OK, I confess! For the first time in over sixty years, I am ‘single’.  For the first time in my life, I live alone. My spirit tells me that I’m not alone, but the ‘natural’ man gets lonely. I have had a number of pets, my last one was a cute, twelve-pound Pomeranian named MattieT. She got her name from my Mom. Mattie Tabb was uniquely different and totally comfortable in her body. She did pretty much as she willed and her will was very strong. Miss MattieT had that same attitude. “If” she liked what was requested, she might consider it, but most of the time, It was her way or NOWAY. I discovered that I simply couldn’t care for her as needed, so my daughter found a perfect home for her. At last report, she was sublimely ‘at home’ with her new family. For that I am  very thankful. I do miss her and MAX. I lost MAX while he was being transported to a family in Bryan. It hurts a bit to talk about that. Out of sheer  boredom and curiosity I recently responded to a “social meeting website” for pet owners. I’ve not paid to upgrade, so all I get is ‘flirts’ or ‘hearts’, so I have no idea as to just what is going on, but the gist indicates a lonely hearts kind of outfit. Not too much information about ‘pets’, donchaknow. That brings up the subject of all the pets who have filled my life with companionship. There have been three cats, one bird and thirteen dogs:

Pearl was a Burmese beauty we found in the pound in Vegas.

Spook was a Main Coon who fetched a toy.

Rainbow was supposed to be a male, talking Parakeet. She wasn’t.

Tippie was my first Toy Terrier. (Poisoned)

Rowdy(or “WeeWee” as my Dad called hime) was a Beagle mix.(poisoned)

Heidi was a miniature Dachshund. (run over)

Paladin was a cross Bassett/Beagle who finally stopped looking for Martha.

Thor was a beautiful Elkhound and the best trained of the lot.

Brewster was a Cocker Spaniel step-dog who disappeared.

Muffet was a cross- breed cutie who found a good home with two elderly sisters in San Antonio.

Holly was a strange White Shepherd who was sent into dithers with fireworks. She disappeared one Fourth of July in Vegas.

Lacey was a great Lab who became a ‘seeing-eye’ companion for a gentleman in Vegas.

Prince was a Pomeranian who was a sweetheart.

Keisha was a beautiful Pom, bred to show, but too headstrong to mind.

MattieT is ‘MattieT’, bringing love into a home here in Texas.

MAX, a beautiful cross Chow/Retriever that I miss terribly.

Tragically, we had to put down the cats and three of our pups. MattieT is the only one remaining and MAX died of a broken heart.

As a postscript: never get involved with these ‘people-meet-people’ offers. They are like ordering from infomercials. You have to keep ‘paying’ a bit more to get full access. The ‘Natural’ man is easy prey to loneliness and anxiety is of the devil.  That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Never Do’s

  • Never begin playing a horn with a cushion-rim mouthpiece.
  • Never post personal information on the internet unless it is totally secured, and then it may not be.
  • Never reveal that you are away from your home on social media.
  • Never leave your garage door open.
  • Never give your personal information to a total stranger.
  • Never take a wedding vow lightly.
  • Never make a promise that you have the slightest doubt about.
  • Never fail to show and share love to others.
  • Never dicker with GOD.
  • Never say Never.
  • Never promise consequences without carrying them out.
  • Never loan money to a friend or relative. Make it a ‘gift’ instead.
  • Never deny help when you can give it.
  • Never spend a dime in the hopes that it will pay off.
  • Never play games of chance without considering just how they can afford all those lights and employees, and  never close.
  • Never fall for Telemarketing.
  • Never think that something is free. The only thing I know that is guaranteed is Salvation through the shed blood of JESUS CHRIST.
  • Never Hate Anyone.
  • Never Hate At All.
  • Never Fail to Ask Forgiveness and never expect “Forgetness”.
  • Never think that I don’t Love You even if you don’t love me.
  • Never try to pet a skunk or strange dog.
  • Never fail to pray for each other.
  • Never fail to call your parents while they’re still alive.
  • Never fail to be a good friend.
  • Never fail to read my Blog.

Where Are The Parents?

