January 31, 2010

Walk By Faith...

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

January 28, 2010

If At First You Don't Succeed, Blame, Blame, Blame

I was almost beginning to feel sorry for President Obama a few days ago, trying to give him the benefit of the doubt..again...but after last night, I am more disappointed in him, and his performance as leader of the nation, and I didn't think that was possible.

The reason I was beginning to feel a little sorry for him--and I know you will think this is strange--but it was a result of watching American Idol, over the years, and watching some of the contestants in their auditions.

Are your eyebrows furrowed, yet?

Anyway, I always think, when I see some of those poor people up there making fools of themselves, or looking just plain foolish and ignorant, and of course, getting ridiculed, and rejected, and some of them crying, some angry and defiant--I wonder why they, with absolutely no talent, or ability, or maybe a little talent, put themselves through that? Why do they audition in the first place? The more I thought about it, I realized that they, themselves, are convinced that they are super talented-- head and shoulders above the rest--not because they are, but because they have been convinced, by others...family members, friends, etc...that they are. They believe the lies that others tell them about themselves. Sometimes, though, they have a kind of mental derangement, and have grandiose ideas about themselves, and just can't accept that others can't see that.

So, that was why I was beginning to feel a little pity for Obama, thinking how he has always been told how great, how intelligent, how charismatic--and he does have some of those positive characteristics, and abilities. He has some expertise in some areas, but he is finding out that he is not the Superman that he has been led to believe, and that has to be a hurtful awakening. So, thinking in those terms, I was feeling a little sorry for him, considering that he must be feeling a bit of a failure, after all the promises he had made, but couldn't keep.

However, after the speech last night, I have to believe that not only has he been convinced by others that he is exceptional in every way, but that he, also, has the grandiose ideas about himself, and he came across as very angry that others could ever doubt his ability to accomplish all the things he promised, and if only everyone who doubts him, would stop fighting him, he could do it all. In other words, every single failure on his part, or his party's part, was the fault of Bush, and/or the mean old conservative Republicans.

The way he chastised the Supreme Court Justices, before the whole nation, was inexcusable. Not only that, but it pretty much showed his disdain toward the sanctity of that office, and just about everything else that has made this nation a beacon of light to all others.

I would have liked to have seen him succeed, as our leader, as long as it was for the good of the country, and for each of its citizens, but it looks like that is about as far-fetched as seeing me audition for American Idol!

January 25, 2010

The Bond Of Love

" Don't cry when you hear about what happened to me, Henderson, honey. I feel just fine. I feel better now than I ever felt in my life. Don't be sad about Dr. Chilton anymore, either. He's just fine. Bye, Henderson...don't you cry, you hear?"

I had worked the eleven to seven shift the night before. I had been working double shifts for awhile, due to personnel shortage, and although I had been working a single shift the past few days, I was still exhausted from sheer mental strain and lack of sleep, so I had been sleeping a few hours later than I would have, normally.

At the hospital where I worked as an admitting officer, we worked what was called a swing shift. So many days from seven a.m. to three p.m., so many from three to eleven, and then from eleven p.m. until seven in the morning. Since we were short of help, I had been working double shifts, on and off.

At ten p.m., the one working three to eleven in the evening, would close the main floor office, taking all necessary paperwork and money, down to the emergency room and admitted patients from there. Sometimes, especially weekends, it got pretty hectic.

Jewel Teal was the R.N. in charge of the emergency room. Miss Teal, I called her. She knew her job, and did it well, and the patient just couldn't help feeling secure when she took over. I'll never forget the first time I met her.I had been living in California, but had left, and was hiding from an abusive, alcoholic husband, who had come close to killing me many times. This time I had fled in the middle of the night. Literally, running for my life, from a machete. At the first opportune time, I had grabbed my son, who was not quite six years old. I started running through the darkness, not daring to stop, or even to look back. I had enough money for a motel room and a bus ticket to Georgia. Nothing else, other than the clothes on our backs.

I went to Georgia, because I thought that he would not think of looking for me there. I was almost seven months pregnant, and once there, I couldn't find work, had no money, no friends, and no family who were in a position to help...or wanted to be bothered.

