Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tithing Our Time

In his terrific series on time, Tim suggested Sunday that perhaps Christians needed to tithe their time, just like they do their money (you do tithe your money, don't you?).

I have been thinking all week about what that would look like. Taking out times to eat each day that leaves about 8 hours of daylight for the retired one. Let's see, a tithe of that would be about 48 minutes a day. How would I spend that time for God? That is not really much time.

Suggestions to myself:

1. Pick a book or topic and study it (I'm enjoying a study of finding God in unexpected places right now.)
2. Read the Bible--Love reading Psalms!
3. Read an inspirational book--I have a new book by Joan Chittister called Listen with the Heart, Sacred Moments in Everyday Life. It is so good!
4. Enjoy Advent--we will begin celebrating it tonight at Vespers. Beth Richardson has a new devotional book Child of the Light, Walking Through Advent and Christmas that I recommend (put out by the Upper Room Press.) If you do not get their catalog, you are missing some jewels.
5. Pray--when have I ever prayed for 48 minutes straight?
6. Serve others.
7. Spend time in solitude thinking about God and his blessings.
8. Listen to inspirational music--not doing anything else. That way the lyrics come forward.
That is pretty easy to do these days when two of Nashville's stations are playing non-stop Christmas music.

What a delightful 48 minutes those would be.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Still thankful

I am still thankful on this day after Thanksgiving--the meal was wonderful, if I do say so myself--Sheryl brought my favorite green bean casserole and some sweet potatoes. We ate and talked, and talked and then all went to see the new Disney movie Enchanted.

I recommend this movie for the whole family, although there were some scary parts (the old witch turns into a very scary dragon) (by the way, Susan Sarandon is a hoot at the stepmother and witch). The story line is fun--taken from so many fairy tales, it was interesting to sort them out with Maddie and Ella. Sam was transfixed with the action. I don't know how, but we ate popcorn and cokes and candy even though we were full. The Thomas family thinks a movie is not a movie without popcorn, candy and Coke. There were also references in the movie to other things like a King Kong sequence.

Yesterday was my 45th wedding anniversary--doesn't seem possible that it was that long ago. I haven't changed that much! Kennedy died on our first anniversary. I shall never forget the superintendent coming in and saying that school was closing and would not meet the next day because of the tragedy. That was one sad time when TV proved its mettle and helped millions grieve.

No, I am not one of those crazy people who get up at dawn or before and go shopping on Black Friday. You couldn't pay me to do it. Happy bargains to all who do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Give thanks

I am in the middle of cooking--wanted to get an early start--and wouldn't you know, the electricity went off for about 2 hours! Couldn't even open a can to stir things up....Bah! But it is fun to get out the old recipes that are only used maybe twice a year and do them again. Tomorrow, I am having something new--my sister-in-law Dorothy (Aunt Bae) made what she called "Green Rice". It is a combination of broccoli and rice with a lot of other stuff thrown in. Also fixing Baked Corn--cream-stryle corn with whipped cream and butter (non-caloric, of course). Another borrowed recipe is Hashbrown Casserole from my sister-in-law Vicki. It has become a staple for us every holiday and special event. Rounding out is the turkey (smoked, this year) and dressing (always cornbread!).

We were put in the mood for the holiday yesterday by Maddie's kindergarten Thanksgiving program. She was a beautiful Pilgrim--so grown up!.

I hope all my readers have a wonderful holiday and that you do not get caught in the horrible weather that is coming our way and sure to cause airplane delays. May God bless you and your families. We thank him for blessing our family with good health, beautiful grandchildren, and children who are so wonderful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Community covers

Otter Creek is unique to other churches which I have attended. Each time some one comes to the front for prayers, they are joined by a huge crowd of friends and others in the community--literally covered up with those who empathize--what a great picture of love!

Today Hailey Hiatt, a young mother who has just found out that she has MS, came forward--I saw many hugs and tears there. We are all praying for her.

