Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Franklin Roosevelt enshrined the Four Freedoms forever in America's thought life in his State of the Union address in 1941. What many forget is that FDR was positing a set of ideals to encompass world-wide acceptance, i.e., these freedoms should apply equally to all peoples everywhere.

His first two ideals, or freedoms, were taken directly from the Bill of Rights. We would all agree that freedom of speech and freedom to worship in one's own belief system as he chooses are righteous and justifiable aims. Well, everyone with the possible exception of the most rabid of those who insist on political correctness to the point of denying my right to speak my mind, nay, to the point of denying me the right to think as I will. Anyway, more later in the lesson.

The third and fourth of Roosevelt's "freedoms" have been debated for decades, both lauded and applauded, and ridiculed as impractical, even undesirable. The concept of world-wide freedom from want lays the very foundation for the application of "from those who have to those who need." Without strictures, there is denial of the responsibility for each to provide for his own. There is no allowance for impoverishment due to bad decision making and poor choices. It is written: freedom from want.

The fourth freedom, freedom from fear, to Roosevelt in his impassioned plea, was a statement against war1 and armament and political aggression. That human beings can live without fear is alien to man's very nature. No point in discussing it.

At any rate, I stumbled across this in my reading recently. It was written by "Ed" of Vermont2, and cuts too close to the very bone of today's society to be funny, although you may laugh if you wish. There is still that freedom, at least. So long as you do so in the privacy of your own home.

The new politically correct four freedoms:

• Freedom From Discomfort, Insult and Offense. (Stop whistling those dirty songs.)
• Freedom From Responsibility and Cause and Effect. (It's not my [or their] fault, ever; although it might be yours.)
• Freedom From Reason & Absolutes. (It is inconvenient and undesirable for that condition to be true.)
• Freedom From Knowledge, Discourse & Debate. (Don't confuse me with your set of alleged facts; what I tell you three times is true. If you don’t understand that you are just stupid…and a bigot; and so are your sources, all of them, every one.)

1Soon to be followed by entry into the greatest of all wars.
2 Randy Cassingham's Blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Could Be Me

Exactly. Well, almost. I am better dressed (jeans and t-shirt); the pet is a small dog rather than a large cat. The beverage is coffee rather than whatever was in the can. Otherwise...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Blues News

Other than an infrequent mention of a standard complaint of old age, I generally try to avoid discussing my health issues. And a good thing it is, too, for I have been blessed with exceptionally good health. I am grateful to the Lord for His protection, and I recognize that I am no better than any one else, but I am blessed.
Today, a Monday, may be as good a time as any to drop this into the conversation, and then drop it.

I spent a good bit of time with an ophthalmologist inasmuch as I have been experiencing some vision difficulties. While the left eye still tests 20/20, the right eye is approaching blindness quite rapidly. And since vision is such a key factor in reading my friends' blogs, and coincidentally in preparing my own, I cherish it. Long story short I have been diagnosed with Fuchs' dystrophy, the only lasting cure for which is corneal surgery. I have been referred to the surgeon who will assess and determine if and when posterior lamellar endothelial keratoplasty can be undertaken.

My doctor urges me to have the surgery, as he said virtually no one suffers from this condition in one eye only, and at some point, should the Lord permit me to live that long, the other eye will present with similar symptoms. The good news is that the surgery is almost always successful and the results are virtually good for a lifetime!

Lucky me. This condition affects, generally, fewer than one percent of the population.

And to further the more, BBBH, on the other hand foot is experiencing a raging case of gout, the which is hobbling her ambition, impeding her activity, and afflicting her with excruciating pain.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Red Barn

at Potato Creek, and a walk in the woods.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Stifling, humid, hot
Cicadas sang me to sleep
Robin's song woke me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Paternal Great Grandparents Taylor

Francis Marion Taylor Family
I have only two pictures of my Great Grandmother Taylor. This was taken when she was ninety years of age, and only shortly before her death. I have a fuzzy picture of a worker in a sawmill which I have been told is Mr. Taylor, but to reproduce it here would serve no enlightening purpose.

