Mr. Webster defines drought as: a prolonged or chronic shortage or lack of something expected or desired.

So...if you were expecting or desiring a new blog post, sorry.

I've hit a dry spell with the blog. I just haven't had anything inspiring or funny or interesting to post. But I'll keep thinking. Something will come sooner or later. Be patient.


Psalm 23 for Work

The Lord is my real boss, and I shall not want.
He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me.
He gently reminds me to pray and do all things without murmuring and complaining.
He reminds me that he is my source and not my job. He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions that I might honor him in all that I do.
Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors and an aging body that doesn't cooperate every morning, I still will not stop--- for He is with me! His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.

He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me. He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go. His faithfulness and love is better than any bonus check.

His retirement plan beats every 401k there is!
When it's all said and done, I'll be working for Him a whole lot longer and for that, I BLESS HIS NAME!


If I Could Talk to the Animals

We had a fantastic trip to Global Wildlife in Folsum, LA yesterday. They have around 4,000 animals that roam freely on 900 acres. They pull you around in covered wagons with a tractor. I was disappointed that we didn't get to pet the giraffes this time. They are very sensitive to noise and apparently were scared to venture up to our wagons.

The antelope will steal your cup unless you've got a really firm grip on it.
The zebras are the only animals you cannot feed or pet. They bite.
A rhea bird.

Up close with the camels.


From Basil's Farm maybe???

Ernie, the dominant male llama.

Legend has it that this is the type donkey that Mary rode in to Bethlehem. It has been blessed with the marking of a cross on its back.


I Remember...

When you work with the same company as long as I have, you see tons of people come and go. We say here, if you make it past three years you are stuck for life. Unfortunately, that hasn’t held true in this stinking economy. Seniority doesn’t mean much when things have to be trimmed. But I digress. It’s like family here. I consider many of these people very good friends. I still keep in touch with many of those who have left. I have a horrible memory but some things that have happened here have just stuck in my mind. Some good, some bad.

I remember…

Coming for my interview. My very informal interview. B introduced me as “Ruth” even though that is my city address, not my name. T kept asking someone in the office “whose cookies are those”. T was my first boss.

Finding out the man they hired the same time as me was paid much more even though we did the same job.

EA coming to work…WITHOUT his shoes. I remember thinking HOW can a person forget to wear there shoes!

G going to the bank to get travelers checks and responding “Pentecostal” when they asked her “what denomination?”.

Working at the main office for six weeks per Mr. B’s request.

The day the space shuttle Challenger blew up.

The guy that got squashed in the tool room.

The tornado. I stood mesmerized in the parking lot watching it snap power poles in half as dirt pounded my face. I was unaware of S yelling “run” as she made her way back into the building. Bill O got under his truck. But it passed as quickly as it came.

Finding out I was pregnant and calling and telling everyone.

P bringing me lemons and Krystals during my pregnancy.

M’s infatuation with Willie Nelson and Patrick Swayze.

M’s horrible punk hairdo.

Hearing about Shirley M’s tragic death one very foggy morning on her way to work. She never saw the school bus in the ditch.

G trying to “Riverdance” and popping the button off her skirt.

Changing positions and moving to the corporate office.

Mary T being held at gunpoint one morning in the parking lot. He wanted her keys but she refused. That’s when, unknown to me at the time, I drove up for work and scared the gunman off.

Hearing about the Jackson firehouse shooting by Kenneth Tornes (I don’t know how I can remember his name). Randy Bell came on the radio with breaking news.

Mr. B’s passing.

Moving back to the factory, where I love it, and Product Design.

Talking to A about a product question and her telling me a plane had crashed into the twin towers.

The Drink Man, Mad Jim, Charmin, The Wildebeests, Flash Gordon.

G sending her message about the boss to the “group” instead of just me. J saw her leaning on the boss’ desk later on in a prayer position.

Great bosses, crappy bosses.

Mr. B being let go. I cried all afternoon. They did him dirty.

My bff coming to work…WITHOUT HER SHOES.

Orders shrinking. Production shrinking. The number of employees shrinking. Working hours shrinking.

There are too many memories to write them all down.
Times change but life goes on.


