The truth---Momma was a snob!  Loved her--still do--she's my momma--but she was a  snob.  I am sure those that knew her will be shocked--she was always gracious--but that comes with good breeding----or so she would say.  She was RELENTLESS in her quest to make me a lady!  I don't think I have a snobbish bone in my body--and if I EVER did--life has knocked it out of me!

NOW---I DO NOT WANT ANY COMMENTS---but she sent me to charm school---and NO I did not flunk!  I learned how to walk, to talk, to sit, to eat--just how to be charming in general.  At the time---I was really only interested in putting on make up---NO SUCH LUCK---didn't ever take that 2nd year and learn the secret of make up---as I am sure you can tell.  The rest--though---I learned it all.

At home---I was schooled daily---for some strange reason---Momma considered her genes---well above the normal---in fact---she probably thought she was at the top of the gene pool.  NOT going to get into the reason for that---NOT the purpose of this post!  So she preached---pleaded--demanded---would stand for no less than total lady like behavior--after all---I came from good stock--or so she told me.

It worked---sometimes to my dismay---when you have hit me with your best shot--knocked me out of the saddle--pulled the blocks out from under me---I will just smile--maybe even agree---when inside---I might like to knock you into tomorrow.  It's NOT lady-like to hit.

The times in my life---when I was seriously mis-done--when I deserved to yell--scream--rant and rave---she did a good job--just can't do it.  I might be thinking--rehearsing---planning--what I have ever right to say---just can't get past that good breeding!  I have thought about the fact that I now live where NO ONE knows me--can show whatever side of me I would like---something tells me---this is who I am now--and I still will be unfailingly polite and gracious--even when I would like to do otherwise.  I have someone else now that holds me accountable for my actions and I REALLY do NOT want to disappoint Him!

Perhaps God used Momma's lessons---to keep me from acting un-Godly before I knew Him and I am thankful.  Momma's lessons served me well until the time when I was not concerned with acting like a lady because of good breeding--but instead desired to please Him because I was His child.  It's all about my lineage---genetically and spiritually--all about good breeding!


I have on the top right side of my blog page a link to a book that is a GREAT summer beach read--light--enjoyable---entertaining.  There is an entire series of the Irish Country Doctor books--and I have read them all.  MUCH more entertaining than television and full of all things Irish--since it is based in Ireland---quite entertaining!


I will admit that I was nervous about coming back to Ruston---not sure what this would look like---coming back to the town that has been my home for 47 years.  As I neared the city limits while driving in from my Austin trip, it felt like home---but then the reality---I am here, but I do not have a home here.

Saw loads of friends---hugs all around--lots of talking and laughing---and with most--we picked up where we left off.  If I just had a nest---it would have seemed as if I had just been on a trip to visit the grands.  Some things have changed--I told friends when I left---we will always love each other--but it is going to be different--since we don't have that day to day connection anymore.  It has been such a short time-only 5 weeks--that for the most part--I didn't feel that yet.

So I loved being in R--but the time came to go back to my new home--which does not really feel like home yet.  Part of the reason for that--I live in an apartment---not really "My Nest"---the other part---lack of connections and history--that can only be overcome with time.  So for the time being---I live in Limbo Land--between my old home and what will become my home---just for now--I am in the wilderness searching!


My time in Ruston has drawn to a close---Bittersweet!  I seemed to have stepped right back into the stream of life here and started again where I left off.  I am having to pinch myself and remind myself that I am going back to my new home in Texas.  Texas has officially become home---I now have my Texas license plates on my car--thanks to my talented mechanical friend, Glenda--ALTHOUGH they still have not given me a driver's license.  I plan to tackle that next week and again walk the maze of Texas size bureaucracy.

While here my running buddies gave me a WONDERFUL surprise---a book filled with pictures from the past 16 years together of running.  Also filled with scripture and memories and two special poems.  I held it together until I read the poems after the friends left.  Tears of joy for the huge blessing that God placed in my life all those years ago when He drew us together.  We have lived life together!

God knew what was coming in my own life---He knew what was coming in most of our lives.  We have stood together through divorce, death, cancer, loss of a child, heart issues, children and grands blessings and heartaches---all that life can throw at you.  We have cried together---hugged each other---talked and ran---talked and ran---talked and ran--together.  We've kept each others secrets--stood together--refused to discuss it with others---We have been family.  

I have moved--but they will always be family and I will always love them.  I rejoice and praise God that He placed them in my life all those years ago---knowing we would all need each other.  I am confident that each time I come "home" the others will welcome the sister back into the family and we will continue to love each other ---
who would have EVER dreamed all those years ago what He knew before time began--
We are Friends Forever!


