From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting the Barbie Barn Ready for Halloween

Just a little sewing will make something special, like a pirate Arggg!!!

Pati, Pati, Pati, What Shall We Do With Pati?

I rescued a puppy down at Tony's, which is a local restaurant, after church one Sunday.  She was there with two identical puppy siblings in front of the place where most of Sealy eats after church on Sunday.  It was pouring down rain, she was wet, cold, shivering, and covered with fleas.  She wasn't even begging for food.  She just sat there with her brother and sister, being so still and docile, all imploring big brown eyes. With great skill she pulled off the "I am just a baby something, without a mama anywhere in sight, please take me home, I will be so good."  I love a baby anything.  Also, I will not leave anything which is helpless, wounded, or hungry.

I named her Patriot, and I call her Pati for short.  She has developed into quite the character... a little toot to be exact.  From childhood, I remember my little dogs following me everywhere, it was sweet.  All of my animals do that now, but it isn't the same, she trips me, follows so closely I often step on her paws, etc.  She is an outdoor dog.  She runs in every time the door opens, and when I try to get her out, she rolls over on her back and pees in the floor.  I have to drag her on her back out the door.   

I don't have any cable T.V. this week, Pati chewed through the cable line... to be exact, two cable lines. They can't come to repair it until next week on Thursday.  I like to watch the news, and often keep the T.V. on just for company, but oh not now.  Not until next Thursday.  It is going to cost a pretty penny too.  

You see, one of the main problems is, Pati eats things, lots of things, some edible, and some, not so much so...  She chews up things from all over the yard, including all the chew toys I bring her from the store.  (She watches me get the bags out of the truck when I go for groceries, and follows me until I find the bag with her toy in it and throw it as far as I can so I can get the groceries in the house while she is momentarily occupied with the new toy.  She soon figures out, "oh yeah, I can fetch this to the mama," and she winds up right behind me with the new toy to drop at my feet.  She wants me again to throw it as far as I can, and I do, so I can get the second load of bags in.  The second time I throw it in the pond, and she is delighted, she loves to swim! 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She also eats things, like tomatoes from the vines in the garden, but last night... and I wouldn't believe it unless I had seen it..., she decided to eat a jalapeno pepper out of my gardening basket.
Last night I went out to plant some of the fall garden, and I had my basket, and some of the seeds I had soaked overnight.  Before I started, I picked some peppers and some okra.  Then I made the mistake of sitting the basket where "the Pati" could reach it.  She started sniffing around the contents of my basket and very quickly and deftly, she stole a jalapeno pepper.  She knew she was not supposed to get that pepper out of the basket I garden in.  She knows those things are mine.  Having raised a whole bunch of teenagers over the years, I decided, "I am going to really teach her a lesson... I am going to let her have that pepper, one crunch down on that and she will stay out of my garden, and out of my things.  You know that parenting technique of natural consequences... I knew it was going to work, just like that "Super Nannie" girl says on T.V.  Just as I was often wrong when raising the teens, I was wrong when I thought that one up too...

She also took my little hand spade out of the basket, and then she laid down to "eat" her pepper, and I thought, o.k., any minute now... so I watched, and clicked my camera away, hoping to catch another "viral video."  I could see the title now..."Crazy Cajun Dog Eats Pepper, and Has a Really Bad Reaction, and Learns Her Lesson!"

Then I waited and watched some more, thinking any minute now, it will kick in...


She laid on her side and chewed.



She sat up and chewed... and I waited...                      
She ate the whole thing, her eyes never even watered....

That was when I really put my foot down.  She went back for another pepper.   Didn't happen.  Guess I won that one!  I really showed her, taught her not to eat any and everything she came across, because, clever woman that I am,  I picked up the basket, and sat it where she could not reach it!  Guess I showed her!  Well, truthfully, I may be losing some of the skirmishes, but I am winning the war, to quote someone who liked to make excuses for losing wars!

What a Use of Words to Make an Impact

“Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth.”

“Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sept. 1988, 11.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One of My Husband's Favorite Sayings

Thougth for the Day

I Love Dirt!

