My Dad became a pretty good cook.  His Chocolate Chip Pound Cake was superb.  He could also make the best pancakes around and his cream puffs were everyone’s favorite.  I made cream puffs a few years ago, using Sam Austin’s recipe, but recently, I tried to find it and had to get a recipe off the internet.  It was easy, but I failed to do one important thing. After mixing all the dough into a nice ball, I didn’t wait ten minutes before adding the eggs. Disaster! I tried it again yesterday and it was a flop also. My lady pointed out that I melted the butter in the cup of water in the microwave, not bringing it to a boil on the stove. I am determined to make cream puffs and will report same, but now, now you get one of my favorite desserts!  If you’ve never had Peach Enchiladas, you are in for a delight, donchaknow.  Here’s the nittie:

2 (8-oz.) cans refrigerated crescent rolls

2 pounds fresh, firm, ripe peaches, peeled and quartered (4 large preferred) 

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 (12-oz.) can citrus-flavored soft drink 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Unroll crescent rolls; separate into triangles. Place 1 peach quarter on wide end of each triangle; roll up triangles around peaches, starting at wide end. Place, point sides down, in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch pan.
  2. Stir together sugar, butter, and cinnamon, and drizzle over rolls; pour soft drink over rolls.
  3. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Note: For citrus-flavored soft drink, Mountain Dew is suggested, but out here we use SunDrop or Sprite (less caffeine)

Delicious served with Blue Bell Old Fashioned Vanilla Ice Cream.

You try this and you will be my very close friend for life, I guarantee it!   After all, we all need some sunshine in our lives.

Bucket List

Four years ago I bought a 150cc scooter on the internet. I checked customer reviews and the company seemed legit.  I had ridden a 50cc for about a year when we lived in Vegas and I always felt I should apologize. It served me well, but was a bit small for me.  When my “Blue Eagle” arrived, I was very pleased with its size and power.  The bike came in a very large wooden crate with one-inch strapping.  The poor driver and I struggled to get it into my garage.  As I began to take the crate apart, it became evident that I had (perhaps) bitten off more than I could chew, but I finally removed the crate and after a drink of water and a bit of rest, I found the information packet and battery in a cardboard box strapped to the footrest. My “Blue Eagle” was manufactured in China. “Some Assembly Required” was a challenge. The Chinese have not totally conquered English translation, so there were some “do-overs” in attaching handlebars and electrical connections. My color-blindness made the connection of wiring a thrilling challenge, but first I had to get the very heavy bike out of the metal braces within the crate. That was accomplished by rocking back-and-forth as I pushed as hard as I could. When I finally got it out, I discovered that it was too heavy for me to put the permanent stand in place, so I utilized the ‘kick-stand’. Now came the installation of the side mirrors that contained turn-signals. Naturally the wires were color-coded, but the colors meant nothing to me. After installing the battery my headlight and tail light flashed and my turn-signals stayed on. When I selected left turn the right mirror flashed and so on.  This required a complete start over, but this time I was smart enough to not totally connect the mirrors until everything worked properly. You will not believe the joy that filled my heart when all of it finally worked!  There was ‘break-in oil’ in the crankcase, so all I had to do was fill the tank with gasoline, turn the key to on and push the start button. Hooray! I was in business! I put on my helmet and slowly drove down my driveway and took a turn or two around my cul de sac before taking off for my first ride.  I had read North Carolina’s manual on safe driving a bike and it said that the majority of ‘tumps’ would occur within three miles from home, the first time I would drive.  Mine came less than a mile away when a driver in a Honda and I arrived at the same corner. I thought she saw me when she stopped, but as I turned in she started into the intersection and I had no place to go but up a curb.  I “tumped”, scraping my right knee and putting a scratch on the front fender. I also broke the face plate on my helmet.  She didn’t even know about my problem.  I righted my still-running bike and ‘carefully’ rode back home to ‘treat’ my wounds.  I was very lucky that more harm wasn’t the result, but I was very conscious of the other guy after that and never had another problem.  I had wanted a ‘trike’ instead of a regular scooter, but they were out of our price-range.  The day that I noted a strange loss of a sense of balance, Craig’s List sold it right away.  I miss my bike.  I tried riding an ordinary bicycle, but it just didn’t work out. Now, I see Electric Trikes for sale by some warehouse in Chicago. They have a 1000W model that would do nicely, but my CFO/CEO vetoes the whole thing.  I know my limitations and I know all the concerns my loved ones have for me, but a trike with power-assist would be a HOOT.  It’s fun just thinking about it as I write this Blog.  I’ll just keep it on my bucket list with the trip to Australia, a lighter-than-air powered glider, a drone, loss of the 30-pound turkey around my waste, daily ‘Honey-Dos’, safe and healthy family and friends, a daily walk with the LORD, thirty-five more years with my beautiful CEO/CFO and a successful Quilting business.  When I consider just what I have already I am blessed!  I really don’t need what I want, but it would be a HOOT, donchaknow.  I am coming up the my 200th Blog and I am blessed to have your company as we “Wade in the Water”!  In HIS service.   AMEN