Francis Marion Taylor, Jr. born 1841 in Putnam County, Missouri. He was the son of Francis Marion and Mary Morris Taylor. Sarah Anna Chapman born 1844 in Buchanan County, Missouri. She was the daughter of William and Mary Brown Chapman.

Mr. Taylor first married Claranna Hull. This union resulted in three children, John, James, and one who died as an infant.

Miss Chapman's first husband was James M. Curtis, by whom she had three children, Carrie, Alvin, and Robert.

Both of these young people were widowed while still young. They were married in Troy, Kansas in 1875. They had five children together. Thus, my grandmother had both paternal and maternal half-siblings, as well as three full brothers and a sister. The children of Frank and Sarah Taylor are Willard, Mary Frances, Tempa Adeline (my grandmother) Francis Marion III, and Jesse.

The young Mrs. Curtis apparently "shaved" three years off her age when the marriage license was issued. One has to wonder what Mr. Taylor thought when he discovered this deception. Or if he ever did, for that matter.

Mr. Taylor engaged in farming and timbering, and he operated a sawmill. He was a lay minister of the Gospel. A few years after his death, Mrs. Taylor took up residence in the home of her daughter, Tempa Lacy. These ladies died within three days of each other, influenza and the complications of pneumonia being the cause of death in each case.

Francis Marion "Frank" Taylor, May 10, 1841 - September 21, 1920

Sarah Anna Chapman Taylor, September 5, 1844 - January 15, 1935

Frank Taylor is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Arkansas City, Kansas.

Sarah Anna Taylor is buried in Wiley Cemetery, Wiley, Colorado.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Potato Creek

And where, I hope you are asking, have you been? Beautiful and I have been spending this week at Potato Creek State Park.

And where, you might ask, in the ever-loving blue-eyed world is that? Potato Creek is on the shores of Worster Lake, and the nearest town is North Liberty, Indiana. To save you a frustrating time of it as you try to locate us, North Liberty is a dozen miles southwest of South Bend, and thus just about an even one hundred miles from home.

We have enjoyed the relaxing days and the fellowship of our compadres. There were 10 rigs which translates to nineteen people!

Unfortunately, and fortunately, we have had no access to the interwebby thing this week. So, although the blog has operated on auto-pilot, I have not been able to keep up with my buddies in the Blogosphere. I shall endeavor to catch up as quickly as I can. The fortunate part is that I have been able to disconnect and kick back, enjoying a more primitive lifestyle for a bit!

Banner image belongs to Indiana DNR website.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nip? Tuck? Terror.

Some days ago I was in this examination room waiting for the surgeon. Since Canon goes with me mostly wherever I go, I decided to record the incident. Poor, frightened me.

This is how it was done. The mirror on the opposite wall made a perfect target. I really did snap this shot, cropped it as above, and voila!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review

A few days ago I was browsing the "new acquisitions" shelves in our local library. My eye was taken by, then assaulted by, this attractively artistic cover with its insultingly rude title. I picked it up and leafed through it. I ascertained rather quickly (darned little reading material inside, and much of it not really fit to print) that I would be ashamed to have the thing inside my home. And none of the letters in the nasty little words are x-ed out. Other than the artwork, which I indicated is attractive, the book lacks creativity in swearing, cussing, or scatology, for the same tired old words that we have all known and have avoided using throughout our entire lives make up much of the text.

I pointed out to the librarian that the booklet was sorely lacking in creativity with regard to language; and that it was obviously the product of a feeble, if warped, mind.

It is only after I leave the library that I discover the truly awful truth about this trash. It is a bestseller*. It is being reviewed seriously by the "intellectual elite". It is being represented as "literature" with deep sociological and psychological implications.

In truth, it is probably representative of the depths to which we have sunk as a society.

