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Saturday, October 29, 2016


                "Cream cheese, Hersch," from front porch, Toni Jo hollered, "two eight ounce tubs please, don't forget."

                "I am a cream cheese man on a mission!" Hersch shouted back.  The motivation of fresh baked pear cake topped with cream cheese icing burned his brain.  With saliva glands in high gear, the Hersch jumped into wild Mustang.  He spun out in the loose gravel of driveway, spewed volley of rock on a mission of its own.  And so it was that rear window and right tail light of Toni Jo's pride and joy four wheel drive pickup truck suffered Hersch's loose gravel exuberance.

                As Hersch burned rubber in all four gears down near town country road, a tad overly taut Toni Jo shuck the tawny locks of her head, stoically said, "That is the second time this month.  I just got my truck out of the body shop.  The Hersch just might not get' any pear cake." Tony Jo smiled, added, "It's a tuff job, but somebody has gotta love that pudgy receding hair line little geek."

                Toni Jo, being a little bit of country n-all, fit right in that west Texas Alpine town.  But her husband, Herschel B. Ward, well Toni Jo often thought, yet never out loud said, "The only thing keeping my Hersch from being a ward of the state is the Lord blessed him with me.  How can a man be a PhD of Philosophy at the university and a PhD of knuckle headedness at the same time?  Must be the thin air of Alpine."

                 So Tony Jo did, what Toni Jo did most Saturdays.  She returned to kitchen kingdom.  For Toni Jo baked, not just for her and her Herschel, but baked for family and friends, baked for the ill and the home bound, baked for Sunday morning church and just about any worthy charitable function. Indeed, the whole town of Alpine appreciated her God given culinary gift and humble servant heart. Not uncommon were the most every day hugs of previous baked goods recipients in the chance meetings of side walk or food market aisle or Toni Jo's Judo Dojo downtown.

                "Let's see," Toni Jo mulled pear cake recipe, "time to get started.  Combine a little less than 2 cups of sugar, 2 sticks of this good old Alpine Dairy melted butter, and half cup vegetable oil." She gave it a stir.  "Now add 3 eggs.  Stir it a bit.  Stir it a bit more.  Beat the devil out of it.  This would be so much easier had Hersch not knocked my mixer off kitchen counter yesterday."  Yet Toni Jo smiled at the sound of his name.

                Meanwhile, Herschel had reached the end of the road stop sign, just as an Alpine Dairy 18 wheeler topped the hill of what locals called Last Breath Highway.  So there the Hersch waited what could possibly be better said than un-patiently agitated, where end of the road loose gravel met intersection with Last Breath Highway.

                "Now, combine in a separate bowl 3 cups of flour, about one and a half tsp baking soda, with half tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice."  Toni Jo stirred it together, sighed, "Now all I gotta do is alternately stir this mixture into the first with my pre-grated 3 cups of pears.  Next we stir in 1 cup grated coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans."

                "That load of moo-moo juice is slower than the cold chocolate syrup to pour in it.  I have plenty of time to beat it." And Herschel would have had plenty of that afore mentioned time had not the down hill momentum of Last Breath Highway propelled moo-moo-milk 18 wheeler ever faster; and had not the rear tires of wild Mustang went a spinning in the end of the road loose gravel.  About that somewhat less than plenty of time, Herschel decided to put his PhD of Philosophy to good use. He screamed, "Crap!  I'm gonna die!"

                "Now, all I gotta do is coax this delicious lumpy goo from mixing bowl into two floured 9 x 5 loaf pans." Enraptured in happy baker glow, Toni Jo began to flow, "Thank you, Father above..." A faint ripple of danger disturbed her flow of glow, her praise of song, made her cock head a tad.  But then, oh then, she glowed with adore, opened lips and sang the more, "Thank you Father above, in Jesus name..."

                As milk truck bumper near kissed Mustang butt, the Stang's rear tires suddenly caught hold, smoked and set pavement aflame.  And as Herschel felt the the G-force astronauts feel at blastoff, he philosophized, "Squashed back in padded seat is much better than stink bug squished on 18 wheeler windshield."

                "Time to slide these babies in the oven," Toni Jo slid in one pear cake laden loaf pan, rose the other to nose, breathed in sweet spicy aroma from one end of pan to the other. "Now that is pear cake fixin' to happen.  Nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, allspice and pear, hmm-hmm, no one will miss one little lick," and she did.

                As the milk truck shrank in rear view mirror, and Herschel sped down Last Breath Highway, a certain cocky philosophy re-grew. "Death can't catch the Hersch!  No death for me!" But then again little did the Hersch know... the real loose gravel lay just ahead, right past Holy Smoke BBQ in the parking lot of the local Last Chance Mart.

                "One hour or so at 350 degrees ought to do it," Toni Joe closed oven door, "and the way Herschel farts around it'll be at least that long before the cream cheese arrives for the icing.  Lord please help him not to be so easily distracted.  Help my Hersch to find You as central focus."

