Blackbirds, Doomsayers & Hexes

Did you notice how 2011 arrived like a scene out of a Hitchcock flick? Out in the middle-of-nowhere Arkansas Four-and-twenty blackbirds fell from the sky, dead, along with hundreds of others. Wildlife folks in Arkansas are speculating as to the cause, suggesting that perhaps the birds were struck by lightening or were felled by an [Read More…]

Gardening Tips for Life

January was always the time when my buddy Gordon would pass the morning with a cup of coffee in one hand and a seed catalogue in the other. While his dog Butterbean slept at his feet, Gordon would sit in the sunroom of his Tennessee home and consider warm tomatoes fresh from the vine, or [Read More…]

A New Year's Wish: More of the Ordinary

Aunt Cil with Mama’s dog Sheba. Back in the mountains where my people are from jobs were scarce. Pap could get work at the paper mill sometimes but he was never regularly employed. He didn’t sit around talking about retirement or his 401-K or health insurance for Granny, who everyone called “the crippled woman down [Read More…]

Miz Grumblebutt

I had my hair done on Wednesday. I’ve been going to the same stylist for the past several years. I’m picky about hairdressers. Like Paul, I believe that a woman’s hair is her glory, especially after she reaches a certain age. It may be the only reminder of the youthfulness that has long sense faded [Read More…]

Are we losing our fanciful side?

On Tuesday I drove down to Portland to meet a friend for coffee. One coffee is mine. One is hers. Care to guess whose is whose? Well actually I was meeting more than one friend but the fellow, Paul, was drinking the coffee of Canadians — hot tea.  Maybe it will help you to know [Read More…]

Pastor Smitty: The rare gift

At Rose Hill Baptist with Pastor Smitty & Miz Betty. I come from a diverse group of rednecks. Within our clan of misfits, we have several soldiers, a handful of engineers, some nurses, some plumbers, a few teachers, a bookkeeper or two, and more than our share of felons. There are no bankers, no doctors, [Read More…]

Merry Christmas Y'all

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My recommended shopping list

My phone has been ringing off the hook lately. It’s the same folks calling everyday. No. It’s not telemarketers. It’s my children. They all want to know the same thing: What should I get Dad for Christmas? I give them all the same answer: Do NOT buy him any more clothes. We don’t have the [Read More…]

Angels among us

The Redhead’s daughter finished her first term of college. To celebrate, we met in Bend for a bit of girl togetherness. We did the usual sort of things. Shopped. Ate. Talked. Laughed. And laughed some more. And when we tired of that, we took to the slope for a bit of an adventure. Miz B. [Read More…]

Duke: Lousiest Shot South of Mason-Dixon

  Despair propelled Clay Duke, the gunman who went on a shooting rampage in Panama City, Florida. In his last act of hopelessness at the Bay County School Board Meeting, Duke fatally shot himself after exchanging gunfire with the district’s security chief Mike Jones. School Superintendent Bill Husfelt believes it’s a miracle no one else [Read More…]

A bit of Sugar & Spice

We have received several inches of snow around these parts over the past two days. Sure feels like Christmas. I was in Spokane visiting one daughter this week and now am off to Bend to visit a couple of more daughters and to spend a few days with The Redhead’s daughter and her girlfriend. While [Read More…]

We aren't the only ones…

In a display of how far Christmas has veered off course from the babe in a manager days, the Arabs have splurged on an $11 million Christmas tree (next time you wonder why it costs so much to fill up at the gas station, you might want to consider this). The $10,000 fake tree, adorned [Read More…]

Drumroll: The Winner is…

  While it’s true I am in Spokane and there is snow on the ground in some places, it isn’t really a snow day. It is nowhere near as cold as the 18 degrees my friends in Boston are enduring, or even the snowfall my friends in Tennessee are seeing. I’m in town a few [Read More…]


  Editor’s note: A glimpse of the $130 million building project planned by the good folks at First Baptist Church, Dallas, Texas. Rev. Robert Jeffress, pastor at First B, is urging businesses to put Christ back into Christmas through the website  Best Buy, Kirklands and Alaska Airlines all made the nice list, but Nordstrom, Macy’s and [Read More…]

Gossip: The Opiate of the Oppressed

The silence has been purposeful as I have contemplated the best way to put into words the thing that is troubling me. Just tell the people how you feel, my husband advised. They will stone me, I replied. Perhaps, he agreed. But know this, I don’t say it lightly. I am not making a statement [Read More…]