Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sue Hon Palmer's Legacy

Sue Hon Palmer's Legacy

Sue Hon Palmer, my precious mom,  went to be with Jesus on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2017.

Since her life was filled with love for others it was the perfect ending to her journey on earth.  Her celebration of life was in the Chapel of Chimes in Laurel Land Fort Worth on February 17th. 2017

The chimes were ringing rejoice, rejoice her body is with Jesus.  She was baptized in a river in Oklahoma after a revival in her church.  She remembered people in the congregation standing up to confess their sins.  She said one couple was having an affair in the church and they stood up and asked their spouses for forgiveness.

My dad had passed in 2002 and it was a difficult time for her. Sue was lonely because she was use to having Sanford next to her each night.  He passed in his sleep in the bed next to him after taking care of her husband  for seven years  He had a stroke at the age of eighty and was unable to speak.  Luckily he could still move around.  She took him shopping and he loved just getting out of the house.  He came over to family celebrations and she was always asking him,  "Are you alright, Sanford?" He nodded his head yes since it was difficult to speak.   She had a gold plated plaque she held by her bed of the 23rd Psalm to give her comfort.  The house she had shared with Sanford since 1956 was empty.  She told me she repeated the Psalm over and over so she could sleep.

Pastor Beth Evers of University United Methodist Church gave a wonderful tribute to my mom.  She had attended the church since moving to Fort Worth in 1957.  The 23rd Psalm was spoken.......

23rd Psalm Amplified Bible

The Lord is my Shepherd, to feed, to guide and to shield me,
I shall not want.

He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

He refreshes and restores my soul, life.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name;s sake.

Even though I walk through the (sunless) valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for you are with me;
Your rod (to protect) and Your staff (to guide), they comfort and console me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil
My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy and unfailying lvoe shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I shall dwell forever (throughout all my days) in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

In ancient times it was customary in hot climates for a host to provide his guest with olive oil to put on his head.  The Lord blesses and anoints His believers with the Holy Spirit, whom oil symbolizes, to prepare them for His service.

Sue Hon Palmer lived a life of service to others.
She delivered meals to elderly for over  twenty years through an organization called Meals on Wheels.  Sometimes she asked my brother Max to help her drive because in the later years she needed help to find the homes.  She took care of her deaf Aunt who lost her legs to poor circulation in old age.

She was a devoted grandmother to my two sons Alex and Michael.  They have fond memories of her baking sugar cookies or making strawberry milkshakes.

Alex loved her cheesy eggs cooked just right.  Michael loved the macaroni and cheese which melted in your mouth.  Growing up my mother prepared dinners served at 5:30 after my dad arrived from work.  We all sat around the table to talk about the day.  She had a schedule of meals she served and shopped stores for the best deals so her food bill was low.  I remember fried chicken, lasagna, chicken fried steak, fried liver and onions on Friday to keep us healthy, creamy mash potatoes, fried okra, meatloaf with a hunk of cheese inside for flavor, and chicken divine casserole.  Not only did she serve elaborate meals she always had an Italian Cream Cake, Chocolate Sheath Cake, Peach Pie with flacky crust or Banana Bread hid under a crystal glass case so they stayed moist and delicious.

Pink flowers adorned her casket.  A photograph of my mom and dad were displayed on a wooden easel.  They were married in 1949 and had a union of marriage for fifty three years.  They enjoyed traveling together in their airstream silver trailor in their retirement.  They were so proud of the trailer since it was an upgrade from the Nimrod Tent Trailer.  The  toilet paper holder was hidden in the frame for elegance.  They met many retirees in the Valley of Texas who also wanted an adventure.  People came out in the evening to share stories in their plastic lawn chairs.

I remember my mom picking out the gold casket for dad and herself.  They will be buried side by side with joining tombstone.

She is wearing her red dress Jack gave her after dad passed.  The red dress was special because they went to the store and picked it our like high school sweethearts.  He was the first person she had danced with in Putman High School.  They reunited because of her beloved Cousin Clara Mae asked Jack at a reunion.

