Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tempest in a coffee cup part 2

Can you believe it? I received a reply to my email! A very nice one too! I'm so glad to hear that they are aware of this issue and are gonna fix it. Hope it is soon.......below is a copy of the reply.

Thank you for your recent e-mail to International Delight®. We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your comments.

We're sorry that you've had a problem with our package. Please know that this is very important to us, and we regularly share comments about the product throughout our organization.

Right now, we are working on an improved cap, which is not yet in market.

We appreciate your patience and will share your feedback with our Marketing and Quality Assurance Departments.

For us, the good news is that you cared enough to let us know about it. We thank you for that and regret any inconvenience that you have experienced. You will receive a coupon in the mail within 7-10 business days.

We hope you will continue to enjoy our products.

Jordan Smith
Consumer Response Representative

Now that is awesome! I received a very nice coupon in the mail today. It is for one quart size of my choice of any of the flavors of International Delights Coffee Creamer.

Below you will see an example of the "letter" I emailed to International Foods regarding their product, International Delights Coffee Creamer. The top of the thing makes me crazy! So, after getting splattered yet again this morning, I decided to write and complain.

Now, I don't believe a person should complain (well, not to hard) unless they have a viable solution to the problem. I know that probably isn't a popular belief, but hey, I'm a Christian and that ain't popular either these days but it show's I'm not afraid of a fight. LOL~!

Anyway, I just wanted to blow off some steam I guess, sometimes the small things are what set us off, or can be the "straw that broke the camel's back"!

BTW: I put the picture here to show you, they don't allow attachements in their email.......

I have a suggestion regarding the top pour spout on the creamer bottle.

1. Problem: When you open the creamer, the product splashes out, due to pressure build up. It splatters all over and usually gets me.

Suggestion: A flip top would be a better substitute and stop this problem as the pressure would be released upon the inital opening and any "splatter" will be contained by the top.

2. Problem: The type of top/spout that is currently used, allows trickle down of the product. I would have attached a photo to show this example had the option existed here. The photo shows a bottle that I opened this morning. The product even though sugarless is sticky and the entire bottle winds up being sticky, along with the place the bottle is set down.

Suggestion: Again a flip top with a small spout molded into it would stop this problem.

I don't know if you've recieved complaints regarding this problem before. I do know that I love this product and have gone as far as pouring your product into your competitors container as it works much better. (Carnation) The fact that your product is better tasting, smoother, and even allows a savings of up to .60 cents is why I purchase. The top/spout isn't a deal breaker for me, however I just thought that you'd like to hear from a "user" on how you could make a great product even better.

Thank you~
Kathy Landers


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Every November it comes;
Same old holiday as the years before.
Turkey and dressing, the usual meal with fixins;
getting to Mom’s house on time is most often the real chore.
Finally gathered round the family table, little ones at their table to the side;
The turkey in the center, even bigger than the year before.
Daddy stands, with carving knife and fork in hand;
we all get quiet thinking it’s about to begin.
Daddy opens his mouth we think to say, “Let us pray”;
we are surprised to hear him ask,
“Beloved, what are you really thankful for today?
Is it your cars, your homes, or even this food?
Maybe it is your boat, your camper, or your motorcycle you’d say.
Think long and hard children, before you answer;
what would happen if someone came and took these things away?
We live in a country, free and true.
a country that men and women have died keeping free for me and you.
So, before we feast on this bounty before us;
Let us remember those that gave all;
but especially remember the one that gave the most for the least,
His name is Jesus.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

Is it in You? I just love this!!!!

This one will make you think......

A friend from a delphi forum sent me this link......I LOVE it! I hope you will too. Be sure to read the article with the video too. Wonderful!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Innocents against Babylon

Beverly Hillbillies #59 Pictures, Images and Photos

The Beverly Hillbillies. Who doesn't know and watched that show? Did you ever think about the effect Babylon (Beverly Hills) and its' people and culture had upon those innocent hillbillies? They'd never seen the decadence and luxuries of the Beverly Hills Babylon.

I remember watching those first shows and laughing with everyone else at the innocence and ignorance of Jed, Granny, Ellie Mae and Jethro. How silly they seemed and how dumb. We laughed at their lack of sophistication and their ignorance of social graces. Never did I realize the real story behind the laughter. Until today.