My son, and I, were staying in a store-room filled with broken wheelchairs and bedpans, at a dilapidated nursing home for old people on welfare. I worked around there, doing odd jobs, and in return, we got two meals a day, and the use of the store-room. We got the same meals as served to the residents, and it was hardly enough for anyone with a normal appetite. Seeing the nearly inhumane treatment the old and sick people received saddened me very much, and I hated for my little boy to have to see it, but I had no choice. I was desperate

As the days passed, my son who was normally so active, became quiet and listless. After several days, he began having an extremely high temperature. By now, he complained of having a stiff neck, and sore throat, and was vomiting blood.

Being unable to obtain any help there, after trying tirelessly, and being turned away because of no money, and no insurance, I finally called a relative in the next state, and begged him to come and take us to the hospital there, in my hometown. He agreed.

It was about an hour and fifteen minutes driving time, and by the time he got there, my little boy was already sinking into a coma. I wrapped him in a blanket, and held him close to me on the drive back to the hospital in the next state. I kept talking to him, wanting him to know how much I loved him--knowing that he was near death. He could no longer hear me, nor respond.

This pregnancy had not been easy, and I had had no prenatal care. I was tired, and weak, and sick, but I knew that I had to keep holding onto him. If only I kept holding him, he wouldn't stop breathing.

"Let me hold him awhile, Hon, he's heavy, " my Aunt Polly said, reaching for him. "No!" I shouted angrily. How dare she? Didn't she know what would happen if I let him go?

When we pulled up to the hospital entrance, my uncle came around to carry him in. "No," I said, holding him closer to me, walking toward the door. An orderly walked out to take him. "No!" An aide. "No!" I was inside then, and they were still trying to take my baby. And then, "Here, honey, let Miss Teal take care of your baby."

Miss Teal. I looked up, and coming toward me was a tiny woman, only about four feet, eleven inches tall, and weighing not more than eighty-nine pounds. Her smile was kind, and her eyes were full of concern. She very gently took him from me, the blanket wrapped bundle almost as big as she. "Get Dr. Woodruff! Stat!" she snapped, as she disappeared into a treatment room with my child. Dr. Woodruff, as it turned out, was the best, and best known pediatrician in the area.

My son had spinal meningitis, and wasn't expected to live through the night. By the mercy of God, he did, and with no after effects, but he was hospitalised for over three weeks. We were both in isolation, because I wouldn't leave him, and as it turned out, I was in a deep state of shock.

After my child was born, I was in the hospital another three weeks because of complications. During that time, I made many friends there at the hospital, and they were instrumental in my getting a job at the hospital. I especially loved working with Miss Teal. Any mistakes I made, she covered with a smile, a pat, and a wink.

Now this strange dream that I'd just had. She was there--it was so plain--just seeming to hover over me, looking down at me from her position above my bed, with her gentle, assuring smile. "Don't cry when you hear what happened to me," she had said. The Dr. Chilton she had mentioned, was an obstetrician, and he had died only a couple of months before. He had come through the emergency room around two in the morning, after delivering a baby. He was going home to sleep, he said.

"Don't send me anymore babies, tonight, Henderson," he had said in parting, and went home to bed, where he died in his sleep.

I felt uneasy about what had just happened. Seeing and hearing Miss Teal had seemed so real. It was hours until time for work, but because of my uneasiness, I called the hospital. As soon as I called, I heard, "Oh, Henderson, did you know Miss Teal is dead?"

She had been on her way home that morning, having worked the same shift with me. She thought she saw a car coming toward her on the wrong side of the road, and swerved to avoid hitting it, and crashed into a tree.

She was still conscious when the ambulance came, and she told them what had happened. She also told them that she thought that she had a ruptured spleen. She had. She died in surgery that morning, surrounded by doctors and nurses, and others who had loved her.

Yes, I cried for my Miss Teal.

Post Script

Aunt Polly, mentioned here, is the same, beloved, aunt written about in some of my previous posts. She passed away one year ago, this past August, and i miss her, so much.

Ironically, as I write this, I am reminded of the very morning that she died. I had talked to her the day before, and she was her usual, sweet, uplifting self...laughing with me about things that we remembered, together.

I had told her about writing about when she was teaching me to make fudge, and how several readers on here had suggested I write the recipe in a post, since it sounded like it was so special. She laughed, and said, "Why, Baby..all they have to do is look on the Hershey's Cocoa box, and they'll see it." I had no idea, and we laughed so hard about that.

