From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter is My Favorite Celebration, and I am Not a Minilimist

I love Christmas, it is about the birth of our Lord, but Easter is about the death of our Lord and his resurrection to life again!  Spring is my favorite season of the year too.  When Spring arrives, the earth gives birth again to all its' treasures, everything becomes new!  New life comes from the ground, from the domestic animals at the ranch, and from the wildlife at the ranch.  The Spring flowers are everywhere now at the ranch, but the house plants are just as happy to see Spring. 

When I was caring for the plants this morning, I noticed that they are doing so well, and I decided to decorate them for Easter.  I really like the results!  I just placed a little ceramic rabbit in one of the large plants, and plastic Easter eggs in all shades and hues in all of the plants.  Real eggs are full of life and when left with their mother, 
they soon reveal new life, another 
creature from the Creator.

This little grouping of plants is very happy near the big double doors which are the main entrance to our home.  They add color, texture,  and design elements, and as you can tell, I do not ascribe to the minimalist design  which is so popular now.  I rather like my eye to be presented with multiple objects of different textures, colors, and composition.  I want visitors to my home to be compelled to study all that is there, and to understand me better after doing so.

The term "minimalist" generally refers to a design style applied to anything which reflects being spare or stripped down to only its essentials.  In the written or spoken self expression which I engage in, I tend to carefully choose my words, but always generously use enough to accurately communicate.  The same goes with my own, very unique, and "I love to ignore what is trending," decorating style.  I decorate our home with what we love, what speaks of who we are, and significantly important, things which are not expensive.  There are so many other resources which should receive the benefit of our financial resources.  Those things always deal with loving people.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Handsome, True Hearted, and Loyal to the Death

He is just so handsome and charming...

Those brown eyes with flecks of gold...

That courageous heart...

The way his eyes sparkle with mischief...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Real or Photoshopped?

Very Basic Science, For Heaven's Sake, Use It!!!

I  wrote this blog quite awhile back.  Being the rather eclectic butterfly of a person that I have been my whole life, I began slacking off on my own advice.  That was after I had found by personal experience that I need this substance, because when I was taking it as I know I should, my energy levels were great, I didn't have as much pain, and I wasn't walking into a room and wondering why I had gone there.  I need it regularly, and in scheduled doses.  I also know that I cannot digest wheat and wheat products, well actually any carbohydrates.  As a general rule, if it is a food which is white in color, it eventually makes me sick.  First it makes me fat, then I crave carbohydrates, relent and eat them more, and slowly my energy fades, I begin to hurt everywhere until I am so sore, I can barely move, and I can't remember my own name.  Then I spend too much time on the sofa nursing that feeling of low fever and, as the medical textbooks describe the pain of Ankylosing Spondylitis, "prevailing moderate to severe pain."  Those suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis cannot eat carbohydrates, I am certian of that because I have searched out the peer reviewed, academic research which convinces me of this.  There is just too many findings by very good research teams which prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that carbohydrates are really bad for everyone, and that Omega 3 is an essential nutrient for human beings .

Lately I have felt so bad, I could barely crawl through my day.  For the last month I literally had begun thinking of how I wanted my funeral planned.  I had been feeling that badly.  After reading one of the most motivational and inspirational books of my lifetime, Willpower the Integrity of the Soul, by Peter J. Daniels, God convicted me that He had given me knowledge, and I casually cast aside that knowledge, and was failing to find relief by failing to use my own willpower to embrace the knowledge and help He provided me with.  I have repented, and this week I have eaten as I should have.  I also have utilized the information that I learned concerning Omega 3/6/9, and the human body's need for this essential nutrient!  I have also been convicted to share this information with anyone who will listen, for everyone can benefit from this food source, and it is only a food source, there is nothing "chemical" about it.  My gift to each person who honors me by looking at my words here is the giving of passing this information on to you.  Since this food is so cheap, so without side affects, and does not need FDA approval, I don't think you will be hearing of all its' benefits on the evening news, as no one will get rich manufacturing and dispensing it.

