Thursday, July 30, 2009

Take an Aspirin and Call Your Bureaucrat in the Morning

Opinion: We need to address health care. We need to address insurance reform. We need to fix what malpractice insurance and defensive medicine is breaking. We need insurance plans we choose and can take with us from one job to the next. But-- every day more polls show that the American people are either leery or flat out scared of a 1000 page monster bill making it's way through a handful of different committees, a bill underlings are paid to read for people who are paid to vote.

Facts: The New York Times/CBS News poll found that ”Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests.”

And more from Rasmussen:

*By 50% to 23% margin, voters expect that passage of the congressional health care reform bill will cause the quality of care to go down.

*Americans by a two-to-one margin believe that no matter how bad things are, Congress can always make it worse.

And there, friends, is the rub. Haste makes waste might be a tired old phrase but there's a reason it sticks around. Why does it have to be all or nothing? Wouldn't it wise, prudent even, to see if the government could successfully make some incremental changes before we give 'em enough rope to hang us all?

Here's a question for all the pundits that say that when the representatives come home on recess they're going to hear from their constituents and know just how unpopular nationalized health care is. What planet are y'all living on?

Barney Frank is going to home and mix and mingle with like-minded friends. Jim DeMint is going to do the same. Unless they're all planning to hold mass town hall meetings, I fail to see why recess is such a big deal.

However you want these people to vote, write, email, call, and express yourself. And then reassure them that you're taking notice of how they vote and you will vote accordingly when they're up for reelection. And then, for the love of this country, do it.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Jewelry, Bull Run Road Style

I was headed inside when I saw the first one. Of course I stopped, I had to. I picked up the discarded locust shell and began to think about long ago days on Bull Run Road, days when my sisters and I considered these abandoned carcasses to be some of the finest jewelry ever designed.

I needed to go in and shower. I knew I'd be late. Morning devotional on the dock had been delightful. Throwing the stinking tennis ball with Dixie Belle until her tongue was dragging had been checked. Being late to events where you're the guest speaker-- never good. But doggone it-- here was another, and there another, and another. Holy moley, I had hit locust jewelry jackpot.

For reasons I still can't explain, I began lining them up on the edge of the flower pot for a photo op. It wasn't easy. Dixie the Curious had her nose all in my business, but I persevered. Out of time concerns, I denied myself the pleasure of going inside for the Jim Dandy camera hubby gave me for Christmas, (sorry Nikon-- I should've given you that plug) and went with the camera phone on my hip instead. And this, is my result. Lucky me. Lucky you? Probably not.

I remember once when an author friend was bemoaning her publicist's insistence that she start blogging. "I'm on constant deadline," she grumbled, "and I'm responsible for so many words already. I don't need to have to produce more."

She had me there. I'm a fairly new blogger, myself. I, too, resisted this idea for the longest time. Never the first one to ride the wave, I turned my huffy back on blogging for the first seven years of All Things Southern's existence, citing the same reluctance to add to the regular pressure of my ever growing deadlines. Her next question, however, fell right into my sights.

"Besides, what will I blog about?" she asked.

I quickly explained that the way I looked at it, this was only an issue if you set the bar too high. (I can hear the Amen corner of this blog's readers now.) Yes, I realize that one can step right over my bar, but let it be known that I am having fun allowing myself the freedom to ramble without direction, to enjoy words without worrying whether an editor will love it/hate it/or scratch it or if a reader will buy it/enjoy it/or burn it. It also brings us back to exhibit A: locust shells.

After I got these little fellas lined up and photographed I realized that the picture was speaking to me. Is it just me, or does it not look like a death march? The world is full of people eager to follow whoever has the ability to lead. I'm not talking politics, either, at least not specifically. I'm thinking about leaders in all walks of life. Leaders can give life, think Christ, and they can push death, think Hitler. I'm thinking if anyone has even the inkling of an idea that they have the gift of leadership, that one should stagger to their knees under the notion-- lest they lead a death march.

And to think, we started with a locust shell.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Perspective, It's a Funny Thing

Right about now, y'all may be thinking, "Yep, the girl finally lost it. I knew she was on the edge. This silly pic is upside down!" You're right about the edge, I live there, but you're wrong about the picture.

This morning the lake was a beautiful mirror, quietly reflecting everything near it. I took this pic right side up, that tree line you see-- that's a reflection and you're not looking at the sky, you're looking at Lake Providence. You have to change your perspective to see it for what it is.