                A tad more than too fast lead foot propelled the Stang into freshly graveled Last Chance Mart parking lot.  Hershel stomped the brakes.  The Stang slid sideways, then backwards, buried itself up to the axle in loose gravel. "Man on a cream cheese mission!" Herschel squealed, not thinking even once how close he had come to wrecking the van full of kids and mom trying to exit parking lot.  He tried to open car door, but deep loose gravel held it fast.  He tried to pull forward, but rear wheels only spun, dug the Stang in deeper.  Herschel climbed out car window.  Fell head first into loose gravel.

                Toni Jo settled back into easy chair.  Wafting aroma tickled her nose. "Pear cake heaven is just a breath away," she sang.  In mid aroma sniff, the cell phone rang.

                "I'm stuck," Hersch let fling.

                "Stuck as in you do not know what you went to the store for?" Toni Jo truly wondered.

                "Stuck in loose gravel at the Last Chance," Herschel mumbled.

                "You are mumbling.  Herschel are you picking your nose?  You always pick your nose when you are nervous."

                "No," Herschel mumbled, was near up to second digit deep.

                "Get that finger out of there!  People are going to see you," Toni Jo commanded.

                Yes Maam," Herschel obeyed.

                "I will be there in a minute, sweetie," Toni Jo comforted, hung up, did some off phone mumbling of her own. "I am supposed to be his wife, not his momma.  But I should pray, not murmur, not grumble, but ask for forgiveness and pray for my husband." Toni Jo sat still.  And she did.

                "Looks like you might need some help there, Herschel," offered a bewhiskered Big Mike.

                "Yeah, if they had packed the gravel down properly, I would not be' stuck," Herschel complained.

                "Well maybe," Big Mike raised right eyebrow, "but what do you say we get you pulled out. I'll hook up a chain to my truck.  When you get back in the car, put it in neutral and let me ease you out."

                "Trust in the Lord," Toni Jo thought. "I will be back before the pear cake is done."

                Chain in place, Big Mike eased out the slack, began to pull the Stang and the Hersch out of loose gravel.  And no sooner than, "No problem," passed Big Mike lips, and all seemed so well; that well morphed into well of hell.      

                Whether it was loose concentration, or easy distraction, or impatient agitation, or most likely chronic humanistic philosophy dodo bird flu; the Hersch dropped Stang tranny in gear and hit the gas.  The Stang fishtailed and slid.  Spinning tires spewed loose gravel thru front window of Last Chance Mart, and into the tail lights and rear back glass of near every hapless vehicle parked in the lot.

                Meanwhile, on the way down Last Breath Highway, Toni Jo prayed, "Lord, knowing my Herschel like I do, please don't let things get out of hand before I get there."

                In a really mean meanwhile, the Stang crashed into the rear of Big Mike's brand new pickup.  Twas then Big Mike swung open truck door.  Sparks from the flint neath his size 18 boots alit, as loose gravel they hit.  And with every boot stomp more sparks flew, as the madman's brow grew ill brew.  With one mighty paw Big Mike from car the Hersch he withdrew.

                Toni Jo arrived to see Last Chance Mart mob in the mood for a lynching party.  Not so nice things were a bein' said bout her Hersch.  And Big Mike, well Big Mike held fast the left shoulder of Herschel, while aiming massive fist at bulls eye nose.

                Toni Jo lept out truck just in time to hear Herschel once again put his humanistic philosophy to no good use, "Oh crap!  I'm gonna die!" He screamed. winced, closed his eyes.

                Toni Jo was about to Toni Jo Dojo Judo the Big Mike, when...

                Big Mike gave relenting, "Grrr," and his face with light began to stir. "Oh Lord," Big Mike's fist transformed to massive slap readed hand, "just one little smack?" Big Mike pled.  But then he said, "Herschel, if all you got is a PhD in humanism, then oh crap, you are gonna to die."

                Herschel opened one eye.

                Big Mike gave Herschel one big bear hug, whispered in his ear, "You need Jesus."

                Like a deer caught in headlights, eyes wide open, Herschel repeated the name, "Jesus," and he 'not at all' flippantly repented, "No more, no more loose gravel for me."

                Toni Jo dojo judo-ed her way right into that hug, sighed, "From fool... to cool."

                And it came to pass, cream cheese icing adorned pear cake heaven.  The Last Chance Mart had donated that cream cheese and ice cream too for 'evening celebration'; where partied: store manage, employees and patrons, and one local pastor by the name of Big Mike... For they and Toni Jo and the Hersch had found the way home...

                Too oft ism morphs idol... worship not man... but the Creator of him...

                If your wheels of life are a-spin in loose gravel... you need Jesus... the only path to God the Father... John 14:6; John 3:16

                To better understand:
                                             The Parable of the Wedding Banquet - Matthew 22:1-14
                                              Isaiah 61:10
                                              Revelation 19:7-9
                                              And many awesome more...

                Oh, and Herschel in Hebrew means deer... Psalm 42:1-2

               Oh, and Fresh Pear Cake Recipe by beloved neighbor: Minnie Powell...


Sunday, October 9, 2016


                By too far near echo kiss, by shadow scented sigh, so is the present often cast by passion from the past... even in the sweet fall air of Arbor Cafe'...