I love gardening, getting my hands into the soil and planting seeds.  The reward is so tangible, and delicious.  The summer garden is fading, so I have taken the steps to get everything ready for the fall garden.  Then I did the planting this morning.  There is always a great deal of work involved in the process.  I love every minute of it!

I have been blanching okra in the pot on the stove there, bell peppers too.  I don't freeze the hot peppers though, they are dried in the sun on the back porch.

I washed the days eggs too.  I always mark them with a sharpie, then I know which ones to use first. All of the scraps from the blanching of the vegetables, along with the egg shells go out with to the chicken pen to feed my chickens.  The egg shells are a needed part of the egg making process, the chickens eat the shells.  As my mother would say, "waste not, want not."

The various cups on the counter are my seeds.  I soak them overnight before planting them.  They germinate twice as fast that way.  

As you can see I use the cheap seeds.  Twenty cents max is all I will pay, and the vegetables are great that I get with the seeds. 

Guess I will go get in the pond for a swim, I'm still hot and tired after coming in from my work.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Best Photo I Made This Summer

It was during a rain, right at sunset, looking down our road to where it meets the highway, from our house.  I captured the rain drops as they were falling, ad the eery light almost makes it look like a black and white photo.  The goose in the corner just makes the photo I think.  

My Thought for the Day

I think there are things we cannot comprehend today because "our science" has not caught up with "God's abilities."

Funny little frog out by my pool, completely camouflaged.

Women Drivers and Teenagers

I saw this cute picture on Google Plus, it reminded me of one of the "funnies" from my days as a foster parent.  I drove a 15 passenger van in order to accommodate all my teenagers.   

I raised 35 foster children, I received those who were hard to place, usually in their teens, especially when they were trying to keep large groups of siblings together.  I remember a conversation I heard from the back of the 15 passenger van I drove when I had 10 kids at one time, as we were on the way to school.  The "new" kid was being told the routine, Sam told him , "we go to church, EVERY Sunday," and every Saturday we go shopping and to some activity like a movie.  On Friday night we go to whatever football or basketball game is going on at school.  Richard the new kid said, "That sounds good except for that church part, I don't go to church, I don't even pray."  About that time I made a left hand turn and I heard a little squeal from the back seat and "It's on my side, it's on my side!"   There was a pause, then Sam said from the back, "when you have ridden with our mother a couple of times... you will pray...

 In the photo my son Stephen Rogers, and Jessica Ordway.

The House That Lera Built From Love

Here for you to enjoy is the wondrous little conversation I first had with my friend Jill Marshall when I discovered Lera's house as her profile picture.  Lera is her grand-mother, and she had a large part in raising Jill, and this remarkable woman still has the capacity to reach from heaven in love to her grand-daughter... and a perfect stranger too...  One note, all the photos with this series of blogs were made by Jill, WITH HER BLACKBERRY... I just can't get over that, A BLACKBERRY...the photos are beautiful, and will remind those of you who God has similarly smiled on of places from your own heart.  The first remarks are where I first saw the photo, after that they are marked with our names as we shared.

Oh, .... I know what I shall paint next! You must tell me what this house was like when it was lived in! About your Grand-mother... this house wants to tell her story... where was her flower bed, what did she grow.. how many children... her favorite color?

Debra LeCompte Look at that roof! I want to be painted by me, with raw sienna hues... and blues.... and shades of gray....