I am smack dab in the middle of the Beth Moore study, Daniel: Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophecy. WOW! Is about all I can say. It is a wonderful study and we are all enjoying it so very much. Bridgette, our fearless leader, is so graciously allowing us to meet in her home and lead our group. It is a wonderful time of sisterhood fellowship. We are learning so very much about Daniel, The Lord and ourselves. One of the things Beth says in the beginning of the study is, this isn't a study about US! Well, not in the "it's all about me and how to make me better sence, no it isn't. We are learning how to realize that Babylon is affecting us today, our families and friends are affected by it too.

One of the questions in my homework got me to thinking. How is today's society like the Babylon of Daniels time? It is no different all at. There is, decadence, gluttony, liars, thieves, murders, and it is the same as in ancient Babylon.

Back to the Hillbillies......the comparison? Well, think about it. The hillbillies came from a cabin in the hills, no running water, electricity, tv, radio. The nearest town was miles away. They fed themselves from the land. They worked hard, rested on Sunday, worshipped God and loved each other.

They moved to Beverly Hills........talk about culture shock! There they find, liars, thieves, murder, excess of every kind. We watch as Ellie Mae is used as a object of desire for a parade of men, and made fun of for her innocence. We see Jethro go from a sweet hick, liking girls as he should but quickly turning in to that "international playboy" of the later episodes.

Hollywood Babylon was a book that came out in the 80's. I never read it and don't plan to, I don't care for that type of book. But, then again, I don't need to read it.....I know that Hollywood is the capitol of Babylon of this time. Babylon today has no boundaries other than those that God's people impose.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Socks....the simplest of things.

Ringgggggggg……..the alarm clock goes off at 6:00 AM. You open your eyes and shut off the annoying sound. Lying there you say a short prayer, thanking God for another day.

You sit up on the edge of the bed, your mind going onward to the rest of your day. No thought is given to the next few things you do. The same things everyday, just routine.

After having a good breakfast and hot coffee, you sit on the edge of the bed, reaching for your socks. You slip them onto your feet without a second thought. Then, slipping those warm feet into shoes, you’re off, going about your days’ schedule. Work, school, play and then home again to prepare to do it all again tomorrow.

Now, shift the picture to another scene.

CRASH! BANG! Shouting and cursing ensues. A man sleeping on the ground at the base of a dumpster, rolls over, tossing aside the filthy, tattered blanket he’d found in the dumpster the night before. He sits up on his makeshift bed of cardboard boxes, flattened and damp with dew, acutely aware of the aches and pains all over his body. The pain in his empty stomach is difficult to ignore, and he is remembering the last food he had so many hours ago.

Finally standing, he winces with pain. His feet are covered with sores from the ill fitting shoes that have rubbed raw his sock-less feet. At this moment his greatest wish is for a pair of clean, soft socks, even more than he wishes for something to eat.
He shuffles off after stowing his "bed and blankets" behind the dumpster. Hoping that no one will take them while he is gone.

Do we think about the socks? How about all those little things that make our lives so comfortable every day? There are those that don’t have those small comforts, that can’t change the shoes that hurt their feet, that can’t walk into a warm home and take a hot bath.
The man in the picture has passed away. He was known to us as "Bicycle Larry". We're fairly sure that wasn't his real name, but that is what he wanted us to call him. "Bicycle Larry" had a bicycle and rode it until his health became worse and he could only push it. He slept behind a dumpster near Little Five Points, Atlanta until he was forced to move on.
Bicycle Larry passed away on December 24, 2007. The official reason is unknown to us, but I think it was neglect. We, his fellow man, let him down.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Forgiveness. Do you get it?

Forgiveness. A very hard thing to get and to accept and most of all to do.

This past week I began a study concerning forgiveness. It wasn't something I started out to do, believe me. I have avoided the subject for some time, very successfully. But recent developments have conspired to throw this subject into my life at every turn.

The last couple of months, I've been trying to help my brother deal with some very hard struggles in his life. During this time I've come to realize that the unforgiveness in my own life was like the huge "beam" in my eye in Luke 6:42.

42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. Geneva Study Bible

I was reading my Sunday School book Monday night, the lesson was, Forgive Early and Often. The study text, Matthew 18: 21-22.