                "Taylor, please try to grasp," slow to speak, Kyle measured each word, "Taylor, you are beyond beautiful, but," Kyle took breath, could not finish sentence, drank in the smooth Calabrese olive skin of her perfect oval face.

                "But?" Taylor slightly turned, tilted side of pretty face, with lithe fingers swept light brown, almost blond hair behind ear, exposed graceful neck.

                Kyle near stopped breathing, croaked, "But it is too soon for me to feel feelings."

                "Too soon to feel feelings?  Kyle, you are my best bud.  Do you not remember helping me through the toughest three years of my life, after my Tommie, my precious husband passed away?"

                "Exactly," Kyle nodded, "best friends, and I do not want that to change."

                Taylor narrowed olive eyes, "If I were not a Christian lady, I'd say what the hell is wrong with you, Kyle?  That woman you were married to was no wife.  She ran off with your divorce lawyer to Piedmont, of all places, over five years ago.  The woman is diabolical.  She is not coming back, Kyle.  And yes, I said hell, because it is hell's intention to chain you to the past.  I pray the shackle be broken, your eyes be open."

                The widened eyes of eavesdropping Arbor Cafe' patrons cast those 'oops, this is going to get good look' at one another; while Kyle, well Kyle just sat there flustered amid Taylor allure and Taylor truth and ex-wife of aghast past.

                Taylor propped both elbows on petite cafe' table.  With palms under chin and fingers framing face, invited, "Kyle, the time is now.  Do not let these lips go unattended." Taylor moved palms to table top, leaned forward. puckered up, waited.

                Like the flag at half mast, Kyle's eyelids lowered, betrayed heart still tied to lingering echo, and he said, more bled, "Sweet Taylor, you are precious to me; but the kiss... carries risk."

                Taylor lips passed from pucker to tremble, breathed, "Kiss me... and keep your friend forever..." A purest tear welled, fell... from light of olive eye.

                With palm Kyle cupped her face.  With thumb he caressed that tear neath olive eye, and he near cried, said, "Forever be our light, like the oil of lamp pierces night..."

                "...And guide our blessed exodus from chains of the past, dear Jesus." Taylor breathed no shadow, but fresh scented sigh.

                And as friends' lips found each other... shadow of echo kiss ebbed away... in the oil of olive light...

Are you too far near... the distant past of echo kiss...

Ask Jesus into your heart... and find the light...

Exodus 27:20-21;  Isaiah 42:6-7;  John 8:12 (the meaning of this little story)

From slavery to promised land... read the true and fascinating book of Exodus in the Holy Bible. You will be blessed.        


Friday, September 9, 2016


                    "Love is precious," pale lips puffed sigh of wist into cold, cold mist.  She pulled back scarlet hood of parka, revealed foam of sea blue eyes, feathery raven hair, freckled flesh so fair. "I will not live without my Kiefer," burned the air.

                    "Naked I came into the world," Posey shuffled bare feet cross icy rock, "and naked I go." Scarlet parka slipped from shoulders.  She stepped nearer railing.  And there Posey stood, blue eyes astare over The Falls into that void of near frozen mist, mist that painted her skin blue hue, made her husband's boxers and t-shirt cling wet to flesh.

                "The path taken... leads to destination.  Deceitful above all things, so this heart reaps deserved end.  No dream this nightmare drop neath tombstone outcrop.  No apter name than The Falls for final leap into destiny deep.  No longer my beloved Kiefer will I betray.  Take care of him Lord, I pray," Posey whispers froze in air.  In both hands she gripped hard cold metal railing.  She crawled over... to go to the other side.  Her feet touched, slipped on narrow ice covered ledge...

                No petal of Posey did fall.  For she hung over The Falls by white knuckles, palms welded frozen to metal railing.  She vainly fought to open hands.  Something more than death was wrong.  She turned head.  Her right shoulder lay twisted behind her out of socket.  She whimpered, shivered, turned head to other side. The bone of left wrist had broken thru skin; mist mixed blood down arm bled.  Posey closed her eyes and near quiet pled, "Oh dear Jesus, take me home..."

                And foam of sea blue eyes topped waves of dream, as her mind washed ashore eyes wide open... home in bed... From behind Kiefers arms gathered her in, softly spoke in Posey ear, "Naked I came into this world from my mother's womb, and naked I will go; the LORD giveth and the LORD taketh away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Kiefer kissed that ear, breathed,"For are we not the clay of the Potter? And yes, the human heart is deceitful above all things, but the heart of Jesus is pure."

                Her bosom spasmed, pale lips whispered, "What, how..." She grabbed right shoulder.  It was not out of socket, not in pain, free of ache, free to be free.  Before her face she raised left hand and wrist; no broken bone pierced her skin. "A dream, only a dream?" Posey wondered.

                "Ever beautiful," Kiefer breathed, took her hand, repeated, "ever beautiful," his hand moved, caressed her arm to shoulder, "ever precious," from back of her neck he swept dark hair, "so blessed with grace your nape of neck."