I would LOVE to see/own a painting of my Grandma's house!! My paternal Grandmother was like a mother to me! She passed away in 1988. My paternal Grandfather passed away in 1976. My Grandmother's name was Lera Edith Carter Marshall and this was her Great Grandparent's house. Great Great Grandfather Carter was in the 42nd NC Infantry, CSA. He was a prison guard at the Confederate Prison in Salisbury, NC when he was 16 years old. Grandma's father grew up in this house, also.- William Thomas Carter married Great Grandma Adelia Cecil Haneline Carter and she passed away fairly young so my Grandmother pretty much raised her siblings and took care of her father. After Grandma married my Grandfather, Thomas Kitchin Marshall, he moved in the house with her and her father. They worked the farm as had generations before them dating back to 1750. Great Grandpa Carter passed away in late 1964 when I was a baby, so I always knew this as my "Grandparent's house". My father is the 4th of 10 children and he was raised in this house also. When I was younger we lived in the woods behind this house and in 1974 my daddy bought a house about a mile away, so essentially I grew up on this farm. We would walk through the woods from our new house to come be with Grandma. We had many gardens, fruit trees and animals. I remember working in the garden as a child and seeing my Grandfather plow behind a mule. We slopped the hogs, got up eggs, canned and froze veggies and NOBODY cooked as good as my Grandma! There were tiger lilies, irises, lilacs, hydrangeas, rose bushes, buttercups, peonies and many more. We had apple, cherry and pear trees, as well as grapes, blackberries and strawberries. There are many out buildings on the property that were functional when I was little. A pig pen, chicken house/coop, barn, corn crib, smoke house and of course an out house with a crescent moon in the door! There is what we call "The Old House" still standing that was built in 1750. We had horses, mules, donkeys, hogs, goats, chickens, peacocks, guineas, cats and dogs. This place was ALIVE! There was a Sycamore tree that my daddy climbed in once to keep from going to school and my Grandmother sat at the bottom of the tree with a switch waiting on him to come down! We had a well that we could actually unroll a bucket down into and draw fresh well water. Oh the memories you have brought back, Debra!! My father's oldest brother and first child came home from the Korean War with epilepsy and my Grandmother took care of him until the day she died. He continued to live in the house until he died about a year later. After Frank passed away the land was divided into 10 equal parts and split between Grandma's 10 children. About 10 years ago my father built a road back to his part of the land and named it Lera Lane. =) It runs parallel to Grandma's house. After my father retired from RJ Reynold's Tobacco Company, he sold the house I grew up in and built a new house back here on his land. My sister and I live beside my Daddy. Several of my uncles have built houses on their part of the land as well. When my Grandma's father passed away, the land was divided into four parts and Grandma got the part with the farm and house on it because she had taken care of their father and the 3 younger girls. The baby girl, Laura Lee married and built a house down the road a bit, and the two other sisters Ruby and Audrey married brothers from Davidson County and moved down there, but their heirs still own their share of the land. Everything was so alive and beautiful until Grandma passed away and it's almost as if the flowers died with her. My father still has a small garden every year, but all the flowers by Grandma's house have died out except for the hydrangea bushes and a few buttercups. I SOOOO want to restore this house and live in it, but my daddy says it will take about 100K to restore it! I could go on and on!! What great memories I have!! I moved back home 3 weeks ago and it's like my soul is finally at peace! I am where I belong!

Jill Marshall Grandma never mentioned a favorite color, but she was a wise woman and I learned a lot from her! A part of me died with her. I'm thankful that I had the wisdom to appreciate her, ask questions and listen to her stories!!

Grandma never drove a car, but she was hilarious when she rode in one! I remember buying a new Toyota Supra and taking Grandma for a ride in it and she almost stomped a hole in the floor applying her imaginary brakes. LOL My grandfather would hook up his mules, Kate and Tony and take us for wagon rides when we were little. Grandpa also liked his liquor, but Grandma wouldn't allow such things in her house, so he would hide it throughout the property. When we found it, we would go tell Grandma and she would pour it out. I remember her finding my uncle Frank's porno magazines and Grandma standing out by the trash barrel trying to burn them while bits of pictures of tits and asses flew about and I recall Grandma saying, "Hell fire! Damned thangs won't even burn!" LMAO! Grandma was FASCINATED withy television and I recall watching all about the Vietnam War and Watergate with her. She loved President Nixon and every time something was said during the hearings that Grandma didn't like, she would mumble, "Ahh, shit!" and then cover her mouth and sheepishly look at us kids. On Sundays Grandma went to church with us and then all daddy's sisters, brothers and the grandchildren would gather at Grandma's for Sunday Dinner which was the noon meal. They had breakfast, dinner and supper. I recall that Grandma wouldn't eat until she saw that everyone had eaten what they wanted. She would tell us she wasn't hungry because she had nibbled while cooking, but as an adult I now know that she waited until everyone was fed before she ate because she wanted to make sure there was enough food to go around. My Grandma spent her entire life raising siblings, children, neices, nephews, grandchildren, great grandchildren and taking care of people. I can only wish to be half the woman she was!