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

It became very clear to me while reading this scripture and the study that corresponded, that I had some serious forgiving to do. Not just of others, but of myself.

I got on my face on the floor beside my bed and took it to God. I named names, I recounted circumstances, I poured my heart out to God. He listened and responded quickly. Which also convicted me, I don't have the habit of listening and responding quickly.

The next day, I was talking with my brother and he brings up a name. One of those that I had called out to God Monday night. Under the usual circumstances, when I'd hear that person's name, I'd feel the heat of rage begin to creep up from the center of my body and I'd immediately begin to vent about her. Interestingly, I didn't feel that rage, I didn't remark at all as I listened to yet another session of revenge, bitterness and anger from my brother about his dealings with that person. When it became time to comment, I simply said, "She is in bad shape and knows just which buttons to push on you to get a reaction. She needs prayer." I could tell that my brother was surprised, but he was no where near as surprised as I was! As soon as our call ended, I thanked God for the peace I felt about this person and His grace in giving me that peace.

God isn't finished with me yet on the teaching of forgiveness, He is working through the mediums that He knows I will see. Amazing isn't it, how God can work on us through others and they not even know He is doing it? Just one more example of the love, grace, forgiveness, and attention to the details of my life that God gives me.

I'm going to adopt this prayer that I found in my Sunday School book as a tool to help me grow in my ability to forgive others and myself.

Lord, forgiveness toward _______________________ is especially difficult because he/she _______________________. I am hurting deeply from this circumstance and long for relief. I know You are familiar with all the details of the situation with this person. Please help me to begin forgiving this person. Heal the hurt residing in my heart and help me move forward and out of unforgiveness.
This I pray in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. AMEN

I have quite a bit of forgiving to do yet, but the majority is done. The forgetting, well that is another lesson I'm sure that my Heavenly Father will soon give me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Teach me thy way, O Lord!

“Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.”
—Psalms 86:11-13

I seek.........

I seek God's face, His light and His favor. I long for knowledge of His ways and word. I thirst for the sweet taste of His Living Water. I wish everyone did.

My thirst for knowledge of God and His word is not recent. I've been this way for some time. However, I got off track, I let life derail me. I regret that very much.

The last 3 years Doug and I have been so very fortunate in that we have been blessed with being able to go and listen to a wonderful teacher. He has given us both so much. He has encouraged me to study, seek God's will and pricked my sense of mystery causing me to study to solve the mystery of God's love for us. He scolds us, cajoles us, teases us and challenges us. This is the mark of a gift from God. He is a true teacher in the sense of the word. He loves God and it is plain to see. He loves to teach about God's word, helping us, his grateful students, to understand and to be able to take it to the world.

We recently got the opportunity to tell him how much he has blessed us, we embarrassed him I think. But we thank God every day for him and ask His blessings on our teacher and his family.

I'm excited because I'm to begin a study in September on Daniel. I hear that my teacher will be a good one. I've heard so much about this persons abilities and I know her, so I have no doubt that what I've heard about her teaching is true. She is a woman of God and a prayer warrior, she is loving and kind, a wonderful mother and good friend. I thank God for her and her leading.

Teaching is a gift that isn't given lightly. God is very discerning when it comes to those that are given the gift of teaching, preaching and leading His people. I'm very blessed to be married to one of those people. My husband is a Pastor. He is a man of God and a wonderful husband and father. He is a leader, but not a tyrant, he is a good listener, a prayer warrior and a student of God's word.

Dear Heavenly Father,
This is a new season for me, I pray that I will bloom in it and the fruit of it will sweet to you Father. I ask Your blessings on the upcoming season of learning, on Your teachers, preachers, prayer warriors, workers and students. Make us sponges, soaking up the thirst quenching water of Your Word.
All this I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Lord.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Aunt passed away this morning at 8:20 am. My mom just called and told me.

Even though our extended family is a large one, my Dad is one of 10 and my Mom is also one of 10, we are fairly close. More on my Mom's side than my Dad's. That is different from when I was a child. As we've all grown up, we've grown apart. Sad.

Aunt Lurline has been ill for so long, bless her heart she's had a rough time. She is a survivor of breast cancer, diabetes, liver disease and now kidney failure brought on by the liver disease.