*Update: The most recent release shows this title to be number four on the hard-cover non-fiction best sellers list. Reflect on that. Non-fiction. Exactly. This sad little man is capitalizing on the basest of human behaviors.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crises in Abraham’s Life

Abraham’s spiritual experience was marked by four crisis decisions involving surrender of something naturally dear to him.

1. In Genesis 12, we see God’s direction: Leave your country and your people.
2. Abraham had to abandon his traditional worship. He was 75 years old.
3. He had to abandon his own plan regarding Ishmael.
4. He was called to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise. Genesis 22

God promised Abraham a son from which would spring a people without number. Then in Chapter twenty-two we find God testing Abraham. Abraham did not hesitate to take his son, his servants and the wood for the sacrifice. But he had three days in which to ponder God’s plan.

On arrival at the place of sacrifice, Abraham took Isaac and told the servants “We will worship and come again.” But where is the sacrifice? God will provide.

In truth, Isaac was a supernatural offspring, for Abraham was 100 years of age, and Sarah was ninety when she conceived. The name the boy was given, Isaac, means “laughter.” It was a joyous birth, even as the birth of Jesus, the Son of God, was a joyous occasion.

As Abraham and Isaac traveled to worship, Isaac carried the wood for his own sacrifice; even as Christ carried the cross and the sins of the world to his crucifixion.

Imagine, if you will, the journey as Abraham and Isaac travel to the appointed place. It is without question a time of Suffering, Sacrifice, Sorrow, and Self-denial. Note that neither father nor son was forced to go. Isaac, a willing sacrifice, trusted his father, even as Christ trusted his Father and prayed, Not my will, but thine. Into thy hands I commend my spirit.

When Isaac arrived home a servant was sent to obtain a bride for him, even as the Holy Spirit is sent into the world to obtain a bride for Christ after his arrival home.

Isaac stayed home while the bride was sought and found, even as the church is being built today while Christ sits at the right hand of the Father.

Isaac waited patiently until the bride was found. She was located far from his home, even as the Bride of Christ is far from the home of the King of Kings.

Isaac took his bride into his father’s house, even as Jesus will take his Church into his Father’s house.

Isaac loved her. He was comforted by her. He married her. Thus does Christ love his bride, is comforted by her, and will take her to be his eternal spouse!

Adapted from a sermon by Rev. D. W. Lacy, based on Genesis, chapters 12 - 22 and the Gospels. Image:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Most Beautiful Girl

In 1952, Armi Kuusela, born August 20, 1934, won the title "Miss Finland" in her homeland national beauty contest. She received a box of chocolates and a round-trip ticket to the United States to participate in the very first Miss Universe contest.

Armi Helena Kuusela won the title and was thereafter touted as "The World's Most Beautiful Girl." She was seventeen, 5' 5" and 108 pounds.

She and her husband, Albert Williams, currently reside in San Diego, California.

Happy 77th Birthday, Ma'am.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paternal Great Grandparents Lacy

The Theodore Millard Lacy Family

Theodore M. Lacy and wife Mary Angeline Venable Lacy. Children on left, front to rear: Charles, Oscar, Bertha. Center: seated Floyd, standing Raymond (my grandfather). On right, front to rear: Albert, Edith, Edna.

Theodore Millard Lacy was born 1850 in Quincy, Illinois, the son of Jeptha D. and Sarah Stone Lacy. He relocated with his parents to Fremont County, Iowa when he was yet an infant, and there he spent the remainder of his long life.

Mary Angeline Venable born 1853 in Gallitin, Missouri, the daughter of Albert and Eliza Jane McMahon Venable. She and Theodore were married in 1873. They were the parents of ten children. Two daughters, Rosa and Nelle Belle, died in infancy.

Mr. Lacy's father as a pioneer in the Sidney area, was a farmer and entrepreneur, operating at various times a sawmill, a gristmill, and a mercantile store. Theodore grew up working in his father's enterprises, and continued throughout his life so engaged.