Jill Marshall Did I mention we also had peach trees?? LOL·

Debra LeCompte Isn't it funny how one look and I knew this house had a story...

Debra LeCompte Those are just the flowers I would have thought of... heck, that house doesn't have a "story" It has a book! Thank you so much for sharing that.... do you have a picture of your grand mother I can use to work from to put her in the painting somewhere? And more views of the house I can use to work from?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Encouragement, Wisdom, Love, Some Have a Special Insight

Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!

When life calls, it is in our best interest for us to respond quickly!

You have the right to say no.  Most of us have very weak and flaccid 'no'  muscles.  We get ostracized and challenged for saying no, so we forget it's our choice.  You 'no' muscle has to be built up to get to a place where you can say, 'I don't care if that's what you want.  I don't want that.  No.'

I have learned the hard way to mind my business, without judging who people are and what they do.  I am more troubled by the lack of space being provided for the truth to unfold.  Humans cannot seem to wait for or honor the truth.  Instead, we make it up based on who we believe people should or should not be.

The remedy for life's broken pieces is not classes, workshops, or books. Don't try to heal the broken pieces.  Just forgive.

I surround people in unconditional acceptance and love to such a degree that everything that is unloving about the rises to the surface. 

Iyanla Vazant spoke all these words of great wisdom...  If you don't know her work, you should.  I have never seen a more beautiful or infectious smile!

One of my favorite blogs she has written can be found at the following link:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The War Isn't Over

Good men and women are still dying, those who have served are still suffering, their families are still suffering, and for some the war has taken their bodies, their minds, and some... their souls, and they will never truly come home.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Have to Tell You a Little Bit About My Friend Jill, She Makes Me Cry

Some of the women I have met places like Facebook are truly amazing.  She makes me cry every time...  I'm talking about my friend Jill Marshall.  When I first "friended" her on Facebook, it was because she was so intelligent and funny.  I am drawn to people with good minds who aren't afraid to use them.  Then one day I was just scrolling through my Facebook home page and I saw a picture of a young woman in a hospital bed, and she obviously had suffered severe injuries.  It was Jill's posting, and she was wishing herself Happy Birthday.  I flippantly typed Happy Birthday Jill!  Then the "story" began pouring out as I inquired about the woman in the picture.  The picture was of her... she had been the one who almost did not survive in the accident.  By that time, I had known her awhile, and on days when I would really get down, (having a husband you adore serving in the Middle East, is not easy,) Jill would a type a message to me, and I could go on.  She always seemed to know exactly what to say, and she seemed so strong.  She almost flaunted that nothing could get her down.   She seemed hard as nails.

Then she began describing her injuries from the accident. Jill and I have both practiced the profession of nursing, and she still does.  I also went to paramedic school, the full college program, and as she described the car wreck, being pinned in the car, and the months it took to recover, I knew how agonizing the physical and emotional pain she had been through to survive must have been.   Professionally, and unfortunately, within my own family, I have witnessed many times the crazy things that can go wrong in the blink of an eye as people move from place to place in cars.  (Here is a good spot for me to say to everyone, when you are driving, drive, don't text, talk on the phone, put your make-up on, or any other silly thing that could cause you to lose your life.  Worse yet, you could wind up taking the life of some innocent person in a moment of distraction.)  Jill was doing none of those things, it was the other guy that was.   As she described what happened, her injuries, her recovery, her dad standing by her bed... I found myself crying.  

When Jill wished herself Happy Birthday, she was celebrating the day God saw fit that she not leave this world yet, and she pondered why as she typed.  I immediately replied, advising her, "because one day a husband who was adored by his wife would have to go to the Middle East for two years, and it would be too hard for the wife to do without the words of Jill Marshall."  

I had pictured her in my mind as a large, strong, "farm fed" woman, then I realized from pictures she wasn't that at all.  I didn't puzzle further over what made her seem like a Southern "Steel Magnolia."  I  assumed it was all related to the accident, and what it had taken to not only survive it, but to come back and go on to lead a very productive and giving life.

Little did I know... 

