Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Vegetable Hound


The Vegetable Hound lives in my house.  She has tomato radar that hones in on any tomato slicing going on and stands at the counter awaiting her portion.  When she is ignored, she gets very impatient and barks loudly;  sometimes standing at the kitchen counter for long periods just to get a whiff.    When she is awarded her beloved tomato, she grins eagerly for the next helping.    Her sensibilities can detect the home grown variety making her all the more tuned into what could possibly satiate her doggy appetite.

Garden Tomatoes With Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Crushed Pepper and White Wine Vinegar.  Oh, and a few home grown Bell Peppers.  Divinely Simple!


I Have Been Shaken


In our American Christian culture,  we look at the suburban mom as someone to hold in esteem especially if her home is beautiful, her husband has a good paying job, her children are perfect and they all go to church every Sunday.  I’ve had all those things and I thought I was finally blessed.  After all the preacher said, “God wants to bless you.”    So, we went further into “the blessing” and pursued the dream of owning our home in the country.  We looked for years for land we could afford and poured over home designs that we could build for our forever home.

Finally, we found the land, sold our house and chose a builder.   I left my sister who lived a few blocks away and moved into a travel trailer.  We started the process of it all and I can tell you we moved hell on earth to get where we are today.  At every turn we met liars and the most covetous people imaginable.  God would allow me to see their deceit one by one from realtors, electric companies, builders, contractors and so called neighbors.  We moved to a community of people who hurt and covet others so deeply that even the local government participates.  While I have been in my new home my mother has died and then my sister.  My brother’s  doled out my mother’s estate to themselves, feeling justified because she gave money to my sons for college three years before her death,  and one has even forced the sell of her house to himself at an unfair price.  I have been sued by  a local woman over defective window blinds that I didn’t even have and the local judge awarded her the money without ever hearing the case.  This was particularly painful to me because it was a complete character assassination at a very difficult time in my life without my mother and sister to support me.   Now we know!  How could we have been so driven to take ourselves into a season of such pain and suffering?  Didn’t God want to bless us?  We aren’t under His blessing we are under the curse.  I have been shaken to my very core.

People can only stand so much pain and suffering without looking at you and wondering what sins you have committed that God is judging you.  It’s an age old story.  Remember Job whom God allowed Satan to sift.  Yes, read it, God allowed it.  Job 2:3:  Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?  There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.  And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”  In the rest of the chapter Satan inflicts the worst kind of evil upon Job, his wife told him to curse God and die, his friends sat with him without a word because they were overwhelmed by his suffering.  After seven days of silence the debate begins and chapter after chapter, thirty-seven to be exact, Job and his friends argue the reasons why God is allowing his suffering.

In Chapter 38, the Lord speaks, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell me if you understand Who marked off its dimensions?  Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?  On what were its footings set, or Who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?    God continues to ask Job, “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?”   “Can you pull in the leviathan (a huge deadly creature) with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?” 

Job speaks in Chapter 42, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”    “You said, ‘Listen now and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.’  My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You.  Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  After this exchange between God and Job, Chapter 42 says, ” The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.”

I have been shaken and God is removing what can be shaken to leave what is unshakable – Him.  Hebrews Chapter 12, verse 28: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire.”   I am not certain that He will choose to bless me on this earth again.  The only thing I am certain of is this is not “it”.  We are not destined to live in this fallen state.  There will be a time, an eternal time, that matters more than these fleeting moments.

What if this isn’t a curse and indeed a blessing and God is refining me?  I won’t know for sure until the suffering is over.  I am still in the midst of it and struggling.    Isaiah 54:10 says, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. 

My Name Is Old Glory!


My Name is Old Glory
by Howard Schnauber

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is Old Glory.
I fly atop the world’s tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America’s halls of justice.
I fly majestically over great institutes of learning.
I stand guard with the greatest military power in the world.
Look up! And see me!

I stand for peace – honor – truth and justice.
I stand for freedom
I am confident – I am arrogant
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners
My head is a little higher
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one.
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshiped – I am saluted – I am respected
I am revered – I am loved, and I am feared.

I have fought every battle of every war for more than 200 years:
Gettysburg, Shilo, Appomatox, San Juan Hill, the trenches of France,
the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome, the beaches of Normandy,
the deserts of Africa, the cane fields of the Philippines,
the rice paddies and jungles of Guam, Okinawa, Japan, Korea, Vietnam,
Guadalcanal New Britain, Peleliu, and many more islands.

And a score of places long forgotten by all but those who were with me.
I was there.
I led my soldiers – I followed them.
I watched over them.
They loved me.
I was on a small hill in Iwo Jima.
I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me,
and I was proud.

I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of
countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.
I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of my country,
and when it is by those with whom I have served in battle – it hurts.
But I shall overcome – for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth and stand watch over the
uncharted new frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have been a silent witness to all of America’s finest hours.