Do your own research, your health will greatly benefit from it.  I am ending my week planning celebrations, trips, and time with my family, I absolutely feel like a new person after following the discipline of the information God provided.  Thank you Father God for sending your Holy Spirit, and His Still Small Voice to whisper to my mind Your reminder that You have made provision for my health, and my willpower has been the only thing standing between relief and suffering!  So to each friend and acquaintance who finds these words and benefits from them, know they are God's provision for you as well!  Now, to present the synopsis my original work, and a pretty picture of spring flower from the road to the ranch to entice you all to come see Randy and I soon!

It Is My Privilege and Honor

It is my privilege and honor to call Canon Andrew White, known the world over simply as the Vicar of Baghdad one of my dearest personal friends.  He has caused in my heart a love for the people of Iraq which comes from the very heart of God Himself.  Brother Andrew has written several books, which are so moving and inspirational.  I have given copies of them to all those whom I love.  Today I posted this to Brother Andrew's Facebook page, because it has my thoughts about the three men I most admire in it.  If you haven't read Faith Under Fire, I highly recommend the book... His life is one of those lived above the common man.  It might very well change your life forever to read of how he is spending his. I believe very, very, few things have the real ability to change our lives in any way...  

Here is the post I made on Brother Andrew's wall:

Brother Andrew, my dad and Randy are tied for being the best men I have ever known...(you are a very close second place,) and I have made gifts to my dad of all your books. He is going to be 86 this fall. He and his "older" friend who is 89 recently handed out Gideon Bibles at a festival that is held in my hometown every year. My dad has been a Gideon for over 40 years. He and his friend handed out 1800 Bibles over 3 days. He called me today to tell me he read your book again Faith Under Fire. I laughed when he told me that the good thing about being 85 is that you can read a good book, (he still reads about one book a week,) and then about a year later read it again, and it is brand new all over. He said it made him wish to be a young man again and to come and help you, and that it stirred his heart in love for a people and a church he has never seen. He has a prayer list, and he takes our grand-children to school everyday, and picks them up every afternoon, (he still drives,) and he always arrives an hour early each afternoon and sits in front of the school, so that he can pray and read his Bible. He has added you and the Christians of Iraq to a written prayer list he maintains... as we say in West Texas, Brother Andrew, you are in high cotton now! He is one of God's right hand men, and you have his full support and admiration. I am quite sure that his prayers that you would have every need met were instrumental in your getting your visa. Hurry home to your people, and keep an eye on that rascally husband of mine.  He likes to run with scissors, just like you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

My Best Friend Brenda Sent Me This

I think that this is the greatest gift I have ever received...Words, and taking the time to say them are so important!

I was thinking about you / us this morning and this is the inspiration which was set upon my heart and I pen it here to share with you, my God sent friend. 
Creator God, Our Father knew, my desire for a friend (after His own heart), and that would be you!  

You were created before time and placed on life's journey with me in mind. You were sent with purpose and seasoned with passion. You were destined to be my friend. You "found" me in a prayer, whispered in the Father's ear. He said "Go ahead, open your heart, for she is very near!"  Your prayer was a beacon's light shone on Glory Rd and Amen Corner.  I lifted my eyes toward heaven, then the path was clearly set. I crossed the street on Friendship Lane and in that celestial plane we met.  Is there anything too great for God?   He created the heavens and the earth. He hurled the stars into the sky.  He makes crooked paths straight.  And takes time for you and I!  We found each other by God’s great design.  Enshrined in history! A friendship forged in the heavenlies.  Unmerited favor another of life’s great mysteries. 

ScTRUEPULP cSanctioned by God Sc  
  by BrendaO   3.24,2014

She included a beautiful photo, as I said, it is one of the most touching gifts I have ever received.  Everyone should have such a friend...

Barbie Doll Birthday!