                "Kiefer, how, how can you love me, when...?" Dew dropped from eyes of Posey.

                "When I know?" Kiefer kissed that freckled nape of neck, "I know mercy, for I have received mercy." He snuggled closer.  "I know forgiveness, for I have been forgiven." His nose nestled in Posey petals behind her ear. "I know love, the very grace of peace, for... I know Jesus."

                She wiggled closer to husband, hugged tight the loving arms that held her; and as her grace full neck turned, that her lips met his, Posey was reminded what not to do anymore... by The Falls damp mist upon the boxers and t-shirt she wore...

Note: I prayed and prayed, then this little parable poured forth, along with the name Posey.  After writing "The Falls," I looked up the name Posey, found it to be a variant of Posy from the Greek Desposyni, meaning "belonging to the Lord" and used as a sacred name for the relatives of Jesus. So are all who ask Christ Jesus into their hearts. (Galatians 3:26)

Grace to the nape of the neck: Proverbs 3:3 & 22 with Isaiah 8:8 with Matthew 11:28-30(the yoke of Jesus' grace)  and Luke 15:20 in Jesus' parable of The Prodigal Son.

Set Free: John 8:1-12, 32

Giveth and taketh away: Job 1:21 KJ

The Potter: Isaiah 64:8; Genesis 2:6-7




Thursday, July 14, 2016


            "Abhory leech lips Arborie!" So burned the echo of time in the mind of Arborie Ardour.

            And so, oh my how so, was the love of Arborie Ardour beyond passion for little George.  Without name he had sprouted into the world, till young lady Arborie fell in love at first sight, dubbed him George, plucked him up from greenhouse nursery, adopted him as her own little loblolly sapling, planted him a few feet from backyard fence.  But alas all this was tad more than bit sad; for Arborie had long wanted, planned her first child to be a little George, but perceived herself too ugly to ever kiss a man.  Had not the children of school bullied her, tormented her, crushed her with cruel chant, "Abhory leech lips Arborie?" So all the more was the love of Arborie Ardour beyond passion for her sapling son, little George.

            Where she had planted little George?  Arborie owned half that rocky hill overlooking Valley Lake.  It was a hill whose only level ground was perfect, possessed just enough room for two Tudor style cottages.  The gabled cottage of Arborie Ardour was brick with native sandstone accent, while gabled cottage of neighbor Heath Schrub was native sandstone with brick accent. They had purchased the homes within months of each other.  Now near twenty years later there they were... still there. Why had they stayed?  Over the years both had better job offers, enticing salaries and perks to relocate.  And though they lived next lake, neither fished, neither sailed, neither swam, only loved the view, the view of Valley Lake?

            So did little George grow near that backyard fence, till one huge loblolly limb shaded also Heath's patio, a patio joined by vine arbor gate to garden of favorite and only neighbor.  And as most days, there they sat on floral pads of white wicker bench, enjoying lake breeze of early evening.

            "Arb," Heath paused, gathered glass from wicker table, took iced sweet tea sip, repeated pet name for Arborie, "Arb, you are one beautiful lady."

            Sweet tea sip past Arb lips.  Her long fingers touched slender throat, felt the sweetness flowing down.  She smiled. "Heath, if I didn't know better, I'd say that tea is getting you tingly in all the wrong places." She near giggled, felt tad of tingle too. "But I see old stick figure big lips me in the mirror every morning," she fished with allure for further compliment.

            Genuine reflection rippled the pale face of Heath from receding hairline to brow, past nose to mouth, "When you first moved in next door you were cute, yet a little lean; but over the years I've seen..." Heath stopped, looked away to Valley Lake below, then turned head to face her, "but over the years I've seen that stem figure blossom to match your full flower lips.  I, ah..." Heath's courage fell short, for he'd said only in part, the needs of the heart.

            Arb took nother sip of sweet tea, swallowed, and in shuddering breath uttered, "Yet, in all these years we have sat together on this garden bench, you have not put your arm around me?" She sat tea glass down on wicker table, ran fingers thru his belt loop, pulled herself close.  She lay palm on his chest, moved other round his neck... planted kiss... her first kiss of a man... neath the shade of the once little George.

            Oh what bliss, that long awaited kiss blessed by spring breeze caress. Till one too many puffs turned to huff, shook free dangling loblolly cone, one receding hairline to bean to the bone.

            Heath hadn't thought kissing would be so painful.  He ignored the trickle of wetness down forehead, to nose, then lips, till both tasted it, and together said, "Blood?"

            No time to wipe the blood from her lips, she held Heath's face in both hands, saw pine cone tooth stuck in his receding hairline, instinctively plucked it out. "Oops!" Arb aired err; for she'd burst river dam. The flood of blood was on.  Arb grabbed napkin from table and applied pressure to stop the bleeding.  She stood up to get a better look, reapplied pressure, kidded, "I think you might live.  Not all that falls from the sky is painless." Looking down at her patient, Arb smiled.  She liked taking care of Heath.  She giggled.  She sighed.  For Arb saw her own reflection in Heath's deep blue eyes.