When my husband deployed our family was an Active Duty Reserve Family, meaning my husband was a Reservist and he served once a month at Battle Assemblies, and sometimes in larger segments during the year.  We do not live on or near a military establishment, so the built in support system that is found on a post was non-existent for Brian, Becky, and I.  I didn't know what Facebook was, and probably never would have, as my evenings and week-ends when Randy was home were spent playing cards, working in the yard, doing projects, exploring Austin County, laughing and talking,  sitting in church together,  and just enjoying our love and devotion to each other.  My husband and I are rather rare in the fact that we never have disagreements or arguments, we really are "a three fold cord."  I had sort of felt since I met Randy that I really didn't need anyone else.  I know that is flawed thinking, but since meeting Randy, I have experienced a richness in my soul and a level of happiness I have never known in life before, (and I have known so much happiness.)   I have come to realize what excellent goodness God has brought to my life by sending my husband to the Mid-East in defense of this country.  I have always had good friends, now I have even more.  I would not have believed that such meaningful relationships could be developed on the Internet, but I now have a host of friends that I have never laid eyes on in person, but for whom I would do anything within my capability, if they needed help.   As David said of Jonathan, we have "knit our souls."  

 Jill unknowingly sets traps for me, and unfailingly, I hit every one of them.   I fell in one of those traps again when I saw a picture Jill had posted of an old house, I have previously blogged of what that house was, and why the image immediately burned in my brain.  Jill makes photographs with her Blackberry,  what Jill can do with a Blackberry leaves me in awe.  
These are near her grand-mother's barn, I have asked her how she makes photos like this with a Blackberry, she always tells me it isn't her, it's the subject.   When she absolutely rocks my heart with a simple description of what happened, goose bumps come on my face and arms, and tears sting at my eyes, she says, "it's just my life..."

For some reason that I have yet to learn, Jill's mother was not in her life, but she had a wonderful grand-mother named Lera, who I have "storied" about in "From the Ranch" previously, and I will do so again.  I discovered Lera when I was, hope this doesn't get repetitive, scrolling my Facebook home page and found a person's profile picture which was an old house.  I have always loved old abandoned houses,  but the picture of this one gave me a jolt.  Some images do, and their subjects are so varied, it may be a war photo, the image of a child, and it can be in any medium, but photos are the most difficult for anyone to use artistically, because one only has so much control.  The artistic license is limited, even with Photo Shop.  This is the image I saw:

I am currently painting this house in oils, I chose this view, but a different season, when some of the flowers that were originally planted by this woman were blooming.  Lear died in 1988, but her love lives on, just like her flowers,  and I know of it because of the words Jill wrote to me about her on face book, and in emails, that made me cry.

Bet you are wondering when the Marine part is coming in.  Let me give this warning, only the strong of heart should continue reading this blog entry...  The next thing that Jill told me of brought me to my knees, and I whispered to God, "no wonder she always knew the right thing to say."  Jill was lucky enough in life to find the love of her life, a young valiant Marine who gave his life for his country in Lebanon in 1983.   I wept, not cried, when she told me the details of her love for this man, of his courage and Marine's heart.

 If you look closely in this high school graduation photo of her husband, you see my friend Jill's perfectly manicured hand, holding that Blackberry as she takes the photo.  That makes it so much more special to me.  She recently went to see her husband's father, and that is where she made the following photos.  It must have meant so much to that "Old Marine," that his daughter-in-law would come and spend time sharing his memories of the son she and he had both loved so deeply.

Then she told me how she finally found love again, and of the happiness that she shared with Chris.  Chris was a Soldier in the United States Army, an Army Ranger to be exact.  He was killed in action in 2008, in the War on Terror.  I remember sinking back in the chair at my desk, I couldn't think of a word to say.  I love words, to me they are the essence of the human connection, whether written, spoken, or signed.  Always, I have words... almost always I have words... Jill not only makes me cry... she leaves me without adequate words.

I wrote a poem after several days without words that I titled "If," and I presented it to my husband as a gift on Valentine's Day, you can find it on my poetry site at this link:

Of course I wept again, this time it lingered for about three days.  Then came the next trap.  The photo at the top of this particular blog, which I offer again for your consideration, as I again caution the reader who might be faint of heart.

