Published in the Rains County Leader on March 14, 2017:
Spring doesn’t officially arrive for another few days, but the East Texas vegetation doesn’t seem to care. The daffodils came and went several weeks ago, and although I haven’t seen any yet, I’ve heard that the bluebonnets are in bloom. Blooms are popping out on a lot of the trees, and many of the others are taking on that pale yellowish, green color of fresh, new leaves. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 21, 2017:
After six years of living in Emory, I am closing in on a place where I can consider myself a country girl. Once in a while, though, something like calving season happens to remind me that I’m still a city girl.
A Facebook friend, a real country girl, posted that she had placed an ad on a cattle page looking for a bottle calf for her daughter to raise for 4H. She went on to explain the 4H rules for a calf-raising project. Then, she shared a comment someone had posted in response to her ad, challenging her wording and revealing how little they really knew about the process. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 14, 2016:
One of the attractions of country life is the peace and quiet – being able to sit out in the yard and see only an occasional neighbor driving by or to sleep with the windows open on a cool spring night and smell the fresh air instead of pollution. Another thing I really enjoy on our little country homestead is the wildlife. We’ve sat at our dining table and watched the squirrels, rabbits, and all kinds of birds play and forage for food. One season an owl joined us for dinner every evening, and for two seasons, a pair of hawks were frequent visitors. Before we cleared the back part of the lot, we saw lots of deer grazing among the honey suckle and poison ivy, and even now a doe and her fawns will wander across occasionally. On special occasions, we’ve seen two foxes, an armadillo, a skunk, and more buzzards than people of our age need to see. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 3, 2016:
The last couple of weeks have been a time of counting blessings at the Brendle house. Nothing really big, but like dynamite, blessings often come in small packages. I’d like to tell you about three of ours.
The first was poke salad. Until we moved to Emory, all I knew about poke salad was that it was the subject of an Elvis song from the late sixties. Then, two years ago, someone brought some poke salad to the Senior Center. David and I checked it out and realized we had lots of it growing around our back yard. I had heard a lot of stories about the dangers of the green, so I did some on-line research and harvested some. Both of us enjoyed it, and neither of us suffered any ill effects, so I added it to my list of menu items. (more…)
While I was raising my son, I often said that kids and pets will eventually make a liar out of you. For example, as soon as you tell the hostess he won’t eat pot roast, he eats his and yours and asks for more. Later, when you tell Grandma he has learned his multiplication tables through the tens, he can’t manage to count to three. And when you write a column bragging on Kitty’s tree-climbing skills, your husband has to climb on the roof four days in a row to rescue her. (more…)
After living in Emory for almost five years, I finally made it to the Rains County Fair last week. It’s not that I avoided it up to this point, but all my prior fair experience was with the Texas State Fair in Dallas. That one runs for two weeks plus an extra weekend, so there’s time to dawdle over the decision about whether or not to go. The County Fair, though, lasts only five days, and in previous years, it was over before I hardly knew it had opened.
This year, however, I shared a booth with Kent Larson, another local Christian author, and I spent almost twenty hours at the Fair. I sold a few books, but mostly I chatted with people and learned more about life in small town America. Here are some of my observations: (more…)
Kitty weighs 6 pounds now.
For those who have asked recently, Kitty is doing fine. She is still in residence at the Brendle home and is still an outside cat except on days when it is extremely hot or rainy. On those days she is invited into the laundry room where she enjoys lazing on the cool tile floor, playing with the work boots and shoes lined up in front of the washer and dryer, and occasionally turning over the trash can. (more…)