            Looking up into the chocolate almond eyes of Arb, Heath breathed, "Not all that falls from the sky is without purpose.  For who rides his chariot of clouds; walks upon wings of wind; wears garment of light; stretches out starry curtain of night.  Perhaps our Creator sent puff of breath thru his loblolly tree, to make pine cone his messenger be."

            "And what is this message?" Arb asked, Arb smiled, as she tended the wound of his head.

            "To get off this bench, and to get down on one knee." Heath did what he said.  Heath reached in hip pocket, what was in velvet case was - no - locket.

            "Thank you, Jesus," gushed from heart, past the full, oh my how so full, and beautiful rose lips of Arborie Ardour.

            Many kisses... a wedding and one year later...  little Georgette was born...

            Sometimes more is loved than the view... the view of Valley Lake...

                                     Psalms 104:1-5 & 8:1-9

                                     Proverbs 3:11-13

            Sometimes we need a pine cone to the head... to get on the right path to God's blessings...


Sunday, June 26, 2016


            "If I have to do just one more," like butter in summer suffering meltdown on the Stew Gone Wrong Saloon parking lot, KJLU reporter Creme Brulee sizzled, "do just one more, just one more dive of a diner interview; I am forsaking Fort Worth, retiring to New Orleans, and changing my name to Creme Fraiche."

            Too late frantic waving of camera crew alerted Creme to live on air status.

            "Or to Mud, just call me Mud Slide.  No doubt this is viral bound," quake of Creme rumbled aftershock, then switched gears, tried to salvage ruins with loony toon smile. "Only funnin' folks, KJLU reporter Creme Brulee here and I cannot wait to meet home town celebrity Bad Stewie, owner and head cook of the historic old west, bullet riddled, Stew Gone Wrong Saloon." Camera a follow, her shoes crunched gravel as she walked past parking lot front row of pickup trucks, old clunkers and bookoodles of motorcycles.  Creme turned head, beckoned with hand, "Come, follow if you dare..."

            And there Creme stood, face to face with iron clad brace, a riveted iron cross, upon an old saloon's crusty old door.  She reached out, grasped handle of palm shined brass, opened door to guts of past, the Stew Gone Wrong Saloon.

            Stepping thru threshold, Creme stepped right in that name called Mud, "Oh boy!" She cringed at what she feared to be her very own, spitten on, image.  For there she was live and in person on 120 inch full color TV.

            But what was this, instead of lynching party, diner patrons tried to play nice, many struggled to stifle, even hide snickers with hand over mouth; for after all, most had been there, that place called foot in mouth. But then jarringly and suddenly...

            Thru swinging kitchen doors a paw waving, bear sized Bad Stewie bounded out, cued crowd to shout, "Howdy Miss Creme!!"

            Bad Stewie grabbed her up, bestowed his signature bear hug, near squeezed the sauce right out of Creme. "Let not too far... turn too late..." Stewie whispered in Creme's ear.  He kissed that ear.

            Creme's legs near gave out.  Stewie held her fast, kept her from falling, said, "Need a chair Miss Creme?  You seem a tad frazzled." And yes, her blond hair was a bit frazzled, as her eyes melted into his.

            Some of the diner crowd gave wink, amid a united sigh.

            The camera guy, er gal, Lisa, whispered, "Now this is live TV. Good stuff!" She thumbs upped crew tech behind her.

            Was it embarrassment, was it the bear hug squeeze, or maybe the kiss on ear; just what was it that left Creme, a seasoned reporter, a master communicator, and one hot chick to boot... left her without words?

            "Are you okay, Miss Creme?" Stewie feared he'd squeezed a tad too hard, maybe even broke her.

            "I'm," Creme near lost grip on microphone,  as she rested palms gainst Bad Stewie teddy bear chest, "I'm... its just your hair took me off guard." Her lips lied, but her green eyes hid not her heart. "Why did you dye it all those colors?" She steered diversion, even managed segue to interview.

            "Well," Bad Stewie with gentle paw to the small of her back ushered Creme's tail feathers into bar stool nest.  He plopped down on stool beside her, "well, the hair is like for real."

            "What? You are kidding me, right? No young man has splotchy black, gray, green, firey red and purple natural hair." She reached out, combed it thru fingers. "Its so soft." She whispered.

            Big Bad Stewie blushed. "I didn't say natural." Stewie smiled, "I said for real quite unatural."

            "But is not your hair one of the reasons why locals and the media call you Bad Stewie?" She pried.

            "That and here at the Stew Gone Wrong Saloon, we make the best rabid hasenpfeffer in Texas." Stewie gave his diner and cuisine plug.

            "Okay, hype guy, the stew is good, but what about the hair?" Creme sensed personal interest hook.

            The hair is sort a personal,"Stewie stalled, yet sighed, "but near all here already know I was just a kid when I caught that evil upon my head.  Doctors thought it a rare fungus, probably from the Holsteins I milked every morning on the ranch. Anyhow, no medicine they had at the time cured it, so they decided radiation the answer."

            "They used radiation on your head? How horrible!" Creme lay hand on his massive forearm, added, "Sort a puts one's own petty rumblings in perspective."