One of the special blessings of coming to Ruston was meeting with my Bible Study group.  As we were discussing our book, I began thinking about the power I have allowed others to have over my life in the past.  I have a particular memory of a group of people that I stayed angry with for a LONG time---for their mistreatment of my loved one.  God finally showed me what that anger was doing to me---and how it affected my walk with Him.  I am sad to say that it took me many years to repent, lay that down, and move forward---but that is another thing that has shaped who I am now.  I rejoice to tell you that I did learn my lesson and to my knowledge do not harbor anger or ill feelings toward anyone today.

The life lesson behind this story---I allowed others to have power in my life by the mere fact that I harbored anger at them.  NOW--in all truthfulness--they probably were not even aware that I was angry---they moved on with their life after the incident AND if they did know--I am not sure they would have cared.   SO WHY would you allow someone who has wronged you to then also have power over you by carrying that anger or even hatred around?  They win if you do!  

I encourage you---today----put it down--pray for God to take it  (that's how I always remove those negative emotions)--give it up----DO NOT HOLD ON TO IT AND ALLOW THEM TO CONTINUE TO DRAG YOU DOWN!  I certainly understand anger--and know there is "Righteous Anger"---but I also know we need to let it go--and replace it with the positive----otherwise---the one that caused your anger--they have the power over your life---not you or God which means you have allowed them to WIN!   Psalms 37:8


Timeless philosopher, Forrest Gump, when asked about poop, said, "It happens."  AND yes---it does!  While in Austin, #2 twice brought up the subject of dogs and their owners allowing them to poop in your yard or on the trail.  This began the wheels turning---BEWARE---BLOG ABOUT POOP!

Poop does happen---AND occasionally we can step in a big pile of it and get it all over our shoes.  I even heard that it can get "slung" around---I suppose that would get all over everything---and I have even heard others say they are up to their eyeballs in poop.  Some have been known to be "Up Poop Creek without a paddle"  AND still another "The poop is getting deep in here".  ALL rather disgusting!

Here are my words of wisdom concerning this subject----IT WILL WASH OFF-don't like to get it on me or be around it---BUT a little water will go a long way in cleaning up the mess! When #2 was fussing about the dog poop on the trail---I looked down and saw a cigarette butt---that lead to telling him "The dog poop will disappear with rain, but this cigarette butt will be here a LONG TIME."

SO the next time you think that you are in a big pile of poop---just remember--water will wash it away---so things could be worse!  


While here in Ruston, I am fine-tuning preparations for the BIG hiking trip!  Meeting with the other hikers---going over supply lists, talking about the trails, discussing logistics---LAST trip here before we fly out in 3 weeks! 

Today---4 of the 5 of us---all the girls went to the park for a training hike.  We waited until later in the morning--to ENSURE it would be like a sauna---IT WAS!  THEN the leader of the pack-Sonja---WHO is in the MOST AWESOME shape of us all---decided we would go up the LARGEST hill in the park TO WARM UP!  I was OVER HEATED by the time I had drug my rear all the way up that MOUNTAIN!

SO up and down the hills---over the streams---as close as you can get in North Louisiana to trail hiking we went.  Horseflies nipping at me--sweat pouring down my entire body---with BB dragging me down ever step of the way.

I enjoyed the scenery of their 3 rears most of the hike---ONCE AGAIN--I am the TURTLE---that's OK---I have run, walked, hiked at the back enough to have a PHD in rear ends.  USED to the scenery back there.  They are kind and stop to let me catch up occasionally---but between the SUPREMELY FIT SONJA  and the 2 whipper snappers that are 1/2 my age---I SEEM TO BE THE WEAK LINK!


While in Austin, I hiked REAL hill trails, with #2.   OH MY GOSH---I CANNOT DO THIS HIKE!!!  I somehow managed to hike the 2 miles in these hilly--scree covered, rock laden-steep trails with BB on my back---but when we reached our turning around point---I only made it a few more feet before I handed BB over to Gabe.  The hiking without BB is doable---BUT I AM IN BIG TROUBLE when it comes to hiking with her.  HOW IN THE WORLD am I going to hike all those miles for 8 days in that extreme altitude and going over 4 or 5 passes---DO NOT HAVE A CLUE!!!

SO LOOKING to hire a Sherpa---pay is low--but will entertain you highly and you will see some of the best sights in the world  AND I promise to pack light!

NO---NO TAKERS---WELL I guess I just need to double my training efforts----Had my eyes opened BIG TIME  AND when I got home #1--who has hiked this trail when he was 27--told me "You have NO IDEA how tough this is going to be!"  SO GLAD for the encouraging word!


I've spent the past week---thinking and praying----pondering what I should do about my writing.  I mentioned on Facebook---that I thought I had a book in me and a few of you encouraged me and asked for a copy.  I've always thought if I wrote a book--it would be fiction--perhaps loosely based upon fact--but fiction.  As I have prayed this week about what do do about my future writing---God impressed upon me to write a book---but He says Non-Fiction.  Color me blown away!