Ramblings and Confession, of sorts

There comes a time when a person must simply call on Faith.  GOD’s Faithfulness is not withheld from those who stand on HIS Promise. The wealthy experience financial collapse: the gifted athlete suffers the heartbreak of failure; parents walk the dark valley when daughters reach the age of 16 and sons change in attitude with voice-change. Friends and co-workers will disappoint and the news will be filled with nothing good. For the Christian; for the true believer; for those who have been made Righteous through the cleansing ‘blood of the LAMB’, there is a brightness that permeates the dark clouds of hopelessness.  I visited my doctor yesterday with concerns.  I seem to be experiencing minor memory loss and forgetfulness. I momentarily lose my balance. I write sentences that make very little sense. My doctor is very patient with ‘his patient’, so he goes through the panacea(tic) routine of weighing, taking blood pressure, looking into my ears and throat, listening to my breathing and my heart. He examines my abdomen and I DO have an abdomen, then checks the blood flow to my brain and toes. In order to completely make it evident that I need further assurance, he gives me a ‘memory test’ and takes blood. I pay my co-pay, get a receipt and are told there will be a report placed in my online diagnosis by Monday or Tuesday. What I have just done is taken up valuable time that could have been better spent by his examining someone who really needed it. Alzheimer’s runs in my family, but only on my Father’s side.  I am very observant of whatever indications there might be of dementia, so instead of reading GOD’s word and standing, in faith, on HIS Promise to ‘take care of me, regardless’, I worry. Had I had a conversation with any of you, I would realize the ‘concerns’ are not reserved for me. I would be correct in that you also have these moments. I forget that I’m nearly eight-five and “Hit Don’t Make No ‘Differnce’”.  I told my lady that I am in excellent health, down to my shoulders.  My doctor tells me that considering the mileage and longevity, I’m in good health otherwise. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.” Not my words, but HIS. That’s FAITH to stand on, enjoy life and love each other, donchaknow.  AMEN

That’s a Great Idea!

News Media has become “Yellow Journalism”.  We do not need  “The Grit” or “Revealing Periodicals” now.  We have Internet.  We have Twitter, and Tweedle-de-Dee”. Unfortunate, hopeless and mentally ill people, crying for help, witness hour-after-hour detailed coverage of murder and mayhem.  They’re already primed for tragedy and looking for a way to shout-out their misery, so they become ‘copy cats’.  This may be only one man’s opinion, but it is mine and as I watch newscasts, I see a bit too much attention given to tragic acts of violence. What would the result be if these horrible occurrences were left up to local authorities and news gatherers?  Of course, killing sprees that are obvious crossings-of state-lines should be noted, but the gory details just may be best shared in each locality.  It will not be a surprise to see more ‘disgruntled’ copy cats determine to do as the man in Virginia. I spent some time doing on-site broadcasts of both sales events and news. It never entered my mind to be concerned with anything other than someone stepping on my remote power cord.  Stand-up reporters will be a bit more cautious now. Acts of violence are bound to continue and receive hours of news coverage, resulting in an inspiration to do the same and get all that attention. Public need for sensationalism will feed the flame. Alerting the citizenry locally could lessen the attraction.  I would like to see less national coverage of these tragic events. It might prove to be a decrease in occurrence. At least it would lessen the chance that some unfortunate would think, “That’s a Great Idea”, but that’s just what I get from the box of chocolates, donchaknow.

