chain Gangs? Any ideas?

Dirty Scud-So, who has been investigating my housecleaning
lately? Or, perhaps they are mad at me and calling me a

Ambassador to the Penguins-This one is easy; I did a book
review on it.

Where the fireflies go
-One does wonder such things.

Highschool Terra Story-Sounds like a newspaper article,
but not one I've ever seen in the Mayberry Times.

You can’t judge a book by its cover
-Okay, I use too many
trite phrases. Slap on the hand for me.

Black Snakes in Missouri-This is easy. My kids bring
snakes in the house from time to time and I like to
talk about them. The last one they thought was a
baby copperhead, and Joel stood holding it while we
googled "baby copperhead" to see if it was or not.
Our learned verdict was that it was not.

Six simple strategies for achieving misery-Whoa. If you
are a regular here you might consider quitting right
now. I should have a disclaimer-Reading this blog
may lead to a miserable life.

Audio pilgrim’s progress-I mentioned Pilgrim's Progress in
a book review. By the way, Hattie just finished reading
the children's version of Pilgrim's Progress. She liked
it a lot.

Carolyn Fleetwood Wedding-Well we were at my niece's wedding,
and I did post about it.

I am young and my hands and feet are wrinkled-I hope this
person found some help for their problem.

Kent’s shirts-If anyone is offering to iron them for me, go
right ahead!

Ozarkbob-Hello, Dad!

Christopher robin is saying his prayers-Wonderful poem and one
of my all time favorites.

Softball catcher, sore thighs, what to do-This is the place
to come for medical advice of the most interesting sort.

Laurie Mayberry-Not my name, but could be my alias.

Wierds-Now I am hurt!

Fireflies and Peonies-Well, life is lovely and I like to write
about it.

Unfair coaches-We've all had our share.

Limberlock-What a fascinating word. It just oozes with deep
darkness and mystery.

Phrase such as “I am no expert but…”-I really, really must cut
the trite sayings out. Ouch!


Aint it a shame hymn
-This is the classic of classic bad hymns and
I truly pity the person who wrote it.

One flew east one flew west + poem + clock
-Some good G'ma Opal
sagacity here.

Artichoke Farm-Don't live on one, but wish I did.

Don’t judge a book by its cover
-Blah, blah, blah.

Working farmgirl pictures-I doubt they found any here. I am
the one who takes the pictures.

How many times does a hummingbird wings flutter in a second
have enjoyed our hummers this year. But this morning
we are totally out of sugar and they are hungry. Gotta
head to Mayberry.

-Not yet. They come in August.

Definition pooch nane-How am I supposed to know the definition
of pooch nane?

Homemade playhouse
-Easy one here. Hattie has a lovely playhouse.

Never Ending Garden Project-G'ma Opal's department. By the way,
I have started getting Zucchini from her. Yum!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I've been contemplating the verses from Ecclesiates
that I posted yesterday. Especially I have been
thinking of 12:1a:

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,...

There is a laxness in our approach to training our
children in the ways of the Lord that we would never
allow in other areas of training.

We are very deliberate in potty training our little ones
and teaching them to wash their hands. We do not leave
bike riding, swimming, or hunting up to chance. These
activities are broken into steps and carefully we go
through each one.

Schooling, whether it is home, government, or private is
very deliberate. There are goals; there is an agenda;
there is method. But spiritual training is often very
haphazard. We breathe a sigh of relief if our kids "go
forward" or "make a profession" and then, often, we are
unsure of what else to do and so leave it at that. Of
course, if they have questions we try to answer them.
But we don't know how to do as Deuteronomy 6:6&7 tell us
to do:

And these words which I command you today shall be in
your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your

I don't just want my kids to be able to look back at
some point in time when they accepted Christ into their
hearts and count on that to be everything for them. I
want to see today the fruit of that decision. I want
to see tomorrow and next week and next year that the
way in which they walk is a result of their change of
heart when they were young. I don't want all their
learning to be merely a result of having their questions
answered. They are but children. What is to make them
ask the right questions?

That is one reason that I so highly recommend catechism
study along with regular family devotions. These are
deliberate. They don't leave learning to chance. They
help the child to gain a full picture perspective.

My book of choice for this is Teaching Hearts: Training
Minds by Starr Meade. This book takes the Westminster
Confession and after each question and answer gives six
days of devotions to bring about greater understanding.
I have seen my children grow in the depth and width of
their knowledge of God and His ways.

