What Are the Chances?

Saturday night we enjoyed "steak night" at the
Lonesome Dove in Zephur, Texas
 with good friends, Harold and Janice. 
While we were stuffing our faces and licking our lips,
 the couple at the next table asked about the ribeyes. 

That led to the trying to connect questions
 "Do you live here?
Where are you from?
 What do you do?" 

 Harold and the man talked about dirt work and building ponds, because they live in the same area and know some of the same people.  Then we got around to names.  The man at the table said, "I am Mike Nuss", then he and Harold kept talking dirt. 

But Ted got out his phone and started scrolling through his contacts, until he stopped on Mike Nuss.  He just sat there grinning waiting his turn to talk.  Boy was Mr. Nuss surprised when Ted asked if his phone number was still xxx-xxx-xxxx. 

We had met Mr. Nuss when he leased my dad's land for hunting quail 5 or 6 years ago and Ted had kept his number. 
 We had quite a visit.

But I wonder, what are the chances of running into someone you know when you are out and about?

We seem to have these things happen often.

Is it coincidence?
Is it luck?
Is it because of our age and the number of people we've met?

I say it's the favor of God.

But I wonder how many people there are around us that we have a connection with,
but never know because we don't talk to them.

What ARE the chances?



One of the greatest things about West Texas
is the unobstructed view of the sunset
Last night we sat in our regular spot for the show,
then we grilled and ate hamburgers on the patio.

We had been working so hard
and decided to take a break

While on the patio, we saw a couple of shooting stars
so we moved to the front of the house
 for a better view of the night sky.

We wrapped up in wool Indian blankets.
For a least an hour the only moving things we saw
were airplanes
- not even a car passed.

Then we started to get a little melancholy.

The pine tree in the front yard stretched to the sky.
I'm sure it grew 10 feet while we were away.
We remembered it when it was just
a living Christmas tree in a bucket
and nobody loved it.
It was too much trouble to keep it alive,
couldn't have lights,
and didn't hold many ornaments.
Can't remember how old the girls were,
but sure wish we'd done that every year.

The wind rustled through the needles of the tree
and we remembered camping under
 the Colorado pinesand the aspens
and wished for one more elk hunt.

The sky was incredible.
How sad that so many people  never see the stars.
How blessed we are that we can.

We discussed the past and the future.

"Where else do you want to go?"
"What else to do you want to do?"

"We've had a good life, haven't we?"

"I'm so glad for the years we rode motorcycles."
"But, I think it's time to move on."

So today, he polished Harley.

We both got a little teary when he cranked it that one last time.
potato, potato, potato...

I just love that sound.
potato, potato, potato
Only a Harley.
That deep rumble will probably turn my head
 as long as it will turn.

And off they went to the motorcycle consignment store.

And the sun sets on another era of our lives.

Does anybody want to buy a nice used leather jacket?


Home Sweet Texas Home

The whirlwind tour is over and now we are home working in another whirlwind!

It's amazing how beautiful your own house looks when you've been gone for a while!  I just stood inside the door and took it all in.  This ole shack ain't that bad!

Our bed felt sooo good and being able to walk around it was wonderful.  Oh! and a real shower!!

We've cleaned the fridge,washed clothes, mowed the grass, got all the vehicles started and inspected, hauled off trash, unloaded, and reloaded the trailer.  The snake catchers on the patio reminded me to clean the leaves off first thing, in case there are critters hiding there.  We drove through the dry pasture, but could see that the new seed we planted a year ago had come up thick. There's still million more things to do. 

We want to be super ready for the next assignment!  (That is speaking in faith, is it not?) When the call comes to be there next week, we want to make a quick exit!

In the midst of it all we are trying catch up with friends!

Can't believe it's been 10  months and it all survived without us!

There's no place like home.......


Whirlwind Tour

Day 1
Southwest Airlines delivered us some precious cargo from Midland, Texas!
and now we're off on a whirlwind tour of cajun country.
We started with lunch at Camillias Grill in New Orleana
Then a trip to the beach in Gulfport, Mississippi
(as requested by Hannah Banana).
The temperature was cool, but it didn't stop these two.

Day 2
More beach - just can't get enough.
We had to leave too soon.
Back in Louisiana, we went to an alligator farm.
We fed them, petted them, and held some babies.

Day 3
Zydeco Breakfast at Cafe de Amis in Breaux Bridge
It was an exciting morning with Food Network there filming a session and a packed dancefloor
(and the food was worth the hour wait).
We were seated at a large table with a family from
guess where - Midland, Texas!

Zydeco Music inspired a couple of street musicians
(but  their cup stayed empty)

Day 4
Swamp Tour with Aligator Annie's son
Alligators weren't bothered at all by the tourists
Look who got to drive the boat!

Not everything on the swamp tour was interesting.

Then we were off to Brian and Jeanette's house for a family crawfish boil
Brian gave cooking lessons
Brian also assured us that he could make "coon ass" women out of us in no time!
I think he was counting the crawfish we downed!
Does this say Louisiana or what?
Brian's special crawfish recipe was voted favorite of our trip!

Day 5

Tour of Laura - A Creole Plantation
(Borrowed Photo)

Our tour guide was passionate about the Laura
and told a lot of interesting stories.
He had our complete attention
This picture is of the slave quarters.

It was a delightful tour!
Voted Best in Louisiana.

And all good things must come to an end.

Tomorrow the wagon train heads west.

What a fun few days we've had!



Flowers are blooming, trees are budding.
Everything is bursting into color.
The season is changing in Louisiana.

We are coming to a new season, too.

My man finished his project here today.
Our wonderful daughter and sweet grandkids
 are flying in tomorrow
for a whirlwind tour of cajun country,
then we'll all head back to Texas. 
We don't know where the next season will take us,
 but we're looking forward to being home for a while.

