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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Memories

I explained to  my second grade students we might have a special visitor today.  My husband usually brings me pink roses on Valentine's Day to my classroom.  Sure enough, right after the spelling test I heard.

"Ms. Kent, there  is someone  in the room for you."  I glanced to the door and there he was holding a dozen pink roses in a  beautiful striped vase.

I gave him a big hug and said, "Thank you. that's so sweet of you."

"Okay students do you have any questions you want to ask my husband?" I questioned.

"How many years have you been married?"  a student asked.

Jim said,  "Let's do the math.  If we got married in 1988 and its 2015 how many years is that?"  Two eager students went up to the board and started subtracting.  

"It's twenty-seven years,"  a  student called out.


"How old were you when you got married?"

 He answered "mmmmmm thirty ........I said," Five."  I knew that quickly because he is four years older than me.

" Do you have any children?"

"Yes two in graduate school." he answered proudly.


"Okay let me ask you some questions.  What country do we live in? " he wondered what they would say..

Some students said, "Texas."

In a child's scope of things Texas does seem like a country full of Texas Bluebonnets, Texas Longhorn Cattle, and  Texas Pride.

Finally a child shouted out,  "The United States of America." I was relieved they knew the answer.

It's was so fun having Jim see the students I so love and talk about.  He was impressed everyone wanted to answer questions.






Later we had our Valentine's Party and the students exchanged their cards.  I remembered when I was in second grade and read each Valentine  with care.  Valentines Day exposes the treasures of our hearts.  It's nice to know my husband is thoughtful enough to come to my school and give me beautiful pink roses.




Friday, February 6, 2015

Momma Duck is Back But Daddy Duck is Missing


     Usually in  early February or March Momma and Daddy Duck come to our backyard pool to prepare a nest for their ducklings.  This year Momma Duck returned the first week in February but Daddy Duck was missing.  Yes there's a picture of a male duck but I know its not Daddy Duck.

    It brings back a memory in October when Momma Duck comes to our pool and honks loudly.  She is flapping her wings hysterically  but there is not a Daddy Duck.  I had a thought that she was mourning her partner for over twenty years.  He had a limp last summer and looked weak.  It was very unusual for ducks to be there in the fall and she only came for one day.  Momma came to the place where they raised their ducklings to mourn his loss.


     I think I had seen Momma Duck's new friend in a group of ducks.  As I gazed outside our window I ventured outside to get a closer look.  The male duck seemed a little startled but let me take pictures.  Momma Duck was use to me taking pictures and went right on swimming.  Her neck turned toward my direction as if to say hello.  Did Momma Duck tell him about the place where she raised her ducklings?  They glided through the water in rhythm together from one end of the pool to the other side.
     Their heads started moving back and forth and I knew it was a sign they were about to fly away.  Did Momma Duck want us to see her new friend?  I hope they come back.  I'll be looking for a new nest.

    Will the nest be in the same place below the angel statue hidden among the grasses?
I'm glad Momma Duck found a new companion.  She is less lonely now that she has someone to share a life with.  She'll always remember Daddy Duck.  I miss him and think she does too.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Malcolm Butler's Vision

            Malcolm Butler caught the interception to win the game for the Patriots in the 2015 Superbowl.  In the interview afterwards he told the world he had a vision he was going to make a great play.  It caught my attention because he seemed humble, and amazed God fulfilled the promise and together they made a great team.  He was asking for God's direction. He knew he would do something special because he had prayed on it.

             There is a scripture in the Bible we must cling to, rely upon and have faith in Jesus.  It builds faith to see a Super Bowl Champion give glory to God.  He knew in his heart of hearts God was there for him.  Earlier in the game he had made a play he felt disappointed in.  Sometimes God humbles us before he gives us victory so the glory goes to Him.


              In interviews people kept asking him what was going on in his mind.  But I ask the question, "What was going on in his heart?"  He said he just wanted to make up for his mistake and help his team win.  He didn't give up or get discouraged. He didn't complain.   He kept his goal in mind with the promise God gave him to keep striving.  What a great living parable.  Perhaps angels were on the Superbowl field this year.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Fort Worth Stock Show Traditions

I grew up with the Fort Worth Stock Show because my dad always had rodeo tickets and it was a family affair to view the pageantry.  He had adjoining seats with his dairy farm friend from Oklahoma. They knew each other from high school and dad stayed in touch each year at the rodeo.