During that particular phone call, we were talking about how much we had loved each through the years, and what great times we had had, even in adverse times, being able to laugh at ourselves.

She had married my mother's youngest brother, the baby of the family, the same year that my mother married my stepfather. Uncle Bo, my mother's brother, had brought his new bride to meet Mama, and her 'little girl' and her new family. As Aunt Polly so eloquently put it, "It was love at first sight." Even now, I can see those sparkling eyes, always filled with laughter and goodness. "Yes, Aunt Polly, " I agreed. "It was love at first sight." And it was. I spent more time at their house, it seems while I was growing up, than I did anywhere else. There was nothing that we wouldn't do for each other. She was like a big sister/mother, and was as dear a friend as anyone could ever be blessed with.

We had planned to go down on the following Thursday, because she said, "I just have to see you one more time."

Now, this particular morning, after talking to her the previous day, I was waiting until I thought the aides would be finished with her bath and other things, before calling to tell her that we would be there in just a few days.

As I sat there, waiting to call, I don't know if I dozed off, or what; that's not something that I normally do, however, I thought I felt a hand on my shoulder, and my name being called. I looked up to see my Aunt Polly, standing there with that smile on her face. She said, "Baby, I'm getting ready to go home, and I wanted to tell you, "Bye."

I was totally bewildered. I, immediately, called down there, and I couldn't believe it when they told me that Aunt Polly was dying, and that it would only be a matter of a few minutes, according to what the Hospice nurse had just told them. It was so quick! It had only been yesterday that I talked to her, and we had had that wonderful conversation, and had been laughing about the Fudge recipe.

A few minutes later, she was gone.

Now, I'm sure that any who read this will be sceptical, but I know what I know, and I know that all that I have written here, happened.

What I don't know is how, or why, but what I, also, know, is that there are things that happen that we will never understand in this life.

It is said that there is no stronger bond than love, so perhaps that is the explanation, here.

I can only tell you what happened, and allow you to judge it for yourselves

January 23, 2010

Pray For Our Nation

Pray For Our Nation

I received this from a friend, today, and I thought it was well worth sharing.

Read the text, and listen to Andrea Bocelli sing "The Lord's Prayer."


Today, when you pray, please remember to pray for Haiti, and for the safety of everyone there, including our troops, and all the volunteers.

Lord, please keep them in your perfect care, and please make a way for all the needed supplies to reach the people.


January 21, 2010


Adam Bouska’s NO H8 photos have become the symbol of ending discrimination against gays and lesbians ... and as of this morning, former would-be first lady Cindy McCain has become one of the campaign’s spokesmodels. Photographer Adam Bouska talks about shooting Cindy and her daughter Meghan, their efforts to change what it means to be a Republican, and why Cindy is speaking out for gay rights now.
Read about it, here.

I was surprised to find out about Senator John McCain's wife being in favor of gay marriage, and to see how far she has gone in supporting it, really surprises me!

Well, no, it deserves a much stronger word than that. Actually, I am flabbergasted! Who knew? Maybe, we should have, in light of the way their daughter, Meghan, has been really "out there" in voicing her opinions about what she thinks a Republican should be representative of, none of which line up with my own.

What is this woman thinking? I agree that what anyone does in the privacy of his or her own bedroom is their business, but to come out in support of something that her husband, obviously, is diametrically opposed to, is like a slap in the face, I would think.

I had heard that several on McCain's campaign were more liberal than conservative, and that they are the ones who tried to derail Governor Palin. I tried to think of it as nothing more than rumor, but now, after reading this, I am inclined to believe that it was all true.

Maybe, it's just my suspicious mind, but I always got the feeling, whenever I saw them all together, that Cindy McCain had no fondness for Sarah Palin, and I'm wondering now, just how much she had to do with things that happened...the little tid-bits that, somehow, just seemed to slip out, putting Palin in a bad light--but forgive me. This is not about Palin, but all about the way that certain individuals are trying to make the Right look like they are more liberal in their thinking than what they try to portray to the world. That we are not as "moral" as we would like others to think that we are.

I've been reading around, trying to find out what other people are thinking, and saying, and some of the things I've read would probably make her hair stand on end, as far as the symbolism of the things portrayed in the photo.