Assuming it was her husband's "dress mess," we exchanged the following comments on facebook:

·  Awww Debra! That's Dennis' father's blues. He's still alive. Sgt Major Charles F. Cook USMC 1948-1978 USMC (ret)
Yesterday at 6:25pm · LikeUnlike
Jill Marshall ♥♥♥
Yesterday at 6:26pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte I am crying again... what a sacred garment... I am so emotional these days... I just can't believe he is coming home...
Yesterday at 6:28pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte Somewhere inside I had believed God would require of me something I could not bear... and I guess I was right, I could not have borne it... and God doesn't give people things they can't bear.
Yesterday at 6:29pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte And God must have more things for a man as industrious and devoted as Randy to do.
Yesterday at 6:31pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...
Jill Marshall I visited with my husband's father on Sunday and took some really cool pictures. Check out my photo album entitled "A Family of Marines". Dennis' mother was a Marine, too.
Yesterday at 6:32pm · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading...
Debra LeCompte A Family of Marines... did you write about this... Jill... boy, you know Joseph, the guy with the "coat of many colors," was sold into slavery by his brothers...
Yesterday at 6:37pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte He was falsely accused of being inappropriate with his boss's wife and imprisoned...
Yesterday at 6:37pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte I don't think he had as hard a time as you have... and God had something so big He needed him to do... and when he did it... blessings rained down on him...
Yesterday at 6:39pm · LikeUnlike
Jill Marshall Well, Dennis' father bitched the entire time he was in Beirut. He kept saying, "I can't believe they have my ONLY son sitting in a building full of Marines, JUST waiting for something bad to happen. That's too many Marines in one GD place!" It's like his father knew what was coming. Dennis was also killed on his mother's birthday. =(
Yesterday at 6:40pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte Wonder what you are going to get... If the urge ever hits you to buy a lottery ticket... do it... I'm not a gambler, never buy the things... but if the urge hits you... buy it...
Yesterday at 6:40pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...
Debra LeCompte Well, I was wrong on that first post... the man who wore this uniform gave far more than his last full measure of true devotion...
Yesterday at 6:43pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...
Jill Marshall It was three days before they found Dennis amidst all the rubble and his Dad just kept walking around saying," He's dead. My only son is dead. I survived Korea and Viet Nam and they put my only son over there like a sitting duck!" It was sooooo sad.
Yesterday at 6:43pm · LikeUnlike
Debra LeCompte God stopped just short of his soul... took his heart, I am sure...
Yesterday at 6:44pm · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading...
Debra LeCompte Please, tell Dennis' parents for me, thank you for their service, in fact if you could send me a message with their address, I would like to send them a personal thank you, I know their pain remains relentless.
Yesterday at 6:46pm · LikeUnlike
Jill Marshall Dennis' mother passed away in 2001. She is buried beside of Dennis. Dennis was born at MCAS Beaufort and his mother would take him over to Parris Island to watch the recruits drilling. His dad said all he ever wanted to be was a Marine.
2 hours ago · Like

Needless to say, I cried....

 “Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference.  The Marines don’t have that problem.”  Ronald Reagan

Again I found myself without words, so I just made the above quote my contribution to this blog until I began once again to find words.  They are not adequate words... I do not know if there are adequate words.  Certainly, "thank you for your service" does not work.  What do you say to a family who has given so much?  All I could think of after pondering for  several days now are those which are "adequate" words, and a favorite of mine, which were spoken by the greatest Warrior who has ever been, King David, "Oh how the mighty are fallen in the midst of the battle... "  When King Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle, David grieved with the same passion that he fought with.  Another thought comes to me, an admonition ...   America, guard well what has been secured for the use of so many, at such a terrible cost borne by so few.

Because of who my parents are, and I don't  mean by that because they are rich, powerful, or influential, but because of what good people they are, I have always been surrounded by outstanding people.  So I know good people when I encounter them.  Jill Marshall is "good people."   Not only is my friend Jill good people, she is remarkable people.  I have to point out though, I can't have a simple conversation with her without her making me cry... I know you see what I mean by now.   