"Do you remember Sue Hon,"

He answered, "I not only remember her, I remember Sue real well."
They took trips to WWII reunions to San Diego and Charleston.  He wrote her love letters with a hand written song.  Her favorite was Sentimental Journey.

 We let go pink balloons because it was her favorite color.  It was symbolic of letting go of her life to be with Jesus for an eternity.  As I saw the balloons floating in the air I felt my Spirits lifted to know her pain and suffering was gone.

I'm free at last.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo 2017 Judging Heifers How to Showcase

Controlling a large animal is not an easy task.  Before entering the ring, the halter must be on the steer.  The little circle goes around the animal's nose, and the bigger circle goes around the back of the animal's head behind the ears.  They tighten the halter by pulling on the rope.

The contestants are holding the halter in their right hand.  They place their thumb closest to their hand six to twelve inches from animal's head, near his nose.

Notice the show stick is in their left hand, pointing the hook down.  Animals will enter the show ring in a line.  When leading the steer, one hand is up by his nose and the other hand is on the end of the rope.  It is important to pull the rope and walk.  The steer will know to walk behind you.

If the heifer gets out of line, pull the animal in a clockwise circle to move him back into his proper place. Always look at the judges and do everything they tell you.  The judge signals it is time to walk the animal in a couple of circles.

Stop the animal with a side profile for viewing.  It is a good idea to have four to six feet between your animal and the one in front of you.  The purpose of the show stick is to set up the steer.  Take the stick and use the pointy end and poke the heifer in between the two hooves.

  This will make the hooves move backwards to that they are lined up.

Step back to allow the judge a full view of the animal.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo 2017 Showing Swine

The Fort Worth Stock Show has been showing livestock for one hundred and twenty years.  It provides one hundred million annually for the city of Fort Worth which generates  1.1 million taxes to help the community.  Children train in 4H Clubs so they are prepared to show their livestock.   Swine is one division of livestock shown to sell and compete for prizes.

Swine are mammals with flat snouts, small eyes, large ears and stocky bodies that provide delicious meat for many people.  They are highly intelligent and can be trained to perform tricks.

 Swine is the label for the entire family of pork-producing animals.  The term pig usually means young animals that weigh between 50 and 240 pounds.    Once a pig reaches 240 pounds it is considered an adult called hogs.  Some can weigh up to 500 pounds.

About 6,000 years ago swine were domesticated or raised for meat in China.  They came from boar that roamed wild.  Many boar still roam wild in Texas.  As they roam the hill country they enjoy roots, fruit, rodents and small reptiles.  Pigs that live on farms eat slop which contains vegetable peels, fruit rinds and other leftover food items.

Female pigs or sows give birth two times a year to about twelve baby piglets.  They only weigh 2.5 pounds at birth.  Piglets drink a lot of milk because they grow twice their size in in one week.  At around two to four weeks they are weaned from their mother's milk.

Male swine are called boars.  The snout of a swine has an amazing sense of smell that can detect food that is buried underground to a depth of five feet.  They gather information from their snout so when you see a pig sniff the ground  it is exploring the world.

Pigs use grunts to communicate.  Each oink and squeal has a different meaning.  They are very social animals.  Pigs love to roll in the mud to keep cool because they don't  have sweat glands to cool off.  Most types of swine can  live up to  ten years.   A potbellied pig has a long lifespan of 20 years.

Domesticated pigs are found all over the world in China, Europe, Australia, North America, and Africa.  Wild boars enemies are eagles, hawks, wolves, lions, leopards and hyenas.

There are 73,150 Pork Farms in the United States.  China is the number one pork producer in the world and United States is number three.  The favorite cut of meat in the United States is the pork chop.
People from all over the world also enjoy bacon, ham, sausage, and pates.  Pork accounts for 38 percent of meat production worldwide.  Nearly a 100 million tons of pork were consumed worldwide.  