In the past, I have shared that when I grow up, I would like to be a "Life Coach".  I was encouraged in that dream, recently when the Women's Minister asked would I be a mentor to younger women.  I have spent some time with the young women--trying to impart some wisdom in the past and always loved the relationships.  BUT now God is pointing me in the direction of writing about surviving grief.  I prefer writing humorously and there can be humor in the survival of loss---but LOTS of serious talk too.  So I am pondering this over---got some ideas bubbling to the top.  NOW--many of you will say--I am not grieving--well if you aren't now---IT IS COMING--HOLD ON TO YOUR SEAT BELT!

NOW--how can you help?  I need feedback--I need to know who is reading this monologue---for after all---to me it is a monologue.  WOULD YOU CONSIDER--if you are not already registered on my blog as a Follower--would you consider doing so?  You DO NOT have to post your picture--it will be blank if you don't---but this will give me a feel for who is reading and maybe a glimpse into why--by knowing who.  I LOVE to have comments---like to know what you are thinking and sometimes it provokes thoughts that lead to another blog---but I know most are not willing to comment.  SO if you would consider being a follower---it might lead to the next step in getting that book out of me.  It will be LOTS of hard work--but I am not afraid of hard work and perhaps this is my way to be a "Life Coach".  SO THINK about it--at least---


Since I've been in Fort Worth, one of the huge changes in my life is that I now--walk or run or hike alone.  For YEARS I have had a partner or partners to traverse the roads and trails with, and so we talked or I listened--but there was almost always a conversation--Now it is just me and my thoughts and prayers.

Today while hiking---He told me "Look for the Joy".  I have spent the day thinking this over---and it kept bubbling to the surface of my thoughts over and over.  There was a time when I thought--there is NO JOY.  I was wrong.  There certainly has been a boat load of pain---discouragement--loneliness-despair---BUT there has always been joy---all around me---I just needed to look up to see it.

The joy of family--friends---work---service---home---nature---it just goes on and on---There is FAR more to be joyful about than that which is Not Joyful.  The challenge is looking for what brings us joy when in the pit of despair.  There, especially is joy in Jesus---and God's endless love for us.  

I know the secret---I have the key--now to stay focused on the joy---and turn from the despair---eyes always looking forward!    Romans 15:13


Well I've managed to stay put at my new home for 5 weeks now---TIME TO HIT THE ROAD!

I am so used to being on the road at least once a month--that I am beginning to get restless---NOT---------Yesterday was my oldest grands 13th birthday---drove to Austin to CELEBRATE-----A TEENAGER!!! HOW DID THAT HAPPEN SO QUICKLY?

After a few days in Austin---I am driving to Ruston for IMPORTANT reasons---LIKE SEEING ALL MY BUDDIES  AND Getting My Hair Did---and   UGH---DENTIST APPT.  It will be a fast trip---have to be back to babysit next weekend----Baby Collin will be in my care while big brothers are in the other grandparents care---so Mommie and Dr. Daddy can go to doctor deal overnight---starting the interview process---YEAH FOR GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT!!!



When dealing with those that are afflicted with OCD---you should NEVER NEVER NEVER invite them to participate in some activity that could become a challenge---lead to day to day participation--perhaps be construed as competitive--even if competing only with self.  THEY CANNOT STEP AWAY!!

Soon after moving here---Camille invited me to go to the YMCA and join her at the "Power Pump" class.  This class consists of 60 minutes of lifting weights to music in a group setting.  You select the amount of weight you use for each body part--but basically after a warm up song using all the body parts--then you do a song for each body part---one for squats, one for lunges, one for chest, one for shoulders, one for back, one for biceps, one for triceps, one for abs---The room is filled with men and women using all different amounts of weight for each song.  After the basic few sessions of "learning the ropes"--you are comfortable enough to start looking around and comparing yourself--this leads to the "Fall From The Wagon".  They only have the class 3 times a week--Camille sanely goes twice---I obsessively go 3 times.  It's addictive---KNOW I am getting stronger---I am adding weight to my workouts----BUT once again I am in full blown OCD mode.  Before you know it ---I will look like this:


My My My---the GREAT state of Texas---has been a slight disappointment today---well for  that much--so has our GREAT nation!  Spent the ENTIRE day--after my hike with BB--trying to get my driver's license---HUMM---TURNED INTO A COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME--AND I AM PULLING OUT WHAT LITTLE HAIR I HAVE!!!

It turns out that Texas would LOVE to put a Texas license plate on your vehicle---that's another subject--I don't have a place to put my license plate on the front of my car--so would anyone out there be willing to ride on my hood and hold it for me?  NO---well there is ALWAYS duct tape!  ANYWAY--prove you have some insurance---and have a VIN # and give them $190 and they will GLADLY give you not one but TWO plates for said vehicle.  The most difficult part of that transition was finding a parking place downtown.