We all look at things a little differently, don't we? I think it's critical that we try to see each others point of view but let's always remember that in the end that's all it really is, another person's opinion.

I want God's perspective. It's why I search His word. It's why I love His word. As the world changes and styles come and go, as standards get downgraded and principles become dated, His unchanging perspective grows ever sweeter to my soul.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Stop-- in the Name of Love!

Confession time: I'm a political junkie, news obsessed, history buff. But perhaps you've spent enough time on the All Things Southern porch to figure that out.

What you may not know is that I often hear from readers and listeners who think I don't talk politics enough. (These would be the people who identify with my leanings.) I also hear from other folks who either berate me when I take the discussion into politics, or jump off the ATS porch altogether, citing this as their reason. (These would be those who disagree with me.)

Tonight I want y'all to know that when I do "go there", I try to go softly. I do my best to resist the urge to join the twenty-four hour political debate, to get in the fray and shout with the best of 'em, to air my deep-seated concerns about where my beloved country is heading. I'm not saying this is the wrong course for others, but it is for me. I know what I'm called to do, and a twenty-four hour political discussion (from either side of the aisle) doesn't fit that call.

I've often asked the Lord where the line is, how much to say and when to say it. Maybe, dear reader, you're a believer who has faced this question, too. If so, maybe I can help.

It's been said to be careful what you pray for, and there's a good reason for that. He answers. My directive has been clear: I can talk the issues only as much, and no more, than I pray over the issues. To clarify, that means if I spend a brief moment in my prayer over my nation, well, that gives me about one tweet or facebook post. Get it?

I admit that it is hard, and I've failed at it, confessed and started over more times that I care to admit, but can you imagine, for just a moment, what would happen if every believer in America adopted the same missive? What if we prayed privately as much as we dissented and wrung our hands publicly? That's what I thought.

I call it "Stop-- in the name of Love". It helps to remind me when my passion begins to build to stop. Pray first. Opine second. I invite you to join me by signing in on the comment box below, and forwarding this if you think the thoughts here bear repeating. I don't need your last name, or even your city and state. I just want to know that you've considered it.

God Bless America.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

One immaterial step for mankind-- but--

perhaps a huge step for me. Okay, if you've been listening to me whine the past few days, you know by now that I've been trying to sync this blog with facebook so I could talk to the whole world at once. Apparently, what has worked for everyone else I've talked to has not worked for me. SO--after my own internal intense debate, I've now given up on IntenseDebate, and I'm trying Facebook's networked blogs app.

Big favor time!!! I'm headed to church to kick back and enjoy a great teaching by John Bevere. Facebook friends, would you, could you, suprise me by subscribing to this blog with the new app so I can check it out? MANY THANKS! I'll check back later. Surprise me, why don't you? :)


Thursday, July 16, 2009

I'm All Ears!

Hey Y'all,

You've seen the text boxes in my first book in this series, a finalist for SIBA's 2009 Nonfiction Book of the Year: "Suck Your Stomach In and Put Some Color On", What Southern Mamas Tell Their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know, Too! Well, here's how you can get your own two bits in my next book.

I took some ribbing from the men folks in the first book for not soliciting their thoughts. Live and learn. This one's open to everybody and the topics run the gamut from diet and exercise to social media and regional differeneces! This book's working title is "Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy" More Advice and Observations from All Things Southern.

In a nutshell, I'm open to your short (100 words or less) anecdotes, tips, or observations. What makes it southern? Why, you do, silly! So, don't stress, just play along and see your name in lights, (okay, print, but it's still big fun!)

Need a couple of examples? I'll put Leslie Martin Young's thoughts in the health section. This Louisiana girl says, "I've got a cornucopia of workout videos. My friend Lisa and I would actually put on "work out clothes" (some ensembles may or may not have included leg warmers) and move the furniture in the living room...then sit and watch the video while commenting about how fit we would be if we could actually DO that stuff..."

Author and journalist Karen Spears Zacharias opines, "My Yankee husband once accused me of not being southern because I didn't cook huge breakfast meals. That is, until the morning after an all night writing binge (spurred on by crazed energy level from a prescription drug error) when I woke him at six a.m. to a southern spread extraordinaire. I'd made an early morning Wal-Mart run and whipped up everything from bacon and eggs to sausage gravy and stone ground grits. Of course, I gave him the southern mantra, "And I expect you to eat everything I put on your plate." He's never challenged my southern credentials, again.

How about some tentative chapter titles to get your gears turning even more?