Best of Both Worlds

I had a great night of dining and shopping with my husband last night PLUS got home in time to see my hero, Jack Bauer.

We had planned to go to Hattiesburg all weekend but with prom and church meetings and such we never made it. Since we were childless we decided to go last night. But Monday night is 24 night. We actually made good time, without rushing, and made it back missing only the first fifteen minutes. I was pleased.

Poor Jack. He gives everything he has into saving (the majority of) lives and always gets in trouble. Every law agency in Washington is looking for him but can’t catch him. If people would only listen, he’s always right. They should know that by now. Right now he’s trying to save the US from a bio weapon attack while running for his own life from the people who SHOULD be tracking these weapons. Next Monday night can’t come soon enough.

Instead of asking my husband where he wanted to eat I just said we are going to Newks. Made things simpler instead of him saying “where do you want to go”, then me, “I don’t care, what do you want”. And going on forever. I made the decision. He got the pimento cheese and pea salad and I got the Margharita pizza. My husband was a little dismayed when he realized we had no meat but everything was good so he was satisfied.

We then went to Kohl’s, my favorite store for selection and value. They should let me do a commercial.

Next we went to The Children’s Place for the first time since they opened in Hattiesburg. The store is really nice, much larger than the one at Dogwood Festival. I have to restrain myself though. I could spend an entire paycheck in there. They have the cutest things. We got the redheads some sunshades and flip-flop style monkey house slippers to go in their Easter baskets. They are crazy about monkeys.

Next we went to Sears, Target and stopped by Walmart in Columbia.

So, it was good eating, good shopping, good timing…an overall good night with my two favorite men.


Social Networking

So I broke down and joined the highly acclaimed social network called Facebook…something I said I’d never do. I really don’t have the time and really wasn’t sure I wanted everyone knowing rather personal things, even though I know I can mostly control that part. But I figured if my old, excuse me, older sister could do it I could figure it out.

I must say it has been interesting so far. I’ve received friend confirmations and requests. I’ve enjoyed the little tidbits that people post. I’ve enjoyed viewing mutual friends.

I’m still learning though. I still don’t know what “poke friend” means. I think of the movie Lonesome Dove when I see that because they used that word, a lot, but it meant “have sex”. Hopefully that isn’t what the FB “poke” means. Hopefully.

So for now, it’s kinda interesting. It may become boring and then again it may not. We’ll see.



I got an email about different uses for coffee filters. Some of them are kind of neat so I thought I'd share.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China . Separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers on them. Soaks out all the grease.

13. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

Do you have any other suggestions?


Potty Dance Follow Up

This commercial really disturbs me. I honestly don't need to see grown men covering up their private parts while gyrating their hips. Is this really gonna help a child learn how to use the potty?

Can you say "Village People"?


The Potty Dance

WARNING: Another Mother Post

There was LOTS of excitement around our house this morning. Big Sis decided it was time. She wanted to poopie in the potty. And she did. There was lots of clapping, high fiving and thumbs upping going on. Everyone in the house had to look and cheer. She even had to call her Nanna and tell her. I bet we stood around looking at that turd for thirty minutes.

I was very careful not to make the same mistake I did with my daughter. I decided to buy her potty when she was about 18 months old. We walked in from Walmart and I took it out of the box and sat it down. She wanted to sit on it. So I took her diaper off and she sat down and wiggled and babbled for a while. When she got up, I looked and lo and behold she had popped out a little turd. It was so unexpected for me. I was so excited I screamed and called my husband. My poor little baby thought I was screaming at her for pooping. Needless to say, it was a long time before she got back on that potty. She was getting on up there before she was trained.

But anyway, Lil Sis did number one so maybe next time she'll be brave like Big Sis too. I know it'll be a slow process but it's something I'm looking forward to. Diapers are expensive!



Is It Friday Yet?

Okay, one consignment batch out of the way, now one to go. I still have pretty much everything still left to do for the children’s sale…and my time is running out. Yikes.

I am impressed. The church has nice professionally printed signs up at several intersections announcing this weekend’s mission conference and giving directions. Our pastor has really gone all out for this. I do hope we have a good turnout.

I am REALLY impressed. My bff’s husband has enough clout to get the Bull Bash he is putting on advertised on the sign at BK. He must be a personal friend of the king.