It turns out that they DON'T want just any Tom, Dick & Harry to have a driver's license!  My first trip to the DMV with new car registration, Louisiana license in hand, and proof of insurance was slightly frustrating---but I was determined to persevere.  All I needed was my a utility bill to prove I live in Texas (HEY I HAVE A VEHICLE WITH A TEXAS LICENSE PLATE), my passport to prove that I was born since my birth certificate is in Louisiana (looked in the mirror---it's me--pretty sure I wasn't dropped here by some Alien ship---MUST have been born-), and my social security card which I have not seen in about 40 years (anyway the one I lost was in my maiden name).  The social security administration SO FAR has been glad to take all those taxes I have paid in and to DATE have not provided one benefit---BUT they need that card.

They send me to the Social Security Administration Office--3 hours later---after a study in the limit of patience based upon gender, race, and nationality (paper coming)--I walk away with a letter stating they will send me a card--in 2-3 weeks.

I go BACK to the DMV----WITH MY LOUISIANA DRIVER'S LICENSE IN MY HAND---I AM GOOD ENOUGH TO DRIVE AS A LICENSED DRIVER IN LOUISIANA---AND EVEN HAVE A PHOTO ON MY LICENSE THAT LOOKS A GREAT DEAL LIKE ME----BUT OH NO---NOT GOOD ENOUGH.  NOW they want me to bring in a W-2 or 1099 from 2012 showing I did indeed have a social security # and income that was reported (good thing I am working) AND a passport that has not expired (it's in Louisiana too)----(the fact that I have a passport---even expired--with MY PICTURE in it---seems to NOT prove that I was born.

SO I AM AT HOME---UNDER THE BED---CRYING---Momma must have been wrong---she didn't really birth me---they will not give me a Texas Driver's License SO there's the proof---I just appeared!  If you wonder why we have so many illegals here---I think I have discovered why--it's MUCH easier to just fly under the radar-than do what it right!


It has been quite a while, since I have regularly felt the joy of having a man excited to see me---wanting to talk to me---grabbing me when I walk in the door---but I am having a steady diet of that joy now.  

Every time I go to The Jennings--the 2 Big Boys---greet me with squeals of delight and shouts of "Lulu"!  Now in all honesty---that often is followed by, "What did you bring me?"---but before you TSK---I don't always take them something--and many times it is something as small as a milkshake today.  You would think I brought them the moon.

Most of my babysitting has been with baby-Collin---but when "The Parents" went out to a dinner for the new residents---I kept the 2 big boys.  SUCH FUN!  We got all the laundry baskets and made a train---we played with cars & trucks---we colored and used the new dry erase board---they played in the bath for an hour--ALL they want is my attention--that is SO easy!

At bedtime--we began the age old struggle of trying to get them to stay put and HUSH!  I am sure I have told you before that Camille has a wooden spoon in every room of her house--but NONE of them are for cooking.  After going into their room for about the tenth time, I told them I was going to "Get the spoon and discipline them!" if they didn't quieten down and go to sleep.

Five minutes later I am back in their room.  Elliot looks at me and said, "Did you bring the poon, YuYu?"  HOW can you keep a straight face and be a parent is beyond me!  At 2, Elliot has some letters he cannot pronounce yet---"I'm donna dit u!" Yuyu---the list goes on--he's SUCH a little Cutey!  I will so miss this sweet little voice when he gets bigger--BUT I have another one following behind him---so NO NEED TO worry--we have a ways to go.

NO--there is just nothing like cuddling, hugging and kissing with a sweet man---even if he is a "Little Man"!


After church yesterday, I went to Weatherford to spend the day with the entire Jennings crew and their friends, The Keithley's.  A house full of children, parents, and grandparents--WONDERFUL!

While there--Henry and Elliot kept yelling, "Lulu, look at me!!" while jumping in the swimming pool.  We all like for someone to notice us and especially when we are doing something cute, smart, sweet,--you get the picture when we are proud of our actions----HEY WORLD---LOOK AT ME---I'm reading to a struggling child---What ever the circumstances---we like for eyes to be upon us when we are doing "Good".  Our desire is for words of love and admiration from someone we respect, admire--love.  We want to be told---GOOD JOB!  That is not unlike how we are with God---when we are living in the manner that He has instructed--we desire for Him to know that and be proud of us.

Contrast this to the times the boys are "Up To Something".  Anytime they are in another room with no adult and it gets quiet----someone is up to NO GOOD!  It's like they instinctively KNOW they are not doing right and want NO attention called to it.  They are sneaking around---doing what they have been told not to---but doing it anyway.  TROUBLE----Are we not like that also---we don't call any attention to ourselves when we are out of God's desired plan for us---we sneak around--try to be secret--because we KNOW we are wrong.