Plumb Tuckered Out

Perhaps employment ‘would’ solve the assault and riot problem. Back a while ago, I recall putting so much effort and thought into my job, I was completely exhausted at the end of the day. Of course, I was working day and night. For many years on week-days, I taught during the day and worked either radio or television at night. Then on week-ends I worked radio and led music in a church.  I didn’t have the energy to get into mischief.  For the major part of my life, I was “Plumb Tuckered Out”. Now, it’s good enough to be able to walk, talk and breathe.  With so much free time, idle minds and hearts without hope, it is no wonder there is unrest and anger.  On top of that, there is a growing attitude that the Federal Government will take care of us all. “Love Thy Neighbor” has turned into “Love Thy Neighbor’s Pain”. If every able bodied man could be provided with an opportunity to work for a living, things just might be a lot better for us all.  Requiring diligence and completed tasks just might give folks a sense of accomplishment and return hope in the heart. We’ve tried everything else and look what that has gotten us. GOD will eventually get what HE deserves, so why not begin doing so now. What a wonderful world it would be if we ended our day,”plumb tuckered out” from praising and serving a Gracious GOD. I guarantee folks would come home to love and joy and hope and a peaceful night’s sleep, donchaknow.

Quiet Please!

There is a proverb that says, “Children should be seen and not heard”.  There are those who say that was intended for women, since they were not to speak in public.  Today, it applies to the younger generation.  I believe it applies to the older generation also.  The bible says that we are to bring up a child in the way he/ she should go and when they’re old they will not stray from that teaching.  To me, that says that when our children become adults, they are responsible for their actions and all we can do as parents is to pray that they make the right choices. This may be easy for some, but it isn’t for me.  I never thought I was a control freak, but the more I consider ‘what I am’, I get surprised.  There is a musical term that indicates silence. It is usually seen in instrumental or orchestral scores. It is “TACET”.  It means “Be Silent”.  I need that posted in obvious places wherever I may be. Now that there are inexpensive printers hooked up to my PC, I can print a dozen or so wallet size and place them in sight when I am out in public. This reminder will prevent the feeling I get that tells me that I’ve been too verbose. I learned to shut up in sales presentations, but that important aspect has been noticeably absent otherwise. I need to spend more time listening, but more importantly, I need to spend more time ‘listening’ to what GOD has to say. That means longer reading time of HIS WORD of TRUTH and less of words of Fiction.  Another thing I must do is to spend some research time determining what medical choices I have with the ‘reenrollment’ period coming up. I bet it will be a HOOT. I wish for all of us to be sleeping in the shade of HIS Wings. It’s much safer there, donchaknow.