Sometimes, I think that certain individuals will sell their souls for just a little bit of the spotlight, and morals, and ethics, be hanged! Unfortunately, there are too many of those individuals kicking and scratching to obtain political power and persuasion.

This has nothing to do with civil rights, or protecting the rights of gays and lesbians, but goes much deeper than that.

It is all so sickening, because it shows how very low our country has sunken, and it looks like we continue to sink even lower.

So, Mrs. McCain, as far as this Conservative is concerned, what you are trying to do is wrong, and to that I say, "No, no, no!"

A thousand times, "No!"

January 16, 2010

Did God Create Evil?

I posted the following article a long time ago, but the recent tragedy of the earthquake hitting Haiti brought it to mind, again.I know that many are pondering this question, probably at this very moment. Perhaps, someone's faith has been shaken because of what has happened, and wonder if God really caused such a thing. Tragedy tends to do that, even to those whose faith is, in their minds, grounded.

Some have been unkind in their statements about why it happened, but can any of us know, or pass judgement, really?

I don't think so.

I do know that the Bible speaks of God's judgement, but it, also, says that time and chance happen to all men, and that it rains on the just and the unjust.

It is not for us to judge, but to love, and to forgive, and to pray for those in need.


Did God create everything that exists? Does evil exist? Did God create evil?

A University professor at a well known institution of higher learning challenged his students with this question: "Did God create everything that exists?"

A student bravely replied, "Yes he did!"

"God created everything?"

"Yes sir, he certainly did," the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created evil. And, since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are, then we can assume God is evil."

The student became quiet and did not answer the professor's hypothetical definition. The professor, quite pleased with himself, boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "May I ask you a question, professor?"

"Of course," replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"

"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?" The other students snickered at the young man's question.

The young man replied, "In fact, sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 F) is the total absence of heat; and all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued, "Professor, does darkness exist?"

The professor responded, "Of course it does."

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong, sir, darkness does not exist, either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact, we can use Newton's prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wave lengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn't this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor, "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded, "Of course, as I have already said. We see it everyday. It is in the daily examples of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

The young man's name - - Albert Einstein....(1879-1955)

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." Psalms 14:1 KJV

I'm no genius, but I can't remember a time when I didn't know in my heart that God exists.

Albert Einstein was no fool, either.

January 12, 2010

About Friendship

I have been thinking a lot about friendship, lately. Thinking of some friends that I've lost, in the past, and some that I've acquired, recently. I know that it is said that you should choose your friends carefully, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Sometimes, they just happen along, and things either work out, or they don't. I've had a few that I thought were genuine, but found out that it was not so.

I have never been one to choose, or keep a friend based on looks, age, education, or wealth. I've never chosen a friend based on how sophisticated they happen to be, or how enlightened. Prestige, fame, and fortune, have never impressed me in the least. I've been poor--just about as poor as you can imagine--and I've been fairly well-off. I've had--and still have some of them--friends who were doctors, lawyers, college professors, politicians, pharmacists, an engineer, a physicist, a theologian, and a celebrity or two. I've, also, had friends who were common laborers, who worked their fingers to the bone, so to speak. Each and every one of those friendships have been based on things held in common--the only things of any real importance in a friendship --honesty, integrity, respect, and genuine affection.

I've been treated badly when I was very poor--in my growing-up years--and I've been kow-towed to, a few times, just because of my particular strata of society at the time. I guess I should be thankful for each and every one of those friendships, because I'm sure that I learned something valuable from each one. One thing that I have learned for sure--people are just people. Some are users, and some are losers, and some are the cream of the crop. Treat each one with kindness and respect, as much as it is possible, and most of the time, they will do the same. If not, then it is time to move on.

The following was written by an unknown author, as much as I can determine. Many have claimed authorship, but it is disputed.

"People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person. When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real. But only for a season."

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant."

I've made some wonderful friends on here, and some which turned out to be not so wonderful..but even so, I learned from it. There are some, though, that I hope to keep for a lifetime, even though I may never meet them in person, it seems as though we have. A genuine friendship is a gift to be treasured.

That's one of the most important lessons I've learned.

I have friends in overalls whose friendship I would not swap for the favor of the kings of the world.
~Thomas A. Edison

January 09, 2010

Alabama Alligator

These first two pictures were taken by a KTBS helicopter flying over Lake Wiess, which is about ninety miles north of Birmingham, Alabama.