Lessons from the toddlers---We don't really change much as adults from those days as toddlers---Doing the right thing---HEY LOOK AT ME---Don't you LOVE me!  Doing what we know is wrong---sneaking around---don't look at me--I'm wrong--and I know it--but it's what I WANT TO DO!  Some lessons we have to learn over and over---there is a reason He tells us DON'T!  We just seem to be SLOW learners!


As I was hiking this morning, I thought of my Daddy and Father's Day---I lost him FAR too early.  Girls need their daddies----their daddy is their first important relationship with a man----If he does the job as he should--she will not look for another man--until the time is right---I take every opportunity that God places before me to tell Daddies of daughters---just that---You can be the man in her life or she will find another---but she is created with a void that can only be filled with a relationship with a man...

SO all you Dads---it is a precious gift that you have been given---being a dad---you will never do anything any more important---and that will leave a lasting legacy----be the Dad that God teaches us to be---Love and Live Selflessly and the rewards are eternal--and God will richly bless you with the love of your children in return.

I would love to have one more conversation with Daddy---just one.


Where OH Where is Prince Charming?  All of us girls KNOW what we need Prince Charming for----such things as trips to the DREADED DMV----today was the day---I finally bit the dust and took the next step to becoming a "Real Texan!"  I now am the official owner of TEXAS license plates---TWO OF THEM!  YOU DO KNOW---they have one on the front and one on the back in Texas--don't you?  That's in case you speed while in reverse!

ANYWAY---it's REALLY quite different here in the BIG STATE---than in Louisiana---there is NO DMV----GASP!!  Instead first you go get your car inspected--the the tune of $40+---AND they REALLY inspect your car.  Mohammad---whose establishment I was fortunate to select---gave it a thorough inspection---I began to wonder if he was checking for IED's--SORRY--just couldn't resist.  Mohammad was not very friendly--in fact perhaps aloof---infidel woman that I am in the beginning--but after 45 minutes of inspection---he said,
"Welcome to Texas!".  Surprisingly I do believe that is the FIRST official welcome I have had.

NOW it's time to go to the County Tax Collector--who collects the fees and issues the plates.  This office is downtown---AND--I mean in the dead center of the town!  I made my first trip--"Downtown" and could not locate the street the Tax Collector is on---NOW perhaps YOU think I was lost---but NO--I KNEW where I was---it was the Tax Collector that was lost---or it's location was unknown.  

I came home---looked up simpler directions-SO I THOUGHT---and I DID FIND IT---BUT parking is a REAL problem "Downtown"---so I once again misplaced the office while wandering around "Downtown" trying to find parking.   LONG STORY---short---I finally got parked--got in the door--or so I thought--ONLY after going through the body scanner and searching device to be told-"OH that building is across the street".  FINALLY get where I am going---AND GUESS WHAT!  THEY HAVE PLENTY OF PEOPLE TO HELP YOU AND IT ONLY TOOK 20 minutes including the 5 minute wait.  Louisiana could come over here and take lessons!


NOW--the next step is the DREADED DRIVER'S LICENSE BUREAU!!!


I have a sweet new friend here that messaged me the other day and told me that God speaks to her when she is showering---NOW perhaps you think this is peculiar---I don't---I distinctly remember one day in my shower---looking up to the heavens and saying---none of this is a surprise to you, God---you know me better than I know myself--and only see beauty when you look at me through your eyes of love.  SORRY---got off track there---but ANYWAY---she told me that God told her to tell me that "He has me here for a purpose."  It is reassuring for Him to speak through another---confirming what I think I know---but at times doubt.

I messaged her back to thank her and just laughed and told her---just be glad he doesn't speak to you at 2 AM--which is the time he prefers to talk to me.  I often laugh and say I am too busy running in circles during my waking hours for him to get my attention--so he has to wake me up from a dead sleep to speak to me.  I love those quiet still times when we are communicating with each other---there's just nothing else like it--totally alone---all is silent--except He is there with me and loves to talk to me.

I have heard others say---He has never spoken to me--what does He sound like--how do you know it's Him?  I can only speak for myself---but when the thought pops in my head--and is NOT something I have been thinking about--or not a thought that I would EVER have--it is HIM!  Keep talking to Him---He will talk to you too---JUST LISTEN!


I am greatly encouraged today---God is moving to answer the prayers of many including my sweet friend, Mona's entire church body.  I am moving closer to finding a church home.  I am thankful!

I emailed the women's ministry pastor at the church I have attended the past 3 Sunday's and asked would she meet with me and talk.  We had lunch together today and I knew from the first time I heard her pray that I would love her and I do.  A genuine woman--who puts on NO pretenses and plays no games and knows how difficult life can be---but totally puts her faith in the ONLY ONE that truly knows us---we hit if off instantly.

I decided when I moved--that I would share only the bare necessities of why I am here and NOT any details.  Trying to move on---means just that--moving on without rehashing any of the story--leaving it behind.  It has made me part of whom I am---but it is not any different from other life events---it is just part of my story.  So I explained that to her from the very beginning and she honored my request and we only talked in generalities about that part of my life. 