Crowning Glory

"A woman's hair is her crowning glory"

My mind is on my hair today.

Louisiana humidity is messing with my hair.
I've never had curley hair,
but the gray hair is different than the brown hair.
It has a mind to march to it's own drummer.
I do believe it wants to curl.
Except that -
It doesn't exactly curl.
It sort of just goes places I didn't give it permission to go,
So what I end up with is wings over my ears
Yep, those are wings.
No matter what product I use,
whether I use a flat iron or a fat iron
I still have wings.
Gray Wings.
And I look in the mirror and see an
 old gray haired woman
with wings and say,
Who are you?

It's ok, because...
A woman's hair is her crowning glory

I always thought that was in the Bible,
and just now went to look up the scripture reference.
But guess what?
It's NOT there...

But look what I did find -

"Gray hair is a crown of glory;
 it is gained by living a godly life"
(Proverbs 16:31 New Living Translation)

So I have wings on my crown
Sorry, no picture today!


Fat Tuesday

Today is Fat Tuesday
(Mardi Gras)

The 12th day after Christmas is Epiphany (the day some believe the 3 Wise Men  visited the Christ child.  Epiphany marks the start of merrymaking that continues until the grand finale on Fat Tuesday (the last day of self-indulgance before Lent).

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday - the day is the beginning of Lent
(a period of prayer, penitence, almsgiving, and self-denial)
which ends with Easter celebration.

The above is the official definition of Mardi Gras


Now, for my observations on Mardi Gras

Some people pay $2,000 to join a social club called a Krewe
Each person pays for their own
costumes, floats, beads to throw and ball gowns
Each person pays seven or eight hundred per parade for beads.
The Krewes do not seem to be civic or community minded,
other than parades and beads.

Every town, large or small has parades.
We have seen five.

The day of that Krewe's parade,
The Krewe rides around all day in a covertable bus, celebrating
In this picture, the Krewe in buses, along with their motorcycle escorts have stopped at the drive in Daquris Store.

The celebrating continues on the float.
Can you see the blue bottle being passed around?
(I guess Louisiana does not have public intoxication
arrests like Texas does)

Today, stores and businesses closed and
the revelry continues until midnight

Some of the floats are very artistic
And the floats are equipped with bathrooms.

Some have Children riding on them
  - Bored Children

Most parades have school marching bands
Most of the bands are all black.
 The Snyder Tiger Marching Band
never thought of the moves these kids have!!

Here's the Butterfly Queen
And the Swamp Monster Queen
Those are beads around her
 - there's some in the air she has just tossed.

Besides beads, they toss a little candy, toys, stuffed animals.
We've even gotten a VCR tape, silk flowers, 
and ramen noodle packets.
One guy was throwing dollar bills.

Parade watchers have to be careful not to get hit
 in the face by a handfuls of beads.

And speaking of beads

and more beads

After a parade, streets are unbelievably littered with beads that have not been picked up.
Hansel and Gretel wouldn't have any trouble
 finding their way home.


Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday

All good Catholics will go to mass for the priest to anoint them with a little oil and ash, and prounounce forgivness of their sins.

Then they will give up something for Lent (until Easter)


Like all the other good religious holidays and celebrations,
This one has turned into something that gives no glory to God.

For more information or history on Mardi Gras,
Try Google......


Glory to God in the Highest!


These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

When you see me again,
You'll ask:
"What was your favorite thing about Louisiana?"

You'll discreetly glance at my extra pounds and think
She'll say "Crabcakes...

...or po boys...
...or crawfish...
or maybe it's the wildlife
or the sunrises
or the bayous

or the swamps
or the beach
or the beads

as much as I have enjoyed all those things,

My very favorite thing has been bald eagle sightings,
I call them sightings instead of watchings,
because they are like the scripture that says
if we cast a glace at riches
 they are gone - spouting wings like eagles
and flying off into the sky. 
(Proverbs 23:5)

By the time I spot an eagle, identify it,
marvel at the way it soars
 it is gone in a matter of seconds.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint”
(Isaiah 40:31)

I try to imagaine how big a 90" wing spread is,
or what a 600 pound nest is like.
I think about them soaring on the wind currents
without a single flap.

How would it be to glide effortlessly on
God's grace, mercy, and promises
Then soar above the yuck and the worries of the world.
Oh, how I want to live that way.

I didn't make this picture
But I was there:

The Message Bible says it this way:
"But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
   They spread their wings and soar like eagles"


Morgan City, Louisiana

The Achafalaya River Divides Morgan City and Berwick.
This is the flood wall .

Lightouse on the Berwick Side
of the Achafalaya River.
Built in 1858 - Inactive since 1916.

Historic Downtown Morgan City runs alongside the River,
across from the flood wall.
I am told that the river floods when
North Dakota's snow melts and comes down!

Morgan City is known as the "jumbo" shrimp capital of the world. A "blessing of the fleet" is held each year to insure a safe return and a bountiful harvest of the shrimp trawlers. The Spirit of Morgan City is a monument to the shrimping/seafood industry that is a major economical force in the area, along with offshore oil drilling.

 Local lore is that the boat washed ashore during a hurricane and was left as a monument.



That day when evening came, he said to his disciples,
 “Let us go over to the other side.”

 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along,
 just as he was, in the boat.

  There were also other boats with him.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat,
 so that it was nearly swamped. 

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.

The disciples woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves,
“Quiet! Be still!”
Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid?
 Do you still have no faith?”
(Mark 4:35-41)

“ Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed,
you can say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.
 Nothing will be impossible for you.”
(Matthew 17:20)

So the next time a storm is raging,
Lay down with your little faith
on the cushion beside Jesus
in the bottom of the boat
 calm your storm
and move your mountain.
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