Life is but a preparation for eternity for the believer.
We have taught our children everything from their abcs to
calculus and physics. How can I neglect, or leave only to
others this most important area of all.

When the difficult days come to them, as they will, I want
their knowledge and experience of God's faithfulness and
glory to be the scaffolding upon which they stand. May
they be able to say, along with Job, "Though He slay me,
yet will I trust Him." (13:15)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I spent the weekend in The Big City with a group
of ladies from the church. We ate and shopped and
talked late at night, but the highlight of the trip
was a visit to The Muny to see Oklahoma. 'Twas a
grand time.

But grander still was a night on the town in Mayberry
last night. We went to a BBQ for a local candidate
and then to Billy, Tyler and Kent's softball game.
Instead of being lost in a sea of anonymity as we
were in The Big City we were surrounded by people
we know. And we don't just know them, we know how
they fit into the fabric of Mayberry, we know who they
are connected to, and we know our own place in the
scheme of things.

And grandest of all was stepping out of the car last
night after arriving home from the night on the town
in Mayberry. It is very dark at our place, there are
no street lights. The humid heat of the night enveloped
me. The waxing moon is never the cold, proud lady that
the waning moon is. She is friendly and helpful to
the late night traveler. We were surrounded by a
cacophony of frogs. Lighter and shriller are the ones
in the small pond by the house and deep and terrifying
loud the ones in the big pond at the back of the field.

Ecclesiates 12:1
Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
"I have no pleasure in them":
While the sun and the light,
The moon and the stars,
Are not darkened,
And the clouds do not return after the rain;

Friday, June 22, 2007

Why is it that every time Hattie comes to me with her
apron on to cook something on her own and hands me a
list of needed ingredients to check whether or not we
have them on hand the list reads like this:


and not like this:


I want to know? And why did I not mind? Maybe
because the result was so very delishioso.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Grandaunt Lucille died yesterday. She was married to
my G'ma Opal's next older brother John. He died several
years ago. Lucille was not only my grandaunt, she was
also my neighbor. Her property backs up to ours.

Lucille taught me how to clean a chicken. That is a nasty
job and it only took me one time to decide not to repeat
it. I used to get my dill from her to make hot pickles.
She was a great gardener. She will be missed at the graveyard
dinner in August.

My funniest story though is not about her but about her husband,
John. He had big ears. They were huge and flappy. His last
name was Simon (which of course is G'ma Opal's maiden name.)
One day, when I was a rather young girl and visiting from The
Big City, I went up to the corner store. When I walked in
someone said to me, "You must be a Simon." I immediately
put my hands over my ears to see if they had changed on me
overnight without my noticing it. I couldn't imagine why
else anyone would think I was a Simon. It had to be the ears.
But, no, they were the same as ever. Guess I just had a Simon
air about me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Up and Down the Gravel

1. It WAS a raccoon that was stealing the nectar. We
caught it and released it far, far away. Well, okay,
we let it go down at Greenville Ford, where it immediately
jumped in the creek and swam across, probably on its way
back to our nectar.

2. Last night Hattie and I went to visit G'ma Opal. It
was raining a little when we got there and we walked in,
but G'ma was not in the house. I looked out the window
and she was standing in the garden, in the rain, just
enjoying watching things grow. She called us out there
and gave us a tour of every plant. She reminded me that
I would not melt and so not to fuss over getting a little

I asked her how the mice were faring and she said that she
only got one the night before. It was quite not dead when
she found it in the morning, so she just gloatingly watched
it till Uncle Jim came to finish it off.

We played Rummy, and Polish Poker and she lost at both, but
she still let me take home two cukes and a green pepper from
the garden.

She is also in the midst of a dozen projects; she is re-webbing
some lawn chairs, going through all the stuff that was in
her shed and disposing of it, trying to figure out a way to
create a bird bath with an old table she had in the shed, and
of course she has her never ending garden project.

3. The triplets (goats) are looking good.

4. The cows are fat and happy.

5. The grandpuppy chews on everything.

6. Hattie had me cut her hair and she looks so much more
mature now. Whether that is good or bad I will not even
attempt to answer.

7. The hummingbirds are flitting like mad. They have
reduced in number from 50 or so to around 25, but we
still have to fill all three feeders at least once a day.