Notre Dame? Are you kidding me? Hundreds of parents should be ashamed. What a most disgusting expression of ‘free speech’. Thank GOD a majority remained seated in respect. All this tells me is that our future is in jeopardy.  I pray that our leaders are chosen from among those who showed proper respect. Unfortunately, the one’s remaining seated were not featured. Cameras followed the few who rudely walked out. I wonder if their diplomas were ‘red-flagged’?  I wonder if the administration had the courage to identify call each of those graduates into an office and ask,  “Did you remain for the Vice President’s speech?’ They already had their certificate, but would it be possible to include their rudeness on their transcript?  And, would it make a difference in today’s market place. ‘Tis a Puzzlement. I would like to believe my own would have sat, glued to that seat, donchaknow. That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN


Thank goodness there’s a name for this disorder:

Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table,
Put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
And notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
On the table and take out the garbage first…

But then I think,
Since I’m going to be near the mailbox
When I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table,
And see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
So I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Pepsi I’d been drinking.

I’m going to look for my checks,
But first I need to push the Pepsi aside
So that I don’t accidentally knock it over.

The Pepsi is getting warm,
And I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi,
A vase of flowers on the counter
Catches my eye–they need water.

I put the Pepsi on the counter and
Discover my reading glasses that
I’ve been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk,
But first I’m going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter ,
Fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I’ll be looking for the remote,
But I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table,
So I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
But first I’ll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
But quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table,
Get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
Remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:
The car isn’t washed,
The bills aren’t paid,
There is a warm can of
Pepsi sitting on the counter,
The flowers don’t have enough water,
There is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can’t find the remote,
I can’t find my glasses,
And I don’t remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day,
and I’m really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem,
And I’ll try to get some help for it, but first I’ll check
my e-mail….

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know,
Because I don’t remember who I’ve sent it to.

Don’t laugh — if this isn’t you yet, your day is coming!

P.S. I don’t remember who sent it to me, so if it was you,
I’m sorry.

Sent to me by my Idaho Buddy, Don and sent to you by me. And, that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

( I am still putting together an ‘on-line’ Bible Study group. If interested, please say so in a comment. Once the group is formed, all you need do is await an invitation on study nights)

Free Money

I just got a phone call from someplace in Indiana. I usually don’t answer, but I did and there was a pause and a very broken english voice asked for “Jeemes”.  Obviously not born in Texas, I responded with ‘Hello, this is James”. And low and behold, the government had selected my name and phone number to receive a $9000.00 gift with no strings attached and no need to ever repay.  I felt that PCH had knocked on my door, donchaknow.  I said, “That’s great, I accept anything FREE, except I know that when my government gives anything away, the cost eventually trickles down, doesn’t it. So, I must, regretfully, turn this gift down and save myself the cost thereof.  (Silence…and ‘click’)  The only money I ever  accepted from the government was a refund on Income Tax and that was few and far between. When we stop taking Washington’s “free gifts”, maybe they’ll be a lot closer to living within our means. I deleted this call along with the hundreds that are welcoming me as I approach age sixty-five. Either folks have a lot of time on their hands or a bunch of others are easily scammed. Is it really true that many folks will accept anything as truth without checking the facts. Surely not. Well…. that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN


Adrian Rogers reminded me of what my mother prayed for as she held me in her arms. She was praying that I would be ‘adopted’. Now, before you pass out, let me clarify, her prayer was that I would be ‘adopted into the Family of GOD’. She esperienced answered prayer when I was six-years-old, but she also spent hours praying that I would realize my need for obedience to the Calling. I always thought she was praying that I would go into church ministry, but I did that bi-vocationally and I never thought she stopped praying for my decisions. So, today, as we all pay tribute to ‘mothers’, let me be the first to thank Mattie Tabb Austin for praying that I would be adopted. I was, have been and will be…forever! And, that’s worth shouting about, donchaknow.  Nothing can remove that assurance of GOD’s FREE GIFT to me, warts and all. Really!  And, that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