            "Yeah, I'm a bit older than you might think.  Back then the docs tended to use radiation a rad too much.  I still remember my hair falling out by the roots, the kids at school teasing, my violent retaliation, and then," Stewie sighed, gave shoulder shrug, smiled wide, "then it grew back out... rainbow colored."

            "They hurt you." Concern flooded green eyes.

            "Had head aches for years, then one day the Lord just made them disappear." Stewie nodded matter of factly, tilted head face upward, and gave a big ol', "Thank you Father God, in Jesus name."

            "The LORD," many at diner tables repeated, some amened, many more nodded.

            "That was unexpected." Wondering set astir, Creme took notice of amening patrons. The camera followed her eyes, panned the crowd of old and of young, of dads, moms and children, of Fort Worth cowboys, warehouse and railroad crew workers, and bookoodles of leather clad tattooed bikers, and... "Oh my,"Creme near gasped, "a table full of lawyers and paralegals, and is that an agent of the IRS?" But then she, and camera, and all of live TV watching saw the crosses round necks and studded in silver on black leather jackets; saw the Jesus T-shirts, and even... even was it... did they all wear the light...

            "But this is an old saloon." Creme understood not. "These people are all, well, all from the rough side of the tracks. How can this be?"

            "Not all that's added... is a plus," Stewie spoke heart. "Ever since the Eve of sin, Adam and the rest of us, we all got our minuses. But as recorded in Mark 2:17, when Jesus was criticized for attending a dinner party full of disreputable folks at a tax collectors home, he told his critics that he came not for those who think themselves righteous, but for those who know they are sinners; for those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are sick do.  And so it is that thru Jesus... God's grace... our past of day... is cast ago away... When we love Jesus, the Son of God, we love his Father, and we become God's children also. So are... the once rough crowd forgiven and blessed."

            And Creme Brulee, a once tad too driven professional reporter, lay her head gainst a once bad Stewie's bear of a chest.  And she confessed, as she wept, the name of the one and the only true Word... "Jesus."

            "Grace to the neck... the gift of light to the soul... Jesus..." said the saved from the bad, Stuart B. Bruin, as he hugged her and with gentle paw patted the nape of the neck of Creme Brulee... three little pats at a time...

            And the diners at tables let out a collective sigh of pure joy, punctuated with an amen blessing here and there...  

            And Lisa the cameraman, er camera lady, smiled, then said, "Now that's what I call live TV.  Good stuff!" She thumbs upped to heaven.

John 8:12 KJ: Jesus, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 1:1-14)

That most important decision of any life... might better make it now... for the never too late... tread not a moment too soon...

(This has been but a humble parable pointing to Biblical teaching. The true stories of the Holy Bible are infinitely more awesome. Crack one open. Let your life be awesome.) (For a true story bout stew in the Bible see Jacob & Esau in Genesis.)

Stew Gone Wrong? What to do? 2nd Chronicles 7:14...  



Tuesday, June 7, 2016


            "Kneading dough is no piece of cake." With full lips a pout, Terra Eskew puffed at scrunchie escaped dark hair.

            "That's," Smitten Kitchens laugh swished her palomino pony tail, "that's because cake be doughless.  I think to bake the cake takes, like, batter?"

            "Exactly," Terra agreed, "doughless, unlike making pie crust, like we are doughing," Terra chuckled at her little play on words, but added, "Just how did we inherit the unofficial family title of Thanksgiving pie makers?" With back of hand Terra dabbed at the salty dew of labor on her nose, but succeeded only in covering her freckles in white flour.

            As she prepared apple filling, Smitten smiled, contemplated not telling Terra, but, "You look so cute with snow capped nose."

            "What?" Terra's brown eyes crossed, fought to focus on tip of nose. "So you are saying my nose is like a snow capped mountain?"

            Smitten giggle vibrated her far more than a tad baby bump gainst counter. "Hold still, silly," Smitten took a break from carving apples.  Her green eyes a sparkle reflected, told the tale of care, the red and white checkered apron borne by right hand, as she reached up to dab flour from Terra nose.

            "That's my Smitten, been keeping your too tall gal pal's nose clean since third grade." Terra pounded dough.

            "Little rough on the dough aren't we there, Terra?" Smitten knew. She was not supposed to know, but she knew that Terra look, that dough of guilt, that forbidden apple pie that ate at the heart of Terra.  Thus Smitten with slip of lip swept up the past, "From the floor of the mind... stir wisps of dust... whispers of time..." That breath, oh how it breathed Smitten heart; yet she sucked air back in thru teeth, bit that lowered lip, too late to retrieve words born.

            Terra mirrored Smitten bite of lower lip, then whispered, "The slip of the tongue is seldom silk, nor without season." She sprinkled white flour over dough, rubbed flour on rolling pin, and rolled not so merrily along.

            "Nobody's perfect." To bowl of carved apples, Smitten added smidgen of allspice, yet now the herb of rub.

            Trembling lip the quiet of Terra betrayed.

            "Sorry." Wrinkled brow of Smitten winced.