 We knew where our milk came from because we visited his dairy farm and saw the hard work it was each day to care for his cows.  My dad's friend rarely had a vacation because his cows did not go hungry.  The farm had been passed down from his father and he was willing to carry the tradition.  So as I gaze at each contestant holding the reins of their prized cow I remember the dedication my dad's friend showed  to his Dairy Farm.
I see the same heritage as this boy holds the head of his prized cow high hoping the judge will give him a ribbon.  The cow is willing to follow because he is cared for and has love for his owners.  
The boy feels satisfied because his hard work is rewarded.  His dad watches with pride because he knows his farm is a family tradition.  His dad taught him how to handle a calf.  He is following his fathers footsteps of making a living for his family with devotion to his animals.

As a consumer we owe our chicken at the dinner table to the growers who chose to make farming their livelihood.  I see cages of hopeful farmers who want a prize for their beloved rooster.
 Many varieties of farm animals are in display at the Fort Worth Stock Show.  Growers are competing with other farmers who carry the traditions of their family.
Children display their artwork of creative interpretations of what it is like to live on a farm.  Their heart of love for the animals they take care for is exploding with color on the wall of art.
Precision is desired as their sheep needs a trim.  
It brings imaginations of Wilbur in the beloved novel Charoletes Web as Fern wins a prize for the pig she saved.  
Each animal is loved through taking a bath. Agriculture the world over is appreciated as farmers provide food for our tables.  
Murals show culture of the many families it takes for the Fort Worth Stock Show to exist.  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Times Square New Years Eve 2015 A Community of Talent in NYC

Times Square New Years Eve became the crossroads of the world to ring in 2015.  Hundreds of Thousands of revelers jammed the streets to celebrate a new year.
 It took a community of talent to make sure the evening was safe and entertainers could display their creativity.  News crew lined up to get their spot in covering the world's most watched event as the New Year's Eve Ball descended the flagpole at midnight. The tradition began in 1906 and New York City carried on the ceremony in style.

Cranes were lined in a straight row eager to help put on the show.

It started twelve hours before the ball dropped when revelers were checked for explosives and other dangerous devices as they entered pens on Broadway and Seventh Ave.

New York Police Department's goal was to make sure everyone was safe.  Security in Times Square was heightened because of the potential terrorist threat.   Police officers remembered the attack on the Boston Marathon and did everything to prevent another tragedy.  
"We're absolutely concerned about the security of everyone there, including the police officers," NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill. "We will be patrolling the city by air, by sea, on the ground and in the subway system."
There were no trash cans along the route and backpacks were prohibited.  

Stage crews checked the sound so Taylor Swift and other performers gave their best music.  Microphones were put in place as news media gave their own interpretation of the events.  Anderson Cooper, my favorite, and Kathy Griffin hosted for eight consecutive years.  Carson Daly featured Tony Bennet, Lady Gaga, Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani and Pharrell.
As more people came to get their place in line anticipation grew.  
Starting at 6:00 entertainment took the stage.  The giant switch was turned on as the New Year's Eve Ball raised high above majestic New York City.  The ball was designed by Waterford Crystal with 2,688 crystal triangles shining their glory in a 12 foot geodesic sphere.  The original ball was only a one hundred and 25-watt bulb.  It shows the advancement of technology over the years.  
It was a display of talent as each performer gave their best tune in frigid temperatures of 30 degrees.  Colorful pyrotechnic devices shown beams of color along with the beat of melody.   

  Taylor Swift was the grand finally as she danced on stage as her body shook with cold.  


She gave her best effort along with the NYPD, news media, stage crew, party goers willing to stand in freezing temperatures for twelve hours, and workers of New York City.  