She raised a daughter and son but was not blessed with any grandchildren. Her husband was badly injured at work in an accident and never quite recovered from that, dying from cancer a few years later.

Aunt Lurline was my Mom's older sister. They were very close. She was "big sister" and was sort of the "boss" of the family, you know? The one that did it all. And I loved her very much. But I'm sorry to admit that I never told her that. Why didn't I? Now, it's too late.

She helped to make my wedding special as my parents couldn't afford a "big" wedding, but it was truly beautiful. Aunt Lurline came and catered the reception, helped me pick out flowers that were reasonable and beautiful in January, and gave me my cousin's wedding dress (her marriage ended in divorce and she didn't even want to think about that dress), and then directed the whole wedding.

Well, now, my Mom has the big sister job and it is a tough one. She has a brother that is in LaFayette Nursing Home in Fayetteville, he had a really bad stroke several years ago and now Mom has watch care over him and I help her with that, my MaMaw (her mother) lives at Christian City in the independent living apartments, but she is in the early stages of dementia and sees, hears stuff and wigs out fairly regularly now days. Then there is my brother living at home again and of course my Dad to take care of. Mom also works with me during the week. She is burning the candle at both ends and I'm worried about her. She's gone now to tell Uncle Tommy and MaMaw about Lurline. They knew it was coming, but that isn't something you tell someone on the phone.

Mom is taking Lurline's passing fairly hard. I dare say that Aunt Lurline was Mom's best friend.
So, I covet your prayers and good thoughts during this time of sorrow in our family.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Humor....virtue or curse?

God has a sense of humor. A strange one to some, a common one to others. Look around you and you'll see God's sense of humor in all aspects of life. It is in ever life on this planet, every species and every type. There is nothing that escapes God's touch. Thank goodness!

God as given me a sense of humor. Again, thank goodness! I see the humor in most situations when others don't. They think me strange when I laugh at some of the scrapes I've gotten into. What they don't know is I'm laughing at me and my foolishness. Me and my haphazard way of doing things.
There are those of us that find no humor in anything. They go through life with a frown on their face, gloom and doom are their mantras. They see The End as being The End and not the true beginning. They are sad in my eyes. Miserable creatures that never feel the simple feeling of just laughing for the pure joy of it. So sad......

Well, now I've got you wondering what I'm finding to laugh at now, right? Good grief, gas prices are nuts, food is going up, there are new illnesses to worry about, the family unit is going downhill, what else? Why on earth am I smiling? Well, nothing in particular, just life, just living, just me and my kitties.

Now, go out and live the day like you won't have tomorrow to do it over. You'll see the humor in things, the simple beauty if the smile of a child, the sweet nothings in the words of someone you love. Enjoy it, God gave it to us to enjoy, don't turn down His precious gifts.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pine Cone Families............

Moving to the "country" when I was 9 years old was quite an experience for me. We'd moved from Blair Village to Cliftondale and away from all my friends and cousins. There were no children anywhere near us, or so I thought. The only time I had a playmate was when cousins would come to visit.

One day I was outside wandering around the yard. There were tall pine trees all over the yard and pinecones all over the ground. I began to pick up pinecones and put them in groups according to their size. There were tiny ones and then they progressed in size to about 6" tall. Soon I had several piles of pinecones. I began to make villages for them using sticks and rocks. I'd imagine they were towns folk and that they were in danger of being crushed by giants.

Then, Mama gave me the Sears Catalog that was out of date. Oh! I was in heaven! I gathered a family of pinecones, a Daddy, a Mama, a brother, a sister and a baby. Then I searched my room over until I found my safety scissors, remember the ones with the round tips? I took my prize outside on the carport and began to search through the catalog for my pinecone family some clothes. I dressed the family using clothing I'd cut from the catalog and Elmer's Glue left over from school the year before. I played with that pinecone family for days.

Then I decided to make them a home to live in. I went into the front yard, took a rake and cleared a spot of pinestraw. Then I took the small pine sticks and made walls. I searched through my catalog and cut out a lovely sofa, chair, beds, bedroom furniture, kitchen appliances and placed them in my "house" for my pinecone family.

I'd sit out there in that yard, playing for hour upon hour with my pinecone family. Never tiring of the different stories that I'd create for them to live out. In the late afternoon I'd take up all my cut out goodies, clothes, and furnishings, place them into a large shoe box my Mama gave me and come inside to play.