A Mother’s Love

I have absolutely no doubt that you and I are/were loved. Why would a lady go through the months it takes to bring us about?  So, we should rest assured that we are loved. I also believe that some of us are doubly blessed by having a father who loved us enough to go through those months if he could have done so. Let’s just settle the issue now. This is a very special day. My age, plus 9, was when GOD knit me and my sweet mother cared enough to do the rest of the job. When I hear “Freedom of Choice”, it curls my toes. YES, all women have it without us having to pass a law that say so. WE all have freedom of choice. When GOD made us all, we were marvelously designed for HIS purpose, but it was left up to us to determine what HIS PURPOSE is and that depends entirely on ‘asking’ HIM. That’s where scripture comes in. That’s where everyone’s ‘game plan’ lies, but that’s ‘preaching’ and folks don’t like to talk about that, donchaknow. GOD BLESS ALL Mothers Today, and all of us who are blessed to be here, take a moment to turn to Psalms 139:13-14 and be thankful that one lady loved us enough to give her very best. Mine was named Mattie Tabb Austin and she made my life’s garden beautiful, and that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.  AMEN

“For YOU formed my inward parts; YOU covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise YOU,  for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are YOUR works, and that my soul knows very well” NKJV


Do you know what the Bible says about the Sabbath or “Lord’s Day”?  Do you have any idea as to just what ‘day’ that really is?  Sunday is ‘my’ Sabbath, but there are folks who observe a different day of the week. I celebrate the birthday of JESUS on December 25. Thanksgiving Thursday and Easter Sunday vary, according to a man-made calendar.  During the end of my tenure as a teacher, we changed Christmas to “Winter Break”; Thanksgiving pretty much remained, but Easter became “Spring Break”. It seems only Christians had their special days renamed. “Chanukah” has nothing to do with “Christmas”. It runs from December 12 to December 20 and celebrates the defeat of the Greeks and reclaiming of the Temple in Jerusalem in the 3rd Century. That’s why we see so much depiction of the “seven candles” prior to  December 25. We also get more “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays” than “Merry Christmas”. I was told by my elementary principal that he would ‘prefer’ that I not include carols in my Christmas Concert. I respectfully declined. That also was the same administrator who presented my copy of his evaluation of my performance with the name of my predecessor in the blank. I still have that somewhere. It was never corrected.  What really excites me is the day I meet My LORD JESUS and all will be made clear. It won’t matter anyhow, then, donchaknow. One thing I am assured of, however…and that’s the fact that I can pray, praise and proclaim without fear of reprisal since MY FATHER has it all under control. I believe everyday is Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. Really. And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN

Proving My Age

My 86th birthday was on February 7. From just prior to now, I’ve had over 200 “Welcome to 65” phone calls, from mostly North Carolina. Today I got a doozie! A very nice lady excitedly announced that she had the solution to my “Student Loan” costs. Now, that’s a HOOT, donchaknow!  I never had a student loan in the first place since my college expense was paid through scholarships. I recall the unsolicited credit card was sent to my step-daughter in the 80’s. I thought that could be a problem, but she managed to take care of it very well. I have to struggle not to use credit. It must be a glitch in my make-up. I blew it when I was issued my first VISA and that keeps me ‘sane’. I have no idea as to just how much my college education cost. I am fairly certain it didn’t crowd $100K like today. I’ve shared just how cavalier I was about it. In most of my courses, I really felt the prof should be paying us for sitting through it. There were exceptions, however, and most of them were in my advanced degree. I find it extremely interesting to know some very successful men and women who never completed a college degree. In retrospect, I can’t imagine them being any more successful if they had done so. I do think some of our current college graduates seem to have a totally different concept of life. They also seem to be much less joyful, donchaknow.  Really.  Anyway, it’s kinda nice to be ‘carded’ as an octogenarian. That’s what I get from MyBox of Chocolates.   AMEN

Left Behind

This is a personal message to those of us who ARE.  If you have a special person who impacted your life and that person is still around, please share your appreciation with them.  I have been blessed by former students and good friends who have taken the time to do so, and it makes such a difference in the loneliness that comes when we ARE. It shames me to think of those who made a difference in my life and my failure to express my deep gratitude while they were still around to enjoy it. I would like to think that they knew how important they were to me, but I am sorry to never put it into words or writing. They were so very important and I am composing my “Hall of Fame” to share at a later date. It will not surprise me to know that you may have them on your “wall”, also. Of course, my first names are:


Samuel Wade Austin

Mattie Tabb Austin

That’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates.   AMEN