Droning On

Now there is a drone that you can totally control by wrist movement and limit its flight by a tether. This one will never interfere with commercial flights.  Every day there is some report of the loss of sanity. Lack of Common Sense seems to dominate the news.  The Bible teaches “all things are possible”, but it goes a bit further as to why. The complete sentence says, “All Things Are Possible, but one must “Believe”!  Things outside the realm of GODliness will not last.  I have no control over the wrong done by others.  I have my hands full just taking care of my own miscues and then, I can only rely on the HOLY SPIRIT for the power to say “NO”.  GOD placed degrees of intelligence in each of us, but too many got more than they can handle.  Pastor David C. Brown hid his “Mensa” plaque in his office, on the wall behind his bookshelf.  I asked why and he said, “It’s not important to be smart, it’s only smart to be Godly wise.  And everyone may ask HIM for that wisdom.”  I know the answer as to how to prevent making dumb mistakes.  It is as simple as a catch-phrase the Youth used to say when seeking direction, “What Would JESUS Do?”  I miss seeing “WWJD” displayed, donchaknow. JESUS was a perfect human who never misbehaved.  The Bible tells me that HE experienced the same temptations that I do, but it doesn’t say much about his boyhood, other than his visits to the Temple. I do know that HE was not respected by his siblings.  James had to deal with his ‘perfect big brother’ all his life; up until the horrible cross.  It is understandable that there would be resentment and jealousy.  Had drones been around in those days, James would be among the first to push the edge of the envelope, but JESUS would never have violated any law.  People who do anything to place others in danger are in worse danger themselves.  I’ve already made known my desire to fly a drone and am being very ‘big’ about the response.  It probably will not change the mind of my CFO, but her fears would be negated by the ‘tether’.  If you are interested, check out Fotokite’s model that comes in a container much similar to the one containing ‘Ruffles” potato chips.  They say it’s as easy as ‘flying a kite’, but much more fun! At least it won’t endanger those of us who “Fly the Friendly Skies”, donchaknow.  I just wish more of our ‘smart’ folk would live with Dr. David Brown’s philosophy.  Amen?

Homeland Security?

Our nation appears to be in a state of unrest and that is easy to understand when you consider all the threats and terrorism and riots evident today. We have just gone through a trial where one of our policemen was charged with the murder of a young suspect of color.  The jury spent days in deliberation and couldn’t reach a verdict.  Thus came violence erupting from ‘peaceful demonstration’.  Immediately there was an outcry for ‘Justice’ and a call for national attention, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson from some religious leaders. It is my opinion (only mine, donchaknow) that hopelessness and unrest results from GODlessness.  I can’t see that anything we can do that will make us totally safe. Just as in the internet, there are ‘hackers’ who successfully defeat protective walls. Now, what was meant to be another advanced ‘toy’, has developed into a threat to commercial flight. Drones available to the public are now entering commercial air-space and efforts to develop circuitry that prevents it are constantly being ‘hacked’ to defeat that.  I would like to have a drone, but it now appears that the government will probably get involved making them illegal.  Copy Cats are busily getting involved with all criminal activities.  Video of violence make up the headlines of every newscast. Youngsters who live in a hopeless vacuum, are susceptible to similar acts of violence. We can’t expect anything else if we do not obey GOD.  John the Baptist foretold just what is going on now. “Behold, the voice crying in the wilderness; prepare ye the way of the LORD!”  Perhaps we should spend less time preparing temporal stuff and pay attention to what John said. I believe there to be only ONE source of total security and that doesn’t come from anything mankind can provide. It will not occur in this life, but it will occur by Trust in Jesus. There is a great old hymn that says, “I’ve anchored my soul in the Haven of Rest. I’ll sail the wild seas no more. The Tempest may sweep o’er the wild stormy deep, but in JESUS I’m safe EVERMORE!”  HALLELUIA!!  In that I place MY Trust! AMEN

Then Comes MAX

IMG_20150820_072846_kindlephoto-214699241MAX(6year-old Chow/Retriever mix)