8. The guppies WILL reproduce and so Kent DOES have to
thin them out weekly.

9. My mother got a great report from her cancer doctor and
goes in 3 months for a checkup.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It was ironic that within a day or two of finishing
the book Dining with the Devil: The Megachurch
Movement Flirts with Modernity
by Os Guinness I should
pick up the March 2007 copy of Nation Geographic and
read the article "The Theme-Parking, Megachurching,
Franchising, Exurbing, McMansioning of America: How
Walt Disney Changed Everything" by T.D. Allman.

Two excerpts from the magazine article are especially
disturbing. In speaking of the largest megachurch in
Orlando, Fl, the now retired pastor, Jim Henry, who led
First Baptist to its megachurch position said that, "His
church's physical transformation has been accompanied by
a philosophical change. 'We are not here to dictate our

The section of the article dealing with the megachurch
in Orlando reads, "'You begin with faith,' Henry says,
and in his case at least, you end up as an expert in
traffic management."

This telling commentary by Guinness brings perspective.
He is discussing the difference between secularism and
secularization. "Being openly hostile, secularism rarely
deceives Christians. Being much more subtle, secularization
often deceives Christians before they are aware of it,
including those in the church-growth movement. How else
can one explain the comment of a Japanese businessman
to a visiting Australian? 'Whenever I meet a Buddhist
leader, I meet a holy man. Whenever I meet a Christian
leader, I meet a manager.'"

"The two most easily recognizable hallmarks of secularization
in America are the exaltation of numbers and of technique.
Both are prominent in the megachurch movement at a popular
level. In its fascination with statistics and data at the
expense of truth
, this movement is characteristically modern."

Friday, June 15, 2007

We find ourselves in the midst of not one but two
mysteries here on Fernnook Farm.

1. First, how does the bull keep getting into the
field with the cows? We know WHY he is doing it,
but the HOW has us baffled. There are no holes in
the fence, and there are no places where the fence
is bent low enough for the bull to jump it. Guess
we'll have to do some spying on the amorous old

2. What creature nightly climbs the Poplar tree,
knocks the hummingbird feeder to the ground, pulls
out the yellow flowers that cover the holes, and
drinks all the nectar?

My guess is a coon, but I'd love it to be a bear.
One of my unfulfilled lifelong dreams is to see a
bear in my yard or ambling along the tree line in the
back field. Whatever it is, we're going to set a
live trap out so we can nab it in the act!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I've not officially confirmed it, but rumor has it that
G'ma Opal is killing two mice a day in her house now that
she is cleaning out her shed and destroying the mice nests
that were there.

I think she is having more fun than any 96 year old should.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Just an absolutely fascinating look at what the
world eats. I especially love the picture of the
family from Cuernavaca.

Tip of the bonnet to Amy
Dining With the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts
with Modernity
by Os Guinness is the first book I've
read by Guinness. I would like to read a more recent
book by him.

Dining With the Devil was published in 1993. That is
not so long ago. It is an interesting commentary on
the way we view the world's progress that 14 years would
seem almost an eternity in terms of change and modernization.

14 years ago we had only been in Mayberry for 1-2 years. We
moved to a small country church and away from one that was
not yet a megachurch, but which was well on the way. It has
now arrived. Almost every time I go to The Big City I pass
the main campus of the church we attended up there.

It is difficult to squash into a few words the ideas that
Dining With the Devil puts forth. I underlined and astericized
so much of it that I may as well just reproduce the whole
thing. Since I can't do that, I'll try to give the main

Guinness says that the managing, marketing, psychology and
means of communication that are used by the modern church,
especially the modern megachurch, can be useful, but that it
is definitely a case of buyer beware. It is quite possible
that the world will be won to the church, and that in the
meantime the soul of the church will be lost.

His main position is that faith is losing authority in
both the life of the church and the individual believer.
On page 18 he states the crux of the matter. "What
people believe no longer makes much difference to how
they behave."

His development of this idea, beginning with mourning the
loss of the importance of the written word in society and
moving through to questions that should be asked if we,
as Christians, are to be truly discerning, is the meat of
the book.