Cheesy Tots were perfect this morning.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Yeah Jasmine!

It's great to see a Mississippi girl make it this far! Best of luck Jasmine.


Haphazard Cogitations

I liked MrsH’s thoughts on the overuse of the word “random” so I thought I’d stay away from the word this time too. Mr. Webster describes it as lacking a definite plan, purpose, or pattern. MSWord listed some synonyms as chance, casual, haphazard, accidental, unsystematic, hit and miss.

I thought I’d go a step further and look up “thoughts”. Mr. Webster says it is serious consideration. A few synonyms were opinion, judgment, feelings.

So here are few of my haphazard, accidentally unsystematic hit and miss casual yet serious considerations:

It’s been a really busy week. I have to get baby clothes ready for the spring consignment sale I participate in twice a year. I’ve got some clothes out but still need to go through some drawers. I have to enter all the items into the website by Sunday night, print tags, cut tags and pin tags. The clothes have to be ironed and hung on the hangers a specific way. It has to be seasonal clothes in good condition. Whew. It’s some work but I still like doing this better than hassling with a garage sale. This company has also opened a new consignment shop for men’s and ladies’ clothing so I have some things together to take by there too.

We have the big mission conference at church this weekend. There’s been lots of preparation and work put into that. We have some fantastic speakers coming; Drs. Futral and Henderson, and Bros. Bendon Ginn and Jon Daniels. Please pray for a successful weekend.

We also have a mission team leaving for Mexico as soon as the conference is over at noon Sunday. They packed for that trip last night at church (I was in the nursery). Please be in prayer for a safe and successful mission there too.

My new favorite eat joint is Newk’s. Folks have been telling me it was good. I finally got to try it. Spicy Shrimp pizza was yum.

My old car hit 278,000 this past week. I love that car!

When your child tells you she wants the new cd by Christian artist Addison Road, do NOT google Addison Rose.

We have a couple of production lines that will be working this Friday. Yeah! Maybe, just maybe, things will start to pick up. I do not like this stinky economy.

Prom is next weekend at our high school. I guess this will be the last one for my daughter. I have anxious feelings about prom. It should be a fun night but I worry about the safety of the children.

The weather has been near perfect for a couple of days. It makes me eager for spring…but I’m sure we’ll have some more cold weather to come.

And how has your week been?


Bauer: The Antihero

I received this article in my latest pluggedinonline.com newsletter and it is such a good article about my favorite hero, Jack Bauer, of 24, I thought I'd share. I hope I'm not infringing on any copyright laws...I'm giving all credit to the author, Paul Asay.

Jack Bauer's Seven Really Bad Days

Bad day? Jack Bauer knows all about bad days.

Bauer, Kiefer Sutherland's iconic protagonist in Fox's cult TV hit 24, never calls in sick. If he whines about a stiff neck, it's probably broken. If he says he's tired, he's probably dead. He's in the midst of his seventh no good, awful, miserable day now, and in the previous six, he's lost his wife, estranged his daughter and has watched dozens of friends, co-workers and bosses die. He's even shot a few of them himself.

Oh, sure, he's tried to switch jobs, but can you really imagine Bauer as an accountant or a janitor or (watch your back, Paul Blart) a mall cop? Of course not. He's got a country to save, evildoers to kill and product placements to drop. Bauer's been at this game so long that he's not just a terrorist's worst nightmare: He's become a role model for many Americans.
Which, frankly, makes me pause a bit. People are looking to Jack Bauer for inspiration and guidance?

Yep. Pastors use him as sermon illustrations. Office dwellers rave about him over cubicle walls. And according to Newsweek's July 2008 account of books written on the subject by Jane Mayer and Philippe Sands, Jack has "his fingerprints all over U.S. interrogation policy. ... The lawyers designing interrogation techniques cited Bauer more frequently than the Constitution."

"You're gonna tell me what I want to know," Jack says in Day Five. "It's just a question of how much you want it to hurt."

This, in essence, sums up the nuts-and-bolts appeal of 24. Viewers tune in to see how far Jack will go, this time, to save the world. In a television landscape saturated with dark, complex antiheroes, Bauer is in some ways the most heroic and most ... well, anti.