On rainy days when I couldn't go outside, I'd put my family up on the window sill and we'd watch the rain fall and have inside adventures.

I remember telling my girls about my pinecone families and the fun I had with them. I would watch their faces as I'd tell them and see the interest in the story Mom was telling but I could also see the wheels turning in their heads......"poor Mama, didn't have toys when she was little and had to play with pinecones and old catalogs".

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ohhhh.....Do you remember those...............

Saturday morning cartoons, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Bugg's Bunny, Tweety Bird, Popeye, and of course, my favorite, Huckle Berry Hound. Ahhh, those were real cartoons. Not that stuff the kids watch today.

I was watching something on Cartoon Network recently, a little boy with blue hair, sad funny shaped eyes and nose that was a number seven and a smart mouth. I was not impressed. In fact, had I been watching that when I was seven years old, I'd have turned it off and gone outside to play. Give me a good old blue hound dog that sings "Oh My Darlin" anyday and I'm a happy camper.

The sidekick, an essental element in any cartoon, was a very strange looking animal or creature of some sort. I learned later that the "critter" was suppposed to be an imaginary friend. This "land" was where all the imaginary friends came from. Yes, well, anyway, it couldn't talk. Just sort of was there, you know? BORING! So, I turned off the TV and went outside to play!

People ask why kids today are "jaded". Have you ever sat down and watched the drivel that is on television? Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and all the rest have bomarded our children with mindless, endless stuff! And we parents are letting it happen. Notice I said "WE". I'm guilty too. The Disney programing today is NOTHING like what it was in my day. Good Grief Charlie Brown! Did I just say, "In My Day"????

Saturday morning cartoons. Oh Boy! We would tumble out of bed and grab our cereal bowls filled with what ever sugary sweet cereal that was the current favorite, a spoon and glass of orange juice and head for the living room. Snap on the tv set, settle down with our pillows and blankets, eat our cereal and feast our eyes on those wonderful cartoons that only came on on Saturday morning. We'd channel surf for our favorite ones, arguing about which were the best. Then at around 11:30 am, they were over. All gone for another week.

On those Saturday's that it would rain, well, there was always the Saturday movies. Tarzan, John Wayne, The Little Rascals and ofcourse, the Saturday Night Frights! Oh how we loved those goofy, cheesy, horror movies. Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, the list goes on and on.

We used to look forward to Sunday night when Wonderful World of Disney would come on. I just loved watching Tinker Bell dance around the screen and finally with a flourish of her wand, sprinkle the screen with fairy dust and the show would begin. It would always be something good. The typical story line, but presented new and fresh every week. Even when there would be a rerun, it was good to see again. My personal favorites would be the movies, Old Yeller, stuff like that. I was a reader as a child and these appealed to me most. The cartoons were wonderful too. Funny, and always ended well. Not like the gloom and doom of the ones today.

I wonder.....will our children allow this "progress" to continue? Will they tire of the mindless canned laughter and long for simpler times? One can only pray so.........

Friday, June 6, 2008

Catching lightening bugs, a summer ritual.....

Evening would begin with the sun dipping down behind the trees, the street lights flickering on and Mama's calling for us kids to come eat supper. We'd all head for our respective homes, trudging as if going to jail. None of us wanted to eat supper, we wanted to PLAY.

It was spring, school was out, our bedtime had been pushed back a bit and we were ready to begin the fun. Playing outside until it was too dark to see or until our parents would call us to come in, some of the best childhood memories there are.

I remember one particular childhood ritual. Lightening Bug hunting. Oh! The delight of begging the glass jar from Mama, punching holes in the lid with Daddy's best pointed point screw driver, dropping some grass in the bottom of the jar and going on the hunt.

We'd run around with our jars, capturing those tiny pin points of light and delighting in the wonder of them. Lightening bugs were a total entertainment item. I could sit for hours watching them crawl around the jar, lighting up in blinking signals that only another lightening bug could understand.

I put the jar on my bed beside my pillow and fell asleep watching them. The next morning I found them "asleep" or so I thought, until I decided to go outside and turn them loose. It was then I found that they actually were dead. That was it, no more hunting lightening bugs for me. I found pleasure in watching them fly, holding out my hand underneath them and getting them to land on my hand. Then I watched as the tiny nightlight would wander around, finally crawling up to the tip of my finger and flying away.