The helicopter pilot, and the game wardens on the ground, were in communication via two-way radios.

Here is a transcript of their conversation:

Air1, have you a visual on the 'gator? Over.

Approaching inlet now. Over.

Roger Air1.

'Gator sighted. Looks like it has a small animal in its mouth...moving in. Over.

Roger Air1.

Oh, crap, it's a deer!

Confirm, Air1...did you say 'deer?' Over.

Roger...a deer in its mouth..lookds like a full-sized buck...that's a big 'gator, boys. We're gonna need more men. Over.

Roger, Air1...can you give me a idea on size of animal? Over.

It's a big one...twenty-five feet, at least; please advise 'gator is heading to inlet..do I pursue? Over.

The deer was later found to be a mature stag, measuring eleven feet!

This alligator was found between Centre, and Leesburg, Alabama, near a house! Game wardens were forced to shoot the alligator.

Anita and Charlie Rogers could hear the beast bellowing in the night. Their neighbors had been telling them that they had seen a mammoth alligator in the waterway that runs behind their house, but they dismissed the stories as exaggerations.

"I didn't believe it," Charles Rogers said, but after the alligator was killed, they realized the stories were, if anything, understated.

Alabama Parks and Wildlife game wardens had to shoot the beast.

Joe Goff, a 6'5" tall game warden, shown below, walks past the twenty-eight foot, one inch long alligator that he helped shoot and kill in the Rogers' back yard.

The above report was sent to me in an email. I'm assuming it's all true, having seen a man reel in a seventy-five pound catfish at Guntersville Dam, which isn't all that far from Centre, Alabama. It took two men to hold it in their arms, while I snapped a photo of it. That was a small one, considering reports of catfish as large as school buses, spotted lying on the bottom of the lake, next to the dam.

I guess Alabama is a lot like Texas, in that respect..everything seems to grow just a little bit bigger!

But what I'm wondering is, what was that alligator doing in that part of Alabama?

January 08, 2010

Another Time..


I know it is not Christmas, New Year's Eve, or even the Fourth of July..

but, I love this, and think it's just too pretty not to share!

There's just something about it..the setting, maybe..which reminds me of the era in which I grew up.

It reminds me of a place down home, which was called Oxford Lake, and it had a skating rink, and a midway, of sorts, and one could take a motor boat ride around the lake for about fifty cents.

Families would go there on their outings, guys took their dates there, and showed off, doing whatever guys did back then..mostly strolling along, holding hands, and bragging about stuff!

It's still there, but it is mostly just a place to have picnics, and there is some kind of Civic Center there, as well.

The lake which looked gigantic back then, is there to walk around now, for exercise, mostly. Two laps around equal about a mile.

The last time I walked around it, a few years ago, my friend, Lisa, and I headed out to Hardee's for a sausage biscuit, afterwards!

It's true, that you can't go home, again...but it sure is nice to dream of a happier, more peaceful, time.

Is it possible that it could ever be that way, again?

I wonder.

Graphic borrowed from Dudley's Diary

Thanks, Dudley!

January 03, 2010

Singing The Promises

Yes, it's true that the past year has been a hard one. It has been harsher for some, than for others, so we are all hoping for a better one. There have been times when we've all felt like giving up in despair, but we kept holding on.

We all have different ways of doing that, of finding strength for the moment. One of mine is to remember, and sing, the words of some of my favorite hymns and songs.

One of my favorite hymns is "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" in which one of the verses is written, "Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."

Another, and one I have sung often, to myself, over the years, is "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." This one has a special meaning to me, and has gotten me through many, many, difficult, and painful moments in my life...especially this verse:

"Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me."

I have been singing that song for as long as I can remember, but one day, it literally gave me the hope that was close to dying within me.

I was on my way from a doctor's office, where I had been given a very bad report, and while driving along, nearly unable to see because of the tears pouring out of my eyes, I looked up, and on a bumper sticker on the car just ahead of me, were the words, "His eye is on the sparrow."

I can't begin to tell you what that did to me, and for me. It was like a promise that I could hold onto...and I did. And God was faithful, just as he had promised.

I hope we can all hold on to the promises, even when it seems that hope is dying within us.