We talked about what I thought my gifts were and where I might be able to use them in this church.  She gave me some suggestions---promised to contact me about some of the possibilities, and give me ideas about how to get plugged in.  I shared that I was praying for patience and that God would use this time of idleness to draw me closer--as I slowly feel my way around in new territory.

The pastor at this church is a very gifted communicator and a truth teller---that was my first criteria for a church--hearing the truth.  I like the women's minister tremendously---NOW to begin to see if I can "Plug In" into a huge church in a large city--but for now I am encouraged and thankful for all of you that have prayed!


One thing that has not hit Smalltown, USA is the "Membership" at the grocery stores.  So far I have collected 2 different membership keys to the local groceries.  AND you might ask--just what does that entitle you to?  WELL---  for instance--today's purchase of 1 gallon of tea---was $1---and the pint of Bluebell Ice Cream was $1.25----THIS PRICE IS ONLY GOOD FOR CARD CARRIERS!

AND as a side benefit---discounts on gasoline purchases---.10 gallon  AND up to $1 per gallon---IF I can stay out of all the other grocery stores and just buy from Kroger---NOT going to happen---LIKE Trader Joes! 

SO I guess the reason you don't get all these FABULOUS deals in Ruston---NO competition--or let's just say VERY little!  SO SORRY--you don't get to put your little membership ID on your key chain!

WHERE AM I ?????

While taking my early morning walk through the TCU campus---I came across a couple of camp signs that started me thinking----Would I EVER see this at home?---THINK NOT

Am I in Oz?  Where the heck am I?  I have spotted NO SIGNS for basketball/football/baseball camp----I KNOW they have those too---SURELY!

Do we EVEN play Lacrosse in Louisiana?  I think I might have had one of those butterfly nets one time---used it to catch butterflies.   AND I KNOW a Junior and he is an investor--not sure he goes to camp though!


Most good/wonderful things come from HARD WORK!  Starting over is HARD WORK!  It reminds me of walking into a brand new house--with nothing unpacked--no yard planted--no window treatments--nothing in place---YOU ARE OVER-WHELMED---and the toughest thing is trying to decide where to even start.

That is what moving has been like---trying to decide just where to start!  I just naturally gravitated to starting with finding a church.  I've been back to the same church 3 weeks in a row.  I have set up a meeting with their women's minister next week.  Asking God to reveal where I should be--where He wants to use me.

For now--the idleness is disconcertingly---I like to be busy!  I could stay at the Jennings ALL the time--but that is not good for them -or me.  SO I am trying---trying to strike up conversations---looking for friends--It's just not easy!  I need to keep in mind--it is not going to look the same---that is not necessarily bad--just different.  

Trying to accept the difference for what it is--keep putting one foot in front of the other and do the next right thing.


I added 5 more pounds to BB's load for this morning's trek--I am up to 30 pounds now.

Five more pounds doesn't sound like much more---until you have walked a few miles--it begins to wear on you.  By the end of the trek---I am grabbing straps and trying to get the pressure off my shoulders---leaning forward---squirming in the pack---just trying to move forward with a HUGE load on my back. I thought I could easily handle it at first--but then step after step began to take its toll.

Reminds me of life----we add to the load we are carrying one burden at a time---we don't notice those small burdens--especially at first--but as we add to the stress we have placed on ourselves--and continue to try to move forward---we begin to slowly bend under the weight---and before you know it---you are wondering if you are going to break before the burden is lifted from you.  

Jesus tells us in Matt 11:30----"His Yoke is easy and his burden is light."  He provides the answer when we are straining to carry life's burdens.  The yoke he places on us--provides the perfect solution ---and with that yoke on---the weight is lifted---because He is then helping us carry our load.

BB is teaching me lessons---lessons from Jesus--He shares my load.


Today I had lunch here-

with that very view out the window that I sat by---Colonial Country Club of Fort Worth.
Those that know me well are wondering---HOW did SHE get invited there!----WELL---it was by connection---one step away.

I grew up in Farmerville--moved to Ruston 47 years ago---my friend Frances grew up there as well AND moved to Ruston---Frances has a friend that grew up in Ruston-Vici---who is life long friends with Carol--that has lived her entire adult life in Fort Worth--THUS my invitation to lunch at Colonial.  Blessed with friends that care about me!

The wonderful thing about small towns---there was NEVER a lull in the conversation---I have been here long enough and her connections have stayed in Ruston--that she still calls home--that we share LOADS of friends.  We talked business---mine and hers---entertaining her with my house sale story--we talked Fort Worth and LOTS of Ruston. 

Carol with be a valuable Fort Worth friend--for she has a wealth of knowledge about the area---AND when I need a shot of Ruston---she's just a phone call away--in fact lives within walking distance---IF you don't mind a couple of miles!