I'm sorry to note that I don't see many lightening bugs anymore. I've noticed in recent years that there were fewer and fewer every year. I wonder, did we as children, catching them and holding them in jars, cause this decline? I hope not, but maybe so. I've also noticed that children today don't know about lightening bug jars or the joy of playing outside until the street lights come on. Today, they can't and or won't. The dangers are to great. There are drive-by shootings, perverts that stop and call out about a mythical lost puppy, drug deals going on in the driveways of neighborhoods and heavy traffic for our children to deal with. Then there are the video games, MTV, cell phones and other high tech attention getter's for our children's entertainment.

What a shame, the simple pleasures that they might write about someday, are lost. Who cares about the highest score you ever got on Grand Theft Auto?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

PaPaw Forsyth's Green Apple Trees........

Behind MaMaw and PaPaw Forsyth's house there were five Horse Apple trees. Some folks call them just Green Apple trees. These apples are sweet when ripe but are very tart when just before being ripe.

We kids liked them at most any stage!

PaPaw would actually, or so we thought, count those apples on the trees and dare us to touch them before they were ripe. He always wanted an apple pie and bless his heart he was lucky if he got one! 

Saturday's and Sunday's the cousins and I would be there, eyeing those apples to see how "ready" they were. The ocassional brave soul would pick one and test it.
Lord help you if PaPaw came out of the house to catch you around, under, or in one of the trees. We'd all gather under the one in the picture, it was sort of behind and to the side of the house and we'd be able to hear PaPaw if he came out the back door. We forgot about the side porch! That is because the door to the side porch was rarely open, it was in a middle bedroom of the house and the bedroom belonged to Aunt Polly. She would have your hide if she caught you "messin' around" in her room. It was a room you had to pass through from the kitchen to get to the living room and front porch. There was alot of traffic through Aunt Polly's bedroom, maybe that is why she was so grouchy!

One Sunday afternoon, the grown ups were playing soft ball in the side yard on the other side of the house, we kids had decided that it was time those apples were tested. Most of them were only about the size of a road side plum but we figured that was big enough. So, here we were, Donna, Greg, Mary, Vernon, me and a flock of youngers, all gathered up under that horse apple tree. Waiting and watching to make sure no grown ups were watching us, and trying to decide who was gonna climb the tree to get the choice apples at the top.

Vernon decided he was oldest and therefore he should be the one to get the first apple, then he'd pick some and throw them down to us. He'd just gotten into the fork of the main trunk when......"What are ya'll youngun's doin' round my apple tree????!!!!!" Oh My Goodness! Did we scatter or what???

PaPaw had noticed the lack of the usual noise when we all were around and figured we were up to something. He slipped out on the side porch and had stood while we plotted and watched as Vernon began his climb. He choose the perfect moment to pounce, if you could call it that. He was not able to catch a one of us, but he didn't have to. He said jump, we jumped. It's called respect for your elders, so uncommon in this world today.

Well, PaPaw ordered Vernon down from the tree and made us all sit down on the steps of the side porch. He proceeded to give us what for about touching his apples before they were ready and how if we'd gotten the apples and eaten them we'd all be sick before dark. He shook his finger, threatened to switch our legs good if we so much as breathed in the direction of those apples and promised us fried apple pies all in the same sentence. Then ordered us to "git our hindends out and play"!

I was told recently that the old home place has been sold and was slated to be torn down, so I rode my motorcycle over to the old home place last Saturday afternoon. One of the few times I've ever ridden my bike alone to date.  

PaPaw's apple trees are still there, but now there are only three. The other two had died and been cut down. There were a very few apples beginning to grow on the tree in the picture (up on top of the post), the same tree that we "younguns" gathered under to plot our raid.

As I walked around the tree in the photo above, I could almost hear PaPaw warning me about "messin' with them green apples".

Blessings~ Kat

Friday, May 30, 2008

Families......how different they can be...........