Theodore Millard Lacy July 12, 1850 - March 8, 1932
Mary Angeline Venable Lacy September 1, 1852 - May 7, 1933

They are both interred in Sidney Cemetery, Sidney, Fremont County, Iowa

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can It!

At dinner last evening, BBBH and I engaged in conversation which stemmed from a remark she made concerning a historical novel she is reading in which canned food was mentioned.

Wait! you might say. A conversation at dinner? What is this novelty of which you write?

True, is the reply. It is not unknown in this household to sit at table for repast without the accompaniment of the blaring TV, engaging one another in brilliant repartee.

Back to the tale at hand. She questioned the historical accuracy, thinking that possibly the author had committed an anachronism. I doubt it, I replied, for though I do not know the history of canned foodsuffs, I am quite sure that it goes back as far as the early part of the nineteenth century.

To which she replied, we need to look it up; and I responded, What a great idea, Dear! It is a fitting subject for a blogpost.

So here we have it, thanks in largest measure to Tinplate Group which maintains an informative website.

In 1809, a Frenchman, Nicholas Appert discovered that food could be preserved by sealing it in an airtight jar and heating it. The process obviously worked as demonstrated by empirical evidence, but no one knew why, inasmuch as the effect of microbial creatures on foods, and the effects of heating on those creatures, were both unknown.

By 1811, Englishmen John Hall and Bryan Donkin had developed a metal can in which to process foods. Their can was made of iron and coated with tin, and while it was virtually unbreakable, it also required a hammer and chisel with which to open it!

Because canned goods were very expensive throughout most of the nineteenth century, they were available primarily to the well-to-do.

Finally, however, "tin" cans were being made from very thin sheets of steel, rather than iron, though still dip-coated with tin.

Most cans were made from three pieces, a rectangle rolled into a cylinder, and a top and a bottom. Today, many cans are made from a two-piece process, and thus you do not see a seam on the side of your soft drink can, nor on many other products as well.

Both steel and aluminum cans are produced and used, and discarded, by the millions every day. Small wonder that we need to be more attentive to the process of recycling!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Not All Change is Progress

At the crest of the generational divide we find another example of technological progress, casting off the old and clasping the new.

That penmanship and spelling are skills that have served us well for generations is indisputable. That they are disciplines requiring assiduous attention to detail and practice, practice, practice is evident. That the young reject it is as much a rebellion against discipline as it is an adoption of technological advances.

The older set, of which I am representative, is as averse to adopting the "new" as the younger set is to dragging with them the luggage of a past era.

So we have submitted. They win. Of course it never would enter the imagination that everything that relies on electrical power will be so much ash in the hand when there is no power.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sixth Grade

What do you suppose The Boy encountered when he showed up in September to start sixth grade? I'll tell you. Miss Gardiner was his homeroom teacher, which means that except for the time the kids went to Mrs. Kennedy for geography and to Miss Anderson for music, they were entrapped with Bristol's most fearsome teacher for the entire day. (Sister would disagree with this, since she had been in Miss Ramsey's second grade class. But since the lad did not know Miss R, she didn't count.)

The school was laid out along a short hallway such that as one entered the front doors, he would walk up a short flight of seven steps to the main floor. Or he might walk down a similar distance to the basement which, other than the "gym" was a complete mystery. Above the stairwell on a balcony was the principal's office, where the secretary and the principal could survey their realm through the plate glass wall that separated them from the possiblity of having to actually hear what went on below. To your left as you walked down the main hallway, you would pass second grade, third grade and finally come to fourth grade (Miss Anderson, who was also the music teacher.) Back down the hall toward the front, assembly room, fifth grade, and finally almost under the office, sixth grade.

Two memories from sixth grade. The day the police showed up at school. The teacher ordered all the fifth and sixth grade boys to the gym where a big ol' cop walked past us all, looking at our feet. Then his assistant brought pieces of poster board, laid one in front of each "suspect" and required him to leave a footprint on the paper. Scared the bejiminy out of me. For no good reason, because I hadn't committed any crime. This time.