Jill Marshall:
Debra, I am so touched that you chose to blog about me and my life. People often tell me how strong I am. I don't know if it's strong or bitter.
I loved the blog. There are a few things that should be corrected, though. Dennis was kia in Beirut 23 October 1983, not 1981. Chris was a US Army Ranger and he was killed in 2008, not 2004.
At least I can say I have loved and lost QUALITY men!
I think this is why I haven't had a relationship in the past three years. It's hard to find men of such caliber!
I am starting to think you are a psychic. You mentioned the Christmas morning picture of Dennis in his camo pjs. That WAS Christmas morning in Hawaii, but I didn't tell you that, nor is there anything in the picture that indicates it's Christmas!
You never cease to amaze me!
I love you, friend.

Debra LeCompte:
It was the candles on the porch with this one... so nothing there was involving the "still small voice," but I have had those moments with photos you post. I always know when I am having one. There is a spot in the back of my neck right where my head joins my spine... The goose bumps start there and end when they run out my finger tips... Some of Buzzy's photos do the same thing, but I think that is because I have some connection with his mother. Her twin "boys" are 10 days older than my twin "boys."

"I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart, I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”  John Steinbeck, East of Eden.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

They Just Don't Make Women Like This Anymore

I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible."
— John Steinbeck (East of Eden) 

I am rerunning this series of blogs I wrote, it is one of my favorites.  For about three weeks I have had so much trouble writing and publishing my blog.  I have technical issues that I can't seem to solve.  However since I have written so many blogs, many of my new followers have not heard this story.  It is such a beautiful series.  So enjoy...

I have written a series of blogs about a woman I met recently, she lived in this house, and died in 1988.  As I scrolled my facebook page, I saw the photo of this little house as a profile picture for a friend, and it is difficult for me to describe how the image impacted me.  I paint in oils, self expression being one of the driving forces of my make-up, and I immediately knew I had to paint a work depicting this house.  It struck me as so full of warmth and love... and when I say "struck me," I mean a physical experience that felt a bit overwhelming.  I immediately began to ask questions of my friend Jill concerning whose house it was, what the person was like, how many children they had... because I knew instantly the woman who lived in this house had many children...  I asked about the flowers that she grew, because I knew the woman who lived there had loved gardening, and many other questions, and so that day I met Lera for the first time.  There is much to tell of Lera, but the most important part is that she loved, and loved deeply and unconditionally.

One of my favorite books is East of Eden, by John Steinbeck, and there is a favorite quote of mine from that book that perfectly fits Lera;   "I believe a strong woman may be stronger than a man, particularly if she happens to have love in her heart. I guess a loving woman is indestructible.”

That quote is so true of Lera, I have found that though she left this world long ago, she had so much love that she remains "indestructible."  She resides in another house now, but her heart was so filled with love it could not all be taken with her, and the left overs are scattered all over North Carolina, and probably the world, but this little house is one of the repositories of her love.  My husband has asked me where I would like to go for a vacation when he comes home, he loves me so, and wishes to provide for me something special as he returns home from two years of deployment in the Middle East, he suggested Costa Rica, Disneyworld, and other places, but I know where I want to go.

So watch my blog, Jill had all kinds of pictures of Lera and things connected to her, and for the next two weeks Jill and I are going to take the time to introduce you to Lera, ... you will never be the same.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

More of My Sweet Grand-daughter at the Beach

She played, she talked to herself, she sang, and she danced.  Her little heart is so pure and precious.  I got her a baby doll in her Easter basket, and she told me on the phone that her older brother and sister were throwing it between them and not letting her have it.  Now that is not the way they usually play, and I had to scold both of them.  I could tell I was not impressing them much with my "stern voice."

However, when I mentioned emailing Papa Randy... there was a pause, then a sincere, "we promise Nana, we will never do it again!"  Randy is like my dad, they can both give you a quite and calm talking to, and make you wish they had beat you instead.  Randy is the kind of person you want to think well of you.  Most military people are.

Here is a little video of her play:  

Monday, August 5, 2013

McKenna and Her Pail and Shovel

One of the great loves of my life is my grand-children.  Mckenna loves me, and I love McKenna, and I took her to the beach with a pail and shovel...

 First things first... scout out a good spot!


And she has now draw a crowd!