Growing up, I was around family constantly. Mostly family on my Daddy's side. We'd go to both grandparents house every weekend, but I remember the Forsyth's side more because there was always so much going on there. At MaMaw Kimbrell's house it was somewhat quieter. I was an only child till my mother betrayed me and had my middle brother. I was 8 years old and perfectly content with things the way they were. That year it seemed like I stayed with MaMaw and PaPaw more than I stayed at home. I do remember that summer I was there for several weeks because Buddy was born with a large cyst on his shoulder and a hernia, so he had to have a couple of surgeries. I remember I spent my 9th Birthday at MaMaw's house. As much as I loved them, I sure did miss my Mama and Daddy.

I lived at Blair Village Apartments, on Lacey Circle Drive. Our apartment was a two bedroom one bath, with a kitchen, dinning area, living room and front stoop. Those apartments were freezing cold in the winter and burning hot in the summer. The tile floor was the type of tile that is stuck down with glue. I want to say it was a gray color.....I'm not sure.
The back porch was a cement pad with several steps going down into the back court yard. The apartments were, if I remember correctly, 4 units long. They were placed in squares with an interior court yard in the back of the units. There there were the border ones that had a court yard in the front as well, with a parking area as the top of the square.

My Uncle Art Nix was the maintenance supervisor for the complex. Blair Village was very, very large. Uncle Art worked hard. He was most always covered in paint. People were always coming or going at the Village. Uncle Art and Aunt Ophelia had 5 children, three girls and 2 boys. They lived in the building below us in the main court yard. Mary, their youngest daughter was my favorite playmate. She and I were into everything! We stayed in trouble. I'll recount some of our adventures later.

Then there was my Uncle Dorsey and Aunt Doris. They lived a couple of blocks over from us. Donna (yep, the Donna of the onion patch) is their oldest, along with 2 brothers and 1 sister. Uncle Dorsey (aka: The Greatest) was a favorite uncle of mine. He was fun to be around. He drank to much and too long, finally succumbing to liver disease due to the drinking. Dorsey was a biker, probably where I got my love of it. He used to ride us kids all over the neighborhood when I'd spend the night with them. There were always guys with bikes there.

When we went to MaMaw and PaPaw's house on the weekend, there were cousins by the dozens there. All the grown ups would sit around and talk, all the kids would be playing all over the place. Sometimes we'd wind up at Cedar Grove Elementary School down on the play ground for a softball game. The grown ups would play and we kids would play on the playground equipment for hours! Then we'd go back to the house and eat or have more grown up talk and kid play. We kids would often wind up hunting lightening bugs. MaMaw would give us old mayonnaise jars to keep them in. The poor things would light up all night in those jars, crawling up and down in vain, trying to find their way out. Many's the night I fell asleep watching lightening bugs in a jar beside my bed.

Ahhhhh.........for the simple times again...................

Papaw Forsyth's Sweet Onions

Setting: Cochran Mill Road, Fairburn, GA
Time: 1960 something

I spent a lot of time at my MaMaw and PaPaw Forsyth's house. I loved it there. A lake, pasture land, creeks, an old barn, a country store within walking distance, who wouldn't love that? It was paradise for a little girl that lived in the "city".

We lived in Blair Village Apartments in Atlanta. There were very few places there that I could play outside. Traffic and other concerns my Mom had kept me indoors or very close to the apartment most of the time.

Not only did I love to go to MaMaw's house but my cousins did as well.

One summer, my cousin Donna and I had our own little play house carved out in the old barn, although MaMaw didn't like us playing in there too much, to dangerous she said. We had little chipped cups and saucers for dishes, old milk bottles and other discarded kitchen items, to play tea party with. We had our favorite doll's there for our babies, soft old hay for beds and old blankets to make our beds more comfortable.

PaPaw had a tiny little garden, he wasn't very strong due to back problems.  In his tiny garden there were a few tomato plants, maybe a cucumber or two, a squash plant and sweet onions. Donna and I helped PaPaw to plant the vegetables, most of the time we ruined more than we planted.

This particular year, PaPaw had the usual items planted when we got there. He'd put a fence of chicken wire around the tomato's so they could climb, little stakes marked the sweet onion bulbs and small mounds, or "hills" as PaPaw called them, of black soil marked the cucumbers and squash seed locations.