Also coming was the Meador family--Craig and Shellie have a niece who has leukemia and who will begin the ordeal of a bone marrow transplant this week . Prentice and Barbara Meador were there along with members of Palmer's family. Again many who do not even know the family came forth and covered them with arms of love.

I believe Palmer's web site is Please add her and Hailey to your lists too.

Thank God for the community that cries and prays together and for the continuing recovery of Allie Nichols who has just endured a mysterious illness and is improving.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving is Coming

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday. I love the sentiment; I love the food; I love the gathering of family. What's not to like about turkey and dressing (cornbread, of course), green bean casserole, hash-brown casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin and pecan pies?

I remember Turkey Day at my Grandmother (Granny) Tucker's. She had four children and all were there bringing their special dish to the celebration. The kitchen and the extra table set up in the bedroom groaned with all the food. In addition to all the above, we had ham,mashed potatoes, candied yams with marshmallows and cherries, macaroni and cheese, homemade rolls, coconut cream pie, Coke (made with Coca-cola) Salad, tossed green salad, Italian Cream Cake and other things I cannot remember. One of my family's favorites was Fruit Salad with whipped cream.

We laughed and told stories and often watched the Texas and Texas A and M game. What fun! I miss that now that I am often the cook.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brandon's birthday

Today 38 years ago at about 6:00 am at Hendrick Hospital in Abilene, the little package that Sam and I had waited for so long for arrived. Brandon Scott Thomas! His first name is my maiden name and Sam's brother's name; his middle name comes from Scott Hays, Sam's beloved mentor and principal at Fair Park Elementary School in Abilene. The grandparents were rejoicing (Mine were there) and we called Pasadena to notify Sam's parents as soon as possible. Those were the days of yore when parents did not know the sex of the baby until born--we were delighted to have a boy, and even more delighted to have a child. We had been married seven years, and it seemed that all our friends already had their first one.

Brandon was a bubbly delight all his early years with quirky food tastes like all kids. His favorite breakfast food was instant oatmeal uncooked with sugar. He got plenty of vegetables--we had a little pump that shot them directly into his mouth--no, honey, let's get the spoon in there for us, just a simple shot. He loved his Lincoln Logs and a Fisher Price car garage with lots of Hot Wheels cars. He also loved to roam outside and dig, pick flowers, say hello to his horse, Tiger and breathe the fresh Potosi air.

Probably his favorite Christmas gift of all time was a go-cart in which he terrorized the neighborhood and one utility pole. We put in an above-the-ground pool when he was about 12, and he became a huge "water baby," loving the water to this very day.

I am so sorry that Sam did not live to see the intelligent, kind, spiritual, respected church leader that Brandon has become and to see His children. But, I believe Sam is seeing us and enjoying, if only from a distance.

Thank you, Babe, for 38 years of delight and all the abundant blessings you have given me.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fall color

How can one not believe in God the creator when viewing the blazing leaves of autumn? Shakespeare writes about "teeming autumn, big with rich increase". Drivers can see this big autumn now in Nashville where the trees just this week have literally burst with color. Absolutely my favorite time of year!

Another writer writes about the "spendthrift gold" of the leaves. My favorites are the bright reds of the oaks and maples. I want a yard full of them. When I left Potosi, I had to leave a red oak which every October lit the whole yard with its changes that seemed to move from inside the tree to the outside leaves. I loved to sit and watch it.

Thanks you God for your creation for us lowly humans whose eyes often miss the glory of your art.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lion for lambs

Doris and I went to see R. Redford's new film Lion for Lambs on Sat. While I have not seen one favorable review for the movie, there were some good things about it.

Robert Redford, for example! It is, knowing his politics, an anti-war film and an anti-Bush film as well. And that Tom Cruise is handsome in a three piece suit.! ( I find it hard to believe that he would take the role of a Congressman supporting the war and aiming for the Presidency) Merle Streep has a small part as a jaded journalist. It was also good to see the actor who played the title role in Antone Fisher (don't know his name). He and his Mexican-American friend who play soldiers caught by the enemy performing a task their commanding officers knew would fail are very good in the film. Of course, as the good guys, they are killed seconds before being rescued. As a retired college prof, it was fun to see Prof. Redford try to persuade one of his students with great potential to join the human race and find something to do besides party.

