Published in the Rains County Leader on September 26, 2017:
Okra had no place in our home when I was a kid. I don’t know if it was because nobody liked it or because it didn’t come in a can. Mom and Dad both worked long hours, and I began cooking dinner for the family when I was eleven, so there wasn’t much time or skill for preparing fresh veggies.
Okra wasn’t one of those dishes that made a regular appearance at church or family potlucks either. Fried okra doesn’t travel well or keep well like fried chicken, and boiled okra is – well, it’s boiled okra. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 5, 2017:
Mom was born on September 3, so she’s always on my mind during this season. Every year I post a picture of her on Facebook that was taken six years ago on her 90th birthday, her last one on earth, and then I spend most of the day thinking about her. Last Sunday, probably because I was also thinking about what to write in my column, I remembered what a city girl she was in spite of the fact that she spent her first nineteen years on various farms in west Texas. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 1, 2017:
I met a new friend this week. Becky owns a one-operator beauty salon outside of town, and she is very popular at the Senior Center for her Senior Thursday haircuts. She’s also very interesting to talk to.
While she was working on my unruly curls, she mentioned that her son might be going to college on a scholarship, that is, if he agreed to continue training pigs for the show ring. Training pigs? I knew that pot bellied pigs could be domesticated and even trained to use a litter box, but I had trouble imagining them jumping hurdles in an agility ring or responding to commands in an obedience ring. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 6, 2017:
When I first began writing a weekly column in the newspaper, I never thought about the collateral effects of opening at least some aspects of my private life to public scrutiny. I had been writing a blog for several years before becoming City Girl for the Rains County Leader. Although I occasionally received an on-line comment about something I had written, it was disconcerting the first few times someone I didn’t know asked me face to face how my garden was doing or what new antics Kitty had been up to.
It didn’t take me long, though, to begin to enjoy these brief encounters. One of the things I like most about being a writer is knowing when my words have touched someone, even if it’s only to make them smile or stop and think for a minute. It’s really nice to know that something I’ve said sticks in a reader’s mind long enough for them to engage me in conversation about it. In fact, it’s really nice to know that I have readers. Now that I’ve gotten used to it, I enjoy the impromptu conversations I have with friends I didn’t know I had. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on April 4, 2017:
David and I spent last week with our canine friend who lives in Alba while his humans were on a cruise. He would have preferred a pair who would have stayed on the patio in case he was hungry or wanted to be petted and otherwise allowed him to run free. Unfortunately, he got us instead, so he had to resort to trickery. (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…)
This is what I wrote for my City Girl column in the Rains County Leader this week:
I may be in danger of losing my identity as a city girl. Last week David and I drove into the city, and I didn’t like it very much – at least the city part of it.
In February, the winter weather prevented some of our friends from the Dallas area from coming to Emory for my first book signing. Two absentees were Peggy and James, the former neighbors and motorcycle buddies who play several pivotal roles in my book. Even though we hadn’t seen each other since 2007 when we came through the Metroplex in our RV, Peggy and I have kept in touch by email and Facebook. Disappointed by the lost opportunity to reconnect at the signing, we devised another plan – she invited me to speak at an upcoming Sunday school dinner. As the time drew closer, James suggested that we spend the night so we could have more time to catch up. (more…)