Second memory. The boys in Miss Gardiner's class made it up amongst themselves that at exactly 2:00 o'clock sharp by the Regulator on the wall they would all rise, walk toward the back of the room, circumnavigate the area and return to their seats. By the time the first boys had crossed the back and were walking down the west side of the room, Miss Gardiner had flung the east classroom door open, where she stood directing traffic out of the room with sharp instructions to "March up those stairs directly to the principal's office!"

Which is what happened.

[This repost is in recognition of all those kiddies, and teachers, who return to the halls of academe this week.]

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are They Now?

Merle's song was introduced thirty years ago. (This rendition is from 1983.) There is an expression of hope in the last lines. I wonder if that hope is still there today. I am not a doom-and-gloomer, but I am no Pollyanna, either. Things look dark indeed. Yet the cliche would assure us that it is always "darkest just before the dawn." I don't see that as a hopeful expectation, either, because it might be the case that it is not yet "darkest" and things may get worse before they get better.

In any event, putting aside economic circumstances, political division, and rampant nonsense, he or she who commits it all to God and walks with Jesus may suffer from these ills, but yet will not be overwhelmed by them. We will walk in peace with God, in spite of the swirling and raging storm without!

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?...
Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
Psalm 27

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Her "Pet" Weed

A weed came up volunteer, as weeds are wont to do, near our front entry. I, butcher that I am, wanted to pull it when it was a mere four inches tall. BBBH, on the other hand, saw its potential. She insisted I leave it alone. In a very short time, well, here you see the result as Beautiful poses with her creature.

I have insisted that it shall be cut down before it goes to seed, for we are in an agricultural community, and I wish to remain here. She has forestalled me for a couple of weeks now, but today she finally agreed that it should go. It is not long for this spot.

Yes, there is an ornamental plum tree behind the weed, but it is pretty much obscured.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Child of Desire

My sister's novel is published! Tate Publishing announced Thursday that the title is available through their house on-line bookstore. It will be in Barnes and Noble and other outlets on November 8. It is available both in print format and as download for digital readers.

Are we proud of our little sister? I should say so! I was privileged to have been one of her "readers" to whom she entrusted her first draft for comments.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Maternal Great Grandparents Palmer

William Amos Palmer Family

The above photograph was taken about 1892. Since the Palmers were residing in Hawkins County, Tennessee at the time, it is safe to assume that this picture was taken in that locale. Seated are William Amos Palmer and Amanda Lawson Palmer. To his right is Laura Jane, on his lap, Samuel Baxter. Seated on his mother's lap is William Ellis. Standing are Sarah Margaret and Mary Matilda, the eldest child.
This picture was taken many years later, probably in California. These five are also children of William and Amanda. The only one in this picture who was in the top picture is Mary Matilda, second from right.
Born after the 1892 picture were Bessie, Beatrice, Garney, and Ida.

With the genealogical tables and a little calculation, one discerns that the first of Amanda's nine children was born in 1880 when she was nineteen, the last one in 1906 when she was forty-five. Matilda is my mother's mother. Bessie, my mother's aunt, was born two years before my Mom.

William Amos Palmer 22 December 1849 - 25 March 1928

Amanda Jane Lawson Palmer 1 January 1861 - 23 May 1923

Both William and Amanda are buried in Hartman Cemetery, Prowers County, Colorado. Mrs. Palmer's parents are featured in this post.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The New Greta!

Greta visited the groomer Wednesday morning. She came home a "new dog," so to speak. No longer a fur-ball, it may be possible to keep her looking good!

How Kent and Alex will react, we have no idea; but they left the dog in our care. Truly, she is looking good! Now to pick up the last remnants of the "old Greta" and run the vacuum.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crabgrass Makes Me Crabby

Last year, we suffered such an invasion of crabgrass that we found ourselves singing, "If it weren't for crabgrass, we'd have no grass at all... gloom, despair and agony on me."