It was a beautiful spring night, and we celebrated Carla's birthday on the porch with good food and playing with the "My size Barbies."  She was turning twelve, and one last birthday playing with dolls was in order.  I love watching little girls play dolls!  What a lovely time with a sweet little family!

This was the first trip the family had made to Soldier's Heart Ranch.  Michael, the father had worked at BAE Systems where the MRAP was made in Sealy, the MRAP is the large V shaped hulled vehicle which saved so many lives in Afghanistan.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Great Page to Visit

A most beautiful and interesting page is on Facebook and you should make a visit there.  It is posted by a friend of mine from Afghanistan.  His name is Fahim Khairy, and he tells me the pictures are contributed by Afghans from all over his country.  There are pictures of the handsome people of this country, the landscape of the country, their industrious work, and wonderful pictures of the handsome children. I love the one of two little boys riding a donkey standing up.   I also enjoyed a video made of a typical day for one of Afghanistan's average citizens,  Fahim's Facebook page offers a look at this emerging nation which is a true reflection of the country.  Fahim titled the page appropriately "Afghanistan Mirror," and it can be found at the following link:

Fahim has also authored a book.  One the first things I learned from my friendship with Fahim is that a common eye color in Afghanistan is green.  The title of his book is Emerald Eyes Behind the Burqa.  You can read it by downloading it at Amazon. The following is the description of this compelling book listed on Amazon:

Emerald Eyes Behind the Burqa is a historical fiction novel by Fahim Khairy. The story provides a window into the struggles and deep sorrows of Afghan women and Afghan families which have been the result of a decade of constant war. The novel is narrated by a young high school female teacher, who tells the story of the dark pro-communist regime follow by the barbaric system spawned by the Taliban. Arezo seeks protection in a new world. She moves to Pakistan where she meets a young boy from Afghanistan, whose family is the victim of honor killing and sex slavery by the Taliban.

Mrs. Arezo fights for her survival on a lonely battlefield. She witnesses the shooting of her husband in front of her by the Taliban, escapes a marriage proposal by a Taliban commander and being kidnapped by a womanizer drug lord. The author, Fahim Khairy, puts real events into a fictional novel to tell the world what one young man has seen in his short life surviving in Afghanistan.
There are millions of horrible and unimaginable untold stories in Afghanistan. Telling the story of rape, honor killing, and other tragedies in Afghanistan brings shame to the teller according to Afghan custom. To keep the family name safe and its honor intact, the majority of Afghans remain silent about the atrocities they have endured, but Emerald Eyes Behind the Burqa unveils them with courage and honesty, and by doing so, provides a much-needed voice for the voiceless still living with their pain.

God has created so many amazing and talented people all over the world, there are places and people whose lives fascinate me.   Afghanistan has been at the forefront of  the news for over a decade, but the world really doesn't know Afghanistan  and her people yet.  Journalists from around the world have written about Afghanistan, photographers from around the world have photographed Afghanistan, but only as the writers, artists, photographers, and ordinary people of Afghanistan share their insights and work does the rest of the world really come to know the beauty of this nation and her people.


"How can your willpower force be harnessed? I think it will be helpful for us to look at a somewhat comical illustration, which  includes a great lesson.  One of the most stubborn creatures known to mankind is the donkey.  If the animal does not want to move you can push it, pull it, hit it, seduce it with food, and even frighten it, but all to no avail, because you are failing to deal with the "chemistry" that makes the donkey stubborn.  So this is what you do, you reach down to the ground and take a handful of dirt and some small pebbles and force these inside the mouth and onto the gums of the animal.  This will irritate the donkey and make it so concerned about what is happening i its mouth that you can usually lead it wherever you want it to go.  So what is the lesson?  It is simply this: if you want to succeed when you are opposing someone with a will as strong as yours, you must find an irritating distraction and get their mind off the target, then make your move very quickly."

 Peter J. Daniels, Willpower the Integrity of the Soul

Of course I would never do that to my little donkey, she always does everything I ask!