Susan invited my Alpha Male into our lives when MattieT had held court for a couple of years. He made himself right at home, but learned to give Mattie lots of room. As I pointed out a couple of blogs ago, he is just over seven-times her size and could snap her in two, but she has him convinced that he’d rather go ‘bear hunting with a switch’ than mess with her. He came “Crate-trained” and that was the case for about six-months. We determined that he would behave, so we sold the original crate, besides he was out-growing it. Having him roam the house didn’t work because he is a ‘chewer’. Not only a chewer, but a ‘swallower’.(not healthy) After several trips to the Vet to assist his ‘voiding’ process, we determined to cover both with a Pet Insurance Policy. That truly was a most intelligent decision. I found that MattieT was extremely skittish with sudden noise from the kitchen. MAX is only affected by thunder storms and fireworks. His bark sounds like it comes from an elephant-size mastiff and our landscapers approach our house when trimming, reluctantly.  UPS,  FedEX  and our Postman quietly walk to within tossing distance with packages. MAX gives a very specific bark when they approach, so I usually go out to them for whatever they bring. Visitors are greeted with exuberance by both pups. MattieT has discovered that she can set the BigRedDog off into hysterics by simply ‘yapping’ once and then sits back, looking at him with scorn. You would think that they would never accept staying in the same enclosed area, but the only time we left them together at a boarding kennel, they were fine being close. MAX is large enough to back up his growl and is  pretty much convincing not to do whatever, unless he decides to do so. That kennel where they stayed for a week complemented MattieT, but asked that we not bring MAX back. It seems he backed into a corner, hackles up and snarled at the over-night attendant when it was time for his “outdoor business”.  The attendant finally got him to come out by putting MattieT back into the cage. She needed to go out and MAX then followed her. The only time MAX would mix with others was when close to MattieT, so I suppose there is some degree of affection or tolerance there. Speaking of tolerence; I am the ‘interloper’ when it comes to Susan. He has a fit whenever I get close to her. We’ve learned to ignore him, but he will still try to separate us when ‘too close’.  I’ve thought many times that our two would be excellent challenges for the ‘Dog Whisperer’, but since he is no longer with us, que sera. Now we are going day-to-day with MAX. He ruptured his “ACL” on his right-rear leg and has very little support there. We thought we would have to put him down, but even our Vet is amazed at his recovery. He will never have strength in that leg, but he limps around and seems to accept his handicap. He loves to lie on a hassock(in the photo) that requires him to jump up a bit.  He handles that with ease. MAX has done just as my wife hoped. He keeps me company and moving around. I don’t spend as much time in my lift-chair anymore. With all the problems and noise, we wouldn’t trade our ‘twosome’ for anything. I’ve said, “GOD knew what HE was doing when HE made a dog”, but sometimes I am uncertain that was the case when HE made a human, donchaknow. I have one discomfort about MAX. I spend a lot of time talking to him and he seems to understand and respond.  Awkward.

Buddy, Jeane and a Big Bang!

A new photo on Facebook of two very special people is a sweet reminder of their support and encouragement as we began our sojourn at SFA, Bryan. Buddy and Jeane McGown taught there and Buddy was the band director.  He made my transition easier by being there. Both of them were steady and sane. Each had a delightful sense of humor and their two children were exemplary.  Just quality folk and worthy of respect. It seems they still have that, based on the comments of former students. It was Buddy who made the ‘dungeon’ a bit more acceptable by his humor and comfort in knowing it couldn’t get worse. He was also one of the teachers who put an end to the nocturnal practice of ‘wrapping teachers’ houses. Bryan and College Station are separated by an imaginary line.  The McGowns lived very near that line.  They had a large front yard with some very nice flower gardens.  Buddy had a very long water hose that was rolled up whenever it wasn’t in use.  Pranksters loved to come wrap and then ‘water’ their handiwork, leaving a gloppy mess to clean up.  Buddy was an avid bird hunter with a very nice 12-gauge shotgun, that he loaded with blanks one night.  I am uncertain if he had a hint of a visit, but visit the culprits did.  He was waiting, very quietly, hidden by shrubbery near his garage.  Just as the ‘wrap’ was finished, one of the boys ran up and quietly turned on the water and started moving toward the first wrappings of the night.  Buddy timed it just right.  Just as the young man had the hose about half-way, Buddy stepped out with the shotgun, yelled “Hey!” and shot into the air.  Well, all “you-know-what” broke loose and the youngster with the hose took off, forgetting that he had the hose in his hand. “PLOP”, right on his back, totally dazed. Buddy was afraid he had killed the kid, but just before he could go to him, one of the other ‘wrappers’ came over and helped him to his feet. Stunned but convinced that the McGown’s were not to fool with, the word got around and our homes were much safer.  I had an experience of this same type sans the shotgun. I’ll share it later.  Buddy and Jeane McGown, over 60-years together!  GOD Blessed me with their friendship and may GOD continue to Bless them and theirs.

AMEN