Guinness does not write for the casual reader. It takes
work to read a book like this, but it is definitely worth
the brain energy put forth. Following is one of the many
paragraphs that I underlined in this book. (P.27)

"...The second common deficiency is that the church-
growth movement--true to its American evangelical
parentage--displays a minimal sense of historical
....Two periods, for example, would give
fruitful parallels: the late eighteenth century
and the story of European liberalism's engagement
with the 'cultured despisers,' and the early
nineteenth century and the story of American
evangelicalism's fateful seachange during the
era of Jacksonian populism. This early nineteenth-
century change is a particularly important precedent
because it was not so much from Calvinism to
Arminianism as from theology to experience, from
truth to technique, from elites to populism, and
from an emphasis on 'serving God' to an emphasis on
'servicing the self' in serving God.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

We made a flying trip to the Big City this past weekend.
We had a wedding to attend and then, since there were
several from Mayberry there, we decided to make a day of
Saturday by going to the zoo.

Sister Becky, a Forest Park Junkie, just devised a
scavenger hunt at the zoo to use during her daughter's
16th birthday party. I borrowed it and we divided up into
teams and went for it. My team did not win, but we did
have fun.

I have to admit though, time spent in the Big City always
seems so frenzied. Perhaps it is because we try to fit in
too many things while we are there. Couple that with the
huge numbers of cars and people and it isn't long before this
country girl begins to feel overwhelmed.

It was with a huge sigh of contentment that I exited my car
under my own sagging carport and was hit full force with the
croaking of the frogs and the singing of the crickets and
the deep darkness nighttime that is unrelieved by street lamps.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

O Lord,
May I...
never make piety a dress but a habit,
not only a habit but a nature,
not only a nature but a life.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Many things come to mind when I think of G'ma Opal.
Tomatoes, fishing, playing cards, and quilts all
define a sliver of her life. One other picture that
I see when I think of her is the old barn that is
near her house. It has been there as long as I can
remember, probably because it is older than I am.

I was talking with my cousin Kenny (from Florida) the
other day. I remember the old barn as a fun place to
play as a child. It seemed huge to my little girl eyes.
He remembers it being SO far from G'ma's house. In reality
it is really not at all that large and is but a short
distance from the house.

The barn is slated to come down soon. Uncle Jim is
concerned because of its great ricketyness. He has been
busily cleaning out everything from the inside in order
to ready it for the BIG DAY. It actually would have come
down a day or two ago except the weather has not been

The barn is a reminder of the frailities of life. May it
not be said of us, as of the one spoken of in Eccleiastes 5:16
"...And what profit has he who has labored for the wind?"
There is the eternal and it can be labored for even today.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

There is nothing so Mayberryish as spending a night
at the ballpark. Half the county seems to be there
on any given game night.

Of course, there's the fun of seeing the Princess smack
the ball and get a triple (albeit two of the bases were
on overthrows-it is a never ending battle to get those
little people to throw the ball to the pitcher so play
can be halted rather than throwing to a base and giving
the runner ANOTHER chance to advance), but there is also
the fun of knowing players and parents on both sides,
knowing all the umpires personally, and chatting with
the crowd in general.

There is the warm-fuzzy feeling that is inside when you
say to one of the umpires (one who happens to attend the
same church as you do) that made a call that just happened
to be in your team's favor, "Good call, Blue!"
Here, as promised, are the kids. When we got
out to take the pictures we were a bit surprised
to see that they are not twins, but rather they
are triplets.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Things were busy at Fernnook Farm yesterday.
After a beautiful sunrise, we babysat our new

Twin goats were born, and though I don't have a
picture of them yet, here is the proud papa, Zak.

The hay was baled and sitting in the field. Princess
Hattie takes her rightful place on the top of the load.

Modern day farmboy gets ready to pitch hay.

Just how many grapes can one guy put in his mouth at a
time. Well, how many do you think there are?

Monday, June 04, 2007

We were unexpectedly away overnight this weekend
for a ball tournament. I took Ivanhoe along to
help pass the 5 hours of drive time. What a
rollicking good read it was. I haven't had so
much FUN in reading in a long time.

There are Knights Errant, there is jousting, there
are bad Prince John and good King Richard, there are
damsels in distress (and, as Beth says, "I love the
damsels in distress"), there are kidnappings, there
are braveries and gallantries galore.

I can't believe I let this sit on my bookshelf for 12
years without reading it.

Thanks for the push LeftCoast.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Martin Luther

Unknown source:

The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of
God just as much as the monk who prays, not because
she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because
God loves clean floors.

For more wonderful quotes on domesticity visit

Tip of the bonnet to Amy at Amy's Humble Musings.