            After a tad more quiet, Terra ceased rolling of sour dough. "So you know," she whispered.

            Twas Smitten turn to weigh the quiet, a quiet that echoed off rue mountain.

            "We didn't plan it." Terra closed shades of eyes. "It," she took breath, opened eyes, and with those full pout lips sighed, "it just happened."

            "Yeah," thru apron Smitten rubbed pregnant tummy, "stuff happens."

            "I am so sorry," Terra put her hand over Smitten's on her swollen tummy.

            "I am sorry too." Smitten stared out kitchen window into the garden beyond.

            "Please," Terra fought lump in throat, "forgive me?" Terra cried. She hugged her precious friend, patted Smitten hand atop Smitten's ripe tummy. "At least you and Bill made up after our combined stupidity."

            Smitten hesitated, then as if they played a game of their youth, she put her hand atop Terra's hand, that was atop her hand on her rounded tummy, then said, "About this," Smitten pressed Terra's hand from atop hers directly to pregnant tummy, "I hate to one up you, but, when the smitten smite back, revenge is stupider to the nth degree."

            "You and my Ted?" Terra blinked, squished tears down cheek.

            "High fidelity infidelity sort a amps up the heartache, doesn't it." Smitten stared all the more out kitchen window into the garden.

            "Every pie has its crust..." Terra cried.  Her eyes followed Smitten's thru kitchen window, thru tears she asked, "Is forgiveness out there... in the garden?"

            "In the garden I see the well of grace... the living water... his name is Jesus..." Smitten cried...

            And so it came to pass... in the garden... they prayed...

            That very evening... baby Grace was born...

Our characters take a bow:

Terra Eskew: the earth, the world askew.

Smitten: When the smitten smite back... consequences swell...

Every Pie Has Its Crust: since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit...

Yet read in the totally true and infinitely awesomer Holy Bible:

            John 4:5-42, The adulteress at the endless well of grace... Jesus...

            John 8:1-11,  The woman about to be stoned for adultery... Jesus tells her accusers: "Let ye without sin cast the first stone..."

            Luke 23:34, Nailed to the cross, Jesus prayed for us all, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." So must we forgive also...

The most important decision of any life:

            Romans 3:23 KJ; "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."

            Romans 5:8  KJ; "But God comendeth his love toward us, in that, while we yet sinners, Christ died for us."

            Romans 6:23 KJ; "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

            Romans 10:9 KJ; "That if thou shalt confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

                                         ... ... ... You are loved ... ... ...  






Sunday, May 22, 2016


            "Die wrinkle die!" Carol sang no noel over new hubby's favorite slacks.  Thru clenched teeth she sucked in steam from iron. "No matter," steam puffed out pink rose lips, "no matter how I press, push, grind and twist, that stupid wrinkle just will not give it up.  It is as if it's perma-pressed or something... Ooohhh no!" Carol cringed, for the wrinkle, the pant leg pleat, had given it up, charred black and unholy holey at the knee.  Carol tears extinguished flames of ire in blue Swede eyes.

            "Low altitude attitude has done me in again.  What is wrong with me?" Carol dabbed tears from cheek with soft light hair. "Why can I not just stop being negative?  I will never fly right." She whined a tad more, before the sound of driveway crash wrecked self-loathing, left ego smoldering...

            The wind of Will Hope blew in thru open door, stirred sad smoke into swirling wisps with teaspoon of optimism. "Your car needed a new bumper anyway." A somewhat less than pudgy hubby held out his arms to wife.

            "Ooohhh no," Carol Hope lamented, fell into his arms gainst teddy bear chest, jarred his glasses askew on nose.

            "Or did I say wife gets a new car?" Will hugged her, felt on his cheek her tears in hair, kissed her ear.

            "Oh, it's not the car, it's..." Carol sniffled, reached for, then held forth homemaker failure, "I ruined your favorite slacks."

            "Well," Will plucked pants from her fingers, surveyed the damage, "What rankle hath wrinkle wrought?" He held pants up between them.  Thru burnt hole Will right eye stared straight into the left eye of Carol. "Wow, I see you burned completely thru both sides of the leg.  Not many bear such unwavering perseverance." He snickered, tossed pants aside, gave wife snug hug.

            Carol slide hands up chest, cradled his cheeks in her soft hands.  Blue eyes met brown. "Why are you not mad?"

            "Cause I'm mad about you." Will matter of facted.

            I'd be peeved, if you ironed a hole in my favorite dress." Carol stated, yet more questioned not hubby Will, but the will of self.

            "Actually, I am furious." Will turned dark. "We must honor charred pant remains with proper burial neath stone epitaph of enigma: Twas perseverance too well done; betrayed sad pants undone."

            "You are mocking me, because I am a professor of English Lit?" Carol narrowed those blue Swede eyes.

            Will set in. "To mock, yet to..."

            Carol gave both hubby love handles the stop and desist lobster pinch.

            "Yeee-ouchee!" Will pulled claws loose, quipped away, "To mock, yet to weep, alas poor pants, shall pant no more." He emoted nother ig-mo gem, while keeping lobster claws at bay.