Monday, January 2, 2017

Dallas Arboretum Holiday

Holiday at the Arboretum displays twenty five feet tall gazebos telling the story of the 12 Days of Christmas, Victorian style.  History and holiday traditions unite through the garden in each well thought out display   Many are unaware that the centuries old song of giving gifts teach hidden meanings to the teachings of  faith.   The song was created in England as a memory aid  to teach children basic truths.
Each scene uses whimsical animals, and costumed characters set up to tell the story of each day. 

Each display is created by local artists with details capturing the imagination of children.  The same artists create sets of the Dallas Opera.
In the song the Twelve Days of Christmas the 8 maids a milking was created to remind children of the 8 Beatitudes.  It also reminds us that not too long ago we got our milk from cows and not our local grocery store.  

The eleven pipers stand for the eleven faithful apostles.  Follow the large signs as a guide to the different songs.  

The four calling birds stand for the four evangelists and four gospels.  
A 30 ft Christmas tree decorated with silver and red balls has friends and families gathered around for a  holiday photo.  
Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles's Creed.

Swans a swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.  

Warmth and good cheer is felt as couples display their love and devotion.  The symbolic herb of mistletoe dates back a thousand years.  Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The Greeks were known to use it to cure spleen disorders.  The Romans  used it as a balm against epilepsy and ulcers.   

At night the gazebos light  up with 500,000 lights throughout the garden.  

The Dallas Arboretum is beautiful in all seasons of the year.  Cascades of waterfalls are discovered along the winding paths.  Fresh water hits the rocks with splashes of joy of the holiday season.  

People gather for weddings and special celebrations.  
Musicians play melodies of live music for a delight to the ears.
Reflections of traditions are everywhere in the holiday atmosphere.  

Gary Lee Price created this amazing sculpture for others to enjoy. 
Gary spends countless hours creating sculptures of inspiration.  His quest to lift the human spirit through sculpture is shown in each piece.

  Shakespeare would  have enjoyed visiting the Arboretum for ideas to create future plays.  People taking family photographs, couples getting engaged and daughters bringing their aging parents are possible topics Shakespeare could have woven into dialogue.
There are acres of grandeur spread across the Gardens.  Weddings, banquets and family gatherings reveal life is still vibrant.  A story is behind every corner.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Bethlehem Revisited

God promised the Savior's virgin birth after mankind's first sin in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3;15
Hundreds of years later the prophet Micah foretold the birth of Christ in the small town of Bethlehem:
Micah 5"2 
"But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." 
Because of the crowds that had come to Bethlehem, there was no room at the inn for Mary and Joseph. Luke 2:7-12 " Mary wrapped Him in cloths and laid Him in a manger.  Later that night shepherds from nearby fields found Him just as the angels told them they would. "
So why was Jesus born in a manger where animals were kept?  He was born in meekness as one of us.   He is available to any of us.  King of Kings and Lord of Lords first bed was a manger. 
"And the word was made flesh."
  John 1:14 
"He who believes in Me, as the scripture said, From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water. "  John 7 38  The fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.  Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation  Isaiah 12:3

The real Christmas story is God became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ. Why is Christmas necessary?  Because we need a savior to save us from our sins.  
John 3:16-17 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love.  Jesus took the punishment for our sins.  Romans 5:8  "God demonstrated His own love for us in this:while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
We remember his birth by giving gifts each year.   God gave us the gift of love, free from condemnation, through His Son Jesus.  The town of Waxahachie celebrates each year the miraculous birth of Jesus by revisting the town Bethlehem.   

Isaiah 9: " For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
A friend made this plaque for me this Christmas.  I have it in a special place to remind me of who Jesus is.   This scripture is found in the Old Testament as a prophecy to the birth of Jesus.
Joy to the world the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ,
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sins and sorrows grow 
Nor thorns infest the ground;

He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse if found
He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love
Author Isaac Watts in 1719