I do not support this war, but I do feel great empathy and sympathy for those who are called to serve and for their parents and spouses who wait. On this Veteran's Day, I am thinking of all those who have served from the Minutemen on the Concord Bridge to those who survived D-Day, and those who fought another failed war in Korea, and those who braved the steaming jungles and streams of Viet Nam (including my Navy brother who served on a mine-sweeper) and those who got caught in Desert Storm and now Iraq, plus the millions of others who served without going to battle (like my Air Force brother). And I wonder at the same time if I have done enough to serve my country and give back its blessings. As a teacher, I tried.....

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I went to the post office in Nolensville yesterday. The town was lining up the Veteran's Day Parade across the street. It was fun to watch the little vignettes:

The high school band was warming up with the brass showing off as usual. Lots of kids were sitting on flatbed trailers waiting. Boy Scouts in uniform were tucking in shirts. Mothers were fluffing the hair of their little girls in the dance club (or ballet class?). An old man sat in a vintage car labeled D-Day Veteran. The sheriff was there with his paunch and star. Horses patrolled the street--some wearing more silver than Uncle Sam. Beautiful vintage cars were joining the procession--saw one tomato colored 30's Chevy that was really sleek. Insurance salesmen with appropriate signs on their cars were carrying beautiful girls in convertables. Flags were flying in the breeze. Old vets holding little American flags sat on a trailer.. I felt like saying the pledge of allegiance.

It made me a little homesick for those days when we left Brandon off at the gathering place and then took our spot on Pine Street waiting for the Wylie Band to make its appearance in the parade. However, I think that parade was most always the West Texas Fair Parade.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I watched the Osmond Family Reunion on Oprah today. It was fun to remember the brothers' and Marie's songs and to watch old clips of their appearances on the Andy Williams Show--one of my favorite shows.

Interesting too to compare this moral Morman family with those of the Spears' and Hilton's. The father who died this week was held up as the patriarch who taught all the Osmonds values, love, and music. A very refreshing look at what families can be even today. All it takes is a concentrated effort to be parents, and faith in God who is there to help in every trial. As Donnie said, "Of course we all have issues, but love holds us together." I believe all 8 brothers are married to their first wife. One could practically see the love and values oozing out of the family (all 100 plus) on the show.

We had a discussion about the teaching of values in public school this week at my book club meeting. I remember the days when there was actually a CURRICULUM for values education in the school system in which I taught. Guess those days are gone forever in these "politically correct" times.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I can't believe it has been a week since I posted--what a busy week; I guess it can only get worse from here.

One of my college roommates and husband visited last week. They live in Cypress, CA, and I had not seen them in 35 years at least. It was like slipping on an old, comfortable shoe--so fun to see them and talk to them. As they said, they really like to visit--in the old sense of sitting and having conversations. (What a novel thought!). We did that, and we visited Belle Meade mansion and Carnton Plantation. Husband Del is a historian. He and I had so much to talk about. Ruth Copeland Scott and I were struck as we went through the old college yearbooks how much we looked alike back then, and still do in many ways. Our hair is white, some extra pounds have appeared, but we still look good and have all our faculties. One thing I enjoyed about Ruth is that she has a better memory for those days than I do--it was interesting to hear what I was like back then. I guess I really haven't changed much--Ruth said that one point as we were lying in our beds in the dorm room, I said, "I feel I really am too mature for all these rules."

Oh yes, we did get to eat at the Puffy Muffin (a definite Nashville must-do) although Del was a little bit put off by the name. Tortilla soup and frozen salad, yum, yum.

They are coming back through on the way home next week. So glad.

I just finished The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo. I didn't like it very much--too repetitive. I am anxious to read a really good book--any recommendations?