            "Dust to dust yet to sweep; better not bitter for to sleep," Carol countered, punctuated with giggle.

            "Something burning?" Will sniffed non-fragrant air.

             "Duh! Charred pants!" Carol sang.

            "Is that smoke coming from the kitchen?" Will sort a wondered.

            "Ohhh no," Carol sung.

            Together they opened windows, aired out the house called home.  Together they dumped burnt pork chops and charred pants into trash receptacle near driveway, where Carol observed, "Your truck bumper sort a leapfrogged my car Lady Macduff''s bumper."

            "Alas, poor Lady Macduff, sad wife knew you well." Will Hope sighed.

            "Alas, poor husband new car buys," Carol gave sideways nod and rose lips smile.

            Strolling arm and arm back to home back door, Will reflected, "Ya know, in a way I sure am glad my precious wife burned a hole in my favorite slacks." He emphasized with wide open eyes."Maybe little mini disasters happen in sync for a reason."

            "Like saving your butt from the wrath of wife." Carol gave Will sly fox eyes and full tooth grin.

            "Like saving us from... I love that little fox eating fried chicken look of yours." He marveled at rare find fine wife.

            At his side, under his wing, Carol completed the distracted thought of Will, "Hard times always teach, sometimes save and at times even pull us together."

            As they re-entered kitchen thru back door, Carol's tummy growled, reminded, "Well, an evening meal might have saved us from starving."

            "Ah, but what is that I see covered in terry cloth atop yon stove?" Will found hope.

            "Great Grandma Olla's home-made rolls," Carol offered. "At least I think that's what it is.  The recipe card is the original and the title at top is for sure smudged with butter and probably milk."

            "Let's give her a look." Will peeled back terry cloth. "Zwieback!" Will pealed glee. "Your Swedish Grandma may have written skorpa on the recipe card, or like much of Europe adopted the name zwieback from the old German zwie - twice, and backen - to bake, twice baked. When I was a kid, my Mom shopped groceries at the local Lucky Seven and off the shelf bought boxed sweet zwieback for my teething baby sister. Thing is Mom usually bought two boxes at a time, because big brother loved chowing down on those tough little cookie-biscuits too."

            "I just hope it is edible." Carol feared nother oops. "Sure is hard."

            "Supposed to be hard." Will nodded. "Most cultures around the world bake it in one form or another, because twice baked to dry prevents spoilage.  I love how your Grandma's version of it looks like it has little knobs to pick it up by.  And I love that you took the time to cook this from scratch for us."

            Tummy to tummy they k-i-k-i-k-i-kissed, interrupted by hunger growl of Carol tummy and resulting giggles.

            "You know what goes with Zwieback?" Will more planned than asked.

            "Whatever it is needs to be quick." Her tummy growled agreement.

            "How does a salad sound, maybe seasoned with salt and pepper, a few dashes of mustard, a tad of minced garlic, two tads chopped parsley, all tossed with sweet malt vinegar and olive oil?" Will gave Carol his eyes wide open, head tilted sideways, why not look.

            "Kill the garlic, add some sides of salami, ham, cheese, maybe some butter, peach jelly and coffee... Oh yeah!" Carol headed for frig.

            And soon so it was as the house aired out, that thru open patio door... by candle light two sat at scarlet cloth covered table, shared hands, prayed thanksgiving, shared a sip of wine with the bread of better choice... a healthier meal made by them together and dubbed by Will, "Zwieback and Rescue Salad... just a swim in the sweet vinaigrette of life."

            "What a recipe... love is..." So did Carol sing.

            Jesus: "Love one another as I love you. Love one another, that your joy be full..." John 15:11&12.

                                                The Zwieback In This Story

            Dissolve tsp of sugar and 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Then in a larger bowl combine the above with 3 cups flour, tbsp salt, 3/4 cup cooled melted butter, 2 cups cooled scalded milk... beat well... Next gradually add up to 3 more cups of flour to form a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough bout 6 to 8 minutes til elastic and smooth. Put dough in a butter smeared bowl, cover with cloth, let rise until doubled (bout an hour or so). Pat down, Divide into 4 pieces, divide 3 of the pieces into 8 pieces each, hand roll into balls, place on butter coated baking sheets. Hand roll remaining 4th piece into 2 doz smaller balls, press onto tops of 2 doz larger balls. Cover with cloth, let rise a tad less than an hour. Remove cloth, bake til golden at 375 deg for about 30 minutes... and voila... Zwieback... great with soups, salads, gravies, cold cuts, cheese, butter, jelly, coffee or tea... and life and love...

            "I am the bread of life." Jesus said of himself in John 6:48. Why did Jesus do the miracle (John 6:1-12) of feeding over 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish (awesome)? He explains in John 6:48-51 (awesomer and the reason for the title "Twice Baked"). All have earthly temporary lives; but only those that eat of the bread of Jesus gain heavenly lives eternal, the fullness of joy.)  

            No coincidence that the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town whose very name means House of Bread. Bethlehem, a town of bread bakers amid rolling hills of grain.