Anniversary edition available at Amazon.
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 27, 2017:
The world of training and showing dogs is a subculture that most of us never experience except maybe to watch the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show once a year. My introduction to the culture came when we moved to Florida in 2005 and I met Sue and Sophie. Sophie is a beautiful, pure-bred Miniature Schnauzer, and Sue was a fellow caregiver who had decided that dog training would be fun and might also relieve some of her stress. Sophie was better suited to racing around an obstacle course then to posing and strutting around a show ring, so Sue decided to pursue Dog Agility.
Sophie will soon be twelve years old, and she recently retired with seven MACH titles. According to the American Kennel Club, a dog becomes a Master Agility Champion when she earns “750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores obtained from the Master Standard Agility class and the Master Jumpers With Weaves class.” I understood very little of what that meant until this weekend when David and I attended our first dog show in West Monroe Louisiana. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 23, 2017:
The last couple of weeks have been a bit rough for the Brendles. Actually, David has been struggling with one thing or another for most of this year.
He caught an upper respiratory infection from me toward the end of December, and he didn’t begin to really feel normal again until the end of March. Because of that, the early spring weather, and all the rain, the weeds were way ahead of him by the time he felt well enough to do anything about it.
Finally, about two weeks ago, he hauled out the mower, donned a protective mask and hat, and went to work. He knocked out the front yard in nothing flat, and the back yard up close to the house went well, too. Then, he ventured back a bit further where he made a couple of circuits before I heard him cut the engine and begin walking toward the house. I knew there must be trouble. If he was taking a water break, he would have driven up closer. I stepped out on the porch. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on April 18, 2017:
Shortly after David and I moved to Emory in February of 2011, we were told that, even though Rains is one of the smallest counties in Texas, it contains approximately twenty churches.
“That means one of two things,” quipped our guide. “Either there are a lot of religious people in Rains County or they can’t along.” (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 14, 2017:
Because I’m the church secretary, I’m sometimes a few minutes late to Sunday School after I make a stop in my office to pick up a form I need someone to fill out or an envelope the treasurer has asked me to deliver. Then, it’s not unusual for someone to stop me before I make it to class to ask me to correct an address or to check the lost and found for a Bible. To tell the truth, I kind of like being one of the last ones to arrive. As I walk down the hall toward the Fellowship Hall where the adults meet, I can hear the sound of funny stories about the work week being told, of concerns for friends and family being exchanged, of lives being shared. It sounds a lot like love. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on February 7, 2017:
It’s almost impossible to avoid politics in this day and time – especially on Facebook. Last week I saw a picture of cows standing behind a barbed-wire fence with a red arrow pointing to the fence post. The caption read “A non-political post. You’re welcome!” I thought it was cute, and it seemed innocuous enough, so I shared it. Several people “liked” it, and a few people shared it – but two of my friends actually made political comments about it.
I’m as political as anyone, but I have yet to see a political exchange in which one participant has influenced another participant to change his or her mind – at least about politics. I was, however, involved in an email exchange that changed someone’s opinion about me. (more…)