I Know Someone Like This, He is an Adversity Junkie!

"During my life I have sometimes seen those rare individuals in whom the intensity of willpower forces grows in proportion to the size and extent of the adversity that is trying to overwhelm them.  In these people, in a very real way, the will develops its own power force relative to the demands made upon it." 

Peter J. Daniels, Willpower the Integrity of the Soul

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


"A weak willpower usually hides in the obscurity of conformity, and within that sphere it remains smothered in the shadows, where performance and discipline are seldom required."

"A strong willpower overcomes the restraints, blockages, and hindrances that stand in the way of the fulfillment of an objective, and in the long run and the final analysis, commitment to oneself may have a deeper meaning than anything else."

"Willpower allows you to stand erect and brace yourself with confidence against an unsettled vacillating world."

Peter J. Daniels from the book Willpower the Integrity of the Soul.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

You Know all Those Commercials That Claim to Promote a Life Changing Product, Phoey on That!

From Peter J. Daniels book, Willpower the Integrity of the Soul, "Being courageous is not a thought it is an act of the will and the body."
"I sincerely believe that we honor God and ourselves when we carry out our personal, mental, and verbal commitments.  But we strengthen the chains of dishonor when we refuse to take our commitment in a vice-like grip and demonstrate it to the world."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What a Little Linen and Lace Can Do

See what a little lines and lace can do for a room.  Here are before and after pictures of the Rose Bedroom in the ranch house after I added my purchases from Rendezvous in the French Quarter.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Just Because I Love This Story...

My grand-son Tristen is one of the most important people in my life.  I love him dearly for so many reasons.  One reason is his courage.  Tristen got this play set of "the whole armor of God" for Christmas from wonderful Christian friends.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Little Linens and Lace Can Change Things

See what a little lines and lace can do for a room.  Here are before and after pictures of the Rose Bedroom in the ranch house after I added my purchases from Rendezvous in the French Quarter.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

New Orleans is a Completely Unique and Fascinating City

 She sits below sea level at the mouth of the mighty Mississippi River, and the history of our country lies in her ancestry.  One of the first areas of our country to be settled, many European countries were involved in her development.  There are modern buildings, but they are rather the exception, and most of her building are very old, scared from the hard times of nature, and unique and beautiful in every way.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What Makes You Squeal?

There are things in every person's DNA that cause them to squeal with joy and pleasure.  For some of you guys, it is hunting, guns, or sports.  Shopping does it for many women, and I am no exception, but a mall girl I will never be.  I don't follow the current decorating trends and fads of minimalism, and in fact, for my entire life my true preferred "style" hasn't changed, and it is one all my own.  When I have the time on vacation, or as we are traveling with Randy's or my work, I love to pick up things that make me squeal.  One of the places I love to shop most are those little one of a kind shops where the shop keeper has assembled a collection of things he or she is passionate about.  Then they spend their lives offering to the rest of us the chance to benefit from their efforts concerning that which makes them squeal.  I came across such a shop in Jackson Square filled with one of my favorite things...lace...


Monday, March 3, 2014

Madi Gras is People

When I was a little girl I lived two doors down from my Grannie Smith. She and my grand-pa were quiet hard working people, who had survived the Great Depression, WW I, and WWII, the loss of a child, and my grand-father being gassed in the battle fields of France during WWI.  This was one of the delights of my earliest years, especially so because of my grand-mother who I adored.  She had a beautiful little garden, and raised vegetables, peaches, and strawberries at her tiny and tidy little home.  She also raised parakeets in little buildings behind her house, which she sold at market once a month.

I had so much fun with some little people in the Audubon section of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas down by where the ferry arrives from Algiers Point in the French Quarter.  Their exhibit is a large enclosure where the visitor can take small sticks with a feeding mixture on them and feed the birds up close.  The parakeets which inhabit this part of the exhibit seem to enjoy this hand feeding as much as the children and adults who are doing the feeding.