Donna and I stood looking at the tiny garden and thinking about all the good things to eat that would come from it. As we stood gazing at the marvelous sight, PaPaw came out and warned us about bothering the garden. In particular, he warned us not to touch the tiny sweet onions. Well, wave a red flag in front of a bull why don't you? Donna and I stared down at the Sweet Onions.....sweet he'd called them. That did it, from that minute on, we dreamed of how a sweet onion must taste. "Like candy?", Donna asked. "No, can't be, onions burn", I replied. "But PaPaw said they were sweet, sweet don't burn, and besides, I like sweet onions. I want some!" Donna had made up her mind that we were going to have sweet onions with our tea party and that was that. She reached over and grabbed a handful of the green tops and pulled! Out they popped, the tiny white bulbs with little thread like roots dangled temptingly in front of us. We ran for the well house to wash them off, our excitement grew as the warning PaPaw gave us faded from our memories.

As we were washing the sweet onions, Donna and I talked of how we'd "cook" them. We should cut them up and eat them with slices of bread or biscuits left over from breakfast was my suggestion. Donna wanted to simply eat them whole and have a tomato biscuit along with them. So it was decided that we'd eat them with a tomato biscuit and have cool water from the well for our "tea".

We ran to our playhouse in the barn and proceeded to have our tea party. Putting our babies to nap in their beds, we prepared the table for our feast. MaMaw had fixed us up a nice "lunch" to have for our tea and we sat down with our stolen onions to enjoy. And enjoy we did. Those biscuits with tomato and mayonnaise were heavenly, the water cool and thirst quenching. We didn't eat many of the onions. We found them not to our liking as they weren't sweet at all but sharp and hot.  We were just finishing up our feast when we heard MaMaw calling us to come to the house.

We ran to the house, laughing and planning our next tea party. Not knowing the fire storm waiting for us there.

PaPaw had found the empty spot in the garden where the onions had been. He was livid. First thing he said was, do ya'll know anything about my onions? Well, I knew we were done for. Donna right off the bat said, "No Papaw, we don't know nothin' about your onions." All innocent and light she was and believable.

PaPaw looked at me and I looked at the floor. "Well?" He asked me, "What do you know about my missing onions?" I continued to look at the floor, feeling like a louse. "PaPaw", I said, "I didn't take the onions." Which wasn't exactly a lie, I didn't exactly pull the onions, but I knew what had happened, I was there, I was guilty and he knew it.

PaPaw could tell when I'd done something wrong, he said he could "read me like a book". And he could. My PaPaw could take one look at me and ask what I'd been up too and I'd spill it all! Tell him evey thing I'd done wrong. He always would say, "Kat, you know better" and that would be it. He didn't have to take a switch to me, the look on his face would be plenty enough to have me in tears and saying I was sorry for what ever transgression I'd made.

So, when PaPaw looked at me looking at the floor he turned back to Donna and asked if she didn't want to change her story. Well, Donna wasn't giving up, she claimed a big dog got into the garden and took the onions, then she said maybe worms ate'em. PaPaw stood there looking at us, his mouth twitching, I thought we were dead. He was actually, I found out later, about to crack up laughing. Then, with a very angry look on his face he said to me, open your mouth and blow your breath out. I didn't, not quite understanding what was going on with that. Then he turned to Donna and said the same, she did, but she knew why he'd asked that. We knew then, we were caught. Evidently my onion breath was fairly low, hers however, was off the scale! Then PaPaw did the strangest thing. He told us to "git outside and play", but as we were heading out the door, he added, "don't go far, you got some work to do this afternoon."

Our work turned out to be weeding the garden, since we liked pulling up stuff as PaPaw said. Then we had to sweep the front porch, wash the dishes from supper and had to go to bed without watching any TV.

After our "punishment" was done, we lay in bed talking about our day. Donna would be going home the next afternoon so we had some planning to do. One thing we didn't plan to do was touch anything in the garden with out PaPaw's permission!

This brings to mind the Horse Apple Trees......................

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No. This is not a blog about motorcycles. Yes, there will be motorcycles discussed in this blog, but it isn't about them. My life does not revolve around motorcycles, pretty close though.

This blog is about a journey that began 49 years ago in Macon, Georgia. There will be discriptions of my life lessons and what I learned from them. There will be tears, laughter, sadness and delight, but there will not be pity, anger nor revenge. Those are for God to deal with and help me through.

So, I invite any that will, come along with me on a journey and discover the true meaning of this life.