But my finest hour comes when I am torn into strips to
be used for bandages for my wounded comrades on the field of battle,
When I fly at half mast to honor my soldiers,
And when I lie in the trembling arms of a grieving
mother at the graveside of her fallen son.

I am proud.

My name is Old Glory.

Dear God – Long may I wave.



Tarantulas in May


April showers bring May flowers the saying goes and in our neck of the woods it’s tarantulas.  Just say it, “twoooo ranch you luzzz.”   Can’t help myself during this time, “twooo ranch you luzzz,  hahahahahahhaha. ”  Sorry for the wicked evil laugh.  Seriously, the Texas Brown is the breed we have and they like the sand here and the warmth of dirt roads.  Apparently, they like Hardie plank and the way I sprayed it with the water hose to get it off the patio furniture and blast it out of my world.  Didn’t work so I am taking a picture and blogging about it.

According to the facts I read this is definitely a male.  The zoologists call it a phenomenon because some time in late May or June the males wander around looking for females in a semi comatose phase.  Otherwise, they live in burrows barely going a few feet to catch their prey and returning to their homes.  The females can live up to twenty-five years and the males live about three months after they mature.

They can, will and do bite if provoked.  However, I have read they are not harmful to humans.  I’ve read that about the scorpions and it took me three days for the tingling sensation in my lips and tongue to go away.   The pain in my arm and hand felt like when you hit your elbow and it goes numb and you laugh and it goes away only it didn’t go away for three days.  To that end, I will be avoiding the tarantulas.  Take a look…there he is

Scorpion Bite




After the snake post and the associated trauma of saving the chicken from the snake, I have faced another one of my fears while living in the country…the dreaded scorpion.  Yes, I was bitten today on my left palm after picking up a board outside.  I know better, but I was in a hurry getting ready for a garage sale this Friday.   It stung like a bee only times twenty.  It left a small pin prick hole in my palm and a bulging red place.   The worst part is the weird tingling sensation that has occurred in my lips and tongue.  The Texas scorpion is not lethal unless you are allergic which the victim will know within twenty minutes of the sting.   Now I know that I can face down a snake,  if I have to save a chicken,  and scorpions hurt, but won’t kill me.

The Irish Lady and Sons

You can own millions or even billions, but I  can honestly say that would mean nothing to me in comparison to my sons.  They are a gift from God.  (Oh, I know they are only on loan to me and that they really belong to Him.)   This mother’s day,  along with the perfume and the cards, they each hand wrote a note to me.  Knowing me, they know that handwritten notes of sentiment are my personal favorite.   I thought I would share them with you here:
From My Oldest
You are the pillar of strength for this household and you keep us all in line.  Wonderful, caring and unselfish are what I think when you come to mind.  I know I can always count on you and I enjoy our relationship.  I think of you as not only my loving mother, but also as a good friend.  I know I would be nothing without you and I love you more than you could imagine.
Love, Your Son
From My Youngest
You have given me life and joy for fifteen years, almost sixteen.  I hope I have given joy.  All you do for me is because you are loving and loyal.  You always worry about us because you love us.  You discipline us to better ourselves and make better husbands, parents and so on.  I will always be there if you need help.
Love you Mom,  Brett

The Chicken Chronicles: SNAKE !! SNAKE !! SNAKE!!


Early morning will find us in the study, half asleep and beginning the day.   There was an unusual sound something like a long plea, maybe a chicken or a rare bird.  We ran through the house to the back porch where we keep the chickens at night, covered in a make shift quasi rabbit hutch turned chicken coop.  There were birds shrieking and flying in and out of the covered part of the porch.  I jerked the multi colored quilt off the coop.  The girls were huddled around my beautiful white Kitty Wells and she was wrapped with an ugly black rope choking and choking her.  I screamed and thought, “Lord, please don’t make me watch this chicken die… I have to get that snake now.”  The snake released and started moving out of the coop and into the balled up quilt.  I pulled the hutch away from the wall and jerked the  quilt off.  Thank you, God, for my youngest son who had already ran for the shot gun; but, you can’t shoot that close to the house where there are bricks and concrete and glass.  He had presence of mind to get his Daisy BB Gun and start shooting as the snake huddled under the barbeque pit in the corner.   My son’s plan was to get it stunned enough to move it out on to the grass with the shovel.  The plan worked.  He pumped that minion of Satan with as many BBs as he could and then moved him to the grass and blew it’s head off with the shot gun!

Finally, I had relented and stopped bringing the chickens in the mud room at night just this week.  They surely would be safe right under the porch by the back door.  I couldn’t bare the thought of Kitty Wells or any of her sisters being killed by something so evil.  How was that snake ever going to digest a chicken that size?  What was the plan?  Choke and then move on?  I have no idea, just gratitude for my son, for mercy, for silly chickens.   Those chickens are coming in the house at night.  We are building something with even smaller wire and I am going to pray and pray.  Get behind me, Satan!

My pretty girl knows something is up.  She’s the white one.  Good chickens!  Good birds that have been driving me crazy flying under the porches.  You told and we were able to save her!