She Got Those Heavy Legs from her Mama’s Side
~ Thoughts on Fitness and Self-Improvement with Sensational Salads to Baby Your Curves

The Science of Bubba Whispering
~How to Train a Bubba with Main Dish Recipes He’ll Sit Up and Beg For

Self-Cleaning Underwear, an Idea Whose Time Should Never Come
~ Business Tips and Time Saving Techniques with Casserole Recipes to Beat the Clock

I would so appreciate your helping me spread the word by emailing this link to your friends, twittering it, and posting it on your blogs and facebook pages. This one's gonna be fun. All aboard!


P.S. One more way to play-- sit on the porch of All Things Southern, by subscribing to my FREE weekly emag and joining me on Facebook, Twitter, and/or the old blog here for our continuing discussion. I may email you and tell you that your thoughts are just perfect for a certain chapter and ask permission to quote you. It's that easy and, from what my readers tell me, it's oh, so much fun when the book comes out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It is a Good Thing... sing praise to our God. Praise is beautiful. Praise is fitting. Ps 147:1

I hope y'all can see the rain in this picture. I'm cell phone blogging again. Dixie and I are sitting on the back porch enjoying our morning devotions and watching rain fall for the first time in over a month.

To all my dear porchers who don't farm, it is hard to explain what this looks like to us. It refreshes more than our farms, it waters our souls.
Had to share. Had to share with people who mean so much to me.
Thank y'all for allowing me to be a part of your lives. I do not take the honor for granted.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Speaking at Tea Party, Monroe LA

Blogging on the go as I'm up next, but here are some early pics. The second shot is a lady who was four years old in Cuba when Castro took over. Sorry I don't have her name. I'll get it in a bit.

She's now an entrepreneur in South Louisiana determined to wake Americans up to the reality of their freedoms slipping away.
She was great!

More later...

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Booksigning at Blessings

Large fun this a.m. after radio show. Had book-signing at Blessings Bookstore/Sarah's kitchen in West Monroe.

The first pic is of a young belle named Isabella Moore. I fell in love with her AND her mommy's story. She calls Isabella her miracle because she she had trouble conceiving and the doc said she never would. But then, Hello God, right?! Oh, to be accurate, she calls Isabella her sassy miracle. :)

The next pic are some of my favorite all time readers. If I have a signing anywhere in the area you can bet your sweet baboo that the Watsons will be there!!!

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A Catfishing Dog?!

Yesterday morning while I was enjoying my devotional on the dock, Dixie Belle went fishing! Saw it with my own two eyes. She was wading in the deep water and got herself a cat!!! You should've heard that canine complain when it finned her as she struggled to get it to the bank. Who won? Why, Dixie, of course. I've told y'all about her obstinate streak!

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Enjoying some early morning quiet time on the dock. The house is bursting with "new" family, and by that I mean to say this is the first Fourth for us to have our son-in-law's family join the fun! Patrick's family are up from Mandeville and we're happy to have 'em (We miss you Daniel.)

Yesterday, several of Jessica's friends hosted a "Sip and See" at Carey and Phillip's for home folks to meet Grant Thomas and his grandmother Jane got to attend. The party was delightful! Thanks Carey, Corey, Kelly, Sarah, Amanda, Katie, and Debbo!!!

Papa and Nanee will be here shortly but my sisters didn't come this year. I miss them, but I'll be thinking about them and hopefully talking to them later.

Phil has taken a flag to his mama's grave. This is the first Fourth without Mawmaw and even though she didn't really know it was the Fourth the last few years, the memories of the other Fourths with her are still strong in our hearts. This was, hands down, Lucy's holiday. I can only hope that I handle a full house with half the grace Lucy showed when the extended family descended on her! That is her legacy.

I'm attaching a couple pics for y'all. More to come. I don't have Mister Grant on my phone right now but Emerson wants to wave her flag for y'all and there's a shot of this beautiful morning and one of our Freedom Cupcakes!

But enough of that for a minute. My time is limited. I'd rather spend the next few moment with you expressing my thoughts on America's big day.

I'm thankful to live in this great land. As I sit here this morning, and consider the change that was promised, the change that has come, and the change on the horizon, I pray that some things won't change.

I pray that America's promise of freedom won't change.

I pray America's beacon of light to the world will not be extinguished from within.

I pray America's promise to allow her people to freely practice the religion of their choice won't change.

But above all, I sit here grateful and I comfort myself over my grandchildren's future with this truth, my God DOESN'T change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen.

Happy Fourth of July, friends. And Happy Birthday America. I love you.


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