Published in the Rains County Leader on October 31, 2017:
Sunday was National Cat Day. I had no idea there was such a day until one of my Facebook friends posted a picture of her cat in celebration of the holiday. I went to Google to find out what this special day was all about, and I found a website with, among other things, an article giving 20 ways to celebrate. I was disappointed when I realized that at least 10 of the ways involved buying products from the company that sponsors the website and probably the day itself. I decided I’d celebrate in my own way – by writing about the feline I know best – Kitty.
Kitty has gone through a few changes lately. During a recent stop at one of the dollar stores in town, I found a toy I thought she would like. It’s a small stuffed fish attached to a pole by an elastic cord. It’s similar to a toy she had when she was new to the Brendle household. She liked to chase it when one of us bounced it around, but her favorite thing to do was to drag it around the house with the pole trailing behind her. She eventually chewed through the string, but the fish was still her constant companion. At some point, she stuffed it under or inside something where I can’t find it and neither can she, because it hasn’t been seen for months. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 17, 2017:
Celebrating Life, the title of this article, is an accurate description of how I spent this past weekend. In a period of forty-eight hours, I attended a gender reveal, a tenth birthday party, a wedding shower, and a memorial service. Each celebration was very different, but each one marked the importance of an event that most of us experience during our time on this earth.
The gender reveal was my first. I’ve seen pictures of them on Facebook had never attended one until Saturday. When I had my son, the gender reveal came in the delivery room when the doctor declared, “It’s a boy!” Medical advances have allowed earlier announcements, and the process has evolved.
This recent reveal was done at a family fish fry. During lunch, young cousins of some designation made the rounds, taking an opinion poll of the gender of the cousin-in-utero and applying Team Pink or Team Blue stickers as appropriate. I was on Team Pink, and David was on Team Blue in the gender reveal game, but in the game of life, we’re both on Team Brendle! (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 10, 2017:
David and I went to Tyler on Saturday to do a little shopping. We generally prefer to make most of our purchases on-line, especially on a Saturday when the traffic is as thick as a bed of fire ants, but we went out for breakfast, and we didn’t have a lot on our to-do list. David wanted to go to Camping World, I wanted some black shoes, and any excuse will do when it involves driving the new car. In spite of the traffic, we enjoyed the afternoon. We had a chance to become more familiar with our new sound and GPS systems, and I had fun testing the many positions of the fully adjustable passenger seat.
We also enjoyed checking out the latest in camping accessories, but David didn’t find anything he hadn’t seen cheaper on the Internet. I had better luck. I found a pair of shoes that I really liked, and I had more than enough money in my clothing envelope to cover the cost. Several months ago, we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – a series of classes in which we learned Biblical principles for dealing with money. One suggestion was to use cash rather than plastic, not only because it saves any interest charges that might accrue but also because it makes spending more real when you see the actual bills and coins passing from your hand into a cash register. The total cost for my shoes after the tax was added was $43.29. I handed the sales clerk two twenties, three ones, a quarter, and a nickel, and he stared at the payment in confusion for several seconds before figuring out how much change he needed to give me. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 3, 2017:
There will be one less red 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix on the streets of Emory in the future. From now on, look for the Brendles in a 2016 charcoal gray Kia Optima. For the first time in fifteen years, we have bought a car, and the Pontiac has been put out to pasture to be used only in times of schedule conflicts or maintenance visits for Kiara (little dark one).
Since we have a history of driving our cars until pieces literally begin to fall off, Kiara will probably be the last car we will buy, so we went for all the bells and whistles. To say we’re excited about our new toy would be an extreme understatement. We can sometimes be found sitting in her with the driver’s manual open, learning how to access all the magic hidden behind the leather, buttons, and dials. Saturday we actually took a ride just because we could and also to blow off the fine layer of dust that had settled on the roof when David mowed.