This spring we paid a professional lawn man what we considered to be a significant amount of money to "treat for crabgrass."

I just came in, hot, sweaty, bent and bowed, from my second day's session pulling crabgrass.

Perhaps the crabgrass got its "treat."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9, 1974

..and that's the way it was thirty-seven years ago today.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Greta Visits Us

This wooly-bear is Greta. She arrived at our house Sunday afternoon for a week-long visit. The bad news is that generally speaking, Cookie does not like other dogs. The good news is that Greta is one of only two dogs that he does like.

Cookie, as you know, is quite old. Greta is a rather elderly dog herself. She has a decade of years behind her. I have a soft spot for her, because she reminds me of the goldens I used to harbor. Greta's mother was a purebred Black Labrador
Retriever, and her sire was a Golden Retriever. It is easy to see which one she most resembles!

Greta's people, son Kent and grandson Alex are on their way to Washington, D.C. Alex, twelve, is at the perfect age for his first trip to the nation's capital. He is old enough to appreciate the rudiments of what he sees there, yet young enough that his dad will be able to tolerate his company and teach him a thing or two!

We are looking forward to a week of fur-balls. for if my memory serves me correctly, and it does, such beasties tend to leave a trail of doggy fur wherever they go! The only thing we have to be careful about is seeing that she does not sneak out the front door as we enter and egress, for she is an explorer. She would be sure to be seven blocks away before we could recover our senses enough to realize she had split. Can't have that.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

God is our Refuge

Pastor Mark's message entitled "The Cities of Refuge" based on Joshua 20:1-9

1. Purpose: refuge to one who inadvertantly (unintentionally) kills someone
2. Provision: given by God (v.1)
3. Power: to save; to secure; sufficient
4. Portion: available to all
5. Picture: Kedesh-- consecrate, holiness, righteousness
Shechem-- shoulder
Hebron-- fellowship; unite, join, companion, association
Bezer-- (fortress) ore of gold or silver
Ramah-- height, exalted
Golan-- (joy) enclosure, circle

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.--Psalm 46:1
God is Gracious. We live and thrive by the grace of God.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Railroad Runs Through

the middle of the house.

A few days ago, blog friend SharkbytesTM posted pictures of the train approaching her place. I made a comment referencing this song. Then I thought that this particular version, while not Vaughn Monroe, was worthy of a post, not just for the silly song, but for the great train pictures in the video. Enjoy!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Maternal Great Grandparents Morell

The Samuel Harvey Morell Family

This photograph was taken in Scott County, Virginia, probably on the Morell homeplace in Robinette Valley about 1909, give or take a year. Samuel Harvey Morell and his wife, Sarah Harris Morell seated. Youngest child, Marshall between them. The other children are Betty, Christopher, Florence, George, Thomas Jefferson.

Not in this picture are the older children, Samuel Harvey Morrell and William "Bill" Morell. Sam was married and had moved to Colorado some years earlier, and it is believed that Bill went with him.

Samuel Harvey Morell, January 12, 1847 - April 13, 1937
Sarah Morell (his wife), July 25, 1851 - May 18, 1932

Both are interred in the Moneyhun-Morell Cemetery, Plum Grove #9, on back of hill where the Morell house once stood.
Each Friday for the next few weeks will focus on my ancestry. Family members may appreciate this; others, perhaps not.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Watching Television

I enjoy NCIS. I watch the original CSI. Not a problem, so long as one suspends belief in reality. I mean, trained scientific crime scene investigators travel all over the place, armed and prone to shoot it out with the bad guys? CSI Miami and NCIS LA are particularly bad about this. About 400 .30 and .40 caliber rounds are fired and the only guys that are hit are the bad guys. Two good guys, or gals, often, with their little pistols wipe out seven bad guys with AK-47s.