24 was born in the wake of 9/11, and Bauer's character was bred in a period of grave national insecurity. The terrorist threats confronting our country seemed faceless and ruthless—a different sort of enemy that we'd had little experience fighting. It's not too surprising that Americans, feeling queasy with chaos and longing for a return to normalcy, started asking some hard questions: Should we sacrifice some freedom to buy more security? Must we engage in short-term evil for our long-term good? How can we play by the rules when our enemies clearly aren't?

Enter Bauer, a gun-toting, pliers-wielding one-man wrecking crew, willing to do whatever it took to protect the good ol' U.S. of A. Don't talk to him about nuance. Bauer's got the end game in sight, and he pursues it with single-minded clarity. He knows more about our enemies than we do because he's closer to them—both physically and emotionally—than we are. Which, in 24's ethos, makes him the perfect guy to fight them.

"Jack!" one by-the-book FBI agent says this season. "The rules are what make us better."
"Not today," Jack responds.

There's much to admire in Bauer's character: his courage, his dedication, his willingness to pay the price for his actions. He's a rebel with a cause.

"Do you understand the difference between dying for something and dying for nothing?" Bauer asks his longtime boss during Day Six after returning from a Chinese torture camp. "The only reason I fought so hard to stay alive in China was because I didn't want to die for nothing. ... Today I can die for something."

Indeed, 24 revels in Bauer's moral equivalency. It takes pains to point out that Jack, in his quest to save the world, has lost almost everything along the way—including, perhaps, his own humanity. This season, Bauer's been partnered with FBI agent Renee Walker, who can't quite decide whether Jack is a hero, a necessary evil or ... a monster.

Some Christians add a fourth dimension to Walker's three possibilities, seeing in Bauer an almost Christ-like avatar because of his willingness to sacrifice all for the greater good. Others argue that Bauer's so godlike it's ridiculous:
"The ... problem with antiheroes is not that they are flawed, but that they are flawless," writes Newsweek's Joshua Alston. "At least, they are infallible. Jack makes unconscionable decisions at every turn, but he's never, ever wrong."

"Experienced interrogators know that information extracted through torture is rarely reliable," chimes in a senior writer for Slate. "But Jack Bauer's torture not only elicits the truth, it does so before commercial. He is a human polygraph who has a way with flesh-eating chemicals."

What that means is that Bauer only works as a hero because the plot contrives to make him so. His judgment is spot on, all the time. So rules are irrelevant to him. And why shouldn't they be? In 24, rules equate to red tape. When a nuclear bomb's about to go off in downtown Los Angeles, there's no time for niceties, the show tells us. It's like Bauer says during a congressional inquiry at the beginning of the current season, "The people I deal with, they don't care about your rules. All they care about is results."

Here are the results, then: During 24's run, Jack has shot an innocent woman in the leg (above the kneecap, Bauer would note), executed his own boss, kidnapped a presidential candidate, tortured his own brother, robbed a convenience store and severed a terrorist's jugular with his teeth. And, really, that's just the beginning. According to 24.wikia.com, a source for all things 24, Bauer has killed 201 people in seven days (and a two-hour special)—so far.

By way of comparison, Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees murdered just 146 people in the franchise's 29 years.

Sutherland has tried to minimize the social impact of his show, telling tv.ign.com, "It's only after six years that people treated it like some morality play. It wasn't about that. It was about 'There's a crisis happening. This is urgent, and I have to get from point A to point B as fast as I can, cut through all the red tape, to accomplish whatever that task is.'"
But it's never that simple when it comes to entertainment. We slowly become what we watch. And the stuffy, by-the-book FBI guy is right: The rules Jack discards so eagerly are what make us better. They teach us to be human. And they're all the more important in times of trial. To look the other way—to compromise our ideals—means to slowly slip away from civilization.

"You can look the other way once, and it's no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time," Bauer blusters during 24's first season, according to 24.wikia.com. "And pretty soon that's all you're doing; compromising, because that's the way you think things are done. You know those guys I busted? You think they were the bad guys? Because they weren't; they weren't bad guys, they were just like you and me. Except they compromised ... once."

Jack, we couldn't have said it better ourselves.