So another new Fort Worth friend and a LOVELY Friday lunch---what a pleasant way to end my week!


Sweet baby daughter, Camille, posted this yesterday:

Your Honor---IN MY DEFENSE---I'm a Southern Momma---AND we Southern Mommas have a legacy of guilt---just waiting to be shared and passed on to the NEXT generation!  What Camille does NOT know is that I was MUCH MORE subtle about dishing out the guilt than my Momma EVER was.  My words---"Have you had time to do any of your thank you notes yet?"  My Momma's words, "GET IN YOUR ROOM and DO THOSE THANK YOU NOTES RIGHT NOW, YOUNG LADY!  EVERYONE is going to be saying that I taught you NO manners!"  

I also must say having been "IN THE MIDST" of the state of confusion that 3 boys 4 and under now create  moment by moment---I DO NOT ever even mention such mundane topics as "Thank You Notes" anymore.  I tend to focus on more pressing topics such as :

Did You Know----   He is hitting his brother
                           He has your egg beaters in the bathtub
                           He is dragging the baby around the house on your tablecloth
                           He has the hedge clippers trimming his brother's hair

One thing for sure---there is SO MUCH ACTION--that I don't know how she can think one coherent stream of thought--MUCH LESS---write a coherent Thank You Note!  AND AFTER ALL--what would be worse---NO Thank You Note---or a Thank You Note that tends to make one wonder if the writer was drunk or over the edge of crazy?

My Momma was the QUEEN of sharing the guilt! 

Always speak and walk softly---like a lady!
Do NOT wear white until after Easter and NEVER after Labor Day!
Always return the invitation.
Children are seen and not heard.
Don't leave the house without your makeup on and hair combed (FEELING REALLY GUILTY!)
Write your thank you notes immediately.

The list goes on and on and on----I KNEW what was coming as soon as I committed the "Cardinal Sin" of breaking some Southern Taboo!    THE DREADED SOUTHERN MANNERS LECTURE---ALWAYS ENDED WITH 'WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY!"

SO Camille--you have my permission to break ANY of the rules I guilted you with all those formative years that you desire or need----JUST DO NOT BLAME ME WHEN THE COALS OF GUILT START SMOLDERING ON YOUR HEAD AS YOU HEAP THEM ON!  We Southern belles just can't help it---it's the genetic trait of 'SHARING THE GUILT!"


Somehow---I've managed to get through 64 years and NEVER---BEFORE TODAY---being TOTALLY over-whelmed in a grocery story---BUT today I met my over-whelmer----

Meet the NEIMAN MARCUS of groceries!  It has EVERYTHING---you can dream up----well as long as your NOT looking for the practical groceries in life---NO Lucky Charms---Kool Whip--White Bread----NOPE---BUT every thing in the produce, seafood, meat, gourmet coffees---bins upon bins of nuts, dried fruits, etc., cheese---$300+ mushrooms--foreign and domestic----prepared or raw---entire meals ready to go--I could just go ON AND ON.
If you happened to be there today---I was the one with their mouth hanging open trying to decide what in the world to buy---I left with half a shopping bag--for $50+--and the feeling of a lone bird in a 20 acre berry patch---

I had already discovered this--

which is more of a "Boutique Grocery" feel to it.  LOTS of fresh--organic--prepared and not- groceries--AND a little over-whelming---but not over the top.  The size reminded me of the grocery stores when I was growing up---more of a neighborhood feel to it.  

NOW---for the regular ---everyday grocery needs---I have found the Tom Thumb --10 minutes away and a Kroger that is within walking distance.  LOTS of choices--the one downside---groceries are more expensive in the "Big City"----I would have thought the opposite---but what do I know!

SO NEXT trip---I plan to go with something in mind---and not a blank slate for a brain---that will be a refreshing change!


God has given me friends to laugh and cry---just live life with----today I am laughing---and hope you will see the humor and share a laugh with me-"Job 8:21"

There are 5 of us going on our hiking trip---I am training hard---but the dilemma may come with all the "Stuff" you have to carry along.  The first night we tried to put up the tent in Sonja's living room---the 2 "Spring Chickens" that are going with us ended up having to put it up for us.  Sonja and I did manage to get our rears in and out of the tent---with MUCH laughter---but putting that sucker up is quite a challenge--  After Spring Chicken #1 had to help get it back down and back in its sac---she looked at me and without cracking a smile said---"I am NOT going to put your tent up for you every night!"  Cracked me up---still giggle when I think of how serious she was when she stated that!

Now---Sonja and I have ordered our sleeping pads (for all you other novices like me--it's what goes UNDER the sleeping bag)---they are NOT self-inflatable.  OH DEAR!!!  I will be doing good to get up that mountain---and THEN I have to put up a tent AND blow up my sleeping pad!  I see trouble coming---SO I text Spring Chicken #1 and say:

"After you put my tent up every night on our trip, could you blow up my sleeping pad?"