Superior training, one supposes. Or, it pays to stand on the side of the angels.

Then we expect real-life cops to wrap up a case in forty-two minutes (not counting commercial breaks), and we are ticked when the case drags on for months. Young woman in our area disappeared and has been missing for sixty-two days. A true tragedy, and not to be taken lightly. But if the TV cops had been on the case, she would have been found 61 days ago. Oh, Poppy, Mariska, where are you when we really need you?


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A New School Year!

So here's what happened in Indiana.

Once upon a time, there were at the very least, elementary schools, most through eighth grade, within walking distance of most homes. But this is not good enough. We need bigger, brighter, air conditioned school-places. These were built. The little within-walking-distance schools were closed. School buses were purchased, routes were established. The kids now went to school with other kids whom they would never have known in the bad old days of the walk-to schools.

The consolidated schools built bigger and better schools, farther and farther away from the homes of the kiddies. More buses were purchased, routes were established such that some six-year old kids would now get to go to school thirteen miles from home, and they would get a wonderful hour-long bus ride. Twice a day. Board the bus before daylight in the dead of winter, and get home after dark. But they had a light, bright, warm and super-crowded environment during the day!

Then one day, the school systems discovered that they, like the federal government, had extended themselves well beyond their budgetary limitations. Unlike the federal government, they cannot go to China and borrow a pocketful of change. Gas prices escalated. Electricity costs rose. Staff salaries went up. Buses grew larger and more costly. And now we cannot afford to run the buses.

But there is a solution. We can charge the parents of the kiddies for those seemingly interminable daily bus rides! A recent news report states that a neighboring school district has settled on a figure of $475 for the first kid, $405 for each additional kid from the same home. I don't know about you, but I had four kids, all in school at the same time. That would work out to what? Here I'll do the math for you: $1690 a year for my kids to get to the "free" public school.

I'm not even going to editorialize here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Sister

August 2. The birthday of my little sister, a beautiful summer day, bringing into our house a lively revival of the days my parents probably thought were in their distant past-- an infant to care for, and to love and nurture.

My sister, Vee, and I at this time in our lives, being ten and thirteen, probably thought we were pretty much (half) grown.

My parents had first thought to name the child "Grace," for they deemed it true that it was by the grace of God that this miracle had visited them in their advancing years. Dad, though, always looking at all the angles, feared that as she grew up she would be called "Gracie Lacy." For some reason, he did not find this to be a pleasing prospect, so they chose instead to name the child after a good friend.

Sister and I were pretty excited to have a baby sister, and since the responsibilty for her ultimate welfare rested with the parents, we had a sweet deal going. I left home before she started kindergarten, and thus did not really get to know Ilene until years later, and that in our adult lives. Happy Birthday, Ilene.

I posted a birthday tribute a year ago here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Farewell, July...

...we hardly knew ye.

(Because you kept us confined to the house, your miserable "heat indices" being too high to brave. Our camping was scratched, our discontent grew. You are the driest July in the annals of meteorological record keeping. You have left us, parched, brown, and miserable. Thanks.)

Perseverance and Rejuvenation

Strolling around the secret garden gave me as much inspiration to move on with my life as has any one other thing recently.
Here, the flowers, though struggling through excessive heat and extremely dry conditions, struggle valiantly to provide some color in an otherwise dreary and oppressive summer.
The least I can do is pick myself up, swat the dust out of my britches and get on with living. So, I am back!

A few lilies continue to provide a daily splash of color. The echinacea and the yarrow soldier on. The black-eyed Susans provide a nice complement to the lavender of the cone flowers.

Notice too that the thistles still have their place in the garden, just as there are some thorns in the lives of even the most cheerful, the most righteous and the most just amongst us.

Well, I'm pumped. I hope that we all open our eyes to the beauties around us, and if there are any "life lessons" to be learned, to heed them and ponder them, and apply them to our lives.

You know why I can't tie up the loose ends on this blog? String's too short.