My family and I watched from our hotel room along with millions of people from their homes the display of community talent.  
The next day the light shown on a new year in 2015.  Memories were made and families were entertained as Times Square put on a great show for another year.  
On New Years Day the streets were full of people taking pictures with Micky Mouse.
Looking at display windows showing fashions for 2015.
Spending time with family and friends.  
Buying from local street vendors creative displays of art revealing New York life.  

Sampling delicious hot food at a great price.
Taking their son or daughter on a ride on the Merry Go Round in Bryant Park.
Taking a selfie in front of the Apple Store.
Celebrating books at Simon and Schuster.

Eating after a long New Years Day at a favorite NYC restaurant.

Perhaps the greatest community of talent lives and works in the best city in the world. 
New York City.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bethlehem Revisited a Waxahachie Tradition


Step back in time 2000 years ago to visit the town of Bethlehem as Mary and Joseph did the night of Christ's birth.  After a long journey to pay their taxes they found no room to lay their head.  The inns were full of other travelers.  As predicted in ancient writings in Micah 5:2 of the Hebrew Old Testament the Messiah was born in Bethlehem in a manger perhaps with fresh rosemary to make it comfortable and keep fleas away.  Magi who studied the stars arrived on camels to see our Savior predicted to be born in Bethlehem, meaning the house of bread. Numbers 24:17 says a star shall come out of Jacob and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.

Waxahachie opens their town the first two weekends of December to crowds of over 6,000.  Families walk through the streets of the Roman village to see merchants selling their wears.  Weavers turn sheep and goat yarn to textiles, soap is made by hand, pottery is spun with hands molding wet clay, and baskets are shaped from strips of wood.

A living nativity pageant is performed with live characters wanting to share the story of Jesus's birth.  After paying their taxes Mary and Joseph go to many innkeepers to be turned away.  Many actors and their children have returned to play parts since 1995 when Vic Dindot, a former minister of Central Presbyterian Church came up with the idea.   It takes 200 volunteers to put everything together for visitors to enjoy.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Savour the Sights of Saint Remy de Provence

Travel tree lined roads to one of the oldest towns in France, Saint Remy, located at the western edge of the Provence region.  It embraces scrumptous food, rich history, ancient buildings and an amazing market day.

Enter the town through narrow streets to find small boutiques with the finest clothes. 
Enjoy delicious French Food at Lou Grilladou. Offering Provencal pizza, grilled meats, and salads.   He can serve group meals up to 70 people.  

 The salmon is fresh with the perfect sauce.  
Stay upstairs above the restaurant to relax in fluffy sheets.  

Lou's wife decorated the room with shades of gray using textured fabric.
Every detail added to the flavor of the room.  
After being refreshed continue exploring all the charm of the Provencal way of life.  

Enjoy your surroundings with water dripping from stone fountains.
Walk the streets to smell the fragrance of lavender freshly cut from local hills of purple.
Pick a place to stay in the heart of Saint Remy so waking up for market day every Wednesday morning will be easy.
Relax in a Jacuzzi after a long day of shopping.  
 Look out the window from the  bed and breakfast to see a town filled with history.  Van Gogh produced a 150 paintings while resting in the local asylum for the year of 1889 in Monastere St. Paul de Mausole.  It is open to the public seven days a week.
Starry Night is one of his famous paintings from Saint Remy along with Wheatfield and Irises.   Follow the trail around the surrounding countryside which covers the key locations of his work.  
There are more than a hundred artists living in the area of Saint Remy wanting to capture the beauty of Provence.  

The area is famous for their colorful clay pottery which makes a great treasure to take home.  
Visit the modest home of Nostradamos, famous for his predictions. 
Market Day is every Wednesday morning open till 1:00.  View displays of French Fabric and table clothes to adorn your table.  
Sample fresh fruit picked from local orchards.  
Shimmering necklaces, bracelets and earrings can be a treasure.
Carpenters display French ladder back chairs made locally.
Scented bags of fresh lavender can be purchased for only one euro.
Saint Remy's Market is one of the largest of Provence and well worth the visit.  
Walk the streets of Saint Remy first built in the 1st century AD  
Sit outside and sip a cup of coffee in sunny cafes.  
You'll find a warm, friendly welcome in this charming little town.