"I can for sure---Plenty of hot air here!  Right after you carry my rear up the mountain!"

We will laugh ALL the way up those mountains---it's going to be a GREAT TRIP!

THEN for my second laugh for the day---my sweet friend Barbara sends me this advertisement:

I told her that if I put that on every night---once my claustrophobia kicked in--I would be running down the street screaming-probably without benefit of my shorts in a fit of craziness----adding to my reputation!

Thanking God for laughter!


Life around here REALLY gets interesting from midnight on----if you know me at all---you know I turn into a pumpkin LONG before that hour.  This past Saturday night---Whipper Snapper (Remember Him?--if not go here)---has his oldest son for the weekend--he's 8--had a brief meeting with him in the back yard.  SO I go to bed around 10---WS & WS II are just getting going---I hear them using some kind of high pitched machine until around 11:30.  That's OK--I can live with that.  THEN---at 3:30 AM----one of my neighbors--decides after an evening of imbibing---to have a screaming ---cursing fit---NO I'm SORRY---it was a CUSSING FIT---in front of my apartment---with 3-4 of his friends trying to talk him down.  NOW this reprobate did the SAME thing back in the Spring--except that time--he was fighting with one of his friends and they took it all the way down the block---before hushing.  NOW---I am CERTAIN---Reprobate is the SAME person--will NEVER forget his voice--NOR his very favorite word.  I started to go out and tell them to pipe down---but decided that might be suicidal--so after an hour--they disbanded or someone knocked him over the head--but they hushed!

Last night---I am thinking----OK--it's Sunday night---SURELY Reprobate is VERY hung over---and things will be quiet and I can sleep.  At 1:00 AM this bird starts singing SO loudly in the tree next to my bedroom window that I thought the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was rehearsing.  As I listen---I think that HAS to be a mockingbird---You do remember my encounter last summer with the mockingbird--No?--Look here--but it is the middle of the night.  He sings for 2 hours---LOUDLY.  When I drug myself out of the bed this morning--I looked it up and sure enough---the Northern Mockingbird will sing in the middle of the night---establishing his territory.  HEY--BUDDY---you can have the tree---just please STOP singing in the early morning hours!  SHOULD HAVE GUESSED---A YANKEE BIRD!!!

THEN to cap the night off---Whipper Snapper drags in and slams the door at 3:38 AM---NOT that I am watching the clock!  The Fort Worth Night Life--may do me in---but HEY I am NOT chasing armadillo's barefoot in the middle of the night anymore!


I made a return trip to the same church I attended last Sunday---since I still had not heard the "Lead Pastor".  When looking for a new church home--God impressed upon me 3 things--

1.  Hear the truth spoken
2.  A church where my gifts can be used in service to Him
3.  Fellowship among the Believers

Today I heard "The Truth"---spoken by a very young (30's) lead pastor--who was SO on target ---and a humble man of God.  I was very impressed and would love a steady diet of hearing from this gifted communicator.

Taken from Ephesians 5--with emphasis on verse 32--the message was about our families-this applies to all of us-no matter the status of our family!  The entire point of family---per God's perfect plan---is to point others to Jesus.  So even when our families are not whole--and part of the windows are blackened by a fallen world---others still need to see Jesus when they peep into the window that you are standing in front of.

My prayer--that others have seen Jesus--when they looked in my window and know that even in a broken family---I am still looking to Him---serving Him---and love him above all others.  Powerful reminder that others are watching us---and see the face of Jesus when they look at us.


Dear--dear---Dating Service,

I certainly appreciate your constant attention---and sincere concern over my single status.  Obviously-you have my interest at heart---after all why else would you point out to the ENTIRE WORLD that I am in need of your services by placing multiple ads---everyday of the week on my facebook page AND sending me numerous emails offering your services.  

You CERTAINLY have NOT intended to point out the obvious--and your only desire is for my everlasting happiness with Prince Charming.  Pardon my skeptical attitude--but I've been looking around---have NOT spotted any Prince Charmings--in fact I believe they are all taken.   

 NOW surely you are NOT trying to solicit funds from me by playing on my emotional neediness?   I admit---I occasionally have my eyes on my navel--BUT surely I am NOT giving off desperate vibes?  Yes--I miss companionship---dinners with conversation instead of the Hallmark channel--and conversation with someone over 4---but I am learning to love---Popsicles, loading dump trucks, and dinner at Chic-fil a.  There's a LOT to be said for NO worry over what to wear and there is NEVER a lull in the conversation as long as we are talking about trucks--swimming or riding bikes.

So thank you for you constant un-ending attention to my relationship status---but I really do not need or want your services.  If you would kindly remove your ads from my facebook page and discontinue pointing out my obvious aloneness---I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely yours---